Doctor Who's thirteenth season will coincide with the departure of the Thirteenth Doctor, which is either doubly lucky or doubly dangerous, depending on what sort of superstition you subscribe to. For this 13x13 season, the series is taking further risks by changing up the format completely, moving from 10-13 monster of the week stories connected by a loose arc, and going full bore into serialized storytelling with a single six-episode adventure entitled Doctor Who: Flux. It's the first time since the Classic Who years that the series is doing a single adventure over multiple episodes, but the guest cast list is anything but a throwback.
One of the reasons for Doctor Who radically changing formats for 2021 was the ongoing pandemic. Season 13 originally was supposed to start filming in the spring of 2020, but multiple lockdowns and filming protocols caused long delays. More importantly, doing single-episode stories meant bringing in whole new casts for each episode, a difficult proposition with quarantines and testings. The series did one long story, keeping the same guest actors over the entire shoot to minimize turnover.
The series already introduced Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones), who plays Vinder in the new story, and new companion Dan, played by John Bishop, who will join the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and Yaz (Mandip Gill) this year. Thus far, the trailers haven't shown much beyond those two, plus the return of a slew of classic monsters, from old school Sontanans and Cybermen to New Who Weeping Angels and Ood. (Love an Ood!) But with the first promotional photo release, fans got a list of the guest cast that will fill the six-episode roster.
The new season will bring multiple faces aboard viewers will recognize, including Robert Bathurst, Edith's original fiance Sir Anthony Strallen in Downton Abbey and Thaddea Graham, Kat, the busker girlfriend in Us. Kevin McNally was one of the four major suspects in Unforgotten Season 3, and Blake Harrison starred as Neil Sutherland in The Inbetweeners.
Other faces fans might know are Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty), (Damned), Annabel Scholey (Being Human), Gerald Kyd (Harlots), and Penelope Ann McGhie (The Crown). Also joining the roster: Rochenda Sandall (Small Axe), Sam Spruell (The North Water), Craige Els (Ripper Street), Steve Oram (The End of the F-ing World), Nadia Albina (Years and Years), Jonathan Watson (Two Doors Down), Sue Jenkins (It's A Sin) and Paul Broughton (Clink).
Doctor Who's Season 13 will mark actor Jodie Whittaker's final full run of episodes as the 13th Doctor. However, she will return in 2022 in a few Doctor Who specials leading up to the show's 60th anniversary season in 2023 and the regeneration/arrival of the 14th Doctor.
Doctor Who: Flux will debut Sunday, Oct 31, with Episode 1, "The Halloween Apocalypse." The episode will first air on BBC One at 6:25 p.m. BT and follow in the U.S. on BBC America at 8 p.m. ET.