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.

Archived news and reviews can be accessed by clicking on the relevant area on the News / Reviews Key panels to the right.

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26 January 2016

The news recently hit the headlines that Netflix were dropping their entire library of Doctor Who episodes as of 1st February 2016. Having received literally hundreds of emails from our visitors wanting to know what was happening, DWO sent Netflix the following tweet:

Today, the Netflix team replied to us, clarifying that Doctor Who will remain on Netflix UK, but that it will be removed from 1st February in the USA only, due to "a variety of factors". Below are the tweeted replies:

This then prompted some of our followers to enquire about Netflix' streaming service in Canada, and whether Doctor Who episodes would be pulled their, also. Fortunately Canada will not be affected either:

It seems all hope may not be lost, however, as Netflix further clarified their wish on working to get Doctor Who back again:

UPDATE - 27th January 2016
Hulu have also confirmed they too will lose the rights to air Doctor Who in the USA as of 1st February 2016.

UPDATE - 28th January 2016
In a recent article on Decider.com, the BBC stated: “We hope to announce a new digital partner for Doctor Who shortly”. Whether this means the re-inking of a deal with Netflix or Hulu, or their own stateside streaming service, is yet to be confirmed.

+  Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Sources: DWO; Netflix]

22 January 2016

The BBC have now confirmed that Steven Moffat will be stepping down after Series 10 has aired in 2017, and that Chris Chibnall will be taking over for the 2018 series.

The news means that there will be no series in 2016, just a Christmas Special on Christmas Day. Moffat will be handing the TARDIS keys over to Chibnall, who has previously written for Doctor Who and Torchwood, as well as creating hit ITV series Broadchurch.

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said:

“I have decided to schedule Steven’s big finale series in Spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel. 2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017 - I promise it will be worth the wait! I want to thank Steven Moffat for everything he has given Doctor Who – I’ve loved working with him, he is an absolute genius and has brought fans all over the world such joy. I will be very sad to see him leave the show but I can’t wait to see what he will deliver in his last ever series next year with a brand new companion. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Chris Chibnall, a wonderfully talented writer who I know will bring something very special to the hit series.” 

Polly Hill, BBC controller of drama commissioning, added:


“Like Charlotte I would like to thank Steven for his brilliance, which has made Doctor Who a global hit under his tenure.  Chris Chibnall is the perfect successor to take over the reins of this incredible show, so I am delighted that his love for Doctor Who has made it impossible for him to resist !  Chris is an incredible writer and his vision and passion for Doctor Who gives it an exciting future and promises to be a real treat for Doctor Who fans across the world.”  

On stepping down from the role, Steven Moffat said:

“Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him. It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.”

On taking over, Chris Chibnall said:

"Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC programme: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world.  So it's a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was four years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore.  Steven’s achieved the impossible by continually expanding Doctor Who's creative ambition, while growing its global popularity. He’s been a dazzling and daring showrunner, and hearing his plans and stories for 2017, it’s clear he’ll be going out with a bang. Just to make my life difficult." 

More news as we get it... 

[Source: BBC; Radio Times]

15 January 2016

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Writer, Robert Banks Stewart.

Robert was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for penning two, much-loved, 4th Doctor adventures; Terror Of The Zygons & The Seeds Of Doom.

Robert's other career highlights included contributing scripts to; The Sweeney, Callan, Special Branch and The Edgar Wallace Mysteries. He also produced Bergerac, The Darling Buds Of May and Lovejoy (to name just a few)

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Robert's family and friends.

+ Read DWO's Interview with Robert Banks Stewart from 2013. 

[Source: BBC News]

7 January 2016

Doctor Who Magazine have sent DWO the cover and details for Issue 495 of DWM.

Doctor Who Magazine finds out what happens when River Song runs into the Eighth Doctor in the new audio series The Diary of River Song – and interviews both Paul McGann and Alex Kingston!

“River has to interact with the Eighth Doctor to save him, to help him,” explains Alex. “When she’s figured out how she can do that without having to be physically present in front of him, alongside helping him, she can then tease and flirt a little bit, because she knows she’s safe, and she knows she hasn’t overstepped a boundary, or changed his or her future in any way by that actual physical interaction. So she can then have fun! She’s in control.”

