You can’t keep a good dog down, and it seems, even after almost 40 years, our beloved robotic canine (get it?) appears to have more lives than a cat. K-9 is set to return again, this time in a standalone film of his own. The inner-seven-year-old inside me couldn’t help but get excited when I read earlier this week that K-9 would be back. He was part of my childhood. I first fell in love with Doctor Who during the Tom Baker era, and for me, K-9 was part of the family.
It was announced earlier this week that K-9 Creator and writer Bob Baker, along with Nick Park from the Wallace and Gromit series, is producing the film K9: TimeQuake, which is due out in theaters in 2017 and will feature our robotic hero facing off against a classic Doctor Who villain from the 3rd Doctor and 5th Doctor eras – Omega.
Omega staring down at the The Second and Third Doctors (Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee) in “The Three Doctors” (1973).
Omega, a legendary Time Lord himself and an intergalactic engineer, had been credited with founding early Time Lord society, along with the great and mighty Rassilon, and with harnessing the power from a supernova to give the Gallifreyans mastery over space and time. Unfortunately, Omega was trapped in an anti-matter universe and had gone mad as a result. He has come close to destroying the galaxy more than once, only to be stopped on each occasion by TheDoctor. Omega has appeared in several Doctor Who stories including – TheThree Doctors 10th Anniversary Special (with Stephen Thorne as Omega) (1973) ,The Arc of Infinity (with Ian Collier and Peter Davison as Omega) (1983)and the Big Finish5th Doctor audio Omega (2003), with Ian Collier reprising the role.
K-9 Mark I (as voiced by John Leeson) and The 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) in the TARDIS.
A Girl’s Best Friend… K-9 first appeared in the 4th Doctor adventure The Invisible Enemy (1977). He was the creation of Professor Marius, in the year 5000. K-9 joined The Doctor and then-companion Leela (played by Louise Jameson) on various adventures. With his computerized brain and laser snout, K-9 soon proved to be a valuable member of the crew.
Even after The4th Doctor left Leela on Gallifrey with K-9 Mark I and Romana in E-Space with K-9 Mark II, we knew we hadn’t seen the last of our beloved tin dog.K-9 seemed to have as many lives as The Doctor, returning for not just one, or two, but three TV spinoffs, several specials and Big Finish Audios over the years.
K-9 Mark III was left as a gift for former companion Sarah Jane Smith from The 4th Doctor in the TV pilot K9 and Company (1981) – the first attempt at a Sarah Jane spinoff (starring Lis Sladen). K-9 resurfaced again in the The Five Doctors 20th AnniversarySpecial (1983), with Sarah Jane, and yet again for the David Tennant story School Reunion (2006), reuniting Sarah Jane, K-9 and The 10th Doctor.
Lightning struck twice for K-9 and Sarah and the result was the hit BBC Kids series TheSarah Jane Adventures (2007-2011). Sadly, K-9Mark IV was trapped in a void for most of series, as he was promised to DisneyXD (featuring modifications and design changes – I favored his original design) for aK-9 Series(2009-2010) for Australia. Each time he was voiced by the original actor John Leeson (actor David Brierly voiced him briefly in 1978).
Sarah Jane Smith (Lis Sladen) and K-9 Mark IV in the Doctor Who episode “School Reunion” (2006).
Initial Reaction to “TimeQuake”… To be honest, I’m having trouble seeing this work on the big screen and don’t understand why they haven’t just done a theatrical release based on The Doctor (yes, they made two movies with Peter Cushing, but that was a long time ago).
I held out hope that K-9 would return to the current series of Doctor Whoalongside Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor. Let’s face it, Capaldi would have a blast, and K-9 would quickly endear himself to the irascible old Time Lord, as well the rest of us, as he always does.
I also held out hope that Time LadyRomana and K-9 Mark II might have survived the Time War and resurfaced during the 9th Series along with the resurrected Time Lords, or Team Sarah Jane: The Next Generation featuring her kids (now grown), might end up working for U.N.I.T. with K-9 Mark IV at their side. A gal can dream, right?
Instead, the Time Lord’s best friend will be fighting the big bad alone, facing off against one of The Doctor’s oldest enemies. Not sure how that will play out, but happy to hear K-9 is still out there, fighting the good fight.
Here’s a classic moment with K9 Mark I and Leela (Louise Jameson).
