❉ The new trailer looks exciting and varied, with faces old and new. Let’s dissect it!
It’s here!… and I’ll admit, my enthusiasm is mixed with a healthy dose of regret knowing that we’re gearing up for the exit of my favourite Doctor, my favourite showrunner, and (apparently) a fairly strong-looking Team TARDIS at the end of this year. That’s the down side of regeneration announcements: they do sort of colour the season.
Nonetheless, it seems as though they’re going to give the Twelfth Doctor an amazing final outing prior to his Christmas exit. The new trailer looks exciting and varied, with faces old and new.
My ability to guess plot points in Doctor Who is horrendous (my ‘Missy is an abandoned Clara echo’ is a rather shameful one), so my once-over of the Series 10 trailer is not meant to guess so much as… you know… once-over. I may do some light theorizing and throw a couple ideas around, but nothing I say comes from deep investigation or assurance that I’m right.
Have you seen it yet? No? We can fix that.
That aside, let’s dig in…
Bill meets the TARDIS
We only see a split second of this scene, but there’s something about the way she runs toward it, the look on his face, the light and smoke billowing out… I feel like this scene, where she finally learns more about her eccentric professor, is going to be extremely evocative.
I love that moment: the moment the companion-to-be suddenly understands just how strange her life is about to become. It makes me wonder, too, just how closely the Doctor has been guarding the campus from his adventures after the loss of two people in a row — one he can’t safe, one he could save if he could just remember who she is.
Oh, you have no idea how delighted I am that the show is revisiting Mars. I’m so pleased to see a return to it. Maybe they’ll pass by one of the Viking landers?… probably not, but a girl can hope. Also, Bill’s wide-eyed enthusiasm is stunning, and I like that we’re seeing it in multiple settings. It means she’s not going to be broken… er… too early.
I’ve been praying they’d get Capaldi in some proper period outfits after how well he wore it in Deep Breath, but I also saw just how attached this Doctor was to comfort so I figured we would never have that chance. That, and whoever designed Bill’s getup is a genius. Some may complain that Victorian England is visited too much, but I am a sucker for the aesthetic so, you know, fight me.
I know the fandom is largely set against Nardole, and I’m not gonna tell anyone not to be, but I think he redeemed himself somewhat in The Return of Doctor Mysterio. He looks a whole lot less like a giant Eric Cartman clone, and we’ve actually seen him serve the purpose of being an intellectual equal (to some degree) to the Doctor. Which he needs because engineer-brains need that or they explode. Without Clara, whom he considered his equal in all things (occasionally at the exact wrong times), he needs a Nardole. And honestly, this outfit helps the overall impression of him – he looks a lot less like a lost child being babysat.
Is this from the series finale? I don’t know. The cast of light, the framing, the colour, the Doctor being dwarfed by the elegant old door, all look very Talalay and are somewhat evocative (deliberately?) of Heaven Sent. It’s hard to tell. No matter what, there’s something very pleasing about the fact that this imagery is returning.
Now who are you?
They sure seem to harken back to Pompeii, which fans have been wanting ever since we found out that 12 would be borrowing a face from Caecilius. The burned, mummified faces; the scorched, old-style robes.
However, nothing about the robes seems particularly Roman — more generally cultish. That doesn’t preclude a Fires of Pompeii tie, of course, but I’m not ready to put all my chips on this one.
All we know is that he’s playing “The Landlord.” I recall seeing the news piece and being convinced from the photo that he would be playing C.S. Lewis because look at him. That said, whatever he plays will amazing because David Suchet.
Suchet does an amazing job in cult TV, incidentally — he tore it up in his Discworld appearance.
Oh Missy you so fine!
I was unsurprised to see Michelle Gomez returning — partly because 12 and Missy need one last standoff, partly because she had to cancel her (Re)Generation Who appearance to come do this. She is such a delightful brand of evil, and I adore this look on her, so I can’t wait to see what she’s got up her Mary Poppins sleeves this time.
Tree? Lady? Tree Lady?
No idea, but she looks wicked cool. If that is in fact a “she.” Hard to tell. But man. I am extremely curious how much of that is practical and how much is CG. One thing I’ve really enjoyed lately is the repeated use of practical effects, and I’m always down for more.
Doctor socks a dude!
While wearing Victorian clothes.
I am 1000% here for violent Victorian Doctor.
I am also 1000% here for these. Sock face Cyberman with people hands? Yeah. If you’re unfamiliar with Classic series, this is how Cybermen first looked when they showed up. So any high-strung Classic fan going on about “the teardrop eyes” being the unchanging feature of the Cybies, show them this.
Funnily enough, an early interview with Moffat and Capaldi talked about how the latter loved the early Cybermen and wanted them back, and the former thought they just looked silly. I’m glad sense finally won out. (I love you, Moffat, but dude.)
I’ve noticed that Classic villains tend to go through a couple makeovers in New series before they’re finally satisfied with them. This is an interesting look (and obviously in the same episode as Bill’s “Mars!” exclamation). They were quite identifiable in their return in “Cold War,” but I’m intrigued by this new look.
Overall? I’m excited. The Twelfth Doctor’s era began with Clara Oswald, our toe in the world of storybooks, and he’s been something of a Romantic Victorian hero (of the Mr. Rochester sort), despite his power chords and schoolboy grin. I’m excited to see how that persona carries forward when he literally goes from student to teacher in the upcoming series.
❉ Doctor Who returns to BBC One on Saturday 15 April with episode 1, The Pilot.
❉ Kara Dennison is a writer, illustrator, self confessed geek and convention organizer.