Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi promises 'epic start' as Daleks attack
Doctor Who will find himself under attack by Daleks from across the show's history in an "epic" start to the new series, which airs later this month.
Peter Capaldi, who plays the Doctor, teased: "The opening episode of the new series is fabulous - the story is going to take us across the universe into all types of dark, terrifying and funny places. It's a particularly epic one to start.
"For those who are nostalgic with the Daleks of the 60s, there are some special surprises in store."
The Daleks - a race of mutant space robots with sink-plunger-style "arms" - made their first appearance as the Doctor's nemeses in 1963. They have been a staple of the series ever since, with their iconic cry of "exterminate!"
The series nine premiere will be a two-parter. In the second episode - The Witch's Familiar - the Doctor finds himself trapped and alone in a Dalek city, with no Tardis and no sonic screwdriver, as he faces his long-time enemies.
Speaking about working with Daleks from across the decades, Capaldi said: "I don't have a particular favourite, but I do like to see the little old ones, they're very sweet as they're quite small. But actually they're still strangely brutal, nasty little pieces of work."
The actor, 57, who is on his second series in the title role, added: "They were great fun and do what is expected of them, you get a whole group of them together in the opening episode. I think we had about 20 of them in the studio so that was very exciting.
"Once you had them all moving, it was very funny watching Hettie (Macdonald) directing them, because she was directing them like actors - 'You're getting upset at this moment, have a look at your friends' - and they'd look at their friends and then she'd say, 'You need to look nervous now', and they'd actually be able to convey nervousness.
"It was actually very, very clever. It was like being in a Dalek theme park, with a free ticket, so that was fun."
The series will also see the return of guest star Michelle Gomez as Missy, while Game Of Thrones actress Maisie Williams will take up a new role for two episodes - though her character has not yet been revealed.
Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara, said: "Maisie is wonderful, I was a really big fan of hers before she came to Doctor Who, she fits right in so it's been really great having her join us.
"I think in a way, Clara's quite fascinated by Missy, but disgusted at the same time," the 29-year-old added. "That's partly to do with how Michelle Gomez plays her, she's so magnetic that you can't help but like her, even though you're supposed to hate her. It's one of the really clever things she does. Clara and Missy actually end up getting on, but remembering they don't like each other again.
Gomez said: "The dynamic between Missy and Clara takes on a whole new shape and not one I had imagined. There is something not quite right about it that makes for slightly unnerving viewing. Dare I say there might be a hint of respect there? Perhaps not quite respect. More a healthy dose of circumspect."
As for the rest of the series, Capaldi revealed: "It's hopefully full of spectacle and adventure - it's not a sitting back, domesticated, reflective series, it's the Doctor and Clara roaring through time and space in search of thrills."
Lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat promised: "It's a big, mad and exciting series. You'll be grinning a lot more, there's more comedy mixed in with some of the darkest stuff we've done."
:: Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Saturday September 19.