And another, a rare clip featuring an inebriated (not sure how) K-9 Mark II with Romana Mark I(Mary Tamm) and The Doctor Mark IV. Enjoy!
The 10th Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) in “The Fires of Pompeii”
That’s right! Not only are the Ood singing, Whovians everywhere are rejoicing! You read it right! DavidTennant and Catherine Tate are reprising their roles as the 10th Doctor and companion Donna Noble from Doctor Who,as reported earlier today on the Big Finish website!
David, one of my favorite Doctors (after Peter Davison, who happens to be his father-in-law, but I digress, as I often do…) remains a fan of the series and an advocate to this day, and in spite of his busy filming schedule for Jessica Jones (David plays the Purple Man/Killgrave, in case you missed it), he’s returned with the brilliant actress/comedienne Catherine Tate to record a series of audios for Big Finish Audios.
Big Finish has been championing the ongoing and missing adventures of Doctor Whosince before its television revival in 2005, when the Doctor returned in the form of Chris Eccleston’s 9th Doctor.
Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Adventures aredue out in May 2016 – exclusively on the Big Finish site. Each of the (3) three titles are available to pre-order separately today for just £10.99 (approximately $17 US) on CD or £8.99 (approximately $14 US) to download. A bundle of all three titles is also available for £25 (approximately $38 US) on CD and £22 (approximately $34 US – American fans, please check your currency calculator) to download.
All three will be also available as a limited edition box set– only 5,000 copies – exclusively from bigfinish.com. The book-sized box set will include exclusive artwork, photos, articles and a one-hour documentary featuring interviews with the stars and production team. A must have for the 10th Doctor/Doctor Who fan!
For more, check out this delightful video featuring an interview with the dynamic duo of time and space, David Tennant and Catherine Tate, or as the Ood refer to them, the Doctor-Donna.
Hello friends and fellow Whovians. While I don’t like to post spoilerific reviews, there may be a few tidbits given away in this one. If you haven’t seen the Doctor Who Series 9 opening episode, Magician’s Apprentice, proceed at your own risk. – SylverWhisper
Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), The 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) and U.N.I.T.’s own Dr. Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) in a powerful scene from Genesis of the Daleks (1975)
“You see, if someone who knew the future, pointed out a child to you and told you that that child would grow up totally evil, to be a ruthless dictator who would destroy millions of lives… could you then kill that child?” – The 4th Doctor in Genesis of the Daleks
The 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) on Skaro
Painful Realizations… The Magician’s Apprentice starts off Series 9 with more of a bang than a whimper, from the word go, on a war-torn planet in the heat of battle. A little boy is running for his life from sounds of weapon fire. We don’t know who the little boy is (not yet) and we fear for his life, as does a ragged young soldier attempting to rescue him, only to succumb to deadly hand-mines (you read that correctly), land mines in the form of creepy hands reaching up from the ground to grab you and pull you under. When The Doctor arrives on the scene, he’s too late to save the soldier, but not the little boy, only to find out the boy’s true identity… and OUCH, what a realization that is…
Younger (angrier) Kate Lethbridge-Stewart in Downtime, portrayed by Beverley Cressman, Kate from the current series (Jemma Redgrave) in the middle, and Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (as portrayed by the late, great Nicholas Courtney).
The Family Business… Meanwhile, back at U.N.I.T. HQ (haven’t seen Torchwood make an appearance in a while), the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce is investigating the mystery of planes hovering in the sky, apparently “frozen in time”, as they desperately try to call The Doctor (their former “scientific advisor”) for help.
Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave), as many of us know by now, has taken up her father’s mantle (I miss The Brigadier terribly and keep hoping former U.N.I.T members like Sergeant Benton, Jo Grant and Mike Yates will show up). It’s ironic, given their initially tumultuous relationship, as revealed in earlier classic episodes and spin-off media (Downtime), The Brig and his kid had a rocky road.
However, it’s great to have a Lethbridge-Stewart in command of U.N.I.T. again, but to see her team falter (when trying to locate the missing 12th Doctor) only to have Clara point them in the right direction, while it’s great to see Clara step up and take charge, seemed a bit off. I want my U.N.I.T. to be more on the ball. Or at the very least, to show a bit more fire when a civilian starts pushing them around! Get it together, U.N.I.T.! Where’s Brigadier Bambera(Angela Bruce) from the 7th Doctor story Battlefield? She wouldn’t take sh*t from anyone, not even Clara Oswald.
