I don't like speculating upon upcoming seasons of Doctor Who. Any sign that I'm not in the know about what will happen seems to play into the way Steven Moffat likes to market his shows. Everything new comes pre packaged in a little JJ Abrams mystery box. I actually think the man gains sustenance from people being confused about his narrative decisions, and I'm curious what would happen if Doctor Who fans, instead of asking questions, simply asked "but is the show good?". I'm guessing he would stare blankly for a moment, then rush back to his desk without a word.
Despite my gripes, it is that time of year, when Doctor Who Season 9 is in production, and us fans must begin grasping for everything we know. What storylines and plot details can we be ready for when the Doctor and Clara step out of the TARDIS in Doctor Who Season 9?
Missy Returns in The Magician's Apprentice
Who would have thought that, after Missy's typical "I'll get you next time" moment at the end of Season 8, she would be right back in the first episode of Season 9. Michelle Gomez was a revelation as the Master, confirming that Time Lords can indeed change gender (which we probably still won't see with the Doctor because reasons), and being a genuinely gleeful villain that somehow doesn't ape John Simm's prior performance.
My one gripe with Missy's usage in Season 8 is the way she just kind of disappears. Once the Doctor foils her diabolical plan, she just stands around looking annoyed, and disappears in the least dramatic way possible. I understand that now, given that she will be returning right away in Season 9. Moffat has hinted what she brings to the other characters is "the last thing they would expect" because of course he would say that. I'm more interested in what kind of presence she will have in the show. I would much rather her be a constant villain chasing our heroes than be some enigmatic mystical figure.
A more "realistic" Doctor/Companion relationship
I'll believe this one when I see it, but I am optimistic a reworking of the Doctor and Clara's relationship. One of my favourite moments in Season 8 was when the Doctor cruelly fools Clara in the episode "Kill the Moon", and instead of shrugging and moving on to the next adventure, she genuinely chastises him for it. The grudge takes a couple episodes to mend, and I would love to see these kinds of realistic repercussions to the Doctor's cavalier actions brought up more in Season 9.
Hopefully gone are the days where a romantic development between the Doctor and his companion is a focal point of the show (even when there can't possibly be one). This new realistic approach might make way for some interesting interactions with the show's subject matter and themes, instead of characters simply stating the development they're supposedly having.
Again, Moffat has hinted of a change to the regular "young female from Earth" companion model. The idea of a main companion being from the past or future, or even being an alien is a great idea. Then again, perhaps an alien simply winks at the Doctor at some point. I wouldn't put it past Steven Moffat to use that as a selling point.
The Return of River Song
This one is a little bit up in the air, and even Moffat has admitted that any return of River Song will be relegated to the story beats where she would fit the show. I'm not entirely sure what that means, since River Song is essentially a character created so Steven Moffat could feel clever doing some wordplay involving a baby. River's presence in the show is something dependent on Moffat's desire to create long-winded season-spanning story arcs that tell us our minds are blown even if they definitely aren't. Doctor Who seems to have moved away from that model, and I don't think it's worth reintroducing it in Season 9 just so River Song can show up and be infuriatingly smug once more.
Any one of these possibilities may not come to fruition in Doctor Who Season 9. TV production is still TV production, and Doctor Who's show runner is notorious for weaving outlandish promises. What are your thoughts? What are your favourite possibilities for Season 9, and what completely new storylines might make for an awesome continuation of the Doctor Who story?