A little over a year after he was first announced as the new Doctor, the time has nearly come for Peter Capaldi to take up reins of the TARDIS. Doctor Who returns to BBC One on Saturday August 23rd, with a full length opening episode directed by Brit horror luminary Ben Wheatley.
Are you ready? Well then, as the title of that first episode suggests, take a Deep Breath…
(Discussion of potential spoilers after the jump, of course.)
In the dying moments of the World Cup, BBC One unleashed their official full length trailer for series 8. If it’s anything to go by, this will be a series where the atmosphere shifts rather dramatically. The droning voice over that indicates a return for the Daleks. The little look Capaldi gives directly into the camera that can only mean he means business.
It’s a Doctor who’s indicating that he wants to start making up for past mistakes – no matter where it takes him. As he indicates to Clara when she asks where they’re going: “Into darkness…”
What we know so far – the potted version
Although plot details are being kept under wraps, there are plenty of things that we already know. Like:
- The Paternoster Gang (Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax) is definitely returning for the first episode, which will be set in Victorian times.
- There will be some excellent horse riding action from Capaldi – he was spotted riding a mechanical horse during filming.
- Jenna Coleman’s Coronation Street colleague Samuel Anderson joins the cast as Clara’s colleague at Coal Hill, Danny Pink, in episode 4.
- Coal Hill will play a huge part in one of the episodes.
- The orange space suit of Doctors past will be making a return.
- The Cybermen will return in the two-part finale, directed by Rachel Talalay.
- Jemma Redgrave and Ingrid Oliver will also return for the finale, reprising their roles as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and Osgood.
- Screenwriter and author Frank Cottrell Boyce penned episode 10.
- The series will boast a couple of brilliant guest roles, with the likes of Keeley Hawes, Frank Skinner and Hermione Norris all slated to make an appearance.
- The space suit and Hermione Norris will be appearing in episode 7, in which The Doctor and Clara return to Lanzarote and the site of a previous adventure (The Peter Davison serial Planet of Fire).
- Mark Gatiss is responsible for episode 3, which has the tentative title Robots of Sherwood, and yes, it is Robin Hood-themed and yes I am excited for it.
What the speculation is about
The series’ Big Bad
The rumours are rife as to who will be the big villian menacing The Doctor in series 8. So far, the word on the street has been split into two camps. On the one hand, and on the back of an earlier teaser, signs seem to be pointing firmly in the direction of Davros – last seen being shoved to his apparent doom by Ten. But on the other hand, an equally tempting possibility seems to be the return of The Master. The internet already seems to be flooded with fan manips casting Game of Thrones’s Charles Dance in the role. Hey, he’s got time now, so why not?
Who is The Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere?
Michelle Gomez takes on the role of Missy, otherwise known as The Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere in the two-part finale. We already know that the Cybermen will invade Earth again, and Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and Osgood will return along with UNIT. But what is the Nethersphere? Is Missy good or evil? And what’s the meaning behind the rumoured episode titles The Gates of Paradise/Death in Heaven?
What will the Christmas special be about?
Your guess is as good as mine. The only person who currently knows for sure is probably Steven Moffat. Which can be either a good or a bad thing…
What I hope to see
- Better character development for Clara, now that the entire Impossible Girl storyline has been tied up.
- More risks taken with the stories.
- A nice balance of dark and light in both the writing and the character of The Doctor.
- Capaldi to keep the low key attitude on display in the trailer.
- Actual continuation of the storyline set out in Day of The Doctor.
- Danny Pink getting in on the action – and also not being Clara’s love interest.
- Proper “behind the sofa” moments.
- A spectacular finale.
- A Christmas special that won’t break anyone’s heart for a change.
- A huge rejuvination of the show, and Capaldi staying for as long as he possibly can.