Time Lord Tees

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29 October 2014

DWO’s Spoiler-free preview of Episode 8.11: Dark Water:

 

It’s (almost) the end, but the moment has been prepared for…

 

It doesn’t seem possible that we’re already starting out on the finale to Peter Capaldi’s incredible first season as the Doctor, having been from the banks of the River Thames, via Sherwood Forest, the Bank of Karabraxos, Coal Hill School, The Orient Express (in space no less), and now onto our final destination: the Underworld.

 

For the first time since 2011’s The Rebel FleshThe Almost People, we’ve got a Doctor Who story told in two parts. In some ways, it feels as though they’ve slightly lost the knack for telling such stories, and you occasionally get the impression that this is really all one big prequel for next week’s episode proper. Here, we’re simply watching as all of the pieces are moved into the right positions, and we’re brought up to speed with everything we’ll need to know to fully appreciate the events of the final episode proper. To that end, don’t be surprised when several clips from the ‘Next Time’ trailer last week don’t surface here, because it’s not their time yet.

 

That’s not to say that Dark Water isn’t a good episode in itself, but it very much does feel like only half the story, and it’s difficult to truly judge it without seeing the second half. There’s plenty to keep your attention glued to the screen here, though, and you’ll need to be paying attention to really make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need going forward. By the time the opening credits have started, you already know that this is an episode that won’t be playing it safe, and that it really could go anywhere from this point - there’s no guarantee that everyone will be making it out alive.

 

It’s also very much a finale designed to perfectly cap off the adventures that we’ve been seeing across this year’s stories - and it wouldn’t have anywhere near the impact it does without them. We welcome back Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink once more, and get to see the next stage of his relationship with Clara, and it’s this which is central to the plot. Every scene they’ve shared together so far has been building towards this, and it’s the type of story that needed an unbroken run of episodes to really evolve. Even people who aren’t huge fans of the couple will surely feel a few pangs of emotion at their situation.

 

But with these 45 minutes, the stage is set, most of the players are in place, and we’re in a good position to really see the series out with a bang next week. Probably best not to go in to this one expecting all the high energy and excitement of the trailers so far, though, because we’re not quite there, yet…

 

 

Five things to look out for:

 

1) “I don’t deserve a friend like you…”

2) Seven Hiding Places.

3) The Twelfth Doctor finally gets a chance to do some Tenth and Eleventh Doctor-style kissing…

4) It’s not a fish tank.

5)“The time line disintegrates. Your time line.”


[Sources: DWO, Will Brooks]

22 October 2014

DWO’s Spoiler-Free preview of episode 8.10: In the Forest of the Night:

 

Doctor Who has always featured character arcs. Go right back to the very beginning of the programme in 1963, and watch as the Doctor changes across his adventures with Ian and Barbara. Compare the man they find in the Junkyard at Totter’s Lane with the one that they’re lazing around with at the beginning of The Chase two years later, and you can track his journey along the way rather easily. They’re not always so prominent in the ‘classic’ era of the programme, but they’re there, from Jo, to Tegan, to Ace. Once you reach the 21st century period of the programme, the focus has been shifted much more to the characters, and every season is crammed with lovely character arcs, right from the start.

 

That said, it’s a real delight watching the arcs unfold across Season Eight this year. I’m not talking about the little hints and glimpses that we’re getting of ‘Missy’ and the ‘Promised Land’ scattered through the stories, I mean the story of our three regulars - the Doctor, Clara, and Danny. It’s been great watching their story unfold over the last ten weeks, and it’s rather brilliant that every story this year has managed to turn and evolve their relationships to each other very definitely, without ever making it feel forced, or hitting you over the head with the point. In The Forest of the Night continues this tradition, giving us perhaps a greater glimpse at Danny’s real character than ever before, and putting him under the spotlight in the same way that last week’s Flatline did for the Doctor.

 

A lot of the praise for how well all of this is working needs to be laid at the door of the three lead actors in this series - Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, and Samuel Anderson. It really is becoming increasingly difficult every week to find new ways of saying how brilliant the three of them are, and there’s not letting up in this episode. The only way to describe it is to say that we got chills at DWO when watching a scene of the Doctor and Clara together, because you simply know that you’re watching two masters at work. Simply stunning.

