Doctor Who almost got canceled during the pandemic

They say that only two things will survive the(increasingly likely) nuclear apocalypse: twinkies and cockroaches. However, the list should be amended to include Doctor Who. Throughout the storied history of the British sci-fi institution, Doctor Who has faced threats of cancellation almost as frequently as any other member of the titular character's rogue's gallery. From about as far back as the end of the first Doctor's tenure, the series has always been a few inches away from the proverbial chopping block. At one point, under the supervision of the dastardly Micahel Grade, the BBC gave our favorite Timelord the old heave-ho, only to have the series regenerate twice afterward. 

Even though it seems like it should be unlikely now, given Doctor Who's fiercely loyal and sizeable fandom, the series still squares off with cancellation more often than it should. According to Comic Book Resources, Doctor Who once again crossed blades with cancellation during the pandemic. 

In an interview with Radio Freaks Skaro, Chibnall admitted that "there was a week where [Doctor Who: Flux] was not going to be made." He continued, "And because the BBC was just like — the BBC studios, and it's like, where's the money coming from? How are we going to do this? Is it too difficult? And it literally went down to the wire of like, yeah, there was an hour on one day when it's like, it was done. And yeah, we had to do — there are certain things I had to do to get that season made. Because they couldn't find a way to do it."

Chibnall added that the series star, Jodie Whittaker, gave up several job offers "to do the third season, which, obviously because it had moved in the schedule, you know, she had stuff lined up for when we were supposed to finish shooting, but then was delayed by the pandemic." Whittaker premiered as the 13th Doctor, and the first woman to play the role, in 2018. She and Chibnall, who also joined the series in 2018, announced in July 2021 that they would both hand over the keys to the TARDIS with a trio of specials airing in fall 2022. Chibnall said in a previous statement that he and Whittaker had agreed to do three seasons of the show together before moving on.

"And you know, she's in demand, and so she sacrificed a lot," Chibnall continued. "Everybody sacrificed a lot. But again, see now it's like, we're into that – everybody's sacrifice and painful, but it's not that at all! But yeah, we did have those moments. Yeah, completely. And there was, yeah, there's some things like, I'll just keep to myself."