Doctor Who team tease “huge,” “epic” cliffhanger in series 12’s first episode

“I hope the audience will be wondering, ‘How are they going to get out of that?!’” says showrunner Chris Chibnall

Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who series 12 (BBC)

After a year of standalone stories, the next series of Doctor Who is set to bring back multi-part episodes, kicking off Jodie Whittaker’s new adventures with an action-packed two-parter – and apparently, the New Year’s Day episode will definitely have fans desperate to see the follow-up, ending on a “huge” cliffhanger for the TARDIS team.

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“As a kid growing up in the 1970s, part of what got me addicted to Doctor Who was the cliffhangers,” showrunner Chris Chibnall said in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

“They were essential to the DNA of the show.”

“That’s not the case in the same way in the modern show. So when you do get the chance to do a cliffhanger now, it’s really exciting.”

“The way the first episode ends, it’s like, ‘WOAH!’ What a way to start off a series!” star Tosin Cole agreed.

“I think it’s really going to get everyone excited to see what happens. So get comfortable. Grab the popcorn. It’s about…to go…down.

“We got given the script in chunks, so it was quite a genuine cliffhanger for the cast and the crew as well,” added episode one director Jamie Magnus Stone.

The story will be picked up just a few days after episode one’s broadcast, with episode two airing on Sunday 5th January – but from the sounds of it, those scant four days will feel like an eternity for fans desperate to know what happens next.

“I knew where I was going with the second episode, but I hope the audience will be wondering, ‘How are they going to get out of that?!’” Chibnall said.

“The second episode is no less epic than the first, but events take a darker turn. It’s very different in mood and visual and tone. There are many matters of life and death, and there are sinister forces at work across different dimensions.”

In other words, it sounds like Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and her friends will be in seriously dire straits come 2020. We can hardly wait to see how they get themselves out of this mess…

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Doctor Who returns to BBC One on New Year’s Day at 6:55pm. Doctor Who Magazine issue 546 is on sale now.