Archive for the ‘ Anniversary ’ Category

50th Anniversary Retrospective: “The Day of the Doctor”

Doctor “I could retire and be the curator of this place.”
Curator “You know, I really think you might.”
Doctor “I never forget a face.”
Curator “I know you don’t. And in years to come you might find yourself…revisiting a few. But just the old favourites, eh?”

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Whenever I watch Doctor Who, it has almost entirely been from the sofa of whichever house I happened to be living in at the time, although I do have memories of my childhood viewing technique of lying down on the floor, elbows under my head, with chin perched on my hands. Most of the time, viewing was a solitary experience. My parents, to this day, don’t really get it, and my brother was never a fan. I married in 2002 (during the wilderness years), over a year before the show’s triumphant return was even announced and nearly three years before “Rose” was broadcast. My wife had no idea what she was getting into, but she has enough taste in good television to sit and enjoy the new show with me. Having said that, I’m still not sure I could convince her to sit down and watch “Image of the Fendahl” or “The Romans” or somesuch. Given all this, it was beyond my comprehension to think that I would be watching the 50th anniversary special by leaving the “Official 50th Celebration” at the Excel with a bunch of other fans, many of whom were in Doctor Who costume, getting a cable car across the River Thames to the O2 arena, where we would watch the episode with 775 other fans on a screen 22-metres wide in glorious 3D. Not only that, there were more than 1,500 cinemas worldwide showing the same thing at the same time as it was simulcast in 94 countries and dubbed or subtitled into 15 other languages, watched by nigh-on 13 million people in the UK and who knows how many elsewhere. Not bad for kid’s show. But what to make of it all? The brief was not exactly a simple one: write an episode of the greatest television show that the world has ever seen that celebrates its dazzling, fifty-year heritage; that impresses dedicated fans of all ages as the centrepiece of the anniversary celebrations; that appeals to a large slice of an audience who have a take it or leave attitude to the show (the fools!); and paves the way to securing another half-century of Whovian goodness. It would not have been many people’s first response to this challenge, which had indeed been laid at the feet of Steven Moffat, to say, “Right. Let’s bring back the Zygons”. Continue reading

50th Anniversary Retrospective: Official Celebration Event

Doctor “Clara sometimes asks me if I dream. ‘Of course I dream’, I tell her, ‘Everybody dreams’. ‘But what do you dream about?,’ she’ll ask. ‘The same thing everybody dreams about,’ I tell her, ‘I dream about where I’m going.’ She always laughs at that: ‘But you’re not going anywhere, you’re just wandering about.’ That’s not true. Not anymore. I have a new destination. My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone’s. It’s taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last I know where I’m going. Where I’ve always been going. Home. The long way around.”

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The 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of November 2013 were like all the Christmas Eves, Christmas Days and Boxing Days rolled into one for Doctor Who fans fortunate enough to have procured themselves a ticket or three for the “Official 50th Celebration” at the Excel in London’s Docklands. Twenty-four thousand fans (so we were reliably informed by Nick Briggs) made their way to London’s Excel centre for the weekend of the 50th Anniversary where there was more than enough entertainment on offer to satiate the desires of the most hardened fans. After running a smaller Convention at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff in March of 2012, which mainly focussed on the modern era of the show, they took the lessons learnt from that and turned the dial up to Eleven. 24,000 attendees were split across three days, and each day was split into two streams, known not as Red Waterfall and Green Anchor but instead “Ice Warrior” and “Weeping Angel”, this made the logistics a little more manageable as, on the whole, these groups were largely kept apart, with the schedule of events being duplicated throughout the day at times that were appropriate for each stream. Continue reading

50th Anniversary Retrospective: Introduction

 

 

Steven Moffat. 22nd November 2013 (at Official 50th Celebration) “[Doctor Who] makes all other television look redundant. Which, let’s be honest about it… it is”