And what does the Eighth Doctor make of River?

“What the Doctor says to River when he realises her acumen, her calibre, is ‘Wow, hang on a minute – where did you pick up all this?! For an amateur, you ain’t half clever’,” chuckles Paul. “He says, ‘Any time you fancy joining me, I could always do with a pair of hands’. He realises, almost instantly, how clever she is. ‘If you’re ever stuck for a trip round the universe helping me out, you’re on.’ So there’s that lovely playfulness as well. Of course, he’s doing it in blissful ignorance. And she’s trying not to appear too clever, and give the game away, but of course she has to save his life. So it’s great. It’s childish, but it’s great fun.”

ALSO INSIDE ISSUE 495...

ASK STEVEN MOFFAT
Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat answers readers questions about the recent episode Heaven Sent – and find out whether the Doctor ever had to run around the castle naked!

THE DRAGON LORD
The latest comic strip adventure continues with Part 2 of The Dragon Lord, written by Steve Lyons, with art from Adrian Salmon.

CEREAL KILLERS
Doctor Who fans of the 1970s will get nostalgic, as we take a trip down memory lane and meet the artist behind Weetabix’s series of artwork cards, which were launched in 1975, and given away with packets of breakfast cereal.

THE ELEVENTH HOUR APPROACHES
The Time Team returns to watch the first adventure of the Eleventh Doctor – The Eleventh Hour. What will they make of the new Doctor, Amy Pond and Prisoner Zero?

WREAKING HAVOC
A tribute to stuntman Derek Ware, who worked on Doctor Who during its first decade, and has recently passed away at the age of 77.

THE EXXILON FACTOR
The Fact of Fiction takes an in-depth look at the 1974 Third Doctor adventure Death to the Daleks.

THE DWM REVIEW
DWM reviews the recent Christmas Special, The Husbands of River Song. We also take a look at the latest books and audio and revisit 1968’s The Wheel in Space and 1977’s The Face of Evil.

THE DWM SEASON SURVEY!
Vote for your favourites of the most recent series, plus the book and audio releases from the past 12 months!

PLUS! All the latest official news, previews of upcoming releases, competitions, the answers to The Watcher’s Fiendishly Festive Christmas Quiz, The DWM Crossword and much more!

+  Doctor Who Magazine Issue #495 is out on Thursday 7th January, priced £4.99.
+  Subscribe Worldwide to DWM from just £19.49 via Unique Magazines!
+  Check Out The DWO Guide to Doctor Who Magazine!

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine]

21 December 2015

As Christmas Day is almost upon us, and as we wanted to a little gift to all our visitors, DWO have recorded a song called 'Memories Become Stories'. The track is inspired by Clara's departure from The Doctor in 'Hell Bent' at the end of Series 9 of Doctor Who.

The song, which is written and performed by DWO's Editor, Sebastian J. Brook, is FREE to play / download via Soundcloud and is dedicated to Jenna Coleman, Steven Moffat, Murray Gold and #DoctorWhoDaniel.

Listen to 'Memories Become Stories' in the SoundCloud player, below:

If you enjoy the song, please take a second to Like / Comment directly on the SoundCloud page!

We have also included the lyrics for you, below:

Memories Become Stories
By Sebastian J. Brook

I remember your name, but I do not know why,
I think that I knew you, once upon a time

But I guess we’re all stories in the end.
Yes I guess we’re all stories in the end.

You travelled with me, or did I travel with you?
One thing that I’m sure of, is I’m lost without you.

So I guess we're all stories in the end.
Yes I guess we're all stories in the end.

Memories become stories, when we forget them,
maybe some of them become songs.

One day I’ll find you, when I recall,
all the things I’ve forgotten for so long.

I remember this place, I’ve been here before,
I think that we came here, but I cannot be sure.

And I guess we’re all stories in the end.
You and me we’re just stories in the end.

Memories become stories, when we forget them,
maybe some of them become songs.

One day I’ll find you, when I recall,
all the things I’ve forgotten for so long.

So I’ll think of you often, please think of me too,
and this story we’ve written, will someday come true.

