Especially without a TARDIS, it's been a long 12 months. But after no new series of Doctor Who in 2016, we've finally rejoined the Doctor on his travels...
Series 10 – Peter Capaldi's last as The Doctor – is officially underway, and right here is everything you need to know about the new episodes, from filming to air-dates to Jenna Coleman's replacement.
Doctor Who series 10, episode 1: What happened in 'The Pilot'?
Residing on Earth - where he's posing as a university professor and guarding a mysterious Vault - the Doctor takes an interest in dinner lady Bill Potts, deciding to become her personal tutor.
A budding romance for Bill takes a dark twist when Heather (Stephanie Hyam) is transformed by sentient space oil.
After their encounter with Heather, the Doctor invites Bill to join him aboard the TARDIS - leaving the Vault behind, for now...
Doctor Who series 10, episode 2: What happened in 'Smile'?
The Doctor and Bill land on an alien planet overrun by malfunctioning robots - dedicated to maintaining the happiness of the human colonists, they begin stamping out grief using extreme (read: lethal) means.
The 'bots - who've since become sentient - are eventually rebooted, with our heroes leaving them to form a new civilization alongside the human race.
Meanwhile, we learn a little more about the Doctor's pledge to guard the Vault. "A long time ago," he says. "...a thing happened. As a result of the thing, I made a promise. As a result of the promise, I have to stay on Earth."
Here's a sneak peek at episode 3, 'Thin Ice':
A new trailer for series 10 put Capaldi's Doctor front and centre while new companion Bill - more on her below - narrates her adventures with "the most dangerous man in the universe".
It follows an earlier trailer that gave us our first look proper at series 10, as well as a detailed introduction to Bill herself.
It features threats old (the Daleks) and new (Emoji robots(!)) and we also get a glimpse of what appears to be The Movellans, robotic rivals of the Daleks last featured on the show way back in 1979.
Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC One, opted to push series 10 to early 2017 – making it the first time in six years that a full series run of Doctor Who has launched in the spring.
Partly the spring launch is down to scheduling - filming on the new episodes didn't kick off June 20, so the earliest the show could return would've been late 2016.
After seven years at the helm, Moffat will bow out next year. Series 10 will be his victory lap, with 2017's Christmas special marking his ultimate farewell.
But don't expect some grand finale to the end of the Moffat era, with the outgoing boss insisting his final episodes will be all about "pushing forward" - not bringing anything to a close.
This will be Capaldi's third and final series as the Doctor - equalling (give-or-take) the length of time both Matt Smith and David Tennant spent in the part.
"This could be my final year – it's terrifying," he acknowledged in late 2015. "I love Doctor Who, but it can be quite an insular world and I do want to do other things."
Peter later confirmed that he had been asked to take part in series 11: "I've been asked to stay on, which is lovely - and I think Chris Chibnall's fantastic and a wonderful choice [but] I haven't made my mind up."
And in December 2016, while promoting the Christmas special, he gave us another glimmer of hope, saying that he wanted to stick with Who "for a long time".
Moffat's also insisted that he's not "writing out a Doctor" when he bids farewell to the series, though he has been known to tell fibs. Y'know, every now and then.
But in the New Year, Peter made his decision, confirming he will play Twelve for the last time in the 2017 Christmas special.
"One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best, from our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead," he said.
"I can't thank everyone enough. It's been cosmic."
And expect to discover new and different shades to this Doctor in his final year, as Peter explained: "You've seen him go through all those different colours and all those different places, so where he goes now – in series 10 - I don't know, but he's been put through the mill."
Despite confirmation that Capaldi will exit at Christmas, a trailer for series 10 - released before the festive special had been filmed - appeared to show his Doctor regenerating?
Speaking in April - again, before he'd filmed Christmas - Capaldi also seemed to imply that he'd already shot his final scenes: "It was explosive," he said. "He goes out a fighter."
But it is it all one big swizz? This could be David Tennant's regeneration fake-out all over again...
In June 2016, Capaldi appeared to let slip that Coleman might've filmed something for series 10: "I'm not sure how successfully Clara was able to wipe his mind," he said: "I just shot something that Clara was still there in!"
