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9 October 2015

DWO’s Spoiler-free preview of Episode 9.4: Before The Flood:

What a cliffhanger to leave us on! The Doctor trapped in the Dalek city with both his friends exterminated is one thing, but heading back in time and then appearing in the present as a ghost... That's something else.

'Before the Flood' acts as a nice counterpoint to last week's episode, wisely moving from the tight, claustrophobic confines of the underwater base and instead shifts part of the action to the village outside during the 1980s. There's something fun about watching all the pieces from last week's episode fall into place, and it's a tale perfectly suited to Doctor Who. There's moments reminiscent of 'Father's Day', or 'Harry Potter', as the Doctor and his makeshift TARDIS crew work to put everything in place and attempt to save the future.

Such a set-up also gives us the perfect example of how 'time can be rewritten', with events in the past directly taking an impact on the future, meaning that neither time zone is ever safe for long. Even in a lovely desolate location, you can still feel the creep of the oncoming threat - just as tense as last week in its own way.

As usual, you can take it as read that Peter Capaldi shines through this episode, especially in an opening scene reminiscent of last year's Listen, in which we're given a glimpse into the way the Doctor thinks, and an even clearer window into what it's like to be a companion aboard the TARDIS. It's perhaps the crowning glory of a brilliant script by Toby Whithouse, with every line of this scene in particular crafted to sound just right coming from Capaldi's mouth. It also gives the Twelfth Doctor the chance to do something that none of the previous incarnations have done... Here at Doctor Who Online, we're not ashamed to say that we've worn out our preview tape by watching these opening few minutes over and over.

The two-parter format which is prevalent this season really shows its strength across this story, with much more time given over to building the individual guest characters. Splitting them apart in this episode only serves to shine the spotlight on each character in turn. While those traveling alongside the Doctor are reduced to being stand in companions (though still given the chance to show their skills and offer their advice), it's really in pairing Sophie Stone's Cass and Zaqi Ismail's Lunn with Clara that we find the real meat. Watching Clara's transformation into someone who understands the way the Doctor operates and isn't afraid to do the same has been a key point since last series, and this episode really backs Clara to the wall. The Doctor sometimes has to be cruel to be kind, as it were, but the question remains; does Clara have what it takes to be the Doctor, once he's been turned into a murderous ghost?


Five things to look out for:

1) 'There's this man who has a time machine. Up and down history he goes, zip zip zip zip zip...'
2) Beethoven is a bit intense. And he loves an arm wrestle.
3) Who is the 'Minister of War'?
4) 'Here. Now. This is where your story ends.'
5) A new theme tune!

[Sources: DWO, Will Brooks]

29 September 2015

DWO’s Spoiler-free preview of Episode 9.3: Under The Lake:

Having kicked off Series Nine with two weeks of Dalek action, gorging us with Daleks from all eras, Davros, Missy, UNIT, Skaro, and everything else, you might wonder just how the series plans to ramp it up from there. The usual format is to start small and then build week-on-week until you're given a feast of those proportions in the series finale, enough to keep you happy during the long break between seasons. When you start the year on such a high, it's tricky to top it.

Cleverly, the team haven't tried to top all of that with this week's episode. It sees the return of that Doctor Who staple, the 'Base Under Siege', presents us with a claustrophobic setting and a finite cast, and let's us take a moment to breathe.

That's probably the best way to describe Under The Lake - after two packed weeks, with more and more elements being presented to us with every twist and turn, this story allows us to catch our breath for a moment, and really get our teeth into a proper mystery. The Doctor and Clara have arrived at an underwater base in Caithness, Scotland, 2119, where the research crew have discovered an in identified craft on the lakebed. The remote location feels all the more isolated when the crew start being picked off one by one, and return from the dead to take out their former colleagues.

In the past, Doctor Who has always taken a fairly firm line when it comes to supernatural elements such as ghosts; there's always a scientific explanation behind these things. It's rather brilliant, then, to see the Doctor so thrilled by the prospect that he might have been wrong all along, and that death really is just the start of a new adventure. Once again, Peter Capaldi simply shines in the lead role. His incarnation of the Time Lord has struck the perfect balance this year, between a man who can be jolly and frivolous, and yet being totally oblivious to the people around him, and their feelings. Jenna Coleman's Clara is, therefore, totally perfect for him - their relationship really is best summed up by paraphrasing last year's Into the Dalek; she cares so he doesn't have to. Watching them bounce off each other here is a real joy, especially when they're allowed to share some quiet moments alone, and in years to come I think they're going to be looked on as a real golden pairing, in the same way as Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen, or Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred are now - a Doctor and Companion totally made for each other.

