Titan Comics #1

I will not spoil anything, but lets have a small chat about Titan Comics first issue of the Tenth Doctor and Eleventh Doctor comics. Yes, I am using that verbiage Mr. Moffat. :)

The overall impression I was left with was, underwhelming and depressing.

But, on a good note, the tone and the “voice” of  The Doctor in question were very good. You could see and hear them. So, like any good “pilot” episode you have to give it some time to develop.

Tennant’s Doctor is Post-Donna Pre-Specials. Matt Smith Doctor is Pre-Last Pond Series but without the Ponds.

Both comics started out dark and depressing. Admittedly, the 11th doctor comic quickly switched into fairy tale mode but it still had the undertones of depression.

The 10th Doctor comic was very bleak, in my opinion, but it had hardly gotten started. It didn’t have the Doctor meet his erstwhile companion really until the last panel so there was much more set up in this one. But the companion’s family is not very likeable at all,a bit too self-obsessed. No wonder you’d run away with a mad man in this instance.

The 11th Doctor comic was full of whimsy as well as depression. But why, quite, the companion would run off is a bit weak. True, she really has nothing left NOT to go, but that’s not been the way of Doctor Who in the modern era, and is it really a reason. I mean, the only “joy” in her life is a mad alien? Really??

Maybe part of it is that I have a history of depression so I’m a bit closer to it than some people. The Doctor does seem bound and determined to make her see the “joy” in things again so maybe that is good enough.

Doctor Who helped me see the joy in life.

Ok, I’ll concede that point.

BUT the ending of the 11th comic was rushed and “BAM!” over with like that (unsatisfactorily) and it was on to the next adventure.

The 10th was building an arc.

Stylistically very different, but so were the Doctors. But again, the best thing was, that they “sounded” like the Doctors we know and love and that’s always a plus in an adaption of a TV series.

Overall, I would read  issue #2, but not that happy right out of the gate. The Anticipation was there, but it was deflated by all the grayness and depression that wasn’t really lifted up.

IMHO. :)

Den of Geek on Ten: The characters introduced in the story are a little too stereotypical for my taste: a hysterical and extremely religious abuela, an overbearing father who values money more than his daughter’s happiness, and a sister who just wants to get married. Gabriella is different, though. She wants to get out of her one-dimensional neighborhood and go to college to pursue her dreams. She is the light at the end of the tunnel for what is otherwise a generic Mexican neighborhood.

You Decide. You tell Me….

 

18 Ways

18 ways to tell if you’re a genuine Doctor Who superfan

If you always take a banana to a party and never blink when you see a statue, you’re on your way to being a proper, take-no-nonsense Whovian superfan, says David Prince

(Wales Online)

The Doctor trying to save the world with a Jammie Dodger

1. You find yourself saying random Doctor Who catch phrases such as Fantastic, Allons-y, Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey and Bow Ties/Fezes are cool, in any situation that you find yourself in.

2. You own more than one version of a Sonic Screwdriver.

3. You always take a banana to a party.

4. You always count the shadows.

5. You take an instant dislike to anyone that writes out Doctor Who as Dr.Who.

6. You smile at the thought of slipping a Doctor Who quote into conversations such as someone talking about how much they felt like they were living in a book they read, and you reply “We’re all stories, in the end.”

7. You offer Jelly Babies to people you hardly know. The same goes for trying to save the world with a Jammie Dodger (which are made in Cwmbran).

8. You cry a little inside when you realise that you’re still not ginger.

9. The Regeneration cycle hits you like this: New Doctor announced – “I hate this guy”. New Doctor’s first episode – “He’s Okay, I guess, but the last guy was still better”.  End of New Doctor’s first season – “Best. Doctor. Ever.” Doctor announces his departure – “No! There’s no way you can replace him!”

10. You see any big blue box in the street and can’t help but take a selfie.

11. In South Wales during filming you find yourself looking for the crew signs to watch them film the show and hopefully meet the cast.

12. You don’t blink when you see a statue.

13. Shop window dummies give you a chill.

14. Any time someone talks scientific – you mention something about reversing the neutron flow.

15. When introducing yourself you get the urge to say: “There’s something you’d better understand about me ‘cause it’s important, and one day your life may depend on it: I am definitely a mad man with a box!”

16. When consoling someone at a funeral you say: “Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.” Or this: “The good things don’t always soften the bad, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”

17. When searching for clues you look exactly where you don’t want to look. Where you never want to look. The corner of your eye.

18. When thinking of your love life you believe in the saying: “One may suffer a world of demons for the sake of an angel.”

