Archive for ‘WhovianNet’
September 3rd, 2017
goodbye-peter-video-christmas-project

It only feels like yesterday that Peter Capaldi was being announced as the Twelfth Doctor, but time really does fly when you’re having fun – and, admittedly, when you have a TARDIS – because it’s already 4 years later and the end of his epic era is nigh.

The Time Lord’s incumbent incarnation will regenerate before our very eyes in Twice Upon a Time on Christmas Day, but not before he has joined forces with the original (you might say) for the multi-Doctor adventure to end them all. While this year’s festive special is as exciting as they come, it will also be shrouded in bittersweetness and sorrow as it will be Peter’s last ever adventure in his iconic starring role, as well as Steven Moffat’s final episode as showrunner. Tissues at the ready…

It isn’t over ’til it’s over, of course, and we’re gearing up to give Number 12 the send off he well and truly deserves with the launch of our Goodbye, Peter project which will involve compiling your personal farewell videos messages into a special montage which we’ll send to Peter at the end of the year. If you hadn’t guessed already, we need YOUR help to do it!

Our ultimate aim is to put together a heartwarming video that’s as far-reaching as possible, with contributions from fans of all ages from all across the world. You can send us your 10 second farewell message as an attachment to admin@whoviannet.co.uk, or upload it to your YouTube channel and email/tweet us the link @WhovianNet. Be sure to include your name, age and location, as these will be featured alongside your contribution in the final video. We’d also appreciate it if you’d help us to spread the word on social media with the #GoodbyePeter hashtag, and get all of your Whovian friends and family involved, too!

The deadline for submissions is currently Friday 1st December 2017, so there is plenty of time. We can’t wait to see your messages as we unite to say #GoodbyePeter!

July 16th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
live-updates-the-13th-doctor-is-revealed

It only feels like yesterday that Peter Capaldi was being sworn in as the Twelfth Doctor, but time really does fly when you’re having fun because it’s already over three years later and his successor is about to be unveiled…

The Thirteenth Doctor will be officially announced after the Wimbledon’s men’s singles final on BBC One this afternoon, and as always WhovianNet is here to keep you up to date with all of the latest developments as and when they occur. Get involved with the festivities in the comments below or via the hashtag #WhovianNetLive.

The Chris Chibnall era is about to begin as Number 13 is revealed unto the world!

3:55pm: The game is over! The #13thDoctor is imminent. Get ready, folks. Time and space is about to get a new face… #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

3:38pm: What are you doing to pass the time until the #13thDoctor reveal? It’s like waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve… #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

3:12pm: Is this how time normally passes? Reeeeally slowly. It’s like watching a tennis match. Oh, wait… #13thDoctor #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

2:48pm: Peter Capaldi was snuck into the studios dressed as a Dalek for his reveal. We wonder what disguise – if any – 13 has been given? #DoctorWho

2:29pm: Still love this quote from Peter Capaldi, from his live reveal. And yes, *that* typo still haunts our nightmares. #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

“#DoctorWho is still with us because of every single viewer who’s taken it to their hearts. It belongs to all of us.” – Peter Capildi #DrWho

2:27pm: #DoctorWho doesn’t make announcements half-heartedly. Who could forget Peter’s live reveal as 12? #WhovianNetLive

2:16pm: Keep your #13thDoctor predictions coming! We wonder how they’re feeling, knowing their life is about to change… #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

2:11pm: .@TimelordLibrary’s dream #13thDoctor is Gillian Anderson, while @steveashfield is rooting for Rory Kinnear. #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

2:00pm: Giveaway time! Follow us & tweet your dream #13thDoctor w/ the hashtag #WhovianNetLive for chance to WIN Series 10 Part 2 on DVD! #DoctorWho

NB: If you’re not on Twitter, you can still enter by commenting with your dream 13th Doctor below! Please ensure your email address is correct, as this will be used to contact you if you’re the winner.

