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

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27 April 2020

BBC Studios is pleased to announce that Doctor Who will be the focus of a multi-platform story launching later this year. Time Lord Victorious will see partners including Penguin Random House, Doctor Who Magazine, Titan Comics, Escape Hunt, Big Finish Productions, Eaglemoss Hero Collector, Immersive Everywhere, Maze Theory, BBC Books and BBC Audio, unite to tell a brand new Doctor Who story.

Time Lord Victorious will launch later this year, with products and experiences scheduled to launch over a twelve week period.

Time Lord Victorious will tell a new and untold story, set within the Dark Times at the start of the universe, when even the Eternals were young. Following several Doctors across space and time as they defend their home planet from a terrible race, this is a story like no other.

The story will feature the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Doctors, companion Rose Tyler and monsters including the Daleks and the Ood, with more to be revealed over the coming months as products are announced.

James Goss, Producer, said:

"BBC Studios’ Doctor Who licensees have come together to tell an amazing epic – one that’s full of monsters, fun and heart. All strands of the story unite into a mighty patchwork that ranges from one end of the universe to the next. There's more to be revealed, but the enthusiasm and ideas which the licensees have come up with are breath-taking. It's going to be such fun." 

Doctor Who is one of the longest running action adventure television series in the world, spanning 56 years and winning over 100 awards. The brand has a proven track record in consumer products and live events with over four million Sonic Screwdrivers sold in the past eleven years, over 12 million action figures sold since 2005, over 18 million DVDs sold globally and over one million tickets sold for live events.

Further information about Time Lord Victorious can be found on DoctorWho.TV, where a timeline of product releases will be collated as products are announced.

[Source: BBC Studios]

14 April 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

1.13: End Of Days

Here we go ladies, gentleman and everyone in between. If you want a proper Russell T. Davies era finale, look no further. Written by the current Doctor Who show runner Chris Chibnall, we look on how the whole of series 1 is summarised into the most climatic and emotional episode we’ve had of the series. 

 

The episode starts with everything seeming quite normal. Gwen watches Rhys as he sleeps and it all seems a calm morning until Captain Jack calls Gwen to watch the news. It appears as if a weird cascade of events are occurring, as if people and aliens are falling through the cracks in time.

 

Back in Torchwood, Ianto reads apocalyptic accounts in order to find some resolution to what has happened to the world. (Quite an apt thing for Torchwood to face, as we battle our own troubles in 2020. Owen and Jack aren’t convinced by the readings as they abruptly interrupt Ianto describing a creature known as Abaddo, but that won’t appear, will it? Captain Jack brings the conversation right round to the point in hand, and that is if the splinters in time are anything to do with them? Well, yes but more to the fact, it was Owen. Owen denies any responsibility for his actions, as he proclaims he opened the rift to save Jack and Tosh. This may be partly true, however as the audience ,we know he was doing it to prove whether he could go back and see Diane again. Captain Jack can’t even respond to Owen’s claims or even thank him. The conflict between the team and Jack becomes even more visible during this episode.

 

Despite the cracks in time affecting the world, Captain Jack and the team appear to have it all under control. In Doctor Who this would be a good laugh to try and get everyone back to their own time zones, however what happens if the people who fall through the cracks, end up brining something with them? Owen and Tosh have a harrowing shock when they discover a person who has fallen from the 14th century, has infected a whole hospital with the black death. The Doctor (no not that one) in disbelief, shouts at Owen “You’re Torchwood! You’re supposed to fix all this!” However as Owen knows he’s responsible for this outbreak, all he can do is manage the situation and leaves it in the Doctor’s hands.

 

With the cracks in time becoming more and more apparent, Tosh is suddenly stopped in her path, as if she has seen a ghost and more importantly, the ghost of her mother. The shock on Tosh’s face, shows her mother had possibly died sometime in the past, as she has blood running down her forehead. Her mother claims only “It’s coming, out of the darkness.” A series arc that has followed through with people who have died seeing some thing which is too scared to describe. But what is it? What are they afraid of? Not only does Tosh have this ‘vision’ but Gwen also stumbles across Bilis Manger sitting in the cell of the police station. Gwen appearing to be hypnotised, stares at Bilis as he telepathically says “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Is this a coincidence that he appears at the same time as Tosh’s mum? It all seems to be a tangled spiders web and Bilis is in the centre, a spider waiting for his prey.

 

What raises even more questions, is while Ianto is in the cell block of Torchwood, Lisa appears in front of him. No cyber conversation, just as she was before the battle of Canary Wharf. She proclaims opening the rift will save the lives of everyone on Earth.

 

This scene hits home quite hard at the moment with what’s going on in 2020. Owen arguing with Jack, as he says they need to be more prepared for the eventualities of a new virus or plague coming through the rift, as Jack wants Owen to fix it. Jack appears to be taking a step back from the role of leader, to force Owen to come up with a solution as he was the one to cause all these problems. Owen feeling guilty wants Jack to take control, but Jack proclaims “this was never meant to happen.” He has no resolution to his problem and it’s at that moment we see Jack being vulnerable for the first time. At this moment he may have turned to the Doctor for help, however he needs to be that leader, delivering guidance. The situation quickly escalates as Jack fires Owen. The Torchwood team stand motionless as they can’t believe what they’re hearing, as their leader isn’t who they thought he was. Owen questions Jack, as they found out his secret past from the World War. How can anyone trust a leader who lies? Owen staggers away as he knows he’ll be RetConned in 24 hours and can’t face the fact he won’t remember Torchwood or being able to fix the devastation of the rift.

 

The Torchwood team need to find what Bilis is up to and quickly. They track him down to an antique clock repair shop in Cardiff. Bilis explains how he can walk through time, however it comes at a price. He claims to see the past, as well as the future and suggests to Jack and Gwen the only way to save the world is to open the rift. Jack errs on the side of suspicion but Gwen looks on slightly convinced by Bilis’s words. Bilis in what he portrays as an accident, shows Gwen a vision of Rhys, horribly murdered in their flat. ‘Cue Murray Gold running music’

 

Gwen reaches the flat, but all seems well. Rhys is cleaning the oven without a care in the world. Gwen in a state of panic tells Rhys to come along before tasering him to the floor. I do feel sorry for Rhys, first drugged, now tasered, Gwen has really changed her attitude to dealing with her home life / Torchwood situation.

 

After everything that has happened to Owen, he is now face to face with his vision of a love, long lost - Diane. She claims she is lost within the rift and begs Owen to open it. Now you’d hope by this point all the Torchwood team would have spoken to one another about seeing these visions and being highly coincidental, but the team are now too broken to fix any of their problems. 

 

Just as the team think they have some kind of control by keeping Rhys locked in a cell, a security breach opens the door and lets him out. Rhys spots Bilis and asks what’s going on, before Bilis brutally stabs him, killing him. Eve Myles plays Rhy’s death brilliantly. You can feel the pain of grief and guilt from Gwen as she knows she’s failed him. It’s a heart breaking scene that makes me cry every time I watch it.

 

Bilis’s plan all seems to be falling into place as Owen comes back to open the rift, no matter how much Jack convinces the team their visions of their loved ones are too strong for everyone to think clearly. In a last attempt to stop the team, Jack becomes almost the villain as he plays on their weaknesses. Jack takes it one step too far when he attacks Gwen “You’re so in love with Rhys you spend half your time in Owen’s bed.”Gwen in a fit of rage at losing her loved one, punches Jack in the face as Owen takes the gun from him. It’s a dramatic scene with fast cuts and close up on the team members and it really becomes claustrophobic. Jack ,in one last attempt to stop them is shot down by Owen to the horror of the team.  