I would like to see more of that friction/friendship between the U.N.I.T team and The Doctor again – showing both sides of an argument. It was the backbone of The Doctor’s relationship with The Brigadier, someone he respected, even when they disagreed. However, there was no doubt The Brigadier was a fighter and a leader, and loyal to The Doctor ’til the end. I want to see a more bad-ass Kate. I want to see her on the battlefield, like her father – right in the thick of it – not just in a control center away from the action.
Terry Molloy as Davros and Peter Davison (my Doctor) as the 5th Doctor facing off in Resurrection of the Daleks (1984).
“I’m not here as your prisoner, Davros, but your executioner.”
– The 5th Doctor in Resurrection of the Daleks (1984)
The Moral Dilemma… For those who had a chance to see the Series 9 opener, the themes in Magician’s Apprenticemay seem familiar. They should, even for the non-classic era Whovian. The Doctor has struggled to make a final decision to take out The Daleks (and Davros) before they could become too powerful and wipe out whole worlds over several incarnations.
The question that keeps haunting The Doctor, especially since the 4th Doctor story Genesis of the Daleks (a clip from that story is featured in this episode) is – can/should time travel be used to re-write some of history’s most tragic wrongs and change the course of its bloodiest events. Can a time traveller prevent evil dictators from committing atrocities that would kill thousands, perhaps even millions, or down the line, billions upon billions of innocents?
However, aren’t those events meant to be “time-locked” (as we’ve heard often in Doctor Who – only to have the greatest of time-locked events changed – TheTime War itself) due to their scope? How will the outcome of those events shape the futureof others for generations to come? Perhaps for the better? Who has the right to make that call? Does The Doctor (aka The Lonely Angel, aka The Oncoming Storm) have that right?
Of course I’ve always wanted to see The Doctor go back in time to stop Hitler and the rise of Nazi Germany. Instead, we have Davros and the Daleks to take their place. The Doctor has had many opportunities to avert the Daleks’ creation by destroying their creator, yet he has always failed, often due to his own lack of action.
The Time Lords of Gallifrey (Timothy Dalton in the center as the Lord President of the High Council) from the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) finale The End of Time (2009-2010).
Then came the Time War… and the greatest regret for The Doctor. It cannot have escaped him that his earlier selves could have prevented The Time War and the eradication of countless worlds, including The Fall of Gallifrey (yes, I know it “falls no more” but bear with me here).
When you meddle in time, which version of events do you choose to influence? The moral dilemma keeps coming up: which timeline is worth preserving? Or meant to be preserved? We’ve seen it in come up in Doctor Who over and over again and we’ve seen this play out in other shows as well – Star Trek, Heroes, Continuum– after all, it’s the Butterfly Effect. Change a tiny event in the past and it can have dire consequences in the future.
The Time Lords had a strict “non-intervention” policy, but they’re not around to enforce it now. And let’s face it, the Gallifreyans did in fact interfere, using the CIA (Celestial Intervention Agency), when convenient, and then disavowed any knowledge of wrongdoing. So we don’t know how many events they actually shaped to their liking, but they had knowledge and oversight the average person would not possess.
The Doctor, as a Time Lord, has a sense of responsibility to keep timelines stable and in tact. But he’s been known to meddle, again, because he can see the fabric of space and time and which events are “time-locked”. If he wanted to, he could have gone back to save former companions Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), Katarina (Adrienne Hill) and other people he cared for, from dying, but wouldn’t dare contravene the The First Law of Time.
That Was Then. This is Now…
As The Doctor has grown older, he’s become more flexible when it comes to bending these laws. Perhaps, he’s grown more unstable himself. In his 9th incarnation, it was fair to say he was suffering from PTSD from the Time War and from the actions he remembered taking as The War Doctor (as we now know, he remembers incorrectly, as we learned from The 50th Anniversary Special with John Hurt). He has since, tried to redeem himself (in his 10th and 11th incarnations), but the pain and regret still linger…
Missy (Michelle Gomez)
Friends and Foes… When faced with another chance to rid the world of Davros, which road will The Doctor choose? Or did he already make that choice without realizing the consequences? The Doctor is not a murderer. He is most certainly not a child-killer, as he states in his speech in Genesis of the Daleks. But is willful neglect the same as murder? And was he, inadvertently, the architect of the very future he attempted to stop? And what happens once he realizes that abandoning that child on the battlefield of that war-torn planet, Skaro, left a fractured being that would go on to become one of his most despised enemies? Will he go back in time and finally make that one terrible choice? Will he kill an innocent child?
