Hasn't time flown by!
It was only last week that snowflakes were falling in my garden when I was watching "The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe," and here we are again with a new series only a day or so away!
Okay, very brief run-down for the newbies.
I’m Darren Blackburn, contributor to Cosmic Book News
from the West Midlands – that’s in the United Kingdom or England. Take yer
pick. You may see my name pop up elsewhere on this fine site as I’m behind a certain little thing called Nova619
– and yes I’m a die-hard Nova fan. But before I was a die-hard Nova fan, I was, and still am, an equally die-hard Doctor Who
fan. So when the series came back on the BBC in 2005 I started doing reviews. Matt will probably tell you when I started doing this column, and when I offered to do a Who
Review column for CBN
, he accepted it wholeheartedly. Well, there was a Dalek
with me at the time – but we won’t go into that. So welcome to "Reverse the Polarity
Now back to business.
This year Series 7 is split into two halves. A five episode run which marks the last years (and that is correct) of the Eleventh Doctor traveling alongside Amy and Rory Pond who have been in the series since his debut episode, "The Eleventh Hour," back in 2010. Then after their very teary farewell – and heavens knows how that’ll happen – we’ll have the seasonal Christmas Special which introduces new companion to be, Clara Oswin (Jenna-Louise Coleman), who will then appear in a subsequent eight episodes which will air in the UK/USA in Spring 2013...leading us very nicely into the big 50th Anniversary - as yes we celebrate a veritable TV milestone next year.
I can’t wait for next year, but right now let’s focus on the first five episodes which will air during September. Now you may have surfed the net and read the articles here at CBN, but because it’s a customary thing I do, I’m going to give you my own run down of what’s coming up - and share a few Who bits and bobs you may not know along the way.
So here we go...
ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS: Written by Steven Moffat
This 50 minute extravaganza raises the curtain in a very spectacular way. For many this will be a Who wet-dream as it features over 25 different design of Daleks – Daleks being the Doctor’s greatest adversary! Among those to appear in action or in cameo are ones going right back into the original 1963-1989 run, including my personal fave the Special Weapons Dalek from "Remembrance of the Daleks" (1988 - 7th Doctor). More Daleks will also be seen from the classic "Power of the Daleks" (1967 - 2nd Doctor) as well as a ton of Daleks custom built by Who fans invited to take part in filming. There will also be the return of the gold Daleks from the Russel T. Davies era – apparently a Dalek Emperor will crop up - even a Dalek Prime Minister, and we also get to see a new Stealth Dalek that can look like us! And yes, the new Paradigm Daleks (from "Victory of the Daleks" - 2010) return as well, although thankfully they’ve had a new paint job.
Basic plot: Daleks recruit the Doctor, who also has to juggle saving the Pond’s disintegrating marriage (which will factor through the run) to retrieve something from the Asylum, a prison planet where Daleks who have succumbed to insanity are kept virtual prisoners for eternity. Daleks that even the Paradigm Daleks fear...
DINOSAURS ON A SPACESHIP: Written by Chris Cribnall
From the title - expect an homage to that certain Samuel L. Jackson cult movie - except with dinosaurs and a big rocky spaceship wildly out of control on a collision with Earth in the not too distant future. Oddly enough, dinosaurs have only been featured in Doctor Who on TV once before....way way back in "Invasion of the Dinosaurs." Broadcasted in 1972, this was a 3rd Doctor story – and is highly regarded as one of the worst stories ever made. With hand-puppet dinos stalking around London and a side plot about a whacky cult which wants to populate a new planet and bring about a new Golden Age, the only thing that made this story good was Elizabeth Sladen; her second story as journalist Sarah Jane Smith.
I’m sure the Mill will do some top-notch SFX’s to create some very realistic believable dinosaurs; they did a trial run in last season’s finale "The Wedding of River Song." Guest Stars include Mark Williams (Albert Weasley from the Harry Potter films) as Rory's father Brian, Riann Steele as Queen Nefertiti and Rupert Graves as a hunter. Also stars David Bradley, another Potter stalwart as Solomon.
A TOWN CALLED MERCY: Written by Toby Whitehouse
Just like the above, this story marks the return of a genre that has only been in Doctor Who once before – namely the Western! You have to go right back to 1964 to the 1st Doctor era to "The Gunfighters," a pure historical which thrust the Doctor and his then companions into the events leading the confrontation between the Earps and Clanceys at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. This story will be a more traditional affair, and it gives 11th Doctor Matt Smith the excuse not only to wear his Stetson again, but also ride a horse for real. Filmed in Spain at the very town used in spaghetti westerns, this story features actor Ben Browder as the Sheriff of Mercy, best known for his roles as John Crichton in Farscape and Cameron Mitchell in Stargate SG-1. Look out for a cool cyborg called The Reckoner!
THE POWER OF THREE: Written by Chris Cribnall
This is the one that so far not many publicity photos have surfaced about. What is known that is features a very unusual invasion of present day Earth, is told from the viewpoint of Amy and Rory as the Doctor deals with mysterious cubes, and also features the return of UNIT. A notable inclusion in the cast is actress Jemma Redgrave who plays Kate Stewart. Brigadier Leathbridge Stewart was the leader of UNIT, played by Nicholas Courtney who sadly died last year who appeared in the series for over 40 years. It’s hinted her character is the Brig’s daughter. Another stalwart actor is Stephen Berkoff, who is best known as General Orlov in the James Bond film Octopussy.
THE ANGELS TAKE MANHATTAN: Written by Steven Moffat
The short run ends with a trip to modern day New York where Who filmed scenes in Central Park earlier this year as well as night shooting with streets given a 1930’s makeover. With the inclusion of the Weeping Angels – one of the most terrifying creations ever – their time twisting abilities are a definitive feature along with the return of River Song playing a mysterious character called Melody. This is billed to be both a terrifying finale and a tear jerker with the final fate of the Ponds hanging in the balance.
Creator of the Angels, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, recently revealed that he planned to have the stone assassins that kill with kindness return (by zapping you back along your own timeline so they can suck up your potential energy). He also revealed that the key to the Pond’s fate was sign-posted back in "The Eleventh Hour" – so go and download the episode or find it on YouTube and re-watch it and let me know what it is!
So that’s a brief run down.
Be back online on Sunday when I’ll put up my first review - and every Sunday, thereafter.
And if you have any comments about the series. Post them!
See you soon. Daz