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When is Doctor Who series 13 release date? Cast, plot and pictures

A new series of Doctor Who is always cause for celebration - not to mention speculation - and there have been persistent rumors that the upcoming thirteenth run of the hit sci-fi show could be Jodie Whittaker’s last in the role.

Those rumors are all unsubstantiated for now, but if it does turn out to be Whittaker’s final season in the TARDIS, we’re sure Chris Chibnall and co will have plenty of exciting surprises in store.

It's unlikely that one of those surprises will be the return of Catherine Tate as popular companion Donna Noble, however. After several claims that she had been spotted filming scenes for the show in Liverpool, a representative for the comic actor told RadioTimes.com, "I can confirm Catherine is very much not in Liverpool and is not on the Doctor Who set."

But more generally, what can Whovians expect from series 13? Which foes and other characters are returning, which new cast members should we be looking out for and which weird and wonderful points of time and space will the TARDIS be dropping our heroes off in?

Read on to find out everything we currently know about Jodie Whittaker’s next Doctor Who series.

When is Doctor Who series 13’s BBC release date?

While there’s no official premiere date for Doctor Who series 13 just yet, the BBC has revealed that the new episodes will be released in 2021, probably in autumn or winter, towards the end of the year.

“The 13th series starts on BBC One later in 2021,” the BBC said in a release, with executive producer Matt Strevens adding that fans would see new episodes “later this year”.

There will be only eight episodes in series 13, three less than usual, in a move that allows the show to stick to its usual production cycle despite complicated new health and safety guidelines.

“It will be next year sometime, hopefully, unless my holiday goes on for a really long time, which is always tempting,” series boss Chris Chibnall told EW in 2020 about the air date.

Is Jodie Whittaker quitting Doctor Who?

UK tabloid newspaper The Daily Mirror has reported that Whittaker is set to hand in her sonic screwdriver at the close of the new series, following a tradition of Doctors leaving after around three seasons in the role.

"It's all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration," an insider reportedly said.

“Her departure is top secret but at some point over the coming months, the arrival of the 14th Doctor will need to be filmed. It's very exciting. "

But is this story actually true? Well, it's hard to say - when contacted by RadioTimes.com the BBC neither confirmed nor denied the report, instead declining to comment.

"We won't be commenting on any speculation around Jodie's future on the show," a spokesperson said.
Until we get some sort of official confirmation, we'll keep this one in the “maybe” column - though at the moment it seems fairly likely.
If true, we can imagine season 13 spending a good deal of time dealing with Whittaker’s exit and the preamble to it, offering some clues about the storylines we may expect.

Which Doctor Who monsters will return for season 13?

According to series boss Chris Chibnall, Doctor Who Season 13 looks set to bring back some high profile baddies to face off with the Doctor and her friends.

“Yes, more monsters are coming back,” Chibnall told Radio Times.

"There are ones who have appeared over the past 15 years that are deserving of another visit in the next series. In fact, they're probably formulating their plans as we speak ... "

And we may already have a few clues about who to expect. Leaked filming photos appear to show the clone-warrior Sontarans (last seen regularly during the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who) sporting a new look for one episode, while another photo apparently showed a deadly Weeping Angel advancing on some victims.

Currently neither of these monster appearances have been officially confirmed by the BBC, and it's certainly possible the Weeping Angels were being filmed for a different project - but if true, we certainly sound like we're in for some seriously spooky episodes.

And after a little cameo for a Weeping Angel in New Year’s special Revolution of the Daleks, we’d say chances aren’t looking too remote for their grand return.

Who is the new Doctor Who companion?

John Bishop has been unveiled as a new companion Dan, who looks set to play a central role in the series going forward.

"If I could tell my younger self that one day I would be asked to step on board the TARDIS, I would never have believed it," Bishop said in a release.

"It's an absolute dream come true to be joining Doctor Who and I couldn't wish for better company than Jodie and Mandip."

Welcome to the TARDIS… ✨ pic.twitter.com/WgpnYiweqR

- Doctor Who (@bbcdoctorwho) January 1, 2021

"It's time for the next chapter of Doctor Who, and it starts with a man called Dan," added showrunner Chris Chibnall.

"Oh, we've had to keep this one secret for a long, long time. Our conversations started with John even before the pandemic hit. The character of Dan was built for him, and it's a joy to have him aboard the TARDIS. "

So far, we don’t know much about Dan apart from the fact that he appears to be a painter-decorator, though the BBC did offer a few clues.

"As he becomes embroiled in the Doctor’s adventures, Dan will quickly learn there’s more to the Universe (s) than he could ever believe," the channel said in a release.

"Traveling through Space and Time alongside the Doctor and Yaz, he’ll face evil alien races beyond his wildest nightmares."

And more recently, in an online Q&A Bishop gave some more details about how his character is introduced to Doctor Who.