Things We Know About Doctor Who Series 9
Filming began on Peter Capaldis second series of Doctor Who on 5 January this year. The ninth series since the show returned in 2005 will begin airing in the Autumn we suspect late August but theres been no conformation of that yet. And while a lot of it is shrouded in secrecy, some facts and indeed images are seeping out.
Here we give you a round-up of the official news so far. There are plenty of rumours going around the internet (especially when it comes to one piece of casting involving someone from Game Of Thrones) and a lot of unofficial on-set snaps, but were sticking with whats known as opposed to whats being speculated about.
So heres what you need to know
1 The Pertwee Agenda?
Yes, we kick off with the really important stuff Peter Capaldis hair. In all the on-set images released so far it has gone wild! We would say hes channelling Pertwee, but on the the other hand his costume seems to be moving further ever away from the smart, white, buttoned-up shirt and tailored look of his early episodes (which was more Pertwee-esque) to a looser, scruffier, ageing punk/goth look.
This seems to reflect a sotfening up of the Capaldi Doctors character. Theres no indication he wont still be the grumpy Doctor, but producer Brian Minchin has hinted that he might be less angsty: [Series nine is] the glory years of Peter Capaldis Doctor and Clara This year hes having the time of his life, having dangerous and exciting adventures in time and space. Theyre having the biggest, most dangerous adventures theyve ever had and theyre having great fun doing it.
Showrunner Steven Moffat adds: Peter is on amazing form at the moment. I was looking at some of his first series stuff and thinking, Its magnificent, but its nothing compared to what hes doing now.
2 More Two-Parters
Steven Moffat likes to play around with the format of the series and this year the big innovation is the big-time return of the two-parters.
Were changing the rhythm quite a bit, says Moffat. For a long while, those 45-minute stories were the backbone of Doctor Who. The rule Ive got is that you wont be absolutely certain whether a show is going to be a two-parter or not. With each of the two-parters were doing, theres a substantial difference between the two halves.
Brian Minchin adds, Were doing more two-parters and not just conventional two-parters. Were doing linked stories where you might not be sure how theyre going to be connected until you see them. Were pushing the storytelling that way, to give us more scale of adventure.
Certainly some of the episode titles (see nest slide) have a mirroring theme going on.
3 Writers, Directors & Episode Titles
Lets get down to the nitty gritty now: whos doing what?
Episodes 1 & 2: The Magicians Apprentice/The Witchs Familiar
Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Hettie Macdonald
Episodes 3 & 4: Currently Unnamed
Writer: Toby Whithouse
Director: Daniel OHara
Episode 5: The Girl Who Died
Writers: Jamie Mathieson, Steven Moffat
Director: Ed Bazalgette
Episode 6: The Woman Who Lived
Writer: Catherine Tregenna
Director: Ed Bazalgette
Episodes 7 & 8: Currently Unnamed
Writer: Peter Harness
Director: Daniel Nettheim
Episode 9: Currently Unnamed
Writer: Currently unknown
Director: Justin Molotnikov
Episode 10: Currently Unnamed
Writer: Sarah Dollard
Director: Justin Molotnikov
Episodes 11 & 12: Currently Unnamed
Writer: Steven Moffat
NEW INFO! Director: Rachel Talalay (the Tank Girl director who helmed last years Doctor Who two-part finale)
Of the writers (other than Moffat whom you presumably know about):
Toby Whithouse was the creator of Being Human and has previously written School Reunion, The Vampires Of Venice, The God Complex and A Town Called Mercy for Doctor Who
Jamie Mathieson wrote the film Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel and last years Doctor Who episodes Mummy On The Orient Express and Flatline.
Catherine Tregenna has written episodes of Torchwood, Law and Order: UK and Casualty.
Peter Harness adapted Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell for the BBC series, and wrote the Doctor Who episode Kill The Moon.
Sarah Dollard has written for Being Human and The Game, and worked as a script editor on Primeval and Merlin.
4 Clara Marathon
Steven Moffat has stated that Clara will be in every episode. This is after she had a last-minute reprieve in Last Christmas which was originally planned as her final story. Now, Moffat has deliberately mislead people before but theres so far no reason to believe Clara will be suddenly (permanently) killed off half-way through the series. But will we also meet the next companion before the series is over? And will she be from Earth again? When pushed, Moffat teased, Steven Moffat: As to changing it up with the companion Wait and see. We absolutely could vary it.
5 Missy Is Back
Michelle Gomez will return as the latest incarnation of the Master in the opening two-parter (at least).
Everybody hide, warns Steven Moffat. Michelle Gomez as Missy was an instant hit last year, so shes straight back to plague the Doctor and Clara in the series opener. But what brings her back into their lives is the last thing theyd expect.
Brian Minchin adds: Its not going to be Missy as you expect her to be. Steven likes to surprise everyone and hes going to do that with this opening. Missy has an awful lot of sides to her and were going to see some new ones in this series. We also learn a bit more about her relationship with the Doctor
Michelle Gomez teases: Things have been a little beige since I left Missy behind, so Im delighted to be putting my lippie back on. Im positively dying to see the Doctor again! Knowing both Moffats and Gomezs sense of humour and the whole afterlife theme of the episodes in which they last met, should we take the word dying literally?
