Most fans will know this already, but the sixth season of Doctor Who has been split into two parts. The first half concluded back in mid-June and our Tag Team reviewers were left wanting more by the mid-season finale, ‘A Good Man Goes To War’. Over the weekend the BBC and BBC America both released trailers for the second half of the season. These trailers were ostensibly identical aside from a little piece of information at the end. The BBC is still remaining tight-lipped about the premiere date of the second half of the season, meanwhile BBC America have cheerily announced that the run begins on the 27th August 2011 . Now this took me by surprise for two reasons; the first being such an early reveal of the air-date. For reasons best known to themselves, although I link to think it’s the BBC trying to keep competing TV channels on their toes, the BBC is often loathe to reveal airdates for Doctor Who until almost the week of release. The second is that I assumed the season would begin in late September, to coincide with the winding down of Torchwood: Miracle Day. Whilst efforts have been made to differentiate Torchwood from its parent show it’s generally aired when Doctor Who wasn’t on the air as a sort of way to maintain the brand. As it stands Torchwood and Doctor Who are going have something of a simultaneous run until at least mid-September, when Miracle Day finishes in the UK.
As for the trailer itself you can catch a drab sub-HD version, which may be region-locked, on the official BBC Site (HERE). Or you can catch a HD version on BBC America’s YouTube page (HERE). I’d recommend the BBC America version just for the innate prettiness of HD, although it’s a little wasted on YouTube-o-vision.
Have you watched the trailer? If not, and you’re trying to remain unspoiled, I’d skip the next paragraph or so.
Looks fun, yeah? Although to my eyes it somewhat lacks the razzmatazz of the overall series trailer from earlier this year. Still there’s a lot of interesting stuff in there. I’d be tempted to speculate some on what it all means, but I fear that such speculation would be moot against the tendril like plotting of Steven Moffat. It’s nice to see some more of the Cybermen, they’re one of my favourite classic monsters and I feel like Moffat has done more with them in three scenes than RTD managed in three episodes. It’s also interesting to see a motif emerging surrounding Madame Kovarian and that eye-patch of hers (although I still think the eye patch itself looks naff, like something Vivienne Westwood might have foisted on Siouxsie Sioux). Eye-patches are not the only motif in the trailer, with lots of elements from Moffat’s previous run cropping up in the trailer (Weeping Angels, Churchill, Craig Owens) alongside Moffat’s penchant for making everyday objects terrifying.
It is also interesting to see how overt they’re playing the Doctor’s death. In a show plagued with last minute resurrections and deus-ex machinas it is very difficult to invest in a fatal threat to the main character, but I trust Moffat enough to at least make the journey fun even if the destination is itself something of a fixed point. Whilst Moffat currently plots the fictional death of the Doctor he is also having to deal with innuendo and rumour surrounding the actual shows survival.
A minor furore kicked off in May when Private Eye, a satirical British magazine which has always had its knives out for Doctor Who, reported that the show would not be returning in 2012. As is the way of our modern times, this boiled over to Twitter where Moffat himself confirmed a 14 episode run of episodes to begin in 2012. According to the BBC themselves there will be a run of episodes in 2012, but it won’t be a full season, the stated reason being Moffat’s commitment to the (absolutely excellent) Sherlock. Whether this is the only reason for the split season in 2012 we’ve at least got confirmation of both a seventh season of Doctor Who and a second season of Sherlock.
Still whenever Doctor Who returns you can guarantee Chud Tag-Team reviews won’t be far behind.