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... but perhaps not the one you were expecting.
November 14, 2013 4:52 AM   Subscribe

Doctor Who is turning 50. There is a minisode. It goes there. If you are a fan, watch it.

Every fan knows that Doctor Who began on 23rd November 1963, but the first tentative steps that led to the launch of what would become the world's longest-running and most successful science-fiction series in television history took place 20 months earlier, in March 1962. Since March 2012 Paul Hayes from Doctor Who News has been publishing a series of articles on a little show that refuses to die: Doctor Who, from the earliest speculations that lead the BBC Survey Group (first part) to investigate the literary genre of science-fiction to just before the first broadcast (most recent), swinging via the very first pitch.

Or why not be amazed that they have recreated a low-budget show? And be confused by lawsuits, and then happy that An Unearthly Child is being shown.

If you are looking forward to An Advernture In Time And Space, Mark Gatiss' why not read about the development of the title sequence and the iconic theme? Or the aborted pilot (Part 1, Part 2 is missing, Part 3)? Or compare the two versions?

And, when you have done that, why not sit back and enjoy the latest trailers for Day Of The Doctor, the 50th Anniversary special?
Or The Science Of Doctr Who?
The Day of the Doctor: The Second Trailer
The Day of the Doctor. (io9 breaks it down)
"But that's not possible!"
Doctor Who - 50 Years Trailer
posted by Mezentian (355 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, this is good.
This is very good.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:06 AM on November 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yes yes yes yes
posted by pemberkins at 5:13 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, that pretty much confirms everyone's suspicions as to what the 50th special is going to be about. Fantastic!

McGann would have been a great Doctor, the US-based one-off he did notwithstanding.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:13 AM on November 14, 2013


I've been re-watching the 11th Doctor as a lead-up, and what struck me was the passage in the 2nd episode, The Beast Below. When the Doctor is planning to [SPOILERS] burn out the consciousness in the space whale, he says that he'll have to change his name, that he won't be "the Doctor" anymore.

Add in the similar discussion in A Good Man Goes to War, and clearly this is a theme that Moffat has been hinting at/trying to explore for a while.

Determinative Nomenclature?
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:18 AM on November 14, 2013


Moffat writes great stuff when it's fan-wonkish and tight - he knows just how to weave those little strands from long ago into a cohesive, witty and interesting seven minutes. This mini-sode along with the Peter Davison one with David Tennant a few years back are just wonderful to watch.

And yes, McGann would have made an excellent Doctor in his own right.
posted by tgrundke at 5:18 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


While not a season, per se, there are a double-handful of the Eighth's adventures over at Big Finish.

What's that? The Big Finish audios aren't quite canon? Well, the "Molly" mentioned in the minisode is from here.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:19 AM on November 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


Holy cow. Thanks!
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:22 AM on November 14, 2013


In fact ... from the rest of the names dropped by McGann, it looks like Moffat has made all of those Big Finish episodes canon.

Damn.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:24 AM on November 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think I may have cried a bit from joy.

Yes, yes, go listen to the Eighth Doctor's audio adventures. They are absolutely enjoyable. I love them very much. (As well as Lucie Miller being my favorite of his companions.)
posted by Kitteh at 5:28 AM on November 14, 2013


I'm really excited that they're finally going to dive into the Time War. It's been hanging over the rebooted series like an Albatross since day-1.

Unfortunately, I'm not enough of a Who geek to be able to get the bajillion cannon references that the 50th special is probably going to be loaded with in order to tie-up as many loose ends as is possible.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:29 AM on November 14, 2013


Sir,

I must emphatically protest at the continued usage of the erroneous term "Doctor Who".

Firstly, it should be "Doctor Whom".

Secondly, it should not be "Doctor Whom", because I do not believe for a moment that the personage in question is in fact properly qualified as either a medical doctor or holder of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (or Doctor of Laws). Said individual is (supposedly) a peer of the realm of Time; thus the correct form of address should be "Lord Whom of Gallifrey".

I trust that the Editor of this website will issue instructions to his juniors to uphold the traditional standards of our nation and Her Majesty's English language and thus proscribe all incorrect references to this extraterrestrial forthwith.

I remain, Sir,

Yours most sincerely,

Lt Commander T. Q. Kid, RN (Rtd)
17 Shufflefart Court
Blowhard-upon-Sea
Worthing, England
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:39 AM on November 14, 2013 [25 favorites]


Determinative Nomenclature?

This was Moff's thing from the old usenet days (rec.arts.Dr-dr-dr or whatever). If you google you can read his posts can when, like us, he was a Fan.

I'm really excited that they're finally going to dive into the Time War. It's been hanging over the rebooted series like an Albatross since day-1.

I'm not.

Unfortunately, I'm not enough of a Who geek to be able to get the bajillion cannon references that the 50th special is probably going to be loaded with in order to tie-up as many loose ends as is possible.

If the "redecorated" line is any hint, fret not. There are callbacks for us fans, but otherwise: smooth sailing is my guess.
posted by Mezentian at 5:41 AM on November 14, 2013


Mezentian: Since March 2012 Paul Hayes from Doctor Who News has been publishing a series of articles on a little show that refuses to die: Doctor Who, from the earliest speculations that lead the BBC Survey Group (first part) to investigate the literary genre of science-fiction to just before the first broadcast (most recent), swinging via the very first pitch.

Is there an easy way to read this whole series? The navigation on that site is positively TARDISian.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:47 AM on November 14, 2013


Fuckin' A, I love it when my nerd theories are proven right.

Now I get to do the dance of "Called it!"

Alas, I'm spending most of the 23rd at Derby Mini Maker Faire, and probably won't get to see "The Day of the Doctor" until the next day.

But that's okay, because I still called it.

Also, hello new OTP.
posted by Katemonkey at 5:49 AM on November 14, 2013


I'm not a Who-fan, but I would watch the hell out of John Hurt AS The War Doctor. That would be my show, every week, no question.

I realize it's probably, you know, as antithetical-Who as you can get, and I don't want to rock the fanboat, so I'll just submit my request for travel to the timeline where that show is on TV.
posted by curious nu at 5:50 AM on November 14, 2013


Wow. It's like somebody said "okay, Moffat, go big or go home" and he answered, "Sisterhood of Karn, asshole."

(I am the very pleased asshole in this situation.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:55 AM on November 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


I was at an sf con last weekend and on a Who panel the number of regenerations was brought up and one of the panellist said that the original regeneration was just a simple writer's fix to get over a problem and they'll do the same with this... Sisterhood of Karn magic, why not? (It's actually a step up on similar Magic Pixie Dust solutions that Moffat has deployed in the past)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:56 AM on November 14, 2013


Sir,

I refer to my previous correspondence addressed to you. I now see that at least four letters to the Editor have been published in your periodical subsequent to that missive, each of which utilize the incorrect naming convention for a certain noble alien.

Have you not instructed your juniors as to the correct usage, Sir? I commend you to take expeditious action in respect of this outrage - for the sake of your own reputation for propriety!

Yours, etc.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:58 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The audio adventures are something really special, but seeing McGann play the Doctor again....oh, that makes me so happy.

(I didn't even finish the last series, I got so bored. Please don't fuck this one up....)
posted by kalimac at 6:05 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thorzdad: I'm really excited that they're finally going to dive into the Time War. It's been hanging over the rebooted series like an Albatross since day-1.

Mezentian: I'm not.

I think I get your hesitation -- it's better to leave some things to the viewers' imagination than to spell them out on screen -- but I think there is so much fertile ground there that we can get lots of really interesting, really powerful stories from, while still leaving plenty of details in the shadows. I mean, it's certainly possible that it will be handled poorly and be a disappointment, but as I am generally pretty happy with how the show has been going lately, I'm willing to give them a shot. If I were more pessimistic I might be dreading it. That said, I've only really gotten into the Doctor -- excuse me, The Right Honorable Lord Whom of Gallifrey -- so I don't have the added weight of them potentially ruining fond childhood memories when they go delving back into the "past".
posted by Rock Steady at 6:07 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Big Finish has written some of my favorite Doctor Who stories in the audios, and audio!Eight is one of my favorite Doctors ("my" Doctor, in the parlance), so I'm very pleased that not only is Paul McGann getting some recognition but that the Big Finish storylines are getting -- I don't want to say "canonized," because the very notion of canonicity in Doctor Who is elastic, at best, and that's exactly the way it should be. So let's say I'm very pleased that they're being legitimized, and that hopefully more fans familiar with just the TV show will get curious and poke into the wide world of the off-show material.

(I wish McGann could've actually been in the special proper, and I'm also worried that the TV Time War is going to be infinitely boring than anything fans have imagined, but I'm willing to wait and see.)
posted by bettafish at 6:11 AM on November 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is this something where you have to own a time and relative dimension in space machine to understand?
posted by Atreides at 6:17 AM on November 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


BTW, if anybody is a David Tennant fan, his 2009 Hamlet is pretty amazing. He plays Hamlet as crazy in way that has many shades of his doctor in it. Which is to say is that it pretty amazing.
posted by angrycat at 6:20 AM on November 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


(I wish McGann could've actually been in the special proper, and I'm also worried that the TV Time War is going to be infinitely boring than anything fans have imagined, but I'm willing to wait and see.)

I understand the fear. On the other hand, the Time War is one of those things that makes me that kind of nerd stupid where I'm absurdly excited for something that will almost certainly disappoint me.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:22 AM on November 14, 2013 [18 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos: that kind of nerd stupid where I'm absurdly excited for something that will almost certainly disappoint me.

Oh God, you put that thing I love/hate feeling into words.
posted by tzikeh at 6:26 AM on November 14, 2013 [14 favorites]


it would be funny if the creation of the Peter Capaldi Doctor involved the Matt Smith Doctor choosing a chalice that was marked 'ability to spew awe-inspiring obscenities'
posted by angrycat at 6:35 AM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, this is fun. From the "An Unearthly Series" articles, the first description of the Doctor's "machine" (emphasis mine):
DR. WHO'S "MACHINE"

When we consider what this looks like, we are in danger of either Science Fiction or Fairytale labelling. If it is a transparent plastic bubble we are with all the lowgrade spacefiction of cartoon strip and soap-opera. If we scotch this by positing something humdrum, say, passing through some common object in [the] street such as a night-watchman's shelter to arrive inside a marvellous contrivance of quivering electronics, then we simply have a version of the dear old Magic Door.

Therefore, we do not see the machine at all; or rather it is visible only as an absence of visibility, a shape of nothingness (Inlaid, into surrounding picture). Dr. Who has achieved this "disappearance" by covering the outside with light-resistant paint (a recognised research project today). Thus our characters can bump into it, run their hands over its shape, partly disappear by partly entering it, and disappear entirely when the door closes behind them. It can be put into an apparently empty van. Wherever they go some contemporary disguise has to be found for it. Many visual possibilities can be worked out. The discovery of the old man and investigation of his machine would occupy most of the first episode, which would be called:-

"NOTHING AT THE END OF THE LANE"

The machine is unreliable, being faulty. A recurrent problem is to find spares. How to get thin gauge platinum wire in B.C.1566? Moreover, Dr. Who has lost his memory, so they have to learn to use it, by a process of trial and error, keeping records of knobs pressed and results (This is the fuel for many a long story). After several near-calamities they institute a safeguard: one of their number is left in the machine when the others go outside, so that at the end of an agreed time, they can be fetched back into their own era. This provides a suspense element in any given danger: can they survive till the moment of recall? Attack on recaller etc.
I love the idea of the TARDIS being completely invisible. What would have become the icon of the show?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:35 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know what's neat? Peter Capaldi was cast as a WHO doctor in the World War Z film; I don't know if that was done on purpose or if it's a freaking awesome coincidence.
posted by Renoroc at 6:42 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Watching "professional fans" like those at Big Finish and other writers lose their shit over this minisode on Twitrer is almost as enjoyable as the episode itself.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:42 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, and recommendations! The first 11 of the Eighth Doctor's audio adventures are $2.99 a pop (for 1.5-2 hours each); they co-star McGann and India Fisher* as Charley Pollard, a young woman who yearns for adventure and so stows away on the R101.

- Storm Warning is their first adventure, and it's just charming all around. Okay, maybe the one excruciatingly bad South African accent isn't so charming, but the rest of it is!
- Chimes of Midnight is an excellent, entirely standalone Edwardian horror story, and reputedly one of the standouts of Big Finish's entire repertoire. Writer Rob Shearman wrote another audio which he later adapted into the Ninth Doctor episode Dalek.
- Seasons of Fear is an epic time-travelling romp spanning a couple of thousand years. It's one of my favorites, but do listen to Storm Warning and Chimes of Midnight first. Co-writer Paul Cornell also wrote TV episodes Father's Day and Human Nature/The Family of Blood.

Want more? Here's a guide to the entire Eight and Charley run! (Whatever you do, skip Minuet in Hell. I'm begging you.)

A number of Big Finish audios will be aired on BBC radio next week, including Human Resources, starring Eight and his companion Lucie Miller.

*Who's also the voice of MasterChef UK, as I figured out after several weeks of disconcerting familiarity.
posted by bettafish at 6:43 AM on November 14, 2013 [20 favorites]


I started watching this first thing in the morning, on my laptop on the toilet (shush, like you don't iPhone on the toilet) and promptly started flailing. On the toilet.

