Archive for ‘WhovianNet’
April 27th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
whoviannet-co-uk-advanced-preview-thin-ice

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

April 24th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
the-end-of-twelve-talkin-bout-regeneration

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 as it’s already four years later and the end of his epic era is nigh.

Exactly when he’ll be handing over his TARDIS duties, though, we’re not entirely sure. It was assumed that the regeneration scene would feature in this year’s Christmas Special, which has been confirmed as both Peter and outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat’s final episode, however a spanner has recently been thrown into the works…

That spanner being this Series 10 trailer, which shocked us all with a blink and you’ll miss it clip of the Doctor’s death-defying process seemingly beginning. That combined with the fact that Peter recently revealed that he’s already filmed his character’s final moments, despite the fact the festive episode doesn’t film until July. It’s confusing to say the least!

But then again, when isn’t it? Nobody really knows what’s going on, but here is the place where you can post your theories. We’re sure we’ll slowly learn more as Series 10 continues, so be sure to check back in to dissect the latest developments. We’ll put a link in the sidebar for easy access, so you’ll never be too far away if you need to simultaneously speculate and self-combust in equal measure.

See the universe anew. Click here to Rate & Discuss the latest Series 10 episode…

April 21st, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
looking-ahead-to-the-master-of-comebacks

…because let’s face it, we’re already excited.

Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat’s final series was already shaping up to be one hell of a rollercoaster ride, but then it was announced that John Simm will be making the master of comebacks when he reprises his role as the renegade Time Lord after 7 years. And thus, the fandom went into overdrive.

He won’t be the only one, either, as he’ll be coming face to face with Michelle Gomez as Missy, who has irresistibly inhabited the part since 2014. Crikey!

But what’s it all about? How is Missy’s predecessor returning? What happened to him after the events of The End of Time, Part Two that led to his regeneration? And what, for the love of all things Mighty Jagrafess, has he got up his sleeves this time round?! Some fans are already speculating that it is he who lies within the elusive vault that the Doctor has sworn to protect, but that might transpire to be someone – or something – else entirely…

We’ve already caught a glimpse of him in the latest trailer, so let us know what you can deduce – if anything – in the comments below, as well as your general theories about his grand return. It’ll be two Masters for the price of one, and the Universe is already shaking.

“Doctor what?” Click here to Rate and Discuss the Series 10 premiere, The Pilot »

April 21st, 2017

It’s Fan Art Friday and this week we’re remembering everybody’s favourite impossible girl with this awesome sketch sent in by @mooneyWallet.

Clara Oswald bowed out in the finale of Series 9 but the end was only just the beginning of her universal adventures. We wonder what she’s up to now…?

Email us your fan art to admin@whoviannet.co.uk or send it via Twitter to be featured.

April 21st, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
whoviannet-co-uk-advanced-preview-smile

After last week’s series premiere (which you can Rate & Discuss here), it’s big smiles all around – for now, at least – as Bill Potts is officially aboard the TARDIS.

There isn’t a Dalek or killer puddle in sight this time, however, as we’re fast tracked to the edge of the galaxy where a human settlement is said to hold the secret to everlasting happiness. Well, where else would you take your new companion on her maiden voyage?

OK, so it isn’t technically Bill’s maiden voyage, thanks to her quick-stop visits to Australia and the end of the universe (as you do!) last week, but as she points out in the opening moments of Smile, this is her first proper one, so it better be a good’un.

The latest episode picks up directly where The Pilot left off, with Bill bemusing her personal tutor with yet more of the hilariously random questions of which she is already acclaimed. Her unique take on the TARDIS continues to highlight her fresh perspective as she brings light to areas of the Whoniverse you probably never realised you wanted to know the answers to. We also get to learn a bit more about the conditions of the Doctor’s elusive promise, referred to in this episode as his oath, which we suspect will continue to be teased to the point of tears in the episodes to come. You can share your own theories regarding what lies inside the vault in our dedicated discussion, here.

Back to the mystery at hand, though, and the foreboding pre-titles scene wastes no time in establishing the hidden terror of the escalating Emojibots, with swooping crane shots of the surrounding settlement adding a sense of cinematic grandeur to the proceedings. The sequence also features the first and only appearance of one of the episode’s underused guest stars, Mina Anwar as Goodthing, who is robbed of any opportunity to develop her character when she’s the victim of a very sticky situation in the first four minutes. Slightly problematic.

Ralf Little is another example of a character that could’ve been, especially as a teaser video of him inside the TARDIS suggested that his role as Steadfast would be playing a much bigger part in the action. In reality, he never actually gets to set foot inside the police box, which is parked off in the middle of a cornfield for the majority of the story.

