Doctor Who (series 10)
The tenth series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who premiered on 15 April 2017 and is set to consist of twelve episodes, after it was released in July 2015 that BBC Worldwide had invested in a tenth series of the programme in its annual review. The series is led by head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, alongside executive producer Brian Minchin. It is the third and final series overseen by the two as executive producers, as well as Moffat's sixth and final series as head writer. This series is the tenth to air following the programme's revival in 2005, and is the thirty-sixth season overall.
|Doctor Who (series 10)|
DVD box set cover art for the series' first half
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of stories||10|
|No. of episodes||10 (+1 supplemental)|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Original release||15 April 2017– present|
Preceded by a Christmas special in December 2016, "The Return of Doctor Mysterio", the series is the third and final series starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, an incarnation of the Doctor, an alien Time Lord who travels through time and space in his TARDIS, which appears to be a British police box on the outside; Capaldi announced in January 2017 that he would be stepping down from the role after the tenth series. The series introduces Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, the Doctor's newest travelling companion, and also features Matt Lucas as Nardole, who appeared in the 2015 and 2016 Christmas specials.
Steven Moffat wrote four episodes for the series. Other returning writers who have worked on this series and previous ones include Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Sarah Dollard, Jamie Mathieson, Peter Harness, Toby Whithouse and Mark Gatiss, as well as two new writers for the revived era of the programme, Mike Bartlett and Rona Munro, the latter of whom wrote Survival, the final serial of the original classic era. Directors of the series included three who have previously worked on the show, and three brand new ones. Filming began on 20 June 2016 and lasted just over nine months, ending on 7 April 2017.
|Story||Episode||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date ||UK viewers
|264||–||"The Return of Doctor Mysterio"||Ed Bazalgette||Steven Moffat||25 December 2016||7.83||82|
|The Doctor, with Nardole, investigates the New York branch of "Harmony Shoal", a multinational research company. Also investigating is journalist Lucy Fletcher, and they discover that Harmony Shoal is transplanting alien brains into humans. One of the alien workers finds the three, but they are rescued by the superhero called the Ghost, an alter ego for Grant Gordon, whom the Doctor met several years beforehand when Grant was a child and accidentally turned him into a superhero. Grant is also a nanny working for Lucy. However Lucy is unaware of Grant's true identity. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Nardole find the aliens' ship, but soon discover that the ship has been turned into a bomb that will crash into New York as part of a complex plan to implant the alien brains into world leaders, thereby giving them control of the Earth. However, the Doctor aims the ship towards New York earlier than planned and the collision is stopped by Grant, revealing his identity to Lucy. After he and Lucy announce their love for each other, Grant throws the ship into the sun. UNIT then shuts down Harmony Shoal, but an alien brains implants itself into a UNIT soldier.|
|265||1||"The Pilot"||Lawrence Gough||Steven Moffat||15 April 2017||6.68||83|
|The Doctor and Nardole have occupied themselves under the guise of a university professor and assistant. Bill Potts is called to the Doctor's office, where Bill becomes the Doctor's student. Bill becomes intrigued by a student named Heather. Heather asks her to inspect a puddle, asking her if she can see what's wrong with her reflection. The Doctor investigates the puddle, and notes that it is not a reflection, but something mimicking them. Bill returns to her flat, and is chased by a moving body of fluid: A living fluid from an alien ship that has absorbed Heather and her feelings for Bill. Bill runs to the Doctor's office and they flee into the TARDIS. The Doctor moves the TARDIS, where he and Nardole check on a vault they are guarding. The TARDIS lands again in Australia, where the Doctor admits who he is. The fluid follows them to another planet in the future, then through a Dalek battle, but survives. Bill convinces "Heather" to let her go, and it departs. The Doctor and Bill return to his office, where he attempts to wipe Bill's memories of the day but she stops him. As Bill leaves, she finds the Doctor waiting with the TARDIS, and joins him.|
