Archive for ‘Richard Lewis’
December 17th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
get-your-claus-into-this

If you hadn’t noticed, it is nearly Christmas, which means only one thing and I am not talking about presents, but it is a treat as it is just about time for the annual Christmas special of Doctor Who. I am sure you are all gagging for some Doctor Who action (Atlantis does its best, but nothing can quite fill the void – apart from Daleks and Cybermen) after the epic finale to Series 8, in which the Master had a sex change, as Missy was short for the Mistress, making her the crazed Time Lord all a long! But we are here to think about Christmas and put Missy in the past, like she is some sort of Charles Dickens ghost.

There have been quite a few good ones and a few not so good ones when it comes to Doctor Who Christmas specials, but it is always hard to follow on from a finale, while attempting to maintain some sort of Christmas spirit. Killer Christmas Trees, Sinister Santas, Bomb Baubles, Terror Toys and Scary Snowmen (however, the scariest snow of all is yellow snow) are exactly what we want from a Christmas special of Doctor Who. My favourite ever Christmas episode has too be the first in this new wave of Doctors, as in 2005, the ninth Doctor became the tenth and Slade some Sycorax (did you see what I did there) with a Satsuma (at least it wasn’t a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, as there would still be segments flying down to Earth). Of course when I talk about Sycorax, I am referring to the alien race and not the character from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ (but you all knew that anyway), as Sycorax was an unseen character in the play, who was a powerful witch and the mother of Caliban. The fact that the tenth Doctor takes the Satsuma out of the dressing gown shows it is 2005 and not 2014, as if you were in a sword battle with an alien on Christmas Day these days (stop singing Take That), you would take the Satsuma out of the onesie that you would be wearing (and it would most likely be a reindeer onesie).

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle and simply Nick Frost (Santa has had more names than the Doctor has had faces!), will join forces with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor on the 25th December this year in an episode being called ‘Last Christmas’. This could be in reference to George Michael crashing into a Snappy Snaps in the episode, but is more likely to suggest the departure of someone (possibly Clara) to follow on from the death of Danny Pink. In this episode, Santa lands on Clara’s roof and if Clara is living on a council estate, Clintons might argue Santa has been there the whole time as her neighbour. It is apt that the actor Nick Frost is playing Santa in this adventure, as apart from the look (which by the way is perfect for this role); he has the most appropriate name as Nick Frost is the combination of Saint Nicholas and Jack Frost. However, there seems to be a Frosty relationship between the Doctor and Santa Claus. ‘There’s a long-standing beef’, explains Nick Frost when describing the cold shoulder the Doctor and Santa seem to be giving each other (I thought people fight over the turkey at Christmas, not the beef). The actual ‘beef’ in this episode really gets going when the group of heroes all arrive at an Arctic base near the North Pole, which is under attack from ferocious creatures called Sleepers (not students) and Dream Crabs (I prefer dreams to crabs)!

Santa seems to have the attributes of a Time Lord, as he seems to have the ability to travel in space and time as he gets through all the houses in one night. The Doctor and Santa should compare notes between the TARDIS and Santa’s sleigh. Also, like the Doctor, Santa has companions helping him on the way as Elvis can be seen as the token companion figure the Doctor desires on his travels (the only difference is Santa is not usually seen kissing his Elvis, but might be seen smoking if it is at Lawrence Lllelwyn-Bowen’s Winter Wonderland attempt). One of the Elvis in this episode is portrayed by Dan Starkey (I wonder where we have seen him before? – he gets used more by Moffat than an old Christmas jumper), which is probably because Warwick Davis is too busy in Panto at this time of the year. Also, even though the Doctor doesn’t have a big bushy beard and Santa does, I would have thought Peter Capaldi was becoming accustomed to small, furry creatures, after starring in the Paddington movie as Mr Curry (however, Capaldi will not be returning to The Musketeers as the villain Cardinal Richelieu, as he is a bit busy saving the universe).

