Ratings

The BBC has released figures on the performance of Series 8 of Doctor Who, the first series with Peter Capaldi taking up the role of The Doctor.

The series had an average consolidated audience of 7.4m viewers every week in the UK. This an increase of 39% on the initial overnight figures reported the day after broadcast. The 9.2m average audience that watched Deep Breath, Peter Capaldi’s debut episode, is the highest figure for a non-special episode (Christmas/50th anniversary) since the opening episode of series 5 (Matt Smith’s debut) in 2010. These figures show how Doctor Who has consistently achieved big audiences across the last three series – series 7a/7b combined had an average consolidated audience of 7.4m, series 6a/6b attracted 7.5m and series 5 was viewed by 7.3m.

There has been over 18.9m requests to watch Doctor Who series 8 on BBC iPlayer – an average of 1.6m requests for each of the 12 episodes.

In the US, consolidated figures for the first 10 episodes have seen Series 8 experience a 23% uplift in total audience in Live+7 on Series 7. The series 8 premiere was the show’s highest-rated series premiere ever on BBC America, and is the first BBC Worldwide series ever to simultaneously hold the #1 slot in the Main TV Season Charts across all major Electronic Sell-through platforms in the US within 48 hours of episode 1’s release on August 24th 2014.

In Canada, on the Space channel, the first 10 episodes of Series 8 have seen a 22% uplift in consolidated audience size on Series 7.

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer said:

We never take it for granted, but the miracle has happened again – the nation has taken a brand new Doctor to its heart.

Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television added:

It’s been an outstanding debut series for Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who and I’m very grateful to Peter, Steven Moffat and everyone involved.

Doctor Who Extra, which offers viewers a behind the scenes look at making one of the nation’s best loved dramas has had 1.3m BBC iPlayer requests and reached 2.4m people on BBC Red Button to date.

So overall, the late time slot just made more people time shift their watching of the program, which is something you can do these days that such a boon to the likes of us old folks who remember the “old days” when there were only 7 channels and if you missed the episode airing on TV you may never see it again, or at least not until someone invents a technology where you get to see it 30-40 years later, that is!

50 Years ago: The Iconic Daleks on Westminster Bridge in Dalek Invasion of The Earth

westminster

 

ACE!

Today’s blog is an interview with that most modern of Classic Who’s companion’s Sophie Aldred.
I loved Ace, she was a truly brilliant companion and she fit the 7th Doctor perfectly.

Exclusive interview with ‘Doctor Who’ star Sophie Aldred

Sophie Aldred
Sophie Aldred, who played ’80s companion Ace in Doctor Who, stars alongside Carol Cleveland (Monty Python), Tom Price (Torchwood) and Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space 9) in new sci-fi comedy, The Search for Simon.Out on DVD this week, The Search for Simon follows 39 year David’s search for his younger brother Simon, who, at the age of 7 (ish) in 1979, disappeared, due to a perceived alien abduction. After all, his Dad did tell him that he had been.

> Buy the DVD on Amazon.  (I did :) )

CultBox caught up with Sophie for a chat about The Search for Simon, Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures and more…

Let’s talk about The Search for Simon. For those who haven’t seen it, the marketing builds it as a comedy in the vein of Shaun of the Dead. So how much of it is spoof and how much genuine sci-fi story?

“Oh goodness me. There’s a lot of spoof but there’s a fantastic story as well and actually it’s quite a moving story. I won’t give too much away. But it is plot-driven. It’s not pure spoof. The character of the brother that Martin Gooch plays is very appealing. But the sci-fi elements are very funny as well.”

 

DVD 

So the brother who’s missing is Simon Jones, and then acting in it from Hitchhikers is Simon Jones. It sounds a bit meta-fictional. Is that relevant or just a comic twist?

“Oh, I think it’s – there are, if you look carefully, there are so many references. There’s so much in there. It demands viewing a few times, because you won’t get all the references first time through.”

