With the latest special episode, Revolution of the Daleks, having aired on New Year’s Day, Doctor Who fans now look forward to the next full series, the thirteenth run of episodes since the show returned in 2005. Here’s what we know so far…
Returning cast and showrunner
Series 13 will be the third series with Chris Chibnall in charge of the writing team, which means we’ll likely see a continuation of his ‘Timeless Child’ arc, about the Doctor’s previously unknown early lives. And, though Revolution of the Daleks saw Graham and Ryan leave the TARDIS fam, Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and Mandip Gill’s Yaz will both be returning. But they won’t be alone…
John Bishop joins the cast
As we saw in a post-credits teaser after the New Year’s special, comedian John Bishop is joining the Doctor Who cast. His character is a modern-day Liverpudlian chap called Dan, and was, according to Chibnall, created with Bishop in mind. Bishop has been filming with the Who crew since production began on Series 13, so it’s fair to assume that he’ll be present throughout the series.
Is Jodie Whittaker leaving?
We don’t know. Sorry, that doesn’t fit with this article’s main headline, but… we don’t. The rumour has been doing the rounds, since a UK tabloid reported the scoop a couple of days ago, that Series 13 will be Jodie Whittaker’s last. Despite this triggering rampant fan speculation about who’ll be next in line to pilot the TARDIS, the BBC have refused to comment on the news.
How many episodes?
Series 13 will consist of eight episodes. This is fewer than the previous two series, which each filmed in blocks of eleven episodes (a main series of ten plus a festive special), but you can’t argue with the reasoning – the production has put increased safety protocols in place to protect cast and crew from COVID-19, which has slowed down filming. Frankly, it’s impressive they’re able to film at all. We don’t know whether or not this eight includes another festive special.
When will it air?
Filming began in November 2020 and is expected to take ten months, so don’t get your hopes up to be seeing Doctor Who anytime in the spring. However, the BBC have assured us that we will see Series 13 in 2021, so an autumn broadcast seems most likely.