Doctor Who is soon set to return to our screens for its tenth season (since its 2005 reboot). With this being the last season with Peter Capaldi as the Time Lord, Doctor Who season 10 will also introduce a new companion, Bill Potts, played by Pearl Mackie. In addition, Matt Lucas returns as Nardole, and is listed as a season regular rather than just a one-off guest star.
With Capaldi set to stand down after the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special, talk inevitably turns to who might take over, but for now, the focus should be on the show’s imminent return after an absence of nearly eighteen months. A new image for the show has drooped online (via BBC), and can be viewed, below. The title for the first episode has also been revealed: “The Pilot.” Tonight, March 13th, a new trailer for the show will also arrive on the BBC and online.
The image above shows Mackie as Bill, making the decision to travel with the Doctor and Nardole. It could well be that “The Pilot” refers to her learning how to operate the TARDIS, or even Nardole, or it could refer to the issue they will come up against in the first episode being based on a pilot of some sorts. To take it another way, with first episodes of any series being called a pilot, maybe this title could also be meant to infer that this is a new beginning for the show?
With ever-decreasing ratings, and a need for some new vitality to lift it, Doctor Who really has a lot riding on season ten. Not least because, if it is as weak and poorly written as previous seasons have been, the new, incoming showrunner, Chris Chibnall, will have a huge uphill struggle on his hands.
That said, Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss has praised this season, while current showrunner Steven Moffat has promised that this season takes the Doctor to “the forefront of the cosmic battlefield against an awful threat,” which certainly sounds intriguing. Then there’s the confirmed return of Michelle Gomez as Missy, which is always welcome, as well as the return of the original Cybermen.
In the double-bill season finale, the Doctor will once again face (one of) his arch nemeses, the Mondasian Cybermen. A big part of Doctor Who history, the Mondasian Cybermen first appeared in the fourth season of the show in an episode called “The Tenth Planet,” and became responsible for introducing the whole concept of the Doctor regenerating, since he died after fighting them. In that instance, William Hartnell was replaced by Patrick Troughton. We still don’t know who will replace Capaldi, but at least there’s a whole season left of his adventures before he passes the keys to the TARDIS to somebody new.
Doctor Who season ten will arrive on BBC 1 and BBC America on April 15th, 2017.