Doctor Who season 13 trailer, episodes, Jodie Whittaker departure and everything we know so far

doctor who season 13
(Image credit: BBC)

We always knew Doctor Who season 13 was coming, but the status of the show's future has been a little tenuous thanks to the pandemic. Not that the BBC would kill the show, which first began almost 60 years ago.

Thankfully we know a lot more than we did before Comic-Con@Home. It wouldn't be Comic Con without some big Whovian announcements, and the BBC has handed over enough information to fill the Tardis swimming pool.

Doctor Who season 13 release date window

The BBC hasn't given us an exact release date (or even month) for the premiere episode of Doctor Who's thirteenth season. However the broadcaster did confirm that it will be arriving before the end of the year.

As usually we can expect episodes to debut on BBC One in the U.K., before hitting BBC America and other international broadcasters later that same day.

We can't speculate on when Doctor Who might return, because previous seasons premiere dates have been all over the place at the best of times. Throw COVID into the mix, and the BBC's habit of not divulging release dates until a few weeks before broadcast, and it becomes impossible to even guess a date.

Doctor Who season 13 episode count

Filming on Doctor Who season 13 began last November, at which point the BBC confirmed that the 13th season would consist of a mere eight episodes. That's two less than the 11 episodes that made up season 12. 

This is all down to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only was filming delayed by two months, the strict government and industry safety measures in place meant filming each episode took a lot longer. So there was only time to put together eight episodes this year.

The BBC has since announced that the episode count would instead be raised to nine, in light of the departure of Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall. There will be a six part serial due to arrive this fall, followed by three longer specials next year. The first is in January, and the last will arrive in the fall of 2022.

Doctor Who season 13 cast

The cast of Doctor Who is always changing, but we have some familiar faces returning this time around. Jodie Whittaker is returning as the 13th Doctor, but obviously she won't be alone. Here's the cast as we know it so far:

  • Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan
  • John Bishop as Dan Lewis
  • Jacob Anderson as Vinder

John Bishop is joining the Tardis crew as a main cast member, though Jacob Anderson has only been referred to as a guest star. So don't expect him to stick around for very long.

No doubt there will be plenty other guest stars appearing this season as well, but so far the BBC hasn't told us who they might be.

Doctor Who season 13 to be the 13th Doctor's last?

The BBC has also announced that the 13trh season of Doctor Who will also be the last time we see the 13th Doctor as played by Jodie Whittaker. She will leave following a special episode in Fall of 2022, which will also coincide with the BBC's centenary celebrations.

Evidentially the first female Doctor make a pact with showrunner Chris Chibnall that they would leave after three seasons, and it means the Tardis will be handed over to a brand new Doctor and as brand new showrunner. It's not clear who either of these people might be, but Whittaker's casting cemented the idea that the Doctor could be anyone.

Though it is about time the Doctor finally got their wish and regenerated into a fresh head of ginger hair.

Doctor Who season 13 trailer

As you'll se above, the Doctor, Yaz and Dan are about to go on more wild adventures. What secrets will the Doctor be keeping from those around her? We'll have to tune in to find out.

Doctor Who season 13 plot

Doctor Who is doing things a bit differently this year, with producers opting for one single story that spans the entire season. Rather than the Doctor and her companions jumping to a new, unrelated adventure each week, each new episode has been described as a single chapter in a larger story.

We don't know exactly what this story is about, but showrunner Chris Chibnall has confirmed the Doctor and Yas have been travelling together for some time following the events of Revelation of the Daleks. John Bishop's Dan Lewis will join the duo at some point (likely in the first episode), though we don't know much about the circumstance.

It also looks as though it might have something to do with the revelations made in Season 12's finale. Revelations that completely shake up the history of both The Doctor and Doctor Who.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.