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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

"Very early in 2020." The head of the British Broadcasting Corporation himself made that seemingly definitive but actually very vague announcement.

BBC director general Tony Hall was speaking shortly after the airing of this year's New Year's Day special. That means that when Season 12 premieres, fans will have been waiting more than a year between new episodes.

Fans have become accustomed to long waits, but technically this one's worse than usual. The final episode of Season 11 aired all the way back in July 2017, and the first proper episode of Season 12 didn't air until October 2018. However, there was the Christmas special in between to tide viewers over.

That Christmas special became a New Year's special last season, and there's been no announcement of another one, meaning that fans will be going from Jan. 1, 2019, until whatever "early in 2020" means.

It's possible, though, that he's referring to another New Year's special, which would be a very literal application of "early," but analysts so far are expecting February or March.

We know that shooting began in January, though, so any of those timelines is possible (which is a very "Doctor Who" statement).


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