We’re now officially 9 weeks away from the arrival of Series 10 of Doctor Who, which will officially kick off on BBC One on Saturday 15th April 2017.
That’s the first – if not the most important – thing we know about it; it’s air date, which the BBC has announced a lot earlier than usual to ensure that anticipation can reach an all time high as we eagerly await the Time Lord’s momentous return. It makes sense, really, seeing as he’s only appeared on our screen once in the last 14 months (not including his cameo in Class), so it’s about time he was back for good.
Capaldi’s comeback will be bittersweet this time around, of course, as it’s been announced that he’ll be handing over the reigns to the TARDIS in this year’s Christmas Special. Series 10 will be our last chance to enjoy a full series of his angry eyebrows, but you’ll be happy to hear that it’s already shaping up to be one of the best string of adventures yet. Here’s why…
Same Doctor, new companion!
It’s hard to remember a time when Pearl Mackie wasn’t being described as the “incoming companion”, and when Series 10 finally hits our screens on 15th April, it will nearly have been a whole year since her announcement during the FA Cup semi-final (and we’re still not over how random that whole thing was!).
It feels like we know her so well already, though, owing to the fact that she was introduced to us in the form of a specially recorded scene, and the first Series 10 trailer reformed that she’s in for one hell of a ride. She’s cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in. Oh, and she serves chips. Bill Potts is ready. Are you?
All good things must come to an end
And Doctor Who fans know that better than most. We’ve already mentioned that Peter will be handing over the keys to the TARDIS this December (because nothing says festive spirit like getting your heart ripped to pieces on Christmas Day…) and, for the sake of our own emotional stability, we won’t bring it up again. Probably.
Peter won’t be the only one on his way out this yuletide season, though, as Steven Moffat will also be putting his unique creative stamp on the Whoniverse for the last time.
The 2017 Christmas Special will be his final episode as head writer and showrunner, and a little bird (ok, it was the raven that killed Clara – he’s actually quite nice, when you get to know him…) told us that he’s got some pretty big stuff planned for his final series.
Looking at everything he’s done to the series during his tenure thus far, we would expect nothing less. Bring it on!
Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer…
Part of the unequivocal joy of watching each new series of Doctor Who is meeting the menagerie of malevolent monsters that the universe has to offer, and Steven has never been one to do this by halves.
His imagination (which, quite obviously, has no bounds) has plucked up a host of formidable foes over the year and this looks set to continue in Series 10 as the Doctor and Bill will be coming face to face with some of the darkest forces that the show has ever seen. Unless they put it on at 6:30pm again.
Seriously, though, if tabloid reports are to be believed, a Thames-dwelling snake monster, giant woodlice and killer robots with emoji faces are just some of the bodacious baddies that our honourable heroes will be encountering in the new series. By the sounds of it, they’ll have an awful lot of running to do. Well, duh…
…especially the old ones!
Because the past is never out of sight for too long when the Doctor is concerned. It won’t just be new foes that will be doing their best to send us screaming behind the sofa in Series 10, as we’ll be reunited with some old ones, too!
As confirmed in Friends from the Future, the Daleks will be back ‘n’ bad at some point or another (but at this stage, they’re basically a given), and it’s just been confirmed that the Ice Warriors will also be making a comeback for the first time since their original NuWho debut back in Series 7.
And then, of course, there’s Missy. The Time Lady we all love to hate has once again set her sights on destroying the Doctor’s life, and seeing as this is the Twelfth Doctor’s final series (damn, we brought it up again – sorry!), the chance that she may/may not be playing a part in his impending regeneration is a fact that leaves us feeling particularly uneasy, to say the least. Only time will tell, of course. It always does…
And it’s just as exciting behind the camera…
With the Doctor’s 2017 on screen shenanigans shaping up to the biggest and most explosive to date, it seems that Steven Moffat has been pulling out all the stops behind the scenes, too. Well, he was never going to go out quietly, was he?
