The seventh season of the BBC sci-fi show “Doctor Who” could have some surprises for fans. There are quite a few interesting rumors circulating on blogs and entertainment news websites, though for now many of them are just speculation.
The popular British sci-fi show follows a character known simply as the “Doctor,” who belongs to a now extinct race of beings called the “Time Lords.” He has the ability to travel anywhere through space and time in his ship called the TARDIS (which is disguised as a now-iconic British blue police box). The show has been airing since 1963, but the newer shows are part of a reboot that started airing in 2005. The seventh season will begin airing in the United Kingdom this fall.
The past several seasons, the Doctor has been played by Matt Smith, taking over from fan favorite David Tennant, who played the tenth incarnation of the Doctor (every time the Doctor “dies,” he regenerates, or comes back to life in a new form). Smith has really come into his own as the Doctor, and I’ve enjoyed the quirky charm he’s brought to the role, but whether he will return beyond the seventh season is up for grabs.
In an interview with U.K. news website “The Guardian,” showrunner Steven Moffat is, expectedly, somewhat vague about whether or not Smith will return. “We take it a year at a time, and that’s the only sensible way you can deal with it,” he said. “It’s a huge amount of time filming a series of ‘Doctor Who,’ and towards the end of that you have to consider if you’re going to push onto another one. So the honest answer is I don’t know.”
My gut feeling is, Smith will probably follow Tennant’s lead and bow out after three seasons (Smith has played the Doctor since 2010). He might stick around for a fourth season, but probably no more than that. Although I like Smith and would be sad to see him go, it’s always best to go out on a high note, and Smith might be ready to try his hand at other projects.
Although we don’t know yet whether season seven will be Smith’s final appearance as the Doctor, we do know we’ll probably be saying good-bye to the Doctor’s current traveling companions, Amy and Rory. There’s been rumors the two might actually die halfway through the season, which would be the first time in the series the writers have (permanently) killed off a long-running companion.
A quote from Moffat even seems to confirm this rumor. “Amy and Rory will leave in the fifth [episode] that goes out,” he told the Guardian. “It will be a final encounter with the angels and not everybody gets out alive — and I mean it this time.”
Yet will he actually kill off Amy and Rory? I’d be really surprised if this turned out to be the case. Actually killing these characters would give the show a much darker tone, and would certainly put a damper on the rest of the season. Many of the Doctor’s companions have left the TARDIS in a somewhat tragic way (Rose trapped in another dimension where the Doctor can’t be with her anymore; Donna forced to forever forget the Doctor, because she’ll die if she remembers him; etc.), and Amy and Rory also will probably leave in a sad way, though not necessarily by dying. I’m thinking maybe the weeping angels will end up transporting them somewhere the Doctor can’t get to them. Then again, Moffat has shocked me before, so really anything could happen.
Actress Jenna-Louise Coleman, seen in last summer’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” will be coming on board as the Doctor’s new companion, though Moffat is pretty tight-lipped about her character, as well. “Who she’s playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters,” he said. “Even by the Doctor’s standards, this isn’t your usual boy meets girl.” I’ve heard some speculation she might even be the Doctor’s first alien companion, but that’s just a rumor.
As for what else might be in store for fans in season seven, I’ve heard John Barrowman, who has played the popular character Captain Jack Harkness in several seasons, wouldn’t mind coming back to the show. I’d love to see Captain Jack again, especially since we haven’t ever seen him interact with the eleventh doctor. I also wouldn’t mind seeing River Song continue to appear in episodes, although since I haven’t seen the final two episodes of season six yet, I don’t know if this would actually be possible for her character.
Another intriguing rumor is that Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes in the modern-day BBC re-imagining of the classic detective tale, may show up to play the Master. Moffat reportedly has been denying it, but I wouldn’t count it out just yet. I think Cumberbatch would be great in this role, though I’m also still holding out hope they may be able to convince him to play the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor if Matt Smith decides to leave the show.