The episode titles for Doctor Who season 10 debut, as the series' showrunner teases the return of Matt Lucas as Nardole. One of the best characters to emerge from Doctor Who in recent years has been Nardole, so it's a joy to know he's back on a more permanent basis. Played by British comedian and actor Lucas, Nardole made his debut in 'The Husbands of River Song,' in December 2015, and instantly became a hit with viewers. Bumbling, innocent, and entirely lovable, Nardole tried his best, it's just that he didn't always know what he was doing, Basically, a catalog of errors then resulted in him losing his head at the end of the episode.
Somehow (and we still don't know how), Nardole reappeared in the Doctor Who 2016 Christmas Special, 'The Amazing Doctor Mysterio,' head fully restored onto body. Now, Nardole is set to become the Doctor's second companion for season 10, alongside Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie). The dynamic between the three is mind-boggling; the Doctor and Nardole are both aliens, whereas Bill is human with no experience of time travel.
Talking to Digital Spy, showrunner Steven Moffat revealed that although audiences might think Nardole is nothing more than a bumbling, lovable fool, there's a lot more to him than meets the eye.
"I've been thinking for a while with Peter's Doctor that he should have a butler, a valet, an assistant. He would want somebody to fetch and carry and do complicated tasks for him – he'd want a little expert on hand and I was already thinking about that and had quite a different idea of who that was going to be. [Nardole] is so brilliant and charming and he's already in place albeit decapitated … So we brought him back. He is The Doctor's go-to guy. He's not quite, as we have seen in 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio' the bumbling oaf he likes people to think he is – he's slyer, more devious, more useful and he has a very shady past."
Over the course of the season, Lucas promises that we will also come to learn how and why Nardole was put back together again, hinting back in December that he might well have a wider purpose to fulfill:
"[The missing head] is explained. You do discover a little bit in the Christmas episode and across the course of the series how Nardole was put together again and why he's back. He's not just there on a whim. He has a job to do. All becomes apparent throughout the series."
That purpose will become apparent throughout Doctor Who season 10, which will be Peter Capaldi's last as the Doctor. The first 10 episode titles have now been released in Doctor Who Magazine (via Digital Spy), and though they don't give very much away, some of them are worthy of discussion. Take a look at the list, below.
Episode 1 – 'The Pilot'- Presumably a double meaning here, since it's the start of the new season, but also the debut of Bill Potts.
Episode 2 – 'Smile'
Episode 3 – 'Thin Ice'
Episode 4 – 'Knock Knock'
Episode 5 – 'Oxygen'
Episode 6 – 'Extremis'
Episode 7 – 'The Pyramid at the End of the World'- Described as the Doctor taking a trip to a year when most of life is extinct on earth.
Episode 8 – 'The Lie of the Land'
Episode 9 – 'The Empress of Mars'- An Ice Warrior hive on Mars, which could well mean we'll meet female Ice Warriors, given the 'Empress' in the title.
Episode 10 – 'The Eaters of Light'
At some point in these or subsequent episodes, we will also see the return of the original cybermen, as well as Missy (Michelle Gomez) and The Master (John Simm). How The Master will return is another question, but the prospect of seeing him and Missy together on screen is very promising indeed.
Doctor Who season 10 starts on BBC1 and BBC America on April 15th.