Doctor farewells Amy and Rory in moving series finaleEdit
5:30 AM Friday Oct 12, 2012#
ExpandDoctor Who (left) bids adieu to long-time companions Amy and Rory. Photo / SuppliedDoctor Who said a tearful farewell to sidekicks Amy and Rory last night as the couple were finally killed off at the hands of the terrifying weeping angels.
Amy (Karen Gillan) went to her death in a bid to be reunited with her husband Rory (Arthur Darvill) who had unexpectedly been bumped off by killer statues which had plagued New York.
It had looked as though the story would have a happy ending when the pair survived a fall from a skyscraper. They aimed to sacrifice themselves to save the city from the weeping angels - and an attack by the Statue of Liberty which had also come to life.
The couple's selfless act thwarted the attack and they found themselves coming round in a graveyard within sight of the city. However, one of the statues survived, catching Rory unaware and killing him and, despite the efforts of the Doctor (Matt Smith) to intervene, heartbroken Amy opted to end her life to join her partner.
Their names were then seen etched on a gThe Doctor then reads a note left by Amy in which she says her farewell, telling him: "By the time you read these words, Rory and I will be long gone, so know that we lived well and were very happy. And above all else, know that we will love you always. Sometimes I do worry about you, though. I think once we're gone you won't be coming back here for a while and you will be alone, which you should never be. Don't be alone, Doctor."
The programme was the last in a five-part series. A new assistant - played by Jenna-Louise Coleman - will join the Doctor when the long-running BBC sci-fi show returns to Prime next year.
Gillan said she had been "emotional for about two weeks" after filming her final scenes.
She said of her exit: "All I wanted was for her to go out in flames of blazing glory and she definitely does that. I couldn't have wished for a better way to go."
Dr Who season premiere brimming with DaleksEdit
Scott Kara takes a look back at the scariest cyborgs in sci-fi. Daleks in Dr Who. Photo / SuppliedThese days the Daleks may not send you running for cover behind the couch. But Doctor Who's number one nemesis is still a menacing being.
With that frenzied, quavering voice, a dedication to hate, and a ruthless will to "exterminate", they are - almost - on a par with Darth Vader.
And, in tonight's Doctor Who episode, which kicks off the new season, there is a sinister new twist to the dastardly Daleks.
They ask the Doctor to help them. Not that they ask nicely, because they abduct the Doctor and sidekicks Amy and Rory. And the Dalek parliament insists, with a desperate chorus of "save us", that he destroy a planet that even they are too scared to go to.
So with this episode, entitled Asylum of the Daleks, in mind, TimeOut takes a look back at the history of the bad boy mutants ...
Invented by Doctor Who writer Terry Nation. The Daleks are the mutated remains of the Kaled race, who were involved in a nuclear war with rivals, the Thals, on their home planet Skaro. Copyright © bangshowbiz.com 2012. They are dedicated to intergalactic tyranny.
In the 60s, television viewers had never seen anything like the Daleks before. They were designed by Raymond Cusick from the BBC's special effects department, who based his creation on an old-school salt and pepper shaker set.
They were unnerving with their tin-pot casings, three appendages (one eye, a death ray, and a multi-purpose arm used to hack into technology systems), and they moved clumsily, like they were being wheeled around on castors.
Cy Town, who played a Dalek for 15 years until 1988, told the Independent in 2007 that: "They were tricky to manoeuvre; you had to push them along with your feet and your knees. And once you were locked inside, you had to be let out. Sometimes they forgot me and I was left for hours."
December 21, 1963, in The Daleks serial (the second Doctor Who series) when the Doctor's companion, Barbara Wright, is confronted by a mysterious, unseen creature with a menacing metal arm at the end of the first episode. It also revealed the back story of the Daleks and the war with the Thals. At the end of The Daleks series they were almost wiped out, but due to popular demand they returned in 1964 in The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Through the decades
The 60s Though they haven't changed in appearance much over the years, their functionality has developed and evolved. One physical characteristic done away with early on was a radio/satellite dish that acted as a power source. It was replaced by a solar panel around their midriff in 1965's The Chase. It's also in this serial that they show their time-travel capabilities, chasing the Tardis everywhere from the top of the Empire State Building to a haunted house in which Dracula and Frankenstein live.
The 70s In 1975 The Genesis of the Daleks series revisits the Daleks' origins with the Doctor going back in time to their creation to kill his nemesis at the source. It's here we meet mad and power-hungry Kaled scientist Davros, a ghoulish and devious-looking character who realises the nuclear warfare between the two warring parties is mutating the Kaled race and he artificially accelerates the process to create Daleks.
The 80s Davros and his Daleks had a volatile relationship during the 80s. For example, in 1984's Resurrection of the Daleks, Davros decides to take command of the Daleks which causes a split in the ranks, with a Davros faction and another group following the "Supreme Dalek".
The Daleks' last appearance in the classic Doctor Who series (which ended in 1989) was in 1988's Remembrance of the Daleks which concluded with a showdown between the Doctor and Davros.
