The Doctor returns at last this Saturday, with the premiere of the eighth season of the modern Doctor Who TV series. Season eight's debut episode, "Deep Breath" (watch the trailer), will properly introduce Peter Capaldi as the Doctor's latest regeneration, after his brief appearance at the end of the 2013 Who Christmas special (and his forehead's even briefer cameo in the Doctor Who property's 50 anniversary special). To mark the occasion, today we can offer the full rundown of season eight, including each individual episode title plus the individual writer(s) and director involved.
Current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has, in the recent past, expressed a desire to mix things up far more in season 8 than he did on his previous three seasons as the series' head writer. Going by a more dramatic and darker trailer for this season, Capaldi's "less human" Doctor is a far cry from Matt Smith's boyishly absent-minded Doctor. As Jenna Coleman (who's back for season 8 as the Doctor's human companion Clara) has put it, "You can quite access him the same way."
As such, it feels all the more appropriate that Doctor Who season 8 was overseen by a number of directors who're new to the Who-verse, yet are very much experienced at crafting more adult-oriented entertainment. Indeed, when you look at the films (A Field in England, Tank Girl) and TV series (Strike Back, Da Vinci's Demons) on the collective resume for this season's helmers, it's an interesting mix of intense dramatic material and mature genre fare.
Here is the complete list of directors for Doctor Who season 8 (via BBC One); we've also included some of their previous directorial efforts.
- Episod 801 and 802: Ben Wheatley (Kill List, A Field in England)
- Episode 803 and 806: Paul Murphy (Casualty, Hollyoaks)
- Episode 804, 805, and 809: Douglas Mackinnon ("The Sontaran Stratagem", "Cold War")
- Episdoe 807 and 808: Paul Wilmshurst (Strike Back, Da Vinci's Demons)
- Episode 810: Sheree Folkson (Hit & Miss, Truckers)
- Episode 811 and 812: Rachel Talalay (Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Tank Girl)
Equally intriguing is the fact that a handful of Doctor Who season 8's directors know their way around horror territory - be it grounded in nature, like Ben Wheatley's work, or more fantastical, like the Nightmare on Elm Street feature by Rachel Talalay (Doctor Who's first female director in some time). That is to say, the ominous tone of those initial season 8 teasers could prove to have been rather prophetic of what lay ahead.
Bear in mind, saying that Doctor Who season 8 will be "darker," we're talking relative to recent seasons. As you can see below, the season's episode titles alone indicate the show is not abandoning its identity as a whimsical sci-fi/fantasy adventure - since, really, an episode titled "Robot of Sherwood" can only be so serious. ("Mummy On The Orient Express", though, now that sounds like an intense hour of viewing material... yes, I'm kidding.) It looks as though iconic Who villains The Daleks will be popping up as soon as the second episode this season, though we know there are other classic Who baddies waiting in the rafters for their turn to fight the Doctor once more.
On that note, here is the full episode rundown for Doctor Who season 8 (along with the writer(s) for each one). The roster of newcomers to the world of writing for Doctor Who this year include Peter Harness (Case Histories), Jamie Mathieson (Being Human), and Frank Cottrell Boyce (The Railway Man).
- Episode 1: Deep Breath - Written by Steven Moffat
- Episode 2: Into The Dalek - Written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat
- Episode 3: Robot Of Sherwood - Written by Mark Gatiss
- Episode 4: Listen - Written by Steven Moffat
- Episode 5: Time Heist - Written by Stephen Thompson and Steven Moffat
- Episode 6: The Caretaker - Written by Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat
- Episode 7: Kill The Moon - Written by Peter Harness
- Episode 8: Mummy On The Orient Express - Written by Jamie Mathieson
- Episode 9: Flatline - Written by Jamie Mathieson
- Episode 10: In The Forest Of The Night - Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce
- Episode 11/12 Dark Water/Death In Heaven - Written by Steven Moffat
One last thing to note - the BBC One's episode list confirms that Samuel Anderson (Doctors, Casualty) will be introduced to the Who-verse in the episode "Into The Dalek". He will be playing Danny Pink, who is one of Clara's fellow teachers at Coal Hill School - not to mention, someone who will occasionally be joining The Impossible Girl and The Doctor on their adventures through space and time.
Whether or not Danny will eventually become the Doctor's full-time companion once Clara's run with The Doctor draws to a close (rumor is that will happen during the 2014 Christmas Special) - that very much remains to be seen. Generally, the human companions are only able to keep up with the Doctor for a couple seasons, at most, before their time is done; which is to say, even if she makes it past Christmas, it's unlike that Coleman will remain on the show after season 9. One thing at a time, though, as we've yet to see how different (or not) life is, exploring the galaxy with Capaldi's Time Lord.
Doctor Who season 8 premieres on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014.
Source: BBC One