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Bite The Hand

‘It’s not been looked after’ Peter Capaldi criticises BBC bosses over Doctor Who

PETER CAPALDI has risked biting the hand that feeds him as he criticises the BBC’s inconsistent scheduling of Doctor Who.

The programme shifted about in the timetables several times last year, as the lengths of Strictly Come Dancing’s live shows fluctuated from week to week.

At the time, he called for the corporation to go back to airing the sci-fi series in one regular slot, and has now re-enforced those claims once again.

“The BBC is an incredible organisation, but… sometimes people there think, ‘That’s looking after itself’. And it’s not being looked after,” he told Newsweek.

“I think maybe their eye was taken off the ball, or the show was seen as a thing they could just push around. It’s not. It’s a special thing.”

The programme’s ratings were up and down last year but its catch-up numbers remain strong.

The actor continued: “I have to pay attention to ratings – I’d rather not – but it’s the way the business is. I think overnight ratings are a thing of the past.

“You can’t really measure the success of the show by its overnight ratings, which is what the papers do. But there’s still a place for families to sit down and watch the show – that’s still a great, fun thing to do.”

He added: “That’s what the show’s success has been based on. That has to be protected.” (The Express).

Peter’s not wrong. The whacked scheduling of last series was bad. Very bad. I mean most episodes were on AFTER the “target” audience had gone to bed or don’t do “family time” after 8pm, which is why you had such high numbers of recordings and replays.

But the Network clearly values the mass appeal of Strictly Come Dancing more than WHO, and old franchise even by modern day standards with 9 series in 11 years under it’s belt.

The No New WHO in 2016 doesn’t help either.

If you got the feeling that WHO was kind of just dump after Strictly and it was left flapping int he winds I wouldn’t disagree.

The only thing precious to a Network, is Money. Ratings, at least for now (with technology changing the paradigms) are still King.

Strictly is a “mass appeal”. Broad “demographics” and above all “cheap”.

The “Reality” program is not what it used to be because of over-satuation, but it is still cheaper than a Legendary Science Fiction Show that has some mass appeal but not as much as Dancing.

Remember, the cardinal rule of TV (IMHO) that I learned as a young kid:

THE PROGRAM IS ONLY THERE TO TAKE UP THE SPACE BETWEEN THE COMMERCIALS.It’s like Legos, they can be reshaped at anytime to make a new “something”.

It’s a business first. Entertainment, 3rd or 4th.

Admittedly, in England, you don’t have the commercial breaks like you do here but it still applies because the BBC is charged with making money off it’s programming just like everyone else and they’ll do it like everyone else, as cheaply and and as profitably as possible.

Fandom aside.

So WHO came up on the short end of the scheduling in 2015, and none at all in 2016.

That’s Show BIZ!

 

Time They are a Changin’

 This is a sign of times we live in…

BBC Worldwide is to close the online BBC Shop, which sells Books, DVDs, BluRays and games related to BBC output.

Instead the company will concentrate on BBC Store, which launched last year and offers digital copies of BBC programs.

BBC Worldwide explained its thinking:

The DVD market has been in decline for a number of years as consumers move to digital viewing. The market no longer supports the commercial release of many of the titles we’re able to make available on BBC Store. BBC Worldwide returns profits to the BBC’s Public Service to reinvest in programming.

The shop closes on 30th March. A number of bargains, including items of Doctor Who merchandise, can be obtained while stocks last.

 ———

Peter Capaldi: ‘I’ve been asked to stay on in Doctor Who after Steven Moffat leaves’

When Steven Moffat announced his departure as Doctor Who showrunner earlier this year, there was only one question on everyone’s minds – would current Doctor Peter Capaldi stay on with new boss Chris Chibnall, or hand over the Tardis keys like former Time Lord David Tennant did when Russell T Davies left the series?

Now, RadioTimes.com can reveal that the BBC has asked Capaldi to stay on as the Doctor after Moffat’s departure – but the actor himself isn’t sure whether he’ll take up their offer.

“I’ve been asked to stay on,” Capaldi told RadioTimes.com, “but it’s such a long time before I have to make that decision.

“Steven’s been absolutely wonderful, so I love working with him. Chris is fantastic, and I think he’s a hugely talented guy.

“I don’t know where the show’s gonna go then. I don’t know. I have to make up my mind, and I haven’t yet.”

He concluded: “As Steven will tell you, it’s very difficult to say goodbye.”

In summary, you shouldn’t be surprised to see a very familiar Time Lord at the Tardis controls for a few years yet…

Face The Bells, Clara

I vote for coincidence, or at most inspiration. But this is one of the things I most love about Doctor Who fans. We love to solve puzzles, even if one doesn’t exist. It’s fun. It’s intellectual. It’s imagination run amok! And who knows, we might just be right…

Was there a big clue about Clara Oswald’s fate hidden all the way back in Doctor Who series 7?

