Tonight is the night Doctor Who fans have been waiting months for: the return of the show for its eighth modern season, courtesy of the oversized premiere episode “Deep Breath.” Of course, there have been plenty of clues and hints about what to expect in the weeks and months leading up to it, but Who suffered an even bigger blow last month when scripts for the first five episodes leaked online.
At the time, I debated how to approach the leak, beyond simply reporting on it. There were sites that posted spoiler-ish breakdowns or reviews of the scripts, but I wasn’t interested in doing that. There had to be a middle ground that didn’t involve just letting all the cats out of their respective bags, right? This article is the result of all that mulling: five earlier Who episodes that will, for a variety of reasons, make perfect double-features with the first five episodes of the new season. Sometimes it’s because the episodes share characters or concepts, and sometimes it’s just because…well, you’ll just have to wait and see.
I’m trying to keep this little exercise mostly spoiler-free, but I will be including the official synopses for each of season eight’s first five episodes, so there are some spoilers ahead!