WhovianNet’s 2015 Year in Review – Part 1

December 31st, 2015
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

And just like that, the end of 2015 is nigh.

It only feels like yesterday that we were welcoming in the new year, with Peter Capaldi’s second string of adventures as the Twelfth Doctor ahead of us, but time really does fly when you’re having fun because the TARDIS has just closed its doors on yet another epic series which can only be described as one of the biggest and most ambitious to date.

So, what next? Well, before we look to the future, it’s time to get nostalgic as we take a trip into the recent past.

2015 has been another fantastic year for Doctor Who and its fans and, although the series didn’t actually return to our screens until September, there was still plenty to keep our Whovian minds occupied in the meantime. Don’t believe us? Check out the first installment of our Year in Review, highlighting the biggest and most memorable news stories from January through to June, and see for yourself! There was definitely plenty to talk about.

January (WhovianNet news posts: 13)

Fresh from their New Year festivities, it was business as usual for the Doctor Who cast and crew in January as production officially commenced in Cardiff on Peter Capaldi’s second string of adventures as the Twelfth Doctor. Starting as they meant to go on, the first Series 9 episodes to be filmed were billed as “one of the scariest adventures yet” – Toby Whithouse’s Under the Lake and Before the Flood – as Doctor Who continued its reign of world domination with the announcement that Series 8 had secured record-breaking international ratings throughout 2014.

Meanwhile, Tenth Doctor star David Tennant was awarded a Special Recognition gong at the NTAs for his contributions to the stage and screen, and Torchwood fans were given a late Christmas present when it was announced that the BBC were planning a new range of audio adventures featuring Jack and Gwen, nearly 4 years since their last televisual outing in Miracle Day. But more on that later…

February (WhovianNet news posts: 16)

Romance was in the air in February with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, and Doctor Who fans young and old had already fallen in love with the long awaited LEGO set, which was finally unveiled at the start of the month. Unfortunately we’d have to wait until Christmas to get our hands on it, but there was still plenty to keep our minds occupied the meantime with Doctor Who’s various social media accounts teasing us with sporadic behind the scenes previews as the new series continued to take shape.

Acclaimed Blink director Hettie MacDonald returned to helm filming of this year’s two-part premiere in Tenerife where she was welcomed on set by another familiar face, Michelle Gomez, who was to make her already anticipated return as Missy following her surprise introduction as the first female incarnation of the Master in Series 8. There were certainly good times ahead!

March (WhovianNet news posts: 13)

March was a special month for Doctor Who fans as it marked the 10th anniversary of the revived series. As WhovianNet visitors chose Series 4 as their favourite NuWho series to date (with, it has to be said, a landslide majority of the vote!), the show’s incumbent stars, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, attended the read-through for Episode 5 which was to guest star Game of Thrones alumni Maisie Williams as the titular ‘Girl Who Died’. Let the speculation begin!

Meanwhile, Big Finish’s license to produce Doctor Who audios was extended to 2020 as they announced Paul McGann’s latest return in Doom Coalition, a 16-part adventure which vowed to push the Eighth Doctor to his limits. Blimey.

April (WhovianNet news posts: 40)

WhovianNet kick started the month with our April Fool’s prank as we “exclusively” revealed that outgoing One Direction star Zayn Malik had been cast as the new Doctor Who companion. Gotcha! Elsewhere, the long-standing rumours of a Doctor Who movie were reignited when showrunner Steven Moffat affirmed that he was “reasonably confident” that the Time Lord will make it to the big screen one day, complemented by leaked emails between Sony and the BBC which exposed plans to bring the Time Lord to the big screen “within 8 years”.

As Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston shed further light on his infamous departure after just one series at the helm of the TARDIS, Doctor Who added yet another trophy to its now over-flowing cabinet when it was awarded a prestigious BAFTA for the Best Special, Visual & Graphic Effects. Meanwhile, BBC Worldwide signed a new partnership deal with FX to secure the Time Lord’s imminent arrival to over a million homes across India. Doctor Who was well and truly taking over the globe!

May (WhovianNet news posts: 39)

In the month that Fifth Doctor Peter Davison pondered a sequel to his acclaimed ‘Five-ish Doctors’ 50th anniversary spoof, it was also announced that the dreaded Zygons would be making a comeback in Series 9 alongside Ingrid Oliver as fan favourite Osgood. Most peculiar, since she died at the hands of Missy in the last series. Elsewhere, BBC Worldwide officially launched their new online web series, The Fan Show, fronted by YouTuber Christel Dee, and there was yet more Stateside success for former companion Karen Gillan who landed her latest movie role in The Big Short alongside Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell. She’ll always be Amy Pond to us!

Meanwhile, the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular hit the road, selling out arenas across the country, as the celebrations continued across the pond when BAFTA commemorated 10 years of revived Doctor Who at a special event in New York, where showrunner Steven Moffat announced that he’d be returning to helm Series 10 in 2016. You all had something to say about that, to put it lightly.

June (WhovianNet news posts: 29)

Doctor Who’s involvement in the forthcoming LEGO Dimensions game was announced at the start of the month, as Big Finish confirmed that they’d also be expanding their own universe with new audio spin offs starring River Song, Winston Churchill and a host of other familiar friends and foes. Meanwhile, Eleventh Doctor star Matt Smith joined the cast of a new Netflix original, The Crown, as the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Royal festivities continued as the Queen’s Birthday Honours included an OBE for Steven Moffat who was awarded the prestigious accolade for his ongoing services to drama.

The Minions invaded the TARDIS (let’s face it, it was only a matter of time…), old school fans were reassured by the news that the BBC were “hoping” to release more Classic Series adventures, and BBC America finally got the ball rolling by airing the first official teaser for Series 9, albeit it a very short and uneventful one. The Doctor was on his way!

What were you highlights from January-June 2015? Let us know in your comments below and stay tuned for Part 2 of our Year in Review, coming very soon!

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