At ComicCon, the BBC premiered the trailer for this year’s Christmas special, and Peter Capaldi’s swansong. The title is “Twice Upon a Time” and it’s a bona fide multiple Doctor adventure — the Twelfth, of course, but also the First, as portrayed by David Bradley. We know very little, except that it’s set in World War One and something is wrong with time — also, neither incarnation of the Doctor wants to regenerate (confirming that for One, it’s happening alongside the events of “The Tenth Planet”, a clever use of the fact that the First Doctor was oddly absent for much of that serial, due to William Hartnell’s illness). It will also feature yet another performance from Mark Gatiss, and a previously-kept-secret final appearance by Pearl Mackie as Bill! I am so excited and so thrilled, and I love this trailer. Now I just have to wait five months…..
It’s never easy, letting a Doctor go . . . whether they’re in for a year (Eccleston), two seasons (Colin Baker), the typical three, or the marathon seven that Tom Baker had, it’s still not easy to see them go. But! At least we get to find out while we still have a whole new season of Capaldi ahead of us! That makes it a bit easier. And he’s getting a new companion, who I hope can stick around to bridge into the new Doctor and the new showrunner for Series 11.
So what do we have to look forward to, in Capaldi’s final season as “Doctor Eyebrows”, as my youngest daughter calls him?
- the new companion, a girl named Bill
- Bill, who is apparently a Prince fan
- And we have two companions! Nardole is staying on after the last Christmas special, which means we have the first male companion since Rory, and the first non-human companion (unless you stretch and count River Song) since Turlough in the early 80s.
- the Movellans appear to be back! for the first time since “Destiny of the Daleks”, featuring Tom Baker and Lalla Ward in 1979 — if you’re not a classic Who fan, they’re beautiful androids who are completely opposed to the Daleks — and everybody else.
- there have been rumors (sparked by a teasing remark by Peter Capaldi) that Clara is back in some form — however, Jenna Coleman says she did not record anything as Clara, and ruled out a cameo as well, so it sounds like something more oblique
- Missy is back, however! The latest deliciously evil incarnation of the Doctor’s Time Lord nemesis will return.
- The Ice Warriors are also back, again written by Mark Gatiss, and apparently featuring a new type of Ice Warrior — intriguing!
- Alas, Peter Jackson directing still appears to be a pipe dream, unless they’ve managed to really shock us all with some amazing secret shooting
So, there are some nice juicy hints in there! What more may be waiting for us?
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest this is the silly fun romp of Series Eight. Saturday we’ll see “Robots of Sherwood” — echoes of the mechanical knight the Sontaran built for Irongron in “The Time Warrior”, perhaps? Or another echo of the clockwork droids? Or something else altogether? I have no idea, but I really look forward to finding out. 😉 This one comes from the brain of Mark Gatiss, who also brought us “The Unquiet Dead”, “The Idiot’s Lantern”, “Victory of the Daleks”, “Night Terrors”, “Cold War”, and “The Crimson Horror” — as well as what is probably his most magnificent contribution to the series, the masterful “Adventure in Time and Space”. He’s also appeared twice as an actor (“The Lazarus Experiment” and “The Wedding of River Song”, the latter with a great deal of prosthetics and a fake accent), but won’t be in this one.
In a sun-dappled Sherwood forest, the Doctor discovers an evil plan from beyond the stars and strikes up an unlikely alliance with Robin Hood. With all of Nottingham at stake, the Doctor must decide who is real and who is fake. Can impossible heroes really exist?
Sounds delightful! I can’t wait. 😉