Everything You Need To Know About Doctor Who Series 9

Welcome, Kasterborite! You’re here… THIS is where we will be amassing every ounce of data we can squeeze out of the interweb on Capaldi’s second hurrah, Doctor Who Series 9.

Over the weeks and months we will be gradually adding to this repository to create the closest thing to a crystal ball. Feel free to muse, hypothesise and fantasize (steady), about the immediate future of Who.

Our sources will be linked to below but of course we cannot guarantee the veracity of what is announced. Plans change and rumors abound – we will endeavour to report ONLY what is said/ written and indicate who said/ wrote it.

Needless to say there will be SPOILERS and you venture below at your peril. You may disagree with the thoughts of your Komrades but please remember the forum rules on conduct. Now, if that’s all clear, park your time capsule, turn on the HADS and feast your eyes on Series 9 info-crumpets below…

Doctor Who Series 9

Filming commenced on Monday 5th January 2015.

Air date: series commences September 19th, 2015, on BBC One and BBC America. This is a 12 episode run until December, with a Christmas special to follow. While the BBC One screenings will likely shift slightly on a weekly basis (The Magician’s Apprentice will start at 7.40pm) other stations around the world are more rigid with their scheduling.

  • BBC America will air episodes from 9/8c, as per previous years.
  • In Canada, SPACE is also scheduling Series 9 at 9pm.
  • Australian viewers will get the episodes on ABC within 24 hours of the UK broadcast, commencing September 20th, at 7.40pm. Viewers with iView will be able to watch the episode “live” at 5.30am.
  • New Zealand’s PRIME TV will also be broadcasting on the 20th, at 7.30pm.
  • Germany’s FOX broadcaster will not be screening Doctor Who Series 9 until December.
  • In India, FX will be showing Series 9, but a date has not been confirmed.
  • Finally, in South Africa BBC First will soon begin broadcasting, with Doctor Who planned for their Saturday evening schedule when the channel launches in October.


In a Radio Times interview, Moffat revealed that some new writers would be contributing to Series 9.”We’re about to move on to a couple of scripts I’ve written and we’ve got some other stuff lined up from other writers – some new, some old.”

Steven Moffat – continuing as showrunner, Moffat is writing and collaborating once again. With Jamie Mathieson he has penned The Girl Who Died.

Catherine Treganna – Treganna is the first female writer on Doctor Who since Helen Raynor’s Sontaran two-parter in 2008. We’ve learned that her episode is called The Woman Who Lived.

Toby Whithouse

Mark Gatiss TARDIS

Mark Gatiss – confirmed he is writing a story in an interview with The Telegraph.

Peter Harness – After writing Kill the Moon for Series 8, Harness contributed the Zygon two parter (Episodes 7 and 8) this series.

Sarah Dollard – Making her Doctor Who writing debut this series, previously wrote for Being Human and The Game.


Daniel O’Hara – his CV indicates he will be directing two 60 minute long episodes. These could be the series opener and closer or perhaps the 2015 Christmas special. His previous work includes supernatural drama Being Human and RTD’s Wizards vs. Aliens.

Hettie McDonald (rumoured, then confirmed) – previously directed 2007’s groundbreaking Blink, which introduced the Weeping Angels, and has since directed Wallander, Law & Order UK, and two Agatha Christie franchises, Marple, and Poirot.

Ed Bazalgette – he will be directing Episodes 5 and 6, titled The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived. Bazalgette has previously directed Poldark, episodes of Eastenders and Top Gear.

Daniel Nettheim – directing Episodes 7 and 8. Nettheim has previously directed shows as GlueLine of Duty ad the mini-series Whitechapel.

Justin Molotnikov (rumoured then confirmed) – previously directed eight episodes of Merlin, Atlantis, and episodes of Shameless. He was rumoured when 2×60 minute episodes of Doctor Who appeared on his CV online.

Rachel Talalay – returning to yet again direct the two-part finale of Series 9, after she did the same for Series 8.


Ali Asad is Director of Photography on two episodes set to be shot in Spain, according to his Twitter post. This follows location shooting there for Series 8 (Kill the Moon) and Series 7a (Asylum of the Daleks and A Town Called Mercy). Spain was also used for The Two Doctors in 1984.

Paul Frift, Derek Ritchie, Peter Bennett and Nikki Wilson are all returning as producers of Series 9.


Programme Name: Doctor Who   - TX: 12/08/2015 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Doctor Who Series 9 trail - 12.08.15  - (C) BBC - Photographer: N/A

Recent shooting has taken place at Caerphilly Castle in Wales, which you’ll perhaps recognise from such stories as The End of Time, The Vampires of Venice, The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People, The Power Of Three, The Bells of Saint John, Nightmare in Silver and Robot of Sherwood.

Location shooting for the opening episodes has been taking place in Tenerife during the last week of February, suggesting that some recording for subsequent episodes has already commenced.

