The Bi-Weekly Checkup: Doctor Who News and Views – December 17, 2011

8 days until the next episode of Doctor Who!!!!

Two really big stories this week, so let’s get right to it!


Major Season 7 Spoilers!

On Thursday, this note was posted on Doctor Who’s Facebook feed:

Steven Moffat announces “The final days of the Ponds are coming during the next series. Then the Doctor will meet a new friend”

Doctor Who News followed it up with some more information on Friday:

Doctor Who Showrunner Steven Moffat has announced that the next series of Doctor Who will see the departure of Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill when the story of Amy and Rory comes to an end.

Speaking at the press screening of the Christmas Episode, The Doctor The Widow and The Wardrobe, Moffat confirmed that the duo will rejoin the Doctor in the TARDIS for the next series of the show, but that sometime during the series the couple’s story will come to a heartbreaking end.

Moffat teased that he wouldn’t say when, and certainly not how, the couple would leave, but that it would happen during the series and then their story would be over.

Matt Smith was asked if he would be sad to see Gillan leave, “Yes, absolutely…and Arthur. We’ve had the most incredible journey and we took over the show and we really had to sort of hold hands and help each other through it in many ways. So, yeah, it’s very disappointing. But, you know, one has to sort of remember that this show is about change and regeneration and that’s what galvanises it and pushes it forward and it’s about looking forward always”

A new companion, who has yet to be cast, will be joining the Doctor.

The press launch was held in Studio One at Television Centre in London, where many episodes of the classic series of Doctor Who were recorded. It was attended by a specially invited audience, including several MPs including Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and, reportedly, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

Skitch Commentary: As much as I love Rory and Amy, I actually thought in a lot of ways their story was already over at the end of series 5. I will be glad to see more of them next season, but Doctor Who has always been about change, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next companion.

If I had any say, the Doctor’s next companion would:

– Be male.
– Be alien.
– Not be from present day.

I really think the biggest flaw in Doctor Who since coming back in 2006 was that for the most part all the major companions have been cut from the same cloth. Rose, Donna, Martha, and Amy are all modern day females from Britain. It’s time to change it up some. I especially hope that this companion is around to see Matt Smith’s regeneration. I always like when a companion ends up interacting with two different Doctors. It creates a real interesting dynamic in the show.


Two Missing Doctor Who Episodes Recovered

In a pretty unexpected bit of news, BBC announced that:

Episode 3 of the William Hartnell adventure “Galaxy 4” and Episode 2 of Patrick Troughton’s “The Underwater Menace” were purchased by film collector Terry Burnett at a village fete near Southampton in the early 80s. He had been unaware that the canisters contained material missing from the BBC.

Thanks to the kind loan by Mr Burnett, the classic footage has been shown today at the British Film Institute’s annual “Missing Believed Wiped” event at the National Film Theatre in London. Host at the event was Doctor Who writer and actor Mark Gatiss who said: “Christmas has come early for Doctor Who fans everywhere. It’s always wonderful when a missing episode turns up but it’s been years since the last one so to have two is just brilliant. Add to that a proper bit of action from the legendary Chumblies (and the horrifying Rills!) plus the utterly mesmeric Patrick Troughton on great form. Well, what more could we all ask for?”

Over 100 episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960s still remain missing. The tapes were routinely wiped once the rights to repeat them had expired. It seems unfathomable to us today, but before the advent of DVDs and iPlayer, grainy black and white material was thought to no longer be of interest to the television audience. However, many film prints sold overseas have since been returned. These latest discoveries are the first complete episodes to have been located since 2004.

In the modern world were TV shows that are only on one or two seasons manage to make it to DVD (including The Unusuals, Detroit 187, and Life on Mars, all shows I loved that ABC cancelled way too soon), it’s almost hard to even imagine that a beloved and long lasting TV series like Doctor Who can have over 100 episodes that just are completely missing. I really doubt that all the episodes will ever be recovered, but its definitely exciting when they do pop up.

Right now audio tracks remain of all the missing episodes, so BBC as well as fans have done some innovative things like animating some of the missing episodes or showing still shots with bridging commentary. But this is real slow going. I doubt there will be any way to watch all the episodes of Doctor Who any time soon.


New trailer for Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe

Not much new to discuss here, though the trailer hints at a lot of major sci fi action in this one, which I wasn’t expecting. Those tree creatures are really cool looking, though I can’t help but think about Randall’s commentary from Clerks 2 about Lord of the Rings.

WARNING: THIS CLIP IS NOT WORK SAFE!


Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock coming to Playstation Systems and PC

Great teaser featuring Matt Smith and Alex Kingston. Looks like you get to play as the Doctor and River Song. No gameplay footage, so hard to get a feel for what the game will look or play like at this point. It amazes me that so many different Doctor Who video games have come out in the last few years. I haven’t gotten to play any of them, oddly enough. You’d think with my love of gaming and my love of Doctor Who that would be a natural fit for me.

The real sucky thing is that this isn’t coming out for Xbox. I really don’t do much PC gaming, and I just can’t justify the cost of a Playstation 3, even if there are a few other games I would like to get it for.


Neil Gaiman’s Favorite Doctor Who Moments

Neil Gaiman has always been a bit hit or miss with me. Loved Sandman, American Gods is one of the worst books I’ve ever read, and thought his episode of Doctor Who was brilliant (The Doctor’s Wife). Since I knew he is a big Doctor Who fan, I was really curious about this video I saw on Youtube with him talking about his favorite Season 6 Doctor Who moments:

Definitely a lot of great choices here, though I would have had to include something about The Curse of the Black Spot, just because pirates in space was such a cool idea. And I thought any scene with the Doctor and Stormagedeon in Closing Time was great. Interesting that Gaiman didn’t have anything from the more horror episodes of the season. I guess he’s not a fan of watching Doctor Who from behind the couch.


One last thing before we go

I saw this video listed as related to Doctor Who, and until about 30 seconds in, I had no idea why. Looks like Captain Jack is a big pet lover:

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