Doctor Who: Chris Chibnall promises to "blow up the universe" in series 13, episode one
The upcoming series is set to feature some of the "biggest ever cliffhangers", according to Chris Chibnall.
The upcoming series of Doctor Who may be Chris Chibnall's last but he's determined to make the most of it, with the outgoing showrunner promising to "blow up the universe" in the season 13 premiere.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press at a webinar for the BBC One show, Chibnall said that he knew he'd have to take Doctor Who in a new direction to accommodate complications related to the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's changed everything, really, from start to finish. We knew we had to reinvent and reimagine the show to deal with the kind of production implications of COVID.
"So there were two ways we could go. We could go 'lots of little stories set in a room with two people', or we could blow up the universe in episode one and then go from there. And we went with the 'blowing up the universe' strategy."
He added that series 13, which consists of six episodes – or "chapters", will tell one story and features some of the "biggest-ever cliffhangers".
"I mean, it’s always interesting with Doctor Who. There’s always a precedent. There’s always been a variation on what you’re doing. So it harks back to things that the show has done in the past, when it was more serialised, even when it started off back in 1963, when you had multi-episode serials and things like that.
"It changes the rhythm of the storytelling. It changes the way you tell the stories. It changes the way we deal with characters – characters who go across more than one episode. Monsters who go across more than one episode. And it’s probably more in line with other TV series that you’re watching currently. So it was a big challenge, and then it became a massive creative opportunity.
"So lots of cliffhangers, I would say is the big thing. Which is embedded into Doctor Who – some of our biggest-ever cliffhangers."
The upcoming series of Doctor Who is set to be Chibnall's last as showrunner and Jodie Whittaker's final outing as the Doctor, before Russell T Davies returns to celebrate the show's 60th anniversary.
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