The shape of Doctor Who series 8 episodes

News Simon Brew 28 Jun 2014 - 08:20

A round up of what we actually know - not what's rumoured - about Doctor Who series 8...

You don't need us to tell you that later this year, the new series of Doctor Who - series 8 since its revival in 2005 - will be heading to BBC One. Peter Capaldi will be starring as the Doctor, Jenna Coleman returns as Clara, and Samuel Anderson is joining the cast too (although seemingly not until a few episodes in) as new regular Danny Pink.

Here's what we know about the shape of the series so far. We'll keep this post updated, but only with solid information. We'll keep rumours to other parts of the site.

With that in mind, here's what we do know...

UPDATE: Frank Cottrell Boyce completes the line-up of series eight's writers.

UPDATE: British singer Foxes will be a guest star in an as-yet unconfirmed series eight episode, acting and performing a track. Details here. 

UPDATE: Frank Skinner will be a guest star in Jamie Mathieson's episode. Details here.

UPDATE: American director Rachel Talalay is to helm two episodes of Doctor Who series eight, according to Doctor Who TV. Talalay's sci-fi and fantasy pedigree is well established, with episodes of Haven, Continuum, Supernatural, Kyle XY and more under her directing belt.


Deep Breath
Saturday 23rd August

Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Ben Wheatley

Guest stars: Neve McIntosh, Catrin Stewart, Dan Starkey, Nigel Betts, Paul Hicket, Tony Way, Maggie Service, Sean Ashbun

This story, set mainly in Victorian London, will see the Paternoster troupe returning. It's set to pick up pretty much straight after the Christmas episode.

The episode will be "feature length".


Thus far untitled

Writer: Phil Ford
Director: Ben Wheatley

Guest stars: Michael Smiley, Zawe Ashton

Lots of rumours about this one, but writer Phil Ford would only tease the word "lasagne", and then the phrase "behind enemy lines". Make of that what you will. An invasion of a Findus factory, perhaps?


Working title: 'Robots Of Sherwood'

Writer: Mark Gatiss
Director: Paul Murphy

Guest stars: Tom Riley, Ben Miller, Trevor Cooper, Ian Hallard, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Adam Jones

There's a Sherwood Forest setting for this one, it's been revealed.


Thus far untitled

Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Douglas Mackinnon

Guest star: Robert Goodman (Game Of Thrones), Sam Anderson

Goodman will be taking the role of Reg in this one, which will interesting Sam Anderson as new companion Danny Pink. Coal Hill School is part of the setting for the episode.


Thus far untitled

Writer: Steve Thompson
Director: Douglas Mackinnon

Guest stars: Jonathan Bailey, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Keeley Hawes

Keeley Hawes has been cast as a banker by the name of Ms Delphox in this one. She's going to be a villain, described as a "powerful out of this world character with a dark secret". The Doctor and Jenna will encounter her on "a strange and puzzling planet".


Thus far untitled

Writer: Gareth Roberts
Director: Paul Murphy

Guest stars: Nigel Betts, Edward Harrison, Andy Gillies, Ellis George, Jimmy Vee


Thus far untitled

Writer: Peter Harness
Director: Paul Wilmhurst

Guest stars: Hermione Norris, Ellis George, Christopher Dane, Tony Osoba

This is the episode that will take the Doctor back to Lanzarote, for the first time since 1984's Planet Of Fire. That's no coincidence, either. Steven Moffat has said that "the Doctor is returning to the scene of an old adventure", although "there have been sinister changes since his last visit".


Thus far untitled

Writer: Jamie Mathieson
Director: Paul Wilmhurst

Guest stars: Frank Skinner, David Bamber, Daisy Beaumont, Foxes

Foxes will be singing a song in this one, which will possibly be released as a single. "The Doctor is finally catching up on his phone calls", we've been teased about this one.


Thus far untitled

Writer: Jamie Mathieson
Director: Douglas Mackinnon

Guest stars: Christopher Fairbank, Jovian Wade, Matt Bardock, John Cummins, Raj Bajaj, Jessica Hayes

There's a working title of 'Flatline' for this episode.


