Doctor Who Showrunner Says Jodie Whittaker's Farewell Special Is Full of Surprises

Jodie Whittaker's time as the Thirteenth Doctor is coming to a close, but before Ncuti Gatwa regenerates as the new Doctor this fall, Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies says that there are still plenty of surprises to come. In a recent interview with BBC One's The One Show, Davies didn't offer up any spoilers, but did tease that it was "fantastic" with a lot of surprises.

"I can't say [any spoilers] honestly, because what is coming up in October this year is Jodie Whittaker's farewell, so I feel like I'm upstaging her slightly," Davies said (via RadioTimes. "I just saw the finished version of that two days ago. It's a 90-minute epic, it's fantastic, [it] is gorgeous. Lots of surprises."

Whittaker's exit from Doctor Who was announced last summer. At that time, it was announced that she would leave the series after last year's season and three special episodes this year. The final one will be broadcast this fall.

"In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them," Whittaker said at the time. "My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories. We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don't think I'll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I've learnt forever. I know change can be scary and none of us know what's out there. That's why we keep looking. Travel hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly."

Gatwa was announced as the next Doctor earlier this year. Gatwa is known for playing Eric Effiong in Sex Education, a role that earned him the Best Actor Award at the Scottish BAFTAs in 2020, Best Male Performance in a comedy program at the 2020 BAFTAs, and other award nominations.

"There aren't quite the words to describe how I'm feeling," Gatwa says in a press release. "A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared. This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavour my upmost to do the same.  Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor's metaphorical playground. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. And so as much as it's daunting, I'm aware I'm joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart, but I am giving it all to this show."

Doctor Who is currently between specials as it awaits the BBC Centenary. Doctor Who is streaming on HBO Max. You can get caught up on Doctor Who with our Doctor Who streaming binge guide.