The wait is almost over! After more than a half-year absence, Doctor Who is returning on Saturday, September 19 for Season 9 (“series” for U.K. folks). The BBC gave viewers a first look at the upcoming adventures featuring Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor during San Diego Comic-Con last month, and earlier today a new trailer was released that offered a lot of new scenes full of action and suspense. Fans of wibbley-wobbley, time-wimey stuff will definitely be seeing a lot of intriguing plots over the next 12 episodes.
Unfortunately, despite this new footage, as per usual Doctor Who is keeping specifics on what its audience will see close to the chest. With a little over a month to go until the new batch of episodes air on BBC America in the United States and BBC One in the U.K., we've watched both trailers multiple times, coming up with the stuff that puzzles us the most. Here are the five big questions we want answers to as soon as possible.
What Are The Zygons Up To?Last seen in the 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor,” the shapeshifting Zygons are returning in Season 9 to wreak havoc. Now we’re wondering what specific plot they’re hatching, other than stealing other people’s identities as usual. So far, we’ve seen one of them snatch a small child, one yell to the camera (always a classic) and a final one charging forward. Yeah, not a whole lot to work with, though as with many aliens that comes calling on Earth in this show, humans are going to get the short end of the stick. Don’t forget that Ingrid Oliver will also be reprising her role as Osgood, Kate Stewart’s assistant, in the same episode. Osgood was seemingly killed by Missy in the Season 8 finale, so will this by a Zygon disguised as her or did she somehow survive? We’ll have to wait and see.
Who Is Maisie Williams’ Character?Maisie Williams, best known as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, will be appearing in Episodes 5 and 6, titled “The Girl Who Died” and “The Woman Who Lived,” but the show hasn’t spilled any beans on who she is playing other than confirming she is not a previously introduced character. In the first trailer she was wearing a bandit’s outfit, complete with old school mask and hat, and she asked The Doctor, “What took you so long, old man?” She didn’t get any dialogue in the second trailer, but she was wearing two other outfits: a peasant’s garb in one scene and formal wear in several others. Unfortunately, that's still not a lot of clues to work with, so we’re eager to learn who she is and what her relationship with The Doctor will be. Though if I may spitball, I wonder if the two episodes will have an eponymous time traveler interacting with Williams’ character as a young girl and an older woman. It’s a simple theory, but reasonable.
What Is Missy’s Role In The New Season?In the Season 8 finale, Missy, a.k.a. the female Master, was seemingly vaporized by a Cyberman (who was revealed to be Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart). Of course, The Doctor’s arch-nemesis isn’t that easily killed, and since then we’ve learned that she will return in the two-part Season 9 premiere, titled “The Magician’s Apprentice” and “The Witch’s Familiar.” While we’re eager to learn how she survived (it probably involved teleportation), we’re more interested in learning how she’ll be involved in this new season. Is she working to ruin The Doctor’s life yet again or will she be teaming up with him? If it’s the latter, obviously keep an eye out for ulterior motives. There’s also an unusual shot in the second trailer of her laughing at a Dalek’s eyestalk, showing that she will have some interaction with the Daleks either as allies or enemies. We also have our fingers crossed about an answer to how she escaped the Time War after her previous incarnation was taken back there in “The End of Time.”
How Will The Doctor And Clara’s Relationship Evolve?Fighting aliens and traveling across time and space is fun to watch, but we also care about the relationship between the main characters. After deciding to separate in the Season 8 finale, The Doctor and Clara reunited in “Last Christmas” and decided to travel together again. Jenna Coleman has since revealed that when we next see Clara, her perspective on life will have changed since Danny Pink’s death. She won't feel as attached to Earth and just wants to travel in the TARDIS. Both her and The Doctor are “hell-bent on adventure,” but like almost everything else on Doctor Who, it won’t last forever. By the time Season 9 concludes, Clara will have become The Doctor’s longest serving companion in the revived series, so although their relationship has never been better, we’re wondering if something will happen between them that will cause Clara to leave him, this time permanently. As for The Doctor himself, he seems to have adopted a cooler attitude, and is even sporting sunglasses in a few scenes. Unfortunately, he’s going to make a mistake in the season premiere that will have “cataclysmic repercussions,” so things won’t be getting easier for him.
What Are All These New Monsters?Okay, this may seem like a no-brainer, but seriously, there are some weird monsters being introduced in Season 9. Among the weirder looking aliens that have appeared in the trailers are a bearded humanoid dressed like Abraham Lincoln, a two-faced (literally) card shark, what looks like a cousin of the Alien, a cat monster peering near Maisie Williams’ character and a dragon. Whew, that’s a lot! There are two new creatures that especially catch our eye. The first are the armored monstrosities seen above, who in one scene of the second trailer are accompanying the Norse god Thor, or at least someone claiming to be him. These fellas don’t look easy to take down. The second group of creatures are the hands reaching out from the ground that have eyeballs on the palm. They have a Weeping Angels vibe to them, but who knows if there’s any relation? Doctor Who has always pitted The Doctor against weird monsters, but this season’s are definitely piquing our interest.