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Doctor Who's New Season
A preview of the new season of the British hit science fiction program, Doctor Who.
The talk filling the internet has to do with who is writing what. New Head Writer Steve Moffat, who has been known to fans of the revived series for his wonderful writing on previous episodes like Blink, The Girl in the Fireplace, and the two-parter Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, is known to have written six episodes of the upcoming new season. A moment about the new season though. It will be the fifth complete new season of the show; however the British do not use the term "season". When Christopher Eccleston (the 9th Doctor) and Billie Piper (the perky blonde who played his companion Rose Tyler) began in 2005, those episodes were referred to as "Series 1", although the original show had run for 26 seasons from 1963 to 1989. The next year when David Tennant took over the lead role, it was known as "Series 2". Of course, the next year came "Series 3" and the next "Series 4"; however with the new cast and crew, the BBC is looking at the new season (or series if you prefer) as "Series 1", again. It can be confusing from a marketing point of view, lucky thing us fans are not marketing professionals. It will be "Series 5" if they like it or not. Now, back to the news about "Series 5", Moffat will be writing six episodes of the thirteen episode series.
Gareth Roberts (who wrote the fourth series episode The Unicorn amp; The Wasp and the third series episode The Shakespeare Code) will write one episode for the new series. Mark Gatiss (who wrote the first series episode The Unquiet Dead and the second series episode The Idiot's Lantern) has written two episodes. By my count, that makes nine episodes out of thirteen. Richard Curtis, the writer of the film Pirate Radio (or The Boat that Rocked, its UK release title) and former writer for the Blackadder, Mr. Bean,and The Vicar of Dibley television programs), revealed in an interview featured on the Bullz-Eye website that he has written an episode that will feature Vincent Van Gogh. With that, our count of episode writers is up to ten. Chris Chibnall, the former head writer of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood and the writer behind the third series episode 42, will be writing a two-parter, which brings us up to twelve episodes. Who will write that thirteenth episode? That is a question that may be answered in the coming weeks, as the new series is set to begin broadcasting in the Spring of 2020.
So, other than who is writing what, what other tidbits of information has leaked to the internet? For starters, the cast and crew were spotted in late-July 2020 filming what appears to be one of Steven Moffat's six episodes (a two-parter that will feature the return of Professor River Song). Professor River Song, played by Alex Kingston, appeared in the series four episodes Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, both written by Moffat. Photographs taken from the scene of filming appeared on the website Blogtor Who, showing new 11th Doctor Matt Smith filming alongside Kingston and his new companion Amy Pond (played by Karen Gillan). These episodes will feature the first meeting of the characters of The Doctor and Professor Song (at least from Professor Song's point of view) and it will also feature an event mentioned by Kingston's character in her fourth series appearance, The Crash of the Byzantium, which we've learned from photographs of filming is the name of a space ship.
During an interview with the BBC Radio 3 program Night Waves, Steven Moffat has stated that the new series will feature the return of the Weeping Angels, last seen in the Moffat penned episode Blink, back in series three. In October of 2020 the cast and crew were filming what will be episode one of the new series, this is known because Matt Smith is seen still wearing the battered suit of 10th Doctor David Tennant before he switches to his new costume. Mark Gatiss' contribution will be a two-part episode that will feature Winston Churchill and the return of the perennial villains of Doctor Who known as the Daleks, although in this twisty episode the Daleks will be working for Churchill, with filming of these episodes having taken place in August of 2020. The episodes featuring the return of Doctor Who villains the Silurians was filmed in November of 2020 and the episode featuring Vincent Van Gogh was scheduled to begin filming in December of 2020.
From the preview trailer seen after the broadcast of the 10th Doctor's finale, we, the audience, without internet rumors or filming spies, know that the Daleks are back, as are the Silurians and the Weeping Angels, but we also see Vampires. All in all, the newest series of Doctor Who (be it number 31, number 5, or number 1, again) will be full of the adventures, villains, and surprises we've come to love about the show. Episodes of Doctor Who appear on BBC 1 in the UK and can be seen on BBC America in the United States.