Monday, 18 August 2014

Doctor Who: Series Eight Episode Titles Revealed

With only five days to go until Peter Capaldi makes his full-length début in 'Deep Breath', Who fans were treated today with a full list of this series' episode titles. Just like the chapter page of River's book in 'The Angels Take Manhattan' I always look forward to the titles being released as its like a collection of spoiler-free hints that get you excited for what's to come, rather than the gimme-gimme nature of proper spoilers (yes, I'm looking at you, those who watched the whole thing online weeks back). So let's take a sneak peak at Series Eight...

1. Deep Breath by Steven Moffat

This one we've known for a while, of course. The 75-minute special promises to be a relaunch of the show in style, with much more emphasis on characterisation and mood, apparently, than whizz-bang action. That said, it is still Doctor Who, so there will be steampunk spaceships, clockwork men and T-Rexes. We only have to wait till Saturday to see how it all comes together...

2. Into The Dalek by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat

This recently revealed title implies the tantalising premise that the Doctor will venture into a Dalek. At the moment I'm imagining a spiritual cousin of Tom Baker adventure 'The Invisible Enemy' in which the Doctor goes inside his own body (don't ask) but it could be more of a philosophical episode where the Doctor has to learn how to get into a Dalek metaphorically i.e. learn how to think like it. Who knows...

3. Robot of Sherwood by Mark Gatiss

The 'Sherwood' of the title would suggest that we are in for a Doctor Who/Robin Hood team-up - an event that is surely overdue. How has no one else thought of that in fifty years? This looks set to be another of Mark Gatiss' wonderful romps, like last year's terrific 'The Crimson Horror.'

4. Listen by Steven Moffat

What do you know? When a teaser trailer was released a few weeks back of Peter Capaldi, I mean the Doctor (we'd better start calling him that), sitting on the roof of the TARDIS saying 'listen' we just assumed it was a sign of his eccentricity. Now it turns out he was actually giving us an episode title - and we didn't realise! We'll have to listen closer in future.

5. Time Heist by Steven Thompson

One of those titles that says what it does on the tin. Moffat has stated that one of the episodes this year 'a heist movie done with Doctor Who' so I'm going to out on a limb - no, make it two, an arm AND a leg - that this is the episode to which he's referring. If so, it looks set to be continuing on from the 'Movie-of-the-week' ethic of Series Seven. This is also the episode that Keeley Hawes will guest star in, as the villainous Miss Delphox.

6. The Caretaker by Gareth  Roberts and Steven Moffat

Co-written by Doctor Who's funniest writer - whom, I think, the show really missed in Series Seven - this one is sure to be the comedy episode of the series. The title is syntactically similar to Robert's previous story 'The Lodgerso this may be an episode either stylistically similar or, well, actually similar. Maybe the Twelfth Doctor's about to pop back to see his old friend Craig? 

7. Kill The Moon by Peter Harness

This one possibly wins this year's 'Let's Kill Hitler' Award for the Most Audacious Title. Little is known plotwise about this one but we do know it was filmed in location in Lanzarote - the same place Fifth Doctor story Planet of Fire was shot. As Lanzarote doubled for the planet Sarn in that episode, it is thought that the TARDIS could be returning there. Also, that story featured the Doctor's old enemy the Master, leading many to speculate the old devil is going to make a comeback too. I'm twiddling my evil moustaches in anticipation. 

P.S. How does one kill the moon?

8. Mummy on the Orient Express by Jamie Mathieson 

Hmm, perhaps the Most Audacious Title Award should be split? Intriguingly, way back at the end of Matt Smith's first series in the role, in the closing moments of The Big Bang (blimey, doesn't that feel a long time ago now? Doesn't time fly when you live in a rebooted universe), the Doctor received a phone call from the Orient Express, asking for help to deal with an Egyptian Goddess who was attacking the train. The similarity of the title to that suggests we are about to find out what happened. Perhaps the Doctor has only just remembered to go there?

9. Flatline by Jamie Mathieson 

In this second episode in a row from ex-Being Human writer Jamie Mathieson (there's lots of new Who writers around this series), we see... Well, it could be anything. The title is giving away no clues. One of Moffat's hints for the series is that this is proper scary one so have that trusty sofa at the ready to jump behind. Unless this episode's about a monster behind the sofa...
I'm now copyrighting that idea, just so you know.

10. In The Forest of the Night by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce brings us this lyrically-titled story. Apparently, this is a fairy tale of an episode - but one quite different from those told by Steven Moffat. I'm very intrigued by this one. Could it be this year's 'Vincent and the Doctor?'

11. Dark Water by Steven Moffat

In a first since the aforementioned 'The Pandorica Opens'/'The Big Bang' in 2010, the finale of Series Eight will be two episodes long. Little has been revealed as of yet but we do know that Michelle Gomez will be appearing as the interestingly-named Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere. And so too will the pesky Cybermen, recreating a iconic scene from the past - parading past St Paul's

12. Death in Heaven by Steven Moffat

This is my personal favourite title of the new series - but what does said title belie? Moffat, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman have all spoken about the themes of the series including double identities, lying to protect those we love and the idea that travelling with the Doctor might not be healthy for those around you. With this in mind, we can expect a big finale with possibly some catastrophic results. Sporting such a grand-sounding title, it's bound to be an Earth-shattering ride. As I'm sure will the whole of Series Eight.

Take a deep breath, everyone. Just five days.

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