Welcome to the News & Reviews section here at Doctor Who Online! This is where you will find all the latest Doctor Who related news and reviews split up into easy to use sections - each section is colour coded for your convenience. The latest items can be found at the top, and older items follow down the page.

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25 May 2017

As two-parters go, The Pyramid At The End Of The World had a lot to live up to from the previous episode...

The story itself is a lot simpler than last week's, and The Monks are centre stage with their plan to take the planet and its people. We kick off with a rather interesting twist on the 'previously...' recap at the start of the episode, that interjects with scenes from 'now' - something that not only works really well, but has Moffat written all over it!

As with last week, we have a side story, which, at first, seems completely unrelated, but we later find out how the two correlate and it plays out to set the stage for the episode's conclusion. For a moment, we actually thought this scene was setting us up for a shock regeneration, as it appears to mirror events from a previous episode in the 10th Doctor's timeline.

Those of you expecting to see Missy will be disappointed. After the set-up from the closing moments of the previous episode she is nowhere to be seen; a rather odd, but, in hindsight, deliberate choice.

Bill has some great moments in the episode, and you relish the times where she problem solves out loud, proving to The Doctor (and everyone around her) just how intelligent she is. The Pyramid At The End Of The World gives Pearl Mackie another platform to show off her skills and give great development to her character, and as events come to a head, Bill actually becomes the most important person on the planet.

Where we feel things are let down a bit is in the form of suspense; something that was peppered throughout the previous episode.Yes, Extremis was a little slower than other stories this season, but the suspense built throughout and coupled with the claustrophobic setting of the library, and the pursuit of the creepy Monks, it all worked together so well. This episode, whilst still suspenseful in places, felt disparate and a little disjointed; so many elements from last weeks story were missing here, and you expected them to reappear to give some form of a resolution.

One thing that the story did exceptionally well was its use of location; that pyramid (both external and internal) was fantastic, and it kind of has you longing for an Egyptian-themed episode of Doctor Who.

Something that deserves a mention is the way in which Rachel Denning (an actor with dwarfism) was used in the episode. Not only did she do a fantastic job with the role, but her disability wasn't even referenced in the story - nor did it need to be. Another excellent example of representation of diversity in Doctor Who.

Although The Pyramid At The End Of The World didn't tick all the boxes, and was far from a perfect episode, it still somehow manages to continue the quality and momentum of success that Series 10 has carried thus far. Speaking of momentum, the first line of this review will be turned on its head as the end titles roll. ;)



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  An indirect but totally accurate reference to Trump.
2)  The most advanced duffle coat in history.
3)  Strands of time.
4)  2 Minutes to Midnight...
5)  A scene reminiscent of The Doctor and Wilf in the isolation chamber...

+  10.7: The Pyramid At The End Of The World airs This Saturday at 7:45pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

18 May 2017

As we approach the halfway marker of Series 10, it's clear we've had a very strong season so far, but it's a point where we start to wonder how long the momentum can last. With the return of Missy, and an episode written by Steven Moffat, however, you may just have to wait a little longer as this series continues to deliver with Extremis.

From the off, Moffat is on fine form; the episode starts 'A long time ago' as we spiral in on an unknown planet that specialises in executions. To name either the executioner or the condemned would be giving too much away, but typical of Moffat's style, this little narrative which fades in and out of the main story is a pleasant distraction, and you keep wanting to know its resolution.

Ok..we can hear you asking... and YES - we do get to find out who or what is inside the vault, but as we read our checklist of what we can and can't mention in our preview, alas, the identity is something we cannot reveal - although the more astute among you will have probably guessed by now.

The episode is centred around a book called The Veritas - something that anyone who has read has soon after died. The way in which The Doctor is involved is straight out of a Dan Brown novel. In fact, The Doctor can very easily be compared to Robert Langdon (the central character in Brown's books); a smart man, called in by the Catholic church to solve a chilling mystery at its heart. There are scenes that appear to be straight out of Angels And Demons, and the adventure is all the richer for it. Previewing an episode like this is incredibly difficult without giving anything away, but, as you can expect, there is something much larger going on behind the scenes here, and you'll be left with way more questions before the titles roll.

There are so many elements that pull together to form a truly amazing episode of Doctor Who; you have the central season arc referenced, there are truly, TRULY terrifying villains, some amazing sets and locations and a terrific score that makes the adventure way larger than the sum of its parts. In many ways, Extremis feels more like a movie than it does an episode, and by the time the 48-minute timeframe is up, you are desperate for more. For the second time this season there are echoes of Silence In The Library; helped, in part, that there are several scenes set inside the Vatican library, and the re-emergence of a certain...ahem...diary.

We mentioned a couple of episodes back how the horror element has been ramped this season, something that is reminiscent of the Hinchcliffe years of Doctor Who, and as far as villains go, we think that the hooded monks are quite possibly the most frightening and chilling monsters the show has had to date. The look and feel of the monks, coupled with the way in which they talk will creep you out to the max.

Not sure if it is deliberate, but look out for the familiar melody from the opening bars of Thunderball that repeat themeslves throughout Murray Gold's score for Extremis. The similarities to Bond don't end there either, as there's something very Thomas Newman-esque about it, and at one point near the end, there's another familiar Bond riff. Comparisons aside, Gold's music once again takes centre stage and accompanies the adventure with audible precision.

