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Roderick Donald

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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25 September 2011

The BBC have released a prequel clip for 6.13: The Wedding of River Song:

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

23 September 2011

After this years Christmas Special, Doctor Who will return in the Autumn of 2012, Doctor Who Magazine has confirmed.

At the time of writing it is as yet uknown whether it will be a full run of the already commissioned 14 x episodes in 2012, or whether there will be a split season again, with more episodes airing in early 2013.

Some sources suggest there could be 6 epsiodes in the Spring of 2013 in addition to specials and another run of episodes in the Autumn of 2013, but nothing has been confirmed by the BBC.

DWO will keep you posted as soon as we have further information.

+  Vote on how you think the show will air in 2012, in the DWO Forums.

+  Subscribe to Doctor Who Magazine at Unique Magazines.

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine]

21 September 2011

Production has started on the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas Special in which the Doctor (Matt Smith) finds himself in war-torn England embarking on a magical and mysterious adventure with a young widow and her two children.

A stellar guest cast including Claire Skinner (Outnumbered), Bill Bailey (Black Books), Arabella Weir (The Fast Show) and Alexander Armstrong (Armstrong & Miller), join Matt Smith in the emotional festive special, packed full of Christmas thrills and chills.

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, commented:

"The Doctor at Christmas - nothing is more fun to write. Maybe because it's so his kind of day - everything's bright and shiny, everybody's having a laugh, and nobody minds if you wear a really stupid hat. Of all the Doctors, Matt Smith's is the one that was born for this time of year - so it's the best news possible that he's heading back down the chimney."

The special, set during World War II, sees Madge Arwell and her two children, Lily and Cyril, evacuated to a draughty old house in Dorset, where the caretaker is a mysterious young man in bow tie, and a big blue parcel is waiting for them under the tree. They are about to enter a magical new world and learn that a Time Lord never forgets his debts...

Claire Skinner said: "I am thrilled to be in Doctor Who playing Madge who is a bit of super-mum. It's a magical part."

This marks Matt Smith's second outing as the Doctor at Christmas time and will follow hot on the heels of the successful 2011 series, currently airing on BBC One until October.

The Christmas special was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama and Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One. Steven Moffat is Lead Writer and Executive Producer with Piers Wenger and Caroline Skinner, also executive producing.

Filming on the Christmas special will continue until mid October 2011.

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

20 September 2011

DWO have seen 6.12: Closing Time and have put our spoiler-free preview together:

After the heady heights of last weeks Doctor Who episode (The God Complex), it was inevitable that this weeks story would have a lot to live up to. But with a certain Mr.Gareth Roberts taking up the challenge of writing this penultimate episode of Series Six, Closing Time not only lives up - it breathes!

It's been 200 years since the events of The God Complex, and The Doctor has been off having adventures of his own. Time, though, has caught up with him, and now he pays one last visit to his friend, Craig Owens. Craig has been busy too since he last saw the Doctor - he's a dad!

It's no secret that the Cybermen are back in this episode, and they've brought an old friend with them. As people start going missing, it's up to The Doctor...and Craig to get to the bottom of things.

Closing Time has a wonderful sense of nostalgia about it, harking back to some of the 1960's Cybermen stories. It has that wonderful sense of danger lurking in the background - you know who it is, but you're on the edge of your seat waiting for their arrival and, more importantly, their purpose.

Roberts has most definitely delivered his finest script here. There's so much for fans to love, from the awesome chemistry between The Doctor and Craig, to the laugh out loud one-liners, right through to another particularly memorable scene at the end of the episode.

Director, Steve Hughes does a fantastic job matching the light and dark notes of the script with flair, whilst using lighting and camera angles to full potential and effect. Once more, Murray Gold deserves a look-in owing to his excellent scoring within the adventure, tempering the moods to perfection.

Everything just works in this episode. Ok, it may not be as serious as some of the other stories this season has to offer, but then again, it doesn't pretend to be. This is about The Doctor having a bit of fun before his inevitable demise on the shores of Lake Silencio.

With so many different elements pulling together and working harmoniously, you will be reaching for the rewind button as soon as the episode has finished to relive what proves to be one of the finest new-who episodes to date.

