Doctor Who spoilers: Jodie Whittaker spills on Legend of the Sea Devils special

Doctor Who returns with a brand new special this month – here’s what to expect!

In a swashbuckling special adventure, the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) come face to fin with one of the Doctor’s oldest adversaries: the Sea Devils.

A teaser shares: “Why has legendary pirate queen Madam Ching come searching for a lost treasure? What terrifying forces lurk beneath the oceans of the nineteenth century? And did Yaz really have to dress Dan up as a pirate?”

Legend of the Sea Devils airs on BBC One and iPlayer on Sunday, 17 April.

Showrunner Chris Chibnall shared: “This special sees the TARDIS crew landing in a coastal village in China, on the trail of the mystery of the treasure of the Flor de la Mar, which the Doctor has been meaning to find out about for a long time. When they get there, they discover some very strange events and a terrible evil being unleashed in this village!”

Speaking about his inspiration for the episode, he added: “We had been intending to do a piratey story during Flux and we didn’t manage to make it work for all sorts of reasons.

“So when it came to thinking about the final specials that was one of things I really wanted to revisit, to do a big, thrilling Bank Holiday romp of an adventure for Jodie’s penultimate story, featuring a warrior pirate queen. Ella (Road) then came to us with the idea of Madam Ching – this incredible character from history – and it all knitted together thanks to her.”

Meanwhile Jodie revealed: “We’re a few centuries off where the Doctor was aiming for and we stumble across a period in history that is a first for the Doctor Who universe. The TARDIS knows that it’s going to China so Yaz and the Doctor have prepared appropriately for it but Dan gets a bit of a bum steer and his costume is all wrong!

“It’s a Pirates of the Caribbean style sci-fi, action adventure that marries historical characters with Whovian characters with a really brilliant high octane Doctor Who adventure.”

Praising the work that went into the set, Jodie continued: “The art department worked night and day to create a really extraordinary set and I think it’s the biggest one that we’ve worked on. We walked into an incredible pirate ship – it has so many different levels, it was really epic.

“It has so much depth and detail and also I think it was one boat that ended up being three different ones and in the episode, you can tell that the art department have worked so hard for that to go completely unnoticed.”

Legend of the Sea Devils is the second in a trio of specials airing in 2022. Jodie Whittaker’s final feature-length special will air in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

Looking towards her final episode, Jodie said:”It’s interesting because time wise, it’s such a long time off (before they air). What’s great about the standalone episodes are that if you do watch it now and then you watch another episode in autumn, you don’t need to rewatch it to understand what’s happening in the next one.

“They are great standalone individuals stories, that obviously marry all of my seasons together, build on relationships and things like that. But they are also these individual set pieces that can be dipped into and watched without the context of the rest of the show, which I think is really important.

“It shouldn’t exclude viewers and or may you feel like you need to go back and do homework to watch something!”

A replacement of Jodie in the role of the Doctor has yet to be announced.

You can catch up on past episodes of Doctor Who on BBC iPlayer here.