This is definitely not your grandfather’s Doctor Who. BBC has just released the first full length trailer for the upcoming Series 8 of the much-loved science fiction series. This time, however, the atmosphere is a bit different, a bit charged you could say. Doctor Who isn’t going through time just to save the universe per se. He is going through time to save the universe from himself.
We humans make many mistakes in our own very short lifetime. But throw in near-immortality and a time-traveling machine and you’ve practically got a recipe for disaster of historical proportions. Not that the Time Lord is human, but he could pretty much pass off for one. Regardless of the good Doctor’s biological composition (a previous trailer even showed his two beating hearts), Series 8’s time-traveling hero is well aware of his imperfections, not to mention the mistakes he has done in his 2,000 years of existence. And now he is setting off to correct those mistakes. He is going, as he so poetically puts it, “into darkness”.
The upcoming Doctor Who season is going to be dark, and it’s not just because of the visual effects employed this time around. Doctor Who himself seems to be undergoing an identity crisis, no longer certain of the decisions and actions he has done. The casting of an older Peter Capaldi as the twelfth Doctor might have been a somewhat contentious one but, depending on how the rest of the season plays out, it might be a perfect one. Here we have a Doctor who appears well into his years, if not a bit worn out, looking back at his past and the legacy that he has left behind. Perhaps not so different from the same soul-searching we humans go through in our more mature days.
And the Doctor’s uncertainty affects even those around him, undoubtedly something that his nemeses will discover and utilize sooner or later. Even Clara, his faithful Companion, is no longer sure about the one she calls Doctor. Asked whether she thinks he is a good man, she pauses and stares, as if at a loss for words, before answering the one answer the Doctor probably didn’t want to hear: “I don’t know.”
Doctor Who fans are undoubtedly all fueled up by now and are just counting the days before the series premieres 23rd August on BBC One. And with a plot that transcends time and space, encounters both on earth and above, and a dinosaur rampaging through London, wouldn’t you be waiting for it too?