This Blog Contains Doctor Who Spoilers

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And Another New Clip, Courtesy Of Blogtor Who

My most sincere thanks to Blogtor Who for putting up with my thieving ways! If you haven't been there already, go there. It's MUCH better than this blog, seriously! I'm not ashamed to admit that! It's like being beaten at golf by Tiger Woods. Lovely feeling!

Brand New Clip From "The Eleventh Hour"

Thanks to our WONDERFUL friends at Blogtor Who (the only Doctor Who blog I enjoy more than my own) I can offer you this beautiful new clip from the first episode of the new series. It's relatively spoiler-free, but it's great! Take a look (and don't miss The Eleventh Hour, Saturday at 6.20pm on BBC One)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moffat's Radio Times Episode Summary Nothings

The RADIO TIMES has been released and within it our new leader Steven Moffat (okay, I'm going a bit far with that) lays out a deliciously paradoxical spoiler-free/spoiler-full summary for each episode to come. I won't copy them here, go buy the magazine for yourself! But what I WILL do is give you my reaction to Mr Moffat's teases. BE WARNED: I shall be discussing things I believe to be real spoilers so, if you don't want to know the score, please look away now!

1. The Eleventh Hour - Not much in Moffat's summary that we didn't already know to be honest. Although it's nice to see the line "Can he persuade her to trust him, when he's been letting her down all her life?" GRIN!

2. The Beast Below - The only thing to catch my eye here is the fact that the masked figure, presumably Sophie Okonedo's character, knows "the Doctor of old"... Hmmm!

3. Victory Of The Daleks - Again! Moffat has a knack for letting out lots of information without actually SAYING anything. Daleks in WWII is ALL you can reap from this... Good enough, I s'pose.

4. The Time Of Angels, 5. Flesh And Stone - Interesting. Mentions of "the last Weeping Angel" and "the maze of the dead". Could this be where we see the Cyberman? Oh, and it's set on Alfava Metraxis. Nice name.

6. Vampires In Venice - Lovely scenery, blah blah blah, dead on streets, blah blah blah, sexy vampire sisters, blah blah blah. For all the blah blah blahing this is one of the ones I'm looking forward to most

7. Amy's Choice - Like 'Sophie's Choice" but with boy/girl exchanged for dream/reality. I reckon, anyway. Clearly, sacrifices will be made, but is Rory's life one of them? EH?

8. and 9. (titles to be confirmed) - Silurians drilling UP while humans drill DOWN in slightly futuristic Wales. Nice. Hopefully the Silurians are as wordy and thoughtful as in the 70s.

10. (title to be confirmed) - Mad painters seeing monsters in corn fields. "Saving the world has never been so ginger!" LOVE that. But can even the Doctor save Vincent? Yes... they go to the future in the snow, innit?!

11. - So there IS an alien threat in The Lodger (title to be confirmed). Something about missing people, about stairs that they go up but never come down... Only one thing to say to this: "BARROWMAAAAAAAN!!" *shakes fist*

12. and 13. (titles to be confirmed) - Lots to chat about here! "A message on the oldest cliff-face in the universe, a puzzle box opening from the inside [something getting out] and a love that lasts thousands of years [River]... The fates are drawing around the Tardis - is this the day the Doctor falls?" Nah... He'll be okay! WON'T HE? The quote at the bottom of this summary is nice too... Magical. Seems our villain is "A nameless, terrible thing". I like it. I don't WANT to know more.

So, there you have it! Series 5 (Yes, 5. Check the RT listings) is days away and we now know more AND less than we ever did. Steven Moffat is a master at giving us nothing and making us talk about it for weeks. The bastard. Don't miss my review of The Eleventh Hour, right here, first thing Sunday morning. And this time, if I don't like it, I promise to say so... Although I wouldn't put money on it happening.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's MUCH Bigger On The Inside

The time has come. The new TARDIS interior has been released. The embargo lifted and in these wonderfully good looking photographs, courtesy of the Radio Times, I defy you to find anything to moan about.

Okay. I take that last comment back. The set is pretty. It's huge. It's bright and it has some severe health and safety violations. NO RAILINGS ON THAT UPPER LEVEL? Knowing how clumsy Matt Smith is it's a wonder we didn't get a headline reading "New Doctor Who Breaks Back In TARDIS Set Fall Horror!" or something! But no, seriously now. This could possibly be the most beautiful television set I have ever seen. It's new without being shocking, with enough of a call back to the old design to keep the more uncomfortable fans at ease. And there's something intrinsically normal about seeing Matt and Karen in there, almost as if they were always in this set and we've been watching them for years. I don't know, maybe it's just me but this whole revelation (more photographs available HERE) makes me feel completely at ease with the change that is to come. SO much had changed this series that you would be forgiven for feeling a little left out. A tiny bit alienated. But rest easy, because all reports suggest that New New Who has enough of OLD New Who in it to keep the fans watching while pushing the series forward. As it should be.

