Jodie Whittaker was terrific in Doctor Who season 11, no doubt about it, but the Thirteenth Doctor’s first year in the TARDIS didn’t get under the Time Lord’s skin enough for us to really get a three-dimensional portrait of who this Doctor is. This won’t be the case with season 12, though, as the trailers have alluded to a dark night of the soul for the time traveler coming up. And that’s further teased in this new featurette, a pre-season preview courtesy of BBC America.
The short promo features interviews with the cast and crew, who offer their thoughts on why fans should be excited for the new season. Producer Nikki Wilson seems to sum up the big hook of this run best, saying: “We’re going to see the Thirteenth Doctor really tested.”
Whittaker also hit the nail on the head by describing season 12 as a year of “self-discovery” for the Doctor.
“What this season is about is the individual characters going on their own journey—and, particularly for the Doctor, it’s a series about self discovery.”
Her co-star Tosin Cole, who plays companion Ryan Sinclair, made clear that we can expect to see a more fallible, uncertain side of the two-hearted hero, something that will alter the dynamic of the four-part TARDIS team – also including Mandip Gill’s Yaz Khan and Bradley Walsh’s Graham O’Brien.
“I think this is the first time we kind of really see her, as the new Doctor, really unsure and really trying to make decisions, and the pressure is getting to her, and how that affects her relationship with the group.”
It’s hard to tell right now how soon the Doctor being challenged will occur, as the two-episode opening story looks to be mostly a light-hearted adventure. Titled “Spyfall,” it’s essentially Doctor Who doing a Bond movie, with the Doctor hired to investigate when the world’s spies start getting picked off. Stephen Fry stars as the M-like boss of MI6 while Sir Lenny Henry looks to be playing a villainous billionaire.
Be sure to catch Doctor Who when it returns this New Year’s Day on BBC One/America.