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Listen to the Doctor Who podcast: What is the “swarm”?

Series boss Chris Chibnall dropped an intriguing series 13 hint a few weeks ago – but what could it mean?

Doctor Who
Published: Wednesday, 18th August 2021 at 5:17 pm

There’s been plenty of big Doctor Who news of late, whether it’s the earth-shaking confirmation of Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker’s departure (and all the ensuing speculation) or the latest clues mystifying fans in the #FindTheDoctor virtual treasure hunt.


And in all the excitement, it’s been easy to miss some of the smaller Doctor Who series 13 details revealed by the production team, including a rather telling detail that series boss Chibnall let slip during the virtual San Diego Comic-Con session he was part of in July.

When asked to describe the series in one word, Chibnall went for the oddly offbeat (and non-adjectival) “swarm” rather than the usual “epic” or “exciting” platitudes we’ve come to expect from such hardball questioning.

But what could “Swarm” mean in relation to Doctor Who series 13? In this week’s Doctor Who podcast we examine the possibilities, from the return of a classic foe from The Invisible Enemy or a fan-favourite River Song episode to a super-group of insectoid villains and a metaphorical collection of enemies facing the newly-minted TARDIS trio (i.e., what if the real swarm was the friends we made along the way?)

Are we right? Are we completely barking up the wrong tree? Or somewhere in between? Until the series airs (and, probably, concludes) this Autumn there’s no way to know for sure – but if you have your own ideas, please do keep them swarming in.

Want more? Check out last week’s podcast and our new feature about who the next showrunner of Doctor Who could be following Chibnall’s departure.


Doctor Who returns to BBC One this autumn. For more details check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.


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