8 is my Doctor. Yes, even in the movie. McGann's acting is wonderful and he really deserves as many eyes (and ears) as he can get. I mean, look at all the nuance he packs into these six minutes. So, so, so, so good. I only wish they had put this in the actual episode.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:44 AM on November 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


The big Big Finish news is that Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson are going to record new stories together.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:45 AM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't know what kind of twins it makes us that I also watched it on the toilet, but we are those kind of twins.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:45 AM on November 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


I really don't want to know how we activate our twin powers. Our maybe I do.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:46 AM on November 14, 2013 [14 favorites]


Bettafish, you had to bring up Minuet in Hell. True Story: When I downloaded that adventure, the chapter order got mixed up, so eveverything was out of place when I listened to it. At first, I thought it was terrible because they they had failed at an ambititious attempt at nested story telling in audio. Then I realized the chapters were out of order and fixed that and relistened to it In the proper sequence. Turns out it was even worse that way.
posted by KingEdRa at 6:59 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


KingEdRa: "At first, I thought it was terrible because they they had failed at an ambititious attempt at nested story telling in audio. Then I realized the chapters were out of order and fixed that and relistened to it In the proper sequence. Turns out it was even worse that way."

See, out of order I can imagine Minuet as a sort of absurdist commentary on the legacy of American puritanism. In order, it just seems sadistic to entice Classic fans into listening because, "OMG, the Eighth Doctor meets the Brigadier!" RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, IT'S A TRAP.
posted by bettafish at 7:10 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, wait, wait. I just relistened to the bit where Eight salutes his Big Finish companions, and I just noticed that one of them -- the most famous one of all -- went unnamed. Huh, that's odd.
posted by bettafish at 7:16 AM on November 14, 2013


Paul McGann, no longer the George Lazenby of Doctor Who. Excellent.

Not psyched for a Time War explanation, though. It worked perfectly well as an off-screen McGuffin that allowed for a new status quo (at least until the Daleks showed up again).

I just don't think Moffat has the chops for anything besides Coupling in Space at this point. I'm very willing to be surprised. Very willing. But I'm expecting "Well, as anniversary specials go... that sure beat Dimensions in Time."

This was a nice start though...
posted by davros42 at 7:20 AM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wait, wait, wait. I just relistened to the bit where Eight salutes his Big Finish companions, and I just noticed that one of them -- the most famous one of all -- went unnamed. Huh, that's odd.


fanwank: he didn't apologize to Mary Shelley because the Time War is all her fault.

*cliffhanger swoosh....roll credits**
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:29 AM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Paul McGann! I was so bummed when I heard he was not in the 50th. Maybe this means there's a chance we'll get a taste of Eccleston this fall, too?

Also, is Matt Smith now #12 or #13? (Tennant's famous hand-regeneration)? Will we see the Valeyard at Christmas? ARGH!

I think the only way I'm going to make it another week and a half is to download Sherlock. Sort of like methadone.
posted by rikschell at 7:40 AM on November 14, 2013


Is there an easy way to read this whole series? The navigation on that site is positively TARDISian.

Use the tags, Luke.
start from the first one, and scroll up. I know it feels wrong, but I own books and I found it worth it.

I really don't want to know how we activate our twin powers. Our maybe I do.

Once again I am sad Fan Fiction Friday was killed. And happy.

I have watched this clip 12 times. I love it that much.
We need more McGann.
posted by Mezentian at 7:41 AM on November 14, 2013


Determinative Nomenclature?

Except that Moffat has yet to touch on the idiomatic expression "to doctor" something, i.e. "to change something in order to trick or deceive", which is no less applicable to the meddlesome character.

Meanwhile, it's great to see McGann getting some official recognition as the Eighth Doctor. Perhaps this will lead to future appearances on the time-travelling programme since anything is possible. He's even gotten rid of that Pre-Raphaelite wig he detested, so perhaps he'll formally adopt his proposed new costume.

(Also, is it strange that I was more interested in last year's semicentennial anniversary of Inspector Spacetime? Kayaclasch help me, I'm utterly obsessed with a wholly imaginary TV programme.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:47 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, wait, wait. I just relistened to the bit where Eight salutes his Big Finish companions, and I just noticed that one of them -- the most famous one of all -- went unnamed. Huh, that's odd.

Fitz didn't get a shout out either, though granted he was originally from the Eighth Doctor Adventure novels. Still, he did make an appearance in the audios! I'm a little put out that Moffat just made a bunch of audio companions canon, but not Fitz. That's a small quibble compared to the glory that was seeing the Eighth Doctor again though!

I also want to heartily second listening to the Eighth Doctor's Big Finish audios, even if you're skeptical of Doctor Who in radioplay form, because they truly are delightful and Paul McGann is the best.
posted by yasaman at 7:49 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


The fact McGann wasn't wearing the Dark Eyes costume was annoying.
But so much of Big Finish is now cannon-ish.

also:Tom, Lalla and John have already started recording season five of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, which will be released in 2016.

2016? WOAH.
posted by Mezentian at 7:50 AM on November 14, 2013


Oh, man. After years of "Allons-y!" and "Geronimo!" and wacky RUNNING! AROUND! AND! SHOUTING! Manic Pixie Dream Boy nonsense, it was an amazing breath of fresh air to see a Doctor with a little bit of gravitas to him. I'm so psyched for Peter Capaldi.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:51 AM on November 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


So... The Doctor ends the Time War because it was fucking with his grooming operation?
posted by Artw at 7:52 AM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Now I'm wondering which other Doctors who denied denied denied any new filming like McGann might be showing up.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:53 AM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I also want to heartily second listening to the Eighth Doctor's Big Finish audios, even if you're skeptical of Doctor Who in radioplay form, because they truly are delightful and Paul McGann is the best.

Chimes of Midnight is amazing. That Rob Sherman hasn't written more is a crime.
posted by Mezentian at 7:53 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Arrgh! At my in-laws with dial up speed Internet. Video is unwatchable for me. How you mock me, Time Lord.
posted by arcticseal at 7:53 AM on November 14, 2013


Have you ever read of Robert Shearman's fiction? He's started to become a mainstay in Stephen Jones' annual Best New Horror anthologies and holy jeez, is he effective at bringing the creepy.
posted by Kitteh at 7:54 AM on November 14, 2013


That confirms it, the new Doctor Who series is the Nickelback of television science fiction.

McGann is great. It's like Julian Casablancas dropped into a Nickelback single that Nickelback totally wrote.

I hope he got paid well.
posted by juiceCake at 7:55 AM on November 14, 2013


Mezentian: " I also want to heartily second listening to the Eighth Doctor's Big Finish audios, even if you're skeptical of Doctor Who in radioplay form, because they truly are delightful and Paul McGann is the best.

Chimes of Midnight is amazing. That Rob Sherman hasn't written more is a crime.
"

He has a tumblr, if you want to tell him that yourself. He's super nice to fans, even when they're having heart palpitations all over the internet about Scherzo.
posted by bettafish at 7:57 AM on November 14, 2013


@Mezentian I've rationalised that having been through the Dark Eyes business, wherever that leads, he's symbolically returned to his old costume to show demonstrate what he isn't. Didn't work here though.
posted by feelinglistless at 7:58 AM on November 14, 2013


Unless Cass was part of the sisterhood and the whole thing was a pretense to get him to Karn.
posted by feelinglistless at 8:00 AM on November 14, 2013


I find the Dark Eyes costume a bit try-hard, and I think this new outfit did a good job of bridging the gap between one aesthetic and the other -- it still takes its cues from the velvet Oscar Wilde get-up while having a darker, more practical sensibility.
posted by bettafish at 8:02 AM on November 14, 2013


the correct form of address should be "Lord Whom of Gallifrey"

Since it is canon that all the time lords hailed from Gallifrey this would imply that all their titles would be Lord XXXX of Gallifrey, which clearly makes no sense.
posted by biffa at 8:02 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


biffa:
Since it is canon that all the time lords hailed from Gallifrey this would imply that all their titles would be Lord XXXX of Gallifrey, which clearly makes no sense.


Well, on a universal scale it makes sense to be identified by planet. When the Time Lords get together with the Space Lords and the Thought Lords and the Smell Lords you want to know what planet each noble comes from, no?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:04 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lemurrhea: Add in the similar discussion in A Good Man Goes to War, and clearly this is a theme that Moffat has been hinting at/trying to explore for a while.

Determinative Nomenclature?


The business about becoming a "warrior" particularly reminds me of the whole business about "the healer becomes the warrior" from The Left-Handed Hummingbird. There, it signified the Doctor being manipulated into being more violent by a being who wanted to take over his body.
posted by baf at 8:29 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


This has made me so, so happy.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:35 AM on November 14, 2013


When the Time Lords get together with the Space Lords and the Thought Lords and the Smell Lords you want to know what planet each noble comes from, no?

Not really, because everyone would know that the time lords are from Gallifrey.
posted by biffa at 8:40 AM on November 14, 2013


That was delightful, and so many references to excellent things (Sisterhood of Karn, yesssss!). I've been avoiding the teasers for the most part because keeping away from the hype and the haters is the secret to being a happy Whovian, but this was absolutely worth poking my head out of my hole for.
posted by immlass at 8:44 AM on November 14, 2013


I never ever ever say this, but thank you, Steven Moffat. Seeing Eight has made me deliriously happy.
posted by OolooKitty at 8:50 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sir,

I refer to my previous correspondence.

I note that you have now seen fit to print upon the pages of your "web-magazine" an attempted criticism of my recommendations to you, from one "biffa" - namely the comment: "[s]ince it is canon that all the time lords hailed from Gallifrey this would imply that all their titles would be Lord XXXX of Gallifrey, which clearly makes no sense."

I must protest in the strongest possible terms that you should publish such ill-tempered nonsense - and under a pseudonym suggestive of low breeding and truculence. Is there not a plurality of Lords Justice of Appeal, Sir? Has not this blessed Albion a multiplicity of noblemen of identical rank, Sir?

By Jupiter, Sir, your conduct is not befitting a gentleman, even one engaged in the so-called "newspaper" trades.

I have instructed my solicitors to appeal to the Privy Council to give you a thrashing, Sir. Upon the BOTTOM, Sir. Yes - I am not one to avoid the use of such language when it is clearly warranted. BOTTOM, I say to you, Sir - BOTTOM.

Yours, etc.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:54 AM on November 14, 2013 [12 favorites]


Sir,

BOTTOM!!!

Yours,
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:59 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


The lack of Eccleston is going to hurt so bad.
posted by cthuljew at 9:06 AM on November 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


Wow, what an awesome surprise! McGann did a fantastic job.
posted by Harpocrates at 9:10 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dear Sir,

I refer your attention to a letter of the 14th November published in the most recent issue of your Inter-Net Log "Meta Filter". In it, Lt Commander T. Q. Kid suggests that we should call the protagonist of a popular Tele-Vision serial "Lord Whom of Gallifrey" instead of his proper name, "Doctor Who". Surely the Lieutenant Commander knows that neither Family names nor Christian Names follow the rules of grammar in altering their forms. When Lord Bath, exempli gratia, joins the Choir Invisible, we do not call him Lord Bathed.

I should hope that the officers of the Royal Navy are offered a higher calibre education to-day than they were when Lt Cmdr Kid was receiving his instruction.

In addition, please re-new my Subscription to the "Meta Filter" publication for the upcoming year at the customary "City-Rate" of 20d. per annum.

I am, Sir, your most humble and obedient servant,

William St John-Huddershaugh
Pifflesquick End
Womblehamston-on-Flumm
Minstershire
England
posted by Rock Steady at 9:15 AM on November 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


What is it about the 8th Doctor? Sure, Paul McGann is a good actor, and hunky in his tousled way, but the 1996 tv movie failed to please fans and newcomers in equal measure. And the audio adventures are not exactly accessible to the casual viewer. So why does 8 capture the imagination so much? I think because Paul McGann is the Who that never was. Which is a good thing, because the 1996 reboot would not have spawned the lovable show we have now. It would have been dreck. Highlander the Series level at best. But in a show about a past that never stays stable, a future you can go to, and a present that is never what it seems, the mythology of a Doctor we know so little about and who's travels are uncertain and imaginary is powerful. I can imagine so many possible Doctor Who series starring Paul McGann, from the embarrassing to the sublime, and we never got to see any of them. Like the wiped episodes from the 1st and 2nd Doctors, this just adds reinforces the theme of the series. Even a time traveler with many lives can't change what has already happened. The failed reboot is a fixed point in time, and the great series McGann could've starred in, the extra 9 seasons we could've had--they just can't exist.
posted by rikschell at 9:21 AM on November 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


Sir,

I have never, in all my life, answered any correspondence written by a Rock (steady or otherwise) or indeed any boulder, stone, pebble or mineral deposit of any kind. Am I to start now, Sir? - or can we agree that only biological entities should be afforded the privilege of corresponding in the pages of this, your infamous webby-journal?

I trust I shall not have to say "bottom" to you again on this matter.

Yours, blah,
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:36 AM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: I trust I shall not have to say "bottom" to you again on this matter.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:39 AM on November 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


I feel like this is maybe one of the best exchanges:

"You're the Sisterhood of Karn, keepers of the flame of utter boredom."
"Eternal life."
"That's the one."
posted by ocherdraco at 10:10 AM on November 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Okay, another interesting thing: the face we see at the end is a young face—which implies that the War Doctor lasts for a long, long time.

Oh! I wonder if we'll get to meet the Corsair? So many questions...
posted by ocherdraco at 10:16 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dear Sir,

I must protest in the strongest terms the repeated and flagrant uses of the vulgar word b*tt*m in the pages of your web-magazine devoid of the requisite footman to fire off a small pistol and shout "Alarm!" before each occurrence (or "trigger warnings", to use the low speech of the hoi-polloi).

