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The new Doctor Who trailer has arrived! Let's Discuss!

November still feels a long way off, but the promotion for Doctor Who's three 60th anniversary specials is slowly beginning. It's about time.

It might also be about time for us to all swear off using that specific pun whenever a new bit of Doctor Who news comes up. Discussion for another time.

If you haven't yet seen the latest new trailer, you can find it here. After a few weeks of cryptic (literally) teases disguised as BBC system glitches, they dropped the proper trailer before the grand finale of Eurovision this Saturday. No, I don't really understand Eurovision either. Apparently, it's a big deal over there. Discussion for another time.

If, like me, you've already watched the new trailer about three hundred times, let's dig in and talk about it.

The big news, obviously, is the release of the three specials' episode titles. I'd like to say up front, back in the era of Davies One, Russell T. always made a big deal about announcing the titles as part of the promo drive. Neither Moffat nor Chibnall did that very much, and I was surprised to discover how much I'd missed it.

The titles in question are:
'The Star Beast'
'Wild Blue Yonder'
'The Giggle'
'The Star Beast' was a storyline in the Doctor Who comics back in the 80s. From what we see here, it looks like they're embracing the entire comic book aesthetic of the story, which looks great and makes the 14-year-old me that read and enjoyed it back in the day very happy.

And since we're discussing 'Star Beast,' could we, as a people, maybe... you know... not immediately go out of our way to spoil the surprises in that story for anyone that might not have read it? The second we saw Beep the Meep in the first trailer it felt like the whole internet immediately raced to their keyboards in order to spoil it for any newcomers, which isn't cool.

It's a little unclear from the editing if Neil Patrick Harris' character is in 'Wild Blue Yonder' or 'The Giggle.' Based on the rumor of who he's playing one would think that 'The Giggle' would be the natural fit. It all depends on whether the editing of this trailer is such that the clips immediately following an episode title are exclusively from that episode. That was my first assumption, but there's no real reason to assume it.

Perhaps his character will be in all three specials. Maybe they'll all tie together into one big story. I tend to assume that they won't, beyond the broad arc of 'The Doctor looks like David Tennant again, goes back and fixes what he did to Donna somehow and then takes her on a bit of a victory lap by way of apology.' At least that's what it looks like.

And thank God that they're revisiting that. What happened to Donna was cruel and unnecessary. It appears to have occurred solely because Russell T. Davies can't imagine anyone leaving the Doctor's side unless they were absolutely forced to, and it's sat badly with me for over a decade. I couldn't be happier that they're addressing it.

All right, I was a little coy about it a few paragraphs ago, but let's talk about the elephant in the room. Is there anyone out there that doesn't believe that Neil Patrick Harris is playing The Toymaker?

Personally, I'm hoping that RTD brought the Toymaker back because they've recovered episodes 1-3 of the 1965 story in which he first appeared somehow and are planning a big reveal to announce both NPH's identity and that discovery at the same time. Yes, I know that I'm setting myself up for disappointment. Let me dream. After all, it IS what they did with The Great Intelligence when they found 'Web of Fear.'

And that's another point worth discussing. Originally the character was referred to as 'The Celestial Toymaker.' Time and geographic distance have left a lot of the Doctor Who fandom (myself included until recently) unaware that 'Celestial,' in that context, was a fairly common, super racist dog-whistle and we're all better off just not using it. If the story has been found like I hope, then we'll just have to decide for ourselves how to make peace with it. In any case, there's a far, FAR worse racial slur used in that particular story. Yes, the one you're thinking of. They usually discretely edit it out in audio releases.

For a trailer that's just under a minute long they certainly did pack in a lot to speculate on. And that's a discussion for now. What's the 'not a plane' that's crashing? How are they going to fix Donna? How hard is Donna going to hit The Doctor once she remembers what happened?

Let me know your thoughts below! And bring on November!

Mikey Heinrich is, among other things, a freelance writer, retired firefighter, and roughly 78% water. You can find more of his work at the 42nd Vizsla. If you'd like to see his raw notes for this and other reviews, you can find them at What Was Mikey Thinking.


  1. It just occurred to me that since Disney+ has the production deal with Doctor Who now, there's a real case to be made that Donna Noble is officially a Disney Princess.

  2. That would mean I finally have a decent answer when people ask me what Disney princess I am.

    I've been trying to skirt the question for years by explaining that I really am like Lady Kluck, the plump hen from Robin Hood, but no one ever likes that answer.

  3. Happy to have a chat with you one day about the many and varied delights of Eurovision, Mikey :-)
    Coincidentally (or not) Catherine Tate actually made a brief appearance at the very end of the Eurovision final, as announcer of the UK jury's scores. It was clear she was having a lovely time and had been, um, enjoying the event hospitality ;-)

  4. I'm honestly thrilled that they're bringing Donna back and fixing the way they left her. I don't do trailers and wasn't aware they were doing that.

  5. I admit that I tuned new Who out since Whitaker's 2nd season, but that logo calls to me since the diamond logo is where I started!

    And again, I have zero issue with Jodie as the Doctor, but Chibnall just doesn't seem to work out for the show runner for me.


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