1:47pm: Welcome to the followers who’ve joined us for the #13thDoctor reveal! Warming the cockles of our Whovian hearts. #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

1:41pm: Who’s it gonna be? #ICYMI, here’s our list of the most popular contenders –> http://bit.ly/2ttqnBd #13thDoctor #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

1:14pm: As it stands, Kris Marshall, Phoebe Waller-Bridge & Jodie Whittaker are the top #13thDoctor favourites. Discuss. #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

1:02pm: So, let’s kick off the festivities with a poll. It’s an age-old question, but should the #13thDoctor be a female? #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

1:00pm: And we’re off! Any hour now, he/she is a-comin’… We’ll be covering it all here and at http://bit.ly/2us59Ys #WhovianNetLive #DoctorWho

July 16th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
the-13th-doctor-who-is-in-the-running

After weeks and months of fevered speculation, it’s hard to believe that we’re now just hours away from finding out the identity of the Thirteenth Doctor.

Now that Peter Capaldi has filmed his final scenes for this year’s Christmas Special, the new Chris Chibnall era is about to mark its first milestone with the announcement of its honourable hero. And as first milestones go, this is a pretty big one. It’s the most closely guarded secret in TV, but who is about to take over the mantle of TV’s favourite Time Lord? Here’s our list of the most popular candidates…

Kris Marshall

Well, we might as well start with the most obvious. You’d have to have been living under a rock to not know that Kris Marshall has been front-running the race since betting was suspended on him back in March. All he did was quit his leading role in Death in Paradise – which he starred in for three series – at the same time that Peter Capaldi announced his departure (coincidence?), and all of a sudden it was common knowledge – albeit the type that isn’t based on any actual facts – that the My Family star was taking over the TARDIS. He denied it, of course, but actors lying about their involvement in Doctor Who is basically rule one.

Tom Weston-Jones

Speculation about who will take on the guise of the Thirteenth Doctor has been rife since Peter revealed that he was stepping down, but the rumours have actually been flying a lot longer than that.

Back in January 2016, Tom Weston-Jones emerged as a very early favourite to take over the show’s reigns from its incumbent incarnation, who was at that point yet to even confirm his exit. Why waste time, eh?

Not much has been heard from the Dickensian actor since, but we’re still keeping an eye on him…

Idris Elba

Because let’s face it, which role isn’t Idris Elba in the running for? His name is guaranteed to pop up whenever a new Doctor is waiting in the wings (or whenever there’s a vacancy in any other show/film ever), so it’s no surprise to see him back on the board this time round. He has secured the support of Series 9 guest star Maisie Williams, who reckons the Luther star would bring a “really cool” vibe to the temperament of TV’s favourite Time Lord. He might just have bigger fish to fry, though, if these ever persistent Bond rumours amount to anything. Franchises, eh? You can’t front ‘em all.

Tilda Swinton

While the call for a female Doctor is by no means a new notion, the campaign certainly seems to have intensified for Number 13. It’s an unlucky number for some but it definitely wouldn’t be for Tilda Swinton (erm, that’s the Academy Award winning Tilda Swinton to you), who has been feverishly flying the flag to become the first ever female Doctor – whether she wants to be or not. She’s got Ingrid Oliver’s blessing, and Billie Piper has also gone on record to state that casting anybody but a female would “be a snub”. Wow, Billie. Tell us what you really think, why don’t you? Jokes. She’s Rose Tyler and she can say whatever she bloody wants, you hear me?!