This sort of ungentlemanly behavior may be condoned by our overseas cousins, the libertine and degenerate Belgians, but I assure you that such scurrilous nonsense will not be tolerated by me or indeed, any right-thinking reader on the Inter-nets.

Sincerely,

Brig. Gen. Sir Geoffrey Featherstone Smith-Smythe-Smith (Ret.)
3 Kitten Mews
Much-Piddling-in-the-Marsh
Pitysex
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:25 AM on November 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


Trailer for An Adventure in Space and Time (the one I'm really looking forward to)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:25 AM on November 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm really looking forward to that as well!
posted by Kitteh at 10:30 AM on November 14, 2013


I've actually gone and pumped myself up to the point of some disappointment if it turns out that An Adventure In Space and Time isn't pulling double-duty to get new actors for 1 and 2 into the 50th, along with other returning Doctors, especially now that McGann's denials turned out to be probably NDA-mandated. There's just never, ever been a better time to pull off the biggest multi-Doctor story they can.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:38 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Since it is canon that all the time lords hailed from Gallifrey

I've never really understood why writers would create races capable of FTL in universes with an abundance of habitable planets who never spread beyond their home star system. Some of the Star Trek races exhibit this weird behavior as well. Time Lords have not just the galaxy, but the galaxy at all points in the past and future to inhabit. Not spreading out is a good way to go extinct. At least spread beyond the point where a single gamma ray burst won't destroy your entire civilization.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 10:41 AM on November 14, 2013


jason_steakums: I've actually gone and pumped myself up to the point of some disappointment if it turns out that An Adventure In Space and Time isn't pulling double-duty to get new actors for 1 and 2 into the 50th, along with other returning Doctors, especially now that McGann's denials turned out to be probably NDA-mandated.

Not only that, but I kind of hope Matt Smith has a cameo as a bowtie-wearing junior assistant who provides some surprisingly deft insight into what the Doctor's "ship" should look and sound like.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:41 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, I am not supposed to be twitching and watching the clock on my my new temp gig here as I wait for the chance to go home and watch this, this is NO FAIR....

I've been hyper enough waiting for the Return Of Ten....

I'll follow up the recommendation for Tennant's 2009 Hamlet with a recommendation for the show Broadchurch, which is a very UN-Doctor performance. Restrained, even. (And if they make him use an American accent in that remake I may be forced to kill someone.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:44 AM on November 14, 2013


I saw this in my feed at work and decided to take a soundless peek just to see if it looked like it was worth the time. I saw "PAUL FUCKING MCGANN", closed the window, picked up my Surface and headphones and locked myself in the server room.
posted by charred husk at 10:50 AM on November 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


I've never really understood why writers would create races capable of FTL in universes with an abundance of habitable planets who never spread beyond their home star system.

If you're innately superior to most of the other johnnies, and you're superior enough that you think your science has control over enough stuff around you that you're not going to be wiped out, why would you want to put yourself in a position were you might end up mixing with the hoi polloi?
posted by biffa at 10:54 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


By the way, Happy Birthday, Paul McGann!
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:09 AM on November 14, 2013


Okay, another interesting thing: the face we see at the end is a young face—which implies that the War Doctor lasts for a long, long time.

Or, maybe he ages quickly, since War Doctor is the result of voo-doo, rather than an official regeneration?
posted by Thorzdad at 11:12 AM on November 14, 2013


So chuffed McGann finally got another go onscreen.

Am now properly excited for the anniversary after getting a bit nonchalant about the whole thing really.

Might have to go and buy The Light At The End to tide me over until next weekend...
posted by brilliantmistake at 11:13 AM on November 14, 2013


Paul McGann's hotness: yes please.
posted by Kitteh at 11:18 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I only got to watch this once on my phone so maybe I missed it, but why wouldn't have McGann just regenerated normally?
posted by mikepop at 11:18 AM on November 14, 2013



I've never really understood why writers would create races capable of FTL in universes with an abundance of habitable planets who never spread beyond their home star system.


It's a fairly odd trope. In this case though, it's more understandable. Classic Who established pretty firmly that Time Lord culture is ludicrously stodgy, insular, and non-exploratory. The Doctor was considered strange for wanting to go to other planets rather than stay home. That's why the only other Time Lords he ran into were either eccentric or evil.
posted by unreason at 11:20 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


mikepop:
I only got to watch this once on my phone so maybe I missed it, but why wouldn't have McGann just regenerated normally?
My understanding is that regeneration only really kicks in when you're MOSTLY dead, not when you're WHOLLY dead. So if Eight was splattered all over the place he wouldn't be able to regenerate. Apparently the Keepers of the Waters of Boredom can temporarily fix splattered Timelords, though.
posted by charred husk at 11:23 AM on November 14, 2013


mikepop: "I only got to watch this once on my phone so maybe I missed it, but why wouldn't have McGann just regenerated normally?"

Either he was so damaged in the crash that regeneration would not have been enough to fix it. Or... the keepers deliberately resurrected him before the automatic regeneration kicked in so they could manipulate the result.
posted by Karmakaze at 11:24 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also it enabled him to modify his regeneration and choose how he came out ie become Dr Bastard
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:25 AM on November 14, 2013


My understanding is that regeneration only really kicks in when you're MOSTLY dead, not when you're WHOLLY dead. So if Eight was splattered all over the place he wouldn't be able to regenerate. Apparently the Keepers of the Waters of Boredom can temporarily fix splattered Timelords, though.

Not to mention that he got to pick what his next regeneration would be like. Other time lords have been shown to have at least some control, but the Doctor's been portrayed as being pretty terrible at controlling his regeneration.
posted by unreason at 11:26 AM on November 14, 2013


Didn't they say something along the lines of "too bad he's finally returning to Karn dead"? So I assumed he was dead-dead and only about to regenerate because of the Sisterhood's manipulation.

And I've always assumed -- though it's never been said explicitly that I know of -- that the Elixir of Life on Karn was somehow involved in keeping Morbius's brain alive for so long.

And, oh my God, Morbius-->Frankenstein-->Mary Shelley--> She did cause the Time War.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:33 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I definitely get why they did it, but he didn't look too splattered at the crash site. Maybe the TARDIS fell on him, causing massive internal injuries.
posted by mikepop at 12:19 PM on November 14, 2013


I feel like I make this recommendation any time Big Finish comes up on the blue or green, but here I go again ... if you have not dipped your toes into Big Finish yet, please consider the absolutely superb "Relative Dimensions." It is an 8th Doctor Christmas story, and it is superb, and totally stands on its own.
posted by jbickers at 12:20 PM on November 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Has anyone written an epistolary novel entirely in the form of priggish letters to Victorian periodicals? I do love them so.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:27 PM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


It is hilarious to read all the previously-sad-making 'gutted not to be asked back for the 50th' Paul McGann stories now.

Trailer for An Adventure in Space and Time

If, as the trailer suggests, they at all play up the "Hartnell hated being so sick/old that he had to give up the role" angle successfully, I will need tissues. I'm already liking that it looks like they are making abundantly clear that the 'doddering, sputtering persona' was a character choice and not actually what Hartnell was like.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:28 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


MCMikeNamara: It is hilarious to read all the previously-sad-making 'gutted not to be asked back for the 50th' Paul McGann stories now.

Is it possible they just made this mini ep because of those stories?
posted by Rock Steady at 12:34 PM on November 14, 2013


The afore-mentioned Rob Shearman on his reaction to The Night of the Doctor:
I find it surprising and delightful how seeing a Doctor pop up like a long-lost friend, and then die with such determination, has really cheered up my day.
Most of the time, when long-lost friends pop up out of nowhere and die six minutes later, I feel a little more equivocal.
posted by bettafish at 12:35 PM on November 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


Is it possible they just made this mini ep because of those stories?

The time I was thinking of was late last month, so I bet not. And the video that was the source of a lot of the quotes, in hindsight, seem like he's very careful to not to lie.

And I totally agree with Shearman. I've been having a lot of trouble getting out of bed on weekday mornings lately, but if the BBC would make sure that I had six solid minutes of new Doctor Who surprises every day, I might get over that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:55 PM on November 14, 2013


While I'm looking forward to Capaldi, if they were to do something outrageous like make one or more episodes of the next series be McGann/Eight flashback episodes instead, I would feel the exact opposite of cheated. The guy just didn't get a fair innings.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:07 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dear Sir, 
I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms about the song
you have just broadcast about the lumberjack who wears women's
clothes. Many of my best friends are lumberjacks, and only a few of
them are transvestites.

Yours faithfully, 

Brigadier Sir Charles Arthur Strong, Mrs.

P.S. I have never kissed the editor of the Radio Times.

posted by jenkinsEar at 1:28 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


George_Spiggott: "While I'm looking forward to Capaldi, if they were to do something outrageous like make one or more episodes of the next series be McGann/Eight flashback episodes instead, I would feel the exact opposite of cheated. The guy just didn't get a fair innings."

Given the nature of the show, I think the writers could swing it pretty easily.

Nth Doctor: Companion, I need you to stay right here. Don't go anywhere, don't move a muscle. I'll be back in five minutes.
Companion: But--
Nth Doctor: Five minutes.

[He runs into the TARDIS, which vworp vworps away. The Companion stares forlornly at the empty space for about ten seconds, before the TARDIS vworp vworps back.]

Companion: Doctor, why did you just-- wait, who're you?
Eight: Why, hello! I'm the Doctor, and you are?
posted by bettafish at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2013


George_Spiggott: While I'm looking forward to Capaldi, if they were to do something outrageous like make one or more episodes of the next series be McGann/Eight flashback episodes instead, I would feel the exact opposite of cheated. The guy just didn't get a fair innings.

They could be each other's companion for a while. Aww.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:53 PM on November 14, 2013


Without pre-spoiling anything, wouldn't the obvious climax of the "Day of the Doctor" special be War Doctor's regeneration into #9. Of course, staged correctly, it could be done without the voluntary cooperation of Christopher Eccleston, but one would hope otherwise. And, yes, given the nature of the show, either McGann or John Hurt could drop in on Capaldi at any time. War Doctor would, of course, demote him to Companion, and then we'd hear Peter swear up a storm...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:33 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not only that, but I kind of hope Matt Smith has a cameo as a bowtie-wearing junior assistant who provides some surprisingly deft insight into what the Doctor's "ship" should look and sound like.

*Ahem*.

McGann’s 50th Return: Full Pic Released.
Moffat on McGann’s Return

Moffat: “The Doctor numbering stays exactly the same”.

The only thing that annoys me is that if this is the case, why does he keep banging on about being on the front lines of the war?
posted by Mezentian at 2:50 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


This made me so happy.
posted by crossoverman at 2:51 PM on November 14, 2013


That was delightful. Thanks, Mezentian.

Maybe they'll do another one showing Eric Roberts turning into Derek Jacobi.
posted by homunculus at 3:43 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


So. A friend of mine wrote one of the Big Finish Who productions.

He is now canon.

I can report that he was so excited, he had an extra cup of tea to calm down.

Because that's how these people roll.

That is all.
posted by Devonian at 3:53 PM on November 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


I am delighted. 8 is gr8.
posted by painquale at 3:54 PM on November 14, 2013


There's quite a lot of Doctor Who on the radio over the next few days.
8 stories over 9 days, starting 6pm* Saturday on Radio 4extra with William Russell (Ian) reading David Whitaker's novelization of the 2nd Doctor Who story, The Daleks, followed by more than 16 hours featuring the 1st, 5th, 7th & 8th Doctors.
posted by Mezentian at 4:00 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Moff: "It’s not a matter of counting the regenerations, but of counting the faces of the Time Lord that calls himself the Doctor."

I'm sorry, but that's dumb. I understand why he is being dogmatic about letting Eccleston, Tennant and Smith keep their numbers, but absolutely no one is going to count that way.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:06 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I understand why he is being dogmatic about letting Eccleston, Tennant and Smith keep their numbers, but absolutely no one is going to count that way.

Do you really think people are going to start referring to Eccelston as Ten, Tennant as Eleven, Clone!Tennant as Twelve and Matt Smith as Thirteen? No, they aren't.
posted by crossoverman at 4:15 PM on November 14, 2013


NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I hate Moffat more than ever, for trying to establish what cannot ever happen: McGann as canonical. He can never be the 8th Doctor, or any other Doctor, any more than Peter Cushing can be the 2nd Doctor. Crap movies are not canonical.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:17 PM on November 14, 2013


Yeah but his awesome audio stories brighten up the canon a lot more than a lot of old clunker firmly canon TV episodes that were often worse than the TV movie.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:19 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hate Moffat more than ever, for trying to establish what cannot ever happen: McGann as canonical.

RTD's era already established that, my good fellow.

Crap movies are not canonical.

And yet, here we all are, welcoming The Gunfighters in with a rousing song.
posted by Mezentian at 4:20 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The truth about the Time War.
posted by homunculus at 4:21 PM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I mean, this guy's been canon for ages. The movie isn't half bad in that light.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:22 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Did anyone else notice that in the choices that the priestess gave him one was "Man or woman"?

I think that they just established that regeneration can change genders under the right circumstances. Which is interesting, particularly given the debate about that prior to the announcement of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.
posted by Grimgrin at 4:31 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as tone deaf as Moffat has been in public statements on that particular issue, that also was obviously quite deliberate and welcome.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:42 PM on November 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is this real life?