My 19th: You’ve been to England and Wales a total of 3 times, strictly for Doctor Who!!

This Ain’t No Fairytale Anymore!

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

Winston Churchill

Specifically chatting about incoming Doctor Peter Capaldi, Moffat revealed that “he’s not as immediately approachable and he’s not necessarily looking for your approval. I would like to restore the sense that when he says ‘Wait here, I’ll be back’ you really hope he’ll be back, but you’re not absolutely convinced… What he’s not doing is reassuring you very much”.

The impact of that is set to be felt by Clara too. “From a Doctor she could sort of control, because he had a crush on her, she’s landed with a Doctor who barely registers that she’s a girl. They’re great friends and all that but she has to be his human interface with everybody else”.

Moffat, in noting that it “feels more serious”, adds that “one of the watchwords we have this year is there are consequences for choosing to live like this. It’s not a fairytale… we want to make it feel that these adventures can hurt”.

If you have people back home, if you run away it’s going to have an effect on them. And it’s not necessarily always going to be lovely. And does the Doctor make you better?

I would like to restore the sense that when he says ‘Wait here, I’ll be back’ you really hope he’ll be back, but you’re not absolutely convinced… What he’s not doing is reassuring you very much.”

Meanwhile for Jenna Coleman’s Clara, there’s a new role that doesn’t seem to have been approached in Doctor Who for many years, “she has to be his human interface with everybody else.”

I think a style change is necessary once in awhile. As I have said before the #1 watchword of Doctor Who is CHANGE. The Doctor’s Change, The companions change, The TARDIS changes, the monsters change, the writers,producers,etc all change.

It’s the nature of the show.

It’s why 51 years later it’s still going.

Change my dear and not a moment too soon” as The Sixth Doctor once said to Peri.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

John F. Kennedy
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw

Powerhouse WHO

The Day of the Doctor was the most-watched drama on BBC Television last year, with an average of 12.8 million viewing.

“BBC Wales produced arguably the biggest programming moment of the year –Doctor Who’s 50th
anniversary”
The figures are confirmed in the BBC Annual Report published today, which also reveals that 3.2 million requested the 50th-anniversary episode on iPlayer.

“while on iPlayerit was the most requested drama episode in 2013″

Doctor Who is listed as one of the global highlights of the year, with the Doctor Who special being shown on TV in 98 countries, with 3D screenings in 23 countries, broadcast in 15 languages, and selling 649,138 cinema tickets in 25 countries. Following transmission, the episode went straight to the top of the iTunes US and Amazon charts, illustrating appetite for the Doctor Who brand, which has 4.3m fans on Facebook.

BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, also reported on how well the series performs for the Corporation. The Day Of The Doctor sold more DVD copies in its first week than any previous Doctor Who title. Additionally, the returned classic Doctor Who episodes, The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, topped the iTunes TV chart in October. By offering fans exclusive products, such as limited edition box sets and branded apparel, the e-commerce business at BBCShop.com has increased by 30.4%.

In North America the Doctor Who 50th-anniversary episode reached almost 4.5m viewers on the day and set a record for activity related to a televised event on Tumblr, surpassing the Super Bowl and MTV VMAs. The Doctor Who Christmas special premiere was BBC America’s first-ever audience over 3m.

BBC Worldwide reported that although revenue from consumer products in the US as a whole was marginally down, it outperformed the declining US DVD market. This was aided by Doctor Who 50th-anniversary programming, which also fuelled an 80.1% uplift in licensing, with total licensing revenue equating to over US$100m in retail sales. The one-day theatrical release of The Day of the Doctor delivered the equivalent of US$4.8m at the box office, making it the second-highest US box office hit on the night.

In Australia the Doctor Who 50th-anniversary broadcast reached 1.7m viewers, while the sales of Doctor Who DVDs increased by 59.6%. Live events included the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular touring three cities, and the 50th-anniversary episode screening was seen by more than 95,000 cinema-goers in 131 cinemas. BBC Worldwide Australia launched four Doctor Who pop-up shops and an online store.

In Latin America The Day of the Doctor was seen by 24,000 people in cinemas across the region.

