Doctor Who season 9 finished less than a year ago, but it feels like it’s been much longer without any TARDIS adventures on our screens. In part, that’s because so much news about the show has been forthcoming since then, including the announcement that Steven Moffat will step down as showrunner at the end of season 10, to be replaced by regular Doctor Who writer Chris Chibnall. We’ve also had the reveal of the new companion, Bill, played by Pearl Mackie, along with many rumors surrounding the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi, and whether he will stay on when Moffat leaves. As yet, Capaldi hasn’t confirmed either way, but he has been asked to stay and Moffat says he has no reason to assume Capaldi is on his way out.
In the midst of all this, filming for season 10 has been ongoing, ready for its premiere which is expected in April 2017, but before that comes the annual Christmas special. Mark Gatiss, who has written an episode for season 10, hails Moffat’s Christmas script as one of his best ever. Speaking at a Museum Members talk, Gatiss wasn’t spoiling any details, telling the audience that he doesn’t like to spoil it for himself, either (via Radio Times):
“I think the Christmas special… which is the only one this year… I think is one of Steve’s best ever scripts, absolutely beautiful. It made me cry.”
“What can you expect? The Doctor is in it. It’s great! I’ve read three scripts. I’ve seen a little bit. Just because of the new companion and things but I don’t want to see it, because it spoils it! I am such a fan, I just want to watch it. Peter Capaldi’s first season, the second half of that I knew nothing about. And it was such a joy to watch the next time trailer and just be totally surprised. So I mean, I have to, to some extent, but I try and see as little as possible, because I don’t wanna spoil it.”
So far, the only thing we do know about the Christmas special is that Mackie won’t make her debut. That will be saved for the start of season 10, and this holidays will see the Doctor traveling with a guest companion, though who that could be is anyone’s guess. The fact that Gatiss states it’s a moving script could relate to the fact that the Doctor will presumably still be mourning the loss of Clara Oswald as he travels through time and space on his own.
Though we might only be getting one Doctor adventure this year, the BBC is getting ready to premiere its Doctor Who spinoff show, Class, online on BBC Three this fall. Launching a new Twitter account dedicated to the show, the BBC also released a new photo of one of the central characters on the show, Miss Quill, played by Katherine Kelly (pictured above). The teacher is only described as being “a powerful presence” thus far, but judging by the fact that she is carrying a weapon, she could end up being the show’s villain – perhaps one who will go undetected for a long period of time? The accompanying Tweet simply stated “War is coming,” so however Miss Quill turns out, we know that conflict is to be expected.
Written by Patrick Ness, Class will follow a group of sixth-formers (16-18 year olds) at Coal Hill school; the same place that Clara Oswald used to teach. The main cast of Class (aside from Kelly) are all newcomers, and the show has been touted as a British version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Class should, and hopefully will, stand on its own, as well as enhancing the Doctor Who universe.
Class will premiere on BBC 3 (online) this fall. Doctor Who will return to BBC One and BBC America with a Christmas Special in December. Season 10 will premiere in Spring 2017.