Tagged: Vinnie’s Doctor Who Beat

Did the UK Mirror just post the most ridiculous Doctor Who rumor ever?

Let me tell you about how you generate clickbait. You start off by making the story about either a celebrity, TV show, or popular topic that will attract people’s attention. Then you string together enough facts and quotes vaguely connected to the idea that you can make the article more than three paragraphs long. THEN, (and this one is key) you make the headline a question.  So you’re not saying “This is a fact”, or even the increasingly popular “Sources report this as a fact”, but merely “Could this possibly be a fact?” Because then in the story, you can say that it’s probably just flummery.

To summarize: if a news report, especially one on the electric type Internet, has a question as the headline, the answer to said question is almost certainly…

OfCourseNot

I’m going to get a lot of use of this graphic, I can tell you. (Thanks to Frinkiac)

So when I tell you that the Mirror Online posted an article titled “ Can Matt Smith be the first Doctor Who to regenerate as himself?“, can you guess where I stand on the question?

In the article, they reference several quotes from Matt Smith where he says he’s sometimes sorry he left the show, and hopes to come back to it some day, and one from Moffat where he says he misses his collaborator.

Add in the rumor that Capaldi is touted to leave at the end of the next season (ANOTHER story with no basis in fact, mind) and somehow, that means Matt is coming back.

This is another example of nobody being willing to say “No” to a story, because that ends the buzz.  As soon as someone denies something categorically, that’s the end of them being on everyone’s lips.  So when Joe Thespian gets rumored for a role in a Marvel film, he doesn’t say “that’s not true, there’s been to talks at all”, he says “Well, I can’t say anything more definitive about it, but it’d certainly be nice.”

OK, yes, they dropped the idea in the 50th anniversary episode, with the appearance of “The Curator” that the Doctor might someday “re-visit” his past incarnations in the future.

Yes, we’ve seen past Doctors return to the show, but as “themselves”, not somehow returning to their past forms in the current timeline. And yes, the idea of a regeneration into a past form is a tantalizing idea for a story.

But there is one, VERY important thing to remember.

If there is one thing that is nearly universally named as the show’s perfect idea, it is the idea that Regeneration is the most innovative concept ever. It allows the show to renew itself every few years, more than simply a change in producers or show-runners ever could.  By putting a new lead actor (yes, or actress, let’s not get distracted here) in the title role (look at me, I’m so incensed I’ve even passed up a chance to use the word “titular”) it give the show a chance to become something utterly new. Don’t care for the current guy? No worries, there’ll be another one along in a few years, come back and check him out.

Circling back to a past actor, in any permanent fashion, would be the ultimate admission that the show has run out of ideas. People get upset when the Daleks or Cybermen come back again, imagine the reaction if they rolled the clock back to an old Doctor.

It’s why the Big Finish audio plays are such a hit.  Want more Peter Davison as the Doctor? Here’s dozens of them.  We’ve seen Paul McGann, David Tennant, and even Tom Baker return.  Matt will almost certain do some. There’s your “more Matt” stories.

But on the TV show? In any permanent way? No.

Right?

Please tell me I’m right.

Dammit, you you’ve got me thinking about it…

(Writer’s note – the headline of this article was originally submitted as “UK Mirror floats Doctor Who rumor so stupid I’m not even putting it in the headline, clicks-through or no”)

New “Doctor Who” companion to be revealed during Match of the Day

PanicMoonThe BBC have announced that the identity of the newest Companion for the record-breaking science fiction series Doctor Who will be announced Saturday, April 23rd, live on BBC One’s Match of the Day. During half-time of the FA Cup semi-final between Everton and Manchester United, the BBC will announce the name of the new actor to join Peter Capaldi on the TARDIS.

With the return of the series in 2005, each new face to join the series has been met with an increasing sense of occasion.  Peter Capaldi’s announcement, for example, was announced in a global simulcast. Each castmember has been shrouded in secrecy previous to their introduction.  When Karen Gillan was auditioning for her role, she was told to use the code name “Panic Moon”, an anagram of “Companion”. Jenna Coleman had to tell people she was auditioning for “Men on Waves”, an anagram for “Woman Seven”.

