The August 23 premiere of “Doctor Who” is inching closer and closer each day, and now, exactly one month away from go-time, we’ve been given our best look yet at what the new Peter Capaldi-led series will look like — and to say it’s going to be different is a pretty massive understatement.
Here are the 7 things we learned about series eight (and the episode descriptions!) courtesy of SFX Magazine — which also has five amazingly collectible covers, by the way — and “Who” showrunner Steven Moffat:
1. Peter Jackson Is [Probably] On Board
Rumors of a Peter Jackson-helmed “Who” installment have circulated round the web for months now, and Moffat has finally confirmed that he has indeed spoken to the famous director about the prospect.
“I’ve spoken to him face to face, and he would like to do one,” Moffat explained. “He accepts that there’s no money and that there’s no time, and it would have to be when he’s available — and I don’t think he’s even been available enough to answer our emails of late!”
Okay, so it’s not 100 percent, but Moffat clarifies that he still thinks “The Hobbit” director is a probable get.
“I think it will probably happen at some point,” he continued. “I mean, he can do what the hell he likes — he owns New Zealand! I think he’s sincere in his ‘Doctor Who’ fandom, to say the least… I think he would also like us to go and make it in New Zealand! And I’m like ‘OK… I’d rather we just flew you to Cardiff!’”
2. The Tone Will Be Darker
Fans of classic Russell T. Davies episodes like “Midnight” should revel in this juicy tidbit — according to Moffat, the Capaldi era will be darker than its predecessor.
“I think it feels more serious,” he said. “One of the watchwords we have this year is there are consequences for choosing to live like this. It’s not a fairytale. If you have people back home, if you run away it’s going to have an effect on them. And it’s not necessarily always going to be lovely. And does the Doctor make you better? We want to make it feel that these adventures can hurt.”
3. Clara Is In For A Major Change
Remember back at the end of series one, when a crushing Rose Tyler got the sads because the swagalicious Ninth Doctor left her for a new form, but then he transformed into Dreamboat Ten and she started crushing even more? Well, a decent number of fans seemed to enjoy the lovesick angle during this era of “Who,” but don’t expect the starry-eyed Clara to enjoy the same luck.
“From a Doctor she could sort of control, because he had a crush on her, she’s landed with a Doctor who barely registers that she’s a girl,” Moffat said. “They’re great friends and all that, but she has to be his human interface with everybody else. She’s much funnier, more exasperated.”
But here’s the best part: “Everybody knows Capaldi’s going to be great, but I think the shocker is just how great he makes Jenna.”
4. The Doctor Will Be A Little Less… Nice?
The Eleventh Doctor pretty much always came back when he said he would — though Christmas Special Clara and little Amy Pond might disagree — but Moffat says that Twelve will be a little less considerate when it comes to his human friends.
“He’s not as immediately approachable and he’s not necessarily looking for your approval,” Moffat said. “I would like to restore the sense that when he says ‘Wait here, I’ll be back’ you really hope he’ll be back, but you’re not absolutely convinced… What he’s not doing is reassuring you very much.”
Basically, instead of something like “I’m so, so sorry,” expect Capaldi’s famous saying to be more along the lines of “IDGAF.” Or, as Moffat puts it, “a lot of the humor is around the fact that sometimes he’s terribly rude.”
5. It’s Out With The Young, In With The Old
Welp, it’s a good thing the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors got all those kisses in when they did… because Twelve won’t be in it for the girls in the fireplaces.
“There was a time when a flirty, young sexy Doctor was a radical new idea,” Moffat continued. “I know some people disapprove but more people got excited by it. ‘Oh, I didn’t know he could be like that!’ And that was a funky new idea, which became quite old. And that’s the thing. You’ve always got to notice when the new idea becomes the old idea. It’s quite revealing isn’t it, when John Hurt takes the piss out of them in ‘The Day of the Doctor,’ everybody loves it… It’s become a long scarf. So it was just time to throw it the other way.”
So… is it safe to assume that Twelve won’t think that bow ties are cool?
6. The Doctor Will Re-Learn His Un-Human Ways
Woah, major spoiler bomb alert — when the Doctor returns, he’s going to be a lot more alien than his three predecessors.
“He spends a thousand years on Trenzalore, relearning that he’s not human,” Moffat explained. “He’s been larking around being a pretend human boyfriend for years, for very, very good reasons, and now he’s outlived the s— out of all those people. It’s a reminder that, no, you’re not one of them. You’re not their friend, you’re not their playmate.”
Hashtag mind blown.
7. The Paternoster Gang, TARDIS, And Screwdriver Are All The Same
Apparently, keeping Strax, Madame Vastra, and Jenny around made things easier for Moffat, at least in terms of measuring up to the success of “The Eleventh Hour,” which rebooted the entire universe.
“The alien plot keeps moving and maneuvering around various different opportunities for our heroes to look great,” Moffat told the mag. “This time around we can embed the Doctor in an utterly established world.”
EPISODE DESCRIPTION TIME!!
Welp, here we go, folks! Don’t read on if you don’t want ALL the details from series eight — though the only title we know is 801, “Deep Breath,” Moffat digs pretty deep into what’s to come. And what’s to come is…
801: A “huge introductory hour” that will find Clara trying to cope with the loss of her friend. “Mixed in with a truly terrifying monster.”
802: A “gritty” Dalek adventure that goes into “the most dangerous place in the universe — the last place the Doctor should be.”
803: A “Doctor meets Robin Hood” adventure that finds Twelve questioning whether or not he’s a good man.
804: A Moffat-penned departure that’s a “complete departure” for him as a writer. “It’s the story of a date and the Doctor having what appears to be a mild nervous breakdown.” Basically, it’s downtime for the Doctor, but with a monster.
805: A heist episode with a “crackling monster” and Keeley Hawes.
806: An “absolute hoot” of an episode that Moffat compares to “The Lodger.” This will explore how slipping away with the Doctor affects his companions.
807: “Proper drama. With monsters, and all the ‘Doctor Who’ stuff that you could want.” Also features a callback to an old episode.
808: A “brilliant” script and monster, with another callback to a Matt Smith episode from his first series. Also features the band Foxes, and the Doctor peaceing out for “several years.”
809: A horror episode, that apparently made everyone clap and cheer at the read-through.
810: A “heartfelt” fairytale that is “quite different.”
811/812: A two-parter with Cybermen! “It’s about Clara and the Doctor, and the fact that the way they interact might not be healthy for everyone around them.” Will also feature UNIT.
Are you freaking out over this information overload, fellow Whovians? Which episode are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments!