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The Friday Docback Mulls The 50th...






Merrick here...


Next week the Docback will revisit Part One of Season Seven, per the episodes’ impending issuance on Blu-ray (you can find ‘em HERE in the US and HERE in the UK).  


This week, however, I thought we’d take a few moments to chew on an issue which has been referenced time and time again the Docbacks, but has never really been discussed editorially in my regular musings here.  


The question at hand is, in fact, the one question I am most asked by friends aware of my shameless and undying DOCTOR WHO fixation, by the wonderful multitudes of folks who attend BBC Home Entertainment & Aint it Cool’s Alamo Drafthouse screenings of DOCTOR WHO episodes, and even by family members who still refuse to watch DOCTOR WHO because they’re afraid of what it might be.  That question is:  “What are your hopes for the 50th?”  







“The 50th,” of course, refers to DOCTOR WHO’s 50th anniversary in 2013...right around the corner.  And, I’ll say up front, I’m impressed by the number of non-WHOvians who are aware of this milestone.  Somehow, be it through promotion, general scuttlebutt, or bizarre Geekly instinct, the word seems to be getting out:  DOCTOR WHO has been around for a long time, it should be celebrated, and it doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon. fantastic.  And such awareness can only be a good thing for DOCTOR WHO in general, particularly at this very special juncture in its existence.  But what is the ANSWER to that question:  what are MY hopes for “The 50th”?


My answer may well evoke an immediate “Duh” - but it’s also not as easy as it appears at first glance. My answer to “What are your hopes for the 50th?”  is: “I’d love for people to become more aware of the WHOLE of WHO.”  


“Duh!  Isn’t this implicit when celebrating the show’s 50th anniversary?”  Not really, actually.  Celebrating awareness of something’s existence does not intrinsically denote our UNDERSTANDING of what is being celebrated.  It’s great to be commemorating DW’s 50th anniversary, but what does this actually mean beyond the show being 50 years old?  And herein lies a quandry I’d very much love for y’all to discuss in the Docbacks below...


Even in the very earliest stages of my exploration of DOCTOR WHO, one peculiar factor became immediately apparent:  many, many people draw a distinct line between “new” DOCTOR WHO (i.e. 2005+) and vintage DOCTOR WHO.  For some, “new” DOCTOR WHO doesn’t even begin with Russell T. Davies’ 2005 Christopher Eccleston-starring relaunch.  Instead, it begins with Matt Smith’s 2011 debut in Steven Moffat’s current iteration.  This is an understandable dynamic:  one of the keys to DOCTOR WHO’s endurance has been the show’s ability to change styles, flavors, and even leads.  In this regard, DW is a unique beast on the television landscape - as much as it’s about regeneration, the show itself survives by regeneration.  


[click to embiggen]


Accordingly...what I’m seeing in my current exposure to DW’s fan a tendency for folks to celebrate a different facet (or era) of DOCTOR WHO during the 50th  - rather than appreciate the phenomena as a whole. I find this very frustrating as, at the end of the day, the DW phenomena IS very much a whole.  Is this, in itself, a bad thing?  Isn’t it better to celebrate something, rather than nothing at all?  Yes.  However...


As I’ve mentioned more than a few times on the WHOTININNIES podcast in which appear alongside Ken Plume - one can look at the first twenty minutes of An Unearthly Child (the first ever DOCTOR WHO broadcast back in 1963) and sense a WHOverse template and narrative mechanic which persists to this day, unaltered in many regards.  Meaning this very first episode...EVER...of DOCTOR WHO laid out an easily identifiable groundwork that is still being utilized: the Doctor’s interaction with his companions, the nature of the companions themselves, the unpredictability of the Doctor’s life and how it impacts those around him, etc. are all pointedly introduced by the conclusion of An Unearthly Child.  While tweaked and finessed a tad over time, DW’s lifeblood remains very much the same as when audiences first experienced the show on November 23, 1963.  Yet, because of many viewer’s propensity to pick and choose their WHO - and even discriminate against early WHO because of its perceived  “silly effects” or “goofy monsters” - a number of fans are depriving themselves of exposure to countless highly valuable, imminently worthwhile WHO adventures.  Depriving themselves of a “bigger picture” so to speak, by dismissing tales and eras which nonetheless form the spine of the Moffaty WHO we enjoy today.  So influential is this early WHO that the current Matt Smith era has incorporated a number of callbacks to “classic” adventures, even to the point of having Matt Smith step out of a projection featuring the ten previous Doctors before him.  


It’s the same show...merely wearing a slightly different wardrobe.  DOCTOR WHO may’ve survived by...and thrived on...its ability to regenerate, has also remained consistent in a surprising number of ways.  

Which brings us back to “The 50th.”  It it my deep hope that The Powers That Be somehow find a way to entice audiences towards all DOCTOR WHO - to somehow connect the fibers of various eras, to clearly illustrate that what happened “then” remains extremely germane “now.” Creating such a bridge would bolster the whole of WHO in a number of ways (not the least of which is perceptually, economically, practically) and break down barriers which, at the end of the day, are in place primarily because a number of fans simply do not grasp what “old WHO” or "NuWHO" is...that they're one in the same.      


Can this actually be done?  Yes.  The last few Alamo Drafthouse screenings we’ve run here in Austin (Planet of Giants, Tomb of the Cybermen) were attended by a number of audience members (a majority, actually) who had never seen an episode featuring William Hartnell or Patrick Troughton.  Viewers applauded loudly at the end of the show  - and came back for more the following month.  They were able to see past each episode’s shortcomings, and find the truth...the heart...of the story they were watching.  People of all ages were there:  older folks, middle-aged folks, and...most importantly...children.  They were there.  They watched.  And they cared.  


Based on the audiences’ applause during my introduction to these episodes, they were crazy for Matt Smith’s Doctor - yet they were there at the screening to explore the mythos in greater depth, to see how it all began.  After the screenings, a number of audience members mentioned their initial resistance to “classic” WHO - a resistance I once shared - but indicated how happy they were to have finally given it a chance, and how much richer the entirety of the mythos seemed now that they have done so. 


So, I have to believe this CAN be accomplished on some broader level.  It happened with the Drafthouse crowds, it happened with me.  It can happen.  The matter now becomes:  how to make this trend develop on a larger scale?  Would a very well-considered documentary do the trick?  Basically outlining the history of the show and how then connects to now, etc?  Or, might some sort of interactive website could illustrate the show’s carefully honed interconnectivity?  Perhaps a series of “then and now” broadcasts which will drive the point home inescapably.  The possibilities are endless, and I truly hope The Powers That Be work find some way to work towards these very meaningful ends.  


It’s ironic - although somehow appropriate - that one of DOCTOR WHO’s greatest assets...its capacity to reinvent, shift gears and styles, also one of its greater vulnerabilities (as this flexibility ultimately gives rise to the more insular picking and choosing outlined above). Perhaps this is a good as it’s ever gonna get...a “classic” camp and a “NuWHO” camp which occasionally share members, but pretty much do their own things (not dissimilar to the trends we see on “classic” WHO -vs- NuWHO Docbacks here on Aint It Cool).  If this is the case?  The situation could certainly be a lot worse -  and I in no way mean to suggest there are any “problems” with the WHOverse, or its fandom in general, at the moment. 


I’m simply wanting...and hoping...that hesitant viewers on either side of the fence - be they “NuWHO, no classic!” people, or “classic WHO, not Nu!” - or somewhere in between (a three-sided fence?) - can someday be compelled to grasp this inter-connective “big picture.”  Because once that bigger picture is seen and understood, an already remarkable DOCTOR WHO becomes something far more amazing.  A fifty year old show which has reshaped itself, built upon itself, and perpetuated itself for half a century.  That’s a mind bending realization - one which also means DOCTOR WHO is only a few decades younger than home television itself. 


As you may've guessed, the whole of WHO is, for my money, the way the show ought to be seen - the way it is best seen and perceived.  And, I think, it’s what the show’s makers would’ve hoped for, and clearly intended.



Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts?  What do YOU want from the 50th?  What are YOUR experiences when introducing other folks to DOCTOR WHO? Discuss below!  






Glen Oliver




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[Season / Series Seven Docbacks - MOST RECENT DOCBACK IS HIGHLIGHTED]


The Coming of Season/Series 7

Asylum of the Daleks 

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

A Town Called Mercy 

The Power of Three 

The Angels Take Manhattan 






"The Impossible Astronaut"

"Day of the Moon"

"The Curse of the Black Spot"

"The Doctor's Wife"

"The Rebel Flesh"

"The Almost People"

"A Good Man Goes To War"

"Let's Kill Hitler"

"Night Terrors"


"The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" (2011 Christmas Special)  





"An Unearthly Child" (Story #1)

"The Daleks" (Story #2)

"The Edge of Destruction" (Story #3)

"Marco Polo" (Story #4)

"The Keys of Marinus(Story #5)

"The Aztecs" (Story #6)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7 - full DVD release) 

"The Reign of Terror" (Story #8)

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9) 

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9, full DVD release) 

"The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (Story #10)

"The Rescue" (Story #11) 

"The Romans"  (Story #12) 

"The Web Planet" (Story #13) / SHERLOCK - "A Scandal in Belgravia" (Story #4)

"The Crusade" (Story #14) 

"The Space Museum" (Story #15) 

"The Chase" (Story #16) 

"The Time Meddler" (Story #17) 

"Galaxy 4" (Story #18) 

"Mission to the Unkonwn" (Story #19) 

"The Myth Makers" (Story #20) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

"The Tomb of the Cybermen" (Story #37)

"The Mind Robber" (Story #45)

"The Krotons" (Story #47)

"The Seeds of Death" (Story #48) 

"Spearhead from Space" (Story #51) 

"The Abassadors of Death" (Story #53)

"The Colony in Space" (Story #58) 

"The Daemons" (Story #59) 

"Day of the Daleks" (Story #60) + Preview of the DotD Special Edition

"The Three Doctors" (Story #65) 

"Carnival of Monsters" (Story #66) 

"Death to the Daleks" (Story #72) 

"Invasion of the Dinosaurs" (Story #71) and SHERLOCK: "The Reichenbach Fall" (Story #6) 

"The Android Invasion" (Story #83) and SHERLOCK: "The Hounds of Baskerville" (Story #5) 

"The Face of Evil" (Story #89) 

"The Robots of Death" (Story #90) 

"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (Story #91)

"The Sun Makers(Story #95)

"The City of Death" (Story #105)

"Nightmare of Eden" (Story #107) 

"Kinda" (Story #118)

"Snakedance" (Story #125) 

"The Five Doctors" (Story #129) 

"The Awakening" (Story #131)

"Frontios(Story #132)

"Resurrection of the Daleks" (Story #134) 

"The Caves of Androzani" (Story #136) 

"Vengeance on Varos" (Story #138) 

"Time and the Rani" (Story #144)

"Paradise Towers" (Story #145) + New WHOvian Documentary / Newsbits

"Dragonfire" (Story #147) 

"The Happiness Patrol" (Story #149) 

"The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" (Story #151) 

"Doctor Who: The Movie" (aka TVM) - McGann) 


Merrick's Personal Journey With The Doctor (How Merrick Got Hooked On DOCTOR WHO)

DOCTOR WHO Title Sequences & DW At Comic-Con 2011

"The Crash of the Elysium" (Manchester version - interactive DOCTOR WHO adventure)

Why Eccleston Left, Here Comes Caroline Skinner, And Season/Series Six Part 1 on Blu-Ray And DVD

New Trailer For Season/Series Six Part 2

The Companions of DOCTOR WHO + New Trailer & Artwork For Season/Series 7  

Impromptu Docback!! + Galaxy 4 'Airlock' Coming to DVD, Christmas Special 2012, And More!!






1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc.)... 

2) matters of SPOILAGE should be handled with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity.  Posts containing SPOILERS should clearly state that a SPOILER exists in its topic/headline and should never state the spoiler itself . "** SPOILER ** Regarding Rory" is OK, for example.  "** SPOILER ** Battle of Zarathustra" is fine as well.  " **SPOILER** Why did everyone die?"  Is NOT good.  
And, above all... 

3) converse, agree, disagree, and question as much as you want - but the freedom to do so is NOT a license to be rude, crass, disrespectful, or uncivilized in any way.  Not remaining courteous and civil, as well as TROLLING or undertaking sensational efforts to ignite controversy, will result in banning.  Lack of courtesy may receive one (1) warning before a ban is instigated.  Obvious Trolling or Spamming will result in summary banning with no warning.  One word posts intended to bump-up any Docback's figures on AICN's "Top Talkbacks" sidebar will be considered actionable Spam - they not only complicate efforts to access Docback from mobile devices, but impede readers' abilities to follow or engage in flowing conversation. 
In short, it's easy.  Be excellent to each other.  Now party on... 
Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 2, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Who Gives a WHOot episode 3 The Stormageddon edition

    by Kevin Bolinger

    Here it is, Who Gives a WHOot ep 3 The Stormageddon edition.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 12:59 p.m. CST

    I want a reunion of as many Doctors as they can get.

    by Mahaloth

    Especially the new guys, though. I do think Paul McGann will do it if asked and I think it'd mean a lot to him to play the role on TV again.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Paul McGann please

    by donkey_lasher

    I think he'd do it, and we need to see more of him on the screen. There's been so much nostalgia put into NuWho, that it would seem a bit tiring if they brought back Baker, Davison, Baker, and McCoy, or some old villain. A one off starring McGann could help bridge old and new.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    What I would like to see...

    by Phimseto

    A multi-episode, maybe even season long, story line focusing on the last four doctors with certain episodes where each one takes center stage. However, I am thoroughly prepared to be underwhelmed.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST

    What I want...

    by BEHEM Pascal

    What I want is Matt Smith to wake up one day, yes, Matt Smith, not the Doctor. He goes to work like every day, he's on Doctor Who, the most popular show on Earth. A reunion is planned on the BBC with as many old Who guest stars they can put in, and of course he's part of the shoot. Of course, over the course of the day, strange things happen. Smith and all the guest stars investigate. It turns out all is part of a plan to lock the Doctor in a virtual reality environment where he is lead to believe he's just part of a tv show. I would love that.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Merrick, I read this when I was feeling quite down


    I've not had a very good day. It's been really shitty, in fact. I've just come home (to find that my landlord has let himself in without prior arrangement and has left my front door unlocked - God knows what else he's done) and AICN is the first place I've gone on the internet. Of course, the Friday Docback is the first place I've visited on AICN. Anyway, I was feeling quite down and reading your hopes for this show, and feeling your love for both classic and new Who, well it's cheered me up immensely. I wish I lived close to that Alamo Drafthouse to experience those group viewings and to meet you in person, and to shake your hand. I look forward to your docback every week. I don't always comment (especially if it's an episode I've not seen) but I always read them, and I constantly view them as the best thing on this site. If you ever relocate from here, there's a very good chance I'll follow you because your Whobacks are brilliant. They're one of the only articles on AICN where the written piece itself matters to me as much as the resulting talkback. Anyway, enough of my blabbering and forgive me. It's not been a good day so I'm going to watch some Who to cheer myself up.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    What I would like they could have done by the BBC won't

    by HornOrSilk

    That is to have TWO Doctor Who series going on in the 50th. One would have been the normal Matt Smith one. The other would be a series of stories with other Doctors and/or characters from the old shows. One could have been an Ian story. Another a Paul Mcgann two-parter. But I would have had the two series tie together in the end, as a big arc which connects the whole of the show together. Alas.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 1:31 p.m. CST

    And yes, more exposure to the whole of Who would be good

    by HornOrSilk

    I do think more can be done. But I also feel the Beeb is really dropping the ball on this one. Which is pathetic.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Well said Merrick...

    by John Ary

    The 50th seems like a prime opportunity for a new generation of fans to get introduced to past Doctors and possibly the perfect time for Matt Smith to say goodbye to the role.


