Tagged: Christopher Eccleston

Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Rumor mill

In a absence of fact, rumor and Clever Theories rush in to fill the vacuum.  And considering the security surrounding The 50th anniversary Doctor Who adventure, and the ravenous hunger of the public for details, there’s no doubt the media is falling over itself to deliver any snippet it can, real or imagined.

So far the actual facts are few and far between.

It will be broadcast in 3-D Whether or not there will be any cinematic presentations in that format is unkown, but wouldn’t be a bad idea.

We know of only one other Doctor who will appear – namely David Tennant, with Billie Piper returning as Rose Tyler.  No news on from what point of his history this even will take place, however, though based on their costuming, it’s a fair bet Tennant is playing the proper Doctor and not “Doctor Two”, the one from Pete’s world.

The Zygons are back – publicity photos confirm this. However, Robert Banks Stewart, writer of Terror of the Zygons (not to mention The Seeds of Doom), confirmed he gave permission to use the baddies, and claims in this interview that the Daleks and Cybermen will appear as well.  His data source is suspect, and none of either baddie have been sighted on location.

Jemma Redgrave will be back as Kate Stewart, the new head of UNIT.  Other guest stars include John Hurt and Joanna Page, “Stacey” from Gavin and Stacey, in which James Corden was Gavin.

Christopher Eccleston will not appear – He’s stated, and the BBC has confirmed that while he talked to Moffat about a return to the series, he has chosen against it.  Now there’s every possibility that’s a clever lie, intended to keep a surprise a secret. But one must know when to fish, and when to cut bait, so considering Eccleston’s reticence to stay with Who any longer than he did, it’s fairly safe to presume this is the truth.

None of the earlier Doctors will be back either – Colin Baker, Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy all confirmed at a convention in New Zealand that none of them had been approached.  McGann still help out hope for a last-minute call, commenting he was used to being called on Wednesday for a part that began on Thursday.  But one thinkg they all agree on is that Lord of the Rings auteur Peter Jackson would make a stellar Who director.  Jackson whimsically commented in earlier interviews that he’d love to do an episode, even refusing payment, saying he’d accept a Dalek in lieu of a check.  While I’m sure the BBC would love to have this happen, but there’s certainly nothing in the cards

Those are the facts at hand.  Everything from this point on is merely the reportage of various rumors, dreams and outright cockeyed flumdummery from the media.

The roles Hurt and Page are playing are unknown, but theories abound.  Based on her costume at the various location shootings, some believe Page may be playing Queen Elizabeth the first, a character who has been alluded to in past episodes, most notoriously when The Doctor implied that her sobriquet of The Virgin Queen was not  (any longer) the case.

John Hurt’s role is unknown as well, but the fans are ready with a clever theory.  There are those who suggest that he is a new incarnation of The Doctor, having taken place between McGann’s and Eccleton’s.  This is possibly sprouting from this picture of John Hurt from the filmnig, wearing an outfit somewhat reminiscent of both actors’ costumes.  Whatever he’s playing, he’s dedicated to the part – he left early from a party in his honor over the weekend to ensure he made first call in Cardiff the next day

The past Doctors may appear virtually – The latest rumor bouncing about is that Doctor Who may take a page from Star trek, specifically Deep Space Nine’s adventure Trials and Tribbleations The UK’s Daily Star (not exactly a paper of record, but still) reports that the BBC may be planning to digitally insert matt Smith into episodes from past Doctors’ eras in the same way they inserted the DS9 cast onto Space Station K-7 in The Trouble With Tribbles.  This wouldn’t be the first time they did something similar – Matt appeared dancing with Laurel and Hardy on Amy and Rory’s TV in The Impossible Astronaut, which may well be where the rumor got its start.

The BBC are keeping as tight a lid on the details of the episode as possible for obvious reasons. Matt Smith has reported it’s a wonderful story, but shared no details.  On Jonathan Ross, David Tennant suggested “paintings” may be involved in the story in some way.

As a rule, one must use the first rule of the internet when analyzing the various “news” you will hear over the next few months – “Pictures, or it didn’t happen.”


