The recent Christmas Day Special for Doctor Who marked a major turning point for the fantastical science-fiction series. After solving a Victorian-era crisis of man-eating snowmen, the Doctor decided to set aside his grief and track down another iteration of Clara Oswin Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman), a woman he has seen die twice in two different time periods.
Though the second half of this season of Doctor Who won't air until April of 2013, the show has wasted no time in drumming up interest in the upcoming episodes. As such, BBC released a trailer for the back half of season 7 on Christmas Day.
The trailer for next year's Doctor Who episodes features all the time-hopping, growling aliens, creepy villain designs, and familiar faces fans have come to expect from the cult-favorite series. Naturally, the segment focuses heavily on Clara, set to become the next companion to share the TARDIS with the Doctor. Given its focus in the trailer footage, the mystery of Clara's multiple incarnations looks to form the narrative backbone of Doctor Who's future installments.
One can glean quite a bit about the second half of Doctor Who's season 7 from the 40-odd seconds of video contained in the trailer. Other than the emphasis on Clara and her seemingly impossible existence, we can see glimpses of several different episodes. True to form for the revitalized series, it looks as if the show will make requisite stops in contemporary London, England's past, and at least one grimy alien world. Even if the show appears to be treading familiar territory with its settings, Doctor Who certainly continues to impress with its various monsters and bad men. There are quick shots of the Cybermen's return in the Neil Gaiman-penned, "The Last Cyberman," as well as at least one Sontaran, armored marauders, and unnerving eyeless creatures in dapper evening wear.
Essentially resetting the Doctor's personal status quo and starting a new overall storyline midseason is more than a bit of a gamble for Doctor Who. Had the sweeping changes to the show's cast and visual design occurred between seasons, the transition probably would certainly have felt less jarring. Nonetheless, making Clara Oswald the source of the show's new, overarching mystery is a smart move, creating an instant hook for audiences that might be jaded to the introduction of a new companion. This new trailer confirms that – despite the huge shift in its storyline halfway through – the show's seventh season will end on a note that's anything but boring.
Doctor Who will rematerialize on BBC and BBC America in April of 2013.