Five things to look out for...

1) "you've redecorated, I don't like it".

2) Stormageddon.

3) "Shhhhh!".

4) Petrichor.

5) Don't turn around!

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

18 September 2011

The overnight viewing figures are in for 6.11: The God Complex.

The episode achieved a figure of 5.2m viewers, with an audience share of 23.8%, and Doctor Who was the third most-watched programme for Saturday:

Top Overnights - Saturday 10th September:

1 - 10.8 - (44.5%) - The X Factor - 20:00 - ITV 1

2 - 5.3 - (24.6%) - All Star Family Fortunes - 19:00 - ITV 1

3 - 5.2 - (23.8%) - Doctor Who - 19:10 - BBC One

Final BARB ratings will be available within the next 10 days.

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

[Source: Andy Parish]

12 September 2011

DWO have seen 6.11: The God Complex and have put our spoiler-free preview together:

The God Complex is one of the most grown-up Doctor Who stories to date, quite literally taking the word complex and running with it.

It forms an important part of a season that has forced the viewer to evolve with a new, more intelligent way of story-telling. A way that pays the loyal and casual viewer in dividends...as long as you stick with it, and pay attention.

The adventure kicks off with the TARDIS team arriving in an alien hotel, where everything is not as it seems, where nightmares come true, and where a mysterious creature hunts its prey in the maze-like corridors.

Emotions run high at various points throughout this episode, and by the end you will feel quite drained (in a good way) - one particular scene springs to mind that's totally unexpected, totally genius, and utterly heart-breaking - made even more poignant thanks to a perfectly placed piece of scoring from Murray Gold.

Writer, Toby Whithouse, once again pulls out all the stops and raises the stakes on both his previous Doctor Who outings and the momentum of the series so far. His scripts are incredibly distinctive whilst having the ability to slot in seamlessly with Moffat's tone for the season.

There are some great moments too for Classic Series fans, as well as fans who have watched the New Series of Doctor Who from the beginning. Subtle and not-so-subtle nods to the past make the viewer feel like they are part of this ever-growing show that's constantly changing and evolving.

This is Doctor Who at its very best. Surely it can't get better than this...can it?

Five things to look out for...

1) Cat Nun!

2) The Doctor has a degree in cheese-making!

3) Angry Doctor!

4) Nimon!

5) The Doctor finally gives Amy a key!

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

11 September 2011

The final BARB viewing figures are in for 6.9: Night Terrors.

The episode achieved a final figure of 7.07m viewers, with an audience share of 29.8%. This is compared to the overnight's which reached 5.5m viewers, with an audience share of 25.9%, meaning a total time shift of +1.57m viewers.

Figures do not include BBC iPlayer downloads for this episode, which have nearly a million downloads so far.

The episode also achieved an AI score of 86.

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

[Source: Andy Parish]

11 September 2011

The overnight viewing figures are in for 6.10: The Girl Who Waited.

The episode achieved a figure of 6.0m viewers, with an audience share of 26.8%, and Doctor Who was the third most-watched programme for Saturday:

Top Overnights - Saturday 10th September:

1 - 10.6 - (43.6%) - The X Factor - 20:15 - ITV 1

2 - 7.6 - (37.3%) - Strictly Come Dacing - 18:15 - BBC One

3 - 6.0 - (26.8%) - Doctor Who - 19:15 - BBC One

Final BARB ratings will be available within the next 10 days.

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

[Source: Andy Parish]

9 September 2011

DWO have seen 6.10: The Girl Who Waited and have put our spoiler-free preview together:

Tom MacRae takes time travel to a whole new level in this weeks episode of Doctor Who, 6.10: The Girl Who Waited.

The TARDIS team arrive in a futuristic alien healthcare clinic, called the Twostreams Facility. Within minutes Amy gets separated from The Doctor and Rory, and so begins a thoroughly entertaining 40 minutes of trying to find and rescue her.

Unlike some of the other stories from this season, this isn't a laugh-a-miniute adventure, as we discover the consequences of choices (a theme that has been concurrent throughout Series Six), in a new, beautifully written way. That's not to say there isn't humour, however, as MacRae uses it sparingly but with bullseye accuracy.

