‘Doctor Who’: Season 13 Filming Might Be Delayed Due To Coronavirus

Doctor Who season 13 might be delayed? Say it isn’t so. Unfortunately, it is definitely possible due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines in the U.K.

When we last left the Doctor and her friends

Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker, and Tosin Cole of Doctor Who season 13
Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker and Tosin Cole from Doctor Who | Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

When we last left the Thirteenth Doctor and her companions Ryan Sinclair, Graham O’Brien, and Yasmin Khan, they were still reeling from the shocking events of Doctor Who season 12. The season started with the Doctor and her friends trying to figure out why spies around the world were assassinated by aliens. They are taken by MI6 agents to headquarters where they meet the mysterious “C.” C asks them to investigate what is going on and they agree.

In the process, C gets assassinated himself and they meet a former MI6 agent called “O.” Except, spoiler alert, O isn’t who he appears to be. Instead, he is the Doctor’s biggest enemy, the Master. Haunted by his teasing words about Gallifrey, the Doctor goes to visit her home planet.

She finds it burned and gets a message from the Master: he did it and everything she knows about the Time Lords is wrong because of the Timeless Child being a lie. Adventures ensue and the truth about the Time Lords and the Timeless Child is eventually revealed. It turns out that the Doctor is the Timeless Child and the Time Lords experimented on her to gain their regeneration ability. At the end of the episode, the companions and the Doctor are separated, as they are back on present-day Earth and she is in her TARDIS in the future.

She is then taken by the Judoon and arrested and put in prison for an unknown crime.

Why ‘Doctor Who’ Season 13 might be delayed (and why there’s still some hope it might not be)

Unfortunately for Whovians everywhere, that cliffhanger is where we leave the Doctor. We’re expected to pick up with her adventures in the upcoming special episode “Revolution of the Daleks” and then of course in Doctor Who season 13. However, filming for the latter might need to be delayed. All currently filming BBC shows are being delayed right now.

According to Radio Times, the BBC has stated “In light of the spread of COVID-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on all BBC Studios continuing dramas will be postponed until further notice. The decision was made after the last government update. We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organization and other public health organizations.” Radio Times states that while it might not affect the airings of shows for a while, “the long-term ramifications are still unclear.”

According to another Radio Times article, however, there is some hope. The upcoming special episode “Revolution of the Daleks” was already filmed at the same time as season 12, in winter 2019. The special is supposed to air either at Christmas in 2020 or New Year’s Day in 2021. Doctor Who season 13 is set to film in autumn 2020 and then the show is set to be released sometime later in 2021.

Depending on how the virus progresses in the U.K., it’s definitely possible that filming will take place as planned. If so, the show should be released as expected in 2021. There’s no way of knowing for sure what will happen. For now, all Whovians can do is hope for the best.