'Doctor Who' Season 8 will be more like classic episodes: Are companions in trouble?

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According to Ben Wheatley, director of the "Doctor Who" Season 8 premiere, things may be getting back to basics for everyone's favorite Time Lord.

In a new interview with io9, Wheatley says the episodes he's working on, which feature Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, "seem more like classic 'Who'." What does he mean by that, exactly? Wheatley cites earlier incarnations of the Doctor and how dark his personality and attitude were. 

"If you look at the Tom Baker stuff, it's especially dark," he says. "When he leaves Leela -- who's a very beloved assistant -- he just laughs after it. There's none of the [breaking down]." Wheatley adds, "He just laughs, and 'on to the next one,' you know."

While they have always been an important part of the show, there's no doubting how integral the companions have become since the series relaunched in 2005. First with  Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Billie Piper as his companion, the companions sometimes even became romantic love interests. Is Wheatley saying it'll get to the point where they're easily replaced?

Say what you will about modern "Doctor Who," but the relationship between the Doctor and his companions is special and when one or more of them leaves it strikes an emotional chord. While it's inevitable that the Doctor will move on to his next traveling partner, those final moments where he realizes he's saying goodbye for the last time to a dear friend are always something special. Who wasn't emotionally broken by the exits of Amy ( Karen Gillan) and Rory ( Arthur Darvill)? Here's hoping that bond remains intact going forward.

"Doctor Who" Season 8 premieres in 2014.
Photo/Video credit: BBC
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