Doctor Who season 11 is set to be an entirely fresh take on one of the world's oldest TV characters, marking the start of Jodie Whittaker's tenure as the 13th Doctor. With a brand new showrunner in place, Doctor Who fans can look forward to new villains, diverse storylines from new writers and, most importantly, a female Doctor. For the first time ever, everyone's favorite Time Lord will regenerate into a female form, and she'll have new companions to accompany her on journeys through time and space.
Ahead of season 11's arrival this fall, here's every update you need to know - from teaser trailers, to new cast members, and more!
- TV Show: Doctor Who Season 11
- Premiere Date: October 2018
- Cast: Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Bradley Walsh
- Showrunner: Chris Chibnall
There's Something Different About the New Doctor
All eyes will be on BBC America when Doctor Who season 11 comes to air. Jodie Whittaker takes over the central role, becoming the first female Doctor. She's best known for her role in crime drama Broadchurch, for which she received great critical acclaim. She'll assume the role of the Doctor under the tenure of a new showrunner, Chris Chibnall, who was also showrunner on Broadchurch. Hopefully, the familiarity between the two will lead to a strong season 11 for Doctor Who, which has been suffering from declining ratings in recent years.
With the arrival of a new Doctor, comes a new companion - a whole host of companions, in fact. Chibnall has revealed that the Doctor will work with a team of companions: Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole will be playing Graham, Yasmin, and Ryan, respectively. It is not yet known how they all come to meet the Doctor, and whether they are known to each other beforehand, but it will certainly make for an interesting dynamic aboard the TARDIS.
Olivier Award winning actress Sharon D. Clarke will also be joining Doctor Who season 11 in a recurring role, though no details are known about her character. Alan Cumming has revealed he'll be appearing in season 11, playing King James I. The actor described the historical character as a baddie who could return during the season run.
Don't Expect Any Doctor Who Regulars to Appear
In previous seasons of Doctor Who, we've seen some characters or actors pop up again and again - in particular, Missy (Michelle Gomez). The actress has said that while she's not officially set to appear in the upcoming season, she won't write off the character completely: "Even though, for now, she has been laid to rest. I don't think she's ever going to be that far away." The same goes for Matt Lucas as Nardole and former companion, Pearl Mackie, who have both confirmed their permanent departure. Mark Gatiss has also confirmed that he's not involved in season 11, either as an actor or writer.
Capaldi's Long Farewell
Season 10 brought to a close Capaldi's time as the Doctor, but also saw Matt Lucas and Pearl Mackie bowing out and, of course, Steven Moffat stepping down as showrunner. As a result, much of the season felt like a very long farewell. Bill was turned into a cyberman, but was eventually saved by a tear from Heather, her brief love interest right back at the start of the season. Together, the pair set off to travel through time and space, but not before Bill had left a final tear with the Doctor. The Master and Missy reunited, which was always going to be a recipe for disaster; in the end they destroyed each other.
At the Doctor's request, Nardole led an evacuation of children from a planet riddled with Cybermen, to a new solar planet where they'll be safe, and Nardole now lives their as the guardian. That leaves the Doctor, who fought against his regeneration for the entirety of season 10. The TARDIS took him to a snowy plain, where the first ever Doctor (now played by David Bradley) appears. It's a moment frozen in time - both Doctors resisting regeneration and unwilling to let go, but each knows what's to come. It was a perfect farewell for Capaldi's Doctor, who was reunited with Bill, Nardole, and Clara. He also regained all his memories of her and finally, in an impassioned and powerful speech, Capaldi was gone. In his place appeared Jodie Whittaker, who uttered a very simple "oh brilliant," in her strong Yorkshire accent, before hitting a button which sent the TARDIS spinning out of control.
What's To Come In Season 11
Doctor Who will be holding a panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, where some story details may be unveiled for season 11, but at the moment, there's not much to go on and, traditionally, we don't know massive spoilers ahead of the season premiere. However, with a new Doctor in place, we will have her meeting her new companions and getting to grips with the TARDIS to look forward to. There's also said to be an historical focus for season 11; as well as an appearance from King James I, it's rumored that the Doctor will meet Rosa Parks. Set photos featured an appearance from the beloved K-9, but how the cyber dog fits into season 11 remains a mystery.
What we don't know yet, is which- if any- monsters will be back. Will our new Doctor and her companions face off against Daleks or Cybermen? Hopefully the panel at SDCC will reveal some more information.
When Will Doctor Who Return?
Doctor Who season 11 will arrive in October 2018. This season will be just 10 episodes instead of the usual 12, but they'll be 50 minutes long instead of 45. The season premiere will be feature-length at 65 minutes, and give us a good chance to see the new Doctor in action. At present, there seems to be no Christmas special this year. Rumor has it that Chibnall is not keen to do one, but that is far from confirmed, and it's also worth noting that a Doctor Who Christmas special is a long-standing tradition for the BBC and it would be unusual for there to be no episode on Christmas Day. It could be, therefore, that season 11 will air its season finale on Christmas, so the special will instead form part of the episode count.
Who's Directing Doctor Who Season 11?
As previously mentioned, Chibnall will now serve as showrunner for Doctor Who, and while all his directors for season 11 are not yet known, some are. Jamie Childs will direct the season premiere, and he's also listed on IMDB as directing episodes 7, 9, and 10 (the season finale). He has not directed Doctor Who before. Chibnall has been keen to take a 'clean slate' approach to Doctor Who going forward, and so it's unlikely we'll see any familiar names listed as directors; Rachel Talalay has already hinted that she won't be back.
Who's Writing Doctor Who Season 11?
Chibnall seems to be taking more of a team approach to writing for season 11; it's rumored that he's created a writers room- something that is familiar practice in the U.S. but not so much in the U.K. until now. Moffat won't be writing for the new season, and nor will Gatiss, though the latter has stressed that Chibnall has left the door open for his return. Other familiar Doctor Who writers, such as Jamie Mathieson and Sarah Dollard have also confirmed they won't be back.
The first trailer for Doctor Who season 11 aired on BBC1 during the World Cup Final on July 15th, and featured a first look at the Doctor's three new companions.
Doctor Who season 11 will air in October 2018.