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Series 12 of Doctor Who premiered on Wednesday 1 January 2020. Chris Chibnall remained in the position of executive producer whilst Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Bradley Walsh reprised their roles as the Thirteenth Doctor, Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan and Graham O'Brien respectively.
In May 2017, it was announced that due to the terms of a deal between BBC Worldwide and SMG Pictures in China, the company has first right of refusal on the purchase for the Chinese market of past and future series and spin-offs, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, of the programme.
Whittaker announced her own return on Friday 7 December 2018, two days prior to the broadcast of the series 11 finale, The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos. The series was announced almost immediately after the conclusion of said episode.
It continued an ongoing storyline, only briefly mentioned previous series, of "the Timeless Child".
- 1 Overview
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Television stories
- 5 Aliens and enemies
- 6 Rumours
- 7 Adaptations and merchandising
- 8 Footnotes
Overview[edit | edit source]
Return to familiarity[edit | edit source]
As a huge difference from the complete reinvention from series 11, series 12 would return to more familiar ground, apparently hearkening back to the Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat eras[says who?].
This series saw the Doctor go in a direction that has never been seen before on the show, with Jodie Whittaker remarking that some of the episodes would "go in a direction that is different for the Doctor than the previous seasons, that shows a side to her that we haven’t seen yet."
It was also teased that the words Time Lord and Gallifrey would also come into play, when Chibnall noted that in comparison to the previous series, “I don’t think that she said the words Time Lord last year. I don’t think that she said the word Gallifrey last year. She’ll be saying those words this year".
Series 12 brought back two-parters, after they had disappeared from the previous series.
Spyfall, the opening story of the series, was the first time since 2010's The End of Time that a two-parter didn't receive individual titles. Episode 1 also ended in a cliffhanger as a result of it being a two-parter.
As was done between series 8 and series 9, this series also saw some changes to the TARDIS compared to the previous series, in the form of a new crystalline column hanging from the ceiling just above the crystalline time rotor, a set a hexagon-filled gold stairs to an upper level that leads to the rest of the ship and new screens and systems and wall changes to make it look even bigger.
The "cold openings" returned for some of the episodes this series, having been notably absent in the previous series.
Series 12 once again featured a traditional series arc. This device was notably absent from series 11, but had been quite prominent in several earlier series since 2005.
The series finale, The Timeless Children, used an anagram for actor Sacha Dhawan on the Doctor Who website; "Barack Stemis" which, if re-arranged, means "Master is Back" and playing a false character called "Fakout". This tactic, discounting in-universe examples from 2007's Utopia/The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords, had not been seen since The King's Demons in 1983. Back then it was used in both the Radio Times listings and the credits of the episode.
Returning foes[edit | edit source]
Series 12 welcomed back the Master to the show in a new male incarnation played by Sacha Dhawan and disguised as an MI6 spy known as "O". The Master was last seen in series 10's The Doctor Falls with both their Harold Saxon incarnation played by John Simm and Missy incarnation played by Michelle Gomez.
Series 12 re-introduced the Judoon, giving them a central role in a television story for the first time since the series 6 mid-series finale A Good Man Goes to War in 2011. Judoon Captain Pol-Kon-Don was introduced.
Series 12 saw a return of Nanogenes, however this time serving as a threat to the former Time Agent Captain Jack Harkness, attacking him due to his theft of a spaceship, being part of an anti-theft attack system. They were last seen in series 7 opening story Asylum of the Daleks in 2012.
The Cybermen also made their way back onto the small screen this series, in their first TV appearance since 2017 series 10 story The Doctor Falls (discounting archival footage in Twice Upon a Time), first in the form of a single Lone Cyberman, followed by a whole army of them, consisting of the Cybus/Mondasian cross-breed as Cyberguards and a new variant called Cyber-Warriors. They also utilised a new weaponry called Cyberdrones, which were flying Cyber-helmets.
The Time Lords return through a vision scene in the Matrix, for the first time since 2015 series 9 finale Hell Bent. A sole Time Lady was also seen working with the Judoon in Fugitive of the Judoon. The Timeless Child is the reason behind their ability to regenerate, giving the Time Lords their first on-screen origins story. The very first Gallifreyans are revealed to be Shobogans, first mentioned in The Deadly Assassin.
The Master creates a cross-breed between Cybermen and Time Lords which he calls CyberMasters.
The Daleks also made their way back, in their bronze design, albeit with a new black Dalek casing design introduced for one of them. But like Series 11, they did not feature in the main series, instead popping up in the following special.
