Beginning in 2019, Jodie Whittaker starred as the 13th Doctor in seasons 11 through 13 of Doctor Who. Her path has had many bumps, turns, and sometimes dark moments. With Chris Chibnall’s era as showrunner of Doctor Who coming to a close, his and Whittaker’s journey must end in only one possible way – with this one final special episode, titled “The Power of the Doctor.” But what does Jodie Whittaker’s final Doctor Who episode have in store for fans?
[Warning: spoilers for Doctor Who are below!]
The adventures of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor so far
Jodie Whittaker’s incarnation of the Doctor may not be every fan’s favorite, but I think we can all agree that just like her predecessors she brought something of her own and different to the Whoniverse. From her first scene, when she took over the role of the Doctor from Peter Capaldi, she made us feel that she was a bit of a weird Doctor (ok, weirder than previous incarnations).
That’s the charm of Doctor Who, every time there’s a change in the lead or even the showrunner, we can change it up and see how all the things we knew before blend together into something new and fresh.
The 13th Doctor has had various dangerous adventures in her time on our screens. She fought the alien scorpion queen alongside Nikola Tesla (Goran Visnjic), defeated a new incarnation of The Master (Sacha Dhawan), and even learned that she has infinite regenerations because she’s a Timeless Child.
We’ve also met some new companions like Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole), and Yaz (Mandip Gill), later when Graham and Ryan left, Dan (John Bishop) joined the crew of the Tardis.
Season 13 of Doctor Who in 2021 was the last full series for both Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker. Titled Doctor Who: Flux, it was a 6 episode event series where all the episodes were one coherent story.
Flux was a universal event in the world of Doctor Who, as a wave of destructive power that threatened to destroy everything in this universe. This season focused on the 13th Doctor, who was on a special mission to recover her Timeless Child memories from her previous regenerations.
During these events, we learn that she was indeed the FIRST Timelord, meeting Tecteun (Barbara Flynn), a person who raised the Doctor like a mother. She designed The Flux to erase everything the Doctor has done and erase both her past and the shadowy organization of which Tecteun is the leader, called The Division.
Tecteun offered the Doctor a way home in an alternate universe, and the Doctor was very interested in finding out what happened in her past and discovering her true home and people. But then she decided to stop Tecteun’s plan instead of joining her.
When this season’s main villain Swarm (Sam Spruell) killed Tecteun, the Doctor tried escaping from there but split into three copies of herself instead. One is trying to stay there and regain her memories, another appeared out of nowhere in the mines, where we get to see our beloved Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) once again, and the last copy appeared on the Sontaran ship.
The conclusion of the Flux event showed us possibly one of the villains of Jodie Whittaker’s final Doctor Who episode, which is The Time himself. Time is imprisoned on the planet Atropos, where he killed Swarm and his sister Azure (Rochenda Sandall), and brought all copies of the Doctor into one body. After that, he announced that the Doctor should be careful because the danger is coming in the form of powerful forces and their Master.
What we know about Jodie Whittaker’s final Doctor Who episode
The last special of Doctor Who with Jodie Whittaker as the main Doctor is called The Power Of The Doctor. It will also be the last episode/special of Chris Chibnall as showrunner of the series. Returning for the special are the Daleks, the Cybermen, and, of course, the Master – all of whom are looking to cause the Doctor trouble.
The Doctor will face many of the threats she has known for decades, and as always it will be a life-or-death battle. The special will be over an hour long and Jodie Whittaker said “It will be a simple, epic, and beautiful regeneration episode” (via Empire Magazine). The final moments of Jodie Whittaker’s episode, featuring her regeneration was shot in one very long take.
Back in August 2022, our own Brian Kitson wrote an article sharing rumors about the return of familiar Doctor Who companions and costumes in the upcoming Centenary Special. Some of these rumors have recently been confirmed, some are still not known to be true, and several new rumors have appeared alongside them, which I will present to you below.
There were talks about the return of Jodie Whittaker’s incarnation first companion Graham (Bradley Walsh), to help her fight her battle and her foes. SFX Magazine has confirmed that the rumor is true. This suggests that Graham, alongside previous Doctor returning companions like Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Ace (Sophie Aldred), may not be the only ones to make a surprise return helping Team Tardis.
We will also see Yaz, Dan, Vinder (Jacob Anderson), and Kate Stewart back in the special, but I won’t be surprised if there will be some special companion cameos like perhaps Freema Agyeman, Karen Gillan, or even maybe Jenna Coleman herself.
We’ll also see some old costumes like Ace’s jacket or even some clothes from previous regenerations appear in the special as detailed in this article.
Regeneration and the next Doctor(s)
There were a lot of rumors addressing Jodie Whittaker’s finale scene in the show, which we expect is her regeneration. One popular rumor about her Doctor’s regeneration is that it will happen on a cliff (probably the same that in the Broadchurch series also created by Chibnall). In addition, the rumor states the music in the background will be Yellow by Coldplay.
But that wouldn’t be a regeneration into Ncuti Gatwa who’s been cast as the fourteenth Doctor, but instead a return after almost 10 years of David Tennant. We know that David Tennant will return as the Doctor alongside Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, in any case.
I’m inclined to believe that this is how the regeneration could go, on the cliff, with sad music, and with tears. This would not only be a very emotional farewell to Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor but also an easter egg for fans, as both Whittaker and Tennant were stars of the Broadchurch series. Of course, we can’t confirm anything at this time and so please continue to consider this only a rumor, but I hope that Whittaker’s last scene will be something special.
There were also rumors about seeing past regenerations of The Doctor (of course including David Tennant) such as Tom Baker, Colin Baker, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi. This situation may take place during the scene where Doctor is held captive by The Master, and during switching between those regenerations. Or perhaps even having them alongside her, she sees all her previous companions both dead and alive.
Doctor Who after the Centenary special
As we have known for some time, the much-loved Russell T. Davies is returning as showrunner of Doctor Who for seasons 14 and 15. He worked as showrunner of the series during Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant’s era as the Doctors.
Many fans felt a whiff of nostalgia when the news was first announced, and I among them also felt some relief, because although I am more of a fan of the Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi era when Moffat was in charge of Doctor Who, I feel a lot of affection for Davies.
Three special episodes will be released to mark the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, with David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Bernard Cribbins, and Jacqueline King returning to their roles. Yasmin Finney will join as Donna’s daughter Rose and Neil Patrick Harris has joined the cast as a villain, as reported on by Ayla Ruby!
I’m sure both long-term and short-term fans of Doctor Who will be excited to see what Davies has in store for us, as well as see David Tennant and Catherine Tate back on screen together after all these years. Those specials will air sometime throughout 2023.
It is uncertain if we’ll see Ncuti Gatwa as the next Doctor as soon as in the Centenary special, or in 2023 after specials with David Tennant and Catherine Tate. We know that his season will start filming soon in 2022. It’s expected to premiere in 2023 after these three specials as a Christmas special or New Year’s Eve special or maybe even in 2024.
Gatwa is a great actor and I hope his Doctor will be as good and likable as any of the others. As a Whovian myself, I wish him all the best and look forward to his first performance.
“The Power Of The Doctor” will premiere on October 23, 2022, on BBC and BBC America. And if you need a refresher of the latest Doctor Who special, check out Brian Kitson’s review of “Legend of the Sea Devil”!