Listen to the RadioTimes.com Doctor Who podcast: Is a surprise regeneration on the way?

We lay out the theories for why the next Doctor could – and possibly should – remain a secret.

Peter Capaldi regenerates in the Doctor Who 2017 Christmas special trailer

Jodie Whittaker may or may not be leaving Doctor Who behind, with rumours still swirling that the Thirteenth Doctor will be departing the TARDIS for good this year. But if and when she does leave, will we already know who’s replacing her? Or will the whole thing be kept a complete secret for the first time?

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Well, as luck (and lack of other available topics) would have it, that’s exactly what we’re discussing in this week’s RadioTimes.com Doctor Who podcast, where we lay out the theory that the BBC could be planning to keep Whittaker’s successor under wraps until the incumbent Doctor’s final episode.

In other words, we wouldn’t know who the new Doctor is until the characters within Doctor Who do themselves. And while this might sound like a tall (if not impossible) order, there’s actually a few production quirks that could help this become a reality, including a quick-turnaround shoot and closed sets due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In this week’s chat we explain these possibilities, try to imagine the fallout and impact of such a surprise regeneration and take a look at how it would fit in within the modern history of new Doctor reveals.

Plus, we look at the potential downsides of this regularly-cited wish from Doctor Who fans, which could end up falling flat if the next Doctor isn’t the well-known face many may have hoped for.

Want more Doctor Who chat? Check out last week’s podcast about the Doctor Who cinematic universe, or find out what Sylvester McCoy has to say about who the next Doctor should be.

And if it’s more Sci-Fi news and features you want, check out our dedicated RadioTimes.com Sci-Fi page.

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Doctor Who returns to BBC One later this year. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.