Overall, it would not be the same each Christmas without a bit of Doctor Who on the telly a few hours after the Queen’s speech. The Christmas specials have left us with lasting memories and at times the Doctor with lasting lipstick (I wouldn’t mind meeting Clara under the mistletoe, less so Davros!), as who can forget the famous Tennant-Kylie kiss (there is a programme on 10:40pm ITV1 on the 23rd December 2014 called ‘Kylie: Kiss Me Once’, which pretty much describes that episode). But let us not get distracted by the One Direction song (Kiss You), as there are more Killer Christmas Trees than kisses (a weird version of the ‘Annie’ song that is – instead of kisses, we get Killer Christmas Trees, not as catchy, but definitely a hard knock life!) However, there is one final salient point I want to make and that is Doctor Who at Christmas is part of the bill (no, not formally in EastEnders), which means the writers better keep on writing Christmas episodes for the foreseeable future!

Merry Christmas – don’t make it your last, but do make it last!

Written by Richard Lewis

November 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
doctor-boo

With it being Halloween yesterday, I thought I would get all spooky on you Whovian Netter readers and discuss scary episodes of Doctor Woo, I mean Who! This read will definitely have you hiding behind the sofas – so if of a nervous disposition, you better get into position and jump behind that sofa of yours as if a Dalek has just appeared on your silver screen. Speaking of scary sights, nude pictures of the 11th Doctor Matt Smith were linked online – we got to see if the Doctor has two of anything else, apart from hearts! But, if you prefer top see the former Time Lord clothed (with his sonic screwdriver tucked away), don’t look online for ‘Matt Smith images’ and just wait for Terminator: Genisys to come out in the cinemas next year.

One of the scariest episodes of Doctor Who over the last few years has to be ‘Blink’, as Stone Angels and Easter Eggs are a deadly combination. The Weeping Angels made their Doctor Who debuts in this adventure and have been recurring villains ever since. ‘Blink’ was a David Tennant episode (even though he mainly featured on a TV screen), but it was Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor who encountered the Weeping Angels more often than not (they are probably after Adrian from Coal Hill School now – watch out for moving statues in the area of Shoreditch). The Weeping Angels seem most likely to be ‘real’ out of all the Doctor Who villains and monsters, which is what makes them that much more terrifying! When you see a statue of Horatio Nelson in Central London (Trafalgar Square) you think that you should not blink (and that there might be some Zygons near by) and the Weeping Angels have made graveyards and Churches places where you are now even more fearful. When it came to the Angels, you had to keep your eyes on the prize, otherwise you will be sent back in time to Hull (and that’s the last place in the universe you would want to be sent – those Weeping Angels are pure evil). Kathy Nightingale was transported to Hull in 1920 from London in 2007, as a result of not staring out those Angels, but apparently had a good life, despite those cruel Angels feeding on her potential energy.

The recent episode of Doctor Who (Series 8: Episode 8) called ‘Mummy on the Orient Express’ also provided the viewers with some scary moments as there was a killer Mummy which would even make Imhotep quake in his bandagers. The Doctor even referred back to one of his previous scary storylines when he asked the train killer “Are you my Mummy?” – which is an allusion to the World War II gasmask child from Series One with the 9th Doctor. Frank Skinner would most definitely like to put this particular menacing Mummy into Room 101, while at times, it was like watching a football match with it being Orient 1-0 Foxes (that would be Leyton Orient 1-0 Leicester City). The singer Foxes made her acting debut in this adventure, but it was ultimate Whovian ‘fan girl’ Frank Skinner who got the biggest shock when his character turned down the opportunity to be a full time companion. Series 8: Episode 7 had killer bacteria spiders in it, so that episode sent everyone scared of spiders (or the Moon – but that would just be Wallace and Gromit) leaping behind the sofa. However, if other people’s sofas are anything like mine there would be more spiders back there then on screen!

Overall, each series of Doctor Who provides at least one ‘scary’ episode or even a terrifying two-parter. Steven Moffat was the king at providing the darker Doctor tales when Russell T Davies was still in the head writer hotseat. But, Moffat is now the main man and all the episodes have those darker undertones to them – even Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is a harder Time Lord to travel with, as Clara Oswald has found out this series. Capaldi plays a villain in ‘The Musketeers’, while political witch-doctor Malcolm Tucker was hardly child-friendly. Also, those eyebrows and Scottish accent are pretty damn scary!