It's not just our regulars who shine in this episode, though. The small crew of the base all have their own distinct personalities and characteristics. Writer Toby Whithouse has clearly spent time thinking each character through, and ensuring that they're always true to form, so that even those who perhaps don't make it out of this episode feel fleshed-out. Perhaps the best example comes in the form of the base's deaf surrogate leader Cass (Sophie Stone) and her sign language interpreter Lunn (Zaqi Ismail). Though Lunn spends much of his time translating for us (and the Doctor - he doesn't do sign language in this incarnation, but he can do semaphore, if you've some flags to hand), he still has his own distinct personality which shines through.

A strong start to our second two-parter of the year, and with enough intriguing mysteries left to keep you glued next week...


Five things to look out for:

1) 'Keep calm, Doctor. You were like this when you met Shirley Bassey...'

2) Spaceship, or prototype weapon?'

3) The return of a Matt Smith-era alien.

4) 'It was my fault. I should have known you didn't live in Aberdeen'

5) 'Was it something she said? She does that. She once had an argument with Gandhi.'

[Sources: DWO, Will Brooks]

19 September 2015

DWO’s Spoiler-free preview of Episode 9.2: The Witch's Familiar:

The Doctor's trapped - a prisoner of Davros in the city of the Daleks. His two best friends in all time and space - Missy and Clara - have both perished in the cold blast of exterminations, and the TARDIS has been destroyed. As first adventures of a new series go, the Doctor's not having a particularly good day, is he?

If you think that the series is going to go easy on us after that opening, though, you'd be wrong. The Witch's Familiar continues to take the knife and twist it in the Doctor ever further, playing on his grief over abandoning the child Davros out on the battlefields of Skaro, and using his compassion to engineer possibly the biggest mistake the Time Lord has ever made.

As with the first episode of this story, it's tricky to tell you very much without giving the game away. You don't want to know how the Doctor escapes Davros' clutches (though trust us when we say it is brilliant - even if Davros might struggle to see the funny side), or what lurks in the sewers beneath the Dalek City, biding time until revenge can be enacted. It's another episode which works all the better simply if you watch the doors in the city slide slowly open on each revelation.

What we can say is just how brilliant it is to have Julian Bleach back as Davros once again. Whereas The Magician's Apprentice confined him to a deathbed, this episode gives him a chance to really *live* again, and there's some lovely flashes of the mania he displayed back in Journey's End. There's very few privileges in Doctor Who greater than watching Peter Capaldi's Doctor and Davros slowly counter each other, playing a great game of chess with the Daleks, and ancient Time Lord secrets, as the pieces. It's quite easy to believe with this pair that they could have, in another life, been the very best of friends, and it's great to see them given so much screen time.

Also given a turn in the spotlight this week are the classic Daleks. Fans who were disappointed when 2012's Asylum of the Daleks left them as largely background cameos will no doubt be far happier with this - even the Special Weapons Dalek gets a chance to shout a bit! How very Dalek!

Five Things to Look Out For;

1) A character gets to pay homage to a sequence from the very first Dalek story from 1963.

2) Why did the Doctor *really* leave Gallifrey, all those centuries ago?

3) 'Where did he get the tea? I'm the Doctor. Just accept it.'

4) How does the Doctor always manage to win?

5) Mercy.

[Sources: DWO, Will Brooks]

18 September 2015

The BBC has now officially confirmed that Jenna Coleman will be leaving Doctor Who at some point during Series 9.

Below is the official line from the BBC:

"However, it’s not been revealed exactly when Clara leaves and the question many are already asking is how will she part company with the Doctor?

Jenna Coleman made her Doctor Who debut on 1 September, 2012 as Oswin Oswald in Asylum of the Daleks. She returned on Christmas Day of that year, playing Clara and remained with the Eleventh Doctor from the following episode, The Bells of Saint John, onwards. She stayed on board the TARDIS for all of Peter Capaldi’s episodes to date and after filming for the last series finished, Peter commented, ‘Jenna has been absolutely brilliant. I think she’s wonderful in the show, and she’s my favourite companion.’

But Series 9 sees the Impossible Girl’s departure although the how, why and when are all questions we’ll have to watch the new adventures to find out…"

Earlier this week, The Mirror reported that Jenna has filmed her final scenes, and that they will be in the Christmas special.