'Cos I guess we’re all stories in the end.
Yes I guess we’re all stories in the end.

Memories become stories, when we forget them,
maybe some of them become songs.

Memories become stories, when we forget them,
maybe some of them become songs.

Follow DWO on Twitter!
Follow Sebastian J. Brook on Twitter!

[Source: DWO]

13 December 2015

DWO’s Spoiler-Free preview of the 2015 Christmas Special, The Husbands of River Song;

So here it is, Merry Christmas! Everybody's having fun. Not least of them being Doctor Who, which is off on a bit of a lark following a season which saw the Doctor go through some fairly significant losses.

Bringing back Alex Kingston’s River Song to bounce off another incarnation of the Doctor was always going to be a recipe for fun, and The husbands of River Song doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Watching her dance around the screen with Peter Capaldi’s incarnation of the Time Lord is a real delight. There’s something about seeing the Twelfth Doctor let his hair down (so to speak… let his eyebrows down? There’s a breeze when he moves them…) and engaging in a bit of fun with his wife which is completely endearing and so perfect for Christmas Day.

As ever with River, the Doctor turns into a bit of a love-struck fool, and it’s really great to see a new side to Capaldi’s Doctor. Don’t fret that he’s not the Time Lord we’ve grown to know over the last two seasons, though; there’s a lot about his wife’s activities that this Doctor doesn’t approve of. Popping up with a new face (his thirteenth - one he’s not supposed to have and one River certainly doesn’t gave a picture of) gives him a chance to see what his beloved is like when he’s not around.

Oh, but the two of them absolutely sing together. Was there ever any doubt that they wouldn’t?

It helps that they’re supported by a stellar guest cast of husbands, fronted by the likes of Greg Davies as King Hydroflax, and Matt Lucas and Phillip Rhys as River’s partners in crime. As ever with names like this, there’s been a certain amount of grumbling about ‘stunt’ casting for the episode, but when you see the way everyone comes together on screen, you can’t help but get swept up in the ride. Make sure you hold on tight and don’t lose your head…

The episode also sees a very welcome return to the director’s chair for Douglas Mackinnon, who was sorely missed throughout the main bulk of Series Nine. Mackinnnon brings his style brilliantly to the worlds of the special, and there’s several moments where Doctor Who has rarely looked better.

There’s a danger that throughout this preview so far I’ve made the Christmas episode sound like a lot of larking about with no real substance, but never fear - the Doctor and River’s relationship has always been laced with emotion and sadness - how could it not when one of them dies on their first date? - and there’s a big dollop of that embedded in here, too.

Happiness and joy mixed with a hint sadness and thoughts of those we’ve lost. Is anything more Christmas than that?

Five things to look out for;

1) "I think I’m going to need a bigger flowchart…"
2) "The diary of River Song! The ultimate guide to the Time Lord known as the Doctor…"
3) "You are a time/space machine! You’ve a vehicle! I’ve never asked you to cheer me up with hologramatic antlers!"
4)  24 years. 
5) "An archeologist is just a thief with patience. I never had much of that."

[Sources: DWO, Will Brooks]

   

5 December 2015

Publisher: Hasslein Books

Written By: Brian J. Robb & Paul Simpson

RRP: £13.03 (UK) / $19.99

Release Date: January 2015

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 5th December 2015

Whilst we now live in a time where there are countless Doctor Who guides available to buy in our local bookshops, few have dared tackle the format in such a brave, unique and refreshing way like Brian J. Robb and Paul Simpson have. Who Beyond 50 presents us with a chronological guide to the series, laid out over 5 sections and split up into 50 individual essays. 

Right from the very first essay (Visual Vortex Meets Musical Mysteries) you are catapulted back in time to the airing of that very first episode, with Hartnell's title sequence being described in the most evocative and affectionate way. Arguably many of the topics themselves have been covered before, but there's something about Who Beyond 50 that makes you feel like youre reading them for the first time through new eyes. Where many guides simply touch on aspects, themes and areas of interest, Who Beyond 50 delves further, leaving the reader feeling like they have a fuller and more rounded picture.

