The one thing that can be said about every single Doctor—as in, the Doctor Who Doctor—is that they never stick around. Some hang out for longer than others (Paul McGann was technically the Doctor for decades, depending on when exactly the Time War happened), but they all regenerate in the end. Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor is presumably no exception to this, and now we might actually have an idea of when she’s going to be leaving the show.
It all started with a rumor published by British tabloid The Daily Mirror, which recently declared that Whittaker is planning to leave Doctor Who at the end of the show’s upcoming 13th season. That on its own isn’t especially big, as Doctor Who rumors are the bread-and-butter of British tabloids, but the interesting bit is that Variety reached out to the BBC for a comment and got this suspicious non-answer: “We won’t be commenting on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show.”
“No comment” doesn’t necessarily mean “the rumors are true,” but it also doesn’t necessarily mean “the rumors are false,” meaning the BBC is dancing around the question of whether or not Jodie Whittaker will be sticking around. Why do that if she’s going to do another season? If she does leave after season 13, it would mean that all three of the most recent Doctors only stayed on the show for three years (Matt Smith was on from 2010-2013 and Peter Capaldi was on from 2014-2017). David Tennant had the role for five years, though he technically only did three seasons and a series of bonus specials. So three seasons with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor would actually be right in line with most of the others (Christopher Eccleston’s historically underrated single season being the one outlier).
If Whittaker does leave the show, though, current showrunner Chris Chibnall will not be joining her. The Daily Mirror story says Chibnall will stay on board, as it’s also a tradition to have Doctor Who showrunners oversee two Doctors during their tenure, but any plans beyond that are still unconfirmed—as is all of this, to be clear. It’s also worth noting that Whittaker’s Doctor has generally been much better received than Chibnall’s showrunning, so… we’ll have to see how this goes, if it’s true.