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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Doctor Who News Round-Up: Press Conference Blitz

Jenna-Louise Coleman Is The Eleventh Doctor's New Companion!
Today has been an absolute barnstormer of a day for Doctor Who fans, with the first big news press conference since the announcement of Sophie Aldred's role as Ace back in 1987. We've had a load of exciting new details regarding the stars, the layout and the content of Series 7, and you can read them all below...
  • NEW COMPANION: Ex-Eastenders and Waterloo Road actress Jenna-Louise Coleman has been confirmed as the new companion for the Matt Smith era. Coleman will begin filming the 2012 Christmas Special (her first episode) this May, taking over from Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill as the series regular apprentice to the Doc for the duration of the 2013 run and beyond. I look forward to seeing how Jenna-Louise does in her new role, and you can get your first impressions of her in Lizo Mzimba's first interview after her appointment- "excited" seems to be the key word!
  • OLD ENEMIES: Alongside that intriguing announcement, Steven Moffat confirmed that the Daleks would return in this Autumn's run of new adventures. He also said that Episode 5 would feature a "final encounter" with the Weeping Angels before the Ponds' heartbreaking departure.
  • NEW SCHEDULING: And speaking of episode numbers, the layout of this season is going to be quite different to normal, it's been confirmed. This year, we're going to get six new episodes, the first, fifth (where the Ponds leave) and sixth (the Christmas Special) penned by Steven Moffat, the second by Chris Chibnall, the third by Toby Whithouse and the fourth by an unnamed writer. That's an exciting line-up already, especially with Daleks, Weeping Angels and Whithouse's take on the Western genre to look forward to, but things only get better next year. Eight more blockbuster episodes will air in early 2013, rounding off the fourteen episode season, and better yet Moffat has confirmed that this is by no means all, with anniversary episodes (specials?) presumably set to air closer to the 50th on November 23rd, 2013.
  • NEW STYLE: There's going to be much less of a series arc than Seasons Five and Six this time around: while there will be a running thread throughout the run to once again provide us with an epic S7 finale, so far there are no two-parters planned, and the arc will be far lighter so as to allow standalone adventures to take place. What's exciting to think is just what Series Seven Part Two (and Three) has in store if Daleks, Angels and the Ponds' departure are just the beginning...
  • OLD FRIENDS: Thankfully, despite the announced casting changes, the Moff has confirmed that Matt Smith will continue to play the Eleventh Doctor throughout 2012 and 2013 for all of the episodes to come, and that no decision has been made as to whether he will leave after that. Having portrayed the Doctor for three full seasons (at least), Matt will have been in the role just as long as David Tennant if he does a few more specials and perhaps he'll go on even longer than Davey's four years if we're lucky. River Song is also likely to return on multiple occasions throughout both years although her mother and father won't be back to Who.
All in all, this has been a fantastic day for fans, and things can only keep getting better from here as we head towards what I reckon will be an October airdate. More news on Sunday...

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