In the last week of March, location shooting took place at Margam Park, Castell Coch, Llanharan, and Marble Hall within Cardiff Town Hall. Filming also took place in Forest Fawr Country House and Tredgar House in late March.

In April and May, filming primarily took place in Cosmeston Medieval Village, with filming also in St Fagans National History Museum, Uskmouth Power Station (Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel), Cardiff City Centre, Maelfa Shopping Centre, Lydestep Flats (The Time of the Doctor), Cold Knap, MOD St Athan and MOD Caerwent (Death in Heaven) and Allensbank Primary School.

Sennybridge Training Area, used as Trenzalore in The Time of the Doctor, was also used as a filming location in early June. Cardiff City was once again used as a location on the first day of shooting for Episode 10.

Eddie’s Diner, used as the diner in The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, was used for filming of Episode 12 in August.


It was speculated and then confirmed on May 27th that a prequel minisode was being filmed at Caerphilly Castle that would directly lead into Series 9. The Doctor’s Meditation is set to be broadcast on BBC America, but a prologue pre-empts this.

Doctor Who Series 9 consists of 12 episodes plus the Xmas special.


1 and 2. The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar (Steven Moffat, directed by Hettie MacDonald)

“This is the opening two-parter. It features lots of Daleks and this time we mean it! Clara receives a mysterious summons and has to team up with Missy to search for the Doctor in a very, very old place.”

Steven Mofat told SFX that the episode “…features lots of Daleks and this time we mean it!” Along with Capaldi and Coleman, Michelle Gomez returns as Missy.  “Michelle Gomez as Missy was an instant hit last year, so she’s straight back to plague the Doctor and Clara in the series opener. But what brings her back into their lives is the last thing they’d expect.” Beyond the two episode synopses, we know very little about this story.

Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine, Moffat suggested that “[the] Master’s always been the Doctor by other means. He/she is the most Doctor-like character in Doctor Who other than the Doctor himself. The one tiny difference is… she’s insane! That character has always just been sort of mischievous and naughty, and not really understanding the Doctor’s fastidiousness about swatting flies. It’s just a friendship between a vegetarian and a hunter.”

In SFX, Steven Moffat revealed that  “Clara receives a mysterious summons and has to team up with Missy to search for the Doctor in a very, very old place,” while Peter Capaldi told Entertainment Weekly that “The Doctor [is] about to make a mistake that has cataclysmic repercussions.”

Also in the opening two parter is Jemma Redgrave returning as Kate Stewart, and Clare Higgins, reprising her Night of the Doctor role of Ohila, of the Sisterhood of Karn. Former The Bill and BUGS star Jaye Griffiths also appears.

3/4. Under the Lake/Before the Flood (Toby Whithouse, directed by Daniel O’Hara)

In SFX, Moffat teased:

“This two-parter is written by Toby Whithouse and features an underwater base plagued by creeping ghosts and an island that is about to be submerged in water. But who or what is doing this and how can the Doctor stop it? It’s very scary, atmospheric and claustrophobic, much like some classic episodes.”

Former Dennis Pennis star Paul Kaye – who has recently been seen in Ripper Street and Game of Thrones – is among the guest cast for this story, along with Morven Christie (Grantchester), Arsher Ali (The Missing), and Colin McFarlane, whose long list of credits cover everything from children’s TV shows like Mike the Knight to EastEnders and beyond.

5. The Girl Who Died (Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat, directed by Ed Bazalgette)

This is where things get complicated. Despite the related sound of the titles, and the same director, three writers contribute to these two episodes, which appear to take place across different locations and periods, but with some continuation of cast.

“They’re not all two-parters,” Moffat told Radio Times, “sometimes they’re just linked episodes. That 45-and-out rhythm has served us incredibly well for ten years, but there is a slight sense sometimes, about 35 minutes into the episode, you expect the hero music. It’s just making you slightly unsure you’ll get through the story by the time the music comes up. We’ve all got to be on our toes, can’t be relaxed.”

Speaking to SFX, Moffat enthuses “Those two are exceptional! The first part features Vikings fighting mercenary robots (and a dragon!)” The armoured creatures seen in the trailer are apparently “mercenary robots”.

What is usually discussed about these episodes, however, is the casting of Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark in the show. Her character in Doctor Who remains under wraps. Steven Moffat promises that “Once you see what she’s up to you’ll appreciate what a clever idea [the role] was. It’s a significant role, we’re not just throwing her away. It’s a great part and she’s terrific in it.”

“One thing I think is worth saying, because it keeps coming up as an issue, is that she is not playing a returning character. She’s a new character, she’s not a character from the Doctor’s past.”

Meanwhile Williams herself told Channel 4’s Alan Carr that “There’s been a lot of speculation about whether she’s like a younger Clara or whether she is a new character completely. I’m not going to tell you which one. Whether she is good or bad is up for discussion, I think. She does put the Doctor to the test and it’s sort of a dynamic that we haven’t seen before.”

