The very first foe faced by the Doctor and new companion Bill in the upcoming series of Doctor Who will be the Time Lord’s most iconic – the deadly Daleks, who coincidentally last appeared in the first episodes of series 9.
While we already knew the pesky pepper pots would play a role in one episode this year it was unclear where exactly they’d crop up, until official BBC pictures from the latest trailer revealed that it was new companion Pearl Mackie’s debut episode The Pilot that would see their reign of terror begin anew.
This also means that many Doctor Who viewers will already have seen part of the episode, as Mackie’s announcement as companion took the form of a scene where her character Bill and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) were assailed by Daleks. Programme-makers assured fans at the time that the footage would form part of a series 10 episode, and now we know which one.
Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie as The Doctor and Bill in Doctor Who series 10’s first episode
Finally, Bill’s confusion about all things sci-fi makes sense.
Other official BBC screengrabs also revealed telling information about the new series, confirming that the so-called “Wet Dalek Lady” (who appears in an apparition form yelling “Exterminate”) appears in The Pilot and is called Heather, played by actress Stephanie Hyam.
Stephanie Hyam as Heather in Doctor Who series 10’s first episode
This shot of Bill moving through some sort of trance state or energy field also apparently comes from the episode, perhaps indicating part of the new companion’s induction into the Doctor’s weird and wonderful world.
Pearl Mackie as Bill in Doctor Who series 10’s first episode
Elsewhere, it’s revealed that this giant underwater eye forms part of writer Sarah Dollard’s episode 3, while shots of a spiny spaceship and Bill in a spacesuit are listed as elements of episode 5, written by Jamie Mathieson. Those emojibots will turn up in Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s episode 2, as expected.
Pearl Mackie as Bill in Doctor Who series 10’s fifth episode
The screengrabs go on to place David Suchet’s enigmatic character The Landlord in episode 4 (written by Mike Bartlett), and the even more mysterious monks into a Steven Moffat-penned episode 6.
David Suchet in Doctor Who series 10’s fourth episode
The Monks in Doctor Who series 10’s sixth episode
And those shots of the Doctor in his sonic shades, with soldiers who may or may not be men of UNIT? Part of Peter Harness’ episode 7, perhaps returning to the themes of the UNIT-centric episodes he wrote for the previous series.
Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who series 10’s seventh episode
Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie and Matt Lucas (among others) in Doctor Who series 10’s seventh episode
Further on, we get confirmation that the Doctor and Bill’s trip to Mars takes place in the Mark Gatiss-scripted episode 9 (which will see the debut of a new kind of Ice Warrior), while shots of the Doctor and Nardole (Matt Lucas) held at swordpoint are revealed to be the work of classic 1970s Who scribe Rona Munro, who is returning to the series to write the tenth episode of series 10 (called The Eaters of Light).
Peter Capaldi and Matt Lucas in Doctor Who series 10’s ninth episode
Peter Capaldi and Matt Lucas in Doctor Who series 10’s tenth episode
So overall it’s clear that we have a wonderfully varied collection of Doctor Who storytelling ahead of us in series 10, including not one, not two but THREE different episodes involving oxygen suits (for space and underwater). Gotta love some alternate outerwear.
And maybe, just maybe, some fans’ raging desire to see the long-awaited series’ first episode will be quenched by the knowledge that they have in fact already seen part of it, way back in April 2016, and they can watch it whenever they want right now on YouTube.
OK, probably not. But it was worth a try, right?
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Saturday 15th April