Will Series 14 Feature a Doctor Who Musical Episode?
Feature article by guest contributor Al Connors.
Doctor Who is a show that has experimented with various types of episodes over its almost 60-year history, yet one has eluded it. Yes, a full-on, dancing-prancing musical episode! Is the show finally about to pull the trigger and attempt one?
Where is this speculation coming from, I hear you ask. Well, as many of you will have already seen, Jinkx Monsoon was announced to be joining the cast for Russell T Davies’ second era, starring Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor. Then this week saw costume reveals for Monsoon’s character, the Doctor and new companion, Ruby. The BBC also confirmed the episode will be set during the Swinging Sixties. Now, can you think of a better era for a musical episode?
With Monsoon’s character in particular, I can’t help but notice as well that the outfit is very musically themed, featuring piano keys in the design. In addition, Monsoon, for those unfamiliar, is an actor, singer and stage performer who is known for having an impressive vocal range in several productions. With Monsoon’s musical background, it’s very likely that they are playing a role requiring some singing.
Musical episodes have become a popular trope in many genre series over the years. Lest we forget, one of RTD’s biggest influences for his first era of Doctor Who was a little show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And Buffy famously aired a musical episode titled “Once More, with Feeling” in Season 6. The episode featured all the characters singing and dancing, whilst still managing to fit in the usual monster slaying. And it all worked out very well. In fact, the episode was so well-received it is still considered a standout episode of the series some 22 years later (god, I feel old now).
During the revival era, RTD was one of the first to try something different from the norm with his Series 2 episode “Love & Monsters”. As some may recall, the story was told from the perspective of a group of people who were investigating the Doctor’s adventures. The episode was a departure from the show’s usual format, and while it received mixed reviews, it remains a standout episode for its unique approach. RTD opened the gate to several more unique episodes over the course of the revival, such as “Blink”, “Midnight” and “Turn Left”. Perhaps this is just his latest?
Doctor Who has never been afraid to try new things, and a musical episode would fit in with the show’s history of experimentation. While it’s always fun to speculate about the possibilities, as ever we will all just have to wait and see whether a musical episode is in the works for Series 14.