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

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

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23 October 2017

When Jodie Whittaker takes over as the Thirteenth Doctor on the global hit show next year, she will be joined by an all new regular cast. The BBC has today announced that Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill will line-up as the new regular cast on Doctor Who.

Bradley will star as Graham, Tosin will play Ryan and Mandip will play Yasmin. Also joining the series in a returning role is Sharon D Clarke.

New head writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall, who made the decision to cast the first ever woman in the iconic role, is also shaking up who will travel with the Doctor in the TARDIS, with a team of new characters.

In more exclusive news, it is confirmed that the new series will be a ten week run of fifty minute episodes in Autumn 2018, kicking off with a feature length hour for the opening launch.

Chris Chibnall says:

“The new Doctor is going to need new friends. We’re thrilled to welcome Mandip, Tosin and Bradley to the Doctor Who family. They’re three of Britain’s brightest talents and we can’t wait to see them dive into brand new adventures with Jodie’s Doctor. Alongside them, we’re delighted that Sharon D Clarke is also joining the show."

Jodie Whittaker says:

"I am so excited to share this huge adventure with Mandip, Tosin and Bradley. It's a dream team!"

Bradley Walsh says:

“I remember watching William Hartnell as the first Doctor. Black and white made it very scary for a youngster like myself. I was petrified but even though I’d watch most of it from behind the sofa through my fingers, I became a fan. I then queued up for ages to get into the Carlton picture house in Watford to watch the great Peter Cushing appear as the Doctor in a full length feature film made in glorious colour. Am I thrilled to be part of this whole ground breaking new dawn for the DoctorjQuery15205138140516301002_1508762687331 Oh yes!”

Mandip Gill says:

“I am over the moon to be joining the Doctor Who family. This is an iconic show with an amazing fanbase and I look forward to everything that brings. Certain roles seem unattainable and this is one of those, so much so I didn't believe it to be true for the first few weeks. To be working alongside the likes of Jodie, Bradley and my old friend Tosin is thrilling. This show is worlds away from the work I've done previously and that's the part that excites me the most.”

Tosin Cole says:

"I'm grateful and excited to be a part of this journey with the team. I'm looking forward to jumping in this Doctor Who universe."

Matt Strevens, Executive Producer, BBC Studios says:

“I am thrilled to welcome Bradley, Mandip and Tosin to the new Who family. Working with three such talented actors is going to be a lot of fun. The Doctor is in fine company.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama says:

"The casting of Mandip, Tosin and Bradley is a mark of the new creative ambition Chris is bringing to Doctor Who. He's already made history with the casting of Jodie. These three new characters complete a new and utterly unmissable team aboard the Tardis."

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

   

23 July 2017

Peter Capaldi’s final episode of Doctor Who this Christmas will feature Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts and be called Twice Upon A Time, it was announced this evening during a cast panel at San Diego Comic Con. Viewers will have to wait until Christmas to discover exactly how Bill, who will appear throughout the episode, makes her return.

It was also revealed that Mark Gatiss, who will co-star in the episode in a guest role, will play a World War One soldier - known so far only as ‘The Captain’.

As previously revealed in the closing moments of the 2017 series finale, the special will feature Peter Capaldi’s current Doctor team up with the First Doctor, played by David Bradley

Watch the teaser trailer in the player, below:


[Source: BBC Worldwide]

   

16 July 2017

The BBC today announced to the world that Jodie Whittaker will be the 13th Doctor in Doctor Who. 

The identity of the new Doctor was revealed exclusively on BBC One and on social media around the world after the Men’s Wimbledon Final on Sunday 16th July.

She will be the Thirteenth Time Lord (or is that Time Lady) and take over from Peter Capaldi who leaves the global hit show at Christmas.

New head writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall who takes over from Steven Moffat on the next series made the decision to cast the first ever woman in the iconic role. 

Jodie Whittaker says:

“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey - with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”

Chris Chibnall, New Head Writer and Executive Producer says:  

“After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we're thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away.  Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.”

Peter Capaldi says:

“Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.” 

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content says:

“Making history is what Doctor Who is all about and Chris Chibnall’s bold new take on the next Time Lord is exactly that. The nation is going to fall in love with Jodie Whittaker - and have lots of fun too!”

Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama says:

"Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor." 

Matt Strevens, Executive Producer says:

"I'm so thrilled that Jodie Whittaker said yes to playing the Doctor. I've been a fan for years and always hoped to work with her. She is an actor of great emotional range and inhabits every role with complete passion and conviction. Just thinking about what she will bring to the Doctor makes me as excited as a kid at Christmas. It's going to be a lot of fun."  

13 Quick Fire Questions, Answered By Jodie Whittaker:

1) What does it feel like to be the Thirteenth Doctor?

It’s very nerve-racking, as it’s been so secret!

2) Why did you want the role?

To be asked to play the ultimate character, to get to play pretend in the truest form:  this is why I wanted to be an actor in the first place. To be able to play someone who is literally reinvented on screen, with all the freedoms that brings: what an unbelievable opportunity. And added to that, to be the first woman in that role.

3) Has it been hard to keep the secret?

Yes. Very hard! I’ve told a lot of lies! I’ve embroiled myself in a whole world of lies which is going to come back at me when this is announced!

4) Who was the first person you told when you got the role?

My husband. Because I was allowed to!

5) Did you have a codename and if so what was it?

In my home, and with my agent, it was The Clooney. Because to me and my husband, George is an iconic guy. And we thought: what’s a really famous iconic name? It was just fitting.

6) What does it feel like to be the first woman Doctor?

It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible.

7) What do you want to tell the fans?

I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.

8) What are you most excited about?

I’m most excited about becoming part of a family I didn’t even know existed. I was born in 1982, it’s been around longer than me, and it’s a family I couldn’t ever have dreamed I’d be part of. 

9) How did Chris sell you the part?

We had a strange chat earlier this year where he tricked me into thinking we were talking about Broadchurch. And I started to quiz him about his new job in Wales, and asked him if I could be a baddie! And he quickly diverted the conversation to suggest I should consider auditioning to be the 13th Clooney.

It was the most incredible chat because I asked every question under the sun, and I said I’d take a few weeks to decide whether I was going to audition. He got a phone call within 24 hours. He would’ve got a phone call sooner, but my husband was away and there was a time difference! 

10) Did he persuade you? 

No. There was no persuasion needed. If you need to be persuaded to do this part, you’re not right for this part, and the part isn’t right for you. I also think, for anyone taking this on, you have to want to fight for it, which I certainly had to do. I know there will have been some phenomenal actors who threw their hats in the ring. 

11) What are you going to wear? 

Don’t know yet.

12) Is that your costume in the filmed sequence which introduced you as the new Doctor?

No.

13) Have any of the other Doctors given you advice? 

Well they can’t because they haven’t known until now, but I’m certainly expecting a couple of calls – I’ve got a couple of mates in there. I’m mates with a companion [Arthur Darvill], I’m mates with a trio of Doctors. I know Matt Smith, Chris Eccleston and obviously David Tennant. Oh! And let’s throw in David Bradley! Four Doctors! So I’m hoping I get some calls of advice. 

Watch the official reveal video in the player, below:


[Source: BBC Worldwide]

   

1 July 2017

Following tonight's thrilling episode of Doctor Who, the BBC have released a new image (pictured right) featuring The 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and The 1st Doctor (David Bradley).

The cliff-hanger ending saw The Doctor fatally shot by a Mondasian Cyberman and begin to regenerate. Stepping out of the TARDIS into an arctic landscape, he fought off the glowing regeneration energy and fell to his knees, vowing that this time he would not live on and change into a new Doctor. This was declared “ridiculous” by an approaching figure, who mocked the Doctor as he stepped forward through the snow to reveal himself as the very first incarnation of the Timelord ("The original, you might say") just before the credits rolled. The story will continue at Christmas.

This will be the first time that the First Doctor has played an active onscreen role in Doctor Who since 1983's The Five Doctors, when the character returned to the series following his regeneration almost 20 years prior. Doctor Who's most recent multi-Doctor episode aired in 2013, when The Day Of The Doctor marked the series' 50th anniversary. 

Viewers will have to wait until Christmas Day to find out what happens next, and how exactly The Doctor finally meets his end and regenerates into the (as yet unknown) 13th Doctor!  