Just look at it! Obviously there will be those out there who will hate the new design - there always are a few. But that was bound to happen. They complained when the console was glimpsed in the trailer, but as this photo shows context is everything. THIS is the TARDIS console I could picture myself hovering around while the Doctor flies me off to God only knows where... And that's how it should be. More real than the 2005-2010 design, but still alien enough to feel like it's beyond our understanding. Set, as you can see, on three levels. There's a distinct feeling of "space and time machine" rather than "grown through symbiotic cooperation. And that's a good thing.

I'm literally just squeeing over this now... There's no critique in this blog post at all... I guess that just goes to show how much of an impact this new design has had on me. I am completely sold on it. BUT I would like to know what you think. You're my readership after all. The ones who matter. So... Usual ways to get in touch. @reply me on Twitter (there's a link to my Twitter page in the sidebar) or comment below. Also, the "LIKE/DISLIKE" buttons below; click them to show your opinion on the TARDIS DESIGN. Let's see who likes it and who doesn't.

BUY THIS WEEK'S RADIO TIMES. IT'S CLEARLY WORTH IT! And while we're on the subject of Who in the media, The Big Issue has a great little interview with Karen Gillan this week. Buy that too. It's for a good cause. Aaaaand, relax!

New TARDIS Interior Graces Cover Of Radio Times

And here it is, thanks to Gallifrey Base poster "Ood Sigma"!

It's beautiful. You HAVE to buy the Radio Times this week because they're promising many more photos of it inside and on an accompanying website. Roll on Saturday! If you can't wait that long, come back here tomorrow afternoon where I PROMISE to have a more detailed look at the TARDIS interior for you, along with my honest and full opinion on it.

Ladies and gents, Who is almost here!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Eleventh Hour - The First (Sort Of) Minute

Here it is, as shown on BBC Red Button and the official BBC Doctor Who website:

Wow! Short. Epic. Wonderful. Cruel. We have a whole bloody week to wait :(

This excitement is killing me... I'm sure I'm not alone.

Vampires In Venice Clip

Matt Smith appeared on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross tonight, where he gave away - surprisingly - not much. But they played with the new Sonic Screwdriver, showed a slightly extended series trailer (it's on Youtube somewhere) and they also showed the following exclusive clip from the sixth episode from the series, Vampires In Venice (kindly uploaded by DoctorWhoTV.co.uk):

I don't think there is anything to worry about. Judging by this clip the Doctor is well and truly back. Yep, we can all relax. Matt Smith IS the Doctor.

And what a brilliant Doctor he shall be!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Matt Smith On Friday Night With Jonathan Ross

I hate Friday night tv. There's never anything on other than Jonathan Ross and somehow I always forget about that! They should put a clue in the title to make sure people remember what day it's on. And, preferably, what time of day...

BUT! Tonight I shall not be missing it. A) Because it's all people seem to be talking about in my house... It's the televisual equivalent of your uncle nudging you knowingly when the girl you were spotted smooching with, when you were 14, wanders into your field of view... "Ooh hoo! That Mark Smith's on Ross tonight, you LIKE him, don't you! Tee hee!" Groan! But, thanks for reminding me!

And B) Well, I like that Mark (sic) Smith. He's going to be the new Doctor Who. So if you, like me, are absent minded and not quite "with it" enough at 10.54am to pick up on the clues in the title - then REMEMBER! FRIDAY NIGHT WITH JONATHAN ROSS IS ON TONIGHT! MATT SMITH IS ON THERE! HE'S THE NEW DOCTOR WHO, HE IS! IT'S ON TONIGHT (FRIDAY NIGHT, SEE?) AT 10.40pm on BBC1. And if nothing else we're about to be treated to a new clip of the latest series, this time from Vampires Of Venice. But, despite his relatively meagre media experience (preferentially glancing forlornly into the middle distance, smiling rather than preparing a bodied answer to questions posed - no bad thing after Tennant's tiresome Media Handbook approach to interviews about Doctor Who [of which this will undoubtedly be]) Matt Smith is guaranteed to have us and "Not-We's" alike giggling at his evident boundless enthusiasm at winning "the best role in TV history".

Also appearing are Emma "Nanny McShit" Thompson and Professor Brian Cox, with music from the wonderfully bizarre Goldfrapp. Tonight, BBC1 10.40pm. Don't miss it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Leadworth Green Blog Arrives At Doctor Who Exhibition, Cardiff!

As the new series approaches and I get itchy writing fingers, I am delighted to be able to tell you that not only will my reviews of each week's Doctor Who be available on this blog, but also in an Unofficial Doctor Who Newsletter available FOR FREE at the Doctor Who - Up Close Exhibition shop in Cardiff Bay's Red Dragon Centre.

To begin with it will have a limited run of 100 copies (first come, first serve - book your bus tickets and hotels NOW to make sure you get YOURS!). The newsletter will be (to begin with) a single side of A4 (later a double sided A4 sheet) and will include my Leadworth Green episode review (edited, obviously, to be child-friendly) and a few other little features. And this, dear readers, is where you come in. I have a bunch of ideas knocking about in my head for features to include in the lower half of the page, but I NEED MORE! So if you have any ideas for exciting and not-too-taxing features you think the average Exhibition customer would like to read then get in touch with me on the new, designated email address - garethcardiff@doctormail.com - and I'll take a look.