October 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
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Viewers have been catapulted ‘into darkness’ by new Doctor Peter Capaldi, which was particularly highlighted in episode 2 ‘Into the Dalek’. It was the first time the 12th Doctor came face-to-face, in fact he even came eye-to-eye, with his oldest and most deadly foes. However, it was different to any other Dalek storyline we have witnessed, as viewers (and the Doctor and Clara, of course) were taken on a journey through the insides of a damaged Dalek! Head writer Steven Moffat revealed on Doctor Who Extra that the original idea of going inside a Dalek was going to be used for a video game, but Moffat decided to keep hold of the idea for an episode – and are we glad he did!

Episode 2 of Series 8 made the Doctor think and it was where Clara met Danny Pink! The Doctor thought he could create a ‘good’ Dalek, but it was the Timelord’s dark thoughts about destruction that ultimately prevented this from happening. The audience was first introduced to new, recurring character Danny Pink in ‘Into the Dalek’, but it is episode 4, called ‘Listen’ (Listen out for the laughs in this one, amongst the creepiness), in which we discover more shades of Pink! The soldiers in the second episode were almost colour-coordinated, as it was revealed that fellow teacher of Clara, Danny Pink, was an ex-soldier (looks like Michael Gove has even implimated ‘Troops to Teachers’ in Doctor Who), while, one of the soldiers helping the Doctor and Clara against the Daleks was named Journey Blue. Blue was one of the only characters to survive the Journey into the Dalek, as her fellow soldiers were all exterminated by the antibodies. Her uncle was named Colonel Morgan Blue – although, it could have been better if Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had influenced the future that much that babies were named in their style, with Journey’s uncle instead being called ‘Light Blue’, like Kimye’s child is called North West!

Seeing the ‘original Daleks’ (by original I mean the 2005 reincarnation of the Skaro born beasts) at their deadliest again was rather pleasing, having been bombarded with new look Daleks in recent years, including rainbow coloured ones in World War II. However, this is probably not the first time we have seen a so-called ‘good Dalek’ as @FDseale put it on Twitter; “Nope so [no] such thing [as] a good Dalek. Aside from the one in Dalek. Or the one in Journey’s End. Or the one in Asylum of The Dalek[s] [sic]”. Even though none of the Daleks in these previous episodes were out-and-out good, neither was ‘Rusty’ in ‘Into the Dalek’, in fact, Rusty was probably less ‘good’ than some of the Daleks featured in these Doctor Who stories, as all that was different about Rusty is that he was a bit rusty as a result of poisonous gas leak messing up his insides and hard-drive! However, the Doctor did give this particular Dalek individuality by giving him the pet name Rusty (other Daleks have had names, like Dalek Sec) and in the end it was Rusty who saved the protagonists of this adventure by exterminating the enemy Daleks, but the Doctor did not want just one Dalek ally, he wanted all Daleks to change their ways (it is probably easier to get a leopard to change its spots). Overall, the Doctor’s hate of the Daleks made Rusty hate all Daleks, but prevented the Doctor from achieving his ultimate goal, you could say his promised land, a land without any evil Daleks, but Doctor Who just wouldn’t be Doctor Who without a Dalek out there being an enemy of the Doctor! For me, episode 2 was my favorite out of the first three of the Capaldi era, just about beating ‘Deep Breath’.

It also looks like the Doctor Who bosses and the BBC have come to a comprise with the fans by featuring ‘Doctor Who Extra’ on the Red button and the iPlayer. Doctor Who Extra is like a shortened down version of ‘Doctor Who Confidential’, which was controversially scrapped, despite popularity with many Whovians. It is not quite the 45 minutes which Confidential gave us, but it is still a good 10 minutes of behind the scenes fun and action! Doctor Who Extra is a bit like what Boxing Day is to Christmas – it is not the main event, but gives you that little bit extra to enjoy. All the top shows do it, especially the Saturday nighters, ‘The X Factor’ has ‘The Xtra Factor’, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ has ‘Britain’s Got More Talent’, while ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ has had weekday bonus shows hosted by Doctor Who fan Zoe Ball. Who doesn’t want to see an Extra 10 minutes of Who News on a Saturday night (or anytime if you are watching on iPlayer, please do not try and vote – sorry, wrong show!)

