The Doctor Who spring 2022 special will feature the return of a classic race of monsters, like the Doctor to uncover the legend of the Sea Devils.
The Doctor who The 2022 spring special brings back a monster from the classic series: the Sea Devils. Current Doctor who showrunner Chris Chibnall and thirteenth Dr. Jodie Whittaker are nearing the end of their terms. Russell T. Davies is set to return as the next showrunner and the BBC is currently auditioning for Whittaker’s replacement as the next Doctor.
The coronavirus pandemic forced Chibnall to take a different approach when it came to Doctor who season 13. He filmed a shortened season of six episodes, but also filmed three specials that will air until 2022. The first of them was released on New Years Day, with the Doctor taking on a group of Dalek Executioners while trapped in a Groundhog daystyle time loop. After the episode ended, the BBC confirmed that the next special will air in spring 2022 and gave viewers a glimpse of the returning monsters.
The Doctor who The spring special is officially called “Legend of the Sea Devils,” and the aquatic race returns for the first time since 1984’s “Warriors of the Deep.” An official synopsis released at Radio times reveals that the Doctor and his friends will face a pirate queen, as well as the Sea Devils. You can read the synopsis and watch the short trailer (via BBC Doctor Who), below:
“This episode finds the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) at 19th 20th-century China, where a small coastal village is threatened, both by the fearsome pirate queen Madame Ching (Crystal Yu) and a monstrous alien force she unknowingly unleashes. Will the Doctor, Yaz and Dan emerge from this swashbuckling battle with the Sea Devils to save the planet? “
Strictly speaking, the Sea Devils, and their cousins, the so-called Silurians, are not aliens. In Doctor who tradition, this race of reptiles is the first sentient race that evolved on Earth; They ruled the planet in the age of dinosaurs, but believed that a rogue planetoid would trigger an extinction event and were placed in suspended animation. The planetoid slid into orbit around the Earth, becoming the Moon, and the devices that the Silurians and Sea Demons created to wake them up when it was safe were never activated. Both races were introduced during Jon Pertwee’s career as a Doctor and returned together in the Peter Davison era. The Silurians have been featured since the 2005 relaunch, but this is the first time the Sea Devils have been seen on the small screen since 1984.
The Pirate Queen mentioned in the synopsis is actually a real figure from the story: Ching Shih (also known as Shi Xianggu, Madame Ching, Zhèng Shì, Jehng Sih, and Cheng I Sao). Born in 1775, this mysterious figure is known to have started out as a Cantonese prostitute who rose through the ranks in the brothels of Guangzhou City. Known for her manipulative skills, she became the commander of a vast pirate force of over 300 ships and forged alliances with other pirates to lead over 180,000 pirates. This was achieved in part through a marriage of convenience, and after the death of her husband Cheng I in 180, she took personal control of the entire fleet. Her reign as Pirate Queen became legendary, but it didn’t last long, and when she felt like she was starting to lose control, she took advantage of the presidential pardon.
The Doctor who The 2022 spring special will clearly make the most of the Ching Shih legend, weaving his real-world story into a fantastic adventure with the Sea Devils. There have long been rumors that the Sea Devils would be returning in a pirate episode, and it’s exciting to have these reports confirmed. It is quite rare to have a track record Doctor who special, but Chibnall’s historical episodes have been some of his best episodes, so this news is really promising.