Details On “Doctor Who” S8 Tone, Pacing, Arc

With less than three weeks before the new season launch of “Doctor Who,” producer Steven Moffat has spoken more about the plans for this year and the franchise’s future with new Doctor Peter Capaldi playing a darker, sterner Time Lord.

First up, the new season will not do the heavy story arc of Series Six or the almost completely standalone nature of Season Seven. Instead, they’re going back to the David Tennant and first year Matt Smith model in terms of storytelling – a season long arc hinted at briefly in various episodes culminating in an epic two-part finale. Moffat tells EW:

“Yes [there are over-arching plotlines], but at the same time 90 percent of every episode is a stand-alone adventure. We’ve got quite a lot of Earth stuff this time. But it is a proper variety, and I think i’ll not tell you what’s going to be on the roller coaster in advance.”

Moffat says Peter Capaldi’s two past guest appearances as different characters in the Who-niverse will be addressed this season, but don’t expect it to be a major story element:

“Truthfully I don’t think it’s something you have to resolve because audiences do understand that the same actor can play different parts. When Peter Capaldi turned up in Torchwood Russell said he had a plan in his head on why he looked like the guy in The Fires of Pompeii. So I emailed him and said what was the explanation and does it fit with the new Doctor? And it sort of does. So in a very low-key way we’ll address it. It won’t be a major deal because in the end people know the real reason is he’s played by the same actor. What’s really worrying me is Karen Gillan in The Fires of Pompeii. That’s just inexplicable 0 I’m going to get to that eventually.”

One big change is the pacing. Scenes run a lot longer, there’s less frantic cutting and less shouting whilst running. Actress Jenna Coleman tells Empire:

“It’s amazing how different it feels. It’s darker. The limits feel like they’re being pushed more in terms of the danger and the dread. It’s scarier, that’s for sure. A producer once told me this is the hardest job because you’re creating characters and telling stories while always on the run. But Steven’s changed the format quite a lot. We have much longer scenes now.”

Ben Wheatley, who directed the feature-length opener and the second episode, welcomes the change of both Doctor and format:

“For me, they are back to Classic Who, or the mid-Tennant adventures, where you’d tell a story and move on to the next one, less tied up in the final machinations of long plot arcs. Capaldi’s his own man but there are elements of Baker and Troughton and Pertwee. He’s inherently funny but inherently brooding and complicated, as a performer and a man.”

Source: Doctor Who TV