Day of the Doctor

Well, here we are. Some more thoughts on the Doctor Who anniversary… Warning — below are spoilers for those who have not seen the special episode yet

November 23rd

Anniversary day finally arrived.

November 23rd

The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special episode “Day Of The Doctor” aired in the UK at 7:50pm GMT Saturday night which is 6:50am AEDT on Sunday morning. Thankfully the technology for the simulcast is a little more sophisticated than streaming video — otherwise we might have seen this!

Doctor Who special simulcast - streaming? Let's hope not!

It made me wonder… the ABC self-regulates its programme ratings, and rated the episode as PG, which is a safe bet.

But with the same episode showing at numerous Australian cinemas today, and them advertising it also as PG, does this mean it had already seen by people at the Classification Board?

The answer seems to be yes — there is a listing on their web site showing it was rated PG for mild impact themes and violence on 7th November… which I suppose means copies have gone to all the broadcasters as well.

Repeats

Full points to ABC2. The geniuses in their programming department managed to get their weekday Doctor Who repeats to conclude on Friday with the episode before the special. Well done!

The Popup Shop

BBC Worldwide (their marketing arm) are running Popup Shops around the country too. We went along to the Richmond one the other week (it may have finished up already), and it was very busy.

Doctor Who Popup Shop

The episode — Spoilers!

And the special episode itself? Well I got up to watch it, and will watch it again tonight.

Fantastic. A great balance between nostalgia/tribute and a fresh story that wouldn’t put off the Newvians (as Isaac has called new Whovians).

Nostalgia is a powerful force. The episode managed to tug at the collective memories of decades of episodes via millions of viewers.

At the start it referenced the very first episode (which I’m too young to have seen on original transmission, but first saw in the mid-80s on a very fuzzy copy of a copy of a VHS tape), but there were also many more recent memories — including some from the 70s and 80s — I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who found myself delighted but also a little emotional while watching.

The Zygons — happily little changed since their 70s appearance.

The Curator — what a surprise.

From the mini-episode Night Of The Doctor we now know 8th Doctor Paul McGann regenerates into John Hurt. It’s implied in this episode that he becomes Christopher Eccleston. But what happens to the numbering now? Is Matt Smith actually 12 instead of 11? If so, is Peter Capaldi (glimpsed briefly today) set to be the 13? If so, what happened to The Valeyard, who was supposedly going to be between the 12th and 13th?

Or did McGann to Hurt institute a reboot, given he was actually brought back to life by the Sisters of Karn? That would make Hurt the 1st, and so on. It seems not, if the credits were anything to judge.

The 13th is meant to be the last Doctor. Not that it really matters — if the makers of the programme want to bend Timelord lore and go beyond the 13th, they’ll find a way — it’s science fiction, after all. (They did it years ago with The Master.)

A loose end was tied up — in The Shakespeare Code, we saw the Tennant Doctor being chased by Queen Elizabeth the First. Now it seems we know why.

Though we never saw what happened to the negotiations between the two Kate Lethbridge-Stewarts. And why is Clara now a school teacher? (Or did we already know that?)

This episode turns around the result of the Time War. But would the Daleks really have destroyed themselves when Gallifrey disappeared? Seems a tad unlikely, though maybe that’s why the Eccleston Doctor is so surprised any of them survived.

Maybe some of these things will be explained later. But I for one thoroughly enjoyed this episode.

And like all good stories, it ended with a cup of tea.

Here’s to the next fifty years!

PS: Ratings

Doctor Who “Day Of The Doctor” Australian ratings: 424,000 at 6:50am (!) and 922,000 at 7:30pm plus it was apparently ranked number 2 for Sunday cinema box office takings ($1.5 million). (Source)

In Britain it was second-highest programme of the night, watched by 10.6 million. (Source)

PS: The Google Doodle

Surely everyone’s seen this, but just in case not, here’s a link to its permanent home: the Doctor Who Google Doodle, including a multi-level game inside it. Over a few tries, I eventually managed to complete it in 3 minutes 28 seconds.