6. The Woman Who Lived (Catherine Tregenna, directed by Ed Bazalgette)

Steven Moffat tells that this story is about “…a group of Highwaymen dealing with a Norse god,” with a guest cast joining Maisie Williams in the shape of character actor David Schofield (who replaced Brian Blessed after the latter fell ill), Tom Stourton (Siblings, Horrible Histories), Ariyon Bakare, Simon Lipkin, Ian Conningham, Murray McArthur, Barnaby Kay, John Voce, and Struan Rodger, who appeared at the end of Game of Thrones season four as the Three Eyed Raven (and has since been replaced with Ming the Merciless actor Max von Sydow).

Also cast is comedian and actor Rufus Hound.

7/8. The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion (Peter Harness and Steven Moffat (Episode 8 only), directed by Daniel Nettheim)

“This one is written by Peter Harness and Day of the Doctor acted as a prologue to it. In it, the Zygons made peace with the Humans, but not every Zygon decided it was okay so they’ve been raising an army, silently and now they’re rising against UNIT! We’ve been planning this forever and Osgood is in it! But how is that possible you’d ask? Missy killed her! Who knows? Well, we know.”

9. Sleep No More (Mark Gatiss, directed by Justin Molotnikov)

“This is a very unique Doctor Who story from Mark Gatiss. It wasn’t possible to do such an episode ten years ago, when the show came back and Mark has been rewriting it over and over again to make it perfect. It’s a beautiful story, very eerie and special, I think it’s going to be an instant classic.”

10. Face the Raven (Sarah Dollard, directed by Justin Molotnikov)

“An episode which leapt out as “why haven’t we done this already? This is so Doctor Who we should be doing this immediately”. And when Sarah Dollard walked in with the finalised script, it was even better! Really, this is going to be a fan-favorite, everyone will want to rewatch it.”

11/12. Heaven Sent/Hell Bent (Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay)

“A challenge. I won’t say anything else because it would be too spoilery, but when you’ll watch it, you’re going to ask how exactly the Doctor and Clara are going to pull it off.” Says Moffat.

We know that episode 11 features just Peter Capaldi, in what seems to be a remarkably ambitious idea (a companion/guest cast “lite” episode if ever there was one!), so much so that director Talalay told the BBC:  “Episode 11 is one of the most complicated and different episodes I’ve ever done… It just has my head in spaghetti!”

[Christmas Special 2015] (Steven Moffat)

Steven Moffat has indicated that there are multiple two-parters in Series 9, along with one or two linked stories.

Osgood and the Zygons have been confirmed as returning in the Peter Harness-penned episodes 7 and 8.


Peter Capaldi: The Doctor

Jenna Coleman: Clara Oswald

Michelle Gomez: Missy. This was announced by the BBC websiteand in DWM #480.

Jemma Redgrave: Kate Stewart

Ingrid Oliver: Osgood

Daniel Hoffman-Gill: Bors (The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar + prequel minisode)

Paul Kaye: Prentis (Toby Whithouse two-parter).

Joivan Wade: Rigsy (returns in Face the Raven)

Also cast in the Toby Whithouse episodes are Morven Christie (Grantchester), Arsher Ali (The Missing), Colin McFarlane (Torchwood: Children of Earth), Sophie Stone, Zaqi Ismail, Steven Robertson and Neil Fingleton.

Known for recent work in Ripper Street and a saucy turn as Thoros of Myr in Game of Thrones, Kaye does a natty line in sinister, quirky and unpredictable types. If you caught the Sunday Show back in the late 90s you might have caught his celebrity-baiting comic creation Dennis Pennis. Parental ADVISORY.

Guest cast announced on March 30th includes Game of Thones‘ Maisie Williams, Cucumber‘s Rufus Hound,  Horrible Histories star Tom Stourton as well as Ariyon Bakare, Simon Lipkin, Ian Conningham, Murray McArthur, Barnaby Kay (whose wife Nicola Walker is appearing in Big Finish’s Doom Coalition), John Voce, and Struan Rodger. Brian Blessed was cast as Odin in The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived, but withdrew due to recent ill health to be replaced with David Schofield (Merlin, Holby City, Pirates of the Caribbean).

Guest cast announced on May 8th includes a return for Jemma Redgrave and Jaye Griffiths, Cleopatra Dickens, Sasha Dickens, Abhishek Singh, Todd Kramer, Jill Winternitz, Nicholas Asbury, Jack Parker and Aidan Cook. On 5th June, Rebecca Front was confirmed to be guest starring as a yet to be revealed role in Series 9.

It was announced on June 10th that Joivan Wade would return as Rigsy, last seen in Flatline.

On 5th August, it was announced Reece Shearsmith will be guest starring in Episode 9, alongside Elaine Tan, Neet Mohan, Bethany Black and Paul Courtenay Hyu.

(Compiled by James Lomond and Christian Cawley, with thanks to Radio Times, Doctor Who News, Doctor Who Magazine and the BBC’s Official Doctor Who site.)


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