Things have changed greatly for Who-lumni in the modern era — typecasting is largely a thing of the past. Like the role of The Doctor, a spot as Companion can have an amazing effect on an actor’s cache. Karen Gillan has landed roles in numerous series on both sides of the proverbial (forgive me) Pond, including Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy.  Jenna Coleman will soon be playing Queen Victoria, and Noel Clarke (Morty Mickey Smith in series one) has become an established director with films like Kidulthood.

With Match of the Day‘s kickoff scheduled for 5:15, half-time is expected at about 6PM. The BBC will also share the news on their various social media sites, followed immediately by a worldwide flurry of Googling and IMDBing the new actor for their resume, to see how long ago they showed up on Eastenders.

Doctor Who will be making only one dramatic appearance this year, the Christmas special, followed by a proper season 10 in 2017, which has already been announced to be showrunner Steven Moffat’s last.  Rumors still abound as to Peter Capaldi’s future with the series after said season.

Moffat leaving Doctor Who after series 10, at end of 2017…wait, what?

tumblr_mqgokqpiCp1qka8b1o1_1280And there was much rejoicing.

In an emotional rollercoaster of announcements, the BBC revealed that showrunner Steven Moffat would be leaving Doctor Who after series 10, which they then announced would not begin until Spring 2017.  The only new episode for 2016 will be the Christmas special.

Steven’s shoes will be filled by Chris Chibnall, far from a stranger to the series. In addition to numerous episodes of the series including the “mini-sode series” Pond Life, he’s written many episodes of Torchwood, and most recently was the creator and showrunner of the mystery series Broadchurch, starring David Tennant and many other Who-lumni.

Chibnall said, “Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC program: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world. So it’s a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was four years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore. Steven’s achieved the impossible by continually expanding Doctor Who’s creative ambition, while growing its global popularity. He’s been a dazzling and daring showrunner, and hearing his plans and stories for 2017, it’s clear he’ll be going out with a bang. Just to make my life difficult.”

Moffat is not without comment either – “Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him. It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.”

While a year without Doctor Who seems an interminable punishment, one must remember that 2016 will bring us the spin-off series Class.  Written by noted young adult author Patrick Ness, very little is known about the series yet, save for it’s set at Coal Hill School, where the series got it its start, and made quite the return to with Clara Oswald and the late lamented Danny Pink as a teacher. BBC America has announced that they’ll be carrying the series, which begins filming this spring.

Steven Moffat’s run on Doctor Who has been met with…shall we say “mixed” reviews, with wildly varied opinions on his handling of the character and the universe.  While there will likely be cheering from certain circles, one must remember that it was his contributions, both as writer and showrunner, that made the show a truly global phenomenon.

New Doctor Who spin-off, “CLASS”, announced for BBC Three

This scene will likely not happen in the new show.

Doctor Who is going back to school. BBC announced today a new spin-off for the popular series, aimed at young adults, and written by noted YA author Patrick Ness. Titled Class, the show will take place at Coal Hill School, historic location of the series, and feature the students facing threats from across space and time.

Set in contemporary London. Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected. With all the action, heart and adrenalin of the best YA fiction (Buffy, Hunger Games), this is Coal Hill School and Doctor Who like you’ve never seen it before.

Steven Moffat, who will executive-produce the show, says: “No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness, and now we’re bringing his brilliant storytelling into Doctor Who. This is growing up in modern Britain – but with monsters!”

Coal-hill-school-650x364Coal Hill School was the site of the first Doctor Who adventure, An Unearthly Child – The Doctor’s granddaughter Susan was attending the school, and endlessly impressed and confused her teachers with both her knowledge and naivete.  Those teachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, blundered into the Doctor’s mysterious TARDIS and became his first companions on the show.  In the modern series, Clara Oswald is a teacher there, and the selfsame Ian Chesterton is now chairman of the school’s Governors.  We’ve already met several precocious students at the school who we can only hope and pray will make an appearance in the series, including future president of the Earth Courtney Woods (Kill the Moon), and little Maebh and fellow members of the school’s Gifted program (In the Forest of the Night).