September 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
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From Granddaughters to Girlfriends, the Doctor has had his fair share of female companions in the TARDIS over the past 51 years! The new series of Doctor Who (Series 8, which started on 23rd August 2014) will allude to the first Doctor, where William Hurtnell’s first Doctor travelled through and space with his granddaughter, as there has been a promise of “no flirting” between Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald, as there is a greater age difference between Doctor and companion. Also, Capaldi is as old as Hurtnell was when he played the Doctor and the first Doctor travelled with teachers in his time box, like what Capaldi’s Time Lord incarnation will do in the current series. Steven Moffat has cast it that Clara could quite literally be the Doctor’s ‘carer’, as at 2000 years old you probably would need someone to take you to the TARDIS toilet, which is a reference to the Capaldi age debate! However, having an older gentleman play the Doctor makes it easier to envisage those ‘wise eyes’, which have seen so much pain and since Sir Bruce Forsyth has quit Strictly Come Dancing, the 2000 year old Doctor now takes the crown of being the oldest male on Saturday night TV! Capaldi recognises his age, but jokes at 56 years old, that he is way too young to play a 2000 year old Time Lord.

But back to the women in the show, there has been rumours the current female companion could be heading for the TARDIS exit door this Christmas, which Peter Capaldi seemed to deny on the BBC show ‘The One Show’, after there was an article in ‘The Mirror’ reporting Jenna Coleman’s departure. Although, on the Capaldi interview on ‘The One Show’ he even hinted she may not survive to Christmas, as he attempted to try and not give anything away relating to the future of Clara Oswald. The last long running female companion to exit the show was Karen Gillan, who played Amy Pond, and she went onto star in Marvel blockbuster ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ – so there could be big things on the horizon for Coleman if she does decide to quit the blue box (but she may want to swivel the going bald look)! However, Coleman has already featured in a Marvel movie, as she had a cameo role in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. When or if Coleman does go, it may take a bald move from head writer Steven Moffat to find a new female assistant to live up to the previous two of Amy Pond and Clara Oswald.

Since the series returned to our screens in 2005, Billie Piper went from playing Rose Tyler to being a call girl, while Freema Agyeman left her role as Martha Jones to be a judge in ‘Law and Order: UK’, with Catherine Tate going from Donna Noble to a teacher in ‘Big School’! The current relationship of Capaldi’s 12th Doctor and Coleman’s Clara could be the closest to the Tennant’s 10th Doctor and Donna Noble, as the 10th Doctor was looking for ‘a mate’ and ‘not to mate’ with Donna and Capaldi’s 12th Doctor is not looking ‘to mate’ with Clara – which is something that differs from Matt Smith’s Doctor, as even though the 11th Doctor was married to River Song, he clearing noticed Clara’s skirt ‘being too tight’. The 11th Doctor was more like a Harry Styles when it came to female travellers, but the 12th Doctor is more likely to be like a Louis Walsh, but his dark nature and ability ‘not to care’ will show a different side to the Doctor than what we have seen over the last few years – and change is not always a bad thing, unless you are attempting to change your phone company or trying to change the channel when Doctor Who is on, that is defiantly a bad thing!

Overall, female characters in Doctor Who used to be the Doctor’s family, with his granddaughter starting the trend for women TARDIS travellers in the 1960s, but in recent years the women in the Doctor’s life have not been ‘family’ as Phil Mitchell might say (or even Peter Capaldi might say these days, as language experts at the University of Glasgow reckon watching too much Eastenders is altering certain features of the Scottish accent, but this is my English Language and Linguistics university course talking and at least there will be something to connect London with Scotland if they do vote for independence). However, in Series 8 we will not be seeing the Doctor lock lips with every human female who catches his eye, which we maybe saw a bit too much of under the David Tennant and Matt Smith stewardship – but my final word will be about the impossible girl and how I believe it would be impossible for the Doctor Who bosses to let her go after only two years as Clara Oswald, even though we already know of the arrival of new character Danny Pink!

