The entertainment industry is grinding to a halt right now due to the coronavirus outbreak. Over the past few weeks, virtually all major film and TV productions have shut down, indefinitely or otherwise. This week, BBC Studios announced that it was likewise ceasing filming on all of its continuing dramas as per the latest government and WHO recommendations. Doctor Who fans might be wondering, then: does this mean season 13 will be delayed?
Season 12 only just wrapped at the beginning of the month, but we soon learned that season 13 was already gearing up. Pre-production is due to begin in June with the shoot starting in September. Given that it takes around 10 months for the 11 episodes (10 + a winter special) to be completed, this told us we would likely see the next run of the Time Lord’s adventures in fall 2021. But will the plans now change due to the current health crisis?
Well, it all depends on how long the BBC halts its drama production for, which obviously itself all depends on how the pandemic continues over the next couple of months. Predictions say that things could be resuming normal service again by June, so pre-production on season 13 may be able to go ahead unimpeded. If the situation doesn’t improve enough by that point, however, then presumably that would have a knock-on effect for the show.
Say, for instance, that there’s a delay of even a month or so on pre-production, that would then push back the shoot. This will mean the season won’t quite be ready in time for fall 2021, so the BBC would then hold it back around three more months.
The good news is that this is all theoretical right now, and Doctor Who could manage to survive unaffected by the outbreak. In any case, we know that we’ve got a special coming this winter, as that’s already in the can. As revealed by the season 12 finale, the one-off spectacular is titled “Revolution of the Daleks.”