Extremis, although a slower episode than we're used to this season (which isn't a bad thing), is a wonderful reminder of just how good Steven Moffat is as a writer, and why we've been so lucky to have him at the heart of Doctor Who for the past 7 years. This feels like the beginning of his swan song and he is going out in a blaze of glory. But before all that, The Pyramid At The End Of The World beckons...



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”Prydonian Chapter”
2)  CERN
3)  Shhhh! Spoilers!
4)  Someone has the authority to "kick The Doctor's ass"!
5)  The return of a location The Doctor last visited in Series 6.

+  10.6: Extremis airs This Saturday at 7:25pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

18 May 2017

Publisher: Amazon Media

Written By: Andrew Hastie

RRP: £9.99 (Paperback) / £2.99 (Kindle)

Release Date: January 2015

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 12th May 2017

DWO regularly receives a wide range of products to review; some Doctor Who related and some indirectly related to the Doctor Who universe. Whilst Andrew Hastie's The Infinity Engines series isn't a Doctor Who title, we couldn't help but feel that there were several strands that connected to the whoniverse, and the first book in the series 'Anachronist' is one many who fans will love and find it hard to put down.

Anachronist is the perfect blend of History and Science Fiction with intelligent plot devices, rich characters and more time travel than you can shake a stick at. In fact, this is a story that will give any Doctor Who fan that warm, Mr Kipling-esque feeling of familiarity. The first chapter even feels like a pre-titles sequence set-up that literally launches you right into the action. There's a slight feeling of John Green in Hastie's style, and at its heart (and much like a John Green title) this is a coming of age story.

The time travel element is set up pretty quickly, and without giving to much away, Josh (the main character), quickly finds himself in the past in historical Prussia in 1944. Hastie's ability to weave in actual historical elements, whilst carving out his own unique story is seamless and refreshing, and you go to so many places and points in time that the book never tires or stagnates.

Anachronist has something for everyone, and for those of you who are a sucker for a romance, Hastie has that covered for you, too! Nothing is shoe-horned in for effect, everything has its place and a meaning and the reader genuinely cares for Josh and the people he meets along the way.

The book ends on a cliffhanger, and you will be climbing the walls desperate for a resolution. We just wish we could time travel into the future to read it!

 

+  Anachronist: A Time Travel Adventure is Out Now, priced £9.99 / $12.99.
+  Buy this book on Amazon!
+  Follow Infinity Engines on Twitter.

15 May 2017

David Tennant and Billie Piper are reprising their roles of the Tenth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler in three new Doctor Who audio dramas from Big Finish Productions in arrangement with BBC Worldwide.

David Tennant’s Doctor, portrayed on screen from December 2005 until December 2009, returned in the 50th Anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor, with Matt Smith and Sir John Hurt in 2013, and on audio for Big Finish with Catherine Tate in 2016.

Billie Piper portrayed the Doctor’s much-loved companion Rose in 2005 and 2006, returning for a number of stories in 2008. She also appeared as The Moment – which had taken Rose’s form – in The Day Of The Doctor. These new stories will be Billie’s eagerly-awaited debut for Big Finish.

Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery says:

"Getting David and Billie back together was definitely on my bucket list – two wonderful actors who created an era of Doctor Who which is so fondly remembered and brought a different aspect of the relationship between the Doctor and his companion to the fore – love, both platonic and unrequited. It’s great to have the Tenth Doctor and Rose back again!"

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2, to be released in November 2017, is comprised of three thrilling hour-long full-cast audio adventures.

The set opens with Infamy Of The Zaross by John Dorney, in which an alien invasion of Earth isn’t quite what it appears to be – Camille Coduri guest stars as Jackie Tyler.

In the second adventure, Sword Of The Chevalier by Guy Adams, the Doctor and Rose arrive in Slough in 1791 and encounter Chevalier D’Eon, an enigmatic ex-spy who has lived his life as a woman. Together they must fend off alien slavers, who have come to Earth to abduct valuable humans.

Finally, in Cold Vengeance by Matt Fitton, the TARDIS arrives on Coldstar, a vast frozen food asteroid in deep space. But there is something sinister defrosting in the network of storage units… the Doctor’s old enemies the Ice Warriors! Nicholas Briggs plays Ice Lord Hasskor and Warrior Slaan.

Nicholas Briggs said:

"It was such a special time for me, working with Billie and David on the TV show, and it is such an honour to revisit it with them on audio."

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2 is produced by David Richardson, script edited by Matt Fitton and John Dorney, and directed by Nicholas Briggs. Executive producers are Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs.

David Richardson said:

"We were thrilled by the response to the first volume. David Tennant and Catherine Tate were on fantastic form, and it’s so exciting to reunite David with Billie Piper, playing the Doctor and Rose together again after nine years! Their time in the series transformed Doctor Who into a prime-time and international hit, and we’ve worked very hard to live up to the incredible standards of Russell T Davies."

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 2 (Limited Edition) is available now for pre-order on Download and CD. This five-disc collector's edition - limited to 5,000 copies - is available on CD in deluxe bookset packaging for a pre-release price of £35, with a download version for £25.

The three stories - Infamy of the Zaross, Sword of the Chevalier and Cold Vengeance, can be bought individually for £8.99 on Download or £10.99 on Download. These are also bundled together for £22 and £25 respectively.

