This week, the BBC wowed fans and defied expectations by lowering the bar for teaser trailers forever. The "teaser" for Doctor Who season 9 was so brief and of so little consequence that it essentially equated to someone scribbling the words "Doctor Who" in crayon and then coughing. I remember when teaser trailers were genuinely supposed to give you an idea the show you would see, and withhold just enough that it would, y'know... actually tease you! Now the episodes themselves are teasers, and the teasers are just a reminder that the thing you're a fan of actually exists. Seriously, look that this thing!
So that's all Whovians have to hold on to for now; an afternoon's work in a graphics program and a sound effect that is literally half a century old. Despite all that, Doctor Who Season 9 is promising some new elements, and is trying to continue the actually impressive run that Season 8 set up. The stakes are always high with Steven Moffat as show runner, for just one tiny slip up can have the show tinged with a complacency that dogs the series at every turn. Let's take a moment, then, to list our four biggest hopes for Doctor Who Season 9.
An Alien Companion
This has been a neat idea posited by fans right from the beginning. While this concept has been toyed with (hell the very first companion was Time Lady, Susan Foreman), it's rarely been completely indulged. I guess us human viewers are just too damn obsessed with ourselves! A non-human companion would provide a fun change of imagery, and I don't mean just a human girl with a few Klingon style prosthetic ridges on her face. Let's respect the sci-fi element, and actually get weird here!
News that Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones will be playing a role in Season 9 provides some hope. She could definitely work a bizarre or irreverent character, and could be an interesting continuation after Clara. With her being only 18, it would be the largest age gap between Doctor and companion in some time, which would again provide for an interesting dynamic.
One thing Doctor Who has nailed over the years has been the process of spreading clues of the big bad across a season only for it to shockingly culminate in a finale. The Russell T Davis era Doctor Who was brilliant at this, sewing cryptic clues that registered almost on a subconscious level, and would blow your mind when they finally came to fruition. Moffat era Who approaches this in a slightly more cynical way, providing just enough info to get fans guessing and speculating, only for it to be revealed that every guess was wrong, and that Steven Moffat's ideas are the only ones that really matter!
For Season 9, it would be great to take the same approach, but flesh out the cutaway scenes at the end of episodes just a little bit more. I would love to feel like the Doctor and a particular adversary truly coexisted across time and space, but as with the Missy plot line in Season 8, I'm left with a huge question mark on my face, not knowing how to feel until the very last second.
No more mysteries!
Speaking of being cynical, Doctor Who is FINALLY escaping from the era of baiting the viewer with empty questions and enigmas. You literally can't be excited or surprised about finding out who River Song is because your body has expended so much energy into wondering what the answer could be. The result ultimately feels arbitrary, and I think Doctor Who as a show is coming to realize that can't be a crux of storytelling. That said, the mysterious afterlife element in Season 8 had flecks of this attitude, and seemed to string the season together through curiosity alone. You can do it, Moffat! Respect your audience! Trust your audience. Know that they are watching your show because they enjoy it, not because you're holding the story hostage!
The resulting arc of Missy was one of the most satisfying elements to the last season of Doctor Who, and I'm more than ready for Season 9 to expand and extrapolate her character. I've already expressed here that one disappointing thing about her use last season was the fact that she was defeated and then just kind of stood around. There was no villainous breakdown, no "I'll get you next time"; just a resigning "ah well" attitude. Season 9 will likely build upon her initial plan, and further clarify just why she totally trolled the Doctor with her fake coordinates to Gallifrey. Steven Moffat really seems to like Michelle Gomez, so the chances of her having a big screen presence in Season 9 are pretty strong.
Is there anything you're looking forward to in Doctor Who Season 9? What could go wrong, and what do you hope Steven Moffat gets right this time? Write a post about it here on MoviePilot, and let's get the Doctor Who fandom talking!