'Doctor Who' Season 12: Release Date, Trailer, and Everything to Know

We’re careening at the speed of light towards the end of Doctor Who Season 11, so we have to wonder what the future of BBC’s time-traveling sci-fi series might look like, especially after all of Season 11’s changes.

Former showrunner Steven Moffat left with the show’s former star, Peter Capaldi, after the Doctor Who 2017 Christmas Special, ushering in a new era for the show with Jodie Whittaker’s first-ever female Doctor in a series helmed by Broadchurch’s Chris Chibnall.

Season 11 featured three companions at once with differences in age, race, and gender. The stories have also explored times and places outside of the usual U.K.-centric routes Doctor Who has trodden so thoroughly with previous seasons.

Historical episodes are more common too, with one set in 1955 Alabama focusing on Rosa Parks and another 1947. Every story so far has avoided classic monsters in favor of new enemies, so things are fresh all around.

But what can we expect from Season 12?

This scene supposedly takes place in the Season 11 finale.BBC America

Has Doctor Who Been Confirmed for Season 12 Yet?

Yes! Doctor Who Season 12 is definitely happening.

The official Doctor Who Twitter and Instagram confirmed in December 2018 that “The Doctor and her friends will land again with an all-new season … in early 2020.”

13th Doctor wears a fez she probably sent to herself as the 11th Doctor.BBC America

What Is the Doctor Who Season 12 Release Date?

Rumors from the likes of Radio Times indicating that 2019 might be another problematic gap year with no new Who turned out to be totally correct. We’re definitely getting a 2019 New Year’s Day Special, but Season 12 won’t begin until “early 2020.” So we’re looking at pretty much an entire year with no new episodes.

Keep in mind, however, that we’ll probably still get either a 2019 Christmas Special or a 2020 New Year’s Day Special. It’s also entirely possible that a 2020 New Year’s Day Special could kick off Season 12. January 1 technically qualifies as “early 2020.”

What Could the Plot of Doctor Who Season 12 Be?

Season 11 featured an assortment of different adventures through new regions and time periods on Earth with all-new alien environments and threats, so Season 12 will probably do the same. But it might also reintroduce classic Doctor Who enemies into the mix.

At New York Comic Con in October 2018, Jodie Whittaker confirmed to Inverse ahead of the premiere that Season 11 wouldn’t feature any classic enemies, but she remained hopeful about future seasons.

“Well this first season — who knows about next — but it’s all new,” Whittaker said, but she did theorize future seasons might explore showrunner Chris Chibnall’s take on classic enemies. “Knowing Chris, he’s going to be the showrunner for a long time to come. He’s really got a big toybox to play with, so he’ll use it at some point.” Chances seem high we might see Chibnall dip into that “toybox,” and he might even do it for the 2019 New Year’s Day special.

Jodie Whittaker in "The Woman Who Fell to Earth."BBC America

Will There Be a New Doctor or Showrunner in Doctor Who Season 12?

Fret not because Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall are sticking around — at least for Season 12 — and so are the Doctor’s current companions. The official announcement from BBC said “The Doctor and her friends,” implying that the core Team Tardis group won’t change.

It feels awfully soon to be already talking about a new Doctor and showrunner, yet here we are.

Starbust Magazine wrote about rumors claiming that both Chibnall and Whittaker might leave the show following Season 12.

These rumors suggest that Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall isn’t happy behind the scenes, but there’s no definitive source or reason to believe this is true. Inverse can independently confirm that Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker, the 13th Doctor herself, were nothing short of exuberant about the show during private interviews at New York Comic Con.

Doctor Who Season 11 currently airs Sundays on BBC America at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Related video: Watch Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor Become Jodie Whittaker’s 13th on ‘Doctor Who’

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