Also Recently:

It was ten years ago today <July 18th> that director Keith Boak first called “Action!” to commence filming on a new series for a long-running, award-winning television programme that hadn’t been in front of cameras in the United Kingdom for almost fifteen years. With Doctor Who having been confined for many years within literature, audio and online adventures – and one US-based TV movie pilot that had failed to lead to anything further – it wasn’t difficult for many fans to feel that the show would never return to full production, even with the assurances from the BBC since 2003 that it would indeed be coming back to television soon – seeing would be believing…

Considering the intense media coverage of the casting of the new Doctor and his companion, filming itself started with minimal fanfare. Its new star Christopher Eccleston was hidden away in the depths of the Cardiff Royal Infirmary out of sight of public scrutiny; however, fandom ensured that even such an inauspicious beginning would be marked, and reports were soon appearing on Doctor Who News (in its earlier, “Outpost Gallifrey” incarnation!) documenting anything and everything to be witnessed from “Day One” …

Dave Shuttleworth: After looking at the streets listed as this week’s locations on the news page, I popped in to the Cardiff Visitor Centre, in Working Street. I figured there was no harm in asking whether or not they could confirm that Doctor Who was going to be filmed outside their premises and, sure enough, not only are the crew using the street, they’re using the visitor centre itself as a location, together with the pub next door (Toad @ the Exhibition).

The two premises are part of the same building – the old city library – and are being used as a police station. I went into the Toad for lunch (not bad and reasonably priced!) and got chatting to the girls behind the bar. They’re getting ready to let the Doctor Who crew use half the pub on Tuesday night from 7pm (the rest will be open to the public) and are quite excited about the prospect.

From there I walked out to the old Cardiff Royal Infirmary, which is a wonderfully ramshackle example of gothic decay – a great location! In the area at the front of the building was a group of about eight or ten extras, dressed as soldiers – camouflage gear, red berets and heavy rifles – together with one man dressed in a smart military uniform, with a cap (from the military police vehicle I spotted later, I would guess they might be ‘Redcaps’ but I didn’t recognise the insignia on the berets, which was sort-of T-shaped metal badge – perhaps a figure with arms outstretched?).

There were various film crew types wandering about and an awful lot of lighting/equipment vans and other lorries. Circling the site, there were lots of temporary ‘BBC Wales’ signs and I asked one of the chaps what was going on (I’m sure my pretence of ‘not being all that interested’ didn’t fool him for a moment!) and he said: “It’s the first day of filming on the new series of Doctor Who.”

Back round at the front of the building, some set dressing was going on at the hospital gates – a big ‘metal’ arch, painted black, with ‘ALBION HOSPITAL’ in gold letters, which were being dirtied down. From the safety of the other side of the road I watched for a while (I was desperate not to run the slightest risk of getting in the way or annoying anyone and it’s a very public place, so what the hey?) then went off to the cinema for a couple of hours.

When the film was over I couldn’t resist popping back for another look! By this time (around 4pm) there were a handful of police vehicles (basic markings – stripes and lettering, blank insignia – so not a specific force, apart from one that had ‘MILITARY POLICE’ on its bonnet. Maybe extra decals will be added later?) and the armoured car. Round the back of the infirmary were four extras, dressed as police wearing tactical gear (black combat stuff).

Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Dave Shuttleworth Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Dave Shuttleworth Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Dave Shuttleworth Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Dave Shuttleworth Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Dave Shuttleworth Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Dave Shuttleworth Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Dave Shuttleworth Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Dave Shuttleworth

Photos by Dave Shuttleworth

Paul Mount:

I managed to position myself surreptitiously near the main gates to the Hospital (renamed Albion Hospital) where a scene with a reporter was being rehearsed/filmed. I saw the material being played back on DV Playback equipment (thus ending the film/DV argument, I guess) and it consisted of the reporter uttering dialogue indicating that “Nobody is confirming if the body is alive or dead. Whitehall are saying nothing. The body has been brought here to Albion Hospital, the nearest hospital to the river. The roads are closed, the hospital has been evacuated.” There was some reference to a General Asquith, the body being human or alien and then the roads were closed again as a scene of a military police car and an ambulance driving through the gates was recorded. The general area was ‘decorated’ with London-style bus stops, one of which, I noticed as I walked right past it, was bearing a London street map the familiar red circle-style London Underground symbol.

The area was literally packed with people – technicians, production crew etc, presumably Keith Boak directing from the concourse area inside the gates. There were loads of black-clad police officers brandishing machine guns, the tank had been moved nearer the gates and there were quite a few other vehicles and extras in military uniform. I caught a quick glimpse of the script in the hands of one technician and while I couldn’t get close enough to have a good look I could clearly see dialogue and reference to one character speaking – Jackie.

Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Rob Stradling Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Rob Stradling Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Rob Stradling Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Rob Stradling Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Rob Stradling Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Rob Stradling Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Rob Stradling Filming at Cardiff Royal Infirmary, 18 Jul 2004. Photo: Rob Stradling

 

Photos by Rob Stradling

The scenes above were ultimately for Aliens of London, but a couple of days later the media finally caught up on events with widespread coverage of filming outside Howell’s Department Store and Queen’s Arcade in the town centre for Rose, including BBC News coverage live from outside the store, and more fans gathering to catch a glimpse of “their” show coming back to life for the 21st Century …

David Shaw: The Autons are back! After reading the tip-offs on Outpost Gallifrey (thanks), I travelled the 150 miles to Cardiff yesterday (Tues 20th July) with my 6-year-old daughter, Emma, in the hope of experiencing a bit of the magic of Dr Who’s return. We found the Working Street/St. John Street location quite easily, and wandered past the production team vans at 5.30pm. Emma was delighted to spot a familiar group of shop-dummy props in the back of one of the trucks, clearly indicating the return of the Autons! The street was then dressed to resemble 1950s(?) London; props were positioned: a red telephone box, Underground sign, red post box, London bus stop, gaslamps, two industrial metal dustbins and an Evening Standard headline display announcing “Proper rigmarole” (a la Web Of Fear). The sign of the “Sneakers” sports shoe shop was removed and replaced with a fictional “Classic Bride” pink shopfront. Wedding gowns arrived for the dummies as well as “C.B.” logo stickers for the shop windows. We were excited to realise that it would be the scene of an Auton breakout, as glaziers arrived to fit temporary glass windows! The exterior of the Toad @ The Exhibition pub was transformed into a police station, with new signs, an information board and a blue “police” lamp. We had followed two traditional 1950s-style London buses from the motorway into Cardiff earlier in the afternoon and were amazed to see them turn up in the Dr. Who street. In fact there was a range of vehicles: fire engine, Royal Mail lorry, Evening Standard van, two black London taxis and the two buses. We tried to keep out of the way and were allowed to wander up and down the street until after 8pm. A few of the workers spoke to us in a friendly manner, and no-one asked us to move away. As darkness fell, the area was closed off by the Police with “do not cross” tape, and some extras dressed as firemen arrived. We heard a few rehearsals and shouts of “Quiet please!” as some minor scenes were filmed. Since it was now 9.30 pm and it seemed likely that the main filming would not take place until the middle of the night, we left. We returned at 5am this morning, however, as dawn was breaking to find the clear-up in full swing. Significantly, there was shattered glass all over the pavement in front of the “Classic Bride” shop, and we watched as the props were systematically removed (all the vehicles had already gone). The Auton shop dummies were piled up in the street and then all props were put back into the trucks. Emma had a fantastic time – Dr Who is definitely back!

Filming at Queen's Arcade, 20 Jul 2004. Photo: Gareth Price Filming at Queen's Arcade, 20 Jul 2004. Photo: Gareth Price Filming at Queen's Arcade, 20 Jul 2004. Photo: Gareth Price Filming at Queen's Arcade, 20 Jul 2004. Photo: Gareth Price

 

Photos by Gareth Price

Anna Roberts:

Just got back from Cardiff city centre. I stayed for about half an hour from 10 pm on. … When I was there, they were filming outside the entrance to Queen’s Arcade using it as the entrance to a shopping centre. Again, it had been dressed to look like London, with an Underground sign by the entrance. It had also been prettified a bit with a couple of new, small iron lamp posts, but otherwise they didn’t seem to have changed any of the shop fronts… There were assorted vehicles about the area, including two red London buses (the Routemaster type – one was route 74 to Putney Heath for those who really like their details), a couple of black cabs, an Evening Standard van, post van, and what seemed to be a small fire engine. Plus a massive crane to light the scene. RTD was in attendance and they were filming a couple of scenes with a female actress, who was wearing blue trackie bottoms with what looked like Adidas stripes, a pink top/jumper and a blue denim jacket. She was also carrying a blue, sequined denim handbag, a mobile phone and a white A4 piece of paper/envelope. The scene consisted of the actress (likely NOT Billie Piper) walking across the road talking on her mobile, while a couple of the vehicles drove past and the best part of a dozen normally dressed extras carrying shopping bags milled about. I could hear most of the dialogue, and following a line about where are you, she was talking to somebody she referred to as darling (boyfriend). As best I can remember the dialogue it was “I can’t hear you, the signal’s breaking up. I’m just going to do some late night shopping.” Gripping, huh? A second scene was quickly rehearsed where the same actress ran back out of the shopping centre followed by a tightly packed group of the same extras marching oddly. I have a suspicion that this might have been put on for the benefit of the audience though as the crew then broke for a meal without filming it. Hope that keeps your appetites whetted.