 

Tell us about the character you play…

“My character is a kind of a boss of a secret space organisation. She’s very tough and it was fun to play a character like that. A very high-status boss character. And she gets involved with Simon when he’s on his quest. She was originally conceived as an American, but then we decided that actually she should be English. I think the name came from an ex-girlfriend Martin had.”

 

Does the ex-girlfriend have anything to fear from the characterisation?

“No, no, not at all.”

 

The Search for Simon 

Were you involved early on, in early development?

“I was involved very late on actually. I bumped into an actor who I had seen in a show that Sylvester McCoy was doing. John said to me, ‘I’m working on this project with a friend of mine, Martin Gooch. I think you’d be fantastic for this part. Can I give you Martin’s number?’ He told me a little bit about it, and it was very much towards the end of the filming. And I rang Martin. He sent me the script; I thought ‘What fun!’ and that was it.”

 

The Search for Simon was a crowd-funded production. Do you think that’s the future for independent film-making?

“Well, I think it is a very good method of funding something you want to happen because there ain’t much funding going on these days, and it’s so hard to get distribution and so on. What with all this technology, I think it’s a brilliant way. It’s also incredibly democratic, and it’s a sort of involving process as well. Obviously, you’d prefer to be funded by some large company that’s going to give you lots of money and a massive big budget. But if you’ve got a project that you are desperate to do, then crowdfunding is a great way of doing it.”

 

And I suppose for you – back in the ‘90s, you were making fan-video Doctor Who productions, so this is just the next step?

“Yes, absolutely. It was always thus. People wanting to do it. The actors wanting to get out there and work. I think it is an excellent idea.”

 

Doctor Who Ace 

I wanted to talk about your work as a voice artist, as you are known for Dennis the Menace and Tree Fu Tom. What is it that appeals to you about working in that medium? Is it just a case of using your voice or is there great physicality in being a voice artist?

“I’ve always loved doing voice work. When I was very young, I did a spoof of a radio show with a friend of mine, and we both ended up as actresses. I’d just started doing voiceovers when I got pregnant with my first son, and it seemed at the time like a really good way to combine being a mum and carrying on working. And I really enjoy what I do. In terms of physicality, it depends what you’re doing.

“For example, I’m doing an audio book at the moment, and you can’t be physical doing an audio book because it makes too much noise and the microphone is incredibly sensitive. But for something like Tree Fu Tom or an ensemble recording, there is a greater degree of physicality that you can bring to it.

“Certainly with David Tennant, who did the first series of Tree Fu Tom, he was incredibly physical, and I had to mind his dangling arms.”

 

I reckon all the Doctors have that about them. Presumably acting opposite Sylvester in a recording book, he doesn’t stand still?

“With Big Finish stuff, we’re actually in little separate boxes, and I think I have become more physical over the years. Definitely you get in a little world of your own and you get carried away.”

 

Obviously, you have never really stopped playing Ace. Many of the old companions look at the new parts given to the companions and feel, ‘We’re so envious.’ But presumably you don’t feel that because you were a companion who had backstory and you were given character development?

“I look at the companions now and think, ‘Wow! This is great because Ace paved the way for these women.’ I was incredibly fortunate because in the script editor at the time, Andrew Cartmel that was what he was bringing to Doctor Who, this relationship between the Doctor and the companion which had not really been explored to such great depth.

“The focus was on the companion in many ways as it is now. I just look at it now and think, ‘I wish you knew what happened to Ace!’ I do feel envious because it is such an enjoyable show to work on.”

 

And you could have gone back in The Sarah Jane Adventures if things had been different?

“Exactly, yes. That would have been amazing mainly because I would have loved to have worked with Lis. We knew each other from conventions. We really admired each other’s work, and it would have been fantastic icing on the cake to work with her in an episode, but sadly that was not to be.”

 

The Sarah Jane Adventures Series 1 

Now your eldest son is a teenager and brings friends round to the house, do you ever look at them and think, ‘I’ll nick that for Ace! I’ll use that’?

“Well, actually, he’s a very boringly lovely teenager and so are his friends. There is not the angsty stuff. But it is a completely different world for teenagers now with technology, so it would be a very different kettle of fish now.

