With Doctor Who starring Peter Capaldi set to return to television screens for Season 9 of the revived series, it seems like a good time to go back in time about 50 years and revisit some lesser known aspects of the series’ beginning. Though Doctor Who began with a historical serial now commonly known as “An Unearthly Child,” it rocketed into the national consciousness with its second serial, now called “The Daleks.” In a show much known for its monsters, the Daleks were the originals. They put the show into a format that we recognize today. They also caused a craze in Great Britain that came to be known as Dalekmania and brought the series audience figures of over 9 million viewers a week. It has only periodically equaled those numbers in the 50 years since.
The story of the Daleks was told in three different ways, with two different Doctors. First, there is the teleplay by Terry Nation. Being part of a weekly adventure series, it tells the story of how the Doctor, his granddaughter Susan, and her schoolteachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright arrive on the radioactive world of Skaro and meet the Daleks. The Daleks are mutated survivors of an atomic war who hate any creatures who are not like themselves. This is original version and, excepting certain accommodations for budget and pacing for a half hour television serial, it is the best. It is also canonical.
The BBC has released a lot of photos this week in the run up to the launch of The Impossible Astronaut, the first episode of Doctor Who Series 6. Opening the season on Saturday April 23 on BBC and BBC America, the new photos (found at the bottom of this post) are mostly promotional character stills, which includes some images of a couple of new characters.
This season begins with a two-part adventure that concludes with episode 2, entitled Day of the Moon. Matt Smith returns as the Eleventh Doctor, as does Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams, and Alex Kingston as River Song. Both opening episodes were directed by Toby Haynes and written by showrunner Steven Moffat.
It’s Doctor Who Week! That’s right; it’s just a few days to go until the premiere episode of Series 6, The Impossible Astronaut. And even though there are many fans out there waiting for the new season with high anticipation, there’s also a bunch of people out there who are new to the Time Lord, so to help out new folks with the continuity, The Fine Brothers have put together a video: 47 Years of Doctor Who in 6 minutes.
Now, you could go down the route that Neil Gaimanrecommends:
The BBC has released two new clips from the first episode of Doctor Who Series 6, entitled The Impossible Astronaut. Directed by Toby Haynes, written by showrunner Steven Moffat, and filmed on-location in the United States, The Impossible Astronaut is the first part of an adventure that concludes in the second episode, Day of the Moon. You can view the preview clips at the bottom of this post — but be warned again, for more spoilery goodness is abound!
The videos released by BBC seem to be near the beginning of the episode, featuring a reunion between the Stetson-wearing Doctor and his companions, and a deep but dark conversation between the heroes inside the TARDIS as they ask the Doctor for his help “without asking why.” There’s a wonderful reference in the second clip to the moment of when Amy first met The Doctor, which is a nice touch. Those after clues to the opening episodes might want to make note that the Doctor is only wearing the Stetson in one of the clips… In the words of River Song herself, “Spoilers…!”
Following WonderCon 2011, we are launching not one, but TWO episodes of TARDISblend this week! The promotions and publicity for Doctor Who Series 6 is moving full speed ahead, with many revelations, news items, rumors, spoilers, and other stuff abound. Co-host Tom Cheredar was on assignment for Geeks of Doom at WonderCon this year and got to catch up with both Toby Haynes and Neil Gaiman.
For episode 21 of the TARDISblend podcast, we focus on Tom’s interview with living legend Neil Gaiman, as he discusses his writing of the fourth episode of Doctor Who Series 6, enigmatically titled The Doctor’s Wife. While Gaiman remains mostly elusive about specific details about his episode, he does discuss a lot about his experience in working with Steven Moffat. Following the interview, Greg and Tom discuss the rumors and spoilers surrounding The Doctor’s Wife, including the footage shown at WonderCon involving an Ood and… Time Lords?
In addition, we take a look at the developments in the world of Torchwood: Miracle Day, which is scheduled to premiere in July. We examine the teasers and promo material being published and pushed out currently by BBC Worldwide and Starz USA, and discuss how things come to pass to set up the scene for Miracle Day. What happens to Jack Harkness? How and why does he return to Earth?