We know that’s not The Doctor’s style. Right? That’s The Master’s style, or in this case Missy’s (Michelle Gomez), whose relationship with The Doctor seems more grey than ever before. There is a precedent for this. The earlier Jon Pertwee incarnation and Roger Delgado’s Master had a friendly rivalry and a grudging respect for one another, that sadly, we never saw developed further once Roger Delgado passed away. Though Michelle Gomez is brilliant and gives us plenty of laughs and gasps, I miss Roger Delgado’s saner, charismatic version of The Master to this day. I imagine there’s a reason for Missy’s sudden attacks of nostalgia and sentimentality for The Doctor’s friendship in this incarnation (she keeps referring to their friendship in Magician’s Apprentice). Will she be the voice of reason this time around? Can she, of all people, save The Doctor from himself?
Time’s Champion? Or Time’s Bitch? When all’s said and done, the question we’re left with – are we all time’s bitch? Are events pre-determined? Are we all just pawns with our role to play? Even The Doctor? Are certain truths inevitable? Are The Daleks inevitable? Or can their course be altered? Should it be? Should that timeline be tampered with? Even to destroy possibly the greatest evil that has ever lived? And what repercussions will that have for the rest of the universe?
We’ll find out tonight when Part 2 – The Witch’s Familiar airs.
Fore more, check out the Series 9 Episode 2: The Witch’s Familiar trailer of Doctor Who below.
Doctor Who Series 9 airs on BBC America on Saturdays at 9 pm ET, while British fans can see it on Saturday evenings on BBC One.
Hey there, fellow Whovians, I know I’ve been a bit radio silent lately, and I apologize. Sometimes life gets in the way, but it would be remiss of me not to pop in to celebrate the return of our favorite Time Lord, The Doctor, to our screens today. And as always, I look forward to more of his inter-galactic hi-jinx.
Series 9 Cast of Doctor Who – Michelle Gomez, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman
Once again, the TARDIS crew in the form of 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and companion Clara (Jenna Coleman), will be back to fight the good fight, and boy, did I miss them!
Series 9 of Doctor Who will see the return of Missy (aka The Master), played by Michelle Gomez,Rigsy, played by Joivan Wade (one of my favorite guest stars from Series 8), some classic era monsters like the Zygons and Daleks and another mysterious character in the form of Maisie Williams, best known for her role as Arya Stark on the HBO original series Game of Thrones.
GOODBYE IMPOSSIBLE GIRL?
At some point we will also see the departure of Jenna Coleman, finally confirmed earlier this week. Jenna will be leaving to star in the upcoming 8-part ITV series Victoria. Her exit had been rumored for some time, and it seems, has been in the works for some time as well.
Joivan Wade as Rigsy in Doctor Who
NOT JUST THE TIN DOG!
I wonder how the Impossible Girl will go out? And who will replace her? Personally, I’m hoping Rigsy (last seen in the episode Flatline) will become a permanent addition to the cast and I look forward to seeing Joivan Wade reprise his role as the young graffiti artist. He was likable, bright, compassionate and seemed to have a great rapport with Clara.
We need another male companion. Traditionally, male companions haven’t done too well on board the TARDIS (Captain Jack, played by John Barrowman, was an exception, but even he had to die and be spun off onto Torchwood – no room for him and The Doctor in the same TARDIS). I think we’re overdue. The earlier Doctors had Ian, Steven, Ben, Jamie, and the UNIT team (The Brigadier, Sgt. Benton, Captain Mike Yates, even Dr. Harry Sullivan).
Unlike the novels and audios, male companions on the TV series have suffered from abuse or disuse since the 1980s. We need a fresh young face, someone the Doctor can take under his wing, but can also teach him a few things, and I think Rigsy fits the bill nicely.
Fore more, check out the Series 9 Trailer of Doctor Who below.