 

But what of the story itself? There’s been a lot of buzz around Frank Cottrell Boyce joining the programme with this story, especially after the seasons’ other new writer - Jamie Mathieson - has provided two very well received episodes for the run. Boyce doesn’t fail to deliver, giving us a story which manages to play on various fears, and do so while presenting us with logical explanations for them. The characters are all absolutely nailed, and the idea at the heart of the story - that the world wakes up one day to find the entire planet shrouded in a thick forest - is completely right for a Doctor Who tale.

 

Another new face joining the series this week is director Sheree Folkson, who comes in all guns blazing, and managing to make the forest look gorgeous in every shot. It’s amazing how just a few scatter objects that we can relate to as ‘every day’ - a traffic light here, one of Trafalgar Square’s lions there - can help to create the idea that we’re still very much in the heart of the city here, while also feeling remote and trapped. The use of light in this episode is especially nice - playing through the trees in every scene to create something really rather magical.

 

Five things to look out for:

 

1) “I can fight monsters, I can’t fight physics…”
2) All of this has happened before…
3) “A tree is a time machine”
4) Another London landmark gets destroyed
5) "You. Have you got a name, at all?"


[Sources: DWO, Will Brooks]

17 October 2014

DWO’s Spoiler-free preview of episode 8.9: Flatline:

 

Since Doctor Who was revived in 2005, most seasons have featured a cheaper episode, to free up money for more expensive sequences in the other stories of that year, and a ‘Doctor-Lite’ episode, in which the Doctor’s involvement is paired right back, allowing the regular cast to work on two episodes simultaneously, and ensure that there’s enough footage in the can for our Saturday nights. Flatline is perhaps unusual, as it feels in some ways like both a cheaper episode and a ‘Doctor-lite’ adventure… but it’s not really either.

 

The episode has clearly been designed to only require two-or-three days filming from Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, confining him largely to the TARDIS, but his presence is absolutely vital throughout. You never get the sense that this is in any way ‘Doctor-lite’, even though it fits the brief of being so. Of course, this does mean that Jenna Colemen gets a real chance to show us what she’s made of this week - leading the adventure and taking charge of the guest characters to investigate a mystery and save the day. It would, perhaps, be fairer to call this episode ‘Clara-heavy’.

 

Our ‘hook’ this week can perhaps be boiled down to just two words - ‘Killer Graffiti’. While the concept of the paintings being such a sinister presence through the episode could lead to comparisons with the 2006 episode Fear Her, the story here is different enough to stand on its own two feet, and manages to make the concept rather terrifying in places. How can you escape from something that can follow you through the walls, the furniture, and the floors?

 

But Flatline isn’t really about the Killer Graffiti at all - it’s an examination of the Doctor’s character, his true character that we’ve been seeing more and more of this season, now that he’s ‘lifted the veil’. Picking up on the themes of episodes like Kill the Moon, in which Clara gets to see what it’s like having to make a big decision on behalf of millions, or Mummy on the Orient Express, where she learns how you have to handle people to get the best from them in ‘end of the world’ situations, this story is about again letting her get inside the Doctor’s head, and have a taste of what it’s like to really be him.

 

As has become standard for the programme this year, the Direction is simply beautiful, and there’s some lovely locations on display. Filming in Bristol has allowed a slightly different feel to the Cardiff exteriors we’ve become so used to over the years, and this story does stand out from the pack in this respect. Sadly, the special effects are more of a mixed bag this time around - with some elements looking absolutely fantastic, while some other areas could do with a little more work, and seem more distracting than enjoyable.

 

A vital episode for the narrative of Series 8, a chance for the regulars to shine (as always), a simple concept twisted into interesting new directions… but perhaps an episode which is less than the sum of its parts.

 

Five things to look out for:


1)
“Are we really hiding from Killer Graffiti?”

2) “Don’t give me an ‘ish’.”
3) “I’m the Doctor. Doctor Oswald… But you can call me Clara.”
4) There’s a hint about how much the TARDIS actually weighs.
5) “Lying is a vital survival skill.”

 

[Sources: DWO; Will Brooks]

11 October 2014

Before tonight's episode (8.8: Mummy On The Orient Express) airs, the BBC have released a short, behind-the-scenes clip from Doctor Who Extra, featuring a glimpse at Foxes song which will feature in the episode.