We’ve seen a few spin-offs of the main Doctor Who series.  Elizabeth Sladen starred in the first, the one-shot pilot K-9 and Company, but it wasn’t till decades later that she got that series order, with The Sarah Jane Adventures.  Torchwood, aimed at an older audience, got its name from an anagram hastily contrived to hide the name of the actual show being filmed before the new series first aired, and went on to be a hit in its own right, both in the UK and the US.  For a brief period of time, Who-fen never had to wait for more than a handful of weeks before a Who-related series aired.

Who_is_Patrick_Ness__Meet_the_man_behind_the_new_Doctor_Who_spin_off_ClassPatrick Ness, described by John Green as ‘an insanely beautiful writer’, is author of nine books, including six bestselling and critically acclaimed YA novels. He has written the screenplay for his own novel, A Monster Calls, which has been filmed for release in 2016 and stars Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones.

The new series will film next year, to debut on BBC Three, the digital/online channel later in 2016.  No details have been revealed if the episodes will overlap with the next series of Doctor Who, or which, if any characters from the main show will appear.

New Who Review: The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witch’s Familiar

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“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?”

It’s a classic philosophical question, one that the average person would never truly have to face. Of course, The Doctor is not the average person, and as such, has to face it nearly constantly.  But never so personally, and so literally as when a young boy calls for help…and The Doctor walks away.

THE MAGICIAN’S APPRENTICE / THE WITCH’S FAMILIAR
Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Hettie MacDonald

The Doctor lands on a planet torn asunder by war, a war going on so long that it’s using progressively declining technology – space fighters are being shot at with bows and arrows. When a young boy is trapped in a mine field, The Doctor tries to cheer him up by asking his name. The boy says his name is Davros, and The Doctor suddenly realizes where he is: Skaro, decades before the creation of the Daleks…by the boy whose life is in his hands.

Meanwhile (well, I say “meanwhile”…) on Earth, Missy has returned (and rudely, won’t explain how) and is asking to talk to Clara.  She’s been given The Doctor’s Confession Dial, effectively his will and testament, which means he’s expecting to (or planning to) die.  Missy asks Clara for help in finding him, “asks” meaning “kidnaps her”.

After finding him by looking for the biggest party they could find, The Doctor and his friends (more on this later) end up on Skaro, rebuilt from the ashes of the Time War.  Davros is dying at last, and wants The Doctor there, to make him suffer a final defeat at the man he could have saved so many years ago, but didn’t.

Anyone who still claims that Steven Moffat can no longer write a solid episode of Doctor Who now has the credibility of Donald Trump.  From a truly scream-inducing pre-credits sequence to a corker of a cliffhanger, to a perfectly touching ending, with some of the biggest laughs in years peppered in between.  A great deal of growth in the relationship between The Doctor and both of his greatest enemies, and a harrowing climax, all playing perfectly against past events that get called back in the most amazing ways.

The story bookends two important Dalek stories of the past: Terry Nation’s Genesis of the Daleks, which brought us the introduction of Davros, and Moffat’s own Asylum of the Daleks which introduced us to Jenna Coleman, and at least one aspect of Clara Oswald.  Steven Moffat has elevated the narrative callback to an art form – he’s pulling details from past stories to give them new meaning, as well as the simple practice of Chekhov’s Gun – introducing a seemingly throwaway point early in the story, only to have it come back with a surprise importance at the end.

GUEST STAR REPORT

Michelle Gomez (Missy) makes a surprising but not entirely unexpected return to the series as The Master, much sooner than anyone expected. She was recently featured in the HBO comedy series The Brink. Before Missy, she was best known in the UK for Green Wing, a comedy about a local hospital, and The Book Group, a comedy drama about a curcle of folks who get together more just to find friendship than to actually discuss the books they’ve been assigned to read.

Julian Bleach (Davros) has made several appearances on the various Who-niverse shows. First appearing on Torchwood as The Ghostmaker, he appeared as Davros in the David Tennant adventures The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End. He also played the eponymous monster in the Sarah Jane Adventures tale The Nightmare Man. He played Machiavelli in The Borgias TV series, and played the ballet instructor in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

THE MONSTER FILES

You could easily argue that The Daleks are more responsible for the success of Doctor Who than anything. After producer Sydney Newman decreed there would be “no bug-eyed monsters” on the series, the team struggled to come up with a truly unique and innovative design for the first alien race for the series.  To say they succeeded is an understatement.  Terry Nation’s description of the creatures in his script was simple:

Hideous machine-like creatures, they are legless, moving on a round base. They have no human features. A lens on a flexible shaft acts as an eye. Arms with mechanical grips for hands

The Daleks were almost designed by Ridley Scott, who would go on to other triumphs in directing both in and out of science fiction.  It was eventually designed by Raymond Cusick, passing the basic plans to Shawcraft Models.  After the broadcast, Dalek-Mania hit Britain, and Doctor Who became must-see television.

