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April 24th, 2017
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final-uk-rating-for-the-pilot-revealed

The Series 10 premiere was watched by an official audience of 6.68 million in the UK, the final BARB rating has revealed.

A considerable rise from its initial overnight of 4.64 million, the consolidated figure also accounts for viewers who recorded the episode and watched it within the first 7 days of its transmission. It places Doctor Who as the tenth most watched programme of the week, and makes The Pilot the show’s second lowest rated premiere since its revival, including the mid-series openers.

  1. Rose (Series 1, 2005) – 10.81 million
  2. The Eleventh Hour (Series 5, 2010) – 10.8 million
  3. Deep Breath (Series 8, 2014) – 9.17 million
  4. Partners in Crime (Series 4, 2008) – 9.1 million
  5. The Impossible Astronaut (Series 6: Part 1, 2011) – 8.86 million
  6. New Earth (Series 2, 2006) – 8.62 million
  7. The Bells of Saint John (Series 7: Part 2, 2012) – 8.44 million
  8. Asylum of the Daleks (Series 7: Part 1, 2012) – 8.33 million
  9. Smith and Jones (Series 3, 2007) – 8.20 million
  10. Let’s Kill Hitler (Series 6: Part 2, 2011) – 8.1 million
  11. The Pilot (Series 10, 2017) – 6.68 million
  12. The Magician’s Apprentice (Series 9, 2015) – 6.54 million

“Welcome to paradise!” Keep smiling as you Rate & Discuss this week’s episode »

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.

March 16th, 2017
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
whats-your-favourite-steven-moffat-series-opener

With Steven Moffat’s final full series as showrunner now just under a month away, we’re going back to where it all began (for him, at least) as we embark on a mission to discover his best series opener to date.

It only feels like yesterday that the Eleventh Doctor was crash landing in Amelia Pond’s garden, but The Eleventh Hour – Steven’s first episode at the show’s helm – will mark its 7th anniversary next month. The episode kick started a whole new era, and it’s safe to say that the Moff’s series premieres have been getting bigger and better ever since.

Where do you even start when it comes to Steven’s series openers? Over the years they’ve taken us to the shores of Lake Silencio in Utah (thus beginning one of the most mind-bending story arcs in Who history), Victorian London and even inside the Asylum of the Daleks itself. Say what you like about Moffat, but he definitely knows how to kick off a new series with a bang, and he is about to do it one more time when the Doctor returns to our screens on 15th April in The Pilot, with his next companion, Bill Potts, in tow. Get in!

Before that, though, let’s get nostalgic as we take a fond look back at his past premieres. Which has been your favourite? Let us know by voting in the poll below (and for the sake of continuity, we’ve included the mid-series premieres too!) and explain your choice in the comments. The results will be revealed ahead of the premiere of Series 10, so get voting…

Sorry, but this poll is now closed.

The Doctor is BACK on 15th April – check out the BRAND NEW, full-length trailer…

February 28th, 2015
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series-9-filming-heads-to-tenerife

The Doctor Who production team have set up base in Tenerife where Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Michelle Gomez have been filming scenes for the brand new series.

The cast and crew have been spotted on location in Spain which is being used as one of the backdrops for Series 9’s two-part premiere, The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Hettie MacDonald. The opening adventure will feature the return of Missy who was last seen being shot by the Cyberman Brigadier in the Series 8 finale Death in Heaven.

Death has never stopped the Master before, though, and something tells us she’ll be back with an almighty vengeance when the series returns to our screens this autumn. Below is another behind the scenes image, released by the official Doctor Who Twitter, and they’ve also revealed this “sneak peek” video featuring a glimpse of Peter and Jenna in action…

This isn’t the first time Doctor Who has been shot in Tenerife. Filming also took place there for Asylum of the Daleks, A Town Called Mercy and, most recently, last year’s Kill the Moon. Sometimes Wales doesn’t always make the cut, apparently… not even the quarries!

The Doctor returns in The Magician’s Apprentice.. Click HERE for the latest news!