This has all happened pretty suddenly to be honest, so I need all the help you guys can possibly give. If your feature is chosen you will earn yourself a "contributor" credit on the newsletter and a virtual high five from me. The articles will be made to look beautiful by my Graphic Designer Other Half, Natalie. Also, because I'm so kind, I shall do my very best to have the newsletter available for download on this blog. SO! Get in touch, all ideas, no matter how obscure, will be considered. But remember, it HAS to be child-friendly. No "Naked Companion Photo Of The Week"... Sorry.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Eleventh Hour Approaches - Slowly :(

So, we're in the final stages of the draining wait that seems to have lasted longer than the show itself. Following the release, officially or not, of the trailers from the press screening and BBC America I defy any of you, even the most cynical, to NOT be excited.

This week has its own share of stomach-bubbling, pant-wetting goodies for us Whovians to get our teeth into. Friday sees Matt Smith appear on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. Guaranteed to be an interesting event, this will be the first time Matt has appeared on such a big show to promote the series, which is surprising really! It will be interesting to see just how well he interviews. As a massive Doctor Who fan himself, Jonathan is bound to delve a little deeper into what the series may bring than your usual interviewer. I cringe at the guff they spill on BBC Breakfast, I really do - "So, the new Dr Who has a new sidekick!" Guuuuuh! I think it's fair for us to expect either a trailer (possibly the Press Screening one) or a clip from The Eleventh Hour (hopefully not the one shown already, let's have something new, eh?). I have my heart set on something brilliant and fresh.

And if you're still wanting more after that, it seems that the BBC are releasing the first minute of The Eleventh Hour on the BBC Red Button service. Whether this will incorporate the clip we've already seen is anyone's guess. I doubt it though as it seems that the clip shown already (the one with Amelia and the Doctor in the garden at night) is a good few minutes into the episode. Well, only time will tell... Undoubtedly the interview and the first minute will be online soon after they become available, so you can rest assured that I will have them up right here on The Green as soon as humanly possible. Aren't I good to you?

So, here's to one last week of waiting... I'm going to watch the trailers all over again now, because I've not seen them in at least 24 hours. That just will not do. Have a good day people. x

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Below is the NEW (yes, ANOTHER new) trailer for Doctor Who 2010 which was shown on BBC America. ALL credit to WhosEleven on Youtube for getting it up there so quickly, hope you don't mind me using this:

WOW! JUST WOW! Thanks to Kesomon for the HQ link.

Here's the 30 second tv spot, kind of the same as above only - well, shorter.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New TARDIS Console Revealed In New Who Trailer

It's not the best photo ever, but lo and behold, the TARDIS console it IS!

A very recently released new trailer (the one shown at the end of the press launch) has many exciting things in it, making me surer and surer that this is going to be my favourite series of Doctor Who since it's 2005 return.

As you can clearly see, the console itself is as bonkers as the man driving. A gramophone sticks crazily out of it just below what looks like a tv screen. The colour scheme is pretty and awe inspiring without looking too flash. It all looks a bit like a giant oldskool hearing aid. To me anyway... And that is fine by me! We get another glimpse inside from the doors of the TARDIS, when the Doctor is flying Amy like a kite (and stealing a cheeky look up her nightie, I believe), showing a little more of what we can expect.

Needless to say, this trailer which has our hero riding a horse, Dalek vs Spitfire dogfights, a one armed Cyberman (poor thing) being taunted by fire, a cavernous city of Weeping Angels and - for me, most exciting - the Doctor running urgently about the foundations of Stone Henge, shows MUCH more than we've seen so far from either of the other trailers. Take a look!

Wonderful! Cannot wait for the series to begin on April 3rd! Alas, wait we must!
In the meantime, I'd love to hear your opinions on the console!

Comment below, cheers!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Doctor Who 2010 Press Launch - "Blue Carpet Report"

So, tonight I stood in the rain outside Cardiff's Cineworld Complex, wishing with all my heart that I held a ticket like so many others there did. For tonight was the 2010 Press Launch of the new series of Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.

When I arrived with a few members of Gallifrey Base's KINDA group (the cream of Cardiff's Doctor Who fans) they were setting up the old TARDIS prop to look as though it had crashed into the plaza (pictured below), leaving deep gouges in the grass, windows smashed, flames licking the inside, smoke pouring from the doors... This is, as you can see from the clip embedded below, a reference to the opening minutes of the first episode of the new series.

Then, a while later, the guests started arriving. Matt and Karen arrived by surprise, catching us unaware while we were blocking the entrance to the venue! We got a chance to meet and greet them, get a few things signed, before the crowds really descended. And they were lovely. Charming, friendly and visibly nervous and excited as to what this - the most important night since they were cast, no doubt - was going to be like. When the guests had gone in we retired to The Brewery Quarter for a bite to eat and to review our newly acquired photos and signatures. We were like excitable children. It was so cute...

