With Season Four due to arrive next year, Sherlock and Watson return in with a Victorian-themed special, which is perhaps the most perplexing episode to date.
With “The Girl Who Died”, the Twelfth Doctor at last has an indicative episode, a story that highlights the very best of this Doctor and the current version of the series.
Unfortunately, after a fantastic setup, the season nine premiere squanders the goodwill it’s built over much of the hour by falling prey to a tired, and long overdue to be retired, genre cliché: the series-breaking cliffhanger.
River Song is getting ready to meet the Doctor for Christmas. Variety reported that Alex Kingston, known for her role in Doctor Who as Professor River Song, is set to return to the show for its Christmas special, airing on December 25. This is the first time the actress will appear alongside Peter Capaldi. “To …
Doctor Who has a long history of Christmas specials, but surprisingly few have managed to capture the whimsy of the form while also having enough substance to leave an impression.
It seems like Peter Capaldi is ready to take a ride on the TARDIS again, but will Jenna Coleman join him? The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Steven Moffat on Monday about the future of the series and its two stars, and the showrunner was able to answer that question for one of his actors. Moffat confirmed …
Showrunner Steven Moffat has stayed away from two-parters for a while, but as is traditional for Doctor Who, a new Doctor means a fresh start for the show and it’s only fitting that the Twelfth Doctor get the same two-parter blowout end-of-first-series as his predecessors. After a season of teases, Missy is revealed as the latest regeneration of the Master (Missy being a shortening of the Mistress) and she’s come to Earth to turn the entire population of the planet, current and former, into a massive army for the Doctor, so they can be buddies in universal domination. As far as plans go, it makes sense for the Master, even if it is a bit disappointing. Michelle Gomez is fun in the role, particularly in “Death in Heaven*,” but seeing the Master reduced to an agent of chaos, rather than someone with a particular agenda or motivation all their own, feels more appropriate for a mid-season romp than a season-ending two-parter.
Despite its larger arcing issues this season, Doctor Who has had a surprisingly strong year. Each episode has featured entertaining and engaging moments and a good blend of comedy and drama. Even the season’s least substantial episode (“Robot of Sherwood”) still on the whole worked. As a Whovian, this reviewer will give the series many things. The moon is really an egg? Sure. Robin Hood was an actual living person, his persona accurately captured and unchanged by centuries of storytelling? Fine. But a giant, world-wide forest appears overnight, shields the planet from a massive unpredicted solar flare, then disappears into gleams of twinkling light and no one’s going to remember it? Nope. Sorry Who, can’t give you that one.
In their reviews of “The Caretaker” and “Mummy on the Orient Express”, the fantastic Tom and Lorenzo postulated that Clara has become addicted to traveling with the Doctor, showing many of the signs of addict behavior. While this is absolutely the case, and could certainly be part of where showrunner Steven Moffat is planning to take the rest of the season, with “Flatline”, another aspect of Clara and the Doctor’s arcs this season finally becomes clear—Clara is becoming more like the shifty, callous late Eleventh and now Twelfth Doctors, and the Doctor is none too happy about it.
Remember when the Doctor was nice? Let’s not even reach that far back: remember when he wasn’t an asshole? “The Caretaker” should be a lighthearted episode, a character-heavy look at what happens when Clara’s two worlds come crashing together. Instead, the episode’s lighter moments are weighed down by the Twelfth Doctor resuming old habits and treating Clara just as disrespectfully as the Eleventh Doctor. After weeks of promising developments (Clara’s front and center in “Deep Breath”, “Robot of Sherwood”, and “Listen”), after thoughtful, honest conversations between the Doctor and Clara and episodes that took their time, with “The Caretaker”, writers Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat put the two right back where they were last season.
Steven Moffat loves childhood fears. He’s mined them for some of nuWho’s most effective villains: Something lurking in the dark (the Vashta Nerada), a threat waiting to pounce the moment you look away (the Weeping Angels), and now, the monster under your bed. These creatures tap into the intense, pervasive fears so many experience as children and like its predecessors, “Listen” is hugely successful drawing from this well. It also takes a common and, when explored, curious habit and exploits it for significant dramatic potential: why do people talk to themselves when no one’s around? Both ideas have been explored by Moffat to some extent already (“The Girl in the Fireplace”, the Silence), and so here he puts them together, hoping that between the two, there’s enough new material to make the story work.
The Daleks aren’t going anywhere, but with massive Whovian Peter Capaldi’s Dalek story out of the way, they’ll hopefully go on hiatus for a while and take their tiresome plot retreads with them, leaving behind the significant structural and character-based improvements demonstrated here. It would seem many of the season eight premiere’s most prudent choices are here to stay; only two episodes into the Twelfth Doctor’s tenure, there’s already a lot to be excited about.
