Much like the latest Star Wars rumors (see below), Doctor Who continues to abound with them of what will be involved in the back eight of season seven. As the series begins work on the final episode of the season –wrapping sometime in the middle of December- there is plenty of rumors that the second half of the season will resemble the first half, with those eight episodes being just as “cinematic” as the previous six. While none of the episode titles have been “officially” confirmed, the list currently (maybe) looks like this –note I will call these working titles, because they do have a tendency to change by air date.
Christmas Episode: The Snowmen
Episode 6: The Bells of St. John
Episode 7: The Rings of Akhaten
Episode 8: currently unknown
Episode 9: Phantoms of the Hex
Episode 10: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS
Episode 11: The Crimson Horror
Episode 12: The Last Cyberman
Episode 13: currently unknown
As for plots, well they’re even harder to come by than episode titles. As for whom the new companion, Clara Oswin, is and how she fits into the Oswin Oswald character we saw in the season opener, is all over the place when it comes to theories. The production people keep claiming they are two different people, which seems logical, but there has to be some connection if only because show runner Steven Moffat does these things for a reason, even if the fans are unclear on exactly what that is.
By location pictures by fans, we know the Doctor is spending some time in Earth’s past, the Christmas episode and the 6th seem to be spent in the 19th Century, as well –it appears- episode 9 and 11 (and mostly because that story features the third appearance of Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra, Catrin Stewart as Jenny and Dan Starky as Strax after last year’s A Good Man Goes to War and the Christmas episode, The Snowmen). Rumors persist that the long thought return of the classic villains the Ice Warriors will happen in untitled episode 8. We know that the Cybermen return in episode 12, mostly because location footage has shown the upgraded look for that Neil Gaiman penned episode, and of course, the author leaving the script in a taxi only to be found and returned to him. Expectations are that Alex Kingston will be back as River Song, most likely for the season finale, as she was recently seen in Cardiff. Though, I admit, that’s pure speculation as production on episode 12 and 13 overlapped each other, and Kingston has a very busy schedule outside of Doctor Who so she could be in the Cybermen story. But, I’m guessing she’s in the finale.
As for the rest of 2013 and how the 50th anniversary plays out is still unknown as well. It’s almost positive that David Tennant will be back as the 10th Doctor, based mostly on interviews with him, as he seems not to be able to contain himself. He knows something, essentially, and is bursting to say what it is, but knows he can’t. As for the other surviving actors who played the Doctor, there seems to be less of chance anyone else will be back. While that could be subterfuge by them (Peter Davidson is inclined to return as well as Tom Baker, but Colin Baker seems convinced he’ll not be back), unless money becomes an issue, I don’t see why anyone the others (with the exception of Christopher Eccelston) will not be involved with the series fiftieth anniversary.
Now onto Star Wars: Episode VII, VIII and IX. After Oscar winner Michael Arndt signed on to write episode VII, the jocking for who would helm them ramped up. But what we got was a bunch of directors saying NO, a list that includes Safety Not Guaranteed helmer Colin Trevorrow, Brad Bird, Ben Affleck, Sam Mendes, J.J. Abrams, Zack Snyder, Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg.
I’m guessing, however, none of them would have actually been asked for various reasons. However, one name that does pop up is Joe Johnston. Like Kathleen Kennedy, Johnston has a long history with Star Wars, starting on the visual effects team for the first film in 1977 which he continued on through The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He’s segued into directing in 1989 with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and followed with The Rocketeer (both Disney films), Jumanji, October Sky, Jurassic Park III (produced by Kennedy), and Captain America: The First Avenger. He’s a capable, if not safe, director and his long association with George Lucas and Kennedy could give him the better chance of doing Episode VII. Also, Johnston has not played the deny game or said “no” to the idea when reporters asked about his potential involvement with the new trilogy.
Now onto the latest rumor: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg will be writing episodes VIII and IX, though the division of their responsibilities has yet to be determined. Kasdan is a well-respected writer, and he too has a history with Star Wars and George Lucas, adapting the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back (and still considered the best of the first three) and Return of the Jedi. He also wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark. As for Kinberg, he wrote the scripts for the Sherlock Holmes franchise as well X-Men: First Class and its upcoming sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Both writers will also serve as producers on those entries as well.
Again, Disney is saying nothing about this latest news. So take it with the grain it is offered as.