There maybe a new man playing The Doctor now every week on Doctor Who, but the fans still have a soft spot in their hearts for the man who just left the role, Matt Smith. At Toronto Fan Expo Saturday night, Smith re-united with one of his companions, Mr. Rory Pond, Arthur Darvill, and took questions from a packed house of people who paid for a special ticket for the privilege. The result was as frantic, and funny, and insightful as any Doctor Who adventure, but it was mostly just funny. (more…)
I guess two companions are better than one. BBC has announced that British TV fixture Samuel Anderson has joined the series 8 cast of Doctor Who in a recurring capacity as the new Doctor’s new male companion. Anderson will join Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in the new ongoing adventures of the Gallifreyian Time Lord, which are currently shooting in and around Cardiff for a premiere date later is year. (more…)
The episode may have been called “The Time of The Doctor,” but time was up for this current incarnation of The Doctor, Matt Smith. Where as his still beloved predecessor David Tennant seemed to get an entire year in order to let the audience say a proper goodbye, Smith would have to make due with one hour. But as Doctor Who proved again, one hour can be a lifetime, and “The Time of The Doctor” had enough going on for a two-parter, or a double-stuffed 50th anniversary episode. Can we handle two epic Who’s back-to-back? And can Smith’s send-off match Tennant’s teary tour-du-force in “The End of Time?” (more…)
With the announcement that Matt Smith is departing Doctor Who as of the conclusion of this year’s Christmas special began the speculation about who the 12th Doctor might be. Naturally, the immediate speculation concerned someone famous a la Idris Elba or Benedict Cumberbatch, but the chances of that are relatively nil, and it appears that Neil Gaiman agrees with me.
In a Tumblr post, Gaiman outlined his rationale, and given that he’s actually penned a couple of episodes of Doctor Who I guess we can take his opinion as wisdom. Here’s what he had to say:
“I think that if you’d asked me who should be the 11th Doctor 5 years ago I wouldn’t have listed Matt Smith, because I didn’t know who he was or what he was capable of, and if you’d asked me who should play Sherlock Holmes in a modern day revival around the same time I wouldn’t have said Benedict Cumberbatch, because I didn’t know who he was either.
I actually like it when The Doctor is a relatively unknown actor, or one without one huge role that made them famous. A star, like Sir Ian, brings all the other roles they’ve ever played to the table when they act. Seeing John Hurt as the (Spoiler) at the end of the Name of the Doctor, meant that this was a certain type of part with a certain amount of gravitas, and you understood that John Hurt was bringing everything with it (including being John Hurt), just as Derek Jacobi did as the Master.
But I like to see The Doctor as The Doctor, and an actor who doesn’t bring baggage is a grand sort of thing. A star waiting to happen. So I don’t want to see Helen Mirren or Sir Ian McKellen or Chiwetel Ejiofor, or any of the famous names people are suggesting.
I want to see The Doctor. I want to be taken by surprise. I want to squint at a photo of the person online and go ‘but how can that be The Doctor?’. Then I want to be amazingly, delightedly, completely proven wrong, and, six episodes in, I want to wonder how I could have been so blind. Because this is the Doctor. Of course it is.”
I think it’s hard to dispute anything Gaiman’s saying here, it’s pretty much the same logic they use when casting a new Superman. The Doctor is The Doctor, and that’s the way it is, which is why the new Doctor isn’t going to be an Oscar-winner, a BAFTA-winner or the star of previous hit series. I guess we’ll find out soon.
It’s the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and it seems like everyone’s got something to say, and not all of it’s good.
But who would have a bad thing to say about Doctor Who? Well let’s talk to Waris Hussein, who directed the first ever episodes of Who back in 1963. When he made Who, The Doctor was an old man that traveled through time and space with his granddaughter, but now he’s a twentysomething looking guy who picks up a new sexy sidekick every couple of years, and that leaves a bad taste in Hussein’s mouth (so to speak).
“There is an element now, and I know we’re living in a different era, of sexuality that has crept in. The intriguing thing about the original person was that you never quite knew about him and there was a mystery and an unavailability about him. Now we’ve just had a recent rebirth and another girl has joined us, a companion, she actually snogged him. Why bring in this element when in fact you needn’t have it there?”
Well he sounds about as old as The Doctor used to look.
But speaking of young people, actress Carole Ann Ford used to be one. (Ba-doom-boom!) Anyway, Ford played Susan, The Doctor’s aforementioned granddaughter, in the first iteration of the show. While also being interviewed for The Telegraph (which again comes to us via Blastr), Ford talks about her experience being the first companion to go on a fantastic voyage with The Doctor (played at the time by William Hartnell).
For instance, did you know that no one involved with the show, least of all the BBC, knew that Doctor Who was going to become the phenomenon it became when the show debuted. “A lot of people did not want Doctor Who to go ahead,” said Ford. “The people high up were against putting money into children’s programmes, which is how they considered it at the time.
