One of the best things about shows produced by the BBC is that they aren’t beholden to the whims of advertisers. Instead, the network is kept operational thanks to annual television license fees that British citizens, organizations, and companies pay. The downside is that the shows aren’t beholden to audiences either, meaning they don’t need to keep to any specific schedule to make people happy. Shows could come back twice in a year or after a five-year hiatus. There are no set rules.
Season 10 is confirmed for “Spring 2017,” although a specific date wasn’t given. There is a 2016 Christmas special, but 2016 will be somewhat devoid of Doctor Who – which probably explains in part why the new spinoff known as Class (see the section below on DW spinoffs) debuts this year.
The BBC also confirmed that the tenth season will consist of 12 episodes, just like the previous two seasons. The reason for the downsized season order from 13 to 12 is to give the production more time and to save a little money. Seasons of 12 episodes are probably the new norm, although showrunner Steven Moffat is hoping for at least one more ep in season 10.
When it does return, at the conclusion of the 2017 Christmas special Moffat will officially step down. He will have been in charge of Doctor Who for six seasons over seven years, and he helped to further propel the revitalized show to international fame.
The official reason for withholding the show until 2017 is to give Moffat’s last season a sense of anticipation in the buildup and because the BBC is already filled with content for the year thanks to the Summer Olympics and the Euro Cup. It probably also has something to do with Moffat’s commitments to Sherlock, which is long overdue a fourth season and is currently filming.
Following Moffat’s departure, the show will be overseen by Doctor Who writer and Broadchurchshowrunner, Chris Chibnall. He will take over showrunning duties starting with the 11th season, which would presumably air in spring 2018 (although that could always change). Chibnall will have some help from Misfits and EastEnders producer Matt Strevens, who will act as co-producer along with Chibnall, although it’s not exactly clear how this split will work. Strevens is a devout Doctor Who fan, and helped produce the Doctor Who biopic, Adventures in Time and Spece.
Peter Capaldi has recently stated that he hopes his departure from Doctor Who is “not for a long time.”
- Each 12-13 episode season (plus the Christmas Special) takes nine months to film.
- Moffat claims he has 14 more episodes left. He hasn’t confirmed when those episodes will air, but he will oversee the 2016 Christmas special and the 12-episode season 10. His final episode will likely be the 2017 Christmas special.
- If Capaldi is leaving, the BBC will have time to find a successor. The show seems to be returning to its spring timetable. If season 11 debuts in April 2017 or so (as previous seasons have), filming for season 11 would need to begin in fall 2017. That would mean the new Doctor’s casting would likely be finalized by spring or early summer of 2017.
- Capaldi stated that the BBC would like him to stay on in the role after Moffat leaves, but Capaldi hasn’t made up his mind yet.
- For those mourning the loss of Doctor Who on Netflix, it is now available on Amazon Prime.
- Filming for season 10 began mid-June.
- Capaldi believes the new series will air in April 2017.
- The BBC has released a new video showing a behind-the-scenes look at the Christmas special.
- The Christmas episode is titled “The Return of Doctor Mysterio.”
- There is are unconfirmed reports that the BBC has changed its mind regarding Capaldi, and that it wants Chibnall to have a “clean slate” when he takes over in 2018. The BBC is concerned that merchandising and ratings are down around the world, and it hopes to reset the show with a more dashing hero in the vein of David Tennant. The report specifically claims the BBC wants a younger male star and a female costar.
- If the reports of the BBC clean slate are true, Peal Mackie would also leave the show.
- Again, while still unconfirmed, if Capaldi does leave, his last episode would likely be the Christmas 2017 episode, giving Chibnall and Strevens a fresh start in 2018.
- If Capaldi’s last episode is the 2017 Christmas special, expect casting of a new Doctor to be announced late summer 2017.
- There will be a Doctor Who “Children in Need” short that introduces the character of Doctor Mysterio. It will act as a lead in to the Christmas special.
- The 2016 Christmas special will appear in theaters in the US for two nights- December 27 & 29.
- Following the reports of the BBC wanting a clean slate for Chibnall and Strevens, Capaldi stated that the BBC still wants him to stay but he hasn’t made up his mind.
What are you looking forward to the most in the 2017 season of Doctor Who?