Posts Tagged ‘matt smith’

On 8 September 2014 BBC Worldwide are releasing the Doctor Who: 50th Anniversary Limited Collector’s Edition. Limited to 6,000 Blu-rays and 4,000 DVDs this limited edition collector’s set gathers together a whole of host of material from the 50th anniversary year of the much-loved groundbreaking science fiction series. 

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Limited Collector's EditionThe set includes four special adventures for the Doctor: the Series 7b finale The Name of the Doctor, introducing John Hurt’s War Doctor; the mini-episode The Night of the Doctor, featuring the return and regeneration of Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor; the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor; and The Time of the Doctor, Matt Smith’s final adventure as the Eleventh Doctor.

Also included is An Adventure in Space and Time, Mark Gatiss’ award-winning docudrama about the genesis of Doctor Who, and The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot comedy spoof, with Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and a whole host of Doctor Who alumni past and present.

Other ancillary material includes:

  • The Day Of The Doctor read through.
  • Trailers, cinema introduction and deleted scenes for The Day Of The Doctor.
  • Behind-the-scenes features on The Name of the Doctor, The Day of the DoctorThe Time of the Doctor and An Adventure In Space And Time.
  • Doctor Who The Ultimate Guide.
  • The Last Day mini-episode.
  • Tales from the TARDIS.
  • Farewell to Matt Smith.
  • The Science of Doctor Who.
  • 2013 Doctor Who Prom.
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The Time of the Doctor is an unmitigated mess. An incoherent, continuity-laden, Universal Monsters-style mashup. Underdeveloped characters populate a sparse narrative that acts as a fragile and mediocre framework for massive info dumps. It’s all undercoat and no gloss. A more apt title would be The-Time-of-Explaining-Everything-That’s-Been-Left-Unexplained-Over-The-Last-Four-Years.

The Time of the Doctor - credits landscape light

The entire enterprise pans out as precisely the kind of continuity-orientated crappily-written, poorly-characterised rubbish that caused Doctor Who to be cancelled in the 1980s. It’s The Trial of a Time Lord meets Attack of the Cybermen with a detour into Time and the Rani. On acid. It also completes the neutering of the Weeping Angels as a threat. Stick mirrors in front of them and all’s well. Reflecting (sorry) that old adage that evil can’t face itself (as with the Mara in Kinda). Makes one wonder if Steven Moffat is able to face himself anymore…

I’m the Doctor. I’m a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. I stole a time machine and ran away, and I’ve been flouting the principle law of my own people ever since!

There’s no denying Moffat’s scope and ambition for Matt Smith’s finale as the Eleventh Doctor. A summation of four years of adventures. A tying up of loose ends. Gathering together plot threads left hanging since The Eleventh Hour in April 2010. A fitting last hurrah whilst establishing the foundations for a new era. Unfortunately it crashes and burns in a rushed apocalyptic fury. There’s a huge sense of Moffat sitting at his computer typing furiously and thinking, “Oh shit, I’ve not explained that bit from The Eleventh Hour, or that bit from The Big Bang, or that bit from The Wedding of River Song”. Viewers are expected to possess fantastic levels of recall relating to all the plot elements that have gone before as Moffat unleashes his mighty convoluted saga.

Hang on tight, here we go…

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Well Steven Moffat. We loyal and trusting Doctor Who fans patiently saved the day. We spread the much publicised hashtag #SaveTheDay across social media, and throughout space and time. We were delighted when Doctor Who took over television as promised in the run up to the anniversary itself. And what did we get on 23 November 2013 as a reward for our patience, anticipation and adulation? The Day of the Doctor. The special adventure to celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who. One of the worst episodes ever.

I’ve been running all my lives… through time and space. Every second of every minute of every day for over nine hundred years. I fought for peace in a universe at war. Now the time has come to face the choices I made in the name of the Doctor. Our future depends on one single moment of one impossible day. The day I’ve been running from all my life. The day of the Doctor.

The Day of the Doctor - 12 incarnations

Earning a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest ever simulcast of a TV drama The Day of the Doctor was broadcast by the BBC simultaneously in 94 countries and six continents. It was also shown in 3D in 1500 cinemas where fans dressed up and created huge levels of excitement akin to conventions. An unparalleled global event to celebrate 50 years of the Doctor’s seemingly eternal adventure in space and time.

Just one fundamental flaw with The Day of the Doctor

The Day of the Doctor is bad. The Day of the Doctor is really bad. The Day of the Doctor is really really really bad. It lurks in the depths of all-time hideous Doctor Who clunkers alongside Time-Flight, Timelash, Time and the Rani, and Love & Monsters. (more…)

The Doctor meets Sherlock Holmes. This is a quite extraordinary fan made crossover between Doctor Who and Sherlock.

“Months after an encounter with a mysterious ‘Doctor’, Sherlock becomes obsessed with discovering more about this impossible man… until the man makes an unexpected return.”

Continuing a theme of titles ending “of the Doctor” (Name, Night, Day) it’s been announced that the final adventure of Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor will be The Time of the Doctor.

The official synopsis runs:
“Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them – the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.” (more…)

The Name of the Doctor remains a secret as the mystery of the Impossible Girl is solved and an almighty cliffhanger lays the seeds of the 50th anniversary special in a disjointed series finale.

