“Where’re we going?”
It takes Peter Capaldi only 60 seconds to show you why he’s the Doctor.
With five weeks to go until the premiere of the eighth series, there have been scripts and unfinished episodes leaked on the internet. Spoilers abound. Doctor Who fans, the world over, have spent the last year debating Peter Capaldi as the newest regeneration of the Doctor and mourning the loss of Matt Smith, whose last episode aired at Christmas.
On August 23rd, millions of people around the globe will gather at their televisions to watch something together. They will live-Tweet their excitement and share a phenomenon that has a wealth of tradition behind it — there will be arguments and deep discussions. Friendships will be strained. Friendships will be made. Spoilers and rumors will fly.
Wait. All of that’s already happening, though. What’s so different about today?
Today, the official countdown begins. The trailer has been released into the wild.
But this isn’t a sporting event on the scale of the World Cup. It’s Doctor Who, a science fiction show which has, for fifty years, both divided fans and brought them together under one banner.
Last year for the BBC hit show brought large changes and an ecstatic celebration. A new Doctor was chosen and the show’s jubilee was observed in November with more excitement than is afforded to most heads of state, marking the 50th anniversary for a time-traveling alien in a blue wooden police box. The Christmas Special, with its brief introductory appearance of the new Doctor, the twelfth incarnation of the show’s main character and lead protagonist, left fans anxiously awaiting the new series.
Peter Capaldi is no stranger to Doctor Who. He’s a long-time fan and his face is already known. In the 4th series, aired 2007 and 2008, he played a Roman sculptor and merchant. The following year, he played the Permanent Secretary to the Home Office and Torchwood’s liaison to the government on the show Torchwood‘s third series, Children of Earth.
Taking up the reins as the Time Lord in Doctor Who, Capaldi, who many would know better as Malcolm Tucker from the television show The Thick of It and as Cardinal Richelieu on The Musketeers, has been lauded by showrunner, Steven Moffat, as a revolutionary choice. In a BBC press release, he claimed that
“It’s an incendiary combination: one of the most talented actors of his generation is about to play the best part on television.”
Capaldi certainly knows how to show the Doctor’s darker side with just a look. Can he also show the quirky levity and humor we associate with our favorite son of Gallifrey? Always a mystery, we’ll spend the first few episodes deciding what kind of Doctor he might become.
The eighth series will see a handful of new characters and a return of familiar alien bad guys. Michelle Gomez of hospital-based show Green Wing is a well-known face, as is the pop star Foxes. Samuel Anderson of Emmerdale fame will be joining the new Doctor and his companion, Clara (Jenna Coleman), on their adventures. There will be appearances from fan-favorite characters such as Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave), U.N.I.T., and the Paternoster Gang: Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart), and Strax (Dan Starkey).
Other familiar faces will include guest stars Michael Smiley (Spaced, Luther, The World’s End), Tom Riley (Da Vinci’s Demons, I Want Candy), Ben Miller (Johnny English, The Worst Week of My Life), Keeley Hawes (Death at a Funeral, The Avengers), Hermione Norris (Cold Feet, Separate Lies), and the comedian Frank Skinner.
A long-time enemy of the Doctor, the Cybermen will march in to send us all behind the couch again, but they aren’t the only villains to watch for. The Clockwork Droids and the Daleks will make appearances, too. Of course, there are also human-faced baddies and a rumor concerning the possible return of the Doctor’s best-known Time Lord frienemy, The Master.
Take a Deep Breath and brace yourselves…the internet is about to get a little more timey-wimey than usual.
[Image Courtesy of Den of Geek]