When The Doctor (Matt Smith) materialized in World War II last season only to come up against a new Dalek plot, fans expected fireworks. Instead, what they received was a grade-B invasion scheme hatched by some technicolor Daleks that resembled Teletubbies.
In the episode, the old Daleks from Russell T. Davies’ era were exterminated by the new “pure” breeds before dashing off to form more dastardly plans. They made a brief appearance in the season finale, but it now appears as though that is the last we will see of them. The critical backlash from viewers was swift, fierce and some might even say brutal, leading BBC to drop the baddies from the series.
“We’re not going to lose the old Daleks,” showrunner Steve Moffat said, according to The Sun. “We’re keeping them. They’re coming back.”
The upcoming sixth season also will see more familiarity from the classic series when Neil Gaiman’s “lost” script from Season 5 finally comes to fruition. Apparently, the episode was originally scheduled to be part of Smith’s debut season but was pushed back a year due to its grand scope and the tight budget the series was operating on.
“Steven Moffat wrote me the letter telling me that they were out of money,” Gaiman said. “Because I’d written a very expensive episode, they were bouncing me to Episode 3 of the new season.”
In the outing, The Doctor and Amy (Karen Gillan) — who also will be accompanied by Rory (Arthur Darvill) – – will encounter a character that was last seen in Patrick Troughton’s swan song. Due to the move from Season 5 to Season 6, Gaiman had to make some minor re-writes so that he could include Rory in the episode now that he is a permanent companion inside the Tardis.
“It all starts in void-space, with something or someone we have not seen since [the 1969 story] ‘The War Games,’ and a knock on the Tardis door,” Gaiman said. “The guest star… is the brilliant Suranne Jones, playing someone who is beautiful … and who bites. [She] might just turn out to be an old acquaintance with a new face.”
In other “Doctor Who” news, the upcoming Christmas special episode of the series has been fast-tracked internationally, meaning fans outside the United Kingdom won’t have too long to wait for their Whovian fix. The festive adventure will air on Christmas Day in the United Kingdom, followed by airings in the United States, Canada and Australia … all within days after the original broadcast.
This is a technique that usually works in reverse as a deterrent to online piracy, with many British channels now showing shows from America within days — if not hours – – after their original transmission.
No date has been confirmed for American and Canadian audiences (although it is expected to be close to the premiere), but Australia will broadcast the episode Dec. 26.