Doctor Who

    OK, seriously excited now…

    "I prefer Fred"

    I wrote a thing about the sad death of 1970s Doctor Who companion, Mary Tamm - the first Romana

    Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey Warning…

    Not that I've been watching the trailer obsessively or anything, but look at this:

    That's the 9th/10th Doctor era TARDIS, not the current one.

    Much wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff ahead, I suspect…

    I wear a blog now. Blogs are cool.


    Full trailer for the new series of Doctor Who.

    Ridiculously over-excited right now…

    Christmas Time (Lord)

    Oh! Oh! How could I have missed this?


    Genuinely excited. :)

    Pre-Pandorica Reading (Dr Who linkage)

    Ah, the Doctor Who season finale two parter looms close. The Pandorica will open and silence will fall...

    But, lacking a TARDIS, or preview tapes, we shall have to fill our empty hours with some good Who reading.

    I've been really enjoying Andrew Rilstone's Fish Custard series, which starts here:

    Seasons 3 and 4 were so bad, and the End of Time was so jawdroppingly shameful, that one is tempted to rave about Steven Moffat on general principles – to give him the Nobel Peace Prize simply because he is not George W. Bush. On the other hand, the degeneration from Dalek and the Satan Pit (as good or better than anything in the Original Series) to, say, the Stolen Earth (literally beneath contempt) happened so quickly that one feels one should err on the side of caution.

    Suffice it to say that he gets a lot more positive as the Fish Custard flows on, right up until some interesting speculation about the finale

    And this look at disability in the current series of Who is worth a read, too:

    I don’t mind telling you that I’ve spent a lot of time watching the new series and cringing, waiting for something to go terribly, horribly wrong. We’ve had two characters show up on the screen with a disability, and neither of them have been evil or horrible, and neither has died valiantly so that more worthy folks can live. It’s been kinda awesome.

    Yes, I know this isn't going to fill much of the week's wait, but it's a start...

    "Chicks Don't Get Doctor Who"?

    Chicks don't get it. Unless you are in a relationship where the woman is legally obligated to stay with you or you have possession of her car keys, for Time Lord's sake, don't bring up the Doctor.


    I don't buy that. Back in the 1980s or 90s, Who fandom was pretty much all blokes. But those days appear to be gone - I'm sure there are as many new female Who fans amongst my Twitter followers, for example, as there are guys.

    Anyone care to back me up on this?

    Too Sexy for Who?


    You just know that the new Doctor Who production team have got something right when the Daily Mail is complaining about the show after one episode.

    In this case, it's about the new assistant, Amy Pond, played by the stunning Karen Gillan, being "too sexy" - a point they illustrate with multiple photos of said excessive sexiness…

    Eleventh Doctor trailer 3

    w00t! Another trailer for the new series of Doctor Who (thanks, Michael):

    How awesome is this? Let's enumerate the ways:

    1. The Amy-balloon. I want an Amy balloon, and we haven't even been introduced to her yet…
    2. World War II Daleks
    3. Stonehenge. It may be tiny and disappointing in real life, but this makes it look cool.
    4. Cyberman FROM THE CRYPT.
    5. What looks suspiciously like aircraft versus a flying saucer
    6. Did I mention World War II Daleks?
    I'm quite excited. You may have noticed…

    Selling the Kids on the Eleventh Doctor

    Last weekend, we went to the cinema with Stacey  to see Alice in Wonderland. And very enjoyable it was, too. But that's not what I want to write about. You see, as it was an afternoon screening, and thus full of kids, they showed the 3D trailer for the new series of Doctor Who that starts next month:

    As the 11th Doctor's distinctive physiognomy swam into view, a defiant pre-teen voice announced loudly to the cinema: "I hate him." 

    Yes, a small boy hates a version of the Doctor he has seen for all of about a minute's screen time. But then, he's one of a whole generation of new Who fans who are having to deal with an experience that's completely new to them: the Doctor becoming someone else. If that boy was 8 or 9, David Tennant was the Doctor for pretty much the whole of his life. He might vaguely remember the Christopher Ecclestone series - and he's probably watched it - but the tenth Doctor is his Doctor, and this guy is some impostor.

    And this is perhaps the last of the great challenges for the new Who: can it survive the transition to a new Doctor, after a long-running, popular predecessor? It's worth bearing in mind that the last time the series successfully achieved this was way back in 1982, when my 10-year old self watched with mingled horror, excitement and dismay as my beloved fourth Doctor fell off a radio telescope and became the alarmingly youthful fifth Doctor. 

    So, it's been 28 years since this form of switch was pulled off successfully. That's a challenge. And there will be a generation for whom David Tennant will be as Jon Pertwee was for me: something from the past. And they'll be easy to win over. The adult fans will come easily, if the quality stays high. The challenge is that key childhood group that drive the appeal of this family show. "I don't want to go," said the tenth Doctor as regeneration overtook him. Many of the audience would have been sharing that same feeling. 