Listend to the trailer in the player, below:

[Source: Big Finish]

 

11 May 2017

We're really loving the 'back in time for tea' element that Series 10 has brought; with The Doctor seemingly detained on Earth to watch over the mysterious vault. The impromptu trips with Bill have seen her travel to the future and the past, and now we get her very first space adventure - with Nardole along for the ride, too!

As the episode begins, you may be forgiven for thinking it was the start of a Star Trek adventure, with Peter Capaldi narrating a shot of space with the words "Space; the final frontier". There's something about those four words that instantly set the scene, and prepare you for something exciting, yet unknown. The pre-titles sequence makes use of some stunning visuals and there's a Kubrik-esque style to it that sets the precedent for everything that follows. We love our comparisons, and Oxygen feels like a mash-up of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien and The Walking Dead - all rolled into one!

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on a space station where almost all the crew have died and those that remain are being hunted down. Without giving too much away, as the title suggests, oxygen has an important part to play in the story. Let's just say that whilst we live in a time where bedroom tax is a real thing, the concept behind this episode, although slightly far-fetched, isn't exactly beyond the realms of possibility.

Writer, Jamie Mathieson (Mummy On The Orient Express, Flatline), has expertly woven an action-packed episode, with real horror and suspense, and there's more than one moment that will genuinely shock you - no matter how old you are! We did feel, however, that the episode has been a slight casualty of the editing process. There are some clunky cuts that sometimes makes the action on screen feel like it's moving ahead of the pace of the story. There's a lot going on in the episode, and much like with a Moffat-based story, you really have to pay attention to get everything that's happening.

The Doctor and Bill have definitely found their groove now, and it's a delight to see them sparring off each other on-screen. Pearl Mackie has continued to captivate us with her unique take on the Doctor Who companion template, and every frame she's in seems to sparkle with charisma.

If any of you are still undecided on Nardole (ok there are moments when he can be a little annoying), be prepared for a great scene, excellently executed by Matt Lucas, towards the end of the episode.

There's a lovely piece of music that kicks in about 5 minutes into the episode that dips beautifully from major to minor keys, and for the first time in a while, we get a taster of something anthemic building in Murray Gold's score. Music has played such a key role in Doctor Who since its return in 2005, and Gold has been at the heart of it. If we may embellish a (slightly cheesy) observation; Doctor Who glitters when Gold is at its beating heart.

Oxygen is a thrill-a-minute space adventure that will frighten, shock and surprise you. You definitely get the feeling that the production team are taking some risks and pushing the horror element, and whilst, at times, it sails perilously close to the border of what's acceptable for the kids pre-watershed time-slot, it reminds you that Doctor Who is perhaps at its best when it makes you feel slightly uncomfortable.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”I want to have a baby with you!”
2)  Velma.
3) ”That is my theme tune! Otherwise known as a distress call.”
4)  A similar shot of a companion to one we saw in The Girl In The Fireplace.
5)  A rug-pull moment, just before the credits roll.

+  10.5: Oxygen airs This Saturday at 7:15pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

7 May 2017

Manufacturer: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo Switch

RRP: £49.99 / $59.99

Game Age Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 28th April 2017

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online & ToysWorld

Review Posted: 7th May 2017

Mario Kart has been a defining racer since its original release in 1992. Combining fun with skill and those all-important power-ups, the game has sold well over 100 million copies, worldwide.

It was the release of Mario Kart Wii, however, that redefined the game, allowing (for the first time on a full console) the ability to connect online and race with players across the world.

2017 sees the highly-anticipated release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the new Nintendo Switch console, and it brings with it some cool new characters, karts and modes;

New Characters:

King Boo (Heavy)
Dry Bones (Light)
Bowser Jr. (Light)
Inkling Boy (Medium)
Inkling Girl (Medium)

If you manage to complete all the cups in 200cc mode, you will also get to unlock a special secret ‘Gold Mario (Heavy)’ character.

New Karts:

Splat Buggy
Ink Striker
Koopa Clown
Super Glider

New Battle Modes & Maps:

There are 8 new battle mode maps in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe:

Battle Stadium
Sweet Sweet Kingdom
Dragon Palace
Lunar Colony
3DS Wuhu Town
GNC Luigi’s Mansion
SNES Battle Course 1
Urchin Underpass

Within the new Battle Modes you get five different types;

Balloon Battle – each player starts off with 5 balloons, which other players have to pop.
Bob-omb Blast – similar to balloon battle, except the only items that players can find are Bob-ombs.
Renegade Roundup – players are split up into 2 teams, in a cops and robbers style pursuit. One group have piranha plants attached to the front of their vehicles and must capture players in the opposing group.
Coin Runners – players must battle to claim the most coins in the arena before the timer runs out.
Shine Thief – players have to battle over the control of a shine sprite in the style of capture the flag.

Other changes for the Nintendo Switch version of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, include being able to play in 1080p resolution (compared to 720p on the Wii U), with 720p resolution in handheld mode. There are also updated Mii animations, as well as new menu graphics.

So that’s everything new compared to the standard Mario Kart 8 version, but how about the gameplay itself?

Any of you familiar with Mario Kart Wii, will feel right at home with the latest iteration. Rather than rebuilding the game from the ground up, Nintendo have taken the success of the Wii version, and improved on it immensely, whilst retaining the spirit and barebones of its predecessor.

