Jodie Whittaker and her Doctor Who team are currently zipping around time and space solving problems and saving lives, and we’re currently heading towards the last episodes of the BBC sci-fi drama’s twelfth modern series.
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? Is Jo Martin REALLY the Doctor? 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…
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Following that the series went back to a weekly Sunday evening release date (as it did in 2018), and the next episode (Episode 9, called Ascension of the Cybermen) airs on Sunday 23rd February at 7:10pm.
What is the next episode of Doctor Who season 12 called? What’s it about?
The next episode is named Ascension of the Cybermen, and sees the TARDIS team follow Lone Cyberman Ashad into the future to stop him turning the tide of the last great Cyber War.
There, they’ll meet the last survivors of humanity alongside the rusting Cyberman forces – but has the Doctor put her companions in danger one too many times?
The episode is written by series showrunner Chris Chibnall, and is the first of a two-part story concluded with the following week’s episode The Timeless Children.
Are the Cybermen returning to Doctor Who?
Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and a new-look Cyberman in Doctor Who (BBC)
After making a grand return in series 12 episode 8, the Cybermen are apparently the main villains in two-part finale story Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children.
“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.”
In a massive twist, season 12’s fifth episode revealed that unassuming tourguide Ruth Clayton was actually a disguised version of the Doctor, albeit an incarnation the current Doctor has no memory of. Played by Holby City’s Jo Martin, this new Doctor made a big splash when she appeared in Fugitive of the Judoon, and it seems safe to assume she’ll come back later in the series.
Later, Jack disappears again – but will he be back for more?
“I mean if they ever ask Jack back, like I said I’ll come back at the drop of a hat,” Barrowman told RadioTimes.com of his hopes for the future, noting he had hopes for a “vast adventure” with the current TARDIS line-up.
“Hopefully I’ll get to work with Jodie, yeah. That would be incredible,” he continued.
However series boss Chris Chibnall has said that we we “categorically” won’t see Jack again this series, while still leaving the door open for a future return.
“But who knows when he might pop up again?” he continued. “We love Captain Jack, we love John Barrowman.
“I hope that won’t be his last appearance and that at some point he gets to meet the 13th Doctor.”
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.
Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker and her Tardis team Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill all returned this series 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…
In episode five, another surprise Time Lord appears in the form of Jo Martin’s alternate version of the Doctor, who we might also expect to turn up in future episodes.
In upcoming episodes we can expect Derry Girls’ Ian McElhinney, Shetland’s Julie Graham and Prince of Persia’s Steve Toussaint, who are all set to appear in the secretive two-part finale.
And plenty of big-name actors have already appeared in this series of the sci-fi drama.
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.
Doctor Who – Zellin (Ian Gelder)BBC
Later, we met Game of Thrones’ Ian Gelder as villain Zellin as well as new characters played by Matthew McNulty and Warren Brown, while Maxim Baldry, Lili Miller, Lewis Rainer, Nadia Parkes and Jacob Collins-Levy played a group of literary figures including Mary Shelley and Lord Byron.
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 been revealed that Chibnall has penned four episodes, while the six guest writers delivered a script each, half of which are co-written with Chibnall.
Who is the Master?
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.
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.”
Who are the Judoon?
Rhino-like thugs the Judoon returned to the series for fifth episode Fugitive of the Judoon.
“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.”
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.
In the finished episode, the Judoon were revealed to be working for a past version of the Time Lords, tracking down Jo Martin’s Doctor.
Will Jodie Whittaker get a new Doctor Who costume?
Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who (BBC Pictures)
The Thirteenth Doctor will has some new variations on her look in the new series, sporting a darker overcoat (and matching socks) for the first two episodes instead of the sky-blue number she’s worn to date and donning a tuxedo for opening two-parter Spyfall.
In Episode eight the Doctor also adds a polka-dotted waistcoat and a scarf to help her blend into 18th-century society. 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. Could the Timeless Child hold the secret to regeneration, time travel or another part of Gallifrey’s founding? Is it the Doctor, the Master or someone else entirely?