 

There’s no turning back.

 

The Torchwood team open the rift with Captain with Jack reviving just as the rift opens to the shock of the team. Their whole world is turned upside down as the Torchwood hub is blown to pieces. It’s a brilliant build up as as Bilis Manger is waiting for them to unleash the evil onto the world that has been living under the rift. Abaddon. Now I know this is 2006 GFX and need to take this into consideration, however I believe there is too much happening right now. Bilis should have been the central villain or Abaddon. Abaddon does feel like the cousin of the demon in Doctor Who, The Satan Pit For me, seeing less of the monster, creates more of a sense of threat, as what you imagine can be more powerful than what is shown on screen. The shadow cascading over Cardiff killing everyone, is a brilliant and terrifying scene, as you don’t see what the beast looks like.

 

In the final battle between Jack and Abaddon, I take my hat off to John Barrowman for playing the role so well. He really makes the final sacrifice of his life so convincing and emotional, that you can feel the love he has for his team and the duty he shows in protecting them. It’s a powerful scene as Jack appears to have finally used up his remaining life force given to him by Rose.

 

Gwen doesn’t give up on Jack as he doesn’t revive as quickly as before. As the Torchwood team give up, Gwen accepts that Jack is not coming back. She kisses him on the cheek before only taking a few steps before Jack’s very weak voice says “Thank you.” It’s a complete fist bump in the air moment, which gives hope for the team and the audience. 

 

The final scene is very much silent. Tosh runs over to hug Jack.  Ianto in a comedic light goes to shake Jack’s hand before they kiss,  which makes for a sweet final moment between them. There’s one last resolution to fix as Owen steps in front of Jack. When Jack says “I forgive you,” you can feel all the pain and guilt just wash away, ready for the Torchwood team to come back stronger than ever.

 

Jack goes on one last trip with the Doctor, as we faintly hear the TARDIS landing in the distance. We as the audience know what happens, but for the Torchwood team… well they’ll just have to wait and see.

 

There’s a lot of things that need tying up in End of Days but I applaud the ambition of what it achieved with the limitations of both the budget and 2006 effects. With its flaws, it's a well paced story and filled with brilliant character development and emotion. It has to be said it’s a great conclusion for the first series.


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 

 

 

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[Source:
DWO]

14 April 2020

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Helen Goldwyn

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: March 2020

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"London, 1945. Winston Churchill campaigns for re-election. His new strategic adviser assures him that Britain has a bright future under his continued leadership. It’s a vote he can’t possibly lose. But the Doctor knows that he must.

The Monk is meddling, altering history for his own selfish ends. With spies and aliens in the mix, Winston realises victory may not be so simple. But at least he can trust his old friend... can’t he?"

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers. You have been warned!

Big Finish: We Love Stories.  ‘And Vardans and Churchill’ could be the postscript to their tagline, and so it is that the former Prime Minister has crossed over to the monthly range at last in this play by Helen Goldwyn. He’s not come alone though, as the Monk is there for good measure, too, in his Rufus Hound incarnation.

The year is 1945, Churchill is campaigning for the election (an election he is going to lose, or so history states), and the Monk is up to his usual shenanigans, trying to stop this being the case for reasons that are never really stated.  He just likes stirring the pot. The Doctor, meanwhile, is on hand to try and stop this happening, knowing that in doing so he is risking his friendship with Churchill.  Plus, there are other aliens afoot.

There is a lot going on in Subterfuge and it’s to Goldwyn’s credit that it never feels cluttered or weighed down by its baggage. There is some genuine mystery and tension in her script, and she really shows the darker side to the Monk. For all his jokes and humour, there is a sadistic and nasty aspect to the character; a man willing to sacrifice many just to see what happens. That side is briefly glimpsed here and it’s all the better for it, making the Monk seem more of a threat than has arguably ever been the case before.

It’s perhaps trickier territory with Churchill. He is what is nowadays termed a ‘problematic figure’, which is shorthand for “had good bits and awful bits”, like so many people. (I’m aware I’m over-simplifying things here.) It has made some fans very uneasy about the Doctor’s relationship with him though, with even Steven Moffat stepping in to defend it in a recent issue of Doctor Who Magazine. That slight unease is not going to vanish here, and the Doctor refusing to come down firmly on one side of the fence with his politics and Churchill at that time is bound to wind up fans across the political spectrum: which probably shows that Goldwyn has done a good job of balancing things as best she can. Some will wish she had come down harder on one side though, and I must admit having the Doctor not outright praise and defend the welfare state felt a bit uncomfortable: surely he’d be in favour? But I think Goldwyn is smarter than I by purposely not saying a word, and perhaps that’s more my political leanings showing.

Eggshell treading aside, it’s a strong script bolstered by strong performances. Hound feels increasingly at home in the role of the Monk, and I especially liked Mimi Ndiweni as Alicia, feeling she captured that sense of slight distance at all going on around her that the character needs. At first it may seem a little too distant and perhaps wooden, but that’s not the case at all as later scenes show. It’s a very carefully chosen and curated performance.

Goldwyn is on a roll at the moment, with this and the rather wonderful Mother Tongue in the third Gallifrey: Time War box set. A lesser writer would have made an absolute mess of all the elements in this play: bring back the Monk, bring back Churchill, throw in aliens, set it in a pivotal political moment in Earth’s history. That Subterfuge is anything but is a triumph in itself.


+ Subterfuge is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


7 April 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

1.12: Captain Jack Harkness

After all this time, we finally take a glimpse into the life of Captain Jack.

 

The story starts with Jack and Tosh entering an old abandoned building to check out reports of music coming from inside the building. (Any eagled eyed viewer will spot the Vote Saxon posters and the Bad Wolf graffiti in the building). Jack is very much enchanted by the music of the past, as both Tosh and Jack think they’re seeing ghosts of the past. It’s been done before with the ghost machine, however this time feels different, more real. It doesn’t take long before the distressed room is filled with a grand party for the airforce, ready to take on WW2. This is when Tosh and Jack realise they haven’t just seen ghosts, they’ve time travelled.

 

The transition of the scene is done very fluidly as the camera pans around the room. Of course the Torchwood team get into a tight spot straight away, even when trying to blend in, however who should be the person helping out the fight, but the original Captain Jack Harkness (Matt Rippy). Jack finally gives the explanation about his name to Tosh and his past history of being a conman, something we all know from “The Empty Child”. However, when Tosh confronts Jack about who he was before becoming Captain Jack, he doesn’t reply. And so the mystery still lives on.

 

The Torchwood team are very much split up for this entire story, as we have Jack and Tosh stuck in the past, Owen and Ianto wanting to tear the rift apart to take them back to the future and Gwen who uses her police initiative to explore the old building. Owen’s obsession with losing Diane never seems to leave him, as he’s desperate to solve the equation of opening the rift from Tosh’s partial equations.

 

Tosh has to get her laptop data to the future. This is where the manager, Bilis Manger (Murray Melvin) comes into play. This oddly dapper, yet sinister looking gentleman strangely enough has a type of polaroid camera. You don’t have to be a Time Lord to know the technology is way advanced of anything that should be around in World War 2. What are the Manager’s motives as he sneakily takes out a folder labelled ‘Torchwood’ from his desk?