Things are looking very exciting indeed in the writing department, with regular contributors such as Mark Gatiss, Toby Whithouse and Jamie Mathieson all confirmed to be returning. Fresh from killing Clara in Series 9, Sarah Dollard will also be back to pen another adventure, while Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Mike Bartlett have also put pen to paper to help us see the universe anew. Classic and NuWho are also set to collide in a way never seen; Rona Munro, who wrote the 1989 serial Survival, has returned to write an episode of Series 10.
Originally released in 2013, the indie romcom stars the Amy Pond actress as Jane Lockhart, a talented writer who becomes too happy to complete her latest novel. When her publisher embarks on an ill-fated campaign to save her from her bout of writer’s block, their relationship is destined to become much more than professional. It was written by David Solomons and directed by John McKay.
The movie is now available to purchase for £3.99 in a special bundle which also includes an array of interviews, deleted scenes, a making of documentary and more. You can check out an exclusive BTS clip in which Karen attempts to get to grips with a plant pot, below. Duck!
In addition, We are Colony are hosting two great competitions including the chance to win a limited edition press book of the film signed by Karen Gillan and a necklace, handmade in Scotland by designed Bonnie Bling. Click here to find out how to enter, and enjoy the film!
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How many sleeps till Christmas? So the countdown begins, but are you counting down to your Christmas dinner or the Doctor Who Christmas special. For me it’s a bit of both, however it’s not Christmas without the usual alien invasion and festive fun that the Doctor brings. With a brilliant amount of festive adventures to choose from, I am struggling to pick a favourite, but one does stand out. The Runaway Bride isn’t exactly festive but it is very fun and brought a lot of joy on Christmas Day.
The Runaway Bride is Donna Noble’s first appearance in Doctor Who, played by the brilliant Catherine Tate. She was first introduced at the end of series two, just after the heartbreaking scene at Bad Wolf Bay. A bride mysteriously appears in the Tardis and, as ever, it is up to the Doctor to discover how she got there and why. Donna is transported to the Tardis on Christmas Eve, her wedding day. This is one of the tenuous links that make the episode Christmasy, “”How come you’re getting married on Christmas Eve?” “Can’t bear it. I hate Christmas”" (The Doctor and Donna, Christmas special series three). The only other link that really makes this episode festive, is the Empress of the Racnoss, has a star shaped spaceship. When the spaceship descends on London a little girl says, “It’s Christmas”. Again it’s quite a small link to the time of year and in theory this episode could have featured at any point of time.
In comparison to maybe a slightly more festive episode, The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, is very Christmasy. We have a two different Christmases visited by the Doctor, around the same family. We have the whole family feeling that Christmas brings and the episode is mainly based around bringing a family back together. This episode has more Christmas in it than the Runaway Bride, but for me, the Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe didn’t have me laughing as much as the Runaway Bride did. In the Runaway Bride, we did have the sad moment for example, when Donna picks up Rose’s jacket when she’s in the Tardis, “”She’s gone.” “Gone where.” “I lost her”" (Donna and the Doctor). But other than those few occasions where we are reminded of what the Doctor has just lost, it’s a pretty fun episode.
As a lover of 11, I feel like I can’t discuss Christmas episodes without mentioning The Time of the Doctor. I am still a little bit scared from that episode. Both me and my sister sat there on Christmas Day crying and my mum said, “it’s Christmas, you’re not meant to be crying!” For me that basically sums up that Christmas special. It had that beautiful Christmas feel to it with the snow and beauty of Trenzalore, but having Amy Pond appear at the end with the beautiful, “Raggedy man, goodnight” (Amy Pond) it broke my heart. It is a massive contrast to the Runaway Bride, with its full on alien invasion, star spaceship Christmas to the sadness, for me, of watching a beloved character regenerate, just puts them on opposite ends of the scale.
Comparing the Runaway Bride to David Tennant’s first Christmas special, the Christmas Invasion, again is quite hard to do due to the lacking part of the Doctor. However we do have another lap over of characters, with the return of the pilot fish robot Santas. This time they are under the control of the Emperor of the Racknos. She uses them to bring Donna to her in the underground Torchwood bunker. Most memorably from the scene between the Doctor and Donna in the taxi, “”listen to me. You’ve got to jump!” “I’m not jumping on the motorway” whatever that thing is, it needs you. And whatever it needs you for, it’s not good! Now, come on!” “I’m in my wedding dress!” “Yes, you look lovely. Come one!” (The Doctor and Donna). For me the children in the back of the car that are cheering on the Doctor, kind of make the scene. If I was in their position, I would probably have done the same. When I was sat there on Christmas day first watching this episode, I cheered a little bit when Donna finally made the jump and landed safely in the Tardis.
