Today’s the first official day of San Diego Comic-Con and Doctor Who was one of the first (and biggest) panels! Naturally, if you’re gonna go to Comic-Con, you’re gonna bring out the big guns, and that’s exactly what Chris Chibnall did at Doctor Who’s panel. Debuting new promo pictures, a look at the new Sonic Screwdriver, and even a brand-new trailer for the upcoming eleventh series, the Doctor Who Comic-Con panel was definitely a delight to behold and I’m gonna break it all down right here. The eleventh series of Doctor Who is the first to be executive produced by new showrunner Chris Chibnall and the first to star Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. It has been filming since late last year and is expected to premiere this fall on BBC One and BBC America. It will continue the adventures of the Time Lord known as the Doctor as she meets new friends and takes them on exciting adventures throughout time and space! (more…)
I already reviewed the last two titles in the revamped line of Target Books Novelizations of Doctor Who episodes, so I figured I’d go ahead and review the first two titles in the line. Like The Day of the Doctor and Twice Upon a Time, Rose (by Russel T. Davies, based on his script) and The Christmas Invasion (by Jenny T. Colgan, based on a script by Russel T. Davies) are novelizations of two episodes from the 2005 revived series of Doctor Who. Both episodes were written by Russel T. Davies and both novelizations follow the same plot as the episodes, but with added embellishments and asides.
Doctor Who: Rose (by Russel T. Davies)
In a lair somewhere beneath central London, a malevolent alien intelligence is plotting the end of humanity. Shop window dummies that can move – and kill – are taking up key positions, ready to strike. Rose Tyler, an ordinary Londoner, is working her shift in a department store, unaware that this is the most important day of her life. She’s about to meet the only man who understands the true nature of the threat facing Earth, a stranger who will open her eyes to all the wonder and terror of the universe – a traveller in time and space known as the Doctor.
Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion (by Jenny T. Colgan)
Earth is under attack by power-hungry aliens. This is no time for the Doctor to be out of action. When a British space probe is intercepted by a sinister alien vessel on the eve of Christmas, it marks the beginning of an audacious invasion of the Earth by the Sycorax – horrifying marauders from beyond the stars. Within hours, a third of humanity stands on the brink of death with not a single shot fired. Our planet needs a champion – but the Doctor is not fit for service. He’s just regenerated, delirious in a new body and a dressing gown. Forced into his battered shoes is his friend, Rose Tyler, a girl from a London council estate. Will she save the world from this nightmare before Christmas – or see it destroyed?
Overall, I’m just really, really pleased with these Eighth Doctor Time War sets. The Eighth Doctor is one of my favorite Doctors and the Time War is one of my favorite elements of Doctor Who mythology, so I’m really pleased to see it explored so well in these audios. Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor – The Time War Series 2 is the second Big Finish Productions box set in a series of four featuring the Eighth Doctor’s adventures during the Time War. Starring Paul McGann as the Doctor, Rakhee Thakrar as Bliss, Jacqueline Pearce as Cardinal Ollistra, Nikki Amuka-Bird as Tamasan, and Julia McKenzie as the Twelve, The Time War 2 sees the Doctor and Bliss continue to fight for survival during the Time War. As the Time War gets more treacherous the Time Lords and Daleks become more desperate and they’ll use anything and anyone at their disposal… the Doctor and Bliss can only hope to avoid the crossfire. (NOTE: There may be spoilers in this review… read ahead at your own risk!) (more…)
In light of the recent release of Volume 2 of Big Finish’s Eighth Doctor Time War series (review coming later this week), I figured I’d finally give the first set a listen. I really should’ve done this earlier, because it’s the first piece of Doctor Who that’s really made the Time War feel like a Time War. Written by John Dorney and Matt Fitton and DIrected by Ken Bentley, Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor – The Time War Series 1 is the first in a run of four boxsets that serve as a prequel to Big Finish’s four War Doctor boxsets. In Series 1, the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) is pulled into the events of the Time War, a war he has been avoiding as long as he possibly could. A terrible war is being waged through space and time, as two powerful enemies rip the cosmos apart in a final struggle to the death. The Doctor stands apart from this conflict: he is not a warrior, but a healer. But the Time War is snapping at his heels, and soon he will have no choice but to turn and face its horrors… (Warning: spoilers ahead!) (more…)
It’s been just about a year since it was first announced that Jodie Whittaker would be the Thirteenth Doctor and about six months since we first saw her in the role, so it’s about time BBC released a trailer for the new series. Well, during the halftime of their World Cup coverage, they did just that. A new, specially shot trailer has debuted for the new series of Doctor Who. It’s… not the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen, unfortunately. Series 11 of Doctor Who will be the first series to star Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor and the first to be written by new showrunner Chris Chibnall. It will be comprised of 10 episodes and is expected to air later this year. This first trailer shows us very little of the series, instead offering specially shot footage exclusive to this trailer and featuring no clips from any actual episodes.