(I know I will sound like Richard Osman off of Pointless, but this is correct at the time of writing – with Jenna Coleman appearing on the ITV 10:30-12:30 show ‘This Morning’ on the 22nd August 2014 – the same day I finished writing and submitted this piece, plus there may have been an official BBC statement by the time this is available to read at WhovianNet).

Editorial written by Richard Lewis

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

“Am I a good man?” That is the question we are all face with in our lives (particularly I would assume men, unless a female is still confused about her gender when she goes through a mid-life crisis). Peter Capaldi’s Doctor seems to be faced with this pertinent question in the new series of Doctor Who as he continues his adventures through time and space! However, the Doctor has aged a bit since we last saw him and has a few more grey hairs – that could be to do with that fact that he is now 2000 years old! We can tell this from the recent BBC One trailer of Series 8, which was screened at half-time of the Germany vs. Argentina 2014 World Cup Final. Many a Whovian was waiting for Gary Lineker (the only person on TV who has more sticky-out ears than the 9th Doctor Christopher Eccleston) to reveal the trailer after sitting through an evening of football – which the Germans eventually won (maybe the Argentineans could of done with Winston Churchill and his Daleks, rather than Lionel Messi!)

The BBC trailers have slowly-but-surely revealed more and more about the upcoming series, but that first trailer they showed way back when was only about a second long and only revealed a shadow of Peter Capaldi in the TARDIS. Unfortunately, there are those who can not wait until the 23rd August 2014 and have already leaked bits of the new series. Leaks and spoilers are even more common and harder to prevent in 2014, with the intense usage of social media and the worldwide appeal of a show like Doctor Who, as the leaks have apparently come from America, according to the BBC.

However, amongst the controversy and leaky headlines, it should be a time to celebrate as Doctor Who will be returning very soon. It has been a long nine months of waiting (you could’ve had a baby in this time) with Matt Smith’s Doctor leaving our screens in December 2013 and now the new face of Capaldi returning to our little silver boxes (which are probably not bigger on the inside – only if it is the Queen’s Coronation – then they defiantly are, as they have too fit a woman inside) in August 2014. Although, it is not all change as Jenna Coleman (she has dropped the Louise since the last full series, though) continues as the Doctor’s assistant and it will now be Clara Oswald who has too deal with the aftermath of a Time-Lord regeneration! It seems like there may also be another TARDIS makeover in store, like there usually is when the Doctor changes faces. In my opinion, I still like the coral look that was used by Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, but it looks like the new TARDIS scene will match the mood of the new series, in terms of being much darker!

The Doctor has a lot to live up to after last year, as in 2013 there was the 50th Anniversary Episode of Doctor Who, however 2014 seems to be the year of the Scotsman, which new Doctor Peter Capaldi is, as this year sees the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow and there will also be the Scottish Independence vote in September. The trailers suggest that the new Scottish Doctor will come face-to-face with one of his oldest foes, as if I am not hearing things, then the voice of deadly Dalek creator Davros can be heard. I have been waiting for the return of Davros just as much as I have been wanting a return for the Master (see one of my previous articles – called ‘The Master Plan!’). Since Davros departed in 2010 it has been inevitable he would one day return – no Dalek can be completely ‘Exterminated’ as we have seen by the amount of times the Daleks have returned from the dead and the Doctor has defeated them! Cybermen are also set to return in Series 8 as Capaldi was seen filming with some Cybermen outside St Paul’s Cathedral in Central London.