As well as covering all the Doctors and their tenure on the show, Companions, Monsters, Producers and poignant moments in the shows long history are also given the spotlight. Those of you interested in the Missing Episodes saga, for example, can be assured of a well-researched and well-presented guide - taking us right up to the recent discovery of The Web Of Fear & The Enemy Of The World in 2013.

Doctor Who fandom itself also gets a look-in, and Chapter 31: When Fandom Attacks, is particularly worth a read - even including super-fan; Ian Levine's inclusion in the John Nathan-Turner era of the show in the 1980's. Oh, and that period that we have all come to know as 'The Wilderness Years' is also covered in particularly broad detail, chronicling the TV Movie, as well as the online adventures of The Doctor, and the Books and Audios that helped keep the show alive in the 1990's.

Whilst a large portion of the book is dedicated to the classic series, the new series is referenced throughout wherever there are relevant comparisons and interesting points of note. Section 5 is completely dedicated to 'New Who' charting Russell T. Davies rise and the events that lead to his appointment as show runner, right through to the revival, and detailing all the modern-era Doctors to date.

Kudos to the structuring of the book, too; it's incredibly easy to follow, and it means you don't have to read from start to finish, allowing the reader to cherry pick sections or eras of the show and its history.

We heartily recommend Who Beyond 50 - not just because of the tremendous amount of love, respect and sheer detail that has gone into the book, but because it truly deserves a place in any fans collection - a title you will be reaching for more often than you think!

 

+  Who Beyond 50 is Out Now, priced £13.03 / $19.99.
+  Buy this book on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 
+  Follow Hasslein Books on Twitter.

5 December 2015

Our friends over at Genki Gear are celebrating 10 years of trading this year, and they are celebrating in style by launching a brand new range of 10 designs priced at only £10 each.

The range encompasses and celebrates all that is great, weird and cute about Genki Gear unique original designs and is a big thank you to all their customers and friends who have made the last 10 years possible.

Genki Gear produces original t-shirts that stand out amongst the crowd! They take their influences from Japanese culture, Anime, gaming and science fiction and add to it a dash of unique humour, which has become their trademark.

All their printing is done in the UK and they print their designs across a full range of styles so there’s always a Genki Gear t-shirt or gift for you. 

All Genki Gear’s ranges are ethically produced and of the highest quality so you can wear you Geek with Pride!

+  Check Out the Genki Gear website at www.genkigear.co.uk 

[Source: Genki Gear]

3 December 2015

DWO’s Spoiler-Free Preview of episode 9.12: Hell Bent;

Oh, it’s all been leading to this. Not just Series Nine - though obviously we’re building on everything we’ve been through this season - or the Doctor’s time with Clara Oswald by his side, but his entire life, since he ran away. No, actually, before that.

When Steven Moffat writes a finale, he packs them full to bursting. Monsters and time paradoxes and tweaks to Doctor Who’s wider mythos. It’s fair to say that Hell Bent has all of those in spades, and that it’s a real treat for the fans. As we saw at the end of last week’s episode, Gallifrey is back from the pocket dimension it was sealed in during the 50th anniversary (How doesn’t matter, the fact is it’s here), and it’s facing a new threat. Prophecies predict the coming of the Hybrid - an entity formed from two great warrior races; and not the ones you might expect. It must be ‘well hard’, though…

There’s only one man in the universe who can tell the Time Lords about the Hybrid, and he’s just been through four-and-a-half billion hears of solitary hell to get here. It’s safe to say that The Doctor isn’t in the best of moods for a large portion of this episode. Peter Capaldi continues to give a top-drawer performance, managing to hold your attention for a long stretch without ever saying a word. This finale has been crafted as a real tour-de-force for the actor, and he’s more than risen to the challenge.

Also rising to the challenge, of course, is director Rachel Talalay, who continues to make the world of Doctor Who look beautiful. Working alongside - frankly - the best team in the world, Talalay gives us everything we could want from our first in-depth look at Gallifrey in the modern era. From the tip of the tallest towers to the pits of the Matrix and out into the Dry Lands, we get to explore the Doctor’s homeward like never before, and it’s never looked better.