“More than that, actually, I used my eldest son a few years ago – he is the model for the voice of Tree Fu Tom. I was playing an answerphone message from him the other day and I thought, ‘My God! I did quite a good impression of him on Tree Fu Tom!’”

 

Last year there was an exhibition of photos of you from the Eighties when you were being Ace. Do you ever look back on photos of yourself and think, ‘Damn, I looked good!’?

“Yeah, I looked back on those photos and thought, ‘Wow, if only I’d appreciated myself at the time!’ And then I’m sure I’ll look back on photos of me now and think, ‘Wow, I wish I’d appreciated myself at the time.’

“I think it’s probably human nature not to appreciate who we are being at any one point in time. But it did pull me up and make me think. I am so glad that that I did those photos and I have those photographs to look back on.”

 

Sophie Aldred, who played ’80s companion Ace in Doctor Who, stars alongside Carol Cleveland (Monty Python), Tom Price (Torchwood) and Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space 9) in new sci-fi comedy, The Search for Simon.

CultBox caught up with Sophie for a chat about The Search for Simon, Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures and more…

 

When you were working at the BBC, it seemed to be a time of great change, both in the way programmes were made and in challenging the culture of what was acceptable. How much of that were you aware of at the time – of an institution that was trying to turn itself around?

“Yeah, I think that was on the cards. Certainly Producer Choice had just come in, and everybody was having a good old moan about this and that and the other. I look back now and I just consider myself so fortunate that I was working there when the BBC was the BBC and all the different departments were working together.

“If a costume didn’t work, you could just nip upstairs and get a new one… And the most amazingly skilled people behind the cameras with the most incredible training. So yeah, I do look back on it with great fondness and I was gutted when TV Centre closed down because it was just such an amazing place to work.”

 

Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy

 

I wondered if you could reflect on what your friendship with Sylvester McCoy has meant in your life…

“Oh my goodness. Well, he will always be somebody incredibly special in my life. We share the same birthday and we often celebrate it together, even now. I don’t know, I think we just really get each other, and whenever we’re together, we just enjoy each other’s company. He taught me so much about working. He taught me to really question what was going on around me, both in terms of acting and TV, and also in terms of the world.

“He’s very politically-minded. He’s deliberately doing a play up in Glasgow at the moment because he wanted to be in Scotland when the Referendum was taking place. He’s constantly questioning the world, a bit like a curious child. He’s constantly finding out about stuff and that’s really rubbed off on me, I think.”

 

Lastly, if you could say why people should go out and pick up The Search for Simon DVD, what would the sales pitch be?

“First and foremost, it’s a really cracking story. It’s a moving story which you won’t expect. You’ll be surprised by some of the people who pop up in it. You’ll be surprised by the quality of it considering it is made on such a tiny budget. And above all, it will be just a really good rip-roaring watch. It’s beautifully acted and pretty well produced for the budget.”

 

A Few Questions

Digital Spy was in attendance for a panel packed full of interesting soundbites – you might have already heard that Peter Capaldi once turned down an audition to play the Doctor, but here’s 8 more wonderful titbits from the day.

Doctor Who‘s Michelle Gomez: “I would love to come back”

1. Before filming began, Steven Moffat enacted the entirety of series 8 for Peter Capaldi – in his kitchen

Doctor Who series 8 DVD launch

© BBC Worldwide

“I sat down with Peter and did the whole series – and we more or less stuck to my stand-up routine,” the showrunner revealed. “It was the most hugely entertaining evening – he did the whole season for me in his kitchen,” Capaldi grinned. “I wish I’d filmed it.”

2. Moffat still finds the experience of making new Doctor Who terrifying

Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman in 'Doctor Who'

© BBC

“Each time you make a big shift, which we did this year, then you’re properly worried,” Moffat admitted. “It’s like being the curator of the crown jewels or something.

“At the same time, you have to shut that off in your mind – you’ve got to treat it like you own it, even though you don’t. You have to be bold with it – if all you’re ever doing is tending to the upkeep of the monument, then it’s not going to be a proper TV show.”