The basics of the origins of the Daleks were there in that first story – an interminable war between the Daleks and the Dals, the Daleks holed up in their city, their endless hate for everything non-Dalek. But it was years later in Genesis of the Daleks that Terry Nation introduced us to their creator, Davros. Horribly disfigured in an enemy bombardment, when we first meet him, he is literally half a man, his lower extremities gone, attached permanently in a traveling wheelchair and life-support system that greatly resembled his eventual creations.  His idea for the eventual triumph in the war against the (now called) Thals was twofold – through experimentation, he developed what he theorized was the final form of their race, the Kaleds – a mutated tentacled monstrosity, almost incapable of surviving on its own.  The second step was to build a housing for the creature – a portable tank, both medical and military.  He went further – manipulating the DNA of the Kaled mutants further, breeding out “useless” emotions like love and pity, and building a computer system that would weed out any stray benevolent thoughts.  The result – a nearly indestructible warrior that cares only about the destruction of anything and everything that isn’t like itself.

Davros has appeared multiple times since Genesis – usually using the same exact makeup, which showed extreme signs of wear over the years.  The majority of what has been revealed about his younger life was told in a series of audio plays from Big Finish.

DWSarffColony Sarff is the latest in a series of being that Davros and the Daleks have used as mercenary might over the years.  Their most often seen were the Ogrons, simian aliens with limited intelligence – perfect grunt soldiers.

BACKGROUND BITS AND BOBS – Trivia and Production details

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION – Spain played the role of two locations in the adventure – a national park near a dormant volcano in Tenerife stood in for Skaro, and the “hot country” Missy waited to speak to Clara in was Garachico, just a bit South.

The Maldovarium is the black market and bar founded and run by Dorium Maldovar, at least until he was decapitated by The Headless Monks.

The Shadow Proclamation makes a return to the series as the interstellar police force.  Kelly Hunter also returns as the Shadow Architect, last appearing in The Stolen Earth.

The Planet Karn is the home of the Sisters of Karn, home of the Elixir of Life, used by Time Lords in cases of emergency when regeneration fails.  They first appeared in The Brain of Morbius, and most recently in the mini-episode Night of the Doctor.

“Don’t send a helicopter – I can get through” Clara is once again driving the Triumph motorcycle she had in The Day of the Doctor, the one The Doctor drove up the side of The Shard in The Bells of Saint John. She is heading for the Tower of London, secret home of UNIT.

“Not dead, back – big surprise, never mind” – In a recent interview, Steven Moffat went on about how much he loved how The Master, particularly in the Anthony Ainley years, would return from a sure and certain demise, with no more of an explanation than “I escaped at the last moment”.  As such, I fully expected to get no solid explanation for Missy’s survival at all. After all, this is the man who presented several fan theories as to how Sherlock survived his plummet from a hospital on Sherlock, and confirmed none. In this case, though, he went with an obvious explanation, indeed, the one that just about everyone had guessed, and good on him for it.

“I’m his friend, you’re just…” The relationship of The Doctor and The Master has been the subject of so many Clever Theories, and only a handful of actual statements on screen. In Death in heaven we got the line “I had a friend once…we ran together when I was little”, so the idea of them being best friends is not far from a lie.

“You’re the puppy” – This whole scene is about exactly how far beyond Human understanding the Time Lords truly are.  They attempt to destroy civilizations as a practical joke.  They steal moons the way frat boys steal mascots.  And as far as Missy is concerned, there’s a reason some Earthlings refer to their pets as “companions”.

“We’re looking for a party” – This is another look at the same swaggering procrastination we saw at the end of Ten’s life in The End of Time, and the more quiet dawdling Eleven did before he headed to Lake Silencio.

