Want to know what Jodie Whittaker will get up to in the next series of Doctor Who? Well, watch carefully – because according to series boss Chris Chibnall, the seeds of series 13 will be sown by the final episodes of series 12, setting up new storylines for the Doctor following her much-teased battle with the Cybermen.
“I do know I’m coming back for a third season,” Chibnall told EW, reiterating a commitment to series 13 he previously revealed in 2019.
“We are already planning the stories. Once you see the end of this series, you’ll realize there are some stories we’re already setting in train for next series. We have very big, ambitious plans for our third series together.”
In other words, once the Cybermen and Timeless Child arcs have been addressed in Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children, expect some hints about what’s next for Whittaker’s 13th Doctor and her TARDIS team (assuming they all stick around) – and Chibnall says we’ll probably see those storylines take flight in earnest in 2021.
“It will be next year sometime, hopefully, unless my holiday goes on for a really long time, which is always tempting,” Chibnall said.
Currently, all we know about series 13 is that Whittaker will reprise her role as the Doctor, with the actor confirming her return in a recent interview.
“Yes, I’m doing another season,” she said. “That might be a massive exclusive that I’m not supposed to say, but it’s unhelpful for me to say [I don’t know] because it would be a massive lie! [Laughs] I absolutely adore it. At some point these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight!”
It’s less clear, though, whether her “TARDIS team” of companions – featuring Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh – will also feature, with rumours swirling that one or more of the group could depart Doctor Who at the end of the current series.
Before all that, though, there’s still this series’ final episodes to look forward to. And from the sounds of it, there’s going to be a lot to process by the time The Timeless Children’s end credits roll…
Doctor Who continues on BBC One at 7:10pm on Sundays