Nine things we know about Doctor Who series nine
With the new trailer out, we take a look at what's in store for fans of the Doctor
Whovians rejoice: Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor will return to screens on Sat 19 Sep for the show's ninth series (35th if you're old school).
Last series we saw the introduction of Capaldi as an unpredictable, morally ambiguous incarnation of the Time Lord. As the trailer below confirms, returning characters include Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), and Missy / the Master (Michelle Gomez). Here's what we know (or think we know) so far:
1. Missy will return
As we can see from the trailer, the latest regeneration of The Master (the Doctor's arch nemesis) will return. Speaking at Comic-Con, actress Michelle Gomez explained she wanted the role to be more than just a 'pantomime villain'. She said, 'We’ve managed to make Missy quite well-rounded and maybe even more human than the Doctor, and that was my challenge.'
2. The Zygons are back
Although one of Doctor Who's most recognisable (and popular) enemies, the Zygons have only appeared in two stories in the show's history, 1975's classic Terror of the Zygons (where they commandeered the Loch Ness Monster to attack an energy conference in London) and 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor.
3. There's a Dalek-like world, possibly Skaro
In the trailer we glimpse a fantastical city with architecture very much in keeping with the aesthetics of the Doctor's greatest enemy. The Daleks' homeworld, Skaro, was destroyed when the Seventh Doctor caused it's sun to go supernova, and the last time we saw it (in Asylum of the Daleks) it was a wasteland, so it's either a new planet or they've had the cleaners in. A shining star is visible above the horizon suggesting it's a new planet but it could still be Skaro because science fiction.
4. There seems to be an underwater city
This could be home to Silurians, another classic monster that's rarely used. The reptile-like humanoids are one of the Doctor's oldest enemies (from a 1970 Jon Pertwee adventure) but have only surfaced a handful of times. Recurring character Madame Vastra is a notable Silurian.
5. Clara will try to improve the Doctor's social skills
Speaking at Comic-Con, Capaldi explained that Clara's relationship with the Doctor has developed significantly. 'We’ve worked out a lot of things,' he said. 'The great thing about the Clara and Doctor relationship is they know enough about each other to feel comfortable with each other, and are happy forging ahead together.'
6. Paul Kaye is in it
In the mid to late 90s, obnoxious comedy character Dennis Pennis briefly traumatised celebrities on the red carpet with his withering put-downs. The brainchild of comedian and actor Paul Kaye, Pennis was a necessarily gaudy and short-lived creation, put to sleep in 1997. Since then, Kaye has starred in a number of British comedy films before finding success in the RSC's Matilda , Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and in Game of Thrones as Thoros of Myr. We don't know who he'll play.
7. Arya Stark's in it (sort of)
Actress Maisie Williams plays an unknown character. Her dialogue at the end of the trailer ('What took you so long, old man?') suggests some sort of return. Whether she's a classic character we've previously met (some internet speculation suggests Susan, the Doctor's granddaughter and first companion) or something much simpler, we don't know.
8. The final two episodes are directed by Rachel Talalay
Formerly a producer for John Waters (Hairspray and Cry-Baby), American director Rachel Talalay has overseen the two-part finale. Although her most recent work has been for TV, Talalay started her career in film, directing Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Ghost in the Machine and 1995 comic adaptation, Tank Girl.
9. The ending will be 'special'
During a BAFTA talk in May, showrunner Steven Moffat said of the finale, 'I’ve got a script where I’ve set myself a ludicrous challenge. When Episode 11 comes up, you’ll see just how ludicrous a challenge I’ve set myself. I’m in a state of panic about it.' And speaking to the Radio Times, Talalay backed up her producer. '[it's] is one of the most complicated and different episodes that I’ve ever done - I can’t tell you anything about it, but it’s completely different and it just has my head in spaghetti.'
Doctor Who series nine premieres on BBC One, Sat 19 Sep