There have been nine seasons of Doctor Who since the reboot in 2005, and each one without fail has had its own story arc, intertwined throughout individual episodes and culminating in the finale. From “Bad Wolf” right through to the “Hybrid”, each concept has had varying degrees of success. Some have been very subtly done, Harold Saxon for example was very hard to spot on first viewing in season three, whereas Missy was thrust upon us on numerous occasions in season eight. With little over three weeks to go until season ten airs, I’m going to look at three potential arcs that Steven Moffat may use in his last year as head writer.
Steven Moffat has never been one to shy away from story arcs. He took over from Russell T. Davies and extended the usual parameter for a single arc. The crack in time lasted for the entire Matt Smith era. Some will say this is a good thing and clever writing, some will disagree. What I’m trying to say is, in his final year, Moffat is likely to want to go out with a bang, so this year’s story arc could be the most daring yet. The first arc I think could be a real possibility is Rasillon plotting the twelfth Doctor’s demise. The last time we saw Rasillon, he was disgraced and exiled from Gallifrey in Hell Bent. Previous to that, we saw him contribute to the regeneration of the tenth Doctor, so his character is of the necessary stature to legitimately kill off an incarnation of the Doctor. Regular readers of this blog will know how I crave Donald Sumpter’s return. What a terrible waste of such a talented actor it would be for Sumpter to be used for just fifteen minutes. Get him back, and get him leading a revolt against the Doctor, who so humiliated him at the end of season nine. How will Rasillon start said revolt, you may ask. Well he could recruit Missy, who we know for sure will be returning in season nine. As fantastic as Michelle Gomez has been as the latest incarnation of the Master, her intentions are still pretty unclear. Could Rasillon have sought her assistant to get revenge on the Doctor? Little hints that Missy may be working for someone have certainly been present in her time on the show so far. I’ve heard Omega’s name mentioned by a few different fans, but Rasillon seems like the more realistic employer. What a treat it would be to see Rasillon working side by side with Missy, orchestrating a chaotic and destructive conclusion to season ten.
What’s the point of Nardole? Well, could he perhaps be not quite who he says, or even thinks he is? There just has to be a better reason for the grumpy old twelfth Doctor to invite such a moronic simpleton aboard his TARDIS, than the pathetic excuse we were dished up in The Return of Doctor Mysterio. So, could Nardole be a Time Lord? Don’t guffaw or close this page in disgust. We are due an explanation as to how the twelfth Doctor knew to assist his previous incarnations in The Day of the Doctor, so could Nardole hold the key? Is it beyond the realms of possibility that he is a Time Lord who learned vast amounts about his own kind throughout the Time War and out of utter contempt, stored his Time Lord consciousness in a fob watch? Maybe, similarly to the Master, he was just too scared and changed just to hide from his own people. Throughout season ten, Nardole could reveal drops of knowledge he shouldn’t know, and the Doctor could grow suspicious. Maybe the Doctor has already worked out who he really is. Of course these are all just theories, but surely there has to be a twist with Nardole somewhere along the line? Rewriting his biology would certainly explain what an oddball he is. So what do you think, could Nardole steer the twelfth Doctor back into the Time War to help his previous incarnations? It’s certainly a more appealing potential plot that him playing the fool for the entire season.
Finally, I have to talk about it and it may be the route one option when discussing future Doctor Who plots, but surely we’re at a stage where it’s almost a certainty that Time War II is just around the corner. The Time War is a plot that’s been going on since 2005, and we still don’t know much about it. How did it start? Other than the Doctor, who were the key players?And as I mentioned earlier, how did the twelfth Doctor know how to help save Gallifrey? Well with Gallifrey now back, the Daleks rebuilding Skaro and others like Missy and the Sisterhood of Karn lurking, there’s a metaphoric open goal to be scored into with the reignition of the Time War. On a selfless level, what a present Moffat would be giving his replacement Chris Chibnall. A whole new Time War would be a spectacular way to exit an era and enter a new one. Moffat too could go out in style with a universal clash of the Doctor Who universe’s two most famous races. Everything is set up nicely, we’ve had twelve years of whispers and mere glimpses of the last one, so wouldn’t it be great to see a second Time War that’s given the air time it deserves?
What story arcs would you like to see in season ten? Do you like any that I’ve suggested or have your own? In the coming weeks leading up to season ten, I’ll be previewing a new TARDIS team, sharing my fears for the new season, and talking to fans about what’s in store over the next few months. Make sure you follow the blog on WordPress and Twitter so you don’t miss a thing.