2005-present When Doctor Who made a welcome return, the Daleks were also back new and improved with a force field, a 360-degree firing range, and the ability to maim and kill with their multi-purpose third arm. They have been a constant enemy in the revival series ever since and now, in Asylum of the Daleks, even the makeup girl who kidnaps Amy Pond is a Dalek.
But it's perhaps Steven Moffat, the writer of this latest episode and Doctor Who's executive producer, who sums up the Daleks best.
"The Daleks are mad. That's what makes them unique among the Doctor's enemies. The others can be sinister or manipulative or plain evil - [but] a Dalek is a robot with anger problems, a tank that hates you, a killing machine driven by a ranting slug. What could be worse than that?"
Who: The Daleks What: Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks, tonight, 8.30pm, Prime
Billie Piper to make Doctor Who return?Edit
The 30-year-old singer-and-actress and Karen Gillan – who portrayed the titular Time Lord's companions Rose Tyler and Amy Pond respectively – are both in line to reprise their roles in cameo appearances on the BBC One sci-fi programme to mark the milestone in spectacular fashion.
A source told the Daily Express newspaper: Next year is massive for the show. They are going to be pulling out all the stops.
There will be plenty of nods to the show's remarkable history and some old faces are likely to be reappearing. Karen and Billie are two of the Doctor's greatest companions and it's hoped they will be involved.
Carole Ann Ford, who portrayed the Time Lord's first ever TV companion, Susan Foreman, in 1963 alongside the late William Hartnell – who starred as the Doctor – is also among those expected to make a cameo next year.
David Tennant – who portrayed the titular character for five years before quitting in 2010 – is another name linked with a return to the show, and he previously admitted he would be keen to make a guest appearance in the programme next year.
He said: I'll always be able to come back in the alternate world because the Doctor will age like a normal human.
Current Doctor Matt Smith is guaranteed to still be in the lead role for the 50th anniversary shows next year after recently confirming he will still be playing the part.
He said: We go into the 50th year all guns blazing and I'll be around.
Should Karen make a cameo on Doctor Who it will be a swift return after only leaving the show last month in emotional episode The Angels Take Manhattan, which also saw her on-screen husband Rory Williams, played by Arthur Darvill, dep
Former Companions for 50th Anniversary?Edit
The usual anonymous source told them: “There will be plenty of nods to the show’s remarkable history and some old faces are likely to be reappearing. Karen and Billie are two of the Doctor’s greatest companions and it’s hoped they will be involved.”
They add: It is also understood that Carole Ann Ford, who played the Doctor’s first-ever television companion Susan Foreman alongside original Time Lord the late William Hartnell back in the mists of 1963 could be among those appearing. As usual with rumours, treat with caution, especially anything from the unreliable Expressart.
Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann were also guests at the Collectormania festival last weekend. They all appeared in a panel together and attention naturally turned to the 50th anniversary.
Tom Baker’s thoughts: “I think if they ask me nicely or I can see what they want me to do, I’d consider it. I think the fans have been so good to me, they’d expect me to at
Steven Moffat has promised that the 50th anniversary of the Doctor Who in 2013 will be “huge” and “an amazing year” for Whovians.
“I’ve got various plans, but all I can say emphatically is it will be huge,” Steven Moffat told TVLine. “It won’t be just one thing…. We’ll be doing lots of stuff. The plans are quite extensive, and changing all the time. Oh my God, we will hit that year very, very hard indeed.”
“They don’t starve us, Doctor Who is incredibly well looked after by the BBC. I truly believe it could be a show that outlives everybody in this room, it doesn’t just make money now it could make money forever.” On story arc:
“Last year we did an arc [storylinenext year we will do something else, every year we have to go in a particular direction. It shouldn’t feel like good old cosy Doctor Who.”] On the Doctor Who movie: “There’s often been talk about a movie, I’m sure we should do one. What I keep saying is it can’t ever be allowed to interfere with the television show, that’s the mothership, that’s the thing that will go on forever. On selecting writers for the show: “If it’s your first television show you have written you are going to screw up royally, I tend to favour highly experienced television writers for the sake of my sanity. We do go outside of the circle … it’s a tough old job. No brand new TV writer should be tackling this one. It’s hard.” On making the Daleks scary again: “Kids are supposedly frightened of Daleks but they take them to bed. Is there a way we can make them scarier, get them back to being more monstery? “I hope they will leave them outside their bedroom doors, was my response to that. There is a tremendous temptation to go kitch and sweet with the Daleks. You shouldn’t. They are insane tanks.”
[http://www.dwasonline.co.uk/node/614 Nicola Bryant 'Gibside Chapel Concert' Barry Ward (Webmaster) on November 22nd, 2011Nicola Bryant will be performing in the "SoundPower Orchestra's Christmas concert" at Gibside Chapel on Saturday 3rd December at 2pm.]
The orchestra will be playing a piece with words and music by Nicola herself! Nicola would love people to come along. It will be a very informal concert, mince pie and mulled wine included, all for £14.
