Okay folks, I’m going in deep. The following will contain spoilers and speculation based not only on the two official trailers, but also set reports from Gallifrey Base, cultbox, BlogtorWho, and other sources. First off, here’s the new trailer released today, if you haven’t already seen it.
Since there are lots of related shots spread out over both trailers, I’m going to try grouping them by what episode I think they come from.
Episodes 1 & 2 - THE MAGICIAN’S APPRENTICE / THE WITCH’S FAMILIAR:
This two-parter was partially filmed in Lanzarote, whose distinctive landscape is now standing in for both Skaro and a nice outdoor cafe in what could actually be Lanzarote.
From Peter Capaldi himself, we know that this story involves “the Doctor being in a very traditional battlefield, in which he tries to help a victim of war… but it backfires,” that it includes “some subtle tributes to the ’60s” and he is “about to make a mistake that has cataclysmic repercussions.”
Pulling together several threads, it appears that the story involves Missy marooning the Doctor on a pre-Time War Skaro during the 1000-year Thal-Kaled War, while simultaneously taunting Clara and UNIT on Earth. This may or may not involve them facing an entirely different alien threat without the assistance of The Doctor.
From what we can tell, The Doctor appeared to be entirely abscent from all the Clara/Missy/UNIT scenes we saw being filmed, including a sequence where Clara plays surrogate Doctor ala Flatline, and has a confrontation meets Missy in what is possibly a Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern outdoor cafe. During the conversation, Missy shows her something important on a laptop, shortly before the sequence below where she notices a UNIT soldier drawing a bead on her, pops him, and then teleports away with Clara.
Even before the two trailers, there were a number of rumors floating around that the season opener would be a prequel to Genesis of the Daleks, where The Doctor must decide whether or not to kill a young Davros before he can invent the Daleks. I’m not quite sure how that would work, given that this episode is absolutely swarming with Daleks, but it’s also a Moffat script, so there might be some timey-wimeyness involved. I think the rumors are at least partially true, in that the Doctor certainly does appear to be separated from Clara and trapped in a foggy warzone very similar to that seen in Genesis of the Daleks (or what Genesis of the Daleks might have looked like, had it been given a location budget slightly more expensive than a trip to the local gravel quarry) If he does meet Davros, it’s probable in the course of saving some young soldier, whose identity he doesn’t learn until later.
Unless there’s some kind of series finale fake-out, and we’re actually getting two separate Missy or Dalek stories this year, it seems a safe bet that any scenes featuring either of these villains come from the first two episode.
Missy laughing down a Dalek eye-stalk. In a cave. There seem to be quite a lot of cave in this episode. More later.
The pepperpots have the phone box! And a “laser.”
No Doctor to be seen, combined with the Supreme Dalek saying “What is happening?!” makes me think that maybe whatever’s going on with the Doctor is beyond the Daleks’ control, (somehow Missy found a way past the time lock, but they can’t?) and they’re so worried about the Doctor changing their history, Back to the Future style, that they turn to Clara for help. If so, the new series Daleks are getting nearly as codependent and into outsourcing as they were in the Pertwee era.
All the Daleks showed up to the party! Hooray! I love that they can just raid the Doctor Who Experience for classic Daleks now whenever they want to boost their numbers. Also, look at the shape of the doors in the background. This is totally the Dalek city on Skaro from The Mutants redone new series style!
Speaking of the Dalek city, if you watch the new trailer in HD and pause at the 21 second mark, you can just barely see that at least one of the flying Daleks is a white Imperial Dalek from either Revelation or Remembrance of the Daleks. Permission to Squeeeeee—-
Now we start getting to stuff I’m a little less sure about. We know next to nothing about episodes 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12, so for all we know these sequences could be from any of those.
There’s a super brief shot in the first trailer of scrappily dressed people with gas masks getting chased across a muddy field by biplanes firing what looks like Dalek style weaponry. I’m willing to bet dollars to space credits that this is a direct homage to Genesis of the Daleks, where the Doctor, Sarah, and Harry find themselves in a similarly foggy grey wasteland strewn with corpses wearing very similar gear. The Doctor theorizes that the war started out incredibly high-tech, and gradually devolved to simpler and simpler weapons as resources and the facilities necessary to manufacture them dwindled. That certainly seems to fit with what we’re seeing here. Plus, the ridges in the background certainly looks like they were filmed in Lanzarote, which would again make it from this block of filming.
