The one-two punch of the third season of the 12th Doctor on BBC’s Doctor Who plus the new spin-off Class is the two-hour TV block sci-fi fans won’t want to miss this season. Last week witnessed the first episode of Peter Capaldi’s final season on Doctor Who, with Pearl Mackie as the new companion, a vibrant and refreshing character named Bill Potts. It also saw the premiere of Class, full of intrigue, exceptional actors, and great characterization for an introductory episode. Aliens and time travel fans should take note, as a fun ride is ahead this season.
It’s the 36th season for Doctor Who and tenth season since the 2005 reboot. Whovians who have fallen in love with Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman and their predecessors will find how easily Mackie slips into her role. After the sweetness and syrupy music over the past few seasons that supported Clara Oswald, the series was due for some fun and a break from the weight of emotion that Oswald’s plight brought to the Doctor. And Mackie’s Bill looks great, with a cool jean jacket full of flair and a wild shirts that fit in with the past styles of Doctor Who garb. And that hair! Bill provides a full character study in her first episode, “Pilot,” where an alien race of space oil beings seek out a star pilot in a woman who is the eye of Bill’s affection. The result is another creepy and brilliant Doctor Who villain that will hopefully surface again. Matt Lucas–who is hard to forget as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland–returns as Nardole, a part that is also quickly folding nicely into the show.
In the United States we had been offered up only the briefest teaser preview for the new Doctor Who spinoff TV series Class. With two stars of the Jeremy Piven star vehicle Mr. Selfridge in lead roles–the brilliant actress Katherine Kelly and the up-and-coming actor Greg Austin–the series was primed to be good, and episode one, “For Tonight We Might Die,” did not disappoint. As we had speculated earlier this year, the series seemed to be revealing what Doctor Who would look like with a woman playing the lead role. Katherine Kelly went head-to-head with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and proved she has the right stuff for the part. She’s perfect as a headstrong leader, and the younger leader played by Austin fills the niche that the companion would serve in the Who-niverse.
It’s not every year you get to watch the first episode of the 36th season of a television series. Airing off and on since November 1963, Doctor Who returns next month with the opener to its 10th renumbered season since the 2005 reboot, but several elements of the show will see their end. This will be the final season for Scottish actor Peter Capaldi leading the show as the 12th Doctor. And lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat and executive producer Brian Minchin will see their final season with the series. Moffat is famous for taking the series to its current international success.
Pearl Mackie takes over for Jenna Coleman as the new companion, a character named Bill Potts. Mackie is a newcomer to the BBC with only a supporting role film credit and a guest role on an episode of a British TV show. Matt Lucas returns as Nardole, and it appears he may be a recurring second companion something like Arthur Darvill’s Rory in the 2010-2012 episodes.
Rona Munro, who wrote the final story of the original Doctor Who series, is returning to write an episode of the show this season. Several other regular series writers will return, including Toby Whithouse and Mark Gatiss. This season will see an appearance by Poirot’s David Suchet and the return of Michelle Gomez as Misty–the latest incarnation of The Master. The TARDIS, Cybermen, Daleks, Weeping Angels, Mars, new spacesuits, old orange spacesuits, new aliens, new robots, new cyborgs, places from the past, new planets… they’re all here. Check out this preview for Season 10:
It has been a Christmas tradition in the UK on and off again for more than fifty years. The Doctor Who Christmas Special returns for another episode this Christmas Day, available in the states on BBC America. This year Fathom Events has teamed up with BBC to bring the show to movie theaters, for two days only. So you can watch it in television in traditional style and/or see it a few days later on the big screen. One of several Doctor Who screenings held by Fathom Events over the past three years, it’s as close as Doctor Who fans can get to experiencing a full-fledged Doctor Who movie.
Superheroes is the theme of this year’s entry, as revealed in the trailer below. “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” features the 12th Doctor played by Peter Capaldi, but without his normal companion Jenna-Louise Coleman. The good Doctor teams up instead with a journalist played by Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall, Sense & Sensibility, Jane Eyre), and the duo teams up with a new superhero to defend Earth from another alien threat. The show co-stars Justin Chatwin (Orphan Black, War of the Worlds), Matt Lucas (Alice in Wonderland, Doctor Who, Galavant, Community), Adetomiwa Edun (The Hour, Bates Motel, Law & Order UK), and Aleksandar Jovanovic.
The theater screenings will take place at 7 p.m. local time December 27 and 29, 2016. Check out the Fathom Events website here for theater locations and to purchase tickets.
Here is a preview of “The Return of Doctor Mysterio:”