Things You Want to Know About the Next Season of Doctor Who

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First off, yes, we call them “seasons” here. Secondly, showrunner Steven Moffat revealed a few important tidbits about the next season of Doctor Who, which is unfortunately set to air around a year from now, in fall 2012, rather than a few months from now. The biggest detail? No more two-part episodes, both the bane and delight of many Doctor Who fans.

Moffat said that there likely won’t be any two-part episodes coming in the next season, which, lately, is probably more of a boon than a detraction. Talking to Doctor Who Magazine:

“The big thing is, nothing in the next run is starting out as a two-parter. At this stage, everything is a single episode, and the only reason anything will become a two-parter is if we think it needs to be; not so much that the story is too long for 45 minutes, because nothing is too long for 45 minutes, but if it feels as though there are two distinct stages to the story…”

Some of the series’ earlier two-part episodes were decent, specifically the Empty Child saga, in which Captain Jack — a character so popular that he got his own spinoff in Torchwood — was realized. However, most people probably won’t even be able to recount any of the other two-parters, aside from the, to put it delicately, less-than-stellar ones — Daleks in Manhattan, I’m looking at you. Moffat continues:

“I want to be able to say, every week, we’ve got a big standalone blockbuster, and then a trailer that makes it look like nothing compared to what’s going to happen next week! That’s the form for next year.”

Moffat revealed some less juicy, but still totally juicy plans for the next season, particularly regarding episode titles and cliffhangers. He acknowledges that with season six, the team used cliffhangers and mysteries to keep the audience in tow, but realizes that specific type of engagement isn’t entirely necessary, citing the reveal of the “Let’s Kill Hitler” episode title at the end of “A Good Man Goes to War” as an understated, yet successful ploy. Realizing that, amusingly, “You can sod off with a poetic understatement.” From this, Moffat has decided he wants to use “sluttier titles,” and “movie-poster” plots, so we can only assume the Doctor will be getting his groove back sometime during the season.

Moffat teased the episode title of the first episode he is writing, called “[Spoiler] of the [Spoilers],” so judging by the show’s usual arc, one can only assume that those brackets are going to be filled with “return” and the name of one of the show’s iconic alien races. Moffat also claims that first episode will feel a bit like Die Hard, so hopefully we’ll have the Doctor walking over broken glass without shoes, pondering what it must feel like to be a TV dinner, and dropping bad guys off of rooftops.

Moffat said he’s planning on writing at least five episodes, which is great for Who fans, considering he generally writes the best episodes — though to be fair, he does seem to lack the epic vision and fan service bone that previous showrunner, Russell T. Davies had.

Moffat leaves us with a promise that we can only hope he somehow keeps:

“Everyone is expecting us to do another year like 2011. You’re not going to get that at all. You’re going to get the biggest, maddest set of episodes ever.”

(via Doctor Who TV, 2)

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