Unfortunately, there was very little to pull from the crowds on their exit from the screening some two hours later - all attempts at approaching the kids from the audience resulted in stern glares and security intervention. But we have learned a thing or two about what the series has to offer when it airs in little over two weeks.

We know now that the Atraxi (the alien from Episode One) have a gruff voice, for it was played over and over and over and over while we were waiting to see the cast; "PRISONER ZERO HAS ESCAPED!" Ohhh! We also know - thanks to those who were in the screening room, those who saw the trailer that was played after the episode - that the Cybermen are indeed returning. And, as far as I can tell, the episode was received very well by all who were lucky enough to get in to see it. I only wish I'd been able to. It really was torture knowing that the most anticipated hour of television (for some) was being played mere metres from where I was standing, getting wet and cold...

Here's the BBC Wales Today interview that Matt and Karen gave while we were there, including the short clip (an exclusive of sorts) from The Eleventh Hour. For those who care, I was stood about 3 feet to Matt and Karen's right as this interview was recorded.

As far as I'm concerned, after being close enough to meet and chat to both stars, the cast are friendlier than ever. Karen is lovely and Matt is great! They both took a while signing stuff for fans on the Blue Carpet (this is Who, it's not going to be RED is it?) and Matt even took an extra ten minutes signing stuff AFTER the event itself! Co-stars Karen and Arthur Darvill (who plays Amy's boyfriend, Rory) were swept away before they had a chance to, Arthur looking like the free beer was freer than usual! In a good way!

All in all, despite not actually seeing the episode, the night was great. There were a small group of fans of all ages there, waiting for Matt and Karen, which didn't overwhelm anyone. There was a very relaxed urgency about the whole thing. This really was all about the screening and the subsequent Q&A afterwards. Another thing I was, sadly, unable to see. :(

Also in attendance tonight were; Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger, Beth Willis, Tracey Simpson, Danny Hargreaves, Neil Gorton, Colin Salmon, Lizo Mzimba, Ben Cook, Peter Hain, countless BBC execs, Cineworld managers from all over Wales and a smattering of strangers. Obviously, the press were there too...

I'll be talking a bit more about the lead up to what promises to be fun and exciting first episode soon, as well as talking about what I, personally, would love to see from this new team. I'm sure we're not going to be disappointed. That very short clip above (after the interview) is enough to make me happy about where this is heading... The fun and energy of RTD's Who is clearly still with us and I think if anyone can push it to the next level, then Matt and Karen are the ones!

I'd love to think they're reading this. I doubt they are... BUT if they are, thanks to the both of you for being so friendly and nice. (God, shut up Gareth... You're making yourself look silly! You're a few seconds away from a full blown "SQUEEEEEE!")


Doctor Who - Made In Wales Video

Here's the video from the Pierhead event I attended in Cardiff Bay a few weeks back. It's been split into three parts, but because I'm so kind I've embedded all three parts RIGHT HERE!

Expect a Big, exciting "Pre-The Eleventh Hour" Article next week! Enjoy!!

Made in Wales: Doctor Who - Part 1 from Pierhead Sessions TV on Vimeo.

Made in Wales: Doctor Who - Part 2 from Pierhead Sessions TV on Vimeo.

Made in Wales: Doctor Who - Part 3 from Pierhead Sessions TV on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Doctor Who, Structure And Why Russell Got It Right

Yes folks, this is the Doctor Who article you've all been waiting for, but never thought would come - not from me anyway! It's the academic one. And it's going to be wordy, so if you're on your lunch break or have Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia (a fear of long words - I shit you not!) then you should really stop reading now! Maybe wait for the film? They always do adaptations these days...

Tonight I was having dinner in Cardiff's 'Bar 33' with two fellow Whovians and we were discussing the ins and outs of the show and what it's meant to us over the years, especially, since it's return in 2005. We talked about characters who were good, lines that were bad, silly stuff and the show's structure in general. And this got me thinking. The Russell T Davies era of the show was very hit and miss. Or, I should say HIT and miss. It was all "good". But some episodes stand out as being clever, meaningful and witty and others are just big, silly romps through time and space. Russell and the production team got SO much abuse and criticism from fans for their "...kitchen sink" approach to making epic, universally threatening series finales. Lazy writing, bad plotting and weak, shallow characterisation has been blamed for epic, yet empty episodes.

I think, however, that there is more to see here than just substandard scripting. Think in terms of how the series, as a whole, is shaped. Think about the fantastic episodes we've had! Think about the reaction to some of the more "meaningful" episodes. Stories like Human Nature/Family Of Blood, or Blink, for example. Loved be fans and non-fans alike. THEY may not have been written by Davies but they are part of his Who. Midnight is an episode that has been loved by all! It's dark, scary, interesting, different and very clever. But it'd make a shit finale...

Let me break it down. I call it the "Camp Sandwich". My theory goes thus:

-The first, middle and last episodes of the series need to be big, camp, balls-out entertainment. The episodes in between are open to experimentation. Hence, Camp Sandwich.

