Oh, the cruel games Steven Moffat likes to play with Doctor Who fans’ hearts.
Last year in a series eight finale full of shocking and sad moments like Danny Pink’s death and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara’s (Jenna Coleman) parting, perhaps the biggest surprise was the brutal dispatching of Ingrid Oliver’s Osgood – a Doctor fangirl and audience surrogate with a penchant for Time Lord-appropriate attire, who fell foul of Michelle Gomez’s Missy.
How we wept at her vaporised departure! But now it seems our salty tears were in vain as the character is returning to Doctor Who series nine in episodes 7 and 8 alongside frequent co-star Jemma Redgrave. Eh?
“Osgood is back, fresh from her recent murder at the end of last series,” showrunner Steven Moffat said in a release from the BBC while probably cackling maniacally and/or rubbing his hands.
“We recently confirmed that Osgood was definitely dead and not returning – but in a show about time travel, anything can happen. The brilliant Ingrid Oliver is back in action. This time though, can the Doctor trust his number one fan?”
Curiouser and curiouser – so could we be meeting a version of Osgood from before her death, reached through time travel as Steven Moffat’s quote hints at? Or is there something more sinister going on?
After all, in Osgood’s first appearance (for 50th anniversary special the Day of the Doctor) she was duplicated and almost replaced by a dastardly shapeshifting Zygon, with the classic Who monsters also confirmed to be returning in the episode (and visible in the image released of Oliver from the set) – so maybe Moffat’s making a sucker out of us all and she’s not Osgood at all…
Only one thing’s for sure: Osgood (or the alien pretending to be her) is sticking with her trend of accessorising like the Doctor. First we had Tom Baker’s scarf, then a bow tie/converse look that evoked both the tenth and eleventh doctors and now it looks like she’s sporting a natty Sylvester McCoy-style v-neck jumper. Very 1980s.
Speaking about her return, Oliver said: “As every actor who’s worked on Doctor Who will tell you, there’s always the secret hope you’ll get the call asking you to come back. To actually receive that call is both unexpected and brilliant.
“The word ‘honour’ gets banded about a lot, but it really is, it’s an honour. Especially because I was so sure Osgood was a goner after the last series!”
You and us both, Ingrid…
Doctor Who will return this autumn