After the opening credits have rolled, the bulk of the episode takes place within the confines of the aforementioned human colony (which is missing one vital ingredient), against the real-life backdrop of the City of Arts and Science Museum in Valencia. The simplistic yet stunning location adds a sense of clinical purity to the luxurious landscape, helping to maintain its connotations as the idealistic utopia. But as the story unfolds, it soon becomes evidently clear that this picturesque paradise is far from ideal. Well, this is Doctor Who we’re talking about, isn’t it?

Enter the Doctor and Bill, whose jaunt to the far future quickly becomes a fight to the death (but what else is new?) when they come face to face with this week’s technological terror. The rampant robots are a fundamentally simple premise, but it’s one that still manages to create a sense of ominous fear, especially as throughout the episode you’re never 100% sure where they are or what they’re up to. Let’s just say, you wouldn’t want to bump into one of these guys in a dark alley. Unless, that is, you were smiling…

One of the most interesting aspects of this episode is that it is, for the most part, a two-hander between Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie. As they explore their new surroundings, you keep expecting somebody else to pop up and join the party, but it just doesn’t happen for the first 30 minutes. Thinking about it, this is exactly the sort of story you want from the Doctor and Bill’s first “proper” adventure, as it enables them to get to know each other – and, in turn, us to know Bill – amidst their investigation of a good old fashioned, albeit futuristic, science-fiction mystery. It’s one of those that you really have to pay attention to, but the best science-fiction mysteries usually are.

As a result, expect a lot of talking. In the Forest of the Night writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce returns on top form with plenty of brilliantly executed dialogue, and Bill’s inquisitiveness and infectious enthusiasm is particularly refreshing and fun to behold. While generally slow-paced, that’s not to say that the episode doesn’t have its fair share of drama, too, as we finally discover what’s really going on at the same time as our heroes do (although admittedly, and rightly so, the Doctor is always one step ahead of us all). It just takes a while to get there, is all.

Sit back and enjoy the ride, though, as it’s one of the first times that the show has managed to execute such a simple format alongside a concept that it can comfortably fall back and rely on. With today’s ever growing technological advances, the story is definitely a grower in the sense that, if you’re anything like us, you’ll find your appreciation for it growing the more you think about it post-viewing.

While it probably won’t be one that we revisit as much as others, Lawrence Gough has directed an intriguing insight into the future of our species, and there is something quintessentially Doctor Who about our heroes jump starting a new civilisation and being home before the kettle has boiled. Or at least, Bill thinks they’re going home…

April 15th, 2017
your-favourite-steven-moffat-premiere-revealed

This past month you’ve been voting for your favourite Steven Moffat series opener, and with his last ever one now just a few hours away, the results are in!

And it’s probably the one you were expecting.

With 46% of the final vote, The Eleventh Hour has reigned supreme as your ultimate Moffat-penned premiere. It’s the one that started it all, for him at least, as it heralded the beginning of a shining new era, introducing not only a brand new Doctor, played by Matt Smith, but his new sidekick, too.

And Amy Pond’s debut still stands as one of the best companion introductions in the show’s history. Not only was the episode an epic race against the clock as our new heroes sought to catch Prisoner Zero, it also kick started one of the biggest story arcs that the Moffat era has ever known. All the answers lay within that ominous crack in Amelia’s bedroom wall…

The world was saved and Amy finally stepped aboard the TARDIS (albeit 14 years later…), and, if this result is anything to go by, the episode still holds a special place in your heart.

Big thanks to all who voted. The full list of results has been compiled below. Do you agree?

How will The Pilot fare against its predecessors? Find out when it airs TONIGHT at 7:20pm on BBC One! Don’t forget to check out our advanced spoiler-free preview and teasers.

April 15th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
get-ready-to-see-the-universe-anew-tonight

No, your eyes do not deceive you. It really is Saturday 15th April. Which means that we’re about to see the universe anew!

And blimey, it has been a long time coming, hasn’t it? It’s nearly been a whole year since Pearl Mackie was announced as the new companion, but tonight she will finally step aboard the TARDIS as she makes her official debut in The Pilot.

Tonight’s episode has been preceded by a mammoth publicity frenzy, and at 7:20pm it will be unleashed unto the world.