Doctor Who Series 9returns tonight. American fans can watch the Doctor Who Season 9 premiere on BBC America at 9 pm ET, while British fans can see it at 7:40 pm on BBC One.
But that can’t be right, can it? I thought long and hard to myself, and truthfully, while I can recall female directors and producers (after all, the series was birthed by the late Verity Lambert and producer Julie Gardner was instrumental in helping Russell T. Davies bring back Doctor Whoin 2005), I can’t – off the top of my head – recall female writers for the series. This really gnawed at me.
Verity Lambert and Russell T. Davies
FROM FANDOM TO CALLING THE SHOTS
Often, I cite Paul Cornell as one of my top writers for the current series. Paul writes compelling science fiction and drama, as evidenced in The 10th Doctor story (originally written for 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy) Human Nature and Father’s Day (for 9th Doctor Christopher Eccleston). Even upon repeated watchings, I am always moved to tears by these episodes.
Back in the day, it was Robert Holmes who wrote some of the best stories for the classic era, includingTheDeadly Assassinand Talons of Weng-Chiang (for 4th Doctor Tom Baker) andCaves of Androzani (for 5th Doctor Peter Davison). Surely, my favorite sci-fi show of all time had just as many female writers, right? Right? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
I owe Doctor Who for inspiring my love of science fiction and desire for self-expression. I was one of those fanfic and fanzine writers who felt compelled to expand on The Doctor’s universe. Yep, I was one of the ones people snickered at. We found refuge at conventions and dared not share our creations with the uninitiated. They wouldn’t understand… They just wouldn’t get it.
Times have changed, and some of those same con-geeks and nerds are among some of the most successful writers and producers in film and television today. FanboysPeter Jackson (Lord of the Rings),Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Queer as Folk),Mark Gatiss(Doctor Who, Sherlock) and of course, Steven Moffat (Coupling, Doctor Who, Sherlock), all started as fellow nerds and Whovians. But that’s a rather testosterone–laden list.
Buffy, BSG and Torchwood writer Jane Espenson
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE
What about the rest of us? Geek girls, fangirls, nerd girls – whatever label you choose. We’re out here, ready to produce the next Doctor Who, Star Trek or Star Wars, given the opportunity. And yet, my short list is, well, rather… short. This shouldn’t be so hard…
Maybe Buffy andBattlestar Galactica alum Jane Espenson (she also wrote for the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood starring Arrow’sJohn Barrowman) should have a go as head writer/show runner for Doctor Who? She’s written for just about every sci-fi/fantasy series in recent history (the ones I care about anyway), including Game of Thronesand Firefly.
“Outlander” author Diana Gabaldon with her two Jamies
Perhaps Outlander author, Diana Gabaldon, should try her hand at writing for our favorite Time Lord? Considering Outlander’s connection to Doctor Who it wouldn’t be a stretch. I wouldn’t mind a return to purely historical Doctor Who stories like The Aztecs,The Crusades and Marco Polo (from the William Hartnell/First Doctor era).
Fellow Whovians, which female writers would you like to see pen a Doctor Whoscript?
Series 8 continues… Stay tuned for tonight’s episode of Doctor Who – Flatline.
Airing Saturday, October 18th at 9pm on BBC America.
Earlier this week, former Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) companion Katy Manning, known to fans as UNIT agent Jo Grant, visited the set of Doctor Who. She and current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, had a blast re-enacting some scenes from her time with the series. The 67-year old actress truly enjoyed her time with the 12th Doctor, and it showed, calling him “one of the most charming men I’ve ever met.”
Who Says You Can’t Go Home?
I can’t believe how happy these pictures made me feel. It struck me how right they looked together – Doctor and companion – together again. Thus proving that Peter Capaldi is the man for the job.
Katy loved returning to her old (if renovated) home, the TARDIS, and getting treated to a sneak peek of the upcoming Christmas special. “I know is going to be the best Xmas DW special!” She said.
Days Gone By…
My only regret, these pictures weren’t part of an on-screen adventure with the 12th Doctor. I miss the late Lis Sladen (former companion Sarah Jane Smith) terribly and the last time we saw Katy in the “Whoniverse” was when she reprised her role as Jo Grant alongside Lis and 11th Doctor Matt Smith in The Sarah Jane Adventures episode Death of the Doctor. I’m still holding out hope for a classic companion to return to the series… A girl can dream. I wonder what ever did happen to Jo Grant and her son…? But I digress… as I often do…
And as The 10th Doctor (David Tennant) says to The 5th (Peter Davison) in Time Crash, “all my love to long ago…”We sincerely hope to see Katy on board the TARDIS again soon.