Overall, it is exciting to see how a new actor will portray a ‘new Doctor’, but at the same time Matt Smith’s bow-tie and fez will be missed. Plus, it is not all change as we will still be able to see the development of the Clara Oswald character and see how she reacts to a new man! I say, roll on the 23rd August, so that we can legitimately find out about the new and old foes the Doctor will soon have to face, as we need something more to watch on Saturday evenings rather than just an episode of Tipping Point: Lucky Stars and Star Wars for the hundredth time!

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

History was made and witnessed in over 75 countries on Saturday 23th November 2013 at 7:50 pm (GMT) to celebrate the Doctor’s 50th birthday (he is actually over 1200 years old). The feature length episode included undeniable nods to the past, present and future of the life and times of the Doctor. One of the nods to the past occurs immediately in proceedings as the opening titles was in the antiquated style, which older viewers would have been accustomed to when the BBC show started in 1963. Much like the Doctor, the opening titles have embroiled a more technological savvy look over the years, but it is always nice to be nostalgic and see some black and white beauty back on our television screens!

Head writer Steven Moffat’s nods to the past were almost essential to make the whole feel of the 50th anniversary experience complete! It doesn’t take Sherlock to work out that the Doctor has had more faces than Simon Cowell and Barry Manilow combined, but unlike that iconic duo, the Doctor’s previous faces should be rightly celebrated and remembered. There were more Doctors own show than an episode of Holby City – in fact there were enough Doctors to make their own football team! However, there is one face that the Doctor would rather forget and that brings us on to the plot of ‘The Day of the Doctor’.

The voice we all know and love from the Sky adverts and as the Great Dragon in former BBC series ‘Merlin’ becomes the new ninth Doctor, as the epic episode explores the psych of veteran actor John Hurt as the ‘Warrior Doctor’. Known as the ‘Warrior Doctor’ for his part in the Great Time War, Hurt’s Doctor is faced with hardest decision anyone has experienced since Joey Essex did his GCSE’s! The iconic John Hurt is not alien to, well, aliens when it comes to delivering a performance in a science fiction role! This is of course in reference to the last time Hurt had an alien inside of him when he starred in the imaginatively titled film ‘Alien’ (if you haven’t seen it, – who hasn’t? –, then from that title you’ll never guess what it is about!)

One of the most memorable and talked about moments from the 50th anniversary episode was of an image of a version of the Doctor that has not even come to pass yet! There was a Gallifreyan giveaway as Peter Capaldi’s Doctor debuted in the episode, well his eyes did anyway! Like the eyes in George Orwell’s 1984 (symbolic in more ways than you can imagine), the shot of Capaldi’s eyes in some people’s eyes stole the show. The eyes of Capaldi gave a glimpse into the future of Doctor, which was perfect for this special episode as Moffat was able to include the past, present and most importantly the future of the Time Lord (it was like a Charles Dickens Christmas tale, except instead of Scrooge there was Zygons).

Enough retinal talk, as it is time to get back to actors of the 50th anniversary. Moffat is alluding to the actors when David Tennant’s Doctor says to Queen Elizabeth I, “I’m not English”. This is what Whovians may call an ‘Easter Egg’ (no chocolate was harmed in the making – there was so many so called ‘Easter Eggs’ I was expecting the Easter bunny to pop up at any moment), because it is an encoded piece of information, as Tennant is of course not English, but in fact Scottish! Another example of this season is when the on screen banter between Matt Smith and David Tennant is at its fullest, when Smith’s Doctor calls Tennant’s Doctor “Dick Van Dyke”. This could be again in reference to the fact that Tennant puts on an English accent when donning the role of the Doctor (only difference is Tennant’s English impression is a bit better than Van Dyke’s was – ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’!)

However, one of the most surprising aspects of the feature length episode was that fact it was Roseless – much like a Valentines Day for me! But it does make sense that Rose (Billie Piper) didn’t appear as she is tuck in a parallel universe and there was enough timey-wimey to be getting on with! Piper instead played the conscious of John Hurt’s Doctor, attempting to prevent him from pressing the ‘big red button’ that would end the Time War.

