It’s a big day for Doctor Who fans, who received not just one but three big pieces of news. First up: BBC released a teaser trailer for the show’s eighth season and officially confirmed a premiere date. Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor will get his first full adventure on August 23. The eighth season premiere will air in the U.S. on BBC America at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
The brief teaser trailer plays as an ever-so-slightly extended version of the even shorter initial teaser. Once again, Capaldi’s 12th Doctor stands in silhouette as the TARDIS explodes behind him. He asks in voiceover, “Clara, be my pal. Tell me, am I a good man?” This picks up a thread from “The Time Of The Doctor” in which the 12th Doctor appeared to have lost his memory. Jenna Coleman’s Clara responds, “I don’t think I know who the Doctor is anymore,” an odd comment for a woman who has met every single version of the Doctor and should theoretically be prepared for the concept of regeneration.
The final bit of news is that Steven Moffat has most likely confirmed he’ll stick around as showrunner for Doctor Who’s ninth season. In his regular column for Doctor Who Magazine, Moffat reveals he’s already started thinking ahead to next season—or next series, as the British put it. He writes, “Sitting here, right now, just before the [season eight] finale shooting block, I’ve figured out the cliffhanger to the penultimate episode of the next series. And it’s a whopper. Ohh, I don’t think you’ll see this coming!”
Moffat took over from the previous showrunner, Russell T Davies, in 2009, and he has presided over the full tenure of Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor. He will now usher in the era of the 12th Doctor as well. While he initially brought an exciting new energy to the show in season five, he’s since dropped in the estimation of many fans and critics. His focus on complicated plotting has left little room to explore the emotional continuities of his characters, particularly the women, who all tend to be cut from the same quippy, flirty, sexy cloth. (That is perhaps unsurprising coming from a man who once claimed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels were only popular among Victorian women because they liked the way Holmes looked.) Of course, there’s always the chance that a new Doctor will reinvigorate Moffat’s writing. After all, Whovians are nothing if not optimistic about the nature of change.