This tram is bigger on the inside #SaveTheDay

This tram is bigger on the inside:

The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who is fast approaching, and fans are getting into a fervour.

Normally it’s only sports fans who wake up early to watch live TV. Sci-fi fans? Not so much.

All that will change next Sunday morning, when the special anniversary episode Day Of The Doctor will simulcast in Australia and in 70+ other countries around the world. On the east coast it’s 6:50am AEDT, which is pretty civilised (matching the UK time of 7:50pm on Saturday).

It’ll air again on Sunday night at 7:30pm on ABC1 for those who don’t want to get up early, followed by a dramatisation of the creation of the TV series, airing straight after it (trailer). Then it’ll be shown again on ABC2 on Monday, at 7:30pm and 11:20pm.

The special episode will also be shown in 3D at many cinemas next Sunday, including most Hoyts and Village outlets.

There’s been an early teaser/trailer:

…an actual trailer:

…and I can’t embed it in this page, but there’s also a mini-episode which brought a huge surprise for regular viewers of the show.

Will I be getting up early next Sunday to watch? Oh yes!

I am not the new Doctor Who

Despite how it may look, I am not the next Doctor Who.

Daniel and the TARDIS

We went along to the Astor Theatre on Saturday to watch the two 60′s Dalek movies — back from that curious time in British TV and film when they often seemed to remake television shows as big screen movies — in this case with none of the television cast. They are impressive in parts, and in some ways more watchable than the original versions of the stories, but also quite unintentionally amusing at times.

A good crowd turned up, as did a Police Box, a Dalek and also K9. Many people dressed up as their favourite Doctor (though, as we noted, the 5th, 6th and 7th seem to often get overlooked in this regard… perhaps because their clothing was so outlandish you’ve got zero chance of buying their clothes off the shelf).

TARDIS and Dalek in the foyer at the Astor Theatre

Meanwhile, Peter Capaldi has just been announced as the 12th Doctor.

Who? He’s perhaps best known for In The Thick Of It, which is another in a long list of TV shows that I’ve been meaning to watch for years. Perhaps this will inspire me to make the effort.

Hopefully he’ll be good. Smith, Tennant, Eccleston, all of them are all tough acts to follow.

Meteor & asteroid on the news – it’s like Doctor Who when they have the fake news bulletins

Over the past 24 hours, seeing the stories of the asteroid close-call and the meteor falling in Russia, it’s been a bit like those scenes in Doctor Who where they have a news bulletin about the latest alien invasion.

Channel 10: Asteroid story

Russian TV (via SBS): Asteroid story

ABC News: asteroid/meteor story

My blabbering in the TARDIS

Deep within the bowels of the ABC studios at Southbank…

ABC Southbank (Melbourne) studios

…there is a Triple J studio called “TARDIS”.

TARDIS studio, ABC

Well, recording booths. I discovered that they’re not bigger on the inside.

I was there the other day at lunchtime. My blabbering has shown up as part of a Triple J “Hack” story on the costs of public transport vs cars.

Spotted at Minotaur

I’ve shopped at Minotaur Books for decades. I first found it in the early 80s when it was at the top end of Swanston Street. Then it moved to a multi-level shop in Bourke Street. Then to its current home in Elizabeth Street.

It’s always had way more cool stuff than I could afford to buy, though for some time in the mid-80s I was buying Doctor Who Monthly regularly.

Nowadays my kids love going there. Spotted last week…

Doctor Who “Lego” (compatible bricks):
Doctor Who Lego compatible kits

…and, who would like a Doctor Who Myki holder?
Doctor Who travel pass holders

(Sanctuary Base 6, for those who don’t remember it, was the base from the David Tennant story The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit.)

The Late Show’s Doctor Who parody

I was looking for something else on Youtube, and as sometimes happens, got distracted by this instead: a Doctor Who parody from The (D-Gen) Late Show from 1993.

For those who don’t follow such things, the real Brigadier, Nicholas Courtney, passed away last week.