|266||2||"Smile"||Lawrence Gough||Frank Cottrell-Boyce||22 April 2017||5.98||83|
|The Doctor and Bill arrive on one of Earth's first colonised planets, Gliese 581d. They are greeted only by two different types of robots: swarm robots (Vardies) and slow but sentient emojibots. An emojibot gives the Doctor and Bill discs that communicate their true emotions. The Doctor theorizes that the planet is awaiting the colonists but soon realizes that the skeletons of a set-up crew have been crushed to feed the plants. Determined to blow up the city, he finds the main ship within it and its engine room, but Bill runs into a child who has awoken from a pod. The colonists were cryogenically frozen, with a few "shepherds" woken early to work. After one shepherd died, the emojibots could not recognise grief and killed all in mourning in an onslaught against sadness. The awakened colonists decide to fight back, but the Doctor wipes the memory of the robots and reboots everything... only humans must now learn to live with the Vardies, the planet's indigenous species. Then, after the TARDIS returns them to London, the Doctor and Bill discover themselves on a frozen Thames River, an elephant walking towards them on the ice.|
|267||3||"Thin Ice"||Bill Anderson||Sarah Dollard||29 April 2017||5.61||84|
|The Doctor and Bill find they have arrived in London in 1814, in the midst of a frost fair on the frozen Thames. The Doctor's sonic screwdriver is stolen by Spider, an orphan pickpocket led by Kitty. The Doctor and Bill chase down Spider and Kitty away from the fair. There, glowing lights under the ice encircle Spider's feet and Spider is pulled through the ice. The Doctor and Bill get into diving suits and purposely let the lights take them; they find a giant sea creature ensnared by chains. They learn from Kitty of Lord Sutcliffe; Sutcliffe affirms his family has used the creature to amass a fortune by collecting and selling its waste as a replacement for coal. Sutcliffe sends the Doctor and Bill to be eaten, while he rigs a bomb to cause the ice to shatter. The Doctor and Bill escape, and the Doctor takes the bomb and places it on the creature's chains. When Sutcliffe sets off the bomb, the creature is freed. They return to the present, where Nardole scolds the Doctor for breaking his oath. While checking the Vault beneath the University, Nardole hears something behind it knock repeatedly.|
|268||4||"Knock Knock"||Bill Anderson||Mike Bartlett||6 May 2017||5.73||83|
|Bill and five students sign a contract with a mysterious Landlord to live in his manor house. After helping Bill move her things in, the Doctor becomes suspicious of the nature of the Landlord. A number of the students mysteriously disappear and the groups are separated. The Doctor along with Harry, one of the students, discover a strange cockroach-like creature which the former nicknames "Dryads". Down in the basement they discover contracts from decades ago. The Landlord discovers them and reveals the whole incident was to keep his daughter, Eliza, alive. Bill and another student Shireen, come across Eliza who reveals herself to be completely wooden. After finding Bill, the Doctor realises that the Landlord is actually Eliza's son. The Landlord attempts to send the Dryads after the Doctor and Bill, but Eliza manages to control them. She embraces the Landlord as the Dryads consume them. The students are restored to their physical bodies as the house collapses. Back at the university, the Doctor enters the vault to feed their prisoner as piano music echoes from inside.|
|269||5||"Oxygen"||Charles Palmer||Jamie Mathieson||13 May 2017||5.27||83|