October 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
series-8-has-left-us-with-that-bit-extra

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...
rtd-vs-steven-moffat-a-tale-of-two-writers

Every Whovian has favourites; a favourite Doctor, a favourite companion, even a favourite sonic screwdriver. After all, a show spanning 51 years with 12 different leading men is bound to create different eras and categorise viewers, just take the classic ‘Who’s your Doctor?’ debate for instance. But, perhaps more important than the Doctor or companion is the show runner – the writer who moulds and shapes the characters we love and oversees the many adventures of the Doctor. And they’re no longer merely a name at the start and end of each episode, but instead they are at the forefront of all things ‘Who’. With this in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that one of the most persistent and divisive debates amongst fans concerns Russell T. Davies (2005-2010) and Steven Moffat (2010-present) in a ‘Who wrote it better?’ argument.

Trying to compare Russell T. Davies (hereafter RTD) with Steven Moffat is like trying to compare a Dalek with a Cyberman; both are timeless in the history of Doctor Who, both fulfil their purpose excellently but, pit them against each other, and eventually one will come out victorious. I feel the comparison between both writers must be handled on two different levels; they must be judged both on their individual writing ability and on their ability to manage and oversee a series of Doctor Who successfully.

So, how do you decide who you prefer? We’ll look at the latter point first. Fulfilling the role of Head Writer is entirely different to writing the occasional story; it comes with the pressure of managing other writers, making a series of episodes fit together cohesively and, ultimately, deciding the direction that the show will take under your reign, to name but a few of the responsibilities. It’s whilst considering how well both writers fulfil this role that my favourite became evident to me, and I realised Doctor Who show runners don’t come any better than RTD. I’m completely in love with the show under both writers and it would have been a lot harder to choose between the two had it not been for series 7, which sadly had me temporarily wishing for RTD’s return. Of course this is all down to personal taste but for me, this series was lacking in good quality, enriched scripts and character development, which all resulted in a rather underwhelming entrance for new companion Clara Oswald. Moffat’s episodes were, as usual, outstanding but a series needs more than just a good opener and finale, it needs good substance running through it, something that series 5 and 6 had in abundance which makes it all the more puzzling as to why Moffat didn’t sustain this throughout this series.

Something that was always existent in the RTD era was a clear plot line that was relatively easy to follow. I don’t want Doctor Who to be ‘dumbed down’, of course I want it to maintain an element of mystery, but an approach that Moffat seems to have developed recently is leaving gaps in stories which creates an element of confusion. For example, we’re increasingly thrown into already established relationships and expected to imagine the history that the Doctor may share with these characters as opposed to actually learning about it, such as Queen Nefertiti and John Riddell (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship) and Tasha Lem (The Time of the Doctor). As an audience, we feel unsure about what to make of them, which, for me, ultimately results in their insignificance. How can we as an audience invest in a character that we hardly know? I’m struggling to think of any characters in the RTD era that felt unfamiliar to me as that was something he was so unbelievably skilled at, making us invest in the simplest of characters because we felt as if we knew them, a philosophy that he appeared to have imposed on his ‘underwriters’. However, one thing that really worries me about Moffat’s leadership is his seemingly slipping standards regarding what constitutes a good script, judging by the stories he approved for filming (again, I’m talking specifically about series 7). Dinosaurs on a Spaceship seemed to rely solely on the exciting title and advanced CGI to impress viewers as the story was virtually non-existent, whereas Nightmare in Silver had scary Cybermen but failed to back them up, making use of cliché, stereotypical teenage lines such as ‘put me down I hate you’ (Angie) which was entirely ineffective and unrealistic.

I also feel the fundamental features of the Doctor’s character were slightly lost during this series which is something that should never happen. For instance, there’s the killing of Solomon in cold blood and the friendship between the Doctor and famous hunter John Riddell in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship which both seem completely out of character. That, paired with the Doctor’s unsympathetic response to the murder of Mr. Sweet and his disrespectful reaction to the victims of The Crimson Horror, creates an element of inconsistency in the character who has always shown such mercy, even to the worst of enemies. I find it hard to believe that the man who offered Davros mercy in Journey’s End would go against all his morals to get back at someone as relatively insignificant as Solomon. Of course, I’m all for the character of the Doctor developing and changing but the circumstances in which he went against his morals didn’t seem convincing enough. Although these episodes were not written by Moffat, the responsibility still lies with him. I might be wrong, but I wish Doctor Who was Steven Moffat’s sole priority and that he didn’t have commitments to another big BBC show so that he could perhaps dedicate a bit more time to re-drafting those poorer episodes.

