With season nine of Doctor Who in the books, speculation has already ramped up concerning the next season of the show. Season 10 of the rebooted Doctor Who series is expected to be a big one, and the last season (number nine) left many questions unanswered—namely who will be the Doctor’s new companion now that the character Clara (actress Jenna Coleman) is gone. There’s also the fact that Doctor Who himself ended season nine suffering from partial amnesia, leaving the door open to a host of possibilities. So, with the internet rife with speculation, we tackle 10 of the most popular and persistent rumors concerning the upcoming 10th season of Doctor Who.
10. Season 10 Will Be the Last One for Doctor Who
Speculation has been growing that Doctor Who will wrap after the 10th season. There has been a slight decline in the series ratings over the past two years when actor Peter Capaldi assumed the role of the alien Time Lord. However, this rumor looks to have little credence. In a recent interview with Variety newspaper, Doctor Who showrunner and producer Steven Moffat said the show “…is definitely going to last five more years, I’ve seen the business plan. It’s not going anywhere. And I think we can go past that. It’s television’s own legend. It will just keep going.” So there’s that. Plus, the great thing about Doctor Who is that the show is able to constantly reinvent itself with a new Doctor. It is one of the rare television series that can not only survive cast changes, but is dependent on them.
9. The Doctor’s Next Companion Will Be a Man
Speaking of cast changes, the internet is rife with speculation that Doctor Who’s next companion will break from tradition and be a man. This would be a major departure for the show if it were to happen. Since Doctor Who returned in 2005, all of the companions have been female—from Rose in the first season to Clara, who just departed at the end of season nine. And all of the female companions have been popular and a great complement to the Doctor. So is now the time when the show’s writers mix it up by giving Doctor Who a male companion? Lead actor Peter Capaldi sure hopes not. In an interview with Radio Times he said: “I don’t want a bloke…I just think that combo of the slightly strange and alien Time Lord with an intelligent, enthusiastic and inquisitive girl is a good combo. I don’t know why—but it just seems to work.” We agree and think the chances of the next companion being a man are pretty slim.
8. Season 10 Will Be Actor Peter Capaldi’s Last as Doctor Who
There’s no set time limit on how long an actor can play Doctor Who. The actor who played the Time Lord the longest was Tom Baker (he of the long scarf), who played the character for six seasons in the 1970s. And actor Christopher Eccleston left the show after just one season of the rebooted series in 2005. With this in mind, there are a lot of rumors that actor Peter Capaldi, who plays the current Doctor, will leave the show after the upcoming 10th season, which will mark his third season as Doctor Who. Capaldi is a classically trained stage actor and there have been reports that he’s itching to return to the theater. Again, though, show producer Steven Moffat has shot down this rumor in recent interviews, stating simply: “Peter Capaldi is going nowhere.” It would seem a bit premature if Peter Capaldi left the series after season 10. We’re hoping he sticks around.
7. Season 10 Will Be Delayed, or Premier Later Than Usual
There seems to be some credence to this rumor. While season 10 would normally premiere in late August or early September 2016, comments by producer Steven Moffat and Production Designer Michael Pickwoad lead us to believe that season 10 will premiere later in fall 2016, and it may even start with a Christmas special in December. This is due to the schedule of Peter Capaldi, who plays Doctor Who. He is contracted to a few stage and film projects, and the producers of Doctor Who are keen to keep him happy and playing the Doctor, so they are working around his schedule. Steven Moffat has confirmed there will be a Christmas special as part of season 10 of the show, though he has not yet confirmed if the Christmas episode will launch the next season. Steven Moffat has also confirmed that he and the writers are considering breaking season 10 of the series into two six-episode halves with a break in between. Although he says that too has yet to be finalized.