|Nardole accompanies the Doctor and Bill to a space station to answer a distress call. Most of the crew have been killed by their smartsuits, robotic spacesuits capable of independent movement which are the only source of oxygen on the station, forcing the TARDIS crew to don spares. The suits received an order to "deactivate organic components"; some crew survived by being disconnected, but networked suits can transmit the command by touch. Bill's suit malfunctions, forcing the Doctor to give her his helmet to save her, exposing himself to the vacuum of space, which blinds him; he later leaves her behind to be electrocuted, knowing her suit hasn't the power for a lethal shock. The algorithm used by the company determined the crew were inefficient and thus too expensive to keep alive. He wires the survivors' life signs to the station so that if they die it will explode, making it more expensive to kill them, so the suits give over their remaining oxygen. Bill is revived, the Doctor's eyes are repaired, and the survivors return to their head office to complain. Back at the university, the Doctor reveals to Nardole he is still blind.|
|270||6||"Extremis"||Daniel Nettheim||Steven Moffat||20 May 2017||5.53||82|
|A long time ago, the Doctor is sent to execute Missy, only to have Nardole interrupt on the behest of River Song. He refuses to kill Missy, instead opting to imprison and guard her for 1000 years. In the present, the Pope comes to the Doctor, asking to help translate a text called "Veritas". Everyone who has read it has committed suicide, and the Doctor, Nardole, and Bill are brought to the Vatican to investigate. While there, Bill and Nardole discover a portal, which leads them to the Pentagon. They find the portals being projected leading all over the world. The Doctor temporarily restores his sight using Time Lord technology, but is ambushed by aliens. Nardole realizes the projectors are not projecting portals, but the whole world. His realization causes him to dematerialize. Bill finds the Doctor, who tells her the world is a simulation, and Veritas contains the proof. Bill then disappears due to the alien's intervention, the Doctor realizing this is a test to see if they can conquer the Earth. However, the simulation is too exact, as his sonic sunglasses still work perfectly, and the virtual Doctor sends his information to the real one to warn of the coming invasion.|
|271||7||"The Pyramid at the End of the World"||Daniel Nettheim||Peter Harness and Steven Moffat||27 May 2017||5.79||82|
|The Doctor is called in by the Secretary General of the U.N. after a pyramid mysteriously appears on the strategic border of the Russian, Chinese and U.S. armies. It's revealed the Monks are responsible for the pyramid and that they have forseen a disaster through their simulations, offering an opportunity to save humanity if they consent to their rule. Elsewhere in a biochemical lab, a scientist accidentally misreads the levels of chemicals in an experiment releasing deadly biochemical bacteria. The Secretary General offers his consent, but is killed when he is viewed to be acting out of fear. The Doctor surmises that the disaster was unrelated to war, but may be biochemical. After the Doctor and Nardole locate the lab, Nardole collapses following exposure to the bacteria whilst waiting in the TARDIS. The Doctor with the assistance of Erica, a lab worker, surmises the only way to stop it would be to destroy the lab. He becomes stuck on the side of a manual lock however, due to his blindness. Bill makes a deal with the Monks to restore the Doctor's sight despite his protests. He manages to escape but at the expense of handing the planet over to the Monks.|
|272||8||"The Lie of the Land"||Wayne Yip||Toby Whithouse||3 June 2017||4.82||82|
|The Monks now rule the planet, and to most of humanity, they appear to have been on Earth for millions of years, guiding the species' development. Bill and a few others know the truth. Nardole locates Bill, and they search for the Doctor. They locate him, but he is cooperating with the Monks. Bill shoots him and it appears he is regenerating, but it is all a trick to see whether Bill has been fooled by the Monks. At the university, the Doctor speaks to Missy, who reveals Bill has to die to break the Monk's influence on Earth. The Doctor hopes there is another solution, therefore they infiltrate the Monk's pyramid in London. The Doctor attempts to break the link but fails. Bill prepares to sacrifice herself, however the Monk's images are replaced with those of Bill's mother, which represents hope. Due to their actions, the Monks leave and humanity recall none of the events. Back in the Vault, Missy expresses remorse at those she has murdered.|
|273||9||"Empress of Mars"||Wayne Yip||Mark Gatiss||10 June 2017||5.02||83|