 

The plot involves a lot of going to the past and you suddenly have the Caretaker, Bilis Manager appear again, without having aged a day. Gwen uses a cover story about Torchwood exploring the building with her mates, to enable them to have a look around. But we all know Bilis Manager knows exactly what’s going on. Its that forward knowledge that makes you want to scream at the TV, Gwen get out of there!

 

Ianto suddenly realises where and to what time Captain Jack and Tosh have travelled, as he finds the polaroid photo from the dance. Owen in a blind panic, realises that Jack and Tosh are in the Cardiff Blitz and will do everything to get them out of there, or is this just to prove a theory of time travelling to see Diane again? They make it their duty to find the key to the equation to using the Rift Machine.

 

In complete juxtaposition, Jack seems so relaxed and at home with his memories of the past. He’s having a good few drinks with the real Captain. There’s a huge sense of guilt in this moment, as the real Captain kisses his girlfriend with a lack of passion on the cheek as a goodbye. Our Jack, knowing this will be the last time he sees her, pleads with the Captain to give her a proper goodbye. It’s the fact that Jack and the Captain have only just met which shows how much trust and love there is between them; something straight out of Disney, is what Owen might say, aye?

 

Jack and the Captain share a heart to heart as they confront their fears of the conflict they’ve seen during the war. Jack mentions about his friend getting tortured and killed however, was this during WW2 or was this a fight that took place many years in the future? We never find out, but it’s the conflict connection which brings both Jack and the Captain even closer. Indeed, Murray Gold’s music strikes again in my heart for this scene.

 

As the bombs fall in the past, the team in the present day are desperately trying to find the missing piece to fix the rift machine. Owen turning Mangers’ office upside down, suddenly realises this is a mystery of time. It was quite apt for Manger to hide the missing piece in a clock. Gwen also manages to find the rest of Tosh’s equation written in Tosh’s blood, however Bilis has got there first and scribbled out the last few numbers. Why didn’t he destroy the whole thing? Is this a trick the Torchwood team are not seeing? The heart breaking message from Tosh, “Tell my family I love them,” makes the team even more determined to get them back. 

 

Jack tells the Captain to spend one last night with his girlfriend but this doesn’t last long, as the Captain returns to face his true self. The moment they sit together and hold each others hands is the moment of acceptance between both of them. This is the last night they’re both going to have together and Jack wants the Captain to be true to who he is.

 

In contrast we have Ianto and Owen beating each other up in a desperate show of loyalty, love and anger to try and get Jack and Tosh back from 1941. The conflict between Ianto and Owen becomes very clear as Ianto raises his gun. Their friendship is truly tested as hateful words are thrown about their past mistakes. Owen goes to open the rift but in a moment of loyalty to Jack, Ianto takes the shot. The close up shows the desperation in Owen’s and Ianto’s eyes, as Owen finally uses the key to open the rift. 

 

Now the moment that makes my heart flutter. The Captain finally accepting who he is, grabs Jack’s hand and takes him on the dance floor. The 1940’s music blends in with Murray Gold’s masterpiece, a unity between the past and the present. The rift opens for Tosh and Jack to escape, but just as Tosh calls, Jack in a moment of love runs towards the Captain for his true goodbye kiss. In a moment, the Captain fades away in one last salute, before he fights his last battle.

 

Jack and Tosh make it back to the present day. In a true send off, they both have a glass of scotch and toast his name. Tosh said the Captain would have been proud of him for taking his name, something I believe is a consolation to Jack after all these years.

 

However, what happened to Bilis?


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 

 

 

Follow @Tardis_Monkey on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source:
DWO]

1 April 2020

Fans of Tom Baker (the 4th Doctor) can look forward to a brand new memoir; How To Walk Through A Door: A (Mostly) True Memoir, which will be released by Ebury Publishing, later this year!

Just who do I think I am? Tom Baker is a British original - a charismatic actor, writer, and innate storyteller who has lived more lives than the Time Lord he so famously portrayed on Doctor Who.

His new memoir collects some of his best stories, from some of his best lives. In his unique voice, Tom serves some glorious gossip about Doctor Who, Little Britain, and the great and ghastly of Soho in the 70s (all of whom he's rather surprised to have outlived). He also talks about his years after leaving the TARDIS: a period of personal and professional wandering where it seemed he was employed by people mostly curious to know if he was still alive.

What was it like being the most sought-after voice in Britain? (Was he really the model for Steven Toast?) Did he really spend his days declaiming sonnets on long walks with his cats and settling old scores with rivals in Waitrose? Or does the legendary hellraiser of the Coach and Horses still burn bright?

You'll discover the truly amazing job he turned down and why he decided to don that famous scarf one final time and return to Doctor Who. Tom once famously said that acting is mostly figuring out how to walk through a door, and in his remarkable life, he has walked through (and into, and out of) so many of them.

Blackly comic, intimate, gossipy, thought-provoking, and always wildly entertaining, How to Walk through a Door takes you into the private world of Tom Baker.

+  How To Walk Through A Door is released on 29th October 2020, priced £20.00.
+  PREORDER this title from Amazon.co.uk.
+  Discuss all the Doctor Who Book releases in the DWO Forums.

[Source: Amazon.co.uk]

31 March 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

1.11: Combat

We kick this episode off with a fast cat and mouse chase, between Captain Jack and a Weevil through the streets of Cardiff. Captain Jack getting a little ahead of himself, thinks he’s trapped the Weevil, until it evades his capture. I love Jack’s response of  how bad things always happen when he gives the Torchwood team time off.

 

Gwen and Rhys are on what is supposed to be a romantic date, well, Rhys wants it to be a romantic date. Gwen is heavily distracted by the world of Torchwood and you can see in her face the normality of  how Rhys doesn’t interest her anymore. Gwen doesn’t exactly cover this up very well, as Jack comes racing along, chasing the Weevil down the street. Captain Jack trying to apologise for ruining the dinner, isn’t convincing Rhys at all that this is worthwhile interrupting. Rhys. In a brutish manner, he orders Gwen to sit down. I think Gwen responds in the only way she could in this situation by telling him “Don’t ever speak to me that way again.” It’s the pinnacle moment, showing how difficult life is to balance with the world of Torchwood.

 

This episode is very much about Owens’ suffering from his first real love that we’ve seen. We see the mental impacts which time travel has on someone and the lengths people will go to if they’re desperate to get back to their own time. This is something which Owen has difficulty grasping, as we find him getting into a bar fight after a jealous boyfriend sees him being comforted by the bar worker. However, even taking down the guys in the bar doesn’t improve his mood as he quickly hangs up on a phone call from Torchwood.

 

Gwen tries to reconcile her problematic relationship, by calling Rhys and leaving a few messages. It’s a sombre moment as he nearly goes to grab the phone, seemingly to forgive her as he’s always done, only to grab it and delete her messages. Captain Jack asks Gwen not to let her life drift apart, as it’s the quality he likes in her. This scene suggests that Jack is still feeling the loss of Estelle from ‘Small Worlds’ and his connection to life and death from being immortal. But does Jack have the right to suggest this?

 

Gwen’s normality in Torchwood itself comes crashing down as Owen in his very charming and unique way tells her she’s boring and doesn’t want to continue this affair. His manner still suits him, but his approach to relationships and love has vastly changed over the few stories we’ve got to know Owen. Quite rightly so, Gwen calls him a wanker before driving off. Owen’s face is one of despair and loss as to what he wants in life.

