We recently reported that Doctor Who season 12 will air in 2019, in contrast to those rumors that said the show was going to skip a year and return in 2020. However, a different report has also arisen which states that only half of season 12 will arrive next year, with the other half being held back until 2020.
The worry about how much Who we’ll have next year first started with The Mirror claiming that season 12 will go into production too late to air in 2019. Other outlets have since contacted their own sources and declared that this is false. In fact, one report said that production started on the new run this very week.
Doctor Who fansite Outpost Skaro is now saying that The Mirror was onto something with their initial story, though. According to them, new showrunner Chris Chibnall is disagreeing with the BBC over their mandate to produce one season per year, feeling that the increased workload needed to achieve that is “unsustainable.” As such, they claim that Chibnall’s now planning to walk after season 12’s finished.
The reason that the next run’s being split across the following two years, then, is so that the BBC can to some extent achieve their goal of having a season every year but also so that they have time to find a new showrunner and for the writer to devise their own take on the series. What’s more, Outpost Skaro says that Jodie Whittaker will follow Chibnall out the door.
Of course, this all remains filed strictly in the rumor cabinet for now, but Doctor Who does have a history of splitting the season when the showrunner’s workload is too great. Season 8, for example, was carved across 2012 and 2013 as former showrunner Steven Moffat was so busy with the 50th anniversary special and his duties on Sherlock.
For now though, let’s try not to fret over whether to believe all this or not and just enjoy Doctor Who season 11, which continues tonight on BBC America.