Series 9 of Doctor Who airs this Saturday at 7:40pm on BBC One

[Source: BBC Doctor Who Website]

16 September 2015

BBC News have posted a news item, stemming from an original story by The Mirror that Jenna Coleman will leave Doctor Who this Christmas.

The report, which has yet to be confirmed by the BBC, states that Coleman has quit the role after landing a major role as Queen Victoria, in a £10Million drama for ITV.

It goes on to state that Coleman has already filmed her final scenes for the as-yet Untitled 2015 Doctor Who Christmas Special. 

The news may very well be true, and the timing would certainly be the expected stepping off point for Clara, but until the BBC have confirmed it, it's important to remember these are still just rumours.

[Source: BBC News]

11 September 2015

The BBC have released a prologue to Series 9 of Doctor Who, which was revealed exclusively on the BBC Doctor Who website.

The prologue, which is not to be confused with 'The Doctor's Meditation' (another prologue, exclusively for US cinema goers), shows The Doctor on the planet Karn, speaking with Sisterhood Of Karn leader, Ohila. The pair discuss the return of an old enemy who has summoned The Doctor.

The prologue can be viewed in the player, below:

+  Series 9 of Doctor Who will air on 19th September at 7:40pm.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

8 September 2015

DWO’s Spoiler-free preview of Episode 9.1: The Magician’s Apprentice:

He’s back, and it’s about time (etc…)! 

Doesn’t it seem strange to think that a little over a year ago, we had yet to see Peter Capaldi in a full episode of Doctor Who? He’d taken a dislike to his kidneys, managed to crash the TARDIS, and showed up alongside his other selves as the Time War came to a climax, but he still wasn’t quite the Doctor. Not yet. Fast forward thirteen months and we’re about to dive into another twelve weeks alongside this incarnation of the Time Lord, traversing time and space in his second series in the role.

It’s perhaps the highest compliment that I can give to say that Capaldi isn’t even trying in this episode. He simply walks through every scene as himself… and is so completely the Doctor in doing so. Having spent a bit of time in this new body, the Doctor seems to have relaxed a bit - this is much more the Doctor of Last Christmas than Into the Dalek - but he’s still got a slightly darker side, and isn’t afraid of making decisions that previous incarnations would have balked at. It’s nice to see a character who’s slightly more at ease with himself, but people fearing that the Doctor would simply be softened up this year needn’t worry.

Of course, every great Doctor needs a great arch-enemy, and Michelle Gomez’s incarnation of the Master - Missy - simply goes from strength to strength. She takes a prominent role in this episode alongside Jenna Coleman’s Clara, as they search for the missing Doctor having received his last will and testament in the form of a ‘Confession Dial’ sent to his closest friend on the eve of his final day.

There’s very little that we can actually tell you about this episode while still remaining spoiler-free, but perhaps that’s a good thing - this is an episode which really does work best if you’ve no clue what’s about to come. Every time you think you’ve had the final big surprise, or the last big reveal, there’s another one along to keep you glued to the action. Seriously, try to avoid the spoilers, the cryptic hints about what’s to come and what’s going on. What the Doctor’s done and who’s hunting him down as a result of it… they’ll be all the greater coming fresh.

In many ways, The Magician’s Apprentice feels more like a season finale than it does an opener. The stakes are high, there’s cameos for many people and places from across the Doctor's previous adventures in a manner resembling The Pandorica Opens or The Wedding of River Song, and they’re really going for broke in the drama department. As a hook to the new run of adventures, Doctor Who has rarely hit the ground running this hard. 

Five Things to Look Out For;

1) ‘One of those was a lie…’

2) You So Fine.

3) ‘Tell me the name of the boy who isn’t going to die today!’

4) Beware of the Hand Mines.

5) ‘Doctor… what have you done?’

[Source: DWO, Will Brooks]

2 September 2015

Alex Kingston returns to Cardiff to reclaim her role as Professor River Song for the highly anticipated 2015 Doctor Who Christmas special, part of BBC One’s essential seasonal viewing. 

It’s Christmas Day in the future and the TARDIS is parked on a snowy village street, covered in icicles, awaiting its next adventure. Time traveller River Song meets her husband’s new incarnation, in the form of Peter Capaldi, for the first time this Christmas.

Day one of filming the eleventh Doctor Who Christmas special starts this week and is written by Lead Writer and Executive Producer, Steven Moffat, Executive Produced by Brian Minchin, produced by Nikki Wilson and directed by Douglas Mackinnon (Doctor Who, Sherlock).

