Doctor Who has been going on for over fifty years now, and with that comes a little difficuly when it comes to a few areas, namely character development, inventive plot and a much-looked-over one – episode titles. It may not seem like it, but titles can often be one of the most difficult parts of writing in general. Sometimes the show comes up with great ones that can evoke a thousand different emotions (Blink), and other times there are titles that are plain odd (Let’s Kill Hitler). Somehow, Steven Moffat and co have managed to come up with twelve incredibly interesting and awesome-sounding episode titles for the ninth series!
Revealed exclusively in the Radio Times earlier, they are as follows…
The Magician’s Apprentice
A final message from a dying scientist. A plea from the deadliest corner of time and space. Only one man can answer, but he has gone missing from all of time and space. Where is the Doctor? As the skies of planet Earth stand frozen, Clara Oswald enters into a dangerous alliance.
The Witch’s Familiar
There are places the Doctor should never go. Planets where his life would not be worth an hour’s purchase. When he finds himself in the very worst of these, without his Tardis, or his sonic, and with his best friends murdered in front of his eyes, he has only his wits to keep him alive. And perhaps something else. What is the Doctor’s confession? Why did he really leave Gallifrey all those centuries ago? And is it a secret he is willing to give up?
Under the Lake
Under a lake, in the dripping gloom of an underwater base, stands a gleaming black space ship, recovered from the lake bed. Nothing is inside – but when the base crew start dying, they make a terrible discovery: ghosts are real! And their friends are refusing to stay dead! The Doctor and Clara arrive to find a base under siege from beyond the grave. But how can the dead be walking? What has brought them back? When the Doctor discovers the truth, it is more terrifying than any simple ghost story.
Before the Flood
In the eerie remains of a town that never was, something is stalking the Doctor and his friends. A desperate battle for survival is underway, but this time our heroes already know which of them is going to lose. With the past and the future hanging in the balance, the Doctor is breaking the rules to win the day. Can anything stop the Fisher King? And more importantly, who composed Beethoven’s 5th?
The Girl Who Died
In a backwater of history, in a little Viking village where all the warriors have just been slaughtered, a young girl called Ashildr is about to make a desperate mistake. The Mire are the deadliest mercenaries in the galaxy, famed for being unstoppable and without mercy – and Ashildr has just declared war on them. The Doctor and Clara have twelve hours, to turn a handful of farmers and blacksmiths into a fighting force ready to face down Odin himself. And there’s more – because this is the day when the Doctor remembers where he’s seen his own face before.
The Woman Who Lived
England, 1651. The highwayman known as The Nightmare is plaguing the land. But the Nightmare is not all he seems, and his fire-breathing accomplice who lurks in the shadows is clearly more than human… The Doctor, on the trail of an alien artefact, is brought face to the face with the consequences of his own actions. For once he encounters someone who won’t let him turn his back on the things he has done. But will the Nightmare be his friend or foe? It may well take till the end of the universe to be sure…
The Zygon Invasion
A long time ago, the Doctor made a deal in the Tower Of London. 20 million Zygons walk among us, in human form, living undetected in peace and harmony. But cracks are showing in this delicate peace. Humans and Zygons are disappearing. In city apartment blocks, lifts are going missing, and far below the streets of Britain, alien pods are growing in secret caverns. Unit’s scientific advisor, Osgood, sends a desperate message to the Doctor – but since Osgood is long dead, how is that even possible?
The Zygon Inversion
The future of planet Earth is sealed in a box in Unit’s back archive, and only the Doctor knows what’s inside. With Unit under Zygon control, and Clara lost, the Doctor and Osgood find themselves fugitives in a London where no one can be trusted – but the wily old Time Lord knows there is one last hope for peace. Because that box in the black archive isn’t any old box. It’s an Osgood Box!
Sleep No More
This is footage collected from a space rescue mission. If you value your life, your sanity, and the future of your species, DO NOT WATCH IT.
Face the Raven
Have you ever found yourself in a street you’ve never seen before? The next day, could you not find that street again? You weren’t dreaming. Your memory isn’t playing tricks. Like many lost souls throughout the ages, you have stumbled on an extraordinary secret – be grateful you survived it. The Doctor and Clara, with their old friend Rigsy, find themselves in a secret alien world, folded away among the streets of London. Not all of them will get out alive. One of the three intruders must face the raven…
In a world unlike any other he has seen, the Doctor faces the greatest challenge of his many lives. And he must face it alone.
If you took everything from him, and betrayed him, and trapped him, and broke both his hearts… how far might the Doctor go? It is time, at last, for the Doctor’s confession.
Well, there’s certainly a few great ones there!
Just as Series 8 was comprised of entirely singular stories, Series 9 will revolve around two-parters, which haven’t really been featured on the show since… 2011. Wow.
There are only four stories that are explicitly two-parters (i.e. same writers), however we know that there aren’t any single-episode stories, which begs the question of how episodes such as Sleep No More and Fear The Raven are connected. Is there a hidden one in the titles? Could it be referencing Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven?
Fans have spent the past couple of hours debating over these titles endlessly, but I’m most intrigued by those last two. Moffat clearly returns to the ‘Heaven’ theme that was used as the main arc of the eighth series, as well as in the finale title, Death in Heaven. Could the duality of Heaven and Hell suggest a return to the Nethersphere? So many questions. Judging from those titles alone, there seems to be a very mythological tone to the new series. Those two concepts are obviously very mythic and the others all bring in a range of ideas, from magic to gothic horror. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s just the vibe I’m getting.
Doctor Who returns THIS Saturday – can you believe it?!