Spoilers! River Song hates them, but even "Doctor Who" head honcho Steven Moffat can't resist them now and then.
I recently interviewed Moffat to discuss his other show, "Sherlock," and how that show's star does (and does not) resemble the Doctor. At the end, I snuck in a couple of questions about the upcoming season of "Doctor Who," which is expected to arrive in the fall (though no date has been set by the network).
Some facts have leaked out about the upcoming season of the BBC America drama, but Moffat offered HuffPost TV a bit of a spoiler as well (well, it's only a spoiler if you haven't read much about the next season of "Doctor Who").
So let's step into the TARDIS, shall we?
You're heading into the 50th anniversary season of "Doctor Who" in 2013. Do you feel a special burden or a special pressure or intensity? Is there a lot to live up to with the new season of the show?
Moffat: I suppose you always do feel that, because we do so much of it. The audience is more replete in a way. The way that "Sherlock" works is that we starve them for ages and then give them a very, very fast banquet. "Doctor Who" seems like it was always there, always turning out more episodes. It's harder to up the game when people get almost decadent about how much we give them.
Yes, we've got big exciting things coming and we're always trying to work out how to get Episode 7 coverage in the newspapers. Obviously Episode 1 will [be written about], but how do you make that one a must-see? There's a constant game of that, because "Doctor Who" is an expensive show, it has to be very near the top all the time. That's tough to keep going.
[The next part of his answer and the next question may be considered spoilery. Look away if you don't want to know.]
The event status of Amy and Rory leaving, which I've just written -- you feel tremendous pressure with that because you don't know if you've enjoyed a story until it's over, and this is the ending. And then bringing someone else in [a new companion played by Jenna-Louise Coleman debuts in the upcoming season]. All that is massively demanding.
And both Ponds are going at the same time?
Moffat: Yes, both the Ponds are going. They'd have to go together, wouldn't they? You could never have one Pond without the other.
That's all Moffat said about the subject during out chat, but here's what we know about the departure of the Ponds: In March, Moffat said that Amy and Rory will leave "in a final encounter with the Weeping Angels in Episode 5. Not everyone gets out alive, and I mean it this time." Matt Smith and Karen Gillan recently shot some scenes in Central Park in New York; rumor has it that they relate to Amy Pond's departure.
From what I've been able to piece together from various fan sites, from official "Doctor Who" tweets and various BBC stories, after the Ponds' departure, the 25-year old Coleman will arrive in an episode that will air around Christmas. Next year, of course, is the 50th anniversary of the "Doctor Who" franchise, and details about what happens then are under wraps, though the show's Twitter feed said we'll get eight episodes in 2013.
Before all that, however, the new season of "Doctor Who" will kick off with a visit from the Daleks, according to the most reliable of sources, the Doctor Who Magazine, in which Moffat said the season premiere will "have the most Daleks we’ve had on screen ever -- but they will be from every era, quite deliberately."
"Farscape" star Ben Browder will appear in the third episode of the season in a Wild West-themed hour (part of which was shot in Spain), and Alex Kingston (River Song) and "Sherlock" actor Rupert Graves will also guest star in the new season, which began production in February in Wales.
Check out SFX magazine's "Doctor Who" News Accumulator for more details (including a recent picture of Amy and the Doctor with a Dalek).