One major improvement is the graphics, and being able to play Mario Kart in high definition really does make a huge difference to the overall enjoyment and immersive feel of the game. There are some lovely little in-game, on-screen FX, like water when it’s raining. The raindrops hit the screen in an incredibly realistic style that makes you second guess whether you need to rub the screen dry or not.

The Nintendo Switch brings with it the fantastic ability to play on your TV, but also in handheld mode on the go, and this is where Mario Kart 8 Deluxe really comes into its own. The ability to take the game with you in the car and race while you’re literally on the road (with a responsible driver in charge of the actual car, of course), is truly fantastic!

Online multiplayer mode is as entertaining as ever, and you really feel like you need to up your game to compete with other players from around the world. For the first time you can also bring a second local player online with you for two-player, online mode.

The previously mentioned battle modes really take the game up a notch too, and add a welcomed change to the gameplay if you fancy switching things up a bit. One of our favourite modes was Renegade Roundup, where you have to try and catch (or evade) the opposing team members with your piranha plant.

We cannot find fault in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (except for that annoying thing where you’re in 1st place and know that the blue turtle shell is coming for you any second), everything we loved about the previous version has been improved, and with tracks that revisit some old favourites, you get a double hit of nostalgia with the game.



+  BUY Mario Kart 8 Deluxe from Amazon.co.uk from just £41.99!
+  BUY Mario Kart 8 Deluxe from Amazon.com from just $59.88!


4 May 2017

So we just moved the sofa back against the wall (where it belongs), having just emerged from watching the terrifying ‘Knock Knock’…

It’s an episode that, if Mary Whitehouse was still alive, would have had her penning one of her harshest letters directed at the BBC - and as any Doctor Who fan of a certain age will know, this can only be a good thing! :)

The run of high quality, entertaining Doctor Who stories that Series 10 has produced thus far continues in fine form here, and Mike Bartlett expertly manages to compress a horror movie into Doctor Who’s 45-minute time slot. There’s something very Moffat-esque about his script, and with Moffat himself stepping down at Christmas, we hope that Chris Chibnall [incoming showrunner] will bring Bartlett back to continue Steven's tradition of turning everyday objects into scary plots.

As far as scary Doctor Who stories go, this is up there with the likes of The Empty Child and Midnight - perhaps even scarier than those two serials. The sound team have done a fantastic job with the FX - and that’s even without us having the binaural version, which will also be available to viewers who choose to wear headphones. Murray Gold deserves a nod here for his fantastic score that accompanies the story, giving it a haunting undertone, throughout.

The basic plot involves Bill and her friends looking for a place to rent, with very little luck, until a stranger overhears their dilemma, offering the perfect solution; a spacious house with room enough for all of them. The house, however, is hiding a chilling secret, and the trade-off for cheap rent may result in the tennant's paying with their lives!

There are so many elements that pull together to make this story a success, but it is David Suchet, whose unannounced peppering in the plot, that is the real star of the show. Whilst his role in the story is villainous (from a certain point of view), he plays it straight up and with sincerity, dripping with creepiness. There’s something very human to him, though, and you end up feeling for the character by the end of the story.

Knock Knock is an instant classic that will have you fearing any building with wood panelling and one that will be rightfully putting the kids (and the grown-ups) back behind the sofa!



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”Regenerated?”
2) High Pitch.
3) ”Basically, this is the bit of my life that you’re not in.”
4)  Are you my mummy?
5) The Vault opens…

Fun Fact: The character of Harry is actually the grandson of Harry Sullivan (companion to the 4th Doctor), but this isn't included or referenced in the final broadcast version.

+  10.4: Knock Knock airs This Saturday at 7:20pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

3 May 2017

BBC Worldwide and Skype have today announced the launch of the first ever Doctor Who Bot. The Doctor will open the TARDIS doors and invite players to help him save the Universe in an exciting interactive digital experience titled The Saviour Of Time. The brand new bot uses the latest technology to deliver a unique experience between the Doctor and the player. 

In a world first, users get the thrilling opportunity to be the Doctor's companion as the bot immerses them in a specially-written six-part Doctor Who adventure.  Players will experience the Doctor communicating with them directly and setting them challenges that can only be solved by the best companions. 

 

Launching across multiple territories* today, May 3rd, the bot includes challenges, logic puzzles, and quizzes, revolving around the search for a mysterious artefact known as the Key To Time. Scattered throughout time and space, users must locate all six segments of the Key and restore it, in order to save the Universe.

 

Following the launch today, a new Chapter will be released every Sunday at 6 PM (BST) , shortly after episodes of Doctor Who series 10 air on BBC One, BBC AMERICA (USA), Space (Canada), ABC (Australia) and in other key international markets. [Click here for territory information]

 

Jaclyn Lee-Joe, Chief Marketing Officer at BBC Worldwide said:


It’s hugely exciting to be launching a Doctor Who Bot on Skype - which gives us the opportunity to deliver a new form of digital story-telling with our cutting-edge brand. Through this new innovation we get to experience first-hand how bots can help deliver digital first content, and immerse audiences, old and new, in the Doctor Who universe like never before.”

 

Steven Abrahams, Group Product Manager, Studios and Strategic Partnerships for Skype said:


Our goal is for everyone in the world to experience the best Skype has to offer and the Doctor Who bot with BBC Worldwide brings a range of new features and functionality. We’re excited to see the bot bring users and fans one step closer to meeting the iconic Doctor.”