At the end of the episode we see the Doctor say good bye to Donna. In the typical Doctor and Donna style, it is very untraditional, “”Doctor! Doctor!” “Blimey, you can shout.” “Am I ever going to see you again?” “If I’m lucky”" (Donna and the Doctor). So it all comes together in true Christmas spirit, with a happy ending, Donna deciding to go and see the world, inspired by the Doctor and his life and the Doctor back to the same old life in the Tardis.
Jumping forward slightly to an unrelated note of this years Christmas special, with the few trailers that have been released for Peter Capaldi’s first Christmas special, I think it’s going to be a good one, and possibly the most festive one yet, with an appearance made by Santa himself, played by the brilliant Nick Frost. I don’t really know what this episode will be like, other than what we have seen in the teaser trailers. I like to be surprised when I comes to Who, and especially at Christmas, so I’m avoiding the synopsis that has been released. However from the trailers with Clara and Santa on the roof, it is shaping up to be a good episode, full of the festive fun of Christmas and the usual brilliance of Doctor Who. I am excited to see if Santa is going to help the Doctor or not, could Santa be the bad guy? Who knows, we shall have to wait to unwrap that one on Christmas Day.
The Runaway Bride, although not really very Christmasy, is one of my favourite Christmas specials, purely because I think of it with fond memories and a smile. A smile for both what we see in the episode and the fun we know that is to come for the Doctor and Donna. The Runaway Bride is so much fun and it shows the dynamic between the Doctor and Donna straight away and what their friendship will grow to be, and did grow to be.
Well Merry Christmas to all you Whovians. I hope you all have a good Christmas and a prosperous new year.
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Being a sometimes enterprising sort who likes a challenge I can invest in, I shall attempt to tackle all three of our requested submission mandates for this month in one tasty treat- scariest episode to date, who the heck is Missy, what might happen to Clara and Danny… because we don’t have enough problems with the triple goddess without her selling dragon burgers and goofy hats at Caerbannog, otherwise known as The Moon.
Cue the rabbit.
My personal scare fest was the Tenth Doctor episode Midnight. It showcased the Doctor’s helplessness and vulnerability in the face of an enemy, two key elements of his inner personality which had not really been on display since Mind of Evil and the end of Planet of the Spiders. He was in the wilderness, stuck with a bunch of paranoid humans who wanted to kill him, slowly being possessed by a ruthless creature (presumably comprised of pure consciousness) desperate to survive and willing to mind-hop until it got its way. There is nothing more horrifying than imminent foreknowledge of the inevitability that you will become powerless on someone… or some-thing… else’s terms.
Which brings me to quite a few notions of Missy. In a hypothesis far far away in the left field universe, perhaps she is an incarnation of the remnant of the Midnight Monster left in the Doctor’s mind? She certainly has the power of menace in her toolbox, but this could be a misdirection. Therefore, perhaps she is the Doctor in some innerspatial, self-projective or split off capacity? Also, remember that the Doctor, at times, can be exceptionally menacing and in many different ways, as evidenced in Genesis of the Daleks and Into the Dalek, to name two such instances. And let us not forget those vivid scenes with the Flesh Doctor. what really happened to good ole Fleshy, by the way? Taking another leap, perhaps Missy is a version of Romana or Clara, judging by the amount of smack she can talk and that little air of narcissism every time she gets the urge to twirl, like River Song. And one may add River Song to the list, as per the former mention of twirling- remember that scene with her at the prison, right after she’d gone with the Doctor to ice skate or something? And the Flesh River cannot be discounted, either, due to the fact that the Flesh Duplicates at the factory seemed to bring out another side to their original body’s personality. Could we be dealing with the original River in the form of the mysterious Missy? Now all that is fine and good, but… as we well know, nobody does twirling mad lady like the TARDIS. Yes. Missy could be the TARDIS.
