The wait has felt like an eternity, but Doctor Who Series 10 is now less than one month away. But what do we actually know about the upcoming season?
Can you believe that it’s been well over a year and a quarter since the end of Series 9? Our last regular run of Who concluded in December 2015, and we only had a Christmas special and spin-off Class to plug the gap in 2016. Thankfully, Series 10 is within touching distance and we’re here to whet your appetite with everything we know so far.
Who’s In, Who’s Out?
For starters, we know that the series will premiere over the Easter weekend on Saturday 15th April. After six seasons across seven years in charge, it will mark Steven Moffat’s last series as showrunner. He will be succeeded by Chris Chibnall, current showrunner of Broadchurch, in 2018. Peter Capaldi also announced in January that this would be his third and final series as The Twelfth Doctor. But rest easy for now, as neither of them are leaving just yet – both Moffat and Capaldi will actually bow out of the show in the 2017 Christmas Special.
Series 10 isn’t all about exits, though – there are plenty of new additions too. The most obvious is new companion Bill Potts (played by Pearl Mackie), who succeeds Jenna Coleman’s, Clara Oswald. First revealed in the specially-shot Friend from the Future trailer back in April 2016, Bill will finally make her full debut after a whole year in the series’ premiere episode. She will also be joined on the TARDIS by Nardole, introduced in The Husbands of River Song and seen most recently in The Return of Doctor Mysterio. Matt Lucas’ bumbling alien will be a recurring character and we’re eager to see how his dynamic with The Doctor and Bill will develop. The recent trailer showed Nardole armed with a classic sonic screwdriver.
There are also a number of memorable monsters returning for the new series – but we’ll get to those in good time…
Episode 1: The Pilot
Written by Steven Moffat / Directed by Lawrence Gough
Doctor Who returns on Saturday 15th April with this exciting debut episode. A year after her announcement, we will finally be formally introduced to Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts. Surprisingly, we still don’t know much about her – except that she serves chips! We also don’t know how she and The Doctor first meet. However, it seems that The Doctor is working as a lecturer at a university… is he in “deep cover” once again?
It also seems that this episode will tie into the trailer from April 2016, Friend from the Future. The latest trailer confirms it will feature the Daleks in some capacity. We don’t know if they’re the main villain of the piece yet though. There’s also a spooky water girl (Stephanie Hyam) we know very little about…
Written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce / Directed by Lawrence Gough
At present, only the first episode’s title is officially confirmed. However, the ‘Time for Heroes’ teaser suggests this episode might be titled Smile. It is set in a futuristic city and features killer emoji robots. Part of the filming for the episode took place in Spain at the stunning City of Arts and Science Museum, Valencia.
The episode is written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce, who wrote Series 8’s In the Forest of the Night. It will apparently also guest star Ralf Little in an unknown role.
Written by Sarah Dollard / Directed by Bill Anderson
Sarah Dollard returns after Face the Raven with her second Doctor Who script. The episode (rumoured title Thin Ice) takes place in the Regency era at a frost fair. If speculation is to be believed, it focuses around a serpent-like monster that lurks beneath the River Thames. We do however know for sure that Episode 3 stars Peter Capaldi in a top hat – what’s not to love?
Written by Mike Bartlett / Directed by Bill Anderson
This is Mike Bartlett’s first Doctor Who script, having previously written 2016’s award-winning drama Doctor Foster. With a rumoured title Knock Knock, it stars Hercule Poirot actor David Suchet as the mysterious “The Landlord”. Apparently, the events of this episode will explain why the floorboards squeak. Sounds ominous!
Written by Jamie Mathieson / Directed by Charles Palmer
Very little is known about this episode, except for perhaps its rumoured title: Oxygen. Jamie Mathieson returns for the third consecutive series with his fourth Doctor Who script. Previously he wrote Mummy on the Orient Express, Flatline and The Girl Who Died. He describes his new episode as “very, very scary” which can only be a good thing!
Written by Steven Moffat / Directed by Daniel Nettheim
Steven Moffat writes this mysterious mid-series episode, rumoured to be titled Extremis.
The big news for this episode is that it marks the return of Missy. Michelle Gomez’s madcap Master is back for more mischief and we couldn’t be happier. What will her plan be? How did she escape the Daleks in The Witch’s Familiar? We’ll just have to wait and see…
Written by Peter Harness / Directed by Daniel Nettheim
This is where things start getting really unknown. All we know for sure is that it’s written by Peter Harness (Kill the Moon, The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion). Part of the filming also took place in Tenerife, which previously doubled as both Skaro and Gallifrey. Are we set for a return trip to one, if not both of these planets…?
Written by Toby Whithouse / Directed by Wayne Yip
Long-time Doctor Who writer Toby Whithouse is back with yet another story for Series 10. His previous episodes include Under the Lake/Before the Flood, The God Complex and School Reunion.
This story will allegedly star those creepy looking Monks from the latest trailer. Who wants to bet that they’ll be getting up to some monk-ey business, eh?
Written by Mark Gatiss / Directed by Wayne Yip
Following on from his 2013 episode Cold War, Mark Gatiss is bringing the Ice Warriors back for another story. Last time we got to see what an Ice Warrior looks like outside of its infamous armour. This time, we’re promised an encounter with an entirely new kind of Ice Warrior. If you look closely in the latest trailer, we think you can just about get a glimpse at what to expect…
Apparently this episode also takes place on the Ice Warriors’ home planet, Mars. The big question is though: does this take place before or after The Waters of Mars? Could we maybe see The Flood return too?
Written by Rona Munro / Directed by Charles Palmer
This sounds like an exciting episode for classic Doctor Who fans. Just before the Series 10 finale, we’ll be treated to a script by Rona Munro – writer of 1989’s Seventh Doctor story, Survival.
Rumours suggest this episode will be titled The Eaters of Light and feature some Romans. We’ll keep you up to date when we hear anything official…
Episodes 11 and 12
Written by Steven Moffat / Directed by Rachel Talalay
The dream team of Capaldi, Moffat and Talalay returns for the third series finale in a row. As ever, this two-part adventure promises to round off the series in exciting fashion. Peter Capaldi will finally get to face off against his favourite Doctor Who monster, the Mondasian Cybermen. These original versions of the Cybermen first appeared in William Hartnell’s final story, The Tenth Planet.
The finale will also see another appearance from Michelle Gomez as Missy. Interestingly, we last saw a Missy/Cybermen finale only two seasons ago in Dark Water/Death in Heaven. Will we see a similar story unfold here? Or is there something very, very different going on instead? Only time will tell…
Looking Ahead… 2017 Christmas Special
Steven Moffat’s final script as showrunner. Peter Capaldi regenerates. Everybody cries. Need we say more?
Doctor Who Series 10 begins on Saturday 15th April with The Pilot. Stay tuned to Blogtor Who for all the latest updates on the new season in the coming weeks!