Jodie Whittaker gave an update on her experiences filming Doctor Who Series 13 during a mid-November Zoom interview with Doctor Who Magazine writer Emily Cook, published in the magazine’s 2021 Yearbook.
Filming for the series began on November 2, 2020 under strict industry and government guidelines to ensure the safety of all cast and crew.
“We didn’t start up until November because Doctor Who is on such a massive scale. It’s a big show and there’s so much going on. Especially because of prosthetic and things like that, there are interactions with certain departments that have to happen. Other people on other jobs could maybe get away with doing their own hair and make-up. But you just can’t do that on Doctor Who.”
Whittaker further explained in the interview that she feels encouraged while filming Doctor Who with the new COVID-19 safety restrictions.
“The team, the crew have adapted phenomenally. I feel really looked after. And that makes feel as though I’m able to look after other people without being in a position where I am putting anyone at risk. Everybody’s health is being taken very seriously. There’s a lot of [COVID-19] testing. It’s a bit of a relief each time actually, going home and knowing you’ve just had a negative test.”
“…things are a bit slower. But that’s how it should be. If we were maintaining the same production speed, you’d be wondering. ‘What corners are being cut here?’”
Things like handing Whittaker the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver prop become almost ceremonial.
“…my sonic screwdriver would normally go through a lot of people before it gets to me. But now, it’s like the Crown Jewels presented to me in PPE.”
Filming on the Doctor Who set is currently a very positive experience, as Whittaker describes it. In fact, she describes Series 13 in the interview as “The new adventures of the Doctor and Yaz.”
“There’s real respect on set. Nobody’s in any way like, ‘Eurgh, this is annoying.’ Because it’s not annoying; it’s necessary and it’s fine. There’s nothing we can do except follow all the government guidelines and be as responsible as we can.”
“…none of this has taken the joy out of being back on set. It hasn’t taken away any of the fun or any of the banter. We’re still in good spirits.”
“All of us who work on Doctor Who, we’re like a big family. Having not seen the crew for a year — and it’s been a very difficult year — it’s great to finally be back doing what we love.”
With eight episodes planned, it is not yet known when Doctor Who Series 13 will air.
The Doctor Who Magazine 2021 yearbook is available at newsstands and in digital form now.
The next episode of Doctor Who to air will be the New Year’s special, Revolution of the Daleks, January 1, 2021, 6:45 p.m. on BBC One and 8:00 p.m. on BBC America.