Twelve years ago, Doctor Who sprang onto our TV screens with a crass ‘Run!’ as if it had never disappeared. Within a mere forty-five minutes, that which in 1963 had defined and paved the way for a myriad of sci-fi franchises had proved it was anything but out of steam. Nine series and three regenerations later, it’s still hurtling on, and with no sign of stopping soon, its tenth series just about to fly around the corner.
The tenth series will introduce the Doctor’s new companion, Bill (Pearl Mackie); the eighth core companion since the reboot kicked off. She joins partially established sidekick Nardole (Matt Lucas) who has starred in the two previous Christmas specials, ‘The Husbands of River Song’ and ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’. Released ten months ago, the teaser trailer for the new series sees the Doctor and Bill running from yet another horde of Daleks; a scene since confirmed to fit in to an upcoming episodes.
The emblematic program, having run for a total of fifty-four years, has been under fire in recent years for succumbing to genericism. However, after several dodgy seasons, Series 9 saw a momentous, though underappreciated, crux in the show’s history. Heralded by critics (including The Edge) as the best season to date, it proved to be a major turning point for Doctor Who, and a fantastic forecast for the next season. Written by a group of some of the best Doctor Who writers, including veteran DW writer Toby Whithouse (‘School Reunion’, ‘The God Complex’, ‘Under The Lake’/ ‘Before The Flood’, among others), Series 10 promises to band together a tone reminiscent of the best veins of the last seven years of Who – although it’s unlikely that the style of Russell T Davis/David Tennant’s 2006-10 era will emerge. Series 11 has been reserved for the bigger transformation, after controversial showrunner Stephen Moffat leaves, and Broadchurch’s Chris Chibnall takes over.
The new series will also say an indebted goodbye to Peter Capaldi, who has played the 12th (or 13th, or 14th, depending on the wibbly wobbly timey wimey canon of the show’s recent history) incarnation of The Doctor for the last two seasons. It might be better, though, with such an action-packed tenth series, to forget such an impendence. With such a lot ahead of us, who know what will happen? Only time will tell…
Doctor Who Series 10 is scheduled for release 15th April this year, on BBC One.