Looks like one of the side effects of the Time War was to nudge us all a smidgen closer to the best of all possible worlds. Great, great stuff!
posted by comealongpole at 4:48 PM on November 14, 2013


Just clicked this link 10 seconds ago. McGann reveal was 2 seconds ago. Hyperventilating and piss pants was 1 second ago.
posted by mediocre at 5:35 PM on November 14, 2013


I do not recognize people who do not recognize Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, so it all evens out.
posted by Kitteh at 5:37 PM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


The big Big Finish news is that Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson are going to record new stories together.

!!!
posted by JHarris at 5:42 PM on November 14, 2013


Finally got home and watched this. SO happy that Big Finish is now "canon," whatever that's worth in the Who world. Those folks have been doing amazing work for such a long time, with so much love and affection for the world they are playing in.
posted by jbickers at 5:43 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just rewatched Night of the Doctor with my SO, who apparently forgot about the last couple episodes including the John Hurt reveal, so I had to try and explain who the Doctor turned into at the end. "Um, remember the one with a gigantic TARDIS tower? And Strax and Vastra and Jenny and River Song are in it, and the guy from Spiceworld is there with guys who look like the Silence in top hats. And the giant TARDIS is the Doctor's grave and his timeline is kept inside, it's this glowy thing. And he goes inside his own timeline, and so does Clara, and all the old Doctors are there, and then John Hurt shows up as a Doctor who wasn't really a Doctor?" and then I was like, wait, no, this sounds like a fever dream even to me.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:25 PM on November 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


Maybe they'll do another one showing Eric Roberts turning into Derek Jacobi.

You forgot about the Master's intermediate regeneration into A Talking Cat!?! (skip to the 1:00 mark)
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:01 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I mean, this guy's been canon for ages.

Hey watch it, Killjoy. That is from The Happiness Patrol, which is one of my favorite series ever.

I do not recognize people who do not recognize Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, so it all evens out.

If you accept McGann, you have to take Cushing too, which makes McGann the Ninth.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:39 PM on November 14, 2013


If you accept McGann, you have to take Cushing too, which makes McGann the Ninth.

Cushing was an Earth-born scientist, not a Time Lord from Gallifrey.
posted by Mezentian at 7:47 PM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you accept McGann, you have to take Cushing too, which makes McGann the Ninth.

It's taken me most of the day, but I guess I had to eventually come across an anti-McGann troll.
posted by crossoverman at 7:57 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Paul McGann is terrific. His audio adventures are aces.

Put the TV movie out of your mind. Besides, I could easily stitch together two hours of even worse Who from any of the Doctors, except maybe the Second.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:00 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like to imagine that the Peter Cushing movies could exist even in the Doctor's own reality. They're not canon. They're freeform adaptations of the Doctor's adventures.

It's like how Popeye Doyle was a real person, but the French Connection movies also existed alongside him.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:02 PM on November 14, 2013


There's all kinds of fun ways to rope the Cushing Doctor into canon. A self-made, fully human alternate reality Doctor who created what we know as Time Lord technology himself in his reality, including regeneration (obv. Cushing can't play him) could be fun, all looking down on our Doctor during a team-up because ours didn't earn all his tricks. Someone who would make our Doctor the second-smartest in the room for once. Or something darker, like his adventures were an experiment run by the Daleks to figure out if the Earth connection is key to what makes the Doctor tick. It'd probably take a Cushing-alike for that one with no regeneration trick, you'd probably pick up his story after he's freed due to the Daleks having to hastily abandon the experiment during the Time War or something.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:25 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know, the way McGann's Doctor just swans in and tries to take Cass away, almost as if she is destined to be his next companion: is actually pretty creepy.

He's also really cranky on Karn, but I suppose you get that when you're dead. Although the fact that his and Cass' bodies didn't get mangled or burnt up on re-entry, is a little plot convenient.

I do hope we get to see The Sisterhood in Day of the Doctor. It seems as if they saw the end of the time war and decided to use the Doctor as a weapon to end it.

My memory is a bit foggy. I might have to rewatch The Brain of Morbius, but I have learnt the Sisterhood returned for an Eight Doctor audio, clearly set in the future, where the Zarodnix Corporation has driven the Sisterhood from Karn from the planet and strip-mined it.

So, in a sense, The Night Of The Doctor confuses Big Finish continuity as much as it embraces it.
And I'm not even going to try to slot Warmonger in there.
posted by Mezentian at 8:33 PM on November 14, 2013


MetaFiter: in a sense, confuses continuity as much as it embraces it.
posted by hippybear at 8:34 PM on November 14, 2013


I liked how when the Doctor was told he had a little less than four minutes to live, there was a little less than four minutes left in the video.
posted by Lucinda at 9:05 PM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Doctor Who Bayeaux Tapestry
posted by homunculus at 10:46 PM on November 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Just watching it again. Paul McGann's performance, voice and diction are gorgeous. He was wasted in the 1996 telefilm, we need a McGann series.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:52 PM on November 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


One of the nice things about having a road trip coming up is that we can listen to several of the Big Finish episodes.

For example, while it's not the Eighth Doctor, there's Dust Breeding. Involves the Seventh Doctor, Ace, a planet full of artists, and Munch's The Scream.

Also, I love how excited the Big Finish guys are about The Night of the Doctor. Special offer for the Eighth Doctor's return
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:03 PM on November 14, 2013


Doctor Who Bayeaux Tapestry ignores Series 6b.

So, how does it explain The Two Doctors, hmmmm?
posted by Mezentian at 11:05 PM on November 14, 2013


So for the 50th, we've got The Science of Doctor Who, with Professor Brian Cox, and An Adventure in Space and Time, with actor Brian Cox. Sci-fi Docs and Brians Cox.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:06 PM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


i regret watching this minisode.

NOW I'M BURNING FOR AN ENTIRE SERIES OF THE EIGHTH DOCTOR.

god, i almost forgot the Doctor isn't just a suit of tics and a sonic screwdriver.
posted by cendawanita at 12:39 AM on November 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


it looks like they are making abundantly clear that the 'doddering, sputtering persona' was a character choice and not actually what Hartnell was like.

Here's his entrance in And the Same to You (1960). I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it.

Oh, and McGann fans are urged to watch the Masterpiece/BBC series Collision (streaming on Amazon), although I felt his part was a weaker aspect (also, the US cut seems a bit choppy -- it's something like 40 minutes shorter).

Re: Canon -- I think the way that it's put in Who fandom is that canon is a fandom creation, and RTD for his part actually asserted that the word was never spoken in the writers' room. I think it would be more accurate to say that while not part of the main narrative, the Big Finish stories are easily considered to have always been canon (in the flexible way that works in Who).
posted by dhartung at 12:51 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Without pre-spoiling anything, wouldn't the obvious climax of the "Day of the Doctor" special be War Doctor's regeneration into #9

Moffat has said that his 'box set man' side wants to include every regeneration. So yes, I think that's a distinct possibility.
posted by monkey closet at 2:45 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


For Paul McGann deniers, this minisode should be seen as a blessing. Notice he didn't mention Grace from the TV movie when listing his companions? Well, now you have Paul McGann in front of you playing the 8th Doctor in a way that doesn't require you to accept the 1996 movie. You can get aboard the McGann wagon without compromising your firmly held beliefs.

It's the same way a person can accept Kate Lethbridge-Stewart as a thing without having to recognize Downtime.
posted by charred husk at 6:30 AM on November 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


On one of the Doctor Who websites it was mentioned that he doesn't mention Grace because Fox holds the rights to the 1996 movie, not the BBC.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:11 AM on November 15, 2013


The best thing about the 8th Doctor is that, between the rights issues and the many different media in which he's appeared and the stories within that media that have split off into different timelines and universes, it is the most impossible thing to ever declare any part of canon in a universe where this is already a struggle. So you might as well just have him not exist in your personal canon* if that's what you want -- though you're certainly missing out.

(* Speaking of, for the record, UNIT stories happened in the year in which they were broadcast, Season 6b happened, and both versions of "Human Nature" also occurred, probably because of the Time War.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:43 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have yet to see the movie, but gosh darn, sign me up for a 8th Doctor, Dr. Who series. If we can have Torchwood, etc, spun off, I demand Dr. Who: The 8th Doctor. Absolutely loved the Night of the Doctor.
posted by Atreides at 8:04 AM on November 15, 2013


On one of the Doctor Who websites it was mentioned that he doesn't mention Grace because Fox holds the rights to the 1996 movie, not the BBC.

Also, because Grace was kind of an annoying twit.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:30 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, because Grace was kind of an annoying twit.

SIGNED.

I actually watched the 1996 movie IN 1996, and hadn't had any previous exposure to the Doctor (except for as a wee child in the 70's when the opening credits to the Tom Baker era on PBS coming on after THE ELECTRIC COMPANY would freak me out and I'd run out of the room). I had to have my roommate give me a crash course before the movie, where he filled me in who "The Master" was, what "Gallifrey" was, etc.

Even with that little understanding, I still got the sense that "oh, this was originally a much better thing which has been seriously dumbed down for American tastes. Feh."

....Upon reflection, I may have thought at the time that "now, Agent Scully, SHE would have been an awesome companion." And even if I didn't think that then, I do now, and I would seriously have sex with Steve Moffatt if it'd bring about an 8th-Doctor/Scully spinoff series.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:40 AM on November 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


an 8th-Doctor/Scully spinoff series.

*head explodes*
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:02 AM on November 15, 2013


seriously, wouldn't that be amazing?....

....Wait, I've already written a fanfic where the Tenth Doctor and Mulder team up on something. This is giving me Ideas.

(ponders)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:04 AM on November 15, 2013


This isn't particularly on topic, but speaking of awesome women who are companions of the Doctor, for those interested in checking out Big Finish, head towards Evelyn Smythe. Wikipedia says it best:

Evelyn was fifty-five when she began her travels with the Doctor. Being more mature than most of the Doctor's other companions, she was more than a match for the more abrasive Sixth Doctor, often questioning his decisions and even counseling him on them. In turn, the Sixth Doctor recognized Evelyn's wisdom and ability and respected her advice.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:09 AM on November 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you're going that route then Scully needs to be paired with Peter Cushing.

"Wait, you're traveling with a time travelling alien, too, Scully?"

"No, Mulder, don't be ridiculous. His name is Dr.Johnathan Who. He built this time machine with his granddaughter."
posted by charred husk at 9:10 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


....No, I'm seeing this as a happened-during-season-9-x-files thing. When Mulder had quit and Scully was just sort of abandoned with John Dogget and whoever Anabeth Gish was playing.

I mean, Chris Carter wasn't giving Scully anything sensible to do, so let's reward her with having the 8th Doctor recognize her exceptional mind was being wasted and so every so often he'd use her as a consultant, always bringing her back to exactly the same time as when they left so she could still work with the FBI.

Ooh, and after spending all that time with The Doctor just puts medicine on Scully's brain, and that's why she ultimately goes back to practicing medicine.

BY GOD THIS IS WORKING AND MAKING SENSE AND EVERYTHING
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:19 AM on November 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


dhartung: "Re: Canon -- I think the way that it's put in Who fandom is that canon is a fandom creation"

This is exactly what frustrates me about Doctor Who fandom. Here we have this fictional multiverse that spans decades of material across multiple media-- TV shows, audio dramas, comics, novels, video games-- for which the content creators deliberately choose not to be gatekeepers by defining which stories "count" and which don't, specifically because they want fans to be able to play around, mix and match and speculate to their heart's content.

And instead of running with that fandom's just taken the gatekeeping onto itself. "You can't reference that Companion in this discussion; she's only from the comics so she's not canon." "You're obviously not a REAL FAN or you would understand how background information from this out-of-print novel from the '90s informs the Doctor's characterization!"

It's a jerk way to engage with other people, and it's also just...yawn.
posted by bettafish at 9:47 AM on November 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


And it's way more fun to think about how to get weird inconsistencies to make sense in fanon than it is to complain about what shouldn't be in it. The old Marvel No-Prize thing.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:52 AM on November 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, Dr. Grace Holloway is marvelous and no one can tell me differently.
posted by bettafish at 9:52 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, does this mean the Doctor really is half human?

And, does anyone know how we can see Adventures in Time & Space online? I looked through Amazon, and it wasn't there. I cannot, will not wait a moment longer than I have to, and I don't have cable/tv.

I'm so excited to see Matt Smith . . . for the last time! (Shoo, go away, you're wrecking stuff for me.)
posted by MoxieProxy at 10:42 AM on November 15, 2013


MoxieProxy: "So, does this mean the Doctor really is half human?"

If you want him to be! I change my mind week to week.

(See, this is why not having a canon is fun.)
posted by bettafish at 12:24 PM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always took that crack about being "half human on my mother's side" was just The Doctor Being An Eccentric Weirdo Saying Weirdo Things.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:33 PM on November 15, 2013


I always took that crack about being "half human on my mother's side" was just The Doctor Being An Eccentric Weirdo Saying Weirdo Things.

It is my firmly held belief that it was a line left over from one of the MUCH MUCH WORSE versions of the script that no one remembered to remove because they were shooting so quickly.

If you all would like to, why not spend 18 minutes with Doctor McGann, Daphne Ashbrook (who seems nice, and I would be all for Grace coming back someday, after Ace, obviously) and the director here. (It's part of a series of Q&As of varying quality, and one of the best.

And then: The Final Countdown. And the Children In Need clip is out.

Apparently The Science Of Dr Who went out last night too.

