Peter Capaldi has decided the upcoming season of Doctor Who will be his last.
Capaldi broke the news during an interview with BBC’s Radio 2. The surprise announcement, Deadline reports, means Capaldi’s last episode will be Doctor Who‘s 2017 Christmas special.
“I’m always someone that did different things. I’ve never done one job for three years before and I feel it’s time for me to move on to different challenges,” said Capaldi. “One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best. From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity and generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic.”
Capaldi became the 12th actor to portray the Doctor after joining the show in 2013 and taking over for Matt Smith. Doctor Who has been the largest commitment of his career, appearing in 45 episodes of the series.
Capaldi’s departure is not the only shake-up occurring on Doctor Who. Like Capaldi, show runner Steven Moffat is leaving the series and will be replaced by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall in 2018.
“For years before I ever imagined being involved in Doctor Who, or had ever met the man, I wanted to work with Peter Capaldi,” said Moffat in a statement. “I could not have imagined that one day we’d be standing on the Tardis together. Like Peter, I’m facing up to leaving the best job I’ll ever have, but knowing I do so in the company of the best, and kindest and cleverest of men, makes the saddest of endings a little sweeter.”
Doctor Who‘s tenth season is set to premiere on April 15th at 9 pm on BBC America.