The singer can be seen performing a jazz version of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now', before getting to explore the TARDIS set.

Check out the video in the player, below:

+  Mummy On The Orient Express airs Tonight at 8:35pm, on BBC One.

[Source: BBC]

8 October 2014

DWO’s Spoiler-Free preview of Episode 8.8: Mummy on the Orient Express:

“An Egyptian goddess loose on the Orient Express, in space.”

Fans have been wondering for four years if we might get to see the Doctor catch up on his phone calls and finally head off to the Orient Express in Space to ward of an Egyptian goddess. While this episode doesn’t contain a goddess, it does provide us with an ancient legend, an Egyptian mummy, and the Orient Express. In space.

Let’s start on the design for this serial, because it really is one of the strongest of the season so far. The various production departments have really gone all-out to recreate the look and feel of the Orient Express in the 1920s, from costumes to the train carriages themselves. There was always a risk that a story set in such a confined location as a train would end up lacking the visual impact of something like Robot of Sherwood, or Kill the Moon, but Mummy on the Orient Express really holds its own. Director Paul Wilmshurst returns for a second outing on Doctor Who - having made his debut last week - and again proves himself to be one of the programme’s strongest current directors. I’d wager that there’ll be a few kids having nightmares about the mummy stalking towards them, one foot dragging along the floor…

Making his debut in the series this week is writer Jamie Mathieson, who makes a strong start for his first outing in the Who world. Mathieson’s script manages to blend humour with darker moments, and this work perfectly for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, who has perhaps never struck that balance as effectively as he does here. There’s something almost joyous about watching him piece together the mystery of the mummy, and lie awake at night, talking to himself in the absence of a companion. The episode deals somewhat with this incarnation’s coldness, but we get to see him enjoying himself again, too, showing off to a carriage of people, or waxing lyrical about the area of space they’re flying through.

Stepping in to a temporary companion role this week is Frank Skinner, a self-proclaimed Doctor Who fan. In the announcement of his casting, Skinner made reference to (1964 serial) The Sensorites, and he’s spoken on chat shows in the past about his desire to appear in the series. You can really sense how much Skinner is loving being on the set, getting to work with the Doctor to save people’s lives, but you never get the impression that he’s there simply to appease his wish to be part of the programme - he’s perfectly cast in the role of Perkins, and by the end, you almost want him to tag along in the TARDIS full-time!

Five things to look out for:

1) Would you like a Jelly Baby?
2) “Goodbye to the good times…"
3) “The real wonderful is through here…”
4) Don’t stop me now…
5) “I’m not a passenger. I’m your worst nightmare.”

[Sources: DWOWill Brooks]

3 October 2014

DWO’s Spoiler-free preview of episode 8.7: Kill the Moon:

This year’s season of Doctor Who has really showcased the way that the programme can change and adapt its style each week. We’ve had comedy with Robot of Sherwood, action with Into the Dalek and even a bank job in Time Heist. What do we get with *Kill the Moon, then? Well… a feeling of dread, mostly.

That’s not a negative comment - it’s not a feeling of dread that the episode isn’t good - it is - but large swathes of this episode are imbued with that ‘pit of your stomach’ feeling that makes you a little bit uncomfortable. It could be the spider-creatures lurking in the shadows, or a moon base filled with cobwebs, it could be the mystery of the moon’s real purpose, and it could even be the way that the Twelfth Doctor behaves.

Peter Capaldi’s Doctor has been quite unlike his immediate predecessors. He’s not the cuddly, human-loving Doctor we’ve come to know over the last ten years or so, and he’s stopped pretending to be our best friend. That’s perhaps never highlighted better than in this episode, in which he decides that it’s simply not his place to get involved. With each week, you can see Capaldi finding new facets of the character, and this week we get to swing between him being cold and uncaring, to excitement as he figures out what’s really going on.

