‘Doctor Who’ Season 10 going ‘back to one-parters mostly’

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has revealed that the new season will feature fewer two-part stories than last year.

2015’s season was made up almost entirely of multi-part stories and ‘paired’ episodes, with the exception of Mark Gatiss’s ‘Sleep No More’.

> Buy the complete Doctor Who Season 9 box set on DVD on Amazon.

> Buy the complete Doctor Who Season 9 box set on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Interviewed in the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Moffat confirmed: “We’re going back to more singles [in Season 10]. Two-parters worked brilliantly last year, but somehow, with the new companion, you want the simpler version of the show.”

He explained: “By last year, the Doctor and Clara had been there for so long, it was a complicated relationship by then, so we needed the bigger stories. Next year we will have some two-parters, but it will be back to one-parters mostly.”

Doctor Who Bill Pearl Mackie Peter Capaldi

Moffat also revealed that he will be writing four of the new season’s 12 episodes: “I’m just getting down to writing the first episode. I’ll probably write the final three episodes, too. And we’ve got some very strong scripts in from other writers.”

Season 10 will begin filming in July, with Pearl Mackie joining Peter Capaldi’s Doctor as new companion Bill.

> Here’s everything we know so far about Season 10.

Do you prefer two-part stories? Let us know below…

  • Dr. Moo

    Last year’s format of four two-part stories (Magician/Witch, Lake/Flood, Invasion/Inversion, Heaven/Hell) and four one-part stories (Died, Lived, Sleep, Raven) worked well I thought. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
    However with the introduction of the new companion it would make sense to take a simpler approach. While I generally prefer two-part stories because they’re more fleshed out and better paced it seems like a sensible idea. We get more stories this way and that’s a good thing.

    • The_Eternal_Dalek

      No, it’s three two parters, the rest singles. At least that’s what they finally decided on, they changed their minds several times and probably will again.

      Personally I am with Capaldi and have four twos, a one and a three, but Moffat loves annoying list makers by rewriting the rules routinely. The production team had to abandon production codes because nobody used them after he got his hands on them.

      • Daniel

        I don’t mind how Moffat mixes things up each year in terms of production. Keeps it interesting and shows he is not afraid to try new things. A lot of the two parters last year were fairly loosely connected (Heaven/Hell, Girl/Woman) and the others definitely needed both parts to tell the story (Zygon, Apprentice/Master). It means he designing the series and tasking writers, he gives scope for really strong story telling like we got from the Zygon two parter.
        One thing which I didn’t like about RTD is that he steadfastly refused to vary or mix things up. The formula may have been cosy but it also got stale. You sort of knew before the series started, what you would be getting in terms of contemporary adventure/future/historical, then two parter with returning monster, then singles with some big stunt (eg Georgia Moffett as Doctor’s Daughter), then loose three parter written by RTD for finale).
        Steven Moffat has already flagged that we have two new writers for Who whose names will blow our minds, so that I am really looking forward to immensely. As long as we don’t get the sequel to Sleep No More, I can’t see how series 10 is going to be anything less than superb based on how wonderful series 9 was and just having Peter Capaldi in the lead. That man simply does not know how to not be amazing.

        • Anonymous

          Just thought I’d mention, TGWD and TWWL are not a two-parter and neither are HS and HB, they are just linked standalones. I agree about RTD, the structure was essentially the same every series. I hope Mark Gatiss never writers for the show again.

  • Dr. Moo

    This season will be bittersweet. I’ll miss Moffat but hopefully he’ll go out on a high. I’m sure he’s got some good stuff planned and I look forward to finding out what.

  • Mat Greenfield

    “…with the new companion, you want the simpler version of the show.”

    Dread rising…

    • Eli Miller

      Translation: I have both feet firmly planted in to Sherlock and new projects so i am going to phone it in this season.

      • Dr. Moo

        Let’s hope not!

    • Dr_Syn

      It means they’ve shed the baggage of the longest-serving companion to worry about anymore. Makes sense to me.

