It's hard waiting for one of your favorite TV shows to come back, isn't it? Sure, there's Netflix to give you a rewatch, casting announcements and images from the set to chew over while you wait. For some fans, though, there's a desire to start piecing things together before a new episode even airs.
For those Doctor Who fans in particular, we've got some episode descriptions that are just spoilery enough to sate without giving the game away entirely. Here's the roundup:
For the opening two-parter, we'll find Clara back to Coal Hill getting her teach on. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Missy will, apparently, be "sort of on the same side." Granted, the Doctor and the Master have been in cahoots before, but it's always fun to speculate what danger it'll take to get them to actually work together. There will be Daleks, so there's a clue as to the why of the teamup, but there will be other baddies, including a snake creature. If you were hoping for an early screening, though, unfortunately the cliffhanger is so massive that the producers just don't want to risk it.
Jumping ahead to the infamous Maisie Williams two-parter that will account for episodes five and six, we're hearing that Williams will be required to play quite a range during her tenure on the show. Does that mean she'll be playing more than one character? Hmmm ...
"The Doctor and Clara can't have a good time for too long. They have to pay for it."
Episodes 7 and 8 see the return of the Zygons and the maybe-dead Osgood. The episodes are titled Invasion of the Zygons and Inversion of the Zygons, respectively. This will be a darker story that will see some "fundamentalist arguments" that are meant to mirror some of the tense sociopolitical goings-on in the real world. That's always a risk. Classic episodes like The Green Death found success by speaking to environmental issues, but the more recent episode, Kill the Moon, was extremely controversial with its not-so-subtle allusions to the ongoing abortion debate. As for Osgood, Capaldi did confess that she "could be a companion," but if that's the case, which Osgood is this? Actress Ingrid Oliver says the Doctor will ask outright if Osgood is the real one, and “I don’t tell him the answer to that.” Interesting. We'll also see a Zygon chase featuring Osgood in a New Mexico supermarket. And the classic Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart phrase "five rounds rapid" will make a (hopefully) triumphant return.
The ninth episode will be a found-footage-style story, featuring only the use of camcorders and old phones. Executive producer Brian Minchin says, “We’re considering not even having opening titles and just running the footage.” The story will center around people following the Doctor as they attempt to fight a creature. Sounds like our Doctor-lite episode. It also sounds like it might make some of you nauseous, so have your motion sickness meds handy.
The only hint for the 10th episode is the phrase "invasion of invisible streets," whatever that means. Feel free to speculate.
Episode 11 is our companion-lite episode, so no Clara, just all Doctor, all the time.
As for the finale, Capaldi hints that things will not end well. "He is aware darkness will fall," says Capaldi. "The Doctor and Clara can't have a good time for too long. They have to pay for it." Yikes. Sounds like this could finally spell the end for Clara Oswald.
Beyond these episode-specifc teases, Capaldi also reiterated that some of these stories could be considered three-parters. He also said that the Judoon and, even more surprisingly, the Hath will return. The last time the Hath graced our screens we saw the birth of the Doctor's daughter, Jenny. Could we be finally seeing her return after all these years? Original Jenny Georgia Moffett seems busy with her own stuff, but who knows? David Tennant and Russell T Davies were spotted in Cardiff recently, right? Maybe Georgia wasn't far behind.
"YOU MUST NEVER TRUST DOCTOR WHO, BECAUSE HIS KNOWLEDGE OF THE PAST AND THE FUTURE IS COMPREHENSIVE AND DEEP AND NOT QUITE HUMAN."
As for the Doctor's wardrobe, Capaldi had an awful lot to say. "In the Christmas special we were in the Antarctic, so I thought I’d better put a hoodie on, and I quite liked it. I thought we’d get some more of those, and started playing around with that. So he’s loosening up a bit more this series, but sometimes he does go back to his more severe look. And there are some specific trouser things that happen for specific reasons. It will become clear to you when you watch the show."
You may have noticed that Capaldi's hair's gone a bit long. He says he's aware and "some people think I’m going for the full Jon Pertwee bouffant … and I may well do that!" Well consider this Pertwee fan thoroughly chuffed. Any reference back to my favorite Doctor is good by me.
If you're wondering about those shades, though, man, Capaldi's got an explanation for those as well, saying, "I’ve got sonic sunglasses. It wasn’t my idea but I like it, I get free Ray-Bans now. I was just wearing shades because it was sunny, and I was Doctor Who and it looked cool." Sonic sunglasses? Feels a bit They Live to me. Maybe Keith David can guest-star and help the Doctor fight the invasion of the evil rich people aliens.
Most importantly, though, and despite all these familiar and/or fun updates for the 12th Doctor, Capaldi wants us to know that we still shouldn't quite trust him. "You must never trust Doctor Who, because his knowledge of the past and the future is comprehensive and deep and not quite human. So, in his human form, I think he’s decided, because he knows how dark it can get outside, that he’s going to have a good time. But as always in Doctor Who, no good time goes unpunished!"
Once again, that more than suggests that serious consequences are on the horizon for the Doctor and Clara. Will Clara finally croak? Is Capaldi headed for regeneration? Hayley Atwell for Doctor 13?
Sound off. Let's us super fans who can't help but look start putting together what we know so far for Season 9.