Showrunner and Executive Producer Chris Chibnall was as tight-lipped as ever about what we’d see in the upcoming season of Doctor Who, but he made one thing crystal clear: this season is all about a fresh start, right down to the show’s rich history of recurring foes.
“It’s pretty much all new stories, all new monsters, all new villains,” he said. “I think we’re two weeks from finishing filming… and we haven’t come across any old villains yet.”
While it seems unlikely we won’t get at least one Dalek or Cyberman in the whole season – I’d bet on seeing something in at least the finale – it’s clear the goal of this season is to shed some of the baggage that comes with decades of production. Jodie Whittaker, who will take the reigns as The Doctor’s new regeneration when the series returns, echoed Chibnall’s points about onboarding new fans, making it clear that the showrunners are looking to reinvigorate its audience (and, presumably, its ratings).
“You don’t need encyclopedic knowledge of Doctor Who to be included in this journey, and we’ve got 10 standalone episodes that have huge character arcs,” she said. “If you came in at episode 4, this is an adventure in episode 4. You don’t need the 50-odd year history to go through it, which I think is exciting for us and often less daunting for us, because we know what’s going on.”
Whittaker also described the high level of input she had into The Doctor’s costume, typically an iconic look for each regeneration, and one that tends to make the rounds in cosplay circles around the world:
I’ve never had creative input to that level for any character…I sent [Chibnall], between auditions, hundreds of images. And one of them I found on the internet – I don’t know where it’s from or what I googled – but it was a woman walking with purpose and deep in thought, striding. And she had short trousers on, boots, braces, and a t-shirt. The picture was black and white, so I don’t know what era that picture was from. And the woman had hair like mine, it was in a kind of bob, so it felt… it was a wonderful expression in one image of timelessness, purpose, and inclusiveness all in one simple look. It didn’t feel you needed to be a certain shape, or age to wear it, or gender, and that’s mainly where this came from.
Chibnall also put to rest the rumor of whether or not the BBC would offer a Christmas special, stating that there would definitely be another episode after the finale.
Series 11 of Doctor Who will premiere in the fall and will be released in the UK and US simultaneously.