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I stood in a queue at the weekend with a bunch of people I’d never met before, and in all likelihood, will never meet again. Complete strangers brought together with a sole purpose: to go and celebrate fifty years of a daft old television show. I stood in many queues at the weekend, some for over an hour, some for less than five minutes but in every one (in Every. Single. One) there was chat, and greetings, and good wishes, and camaraderie. They were full of smiles and laughter and fair amount of fezzes and tweed too. There were fellow queuers who had flown in from New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Scandanavia, and many more places to boot just to be there and say that they were there for the anniversary. I’d never been more proud to be a part of that community. Continue reading

And So It Begins… #SaveTheDay

I am taking a break from the marathon viewathon of all 102 21st century episodes of Doctor Who, to bring you the news that all Doctor Who fans have been waiting for: the big marketing push is well and truly underway. The episode will be here in just 15 short day’s time but firstly a few videos have been released.

First up, we have the Doctor, finally jumping aboard the social media bandwagon with this plea to use the hashtag: #SaveTheDay in every place possible (oh, go on then)….

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Midnight at the Lost and Found

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What a twenty-four hours that was. Anticipation abounded about the Press Conference that was speculated to take place between 3:30pm and 7:00pm although it seemed to have been finished sometime before that judging by the teasing tweets of certain attendees. The embargoed information didn’t exactly stay embargoed till midnight as expected and it was largely known on the social network that nine …. yes, NINE, previously lost episodes had been found and returned to the BBC archives. They were, as I’m sure you all know by now,

  • The Enemy of the World – all outstanding episodes 1,2,4,5 and 6 (and episode 3 was already in archive)
  • The Web of Fear – episodes 2,4,5 and 6 (and episode 1 was already in archive – although episode 3 still missing) Continue reading

Missing Episodes and Anniversary Marketing

The weekend before last, all was quiet in the world of Doctor Who, well, as quiet as this fandom ever gets. That was until the teaser announcement was published that a couple of “stings” had been made (essentially a 10-second insert to be shown between BBC programmes) and a hashtag developed to mark the beginning of the televisual publicity for the 50th Anniversary episode, “The Day of the Doctor”. Now, to be honest, making a ‘thing’ of a hashtag, even as we sit here in 2013, already seems like a bit of a lame idea: it strikes me as being a predictably lazy bit of marketing. Making the logo ‘golden’ to represent the anniversary was probably just as predictable. Either way, that weekend, for a few seconds just before and just after BBC One’s new Saturday evening fantasy show, Atlantis, we got to see the first snippet of build up to the 23rd November. In less than seven weeks’ time the anniversary will be upon us and this was the first thing shown on the BBC as part of their anniversary celebrations. Continue reading

Happy Who Year

We are now in Doctor Who’s golden year. Strictly speaking the fiftieth year of the show began on 24th November 2012, but poetically I prefer the assumption that 2013 just sounds like it’s fifty years since 1963 and that any year of celebration should begin right now on 1st January. I am expecting news, brand new telly adventures and events aplenty over the next 12 months, so I thought I’d stoke up the old blog and do something with it. I am quite sure that I don’t have any regular readers given my complete lack of blogging recently, but if I did, I would now be telling them how sorry I was for not writing anything here since 24th September and not even bothering to write up my review of last week’s Christmas special, “The Snowmen” let alone last autumn’s Pond farewell (in “The Angels Take Manhattan”). I would also be making earnest promises to do better in the future and provide, what I assume is still called, regular content.

So, there are two episode reviews in the pipeline. Then, this weekend I will be making my first visit to Cardiff’s Doctor Who Experience since its relocation from Olympia… a review of that will be forthcoming too. I have also subscribed to Big Finish’s second series of Fourth Doctor Adventures starring Tom Baker and the late Mary Tamm. As if that wasn’t enough, the first classic DVD release of the year is coming this Monday as “The Legacy Boxset” makes its debut. So plenty to get my creative writing juices flowing. New year, new start. I wonder if I can keep this up?!