Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

And Now it’s Time for One Last Bow.

Clara “And now it’s time for one last bow. Like all your other selves. Eleven’s hour is over now. The clock is striking twelve’s”

Doctor Who fans rejoice! After the snippets of the Christmas Special, “The Time of the Doctor”, that have littered the general BBC One Christmas trails, it’s high time that Doctor Who got one of its very own. And here it is. Time to say Goodbye to Matt and Hello to Peter.

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)….

Continue reading

Midnight at the Lost and Found

Patrick-Troughton-as-the-Doctor-2359468

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

Peter Capaldi IS the Doctor

Is there a Doctor in the house?


 

So, a week or so back, there was an announcement about a pilot for a new BBC TV show about celebrating the history of various telly programmes and the pilot was going to be focussing on Doctor Who. A general request went out saying that if any fans wanted to be in the audience (dressing up optional), then you could apply for tickets. In a seemingly unrelated and thoroughly innocuous event, an edition on Celebrity Mastermind was announced in the schedules for 7pm on Sunday 4th August. History, and heavy trails over the last 48 hours, has now revealed that this was a pretty effective ruse dreamt up by insiders at the Beeb to produce a live show in which the casting for the twelfth Doctor would be announced. And bookies favourite over the last four or five days at least, Peter Capaldi, got the gig.

I genuinely could not be more thrilled: he’s been excellent in everything I’ve seen him in and he most definitely has that essential Doctor-ish quality. And, it would seem, I am not alone. On a poll on Gallifrey Base, fans have been asked to give a simple “Thumbs Up”. “Thumbs Down” or a “Don’t Know Yet”… as I type the voting is standing at 88.59% thumbs up. That’s what I call a solid response from a notoriously fickle and hard-to-please audience. And here’s a bit of Twitter commentary too….

Alastair Campbell: “Very grateful for all the congratulatory tweets re my new role as Dr Who, however undeserved. Good luck to Peter Capaldi”

Simon Mayo: “Oh the sweet joy of being younger than Dr Who”

John Hurt: “Congratulations to Peter Capaldi and to the BBC. Another splendid Doctor!”

Richard E Grant: “Bravo on the brilliant BBC choice to Tardis the talents of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Dr Who!!”

Katy Manning: “Well I couldn’t be happier with the choice ! Peter Capaldi takes the baton xxxx”

Karen Gillan: “CAPALDI! Superb choice. Swear I’ve seen him in Pompeii…”

Colin Baker: “Delighted to hear Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor, very good choice. Another Scot eh? Nice to have a more mature Doctor too. Bring it on!!”

Armando Iannucci: “There can’t be a funnier, wiser, more exciting Time Lord than Peter Capaldi. The universe is in great hands.”

Bonnie Langford: “Have to break my #twittersilence to congratulate Peter Capaldi on his new role. Xx”

Graham Linehan: “Well done to Peter Capaldi. He will make scary things scarier and funny things funnier.”

John Barrowman: “Peter Capaldi good choice and good actor. Also he’s #Scottish. Can’t go wrong:) welcome to the #DoctorWho family :)…” 

Mark Gatiss: “Thrilling, moving, beyond exciting. Cometh the hour, cometh the man! Peter Capaldi is the PERFECT choice. Welcome, Doctor!”

Freema Agyeman: “Peter Capaldi! The show is in safe hands. Great choice”

Light Who Touch Paper

If one were to watch all of the episodes of Doctor Who from the 2005 re-launch “Rose” all the way through to “The Name of the Doctor”, one would, excluding all the mini-episodes that have littered the intervening years, be sitting through 102 episodes of a British institution. Furthermore, if one decided to watch one of these episodes each and every day then wouldn’t it be thrilling if one were to time that viewing marathon to conclude the day before the show’s 50th Anniversary when the next, 103rd episode was to air? Imagine the fun that could be had if some random blogger decided to revisit and (re)write a review of each of those programmes as he watched them. Well, imagine no more because that’s exactly what I’m going to endeavour to do in my own little celebration of the Golden Anniversary.