There’s far - far - more to praise when it comes to the direction (and the script, and the action), but we can only say so much about Hell Bent without giving too much away (and we’d be thrown in the Timelash if we did), but that’s okay - it’s another one of those episodes which is only improved by having each surprise come as fresh, building on the last and sweeping away what came before. It ties up the last few years of adventures, dusts the Doctor down, and sends him off towards the future. And who knows, with Gallifrey back and reeling from the events of this episode, the Doctor might have some powerful enemies keeping tabs on him…

SIX things to look out for;

1) “Are all the bells ringing?”
2) A hint of the Doctor’s extended family.
3)“Stories are where memories go when they’re forgotten.”
4)“The Doctor does not blame Gallifrey for the horrors of the Time War. He just blames you.”
5) “Could I have a lemonade?”
6) “You’re a Time Lord. A High-Born Gallifreyan… Why is it you spend so much time on Earth?"

[Sources: DWOWill Brooks]

  

1 December 2015

The BBC have unveiled the title, full synopsis and 'iconic photograph' from this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special.

The special, which will air on Christmas Day on BBC One is called 'The Husbands Of River Song', and also features Matt Lucas (Nardole) and Greg Davies (King Hydroflax).

Along with the title, the BBC have also supplied us with a promo image featuring The Doctor, River Song and a red robot villain. The eagle-eyed among you will also notice The Doctor is holding a new Sonic Screwdriver! Find out how he gets it in the Series 9 finale '9.12: Hell Bent', this Saturday!

Below is the full synopsis for the episode: 

It’s Christmas Day on a remote human colony and the Doctor is hiding from Christmas Carols and Comedy Antlers. But when a crashed spaceship calls upon the Doctor for help, he finds himself recruited into River Song’s squad and hurled into a fast and frantic chase across the galaxy.

King Hydroflax (Greg Davies) is furious, and his giant Robot bodyguard is out-of-control and coming for them all! Will Nardole (Matt Lucas) survive? And when will River Song work out who the Doctor is? 

All will be revealed on a starliner full of galactic super-villains and a destination the Doctor has been avoiding for a very long time.

+  The Husbands Of River Song airs on BBC One on Christmas Day. Time TBA.

[Source: BBC]


24 November 2015

DWO’s Spoiler-Free Preview of episode 9.11: Heaven Sent;

Doctor Who has never been afraid to try out something new from time to time. We’ve had episodes that range from high comedy to full-on drama. We’ve had episodes told in real time, and just a few weeks ago the programme gave us its own unique take on the ‘found footage’ genre. It’s often quite special when Doctor Who tries to do something different with a format, and it’s fair to say that Heaven Sent ranks rather highly on the ‘different’ stakes.

For the most part, it’s 53 minutes of Peter Capaldi… and only Peter Capaldi. Oh, sure he’s being stalked by a rather nightmarish vision from the pits of his memory, but it’s not a particularly talkative nightmare, meaning that it’s up to Peter alone to carry the weight of the episode, and it’s to his great credit that you never once find yourself longing for someone else to show up and take some of the burden.

Steven Moffat’s script is filled with things to keep Capaldi chewing over - from the moments of darkness that he does so well, to showing off and having a ball. The Doctor is really put through the wringer in this one - repeatedly - and by the time the episode is finished, you’ll feel that you’ve been on a fairly similar journey yourself.

It’s the closest that Doctor Who has ever come to producing its own art house movie, and while it may risk feeling out of place on BBC One on a Saturday night, it’s a refreshing change of pace, and one which allows us to get a handle on the Doctor as a character - and this incarnation in particular - more than ever before.

The whole episode is really lifted by the return of Rachel Talalay to the director’s chair (having also helmed last year’s finale, Dark Water / Death in Heaven). In the hands of a less competent director, the story could run the risk of becoming formulaic and dull, but Talalay injects every shot with something of interest. Particularly of note is the way in which the TARDIS is shot here - the current console room has never looked better, and never looked bigger.

And at the end of it all, finally overcoming all the turmoil and the pain, the stage is truly set for an explosive finale.

Five things to look out for;

1) “As you come in to this world… something else is also born….”
2) The Brother’s Grimm.
3) “Don’t you want to know how I survived? Go on, ask me!”
4) Just how old is the Doctor, these days?
5) “Personally, I think that’s a hell of a bird.”