Damien Molony

No stranger to the reputable realms of cult TV fantasy, Damien Molony is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Hal Yorke in the BBC Three series Being Human. The show gave him plenty of things to get his teeth into (ICYMI, he was a vampire), so much so that creator Toby Whithouse thinks he has more than paid his dramatic dues to take on the mighty Time Lord baton, describing him as a “terrific” actor. Toby, who is a frequent Doctor Who writer, has also named Chiwetel Ejiofor as his second choice. But if he returns to pen an adventure for Series 11, will he be writing for his dream Doctor? Time will tell. It usually does.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Having just finished filming the upcoming untitled Han Solo film, due to hit cinemas next May, it looks like Phoebe Waller-Bridge has set her sights on conquering another formidable sci-fi franchise, now that she’s been bitten by the bug. That is, if the recent claim that she’s been cast as the Thirteenth Doctor isn’t just another case of clickbait…

The actress received a flurry of bets to her name back in April and her proposed casting was even picked up on a recent episode of Newsnight which suggested that she had “accidentally outed herself” during an online interview. Oops.

Sacha Dhawan

If you recognise Sacha Dhawan, it’s probably because he contributed to the 50th anniversary festivities back in 2013 when he portrayed Doctor Who’s first ever director, Waris Hussein, in the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time. Having already left his mark on the Whoniverse, he might just be about to take over the whole show, but he’s just as “honoured” to have even be considered. “It’s quite a lot of pressure,” he said earlier this year. “But I think I’d bring something exciting to it.” It’s better to have been rumoured to be the next Doctor, than to never have been rumoured to be the next Doctor at all. They say that, right?

Jodie Whittaker

Last but by no means least is a relatively late entry to the race, but a serious contender nonetheless.

Like, a seriously serious contender. In fact, Jodie Whittaker is currently the bookies’ joint favourite to take over the role, which puts her neck in neck with Kris Marshall as far as the whimsical world of betting is concerned.

It’s worth pointing out that she’s worked with Chris Chibnall before, too, having starred as the formidable Beth Latimer in his acclaimed crime drama, Broadchurch. But is she about to be entrusted with the keys to the TARDIS?

Should the next Doctor be a female? Join the debate in our dedicated discussion…

July 12th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
exclusive-interview-ingrid-oliver

WhovianNet recently caught up with Ingrid Oliver to chat about her upcoming one woman show, Speech!.

The actress will be riding solo at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month as she introduces audiences to her catalogue of politically-charged characters, including a drunk Washington staffer and a patriotic actress accepting her Oscar.

We chatted to Ingrid ahead of the production, as well as about her portrayal of fan favourite Osgood in Doctor Who, and her thoughts on a female Doctor…

Q. Hi, Ingrid! In a nutshell (and without giving too much away), what can you tell us about Speech!, and where did inspiration behind it come from?
A. Speech! is a series of characters that explore different sides of the political spectrum. Some characters are political with a big P and some with a small P so there’s something for everyone. I’m fascinated by the divisiveness of the current political climate and I’ve always been interested in exploring all sides of an argument, so that’s how the show came about. It allows me to say some quite outrageous things because I’m using a character’s voice to say them.

Q. Speaking of the current political climate, did you write it with a particular target audience in mind?
A. I haven’t written this show with an audience in mind. I’m just exploring the things that are interesting to me. Hopefully they will also be interesting to my audience. I think if anyone has been as fascinated by recent events as I have, they would be interested in some of the things I bring up in my show.

Q. What are the most exciting and/or scariest aspects of performing in a solo show, especially one that is made up of your own material?
A. What if I forget my lines? What if I get ill? What if they hate me and they’re stuck with me for an hour?! These are all the thoughts that have been running through my head for the last month. But similarly, if it goes well, I get all the glory. Me. It’s mine. All mine.

Q. When did you first realise that you had a knack for comedy?
A. It took a while. I went to school with a lot of funny girls. I was friends with Lorna Watson (my double act partner) and Katherine Parkinson who were both in my year, but I never felt as funny as them. When I left school, I realised that I had been the third funniest person in a group of girls who were disproportionately funny. Which is still quite funny. Actually, scrap that. Rebecca Currie was the funniest girl in our year and she didn’t even go into comedy, which is a travesty. So after her, I was the fourth funniest. And probably not even that, to be honest.