Finally, anyone who knows about the Eighth Doctor books Zagreus and Scherzo knows that there were good and bad versions of the Doctor and the TARDIS struggling against each other within a mental landscape much like in The Deadly Assassin and The Dominators… only less Bread and Circuses and more Schizophrenia. And speaking of The Dominators, it looks like Moffat is drawing heavily from that episode, judging by the black and white duality elements subtly yet thickly laid throughout this season, starting with the return of the clockwork robots. The presence of the clockwork droids are a direct reference to the Dominators, in my view. I need to see that episode, because it may hold some clue for us about the fate of everyone we’ve been rooting for thus far, like Clara and Danny, self-absorbed though they might well be, though that notion depends on certain factors not yet in evidence.
Why self-absorbed, you ask? It’s simple, if you consider the Doctor’s actions as justified so far this season. It’s a difficult thing, triage. So many people have no notion of it, and condemn people for using it to determine what must be done in a crisis situation, of which we’ve had plenty this season. Inside the scope of the show, it seems no one knows how hard it is to make a real choice better than the Doctor. The new season is exploring this idea, and leaving us all up in the trepidatious and deliciously intrigue-thick air, awaiting every new tidbit with pensive breath. It’s always hard to explore the self, especially when those around you don’t understand your need to finally grow out of previous patterns. They scream inconvenience, at best. Much like Clara and Danny, many might view the new Doctor with concern, and claim he is becoming too dark, too unmindful. But there is another view, one that I personally favor, a view which will either make or break Clara and Danny’s future in the show depending on where you land as a fan. And that view, my fellow fans, is the view that the Doctor is evolving rapidly as a person, as a character. Which doesn’t bode well for Clara and Danny if they fail to understand this. So far, all they seem able to see is the trees, not the forest. The Doctor is well-known for seeing the forest, and missing the trees. He makes hard decisions because apparently, the vast majority of people aren’t cut out for those hard lessons, and what does he get in return? Clara and Danny, gutting him every time he finally decides to make the larger moral choice based on the larger picture. Still, they are developing into another Ian and Barbara, and it’s just fantastic! I can see them, too, as the Doctor’s parents- probably the Woman and the unnamed man in End of Time. Or, perhaps Clara is really his nanny, Mamlaurea! Of the lot, though, only Ian and Barbara got a happy ending. Didn’t they? History denotes the future, and I’m smelling Pythia.
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Everyone loves a text book love story. The whole boy meets girl, they fall in love and a happily ever after. But as we Whovians know, Doctor Who is never that simple. Our latest love story we see unfolding is that of Miss Oswald and Mr Pink, the lovely Clara and Danny. But as this series draws to a close, what will become of them and will it be a happily ever after?
We first met Danny in the newest series of Doctor Who, in episode two. He is the newest member of staff at Clara’s school, where she works. He is a maths teacher, despite what the Doctor thinks. Danny was a soldier, but we don’t really know what made him leave the forces, other than he was pushed too far. The first meeting between Danny and Clara is very awkward, Clara clearly thinks he’s worth a shot, as she asks him to a leaving doo, which he refuses. But when Clara walks in on Danny banging his head against a desk because he said no and correcting all his answers to yes, she says, “Will you look that terrified when you take me out for a drink?” (Clara, series eight, episode two). Danny says yes. The smile Clara smiles, as she walks down the corridor, is clearly that of someone who is feeling sparks. Anyone who has been in love, knows that smile and when thinking of their love, or how they met will smile that smile at the memory. And so the school yard romance begins.