A Doctor A Day: “Rose”

Rose TylerUsing the new Doctor Who Limited Edition Gift Set, your noble author will make his way through as much of the modern series as he can before the Christmas episode, The Snowmen. Come along.

Shop girl Rose Tyler was not expecting much to change in her life.  In a very brief time, she faces down animated plastic shop dummies, teams up with a 900 year old time traveler, and helps save the world.  There’s no doubt why the episode was named after her…

By Russell T. Davies
Directed by Keith Boak

“Nice to meet you, Rose; run for your life!”

After a long dark silence, peppered only with books, audio adventures, comics, magazines and…well, ok, but no new TV adventures, Doctor Who returned to the air with a lot to prove, and not a lot of time to do it in.  Russell T. Davies had to grab the new audience, and at the same time, assure the old fans that the show was in good hands.  He achieved it all brilliantly.

Billie Piper as Rose Tyler is very much a new style of Companion for The Doctor – sure of herself, independent, and much more likely to fight than to scream.  We also see another change to the companions; we meet her family and friends.  The glorious Camille Coduri as her Mom, Jackie, and her boyfriend Mickey as played by Noel Clarke are different from other Companion’s family in they’re not dead, usually killed by the monster of the week, if we see them at all.  They give Rose more of a grounding; she’s happy to go off and explore the world, but there’s people waiting for her at home, and that naturally brings them back to Earth often, something that doesn’t hurt the budget.

And at the center, Christopher Eccleston as a very different and modern Doctor.  His clothing is nondescript, his manner gruff, his opinion of Humanity seemingly dismissive, but when he speaks in their defense, it’s clear he loves them.  His tongue is sharp; his first few lines to Rose are delightful, telling her to go off and eat her beans on toast, but congratulating her for coming up with a logical explanation for what she’s seeing. But shortly later, he gives a peek at the emotion he’s feeling every day, about he can actually feel the planet spinning under his feet.

Davies and co chose well for the series first villain; the Nestene Consciousness and its plastic commandos the Autons.  Only seen twice in the original series, they were obscure enough that it’d please the fans, but easy enough to explain to the newcomers.  From the dramatic scenes of gun-handed mannequins taking people out left and right in a mall to the ridiculous scene of Mickey getting kidnapped by a garbage bin, the show did what it always did well – take commonplace things and make them scary.

In this episode’s commentary, we hear about how they chose to keep the first appearance of The Doctor very underplayed, as opposed to giving him a big dramatic entrance. Also, the episode ran sort of short, and the scene with The Doctor talking about how he can feel the rotation of the Earth was added later, and then re-shot, as Chris decided he could do it better. One of the few times they had time to re-shoot something for quality.

The episodes of Confidential on this first series are the edited versions that appeared later on the website and other locations, not the full half-hour version that were run after the original broadcast.  They’re still quite interesting to get a look at how the show was put together.  It’s interesting to see the interviews with Chris Eccleston, both here and in additional extras on the disc.  Remember by this point he’d already decided to leave, they’d already filmed the whole series, and they already had his regeneration in the can.  But he’s happily giving these interviews, talking about what a joy it was, and gamefully smiling and nodding when asked how long he plans to stay with the series.

In one episode they do a perfect job of reintroducing the character to a new audience.  It was kept simple, but let everyone know the show was very much to be taker seriously. The special effects were very much up to modern standards, and the writing of Davies did not talk down to the show’s traditional primary audience of children.  Like it had been before, there was no guarantee the show would fly, but it got a damn fine running start.

Mike Gold: Doctor Who Fans Can Barely Hold It

If you get off on anticipation and you also happen to be a Doctor Who fan, these are amazing times. We-all have so much to get excited about. To wit:

1)   The beginning of the next half-season, which will start in England any day now. The BBC likes to wait until the last minute to make their announcements; the show debuts in the United States, Canada and much of the rest of the world shortly thereafter. As of this writing, the season premiere is not on this Saturday’s schedule, so the August 25th rumor is likely untrue… unless the Pirates of the Caribbean movie presently in the Doctor Who slot is bunkum.

2)   The exiting of the two current companions at the end of the half-season, which may or may not involve killing one or both off.

