Doctor Who season 11 will likely go down as one of the most divisive years in the series’ long history. Even once you remove the historic move to cast Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor, the approach showrunner Chris Chibnall took to Who seemed to turn just as many fans off as it won over. But could season 12 return to the more fan-pleasing feel of the previous eras?
ScreenRant has suggested so, based on what little we know for sure about the new run and what we can guess from clues hidden in season 11. First of all, we know that at least one returning monster will appear in the form of the rhino-headed Judoon, with set photos teasing the Thirteenth Doctor’s face off against the villains first introduced opposite David Tennant in 2007. Season 11 was infamously free of classic foes, but the New Year’s special featuring a lone Dalek promised that there would be more recognizable monsters to come.
It’s possible, then, that there will be other returning baddies in season 12, too. Under previous showrunners Russell T. Davies (2005-10) and Steven Moffat (2010-17), it was the norm for at least two or three familiar aliens to feature every year. Chibnall himself brought back the Silurians, last seen in the 1980s, back in 2010’s “The Hungry Earth.” We haven’t heard about any others at present, but it would be in keeping with the BBC’s anti-spoiler strategy so far to keep them a secret.
Secondly, it sounds like season 12 could reinstate the season-long story arc. A fixture of the show since 2005, the 2018 run skipped over any serialized plotting, instead simply bringing back the villain from the first episode – T’Zim Sha AKA Tim Shaw – for the finale. Fans have been fascinated by the nod to “the Timeless Child” mentioned in episode 2, “The Ghost Monument,” though, with it theorized this could prove important in the future of the series.
This is all just speculation at this stage, of course, but we’ve got to do something to keep ourselves busy until Doctor Who season 12 arrives in early 2020, right?