Ahhh, what would it mean to know the mind of a Time Lord? It must be something to know what a Time Lord saw. There must be wit! There must be wisdom! There must be an ambivalence, a humor about the mundane moments. There must be perspective that comes from the understanding of time and history as a sometimes malleable thing. So, we are presented with a book called Doctor Who: The Time Lord Letters. What does it tell us?
In the end, it doesn’t tell us much. It tries to create a narrative of Doctor Who history that is approachable for younger television viewers. The actual history of the show is far more complex than that, due to reasons that have little to do with good storytelling. The full-color hardcover title does little to weave together all the historical threads of the Doctor’s lives. Instead, the book’s best appeal is to provide both older and younger viewers with an excellent photo collage of the entire history of Doctor Who. That, I think, is what will keep readers coming back to this book.
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.
While audiences are gearing up for The Day Of The Doctor, Doctor Who fans can also expect another great special coming from the BBC called An Adventure In Space And Time – telling the story of how Doctor Who came to be in real life, 50 years ago on November 23 – an valuable depiction of the beginning of what would become a cultural phenomenon and the longest-running sci-fi series in history.
Mark Gatiss, of Doctor Who and Sherlock fame, writes and produces the special, which features David Bradley (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones) as William Hartnell – the first Doctor – in a piece of casting that sees Bradley look just like Hartnell. The similarities are eerie.
An Adventure In Space And Time tells of how the television show came into being, the importance of first showrunner Verity Lambert (played by Jessica Raine), and the world-shattering approach in the impossible task of trying to tell stories on poor budgeting and how much of a phenomenon the series quickly became.
It’s been a while, but the countdown is on for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, now titled The Day of the Doctor. The TARDISblend podcast is back to give you a round up on the rumors and news surrounding the upcoming special, highlighting what to expect.
Also during TARDISblend 68, we discuss the latest news about the rediscovery of the Lost Doctor Who Episodes, what it means for fans of the series, and what may be yet to come!
We also look deeper into the future – into 2014 and beyond – as to what we can expect from the new Peter Capaldi Doctor in Series 8. All this and more on the latest TARDISblend!
The BBC today announced that 9 episodes from Patrick Troughton-era of classic Doctor Who (1966-69) were found earlier this year at a Nigerian television station and will be available for immediate purchase via Apple iTunes.
The episodes come from two multi-part serials for which only one episode each was known to exist: “The Enemy Of The World” and “The Web Of Fear.” As a result of this discovery, “The Enemy Of The World” serial can now be watched whole in the UK for the first time since it was originally broadcast, and for the first time ever in the United States. Episode 3 of “The Web Of Fear” serial is still missing even after this discovery, but a reconstruction from stills and program audio is included to complete the story. All 11 episodes from the two serials exist on film and were digitally restored prior for this release.