Season 10 of "Doctor Who" will see the return of monsters and villains old and new -- including a huge revelation that showrunner Steven Moffat says "may actually melt your brains".
At a press screening, the cast and crew of the BBC sci-fi sensation shared their thoughts on the new season, which premieres on the Easter weekend. The first episode is titled "The Pilot", a jokey reference to Moffat's decision to write a story accessible to viewers old and new.
Moffat was joined at the screening by the cast, including lead actor Peter Capaldi. Both Moffat and Capaldi will bow out at the end of this series.
Newcomer Pearl Mackie also had plenty to say about her role as new companion Bill. Although she admitted it was "pretty scary" to take over from former companion Jenna Coleman, she also said, "I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!"
According to the creators, Mackie was the first person seen in the audition process. Moffat was impressed by her composure in their meeting -- to which Mackie replied, "I was acting!"
"The Pilot" sees Pearl in a star-crossed relationship with a girl she meets on campus. Mackie made headlines last week when she mentioned Bill's sexuality in an interview, but the creators downplayed the news. "It's not rare," said Moffat, pointing out Captain Jack, Madame Vastra and other gay and bisexual characters who've previously appeared in the show. "This is absolutely normal for us," he added. "We're not expecting any kind of pat on the back."
Moffat decried the fuss made by the media. "You don't want young kids who happen to love the same gender to feel like they're some kind of special case ... Journalists shouldn't set out to frighten children," he said. "That's my job!"
Matt Lucas also returns as the character Nardole, who originally appeared as a one-off comic relief in a Christmas episode. Lucas hinted there is a "a very definite reason why Nardole is there".
Capaldi and Moffat will leave after this year's Christmas special following the end of the forthcoming season. After that, "Broadchurch" creator Chris Chibnall (and a new lead actor) will take over. Speculation is already rife about a replacement for Capaldi, with the names of Richard Ayoade, Tilda Swinton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge all being bandied about. "I'm sure whoever that person is will be wonderful," said Capaldi, refusing to be drawn on the question of who would take over from him. "Whether it's a man or woman is irrespective."
"Doctor Who" returns on 15 April on BBC1 in the UK and BBC America in the US. You can also check out a double bill of the first episode with the premiere episode of "Who" spin-off "Class", featuring a cameo from Peter Capaldi, in US movie theatres on 16 and 17 April.
Correction, 1:10 p.m. PT: This story initially misspelled the last name of the showrunner for "Doctor Who." He is Steven Moffat.
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