The trailer is mostly comprised of shots of the new companions (played by, in the order of their appearance in the trailer, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, and Bradley Walsh) sitting in various locations, eating and watching/listening to coverage of the World Cup. They each experience some kind of time distortion, presumably caused by the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), and look dramatically at the camera before the trailer cuts to the next person. After each of them experience their time distortion, a title card appears that reads “The Universe is Calling” and then we get a short glimpse of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor before it cuts to the title screen and the trailer is over. None of the characters speak at all; all the dialogue comes from the World Cup coverage and none of the characters actually interact with each other.
It’s not that it’s a bad trailer; it’s just terribly unexciting. I understand we’re probably still another few months away from the airdate and they don’t wanna show us too much, but they could have showed us something that actually gave us a sense of how the series might go. This trailer isn’t the first time they’ve aired a specially shot trailer for Doctor Who, featuring little-to-no footage from the series it was advertising. They did it often during the RTD era, the first Matt Smith series had one, as well as the last Peter Capaldi series. Those, at least, featured the Doctor actually speaking and interacting with their companions. They often featured hints at what monsters might appear in that series. Most of all, they actually gave viewers a sense of the tone and direction the series would go, as well as offering a first look at the dynamic between the Doctor and their companion(s). They were a really good tease in that respect. This trailer offered none of that and, for me, was far less exciting than the images from the actual series that were released by Entertainment Weekly earlier this week. Those images were a perfect tease and showed us the Doctor with her companions and I would’ve liked something that did that as this teaser.
I don’t wanna sound like a total negative Nancy. It is a really well put together teaser. The visuals are beautiful and all our main actors look great. I am still very excited for the series, but this trailer didn’t really add to that excitement (aside from making me want to see actual footage from the series more than I already did). I just wish it had actually shown us something or featured the characters actually talking or something. I mean, all the dialogue was World Cup coverage, after all. That’s disappointing. I wish it was more about the actual series instead of just a general “hey Doctor Who still exists” kind of thing. I am curious as to whether this trailer will have the desired impact on its target audience. It’s clearly aimed at a more general audience than Doctor Who fans. Between the actual content of the trailer and when it was aired, I’d suspect its target audience is casual viewers and people who have never watched the show. I worry, though, that this trailer offers nothing to entice them to actually try watching the show. I showed it to my sister, someone who doesn’t have any strong opinion on the show either way, and asked her if that trailer made her want to watch the new series. She said it didn’t; she thought the visuals were nice but that it offered very little in the way of actual information that would make her want to watch the show. I suspect that might be the case for a number of people who haven’t really watched the show. It’s a nice tease, but it doesn’t really offer much to convince someone to watch the show, and shouldn’t that have been the point of this trailer? Shouldn’t it have shown new viewers what they might expect from this new series of Doctor Who? Maybe I’m expecting too much from a teaser trailer, but it seems that it didn’t have enough to land for hardcore Doctor Who fans or more casual ones. It didn’t offer much information nor did it really give a sense of the tone or direction of the series. I’m really hoping that they debut something more satisfying at their Comic Con panel on Thursday. This isn’t an awful start, but it’s not really the bang one would’ve preferred, either. It’s more of a whisper than a bang. Which kinda sucks. I’m still excited for the new series, but this trailer just didn’t do it for me. I do like it more the more I watch it, but it’s still pretty disappointing.
Titan Comics, publisher of the Doctor Who comics, have started their special miniseries leading to the launch of the ongoing 13th Doctor title: The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more mediocre than exciting really, and a lot of that comes down to the way they’ve marketed the miniseries. Issue 1 of Doctor Who: The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor is written by James Peaty and illustrated by Iolanda Zanfardino (with colors by Dijjo Lima) and features a short story involving the Tenth Doctor, Cindy, and Gabby, as well as featuring a small backup story from the creative team behind the 13th Doctor title (Jody Houser and Rachael Stott (and colors by Enrica Eren Angiolini))
The first of three stand-alone stories featuring the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor – each issue contains a serialised short from the creative team behind the new Thirteenth Doctor ongoing series.
The Tenth Doctor has his work cut out when he encounters a lost spaceship… whose crew are being absorbed by mysterious ghostly creatures! Everything is not as it seems, however, especially when disturbing facts about the crew come to light!
