The BBC has put out two brief clips from Doctor Who Season Six’s premiere episode, “The Impossible Astronaut,” and in true form for everyone’s favorite Time Lord, they’re about half revelry and half epic gloom and doom.
Clip 1 gives us a glimpse of The Doctor, Amy and Rory in the American Southwest, where The Doctor has donned a Stetson (“Stetsons are cool.”) and the trio runs into an old friend.
It’s exactly what you want to see to kick off the new series. A little dose of fun punctuated by the arrival of River Song, a character who will likely have a staggering impact on The Doctor’s life this year. And as an added bonus, the visuals are quite lovely.
Clip 2 features all the same characters, but it’s the opposite of its partner in terms of tone. This is something we’ve heard about in rumors, speculation, and vague cast interviews leading up to the new series, the scene where The Doctor must make a promise to do something for Amy (and, apparently, River and Rory) without knowing why. The tension is thick enough to slice with a sonic screwdriver, and perhaps it’s even more tense because we don’t yet know what The Doctor has been asked to do.
It seems like the TARDIS has never looked so gloomy. We don’t know what they’re confronting, or how, or exactly what moral quandary The Doctor is facing in his head, but we definitely know it’s serious. (Also, there’s that little offhand remark about River having killed someone…Who knows what that’s about.)
All in all, these clips are a prime example of what showrunner Steven Moffat is best at: a deft blend of comedy and tragedy that makes for an emotional ride in each and every episode. Unfortunately, despite their quality, all these clips do is make everyone even more anxious for the premiere.
Doctor Who returns April 23.