Thus far untitled

Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce
Director: Sheree Folkson

Guest star: Harley Bird (Peppa Pig)


Thus far untitled

Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Rachel Talalay

Guest star: Joan Blackham

All we know for a fact here is that Talalay has revealed that her episodes are "not Doctor-lite, companion-lite, or anything else-lite". That and the fact that this is the first of a two-parter.


Thus far untitled

Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Rachel Talalay

The second half of a two-parter. Expected to be the finale of the series, before the Christmas special.


Thus far untitled

This one's assumed to be the Christmas special. Most likely written by Steven Moffat.

Further updates as we get them...

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i) 13 episodes in one year?

ii) Let's hope this is a bit better than the rubbish "series 7b".
iii) I'm not even sure why I'm still watching this show. Stephen Moffat can't write a sensical coherent story/arc to save his life. Let's have a change of management and put the messy mythology of the past 4 years behind us once and for all.

So we don't know much is basically what you're saying?

i) Good. The show works best when it isn't split season.

ii) Each to his own. Personally I thought "series 7a" was worse than "7b". In fact I wished there had been more of "7b" as it wasn't bogged down by the 'Ponds'.

iii) FYI, Steven Moffat can write sensible & coherent stories.

Well. Thanks for that. Very informative.

Sorry, but no he can't. You're just in denial.

Well, yes he can. Blink, Girl in the Fireplace etc. I'm not just convinced that he's able to make a sensible story arc over an entire series. They seem overcomplicated and non-sensical even for Dr. Who. Standalone stories though, he's awesome.

"We'll keep this post updated, but only with solid information"

Empty Child/Doctor Dances
Girl in the Fireplace
Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
Eleventh Hour
The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
A Christmas Carol
The Snowmen
The Bells of St John
The Name of the Doctor
The Day of the Doctor

What was that about denial?

I'm not sure why you're watching this show either

I agree up to Eleventh hour. After that......mostly a big pile of rubbish.. Sorry.

Any word on whether any of them will make much sense this time around?

some people are so rude, he's aloud to have an opinion you know. But by saying "you're just in denial" it's like you think everyone else agrees, which isn't true, it's only your opinion.

Everything after Blink has been average nothing spectacular. Since taking over the show he has given fans headaches with his puzzles loved his first 3 on the list after that no thanks. I love phil fords stories more these days

My grandpa Slapped the piss out of me once for talking like that. i told him that i had the right to my own opinion about this girl i was dating he kept calling her a b~#@!$^ made me sad real sad. I agree with you RUDE they are!

Do they still Findus products?

Behind enemy lines and lasagne... Maybe the episode title is War Horse?

So, only 13 episodes this year then. Not the 14 we should be getting. Why is the beeb penny pinching at a time when Dr. Who has never been more popular worldwide?

Season 1 and 4 for me have been by far the best, most consistent run of episodes on New Who. If it is a patch on either of those I will be happy.

Hoping for something wonderful, I still love DW but my husband and kids have all drifted away from it sadly.

Can he do stand alone stories? Yes, he's had some hits as you've listed.

But what about the multi episode arcs and the monumentally disappointing season finales? A lot of Moffat's defenders seem to like the emotional melodrama, the extremely cheap reset button-style solutions to each problem, which is what I can't fathom. The Doctor has ceased to exist, you say? No problemo! I'll just shed a tear onto a blue tardis-looking book, and shout at him for being late to my wedding, that'll do the trick. And don't get me started on Wedding of River Song.

I don't like his style, it's just too...lyrical. Sometimes it's more magic than sci-fi. I'm not trying to get anyone's back up with this or anything, but this is honestly how I feel about the situation.

because the Beeb has to be penny pinching, they haven't got the budget for a lot of things, hence the BBC 3 problems, the current arguments over the license fee and other such areas that have been all over the media news lately.

Doctor Who for the middle aged!

Hopefully episode 5 is a period episode. Keeley Hawes has a look that feels like it belongs in a different decade. An episode set in the 1920s with a film noir feel to it would be awesome.

I think everyone would agree having all the episodes together rather than split is good for the show, Moffat can write coherent stories it's just that he's not always consistent, but hoping with a new Doctor he'll go in a new direction in terms of how the stories a written.

So if Moffat continues the practice of letting the writers do what they want without interference, we can expect (so far) 3 episodes in which there will be plot development, consistent characterisation and character growth?

