Spoilers: Big Changes in the Works for Doctor Who Series 7

Steven Moffat has dropped

several informational bombshells about the next series of Doctor Who during various promotional interviews and activities focused on the upcoming Christmas special. Obviously spoilers abound in this post – huge, honking spoilers – for the upcoming season of Who, so if you don’t want to know anything then absolutely please don’t click through the cut! (It's likely that some - probably a lot - of you have seen some of these already given that one's been plastered on just about every news outlet possible for the past couple of days, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.)

First, Moffat has said that it is unlikely there will be any two-part stories during the new season. He told Doctor Who Magazine that, at the moment, “nothing in the next run is starting out as a two-parter” and claims that he wants “a big, standalone blockbuster” episode every week.  Some people will likely be thrilled by his deliberate choice to focus on self-contained stories, but, as a personal thing, I’m a bit saddened by this plan. So many of Moffat’s two-parters have been exceptional – from “The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances” way back in Series 1, to “The Pandorica Opens”/”The Big Bang” in Series 5.  Yes, the “The Rebel Flesh”/”The Almost People” pairing in Series 6 was one of the show’s weakest recent efforts, but outings like that have been the exception rather than the rule.

The bigger bombshell came on Thursday during a screening of “The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe,” when Moffat announced that, “The final days of the Ponds are coming during the next series. Then the Doctor will meet a new friend.”  Of course, this means that Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill are exiting the TARDIS some time during Series 7 (though when exactly this will be happening is unclear) and we’ll be getting a new Companion.  And, in the midst of this news, Moffat also happened to mention that he thinks Alex Kingston’s River Song will most likely return.

Likely unpopular opinion alert – for me, personally, I think it’s a good move. Doctor Who, as a franchise, thrives on change, and the insertion of new personalities into the Doctor’s world. Don’t get me wrong – I adore Rory, and mostly tolerate Amy, but I think their stories – at least as far as the Doctor is concerned – are complete. It’s been hinted at for some time that their stories are winding down. As a fan, I wouldn’t mind seeing more emotional fallout from the Melody-was-stolen-and actually-ended-up-growing-up-with-us-as-our-childhood-friend plot, but the emotional ramifications of this plot twist are something the Who writers seem patently uninterested in exploring, as far as the Ponds-as-parents go.  If we aren’t going to deal with that elephant in the room, then I don’t know where we take the Ponds past this point, anyway, and I’d rather the two of them exit on a high note (whether that’s happy or sad) than stop having purpose as characters. 

For the Whovians out there – what do you think of this news? Will you be excited to have new blood in the TARDIS or will you be heartbroken at the Ponds’ exit? Who would your dream Companion be?