“Steven Moffat has explained the reason why Series 7 of Doctor Who is moving to Autumn 2012.
“The truth behind the delay next year is: why are we killing ourselves and risking compromising the show, in order to go out in the middle of summer? I’m sick of it. I’m sick of standing in the blazing sunshine, with a barbecue fork in my hand, knowing that Doctor Who is coming on any minute….“Six o’clock on a sunny Saturday is the middle of the afternoon, whereas six o’clock on a winter or autumn Saturday is dark and exciting.””
For more, visit: http://doctorwhotv.co.uk/moffat-explains-series-7-delay-27296.htm
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THE NON-SPOILERY BIT FIRST
And at last we come to the end of Series 6 of Doctor Who. All year it has felt as if it would never get here and yet here we are with the complete story. It is so weird to reach this point, even though we all knew it was coming.
Not so oddly enough, my initial first reaction to The Wedding of River Song was the exact same one I had towards the first episode of the season, The Impossible Astronaut. I was left with an ambivalent, empty feeling that it was unsatisfying, too jammed packed with too much information, too many cool FX and visuals and no time spent on emotional content. Surprised at my feelings then, I did the same thing today as I did then with that season opener. I rewatched the episode. And sure enough, it was much better the second time around.
I guess I was distracted, or maybe it was reading all the spoilers beforehand. Who knows? These episodes took much, much longer to grow on me, which in the end is no bad thing as long as I retain and practice something all the loud-mouthed moaners and pissers in Doctor Who fandom don’t. That is patience and faith. All great things in life are either adored or hated and Doctor Who has always ridden that roller coaster of human emotion like a trip through the time vortex in a Tardis with no outer shell. It’s an insane, bucking ride – sometimes full of bad FX, poor scripts and little hope for continuation, as in the 90s. And somehow, through it all, it has always survived.
NOW FOR THE SPOILERY PART
As we saw in the last episode in Closing Time, the Doctor seemed resigned to his fate. Visiting Craig was the best thing that happened to him as the human gave him what he needed to not go down without a fight – validation of his invaluable contribution to the universe. Now, in The Wedding of River Song, he goes on a mission to find out why he has to die. Time has stopped, jammed on the point of his death beside Lake Silencio. Emperor Winston Churchill, sensing something is wrong with time, drags our mad soothsayer Doctor out of the dungeons to explain this phenomenon to him. Stuck in modern times, above their heads are traffic jams of cars held aloft by balloons, pterodactyls terrorize Hyde Park and Roman chariots wait to cross London streets at traffic lights. As colorful and fun as this new world seems, it’s all gone wrong and the Doctor tells his old friend how it all started with a woman.
There is a wonderful balance of fun along with the gut-wrenching scenes of River Song begging the Doctor to run as the astronaut suit forces her hand to rise in the air to deliver the killing blows.
Baddies do get theirs, quite satisfyingly, heads in boxes deliver great, snappy comeback lines and the creep factor is raised by scores of cockroach-like Silents clinging to ceilings above and pits of skulls that keep their lairs free of rats – and unwelcome visitors – by eating them. *shudder*
This is a fun, true to form Moffat story that doesn’t reveal its best-kept, series-long secrets until the literal last 5-10 minutes of air time. And while I have been waiting all year for those, the best scenes are also the emotional ones. The 1,100 year old Time Lord may not understand why River would endanger the universe to find a way to save him, but we the viewers do and it brought tears to my eyes when she proclaims to him that she would suffer more than all the beings in the universe combined if she had to stand on that Utah lakeside and end his life. What else could he do than what he did next? Hence the name of the episode.
Thank you, Steven Moffat. Thank you for still finding amazing places to take the Doctor after 30+ years of adventure. We love you for it.
Usual spoilers warnings apply…flee ye who have not seen any episodes and are avoiding knowing your own viewing future!
The mad man is alone in his box. Having dropped Amy and Rory back on Earth, gifting them with a car and a nice flat, he decides to drop in on his old flat mate, Craig Owens, from last year’s episode, The Lodger. Again we are treated to how awkward yet sweet the Gallifreyan is with customs of human interaction. When he senses trouble is afoot, he tries desperately to ignore it, but 700 years of knocking around the universe have sharpened his monster-detecting senses to a level that cannot be ignored. Thus he is drawn back into Craig’s world, now occupied by his wife Sophie and his baby boy Stormageddon.
Wait…Stormageddon??? Did I say that right? Yes, well, it helps when the Doctor speaks “baby” and Craig can finally get the true name of his offspring straight from the little fiend, er, tyke’s mouth, right? Most of the great humor is split between the translations of what the Alfie/”Stormy” is saying and how the doctor interacts with people in the department store – ground zero for the bad portents that send his Time Lord, Monster-Hunter senses all a tingle. Even the bits on the confidential tied to this episode are priceless as Matt Smith and James Corden stay up way too late due to filming schedules in the department store and get punch-drunk silly – a state that every convention-going fan knows all too well. With a little professionally added 11th Doctor theme music thrown in by Confidential, we are treated to Matt and James playing with Dalek figurines and crooning the Doctor Who theme at the top of their lungs, laughing like the overgrown fan boys we have all come to adore so. Ahhh…one of my favorite Time Lords is just a big kid. Life is good.
