Good news for Whovians – the next series of Doctor Who is set to begin filming soon, with Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord returning to the TARDIS to shoot a new set of adventures in the coming weeks.
While many fans had been concerned that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic would have delayed filming for season 13, RadioTimes.com understands that the BBC has committed to beginning production before the end of 2020, with shooting likely to start around the time it was always planned to.
“Filming is still going ahead this year as planned, starting in the next few weeks,” a BBC source told us, noting that new reports of the series being delayed until 2022 weren’t necessarily accurate.
“We’re still hoping for a 2021 airdate, but this may depend on other circumstances.”
It’s currently unknown how the needs of social distancing on set will affect the already lengthy production of Doctor Who (which usually takes around 9-10 months out of the year), leading some to theorise that an even longer production process or a shortened series could be on the cards when Whittaker returns to the role.
However, the BBC has not yet confirmed or denied any rumours about a change to the format of the series, meaning fans may need to wait a while longer before they find out exactly how much Who they’ll be getting when the series returns.
“I guess we're just going to have to wait for [filming] guidelines,” series star Mandip Gill, who plays companion Yaz, told RadioTimes.com earlier this year.
“I'm quite laid back in that sense, it's going to come to me when it's supposed to come to me. As soon as they say yeah or no [to shooting], I'm going to know too. And as soon as they know, they're going to want to tell us.”
Little is currently known about the prospective season 13, with rumours suggesting that longtime companions Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole will be departing Who before it begins while co-star Mandip Gill continues her travels with Whittaker's Doctor.
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It's also unknown whether any new companions, returning monsters or Sacha Dhawan's Master will join the fun, with Dhawan recently telling RadioTimes.com that he hasn't yet been asked back.
"There's been no talk about me coming back," he insisted. "I know they are planning another series and I'm waiting for that phone call.
"I would really love to come back. I'm just really excited to see, if I do come back, where they'd take the character. Y'know, the Master's so unpredictable, he can get out of anything! I'm sure he'll be inclined to make another visit. I hope!"
For now, fans do at least have one more episode to look forward to in the near future, with this year’s festive special Revolution of the Daleks shot long before the lockdown and already in postproduction ahead of an unconfirmed Christmastime airdate.
“It was pure luck we happened to have filmed it,” Gill told us. “I guess the way it always films is that they film the special with the series, as far as I've known.
“But still, absolutely pure luck.”
Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One in late 2020/early 2021. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.