With just over a month (33 days to be precise!) before the new series of Doctor Who materialises on our screens, after what feels like a lifetime longer than The Doctors. We take a look at the hidden clues in the new promo picture. Did you spot them?
A stunning new image for Doctor Who’s long-awaited tenth series was revealed today, giving us a sneak peek of the adventures that The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) will venture on.
But there are some clues hidden in the image. These clues may give us an idea of what the series will consist of, plot details, or could just be there purely by coincidence… unlikely. The clues are reflective of parts of the series, giving a taster of what is to come. This really is the tenth series summed up in a picture.
1. The Red Planet
No, it’s not an episode title (as far as we know so far), but it does sound pretty good, and could be the title of the series’ ninth episode. Going from left to right, this is one of the most striking features of the image. The planet is large, and well, red. And the largest of the two planets to appear in the background. But which planet could this be?
Whilst there’s more planets than there have been Dalek stories in the Doctor Who universe, there are two that seem more likely, and we’ve visited them before.
The most obvious to most, is that the planet is not that far away from us. This is the Milky Way’s red planet, Mars. It seems highly likely that this is the planet, which is home to the iconic and returning villains, The Ice Warriors, who have been confirmed to be back in a new and improved form in the series’ ninth episode, written by veteran Who writer, Mark Gatiss. In the recent promo, there was a prominent face that resembled The Ice Warriors, but in a slightly different form, so could we see some sort of Ice Warrior Kingdom, run by Ice Warrior Kings and Queens, only about 14/15 weeks will tell.
Another theory, which was the first to hit me, was this this planet could be Gallifrey. Okay, so Gallifrey is orange and looks a tad different from that, but so does Mars! It’s not too far-fetched as the planet did return to the show last series. So will The Doctor return to Gallifrey once more? Maybe he’ll be punished via regeneration for his crimes in Hell Bent, much like Patrick Troughton’s Doctor.
The second and smaller planet seen in the image seems to be Earth. Afterall, most adventures are Earth-bound, and the companions are usually from Earth, and this is no different with Bill Potts. However, the fact that Earth remains in the distance could possibly suggest that there are not as many Earth-based adventures as there have been the previous 12 years, and The Doctor may finally move on from his favourite planet. This ties in with previous comments made by Peter Capaldi that this new series will feature the “most cosmic of challenges”.
Another possibility is that this is not Earth at all. But it’s twin. Mondas, anyone? After the recent announcement that the original, classic and Mondasian Cybermen will be returning after over 50 years, could this sphere in fact be the home of Capaldi’s favourite foe?
The water beneath the Tardis that poor Bill (we’ll see whether we like her or not after her first episode) is leaping away from. This exact moment is all the more poignant, Bill leaping away from the water and rescued by The Doctor, safely (debatable) into The Tardis. This is because the rumoured monster of the first episode, and Bill’s first enemy, is Puddles. And if the filming pictures are anything to go by, then this is probably true.
The water could also represent the River Thames, which is a major part of the third episode.
Floating on the water, is ice. Presumably, there was more ice, which Bill was standing on, before it melted into water, reflecting how Bill’s life is falling apart and her new life with The Doctor is all she can rely on. Bit deep.
The obvious conclusion to jump to is that ice is a cool nod to the Ice Warriors, but could also be hinting to a different episode in the series – Thin Ice, written by Sarah Dollard, who previously penned Clara Oswald’s first (or second, or third, or- you get the point, she died a lot) exit, 2015’s Face The Raven (which SPOILER ALERT, she did). This episode looks set to be set in Victorian London, which is rumoured to be about a giant serpent which is living underneath the Thames… which is frozen.
So could this be a reference to the episode in which The Doctor and Bill visit the Little Ice Age, or is it a reference to our scaly villains, or something else entirely.
Also, we noticed that there is a lot of water-based themes this series. Puddles, frozen Rivers, Ice Warriors. We know that Steven Moffat loves Rivers and Ponds, but maybe there’s something much bigger at play. Possibly, the arch-villain of the series will be a water-based lifeform, or could it be hinting at The Twelfth Doctor’s demise?
5. The Burning City
Going up in flames, behind our heroes, is a city in the background. The city doesn’t look like any city we’ve seen before, certainly not on Earth, and doesn’t appear to be Gallifrey or Skaro. However, the city is most likely from Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s second episode, Smile. The location of the episode was filmed in Valencia, Spain, which doubled for a futuristic city, looking much like this one.
This flaming display also has similarities to Pompeii. Capaldi’s first appearance in Doctor Who was nine years ago, in The Fires Of Pompeii, and there have been filming pictures of monsters that look very Pyrovile-like. So is it the killer Robot Emoji’s that have done this, or is there something much greater behind this arson.
