We’re still waiting for season 12 of Doctor Who—which will see the sophomore return of Jodie Whittaker as the titular Doctor—but showrunner Chris Chibnall is already prepping the TARDIS for round 13. After a year of rumours that he was preparing to leave the show, Chibnall confirmed that not only is he not quitting, he’s already working on season 13.
In an interview with Radio Times, Chibnall again pushed back against claims that he would be leaving Doctor Who, something that has become a consistent problem for the showrunner ever since he took over for Stephen Moffat. Rumours of his and Whittaker’s impending departures have circulated off-and-on since 2018, and have been largely unfounded—the latest ones about Chibnall were tied to a Twitter account with 65 followers that cited an “anon whistleblower.” Chibnall has dismissed these claims, just like the others.
“Please write this verbatim: Somebody made that up, it was a lie,” Chibnall said. “It’s 100% Grade-A—shall I say nonsense, or shall I say bullshit?
“We’re already planning the next series after this series,” he added.
Whittaker and Chibnall also took time to chat about the upcoming season, which will see the return of the Doctor and all of her companions. Whittaker said, “I felt more comfortable, because playing it during my second season is obviously less nerve-wracking than day one of season one.” She also added that they are “treading new ground” for all of the characters.
Even if Whittaker is more adjusted to the role, it sounds like it’s not going to be a casual return to form for the series. Chibnall added that they’re taking more storytelling risks now that they’ve introduced audiences to the new Doctor and her found family. “It feels like a step up,” Chibnall said. “It’s probably more ambitious than last year. Scale, storytelling, everything. I would say we are aiming to keep moving forward and up. There are bigger moments this year.”
— Doctor Who on BBC America (@DoctorWho_BBCA) November 21, 2019
“Last year was a recruiting year for the show, and I think we managed to recruit some people for the show,” he said. “We’re building on last year. There are lots of new faces, a few old faces. There are some things trickling through, which might be important. It’s different! I think you always need to take new, big risks from a storytelling point of view.”
Doctor Who returns with season 12 sometime in 2020 and we’ll get our first look at it in the trailer debuting tomorrow.