There’s a new Doctor on the TARDIS, one with the energy and gravitas to bring significant and much-needed change to the series, and on the whole, this episode is a promising start for the Twelfth Doctor. Unfortunately, as big a difference as the Doctor’s regeneration has on the show, in the end, he is only the lead—the buck stops with the showrunner, and if Moffat’s unwilling to step away from his favorite and at this point, very overused toys, it seems unlikely the series will get the fresh start it deserves.
Earlier today the official Doctor Who Twitter tweeted this picture of Cybermen on the set of Doctor Who season eight, and the BBC announced that Michelle Gomez (pictured on the right of Peter Capaldi) will be joining the cast as the Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere. Michelle Gomez is best known for her role as a …
One of television’s most disappointingly resilient punchlines is the post-assault feminine slap. You’ve seen it before. A man, worked up into a lather for some reason or another, makes advances on a woman, pulling her into a kiss. If it’s requited, congratulations: It’s time for a new chapter in the show’s will-they-won’t-they drama. If it’s …
Doctor Who Christmas Special promo imageIn short, “The Time of the Doctor” features a plot that, while it is easy (on the Moffat scale) to follow, almost immediately fails the, “But why?” test. Why does the fleet understand what “Doctor who?” means? Because the plot needs them to. Why doesn’t the Doctor take the townspeople out of harm’s way with the TARDIS? Because. Why do the Doctor and Clara need to be naked, for that matter? Because. The answers we finally get to lingering questions aren’t satisfying, the promising new character of Tasha Lem is a pretty straightforward copy of River Song, and the gender politics are terrible (and in this reviewer’s opinion, destructive). The Doctor may have some fantastic scenes, including the final moments with Clara before his regeneration, but he treats her terribly and she doesn’t for a moment stand up for herself. After the wonderful “The Day of the Doctor”, this final story for the Eleventh Doctor is a significant disappointment, highlighting all of the most problematic elements of his tenure.
One of the most popular series to emerge out of British television over the past few years has been the BBC series Sherlock. A modern day re-imagining of the iconic detective, the series co-created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss has garnered a number of fans, despite having only six episodes over two seasons, with …
Doctor Who may be an international phenomenon, but when it comes to specials, particularly multi-Doctor specials, it doesn’t have the best track record. The Three Doctors (1972-73) , which kicked off the 10th season of the show, is fun, but lacks any significant emotional punch. The Five Doctors (1983), the 20th anniversary special, is a bit of a lark but it not only fails to live up to its title (the Fourth Doctor only barely appears, in one looped clip), it wastes most of its special guest stars. Then there’s The Two Doctors (1985), which doesn’t carry the extra burden of being an anniversary special but still fails to leave much of an impression, despite being an entertaining outing. Throw in the modern series’ spotty history with Christmas and Gap Year specials and current showrunner Steven Moffat’s season seven struggles with pacing, payoffs, and character and “The Day of the Doctor” looked to have a lot riding against it, despite the much-touted return of Tenth Doctor David Tennant and Billie Piper, who played fan-favorite Companion Rose Tyler. Fortunately with “The Day of the Doctor”, all of these fears are proven to be unfounded, as Moffat and director Nick Hurran deliver an exciting, emotional special.
In the last five years of Doctor Who, the Daleks have pulled the Earth out of its orbit and dragged it across the galaxy. The Doctor has witnessed the end of the universe, pulled into nonexistence by the explosion of his TARDIS, and saved only by a bold and completely ludicrous plot to reboot everything with a “Big Bang 2.0.”. The Doctor has survived his own death, despite it being a fixed point in time. He has romanced a woman who he cradled in his arms during her infancy, befriended his future mother-in-law when she was a child, and been saved from a villain infecting his entire timeline by a pretty girl willing to do the same. Doctor Who is, to put it gently, completely nuts, a ludicrous hour of television that bends suspension of disbelief until it begs to break.
‘Doctor Who’ showrunner Steven Moffat announces who will be taking on the role of the Twelfth Doctor
One of the longest running science fiction tv shows has been the British serial Doctor Who, which has created nearly 30 seasons since its beginning in 1963, with successful spinoff series such as Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures to its credit as well. One of the reasons behind the show’s longevity has been the …
Doctor Who Ep. 7.14, “The Name of the Doctor”: Inconsistent internal logic weighs down creative, fatalistic finale
Series 7B of Doctor Who has been markedly uneven. From the delightfully stylized (though troublingly sexual assault-y) “The Crimson Horror” to the beautiful but nonsensical “The Rings of Akhaten”, almost every episode has peppered interesting visuals or premises with frustrating character touches and plot contrivances
Doctor Who Ep. 7.11, “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS”: Creative, fun ep marred by series’ biggest flaw
Doctor Who, Series 7, Episode 11: “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS” Written by Stephen Thompson Directed by Mat King Airs Saturdays at 8pm (ET) on BBC America This week, on Doctor Who: The Doctor races to save Clara from within the bowels of the TARDIS The TARDIS is a wonderful creation. It’s the …