This week's Radio Times sees a preview a week before the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who hits our screen on the 23rd April. Steven Moffat, executive producer and head writer, provides an intriguing introduction to the first seven episodes (remember the series is split in half this year and the remaining six episodes will go out in the Autumn) written by Moffat, Steven Thompson, Neil Gaiman and Matthew Graham.
Moffat offers "a cliffhanger that changes everything" and compares the new series as a "ghost train" to last year's "rollercoaster". We should look out for such delights as Alex Kingston diving backwards off a skyscraper (as you do), pirates, Suranne Jones as a very old friend of the Doctor, Matthew Graham's combination of The Thing meets Made in Dagenham and the return of the Lone Centurion and Cybermen!
You can go to the BBC Press Office for more interviews with Matt Smith, Steven Moffat, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. Moffat discusses the way the new series has developed and the kind of story arc viewers will be presented with this year:
"Oh, there's a big story being told this year, and major mysteries from the very off. As ever, in this show, the stories all stand alone, and every episode is a perfect jumping-on point for a new viewer. But at the same time the over-arching plot will be a bigger player this year. More than hints and whispers – we're barely 10 minutes into episode one before our heroes face a dilemma that they'll be staring at months from now. And there will be no easy answers"
Matt discusses the changes to the current crew of the TARDIS now the Doctor is accompanied by Mr and Mrs Pond:
"I think with Rory, Arthur has perfectly judged the humour and he's got some fantastic storylines with Karen. I do think that Amy and Rory now being married has changed the dynamic in the TARDIS and in many ways it's the Doctor who is perhaps the odd one out," explains Matt. "However, Karen and Arthur are hilarious and together we are always mucking around between takes and telling silly jokes to annoy each other!"
The BBC have already released a synopsis of these two opening episodes:
'The Impossible Astronaut'
Four envelopes, numbered 2, 3 and 4, each containing a date, time and map reference, unsigned, but TARDIS blue. Who sent them? And who received the missing number one? This strange summons reunites the Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song in the middle of the Utah desert and unveils a terrible secret the Doctor’s friends must never reveal to him.
Placing his life entirely in their hands, the Doctor agrees to search for the recipient of the fourth envelope - just who is Canton Everett Delaware the Third? And what is the relevance of their only other clue: ‘Space 1969’? Their quest lands them - quite literally - in the Oval Office, where they are enlisted by President Nixon himself to assist enigmatic former-FBI agent Canton, in saving a terrified little girl from a mysterious spaceman.
'Day of the Moon'
The Doctor is locked in the perfect prison. Amy, Rory and River Song are being hunted down across America by the FBI. With the help of new friend and FBI-insider, Canton Everett Delaware the Third, our heroes are reunited to share their discoveries, if not their memories. For the world is occupied by an alien force who control humanity through post-hypnotic suggestion and no one can be trusted. Aided by President Nixon and Neil Armstrong’s foot, the Doctor must mount a revolution to drive out the enemy and rescue the missing little girl. No-one knows why they took her. Or why they have kidnapped Amy Pond…
The first episode 'The Impossible Astronaut' is due for transmission in the UK on 23 April 2011.