Doctor Who Season 13 Will Only Have 8 Episodes

Production of Doctor Who season 13 has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, meaning it will be only eight episodes long.

Doctor Who season 13 will be only eight episodes long. Current Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has taken a very different approach to Doctor Who. His focus is on the show’s production quality, and he’s chosen to reduce the episode count to pay for that. It potentially has the bonus of making the experience a little less intensive for the actors, hopefully meaning Jodie Whittaker will remain as the Thirteenth Doctor for longer.

But this kind of ambition has also meant Doctor Who has been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking at the Royal Television Society in June, Rhodri Talfan Davies – Director of BBC Wales – confirmed production had been delayed due to social distancing measures. More recently, though, there were reports Doctor Who season 13 had begun filming despite restrictions. Now that is officially confirmed – but unfortunately, it seems there’s a high cost.

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Related: Everything We Know About Doctor Who’s Future: Season 13 & Beyond

According to the Daily MirrorDoctor Who season 13 will be just eight episodes long. “In this strangest of years, the Doctor Who production team have worked wonders to get the show back into production,” Chibnall explained. “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 eleven.” It’s unclear whether this episode count includes the traditional Doctor Who Holiday Special.


The news is undoubtedly disappointing, even if it is entirely understandable given Doctor Who season 13 is shooting during a pandemic. Production is expected to take around ten months, meaning the series will air in late 2021. “Rest assured, the ambition, humour, fun, and scares you expect from Doctor Who will all still be firmly in place,” Chibnall insists. “For everyone around the world, this is a challenging period — but the Doctor never shirks from a challenge.

Doctor Who season 13 is expected to build on the controversial Timeless Child retcon from season 12, which revealed the Doctor is not a Time Lord at all. Instead, she is a being who potentially predates the universe itself and who became the base genetic code for the entire Time Lord race. This retcon has divided the fanbase, but it’s clear Chibnall considers this a foundation to build on rather than an end to his story. Meanwhile, there have been reports that Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole will be leaving in the Holiday Special, meaning the main cast will likely be reduced for season 13.

In truth, that’s probably for the best because Doctor Who season 12 struggled to balance its time between the Doctor and her three companions, leading to heavy criticism for lack of character development. Hopefully, the reduced cast will mean Doctor Who season 12 is stronger, even if it does have a drastically reduced episode count.

More: Doctor Who Theory: River Song’s Regenerations Explain The Timeless Child

Source: Daily Mirror

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Updated: November 11, 2020 — 8:37 pm

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