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Series 13 of Doctor Who, also referred to as Doctor Who: Flux, premiered on Sunday 31 October 2021. Chris Chibnall remained as executive producer, whilst Jodie Whittaker returned as the Thirteenth Doctor. Mandip Gill returned as Yasmin Khan, joined by newcomer companion Dan Lewis, played by John Bishop. The series opened with The Halloween Apocalypse and concluded with The Vanquishers, before being followed by a trilogy of specials.

In July 2021, it was announced that both Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker would be departing at the end of this series, making good on a private agreement between the two to leave the programme after three series.[1]

Although initially reported in an announcement by Chibnall that this series would only contain 8 episodes[2], it was later announced that, in addition to the six episodes of the main series and two specials following in 2022 (similar to those at the end of David Tennant's run), a further feature-length special was in the works for the end of the era. Including this new "trio of specials", the total count was brought up to 9.[1] The reduced episode count from the usual 11 was due to constraints running a production during the COVID-19 pandemic.[2]

At San Diego Comic Con @ Home on 25 July 2021, it was also announced that the main series would follow a serialised format, meaning it would be one serial spanning six episodes[3], similar to Torchwood: Children of Earth (and most Doctor Who television stories prior to the 1996 TV Movie).

At a press event held on 19 October 2021, it was revealed that the main series would be comprise one single story known as Flux, which would be told over 'six episodes – or chapters, as they're going to be labelled' and 'changes the way we deal with characters – characters who go across more than one episode, monsters who go across more than one episode.'[4]

A series of behind the scenes features were released to YouTube.

The series continued the ongoing storyline exploring the Doctor's past and the Timeless Child.

The series also explored a new subplot of the Doctor's TARDIS heavily malfunctioning and decaying over the course of the storyline, something that reached a conclusion in the New Year Special when the Doctor reset the TARDIS system.

Overview[]

Storyline continuation[]

According to Chris Chibnall, the previous series finale Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children laid the groundworks of the storylines throughout this series.[5]

On 8 October 2020 at the live-streamed New York Comic-Con panel, Mandip Gill revealed that series 13 would delve deeper into Yasmin Khan's past and touch on "mental health issues".[6]

On 5 December 2020, Gill told Radio Times that while her co-stars, Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole, felt ready to leave during the preceding New Year Special Revolution of the Daleks, she was not ready to leave the TARDIS behind, saying there's still more to explore about Yaz's past and mental health.[7]

On 1 January 2021, following the broadcast of Cole and Walsh's final scenes, comedian John Bishop was officially announced in a teaser trailer as playing incoming companion, Dan.[8]

In an interview shared by the BBC on 24 October, Matt Strevens mentioned that series 13 would solve some loose ends from the reveal in the preceding series, saying that "[series 13] picks up on a lot of the things the Doctor learned about herself and her history at the end of series 12."[9]

Returning foes[]

Similar to the preceding series 12, this series would see a list of returning foes:

The Sontarans made a return in their first proper villainous comeback since their "New Who" debut story, series 4's The Sontaran Strategem/The Poison Sky. Although several Sontarans have appeared since, most notably Strax last seen in series 8's Deep Breath.

Their return in Doctor Who: Flux marked a return to the silvery armour and more war-battered look first seen in Jon Pertwee's 1974 story The Time Warrior.

The Weeping Angels also made a return to the series, presenting a threat for the first time since 2013 Christmas Special The Time of the Doctor. Although they did make cameos in series 9 finale Hell Bent, the Class series finale The Lost, and the immediately preceding New Year Special Revolution of the Daleks, respectively.

The Cyber-Warrior Cybermen also made their way back after being reawakened in Series 12 finale Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children. Lone Cyberman Ashad made his return in the Centenary Special.[10]

The Daleks also made it back to the screen, having last been seen in the preceding special Revolution of the Daleks. Unlike the last two instances in "the Chibnall era", they returned in the main series, before making their grand return, with new upgraded gunsticks, with this batch being Dalek Executioners, in the following special, Eve of the Daleks, concluding a trilogy of New Year Specials with them as the main antagonists. They returned once more in the Centenary Special.[10]

The Sea Devils also returned for the Easter Special Legend of the Sea Devils, having last been seen in 1984 story Warriors of the Deep.

The Master also managed to make a return to the show, making his return in the Centenary Special after having last appeared in the Series 12 finale Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children.[10]

Cast[]

Recurring[]

Guest[]

Production[]

Production during COVID-19[]

On 31 March 2020 it was reported by Radio Times that due to a lucky break in filming, Doctor Who might have dodged a bullet and inadvertently gone around the whole Lockdown crisis that other production have suffered, and therefore escaped the COVID-19 virus altogether.[15]

However, it was reported on 18 June 2020 by The Mirror that Director of BBC Wales Rhodri Talfan Davies had said that the series would not be continuing filming during current social distancing rules.[16]

On 11 September 2020 it was claimed by the Metro Entertainment that due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, series 13 could potentially be moved to 2022 due to significant delays in principal photography as a result of the virus.[17]

That same day, a conflicting report from Radio Times mentioned that filming was set to begin "soon", noting that little was known about what social distancing rules would mean for the series or the number of episodes.[18]

On 11 November 2020, Chris Chibnall announced to The Mirror that the series run had indeed been impacted by the virus, and had been reduced to eight episodes. He stated: "In this strangest of years, the Doctor Who production team have worked wonders to get the show back into production. Given the complexity of making Doctor Who, and with new and rigorous Covid working protocols, it's going to take us a little longer to film each episode, meaning we expect to end up with eight episodes, rather than the usual 11."[2]

