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Preview: Doctor Who returns to BBC1

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"Right then, Clara Oswin – time to find out who you are."

This Saturday (30th March) marks the return of the Doctor and new companion Clara Oswin who, in the words of the Doctor, presents "the only mystery worth solving." Doctor Who’s companions, right through from Rose (Billie Piper) to Amy Pond (Karen Gillian), have all had key roles to play in the show’s storylines and in the life of the Doctor, often in some way linked to a greater destiny than could ever have been imagined. So, the question is, what lies in store for Clara?

Following the introduction of this new character last year, fans have been contemplating this Clara conundrum, some claiming that she must be old travel buddy Donna Noble’s daughter, or the Doctor’s daughter Jenny, or even the next incarnation of the Doctor himself. Whatever the answer, all will be revealed at the end of this new series starring Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman.

Judging from the plotlines of the first four new episodes by writers Steven Moffat, Neil Cross and Mark Gatiss, viewers can expect an abundance of alien action (including another return of the cybermen) for the Doctor to contend with whilst he figures out the riddle that is Clara Oswald.

Episode 6, ‘The Bells of Saint John’, brings the Doctor to present day London in his search for Clara Oswin, where "humanity lives in a wifi soup"; wifi is, thanks to modern technology, everywhere.  But something more dangerous than hackers and viruses is lurking in the signals. An insidious menace is picking off minds and imprisoning them – including Clara’s, cue the Doctor racing to save her and the world from an ancient enemy.

Next comes ‘The Rings of Akhaten’ and the Doctor whisks Clara to the inhabited rings of the planet Akhaten, fulfilling her wish to see something awesome. The Festival of Offerings is in full swing on the rings, where Clara meets the young Queen of Years as the pilgrims and natives ready for the ceremony.  But, as with most parties, the night can’t end without a bit of drama; something is stirring in the pyramid, and a sacrifice will be demanded.

The series continues with Episode 8, ‘Cold War’, which sees the Doctor and Clara land on a damaged Russian Submarine in 1983.  As the submarine spirals out of control into the ocean depths, an alien creature is loose on board having escaped from a block of Arctic ice. With tempers and a cargo of nuclear weapons on board threatening to explode, it’s not just the crew but the whole of humanity at stake. 

Clara and the Doctor arrive at Caliburn House, a haunted mansion on a desolate moor in Episode 9, ‘Hide’.  A ghost-hunting Professor and gifted psychic are searching for the Witch of the Well within its walls, her apparition appearing throughout the history of the building.  But is she really a ghost, and what is chasing her? Who ya gonna call? The Doctor!




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