The Doctor and his recently recruited companion Clara Oswin Oswald will face off against some new nemeses and reconnect with familiar friends when “Doctor Who” returns March 30 after a three-month hiatus.
BBC released details about the mid-season premiere episode “The Bells of St. John” as well as a new poster for the second half of Season 7 on Thursday.
The poster features the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) clad in a purple smoking jacket and a gold bow tie, astride a motorcycle, with Clara (newcomer Jenna-Louise Coleman) hanging onto his waist. Surrounding images reveal glimpses of the season’s upcoming aliens, including Cybermen, Ice Warriors and a face that appears to be a Sycorax. The motorcycle appears to be racing down the side of the Shard, a 95-floor London skyscraper that was completed last year and opened to the public in February.
“The Bells of St. John” will be a modern, urban thriller about “something sinister lurking in the Wi-Fi,” according to BBC. In the episode, penned by “Doctor Who” lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, the Doctor meets a new nemesis, the Spoonheads. The episode is set against the backdrop of London landmarks the Shard and Westminster Bridge.
The second half of Season 7 heralds the return of the Cybermen (in an episode penned by Neil Gaiman) as well as the Ice Warriors, which were last seen on-screen in the 1974 serial “The Monster of Peladon,” starring the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee).
In classic “Who,” the Ice Warriors were armor-clad reptilian humanoids from Mars. Though initially villains, the Ice Warriors later renounced violence. The 10th Doctor (David Tennant) praised them in 2009’s “The Waters of Mars,” saying, “They tell legends of Mars from long ago, of a fine and noble race who built an empire out of snow. The Ice Warriors.”
It’s a fitting time to bring back the classic creatures as Whovians celebrate the series’ 50th anniversary, as noted by Moffat in the exclamation-filled release.
“It’s the 50th year of ‘Doctor Who’ and look what’s going on!” Moffat said. “We’re up in the sky and under the sea! We’re running round the rings of an alien world and then a haunted house. There’s new Cybermen, new Ice Warriors and a never before attempted journey to the centre of the TARDIS. And in the finale, the Doctor’s greatest secret will at last be revealed! If this wasn’t already our most exciting year it would be anyway!”
Whovians are also eager for more details about the Doctor’s mysterious new companion, whose big debut in the Christmas special posed as many questions as it answered. Coleman’s character follows the departure of fan-favorite companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and her husband, Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill).
Guest star Richard E. Grant (“Dracula”) is returning after his stint as villain Doctor Simeon in the “The Snowmen” this Christmas. Also appearing this season are Warwick Davis (“Harry Potter,” “Willow”), Dougray Scott (“Desperate Housewives,” “Mission: Impossible II”), Celia Imrie (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”), Jessica Raine (“Call the Midwife”) and Tamzin Outhwaite (“EastEnders”), as well as mother and daughter Diana Rigg (“Game of Thrones”) and Rachael Stirling (“Tipping the Velvet”).
The show returns March 30 at 8 p.m. Pacific on BBC America.
– Noelene Clark
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