ReviewJames PeatyOct 8, 2012Share on printShare on emailShare on stumbleuponShare on facebook_like
Co-created by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies and SJA lead writer Phil Ford, WvA’s pedigree is first-rate, but does its opening adventure, Dawn of the Nekross, deliver on the promise of its brilliantly on-the-nose central conceit?
Thankfully that answer is a resounding ‘yes’, thanks in no small part to a strong script from series co-creator Ford, confident and stylish direction from Daniel O’Hara, and committed performances from series leads Scott Haran and Percelle Ascot.
Following the classic Davies template of bold storytelling filled with striking and memorable images, the series opens with a pre-credits scene involving alien first contact above an ancient stone circle. Neatly bringing together the two elements at the heart of the show – science fiction and magic – in a single sequence, this tease not only sells the central concept of the show, but also the ambition and scale of the piece in one confident brushstroke.
From this opening scene we’re then introduced to the everyday life of sixteen year old Tom Clarke (Haran), a popular and attractive schoolboy who just so happens to also be a wizard. Living with his ‘un-enchanted’ father (Michael Higgs) and his very much enchanted Grandmother, Ursula (Annette Badland), Tom practices magic in secret, but isn’t averse to using it to fix the result of a school football match or get a helping hand with his homework.
An interstellar race who roam the galaxy feasting on magic, the Nekross - Lexi (Gwendoline Christie), Vorg (Jefferson Hall) and their corpulent King (voiced by Brian Blessed) - have set their sights on the last planet in the universe where magic exists - Earth. The arrival of the Nekross doesn’t just push Tom towards a whole new way of practicing magic, it also opens him up to new possibilities in his everyday life.
Thrown together with school science geek, Benny Sherwood (Ascot) to foil the Nekross’ maiden plan, Tom gains not only a new and unlikely friend, but also a greater appreciation for knowledge that isn’t strictly supernatural. A natural skeptic, Benny is an effective foil for Tom and their back-and-forth throughout the episode is one of the show's real highlights.
Also making an impression is Tom and Benny’s fellow schoolmate, Katie Lord (Manpreet Bambra). Although her appearance in this first story is limited, she catches the eye with her brief screen time and it’s clear she’ll develop into a key player as the series progresses.
A rip-roaring opening adventure, Dawn of the Nekross takes us on a trip that includes orbiting mother ships, hidden Chambers of Mystery, introductions to mischievous Hobgoblins as well as a sly insight into Nekross gender politics.
However, while this opening story is sharp, confident and effective, if it does have a flaw it would be that perennial ‘pilot problem’ of attempting to establish too much in one fell swoop. While the introductory story of The Sarah Jane Adventures was a similarly jam-packed and frenetic affair, that show had the advantage of inheriting both an established lead and the series’ basic rationale from Doctor Who.
In comparison WvA is at a distinct disadvantage and a sizeable chunk of its the opening story is spent establishing the rules and laying the foundations of this brand new universe. With so many regular characters to introduce it’s perhaps no surprise that some of the characters get lost in the shuffle. This unfortunately has a slight dampening effect on the story's climax, which feels as if it’s filled with characters that we’ve met, but barely gotten to know.
But these are just nitpicks and by the end of its opening story WvA has managed to establish a tone that’s at once more muscular than SJA, while retaining the domestic intimacy that made Bannerman Road such a beguiling place to visit.
Cleverly conceived, intelligently written, lovingly produced and sumptuously scored by the Watts', Dawn of the Nekross is a strong launch for an imaginative, enchanting and entertaining series that has the potential to run and run.
UNIT. One of the greatest components that has ever been added to Doctor Who. It gave birth to one of my favourite eras of Doctor Who; the Jon Pertwee Era. One of the most confusing factors of UNIT is its timeline, which on many occasions, has left viewers wondering when their adventures with the Doctor actually take place. Allow me to give you a rough timeline into their history on Doctor Who.
Their origins all began back in the 1968 story ‘The Web of Fear’, set in 1971, which saw the military come face to face with the Robotic Yeti in the Undergrounds of London. It was also the first meeting of the Second Doctor and Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, who was then, of course, ranked only Colonel. Due to this event the United Nations decided to form UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, a top ranked military operation to investigate and deal with extraterrestrial encounters. Four years after the events of ‘The Web of Fear’, ‘The Invasion’ (set in early 1975) saw the Second Doctor reunited with old friend Lethbridge-Stewart, who was now promoted to Brigadier of the UK branch of UNIT. Together they managed to discover that sinister businessman Tobias Vaughn was working with the Cybermen in an attempt to take over the Earth. Also during the events of ‘The Invasion’ the Doctor was introduced to new friend Corporal Benton, another member of UNIT and would later become a great ally to him.
