We already knew that Jodie Whittaker’s first Doctor Who series would be all about the new, given that the series has a new lead (Whittaker), new companions (Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Bradley Walsh), a new behind-the-scenes team and even a new time slot.
However, new (natch) boss Chris Chibnall has now doubled down on the upcoming series’ clean slate, confirming that popular returning characters from recent years of the sci-fi series won’t be coming back either.
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In an interview with the Times Magazine, Chibnall revealed that the likes of Alex Kingston’s River Song, Michelle Gomez’s Missy (aka the female regeneration of longtime villain the Master) and the Paternoster Gang (including Neve McIntosh’s Madame Vastra and Dan Starkey’s Strax) won’t be included this time around, and while it’s not a massive shock – we might have heard by now if any of those figures were making a reappearance, and both Missy and River are technically dead at this point – it’s a definite sign of the vision Chibnall has for the show.
“I want this to be a recruiting year for Doctor Who to bring in that next generation of audiences,” he explained.
Chibnall also confirmed that other recurring monsters like the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Weeping Angels had been banished for the time being, with series 11 instead focusing on new baddies and threats to be enjoyed by new and old fans alike.
In other words, even the most dedicated Who fan won’t have much of an advantage when it comes to keeping track of all the characters, aliens and monsters this series. True nerd egalitarianism at last.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Sunday 7th October