Tagged: David Tennant

Still Not Ginger – Peter Capaldi is the New Doctor

Announced at the climax of a globally-broadcast special, The BBC introduced the twelfth actor to play The Doctor, Peter Capaldi.

He’s a BAFTA-winning actor, winning for the role of Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It.  He’s appeared twice on Who-related series, he played Caecilius in The Fires of Pompeii, and John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of Earth.  In Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, he played the angel Islington.  He is currently filming the BBC adaptation of the Three Musketeers, in which he plays Cardinal Richelieu.

Showrunner Steven Moffat says he’d considered Capaldi when he was casting the eleventh Doctor, though he decided it wasn’t quite the time.

This wasn’t  his first time traveling in time, either – He played Doug Hatton in the recurring sketch “Drunk in Time” on The All new Alexei Sayle Show.

Peter most recently appeared in World War Z, playing a physician working with the World Health Organization.  Or, as he’s listed on the IMDB, “WHO Doctor“.

No details have been yet shared as to how much a part he will played in the final two episodes of the year. Though it’s traditional for the new Doctor to only appear in the last moments of the last episode, the Christmas episode has not been filmed, and David Tennant made his first full appearance in the first Christmas episode, “The Christmas Invasion”.

Mr. Capaldi’s movements will likely be closely followed, and any appearance he makes in the Christmas episode will likely be widely reported.  The Management awaits his work with extreme interest.

The Question Will Be Answered – New Doctor to be announced Sunday on live show

Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor

After much discussion a more than a sizable amount of betting, the BBC have announced that the actor to play the 12th (that we know of) title character on Doctor Who will be introduced to the public this Sunday at 7PM in the UK.  Titled Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor, and hosted by TV and radio show presenter Zoe Ball.  The show will feature current Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith and showrunner Steven Moffatt, and the new actor will make their first appearance.

Revelation of the new Doctor has always been a media circus in England – bookies regularly take bets on who the actor will be, and stories rife with rumors and predictions will always draw eyes.  Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith was introduced in a special episode of Doctor Who Confidential – this is seemingly the next logical step for dealing with the instantaneous dissemination world of just a few years later.

While this will answer the question that has been on fans’ lips for some weeks now, it’s only one of several that have cropped up since.  The most immediate is how much of the new Doctor will we see in the last of this year’s episodes?

Matt Smith seemingly slipped a couple of times in panels at San Diego, saying that he had already filmed “his last episode”, namely the anniversary special.  He followed up quickly that he’d be back for Christmas, and he promised it’d be “a real belter”, but considering there’s no guarantee when the regeneration will take place.  They’ve made sure to select the new Doctor before the filming of the Christmas episode begins.

While it’s traditional to show the regeneration at the end of a season, that’s not how it started.  William Hartnell regenerated into Patrick Troughton in the middle of the season, and Troughton got right to it the next week in Evil of the Daleks.  David Tennant got his first full episode as The Doctor in the first Christmas episode The Christmas Invasion, after Christopher Eccleston left and regenerated at the end of his first and only series.  Smith appeared for only seconds at the end of The End of Time, returning for his first episode the next Spring.

We’re already seeing a two-Doctor episode for the anniversary, namely Tennant and Smith. That’s with the potential of more – Moffatt claims to have been “lying through his teeth” about what’s in the special, and rumors of a brief cameo scene by Paul McGann have started popping up again.  What, dare I suggest, if the Doctor regenerates at the end of the Anniversary special, and Smith only appears as an unseen Tyler Durden like advisor in the new Doctor’s mind?

For all the frenzy Sunday’s announcement will make, it will only be met with equal madness over the next few months until both remaining Smith episodes will bring.

Come Along.

New Who Review: “The Name of the Doctor”

Crossing one’s own timeline is a cardinal sin for a time traveler.  Walking over one’s grave even worse.  So when The Doctor is forced to do that…

by Steven Moffat
Directed by Saul Metzstein

Re-appearing after its defeat a year previous, The Great Intelligence forces The Doctor to the location of his grave, wherein is hidden the physical manifestation of his timeline, a map of his life, which in the hands of the wrong people could be used to re-write his life.  The Intelligence chooses to do so, at the cost of its own existence.  The only way to save The Doctor, and all the good works he did, is with another sacrifice.

