A BBC press release says that a fourteen-episode seventh season has now been confirmed for "Doctor Who" with Matt Smith to reprise the role of The Doctor for the entire run. Whether Smith will hang around for an eighth season in 2013 - the franchise's 50th Anniversary - is unknown.
The deal cements in place production on this year's Christmas special and a standard 13-episode season next year, but does not discuss whether things will be split (like this year) or go back to a 13-week run in either the Spring or Fall. A lot will likely depend on the ratings of the second half of season six.
Despite Smith's return, it's now looking highly likely that neither Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) or Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) will be joining him. The longest regular run for a companion since the show's return in 2005 has been two seasons, their run would match that and doesn't preclude them returning as guest stars like many former companions did in the Russell T. Davies era.
Arthur Darvill has been cast in Shakespeare's Globe production of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus from later this month through to October, right during the time of seventh season filming which commences next month. An interview with The London Evening Standard had Darvill talking about his Rory role in the past tense.
Gillan did the same thing when talking about her role of Jean Shrimpton in the upcoming BBC4 drama "Weíll Take Manhattan". Gillan says "I have just literally gone from Doctor Who to that so I havenít had a chance to sit and have a think. I actually would really like to go home to Scotland for a little while and reflect on what has happened and then decide what my next move is, but I donít know what that is yet."
Cultbox reports that despite the events of last weekend's season finale, Simon Fisher-Becker is set to reprise the role of Dorium Maldavar for the thirteenth episode (the full season finale) of this year.
Becker says while his turn in the mid-season finale was more heroic, in the full season finale he's more of a "tormenting mentor". Joining him will be writer/actor Mark Gatiss who already played Professor Richard Lazarus in the third season episode "The Lazarus Experiment".
Meanwhile, following on from the success of this year's episode penned by Neil Gaiman, fantasy author Terry Pratchett is now rumoured (via Combom) to be writing an upcoming episode of the show - a claim Pratchett denied on Twitter last night in a roundabout way that hinted that he had met with showrunner Steven Moffat about a project.
The first solid report of a writer for Season Seven comes from DW Spoilers which reports that John Fay will pen an episode. Fay penned the second and fourth episode of the five-part "Torchwood: Children of Earth" mini-series and is also working on the upcoming 'Miracle Day' season.