[Sources: DWOWill Brooks]

  

24 November 2015

The BBC have unveiled the official synopsis for the, as-yet untitled, 2015 Doctor Who Christmas Special.

“It’s Christmas Day on a remote human colony and the Doctor is hiding from Christmas Carols and Comedy Antlers. But when a crashed spaceship calls upon the Doctor for help, he finds himself recruited into River Song’s squad and hurled into a fast and frantic chase across the galaxy.

King Hydroflax (Greg Davies) is furious, and his giant Robot bodyguard is out-of-control and coming for them all! Will Nardole (Matt Lucas) survive? And when will River Song work out who the Doctor is?

All will be revealed on a starliner full of galactic super-villains and a destination the Doctor has been avoiding for a very long time.”

[Source: BBC]

19 November 2015

DWO’s Spoiler-Free Preview of Episode 9.10: Face the Raven:

It’s all been building to this. In many ways, Face the Raven is the first third of a three-part finale, and the events of this week’s episode really do serve as a kick-start to one of the Doctor’s most important journeys. But forget about all that! Forget where the Doctor might be headed in the weeks to come, and who might be standing alongside him, first we need to head to a hidden part of London that you’ve never noticed before, and share in an adventure with some unexpected friends.

Before being elevated to part of this season’s epic finale, new-to-Who writer Sarah Dollard pitched this episode as a standalone adventure, and it’s certainly not hard to see how it would have held up on its own as a great episode. The basic tale itself - imagine a part of the city you know that’s so ordinary that your eyes skirt right over it, missing the fact that there’s a whole unseen world inside it - fit’s so perfectly into the Doctor’s world that you almost wonder how it’s never come up before over the last 50 years.

And that’s certainly not the only great concept Dollard has brought to the table. There’s returns for old friends and enemies (you may think you know all of them, via trailers and preview clips but believe us when we say you don’t), including Joivan Wade (Rigsy, from last year’s acclaimed Flatline) and Maisie Williams, who returns for her third episode this season, and allows us a glimpse into how another half-millennium has evolved her immortal character. That is, perhaps, one of the most interesting parts of the tale - Doctor Who has given us immortal characters before, but we’ve never been able to check in on them quite the way we have with Williams, and her story isn’t done yet…

Perhaps the real heart of the episode, though, is the interactions between Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. They’ve grown to be one of those Doctor/Companion pairings which will be remembered as among the greats, and watching them here, when they’re both aware that one or both of them won’t be leaving this street ever again is absolutely heartbreaking.

Have the tissues ready, you need to be brave.

5 things to look out for:

1) “You think a Cyberman fears a merciful death?”
2) Some Torchwood tech has made it out of the Hub and into the hands of the Doctor’s greatest enemies…
3)“Name, species, and case for asylum quick as you like.”
4) “He’s got this whole secret room in the TARDIS.” 
5) “Who said you could give someone my number?”
 
[Sources: DWOWill Brooks]

 

10 November 2015

DWO’s Spoiler-Free preview of episode 9.9: Sleep No More:

When you’re whizzing up and down the time vortex fighting Daleks, and Ghosts, Fisher Kings and Zygons, you must get pretty worn out. Frankly, here at DWO we’re shattered after a walk to the shops, so Clara and the Doctor must be full-on exhausted. It’s all right, though, because we can always settle down and catch up on some sleep. Rest and refuel our bodies.

Oh, but what if you didn’t have to sleep? What if you could pop into a pod once a month, and come out fully rested for the next thirty days. Think of all the adventures you could have then, without having to collapse into a pesky old bed at the end of each day! Great, lovely! Now think of what an adventure sleep could actually be. Not just the dreams you’re off having in your head, but the very real battle against the monsters your sleeping body is fighting while you’re off in dreamland.

The big thing that everyone is going to be discussing when it comes to Sleep No More is the format. Doctor Who is no stranger to playing with different ideas (In the last decade, 42 gave us a real-time story, and in just a few weeks time we’ll be seeing an episode starring just the one character), and Sleep No More continues the trend by giving us a Doctor Who take on the ‘found footage’ genre that’s been popping up in movies for some time now.