 

However, this is something we’re forgetting. Oh yes, a Weevil that’s been captured by random people with a white van. The Torchwood team go to investigate the problem as a huge amount of people seem to be turning up to hospital with Weevil wounds. Tosh and Jack investigate an old warehouse in search of the missing one, when a ringtone sends me straight back to 2006 (Crazy Frog if anyone sadly remembers that) informing Jack to not continue in his pursuit. Of course, he doesn’t pay attention to this and threatens them in the true Liam Neeson style of Taken.

 

In true Torchwood style, you need a gimmicky cover story to track down these criminals by making Owen a jellied eel salesman. With the cover story in place, they send out Owen to meet Mark Lynch, the man who owns the warehouse where the Weevil was last sighted. This is when the whole narrative becomes a loose plot based around ‘Fight Club’.

 

Mark takes quite a liking to Owen after they go to the same bar at the beginning of the episode and have another fight all over again. You’d think having a fight in front of a businessman that he would be put off from letting anyone near your business, however this seems to do the opposite. Mark invites Owen back to his house, which you think is going to end up as a one night stand, however with Mark’s interrogating approach, you realise he’s seeing how much rage there is in Owen and wanting him to find what Mark believes is his true self. Or is it we find Marks’ true self? 

 

There’s a real class divide with the rich feeling they’ve accomplished everything in life but feeling nothing for it. And that’s where the Weevils come in. Owen breaks into one of the locked rooms in Mark’s apartment, with a Weevil chained up. Mark trying to establish some kind of twisted dominance, punches the Weevil as if a punch bag, to the huge disgust of Owen. Mark claims the Weevils are the future of the human race and this is where just a glimmer of hope seems to come back to Owen, as you can see this is not what he thinks the future will be like.

 

Meanwhile Gwen and Rhys are in a middle of standoff in a very tense atmosphere, as Gwen finally confesses, she’s been having an affair with Owen. It’s a hard scene to watch as you can see in Rhys’s face the complete betrayal of someone he thought he knew and loved, but Torchwood has changed all of that.  It also shows how much Gwen has changed as a person, as she now drugs Rhys into forgetting about the whole confession, something previously Gwen would never have dreamt doing.

 

The final conflict is Owen facing the weevil in the cage. Owen lets the tension of his life envelope him as he closes his eyes and exhales, all the thought and loss he’s had. He is one with the weevil for that moment, as he knows he’s going to lose his life. It’s a brutal scene, as Gwen and Jack try to save Owen from being ripped apart. In this moment, Jack knows he’s losing the unity of his team.

 

Combat, is a downright decent and solid “Torchwood” story. It’s got some brilliant character development from Owen, showing his more emotional side. This is alongside Captain Jack’s almost heartless approach to the aliens he encounters, as he faces conflict with his team over respecting the Weevils in a surprising twist, in a story written by none other than, Noel Clarke, aka Mickey from “Doctor Who”. 


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 


 

 

Follow @Tardis_Monkey on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source:
DWO]

30 March 2020

The next Doctor Who: Lockdown! global rewatch, organised by Emily Cook will be 5.10: Vincent And The Doctor, and will air Tonight at 7:00pm BST!

Fans can get their screens ready for 7pm Tonight to watch the episode in unison. Doctor Who stars Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Bill Nighy and Tony Curran will all be joining in on Twitter, as well as the episode's writer, Richard Curtis and his wife and co-organiser of the event, Emma Freud. Fans can also use #TheUltimateGinger tag in any tweets.

As with the previous two Lockdown's, DWO will also be providing facts about the episode as well as Van Gogh quotes and facts, which will be unfolding in real time as the action happens on-screen. Make sure you're following @DrWhoOnline to be in on the action!

The Doctor Who: Lockdown! rewatches were started by Emily Cook of Doctor Who Magazine as a way of watching Doctor Who and spreading positivity during the home isolation guidance imposed by the UK government as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Don't have a physical copy of Vincent And The Doctor to watch? Don't worry, you can stream in real time using any of the links, below:

BBC iPlayer
>  Amazon Prime
>  Netflix

+  Follow @Emily_Rosina (Emily Cook) on Twitter!
+  Follow @LockdownWho on Twitter!
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source: Emily Cook]

26 March 2020

Following the success of last week's global rewatch of The Day Of The Doctor, Emily Cook has organised another rewatch, this time for 1.1: Rose.

Fans can get their screens ready for 7pm Tonight - the 15th anniversary since Rose first aired - to watch the episode in unison. Ex-Doctor Who show runner, Russell T. Davies will also be joining in the fun on Twitter, offering live tweets as the episode unfolds. Fans can also use the #TripOfALifetime tag in any tweets.

Further to the success of our own tweets last week, we will also be providing facts about the episode which will be unfolding in real time as the action happens on-screen. Make sure you're following @DrWhoOnline to be in on the action!

The WhoAtHome global rewatches were started by Emily Cook of Doctor Who Magazine as a way of watching Doctor Who and spreading positivity during the home isolation guidance imposed by the UK government as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Don't have a physical copy of Rose to watch? Don't worry, you can stream in real time using any of the links, below:

BBC iPlayer
>  Amazon Prime
>  Netflix

+  Follow @Emily_Rosina (Emily Cook) on Twitter!
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source: Emily Cook]

21 March 2020

Publisher: Self-Published

Written By: Darren Edden

RRP: £8.99 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 21st March 2020

If there was a book we could review that was current with what's going on in the world right now, then Darren Edden's 'The Mirror Of Our Creation' is that book! The story is set in the UK (so nice to have a UK-based story, by the way) in a dystopian future - a future that is at threat from a mysterious influenza-type virus that's wreaking havoc on peoples lives and financial markets - sound familiar?

Ok, maybe the dystopian future part isn't quite what's happening right now, but we are possibly closer that we have ever been to imagining that future, and The Mirror Of Our Creation, in part, is a Nostradamus-like foreshadowing of what could be.

For an author, you couldn't hope for a more poignant and well-timed release for your book - this is a relatively new title, having been released less than a year ago, but from every page you turn it's like a mirror world reflection of our own - and that's before you get stuck into the real meat of the story. Drones, attacks in London, British hospitals packed out with patients... It's all here!

We actually had a cold chill down our back as we read the following line:

"The UK Health Service is starting to creak under the increased pressure of the influenza virus as it continues to spread further throughout the country."

Edden's ability to immerse the reader in his world is testament to his skill in describing the scenes and the characters to a point where they are rich and fully rounded - not just a pencil sketch. You can't help but feel that bit closer to the action, and because of this it's hard to book the book down as you're itching to find out what happens next.

Without giving too much away, it was from Chapter Nineteen that there is a change in tone, direction and location. We head to Jupiter where the character's encounter other intelligent life, in a completely refreshing and ingenious way that feels rejuvenating in the Science Fiction genre.

The Mirror Of Our Creation is split up into three main sections; Part One: The Signal, Part Two: The Contact & Part Three: The Return. A tidy way of storytelling, and coupled with the various 'Newsfeed' sub-chapters throughout (as well as the detailed descriptions mentioned earlier), you feel more part of the story than the normal distanced perspective of a reader.

There are several poignant moments throughout; some because of what’s happening in the real world right now, but some because of the journey taken in the story. One particular moment springs to mind later on, involving a cup of coffee - the juxtaposition of the moment compared with what has just happened...well...without spoiling it, you will know what we mean, where it is and just how poignant it is when you read it!