Ten years on, and as filming continues apace on Peter Capaldi‘s first series there has been no diminishing of fan and media interest in the development of the show, and modern social media services such as Twitter now provide a rich source of both fan and public experiences of the Doctor Who production out and about. The new Doctor’s willingness to pose for photos with the public between takes has led to widespread interest whenever they are on the streets – yesterday being no exception when the TARDIS and its usual occupants were spotted on Queen Street, Cardiff during the morning (and duly featured by the Daily Mail). With the expectation of London featuring prominently for filming next week, the popularity of production will no doubt continue unabated (filming last took place in the capital for the 50th Anniversary special, The Day of The Doctor, and Trafalgar Square was ‘besieged’ by spectators!).

 

The currently confirmed broadcasts for the episode are:

Country Channel Date Time
United Kingdom BBC One 23 August time tbc
Germany FOX 23 August 9:00pm (European)
United States BBC America 23 August 8:00pm (Eastern)
Canada SPACE 23 August 8:00pm (Eastern)
Australia ABC1 24 August time tbc

Iconic Imagery

This is the official image released from this weekend’s shoot by the BBC, a single silver soldier framed in homage to 1968 Troughton-era story, The Invasion (see below).

Even I tried back in 2011 to match the shot, but was ultimately not that successful (I’m not far enough down the steps). The landscape has changed and I only had 5 minutes to run from inside the church, snap the pic and get back to the tour. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.
Such is the geeky pull of an iconic image.
invasion
West End Entrance. The iconic shot is from the steps across the street from the South side of the Cathedral that now lead to the Millennium Bridge (but not back in 1968).

Deus Ex Machina

Guest contributor Stewart McDonald (Doctor Who TV) on why the Sonic has become the deus ex machina of Who.

Series-8-TV-launch-trailer-(8)

 

 

I have had my own bots of should-he or shouldn’t he with the Sonic Screwdriver because like many writers of the 80′s, when they git rid of it for a time it does force you to be more creative as a writer, but it does also slow down the action and today’s audience is not as forgiving of that as they used to be. So yes, it is a struggle. But like a good Deus Ex Machina at least this one has purpose that is more than just getting out of a situation because the writer wrote themselves unintentionally into a corner and could get out so they just blow it off and move on.. The Sonic is more deliberate than that. Just as the “Deadlock Seal” anti- Deus Ex Machina. :)

The Sonic is almost a “superpower” isn’t it?

The Sonic Screwdriver, as we all know, is the Doctor’s scientific device. It has helped him scan many things from ancient artifacts to people’s biology. It’s gotten him out of more scrapes than his quick thinking has. This has become more true lately, with the Sonic Screwdriver sometimes serving as a handy plot device to either get the TARDIS crew out of a quick scrape or as a convenient means to wrap up plot devices, turning off doomsday machines and unlocking locked doors.

Now, I’ve seen some articles and different viewpoints on the Doctor’s ‘magic wand’ and the most common criticism comes into Steven Moffat’s era with the much bigger and often much more used Screwdriver used by the 11th Doctor and soon, the 12th Doctor. It seems that the Sonic Screwdriver has become too convenient a plot device for writers to fall back on when thinking of a way to help out the Doctor. But is that such a bad thing? Why shouldn’t he be allowed to rely on a device that is arguably as iconic as the time travelling police box we all know and love?

Well, I think we should take a look…

An App For Everything!

To start off with, let’s step away from the show itself and look towards the reality we are submersed in every single day of our lives. Every. Single. Day. Smart phones. It seems to be that the current generations of the 21st Century are practically stuck to their iPhones and tablets with industrial strength adhesive, or perhaps the Wire is slowly feeding on their electrical energy in the brain. Let’s be honest, either situation isn’t exactly pleasant to suffer through.

In a world where technology is constantly evolving and becoming more and more of an effective tool in our daily routines, simply saying the words “I’ve got an app for that” couldn’t be closer to the truth even if it was a ten foot sign with big flashing lights telling you exactly where to go to get to the truth.

Applications for our phones are everywhere and they are practically compatible with every device and machine known to man. Thus, they make our lives less complicated and a whole lot easier. But as every changes and adapts to overcome the next great hurdle, why can’t the Doctor? Why can’t his trusty little screwdriver keep up with the times?

A Reflection of Reality

50th-trailer-totters-classicsonicMy point, in case its not that clear, is that as the Sonic Screwdriver adapts and changes, it starts to reflect our current society and technological advancements. The Sonic Screwdriver for the Doctor is what the smart phone is to we humans. It is small. It is an effective tool. It has become something that our fleeting lives depend on. I sometimes wonder if the writers were consciously thinking about that comparison when drafting the next episode, or were they just looking for a way to propel the story forward to the conclusion. Who knows?