      • Daniel

        Yep. It’s all clean slate territory and Moffat likes to mix things up – I really respect him for that. RTD with his soap opera writing background kept fairly rigidly to a formula, right down to making most of his characters archetypes taken straight from the soaps (the meddling mother, the ageing woman waiting with increasing desperation to trap a man into marriage, the love struck teenager, even the doctor was essentially the slightly skeevey young bloke down at the Arms chatting up the girls and telling huge whoppers of stories to get noticed). In addition, RTD mostly stuck to the formula of opener, historical, outer space, two parter with returning monster, big three part finale etc.That helped stabilise the show over its beginning series but also made it now very dated and somewhat trite and honestly, quite dull. RTD oversaw series that were fun on first watch but very few warrant revisiting. Moffat’s series by way of contrast remain exciting as you revisit because you don’t fall immediately into a staid rhythm. It’s all mixed up with threads winding around the place and a staccato in how the episodes unfold and relate to each other. More like jazz than RTD’s bubble gum music.
        Clara has been a massively important companion – in some ways, the most important the doctor has ever had and with his memory affected, having left Gallifrey again, it’s a great new time to shake things up again with the new companion and give us sparkier, shorter stories with the emphasis on adventure and fun. Bill looks like she is going to give us such great laughs and the friction between her and 12 should set up some corking stories and lots of juicy snarky dialogue. Now that is something which nobody would dispute Moffat is master of.
        I am really looking forward to series 10 in a way I haven’t since series 5. That completely re-energised and reinvented the show and maybe series 10 will do that as well.

      • Mat Greenfield

        Yes, but that should mean a simpler version of the Doctor/Companion relationship, not simpler storytelling – which is what’s implied by the decision to go back to one-part stories. The companion may be new to this stuff, but the audience isn’t.

  • Abe Dein

    Go back to the S1-5 format. 3 two parters and the rest single episodes. The finale MUST be a two/three parter. If you take at the two worst finales of the modern era – The Wedding of River Song and The Name of the Doctor (even though i totally enjoyed TNOTD, it wasn’t as good as all the others) – both 1 parters.

    Last year’s three-part finale worked particularly well – similar to S3’s three-parter but too many isn’t great as they take up 1/4 of the series. Two-parters tend to be better stories. However, Moffat did say he would be writing the last three eps – hinting at a three-parter – not to fussed tbh (kinda excited!). There have been few bad two-parters – Aliens of London/World War Three – which wasn’t even that bad or The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood – again wasn’t that bad.

    What I’m trying to say is that Moffat and in 2018, Chibnall, should space out at least three two-parters in every season.

    • Dr. Moo

      Are you saying there were season finales worse than Doomsday and Last of the Time Lords?! [shakes head in disbelief]

    • Anonymous

      I think they should go back to the Series 8 format, two-part finale and the rest standalone episodes.

  • Charlieboy

    Don’t really see his logic in having one parters because of a new companion.Surely, its all about narritive and character development?

    • Anonymous

      If you have mostly two-parters and linked standalones (like in Series 9) you have less time to develop the regular characters as you have less stories.

      • Charlieboy

        Nonsense. You have more time to develop characters in a two parter.

        • Anonymous

          Actually you’re right, in standalones, due to being limited to 45 minutes, character development takes a back seat as the entire plot has to be established and resolved within one episode.

  • Is Capaldi still the Doctor? I’s been so long.

    • Anonymous

      No it hasn’t, he has had two series. He is confirmed for Series 10.

  • Oskar Adolfson

    Do as many 2 part stories as possible! It’s the 2 part stories which I find the best! Moffats Season 9 is one of the best Seasons since Season 5

    • Anonymous

      I think standalones are best, it was great in Series 7 when two-parters were scrapped entirely and you had the blockbuster of the week format, the series was more epic than any other in the past, I would welcome another series like that. Series 9 was brilliant, but every episode other than “Sleep No More” was either a two-parter or linked, the series felt incredibly short, when most or all the episodes are standalones the series feels longer and we get more stories.

  • Anonymous

    I’m really glad about this, I loved it in Series 7 and 8 when two-parters were scrapped other than the Series 8 finale. Two-parters are a very mixed bag, mid-series two-parters tend to be average to bad. In Series 9, apart from “Sleep No More” every episode was either a two-parter or linked, which made the series feel incredibly short. I would actually like another series to have a blockbuster of the week format with no two-parters, it was brilliant in Series 7. It’s a good thing that Series 10 will be mostly standalones.

  • Whovian

    No! Series 9 was the best series ever and it was because of the two-parters.

  • Anonymous

    Series 9’s structure of five two-parters (TMA/TWF, UTL/BTF, TGWD/TWWL, TZI/TZI, HS/HB) and two standalones stories (SNM, FTR) worked brilliantly, and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.