Promotion[edit | edit source]
On 31 October 2019 the BBC released the first proper promotion of the coming series 12, in the form of a poster showing a shadow of the Thirteenth Doctor cast in the yellow light from the open TARDIS doors in the bottom corner. A faded rainbow appears across her chest, and the tagline says "Watch this Space". 
On 10 November, the BBC released a promo teaser for the new series on the Official Doctor Who YouTube Channel, with the camera zooming fast through a purple vortex to a region of space in which the TARDIS suddenly appears and zooms across, revealing first the tagline "Watch this Space" then the "Doctor Who" logo and the text "Coming Soon". The "Doctor Who" page itself said "Make Space... 23/11/19".
At a Q&A session held at Sheffield Hallam University on 19 November, Chibnall told the audience that the opening story would be "the biggest episode in the show’s history". A BBC One source to The Mirror said that "It’s going to be huge. The scale is just epic. No one will be disappointed." Whittaker added that "I feel like we’re treading new ground for each of the character journeys, and the development of everybody’s storylines."
On 21 November the "Doctor Who" page posted a new poster, this time showing the entire main cast on a white background at the top and a region of space at the bottom. The poster said "Space. For All." as well as "Coming Soon".
On 22 November the "Doctor Who" page posted a "Trailer Preview" video showing the 3 companions inside the TARDIS, nodding, to which the Doctor pulled a lever on the console. The preview then said "Trailer Premiere Saturday" with the page itself posting the time and the hashtag for Doctor Who Day.
On 23 November the first official trailer for Series 12 was released on the Official Doctor Who YouTube Channel and on the "Doctor Who" page. It showed a lot of new and returning creatures and historical people as well as time periods.
On 2 December the second official trailer for Series 12 was released on the YouTube channel and the official page. It followed up on what was shown in the first trailer as well as showing new content. It ended with a repeat of "Watch this Space" from the teaser trailer and was followed by the release date, "New Year's Day".
On the same day they re-released the second promo poster but with a slight alteration: instead of "Coming Soon", the text below reads "New Year's Day". The Doctor's companions are also not present in this poster variant.
On 8 December a "What To Expect" video was released on the official "Doctor Who" page and YouTube channel with Jodie, Mandip, Tosin, Bradley and Chris Chibnall telling viewers what to expect. The first official trailer was shown along with it.
On the same day, a platoon of Judoon invaded Victoria Station to meet visitors, and a big interactive screen was put up, showing the "Watch this Space" teaser transitioning into the TARDIS landing on a surface invaded by Judoon.
On 11 December a "New to Who?" video was released, offering a quick summary of the character of "The Doctor" and the show's premise to potential new viewers, showing a range of clips from the Thirteenth Doctor's time until now.
On 12 December they released the video of the Judoon invading Victoria Station along with other parts of London and interviews with fans. The video was accompanied by a promise of the DVD and Blu-ray coming soon.
On 16 December a video with the caption "She's Back" was released exclusively on the Doctor Who page on Facebook showing an compilation of clips from Series 11 along with some descriptive words of the Doctor in-between and ending with two clips from the new series.
On 21 December they posted a short "Words to Live By" video that had the "Space. For All" clip at the beginning and end, with a clip from each of the main "New Who" Doctors in-between. On 23 December it was posted on their YouTube channel.
At the same panel, the question was brought up about how a life sentence for a Time Lord would work, given the series finale conclusion with the Doctor being sentenced to life in a space prison and due to a Time Lord’s life-span, to which Whittaker hinted that there might be answers given in Revolution.
On the 25 October 2020, on Guy Garvey’s Radio 6’ Slow Sunday interview with Jodie Whittaker, she revealed that Revolution would be a Christmas Special adding that it was ”definitely worth the wait”.
On Doctor Who Day, 23rd November, the official Doctor Who website and YouTube channel released promo posters and a promo preview from Revolution, both showing the return of Captain Jack Harkness. The posters also showed the return of the Daleks.
