Rumours from BBC sources have suggested that there will be another long hiatus between the next two seasons of Doctor Who.
It now appears that fans should expect another extended gap before new showrunner Chris Chibnall’s first season arrives on our screens next year.
Current star Peter Capaldi announced earlier this week that he will be departing the show in this year’s Christmas special.
It’s being reported on Radio Times from BBC sources that the search for Capaldi’s replacement isn’t even due to begin until “the middle of this year” and that Season 11 won’t start filming until “early next year with a likely broadcast in the autumn of 2018.”
The article says that “the search for a new Doctor will be completed in [autumn 2017].”
This all heavily suggests a return to the production pattern of Season 8 and Season 9 in 2014 and 2015, with filming commencing in January and the new season launching around September time.
Although the announcement of Chibnall as Moffat’s replacement was announced in January 2016, the Broadchurch creator apparently told Radio Times on Monday that he has “not yet been able to fully dedicate himself to Doctor Who.”
The final season of Broadchurch begins on ITV later this month, following which Chibnall “plans to take a holiday before beginning work in earnest on Doctor Who.”
Another hiatus is likely to frustrate fans, but the one positive thing that could result from the delay is the possibility of the show’s first surprise regeneration.
With Capaldi’s final scenes set to take place in this year’s festive special at the end of December and his replacement not not due to begin filming until January, it technically wouldn’t be impossible for the casting of the new Doctor to be kept a secret until the regeneration airs on Christmas Day.
Update [16 February 2017]
Well-respected media news publication Broadcast has now also corroborated the report.
They wrote: “The first Chibnall-helmed season won’t air until autumn 2018.”
Are you looking forward to Chris Chibnall’s first season? Let us know below…