But to finish back with ‘The Day of the Doctor’ there is one scene that will last long in the memory and that scene is when Clara (Jenna Coleman) expresses the line to the Doctor, “there is an old man here to see you”. Then who walks in but the ‘caretaker’ of the National Gallery as 4th Doctor Tom Baker walks in for a heart-to-heart with Smith’s Doctor! His late arrival was almost foreshadowed by the ‘Tom Baker scarf’ which was seen earlier in the episode. A scarf which is as famous to Whovians now as it was almost 40 years ago! Finally, who can forget the final scene of the whole production when all the Doctors are lined up like they were action figures in a display at ‘Forbidden Planet’!

Editorial written by Richard Lewis

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

According to the online Oxford Dictionary the word ‘Master’ can be defined as ‘a person who has complete control of something (1.1)’ or as ‘a man in charge of an organization or group (2)’. However, The Master seen in ‘Doctor Who’ does not particularly match either of these definitions as, although, he is hungry for power, he is not usually in charge of an organization and he never has complete control, as the John Simm ‘Master’ was depicted as more insane rather than in control of his actions. It could be argued that he was in control of the country, as he pretended to be the UK Prime Minister for a while, but the name he has chosen for himself does not seem to match the definition. The name ‘Master’ might not fit the definition or personality of the Master, but some may argue the ‘Doctor’ does not dovetail with his definition. The Master himself may put forward the argument that for every life the Doctor saves, there are lives lost as a direct result of his actions.

However, it is usually the Doctor healing the hurt that the Master has caused for the people of Earth. Plus, every hero needs an enemy that matches them in every way, the Ying to their Yang. John Simm’s Master was a similar age and statue to, the then Doctor, David Tennant and if the Master was to return in the near future, which I believe will happen, he should match the Doctor he is facing. So, in the case of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, I would suggest the Master be played by Larry Lamb (Archie Mitchell in Eastenders and Saga adverts) as he has played a villainous, unhinged character before in Eastenders and to my knowledge has not appeared in Doctor Who before, so it would be a British actor who has not featured as another character in Doctor Who already. Sir Derek Jacobi played the role of the Master for a short spell, before regenerating into John Simm, so that would rule Jacobi out and he has moved onto to something even more evil than the Master – Estate Agents, as he provided the commentary for recent BBC2 documentary ‘Estate Agents: Under Offer’. Jacobi’s Master only became Vicious after discovering his Time Lord pocket watch, as before that he was the friendly Professor Yana (You Are Not Alone – before opening the pocket watch he might just of been named after a Michael Jackson song). Other, more mature, top British actors have also featured in recent Doctor Who storylines, such as Richard E Grant, so even though someone like Grant might make a ‘good’ Master, it would be more realistic if the role was given to other actor. Frank Skinner is also of a similar age to Capaldi and the Room 101 host has already been cast for series 8, but I doubt the comic and West Brom fan would be given such a major and iconic role!

There is also the option of taking a completely different rout and going for an actor who is much younger and the opposite of Capaldi’s Doctor. If it was to be a younger ‘Master’, an almost younger, jealous, brother version of the Doctor, then it would still have to be a quintessentially British baddie. I would also suggest a big name actor, who has not been in Doctor Who before – someone like Tom Hiddleston (played the villain Loki in both ‘Avengers Assemble’ and ‘Thor’) or Damien Molony (featured in BBC shows ‘Being Human’ and ‘Ripper Street’ and 2015 British film ‘Kill Your Friends’). It would not even be a bad idea to even have a female Master sooner or later, as even though Steven Moffat went with a male Doctor again, there were heavy rumors that the next Doctor was going to be a female before Capaldi was announced as Matt Smith’s successor. Plus, women make the best antagonists!

It was a shame that Matt Smith never had his own ‘Master’, even though it was Smith’s Christmas departure that makes the likely hood of the Master’s return greater (I’m hoping the Master will be soon saying something that Matt Smith will have to get used to hearing – I’ll be back!). The events of both the Christmas special and the BAFTA winning 50th anniversary special heavily suggest the Master will be back, as the events of those two episodes particularly suggest the Time Lords are back and Gallifrey is back from the depths of doom! Also, when we saw the Time Lords last was when David Tennant made his curtain call and John Simm’s Master returned for possibly the final time. It seems that where the Master goes, the Time Lords usually follow, mainly to sort out the mess he has created, like returning Barack Obama’s face back to normal. There has been Daleks and Cybermen returning to the series left, right and centre, so it is about time the Doctor faced a true challenge and had a family reunion with the Master – maybe the Master could be the holiday roommate from hell, as series 8 has been spotted filming in sunny Lanzarote!