Again, not wanting to give too much away, but the end is left open for a sequel - one that we hope will come very soon, as Edden and his seemingly prophetic skills, could come in handy in the months and possibly years to come...

A truly captivating story that fans of Science Fiction with hold on to with great relish!

+  The Mirror Of Our Creation is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @DarrenEdden on Twitter.

17 March 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

1.10: Out Of Time

What would you do if you suddenly went on an airplane to find yourself in a completely different timezone? Well three very unlikely time travellers didn’t have to imagine for very long.

 

We start with the Torchwood team waiting for an airplane to land however, it’s not a modern aircraft, but the Sky Gypsy plane which appears to be a vintage twin-engined aircraft, landing on the runway. Three passengers, John (Mark Lewis Jones), Emma (Olivia Hallinan) and pilot - Diane (Louise Delamere) appear to be very confused when Captain Jack asks what year it is. When they answer the year is1953, the whole team know something is seriously wrong.

 

What is really interesting about ‘Out of Time’ is that the episode is very much split up into 3 subplots which come to their separate and very different outcomes for our newly discovered time travellers. The episode really focuses on the mental health aspect of being stuck in a completely different timezone, something Captain Jack knows all too well. However, this is a theme that has never been explored in ‘Doctor Who’ before, dealing with the idea of how people would cope with the thought of never being able to return to their own time. It’s again what ‘Torchwood’ is best at, exploring mental health aspects as it has more adult themes in comparison to ‘Doctor Who’. It tackles them by dealing with the grief of losing their parents, families, friends and even their pets, which makes for thought provoking and upsetting moments.

 

The first thing the Torchwood team needs to do is help the time refugees in their new lives. Each person is set up with a member of the team to help them deal with missing 50 wish years of time. Their attitudes and the way they deal with John, Emma and Diane, speaks volumes about the Torchwood Team characters.

 

John is your stereotypical 1950’s dad, who seems to be the breadwinner of his family, working as a shopkeeper and demonstrates very protective qualities over Emma as if she was his daughter. Emma is an18 year old girl, with only one ambition of settling down with a husband and having her own family, as she’s been told that’s what girls of her age do. Whereas, in stark contrast, we also have Diane, a pilot who has strong ambitions in life and doesn’t want to be tied down or limited by other people, something which will definitely be divulged later in this episode.

 

The Torchwood team take the time refugees into a safe house to help them establish their lives again. It seemed like a good idea for about two seconds, then John has a very heated argument with Emma after finding her getting drunk with two more girls in the house. Who are the other girls? Who knows? It’s never explained apart from being a plot device to move the story onto Gwen and Emma moving in together. This does however really delve into what happens when Gwen takes her work home?

 

Gwen who has a softer approach than Jack or Owen to situations, takes on a motherly/older sister attitude towards Emma, as she has to lie to Rhys about Emma being a semi-distantly related cousin, in order for him to feel comfortable having a stranger in the house. Gwen really comes into her own by showing Emma there’s more to life than just settling down with a husband, as time has moved on and there are more possibilities for women in life. What works for Emma, is being a younger more adaptable person; this allows her to accept and come to terms with how times have changed e.g. from getting her own career to being able to have sex before marriage. It becomes quite a comedic moment when Gwen delves into the lovers she’s had in the past, before Emma asks if it’s ok for her to do it. Gwen’s attitude immediately turns as she suggests the first time sleeping with someone should be special, but realises her rational behind this is a bit lame, as Emma asks if having sex with Rhys is the best, to which Gwen says ‘Well…’. It’s the moment Gwen knows she isn’t the most convincing person to tell someone to settle down with just one man. However, Emma ultimately wants to wait for “Mr Right.” Emma takes the final option of moving to London to pursue a career in fashion design. It’s a lovely send off scene, as Gwen looks on tearfully as she’s sending her almost daughter away into the big wide world after a week. It’s a bold move, however it shows how strong and independent Emma is, even after the 1950s wanted her to stay in that stereotypical bubble. It’s such brilliant character development in just a 50 minute story.

 

We then move swiftly over to Owen, who has taken it upon himself to look after Diane. He fancies the pants off of her, of course. I think this is the first time as a character I’ve liked Owen. His love and devotion to Diane in just a week is quite impressive. The moments of the past and the present mixing, is something that really shines on their relationship, from their attitudes of going out to dinner together and Owen pulling Diane’s chair out, to Diane’s attitude towards sleeping with Owen, suggesting that sex should never be casual. There’s a moment when Owen suddenly has an epiphany that he doesn’t want to sleep around with loads of women anymore which is somewhat sudden, but a real character development after sleeping with not one but two Torchwood employees. Is Owen finally finding some stability in his life? The relationship between Diane and Owen does work so well, as Diane can really swap the gender roles. The prime example for this is when Diane takes the decision to leave Owen, something that really breaks his heart for the first time. It’s a moment that really echoes the film “Casablanca" as Diane hands her scarf over to him, she decides she can’t live in a time in which she doesn’t belong. There’s an adventure out there in the sky which she loves and it calls upon her to go and find the rift to get home. The final shot of the plane in the sky, is a true homage to the films of the 40s and 50s but with a slight 2006 twist of the pilot being Diane.

 

For John, life doesn’t adapt to 2006 quite so easily. The troubled moments start as soon as Captain Jack forges new passports for all of them and changes their names, something John immediately calls Jack out on and quite rightly so. For someone who has lost everything, his family and his own time, having his own name is the only thing that establishes his identity and self worth. John and Captain Jack have some emotional bonding moments, as they both reminisce over their lives in the 50s and how Jack came to terms with being stuck in one time. John trying to act like the father figure, finds it hard to maintain that persona. John finds out his son is still alive and goes to see him in a care home in Cardiff. Time travel can be a cruel and wicked thing to use, as John’s son is much older than him and has Alzheimer's disease. You can really see in John’s face this is when he loses all hope for the world and this sparks a very controversial scene in my eyes. John takes it upon himself to try and commit suicide in his car at his original home address. Captain Jack races to his aid and stops him. Jack with all his good will and intentions, tries to convince John he can live a new life, start a new family, see another day; however Jack’s words seem so empty to John. John says “Don’t condemn me to live” which is a sentence that really impacts on me. For me, I wished Jack became the figure of hope and actually showed John what life could have been like. A moment of weakness is only brief and will pass, but it’s the people around you who make the difference. The moment however is played out really well, as Captain Jack looks on in shock and despair as John slowly lets go of Jacks hand as he passes away. 

 

At the end of this whole episode, I admired what Jack, Owen and Gwen were trying to do. The casting and themes of the episode, is how I remember Torchwood from watching it the first time around. From the moment where they’re running around Asda buying everything they can set their eyes on, brings the comedic light hearted moments to Gwen finally being discovered having lied to Rhys (Kai Owen) about her job. It’s the juxtaposing position that Torchwood as a series is good at, and really leaves a cliffhanger between Gwen’s predicament of being part of the team, while trying to maintain a stable relationship. The series itself, is finally finding its feet and I can’t wait to see what kind of resolution takes place at the end.


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 


 

 

Follow @Tardis_Monkey on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source:
DWO]

10 March 2020

G'Day of the Doctor is a one-day Doctor Who event to raise funds for victims of the terrible Australian wildfires. It will take place at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern - one of London's most iconic LGBT+ venues - from 1pm - 6pm on Saturday 9th May 2020

Guests (subject to work commitments) include: Katy Manning, Nicola Bryant, Lisa Bowerman, Janet Fielding, Mark Gatiss, Ian Hallard, Peter Purves, David Benson, Joe Lidster, and Nev Fountain. There will also be Doctor Who drag queens, stand-up comedy, a new adventure performed LIVE, and much much more! This isn’t a convention - it’s an entertainment spectacular! 

