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While it was largely presumed that Whittaker wouldn’t be handing over her sonic screwdriver anytime soon, the typically tight-tipped BBC hadn’t yet confirmed who would be playing Doctor Who for season 12 of the cult sci-fi series, and there was always the chance that she could go the way of Christopher Eccleston, who managed just one stint as the Time Lord.
“I really can’t wait to step back in and get to work again,” Whittaker told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Whittaker’s unveiling as the star of Doctor Who last year was met with widespread praise, and her first season in the role — the first female Doctor in the show’s 55-year history — has so far been hugely well received by the critics. The opening episode of season 11, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” amassed consolidated ratings of 10.9 million in the U.K., making it the biggest season launch for the show since it returned in its modern form (Eccleston’s first episode reached 10.8 million, when non-TV viewing was far less of a phenomenon).
The 11th season of Doctor Who draws to a close on Sunday, with the show returning for a New Year’s Day special. Season 12 is expected to start shooting in early 2019.
Doctor Who is a BBC Studios production for BBC One and a BBC America co-production.
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