Doctor Who is a show built on change, with a massive number of faces having passed through its doors in its 50 long years. Now, current Doctor Peter Capaldi and showrunner Steven Moffat will be departing from the long-running BBC series. And while a new showrunner has already been found, the hunt has yet to begin for The Thirteenth Doctor. It's a tall order to replace any Doctor, and typically involves a lengthy casting process, so how long will it take to replace Capaldi? Once the search officially begins, we're likely to know well before filming begins in 2018.
Radio Times has the scoop on what's going on at Doctor Who, with insiders telling them that the search for The Thirteenth Doctor has not yet begun. Chris Chibnall, who will be replacing Steven Moffat once Season 10 wraps, hasn't been able to devote much time to developing Season 11. He's currently the showrunner of Broadchurch, a crime drama that coincidentally stars former Doctor Who David Tennant. Chibnall has been pouring all of his energy into the third season of Broadchurch, but will focus entirely on Doctor Who once editing is done on the 8-part crime series. It's also being said that Chibnall wants to give as much space as possible to Moffat and Capaldi so that they can wrap Season 10 their way.
Once Broadchurch is finished, Chris Chibnall will take a vacation (gotta refresh those batteries!) before tackling the much-loved sci-fi series. As it stands now, the new season of Doctor Who is slated to begin filming early next year, with an expected broadcast date of autumn 2018. Given that information, we're going to have to know who the new Doctor is by the beginning of 2018 at the latest. This new Doctor will then usher in a new creative era for the show after Moffat steered has finished steering the series.
When Peter Capaldi replaced Matt Smith as the Doctor, he briefly appeared in the 2013 Christmas Special before making his first full appearance in Season 8. Capaldi's final appearance on Doctor Who will take place on the 2017 Christmas Special, and if history repeats itself, we could see a regeneration into the Doctor during the special. That's just speculation, but it makes sense that that would be the place to introduce a new Doctor.
Season 10 of Doctor Who will air later this year and will find Peter Capaldi's doctor teaming up with a new partner, Bill, played by Pearl Mackie. They'll also be accompanied by Nardole (Matt Lucas) who has appeared in the past two Christmas specials. Capaldi's final season of Doctor Who drops April 15 at 9 p.m. EST on BBC America. For more updates on all your favorite shows, head on over to our 2017 midseason premiere guide!