Amidst all the discussion and debate over who might take over from Peter Capaldi as the next Doctor, it’s easy to forget that there’s a new season of Doctor Who right around the corner. It will, of course, be Capaldi’s last; he’s set to bow out in the 2017 Christmas special at the same time as current showrunner, Steven Moffat. Incoming showrunner, Chris Chibnall, has yet to make any casting decisions, so for now we can focus on Capaldi, who is returning to the TARDIS after an absence of almost 18 months.
Following on from a trailer where we meet the newest companion, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), the BBC have released a second trailer for Doctor Who season 10, which can be viewed, above. Though details surrounding each episode are scarce, we do know that Missy (Michelle Gomez) will return, as will the Mondasian Cybermen in a double-bill finale.
The trailer promises a lot of drama to come, coupled with the humor arising from this being Bill Potts’ first ever adventure in time and space travel. She finds most things “utterly brilliant,” especially the concept of time travel and the robot that speaks emoji. The Doctor looks to be intense and focused this time, and also, Missy features quite heavily in the trailer, so it could be that she will have quite an arc in this season. The dynamic of having both Bill and Nardole as companions is also going to be interesting to explore.
Though this tenth season will be Capaldi’s last, there is a strong sense of renewal this time around; of the show trying to refresh itself following a fall in ratings and accusations of weak writing. Bill describes the Doctor as “the most dangerous man in the universe,” and as one who “comes in peace yet walks in war.” Certainly, this description would concur with comments from Capaldi about the Doctor being more ‘alien’ in season ten.
At times, it is easy to forget that the Doctor is just that; an alien, since he clearly feels profound grief and even love. But then there are times when he is very much detached from human reality, and this could be a great aspect of the character to explore in season 10, especially with a new companion entering the fray, plus the addition of Nardole (Matt Lucas) to the crew.
Capaldi’s Doctor enjoyed a close friendship with Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), and Clara embraced the adventure she was taken upon. At the same time, she remained level headed and composed throughout, which certainly helped the Doctor on occasion, not least when she died and he had to work through his grief. This time, Bill is full of excitement, sure, but she’s also new to the whole alien existence and time travel thing so, like most of us would be, she’s full of wonder and not a lot else. That could well make for a bumpy relationship with Capaldi’s more curmudgeonly Doctor.
Doctor Who Season 10 returns to BBC 1 and BBC America on April 15th with ‘The Pilot’.