Broadcast[edit | edit source]
BBC America aired all full series and specials of New Who during the week between 24 December and 1 January in preparation for series 12. The network also aired animated "lost episodes" as an extra.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor - Jodie Whittaker
- Graham O'Brien - Bradley Walsh
- Ryan Sinclair - Tosin Cole
- Yasmin Khan - Mandip Gill
Recurring[edit | edit source]
- Sonya Khan - Bhavnisha Parmar
- Najia Khan - Shobna Gulati
- Hakim Khan - Ravin J Ganatra
- Sgt. Ramesh Sunder - Asif Khan
- Tibo - Buom Tihngang
- Gabriel - Everal A Walsh
- "O"/The Master - Sacha Dhawan
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Jack Robertson - Chris Noth
Guest[edit | edit source]
- C - Stephen Fry
- Daniel Barton - Sir Lenny Henry
- Seesay - Darron Meyer
- Browning - Dominique Maher
- Passenger - Sacharissa Claxton
- Voice of the Kasaavin - Struan Rodger
- Mr. Collins - Andrew Bone
- Ethan - Christopher McArthur
- Sniper - Melissa De Vries
- Older Passenger - William Ely
- US operative - Brian Law
- Rendition Man - Ronan Summers
- Noor Inayat Khan - Aurora Marion
- Charles Babbage - Mark Dexter
- Ada Lovelace - Sylvie Briggs
- Mrs. Barton - Blanche Williams
- Perkins - Kenneth Jay
- Airport Worker - Tom Ashley
- Nevi - James Buckley
- Vorm - Will Austin
- Lead Dreg and Creature Movement - Spencer Wilding
- Bella - Gia Ré
- Vilma - Julia Foster
- Hyph3n - Amy Booth-Steel
- Benni - Col Farrell
- Sylas - Lewin Lloyd
- Kane - Laura Fraser
- Queen Skithra - Anjli Mohindra
- Thomas Edison - Robert Glenister
- Nikola Tesla - Goran Višnjić
- Dorothy Skerrit - Haley McGee
- Bill Tallow - Robin Guiver
- Mr. Brady/Shadowman - Russell Bentley
- Harold Green - Paul Kasey
- Mr. Sorensson - Erick Hayden
- Mr. Martin - Brian Caspe
- Foreman - Shaun Mason
- Marcia - Judith Street
- Voice of Judoon Captain - Nicholas Briggs
- Judoon Captain Pol-Kon-Don - Paul Kasey
- Judoon - Simon Carew, Richard Highgate, Richard Price, Matthew Rohman
- Lee Clayton - Neil Stuke
- Ruth Clayton/The Doctor - Jo Martin
- Gat - Ritu Arya
- Tourist - Katie Luckins
- "All Ears" Allan - Michael Begley
- Jake Willis - Warren Brown
- Adam Lang - Matthew McNulty
- Gabriela Camara - Joana Borja
- Suki Cheng - Molly Harris
- Jamila Velez - Gabriela Toloi
- Joyce - Soo Drouet
- Zach Olson - Tristan de Beer
- Aramu - Thapelo Maropefela
- Zellin - Ian Gelder
- Rakaya - Clare-Hope Ashitey
- Tahira - Aruhan Galieva
- Maryam - Sirine Saba
- Anita Patel - Nasreen Hussain
- Mum - Amanda Liberman
- Fred - Michael Keane
- Andrew - Anthony Taylor
- Old Tibo - Willie Jonah
- Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin - Lili Miller
- Lord Byron - Jacob Collins Levy
- Claire Clairmont - Nadia Parkes
- Percy Bysshe Shelley - Lewis Rainer
- Dr. John Polidori - Maxim Baldry
- Elise - Sarah Perles
- Fletcher - Stefan Bednarczyk
- Lone Cyberman/Ashad - Patrick O'Kane
- Sergeant - Caolán Byrne
- Ravio - Julie Graham
- Ko Sharmus - Ian McElhinney
- Feekat - Steve Toussaint
- Patrick - Branwell Donaghey
- Meg - Orla O'Rourke
- Fuskle - Jack Osborn
- Michael - Andrew Macklin
- Ethan - Matt Carver
- Brendan - Evan McCabe
- Bescot - Rhiannon Clements
- Yedlarmi - Alex Austin
- Voice of Cybermen - Nicholas Briggs
- Cybermen - Matthew Rohman, Simon Carew, Jon Davey, Richard Highgate, Richard Price, Mick Lewis, Matthew Doman, Paul Bailey
- Tecteun - Seylan Baxter
- Solpado - Kirsty Besterman
- "Castle Guard" - Skott Roze
Production[edit | edit source]
It was originally reported that pre-production on series 12 had begun in November 2018, with Ray Holman having updated his CV to say so. Furthermore it was said that filming would begin in January 2019.