  • Nov. 2, 2012, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Would love to see McGann more, or a re-cast Hartnell

    by Antz

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Well said indeed Merrick, I think you hit the nail on the head

    by Kevin Bolinger

    Who, both old and Nu, needs far more exposure, yet it is quickly gaining a huge following here in the USA, one that I do not feel it had before Moffat took over. I am trying to get a friend to watch the first 2 eps of the 2005 series, and get his honest reaction for an upcoming podcast. Hopefully that will answer the question of how a newbie feels about the good Doctor :0

  • What would the logic be for why only SOME of the past iterations are there in the story? That is, assuming the producers wouldn't do something as cheesy as just cast lookalikes for the actors who are no longer with us.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    My thoughts

    by ByTor

    Terrific essay, Merrick. I do think that we have the age-old issue of differentiating between the serious fans and the casual viewers. Yep, you got a terrific reaction at the Drafthouse screenings...but pretty much by definition, those attendees are serious fans. The fact that they may not be serious fans of the B&W stuff (or whatever) is not actually relevant to the discussion at hand. It's the 50th, so we definitely expect more nods to the past than is typical. But casual fans -- especially casual fans of the 2005+ stuff -- are likely not going to be interested in old-episodes being screened. (Not saying they ALL would not, but I think it's safe to say a pretty huge majority would not.) Plus, the show has gone through many different...well, tones, for want of a better word. We used to have this argument on r.a.dw back in the day: 'guns' versus 'frocks.' Guns were the folks who preferred the action-oriented or harder-sf stuff (e.g. the Pertwee era, S18, etc.), and Frocks preferred the campier stuff, the Cartmel-era stuff, the NAs, etc. (I'm generalizing.) Naturally this is not to say that everyone fell into one camp or the other, but you could definitely see a lot of folks more or less clumping around one group or the other. The show went through so many changes (even though the core laid out by Unearthly Child was still there) that it's understandable that folks like some bits and not others. Unless I'm doing a complete watch-through, I won't hit the 6th or 7th Doctor stuff very often, whereas I'll hit the 3rd/4th/5th quite a bit. I enjoy elements of pretty much every era, but I do hold some in higher regard than others. THAT, to me, is what makes the show great. Different people with different tastes can find stuff they like, because the core concept is so FLEXIBLE. It can regenerate, as you say, into many different things. So when the show does stuff I'm not crazy about, I don't worry...because so long as it's in production, I know it will change.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Ah Merrick, your article (much like the embedded fan trailer)

    by V'Shael

    merely reconfirms to me what I have long stated - fans understand and appreciate Doctor Who in a way that the BBC simply never will. Unfortunately I thought your article was going to be about how the BBC had managed to tirelessly fuck over it's award winning SciFi show on the eve of its biggest anniversary. But obviously not.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Ah, V'Shael

    by ByTor

    They haven't fucked it over yet. Let's give them a chance.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    that pencil drawing...

    by TheSeeker7

    I can understand not going so far as to include the likes of, say, Mickey, but it seems a gross omission to not have Rory represented in there. I believe that for quite awhile now, he's basically been just as much an official Companion as Amy has.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 2:58 p.m. CST

    I'd like to see a multi-Doctor Children In Need sketch

    by DoctorTom

    I'm not sure they're going to do a multiple Doctor story for the 50th anniversary, and I don't know if it needs to be done. I do want to see the Doctors getting together, but Time Crash showed how we could have the Doctors meeting each other for a brief period. I'd really like a sketch where we see different Doctors coming in, look around, wonder who changed the desktop pattern, then change it back to what they're used to, then go check out some other spot in the TARDIS(followed by another Doctor changing it, and so on, and so on) until you get the point where all the Doctors come back and meet each other would have good comedy potential. Unfortunately, they probably can't do this as it would cost too much - ideally you'd want at least 1 version of the classic white TARDIS, McGann's TARDIS, the 9th/10th Doctor version (does that still exist, or did it get torn down after they shot the 1st Gaiman story?), and the 11th Doctor's desktop pattern - both if the rumors about the desktop pattern being updated soon are true. Actually, if you could do additional TARDIS scenes, you'd also want the current corridors, classic white corridors and the rooms/corridors from the hospital that they used for TARDIS interior scenes in The Invasion of Time (and doesn't it just seem appropriate that Tom Baker would have the desktop pattern set for the interiors to look like that?)

  • especially if you could have the Matt Smith 11th Doctor meeting the Christopher Eccleston 9th Doctor, the Rowan Atkinson 9th Doctor, and the Richard Grant 9th Doctor, and getting terribly confused about the timey wimey shenanigans involved. It would also give the Children in Need people a chance to replay The Curse of Fatal Death to prime people for the new sketch. This would be too much inside baseball though for them to do. Maybe instead we can get the rumored scene that Moffat would like to do where we have the Doctor at a party or something. Captain Jack's there and hits on River Song, asking who she it. She whispers to him, and he looks confused. Then, he sees Jenny (Doctor's Daughter version, not Madame Vastra's Jenny), he goes over and asks her who she it. She whispers it to him, then he just gets a *what the hell?* expression.

  • It would probably end up being a more general history of Doctor Who though. I'd want more 30 Years in the TARDIS style documentary than the BBC America Doctor Who Specials style documentary (at least most of them - although I will grant them that they did a good job with the Doctor Who in America special. That one felt the most like a Doctor Who Confidential of any of the Who specials that BBCA put out.)

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 3:10 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    Yeah, Children in Need stuff is usually done on the ultra-cheap. I remember Moffat saying in the Confidential for Time Crash that he was told no new sets, no locations, no CGI. So there's no way we'd get all the console rooms, much as I am DYING to see an old one appear someday. :)

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST

    The Problem is BBC itself..

    by Richard Raymer

    ..with the incessant presenting of WHO on, including the behind-the-scenes, you'd think (if they wanted to increase this awareness) that they'd do a retrospective on the series as a *whole*, not just from Ecc to Smith

  • I think it would be fitting to have a First Doctor story for the 50th and since Hartnell was already an older gentleman when he started, telling a story about a young First Doctor, a few decades/centuries before An UnEarthly Child would be a great way to do it. Bringing Cumberbatch in for that role would satisfy a desire to see him as The Doctor while allowing him to do the part without having to commit to a series and without having to get rid of Smith. As for what the story would be, well if Moffat really does want to answer the question "Doctor Who?" then a young First Doctor would allow them to go back and tell that story. If they don't want to get rid of all the mystery they can still have the First Doctor involved in a multi-Doctor story.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 3:42 p.m. CST

    I bristle when the current show is called a "reboot"

    by Kauzi Sezso

    Because it isn't. It is literally the same continuity as "classic" Who. It is all the same show, just updated. I'm so glad you wrote this, Merrick. At some point, I'd like a story that picks up from a classic story, and a la "Wrath of Khan" in Star Trek.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    kauzi sezso

    by DoctorTom

    We've sort of had a picking up from a classic who story already - the 4th season Dalek story. Davros had the cybernetic hand where his had been shot off in the 6th Doctor story Revelation of the Daleks. It looks like he got tired of trundling around in the mushroom Dalek casing like he did in Remembrance of the Daleks. For that matter, you could claim that the Master trilogy did the same thing. There were certainly references to old Master stories at the end, and nods to things like the Master watching children's television shows.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Who is playing Hartnell in the Who Docudrama?

    by ProfWimsey

    Anybody who can play Hartnell convincingly will probably be called upon to play his Doctor convincingly in the docudrama. We might get Ian, Susan and Barbara, too. Using those same actors would make a lot of sense as they will be "familiar" to the modern audience and presumably already chosen for their ability to portray not just actor and character, but actor's portrayal of character.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Please, no recasting

    by ByTor

    Just don't.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 4:15 p.m. CST


    by Kauzi Sezso

    We've had references and continuity, which I love - but not a full on sequel to a classic episode. An episode that picks up the previous story's threads and keeps going. Or, one could argue it's all one long story.... I'd like to see a multi - Doctor story. I can't help myself ;I really enjoy them, silly as they can be sometimes. I like the idea of Cumberbatch as a younger First Doctor.....

