It’s a truism that every scrap of information about DOCTOR WHO spawns a myriad of questions and even more speculation; nothing is too insignificant to drive fandom into paroxysms of fantasy repercussions. Strap yourself in for these nuggets about the new season!
Consider these two photos from the pending prequel to series nine, “The Doctor’s Meditation,” scheduled to be shown at 3D screenings in movie theaters of the series eight finale “Dark Water”/”Death in Heaven” here in the USA on Sept. 15 and 16.
The first shot features Daniel Hoffmann-Gill as Bors, who reappears in the series nine opener, “The Magician’s Apprentice,” alongside Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, who is holding a chalice. No biggie.
Or is it?
That chalice looks suspiciously similar to the one from which the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) drank to stimulate regeneration into the War Doctor (John Hurt) in the 2013 online mini-episode, “The Night of the Doctor”! Does the Doctor have that same chalice again? Or is this just a case of reusing a prop that was lying around the shop? (I cannot imagine it is just a reused prop, because show runner Steven Moffat knows the way fans pick things apart, so he would never try to get away with recycling a cup!) So then what’s up with the cup?
And what’s up with Bors? In some versions of the story of King Arthur, Bors is one of the knights of the Round Table. The second prequel image certainly looks like it could be the Doctor visiting the time of King Arthur. And there is the unofficial belief (stoked by the Seventh Doctor story “Battlefield”) that the Doctor was actually Merlin, so perhaps this prequel tells of the Time Lord’s adventure as Merlin. (Which would quash the fan theory that the “Merlin Doctor” was a ginger.)
And, if this is a King Arthur story, is that chalice the Holy Grail?
If it is the Grail, it could still be the cup the Eighth Doctor drank from; the prequel could be the tale of how the Grail made its way to Karn!
Now that would be a heckuva story!
I also recall vague talk from just after the end of series eight that the Doctor might go to Karn in series nine to investigate the return of the Master as Missy (Michelle Gomez). And Kelly Hunter, who played a member of the Sisterhood of Karn in “NotD,” was previously announced as a guest star for this new season in an unspecified role.
And, don’t forget, there have been many rumors that McGann was seen in Cardiff this summer. Could he have been shooting a cameo for this story?
So this is my uneducated guess at what we’ll see in “The Doctor’s Meditation”: A King Arthur-themed story in which the Doctor takes the Holy Grail to Karn, where the Sisterhood will use it to help his earlier persona become the Doctor the Time War needed — a warrior!