Q. Of all of the characters that feature in the show, do you have a favourite to play?
A. There’s a particularly hateful LBC Radio DJ that is a lot of fun to do because I get to say the most horrific things. It’s always fun playing a villain. Just ask Michelle Gomez.

Q. Speaking of strong female characters, Doctor Who fans will, of course, recognise you as Osgood. How did your role in the series come about?
A. I simply auditioned for it. I stole my boyfriend’s thick, black glasses for the casting because I felt that they were what Osgood would wear, pretending I needed them to read. When I got the phone call saying I’d got the part, they asked if I could bring the glasses. I’m still not sure to this day if it’s my acting that got the part, or my boyfriend’s Ray-Bans…

Q. What was it like to make your debut in such an iconic episode as the 50th anniversary special, and did you know that you’d be back?
A. The 50th anniversary was one of the most incredible things to be a part of. I have so many separate and distinct memories from it. Filming in Trafalgar Square, filming at the Tower of London, wearing the Tom Baker scarf, acting with Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt AT THE SAME TIME. One of my favourite off-set memories is sitting next to John Hurt at dinner and him berating me on my choice of wine. “Oh my dear, you must NEVER touch a Sauvignon. Ghastly stuff.” And no, I had no idea at the time I’d be back.

Q. Osgood has had some great comedy moments but have you enjoyed exploring other aspects of her character, especially in the Series 9 Zygon two-parter?
A. It was lovely to explore Osgood more fully in the Zygon Invasion/Inversion. I was so grateful to be brought back and be allowed to do that. Also, getting the chance to do one on one scenes with Peter was wonderful. He really makes you up your game because he’s just an incredible actor. I learnt a lot from him. It’s funny, because I know Peter Harness who wrote the episodes, and I joked with him about putting in a huge dramatic monologue for me as well as a make-over scene. He didn’t do either. Sadly.

Q. You’ve most recently reprised your role as Osgood for Big Finish audios, but would you like to return on screen?
A. Is the TARDIS bigger on the inside? Yes. Of course I would.

Q. Do you think it’s time for a female Doctor and if so, who would be your top pick?
A. I would love to see a female Doctor. I’d go for someone like Helena Bonham Carter or Tilda Swinton. Or Jennifer Saunders. I’d bloody love that. I think the world is ready.

Ingrid Oliver performs her one woman show, Speech! at Pleasance: That from 2nd-27th August at 4.30pm. For tickets call 0131 556 6550 or visit www.pleasance.co.uk.

May 21st, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
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It only feels like yesterday that Bill Potts was stepping aboard the TARDIS in The Pilot, but time really does fly when you’re having fun because we’re already halfway through the brand new series.

We’d say that we’re halfway out of the dark, but something tells us that things are going to go from bad to worse for Team TARDIS as we approach the grand finale, The Doctor Falls, especially if the events of last night’s episode, Extremis, are anything to go by, and who knows what further shocks and surprises will be unearthed along the way…

While we twiddle our thumbs and wait for the adventure to continue in The Pyramid at the End of the World next weekend, now is the perfect time to reflect on the first half of Series 10 and discuss your favourite moments so far. We’ve encountered living puddles, rampant robots, a Thames-dwelling serpent, killer woodlice, the walking dead and even the Pope himself has made an appearance. Amidst the chaos, Bill has become a bonafide time travelling hero and Nardole has proved himself to be secretly bad ass, too. Although there’s nothing secret about that, baby doll. But what’s been your favourite episode of the bunch?

Vote in our poll below and let us know what you’ve loved/loathed in the comments section!

We're halfway through the brand new series. What has been your favourite episode so far?

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Never judge a book by its cover… Click here to rate the latest episode, Extremis »

May 18th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
whoviannets-10-exclusive-teasers-for-extremis

Doctor Who continues this weekend and things take a turn for the worse for our heroes as Series 10 reaches its epic halfway point.