A matter of months later, the Third Doctor arrived on Earth in ‘Spearhead in Space’ to begin his exile after the Time Lords forced him to regenerate as punishment for his constant inference in time. Throughout the next year or so, the Third Doctor worked for UNIT, alongside old friend Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, as their Scientific Advisor in a bid to help them combat alien threats. The Doctor was also introduced to new companion Liz Shaw, who became his assistant until her off-screen departure after ‘Inferno’ where she returned to Oxford University. Benton also returned to aid the Doctor in ‘The Ambassadors of Death’ and was now promoted to Sergeant. In ‘Terror of the Autons’ the Doctor was introduced to new assistant Jo Grant while the audience was introduced to Captain Mike Yates who had been working for UNIT off-screen in the previous season. The UNIT family had begun and would remain for the next three seasons of Doctor Who. Throughout 1975-1976 they would battle against the Autons and the Nestene Consciousness (‘Spearhead in Space’ and ‘Terror of the Autons’), the Silurians (‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’), the Axons (‘The Claws of Axos’), Azal and Bok (‘The Daemons’), the Daleks and Ogrons (‘Day of the Daleks’), Omega (‘The Three Doctors’), Giant Maggots and BOSS (‘The Green Death’) and Dinosaurs (‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’). The Master was also a massive reoccurring enemy to the Doctor and UNIT throughout this era.
The Doctor was finally granted his freedom by the Time Lords at the end of ‘The Three Doctors’ and began to have more adventures away from Earth and his job at UNIT, which he had done in the past in ‘Colony in Space’, ‘The Curse of Peladon’ and ‘The Mutants’ as errands for the Time Lords. In ‘The Green Death’ Jo Grant made her departure and began the breakdown of the UNIT family. The following season saw the introduction of Sarah Jane Smith in ‘The Time Warrior’ who became the Third Doctor’s new companion. Captain Mike Yates then suffered from a breakdown in ‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’ where he went rogue, brought on by side-effects after his mental take-over by BOSS in ‘The Green Death’. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart had him retire and Yates ended up going to a Tibetan meditation centre in order to redeem his foolish actions. This lead to the events of ‘Planet of the Spiders’ where Mike called the Doctor back to help him investigate weird goings on at the centre which results in the Third Doctor’s regeneration in order to stop the Eight Legs and the Great One from taking over the universe. This was also Mike Yates’ last appearance in the show, apart from a brief cameo in ‘The Five Doctors’ where he and Liz Shaw appear as phantoms to test the Third Doctor in Rassilon’s Tower.
‘Robot’ saw the introduction of the Fourth Doctor along with the introduction of Harry Sullivan who made his departure the following season in ‘Terror of the Zygons’ and began the Doctor’s journey of slowly leaving UNIT behind to continue his adventures in time and space. In ‘Terror of the Zygons’ we saw the last appearance of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart until he later returned in the 1983 story ‘Mawdryn Undead’ set in 1983 after his retirement from UNIT where he had become a Maths teacher. Benton, who had been promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer in ‘Robot’, made his final appearance in ‘The Android Invasion’ and retired from UNIT shortly after the Brigadier to become a used-cars-salesman.
‘The Seeds of Doom’ saw the last time the Doctor worked for UNIT, also being the last time UNIT appeared in Doctor Who, until the 1989 story ‘Battlefield’ which is set in 1997. ‘Battlefield’ also saw the final return of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in Doctor Who as he battled the might of Morgaine and the Destroyer alongside the Seventh Doctor.
UNIT didn’t return to Doctor Who until a cameo in ‘Aliens of London/World War Three,’ set in 2006. They would later get a bigger role in ‘The Christmas Invasion’ during Christmas 2006, helping Prime Minister Harriet Jones deal with the Sycorax. They made another brief appearance in ‘The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords’ during the Master’s sinister reign over the Earth during the Toclafane invasion.
UNIT didn’t get a full-on appearance fighting alongside the Doctor until ‘The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky,’ where former companion Martha Jones (now a trained Doctor for UNIT) called the Tenth Doctor in to aid them in combating the Sontarans plans to turn Earth into a Clone-World. In this story, the Doctor was still on the staff file and was technically still a member of UNIT. The Brigadier was mentioned, with the Doctor wishing for his assistance, but Colonel Mace informed him he was stranded in Peru during a Peace Conference.
The Brigadier had his last onscreen appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures story ‘Enemy of the Bane,’ where he fought alongside his old friend Sarah Jane Smith in order to combat the threat of Mrs Wormwood and Commander Kaagh.
UNIT returned alongside the Doctor in ‘Planet of the Dead’, where they tried to contain a Worm-Hole on a London motorway while the Doctor was trapped on the other side. They later dealt with three Stingrays before the Doctor congratulated them on their efforts. In this story, UNIT had finally found a replacement scientific advisor in the form of wacky Welshmen, Malcolm Taylor.
It was revealed in ‘The Wedding of River Song’ that Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart passed away in his hospital bed in the year 2011. He died a peaceful death, waiting for one final visit from the Doctor, that sadly never came.
UNIT’s next encounter with the Doctor will be in this Saturday’s ‘The Power of Three’. In this story, UNIT will return during a mysterious crisis involving the mystical cubes that have appeared across the planet over night. The Doctor will be joined by UNIT’s new leader, Kate Stewart, who will aid him during this puzzling invasion and the mystery behind who sent the Cubes and why.
