If rumours are to be believed, following Peter Capaldi’s exit as the Doctor this Christmas, Doctor Who fans are to have another long wait for another run of episodes.
Quizzed about finding the Thirteenth Doctor, it’s been confirmed that Chris Chibnall, who is taking over showrunner duties from Steven Moffat, will spearhead the search for the next incarnation of the Time Lord – but that he’s not started work on the show at all yet. (Coincidentally, that’s the first time I’ve written “Thirteenth Doctor”, and yes, it feels weird.) The decision will also have to be approved by BBC Director of Content, Charlotte Moore, and Piers Wenger, BBC Head of Drama and former Executive Producer for Doctor Who.
It’s understood that Chibnall’s efforts are channelled into Broadchurch, the ITV series with David Tennant and Olivia Coleman, which is in post-production right now; he also apparently wishes to leave Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi with as much breathing space as possible on their final series. Chris will take a family holiday between work on Broadchurch and Doctor Who – after all, he won’t get one when he’s in charge of Who! Nonetheless, a Thirteenth Doctor (still odd) will be cast ready for the regeneration scene this Christmas.
Unknown sources, however, say that Doctor Who Series 11 won’t begin filming until early next year – which would mean it doesn’t air until Autumn 2018.
In some ways, this does make sense, giving Chibnall time to properly develop not just a new series but a new Doctor and presumably a new companion. Still, it flies in the face of reports that lower ratings (arguably – but let’s not start that again) have bumped Doctor Who back to its “old” Spring schedule. Plus, it’s not incentive for licensees: why bother flooding the market with new products when the BBC appear to be showing little trust in the series?
But let’s remember – this is all just speculation right now. We really don’t know. It’s interesting to mull over, though…
Would you be grateful for giving Chris more time to plan? Or do you want Doctor Who now, now, now?!