“Cheap and nasty time travel” – the Vortex Manipulator has been used by Jack Harkness in several episodes, and later by River Song, though likely not the same one.

Amp“Anachronisms” – Peter Capaldi is an established guitarist, and was once in a punk band called The Dreamboys with a fellow named Craig Ferguson.  Also, thought you can’t see it on screen, the amplifier on the tank bears a label from Magpie Electricals, the company that made the cheap TVs in The Idiot’s Lantern.

And here’s a question for you…When he starts playing the opening to “Pretty Woman”…is he playing it for Clara…or Missy?

“Inform High Command – the TARDIS is located” – Bors has been made a Dalek Agent, a sophisticated duplicate first seen in Asylum of the Daleks.

“How scared must you be, to seal every one of your own kind in a tank” – Davros’ motivations are at the core of this adventure.  Having seen him as a scared child at the story’s start, the question about being scared here takes a new depth. Until this, save for the audio plays, we’ve never seen Davros as anything but a nearly total megalomaniac. Now we see him much more emotional, and at points, it’s hard to believe it’s all lies.

TheDoctorLies“I think you’ve been lying” – Oh geez, you THINK?

 

“Gravity” – As in Kill the Moon, both The Doctor and Missy are walking and dancing about to test the gravity of their location. In both cases, the gravity is natural, leading both to presume that they are on something far more massive than they thought.

“Did you miss our conversations?” – We’re presented with a montage of The Doctor’s past conversations with Davros, from their first meeting in Genesis to their most recent in The Stolen Earth. But it’s the quote at the start of this article, about a child who would grow up to be a dictator, that holds the most importance, as that’s precisely the situation The Doctor found himself in, and to his shame, he walked away.

“This is the planet of the Daleks” – and we see oh so many of them here – models in the style of the first adventure, straight through to the modern age, and all in between.  They built an amazing assortment of models for Asylum, and clearly they got a dust off and re-used here, especially that Special Weapons Dalek we all got so excited about and barely got a moment on screen.

But once again, the New Paradigm models are nowhere to be seen.  Moffatt admitted the redesign was a mistake – as he put it “They’re scarier when they’re wee”.

“Doesn’t matter which face he was wearing, they’re all The Doctor to me” – Once again, this is a suggestion that Time Lords “see” each other differently – their faces may literally change from visit to visit, but they always recognize each other.  This is something how The Doctor says he doesn’t really see faces, especially Clara’s – he can’t tell the difference between when she’s young or old.

“The Doctor gave it to me when my daughter…” – Yeah, the thing about not knowing much about a character, ANY little tidbit is important.

“This is exactly where you dump a smelly old uncle” – The Daleks and Davros’ relationship has always been…contentious. They intended to kill him in Genesis, and only returned to Skaro to search for him in Destiny of the Daleks because they had no other options.  He’s been able to order them around to a degree when his plans suited them, but the best description of his position with them is “kept man”.  Not a prisoner, just someone useful and handy to have about.

“A man should have a race” – This is the start of the comparisons between Davros and the Doctor – both went to great lengths to make sure they would not be alone in the universe.

“Am I a good man?” – One could argue that everyone asks themselves that at one point or another. An old philosophical question is “Is Hitler in heaven?” – since Catholics believe that intent dictates sin, if he honestly thought he was doing good for the world, could he have been allowed to escape punishment? The end of Genesis of the Daleks tries to get philosophical too – The Doctor thinks about the races whose wars with each other ended as they united to face the Daleks, and wonders if somehow in such evil, there could result some good.

“You are not a good Doctor” – This moment, with two arch-enemies suddenly start laughing as a bad joke, is very reminiscent of Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. The situation is largely the same – these two men know there will never be anything less than war between them, and the situation seems so helpless, and the surprise of a moment of comedy breaks the tension. Worked wonderfully.  Throughout all this part of the story, one has to wonder how much of what Davros was saying was accidentally honest, perhaps even if only to further bait the trap, but honest nevertheless.

BIG BAD WOLF REPORT – So far there’s no blatant threads hanging out there to lead us to the finale.  Presuming we’ll see either (or both) the Daleks and Missy again, their appearance alone may yet be the only connection.

