Doctor Who is Back! Season 8 Starts TODAY!

Later this evening, in slightly over two hours to be exact, the big event that every Doctor Who fan on the planet has been waiting for happens, when the first episode of Season 8 debuts on BBC1 at 7.50pm.

This first episode, Deep Breath, is a 75-minute feature-length debut to the new season, and is the first of the twelve episodes comprising Season 8 (or Season 34, if you prefer to include the Classic Series along with the New Series, as I do). I know absolutely nothing about this episode or any of the others, as I’ve been taking extreme measures to avoid ANY spoilers on the new season. I know nothing other than the titles of the episodes, and that the last two episodes of the season comprise the two-part Season Finale.

I’ve become totally pissed off in recent years, having each new season ruined by spoilers all over the internet, on TV and in the magazines, so this year it’s been me dodging any kind of spoilers as nimbly as I can. Fingers crossed I can make through today, and indeed all twelve episodes, without having anyone ruin things for me by spilling the beans about upcoming stories before I get to watch them first. God help anyone who does. 🙂

The Season 8 Episode Listing is as follows:

  1. Deep Breath
  2. Into the Dalek
  3. Robot of Sherwood
  4. Listen
  5. Time Heist
  6. The Caretaker
  7. Kill the Moon
  8. Mummy on the Orient Express
  9. Flatline
  10. In the Forest of the Night
  11. Dark Water
  12. Death in Heaven

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the first full appearance of the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, as he steps into the role he has inherited from the absolutely amazing Matt Smith. I’ve always been a huge fan of Matt Smith as the Doctor. He’s been a huge success, and gave us an hilariously funny, zany, eccentric, manic, and sometimes truly alien Doctor persona that reminded me most of Tom Baker (on speed), mixed with a lot of Patrick Troughton, and with some of the best elements of the other Doctors thrown in for good measure.

When you combine all of that with Smith’s own natural hi-energy fun and crazy personality (apparently he’s like that in real life, honest), he created a brilliant new Doctor, one who really convinced me that “he was born for the role”. I absolutely loved him, despite being very apprehensive back when he first took over from David Tennant (whom I also loved). Matt Smith made even the lamest episodes (and there have been a few) FUN to watch, keeping me as a viewer even at times when I thought the series was going a bit stale.

So Peter Capaldi has a lot to live up to, some pretty big shoes to fill there, but I reckon he’ll make a darned good Doctor once he settles in. He’s a very experienced actor, who has been around the acting business for many, many years, and the BBC have never failed yet to pick a good one to fill the new Doctor’s role.

Another thing that I consider a major plus is that Capaldi was also a big fan of the classic series when he was a kid. This love and respect for the classic series might serve him well as he slips into the role of the new Doctor. He was a big fan of the first four Doctors, and watched the show avidly right from the William Hartnell era, right on through to the the middle of Tom Baker’s run on the show. Eerily enough, this mirrors almost exactly my own childhood history with Doctor Who.

Anyway, back to the new season opener tonight. I’m actually really looking forward to this new, older, grumpier, darker Doctor, and to seeing how Peter Capaldi works with the current companion, Clara (played by Jenna Coleman). Roll on this evening, 7.50pm!

Doctor Who: 50 Years in Space & Time (Part 3)

With the Radio Times celebrating Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary, with no less than TWELVE variant covers, the TV Times also got in on the act with their own 50 Years of Doctor Who Anniversary edition for the week of 23rd-29th November, with four variant Doctor Who covers. I have the 1963-1969 Cover #1, featuring Hartnell and Troughton, plus companions Jamie, Zoe, Steven and Dodo, and a selection of the favourite b&w era monsters. A very nice cover, although it’s strange that all the background companions and monsters are Troughton-era. There’s nothing from the Hartnell era, except the First Doctor himself, and maybe the Daleks, as they were from both eras.

Inside the magazine, we have:

  • A mini-review of The Day of the Doctor
  • A five-page 50 Years of Doctor Who Special celebration, A Very Special Birthday. This is a nice one, and includes an interview with David Tennant and Matt Smith, and interviews with Tom Baker (the 1970s) and Peter Davison (the 1980s)
  • There’s also a Classic Companions piece, featuring interviews with Peter Purves (Steven) and Frazer Hines (Jamie)
  • And to crown it all, there’s A Brief History of Time (Lords), a very nice timeline running along the bottom of the entire five-page feature, starting with An Unearthly Child in 1963, and taking us right up to the 2012 Christmas TV Special, in which the Matt Smith Doctor faces off against the Great Intelligence, in the shape of Richard E. Grant

Overall, a pretty good Doctor Who 50th Anniversary edition. It’s well worth grabbing at least one copy of this one.

To Be Continued…

Doctor Who: 50 Years in Space & Time (Part 2)

Last time out, I talked about what TV has been dishing up for us to celebrate our favourite Time Lord’s 50th birthday. This time, I’m having a look at what’s been happening on the magazine front. In this first part, I’ll be looking at the Radio Times.

The November 23rd-29th edition of the Radio Times is a Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, with no less than twelve variant covers, each one featuring a different Doctor (including the “War Doctor” John Hurt, which is why there are twelve covers, not eleven). So far, I’ve got the Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee and Tom Baker covers, and to be honest, that’s enough.

I honestly think it’s going a bit overboard trying to collect all twelve covers, unless you’re a reseller wanting to make a big profit, or a hardcore, dedicated fan or collector, who simply has to have every cover. I’ve always been a huge fan of the first four Doctors, so I’ve decided just to collect only the magazines with the covers of those four Doctors.

Inside the magazine itself, we’ve got:

  • A golden celebration of Radio Times Doctor Who covers, with fifty covers for all fifty years
  • A Steven Moffat article You Can’t Destroy the Doctor
  • On set with the Three Doctors (Smith, Tennant and Hurt)
  • A detailed overview of all eleven Doctors
  • And, finally, a competition to win the Doctor’s bow tie

Oh, yeah, and don’t forget that this issue is also interactive, if you happen to have an Apple or Android smartphone. Which I don’t. Life is so unfair! 🙁

This one is worth grabbing at least one copy of.

To Be Continued…