Could Clara possibly be returning as a figment of the Doctor's imagination? Possibly - though Jenna later insisted that she's not returning to Doctor Who and would rule out even a cameo "for a good while".
There will be a new companion - and her name is Pearl Mackie!
Relative TV newcomer Pearl Mackie will be stepping into Jenna Coleman's shoes as the Doctor's "funny and geeky" new companion.
Bill Potts was introduced to the world in a quick teaser titled 'A Friend from the Future', revealed during an episode of Match of the Day (yes, really), which saw her questioning the Doctor on all things Dalek while the pair were hiding in the middle of an attack.
Mackie describes her character - who swaps life as a dinner lady for TARDIS travels - as "cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in" and Capaldi is pretty pleased with his new companion too.
Bill is also the first openly gay lead Doctor Who companion. "It shouldn't be a big deal in the 21st Century," Mackie told the BBC. "It's about time isn't it?"
"It is a genuine delight to welcome Pearl Mackie to Doctor Who," he said. "A fine, fine actress with a wonderful zest and charm, she's a refreshing addition to the TARDIS and will bring a universe of exciting new possibilities to The Doctor's adventures."
Mackie's previous credits include a role in Years & Years' video for 'Real', a small part in British indie film Svengali, and a guest role on BBC's daytime soap Doctors.
"Because we're going with a new companion for the new series, it sort of reboots Doctor Who back to its simplest, purest form, where it's mad adventures with your nutty uncle from space," Moffat's suggested.
Michelle Gomez has stated twice this year - first in May and again in October - that when Doctor Who returns to our screens, Missy will also be back to haunt the Doctor... and her return was 100% confirmed by a new on-set clip released in February 2017.
That's right, two Masters! Simm will return to Doctor Who for the first time in seven years to face off with Capaldi... and his successor Gomez.
"I can confirm that it's true, thanks to the power of time travel I'm back," Simm said. "It's always a pleasure to work with this great team of people and I can't wait for you all to see what The Master gets up to in the next series."
We'll admit it, we didn't see this one coming. But Matt Lucas will be a permanent fixture on Doctor Who next year after debuting as bumbling Nardole in 2015's Christmas special 'The Husbands of River Song'.
He took up his new role as the Doctor's comic sidekick and butler in 2016's festive episode, 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio' - and quite how he came to board the TARDIS after his apparent demise at the hands of Hydroflax will be explored in series 10.
"[Matt] was contracted for certain episodes [of the 2017 series], and he's crept into far more of them," Moffat's said. "I think he's going to end up being in all of them, in fact, because we love him."
There's apparently more to Nardole than than his "bumbling oaf" persona, too, with Moffat hinting: "He's slyer, more devious, more useful and he has a very shady past."
"It's Peter [Capaldi]'s TARDIS now," he said. "I love what he does, so I watch as a fan."
Yes, the original ones. From the planet Mondas. As featured in their debut adventure, 'The Tenth Planet', over 50 years ago.
Capaldi has long spoken of his desire to go up against the "Mondasian Cybermen" who look authentically low-tech, with spooky cloth faces and human hands... just like in 1966. They'll appear in the final two episodes of Doctor Who series 10.
"I know that what I've signed on to do is 13 more episodes of Doctor Who - including a Christmas special," Moffat revealed - before the news broke of his 'retirement'.
He then added an intriguing addendum: "I'm trying to argue for slightly more than that, but we'll see."
Could there be a special or two in the offing after series 10? Perhaps for Moffat's grand farewell... and Capaldi's?
One thing we know: episode two of the new series will have an international flavour, with scenes shot at the City of Arts and Science Museum in Spain.
You can expect the Doctor, Bill and Nardole to encounter "Romans", "robots" and "serpents" on their travels too.
"Each year, we try to do something different – almost out of perversity, to make things more difficult for ourselves," Moffat joked.
"I was very happy to get rid of two-parters when I did, and [in series nine I was] very happy to bring them back. Something else will happen [in series 10]."
Poirot himself, David Suchet, will be appeared on Doctor Who as a character known only as 'The Landlord' - could he be a Time Lord with a particularly underwhelming moniker?
But speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, Little did reveal that he'll appear in episode two of the new series, written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce.
