The Jodie Whittaker era of Doctor Who has been far from vintage, but the show’s decline started years ago

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After months of rumors, it was no surprise when the BBC finally confirmed on July 29 that Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall would be leaving the show in 2022. Now the speculation about the show’s next incarnation can begin in earnest – and for Who fans, that’s always been part of the equation.

On a show that calls the whole of space and time its playground, it’s perhaps appropriate that Doctor Who’s past and future often seem more important than its present. No other science fiction TV show – not even Star Trek – has nearly six decades of existing lore to live up to. Meanwhile, theorizing about the next resident of the TARDIS is a national sport in the UK, where everybody tends to have an opinion on who’d make a good Time Lord, regardless of when they last watched the show. It’s as big a deal as casting the next James Bond.

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