In part one of our look back at 2014 in Doctor Who, we covered the start of filming for Series 8 as news and details trickled through – but of course, that was all set-up for the real event: series eight itself.
The second half of 2014 saw thirteen brand new episodes starring a new Doctor, the return of the Doctor’s greatest enemy, plenty of frenzied speculation over Clara’s potential departure and a massive leak of scripts and episodes. In part two, we’ll look at the second half of the year, from July to December, and take a peek into the future (sadly no TARDISes involved) to speculate on what 2015 holds.
July began with some intriguing filming for the finale at a graveyard – and though details were scarce, set reporters revealed that Clara would be having an emotional conversation with a Cyberman (spoiler: it was Danny) in the graveyard. Soon after, the final writer for Series 8 was revealed – children’s author Frank Cottrell Boyce, who was announced to be penning episode ten. A Cardiff world premiere for Deep Breath was announced as another tantalising teaser for series eight hit the internet, revealing the return of the Daleks…
Series eight remained shrouded in secrecy – until, on 7th July, things went a little pear-shaped. An error from BBC Miami caused the leak of the first five scripts onto the internet, with unfinished versions of all five episodes following shortly. Publicity motored on, however – and the internet exploded as the first full trailer for series eight premiered during the World Cup Final on 13th July, revealing a dinosaur, Daleks, robots and lots of explosions. Comic Con came and went with no Doctor Who panel – but new details were revealed for all twelve episodes in an SFX article the same week. Meanwhile in filming, the cliffhanger of Dark Water was filmed at St Paul’s Cathedral on London – re-enacting a famous scene from classic serial The Invasion.
At the end of the month, the publicity continued, as a worldwide cinema release and standalone DVD release for Deep Breath were confirmed – and yet another teaser aired on 26th July, revealing a crouching Capaldi in space whispering: ”Listen…”
Best July moment: “I’m the Doctor. I’ve lived for over two thousand years.” The first full trailer for Series 8 is released, racking up four million YouTube views and around ten million analyses.
We’d waited months – and finally, the month of the Doctor’s return had arrived. The World Tour kicked off in Cardiff and London on 7th August with the very first screenings of Deep Breath – and stops in Seoul, New York, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro followed in the next fortnight, as Peter Capaldi was launched as the Doctor to thousands of adoring fans (in a rare moment of fans actually being adoring).
Capaldi and Coleman’s appearances in the Christmas Special were confirmed as filming for Series 8 drew to a close – and rumours began to circulate around Capaldi’s future, with anonymous whispers hinting at Capaldi’s return in series nine. Paul Wilmshurst was confirmed as the Christmas Special director and a trailer for Deep Breath launched on 11th August – and the Twelfth Doctor himself began popping up on BBC One and interrupting idents on the 16th. All twelve episode titles were also revealed on the 18th, revealing intriguing names such as Kill the Moon and Dark Water.
Amidst a flurry of hype and excitement, Peter Capaldi finally made his full debut as the Doctor in Deep Breath – to the joy of some fans and the fury of others. As Deep Breath topped US cable TV and made the UK box office charts, Into the Dalek premiered on Saturday 30th August – and so it began…
Best August moment: “Please… just see me.” Peter Capaldi debuts as the Doctor in Deep Breath – and thankfully, he’s really quite good.
Four brand new episodes aired in September as Series 8 settled in for the long haul – swashbuckling adventure Robot of Sherwood (complete with controversy over a cut scene), psychological chiller Listen (complete with controversy over a return to Gallifrey), wacky heist caper Time Heist (complete with controversy over a strange alien romance) and modern-day character drama The Caretaker (complete with controversy over a somersault).
Meanwhile, Series 9 filming was confirmed for January – and filming for the Christmas Special began in early September. And on the 19th, we got our first news for the festive special, as guest stars Nick Frost, Nathan McMullen, Michael Troughton, Faye Marsay and Natalie Gumede were confirmed to be appearing. On the 26th, Peter Capaldi made an appearance on chat show The Graham Norton Show – bringing along a clip from Kill the Moon…
Best September moment: “Fear is a superpower.” The Doctor confronts his greatest fears and a child Doctor is seen for the first time in Listen.
