A new season of everybody’s favorite British alien time travel show is upon us! Last weekend, Doctor Who fans across the world tuned in to see the latest episode in the long running saga.
While in the past it’s been difficult for the BBC to keep episode spoilers a secret, this year fans have been able to figure out less about the upcoming plot than usual. This, of course, has led to an enormous amount of fan speculation about who – or what – the Doctor might be facing in series 9.
Here are a few things that many fans are hoping for, along with the probability that they’ll actually show up:
Introduced in the 50th Anniversary Special episode in 2013, the scarf-wearing Osgood won the hearts of many fans for being more than a little bit nerdy. Many fans enjoyed living vicariously through her as they watched her gaze longingly at the Doctor. Osgood also provided a human element in an episode which dealt with evil shapeshifting aliens, giant CGI space battles and an awful lot of exposition.
Osgood returned at the end of Season 8, but was sadly killed by Missy, the latest incarnation of The Doctor’s longterm arch enemy, The Master.
Probability of Appearance: 90% – It’s been confirmed that Ingrid Oliver, the actress who plays Osgood, is returning to the show. But Doctor Who’s showrunner Steven Moffatt has suggested that she may not be entirely trustworthy, and many suspect that it might be a shapeshifter, rather than Osgood, who makes an appearance.
Lucius Caeceilius (The Man Behind The Doctor’s Face)
The Doctor is an alien whose body regenerates when he dies – constantly changing lead actors is what’s managed to keep the show alive over the years. The current actor playing the role, Peter Capaldi, had actually previously appeared on the show as Lucius Caeceilius, a Roman whom the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) saves from Pompeii.
Capaldi also played a modern-day character in the spin off series Torchwood, meaning that there’s a lot of the same man’s face running around in the Doctor Who universe. Last season alluded to a possible cause for this, but the link between Capaldi’s various characters was never properly explained, confusing long-term fans and making things very complicated for new viewers.
Probability of Appearance: 75% – Both Steven Moffatt and Peter Capaldi have very heavily hinted that the issue of Pompeii may be addressed in an upcoming episode. Exactly what form this appearance will take is unknown, but this may point to a larger conspiracy over the course of the series, and the answer to many questions that have plagued Doctor Who fans for years.
Madame Vastra the Victorian Lizard Detective
Madame Vastra is a character who embodies everything that is Doctor Who – a member of an ancient humanoid dinosaur race, she fights crime in Victorian London with a pair of samurai swords, her lesbian wife, and a potato-shaped alien warrior (Doctor Who has never been accused of making sense).
The character has been seen in every series since Season 6, and is a strong fan favorite – plus, her same-sex romance has won the show high praise from the LGBT community.
Probability of Appearance: 60% – The Doctor’s regular trips to visit Madame Vastra’s time period suggest that her return isn’t out of the question, but there’s no specific news as of yet. Still, it’s possible that Vastra might appear, if briefly, at some point in the series.
An Explanation of Missy’s Latest Escape
Continuity is not always the strong point of the writing in Doctor Who. This is unsurprising considering the many, many writers who’ve worked on the show, and the enormous canon that has been generated over the years.
Still, viewers watched Missy, the Doctor’s arch-nemesis, get vaporized at the end of Season 8, but at the start of the next season she’s already returned to life. This is a canonical frustration for hardcore fans and newcomers alike, as without an explanation to her survival, it’s difficult to take any death seriously in the world of Doctor Who.
Probability of Appearance: 45% – Steven Moffatt has teased that the reason behind Missy’s return is “the last thing” that anyone will expect, but this is vague at best. Historically, The Master has a habit of returning without explanation, and Moffatt is a fan of leaving fans hanging – he also works as the showrunner for BBC’s Sherlock, and never actually bothered to explain how Sherlock survived falling off a roof in the end of Season 2.
Captain Jack Harkness
Played by the adorably suave John Barrowman, Captain Jack has been a favorite character since his first appearance on Doctor Who ten years ago. A futuristic immortal pansexual time traveler, Jack Harkness has been known for bringing a little extra sex appeal to Doctor Who, and has inspired more than a few new viewers to become lifelong fans.
The last time Captain Jack appeared on screen was in his spin off show Torchwood, but there’s no news of future revivals of that show, so fans are always eager for him to make a quick cameo in Who, as he did for David Tennant’s farewell back in 2010.
Probability of Appearance: 10% – It’s not impossible that some form of Captain Jack’s face might reappear, if briefly. That said, John Barrowman is as big a fan of Doctor Who as anybody, and it’s unlikely he’d have been able to keep quiet if he’d been asked to make a return. At least fans can enjoy these fabulous photos of Barrowman wearing a TARDIS dress to Dragoncon…
All the Strange, Strange Monsters
Whatever shows up in this year’s new Doctor Who adventures, some things are certain: there will be time travel, there will be monsters, and there will be more than a few scary moments interspersed with hilarity.
What are you hoping to see in Doctor Who Season 9? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.