3. Moffat is responsible for even more Doctor Who than you might think

Doctor Who series 8 DVD launch

© BBC Worldwide

In addition to the four adventures he penned alone, Moffat was credited as co-writer on three more episodes this year. “I’ve written loads of Doctor Who that my name’s nowhere near and quite right too, because what I am doing is engineering rather than authorship,” he explained.

“But particularly in the early days of the new Doctor, we were trying very hard to establish a new tone for the show… so I got quite heavily involved in the first few scripts.”

He went on to admit that it can be quite galling when your work is attributed to another writer: “I remember once reading a review of a Doctor Who episode which listed a whole lot of really funny lines, saying, ‘This is the kind of thing we haven’t had since Moffat took over!’ – I wrote every single one!”

4. Neither Moffat nor Capaldi agree that this series of Doctor Who has been darker

Doctor Who s08e11, 'Dark Water'

© BBC America

“We never said it [would be darker] – we never said it at all,” insisted Moffat, while a baffled Capaldi added: “I don’t know what they’re talking about. People say, ‘Oh, it’s very dark this year!’ What does that mean? We haven’t put the money in the meter?”

5. One popular fan theory about the 50th anniversary special is utter cobblers

Doctor Who 50th - Jenna's hand

© BBC

Once Missy was revealed as a new incarnation of The Master, one Doctor Who fan came up with a bonkers but compelling theory that we’d already witnessed her escape from Gallifrey.

Could the hand seen above be evidence of Missy clawing her way to freedom? Apparently not. “It’s my hand!” revealed Jenna Coleman, with Moffat quipping: “We don’t employ different people to be her appendages!”

6. Samuel Anderson didn’t know that Danny would die ’til the ‘Death in Heaven’ read-through

Doctor Who series 8 DVD launch

© BBC Worldwide

“I got that script on the day of traveling down to do the readthrough,” Anderson revealed, before refusing to rule out an eventual return to the series. “Orson’s still alive – there’s always Orson!”

“I walked into that readthrough and there was Ingrid [Oliver, who played Osgood] and Sam,” Moffat recalled. “I thought, ‘Oh yeah, I just killed them – I’d better go and say hello’.”

7. Doctor Who‘s Santa is a “Christmas hero”

Doctor Who Christmas Special

© BBC

This Christmas, the Doctor will meet Santa (Nick Frost) – but for anyone concerned that this festive figure will be exposed as an alien, or a robot, you can relax.

“Santa could never be evil, for heaven’s sake!” gasped Moffat. “Santa is both real and a Christmas hero; any parents who are worried about that, Santa is presented as he is in real life – a great Christmas hero!”

8. Next series, Capaldi wants a run-in with some old-school Cybermen

Doctor Who - 1966's 'The Tenth Planet'

© BBC

The panel climaxed with a spectacular exchange between Capaldi and Moffat, that culminated in the latter lamenting: “No women are ever going to talk to us again!”

The geek-off between these two lifelong Who fans concerned the mythology of the Cybermen, with Capaldi keen to reintroduce the more primitive version of the monsters from Mondas who debuted in 1966′s ‘The Tenth Planet’.

“I do love them,” he admitted. “The ones in ‘The Tenth Planet’ were more Frankenstein creatures with human hands – and the phrase ‘Mondasian Cybermen’ sounds fantastic!”

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I have no Doubt

Nov 19

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For all those who still think Jenna Coleman could be back for Series 9 (and a lot of it is the BBC publicity machine)n take a look at this:

Jenna Coleman

http://indianacomiccon.com/profiles/JennaColeman.html

Showing for a weekend appearance at a Con in Indiana during filming?

I think not.

IMHO.

 

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Hearthrob Doctor

Nov 18

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For all those people who thought casting an older Doctor would kill off the boy-toy, boyfriend Doctor crowd apparently they were wrong.

Daily Mail:

Peter Capaldi ‘can’t believe’ his sex symbol status.

