The Doctor is out. Earlier today, Peter Capaldi announced that he would be leaving Doctor Who at the end of this year’s 10th season. No replacement has been announced for the role.
Capaldi announced his departure on BBC Radio 2. “I feel it’s time to move on,” he said. "I can't praise the people I work with more highly, but I have always been someone that did a lot of different things."
Capaldi isn’t the only high-profile departure from the show. Last summer, showrunner Stephen Moffat announced that he would be leaving at the end of the 10th season, and that he would be replaced by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall. This means that the 11th season of the show will have a new lead and creative crew.
Capaldi plays the titular time-and-space traveling alien known only as The Doctor, and is frequently accompanied by a companion on his adventures. Every couple of seasons, The Doctor regenerates, taking on a new form, which has allowed the show to recast its lead.
The show celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 with a special episode featuring the late John Hurt as another incarnation of The Doctor. Appearing in 23 episodes since 2013, Capaldi’s tenure as The Doctor in the revitalized show is shorter than that his immediate predecessors David Tennant and Matthew Smith, who portrayed the character for 47 episodes and 44 episodes, respectively.
Capaldi joined the Doctor Who in 2013, making his first appearance in the 2013 Christmas Special "The Time of the Doctor,” after succeeding predecessor Matthew Smith. His character was joined by sidekick Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), who departed at the end of season nine; for season ten, he’ll be joined by a pair of new companions, Nardole (portrayed by Matt Lucas), and Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie).
Doctor Who’s 10th series will kick off on BBC One and BBC America in April 2017.