Doctor Who: first official series seven picture released

Plus casting news and 14 "big, blockbuster-movie episodes" confirmed

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The first promotional photo featuring the cast of the new series of Doctor Who has been released.

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As we reported earlier in the week, Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan began filming the seventh series in Cardiff on Monday. This new run of episodes – scheduled for broadcast in the autumn – will feature “the heartbreaking departure” of Amy and Rory Pond.

On returning as the Eleventh Doctor, actor Matt Smith said: “It’s thrilling and exciting to be back and working with two of my closest friends.”

Karen Gillan added: “It’s just brilliant to be back on the Tardis with Matt and Arthur for our craziest adventures yet.”

The official press release for the seventh series promises “thrills, adventures and dramatic surprises as the show builds towards its enormous, climactic 50th anniversary year”.

There will also be “14 big, blockbuster-movie episodes – each a brand new epic adventure featuring new monsters and some familiar foes as you’ve never seen them before” plus “a dramatic turn of events when the Doctor meets a new friend”.

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It has also been confirmed that Fast Show actor Mark Williams will guest-star, along with Rupert Graves (Inspector Lestrade in Sherlock) and David Bradley (Argus Filch in the Harry Potter movies).