If our Doctor is on fine form again in this episode, then the same is certainly true for Jenna Coleman in the role of the companion. Clara has been through a lot with the Doctor since his regeneration, and the cracks in their relationship are beginning to show. Coleman gives it full throttle in this episode, at times proving her best performance to date. Clara might struggle to get along with the Doctor after this adventure, and it’s not hard to see why…

It’s also time for our annual trip abroad, this time returning to Lanzerote (previously used for location sequences in 1984’s Planet of Fire), which is doubling up as the surface of the moon. It’s a very striking location, and it’s hard not to fall in love with it a little - perfectly representing our closest neighbour in the stars, while also transforming it in to something creepy and dangerous. Director Paul Wilmshurst has crafted a beautiful pallette for the episode, and his work here only serves to add to the tension, keeping you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next little bit of terror…

Five things to look out for:

1) There’s shades of 1968’s Seeds of Death in here… beyond it being set on the moon…
2) A description of how the Doctor senses ‘fixed points’ in time.
3) “What’s wrong with my yo-yo?”
4) Two rules: “No being Sick. No Hanky-Panky.”
5) “The future is no more malleable than the past.”

[Sources: DWOWill Brooks]

19 September 2014

Production on 2014's Doctor Who Christmas episode has begun, with a host of British acting talent set to appear.  The Doctor Who Christmas special, a cracker of a highlight in the festive season’s schedule, will air this Christmas on BBC One and promises to be an action-packed, unmissable adventure. 

Nick Frost, actor and screen writer, has starred in numerous hit film and television roles, including Spaced, The World’s End, Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Cuban Fury and Paul, which he also wrote. 

Nick comments:

“I'm so thrilled to have been asked to guest in the Doctor Who Christmas special, I'm such a fan of the show. The read-through was very difficult for me; I wanted to keep stuffing my fingers into my ears and scream "No spoilers!” Every day on set I’ve had to silence my internal fan boy squeals!"

Michael Troughton (Breathless, The New Statesman), who has recently returned to acting, will follow in his father’s footsteps by appearing in Doctor Who. His father, Patrick Troughton, played the second incarnation of the Doctor.

They will be joined by Natalie Gumede (Coronation Street, Ideal, Strictly Come Dancing), Faye Marsay (Pride, The White Queen, Fresh Meat) and Nathan McMullen (Misfits, Casualty). 

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, says:

“Frost at Christmas - it just makes sense! I worked with Nick on the Tintin movie many years ago and it's a real pleasure to lure him back to television for a ride on the TARDIS.”

The Doctor Who Christmas special will air on BBC One on Christmas Day. Written by Steven Moffat and directed by Paul Wilmshurst (Strike Back, Combat Kids), it will be shot in Cardiff at BBC Wales Roath Lock Studios. 

[Source: BBC]

17 September 2014

DWO’s spoiler-free preview of episode 8.5 - Time Heist:

 

One of the greatest strengths Doctor Who has, is its ability to tell wildly different stories from week to week. Right back to the very earliest episodes, it’s a programme that can show us the stone age, before whisking us off to a dead city in the far future, or trapping us in the time machine. Season Eight is showing this ability off wonderfully, and Time Heist is as different to last week’s Listen as that episode was to Robot of Sherwood the week before, or Into the Dalek before that.

 

This episode takes The Doctor and Clara, and drops them in to a bank heist movie. Everything you’d want from such a tale is present here, and it’s always good fun to see how our characters react in scenarios we all know from an entire genre of film and television. 

 

It also presents us with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor slightly out of his depth, having to put his trust in others, and work it out along with the rest of us pudding brains. There’s enough twists and turns in the plot to keep you guessing right up until the end. Why are they breaking in to the bank? Who sent them here? Where’s the TARDIS? And why do they have to go about the break-in like this?

 

Time Heist may come as a disappointment to people going in expecting something as deep and creepy as last week’s story, because it’s not in the same style at all. That’s not to say that this isn’t an entertaining episode, but it’s a story to be enjoyed more simply expecting an entertaining 45 minutes.

 

There’s plenty of visual spectacle on display, with director Douglas MacKinnon returning for his second story of the season, and a great monster design in the Teller - a creature able to detect your guilt and remove it from your mind. As prosthetics go, it’s one of the strongest that Doctor Who has seen in a while.

 

On the whole, Time Heist serves its purpose as a good episode for the middle of the season. It’s never going to grace the top of ‘best story’ polls, but it’s sure to win over fans and warrant a repeat, to watch everything unfold once you know what’s been going on behind the scenes of the adventure…

 

Five things to look out for:

 

1) “Are you ready for your close up?”