And, to end on a bit of a downer... (Unless you like the Tennant/Piper year).
posted by Mezentian at 5:30 PM on November 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I really like that the Children In Need clip seems like it's leaning towards less momentous epic plot contrivance to get 10 and 11 together and more "ok, two Doctors, there you go, have fun!"
posted by jason_steakums at 5:39 PM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


And, to end on a bit of a downer... (Unless you like the Tennant/Piper year).

I don't understand why Jon Hamm / Elisabeth Moss aren't even on that list. Unless... oh, shit, I'm not in that universe, am I?
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:09 PM on November 15, 2013


It is my firmly held belief that it was a line left over from one of the MUCH MUCH WORSE versions of the script that no one remembered to remove because they were shooting so quickly.

The book The Nth Doctor covers all the possible iteratations of the TV movie that they went through before we ended up with the one we did, and astonishingly they are all far, far worse - which takes some doing.
posted by Artw at 6:19 PM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of glad my roommate wasn't home to hear the giddy noise I just made when I saw the Tenth Doctor put on the fez.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:32 PM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


and astonishingly they are all far, far worse - which takes some doing.

I find your faith in TimeGrandpappy Borusa and TimeDaddy Ulysses disturbing.
posted by Mezentian at 7:26 PM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


True confession:

I am probably now up to my 20th repetition of fastforwarding to that same point in the children in need clip ("Hee! TEN IN A FEZ!")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 PM on November 15, 2013


I just wonder how the Fez will get destroyed.
And will it be replaced with a straw(?) hat.

(I could rewatch The End of Time, but... no).
posted by Mezentian at 8:47 PM on November 15, 2013


This article provides some pretty useful help for people who now want to get into the 8th Doctor's adventures.

I think it's interesting that it was the 8th Doctor who decided to stop being the Doctor and to become a Warrior. At the end of the Name of the Doctor, it seemed like Matt Smith's Doctor was accusing John Hurt's Doctor for what he did in the Time War. But it was the 8th Doctor who decided to get involved in the War. He's to blame.

Here's my (unserious) prediction for what happens next. John Hurt gets injured at the end of the Time War and starts glowing. What's going to happen? Christopher Eccleston hates Doctor Who and has said he won't return to the show... how are they going to show John Hurt regenerate into the 9th Doctor? Did they woo Eccleston back somehow? John Hurt does that crucified burst of energy thing, and regenerates into... Peter Capaldi! Then, Matt Smith's Doctor (who has been injured in the same incident) begins to glow, and he suddenly regenerates into William Hartnell's Doctor (played by David Bradley). Stricken with complete amnesia, he's stranded on Gallifrey in the past, to be looked over by his granddaughter. In future seasons, we follow the adventures of Peter Capaldi's Doctor with no real mention of the new crazy continuity, leaving fans to sort it all out.
posted by painquale at 1:02 PM on November 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


But it was the 8th Doctor who decided to get involved in the War. He's to blame.

Well be fair, he was dead at the time. How many good decisions do you make when you're dead?

Besides, the implication is that he's not joining the war to fight in it, he's joining the war to end it. And it's not a spoiler to say that the series has implied from the beginning that he ends it with some kind of "plague on both your houses" coup that takes out both sides and preserves the universe. (That this seems to have had a lasting effect only on one side is a source of irritation to me. I suppose you have to have Daleks for tradition's sake, but they kinda suck so if you're gonna use them, use them sparingly and in interesting ways.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:24 PM on November 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Besides, the implication is that he's not joining the war to fight in it, he's joining the war to end it.

He asked to become a warrior....
posted by painquale at 3:03 PM on November 16, 2013


Painquale, that's an awesome theory. I nominate you as showrunner after the Moff moves on.
posted by rikschell at 4:51 PM on November 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just finished listening to The Time Of The Daleks and Never Land and it's amazing how much the TV series has mined, thematically or otherwise, the audios.

And, riffing off painquale's idea: that we see more of William Hartnell's Doctor (played by David Bradley) is awesome.
posted by Mezentian at 5:47 AM on November 17, 2013


Strax Field Report: Queen Elizabeth
posted by homunculus at 11:48 AM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


With the resurgence of interest in McGann's Doctor after this webisode, there's an online petition asking for more:
For 17 years, we only had the TV Movie to satisfy our appetite for a Live-Action Eighth Doctor. On the 14th November 2013, we were granted the minisode, the "Night of the Doctor". Although we do possess a vast number of Big Finish Audio-Dramas and books, it would be a shame to never see McGann as the Time Lord on-screen again. Therefore, I have created this petition in order to drum up interest and support in order to pressure both Moffat and McGann into making a live-action series, featuring the Eighth Doctor. It would be a shame for such a fantastic actor and Doctor to be once again confined to the past yet again. Even a web series would suffice!
This will probably never happen, but you never know unless you try!
"I can't make your dream come true forever, but I can make it come true today."
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:28 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Words cannot express how much I want more Eighth Doctor.

Given McGann's talent for voice acting, and the budgetary constraints of the BBC, it would be a load of fun if they could make a few animated features, like how DC and Marvel do for their characters. Given the porous nature of Doctor Who's timelines and canon, it shouldn't be that big of a deal to have them exist alongside the 12th Doctor.

I'm only dreaming, of course.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:21 PM on November 17, 2013


(That said, even on the actual TV show, there's at least technically no reason why they couldn't have a lot of fun with flashbacks to McGann. Yes, it would be the tail wagging the dog, but many of the best parts of Who have come from exactly that sort of thing.)
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:26 PM on November 17, 2013


Maybe he'll get a Christmas episode. He might be a good foil to Peter Capaldi. If so, I hope Richard E. Grant reprises his role as the Great Intelligence. For old time's sake.
posted by homunculus at 3:27 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Given McGann's talent for voice acting, and the budgetary constraints of the BBC, it would be a load of fun if they could make a few animated features, like how DC and Marvel do for their characters.

I think that sort of thing is well out of the BBC's budget, or else we'd have more animated lost episodes, webseries like... um.... that Infinity one, and that one with the Tenth Doctor at Area 51....

I mean... they might not suck, but on past evidence they will.
posted by Mezentian at 5:11 PM on November 17, 2013


I think the best we can hope for is McGann guest starring at some point. The BBC will never make a full series or even a mini based on a past Doctor. What exactly would that gain them? The show is still running. Given their penchant for stretching out new series of WHO now, they are obviously conserving their budgets.

During the Tennant run, they always used to do a Doctor-lite episode each series. If they do a Doctor-lite during Capaldi's run, they could just slot another Doctor in there. Perfect for McGann!

Or McGann and Capaldi together is fine by me!
posted by crossoverman at 5:20 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking of McGann, SFX has re-printed an interview with him from 2004, back when David Warner was tipped to play the Doctor (casting I can get behind) and he was expecting, maybe, to come back for a regeneration story.

Back then (and can you believe it's almost a decade?) he seemed non-committal to the idea of returning to play the Doctor.
posted by Mezentian at 7:19 PM on November 17, 2013


McGann interview from yesterday about The Night of the Doctor and how hard it was to keep the secret... though the secret wasn't kept.
posted by crossoverman at 7:27 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The BBC will never make a full series or even a mini based on a past Doctor. What exactly would that gain them? The show is still running.

Well, they made Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures... they've decided in the past that there's a market for concurrent spin-offs that skew toward a slightly different demographic. Depending on how it is written, a mini based on a past Doctor could gain them whatever they thought Torchwood and SJA would gain them.

I would really be in support of a spin-off starring McGann that was aimed at older and more mature audiences. (Torchwood was supposed to be for mature audiences, but "mature" in this context meant "immaturely sexy"). This could also keep costs down. You could write a series that didn't use many special effects and was mostly theatrical and character-driven: a series of bottle episodes. Hell, call it "Doctor Who Retro" and go back to alien suits made out of cardboard. Kids might find it boring or cheesy, but it wouldn't be for them, just like Torchwood wasn't. And it'd stave off complaints of older viewers who find the main show to be turning insufferably juvenile.

The danger, I think, is that McGann's Doctor could prove to overshadow or be more popular than Capaldi's Doctor. That's probably enough to keep them from wanting to give McGann anything more than a cameo appearance in the main series.
posted by painquale at 3:18 AM on November 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


The danger, I think, is that McGann's Doctor could prove to overshadow or be more popular than Capaldi's Doctor.

Which is why the BBC would never do it... hey, FOX, wanna give it another go?
posted by crossoverman at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2013


First full clip from Adventure in Time and Space.
posted by johnasdf at 1:20 PM on November 18, 2013


I'm impressed with their restraint that when Newman was saying "No tin robots, BEMs, death rays, or brains in jars" they didn't cut to Raymond Cusick designing the Daleks and the brains that ruled that city on Marinus. Or at least make a sad trombone noise.

I guess that's why I don't work in television production.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:58 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Which is why the BBC would never do it... hey, FOX, wanna give it another go?

No. Just no.
Remember the lesson of Inspector Space-Time.
posted by Mezentian at 3:43 PM on November 18, 2013


Remember the lesson of Inspector Space-Time.

Remember when Community was good?
posted by crossoverman at 8:29 PM on November 18, 2013


Or, as I like to call them "The Chevy Chase Years".

I would like to rip on Fox - or FX - more but it gave me Fringe, and gives me American Horror Story, so there is a chance it might not end up like America's Doctor Who.

Personally, since the Parliament of Australia has called on Doctor Who to film in Australia for 2014, and apparently NZ wants in too, I reckon we need a series of specials with McGann as a co-funded production.
posted by Mezentian at 8:47 PM on November 18, 2013


Remember when Community was good?

So it was, so it shall be again.
posted by Atreides at 7:45 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


David Tennant offers a special introduction to The Day of the Doctor
posted by plastic_animals at 9:14 AM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


David Tennant offers a special introduction yt to The Day of the Doctor

This is basically, "Well, everyone is going to watch it anyway, so let's just have David be stupid a lot."
posted by crossoverman at 12:04 PM on November 19, 2013


Stupid or completely adorable?
posted by angrycat at 12:31 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is my firmly held belief that [the line about "half human on my mother's side"] was a line left over from one of the MUCH MUCH WORSE versions of the script that no one remembered to remove because they were shooting so quickly.

I just re-watched the movie, for my sins, which was on BBC America last night. And I'm afraid that....it's a plot point. Some stupid thing like a human eye needs to be the one to look into the portal that opens the eye of harmony or whatever stupid twaddle they came up with.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:54 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fortunately Doctor Who canon is rather fluid.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:29 PM on November 19, 2013


Fortunately Doctor Who canon is rather fluid.

Everything is canon! Even Dimensions in Time!
posted by crossoverman at 1:48 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Major cameo appearance spoiler announced at HuffPo. Avoid, avoid, avoid!
posted by crossoverman at 3:31 PM on November 19, 2013


Thanks for the warning.
posted by homunculus at 3:43 PM on November 19, 2013


Does anybody think that the reflection of the young Hurt doctor is from an Alien still? Because, damn, he sure does look like he did in the spaghetti scene in Alien when his character is still um, intact.
posted by angrycat at 5:59 PM on November 19, 2013


The hair made me think it was from The Naked Civil Servant.
posted by immlass at 6:10 PM on November 19, 2013


So, this is something adorable: the latest in the Fine Brothers' Youtube "Kids/Teens/Elders React to...." videos: Teens react to Doctor Who. They show the kids the two trailers, some pictures of things like the TARDIS and the sonic screwdriver, and the like, and get their reactions. About half of them do not get it at all, the other half start freaking out from the instant they see the first few seconds of the trailer and talk about their toy TARDISES and legos stuff, and when they tell one girl who doesn't know about it "so it's about this guy called a Time Lord that can travel anywhere in time and space", she starts freaking out and says "i have to see this, how come no one told me about this before????"

Oh, and one girl calls Steven Moffet out for not giving the companions enough character development.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:10 PM on November 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Major cameo appearance spoiler announced at HuffPo. Avoid, avoid, avoid!

If it's the one I just read at Blastr, I'm off to the salt mines. Anyone want anything?
(That said, I expect there's a bit of Ben Kenobi truth too it).
posted by Mezentian at 8:58 PM on November 19, 2013


Everything is canon! Even Dimensions in Time!

It's not a fixed point in canon. Canon can be written.
posted by Mezentian at 9:00 PM on November 19, 2013


Curse of the Fatal Death is canon.
posted by Artw at 9:05 PM on November 19, 2013


So is The Pit.
posted by Mezentian at 11:27 PM on November 19, 2013


Curse of the Canon.
posted by homunculus at 11:51 PM on November 19, 2013


Call me crazy (in part because I just rewatched Night Of The Doctor... again) but it just struck me that The War Doctor could be either a sad nod to The War Games, or it could have a deeper significance.
I mean, the Time Lords need to fight a war. Outside the Nth Doctor and Big Finish's Battle TARDISes the Time Lords rely on the transduction barriers.

It makes sense that they might unlock the War Lords. It's something that could be dealt with with a few lines in the script to explain the Judge Dredd types in the trailer.
posted by Mezentian at 1:26 AM on November 20, 2013


Oh man I want to adopt a bunch of those kids reacting to the trailers
posted by angrycat at 5:48 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


angrycat: Does anybody think that the reflection of the young Hurt doctor is from an Alien still? Because, damn, he sure does look like he did in the spaghetti scene in Alien when his character is still um, intact.

I love it when they do this in TV shows. The best was in 30 Rock when they were testing the High Def camera and discovered that everyone looked elderly, except for Jack, who looked like a 20-year-old Alex Baldwin.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:17 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does anybody think that the reflection of the young Hurt doctor is from an Alien still?

