Though the SDCC has become a casualty of the COVID pandemic once again, it’s operating at Comic-Con @ Home variant and there’s various teasers coming out of its virtual programming. One of these was a near-forty minute pre-recorded panel for the next season of Doctor Who – with showrunner Chris Chibnall, stars Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill and newcomer John Bishop… and another guest revealing a recurring role.
There were several key elements revealed, though most things remain vague at this point. The first was that the next season of Doctor Who will actually be one main story, with various elements, running through the season – something that Chris Chibnall describes as the most ambitious thing they’ve done. It’s not the first time the show has attempted this structure, but in the modern era the season has had a mystery or an arc rather than it being one story in and of itself. This is partly a reaction to pragmatic considerations of having had to film during the pandemic and might also help with production costs – though it’s not clear if the concept of the season and its production were retooled in light of COVID and original ideas put aside. Newcomer John Bishop, who will play Dan Lewis, said there were no real egos involved in the show but joked that while he’s been working on the show for months, he’s been so used to seeing everyone behind the camera wearing masks, that he could probably walk past most of the non-actors in the street without recognising them. He also talked about the problems of farting on a sound-stage…
It will mean that some of the major guest-stars will recur across the season, including the announcement that actor/musician Jason Anderson (Game of Thrones and Broadchurch) will be a significant addition called Vinder. He explained what a geek he was (the bookshelf behind him proved his credentials) and how important the first time on the Tardis felt to him.
Recent ‘leaks’ have suggested that Whittaker is leaving the role, but there was no mention of this and certainly the camaraderie between the cast-members was clear for all to see.
There’s also the new trailer at approximately 37:06 if you can’t wait… though it doesn’t reveal much apart from character reactions.