There is no showrunner in the universe (or the Whoniverse) who delights more in teasing fans than Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies. His favorite place to ignite fans’ wild speculations as of late is the BBC’s official Doctor Who Magazine (DWM).
From splashy trailers for episode titles to social media rollouts for guest star announcements (Jinkx Monsoon and Jonathan Groff and Indira Varma, oh my!), Davies knows how to get his fans’ attention. The latest issue of the magazine had more exciting tidbits than ever, from both Davies and script editor Scott Handcock.
Though the show’s 60th anniversary specials are yet to air, Davies is already dropping hints about the regular season that will follow the specials, Season 14. Not a millisecond of footage from the season has been seen, but that hasn’t stopped fans from eating up every crumb Davies has to offer. Most recently, he revealed that the script for the Season 14 finale, Episode 8, will contain the words “kingdom,” “gold,” and “Tigella.” All this for an episode that, Davies confirmed in DWM, has not even been shot yet.
This isn’t the first time he’s dropped this kind of teaser. In DWM 591, he revealed that the first episode of Season 14 would include the words “roar,” “Glastonbury,” and “conquistador.” He also shared that one of the Season 14 episode titles was unexpectedly spoken aloud in a recent episode of Star Trek: Picard.
Davies revealed in DWM that while Season 14 has not finished filming, he is already writing Season 15, working on four episodes simultaneously. Davies had previously said that expected to work on Doctor Who “for years to come,” but this is our first outright confirmation that he will stick around beyond Season 14. Davies shared that the script of one episode of Season 15 contains the words “garden,” “firmament” and “diploma.”
Two can play the teaser game, because script editor Scott Handcock is in on it too. Handcock revealed in DWM 591 that, “Jinkx [Monsoon]’s first day on set teams her up with an unexpected name from the Tom Baker era.” Davies is no stranger to reprising characters from the Tom Baker era, having brought back Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and the robotic dog K-9 in his first stint as showrunner. It has already been announced that Bonnie Langford, who played Mel, companion to the Fifth and Sixth Doctors (but not Tom Baker), will return in Season 14. Could we really be getting not one but two returning Classic Who characters?
Handcock has also promised a “very special guest star” for the Season 14 finale in DWM 592. It could be one of the already announced guest stars, but they are typically called out by name in Handcock’s “Production Diary” column, so chances are it’s an unannounced star. Doctor Who is currently filming in Cardiff, where onlookers have reported that an actor has been very intentionally covered and whisked into the filming location.
Rumors are flying as to who it could be, but for my money it’s Freema Agyeman, who played companion, medical doctor, and UNIT agent Martha Jones in Season 3 and 4 of the show. Keep your eyes peeled for more casting announcements from the ever-churning Russell T. Davies promotional machine.
It will take quite a while for any of these teasers to pay off, but we’re more than happy to play Davies’ long game. Doctor Who will return in November with three specials celebrating the show’s 60th anniversary, followed by a holiday special, and the much-anticipated Season 14 will air in 2024, with all episodes streaming on Disney+.