With Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi bowing out as the 12th version of the legendary Time Lord, book makers in the UK are already setting bets on who'll become the 13th Doctor.
But while some want to claim the actors announcement was "shocking" it's fairly clear that when showrunner Steven Moffat announced his departure last year it was a good bet that Capaldi would step down after three seasons as the intrepid time traveler, mirroring 11th Doctor Matt Smith's three year run.
But while awaiting for a new Doctor is both scary and exciting, the BBC continues to test the will of its long-time fans by lengthening the gap between seasons.When Doctor Who returned on Christmas Day 2016, it had been a full year since the last time the show had aired an original episode. But another four month gap is following, with April 15, 2017 now being the start of the 10th season. And baring no interruptions, that 12-episode run should air through early July. But there will be another five month gap before the Christmas episode airs. This story, of course, will be Capaldi's final episode as the Doctor.
But what will happen with season 11? New showrunner, Chris Chibnall is currently in the final stages of editing the third season of his Broadchurch. With that series launch scheduled for February 27, and running 8 weeks, the writer will then finally be able to devote his full time energy to the 2018 season of Doctor Who. Which means that series eleven won't start until the fall of next year, providing at least another nine month gap between new episodes.
But he has a lot of work to do. He must choose a new Doctor that everyone at the BBC likes, and has to write the bulk of episodes, which sort of explains why the show will need another long hiatus. But there is a line of thought that BBC does this deliberately, not because of costs (the show is expensive to make), but more so to build fan antici.......pation.
Fair or not?