It's been a while since Doctor Who fans have heard the sound of the TARDIS. The special New Year's Day episode Revolution of the Daleks put the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) back in action, but it also let two of her companions go back to their regular lives. We've not properly heard the TARDIS, which makes a sound that gives hope to all who hear it, since then.
Hope is restored thanks to Whittaker appearing on an official panel as part of San Diego Comic-Con@Home 2021. Whittaker appeared with Mandip Gill (Yaz), who is thankfully (very thankfully) still traveling with her, and they were joined by incoming companion actor John Bishop. Showrunner Chris Chibnall was also on hand, as was a "special guest."
Not wanting to disappoint, they also debuted their first trailer for the new season:
According to Chibnall, Series 13 will pick up with the Doctor and Yaz having traveled together (just the two of them) for some time, and we'll join them "mid-adventure" as they stumble upon Dan Lewis (Bishop). Chibnall also said that the new season will be less episodic than the two seasons he's run already: "It's all one story, so every episode is a chapter in a bigger story. We've changed the shape of the series for this year."
Aside from Bishop joining the show, Chibnall teased that there will be many incoming guest stars, and that "quite a few of them will recur across multiple episodes." One of these guest stars is the special guest who was teased, and he is none other than Game of Thrones and Broadchurch actor Jacob Anderson. He will play a new character named Vinder.
"I get to play one of my favorite people I've ever played," Anderson (who played Grey Worm on Thrones) said in a video message sent in to the panel. "This is a real-life childhood dream," he explained, and also added, "I think we're all best friends now." He also let it slip that Vinder will have his own ship.
He's a natural fit, as he previously worked with both Whittaker and Chibnall on Broadchurch. Because of the recurring nature of his character, Gill noted, "We've had a really good chance to get to know each other," which Whittaker mostly co-signed by laughing.
"We play-pretend for a living," Whittaker said, adding, "And this is the floor to live out all of the bold and creative and I suppose exciting and nerve-wracking choices that you can't necessarily make when there's a limitation on genre, on period, on etiquette, on class.... all that goes, just come and play." Both Gill and Bishop maintained that spirit starts with Whittaker herself. As Bishop said, "Jodie sets the tone."
Previously in the panel, Whittaker teased that she was excited for fans to see some "old monsters" in the new season, which seems like it is certainly going to go big and bold.
When will the show return? "Later this year" is what we got, but that's more than enough. In the U.S., it will continue to be shown on BBC America. 2021 needs the Doctor, and she's coming.
Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of Comic-Con@Home 2021.