Doctor Who Season Nine: Reunions of Friends and Enemies

Doctor Who: The Doctor and Missy

Last week, the BBC released the first trailer for Doctor Who’s ninth season, which debuts September 19. There’s lots of tantalizing hints to be found within, and showrunner Steven Moffat is being his usual tight-lipped self about most of it. Still, there are a few things we know.

Missy Survives

Perhaps most notable in the new trailer is the presence of Missy (Michelle Gomez), who debuted at the end of last season as the newest incarnation of the Master, this time in female form. She seemed quite obviously disintegrated last we saw her, not that apparent death has ever slowed the Master before. In the 1980s, Anthony Ainley’s incarnation of the Master seemingly died at the end of nearly every episode, only to pop back up again several episodes later with little to no explanation for his survival. It’s just one of those things we’ve learned to accept.

The BBC has confirmed she will be in the two part season premiere, The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar. Hopefully that means some continuity with the season eight finale and we can get a proper explanation of how Missy is still alive and kicking.

Is it just me, or is she looking rather concerned in the trailer? Makes me wonder if she’s making the Doctor’s life miserable or someone else is making hers so, not that those two scenarios are mutually exclusive.

The Return of UNIT

UNIT will also be returning for Season nine in an episode concerning Zygons. We last saw the shapechanging aliens in the 50th anniversary special “Day of the Doctor” (although they date all the way back to the creatively named 1974 episode “Terror of the Zygons”), working out a peace treaty with UNIT. Somehow I doubt they’ve become best friends, however.

And no UNIT episode is now complete without its chief scientific officer, Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave). Also appearing is her assistant, Osgood (Ingrid Oliver), despite the fact that she also appeared quite obviously dead at the end of last season, thanks to Missy. Considering that shapechangers are involved, and that one Zygon had even taken the appearance of Osgood in “Day of the Doctor,” it has to be asked if this will be the real Osgood.

Daleks…Again

Every season of the new series has featured the Daleks at least once, and season nine won’t disappoint on that front, unless, of course, you’re tired of seeing Daleks.

Since their first appearance in 1963, the Daleks have been the quintessential Doctor Who enemy. However, they didn’t previously appear nearly so often, showing up only once every few seasons.

The problem with Daleks is it’s so very difficult to be clever with them. Sure, they can enact some convoluted plan, but so can any other bad guy. The problem is being clever with what makes a Dalek a Dalek. It’s difficult to truly develop them as characters because their personalities are all but non-existent. It’s not impossible. The episode Dalek did it brilliantly, but part of why it worked was because the Dalek had become flawed. There’s only so many times you can break a Dalek and make it a plot point.

There’s also only so many times you can compare the Doctor to the Daleks. Yes, his hatred of them rises to the level of genocide, just like their contempt for every race in the universe. It’s an interesting point, but we’ve already hit upon it multiple times. That relationship needs to somehow move forward.

Doctor Who: GallifreySearch for Gallifrey?

Will the Doctor find his people this season? When the Doctor hid his homeworld, Gallifrey, at the end of “Day of the Doctor,” many expected season eight to include his search for it. However, there was almost no mention of it, other than Missy giving the Doctor bogus coordinates and the Doctor subsequently flipping the frak out when he discovered the deception. Was that a set up for a search for Gallifrey in season nine?

It’s not a plotline that should be left dangling. Gallifrey’s salvation marked a tremendous shift in the Doctor’s persona. It was a moment of profound development for the character. Previously, he had been scarred by the death of his people and the part he had to play in it. We saw it repeatedly come to the surface. Now that history has been changed, it can’t simply be dropped. Will there be a quest for Gallifrey?

Lucretia Strange, time traveler, has never met a historical period she didn’t like…except the 18th century, which was just rubbish.   You can find all of her articles HERE.  Her alter ego blogs at History, Interrupted.


History, Interrupted

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