Note: there may be spoilers for this comic below so read at your own risk. (more…)
Back in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, nearly every serial from the classic run of Doctor Who was novelized in one way or another through a range of books published by Target Books. That practice was discontinued when the show returned in 2005, mainly due to how readily available various home video formats were. It’s a shame because many of those classic novelizations ended up being better than the televised versions (mainly because a novel doesn’t have the budget constraints of a science fiction show made on a shoestring budget in the mid-1970s). Then, just a few months ago, BBC Books decided to revive the range for a brief five-book run. Like the old range, they brought back the writers of some of the episodes while mixing it adaptations from other writers. The books adapted for this new range were Rose by Russell T. Davies (the writer of the episode), The Christmas Invasion by Jenny T. Colgan (based on a script by Russell T. Davies), The Day of the Doctor by Steven Moffat (the writer of the episode), and Twice Upon a Time by Paul Cornell (based on a script by Steven Moffat). This review, however, will be focusing on the latter two books: The Day of the Doctor and Twice Upon a Time.
Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor (by Steven Moffat): When the entire universe is at stake, three different Doctors will unite to save it. The Tenth Doctor is hunting shape-shifting Zygons in Elizabethan England. The Eleventh is investigating a rift in space-time in the present day. And one other – the man they used to be but never speak of – is fighting the Daleks in the darkest days of the Time War. Driven by demons and despair, this battle-scarred Doctor is set to take a devastating decision that will threaten the survival of the entire universe… a decision that not even a Time Lord can take alone. On this day, the Doctor’s different incarnations will come together to save the Earth… to save the universe… and to save his soul.
Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time (by Paul Cornell): Still reeling from his encounter with the Cybermen, the First Doctor stumbles through the bitter Antarctic wind, resisting the approaching regeneration with all his strength. But as he fights his way through the snowdrifts, he comes across the familiar shape of a blue police box, and a mysterious figure who introduces himself as the Doctor… Thrown together at their most vulnerable moments, the two Doctors must discover why the snowflakes are suspended in the sky, why a First World War Captain has been lifted from his time stream moments before his death, and who is the mysterious Glass Woman who knows their true name. The Doctor is reunited with Bill, but is she all she seems? And can he hold out against the coming regeneration?
I rarely listen to the Big Finish Productions audios that only feature one voice actor because I tend to prefer the full cast format to the singular narrator format, but The Siege of Big Ben was well worth listening to. Written by Joseph Lidster, Doctor Who: The Siege of Big Ben is the latest installment of Big Finish Production’s monthly Short Trips series, a series of audios featuring a short story related to one of the Doctors Big Finish has the rights to and read by one of the original cast members from the TV series. This story featured Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler in a story featuring the Meta-Crisis Doctor in the parallel Earth seen at the end of Journey’s End. “Jackie Tyler has everything she’s ever wanted: a loving husband and, two children. But a terrible, far-reaching plan is underway, and only Jackie and a single friend stand in the way of it. But the Doctor isn’t the man he was…” (more…)
Shada. The long lost adventure from famed sci-fi writer Douglas Adams. Over the years since its aborted filming, the adventure has undergone no less than three separate adaptations. The question is: which Shada is the ultimate Shada? With the release of another version of the story, it’s becoming harder and harder to figure that out, so let’s break it down in a Tale of Three ‘Shada’s. Originally written by famed author – and one-time Doctor Who script editor – Douglas Adams, Shada follows the Doctor and Romana, his Time Lady companion, as they investigate a mysterious summons from an old friend of the Doctor, Cambridge Professor Chronotis, and work to thwart the plans of the evil Skagra – a man seeking the Professor, and a book he possesses, for his own evil ends. Their adventure will take them from 1970s Earth to a mysterious Time Lord prison planet that nobody can remember: Shada. Beware Skagra. Beware the Sphere. Beware Shada. For this review, we’re gonna be looking at three particular adaptations of Shada: the 2003 BBC-i/Big Finish Productions webcast/audio adaptation, the 2012 novelization (by Gareth Roberts), and the 2017 BBC animated reconstruction. (more…)
As must always happen, another Doctor’s time has come to a close. This time we must say goodbye to Peter Capaldi, the Twelfth Doctor. Not only is this Capaldi’s swan song, but it’s also showrunner Steven Moffat’s final episode. For Doctor Who fans, the regeneration episode is always a bag of mixed emotions. It’s sad to see a beloved Doctor leave, but it’s exciting to get a glimpse of the new one and all the surprises that await us in the episodes ahead. In Twice Upon a Time (written by Steven Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay), the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) teams up with his former self, the First Doctor (David Bradley) and a returning Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), for one last adventure. Two Doctors stranded in an Arctic snowscape, refusing to face regeneration. Enchanted glass people, stealing their victims from frozen time. And a World War One captain destined to die on the battlefield, but taken from the trenches to play his part in the Doctor s story. An uplifting new tale about the power of hope in humanity s darkest hours, Twice Upon A Time marks the end of an era. But as the Doctor must face his past to decide his future, his journey is only just beginning… The 60-minute special guest stars Mark Gatiss as The Captain and Nikki Amuka-Bird as the voice of the glass woman, and will see Peter Capaldi’s Doctor regenerate into the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker). (Mild spoilers ahead) (more…)