For the past fifty-two years, Doctor Who has been a major part of UK TV, and has been gained a large audience the world over. In that time, twelve actors have portrayed the Doctor (thirteen if you count John Hurt from the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor"), spanning twenty six seasons and one TV film.
The franchise was rested in 1989, before Paul McGann took on the role of the Doctor for the one-off 1996 Doctor Who film. It was then revived to great critical acclaim in 2005, starring Christopher Eccleston, and the ninth season of the ‘new’ Doctor Who run is currently airing - with, of course, Peter Capaldi starring as the Doctor and Jenna Coleman as his assistant, Clara Oswald.
With Coleman’s departure imminent (she leaves in episode ten of this current run), talk has inevitably turned to season ten, Capaldi’s future and indeed, the future of the Doctor Who TV show as a whole. While many have speculated that Capaldi might quit the Tardis after the 2015 Christmas Special, speaking to Variety, Moffat essentially confirmed that Capaldi will, in fact, still be playing The Doctor in season ten.
Summed up with a brief “Peter Capaldi is going nowhere,” Moffat certainly seems confident that we will see more of the guitar playing Doctor when Doctor Who season ten comes around. Not only that, but the showrunner also says that the series is not about to leave our TV screens anytime soon:
“It is definitely going to last five more years, I’ve seen the business plan. It’s not going anywhere. And I think we can go past that. It’s television’s own legend. It will just keep going.”
Doctor Who is a real staple of the UK Autumn/Winter family TV schedule. Those who watched the show during its earlier series, running from 1963-1989, are now parents and grandparents themselves, happily settling down with their kids to watch the Doctor’s new adventures each week. While the public did get used to it not being on our screens, from 1989 onwards, it was still missed.
However, no one could have foreseen the massive impact the ‘new’ Doctor Who series would have on the public’s conscience. Across the world, people have really taken the revived Doctor Who to their hearts, and the thought of that ever coming to an end seems implausible. So it’s good to hear the BBC are still committed and willing to invest in this programme. While season eight of the current run was (arguably) weaker than previous outings, season nine has worked hard to redeem itself - and, in part, it’s succeeding.
Attention now turns to who will replace Coleman as the Time Lord’s new assistant. We know that the episode following Clara’s departure, “Heaven Sent”, sees Capaldi alone, mourning the loss (potential death) of his companion, and marks a Doctor Who first as the only episode ever listed as a one-hander. With only one episode remaining after that, “Hell Bent”, it seems likely that the new companion won’t be revealed until either the last few minutes of the season - or in the Christmas special.
Any guesses on who the Doctor's new companion will be? Let us know in the comments!
Doctor Who continues next Saturday with ‘The Zygon Inversion’ @9pm on BBC America.