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Chris Chibnall: “Series 13’s Story Is Bigger Than We’ve Ever Told with Jodie’s Doctor”

With just a week away until Flux: The Halloween Apocalypse airs, Chris Chribnall, who is the current showrunner, has spoken about what he wanted to do with Doctor Who Series 13.

This will be Jodie Whittaker’s last full series as the Thirteenth Doctor, as well as Chibnall’s last as showrunner. As such, he’s written all 6 episodes of Series 13 (with Maxine Alderton as co-writer on episode 4).

Here’s what Chibnall can tell us about Flux

What was your vision for the series?

My vision for the series was a massive story – bigger than we’ve ever told with Jodie’s Doctor. And to start with an episode that feels like a finale and carry on from there and play out the rest of the story. I wanted it to be really epic, to be fun with lots of cliffhangers, to be surprising, and to really do things we hadn’t yet done with the Thirteenth Doctor. 

What can people expect from the series? 

People can expect a rollercoaster of a ride, very different episodes, six very specific chapters, lots of different places in time and space, lots of returning monsters, some really brilliant guest stars, some brand-new monsters, and some of my favourite cliffhangers we’ve done! 

How do you write new characters/monsters? 

I think you’re always thinking, “Who is interesting for the Doctor to come up against? Who is going to reveal new things about the Doctor?” But with villains and monsters generally, you’re looking for an interesting visual, an interesting idea, something that will be scary or fun or a mix of both, and an underlying character that will be great for an actor to play or great for the Doctor, [and companions] Dan, or Yaz to be going up against.  

Who are the Ravagers? 

They are a couple of characters who we meet who are creatures of another dimension who have a  history with the Doctor – but I even think with this I am giving too much away! 

Why is it important to bring back monsters from the past like Sontarans and Weeping Angels? First of all, it’s a joy. I think it’s always lovely to connect back into the history of the show as the history is so rich and varied.

Bringing back the Sontarans was a story I really wanted to do… I felt like there hadn’t been a big Sontaran story for quite a long time. They have a great mix of threat and humour, they’re very identifiable, they’re great characters as well – a brilliant creation by Robert  Holmes. They’re great because they have range. They’re dangerous, they’re violent, they’re also funny, and that’s a great mix for Doctor Who.

With the Weeping Angels, I really wanted Jodie to come up against them and we’d been thinking about a story for her for a long time, testing out ideas. They are genuinely scary and a brilliant creation by Steven Moffatt and they haven’t been in a main Doctor Who story for nine years so they were due to come back as well. There are lots of ideas you can explore around Weeping Angels so we’ve had a lot of fun with them. 

Can you tease us about what the Flux is? 

The title of the serial is Flux, it’s divided into six chapters, and the Flux is a mysterious event that is going to have an effect on all the characters in the story.

Flux: The Halloween Apocalypse airs on BBC One at 6:25pm on Sunday October 31st 2021.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Chris Chibnall: “Series 13’s Story Is Bigger Than We’ve Ever Told with Jodie’s Doctor”

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
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