Doctor Who is Repeating a Threat from its Last Season

In its old age, Doctor Who has developed ReFlux.

BBC Studios

Doctor Who has done a lot in its six decades. Rebooting the universe? No problem. Completely rewriting the origin story of the Doctor? That’s child’s play. But after a while, it can be hard to come up with new ideas. The Doctor is over a billion years old — saving the Earth or any other planet is now his bread and butter. In the trailer for Season 14 (confusingly called Season 1 in the US), we finally get a glimpse of what the next era of Doctor Who looks like — and it seems oddly familiar.

In the new trailer, we see clips from episodes that have been teased since the season was announced, like the Beatles-themed episode (which appears to contain evil manifestations of music and The Doctor singing) and the Bridgerton-themed episode, but there are also some great reveals, like an entire episode about talking Space Babies. Check out the full trailer below.

But alongside the one-liners and drag queen cameos, this trailer does have a surprisingly dark moment where The Doctor tells his new companion Ruby Sunday: “This is what we’re trying to stop. All of life extinguished.”

The very universe being in danger is about as high-stakes as a story can get, but it’s exactly what was covered in the Flux arc back in Season 13, which ended with half the galaxy being destroyed. Is Doctor Who retreading old ground, or will this new season find a twist on the very concept of life itself being held in the balance?

What would a season of Doctor Who be without a high-stakes arc?

BBC Studios

Despite the fact this season is being described as more episodic with more one-off adventures, season-long, high-stakes arcs are very common in this show. From the recurring “Bad Wolf”s back in Season 1 to the massive “End of Time” event, Russell T. Davies knows how to organize a show with a big meta-storyline on top of the single episodes.

Season 14 may be one of the more light-hearted seasons we’ve seen in a while — after all, this is the youngest the Doctor has looked in years, he’s just having fun — but inside he’s still the hardened Time Lord who has seen countless people come and go. Even when he’s just exploring the universe and making the most of his freedom, he will always rise to the challenge of saving the universe, no matter when it was in danger last.

Doctor Who returns May 10, 2024 on Disney+.

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