‘Who’ Series 9: Zygons, cliffhangers, and a “ludicrous challenge”

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Sci-fi phenom Doctor Who, already said to undergo a change in episodic formula for its upcoming ninth series, is promising even more exciting things for its second round with Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor.

Among them is a “ludicrous challenge” for the titular character towards the end of the ninth series, according to showrunner Steven Moffat. “When episode 11 comes up in the next series of Doctor Who, you’ll see just how ludicrous the challenge I’ve set myself is. I’m in a state of panic about it,” he said at a BAFTA talk in early May. With the series consisting of thirteen episodes, according to IMDB, and heavily comprised of two-part stories, the events of the as-yet-unnamed episode 11 may help set up or affect the series’ finale.

Meanwhile, episodes 7 and 8, previously confirmed to feature the return of dead character Osgood, will end with a cliffhanger, according to writer Peter Harness. “It’s nice to do a cliffhanger,” he told Digital Spy. “And I tried to do the best cliffhanger I possibly could.” And Harness doesn’t have just one fan favorite in his hands, but two: the two-parter will also bring back Doctor Who nemeses the Zygons, last seen with Osgood in the show’s 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor” in 2013. “It’s a privilege to be telling a story about these two, and I think it’s quite an exciting story as well,” said Harness. “Unfortunately, I’ve got two fan favorites in my hands now, which can only set me up to disappoint people!”

Another person reportedly being entrusted with the show’s beloved characters is director Justin Molotnikov, whose online CV showed him taking on two as-yet-unknown episodes for the series. (The Doctor Who mention has mysteriously been taken down since news broke, but Doctor Who TV got a screenshot of the mention prior to removal.) Should this prove true, the show will be in good hands: Molotnikov has previous directorial runs on fantasy series Merlin and Atlantis. 

The ninth series of Doctor Who will air this fall on BBC and BBC America.

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