Monday, 14 July 2014

Doctor Who: A Look into Darkness - Series Eight Trailer Breakdown

The clock really is striking Twelve as the début of Peter Capaldi's Doctor is right around the corner, with more and more stuff coming out about this series (both officially and, ahem, illicitly). Yesterday, Who fans everywhere brought the internet down when the first full-length trailer for Series Eight was released (what do you mean there was some sort of big sporting event happening too?). So, in grand Scribble Creatures tradition, I'm here to breakdown the trailer to see what is in store for the new man...

Oh, but first, you might want to see it.

So, now that you know what I'm talking about, let's shed some light into this darkness... 

'Life Returns... Life Prevails!'

The most recent mini-trailer, which featured a Dalek voice talking about souls and beauty, started rumours that the Daleks' creator Davros could return. While I personally don't agree with said theory, we had more evidence for the new series featuring a more eloquent Dalek (or maybe a whole bunch of them) in the first dialogue heard in this trailer - 'LIFE RETURNS... LIFE PREVAILS!' went the Dalek voice with a more nuanced delivery and certainly a wider vocabulary than usual. Only time will tell what this means...

The trailer also offers us a glimpse at a revamped TARDIS interior. Unlike the transition from David Tennant to Matt Smith and then later Matt Smith to, um, Matt Smith, the console room hasn't completely regenerated but it is subtly different. The green glow of the Time Rotor has been replaced by an orange one and it can be seen that more home-y additions have been implemented such as bookshelves, suggesting the feel of Matt Smith's first TARDIS.
Plus, it's going to be on fire at one point. I hope they've added a fire extinguisher. 

Old Friends, New Foes

The only episode we know anything concrete about (and if you're someone who's sought out the episode online - everything about) is the series opener. Titled 'Deep Breath', it sees the newly-regenerated Doctor and Clara return to Victorian London and to their old pals the Paternoster Gang. Fun fact: in her one line in the trailer, Vastra says 'here we go again...' This is exactly what the Brigadier said upon the moment of the Third Doctor's regeneration into the Fourth. Yes, I do know too much about Doctor Who. But you're reading me meticulously picking apart a minute-long trailer so really you're just indulging me and it's all your fault.

Moving on. What would a new Doctor Who series be without new monsters? Nothing that's what. So let's take a look at the latest monstrous villains and alien enemies that the Doctor will face.

This cyborg (or perhaps robot covered in human skin) presumably appears in the opener alongside Vastra, Jenny and Strax going by their visibly Victorian clothing. They're the first of what appears to be a very cybernetic collection of monsters (more later). But this one has what looks to be a flame thrower for an arm so he might just pip the rest. Flame throwers are cool, as ol' Eleven would say! Oh, what did I go and do that for. I need a moment...

Robot number two here seems to be a fan of top Who monsters, the Cybermen and the Daleks, as its metal skin slightly resembles the Cybus Industries Cybermen while its striking blue eyes are the colour of a Dalek's eyestalk. You know, whimsicality aside, a monster that takes parts from the Doctor's other deadliest foes is quite an idea. Hmm, Steven Moffat, if you're reading this and something similar appears in the next series I want to be made co-Executive Producer. And be given a BAFTA. And perhaps a yacht.

This handsome fella is the only alien alien seen in the trailer and he seems to be rather a treat, with his eyes on stalks (but not in the Dalek way). In fact, it looks like the Doctor is giving it a staring contest. Expect that episode to be a tense forty-five minutes. Don't blink, indeed.

Say hello Robot Number Three! Going by the background, perhaps a castle or a monastery, it looks like this robotic ragamuffin has shacked up in a historical location, possibly the medieval setting said to feature in the Mark Gatiss written episode this year. Interestingly, the robot's helmet and prominent cross resembles the look of English Knights from the Crusades that went on in that period.

And finally, we have... dinosaurs! For such a popular extinct race of creatures, they're a surprisingly rare thing to find on Doctor Who. For instance, the last time they appeared was... last series. Ahem, yes.

Ah, I hear you cry (I mean, I imagine that you cry. Don't check behind that vase. I promise there is not a bug hidden there) those Dinosaurs were on a spaceship, this adorable little predator is trampling through the streets of London. That's never been done before.

To this, I have to awkwardly look away and mumble that you are mistaken. Third Doctor story 'Invasion of the Dinosaurs' featured... Dinosaurs in London. Unlike that story, however, it seems Mr. T. Rex here will appear in Victorian London in 'Deep Breath', with the cyborg man and the Paternoster Gang (alongside Capaldi's first full appearance, this is turning out to be a packed episode!), going by the steam and hat seen in the image above. Also, there's this shot in the trailer of the skyline of a Victorian-looking London. Look close enough, and you may find something out of sorts...

'Into Darkness...' 

But you don't want to know about all this. The only question on your lips (apart from 'how did he get that bug in here?) is: what will Peter Capaldi be like as the new Doctor? The trailer, though only short, does give some hints. True to the rumours and scant comments we've had so far, he looks set to be a very different Doctor from the last two. A darker, more sombre Time Lord, who, rather than despair over the losses of his past, seems to actively want to atone for them. The heart of the trailer, and more tantalising than any of the clips of monsters and the new TARDIS (as fun as they are), is the short speech the Doctor gives Clara in the TARDIS - handily presented on this dinky photo for your pleasure. 

In dialogue presumably taken from the first episode or one of the first, even the Doctor seems unsure of his new nature asking Clara,'Tell me, am I a good man?' 

So while everything is still bathed in mystery until 23rd August (well, for most of us), only one thing is certain...

Capaldi is coming...

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