A theory regarding the forthcoming Doctor Who episodes: The World Enough and Time and The Doctor Falls:
I’m basing my thoughts on the premise that the Missy/Master episodes since season 8 are out of sync. I also believe Missy ‘died’ at the end of Death in Heaven. This is why The Doctor looks upset at the end of The Empress of Mars. He already knows on some level where their “friendship” is heading.
In Missy’s timeline the events of The World Enough and Time/The Doctors Falls lead into Season 8 culminating with Death in Heaven. This would make a lot of sense with regards to how Missy ends up hooking up with the Cybermen in Dark Water and Death in Heaven and *may* also shed some further light on Season 9’s arc about the ‘hybrid.’ There’s a myriad of ways this could be done. On the other hand, I suspect all of that stuff has been quietly put to dead and it was probably just a fairly convenient device for reintroducing the Time Lords in the last season finale.
Based on this premise, it’s also conceivable that Missy sets Clara up with The Doctor several seasons ago to make up for the death of ‘exposition’ or ‘comic relief’ or possibly both. This would be a *very* Moffat thing to do and would probably be in keeping with his style of writing. He doesn’t generally write characters who are irredeemable, so it’s perfectly feasible that a) Missy was genuine in her remorse in the previous few episodes – which would add an interesting dimension to the two Master’s sequence, it’s also perfectly feasible that b) neither of the Doctor’s companions die, or they’re atleast not as dead as you think. Moffat doesn’t like (permanent) endings.
In Moffat’s most famous arc, The Doctor and his ‘wife’ River Song lived their lives out of sync, the joke is his life is out of sync with his ‘mistress’ too.
‘The World Enough and Time’ is an allusion to the Andrew Marvell poem ‘To His Coy Mistress.’ Moffat seemingly also took the episode title ‘Before the Flood’ from Season 9 from the same verse of the poem. This is notable as this episode centred around the ‘bootstrap paradox’ which would heavily tie in with my theory of what is going on and possibly give some indication as to how the episode will resolve itself. Intriguingly, there’s also a strong possibility the First Doctor (and probably his granddaughter Susan as was alluded to by her picture in ‘The Pilot.’ It is however doubtful that Moffat will want to tackle the ‘problem of Susan’ as Neil Gaiman calls it head on and this would be the most sensible means of including a somewhat significant character who was sensibly ditched in the early sixties without creating a massive narrative clusterfuck) will feature, there are certainly some intricate possibilities here with regards to the bootstrap paradox.
As a side note, I quite hoped something would come of the ‘Minister of War’ mentioned in that episode, as that sounded intriguing. I imagine this is just one of those ‘hooks’ Moffat likes to throw out and nothing will be made of it.
‘Time’ will certainly be a factor and based on the premise that there is a 400 mile ship with one end of it teetering on a black hole, my GCSE physics class dictates that this will play a part in creating some kind of discrepancy with regards to time on one end of the ship.
The Doctor promised that Bill would always be safe in the TARDIS in episode one of this season, which indicates she is definitely not going to be safe in the TARDIS. This will be one of two vows The Doctor will have broken in this season, the other is with regards to keeping Missy locked up in a vault. This dictates that breaking promises and haughtily breaking ‘rules’ will be the reason Capaldi has to ‘kick the bucket.’ Again, the reason this itineration of the Doctor has the face he does, as we were told during the Viking episode of Season 9 is because of a promise. His death will come because he breaks it. Of course, the Christmas special will allow for a period of contrition and redemption, but the damage will already have been done.
Nothing more seems to have become of those strange zip head aliens from The Husbands of River Song/The Return of Doctor Misterio.
‘The Paternoster Gang’ also known as ‘comic relief’ from the previous few seasons seem destined to never be seen again since Nardole assumed the title.