On their individual writing ability, however, I would say the two are virtually inseparable. Both have the power to create alien worlds but do so with the element of humanity that Doctor Who is so famous for. In fact, Moffat may even have the edge here with his knack for creating terrifying monsters and complex plotlines that RTD simply doesn’t share (e.g. Melody Pond – WHO SAW THAT COMING?!). As writers, neither can be faulted; to name but a few, RTD’s triumphs include The Parting of the Ways, Doomsday, Midnight and the epic End of Time, whilst Steven’s credits include the infamous Blink, Asylum of the Daleks and the gas mask thriller The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. Both Russell and Steven just ‘get it’- the effortless interweaving of sci-fi with the romanticism and domesticity of humanity is what sets our show apart from every other of its kind and they seem to capture this wholly and completely. For example, alongside the terrifying insanity of the Daleks in the Asylum runs the heart-breaking truth about Amy and Rory’s relationship and her inability to have the children that they both so desperately want. Similarly, RTD’s Love and Monsters sees the Abzorbaloff as merely a backdrop to the blossoming love story between Elton and Ursula. As writers, they can make any situation feel familiar with common themes and emotions, from creating timeless monsters such as the Weeping Angels and The Flood, to unforgettable characters such as Rose Tyler and ‘the Ponds’.

I know it may be hard to believe after reading this, but I do in fact love Steven Moffat as a writer and it’s a love that’s increasing with every new episode of series 8. The good thing about being a Whovian is having different opinions and expressing those opinions with the common goal of wanting Doctor Who to be the best it can be. My favourite show runner is Russell. T. Davies, yes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the show under any other writer. Every Whovian has a favourite and there can be only one – RTD is mine, who is yours?

September 1st, 2014
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beginnings

Season premieres are always exciting. It means your favorite shows and characters have returned for more adventures and stories. By the time this is posted the eighth season of Doctor Who will have started, and Peter Capaldi will officially be the twelfth Doctor. So in honor of that, lets take a look at some previous season premieres and how they set us up for what was to come.

“Rose” sets up not only the first season but the entire new series. Since this is episode one, season one we are introduced to The Doctor himself and his new companion Rose. We already see Rose and Mickey drifting apart, which will be a dynamic throughout the season. In no time at all, Rose is infatuated with this mysterious Doctor, who saved her life. In one scene, Rose visits a man who is an ‘expert’ on the Doctor. This scene is a sort of history lesson for new Whovians (and a reminder for returning ones!) – we see pictures of him across time, showing us his Time Lord aging and time travel abilities. Later we even learn what TARDIS stands for. It sets up the entire show, how the Doctor is “here to help” and his constant defense of Earth and humanity. Already Rose is showing her strength, in her easy acceptance of the doctor, and her willingness to fight. Already we see Mickey’s distrust of the Doctor – “He’s an alien! He’s a thing!”

Season two brings us our first Christmas special, The Christmas Invasion, and the first regenerated Doctor of the new series – the beloved David Tennant. Ten spends a lot of his time in this episode in bed, so we don’t get our glimpse of who his Doctor is until the end, when he stands up to the Sycorax. We are introduced to Tennants more boistrous and sarcastic Doctor for the next three seasons. And though at the time we didn’t know it, Tens cut off hand will come back to play a large role much later on. For some Whovians, this was the first regeneration process they witnessed.

When season three rolls around, we are introduced to Martha as the companion in “Smith and Jones.” She’ll be a doctor along side the Doctor. Martha already naturally likes to help people; what better quality is there for a companion? We see how smart Martha is. “Are we trespassing on the moon?” she already is thinking like a traveller of time and space, critically thinking about the world around her and the cultures she’s encountering. The one thing about this episode that sets up the story for the season is the mention of “Mr. Saxon” at the end, alluding to the Master’s return.

Now it’s season four and Donna officially becomes the Doctor’s companion. Donna has continued to search out odd events in the hopes of finding The Doctor again. Eventually, researching the Adipose leads her to Ten and one of the funniest scenes of the entire show is played out when they discover each other across the room. This sets up their silly but heartfelt relationship, and the odd adventures they’ll have. If one looks closely enough, one can spot ATMOS stickers on the cars in the background (pay attention when the cab driver tries to pick up Stacey Campbell) Which of course alludes to “The Sontaran Strategam”/”The Poison Sky” two parter. Ahh foreshadowing!

Then onto the introduction of season five and my Doctor, Matt Smith! We’re introduced to my favorite companions Amy and Rory, and are set up for the very fairy tale feel and story of the episodes to come. It’s fitting that Eleven first encounters Amy as a child upon regeneration as he is so childlike himself – and indeed, even after growing up Amy herself remains a bit childish (but in the very best of ways), and their relationship is youthful and fun throughout Elevens stint. Amelia Pond, upon meeting the Doctor, is not scared and is in fact rather sassy, which is something it seems is another quality a great companion should have, and is something she never outgrows. Only a child who prays to Santa on Easter would grow up to be a companion. This particular season premiere, as well as the season to follow, and Matt Smith’s Doctor, has a lot of whimsy, which is what I love about it. When Eleven stands up to the Atraxi at the end and says “Hello. I’m the Doctor. Basically. Run.” we are set up for the warrior his Doctor will become.

The season six premiere, The Impossible Astronaut, is the beginning of our Warrior Doctor and one of my favorite storylines. Amy, Rory, River and even a Doctor from the past is invited by the Doctor of the future to meet up in Utah, for what ultimately will be the Doctor’s “death” Amy even says, after River (as the astronaut, though this is still unknown at this point) shoots the Doctor: “Maybe it’s a clone or robot or something,” foreshadowing the truth of the season finale. This is one season premiere that sets up not just the feel of the season but the actual storyline as well. Another foreshadowing line that you’d miss if you weren’t paying attention is the Doctor telling Amy and Rory to “go make babies!” Oh if he only knew! Later, Amy will confess to the Doctor that she’s pregnant. All in set up for the season to come, and the Doctors developing “family”.

Finally, we are brought to season seven and the Asylum of the Daleks. This is where we meet Clara for the first time. She, like Donna, does not become the companion right away; this is simply her introduction. “Run you clever boy and remember me,” sets up Clara’s half of the season later on for the story of the Impossible Girl. “I don’t know where I am,” comes into play as well, mostly in The Name of the Doctor when she splits into the other Clara’s and she’s inside the Doctors timeline.

As for season eight? Well. It’s only just beginning!

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

OK, Doctor Who: Legacy is super fun to play. Not gonna talk about that much; the gameplay is simple enough, doesn’t need a lot of explanation. Match rows, build up power, hit the bad guys, advance. But this addictive game is also crammed full of inside jokes, references, heart, and insight, the exactly perfect bait for a Whovian. Seriously, you guys, we’ve got:

Companions who are unexpectedly awesome. We collect a companion like Amy or Clara and it’s no surprise of course. Only this is Doctor Who: Legacy. So we have Bitey the Cybermat. And Stormageddon, and Handles. Spoonhead and Flesh Doctors, young and old Canton, young and old Amy, fighting together! Ianto and Jack! Oods! Sarah Jane Smith! There are literally dozens of companions to help the Doctor save the Universe, some obvious, some obscure, each with their own contribution to make. We build their strength and endurance to higher and higher levels as we play.

These collectible companions have a special ability that is specific to their characters. For example, Clara’s special ability is to heal, just like she healed the Doctor after he was blasted with loss. Sassy River Song converts blue gems (Eleven’s colour) into her own red gems, just, you know, because she’s River Song. We have added a Dalek to our allies. A Dalek?! It’s Oswin Oswald in there, failing at soufflé, but increasing Eleven’s strength while she does. Rory heals because he’s a nurse, Vincent resets the game board because of how he sees the world… It’s all so wonderfully familiar, so… right.

