Doctor Who fans finally have a date for the return of the long-running sci-fi series, with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor now confirmed to make her comeback on a spookily auspicious Sunday: 31st October, AKA Halloween.
Specifically, the first episode of Doctor Who series 13 will air on that Sunday, followed by new episodes on the five Sundays following, through to the finale on 5th December. And while this six-episode sprint is a shorter run than usual fans won’t have long to wait for more, with a festive special expected less than a month later around New Year’s Day.
This in turn will be followed by two more specials in the spring and then the autumn for the BBC’s centenary – altogether, rather a lot of Doctor Who to look forward to in the next year, even before the newly-announced return of ex-showrunner Russell T Davies in 2023.
The news was revealed in a new trail for series 13, which also revealed a special subtitle for this serialised series – Flux – on BBC One shortly before the latest episode of Strictly Come Dancing.
It’s currently unknown whether the choice of Halloween for series 13’s premiere has any particular significance. Doctor Who has occasionally dropped slightly scarier episodes around that time (for example, the Waters of Mars special in 2009) and we know at least some terrifying old monsters (including The Weeping Angels) are making a comeback for the new series.
However, it seems less likely that an explicitly scary episode would be used as the opener for a series, so it might be that the air date is more of a coincidence. Or the episode could be set on Halloween (fans had spotted some carved pumpkins on set during filming last year), and have a story that isn't necessarily spooky all the way through.
Still, however much sofa-hiding they’ll need to plan for, we’d say fans will be glad to finally mark their calendars for their reunion with the Doctor and Yaz (Mandip Gill) and their first meeting with newcomer Dan (John Bishop). Not long to wait now.