 

The bot will feature exclusive voice-over from Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, and is creatively developed by writing talent Joe Lidster (The Sarah Jane AdventuresTorchwood).

 

The Doctor Who Bot builds upon existing relationships between BBC Worldwide and Skype, working together to uncover exciting new ways to reach audiences. In 2015 Skype launched the shareable, movie and TV clips initiative, Skype Mojis – featuring exhilarating short-form content from Top Gear, Doctor Who, and Sherlock.

 

To add the Doctor Who Bot manually, users need to search for “Doctor Who Bot” in the Skype Bot Directory, read the bot’s profile and terms, and then click “Add to Contacts”.  To see new updates as they begin to roll out, users need to be on the latest Skype app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or Web.

 

*The Doctor Who Bot will be available from the Skype Bot Directory in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Portugal, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil. 

 

Click here to add the Doctor Who bot to Skype and start saving the universe! Visit the Skype blog for more information on the bot and click here for a step-to-step guide on how to use the bot.
 

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

30 April 2017

The overnight ratings are in for 10.3: Thin Ice.

The episode achieved an overnight viewing figure of 3.76m viewers, with a 20.3% audience share, and was the fourth most-watched show on BBC One for the evening.

The final BARB ratings will be confirmed by Monday 8th May, and will include the time shift which will see a much larger rise in the final rating.

Although lower than last week, this rating is still up on Episode 3 from Series 9! 

Viewing Figures for Series 10:
10.1: The Pilot - 4.64m / 24.8% audience share (Overnights) / 6.68m (Final BARB Figure)
10.2: Smile - 4.25m / 22.9% audience share (Overnights).
10.3: Thin Ice - 3.76m / 20.3% audience share (Overnights).

+  What did you think of the episode? Rate / Discuss in the DWO Forums!

[Source: DWO]

27 April 2017

At the end of last week's episode, we were desperate to talk about the elephant in the room...quite literally, but as we are prohibited from revealing certain elements of the episodes (as part of our advance preview agreement), it would have given away the ending. Thankfully, by the time you are reading this, we will have seen The Doctor and Bill arrive in historical London at the last of the great Frost Fairs.

This is an episode that feels like Oliver Twist meets The Curse Of The Black Spot, and is as rich in story, character and script as it is in the beautiful setting - and what a setting it is! When we first read the synopsis, it felt like one of Virgin's Doctor Who Missing Adventures books from the 1990's - that's no bad thing at all, in fact, it seemed like one of those stories that read so well that you couldn't imagine there being a budget to allow it on screen. But seeing it on-screen is a delight, and it looks like a BBC period drama with all the trimmings. There are crowd scenes with so much going on that you'll want to pause it to see just how much life and activity there is. This is then juxtaposed with some literally chilling scenes on the Thames where there is just one character, a mist, a threat, and nothing but Murray Gold's eerie score to accompany them.

We get to see more of The Doctor and Bill's dynamic here, and their first proper argument, which feels a little awkward at first, and you begin to wonder if Bill might just pack it all in and demand to go back home. Bill really questions The Doctor - perhaps more than any other companion, and it's so refreshing to see how differently she views situations. The Doctor also comes more to the forefront in this episode with a couple of great speeches, whilst still allowing Bill some room to stand up and take the stage.

As for the main threat in the episode, there's more than just one, but the initial threat is dealt with in a wonderfully Doctor Who way; something lurking beneath the Thames, and it selects its victims with little green lights that swirl around you, underneath the ice, and then....splosh....you're gone! FANTASTIC! 

Writer, Sarah Dollard (Face The Raven), has done a truly fantastic job with Thin Ice; a very different story to her Series 9 offering (which we also loved). There are some bold decisions in the episode; without giving too much away, there's a character that gets pulled under the ice, and you think there may be a chance they'll survive, but Dollard sticks to her guns and it makes for a sad, but rather poignant moment. Whilst there haven't been that many female writers during the show's 52-year history (just 8 at our last count), Sarah Dollard is a prime example of why we need more, and we hope she remains under Chris Chibnall's reign. 

Thin Ice is a textbook historical adventure that, once over, gives you a warm glow. (Except for that bit right at the end...) 😮



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) “Who's Pete?”

2) The Doctor steals!
3) "I'm 2000 years old, and I have never had the time for the luxury of outrage."
4) The long-awaited return of Search Wise!
5) 3 Knocks...No...4 Knocks!

+  10.3: Thin Ice airs This Saturday at 7:20pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

26 April 2017

Even before the wilderness years (1989-1996 & 1996-2005), Doctor Who fanzines have played an important role in the fandom of the show. Often produced in black and white, these periodical mailings were produced by the fans themselves, and contained all sorts of cool creations, from fan fiction, to reviews, articles, interviews, quizzes, artwork and competitions.

Since the emergence of online fandom, and the ability for fans to make their own websites, forums and social groups, fanzines appear to have drastically fallen in their numbers. But does this mean that there is no longer a place for them in our lives? Are fans content with just having Doctor Who Magazine (as awesome as it is)?

Having spoken with fans over the years at conventions and events, it seems that fanzines are still very much an important output, but it is the younger generations that are either unaware they exist or unsure of how to contribute. With this in mind, we wanted to cast a quick spotlight on Doctor Who fanzines and focus on some of the fantastic publications out there, with details on how you can join in, or even start your own!