2) Soup

3) “Have you got to reach a high shelf?”

4) Characters from The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, and the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip!

5) “Time to run”

 

[Sources: DWO; Will Brooks]

9 September 2014

DWO’s spoiler-free preview of episode 8.4: Listen:

Since Doctor Who’s return to screens in 2005, current show-runner Steven Moffat has been the king of ‘scary’. He provided us with the chilling ‘are you my mummy?’ in Series One, ‘who turned out the lights?’ in Series Four, the ominous tick-tock of the Clockwork Droids in Series Two, and - of course - the Weeping Angels, some of the scariest monsters that the programme has ever produced. In many ways, Listen feels like a return to Moffat trying to scare us, and it’s safe to say that he succeeds.

This story revolves around a simple premise - what if when we’re all alone… we’re actually not. What if every second of our lives, there’s someone, or something there with us. What if when we talk aloud to ourselves, there’s someone listening, and when the hairs on the back of our necks stand on end, it’s the breath of another creature right behind you. It’s this thought which has preoccupied the Doctor when we find him at the start of the story, and the tale becomes his quest to find the answer.

The idea at the heart of this tale pulls on threads that Moffat has used before in a story for the 2007 Doctor Who story book, where he answered the question with the suggestion that people sometimes attract ‘Floofs’, small creatures which attach themselves to people and toy with them by hiding keys, or making mischief. Listen takes many of the concepts from that story and transfers them masterfully to the screen, managing to make them even more unnerving in the process. It’s safe to say that people will be checking in the shadows (and under the bed) on Saturday night. And probably Sunday night, too. And Monday, if we’re honest. [DWO have been checking for the last hour and a half, just in case.]

All the scares have been realised here by director Douglas Mackinnon, who storms back into the series with some truly gorgeous visuals. It’s some of his best directing work, and the use of colour in the episode is particularly nice. The direction of this story really serves to heighten the fear in places, and make a simple blanket the most terrifying thing in the universe. It’s also good to see that - as with Robot of Sherwood last week - directors are finding new and interesting ways to use the TARDIS set. It feels huge here, and somehow manages to make even Peter Capaldi seem small here, when left alone with his thoughts.

We’re also seeing the welcome return of Samuel Anderson in this episode, after a break from the programme last week. Danny Pink continues to be a source of humour here, but it’s nice to see Anderson given the chance to tackle some more dramatic stuff, too. He’s given lots to do here, and it’s hard not to simply love him. We can’t wait to see where his story goes from here - and this episode certainly give us some tantalising hints.

Five things to look out for: 

1) "Scared is a super power."
2) "Robinson Crusoe at the end of the universe…"
3) "A soldier so brave, he doesn’t need a gun."
4) Are you afraid of the dark?
5) "The human race. You’re never happy, are you?"

[Sources: DWOWill Brooks]

<mce:script 

3 September 2014

DWO’s spoiler-free review of Episode 8.3: Robot of Sherwood:

In the build-up to Season Eight, Robot of Sherwood has often been touted as the ‘comedy’ episode of the year. The premise in itself - the Doctor meets Robin Hood! - is somewhat amusing, and automatically suggests that this is going to be something a bit special. Well, the fact is that, yes, Robot of Sherwood is a funny episode, and it works wonderfully because of that.

Back in The Rings of Akhaten, the Doctor offered Clara the opportunity to go anywhere and see anything… and her mind went blank. The sheer enormity of choice offered by the TARDIS was far too great to choose one single moment in all of time and space. Eighteen months on, though, she’s gotten the hang of this time-travel lark, and she knows exactly who she wants to meet.

The ‘celebrity historical’ episodes have been a staple of Doctor Who since its 2005 return, taking us to meet the likes of Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill and Agatha Christie. In Season Seven we saw the format shaken up with an historical figure - Queen Nefertiti - being brought into the future. Robot of Sherwood shakes the format up once again, taking the TARDIS and dropping it directly into the legend of Robin Hood.

