Doctor Who Series 12 Brings Back Two-Parters, Starting with the Opener

Like many fans, I couldn’t be more excited about the latest announcements these past few days. We are finally getting what we’ve been hoping for, one of the show’s traditional formats: two-parters.

According to a recent interview in Radio Times, showrunner Chris Chibnall explains:

“I love a two-parter. And our two-parters are epic this year. We always knew last year would be those 10 standalone stories, and this year we wanted to weave things in a bit more.”

And that’s not all. Series 12 will be kicking off with the first half of a two-part blockbuster opener, Spyfall, on New Year’s Day! The second half will air on Sunday 5th January 2020.

Going back to Chibnall’s point: As a staunch fan of multi-part stories, I certainly couldn’t agree more. They’ve been used throughout the entire Classic era and, occasionally, during both the RTD and Steven Moffat eras, but sadly dropped during Series 11. It was a missed opportunity to develop the Thirteenth Doctor’s character at the earliest stage, as well as having a proper story arc. On the bright side, however, we did get a cliffhanger at the end of Jodie Whittaker’s first full episode.

“Obviously even though we didn’t officially do two-parters last year, you could argue that first one [The Woman Who Fell to Earth] has a cliffhanger into the second. A two-parter that wasn’t a two-parter!”

Yes, I believe he was referring to the opening scene of The Ghost Monument, which I specifically touched upon in one of my other articles.

Since Spyfall is, thankfully, not the only two-parter in Jodie Whittaker’s second series, I have no doubt that there’ll be at least another or two. I wouldn’t be surprised if both halves turn out to be 50 minutes long, just like the openers of Series 6 and 9 (we’ll find out more about Part One when schedules are released, expected later this week). Considering that Chibnall has written four episodes altogether, we can only hope for 9 and 10 to comprise an epic two-part finale. Maybe 60-65 minutes for the second half? Who knows?

In the meantime, you can check out the latest trailer for Series 12!