And if those scenes are from the first 2-parter, these weird eye-hand things seem to be springing up from the same muddy/foggy terrain. Are they some sort of mutants or a genetically engineered living weapons left over from the more advanced days of the war?
There is one other scene featuring a hand in the new trailer that’s probably also from this episode, but there are a few irregularities.
In this short sequence with Missy and the Doctor, Missy is definitely in the same cave set that she laughed at the Dalek in, and it seems to be linked to the next shot where the Doctor gets grabbed in the face by a hand from under the dirt. What’s odd is that this hand seems to have longer nails more like a Weeping Angel. Also, the Doctor is now inexplicably wearing his new red velvet jacket, which we’ve only seen featured in episode 10. Every other shot of him from episodes 1 & 2 show him in the black hoodie. The way these trailers are cut, it’s sometimes hard to tell whether two scenes are actually linked, so maybe the Missy scenes are from the first two episodes, and the bit with the Doctor (and the hands?) are from episode 10? Does that mean episode 10 features the Weeping Angels? Someone did mention seeing a Dalek, a Cyberman, and a Weeping Angel participating in some filming taking place in a museum, but that could have been for almost anything. Maybe it’s a dream sequence, and the Doctor is facing his fears in the long-awaited rematch with the percolator of doom from Mind of Evil. No way to tell for now, so moving on.
We also saw a bunch of red hooded people in caves in the first trailer, and may people have conjectured that they might be Sisterhood of Karn or Sibylline Oracles from The Fires of Pompeii. If so, they’re probably not part of this story, and we’ve just got multiple cave sets. (It should be noted that the scenes above and below were definitely shot in Doctor Who’s home-away-from-Cardiff, Wookey Hole, while the shots with Missy and the Doctor look more like a fabricated set to me.)
However, we’ve also got this mysterious guy with a face that looks someone who went bobbing for barbeque. He likes to hang out in caves too.
Pot roast face guy may simply be the baddie for one of the episodes we don’t know about, but in the shot below, we see Clara wearing the exact same outfit as she’s wearing in the Dalek city, pulling a knife on somebody in a red robe, so maybe the red-robed guys are all Mutos or other badly disfigured Kaled/Thal’s from the war, or maybe they’re the “threat” that Earth has to face while the Doctor is off on Skaro
Episodes 3 & 4 - Unknown underwater 2-parter:
This Toby Whitehouse two-parter is “scary, claustrophobic, damp!” and features a crashed alien played by 7’ 7” former basketball player Neil Fingleton called “The Fisher King” which I’m going to go out on a limb and say is this guy:
This is also the story which features all those shots of The Doctor, Clara, and various guest actors running around in circular tunnels trying to get away from a ghostly Uncle Sam figure and soldiers with similarly blacked-out eye sockets.
The Mirror reports that the Fisher King “makes its home in Loch Ness,” though take that with a pinch of salt. Based on the sets, it seems likely that the setting is either mostly inside the crashed alien spaceship, or possibly an underwater research lab in the future, which I’m assuming is what this is:
Based on costuming, and the presence of the shades, this may also be the episode that we see the Doctor shredding on that electric guitar.
Episode 5 - THE GIRL WHO DIED:
We know this episode involves vikings, robots, and somebody who calls himself Odin. (A role that was originally supposed to go to Brian Blessed before poor health forced him to back out). It also features the introduction of Maisie’s character, who we know is also in episode 6. These two episodes seem to be only very loosely linked together, with their only common factor being Maisie’s character playing a one-off companion similar to Courtney last season.
While I would love for them to reveal that she was sticking around as a permanent companion for Capaldi next season (we haven’t had overlapping companions since Turlough), it would have been almost impossible for them to keep her presence a secret for the filming of the other 6 episodes. Given the potential irony of the episode titles, I suspect there’s a pretty good chance she won’t make it all the way through an episode titled The Woman Who Lived.