“I am a Dalek” – It’s here with Clara in a Dalek we’re seeing the parallel to Asylum of the Daleks, where we saw Oswin Oswald in a similar predicament.  While Oswin was part of the Daleks for quite a long while, she had time to hack into their databanks and play merry hell with their systems. Clara has no time to do such things, but she’s got time to be affected by something else – Dalek Nanotech.  In Asylum, the air was permeated with it, slowly converting anything on the planet to Dalek Agents.  Clara’s just had herself connected to one directly, the nanotech “repairing any damage”.  That…may not end well.

“Gallifrey is back, and it is safe…from both of us” – We thought that the return of Gallifrey might be the story of an upcoming season, but this line may suggest that it will be left alone for a bit.  The Doctor may be content with knowing that his people are safe, and not worry about the details.

“This is why I gave her to you in the first place to make you see – the friend inside the enemy, the enemy inside the friend” – It was rather left undiscussed, but it was indeed Missy who arranged The Doctor and Clara to meet. She gave clara the phone number of the TARDIS back before The Bells of St. John, and planted the ad in the paper that brought the pair back together in The Eleventh Hour. Eleven asked Clara if she was “a trick; a trap” – might that question still not be answered?

 

NEXT TIME ON DOCTOR WHO – Clara has a big mouth, and should stop asking for adventures with monsters. After the Lake, passing through this Saturday.

Alex Kingston Returns to Doctor Who

The BBC is giving us all a grand Christmas present – Alex Kingston will return to Doctor Who for the Christmas special as The Doctor’s Paramour and assassin, River Song.

Day one of filming the eleventh Doctor Who Christmas special starts this week and is written by lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, produced by Nikki Wilson and directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Doctor Who, Sherlock).

Award-winning Alex Kingston comments on her reappearance:

“To be honest, I did not know whether River would ever return to the show, but here she is, back with the Doctor for the Christmas special. Steven Moffat is on glittering form, giving us an episode filled with humor and surprise guest castings. I met Peter for the first time at Monday’s read-through, we had a laugh, and I am now excited and ready to start filming with him and the Doctor Who team. Christmas in September?, why not!”

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer adds:

“Another Christmas, another special for Doctor Who – and what could be more special than the return of Alex Kingston as Professor River Song. The last time the Doctor saw her she was a ghost. The first time he met her, she died. So how can he be seeing her again? As ever, with the most complicated relationship in the universe, it’s a matter of time …”

gZ7G8River Song’s timeline with The Doctor has always been a topic of great discussion among fans.  From her point of view, her first appearance in Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead was the last time she saw The Doctor, having died and all.  Up until the recent episode The Name of the Doctor, all of River’s appearances have been from earlier in her life / timeline – only in the latest one have we seen her from after the events of that first (well, I say “first”…) meeting.  So there’s no knowing from whence we’ll be seeing her appear this time.

As fans of their relationship know, there’s one very important moment we’ve yet to see – The Doctor has not yet presented her with the souped-up version of the sonic Screwdriver she used with such style in the Library. And considering Christmas is traditionally when presents are exchanged, who’s to say this isn’t when it’ll happen?

Curse you, Moffat, we haven’t even gotten to the premiere of the new season (September 19, as if you didn’t know) and you’ve already got us looking ahead to Christmas.

 

Doctor Who returns to theaters in 3-D, with preview of Series 9

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Fathom events will team with BBC Worldwide North America for a national broadcast of the Doctor Who series eight climax Dark Water/Death in Heaven this fall.  Scheduled for September 15th and 16th, and presented in 3D, the event will also feature a new prequel teaser for series nine entitled The Doctor’s Meditation.  In addition Wil Wheaton, former Wesley Crusher and now multiform internet sensation, will host a special interview with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman.

The two-part season finale featured the return of The Master, in the form of Michelle Gomez, who has already been confirmed to re-appear in the two part series nine opener The Magician’s Assistant / The Witch’s Familiar, set to premiere several days after this presentation on September 19.

Fathom Events has had a several-year partnership with BBC, beginning with a national broadcast of the 50th anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor, which the company described as bringing the “largest surges of traffic ever” to their website.  They’ve since broadcast the Series 8 premiere episode Deep Breath, as well as a presentation of the David Tennant two-parter Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel. Fathom have presented a number of genre-friendly events, including an ongoing series of science fiction films “commented on” by MST3K alumni at RiffTrax, and an upcoming return to theaters of the animated classic The Iron Giant.

