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.”
Big, scary teeth in a crazy man’s wide smile; enormous, round bulging eyes; a wide brimmed hat and a multi-coloured scarf that trailed after him as he ran down the corridors of an alien spaceship or through subterranean, mist filled tunnels on an alien world. These are my first memories of a character who was, by then, already a British institution. He was, quite frankly, terrifying to a five year old…but thankfully, in my earliest memories, The Doctor turned into a charming blond man who wore a stick of celery on his lapel and had a fondness for cricket. My dad had a fondness for cricket, this Doctor seemed entirely less alien to me. The show had changed.
For a very short period of time in the weeks before the identity of the 12th Doctor was revealed, Doctor Who fans thought that a woman might ascend the Tardis for the first time in the show’s 50 year history. As we all know now, that didn’t happen. Instead the very talented and equally male Peter Capaldi attained the position. However, Steven Moffat says that gender has absolutely nothing to do with choosing the right Doctor and when the right woman takes the role, it will be because she is the right person for the job.
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.
Mashup tees are amazing. They possess the very necessary ability to express your love of two separate fandoms at once without you having to say word. Mashups are at their most magical when the two fandoms represented are seemingly so different that they could never go together, but somehow do on the even playing field of your tee.
Below I’ve collected ten mashup tees that represent a variety of fandoms – from Skyrim to Akira to Peanuts – in unique combinations the should satisfy the multiple fangirls and boys that are in each of us.
This week we’re taking a break from tee shirts to spotlight cool housewares and back-to-school accessories (and okay, one dress. We couldn’t resist.) These excellent goodies feature licensed properties like Adventure Time, Mass Effect, Doctor Who and more.
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.
This September, IDW will be publishing special variant covers in the style of classic cartoons. IDW asks, “Ever wondered what The X-Files‘ Mulder and Scully would look like as colorful, hijinks-having monster chasers? Ever wanted to see the mighty Judge dredd as a rubber-jointed 70s warrior? Of course you have!”
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.