The Bi-Weekly Checkup: Doctor Who News and Views – February 18, 2012

With the long wait until Doctor Who returns to TV, it is sometimes hard to find enough news to fill a column, even when I make it bi-weekly. So last week, I had decided to hold off…and then pretty much right at my deadline, IDW makes a pretty huge announcement about Doctor Who (see first story below). And then a bunch of other pretty big Who stories came out this week. That’s what I get for taking a week off!

Let’s get right to it:

Star Trek/Doctor Who Crossover!!

Thanks to my friend Jules for this story!

This actually was rumored earlier in the week, but it was finally confirmed on Star

It’s official. And it only took five decades to happen. Yes, Star Trek and Doctor Who, two of the most popular and venerable franchises in entertainment history, will cross over for the first time ever in Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #1. Set for release in May by IDW Publishing, Assimilation2 #1 – the first in a series of eight adventures — teams up Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise and Doctor Who and his companions when the entire galaxy is threatened by an unholy alliance between their respective greatest nemeses, the Borg and the Cybermen.

Scott and David Tipton, in collaboration with Tony Lee, wrote Assimilation2, while J.K. Woodward provided the art and Woodward and David Messina realized the covers. The Tiptons are best known for Star Trek: Infestation, while Woodward is well respected for his work illustrating IDW’s Fallen Angel series. Variants will include a rare wrap-around photo cover and one by Joe Corroney, featuring the TARDIS crew aboard the Enterprise. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #1 will run 32 pages and sell for $3.99.

The cover image for the first issue is just gorgeous:

And this teaser image from earlier in the week is pretty damn cool too:

Personally, I think this has been a very long time coming. I was surprised to see Cybermen instead of Daleks, but for a Borg team-up Cybermen does make more sense.

I am curious if it is going to be one long 8 issue arc (which I don’t think would work all that well), or will there be other stories other that Assimilation2? The article seems vague about that. I also hope that with some time travelling action we get to see some other Star Trek crews or other versions of the Doctor and his companions pop up.

The best part of this story is how excited my wife got about this. She actually is a ridiculously big Star Trek: The Next Generation fan. Every year or so, we end up spending a few hundred bucks to go to Star Trek conventions, and as I am typing this, she is sitting next to me reading TNG Fan fics. And we are both huge Doctor Who fans. She has been bugging me non-stop that she wants to pre-order physical copies as soon as possible (I do most of my comic reading digially).

Doctor Who starts the crossover early…

I guess the good Doctor couldn’t wait until May. In this week’s “Star Trek/The Legion of Superheroes #5”, the villain shows the time lost heroes his room of time traveling vehicles and artifacts that he has taken from other time travellers.

Admittingly, I didn’t recognize all the time machines here, but I did see:

2 different TARDIS (The Master’s and the Doctor’s)
Bill And Ted’s Phone Booth
Doc Brown’s Delorean
Flash’s Cosmic Treadmill
Prince of Persia’s dagger
HG Well’s Time Machine
Legion Time Bubble (which is part of the story)
Hot Tub Time Machine

Of course, this Doctor Who fan disputes the idea that Vandal Savage could ever manage to defeat the Doctor (or the Master for that matter) and take his TARDIS, but I guess sometimes you have to suspend your disbelief.

Meet the The Eleven Doctors

Mental Floss has provided a real cool look at the eleven different incarnations of the Doctor in a  easy-to-digest format. Even as someone who knew all of this, I really enjoyed reading it.

So if you are looking for a good place to catch up on the Doctors, thank Mental Floss for this one.

Karen Gillan explains why she’s leaving Doctor Who

A few days ago, Karen Gillan did an interview with IGN where she explained why she was leaving Doctor Who.

IGN TV: How did you come to the decision that this coming season of Doctor Who would be your last?

Karen Gillan: Actually, I called [executive producer/showrunner] Steven Moffat and arranged the dinner and then basically told him roughly when I wanted to go. He told me where the story was at and where it was going and then we kind of together came up with it. So it was really pleasant, actually. We had a lovely dinner and just kind of discussed what we both want and what’s going to happen and then came to the decision. That was ages ago, so I’ve known for ages!

