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Confirmed: Doctor Who is back on New Year's Day

PUBLISHED: 19:26 02 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:59 03 December 2019

Doctor Who returns early in the New Year with a darker, more atmospheric look. l to r:  Yaz (MANDIP GILL), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH) - (C) BBC/ BBC Studios - Photographer: Sophie Mutevelian

Doctor Who returns early in the New Year with a darker, more atmospheric look. l to r: Yaz (MANDIP GILL), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH) - (C) BBC/ BBC Studios - Photographer: Sophie Mutevelian

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Doctor Who has long been an important landmark in British television with a large and very loyal fan base but last year's series with Jodie Whittaker drew unprecedented criticism. Now a new trailer seems to be saying that the series is back and it means business

Doctor Who returns early in the New Year with a darker, more atmospheric look  The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) faces a damaged Dalek - (C) BBC / BBC Studios - Photographer: James PardonDoctor Who returns early in the New Year with a darker, more atmospheric look The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) faces a damaged Dalek - (C) BBC / BBC Studios - Photographer: James Pardon

Doctor Who is on its way back. Season 12 is almost upon us and are Dr Who fans ready to forgive scriptwriter and showrunner Chris Chibnall for the disaster that was season 11?

Looking at the trailer released last week, it would appear that an olive branch is being offered in the form of familiar monsters returning, some brooding atmosphere shots, a darker tone, snatches of some quite startling action sequences and finally some big name guest stars in the form of Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry.

In added news fans have spotted a sequence being filmed on Clifton Suspension bridge involving the Daleks, including a new looking Black Dalek. Could this see a return of the Dalek superior first glimpsed in The Dalek Invasion of Earth way in 1964 with William Hartnell?

They say that Chris Chibnall, an experienced Dr Who writer who contributed many stories to previous series and guided the spin-off show Torchwood, never reads reviews but this latest trailer seems designed to answer most of the criticisms levelled at his first season in charge.

Season 11 was always going to be an important season because it was the first time that the Doctor was to be played by a woman. They got the casting exactly right with Jodie Whittaker but then blew everything with a succession of poorly thought out scripts and limp storylines.

The problem was not having the Doctor become a woman - that hurdle had all ready been successfully cleared when Chibnall's predecessor Steven Moffat cast Michelle Gomez as Missy, the female version of The Master.

Fans loved her off-the-wall psychopathic interpretation of the role and it was clear that Time Lords could be Time Ladies. Jodie Whittaker is an excellent actress, so there was no problems there, but the unflinching glare of the spotlight on Season 11 revealed that Chris Chibnall was more interested in writing a soap opera about the Tardis crew than he was in writing a Dr Who story.

In short it just wasn't frightening enough. There was no sense of danger, there was precious little jeopardy. There was lots of talk, lots of human drama, lots scenes which examined the relationships between the Tardis crew and their damaged personalities but genuine Dr Who science fiction was conspicuous by its absence.

Doctor Who returns early in the New Year with a darker, more atmospheric look l to r:  Mitch (NIKESH PATEL), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Yaz (MANDIP GILL) - (C) BBC / BBC Studios - Photographer: James PardonDoctor Who returns early in the New Year with a darker, more atmospheric look l to r: Mitch (NIKESH PATEL), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Yaz (MANDIP GILL) - (C) BBC / BBC Studios - Photographer: James Pardon

If a dramatic confrontation did arise it was swiftly resolved with a swift gunshot or a bizarre, jokey bit of business that satisfied no-one. Had it not been for the fact that Chris Chibnall had enjoyed a long history with the show you may have been forgiven for thinking that he had never seen an episode before.

The new Season 12 trailer seems to be acknowledging these criticisms and allaying fans fears that their Doctor Who had been lost in a new storytelling vortex. It seems that Doctor Who is back. It has stopped talking and rediscovered its sense of adventure.

The Tardis team are still the same - Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill will reprise their roles as Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan, and old adversaries such as intergalactic policemen The Judoon will be back as will some rather rusty looking Cybermen and what appears to be the deadly The Racnoss Empress, the scorpion/spider creature who made her first appearance in the David Tennant Christmas Special The Runaway Bride.

It would also suggest that the Tardis isn't as impregnable as we had always thought, so there is definitely a heightened element of danger suggested in the trailer and also the possibility of an over-arching theme for the series in much the same way that Bad Wolf was the link that bound Christopher Eccleston's first series together.

It is now confirmed the series that the latest series will begin on New Year's Day with a two-parter which will be resolved on the following Saturday. Hopefully, it will see the good Doctor back on form. Now, that would be a great way to see in the New Year.

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