Actually that's harsh - after reading an interview where he talked about trying to improve the continuity in characterisation by getting all the writers together to spend the weekend hammering out the through-plot and major character arcs, I'm hoping the show-running will improve this season. I actually really like Moffat as a writer, but he seems to give the other writers way too much latitude to the point where it makes characterisation near impossible (one week Clara will be a stereotypical scream queen, the next week she's a seasoned military commander...and not in a way that can be palmed off by being scattered through time). This might even be BECAUSE he's a good writer - perhaps he gives the other writers the same 'hands off' freedom that he would want himself, to the detriment of the show.

It worked fine in season 5, where Moffat wrote 5 episodes himself, but the last couple of seasons have suffered badly from having a 'central mystery' that is only progressed in the first and last epiosodes.

Wait, we're only getting a 12 episode series, and then the special?

For god's sake. We haven't had a SINGLE proper doctor who series since series 5. The split in series 6 was a complete failure, splitting up series 7 was a disaster, and now, when I finally think things are back to normal, we still don't get a proper series. Ugh. At least it's only one episode this time.

well even with Peter Capaldi taking over as Doctor Who (oops what did i just type oh well) i'm sure it's still going to be awful.

But Doctor Who is a money maker, so they should be maximising the revenue source by actually increasing the number of episodes. Ideally I would like to see them have 6/7 episodes in the spring, a 2 parter shown on consecutive nights during the summer, 6/7 episodes in autumn and then a Christmas special. Constant coverage, constant brand awareness and they can even get away with putting out 5 dvd sets from that years episodes.

Where is the evidence that Moffat lets the writers do what they want without interference? Moffat is the show runner. He runs the show. Although, there is a Producer, and script editor. (God knows what they do)!

Doctor Who for the under developed brain!

A 'proper series' can be 12 episodes long, you know. Three months isn't some BBC travesty compared to three months & one week. We aren't in 2005 any longer.

A proper series can also be six episodes long. But a Doctor Who series should be 13, as it has been in the past. It's one of the Beeb's biggest commodities, but they've need neglecting it for years now. I know one episode doesn't matter in the long run, but after three years of not having a proper series, it gets annoying.

Pandorica/Big Bang was great other than the awful resolution to escaping the pandorica and the rather silly 'alliance'. Name and Day were both pretty great. Agreed that the other three weren't really that amazing though.

I'd also add season 5 into that list. 1, 4 and 5 are pretty comfortably the top three for me.

During the RTD era I really like the idea of the season arcs. Bad Wolf, Torchwood etc worked well. They lasted one season, were easy to follow and added something to the show.

Since Moffat took over IMHO the arcs have gotten out of control. There was so many loose ends when we got to The Time of the Doctor the episode became a mess as things were tied up, dealing with the regeneration limit and then the actual regeneration.

With a new actor becoming a Doctor comes a full season. I still think the reason they split season 7 was Matt did not want to do anymore with the commitment he had made for the 50th anniversary specials.

That's a fair comment. I love Moffat's work but he did take a fairy tale kind of approach to those seasons you mention, rather than sci fi.

Not really a problem for me, that. Peter Davison was the first to be officially credited as "The Doctor". Before that the character was always credited as "Doctor Who". Same for the new series. In series one it was "Doctor Who" again and then Tennant asked to credited as "The Doctor" for series 2. I don't know why it upsets people. The fact is that for 19 of 33 broadcast seasons the character was officially credited on-screen as "Doctor Who".

As I recall it I remember sontarans used to say "behind enemy lines" so who knows are we getting a REAL sontaran episode this time but then I hear lasagne and think if it is sontaran I will be concerned because known Stephen Moffat lasagne means the sontarans secret base which is where the doctor was really born which has his name in which has the master locked up, u know the whole fill up the cupboards with total crap scenario

A show about a guy with a box that can travel through all space and time and we keep getting episodes where he returns to the same time period on the same planet to hang out with the same people.

Maybe we could actually see the Doctor meet some of these new people he keeps introducing as vewry important characters instead of just hanging out with them for a disproportianate amount of time? No, we'll probably just have to hear about all his other adventure's in throwaway dialogue while he tramp's around Victorian England again.

