When is Doctor Who season 12 on TV? What’s going to happen? Who’s in the cast?

More Daleks? The Judoon return? A Cyberman attack? And what about the cast? Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Doctor Who series ahead of its 2020 return

Cast Release

Jodie Whittaker and her Doctor Who team are currently zipping around time and space solving problems and saving lives, and we’re almost halfway through the BBC sci-fi drama’s twelfth modern series.

Advertisement

As ever there are many questions that need to be answered – it is called Doctor WHO after all – so what will the Doctor get up to? Who is she travelling with, and what kind of baddies might she be facing? Who or what is the Timeless Child? Are the Cybermen the only classic foes, or will the Daleks be back in action as well?

Check out everything we know about Doctor Who season 12 below…


When is Doctor Who season 12 coming back to TV?

BBC
BBC

The sci-fi series returned at 6.55pm on Wednesday 1st January 2020, aka New Year’s Day.

Following that the series went back to a weekly Sunday evening release date (as it did in 2018), and the next episode (Episode 5, called Fugitive of the Judoon) airs on Sunday 28th January at 7.10pm.


Is there a Doctor Who season 12 trailer?

Yes – there are actually quite a few! The most recent (above) hints at what’s to come in the second half of the series including new monsters, some serious companion angst and some nasty-looking Cybermen.

Prior to this, the first trailer arrived in November 2019, and it showed an action-packed, alien-stuffed series of adventures for the Doctor and her friends.

Also debuting a new-look Cyberman and plenty of intriguing hints about what to expect from the series, it’s a must-watch – so why not look up and do that now?

And when you’re done with that, in early December the BBC also released a surprise second trailer, which gives a better look at a few monsters and other challenges faced by the Doctor and company.

You can also catch a glimpse of some new sets and scenes in the wrap video above.

At the end of October, the BBC tweeted out an intriguing image of the Doctor’s shadow suggesting we should “watch this space,” and later doubled down on on the tease with a short trailer that promised more information at the end of November.

As any Doctor Who fan knows, the 23rd November is the anniversary of the series’ first ever episode back in 1963, so it’s not surprising the BBC chose this day to release the first trailer.


What is the next episode of Doctor Who season 12 called? What’s it about?

The next episode, called Fugitive of the Judoon, sees rhino-faced space police The Judoon invade Gloucester in the 21st Century, requiring the Doctor and her friends to try and hold them back as they work out who exactly they’re trying to track down.

The episode is written by Demons of the Punjab’s Vinay Patel alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall.


Will there be a Doctor Who Christmas special in 2019?

17076691-low_res-doctor-who

It looks like there will – but not until Christmas 2020.

“You will get a special – at the end of the series, yes,” Doctor Who boss Chris Chibnall told RadioTimes.com and other journalists when asked if there was a Christmas special coming up.

In other words, there’s no special in late 2019 or for New Year’s Day 2020, but there probably will be one for Christmas 2020. At least this year we’ll get an episode on New Year’s Day though!

So, fans of Christmas specials look like they may have to wait an entire year. The best things come to those that wait and all that.


Will there be another season from showrunner Chris Chibnall after Doctor Who season 12?

Doctor Who Series 12

Apparently, yes! Chris Chibnall has revealed that work has already begun on series 13, albeit in the very early stages, while refuting claims that he was quitting Doctor Who.

“It’s categorically untrue [that I’m leaving],” Chibnall told RadioTimes.com and other press during a visit to Doctor Who’s Cardiff set. “We’re already planning the next series after this series.”


Who’s in the cast for Doctor Who season 12?

The Master (Sacha Dhawan) in Doctor Who
BBC

The Master (Sacha Dhawan) in Doctor WhoThirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker and her Tardis team Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill are all set to return, along with showrunner Chibnall behind the scenes.

“We can’t wait to bring more scares, more monsters and more Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole to BBC1,” Chibnall said. “Brilliant!”

One of the major additions to the cast for series 12 is Iron Fist star Sacha Dhawan, who has previously appeared as original Doctor Who director Waris Hussein in the Mark Gatiss-penned television film An Adventure in Space and Time.

Dhawan was originally billed as playing a character called O, a former British intelligence officer who had been investigating alien life but in a twist for the ages it was revealed he would actually be playing the Doctor’s greatest foe – the Master. At time of writing the Master is trapped in another dimension, but we’re sure he won’t be for long…

Other confirmed upcoming guest stars include Matthew McNulty, Warren Brown and Ian Gelder (whose mysterious character could tie back to the Timeless Child mystery) while Years and Years star Maxim Baldry (below) has been rumoured for a part in an upcoming Mary Shelley-based episode.

Years and Years generics

And plenty of big-name actors have already appeared in this series of the sci-fi drama.

National treasures Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry appeared in the series’ opening episode playing a spymaster and a villain, while ER’s Goran Višnjić and Hustle’s Robert Glenister joined for another story as Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

Bodyguard star Anjli Mohindra (who previously starred in Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures) appeared in the same episode as Višnjić and Glenister playing the alien queen of the Skithra, while the Inbetweeners’ James Buckley popped up as a mechanic called Nevi in episode three alongside Breaking Bad’s Laura Fraser.


Who is writing Doctor Who season 12?

Doctor Who series 12’s writing team has been confirmed, and there are a few returning faces alongside some new talent.