To get you ready for the shocks that lie ahead in Extremis (and believe us when we say that there’s plenty of ‘em!), take a look at our 10 exclusive teasers – including one red herring – and let us know what you can deduct, and which you think is the fib, in the comments section.

Extremis airs on Saturday at 7:25pm on BBC One.

  1. If you’re going into this episode anticipating Missy’s return, you won’t have to wait very long at all. Like, at all.
  2. For a forbidden library, the security sure is lax. Where’s River Song when you need her?
  3. Oh, there she is. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that it’s rude to read somebody else’s diary, Nardole?
  4. Bill finds a book written by her future self in the library.
  5. 36. 17. 9. 48. 103. 1,000,000.
  6. “Teach me how to be good.”
  7. Nardole was right.
  8. Nothing is as it seems. And we mean nothing.
  9. We finally discover what’s inside the Vault, and it’ll blow your mind. That is, if you haven’t you figured it out yet
  10. And you thought last week’s cliffhanger was dramatic…

The void is waiting, and so is our discussion! Review the latest episode, Oxygen »

May 12th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
whoviannet-co-uk-advanced-preview-oxygen

Series 10 is rip-roaring along at rocket speed and if you’ve been twiddling your thumbs waiting for the Doctor and Bill to escape the (far from) conventional confines of that planet we call Earth, you really are in for a treat this weekend. They may have been to the edge of the galaxy and survived London’s Great Last Frost Fair of 1814 (as you do!), but this time the tension is notched up to a whole new level when they find themselves fighting to the death in the middle of deep space. It’s just another day in the office then, really.

Apart from the fact that it’s not. While Doctor Who is no stranger to setting a story aboard a doomed space station or five, Oxygen is something very new…  and very exciting. The latest exhilarating episode kicks off with Peter Capaldi’s ever booming voice declaring that space is only referred to as “the final frontier” because it wants to kill us, which pretty much sets the tone for what’s to come, in the show’s traditionally morbid sort of way. The void is always waiting…

After all, space really is a dangerous place to be (or so we’re led to believe, anyway…), so it’s nice to have that sense of ominous, impending threat interjected back into the show’s mythos. Let’s face it, we were kind of getting used to the universe in all its weird and wonderful glory, what with Doctor Who being a sci-fi show and all, but all of a sudden what we thought we knew about the great unknown is flipped upside down as we’re shown just how out of our depth us human beings really are when it comes to extra terrestrial excursions. If you take anything away from Oxygen, it’s that space is bloody scary, man, though rest assured that you’ll take far more away from it than that. Far, far more…

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we? The pre-titles sequence alone is an epic escapade and we’re sure you’ll agree that the stunning scenery wouldn’t look out of place on an IMAX screen in a five and half hour Christopher Nolan movie. The scale of it just goes to show how far Doctor Who’s special effects have progressed over the years and the immersive introduction makes it feel like the series is taking you into space for the first time. It really is the first time for Bill, of course, and her initial reaction is as genuine and infectious as you’d expect. But more on what she gets up to later…

For now, let’s go back to the opening scene which introduces us to two ill-fated characters whose relationship is expertly established in the space (see what we did there?) of three very short – but very eventful – minutes. We don’t learn much about them before it all goes pretty pear-shaped (to put it lightly), but what we do learn is enough to make them instantly believable, likeable and, most importantly, human.

Humanity plays a big part in this episode, just as it has in the four adventures that have proceeded it. Doctor Who has always been rooted in it, of course, but there’s definitely a persistent pattern emerging here. Steven Moffat is seemingly on a mission to shine a light on the morals of mankind in his final year as showrunner, and there’s no finer platform on which to do it than against the breathtaking backdrop of space.

