Over the weekend, the BBC debuted a first look at the upcoming thirteenth season of Doctor Who, confirming that Jodie Whitaker’s version of the Doctor will indeed grace our screens sometime later this year, while also showing off some brief glimpses of new characters and adventures.
Back in November, the BBC announced that the season had gone into production with a shorter season: “Given the complexity of making Doctor Who, and with new and rigorous COVID working protocols,” showrunner Chris Chibnall explained at the time, “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 11.”
That eight episode season will take a different form than what we’re used to: While we’ve had two-parter episodes over the years and overarching themes, or the buildup to a series finale, the British series has largely retained a standalone episode structure. This time, they will tell one story over the course of those eight episodes this year.
During the show’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Chibnall noted that this year’s format is “definitely the most ambitious thing we’ve done since we’ve been on the series.”
This season, we’ll pick up the story after the Doctor and Yaz (Mandip Gill) have been on the road for a while and come across a man named Dan (to be played by John Bishop, introduced at the end of this year’s “Revolution of the Daleks”), who will be the second companion in these adventures.
This short first-look at season thirteen doesn’t show off much: a typically breathless introduction from the Doctor to a couple of new characters (including Vinder, played by Game of Thrones‘s Jacob Anderson), a couple of characters flying across an alien planet, and Yaz accusing the Doctor of hiding something.
The teaser hasn’t said when the next season will debut, but it did confirm that the show will return later this year.