Post-regeneration stories are notoriously iffy for DOCTOR WHO – for every winner (like Matt Smith’s “The Eleventh Hour”) there seems to be a stinker (like Colin Baker’s “The Twin Dilemma”). Well, this story was a solid winner – though it played a lot like Tom Baker’s debut, “Robot,” because it introduced a very alien Doctor who was replacing a warm, familiar face.
The newly regenerated 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) arrive in Victorian London to confront a dinosaur in the Thames and a spate of suspicious spontaneous human combustions. Meanwhile, both the Doctor and Clara are getting to know the new incarnation of the Time Lord, with help from the Paternoster Gang: the Silurian Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny (Catrin Stewart) and the Sontaran Strax (Dan Starkey). The story is structured as a murder investigation: Who burned a dinosaur alive in the Thames?
When Peter Capaldi kicks off his first series as the star of DOCTOR WHO on Aug. 23, fans are going to meet an incarnation of the time-and-space-spanning hero with a new attitude: “This man is a total adrenaline junkie,” says Jenna Coleman, who plays the Doctor’s companion, Clara Oswald, calling the Time Lord’s new incarnation “a lot fiercer” than the previous persona (Matt Smith).
The feature-length introductory episode, “Deep Breath,” will see the Doctor recovering from his regeneration in Victorian London with help of his old friends the Paternoster Gang – the Silurian detective Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh); her human wife, Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart); and the Sontaran nurse, Strax (Dan Starkey).
The first official image of Peter Capaldi filming series eight of DOCTOR WHO — a clearly staged publicity photo with co-star Jenna Coleman — was released Today by the BBC, proving that work has begun on the new season in Cardiff, Wales, at last.
“New job, first day, slightly nervous,” the BBC quoted Capaldi as saying. “Just like the Doctor, I’m emerging from the TARDIS into a whole other world.”
Executive producer Steven Moffat teased: “First the eyebrows! Then, at Christmas, the face! Coming soon, the whole Doctor. In the Cardiff studios, the Capaldi era begins.”
Since the 12th Doctor is clearly still wearing the 11th Doctor’s costume, this shot must have been taken during the production of the first story, before the new Doctor has chosen his own outfit.
Joining the new Doctor will be a trio of familiar faces — but you’ll have to follow the jump to see who they are. SPOILERS!
Everyone’s favorite clone warrior/nurse Strax (Dan Starkey) files his latest field report, this one detailing the human custom of Christmas.
Happy Christmas, everyone, and enjoy the DOCTOR WHO Christmas special tonight at 9 o’clock on BBC America!
Strax has filed another field report for the Sontaran military, this time looking at the Doctor’s once and future frenemy, Queen Elizabeth I.
For some reason, I never tie of Strax’s (Dan Starkey) inability to differentiate between human “boys” and “girls.” I chuckle every time. SONTAR HA!
The Doctors (Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt) will next encounter Good Queen Bess (Joanna Page) in “The Day of the Doctor,” the DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary story, to be simulcast globally on Nov. 23.
DOCTOR WHO’s Strax has filed yet another field report (via the BBC) with his superiors on Sontarr, and this one evaluates the Zygon threat to Earth expected in the 50th anniversary story, “The Day of the Doctor.” This is also helpful for any fans not lucky enough to have seen the 1975 Fourth Doctor classic, “Terror of the Zygons.”
Also, Strax (Dan Starkey) gets in a nice plug for the tourist trade of… er, “Scotchland.”
It was only a matter of time until Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax made another appearance on DOCTOR WHO and, given their tie-in to the mystery of Clara from Christmas, that time was going to come sooner rather than later.
Yorkshire, 1893. Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny (Catrin Stewart) and Strax (Dan Starkey) investigate when the latest victim of “the Crimson Horror” is discovered to have an image of the Doctor (Matt Smith) burned into his retina. The trail leads to Sweetville, a Utopian society operated by Mrs. Gillyflower (Diana Rigg), which accepts only exemplars of the human form. Jenny infiltrates the society and discovers the Doctor chained in a secret room, his skin turned crimson and waxy, just like the deceased victims of the Crimson Horror.