Also featuring:

The UK premiere of the colourised Day of Armageddon: Episode 2 of The Daleks' Master Plan

Cabaret from The Vixens - stars of the Edinburgh smash-hit 'Doctor Whosical'! 

Stand-up comedy from Charlie Ross

Auction

The Quiz of Rassilon ON TOUR!

Lots more surprises...! 

Organiser Richard Unwin said:

“I toured Australia with a play a couple of years back, and fell completely in love with the country. The people, the animals, the scenery - it was simply a joy to exist in such a beautiful land. While I was there the Doctor Who Fan Club of Australia invited me along to be a guest speaker at one of their meetings in Sydney, to discuss my work as an actor with Big Finish. I was flattered and amazed - to receive such a warm and generous welcome whilst so far from home - on the other side of the world! But that’s the Doctor Who community for you - full of warmth and generosity and kindness. 

So when I first saw the pictures of that country burning - the place that had stolen my heart, in literal flames - I instantly knew that we could rally the troops of fandom and organise something to help in some small way. And in the past several months I’ve been blown away by the amount of support that we’ve received already. I run a London based group for LGBT Doctor Who fans called The Sisterhood of Karn, and we’ve teamed up with Anthony Townsend of Diva Loka - the Brighton Doctor Who Social Group, Beth Axford of The Time Ladies, and Michael Snooze of The Quiz of Rassilon, to put on a one day fundraiser - G’Day of the Doctor. The legendary London Cabaret venue The Royal Vauxhall tavern have very kindly offered to host our event on the 9th of May - our huge thanks to Dave Cross the events manager there for this generosity.

What’s perhaps unusual about our organising Committee is that we have an actual Doctor Who legend helping to plan and direct. When Katy Manning heard about what we were doing, she not only offered to appear at the event, but also to be a key part of the planning committee - attending meetings and undertaking research and admin. She’s been invaluable!” 

Katy Manning said:

“I arrived in Australia in 1982 with two sickly children, two suitcases, and one telephone number. Australia gave my children their health, it gave me friendships across the vast beautiful country, it gave me my partner of 28 years - the legendary  Aussie Barry Crocker CBE. It gave me the opportunity to travel to almost every tiny corner of that diverse island - from the Sydney Opera House to the outer Barcoo and everywhere in between. It gave me the beauty of the Aboriginal people & their dreamtime. It gave me the joys of Banjo Paterson. It gave me mind blowing night skies, exotic flowers, rainforests, deserts, sweeping plains, snowy mountains, blue seas, white sands, and incredible wildlife. 

I have seen many fires and floods during my years, but being there during these fires will remain with me for life. Even the most resilient Aussie spirit was momentarily broken, and the wildlife devastated. The firefighters worked tirelessly to quell the fires devouring whole towns, while others worked relentlessly to save the unique wildlife. For this country I love, that gave so much to me and so many, I now want to be part of giving something back during this their time of real need, to help bring back the heart to this extraordinary land.”

Who we are:

We are a collective of Doctor Who fan groups who wanted to channel the power of our fandoms into doing something to aid those affected by the awful bushfires in Australia.

The Sisterhood of Karn - the LGBT+ Doctor Who fan group

Diva Loka - The Brighton Area Doctor Who Social Group 

The Time Ladies - A blog by and for women who love Doctor Who 

The Quiz of Rassilon - The legendary monthly Doctor Who quiz night

Who we are supporting:

We have decided to split the proceeds of this event 50/50 between animals and humans, and have picked a charity for each. 100% of what we raise will be going to these charities - we are not taking a single penny in fees or commission. Huge thanks to all of our guests who have given their time free of charge. After much deliberation, the charities that we have chosen to support are: 

WIRES - NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service: https://www.wires.org.au/

BLAZE AID - Helping Communities Rebuild After Natural Disasters: https://blazeaid.com.au/

Tickets and info:

For more information and ticket details, you can find any of our organisations on Twitter, along with a dedicated event account at: @GDAYOFTHEDOCTOR. There’s also an event page on Facebook, just search for: G’Day of the Doctor. Strictly limited tickets will be available to purchase via vauxhalltavern.com.

+  Facebook: facebook.com/SisterhoodofKarn
+  Twitter: twitter.com/sisterhood_karn

[Source: Richard Unwin]

10 March 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

1.9: Random Shoes

This episode starts off with a very different style by the narration of a man called Eugene Jones (Paul Checquer) as he describes the effect of different scientific forces and how life can really run away with you. As the camera pans down from the sky, feeling like we’re descending from Heaven, we see a helpless Eugene laying on a country road before getting up and running over to the Torchwood team, acting as if they have been best friends for years. Everything appears to be quite happy and normal, until we see the dead body of Eugene on the side of the road. But how can he both be alive and dead at the same time? Is he a ghost? A projection? Something the Torchwood team or more specifically Gwen, wishes to find out.

 

The other members of Torchwood dismiss the whole event as a typical RTA and as Owen says “No alien involvement” so he’s not particularly interested in the situation whatsoever. It’s an interesting take on narrative for an episode that’s 3/4 of the way through the series, as we have a very Torchwood team light story.

 

Random Shoes’ revolves heavily around flashbacks to previous events in Eugene’s life, as we see a younger version of himself in school losing at a Math’s quiz competition against another school. The narration from Eugene makes it clear that he feels all the bad mistakes that have happened in his life originated from this one moment. Eugene freezes as can’t answer the questions he knows, showing huge disappointment in his father who is eagerly taping the show. However this is Torchwood, it’s never as simple as losing a maths quiz and having a resolution of a story revolve around that. No, one of Eugene’s teachers takes pity on him and decides to show his collection of weird and wonderful scientific discoveries, as he takes out an unusual looking memento of an alien eye. 

 

This is where Eugene’s world is really turned around. The alien eye becomes an obsession, as it’s something that distracts him from ‘real world’ situations, such as his dad running away from the family. The scene is so perfectly composed; we hear the parents screaming at each other in the background, as Eugene is distracted by looking at the planets on his bedroom wall. The audio includes screaming and slowly mixes with David Bowie’s Starman, as Eugene narrates the wonder of the universe and how he wants to get the eye back to the original owner. It’s a fabulous juxtaposition of reality and fantasy and how it impacted Eugene’s decisions, up until his death. You could call this episode the ‘Love & Monsters version’ of Torchwood. The parallels between this scene and Elton running around his room to ELO, are just uncanny.

 

We establish how Eugene knows Torchwood, as we cut to a flashback of him meeting the team with only Gwen acknowledging his presence. It all just seems a very normal encounter as Eugene just appears to be a very eager nerd who wants to help out Torchwood and get some answers about this alien eye. He’s a very hopeful person and one who always wants to meet the alien owner. LINDA awaiting for the Doctor anyone? The theme of the narrative is played as very light hearted but  with the subject of Eugene being dead, it does hold over your head like a great stormy cloud waiting for the conflict to occur on this theme.

 

Gwen takes the whole situation under her own belt, as she has a ‘feeling’ that the whole death of Eugene is more than just a RTA. There’s a really emotional moment when Eugene is starting to come to terms as to how his death is making an impact on his family and friends, as he stares through the window to see his mum crying her heart out and yet he can do nothing about it. The accompaniment to the montage of 'Hope there's someone’ by Antony and the Johnsons, really makes it a heartbreaking moment and you really feel as if you’re in his shoes, experiencing his pain.

