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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21 June 2017

And so it came to pass that the players took their final places, making ready the events that were to come...

We want to start off by saying just how hard this episode was to preview without spoiling anything; and as you will all know by now, this is the episode that John Simm's Master makes his return. It is this fact that the BBC wanted us all to know about, that we feel is the only real let-down in the whole story. If this could have been kept secret, the reveal would be right up there with Series Three's YANA!

The episode kicks off with one of the most jaw-dropping pre-titles sequences the show has ever had, and a scene which we will no doubt be revisiting thanks to some more timey-wimey magic from Steven Moffat. Yep - that's about all we can say about that!

The main episode itself is the Cyberman story that most fans have been waiting for. We get to see the original Mondasian Cybermen from The Tenth Planet, here, and crikey do they work well! Barely anything has changed - even their voices are exactly the same. These are hands-down the scariest, creepiest version of the Cybermen to have ever hit our screens, and we're so glad they are back!

The Doctor, Missy, Bill and Nardole land on a 400-mile long spaceship, perched at the edge of a black hole. The unique setting is a brilliant concept that means that the front of the ship is at a different point in time to the rear - something that is a key device throughout the story.

There is something quite shocking that happens quite early on, and the consequences of what happens lead to even more shocks that will likely make this episode of Doctor Who one of the most horrific in its entire history. The show quite possibly dips its toe over the line of what it can get away with, but we think it just about works. Yep - that's about all we can say about that!

Once again, Bill (Pearl Mackie) takes up a good chunk of the episode, which dips back and forth to The Doctor, Missy & Nardole. Pearl has been truly amazing in Series 10, so far, and this episode gets her digging deep and delivering everything that's thrown at her. Likewise, Missy (Michelle Gomez) further explores her nicer side, and it seems that The Doctor may have just brought her back to the light. It's so exciting to see this new facet of her character, and the obvious mercurial conflict she is facing within.

Peter Capaldi's Doctor continues to break our heart with the realisation we are just a couple of hours away from his final moments. This man was born to play The Doctor, and he has wiped the floor with all of the naysayers who thought an older actor couldn't carry the role in this modern era of Doctor Who. He actually doesn't have a great deal to do in this episode, but his presence in the scenes he is in adds important grounding and gravitas, which will carry through to The Doctor Falls.

But what about John Simm, you all ask? Well, despite some rumours online, The Master is very much back - not a dream, not a 'Moment-esque' type appearance - he is back, and at his evilest. There were flashes of redemption when he faced The 10th Doctor, and near the conclusion of The End Of Time, it seemed he had made a noble choice. We are still unsure of whereabouts in Simm's Master's timeline this episode sits, but it seems to be set after the events of The End Of Time (we may be wrong, though).

Rachel Talalay delivers another belter on the direction front; full of atmosphere and weight and everything that has always made her episodes stand out. Can we please bring her back for every finale?

As for the musical score, Murray Gold has given us something bigger and bolder, with hints of Series Three (his finest soundtrack in our opinion), and a chilling undertone that haunts throughout the episode. 

World Enough And Time gives us match point for Series 10 of Doctor Who, and it's all eyes on The Doctor Falls as to whether Moffat can cap off one of the strongest and most well-written series in its modern history.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  The Doctor emerges from the TARDIS...
2)  "Is your real name Doctor Who?"
3)  Venusian Aikido
4)  "Pain."
5)  "I'm very worried about my future."

+  10.11: World Enough And Time airs This Saturday at 6:45pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

18 June 2017

The BBC have released a new iconic image for the Series 10, 2-part finale; 'World Enough And Time' & 'The Doctor Falls'.

The new image (pictured-right) features Missy (Michelle Gomez) and The Master (John Simm) together for the first time. The pair are seen either side of The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) as they put their own chilling spin on the iconic poster image that previously accompanied Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special, The Day Of The Doctor.

Simm will return to Doctor Who as The Master for the first time since New Year’s Day 2010, when he was responsible for the regeneration of The Tenth Doctor. This time the Master will come face-to-face with Missy, his later regeneration, and battle The Doctor during the series’ two part finale which begins next weekend.

The episodes will also feature the return of the Cybermen – including the original Mondasian Cybermen, for the first time in over 50 years – plus Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) in an epic adventure that will change Doctor Who forever. 

Doctor Who’s series finale begins with Episode 11, World Enough And Time, at 6:45pm on Saturday 24th June on BBC One. It concludes on Saturday 1st July with Episode 12, The Doctor Falls – an extended, 60 minute episode.

Watch the trailer for 10.11: World Enough And Time in the player, below:


[Source: BBC Worldwide]

   

16 June 2017

DWO are thrilled to announce that Actor, Ferdinand Kingsley (Catchlove in 10.9: Empress Of Mars), is now answering questions from fans in the DWO Forums' Ask & Answer section!