I understand the desire to explore new reaches, but part of a narrative drama is having some sort of supporting team. As ambivalent as I am to Vastra and Jenny (although I do like Strax) it's much less grating than RTD's continual returns to modern day London (and Jacquie Tyler), and much less restrictive than the 3rd Doctor being stuck with UNIT.

The returns to Victorian London are fine, but I'd like it to make a bit more sense another time. The Crimson Horror's return to the characters almost made sense - The Doctor wanted to ask them about Clara. Except, then he didn't. And it became just another excuse to shove in 'Victorians are shocked by lesbians' jokes. I believe there is potential in those characters and that setting, but it's not being utilised at the moment.

[I'm not lurking, I just happened to pop online as I got the notification of your reply, honest]

[Wow, this got long, sorry]

I agree with both your main points. Victorian England is a fine setting (the modern day stories, be they London or Cardiff were also grating for me in the end) for Doctor Who stories and a supporting cast is indeed required.

My annoyance isn't at these things per se (I hate using that phrase, but it works here), it's at how these things are presented. Vastra, Jenny and Strax are fine as companions (not great, not awful, just fine), but what's their history with the Doctor? More importantly, why should I care?

They came out of nowhere and we were told that they were old friends of the Doctor who had shared adventures with him. We were suddenly expected to treat them as if we had built up a connection to them without having ever met them before. The same was done with the two glorified extras during Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. The same was done with Tasha Lem from Time of the Doctor and with others. Even with Clara and Amy there was a rapport built between them and the Doctor in off screen adventures that are mentioned during throw away lines, usually at the start of an episode. It's "tell, don't show" when it should be "show, don't tell".

The characters have a history and chemistry with the Doctor that we are meant to jump in on, but we have no history with them and they feel unimportant. This is what makes their sacrifices and tribulations feel so cheap and often unimportant, why should we care about characters who are treated much like Star Trek's redshirts (except they usually survive and often come back for more episodes).

It is a character treatment that (mostly) worked for River Song due to her time crossed relationship with the Doctor, but Moffat et al seem to think that it is a foolproof shortcut to character building for any random character.

As it goes, the London crew has grown on me a little (when they aren't being written like extras from a CBeebies show), but I still groan when they return because I was expected to love them from the start and instead they put me off. It is difficult to fully invest in a character after that. When Jenny and Strax were killed on Trenzalore my reaction was not "oh, no!" but "so?"

Sure we get all the information about the characters, but not in any meaningful way. There is information dropped here and there, and if I really want I can hit up the TARDIS wiki and read all about them. That doesn't make me care for them, though. I'm not a social worker and these are not actual people, I need more than a case file in order to connect with them.

Likewise with Victorian England (most of these points go for the other locations mentioned above as well), the place itself isn't an issue, it's the approach taken to it. Like you say there seems to be a fair bit of "eek, a lesbian!" to it, but that is only really scratching the surface. Moffat constantly spoke about "Victorian values" over the Christmas run, as if this was, once again, a foolproof shortcut to story.

Constantly returning to the same place allows him to forego worldbuilding and certain story beats because they are already there, we have already seen them. They allow him to re-use the same things over and over and over (lesbians, monsters among us, characters, etc.) so that the standalone episodes feel a little more fleshed out. There is nothing wrong with this in theory, however in practice the Doctor is supposed to hop all over time and space and appears to do so (judging by the stories he and his companions give us quick recaps of), but we rarely get to see it. This leaves the show feeling stale and uninteresting. If I wanted to watch a show about old timey English (or modern English, or Welsh) adventures then I would. I watch DW for time and space adventuring. Returning over and over within the space of a season or two feels like cheating.

The old show never had these issues (not that it didn't have issues of its own, of course). They had a perfect way of dealing with it in having mini-arcs. Instead of these big epic (so we're told) season long arcs that boil down to three, maybe four full episodes padded out with epic, cinematic (apparently) standalone episodes, the show would be much, much better off having storylines that span between, say, one and five episodes told concurrently. That way even characters specific to one time and place can still be developed within the story, stories aren't cut and crushed into rushed seeming messes just to fit into one 42 minute block with a minute or two of season long story shoved in at the end and the Doctor can actually be shown going on adventures to strange times and places instead of laughing about how great those adventures were in the same place and time we've seen eight times since last year.