 

Eugene, throughout the episode, is talking to himself quite happily as no one can hear him. That is until Gwen decides to carry on her investigation work without the team and winds up at Eugene’s local cafe and Gwen orders Eugene’s typical lunch of, ham, egg and chips. It almost feels like it’s breaking the fourth wall down, as we the audience, relate to him as he narrates his life to us. She also responds to Eugene’s apology relating to the £34 charge for a DVD rental, from what appears to be one of the most stereotypical 2006 fashion styles I’ve ever seen in my life. The shop owner is a huge creep. however, Gwen completely keeps her cool in the situation to help get the clues she needs to find out why Eugene died.

 

What makes ‘Random Shoes’ so unique in its story, is it seems to be so mundane. Eugene appears to have led a pretty solitary life, only speaking to a few people in the office where he worked and obsessing over an alien eye and artefacts with a few mates. The story also revolves around the themes of mental illness as many of his friends asked if he committed suicide. It’s a hard hitting subject which really contrasts with the style of Eugene’s upbeat narration. Eugene’s tone in the narration quickly shifts as he realises once the investigation is over, that is it, but what will happen to him?

 

Gwen discovers the eye that Eugene has been so obsessed with is actually a Dogon Sixth Eye, which allows people to reflect on their past. You could say Eugene has been reflecting on his past pretty well. It’s a rollercoaster ride of his friends trust, as they try to swindle their own friend out of £15,000, when Eugene tried to sell the eye on eBay, as well as finding out his dad didn’t run away to America but to a MOT garage in Cardiff. The build up of emotions his final moments, is really touching, as the story comes full circle when Eugene runs away with the eye after swallowing it to keep it safe, after his friends tried to steal it and accidentally runs into the path of an oncoming car.

 

‘Not the biggest turn out you could hope for.’ is the view Eugene takes on his future life, the life he wouldn’t get to live; however he’s always grateful for what he has, and how his death created a bond between his dad and his mum again, when Gwen finally makes the phone call announcing Eugene’s death. Is this the resolution that sets him free from the eye’s influence? Not quite. We come to the final scene of the story, with Gwen walking away from Eugene’s family’s house and nearly getting hit by a car herself, however Eugene somehow manages to manifests himself into existing again and pushing her to safety. The whole family and the Torchwood team watch in shock until Eugene quickly starts ascending into they sky as if he’s finally going to heaven to rest. If anything, this is a nice if not slightly weird conclusion to the story. Was it him saving Gwen that made him finally free, or fixing all his past mistakes giving Eugene peace at last?

 

There are some questions that are left unanswered such as, who was trying to buy the eye? How was his soul or consciousness trapped in the eye? The story tried its best, even if certain aspects seem a little clunky for my taste.

 

The last narrative line is, live your best life, and that is a pretty upbeat motto for Torchwood by far.


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 


 

 

Follow @Tardis_Monkey on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source:
DWO]

3 March 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

1.8: They Keep Killing Suzie

We kick-start this episode in true Torchwood style as they walk onto a crime scene already being investigated by the police. They’re met by Detective Swanson (Yasmin Bannerman), who her and her team think Torchwood’s approach to situations are a little unorthodox and quite rightly so. As the team enter an average looking suburban house, a horrendous murder has taken place with a slightly more unusual clue to the suspect. In huge blood soaked words on the wall, “TORCHWOOD” takes central place, which immediately alarms Captain Jack, with a true heroic ‘Doctor Who’ cliffhanger camera zoom to the face… Titles roll!

 

Tosh examines the DNA evidence left at the murder site which the analysis reveals that the murderer had an unknown compound, “B67.” Owen immediately identifies it as the RetCon drug, which was also the same drug Jack used on Gwen. Gwen in a state of panic becomes incredibly worried as to the implications and side effects of the drug, as the Torchwood team themselves realised they’ve screwed up massively. I mean an organisation who drugs not just one but 2008 people, is slightly problematic in itself… again. Not only that, but the team are now questioning if the drug can cause violent tendencies. Jack quickly jokes that Gwen shouldn’t go near sharp objects however, the joke doesn’t sit well with me.

 

But with no time to wait, as in true Torchwood style we’re off, as Gwen suggests using the Resurrection Gauntlet from ‘Everything Changes’ to question the murdered people to find out if they saw anything. Jack and Owen quickly disapprove of the idea, with their closed body expressions as they try to turn away from Gwen; the pain of Suzie’s death still haunts them, even now. Gwen being the determined police officer she is, suggests they have a duty of care following the murder victims death; they have responsibility for their actions in respect of drugging people, which is a very just cause in my opinion.

 

Captain Jack tries the glove on their first murder victim, however this instantly fails. Owen immediately passes up the opportunity to try the glove again, stating only Suzie was the one who managed to get the glove to work. Gwen being the badass she is, volunteers to wear the glove as a cautious glance is exchanged between Jack and Owen, stepping up to the role to try it on with immediate success. The first victim, Alex Arwen, screams out. Gwen trying to show some humanity as Jack shouts at him trying to get a clue, immediately dies again. The rage shows in Gwen’s face as she is determined to use the glove not to just use the murdered victims but to get justice for them. It’s a true showmanship to her police training and her character. The next victim Mark, gives an emotional performance which is beautifully accompanied by Murray Golds’ music, as he tries to help the team with clues as to who the killer could be but also just wanting to see his wife one last time. Mark reveals a couple of names Pilgrim, Max and in a shocking twist, Suzie. Coincidence? I think not!

 

The Torchwood team dig up some more evidence related to Suzie and Pilgrim, which turns out to be a a religious support group. Tosh and Owen are completely dismissive of the idea that Suzie would join a group like this, when Gwen questions how much do the team really know each other? It’s a true testament to their characters about how they all get so wrapped up in fighting aliens and the unknown, that they forget the fundamental point of sitting down and talking. Jack accepts the fact he messed up and makes the ultimate decision, they need to wake Suzie up.

 

The Torchwood crew gather around a frozen Suzie as they assess the situation as to what they’re about to do. Tosh who can’t bare to look her former colleague in the eye quickly departs the room. The others braving their fears of Suzie herself, gear themselves up ready to get their last clue and to leave Suzie to rest. This is what is amazing about Torchwood, alien monsters can be frightening, but a person who has been dead for 3 months can still send a shiver down your spine from their past actions and this is what makes for a great villain for a story. After a few false starts and a life knife through the heart in a completely brutal fashion, the camera circles around them all;, Suzie is back from the dead. It’s a brilliant scene that builds up the confusion and frustration of everyone in the room, as they desperately want to stop the killing and settle their difficulties once and for all. Gwen using the glove for too long is shot back across the room, as Jack very angrily shouts at her for getting hooked on the glove as well. Jack has a tendency of learning from his mistakes and almost plays a father figure to the team, however his younger team mates want to prove themselves and almost get killed in the process. We soon learn that there are consequences which become a reality for unfortunate Gwen. They think it’s all over until Ianto claims that Suzie’s heart is still beating.

 

The Torchwood fam (yes I’ve used it) wanting to give Suzie the benefit of the doubt about her past incriminating life, ask for her help to catch the killer who is after them. They go to a club where one of the members from Pilgrim works before she becomes the next victim. After a brief punch up and Gwen getting hit again, goodness me does Gwen take some punches, they catch the killer.