One of the DW sites worked it out. It was not Alien, it was nothing SF.
I can't recall what it was, but the hair gives it away.
posted by Mezentian at 6:22 AM on November 20, 2013


The BBC have now released The Last Day via iTunes.... this is an error!

It doesn't appear to be on YT, but don't give the ghost of Steve "Davros" Jobs cash. The Doctor wants to be free.
posted by Mezentian at 6:27 AM on November 20, 2013


Apparently there is drama! I have not seen it (and fuck ITunes) but it seems that The Last Day is about Gallifreyian troopers (found footage screenshots) in the Time War.
posted by Mezentian at 6:32 AM on November 20, 2013


It is free on the US iTunes and, while it's a fine little episode, it is not worth paying for.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:32 AM on November 20, 2013


This is what I have heard.
But the British are coming, with pitchforks made with licence fee forms.
The regulars are coming.

Man, can you imagine if the McGann Revelation was behind a paywall?
posted by Mezentian at 6:37 AM on November 20, 2013


More from the rumor mill. (Spoilers, if true.)
posted by jbickers at 7:12 AM on November 20, 2013


Rock Steady: who looked like a 20-year-old Alex Baldwin.

I don't usually comment on my own typos, but "Alex Baldwin"? Really, me? I'm turning into my father, who once called Bell Biv DeVoe, the R&B singing group, "Bing Bang DeBoom".
posted by Rock Steady at 7:29 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


True story: I tried to take his picture once, and Alex Baldwin called me a clock-sucking fad.

"The Last Day" is out in the wild for free now, as God and the BBC intended, and it's neat enough. I mean it's not Paul-McGann-surprise-shows-up as the Doctor, but holding any and all 50th anniversary materials to that bar is the fast track to disappointment.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:03 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The cool thing about the Time War is the glimpses we've seen have it as Daleks and Time Lords trying to write each other out of history and rewrite their own losses (with Genesis of the Daleks being the first shot fired), causing massive paradox damage to the fabric of the universe, with Gallifrey insulated from those effects by Time Lord technology and the Daleks operating from outside of space and time entirely - so troops on Gallifrey defending the home base are way less interesting to me than what goes on out in the universe at large during the Time War, where timelines are churning and breaking and it's all chaos. Hopefully the special spends less time on the generic shooting war stuff in The Last Day and more on the absolute craziness of the war tactics.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:25 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


jason_steakums: the absolute craziness of the war tactics

There is so much potential, isn't there? Even from a "shooting war" standpoint, a simple skirmish where your reinforcements can come from the future becomes really complicated, really quickly. I kind of hope that the "war" itself is just depicted as a chaotic maelstrom of wibbly wobbly timey wimey... warfare, with close focus on whatever the Doctors' parts in it may be.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:33 PM on November 20, 2013


Have we had Spider Daleks yet?
I demand Spider Daleks, as God and John Peel intended.
posted by Mezentian at 1:42 PM on November 20, 2013


so troops on Gallifrey defending the home base are way less interesting to me than what goes on out in the universe at large during the Time War, what goes on out in the universe at large during the Time War, where timelines are churning and breaking and it's all chaos. Hopefully the special spends less time on the generic shooting war stuff in The Last Day and more on the absolute craziness of the war tactics.

I agree, I've always assumed the Time War was a total mess for the bystanders in the universe, and that's way more interesting that whatever nonsense is happening with the Time Lords and the boring Daleks. Also, my assumption that the Time War was a ruinous mess of chaotic timelines has been why I've never been too fussed over what's "canon" and not. Inconsistencies? Time War! Thing about canon you don't like? Casualty of the Time War!
posted by yasaman at 2:03 PM on November 20, 2013


There is so much potential, isn't there? Even from a "shooting war" standpoint, a simple skirmish where your reinforcements can come from the future becomes really complicated, really quickly.

This is why Kang/Immortus should be the best Avengers villain, though he's rarely, if ever, written up to his potential. Kang is a time traveling warlord from the future, and Immortus is Kang's even further future self, who he's destined to become, and they hate each other, they hate the Avengers, they live to conquer, and they have all of time and space and other dimensions at their disposal to raise armies and gather weapons and supplies and intelligence and to stack the deck for their wars against basically everyone and alternate versions of everyone, including themselves. I like a supervillain whose superpower is effectively immunity to the entire concept of canon in the fictional universe they inhabit.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:48 PM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Okay, I just need it to be Saturday night (Sunday morning 6:50pm Melbourne Time) now. I'm tired of waiting. Doctor, Doctor, speed up time please!
posted by crossoverman at 3:45 PM on November 20, 2013


Hopefully the special spends less time on the generic shooting war stuff in The Last Day and more on the absolute craziness of the war tactics.

It's like, all the crazy things The Doctor has done, and could ever do, fueled by a writer's willingness to push the envelope with a cock-eyed, causation-defying deus ex machina, put in service of a battle between two highly advanced alien races trying to obliterate each other.

I've been watching Super Mario Bros. corruption videos on YouTube again, and I figure those are the kinds of things that would happen to the universe when such tactics are employed.
posted by JHarris at 4:36 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, I just need it to be Saturday night (Sunday morning 6:50pm Melbourne Time) now.

2:50 pm New York time here. A friend and I are going to be going to the special screening at Brooklyn's Way Station bar (warning: auto-play video on that link), because it's equidistant to us both and also why would you not want to be in a bar where the door to the bathroom is a TARDIS and Matt Smith wrote "Pee Happily" on the bathroom wall.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:46 PM on November 20, 2013


I'm getting up as cocks begin to crow, because time isn't wimey enough to get the simulcast at a time that isn't oh-my-god o'clock, and i'd prefer not to have to avoid the Internet all day.
There will be champagne.
posted by Mezentian at 4:53 PM on November 20, 2013


Every Single Doctor Who Story, Ranked from Best to Worst, via io9.

This list is, of course, scientifically wrong in that Time And The Rani is not at the bottom.
I also disagree with the first place winner. I've never gotten the love that Caves gets.
posted by Mezentian at 5:05 PM on November 20, 2013


A friend and I are going to be going to the special screening at Brooklyn's Way Station bar

I need to go there next time I'm in New York. Can someone remind me?
posted by crossoverman at 5:28 PM on November 20, 2013


Every Single Doctor Who Story, Ranked from Best to Worst, via io9.

So much wrong with that list, I don't even know where to begin.
posted by crossoverman at 5:33 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


City of Death and The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances should tie for the top spot.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:39 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aliens of London/World War Three is in no way better than The Brain of Morbius.

This list is pretty much outrage all the way down.
Which is why I hate lists like this.
posted by Mezentian at 5:41 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Combing old and nuWho on the list was pretty much guaranteeing it'd be an apples and oranges thing... But even sepwrating them out there's some weird choices there.

That's lists on the Internet for you I guess...
posted by Artw at 5:45 PM on November 20, 2013


THE WEb PLANET IS BSET DOKTOR WOO
posted by JHarris at 5:47 PM on November 20, 2013


For some crazy Who-but-not-but-is you could do better than The Book of the War as covered in THERE IS NO POST HERE, IGNORE, IGNORE - though a lot of it is conceptually interesting stuff that would be in practice unfilmable.
posted by Artw at 5:50 PM on November 20, 2013


The Web Planet is great in the original Target novelization.
posted by Artw at 5:50 PM on November 20, 2013


They could title this list "241 Ways To Be WRONG On The Internet" and put it in a one page per story slideshow to make it worse.

The Web Planet is great in the original Target novelization.

This is true of many of the Targets.
posted by Mezentian at 5:52 PM on November 20, 2013


I was only half kidding about The Web Planet. The special effects are the goofiest of the whole show (and for Doctor Who that's saying something), but there's lots of good stuff there.

From the list:
184) The Rescue - the first introduction of a new companion ever, and a fun little story. The Doctor confronting Koquillion is magical.

I note that this entry was under the "below average stories" section, and yet it says nothing about why the story is below average. It uses terms that are wholly positive. (It's a great serial, BTW.)
posted by JHarris at 5:58 PM on November 20, 2013


It also calls Rose great and An Unearthly Child awful.
posted by Artw at 6:19 PM on November 20, 2013


I have a soft spot for The Web Planet and have it on DVD. I greatly enjoy it. Always have done.
As a kid I hated, hated Black Orchid, but last time I saw it I greatly enjoyed it.
posted by Mezentian at 6:21 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't trust any ranking that deems Love and Monsters "decent."
posted by meese at 7:08 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't even come up with a consistent top ten of my favorite stories that I wouldn't completely disagree with ten minutes later, trying to put them all in a definitive list is just ridiculous.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:06 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't even come up with a consistent top ten of my favorite stories that I wouldn't completely disagree with ten minutes later

Perhaps, but I'm sure "Blink" is in every one of them.
posted by hippybear at 8:19 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It also calls Rose great and An Unearthly Child awful.

You know how I know "Rose" is not good? It made me not watch new Who for a couple of years. I was never a big Classic Who fan, but I expected Russell T Davies might make a good go of the new show. "Rose" put me off. Too many groaner gags. And a belching rubbish bin. And dodgy effects.

I wish so hard that I'd at least watched "The End of the World" before I made my decision to watch the show - that's a much better episode. (And this awful list has it as #69.)
posted by crossoverman at 8:34 PM on November 20, 2013


Aliens of London/World War Three and the endless Slitheen farting is the one that made me really dread where it all was going with the new series. It's a really fun two parter! Pretty solid work, really. And then they went "it's pretty good, but what Doctor Who really needs is fart gags!"
posted by jason_steakums at 8:41 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


PEX LIVES
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:33 PM on November 20, 2013


Back in the day The Happiness Patrol and Paradise Towers (less so Ghost Light, which is both awesome and awful at the same time) as evidence that the show was starting to tale risks and do interesting things, playing with ideas of plot and narrative that could be more interesting than Star Trek TNG (My memory is foggy, but I think I was watching TNG S1 around the time, probably on the VHS releases because Australian TV was yet to pick it up).

Sure, you can see the seams and the lack of budget, and the Caretaker is totally over-acting: but mad cannibal pensioners trapped in a tower of the future? A planet where unhappiness is a crime? That was crack to my 2000 AD loving brain. I remain annoyed that Alan Moore and Pat Mills have never had a chance to write for the show proper.

FROBISHER LIVES!

Also, I have watched the Night Of The Doctor around 20 times. The Last Day? I will watch once. I might watch it again when I get the DVD. It was more dull than an episode of Agents of SHIELD.
And Arcadia is on Gallifrey? That doesn't seem right.
posted by Mezentian at 10:15 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Doctor Who vs Mrs Thatcher – the showdown: The late leader appears as an evil tyrant in a 50th anniversary story

That vile BBC!
(Spoiler: it's for Gaiman's novella not Day of the Doctor.)
posted by Mezentian at 11:17 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Unrelated: but apparently the Marco Polo: recovered rumour (and more?) has started getting some more legs.
I dare to believe.
posted by Mezentian at 1:49 AM on November 21, 2013


Speculation is rising that an announcement on the return of the seven part season one serial Marco Polo to the BBC may be imminent. ... Suggestion is that the announcement could come as soon as Saturday’s Doctor Who After-Party or the BFI event on December 2nd. ... Related Rumours: Over 200 cans of film were found in Ethiopia by Phil Morris, amongst them Marco Polo, The Reign of Terror and The Crusade, Marco Polo will not be announced alone and at least one other serial will be announced as being recovered. Speculation on this ranges from parts of The Daleks Masterplan to The Macra Terror and The Massacre. Source.

I've been hearing this for a few weeks.
But.... my squee voice and my Kermit arms are ready. I love The Aztecs beyond reason. I have no reason to assume Marco Polo would be any less great.
posted by Mezentian at 2:15 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Miss the classic Doctors? They’re back in this celebratory special written and directed by Peter Davison.
posted by Mezentian at 2:58 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interesting to see if maybe Ten doesn't make a cameo in it as well...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:19 AM on November 21, 2013


The Mary Sue site posted a BBC Breakfast feature on the upcoming show, in which there is another clip - of The Tenth Doctor facing off against....a rabbit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:27 AM on November 21, 2013


Mezentian: "I've been hearing this for a few weeks.
But.... my squee voice and my Kermit arms are ready. I love The Aztecs beyond reason. I have no reason to assume Marco Polo would be any less great.
"

I really enjoyed the telesnap version of Marco Polo, which is worth taking a look at just for the full-color stills of the gorgeous sets, so I'm crossing my fingers really hard on this one. Granted, one of the advantages of telesnap Marco Polo is that, it being essentially audio with a few pictures, it's relatively easy to ignore all the Asian characters being played by white people (aside from the really cringeworthy villain character who of course speaks in a "Mongolian" accent). That's going to be a lot harder if we have the restored visuals.