  • I don't. And mind you, as someone who was coming to the series strictly since the 2005 revival, and from watching those first couple of series, I did sort of take it for granted that "going there" was going to be one of the self-imposed taboos the show really wouldn't do, draw so much attention to using the actual title as genuine phrasing in the show. That's why I was so surprised when Moffat then went and made it actually a rather large overreaching sort of plot point in the new fleshing out of the mythology, all this "The Question" stuff. I'm not saying if that's necessarily bad or good, I was just surprised.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST

    theseeker7 - the question might be the answer

    by DoctorTom

    or his name is actually ? - he might have had his name monogrammed onto his shirt collars, festooned on a jumper, built into the handle of an umbrella, etc. He used the question mark on a calling card in Remembrance of the Daleks. If that's his name, though, he's definitely got reason to say that you can't pronounce it.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 4:43 p.m. CST

    50th Anniversary Special

    by Deagol21

    I would love, Love, LOVE, a special 50th Anniversary episode that somehow brings together all of the surviving Doctors. I don't care how old they look or how much they've changed in appearance over the years. This is science fiction/fantasy, and it should be fairly easy to come up with a story that explains why the previous Doctors have aged so much. To see these guys in costume for one last grand adventure to save the Universe would be the greatest way to honor the history of the show and allow fans of NuWho to see that the previous Doctors can kick just as much arse as the current version. A documentary special of some sort chronicling the history of the show and all of the companions, baddies, actors and whatnot that have been featured for the past 50 years would be fun to see too. But nothing would tie NuWho in with Classic Who better than to feature the previous Docs working together with the current Doc to battle some ultimate threat to time and the Universe itself. It's kind of too bad that they've already done a fantastic end of the Universe story with the Tennant era return of Davros and his "reality bomb". That really could have been the ultimate anniversary special if they had found a way to bring all the Docs together to fight the ultimate battle against Davros and the Daleks for the fate of the Universe and reality itself. Who knows, though? Maybe Davros, that sneaky SOB, found yet another way to escape and he'll pop up in yet another grand scheme to get his revenge on the Doctor?

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    The Doctor and his name

    by HornOrSilk

    I think, like Remington Steele, he doesn't know it. Indeed, in S5 he basically says he is called the Doctor but even HE doesn't know why...

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Doc-back-a-thon, Nov 23rd 2013, Alamo Draft House

    by dj_bollocks

    Merrick - Make it happen !

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 6:17 p.m. CST

    great ideas

    by Matthew

    would love new episodes featuring past doctors without regenerating 11. Doctor 8 could have his own special, all he had was a tv movie once, and then 9 had a whole time war not televised. The Doctor Who question will never be answered, the show will keep going as a new generation of kids grow up to watch the show, can't just answer all the mysteries. Would like to see a Matt Smith episode done like a Tom Baker 70s episode, meaning brand new show done 70s style look special effects. I really hope they have big plans for the 50th. Have different doctors through out time connect to the same story somehow, all working together much like 11 works with himself in different eras of time in the past few series

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Could be a comedy sketch

    by Matthew

    but Matt Smith Doctor episode done dead serious but use old sets and styles to make it appear to be an old who show.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 6:24 p.m. CST

    honorsilk -- he must know it, he told it to River

    by TheSeeker7

    and we had this confirmed at the end of the Silence in the Library 2 parter, right before she dies, he says "You knew my name... there's only one reason I'd ever tell anyone my name, only one reason I COULD", which of course as we then learn in the Let's Kill Hitler episode, because he genuinely believed he was dying.

  • like how they made forest gump look like he next to the president. Use old footage and stories almost as flash back and connect the story to something new. 11 remember what he did as 1, 2, 3, or 4 ect, show clips, then acts on that or connects it to what he is doing now. I think you could cast old doctors in new who or the other way around with computers these days. The doctor can't cross his own timeline or something like that but he could leave clues for his past/ future self connecting old and new who even more so together.

  • I do find it interesting, as I said, he basically says he doesn't know why he is called the Doctor in S5. Doctor Who is a question even for himself. It's possible he might know sometimes, and forget at other times....

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Oh that's DEFINITELY a "show to the neph" video

    by tangcameo

    Still trying to explain The Doctor to him and that one will help a lot. Thanks for posting it!

  • It's a question that should never be answered. Everything else after that would be anti-climactic or just plain suck.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 6:40 p.m. CST

    I want what Doctom wants except …

    by veteran_of_mu

    … then Jack flirts with a sultry dark haired older woman. Wearing a veil I think. Her name is Susan … Reeling after asking who he is he staggers out to the veranda for some air. To bump into Oswin wearing *that* sweater. He asks her who she is … and she says, oh, I still remember the first time we kissed. In the Tardis. With … what was her name? Do you know, I can't remember … Jack's jaw drops. End.

  • 13 episodes All of them tie, in some way, with the 50th anniversary Matt Smith season. Not all would have to relate the same way. However, some of them will lead to a multi-Doctor story. Episodes and themes 1. Ian Chesterton's last day. The 10th Doctor, in the middle of his regeneration sequence, had one most story, one more encounter. With Ian Chesterton. 2 and 3 Beauty and the Beast. The 8th Doctor, Grace, and the Yeti. 4. Sgt Benton, Used Car Salesman. Benton is called back into service in the middle of the Sontaran crisis. 5. To Hell and Eternity. The 8th Doctor, Grace go on an adventure together, where the Doctor uncovers Davros' plan to bring to life the Nightmare Child. 6. Celery and the Cat. A Peri story. 7. All Hail the Talking Bird. When the Doctor goes missing, Frobiser poses as him, getting the 6th Doctor's form a bit wrong... 8 and 9. Ashoka's Hell. The 7th Doctor journeys back to ancient India. 10. To Live and Die in Time and Space. The backstory of Jack Harkness. Cameo with the 9th Doctor. 11. Absalom Daak, Dalek Killer. 12 and 13. Deconstruction of a Hero. The Doctor is a legend. Feared and Hated by Some. This is the story of the 50th century, where rumors of the Doctor are collected and used to create propaganda against him in the "War without End." He's shown to be old, decrepit.... to be far less the hero than his fans would have everyone believe. David Warner, Tom Baker, and Colin Baker will all be used to "recreate" stories from the 3rd, 4th, and 6th Doctor's eras, retelling them with a slant. In the end, it will be revealed the Master is the one who is creating this anti-Doctor propaganda.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 7:15 p.m. CST

    I would like to see...

    by James farler

    The time war played out in full on the screen over 4/5 one hour episodes on consecutive days. They could start with Paul Mcgann and then have as many different doctors' time streams colliding as possible, a la the five doctors. To get around the absence of Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee; maybe have it so that some of the doctors previous incarnations have been killed in the ensuing war, thus bringing some vulnerability to the character and countering the 'god complex' he seems to have acquired over the last few episodes. I also want to see Timothy Dalton back as Rassilon and Derek Jacobi given another shot as The Master. I can dream, I guess... I love reading these docbacks, Merrick and their assorted HATS. Keep them coming.

  • after allllllllllllllllllllllll this time, could ANYTHING possibly live up to this build up? I highly doubt it.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 8:29 p.m. CST

    The # 50 is what matters here...

    by Phimseto

    ...if all we get is a single special or, God help us, nothing more than a Children in Need wank-off, it will go down as the most squandered moment in television history. They have a chance to do something audacious and special, though because this is the BBC, it's why I'm expecting just the opposite.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Also, in terms of connecting old footage to a new episode...

    by Phimseto

    ...I always thought something special could be done with "Shada". I would love to see that story fully-realized (which, admittedly, it was in a Paul McGann audio broadcast).

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 9:25 p.m. CST

    I don't get the McGann love

    by chiwrtr72

    I don't know why so many people want him to show up. Watching his tv movie was like listening to someone tell a joke they heard but without the talent or timing. While he was a better part of the movie, he wasn't amazing. More like a caricature of Doctor Who. I do like the wrath of khan idea of bringing up a thread from old Who. In particular I'd like to see Susan or the Monk make a reappearance. Maybe instead of old doctors some sort of storyline that weaves in old companions...

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Omega, the Monk, Zygons, Susan...

    by INWOsuxRED

    and as many Doctors as they can get.

  • Nov. 2, 2012, 10:10 p.m. CST

    McGann wasn't the problem with the movie

    by INWOsuxRED

    He never got a fair shot, and he seems to be into it for the right reasons. Why wouldn't people want to see that? It isn't like we are clamoring for a return of Will Sasso.

  • If a story will detract more than it adds to a character and show, then that story should never be done. My opinion anyway.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Curiousity rather than expecations

    by Dreamfasting

    As a Buddist would say, desire is the root of all suffering. I'm trying not to *want* anything for the 50th as I fear wanting things, building up too much anticipation, will simply lead to disappointment. Instead I'm trying to simply be curious as to what could happen. There are so many roads that could be taken ... perhaps no road at all. I just want to enjoy whatever the producers decide to produce.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 3:23 a.m. CST

    He promised Susan he'd be back one day.

    by V'Shael

    I always thought that was a promise he should have honored. The 50th would be a great time to do that.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 3:55 a.m. CST

    Why people want McGann back

    by HornOrSilk

    1) He's the Doctor 2) He has only one televised story, there is room for a lot more stories, and age is no problem since we don't know when he regenerates 3) His televised story wasn't good, and wasn't a good representation of him. Many would say that the first story of a Doctor is often hammy and not as good, and the Doctor is often a caricature of himself 4) His audio stories give a glimpse of what Paul would be like, and it is good

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 6:02 a.m. CST

    v'shael -- well, I take BF as mostly canon

    by HornOrSilk

    So, I think the 8th Doctor's return to Susan and the tragedy which develops from it is a good way to deal with that... ... in fact, one could speculate that it is what leads to the Time War. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the Doctor who started it...