If this is a completely new area of fandom to you, you may take heart in the knowledge that one particular fan who contributed to fanzines was none other than our 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi! Below is an excerpt from an article Peter wrote for a fanzine back in 1976:

"Watching the abstracted light forms & patterns which appear in the opening sequence of Dr. Who has become a familiar ritual for all of us. The wonder of the opening is that it manages to capture in only a very few moments of screen time the atmosphere of Dr. Who.”


You can see Peter Capaldi's full page article in the images column to the right!

Of the few fanzines that are still around, the quality is of an incredibly high calibre; take Vworp Vworp!, for example - perhaps one of the most popular of the current wave of fan publications. Their latest issue has been hailed as one of the greatest fanzines in Doctor Who history, and we've heard nothing but positivity surrounding it - it even comes with a FREE full-cast audio play!

DWO got in touch with Vworp Vworp's publisher, Gareth Kavanagh, regarding the importance of fanzines and why they enjoy producing them:


"
Originally, fanzines were our own Gutenburg Press. A place for fans to share news, gossip, opinions and thoughts on the show without any filters in place. Well that's before the internet provided a more immediate platform for these, although who can forget some of those lurid DWB news headlines (The AFRO TAPES: THEY EXIST!!!)?  But this in no way means that fanzines no longer have a place. Indeed, despite the net doing news and gossip very well and providing an immediate way for people to vent / gush, it's not as good at considered analysis, depth and opinion. This, really is what we see ourselves as being about with Vworp. Exploring lesser explored niches of Doctor Who; fandom, the comics, art and bringing new perspectives and knowledge to the table.  It's something a printed work can do so much better in my opinion.


The other thing that fanzines can do better is by being a beautiful, gorgeous piece of art. Now we recognise that not everyone has the time or resources Vworp Vworp! has, but I do think taking the time to make it look and feel special is important. It's a point Bryan Talbot made to me when he launched Alice in Sunderland as a beautiful volume at a time when digital downloads of comics were beginning to take off.  By making Alice a gorgeous physical artefact, his reckoning was that there would always be a place in someone's collection for it.  And I think he's right. The same goes for free gifts. The transfers for Vworp Vworp! #1 were an attempt to reconnect with people's ingrained and treasured sense of excitement at getting home with #1 of Doctor Who Weekly in October 1979. That sense of nostalgia is something I feel for all the great fanzines and I hope, in our own small way we've been able to add to that with Weetabix cards and vinyl Century Dalek records."


If you would like to contribute to Vworp Vworp!, you can email them directly at: info@vworpvworp.co.uk

We also got in touch with Jamie Beckwith, features writer for The Terrible Zodin fanzine, who shared his thoughts:


"The Terrible Zodin was trying to juggle an old media format but make it accessible for new media so it's released as a downloadable PDF. TTZ has grown in the 9 years we've been running and gives fans the opportunity to write about the series and showcase their artwork.

 

We always aim to have something interesting to say and whilst our initial focus was on female fandom as we felt this was an underrepresented voice, we welcome viewpoints from all. We're pleased to say we've had contributors from all over the world, not just the UK, US & Australia but places like Colombia, Poland and Japan. Fanzines are a great way of being creative about the very show which has inspired that creativity."


If you would like to contribute to The Terrible Zodin, you can email them directly at: theterriblezodinezine@yahoo.co.uk


Other fanzines worth checking out are The Tides Of Time, Fish Fingers And Custard & Celestial Toyroom - the longest-running Doctor Who fanzine in the world! You can also keep your eyes peeled for a brand new fanzine called 'Sacred Flame', produced by the London-based LGBT Doctor Who group, The Sisterhood Of Karn. (Thanks to Richard Unwin for the heads-up on that one).

Having run this site for 21 years now, we have seen an incredible amount of creativity from our visitors and followers, and it's clear that Doctor Who is responsible for creating one of the most dedicated fandoms in history. This is a show where anything is possible; a fan writing an article for a fanzine can become The Doctor! Fan artists can see their creations on actual pieces of merchandise. Fan fiction writers can become show runners or writers for the actual TV show - as we say, ANYTHING is possible!

So if you feel you have something to offer, fanzines are one of the best places to start, and we heartily recommend getting in touch with any of the aforementioned publications. Some of you may be interested in starting your own fanzines (we've put a few resources together in the links down below), but if you're struggling getting off the ground, why not get in touch with a Doctor Who group near you (USA groups here), and collaborate with likeminded fans. Come up with a catchy name, and pull together some content from local contributors, and before long you'll be well on your way!


Get in touch!

Are you thinking of starting up a fanzine? If so, we'd love to hear from you in the comments box, below, or in the DWO Forums! Likewise, if you run or recommend a particular fanzine, please also leave details below or in the Forums!

Fanzine Resources:

Doctor Who Image Archive - A fantastic archive of Doctor Who related images.
The Doctor Who Logo Collection - Throup's excellent transparent Doctor Who logos.

Brochure Prints (UK) - a cost-effective fanzine printing service, based in the UK.
Brochure Prints (USA) - a cost-effective fanzine printing service, based in the USA.


[Source: DWO]

 

25 April 2017

As far as central characters go, few are as iconic as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. Both have had huge impacts on popular culture for decades due to their fantastic characters and stories: but which of our iconic protagonists is better? While Sherlock and the Doctor both use science and logic to prevail, the two have completely different qualities to offer.

