It’s varied over the years, but the format of a season of the revived series of Doctor Who has usually been a mix of single episode storylines and two-parters. 2018’s season 11, however, did away with two-part stories completely in order to streamline things and keep the show accessible for fresh audiences to hop on board for Jodie Whittaker’s first year in the TARDIS. Now that the introductions are out of the way, though, season 12 is set to reinstate them.
This is what showrunner Chris Chibnall has just confirmed in an interview with Radio Times. The EP made clear his appreciation of a dual-episode narrative and promised that there will be some “epic” two-parters in season 12. So, get ready for some amazing, nail-biting cliffhangers.
“I love a two-parter. And our two-parters are epic this year. We always knew last year would be those 10 standalone stories, and this year we wanted to weave things in a bit more… I think you can tell different types of stories within a Doctor Who two-parter. I love a Doctor Who cliffhanger.”
Chibnall added that, though he deliberately avoided multi-part stories last year, he did sneak a cliffhanger in at the end of the season premiere, which saw the Thirteenth Doctor and pals teleported into the vacuum of space (don’t worry, they survived).
“Obviously even though we didn’t officially do two-parters last year, you could argue that [The Woman Who Fell to Earth] has a cliffhanger into the second. A two-parter that wasn’t a two-parter!”
These comments hint at a confirmation of a recent report from The Mirror that claimed season 12 would kick off with a two-parter that was huge in scale, beginning on New Year’s Day and continuing the following Saturday. This season’s expected to return to Who‘s typical home of Saturday night as well, after season 11 experimented with a new Sunday time slot. But again, these claims have yet to be verified by the BBC. Expect the official schedule to be released soon, though.
In related news, the recent trailer confirmed multiple returning monsters for season 12 – including Judoon and the Cybermen. Overall, it seems Chibnall’s made a concentrated effort to ensure this run is much more traditional than season 11, then. Let’s hope the tactic works when Doctor Who returns in January.