With six episodes already aired, October saw another batch of four new episodes – space dragon Moon egg action in Kill the Moon, ancient Egyptian space mummy action in Mummy on the Orient Express, creepy 2D warping action in Flatline, and lack of action in In the Forest of the Night, as Series 8 began to reach its conclusion. Elsewhere, filming for the Christmas Special concluded in early October, DVD artwork for Series 8 was released, and on the 24th October, the Doctor Who Experience re-opened in Cardiff with a brand new walkthrough featuring the Twelfth Doctor.
And at the end of In the Forest of the Night, the Next Time trailer for Dark Water managed to once again blow up the internet with the surprise twist implied by the trailer that Clara would become a villain…
Best October moment: “I am the Doctor, and I name you the Boneless!” The Twelfth Doctor finally gets his iconic speech as he dispatches the Boneless in style in Flatline.
Just two episodes remained – and to kick November off with a bang, the first part of the finale, Dark Water aired on BBC One, containing the seismic revelation that recurring character Missy was in fact a regenerated, female Master – provoking a fair bit of controversy from fandom. And on Saturday 8th November, Peter Capaldi’s first series finished with a bang in Death in Heaven as the Doctor and Clara appeared to separate. Needless to say, it provoked more controversy.
But the next episode wasn’t far away, as Santa made his surprise appearance during the credits of the finale – and the first trailer for the Christmas Special was shown just afterwards. Six days later, on the 14th, the very first clip from the Special was shown on Children in Need, showing the Doctor and Santa’s first meeting. For those missing the writer news of part one, the first female writer since 2008 was confirmed for Series 9 – former Torchwood writer Catherine Tregenna!
And on the 25th, the publicity for the Christmas Special kicked in, as a promo image and title were released for Last Christmas – but would it be Clara’s last Christmas?
Best November moment: “I couldn’t keep calling myself the Master, could I?” A new regeneration of the Master is revealed – and for the first time, the Master is a she…
The final month of the year! Last Christmas publicity continued, as new clips were revealed in a BBC Christmas trailer, and a DVD release was set for January 2015. The exciting prospect of a BBC theme park featuring Doctor Who emerged – and just a day later, the BBC released a TV trailer for Last Christmas featuring some cryptic hints at Clara’s future. Looking to the future of the show, the title for the first episode of series nine was revealed at the BFI screening of Last Christmas – Series 9 was announced to begin with the mysteriously titled The Magician’s Apprentice…
On Christmas Day, the Doctor and Clara came face to face with Santa in an adventure featuring no less than five layers of dreams – and contrary to the rumours that had been circulating all year, Clara finished the episode rejuvenated, in the TARDIS and ready to go on new adventures with the Twelfth Doctor…
Best December moment: “Every Christmas is last Christmas.” Clara rejoins the TARDIS in dreamy, creepy Christmas Special Last Christmas.
So that’s 2014 – a year that’s brought us plenty of excitement, surprises and of course, controversy. With yet another huge year for the show over, where do we go from here?
2015 will see a full new series with Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara – but while Steven Moffat has claimed Clara will be staying for the whole series, nothing is confirmed; and Clara could very well exit the TARDIS during the series. Filming is currently pencilled in to start on Monday 5th January, with episode one, The Magician’s Apprentice, not the first to be filmed. Series 9 will likely keep the early autumn air date from this year. Our educated guess for an air date is Saturday 29th August – but we were off by a week last year, so the date may well be earlier or later.
As for episode count, it looks like Series 9 will stay at 12 episodes, with a thirteenth episode at Christmas, but that’s pending an official announcement. Story details are thin – rumours indicate that The Magician’s Apprentice will take place on an alien planet and feature an extremely tall monster, and that the penultimate episode will see a ‘massive cliffhanger’. No directors have been announced so far – and only Steven Moffat and Catherine Treganna have been announced to write episodes.
2014 may be (almost) over – but there’s plenty more excitement to come in 2015!