Even though The Doctor was too busy (saving the universe) for a full appearance at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, fans of Doctor Who can finally set their clock (or TARDIS) for the show's season seven premiere. After several weeks of uncertainty, BBC has confirmed that Doctor Who will return on September 1st in the US, UK, and Canada.
Season seven, which coincides with Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary, is expected to be the biggest chapter in the long-running series - as the Time Lord faces the most dangerous question in the universe, "Doctor Who?" To celebrate the premiere date announcement, BBC has released a new trailer (which you can check out above) as well as offered up some fun quotes from the showrunners and cast.
We've posted the entire BBC press release, which includes the aforementioned quotes as well as synopses for the season's first three episodes, on the second page of this post. That said, it's a long read (around 4,000 words) and, as a result, we've pulled out a few of the more interesting tidbits for discussion below.
As with any yet-to-be-aired show, the following post contains MILD SPOILERS for season seven of Doctor Who. If you're attempting to avoid basic plot points for the upcoming episodes, turn away now.
Writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, was pretty guarded when he spoke about Doctor Who season seven at Comic-Con 2012 but, as the premiere draws closer, it seems as though he's opening up a bit more. Speaking about the season opener, "Asylum of the Daleks," Moffat teased one of the show's biggest episodes yet:
"We've been off the air for longer than usual, so it was an easy decision to come back with Doctor Who at its most iconic and that means Daleks. Lots and lots of scary Daleks. There have been many monsters to face the Doctor over the years, but only one that can sum up the whole series just by being there. Also, it's my first go at writing for them. I LOVE the Daleks, and I've held off till now. But I had what I thought was a good idea, and couldn't resist any longer!!"
Star Matt Smith, who plays the eleventh iteration of The Doctor, was equally enthusiastic about what's to come:
"We have five of the most exciting standalone episodes, with everything from Daleks to dinosaurs and of course, the fall of the Ponds."
Some fans are, understandably, hesitant about "the fall of the Ponds," not to mention new companion Clara (played by Jenna-Louise Coleman), but Smith summed up the situation with reverence to Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) - while also managing to sneak in some kind words about his next partner-in-running.
"It was terribly sad and I do miss them as they are such great chums [...] We knew it was coming, but just didn’t believe it. It is one of those things like when you are on holiday and you suddenly realize it is Friday and you are going home on Monday. But that is what the show is about, evolution and regeneration, and we now have Jenna who is lovely and great."
However, Moffat was quick to remind fans that there are still five full episodes left in the series before the Ponds have to say goodbye - promising that season seven will take us deeper into the fan-favorite pair's relationship than ever before:
"The story of the Ponds hasn't even begun to end yet - they've got loads more adventures with their mad friend the Doctor ahead of them, and we'll see more of their lives and Time Lord-complicated relationship than we ever have before. This more than any other, is the year of the Ponds. But, yes, it's true, I cannot lie - somewhere out there, the Weeping Angels are waiting for them...."
It's going to be tough to replace Amy and Rory, so the Clara character will have her work cut out for her. Though, it's hard to argue with Smith's assessment of the show - evolution and regeneration - especially considering it was just over two years ago that Whovians were having a hard time imagining a post-David Tennant Doctor Who. While some fans refuse to embrace Smith's eleventh Doctor, most viewers have warmed to the actor's portrayal by now. Similarly, it's been six years since fan-favorite companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) was replaced by Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), who was replaced by Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) who was, one season later, replaced by Amy Pond - proving that, as long as Coleman brings something fresh to the companion role as Clara and a fun dynamic with Smith's Doctor, change (even on a much beloved show) can be a good thing.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more Doctor Who coverage as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.
Doctor Who season 7 premieres September 1st on BBC and BBC America
Continue reading for the full Doctor Who season 7 premiere date press release.