In an interview with the Radio Times on 28 November, Chibnall opened up a bit more about the struggles of making the show during a global pandemic while trying to avoid fans thinking about the pandemic while watching the series, saying: "Basically, for the past six months we've been going, 'How do we make Doctor Who in the middle of a pandemic?' We had to re-interrogate absolutely everything. We couldn't do Spyfall this year. We won't be able to do overseas filming. Editorially, production-wise, logistically, health and safety-wise, it's had a massive impact. But where we are is incredibly exciting. As much as possible at the moment everybody's smiling, and we've got some really lovely, great, mad scary ideas."[19]

Producer Matt Strevens reassured fans that the quality of the series would not be affected, saying: "The biggest thing is that when series 13 finally does air, whenever that is, we never want people to watch it under the caveat of COVID, going, 'Ah, well, but they made this during the pandemic.' We want to make sure that when you watch it, it's – no pun intended - timeless, and feels as exciting and as high-end as we've tried to make the series since we took over. That was the driving impulse behind looking at the narratives and reducing the number of episodes slightly: we want to make sure we can give people the biggest production values possible."[19]

On 25 July 2021, during the Comic Con @ Home, Chibnall announced that the series had undergone changes in format, giving it a storytelling style similar to Classic Who era, with it being a singular multi-part story throughout the entire season.[3]

In Doctor Who Magazine issue 570, Whittaker spoke about the difficulty of shooting a particular scene set in a small bedroom due to social distancing rules applying still and preventing all crew getting into the room together.[20]

Chibnall further stated that it had been incredibly difficult on set to get the show done, saying they had to "reimagine their job", however that they had been able to "do all the things [we] normally do in terms of character interactions".[21]

In an interview shared by the BBC on 24 October, Jodie Whittaker spoke about what it was like filming during the pandemic, saying that the filming started late because of it and there was a whole different feel to get used to because of the travelling restrictions preventing overseas filming and because no one had seen eachother for a year and that "[everyone] want[ed] to make sure [they're] not the person to make a mistake as the domino effect [could] be so catastrophic on set".[22]

Crew[]

Producers[]

In an interview with Television Magazine in June 2017, Chibnall promised that his run would be "bold" and "risky".[23]. (Contrary to common belief, he made no mention of a five-year plan, but his friend, James Strong indicated his belief that the position was a five year project.[24]) This plan involved the revelation of the Timeless Child, given at the end of series 12.[25]

Interestingly, the five-year-plan would come to pass with the Centenary Special releasing in October 2022 completing the run which had begun when filming for the Chibnall era began on 31 October 2017 with series 11.[26]

Chibnall revealed to Doctor Who Magazine #568 on 19 August 2021 that he would be "free and clear" of the show's production in 2022, the year of the specials.[27]

Director[]

Jamie Magnus Stone returned to direct the first filming block from this series, along with DOP Robin Whenary consisting of episodes 1, 2 and 4. Stone also directed the Centenary Special.[28]

Azhur Saleem directed the second filming block consisting of episode 3, 5 and 6 of the series.

Annetta Laufer directed the New Year Special.

Haolu Wang directed the Easter Special.

Writers[]

Chris Chibnall wrote all 6 episodes of the series with episode 4 being co-written by Maxine Alderton.

Chris Chibnall also wrote all 3 Specials, with the second one co-written by Ella Road.[29]

It was revealed in DWM 570 that there were originally more writers (most of them unknown) scheduled for the original format of the series:[20]

Maxine Alderton was originally confirmed as a "core writer" for the series.[30]

Ed Hime originally returned to write an episode of the series.[31]

Pete McTighe originally returned to write an episode of the series.[32]

Pre-production[]

Tracie Simpson announced at a Gallifrey One convention on 15 February 2020 that pre-production on the series would begin in June the same year.[33]

Filming[]

This section needs a cleanup.

This should be converted into proper prose, or at least grouped into fewer paragraphs for ease of reading.

Tracie Simpson announced at the Gallifrey One convention on 15 September 2020 that filming would begin in September the same year.[33] This was, of course, delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with spikes in cases and deaths at around this time.[17]

Principal photography officially began on 2 November 2020 at Roath Lock Studios.[34]

Filming on location first began on 13 and 16 November at Morlais Quarry, Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales.[35] Filming also took place at some point in November in Penwyllt Quarry.[36]

Filming continued on 26 November at The Parade in Cardiff, Wales.[37]

The production moved onto the streets of Cardiff on 7 December.[38]

Filming then continued on 8 December in Neptune Court on Vanguard Way in Penarth, Cardiff.[39]

Filming resumed on 11 January 2021 on Cold Knap beach in Barry, Wales.[40]

Filming continued on 21 January 2021 in Saint Hilary, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.[41]

Filming went on to Barry Island at Friars Point House the night between 25 and 26 January.[42]

Filming took place at Porthkerry Country Park in Barry, Wales on 17 February.[43]

Filming then went on to the Ffresh Cabaret Bar inside the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on 18 February.[44]

Filming took place inside Cardiff City Hall on 8 March.[45]

Filming then went on at Atlantic College in Llantwit Major, Wales in front of an old stone house located on the campus on 17 March.[45]

Filming later took place at Kongs Cardiff and The Hayes, both located in Cardiff, on 18 March.[45]

Filming took place at the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool on 22 March.[46]

Next, filming took place at the Museum of Liverpool on 23 March.[47]

Filming then took place at the Church of St Luke and Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool on 24 March.[48]