The current format takes a lot of the tension out of the big storylines. Are we really to believe that the Doctor, a character who simply cannot resist a mystery in any of his personalities, would actually draw the mystery of the Silence out over two seasons and X centuries (I gave up counting because Moffat seems to jump him forward three or four hundred years every couple of episodes recently)? Why should I care about these apparently universe ending threats if the man who actually cares thinks they aren't as important as popping back to Victorian England for an adventure with three old pals who seem to have plenty of experience solving their own adventures without him?

Wow, that is a long reply. Fortunately it's a good one, with some very good points.

I'd agree that Moffat (and his writers)'s approach to characters and relationships is an appalling 'tell, don't show' one, and I'd say that the clearest example of that is in Clara who doesn't have a single defining character trait (or at least one that can't also be applied to Amy and River). She is the ultimate perfunctory companion, and no matter how good Jenna Coleman is (and I do believe she is a great actress) there's nothing to her character, because the most defining thing we know about her is that her parents met by happy coincidence... which (aside from being incredibly banal) has no bearing on a personality at all.

As much as I liked Neffy and the Hunter, they did seem very, very odd additions. Some very old friends of the Doctor, apparently... why not bring along some ACTUAL old friends? Seriously, what on Earth could the Doctor be thinking for THAT to make sense?

I don't have too big a problem not knowing Vastra's history with the Doctor, because I do think she's one of Moffat's stronger female characters (though that's not really a compliment), and I'd rather have the personality than the backstory. But you're right, we don't really understand her or her place in the world without seeing it.

(My reaction when they died on Trenzalore was different - we'd already seen Jenny die once that episode, I figured there was no way they'd stay dead this time round. Moffat has completely ruined death in Doctor Who.)

I am actually okay with the structure of the show... when it works. For example, perhaps my favourite season of the show was Series Five. The over arching narrative moved at a good pace (picking up speed in both two-parters), and the crack in time was something he couldn't exactly seek out, he just had to let it invade his adventures. He always cared about the crack in time, but he couldn't do anything about it, so put on a happy-go-lucky face for Amy. Series Six, on the other hand, was awful. And yes, the Doctor just wandering around for 200 years despite knowing there was a group trying to kill him is pretty insane.

I do hope there's more time and space travel next season, but I am okay with him having a surrogate family he can return to (even if I'd rather it weren't the Paternoster Gang. Bring back UNIT!).

Wow, that's a long sentence.
And I kinda lost the plot after "because". Wanna run that by us again?

Not knowing Vastra and the Doctor's history would be fine, but it's the way in which we don't know the history, if you see what I mean. There's a difference between "I know this person from long ago, but I'm not going to get into that," and, "this person is one of my bestest and most trusted friends ever with whom I have had many wonderful adventures and who would travel through time and space to be at my side when I need my most trusted compadres from the entirety of space-time, even though you have never heard of her or seen her and the people you have seen me get way closer to than her aren't trusted enough to be here!" [Run on sentence FTW!]

It just bugs me. Like I alluded to above, it makes the whole thing seem overly childish in a way.

I was also certain that the deaths on Trenzalore would be exceedingly temporary (in a universe where 3/4 episode threats - including the season's Big Bad - can be essentially defeated by love, what chance does a little thing like mortality stand?) but we still should have been intrigued at the least. We should have been enthralled, wondering how they were going to be resurrected by this mad b@stard with the big blue box. I never even raised an eyebrow. Ruining death is one thing (Marvel and DC did that long ago, but I still like them, lol) ruining resurrection speculation is unforgivable.

Season five was good, but then, as you point out, it took care of the points I raised earlier. There was no way for the Doctor to track the cracks so he had no choice but to carry on, it had multiple multiple episode arcs and they went to a range of different places and times. It amazes me that Moffat and co. managed to pick the things that drag the show down as the elements to keep while throwing out that which actually helped improve it.

I had little hope for Clara to begin with. However she grew on me a bit over the course of last year right up until she admitted to fancying the Doctor on Christmas. The fact that she didn't want to jump him was the only thing that really stood her apart from every bloody companion the Doctor has had since Doctor Who: The Movie.

Hopefully now that we have a new, old (huh?) Doctor the BBC will see that it's time to put someone else in the driving seat. Moffat did some nice episodes before he took over, but since then he's really ruined the greatness this show had achieved.