Doctor Who - The Name of the Doctor

It’s the repair shop. What kind of idiot would try and steal a faulty TARDIS?

From “Gallifrey. A very long time ago…” and the First Doctor’s “borrowing” of the TARDIS (slightly rewriting The Doctor’s Wife in the process) to the battle-scarred world of Trenzalore and the final resting place of the Doctor, The Name of the Doctor is one of the most sweeping, ambitious and epic adventures that Doctor Who has attempted. For the most part it succeeded in atoning for the generally lacklustre Series 7b, though faults remained that dragged the story down to a status of “pretty good” rather than “exceptional”.

For his third series finale as Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat used the same basic plot as he had for the previous two: a tale featuring River Song (Alex Kingston) revolving around the “wibbly wobbly time-y wimey” consequences of attempting to remove the Doctor from history. The Big Bang, The Wedding of River Song and now The Name of the Doctor all feature this basic trope to varying degrees. This time around it was the turn of the Great Intelligence, in the guise of Dr Walter Simeon (Richard E Grant returning from The Snowmen and The Bells of Saint John), to mess up the Doctor’s place in the history of the universe by entering his time stream and rewriting it to remove him completely. The sight of the future deceased Doctor as a pulsating column of light scarring space and time situated within a decaying TARDIS console room was a disquieting image representative of the funereal tone that pervaded much of the episode. (more…)

The BBC have released official programme information for the 50th anniversary Doctor Who adventure.

In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.

The Day of the Doctor is being transmitted on Saturday 23 November 2013 (time TBC), exactly 50 years to the day since episode one of An Unearthly Child.

The Day of the Doctor - landscape

Multi-award winning author Neil Gaiman returns to the universe of Doctor Who on a partially successful mission to make the Cybermen scary again with a Nightmare in Silver.

Doctor Who - Nightmare in Silver

Neil Gaiman’s previous contribution to Doctor Who was The Doctor’s Wife, which garnered widespread acclaim for its inventive plot, oddball characters and grungy setting. Unfortunately his follow-up of Nightmare in Silver was a far different and poorer affair. Granted the special effects were more than up to par with rampaging hoards of Cybermen, an entire amusement world depicted and an ever-fluctuating environment representing the interior of the Doctor’s mind, but the script continually felt as though it needed two or three more drafts to draw together disparate concepts, fill in the plot and generate rounded characters.

Inspired by fears of increasing spare part surgery potentially robbing people of their humanity, the Cybermen first appeared in William Hartnell’s final story The Tenth Planet and came to prominence during four adventures in the Patrick Troughton era. Traditionally the second most popular monster in Doctor Who that accolade has been passed onto the Weeping Angels in recent years.

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The 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who will be a 75 minute adventure entitled The Day of the Doctor. Starring Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper and John Hurt it will transmit on 23 November 2013, exactly 50 years to the day since the transmission of the first episode of An Unearthly Child. To mark the announcement of the story’s title the BBC have released a series of teaser posters.

The Day of the Doctor - landscape credits

The Day of the Doctor - landscape

The Day of the Doctor - portrait credits

The Day of the Doctor - portrait

Dame Diana Rigg channels her inner Bond villain to unleash The Crimson Horror upon the world in Mark Gatiss’ hybrid of Victorian penny dreadfuls, steampunk and Catherine Cookson.

Doctor Who - The Crimson Horror

The Crimson Horror deserves kudos for daring to experiment with the established Doctor Who format as the Doctor and Clara are introduced late on in proceedings with their involvement established in sepia-tinged flashback sequences akin to those used in the movie version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. For the first third of Mark Gatiss’ enjoyable romp, which combined late-1970s Bond über-villainy, the North England-based Catherine Cookson sagas and the lurid air of Victorian penny dreadfuls, centre stage belonged to the popular Paternoster Gang. Following on from their appearance in The Snowmen, the trio of Madame Vastra (the Silurian from the dawn of the human race), Jenny Flint (Vastra’s wife and maid) and Strax (the trigger-happy Sontaran who’s always looking for an excuse to eradicate human scum – preferably with grenades) once again demonstrated their suitability to head up the next Doctor Who spin-off. And whilst the wait for The Paternoster Gang continues Neve McIntosh, Catrin Stewart and Dan Starkey will return in the Series 7b finale The Name of the Doctor.

Chief guest stars for The Crimson Horror were the legendary Dame Diana Rigg (most famous for her portrayal of the iconic Emma Peel in The Avengers and currently gracing Game of Thrones) and her real-life daughter Rachael Stirling (Tipping the Velvet). Gatiss penned the mother and daughter characters of Winifred and Ada Gillyflower specifically for Rigg and Stirling after appearing with them in theatrical productions All about My Mother and The Recruiting Officer respectively. Mother and daughter seized their roles with gusto and delivered performances that rank amongst the best in this Series 7b of Doctor Who. When the plaudits for best guest actors are dished out in the Doctor Who Magazine poll at series end it’ll be a crime if the family Rigg don’t feature prominently. Diana Rigg merely had to stand there to outact Jenna-Louise Coleman, who doesn’t seem to act too differently between being in a trance and being normal – all wide-eyed and silly grin. The Crimson Horror wasn’t Stirling’s first encounter with the Time Lord as she starred opposite Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor in the 2012 Big Finish audio adventure Trail of the White Worm. (more…)