Doctor Who season 10 begins filming on Monday, June 20, the last with Steven Moffat as showrunner. The show will see Peter Capaldi take control of the TARDIS once more, which is also widely expected (though far from confirmed) to be his last outing too. Joining him as the new companion will be Pearl Mackie, in her first major television role. The actress is currently performing to critical acclaim in London's West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Mackie will play the role of Bill, and, in a difference to the Doctor's previous companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Bill knows very little about the Doctor or his adventures.
That alone sets up for an intriguing season, but now details have started to emerge surrounding writers for season 10, as well as returning actors. It was recently confirmed that Matt Lucas will reprise his role as Nardole, following his apperance in the 2015 Christmas Special, 'The Husbands of River Song.' This time, instead of a one-off guest appearance, Lucas is expected to stick around.
According to Variety, Moffat discussed Lucas' return with the following statement:
“Delighted and slightly amazed to be welcoming Matt Lucas back on to the Tardis — and this time it’s not just for Christmas, he’s sticking around. One of the greatest comedy talents on Planet Earth is being unleashed on all of time and space.”
The BBC website describes Nardole as "hapless" and that certainly seems an apt description. When we last saw him, he was employed by River Song in the human colony of Mendorax Dellora. When she asked him to find a surgeon to operate on King Hydroflax, Nardole brought the Doctor back with him, which wasn't necessarily the type of Doctor that River had in mind.
Lucas' return is a welcome one; his character was great and Lucas is a fine comedy actor. It'll certainly be interesting to see how he fits into the new season and exactly how the writers will build his character to make him worthy of longevity on the show. Exactly how long his arc will be remains to be seen, but Moffat's comments about him "sticking around" seem to hint at more than just a double episode storyline. So is there a possibility that he might somehow find his way into the TARDIS? He'll get hot if he keeps that duffle coat and hat on indoors.
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) June 14, 2016
Along with Lucas' return, it was also announced that Stephanie Hyam will appear in a guest role during season 10. The actress will be recognized by many as Lily Clarke in Jekyll and Hyde, as well as from her appearances in Sherlock and Peaky Blinders. A number of episode writers have also been confirmed; Moffat will write the first episode of season 10, with Frank Cottrell-Boyce writing the second. Other writers set to work on the season include Sarah Dollard, who wrote the season 9 episode, 'Face the Raven', and Mike Bartlett, writer of acclaimed BBC drama, Doctor Foster.
To emphasize the start of production on season 10, and to welcome Mackie to the Doctor Who fold, Doctor Who Official also tweeted a shot of the main actors names from the first read-through. Exciting as that may seem, we still have a wait on our hands. Doctor Who doesn't return until Christmas 2016, with its annual special, and season 10 won't air until 2017. Thereafter, Chris Chibnall will take over the helm as showrunner, possibly with a new Doctor to boot, who knows?
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 and BBC America with a Christmas special in December 2016. Season 10 will air in 2017.