The release of the first Doctor Who Series 9 trailer at Comic-Con last week was one of the most anticipated and well-received events of the entire convention. If you’re like me, you’ve likely watched it dozens of times by now trying to suss out as many clues and ideas as possible about what’s to come in the new season.
But beyond the obvious, the trailer actually raises way more questions than it answers. So let’s think out loud here and talk about the biggest moments from the Series 9 trailer that had us asking, “what the frak?” (yes, I’m keeping it classy here and going with “frak” — work with me):A shrug from the Doctor. (Credit: BBC)
7. The Doctor’s Voiceover
As the trailer begins, we hear Peter Capaldi’s voice above the ominous music and flashes of action:
“Every time I think it couldn’t get any more extraordinary, it surprises me. It’s impossible. It’s evil. It’s astonishing. I want to kiss it to death.”
The question is: what is he talking about? Knowing the Doctor, it could be anything. The universe? Life itself? Or a plastic bag blowing in the wind?
It’s also odd to hear the Twelfth Doctor talking about wanting to “kiss” anything; he wasn’t exactly the most lovey-dovey type last year. There’s also a shot in the trailer of the Doctor running to Clara and gobbling her up in a full embrace. Strange changes are afoot, Doctor.Could this be the Fisher King? (Credit: BBC)
6. The Fisher King?
Most of the clips from the Series 9 trailer seem to come from Toby Whithouse’s untitled two-parter, comprising episodes 3 & 4. All of the scenes in the dark, water-filled tunnels likely come from those two episodes. We know this based on Clara’s outfit (revealed in a behind-the-scenes video during the filming of those two episodes).
A rumor surfaced a few weeks ago that the Doctor would face the Fisher King from Arthurian legend in this story. Seven-foot, seven-inch actor Neil Fingleton was announced to be part of the guest cast for these two episodes, and British tabloid The Mirror claimed that Fingleton would be playing an “underwater creature” calling itself the “Fisher King,” who is actually “a crashed alien that makes its home in Loch Ness.”
Doctor Who was also spotted filming at Caerphilly Castle around the time of this episode’s production block. Could it have been doubling for the Fisher King’s legendary Castle of Corbin? Take a look at Mr. Yellow Eyes up there; that does look like a crown on his head, does it not?
Then again, a lot of the clips in the trailer seem to come from the Viking episode, too, so maybe I’m completely off base.Whose eyes are these, and what is reflected in them? (Credit: BBC)
5. The Eyes Have It
Extreme close-ups of eyeballs always make me nauseous for some reason, so as much as I’d like to stop looking at this image, I can’t.
Check out those symbols reflected in this person’s extremely dilated pupil. What is that? It resembles Asian calligraphy somewhat, but I’m willing to bet it’s some sort of alien language. Hard to tell which episode this could be from either, but the dark lighting and the moist-looking skin around the eye lead me to believe it’s the Toby Whithouse two-parter again.Could this be the Dalek City on Skaro? (Credit: BBC)
4. The City of Brass
One of the most spectacular moments of the Series 9 trailer is this rising shot of a metallic city against a blazing sun. It speaks to the amazing budgetary changes in the show that this looks like it could come right out of a new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer rather than Doctor Who.
So where is this city we’re looking at? It could easily be a new location we haven’t seen before, but many online have speculated that it looks quite similar to the Dalek City on Skaro, as seen in the First Doctor’s very first encounter with them, ‘The Daleks.’ I’m inclined to agree, and the metallic sheen and design of the architecture is very Dalek-esque.
There’s a persistent rumor that the series opener, ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’/’The Witch’s Familiar,’ will see the Doctor returned to Skaro to face Dalek leader Davros as a child. Could this lend further credence to that theory?What is the Sisterhood of Karn doing in Series 9? (Credit: BBC)
3. The Sisterhood of Karn
It’s been evident for a while now that the Sisterhood of Karn would be making a repeat appearance this year, as Clare Higgins was confirmed as part of the cast for the season premiere, having previously played Ohila in ‘The Night of the Doctor.’
So what does Karn have to do with the events of Series 9? Who knows! Could the Sisterhood be responsible for the Master’s return and metamorphosis into Missy? Could Paul McGann be making a secret appearance as the Eighth Doctor? Or, as my fellow editor David Hill speculated, could we see the return of Morphius?The Twelfth Doctor, rockin’ out. (Credit: BBC)
2. And On Lead Guitar, Mr. Peter Capaldi!
I literally can’t even process this one.
Don’t take that the wrong way — I love this! It’s an awesome shot, with the shades and the triumphant hand in the air. But why in the hell is the Doctor playing electric guitar? I can’t for the life of me figure it out.
It’s extremely unlikely the Doctor just got bored and decided to break out some “Stairway to Heaven” in the TARDIS console room. There’s got to be a reason he chose to rock out. I’m guessing — and this is just pure speculation here — whatever creature/alien the Doctor and Clara are facing in this episode is affected by sound waves of some kind. And the Doctor being the Doctor, he decides the best way to take the creature out is to strap on a Fender and slam out a few chords.
Or maybe the Doctor just carries a guitar now. It is technically “sonic.”Who is Maisie Williams playing on Doctor Who Series 9? (Credit: BBC)
1. What Took You So Long, Old Man?
It’s the number one question on the minds of Whovians everywhere right now: who is Maisie Williams playing?!
Frankly, the speculation has gotten a little out of hand. The running theories seem to be that she’s either Susan (the daughter’s long-lost granddaughter), a somehow resurrected River Song, a young Missy, or one of the many Claras scattered throughout the Doctor’s timeline.
I suppose any of those are possible, but I don’t think any of them are actually correct. I maintain that this is a new character. Yes, the Doctor clearly recognizes her, but realize: this scene is from the episode ‘The Woman Who Lived,’ which is the second episode Williams is starring in after ‘The Girl Who Died.’ The two episodes have been described as not being a traditional two-part story, but rather two “linked” stories. One is set in the age of Vikings, while the other takes place in the 1700’s.
So the Doctor recognizes her not because she’s a mysterious figure from his past, but because he just left her hundreds of years in the past in the episode right before this. I do think it’s possible she’s another Time Lord we haven’t met before, but more likely she’s a completely new character who has somehow achieved immortality.
We’ll find out in a few short months, but in the meantime — speculate away!
What do you think? What was your biggest WTF moment from the Doctor Who Series 9 trailer? Sound off in the comments below!