I remain hopeful that Moffat can salvage the show. As you adroitly put, he threw out the elements that worked and embraced the ones that were problematic. If he can let go of his desire to trick the audience (and the fanbase he seems to hold in genuine contempt) then I'm sure he can make a good go of it. If he can make a more honest series, and I think he can with Capaldi, then I think there's a chance he can save the show and his reputation.

Of course, that wouldn't help him come up with more emotional (rather than merely complex) stories that are completely causally linked to the characters involved, as opposed to casually linked (Clara was the impossible girl, but literally any companion could have been that provided they'd been in that position. Nothing about that story relates to her character)

I don't know. I think one of Moffat's biggest problems is that he has no clue about time travel. At all. Seriously. The amount of times I have been watching episodes going, "that doesn't work according to the rules he set up," is ridiculous. I know Doctor Who has alway played fast and loose with the rules (and continuity) but there has always been more attempt to cover it than Moffat has shown himself capable of.

Within five minutes of Gallifrey being saved I had worked out that the Doctor's actions negate the entirety of the show as he either never should have taken the TARDIS to begin with or he would have taken the wrong one (Clara related, obviously), Capaldi should be the second to last Doctor (there were thirteen Doctors circling Gallifrey, but two of his lives were spent as the one incarnation) and that Capaldi's presence at Gallifrey should have been enough to show the Doctor that he wasn't going to die on Christmas because there was at least one (I'm convinced two) versions of him that he had never been present when they zapped their home planet. Those are some pretty big holes, even by time travel story stanards, and they all arose because Moffat thought something would be a cool idea without actually thinking how it worked in the long run. That is not how a showrunner should operate, if you ask me.

Don't even get me started on Clara's trip through the Doctor's life, you only think my first post was long, lol.

Ooh, some of those points I'm not sure of... why would the Doctor never have taken the TARDIS since Gallifrey was saved? Capaldi is the first of a new batch, because there were twelve incarnations (the Eleven numbered ones and the Hurt Doctor, who's between Eight and Nine), and Ten used up a regeneration saving himself, bringing the total to 12 regenerations, or 13 bodies, Capaldi being the fourteenth. Eleven didn't know Capaldi was at Gallifrey (I don't think), so for all he knew he might have died there (of course, Tom Baker's character in the 50th might have spoilt it for him... but oh well).

Most of Moffat's plot holes he waves away with 'The changes to the timeline meant it so', which is basically his version of 'A wizard did it.' One that wasn't was this in the Christmas special: The Time Lords granted the Doctor a new regeneration cycle because Clara convinced them it was him, and that they didn't need to know his name to be sure of that. But the whole reason they wanted to know he was there was so that they could come back into the universe. If they confirmed that (which they must have done to grant him the regeneration cycle), why didn't they re-emerge?

But of course the timeline issues in that episode are amess. Another episode where he was definitely, definitely, definitely going to die. And then he didn't. So, the grave on Trenzalore presumably never happened. So that whole story was cocked up. Plus, I want to know what happened to the crack in the TARDIS window from The Name of the Doctor.

You're right, sorry. I was in the middle of something while typing that and misremembered my points.

Capaldi should be the last, not second to last. After all the job was easier the more of the Doctor showed up, so more of him should have shown up (this would be more of a speculation, but still...). He also knows how many times the TARDIS showed up. He may not have seen Capaldi, but he knows there was one TARDIS too many and he should only be able to count/remember up to his TARDIS meaning he should know that he has at least one more life to go. An interesting aside to all this is that he also should have known about Gallifrey disappering and not being destroyed long before his actions there since he should have been working on the calculations for it since his very first life.

The wrong TARDIS thing was actually related back the events on Trenzalore, not Gallifrey. Sorry about that, I got mixed up again, lol. Basically it was a paradox issue. It all boils down to how she never should have been part of his timeline until she was, meaning that the first "time" around the Doctor should have taken the other TARDIS and from what we know of the TARDIS he actually took he never would have had the adventures he had in the other one so the events needed for Clara to be entered into his timestream never would have happened, especially since the first iteration of the story wouldn't have had Clara in it at all - no matter which TARDIS he stole - as she was not special to the Doctor, he only sought her out in that iteration of the timeline because she kept popping up in his timestream and in order to do that she had to be with him to jump into his timestream which she couldn'y have done... and so on and so on. The thing about him getting his new regenerations on Trenzalore also exacerbated this (I knew it was something to do with Gallifrey, thanks for the reminder) as the grave, like you say, presumably isn't there for Clara to have jumped into the timestream at any point resulting in yet another huge paradox.

