'Doctor Who' Season 12 Won't Materialize Until 2020

You're going to need a TARDIS to see the next season of Doctor Who. On the heels of star Jodie Whittaker confirming that she is staying at the helm of the TARDIS for at least another season, the BBC announced that Doctor Who season 12 is on its way...in 2020. That'll be more than a year after the end of season 11, which wrapped last night. And yes, while we do have at least one Doctor Who episode to look forward to in 2019 with the upcoming New Year's Day special, it's hard to imagine living a full year without the Doctor coming to call.

The BBC confirmed in a statement that Whittaker and co-stars Bradley WalshMandip Gill, and Tosin Cole will return in season 12 alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall. But Team TARDIS will be taking the long way round, as the next season airs not next year, but in 2020.

Chibnall shared his excitement in a statement accompanying the announcement:

We're off again! Well we never actually stopped. As Jodie Whittaker's Doctor and friends have been winning the hearts of families across the nation this autumn, we've been busy with a whole new set of action packed adventures for the Thirteenth Doctor. We adore making this show and have been blown away by the response from audiences, so we can't wait to bring more scares, more monsters and more Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole to BBC One. Brilliant!

Charlotte Moore, BBC's director of content, confirmed that Chibnall and his creative team have already started working on season 12. "We're delighted that the Doctor and her friends will be returning to thrill audiences in 2020. I know Chris and the whole team are already working on a whole new set of exciting adventures," Moore added.

But while this year-long hiatus seems like it could spell trouble for the sci-fi series, this is nothing out of the ordinary for Doctor Who. During the final year of David Tennant's run, the series didn't air a full season but instead aired four hour-long "specials" spread out through the year. And of course, there was the 16-year hiatus that separated classic Doctor Who and New Who. This past season of Doctor Who has been a huge success for the BBC as well, with the first episode of the season becoming the biggest Doctor debut since the series reboot, as well as second-biggest drama episode of 2018 for the BBC. Since then, the season has averaged over 8 million viewers per episode.

For now, we don't need a time machine to watch the upcoming New Year's Day special, which comes out on January 2, 2019. The BBC has released a new trailer for "Who Year's Day" special too, which you can watch below.