Doctor Who showrunner and executive producer Chris Chibnall has said that the upcoming season 13 will consist of only one tale. Doctor Who debuted in 1963 on BBC One and ran until 1989 before being resurrected in 2005. The long-running show has a cult following throughout the world and is respected in British television history. Since season 11, Chibnall, who has also worked on Torchwood and Broadchurch, has acted as showrunner.
Doctor Who follows the adventures of the Doctor, a humanoid alien who has long been thought to be a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, through space and time. One or more human companions frequently accompany the Doctor on these journeys.
Regeneration is one of the Doctor’s many special talents, which allows him to turn into a new physical form when facing death. This capability also offers the advantage of allowing multiple actors to play the role throughout time. Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to play the Doctor, is the current Doctor. Whittaker and Chibnall both joined Doctor Who at the same time.
A Bigger Story
Every week, the Doctor is forced into a new adventure. Chibnall, however, said during a virtual panel for Comic-Con International that season 13 of Doctor Who will depart from the show’s typical episodic style and tell “a wider tale,” with each episode serving as “a chapter.” Filming during the epidemic, according to Chibnall, is “very much not a business-as-usual moment,” therefore a decision has to be made on how to proceed.
Chibnall’s decision to utilise season 13 to tell a single extended tale is a good one, despite the fact that it is a deviation from the show’s normal format. Doctor Who Season 12 startled audiences by revealing that the Doctor is not a Time Lord, but rather the Timeless Child, the source of all Time Lords’ regenerative abilities.
What this means for the Doctor in the future remains to be seen, but it’s something the Doctor – and the series as a whole – will have to deal with at some point, and it’s unlikely that season 13 will do so.
A season filled with one-off adventures would undoubtedly feel less relevant and engaging to viewers than one that deals with the Doctor’s newfound identity. Doctor Who will make a comeback in late 2021.