Chris Chibnall's initial statement on the twelfth series was "We're off again! Well we never actually stopped - as Jodie Whittaker's Doctor and friends have been winning the hearts of families across the nation this autumn, we've been busy with a whole new set of action-packed adventures for the Thirteenth Doctor. We adore making this show and have been blown away by the response from audiences, so we can't wait to bring more scares, more monsters and more Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole to BBC One. Brilliant!"
Charlotte Moore, Director of Content added, "We're delighted that the Doctor and her friends will be returning to thrill audiences in 2020. I know Chris and the whole team are already working on a whole new set of exciting adventures."
In an article on the Daily Mail by Nicola Methven, she quotes a "show insider" as saying: "Last season, the theme was empowerment for women, mirroring what was happening elsewhere in the world. This time there will be an effort to get behind the message that what we’re doing is killing our planet. Kids are really involved in these environmental issues so it’s a perfect fit for Doctor Who."
Chris Chibnall released an official statement, saying: “We’re thrilled that Doctor Who continues to attract some of the most the most exciting and dynamic talent working in television. Along with our returning faces, we’re excited to welcome new members to the Doctor Who family. The Doctor Who team is crammed with British television’s brightest writers and directors: we’ve adored working with them, and can’t wait to show you the explosive stuff they’ve created!"
In an interview with Radio Times the cast and showrunner spoke about feeling "less pressure" heading into the second series, with Tosin stating: "Last year was new showrunner, new Doctor, new companions, new time of the show, so everything was just brand new – now that we’ve done that, everyone survived, everyone’s OK, the fans have loved it." with Mandip adding: "There was a bit of uproar or whatever while we were doing it, but [the fans] proved that they do change with the Doctor – and they stay. So there’s not that pressure of ‘Are they gonna leave now?’ – they’ve already committed to that journey with us.", and Chibnall followed up on that by saying: "There was more pressure last year, launching Jodie, launching a whole new family of companions, a new look, a new composer – it was a whole new team last year."
Crew[edit | edit source]
Producers[edit | edit source]
Producer Nikki Wilson noted that the crystal "fingers" in the TARDIS looked pink on camera; a colourist colour-corrected every TARDIS scene for series 11. For series 12, the LEDs in the "fingers" were completely redone to fix this problem.
In an interview with Television Magazine in June 2017, Chibnall revealed a "five-year plan" for his reign as showrunner and promised that it would be "bold" and "risky". That of "the Timeless Child"
Writers[edit | edit source]
Headwriter Chris Chibnall wrote four episodes for the series, namely the two-part opener and the two-part finale. He also co-wrote the fifth, sixth and seventh episodes.
Series 11 writers Ed Hime, Vinay Patel, and Pete McTighe returned to each pen another script for this series. Nina Métivier, who served as script editor on series 11, also wrote a story for this series. New writers will include Maxine Alderton and Charlene James.
Directors[edit | edit source]
Jamie Stone directed Block 1, consisting of episodes 1 and 6, as well as Block 5, consisting of 9 and 10. Lee Haven Jones directed Block 2, consisting of episodes 2 and 3. Nida Manzoor directed Block 3, consisting of episodes 4 and 5. Emma Sullivan directed Block 4, consisting of episodes 7 and 8.
Lee Haven Jones also directed the festive special.
Filming[edit | edit source]
Location filming on series 12 began on 23 January 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa., with cast members having arrived in the country shortly beforehand. Filming in South Africa ended on 7 February.
Revolution of the Daleks was also filmed in winter 2019, over a year prior to broadcast, reportedly in order to attach it to series 12 filming, to give the cast a longer break.
Myths[edit | edit source]
- Although now debunked, Starburst Magazine had reportedly been in contact with the BBC back in November 2018, during which time, the BBC said that series 12 would air in Autumn 2019. Starburst also claimed that Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker had not been very happy behind the scenes, and were set to leave after series 12 had finished.
- A rumour of Chibnall's departure gained momentum once again in August 2019 when some Gallifrey Base spoiler hounds ambiguously reported that "Chibnall has already gone, it's chaos in Cardiff." This quickly spread to Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. The rumour was later denied as "nonsense" by BBC insiders, who went on to reference similar rumours of the past.
Television stories[edit | edit source]
Regular series[edit | edit source]
Christmas special[edit | edit source]
|N/A||Revolution of the Daleks||Chris Chibnall||Lee Haven Jones||The special will once again be a Christmas Special.|
Episode notes[edit | edit source]
- Spyfall: Part One pays homage to two James Bond stories; Casino Royale and Skyfall, respectively.