Our discussions are back for the new series, and our first one will be open for business as soon as the premiere has ended at 8:10pm. Make sure you drop by to share in the journey with your fellow fans, plus you’ll have the chance to WIN an awesome Doctor Who prize…

In the mean time, while away the last remaining hours by sharing your anticipation in the comments below. Don’t forget to check out our advanced spoiler-free preview and teasers, and let us know what you’re doing to celebrate the Doctor’s grand return. What episodes are you rematching? Are you hosting a viewing party? We’d love to hear what you’re all up to! It’s almost a time for heroes. The Doctor will see you, right… about… NOW.

New adventures. New companion. Same Doctor! Read the latest Series 10 news…

April 14th, 2017
5-things-we-love-about-the-actual-doctor-who-pilot

Doctor Who returns for a brand new series tomorrow night in an episode simply titled The Pilot.

All will become clear when you see it for yourself, but the title is also an allusion to the fact that the Series 10 premiere has been billed (Bill – see what we did there?!) as the perfect starting point for new viewers.

It did get us a-thinkin’ about the actual Doctor Who pilot, though, which we decided to revisit ahead of the show’s latest televisual return.

It’s the one that started it all, as it were, although it was never actually aired as part of the series itself. This pilot version was filmed as a studio rehearsal in September 1963 and the episode was reshot and developed into the first serial, An Unearthly Child, before it went to air in November. The rest, as they say, is history. Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?

1. The Now Iconic Opening Scene

While this opening scene is pretty underwhelming when you compare it to today’s TV standards, it’s simplicity is what makes it so brilliantly, quintessentially Who.

There were some alterations made to the set for the actual first episode, but the premise remained the same. A policeman stumbles into 76 Totter’s Lane where a seemingly ordinary police box is hidden away in the shadows. It was the beginning of the world’s greatest sci-fi series and it all started out as a mild curiosity in a junkyard. The theme tune playing in the background is just the icing on the cake.

2. Susan’s Sass

While it’s often claimed that the purpose of Doctor Who companions back in the day was to look pretty, there is much to be said about the initial characterisation of the show’s first ever leading lady, Carole Ann Ford.

Introduced as an enigmatic pupil with knowledge way beyond her years, Susan Foreman caught the eye of two particularly suspicious teachers, Barbara and Ian, who were so intrigued by her otherworldly presence that they actually followed her home to find out what she was hiding. And aren’t they just glad that they did?

Susan’s sass levels are on point. She’s definitely her grandfather’s granddaughter…

3. The Doctor’s Understated Entrance

These days, the Doctor is partial to arriving on the back of a tank whilst playing the electric guitar, so it’s hard to believe that there was ever a time he was able to enter a room without all of the accompanying fanfare. To be fair, though, he’s earned it.

This was exactly the case in the pilot, in which William Hartnell’s inceptive incarnation of the now legendary Time Lord made his on screen debut with a cough rather than an explosion. Oh, how times change.

It’s also a whole 14 minutes until he actually appears, with the story being told through the eyes of his imminent companions, which only adds to the mystery of who the hell the show is even supposed to be about. 54 year later and we’re still not 100% sure.

4. The First Time We See Inside The TARDIS

Shock horror! Turns out, it isn’t just an ordinary police box after all. And guess what else? It’s bigger on the inside! Although, arguably, not as big as it is these days.

Barbara and Ian got more than they bargained for when they stepped through those doors, although their assumption that it was all simply an illusion is considerably tame compared to some of the reactions that have followed over the years. Just wait until you see Bill’s…

5. The Melodramatic Final Scene

Suffice to say, it all gets very heated when the Doctor threatens to keep Barbara and Ian prisoner to prevent his secrets from being exposed.

This melodrama was to become a staple of Classic Who, and some would argue that it’s carried itself over into the modern adventures, too. Admit it, though, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

What do you love about the pilot? Get nostalgic and let us know in the comments!

April 14th, 2017
revisiting-whoviannets-book-the-doctor-i

The brand new series of Doctor Who is just around the corner so now is as good a time as any to revisit WhovianNet’s The Doctor & I.

First published back in November 2013 to coincide with the show’s 50th anniversary, our debut book compiles over 80 memoirs and accounts from fans young and old who have been personally impacted and inspired by the Doctor’s ongoing adventures. It features an exclusive foreword by Richard Curtis and is available to buy as a paperback and e-book on Amazon.

The Pilot premieres tomorrow(!) at 7:20pm and you can read our advanced preview here.

April 14th, 2017

It’s Fan Art Friday and this week @thekareninie has sent in her brilliant TARDIS picture to celebrate the fact that it will be re-opening its doors to see the universe anew tomorrow night.

It’s something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, and we’re sure there’s a mad man in there somewhere! Next stop, The Pilot

Email us your fan art to admin@whoviannet.co.uk or send it via Twitter to be featured.

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