The longest running science fiction serial in history, Doctor Who, has finally announced a premiere date for the new series. The news comes more than six months since the show’s most recent Christmas special, which saw the departure of the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith). Series eight of Doctor Who will premiere on Saturday, August 23.
For readers unfamiliar with the franchise, Doctor Who chronicles the adventures of an alien known as the Doctor who travels throughout all of time and space in his TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space). The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. The protagonist frequently befriends human companions who accompany him during his journey while helping him solve problems. The titular character is capable of cheating death and changing his face through a process known as “regeneration,” a concept which was introduced when the actor portraying the First Doctor, William Hartnell, was diagnosed with arteriosclerosis. Hartnell’s condition affected his ability to recite his lines and he was eventually replaced by the Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton. Regeneration, while staving off death, comes with a host of new and unpredictable side effects every time, including radical personality changes.
Peter Capaldi follows on the heels of Matt Smith as the Twelfth Doctor. Capaldi is not new to Doctor Who, having previously played a role in the show’s fourth series in addition to starring in the spin-off program Torchwood. Capaldi has had only one brief scene (and a cameo appearance) as the latest incarnation of the time-traveling alien, so it remains to be seen whether or not his performance will prove to satisfy fans of the series.
Matt Smith announced his decision to depart from the show after spending three years at the helm. While completely in love with the character, the actor cited exhaustion as one of the key factors which contributed to his exit. “It’s a very intense process…the line-learning is really hard, and you have to learn to live away from home…,” Smith said. Since ending his tenure, Matt Smith has expressed some regrets about leaving, stating that the new series sounds “really good.”
Series eight of Doctor Who promises to deliver above and beyond expectations in a manner which has not been seen since the show was revitalized in 2005. Showrunner Steven Moffat claims Peter Capaldi’s first outing as the Doctor will change the show forever. Another announcement accompanying the Doctor Who premiere date is that Moffat, who has served as executive producer since Russell T. Davies left the show at the end of the fourth series, will captain the ship through at least series nine.
Jenna Coleman is returning as companion Clara Oswald, a character who was introduced last year. Clara accompanied the Eleventh Doctor throughout most of his final series, and it remains uncertain how exactly she will react to the Time Lord’s new identity. The first episode of the new series is entitled “Deep Breath” and is reported to be “feature length.” In addition to the announcement of the Doctor Who premiere date, the BBC has released a new teaser, which can be seen below.
By Sam Williams