Just underneath the Tardis is a sky from, presumable, this alien world. The sky looks similar to Dawn and Dusk. Dawn symbolises the start of a new series, and the start of new companion Bill’s adventures aboard the greatest time ship in the universe. However, the dusk symbolises the end of Peter Capaldi’s tenure as The Twelfth Doctor, with Series 10 confirmed to be his final series as the Time Lord.
7. The Doctor
It’s Peter Capaldi’s last outing as The Doctor, and although he may have 13 episodes to see through until he regenerates, this image doesn’t hide away from the fact that it is his swansong. The Doctor clearly looks worried in this image, as he holds onto Bill’s arm, pulling her from the Ice, holding her mid-air, and retrieving her back to his home. Maybe this is how Twelve will die, saving Bill from trouble.
8. Bill Potts
Pearl Mackie officially hits our screens as Bill in just one month, and we finally get to meet Ms. Potts properly this time. Oh how Steven Moffat likes to tease us with companions, never getting to properly meet them until months later. The arrival of Bill means a fresh start for the show, making Bill this year’s audience surrogate, something which has not been seen since 2013. In the image, Bill is taking the leap away from what is underneath her, which is nothing solid. Escaping into the Doctor’s trusted care. She is leaping into dangerous territory though, as we all know life with The Doctor doesn’t always end well. Could this image be hinting that Bill’s life will never be the same again, and this leap into the unknown could be fatal. It’s certainly hinted that way, as the recent promo trailer ended with Bill stating that she “wouldn’t miss it for the world. Even if it kills me.” Now, if you’re asking us, that sounds like a death wish. Moffat does like to kill off his companions (River Song, Amy Pond, Rory Williams (six times), Clara Oswald (Oswin Oswald, Clara Oswin Oswald, and various others)), but could he actually go the whole hog and do it properly this time, where there’s no coming back and with no happy ending? With both showrunner and frontman leaving the show after this series, maybe new Executive Producer and Head Writer, Chris Chibnall, will want a clean slate, so the future’s looking pretty bleak for Bill.
Comic legend, Matt Lucas, returns in his role as loveable alien, Nardole. First seen in The Husbands Of River Song in 2015 and later in last year’s The Return of Doctor Mysterio, he is now a permanent fixture this year. After appearing in the previous two Christmas episode, Nardole is now a full-time companion, joining The Doctor and Bill on their new adventures in time and space. The image shows Nardole looking scared and anxious, clinging onto The Doctor for dear life. As funny as Nardole may be, he looks set to get himself into a lot of trouble, and potentially the other Tardis crew too. Nardole has qualities of a cowardice character, which could be fatal for himself or The Doctor. The character is quite similar to Lucas’ other half of his double act, David Walliams’ character, Gibbis in the 2011 episode, The God Complex. Could David Walliams be making a surprise appearance? It’d be a missed and wasted opportunity not to. Walliams could play a different character or the same, afterall the writer of his episode, Toby Whithouse, is returning this year, and brought back a character of the same species, Tivolian, in Series 9. Though this seems highly unlikely, never give up hope.
10. The Tardis
That iconic Blue Box. It takes centre-stage in the image, and is very prominent. This is the mode of transport that will take our three heroes to the widest reaches of the universe. But there are a few things we noticed.
Firstly, there is a flame on the floor, by the doors, in front of The Doctor and Nardole. Does this mean that we will be saying goodbye to the current console? This is the third console room of the revived era, and when Steven Moffat took over the show, he brought in a brand new Tardis set (twice). Could this mean that Capaldi’s regeneration will blow up and destroy the Tardis, much similar to Tennant’s? Or will something else destroy our favourite time-travelling ship.
Another thing we noticed, is that the console is glowing and beaming, golden and orange. The current console theme is orange, but it has more of a golden touch to it, much like the colour of regeneration energy. This could be a reference to this series being Capaldi’s last. But could it possibly be hinting at an early regeneration? Only time will tell.
The image does tell us a lot about the new series, however some of these clues may be just a coincidence or completely far off the mark. But if the trailers are anything to go by, it looks quite exciting, although trailers usually do make things look pretty good. The series itself looks very colourful (and we’re not talking about Bill’s t-shirt). The new series is very diverse, however. The main cast consists of the oldest actor to play The Doctor, the second black female to play a companion, and a gay actor playing an alien companion. This makes Series 10 one of the most modern series yet, bringing the show well into the 21st Century. But will the series be any good? Let’s hope so.
The new series of Doctor Who kicks off Easter Saturday on BBC One.