Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall’s tenure on Doctor Who will continue this year with the special episode “Revolution of the Daleks,” but it seems that the future of the sci-fi show is in jeopardy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The novel coronavirus has halted every major TV and movie production across the world, including some high-profile titles such as Disney’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Netflix’s The Witcher. Though seeing as how Doctor Who only wrapped up its latest season a couple of months ago, production on Whittaker’s third year is still ways off. And yet, Whovians can’t help but wonder if the current outbreak of the infectious disease will affect the show’s schedule in any way, especially now that the Timeless Child is in a pivotal moment of her journey, having learned that her whole identity and history as a Time Lord has been a lie.
It’s really difficult to come up with a projection at this point, but since the pandemic is continuing to wind through almost every region in the globe, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon, the BBC may have to delay season 13 due to social distancing rules. Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Wales, recently discussed the matter in an online Q&A, saying:
“A production like that, which at any point employs hundreds of people, freelance and staff, I don’t believe can be made to the current standard in a socially distanced environment. So it depends when you think social distancing is going to end,” he revealed.
Ever since its reboot back in 2005, the sci-fi show has done most of its principal photography in Wales. And given the fact that the rules differ between England and Wales, Davies notes that this could cause further disruption to the series’ production when the time comes.
Still, even if Jodie Whittaker’s third season on Doctor Who faces a delay, we’ll at least have this year’s special episode to look forward to, debuting sometime during the festive season.