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 8:56 a.m. CST

    @hornorsilk - I understand some fans feel that way about BF

    by V'Shael

    but seriously, the 50th anniversary would make more sense to have a return like that. And An Earthly Child was a good little story, but I didn't care for how they glossed over Susans reaction and the Doctors brief embarrassment at how long it'd been for him, since he'd seen her.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 9:20 a.m. CST

    But... Earthly Child is only the start of the sequence

    by HornOrSilk

    And there is much more which is brought up in the rest of the stories with Susan. Things really get brought out in and through them.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    hornorsilk - the Time War

    by DoctorTom

    The Doctor certainly started it, but basically at the direction of the Time Lords (or at least some of them). We've already seen it - it was The Genesis of the Daleks. I'm sure Remembrance of the Daleks was another salvo in the War. I don't think they should make a season trying to cover the Time War, as some have wanted. RTD is right; what they would end up making would never live up to the imaginations of what we're already picturing for the Time War. That doesn't mean that you can't use it as a setting for particular things - Casablanca used WWII as a backdrop. (oooh, that might actually be fun - a Time War equivalent to Casablanca, with either Matt Smith or Paul McGann, and have Lalla Ward in it. Did the Time War ever impact the 42nd century to the point that the Maldovarium could be used as a setting? We've already established a blue Sydney Greenstreet type.)

  • They've already announced some of them, like The Festival of Death for the 4th Doctor, Ten Little Aliens for the 4th Doctor, and Dreams of Empire for the 2nd Doctor. I probably would have gone for either The 11th Tiger or The Time Travellers for the 1st Doctor (with an outside chance of using Salvation), and Heart of TARDIS as a 2nd/4th adventure. No mention of 3rd Doctor or 8th Doctor adventures yet - the choice for the 8th Doctor should be the most interesting. For some reason I doubt that they'll go with a Lawrence Miles book, even though Alien Bodies would be a good one to try, or putting both volumes of Interference in one book to tweak people's noses. I do think they're missing a good bet here by only doing 11 books - they should certainly have included The Infinity Doctors in the release schedule, and they could have done the Doctorless story with the Master as well.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    While Genesis is said, in a way, to be the start, to me that can be taken many ways. It is not the point when all out war is declared by both sides, but it is an event which is seen, afterward, as connecting to the Time War. But I think the Doctor also did something to have Gallifrey itself outright declare open war against the Daleks.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST


    by Jason

    Don't give a tinker's cuss about awareness of Doctor Who. Just give us a solid multi-doctor story. Nuff said.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    People want McGann back because...

    by lynxpro

    ...he got screwed by not being asked to return by RTD's team and the BBC. A lot of online fans naturally assumed McGann would come back for S1 and were not exactly happy when Eccleston was cast. Immediately on the predecessor of today's GallifreyBase website, people were stating "Cracker Chris" wasn't dependable and would walk away from the role lickety split and they were ultimately correct. McGann never wanted to be the "George Lazenby of Doctor Who". He wanted to return to the role. To date, he's the only actor to have actually committed to a standard US 5-Year 26 episodes per season contract as what would've happened had the TV Movie generated the return of the show. McGann is an awesome actor although he has had extremely bad luck with Hollywood and especially Fox. McGann continues to show his interest by doing the audio adventures, engaging the fan base, and making suggestions to the character like with his proposed costume change. With that, he's much like the late Jon Pertwee designing the TARDIS Cosmic Key or commissioning the Whomobile being built. McGann calls his Doctor "The People's Doctor". McGann created what ultimately became elements of the 9th Doctor way back while on set of the TV Movie. It was him who suggested wearing modern clothes such as a leather jacket if the show was picked up. He showed up on set with a buzz cut [which caused Phil Segal to panic and commission that whig to be made] and that's how he wanted his hair to be done. McGann was the first romantic Doctor. That has since been picked up in NewWho. He had great chemistry with his companion. So I'd say that's the reasoning in a nut shell. And I should mention all of the majors from the TV Movie want their shot at returning... Daphne Ashbrook, Yee Tso, and Eric Roberts. They've all publicly said so, although the asshats at NBC Universal may make that difficult if the folks at the BBC proper would actually care to bring them back as a one-off or for the spin-off materials.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    the awesome pencil job...

    by lynxpro

    I can't figure out the character in the kilt between the 8th Doctor and the 10th. Is that a character from the books? Dr. Grace Holloway is obvious [no Chang-Lee?] though. And I totally support Peri's return.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 1:08 p.m. CST


    by DoctorTom

    You don't get the sense of it from the Paul McGann movie, but I would have thought that having Sylvester McCoy manipulate Davros into destroying Skaro (which apparently got better ;) ) would have actually led to the Daleks declaring war on the Time Lords. Certainly, we see the origins in the classic series. The Genesis of the Daleks, Davros wanting to retaliate by replacing the Doctor and his companions with clones and to infiltrate the High Council of Time Lords - the signs were already there of a cold war going on. The only real question is when the cold war turned into a hot war. My speculation would be that it was actually right after the TV movie. The Daleks had the Master on trial, but there was no mention of his TARDIS. When the show came back in 2005 we find out that the Daleks have technology that can destroy TARDISes. I would suspect that the key thing the Daleks got from the show trial was the Master's TARDIS to study, and rubbing it in the faces of the Time Lords that the Daleks can capture Time Lords and put them on trial. Given how slow the High Council moves on things, though, they probably decided to let the Doctor check out the situation first before declaring war.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 1:10 p.m. CST

    continuing on the pencil job...

    by lynxpro's a bit odd Matt Smith is sketched wearing the same clothing he wore when he did the announcement of his original casting. I am a big fan of bringing back Susan but I want Jemima Rooper cast in the role since Ford got the chance to come back in "The Five Doctors" special and "The Woman" character from "The End of Time" looks enough like the elder Ford to assume she was indeed an elder Susan near the end of her first incarnation. I certainly like that assertion better than that having been The Doctor's never-before-seen-mother which was originally the "brilliant" idea of RTD before wussing out on the outright declaration as such.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Time War and all

    by HornOrSilk

    It's true, there were all kinds of conflicts before the ultimate Time War, and the BF audios have more of these than we see on screen, but I still think the Time War itself is really the Time War proper when it caused great rifts in the time-space continuum, creating all kinds of weird entities, destroying many species from time and space itself. So my own opinion is that the Doctor is involved in some "Pearl Harbor" level of attack on the Daleks. And I, right now, place it after the death of his great-grandson. I've heard rumors the next 8th Doctor box set has "Time War" elements in it, so we shall see.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    The strange guy in the kilt

    by HornOrSilk

    I don't know. For some reason, I thought it was Glitz. Or JNT. Maybe it is the artist himself? I don't know who he is supposed to be...

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Ok my guess is he is the fan who had it made

    by HornOrSilk Pictured here are all eleven Doctors, twelve of the Doctor’s companions, the robot dog K-9, the Tardis, and the Doctor Who fan who commissioned the drawing. Next, Jesse will trace this pencil rough onto Bristol board and begin the coloring. Stay tuned….

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Doctor Who animated like Star Wars Clone wars

    by Matthew

    could do past doctors and untold stories without limitations, have to be better animation than the last who cartoon

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    animate the audio drama plays

    by Matthew

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 6:58 p.m. CST

    I've said it before, but...

    by Stegman84

    I'd really like somebody to take all the footage done for the Tom Baker story Shada and use it in a clever way in order to weave a brand new story in a 'trials and tribble-ations' type timey-wimey crossover type way. Have the current Doctor going through the events of the Shada storyline from a different point of view, and helping to create a certain outcome, all the while trying to make sure that he doesn't run into his earlier self (because he remembers it and he wasn't there, so isn't supposed to be there...or something along those lines that they could have a bit of fun with), and Baker's Doctor of course never knowing any better as he wanders through his (filmed) parts of the story in tandem. With use of the footage that exists, along with clever use of obscured doubles if/where required, and perhaps even some new (off camera) dialogue from Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, John Leeson (who could also loop over the late Brierly's K-9, so the two versions didn't jar) and so on, I'm sure somebody clever enough could piece together something quite worthwhile and fun. I mean Hell, if US TV could do that kind of thing in 1996 with Deep Space Nine crossing over into original Star Trek, then surely the BBC could do it in 2013 or whenever...