As I look back through Doctor Who’s history, I find myself paying attention to how the Sonic Screwdriver was utilized. When it was conceived in the Classic Era, I find that it looked to be used as a futuristic piece of technology that was seemingly capable of anything. It was with the Doctor everywhere he went and its destruction at the hands of the Terileptils in ‘The Visitation’ caused the 5th Doctor considerable remorse:

“I feel as if you’ve just killed an old friend.”

Eric Saward explained the reason for killing it off as being done on the instructions of John Nathan-Turner because a device that could help out in any situation was limiting the story. And so, the Sonic Screwdriver was no more. But let’s be real, people. This is Doctor Who! Nothing stays dead forever.

When the show returned in 2005, the Screwdriver was a lot smaller and a lot more limited. the Doctor mainly utilized it for scanning equipment and repairing small robot dogs. This suited the times we lived in. Everyone had various bits and bobs and nifty little gadgets for different situations. A single device for everything was not something we seen a great deal of. The closest piece of technology I can recall being close to that was the universal remote. The Sonic Screwdriver is a useful metaphor for today’s time. It upgrades as we upgrade our computers and phones. It adapts as we adapt. the Doctor’s dependence on it increases as ours does. You get the idea.

Even when it gets fried in a scanner or eaten by a shark, the Doctor simply swaps it for a new one. I’ve done that too. My iPhone or my iPad breaks and I simply have it replaced for a brand new model. Usually the same model, but I’m not going focus on that.

The Deus ex Machina Problem

power-of-three-spoiler-pics-(9)Once we moved into the 11th Doctor’s era, the Sonic Screwdriver became the most simple way to keep the story going. It became quite the cheap trick to get the Doctor out of a jam. I’ll admit, when I sat down every Saturday to tune in to the next adventure, I actively expected the Sonic Screwdriver to save the day. When it wasn’t used, I was actually surprised and somewhat confused, especially in ‘The Crimson Horror’, where Clara and the Doctor both favoured a simple wooden chair to defeat Mrs. Gillyflower and to escape so they could rescue Ada. It was refreshing to see them using a more hands on approach to solve the problems they faced. However, the rest of the time it feels like a luxury not afforded to us as much as it used to be.

Too many times the writers rely too heavily on the Sonic Screwdriver. At first I didn’t mind, it was nice to see it become a more useful prop. Now it just feels like an overplayed song on the radio. You can’t go five minutes without hearing or being reminded of it. The worst offence I have seen of this has been narrowed down to three different stories:

The Power of Three: In this episode, the Doctor used the Sonic Screwdriver to call off a second wave of the small black cubes that were causing complete heart failure for anyone near them. He then waved it around a little more and brought all those affected back to life and subsequently destroyed the Shakri ship. If the Shakri was an ancient myth for the Time Lords capable of wiping an entire species from the cosmos, I doubt they could be defeated by a gangly man in a bow tie with a metal wand that lit up at one end.

Closing Time: There was only one big offence in this episode, which wasn’t as bad as the other two on this list. This is the episode that inspired this whole article. the Doctor uses his Sonic Screwdriver to disable a lonely Cybermat in the shopping centre. Later on, it comes to life once more and attacks an unsuspecting Craig Owens. the Doctor uses the Screwdriver as a gun, more or less, and shoots the Cybermat. Now I’m all for him having an app for almost anything, but essentially turning it into a projected energy weapon? That’s pushing it, don’t you think?

The Day of the Doctor: Along with many Whovians, I loved this 50th Anniversary special. Unfortunately, there was one part that annoyed me. When the Doctors trapped themselves inside the ‘Gallfrey Falls’ painting to sneak into the Black Archive. When a Dalek approaches them yelling, “EXTERMINATE”, they simply turned around and used their Sonic Screwdrivers to force the Dalek through the painting giving everyone under the Tower of London a jolly big fright. While it was an amazing spectacle, I didn’t understand how that was possible. You could just write it off due to them being in a painting, but that fees too easy. The War Doctor even made fun of their reliance on the trusty device, which left me a little cheated when they turned around and simply shoved a Dalek through a painting with their screwdrivers.

The Verdict (if you can call it a verdict)

The times are changing and so is Doctor Who. It has become a more modern show, with more advanced aliens and futuristic tech. However, as we become more dependent on technology, it has shown in the writing. I think it is about time that we started to rely less on the Sonic Screwdriver and more on unconventional means of saving the day. Now I’m not saying we go to the lengths that the Classic series did and ‘retire’ the device, but I do believe that writers should learn to use the screwdriver in moderation.