Filming moved to St George's Hall in Liverpool on 25 March.[49]

Filming took place in Grangetown in Cardiff on 4 May.[50]

Filming continued in Salisbury Avenue in Penarth, Wales on 13 May.[51]

Filming took place at the A Bond Warehouse at Cumberland Road in Bristol on 4 June.[52]

Filming went to Sully Beach in Barry, Wales on 25 June.[53]

Filming took place at Roath Lock Studios on 5, 6, 22, 23 and 26 July[54] while filming took place again on Sully Beach on 15 July.[55] Additional filming also took place at Cardiff Bay on 26 July.[56] Filming wrapped soon after.[57]

Filming on the seperately scheduled Centenary Special began on 23 August in Llandaff.[58]

Filming continued in Bristol on 6 September.[58]

Filming took place on 15, 16 and 17 September at Hodge House in Cardiff.[59]

Filming went on to Grange Gardens at Grangetown in Cardiff on 20 September.[12]

Filming further continued on 5 October at The Gate Arts Centre in Roath, Cardiff.[60]

Filming took place in a Pant Quarry[61] in Bridgend on 7[62] and 8 October.[63]

Filming took place at Roath Lock Studios on 13 October.[64]

Filming also went on to the intersection between West Bute Street and Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff on 14 October.[65][66]

On 15 October 2021 final filming for the Centenary Special took place at Roath Lock Studios.[67]

Television stories[]

Regular series[]

Episode
Number
Episode title Writer Director Notes
1 Chapter One:
The Halloween Apocalypse
Chris Chibnall Jamie Magnus Stone Introduction of Dan Lewis, Swarm, Azure, Karvanista, Inston-Vee Vinder, Diane and Claire Brown. Appearance of a single Weeping Angel and war-beaten Sontarans Kragar and Ritskaw.

Joseph Williamson and James Stonehouse also make appearances. The Division is mentioned.

2 Chapter Two:
War of the Sontarans
Mary Seacole appears during the Crimean War against a troop of Sontarans. Dan is returned to modern day Liverpool fighting against a different troop of the warriors. Yaz is sent the the planet Time to investigate the Temple of Atropos.

Commander Linx and Shadow Proclamation are both mentioned.

3 Chapter Three:
Once, Upon Time
Azhur Saleem The Doctor enters her own time stream to discover her own unknown past life working for the Division, discovering her part in ending the Dark Times as well as stopping Swarm and Azure's rule. Return of the Cybermen and the Fugitive Doctor. Minor return of the Daleks. Introduction of Bel, the Grand Serpent and Awsok. Another Weeping Angel appears.
4 Chapter Four:
Village of the Angels
Chris Chibnall & Maxine Alderton Jamie Magnus Stone Proper return of the Weeping Angels. Introduction of Eustacius Jericho. The Doctor gets turned into one of the Angels in a surprise-twist as she is recalled into the Division.
5 Chapter Five:
Survivors of the Flux
Chris Chibnall Azhur Saleem The Doctor is flung into the centre of the Division's operations with Awsok waiting, revealing herself to be Tecteun and trying to start anew in a new universe, hence opening the Multiverse. Meanwhile Dan, Yaz and Jericho are stuck in 1904 trying to save the future. UNIT returns, with the Grand Serpent trying to climb his way up the ranks. An Ood appears, Kate Stewart returns. Lethbridge-Stewart is heard in the background. The fob watch returns. The Master is mentioned.
6 Chapter Six:
The Vanquishers
Kate Stewart meets the Thirteenth Doctor for the first time. Daleks and Cybermen are betrayed by the Sontarans. The Flux gets absorbed by the Passenger. The Doctor places her fob watch within the TARDIS. The Doctor is warned about nearing the end of her current incarnation. Dan is re-offered to join the TARDIS.

2022 Specials[]

Episode
Number
Title Writer Director Notes
1 Eve of the Daleks Chris Chibnall Annetta Laufer New Year Special
The Daleks re-appear in a special that forms the third part of a trilogy of New Years specials involving them, but this time being Dalek Executioners, sporting upgraded gunsticks. Time loops are occurring.
2 Legend of the Sea Devils Chris Chibnall & Ella Road Haolu Wang Easter Special
Return of the Sea Devils. Appearance of pirate queen Zheng Yi Sao.
3 "The Centenary Special"
(working title)[68]
Chris Chibnall[10] Jamie Magnus Stone[28] UNIT returns.[59] Graham O'Brien returns.[12] Thirteenth Doctor regenerates. Set to be "feature-length" as part of the BBC Centenary celebrations.[1] The Master, Kate Stewart, Ace, Tegan Jovanka and Vinder return. The Daleks, Cybermen, and Ashad return.[10]

Episode notes[]

  • Possibly as a way of marketing, a recurring theme in the Doctor Who logos was that over the course of the series, they would gradually break apart, similar to Time and Space as seen in the series, with the rainbow coloured threads at the end of each YouTube video unravelling more and more, while the BBC WHO logo would shatter further and further.
    • The specials following the main series were also given their own uniquely themed logo variants across social media.
  • Series 13 marks the first time the title sequence has received a subtitle, in this instance Flux, below the main title of the show.
  • Jodie Whittaker said she "cried her eyes out" on her final day of filming.[69]
  • Flux is the first serial since season 26 and the first 6-part story since The Armageddon Factor (discounting the unaired Shada and animated story Dreamland).
  • Despite being the shortest season in the history of the show in terms of episode count, Flux formed the longest continual storyline in the revived series as of 2022 (at just over 320 minutes in total, across six episodes), and is the second longest-running serial only beaten by The Trial of a Time Lord (at around 350 minutes total, across 14 episodes) as of 2022.
  • The main Series 13 was the first season since Season 23 of the Classic Series to not introduce any new writers.
    • It is also the only season to have only two credited writers, and the first time the current showrunner has written all episodes, with only episode 4 having a co-writer.
      • The three specials that followed, followed the same style, with only special 2 being co-written.
  • The large gap between the broadcast of the Centenary Special, released in October 2022, and the broadcast of the 60th Anniversary Special (Series 14), released in November 2023, marks the second time since the tradition began, that a Winter Special has been ommitted.

