My regrets that the Docbacks have taken so long to get back on track after my move across the country.
Suffice to say, the Docbacks take a great deal of extra time to prepare - and time has been in precious short supply given that said move has been damn near disastrous. Too many issues and complications to go into here. Just know that the Docback was never from my thoughts - and I think we might now be back on track (one of the many reasons for the absence of Docbacks has to do with ALL of the material I use to generate the Docback having been lost in transit until about a week and a half ago).
So, to warm things up again, here’s a quick round-up of newsless from the WHOverse - some of which appeared on AICN throughout the week, a few of which have not - and a report from HornOrSilk on the Big Finish Audio adventure The Evil One. If all goes correctly, newt week should bring us HornOrSilk’s perspective on Big Finish’s The Evil One, and my thoughts on The Ark (Hartnell, Story #23).
In no particular order…
THE MOFF SAYS THE DOCTOR WON’T ____ ON SEASON/SERIES 8
In an interview with Radio Times, WHO overlord Steven Moffat discusses his perceptions on the Doctor character, including an assertion that none of the Doctors yet seen are conventionally attractive. It’s an interesting read - you can find more details (some of which you may or may not agree with) HERE.
YahooUK also offers an interesting quote snippet from the same interview.
"He's not a human being, however much he larks around pretending he is," he continued. "He is different and it's time to stop play-acting. He's not apologising, he's not flirting with you - that's over."
Interesting. Personally, I think this avenue best suits Capaldi’s apparent style and attitude - and should serve as a welcome respite to the many viewers who grew fatigued by the ‘will they / won’t they’ undercurrent between the Doctor and his companions have shared for some time now (I never particularly minded this - but I know it does bother many viewers).
A NEW GUEST STAR ANNOUNCED + SHOOTING DETAILS POINT TO…??
Hermione Norris has been announced as a guest on DOCTOR WHO Season/Series 8. The episode in which she’ll appear will be scripted by Peter Harness (WALLANDER) and helmed by Paul Wilmshurst (DA VINCI’S DEMONS, STRIKE BACK). Ellis George, Tony Osoba, and Phil Nice will also appear in the same installment.
The episode is said to revisit the scene of an old adventure, and explore some sinister changes which happened since the Doctor’s last visit. BBC’s report on the matter indicates that shooting will occur in Lanzarote.
One wonders if this tale will revisit the Sarn world seen in the Davison-era Planet of Fire (Story #134) - a Master-centric tale filmed in Lanzarote. If this is the case, is it feasible this episode may actually feature the Master - thus fleshing out recent/recurring rumors that that character will appear in DW Season/Series 8. REVISED FROM EARLIER POSTING: It is also feasible this episode might revisit The Fires of Pompeii, the Tennant-era episode which famously, and overtly, gust starred Peter Capaldi.
This news comes on the heels of this weekend’s reports that BBC is “delighted” and “thrilled” with Capaldi’s iteration of the character, and with the chemistry he shares with co-star Jenna Coleman. The same piece also indicates that S8 will more or less start “from the bottom up” with “little reference to his predecessors” - a tactic more or less employed in the early days of Matt Smith’s tenure if memory serves - in which Smith did his own thing for a bit, with broader backstory mythology entering into the equation later).
Still no word on when DOCTOR WHO Season/Series 8 will debut - my personal hunch is late Summer/early Fall.
AMERICAN DIRECTOR FOR DOCTOR WHO!?!?
Rachel Talalay (SUPERNATURAL, HAVEN, CONTINUUM, and the FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE and TANK GIRL movies) will helm two episodes of DW S8.
There must be more cases of American directors helping this show throughout its history? Although none spring to mind at the moment. I wonder what, if anything, this means politically in terms of cross-pollinating American behind the scenes talent for future DW undertakings? It’s an interesting development, at any rate.
Newslet via DWTV.
ANOTHER GUEST STAR ANNOUNCED
BBC has revealed that comedian / TV host Frank Skinner will appear in S8, in...
…an episode is written by Jamie Mathieson (Being Human, Dirk Gently), directed by Paul Wilmshurst (Strike Back, Combat Kids).
