The British Film Institute will kick off the new season of Doctor Who a bit early this year at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival with "Asylum of the Daleks."
The premiere episode has been described as containing "every Dalek ever" and was listed in the Institute's advance programing. The screening will conclude with an in-depth Q&A session with writer and showrunner, Steven Moffat (Sherlock), as well as other yet undisclosed cast and crew members.
While still remaining fairly tight-lipped about the episode, Moffat teased:
"The Daleks are coming back and they’re worse than ever. Just you wait until you see what they’re going to do."
Speaking via the BBC's official Doctor Who Website, executive producer Caroline Skinner added:
"This is an epic Dalek adventure that kicks off the new series in explosive style! If you think you know all there is to know about the Daleks, think again... [The episode will feature] every kind of Dalek ever faced by the Time Lord - including the legendary Special Weapons Dalek."
There are already plenty of theories as to what "Asylum of the Daleks" actually refers to. Has The Doctor stumbled upon a hidden intergalactic nuthouse full of Daleks? Or perhaps a secret group of Dalek refugees has escaped the destruction of their planet Skaro - caused by The Doctor himself - and are now seeking sanctuary with him...or from him.
Check out some sneak peak photos of "Asylum of the Daleks" released by the BBC (click to enlarge):
As usual, a lot of what will happen this season is being kept close to the chest, with Moffat only dropping little hints by tweeting:
"14 eps + Matt DEFINITELY. I’ve got a plan and I’m NOT TELLING YOU WHAT IT IS. Now hush or River shoots you with her Spoiler Gun."
But here’s what we do know (SPOILERS BELOW):
- This season will consist of 14 episodes split between Autumn 2012 and Spring 2013.
- The second episode of this season - partly set in ancient Egypt - will feature Queen Nefertiti and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter films) as Rory’s dad.
- The third episode will have a "Wild West" theme.
- Episode five will partially be set in Manhattan and feature the return of the Weeping Angels and River Song (YES!), plus the "final" departure of Amy and Rory (NO!).
- The series will break until Christmas.
- The Christmas special will written by Moffat and feature the debut of The Doctor's new companion played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. The new companion will be very different from previous companions and is "going to be a shock."
- The remaining episodes will air in spring 2013 and will contain the big 50th anniversary episode, which is still very hush-hush but is said to feature many familiar faces.
- UNIT and the Ood will both appear this season.
- Moffat has created new villains that he says are his "scariest yet."
- Confirmed guest stars include David Gyasi, Rupert Graves, David Bradley, Riann Steele (as Queen Nefertiti) in Episode 2, Ben Browder, Adrian Scarborough, Garrick Hagon, Steven Berkoff, Ruthie Henshall, Jemma Redgrave, Michael McShan, Dougray Scott, Jessica Raine, David Warner, and Liam Cunningham.
- Moffat also teased: "If we did a UNIT story, would Martha [the Tenth Doctor's second companion] be there?”
It should be noted that the BBC has not confirmed the actual television premiere date of "Asylum of the Daleks." Despite the British Film Institute showing the episode early, it doesn’t mean it will (or won't) hit TV around the same time.
Look for more Doctor Who season 7 news during San Diego Comic-Con 2012.