Ferdinand's villainous Neville Catchlove quickly became the bad guy we all loved to hate in Mark Gatiss' Series 10, Ice Warrior adventure and also happens to be the son of Actor, Ben Kingsley and theatre director, Alison Sutcliffe.

He joins a long list of other Doctor Who related celebrities who have also taken part in the DWO ForumsAsk & Answer section, including; Colin Baker, Paul McGann, Ian McNeice, Rachel Denning, Sophie Aldred, Louise Jameson, Rachel Talalay, Andy Pryor, Barry LettsGareth Roberts and 2|Entertain ( to name just a few).

You can post your questions to Ferdinand regarding his time on Doctor Who or his career in general by clicking on the 'Ferdinand Kingsley' section of 'The Actors' area on the Ask & Answer section of the Forums. To post a question, simply click on the 'Post New Thread' button, and ask away!

+. Not a DWO Forum member? Sign Up for FREE at: http://forums.drwho-online.co.uk/ 

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

15 June 2017

It has been 28 years since Rona Munro's Doctor Who episode, Survival was televised. It happened to be the last episode of the 'Classic Series' of Doctor Who, and in spite of that, the story was strong and seemed to promise us adventures new with those immortal words "Come on Ace! We've got work to do!" echoing out into the cosmos...

We are pleased to confirm that all these years later, Munro's scripts are still of an incredibly high calibre; rich characters, a great storyline - not to mention strong female leads! In fact, the main parallel between the two stories is that the lead female character in The Eaters Of Light is named Kar - and for those of you who remember Survival, the lead female character was called Karra - also a strong, female warrior.

For The Eaters Of Light, Munro takes us on a historical adventure that plays on the real-life disappearance of the ninth legion of the imperial Roman army. The Doctor, Nardole and Bill arrive in Scotland with Bill intent on proving to The Doctor that her knowledge of history on this particular subject, may just be better than his! The TARDIS team split up with The Doctor suggesting he can find proof of their demise by finding their last Battlefield and Bill going to find proof that they didn't disappear and that they can actually be found. What could possibly go wrong? 

Within minutes Bill encounters a young female warrior who gives chase, leading Bill to fall down a big hole (and not for the first time this series). There she encounters a Roman soldier, and it's not long before we are introduced to the big, bad, titular monster of the episode, (who is used sparingly to great effect).

There's some great pacing and suspense throughout, too and the landscapes are just beautiful; kudos to the location scouts for their work on this episode!

We have some lovely moments with The Doctor; Peter Capaldi is so comfortable and at ease in the role, and he has such a quiet power and gentle way of explaining things, and then on another hand there's that unpredictability that he plays so well. Pearl Mackie continues to shine as Bill, and has several lines of dialogue that stand out in particular - there's a great one regarding her sexuality and another regarding the TARDIS' translation system. We cannot leave out Matt Lucas' Nardole, who Munro has written some cracking lines for - not to mention involving him in the plot more, after last week's Nardole-light story.

The main adventure portion of the episode ends with 5 remaining minutes of glorious dialogue between The Doctor and... a certain character (no not that one - well...not technically). 

The Eaters Of Light stacks up well with the high quality of Series 10 episodes so far, and whilst it may not hit you as an instant classic, it will be a 12th Doctor adventure you'll remember with a fond affection, due to the fact you genuinely care about the characters within.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  Listen to the crows!
2)  Beware the night!
3)  "Time to grow up."
4)  Roman soldiers are much more liberal that we might think.
5)  "It's time for us to become friends again."

+  10.10: The Eaters Of Light airs This Saturday at 6:45pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

8 June 2017

Wow...just...wow!

If this turns out to be Mark Gatiss' final script for Doctor Who, then he's going out on a massive high as we absolutely loved and adored Empress Of Mars!

There are so many classic series elements here that tick all the right boxes, and we don't just mean the Ice Warriors. The majority of the adventure is set in the caves underneath Mars, and thanks to the truly awesome locations used, the look and overall feel instantly pulls you in. There are elements of those cave scenes in Earthshock, but owing to the colour palette everything feels so much more other-worldly. This feels straight out of the classic series, but with all the trimmings of the new series and its budget.

In a nutshell, the year is 1881 and The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on Mars to find Victorian soldiers from Earth in the subterranean cave network. Among them is a lone Ice Warrior who serves tea and even tidies up afterwards! It's not long before the army discover a long-lost tomb, but with dissension in the ranks, chaos is just around the corner. As promised by Gatiss, we are introduced to a new type of Ice Warrior, and how wonderful she is! Iraxxa not only adds a new vein to the Ice Warriors mythos, but she proves a powerful force to be reckoned with, whilst throwing a good old punch in the air for girl power. Bill bookends the girl power, thanks to her negotiation skills with Iraxxa; in fact women seem to rank higher than men in Ice Warrior culture.