Logo Gallery[]

Aliens and enemies[]

Promotion[]

Announcement[]

Unusually, the series was announced as being "in the works" by Chibnall on 21 November 2019, a little over a month before the previous series began airing.[70]

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 of the programme.[71][72]

In October 2019, it was revealed that due to the show heading to HBO Max, the network had struck a deal for additional series of the programme.[73]

Whittaker briefly mentioned her return in Doctor Who Magazine[which?] on 9 December 2019, a little under a month before series 12.[74] She later spoke about it publicly to Entertainment Weekly on 22 January 2020.[75]

Promotional material[]

Following the broadcast of Revolution of the Daleks on New Year's Day 2021 was an introduction clip promoting this series featuring two men loading a truck while reading horoscopes. The horoscope in question read amongst others that "lucky number is 13, the colour blue will be important", the camera then pans to John Bishop and flashes a few brief clips of various sequences from the upcoming series. This new upcoming companion was later revealed to be named "Dan". Bishop himself said of the experience: 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. [76]

On 25 July 2021 San Diego Comic Con @ Home was held to promote the new series, with John Bishop, Mandip Gill Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall, in which they talked about the changes made to the series along with what it was like to work on set during pandemic times and their favourite things about it, also each sharing a word to describe the series: "Riveting", "Inspirational", "Mysterious" and "Swarm". The panel also introduced a special guest Jacob Anderson as recurring character Vinder. At the end of the panel, the Series 13 trailer was shown, and following that it was released on the Doctor Who YouTube Channel.[3] At the panel were also shown publicity photos of the new Team TARDIS and Vinder, respectively.[3]

On 29 July it was announced on the Doctor Who website that Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall would be handing over the control of the show to someone else following a 6-part event series and a trio of specials stretching all the way into autumn 2022 as part of the BBC Centenary celebrations. Chibnall said of the experience: "Jodie and I made a "three series and out" pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. So now our shift is done, and we're handing back the TARDIS keys. Jodie's magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She's been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. I can't imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I'm not going to!" to which Whittaker adds: "In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them. My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories."[77]

On 16 August the official Doctor Who social media accounts posted a new publicity photo. The photo featured Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill and John Bishop as the Doctor, Yaz and Dan, respectively, in front of a graffitied brick wall.[78]

On 18 August BBC America, in conjunction with AMC Channels, released a summary of the upcoming series. In this summary it was revealed the Series would have "terrifying new adversaries" as well as "truly iconic old enemies" and that the Doctor would "be questioning everything about her past" and that she would "undoubtedly be searching for answers". The summary further said that the audience should expect "action", "fun", "scares", "new worlds" and that Team TARDIS would be confronting "a deadly evil".[79]

On 19 August Chris Chibnall told Doctor Who Magazine[80] that he was originally only supposed to do 8 episodes consisting of the 6-part serial and two specials, but earlier in the year was contacted by BBC Director of Content Charlotte Moore about doing a celebratory Centenary Special, to which he agreed and following that "numbers were crunched, conversations were had, deep breaths were taken, more testing kits were ordered, and contracts were extended".[27]

On 2 October, a 5 second "interruption" was broadcast on BBC One featuring the Thirteenth Doctor in the TARDIS attempting to get the audiences attention before being cut off by static noise.[81][82]

The same "interruption" was shown on 3 October, this time a bit clearer.[83][82]

On 4 October the "interruption" was broadcast again, with the same change as before being that it became a bit clearer picture.[84][82]

The "interruption" was put out once more on 5 October, again with minor changes making it clearer than before.[85][82]

The "interruption" aired once again on 6 October, once again a little clearer than before.[86][82]

In the SFX Magazine issue released on 6 October it was revealed that the release date of Series 13 was "imminent" as given in this message: " YES, IT'S THIRTEEN'S LAST FULL SERIES AND YES, IT'S ONLY SIX episodes, but it's landing imminently (yes, there's an embargo) and there's a new companion (or possibly two?). It'll come as little surprise that details are very thin on the ground for Jodie Whittaker's final "full" series, but we can confirm that John Bishop joins the "fam" as Dan, and Jacob Anderson guest stars as Vinder alongside Mandip Gill as Yaz.", alongside 3 exclusive images from the series itself.[87]

On the same date, the Doctor Who social media accounts posted a picture of a Sontaran flagship hovering above the Liverpool docks at George's Pier Head.[88][82] This spacecraft was reportedly projected across the night sky.[89]

On 7 October the "interruption" was aired yet again, however, contrary to previously, this time it was made more static.[90][82]

At 5 PM BST on 8 October, the Doctor Who social accounts posted the "interruption”.[91][82]

Shortly after, they cryptically posted "++ ---/CAN YOU HEAR ME?/ ---++", the same message as given in the static-filled "interruption", followed by an immediate shutdown of all active Doctor Who social media accounts.[92][82]

Later that same day, the "interruption" was broadcast again. This time with no changes at all to the static.[93][82]