The Doctor himself appears in several of his incarnations and we get to choose our favourite for each level (or episode) when we play. Will it be Sixie, with special ability Cavalier? Or Two, with his, I Don’t Like It. Nine offers Air From My Lungs. Grinning yet? The War Doctor’s ability is named No More. The Doctor’s abilities range from superhuman healing to stunning an enemy for up to four turns to changing gems from one colour to another to dealing a devastating hit to the enemy.

AMY: Okay, so we’ve basically run up the inside of a chimney, yeah? So what if the gravity fails?
DOCTOR: I’ve thought about that.
AMY: And?
DOCTOR: And we’ll all plunge to our deaths. See? I’ve thought about it. The security protocols are still live. There’s no way to override them. It’s impossible.
RIVER: How impossible?
DOCTOR: Two minutes.

- Flesh and Stone, 2010

Very, very often during his adventures, the Doctor faces a scenario where that extra two minutes is critical, where two minutes means the difference between annihilation and salvation. In Legacy, for the Doctor ‘s special ability only, you can use it as soon as it’s charged… Or you can stall, give the Doctor the extra two minutes he needs, dig in for a few more turns. And if you can hold off just that tiny bit longer, his ability’s power doubles. How many times have we seen the Doctor frantically wiring a solution, concocting an antidote, executing a plan, counting on those two minutes? Legacy gets it. There’s this, too: You can’t build the Doctor’s strength and endurance to higher and higher levels as we play–because his level is calculated by his team. His companions make him stronger, and the better they are, the better he is. Way to be, Legacy! Very satisfying.

In the meantime we’re navigating the Asylum of the Daleks. We’re fighting Angels in Manhattan and we’re traveling to Trenzalore. During all of this we face time distortions that make The Bells of Saint John interrupt Season Six, for example. We’re battling Cybermen, Daleks, Tocolofane, Dinosaurs, Weeping Angels… Many with their own, evil version of special abilities.

The key in this game is to never, ever give up, and never give in. Sound familiar? Just when we’re at our lowest, when Winston is stunned and the TARDIS (yes, of course she’s a character, I told you, this is LEGACY) won’t dematerialize and K-9’s low on batteries, a plan will unfold in your mind… The pieces will move on the board and you will not only survive (love it when that happens), but you will finish off those Sontarans and move on to the next level.

Levels of Legacy are accompanied by something else Whovians covet: A story. The levels of the game are like episodes of the show, complete with story arc and cliff-hangers. The Doctor and his team gather allies, defeat enemies, gain strength and intelligence, all in order to progress through the story. What’s the story about you ask? Spoilers…

As with most matters Whovian, we fans hold no small amount of influence with the Legacy team at Tiny Rebel Games. They not only accept suggestions from fans–they invite suggestions from fans! They encourage and consider and even appreciate suggestions from fans! When Jack Harkness was released into the Legacy universe, he had brown eyes. For about an hour. Now they’re blue. That’s how it’s done, Legacy! Details, everyone knows, are crucial to a believable Universe.

More addictive than Vraxoin, with gameplay as urgent and engaging as the most exciting episode, employing tactics that would make BBC producers proud, and set in a Universe where we all feel at home, I give you Doctor Who: Legacy, ladies and gentlemen! An ordinary game with extraordinary heart, crafted especially for us.

Editorial written by Dennie Kuhn

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

Is The Doctor a good role model? Most of Doctor Who’s younger audience watches the new series from 2005 to current day. So the doctors in seasons one through seven have the most impact on kids today. Is The Doctor a good role model for teenagers who are about to make important life decisions? To answer that question we’ll have to take a look at how the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctor dealt with the challenges they faced in each season.