In episode four, we rejoin Clara and Danny on their first date, dinner (and the drink). Well, what an absolute mess! Clara and Danny are as awkward as they were when they first met. All they seem to talk about it work, but they end up laughing about a student they have in common when Clara slips, making a dig at Danny being a soldier, “From you, that means something.” (Clara series eight, episode four). Naturally Danny gets defensive saying how he dug twenty three wells as a soldier and saved whole villages and towns because of them, people he kept safe. Well, it’s easy to say it goes downhill from there with Danny then slipping up saying, “sometimes people like you can get the wrong end of the stick” (Danny). Clara thinks he’s making assumptions and leaves Danny sat at the table. But the rest of this episode is intertwined with Danny and Clara’s relationship. With Clara and the Doctor ending up in Danny’s childhood, where we find him in an orphanage, back to modern day with Danny in the restaurant just after Clara left and finally to Colonel Orsen Pink, from one hundred years in Clara’s future and a pioneer time traveller. So this Orsen Pink, same surname as Danny and a very very similar face, in fact played by the same actor, so could this be a good sign for Danny and Clara, however time can be rewritten. “”Stay away from time travel.” “It runs in the family” “What? Sorry what do you mean, runs in the family?” “Nothing – it’s just silly stories – one of my grandparent – well great-grandparents”" (Clara and Orsen). Could this be Clara and Danny? We will have to see.
Then that fateful day arrives, the Doctor meets Danny. But first we see Clara juggling life with the Doctor in the tardis and life with Danny on earth. Until the Doctor gets a job at Clara’s school as a caretaker. To start with the Doctor gets the wrong end of the stick, knowing Clara has been going on dates with someone on earth, he thinks it’s a teacher called Adrian who looks a bit familiar. The Doctor thinks so too. Adrian looks a bit like a certain bow tie wearing past face and the Doctor thinks he’s the one Clara has been going on serious dates with. Obviously he’s wrong and despite the clues around the school, for example, “Ozzie loves the squaddie” written on a window that the Doctor rubs out, he doesn’t twig it’s Danny. When the Doctor and Danny meet, Danny almost gets killed by the Skovox Blitzer in the school hall and the doctor gets annoyed that the “PE teacher” got in the way. As Danny was a soldier, the Doctor thinks he must be a PE teacher, which is wrong. Danny twigs, working out that the Doctor and Clara know each other, forcing Clara into telling Danny who the Doctor is to her and also vice versa. In that process, Clara says she loves Danny.
Later in the same episode, Clara sneaks Danny into the Tardis using the Doctors invisibility watch. That does not go well. It doesn’t take the Doctor long to realise that Danny is there and naturally he gets smart, reminding Clara of all the times she has left with the Doctor then gone back to Danny. When Danny becomes visible again, he and the Doctor argue. It results in Danny showing Clara that the Doctor is an Officer. Danny is a soldier but the Doctor is an officer. In the end Danny ends up impressing the Doctor by helping get rid of the Skovox Blitzer. All the Doctor wants is someone who is good enough for his Clara and Danny, by saving the world, is one step closer.
So Danny and Clara, not the best of starts, but so far so good. Danny took the fact that the Doctor is an alien really rather well. Along with the fact that Clara and the Doctor travel through time and space together. So what will happen in the end? Clara is living a double life, and she has been for a while. She runs off with the Doctor for these 30 second adventures, without a second thought about Danny, what she has back home and what she leaves behind every time she sets foot in the Tardis. But has the lure of the Tardis claimed another life? It’s all speculation, especially with the rumour of Jenna Coleman’s exit from the show, that was neither confirmed or denied. Truthfully, I’m hoping for a happy ending, after the sadness, pain and tears of the last companions exit, Amy and Rory. It would be nice to have a happier ending. I’d like to think that Danny and Clara stay together and build a life together without the Doctor, but remembering him always. “Run you clever boy, and remember.” (Clara). But what will the mysterious Missy bring to the finale and who will she be to Clara. I don’t want to predict an ending, but in an ideal world, happily ever after would be nice. But for now, we wait, wait and see what the finale will bring.
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Time Heist is the fifth episode of series 8, and what a series it’s been so far. In this episode we find the Doctor and Clara attempting to rob the biggest bank in the cosmos, the Bank of Karabraxos, the most secure bank in the Galaxy. We meet two new character, Psi and Saibra, who help the Doctor and Clara complete the robbery under the instruction of the mystery Architect who leaves briefcases for the group to find. I really like this episode because it is a traditional Who story, it’s a straight, stand alone episode without any background knowledge or context necessary to watch and understand it. It has the aliens, the different planet, the adventure, the risk and the happy ending we all love Doctor Who for.
