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What Only Whovians Know About Regeneration In Doctor Who

There's change a-brewin', that's for darn sure. You can feel it in the water. You can feel it in the earth. You can feel it in the way that Daniel Craig isn't going to be James Bond anymore, provided that No Time To Die ever comes out.

And he's not the only performer shaking things up across the pond. In hushed tones, the people of the United Kingdom whisper that yet more change is on the winds: Jodie Whitaker, the very first female performer to portray the time travelling madman in a box, is rumored to be exiting Doctor Who after her third series. While the BBC and Whitaker herself have kept entirely mum on the subject, the very prospect of her exit from the beloved program has left fans in a tizzy, with The Sun reporting that the hashtag #JodieOurDoctor started trending on Twitter not long after word started making the rounds. Devotees were convinced that three years of travels with "the fam" just wasn't enough, that the 13th (sort of) Doctor was getting shortchanged, and that a potential regeneration would be premature.

But would it? Find a longtime fan of the show, and they'll be able to tell you — at great length, while doing impressions and sound effects and quoting, endlessly quoting — that a third-season exit wouldn't be giving Whitaker short shrift at all. It would, if anything, be giving her the usual amount of shrift.

The question isn't WHERE the Doctor doesn't want to go, but WHEN

Let's assume that Jodie Whitaker's 13th (kind of) Doctor only gets three seasons' worth of stories. A drag for fans of crystalline aesthetics and Sheffield steel sonic screwdrivers? No doubt, but also not unprecedented. Super, duper precedented.

The last Doctor to only last three series was... the last Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi in series eight, nine, and ten. Before that was 11th Doctor Matt Smith, who also had three series under his suspenders when he left the show during the 2013 Christmas special. The guy before him was David Tennant, who also left after three series, despite not wanting to go. In point of fact, out of the last nine Doctors to grace the screen, five have lasted for three series, while the rest were around for even less time — Christopher Eccleston did 13 episodes before regenerating, Colin Baker stuck around for two and a half series, and poor Paul McGann got a TV movie and a digital short out of the booking before disappearing. John Hurt just did one special.

Still, there's been no confirmation one way or the other regarding 13's departure from the series. For now, it's probably best that Doctor Who fans stick to what they traditionally do in these situations: keep calm, carry on, and speculate wildly about who should play the Doctor next.