In Brief

Doctor Who trailer delights Comic-Con fans

Peter Capaldi and David Bradley join forces in new teaser video, but there's no sign of Jodie Whittaker

Fans who gathered at Comic-Con in San Diego for a celebration of Peter Capaldi's stint as Doctor Who and Steven Moffat's tenure as showrunner had a special treat -  a sneak peek of this year's Christmas episode. 

Twice Upon a Time is billed as a look at Who's history and features David Bradley playing the First Doctor, Mark Gatiss and Pearl Mackie returning as the Doctor's companion Bill Potts.  It will also be Capaldi's last outing as the Time Lord before he is replaced by Jodie Whittaker.

A BBC version of the trailer teases: "The Twelfth Doctor comes face to face with his past in his final adventure." 

One of the most thrilling aspects of the footage comes at the beginning, says Radio Times, with the first Doctor William Hartnell morphing before our eyes into Bradley, who played Hartnell in An Adventure in Space and Time.

"It's a staggering technical feat", says Radio Times, and a "great way of articulating just how perfect Bradley is for this role".

Hartnell's footage is taken from 1966's The Tenth Planet, which is set in a base in the South Pole, linking it to the frozen location where Capaldi's Doctor landed at the end of the last series.

Fans were also thrilled to see Polly, one of the First Doctor's companions, in the trailer. In the 1960s, she was played by Anneke Wills, but there's been no word yet on who will play her in the new episode.

That two Doctors are together in the same time and place seems to be something to do with a temporal glitch. In the trailer, Capaldi says: "Something has gone very wrong with time. We're trapped inside a single moment," says the 12th Doctor.

Gatiss appears as a World War I soldier known as the Captain, who could be the Brigadier as a young man.

James White in Empire wonders if he will say: "Five rounds, rapid," a famous catch-phrase of the Brigadier. "We can but hope!" he adds.

The trailer also revisits some familiar Doctor Who ideas, such as the two-Doctor scenario and "something going wrong that he – they – have to solve", says the critic.

However, there's no sign of Whittaker, "who takes over the Tardis key at some point during the episode", says White. But given that she didn't appear at the show's panel, that's not a surprise, he continues: "We'll just have to be patient."

Twice Upon a Time is on BBC1 on Christmas Day.

Jodie Whittaker becomes first female Doctor Who

17 July 

Jodie Whittaker has become the first women to take the lead role in Doctor Who's 50-year history.

The Broadchurch star, who has featured in films such as St Trinian's, Attack the Block and Venus, will succeed Peter Capaldi at Christmas to become the 13th Time Lord.

She had been one of the bookies' favourites in the run-up to the announcement, which was made by the BBC after the  Wimbledon men's singles final, along with Love Actually's Kris Marshall. Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge and comedian Tom Rosenthal were close behind.

Whittaker's casting reunites her with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall, who is taking over at the helm of Doctor Who after the departure of longtime show-runner Steven Moffat.

"I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for the Doctor simply blew us all away," Chibnall told the BBC.

Erica Lear, social secretary of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, hailed the appointment as "very brave"

It will also "spark debate and split fandom", she told The Guardian. "There will be lots of people not happy with the decision, but it's up to the new series to change their mind."

Speculation had been rife that the next Doctor Who would be a woman after the series ten finale hinted at an all-female future.

Doctor Who: Everything we know so far about series ten

14 June 2016

It's been a long five months since we last saw Doctor Who, following a dramatic series in which viewers bid farewell to Clara Oswald and caught up with fan favourite River Song.

Luckily for fans, filming for series ten starts this month, with Peter Capaldi once more at the helm of the Tardis. But joining him on his interplanetary adventures this time will be a brand new companion, played by Pearl Mackie.

With plenty of exciting developments to look forward to, what do we know so far?

A new companion

Until now, Brixton-born Mackie has mostly stuck to theatre work, including a stint in the National Theatre's acclaimed production of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This will be her first major television role.

Contrary to reports, the new character, who is somewhat incongruously named Bill, is from the present day.

"I know there are rumours about her being from the 1980s, but she isn't," showrunner Steven Moffat told Doctor Who magazine. "She's just wearing what young people are wearing now. I know that because Pearl chose her outfit herself."

Bill has the "irreverence and cheek to ask all the questions you're not supposed to ask on Doctor Who", he added, while her first meeting with the Doctor will be "very unusual".

Sleep No More part two?

Sleep No More was one of the most memorable episodes of Capaldi's run to date so it's no surprise a sequel could be on the cards. A standalone episode centring on found footage from the wreckage of Le Verrier Space Station, its unusual format was a hit with critics and audiences alike.

"Steven's asked me if I'll write a sequel – I'll see if I can do that," writer Mark Gatiss told the Radio Times. "If I can think of one, I would certainly like to do it because I think the idea is good and the monsters are great."

The plot, which ends in a rare defeat for the Doctor, needed "closure", he added.

Capaldi's final fling?

Capaldi is an unabashed Who anorak and has said he would play the Doctor all year round if possible. However, rumours have long abounded that this will be his last series, particularly given the show's flagging ratings. Although critics have largely praised his performance, he has been less of a draw to the show's largely young audience.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph ahead of last year's Christmas special, the 58-year-old Scot hinted he may depart alongside Moffat, who will pass the baton to Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall after series ten is complete.

"This could be my final year – it's terrifying," Capaldi said. "I love Doctor Who but it can be quite an insular world and I do want to do other things."

Matt Lucas is back

Little Britain star Matt Lucas will be reviving his character of Nardole from The Husbands of River Song.

The last time viewers saw Nardole, he was a severed head living in a robot torso and working as a waiter in a space restaurant.

Bringing the character back might not seem like the most obvious choice, but Moffat is clearly excited – and hinted it could be a long-term relationship.

"Delighted and slightly amazed to be welcoming Matt Lucas back on to the Tardis," he said. "And this time it’s not just for Christmas, he’s sticking around."

Lucas appeared equally thrilled, telling the Daily Telegraph he was "chuffed to bits" to return to the programme, which starts shooting the next series on 20 June.

Nardole features in the series opener, which has been written by Moffat. Other writers contributing scripts this year include veterans Mark Gatiss and Frank Cottrell-Boyce, as well as newcomers Sarah Dollard and Doctor Foster writer Mike Bartlett, Den of Geek reports.

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