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DOCTOR WHO Series 10 Will Bring Back the Rare 3-Parter

DOCTOR WHO Series 10 Will Bring Back the Rare 3-Parter

Surely you remember the most recent trailer for Doctor Who Series 10, yes? You may have noticed a few instances of some jacked-up bald people who looked like a mixture of the Pyroviles from “The Fires of Pompeii” and the Master from Buffy. These are the Monks, a mysterious new race of monsters. And if it seemed like they were hitting them pretty hard in the trailer, it’s not merely because the producers like them a lot; they’ll actually feature in what writer Toby Whithouse has touted as a three-parter, a rare instance for Doctor Who.

In an interview with Digital Spy, Whithouse (the creator of TV show Being Human and the writer of many great Who episodes including last year’s “Under the Lake” and “Before the Flood“) said that he has written the final part in the saga of the Monks that’ll take place in episodes 6-8 of the upcoming run.


“Mine is the third part of a three-parter,” Whithouse explained. “Steven [Moffat]‘s done the first one, Peter Harness did the second and I’ve done the third. It’s set modern-day… and I think anything more than that and Steven will come round and kick me in the shin!”

What Whithouse doesn’t say, of course, is how the Monks will be involved in the individual episodes comprising the “three-parter,” and if the episodes will have anything more in common than the appearance of the villains. It’s very rare for any multi-episode arc to be written by more than one writer, or at least more than the same pair of writers.


Not including the classic series, where multi-episode arcs were the only way things were done, Doctor Who has only had one official three-parter, in terms of story numbering, and that was Series 3‘s final three episodes, “Utopia,” “The Sound of Drums,” and “The Last of the Time Lords.” Though “Utopia” felt very much like a separate episode (different setting, completely different plot structure, different director from the other two), they all three dealt with the return of the Master, the reappearance of Captain Jack Harkness, and the culmination of the Martha Jones storyline. It’s also hard not to lump episodes together when they end in cliffhangers for each other.

Day of the Doctor Main

There have certainly been other thematic-linking trilogies in the show before, even if they aren’t officially grouped as such. The Series 4 two-parter “The Sontaran Stratagem” and “The Poison Sky” can be grouped with the next episode “The Doctor’s Daughter” as a loose “Return of Martha Jones” trilogy. I would also put Matt Smith’s final three episodes (“The Name of the Doctor,” “The Day of the Doctor,” and “The Time of the Doctor“) into a thematic trilogy dealing with the history of the show and the ultimate completion of the Doctor’s initial 13-incarnation limit. And I’d even lump “Face the Raven,” “Heaven Sent,” and “Hell Bent” into a trilogy, even though they’re counted as individually numbered stories in the official tally.


I’m intrigued for something written by three different writers (though obviously all shepherded by Moffat) to be considered a trilogy. Part of me wonders if the stories themselves will be completely independent and just feature the Monks as villains, though if it takes place in modern day as Whithouse says, I’m betting we’ll get a fair amount of UNIT action too. Or at least I’m hoping.

What do you make of the Monk three-parter business, and about the monks at all for that matter? Let me know in the comments below!

Images: BBC

Kyle Anderson is the associate editor and the resident Whovian for Nerdist. Follow him on Twitter!

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