|NASA finds the words "God save the Queen" buried under the ice cap of Mars. The Doctor, Bill and Nardole venture to Mars in 1881, and they discover soldiers from Victorian Britain. Nardole goes back into the TARDIS, but it returns to the university, and he asks Missy for help getting back. The humans have befriended an Ice Warrior named Friday. Captain Catchlove says they rescued Friday from his crashed spaceship, and Friday allowed the soldiers to use his technology to mine Mars. They unearth the tomb of the Ice Empress Iraxxa; one guard revives her. Friday tells Iraxxa that the Mars' surface is uninhabitable. She decides to relent, but a soldier fires his rifle; provoked, she returns fire. Iraxxa starts reviving Ice Warriors. The Doctor threatens to use the mining device to bury them all. Catchlove holds Iraxxa at knifepoint and attempts to force her to help him pilot a spaceship. Godsacre kills Catchlove. Iraxxa calls off the attack in exchange for Godsacre pledging himself to her. The Doctor contacts Alpha Centauri to assist the Ice Warriors, and also leave the message for NASA. Nardole re-appears with the TARDIS with Missy, who expresses concern about the Doctor.|
|274||10||"The Eaters of Light"||Charles Palmer||Rona Munro||17 June 2017||TBD||81|
|The Doctor and Bill, disagreeing about the fate of the Ninth Legion of the Imperial Roman army, travel in the TARDIS to the 2nd century in Scotland. Bill goes her own way, while the Doctor and Nardole look for their bodies. Bill encounters the Legion's soldiers hiding. The soldiers are hiding from a creature drawn to any light source, killing those in its path. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Nardole discover the corpses of the remaining Legion. They later come across a Pict tribe guarding a cairn. The Doctor enters the cairn, passing into an interdimensional portal. The Pict explains that a warrior goes through the cairn to defeat an "Eater of Light", but with the invading Roman army, she allowed one to escape to fight them. Bill leads the surviving legion away from the creature and end up reuniting with the Doctor and Nardole. The Doctor works out a plan to lure the Eater back to the portal during daylight, but it requires someone inside preventing the creature's escape. Once the creature is trapped, The Pict and the Ninth Legion sacrifice themselves to stop the creatures. Back in the TARDIS, Missy awaits their return, to the surprise of Bill and Nardole. The Doctor reveals to Missy he still has hope that she will turn good.|
|275a||11||"World Enough and Time"||Rachel Talalay||Steven Moffat||24 June 2017||TBD||TBD|
|275b||12||"The Doctor Falls"||Rachel Talalay||Steven Moffat||1 July 2017||TBD||TBD|
|276||–||TBA||Rachel Talalay||Steven Moffat||25 December 2017||TBD||TBD|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date||Length|
|"Friend from the Future"||Lawrence Gough||Steven Moffat||23 April 2016||2:05|
|From a hidden corner of a corridor inside a spaceship, the Doctor attempts to answer Bill's questions about their enemies. Bill finds them amusing at first, but the Doctor persists and she realises they are in real danger.|
Peter Capaldi reprised his role as the Twelfth Doctor in his third and final series; he will leave after the 2017 Christmas special, while Pearl Mackie portrays the newest companion Bill Potts, after the departure of Jenna Coleman. To avoid leaks while casting the new companion, the production team used the word "Mean Town", an anagram of "Ten Woman"; this is a reference to the fact that Bill is the companion of the tenth series, and was revealed by the casting director Andy Pryor to Radio Times. Mackie made her first appearance in the first episode of the tenth series, and portrays the first openly gay companion. Matt Lucas returned in his role as Nardole, as seen in the 2015 and 2016 Christmas specials "The Husbands of River Song" and "The Return of Doctor Mysterio", in a regular role that started from the first episode of the series, but would not appear in every episode.
In June 2016, it was announced that Stephanie Hyam would be joining the tenth series. In July 2016, actors Mina Anwar, Ralf Little, and Kaizer Akhtar had been added to the cast and portrayed Goodthing, Steadfast, and Praiseworthy respectively in the second episode. On 16 August 2016, it was announced that David Suchet, famous for his role in Agatha Christie's Poirot, would appear as a character known as "The Landlord" in the fourth episode, "Knock Knock". Tate Pitchie-Cooper portrayed a child version of The Landlord. Fady Elsayed, who stars in the Doctor Who spin-off Class, was originally set to guest star in an episode of Doctor Who.