This appears to be Odin. Or possibly Thor. We know David Schofield is playing Odin, and while it’s hard to tell underneath all that hair and makeup, we know Rufus Hound is also a guest star in this episode, so that might be him.
A nice look at the septic tank bots. Interestingly, what I initially took for battle-damage appears to be a design feature on all of them.
This archway seems to have similar rivet-work, so I’d say it’s a fair bet that it’s part of their technology as well.
Sorry folks, this is not a Skarasen. The viking shields and carvings clearly place the scene during this episode. So the alien Vikings have a pet sea serpent. Makes sense.
Oddly, those scenes of Clara in the orange space suit floating in space might be from this episode. At the very least, she’s wearing one during the scene where she hugs the Doctor in the Viking village. Oh, and that book he’s holding...
I’m sure we’ll be seeing plenty of these for sale on Etsy in the coming year.
Episode 6 - THE WOMAN WHO LIVED
This is the episode where Maisie takes off the highwayman mask and asks The Doctor what took him so long. My idle speculation is that something happens at the end of Episode 5 and Maisie’s character is flung off into the time vortex, gets locked in a time traveling escape pod, or some other macguffin which allows her to travel close to 1000 years in the future and spend a year or two robbing coaches in the time it takes The Doctor to track her down.
This episode also features crown-wearing liony people who ride in coaches and occasionally breathe fire. Other than the fire thing, they look an awful lot like Tharils from the 4th Doctor episode, Warrior’s Gate. Based on the costuming in general, and what appears to be red coat soldiers and a cannon in the background, this story might take place during the Napoleonic wars. Or it could be an entirely different planet with fire-breathing cat people.
Episodes 7 & 8 - Unknown Zygon/UNIT 2-parter:
This one involves Zygons, UNIT, orange gas, playground abductions, and the return of Osgood, who may or may not be a Zygon herself. And according to the writer, Peter Harness, “It’s also a partial sequel to Mawdryn Undead.” (which really has me scratching my head)
There was lots of urban filming for this one, including some scenes on a playground with some orange gas, and the scene where a Zygon “abducts” a small girl.
I’m guessing wildly here, but I really hope I’m right, and the Zygons have fully integrated into human society as just another “ethnic minority” with their own culture and graffiti (the comet shape seen to the left is all over the place) and that maybe that orange gas is something that UNIT cooked up to force Zygons to reveal themselves, and the snarling monster above is actually a mother trying to protect her child.
In this shot, you can see a UNIT soldier in the background. It certainly seems like the truce devised during the 50th Anniversary episode isn’t working out so well, probably because humans are such total dicks when it comes to respecting treaties.
Here’s Osgood (wearing her Brigadier jumper) running for a police station. Judging by the rocks and broken window, I’m going to say there’s been some rioting going on.
Episode 9 - Unknown Gatiss episode:
This is the episode they just finished filming, so it probably has no real representation in the trailers. We know it’s a “scary” episode written by Mark Gatiss, stars Reece Shearsmith and Bethany Black (The first transgender actor to be on Doctor Who!) Jenna Coleman also reported that she spent most of a day “working in a fridge” which may indicate that the episode has an icy setting, or just that the building’s heaters were on the fritz that day.
Episode 10 - Unknown episode with Rigsy:
We know a couple of things about this story. The Doctor has an awesome Pertwee-inspired red velvet coat, Rigsy is back, and one of the actor plays a “Chronolock guy.” Jenna also commented that the episode “feels like a new kind of episode for Doctor Who; I mean maybe more political.”
Assuming there aren’t multiple episodes with the red coat, this three fingered alien and the Doctor jumping out a window also appear to be part of the story.
Episode 11 & 12 - Unknown Moffat 2-parter with a “ludicrously challenging” script:
It’s a Moffat 2-part finale. Of course it’ll be insanely complicated. That’s a given.
Half of us will invariably love it, half of us will hate it. It’s still being filmed right now, so I doubt it’s represented in the trailers at all. There’s some speculation that the reason why it’s so complicated and must be shot last is because bits of it were filmed all through the other episodes of the series (like The Big Bang and A Good Man Goes To War) however, something tells me if Moffat’s concerned with the feasibility of bringing his script to life, we’re looking at something far more complex than what he’s already tried and completed successfully twice before.