Was there a big clue about Clara Oswald's fate hidden all the way back in Doctor Who series 7?

By Sarah Doran

Sunday 6 March 2016 at 9:30PM

From the moment she took Rigsy’s countdown clock tattoo in Face The Raven we had a feeling Clara Oswald’s destiny was written in stone but could her fate have actually been decided while Matt Smith was still in the Tardis?

An eagle eyed fan – who goes by the name of commontao on Reddit – has spotted something rather interesting in The Bells of Saint John, arguably the first ‘regular’ episode Clara appeared in as The Doctor’s companion after The Snowmen.

Anyone trying to steal Clara’s style from the episode might have spotted that she’s wearing a pendant.

A bird pendant.

With outstretched wings.

A bit like this bird.

Which also had outstretched wings when it took Clara’s life.

Coincidence or conspiracy?

Would it really be so wild as to think that the powers that be could have planted a hint so early on?

Possibly, given that the pendant is more Aztec eagle than raven and, y’know, Coleman already one rescheduled exit storyline.

But then this is Doctor Who we’re talking about – Moffat Loop Doctor Who!

Nothing’s left to chance… or is it? We’ll let you be the judge of that one.

Lizard Tales

The Silurians are one of my favorites of WHO. They are as other people have said “a movie quality” idea created in 1970 for Pertwee’s first Season.

The above video has virtually nothing on them from that era. I’m sure it’s because its old and less tech than today, focusing more on Madame Vastra than anyone.

But they have always been one of my favorites. My domain name eocenearizona.com is named after them, as Eocenes is the Doctor Who term for both the Silurians and Sea Devils.

Still waiting for the Sea Devils in Modern Who. 🙂

The idea that they were here and had a thriving civilization before humans evolved and then they went into hibernation and were awoke by Man was a great story point. But to point out that they are just as Terran/Earthling as Humans and have the same rights to the planet makes for one hell of a story.

Homo Reptilia. As the Ninth Doctor would say, “Fantastic!”

The Beginning:

 

14 in 10

So, this confirms that – after the 2016 Christmas special – Doctor Who series 10 will consist of the standard-issue 13 episodes.

The Radio Times is reporting exclusively that Doctor Who series 10 will begin filming this May. Using some fag-packet maths then, a typical nine-month run should take it all the way to early 2017.

It’s currently understood that outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat will remain in place for a further fourteen episodes, including twelve episodes of season ten and the 2016 and 2017 Christmas Specials, before new head honcho Chris Chibnall steps in in 2018.

Additionally, “senior show sources” are reportedly yet to select who will be travelling with Peter Capaldi in the TARDIS as the Doctor’s Companion. “It is understood auditions for Jenna Coleman’s replacement have still not begun”, says the RT.

Doctor Who Magazine has asked Steven Moffat if he’ll present a plethora of two-parters again this time around, as served him pretty well in season 9. “Something else will happen [in series 10],” he said in response.

The Moff explained that “each year, we try to do something different – almost out of perversity, to make things more difficult for ourselves – so that we’re not getting into a groove, we’re not becomingly boringly expert at it, because there’s nothing so boring as when you get slick.”

“I was very happy to get rid of two-parters when I did, and [in series 9 I was] very happy to bring them back,” he added, leaving us to wonder what he’ll change this year.

And now, Peter Capaldi has discussed his own wishes for his new co-lead. Specifically, he isn’t particularly keen on having a male companion.

“With the best will in the world, I don’t want a bloke,” he told Radio Times, “because I’m frightened that they’ll give him all the action and I’ll be standing around spouting scientific gobbledygook… ‘Oh, Peter’s not up to chasing those Zygons down the corridor, let the chap do it.’ And that would be awful. I want to chase the Zygons!”

“I just think that combo of the slightly strange and alien Time Lord with the intelligent, enthusiastic and inquisitive girl is a good combo. I don’t know why – but it just seems to work,” he added.

Whether Capaldi gets his wish or not, we’ll keep you up to date as we hear more on Doctor Who series 10, and the incoming new companion.

Additionally Doctor Who Magazine #496 is now on sale. I know I just got mine in the mail yesterday.

Doctor Who Magazine 496 (Credit: Panini)

Sir John Hurt is appearing at Gallifrey One in LA this weekend.

SQUEE!

 

Post Super Bowl

Know what I was doing during The Super Bowl?
Playing Lego Dimensions Doctor Who.

Got past the glitch that had stalled the game last weekend. Then saved the progress and had another glitch.

I love the game dearly, probably the best games ever. But the glitches are very annoying.

But I have The Twelfth Doctor, Cyborg (from the Teen Titans), Smeegal (Lord of The Rings), Batman, and a Cybermen just to name a few in the same game!

