Right Doctor Who fans, it's time to get speculating about what the exciting Steven Moffat return could mean for the sci-fi series.


Could we be seeing a major moment including the forceful beat of a drum accompanied by a herd of antelopes? Stay with us here because, actually, showrunner Russell T Davies has included a bit of a clue in his announcement of Moffat's return.

Announcing the news on his Instagram, Davies wrote: "WELL. I turn my back for 5 minutes. I’ve had a quick look, and there’s a thing that does things and a perfectly ordinary word turned into something TERRIFYING and it’s all in outer space and there’s a woman and OH MY GOD.

"It is, of course, brilliant. Beyond brilliant, it’s an absolutely mesmerising episode! I’m lucky and proud and honoured to be working with Steven Moffat, the great man. And to have this directed by the genius of @julieannerobinsondirector …oh we’re all lucky! Steven was the second phone call I made, after getting the old job back.

"The first was Chris Chibnall, but he sent love and kisses and RAN! Off to write his new novel! So stand back, get ready, and travel with the Doctor and Ruby to the most dangerous world you can imagine, and… Antelope. Moment. Drums."

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Steven Moffat wearing a suit and smiling at the camera, stood in front of a blue backdrop
Steven Moffat. Alan Chapman/Dave Benett/Getty Images

So, if we're to take those three final words as an insight into what's to come, we could very well be looking at an episode which will include all of the above – or it could be a potential red herring, who knows.

What we do know is that when you provide a clue, Whovians will quickly flock to social media to air their ideas and ruminations on the topic, with this time being no different.

After Davies's post, one X (formerly known as Twitter) user highlighted the "westerly. Pelican. Dreams" sequence in the first of the 60th anniversary episodes in which David Tennant's Doctor tried unlocking Donna's (Catherine Tate) memories.

At the time, the series of words didn't really have much meaning, but many obviously centred in on the word "binary" which proved useful in uncovering Donna's memories of her time with the Doctor.

Another user didn't have a theory about the significance of Davies's new clue but simply admitted: "This man is gonna hurt me again isn’t he."

But could it also point at a possible reference to John Simm's Master? As well as one user pointing it out, one of the most notable uses of a drum in a Doctor Who episode came in The Sound of Drums, where the Master turns Tennant's Doctor into an old man and tears the sky apart with his paradox machine.

Lest we forget Simm not only appeared as the Master in that dramatic episode but the entire three final episodes of the third series in Utopia and Last of the Time Lords.

He later reprised the role, but could this signal a return? Or a storyline around his character? We'll just have to wait and see, but one thing's for certain, Moffat's return has certainly gotten the cogs in many fan's heads turning with ideas.

On the announcement of Moffat's return, it was also announced that Julie Anne Robinson will not only be directing episodes of the new season but also Moffat's.

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She said: "It was a tremendous honour to direct episodes of Doctor Who for the BBC and Disney Plus. This beloved franchise is 60 years old and still going strong. It is part of our collective memory as Brits.

"I've always admired Russell T Davies and Ncuti Gatwa is an unbelievably talented actor who has stepped into the role of the Fifteenth Doctor effortlessly, alongside the equally talented Millie Gibson.

"Steven Moffat gave me an intense challenge as a director. I asked him for a keyword to describe the overall tone of the episode he said, 'Hitchcock.' I can't wait to see what everyone thinks. I'm grateful to Bad Wolf, the BBC and Disney Plus. It was an incredible experience."

Doctor Who will return on Saturday 11th May. Previous seasons are available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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