Filming on Doctor Who season eight has begun, the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is on the scene, and he’s looking positively dapper next to companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) in the first season eight set pic released by the BBC. If you recall, the new Doctor’s introduction in “Time of the Doctor” left him and Clara in rather dire straights, but thankfully it looks like they’ll get everything sorted out and not die horribly. Sadly, this first look doesn’t reveal the new Doctor’s outfit, as he’s still dressed in Matt Smith/Eleven’s duds (although he did switch ties). Presumably it won’t take long for him to pick out a new look, certainly longer than it took him to switch kidneys.
There also don’t appear any secrets to be revealed here, other than possibly that there’s something funny over there. ← The official press release says:
The new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, stepped on set today for his first full day of filming as production begins on series eight of the hit BBC show.
10.2 million tuned in on Christmas Day to get their first glimpse of Capaldi in one of TV’s most iconic roles in the festive special The Time Of The Doctor, which saw Matt Smith hang up his bow tie after four years in the role.
Capaldi was revealed as the Doctor in a live BBC One show in August, after months of speculation about the next Doctor’s identity.
Arriving on set in Cardiff to begin filming, Peter Capaldi, said: ‘New job, first day, slightly nervous. Just like the Doctor, I’m emerging from the TARDIS into a whole other world.’
Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, added: ‘First the eyebrows! Then, at Christmas, the face! Coming soon, the whole Doctor. In the Cardiff studios, the Capaldi era begins.’
Accompanying The Doctor on his adventures will be companion Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman.
The first episode of series eight has been written by Steven Moffat, with the second episode penned by Phil Ford. These are the first episodes that Peter will shoot and they are directed by Ben Wheatley.
Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning, said: ‘Excitement and anticipation fills the air as Peter Capaldi’s Doctor takes control of the TARDIS for the very first time today. It’s going to be one hell of a ride and I can’t wait for the journey to start.’
Charlotte Moore, Controller BBC One, commented: ‘A new year, a new face, a new Doctor! 2014 has arrived and it’s Peter Capaldi’s time so let the adventures begin!’
It’s worth noting that Ben Wheatley, director of the season’s first two episodes, made a huge splash on the horror scene with his outstanding 2011 flick Kill List, which you can currently watch on Netflix Instant. (He’s also directing the big-screen adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise.)
While season 8 is still a ways down the road at this point, there are a few tidbits that have been confirmed. We’ll get a full 13 episodes, and showrunner Steven Moffat has said that several characters from recent seasons will return for Capaldi’s freshman year, including Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart), and Strax (Dan Starkey). He hopes having familiar faces around the newly regenerated Doctor will make things a bit easier for everybody. (As opposed to Matt Smith’s early days, which primarily introduced new characters such as Amy Pond and Rory.) There have also been rumors that the Doctor might pick up another companion: Coal Hill School teacher Tom (Tristan Beint), who was seen briefly in “The Day of the Doctor.” Moffat says:
This time I’ve made sure we’ve got a bunch of characters around him so that we can have a new Doctor introduced and we can push that Doctor a bit further if you’ve got a familiar world around him. … I think the fun story will be — and we have the opportunity here — is this is what regeneration can do to you. He can be very, very different. Now it’s time for the old beast to snarl at you for a bit!
Other potential season 8 tidbits include a possible episode involving classic Who baddies the Ice Warriors, more Daleks (naturally), and hopefully another episode from Neil Gaiman, schedule permitting. Actress Alex Kingston also hinted that we might see River Song again in season 8. Spoilers…