Editorial written by Richard Lewis

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

It would seem that Pink is the new blue, as Danny Pink is set to join the adventures in that wonderful blue box. Although, slightly surprised by the announcement that Samuel Anderson, who plays Pink, will be joining the cast of Doctor Who, it is a tried and tested method, which at times has looked perfect over the last few years. A second companion brings their own feelings and story and also usually adds an extra dynamic to the already existing (typically female) companion. Citied examples could include how Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) developed the character of Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), and then went on to have a life and adventures of his own in the parallel universe (Doctor Who, Series 2, episode 6, 2006). Another major example could be the role of Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), and the relationship he then went onto to have with Amy Pond (Karen Gillan). To think that if Rory hadn’t come along for the ride in the TARDIS we would never have had River Song (Alex Kingston).

Characters such as Mickey or Rory can start off as almost the ‘joke act’, there solely for the Doctor’s entertainment, but they soon develop to well rounded characters, who may even turn out to be just as important when it comes to guarding the galaxy (missing Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond, after having her reappear for a cameo at Christmas, well don’t fear as she will seen on the big screen later this year in Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’).

The travelling companions of the Doctor should dovetail nicely, which shouldn’t be a problem for Clara and Danny, as he will be a ‘teacher friend/work colleague’ from the same school (Coal Hill School) as the elusive, impossible girl. Plus, both actors, in the form of Samuel Anderson (Danny Pink) and Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald) have both worked on a famous farm, as in past incarnations they both featured on the soap Emmerdale and were, in fact, thespian colleagues there as well. The fact that they will both be teachers is a, well placed and thought of, allusion by the head writer, Steven Moffat, referring back to the original ‘Doctor Who’ from way back in 1963, when the first Doctor, William Hartnelll, had two teachers (Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright) travelling with him. With the 50th anniversary still at the forefront of many a viewers mind, Moffat is going to draw on as many historical allusions to original Doctor Who episodes as he can. It also links with the Doctor’s first regeneration cycle coming full circle – which can even be observed by the similar age of both Peter Capaldi and William Hartnell, who are both the joint oldest actors to don the sonic screwdriver at the grand old age of 55.

Samuel Anderson might not be too shocked to experience a police box either (well, actually he might, considering he was not born in the 1960s) as he played a police officer while warming his cockles in Emmerdale. However, with the additional companion, it will make the Doctor, Clara and Danny the three Musketeers (sorry, wrong show) of the TARDIS. Anderson should be quite accustomed to time travel into the past as a result of his most famous role in the theatre production ‘The History Boys’.

I’m sure that Peter Capaldi does not need to be eased in with his undoubted experience of acting, but maybe the character of Danny Pink takes some of the spotlight away from him, as it would literally be the end of space and time if Capaldi could not live up to his predecessor (Matt Smith), and ends up being the time travelling equivalent of David Moyes. What can be for sure is that both Peter Capaldi and Samuel Anderson will be aiming to be The History Boys – by maybe giving Shakespeare or Van Gogh a flying visit. Hopefully, though, Danny Pink is not history after only one series, as ‘extra’ companions tend not to last to long, and if they do, they have to suffer quite a bit – think Roman Rory!

Overall, ‘extra’ companions can sometimes feel unnecessary, especially if there is already an existing chemistry between the Doctor and the ‘main’ companion, but in this case there is no previous chemistry between Capaldi’s Doctor and Clara, so an extra body in there to help Clara cope with the regeneration process can’t harm. Plus, as the Doctor might say on some weird, distant planet – three heads are better than two, just like for Time Lords, two hearts are better than one!

Editorial written by Richard Lewis

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