Emotionally, the episode worked exceedingly well. We got a solid River Song story, one where we finally see The Doctor admit his feeling for her.  But narratively, we’re very close to seeing the same story three years in a row.  An attack on The Doctor results in all of time and space being thrown out of whack, and only through a well-placed sacrifice can everything be undone. We saw it even before the Moffat years in Turn Left, where Donna Noble is manipulated so as to have never met The Doctor, resulting in his death fighting the Racnoss queen, and all of the events afterwards changing.  The big twist here is it’s The Doctor who makes the final save of his companion, and not them saving him.

Having The Crimson Horror so closely preceding this episode somewhat diluted the fun of seeing The Paternoster Gang back – it might have been better to be a week ot two back, spread them out just a tad more. As much as people are clamoring for a spinoff series, the characters would need more fleshing out to stand up weekly viewing.

It all got a little needs-more-explainy at the end, but as is traditional, the emotional impact trumps any questions about how things could have happened as they did. And just in case they didn’t, that last scene is enough to forgive all sins, real or imagined.

GUEST STAR REPORT John Hurt (The Doctor (?)) has a staggering list of work in sci-fi and fantasy.  Perhaps best known for being the incubator for the eponymous creature in Alien, (not to mention a brilliant parody of that moment in Spaceballs), he was also in 1984, V for Vendetta, the Harry Potter films, really too many things to list.

THE MONSTER FILES – The Great Intelligence returns this episode, taking the visage of Dr. Simeon, last seen in The Snowmen. Considering the Intelligence seems to have been destroyed, the likelihood that they’re using the other media’s claim that it is indeed the Old One Yog-Sothoth (from the H.P. Lovecraft stories) is exceedingly slim.

The Whispermen didn’t get a whole lot of chance to do much save for showing off an ability to phase their hands into people’s chests and stop their hearts, and speak in verse.  Like The Shakri from The Power of Three, they certainly are interesting enough to warrant a future return, but it’d likely require a bit more explanation.  It’s unclear if they’re created by the Intelligence as temporary forms for its energy, or something else.  They bear a great resemblance to The Trickster from The Sarah Jane Adventures, leading many fans to believe that’s who was coming back.

BACKGROUND BITS AND BOBS – Trivia and production details

I CAN NEVER GET IT IN THE RIGHT ORDER – Once again we’re seeing River Song out of sync with past appearances.  She’s calling herself Professor again, which means we’re seeing her from near the events of Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead.  Indeed, since she has knowledge of her own death, she pretty much needs to be coming from AFTER that adventure, from when she was saved in CAL, the database in The Library.  The whole point of the episode is about how you can’t cross your own timeline – she wasn’t aware The Library was where she was going to die when she got there, so somehow she was able to join them in their sleep-meeting from within CAL.

Which is why I can’t grasp why people seem to think this will be the last time we’ll not be seeing her again.  What we saw was The Doctor coming to grips with the fact that River has at some point died.  The image that faded was the mental link image Clara was connected to – River simply closed the link.  We know for a fact that there are two adventures that have not yet occurred for The Doctor – he has not yet told her his name, and he has not giver her that adapted sonic screwdriver she had in that first/last story.  She will be back, and that’s that.  What we ARE seeing is their timelines starting to fill in.  In the two hundred or so years The Doctor was away before The Impossible Astronaut (remember, he goes from nine to eleven hundred years old) a lot of the stories in their diaries match up (Jim the Fish!), but not ALL. Plenty more to come.

“On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the eleventh” – Dorium first names the place and the prediction at the end of The Wedding of River Song. “Silence will fall when The Question is asked”, and indeed that’s what happened – When Simeon asked for The Doctor’s name, it gave him the opportunity to undo all of his deeds, including keeping Davros from destroying the universe. So indeed, it’s possible The Silence was fighting the wrong enemy, and they should have been trying to stop The Great Intelligence and The Whispermen.

“I was born to save The Doctor” – It’s funny that one of the rumors about the upcoming 50th anniversary story was they’d be inserting Matt Smith into past Doctor footage – it turns out it was done here.  In addition to using Hartnell footage to present the first moment of The Doctor’s adventures, we see her appear in footage from The Invasion of Time, Arc of Infinity, and Dragonfire. Most impressively is we see her standing behind Ten and Donna as they survey The Library in River Song’s first adventure.  We see Troughton and Pertwee from footage in The Five Doctors, and stand-in versions of the remaining Doctors.