All the elements that you could want are here - the band of Merry Men, the Evil Sheriff, and the oppressed villagers. And then, of course, there’s the man himself, complete with a little green hat. If the story can be really compared to an earlier ‘celebrity historical’, then it’s closest in style to 2007’s The Shakespeare Code, with our resident celebrity being a little bit too full of himself - he is the Robin Hood, after all. Tom Riley shines in the part, and watching him spar with the Twelfth Doctor is fantastic.

Where the episode really sings, though, is in the direction. Paul Murphy makes his Doctor Who debut here, and he certainly arrives in style, keeping you hooked throughout. Right from the start, and the way he chooses to shoot the TARDIS set, you know you’re in for something rather special, and that doesn’t stop as the story goes on.

All the talk of comedy in the script can threaten to under-sell the drama in the story, and there’s plenty of that here. Three episodes in, Clara and the new Doctor are getting more used to each other now, and this episode is perhaps the first time that the pair have really felt comfortable travelling together. This is still an incarnation who can be a bit more aloof and alien than some of his more recent predecessors, but here he feels closer to the Doctor that we’ve come to know and love, and pitting the legend of the Doctor against the legend of Robin Hood is a great way to examine his quest to find himself… 

Five things to look out for:

1) "It’s not a competition to see who can die slower."

2) There’s references to First and Third Doctor stories, and a more oblique reference to the Second Doctor…

3) "Old fashioned heroes only exist in old fashioned story books."

4) "Always carry a spoon!"

5) "Usefulness expired."

[Sources: DWOWill Brooks]

29 August 2014

DWO’s spoiler free preview of Episode 8.2: Into the Dalek:

 

The Daleks have been locked in a constant battle with the Doctor ever since the second story way back in 1963, and every incarnation of the Time Lord has faced off against them at some time in some form. The Twelfth Doctor wastes no time in coming face-to-eye-stalk with his greatest foes - as they turn up in his very own second story, Into The Dalek.

 

The episode is very much Fantastic Voyage - a 1966 movie, in which a group of scientists are miniaturised and injected into a person’s bloodstream - meets a war film, and there’s plenty of spectacle to be seen with Daleks being blown up left right and centre. It’s in this element that Into The Dalek is most successful, and at times it’s one of the nicest looking episodes of Doctor Who ever. Director Ben Wheatley, who also helmed last week’s Deep Breath, has clearly revelled in the chance to destroy the Doctor’s greatest enemies, and it’s easy to see why new Doctor Peter Capaldi turned up to set on his day off just to watch.


We get to see the Daleks in a slightly different light here. They’ve not got some big, season-ending scheme for universal conquest, but rather are just tearing their way through the galaxy, making sure to wipe out anything that stands in their way. It doesn’t feel as though they’re plotting and planning at all, but rather just getting on with what they do best - exterminating. The absence of any master plan for the creatures means that we’ve got more time to explore the way that the Doctor feels about them, and though the explosions may look lovely, they’re just window dressing to a story that looks into a Dalek’s - and the Doctor’s - soul.

 

The Twelfth Doctor hasn’t lightened up here from the last episode - he’s still a colder character than we would expect from either of his immediate predecessors, but it’s nice to see him face up to his greatest foe so early on. It feels as though we’ve ticked a box, and you can clearly see why it’s an important step on this incarnation’s journey to ‘find himself’.

 

It’s also a chance for Clara (Jenna Coleman) to continue getting used to this very different man in her life, and she serves as a nice moral compass for him. There’s an introduction for the character of Danny Pink, welcoming Samuel Anderson to the programme, too, which feels as though we’re setting up all the pieces for the next stage of the programme’s life.

 

There’s little else to say without spoiling the episode for you, so we’ll leave it there, but if you’re a fan of the Daleks, or have been following the Doctor’s conflict with them for a long time, you’ll not be disappointed… 

 

Five things to look out for:

 

1) You can always find something to distract you.

 

2) Is he mad, or is he right?

 

3) Clara doesn’t know… and neither does the Doctor.

 

4) It’s a roller-coaster with you lot…

 

5) Don’t be lasagne.
 

[Sources: DWO; Will Brooks]

10 August 2014

DWO’s spoiler free preview of Episode 8.1: Deep Breath:

 

It’s an exciting time for Doctor Who right now, isn’t it? Last year saw the programme celebrate 50 years of adventures in time and space with real flare and style - taking this little show that went out on a Saturday tea time in 1963 and catapulting it into the television schedules around the world. Just a month later, and we watched on as Matt Smith faced down legions of the Doctor’s greatest enemies on the fields of Trenzalore, bursting with regeneration energy, before rushing back to the TARDIS to make his farewells, and setting the wheel in motion all over again.