In the meantime, Series 8 continues. Stay tuned for tonight’s episode of Doctor Who – The Caretaker.
Airing tonight on BBC One at 8:30pm and at 9pm on BBC America.
Apologies for the late, post Labor Day check-in, fellow Whovians, but here are my thoughts on last week’s episode of Doctor Who:Into the Dalek – just in under the wire – written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat.
Not Just for Kids… Many fans of the series, like myself, grew up with Doctor Who (we’re loyal to the last). Things that frightened us (or made us hide behind the couch) as children, no longer scare us. Suspending our disbelief was a lot easier when we were young. And while it’s true, kids are more sophisticated now, and special effects have evolved, there are certain truths that reach deep inside and take hold of us all… shaking us to the core.
There has been some debate whether or not Doctor Who is a kid’s show. From the outset, Doctor Who was designed to be, and still is, a family show – meant to appeal to both children and adults for different reasons. It is meant to entertain us, frighten us, and move us… meant to make us feel… whether we want to or not. I doubt there was anyone who didn’t shed a tear when Adric died (Earthshock),even if you had mixed feelings about him. That last shot of his shattered Badge for Mathematical Excellence lying on the ground, as silent credits roll by, still stirs strong feelings in me years later.
I grew up during the Philip Hinchcliffe era and was introduced to Doctor Whovia episodes like The Talons of Weng Chiang and The Brain of Morbius. With an overdeveloped fondness for Hammer films, I am particularly predisposed to enjoy the darker, more horrific side of the Whoniverse.
That being said, Doctor Who always finds a way to get me, even now… because at its core, it wrestles with moral dilemmas we all wrestle with. It moves us deeply on an emotional level. Doctor Who can hit you hard, usually when you least expect it.
In spite of The Doctor’s vast age, Death is always at his shoulder, his constant companion. As we got older, we started to realize our hero is a rather complex man with demons and secrets (beyond his birth name) of his own. He lives more in the gray than we’d like to admit, and with a darkness in his hearts even he would rather not look too closely at. Perhaps that’s why he is always running…
Nature vs. Nurture… Into the Dalek resonates for me on an emotional level and harkens back to earlier episodes of Doctor Who. Reminiscent of the themes presented in Genesis of the Daleks (Tom Baker – The 4th Doctor), Resurrection of the Daleks (Peter Davison – The 5th Doctor) and Dalek (Chris Eccleston – The 9th Doctor), and the moral dilemmas therein.
The Doctor struggles in all three stories with his hatred of the Daleks, and with the right course of action take. Whichever way he turns, even the audience is uncertain. Should he have aborted the development of the Daleks in Genesis, or killed Davros in Resurrection? He chose the to take the moral high ground in both those stories, only to be faced with a surviving Dalek after the Time War in Dalek. He had to have wondered then if his inability to take action on those previous occasions could have prevented that fateful day, leading to the Fall of Arcadia on Gallifrey, and the destruction of his world.
These themes come up again in Into the Dalek. The Doctor is forced to help an injured enemy, and in doing so, it challenges him look into to the depths of his own soul. Is there such a thing as absolute evil? Is everyone, even a Dalek, capable of redemption? Can there be such a thing as good Dalek? Or, no matter how much it changes, at its core, does it remain the same – a hate-filled killing machine, bent on destruction? When it comes down to it, the real question seems to be – is The Doctor a good man? He wonders himself and that question troubles him. Even his dear friend and carer, Clara, is not certain…
Samuel Anderson as Coal Hill School teacher Danny Pink
Not the Tin Dog! I like Clara feisty. No longer the fawning girl with a crush, she puts The Doctor in his place when he gets out of hand. She isn’t afraid to slap some sense into him, much like former companion Donna Noble (played by the indomitable Catherine Tate). Clara is more than his carer, she’s become his moral compass. Because as Donna once observed, The Doctor shouldn’t travel alone – he needs someone – someone to keep him grounded, someone to hold onto, and keep him from slipping deeper into the void.
