The Sea Devils are one of the few iconic Doctor Who monsters from the classic series never to have appeared post-2005, but that's about to change.
The Next Time trailer aired during the end credits of New Year's Day episode Eve of the Daleks confirmed that the Silurians' aquatic cousins will return in the next special, titled Legend of the Sea Devils.
A synopsis reads: "This episode finds the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) in 19th century China, where a small coastal village is under threat – from both the fearsome pirate queen Madame Ching (Crystal Yu) and a monstrous alien force which she unwittingly unleashes. Will the Doctor, Yaz and Dan emerge from this swashbuckling battle with the Sea Devils to save the planet?"
The episode will also star Arthur Lee as Ji-Hun and Marlowe Chan-Reeves as Ying Ki, alongside the central TARDIS trio.
The special, which is set to air in spring 2022, will mark the Sea Devils' first appearance in Doctor Who since 1984's Warriors of the Deep, and only their third major appearance overall including their debut in 1972's The Sea Devils.
Unlike the Silurians, who were radically redesigned for the new series, it looks as though the Sea Devils' classic look has been more or less retained, though updated to allow for more realistic expression.
As noted, Legend of the Sea Devils will see the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) encounter the creatures – originally created by writer Malcolm Hulke – on the high seas, along with pirate queen Madame Ching (real name Zheng Yi Sao, played here by Crystal Yu).
Zheng Yi Sao was a Chinese pirate who was active in the South China Sea during the early part of the 19th century.
The final scenes of Eve of the Daleks saw the Doctor decide to discover whatever happened to the lost treasure of the Flor de la Mar – a Portuguese ship which sunk in November 1511 carrying a large treasure trove intended for the Portugese king.
Doubtless this too will feature into the plot of Legend of the Sea Devils, with a hunt underway for the lost treasure interrupted by a "demon" of the sea...
The episode is Jodie Whittaker's penultimate outing as the Thirteenth Doctor ahead of her exit in another special which will air in autumn 2022 to mark the BBC's centenary.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com back in November, West said it would be "an honour" to play the character. "I mean the fact I’ve been named as one of the favourites is quite special,” she said. "So I mean, it would be an honour to be the Doctor. I’m glad people think I could do it!"
Read more about Doctor Who:
- Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks’ time loops explained
- Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks confirms Yaz has feelings for the Doctor
- Doctor Who brings back surprise character from Jodie Whittaker's debut
- Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks addresses series 13 Flux plot holes