Tag Archives: season 10

Doctor Who: New Series 10

This coming Saturday, April 15th, sees the start of the tenth series of the Doctor Who re-boot that began in 2005. It promises to be a momentous season, as it’s the last season for both show-runner Steven Moffat, as well as Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi.

WARNING! There may be some spoilers in what follows!

So, what do we know? As of the posting of this article, here’s the main stuff. First, the episode titles. Not all have been released, but we have these:

Episode No. Title Writer
01 The Pilot Steven Moffat
02 Smile Frank Cottrell Boyce
03 Thin Ice Sarah Dollard
04 Knock Knock Mike Bartlett
05 Oxygen Jamie Mathieson
06 Extremis Steven Moffat
07 The Pyramid at the End of the World Peter Harness
08 The Lie of the Land Toby Whithouse
09 The Empress of Mars Mark Gatiss
10 The Eaters of Light Rona Monro
11 TBA Steven Moffat
12 TBA Steven Moffat

Notes

  • A new companion, Bill Potts, will be joining the Doctor in episode 01.
  • Episodes 06, 07, and 08 comprise a three-part story, the first since New Series 3 (“Utopia”, “The Sound of Drums”, and “Last of the Time Lords”).
  • The Ice Warriors will return in Episode 09.
  • The Master will be back. Yes, you heard read that correctly.
  • Rona Monro, Episode 10’s writer, is the first Classic Series writer to write for the New Series. She was one of only two women to write for the Classic Series. Her story, “Survival,” was the last of the 1963-1989 run.
  • Episodes 11 and 12 comprise a two-part story that will feature a variety of Cybermen, including the original Mondas Cybermen from 1966, and the Cybus Industries Cybermen from 2006.
  • There will be a Christmas special, in which the Twelfth Doctor will regenerate. New show-runner Chris Chibnall will write the Thirteenth Doctor’s first scene.

The Who production team have done a good job controlling leaks, so there’s nothing here that hasn’t been announced officially in some venue (interviews, articles, etc.).

In the latest trailer, there’s a sequence at the end where the Doctor’s hand glows orange, as if the regeneration is starting. This might be just a tease, but, personally, I think it would be cool if the regeneration happened in Episode 12. No-one would be expecting it, and since the identity of the Thirteenth Doctor has not been announced, it would possibly be the biggest shock/surprise of the show’s history.  Even topping “Earthshock”‘s double-whammy (surprise, the Cybermen! Surprise surprise, Adric dies!). As cool as that might be, I doubt they’ll do it. I expect there will be an official “New Doctor” announcement in the Summer, with a simulcast show to help drum up publicity and prepare people for the Christmas special.

To whet your appetite for Saturday, here are the Season 10 trailers:

Those are the highlights. Your thoughts?

The Big Who News

imagesZPQ2HQB2If you’re an avid Whovian, then you are already aware of the big announcement made this weekend. If not, then allow me to break the news to you. There are three parts to the news, so here it is:

  • There will only be one episode of Doctor Who this year (2016)–the Christmas special. Season 10 will broadcast in the Spring of 2017.
  • There will be a new companion for Season 10.
  • Season 10 will be Steven Moffat’s last as show-runner.

OK, so the second piece of news is not really a surprise, but the first and third? If you’ve been following my Season 9 reviews, you’ll know that I already suspected Moffat’s tenure is coming to an end. In my review of the Christmas special (“The Husbands of River Song”) I noted rumors that Season 10 could be Capaldi’s last as the Doctor. Those are still rumors, but it’s not unprecedented for a change of show-runner to come with a change of lead actor (e.g., Russell T. Davies left with David Tennant). This gives the new show-runner a clean slate, his own Doctor, and the opportunity to start fresh. On the other hand, keeping Capaldi around for another year allows the new guy the chance to settle in, surrounded by people who know the ropes. So I could go either way on this one.

Who is the new guy? The show-runner for Season 11 (broadcasting, presumably, in 2018), will be Chris Chibnall. Chris wrote the Who episodes “42” from Season 3 (“burn with me!”), “The Hungry Earth” & “Cold Blood” from Season 5 (the return of the Silurians), “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” from Season 7 (the one with Filtch and Lestrade), and “The Power of Three” also from Season 7 (the one with the little black boxes). Chris has been a fan of the show since childhood, and was a member of the Liverpool branch of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society in the 1980s. In fact, he was part of a panel discussing the show on BBC’s “Open Air” show in 1986. Here’s a clip (watch for “Chris” in glasses and an off-center yellow tie):

Perhaps a foretaste of what to expect from the new show-runner? [Note: A better quality version of this clip can be found as an extra on disc 4 of the DVD set “Trial of a Time Lord.”] Chris Chibnall was also head writer for Who spin-off series Torchwood, and for Law and Order: UK. He also wrote the highly popular series Broadchurch starring David Tennant. So I think Who will be in very capable hands.

My thought’s on Moffat’s departure? Again, if you’ve been following my Who Reviews, you can probably guess my feelings. Moff’s a great writer, and did wonderful work under RTD. Hopes were high that the same caliber of storytelling would persist under his leadership. That hasn’t been the case. There have been some excellent stories over the past five years, but only occasionally has Moff grazed the heights of his best work pre-2010 (“The Empty Child”, “Blink”). He will go down in Who history as the show-runner who took Who to the rest of the world (particularly the States), his crowning achievement being the 50th Anniversary Special, and its 90+ country simulcast. Moff still has another season to go, so maybe his best is yet to come, but I think it’s time for a change at the top. And in Chris, I think he’s chosen well.

So we have a bit of a break between now and the next episode of Who. A good opportunity to get caught up if you’re behind. I’ll continue to post reviews of the Classic Series, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until Christmas for the next new episode.

Your thoughts?