  • Is for Doctor Who to get an animated spinoff, done along the same lines as Big Finish audios. So have an anthology type show where each story is with a different incarnation of The Doctor. That way all the surviving past Doctors could have new adventures for us to enjoy, or hell, even just tweak and animate some of the better Big Finish stories, converting and expanding them into a more visual medium. Plus with animation you could represent a scale that could never be done in live action tv, so the potential for epics is pretty open as well. For the Hartnell and Troughton era the answer is simple, we have all the original audio, so just animate missing stories. And with Pertwee, they could start out by animating the few audio dramas that he did. After those things are done and those resources exhausted then I could then even live with sound alikes to represent their eras in continuing adventures, but no recasting until the existing audio material had all been used, and it was absolutely necessary to do so in order to continue their eras representation. Might have to get a sound alike for Eccleston too, but you never know, his main beef was with people on the old Who production team, so with none of those involved never say never. Each season could have eleven stories, one for each Doctor, split over how ever many episodes all those stories combined would require. And done that way, with a mix of old shows, existing audio, and new stories, there would be enough material there to run for years and years, giving us new stories, perhaps some of the more beloved Big Finish audios, and stealthily filling in the missing episode gaps from the classic era as well. Won't happen, of course, but I'd love it if it did.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Helloooo Docback!

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    Been busy, but still around. Got to meet Peter Davidson today, and the wee little Amelia Pond. Very good day. On the subject for the 50th "event", if there is one, and other than the Origin of the show film, I would like to see Matt Smith's version go back to past events in his history. Like above docbackers have mentioned, do a DS9 by adding Matt into the original episodes. The technology did the job in the 90's for Star Trek, and that technology has 10x improved since then. Also, the season 6 opener teased at the ability to do that with adding Matt Smith's Doctor into a Laurel & Hardy episode that Rory was watching/not paying attn to. I think it would be cool to go full circle, and add the 11th Doctor into the very first episode "An Unearthly Child". As for a multi-Doctor could be done, but if it were to be done, I would have to pick Doctor's 7 - 11 to be in the story. Having either Baker dressed as the Doctor would be down right weird. And yes, I know that Peter Davidson's Doc came back much older, but Doc5 didn't age into a heavier version of himself. I do think that the 50th event story will be about undoing the Time War from ever happening, or just bringing back the Time Lords full time somehow. For revealing the true name of the Doctor, it could be cool, but I think it would take away from some of the greatness of the character. Just like the reveal of Wolverine/Logan's real name, the reveal of Kenny from South Park without his hood covering his head, the reveal of Kramer's first name being Kosmos, etc.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Well done Merrick

    by Bab5fan

    There are those people who will always refuse to embrace Nu or Classic just like there are those people out there that still cannot get over Star trek The Next Generation....I still remember people yelling that they should have put Kirk and co back on the small screen. Without Classic Who...would we have ever seen a Dalek as we know them? Lol no way would something like that design ever be used...I mean come is a salt shaker! And yet...ever Who fan loves the Daleks...oh sure they are too easily beaten these days but they love them. Without NuWho...would you ever have looked at a statue and tried not to blink? Or been freaked out by a kid in a gas mask asking you if you were his mommy? Without Classic Who...would you have known just how much an outsider the Doctor was to his homeworld? Would you ever have known that his own people forced him to regenerate and broke his Tardis? Would you ever have know the man knows Kung-fu? NuWho...would you ever wonder why there seem to be more shadows than light sources in a room? Doctor Who is a great series...but there is no NuWho or is Doctor Who. Because without Doctor Who...we would never see a daft old man who stole a magic box, confessing his love for life to a sleeping scottish girl.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday Who

    by shibleybc

    Good morning all! :) First of all let me congratulate Merrick on continuing great work on the Docbacks! I very rarely post nowadays but continue to read each week, enjoying the HATS in all their ridiculousness and glory :) 50! Wow! As a teenager when Who was cancelled way back when I dreamed of a day when it would return but little did I know how successful and glorious it would become! RTD should be given great credit for giving us back a truly magnificent entity, Moffat should also be given equal credit for taking that entity and doing what the show does best.......Change my dear, and not a moment too soon! ;) Who has been a major part of my life since the mid seventies when I used to sit on the sofa with my dad after the football results (at this point I will purposely gloss over the other program we watched during this era due to recent revelations) Me in my pj's would often be found huddled against a warm radiator, wonderfully positioned behind the sofa, as a giant rat menaced the sewers or robots with red eyes literally scared the living shit out of me.................... Fast forward a couple of decades and Who once again takes centre stage in my life, making new friends from around the globe in this new world of Internet and social media and community! :) I hope for the 50th, that's it, I just hope............. On a small but not insignificant side note, this Docback has also provided one latest and not insignificant event. Approximately 2 years ago I was a UK resident and met a small group of friends, one of whom Frozen01/Protocol417, accepted my proposal approximately a week ago and I now look forward to becoming a US resident, and to continue to be a very happy man, but one thing will remain constant. We will watch Who!

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST


    by shibleybc

    Multi doctor story, Time War in all it's magnificence, more Paul Mcgann than you can shake a shitty stick at, and as many companions and supporting characters as you can fit in a box that is bigger on the inside etc. Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase ;)

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    CONGRATULATIONS seem to be in order ...

    by DrMorbius

    for ... shibleybc and frozen01 Best of luck to the both of you!

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    shibleybc / Frozen01/Protocol41

    by Merrick

    My most heartfelt congratulations and best wishes. So lovely...makes me so very happy! Wishing you both all the best...

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 11 a.m. CST

    Thanks guys :)

    by frozen01

    Been a helluva ride. Thanks for being the great community you are :)

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Congratulations, shibleybc & frozen01

    by DoctorTom

    Best of luck with married life in the future!

  • Nov. 5, 2012, 7:35 a.m. CST

    A Wedding HAT!

    by veteran_of_mu

    Shibs & Frozen, all the very, very best. How wonderful! And since you fished around for a HAT, I thought I better dream one up. In your honour, then, here t'is: As we all recall in TWORS Dorium refers to the Silents as ~the sentinels of history~. After revealing the question to the Doctor he says that it should explain why the Doctor has to die. Why should the answer to ~Doctor Who?~ mean the Doctor has to die? The Doctor tells Churchill the Silence means his Silence, his death. And then he says that to prevent the answer being spoken he has to die. Why should the Doctor's death cause Silence to fall? Why did locking him in an inescapable trap cause the universe to be destroyed? Why should the sentinels of history wish to avoid this happening? Pretty obviously, because the answer must reveal that the history these sentinels guard is bogus and dispensible. And we have seen an answer like that before. Back in the Library. Who makes you forget things? Important, real things? Who makes you think a lie is the truth, and a dream is your life. No, not the dream lord. Before the dream lord. It's the answer that explains it all. The reason Amy, who remembered the whole universe back into being, didn't remember the Daleks in the first place. The reason there are no ducks ... Because the terrible secret that must never be revealed to River, who is the child of the Tardis, whom the Doctor loves, the answer to the question that must never be answered, must be, can only be ... Doctor ... Moon.

