Doctor Who is back in a big way for 2020, with the return of showrunner Chris Chibnall and its first female star, Jodie Whitaker.
Season 12 kicked off with a massive hour-long premier on New Year’s Day with a whopping big cliffhanger and some tremendous riffs on James Bond, but there’s plenty more to come – and even our first season 13 news. Here’s everything you need to know about what’s left to come in the season.
When is Doctor Who on next?
Doctor Who kicked off season 12 on New Year’s Day with the first of a two-parter called Spyfall. Following that episode the show is now back in the Sunday evening slot it moved to last season, with episodes kicking off around 7pm every Sunday evening – though keep an eye on the schedule, as it can vary by 10 minutes or so from week to week.
If you’re in the US each episode will air just a few hours later on Sundays at 8/7c, on BBC America.
You can also catch up on older episodes. That’s helped by the BBC’s decision to add every single episode of the show since 2005 – including all the specials – to the iPlayer streaming service, announcing that they’ll stay online until at least the season 11 finale. That means you get every episode from every Doctor from Christopher Eccleston to Peter Capaldi, without paying a penny.
Is there a season 12 trailer?
Yup! It took months, but in November 2019 the Beeb finally dropped our first look at the next season of the show, and it’s a doozy:
Not satisfied? Try the release date trailer, but be warned that it reveals a few of the big cameos and villain returns from the new season:
How can you watch Doctor Who in the US?
Obviously Doctor Who is a British show, but in recent years BBC America has been better about airing the show as close as it can to the British air date, to minimise piracy. That’s the same for season 12 – BBC America is airing each episode in a regular Sunday evening slot at 8/7c.
That’s also what you’ll have to do if you want to take advantage of the BBC’s to decision to add every episode of the show’s modern era so far to iPlayer – so grab a VPN if you know you’ve missed a few and want to catch up.
Alternatively, you can stream every episode of the modern show so far on Amazon Prime Video – though that will change soon. Warner Bros. has acquired exclusive US streaming rights to the series for HBO Max, so going forward that’s where you’ll need to go to watch any and all Doctor Who from 2005 onwards. That will include season 12 and other new episodes, but only after they’re broadcast on BBC America first.
What to expect from the rest of season 12
Understandably we don’t know a lot about the remaining episodes yet, but we do know that one episode will feature the return of everyone’s favourite space rhinos, the Judoon.
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho)
May 21, 2019
We know that the episode in question will guest star Neil Stuke, and showrunner Chris Chibnall also released a short statement hinting at exactly what to expect from it:
“No! Sho! Blo! The Judoon are storming back into Doctor Who in full force, and the streets of Gloucester aren’t safe. If anyone has anything to hide, confess now. The Judoon are taking no prisoners, and will stop at nothing to fulfill their mission! The whole team on Doctor Who are delighted and scared in equal measure to welcome them back: One of many treats we’ve got in store for viewers next series.”
It hasn’t been announced officially, but set photos reveal that another iconic enemy is back this year: the Daleks. It’s not clear if the photo is from season 12 or an upcoming Christmas special, with conflicting reports, but either way they will be exterminating. The Cybermen also pop up in the trailer above, so that’s another big bad coming back.
We also know some of the talent behind the camera, which includes three new writers and four new directors, along with the return of the writers behind some of season 11’s best episodes: Demons of the Punjab, It Takes You Away, and Kerblam! Check out the full list on the BBC site.
What about season 13?
Technically speaking the BBC hasn’t confirmed the next season of Doctor Who. But with strong ratings right now it would be a big shock to not see it come back, and Whitaker at least has confirmed she’s on board for a return.
“Yes, I’m doing another season,” she told EW. “That might be a massive exclusive that I’m not supposed to say, but it’s unhelpful for me to say [I don’t know] because it would be a massive lie! [Laughs] I absolutely adore it. At some point, these shoes are going to be handed
on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight!”