This episode starts with the Doctor trying to convince Clara to come on a sightseeing trip with him rather than go on a date with Danny Pink, when the Tardis phone rings, “If you answer it something will happen!” (Clara, Time Heist series 8 episode 5). As we know, the outside Tardis phone is disconnected and therefore shouldn’t ring. But as we find out at the end of this episode, the Doctor does indeed have a number to this phone that he gives to Madam Karabraxos to call when she is old and full of regret. The same number was also given to Clara by a “lady in a bookshop” which is still shrouded in mystery as we don’t know who this lady is yet. The Doctor answers it and both he and Clara end up sat in a room with two strangers, each holding memory worms, first seen in The Snowman, series seven, Christmas special. There is lots of confusion as to how they all got there because of the memory worms, but they hear themselves agreeing to the memory wipe of their own free will. And so the episode is set off with a bang! This is one of the things I love about Who. The unknown and rapid introduction of characters, like Psi and Saibra. This is the first episode in this series that is like this. Leaving the viewers completely baffled and confused as to what is going on.
Psi and Saibra are two very important characters is this episode. At the end we see that the Doctor specially picked them both for their unique talents. Psi is an augmented human, he has a computer mainframe in his head, “I’m a gamer.” (Psi, Time Heist). Saibra is a mutant human, she is capable of changing her appearance to that of the living cell she is touching, “I touch living cells – I can replicate the owner.” (Saibra, a Time Heist). Saibra also wears a “hologram shell” so she can also replicate the clothes of the person at the same time. These two brilliant characters skills are very useful in robbing the bank, but there is also something else. Both Psi and Saibra agreed to rob the bank because the one thing they want most in the world is in that bank. For Psi it was to retrieve his memories after he deleted them while in prison to keep the people he loves safe and for Saibra it’s a serum that stabilises the mutant gene that makes her face change. Both Psi and Saibra are fantastic characters, they really add to the plot line and when both of them return it is a joyous moment, especially after we believe they have both died. These characters add to the story by using their skills to aid the Doctor and Clara in completing the tasks set out by the Architect. They are real additions to the story, I hope they return to Who again.
In this episode we have the super talented and beautiful Keeley Hawes, playing Ms Delphox and Madam Karabraxos. Ms Delphox is head of security, a clone of Madam Karabraxos who is the owner of the bank. She creates clones of herself to run the bank because “it’s the only way to control my own security.” (Karabraxos, Time Heist). She incinerates her own clones because she can’t trust them when they look back at her out of her own eyes. She can’t trust herself, she hates herself. The Doctor gives Karabraxos his number and tells her to call him when she’s old and full of regret. Keeley Hawes is amazing in this episode, she plays the two characters and also her older self, when she is old and full of regret. She is a very talented actor and by playing Karabraxos, the older Karabraxos and a clone, she shows that.
At the end of the episode just after Clara leaves to go on her date with Danny the Doctor says, “beat that for a date.” (The Doctor, Time Heist). It’s like he’s making it into a competition for Clara’s attention, between him and this mystery man that he’s not met yet. This is picked up on slightly more in the next episode, when the Doctor and Danny actually meet. But in Time Heist this last comment from the Doctor is almost underhanded, it’s like he is trying to beat Danny and win Clara. Almost making her choose between her life on the Tardis and the real world. Clara is, I believe, the first companion not to spend all her time on the Tardis. She has her days at home, in her job, on Earth then takes these random trips with the Doctor through time and space. It’s a wonder how she copes with it all. So I suppose in that way, the Doctor believing he is in competition, could mean more with Clara’s life on Earth than just competing with Danny for the “best date”.
So far, for me, this has been the best episode of series eight. It is one of those stand alone episodes with no massive link to the unknown story arch of Missy and the “Promised Land” that has been mentioned and hinted at in previous episodes. I found the riddle of the Architect quiet easy to solve, after guessing halfway through that it would be the Doctor. But I did not expect the ending with the Teller. Overall I think it could have been a more complicated episode and a lot was squeezed into the regular 45 minute slot, but I loved it all the same. Another smashing episode to add to the continuing era of Peter Capaldi.