In the first episode of the new series “Rose”, we are first introduced to The Ninth Doctor when he risks his own life to save Rose from evil plastic, yay! Well maybe not yay. For the rest of the episode he pushes Rose away when she is only trying to help him. In the end he does open up and ask her to come with him, but takes her away from her family and boyfriend. The rest of season one involves him almost killing Rose in the distant future, almost killing Rose in the distant past, almost killing Rose in modern day, and almost killing Rose in front of herself as an infant. At this point it looks bad for The Doctor. Well, that is until you look at the fact that during all of Season One, he does nothing but help people. He risks his life to save others in almost every episode. In “Father’s” day he jumps in front of a group of people to save them even though he risks his own life in the process. He also risks his life again in “The Parting of Ways” when he sends Rose away on the Tardis to attempt to protect future Earth from the Daleks. He also saves people in pretty much every episode. Although The Doctor does almost kill Rose in every episode of season one. He always does the right thing, and even ends up dying to save Rose. The Ninth Doctor is definitely a good role model. In my personal grading scale, I give him a 9/10 on his role model quality.

This is where things get a bit more complicated. The Tenth Doctor was born out of the act of selflessness, but does that trait carry on with him during his tenth incarnation? Season two was full of love, happiness, and victorious triumphs. Well except for the fact that The Doctor met an old companion who traveled with him for a huge part of her life, and had thought for over twenty years that he was dead. What did he do? He pretended that had no idea who she was. Well, on his defense it was Sarah Jane. She was bound to figure out it was him eventually. She traveled with him for three years. The Doctor also ditched Rose to go and party in renaissance France for over 5 hours. All-in-all during series two The Doctor was a decent role model. I give him a 7/10 on role model quality.

This is where things turned bad. Rose is gone so let’s ruin Martha’s whole experience on the Tardis, and eventually make her leave. Season three is a bit painful to watch. In almost every episode The Doctor starts sulking because Rose is gone. Martha is one of the most brilliant companions he’s ever had, and he pushed her away. In this season he did save people, and help solve problems no one else could, but that doesn’t make up for the way he treated Martha. The Tenth Doctor was a pretty bad role model in season three, but he still taught the younger audience that you should always do the right thing, and don’t forget those that you loved. I give The Doctor season three gets a 4/10 on his role model quality. Yes, in my opinion he treated her that bad.

It’s time for Donna! Everybody loves Donna. She is Sassy, funny, and brings The Doctor out of his Rose depression. In this season he causes Pompeii’s volcano explosion to happen, but that’s just about the worst thing he did, and that was to save all of mankind and possibly the Universe. This season is all about saving those who need you the most, saving people even though they weren’t so nice to you, and of course an amazing friendship! The Doctor also finds a way to literally “save” his future wife. In the end he does what is best for Donna even though she doesn’t like it. He also does what is best for Rose even though neither of them like it. Basically The Doctor was a great Role Model in Season Four. I give him a 10/10 on his role model quality.

Season Four specials were a bit of a different story. His actions like the “Time Lord victorious” had good intents, but ended up being a failure. “The Waters of Mars” over all was a pretty depressing episode. Not to mention it was kind of scary. The Doctor did try to save everyone, so he does get some points for that. Season four specials were basically The Doctor trying not to die. Spoilers, he dies. In the end he ends up once again sacrificing himself for someone he cares about. He has a horrible attitude while doing though. Instead of saying “Wilfred, you are my friend of course I’ll save you!” he’s screams “I can do so much more!” and has a bit of a temper tantrum. After that he tells Wilfred that “it’s an honor to die for him”, but that doesn’t make up for his temper tantrum. In the end he helped all of his companions he had during his tenth incarnation. He even ended up saving some of their lives. The Doctor was a pretty good role model in season four specials, but he was also really depressing. The Doctor in season four specials gets an 8.5/10. He was still a good role model, but not quite as good as season four. In all the Tenth Doctor gets a 7.5/10. He was a decent role model, but far from the best.

Season Five started off with The Eleventh Doctor telling a little girl he’d be back in five minutes, then leaving for twelve whole years. He then says he’ll be right back and returns another whole two years later. Oh, and let’s not forget when he told his companion’s fiancé that he kissed her. He then let her fiancé get wiped out of existence. Poor Rory. In the end of the season he once again sacrificed himself for his companions and future wife. If Amy didn’t remember him then he would have had never existed. Like usual in season five The Doctor saved tons of people, and even a star whale. He also attempted to change Vincent Van Gogh’s future by showing him how much people will love him one day. “Vincent and The Doctor” was one of the most emotional episodes of New Who. The Eleventh Doctor did have some moments in Season Five where you may think he’s a really bad role model, but he truly was a wonderful person that everyone should strive to be. He put himself first, and tried to change history just to save Vincent’s life. I give The Doctor in season five a 9/10 on his role model quality.

