Class Was Not The YA Doctor Who Spin-Off We Needed

As the BBC 3 Doctor Who spin-off “Class” made it’s way to Netflix I couldn’t help but think about the Doctor Who spin-off that should have happened.

Class itself was perfectly fine, a series surrounding the sixth form students at Coal Hill sixth form college and their fight against the Shadow Kin, a group of aliens that want to get to the prince hiding out at the school. However it was doctor who adjacent rather than part of the universe in the same way Sarah Jane and Torchwood were a part of Doctor Who’s world before and after that their respective spin-offs. In my opinion that’s why it didn’t work, Class could have retained a lot of the same characters and storylines if it was about a haunted boarding school or magic academy instead of aliens.

Young Adult feels like a natural step for the Doctor Who franchise however as it’s most fervent fans occupy the 13-18 demographic the show itself had to honour them and their love of the show. For me, this left a natural successor…

 

Between 2007-2011 a program called ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ featuring the iconic Doctor Who companion Sarah Jane Smith as played by Elisabeth Sladen. Accompanying Sarah Jane Smith was her young neighbours,  Rani, Luke and Clyde, oh and K9

The Sarah Jane Adventures bridged together the two worlds of ‘old’ doctor who and new doctor who. Reappearing in David Tennant’s stint in ‘School Reunion’ even watching it as a child it was easy to recognise this was a woman of great importance to the series, she was effortlessly weaved into the tapestry of the new show.

The show itself was suited for its young audience with the younger characters being integral to every 30-minute episode of the five season show. Sarah Jane, the journalist sniffing out alien activity from her London home while presenting a normal face to her neighbours was an ultimately fantastic show

The young character dynamic resembled the Harry Potter trio of the chosen one, the goofy best friend and the smart girl and the show itself regularly integrated itself into the Doctor Who plot.

Of course, The Sarah Jane Adventures ended with the death of Elisabeth Sladen, her death was a great loss to us all but the legacy she left behind, especially in the doctor who community was truly amazing.

Yet in the world of the show, there were three young characters left adrift with knowledge of aliens and no anchor, these felt like the characters we should have witnessed at sixth form or possibly university. As a show that managed to retain an audience through a sixty year time period, it wouldn’t have been too hard to introduce a new audience to these kids.

 

 

 

 

New Doctor Who companion?

After the casting on a female Doctor Who sent shockwaves through the geekiverse it’s possible the new Doctor Who companion could be just as controversial.

The Mirror is reporting that Bradley Walsh, the host of The Chase is going to be the new Doctor Who companion…

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For those outside of the UK, Bradley Walsh is something of a household, a former football player, comedian + actor. He currently hosts a very popular game show called The Chase and he recently had a number one album.

At 57 years old he’d be one of the oldest companions on Doctor Who and would be a step away from the traditional young female companions and could prove to be a nice yin to Jodie’s yang, so what do you think?

Christopher Eccleston reacts to 13th Doctor casting

The casting of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor has sent shockwaves through the Whoinverse with some fans shocked that an ancient Alien doesn’t apply to human gender binary and others being excited by Whittaker’s acting pedigree.

Christopher Eccleston, the first man to revive the Doctor has been cast as the 9th Doctor was more than pleased by his successor:

“She’s working class, she’s northern, what can go wrong?

He said in a recent interview a few weeks ago alluding to the fact he and Whittaker are both from Lancashire and Yorkshire respectively, Eccleston also joined a litany of other positive reactions to the casting news including Kingston (River Song) who said at a recent convention event:

“Oh, that’s lovely. She’s a really great actress. She’s fantastic. Oh my God that’s so exciting! Ohhhh! How fabulous.

 

Doctor Who ‘The Lie of the Land’ Review

As the Doctor sits in a cell it’s down to Bill and Narbole to save the day and lead a resistance against the new regime.

On its eighth episode, a reality altering baddie feels like an end of season jaunt for a show like Doctor Who. With the threat of Missy still over head it begs to wonder if the Monks might be her salvation out of the

The Monks have shown themselves to be a formidable opponent to the Doctor as they alter reality in order to bend it too their will. But the question is why? Why do the Monks need to take over?

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Six months has gone by and Bill is still reeling from her decision to give the Monks her consent, now feels like a disenchanted verison of the girl we saw at the beginning. All in all, Bill has felt like a breath of fresh air throughout this season, in this episode she really comes into her own as she morphs into her own persona and hearing her through the voiceover amps up that great personality.

Narbole also feels refreshingly proactive this episode and as we see the two of them sneak onto a ship to rescue the Doctor he’s an intergal, albeit goofy part of the team.

The Doctor seemingly imprisoned by the Monks with the occasional video message to the wide world he looks to be a shade of his former self. ‘Killing millions to save billions,’ is a concept the Doctor deals with from time to time and now it seems like he’s truly defeated.

Bill feels the betrayal more than anyone else as she sees the Doctor taking away their free will, so she shoots him….Only for it to be revealed as a big visade. I am sort of disappointed that there wasn’t a ‘Dark Doctor’ style episode, the Doctor is actually building up his own resistance army.