Of course, though, it’s not just any old found footage story - and the ‘footage’ may not be ‘found’ quite where you expect it to. In proper Doctor Who tradition, there’s a lovely little subversion of the genre, putting a different spin on the expected tropes. Count the eyes.

With a small guest cast headed by the great Reece Shearsmith, there’s a danger of the episode feeling a tad lightweight after four linked stories on the trot, but Sleep No More serves as a decent slice of Doctor Who before we plunge head-first into an extended finale.

Five things to look out for:

1)Pay close attention, your lives might depend on this…
2) Terms and Conditions apply.
3)Not just Space Pirates!
4) Sleep is more than just a function.
5) “It’s like the Silurians all over again…”

[Sources: DWOWill Brooks]

7 November 2015

Ahead of tonight's episode of Doctor Who, DWO interviewed Writer, Peter Harness, who penned this season's Zygon two-parter: 9.7: The Zygon Invasion & 9.8: The Zygon Inversion.

What was your earliest memory of Doctor Who?

My earliest memory of Doctor Who is “Destiny of the Daleks”, when I would’ve been three years old - which, in retrospect, strikes me as being a bit young for it! I remember a lot about the opening episode of that series, so it must’ve had quite an effect on me. The slaves, the rockfalls, Davros coming back to life. I still find it all a bit scary now. And I remember bits and pieces from every Doctor Who story since. 

Do you have a particular favourite episode from the Classic Series and the New Series?

It’s very hard to say, really. I think we all have personal favourites which we turn to, for various reasons, ahead of the real classics. And for me, they can vary depending on which mood I’m in. Having said that, I love “State of Decay” pretty faithfully. “Seeds of Doom”, maybe. “Kinda”. Don’t get me started, basically. We could be here all day. …As far as the new series goes, um - I’m a sucker for the Eccleston series, and I love Peter Capaldi’s first series, so take your pick from in amongst those.

Your Series 9 two-parter was quite epic in terms of story, setting and pace. It has arguably one of the best cliffhangers we’ve had to date for Capaldi’s Doctor, and we once again have another example of just how successful the Zygons are as a Doctor Who villain. As a writer, how difficult was it to get the right balance, and what was the hardest part to write of the entire story?

Well, it was a tough one to write. But they all are, usually for completely different reasons. I think the hardest part of the Zygon story was working out how to present the world of it in a coherent and interesting way. There were so many different ways for the story to go, and such a lot of backstory that I came up with and is never shown on screen (like how the Zygons were resettled, why Bonnie is called Bonnie, what really happened with the murders in Truth or Consequences, and - here’s one out of left field - how Courtney from “Kill The Moon” ends up as President of the USA), that it was hard to sift through all of that and streamline it into the narrative that you see on screen. But that’s how I like to do things - I like to play around, and explore the world and the characters, and their various possibilities, before I settle on what I think’s the best way of getting them through the plot. I think the hardest part to write was the concluding part, mainly, again, because there were so many different ways the story could have gone. I like what we settled on, though, although it hasn’t come out yet, and I’m still very nervous. 

Can we expect to see you writing for Series 10, and if so, can you give us any (spoiler-free) teasers as to what we might expect? Do you have any upcoming TV projects we can look forward to?

Hah! Well, I would love to write for series 10. And they know I’ll always do a Doctor Who, whether I have the time for it or not. So we’ll see. …As far as upcoming projects, there’s the final series of Wallander coming up, which I wrote and showran. I think there’s some lovely, sad stuff in there. But otherwise, I’m just going to get my head down and crack on with a couple of different things I’ve got in the pipeline. An adaptation or two, maybe, and a bit of original stuff at last. But as usual with these things, I’m not allowed to say very much. 

If you could take a round trip in the TARDIS, anywhere in time and space, where would you go and why?

I think I’d be rather afraid to go into the future, because I’m a bit of a pessimist. But I’d probably get drunk one evening and decide to go and look at how things turned out, in the hope that things work out okay.  

+  9.8: The Zygon Inversion airs Tonight at 8:00pm on BBC One

[Source: DWO]

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