The 56-year-old actor, who plays the Doctor in the BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who, admitted that he has struggled to understand why fans of the cult TV show find him so desirable.

But they might be heartbroken to hear that the only love in his life is his wife, Elaine Collins.

He said: ‘I genuinely can’t believe it. The only person that I want to love me is my wife and that’s the only person that I love. But if people enjoy my profile in the privacy of their own home, well then…’

 

The modest actor also suggested that his fans are so excited to meet him because the role of the Doctor has belonged to so many famous actors, including Tom Baker and his predecessor Matt Smith.

Peter said: ‘You get met with so many smiles but really it’s because of the part. In a way they meet Matt and Tom.

‘It’s a little exposing, and some days you feel vulnerable – but it’s been fabulous.’

Mobbed: He said, ‘I still have to go and do the shopping, and have to do my MOT and all that dreary stuff, but the other stuff is just absolutely extraordinary.’

“I have barely had time to seen my wife and daughter. I catch up with them and they tell me what plumbing needs doing. Trying to find your way through this maze can be quite difficult.”

Capaldi has also revealed he once turned down the chance to audition for the central role – because he was convinced he had no chance.

The actor said he was asked by his agent to try out for the Doctor when show chiefs were casting for a 1996 movie, which saw Paul McGann take the role.

But speaking for the first time about the missed opportunity today, he said he could not have coped with the disappointment if he had tried and failed.

But he admitted on Monday at the DVD launch of the eighth series of Doctor Who: “I knew I wouldn’t get it. I loved the show so much that I didn’t want to have anything to do with it unless it was going to be me.

“I just didn’t want to have the disappointment to go through all the palaver and the jumping through hoops for something I would never get because I knew it was an American pilot and they would go for somebody who was well-known and Paul was and he was fantastic so I said ‘No, I won’t come along’.

“I said to my agent: ‘Tell them thank you very much but I don’t want to go along’.”

All Things in good Time,  my Lord. :)

 

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Roundels!

Nov 17

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doctor-who-experience-gallifrey-570x320

 

After inheriting Matt Smith’s TARDIS for a series, Peter Capaldi thinks it’s time for a new look.

Speaking at An Afternoon with Mark Gatiss and Friends about the prop reuse including the Sonic Screwdriver: “I have to say, the BBC are very responsible with license payer’s money. So they feel if they’ve spent a certain amount of money on a certain amount of props, then they won’t get rid of those props until they’ve been used. This applies equally to the TARDIS. It’s essentially Matt’s.”

Capaldi’s preference is for a more retro flavoured design: “Roundels. I like the old Sixties roundels. That was the coolest look and I think it’s also appropriate for the way this Doctor dresses.

“It’s got a sort of Edwardian look about it  – not the actual console – it’s the bits and pieces lying around. Cricket bats, maps and odds and ends and things. There’s a Jules Verne quality to it – I would like to make it more Bauhaus.” (an art movement)

Commenting on the lack of new sonic screwdriver for Capaldi’s Doctor, writer Gatiss quipped, ‘I amazed they’ve missed the marketing opportunity!’ To which Peter disagreed, ‘Well I think we should side step the marketing opportunities. I don’t think we should be too focused in that direction.’

I say, Bring Back the Roundels! :)

 

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Don’t Stop Me Now

Nov 16

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I think if you want a succinct metaphor for Series 8, turn to Foxes.

“Don’t Stop Me Now”

Tonight, I’m gonna have my self
a real good time, I feel alive
and the world is turning inside out yeah
and floating around in ecstasy

TARDIS addiction anyone? Adventure junkies.

so don’t stop me now
don’t stop me ’cause
I’m having a good time
having a good time

I’m a shooting star leaping through the sky
like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I’m a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I’m gonna go oh oh there’s no stopping me

I will burn the candle at both ends to keep going.

I’m burning through the sky yeah
two hundred degrees
that’s why they call me Mr Fahrenheit
I’m trav’ling at the speed of light
I’m gonna make a super sonic man out of you

I’m going to make a Doctor out of Clara but it’s going to burn away who she was forever. She becomes The Doctor in the last episode, sort of.

