It's been revealed at the Radio Times Festival last weekend that Doctor Who Episode 11 will be the "most experimental ever," with Peter Capaldi revealing that The Doctor will be flying solo for the first time in over half a century. In comments reported by the Express, Peter Capaldi said the the Doctor Who episode, entitled "Heaven Sent," will be the very first to lack any companions. The Doctor was quick to re-assure fans, however, that it wouldn't just be him "pottering in a white room," but would be driven by a "robust" story.
"Heaven Sent" is another Stephen Moffat double header and will constitute the first half of the Season 9 finale. Doctor director Rachel Talalay, who directed last year's finale, will be returning to direct this episode, as well. Rachel told the BBC about the challenges of filming this unique Doctor Who episode.
"Episode 11 is one of the most complicated and different episodes I've ever done … It just has my head in spaghetti!"Capaldi quickly shut down any idea that this might be the season's "arthouse" episode. Doctor Who fans can expect the usual action-packed, wise-cracking rollercoaster ride that they have come to expect from the iconic British show.
Not only will there be the schizophrenic treat that is Peter Capaldi dealing with himself as The Doctor, there are other goodies in store for this episode. Doctor Who's most obvious current mystery is slated to be solved in this instalment. Fans have long been waiting for the explanation of Capaldi's re-appearance. Back in David Tennant's days as The Doctor, Capaldi played Roman trader Caecilius Iucundus in the "Fires of Pompeii" episode. Doctor Who fans will finally (we're told) understand why The Doctor and Iucundus have exactly the same face.
Capaldi has been characteristically humble about playing the character. Fan reaction to his last season's efforts were mixed, but it would seem that the majority of reviewers at least were very pleased with Capaldi's Doctor Who. Episode 11 will be a fascinating glimpse into the development of the Scottish actor's interpretation of The Doctor, who, he himself admits, he hasn't yet grown completely comfortable with. Capaldi said that many aspects of the character were a mystery to him, but that he didn't mind this as it was "nice to be surprised." So, fans are faced with the exciting prospect of watching this growth in an episode where, presumably, the Doctor will be mostly working things out in a conversation with himself.
Season 9 has been one of the most highly anticipated series of Doctor Who, with guest appearances from Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams as well as a host of other rising and established screen stars. As well as this, it is known that River Song, played by Alex Kingston, will be back for the Christmas special. Capaldi also assured fans that he had no intentions of leaving Doctor Who. Episode 11 and 12 are, of course, shrouded in mystery, but it would appear that Capaldi's Doctor is set to continue beyond this, his second season. When asked, Capaldi reassured fans that he had no plans to "leave at the moment." Addressing the exit of Jenna Coleman from the show, Capaldi indicated that the next companion might be another double act of some kind, which has led some commentators to speculate that we may be looking at another couple like the Ponds.
Of course, it's a long way yet to the eleventh episode. Doctor Who's next outing is "Under the Lake," the first part of yet another double header, this one written by Toby Whithouse. Toby is known for writing some classic Doctor Who episodes like the much-loved "School Reunion" and "The God Complex." Showrunner Steven Moffat was justifiably excited by Whithouse's new double header, calling it a "fantastic idea." You can watch the trailer for the next Doctor Who episode, "Under the Lake," right here.[Images courtesy of BBC]