‘Doctor Who’ season 11: release date, trailer, photos, cast, plot and everything you need to know

It's arriving later this year....

Listen up, earthlings. That Time Lord from Gallifrey is returning to our screens later this year – with Jodie Whittaker becoming the first woman to ever play the Doctor.

With only months to go, here is everything we know about it –  from trailers and cast updates to all the juicy plot details.

New updates

  • The new team of writers has been unveiled – and it includes Former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman. Check out below for the full list.

When is Doctor Who series 11 hitting our screens and how many episodes are there?

Although a precise release date is yet to be revealed, it’s expected that Jodie Whittaker’s first full season as The Doctor will hit our screens this autumn.

There will be 10 episodes, making it the shortest season since the show returned in 2005.

Although an air date is yet to be revealed, it’s been confirmed that production has wrapped – which means that the show’s return isn’t too far off.

It’s also been rumoured that the show could move to a Sunday evening slot, too.

Rumours have persisted about Who moving slots ever since it was first reported by The Mirror earlier this year.

Although showrunner Chris Chibnall hasn’t commented on the reports, he has stressed that this year’s series will be a “great moment to bring everyone onboard”.

In short, a fresh and earlier slot could make perfect sense – and it will allow younger fans to watch it too.

“We’ve got 10 standalone stories,” he said at San Diego Comic-Con.

“Lots of new villains, lots of new characters for you to fall in love with…

“This year is the perfect jumping-on point for that person in your life who has never watched Doctor Who. There is no barrier to entry this year. When a new Doctor comes in, with new friends, it’s a great moment to bring everybody on board.”

In an interview with Digital Spy in August, British screenwriter Neil Gaiman expressed a desire to write for the programme again.

Gaiman previously penned the episodes ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ and ‘Nightmare In Silver’ in 2011 and 2013 respectively but hasn’t found the time to write another one since.

“If you examine my DNA and you go in deep enough, with a good enough microscope,” he said, “you’re gonna see a TARDIS, with a little light blinking on the top!

“So the idea of writing for Jodie, or for her successor, whoever she/he/they happen to be, is… yeah, it’s Doctor Who! You can’t say no.”

Who’s writing the new episodes?

The BBC has announced the team of new writers who will be creating adventures in time and space – led by popular author Malorie Blackman.

Describing the honour, Blackman said: “I’ve always loved Doctor Who. Getting the chance to write for this series has definitely been a dream come true.”

Check out the list of writers below.

  • Writers: Malorie Blackman
  • Ed Hime
  • Vinay Patel
  • Pete McTighe
  • Joy Wilkinson

Have we had a trailer yet?

Although a full trailer is yet to drop, a first-glimpse look dropped after the World Cup final in July.

There’s no sight of Whittaker, but it shows new cast members Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh.

A second teaser was released as part of the show’s participation in this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego. This one does star new doctor Whittaker, who ends the clip saying: “Right, this is gonna be fun!” Watch it below.

Who are the new companions?

As previously mentioned, Whittaker will be joined by three new companions played by Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh.

Gill will play Yasmin Khan, Cole will play Ryan Sinclair and Walsh will portray Graham.

Describing the role, Walsh said: “I remember watching William Hartnell as the first Doctor. Black and white made it very scary for a youngster like myself.

“I was petrified but even though I’d watch most of it from behind the sofa through my fingers, I became a fan. I then queued up for ages to get into the Carlton picture house in Watford to watch the great Peter Cushing appear as the Doctor in a full length feature film made in glorious colour. Am I thrilled to be part of this whole ground breaking new dawn for the Doctor?? Oh yes!”

Showrunner Chris Chibnall has now explained why there are three companions this series, instead of the traditional one. Speaking to Digital Spy, he said: “I love Doctor Who as a big, popular, mainstream, accessible show. So I wanted to make sure that every member of the audience felt they had a relatable character, an access point. Hopefully, it means that the show can resonate with the broadest possible audience.”

He added that the change isn’t the first time the programme has featured more than one companion. “And of course, three companions with the Doctor… we’re really going back to 1963 – that’s the format of the show!” he said. “You’re not changing the format, that’s how it started, really – which I only realised afterwards.”

Have we seen any photos of what to expect?

Yes! The main one being the look that Jodie Whittaker will rock during her Tardis tenure.

Take a look below.

Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor

 

And then there’s the concept art for Jodie Whittaker’s Sonic Screwdriver.

It’s a world away from the usual futuristic look – with Whittaker instead opting for a creation that looks like it’s straight from the otherworldly realms of Gallifrey.

 

We’ve also seen the release of the below images, which give the briefest idea of what to expect from the companions.

What do we know about the plot?

So far, details are scant about the specifics of the Doctor’s next adventures in Time and Space.

Although nothing’s been confirmed, one story will reportedly be set in segregation-era America and focus on the story of Civil Rights hero Rosa Parks.

Another will reportedly take place in the 17th century and focuses on witchcraft (including a guest appearance from Alan Cumming as Stuart King James I).

In an interview with Deadline, Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall revealed the new series would be “more inclusive” and wouldn’t require viewers to be big fans of the show to understand what was going on.

“I want to take those elements that’ve gone before in a new direction without losing any of the rich history of the show,” Whittaker explained. “The way we’ve been operating is that if you’ve been a fan of this show for the last 20 years or 50 years, then this will absolutely carry on your passion, and engagement, and excitement. But if you’re brand new to it, that’s OK too. You don’t need to have an encyclopedic knowledge to come into this with fresh eyes, and that’s of any age or gender. I think that’s what’s been exciting for me because I didn’t come at this as a Whovian, and this is a show that’s inclusive rather exclusive and that’s great.”

Chibnall added the series would be comprised of 10 standalone stories. “Every week, we’re in a different world with the different characters and the new monsters,” he said. “You are really making a new movie every week. You know, the only thing that stays constant is the Doctor and her friends.”

He continued: “I want everybody to be very, very included in the series. So, a lot of new adventures, a lot of new settings, lots of new characters to fall in love with, and lots of new monsters, you’ll see.”

Credit: Gettty

Chibnall, Whittaker, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole, plus exec producer Matt Strevens also recently made an appearance at Comic-Con. Chibnall said the new series will be different as it features writers of colour for the first time, along with female guest writers, directors and editors.

“People need to know the business is for them as well,” Strevens said.

Whittaker also revealed the Doctor’s new sonic screwdriver on stage and it appeared to have had quite a makeover.

The screwdriver still had its iconic sound though and was actually available for purchase at Comic-Con. If you weren’t at the show, the 7.4-inch-long toy will hit shelves in August.

Who is the showrunner?

Steven Moffatt departed at the end of the last series, and it’s Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall taking the reins.

His appointment was announced in 2016.

What’s this I hear about a new theme tune?

Yep, Doctor Who’s iconic theme tune is to receive a reworking.

The man responsible is composer Segun Akinola, entrusted with creating “a fresh take on the legendary theme tune”.

“Welcome to the Doctor Who family, Segun Akinola!” new Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall previously said.

“We’re over the moon Segun’s agreed to join us, to provide the score for the next phase of the Doctor Who adventure.

“From our very first conversations, it was obvious Segun was a passionate, collaborative and delightful human being as well as a fantastic and bold composer. We’re looking forward to introducing the world to his exciting and emotional soundtracks for the Thirteenth Doctor.”

“Doctor Who is woven into the fabric of British culture and recognised globally,” Sekinola said.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be given the privilege of working on such a beloved series and to bring my musical voice to it.”