Don’t stop me now
I’m having such a good time
I’m having a ball
Don’t stop me now
if you wanna have a good time
just give me a call  (Even if it’s because of a “Mistress”)
Don’t stop me now
Don’t stop me
I’m having a good time
I don’t wanna stop at all

Robin Hood, anyone.

I’m a rocket ship on my way to Mars
On a collision course
I’m a satellite, I’m out of control
I’m a sex machine ready to reload
Like an atom bomb
I’m bout to oh oh oh oh oh explode

Or a Moon Egg.

I’m burning through the sky yeah
two hundred degrees
that’s why they call me Mr Fahrenheit
I’m trav’ling at the speed of light
I’m gonna make a super sonic woman of you

Or at least a great Liar, like me. Sometimes the only choice you have is a bad choice.

Don’t stop me now
I’m having such a good time
I’m having a ball
Don’t stop me now
If you wanna have a good time
Just give me a call
Don’t stop me now
Don’t stop me
I’m having a good time
I don’t wanna stop at all

mmmmm
mm mm mm
mmmmm
mmmmm
aahhh aahhh aahhh

So Clara is coming back after her “goodbye” for one more time, because you just can’t stop her, or The Doctor.

And we all have a real good time. :)

We forget too frequently, in these days of sophisticated Internet debate, that Doctor Who has always been a rather daffy if brilliant fantasy. While remarkably consistent in a lot of ways over 50 years, it has never seemed more than five minutes away from breaking one of its own previously established conventions. It does not strive too hard for canonicity; rather, it strives to awaken childlike wonder in its audience, and spin stories that fire our imaginations. (Mashable)

So don’t stop me now. :)

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Ho Ho Ho?

Nov 15

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Is that just a bit creepier and dark?

Dark Santa! coming to you this Christmas.

(partisan political joke deleted) :)

IO9:”…and it’s basically proof that Peter Capaldi can bring 1000 percent more razor-sharp menace to anything, even just a conversation with Santa Claus on the rooftop. Even just debating the merits of the tangerine at the bottom of the stocking.

Also, you have to love Capaldi’s final rejoiner: “Happy Easter.” That’s telling him.”

In this Corner, The Time Lord from Gallifrey (can’t say “last” anymore with Missy running around)–The Doctor and in the opposite corner, That Saint of your Childhood, the bringer of gifts both good and bad- Saint Nicholas!! (aka Santa Claus)!

<<Bell Rings>>

Coming to a TV Channel near you on Dec 25th and it’s not Pay per View either… :)

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The Scots Views

Nov 14

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That slightly grumpy man with a Scottish accent and dark suit coat has answered some of the universe’s greatest mysteries once again. No, not the Twelfth Doctor, silly! Doctor Who‘s showrunner extraordinaire, Steven Moffat. On 11 November, Moffat spoke at the Royal Television Society’s event Doctor Who: Anatomy of a Hit (nice title!).

The talk covered a variety of topics and questions, but two of the biggest concerned the revelation behind the Mistress of the Nethersphere’s true identity and the healthfulness–or perceived lack thereof–of the show’s Series 8 ratings.

As for the return of the Doctor’s best enemy, Mr. Moffat said that he had always been a fan of the Master (he specifically mentioned Roger Delgado and John Simm) and simply wanted a chance to write the character: “I wanted a go at the Master and I thought, ‘It’ll be a woman!’ and I then got lost for several months, thinking… It’s exactly the kind of gimmick I’m always saying you shouldn’t do – I’ve always said that you cast a person, you cast an individual, you don’t cast a gender… and I found a list [of actors] for another part and Michelle Gomez was on the list, and I thought, ‘My God – that’d be brilliant. Michelle is the person. I can write it now, I know what she’s going to be like!’”