Needing help from the smartest person he knows, he ropes Missy into help. She’s now in rehab from being bad their uneasy alliance is the only way as Missy has had dealings with them before.

Surprisingly, the main drama of the episode takes place in Missy’s cell highlighting each of the three actors incredible ability as it’s revealed that Bill’s the linchpin of the Monk’s rule. She has to die in order to stop the Monk’s rule.

The Doctor saving the day by transmitting thoughts to the whole world is vaguely reminiscent of The Silence.

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Strange headed aliens taking over the world by stealth…it’s so 2015

Making their way into one of the Monks command centres there’s a nice nod to ‘Fake News’ as he attempts to fix whathe Monks have manipulated everyone into believing.

But things don’t go according to plan as he’s unable to change people’s memories and ends up being roasted.

Waking up Bill’s decided she’s going to be the one to end it, resigned to the fact she’s got to die. As the Monks begin to infect her memories, it’s only the created memory of her mother that really stays as it’s impossible for them to touch something she created.

The Monk’s leave, erasings themselves, their memories and their pyramids. The Doctor’s kind of pissed off that the human’s never learn but it overcome with the possibilities he’d meet someone like Bill.

 

Doctor Who ‘Knock, Knock’ Review

When you go to university and go travelling there’s a tentative line one must try and walk between travel anecdotes and travel monologues. We all know that bitch that went to Bali for six months and came back ‘so enlightened yah.’

Anyway Bill’s facing that exact problem in ‘Knock, Knock’ she’s even brought her weird slightly older travel companion to help her move in.

Bill’s cluelessness about issues such as ‘time-lords’ and ‘regeneration’ is disarming for long time fans of the show, but her attitude and freshness allows a perfect avenue to come into Doctor Who.

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And like companions before her, we’re getting the ‘everyday life’ episode for Bill, although unlike a Clara or a Rose Bill is at the start of her life with a small support system that we begin to suspect may not make it through the night.

Speaking of foreshadowing, long time fans of the show will have noticed a picture of Susan- the Doctor’s granddaughter from the original sixties series and Bill proceeded to call the Doctor her grandfather in this episode. Coincidence ? We shall see…

But the main antagonist of the episode is Mr Poirot himself, David Suchet makes an appearance as the creepy landlord, a nice bit of realism was the students dismissing him and his creepiness as nothing but a part of a cheap rent economy.

But when tenants go missing in rooms, the Doctor decides to stick around and investigate.

Indiscriminate bug aliens have been a staple of Doctor Who for years and this time they’ve apparently housed themselves in Bristol and are now feeding off students.

The creepy old house episode feels very typical of Doctor Who and it’s nice that they lean into it rather than do a twist on the genre. At the same time, they need to arc the season instead of constantly doing bottle episodes.

An episode reveal of a wooden zombie woman and her secret creepy landlord son is not only emotionally resonate but a moment of sleuthing for Bill as she’s the one to connect the dots.

As the woman and her son both perish it’s a reminder that a lot of Doctor Who’s genius is in its family drama as the relationships are more important than the sci-fi.

The episode ends with the Doctor in front of his vault and lilting piano music floating through it’s the opposite of the Doctor’s speech about life being about ‘seeing the fireworks’ yet he’s got someone inside the vault with enough fingers to play music well enough.

Who is in the vault? It sounds like there’s enough of a relationship between the Doctor and the persons/space thing in the vault. However, this is Moffat we’re talking about so it could be the Doctor’s secret sister, we better find out soon or I’m rioting.

Next week there’s a space station with a space suit problem and it seems like there’s trouble in store for Bill. Again following the pattern of Doctor Who episodes and so I’m a little worried how long this season can run on Mackie/Capaldi charm.

 

 

Doctor Who ‘Thin Ice’ Review

Warning- Contains spoilers for Doctor Who

“You don’t steer the Tardis you reason with it”

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The arrival of Bill has honestly brought new life into Doctor Who, the chemistry between Capaldi and Mackie and the return to an episodic view has made the past three episodes of Doctor Who feel like a return to the old without everything being cloaked in mystery and long complex relationships. That’s not to say there isn’t some intrigue going on…

Basically, a kid’s show about time travel should be fun and Bill brings that in buckets.

In 1814 London something wicked and cold this way comes, something is underneath the Thames…

This episode is really Bill’s first proper foray into time travelling and refreshingly she points the realities of being a POC in the 18th century and she manages to also address like seven of the time travel rules that often go ignored with Doctor Who.

I say that this is the first real time-travelling trip as Bill begins to see the layers underneath the Doctor, realising her teacher and the man she’s decided to travel the universe might be a lil bit of a mass murderer.

A group of street kids in the 18th century are working to attract people to a fayre on the river so the lights underneath the river can suck people down in order to feed a mysterious alien. Bill is stunned at the casual way the Doctor deals with the death of this child and the fact he’s 2000 years old.

Bill and the Doctor discover this alien is linked to a new form of energy and an uppity British Lord Sutcliffe and his use of the creature for fuel. There are definite allusions to the ’11’ beast below episode with a sad unknown creature being used for the greed of humans in probably one of the most realistic attributes to the show. People suck.