Season Six starts out with “A Christmas Carol” this is personally one of my favorite episodes. In this episode The Doctor travels back in time every year on Christmas to help make an old man’s life better. He also saves 4,000 people from dying in a space liner crash. In this season The Doctor takes Rory and Amy back to Earth to save them before they are end up killed while traveling with him. He also makes sure to check up on one old friend, Craig, before it’s too late. There are not many points in Season Six when The Doctor is a bad influence. In this season he pretty much always does the right thing. The Doctor in season six gets a 9.5/10 on his role model quality.

Last but not least, we have season seven. Part A of season seven was short, yet heart breaking for some viewers. In these five episodes The Doctor of course tries to always do the right thing and help everyone. Except, in the first episode of the season, “Asylum of The Daleks”, when he finds out that the girl who helped him was really a Dalek. Instead of saving her he just left her to die. I’m not saying that Oswin should have become a companion, but he at least could have brought her to safety before the planet exploded. He also ends up ditching Amy and Rory in “Power of Three” when he has to leave them on their own just because he can’t stand to be in one place for too long. He’s like the universe’s oldest three year old. Things go rapidly downhill after “The Angels Take Manhattan”. After Amy and Rory were sent to a time The Doctor couldn’t reach he became depressed for a hundred or so years. He ended up making his friends go out of their ways just to help him. Luckily a girl named Clara gets him out of his slump before she sadly dies. It turns out that there is another Clara in the future! In the second part of season seven The Doctor and Clara travel space and time together. The save tons of people together and even take the kids that Clara is babysitting on the best field trip ever. They do almost get killed, but they got to fly in an antigravity ride. I would almost die any day if it meant I could go on an antigravity ride in the middle of a giant amusement park. In the end, The Eleventh Doctor spends what he thinks is the last 600 years of his last life protecting a small town called Trenzalore. He does end up being kind of rude to Clara, but it was for her benefit. If she has stayed with him she would have died, and if he hadn’t stayed then a whole town would have died. The Doctor was a bit of a bad role model towards the middle of season seven, but he did the right thing in the end. The Doctor in season seven gets an 8.5/10 on his role model quality.

So is he a good or bad role model? If you take the average of all of my personal ratings I gave him he gets a (drumroll please) 9.35/10! That’s would equal an A on a school grading scale. Based on how The Doctor acted in seasons one through seven, I would say that he is a good role model. He does have some scenes where he could be considered a bad influence, but in all he is a pretty good role model. He almost always does the right thing and he always puts his friends first. I believe that if we all make The Doctor our role model that the world would be a better place.

Editorial written by Nicole Gormey

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

The Doctor and the Daleks have been enemies for centuries, and these hate-filled cans of mutant supremacy are as recognizable an icon as the TARDIS herself.  This is partly because Daleks are polar opposites of our hero—and you know what they say about opposites attracting.  Throughout time and space, the Doctor and his most hated enemies cross paths again and again, because they are destined to do battle forever, like darkness and light, cruelty and kindness, Microsoft and Apple.  As the Doctor has evolved (can you imagine Jon Pertwee asserting that “Bow ties are cool?” OK, actually so can I), so has his relationship with the Daleks.  To the Daleks, it’s all business:  Extermination of inferior (ie not Dalek) species and universal domination. For a long while, it was all business to the Doctor as well:  Stopping or generally interfering in the Daleks’ business.

But then, something changed.
There are two types of Dalek story:
1. The Daleks have a plan.  They have a very good plan, usually involving invasion of some sort, and the Oncoming Storm interferes again.
2. The Daleks do something so horrible, so reprehensible, so evil, that the Doctor takes it personally and *stuff* goes down.
a) This horrible, reprehensible, evil action is meant to be taken personally.

