Archive for ‘Connor Michie’
August 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

With another series of Doctor Who on the horizon, I begin to get more and more excited about the new adventures we will be met with. On this occasion, this excitement is higher than ever before.

Every time I hear some new news about Series 8, it makes this following series seem better and better. Every trailer, article and announcement begins to make me believe that Series 8 will be one of the best series, if not the best series of Doctor Who ever. Not since the revival, but for the whole history of Doctor Who.

Arguably, the recent writing on Doctor Who has not been to everybody’s taste, which I would certainly agree with, to an extent. But from what we have seen and heard from the trailers and the small synopses that we saw in SFX magazine, just small descriptions and visuals, like the Cybermen seen in this year’s two-part (finally, a two-parter) finale can make me speculate and imagine things that could happen and that shouldn’t happen.

Another thing that excites me about this new series is the title sequence. The title sequence on its own is a very important part of the show, so the most recent addition to this collection didn’t please me. There was obviously the nice inclusion of the Doctor’s face, hidden nicely to merge in with the clouds of space, but beyond that, it was a waste of another 35 seconds, in my opinion. I just hope that the new series has something incredible to offer, to make me feel excited for the episode ahead, rather than internally moaning about its poor quality.

Even just the description of Capaldi’s Doctor alongside his pictures as the Doctor, as a Doctor that just gets the job done, but wants to put danger to the test, as well as being less sensitive to humanity, makes me believe that Series 8 will change my opinions, with Capaldi becoming my favourite Doctor.

The things that really top off the whole Doctor Who reboot event is the fact that Doctor Who shall not only return with a feature length, but it will return to cinemas! This is something I didn’t think would happen for at least another 10 years (for the 60th anniversary). The feeling I had in November, sitting in a cinema about to watch my favourite TV show in its birthday was one of the best experiences I have had surrounding Doctor Who. To experience this again excites me very much, so a second Doctor Who cinema experience is a high priority for celebrating the start of the new series.

Understandably, the biggest and best sci-fi will be appearing a lot more, I hope, on the TV, with the World Tour and trailers being shown more frequently to get people more and more excited (including me) for this new series, and I feel very happy to be a part of an incredible group of people, that are all about to celebrate a new era for Doctor Who. An era that I hope will last for many more years to come.

July 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Of the 800 episodes that make up the 241 different stories that make up half a century of Doctor Who, as a Whovian, when you are asked “What is your favourite episode?” or something along those lines, it is incredibly hard to give one answer. But as I grew up with the incredible Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, his stories are the ones that I believe are some of the best. Even at my young age, it was the revived series that made me so immersed by the whole idea of the programme.

Even then, of the 13 episodes that made up the rather short tenure of Eccleston’s era, it is still hard to pick a favourite from Series One. From the huge array of aliens aboard Platform One in ‘The End of the World’, a deadly future of corrupt TV in ‘The Long Game’, to the ‘grandfather paradox’ type episode of ‘Father’s Day’, it is hard to choose from just a small selection. However, the story that I believe showed Eccleston and Doctor Who at one of its best revived moments is in the finale, ‘Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways’. This two-parter that concluded Eccleston’s era was nothing short of incredible, awesome and absolutely action-packed!

Beginning with a series of game shows that we are all fairly familiar with and turning them on their head to make them corrupted and deadly makes is extremely sci-fi. Recently, science fiction has slowly been making its way into reality, so seeing a game show like this in reality tells humans that we’ve gone too far. In a way it’s a very clever warning.

Then comes sinister music after approaching the signal where Rose was ‘delivered’ to the Daleks, after the Doctor finally works out what might be lurking there. For the new generation of Whovians, we had already seen what one Dalek was capable of, despite its mutation, so when the Doctor estimated around half a million Daleks in total on those ships, with insanity running through their veins, I think we saw the true power and fear that the Daleks can generate. A feeling that I think hasn’t been brought by the Daleks since.

Even down to the slightest detail made the Daleks’ performance in the climax to ‘Bad Wolf’ all the more powerful. Specifically, their voice, by the incredible Nicholas Briggs. His Dalek voice in that scene is something I can only describe as so ‘Dalek’. The spiky oscillations that make that voice so iconic and aggressive just adds to the Daleks’ fear factor.

