Today’s Doctor Who Christmas special was capped off by an action-packed trailer for series ten of the sci-fi drama, stuffed full of new details, characters and adventures that shot by in the blink of an eye.
Lucky for you, then, that here at RadioTimes.com we were able to pull out a few of the more interesting details from our first proper look at the long-awaited series. Just call it a late Christmas present.
Here are just a few of the things we noticed…
1. New companion Bill is a dinner lady
Or she at least works in the canteen at some sort of university, with Pearl Mackie’s mysterious character commenting that she “serves chips” for a living in what may be a callback to Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler (chips often served as an example of normality and humdrum existence during head writer Russell T Davies’s tenure).
2. And she thinks the TARDIS is like a kitchen
The trailer plays up a lot of Bill’s sense of wonder and idiosyncrasies (including calling the Doctor “Doctor What”), so we can probably expect a similarly lighthearted performance from her next year.
In this scene (which suggests it’s the first time she’s been inside the TARDIS), Bill is wearing the exact same clothing as in her announcement video, where she and the Doctor take on a Dalek. The Dalek scene is supposed to occur in the series itself, suggesting it could crop up in either Bill’s very first episode (where she’s wearing this outfit) or the one right after, when she hasn’t had a chance to change.
Then again, maybe it’s just her favourite outfit, and she’ll whip it out again a few weeks into travelling with the Doctor. Who are we to judge?
3. The Doctor is a Professor
Or at least a lecturer of some sort, probably going undercover at whatever university Bill works at to unearth an alien menace. This is probably how the pair meet, in a similar style to the meet-cute between David Tennant’s Doctor and Freema Agyeman’s Martha Jones in a hospital where he masqueraded as a patient.
4. The Doctor and Bill will travel to strange alien worlds
Well, it is Doctor Who after all...
Just check out the above cool structure on a strange world (probably filmed when the series went on location to Valencia, Spain), or this interesting rock formation which looks pretty alien as well, and bask with us in Doctor Who’s cosmic scope.
We're basking. Are you?
5. And they'll also journey to Earth's weirdest history
The Doctor and Bill head back to what looks like the Victorian period in several clips, which almost certainly take place in the series’ second episode in a storyline that may involve a giant serpent living in the River Thames (according to rumour).
However, the new trailer offers some extra hints about the storyline that suggest it might be taking in a real-life historical event.
Just take a look at the above picture, where the Doctor stands on a bridge over a stretch of ice dotted with people and tents. We reckon that might be a bridge over the frozen Thames, with the people below attending one of the “frost fairs” that took place on the river during the so-called “little Ice Age” that saw harsher British winters in the 17th-early 19th century (maybe the giant serpent will be tied into the unusual weather somehow – that’s very Doctor Who).
After all, this isn’t the first time the Doctor has taken one of his companions there – back in 2011 episode A Good Man Goes to War, River Song (Alex Kingston) comments that she’d just returned from an ice skating trip at a frost fair with her Time Lord hubby, so clearly the Doctor remembers it as a place to impress.
6. And… underwater?
At first glance we thought these snazzy outfits were sort of space-punk spacesuits, but later scenes show someone smashing through some ice in an old-school diving helmet, so it looks like they’re for underwater use instead.
Could this be for rumoured fourth episode The Haunted Hub, written by Doctor Foster’s Mike Bartlett? Or are they connected to the frozen river in the Victorian episode, above?
Whatever the truth, there is a LOT of frosty weather in this series. We blame winter filming conditions in Wales.
7. The sonic sunglasses are back
After replacing the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver for most of last year, it seems like we haven’t seen the last of the Doctor’s wearable tech.
And no, we’re not sure why the Tardis is full of sad priests in this scene either. Doctor Who is a weird show.
8. We’re getting lots of new monsters
We’d already heard rumours about the new series featuring some emoji-themed enemies, but in person (above) they’re even creepier than they sound. Though perhaps not QUITE as creepy as this wet, screaming lady, whoever she is….
We also spied some sort of new tree-like humanoid alien (see below), though whether they’re friend or foe is yet to be determined.
What’s that we hear you ask? Is that little oaken girl the same species as the tree-people from 2011 Christmas special The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (below)?
Well, wooden you like to know? (we’re not sure either)
On the returning monsters side, there are Daleks. Of course there are Daleks.
9. And, er, Nathan Barley's there too
We get a quick look at a few of the series’ new guest stars in the trailer, including Nicholas Burns, better known to cult comedy fans as irritating proto-hipster Nathan Barley from the 2005 sitcom of the same name (and he gets punched in the face, satisfyingly).
We also get another look at David Suchet’s mysterious Landlord character, though there are no further clues about his true identity.
10. Nardole is in the house
It doesn’t look like he comes on every trip, but based on how many different settings he pops up in it certainly looks like Matt Lucas’s alien valet Nardole has a big role to play in the forthcoming series.
11. And… frankly, we don’t know what this is at all
Is this a futuristic library? An alien morgue? A massive speaker stack in an intergalactic club?
To be honest, we have no idea on this one – but it’s nice to have a few mysteries still hanging around until spring, eh?
Doctor Who series ten will air on BBC1 from Spring 2017