Early in the morning on 9 October the BBC reactivated the Doctor Who website with terms and conditions for something called Have You Seen The Aliens. The page thanked viewers for informing the Doctor on any aliens in the area.[94] Concurrently, the BBC showed the "interruption" on billboards around Liverpool, featuring the tagline "It's Coming, Be Ready" written in the Doctor Who logo font and a phone number, 0800 678 3110, to be used to report sightings of any aliens.[95]

The same evening, all the Doctor Who social media accounts went back up with a new poster featuring the Thirteenth Doctor, announcing that the new series would be called Flux and would begin broadcast on Halloween, 31 October 2021. The finished version of the "interruption" on YouTube, a minisode named The Flux is Coming..., was also released; it had premiered on BBC One earlier in the day.[96] The minisode reveals that something called The Flux is following the Doctor, bringing with it Sontarans, Weeping Angels, creatures called the Ravagers and other enemies from across the universe, and that the Doctor and her companions were in the fight of their lives.[97][98]

After all that, the Doctor Who Twitter posted a The Doctor Returns gif.[99]

On 14 October the Doctor Who Magazine issue number 570 was released which offered a look at the new Sontarans, revealing them to be similar to the design from 1974 story The Time Warrior. Furthermore, DWM revealed the list of writers for Flux, with all episodes being solely written by Chibnall except episode 4, which was co-written by Maxine Alderton. Of the new format, Whittaker mentioned the familiarity of it, having lived it on Broadchurch and further said of the series: "This season is going to take you on a labyrinthine adventure, the Doctor is going to find things out about herself and is going to face some of her biggest and oldest foes. And she won't be able to do any of that without Yaz and Dan standing by her side."[20]

Chibnall further stated that the series would start off with "cataclysmic events".[21]

In the evening on that date, the Doctor Who social accounts asked fans if they wanted a trailer the following day, using a "It's Coming, Be Ready" gif.[100]

On 15 October, Jodie Whittaker appeared on The Graham Norton Show talking about the new series, saying that she had filmed her regeneration scene, but didn't know who the Fourteenth Doctor would be. She further said that: "I'm not allowed to tell you anything, but I can say the first episode is out on Halloween and it is a six-episode story arc – it's like a six-hour film and it is amazing.".[101]

The second trailer was also released, giving a further look into what could be expected from the upcoming series, naming it as "one epic story over six thrilling chapters". Matt Strevens said of the series "I can't wait for the audience to come on the Flux ride with us. It's our biggest adventure yet with so many brilliant new characters to fall in love with. We had a blast making it."[102][103]

That same date, John Bishop told in an interview with The Times that his character Dan gets to live throughout the entire experience and that he, Yaz and the Doctor would have some banterish moments throughout it all.[104]

At a press event held on 19 October, Chris Chibnall revealed further details about the series, namely the release of new promotional pictures along with an additional list of guest characters.[105]

Speaking at a webinar on 20 October, Chibnall further promised the series would "blow up the universe" and that it would consist of the "biggest-ever cliffhangers".[106]

On the same date the title of the first episode was released by the Doctor Who accounts, calling it The Halloween Apocalypse, and releasing it alongside a synopsis promising that "an ancient evil is breaking free"[107]

On 24 October, another batch of promotional pictures were released to the public, picturing several of the characters to appear in the series.[108]

The same day, the BBC shared an interview with Matt Strevens in which he revealed that the new series evolved late in the day after the COVID-19 pandemic struck again, saying that the end result turned out to be something completely new, saying "I can honestly say it's not like the previous two series. It's huge in its scope and its scale and the jeopardy.".[25]

Another interview was shared, this being with Jodie, in which she spoke about what it was like filming her last series and whether it had changed her way of approaching a different serialised format and what it's like to be recognized on the street, finally describing the series as a "self discovery rollercoaster".[22]

On 25 October, Radio Times revealed the title of the second episode, War of the Sontarans along with the synopsis promising a pitched battle between the Sontarans and the British Army and an "ancient temple hides mysterious secrets".[109]

That same day, a third interview was shared, this being with Mandip Gill in which she talks about Yaz's journey through the series, what it was like introducing John Bishop to the Doctor Who family, working with the guest cast and highlights of the series, in the end calling the series "an emotional rollercoaster".[110]

Later that day, Bishop appeared on The One Show, where he, amongst other things, talked about Doctor Who and his role on the show, to which was shared a "First Look" at the upcoming series 13, showing his character Dan Lewis answering the door on Halloween.[111]

On 26 October at a press interview, Whittaker revealed to TV & Satellite Week and TV Times that "there's a lot of silence" in the series also saying "It has got so many elements but one of them is ‘unsettling', so I'm going to say that.". The magazines also revealed a few set images from the upcoming series.[112]

Also on that day, Mandip Gill revealed to Metro Entertainment that at the end of the series she cried and warned fans that they would too, also saying that Yaz would come back still with some questions but as a more developed person, now ready to take on police officer duty more confidently.[113]

On 28 October, Gill appeared on BBC Breakfast speaking about her experience on the show, saying "I am on something that is so big and watched by so many people".[114]

The same day, Whittaker spoke about Bishop's character to Inside Soap, saying that "both Dan and the Doctor are on the precipice of something huge, personally" while Bishop himself also spoke to all the various magazines [all mentioned on this Wiki article] about his experience.[115]

On 29 October, Gill spoke to Entertainment where she revealed that her and Whittaker argued so ferociously on set, as part of their natural banter, that it made newcomer John Bishop a bit uncomfortable. She also mentioned how Bishop was just in awe about everything on the show and refusing to tell whether she was leaving.[116]