 

All of this seems simple and straight forward, a very typical Torchwood episode until Gwen is suckered in by Suzie’s guilty charm and her own revelations of the team not being sympathetic towards other members and decides to take Suzie to see her dying father. Now this is when the tangled web of evil and villainy comes into force. Owen to his horror, discovers why Suzie isn’t dead again. She’s draining the life force away from Gwen. This is where the differences lies between Gwen being a part of the team rather than Suzie; the team actually spring into action to help her. They've been fooled twice; shame on them.

 

I love Torchwood, it always seems to be the most bonkers plot to cram into a 50 minute story. So here’s a break down of Suzie’s plot, Shaun of the Dead style:

 

Gwen takes her car, drives over to Suzie’s dad, Suzie kills her dad. Gwen immediately starts getting a headache because the gun shot wound that killed Suzie is being exchanged and she gains her energy back. Suzie then drives to the docks to get rid of Gwen’s body. Torchwood calls on Detective Swanson who breaks them out using a secret code to counteract the other secret code announced by the original killer who Suzie drugged to help her get back from the dead. They get to the docks before Suzie gets away on a boat to live forever.

 

I tip my hat off to the writers, Paul Tomalin and Dan McCulloch for getting in so much plot without the story feeling too fast.

 

The final stand off between Jack and Suzie resulted in me making the most satisfying air punch I’ve ever done. The part where Jack finally takes Suzie down and Tosh takes the glove out with one final shot to break the tie between Suzie and Gwen, was just so perfect in tying up the elephant in the room of everyone feeling sorry that Suzie killed herself, when actually she was the real monster all this time.


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 

 

 

Follow @Tardis_Monkey on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source:
DWO]

2 March 2020

Luxury brand Corgi and BBC Studios have today launched the range of Doctor Who knitwear worn by Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor in the latest series of the BBC One show.

Corgi’s Doctor Who range will include 100% cashmere socks, wool socks, a cashmere scarf, a wool scarf and a hand-made cashmere and cotton blend jumper. All our luxury yarns are sourced from the very best suppliers in the UK who use yarns from sustainable sources. The knitwear is made using traditional hand knitting techniques and hand finished to the very highest standard. All the products are made in the UK at Corgi’s factory in Ammanford, Wales.

The range was designed by Costume Designer Ray Holman (Doctor Who, Torchwood) for the Thirteenth Doctor’s costume and is now available to fans across the world for the first time.

Ray Holman, Costume Designer, said:

“I chose to work with Corgi after visiting the factory and seeing the high quality materials they use and the beautiful products they create. As a small company in the heart of Wales the craft of knitting is still very much alive and we were able to use these skills in the creation of the jumpers, socks and scarves for this range. It has been a pleasure to work with Corgi and create such a wonderful range of garments for The Doctor.” 

Corgi is a Welsh, family-run company producing luxury socks and knitwear. Established in 1892, the company is still located in a small Welsh mining town and has developed a reputation as a leading luxury sock and knitwear brand. Corgi was awarded a Royal Warrant by HRH the Prince of Wales in 1988, and continues to supply the Royal family with knitted goods.

The launch coincides with a royal visit at the Corgi factory in Wales, with Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal arriving to meet staff in her capacity as President of the UK Fashion & Textile industry. Princess Anne was shown the new Doctor Who range as part of this visit, and presented with a cashmere Doctor Who scarf as a gift.

Chris Jones at Corgi, said:

“We’re very excited to be working with BBC Studios on a product range for Doctor Who. Working with the creative team, we have produced a beautiful line of distinctive knitwear and socks that deliver both style and high quality that we hope fans will love!” 

Products are available to fans worldwide on the Corgi website www.corgisocks.com and range in price from £19 to £295 RRP.

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[Source: BBC Studios]

28 February 2020

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Stephen Wyatt

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: February 2020

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"Lots of fun for the family, at the Greatest Show in the Galaxy!

When a junkmail robot invades the TARDIS, the Doctor gets led down an unnervingly familiar path.

Meanwhile, space beatniks Kingpin and Juniper Berry just want to hitch rides and busk – until a greater purpose calls.

The Doctor’s past and Kingpin’s future are entangled by malevolent forces. The Psychic Circus is just beginning: it may lack clowns, but it already has a Master..."

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers. You have been warned!

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy seems to be the in thing right now for Big Finish. First we had the return of Mags, then there was Feast of Fear, which riffed on familiar sinister circus imagery, and now we've this, which acts as a prequel to the main attraction itself (and possibly a sequel for the Doctor? It's never quite clear).

In my reviews of the Mags plays, I noted that I think Greatest Show is brilliant but questioned the need to bring Mags back: was there really more to say? Just because you can revisit a past character or story or setting, it doesn't necessarily mean you should. At best, it could do something genuinely novel and worthy and change your perception of the original story for the better. At worst, it can tarnish a good memory. Wherever you fall, you'll probably annoy the fans (as happened with The Last Jedi. Best Star Wars film in years and it was hated on by the fans so much we ended up with The Rise of Skywalker...).

Somewhere in the middle though is arguably the worst reaction of all: "Why?"

I am absolutely in the middle with this release. The cast is very good (Ian Reddington and Chris Jury slip right back in like they've never been away, especially the former who is excellent), the cliffhanger to Part One is pleasingly Doctor Who-ish (the Doctor threatens… to juggle!), Sylvester McCoy is on top form, but… but why? Why does this release exist?

It is nice to have original writer Stephen Wyatt back in the fold, and the script is not necessarily bad, but does The Psychic Circus say something fundamentally new? Not really. We learn why the circus ended up on Segonax and, more notably, a bit about the Chief Clown's origins (turns out he is from, erm, Paradise Towers. I guess Wyatt couldn't help himself). That's about it though, and I'm left wondering: did we need to know any of this? It doesn't take anything away, but it hardly adds much.

Of course, they're not the only people in the spotlight here. Semi-obligatory Gods of Ragnarok cameo aside, there is also the Master to contend with, though his role is so dull and muted you wonder why (that word again).

The most interesting thing of note about the Master here is that it's the incarnation played by James Dreyfus: does he 'count' now? He was first introduced in the box set of David Bradley First Doctor plays, which weren't meant to necessarily be canonical, until perhaps they were and Normal Who Susan met David Bradley Susan and then Bradley's Doctor himself popped up in The Legacy of Time, at which point it was anyone's guess what counts and what doesn't. If Big Finish themselves don't seem to know or care, should we? At all?

As for Dreyfus, he is fine, though I wonder if (and suspect) it will be his last outing in the role? His opinions on Trans politics has, to be polite, not gone down well with a lot of fandom online, and it's telling that here he was not mentioned in the press release for the story when it released, nor is he present in the extras, and the forthcoming Master box set from Big Finish have him conspicuously absent: and this is the set that has apparently remembered that Alex Macqueen exists at long last. You get the impression he wouldn't have even been on the cover if it hadn't been too expensive to change it, but his name is not there on the front.

It again makes this play seem more intriguing than it really is. The fact Wyatt is back, the fact Dreyfus is here, the fact some of the original Greatest Show cast return. Why though?

And that's the problem. Why? It never answers this question and as a listener, I never felt it earned its place. An irrelevant release where the things around it are in disproportion to the things it says. Far from the greatest show in town, let alone the galaxy. Why bother listening to it? I'm not sure I know.


+ The Psychic Circus is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


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