Then, Eccleston’s performance as the Doctor made me feel so excited about what would happen next, ending the episode with a gripping cliff-hanger. A normal situation like this seen in other dramas and movies, when Rose’s life is threatened is completely ignored by the Doctor with just one word, “No.” He has such a confidence to go right into the centre of the Dalek fleet and save the one person that began to change the Doctor. And whether you love Rose or not, Eccleston’s performance didn’t show a Doctor, or his Doctor, it showed the Doctor. It showed the Doctor at one of his best moments, doing what he does best, being a Doctor.

In the following episode, the fear that the Daleks brought only heightened. In that episode, they made some real damage towards Earth. They looked very threatening as thousands upon thousands of them poured and flowed from the ships, ready to attack. Then, the almost powerless Doctor, with nothing more than a plan composed of creating a wave intended to save the world, by destroying it. The Daleks got even more nefarious when they replaced their plunger with a lethal blowtorch, which easily breached a door which Capt. Jack Harkness said “should” keep the Daleks from entering.

It was then only a matter of time before the Daleks reached the Doctor, by swiftly working their way up, killing the entire population of Satellite Five but him. The Doctor, now lonely, needed saving, so Rose saved him one last time before he returned the favour. After his short time as the Doctor, Eccleston left on a high, despite it being so shocking and abrupt for the new Whovian generation that didn’t understand regeneration yet. I can remember my first reaction was the thought that Doctor Who would now end, with the Doctor now exploding and not understanding who this man was, replacing him.

For me, this is one of my all-time favourite stories. It had so many elements that I could admire as a Whovian, and I don’t believe a Dalek story has been as good as this one since. Obviously, ‘Army of Ghosts/Doomsday’ was awesome, with the Cybermen and Daleks coming together, but the idea of millions of both races attacking the Earth still didn’t seem as good, as it was more about Rose in the end.

‘Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks’, well, according to DWM, it wasn’t one of the high points in Doctor Who history, coming 208th out of 241 stories, compared to this story at 13th place! ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’ was a story that was absolutely spectacular. The return of Davros was certainly incredible, especially with Julian Bleach’s performance.

But, there isn’t one episode that I could put my finger on and say, “Yes, that one. That episode is the best”. However, I could point my finger at ‘Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways’ and say “Yes, that one. That story is Doctor Who.” That story could represent Doctor Who.

Editorial written by Connor Michie

June 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

“We are entombed, but we live on. This is only the beginning. We will prepare. We will grow stronger. When the time is right, we will emerge and take our rightful place as the supreme power of the universe!” - Genesis of the Daleks, 1975

That is one of the best Dalek speeches from arguably one of the best Dalek stories that truly sums up what a Dalek really means. The Daleks and their aggressive and competitive nature to be the best in the universe has lived on for over 50 years. But why are they considered one of the Doctor’s greatest enemies? How did it come to be that every Doctor, one way or another, has fought the Daleks?

Well, they were first introduced in the 5th ever episode of Doctor Who, beginning with the glimpse of a sink plunger, approaching Barbara, and ever since then, the whole world of Doctor Who changed forever. They returned, year after year, becoming so popular, and eventually, you couldn’t really see Doctor Who without them. Why? Well…

The Doctor means well and intends to be a force of good in the universe, fixing what is wrong and making sure that good always prevails, and the best outcome of every situation is achieved (even though this does not always go according to plan). The Daleks are the absolute opposite of these ideas. All the Daleks want to do is “Exterminate!” They want to be the best in the universe, taking the whole idea of ‘survival of the fittest’ to a new, insane and absurd level, going to extreme lengths to achieve this, for example, trying to destroy all parts of reality apart from themselves.

Over time they seem to have lost their scare factor, and ‘hiding behind the sofa’ seems to be increasingly rare. Ultimately, this is because they will predictably be defeated by the Doctor and his allies (revived ‘Who’ shows this especially). This may show the positive power that the Doctor seems to aim for, considering that the Daleks go against pretty much everything that the Doctor says, but then again, should they be scarier?

