Fans of BBC’s hit time-travelling space drama Doctor Who have a lot to look forward to this upcoming season, including the return of a few popular characters from last season. This article contains mild SPOILERS for Doctor Who season seven – so if you do not want to be spoiled turn away now!

Madame Vastra the sword-swinging Silurian vigilante (Neve McIntosh) and her human companion Jenny (Catrin Stewart) have recently been seen on set despite the ambiguity of their return.

Just last month McIntosh played down media rumors that she would be making an appearance this season saying via Twitter “Just to say I have no idea WHAT the Star is talking about! No-one’s asked me [to come back] ” In reply to a fan inquiry about the possibility of Madame Vastra’s return in any season, McIntosh responded: “I wish… Still thinking up plot lines to pitch to mr Moffat.

Check out the new set photos featuring new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman and the return of Madame Vastra and Jenny:

 

The romantic team of Madame Vastra and Jenny became hugely popular among Who-fans after their first appearance in season six episode ‘A Good Man Goes to War‘ – with fans even asking Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat for a spin-off with the duo. Moffat addressed this by saying he considered the spin-off idea, but he just wouldn’t have the time – but he also had this to say on the character’s future:

“I think I might revisit them, they were great fun to write… I was pleased by the reaction to them, but not surprised. They really cut through as characters, given how little screentime they had. I certainly wouldn’t be averse to them returning. It’s just a thing that worked, isn’t it? I love that Victorian setting, and having kicked it out of Sherlock Holmes I can always kick it in somewhere else!”

Also making his apparent return is Sontaran nurse Commander Strax (Dan Starkey) – who also made his debut in ‘A Good Man Goes to War’. While still not officially confirmed to be Strax (as all Sontaran look the same) but the non-threatening butler’s suit and lack of a Sontaran army suggest it’s likely him – despite the events of his last appearance. Madame Vastra, Jenny and (possibly) Strax will return in the second part of the seventh season which is to air in 2013, in an episode written by Mark Gatiss (BBC’s Sherlock).

The newly-released photos also feature The Doctor’s new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman in action. Rumored to be named “Clara” – the new companion may appear to be an average girl, but Moffat claims she will be “very different” from the others, causing speculation she may be a surviving Time Lady or some sort of android. The dark funeral-style clothing of this episode are also fueling rumors of Amy and Rory dying – but ultimately  Madame Vastra’s stylish black veil is most likely to hide the fact she’s a giant lizard woman walking around Victorian England.

Doctor Who returns this year with ‘Asylum of the Daleks‘ and expect more Doctor Who news from Screen Rant’s coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2012

Source: Photos by Doug Williams/WENN.com [via Digital Spy]