Doctor Who (series 12)

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Doctor Who (series 12)
Doctor Who Series 12.png
Promotional poster
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original networkBBC One
Series chronology
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Series 11
List of Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)

The twelfth series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who is set to premiere on 1 January 2020. The series will be the second to be led by Chris Chibnall as head writer and executive produce, alongside executive producer Matt Strevens. This series will be the twelfth to air following the programme's revival in 2005, and will be the thirty-eighth season overall. The twelfth series is set to be broadcast on Sundays, bar the premiere episode, continuing on from the eleventh series, after regular episodes of the revived era have previously been broadcast on Saturdays.

Jodie Whittaker is due to return for her second series as the Thirteenth Doctor, the most recent incarnation of the Doctor, an alien Time Lord who travels through time and space in the TARDIS, which appears to be a British police box on the outside. The series also stars Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill as the Doctor's travelling companions, Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan, respectively.

The ten episodes were directed by Jamie Magnus Stone, Lee Haven Jones, Nida Manzoor and Emma Sullivan. Alongside Chibnall, who wrote four scripts for the twelfth series, the writers include Ed Hime, Pete McTighe and Vinay Patel, who return from writing for the previous series, as well as new contributors Nina Métivier, Maxine Alderton and Charlene James. Filming for the series commenced in January 2019 and concluded by November of that year. The series will be succeeded by a special episode.


The twelfth series will include two-part stories for the first time since the tenth series, and more than one two-part story for the first time since the ninth series.[1] Writers include Chris Chibnall, Ed Hime, Pete McTighe, Vinay Patel, Nina Métivier, Maxine Alderton and Charlene James.[2]

StoryEpisodeTitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [3]UK viewers
(millions) [4]
AI [4]
288a1"Spyfall: Part One"Jamie Magnus Stone[5]Chris Chibnall[2]1 January 2020 (2020-01-01)[6]TBDTBD
288b2"Spyfall: Part Two"Lee Haven Jones[7]Chris Chibnall[6]5 January 2020 (2020-01-05)[8]TBDTBD
TBA3TBALee Haven Jones[7]TBA2020 (2020)TBDTBD
TBA4TBANida Manzoor[9]TBA2020 (2020)TBDTBD
TBA5TBAJamie Magnus Stone[5]TBA2020 (2020)TBDTBD
TBA6TBANida Manzoor[9]TBA2020 (2020)TBDTBD
TBA7TBAEmma Sullivan[10]TBA2020 (2020)TBDTBD
TBA8TBAEmma Sullivan[10]TBA2020 (2020)TBDTBD
TBA9TBAJamie Magnus Stone[5]TBA2020 (2020)TBDTBD
TBA10TBAJamie Magnus Stone[5]Chris Chibnall[2]2020 (2020)TBDTBD
TBA"Series 12 Special"Lee Haven Jones[12]TBA2020 (2020)TBDTBD


The series is the second series to feature Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.[13][14] Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill will also reprise their roles as Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan, respectively.[15][16] Molly Harris is set to appear as a character named Suki Cheng.[5] Neil Stuke is also set to star in Series 12, as are the Judoon.[17] Jo Martin is set to appear as a character named Ruth Clayton.[18] Anjli Mohindra, who had previously portrayed Rani Chandra in the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, is set to play a character named Queen Skithra.[19] Julia Foster is also set to appear as a character named Marcia.[19] Aurora Marion is set to play Noor Inayat Khan.[20][21] James Buckley is also to appear as a character named Nevi.[22] Maxim Baldry is also set to appear in a historical episode.[23] Jacob Collins-Levy is also set to appear in an episode.[24] Dominique Maher will play Agent Browning and Darron Meyer will portray a character called Seesay.[25] Lenny Henry and Stephen Fry are also set to appear in Series 12.[26] Robert Glenister and Goran Višnjić have also been cast in Series 12.[27]


Writing and development[edit]