‘Breathtaking’ is another running theme in Oxygen, and we mean that in the literal sense. Time isn’t the only thing that’s running out for the Doctor, Bill and Nardole and what they encounter aboard Chasm Forge is a genuinely terrifying sight to behold. Notice we included Nardole there, as this episode finally marks his first full-length outing of the year. And Matt Lucas continues to smash it. Nobody really knew what to expect when it was announced that he’d be returning as a full time companion, but if your mind hasn’t been put to rest by his brief appearances thus far, this one oughta do the trick. He isn’t just there for the comic relief element either (although Matt provides that perfectly), as his character adopts a much firmer approach to the Doctor’s casual compulsion of breaking the conditions of his Vault-guarding oath. We don’t come any closer to finding out who – or what – lies inside the Vault this week, however we are left with the feeling that the Doctor’s apparent negligence will come back to bite him in a big way later in the series…

By the end of the episode, though, that’s the least of his worries. Amidst the ensuing chaos, something happens to our beloved Time Lord that really gives Peter the chance to shine in a way that he has never been given the opportunity to before. He will probably come close to breaking your heart and the formidable force of this particular performance is more than matched by the one delivered by Pearl Mackie. Her portrayal of Bill is getting stronger and stronger as the weeks go by and it is no exaggeration when we say that she really goes through the mill – and then some – in this one. If you thought Amy Pond had a rough ride, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Basically, we loved it. As expected, writer Jamie Mathieson has returned to the Whoniverse on top form and director Charles Palmer – who last helmed 2007’s Human Nature/The Family of Blood – has added a stellar and stylish space saga to his already reputable résumé of Doctor Who episodes. It only took him 10 years!

As the opening part of what already looks set to be a monumental three-part story, Series 10 is about to take a very dark turn as it reaches its halfway point in Extremis, which is set up as one of the maddest stories yet by its tantalising next time trailer. After this week’s almighty cliffhanger, something tells us that the Doctor is going to need his friends more than ever, but he’ll be sure to keep his enemies even closer. Next time, the bitch is back.

May 11th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
whoviannets-10-exclusive-teasers-for-oxygen

Doctor Who continues this weekend as our heroes embark on a deep space adventure in Oxygen, and time isn’t the only thing that’s running out.

To prepare you for the thriller that lies ahead, take a deep breath as you check out our 10 tantalising teasers below. As always, one of them is a red herring, and you can let us know which one you think is the fib in the comments.

Oxygen airs on Saturday at the slightly earlier time of 7:15pm on BBC One. Watch the trailer here.

  1. “So, how does space kill you?”
  2. The Doctor gets a new theme tune.
  3. Capitalism in space. It’s The Apprentice meets Interstellar.
  4. Nardole refuses to leave the Vault unguarded so flies the TARDIS back to Earth.
  5. And you thought the sound of Cybermen stomping was scary…
  6. Bill asks what you’ve (probably) always wondered about wearing a space helmet.
  7. The Doctor faces one of his greatest challenges yet… for real this time. But he isn’t going to let it slow him down.
  8. “Not bad for a ***** man.”
  9. Best. Group Hug. Ever.
  10. It ends with one of the most shocking/worrying cliffhangers to date. You won’t know what to think…

The Landlord came a-callin’ in Knock Knock. Rate & Discuss the latest episode –>

May 6th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
whoviannet-co-uk-advanced-preview-knock-knock

It’s that time of the week again which means that a brand new Doctor Who episode is just around the corner. It’s back to Earth – at least, the present day one – in Episode 4 as Bill and her friends move into their new house, which you’ll no doubt be pleased to hear is perfectly normal in every way…

Oh, apart from the creaking floorboards, old fashioned plugs, lack of central heating and the fact that it lies in the shadow of a mysterious, foreboding tower… to name but a few. Basically, who on Earth would live in a house like this?!

