It’s been a little under a year since it was first announced that Jodie Whittaker would play the Thirteenth Doctor – it was, in fact, 16 July 2017 – and since then we’ve had relatively little news about the new series of Doctor Who.
Today, however, that changed, with a special trailer for Doctor Who series 11 airing at half-time during the World Cup Final.
The trailer gave us a brief look at the Doctor and her companions, promising new adventures to come – here’s a breakdown of everything you might have missed in the new trailer, and what it tells us about what to expect when Doctor Who returns.
Ryan, Yasmin, and Graham
The most important part of the new trailer was giving us a look at our three new companions: Ryan Sinclar, Yasmin Khan, and Graham, whose surname we don’t yet know. While the trailer might not have told us much about them, we did get a brief look at their lives: cafes and friends and take away food, the normal suddenly interrupted by the Doctor.
In that sense, then, what the trailer suggests is that the new series of Doctor Who might, in a way, harken back to Russell T Davies’ style, with its emphasis on the domestic juxtaposed with the incredible.
Doctor Who will have a new visual style
Just watching this trailer, you can see immediately that it boasts a visual style rather different to the one we’re used to. It’s a much more cinematic look, from the bold and vibrant colours to what appears to be a new aspect ratio as well.
Of course, we know that Doctor Who series 11 was filmed with new cameras – as the Radio Times explained back in December, the production team used special anamorphic lenses to create a “distinctly cinematic look”.
With a new composer and a new visual effects team working on the series as well, one thing we can be sure of is that the show is going to look and feel entirely distinct from what we’ve seen before – and that’s definitely something to be excited about.
It’s possibly the only plot point that the new trailer hints at, and even then, to be honest, it’s a bit of a stretch. As the trailer unfolds, we see Doctor walking past Ryan, Yasmin and Graham – with her presence having a strange impact on time itself, as Yasmin’s pizza returns, and Graham’s newspaper turns into a Beano from 1981.
Is this a hint that towards the overarching plot for the new series? Will we see the Doctor come unstuck from time, continuing to have this strange affect on her surroundings as she goes about her adventures? Probably not, to be honest, but it must be significant somehow.
Is Graham related to Clara Oswald?
See, you wouldn’t think so, would you? And yet, this trailer does feature a subtle callback to an episode of Doctor Who from series 7, specifically The Rings of Akhaten.
When the Doctor walks past Graham, his newspaper turns into an old issue of the Beano – specifically, the 1981 summer special of the Beano, which was last seen in Doctor Who back in, yes, The Rings of Akhaten. Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor was reading the comic while investigating the impossible girl – suggesting, maybe, that there’s some connection between Bradley Walsh’s new character Graham, and Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald?
You’d think it’s unlikely, but remember: Graham is the only character whose surname hasn’t yet been officially confirmed. “Graham Oswald” seems just a little bit more likely now, no?
The Daleks are returning!
The new Doctor Who trailer lingered, just for a second, on this shot of a pair of salt and pepper shakers. What could it mean? Well, surely there’s only one thing it could mean – the return of the Doctor’s perennial enemies, the Daleks, who are oft compared to pepper pots.
When the Daleks do return in Doctor Who series 11, as they most certainly will, audiences will look back on this trailer and understand this as the foreshadowing that it very clearly is.
That it very clearly is.
One key thing we still don’t know yet – though it’s the question on everyone’s lips – is when the new series of Doctor Who will actually begin. At the moment, all we know is that it’s due to start in the autumn – which is, of course, a pretty vague description, suggesting any time from late August to early October.
If we look back on previous years, though, there are some hints: Doctor Who series 9 released its first trailer on 9 July 2015, and its first episode was broadcast on the 19 September. This, however, was a slightly later start than last year – the trailer for series 8 was released on 13 July, with the series starting 23 August.
What’s also significant, though, is the number of episodes in each series: the upcoming series will only have 10 episodes, meaning it’ll be broadcast over a period two to three weeks shorter than in previous years. Production also started earlier – meaning that it’s possible that an earlier broadcast date is both feasible and desirable, particularly if there’s a hope to have a longer gap after the finale to build anticipation for the Christmas special.
It’s far from certain, then, but perhaps a good best guess approximation for the date of the series premiere is Saturday, 8 September – assuming we can even say for certain the series will still broadcast on a Saturday.
Really, what this trailer has shown us most is how little we still know about the new series of Doctor Who – which is a pretty exciting place to be in.
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