Way too much fun.

Game review: Lego Dimensions Doctor Who Level Pack is about time

Oh, and the game isn’t cheap either. So like many things, this hobby isn’t cheap.

But neither has my trips to England or Gallifrey One on THIS Friday… 🙂

Doctor Who Level Pack - you can almost taste the jelly babies

Haven’t gotten to this stage yet. But I’m closing in on it.
Metro Magazine UK:Although the bottom line here is that the Doctor Who Level Pack is great, and if you have even a passing love for the good Doctor it’s probably the most affectionate homage to the series you’ll ever get as a video game.

It should be pointed out first of all that each of these themes are in the main game as well, including a Doctor Who level. But buying the Level Pack is the only way to play as The Doctor, or use K-9 and the TARDIS. And before you ask which Doctor the answer is all of them. Each one of the 13 Doctors, including John Hurt’s War Doctor, is in the game as their own minifgure, complete with dialogue from the show, their own unique TARDIS interior (even the Jules Verne one from Paul McGann’s TV movie), and their own era appropriate version of the theme tune.

When you die you can chose to regenerate as the next one in line, and many have heir own unique props such as Patrick Troughton’s recorder or Peter Davidson’s cricket bat. Developer Traveller’s Tales are obviously huge Doctor Who fans and at least two of their previous games have featured unofficial cameos of the TARDIS, as well as a Weeping Angel in Lego Batman 3. But here they’ve been able to go all out, with references and characters from the show’s entire 52 year history.

Doctor Who Level Pack - the black & white TARDIS even has glued on wallpaper
Doctor Who Level Pack – the black & white TARDIS even has glued on wallpaper

What makes the level itself unusual is that using the TARDIS vehicle you can actually travel to the same areas at different points in history, which is used for a couple of neat puzzles involving the passage of time. To do this the TARDIS has to park on special plinths, which are actually dotted around in other levels of the parent game and give access to some surprise homages to other TV franchises not in the rest of the game (we’re trying not to spoil anything).

The downside to all this is that there isn’t really any story – just a sequence of largely unconnected scenes that end with the Daleks being defeated, again. The Doctor Who level in the main game was like that too though, and like all the Level Pack levels there’s a lot of reused assets and backdrops between the two.

What sells the Doctor Who Level Pack though is the hub world, which is gloriously indulgent in terms of its fan service. It’s a series of connected worlds that include two time zones for London, as well as Mars, the Dalek homeworld, and others. Each has the usual range of mini-quests and secrets, most of which are based around recreations of famous episodes – from the first Silurian episode of Nu-Who to 1967 classic Tomb of the Cybermen.

The hub also features voiceovers from Michelle Gomez as Missy, who isn’t in the story levels, as well as Jenna Coleman, Peter Capaldi, and Nicholas Briggs as the Daleks and Cybermen. Whether we’ll ever get a standalone Lego Doctor Who is unclear – the series probably isn’t quite popular enough abroad to justify that yet – but this will do very well in the meantime.

Netflix & Hulu

Let me chime in with my two cents on the whole Netflix/Hulu dropping of WHO thing.

First off, I have them all on DVD or Blu-Ray so I wasn’t watching them on these services to begin with.

But my feeling is, and it’s VERY cynical, is that this the beginning of the end of TV as we know it. Or at least as anyone from my generation backwards knows it.

The proliferation of streaming media doesn’t get to me because I don’t really use it. I check on Netflix maybe once or twice a month. I don’t watch videos on my tablet or phone. So I’m not that into it.

But, the younger generations, Millenials and going forward, are.

That’s the future of TV most likely. Meaning that at some point in the near future, a generation or less, we’ll likely have to buy our networks.

You want CBS content, you have to have CBS All Access. You certainly will in 2017 if you want to watch the New Trek series.

Netflix itself is heading in the direction of a “network”.

The BBC certainly is, at least for us Americans. That’s why they moved the content off of the “competition” in prep for their own pay service.

And I think that’s why TV is headed. Pay for Network service.

You want the latest, pay for it. You want it now, pay for it.

After all, I discovered a very long time ago that the program you are watching is merely the space between the commercials paying for it. This is just another expression of that.

I could be wrong. I also won’t say I’m in favor of it. But I think this is where it’s headed.

Isn’t technology grand? 🙂

 

Who Wars

http://www.cultbox.co.uk/features/lists/star-wars-actors-in-doctor-who

http://www.bbcamerica.com/shows//blog/2015/05/6-great-minds-moments-between-doctor-who-and-star-wars

I think one could argue they both have science fantasy and mythological and fairy tale style formats.

Doctor Who and Star Wars are much closer than, say, Star Trek is to Who. Star Trek is a very structured world and very military (even though they don’t like to admit it).