You know where our loyalty lies, but let's try to be objective here. To help us decide we’ve created four rounds: impact on popular culture, sidekicks, villains and finally, a category comparing the main men themselves. Here we go:

Impact on Popular Culture

Sherlock Holmes has influenced popular culture and literature for over 100 hundred years, and so it is no surprise that so many people consider Sherlock the epitomic detective. In fact, Sherlock is so influential that he currently holds the Guinness World Record for most portrayed character in history (with a whopping 254 times!), and some even believe he actually existed.

Due to how pervasive Sherlock is, Sir Conan Doyle’s character has inspired numerous other programmes and movies, including House and The Mentalist. He even manages to transition with ease to more modern platforms like video games. These go all the way to 1984 when Melbourne House’s Sherlock was released on the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum. Since then there have been no less than fifteen console and PC-based games, though there are numerous other games available as well. These include apps such as the iOS title Hidden Objects: Detective Sherlock Holmes and iGaming titles such as the new release Sherlock Holmes: The Hunt For Blackwood, which can be found amongst a plethora of slots at William Hill. In fact, if you wanted to give this new release a go, the online casino is currently giving newcomers £40 worth of welcome deposit bonuses.

Possibly due to the fact Doctor Who isn’t quite as old as Sherlock Holmes, or perhaps because he possesses a lot more unique qualities that are difficult to pastiche, Doctor Who’s reach appears far less influential. That isn’t to say Doctor Who hasn’t inspired anything – Star Trek, Star Wars, Bill & Ted and plenty of other sci-fi productions include elements of the Doctor’s stories and characters, but usually in quite smaller, unbranded ways. There are some games as well, but these tend to be for children or young adults rather than for a universal audience. All in all, it just doesn’t seem like our favourite time-travelling doctor has reached Holmes levels of impact yet. But we probably know the reason: Doctor Who is very much in copyright as a character, while Sherlock isn't - at least not exactly.

Winner: Sherlock Holmes

Sidekicks

Fortunately for Doctor Who, as there is no canon source material for writers to rely on new characters and allies can be introduced at any point. This is definitely a positive, as while we love Sherlock’s companion Dr Watson there’s only so much he can offer. In Doctor Who, a new sidekick usually means at least one entirely new plot that is sure to keep viewers interested and invested in the programme. Plus, although some more recent allies have unfortunately succumbed to media tropes, they tend to balance the Doctor out and often become equally as liked as the main man himself.

There’s no denying that Sherlock’s friends are pivotal to his story, but over the years it has become clear that Dr Watson and Mrs Hudson alone cannot compete with Doctor Who’s vast array of quirky, bold and memorable companions. We can't wait to meet Pearl Mackie's new character.

Winner: Doctor Who

Villains

"Doctor Who Exhibition" (CC BY 2.0) by shining.darkness

There seems to be a similar problem when it comes to Sherlock Holmes’ villains. Sure, he has apprehended many a baddie throughout his many years of service, but Sherlock’s main nemesis will always by Moriarty. Now, we love the various portrayals of this dastardly villain as much as the next person, but there is a limit to how many times we can see this foe attempt to take Sherlock down.

Meanwhile, the Doctor Who universe is filled with more villains than you can shake striped scarf at. These baddies have threatened everything from cities to reality and come in all shapes and sizes from Cybermen to Darleks to The Master. Sure, the Master's probably the Doctor's Moriarty - and Missy's simply splendid - but there's so many more to choose from, aliens of all persuasions and criminal masterminds extraordinaire.

Each of these antagonists or groups of villains is equally if not more fleshed out than Moriarty, so again the points go to Doctor Who for sure.

Winner: Doctor Who

Protagonist


"Sherlock" (CC BY 2.0) by kaffeeringe

Considering Sir Conan Doyle only ever wrote four full-length Sherlock Holmes novels and 56 short stories, it is incredible that the tale of the brilliant yet difficult detective lives on today and continues to engage with new generations. In addition to this, many believe Sherlock Holmes has Aspergers Syndrome, making him the only truly iconic cult character on the spectrum.

Doctor Who has staying power as well of course, with numerous new stories, spin offs and villains popping up regularly. The Doctor himself even changes from time to time, and with each new regeneration, our main character gets a new personality, face and style. Still, in each imagining of the Doctor he remains a borderline pacifist, loves humans and always sticks with his morals. Really, Doctor Who is almost godlike. 

Sherlock Holmes is more realistic; he is flawed as well as fascinating and remains basically the same character in every reimagining. 

This has its benefits, but also has shortcomings. Due to the nature of a Timelord, different Doctors will provide new opportunities for the script, new twists and turns and more surprises. Yes, the Doctor is not as consistent as Sherlock, but that's one of his (should we say her from now on?) strong points. So, apologies to Mr. Holmes, but this round will have to go to Doctor Who too. 

Winner: Doctor Who

Now, we realise that it's what you expected from us. But we do respect Sherlock, and it was fun to come up with the comparison, especially considering Stephen Moffat's hand in the current-day popularity of both. Do you think we have been fair though? Let us know which of these characters is better and why in the comments below.

21 April 2017

Having seen what The Doctor and his TARDIS are capable of, Bill is given the choice to go into the future or into the past, as the second episode of Series 10 hits our screens this Saturday.

