The Radio Times logo

Listen to the Doctor Who podcast: Series 13 filming begins

As the BBC announces a reduced episode count for the next series of Doctor Who, we take a look at how the changes could affect the series.

Published: Wednesday, 18th November 2020 at 3:17 pm

Doctor Who season 13 has finally started shooting, with Jodie Whittaker returning to the TARDIS for a new series of adventures as of November 2nd – however, the BBC have also revealed that due to coronavirus restrictions the series will be shorter than usual, scrapping three episodes to accommodate the time needed for a more complex production.


“In this strangest of years, the Doctor Who production team have worked wonders to get the show back into production,” showrunner Chris Chibnall said. “We’re thrilled to be back making the show.

“Given the complexity of making Doctor Who, and with new and rigorous COVID working protocols, it’s going to take us a little longer to film each episode, meaning we expect to end up with eight episodes, rather than the usual 11.

“But rest assured, the ambition, humour, fun and scares you expect from Doctor Who will all still be firmly in place. For everyone around the world, this is a challenging period — but the Doctor never shirks from a challenge!”

In this week’s Doctor Who podcast (above), we mull over exactly what this change means for the show, and whether other coronavirus restrictions – including a lack of overseas travel – could cause further problems for the Doctor.

Could Doctor Who triumph under this adversity? Will the more grounded feel of this series be a major comedown after the globe-trotting highs of recent years? And what if this reduced episode count becomes the new normal for the years going forward?

Plus, we try our best to work out exactly how these eight episodes will be broadcast, whether they include next year’s festive special and just how long it’ll be before we see them on television.

Want more? You can check out last week’s podcast and the latest Doctor Who news elsewhere on


Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One over the festive period. Want something to watch now? Check out our TV Guide.


Sponsored content