The eighth season of the Doctor Who saw plenty of changes to the series, most notably a new incarnation of both The Doctor and his longtime nemesis The Master. Peter Capaldi's take on the eponymous hero has earned plenty of praise while Michelle Gomez's Master (now going by Missy) opened up new possibilities regarding the gender of regenerated Time Lords (though some find the idea controversial).
Since the 2014 Christmas special guest-starring Nick Frost, fans have been anxiously awaiting the return of Doctor Who. The first season nine trailer (released during San Diego Comic-Con 2015) built up some excitement and gave viewers, amongst other things, their first look at guest star Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones). Her role in the series has been a closely kept secret, but showrunner Steven Moffat has confirmed she will be an all-new character.
The BBC has now released a second trailer (above) for the upcoming ninth season of Doctor Who, once more featuring short, action-focused snippets of what's to come in the new season. Though some of the footage has been recycled from the previous trailer (the Doctor playing guitar), there's plenty to unpack in the video.
The trailer features a few new shots of Maisie Williams, this time wearing both peasant clothing and what appears to be noble attire. Plenty of the villains are also shown, including the Daleks, the Zygons as well as Gomez's Missy, who has apparently once again cheated death after the season 8 finale. The trailer also gave us a look at The Mire, a group of deadly alien mercenaries with eyeballs in their palms (a la Pan's Labyrinth). Finally, Clara seems to have undergone a bit of a transformation as she easily wields a rocket launcher at one point in the trailer.
Doctor Who season nine begins with a two-part premiere written by Steven Moffat, with episodes titled 'The Magician's Apprentice' and 'The Witch's Familiar'. Moffat has proven a divisive showrunner on the series, but fans hesitant about his scripting of the premiere will be relieved to know that director Hettie Macdonald is on board for both episodes. Macdonald previously directed the episode 'Blink', one of the most highly regarded episodes in the entirety of the long-running series.
Here is the official rundown of what to expect from Doctor Who season nine (along with confirmed guest stars for the episodes ahead):
In Peter Capaldi’s second season at the helm of the TARDIS, the series sees the Doctor and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) going on a journey that takes them to deadly alien planets, creepy underwater bases, Viking villages, a global Zygon uprising, and through hidden alien dens, to the very end of time itself. Meeting monsters old and new, the Doctor will come face to face with Missy (Michelle Gomez), a city of Daleks, deadly mercenaries called the Mire, terrifying ghosts and more.
Previously announced and taking up a guest role in the new season will be Maisie Williams, having already achieved global success for her role as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. Michelle Gomez (Missy) returns to plague the Doctor and Clara in the season opener, and UNIT are back with Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart) and Ingrid Oliver (Osgood) returning following their popular entrance last season.
Also confirmed as guest cast in the new season are Reece Shearsmith, Rebecca Front, Rufus Hound, Paul Kaye, Elaine Tan, Neet Mohan, Bethany Black, Paul Courtenay Hyu, Joivan Wade and Sophie Stone.
When the eighth season of the Doctor Who revival aired in 2014, it was immediately clear that the series was changing. The season focused on some of the darker themes and implications of The Doctor's universe, with the episode 'Dark Water' drawing numerous complaints for being too horrific for children to watch. While some fans were left longing for a return to the more lighthearted days of the series, the majority agree that the new direction has marked a return to form for the long-running series.
That said, the eighth season was far from perfect. While it delivered some truly remarkable episodes, the show suffered from some glaring plot holes in the overarching story. Moffat has the opportunity to correct these mistakes in the upcoming season, both through careful attention to detail and bringing new talent on board to work on the series, including the writers Sarah Dollard (Neighbors (TV show), Merlin) and Catherine Tregenn (Torchwood).
Doctor Who Season 9 premieres on September 19th, 2015.