Mina Anwar is expected to pop up in the same episode, while Stephanie Hyam - late of ITV's own Doctor Who-inspired Jekyll & Hyde - is appearing in episode one.
Here's the complete series 10 episode line-up:
'The Pilot' - by Steven Moffat
'Smile' - by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
'Thin Ice' - by Sarah Dollard
'Knock Knock' - by Mike Bartlett
'Oxygen' - by Jamie Mathieson
'Extremis' - by Steven Moffat and Peter Harness
'The Pyramid at the End of the World' - by Steven Moffat and Peter Harness
'The Lie of the Land' - by Toby Whithouse
'The Empress of Mars' - by Mark Gatiss
'The Eaters of Light' - by Rona Munro
'World Enough and Time' - by Steven Moffat
'The Doctor Falls' - by Steven Moffat
Series 10 finale 'The Doctor Falls' has been called "a bloodbath" (eep!) - with Capaldi's final special in December "a tale of redemption and hope."
Moffat promised back in December 2015 that two "brilliant, prominent and amazing writers" would join the show in 2017, hinting that the new signings are a pretty big deal: "If I told you their names, your brain would explode."
One name he was teasing was presumably Bartlett - acclaimed playwright and creator of the hit series Doctor Foster - who's written an episode titled 'Knock Knock'.
No word on what happened to the other newbie, though interestingly a veteran Who scribe is also on board, with playwright Rona Munro - author of the show's original 1989 swansong 'Survival' - returning to write episode 10, 'The Eaters of Light'.
Writers of more recent Who returning this year will be Cottrell-Boyce ('In The Forest of the Night'), Sarah Dollard ('Face the Raven'), Jamie Mathieson ('Flatline') Toby Whithouse for ('Under the Lake / Before the Flood') and...
Gatiss has definitely written a script for series 10 - and while reaction to his 2015 tale of eye-booger horror was mixed, but Gatiss has already voiced hopes of writing a follow-up revisiting the sinister Sandmen.
"I suppose you'd have to think... where else would they go?" he said. "But the Doctor loses in this episode and that's an unusual place to be, so it sort of needs some closure."
However, in a Twitter post some months later, Gatiss implied that his next episode would not reintroduce the 'Sleep No More' villains after all.
Gatiss's new episode is actually set on Mars and will feature enduring Who foes The Ice Warriors in a "kind of Jules Verne / Edgar Rice Burroughs story of derring-do".
The episode- as yet untitled - will also introduce "a new kind of Ice Warrior" - interessssssssting! Given that the episode's called 'The Empress of Mars', could we be seeing a female Ice Warrior?
Three episodes in the series - 6, 7 and 8 - are linked, with new threat 'The Monks' expected to appear across the trilogy.
Moffat has confirmed that he'll leave the introduction of Capaldi's replacement to his own successor, just as Moffat took over from Russell T Davies to write the closing scene of David Tennant's swansong, 'The End of Time - Part 2'.
Moffat's been attempting to lure the Lord of the Rings filmmaker - and self-professed Doctor Who fan - to Cardiff for yonks. But despite a fun skit last year in which Capaldi interrupted Jackson while he was... erm... polishing his Oscar, this remains a real long shot.
"I'm not quite sure what a movie director who can do anything he likes gets out of our budget and our schedule," Moffat has acknowledged. "Because the skillset required is pretending you're Peter Jackson, without a budget."
Here's who is directing episodes of the next series: Poldark's Ed Bazalgette (helming the 2016 Christmas special), Misfits's Lawrence Gough (episodes one and two), Mr Selfridge's Bill Anderson (three and four),
Also on board are Charles Palmer (director of some of David Tennant's best episodes - including 'Human Nature / The Family of Blood' - tackling episodes five and ten), Daniel Nettheim (who previously helmed series nine's Zygon two-parter and will take on episodes six and seven) and Wayne Yip (who worked on Class and is handling episodes eight and nine).
Rachel Talalay will helm the concluding two episodes - having previously taken charge of both the series eight and series nine finales.
With Chibnall in place as the show's new head writer and executive producer, the BBC is said to have big plans in place for the future of Doctor Who.
"It is definitely going to last five more years," Moffat said in 2015. "I've seen the business plan. It's not going anywhere. And I think we can go past that. It's television's own legend. It will just keep going."
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