 

When Peter Capaldi was announced as the new Doctor a year ago this month, the reaction was almost entirely positive. There were a few cries of anguish that he was going to be considered simply ‘too old’ to be the Doctor… but these cries largely seemed to come from Doctor Who fans who were convinced that the general public simply wouldn’t take to a Doctor in his fifties in this day and age. But on Thursday of last week, Doctor Who Online’s Will Brooks and Nick Mellish were lucky enough to attend the world premiere of Season Eight in Cardiff and we can confirm that the reaction is overwhelmingly positive.

 

Oh, the crowds! Hoards of screaming fans simply thrilled to see the new Doctor and Clara as they made their way down the red carpet towards the screening. Crowds made up of - yes! - children. And teens. And adults from thirty, through forty, and fifty, and right up to their eighties. Even those who’d clearly been dragged along to the event by a younger relative couldn’t help getting caught up in the thrill and magic of the event. The new Doctor had arrived, and the reaction has never been better.

 

But enough about all of that! You want to know about the episode itself! I can quite honestly say that sitting in that hall, I have never enjoyed an episode of Doctor Who more. Some of that has to be put down to the sheer atmosphere of the event - a crowd of people who were simply loving this new instalment in their favourite show, and who laughed, and cheered, and cried, and clapped, all at the right moments. I’ll forever associate one particular moment of the episode (and when you watch it, I’m sure you’ll be able to guess which one) with the sound of a packed auditorium simply bursting into cries of elation.

 

There’s been a lot of talk over the last few months about Series Eight being a ‘darker’ year of Doctor Who, with much more ‘serious’ drama and less comedy involved. I can confirm that the programme certainly has a darker edge to it, often brought in by the reactions of the new Doctor himself, but it doesn’t come at the expense of the lighter moments. Keeping the Paternoster Gang of Vastra, Jenny, and Strax, means that they’re able to help inject some well executed comedy into a story that could otherwise feel a little bit bleak. In the same way that The Christmas Invasion takes the Doctor out of action for a while, allowing the focus to be squarely on Rose and her family, here it’s the Paternosters and Clara who we really want to focus on. They’re one big support group to oversee the arrival of a very different Doctor.

 

The story itself, while engaging, is really secondary to the characters here. We’re watching to see how each and every one of them reacts to the regeneration, and I came away feeling like everyone had reached a decent point of acceptance about events. Although I say that people accept the change, though, that doesn’t mean that they entirely like it. Having come away from the screening someone asked me what Peter Capaldi was like as the Doctor, and the only answer I could think to give was that “He’s brilliant… but I don’t know if I like him”. That’s clearly the intention here - the Doctor’s not playing at being your best friend, or your boyfriend, or the wacky madman with a box any more. He’s a man who’s spent a long, long, time travelling the stars, and he’s done pretending. I think he’s going to be the incarnation that we all love to hate. But fear not - while I don’t like this Doctor, I do absolutely love him, and Capaldi is clearly born to play the role.

 

Kick-starting the era with a story directed by a name director like Ben Wheatley really does seem to be setting out stall for what the programme wants to achieve. Doctor Who has never looked more cinematic than this, and if you’ve got the chance, then I’d certainly recommend making the trip to see this story when it’s screened in a cinema. It’s a character piece nicely suited to the small screen, but with beautiful visual sequences simply made to be seen projected onto a cinema screen.

 

It’s now less than two weeks until Doctor Who returns to the saturday night schedules, for its longest continuous run since 2011. We’ve a fantastic new lead actor, a supporting cast of characters who are turning in stellar performances, and a programme that feels like it’s been given a real shot of adrenaline. Hold on tight - we’re in for a heck of a ride…

 

Five things to look out for:

 

1) The Doctor is Scottish now - that means he can complain about things.

 

2) That’s not a hat… that’s hair. 

 

3) Where do the Doctor's new faces come from?

 

4) We don’t get a ‘choosing the new costume’ scene here, but the Doctor does get to test drive several outfits before finding his ‘look’.

