When is Doctor Who back on TV?

We finally know exactly when we'll see Jodie Whittaker's Doctor back in action...

Jodie Whittaker's Doctor and the new Doctor Who logo (BBC, HF)

Every man, woman and their robot dog is pretty excited to see the debut of Jodie Whittaker’s new Doctor later this year – but when will Doctor Who actually be back on our screens?


Here’s everything we know so far – as well as a bit of speculation about the things we’re still in the dark about…

When is Doctor Who coming back to TV?

Picture shows: The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker)
The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker)

After months of waiting, the BBC has finally confirmed that the series will return to BBC1 on Sunday 7th October, moving from its traditional Saturday night slot for the first time since 2005.

“New Doctor, new home!” showrunner Chris Chibnall said in a release.

“Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is about to burst into Sunday nights — and make the end of the weekend so much more exciting.  Get everybody’s homework done, sort out your Monday clothes, then grab some special Sunday night popcorn, and settle down with all of the family for Sunday night adventures across space and time.

“(Also, move the sofa away from the wall so parents can hide behind it during the scary bits). The Thirteenth Doctor is falling from the sky and it’s going to be a blast.”

“With Chris Chibnall at the helm and Jodie Whittaker’s arrival as the new Doctor we are heralding a brand new era for the show and so it feels only right to give it a new home on Sunday nights at the heart of BBC One’s Autumn schedule,” added BBC Director of Content Charlotte Moore.

What time is it actually on TV?

Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Bradley Walsh and Mandip Gill in Doctor Who series 11 (BBC, HF)
Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Bradley Walsh and Mandip Gill in Doctor Who series 11 (BBC, HF)

At the moment, we’re not sure what time the episode (called The Woman Who Fell to Earth) will air on Sunday 7th October, with the BBC set to confirm the exact timeslot closer to broadcast.

Our best guess is that it will either air around 5.30pm or 8.00pm, working around the Sunday night Strictly Come Dancing results show (which usually runs from 7.15 to 8.00pm).

What does this mean for the Doctor Who Christmas special?

Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who (BBC, HF)
Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who (BBC)

Of course, this October 7th start will leave Doctor Who series 11 still on the air unusually close to Christmas, when the series is expected to continue its tradition of releasing a special festive adventure.

By our calculations, the series 11 finale will air on Sunday 9th December, meaning that fans only have to wait just over two weeks before seeing the Doctor in all her Yuletide glory.

Why isn’t the series still on Saturdays?

(BBC/Instagram, JG)

There are a few potential reasons for why Doctor Who is moving from Saturdays to Sunday evenings (mostly that Sunday is more associated with TV drama, especially in the autumn/winter), and we’ve gone into some possible motives behind the big shake-up here.

How many episodes will the series have?

Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time
Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time

Well, that we do know – Doctor Who series 11 will have a 65-minute opening episode, followed by nine 50-minute episodes, making for a 10-week series overall. The projected Christmas special will be a separate episode, bringing the total up to 11 as a whole.

In other words, we have a whole autumn and winter chock-full of Doctor Who goodness, and it’s coming very soon. Hip hip, Who-ray!


Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Sunday 7th October