Whilst historically The Ice Warriors have generally been considered a Doctor Who villain, we like how Gatiss has fleshed them out (quite literally in Cold War) and made them so much more than a slick, green, waddling "upright crocodile", and given them some redeeming qualities (beach ball kills, aside). In fact, in Empress Of Mars, we actually see an Ice Warrior run!

If there is just one gripe we have, it's the way in which the Ice Warrior's kill their victims. Gone are the days of the inverted, shaky mirror death, now they're turned into...well...human beach balls. That being said, I certainly wouldn't want to be turned into a human beach ball, so the threat element remains intact...in a roundabout way.

This is a relatively Nardole-light episode, with the main pocket of his scenes at the start, but when he does eventually turn up again, it sets the scene for a rather complex situation that The Doctor will have to resolve at the start of The Eaters Of Light.

Empress Of Mars is a textbook Doctor Who adventure that does a lot more than it seems at first glance. As well as being a rollicking good monster story, it actually incorporates many aspects of the show that has lead to its success over the years. There's time travel, rich characters, genuinely scary monsters, and, more importantly, a stonkingly good script. We really hope this isn't Mark Gatiss' final script for Doctor Who! This is probably our favourite episode of Series 10 so far! 



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  Sleep No More.
2)  A nod to an actress last seen in Series 2.
3)  Not a good idea, Nardole...
4)  An old friend.
5)  
"This can't happen. This...is not what we agreed to."

+  10.9: Empress Of Mars airs This Saturday at 7:15pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

1 June 2017

And so we have our first three-parter since Series Three's Utopia, The Sound Of Drums & The Last Of The Time Lords...

As far as gravitas goes, it would be unfair to compare The Lie Of The Land to those episodes, after all, it provided us with one of the biggest rug-pull moments in Doctor Who history as we finally got to see the long-awaited return of The Master. The big question is: "Does this really work as a three-parter?", and whilst we enjoyed all three episodes, the mini-saga felt a little drawn out by the time we finally get to the end of the adventure. The narratives of all three episodes, whilst linked, still feel quite disparate and the set-ups at the end of the first two episodes have no resolution at the start of their concluding parts.

Putting a pin in our gripe for a second, we start six months after the events of the previous episode, and the pre-titles scenes felt, stylistically, like they were straight out of the Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who - it works really well, but you are left wanting to know what happened at the lab after the end of the previous episode. Also, what happened to Erica? Hang on...sorry about that...putting the pin back in again.

The plot revolves around the Monks now having taken control of the planet, leading mankind to believe that they've always been there, guiding them since the dawn of humanity. In reality, it has only been 6 months since Bill Potts gave her "consent", but thus unravels the titular lie of the land. We know we said it was unfair to compare this trilogy to the Series 3, three-parter, but a chunk of the plot here does, in part, seem quite familiar. An enemy (known to The Doctor and us as an audience) has taken control of the planet, and over a period of time it has become accepted by humanity.

That really is all the negatives out the way, and in spite of them, we still enjoyed the episode, and yes - this does still retain Series 10's high standard of episode quality. We mentioned earlier about the infamous rug-pull moment from Utopia, and there is another in this episode, though not quite as big. A big chunk of the story is understandably focused on how to bring down the Monks, but there are some really poignant stand out moments; one in particular involves Bill, who delivers her most emotionally charged scene to date.

Capaldi's Doctor feels particularly unpredictable in The Lie Of The Land, and never does he feel more dangerous than when you don't know what he's going to do next. 

Missy is back again (thankfully) and she is on fine form here. We get to see inside the vault and get an update on whether she really is changing for the better. Without going too much into the detail, The Doctor needs Missy's help and it seems she may have met The Monks before...

Whilst The Lie Of The Land may prove a little divisive among fans, there's a cracking story at its heart that just feels slightly overstretched to the three-episode format.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  Daleks. Cybermen. Weeping Angels.
2)  "It's me! Nardy!"
3)  The Doctor does something dramatic that he's never done before!
4)  Chocolat.
5)  
A game of hot and cold.

+  10.8: The Lie Of The Land airs This Saturday at 7:35pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

16 April 2017

The overnight ratings are in for 10.1: The Pilot.

The episode achieved an overnight viewing figure of 4.64m viewers, with a 24.8% audience share, and was the second most-watched show on BBC One for the evening.

The final BARB ratings will be confirmed on Monday 24th April, and will include the time shift which will see a much larger rise in the final rating.

Overnight Viewing Figure:
4.64m / 24.8% audience share.

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

[Source: DWO]

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