River Song made her first Doctor Who appearance in 2008 in ‘Silence in the Library’ and ‘Forest of the Dead’ and has appeared in 15 episodes to date.

Award winning Alex Kingston comments on her reappearance:

“To be honest, I did not know whether River would ever return to the show, but here she is, back with the Doctor for the Christmas special. Steven Moffat is on glittering form, giving us an episode filled with humour and surprise guest castings. I met Peter for the first time at Monday’s read through, we had a laugh, and I am now excited and ready to start filming with him and the Doctor Who team. Christmas in September?, why not!”

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer adds:

“Another Christmas, another special for Doctor Who - and what could be more special than the return of Alex Kingston as Professor River Song. The last time the Doctor saw her she was a ghost. The first time he met her, she died. So how can he be seeing her again? As ever, with the most complicated relationship in the universe, it’s a matter of time ...”

The witty line-up of guest cast joining Alex for a magical adventure on the TARDIS will be announced over the coming months.

+  The 2015 Doctor Who Christmas Special will air on Christmas Day, Time TBC.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

12 August 2015

A second trailer for Series 9 of Doctor Who is now online.

The trailer, which can be viewed in the player below, gives us more glimpses into the ninth series of the show:

+  Series 9 of Doctor Who will air on 19th September.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

4 August 2015

BBC Worldwide have unveiled a new promo picture [pictured-right] featuring an iconic image from Episode One of Series 9 of Doctor Who; 'The Magician's Apprentice'.

The image features The Doctor and Clara running away from an explosion on an alien planet.

+  Series 9 of Doctor Who airs Saturday 19th September 2015

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

14 July 2015

BBC Worldwide has today released its 2014/15 Annual Review which highlighted some of the achievements that Doctor Who has made.

The main BBC Media Centre website also quoted Doctor Who Series 8 as being the "top selling programme of the year" for 2014, and the fact that the show is now licensed in 189 countries.

Below are some more of the stand out achievements for the show, as mentioned in the report:

Doctor Who: The World Tour

"Stand-out achievements for our core brands included Doctor Who: The World Tour. Building on the success of the 50th anniversary we embarked on a 12-day global promotional tour for series eight.We visited South Korea,Australia, USA, Mexico and Brazil introducing the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and companion Clara, Jenna Coleman, to international fans. This was a first for a British TV series and featured a creative social media programme with activity on Facebook generating 130m post impressions and more than 2m video views across Facebook and YouTube."

Doctor Who on BBC America

"On BBC AMERICA, Doctor Who continued to grow with the debut of the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and launch of series eight delivering the show’s highest ratings to date – up 19.7% versus prior series, with an average of 2.2m viewers each week – while licensing sales on the title returned year-on-year growth of 29.1%."

 The report also discussed matters under review, which included plans for Series 10 of Doctor Who.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

9 July 2015

The first teaser trailer for Series 9 of Doctor Who has been released by BBC Worldwide.

The trailer, which will also air at today's San Diego Comic Con Doctor Who panel, gives us the first proper glimpse at what to expect for the upcoming Ninth series of Doctor Who.

You can watch the trailer in the player, below:

The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is joined by Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) for time travel on a cinematic scale. Having the time of their lives, the pair meet new and old monsters, and go on a journey that takes them to deadly alien planets, creepy underwater bases, Vikings villages, a global Zygon uprising, and leads them through hidden alien dens, to the very end of time itself.

Meeting monsters old and new the Doctor will come face to face with Missy (played by Michelle Gomez), a city of Daleks, deadly mercenaries called the Mire, terrifying ghosts and far more.

Having filmed in Cardiff since January, Peter Capaldi said: 


“Soaring through all of time and space, series nine sees the Doctor throw himself into life with a new hunger for adventure. The Cosmos is there for the taking, thrilling, epic and enticing, and his to play in. But he’s almost reckless in his abandon. It’s almost like he’s running from something, something that if it ever catches him will turn his life upside down.”


Previously announced and taking up a guest role in the new series will be young new talent Maisie Williams, having already achieved global success for her role as Arya Stark in the fantasy drama series Game of Thrones. Michelle Gomez (Missy) returns to plague the Doctor and Clara in the series opener, and UNIT are back with Jemma Redgrave and Ingrid Oliver (Osgood) returning to series nine following their popular entrance in series eight. Also confirmed as guest cast in the series are Rebecca Front, Rufus Hound, Paul Kaye, Joivan Wade and Sophie Stone.