Although The Doctor and Rory do feature in the adventure, it does feel quite Amy-heavy - and quite right too. Karen Gillan really gets something to sink her teeth into here with the opportunity of playing a totally different facet to her character. For the most part she delivers, but there are moments when the delivery isn't as genuine as it could be.

The Handbots featured in this episode, are perhaps the nicest killer robots in Doctor Who history ever, as they quite simply kill you with kindness. The threat of someone or something hunting you down, is a winning concept, and one that is put to great use in The Girl Who Waited. It sits there in the background, and you can't help feeling the inevitability of a showdown at the end. 

This is truly a great story, with an ingenious take on a concept that has already been worked with on so many levels in Doctor Who. There are some fantastic sets and visuals with the garden scenes particularly worthy of note, all of which help compliment the script. It makes you wonder why Tom MacRae's absence since Series 2 has been allowed to happen, as he clearly deserves a place in every season going forward.

Five things to look out for...

1) Forgetting your camera phone can have disastrous consequences.

2) Green Anchor or Red Waterfall?

3) Don't touch the hand!

4) Possibly the world's largest handheld magnifying glass.

5) Samurai Amy.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

6 September 2011

Fandom features website Hypable have been in touch regarding their latest interview with Doctor Who Director, Peter Hoar.

Nicholas Myers (NM) -  Now that Doctor Who has been renewed for another series, would you like to return as to direct another episode? Have you been asked already?

Peter Hoar (PH) – I haven’t been asked as yet but wouldn’t turn down a great offer!

NM – How much did you know about River in order to gauge a feel for how best to deliver the ending? Did Steven inform you of anything prior to filming that we don’t know?

PH – Steven tells us only what’s in the script. I had no idea for example of the recent developments in ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’. And that’s the truth!

NM – This episode featured quite a cliff-hanger. What is your all-time favourite Doctor Who cliff-hanger?

PH – Sarah Jane being left behind at the end of Hand of Fear or Tegan being left behind at the end of Time Flight.. Maybe there’s a pattern here…

+  Read the full interview with Peter Hoar at Hypable!

[Source: Hypable]

4 September 2011

The final BARB viewing figures are in for 6.8: Let's Kill Hitler.

The episode achieved a final figure of 8.10m viewers, with an audience share of 33.3%. This is compared to the overnight's which reached 6.2m viewers, with an audience share of 28.7%, meaning a total time shift of +1.9m viewers - one of the largest the show has ever had!

Figures do not include BBC iPlayer downloads for this episode, which have over a million downloads so far.

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

[Source: Andy Parish]

4 September 2011

The overnight viewing figures are in for 6.9: Night Terrors.

The episode achieved a figure of 5.5m viewers, with an audience share of 25.9%, and Doctor Who was the fourth most-watched programme for Saturday:

Top Overnights - Saturday 3rd September:

1 - 11.1 - (43.4%) - The X Factor - 20:15 - ITV 1

2 - 7.2 - (30.1%) - Red or Black? - 21:15 - ITV 1

3 - 6.6 - (29.9%) - Red or Black? - 19:00 - ITV 1

4 - 5.5 - (25.9%) - Doctor Who - 19:00 - BBC One

Final BARB ratings will be available within the next 10 days.

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

[Source: Andy Parish]

2 September 2011

Radio Times have confirmed that Imelda Staunton will be lending her vocal talents to the role of 'Voice of Interface' in 6.10: The Girl Who Waited.

BAFTA award-winning actress, Imelda, will be best known to cult fans for her role in the Harry Potter movies as Professor Dolores Umbridge.

In other casting news, the synopsis for the Series 6: Part 2 DVD confirms that Simon Callow (Charles Dickens in the Series One episode The Unquiet Dead), will be in the final episode of the season 6.13: The Wedding of River Song. The synopsis also confirms rumours that Mark Gatiss (New Series Writer & Professor Richard Lazarus in 3.6: The Lazarus Experiment), will also appear in the finale.

It is unknown at this point, which character he will be playing, but we cannot rule out a return to the role as Charles Dickens.