“At that moment, it was just another job,” she added. “You learn your lines, you turn up, you don’t bump into the furniture and you take your money, you know? It soon became fairly clear that it was more than that, though.”
According to Ford, there were even big plans for Susan. Big, awesome plans that sadly never materialized.
“I was a very good dancer and had been an acrobat. They told me Susan was going to be an Avengers-type girl—with all the kapow of that—plus she would have telepathetic [sp?] powers. She was going to be able to fly the Tardis as well as her grandfather and have the most extraordinary wardrobe. None of that happened.”
“All my differentness was cut out. They made me wear horrible little trousers, not even funky jeans. Horrible little flat shoes. I don’t know why they did this to me.”
“Bill [First Doctor William Hartnell] and I put together a back story because we had to. You can’t act something unless you know what is behind it. We created the fact that he had done something to annoy the other Time Lords and they decided he had to go.”
That might be part of the reason that Ford left the series, which, according to her, cursed her then young acting career to the depths of hell and typecasting.
“I must say that when I left Doctor Who, I was filled with… not loathing, but I was incredibly annoyed because I wanted to do more television and films and the only thing that people could ever see me in was a recreation of what I had done. A Susan clone. Some kind of weird teenager. I wanted to do work that would disconnect me from Doctor Who. That is a very difficult thing to accomplish, as many other actors who have played the companions have found out.”
“I had the most searing letters from parents of small children who had been allowed to stay up late to watch this, because I was in it and they thought it was going to be something akin to Doctor Who. They were saying, ‘How dare you do this? You are a role model.’”
I guess it’s all just more proof that every silver lining has a dark cloud. C’est la vie.
So it was a bit of synchronicity when Tenth Doctor David Tennant and showrunner Russell T. Davies departed the franchise together at the end of Doctor Who: The End of Time. But what if…. Tennant decided that he wanted to stick around for one more year. How would that have affected Steven Moffat‘s plan for his first season of Doctor Who?
Well Moffat answered that in the recent issue of Doctor Who Magazine. Here’s what he had to say:
I only had the roughest idea. Had David stayed for one final year, it would certainly have been his last, so my pitch was that it would start with the Tardis crashing in Amelia’s back garden – as now – and a terribly battered and bruised Tenth Doctor staggering out.
Amelia finds him, feeds him fish custard (no that was for Matt, it would have been something more Davidy) and generally helps him. But we, the audience, can see he’s in a truly bad way. Dying maybe. Eventually he heads back to his TARDIS, and flies off.
But when he returns – many years later for Amy – he seems perfectly fine, and indeed doesn’t remember any of those events…And of course over time, we realise what we saw was the Tenth Doctor at the end of his life, about to regenerate. Events that we return to in Episode 13…
Hm. I guess in this version of the story The Doctor wouldn’t have escaped the Pandorica in one piece. I wonder how that would have changed the whole River Song storyline because in “Silence in the Library” it’s quite clear that that’s her first and only encounter with Ten.
New episodes of Doctor Who air Saturdays on BBC America.
Source: Bleeding Cool
The pre-season run-up to season 7 of Doctor Who had us being bombarded with spoilers, rumors, pictures and all manner of other things to wet our appetites. Steven Moffat, the king of the show for the last 3 years, seems to take some sort of sadistic delight in talking about the show in tantalizing yet vague terms. And if his pre-season teasers weren’t enough, he continues even after the premiere of season 7’s first episode.
On more than one occasion, Moffat has said that Doctor Who, to him, is really a story about the companion(s) that the Doctor chooses to have with him on board the T.A.R.D.I.S. Now, he’s going into it a little bit further, speaking recently about the role of the companions and the how they affect the Doctor in general.
In an interview with SFX, he had these things to say:
We are going to do the story properly of the Doctor having lost a friend and making a new one. We’re not taking that lightly. It’s not in one door out the other. It’s the story of how all that affects him, why he engages with somebody else and what’s going on with that — that’s all important.
What does Jenna bring to it? It’s surprising just how much the show changes with a new co-star. The Doctor is quite different with her, and the way you watch them is quite different. You watched the Eleventh Doctor and Amy arrive together. It’s like they grew up in the same sandpit, playing. They felt not quite like equals — the Doctor never feels like an equal to his companion — but you knew them equally well and they were equally important to each other. They formed around each other. And one of the interesting things about writing the Doctor is that he’s so responsive to the people around him. It’s almost like left on his own his personality would slowly disintegrate. He becomes what people want him to be, a little bit. So he’s Amy’s Raggedy Doctor.
With a different companion he becomes a slightly different man. He dresses differently. The mere fact that he’s so much taller than her suddenly reveals that Matt Smith is very tall, not, as people assume, about average height, because he was about the same height as Karen. He’s the senior man, not in the sense that he’s more important but he’s the one you know already, and he’s training up a new one, as it were. In these five episodes the Doctor is practically the adopted son of Amy and Rory. He’s gone from being the wonderful man from space — Space Gandalf, as he wants to be — to being that troublesome kid that they try and keep under control. They even talked about getting babysitters for him in one unfortunately cut scene. They love him, but they know he’s a big kid, they know they have to look out for him, check he eats and all that. Whereas with the new companion he’s back to being the mysterious spacefarer.
