In a press release BBC America has announced that the new season of the British sci-fi series “Doctor Who”, with Matt Smith taking over as the eleventh incarnation of The Doctor and Steven Moffat becoming the series show runner, will have its U.S. premiere on the cable broadcaster starting April 17th.
The date means episodes will air two weeks behind the UK broadcasts which look to be kicking off April 3rd (not yet confirmed though). That gap may shrink later in the season due to factors like the Eurovision Song Contest and the World Cup affecting the UK broadcast dates.
Many responses to the recent 3D trailer indicated concern over the series becoming too young-skewed and “Twilight”-esque with yet another romance between the new Doctor and companion. A huge amount of what appear to be leaked story details over on Gallifrey Base however would seem to indicate quite the opposite.
RUMORS AHEAD – SPOILERS AHEAD
In the first episode The Doctor’s new companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) has a fiance, Rory Williams (played by “Little Dorritt” star Arthur Darvill), who will become a regular second companion in the second half of the season. It looks as if Rory comes onboard the TARDIS from the sixth episode, the Venice-set vampire story, and stays onboard for at least three further episodes. The Doctor apparently jumps out of a cake at Rory’s stag night/bachelor party in one episode.
As previously reported Alex Kingston’s Professor River Song character from the fourth season “Silence in the Library” two-parter will appear in the fourth and fifth episode of the new season – the two-parter involving the return of the Weeping Angels from “Blink”. Moffat has said in interviews we’ll see different and far more powerful kinds of Angels in these episodes as the ones from “Blink” were ‘scavengers’ and nowhere near the ‘height of their power’.
Kingston will also return for the season’s two-part finale which looks like it will be partly set in a museum of history and revolve around an object or creature called the ‘Pandorica’ which many across history have been pursuing including the Sontarans and possibly both the Daleks and the Cybermen. Roman soliders and Stonehenge are confirmed to be figuring into the story somehow.
The first embers of Song’s future relationship with The Doctor will likely be laid out this season which should be an interesting mix on screen (Matt Smith is 27, Alex Kingston is 47). Richard Curtis’ episode about Vincent Van Gogh (Tony Curran) will apparently have less scenes than an average episode as it’s a talk-driven possible bottle episode (ala “Midnight,” “Fear Her”) albeit set mostly in 1880’s Paris. Bill Nighy’s guest spot as the Musee D’Orsay’s curator Dr. Black will have the actor dressed in some “similar fashion choices” to The Doctor himself.
We may see an aerial dogfight between a spitfire plane and a Dalek saucer in the third episode entitled “Victory of the Daleks” which Mark Gatiss has penned. That WW2-set episode has a scientist using Ironclads (Daleks who don’t seem to remember what they are) to help Winston Churchill (Ian McNeice) win the war against the Nazis.
The two-part Silurian episodes are said to have a female member of the prehistoric reptilian race romantically falling for The Doctor. That story, set in a future where global warming has had a major impact, has the creatures cannibalising bodies from graves. Events of the Third Doctor story “The Silurians” are apparently directly referenced, but it’s explicitly stated that these are different kinds of creatures (which explains the visual discrepancy of no third eye).
Finally, due to the production shooting episodes out of order, filming is currently underway on the seventh episode of the series penned by Simon Nye (“Men Behaving Badly”). Gillan has been spotted on-set with a baby bump, though an insider tells The Sun it’s for a dream sequence.