Having chosen the future, and when asked why by The Doctor, Bill retorts:
“Why do you think? I want to see if it’s happy!”, and she is about to see just how happy the human race are (and the cost if you're not).

This episode feels like a cross between The Happiness Patrol and Silence In The Library. The emoji-bots, as we've all come to know them as, have more than one similarity with the Vashta Nerada, and we genuinely thought they were going to be revealed as being behind the events of the story, but the emoji bots are something new to the Doctor Who universe, and we can't help feeling this was perhaps an opportunity missed. That being said, there's still something rather sinister in their cute exterior, coupled with the emoji's they display on their faces.

If you were a fan of Bill's TARDIS observations in episode 1, get ready for some more classic one-liners as she critiques the point of the chairs being so far away from the console, and whether there are seat belts! It's great seeing how differently Bill sees things, and, rather amusingly, how The Doctor reacts.

One of the main stars of this episode is undoubtedly the setting, and the Doctor Who locations team deserve a pat of the back for what they came up with in Smile. The main white structure, coupled with the surrounding wheat fields in contrast with the blue sky, make for a striking visual, and you really feel like this could be a futuristic city in a far off world.

Ralph Little's role was much smaller than we were expecting - he only appears about 10 minutes before the end of the episode, but he does a great job - as does Kaizer Akhtar as Praiseworthy! Mina Anwar is also a little underused; she's so loveable and watchable, and you can't help wanting more screen time with her.

Murray Gold's music features a little more in this episode, and it really helps set the scene and pace, further. Without giving too much away in the scene, there's a great piece of music that plays after The Doctor tells Bill to stay away from his browser history. It's the first piece of music this season that we've got really excited about and it was worth waiting for. There's something quite Classic Who about it in feel, and has a touch of Mark Ayres about it.

This is the second offering from writer, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, and whilst his first episode (In The Forest Of The Night) divided some fans (not sure why - we actually loved it), this episode should have something everyone likes. There's great Doctor / Companion dialogue, and the main plot point was cleverly constructed, albeit slightly rushed at the end - but this feels more of a production decision than a writing decision.


Smile is a great episode that neatly checks the box for futuristic adventure, and is only let down by the speedy resolution at the end.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) “You don’t steer the TARDIS. You negotiate with it.”

2) Bill refers to Nardole as 'Little Fella'
3) A magic Haddock!
4) There's something in the fertiliser.
5) Patch.

+  10.2: Smile airs This Saturday at 7:20pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

20 April 2017

The BBC has indirectly confirmed our suspicions that the next actor to take over as The Doctor, will once again be male.

The confirmation comes in the form of a reply to an official complaint made by a 'fan', who claimed that switching the gender of the role would confuse his kids.

Complaints officer Joanne Coyne replied:

“We appreciate that you’re a big Doctor Who fan and you have concerns that the programme would change should there be a female doctor. Be assured there are currently no plans to have a female Doctor Who.”

DWO Opinion:

Whilst we most definitely live in a time where there could be a female Doctor Who, the question has to be asked as to whether there should be. It's very easy for any fan voicing their preference for The Doctor to remain male to be labelled as "sexist" or a "misogynist", but not every fan doing so is either. It has been established in the show that Time Lords can change gender, but perhaps The Doctor has remained male for all his incarnations because he wants to remain male and that's just the way it is?

There are some truly fantastic strong female roles in the show - the most recent of which being the awesome Bill, played by Pearl Mackie, and we wonder if there would be such prominent roles for women if the lead was changed to a female actor?

It would be a bold move indeed if the BBC did make the decision to change the gender of The Doctor, and with a new showrunner (Chris Chibnall) taking over next year, it is unlikely that this would be a decision he would make for his first season in the role.

We'd love to hear from you - let us know in the comments below or via the Forum discussion button.

[Source: DWO]

19 April 2017

There are a lot of things that politicians are judged for. From the way they dress to the way the direct the economy of the nation. But no one has ever wanted to rate politicians for the way they perform.

Like artists on a stage. Even though politicians have a more boring dress code but yes like actors on a stage. Or in front of a camera. In reality that is what they are. And we even give them the stages and camera crews to perform for us. Did you know that sports betting has expanded you can also place your bets on no-athletic events such as political party, movies and many more to visit newzealandcasinos.co.nz to review best online casinos.

Because essentially that is what they have to do in order to convince us to vote for them. And the human mind and heart are not easily won over. So it has to be great performance.

However there is a man who managed to quickly win over the hearts of men and women. His performance was perfected over several on screen careers. Spanning from getting in the ring with pro wrestlers to telling interns they are fired on cable TV.

The current President of the United States of America is the biggest performer. Who else deserves such a title other than the most powerful man in the world. The guy knows how to woo a crowd. He has certain magnetism which draws people to him. This may be the secret behind his great empire. And what an empire it is.

Hate him or love he knows his has a way to people’s hearts. By the end of his second term. The charmer will most probably get that far. There will be several online casino games based on him. All great performers have real money online casino games based on them or the characters they play visit www.casinous.com to see which online casinos you can play at.

You may have doubted the man’s abilities as a performer during his time as a TV game host or at wrestling entertainment. But the American election must have convinced you. The whole nation fell in love him. Even though there is very little love. Really there isn’t. Mr. Trump fails to be politically correct even in his own party.

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