Well, Bill and her mates, apparently, but you can hardly blame them for overlooking its sinister surroundings, what with the state of today’s housing market. Looking on the bright side, though, the rooms are massive, the rent is cheap and, much to Bill’s relief, there isn’t a living puddle, weird robot or big fish in sight. In fact, if it weren’t for the cockroaches and everything else we just mentioned, it would pretty much be the perfect pad. And just what lies within that aforementioned tower, which they’ve been forbidden to enter under any circumstances for reasons that will become evidently clear by the end of the episode? Well, you’ll just have to wait until the end of the episode, won’t you?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though, as Knock Knock is an episode that’s less about the story and more about how the story is told. As with all classic adventures, it’s built on a simple premise – in this case, a group of students moving into their new digs (what could possibly go wrong…?) – that utilities the classic horror conventions to deliver the sort of spine-chilling thriller that only the weird and wonderful world of Doctor Who can offer.

There is always a danger that episode’s with such a straightforward concept will fall flat, but that definitely isn’t the case in this instance. While the majority of the action takes place within the four walls of Bill’s eerie abode, the story unfolds in such a tantalisingly terrifying manner that it never feels stale or predictable. That’s largely down to first time Who writer Mike Bartlett’s snappy dialogue, which is charmingly complemented and effortlessly excelled by Bill Anderson’s subtle but sophisticated direction. It’s a completely different tone than his previous work in last week’s Thin Ice, but he amicably adapts to the genre at hand to make Knock Knock one of the most atmospheric and genuinely heart-racing episodes to date. Seriously, this one is creepy.

Once again, it all comes down to the simplicity of the plot, combined with Doctor Who’s already firmly established ability to turn the seemingly mundane and everyday into a living, breathing nightmare… made of wood. What we also love about Knock Knock, though, is that it still provides room for the Doctor and Bill’s relationship to develop amidst the escalating terror. The Doctor – in keeping with his fatherly/grandfatherly/tutor/friend duties – helps Bill move in, which we thought was a lovely touch, and it turns out that she still has plenty of questions about who he is. Oh the questions, the questions, the questions…

Bill is more than capable of standing on her own two feet, of course, which is affirmed – and then reaffirmed – by her growing frustration when the Doctor decides to sticks around uninvited. He’s never been able to take a hint, but it’s refreshing to see a companion who is so eager to establish the bit of her life that the Doctor isn’t part of. She probably would’ve done a pretty good job at initialising her independence (much better than her predecessor Clara ever did, anyway…) if her friends hadn’t started disappearing into the walls, so something tells us that she was secretly over the moon that the Doctor was on hand when the lowering Landlord came to call.

Speaking of whom, David Suchet is one of the best Doctor Who guest stars ever, by the way. Not that we were expecting anything less from the honourable Hercule Poirot himself, of course, but his formidable on screen presence takes his character to a whole new level. He might just make you cry, too, in his scenes with the magnificent Mariah Gale as Eliza, but to tell you anything more about their unique connection would ruin the episode’s bittersweet – and heartbreakingly human – climax.

The rest of the ensemble are great, too, particularly Bill’s diverse group of friends – Shireen, Harry, Paul, Felicity and Pavel (don’t worry about remembering their names – the Doctor certainly doesn’t!) – who each react to the drama at hand in a different way. Of course, the episode wouldn’t be completely without a cameo from Nardole, and you’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that he’ll play a much bigger part from this point onwards, if the preview trailer for next week’s Oxygen is anything to go by.

That bloody Vault returns in Knock Knock too, as the Doctor takes the mystery one step further. Hopefully it’s a step in the right direction, despite the fact we still know nothing about what – or who – lies inside. Apart from the fact that they are exceptionally gifted on the piano…

We can’t wait to find out what’s really going on, but at the moment we’re still enjoying the excitement of the enigma. Play on, you unidentified Vault-dwelling menace. Play on.

April 27th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
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Peter Capaldi’s final series at the helm of the TARDIS (sorry for the reminder!) continues this weekend and it’s third time unlucky for the Doctor and Bill as they find themselves treading on Thin Ice. After you’ve left your mark at the edge of the galaxy lightyears in the future, there’s only one place to go next. Home… the long way round. Get in!