3)   The Doctor Who Christmas Special, which is likely to be aired on or about December 25th and will feature the introduction of the Doctor’s new companion. The show will also feature the “return” of Richard E. Grant – he voiced the Doctor in the animated “Scream of the Shalka” and joined Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Joanna Lumley in Steven Moffat’s debut Who, the satirical “Curse of Fatal Death.

4)   The 50th anniversary of the show’s debut, which happened mere moments after the BBC announced the death of President John F. Kennedy. Talk about your dramatic lead-ins.

As hyped-up as we may be about the first three items on the above list, I’m far more amused by all the folderol around the 50th Anniversary. Writer/producer/showrunner Steven Moffat has been having enormous fun jerking the fans and media around, teasing the hell out of the event and roughly expanding our enthusiasm to apocalyptic proportions. Previous Doctors Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy and David Tennent have all publically committed to return “if asked,” and Christopher Eccleston has actually stopped saying he wouldn’t return under any circumstances, although his work on the next Thor movie might interfere with scheduling. Similarly, John Barrowman’s work on Arrow might mitigate his availability. Colin Baker noted he might have grown, ahem, a bit too big for the part. To me, that sounds like something Moffat can have fun with.

If Moffat is to be believed, there likely will be several or many 50th Anniversary events next year. My question is “will there actually be a regular 50th Anniversary season?” There will be a dramatic made-for-teevee-movie about the creation of the original television show, being produced by Moffat and written by his Sherlock partner Mark Gatiss. There’s quite a feminist hook in this tale, as the show’s original producer, the person who actually got the show on television, was Verity Lambert, one of the very, very few women in such a position at the BBC back in 1963.

Of course, we’ll see all sorts of Doctor Who comics from IDW – we already see all sorts of Doctor Who comics from IDW, including reprints of Dave Gibbons’ beautiful work on the feature – and there will be tons and tons of merchandising and convention thrills. I suspect Community and The Inspector will have something to say about it all as well.

So the rumors will continue to grow in mass, time and space, and the resultant brouhaha will keep the rabble at fever-pitch. Perhaps there will be TARDIS-themed Depends being marketed to those who can’t hold it in.

That’s right, guys. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil waiting on shadowy rooftops.


Mindy Newell: Doctor ????

Who’s your favorite Doctor?

I discovered the Time Lord back in the late 1970s (I think), when WNET, the New York PBS station, started running the Tom Baker episodes. Baker’s Doctor, with his floppy-brimmed hat, outback duster, and loonnnng, multi-colored, scarf – did Granny Who knit it for him? – was the itinerant cosmic hobo. Only instead of hopping the rails, he “tripped the light fantastic” across the universe in the TARDIS. Companions Sara Jane Smith (the late Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) were – seen with the advantage of hindsight –sort of “Mulder/Scully” prototypes, with Sara Jane as the believing Mulder and Harry as the skeptic. I can’t say that the British military operations called UNIT – Unified Intelligence Taskforce – was the FBI, although Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart did sort of act like the Assistant Director Walter Skinner, walking the high-wire tightrope between helping the Doctor and answering to his superiors.

Like every other Whovian, I mourned – and was really pissed off – when the BBC stopped producing the series.

And like every other Whovian with Cablevision, I watched the relaunch of Doctor Who on Sci-Fi, with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Billy Piper – the call girl of The Secret Diary Of A Call Girl on Showtime – as his companion, Rose Tyler. I really got into Eccleston as the Doctor, and was incredibly disappointed when he chose to leave the role after only one season…until David Tennant took over the controls of the TARDIS and the wielding of the sonic screwdriver. Like Rose, I fell in love with Tennant’s Doctor.

And I was deeply upset when, after five years, Tennant left. The love story between the Doctor and Rose added new and deep emotional resonance to the series and I didn’t want their tale to end.  So I was stubbornly anti-Matt Smith as the as romanticism and emotional I was not prepared to like Matt Smith as the Doctor’s eleventh reincarnation. I thought his introduction was stupid and boring, not funny, going though young Amy Pond’s refrigerator and kitchen pantry, tasting everything, spitting out everything.

But then….

Bow ties are cool. So are fezzes.