Our brief introduction to Danny Pink(played by Samuel Anderson) was promising. A fellow teacher at Coal Hill School (the same school Susan, The Doctor’s granddaughter, attended on Earth) working with Clara, Danny is definitely likable. There is a mutual attraction between Danny and Clara, but male love interests tend to take a backseat to The Doctor. Hopefully he won’t suffer the fate of previous companions Rory (Arthur Darvill) and Mickey(Noel Clarke) – chasing after women who appeared to love The Doctor more.
Given what little we know of Danny’s past, he was in the military and he suffered a great loss. It is likely, knowing how The Doctor feels about soldiers, there’ll be friction when they finally meet. However, there was friction with The Brigadier (played by the late, great Nicholas Courtney) too, and he went on to become one of The Doctor’s greatest friends and allies.
Perhaps Danny will take on the more traditional role some early companions filled (like Ian, Steven, Ben and Jamie). Once The Doctor(s) started growing younger, male companions started to to become somewhat obsolete, often sidelined, landing themselves in dungeons (like Mark Strickson’s Vislor Turlough, whom I quite liked), or dead (like Matthew Waterhouse’s Adric). As a side note, I would be fascinated to see a companion like C’Rizz (portrayed by Conrad Westmaas in the 8th Doctor Big Finish Audios) on screen.
Zawe Ashton as Journey Blue
Clearly, there is a traumatic event in Danny’s military career that he doesn’t want to talk about, something that still haunts him, and we’ll learn more as his story comes to light. The chemistry between Danny and Clara seemed a bit rushed and I couldn’t help but get a Coupling vibe from their interaction – after all, Moffat and his wife, Sue Virtue, produced Coupling (which reminds me, I still want to see Richard Coyle on Doctor Who, but I digress).
Even though I quite liked Danny, I think it would have been interesting to see a female soldier like Journey Blue (portrayed by Zawe Ashton) on board the TARDIS to challenge The Doctor at every turn. For some reason, I can’t help but recall Brigadier Winifred Bambera from Battlefield – the first female soldier to make a noteworthy appearance in the Whoniverse. I wonder what she’s up these days? But I digress… as I often do…
The Mysterious Missy… There have been so many theories about her identity at this point, I’d almost rather not venture a guess. I’ve heard everything from The Master to The Rani (I would like to see her return), to Romana (another character I’d welcome from the Classic era) to an embodiment of the TARDIS herself, but with Doctor Who anything is possible, so I won’t lay odds just yet. Keeping my cards close to the vest, but let’s just say I feel like we’ve been in that Garden before…
Final Thoughts… I’ve observed that Capaldi exudes the irritability of Harntell, with the alien madness of Tom Baker. Truth is, I see shades of all the Doctors – as it should be – and Capaldi, as a fan of the series himself, clearly embodies the spirit of all that has gone before.
As he was quoted as saying in an interview during the recent Doctor Who World Tour:
“I think this show’s kind of in my DNA. I think it’s sort of part of me. So I think I can recognize when it’s right and when it’s not right.” – Peter Capaldi
That being said, I rather enjoyed Into the Dalek. It was a good follow up to the season opener. We gained more insight into The Doctor’s personality post-regeneration and the demons dwelling within him. I’m eager to learn more as future episodes unfold.
NEXT UP: This week The Doctor meets the legendary Robin Hood (Or does he?) in Robots of Sherwood, guest starring Tom Riley from Da Vinci’s Demons. I can’t wait for this one.
“He’s the doctor. He has walked this Universe for centuries untold. He has seen stars fall to dust… You might as well FLIRT with a mountain range.” – Madame Vastra
Before diving into the Doctor WhoSeries 8 openerDeep Breath, let me get this declaration out of the way — Peter Capaldi IS The Doctor and I will tell you why.
Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax all make their welcome return in Deep Breath, Peter Capladi’s debut episode as the 12th (or is it 13th?) Doctor, to help ease companion Clara (and the fans) through The Doctor’s transition from The 11th Doctor (Matt Smith). As many of us remember, The Doctor in a regeneration crisis can be quite a predicament.
WHERE’S A ZERO ROOM WHEN YOU NEED ONE?
