Once Doctor Who Series 12 brought the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her companions Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh) back to BBC One and BBC America screens to kick off our new year, it wasted no time throwing our heroes into a grand adventure filled with spies, intrigue, world domination, and… The Master (Sacha Dhawan)!
Chris Chibnall knows how to create a season-long, overarching mystery – because that reveal between the two adversaries over the fate of their home planet was just the tip of the iceberg. You would think the return of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) would be more than enough to elevate the season's status – but why rest there? Not when you can introduce another Doctor in the form of Jo Martin, who appears to pre-date Whittaker's.
As we head into seventh episode "Can You Hear Me?", Chibnall showed some of the tricks in store for eighth episode "The Haunting of Villa Diodati" as well as details on two-part finale "Ascension of the Cybermen" and extended 65-minute wrap-up "The Timeless Children". The season-ender includes guest stars Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones) and Steve Toussaint (Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time), written by Chibnall and directed by Jamie Magnus Stone (X Company).
With all of this talk of "Cybermen", you might've missed the actual first-look of the newest upgrade in the following recently-released "Still to Come" teaser:
Here it is, just so you don't have to go back and watch again (unless you're like us and you've already watched five times already…) – and from the looks of things, it appears someone gave "The Lone Cyberman" what he wanted.
See what happens when we don't listen to Captain Jack?
"I think we've probably done something slightly different with them this year. There was a particular story I wanted to tell. So there were lots and lots of reasons for doing them. They're really awesome, and they're just relentless, the Cybermen. They just don't stop."
– Chris Chibnall
But let's not get too ahead of ourselves… especially when we still have this week's episode to scorch our nerves. The BBC and the fine folks at IGN have released a sneak preview clip for "Can You Hear Me?" (and we've blended in some preview images throughout the article, too) – in it,
"Doctor Who" series 12, episode 7 "Can You Hear Me?": From ancient Syria to present day Sheffield, and out into the wilds of space, something is stalking the Doctor and her friends. As Graham, Yaz and Ryan return home to see friends and family, they find themselves haunted by very different experiences. Who is the figure calling from beyond the stars for help, and why? And what are the fearsome Chagaskas terrorising Aleppo in 1380? To find the answers, Team Tardis embark on a mission that forces them to face their darkest fears.
Even as we move past the halfway mark for Series 12, Whittaker is making one thing crystal clear: her Doctor's not going anywhere anytime soon. Speaking with EW, Whittaker confirmed that she is returning for Series 13:
"Yes, I'm doing another season. That might be a massive exclusive that I'm not supposed to say, but it's unhelpful for me to say [I don't know] because it would be a massive lie! [Laughs] I absolutely adore it. At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it's not yet. I'm clinging on tight!"
And to those who've been throwing shade at the show since Whittaker and Team TARDIS forst debuted, please know that Whittaker's proud of the work they've done and are doing… sooo… yeah…
But she loves fan artwork…
"I've seen loads of fan art, which I always love. But it's never been that great for me to immerse myself in noise that you can't control, good or bad. I think both are a rabbit hole that you shouldn't necessarily go down. We know that we work really hard for the show to be the best it can be in this moment. Once it's out in the ether, how people feel, in a way, is kind of irrelevant."