We've had a week to let David Tennant's departure sink in, and now it's full steam ahead, all systems go, and, well, GERONIMO for the Eleventh Doctor. So what clues does the fifth series trailer hold? Spoilers and speculation ahoy!
What follows is a mix of analysis of the trailer itself, my own (hopefully) educated guesswork based on what we think we already know from set reports and the fine folks at Gallifrey Base (a great chart of which can be found here), plus some reactions and opinions. Is everyone sitting comfortably? Then we can begin...
In case you haven't had a chance to watch it yet (or want a refresher, considering the insane levels of microanalysis we're about to get into), here's the trailer, in the gallery below.
Now then, let's get to work!
As the Doctor himself asks, "What have you got for me this time?" We're about to find out.
Just in case anyone still doubted the Doctor's new companion Amy (Karen Gillan) is really a police officer (I mean, that skirt really doesn't look like it's regulation length), here's the Doctor entering what looks like a police station in his debut. I'm basing that on what appears to be police trim on the right wall. Oh, and you can tell it's his first episode because Matt Smith is still wearing David Tennant's costume.
The Doctor is scared of something in the dark. I have a guess as to what that something might be, but let's wait until we actually get to see it. Since the Doctor is wearing his own costume here (you can just make out the right sleeve of the jacket), that means this is a different episode from his debut. It's worth pointing out that if you go back and watch the old "Coming Soon" trailers for the first four series, they've always shown clips from only the first seven episodes of the series, and that's probably also the case here.
If anyone was wondering whether the Eleventh Doctor will keep up the grand Doctor Who tradition of running all over the place, it certainly looks like he will. With gusto.
This is the third episode we see a clip from. Judging by the costume, this is probably Toby Whithouse's episode, which is set in 16th century Venice. Whithouse previously wrote "School Reunion" back in the second series, as well as the first series Torchwood episode "Greeks Bearing Gifts".
I don't have any real analysis here; I just love this little bit of business with the sunglasses. Really makes me feel like Matt Smith is the Doctor.
I know I've said that Doctor Who should scale down the magnitude of its threats after the incomprehensibly vast scope of "Journey's End" and "The End of Time", but I'm not sure placing a bunch of phone booths in danger of explosion is really quite enough material for an episode. Actually, scratch that - I would love an episode like that. Still, there's probably more going on here.
No, wait! More things are blowing up, and this time it's the Doctor's beloved sonic screwdriver. The series last killed off the sonic screwdriver in the Peter Davison semi-classic "The Visitation", although apparently the Doctor will just be getting a new one. I wonder if the new screwdriver will look at all like the one River Song used back in "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead". Now what would put an idea like that in my mind...?
I'm pretty sure this is the same episode as the one where the Doctor is holding the flashlight. Looks like the Doctor will be mixing it up with the military once again.
I think this is from yet another different episode. So that's four different stories we've caught glimpses of so far. Honestly, I have no idea what could be going on here, but I'm pretty excited to find out. I guess the trailer is doing its job.
And here's the fifth distinct episode. Based on the uniforms, guns in the background, and the prominent Union Jack, I'm pretty sure this is an army base during World War II. That fits with the episode Mark Gatiss is writing, which features the dramatic return of...well, we'll get to that shortly. Gatiss previously wrote "The Unquiet Dead" and "The Idiot's Lantern", and he played Professor Lazarus in "The Lazarus Experiment."
In case anyone is worried that that punch is the start of a new, darker, more violent Doctor, just take a look at Matt Smith's face. He's clearly as surprised as we are.
It's futuristic soldiers hunting monsters underground! That reminds me of another Peter Davison semi-classic, namely the first episode of "Earthshock". (If another episode randomly features the Master showing up and sending the Concorde back to the Mesozoic Era, then we know Steven Moffat is just straight up stealing from season nineteen. And yes, what I just described really happened once.) But which monster are they hunting?
Hey, it's the Weeping Angels! I think this makes them the first monsters created entirely for the new series to make a prominent return appearance. Unless you count all the times the Slitheen have popped up on The Sarah Jane Adventures. Which I don't. Oh, and the Ood, I suppose. But it isn't really fair to call them monsters, now is it?
More running around from the Eleventh Doctor's debut. Honestly, it looks like they made Matt Smith run a marathon for this episode.
Remember Toby Whithouse's episode? The one set in 16th century Venice? Yeah, it's apparently called "Vampires in Venice." I can't imagine why.
Steven Moffat is clearly committed to maintaining his title as "New Who's Most Terrifying Writer." I have no idea what that could be, and I'm already having nightmares.
And the Daleks are back! Honestly, count me among those that felt a bit of Dalek fatigue after their umpteenth return from certain annihilation in "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End." (Did you know the new series has had as many Dalek stories in four years as the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seven Doctors had combined? That's a true fact.) Still, I've got to admit that, after more than a year away, it is kind of nice to see the old pepperpots again. This looks like it's from Mark Gatiss's World War II episode, which fits with the rumors of Winston Churchill using the Daleks as part of the war effort. That's probably why the Doctor punched that nice scientist fellow.
