This has been a pretty good 50th Anniversary for fans of Doctor Who. We didn’t just get a slam-bang 50th Anniversary Special just this past weekend that was the best episode the series has seen in a couple years. We didn’t just get, finally, a fitting farewell to 8th Doctor Paul McGann. We didn’t just get the introduction of a brand new Doctor. Perhaps most importantly, on top of all that, we got a handful of the series’ infamous ‘lost’ episodes were found. And according to a new rumor from Blastr, we might be in for even more.
A scream melded into a horrific synthesized screech which resolved itself into ooooweeeoooo. The Doctor was dead for sure this time, maybe he was going to regenerate?! How exciting! That’s pretty much what I thought at the end of every episode when I was a child, because one of my very first memories of Doctor Who was of Tom Baker lying down to die, only to have a mysterious figure in white appear and merge with him…his features melted and then became those of Peter Davison. As much as the original format of the show would be unlikely to work for a 21st Century audience, I do miss those weekly cliffhanger endings. Looking back now some of them seem horribly forced, but as a kid you see none of that, you’re just filled with excitement and fear. How will The Doctor escape this time? Will The Doctor escape this time? Of course, that’s one of the wonderful bonuses of the concept of regeneration. While it essentially exists to let the show continue after the lead actor has departed, it also serves to create a wonderful amount of dramatic tension. What other form of serial entertainment can you think of where the main character can not only die, but does die, and has already done so eleven times. Maybe. Assuming the War Doctor regenerates into the Ninth Doctor.
It’s a big year for Doctor Who fans. As the series celebrates its 50th Anniversary, fans have been treated to a whole host of neat little extras (to make up, presumably, for the inexplicable half-season we were cursed with this year). Episodes long thought lost were found, allowing fans to see early masterpieces like “The Web of Fear” for the first time in decades. The current Doctor, Matt Smith, announced that he would be leaving the show (as Time Lords are wont to do); fans promptly freaked out. It was confirmed, time and again, that there just might be a female Doctor on the horizon. And now, with only a couple weeks before the “The Day of the Doctor” finally airs, Steven Moffat has a little treat for fans with prequel mini-episode “The Night of the Doctor.”
As all cosplayers know, putting together an authentic costume isn’t easy, and it only gets more difficult if you plan on cosplaying as a gender-swapped version of a character. ThinkGeek has made the process a little easier for fem-fans of Doctor Who, specifically for those who’d like to step into the threads of the 10th Doctor.
So, in case you hadn’t heard, the BBC and showrunner Steven Moffat revealed yesterday the identity of the new star of Doctor Who in a 30-minute live special this past weekend. Peter Capaldi, a star of the fantastically hilarious The Thick of It and In the Loop and a villain in the upcoming The Musketeers, has been tapped to play the 12th Doctor, a not-miniscule change of pace from the recent trend of handsome, manic younger stars. While he wouldn’t have been my first choice for the role, I do think he’s very solid, pretty darn interesting casting who will bring a brand new energy to the character. I’m excited to see what his season looks like. That said, his casting announcement brought an ugly side of Who fandom even closer to the fore – but not the one most people thought it would.
In a new development with the Doctor Who comic license, IDW has announced it’s ending its six year partnership with the BBC publishing comics for them in December. While sad news that IDW is ending their partnership with the BBC on Doctor Who, they’re going out in style with a special one shot written by Paul Cornell and drawn by Jimmy Broxton, due to be released in the last week of December.
Late Saturday evening, the BBC dropped something of a bomb on their most passionate fandom: Matt Smith, star of much-loved science fiction show Doctor Who, is leaving the series at the end of 2013, departing during the show’s yearly Christmas Special. Smith joined at the end of 2010, taking over from David Tennant, who himself replaced Christopher Eccleston as the perpetually-regenerating Time Lord. No replacement has yet been announced for Smith, who now has only two episodes left: the 50th Anniversary Special and the Christmas Special.
Writer Neil Gaiman garnered huge success in the world of Doctor Who when he gave a personality and voice to the TARDIS in the award-winning episode “The Doctor’s Wife”. Now, he’s breathing new life into another of the series’ most famous characters, the Cybermen, in “Nightmare in Silver”, the twelfth and final episode before the season finale.
Doctor Who fans have been excited for over a year, ever since it was announced that Neil Gaiman (American Gods, The Sandman) would be returning to pen a second episode for the series. Initially titled “The Last Cyberman,” it was later changed to “Nightmare in Silver,” but little else was known about the contents of the episode. The BBC finally released a synopsis for the upcoming episode, and it sounds like Who fans should start getting excited.
Fans of Doctor Who, did you realize that an animated series was in the works at one point? Dan Norton recently revealed concept art for the Doctor Who animated series that never was.
The 50th anniversary Doctor Who TV movie, An Adventure in Space and Time, has a cast and will begin shooting early next month. The docudrama about the creation of the Doctor Who series will feature David Bradley as the first Doctor, William Hartnell.
The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who has only started to heat up. Big Finish Audio has just announced their plans on celebrating the 50th with the audio drama, Doctor Who: The Light at the End. The audio drama will bring together Doctors of multiple incarnations, with Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann, reprising their roles as the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Doctors.
It’s no surprise that more and more comics are being adapted for television and film. Peter Panzerfaust from Image Comics will be adapted into a live action television series by BBC Worldwide Productions and Quality Transmedia. In addition to a show, they will produce a fantasy motion comic series based on Peter Panzerfaust for digital release.