6 The Zygons Are Back
The Zygons last appeared in the 50th anniversary story The Day Of The Doctor but they werent really the focus of attention. The Day of the Doctor is all about the Doctors personal jeopardy, not really how terrifying the monsters are, said Moffat at the time, but the Zygon design is so good, and the new ones can really move so Id like to bring them back again, make them proper frightening.
Thats whats happening with episodes seven and eight.
7 At Least Two Amazing Cliffhangers
All this talk of two-parters that arent two-parters but linked stories doesnt seem to mean that well be losing out on good old-fashioned Doctor Who cliffhangers.
Its nice to do a cliffhanger, says Peter Harness of his episodes. And I tried to do the biggest cliffhanger I possibly could.
Steven Moffat adds: Ive figured out the cliffhanger to the penultimate episode And its a whopper. Oooh, I dont think youll see this coming!
8 UNIT is back!
Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart and UNIT will be back in two stories, the opening two-parter and the Zygon two-parter (episodes seven and eight). Another more surprising UNIT returnee is (click next)
9 The Return Of Osgood
You thought the geeky Doctor fan who appeared in Day Of The Doctor and Death In Heaven was dead. We thought she was dead. The actress who plays her Ingrid Oliver thought she was dead
And, to be honest, she might be dead, but thats not stopping her coming back
Osgood is back, fresh from her recent murder at the end of last series, Steven Moffat doesnt clarify. We recently confirmed that Osgood was definitely dead and not returning but in a show about time travel, anything can happen. The brilliant Ingrid Oliver is back in action. This time though, can the Doctor trust his number one fan?
10 Theres A Big New Race of Monsters
Theyll be appearing in The Girl Who Died. Or The Woman Who Lived. Or both. This whole two-parters that arent really two-parters things makes it difficult to keep track. One or both of them anyway.
11 Maisie Williams
One of the most exciting guest star announcement is that Game Of Thrones actress Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) will be appearing in The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived. A lot of secrecy surrounds her role.
Whether she is good or bad is up for discussion, I think, says Williams. She does put the Doctor to the test and its sort of a dynamic that we havent seen before.
Were thrilled to have Maisie Williams joining us, adds Moffat. Its not possible to say too much about who or what shes playing but she is going to challenge the Doctor in very unexpected ways. This time he might just be out of his depth, and we know Maisie is going to give him exactly the right sort of hell.
12 The Second Story Is Scary
Toby Whithouse has described his two-parter as, scary, claustrophobic, damp! Steven Moffat goes a little further: A brilliantly creepy two-parter one of our scariest adventures yet!
This story also features Paul Kaye once best known as comedy creation Dennis Pennis but more recently seen in Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell and Game Of Thrones. Thats him in Westeros above, because no images of him in Who have been released yet. But Kay has let slip that he had to spend five hours in make-up every day.
13 More Guest Star
Other interesting guest stars include Clare Higgins in the first two-parter. Higgins was Julia in Hellraiser but also played Ohila, of the Sisterhood of Karn (above) in The Night Of The Doctor the Paul McGann-starring mini-episode that served as a prequel to The Day Of The Doctor. Theres no suggestion yet, though, that shes reprising that role.
The opening story also features Jaye Griffiths of Bugs fame, while comedian Rufus Hound turns up in "The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived as Sam Swift. Those episode also feature a character called Odin, but whether thats Thors dad or just someone who had parents who gave their kids silly names is anybodys guess.
14 Sounds Good
Murray Gold confirms that there will be a faster, rockier version of his Twelfth Doctor theme A Good Man in the next season. The original A Good Man is an epic, rumbling, bass-driven thunderstorm of a piece which sounds like a combination of the Terminator and Starship Troopers themes. It is awesome. However, in the sleeve notes to the series eight sound track Gold reveals that Steven Moffat missed the triumphant hero music of Elevens theme, so he created a rockier hybrid for use in the final series eight two-parter. Since then, he has also heard an even faster, fan-made version on the internet and liked it, so hes going to go even further in that direction with series nine.
15 Another Addition
Theres be a mini The Thick Of It reunion too in the Zygon episodes. The BBC announced in early June, The BAFTA award-winning Rebecca Front joins the guest cast of the new series of Doctor Who. Rebecca will guest in an adventure that sees the return of the Zygons, although her role in the show is currently closely guarded possibly by UNIT who also appear in the action-packed two-parter! Rebecca is well-known for regular roles in The Thick of It, Inspector Lewis and more recently, the BBC Four sitcom, Up the Women. In the BBCs Death Comes to Pemberley she took the role of Mrs Bennet, mother of Lydia Wickham, played by Jenna Coleman.
16 The Return Of Rigsy
Heres a surprise return for series nine, though definitely a pleasant surprise. Joivan Wade will be back as Rigsy in episode 10. We previously met him in Flatline where his graffiti skills helped the Doctor defeat the boneless.