Doctor Who season 13 will begin filming soon, and is still on track for a 2021 release. Doctor Who season 12 proved remarkably controversial, with showrunner Chris Chibnall rewriting the show's history. He revealed the Doctor is not a Time Lord, but rather is the Timeless Child, a mysterious being who potentially predates the universe itself. The revelation has divided the fanbase, with some hoping it can be retconned away, and others reserving judgment till they see where Chibnall goes with this.
As controversial as Chibnall's Doctor Who may have been, in visual terms he's exerted great effort to ensuring the show has a consistent production value beyond anything in its history. Unfortunately that has come at a cost, with the episode count of each season dramatically reduced. Meanwhile, it's also made it impossible to start filming at a time of social distancing. Fans have become increasingly convinced Doctor Who season 13 wouldn't be able to start filming soon enough to release in 2021.
It seems that is not the case. According to Digital Spy, the Doctor Who production team is still planning to begin filming this year as planned. Assuming everything works out, insiders believe season 13 will still be able to come out in 2021 as originally announced.
As exciting as this news may be, it should still be treated with caution. The sad truth is that the pandemic is by nature unpredictable, and film studios are learning that productions will be open to considerable disruption over this year; The Batman is one of the most high-profile Hollywood blockbusters to hit problems after star Robert Pattinson was diagnosed with coronavirus. The UK appears to be seeing a resurgence of the virus right now, leading Prime Minister Boris Johnson to recently announce strict limitations on social interactions. Given that context, it's likely Doctor Who will not be spared disruption of some kind. Still, the BBC wouldn't be hoping to push ahead with Doctor Who season 13 if they didn't believe they had safety precautions and contingency plans in place.
For now, Doctor Who fans will have to be satisfied with the "Time Lord Victorious" transmedia event, the boldest experiment in the show's history. Jodie Whittaker herself will return in a holiday special featuring the Daleks over the New Year, an episode that had finished production prior to the pandemic and its associated lockdowns. Hopefully it then won't be long before Doctor Who season 13 is able to air, and viewers get answers to some of the many questions raised by the last season.