Talk about British television shows that have become ingrained in their popular culture and consciousness, and surely there can be no other close competitor to BBC’s prize production “Doctor Who”, which has been in production since 1963 until today, barring a couple gaps of several years or so. Fans were taken in by the quirky, exciting and sometimes educational adventures of the human-looking alien “Time Lord” known only as The Doctor and his ever-changing roster of companions in his bigger-on-the-inside TARDIS time machine/police box. Even the Doctor himself changes every few serials or so: the concept of body “regeneration” enabling BBC to recast him over the decades.

And it looks like that time is fast approaching again: current actor Peter Capaldi has just announced that after completing the tenth series of “Doctor Who” scheduled to air in 2017, he will retire from his role as the Twelfth Doctor.

Double departure

Capaldi made the announcement Monday January 30, a month after appearing in a Christmas Special episode last 2016 and before the tenth series premieres on BBC One this April. He has been on the role since 2013, after the departure of Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith who was active from 2010. He sees the 2017 “Doctor Who” Christmas episode as the final time he will regularly portray the role. He will be joined in his farewell by executive producer Steven Moffatt, who has also gave advance notice in January 2016 that he will retire from the show in favor of Chris Chibnall.

In a statement Capaldi said, "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, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead.” He then thanked the fans for making it a “cosmic experience”.

Countdown to regeneration

In his own statement Steven Moffatt expressed how he had long looked forward to a chance of working together with Peter Capaldi before even working on “Doctor Who”, which he helped revive for BBC in 2005. While he has expressed that his job as show-runner for the long-lasting TV program was the best he’ll ever have, but is mollified at the bittersweet touch of taking a bow with the actor when the time comes.

Doctor Who” series 10 will air its first episode on April 15, with Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor being joined by new companion Bill Potts, to be portrayed by Pearl Mackie. Previous companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) left the serials in 2015. It’s expected that the Twelfth’s regeneration into a new doctor will happen in the 2017 Christmas special. No actor has been tapped yet to replace Capaldi.