This is right after Amy and the guy behind her are blinded by a bright flash of light. Since the TARDIS doesn't usually do that, I'm guessing something else is around making trouble. Between this and the exploding phone booths, it looks like the Doctor isn't just running around for his health.
Whatever that woman gave the Doctor, it seems to have left him a bit perturbed. I think this is from the same episode as the previous clip of the woman with the two guns. All of that might be from the second episode, of which very little is known other than Steven Moffat is writing it and it might be mostly TARDIS-based. Which, considering there's a brand new TARDIS set to explore, could actually be pretty cool.
I originally thought these were aliens, but these might actually be the Silurians from Chris Chibnall's two-parter. Originally seen in the Jon Pertwee serial "Doctor Who and the Silurians", these intelligent reptiles were the original inhabitants of Earth millions of years before humanity. Their cousins, the Sea Devils, were introduced a couple years later in an episode of the same name, and both returned in the Peter Davison non-classic "Warriors of the Deep." Chris Chibnall is best known as the original showrunner for Torchwood, but he also wrote the pretty strong third series episode "42."
That Silurian is either scared, heartbroken, or confused. I think he's watching Karen Gillan run away from him, and those are probably all emotions I would feel if that happened to me.
Oh, and Amy Pond appears to be wearing a different outfit here than she does in any of the other clips we see, which again points at this all being from an otherwise unseen episode.
Well, I see Steven Moffat is keeping some of Russell T. Davies's traditions very much alive. In this case, that tradition is putting massively misleading Doctor/Companion kisses in the trailer for the upcoming series. (Previous examples include Lady Cassandra snogging the Doctor while in Rose's body and Donna giving the Doctor a life-saving kiss in "The Unicorn and the Wasp.") If you want my wild guess, I would bet this is right at the end of the Weeping Angels episode, because she's wearing the same outfit as the other clips from the episode. It looks like they're back on present-day Earth, and I bet Amy is so glad to have escaped with her life that she can't quite help herself. I could be completely wrong though. In any event, the Doctor looks completely flummoxed by the whole thing.
This is our first look at the redesigned TARDIS, with the Doctor working on something in the back of the frame. Unfortunately, this is just the bit under the console, so this glimpse isn't quite as earth-shattering as it otherwise might be.
Well, at least we know Matt Smith can hold his own in a Dalek close-up.
Judging by the color of its plating, that's a different Dalek than the one in the previous clip. This is the kind of expert analysis you can't get anywhere else!
I'm not quite sure what to make of this, so I'm going to again assume this is from the second episode. Actually, considering that episode is supposed to involve monks with keys, that's probably a pretty shrewd guess.
Hey, "Tooth and Claw"! Steven Moffat sees your kung fu monks and alien werewolf and raises you vampire swordsmen! I'm calling it now - this episode is going to be insane.
If nothing else, Karen Gillan really knows how to look shocked. Which is probably the first requirement for any Doctor Who companion, actually, so that works out well.
River Song is back! Time to put it all together, I think. Between all these clips and some set photos from way back in July, we've got River Song, the 41st century military, the Weeping Angels, and the crash of the Byzantium originally mentioned in "Silence in the Library". This is Steven Moffat's first two-parter, the individual episodes are supposedly called "The Time of Angels" and "Flesh and Blood", and I officially can't wait.
This is probably from the Doctor's debut story, if only because it appears to be the only one of the first six episodes set on contemporary Earth.
Who wants to bet those lights are about to go out?
That's what I thought.
Geronimo, indeed. I'm not entirely convinced by the Doctor's need to have yet another catchphrase, but if that's my biggest problem with the trailer, I'm in pretty good shape.
Karen Gillan is also good at looking terrified. Forget what I said earlier about looking shocked - this is the first requirement for any Doctor Who companion.
Of course, it looks like Amy has good reason to be scared. I'm really not sure what to make of this scene. She's wearing a completely different costume from what we see in any other clip, and it's hard to match this shot visually with anything else in the trailer. This might be from the seventh episode, of which very little is known other than it's being written by Simon Nye, who is best known for creating the truly excellent nineties sitcom Men Behaving Badly.
I see the Doctor and River Song get close this season. And so the Doctor's great romance begins...
And as we come to a close, we return for one last shot of Venice. It's good to see that, wherever vampires go, arcane ceremonies are never far behind.
A third thing Doctor Who companions have to be good at: running! I'm starting to think I could be a Doctor Who companion. Well, apart from all the running, of course.
So what can we take away from the trailer? The series is headed to the sixteenth century, World War II, and the far future. We can look forward to the return of old enemies and the introduction of new monsters and aliens, and we're also going to revisit one of the biggest revelation of the last series. But mainly, we're barreling forward into new adventures with a new Doctor and a new companion.
And that's just the first half of the series. Seriously, this ought to be good.
The Doctor even fires a gun! Maybe...at someting! Someone? Who knows!? I don't!
"Trust me, I'm the Doctor." Here's hoping truer words were never spoken.