Well, there you have it. A rough timeline into the history of UNIT in Doctor Who, which isn’t counting most of their spin-off appearances in other media. Hopefully this helps to make a little more sense of their adventures so far. Of course, there are many different versions and ideas to how their adventures coincide with Doctor Who’s timeline, but this, for me, is the easiest and best to understand, so I hope you like it and agree with its logic.
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. The original series ran from 1963 until 1989 and the new series has started its seventh season after returning to the air in 2005. During the “Wilderness Years” the series was kept alive by numerous novels, comic books and audio stories. This gives the show a sense of history almost unprecedented in the entertainment history, and this past gives us a chance to have a 50th anniversary that will really be something special.]
We here at What Culture thought it might be fun to go over a wish list of things we want to see in that 50th anniversary episode (which needs to be at least 90 minutes…maybe two hours). I’m sure that by now, Moffat already has the thing well-planned, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hope for at least some of these things to turn up. Though not all, because, frankly, all at once would just be horrible.
[http://whatculture.com/tv/doctor-who-10-things-we-want-in-an-anniversary-special.php#commentspostThat in mind, let’s check out the 10 things we want, in no particular order. ][ =http://doctorwhotv.co.uk/the-unit-years-37654.htm#Bring Back Alpha Centauri!= ]Published June 15, 20124
[[http://doctorwhotv.co.uk/bring-back-alpha-centauri-34937.htm#Guest http://doctorwhotv.co.uk/bring-back-alpha-centauri-34937.htm#Guestcontributor JR Wood wants to see the return of one of the strangest Doctor Who aliens ever… ]]
]If I had a pound for every time I heard the phrase “hermaphrodite hexapod”…I’d have precisely one pound, for those unusual yet immortal words, uttered by Jon Pertwee’s Doctor in the 1972 story The Curse of Peladon, introduced us to a brand new Who monster – although, perhaps “monster” isn’t a terribly accurate word to describe the distinctive Alpha Centauri.
The six-limbed, monocular creature from the star system of the same name was part of a committee sent to assess the planet of Peladon’s suitability to join the Galactic Federation in the aforementioned story. Alongside Arcturus (a Medusa-like head in a life support system), a couple of peace-loving Ice Warriors from Mars (Lord Izlyr and his assistant Ssorg) and the delegate from Earth (who was running late and didn’t arrive until the end of the story), Alpha Centauri became embroiled in an extra-terrestrial whodunit involving political intrigue, kidnapping and monsters. The character made a second significant appearance in the sequel The Monster of Peladon, this time elevated to the position of Federation Ambassador overseeing the mining of the planet’s trisilicate deposits.
As characters go, Centauri is fairly unique in the Who universe. In fact, it is one of a very rare breed: a friendly alien. Of course, the Doctor does not exclusively encounter evil extra-terrestrials on his travels, but so many of the friendly ones are humanoid or have recognisably human characteristics either facially, physically or both. I’m not about to list every alien that Eccleston, Tennant and Smith have had dealings with during their tenures as the Doctor, but it strikes me that many of them have had some element of evil in their characters, be it fluctuating or consistent.
Alpha Centauri breaks that convention of the alien as “baddie”; in fact the character never commits any act of evil in either of its television appearances, despite occasionally doing things that aren’t massively helpful to the Doctor. Centauri remains loyal to the side of “good” and isn’t afraid to voice concerns when unsure about majority decisions made by other Federation delegates – it even speaks out to save the lives of both the Doctor and Sarah-Jane early on in the second Peladon story.
Not only does Alpha Centauri break with the accepted tradition of aliens being baddies, the character also shows us that aliens don’t have to be humanoid to be “goodies”. Having one huge eye on its head, no discernable mouth, six clawed limbs and a single foot on which it scuttles about, Centauri itself admits that it may appear frightening to humans, but it is anything but! Refreshingly, the alien is represented not as an actor wearing prosthetics, but as a full costume – quite a daring decision for a creature that has a lot of screen time and interacts at length with other characters during dialogue scenes.
Centauri’s meek voice (originally supplied by Ysanne Churchman) and nervous physicalisation (devised by Stuart Fell in both Peladon stories) give the character a thoroughly endearing and comic quality, without making it completely implausible. When watching the creature on screen, you quickly forget the shortcomings of the costume, some of which are explored most amusingly by script editor Terrence Dicks in the extras for Monster of Peladon, and you are instead charmed by its innocence and the care it shows for the welfare of the other characters.
Imagine what could be done with current technological wizardry to improve upon the look of the original costume. That’s not to say the whole thing should be CGI, but animatronics could be used to independently operate each of Centauri’s six limbs, as well as to flick its one enormous eyelid. The veins on the head could be made to pulsate and the single foot could be constructed in such a way as to enable Centauri to glide a little more gracefully across the ground. The possibilities are endless!