DWO also have a second image, which you can view in the image pane to the right, which features a distance shot of the two Doctors on the snowy landscape we saw at the beginning of World Enough And Time, and at the end of The Doctor Falls

Watch an interview DWO conducted with David Bradley back in November 2013, about the possibility of returning to the role of The 1st Doctor:


[Sources: BBC Worldwide; DWO]

   

29 June 2017

What an amazing 60 minutes of TV that was! Steven Moffat has capped off Series 10 in an utterly satisfying way, giving us a finale that will be remembered in the annals of Doctor Who history for some time to come.

We pick up pretty much where World Enough And Time left off, and thanks to some little flashback scenes to move the story forward a bit, we find The Doctor has been captured by Missy and The Master and that the Cybermen are planning an en-masse attack. The battle lines are drawn, and there is a feel of The Time Of The Doctor about this episode.

Missy and The Master are deliciously despicable together, but you sense the disparity between them. It is clear that Missy is conflicted and that she really does want to change, but The Master is so deeply rotten, that you don't know which way she will settle. There's a particularly poignant moment where The Doctor gives a passionate speech to the pair and you expect John Simm's Master to at least show a glimmer of hope, but even we were shocked at his response; it's pretty heart-breaking, actually. What happened that made these two best friends go down completely different paths, and what made The Master hate The Doctor so much?

We do learn a little more about what happened to The Master after the events of The End Of Time, and that after returning to Gallifrey there was a "mutual decision" to kick him out, in turn, removing the drum beat in his head. 

Both Missy and The Master's story / timelines are wrapped up by the end of The Doctor Falls, with maybe a little wiggle room for John Simm's Master to return. We have loved Michelle Gomez as Missy, but we're not quite ready to say goodbye to Simm's Master yet - he has found the sweet spot as The Master (possibly our favourite portrayal of the character to date) and if the show's producers can find a way to somehow retain him, they really must!

One final point regarding Missy / The Master is that Steven Moffat makes a decision that would have been so wonderful to see through to fruition, but, rather cruelly (and totally for the right reason), we never will.


Were not 100% sure, but we think this is our last episode with Nardole, played so wonderfully by Matt Lucas. He has been the comic relief that has been needed in a season with such high stakes, and whilst we fully admit we weren't a fan of his character at the very beginning, all the way back in The Husbands Of River Song, he has completely won us over. Nardole gets to show his mettle in The Doctor Falls, and there's even a glimmer of a happy ending. 

After the terrible events of the previous episode, Bill is coming to terms with what has happened to her, and its crushing to see. The big question is can she ever go back to the way she was before the cyber conversion? The answer lies somewhere in this spoiler-free preview!

In The Doctor FallsPearl Mackie has delivered her finest performance to date in Doctor Who, and after the events of this episode, we really hope it's not her last. 
What she has done for the role of the companion, equality and diversity is truly amazing, and she has inspired and empowered a whole new generation of fans. We've run this fan site for over 20 years now, and we've never seen a companion received as well as Bill Potts has!


And finally...Peter Capaldi as The Doctor; his final days are numbered, and with Christmas just a few months away, we have just a little longer to prepare ourselves for the inevitable regeneration that's coming - even if there may be a few false starts along the way ;) It was so good to see The Doctor share some decent screen time with Missy and The Master, and you'll want to lap up every second they are all in together.

There is very little we can say about the end of the episode except we end at the beginning.

Steven Moffat's contribution to Doctor Who has been immense; rich characters, scary monsters and plots that actually make you think and make you feel clever for following them through to conclusion. He's made gutsy decisions that take the show (and its characters) into bold new directions. But even with all that in mind, he has taken a show that we all love - including himself - and stayed true to its roots. We'd like to go on record by saying a big Thank You to Steven for all he has done, and we are going to be very sad to see him go. With just one episode to go at Christmas, we know he's going to go out with a bang, and the aftershocks will no doubt be felt throughout Doctor Who fandom for many years to come.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  Jelly Babies
2)  Guyliner
3)  "Where there's tears, there's hope..."
4)  "I don't want to go!"
5)  The _______ will ______ at _________.

+  10.12: The Doctor Falls airs This Saturday at 6:45pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

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]

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