What does the new trailer tell us about Doctor Who Series 12?
All I can say for certain is Jodie Whittaker looks classy in a suit! A doctor’s best series is never their first in my opinion (with the possible exception of Christopher Eccleston’s doctor, for obvious reasons), so I am very excited about where Series 12 will take Doctor Number Thirteen.
The name’s Doctor. The Doctor.
The series 11 trailer was all about a feeling of “newness”, setting up the new doctor, new companions, new worlds and new times (word for word in the trailer). It revealed very little and maintained a sense of mystery. It was a good approach to keeping the show’s secrets, but the downside was that it was difficult to get hyped about the upcoming stories.
This new trailer takes the opposite approach, filled to the brim with enticing revelations and imagery. It opens with some very familiar lines, establishing that Jodie Whittaker has found her footing as The Doctor (“The name’s Doctor. The Doctor.”) and the usual adventures are at play (“the security of the entire planet is at stake”, said with gravitas by the inimitable Stephen Fry). The doctor is back and here to save the world from yet another impending catastrophe!
I’m not where I wanted to be, but I can work with this.
Out of context dialogue tells a coherent story within the narrative of the trailer, such as when Fry’s character questions The Doctor’s reliability, and the next shot shows her apparently trapped underneath some floorboards, stating matter-of-factly “I’m not where I wanted to be, but I can work with this”. So, essentially, yes but no, or no but yes. I am loving this, because the Doctor’s ability to somehow completely mess up and get into tight spots while also carrying on with optimism and determination is what makes the character so enjoyable, and it is what the world needs from The Doctor.
I don’t suppose you’ve seen anything weird around here?
The trailer also wants to show us that they are bringing back more of the old. Since (spoiler) the Dalek’s return in the new year’s special Resolution, it has become more probable that the show will be bringing back some old favourites in terms of monsters, after ignoring them for a while (which I thought was an interesting strategy). Now the trailer shows us two more returning monsters, if I’m not mistaken.
We have the Assonant Police Rhinos From Space (The Judoon) from Smith and Jones and… the Racnoss? From The Runaway Bride? Although the design looks a little different, so I could be wrong about this one. And finally, the Cybermen.
The Judoon are suitably entertaining and something could be done with their single-minded determination to carry out “justice” whatever the cost. The Cybermen though, I am very much looking forward to. I have always found them creepy, maybe more so than the Daleks, as it is their hidden humanity which makes them so disturbing. And Yaz in a period costume running away from what looks to be a giant tarantula has definitely got my attention.
Additionally, a shadowy figure in a glass cage? Human-like silhouettes of light? A creature invading the Tardis? Yes, please.
You trust me, don’t you?
Looks like the Doctor is going to be getting her team into some trouble as well. A question that repeatedly pops up in the show, is whether the companions can really trust the doctor. Many of the companions with unfortunate fates (which is pretty much all of them) could testify to the contrary.
However, this is not necessarily down to the Doctor’s reliability and loyalty to their companions. The Doctor leads a dangerous life, and whoever comes along is bound to land into hot water. I have a feeling this is going to come up as more than just a throwaway joke.
Where are we?
The trailer also promises some interesting locations, including Paris in 1943. I’m assuming the vineyards and Lenny Henry are from that very same episode. Paris under occupation will be an excellent subject for exploration and could follow in the footsteps of brilliant recent historical episodes such as Rosa and Demons of the Punjab in tackling difficult matters with imagination and sensitivity.
It is also not the first time the show has tackled WWII, one of my favourite episodes being the two-parter The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances. Other compelling locations include a giant mysterious dome in a desert, of which I’m intrigued to see the interior.
What have you brought here, Doctor?
Around the 30 second mark, the trailer takes on a more sombre tone, and this is the part which I find the most exciting. Something’s coming, which the Doctor suspects is coming for her. I’m particularly intrigued by a shot of the Doctor crouching in what looks like a darkened Tardis, with the normally warm orange colours changed to glacial blue and reflected on her figure, which gives off a really ominous vibe.
This is followed by Cybermen – but I think this is misdirection, as that would be giving it away. Besides, Cybermen are often a man-made phenomenon in Doctor Who, and what The Doctor is speaking of seems to be not of this earth, and intimately connected with her. Could it be related to that mysterious “timeless child” mentioned in series 11?
Either way, I can’t wait to find out. The Tardis Team stands by the Doctor, giving the old cheesy “we’re mates” speech – but what comes next may change this idea. The team is shown in various states of disarray, and the accusatory line “what have you brought here, Doctor?” seems to place the responsibility on the Doctor’s shoulders.
A storyline about the Doctor inadvertently putting the people closest to them in danger would be nothing new, and I’m curious if that’s where this is going – the Tardis is quite crowded these days, are we maybe going to lose someone? Of course, that’s exactly what they want us to think. Or is it? I don’t know.
Fantastic, brilliant analysis from me here, after all this rambling my conclusion is “I don’t know”. Well, I guess that’s the point – I like not knowing where this is going, and am awaiting Series 12 with bated breath.
Written by Leah Smith