We've come to expect it now. Steven Moffat will resolve plot lines, but only in turn giving us 4 more loose ends to ponder over.
Series 8 offered some closure to some of the questions that I hoped would be answered, but many of the more tantalising ones were left dangling in the air, and, true to form, we were also given a whole new batch of head scratchers.
So let's work through some of them that I hope will be resolved in series 9, and I'll offer up a few possible solutions and theories myself.
1. Where's Gallifrey?
It would've been way too easy if Missy was telling the truth, when she offered the Doctor the supposed coordinates of Gallifrey at the end of Death In Heaven. Plus it would've made all those chalkboard calculations the Doctor had been making throughout series 8 pointless...
...I am quite sure that the location of his home planet is hidden amongst the very complex calculation he was working on all last season. And I will be shocked if it does not come in to play during series 9, probably in the closing episodes.
Moffat claims that the cliffhanger for series 9's penultimate episode is a whopper, one we won't see coming. I wonder if this is when we will get the Time Lords home planet revealed to us again?
Going out on a limb, I've long pondered the possibility that Earth is actually Gallifrey! The how and the why I've not locked down, but could we all be descended from Galliferyans? Kinda like Battlestar Galactica? I'm sure many wouldn't see that coming (well I did, but you know...).
2. How did Missy escape Gallifrey?
Even though she was lying about the location of the Time Lord's home planet, she must have come from there, right? But how did she manage to escape?
It's possible that we might have actually seen it take place, but in an ever so slight way. There's a brief shot in The Day of the Doctor when Clara climbs out of the Gallifreyan painting, and unless you were paying super attention you'd likely not notice that the hand gripping the frame could in no way have been Ms Oswald's...
Go on, try and do that maneuver. Does your left hand bend that way? Mine neither. That's a right hand on Clara's left side. So does it belong to Missy?
The rings don't quite match up to the ones we saw her wearing in series 8 but there could be an explanation for that.
3. Was Missy really the woman in the shop?
Because if she was, then why didn't Clara recognise her when they met during Dark Water? That's a huge plot error if so. Unless, of course, she was wearing one of her legendary disguises...
..where's she gone?
It also just seems too neat, too simple-a-solution, and quite frankly I don't buy it.
4. Is there room in the TARDIS for a new addition?
Firstly, I don't want Clara to leave. I know she has her haters, I know there's the whole Clara Who thing, but I am really happy she's sticking around for this season.
That being said I'd like more. More companions. One is fine, but let's mix it up. Think of Peter Davison's collection of travelling chums, I loved those days. Surely Peter Capaldi has room in the Type 40 for at least one more person?
There's the rumour that Faye Marsay may return as Shona McCullough, and I do think she'd be a welcome addition (plus it rules out the whole romance angle - Clara & boyfriend type thing), although from the filming that has taken place so far this doesn't appear to be happening. Moffat has pulled a surprise before though so it can't be ruled out, and talking of which here's another potential candidate for the role of new companion...
5. Is Osgood really dead?
She's back in series 9, popping up in episodes 7 and 8, although from what I've read the general consensus is that this Osgood will actually be a Zygon (also confirmed to be returning).
I've long hoped that the real Osgood was alive and well somewhere, which may end up to be just wishful thinking on my part, but she did spend a long time examining Missy's laser device. Was that put in there intentionally? Is there a possible get out clause? I mean, we know that Missy is back in series 9 too and she was also zapped to bits, so there's a chance this actually is the real Osgood. And if it is how about having the Doctor make good on that offer he gave her?
"All of time and space..."
I'd be happy with that.
6. Where did Orson Pink come from?
Well, when a Mummy Pink and a Daddy Pink love each other very much.....
No, I don't mean literally! But with Danny dead (if he is really really dead and there's not some get out clause here - please say he's dead) then has time been rewritten? Will Orson Pink never exist? Or have Clara and Danny already sealed the deal...
...she was "quite the mess of chemicals", as the Doctor noted during Dark Water.
Last Christmas didn't really offer us any clues there, certainly no baby Pink, or baby Pink-bump on view. I wonder though, if those closing seconds when the Doctor and Clara were actually reunited, took place months and months after Death In Heaven. Could Clara already given birth, could the baby be with her family? (I like her Gran, more of her please).
Yes, this does seem unlikely, but I have a strong feeling that this storyline is not over.
7. What's up with the Doctor's appearance?
Russell T Davies has given Steven Moffat an idea. The Moff said:
"I remember Russell told me he had a big old plan as to why there were two Peter Capaldis in the Who universe, one in Pompeii and one in Torchwood. When I cast Peter, [Russell] got in touch to say how pleased he was, I said 'Okay, what was your theory and does it still work?' and he said 'Yes it does, here it is'"Where is it then?
I honestly thought we would by now. I guess in the grand scheme of things it's not that important, but it's one of those little plot points that just bugs me - I HAVE to know.
Here's my hoping, and it could tie in with that penultimate episode whopper cliffhanger again, if that is the time when they do finally reveal the reason behind Peter Capaldi's time as Caecilus. What if there is also a reference to John Frobisher...
...and how they both were a certain Whifferdill named Frobisher...
Honestly, I know that would just be ridiculous. But a guy can dream, can't he?
8. Who is The Magician's Apprentice
The title of the series 9 opening episode was teased at the end of Last Christmas, we now know it is the first half of a two-part story with The Witch's Familiar.
With Missy back for this one, you have to think that "Magician" refers to the Twelfth Doctor, and "Witch" for his nemesis. But are the "Apprentice" and the "Familiar" the same character? And could they be Clara?
I wonder if the Doctor may be looking to train Clara, readying her for when he does find Gallifrey so she can go to the Time Lords Academy? Similar to how the Seventh Doctor was nurturing Ace.
The way things have been going, after everything she's been through, it's going to take something extraordinary for Clara to leave the Doctor's side, and assuming Jenna Coleman doesn't want to do another 50 years the options seem to be the character's death or a greater calling. I really don't think she would be killed off, and the greater calling could be motherhood, but I kinda like the idea of attending the Academy. It also keeps the character 'available' for future one-off stories.
9. Who is the Doctor's 4th Wife?
Moffat would never just slip a line like this in unless he had something planned.
When Clara was claiming to be the Doctor at the beginning of Death In Heaven, she said 'she' had been "married four times, all deceased." - OK then.
So we've had Queen Elizabeth I (above) from The Day of the Doctor. We've heard Eleven talk about marrying Marilyn Monroe in A Christmas Carol, and then there is this woman who you may know...
...which leaves one other.
It would seem logical that the 'other' wife is the original one, and Susan's Grandmother. Presumably she is also a Time Lord, so might there be some family reconnection coming up when the Doctor does eventually find Gallifrey? What if she's not as deceased as he believes her to be? What if she is his new travelling companion? Now that could be an interesting dynamic. After all Moffat has said that he's not against a non-Earth born companion.
Although he did state:
"I’m going to go on record and say I didn’t like the shape-shifting penguin."DAMN!
Will any of these questions be answered in series 9? Yes, likely some of them will. But it's just as likely that by the end of the year we will have a whole new batch of conundrums to keep us guessing - and don't you just love it?
What are your thoughts and theories? And what other plot threads do you want to see resolved? Let us know in the comments below...
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