In October 2016, it was announced that Justin Chatwin was set to appear as a superhero in the 2016 Christmas special "The Return of Doctor Mysterio". He was joined by Charity Wakefield, Adetomiwa Edun, Aleksandar Jovanovic and Logan Hoffman. On 16 November 2016 the BBC announced the cast for the fifth episode, which included Kieran Bew, Peter Caulfield, Mimi Ndiweni and Katie Brayben, with Justin Salinger portraying "Tasker", while Rebecca Benson, Daniel Kerr, Juwon Adedokun, Brian Vernel, Ben Hunter, Aaron Phagura, Sam Adewunmi and Billy Matthews were announced to be appearing in the tenth episode.
On 14 October 2016, Michelle Gomez announced that she would reprise her role of Missy in the series, and in May 2017, she further stated that it would be her last series in the role. On 30 January 2017, Capaldi confirmed that the tenth series would be his last. On 6 April 2017, the BBC announced that John Simm would be returning in his role as the Master alongside Gomez.
Writing and development
In July 2015, the annual review for BBC Worldwide indicated that it had invested in a tenth series of the programme. It was announced in January 2016 that Series 10 would be Steven Moffat's final series as showrunner, after which he will be replaced in the role by Chris Chibnall in 2018.
In May 2016, Steven Moffat stated in the 500th issue of Doctor Who Magazine that he would be writing the first and last three episodes of the series. Furthermore, he stated that the series would consist mostly of single-part stories so that the new companion, Bill Potts, could have more stories to explore her character, though two-parters would still be present in the series. Moffat also be wrote the 2017 Christmas special, after the tenth series has concluded.
Lawrence Gough directed the first two episodes of the tenth series, while Frank Cottrell-Boyce wrote the series' second episode, having previously written "In the Forest of the Night" for the eighth series. Sarah Dollard, who wrote "Face the Raven" for the ninth series also returns for an episode, as does playwright Mike Bartlett for an episode in the same production block as Dollard's. Matt Lucas revealed that Jamie Mathieson was set to write the fifth episode for the series, having previously written "Mummy on the Orient Express" and "Flatline" and having co-written "The Girl Who Died". Daniel Nettheim directed two episodes for the series, written by Steven Moffat and Peter Harness, after having previously directed the two-parter "The Zygon Invasion" / "The Zygon Inversion" in the ninth series.
In June 2016, Mark Gatiss stated he would be writing an episode for the series; later identified as the ninth episode, a change to Moffat's previous announcement that he would be writing for that particular episode. In 2015, Gatiss had indicated that he might write a sequel for the ninth series episode "Sleep No More"; however, this was not the basis for Gatiss' episode for the tenth series. Instead, the episode featured the return of the Ice Warriors, a race known for their appearances in the eras of the Second Doctor and Third Doctor, and in the 2013 episode "Cold War," also written by Gatiss.
Moffat announced in October 2016 that a writer who had previously written for the original classic series would be returning to write an episode, later confirmed as Rona Munro, who previously wrote Survival, the final serial of both Season 26 and the original classic series. Munro is the writer for the tenth episode of the series, titled "The Eaters of Light". Toby Whithouse wrote the eighth episode.
The read-through for the first production block of the tenth series took place on 14 June 2016. Filming began on 20 June 2016. The second episode was filmed in Valencia, Spain. Shooting for the first block concluded on 28 July 2016. The read-through for the second block took place on 18 July 2016, and filming began on 1 August 2016, beginning with the third episode. Production on the 2016 Christmas special began on 5 September 2016 and wrapped on 30 September 2016. The read-through for "Oxygen" took place on 12 October 2016. Shooting on the fourth block began on 17 October and ended on 18 November 2016. Filming for the fifth block began on 23 November 2016, paused in December for a break over the holidays, and resumed on 3 January 2017 and concluding on 17 January 2017. The sixth block began filming concurrently on 16 January 2017, before concluding on 22 February 2017. On 6 March 2017 the BBC stated that the work on the final two episodes of the series had begun, with Rachel Talalay returning to direct her third consecutive series finale.
