Fresh from her World Cup final appearance, Jodie Whittaker, along with castmates Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill and new showrunner Chris Chibnall, today graced every comic-book nerd’s holy land: San Diego Comic Con’s Hall H. The Doctor Who panel, which since its announcement had many people’s sonic screwdrivers buzzing, certainly did not disappoint, as fans witnessed a brand spanking new and somewhat-fuller-length trailer, as well as big news regarding the upcoming episodes.
Much like the teaser clip, the new trailer focuses primarily on all three companions, introducing them to Whovians around the world but refraining from the disclosure of major characteristics. As Whittaker’s oh-so-Northern voiceover makes clear, ‘All of this is new to me’, which feels like an apt statement for the ethos of the current production team that, from the opening sequence to cast, seem intent on breathing some regeneration energy into the show. And that regeneration is also taking the form in a thick fog of secrecy surrounding DW’s marketing. Unlike the build-up to Capaldi’s final term on the show, in which one of the earlier and more prominent promotional images featured the finale’s villain, this team seem intent on ensuring that major details remain out of reach of fans -since the small leak Cardiff has been on lockdown and the BBC are not taking any prisoners. All of which, in my opinion, is in the show’s – perhaps not hungry journalists’ – best interests. As Chibnall explained on the panel, this withholding of information will preserve a live and communal viewing experience something his show Broadchurch was renowned for: ‘I want you guys to all be talking about it at the same time, and we have things you’re not going to want to be spoiled for.’
Despite the brevity of the new trailer, the comic-con panel did offer us some news. When speaking to Digital Spy today, Chibnall revealed that the BBC sci-fi show will not feature any two-part stories stating to Morgan Jeffery, ‘What we want is for people to feel like we’ve got the range of variety of Doctor Who this year.’ We also got confirmation that there would be a Christmas special, which was never really in doubt, but the Tardis team did refrain from giving us a confirmed release date. But, on the plus side, we did get a sneak peak and the 13th Doctor’s new sonic screwdriver (as seen below).
Anticipation has been growing at an astronomical pace since that initial lightning clip debuted to both squirms of excitement and a mouth-watering urge for more. On top of this, over the course of the week, lucky fans in and around the San Diego Convention centre have been posting snaps with both the real Jodie Whittaker and her life-size Lego replica, which the BBC unveiled in a promotional video posted on their social media outlets. And given what we have seen and heard today, it seems that all the pieces regarding Doctor Who series eleven are slotting together perfectly.