If I remember Christmas correctly (and I'll be honest there are parts of it that are a bit hazy, mostly the bits that featured beverage specific glasses) the Time Lords needed the Doctor to say his name or some such nonsense to initiate the re-emergence and they expended the energy they were using to keep the crack open by sending the new regenerations through so they couldn't wait around for him to confirm he was him. They could either reappear or help but not both type of job. I could be very wrong about that one, though, and I'm willing to say that there's a good chance I am. I'm still trying to figure out why it was Smith's Doctor who showed up if the signal was sent out across all space and time. Surely it should have been answered by the first Doctor to go back as far as the TARDIS could take him, which was probably Hartnell, just to see how far he could go.

The window crack was also on the dying TARDIS on Trenzalore so it could be that it's healing itself instead of dying (which I think will probably be the official line if Moffat is ever asked and given three months to come up with it), although that should still leave the crack there at the beginning of the Christmas special since that's when he supposedly died. Hmm, I never actually noticed that, thanks for bringing it to my attention. It does also bring up just how bad at time travel Moffat is though, since the reason the crack was there was that the TARDIS had to be crashed as it didn't want to cause a paradox by landing at its own grave, which makes very little sense, but he completely ignores the actual paradox the episode creates as its deus ex machina.

Just FYI to the Article writers at DoG - Mark Gatiss tweeted yesterday that, while he's been commissioned to write 2 episodes, they're not necessarily both for this next series:

Mark Gatiss ‏@Markgatiss 18h

To clarify. I've been commissioned to write two episodes of 'Doctor Who'. That doesn't mean they'll both necessarily be in this season.

The Name Of The Doctor was quite rushed and shoddy i thought as were The Snowmen and The Bells of St. John. Day of the Doctor was great apart from The tenth doctor looked nothing like the way he did in The Waters Of Mars or The End Of Time.

An invasion of a Findus factory, perhaps?...Neigh!

The christmas special has not ever been part of the regular 13 episode series, it's always been in addition to

Guest star: Robert Goodman (Game Of Thrones)


Game of Thrones
(TV Series)

Valyrian Slave

- Oathkeeper
... Valyrian Slave


Why are they all called "Thus far untitled?" Is it the new "Badwolf?"

So the entire series is made up of thirteen episodes all called Thus Far Untitled - radical! ;o) It's the Trial of a Time Lord all over again!

story lines featuring matt smith were all crap although he was good.... we need good stories which are believable that's the reason i was in love with this show in the first place..because any thing is possible with an alien but it must be believable.

Why are we only getting 12 eps in the main season? Has anyone from the show addressed why?

I have been watching repeats of Jon Pertwee Era Dr WHO on the horror channel. if you can forgive some wonky effects work and wobbly sets they are actually very very good.
I noticed that the SCIENCE part of the fiction seem to actually have some loose connection to ACTUAL science. That seems to be missing from new WHO altogether. Dont get me wrong I still like it but from older stories you can tell there was a bit of research into the concepts for the show. Having said all this I'm no scientist. Its just the reason for things happening and how the Doctor dealt with them seemed more plausable. (You know given his big brain and advanced technology).

If you're not sure why you're still watching the show, why come into the comment sections on DoG to slag it off?

isn't ep3 entitled "The Robots of Nottingham"? Some time ago I read it was, but it wasn't an official website so they could have been wrong about that.

You don't like his style, but that doesn't mean that what he does is rubbish. I don't like RTD's style but I admit he's a very good writer, I just like something different.

He wasn't supposed to! The Tenth Doctor came from s2, right after The girl in the fireplace. Just look at his hair (and the horse too).

Episode 2 could be set in war time Italy? just a hunch.

They wouldn't need to penny pinch on Who if there were more two parters!

He came from between Waters of Mars and End of Time, the start of EoT has him talking about how he just married Queen Elizabeth

Why is everyone assuming it's a 12 episode series, Moffat said 13 which may or may not include xmas but it's a lot more likely that its a normal 13 episode run. I don't think there'd be much point in reducing 1 episode.