“But not in the name of The Doctor” – As with the first episode of the semi-series, the title did not mean what it seemed it would.  This new Doctor appears to have done things that the rest of his incarnations, the rest of himself, can’t bear to deal with.  It’s fair to guess this includes causing the end of the Time War, but that’s not yet guaranteed.

BIG BAD REPORT / CLEVER THEORY DEPARTMENT – Pretty much we’re just looking backwards now.  We can see what the common threads were during Clara’s appearances, and for the second half of the season.

“I don’t know where I am” Oswin says it in Asylum of the Daleks, Clara says it in Bells of St. John, and says it again here.

“They’re my echoes” – We heard references to ghosts and echoes throughout the series as well.  The mysterious creatures in Hide (not to mention Clara’s statement that “we must all be ghosts to you”), the memories and experiences in Rings of Akhaten, the Ice Warrior out of time in Cold War, all creatures out of their proper place in time.

NEXT TIME ON DOCTOR WHO – Well, we know a little bit.  After that setup, there’s going to be a GREAT deal of rumormongering and Clever Theorizing over the next half year.  But even what we know is pretty damn cool.

  • David Tennant and Billie Piper are returning for the 50th anniversary episode, and so far, none of the other original Doctors are.  We don’t know from what point of Ten’s timeline we’ll bee seeing him.  Since it appears he and Rose are still traveling together, it’s likely from before Doomsday.
  • Jemma Redgrave will return as Kate Stewart, new head of UNIT.
  • The Zygons will return to the series, and appearances by Cybermen and Daleks are also rumored.

Other than that?  Who the hell knows?


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.”


David Tennant, Billie Piper in Doctor Who 50th

David-Billie-billie-piper-and-david-tennant-27911403-250-400Announced just hours before the series premiere this evening, the BBC confirmed the first casting information for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, and they started big.  David Tennant will make his return to the series, as will Billie Piper, reprising her role as Rose.

Tennant’s Doctor regenerated into Matt Smith on January 1, 2010; Billie was last seen in a cameo as Rose on the same adventure.  Rose left the Doctor two years previous, on “Pete’s World” a parallel Earth, in the company of a human clone of The Doctor, created as a result of the fight with the Daleks in The Stolen Planet / Journey’s End.  At this point, there’s no definite verification whether Tennant will return as The (original) Doctor or his Pete’s World clone.

Also announced as a member of the cast is John Hurt, British acting icon with quite a long resume in genre work, including Merlin, V For Vendetta, Elephant Man, Harry Potter, and 1984.

Tennant and Piper have spent much of the past months denying vehemently and whimsically their appearance in the series. David reported in a recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show that a representative arrived backstage to remind him not to talk about the special, “…and I don’t even know anything!”

Other actors associated with the show have been equally reticent about their appearance, and the few that have dropped tidbits have been rapped on the proverbial knuckles.  John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) announced that he was “talking” to the BBC to appear, only to have to retract that comment, followed by a tweet some weeks later stating definitively that he would not be appearing.

Filming for the new special begins this week, directed by Nick Hurran and written by Steven Moffat.  Odds are that news of additional casting will filter out over the next weeks, either officially or via the hordes of fans which will certainly descend on each location shoot.

A Doctor A Day – “New Earth”

Using 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.

A trip to the future, a return of a foe presumed dead (get used to THAT one) and a moral conundrum.  And it all happens on…

by Russell T Davies
Directed by James Hawes

“It’s like living inside a bouncy castle!”

The Doctor and Rose travel back to the five billions, to the time after The End of The World, to New Earth, the city of New15 York. The Doctor got a message from someone via his psychic paper, asking him to come to his aid at a nearby hospital.  But someone is watching, and as soon as the pair try to enter the elevators, they are separated.  Rose is sent to the basement, and is confronted by Lady Cassandra O’Brien, the last pureblood human, and the baddie behind the events on Platform One.  Saved from her apparently grisly death by cloning a new “body” from leftover parts (parts from the …back), she barely survives in the basement of the hospital, and has made plans to move on.  And for Rose to come along, another pureblood human, specifically one responsible for nearly killing her…well, when the fates hand you an opportunity like that…  Cassandra uses a device to transplant her mind into Rose’s body, and begins to take stock of new assets.

