Monday 9 December 2019

13 for 13

Before we take a quick look at the recent new series news, and that comment from Jodie Whittaker that Series 12 won't be her last as the Doctor, a word about the blog. As we are now well on the way to Christmas / New Year I will be taking a step back from the blog, in readiness for Series 12. There'll be another look at unseen stories later in the week, this time those mentioned in Troughton adventures, but then I'll be a bit busy doing other, more festive, things. Come January you'll be getting my musings on the new episodes, plus a continuation of other posts such as the Inspirations ones, the A-Z and What's Wrong With... The past story reviews won't pick up again until after Series 12 has finished, though I may squeeze in A Christmas Carol in Christmas week because of its obvious topicality.
So, onto Series 12's updates. First of all, there was the almost throwaway line in a piece in the TV Times mentioned above, where Whittaker lets it be known that she will be the Doctor in Series 13. The earliest that can be broadcast is in 2021 and, as I posted a few week's ago, it seems almost inevitable that she and Chibnall will stick around for the 60th Anniversary of the programme in 2023 - especially if there's another lengthy gap between seasons and Series 13 doesn't air until late 2021, or even into 2022. Chibnall is on record as saying that he has already got his writing team together for Series 13.
The Graham Norton Show had a clip from Spyfall, which featured Stephen Fry, who is playing a character called "C" (as in Bond's "M"). We know from on set photos that he works for the Cyber-Security section of MI6. Could this mean that the Cybermen will be in the background of other stories in the season, and not just the two stories in which they are supposed to feature more prominently?
The story's synopsis tells us only that agents across the globe are being attacked by an alien intelligence, their DNA being rewritten, and C co-opts the Doctor to help investigate. Struan Rodger (voice of the Face of Boe, and who also appeared in The Woman Who Lived) voices a character called Kasaavin, according to the cast list in the Radio Times. Presumably this is that alien. Yaz's family also appear.
It's believed that the 1943 Paris story will follow Spyfall - the one featuring SOE agent Noor Inayat Khan. This will then be followed by the one featuring Tesla (Goran Visinjic) and Thomas Edison (Robert Glenister) and is the one with the scorpion creatures and Anjli Mohindra's Queen Skithra.
Then we might have the Judoon story, which is rumoured to be another two-parter.
For a while now there has also been the rumour of a Mary Shelley story, and Chibnall did say that there is a visit to Lake Geneva to come. I suspect that this will indeed be a Cyberman story. You'll recall that the trailer featured a Cyberman walking towards the camera surrounded by flames. The Cyberman was clearly made up of bits from different designs - including a Mondasian-looking right arm. This might tie in with the Frankenstein theme of a creature put together out of different body parts - Cyberman ones instead of human ones.
That still leaves us with some other elements from the trailers - such as the blue-skinned creature (is it the same one seen breaking through reinforced glass?), the alien breaking into the TARDIS, and the flock of black bird / bat things. There's also those medieval-looking Cybermen to fit in, which many think might come from the finale. That's at least 11 of the 10 episodes accounted for... Of course, some of these elements might double up in the same episode.
On the whole, I'm looking forward to this series more than I did the last.
Other things to keep you happy over the festive season include the three part Dracula, from Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, which I'm really looking forward to. Pertwee fans might want to give the new version of Worzel Gummidge a try. It's based more closely on the books, so will be quite different to Pertwee's take on the character. There's also a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol, from the guy behind Peaky Blinders - so definitely worth a look. I have a tradition of always watching the Alistair Sim version every year.
Funnily enough, just about everything I'm looking forward to is on the BBC. No need to expend energy channel hopping - more time to overindulge...

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