The Bi-Weekly Checkup: Doctor Who News and Views – January 29, 2012

While I have been collecting stories for this column for the last two weeks, I have been really far behind schedule in terms of actually writing. It’s never good to just start writing a column 6 hours after my Saturday afternoon deadline. But, there is a lot of cool stories this week, so let’s get right to it!


Stephen Moffat promises 14 episodes of Doctor Who at minimum for Season Seven

In an video interview for Radio Times, we finally got some information from Steven Moffat about Doctor Who Series Seven, promising an Autumn return, and saying that it would be returning for a long run:

According to Moffat, “There will never be a better time to be a Doctor Who fan, I absolutely promise you that,” says showrunner Steven Moffat on the topic of the series’ forthcoming 50th anniversary in 2013.

When quizzed about Doctor Who’s return later in 2012, Moffat did his utmost to encourage fan speculation by saying that there would be “at least” 14 episodes (including the Christmas special) in series seven. Does this mean that we’ll be in for a longer run than usual?

I really loved the split season from last year, as it mean never having to wait more than a few months for a new Doctor Who episode. This whole waiting until the Autumn thing is just killer. I am looking forward to the countdown to the 50th Anniversary! And I can’t wait to see what Moffat has planned for it, the last two seasons under him have just been brilliant. At the very least, he should see if he can beg, borrow, or bribe a script from Russel T Davies.  That would just be too perfect!


Doctor Who Timeline

My News360 feed on my Tablet turned up this awesome Doctor Who Timeline from Wired.com. It breaks down all the Doctor’s adventures, including all the companions’ appearances,and  appearances by major villains like the Daleks, Cybermen, and the Master. It is just a great way to put all the episodes from the last 50 years into some context.

Just a quick explanation, when Doctor Who originally aired, it was broken down into serials. So while yes Rose technically appeared in the most adventures, Jamie appeared in something like 100 episodes of Doctor Who. When Doctor Who returned in 2005, it went to a more traditional 60 minutes show format, with adventures only lasting one or two parts, so Rose’s record deserves an asterisk.


Matt Smith and Karen Gillan win National Televison Awards

Doctor Who News is reporting that Matt Smith and Karen Gillan won National Television Awards for Outstanding Drama Performance (Male) and Outstanding Drama Performance (Female) respectively. Both Christopher Eccelston and David Tennant won the award during their runs on Doctor Who, so they are in good company.

Karen Gillan and Matt Smith have just been excellent in Doctor Who, giving the characters lots of depth and some of the best acting the show has ever seen.  Granted, that isn’t always saying much… With Moffat’s scripts and talented actors, this is some of the best Doctor Who there has ever been.

One thing that did come up during the NTA’s was that Matt Smith said that he has one more year as Doctor Who, but he later said that he has no specific plans to leave. I assume that means that he currently has a contract to do one more year of Doctor Who, and that his options are open.

Three years has historically been the maximum time actors have played the Doctor. The only exceptions are Tom Baker, who did it an astounding seven years, and Tennant who had three full seasons plus a season of specials. I would like to see Matt Smith stick around longer; I think he brings a lot to the role, but if he does move on soon, he will still be remembered as one of the best Doctors.


Doctor Who cleans up at Virgin TV Awards

Virgin Media gave Doctor Who several recognitions this year including:

TV Show of the Year

Rory won for TV character of the year which is well deserved, but unexpected. Arthur Darvill brought a ton to the show last season.

The Doctor Getting Shot was named Most Exlosive TV Moment of the Year. I was actually at one of the BBC American Premiere screenings for The Impossible Astronaut, and the whole room screamed when the Doctor was killed just a few minutes into the episode. When he turned up again a few minutes later, it was like pandamonium in the room. This was just plain great television, and I’m glad someone recognized that.

The beautiful and talented Karen Gillan won for Hottest Female and Best Actress.

Amusingly, even though Doctor Who won for best TV show, it did not win for best Sci-Fi/Fantasy show. That went to Merlin. I guess that didn’t want to give all the awards to Doctor Who. They also didn’t name Matt Smith Best Actor, and I kind of think he got robbed there.


Doctor Who Insider to end at issue 9

According to Doctor Who News, Doctor Who Insider will be ending publication with issue 9. Doctor Who Insider was an American-based Doctor Who magazine. The biggest problems with it were that the issues were ridiculously overpriced at 7 bucks each and ridiculously short at around 50 pages. Instead of the in-depth articles you get in Doctor Who Magazine, everything felt rushed and more concerned with flasy graphics than actually giving the reader any kind of satisfying read.

I was excited when I picked up the first issue; I was looking forward to seeing an American perspective on Doctor Who.  Doctor Who Magazine is great, but I don’t always understand a lot of the references. But after reading Doctor Who Insider, it became clear that Doctor Who just can’t be appreciated quite like it deserves in America.


11 edible daleks

Mental Floss posted up 11 edible Daleks. Here are some of my favorites:

Now I am really hungry for Dalek snacks…


If Eating Daleks isn’t your idea of a goodd time…

The wool-related blog, Feather and Fan, posted some pictures of a knitted Dalek. What makes this extra cool is that they took the time to knit a little Kaled mutant to go inside the knitted Dalek casing! The link also includes the patterns that were used and modified to make this work:

One thing I love about writing this column is that I get to run across all kinds of blogs I never knew excited.  Who knew there was knitting blogs with Doctor Who fans?  I actually have a friend who knits and loves Doctor Who.  She knitted me an awesome Adipose:

And knitted herself a kick ass Doctor Who scarf:

Take a bow Crystal, you deserve it! Just don’t trip over the scarf when you do it, Nexus’s insurance isn’t paid up…


You never know when a Doctor Who reference will turn up…

Last week, Doctor Who showed up in two unexpected places. In Amazing Spider-Man #678, when trying to explain his less than exciting life, a friend of Peter’s says:

And in this week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory, The Beta Test Initiation (scene starts around 7:38), there is a scene with Penny, Leonard, Sheldon, and Amy watching Doctor Who, and Amy comments, “For someone who has a machine that can travel anywhere through time and space, Doctor Who sure has a thing for modern day London.” This is a question Doctor Who fans ask all the time.

BUT!! A Wag of my Disappointing Digit at the writers of The Big Bang Theory, who usually are much better about getting their references right (I especially loved last week’s Settles of Catan references). The character is not named Doctor Who, it’s The Doctor.

This isn’t the first time Big Bang Theory has made Doctor Who references. At a New Year’s costume party, the owner of the local comic shop was dressed as the Fourth Doctor:

And in a first season episode, after missing the beginning of an episode of Doctor Who Sheldon makes a comment like, “At this point, it becomes Doctor Why Bother?”


Sorry for the lateness of the column. This is why I need my own TARDIS to prevent these kinds of problems. See you next time!

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