Doctor Who series four preview

This Saturday, the revived Doctor Who returns to our screens for a fourth series. Here's what you can expect...

The logo for Doctor Who.

Saturday 5th April marks the long-awaited return of Doctor Who to our screens, with a brand new 13-part series. And given that it’s the last full run we’ll see until 2010, we’re determined we’re going to enjoy it.

Here’s what we know so far. The Doctor’s companion will be Catherine Tate’s Donna, last seen in The Runaway Bride. It won’t be a romantic partnership at all (and there’s lot of speculation as to just what the nature of Tate’s character will be), but Freema Agyeman and Billie Piper are both popping up later in the series.

It’s also all but certain that Davros is the big baddie that Russell T Davies is reviving this series, and it’d be great to see the creator of the Daleks back in action. We also know that we get the Sontarans this series too, and it’s good to see the back catalogue of monsters being checked into.

Less certain is that this will wrap up the Russell T Davies story arc that he brought in when he took on the show. Will we find out more about the time war? Will we get a proper follow up on the line the Doctor dropped two series ago about having a child of his own? Is there going to be a regeneration at the end of the series, with Robert Carlyle popping up in the Tardis? And will one of the many assistants – John Barrowman’s Captain Jack is also back – be knocked off by the end of episode 13?

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All these and more are set to be answered, so without further ado, a look at what we know of the running order.

1. Partners In Crime

Written by Russell T Davies, the season opener brings the Doctor and Donna back together. Sarah Lancashire is the guest baddie here.

2. The Fires Of Pompeii

Written by occasional Den Of Geek contributor James Moran (who co-wrote Severance, and also penned an episode of Torchwood), this is the episode that takes the Doctor and Donna back to Rome. Also stars Phil Davis and Peter Capaldi.

3. Planet Of The Ood

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We liked the Ood when we met them before, and it’s interesting to see that we’ll be going back to their home planet. Tim McInnerny is in the cast, and Keith Temple has written the episode.

4 & 5: The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky

Return of the Sontarans? A good thing. Casting of Christopher Ryan from The Young Ones? Yep, like it. Helen Raynor writing the script? Hmmm. She’s a good writer, but her two-part Dalek aberration of series three does stick in the mind. Bernard Cribbins is also supposed to be in this one.

6: The Doctor’s Daughter

Penned by Stephen Greenhorn, the intriguing title is led further weight by the casting of Peter Davison’s daughter, Georgina Moffett.

7: The Unicorn And The Wasp

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We’ve seen the giant wasp buzzing around in the trailer doing the rounds, but this episode also throws in Agatha Christie as this season’s historical figure to visit. Felicity Kendal guest stars, Gareth Roberts writes.

8/9: Silence In The Library/River’s Run

Can. Not. Wait. This is the Steven Moffat two parter, and it’ll be fascinating to see if he, nay anyone, can top last year’s Blink. Alex Kingston and Colin Salmon guest star. We’re promised frights.

10: Midnight

Russell T Davies takes on the writing reigns from this point in, so it’s a fair chance that we have a four-episode run-in to the series’ end. Or is this the episode without much Doctor in this year? Lindsey Coulson and David Troughton are in the cast.

11: Turn Left

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We think this is where Donna meets Rose Tyler. It would make sense.

12/13: Season Finale

Only episode 13 has a name so far – Journey’s End – but there are lots of guest stars promised, and an explosive finale that just has to be better than last year’s.

Doctor Who starts on Saturday in its new, earlier 6.20 timeslot.