With DOCTOR WHO wrapping up the first part of its sixth series tonight in the USA (on BBC America), we Whovians can console ourselves with the terrific news this week that the BBC has commissioned 14 more episodes starring Matt Smith! Those will take the form of a 2011 Christmas Special and a 13-installment seventh series (or, more properly, a 33rd season) in 2012. No word about Karen Gillan (Amy) and Arthur Darvill (Rory), but still, what’s not to love?
Well, the tabloid press never met any good news it couldn’t twist to manufacture controversy and sell papers, so the lack of a firm premiere date (which is not the least bit unusual nearly a year ahead of time) has provided an excuse to speculate about delaying the series somehow – either pushing it all the way back to a fall 2012 premiere or repeating the split-season format we’re experiencing this year. Plus, more fear-mongering about ratings in the U.K.
Lots of exciting developments on the DOCTOR WHO front over the last week, and I have been lax in chronicling them… Where to begin? We have episode titles, a couple of teaser trailers and – the most fun – a mini-story that aired last Friday as part of Comic Relief’s charity campaign in the UK.
First, we now know the titles of the first two episodes of Series 6, which comprise a two-part story kicking off April 23: “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of the Moon.” And Episode 11 (that’s right, eleven) is called “The God Complex.” I love the names for the opening story, because they are very evocative; they fire the imagination. It’s no secret that Alex Kingston returns as River Song in these episodes, and they are both set in the good ol’ USA in the 1960s.
Speaking of evocative, the two ultra-brief teaser trailers show just enough to get you wondering – in other words, they are the very definition of teasers. One is 15 seconds long, and the other 24 seconds. Take a look at the short astronaut one:
After too many months, the announcement I have been waiting for so breathlessly has finally been made: The new season of DOCTOR WHO will premiere on BBC America on April 23, at 9 p.m., according to Entertainment Weekly.
This will be the sixth season since the world’s greatest fantasy series was retooled and revived, the 32nd overall, and second starring Matt Smith as the 11th incarnation of the Doctor, the last of the Time Lords. Also returning are Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, and Arthur Darvill as her husband, Rory Pond.
Among the highlights that have already leaked (possible minor spoilers): Award-winning fantasy author Neil Gaiman has written an episode currently slated to air fourth; the Doctor has a “proper” adventure in America (partially filmed in picturesque Monument Valley); Alex Kingston returns as the enigmatic River Song; and James Corden will be back as the Doctor’s ex-roomie, Craig Owens (last seen in “The Lodger”). The season kicks off with a two-parter written by show-runner Steven Moffat that promises to reveal at least some of River Song’s secrets.
Is it April 23 yet? Is it? Is it…?
After looking back at the DOCTOR WHO Christmas special in the last entry, let’s indulge in a little bit of hope for the future by taking a peek at the Series 6 (That’s Season 32 for the purists!) teaser trailer that capped “A Christmas Carol.” Let’s take a look at what awaits us in Spring 2011…
At first glance, this clip seems rather low-key, which is not a bad thing, because the stories look interesting. It might be because Matt Smith looks relatively restrained as the Doctor. The season looks to have a strong Amy (Karen Gillan) element, but Rory (Arthur Darvill) is not too well-represented. I was surprised to see the Ood back, and I don’t think anyone expected a naked River Song (Alex Kingston). But we will examine the trailer in detail at a later date.
My two favorite quotes from the clip: “I wear a Stetson now. Stetsons are cool.” And the dread-filled: “My life in your hands, Amelia Pond.”