The next set of episodes featuring Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord are almost here, and with them a fresh batch of guest stars. Here is everything you need to know about the new season of Doctor Who.
Do you want the good news or the bad news?
The bad news is that there’ll be no Christmas special episode of Doctor Who this year. The BBC has enough on its plate, what with a festive one-off from Gavin & Stacey and the usual Christmas episode from Call The Midwife.
The good news is, though, that Doctor Who will be returning for a 12th season, and that season will start on 1 January 2020. A very special New Year’s Day episode will ring in Jodie Whittaker’s sophomore offering as the Time Lord with the dual cardiovascular system, and it will come with a few very special guests.
Alongside Doctor Who’s usual cast of characters, including Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham), Stephen Fry and Lenny Henry are joining the cast of the show for its much-anticipated premiere episode.
“Short of being picked for a British space exploration… being in an episode of Doctor Who will certainly do for a very sweet second-place excitement,” Fry said in a statement. Added Henry: “As a life-long (hiding behind the sofa type) Doctor Who fan this is a very special moment for me.”
Celebrities cameos have always been one of the draws of the long-running sci-fi series. Everyone from Carey Mulligan to Maisie Williams and Kylie Minogue have appeared in episodes. Minogue’s cameo was all the way back in 2007, when David Tennant was rebooting the series and portraying the 10th Doctor onscreen. “At the read-through, I tried to look cool, but I was petrified,” the singer said at the time. “Then, on my first day of filming, I realised I was in my spiritual home. I’ve a lot of affection for [my character] Astrid. She’s a waitress, a dreamer, alone and she wants to travel. Perhaps that’s like me when I was younger, but I had opportunities.”
As usual, when it comes to plot and villain details for season 12, the BBC is keeping things tightly under wraps. We do know that the first episode will actually be told in two parts, with the second half broadcast on 5 January. But other than that, the themes of this new season are a mystery.
In a new interview with The Big Issue, star Whittaker – the first female Doctor – discussed the importance of having a woman spearhead this iconic series.
Whittaker said: “I feel like I’ve been accepted as the Doctor. There was a pressure. If I’d have been a guy in this role I’d have only been representing my own casting as an individual. But it felt like I could hold people back if nobody liked what I brought to the Doctor.”
“The gender question is now going away,” she added. “Hopefully it won’t make the news the next time.”
Season 12 of Doctor Who returns to BBC One on 1 January.
Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.
Recommended by Hannah-Rose Yee
Doctor Who is back for a new season, and so is Jodie Whittaker
BBC ever so politely shuts down backlash over first female Doctor Who
“How pathetic sexists tried to tear down the first female Doctor Who”
Doctor Who’s Mandip Gill recalls the moment she was asked to lose her Northern accent