The Plan type of Dalek story is mostly fun and dominated the classic years.  It’s scary (The Daleks, 1963) or thrilling (The Dalek Invasion of Earth, 1964), (The Chase, 1965) or heartsbreaking (The Daleks’ Master Plan, 1965-1966). The Daleks are the villain we love to hate.  Their affinity for slavery (The Power of the Daleks, 1966) is repugnant and their ruthless will to dominate or exterminate (every episode ever) is offensive.  We root against the Daleks and their single-minded intolerance with aplomb.  And our Doctor always wins.  The Day of the Daleks (1972) was short because our hero did not give up, he never does, and it’s not necessarily the Daleks themselves he is fighting against as much as all they represent.

From Genesis of the Daleks (1975):
“Do I have the right? Simply touch one wire against the other and that’s it. The Daleks cease to exist. Hundreds of millions of people, thousands of generations can live without fear, in peace, and never even know the word Dalek.  But if I kill, wipe out a whole intelligent lifeform, then I become like them. I’d be no better than the Daleks.” – The Doctor

Some encounters are frothy (Destiny of the Daleks, 1979) or nostalgic (Remembrance of the Daleks, 1988) or just plain creepy (Revelation of the Daleks, 1985), but it’s okay because we know he’s going to be all right, even if Tegan did just scamper off on an appalled whim (Resurrection of the Daleks, 1984).

The Personal Attack type of Dalek story is not fun.  It’s terrifying and heartsbreaking.  When he reappears after a long absence, the ninth incarnation of the Doctor no longer views the Dalek simply as a galactic menace to all, a force to be opposed—he hates them.  Truly, truly despises them.  We first see this in “Dalek” in 2005; the lone Dalek has no master plan; it’s helpless, in pain, alone, and this is the Doctor’s reaction:

“I know what should happen. I know what you deserve. Exterminate!”

“Why don’t you finish the job, and make the Daleks extinct? Rid the universe of your filth! Why don’t you just die?”   Suddenly, we know—we know—that if he had another chance to touch those two wires together, he would do it.

It’s different now… it’s personal.  What happened?  What changed?  What has happened to our Doctor?  And then:   “I’ve got to do this; I’ve got to end it. The Daleks destroyed my home, my people. I’ve got nothing left.”

Ah.  The Doctor battled the Daleks many times in the old days and he saved not only the Earth, but hundreds of other planets from their machinations as well.  Although always a grim experience, never were the stakes higher than during the Time War.  Worst of all, most terrible, is what he was forced to do to truly and finally defeat them.  His revulsion and rage at the Dalek’s reappearance is powered by ultimate pain and a horrific realization that it was all in vain.

The Doctor started fighting the Daleks because of their atrocities, but he started hating them when he realized he would never be able to truly and finally defeat them, even with the ultimate sacrifice; that his victories over them would always come at great personal loss (think Doomsday, 2006).  No personal loss was greater than Gallifrey and they came… back… anyway.  This is the turning, when indignation on behalf of the cosmos takes a back seat to pure, unadulterated hatred.  The Doctor knows what the Daleks have twisted in him, he recognizes their effect on his psyche, and that makes him hate them even more.  “I’m gonna save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet, and then I’m gonna save the Earth, and then – just to finish you off – I’m gonna wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky! (Bad Wolf, 2005).

They’ve been there since his beginning and he was present at theirs.   Although Daleks never deviate from their mission, they have affected cataclysmic change in our hero.  They are the darkness to his light, the cruelty to his kindness, and so they have become more than despotic tin cans over the last fifty years.  This, more than any other reason, is why the Daleks remain the Doctor’s most iconic adversary.

“Prime Minister: It is offensive to us to extinguish such divine hatred.
The Doctor: Offensive?
Prime Minister: Does it surprise you to know that Daleks have a concept of beauty?
The Doctor: I thought you’d run out of ways to make me sick. But hello again. You think hatred is beautiful?
Prime Minister:  Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you.”

– Asylum of the Daleks, 2012

Editorial written by Dennie Kuhn

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