A completely new chapter of Doctor Who is beginning this year and now we know when to expect it.
The new season of the popular British science fiction series will return in October 2018. During a BBC Worldwide Showcase Panel on Tuesday, an image with the premiere date was shown.
The biggest change is a new Doctor taking the helm on the TARDIS. Jodie Whitaker has taken over the lead from Peter Capaldi, starred in three seasons of the series. She will be the first actress to play the role of The Doctor, which is a welcome change for those wanting some diversity from the show’s lead. It is also a fascinating choice because it is something different after a dozen white men played the role. It’s uncharted territory for a series that began in 1963.
While fans of Doctor Who have become accustomed to transitioning from Doctor to Doctor, the show has substantial other changes. Chris Chibnall will now be the show’s head writer and will executive produce alongside Matt Strevens and Sam Hoyle. They take over from Brian Minchin and Steven Moffat, who took the reins in 2010. Russell T. Davies revived the series after a prolonged hiatus in 2005 and ran the first bulk of seasons before Moffat took the lead.
In addition to Capaldi, Pearl Mackie will also not be returning to the series as companion Bill Potts. Her character received a positive reception because of the unique energy Mackie brought to the show and the LGBTQ representation Bill brought to the series. Taking her place will be a collection of characters played by Tosin Cole, Mandip Gil and Bradley Walsh. There are no details about the character other than their names being Ryan, Graham and Yasmin respectively.
Unfortunately for fans of Michelle Gomez’s character Missy we have seen the last of her. The actress announced she is making her exit alongside Capaldi. After making her appearance as another version of Doctor Who villain the Master, she became a fixture during the Calpadi era of the series appearing in several episodes including the tenth season finale. The actress doesn’t rule out changing her mind in the future, but she said it feels “like this is the end of a chapter.”
There’s even a bit of mystery going into the new series. British actress Sharon D. Clarke joining the cast was announced alongside the new companions as a “returning character”. But Clarke’s never appeared on the series, so who is the character being brought back? And how will this character play into the storyline of Whitaker’s new Doctor?
The season will have 10 episodes, which is 2 less than last season. Whittaker’s introduction will get its due though because the premiere has been extended to 65 minutes.
Doctor Who viewers often don’t know when to expect the show because of it’s varying airdates. After premiering in the spring for four seasons beginning in 2005, the series only aired specials in 2009 ahead of Matt Smith’s debut in 2010. Smith’s second and third seasons on the show were the first to be split into two halves, with the third premiering in the fall for the first time since the show was revived. In 2016, fans only got a new special in between Seasons 9 and 10. With an October start, the lower episode count could mean two short halves of the season like the series did during Matt Smith’s run or we could see an uninterrupted run of episodes ahead of the annual holiday episode. This will all depend on the exact date in October, which has not been announced yet.
There has been speculation that one of Whitaker’s adventures will include teaming up with Civil Rights hero Rosa Parks.
It’s an exciting time for Doctor Who fans because it’s definitely a whole new era of adventures through space and time.