Fans eagerly anticipating the next series of Doctor Who were treated to a new teaser trailer this afternoon on social media. It has now also made a televised debut prior to the final of ‘Let it Shine’ on BBC One. So what hints can be found in the brief 30 seconds…
Despite the promise of a new companion, this trailer suggests that the focus will be placed squarely on the Time Lord. This would come as a relief to some following the previous travelling companion Clara dominating the previous series in 2015. The dialogue for the trailer is provided by Pearl Mackie with Bill’s focus squarely on The Doctor. From the audio, there is a suggestion that Bill meets The Doctor on three occasions which shape her opinion of him. The first time, he’s funny. The second time, he’s amazing. The third time, he’s the most dangerous man in the universe. All of this points to multiple encounters between the two and perhaps a return to the more unpredictable and dangerous Twelfth Doctor. Maybe he’s not taking the idea of someone replacing Clara very well and potentially making him angry and vindictive.
I’m having the time of my life
However, Bill clearly states that she’s having the time of her life. Looking towards The Doctor she seems in awe of him. We also get a hint of the environment where the trailer is set; a library. This setting may prove to only a feature in this trailer but might be revisited during the series, only time will tell on that. With dusty books on shelves, this is probably less likely to be The Library planet location of ‘Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead’ and more likely to be part of the University campus alluded to in the original trailer seen after the most recent televised episode. Also featuring during that story was the returning Nardole who also appears in this trailer.
Nardole doesn’t look to be enjoying himself as much
Not to be forgotten is Matt Lucas as Nardole who returned in ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’. His expression at the sight of things exploding around him suggests that he is perhaps less cut out for adventures in the TARDIS than Bill. Despite reservations he continues on, faithfully following The Doctor who is quite rightly the centre focal point of the group.
As has become customary in the modern era of Doctor Who the Time Lord draws his trusty sonic screwdriver from beneath his jacket like a weapon. Although highlighted by the War Doctor in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ that it is supposedly a scientific instrument the sonic is once again being wielded like an offensive tool. It also appears that the Twelfth Doctor’s sonic which debuted in ‘Hell Bent’ will be retained for Series 10, Peter Capaldi’s third and final season in the role.
Although we have learnt that Christmas 2017 will see Capaldi depart there are no hints that this is the beginning of an ending. Instead, we are teased with adventures still to come but as the TARDIS trio stride forward they are faced with ghosts of the future.
Spot the Monster Competition
There is a specific moment in this particular trailer which screams for freeze frame analysis and it doesn’t take many guesses which one. Before The Doctor and his companions are the visages of foes to come. Easily recognisable are the familiar forms of a Dalek, an Ice Warrior and a Cyberman. Although we imagined the Daleks would return, given Bill’s introductory scene, it seems that she might also be facing the Cybermen. This could however just be a red herring. Newer villainy is also hinted at with the speculated Emojibots visible whilst others can be speculated further given their fleeting glimpses. No doubt all will become much clearer when the series begins.
A new Ice Warrior?
Writer Mark Gatiss had teased us with the promise of a new Ice Warrior for the story he has composed for Season 10 and the final seconds of the trailer give perhaps our first glimpse of the new creature. For those that remember it, the 2010 cinema trailer also concluded with a central focus on the new Silurian. With a helmet and exposed chin it seems to have roots found in the Ice Lord which debuted in ‘The Seeds of Death’ back in 1969. Whatever the true identity of this newly designed Martian it ends the trailer with an exciting and tantalising visual.
Even if it kills me
In addition to the Ice Warrior related tease, the trailer also concludes with some ominous words from Bill. Perhaps she, like her predecessor, won’t make it through the series in one piece. We’ve already learned that Peter Capaldi won’t be around next year but will Bill? Like so many other points from this trailer, it will generate fervent debate and speculation amongst Doctor Who fans, skillfully building the anticipation for the show’s return.
Since it’s also Steven’s final series I’d guess Season 10 will heavily feature the Timelords. Steven’s been laying the groundwork since ‘The Eleventh Hour’ and slowly building towards a recogning. It was purposefully derailed by Clara’s swan song, but I hope there’s more to the story than revealed in ‘Hell Bent’.
I suspect that Bill will be alive at the end of these 12 episodes, perhaps with a close call where the Doctor saves her at the last moment. But the Doctor will end up sacrificing himself to save her in his final christmas episode. Consumed by guilt Bill will leave.
Also I believe that Capaldi’s final episode and death with be Timelord heavy, perhaps at the hands of Rassilon there’s clearly an unresolved story arc there. Rassilon the Redemmer won’t be happy at being banished from Gallifrey at the end of the last season.
The issue of Rassilon’s vengeance has already been addressed in Titan Comics’ “Supremacy of the Cybermen”, although that ended in a way that doesn’t rule out him being back in Series 10 or the Xmas show. (Weirdly, no one in that storyline brings up the issue of Clara at all even though it’s largely set on Gallifrey.)
What I’m wondering about is how Twelve will finally have his “day”. In the previous two series finales, he did not receive reward or respect for his heroic deeds — first saving the universe from the Cybermen army of the dead, second giving up on trying to defy the fates and bring Clara fully back, which again spared the universe that failed him so evilly by leaving him to the dial — and lost rather than gained for his suffering. The followup Christmas shows gave him some happiness, but unless they take a REALLY surprising approach to the regeneration (i.e., Twelve gets his own body and is happily reunited with Clara while the “original” regenerates, or even a giant fake-out in which he doesn’t regenerate after all and we were just misled by the cast and crew all along) this one won’t be able to do so.
Twelve’s story arc has to have been leading up to something, and since it wasn’t finding Gallifrey again, what is it? Will he finally destroy the wicked Time Lords, who were unworthy of his saving? Will the Daleks be defeated once and for all? Will the universe finally bow to his will? 😉