I can’t recall even one time when The Doctor had an easy time of it post-regeneration(unlike Romana in Destiny of the Daleks). It takes time for him to stabilize both mentally and physically. As the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) tells his companions, it takes a little time for his “dendrites to heal”. And of course, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is no exception. He struggles with everything — his memories of his friends, how they look, how they speak, their appalling accents! That’s right… because apparently, not only do most planets have a North, but they have a Scotland too (picture me saying it with a Scottish accent, far more amusing that way).
“You’ve redecorated… I don’t like it…” – Clara Oswald
Even though a regeneration can be seen as a renewal, poor, traumatized Clara (Jenna Coleman) seems quite skeptical this is her Doctor (in spite of meeting his earlier incarnations – including John Hurt’s War Doctor). Her assumption is, The Doctor should start out young. Had she met the first four Doctors, she wouldn’t have been in such shock (but then she had met them, when she was splintered across time and couldn’t remember those encounters).
As Madame Vastra (played by Neve McIntosh) points out, The Doctor is not a young man. He’s lived for centuries, millennia, in fact. The Gallifreyan is over 2,000 years old (if he even remembers his age correctly by this point) by the time we see him in Deep Breath. He has lived many lives and has worn many faces. It is fair to say The Doctor is far from young.
Still, Clara needs convincing… but that’s not The Doctor’s only problem… Continue reading →
Ok, now I feel vindicated when I say “all roads lead back to Doctor Who“. For those who haven’t guessed by now, the longest-running British science fiction series Doctor Who, happens to be my all-time favorite TV series. Further evidence supporting my “all roads” claim came today in the form of the latest casting news for the time travel drama Outlander.
A FAN FAVORITE RETURNS
I was excited to hear that Frazer Hines, best known for his enduring portrayal as Jamie McCrimmon on Doctor Who, was cast on the new Starz series Outlander, as Sir Gordon Fletcher, the English warden of Wentworth Prison in Scotland.
YOU CAN’T KEEP A GOOD SCOT DOWN
James Robert McCrimmon (Jamie to his friends) joined The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) on board the TARDIS after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Jamie valiantly fought Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti and Ice Warriors alongside the Time Lord – when he and co-stars Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield) and later, Wendy Padbury (Zoe Herriot), weren’t running for their lives that is.
One of the few male companions to grace the TARDIS, Jamie endeared himself to fans as the brave, kilt-wearing young Highlander. Inquisitive, fiercely loyal and devoted to The Doctor, to this day, Jamie is considered one of Doctor Who’s most popular companions.
Frazer left the series in 1969 in the ten part story The War Games, which introduced the Time Lords, on The Doctor’s home planet ofGallifrey. It also saw the departures of Wendy Padbury and Patrick Troughton. The Doctor, placed on trial by the High Council of the Time Lords, was forced to regenerate (into Third Doctor Jon Pertwee) and exiled to Earth in the 1970’s – his sentence for contravening the First Law of Time. Sadly, Jamie and Zoe were returned to their respective timelines and their memories were wiped. They would no longer remember the adventures they had shared with The Doctor (almost, but not quite as heart-breaking as Donna Noble’s memory wipe, but I digress…).
Jamie was so beloved that Frazer returned to Doctor Who nearly two decades later. He had an all-too-brief cameo in The Five Doctors 20th Anniversary Special (1983), during the Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor) era, and he was reunited with Patrick Troughton in The Two Doctors (1986), during the Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor) era. The 10th Doctor (David Tennant) even uses Jamie’s name in Tooth and Claw (2006).
ALL ROADS LEAD BACK
Author Diana Gabaldon revealed her Outlander books were inspired by Frazer’s portrayal on Doctor Who, and that makes this casting news even sweeter.
As a long-time fan of Doctor Who (and a fan of Jamie’s), I keep hoping for an on-screen reunion between Jamie and the current Doctor. We know how The Doctor hates goodbyes and Jamie isn’t supposed to remember him, but come on, there has to a be remedy for the Gallifreyan Memory Wipe surely?
Jamie does make a welcome return in the BBC sanctioned Doctor Who Big Finish Audios, but, like Sarah Jane Smith (played by the late Elisabeth Sladen), he’s one of those companions we keep hoping will crop back up again in the current series.
In the meantime, I look forward to seeing Frazer Hines in future episodes of Outlander.
For more on the Outlander series of books, visit Diana Gabaldon’ssite.
For more on the Big Finishline of audios, please visit their site.
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