 

In today’s changing and evolving TV market, it’s also no secret that there’s a perceived Doctor Who ratings drop, which Moffat basically called errant nonsense and simply said, “There is no drop-off in the ratings.” And according to the BBC, the showrunner is probably quite correct about Series 8′s Doctor Who ratings: “Figures from ratings agency Barb bear out his assertion. Once catch-up services [such as iPlayer] are included, consolidated viewing figures show an average increase of 39% on the overnight ratings. As a result, the first 11 episodes of recent series averaged 7.35 million viewers. That compares with 7.45 million for the previous series and 6.98 million for the one before that… [Overnight] Ratings did slide over the course of Capaldi’s first season in the Tardis – but the show faced scheduling changes on BBC One…”

missy-masters-dwm-2014

Michelle Gomez has said that she’ll be returning for Series 9.

Gomez is asked in the new DWM whether or not Missy be back next year and she replies, “Yes.”

Adding: “‘Yes’ is my answer. I’ll be back. Can I say that? Am I allowed? If not… well, I guess we’ll have to see how she’s received…”

Michelle Gomez has given her views on the recent Doctor Who complaints over the Series 8 finale with the way it addressed death and whether it was suitable for children.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5, she said: “There was around five million viewers, I believe, and I think there was around about 100 complaints. Now that’s not very many.

“My philosophy is that it’s a bit like The Simpsons – there’s something for everybody. If you’ve got kids you want to sit down and watch something with your children, but you also want to get something out of it as well.

“Now if you’re a child you’re not necessarily going to get the concept of death. But if you’re a little older it gives you something to think about. And if you are watching it as an adult can I just point something out – it’s Doctor Who. So you get what you tune in for.

“We are blessed with Peter Capaldi now because he does bring maturity and gravitas to it. So there really is something for everybody. And I do think if you’re a kid you’re not necessarily going to grasp all those larger, scarier concepts we were dealing with. [They're] just going to enjoy the blowing up of Cybermen and stuff. The adults will get the slightly darker stuff.”

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The Rani

Nov 13

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If you like your Time Lady villain you can keep her. :)

Who is Missy? It’s the question Doctor Who fans were asking throughout series eight, before the sensational reveal that she was the Doctor’s old enemy The Master, now a Time Lady. But Steven Moffat wanted to have a little fun with the fans before then. 

The showrunner has admitted he tried to plant a red herring during the filming of penultimate episode Dark Water. In the actual broadcast, Missy originally passes herself off as a robot, claiming her name is an acronym for ‘Mobile Intelligence Systems Interface.’ However, when Michelle Gomez initially recorded the line, she said something quite different. 

“I actually had her say she was a Random Access Neural Interface,” Moffat told the audience at a Royal Television Society event, “the Rani.”

Played by the late Kate O’Mara, the Rani was a nefarious Time Lady who clashed with Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoys’ Doctors. Many fans speculated that Missy would turn out to be a new regeneration of the villain. Moffat believed that leaks were inevitable (whatever gave him that idea?) but no-one took the bait. 

“Whenever I arrange skullduggery, no-one ever buggering notices,” he moaned. “We thought ‘everyone’s bound to overhear that’. Deaf bunch of bastards.”

It’s not the first time Moffat has tried to prank the audience with an old villain:

“When we did Day of the Doctor, we went to the trouble of having John Hurt’s character [an earlier regeneration of the Doctor] referred to as Omega throughout,” he said. “Is nobody stealing scripts these days? What’s the matter with people?” (Radio Times)

I wonder if that’s where the persistent rumors of Missy being The Rani came from?

I never bought that rumor to begin with, it just didn’t seem like her kind of thing.

The Rani, for those not Classically trained in Who was a Time Lady whom the Doctor was familiar with but we didn’t see her on screen until “Mark of The Rani”

Where she was introduced as a purely dispassionate scientist. She thought of the human race (and just about anyone in general) as lab rats. They were a means to her end, nothing more.

She was played with regal abandon by the Late Kate O’Mara.

That story had the Doctor played by Colin Baker and The Master (Anthony Ainley) in it as well and she had disdain for the pair of them. Their “petty” rivalry was a distraction to her work.

The Rani was a really powerful character and would be a good one to re-invent in the Modern Era of the show, it just never bought that the time was now.

 

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