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Who’s Next?

Sorry, that’s, like, the most obvious title in known space. Jodie and Chris are leaving Doctor Who after the next series and specials. Late 2022, that is.

That BBC News report is almost comically self-flagellatory. After quoting Jodie Whittaker’s hugely positive statements about the show, they say this:

While many have praised Whittaker’s casting, some fans and critics have criticised the show’s recent narrative direction.

The Telegraph described recent episodes as “flat, worthy and woke” despite Whittaker’s talent as an actress, while The Sun reported viewers were left furious by the show’s “unbearable political correctness”.

If those publications are making those criticisms, I’d say that’s a big win. Stop beating yourself up, the BBC. The programme is and remains a success, the jewel in the BBC’s crown.

Significantly further down the report they say:

Episodes such as Rosa, Demons of the Punjab and Spyfall thrilled audiences, and netted the show two Bafta Must See Moment nominations, along with multiple National Television Award, Bafta Cymru, TV Choice and Critics Choice nominations.

In 2020, Whittaker was voted second most popular Doctor of all-time in a poll of 50,000 fans for the Radio Times, losing out to David Tennant.

So there you go. Now: who’s going to the the next Doctor? And — arguably more importantly — who’s going to be the next head writer?

Or will they just put the show on ice for a few years? I read a piece recently that suggested that’s what it needs to revitalise itself, citing the gap from 1989 to 2005 as the model.

I hope they don’t do that. In fact, if it needs revitalisation at all, then last season’s big revelations about the Doctor’s origins are just what they need for that. You could, for example, have a season or two of Jo Martin’s Doctor. She’d be great, though such a move would confuse people, since it would be in the past of the Doctor we know.

We can only look forward to finding out.

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