  • Nov. 5, 2012, 9:25 a.m. CST

    shirt, 50, resistors

    by Kathryn Gail

    Just woke up wishing I'd drunk a bit less at the wedding that took up my whole weekend, so I'll read/post more carefully a bit too late in the week as usual, but I'm predicting Whatever Brilliant Analysis I think up will simply mirror this: I had on a TARDIS shirt for the drive and the afterparty on Sunday, and got any number of thumbs up, fist bumps, whoops of approval and never-met-you-but-we-know-you're-good-people' comments from total strangers of all ages. I also got plenty of comments like meh, I tried to watch the old ones once but fell asleep, or (about new ones) that guy just wears me out with his babbling and isn't he mostly for teen girls to pin on their locker doors at school. Fair enough, I'll admit you have to be in the right place in your head sometimes for the older ones, and I too am often put off other shows by too much hype, and not everything's for everyone, and old Who can be daunting if you start cold without letting a whole array of small incidents take root first so your curiosity helps you bridge the time gap in style and pacing. But that used to be true of old movies, too, in pre-cable, pre-DVD days. A few people would see terrible versions of a few agreed-upon classics at film festivals or on TV, but a lot of people would write them off as idiotic old nonsense, painful to watch, irrelevant to serious filmmaking. Just look what Turner Classic did with THAT! They started pitching a whole experience and cachet to enrich the mind and share with others, and people were drawn in and started to see important cultural references and so forth in some really D-list old throw-aways (that I too now enjoy for, like, the cars and shop signs in the background even if the story's crap). What I tell the but-it's-so-boring-and-terrible crowd about classic Who is that you get 50 years of broadcast history, a 50-year showcase of cultural trends, a quick connection with an unusually diverse range of fans, and this vastly enriched Nu-Who experience that's like the difference between having an important collectible decanter and an important collectible decanter full of single-malt scotch. If you can tell my why a classic Popeye cartoon or a classic monster film is an essential cultural experience, don't tell me watching a few classic Who episodes with the commentary track on is too irrelevant a strain! So I'd like to see Who in its entirety pitched as a thoroughly delicious experience you don't want to miss, with tons of old clips and reminiscences interwoven with all the new stuff broadcast in 2013. I'd be really sad to see the BBC try to work around and on the whole downplay older stuff because non-fans' [and especially non-UK nonfans'] top complaint is that it's inaccessible. And apologies if a bunch of you have already said exactly the same thing! I've got some reading to catch up on, here.

  • We most likely would have officially had Richard Grant as the Ninth Doctor. I had heard that the reason they didn't do any more original webcasts after Scream of the Shalka was because the new TV series was going to be coming out. So, there probably would have been more webcasts with Richard Grant as the Doctor. It's a fair bet that the novels would have switched over to him at some point if there had been more web animated stories. That would have meant we'd probably have had the regeneration between the 8th and 9th Doctor show up in a novel. It would not have surprised me if they decided at some point to bring back the series anyway if it hadn't come back then, especially for the 50th (perhaps they would have launched the new tv series in 2013 as part of a 50th anniversary celebration if they hadn't had the relaunch in 2005.) It probably wouldn't have been with Richard Grant even if he had stuck around for more web stories. Now, they might have started with a special on the 50th anniversary with Richard Grant, and show him dying and regenerating at the end to get the regeneration idea out there quickly. The other interesting thing to consider is that Doctor Who relaunched Saturday night family dramas. Without the relaunch in 2005, we wouldn't have Merlin and the countless other things that have been on Saturday nights. Also, we probably wouldn't have had Moffat and Gatiss travelling in trains together on the way to their Doctor Who jobs to discuss coming up with a modern Sherlock Holmes series.

  • Just a great one from the Baker years. Not the greatest story, but really has some fun concepts and fantastic supporting cast / characters, especially Thea, Max, and Mrs. Tyler!

  • As part of my Hiding Indoors Doing Chores and Waiting for Sandy to Hit programming last week (for once I didn't lose power for a week, and am having some survivor's guilt looking at all the destruction elsewhere), I re-watched Planet of the Spiders and Invasion of the Dinosaurs, which are great for this kind of thing because they're really pretty tight though long stories whose reputations have been all but destroyed by their, er, affordable models. Well. I secretly like how the effects bring back hours of childhood adventure acting out creature scenes with affordable models, but that's not the point! A lot of Pertwee stories had, yes, more Bond-like equipment-based action/adventure, but also more old-style triple-failsafe plot advancement with people calling out what they're doing as they do it and then recapping it right afterward so you can't miss it, so if you've been put off by the visuals for these stories, I highly recommend absorbing yourself in some non-reading-type project and mostly just listening to them. Preferably in complete meteorological safety, not with a howling deathstorm going on outside. Or anywhere.

  • ...Day of the Daleks treatment, it would be Invasion of the Dinosaurs (but I still like affordable models as well!)

  • Nov. 6, 2012, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Anybody caught "Primeval: New World" yet? Not bad...

    by obijuanmartinez

    Connor Temple appears to be the only original Primeval cast member to have made the cut as of 1 episode...

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Giaman's episode to be a Cyberman story...

    by Stegman84

    ************************ The BBC have announced that the Cybermen will feature in the second half of the current series, appearing in the penultimate episode, written by Neil Gaiman. Tamzin Outhwaite (reported last roundup) has also now been confirmed for the episode, and will be joined by Warwick Davis, whose sci-fi/fantasy career includes playing Wicket in Return of the Jedi, the titular role in Willow and the Leprechaun films, and Professor Flitwick/Griphook in the Harry Potter films. On television he has most recently been seen as "himself" in Life's Too Short. The two are joined by Jason Watkins, who is also no stranger to sci-fi/fantasy, having played the vampire leader Herrick in Being Human; other credits include Lark Rise To Candleford, Little Dorrit, Psychoville, and Dirk Gently, and he can currently be seen as Gavin in Sky's Trollied. Steven Moffat said: Cybermen were always the monsters that scared me the most! Not just because they were an awesome military force, but because sometimes they could be sleek and silver and right behind you without you even knowing. And with one of the all-time classic monsters returning, and a script from one of our finest novelists, it's no surprise we have attracted such stellar names as Tamzin, Jason and Warwick. The episode is directed by Stephen Woolfenden, with the guest stars described as "a band of misfits on a mysterious planet..." The writer himself has been busy with rewrites of the script, teasing away on Twitter. As reported last week on the Wednesday he said: "Amazing hectic couple of days & stressed Doctor Who post-table-read rewrite in progress. On BBC legal advice Lampwick is no more.«". On Thursday, he continued: "back on Doctor Who script. Only 5 pages to trim before dawn.« They start shooting it on Wednesday. They need the script now.« There. It is FOUR pages shorter than it was this morning. It has been sent to the BBC. And I am going to bed.«" Finally, on Friday: "I believe that we've just locked my Dr Who script. I probably won't have to write it again until we need new ADR dialogue once it's edited.«" - to which executive producer Caroline Skinner retorted: "Ha ha!! A locked script is an alien concept on Doctor Who.... :-)«" On this morning's announcement, he added: "I saw my first Cybermen watching Moonbase, as Jamie thought the Piper was coming for him (scary). Then Tomb of the Cybermen terrified me.«". And on his version of them being scary? "I hope so." ************************ Can't wait.

  • But still no word from the BBC on commissioning a series 8.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Interesting news, stegman84

    by DoctorTom

    I figured the Cybermen would be back based on the narration at the beginning of Asylum of the Daleks - I didn't think the Daleks would be the only ones rolling forward with conquest (especially given what Moffat showed for the Cybermen in A Good Man Goes To War). I'm just wondering if the toy that has been mentioned here before that seemed to give away spoilers will be showing up in Gaiman's episode. Actually, I rather expect it to be in the final episode for the season. It's easier for Moffat to predict what's going to definitely show up in a story that he's written himself. He might not have said anything more than *have fun writing what you want, by the way, do you want to use the Cybermen?* to Gaiman.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST


    by frozen01

    Yep, caught it, and was actually pretty surprised at how good it was. It's got just that right level of cheese that Primeval UK has had. And as much as I love Connor, I don't think he'll be in P:NW long. I'm guessing he's just a "transition" character and they'll ship him off eventually, leaving the new team to themselves.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 9:32 a.m. CST


    by frozen01

    Hopefully Gaiman can make the Cybermen good again. They have been my least favorite DW baddie, but mostly because their stories are kind of... bland (*inside joke*). Good news about Jason Watkins. I liked him in Being Human... and holy crap, I completely forgot about Psychoville!