Seems Skinner has been angling to appear in the show for some time, with Moffat indicating…
He’s been volunteering to be “third monster on the left” as long as I’ve been in this job. But now, in Jamie Mathieson’s sparkling script, we finally have a part that can showcase all of Frank’s famous wit and charm. Hopefully he’ll get out of my garden now.”
WILL THE NEW DOCTOR HAVE THREE NEW COMPANIONS?
There’s some evidence to suggest as much.
Not only is it looking like the previously announced Samuel Anderson looking to be regular component in TARDISy adventures - recent Tweets from Anderson appear to imply that there’s another player, Ellis George, on-board as well.
If all of this shakes out, this could potentially shift Season/Series 8 toward four leads - the Doctor, two teachers (Coleman and Anderson’s characters), and the student character George is believed to play. A dynamic very similar in complexion to the early Hartnell-era of the show. Given how this show works, it is also possible that this grouping may only occur on a limited basis.
Stay tuned. A few more thoughts HERE.
HORNORSILK REVIEWS THE EVIL ONE BIG FINISH AUDIO!!
Fourth Doctor Adventures 3.04 The Evil One
Written By: Nicholas Briggs
For many years, Nicholas Briggs has been a major figure behind the scenes in Doctor Who as writer and producer for Big Finish as well as a voice actor on the show itself.
All of his Big Finish stories show his devotion to the show. He loves to deal with the large canon Doctor Who has produced, creating interesting story ideas and twists on basic themes, although most of the time, with average results. That is, his stories are good, but for many of them, there is just that extra something missing which makes his stories, at times, feel closer to fan fiction than what it should. If I had to place him, he would be the modern equivalent of Terrance Dicks. He is willing to “go there” for the fans, to produce the kinds of interactions we want to see, sometimes focusing on it more than the story itself. This, of course, means I know more or less what to expect with a story called “The Evil One” when the Master is involved.
And for the story, I got what I expected. The Master has found another ally (a robotic-mantis like race, the Salonu), an alliance which does not last to the end, but as long as it lasts, is causing harm to those involved. In this case, space ships which are being taken over by the Salonu. After the Doctor and Leela land on the Moray Rose, the ship is captured. Leela is taken by the Salonu, while the Doctor, and an investigator sent in to look into the attacks on the ship, Calvert (played by Michael Keaton) take off in the TARDIS, trying to get help to deal with the situation. This story is fairly straightforward, and has typical Master-alliance ups and downs which allows the Doctor to find a way to overcome the alliance and defeat the Master.
The central key to this story is not the Master nor the Salonu. It is Leela. At the start, she is having nightmares about the death of her father. The Master uses this to his advantage, and hypnotizes Leela, making her think she is “The Evil One” hired as an assassin by Xoanon, with the Doctor being her newest prey. The Master makes her believe her time with the Doctor was all a lie, as false memories put in her to make her weak. The Doctor has to find a way to break Leela from the Master’s hold before being killed by her.
In doing this story, some of Leela’s motivation, as well as her strengths and weaknesses are brought forward. Leela might appear to be a backwater savage who is mentally weak, but in reality, she is anything but weak. She is one of the strongest willed companions the Doctor has ever had, and this story shows us why. Indeed, after this story, her relationship with the Doctor (and eventually, her place with the Time Lords) make much more sense. She has something to offer that even the Time Lords miss, something which makes her both an asset and a threat to them, depending upon how they treat her. She represents what is suppressed by the will-to-power through artificial means. Natural savages, in a way, will always be stronger, will always have something more, something hidden within them, which people living in high-tech societies lose. The Doctor, with his companions, sometimes gets this – is there any surprise he is the only Time Lord who gets the universe as he does? Ian and Barbara really was the start, but in a way, all of his companions give him aspects of this, making him more than a Time Lord (as he was supposed to say at the end of Survival)
While what happens with Leela is interesting, it would have been better if it had been slowly worked out over many audios. If we saw Leela dealing with the death of her father before, instead of bringing it out in the open so neat and quick. For it was the most interesting part of this story and I think there is more which could have been said here. The rest was average. As such, I give this story a 7/10. It’s not bad, but not the best Nicholas Briggs has produced.
DOCBACK CODE OF CONDUCT
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) 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.