The absolute brilliance – imho – of Smith’s first season as the Time Lord, and the introduction of Amy Pond as, first, a young girl, and then as a grown woman (Karen Gillan), with the addition of Amy’s fiancée-now-husband Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) won me over by the second episode.

Last night I watched The Science Of Doctor Who, which, like its predecessors The Science Of Star Wars and The Science Of Star Trek, explored how the show has influenced the scientists of today in making the science fiction of the Doctor science reality. Today I trolled BBC America’s Doctor Who web pages, watching sneak previews and reading about catching up on all things Whovian. Including the news that Gillan and Darvill will be exiting the show, and that it may have something to do with the Weeping Angels – to my mind the scariest and creepiest aliens to ever appear on Doctor Who. Yes, much more than the Daleks or the Cybermen.

But I do have one question.

Can someone please, please tell me when Season 7 starts?


WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold and Cold Ennui



Doctor Who’s Russell T Davies Quits Hollywood

Russell T. Davies, the man responsible for the highly successful resurrection of Doctor Who and its spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, last left his Hollywood career to return to Manchester, England to take care of his ailing partner.

This summer, Andrew Smith was diagnosed with brain cancer. As matters progressed, Smith and Davies decided they wanted to be closer to their friends and family. As of this writing, Smith’s prognosis has remained private.

Davies, whose many credits also include creating and writing Queer As Folk, Casanova (starring David Tenant) and The Second Coming (starring Chris Eccleston), is expected to resume his entertainment industry career at some point in the future.

ComicMix Radio: Doctor Who Times Three, Four Or More?

ComicMix Radio: Doctor Who Times Three, Four Or More?

Our exclusive interview with the next Doctor Who head writer, Steven Moffat, continues. we explore his take on bringing back established characters, killing them off and the inevitable hope of another multi-Doctor story plus:

  • Dabel Brothers taking books into comics
  • Battlestar:Galactica gets "super sized"
  • Dan Jurgens can go home again

Christopher Eccleston and Peter Davidson together, could it happen? Find out when you Press the Button!

And remember, you can always subscribe to ComicMix Radio podcasts via iTunes - ComicMix or RSS!


First Picture of Scarlett from ‘G.I. Joe’ Released

First Picture of Scarlett from ‘G.I. Joe’ Released

ComicMix previously showed you pictures of Snake Eyes from the upcoming G.I. Joe movie when they were revealed, now we can bring you the first shot of Rachel Nichols as Shana "Scarlett" O’Hara. You can get a full sized shot of Scarlett, including the bottom half (you creepy nerd), at JoBlo.

G.I. Joe is scheduled for release on August 7, 2009. The film stars Ray Park as Snake Eyes, as well as Dennis Quaid, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Arnold Vosloo and Christopher Eccleston.

Pictures of Snake Eyes from ‘G.I. Joe’ Film Revealed

Pictures of Snake Eyes from ‘G.I. Joe’ Film Revealed

Paramount Pictures has released two photos from the upcoming G.I. Joe movie featuring everyone’s favorite mute ninja, Snake Eyes. Full sized versions of the pictures can be found at Superhero Hype.

Fans hoping that the characters in the film will resemble their comic book and cartoon counterparts should be pleased with the classic look that good old Snake Eyes is sporting.

Snake Eyes will reportedly have a large role in the upcoming film. In a recent interview, director Stephen Sommers gave some details about what Snake Eyes will be up to in the movie: 

"He’s the world’s greatest ninja, but he’s also next-generation. He’s not afraid to use a sword one second, and a split-second later he’s pulling out his Glock," Sommers told USA Today. "His chief nemesis is arguably the world’s other great ninja, Storm Shadow. The two grew up together, were blood brothers and now are mortal enemies."

G.I. Joe is scheduled to be released on August 7, 2009. The film stars Ray Park as Snake Eyes, as well as Dennis Quaid, Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Arnold Vosloo and Christopher Eccleston.

Who’s a Trekkie?

Who’s a Trekkie?

Well, not Doctor Who — but Freema Agyeman, the actress who plays the Doctor’s current assistant, Martha Jones, certainly is:

And apparently, Star Trek had an impact on Christopher Eccleston, too…

Hat tip to Sailorboy for the initial photo.