Doctor Who: The Season 12 Trailer

"I’m not where I wanted to be, but I can work with this."

The Doctor Who series 12 trailer was released by the BBC an hour or two ago.

We've all watched it a couple of hundred times by now, right?

Right?

Oh, hello there. If you could do me a huge favor and imagine for this first part that I'm sitting in an enormous leather wingback chair in front of a roaring fireplace with a delightful glass of port and some sort of elaborate dressing gown and ascot effect, that would be great. Alistair Cooke or Charles Gray, whichever you prefer. Take a moment and picture it. Fantastic, Thanks.

As I was saying, Oh Hello there. You've caught me doing one of my favorite things. Obsessing about Doctor Who.

Some brief introductions first. Hi. I'm Mikey. I cover Legends of Tomorrow, American Gods, Doom Patrol, and the sadly now cancelled Cloak and Dagger for Doux Reviews. Billie reached out to me a bit ago and asked if I would be interested in taking over Doctor Who with Series 12, and I said yes before she even finished asking the question, which was tricky, as we were communicating via email.

So, thrilled to be here. I was a big fan of J.D.'s reviews, and hope to live up to his standard. Just to get a sense of where I'm coming from, here's my particulars:

I liked Series 11, generally. Overall I'd give it a six or seven. The best episode of the season was 'Demons of the Punjab,' and the worst was 'Arachnids in the UK.' My favorite Doctor of modern Who is Peter Capaldi, although it would probably be Eccleston if he'd stuck around longer. My least favorite Doctor of modern times is David Tennant. I recognize that that's an unpopular opinion. I do like him, I just like everyone else a little better. My favorite Doctor of all time will always be Peter Davison, and the best story of all time is 'Kinda.' There's an amusing story about some pirated DVDs and a pillow fort to be had here, but I'll save it for the comments, as I've waffled long enough and it's long past time we talked about the trailer.



So, a few weeks back the BBC announced that there'd be something on November 23rd regarding next season. I'm sure I wasn't alone in assuming that it would be wonderful if that something was an announcement of a Christmas special, failing that an announcement of the season premiere date, but realistically it would be a trailer of some kind. And, indeed, that's what we got, unless I've missed a follow-up announcement while I've been typing this.

So, how about that trailer then? It follows the usual pacing, an opening section of quirky interactions out of context, a sudden dramatic slowdown to introduce a recurring enemy, then a final series of fast cut effects shots to really wow the viewer before cutting to a title card that absolutely should have had a date on it, but instead just said 'early 2020.'

Did we learn anything here beyond 'ooo, neat!'? Well, The Doctor and crew open the trailer in what appears to be a vineyard wearing dinner suits, so that appears to be the same story that gets identified later as Paris, 1943. We see what appears to be a giant scorpion monster climbing the Eiffel Tower, so it's a safe assumption that the scorpion is in that same episode. I expect I'm not alone in thinking that the close up of the scorpion face looked a lot like the Racnoss makeup from 'Christmas Invasion,' which might be significant, but might very well not be.

We get a clip of the Doctor trapped, partially walled up in either a wall or the floor, still in her Dinner jacket which means it's most likely in the Paris episode. A few cool spaceship shots and a re-confirmation that the Judoon will be appearing. The gag of Graham wearing a ridiculous crown not entirely unlike Paul McGann, and asking if he has to answer the Doctor's question about trusting her is a well timed gag, both verbally and visually.

It's not entirely clear to me if the crowd of monsters in what look like oilskins and white gas masks are the same monsters as the ones with diamond shaped heads and the ability to morph through the TARDIS door, but I look forward to finding out. The flock of dark birds look suitably menacing, and the CGI for them appears to look really good so far.

Plus, Stephen Frye is some sort of authority asking the Doctor if the world can depend on her, and we see someone asking if something is down to aliens, which is an inconsequential enough comment to make me think that the actor in question must be someone super famous from something I haven't watched and therefore don't recognize. The moment was clearly framed as a 'oh look, it's Him!' reveal. I look forward to your comments as to who he is. I'm afraid I don't really follow behind the scenes stuff much, so if there was a big announcement about his casting I missed it.



Oh, and I'm absolutely terrified of flying, so the shots of an airplane depressurizing there at the end really unnerved me in a visceral way.

So, lots of intriguing imagery, a bunch of questions begged, and a nice tight shout of a redesigned Cyberman whose design I really like so far. This trailer doesn't break the mold as far as the way it's structured, but it doesn't need to. What it brings to the table is enough to get the fan-brain working on connecting the disparate pieces we get here into a coherent theory about where things are going to go, and that's its entire job. So, mission accomplished. The only real criticism here is that we're still not being told when the season starts exactly, but that's clearly a deliberate choice on the production team's part, so it is what it is for the moment.

Bring on the series, and I look forward to seeing you back here sometime in early 2020!

-Mikey

Mikey Heinrich is, among other things, a freelance writer, volunteer firefighter, and roughly 78% water. You can find more of his work at the 42nd Vizsla.

7 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Yay for season twelve! Especially since I'm watching again. (I took a break during Capaldi -- I just never warmed to him.)

And yes, you did respond quickly to my offer to review Who for us. I think I received your answer before I pressed "send." :)

Mikey Heinrich said...

You did. It was timey wimey. :)

sunbunny said...

Not to rain on everyone's parade but, I hated season 11 and I'm not hopeful for season 12. Love Jodie, but there's just no magic in it for me anymore. I don't even know why I'm still watching at this point? Maybe it's my general optimism. Fun fact! Canonically, River Song is married to Stephen Fry. All Chibs needs to give me really is one mention of River. ONE LINE and I'll praise him to the high heavens. Not an appearance by Alex Kingston, not sure I trust Chibs with that.

Congrats on taking over reviewing duties! I probably won't be commenting a lot because "This was bad" is not something I enjoy commenting on reviews, but maybe season 12 will be amazing and I'll be gushing over every episode, right? Right? I don't dislike the Judoon but I'm also not excited about them. Cybermen though? I'm on board, provided it's done right.

migmit said...

> My least favorite Doctor of modern times is David Tennant.

Will you marry me?

(although my favorite Doctor is Matt Smith)

Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

Hated series 11 as well, Sunbunny. But this trailer is giving me a slight bit of hope that 12 will be better. We'll see. Looking forward to your reviews, Mikey. Although Tennant is my favorite, with Smith and Capaldi crowding closely for 2nd and 3rd place. Eccleston needed more time.

I haven't even seen 5-7 yet, and barely any of 1&2, but 13 is my least favorite Doctor. Not blaming Jodie as much as Chibnall's writing, the other writers Chibnall brought in, and the terrible directing advice that Chibnall gave Jodie, "Just be yourself" (as revealed in her podcast interview with Tennant, I'm guessing that counts for at least 50% of the times she hasn't felt like the Doctor to me).

Anyway, it does usually take me their first series for me to warm up to a new Doctor, so with that alone, I'm more likely to enjoy this series more than last one. Hopefully that is the case. I do really want my favorite show back.

Billie Doux said...

Premiere date announcement! Two part episode on Wednesday, January 1, and then the next on Sunday, January 5.

https://tvline.com/2019/12/02/doctor-who-season-12-premiere-date-jodie-whittaker/

Mikey Heinrich said...

Hooray!!