According to a student who attended a question and answer session at Sheffield Hallam University, Chris Chibnall told the audience that the Doctor Who Series 12 opener will be “the biggest episode in the show’s history.” A BBC One source to the Mirror said, “It’s going to be huge. The scale is just epic. No one will be disappointed.”
TV & Satellite Week magazine published an interview with Chibnall which gave more details on Series 12. The show will be going deeper into the characters and into the Doctor’s past. The new series is “more ambitious in terms of scale and storytelling. But you’re also going to have a massive laugh because it’s hugely entertaining.”
Radio Times recently interviewed Chibnall, who said the new series will be a step up, with more scale, fun, and some new and old monsters. Chibnall said he “really wanted to see Jodie against the Cybermen…we’ve done something slightly different with them.” There appear to be several types of Cybermen for Series 12, who—according to the Mirror—are to appear in Episode 8, which is set in the 19th Century.
Jodie Whittaker, as reported in the January issue of SFX magazine said, “Some of these episodes go in a direction that is different for the Doctor than the previous seasons, that shows a side to her that we haven’t seen yet.”
Chris Chibnall, in the same article (which covered the press event at Roath Lock Studios on September 24) said there will be more historical stories in Series 12. Known historical episodes include Episode 2, set in occupied Paris during World War II; Episode 4, set in New York City in the time of Nikola Tesla; and Episode 8, with scenes set in the 19th century filmed at Merthyr Mawr House in Wales.
The press event included a tour of the TARDIS interior set for the attending journalists. It appears the new Production Designer, Dafydd Shurmer, has made changes to the TARDIS. Journalists were not allowed to take photos, and photos posted by a fan on Instagram who visited the set over the summer have been removed.
During the press event on September 24, Chibnall hinted at a possible series arc. “It’s probably a bit scarier…We’ve definitely got some bigger action set pieces. We’ve got some old monsters [and] some really brilliant new monsters. And there’s a little thread trickling through.” A line of dialogue in the trailer could affirm the story arc, as the Doctor says, “Something’s coming for me. I can feel it.” [Some theorize it could refer to the Timeless Child mentioned in The Ghost Monument.)
In an interview with Radio Times, Bradley Walsh warned of terrifying new monsters in Series 12. In his words, “[they] will absolutely make your hair curl. There’s a couple of monsters that they’ve come up with that are absolutely terrifying – and I mean terrifying.” Walsh said his character, Graham, will be thrown into even more incredible situations than in the previous series.
On the multiple press visit to Roath Lock Studios on September 24, the cast spoke of a terrifying monster that can pass through walls. “I was proper scared,” said Tosin Cole, who plays Ryan. “The one in the wall…there is a scene where it was me and Mandip and the wall and we were barricaded in…came through the wall.”
“I was really scared,” said Jodie Whittaker. “One of the notes from the director was ’I know you’re scared but the Doctor would probably kind of maybe contain it a little more.’ And I’m screaming! I can’t cope with something coming out of the dark.”
Cultbox.uk theorized the most likely episodes to feature this monster are Episode 3, where the beige bone-like leg of a monster was spotted on a crew member’s social media post; Episode 4, rumored to have a scene in New York City during the Victorian Era; Episode 5, alleged to have children in the cast; or episode 7, which did not have much location filming.
Jodie Whittaker had a close encounter with a dangerous spider while filming in South Africa. On The Graham Norton Show, Jodie said: We were filming in South Africa and…I run out of the building into the wilderness as this Sac spider just crawled down my face, on my collarbone and went [inside my costume]…I absolutely bricked it and can’t repeat what I said. Costume was off and our [First Assistant Director] was English, pretty casually just picked it up and chucked it as all the South Africans were going, “No no no no!” And then we found out I could have died! Apparently a spider was part of the filming of the episode, as explained by Whittaker to fellow guest Kevin Hart.
Director Emma Sullivan posted photos from Episode 7 filming. A photo of Jodie Whittaker holding an Episode 7 slate has the outline of a hand on it, with Whittaker wearing a high-tech-looking cuff on her wrist. Other photos include a slate with a silhouette of the Doctor peering through the TARDIS doors; a photo of Tosin Cole on the TARDIS interior set; and other sets including a young girl’s bedroom, a fireplace, and the garden of an estate (likely Merthyr Mawr House). The drawing of the hand and the mysterious cuff are clues to Episode 7. Episode 8 was filmed at Merthyr Mawr House and is rumored to feature Mary Shelley. You can see the photos on Instagram here:
From what has become my favorite place for Doctor Who news, here are breakdowns (with still photos) of the first two trailers and the wrap party release video:
This image of Sir Lenny Henry from Spyfall was released along with the trailer.
And here’s Stephen Fry
Guest stars Goran Visnjic and Robert Glenister, who will appear in later episodes.
Hey, Guardians, can you guess which news articles in the Gallifrey Guardian go with these photos?