Let's look at Series Three as an example. The series opens with the clever, but fluffy, Smith and Jones. "Judoon Platoon Upon The Moon" - a big, hearty chase story that introduces a new companion and an old Doctor to brand new viewers in style. It's a something-and-nothing episode with a big, funny monster, a sparky, slapstick Doctor and a ballsy new companion. As openers go it's pretty flawless. But there's nothing especially moral in there. Nothing overly challenging or outwardly new in there. And that's just how it should be! In order to "get into" a series, of whatever, you have to ENJOY the first episode. It has to promise you things. Look at the very first episode of Lost! They crashed on an island and spent most of the hour dealing with the rescue of people from the plane. It was exciting, fun and new! If they'd begun a week after the crash, with mysterious monsters, polar bears, flashbacks to meaningful times in these (new) characters' lives, people would get lost, zone out. There'd be something missing. TOO much going on. It would confuse us and we wouldn't have a base for the characters who will suffer and change throughout the series.

Same with Doctor Who. Human Nature was great. Touching, challenging, different, scary, lovely... A real triumph in storytelling. It's the "strange" story that takes the Doctor in a completely different direction. It'd be a shit series opener though. New viewers would be lost. The Doctor ISN'T the Doctor, Martha ISN'T Martha... There's no intrinsic Dr Who elements, no time travel, no TARDIS, no monsters. There's something missing... BUT mid series it's perfect! It allows a new take on the Doctor/Companion relationship and challenges it's audience to THINK as opposed to sitting back and allowing the show to pour liquid fun into their brain-cups.

Stories that are fun work as hooks. Smith and Jones is such an episode. Then you can "butter" the fun bread with thought and challenge and direction change and dare and risk, all the things you'd lose an audience with if it was done in Episode One. You can play with time, a la Blink. You can mess with identity like in Human Nature. You can fiddle with history, like in The Shakespeare Code, because the audience are hooked. They're committed to the show that made them laugh and cry last week. The one that excited them, without taxing their brains too much.

But audiences are fickle. They'll only put up with so much wishy washy, exploratory puzzlement before they start craving good ol' fun times again. Which is there the filling in our Camp Sandwich comes in. Another big dollop of DR WHO! [That's how you can differentiate actually! Dr Who is fun, exciting and usually epic and wondrous. Doctor Who is the experimental toying with time and character that the unique format of the show allows! Remember that, Dr Who and Doctor Who, two different things]. So, half way through a series, to bump up the ratings with a Dr Who tent pole and keep the punters on side you make an episode like The Lazarus Experiment, where a mad scientist turns into a giant scorpion and hunts people in a museum! Or shove some Daleks in there, taking over the Empire State building during the depression! BIG, FUN, SHINY DR WHO! And after those palette-clearing dollops have been served up, it's back into challenging, direction-altering adventures in Doctor Who. Possessed, crying Doctor - afraid for his life and sanity in the spectacular 42. Or NO Doctor at all in Moffat's Blink! Things that may even alienate the younger viewers and may require a little more "viewing intelligence" than popcorn Dr Who...

But you can't end a series like that! For the series to close, for it to gather the audience it deserves, you have to shoot back to epic, vast Dr Who. Utopia, The Sound Of Drums and The Last Of The Time Lords work as a beautiful bridge between the Whos. A troubled professor Yana struggles to send the last humans to Utopia in order to save them from a decaying Universe, with the help of the Doctor and his companions is Doctor Who. The last ten minutes, where Yana realises his true identity, scarringly blasting all positive opinion of him to pieces with the spitting of the wonderfully delivered "I. Am. The Master!" is damagingly Doctor Who. Scary stuff... He steals the TARDIS, stands our heroes on a barren world with cannibal tribes at the door. This is BIG scary Doctor Who.

Then the Master's regeneration into John Simm - and his deliberately hammy performance - brings us right back to Dr Who chasing the baddie about space and time because he's going to TAKE OVER THE WORLD! Straight away, in those closing seconds, we're on the edge of our seats clapping and whooping and hoping good old Dr Who will save the day once more. Enter the comedy and parody of The Sound Of Drums, a lashing of childlike aliens and a Dobby Doctor and you have a masterpiece. Not an intellectual one, but "one" nonetheless. You'll find criticism of the Series Three finales EVERYWHERE! And it's all justified, by point. But those complaining aren't who should be enjoying it. The masses love the cute Doctor Goblin. The 'Not We's love seeing the Master dancing to the Scissor Sisters (should a song that features the line "Fuck and Kiss you both at the same time" really be used on a Family show at 7pm on Saturday night? I guess we could pretend Jake Shears blurts "if I can kiss you both at the same time").

Doctor Who (and indeed, Dr Who) is not made for the ones who complain. If you're into it enough for something to bother you in terms of "canon" then you're not of the target audience. Doctor Who is for kids (be it kids aged 7, 27 or 57), it's popular science fiction, borderline science fantasy. What it isn't is a legend-strewn, canonical serial thriller. It's geeky to pick holes in Doctor Who. But it's not BAD to do so... As long as you realise that the series is created in a way that will bring in new viewers, not alienate them. And all of you worried about whether Moffat's finales will be as big and camp and silly and over the top as Davies' were, sorry - they will. But that's what this show is all about. Start big, explore a bit, big, develop and challenge, BIG! Credits roll, Earth is towed home safe and everyone's happy. CAMP-INTERESTING-FLUFFY-DIFFERENT-EPIC. It's the Camp Sandwich, with added cheese. And why not!