IGN: Why did you think it was getting to be the right time?

Gillan: I wanted to go on a high. Also, Steven Moffat comes up with endless, amazing ideas anyway, but I wanted to make sure that I went on a high when the character was at her prime. There’s just something quite nice and appealing about that to me. I don’t know… It just felt right! I like to go on instinct.

Skitch Commentary: She goes on to reinterate her comment that she thinks Amy’s story should be over when she leaves and seems to close the door to the idea of Amy coming back to do a cameo. I actually think that makes a lot of sense. Callbacks and all are fun, but I do think that sometimes it is just right to let the story end.

Honestly, as much as I love Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, I am not all that sure that Amy and Rory should come back for series seven at all. I think the way season 6 ended would have been a great place to leave those characters. My sister in law and I both commented that the cameo in the Christmas special was a nice moment, but just felt unnecessary.  I am not quite ready to let Matt Smith go, but he could definitely use some new travelling buddies.

Season Seven writers

Matt Smith had mentioned that he was starting rehearsals for season seven last week, and Doctor Who News also announced who some of the writers for Season Seven would be:

The writing team for the next series of Doctor Who sees the return of two of the Matt Smith era’s established contributors.

The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine (on general release from tomorrow) reports that Chris Chibnall and Toby Whithouse form part of the team under the watchful gaze of lead writer Steven Moffat. Chibnall contributed to inaugural Matt Smith series with the two part The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, with Whithouse writing for both that first series with The Vampires of Venice followed by last year’s The God Complex.

The two join the unconfirmed writers Mark Gatiss and John Fay. Gatiss was responsible for the eleventh Doctor’s first encounter with his old enemies in Victory of the Daleks, and last year’s Night Terrors. This new series will be Fay’s first script for Doctor Who, having written previously for Torchwood’s Children of Earth and Miracle Day.

Though there has been no formal announcement over how the series will be structured, Whithouse was a guest at last weekend’s SFX Weekender, mentioning that his script was currently planned as the third episode – though the story order is not necessarily set in stone, as seen with Night Terrors and Curse of the Black Spot last year.

Skitch Commentary: Looks like a lot of the usual suspects are back. I loved Children of Earth and Miracle Day, so I am really curious to see what John Fay can bring to Doctor Who. More updates as soon as I know more!

Every Doctor Who Story in Ten Minutes

This shows how slow it was for Doctor Who news lately. This video was going to be my lead story last week. My friend Amy pointed me to which featured a video that managed to show every Doctor Who story ever in under ten minutes. This is a really cool little video which some great quotes from the Doctor playing over the video.

Doctor Who Does the Time Warp Again!

I don’t even know where I stumbled across this last week, but as a huge Rocky Horror fan, I had to post it. Head to this page to see The Time Warp performed through using a lot of great Doctor Who gifs!

It is one of the strangest, but most fun things I’ve ever seen!

Doctor Who Solitare game

My friend Logan had sent me this last week. Apparently, this is a Doctor Who solitare story game that you can print out and play right from Board Game Geek’s website (one of my favorite websites, BTW). As of press time, I hadn’t had a chance to check it out, but it sounds like some thing that can be a lot of fun.

Woman builds TARDIS from Scratch

I have commented many times that I want to build my own TARDIS, and  BBC America posted this story of a women who did exactly that. I am jealous! I need to hire her to come build me one!

Doctor Who Goes Over the Hedge

Even though I am 32 years old, I still read the comics ever Sunday before I even look at the rest of the newspaper. One of my favorites is Over the Hedge. I was surprised to see the TARDIS show up in the January 29th strip:

This actually could be the plot of a Doctor Who episode…

Some cool Doctor Who T-Shirts!

And to wrap up the week, my wife saw these Doctor Who T-Shirts (and a lot of others, but I picked these two) at Teefury and I had to share them:

First up is Doctor Whoville

And the other features one of my favorite video game obsessions: Portal

Looks like I’ve run out of stories, so I guess we will call it the end. See you all next time!

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