The second season of Doctor Who under Chris Chibnall ended on a cliffhanger by having a platoon of Judoon incarcerate the Time Lord in one of their intergalactic prisons, but does this mean that the companions won’t have a part to play in this year’s special episode?
If it’s merely changing conventions that we’re talking about, then the current showrunner has at least that much covered. After the lackluster finale of season 11, Chibnall brought out all the big guns for the last two episodes of the latest season and not only revealed the mysterious Timeless Child but in doing that, also changed the show’s entire continuity up to this date.
After the Thirteenth realized that there’ve been countless incarnations of herself in the past that she doesn’t know anything about, viewers got to see one last encounter with the Master, but as you’d expect, the Doctor came out victorious in the end. The revelation clearly impacted her psyche, though. The companions, too, needed a break after all of the madness, which resulted in the Time Lord dropping them off in their hometown of Sheffield.
The Last of the Time Lords, if we could call her that still, didn’t get much time to herself to reflect on everything that happened as a platoon of Judoon materialized in the TARDIS to take her away. “The Timeless Children” ended with the Doctor looking into the abyss of the endless space inside a prison. So, unless the companions find a way to teleport themselves over there, it seems that the special episode, titled “Revolution of the Daleks,” will have to do without them.
Of course, we can only assume that this isolation will be temporary, as Chibnall has promised the Doctor will eventually be reunited with her new family again. Until then, all we can do is speculate, especially about how a story involving the Judoon will end up centering around the Daleks. Unless the current COVID-19 pandemic affects Doctor Who as well, we’ll eventually get our answers when this new special episode arrives during this year’s festive season.