Now, when's Sarah Jane Adventures on... (not for ME! My nephew was asking... honest!)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Doctor Who 2005 - 2010: Your Favourites

Since 2005 we have been treated to, arguably. the most successful period in Doctor Who's history. This is due, in no small part, to the fantastic production team (pictured, with Lis Sladen) who never once gave up on our favourite show and who pushed it into a new Golden Age.

There are countless threads on Gallifrey Base praising the show and offering constructive criticisms, as well as some DEstructive crit. But one thread in particular got me thinking - meaning I pretty much copied the idea... Run with me on this... Without these people we would have no Rose, no Adipose, no Slitheen! NO OOD! Without these people we would have no Who. Simple as that. It was Russell's vision, Phil's enthusiasm and Julie's harsh words that made sure our favourite show made it to our screens for a brand new run.

So, my though was... Now we have a new production team, a new Doctor, a new "team", I would be interested in knowing your "Favourites". We all have them. We all make lists; Top five this and top five that... So! It's not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination - just shorter - but...

What is your Favourite...

...Scene, Overall?
-This could be a scene from any episode, special or skit since the show's return.

...Supporting Character?
-This is the one where you all vote Sally Sparrow.

...Cringe-worthy Line?
-Those scripted moments where you have to ask "why?", Eg. "Spit spot!" in The Wedding Of Sarah Jane Smith.

...NEW Monster/Alien?
-Not including any of the one's resurrected from the Classic series.

...Unintended Saucy Bit?
-Like, um... Naked Martha in the 'Clone Gloop' in The Sontaran Stratagem.

Let me know in the comments space below!

Explanations would be nice, but are not essential. Remember, you can only choose ONE of each. You can only choose from episodes that have aired - AND BE HONEST! Mine will be in there soon too, as soon as I compile my list.

Thanks for taking part.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Doctor Who - Talks, Smithy and Matt In Shorts

Once upon a time, there was a little boy called Gareth. Gareth had a favourite TV show and liked to learn all about it whenever possible.

One day, a good wizard called Simon offered Gareth a special magic ticket to go and see the Executive Producers of the show speak about how they make it and what it means to have it produced in Wales, where Gareth lived.

Obviously, Gareth bit Simon's bloody hand off (not before Simon had bought a beer or two... which Gareth still owes him for). So our tale today is about Gareth, Simon and all the other wonderful people who made this special event more special that it could ever have been! Rarely do a group congregate who share such a strong belief in one topic. Well, I guess there is the IRA, but let's keep this tabloid.

Thursday 4th March was the day of the Doctor Who: Made In Wales event in Cardiff Bay. And what a day!!! The talk itself, which was to feature Steven Moffat as a panellist was shuffled a bit. Steven was too busy writing to make it so Beth Willis (Pictured with me and Piers Wenger) too his place. Such an interesting afternoon! They talked a lot about Who (nothing we didn't already know though) and some about the planned Drama Village. The sound in the Pierhead building was terrible, you could only just make out what they were saying. Most of what was said about Doctor Who could have come directly from Gallifrey Base, but there were a few things that were kind of exclusive.

Beth and Piers talked about "the next few years" and having Matt around "for a while yet" so the future of the show (and of Matt's Doctor) seems a safe bet, for a while at least. When asked about Torchwood, Piers said that "there are big plans for Torchwood, but I don't want to say too much", same really with SJA. Another 2 series commissioned. And it seemed that the presence of the Gallifrey Base set reporters, The Silver Cloak as they have become known, are an expected thing nowadays. Piers mentioned, when talking about location shooting, the "unhinged fans who follow us from place to place". THAT'S US!!! HAHAHA!

And afterwards there was even a chance to chat to the panel about... whatever... I say "a chance", we mobbed the stage before poor Beth and Piers could run away. I nabbed a photo too as you can see. And I have to say, they are both lovely. I asked them about the comments in DWM where Moffat claims that Beth is in league with the Devil and Piers looks like a reanimated corpse. They laughed it off, clearly good humoured about it. When I asked to see Beth's trademark "Stare", she asked "what stare is that?" while STARING AT ME! It was an unsettling sight. But she's lovely. Piers too. Both very enthused in person (if not when they were on the panel).

But my weekend didn't stop there! As I was heading home to drink milk and pray, the crowd coerced me into attending a public house where they served alcohol...

It was the night that was most fun. When Whovians get together and have a beer and a bite to eat, excessive fun is had. And rumours about where to catch the next lot of location filming are shared. So... On Friday March 5th, in Victoria Park, Cardiff, Matt Smith and James Corden had a game of football.

