The big deal in science fiction this week has to be the return of Doctor Who. The long running BBC adventure kicks off season 8 this Saturday, August 23, and it will also serve as a proper introduction to the new Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, who popped up for a brief appearance in the Christmas special at the end of 2013. To celebrate this momentous occasion, BBC has released a gallery of new stills from the premiere episode “Deep Breath.”
Everyone is curious to see how the reign of this latest Time Lord goes. Since seemingly the moment Capaldi was cast—he’s one of the oldest to ever play the character, taking over for the youngest—talk has centered around how this is going to be a much darker, more dour version of the venerable two-hearted alien. In these photos he definitely looks like a grumpier incarnation than we’ve seen recently, especially with the last two actors.
“Deep Breath,” and the second episode “Into the Dalek,” should give us a fair assessment of just how dark things are going to get. Ben Wheatley, a filmmaker most know for mashing up genres, playing with conventions, and delivering doom and gloom at every turn, directed both episodes. Showrunner Steven Moffat and company certainly found someone capable of bringing in the shadows. If they share any similarities to his movies like Kill List, A Field in England, and Sightseers, we are definitely in for an interesting time, especially in the beginning.
In addition to Capaldi, Jenna-Louise Coleman will reprise her role as Clara Oswald, the Doctor’s latest companion. At least for the time being. Over the weekend we heard a report that the 28-year-old actress, and the latest in the endless line of travelling cohorts, will be leaving the show at the end of the year. According to what we heard (which hasn’t been confirmed by the BBC), she is set to walk away after the upcoming Christmas special. So maybe start polishing your resume, they’re going to be looking for someone to fill the spot in the TARDIS after what is sure to be an emotional farewell.
There’s no reason given for Coleman’s departure, except for saying that the decision was mutual. You can, however, see some tension between the characters in this trailer for season 8, as well as in some of the other clips and teasers that we’ve encountered leading up to the premiere. This new version of the Doctor is ushering in some changes and taking a different approach, and it looks like Clara is having a problem with that. However this goes down, they certainly appear to be building to something big.