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Series 13 Rumour Mill

With a new series of Doctor Who coming our way later this year, the rumour mill has already swung into full gear speculating what's in store for the series viewers. Most of the time these rumours are strictly that - rumours, nothing more. But there has been occasion when a rumour has come true.

So what are some of the current rumours swirling around fandom, the internet, and in public?

JODIE WHITAKER TO LEAVE AT THE END OF THE SEASON
Several weeks ago, British newspaper The Daily Mirror reported that Whittaker will be leaving the role at the close of the new series, likely following a tradition of Doctors leaving after around three seasons in the role. According to an insider, “It’s all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration. Her departure is top secret but at some point over the coming months the arrival of the fourteenth Doctor will need to be filmed. It’s all very exciting." However, when the BBC was questioned by several news sources to confirm this information, a spokesperson for the channel replied, “We won’t be commenting on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show." Whether or not if it's true that Jodie is leaving, it seems sources within the series production are keeping tightlipped.

CHRIS CHIBNALL WILL BE STEPPING DOWN AS SHOW-RUNNER
Chris Chibnall will be stepping down as the series showrunner at the end of series 13 despite reports suggesting otherwise. Apparently the BBC have already found Chibnall’s replacement in the form of Pete McTighe (he penned the episode “Kerblam!” and was co-writer with Chibnall on the episode “Praexus”) who will be taking over as showrunner with series 14.

NO CLASSIC MONSTERS APPEARING IN SERIES 13
According to series show-runner Chris Chibnall, Doctor Who Season 13 looks set to bring back some high profile baddies to face off with the Doctor. “Yes, more monsters are coming back,” Chibnall told the Radio Times magazine. "There are ones who’ve appeared over the past 15 years that are deserving of another visit in the next series." Thanks to several leaked filming photos it appears that the Sontarans (last seen regularly during the Matt Smith era), sporting a new look will appear, while another photo apparently showed a Weeping Angel advancing on some victims. It also appears that the Daleks will also be appearing in the forthcoming season.

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT A NEW COMPANION?
Early this year, it was announced that comedian and actor John Bishop will be joining the series as new character Dan. The news was confirmed in a 30-second teaser that opened on the Liverpool waterfront before showing Bishop packing up a transit van and being read aloud his horoscope by a builder colleague. Apparently Dan has surprises in store, the colour blue and the letter D are both significant, and his lucky number’s 13…

JOHN BARROWMAN WILL RETURN AS CAPTAIN JACK.
While there might be a grain of truth in John Barrowman making an appearance as Captain Jack since he appeared in the last series with the door left open for him to return. The recent revival of stories of Barrowman's allegedly inappropriate behaviour on the set of Doctor Who and Torchwood in the past may kill off that possibility even if it was going to be true, though.

JO MARTIN HAS BEEN CAST AS THE FOURTEENTH DOCTOR
Several recent media reports have confirmed that Jo Martin, who appeared as Ruth Clayton/The Doctor in the season 12 stories “Fugitive of the Judoon” and “The Timeless Children”, has been cast and will appear as the new Doctor following on from the thirteenth regeneration at the end of the season. So far there has been no confirmation on this report, in fact, there have been numerous rumoured reports that the fourteenth Doctor will be a man.

THE VIRUS HAS AFFECTED FILMING
On November 12, 2020, the BBC announced that filming had begun on series 13, two months later than scheduled due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The newly introduced safety protocols to protect crew and cast from the virus had significantly slowed down production to the point that only eight of the planned 11 episodes would be possible within the series time frame. Whether that eight includes another festive special is to be confirmed. The production team is confident that series 13 will start in 2021 and the January 1st John Bishop casting news was accompanied by the promise that the new episodes would air “later this year.” The usual 10-month filming schedule would take production all the way to August 2021, which means we’re unlikely to see series 13 debut before late autumn/winter.

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