[Sources: Radio Times; 2|Entertain]

2 September 2011

DWO have seen 6.9: Night Terrors and have put our spoiler-free preview together:

Leaving behind the series story arc for the time being, Night Terrors delivers a welcome change in style, pace and tone as Mark Gatiss offers up his fourth Doctor Who script, which is arguably one of his finest.

The story focuses on an 8-year old George, who is so terrified by the Monsters in his bedroom that he cannot sleep at night. His parents cannot help him, and so The Doctor comes to the rescue - making his first house call in a long time.

But there's more to George than meets the eye, as the mystery of what lurks in his wardrobe reaches a spine-tingling conclusion. Thus ensues a dark, creepy adventure that transports the TARDIS crew to a creaky old house with dolls that hunt you down and…well…that would be telling…

This could have quite easily been a companion-lite story like 2008's Midnight, but Gatiss puts both Amy and Rory to good use here, even allowing for a little character development along the way.

The star of the show, however, is young George, played by Jamie Oram. A terrific piece of casting that holds the whole story together due to conviction and belief.

Daniel Mays (Atonement; Ashes to Ashes) also sparkles, showing a more tender side to characters he has previously played on Film and TV.

There's something for both kids and adults in Night Terrors, with some particularly adult themes explored, including, for the first time in Doctor Who, IVF!

A few of the scenes in the flat share some similarities to 2010's The Lodger, owing to the almost surreal placement of The Doctor in a socially normal setting, but thankfully there's enough going on without it seeming too simulative or cliche.

There's also some great original scoring from Murray Gold, who portrays the seemingly mundane council setting with lazy clarinets and sweeping harps that give an almost Tim Burton-esque feel to the whole adventure.

Overall, Night Terrors is a very different story to anything in the Matt Smith era thus far. It isn't a 'classic' by any means, but thanks to a great plot and supporting cast, it will stand out as one of the more memorable episodes from an already strong season.

Five things to look out for...

1) The lift from hell.

2) Don't take the rubbish out alone!

3) "The Emperor Dalek's New Clothes", "Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday".

4) A giant pair of scissors.

5) "Tick-Tock goes the clock, even for The Doctor".

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

1 September 2011

AOL have recently added an interview with Steven Moffat looking at his tenure on Doctor Who, River Song and iconic villains (to name just a few topics).

I'm really interested in an idea you've been exploring this season, that the Doctor's past choices and actions -- all these things are coming home to roost for him. Was that always where you wanted to take the show or the character, or was this something that came to mind after your first season on the show?

I think there's just some weird thing that happens with a character like the Doctor. When you bring him back in 2005, he's the lone drifter that no one's ever heard of, but gradually and inevitably, he becomes the greatest hero in the universe. He can stand up in the center of Stonehenge and say, "Come on, do you think you're hard enough?"

And what does the man who just wants to be a drifter, who just wants to just knock around a bit, think about that? And I think within the mad, mad, mad world of 'Doctor Who,' it's not an incredible development that, of course, the Daleks would be sort of wetting themselves when he turns up. Of course, he'd become a legend. Of course, all of those things would be happening.

But why would he be comfortable with that? And you know, he actually abuses this to some degree in [the mid-season finale] 'A Good Man Goes to War,' he abuses the power of it and starts calling in favors and it doesn't work out for him. So that's interesting.

I'm interested in the conception of the River Song story. In 'Silence in the Library,' did you already know she was going to be the daughter of a companion?

Oh no, no. I mean, it was one possible theory. Why is it somebody who's got such connections, who would that be? Is it just a future companion? What if it's somebody's got a lifelong commitment to the Doctor or his companion? So when I introduced Amy, I kept my options open [and used the name Pond]. I thought I was doing [the name thing] in plain sight and nobody [caught] it for a long while. But I didn't know at the time Karen was going to stay long enough for that story to come off. I didn't know if Alex would keep coming back.

So Plan A held, but there were other ones, including the [Plan B] that maybe River never came back at all and you could just imagine that she knows the 59th Doctor in the far future.

+  Read the full interview at AOL TV.

[Source: AOL TV]

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