Doctor Who fans can look forward to the darkest ever season opener when the show returns later this month, so promises showrunner and lead writer Steven Moffat.
The sixth series of the hit BBC One sci-fi series opens with a two-part adventure filmed in the US which takes the Doctor and companions Amy and Rory right to the Oval Office itself.
Familiar faces Alex Kingston (River Song) and James Corden are back alongside series stars Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill.
Moffat has described the new series as a “ghost train” which will challenge viewers to consider how much they “really know” the Doctor.
As ever series story arc will be seeded from the opening episode, in this case “barely 10 minutes into episode one” according to Moffat.
There are more hints of what’s to come from leading man Smith who says Moffatt “has a grand plan and some of the seeds he planted in the last series start coming to fruition and affecting the characters in drastic ways.”
The latest series, Smith’s second in the title role, will see the introduction of The Silence, a new race of baddies who Smith reveals “they’ve been silently working since the dawn of time to make The Doctor come unstuck.”
As previously announced, the sixth series will air in two blocks with the second run of episodes being screening in the autumn.
According to Gillan not even the main cast knew how the first block of episodes would end. The actress says: “Even I got given a dummy ending to episode seven and it was only at the read-through that Steven Moffat took me, Matt and Arthur into the corridor to read the proper version on his laptop.
“We then all paced around going, ‘oh my God!’. It’s brilliant and viewers will just have to tune in to find out more. It certainly provides a fantastic cliff-hanger to see us through until the autumn.”
Doctor Who returns to BBC One later this month