Let’s face it, the Doctor doesn’t have many non-human friends out there who aren’t trying to kill him, and when you couple this fact with Alpha Centauri’s highly unusual appearance, but charming personality, I believe the character would be an unconventional yet worthwhile addition to new Who’s alien family
]In 2008, writer Steven Moffat introduced us to the character of River Song (Alex Kingston), who was revealed to have had many adventures with her ‘sweetie,’ the Doctor. Since her appearance in Series 4 she has appeared in four episodes from Series 5, and six episodes in the arc-driven Series 6. As viewers, we have followed her adventures from her final encounter with the love of her life, to her birth on asteroid Demon’s Run. But from Melody Pond’s point of view, her timeline is back to front from the Doctors. She states that ‘his future’s my past, his firsts are my lasts.’
Though we have followed this enigmatic woman from Silence in the Library (2008) to, most recently, The Wedding of River Song (2011) many of her journeys have not been chronicled and are universally known as ‘spoilers.’ Conversations have been circling around the web, with Whovians expressing their ideas and needs for future spin-offs. The most monumental of these are the pleas for a River Song spin-off. Could this work? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.
- As a result of the passing of Elisabeth Sladen, The Sarah Jane Adventures was cancelled, and with Torchwood currently in limbo, there are no Whonivese series to fill the void when Doctor Who is off the air. A River Song series could create a nice filler for the empty place in the Who family and boost the franchise ratings.
- River Song is one of the more popular companions of the Matt Smith-era, but so much is unknown about her life. We only see River in Doctor Who when she meets up with the Doctor, but she claims to have had other adventures. Knowing Moffat, some of these points will be unfolded very slowly in Doctor Who, but why torture us with teasers? Why not gift us with a River Song spin-off to charter this sexy, feisty character’s adventures without the Doctor?
- When Russell T Davies created his two spin-off series, there were opportunities for the fanbase to increase. Fans obsessed over the new craze, especially the return of beloved Classic Who companion Sarah Jane Smith. So, maybe a “Melody Pond: Action Hero” series would grow to be loved. But as the Doctor says, ‘not that title, it’s a rubbish title.’
- River Song is only ever seen being her flirty, mysterious self when opposite the Doctor, so without him, what is she? A crazy archaeologist, with an assumption that she’s married to the only Time Lord remaining in creation? Or a mad woman with a vortex manipulator?
- Since Russell T Davies left the showrunning duties to Steven Moffat, two successful series have been produced, along with two beloved Christmas specials. But with his other hugely successful television adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels, Steven Moffat is far too occupied with these two commitments to seriously consider creating any spin-offs at the moment.
After considering the pros and cons of a spin-off series, this is a tough one to call. Assuming Steven Moffat somehow had the time to develop the show, it would probably be years off, only once he’s told the main stories about River and the Doctor in Doctor Who. Maybe then Alex Kingston can have a full-time job? Many Whovians also probably don’t want a River Song spin-off while we are still peeling the outer shell of her relationship with Doctor. Or do we?
Barrowman wrote the book along with his sister Carole. The book, entitled Exodus Code, follows the further exploits of the Torchwood protagonists, Jack and Gwen, immediately following the events of Miracle Day, the ten-episode mini-series which served as the show’s fourth series (season).
Not wanting to back down from having to save the entire world, the new story deals with another mysterious world-wide phenomenon. This time, all the women of the world are being driven insane by slowly heightening and confused senses. No female is able to trust what she sees hears or smells is real, and society is falling apart as scientists and doctors race to discover the cause.
Often I don’t trust canon stories written by show stars. It usually turns out to be more fan-fictiony than other official novels and novelizations. Carole, however, is a degree holding creative writer, which is a bit stronger credential that staring in the show that the novel is based on, though she’s only ever published books that she wrote with her brother – like: his memoirs, a Torchwood graphic novel, and another unrelated fiction novel which was published earlier this year.
So, the Barrowman siblings are happy with how this novel turned out, and John has suggested to the BBC that they use it as the basis for another Torchwood mini-series. It’s not entirely impossible. After all, the siblings worked with BBC Books on the novel, and BBC already owns all the rights to the story.
Unfortunately, no one is even sure that the show is coming back at all. Last we heard the BBC was still trying to decide if another series was warranted after Miracle Day proved out to have some pretty low numbers – and, frankly, was only okay - though it was much better than Children of Earth
[http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00943J4EC?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B00943J4EC&linkCode=shr&tag=thebutt02-20&qid=1349385767&sr=8-1&keywords=exodus+code See more about: ]
Barry Ward (Webmaster) on November 17th, 2011Children In Need is upon us, and this year our friends at Doctor Who Online are getting behind the cause more than ever! They have put together a fantastic collection of goodies to be auctioned on eBay that every Doctor Who fan will love with 100% of the proceeds going to Children in Need!
Barry Ward (Webmaster) on April 26th, 2011To commemorate the new series of Doctor Who, Time Out are releasing a special Doctor Who collectors set featuring SIX different covers. They have been granted access to the BBC's photo archive to hand pick six images from the eagarly-anticipated news series.