Doctor Who: Flux poster featuring Team TARDIS

That day, the BBC released a few press photos of Team TARDIS on colourful backgrounds.[117]

On 1 November a First Look trailer for the second episode was released, showing a battle between Crimean War soldiers and Sontaran warriors.[118]

On 2 November, the title of the third episode, Once, Upon Time was revealed by TV Zone UK along with a synopsis promising the Team TARDIS would "face a battle to survive".[119]

On 5 November the fourth episode's title and synopsis were revealed on TV Zone UK, being Village of the Angels and promising "a little girl gone missing" and a "Cursed Village"[120]

On 8 November, a First Look trailer for the third episode was released, showing a fight throughout time and space.[121][122]

On 9 November a whole new set of promotional pictures for episode 3 were released to the public by TV Zone UK.[123][122]

On 11 November, Sam Spruell and Rochenda Sandall spoke to Doctor Who Magazine about their characters Swarm and Azure, revealing that they want be the next Big Bang and cause chaos and that Swarm has an obsession with the Doctor.[124]

The same day, TV Zone UK revealed the title and synopsis for episode five, Survivors of the Flux, promising "perilous journeys" and "unsurmountable obstacles".[125]

On 15 November, a First Look trailer for episode four was released, revealing a whole village full of Weeping Angels and a little girl gone missing.[126]

On 16 November, a bunch of new images from the fourth episode were released.[127] The title of sixth and final episode was also revealed as The Vanquishers, along with a synopsis telling that "all hope is lost" and that "the forces of darkness are in control".[128]

On 18 November, the official Doctor Who accounts promoted the Centenary Special, announcing officially that the Thirteenth Doctor would see her last outing in the special due to air in Autumn 2022.[129]

On 22 November, a First Look trailer for episode five was released, revealing everyone to be fighting for survival as the Time Force grows stronger.[130]

On 23 November, a whole bunch of new images from episode five were released.[131]

Eve of the Daleks Title.jpeg

On Doctor Who Day the BBC released the first promotional photo for the New Year Special, showing the date "01.01.22" (with "22" strangely overlayered with an "∞"(infinity)-symbol) and the TARDIS with scars all over it and red light emitting from those scars, as well as a synopsis for the special, reading "a customer who visits his unit every year on New Year's Eve. This year, however, their night turns out to be a little different than planned...".[132][133]

On 27 November, three new images were released from the sixth and final episode of the series.[134]

On 29 November, a First Look trailer for the sixth and final episode of the series was released, revealing the fate of the entire universe to be at stake and the Doctor discovering her lost past.[135]

On 30 November, a whole bunch of new images from the sixth and final episode of the series were released.[136]

Following the broadcast of the series finale on 5 December, the trailer for the New Year Special was released, showing the Dalek are returning once more to wreck havoc, this time sporting a new upgraded version of their signature gunstick capable of shooting multiple targets at once, as well as time loops occurring.[137] Chris Chibnall teased the special as "action-packed spectacular".[138]

On 7 December, Aisling Bea told in the Christmas issue of Radio Times magazine that she was impressed by how fast Chibnall wrote the New Year Special, commenting "Holy moly, that man's a machine" and also said that the themes of loneliness and the need to make connections which she wrote for her character in This Way Up were part of Chibnall's inspiration to write the Doctor Who romantic comedy.[139]

On 9 December, Chibnall told in Doctor Who Magazine issue 572 the Daleks seen in the episode are an Execution Squad and that the episode was "basically romantic comedy" with a "big, fun sci-fi concept" and "the range of tones, the range of scares, the range of humour and the range of mystery". Director Annetta Laufer told that "it's a more story-led, rather than action-led episode",[140] and Mandip Gill teased that the episode to be quite confusing with repeated scenes.[141]

Eve of the Daleks poster 1.jpeg

On 23 December, Laufer revealed that there would be a twist to the time loop storyline in the New Year Special, being that things will happen in the same way as the previous loop, and the characters will discover that along the way, and that with every loop a minute of their day would be lost.[142]

It was also revealed by Chibnall that the Daleks in Eve of the Daleks have come for the Doctor alone, saying "They are not trying to destroy the world. They are trying to destroy the Doctor in payment for what has been done to the Daleks at the end of the previous series".[143]

Jodie Whittaker also revealed that she thought "somebody's decided to write [her] out early" as she and John Bishop revealed that they would be killed by Daleks a couple of times in the New Year Special.[144]

On 24 December, Laufer revealed that Eve of the Daleks would be the most festive and positive of Chibnall's specials due to the effects of COVID-19 having brought down everyone's mood.[145]

On 25 December, Mandip Gill revealed that the New Year's Special was "the funniest episode yet".[146]

On 26 December, Adjani Salmon revealed that the New Year Special was "adventurous, quirky and heartwarming" and added that "it is a weird, little romcom with Daleks, which is fun".[147]

On 27 December, the BBC released a promo picture for Eve of the Daleks featuring new character Nick looked over with the TARDIS as the background.[148] Later on they released a an 8 minute long video featuring the trailer for the special looped over again and again, with a "First Look" scene hidden around the 7 minute mark showing the characters arguing.[149]

Whittaker also gave a more fleshed-out opinion on what it was like working on the New Year Special.[150]

On 28 December, the BBC released a promo picture for Eve of the Daleks featuring new character Sarah looped over with the TARDIS as a background.[151] Later they released a "First Look" of the episode of the TARDIS crew arriving.[152]

