A month or more ago, I wrote a wishlist for the Doctor Who Christmas special. Twice Upon a Time aired just a few days ago, and featured the last Doctor Who story for Peter Capaldi as the lead character and Steven Moffat as lead writer and showrunner. It was a real mixed bag of a project, with some elements that worked beautifully, and others that left me a bit disappointed. Continue reading Reflecting on Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time
A while ago I posted a list of things that I wanted to see in Doctor Who before we were introduced to the 13th Doctor. Now, with the season behind us, we have only one episode–the Christmas special–still before us. How did I go? And now that those 12 episodes are behind us, what is on my new wishlist of things I want to see before Peter Capaldi bows out this December?
During the 90’s, while Doctor Who was completely out of production, the BBC authorized a series of “New Adventure” novels featuring the ongoing adventures of the show’s final cast, the 7th Doctor and his companion Ace. The books took on a darker tone than the series had, with more vicious and crude content.
The supplemental material that comes with Energy of the Daleks reveals that part of the intention with the story was to give the Fourth Doctor an opportunity to encounter the Daleks in a more typical adventure than he ever had on television: one that didn’t feature Davros and which involved the Daleks up to their regular galaxy-conquering, exterminating, shenanigans. The story hits this target but it’s not a very high bar to be aiming for. If one doesn’t have built-in nostalgic love for the Daleks and their screechy voices, then there’s not much to raise this story above the “ordinary” level.
There’s something about Doctor Who which brings out the craziest in people. I’m not talking about fans (maybe that’s true, but if so it’s probably true of anything people get fanatical about), but about writers and creators. Stories often feature insane, far-reaching plots and concepts. This was true back in the original series, and only seemed to increase during the “wilderness years” that followed its cancellation in 1990. Indeed, I read a bunch of the New Adventures line of novels that came out during that time period and it seemed like the writers reveled in doing whatever crazy thing they wanted to the characters or the concept. In the modern series, actual changes to the core concept are more restrained, but the show still gives writers the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild.
Spare Parts is advertised on the Big Finish website as being one of its most popular Doctor Who audio dramas, and it’s easy to see (or hear) why: not only is the story gripping and the production strong, but it addresses one of bigger unanswered mysteries of the television series: the origin of the Cybermen (easily the franchise’s second most popular monster, after the Daleks).
Neverland is the most latest of the main range Doctor Who audios from Big Finish that I have listened to. It stars Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor, India Fisher as the audio-only companion Charley Pollard and Lalla Ward as Romana, who was a regular on the TV series back in the 1970’s.
Now, it’s not the latest main range Doctor Who audio to be released, make no mistake. Indeed, it came out in 2002, and is number 33 in the line which now boasts 230 titles! But, it is the most recent one that I have listened to.
So, last time I wrote I mentioned that I might try to go back to other Big Finish Doctor Who audios that I’ve listened to but not yet blogged about. And then right after that, I was looking for something to listen to and pulled out the “Bonus Release” story The Maltese Penguin. As I started listening to it, I thought it sounded very familiar. I thought maybe I’d listened to a preview track of it before. But eventually I realized that actually I’ve listened to this entire thing before, but just forgotten it!
So, since I accidentally made good on my initial idea of re-listening to old stories, I thought why not go all the way and write this on up? (Unless of course, I already have and have forgotten about that as well! Quick check…nope, seems good.)
The Maltese Penguin stars Colin Baker as the 6th Doctor and Frobisher, and Robert Jezek as Frobisher. Confused? Well, it’s simple really: Frobisher is a shape-shifting alien (a “Whifferdill”) who originated in the comic strip in Doctor Who Magazine, created by Steve Parkhouse and John Ridgway. He traveled primarily with the Sixth Doctor, and spent most of his time in the form of a penguin. He proved popular (or at least memorable) enough to appear in other spin-off media, including the novel Mission: Impractical and one of the first Big Finish audios I ever listened to, The Holy Terror.
Continue reading Doctor Who: The Maltese Penguin [Big Finish]
The Wrath of the Iceni is the third story in the “first season” of Big Finish audios starring Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor. Produced back in 2012, this series represented something of a watershed moment for Big Finish, as they’d been producing their audio dramas for over a decade at that point, and Tom Baker had been the only living Doctor that the company’s license gave them access to who hadn’t agreed yet to make an appearance. But something convinced him to change his mind (maybe the upcoming–at the time–50th anniversary of the series?) and we are all the better for it.
It’s been ages since I wrote about these; I may try to go back and fill in the gaps, but in the meantime I so enjoyed this one that I thought it was time for me to break back into this blog series.
As pretty much all Doctor Who fans know, the 10th season of the modernized show begins in just a few days. And we also know that this is the last season to feature Peter Capaldi in the title role, the so-called “Twelfth” Doctor. Word on the internet is that he will regenerate into his successor at the end of this year’s Christmas episode. So, that’s a 12 regular episodes and 1 Christmas episode before we say goodbye to Capaldi’s version of the character.
So that’s led me to ponder 13 things I’d like to see in this next year of Doctor Who, before we are introduced to the 13th Doctor.