6. A Doctor Who Spin-Off Series is Coming
This rumor is definitely true. According to the BBC, the network is preparing a spin-off of Doctor Who aimed at a younger audience. Called Class, the show is going to follow the adventures of a group of students at Coal Hill School. Die hard fans of Doctor Who will know that Coal Hill School appeared in the very first episode of the series back in 1963. Since then, Coal Hill School has appeared in both the 25th and 50th anniversary episodes of Doctor Who. Now, the BBC is planning to make Coal Hill School the setting for the new series Class, which will take place in modern day London but with a good share of aliens and monsters running around. How much overlap there will be with Doctor Who remains to be seen. But the BBC is planning to produce eight one-hour episodes of Class to air in fall 2016, and Steven Moffat, producer of Doctor Who, is also helming Class.
5. Acclaimed Comic Book Writer/Artist Neil Gaiman is Going to Take on Doctor Who
Ardent fans of Doctor Who will tell you that the key to the show’s success is the writing. And they always want to ensure that the episodes are written by top flight sci-fi or fantasy writers. On most fans’ wish list is to have Neil Gaiman, the visionary comic book writer/artist behind popular graphic novels such as The Sandman, Coraline and Stardust, pen at least one episode of Doctor Who. And it looks like that wish will be coming true. Neil Gaiman recently told The Times of London that he is “determined to write for Peter Capaldi. As long as Peter is Doctor Who, I will write for him… because it would be a very sad thing if I lost my chance to write for a grumpy Scottish Doctor.” With producer Steven Moffat saying that the show would love to have Neil Gaiman on board, it looks like this could very well become a reality for season 10.
4. Doctor Who’s Partial Amnesia Will be Permanent
It seemed a bit convenient and gimmicky to give the Doctor partial amnesia at the end of season nine. And many fans are wondering if the partial amnesia will remain and become part of the Doctor Who character permanently. While anything is possible, this is highly unlikely. In the past, Doctor Who has suffered from partial amnesia on at least four other occasions—usually while regenerating. But each time this has turned out to be a matter of convenience and the good Doctor regains all of his memories and continues on as always. Given that Doctor Who has been around more than half a century, and all that has occurred in that time, it would be difficult on everyone involved with the show if the good Doctor had permanent memory problems.
3. We’ll See More Classic Doctor Who Villains in Season 10
You can take this rumor to the bank, as there will surely be more villains from the classic episodes of Doctor Who in season 10. In recent years, viewers have been treated to appearances by popular villains from the past such as the Zygons and Ice Warriors, and resurrecting old villains for the Doctor to fight, while simultaneously paying homage to the show’s illustrious past, is popular with fans of the series. Hints have been dropped that, in season 10, we may see villainous characters return, such as Sutekh and the Celestial Toymaker (perhaps in the Christmas special that has been confirmed). Whomever it turns out to be, fans should expect to see some great baddies from bygone eras in season 10 of Doctor Who.
2. Doctor Who’s Home Planet of Gallifrey Will Figure Prominently in Season 10
Doctor Who’s home planet of Gallifrey has literally come and gone during the run of the series—at one point the home world was cast into an alternate dimension. But Gallifrey returned in season nine, and there were suggestions that Doctor Who could be the planet’s President. The whole thing was left up in the air at the conclusion of season nine, begging the question of whether Doctor Who will shirk his responsibilities and flee Gallifrey as he has in the past, or if the home planet will feature more prominently in season 10 of Doctor Who. Given that the show is premised on Doctor Who traveling through time and space in his Tardis, we feel it more likely that the Doctor will continue his travels away from Gallifrey and that the planet will be visited on occasion for a story or two during the season. It just wouldn’t make sense to tie the Doctor down with the responsibilities of being President now would it?
1. A Doctor Who Feature Film is in Development
Chalk this one up to wishful thinking on the part of fans. Ever since Doctor Who returned to the small screen in 2005, people have been calling for a full length feature film of Doctor Who to hit the big screen. But so far it hasn’t happened. And showrunner Steven Moffat again said recently that it is more likely for there to be a two-hour television movie of Doctor Who, rather than a full-blown movie on the big screen. We feel this makes sense. Sure, a Doctor Who movie would be cool. But the show’s structure lends itself to episodic television, with the occasional two-part special taking place. The question concerning a movie would be what would the story entail and how would it bridge back to the television series? There would also be the question of which actor would play Doctor Who on the big screen? And how would you cram all the history of the television show into a two-hour movie? We could go on here…