As the season premiere quickly approaches, there's loads of Doctor Who news whizzing around this week. First up is a confirmation from the BBC that the Cybermen will be back this season. The above photo was posted, and interestingly, the Cybus industry logo has been removed from their chests. Maybe they're backpeddling a little and merging the look of the alternate timeline Cybermen with the originals who went through several different looks.
io9 posted a spoiler free review of the first two part story. Here are some excerpts, but by all means, do go read the rest of the article:
River Song and The Doctor Heat Things Up
Now that Amy Pond has finally settled down, this frees up the Doctor to flirt with the mysterious River Song. The first two episodes crank up the heat on these time travelers and their moebius-strip relationship. They start with the occasional eyebrow lift, close talk and flirtatious playground name calling, and before you know it you're craving the next round of Doctor/River banter. It's really the first time we get to see the Matt Smith Doctor unleash his flirtatious side, and it's brilliant. But don't worry — Smith manages to maintain his innocent charm throughout. Naturally, having River along also means plenty of future "spoilers." And yes she does drop a few hints about what she's already seen. But these tips are usually wrapped in a riddle and tied off with a "Sweetie" — so we're all still in the dark when it comes to River's future/past. But, like the Doctor, we're slowly starting to warm to this lady.
We promised we wouldn't spoil a thing, so we're just going to say this. There are giant twists and turns that will leave your jaw hanging open. Big game-changing characters and stories are introduced, and everyone is put through Hell — and that's just in the first two episodes. The crowd tried to coax a few more details out of writer and show producer Steven Moffat, but he stayed mum. He did, however, give us a lot of anxiety about the much whispered about 50th anniversary — by not saying anything at all. When the brain behind Doctor Who goes silent, you know he's keeping quiet about something big.
Not Aimed at Beginners
If you're hoping to introduce a Doctor Who virgin to The Doctor this year, you may want to start with a different season. While highly entertaining and fulfilling, the first two episodes would be all but impossible for a newcomer to pick up on. The premiere contains some mind games that could be pretty confusing for regulars, we can't even imagine explaining this complicated universe to someone who has no idea what a Time Lord is. There's very little room for a learning curve in this new season, which may turn off a lot of new viewers. But, if they can keep up with the fast-paced dialogue and follow Moffat's twisty plotting, it might not be so tough.
Several new photos have emerged (thanks for posting these, Craig Hurle).
A couple of scenes from the season opener, "The Impossible Astronaut", have been posted on YouTube.
On a more speculative front, DAMN Good Coffee...and HOT! posted a piece about something I am ashamed of myself for not having pieced together on my own. Recently, we posted the BBC's trailer for the upcoming season. At the :37 mark, there is a quick shot of the interior of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors' TARDIS. We first saw that version of the TARDIS in the first episode of the resurrected series, "Rose". The Ninth Doctor behaved as though he had only recently regenerated, mainly in a scene in which he is examining and commenting upon his features when he encounters a mirror. It is possible that somewhere between the events of Paul McGann's single TV appearance from years earlier and this episode that the Eighth Doctor switched to this version of the TARDIS. Back in October, we reported on Paul McGann suddenly appearing at a convention wearing what he described as a new outfit for the Eighth Doctor to wear in promotional photographs for audio plays and such. And he also had a brand new sonic screwdriver designed by WETA. Would they have gone to all of this trouble for CD covers? It seems more likely that either there is a television appearance on the horizon, and they want the new look to already have been out there so it's not jarring to see such a departure from the look we are used to associating with his Doctor. On the other hand, this could also be a preparation for a multi-Doctor event for the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of the show. Sure, it might be reading a bit into a split second of teaser footage, but what else are we going to do while awaiting new episodes?