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SYFY WIRE Doctor Who

‘Doctor Who’ will take fewer TARDIS trips in shortened Season 14

But Russell T. Davies is teasing bigger Who-verse happenings on the other side of next year’s 8-episode run.

By Benjamin Bullard
David Tennant in Doctor Who

The Tenth Doctor may be in (again), but David Tennant’s return trip as Doctor Who himself — this time as time traveler no. 14 in the venerable sci-fi series — won’t require quite as many TARDIS trips when the reportedly shorter, 8-episode new season finally does arrive.

Season 14 showrunner Russell T. Davies, also back at the reins of Doctor Who after famously helping revive the series back in 2005, recently explained to Doctor Who Magazine (via Bleeding Cool) that the new season might be compact, but that it also should serve as just the first tasty bite in a more ambitious slate of bigger doings within the endlessly discoverable Who-verse.

“OK, that's fewer episodes than the last full season,” Davies admitted. “But give us time. We have plans, and that's a promise!” 

As if to drive home the assurance, he actually has a well-plotted road map for where the TARDIS is headed once Tennant’s back on board, Davies even offered a rationale for how Season 14 sets up what’s to come afterward: “It takes a while to get the empire in shape, but that's a serious plan: annual Doctor Who, no gap years, lots of content, on and on.”

At least some of that promised packed-out content won’t be too long in the making. “For the first time ever,” said Davies, “I'm writing a Christmas Special… at Christmas! …The 2023 script has been long since signed off. The new one is for end-of-year 2024!”

Considering the 14th Season of Doctor Who is expected to land sometime around late 2023, next year’s holiday season sounds like just the kind of Who content deluge that could slake fans’ current thirst in one big rush. Tennant is set to kick things off next November, starring in a triad of anniversary specials as the story aligns for its next big transition. While it’s not known whether, or where, in Season 14 the story might find Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor ceding the role over to inbound Fifteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa, both Tennant and Gatwa are still on track to take up the Time Lord's mantle as the series picks up where outgoing Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker left off.

At least U.S. fans won’t have to scour for info about where to catch all the BBC-based action: Back in October, Disney revealed that Disney+ would become the new streaming home for future seasons of the iconic series, making the platform viewers’ one-stop bingeing stop for everything new in the Who-verse.

Looking for more sci-fi fun and adventure? Check out SYFY's Resident Alien, streaming now on Peacock.