7 questions Doctor Who fans need answered in this season's finale
One of the most baffling seasons of Dr Who yet reaches its conclusion this weekend – with many questions still dangling in the air. Show runner Stephen Moffat is renowned for his labyrinthine plots - elaborate set-ups which don't always pay off as expected (and occasionally don't pay off at all).
Here, then, are seven imponderables Who fans will hope to see resolved in Saturday's finale.
1: Is Clara Dead?
We saw Clara Oswald claimed by the "quantum shade" two weeks ago. But we were still coming to terms with the death of the Doctor's assistant when she popped up to help the Time Lord escape his own private purgatory in the Heaven Sent episode. Is it possible she has somehow cheated the reaper? With actress Jenna Coleman soon to play a young Queen Victoria in an ITV mini-series, it's clear Clara won't be back long term. But perhaps she is to receive a happier send-off than expected.
2: What Is The Purpose of The Doctor's Confession Dial?
Missy told Clara that the confession dial was essentially a Time Lord's last will and testament. But how to explain the reveal that the Doctor's ordeal in the Veil's clockwork castle had taken place INSIDE the dial? Further details are urgently required.
3: Who Or What Is The Hybrid?
We've been teased with the prophecy that the a semi-mythic human/Dalek hybrid is to arise and destroy the Time Lord planet of Gallifrey. But are we to take at face value the Doctor's claim that HE is the hybrid? It feels a stretch.
4: What's Missy Up To?
The current incarnation of the nefarious Master has been on the Doctor's side, more or less, this season. But that didn't stop her trying to bring Clara to a premature end as she persuaded the Doctor's assistant to disguise herself as a Dalek – and THEN urged the Doctor to blast the camouflaged Clara into the middle of next month. Is she playing a long game? Or merely having a lark?
5: What Part Will Ashildr Play in the Shake-down?"
Maisie William's immortal woman-child has been one of the most chilling characters introduced this year. Having accidentally caused Clara's death in Face The Raven, might she have one more part to play as the series hurtles towards a denouement?
6: Will We Receive A Sneak Peak Of the New Assistant?
Assuming Clara is gone never to return, what chance that we will be introduced to the Doctor's latest side-kick on Saturday? A Christmas special still waits in the wings so it's possible the big reveal may be saved until then. But it would be nice to have a glimpse at Coleman's replacement sooner rather than later.
7: Where Did The Doctor Get That Electric Guitar?
And why does he insist on playing rubbish classic rock riffs? A Time Lord has the entirety of music history to draw on surely?
The final episode of Dr Who airs on BBC1 Saturday.