You're right! I read somewhere that he was "definitely the s2 Doctor", since he obviously looked like him, and it seemed logic for Moffat to have put The Day of the Doctor right after his own episode of s2. I forgot about that quote from EoT, and also there's the fact that the Doctor didn't know about his marriage to Queen Elizabeth when he met her in s3, while that is obviously one of the things he remembered.

A pity, I liked the idea that the Tenth Doctor from the special was a relatively young Ten. Also he seemed to act more as he did during the start of DT's tenure as the Doctor than the later years.

I've been watching some of them too, having not seen them before. I understand that it was all because of financial/technological restrictions but I'll admit to struggling with some of the effects sometimes. I'm currently watching The Three Doctors and it completely takes me out of it when the "monsters" wobble by. Let's not even describe the "sea devils" either.

Like I say, I know the technology on the BBC back then wasn't great, but I really do find it difficult to enjoy some of the narrative when the effects are distractingly awful compared to modern fare. Hopefully I don't sound like a prize idiot/over-privileged wazzock. Maybe it's because I don't have the nostalgia for it, being in my twenties and all!

"I noticed that the SCIENCE part of the fiction seem to actually have some loose connection to ACTUAL science."

I know what you mean, but let's not forget "reverse the polarity" eh? ;)

You dont sound like you are a prize idiot at all! If everybody simply though "this will do" effects would never have got better! I'm 28 I was too young for these the first time and believe me some of them I just stopped watching due to how crap the effects were!
I only really gave them the time of day because my Dad used to go on about how great Pertwee was and in those terms I agree with him completely. He was Fantastic.

An Italianate historical? Cool!

The biggest single difference between RTD and Moff's era?

You were younger and more wide-eyed when you saw RTD's era.

Hi, I heard Doctor wHo is filming outside my office here in Cardiff (The Friary) on Monday 30th - all day. Going to be hard day not to visit the windows overlooking the filming location on that day!

Well it has been 4 years since david tennant wore that suit in real time, can't be helped if he's not a carbon copy or of he's aged a little... at least they tried to explain it by saying it was his "grunge period"

She/he's saying that "lasagne" is sontaran code for their new base/prison where the master is somehow being held. And it just so happens that unknown to the sontarans, that base is the doctors birthplace, possibly containing a hint to the doctor's real name. However green is worried that the buildup will be lousy and can be overlooked as in some episodes.

At least I think that's what green1234 is saying XD hope you don't get lost in this long comment too :b

I really wish Moffat would stop shoving that horrid Paternoster trio down our throats and/or act as if they were iconic in any way.

Deep Breath! He said "Deep breath(s)"... cool! ;o)

A 1920s setting which has nothing to do with Agatha Christie plots would be refreshing!

That rather depends just how young you were way back in 2005. I mean if you are 55 now the being 46 is hardly young or wide-eyed. if, however, you are 15 now and were then 6 - the logic fits.

Well assuming the series runs for 12 weeks from August 23rd then it will be over by mid-November. So episode 13 could either be a special finale - unlikely given they have announced episode 11 and 12 will be a two-part finale. Aside from the show's 51st anniversary or Children in Need there aren't any major dates of significance between November 15th and December 24th. I would think it will probably be shown as either on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day or perhaps even next Easter! There has been a slight reduction to the episode count because the BBC can't afford 14 episodes a year, hence the series split of the last two years. Chances are it will return in 2015 as ten episodes or not return until early 2016!

If only! I wish they would axe EastEnders, the ailing Casualty, Holby CIty and gawdawful Mrs Browns Boys and plough all that cash into a 26 episode Who! But hey, you can't have everything...

Why are we assuming that ep 13 is Xmas special? Other seasons have had 13 excluding the Xmas special - are you saying that there are only 12 eps in the season proper?

So episode one is actually feature length. So we aren't getting a reduced episode count for this season simply a two parter as a single episode. I'm glad. I was worried they were trying to find a way to shrink Doctor Whos budget again.

How is episode 13 rumoured to be the Christmas special? Each season always has 13 episodes with a 14th being the Christmas special. Besides, we still don't know if there will be a Christmas special because Moffat said there might not be one this year.

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