In April 2015, Steven Moffat confirmed that Doctor Who would run for at least another five years, extending the show until 2020.[28] In May 2017, it was announced that due to the terms of a deal between BBC Worldwide and SMG Pictures in China, the company has first right of refusal on the purchase for the Chinese market of future series of the programme until and including Series 15.[29][30]

Chris Chibnall is set to return as the series' showrunner, the role he took on following Steven Moffat's departure after the tenth series.[13] Matt Strevens returns to serve as executive producer alongside Chibnall.[31] Ed Hime, who wrote the penultimate episode of the previous series, "It Takes You Away", is set to write an episode for the series.[32] Nina Métivier, who served as script editor on the previous series, is set to write an episode for this series.[33]

In November 2019, Doctor Who Magazine revealed the writers for the twelfth series, including Vinay Patel, Pete McTighe, Maxine Alderton and Charlene James, as well as Hime, Métivier and Chibnall; Chibnall wrote four episodes of the series.[2] The Cybermen are set to appear in the series.[34] In a Radio Times article, Chibnall confirmed that Series 12 would feature the return of two-part stories.[1]


Costume designer Ray Holman listed the twelfth series as being in pre-production in November 2018.[35] By 17 November, BBC confirmed that Whittaker's second series had begun production.[13] Jamie Magnus Stone, who previously directed the fiftieth-anniversary minisode "The Last Day", directed the first block, which comprised the first and fifth episodes of the series.[36][5] Lee Haven Jones directed the second and third episodes in the second block, Nida Manzoor directed the third block of the fourth and sixth episodes,[9] Emma Sullivan directed the fourth block of the seventh and eighth episodes,[10] and Stone directed the fifth block of the ninth and tenth episodes.[7] A special episode was filmed by Lee Haven Jones.[12][11]

Filming commenced on 23 January 2019.[37] Filming began in Cape Town, South Africa,[38][39] and concluded in South Africa 7 February 2019, with location filming taking place at Western Cape, Hopefield,[40] Table Mountain[41] and Taal Monument.[42] Filming took place in Cardiff and Wales between February and October 2019.[43][44][45][46][20][47][48][49][50][51][52] Filming has also taken place in Tenerife,[53] Gloucester,[54] and Merthyr Mawr.[23] Filming concluded by 19 November 2019.[55]

Production blocks are arranged as follows:

Block Episode(s) Director Writer(s) Producer Ref(s)
1 Spyfall: Part One Jamie Magnus Stone Chris Chibnall[2] Nikki Wilson [13][5]
Episode 5 TBA
2 Spyfall: Part Two Lee Haven Jones Chris Chibnall Alex Mercer [7][6]
Episode 3 TBA
3 Episode 4 Nida Manzoor Nikki Wilson [19][9][55]
Episode 6
4 Episode 7 Emma Sullivan Alex Mercer [7][10]
Episode 8
5 Episode 9 Jamie Magnus Stone TBA Nikki Wilson [7]
Episode 10 Chris Chibnall[2]
X Series 12 Special Lee Haven Jones TBA Alex Mercer [12][11]



The BBC confirmed after the eleventh series' finale that the twelfth series will premiere in "very early" 2020.[15][16][3] BBC confirmed on 2 December 2019 that the series was set to premiere on 1 January 2020,[6] and will air through to March 2020.[56] The twelfth series is set to be broadcast on Sundays, bar the premiere episode, continuing on from the eleventh series, after regular episodes of the revived era have previously been broadcast on Saturdays.[6] The series will be succeeded by a special episode.[11]

The "Spyfall" two-part episode is set to be released in cinemas in the United States on 5 January 2020.[8]


The first poster for the twelfth series was released on 21 November 2019.[57] The first trailer for the series was released on 23 November 2019, coinciding with the programme's fifty-sixth anniversary.[58][34] A second trailer was released on 2 December 2019 alongside news of the series' premiere date.[6] A teaser for episode 1 was released on December 3rd.


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