Filming for the spin-off series Class ran from April to September 2016, beginning before the filming for the tenth series of Doctor Who started. Peter Capaldi took part in the filming of Class, and appeared in the opening episode of the spin-off series.
|Lawrence Gough||Steven Moffat
|Bill Anderson||Sarah Dollard
|3||"The Return of Doctor Mysterio"||Ed Bazalgette||Steven Moffat||Peter Bennett|
"The Eaters of Light"
|Charles Palmer||Jamie Mathieson
"The Pyramid at the End of the World"
|Daniel Nettheim||Steven Moffat
Peter Harness and Steven Moffat
|6||"The Lie of the Land"
"Empress of Mars"
|Wayne Yip||Toby Whithouse
|7||"World Enough and Time"
"The Doctor Falls"
|Rachel Talalay||Steven Moffat||Peter Bennett|
|X||2017 Christmas Special||Rachel Talalay||Steven Moffat||Peter Bennett|
A preview scene was filmed in April 2016 as part of a promotional clip shown on 23 April 2016 on BBC One, during the semi-final half-time of the 2015–16 FA Cup. It introduced the Doctor and his new companion, Bill, being faced with Daleks. However, Moffat has stated that this scene may not be introduced into the series itself. Capaldi, Mackie, Lucas and Moffat promoted the series at New York Comic Con in October 2016.
The first trailer for the series was premiered at the end of the 2016 Christmas special, "The Return of Doctor Mysterio". A second teaser trailer was released on 25 February 2017. On 13 March 2017 the BBC released new promotional image of Capaldi, Mackie and Lucas, as well as releasing the title for the premiere. The full trailer for the series was premiered later the same day on BBC One, during the quarter-final half-time of the 2016–17 FA Cup, along with promotional images from the first episode.
Leading up to the launch of the series, five teaser trailers aired online. On 31 March 2017 BBC America released the trailer for Doctor Who and the Class. The same day, an interview with Mackie was shown on BBC News, containing clips from the first episode. Another trailer for the series premiered on 3 April 2017. On 9 April 2017 Capaldi, Mackie, Moffat and Minchin attended a panel at the BFI & Radio Times TV Festival, featuring a sneak preview of clips from the upcoming series.
Broadcast and reception
Doctor Who's tenth series has received positive reviews. Series 10 holds a 95% score on online review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 3.76. Writing for the Radio Times halfway through the series' run, Huw Fullerton calls it "a return to form for the sci-fi series after a much-needed rest year, with the format, actors and writers all feeling fresher than during their last outing". Reaction to individual episodes have also been positive, with scores on the site ranging from 85% to 100% to date; four episodes of the series hold a perfect score, after no episode reached this score in the previous series. Specifically, episodes such as "Oxygen" and "Extremis" received positive reception, with critics saying that the former was a "great, thought-provoking episode", whilst the latter was labelled as a unique and ambitious episode, and that "Doctor Who doesn't get better than this".
The series also introduced Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, the Doctor's newest companion; Mackie has received consistently favorable comments, noting how she was "bringing an energy distinct from any previous new series companion", describing Bill as "a wonderful change of pace", and how her acting was "consistently honest, raw at times, and never, ever whimsy", with certain scenes being "guttural" and "heart-wrenching". Controversial topics, such as racism and capitalism, were covered during episodes in the series, and were also met with positive reactions.
DVD and Blu-ray releases
Similar to Doctor Who Extra, both releases will include an "Inside Look" into each of the episodes, episodic features that will include behind the scenes footage, cast interviews and the inside story.
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