 

5) How long can you hold your breath?

 

[Sources: DWO, Will Brooks]

27 July 2014

David Tennant has said he is eagerly awaiting Peter Capaldi's Doctor Who series because everything the actor does excites him.

The former Doctor said he was a huge fan of The Thick Of It star Peter, and that he thought signing up the actor must have been a no-brainer for the show's bosses.

Asked whether he would be watching the new series at the TCA event in Los Angeles, David quipped:

"I never watch it, never watched it since I left, I can't bear any of them. Of course I will! How could I not? It's compulsory in Britain anyway, you have to now."

The Broadchurch and Gracepoint star continued:

"I haven't seen any of it yet but everything about Peter Capaldi gets me terribly excited so I'm very much looking forward to it."

On the subject of whether he was surprised at an older Doctor casting, David replied:

"I think if you've got the chance of signing Peter Capaldi then you do it, I imagine."

[Source: Press Association]

27 July 2014

The Sunday Times have a brand new interview with Peter Capaldi on his role as The Doctor in todays magazine supplement.

In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, Capaldi, 56, rules out a potentially toe-curling Doctor Who romance with Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman, 28:

“It’s not what this Doctor’s concerned with, it’s quite a fun relationship, but no, I did call and say, ‘I want no Papa-Nicole mo–ments.’ I think there was a bit of tension with that at first, but I was absolutely adamant.”

Read the full article by purchasing todays newspaper or subscribing online.

Watch a short promotional video which asks Capaldi about collecting the Doctor Who annuals, in the player, below:


Below is DWO's guide to the confirmed and rumoured titles for Series 8:

8.1: Deep Breath - written by Steven Moffat
8.2: Into The Dalek - written by Phil Ford
8.3: Robot Of Sherwood
 - written by Mark Gatiss
8.4: Listen
 - written by Steven Moffat
8.5: Time Heist
 - written by Stephen Thompson
8.6: The Caretaker - written by Gareth Roberts
8.7: Kill The Moon - written by Peter Harness
8.8: Mummy On The Orient Express - written by Jamie Mathieson
8.9: Flatline - written by Jamie Mathieson
8.10: In The Forest Of The Night - written by Frank Cottrell Boyce
8.11: Dark Water - written by Steven Moffat
8.12: Death In Heaven - written by Steven Moffat

+  Series 8 of Doctor Who will air in the UK on 23rd August 2014, on BBC One.
+  Series 8 of Doctor Who will air in the USA on 23rd August 2014, on BBC America.
+  Series 8 of Doctor Who will air in Canada on 23rd August 2014, on SPACE.
+  Series 8 of Doctor Who will air in Australia on 24th August 2014, on ABC1

[Source: BBC]

26 July 2014

A fourth teaser trailer for Series 8 of Doctor Who has aired.

The trailer kicks off outside the TARDIS looking in and then pans up to see The Doctor sitting on the roof. The Doctor utters just one word:

"Listen!"

This could very well be a reference to the rumoured title of Episode 4 of Series 8 (Listen), written by Steven Moffat.

Just one question though...where is the lantern on top of the TARDIS gone? Surely The Doctor isn't dimensionally transcendental, too? :)

Watch the trailer in the player, below:


Below is DWO's guide to the confirmed and rumoured titles for Series 8:

8.1: Deep Breath - written by Steven Moffat
8.2: Into The Dalek* - written by Phil Ford
8.3: Robots Of Sherwood*
 - written by Mark Gatiss
8.4: Listen*
 - written by Steven Moffat
8.5: Time Heist*
 - written by Stephen Thompson
8.6: [Untitled] - written by Gareth Roberts
8.7: Kill The Moon*
8.8: Mummy On The Orient Express*
8.9: Flatline*
8.10: [Untitled]
8.11: [Untitled]
8.12: [Untitled]

* Unconfirmed

+  Series 8 of Doctor Who will air in the UK on 23rd August 2014, on BBC One.
+  Series 8 of Doctor Who will air in the USA on 23rd August 2014, on BBC America.
+  Series 8 of Doctor Who will air in Canada on 23rd August 2014, on SPACE.
+  Series 8 of Doctor Who will air in Australia on 24th August 2014, on ABC1

[Source: BBC]

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