The only place to get a complete set is from the Time Out shop itself. The set costs £20 - including UK postage, packaging and a FREE street poster. There is only a limited supply, so pre-ordering as soon as possible is recommended.
Barry Ward (Webmaster) on November 11th, 2010Our friends at Doctor Who Online have teamed up with the guys behind the hugely popular 'Will it Blend?' YouTube viral series, in an attempt to exterminate The Doctor's greatest enemy once and for all, in a Blendtec Total Blender.
Barry Ward (Webmaster) on July 5th, 2010OK. Series 5 is well and truly over. I'm sure that we have all been re-watching it (or part of it) - if only to see how it all fits together. 'The Big Bang' certainly raised as many questions as it answered.
Barry Ward (Webmaster) on June 15th, 2010In an article in this weeks Radio Times Christopher Eccleston talks about his reasons for leaving Doctor Who. He explains that he "didn't enjoy the environment and the culture that we, the cast and crew, had to work in" but that he is proud of his time in the programme as it "broke the mould and it helped to reinvent it."
Barry Ward (Webmaster) on May 27th, 2010I enjoyed 'The Hungry Earth'. I enjoyed the slower pace that a two-parter affords. I enjoyed the familiar Doctor Who territory of a handful of characters in an isolated location. I also enjoyed Matt Smith's performance. He really is starting to flesh out the character of the 11th Doctor - humour, sensitivity, indignation, vulnerability... Marvellous.
[[http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/articles/Doctor-Who-Takes-Manhattan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/articles/Doctor-Who-Takes-Manhattan The Doctor Who Team ] ]
A Fall With Grace.On Saturday we released a 12 minute video that looked at Amy and Rory’s time on Doctor Who – The Last Days of the Ponds. And today we’re delighted to release a video that focusses on the making of their final episode.
A Fall With Grace follows Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill in New York as they shoot some of the show’s most important scenes. We also hear from River Song herself – Alex Kingston – and Executive Producer and head writer Steven Moffat who reveals some secrets of the adventure’s creation.
[[http://www.dwasonline.co.uk/node/729 http://www.dwasonline.co.uk/node/729 'The Power of Three' Consolidated Ratings Paul Winter (Co-ordinator) on October 6th, 2012'The Power of Three' added some two million viewers once delayed viewing is taken in account. The revised figures hows that 7.7 million people watched either at broadcast or during the seven days following. Another excellent result.]]
Paul Winter (Co-ordinator) on September 30th, 2012This episode pulled in an initial audience of 5.9 million, or 26.9% of the watching audience. It was the most popular programme on BBC1 on Saturday. Consolidated figures will arrive in just over a week.
Paul Winter (Co-ordinator) on September 25th, 2012The consolidated figures show that 'A Town Called Mercy' added 1.9 million viewers to the overnight result (taking into account those who recorded the show and watched it later). This gives the episode a total of 8.42 million viewers or 33.4% of the audience.
Paul Winter (Co-ordinator) on September 23rd, 2012The overnight ratings for 'The Power of Three' are available. These show that Doctor Who had an audience of 5.49 million or 25.6% of the audience. This is down 1.1 million or 3.5% on last week's episode. However Doctor Who is up one place in the Saturday chart - it was no 2 for the day being beaten only by 'The X Factor'. So a good result, especially in comparison with other shows.
Paul Winter (Co-ordinator) on September 19th, 2012The consolidated ratings for 'Dinosaurs on a Spaceship', which includes those who recorded the programme and watched it in the week following, have been released. These reveal a final viewing figure of 7.57 million or 32% of the audience. This means the show added over 2 million viewers to the initial overnight figure of 5.5 million, and is a very good result.
Paul Winter (Co-ordinator) on September 16th, 2012'A Town Called Mercy' achieved overnight ratings of 6.6 million viewers or 29.1% of the TV watching audience, an increase of over 1 million on the previous week. Doctor Who came third after 'The X Factor' and 'Strictly Come Dancing', another good performance.
Paul Winter (Co-ordinator) on September 12th, 2012The consolidated ratings are available for 'Asylum of the Daleks'. Taking into account 'timeshift' viewing the show added almost 2 million viewers. The figure allowing for those who recorded and watched later was 8.33 million, putting Doctor Who in sixth place for the week.
Paul Winter (Co-ordinator) on September 12th, 2012On 30th September 2012 DWAS will hold a preview of forthcoming classic Doctor Who DVD releases. This will, like our event last year to celebrate the launch of 'Day of the Daleks' be at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London. Attendees will be able to see restored episodes from 'The C[[http://www.dwasonline.co.uk/node/73 http://www.dwasonline.co.uk/node/73 It's a long story... and I don't know most of it! Barry Ward (Webmaster) on April 27th, 2010I really enjoyed "The Time of Angels". I enjoyed its humour, its tension, its atmosphere... its everything.]]
Barry Ward (Webmaster) on April 6th, 2010The Doctor gets to fight many enemies in his travels. As a webmaster there are fewer monsters in my life on a day to day basis. There is one though. Internet Explorer 6!
