In a not entirely unexpected bit of news, Peter Capaldi announced today that he will be leaving DOCTOR WHO after the next season. During a BBC interview, he discussed the new series, confirming “It will be my last… I feel it’s time to move on.” His final episode will be at ‘Christmas,’ meaning he’ll join Matt Smith in exiting during a Christmas Special.
His departure will mirror showrunner Stephen Moffat’s own. Moffat announced this time last year that he would make Series 10 his last on the show, with Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall taking over the reigns from 2018.
Series 10 of DOCTOR WHO, beginning on 15 April on BBC, will also see Pearl Mackie join Capaldi as Bill, the Doctor’s new companion. It’s likely that she will continue on with the show following his departure, in the grand tradition of these things, but who knows what Chibnall has in mind? Speculation has been rampant that the next Doctor could be a woman, after several well-placed gender-swaps (such as the Master) and story elements (the Sisterhood of Karn) paved the way. (Our vote is for Tilda Swinton, just because).
One thing that has been unavoidable in DOCTOR WHO publicity in the last few years are these major announcements almost a year out of the transition. We always thought we’d love to see an episode where the Doctor regenerates, and the public had no advance knowledge of the new person.