Tickets go on sale July 31 – check the Fathom Events website for a list of participating theaters.

Doctor Who Series 9 To Premiere September 19

In a continuing torrent of news and excitement from a regional comic convention on the west coast, BBC America announced the premiere date of series nine of Doctor Who – September 19th.

Having filmed in Cardiff since January, Peter Capaldi said:

“Soaring through all of time and space, series nine sees the Doctor throw himself into life with a new hunger for adventure. The Cosmos is there for the taking, thrilling, epic and enticing, and his to play in. But he’s almost reckless in his abandon. It’s almost like he’s running from something, something that if it ever catches him will turn his life upside down.”

Michelle Gomez will return as Missy, the latest incarnation of The Master, in the season’s two-part premiere The Magician’s Assistant / The Witch’s Familiar. Highlights of the series so far revealed include the return of Kate Stewart, U.N.I.T., Osgood, and the Zygons, an episode featuring Vikings in space, a city of Daleks, and a new race of mercenaries known as The Mire.

Mark Gatiss returns to writing for the series, as well as new contributors including Sarah Dollard and Catherine Tregenna.

Lego Unveils Doctor Who Playset

After numerous teases and sneak peeks, Lego released the official video for the Doctor Who playset for their contribution to the “Toys to Life” video game category, Lego Dimensions.

It's happening! Oh my God it's happening!

It’s happening! Oh my God it’s happening!

In addition to the interaction with the starter set characters of Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle, the trailer features a tantalizing crossover with fellow Doctor Emmett Brown and the town of Hill Valley from Back to the Future. With the Daleks, the Cybermen and a few other friends at the end, the best advice for watching this video is…don’t blink.

At San Diego Comic Con, an event with the cast of the show revealed that not only will Peter Capaldi lend his voice to the game, but Jenna Coleman will appear as Clara and Michelle Gomez as The Master.  The playset as shown in previous photos features The Doctor, the TARDIS, and Baker-era companion K-9. No product information has been shared concerning physical figures of Clara or Missy, though Dalek and Cyberman figures will be made available as a Fun Pack, currently scheduled for January.

Of all the properties appearing in Lego Dimensions, none more than Doctor has the potential to feature additional figures and playsets.  So far only the three-figure Dimensions set has been announced, and along with Portal, will be featuring a stand-alone playset through their Lego Ideas line.   An article at Gamespot.com reveals a staggering amount of screenshots and potential gameplay, suggesting that there may be more game available than first expected.

Lego Dimensions will be released on September 27.

Lego Dimensions To Feature Doctor Who & More!

Quick lesson on how to change a new video game from “mild interest” to “Why isn’t this in my hands already” … add Doctor Who!

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Lego Dimensions, the new entry in the interactive collectible mash-up videogame category has just fired a shot across the bow of amiibo, Skylanders and Disney INfinity by adding a timelord to its ranks of playable (and purchasable) characters.

While the game had already announced inclusion of its most popular licensed lines like Batman, Jurassic World and The Simpsons, it was quite a surprise when they announced the inclusion of properties they’d only licensed for their limited run Lego Ideas line.

Lego Ideas allows people to design their own suggestions for building kits, which Lego reviews and approves once they achieve the required 10,000 upviotes from the user community.  Sets for Back to the Future, Portal 2 and Doctor Who have already been approved, with the Doctor Who set not even released yet.

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One must assume these license contracts included the ability to add the characters into videogames in future, because included they are. In addition to figures from their Lord of the Rings, and Scooby Doo  lines, as well as their in-house properties Chima and Ninjago, Lego release photos of figure sets for the Ideas-only properties.

The Lego series of video games are already staggeringly popular, with titles based on worlds like Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Carribean, and Harry Potter.  Dimensions will allow players to do what kids have been doing for years – play with them all together.  More details are popping up every day, but the sheer number of character lines they’ve negotiated to appear dwarfs any other.  Disney Infinitiy’s recent announcement of the Star Wars line being included has got some serious competition.

Lego Dimensions will be released on September 27, 2015.