On 29 December, the BBC released a promo picture for Eve of the Daleks featuring companion Dan Lewis looped over with the TARDIS as a background.[153]

Bishop also gave a more fleshed-out opinion on what it was like working on the New Year Special.[154]

On 30 December, the BBC released a promo picture for Eve of the Daleks featuring companion Yasmin Khan looped over with the TARDIS as a background.[155]

On 31 December, also known as New Year's Eve, the BBC released a promo picture for Eve of the Daleks featuring the Thirteenth Doctor looped over with the TARDIS as a background.[156]

Chibnall and Laufer also gave a more fleshed-out opinion on what it was like working on the New Year Special.[157]

On 6 January 2022, visual effects editor Emily Lawrence revealed to Doctor Who Magazine 573 that post production on the Centenary Special was still in process, promising "an absolutely spectacular episode with a lot of visual effects...", also offering a look into what may be in store for the future of the show, hinting at 360 screens and gaming software akin to shows like The Mandalorian, getting rid of green screens once and for all.[158]

On 29 January, director Jamie Magnus Stone revealed that the Thirteenth Doctor's regeneration would be a whole lot different than it has been done in the "New Who"-era, with this regeneration notably not taking place within the TARDIS (which, with the exception of webisode The Night of the Doctor, has not been seen since the TV movie Doctor Who).[159]

On 3 February, Matt Strevens told in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine issue 574 that the remaining two specials, Legend of the Sea Devils and the Centenary Special, were in "picture lock" and they were beginning on the sound edit.[160]

On 14 February, in an interview with the WHO Corner to Corner podcast, costume designer Ray Holman said spoke about the art of making a costume, such as the Sea Devils, and what it's like to do it on a BBC budget. He also said that "the two specials to come are great, I think. I haven't seen them."[161]

On 19 and 20 February at the Gallifrey One convention, the two specials were talked about again, and it was revealed that the "Thasmin"-relationship (Thirteen + Yaz) would be explored more and that a teaser for the Centenary Special would be shown at the end of the Easter Special and that a name for the "regeneration special", as it was called, had not been chosen at the time.[162]

On 3 March, Strevens told Doctor Who Magazine issue 575 about the Easter Special that "It's a bit of a swashbuckler. It's the last ‘regular' adventure story before you go into the machinations of a regeneration story.". He also said that it was a chance for all the design departments to fully show off what they can do.[163] Speaking about the following story he said "the final story is a massive, feature-length epic – it was huge to shoot – with lots of surprises for fans of all ages. Jodie gets a really good send-off. I think it will push everybody's buttons. And the fact the BBC asked us for it to be part of their centenary celebrations – I think that just underlines the iconic nature of the show." and said that he's excited for the future of the show and that Whittaker was happy to be able to pass on the role.[164]

On 23 March, costume designer Ray Holman spoke to SFX Magazine about Legend of the Sea Devils, saying "So this is a whole new story with the Sea Devils. The Doctor meets them again and we're on a pirate ship. I talk to [showrunner] Chris [Chibnall] about everything we design, and his words were, ‘Sea Devils as pirates – swashbuckling Sea Devil pirate adventure!". He also talked about what went into designing the creatures, how they were inspired by the originals from 1972 story The Sea Devils and how he and Creature Costume Maker Robert Allsopp originally considered animatronics. He also went on to talk about the Team TARDIS' costumes, saying how the Doctor and Yaz were dressed in traditional Chinese style while Dan was dressed Caribbean and looked out of place. Actor Crystal Yu, who played Madame Ching, also spoke about her experience and seeing the set saying "Oh my god, this is real!' It really felt like, ‘Oh my god, am I dreaming? Is this my ship?". The Magazine also revealed release date of the special as April.[165]

On 26 March, the BBC released 3 new images from the Easter Special.[166]

Legend of the Sea Devils poster1.jpeg

On 28 March the BBC released the first promotional photo for the Easter Special, showing the date "17.04.22" and a pirate flag with a Sea Devil head on it and two crossing swords, as well as a synopsis for the special, reading "In a swashbuckling special adventure, the Doctor, Yaz and Dan come face to fin with one of the Doctor's oldest adversaries, the Sea Devils — in a coastal village in 19th century China. Why has legendary pirate queen Madam Ching come searching for a lost treasure? The fearsome pirate unwittingly unleashes a terrifying, monstrous alien force beneath the sea. Will the Doctor, Yaz and Dan emerge from this adventure to save the planet? And did Yaz really have to dress Dan up as a pirate?".[167]

On 31 March Chris Chibnall talked to Doctor Who Magazine issue 576 about the plot of the Easter Special, saying that "In our story, [pirate leader] Madam Ching is on a mission to track down the lost treasure of the Flor de la Mar, a ship that may have been washed up in the waters around the area where we start the story. She unleashes a terrifying evil that the Doctor has to help everyone deal with.". Actors Crystal Yu and Marlowe Chan-Reeves also spoke to DWM, talking about their characters and a specific sword-fight scene that was especially difficult to get right.[168]

Legend of the Sea Devils poster2.jpeg

On 2 April the BBC released the trailer for the Easter Special along with a new promotional image showing Team TARDIS and the pirates surrounding a huge ship and a group of Sea Devils at the bottom.[169]

On 7 April the BBC released a promotional picture of the Thirteenth Doctor swinging in a rope on a pirate ship.[170]

On 11 April the BBC sat down with Chris Chibnall, Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill and John Bishop for a Q&A interview about the Easter Special, where it was talked about what it was like filming the episode during COVID-19, what the relationship between Yaz and the Doctor is, how it was meeting the Sea Devils, what the inspiration for the episode was, what Dan's role is in the episode, and so on.[171]

