With only a few days left of filming, series eleven is nearly upon us. But official announcements on what we can expect to see when Doctor Who returns this Autumn haven’t exactly been forthcoming. Even at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con preview event, producer Chris Chibnall remained tight-lipped. The two trailers released so far give little away, with no monsters in sight and not even a snippet of dialogue from previously unveiled guest stars. The focus is solely on the Doctor and her three new friends.
When asked why all the secrecy, Chibnall explained that he wants the show to be a truly communal experience. No one should have the advantage of insider knowledge, not even the Doctor’s most passionate fans. But this is far more than a nostalgic yearning for the days when families used to gather around their CRT television sets to watch their favourite shows together.
Spoilers mean more to the fans than the casual audience, especially if they relate to elements from the show’s history. They create a sense of anticipation (or irritation) only to those already invested in the programme, and that’s the real reason for the producer’s reluctance to share them. For if there is one buzzword worth repeating about series eleven it is ‘inclusiveness’.
This is Doctor Who for the many, not the few. We might not know much in terms of content, but there’s plenty of information already out there aimed at encouraging both new viewers and longstanding fans to tune in.
Paul Driscoll is a freelance writer and author across a range of subjects from Cult TV to religion and social policy. He is a passionate Doctor Who fan and January 2017 will see the publication of his first extended study of the series (based on Toby Whithouse's series six episode, The God Complex) in the critically acclaimed Black Archive range by Obverse Books. He is a regular writer for the fan site Doctor Who Worldwide and has contributed several essays to Watching Books' You and Who range. Recently he has branched out into fiction writing, with two short stories in the charity Doctor Who anthology Seasons of War (Chinbeard Books). Paul's work will also feature in the forthcoming Iris Wildthyme collection (A Clockwork Iris, Obverse Books) and Chinbeard Books' collection of drabbles, A Time Lord for Change.