The Doctor, meanwhile, was summoned by The Face of Boe, who he met on Platform One as well.  The Face is dying, and his nurse, Novice Hame, explains that legend says that as he dies, he will impart great knowledge to someone like him, “A traveler, a lonely god”.

Amazingly, Cassandra’s not the real threat.  The Sisters of Plenitude, a feline race who run the hospital, have been breeding clones expressly to infect with every disease known to man, for the purpose of finding cures for them.  They maintain the clones are not sentient, but as soon as they’re awakened, that’s immediately proven untrue.  The Doctor starts to investigate, and also starts to notice that Rose knows a bit more about technology of the year five billion than she should.

So The Doctor has to find out the secrets of the hospital, get Rose back in charge of her own body, shut down a sect of cat-nuns, and stop a horde of disease-ridden clones from overrunning the place.  Not a bad first day out…

The Christmas episode was a bit different from later ones would be – it was the first appearance of the new Doctor, and was more “in continuity” with the rest of the season, as opposed to being a stand-alone adventure. It also features other recurring characters, as opposed to later specials that would only feature The Doctor and all-new characters. Functionally, it’s the first episode of this season.  So this episodes starts shortly after the special, with The Doctor and Rose off on new adventures, already with a much lighter tone.

Both Billie Piper and David Tennant get to camp it up a bit as Rose and The Doctor get inhabited by Cassandra, with the requisite fun and silly accents.  Davies excels at keeping a balance between drama and humor in his stories, and this one’s a good example.

One could argue that this plot is an argument against various forms of experimentation.  I prefer to stand by Dr. Mordin Solus’ philosophy from mass Effect – “Use of sentient beings in scientific tests disgusting. Have personal standard – Never experiment on species with members capable of calculus. Simple rule, never broke it.”

We see a new emotional side to The Doctor here.  Not only is this the first time he’s “Sorry…so sorry” at the site of the clones, it’s also the first time he gives a foe who truly deserves it a merciful end.  One of the things we see him do many times is offer threatening aliens a chance to leave in peace.  Sometimes they refuse, and his judgment is swift and hard, sometimes others pull the trigger (like Harriet Jones did last episode) and he’s just as merciless on them, but sometimes, if they deserve it, he helps them.  Cassandra really did try to help at the end, and once she came to peace with her fate, The Doctor gave her a chance to at least die happy.

The payoff to the promise from the Face of Boe wouldn’t come till next season, tying into the Big Bad for that season.  So even though Moffat is doing it with more deliberation, Davies was also setting up multi-year plotlines, teasing events quite a ways off.  Looking back like this, it’s amazing how many things we ascribe to Moffat were already being done from the beginning.  More fodder for the “who’s a better showrunner” argument, certainly.

A Doctor A Day – “The Christmas Invasion”

Using 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.

A new tradition, a new series, a new Doctor, a new threat, a new Prime Minister, and all happening just in time for…

by Russell T Davies
Directed by James Hawes

“What about Torchwood?”

After being forced to regenerate, The Doctor returns Rose home to Britain.  Jackie and Mickey both here the TARDIS’ wheezing engines, and race outside to meet it as it comes crashing down in the center of the plaza.  The Doctor comes barreling out, raving and dazed, collapsing in a heap at Jackie and Mickey’s feet.  Rose has to explain what little she knows about the regeneration process, and they bring The Doctor back to their flat, changing him into pajamas (lucky girls…) and making him as comfortable as possible.

While Rose has been away, people have moved on. Harriet Jones, former MP of Flydale North was voted Prime Minister after her stirring speeches after the events of the Slitheen “hoax”.  She spearheaded Britain’s first solo space probe, Guinevere One, which will soon be broadcasting pictures of Mars.  Or it would do, if it wasn’t for the Sycorax spaceship that grabs it, analyzes its contents, and uses it as a Michelin Guide to the Earth.  They hie hither to our blue marble, and by using a biological sample included on the ship, take control of everyone on Earth with Type A-positive blood and effectively hold them hostage.

