Archive for the ‘ Specials ’ Category

“Time of the Doctor” – The Second Trailer

A second trailer for “Time of the Doctor” has been released by the BBC. It’s similar (if not identical to the BBC America one). Not sure about the dodgy voiceover bloke though: might as well have got Peter Dickson in to do it. Completely detracts from what would otherwise have been a nice tease. However, it does seem to be fulfilling the promise that a lot of the loose ends from the Matt Smith era will be tied up, even to the extent of going back to “The God Complex“, to find out what was behind the door to “Room 11”.

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.

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

“The Snowmen” – Review: Redux

Doctor “When you find something brand new in the world. Something you’ve never seen before. What’s the next thing you look for?”
Strax “A grenade”

The Snowmen

In the grand scheme of things and the fact that this one-hundred-and-two day Doctor Who extravaganza is now 93 days old, last Christmas seems like no more than a blink of an eye away. Throughout its resurgence since 2005, one of the only constants in twenty-first century Who’s life has been the Christmas special. So the question as we sit down to re-watch the the eighth and most recent is “Have they figured out what to do with them yet?. The answer is an unequivocal “Yes!” and as we sit here on the eve of the 50th Anniversary , looking forward to the next ‘golden’ special as well as the first Christmas Special to feature a regeneration, we can cast an eye back over the last festive outing and can assess a job well done. Continue reading

“The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe” – Review: Redux

Madge “I don’t know why I keep shouting at them.”

Doctor “Because every time you see them happy you remember how sad they’re going to be. And it breaks your heart. Because what’s the point in them being happy now if they’re going to be sad later. The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later.”

The Doctor The Widow and The Wardrobe

Ah, the next Christmas episode review. Always feels a little odd watching Christmas episodes of any show out-of-season is a little bit odd, although to look at the commercial channels these days, you’d think Christmas was just around the corner anyway. The prequel to this story ties in so beautifully to the opening Star Wars-ey/ Hitch-Hiker-y pre-credit sequence, that it makes you wonder why it wasn’t included in the episode proper. And, to be frank, had special effects worthy of any Hollywood blockbuster that the TV channels would wish to throw at us in our post-Christmas Cake haze, with the un-named aliens getting ready to do untold things to an unsuspecting Earth below. In previous Christmas tales under RTD’s tenure we tended to get planet-wide threats like this and it looked for the briefest of moments like we might be getting another one, but instead, following on from the prequel scene released in the weeks running up to Christmas, this particular alien threat was dealt with immediately. Continue reading

“A Christmas Carol” – Review: Redux

Doctor “Guys, we’ve really got to go quite quickly. I just accidentally got engaged to Marilyn Monroe”

A Christmas Carol

I have never watched an episode of Doctor Who “live” on Christmas Day because I always seem to be out enjoying myself with both my and my in-law’s families, none of whom share my passion for all things Who. Prior to five Christmas Specials of the new era, those being “The Christmas Invasion”, “The Runaway Bride”, “Voyage of the Damned”, “The Next Doctor” and “The End of Time, Part One” before this one, the only other Christmas episode was 1965′s “Feast of Steven”, at which time I was about five year’s away from being born. And so it came to pass (to coin a Christmas-y phrase) that, after a day of being suitably fuelled by much alcohol and rich foods at about 11pm of Christmas 2010, I switched on the Sky+ planner to see what Steven Moffat could do with his first festive Who. I was not to be disappointed. Continue reading

“The End of Time: Part 2” – Review: Redux

Doctor “I don’t want to go”

The End of Time Part Two

The king is dead, long live the king! In this case, the former is Russell T Davies and the latter Steven Moffat who wrote the final, post-regeneration minute or so of RTD’s swan-song opus, “The End of Time”, shown in two parts on Christmas Day 2009 and New Year’s Day 2010. Now that we see the baton being well and truly handed over it is a good moment to dwell for a moment on my little re-analysis of these early years of the Doctor’s resurrection. The 60-episode era really does stand up well. I went in to the process a little unsure about what I might find: would the magic still be there after eight years? Would Eccleston and Tennant compare favourably to Smith, or would Moffat’s fairy-tale take on the mythology outshine its predecessor? There will be time enough for that another day, but in isolation this was as perfect as something so diverse could be, and the end of Tennant, the end of Russell T Davies, and “The End of Time” were wrapped up as perfectly as anyone could’ve hoped. Continue reading