The wait is finally over! After an entire year without a new series, Doctor Who finally returns to our screens on Saturday 15th April at 7.20pm on BBC One for a run of 12 episodes (with the usual annual Christmas Special to follow eventually). As has been widely reported, this will be Peter Capaldi's final season as the Doctor, while showrunner Steven Moffat is also leaving at the end of the series, to be replaced by regular Who writer Chris Chibnall.
But what else can fans expect? Here's everything we know about the new series.
I gather there's a new companion?
There most certainly is. The Doctor's new companion is former dinner lady Bill, played by Pearl Mackie, who describes her character as “cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in". She's been front and centre in the trailers for the new season and looks set to become a fan favourite. She also seems to have much more of a sense of humour than certain companions we could mention, so hopefully she'll brighten things up a bit.
Speaking of which, Matt Lucas is reprising his role as Nardole from the 2016 Christmas Special, so technically there are two new companions.
I heard The Master is coming back. Is that right?
You heard correctly. John Simm is confirmed to be returning as the Doctor's greatest nemesis, give or take a Dalek or two. Confusingly, Michelle Gomez is also back as Missy, the Master's current regeneration in female form, so presumably there'll be some complicated time travel-related explanation for that.
Missy will be showing up in both the mid-season three-parter (entitled "Extremis”, “The Pyramid At The End Of The World” and “The Lie Of The Land”) and the season finale. There's no official word on when Simm's Master will appear, but the final episode seems like a good bet.
Which other classic villains can we expect to see?
Well, the Daleks are back, of course. They'll be popping up in Saturday's premiere episode, titled “The Pilot”, along with what the synopsis describes as “killer puddles” (Doctor Who has always been good at taking everyday objects and making them absolutely terrifying). There are hints that the Daleks might have some new tricks too, judging by the very creepy “EX-TER-MIN-ATE” girl in the trailer below.
Other classic baddies include the Ice Warriors (in an episode written by Mark Gatiss called “The Empress Of Mars”) and the Mondasian Cybermen – the original version of the Doctor's classic foe, unseen for over 50 years – who'll be popping up in the season finale.
Who else is going to have us hiding behind the sofa this year?
There are plenty of scary-looking new monsters in the trailers. New foes that have been officially announced include: the Emojibots from episode 2 (“Smile”), who like to hug their victims and then reduce them to skeletons; a serpent-like monster lurking under the Thames in episode 3 (“Thin Ice”); giant woodlice in episode 4 (“Knock Knock”); the presumably self-explanatory Eaters of Light in episode 10 (“The Eaters Of Light”) and some terrifying monks in episode 6 (“Extremis”) - we'd wager they're the faceless dudes with red robes and big hands in the trailer.
Close examination of the promo clips also reveals an insecty-thing, some ghosts, a giant reptile of some sort, and a woman with a wooden face. Oh, and the guy with the blue face, who's set to appear in space-based story “Oxygen”, reputedly the season's scariest episode.
This is all sounding very exciting. Are there any notable guest stars?
A couple, that we know of. Former Poirot David Suchet is playing a character called The Landlord, who's set to appear in the episode with the giant woodlice. And Ralf Little is playing a character called Steadfast. There may well be one or two surprise appearances too.
What do we know about the Doctor's regeneration?
Understandably, the showrunners are keeping details of Capaldi's regeneration firmly under wraps, so we don't yet know whether it will happen at the end of the series or in the Christmas special. There are a couple of clues though – the final episode is called “The Doctor Falls” and one of the trailers has a shot of the Doctor's hand beginning to regenerate...
Doctor Who series 10 starts on Saturday 15th April at 7.20pm on BBC One (CH 101) and BBC One HD (CH 108). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer