Do you rewatch TV shows over and over and over? I do. So does Margaret Lyons of Vulture. I quote her #StayTuned column on rewatching TV series, then talk about my own feelings about TV as a constant comfort.
Doctor Who Season 8 has just cast Samuel Anderson as a recurring character! This is particularly exciting as he is the first major companion-status character of color cast during the Steven Moffat Doctor Who era. Since Moffat began his tenure as showrunner, he’s gotten a lot of flack for a lot of different things, but maybe he’s trying to turn some things around? Besides some stand alone characters (particularly Amara Karan in “The God Complex” and Nina Toussaint-White in “Let’s Kill Hitler“), there haven’t been that many characters of color with character development at all during the last few seasons, so it’s nice to see one cast now. Is Moffat just responding to criticism or was Anderson the best suited for the role and race wasn’t an issue? I hope it’s a bit of both. Steven needs to really change some things about the show’s plot, character development, and casting in order to keep hold of his very tenuous hold on his position as showrunner–people have been getting more and more fatigued with someone they once loved. I personally have tried to ignore some of the faults of the show in favor of simply enjoying it, but I’ve certainly understood the complaints. Hopefully the is the start of a new era of racial inclusion, at the very least.
BBC One – Doctor Who.
EDIT: Thanks Brian Davison for pointing out who I’ve missed in the past few seasons: Angie and Artie Maitland (the children Clara was a nanny for), Queen Nefertiti, the Van Baalen brothers. I did indeed forget them. But it is nice to have a major recurring character of color.
That’s me celebrating a new episode of Doctor Who with my starry headband, star/crescent earrings, my TARDIS necklace and my sonic screwdriver. I’ve loved Doctor who for a few years now and I RUSHED home from work to watch it (turned the TV on just in the nick of time).
I haven’t watched any Classic Who, so some of the–I’m sure, wonderful–references were lost on me, but I got a lot just from being on Tumblr. I love Matt, but I’ve really missed David as the Doctor and it was great seeing him slip seamlessly back into the role. Watching his scenes, I was never like “oh, he’s rusty” or did I even remember he wasn’t the Doctor for the last three years. I was sad his hair was so sad though. I wish they’d spiked it up a bit. John Hurt did throw me as the Doctor, only because he is meant to. But he eased into it too, even getting into the catchphrase game they love to play by the end. I SQUEALED when Peter Capaldi’s eyebrows showed up at the end too. Some really great moments.
Some plot questions/notes/theories/thoughts:
-So this is during Ten’s 2009 specials farewell tour (and happens to be during Eleven’s as well, since he is concerned with his trip to Trenzalore). This could explain the hair. lol
-Loved the Elizabeth the 1st call back and the fact that she’s mad at him in The Shakespeare Code (and the 2009 Specials reference to him and her being together).
-I really, really missed Nine in this episode a lot. You can’t just go from War Doctor (and even get Paul McGann to play Eight again) to Ten and not have Nine! I really was disappointed he wasn’t there. But I suppose there are a myriad of reasons he wasn’t in it. I would say popularity but Eight had one movie, so it’s not like he’s super high on the list either (not to get in a battle about Doctor rankings–you know what I mean).
-So they changed history, Gallifrey is safe. Though I’m pretty sure the Time War was always Time Locked so either way, the War Doctor kind of never did it? The original plan, the one Nine, Ten, and Eleven thought was carried out, was to freeze the War out of Time and Space of it doesn’t affect anyone else, yes? But now, they’ve moved the planet and let the Daleks kill themselves and Gallifrey is off in some pocket universe, waiting to be found. I dont know how I feel about what this means for the angst that Doctor felt all this time. I suppose since he forgets, WD, Nine, etc assume they did the horrible deed until The Curator [Tom Baker (!!!)] tells him otherwise.
-This explains how Daleks exist at all (though other Time Lords don’t) even though we thought they all died in the war. Some escaped–not from the freezing as we originally thought, but because they can’t all kill themselves.
-I like what this means for the direction of the show and for Capaldi’s entrance. There is a new mission, rather than just impending doom (there has been impending doom on the Doctor’s life since season 6 I guess–season 5 yes, but the gloominess of the show for me has been since 6). I look forward to Twelve looking for Gallifrey and then we’d be able to meet Time Lords (perhaps even some Classic ones that they talk about on tumblr lol)! Let’s find Gallifrey!
-I am glad there was a Classic Doctor appearance in this episode. I wonder why only Tom Baker, but McGann got the minisode, Davison got a multidoctor minisode special a few years back, and who am I missing? Again, I wish Eccleston had been involved some how, but who knows the reasons why not… Or why no Colin Baker or Sylvester McCoy. It indeed might have been too much, but some more minisodes might have been nice. =/
-I’m still underwhelmed by Clara as a companion. I suppose she’s the same idea as Rose, really; kind of the end all be all companion, but I dunno… So I wish there’d been room for other companions, but again, that would’ve been too much.
-All in all, I enjoyed the special. I’m sure people will be even more nitpicky than I am, but for the time given and the amount of things they already had to cram in (much less the things all the fans wanted to see), I think they did a great job. There were great moments of showing all the previous doctors, hidden companion clues, and three TARDISes! I wonder if they spoke to each other about their Doctor lol.
-I am ever so pleased BBC/BBC America simulcast it across the world. Even when you’re sitting alone in your room, it’s fun knowing millions of other people are doing the same thing you are.
Until the (assuredly heartwrenching) Christmas Special. (I really don’t want to think about Matt leaving. This will be my first live-regeneration (as I began watching the show from “Rose” after Matt’s tenure had begun). I’m not ready!
The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special is happening in less than 10 days. I haven’t been too excited because the last season really underwhelmed and unnecessarily confused me, so I haven’t kept up with the lead up to the 50th. I’m excited for Tennant to return and curious about the non-Doctor Doctor. The (first?) minisode aired today, check it out below:
- I don’t watch classic Doctors, but it’s nice to learn how Eight regenerated (also recent fan confirmation that the War Doctor (as he is credited) ended the time war and not Eight or Nine)
- A lot of posts have been going around about the living Doctor’s (besides Ten and obviously Eleven) not being a part of the 50th. If true, despite not watching classic Who, this would make me sad; but I’m really hoping their keeping it from us and that other Doctor’s will appear in the special. No one knew about Paul McGann did they? I’m hoping that even with the trailer and promo photos being released, they’ve hidden certain people’s (past companions, doctors) appearances in the special.
- I hope we get to see War Doctor regenerate into Nine…
How The Internet Is Changing The Way We Tell Stories (VIDEO).
Interesting video on Huff Post about the evolution and qualities of television audiences and fandoms in the internet era. References Doctor Who pretty heavily. If I were still in school, this would be right up my alley as a Media, Culture and Communications major, as it encompasses all three.
These days, the audience is aware of their fellow audience members and actively seek and build relationships with each other to enhance their viewership of a particular show. The video briefly mentions creators/showrunners becoming (or needing to become more) aware of this as they tell their stories, as it has become such an important part of the way we absorb storytelling. The internet indeed has changed the way we view and interact with television and this is continuing to grow as we speak.
As an avid Doctor Who watcher, I was shocked when Matt Smith announced that Christmas would be his last episode. I wasn’t quite ready to get used to a new Doctor. I started watch in 2011 via Netflix (starting from “Rose”) and sorry Nine, but Ten might always be MY Doctor as they say but I have spent more time with Eleven than any other Doctor. So I am sad to see him go (especially since he and Karen Gillan haven’t announced their marriage yet. But I still have hope).
Sunday they announced Peter Capaldi as Twelve. As with any new actor coming on to a show you love, you worry. And with the Doctor there will always be backlash and concern but I must say, just from his picture alone I can kind of tell Peter will be good. I haven’t seen him in anything (except that episode of Who he was already in–gotta go back and watch that one–and gifs on tumblr of things he was in before) and I kinda of want to keep it that way I think. If I can, I think I will approach him as Twelve with as clean a slate as I had with the others (as much as the internet will let me anyway).
I think this could be good. A new direction to go in (as I have personally felt a slump since season 5–which is my favorite season) and I think aging him back up will be interesting for the Doctor’s inner story: He’s aging and might be running out of regenerations if they hold up with the 13 regenerations rule. And Matt’s Doctor has been feeling the weight of his age recently. But also I can sort of see that Capaldi could have the vibrancy of the Doctor as well. So I’m actually looking forward to this. [Insert Twelve’s new catchphrase]