We have big plans for our new website. Not only will we be frequently updating our blogs so that you can keep up to date with the latest society news - but we will also be adding new sections to the site over the next few weeks.
Doctor Who is often at its best when it focuses on just one thing. There’s a Rutan in a lighthouse. Who created the Daleks? Don’t blink, blink and you’re dead. Trying to juggle too many different ideas, concepts, points of focus can easily lead to muddle, especially when you’re trying to deliver a movie-of-the-week in 45 minutes.
Sometimes an episode can suffer from being over-ambitious and yet the parts which work work so well that I’m prepared to forgive a bit of muddle. School Reunion never does anything interesting with its alien invasion plot beyond a bit of amusing undercover work from the Doctor in the first five minutes. But the return of Sarah Jane and K9 and the amazing meeting-of-companions past and present means that the underdeveloped melodrama never gets in the way of the relationship story which delivers handily.
Writer Chris Chibnall’s best script for Doctor Who is easily 42, which follows the principle of Keep It Simple Stupid. By contrast, the Silurian two-parter has barely enough material for 60 minutes, let alone 90. And Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is an obvious first-draft with no care or time taken to smooth over the bumps and properly bed-in the plot points (despite Moffat’s claims in Doctor Who Magazine that the script was “perfect” as delivered). How would The Power of Three measure-up given that it was trying to balance an alien invasion plot with a Ponds-eye view of The Doctor?
The sudden arrival on Earth of countless identical smooth black cubes is a delightful and arresting image, which works extremely well as a point of focus, providing The Doctor, Rory, Amy and not forgetting diligent Brian, with a deep mystery to explore, providing time for The Doctor’s impact on the Ponds’ lives to be examined. As well as including the traditional first-person narration by a shortly-departing companion, the story is full of incidental pleasures – The Doctor’s demented need to fill time by playing keepy-uppy, doing the hoover and painting any available fences; an RTD-style series of celebrity cameos; the return of UNIT, now re-oriented (“science leads”) and led by daughter-of-the-Brig Kate Stewart played by bloody Jemma Redgrave; and the now apparently obligatory side-story, this time involving Zygons and Henry VIII.
All this time, we get only a couple of hints at the cubes’ necessarily malevolent nature and this too is a dangerous game. The longer you leave it, the more you spin out the suspense, the more jaw-droppingly amazing must the reveal be when it finally comes. Chibnall again plays it clever here by initially making the actions of the cubes when they come to life bewilderingly inconsistent, but when they do strike, it’s fierce and hard.
It’s really only in the last ten minutes that the careful balancing of timing and theme slips through the story’s grasp. While it’s an enormous pleasure to see Steven Berkoff snarling his way through the lines, Shakri’s plan and motivations were pretty standard-issue, and The Doctor’s solution seemed to amount to little more than a bit of sonic-ing. Here’s also where, in his zeal to build up the excitement and whack up the stakes, Chibnall hugely over-reaches himself. As soon as you announce that around a third of the Earth’s population has suffered fatal heart attacks, any half-awake viewer is going to recognise that a reset switch is about to be thrown. And while I’m grateful that a) we didn’t actually rewind time and b) the solution was properly bedded-in to the story and not grafted-on at the last minute, the timing is way, way off. Even given that the cubes, which are designed to find live, beating hearts and administer a fatal shock, can be reprogrammed with a flick of the sonic to instead find only those hearts which have already been stopped and administer a shock sufficient to get them going again, The Doctor still has only something like two minutes to zap the victims before permanent brain damage is inflicted. Not the many minutes of Berkoffing which we actually got. And that’s generously drawing a veil over the fact that you can’t shock a non-beating heart back into life anyway, only correct the rhythm of a heart which is not beating properly. And while I enjoyed the sight of The Doctor struggling through with one heart out of action, I was frustrated at how quickly and easily this was resolved. Surely, if anyone is going to defibrillate The Doctor in a hospital, it should be medically-trained Rory?
So, if the climax was a bit skimpy, the Pond/Doctor story generally made up for it, with Brian’s final speech sending the Ponds back to the TARDIS I thought particularly effective. It’s an essentially unbreakable rule of scriptwriting physics that the more screen-time you give to your personal drama, the less you have available for your alien-invasion plot, and it’s to Chris Chibnall’s credit that he balanced both demands as well as he did for as long as he did.
Elsewhere, the production team is not tested to breaking point, but ably rises to the occasion. The make-up job on the two creepy orderlies is fine (if a bit reminiscent of The Empty Child), Douglas Mackinnon’s camera consistently frames the story in interesting ways and Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill prepare to send the Ponds off to their final reward in fine style.
[http://whatculture.com/tvFor the first half-hour, I honestly thought this was going to be my favourite of the season so far, earning four-and-a-half or even five stars until the last ten minutes, but that slightly limp resolution sees The Power of Three stuck on four, roughly even with Asylum and Mercy but still a tremendous improvement on the dreadfully clumsy Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. ]Next »sadors of Death' and 'The Reign of Terror'.