The Sonic Screwdriver is the deus ex machina of Doctor Who. While it is clear that it has become overused, the least I can do is understand why.

And embrace The Sonic. :)

From the Depths of the Wilderness Years:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?&q=doctor+who&qft=+filterui:videoage-lt1440&FORM=R5VR5#view=detail&mid=D9742EA7064FA8B54B2DD9742EA7064FA8B54B2D

Timey Wimey Nit Picking

<John> Barrowman shared some thoughts on Capaldi and moved to silence any critics: “I know Peter as an actor because he was on Torchwood: Children of Earth and I think he will be an awesome Doctor. He’s a wonderful actor, he’s also Scottish so it holds in the line of David Tennant, myself and other Scots who have been involved in the Whovian world.

“And for those critics who sit behind their keyboards and say ‘Capaldi’s not going to be good…’ Shut up! Because you’ll watch the show anyway. You go on the journey the Doctor takes you on no matter who is playing him.”

What fascinates me, as a long time Doctor Who fan is h0ow EVERY SINGLE DOCTOR has to go through this “he won’t be any good” crap.

No one understands pessimism better than me, trust me. But is it that or are people just naturally going to beat it down so they don’t have to have high expectations crushed?

But they fact is, this has been happening since Patrick Troughton for god’s sake. Remember the “Matt’s too young”. They said the same thing about Peter Davison, and then they went to point out he was big star to boot.

Capaldi’s a big star and “too old”. :)

What is it in the psyche?

From the American Perspective, I remember this about Star Trek: The Next Generation months before it premiered.

Maybe it’s because some re-makes are crap and now one wants the next regeneration to be “the one” that kills the show.

BUT YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT FIRST!

I mean, that is still the tag on Colin’s Doctor. Admitted his first episode is one of the worst episodes ever (and voted as such in virtually every fan poll in recent memory) but then look at Vengeance on Varos!

Don’t judge Sylvester by Time & The Rani.

So take a Deep Breath :) and hold your fire until you’ve the whites of his credits.

Watch The Musketeers;. Watch Fires of Pompeii, Torchwood Children of Earth, The Thick of it.

It will be alright.

At least he’s not Ginger! :)

 

Discipline

 

The commercial arm of the U.K. public broadcaster offers its “sincere apologies” to showrunner Steven Moffat and the cast and production team “who toil long hours to make the show.”

LONDON – BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the U.K. public broadcaster, has taken disciplinary action after a recent leak that made scripts for several episodes of the new season of hit show Doctor Who available online.

The new season stars Peter Capaldi as the sci fi show’s new lead.

After a review of the incident, the company said at the end of the week: “BBC Worldwide has taken this issue extremely seriously, and disciplinary action has been implemented as a result of the incident.” It didn’t detail how many people were affected by the action and what measures were taken.

 

The company said that “the mistake was damaging and resulted in the exposure of five scripts and the first six unfinished episodes from [season] 8 on a publicly accessible FTP site.”

It added: “While there is still a risk that this leak will result in more of this content emerging, so far the impact has been contained to a limited amount of this material through a combination of fans efforts and the plan that we put in place using new technology and internal manpower to limit any illegal activity.”

PHOTOS ‘Doctor Who’: Actors and Actresses Who Could Have Been the Latest Doctor

BBC Worldwide concluded by saying: “Our sincere apologies again to [showrunner] Steven Moffat, the cast and production team who toil long hours to make the show in Cardiff, the BBC, and of course the fans who expect so much better.”

The company didn’t detail what exactly happened, but it is understood that scripts were leaked online after being sent to BBC Worldwide’s newly opened Latin America headquarters in Miami for translation.

 

 

Lego 50th!

Hilarious. Now this fandom love.

How awesome is this?

A painstaking video dedicated to the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who has been made – out of Lego!

Recreating the Time Lords’ battle to save home planet Gallifrey in Day of the Doctor, the plastic mini-Doctors – Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt – fight against time, all the while sticking to Lego plates.

Many other characters also make an appearance including Clara Oswald, the current companion, Joanna Page’s Queen Elizabeth and, what was possibly the most exciting cameo of the 50th celebrations, Tom Baker as the elderly curator of the gallery where Matt Smith’s Doctor ends the episode.

The tribute was made by Bookshelf productions.

At the end of the video all the eleven Doctors line up with John Hurt’s renegade 13th Doctor included.(Wales online)

Everything is Awesome! Everything Doctor Who that is… :)

 

I have made many mistakes…

Perhaps the most telling moment in the new Doctor Who trailer is Peter Capaldi’s remark to Jenna Coleman. ‘I’ve made many mistakes,’ he says, before adding. ‘It’s about time that I did something about that.’

