Season 8 of fan favorite sci-fi adventure Doctor Who is just over a week from dropping its first episode on Saturday, August 23. Just in case you didn’t already have that date circled in red on your calendar, maybe with a little blue police box doodle, the BBC has dropped another quick new trailer to start you salivating. This video may only be 30-seconds long, but there’s a lot going on here and quite a bit to sink your teeth into. And perhaps most importantly, there’s a dinosaur.
The first thing you notice, after the rampaging T-Rex of course, is that the Paternoster Gang is back in the house, including the tough as nails Silurian Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and her human companion Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart). They’ve already been on numerous adventures with the Doctor, but it looks as if they’re about to embark on at least one more.
There’s also a glimpse of that menacing cyborg-looking fellow that will make an appearance in the upcoming episodes, which are set in old timey Victorian times. You can tell just by looking at him that he’s up to no good, especially when you take into account that flaming hand thing he has. Good guys rarely use flamethrowers.
We’ve been hearing damn near since Peter Capaldi was cast as the 12th Doctor that these new episodes were going to take a turn into much darker territory than the previous versions of the character, especially Matt Smith’s incarnation. Bringing in Ben Wheatley, a filmmaker known for twisted genre-bending movies like Kill List, Sightseers, and A Field in England, to direct the first two outings is a good first step in that direction. You get a good idea of just what that is going to look like here.
Not only is the footage seen here physically darker, but it definitely seems to be an indicator of the larger tone and a reflection of the state of the characters. The situation appears very dire indeed, and the Doctor himself is much more gruff and grim than his immediate predecessors. This episode, “Deep Breath,” will serve as our first real introduction to Capaldi’s Time Lord, who popped up in the last holiday special at the end of 2013, but only for what was little more than a cameo. His relationship with Clara (Jenna Coleman) looks especially strained, as you can clearly see when she sees the newly redecorated interior of the TARDIS.
Fans of Doctor Who are already pretty pumped for the show’s return, but there are sure to be some interesting new tweaks and twists during the reign of the newest Time Lord. Smith was the youngest actor to ever fill the role, while Capaldi is tied for the oldest. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how that striking difference impacts the narrative.