If there's one thing that BBC's Doctor Who has an uncanny ability to do is keep itself in the headlines even when they're in the middle of long stretches of time between seasons. In front of the camera, viewers said hello and goodbye to John Barrowman's Captain Jack and final series goodbyes to Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Ryan (Tosin Cole)- and then caught a brief look at Series 13 companion Dan (John Bishop). Behind the scenes, production on the upcoming 8-episode series has already started- even as rumors that Jodie Whittaker will be exiting the role after the upcoming series (but with showrunner Chris Chibnall remaining) continue to flow.
So maybe it's good that we take a second and reflect back on the previous season- the one that flipped the franchise and shook it to its core, leaving viewers questioning everything they thought they knew about the Doctor, the Time Lords, and Gallifrey. One person who played an important role in all of this was the Master, excellently portrayed by Sacha Dhawan and making his dramatic reveal in Series 12 opener "Spyfall, Part 1." So in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Master's first small-screen appearance, Doctor Who Magazine asked Dhawan what the highlight has been of his run so far. His response makes perfect sense. "Recording the reveal – that 'O' was in fact the Master in disguise – was my highlight of being in Doctor Who," answered the actor. "It was so special because no one apart from [executive producers] Chris [Chibnall] and Matt [Strevens] had seen how I was going to play it, so it was the crew who got to see that first switch of me becoming the Master. They've seen so many actors come in and out playing the Doctor and the Master, so I really trusted their opinion. They were incredibly encouraging and supportive. Everyone was, especially Jodie."
Chibnall and the team are already hard at work on Series 13 production, revealing last month, "We're filming as we speak. We've got lots of new characters, new monsters, some old ones coming back. We're only a few weeks in. It's very different, but we obviously have to work in a very different way, under COVID protocols. So, it's not without its challenges, but every series of 'Doctor Who' has had its challenges. At the moment, everybody's smiling." Now for the question that we're sure he's going to hear a lot over the next several months: so when will viewers be able to see it? Surprisingly, it sounds like Chibnall does know- it's just that there are some "higher powers" out there who would prefer he stay quiet for now. "Yeah, I've got an idea," Chibnall answered with a laugh. "But Charlotte Moore (BBC Chief Content Officer) would send 'the boys' round if I told you any hints. As soon as finish it, I promise we'll put it on telly straight away."
And even though their "Revolution" may be over (for now), is there any possibility of seeing the domed big-bads make a return in Series 13? Chibnall wouldn't say one way or another- but he did confirm that some familiar faces of the monster persuasion will be making their returns. "Yes, more monsters are coming back. There are ones who've appeared over the past 15 years that are deserving of another visit in the next series. In fact, they're probably formulating their plans as we speak…"