First it was speculation about the new face, then the new threads and now finally, new episodes – albeit with not so much a pinch of salt, more a giant flaming comet of salt hurtling towards us through the dark recesses of space direct from the planet Spurious.
Quoting the oft misunderstood work of the ‘insider source’ who’s knowledge and wisdom are match only by his total transparency, Comic Book Movie have what appears to be a (very) provisional and quite possibly spoilery rundown of potential episodes taken from the Doctor Who Anniversary Zone site.
The list, which contains a number of titles and one line synopsis, is as follows:
8.1 ‘The Twelfth Keeper’
The Doctor Battles the clockwork droids in Victorian England whilst also uncovering the truth behind ‘Jack the Ripper’. Whilst Clara meets a very familiar face.
8.2 ‘Across the Stars’
On a scientific way station in the year 3056 Clara and the Doctor uncover a DNA experiment that’s about to go very wrong.
Said to revolve around the assassination of JFK
8.5 ‘The Cult of Ra’
An Egyptian set episode
Said to be set on a forest world. Maybe the River song episode
8.10 ‘The Ghosts of Pompeii’
The Doctor and Clara travel to Pompeii to try and solve the mystery of his latest incarnation. The episode sees the return of the Pyrovile and fan favourite who appears in a cameo.
The Doctors quest to find Gallifrey is over.
8.12 ‘Master and Commander (rumoured)’
The return of the Master and consequently the Time Lords. Its believed the Master is now the president and will be played by esteemed British actor Charles Dance.
The problem with the list – apart from its lack of confirmation – is that it’s a little too neat; with ideas assembled entire on premises that sound like other Doctor Who episodes or old Moffat tropes that seemed unlikely to make a return, such as: River Song and a forest, Clockwork droids, a base under siege, and a mystery involving Egypt (oh for a Holmes/Hinchcliffe gothic horror episode with Capaldi the Conjuror).
Even the structure, in this the series that promises to tear up the rulebook and stomp on it with its shiny Doc Martens, recalls those of Russell T Davies – a much looser, less arch-heavy narrative with the penultimate episode leading directly into the events of the last without being a concluding part to that story.
Also, although Moffat supposedly addresses the issue of just why the Twelfth Doctor resembles Lucius Caecilius Iucundus from The Fires of Pompeii, it seems unlikely that a whole episode would be devoted to that strand; unless, and this is utter speculation on my part, the Time Lords life-giving regeneration of the Doctor somehow drew on the cataclysmic events of Pompeii – as if all those potential lives lost were some sort of deficit that only the Time Lords (yes, even perhaps a dastardly scheme by the Master, again up to his body snatching ways) could draw on.
Regardless of the validity of these episodes, there is certainly a lot to think about here – and as set photos have revealed there is at least one guest villain list above whose appearance has been confirmed – so what do we make of this list?
Is it Comic Book Movie just serving us up some heavily salted popcorn or like a bag of over-priced Minstrels, do we now know exactly what we are getting?