New Doctor, new TARDIS team… and a new trailer! After months of waiting, San Diego Comic Con finally gave us our first proper look at Doctor Who Series 11. We’ve analysed every last moment to work out what’s in store!
“All of this is new to me…”
The trailer begins with Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor (presumably) waking up with quite a start. She’s clutching her chest (or hearts?) and clearly in pain, which probably means she’s going through some post-regenerative trauma. The fact she’s still wearing the Twelfth Doctor’s outfit (minus the coat) seems to confirm this. As for the location, she’s in… well, a room with a lamp! Not a lot we can take from that, really. Could it be the home of one of the Doctor’s new best friends – Yas, Ryan, or Graham? It seems possible that one of them might have taken her back to their house/flat, where she can recover from her regeneration in safety.
Next, we get our first glimpse at Ryan (Tosin Cole), who’s looking down on something with a sigh. We can see his breath as it leaves his mouth – either he’s meant to be somewhere cold, or it was just a chilly day of filming in Cardiff! The ceiling looks a bit wooden and run-down. There’s a golden glow coming from below which is probably just the lighting, but you never know: it could always be some surplus regeneration energy!
We doubt it though, as the next shot of Bradley Walsh’s Graham seems to be in the same location – and we can see the light coming in through an opening. Graham, like the Doctor, appears to be breathless… but is it in shock, or in pain?
There’s also a quick shot of Yas (Mandip Gill) turning her head in curiosity. She’s stood in the open and the sun’s beaming down behind her. It’s almost impossible to tell where she is – aside from there being something hill-like behind her! – but we’re guessing this is outside wherever Ryan and Graham were in the previous shots.
And then, our first new planet of Series 11! The sun rises on the horizon of a green sky as we pan over what appears to be an alien junkyard. Or, perhaps more likely, the crash site of a spaceship – which would explain all the wreckage and the fire! The Doctor and co. are a little too far in the distance to make out what they’re wearing, but we’re going to guess this isn’t from the series’ opening episode (which, based on all the clues in this trailer, seems to be very Earth-bound).
This is followed by our heroes walking up a sandy slope on a beach. At first glance you might think this is some sort of desert planet, but right at the start there’s a quick view of the sea (first rule of trailer analysis, follow the Doctor’s advice and don’t blink!). Jodie Whittaker’s dressed up in her new costume, so this scene seems to be from later in the series – or at least, not the early stages of Episode 1.
The next shot sees Jodie and friends – again, in full Thirteenth Doctor garb – running through a town (or possibly an army base?) in a more arid location. The look and feel of the area of gives off a Western vibe but we’re pretty sure there are no cowboys or Indians here. Further inspection reveals a broken down car in the background and a desert buggy vehicle behind the group. Either way, looks like this TARDIS team will be dealing with a lot of sand in the new series!
“So if I asked really, really nicely…”
After a dramatic cut to black, we see the Doctor kneeling on the ground, darkness and smoke surrounding her, still dressed in the Twelfth Doctor’s clothing – complete with jacket, this time! We reckon it’s a safe bet this is from the very start of Episode 1. The Doctor has (somehow!) landed safely from her fall at the end of Twice Upon a Time and is now looking a little shaken and vulnerable. She seems to be looking up at something in front of her… could the TARDIS be making its triumphant re-entry?
But even when she fully embraces her new persona, it seems the Thirteenth Doctor won’t be able to escape from stress. The very next shot sees her (now in her new costume) screaming in agony, holding her head. Either she’s got a banging headache – dehydration from that beating sun, perhaps? – or her post-regenerative trauma is going on longer than expected. Or, maybe it’s something else entirely. A sinister force possessing her mind? A terrible vision from the past or future? The sound of drums…!? (No, almost definitely not that!) Whatever it is, we’d recommend she takes some paracetamol, pronto.
Back to Graham briefly next, who seems to be standing in one of Doctor Who’s iconic Welsh quarries. Is it just us, or does the run-down junkyard motif seem to be popping up a lot in this trailer? The mist and the colour palette, coupled with the strap across Graham’s chest, gives us vibes of the opening Young Davros scene from The Magician’s Apprentice. However, Chris Chibnall has hinted that we won’t be seeing the Daleks – and therefore, by extension, Skaro – in Series 11. We’re also fairly confident Graham’s just wearing a shoulder bag, not a bullet holster, so he’s probably not about to march off into battle.
“…would you be my new best friends?”
That said, Team TARDIS do look very action ready in the next shot, set outside a motel with old-fashioned cars. All four of our heroes are stood in perfect formation, the Doctor’s hands on her waist, sporting a purple/pink version of her trademark top. We’re guessing that’s how we’ll be getting costume variation for the Thirteenth Doctor. Ten had different coloured suits, Eleven had different coloured bow ties, Twelve had different coloured jackets, Thirteen has different coloured t-shirts!
From here on, it’s basically just quick, rapid-fire shots to the finish. These include:
- The Doctor brandishing some sort of fire-spewing equipment in a workshop. She’s still in Twelve’s shirt and waistcoat, so this is definitely from Episode 1. Maybe she’s welding together her new sonic screwdriver…?
- Ryan and Graham with a torch, looking a little bit horrified at something in front of them. We’re left in suspense as to what it might be though!
- The Doctor and co. being led down a long, dark corridor (hooray for corridors!) by a guest star, also holding a torch. There’s a lot of yellow/orange light coming from the end, which seems to suggest an alien skyline.
- The Doctor looking through a letterbox. Umm… peekaboo?!
- People riding on horseback through an open plain. We’ve no idea what the context is here, although it doesn’t seem the Doctor or any of her friends are in the shot.
- Team TARDIS standing in a line, the Doctor’s coat blowing in the ocean breeze, as they look out onto the landscape. This seems to be the same seaside planet seen earlier in the trailer. Plus, it seems to have three suns so it’s definitely somewhere alien! We think this will be one of the first new worlds the Doctor takes Yas, Ryan, and Graham to visit. It just screams of a stunning “wow!” moment for the group.
- Ryan in the depths of a forest being attacked by… something! The lighting seems to intensify as he defends himself, suggesting it’s an enemy wielding firepower.
- The new sonic screwdriver! It glows orange now! And it still makes the same sound effects as it did before!
- The Doctor, alone, running away from an exploding door in (you guessed it!) another narrow corridor. Visually, this scene wouldn’t look out of place in Series 9’s Under the Lake/Before the Flood. Doesn’t really give anything away though, sadly!
The final shot of this sequence deserves a bit more attention, as it’s our best look at some of the series’ guest stars. On the right, holding another torch is Shaun Dooley. Viewers may remember him as Rickie Gillespie from Broadchurch Series 2. That’s right, another Broadchurch star in the cast alongside Jodie Whittaker! What are the odds? (Well, quite high considering Chris Chibnall’s in charge now, we suppose…) Anyway, they’re in a hilly, misty area (possibly the same one Graham was in earlier) and the Doctor seems pretty shocked about something. Whatever’s going on here, it isn’t good!
“Right! This is gonna be fun”
Then, to close off the trailer – after the Series 11 tagline: THE UNIVERSE IS CALLING – we get a fairly nondescript little moment. It’s just an extended look at what we’ve seen already: the Doctor in Twelve’s costume, putting something together in a workshop. It does at least re-confirm though that Jodie Whittaker is absolutely brilliant and she exudes pure, unfiltered fun every time she smiles.
So, in short: not a lot for us to sink our teeth into, but plenty to whet our whistle. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way – only a few months left to go until we get to meet her…!