Jodi Whittaker will be returning for a second year in her historic turn as the lead in the BBC’s Doctor Who.
Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter, Whittaker stated that she was definitely and eagerly set to return for another year of adventures in time and space –
I really can’t wait to step back in and get to work again. It’s such an incredible role. It’s been an extraordinary journey so far and I’m not quite ready to hand it over yet.
The statement flies in the face of rumors circulating stating that the BBC was pressuring current show runner Chris Chibnall for a faster turnaround for the upcoming season and that he was threatening to quit, and Whittaker would follow him out the door, if he was not given more time.
Whittaker’s casting in the lead role of the series was somewhat controversial among fans, but then again casting anyone to be the first female actor to play the time and space traveling alien do-gooder was bound to raise the hackles of some fans. This, despite the fact that both those who worked on the show and within the show itself have indicated that it was extremely possible for the Doctor to regenerate into a woman whenever the current actor in the role would decide to leave the show.
Ratings for Whittaker’s debut gave the show its highest viewership numbers since 2006 when the series was revived with Christopher Eccleston. Her debut episode, “The Woman Who Fell To Earth,” had a final viewership total of 10.9 million, just edging out Eccelston’s bow which earned 10.8 million. Following the initial burst of ratings driven by curiosity over the series’ first female Doctor, viewership for the show has settled in the mid-seven million, about two million more per week than Whittaker’s predecessor Peter Capaldi’s final season averaged.
The show’s season 11 finale airs this Sunday on the BBC and in the states on BBC America, with a New Year’s Day Special to air on, well, January 1.