Doctor Who and Star Wars are more fantastical than that.

Who Is The Only Actor To Appear In Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who?

Answer: Deep Roy

There is only one actor the world over who has achieved the Sci-Fi trifecta of appearing in the three biggest Sci-Fi franchises on earth. Deep Roy, best known to modern movie goers as the face of the Oompa Loompas in Tim Burton’s 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reboot of the Willy Wonka franchise, has appeared in Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who.

He appeared first in Doctor Who, playing Mr. Sin in the 1977 story arc “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”and a Posicarian delegate in the Doctor Who story Mindwarp. He then appeared in 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi as Droopy McCool. Finally, he sealed the trifecta with his  Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek:Beyond (2016) appearance as Keenser.

In addition to his roles within the three mega franchises, Roy has always appeared in other Sci-Fi movies and shows such as The X-Files, Planet of the Apes, and Flash Gordon.

 

The Story That Never Was

Storyboards from the 50th Anniversary show of Doctor Who reveal the Ninth Doctor’s role if he had made it into the episode as originally planned.

Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston obtained storyboards from comic and storyboard creator Andrew Wildman at a comic convention, showing the Ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, in three scenes.

Wildman attributed the changes to the scenes to Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat.

“My run on the show spanned three Christmas Specials and most of Matt’s final season include his ‘regeneration’. That was me pretty much done other than the huge privilege of being asked to work – albeit in a small way – on the 50th Anniversary special,” Wildman said.

“There were going to be three Doctors in this one. The current, 11th Doctor and the previous two. Ok, so it didn’t quite work out that way in the end as we all know. Contracts are an odd thing and in the end show runner and writer supreme, Steven Moffat, had to come up with something… slightly different. At my time of working on the show however it was three ‘modern age’ Doctors and the current assistant, Clara.”

Andrew Wildman, comic creator, animator, TV producer and storyboard creator was one of the people who worked on the show, and has released a collection of storyboards that he sells at shows, for The Day Of The Doctor and Nightmare In Silver. I picked up a copy at the Geek Comic Con.

In introduction to the former tells us

My run on the show spanned three Christmas Specials and most of Matt ‘s final season including his ‘regeneration’. That was me pretty much done other than the huge privilege of being asked to work – albeit in a small way – on the 50th Anniversary special. There were going to be three Doctors in this one. The current, 11th Doctor and the previous two. Ok, so it didn’t quite work out that way in the end as we all know. Contracts are an odd thing and in the end show runner and writer supreme, Steven Moffat, had to come up with something… slightly different. At my time of working on the show however it was the three ‘modern age’ Doctors and the current assistant, Clara.

Nip in and take a peek behind the curtain. You may be a little surprised at what you see.

And I was, as well as scenes we do remember, we also get aspects we don’t.

IMG_0012

Like Clara popping a wheelie on her runup to the TARDIS.

Then we see the barn on Gallifrey, but instead of the War Doctor played by John Hurt, we get The Ninth Doctor played by Christopher Eccleston. And instead of The Moment played by Billie Piper, we get a young girl…

IMG_0013

And from that point onwards, the Tenth Doctor seems to take the narrative role of the Eleventh…

IMG_0014

…after a trip through the time portal…
IMG_0015

…and bumping into the Tenth Doctor played by David Tennant…
IMG_0016And two Queen Elizabeth The Firsts…

This is just a smattering of the boards. You can find the rest at any convention that Andrew Wildman attends…

Andrew Wildman will be appearing at Worcester Comic Con 2016(August). Worcester, UK.

 

No Surprises

BBC bosses expect Peter Capaldi to leave Doctor Who after the next series – when writer Steven Moffat also steps down.

The 57-year-old’s tenure as the 12th Doctor is likely to end in 2017.

When new chief Chris Chibnall, who created Broadchurch, begins a new era in series 11, it is thought he will also get to choose his own Time Lord.

A source on the BBC show said: “Bosses are already discussing a fresh start when Steven leaves.

“They’ve been happy with what Peter has brought to the role but some think it might make sense to give Chris his own choice of actor to play the Doctor.

“They hope he will be able to find someone who can have the same impact as Matt Smith did when Steven Moffat kicked off his run as executive producer.”

The move would mirror what happened when Russell T. Davies – who brought the sci-fi series back in 2005 after 26 years – departed at the same time David Tennant left as the 10th Doctor.

A BBC spokesman said Capaldi was signed up for the 2017 series but beyond that said: “We don’t discuss contracts.”

“There will come a time when this is over. But I knew that when I started.

“I was thinking about my regeneration scene from the outset. That’s my terrible melancholic nature.

“When you accept the job you know there’ll come a day, inevitably, when you’ll be saying goodbye.”

(The Mirror)