There are photos and videos taken by fellow set reporters which show Matt scoring goals in various ways all over YouTube. Go find them and have a look, they're awesome! But it was watching the cast "play" off screen that was most exciting. It seemed that the three main talents (Pictured; Matt, Daisy Haggard {Psychoville} and James Corden {Gavin & Stacey}) got on really well. Ryan (TimeboyTM on Gallifrey Base) and I were laughing at Matt and James explaining their worth to Doctor Who Confidential between takes, "Matt Smith. The Doctor. Striker. Defender". On Friday filming moved to Victoria Park where the football match between The King's Arms (The Doctor's team) and The Rising Sun was to take place. And if you don't want to know the score, look away NOW! ... the Doctor scores the winning goal.

THEN later that day, the TARDIS was erected in a different area of the Park and a scene was filmed which presumably takes place at the beginning of the episode. The Doctor leans out and says "No, Amy. This isn't the moon of [inaudible]. We've gone [inaudible]..." then there's a bang and the Doctor is thrown out of the TARDIS doors as it de-materialises and leaves without him, taking Amy to who-knows-where. Somewhere with fish presumably.

THEN! On Friday night we received a tip off that filming would be happening at Lanelay Hall in Talbot Green so Ryan and I ventured there too. We found the location straight away, arriving just in time to see a pregnant Amy Pond enjoying a jacket potato with the Doctor (it was the cast's lunch break). We were surprised we got as close as we did. If we'd wanted to we could have easily joined the dinner queue and dined with them! Well, maybe not. When filming resumed later that day it was all interiors. Then the Blue Peter winners turned up for their set visit and the cast (which included Matt and Karen, Arthur Darvill, the old people from Episode 7 and a very tall, smart man in a suit) left the location. We left soon after when we were sure there was no more to see.

It was a great weekend and very nice to see old friends and meet new ones. One can only hope that filming continues this week and that some more snippets can be passed on. Thanks for reading, and sorry this mediocre piece of tripe is so late :D

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


On Thursday 4th March 2010, I will be attending an exclusive Doctor Who panel entitled "Doctor Who - Made In Wales".

I guess it's a kind of Q & A about Doctor Who's past and future with emphasis on the show's connection with Wales and Cardiff in particular.

On the panel are:

-Clare Hudson (Head of Programming. BBC Cymru),
-Piers Wenger (Head of Drama, BBC Cymru & ExecProducer of Doctor Who),
-Steven Moffat (Head Writer & Exec Producer of Doctor Who),
-Ian Grutchfield (Brand Manager for Doctor Who)
-& Neil Midgley of the Daily Telegraph.

I'm not 100% sure what to expect from this event, but I shall have my camera with me and will post pictures and a full report of my (inevitably brilliant) afternoon on here on Friday afternoon. As well as a written report I will be making a video about what went on which I will be uploading to the shared nerd-channel KasterborousOne. That'll be up around the same time, Rassilon willing. I can't promise hoards of spoilerificly tantalising info but I CAN promise you ALL I CAN FIND OUT! Personally, I'm hoping for a few exclusive clips of the new series...

So, come here on Friday (I'll be tweeting links) and have a look what I have to say about it. And I would like to say a massive thank you to Simon Watkins for his gargantuan efforts in acquiring tickets to the event (which is to be held in Cardiff Bay) when it seemed there were no tickets to be had. Without him I would not be attending. So, thanks Si, you are a genius!

Have a good day people! I love you all! x

Monday, March 01, 2010

"We're Never Coming Back Here Are We?" - Being Human, Series Two Finale

Every now and again a series arrives, usually on BBC Three, and takes TV to a whole new level. It happened with Torchwood, Gavin & Stacey, The Mighty Boosh... All very different shows, all excellent in their own way. But they all have one thing missing. Yes, we fall in love with the characters, Vince Noir makes us laugh, Nessa makes us CRY laughing, Ianto just makes us cry. But there isn't a sense of threat, excitement and danger about these shows, or not enough to get people truly hooked in any case.

What Being Human does - something Torchwood took 3 years to do, something Gavin & Stacey only touched at - is push people further than usual. It offers up some pretty nasty, tasteless stuff as story and makes it just WORK. And work well. It's not afraid to go dark, to push the limits of what could be too much for a terrestrial channel. I suppose it's BBC Three's magic that makes this happen and I hope that WHEN Being Human reaches BBC2 (because it has to, hasn't it?) that they don't hold back. I mean, Torchwood murdered a ten year old boy on BBC1 on a Friday night for Christ's sake! It is a beautifully HUMAN show, considering it's 3 main protagonists are anything but human. Which is the point I guess...

I've watched it since the beginning. Ever since the words "...a new BBC Three pilot about a Vampire, a Werewolf and a Ghost sharing a flat in Bristol..." were uttered I was in. I had no idea what it was going to be. Was it a sitcom? A Twilight style romance? A load of shit? I didn't know... And it took a bit longer than that first episode to hold me, I must admit, something I think has much to do with the original cast (in the pilot episode), despite being great young talent, not quite making the characters. All except for Russell Tovey's neurotic Werewolf, George.

