Recurring characters (other than monsters) are more a feature of modern Doctor Who than any time since the UNIT exile era, so who might we see again? This year we have quite a few options.
Spoilers for the whole series so far, so y’know, tread with caution.
The Bells Of St. John gives us Clara’s family friends - Angie and Artie have already come back. We also have a medieval monastery that let the Doctor camp out there for months.
The Rings Of Akhaten has a whole solar system, possibly with the Queen of Years in charge. And Clara’s parents as well.
Cold War brings in modern Ice Warriors. And Skaldak, a not-so-modern Ice Warrior. And Captain Zhukov and Professor Grisenko, who would be a good basis to start an 80s Russian UNIT or equivalent team.
Hide gives us Alec Palmer and Emma Grayling, a pair of ghost hunters, a quiet war hero and an isolated empath. And possibly Hila Tukurian, humanity’s first official time traveller, who might be stuck in the 70s as well. And maybe the Crooked Couple.
Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS has three brothers running a dodgy space salvage crew in the bad part of space. That’s a more internally dramatic than average Traveller game right there.
The Crimson Horror ends with Ada Gillyflower pledging to make Sweetville a better place, assisted by a lot of people rescued from bell jars, possibly a journalist’s stiff-necked brother, and maybe the jolly coroner. A Yorkshire anti-Torchwood run by a tough-minded blind heiress and a bloke prone to fainting at the sight of the paranormal. And that’s on top of the Paternoster Row Irregulars on their third TV appearance.
Nightmare In Silver ends with Porridge and a couple of the punishment platoon on the Imperial flagship, off to have thrilling space adventures tinged with survivor’s guilt and being lonely at the top. Or maybe find something else to do. And the backdrop of an apocalyptic war with the Cybermen as well.
The Name Of The Doctor... would be telling.