BBC confirms Doctor Who’s next series will air “later this year”

Get ready for more adventures with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor in 2021.

Doctor Who

While Doctor Who’s next series might be a little shorter thanks to the pandemic (with just eight instead of the usual 11 episodes planned), at least fans won’t have to wait too long to see the Doctor back in action.

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The BBC has confirmed today that the new series will air later this year, quashing rumours of a longer delay before new episodes aired starring Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord.

“The thirteenth series starts on BBC One later in 2021,” the corporation said in a release – and while they didn’t give a firm release date, it seems likely that an autumn airing (say in mid-October or November) may be on the cards, in a similar release pattern to Whittaker’s first series in 2018.

Previously, some fans and commentators had speculated that coronavirus delays could have relegated the series to a 2022 airdate (possibly beginning on New Year’s Day, like the 2020 series), but it now seems we’ll be getting new Who sooner rather than later – and with some new twists coming to the BBC sci-fi drama, it looks set to be a series to remember.

Starring the returning Whittaker and Mandip Gill as Yaz, series 13 is currently filming in South Wales and will also add a new face to the cast – veteran comedian and broadcaster John Bishop, who will play a new companion called Dan.

“It’s been a total joy having John join the cast and we’ve been having a lot fun on set already,” executive producer Matt Strevens said. “We can’t wait for you to meet Dan when the show returns later this year.”

“We have no doubt that series 13 is going to be another thrilling set of adventures for the Doctor,” added BBC Drama Controller Piers Wenger.

And happily, we’re already within the calendar year where we’ll get to see them. Happy Who year indeed.

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Doctor Who returns to BBC One in late 2021. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.