Series 7 of Doctor who is almost upon us. And a striking cinematic trailer unveiled this week hints that show runner Stephen Moffat has something rather spectacular up his sleeve.
Surrounded by the boiling cauldrons of hate we know as the Daleks, the Time Lord (Matt Smith) is seen carrying a limp Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) out of a burning inferno. This is where Doctor Who fans get excited. We’re promised that every Dalek ever seen on screen will return in this extravaganza; and that’s no bad thing; a chance in fact, to repair the damage done by the dreadfully bright and colourful Officer-ranking Daleks we saw at the beginning of Moffat’s reign.
And there’s more. ‘Dinosaurs on a spaceship!’ The Doctor marvels – a concept which probably owes more than a little to the film entitled, ‘Snakes on a Plane.’ And let’s not forget the ‘Cowboys and Aliens’-esque, thriller, ‘A Town Called Mercy.’
The titles of these episodes provide a fairly good indication as to where Moffat is steering this series. The last run of episodes came in for some criticism for being too convoluted and complex, with many viewers complaining it was difficult to follow. Expect, then, more set piece episodes – big, exploding, cinematic visuals that will leap out and grab you, and send children diving for safety behind the sofa. We hope.
All of this is building to an epic conclusion: the departure of the Ponds (which will come as a relief to most of us). How this event will be handled remains to be seen but if Moffat remains true to his style, we can expect it to be intelligent, for sure, and deeply thought provoking. What we do know is that their departure will happen in New York, where the terrifying Weeping Angels might, or might not, possess the Statue of Liberty. Karen Gillen has said she found it difficult remaining composed during her final weeks of filming. She said: “I didn’t stop crying between scenes for the whole two weeks it took to film my final episode. Anything was setting me off. I just didn’t hold it together.”
But will Moffat hold it together? The show runner does complex well, sometimes too well. But as a writer, he doesn’t pull on the heartstrings quite as effectively as managed by Russell T Davies. And now- as the series builds to its emotive 50th anniversary next year – he needs to.
We’ll find out shortly.
The first episode of the new series ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ will be seen in the autumn. And I’ll be reviewing it, right here.