While that’s happening, the aliens are also trying to make sure The Doctor can’t stop them, and attack him and his friends with yuletide-themed weapons – robot Father Christmases with 44 caliber trombones, rotating killer Christmas trees…you know, as aliens do.

More than a few changes going on here. First off, this is the first of the series’ Christmas specials.  Save for a moment where William Hartnell broke the fourth wall and wished the readers Merry Christmas, the show’s never done a Christmas special, something quite common on British television.  But the new show proved so popular, the BBC asked they write one.  Russell T Davies was in the process of writing this script while they were recording the commentary tracks for the First Season DVD, so he talked quite a bit about what he had planned for everyone.  Also part of a new tradition was the prequel scene they recorded for the annual Children In Need appeal.  It was the first opportunity viewers had to see the chemistry between Tennant and Piper, and didn’t it just sparkle.  The scene, readily available on YouTube, is of course included with the DVD set.

It’s always a risk when you change actors in a role. The folks who do the Bond films can tell you all sorts of stories.  Just recently, a TV station in India elected to cancel an outrageously popular soap opera when the male lead elected to leave – they decided any new actor would generate outrage from the fans.  So to have to bring in a new Doctor after only one season back on the air was a risk indeed.  Luckily, David Tennant took the part and ran with it.  The whole tone of the series got lighter with him at the helm. Eccleston’s Doctor was dark and brooding, often angry, while David is much more positive and happy. Judging from the way the popularity of the show skyrocketed, it was clearly successful.  And the fun part is, he’s barely in the episode.  It’s much more an opportunity for the backup cast to step forward and shine.  Tennant gets a delightful scene in the early part of the episode, and shows up at the end, in rather a nice parallel to Rose’s last-minute save in The Parting of the Ways.  In a dressing gown, yet.

We get to see U.N.I.T. back in full strength this episode, a position they’ll keep more than a few times in the next few seasons.  Originally the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, it was quietly updated to “Unified Intelligence Taskforce” after a request not to connect it to the proper U.N.  One must assume requests to update the name of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. went unanswered.

Penelope Wilton is a treasure.  The flibbertigibbet back-bencher she played in Aliens of London / World War Three is now a sure of herself Prime Minister, and the performance she gives changes just a shade, while still keeping that seam of daftness that made Harriet Jones such a glorious creation the first time around.  And at the end of the episode, when she takes the step The Doctor forbade, she actually takes a heel turn in his eyes.  Don’t worry, she gets a chance to redeem herself in a season or two, and quite right, too.

And speaking of the events of the earlier episode, there’s a very nice bit of continuity in this adventure – as they cut to a shot of London, Big Ben it surrounded by scaffolding, still under repair from the crashing spaceship from that past event.

While most people think this is the first mention of Torchwood, it’s the second.  The Torchwood Institute was the answer to one of the questions from Anne Droid in last episode’s Weakest Link game.  Nobody was listening for it, so it went right over everyone’s heads.

A Doctor A Day – “Bad Wolf / The Parting Of The Ways”

Using 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.
The Doctor’s on Big Brother, Rose is on The Weakest Link, and Captain Jack is on What Not To Wear.  IN SPAAAAaaaaace.  And behind it all, following them, is the…

by Russell T Davies
Directed by Joe Ahearne

100 years after the last visit to Satellite Five in The Long Game, the GameStation, a subsidiary of the Bad Wolf Corporation has gone from broadcasting the news to broadcasting entertainment TV, specifically reality shows.  So clearly, the hope that mankind will go back to rising to its height has gone wrong somewhere.  The TARDIS-traveling trio all wake up in different locations, having been abducted via a transmat beam.  The Doctor is now the latest Housemate on Big Brother, Rose is up against the host “Anne Droid” on The Weakest Link, and Captain Jack is getting along quite well with a cybernetic Trinny and Susannah.  That is, until each show takes a grisly turn.  Contestants don’t walk off with parting gifts, they’re disintegrated, and the hosts on WNTW offer Captain Jack quite an extreme makeover.