Also on that day, the BBC released a promotional picture of Yaz fighting with a sword on a pirate ship.[172]

On 12 April the BBC released a promotional picture of Dan hanging tight onto a rope on a pirate ship.[173]

On 13 April Mandip Gill spoke about the Easter Special and the future of the show on Morning Live.[174]

The same day, Chibnall spoke to the Radio Times in the "Easter Edition" issue about the Centenary Special, saying that "There'll be a lot of laughs and tears in that final episode. You want to do everything.", hinting that there will be a lot of "treats" to the past and that it is a celebration of the BBC.[175] Co-writer Ella Road also spoke to them about the romance between Yaz and the Doctor in Legend of the Sea Devils, saying that the production team were keen to handle the relationship "delicately" and that it was a bit of a challenge.[176]

The BBC also released a new promotional picture of new character Ying Ki crouching on a pirate ship.[177]

Later that day the BBC released a version of the song Wellerman sung by Nathan Evans that was related to the Easter Special with the Sea Devils and pirates.[178]

On 14 April the BBC released a new promotional picture of new character Ji-Hun fighting on a pirate ship.[179]

On 15 April the BBC released a new promotional picture of new character Zheng Yi Sao ready to fight on a pirate ship.[180]

On 16 April the BBC released a new promotional picture of a Sea Devil ready to fight on a pirate ship.[181]

On 28 April Chris Chibnall was interviewed by Doctor Who Magazine, issue 577, in which he spoke about the Centenary Special as well as the Fugitive Doctor, saying that he's refusing to tell where she fits on the Doctor's timeline, but said that he has "an opinion" on the subject.[182] He also said that "We got some really gorgeous stuff in the last couple of days [of filming]", and according to the Magazine Chibnall will sign off on the final cut of the Special.[183]

On 3 May Mandip Gill was interviewed on The One Show, speaking about the Centenary Special and her involvement in it, saying that it will be her last episode, but she won't be opposed to a return in the future.[184]

#FindTheDoctor[]

The Doctor, Yaz and Dan and some mysterious numbers

Main article: FindTheDoctor (series)

On 25 July 2021 the BBC Doctor Who website released a "mystery" puzzle that had to be solved as part of a new #FindTheDoctor series leading up to Series 13.[185]

The prime objective was to search for letters and/or numbers which were part of a larger password that would eventually unveil a hidden page on said website; the clues were as follows:

  1. /mystery: D
  2. A Message from Yaz: C
  3. Promotional image: 5 (look here)
  4. John Smith's Google Maps reviews: E
  5. What's the Doctor reading: G
  6. La Boîte Bleue: Y
  7. Unknown object—RHCTDM-OEI-OLOAW/0209: V
  8. Mary Shelley: A
  9. An almost complete mystery: N
  10. A Message: V
  11. ↳: ETE

The prize received from completing the ARG and typing in the password was a voice message reply from the Thirteenth Doctor as presented in A Message from the Doctor, also offering a brief look at a new villain. Along with it came an exclusive promo photo of the Doctor.[186]

As a follow-up, the BBC released a statement video from Jodie Whittaker on 24 September 2021 thanking all the fans for getting involved in the adventure, #FindTheDoctor. She further revealed that there would be much more Series 13 news in the coming days up to the actual broadcast of it.[187]

Adaptations and merchandising[]

Home media[]

to be added

Stories set during this season[]

Novels[]

to be added

Comics[]

Webcasts[]

Footnotes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Doctor Who Team (29 July 2021). Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall to leave Doctor Who in a trio of Specials in 2022. Doctor Who (doctorwho.tv). Retrieved on 30 July 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 McLennan, Patrick (11 November 2020). Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall confirms season 13 will be three episodes shorter than usual. RadioTimes. Retrieved on 30 July 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 https://cultbox.co.uk/news/headlines/doctor-who-series-13-trailer-information-casting-news-and-images
  4. https://www.radiotimes.com/tv/sci-fi/doctor-who-more-flux-guest-stars-newsupdate/
  5. https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-02-20/doctor-who-series-13-storylines/
  6. https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/a34325815/doctor-who-season-13-characters-yaz-new-backstory/
  7. https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-12-05/mandip-gill-doctor-who-series-13
  8. https://www.slashfilm.com/doctor-who-season-13-companion-2021-release/
  9. https://www.radiotimes.com/tv/sci-fi/doctor-who-series-13-timeless-child-newsupdate
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 https://www.doctorwho.tv/news-and-features/the-master-daleks-and-cybermen-return-for-centenary-special
  11. https://cultbox.co.uk/tag/diane-curtis
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 https://cultbox.co.uk/news/headlines/doctor-who-bbc-centenary-special-filming-in-grange-gardens-cardiff
  13. Sontaran Commander Ritskaw has been misspelled in the end credits of the second episode War of the Sontarans but episodic events confirms this is the same character from episode 1, The Halloween Apocalypse.
  14. https://twitter.com/ruther2/status/1448341807033634817
  15. https://www.radiotimes.com/tv/sci-fi/doctor-who-coronavirus-schedule/
  16. https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/doctor-who-series-13-wont-22214372
  17. 17.0 17.1 https://metro.co.uk/2020/09/11/doctor-who-new-series-could-be-delayed-until-2022-as-covid-19-wreaks-havoc-on-filming-13255335/
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  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 https://cultbox.co.uk/news/doctor-who-flux-writers-directors-details-announced
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