It may be filming, but Doctor Who series 12 is a long way from being on our screens and we know nothing about what it might bring. This makes it a field day for speculation!
Ahead of any leeks or news, I thought I’d put down some markers as to what I’d like in series 12.
Doctor Who series 12
I’ll start with my list, then expand:
- Fewer stories by Chris Chibnall
- No arc but more of a background continuity to stories than we had before
- Budget spent on cast and set not travel
- A shake up of the TARDIS and crew
- More returning villains
- Not just Sheffield
- UNIT’s continued existence addressed
- The Doctor’s past explored (a little).
Fewer stories by Chris Chibnall
I’m happy to agree Resolution was one of the stronger stories of series 11 and that The Woman Who Fell to Earth had a lot to do and did it pretty well for a season opener. I’d also be happy to debate just what was going on in The Tsuranga Conundrum.
My, perhaps antiquated view, is that showrunner / writer might be better separated so every writer has someone who cares about the feel of the show in creative tension with each writer. Now this is a simplification and there are many examples where the opposite works well. I’d also suggest Steven Moffat wrote stronger stories (on the whole) in the RTD era than his own.
My personal view is some of the other writers should return (and I believe Ed Hime is) and perhaps get a mix of others. Imagine an episode by Phoebe Waller-Bridge!
No arc but more background continuity
It would be nice to have continuity across some (not all) of the stories. I don’t mean another Key To Time or Trial of a Time Lord (just imagine) but there could be some large scale event going on that impacts various people. It would also give a way to bring back some returning villains (see below) and perhaps one or more races could be at war or in risk of extinction or …
Budget spend on cast on set not travel
I have an assumption some episodes suffered from lack of budget. We have a large TARDIS crew in every story, overseas locations, great look to the show, new theme tune / credits and also episodes with extras who can’t speak, odd CGI and other quirks. In my mind budget has been trimmed or spent differently from before. Yes Africa looked great but I’d like other changes like a better TARDIS set…
A shake up of the TARDIS and crew
I don’t like the new TARDIS. I like a custard cream, I want a moving central column and I’d like a set that had some scale to it. I’m not saying huge stage like Capaldi, but I want a TARDIS I can believe has a few rooms, a food machine, cloisters…
I also don’t think the crew / companions / fam is working. Yaz still feels underdeveloped as a character (don’t the police wonder where she is), I’d like the three not to have to be in all episodes and in narrative terms much though Bradley Walsh is brilliant as Graham, I do feel he needs more time back in Sheffield. I don’t want a romance between Ryan and Yaz, I feel Ryan’s Dad (aka Aaron) can add more and I feel Yaz’s mum is badly underused as well.
More returning villains
I don’t think anyone can argue Nick Briggs and his Dalek helped make Resolution a stand-out episode. Let’s bring back one or two others.
Cybermen are perhaps too identified with the end of the Twelfth Doctor but Ice Warriors have huge potential. As a race they could be some good and some bad. They could pop up in several stories and build a bigger picture of a race struggling to find their way without Mars. Perhaps even a story back in Martian history, something Big Finish did rather well.
Sontarans (and I don’t mean Strax) could easily be a part of an episode, and it would be great if it could be other than a battle. Then again we haven’t had Sontarans in World War I recently!
Not just Sheffield
I understand not wanting every story in London (expensive to film) but can’t we spread out across the country a bit further? Graham and co are based there, so a couple of adventures is fair game, but what about Scotland? Ireland?
Address where they’ve gone and bring back Kate and Osgood. Let’s get:
Doctor, you’ve changed
Yes, I know
No, you’ve really changed
out of the way. Just one episode where there’s an in-story reaction to the gender change. Nothing critical or too heavy-handed, just recognition,
And let’s have some form of UNIT, even if it’s not a big player in this tranche of stories.
The Doctor’s past explored a little
We’ve had odd mentions of family, perhaps it’s time to at least mention Gallifrey. I’m not angling for Missy / the Master to leap out or even the Monk, but let’s explore something.
Perhaps it’s time for another Two Doctors where she meets Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor?!