Well, Moffat, not too spoilerish this time around, so I guess I can forgive you. Still, it’s nice to hear Moffat’s take on what a companion means to the Doctor and get some insight into how he plans to grow him in the future based on that interaction.
Until next time, don’t forget to keep up on your Doctor Who watching! And check out the latest Nerdbastards Podcast to hear Jason T. and Jeremy R!H. seriously geek out on the Doctor.
Oh yeah, and thanks to blastr for the interview stuff.
We all know that Amy and Rory Pond, The Doctor’s faithful companions these last few years, are taking their curtain call in the seventh series of Doctor Who this fall, but it seems that showrunner Steven Moffat is changing the details of Amy and Rory’s last ride in the TARDIS in the season’s fifth episode.
Already understood to be a “heartbreaking” finale, Moffat told Digital Spy that he had a second thought as to how it was heartbreaking while writing it. “I completely changed the ending as I was writing it, thinking ‘No, I’ve got it wrong… I’m on the wrong emphasis’ – but it’s a good one and it’s properly emotional,” he said.
But how did the actors feel about it?
“I instantly phoned Matt [when I read the episode] and I was crying and laughing hysterically,” said Amy Pond portrayer Karen Gillan, “because it’s so good!”
Arthur Darvill, AKA: Rory Williams-Pond, added, ”It was like getting the last chapter of the best book you’ve ever read and being really surprised by the ending… and really satisfied. It was pretty emotional.”
As for The Doctor himself, Matt Smith, he says, ”I was very moved, very moved indeed, because not only is it two characters that I love, it’s two actors that I love working with. To see them go – and I think go so beautifully… it’s moving.”
Anxious Who fans can’t wait to see how moving. Or maybe we can…
Source: The Mary Sue
With the new season seven trailer set to be released tomorrow there’s plenty of buzz around Doctor Who‘s return this fall with “Asylum of the Daleks.” In addition to that new trailer we’re expecting BBC to release a handful of new promotional photos and it appears one of them leaked early.
This is your last warning before I unleash this insane image on your unprepared retinas.
Are you ready? How about to make sure you click the jump to read on.
Good news for attendees of the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival at the end of August because they’ll be among the first to see the season 7 premiere of Doctor Who, “Asylum of the Daleks.” Written by showrunner Steven Moffat, the episode is said to feature “every Dalek ever” and if it doesn’t live up to the tease than Moffat will be on hand after the screening to receive criticism (or maybe praise).
Of course, Moffat is doubling down on praise, and he has this follow-on tease for all y’all:
“The Daleks are coming back and they’re worse than ever. Just you wait until you see what they’re going to do.”
To double down on Moffat’s double down, Who executive producer Caroline Skinner told BBC’s official Doctor Who Website the following:
“This is an epic Dalek adventure that kicks off the new series in explosive style! If you think you know all there is to know about the Daleks, think again… [The episode will feature] every kind of Dalek ever faced by the Time Lord – including the legendary Special Weapons Dalek.”
Now my relationship with Doctor Who doesn’t exactly go back all 50 years, so I’m not sure what it means that there’s a legendary “Special Weapons Dalek,” but on the other hand that’s definitely something you want to have in your back pocket when you’re in a place called the “Asylum of the Daleks.”
For other series 7 spoilers, or at least the ones that have been pieced together so far, Screenrant has the complete breakdown:
- This season will consist of 14 episodes split between Autumn 2012 and Spring 2013.
- The second episode of this season – partly set in ancient Egypt – will feature Queen Nefertiti and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter films) as Rory’s dad.
- The third episode will have a “Wild West” theme.
- Episode five will partially be set in Manhattan and feature the return of the Weeping Angels and River Song (YES!), plus the “final” departure of Amy and Rory (NO!).
- The series will break until Christmas.
- The Christmas special will written by Moffat and feature the debut of The Doctor’s new companion played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. The new companion will be very different from previous companions and is “going to be a shock.“
- The remaining episodes will air in spring 2013 and will contain the big 50th anniversary episode, which is still very hush-hush but is said to feature many familiar faces.
- UNIT and the Ood will both appear this season.
- Moffat has created new villains that he says are his “scariest yet.”
- Confirmed guest stars include David Gyasi, Rupert Graves, David Bradley, Riann Steele (as Queen Nefertiti) in Episode 2, Ben Browder, Adrian Scarborough, Garrick Hagon, Steven Berkoff, Ruthie Henshall, Jemma Redgrave, Michael McShan, Dougray Scott, Jessica Raine, David Warner, and Liam Cunningham.
- Moffat also teased: “If we did a UNIT story, would Martha [the Tenth Doctor's second companion] be there?”
Stay tuned for more Who news in the coming weeks. Especially with Comic Con coming up.