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Capaldi then… he’s pretty fantastic isn’t he? From episode one, Peter made the role his own and has continued to shine throughout the series; now at the halfway mark, it’s safe to say that Peter Capaldi is safely the Doctor.
Deep Breath saw the introduction of the Twelfth Doctor to our screens and what a treat that was; darker, less tolerant, and all round… sassier, the new Doctor was certainly a change from the lovable Matt Smith. This Doctor created an air of uncertainty; was he really the same man and could we still trust him? Of course we could, because by the end of that episode (thanks again to the Eleventh Doctor for clearing things up) we were left with no doubt that the Doctor has returned. No sooner had we got our breath back (I’m not even sorry), we were thrown back in at the deep end with Capaldi’s first Dalek episode. Into the Dalek saw the Doctor fight his most feared enemy, but with a twist. The Doctor was lured into believing that little Rusty had changed, and was a ‘good Dalek’, if such a thing could ever be, and he was ultimately left disappointed, which perhaps explains why he is just so untrusting of most species. From Rusty to Robots, and in the third instalment of Series Eight, the Doctor comes across the ‘mythical’ Robin Hood in Robots of Sherwood. Here, we were treated to the joyous interactions between Robin (played by the fantastic Tom Reilly) and the Doctor; the prison scene where the pair were arguing so much they didn’t realise that Clara had left them to bicker while she saves the day is one of my favourite sequences of Doctor Who to date. By the end of this episode, we see that the Doctor does have a heart (or two) and manages to reunite Robin with his love, Marion. Robots of Sherwood was not only a spectacular spectacle with a budget bigger than Robin’s beard, but this episode allowed Capaldi’s comedic value to shine through.
Now if ‘Robots’ was happy and joyful, the episode that followed was very, very different. In one of the strongest episodes many have us have ever seen, Listen was a rollercoaster. By deciding to focus on something being under the bed, Listen certainly delivered on the fear-factor. The sequence with a young Danny Pink, the Doctor and Clara all stood looking at the window while some kind of being wandered around behind them harked back to the kind of fear created in episodes such as Blink. Listen showed us that it’s okay to be afraid of the monster under the bed. It’s okay to keep coming back to our fears; if the Doctor is scared, we could be scared. After the heart-breaking realisation that Clara was the one who created the Doctor’s fear, we were transported to the slick, ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ style episode, Time Heist. This was a switch from anything we’ve seen before; slicker, faster and all round more stylish, this episode was a pure blockbuster. Capaldi proved that he was an action hero as well as a caring rescuer.
Throughout the series so far, we’ve been treat to the blossoming relationship between Clara and Danny. The painfully awkward interactions between the pair only made me more endeared to both characters and it made me more invested in their relationship, and revealed another side to Clara’s personality; one that is shy and bumbley, just like Danny around Clara’s interactions. Despite how cute their relationship was, we were all waiting for that moment when the Doctor would have the chance to assess Danny…
So that brings us to the most recent episode, The Caretaker. The ‘domestic’ episodes are my personal favourite as they allow for more character development in a way that actiony-spacey episodes don’t; The Lodger is still one of my favourite episodes ever because placing the Doctor in a human situation only serves to show how alien he actually is. The Caretaker was no exception to this rule: set in a London school that Clara coincidentally works at, the Doctor, under the guise of a caretaker sets to work on catching a deadly alien living in the surrounding area; who knows whether the Skovox Blitzer (kudos to whoever thought of that name) intended to kill everything in sight, or whether he was simply defending his position in the catchment area for Coal Hill. More important than the monster in this episode, the Doctor meets Danny Pink for the first time, and it’s safe to say that it didn’t go according to Clara’s plan… We all spotted him in the trailer for the episode after Time Heist: the Matt Smith lookalike. Who was he? Was it a coincidence? Well, as we know well enough by now, never take anything in Doctor Who to be a coincidence (unless that the school the alien is at is also the school that Clara teaches at). Let’s be honest here, who didn’t get a teeny bit emotional at the thought of the Doctor truly believing that Clara would and could only fall for someone who was the spitting double of a previous regeneration? This episode did three things, to three characters:
1. We saw how protective the Doctor is of Clara and how much he really cares for her.
2. Clara’s choice of Danny instead of the Matt Smith double only goes to show that maybe the Doctor doesn’t know her as well as he thought and that she isn’t as dependent on him as he maybe thinks.