    The Stephen Moffat, Matt Smith and company have about an hour to persuade the kids that the change is good

    Me? I'm already persuaded. I'm looking forward to the new Who. Much as I enjoyed the RTD era, its tics and weaknesses were aggravating me by the end of the End of Time. Time for something fresh. Time for change.

    First 11th Doctor Trailer

    The first trailer for series five of the new Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. Looks very promising.

    Born to be...

    Mugs in Mousehole targeted at fans of Doctor Who, Spooks or Robin Hood. (Are there any fans of Robin Hood?)

    The Default Doctor Who Companion

    I just blundered across this on a Guardian blog:

    But the thing about Doctor Who companions, whatever their age, background and ethnicity, is that they are all, essentially, the same character - the big-hearted Earth girl who finds the hero within herself. That's the story of Doctor Who, and what did for the original series was when they strayed too far. After all-time-favourite Sarah Jane, the Doctor travelled with a tribeswoman, a Time Lady, a genteel alien lady, an Australian air hostess, an American, and Bonnie Langford. It took until the rigorously badass Ace for them to get it right again, and by then it was too late.

    And I think that it's a remarkably insightful comment. From the departure of Sarah Jane Smith onwards, there was never again a real companion that people could identify with. That didn't matter when people had a strong relationship with Tom Baker's Doctor, but after that, the steady decline was on…

    The 11th Doctor's First Companion

    Karen Gillan

    My initial reaction was a pleasingly blokey "Cool. A cute redhead." I like cute redheads. (I cite my wife as evidence.)

    And the second was "Oh, my God. She's 21. I'm old enough to be her father."

    Nothing makes you feel old like the TV show you used to love as a kid...

    Dr Who: Here Comes Season 4

    Ah, we have more news about season 4 of New Who.

    There's some good casting in there, but the hardcore aren't going to care, because they're still in shock that the Doctor will have a 30-something companion, rather than the normal young tottie.  A 30-something who screamed and screeched her way through her first episode.

    Yeah, and…?

    Dr Who fans seem to exist in a parallel reality where TV production crews are utterly blind to the most obvious factors. Writers who are incapable of developing characters and giving them more depth when the get a larger role. Where comedy performers are incapable of stepping up to dramatic roles. Theirs is a world where one-note characters from Cheers like Frasier are incapable of being the lead in their own series. When comedy actors from Robin Williams to Ronnie Barker haven't moved to more serious roles to great acclaim.

    Doctor Who fans are special, you see. Years of watching time-travelling adventures has given them special powers to see into the future, and know what a series that has only just started filming will be like.

    The rest of us will just have to wait and find out. And, to compensate us for our lack of special powers, we'll get to enjoy it more.

    Last of the Time Lords: intial thoughts

    My goodness. Doctor Who fans are a miserable bunch, aren't they?

    [Link now dead] Personally, I rather enjoyed that. Lots of fun, some real, lingering emotional consequences to what happened, and at least three separate threads that will continue into the next series.

    And the Titanic in the Vortex.

    Christmas seems too far away, now.

    More detailed thoughts tomorrow.

    In Praise of Lucy Saxon

    [caption id=“attachment_2708” align=“alignright” width=“288”]Alexandra Moen as Lucy Saxon Alexandra Moen as Lucy Saxon[/caption]

    I don’t watch much TV right now. I’m the archetypical 30-something who is caught between a busy lifestyle, family commitments and the internet. But one show that I do watch religiously is Doctor Who. The reasons why are fodder for another post but, for now, I’d just like to spend a few moments congratulating the combination of Russell T. Davies and Alexandra Moen for bringing us the character of Lucy Saxon (pictured right from next Saturday’s episode).

    Giving the Master an evil companion to match the Doctor’s good companions is an inspired idea, really pushing the idea of the two Time Lords being dark reflections of each other. And her clearly sexual (as far as anything can be clearly sexual in a family show) relationship with The Master-as-Harold Saxon mirrors the Doctor’s endlessly chaste relationships with his travelling companions.

    Moen’s contribution? She’s managed to make a relatively small part compelling, and give a character who is excited at the idea of the rapid slaughter of 10% of Earth’s population a staggering credibility, in the circumstances. Davies has used the character as a powerful tool to underline the horrific nature of what’s happening, which has proved necessary with John Simm’s so-far-over-the-top-he’s-likeable portrayal of the Master. She gives a human edge to his alien villainy that brings it all so much closer to home.

    So far we’ve seen her as the stereotype politician’s wife, with sensible hair, and buttoned-down outfit. From the looks of the picture, we’ll see her as a much more typical villain at the weekend.

    Dramas like Doctor Who often stand or fall on their guest cast. So far, Moen’s Lucy Saxon has been one of the best.