Picking up directly where last week’s episode left off (we see a pattern emerging here…), we rejoin our heroes slap bang in the middle of Regency London where, as expected, not all is as it seems amidst the carnivalesque chaos of a seemingly ordinary frost fair. Or at least, as ordinary as a frost fair can be. As an example, there’s an actual sword swallower among the weird and wonderful festivities, so this episode should definitely come with its own ‘Don’t try this at home’ disclaimer.

It’s the Great Last Frost Fair, to be precise, and the year is 1814. Also as expected, Bill has lots of questions. And no, it isn’t a parallel world…

The bustling backdrop is beautifully established by first time Who director Bill Anderson, and once again Bill’s wide-eyed wonderment is a joy to behold. As she takes in her snow-covered surroundings, Pearl Mackie gets the chance to show off her effortless talent when, in the flip of a coin (and that analogy will become clear when you see the episode), she struggles to comprehend the moral high ground that has been embedded within her 2,000 year old tutor. Basically, he moves on.

Bill’s character is already so well rounded that it’s easy to forget that this is only her third episode, and as such she is still getting to know her mysterious new friend. You don’t even realise – or care – that we’re revisiting aspects of the Doctor’s temperament that have been explored before, such as his apparent emotionless reaction to death, as the story allows it to be portrayed in a fresh and interesting way. Combine that with Bill’s unique perspective and it’s further evidence – not that any was needed – that our new TARDIS duo are a match made in televisual heaven.

Bill doesn’t sugarcoat her feelings, and that’s one of the things we love about her the most. Despite the fact she’s centuries away from the world that she knows, this plucky present day gal fits right in, which is partly thanks to the TARDIS’ ever expansive wardrobe. As they step into the story, the escalating drama evolves around them and it doesn’t take long for their fun at the fair to transpire into inevitable anarchy when a young boy’s tragic encounter with a Thames-dwelling serpent sends them on a mission to discover what really lies beneath. There’s definitely something fishy going on and whatever you do, don’t follow the lights…

Children play a big part in this episode, as the Doctor and Bill enlist the help of a band of pickpocketing street urchins who wouldn’t look out of place alongside the Artful Dodger himself. In fact, we expected him to pop up at any moment, and stranger things certainly happen in this madcap 44 minutes. Although the situation is looking increasingly dire, the impressive young ensemble bring some much needed comic relief to the proceedings, particularly when the Doctor, as he puts it, “gets down with the kids”, much to Bill’s hilarious horror. Even her hair is left cringing.

Back to the matter at hand, though, and their investigation soon leads them to the sinister Sutcliffe (right), as played by this week’s leading guest star Nicholas Burns, who is such an indescribably disgusting human being that, when the Doctor does something completely out of character, you can’t help but cheer along. Kudos to Nicholas Burns, who is largely known for his comedic performances, for bringing to life such a skin-crawling adversary. Needless to say, His Lordship’s motivations are truly terrifying.

Of course, it all comes down to Sarah Dollard’s script. The last time she contributed to the show, she broke our Whovian hearts into pieces by killing off Clara Oswald (we’re still not over it), and this time she takes us back to a London that’s just as unfamiliar as Face the Raven’s trap streets, yet instantly as rich and magical. Even if the Doctor never does find out the secret behind that card trick…

One of the most exciting things to take away from Thin Ice is that there’s still so much of the Doctor and Bill to come. As a standalone story, it ticks all the boxes of a classic Doctor Who adventure. It’s set in the past, there’s an alien creature hidden just out of sight, there’s an awesome underwater sequence and, perhaps most importantly, its poignant resolution will leave you shaking your head in disgust and contempt at the human race. It’s like The Beast Below all over again, but the Doctor does get to wear a top hat so you know, swings and roundabouts.

Oh, and you’ll also no doubt be pleased to hear that Nardole makes another all too brief but memorable appearance, as the elusive Vault mystery deepens. And when we say that Thin Ice ends with a “knock knock”, we’re not just talking about Episode 4

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