Vinay Patel, Ed Hime and Pete McTighe are all returning to pen an episode this year, while the newcomers are Nina Metivier (who previously worked as a script editor on the series), Emmerdale’s Maxine Alderton and award-winning playwright Charlene James.

“We’re thrilled that Doctor Who continues to attract some of the most exciting and dynamic talent working in television,” head writer Chris Chibnall said in a release.

“Along with our returning faces, we’re excited to welcome new members to the Doctor Who family. The Doctor Who team is crammed with British television’s brightest writers and directors: we’ve adored working with them, and can’t wait to show you the explosive stuff they’ve created!”

It’s expected that Chibnall will pen four episodes, while the guest writers deliver a script each, some co-written with Chibnall.


Who is the Master?

Doctor Who - the Master (Sacha Dhawan)
Doctor Who – the Master (Sacha Dhawan)

In an excellent and unexpected twist towards the end of the first episode, it was revealed that the Doctor’s greatest enemy, the Master had returned to plague her once again – with Sacha Dhawan playing the Time Lord.

Like the Doctor, the character has been played by a range of actors over the show’s lengthy run, including Roger Delgado, John Simm and Michelle Gomez. He is also a renegade Time Lord and the antithesis of the Doctor  his number one aim is to control the universe, while making the Doctor suffer as much as possible along the way. We go into more detail about the character here.


Are the Daleks back in Doctor Who?

Well, it seems likely – fans have spotted the tinpot terrors filming in Bristol on the Clifton Suspension bridge, with scenes about demonstrating the new “Recon Dalek” model introduced in New Year’s Day special Resolution being blown apart by the more traditional gold Daleks. But who knows? Given how secret Doctor Who normally keeps these things, it could all be a bit of misdirection…

And in December, Chris Chibnall appeared to deny that the famous villains would be featuring in the series, telling Entertainment Weekly, “I wouldn’t expect Daleks this series, no. I’m being serious. You might want to expect Cybermen though.”


Are the Cybermen returning to Doctor Who?

butf2cpeeooz0hb5tsfp

Yes! As confirmed by various trailers and Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall himself, the silver-plated Cybermen will be back towards the end of the current series.

“It’s a story in which you’re going to be encountering a particularly relentless and ferocious set of Cybermen,” Chibnall said.

“It’s interesting, because although you can talk about it as old versus new [monsters], that’s slightly a false definition,” he added. “Because even if you bring the Cyberman back, that’ll be the first time for some kids and for some viewers.

“So you have to make sure that they feel fresh and there’s an idea behind them. I feel like we did a really nice job with that and with [2019’s New Year’s Special] Resolution and the Dalek – that was a new spin on a Dalek story.


Who are the Judoon?

Cast Release

It’s been revealed that rhino-like thugs the Judoon are returning to the series in 2020, with Whittaker’s Doctor and her team facing off with them in Gloucester as they enact some sort of “deadly mission,” according to the BBC.

“No! Sho! Blo! The Judoon are storming back into Doctor Who in full force, and the streets of Gloucester aren’t safe,” series showrunner Chris Chibnall said.

“If anyone has anything to hide, confess now. The Judoon are taking no prisoners, and will stop at nothing to fulfil their mission! The whole team on Doctor Who are delighted and scared in equal measure to welcome them back: one of many treats we’ve got in store for viewers next series.”

The same episode is also set to include Doctor Foster and Silk star Neil Stuke in an as-yet-unknown role, the first guest star officially announced for the twelfth rebooted series that is currently filming.

“We’re over the moon (with Judoon), to be welcoming the wondrous Neil Stuke as a guest star,” Chibnall continued.

“We can’t wait to show you what happens when his path crosses with the Thirteenth Doctor.”

First appearing in 2007 in David Tennant’s second series (specifically the episode Smith and Jones), the Judoon cropped up a few more times over the years (including in child-friendly spin-off the Sarah-Jane Adventures), last popping up in Peter Capaldi’s penultimate series for a couple of cameos.


Will Jodie Whittaker get a new Doctor Who costume?

Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who
Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who (BBC Pictures)

Apparently the Thirteenth Doctor will get some new variations on her look in the new series, sporting a darker overcoat (and matching socks) for at least one episode instead of the sky-blue number she’s worn to date and donning a tuxedo for opening two-parter Spyfall.

Jodie Whittaker has also been spotted on set in a new jumper with rainbow-coloured cuffs that echoes the lining of her coat, but it’s unclear if this is a new costume choice or something that Whittaker owns personally that just so happens to share design details.


Is Doctor Who season 12 currently filming?

No – production has already concluded on the new series of episodes, with the team filming at Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff and on location over the last 10 months.

“We’re off again! Well we never actually stopped – as Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and friends have been winning the hearts of families across the nation this autumn, we’ve been busy with a whole new set of action packed adventures for the Thirteenth Doctor,” showrunner Chris Chibnall said in late 2019.

“We adore making this show and have been blown away by the response from audiences.”

The series shot in South Africa for a couple of weeks, as revealed on Doctor Who’s social media accounts. Parts of Cardiff and South Wales were transformed into a Sheffield police station, the streets of Paris and a London government building so far, while Gloucester has been the setting for a Judoon invasion.


Who or what is the Timeless Child?

The ongoing mystery of the series continues, with Sacha Dhawan’s Master revealing that he destroyed Gallifrey over this mysterious secret.

Advertisement

We go into some of our theories here…