Bad new, Whovians. ‘Doctor Who Magazine’ has just confirmed that the BBC will be delaying the start of the next season of ‘Doctor Who’. The show, which typically begins its run in April, will be pushed back to Autumn of 2012. There had been rumblings of this for some time, but nothing official. And while this may not serve as an official announcement from the BBC, given the magazine’s close ties to them, it is considered to be as good as one.

Whether or not the next season will use the same split format that it had this season has yet to be confirmed, but it is probably safe to assume that it will. Breaking the season into two parts and starting it in Autumn gives them room to broadcast the traditional Christmas episode during the break.

The run of the seventh season would also take us into 2013, which is the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who.’ Showrunner Steven Moffat has already promised something big for the milestone, but there is no inkling as to what it is yet. Surviving previous Doctors have all been very tight-lipped on the subject of whether or not they will return for the anniversary special, with the exception of Christopher Eccleston who has already stated that he will not return.

So, while the start of the seventh season will take us into what is sure to be a period of ‘Who’-centric insanity, we will have a very long stretch between the upcoming 2011 Christmas episode and the start of season seven. Fans of the show are used to long waits between seasons, but this one is going to be particularly long. Unless somebody out there has a TARDIS for rent, we’ll all have to wait and see what Moffat and co. have in store for us.