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Cybermen, bland?

    by DoctorTom

    I think you'll find that it's actually Morbius that's kind of Bland. ;)

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 6:17 p.m. CST

    50th wish list

    by Kathryn Gail

    *a mystery thread running through the main season and depending upon some means of reexamining the Doctor's past (that we see as clips viewed via some not-just-a-clip-show pretext) (that someone has selected in order to string together a surprising new arc) (much as philjacksonisthemasterofzen suggested) (also a great use of tiny scraps left from lost stories) *additional clips bracketed by present-day commentary as shorts appearing during or near the main stories--surely they'll just do this out of plain common sense in order to sell more DVDs??? to pull in new Classic Who fans? It would be a sad and ridiculous thing NOT to do. . . *no substantial recasting of old Doctors (unless maybe a quick glimpse of a late one is needed), but some side stories with classic cast members involving some explanation of their difference in appearance would be great even if they're a bit random and basically there to give a sense of a pleasant visit with old friends as much as anything *I would LOVE to see some lost or never-used stories done with the present-day cast using some timey-wimey-sciencey-loopish phenomenon (after the fashion of the loops near the beginning of City of Death) to explain how the Doctor and his companions, nemeses and bystanders get pulled into repeating past adventures. In my ideal world, there would be a whole season of these running as a separate show, and I FEEL CERTAIN the entire cast and crew would thank me for never getting to sleep again. . . *I don't really want to know the Doctor's name, but I'd love some closure re the dark secrets/origins implied for the Sylvester McCoy stories--one really strong feature of his run. *WINSTON REALLY RIDING THE MAMMOTH. Haha--no I'll never drop it, I was so let down over that! Of course it's probably too late in the game for any of this to actually happen (except for the second thing on the list, which it would be incredibly silly not to have already set in motion). And an animated spinoff: yes! absolutely! Well, so long as the two shows don't undermine each other too much. Which I personally would solve by making the animated one all about Frobisher and Kevin the split-personality robo-T-Rex from the comics.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    shibleybc/Frozen01 - Congratulations!

    by Mister Vertue

    I'd love for Merrick to dedicate a Docback to you both and get to read more about your story. I have a friend who met his wife in very similar circumstances (he's English and moved to the States to live with his partner who he met online) and they've been very happily married for nearly 5 years now (Hi Paul and Megan!) p.s. Glen,replying to your email now before I disappear to bed - the usual apologies for not replying sooner will be given for the usual reasons

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Also, Gaiman + Cybermen = something different?

    by Mister Vertue

    Which is really obvious for anyone who reads Neil's stuff, but I had to point it out anyway for all those cynics who say 'Oh, we've seen the Cybermen too much, they're always the same!' I'd be willing to bet that we've never seen the Cybermen that are appearing in Neil's episode. Well, not for a while anyway...

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 6:51 p.m. CST

    doctortom - 'do you want to use the Cybermen?'

    by Mister Vertue

    Moffat saying that to Gaiman is a possibility, but it could be equally true that Gaiman asked 'Can I use the Cybermen please?' Just throwing that out there.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 6:56 p.m. CST

    UK I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

    by Mister Vertue

    Colin Baker has been officially announced to appear in the jungle Down Under. Still don't know if that's enough to make me watch it though. Who am I kidding? Of course I'll be watching it. Probably.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST

    @obijuan, y Fendahl next, why not!

    by Kathryn Gail

    They could CGI some credible unblinking eyes on that core, but it just wouldn't be the same. Fake eyes, the theme for a mini-Whofest: Fires of Pompeii, Image of Fendahl, and what's that one with the spoons or ping-pong balls or something over the eyes. . . I'll think of it in a moment (with a little help from the internet). . . I don't normally like CGI makeovers, but Day of the Daleks was a terrific exception and I can't say no to a good dinosaur effect (any more than I can say no to a bad one--love those, too), plus Invasion of the Dinosaurs is just such a good story that deserves better dinos AND a much better fake spaceship. I said above I'd love to see some lost/unused stories done over with a NuWho cast, but how good would IOTD be with 11 and his c21st effects somehow timelooped in to repeat the story. . . Claws of Axos! The Perwee one with the big fake eyes.

  • ...he & Pertwee against each other are pure gold

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:21 a.m. CST

    @doctom: Great Robin Bland ref! 50 points for Gryffindor, buddy!

    by obijuanmartinez

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 8:25 a.m. CST

    @frozen: I agree...

    by obijuanmartinez

    ...pretty sure we'll see Connor slip off too, but I do hope they can have some bridge characters appear from time to time. Abby especially. Hannah Spearritt = Yum. Shame Alexander Siddig's Philip got killed off (I think) in Series 5; liked him too!

  • So Fendahl is definitely next up.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST

    MOV! Good to see you back!

    by DoctorTom

    Yeah, it's just as likely that Gaiman asked to use Cybermen as Moffat suggesting them. It wouldn't take much twisting of Moffat's arm to use them (just making sure Gaiman's stuff wouldn't conflict with what Moffat wanted to do with them at other times). As to guaranteeing we haven't seen cybermen like these in quite some time, does that mean we're getting the short, strutting, emothional Welsh Cybermen back like we had in Revenge of the Cybermen? (just kidding)

  • ...goes stumbling off into Fiddler's Green, "upgrades" Cain & Abel, and is ultimately thwarted by the Doctor & the Corinthian, who uses the Cyber-head as a new helmet (Photoshop Wizards: This is your cue to make a Cyberman head w/ eye-teeth...), and we cut to the finale scene in a park, with Dream sulking at a fountain, feeding the pigeons. Death walks up, sits, down, and puts her arm around her baby brother: Dream: "What...WAS that???" Death: "No idea, brother..." - The pair shake their heads, look at the camera Dream: "Martinez, you completely blow goat-ass as scriptwriters go. I hereby consign you to the glass bubble in Roderick Burgess' basement..." Final shot fades with Mervyn walking up to the gargoyles, a pumpkin-head on a Cyber-body... God I suck...

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    obijuanmartinez - you missed one thing

    by DoctorTom

    Death popping up next to the Doctor and saying "Hello, sweetie"

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 10:39 a.m. CST

    @doctom: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    by obijuanmartinez

    Please let Gaiman not be sullied by River Song Please let Gaiman not be sullied by River Song Please let Gaiman not be sullied by River Song Please let Gaiman not be sullied by River Song Please let Gaiman not be sullied by River Song Please let Gaiman not be sullied by River Song

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Well, given what you said

    by DoctorTom

    It could be passed off as a bad dream...

  • usually there isn't much coming in on Thursdays.

  • What if the Celestial Intervention Agency still existed outside of the Time War, now no longer governed by Time Lords? Could they possibly be tied in with the Order of the Silence? Maybe the interminable war that Kovarian referred to was between the Doctor and the CIA. The Time Agency seems to want to try to keep the timeline (well, at least their past) intact. They might be opposed to the CIA in many circumstances. The Teselecta pulls out people at the end of their timestream to give them what they deserve, but is trying to do it so that the timeline isn't disrupted. We know that the Teselecta was looking into the Silence at the beginning of The Wedding of River Song. Maybe some of the war is between the Time Agency and the CIA/Silence. Maybe we're seeing Time War II about to happen, with different players involved. As a side note, it's possible that the CIA still has a Time Lord running it if it's still around, but it would have to be one who went through a Chameleon Arch to no longer register as a Time Lord. So far we've seen the arch used to make the Time Lord forget all his time lord stuff when he's human, but maybe it's possible to retain some of the time lord memories - the person knows he was a time lord once, might have a few of the basics - certainly enough to keep the CIA running - but won't register as a Time Lord on any detection systems. If you wanted to bring back any other Time Lords into the series (say, the Meddling Monk, or even if you wanted to have Borusa or someone like that back - you could even have fun and have Romana running it) it could be done this way.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    obijuanmartinez - I don't see him in that light

    by DoctorTom

    that said, though, I would certainly enjoy a reappearance by the Celestial Toymaker on TV (he's been in books and audios). We almost got him back with Colin Baker, it would be nice to have him back in the new series. Even better would be seeing events for a season actually turning out to be the equivalent of a chess game between the Celestial Toymaker and Fenric. I don't see that happening, though, given that Big Finish comes too close to that with the recent (and recommended) Gods and Monsters audio with Fenric and Sylvester McCoy.

  • Nov. 8, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST

    coincidence, not necessarily random

    by Kathryn Gail

    While I was mulling over ways to pull together new and classic Who elements for the 50th this week, someone else was writing up this-- ( ) True, he doesn't seem like the most credible guy (!!), but as far as premises for fiction goes. . .

  • “Well I’ll tell you something I thought once. I just said I didn’t watch TV, but one of the few episodes of the ‘Dr. Who’ series that I saw was one that involved a kind of mystical clown (‘The Celestial Toymaker’), and I realized that perhaps he kidnapped Dr. Who and wiped his memory and made him relive some of his earlier adventures. When Bill Hartnell turned into Patrick Troughton, and changed his appearance, that idea seemed more likely. I think that’s what happened, so I think those films we did fit perfectly well into the TV series. “