I've been wondering what the Fish Doctor thing was -- looking forward to it.
posted by bettafish at 6:17 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and a last hurrah and a tip of the hat to Time War 3.0, a favorite fic of mine that's already been jossed in bits and pieces and is likely to completely contradict the TV version of the Time War by this weekend:
It has been suggested that after his eighth regeneration, the Doctor begins lying about his age. The official explanation is that he has simply lost track. This is a third possible explanation for the discrepancy between his ages in the new and old series.
If Moffat's version is half as conceptual and alien and utterly unnerving as this, I'll be well-pleased.
posted by bettafish at 6:53 AM on November 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


bettafish: Oh, and a last hurrah and a tip of the hat to Time War 3.0, a favorite fic of mine that's already been jossed in bits and pieces and is likely to completely contradict the TV version of the Time War by this weekend:

That is good. That was indeed just what the Time War should be like. I'm afraid you've ruined the special for me now.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:01 AM on November 21, 2013


Given that we have Doctors 10 & 11 sharing the screen, The A.V. Club has a nice little debate on Russell T. Davies vs Steven Moffat.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:30 AM on November 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


That A.V. Club article is actually way better than I was expecting it to be. I went in expecting Gallifrey Base/Tumblr levels of vitriol in the article and the comments, but it's refreshingly calm and even-handed! I've gotten tremendously sick of the RTD vs. Moffat arguments in the fandom, but there's some great discussion going on there.
posted by yasaman at 11:43 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's almost too even-handed, but I guess that's because I'm so used to the Davies v Moffat discussions being a lot more heated.
posted by crossoverman at 1:36 PM on November 21, 2013


British friends, An Adventure in Space and Time won't air in the US until tomorrow night, so perhaps you could be judicious in posting spoilers here in this thread? You might try Rot 13 if you would like to obfuscate certain key points, but it's generally frowned upon en masse.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:49 PM on November 21, 2013


Rock Steady:
An Adventure in Space and Time won't air in the US until tomorrow night, so perhaps you could be judicious in posting spoilers here in this thread?
Gurl pnfg Wblpr Terasryy gb cynl gur svefg Qbpgbe.
posted by charred husk at 1:55 PM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


charred husk: Gurl pnfg Wblpr Terasryy gb cynl gur svefg Qbpgbe.

Doctor Whomerica
posted by Rock Steady at 2:15 PM on November 21, 2013


An Adventure in Space and Time won't air in Australia until Saturday night.
Pity me. And the Gelth.
posted by Mezentian at 2:23 PM on November 21, 2013


Paul Lynde as an alternate American version of the Doctor? Yes, please, he says, surprising no one.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:26 PM on November 21, 2013


An Adventure In Space And Time in was absolutely sodding brilliant. I've not been that emotional since The Wire finale. All the awards.... any justice it will win all the awards.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:59 PM on November 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's the kind of spoiler I actually need -- so I can emotionally prep myself.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:04 PM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Google Doodle game
posted by crossoverman at 7:26 PM on November 21, 2013



An Adventure In Space And Time in was absolutely sodding brilliant.

I cannot agree more! Great acting, and beautiful set design. I wasn't sure what to expect from Mark Gatiss since I'm not so fond of his writing for doctor who, but this blew me away.
posted by Harpocrates at 11:21 PM on November 21, 2013


An Adventure In Space And Time in was absolutely sodding brilliant.

My pants... they were charmed off.

I wasn't sure what to expect from Mark Gatiss since I'm not so fond of his writing for doctor who,

I have similar feelings. I'd quite forgotten The Crimson Horror.
posted by Mezentian at 5:29 AM on November 22, 2013


Some further thoughts:

SPOILERS?


1. The opening scene: That was straight up from Doctor Who And The Daleks.
2. Did they go to Twinks Are Us Casting for Steven and Ben? Was that a sly nod to the "Gay Agenda"?
3. Pat was also woefully miscast.
4. Speaking of the "Gay Agenda": What was with all the "knowing looks" in the bar? Was Waris gay?
5. Mr Fitch was actually not as good a Billy as I'd expected, but he was delightful.
6. So. Much. SMOKING.
7. The last few minutes are amazing. As I have said for the last 10 years, and I repeat: IF THE BBC DON'T BRING BACK IAN: WTF, BBC? Also, why was he dressed like that?
8. Pretty much everything about this was amazing. And it probably deserved 2x the running time.
9. Hussein won an Emmy Award for the Barry Manilow musical Copacabana.
10. Day of the Doctor, amazingly, probably won't be this good.
posted by Mezentian at 6:40 AM on November 22, 2013


Addendum: 'I Would Make Doctor Who More Complex', Says Director Warris Hussein.

Just do it, BBC.
posted by Mezentian at 6:43 AM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Haven't seen it yet. (I seriously considered downloading it last night even though I have cable and it airs here tonight.)

But:

4. Speaking of the "Gay Agenda": What was with all the "knowing looks" in the bar? Was Waris gay?

Yes he is and presumably was then too, though...

9. Hussein won an Emmy Award for the Barry Manilow musical Copacabana.


might have been a good hint... if you want to stereotype...which I often do, I guess.

But seriously, Indian, gay, and a TV director in the early 1960s -- I hope somebody is writing his biography because I'm sure it'd be an interest to more than just Doctor Who fans.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:48 AM on November 22, 2013


Addendum 2: Bradley completely out-acted Tennant in the End of Time nod.
And there are some behind the scenes bits.
posted by Mezentian at 6:50 AM on November 22, 2013


Yes he is and presumably was then too, though...

Then they did a good job of not making it a thing, that one scene aside.

But seriously, Indian, gay, and a TV director in the early 1960s -- I hope somebody is writing his biography because I'm sure it'd be an interest to more than just Doctor Who fans.

That's why I wish it had more time to breathe than 70-odd minutes.

Haven't seen it yet. (I seriously considered downloading it last night even though I have cable and it airs here tonight.)

I just pre-ordered the DVD.
It's just amazing.
It really is.
And, also depressing.

Since i am here:
Doctor Who: 50 years in 50 pictures
The highs and lows of Doctor Who
and When Russell T Davies Meet Verity Lambert.

Verity was 26 at the time. MIND BLOWN.
(She was also female. But 26.)
posted by Mezentian at 6:56 AM on November 22, 2013


After watching any scene with Verity and Waris, they could do so, so much worse than picking Jessica Raine or Sacha Dhawan as Doctor one of these days.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:29 AM on November 22, 2013


After watching any scene with Verity and Waris, they could do so, so much worse than picking Jessica Raine or Sacha Dhawan as Doctor one of these days.

As a fan of the white, male doctor forever, I am close to agreeing.

Sacha Dhawan was just too much hipster.
posted by Mezentian at 7:36 AM on November 22, 2013


I would also take Brian Cox as fast-talking Sydney Newman as the Doctor. "One day I was trying to think my way out of a jam. 'I got an idea!' I said, 'reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!' 'What's that?' they said. 'How the hell should I know!?' I said, 'but what a phrase!' Pop pop pop!"
posted by jason_steakums at 8:03 AM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, David Bradley was great as William Hartnell, but Raine and Dhawan's Verity and Waris were the highlight for me. Overall, it was... pretty good -- the script started to fall apart in the last third or so, and the little cameo (you know the one) towards the end felt awkward.

Speaking of cameos: four of the original actors for the First Doctor's companions made appearances. (Although, seriously -- why haven't William Russell and Carole Ann Ford showed up in an actual Doctor Who episode yet? William could easily reprise his original character, even. We're running out of time to get them on, people!)
posted by bettafish at 8:10 AM on November 22, 2013


The thing about Carole Ann Ford is that her character is the Doctor's granddaughter. Oh sure they could retcon that like they have so many other tiresome things, especially because a lot of things about Susan's character were never well explained, but the retconning gets old after awhile, you're not sure if anything that happens in any story is "for real," or if it'll just be discarded later, because the weight of continuity for a show so long-lived is crushing.

What's more, when last we saw Susan (other than in The Five Doctors) she was left on a post-apocalyptic Earth ravaged by Daleks. An event that now likely didn't happen, so what's happened to Susan?
posted by JHarris at 1:28 PM on November 22, 2013


The thing about Carole Ann Ford is that her character is the Doctor's granddaughter. Oh sure they could retcon that like they have so many other tiresome things,

According to Eric Saward she's not, she's the President's daughter.

An event that now likely didn't happen

No: "Someone tried to move the Earth once before".

so what's happened to Susan?

She died in the Time War.
posted by Mezentian at 3:47 PM on November 22, 2013


"One day, I shall come back. Yes I shall come back. Until then there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Probably I'll only be back in an audio, mind."
posted by Artw at 3:52 PM on November 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


JHarris: "The thing about Carole Ann Ford is that her character is the Doctor's granddaughter."

Which is why I emphasized that William Russell at least could take up his original role. Technically that would contradict a throwaway implication in Sarah Jane Adventures that Ian and Barbara haven't aged since the 60's, but I doubt anyone would really throw a fuss if it meant William Russell coming back as Ian. Meanwhile, there's no reason Carole couldn't play a different character (perhaps one who reminds the Doctor of someone, though he won't say whom). It'd be a nice tribute, and an amusing flip from the usual "one episode role leads to actor's return as companion or Doctor" situation.
posted by bettafish at 4:24 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


so what's happened to Susan?
She died in the Time War.


Uh-huh, yes, except --

except Susan isn't a Time Lord. She's just a Gallifreyan. Or she's probably not one. And she might not even exist in this plane anymore, but instead on that alternate Earth where the Daleks invaded. And how could she have died in the Time War if she wasn't on Gallifrey?

According to Eric Saward she's not, she's the President's daughter.

According to who now? Why should we care what a random Who scriptwriter says, who apparently didn't even sign on until long after Hartnell's time? At this point so many things have been retconned at best, outright contradicted at worst, that the stories pretty much have to be taken one at a time, and forget about everything else unless the script writer explicitly expects you to remember it, in which case we're supposed to be thrilled that he remembers.

Some of this can be explained by history being changed and re-changed, yes. But first, is that really a satisfying answer to say that entire past stories have been rendered moot, or even non-occurring, due to later events? It feels a bit like how Alien3 killed off Newt, who the ending of Aliens expected us to care deeply about. Except it's worse, as prior dire threats the Doctor solved now presumably go unaddressed, or those world now no longer even exist. And second, it's one thing to say that so-and-so events in one flavor of continuity or other probably didn't happen (and really, go read the Tardis Data File wiki a bit, all kinds of weird crap have been established in audio and print, it makes the Star Wars Extended Universe look quaint) but it's another to go back and say the nature of reality is different now.

Okay, Star Trek does this too. Most long-running series do it. But it's really been taken to extreme lengths here, because for a while at the start Doctor Who was a pretty laid back show, despite saving the world periodically for a while they also had fun adventures on historic Earth, and then they did a lot of things on the spur of the moment without strong script supervision, just establishing one thing then establishing its opposite the next Thursday (Like, can you change history? Can you not? Can you, but shouldn't? Does it all fit together like a jigsaw? Can you, but only with Reapers showing up? Roll D100 on Table 5-3: Doctor Who History Changing Objections. 1-100: Screenwriter's choice.)

Which, okay, it's just a show. But it's like they don't expect us to treat it like just a show, now they're doing season-long story arcs that depend not just on things that happened earlier, and will happen later, in the season, but also events of past seasons, and I dunno, it kind of seems hollow.

But yes, Ian should totally come back. He was damn near the only companion who frequently stood up to the Doctor.
posted by JHarris at 6:04 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Blastr is reporting (via DWTV) the details of the Marco Polo rumour. Doesn't pass the sniff test to me, but there you are.
posted by Mezentian at 6:21 PM on November 22, 2013


(Above it looks like I'm pissed or something. I'm really not.)
posted by JHarris at 7:08 PM on November 22, 2013


Well, I thought [schmeh's] cameo at the very end of Adventure in space and Time was lovely. His expression was this wonderful combination of awestruck, scared totally shitless, and grateful, all trying to somehow hide behind a mask of "it's okay, Bill, I got this".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:40 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess I thought the cameo was just going to be as a background character or something, like all the ex-companion cameos. I really liked how it actually happened, though.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:15 PM on November 22, 2013


Wow. I bloody loved that. And yeah, I guess those are the perfect lines to end it on.

(Did not much care for the cameo though.)
posted by Artw at 10:56 PM on November 22, 2013


Every Single Doctor Who Story (Correctly) Ranked From Best to Worst

It's a fools errand, but this ones a bit more sane.
posted by Artw at 11:02 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


A bit more sane. But only a little bit.
But still wrong, in part because Fear Her isn't at the bottom.
posted by Mezentian at 11:13 PM on November 22, 2013


I like that list a lot more, at least where I am in it, because she says good things about things I like. And she knows Barbara and Jamie are great.
posted by JHarris at 2:26 AM on November 23, 2013


It's a fools errand, but this ones a bit more sane.

....I actually found it a bit Comic-Book-Guy hung up on how The Classics Were Better Because They Were The Classics So Suck It.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 AM on November 23, 2013


What someone really needs to do is make a page that generates a random best of list for each visitor. So, for one reader, the greatest story ever might be Day of the Daleks, for another Marco Polo, for a third Boomtown. I'm sure the joke would be spotted immediately, but like to imagine the shenanigans if enough people took it seriously.

Beautiful word, shenanigans.

I liked the cameo - at the point Hartnell gives up the role, what was a popular but eccentric television series becomes what turns out to be more of a tradition than a dramatic narrative. It's something that most of the population have in common, like the Royal Family, but cheaper and with a better-looking cast. Once there was the fact of a second Doctor there was the possibility of an eleventh one.

On the whole, the series seems to operate like that parlour game, where the players try and add another word to the end of a sentence without ever reaching a full stop, while not really worrying about whether the sentence communicates anything. I don't think it's useful to consider the series as a serious coherent narrative, it seems happier to be a developing riff which draws in ideas from the past and ideas from the contemporary culture with a few new ideas thrown into the mix by passing writers. It's big improvisation, and the phrase that needs to be banned in improvisation if it's going to work at all is "no, you can't".