They are sometimes humourous too, exclaiming that the only way the Cybermen are better than them (which could be easily applied to any other species) is that they are better at dying. Is it the shape of them? Almost everybody in Britain, at least, should probably recognise their iconic ‘pepper pot’ design, armed with a toilet plunger and a whisk. Being so close to the age of Doctor Who seems to give them the ability and excuse to return time and time again to try and exterminate the Doctor (with only one achieving a short-lived success).
They have been around for so long, and perhaps the Daleks are a message and warning to what we should not become, being the ultimate ‘Nazi’ figure of the sci-fi world. And despite their predictability of being defeated every single time by the Doctor and their short breaks, you really couldn’t have Doctor Who without them. So why are the Daleks so popular and so iconic? Well, they just do. They work with the fantastic format of the show and they will never be forgotten. They will be immortalised in our memories forever and they have captured the imagination of so many people. There are so many factors that got them to such a great success. The Daleks are incomparable to any other fictional alien species from any other sci-fi. They are the Daleks! Well done Mr Nation, well done Mr Cusick. If you call “proud” creating the most evil species in the universe who’s only instinct and life ambition is to take over the universe, they’ve done the Whoniverse and the world proud.

Editorial written by Connor Michie

May 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

“The universe has to move forward. Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love. Whether it’s a world or a relationship, everything has its time, everything ends.”
- Sarah Jane Smith, School Reunion, 2006.

This is one of the many quotations from Doctor Who’s half century tenure that really shows how a TV show can make such a significant impact on our lives. In fact, this show has such a significant impact on such a wide audience that some would call it and its ever growing fandom, a religion. Not just a TV show. And, really, it is easy to see why. Some parts of this incredible fandom show how powerful Doctor Who can really be!

In some cases, Doctor Who and its fandom is comparable to a religion. For example, we have our special festivals, Fish Fingers and Custard Day, and the 23rd of November, Doctor Who’s unforgettable birthday, especially in 2013’s case! Also, whenever a new Doctor is under speculation by the international whovian community, it is like waiting for the next Pope to be elected and revealed.

We have our TARDIS ‘temples’ too! But ‘Whovianism’ is a religion like no other! Comparisons to existing religions don’t even scratch the surface of the underlying messages throughout Doctor Who, giving Whovians guidance and morals that can be used in real life! The Doctor shows these qualities and explicitly shares them with his companions, “There’s always something worth living for, Martha.” – (The Doctor, The Doctor’s Daughter, 2008), as well as the great Whovian community! He gives people hope in life by motivating them, saying that being alive is the “Best thing there is.” – (The Doctor, The Doctor’s Wife, 2011).

The Doctor is our role model, it’s who a lot of Whovians would love to be, the hero. The person who saves the day, or world, or universe in some cases! We only found out recently what the promise was of calling himself ‘the Doctor’. He never gives up, and never gives in. He always tries his best to make the world good, and make sure that evil does not prevail. He lets even his most feared enemies have a second chance at reforming themselves and cooperating. He tries to bring out the good in humanity, and in fact, all races that he encounters. He is like the teacher of this incredible religion, and whovians can use this as guidance and hope.

These morals and ideas, which make Doctor Who so great, are passed down the generations, to more and more people! And this community can become very devoted to our idol and his many adventures! Some of the attributes of the Doctor’s personality can become so attached to some that they just integrate into people, including me! Some of us watch Doctor Who again and again, because we all have different ways of ‘worshipping’ this great programme, like my old Maths teacher, who has never missed an episode of Doctor Who and has been around to see all 800 episodes! Other Whovians use imagination and the passion for exploration in the show to come up with their own ideas of the Doctor’s travels, giving themselves their own Doctor to play with and integrating those ideas and qualities in the form of fan-made comics, books, episodes and audio plays.

The conventions and events are what bring us together as a massive international community (as well as the internet), sharing these qualities and talking about what we love with each other, contributing our theories and ideas of what has happened, what is happening and what will happen.

Before I get too side-tracked with going into detail about how cool the Doctor Who community is, there is still one question to be answered: Overall, is Whovianism a religion?

Yes! We grew up and are growing up watching Doctor Who since we were children. We all watch the stories and see that good always prevails, and that change is good, and death will come to everyone in the end, but being alive is what really counts! We can try and put ourselves in his place, asking “What would the Doctor do?” We create these morals too, since the people who run Doctor Who today were the children that started watching Doctor Who in its infancy. We see these ideas in action in Doctor Who, and we accept them as an international community of Whovians.

As subtle or explicit they may be, these morals shine through in Doctor Who. Doctor Who is more than just a TV show. It is a thrilling experience, a learning experience and a way of life!

Editorial written by Connor Michie

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