But the Doctor puts the onus of the decision onto Bill as whether or not they should save or kill the beast she decides to save the creature, ultimately causing the end to Lord Sutcliffe and giving the street urchin kids a new life.

Also -I don’t know if it was foreshadowing or not- but several times during the episode the Doctor came dangerously close to losing his screwdriver it’d be interesting to see what he’d be like without it.

Back in the 21st century, Bill wants to know how they affected the future realising that the giant fish in a river was barely a footnote in history. Everything seemingly worked out for the group of orphans (I’d be interested to see if we a Sutcliffe descendant pops up in a later episode.)

The episode ends with the vault in the university and Matt Lucas talking to the door, notably, whatever is in the vault knocks four times and we all know what happened the last time someone did that…

 

Next week:

A haunted house on an all protein diet

Doctor Who: First gay companion

As we eagerly await the new series of Doctor Who (April 15th not like I’m counting) we’re happy to hear that new girl Billy will be the Doctor’s first openly gay companion.

Talking with the BBC actress Pearl Mackie address representation:

 I think being able to visually recognise yourself on screen is important…[Being gay] is not the main thing that defines her character – it’s something that’s part of her and something that she’s very happy and very comfortable with.”

Not the first Doctor Who companion to be LGBTQ, she will be the first full-time gay companion. Bill’s sexuality will be revealed pretty quickly in her first few lines of dialogue.

What do you think? Are you excited to see Pearl Mackie in the new series?

Steven Moffat talks leaving Doctor Who

Steven Moffat’s tenure as the head writer of Doctor Who has been one with many highs and lows, but as we say goodbye to the Sherlock writer at the end of the latest season of Doctor Who we can’t help but reflect on the writings of Mr. Moffat…

In a recent interview with Empire Moffat talked about the times he thought about bowing out with the Day of the Doctor episode almost four years ago…

“It was an awful show to work on and I kept just wanting to give up. Because the truth is there is a reason why there is only one Doctor Who and there is absolutely no reason to have more than one.”

Calling the episode ‘murder’ as it involved putting the four doctors together but as it proved to be a ‘monster hit’ it pushed him on but that wasn’t the only time he thought about departing…

“I vaguely thought I’d be going last year…the last scene of Christmas that year [The Husbands Of River Song] with the Doctor finally making it to the Darillium, which we hear about in the episode just before I took over, was as close as I’ll ever get to making any attempt at closure”.

So what do you guys think? Should Moffat have left sooner or are you excited to see what he does with this season?

 

7 Doctor Who replacements

Ben Whishaw

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The current Q is currently the bookies favourite to take over the mantle of the Doctor when Capaldi leaves. He definitely has the acting chops and the quirky vibe to pull off the role of the Doctor. However are Ben and Matt Smith too similar? The Doctor has always been very distinct, maybe if he goes ginger.

Chiwetel Ejiofor 

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Chiwetel was reportedly offered the role of the Doctor after David Tennant left the show. And we can see why Chiwetel has the easy intelligence that comes with being a 900 year old alien. But with his successful film career and name already attached to another Doctor project he might just not have enough time to fit it in even if he wanted too.

Helen Mirren

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Helen Mirren has already expressed her interest in the part of the Doctor and let’s be real there are few actors or actresses out there that could match the gravitas of Mirren. Yet there hasn’t been a female Doctor in the 50+ years of Doctor Who, will the show runners have enough grit to go against the grain?

Tim Roth

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Tim Roth’s name has also been linked to playing the Time Lord. And it could be a welcome return to the small screen for Roth as he enjoyed critical success in his latest BBC series. But his turn in Rillington Place it’s almost impossible not to be a little bit scared when you see Roth on screen.

Rupert Grint

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Possibly due to the fan crossover between Doctor Who and Harry Potter fans Rupert Grint has been linked as a potential replacement for Capaldi. At the age of twenty eight Grint would be one of the youngest actors to take the role, whether Grint would want to take on such an iconic role after Harry Potter is another story.

Tom Hiddleston 

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Again these rumours could just be due to the cross section of Marvel + Doctor Who fans. But Hiddleston seems like he could play up the certain odd Britishness often associated with Doctor Who. Although he is a big movie star, maybe a turn as the Doctor will help rehabilitate his image.

Hayley Atwell

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She’s still a relatively unknown actress in the UK Hayley Atwell would be an unexpected choice for the role. After turns as Peggy Carter and Hayes Morrison Hayley Atwell has proved she can lead a show and bring a lot of charisma to any of her characters. She has also expressed interest in the role in the past and would have a lot of fan support.

Peter Capaldi leaving Doctor Who

During an interview on the BBC Peter Capaldi confirmed he will be leaving Doctor Who at the end of the year.

Stating that it was “Time to move on” Capaldi’s residency as the Doctor will come to an end before the 2018 new year and will also coincide with the Moffat departure.

“One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best…From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic.”

The Scottish actor was the twelfth (technically 13th but whatevs) man too lend his face too the regenerating Time Lord.