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Doctor Who: Season 13 Announcement

"Listen carefully. We don't have much time."

The Doctor is coming back, and we finally know exactly when.

On the off chance that you missed it, the BBC has finally announced when Doctor Who series 13 is going to premiere and it's coming up fast.

Series 13 will kick off on Sunday, October 31st, both in the US and the UK. Check local listings if you're elsewhere in the world at that time.

They're adopting a curiously minimalist attitude on this one, one suspects because of COVID restrictions having caused such a delay in making the show that there just isn't a lot of time and money left to do fancy trailers. And honestly, I kind of like that. I enjoy having zero idea what to expect going into the series.

What we do know is that the series 'proper' only contains six episodes, and that those six episodes all tell one larger story titled 'Flux.' We're given a brief list on enemies to expect, some old ones, a couple new ones, and that's pretty much it for what we really know at this point.

I like every single one of those things.

Chibnall's writing has consistently been the weak point of the series under his regime, I don't think it's churlish or controversial to say that. And while I don't think it's been as bad as a lot of the online community seems to feel, I can admit that individual standalone episodes don't seem to suit his storytelling instincts particularly well. We know from Broadchurch, on the other hand, that a larger story drawn out gradually over many episodes is something he can do very well indeed. If for no other reason than that I'm really looking forward to this season, more than I have for years.


To anticipate a few questions that I think might come up at this juncture:

Q: I thought there were going to be eight episodes this series?

A: Yeah, they weren't particularly clear on that point which I presume means they didn't decide exactly how this was all going to play out until pretty late in the game. 'Flux' is six episodes, followed by two specials (one on New Years and one later) to make up the initially announced total of eight episodes. Then they'll have the big blowout special wherein we say goodbye to Jodie later in the year. If they resist the urge to broadcast that on November 23rd I'll be very surprised.

Q: Will they undo that Timeless Child thing that I dislike for invalid reasons?

A: I doubt they'll even mention it, and you need to stop being angry about it. It's fine. It makes a lot of the older episodes more interesting in retrospect, actually. That said, I doubt it will come up.

Q: Wait, October 31st? Like, two and a bit weeks from now October 31st? Won't you still be committed to reviewing new episodes of Legends of Tomorrow and Doom Patrol at that time?

A: Yes. Yes I will. Apparently I have cornered the market on time travel genre television. Sleep is for tortoises.

Check out the teaser here.

So, new Doctor Who will be here before we know it. Excited? Wary? Let me know what you hope to see/not see in the comments and we'll meet back here shortly!

Mikey Heinrich is, among other things, a freelance writer, retired firefighter, and roughly 78% water. You can find more of his work at the 42nd Vizsla.

8 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Could be cool. I'm open to the possibility. :) And you don't have the time travel market completely cornered! (Although it's close.)

An Honest Fangirl said...

Cautiously excited. I've dropped off of Doctor Who since early on in Jodie's tenure, but a small, miniseries type season could be exactly the kind of format to bring me back. From some of what I read, they're going for a more Classic Who feel in how they structure their story arcs/episodes, which could also be cool.

Mostly just curious to see who Jodie's replacement is and how RTD will handle the show over a decade later, but that's still a ways off!

Samantha M. Quinn said...

I still need to catch up from last season, I guess my time has run out. I 100% agree that Chibnall is not great at writing disparate self contained stories. The entire first season had the feel of someone who was deeply uncomfortable with writing singular stories, and just trying to make it work. An entire season crafted as one story, like the older Who serials sounds like a good fit for his writing style (Broadchurch was amazing).

Not sure about the new companion, I did watch the special where the other two left and I have no idea what the timeless child is yet.

I'm a little on the fence about RTD coming back, but we'll see. I wonder what kind of Doctor he'll create.

An Honest Fangirl said...

Samantha, from what I understand, The Timeless Child basically rewrote the entire lore/backstory of the Doctor and Time Lords in general. People were Upset, to put it mildly.

Mikey Heinrich said...

That's a fair summation, yes.

To also be fair, there are at least three previous examples in the show's history that changed things just as much if not more.

People were just as angry about those at the time, but there wasn't an internet then so all they could do is write angry letters to Doctor Who Magazine.

I'm hoping that the prevailing attitude going into this season is just what you said - Broadchurch was really great, this format should play to Chibnall's strengths more. This could be really good.

TheShadowKnows said...

"We know from Broadchurch, on the other hand, that a larger story drawn out gradually over many episodes is something he can do very well indeed."

Well... we know that about the first season. I thought the second and third seasons were dire, as bad as any of the bad writing he's turned in for DW. The trial in the second season was especially ludicrous. I hope the next season of DW will be a lot more like the first season of BROADCHURCH and a lot less like the other two.

(I also found Jodie's character incredibly irritating in the second and third seasons of BROADCHURCH, to the point that I was apprehensive when she was announced as the Doctor. I was relieved to find out that it was apparently the character who was irritating and not the actress.)

Mikey Heinrich said...

I'd agree with you that the first season is definitely the strongest, but I thought there was a lot of good stuff in the other two as well. Your opinion is totally valid of course.

Mikey Heinrich said...

Only three days to wait!