The Doctor gets himself evicted from the Big Brother house, and when they don’t scatter him to atoms, he knows he’s been brought there on puspose.  He escapes from the house and into the body of the GaneStation, formerly Satellite Five.  Hundreds of reality and game shows are broadcasting constantly all with the same very final endings.  As before, the advancement of the human race is being held back by the broadcasts from this station; formerly with carefully controlled news, now with the more base stratagem of bread and circuses.  Earth has become a pollution-choked mess, far from the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire it’s supposed to be.  The Doctor realizes that by shutting down the news feeds from Satellite Five, he cause a global panic that ended in this sad state of affairs.

Captain Jack catches up with The Doctor, and they find Rose…seconds too late.  The Anne Droid fires, and Rose vanishes.  Fighting their way to Floor 500, they find the TARDIS in an out of bounds archive closet, and a very important piece of information – People aren’t being disintegrated, they’re being transported.  To the new Dalek fleet.  The Doctor has to fly straight into the fire range of 200 Dalek saucers, rescue Rose, defeat the Daleks, and set mankind back on its proper route.  No wonder this was a two-parter.

The Dalek emperor’s ship survived the Time War, sent back in time.  It’s he who’s been behind the activities of Satellite Five, grabbing humans from earth as raw material for new Dalek mutants.  Through the centuries, the Emperor and his creations have gone mad – the Emperor has declared himself a god.  And with their disguise gone, they make their move on the Earth

This was the first season finale of the new series, and as such presented the culmination of the new narrative format of the series.  The entire season is part of a larger story arc, with plot threads laid in earlier episodes that tie up here.  More then simply the Bad Wolf meme, the events of both Dalek and Long Game were important factors that set up events that ended here.  Even Boom Town presented the idea of the heart of the TARDIS, which allowed the deus ex machina that brought the story to an end.

Well, an end for Christopher Eccleston,  anyway.  Citing differences of opinion with higher-ups in the series (which rather suggests Davies and producers Gardner and Collinson), Christopher decided to leave the series after only one season, and the plans for his departure were set in place well before the final episode.  Which basically means that as he gave all those interviews about how exciting the new series was, he’d already left it.

This only presented new possibilities – only one season in, and the new audience would be able to experience a regeneration.  The effects were a far site better than the simple dissolves of the old days – indeed, they went to great lengths to link the effects design of the regeneration and the energy from the heart of the TARDIS.  The energy is connected to all facets of Time Lord technology – it powers the TARDIS, and allows a Time Lord to live impossibly long.  and as we learn in this episode, it’s more than a human being can withstand.  In fact, even though she doesn’t get a name till Neil Gaiman’s episode, Rose communes with the sentient soul of the TARDIS that inhabited Idris here.  “I want you safe…My Doctor” – those are her exact words.  And just as with Idris, the power is killing Rose, and The Doctor saves her, at the expense of this regereration.

Patterson Joseph, who played Roderick in the Weakest Link game, played the Marquis de Carabas in the mini-series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.  He was one of the people rumored to be up for the role of The Doctor when David Tennant left the show, which of course went to Matt Smith.  Both Davies and Moffat have made a habit of bringing back actors for larger roles later on in the series, or on one of the spinoffs.  We’ve seen a few examples of that this season, and we’ll see more in seasons to come, including several companions.

We meet the new Doctor, David Tennant for just a moment, along with a promise that he’ll be back in the first Christmas special, which we’ll look at tomorrow.  It’s amazing how much happened in just this first season, and how much more is to follow.

The Point Radio: ARROW’s Aim Is Still True

As ARROW  hits the halfway mark of the TV season, fans and critics alike say it keeps getting better. We go backstage with the creators and cast to find out how they got this far, and what lies ahead for new characters including one played by fan favorite John Barrowman. Plus How about Captain Kirk, Ron Burgundy or Spock doing your voice mail message? It can happen if you hurry.

Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: Howie Mandel’s Got Holiday Game

It’s a Christmas tradition at a lot of holiday parties. You might call it “Secret Santa” or “White Elephant” but now it’s getting super-sized and coming to NBC for five consecutive nights. Howie Mandel joins us to talk about what TAKE IT ALL will mean to the landscape of primetime television, plus Neil Gaiman hits radio and WALKING DEAD fans can keep the fear going with a new iOS game.

Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.