So much for “getting too big” and “fading back into the background” maybe? Maybe a little Sylvester McCoy pro-activeness. Hmmm…

The BBC tweet that followed asked ‘What mistakes could he be referring to?’. It’s a fair question.

‘Many future worlds will become allies just because of their fear of the Daleks’

The Doctor must have looked back at the end of the Time War and wished he’d eradicated the malevolent dustbins when he’d had the chance.

In Genesis of the Daleks he’s unable to go through with it, reasoning that ‘If I wipe out a whole intelligent life form, then I become like them’.

But the Time War – or at least the Doctor’s remembered version of events – was a different beast, causing untold devastation on a massive scale. Perhaps his initial reluctance to get involved stemmed from the realisation that there was only one way out. Perhaps, eventually, all roads lead to the Big Red Button.

doctor-who john-hurt
The War Doctor and the big red button (Picture: BBC)

‘I know what I’m doing; you don’t.’

When the Fourth Doctor arrives on the planet of the Sevateem, he finds old mistakes coming back to haunt him: a computer he repaired aeons ago has gone rogue because the Doctor had failed to wipe his personality print from its core.

Many years later, the Ninth Doctor destroys the Mighty Jagrafess in Satellite 5, disabling its hold over humanity, but rather than igniting the renaissance he’d anticipated, the gap in the schedules creates a vacuum that is conveniently filled by Daleks running game shows.

By and large, the Doctor’s time travelling relies on the idea of predestination: he doesn’t change the future or past, but instead commits acts that were destined to happen anyway.

MORE: What we learnt from the Doctor Who series 8 launch trailer

 

His actions in The Visitation trigger the Great Fire of London – and faced with the imminent destruction of a Roman city in Fires of Pompeii, he gradually realises that not only can he not save Pompeii, but it is he who must flip the switch that will annihilate it.

It’s inevitable. There’s no alternative, and no way out. You can’t save Gallifrey. Can you?

Doctor Who
Christopher Eccleston as The Ninth Doctor. (AP Photo/BBC) AP Photo/BBC

‘Today, I honour the victims first.’

When the Doctor discovered that the inhabitants of a town called Mercy were harbouring an escaped war criminal, he was angry enough to cast the ethically dubious scientist into the path of an approaching cyborg.

This was a Doctor who had ‘travelled alone for too long’ – who had grown weary of failed negotiations and villains who took innocent lives because he refused to take theirs. But ultimately it was also the same Doctor who refused to take Wilfred Mott’s service revolver, and who would not kill the Master even at his end – and so, too, would he not kill Kahler Jex.

It’s tempting to paint him as the ultimate liberal role model – fair, rational and a great believer in redemption. But the Time Lord’s complicated moral code has got him (and the universe) into hot water on more than one occasion, and it’s only by sheer force of will that he manages to stick to it.

Terence Rattigan once wrote ‘easy to do justice. Hard to do right.’ I have a feeling the Doctor mutters this to himself in the bathroom mirror every morning.

Doctor Who: Matt Smith
The Eleventh Doctor looks out over Mercy. (AP Photo/BBC, Adrian Rogers) AP Photo/BBC, Adrian Rogers

‘This isn’t any old future, Amy, it’s ours. Once we know what’s coming, it’s fixed.’

You know what’s always bugged me about the end of The Angels Take Manhattan? The Doctor could easily have seen Amy and Rory again.

Their arrival in 1938 was a fixed point, but that doesn’t mean New York was off limits. As a friend of mine has pointed out, all it would have taken was another page in Amy’s book – ‘Hi Doctor, we’re happy here in 1969. It was good to see you at Christmas – it’s nice that we’ve kept that tradition up for 30 years now. Just think, somewhere out there, we’re running around doing that Day of the Moon story. That reminds me of when you picked us up in 1948 and we spent a decade trundling around again.’

Adric’s death is another example of this – the Fifth Doctor could quite feasibly have gone back to the ship and retrieved Adric before it exploded / crashed. Rule one: if you don’t see a corpse, death needn’t be inevitable.

There’s an alternative viewpoint, of course. It’s entirely possible that all this has nothing to do with the Doctor correcting past mistakes.

Perhaps he’s thinking about a new way forward, or a new way of doing things. Perhaps we’ll get a Doctor who takes fewer prisoners, who’ll not hesitate to deal out rough justice, and who’ll take us to some very dark places. Perhaps. Time will tell. It always does. (Metro)

5 weeks+ to go…

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 192 other followers