Doctor Who! Showrunner Chris Chibnall, the Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, new Doctor Who cast member John Bishop and a very special surprise guest as they share exclusive content from Doctor Who. Moderated by Salon.com’s Melanie McFarland. Pre-recorded panel produced by the BBC and BBC AMERICA.
Get ready fam, Doctor Who is on its way back! This next season will have a new face in the TARDIS and much more. Joining our moderator were Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor, Mandip Gil’s Yaz, showrunner Chris Chibnall, and (in his Doctor Who debut), John Bishop’s Dan!
As with many other TV shows, COVID had an effect on production. This led to Chibnall’s decision to have one large story for the season, instead of self-contained stories. Each of the eight episodes will be a chapter in that larger story. His claims that it is the “most ambitious” story for the series thus far, and worked around COVID limitations. (In fact, since the cast is still filming in their bubble, the interview featured all four of them without masks in the same room!)
When we pick up with the series, we will see the Doctor and Yaz traveling together for some time. And that’s when they find John Bishop’s Dan. This is our first chance to hear from Bishop, and his joy and respect for his colleagues shine through.
How did John Bishop come to the series? It may come as a surprise that it was due to come much earlier. Chibnall approached Bishop pre-pandemic to join the show, but scheduling conflicts prevented those plans from happening. One global pandemic later, Bishop now gets to set foot in the TARDIS, a place that felt “something of significance” to him when he first opened its doors.
But John Bishop isn’t the only new face in the TARDIS. Game of Thrones fans will recognize Missandei’s love when he drops in during this upcoming season. Jacob Anderson, who brought Grey Worm to life in the Seven Kingdoms, joins the cast as a leather-clad action hero Vinder. Like Whittaker, Anderson also is an alum of Chibnall’s Broadchurch, appearing as the boyfriend of Whittaker’s daughter in the show. A longtime Doctor Who fan, being part of the show has been a “dream come true,” and “the best first day on set” he ever had. There are also some new monsters that we’ll see, one that Gil can’t wait to share with the fans. The panel featured the first trailer for the new season, which the cast was also seeing for the first time!
The panel itself (as I expected) was very light on details. The only promise of a release date was “later this year.” But what we did get to see was how close-knit this cast is. Seeing these people sharing amusing on-set stories and letting their own fandom shine through will have you eager for the next season, whenever it may appear.