'Doctor Who' Season 12 Images Reveal The Return Of An Old Platoon Of Monsters

With the Doctor's regeneration from Peter Capaldi into Jodie Whittaker in the 11th season of the Doctor Who revival, the series got its own facelift, with all-new planets and all-new monsters introduced to the show. But despite Whittaker's enthusiastic turn as the 13th Doctor and a few standout episodesDoctor Who just didn't feel like Doctor Who anymore. This could be blamed on the lack of old villains, with the exception of the return of the Daleks in the New Year's Day special. However, it seems like showrunner Chris Chibnall is loosening his "no old monsters" policy.

A sneak peek at the next season through two new Doctor Who season 12 images show Whittaker face-to-face with a Judoon platoon — though they're likely not on the moon.

Doctor Who Season 12 Images

BBC has released two new Doctor Who season 12 images, both of which you can see above and at the top of this article. The images show Whittaker's titular time lord facing off against a Judoon commander without his helmet. The Doctor appears to be in handcuffs, while the Judoon's platoon stands at attention around them in some sort of spaceship or hangar.

The Judoon seem little changed since they first appeared in the 2007 episode "Smith and Jones," which introduced Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) to the 10th Doctor (David Tennant). The duo were trapped in a hospital that was transported to the moon, where they were terrorized by the rhino-headed intergalactic police force, who the Doctor described as more like thugs who acted as cops for hire. Their uniforms seem to be pretty much the same as that first episode, though they've upgraded their weapons. But the Judoon aren't here just to intimidate the Doctor and her new group of friends, they always appear for a reason — could that reason be to arrest the Doctor?

We'll find out in the episode, which features Neil Stuke (Silent Witness) as a guest star. Chris Chibnall said in a statement:

"No! Sho! Blo! The Judoon are storming back into Doctor Who in full force, and the streets of Gloucester aren't safe. If anyone has anything to hide, confess now. The Judoon are taking no prisoners, and will stop at nothing to fulfil their mission! The whole team on Doctor Who are delighted and scared in equal measure to welcome them back: one of many treats we've got in store for viewers next series. And we're over the moon (with Judoon), to be welcoming the wondrous Neil Stuke as guest star. We can't wait to show you what happens when his path crosses with the Thirteenth Doctor."

Although the Judoon weren't that interesting of an adversary for the Doctor the first time around (they're more amusing for the fact that then-showrunner Russell T. Davies created them just to make Tennant to struggle through a tongue-twister too difficult for his Scottish accent), I'm excited to see Chibnall finally reneging on his "no old monsters" promise. While at first it seemed a good idea in concept, especially with previous showrunner Steven Moffatt relying too heavily on his fan-favorite monsters like the Silence and Weeping Angels, it was one of the greatest failings of season 11, which went through quite a few growing pains despite the decade-best viewership ratingsDoctor Who had lost the whimsy and weirdness that had made it such a unique show to begin with. The aliens were unfamiliar and the lore was all but ignored. And with the constant introduction of new characters and unimpressive new monsters, the series struggled to define Whittaker's Doctor's persona. But change is built into Doctor Who's DNA, and I hope with the reintegration of old monsters and adversaries, Doctor Who can find its footing agian.

Doctor Who season 12 is expected to premiere in early 2020.