We’ve barely caught our breath after the dramatic, emotional finale to the most recent series, but Doctor Who fans’ attention is already turning to what happens next. (Sorry, that’s just how we are.)
Here, we’ve collected everything we know – plus a fair amount of what we flatter ourselves is informed speculation – about what to expect in series 10...
Peter Capaldi is the Doctor (but for how long?)
The Twelfth Doctor is definitely onboard for the whole of the next series – which, after Peter Capaldi’s sterling work this year, will surely come as good news to everyone. But will his third run be his last?
David Tennant and Matt Smith both did three full seasons (plus some specials) – as did William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy – so you could say it’s the nearest to a standard term of office.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Capaldi said: “I sort of enjoy this position I am in with a kind of deep Scottish melancholy because I know it has to end one day. I will cross that bridge when we come to it, which may be sooner rather than later.”
Which is fair enough – filming for nine months a year in Cardiff obviously takes its toll on actors whose lives and families are based in London. And it’s a very physical role for someone who turns 58 next year – even when they're as light on their feet as Capaldi.
On the other hand, he clearly adores the job. Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine, Capaldi said: “I would do 20 episodes [a year] if they let me. I could do Doctor Who all year round, quite happily.”
Asked why he doesn’t just stay forever, Capaldi responded: “I doubt that anyone can be Doctor Who forever. Then again…”
It’s Steven Moffat’s last series
It’s official: Series 10 is Steven Moffat’s last series as Doctor Who showrunner, with Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall confirmed to succeed him.
Speaking about the decision to quit, he said: “Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him. It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.”
At the very least, expect Moff to go out with a bang.
There’s a new companion
And her name’s Bill, played by relative newcomer Pearl Mackie.
Her casting was announced on BBC1 at half-time in the 23rd April FA Cup semi-final between Everton and Manchester United/ She was introduced with a scene from the forthcoming series ten, in which she meets the Doctor's oldest and deadliest enemies the Daleks for the first time...
Mackie is a relative newcomer to TV, but has done plenty of theatre work – having been described as "a star in the making" by the
British Theatre Guide – and is currently appearing in the acclaimed National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
What can we expect from her?
Mackie herself described Bill as "
Cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in."
Going further, casting director Andy Pryor
"I’m looking forward to seeing that playfulness that you saw in the clip. How that humour and warmth will play out. I think already it's clear she’s her own person who’s not going to be impressed easily. I think that’s quite a fun thing to explore, and it’s something that Pearl is brilliantly equipped to do."
Nardole is along for the ride too
The Husbands of River Song and The Return of Doctor Mysterio are not the last you've seen of Matt Lucas' Nardole; he's due to have larger role in series 10.
According to Steven Moffat, Matt Lucas’ role has been extended greatly from an initial few episodes: “He was contracted for certain episodes [of the 2017 series], and he’s crept into far more of them. I think he’s going to end up being in all of them, in fact, because we love him.”
“In the first episodes of next year’s series, he’s slightly broader,” Steven elaborates, “but we more clearly establish in this Christmas one that he’s sly, and clever, and daft – but he’s not just rent-a-duffer, as he was in The Husbands of River Song, where he was a relatively small character, killed off early on, who happened to be played by Matt Lucas. This is a chance to slightly reconfigure him. He’s a wee bit cheeky to the Doctor, but he’s genuinely helpful and good at things.”
Are there new monsters?
Details on individual episodes and monsters are scarce, but the recent trailer for series 10 unveiled various threats for the Doctor and Bill to defeat — including those eird emoji robots above.
Take a look for yourself below:
Are there guest stars?
Poirot himself, David Suchet, will be appeared on
Doctor Who as a character known only as The Landlord.
Ralf Little is also confirmed to be making an appearance in episode two of the series. Mina Anwar is expected to pop up in the same episode, while Stephanie Hyam (Jekyll & Hyde) is appearing in episode one.
There are exciting new writers
Confirmed so far are Steven Moffat, Toby Whithouse, Mark Gatiss, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Sarah Dollard, and Jamie Mathieson.
The most intriguing additions, however, are Mike Bartlett, writer of BBC One hit Doctor Foster, and Classic Doctor Who writer Rona Munro, whose last story for the show was 1989's Survival — the last episode of the Classic series.
The sonic shades may be back
Some grumpytrousers fans weren’t impressed with the Doctor’s hi-tech accessorising last season, but the arrival of a newly pimped sonic screwdriver in Hell Bent doesn’t necessarily spell the end for the x-ray (and more) specs.
“I think the sonic shades are fun,” said Peter Capaldi at the launch of the Christmas special, “and the sonic screwdriver’s fun, and a sonic hearing aid might be useful... There’s room for all kinds of sonic devices!”
Return to Gallifrey?
By the end of the last series, the Doctor had found his way back to Gallifrey, and appeared to have accidentally got himself elected Lord President. Again. But don’t expect him to give up his travels for a desk job in the Capitol – true to form, he’s already done a runner for the stars.
Nevertheless, with his home planet back on the scene, we have to wonder what sort of role it will play in the series going forward. And let’s not forget that the Doctor banished Rassilon and the High Council from their home world: that’s some pretty powerful, pretty angry enemies out there who are surely just begging for a re-match…
Back to school?
With spin-off show Class – set in Coal Hill School, where Susan was a pupil and Clara a teacher – due to launch in 2016, it would make sense for some sort of crossover episode. That’s how this 360-degree branding stuff works, right?
Talking to RadioTimes.com, creator Patrick Ness has already sort-of-but-not-quite teased a possible appearance by Peter Capaldi in Class – but what about the other way round? Watch this time and space.
Peter Jackson might direct. Possibly
The Lord of the Rings supremo and Who superfan has long been in the frame to helm an episode, with Steven Moffat
confirming in 2014 that talks were ongoing.
Then, in November, Jackson posted a hilarious video online in which he received another begging letter from Moffat, while the Doctor himself arrived at his house and demanded he sign a contract on the spot.
Was this the director’s way of teasing his upcoming involvement? Or just a bit of fun to amuse the fans? You decide…
Missy is back!
As confirmed by Michelle Gomez herself. Speaking to Music.com in October, she said:
"I can officially say that I will be starting back on Doctor Who soon."
Of course, the show itself hasn't officially confirmed the return of the Doctor's greatest nemesis/friend, but it's not like the Master would ever lie.
When can we see it?
After a year-long hiatus, Doctor Who finally returns with a 12 episode run in April 2017.
David Tennant will return as the voice of K9, with Matt Smith as the Rani
Okay, we’re just messing with you now!