If you haven't seen it, then let me break it down for you. On the surface it is what it is. A Vampire, a Werewolf and a Ghost share a flat in Bristol. It's the telling of their lives. But their lives, as you could imagine, are not NORMAL lives. Tovey's George hates what he is, seeing his Werewolf-ism (?) as a "curse". Annie (the beautifully playful Lenora Critchlow) doesn't quite know what she wants, or why she's still here, why she hasn't passed over. Unfinished business as Casper taught us, but what? And Aidan Turner's cooler than cool vamp Mitchell knows EXACTLY what he wants - BLOOD - but knows he can't have it.

Series Two has just finished on BBC Three, but if you've missed it, is still available on BBC iPlayer. I urge you to go watch this NOW because I'm going to be talking about what happens in the next few paragraphs and I don't want to spoil it for you. So... Bugger off and watch it...

Are you back? Dried your eyes? Good. The first series offered an enemy in supernatural form, the Vampires, led by chubby ginger cop Herrick (played with more layers than an onion by Jason Watkins). A threat of total invasion by the Vampire horde that was only averted when George went all "illegal dog attacks council estate toddler" on Herrick, leaving a gaping power vacuum which could only be filled by one man. Yup, Mitchell was now the big daddy of the Vampires (Bristol Sect). And under him, there was to be no more killing and blood lust. And so season Two becomes a struggle for our characters. Now facing an enemy more monstrous than the Vampires, namely Humanity in it's most twisted, brainwashed form, our house mates had to face the beautiful, if flawed, Professor Jaggat and Cleric-gone-mental Kemp (portrayed as a kind of "evil Vincent Price" by genius skeletal old timer Donald Sumpter). These two "humans" lead a secretive organisation (part religious cult, part Saturday afternoon science club) who have vowed to rid the Earth of the monsters who walk her, starting of course with our heroes.

So! The story unravels in a tide of blood and laughter toward the excellent finale that sees Mitchell on a revenge kick, seeking the organisation responsible for blowing up pretty much ever Vampire in Bristol, George and Nina (or "George's Bitch" as I humourously call her) unwittingly awaiting a "cure by exploding" from Jaggat and her cronies and Annie just wanting to move on. I'm not going into detail about WHAT happens throughout the episode, I want to talk mainly about that last 20 minutes. Mitchell confronts Jaggat just as Kemp exorcises Annie and sends her screaming and pleading into the afterlife, against her will. George notices a scrawled warning from "probably smells of onions" Werewolf scruff bag - George's "maker" - Lee Tully stating "George. All the werewolves die. Tully" and so, devastated by the loss of one third of their entire life, Annie, and desperate to escape the maniacal clutches of Kemp and his (lovingly fashioned) stake, Mitchell and George seek revenge and freedom respectively.

Convincing Mitchell that he doesn't have to kill Kemp, that he shouldn't in Annie's name, they leave the compound and retire with Nina to a farmhouse in (I'm guessing) Wales. Jaggat arrives, tailed by a mad-for-closure Kemp and attack once more, Jaggat getting killed by her co-worker in the process. But just before Nina gets a sharpen

ed table leg in the throat Annie fizzes into existence and drags Kemp into nowhere with her. A nasty way to go in anyone's book! And then comes what is, for me, the most touching and somewhat frightening three minutes of television I have had the pleasure to watch since I don't know when... Annie, unable to take corporeal form, appears to George, Mitchell and Nina through a broken television set and explains that "they" are angry with her for pulling Kemp across. That her days in heaven or hell of "waiting and waiting in a room for your number to be called, then sitting in another room and waiting some more until one of us disappears, then we're told we're not to talk about them" is not her idea of peaceful rest. Mitchell vows to get her back, somehow. And the picture fades. Annie is gone.

THEN! THEN!! In a snowy field "somewhere" two of the surviving vampires sit bleeding in the snow, their life dripping onto the spot where "the bones were buried" seemingly offering themselves as sacrifice. In one of the most comical (sorry, I giggled) yet freakishly exciting series cliffhangers in recent times, a decaying hand bursts through the snowy earth, heaving the body controlling it above ground. And there stands William Herrick. Naked as the day he was born, covered in mud and blood, screaming feral into the cold air.

I had chills for 80% of this episode. The acting was, as always, top notch. Tovey, Turner and Critchlow just WORK. And the supporting cast (all apart from "oo aar" farmer's-wife-vampire-chubby-strumpet-and-ex-feeder-girl, can't remember her real name, anyway) are incredible. I hope Herrick is back for revenge, for total destruction. I hope everything heats up a gear, more so than it did this year, which was a lot! And I hope the talk of production and indeed location getting shifted to Cardiff is true. The home of Drama is the place for Being Human to grow from the monster it is into the masterpiece it deserves to be. And it's not got much growing to do.

Very rarely does a series evoke such a personal and heartfelt response from me, but this did. Since we first met the characters I have loved them. And I am not afraid to admit that I cried when Annie was taken. Roll on Series Three is all I can say. And, judging by the hints we got from series creator Toby Whithouse, we're not going to be disappointed. "the threat this time is more or less themselves"? Interesting, very interesting...