Doctor Who series 13 cut by three episodes over coronavirus

Doctor Who season 13 will be three episodes shorter due to the coronavirus pandemic restricting filming, it has been confirmed.

Showrunner Chris Chibnall has confirmed the upcoming series will span eight episodes compared to the 11 that were originally planned. 

Filming recently began and will take place over 10 months with hopes of airing the season late in 2021. 

Chibnall explained in a statement to The Mirror: ‘In this strangest of years, the Doctor Who production team have worked wonders to get the show back into production. 

‘Given the complexity of making Doctor Who, and with new and rigorous Covid working protocols, it’s going to take us a little longer to film each episode, meaning we expect to end up with eight episodes, rather than the usual 11.’ 

The producer stated: ‘But rest assured, the ambition, humour, fun and scares you expect from Doctor Who will all still be firmly in place. For everyone around the world, this is a challenging period — but the Doctor never shirks from a challenge.’ 

Doctor Who’s executive producer Matt Strevens said he was ‘thrilled to have unlocked the tardis’ and ‘dusted down the sonic’ to be able to start filming again. 

Strevens added: ‘The amazing production team, crew and cast have worked wonders to get us shooting again in these challenging times. It’s going to be as fun filled and action packed as ever – with plenty of surprises.’ 

Fans will get their dose of Doctor Who beforehand with the Christmas special set to air in December. 

First shots of the special, titled Revolution of the Daleks, show Graham (Bradley Walsh), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) looking deep in thought as they’re sat together – without the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker). 

The episode is set to see the Doctor locked away alone, while Graham, Yaz and Ryan attempt to get on with their lives without her.

Following a cliffhanger ending to series 12, showrunner Chris Chibnall previously said of the Christmas special: ‘We can’t leave the Doctor there! On that cliffhanger! Well, we did. But rest assured, the Doctor and her friends will be back for a one-off extended Special around Christmas and New Year.’ 

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