- Spyfall: Part Two had Thirteen reveal herself as a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation Kasterborous.
- This series had the "cold opening" returning for some of the episodes.
- The villain in Orphan 55 was so terrifying that even being on set behind the scenes had cast and crew frightened.
- The Judoon Captain is named Pol-Kon-Don as a tribute to late Doctor Who fan and friend of Chris Chibnall, Paul Condon.
- Although Fugitive of the Judoon was directed by Nida Manzoor, Jack Harkness' scenes were directed by Jamie Magnus Stone.
- Jodie Whittaker said on The Graham Norton Show that while filming in South Africa, she was let into contact with a Sac Spider, which are extremely dangerous and venomous. She let it crawl around on her inside her costume, unaware of the fact that she 'could have died', she said.
- Can You Hear Me? featured an animated segment illustrated by Nina Chakrabarti with Emma Sullivan and DNEG.
- Unusual to a normal set up, The Haunting of Villa Diodati featured a cliffhanger which wasn't set at the end of the episode.[statement unclear]
- The "cold opening" in Ascension of the Cybermen had a smooth transition into the title sequence through the eye of a Cyberman-head.
- The Timeless Children had the theme music play across the Doctor's memory-scene when overloading the Matrix.
- The Timeless Children had the most extensive use of archive footage in any of the Doctor Who episodes or any other media, and indeed any of the spin-offs as of 2020.
Aliens and enemies[edit | edit source]
- Daniel Barton
- "O"/The Master
- Deep-Space Squid
- Hopper virus
- Lee Clayton
- "Ruth Clayton"/"The Doctor"
- Gat (Gallifreyan)
- Crows (possessed)
- Enzymes (infected)
- Suki Cheng
- Suki Cheng's crew
- Cyberium (AI)
- Time Lords
- The Hybrid
Rumours[edit | edit source]
- A past alien love interest could be introduced.
- Rose Tyler could be making a return.
- A romance could be developing between the Doctor and Yaz.
- John Simm's version of the Master could return as various "Vote Saxon" signs pop up in Cardiff Bay.
- According to a German magazine, the Korean pop band Bangtan Boys will appear in this series.
- Petronella Osgood could make a return.
- Gwyneth Keyworth is rumoured to appear.
- Jodie Whittaker's Doctor could be facing a lookalike this special (like William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton before her).
- Gray O'Brien could appear in the special.
Adaptations and merchandising[edit | edit source]
Home media[edit | edit source]
DVD / Blu-ray[edit | edit source]
The twelfth series was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 4 May, 2020 alongside the 2019 New Year Special Resolution which was originally given a separate release from the previous eleventh series.
Novels[edit | edit source]
Action Figures[edit | edit source]
to be added
Footnotes[edit | edit source]
- Jodie Whittaker Confirms Return for 'Doctor Who' Season 12 (Exclusive). Hollywood Reporter (7 December 2018). Retrieved on 9 December 2018.
- The Doctor Who Team (9 December 2018). Doctor Who Series 12 Announcement. Doctor Who. Retrieved on 9 December 2018.
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- Bone, Christian (12 November 2018). Doctor Who Season 12 Has Already Begun Pre-Production. We Got This Covers. Retrieved on 12 January 2019.
- Houghton, Rianne (14 June 2017). Chris Chibnall has "five-year" plan for Doctor Who – and it's risky and bold. Digital Spy. Retrieved on 12 January 2019.
- Harp, Justin (23 January 2019). Doctor Who kicks off series 12 filming with first-look at Jodie Whittaker and cast. Digital Spy. Retrieved on 24 January 2019.
- 24 January 2019 (24 January 2019). Doctor Who series 12 has officially started filming. RadioTimes. Retrieved on 26 January 2019.
- Marc, Christopher (7 January 2019). 'Doctor Who' Series 12 Is Officially Delayed To 2020 But Could Begin Filming Soon In Wales/South Africa. HN Entertainment. Retrieved on 12 January 2019.
- Fullerton, Huw (31 March 2020). Why Doctor Who might escape delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. RadioTimes. Retrieved on 13 May 2020.
- Festive special will see the return of the Daleks!. Doctor Who website (1 March 2020). Retrieved on 1 March 2020.
- Laford, Andrea (5 September 2018). Doctor Who Series 12: rumoured plans to introduce a past alien relationship. CultBox. Retrieved on 12 January 2019.
Notes[edit | edit source]