The theme for the last few seasons has been foot-all-the-way-down-on-the-accelerator, which I've quite enjoyed, personally, but assume that with the new Doctor they'll have to do something different. I heard the other day that there'd been a big meeting of the writers, where they each told the stories they were writing in sequence to see whether it hung together as one big story. I don't think they've done this before, at least it doesn't seem like they have. Perhaps it's a lesson they learned from listening to the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast.
posted by Grangousier at 4:51 AM on November 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have also heard that the next season will be more Hinchliffe-era gothic.
I also have a sneaking suspicion that Capaldi isn't going to hang around that long.

I could happily skip the season-long stories.
And Daleks.
posted by Mezentian at 6:03 AM on November 23, 2013


I hope Capaldi does hang around for a bit - one of them has got to.
posted by Artw at 6:25 AM on November 23, 2013


Everything I have read is that it's a punishing job.

Anyway, 5 hours and 14 minutes to go!
posted by Mezentian at 6:35 AM on November 23, 2013


/prepares to eject from Internet for 48 hours.
posted by Artw at 6:52 AM on November 23, 2013


Say it ain't so!
At least where you are it's at sensible o'clock. I'm getting up before the sun is even up.
But, yes, if nothing else I expect Moffatt will pull a McGann rabbit out of his hat, other rumours be damned. Avoiding the internet is a good strategy.
posted by Mezentian at 7:01 AM on November 23, 2013


In an hour I will be heading to the Way Station in Brooklyn to watch there - because you know a bar that boasts Doctor Who theme cocktails and a bathroom that looks like the TARDIS is gonna be INSANELY AWESOME today.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:03 AM on November 23, 2013


You're probably already too late to get into the Way Station. They are partnering with several nearby bars to handle the overflow crowd.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:16 AM on November 23, 2013


Jeez. Thanks for the warning.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:32 AM on November 23, 2013


Are we going to discuss the episode here as it's happening?
posted by crossoverman at 11:23 AM on November 23, 2013


Yes, if anyone is watching we'd greatly appreciate some play by play for those of us stuck without a way to see it....
posted by anastasiav at 11:56 AM on November 23, 2013


That may well be one of my favourite things ever.

You're perfectly free to feel disappointed if you want. I'd counsel against it, though.
posted by Grangousier at 1:08 PM on November 23, 2013


You're perfectly free to feel disappointed if you want. I'd counsel against it, though.

Well, it's nice to have your permission.
I'm off to watch Fear Her or Timelash.
posted by Mezentian at 1:12 PM on November 23, 2013


Well, it's nice to have your permission.

I'm feeling magnanimous.
posted by Grangousier at 1:13 PM on November 23, 2013


So this is where we talk about it? Is it?

Because although I'm a cynical creature who rolls her eyes at most things, and I did roll my eyes at a lot of things, that last last last minute KILLED ME DEAD.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:15 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, that was fun. My only comment about the episode will be: John Hurt should just be in EVERYTHING.
posted by hippybear at 1:16 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


YES! YES! I CALLED IT! (If you haven't seen it yet, don't click the link, I predicted something that did happen... mostly)
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:17 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm going to fall into bed now.
I'm so curious to see all the reactions when I get up, because a small sampling seems to be be putting me in the minority of people who hopes they gloss over this and never talk about it again.
posted by Mezentian at 1:18 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


There was only one way the cameo appearance from that other former Doctor (he spilled the beans himself, don't blame me for the SPOILER) could have better. With a cameo-cameo by John Cleese & Eleanor Bron. After all the scene is in a museum...
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:23 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


hopes they gloss over this and never talk about it again.

They pretty much set it up so that it basically can't ever be talked about, not in the continuity of the show.
posted by hippybear at 1:23 PM on November 23, 2013


A great way to celebrate the fiftieth birthday, still more NuWhovian than proper Whovian, but they finally let the doctor be the doctor and it all had just the right amount of naffness that Doctor Who needs.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:23 PM on November 23, 2013


It took me a minute to get that crack War Doctor made about ears. And then I laughed like a loon.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:24 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


That voice... pure chills.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:28 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


BBC Live Blog (spoilers, clearly)
posted by anastasiav at 1:39 PM on November 23, 2013


It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful. Was it the greatest thing I've ever seen on TV? No, but it was Doctor Who, distilled and made a wonderful birthday present.

And the last five minutes -- I was actually shaking. Yes, that voice. Did anyone not know who it was at the first word?

To keep being mooshy -- I love that people all over the world were watching this at the same time. Triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism indeed.
posted by kalimac at 1:40 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's nice to have a keynote speaker that everybody's actually happy to see at one of these stuffy events.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:41 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


(P.S. - I loved it.)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:41 PM on November 23, 2013


That live blog is worth it on the strength of "They should let Zygons be Zygons" alone.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:45 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Currently biding my time waiting to see it by having a conversation with a friend where we pretend everyone is super excited today about an anniversary special for Golden Girls, including the introduction of a secret dark version of Sophia who blew up The Golden Palace in the heretofore unrevealed Golden War.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:55 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


(1) well, this pretty much sets up the theme for Doctor Capaldi's episodes for a while (unless it gets resolved or at least redefined very quickly in the Christmas Special/regeneration episode)

(2) can Moffitt go more than a few episodes without The Doctor getting ANOTHER wife?

(3) now that the Sonic Screwdriver software gimmick is out of the bag, how hard will it be for the show to NOT make it a Go-To Deus Ex Machina in future episodes?

(4) favorite scene: Tenth Doctor vs. Zygon... no wait, it's just a rabbit. (Silly Doctor, Tricks are for Kids)

(5) and another pre-spoilery prediction (since my last one turned out to be CORRECT), that before Jenna Coleman leaves the series, she will be revealed as one of children of Gallifrey who were saved, and trying to reconcile it with her other origin story will be a mess.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:55 PM on November 23, 2013


Loved, loved it. Sat here waiting for the repeat on Space so Mrs A. can watch it for the first time.
So glad Tom Baker made an appearance. Also, more John Hurt please!
posted by arcticseal at 2:08 PM on November 23, 2013


The live after show party on BBC3 was so hilariously piss poor it brought back flashbacks to Club x and The Word and a reminder that great sections of the Beeb are just so rubbish now
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:13 PM on November 23, 2013


I LOVED IT. It truly was the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism.
posted by yasaman at 2:15 PM on November 23, 2013


I was watching the BBC show, then couldn't bear it, so I turned the sound down. It's a shame, as you'd get a fairly good programme just getting all those people drunk and filming them telling stories. But no, it has to be formatted and mediated by proper presenters. FFS.

Anyway, I realised I'd be better off watching the actual show again. It's amazing how much they packed in. D'ye reckon they're pitching a UNIT spinoff series with Kate and the scarf woman? Because I'd quite like that.
posted by Grangousier at 2:17 PM on November 23, 2013


That was fun. Far from the best episode I've seen but it was a good yarn.
posted by plastic_animals at 2:32 PM on November 23, 2013


(2) can Moffitt go more than a few episodes without The Doctor getting ANOTHER wife?

Blame Rusty for Liz.

I can't believe I am the only person who hated it. Gosh. This feels odd.
posted by Mezentian at 3:25 PM on November 23, 2013


The Five(ish) Doctors thing is a lot of fun. (Who knows when it'll become generally available, though... though the ahem 'dark vaults' should have it a some point no doubt)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:41 PM on November 23, 2013


Watch The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot

The Day of the Doctor: Deleted Scene.

Christmas 2013 Teaser Trailer

May or not play in your country.
posted by Mezentian at 3:55 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was good. John Hurt was great. I think he may now be my next favorite Doctor after Tom Baker.
posted by homunculus at 3:56 PM on November 23, 2013


I loved the use of stasis bubbles (hello Vernor Vinge!) and the memory wipes+duplicates to negociate the contract. Also loved what they did with Queen Elizabeth (which had been mentioned in passing, by Liz Ten and the werewolf queen before that). I was less appreciative of the bad wolf callback, because I was showing it to my family who hadn't seen any Dr Who before. The rest of the nostalgia callbacks were taking place in archives and a museum, so at least they were organic. The black-and-white credits are cool and stand on their own.

I would have liked to see more of the war. It was already established that Gallifrey was time-locked (end of time, S4 specials), whether that counts as genocide depends on whether the time lock will eventually be broken. Given how much the time lords (ab)use time travel, setting them loose could be extremely tricky. I imagine the frozen instant in the painting can serve as a bridge.
posted by Tobu at 3:59 PM on November 23, 2013


Review (spoilers)

Review (spoilers)
posted by anastasiav at 4:00 PM on November 23, 2013


Right! Time for the BBCAmerica rebroadcast and my first time watching it....
posted by The Whelk at 4:04 PM on November 23, 2013


I have promised myself, no crying during theme music, but we'll see.
posted by The Whelk at 4:05 PM on November 23, 2013


Watch out for the rabbit. Sneaky buggers, rabbits.
posted by arcticseal at 4:14 PM on November 23, 2013


Oh, so good! I'm really impressed by how they managed that plot whilst leaving everything up til now in tact. Really, really satisfying.
posted by freya_lamb at 4:23 PM on November 23, 2013


That Guardian review isn't really a review as such. Probably not that informative if you're not interested in the writer and her apparently rich home life.
posted by Grangousier at 4:26 PM on November 23, 2013


The great hero of the Doctor Who anniversary special is... John Rawls?
posted by homunculus at 4:26 PM on November 23, 2013


Yep, like all the best Doctor Who stories it was heart tugging and funny and continuity ridden and just.. fantastic.

I had a thought a while back, never bothered to post it. Proved somewhat true here, The Doctor "doctored" as a verb the whole of the Time Wars history.
posted by mediocre at 4:28 PM on November 23, 2013


I have spoilery questions, about this and Night of the Doctor but I left them in the other thread since that was the later one but maybe this is a better so I dunno I'm confused by the timey wimey stuff.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:43 PM on November 23, 2013


I hope it's far enough down to go into this sort of thing, but it's only just struck me that the reason you never, ever use an ultimate, all-destroying weapon with a conscience isn't so much the all-destroying bit as that it will do whatever it can to not do any all-destroying. It's a good idea. Weapons should have consciences, as you really can't count on the consciences of the people using them.
posted by Grangousier at 4:46 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dunno I'm confused by the timey wimey stuff.

Can't you talk like grown-ups?
posted by hippybear at 4:49 PM on November 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


> "Did anyone not know who it was at the first word?"

Someone in the movie theater I was in screamed out his name excitedly the moment he spoke, to the great amusement of the packed audience. :)

And regarding that appearance, I already posted this in the other open thread, but figure I might as well here as well:

In the scene by the elevator, when the person is being attacked by the thing, and she is repeating to herself that someone will come and save her? She is not referring to the obvious person. She is referring to the "museum curator" ... which we know because he's the one who gave her that scarf.

(Maybe this was like, totally obvious to everyone else at the time, but it only hit me about an hour afterwards.)
posted by kyrademon at 4:53 PM on November 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't think she's knows who the curator is because the scarf she has isn't THE SCARF. The original scarf was not in stockinette stitch. I think she thinks the curator is just a sweet normal person. U.N.I.T. wouldn't let him just retire and be the curator, they'd always be asking him for stuff.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:04 PM on November 23, 2013


Out of curiosity, did people who saw it at home get the tiny screams of the popcorn and the 100th anniversary in 12-D stuff? Or was that movie theater only?
posted by kyrademon at 5:08 PM on November 23, 2013


Found this, retweeted by Graham Linehan
posted by Grangousier at 5:49 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Spoiler) so, what are the round things, anyway?
posted by homunculus at 6:16 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


New thread.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:20 PM on November 23, 2013


(Spoiler) so, what are the round things, anyway?

That was all covered in Castrovalva. Apparently Moffat has not seen Castrovalva.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:36 PM on November 23, 2013


That's the Zero Room, so not an exactly correct answer.
They're walls and panels. I think there are even boots behind some.
posted by Mezentian at 11:55 PM on November 23, 2013


The're roundels and they act as access points to the Tardis' circuitry (though I've got a hazy memory they are tie into some other system(s)... dematerialisation? chameleon? force field? in the orig RPG) #nerdcore4life
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:01 AM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


the scarf she has isn't THE SCARF. The original scarf was not in stockinette stitch.

It's also way too short.
posted by immlass at 8:53 AM on November 24, 2013


I assumed that she was just a big fan of the Doctor's (and knew all about him through her connections at UNIT), so she made the scarf herself as a tribute, just like a young Doctor Who fan does. The call from the Doctor sent her to her inhaler in a fit of excitement, after all.

If that's her backstory, she'd be a pretty funny companion: a starry-eyed stand-in for the rabid fan of the show. She could sling out trivia about the Doctor's old adventures and constantly ask him about continuity, and he could keep saying that he's forgotten, that he's already rewritten that part of history, that he was just joking when he said that he was half-human, etc. I think a character like that would pair really well with Capaldi's older Doctor.
posted by painquale at 10:12 AM on November 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is straying dangerously into spod terriory but there was a Tom Baker style scarf hanging up in Clara Oswin's house...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:32 AM on November 24, 2013


I assumed that she was just a big fan of the Doctor's (and knew all about him through her connections at UNIT),

On screen, at least, the Fourth Doctor only interacted with UNIT twice: Robot and Terror of the Zygons (and, one could stretch that to Seeds of Doom. And he almost never interacted with late 20th C Earth (City Of Death and the Hand Of Fear.

It seems like that's not the Doctor she would idolise.
posted by Mezentian at 9:41 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


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