Another part I almost forgot to mention was the whole “companion” agenda. Russel T. Davies was always accused of having his “gay agenda” – inserting scenes and references here and there, making it a legitimate part of the Doctor Who universe. Heck, he even had the first ever occurence of a man kissing the Time Lord in the form of gorgeous Captain Jack Harkness! Steven Moffat continues this, but in more casual ways…the “fat, thin, gay, anglican marines” reference in “A Good Man Goes to War” and now the firty distraction tactic the Doctor uses on Craig when they first find themselves in the lair of the Cybermen and department store lady who keeps referring to them as a couple when she misunderstands Craig’s reference to being the Doctor’s companion. Pricelessly funny!
Now, for those who tour the ‘net and dare to trowel the turbulent waters of over-critical fandom have seen the pissing and moaning about how “lame” it seemed that the Cybermen got their butts handed to them by the power of “love”. Being a huge fan of the Cybermen, I personally saw no problem with this…they have been defeated by strong emotions before. I point you dear readers to their awesome-tacular return to the new series in Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel circa Tennant’s era. Once the emotion-inhibiting chip was removed, they freaked out at their own sorry state and their heads literally exploded then, too. So what is the problem with Craig overloading their emotion chips in this one? He was designated “Cyber Controller”…he would have had the power to do it!
Despite the humor and the nostalgic squee-fest at seeing the Cybermen again – and a Cybermat – we are again reminded of the Doctor’s date with death and destiny as he waxes morosely on Craig’s couch. Bless Craig – he bolsters the Time Lord up by giving him a pep talk and we at the audience agree with everything he says. The other squees come when the Doctor nicks some Tardis-blue envelopes and Craig gives him a Stetson hat as a parting gift. The stage is set for what we are dreading yet also dying to see – whether the Doctor really, truly dies or not.
As a side ending, we catch up with River Song who is now an official “Doctor” of archaeology. Madam Eye Patch/Kovarian comes a calling with her Silent following, creepy thugs, boasting that the Child of the Tardis always has been and always will be theirs to do their bidding. They encase her in that dreaded, now iconic spacesuit and sink her to the bottom of Lake Silencio to away the coming of the Doctor.
And thus it is left for us to wait another week – just another week to solve a 9-month (for us) long mystery of how our favorite Gallifreyan is going to get out of this.
The usual spoiler warning applies. If you read past this point, it’s your own fault.
This episode’s bad guy is in the form of a Minotaur in a “maze” of 1980’s hotel corridors. In a rare twist, the villain had no choice. The victim of his worshipper’s advancement into technology and leaving of their Old Gods, he is doomed to prowl the endless depths of space while his surroundings pull in “meals” – people with enough faith to provide him with sustenance. And it takes three bodies laid out on the slab before he works out exactly how to defeat the creature.
In the closing days of Series 6 and the Doctor’s life, we are getting royally kicked in the teeth with the emotional weight of the Time Lord’s inescapable fate. As the Doctor Who Confidential imparted to its viewers, this creature draws a parallel to the lonely Gallifreyan in more ways than one. Doomed to wander, with no family left and no friends that can stay more than a life-threatening adventure or two, the Monster and the Doctor both secretly long for an end to their existences. By episode’s end, the Time Lord drops Amy and Rory off back on Earth, gifting them with a flat (apartment) and a hot red car. His explanation to Amy of why their adventures have to end shows the depth of his feelings for them both. To stand over their graves is more than he can bear in this incarnation.
As monsters go, this was a good one for the classic fans of big, hairy, ugly creatures with pointy claws and horns, running down corridors, scaring the crap out of everyone in the Doctor’s company. Every room holds a horror – one for Amy as herself the night she was “the girl who waited”. A child let down by yet another adult – even though he be a mad man in a box, she clearly sees this as the worst night of her life. Even the Doctor gets a room (room “11”, of course) and though the viewer doesn’t see what lies within, whatever it is, he is not surprised in the least. With an accompaniment of a cloister bell, could it be the death of the Tardis? We may never know.
A spoiler-laden review of, “Let’s Kill Hitler” complete with pictures. C’mon…you know you want to!
Big Finish has announced a special CD bringing a host of former Doctor Who companions together. The Fifth Doctor meets up with his distant past – the schoolteacher who settled down, the space pilot who became a King, the security agent who died and lived again and the swinging Sixties secretary who has made her own way in the world.
As might be inferred from the description, the story will star Peter Davison as the Doctor, with guest stars William Russell (Ian Chesterton), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor), Jean Marsh (Sara Kingdom), Anneke Wills (Polly).
The story is written by Eddie Robson, and will also feature the vocal talents of Nick Briggs as the Daleks, and Dan Starkey as the Sontarans.
Recording kicked off on 12th May, with the CD expected to be released in December as a free special exclusively for subscribers to the main Doctor Who range at that time, with the option for future annual subscribers to select it as their free extra.
Courtesy of the guarian.co.uk website this morning: Doctor Who: Leave your questions for Neil Gaiman. On Monday afternoon Neil Gaiman, who wrote this weekend’s episode of Doctor Who, will be here to answer your questions today at 4:00 pm about the episode.