‘Doctor Who‘ returns to the BBC on Saturday, with Peter Capaldi’s last full season as the Time Lord.So what’s in store? (Only minor spoilers, sweetie!)
So what do we know about the new series of Doctor Who which begins its latest run on Saturday? Well, there’s plenty of rumours flying around and some genuine spoilers as well should you care to search them out… but so as not to run foul of the Time Lords themselves, here’s a list of things that are already confirmed and in the public arena.
- This is Peter Capaldi’s last full season as the Doctor and the last run in which Steven Moffat will be show-runner. The actor confirmed earlier in the year that the 2017 season would be his last, though his full regeneration will only happen in the traditional Christmas special, likely to be – once again – shown on Christmas day itself. Capaldi has also apparently said that this will be a very different take on the regeneration theme than we’ve seen before.
- There’s no word yet on whether the next incarnation of the Time Lord has been selected, but they will likely be announced well in advance of the festive season. Chris Chibnall will take over as show-runner for the next full season, though it isn’t known whether that will be broadcast in early or late 2018. (Or given the show’s tendency to shift its schedules, whether it could be a worst-case scenario of waiting until 2019, though that seems unlikely?)
- Pearl Mackie is playing incoming companion Bill Potts. Though the BBC’s press release describes the character as the first openly gay companion in the show, one could easily argue that both Jack Harkness and River Song have been officially described as ‘omni-sexual’ and ‘bi-sexual’ in the past and the show has generally been inclusive and on-message about the positive sides of diversity for a long time. Matt Lucas’ Nardole will also appear in many of the season’s episodes.
- John Simm is now known to be returning as The Master, a feat only possible because of the show’s timey-whimey nature. The previous incarnation of The Master (last seen actually helping the Doctor drive Gallifrey’s big-bas Rassilon back into the time vortex, appears to interact with the current incarnation of the Time Lord aka Michelle Gomez’s ‘Missy’ and given that Simm was in Cardiff (where the show is filmed) for several weeks, his role looks to be more than just a brief cameo… indicating a multi-episode appearance or at least a substantial presence.
- The Daleks, the Ice Warriors and the original version of the Cybermen appear to be three of the returning alien threats, the latest playing a key role in the season’s final story. But there are also new threats including sinister looking monks, dragons and spooky events aboard a space-station.
- The episode titles are: The Pilot, Smile, Thin Ice, Knock-Knock, Oxygen, Extremis, The Pyramid at the End of the World, The Lie of the Land, The Empress of Mars, The Eaters of Light, World Enough and Time and The Doctor Falls. (The title of the 2017 Christmas Special is not known as yet)