Once Doctor Who Series 12 brought the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her companions Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh) back to BBC One and BBC America screens to kick off our new year, it wasted no time throwing our heroes into a grand adventure filled with spies, intrigue, world domination, and… The Master (Sacha Dhawan)!
Chris Chibnall knows how to create a season-long, overarching mystery – because that last reveal between the two adversaries over the fate of their home planet still has our brains buzzing. What "truth" did The Master discover that would cause him to unleash so much rage? What about it makes him so sure the Doctor will share that rage when she discovers the truth?
Before we take a look at the possible answers next episode "Orphan 55" will reveal, we're going to a take a quick breather and have a little fun – courtesy of the fine folks at the BBC and the following Doctor Who Challenge: "What's in the Box"?. In the following clip, Whittaker, Gill, and Cole compete to see who can quickly identify the object in the box based on touch – thankfully, this pseudo-homage to David Fincher's Se7en doesn't imitate its cinematic inspiration's full ending:
Which brings us to next episode "Orphan 55" (followed by the original promo and episode overview) – where only Team TARDIS can find a way to turn rest and relaxation into a fight for the very existence of the universe. But considering what they went through during the past two outings, a little sun-n-fun shouldn't be too much to ask.
It shouldn't be…
"Doctor Who" Series 12, Episode 3 "Orphan 55": Having decided that everyone could do with a holiday, the Doctor takes Graham, Yasmin, Ryan to a luxury resort for a spot of rest and relaxation. However, they discover the place where they are having a break is hiding a number of deadly secrets. What are the ferocious monsters that are attacking Tranquillity Spa? Guest starring Laura Fraser and James Buckley, alongside Jodie Whittaker as the 13th incarnation of the Time Lord, and Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole as her trusty travelling companions. Directed by Lee Haven Jones, and written by Ed Hime.
Speaking with RadioTimes, Chibnall explained that the goal of this season is to give both new and long-time Doctor Who fans a better appreciation of the scope of the Doctor's universe:
"Last year was a recruiting year for the show, and I think we managed to recruit some people for the show. That's exciting. And obviously we kept the existing audience and built on that. I think this year we're developing that, so for all the people who are new to Doctor Who we're going to go 'Look at the amazing world of Doctor Who, look at all the treats that are in there.'
So we're building on last year. There are lots of new faces, a few old faces. There are some things trickling through which might be important. It's different! I think you always need to take new, big risks from a storytelling point of view.
Doctor Who has to exist in the modern television landscape. There is so much drama, there are so many shows. We have to continually find new reasons to be existing. But also there's loads of things the show hasn't done before. I think you saw last year that we took a lot of risks, and I think that they paid off, and I think that we'll continue to take some big risks this year.
But you can do that and also give people all the stuff they love about Doctor Who as well. You balance the two.
Risk is built into Doctor Who, from day one in 1963. No question of that."