Just last week we saw a new trailer for the next season of Doctor Who. The trailer came out on Doctor Who Day, the anniversary of the show’s premiere on the BBC in 1963. That trailer teased that the Doctor would be returning ‘very soon’ and now we know how soon that will be. The 12th series of the (new) Doctor Who will premiere on New Year’s Day – January 1, 2020.
Will UNIT Return To Doctor Who In Series 12?
The trailer contains a lot of the same material as the previous one. But there are a few new snippets to examine. The opening shot gives us the Doctor and her companions framed in a doorway as they enter some kind of airplane hangar. The voiceover informs us that there is some kind of crisis that the Doctor will need help with. This voiceover turns out to be a message that the Doctor is leaving via telephone for an unknown individual. Perhaps the next season will see the return of UNIT, and Kate Lethbridge-Stewart?
The 13th Doctor last attempted to contact UNIT in the previous New Year’s Day special, to request help with the Daleks. At that time, UNIT operations were temporarily suspended due to ‘financial disputes.’ It would be great to see Kate Lethbridge-Stewart back onscreen, and have the Doctor working with UNIT once more to save the Earth. Here is hoping they have cleared up those finances.
The 13th Doctor and her companions | Image via BBC
Will Chibnall Expand The Doctor Who Mythology?
There is a little bit of mystery in both of these trailers that hint at (potentially) new lore that showrunner Chris Chibnall might add to Doctor Who. There is a shot that recurs in both trailers of the Doctor sitting in the Tardis, looking rather forlorn. We can hear Graham ask her in voiceover: “Who are you, Doc?” Her seeming response to this question is: “You don’t know me.” This statement is followed by a mysterious proclamation that was also in the last trailer, where the Doctor says: “Something is coming for me.”
Every showrunner has left their mark on Doctor Who in the form of some new information that expands our knowledge of the Doctor. Chibnall has not done that, outside of introducing new aliens. However there was a hint in the second episode of the last season (The Ghost Monument) when the alien Remnants looked into the Doctor’s heart and referenced her deepest fears. One of the things they mentioned was ‘The Timeless Child,’ which seemed like it might be a part of that season’s mystery. After this episode, this mystery was never mentioned again. But perhaps the ‘timeless child’ is the ‘thing’ after the Doctor this season? If this is a new element of the Doctor’s backstory that Chibnall wants to work into the Doctor Who mythology, now would be the time to bring it back into play.
Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor | Image via BBC
Doctor Who Will Return on New Year’s Day
Doctor Who has a long history of Christmas specials, but Chibnall broke that mold with his New Year’s Day special in 2019. Now he continues that tradition with the first episode of series 12 acting as both premiere and a special. Interestingly, it looks like there will be another Doctor Who special due some time in 2020. That special is due to air after the standard 10-episode run of series 12. Maybe Chibnall will return to form with a Christmas special next year.
The first episode of the next season will be a two-parter, written by showrunner Chris Chibnall. The title is ‘Spyfall’ which is a clear play on the James Bond title ‘Skyfall.’ This is likely where we will see the Doctor and her companions in the tuxedos and bowties of the trailer. Following the premiere on New Year’s Day, the 12th series of Doctor Who will air weekly on Sundays through March on BBC and BBC America.
(Featured image via the BBC)
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.