Look Who's back: Dinosaurs, Daleks, the departure of Amy Pond and a few surprises are in store in the new series of Doctor Who
21:30 GMT, 31 August 2012
We all know Amy Pond is leaving Doctor Who after the actress who plays her, Karen Gillan, announced her decision to quit the show last December.
We also know it will be at some point during the new series, and that Jenna-Louise Coleman will replace her as the Doctor's new assistant Clara Oswin.
But, after three years with the Time Lord, will Amy's departure be the 'big surprise' we’ve been promised for episode one, or will she get to see the new series out Unsurprisingly, Karen Gillan and Matt Smith, who plays the Doctor, are giving nothing away.
Matt Smith and Karen Gillan among the Daleks in a dramatic new scene from the upcoming series of Dr Who – but which episode will mark the end for Gillan's character Amy Pond
'Watch the series to find out,' chuckles Karen, while Matt adds, 'All I can tell you is they find themselves in serious danger in episode one. The Doctor, Amy and her husband Rory are dropped into the Dalek Asylum, a refuge for old, battered and seriously unhinged Daleks, and the trio face jeopardy when some of the more dangerous Daleks spring back into life.
'The Doctor needs all the help he can get to save himself, Amy and Rory.'
If Amy is killed off this week, it won't be the only surprise for viewers. Just when you thought the Daleks, who've had us scurrying behind our sofas for almost 50 years, had been consigned to sci-fi history, the original extraterrestrial monsters are back.
Dr Who (Matt Smith) is going to lose his assistant Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) who will be replaced by Clara Oswin, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman
After Doctor Who's chief writer Steven Moffat hinted they were no longer terrifying enough, calling them 'the most reliably defeatable enemies in the universe', Asylum Of The Daleks features thousands of them.
The Doctor is forced into the bizarre position of helping the psychotic creatures, too. 'We see a new side to the Daleks this time round – a slightly more vulnerable one,' Steven says. 'Not only are they appealing for the doctor's help to protect their species, but the existence of the asylum shows they have a place for their sick and wounded.'
Although some of the Daleks are computer-generated, the BBC team went on a nationwide search to find real models that could be used for close-ups. Prop shops, eBay and even car-boot sales were scoured, with an original from a 1967 episode called The Evil Of The Daleks reckoned to be the earliest one found.
Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams and Karen Gillan as his wife Amy Pond in the new series of Dr Who
'And the earlier the scarier, as far as Matt Smith is concerned,' says Steven. 'They were a bit smaller in the early days, and to Matt's mind, more terrifying.'
'One of them is owned by Russell T Davies, the writer who revived Doctor Who in 2005 after a nine-year absence from our screens.
'Russell bought it when he was just a fan of the show, rather than one of its guiding lights,' says Steven. 'It was sitting in the hallway of his home in Manchester. We pressed it into service at the BBC studio in Cardiff – and it returned to Manchester with a few scorch marks…'
The new series will be broken down into three parts, with the first five episodes running through September, followed by a Christmas special starring Richard E Grant as the villain. The remaining eight episodes will be seen early next year.
This month's 'special guests' include a herd of dinosaurs running riot aboard a spaceship, a relentless cyborg who takes on the gun-toting Doctor in a Wild West town, and a return for the ultra-scary Weeping Angels.
They appear in The Angels Take Manhattan, episode five on 29 September, which was shot in New York. The only question is: will Amy be there to do battle
Doctor Who, tonight, 7.20pm, BBC1.