It’s nearly time, folks! We’ve had a long wait, but the new series of Doctor Who is almost upon us. It’s Capaldi’s final series as the Doctor, and while we all speculate about who will be cast as Thirteen, Twelve’s Attack Eyebrows are still leading the show for now. Here are the trailers we have had so far:
Matt Lucas is back again as Nardole, after his great turn in the Christmas special, ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’. He was first seen, remember, in ‘The Husbands of River Song’, where we bade a sad farewell (forever or just for now?) to River. And this moment happened:
Sorry - any excuse to watch that again.
So to recap the last few episodes, as it’s been a good long while: Twelve and Clara parted ways for Greater Good reasons, and Twelve doesn’t remember any of his time with her. She’s gone off in another TARDIS with Arya Stark to have some adventures before returning to the moment of her death. Farewell Clara. Twelve caught up with River (see above) and they spent ‘their last night together’. After that, a depressed Twelve literally made a new friend by re-assembling Nardole, then accidentally made a superhero in the Christmas special.
But he has a new companion now as well: Bill.
Twelve’s new companion has made headlines as the “first openly gay companion”. I can’t help but feel bad for Captain Jack, Madame Vastra and Jenny, as they were flying this flag long ago… But as much as we might quibble with the words “first” and “companion”, representation matters.
Based on the clips released so far, I’m not sure Bill’s made the best first impression though. In the trailers, she’s all ‘voice of The Youth’, saying things like “Get in!” This made me wince a bit. And for someone who seems to be from contemporary London, how on earth has she never heard of Daleks before?
The Battle of Canary Wharf wasn’t that long ago. Even more recently, the Daleks stole the entire planet. Are you seriously telling me that there weren’t any Dalek videos on YouTube? (If she’s from another time and place, I will take this back, promise…)
I know, I know; a companion’s meant to be an audience-proxy, someone who can ask the Doctor what the viewers want to know, so he can provide lots of exposition. But COME ON - this show has been around for decades! Is there anyone living who doesn’t know what a Dalek is? Are they expecting to pick up new viewers who need this explained to them?
Or are viewers meant to feel smug in knowing more than Bill? If so, it’s a dangerous game to play… There is a big risk that a companion who knows too little will just be irritating, as all those questions slow the story down. I will postpone judgment for now, but I have a few concerns about Bill…
What else did we learn in the trailer? What has series 10 got in store for us? Daleks, obviously. Creepy girl Daleks as well. Emoji Robots. Pyramids. Mars. Georgian London. And MISSY! HOORAY!
A couple of questions: is that Satellite 5? And is that a WOODEN Weeping Angel?
And in light of the Doctor Who spin-off Class finally making its way to American TV, can I take the opportunity to share the spin-off shows that I really wanted?
The Adventures of River and Captain Jack: OK, maybe this is more of a one-off special, but you can’t tell me this wouldn’t be amazing. It would be camp, over-the-top, sexy awesomeness. Imagine the mischief the two of them would get into! Imagine the morally ambiguous capers! Alternative title: Sexy Time Bandits From Outer Space.
If Jack and Sarah-Jane could have their own shows, why can’t the Paternoster Gang? Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax were always great entertainment, and I’m sure there would be a market for more time with this lot.
But my ultimate spin-off wish is this: Doctor Two, featuring Ten’s half human, half Time Lord copy, and Rose, as they try to balance saving the world and being an adorable couple.
Do you have any more? Do my ideas for spin-off shows sound like the stuff of your nightmares? Let me know in the comments!
Doctor Who series 10 starts on April 15th.