Showrunner Chris Chibnall has announced that Doctor Who Series 13 will be all one story. Could it be the longest Doctor Who adventure of all time?
Speaking at the San Diego Comic-Con @ Home 2021, Chris Chibnall broke the news that Doctor Who Series 13’s six episode run will consist of one single story. Speaking on a panel made up of Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill and John Bishop, Chibnall explained: “The big thing that we’re going to be doing this year is it’s all one story, so every episode is one chapter in a bigger story.”
He added: “There were two ways you could go: we’re just going to do lots of tiny episodes in one room with no monsters, or we could throw down the gauntlet and go ‘we’re going to do the biggest story we’ve ever done, we’re going to go to all kinds of different places, we’re going to have all kinds of characters and monsters, and it’s all going to be part of a bigger whole.’ I think it’s definitely the most ambitious thing we’ve done since we’ve been on the series.”
So does this mean that Doctor Who Series 13 will actually be the longest Doctor Who story of all time? Well, 1965’s ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan‘ was an epic 12 episodes in length, but these only lasted for 25 minutes each, totalling (roughly) five hours.
But then there is 1986’s ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ which lasted for an impressive 14 episodes – totalling nearly six hours – although this is made up of multiple serials and isn’t always counted as one story. But Doctor Who Series 13’s six, hour-long episodes will be on a par with this, making it one of the longest TV stories ever made – although its contents are still a heavily-guarded secret.
That being said, fans were given a few hints at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con with the debut of Doctor Who Series 13’s first teaser trailer, which showcased the return of the Thirteenth Doctor, her companion Yaz and her new companion Dan played by John Bishop. It is largely a collection of reaction shots and intriguing visuals, with one particularly impressive shot showing what appeared to be the Doctor and Yaz using some sort of machine to glide across an alien world.
There are also hints of greater mysteries at play, and potential tensions in the TARDIS team, as Yaz angrily accuses the Doctor of hiding something, which the Doctor rebuffs with a frustrated glare.
And whilst there weren’t many noticeable monsters in the new trailer (unless we blinked) the panel did confirm that some familiar baddies would be returning over the course of Doctor Who Series 13. Moreover, when asked to sum up the new season in one word, the responses were “riveting,” “inspirational,” “mysterious,” and “swarm.” Does this mean that the Wirrn are finally returning to the Whoniverse? The rumours start here.
Anyway, here’s how the internet responded to the first Doctor Who Series 13 trailer…
Finally, there was one big casting announcement for Doctor Who Series 13, and that was the revelation that Game of Thrones actor Jacob Anderson would be joining the TARDIS crew as Vinder, and appearing in multiple episodes across the series’ arc. Anderson is a confirmed Doctor Who fan, and said: “The Doctor has been a part of my life forever, from watching and re-watching the serials on VHS as a kid and being terrified, to unexpectedly finding my eyes watering when the Tenth Doctor said ‘I don’t want to go,’ I always wanted to live in the Whoniverse.”
He added: “Not only has a lifelong dream of mine now been fulfilled, but to be playing a character as fun, adventurous and dynamic as Vinder is the cherry on top. This is very cool.”
As for when Doctor Who Series 13 will be airing, we’re still waiting to hear, although John Bishop said via Twitter that it would be landing this autumn.
How do you feel about Doctor Who Series 13 being all one story? And what part of Series 13 are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below.
Thirteenth Doctor scarf – order now from the Lovarzi shop!