3. Danny Pink has some serious attitude. The way he stands up to the Doctor and then saves the day is commendable. I like him.
So as you can probably tell from my mini review of the series, I like Capaldi a lot. Series Eight is so, so, so strong, I haven’t had any real issues with any of the episodes. After every week, I find myself saying ‘okay, that was my favourite’ only to find myself saying the same thing the following week. I can’t wait for next week already (although those spiders do look VERY scary to someone with arachnophobia) and I must applaud Capaldi and the team for changing the direction of the show so boldly and bravely. It worked.
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
The Doctor is many things. A hero. A mad man with a blue box. The oncoming storm. But is he a role model? Throughout series The Doctor has taught us about friendship, loyalty and happiness (whilst fighting off aliens of course). It is these achievements that make The Doctor appear to be such a good role model.
In the face of danger The Doctor has always put his friends first. Not only does he put the safety of his friends first but he even puts the lives of strangers first. Even when the lives of his darkest enemies are in danger, he refuses to condemn them. In Journey’s End, The Doctor offers Davros and the daleks an escape despite their evil acts against the universe. The Doctor who although has the power of time and space at his fingertips values all life and this is definitely something to be admired.
The relationship The Doctor had with Donna Noble provided a series full of laughs and comedy, However, sadly it had to come to a close in Journey’s End. The Doctor was faced with the most difficult of decisions; save his friend with the knowledge that she will forget all about her adventures or let her die knowing she was the most important person in creation. The Doctor chose to save her removing all memories of him and their adventures. It was a finale that brought the fandom to tears but it showed that although The Doctor can save the day sometimes there are sacrifices that have to be made. This episode was extremely significant as it showed there is not always a happy ending and even a man with such power cannot stop all evil from happening. Even when The Doctor had the power to be selfish, he put the life of a friend first despite the sadness it brought him.
Although The Doctor may be a Time Lord, he definitely has a human side to him! In The Waters Of Mars, The Doctor saved the lives of people he knew had to die. He claims he is the “Time Lord Victorious” and that being the last surviving Time Lord gives him the right to save as many lives as possible. One of the characters who he saves – Adelaide – claims that the “Time Lord Victorious is wrong” suggesting that she believes nobody has the right to decide who lives and who dies and later kills herself to set history right.This episode was monumental as it showed The Doctor questioning himself and almost showed him to be for the first time extremely aware and fearful of the potential control he could have over history. This episode showed that although The Doctor aims to do good, sometimes he can be so overwhelmed with feeling and the sense of right that he makes the wrong choices.
Another obvious example is when The Doctor had to make one of the most important decisions in his entire existence; to save Gallifrey. The Day Of The Doctor shows three different perspectives of this event; The War Doctor, the man who forgets and the man who regrets. Throughout this episode the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors help The War Doctor change his course of action, saving the universe without destroying the planet Gallifrey. In this episode we get to see The Doctor in a different light through the portrayal of The War Doctor. The day this Doctor had to make the decision to destroy Gallifrey or the universe was the day “it wasn’t possible to get it right” and yet this was the day where The Doctor showed himself to BE The Doctor. Although in the end the situation was rectified, it showed that The Doctor never makes decisions and forgets, the past always lingers wherever The Doctor chooses to go and this always has an influence on the decisions The Doctor makes. Perhaps the reason why sometimes The Doctor saves lives that maybe should not be saved is because he could not save the lives he wanted to save on the day it really mattered.
Throughout these series it has been battle of logic and emotion. Is The Doctor a role model? Who knows! Everybody has a different definition of what a role model is. Some would say The Doctor is a role model because of the lives and planets he saves, but then some may argue that perhaps The Doctor’s actions may be reckless and an act of playing God. These people may argue how can The Doctor claim to be God enough to decide who lives or dies when he displays such human behaviours. In my opinion The Doctor is not a hero and in some cases even a role model. The Doctor ironically for me demonstrates the rawness of the human nature in all its glory and all its darkness.
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