It will form the eleventh episode of the next series, replacing the story previously announced for that slot, and will serve as a prelude to the two-part series conclusion.
Executive producer Steven Moffat claims it is “the best Dr Who script of the last 20 years”, though given the show has only been on TV for five of those 20 years that’s perhaps not as grand a claim as it sounds, albeit a rather selfless one coming from the person who *has* written the best Dr Who scripts of the last 20 years.
But no matter, for now we can judge for ourselves.
TV Cream has obtained a couple of pages of dialogue from the episode in question. There is no clue as to the title of the story, nor the precise location of the scene. All it is possible to surmise is that it appears to be a conversation between two people, Dr Who and the Black Guardian.
No companion is present, unless you count the third person who makes an entrance one third of the way through.
The omens are good, however. There are no mentions of Rose, Martha or Donna, no aspect of contemporary popular culture shoehorned into proceedings, and not once does the script specify the Doctor to do some gurning.
[The dialogue begins mid-sentence]
BLACK GUARDIAN (BG): …and terror will be the order of the day.
DOCTOR WHO (DW): A man of history?
BG: Just as long as it’s the right kind.
DW: Those who seek to make it, invariably find…
DW: (sly) …find the history of tomorrow effortlessly remakes that of the past.
BG: (rakish) I intend to snatch the heart out of that wretched fallacy.
DW: Ah, so you know what a heart is, then?
BG: Be quiet. I do so prefer the word ‘snatch’, don’t you?
DW: It certainly focuses attention on the hole.
BG: The whole?
DW: No, the hole. The hole in your otherwise delicately finessed exposition.
BG: (angrily) I wonder, dear boy, if you wouldn’t be so kind as do me the pleasure of waiting until I have finished.
DW: (coy) Certainly.
[A man enters with a cup of coffee]
MAN: Your coffee.
BG: Thank you, Murchison.
BG: You can’t possibly know the full implications of my proposal while only resting on suppositions.
DW: I thought I felt something.
BG: Silence! Out there….
DW: Out where?
DW: The Arkwright Road?
BG: Out there! The galaxy of which you seem…illogically fond…
DW: I’m not the only one.
BG: …The galaxy I once called into existence and from which millions once travelled for a mere touch of my hem….
DW: Must have been a pretty big hem.
BG: (shouting) It is no wonder your predecessors failed to ever adequately curtail or even surmise the extent of my influence while labouring under such juvenile aspirations of humour.
DW: On the contrary Mr Garboldasham, I find a quip well-aimed at the face of pomposity parallels neatly the consequences of a needle directed towards a pendulous balloon.
BG: Tsk. Fond of hot air, aren’t you?
DW: No no, I merely know a good prick when I see one.
BG: We seem to have wandered off the subject. Incalculable destruction is timed to begin roughly one hour from now, not 20 miles from here.
DW: Oh, OK. Where then?
BG: Thirty miles.
DW: In Dorset?
BW: Yes, yes I do.
[Here the dialogue, perhaps mercifully, ends]