You understand, of course, that this will never work. This blog is nothing if not one aborted attempt after another to commit myself to the act of regularly writing about the world’s greatest cultural phenomenon. But it’s worth a shot, and at least I already have episode reviews to act as a basis for this Review: Redux (if that’s the right phrase). Furthermore, as we approach the 23rd of November, and Steven Moffat delivers on his promise to “take over television” there will also be news, views, opinion pieces and controversy… quite likely beginning on Sunday night when an unprecedented live TV show on BBC1 will reveal the actor who will become the Twelfth Doctor. A quick calculation tells me that my marathon review should begin on Tuesday 13th August, so that “The Name of the Doctor” gets viewed on Friday 22nd November, however, I am going to be starting on Monday 12th August instead, because on Friday 22nd November, I will be joining thousands of similarly unbalanced fans at the three-day 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Excel in London.

Dalek-moania

When the lone Dalek returned to new Doctor Who in 2005 in Robert Shearman’s eponymous first series episode (based loosely on his Big Finish audio adventure, ‘Jubilee’), there seemed to be a renaissance for Dalekmania that reached an intensity not seen since the 60’s perhaps. We had merchandise popping up everywhere, we had TV news features (still refusing to believe that they’d ever flown upstairs before), we had kids playing Daleks in the playground again, but, most of all, we had a completely top-notch new episode to enjoy. It was all rather enjoyable, especially given the fact that negotiations between the BBC and the Nation estate at the time meant that their return itself was in some jeopardy for a while. From a critical perspective, it was probably a high water mark for Skaro’s finest: Their subsequent appearances, while all good in their own ways, never seemed to scale the heights of their first RTD-era comeback.

Their next two outings came in the finales of Series One and Two, with ‘Parting of the Ways’ and ‘Doomsday’ respectively, which both saw huge armies of Daleks smashed to oblivion, well, the Dalek equivalent of oblivion at any rate, which tends to be a place where there is small but shining opportunity to expand on a plot point to bring them back again. These were, undeniably, good stories with an impressive scale of storytelling and solid emotional character arcs underpinning the action, but their next appearance early in Series Three in the New York set double header ‘Daleks in Manhatten/Evolution of the Daleks’ was met with a more critical response by some. I guess that the trouble at the heart of these stories is that the Daleks must always be defeated but they must always come back and it sometimes seems that every tale is simply contrived to achieve this end. There was a bit of a break before we next saw them, and once again in a series finale, ‘Journey’s End’. They were bolstered here by the inclusion of Julian Bleech’s Davros, but this was a story where I found the conclusion to the Dalek threat to be a tad disappointing.

One of the interesting things about the pepperpots since 2005 is their propensity to make a cameo appearance having featured in ‘Waters of Mars’, ‘The Big Bang’ and, most briefly of all, “The Wedding of River Song’. They actually seem to be quite effective in this way and these brief glimpses add to the feeling about their widely feared status. The most recent episode dedicated to them was Matt Smith’s first meeting in the Mark Gatiss’ penned ‘Victory of the Daleks’, but again despite my protestations that this was in fact a really good story, lots of people (or ‘fans’) disagreed. Indeed, even Steven Moffat himself seemed to be swayed by the feeling that the Daleks were a bit of curate’s egg, describing them as “the most reliably defeatable enemies in the universe” while he was announcing their lack of an appearance in Series Six.

Now, following (i) rumours at last week’s con, (ii) the glimpse of an eye-stalk in last weekends sneak-peak at Series Seven, (iii) tantalising photos released by Edward Russell on the BBC website (one of which pictured above), and (iv) now a was-it-an-April’s-fools-gag pic of Karen and Matt with an classic series (Genesis?) style Dalek; we can rest assured that they’re coming back this autumn for another outing. Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth from fandom as the speculation ramps up. I think it’s great that they’re coming back for a full-on romp, but do you?