The show’s ninth series has been written by lead writer Steven Moffat, Toby Whithouse, Jamie Mathieson, Peter Harness, Mark Gatiss, and new writers to Doctor Who - Sarah Dollard and Catherine Tregenna; directed by Hettie Macdonald, Daniel O’Hara, Ed Bazalgette, Daniel Nettheim, Justin Molotnikov, Rachel Talalay; and produced by Tracie Simpson, Derek Ritchie, Nikki Wilson and Peter Bennett.

The star-studded cast continue to shoot in Roath Lock studios, Cardiff Bay, having previously filmed in Tenerife, and South Wales locations, Caerwent, Caerphilly Castle, Cardiff Castle, St Athans and Margam Park.

+  Series 9 of Doctor Who will air on 19th September.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

1 July 2015

BBC Worldwide has this morning confirmed that Director, Rachel Talalay (8.11: Dark Water & 8.12: Death In Heaven) will be returning to direct the final two episodes of Series 9 (Episodes 11 & 12) of Doctor Who which airs this Autumn.

Doctor Who Online's Series 9 Episode Guide:

9.1: The Magician’s Apprentice (Part One) - [w.Steven Moffat / d. Hettie MacDonald]
9.2: The Witch’s Familiar (Part Two) - [w.Steven Moffat / d. Hettie MacDonald]
9.3: TBC - [w.Toby Whithouse / d. Daniel O' Hara]
9.4: TBC - [w.Toby Whithouse / d. Daniel O' Hara]
9.5: The Girl Who Died (Part One) - [w.Jamie Mathieson & Steven Moffat / d. Ed Bazalgette]
9.6: The Woman Who Lived (Part Two) - [w.Catherine Tregenna / d. Ed Bazalgette]
9.7: TBC (Part One) - [w.Peter Harness / d. Daniel Nettheim]
9.8: TBC (Part Two) - [w.Peter Harness / d. Daniel Nettheim]
9.9: TBC - [w.Mark Gatiss / d. TBA]
9.10: TBC - [w.Sarah Dolalrd / d. Justin Molotnikov]
9.11: TBC (Part One) - [w.Steven Moffat / d. Rachel Talalay]
9.12: TBC (Part Two) - [w.Steven Moffat / d. Rachel Talalay]
10.X: 2015 Christmas Special (Title TBC) - [w.TBA / d. TBA]

Key: w = Written By, d = Directed by 

+  Series 9 of Doctor Who will air this Autumn (likely September).

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

25 June 2015

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (#488) has officially confirmed that Series 9 of Doctor Who will comprise of 12 episodes, following the same number as Series 8.

Unlike last year, it is widely believed that Series 9 will comprise of mostly two-part adventures, with Episodes 9 and 10 the only ones not to be written and directed by the same pairing.

As with previous years, there will be a Christmas Special which will air on Christmas Day.

Doctor Who Online's Series 9 Episode Guide:

9.1: The Magician’s Apprentice (Part One) - [w.Steven Moffat / d. Paul Wilmshurst]
9.2: The Witch’s Familiar (Part Two) - [w.Steven Moffat / d. Paul Wilmshurst]
9.3: TBC - [w.Toby Whithouse / d. Daniel O' Hara]
9.4: TBC - [w.Toby Whithouse / d. Daniel O' Hara]
9.5: The Girl Who Died (Part One) - [w.Jamie Mathieson & Steven Moffat / d. Ed Bazalgette]
9.6: The Woman Who Lived (Part Two) - [w.Catherine Tregenna / d. Ed Bazalgette]
9.7: TBC (Part One) - [w.Peter Harness / d. Daniel Nettheim]
9.8: TBC (Part Two) - [w.Peter Harness / d. Daniel Nettheim]
9.9: TBC - [w.Mark Gatiss / d. TBA]
9.10: TBC - [w.Sarah Dolalrd / d. Justin Molotnikov]
9.11: TBC (Part One) - [w.Steven Moffat / d. TBA]
9.12: TBC (Part Two) - [w.Steven Moffat / d. TBA]
10.X: 2015 Christmas Special (Title TBC) - [w.TBA / d. TBA]

Key: w = Written By, d = Directed by 

+  Series 9 of Doctor Who will air this Autumn (likely September).

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine]

22 June 2015

A teaser trailer for Series 9 of Doctor Who recently aired on BBC America.

The trailer, which aired on Saturday after Orphan Black, only lasts 10 seconds and shows no footage from Series 9, and instead focuses on the exterior of the TARDIS.

You can watch the trailer in the player, below:

+  Series 9 of Doctor Who will air this Autumn (likely September).

[Source: BBC America]

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