It’s now been over 57 years since the BBC sci-fi hit show started his run and, as the filming of the 13th season officially begins, fans are sure that 2021 will bring a great variety of new contents to the Whoniverse. First of all, rumour has it that Jodie Whittaker, the actress portraying the 13th Doctor, wants to leave her role. There are many possible candidates for the next Doctor, although no official confirmation has been released yet. Secondly, this will be Chris Chibnall’s third season as showrunner, following the Timeless Child plot twist which definitely turned the viewers against him. But regeneration problems aside, there’s one thing that we should probably talk about: the new videogame, “Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins”.
Developed by Kaigan Games and set to be released on March 19th, this puzzling “found phone” mobile game will bring back one of the best villains of the entire franchising: the Weeping Angels. Introduced in the iconic 2007 episode “Blink”, when David Tennant was still dealing with his “wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff”, Weeping Angels have been described as the best enemy of the Doctor since the 2005 revival. These monstrous creatures are quantum-locked: as soon as you look at them, they freeze in the shape of angel statues, covering their eyes as if they were crying in order to avoid looking at each other. They also feed off paradox energy, obtained by sending back people in time with just one touch, making them die before they were even born. Brought back on many occasions, including the two-part episode “The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone” and the Ponds’ last farewell in “The Angels Take Manhattan”, they are considered one of Steven Moffat’s best contributions to the Whoniverse, as they focus on human’s fear of not knowing what goes on out of sight.
Now, is bringing the Angels back after their success in the old days of the revival series a good idea? Many fans have been upset about Moffat showing them moving, and revealing that the Statue of Liberty is actually a Weeping Angel, as it broke many of the creatures’ own quantum-lock mechanics. A great majority of the audience wanted them to stay in “Blink” only, remaining a single-episode enemy of the Doctor’s.
But Weeping Angels are not back alone in the videogame: not only Finlay Robertson is reprising his role as Larry Nightingale 14 years after “Blink”, but also Ingrid Oliver is back as Unit scientist Petronella Osgood, a fan-favourite recurring character who marked her first appearance in the 2013 50th Anniversary Special “The Day of the Doctor”. Smart, funny in her Doctor-themed clothes, she’s best-known for her interaction with her alien clone, whom she treats as a twin sister, without telling anyone else which Petronella is the actual human. A depthful storyline, which lasted until the 2015 two-part episode “The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion”, in which she last appeared.
Let’s now consider what Ryan and Graham, the 13th Doctor’s companions who just left the Tardis, said at the end of last New Year Special: «And, you know, there’s a quarry in Korea that’s shut down because the workers are reporting they saw gravel creatures come to life». A mine with walking stones: basically the same plot as in “The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone”, isn’t it? The creatures are surely back, as revealed by last month’s filming in Barry, Wales, where Jodie Whittaker was seen alongside a statue-dressed woman. Is this one line hinting that the two companions may appear again, maybe in a two-part episode with the Angels? If so, could this by any chance mean Ingrid Oliver will be in the show, too? Then what about Jemma Redgrave as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, her boss at Unit? Will they ever reprise their roles? We’ll have to wait for season 13 to find out.
Alessandro Mazzoni, IIIAC