You know a TV show has gone mainstream when you see a t-shirt for it in the window of Target (as well as having its DVDs advertised on phone boxes).
Just a game I thought of: what Doctor Who episode aired on or closest to your birthday?
Check this list to find out.
(I guess those born before 1963 or in the 90s will probably gravitate to one of two episodes…)
If I had the time, I’d whip up an applet to do the hard work for you, but I don’t, sorry.
Haven’t blogged for a bit, so here’s a brief catch-up.
I helped Tony and Rae and family move last week. The inevitable comment that pops up when geeks move house: packing the moving van is like Tetris. Of course, when you get a full row of boxes, they don’t disappear and make more space…
The kids and I watched the early (9:15pm) NYE fireworks a short distance away from the action — Richmond Station platform 4, which unlike the city centre, was not crowded at all, apart from half-a-dozen Connex security guys also watching. They said their shift was from 5pm to 3am. The view was certainly better than from the park near home, where we watched last year, though of course not as good as being in the thick of it.
My Wii fitness level has been up and down, all over the place. The best: 28, the worst: 56. Marita, it turns out, is very good at Wii boxing, knocking-out virtual people with some enthusiasm.
I’ve been playing Scrabble via Facebook with a few friends, mostly local. I was challenged to a game by a friend in Canada, but stupidly, the North American Scrabble is only available in the US and Canada, while the one we have in Australia is only available outside North America… so much for the global village.
Rose would have been 30 on Friday, and the family gathered to pay their respects. It was doubly sobering to see that in the Nagambie cemetery, she now has a neighbour, apparently a local woman in her 40s who also died in a car accident.
On a happier note, the Doctor Who Christmas special will air in Australia on January 25th. You can watch the first couple of minutes here.
A Doctor Who spoiler follows…
10th Doctor David Tennant is moving on after the 2009 special episodes.
I wonder Who’s next? Anybody want to speculate?
Oh dear. Maybe he’ll never meet River Song after all?
I enjoyed this season. I know I’ve loved the show for decades, but they do seem to keep coming up with new, clever stuff.
Voyage of the Damned: A little over-long and plodding in places. I suppose it was a Christmas episode.
Partners in Crime: Got the shock of my life at the end when Rose appeared, even though I had heard she’d be coming back. Other than that, not a spectacular story, but enjoyable enough.
The Fires of Pompeii: Good stuff. Liked the Roman name and Celtic gags. The Confidential episode that went with it showed David Tennant walking around the ruins of Pompeii, which was interesting.
Planet of the Ood: The Simpsons reference had the kids laughing. I was scratching my head until I worked out the boss character was Tim McInnerny. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to think Eww when he turned into an Ood.
The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky: Hooray, the Sontarans! Hooray, Martha’s back! Hooray, so is UNIT! Laughed at the reference to the UNIT dating controversy. Chief Sontaran played by Christopher “Mike Thecoolperson” Ryan. Naturally I liked the transport politics references too.
The Doctor’s Daughter: Given the name and premise, I thought I was going to hate this, until I saw how she was created. Some neat stuff with the dating on the city sections. I’m assuming we’ll see more of Jenny in the future.
The Unicorn and the Wasp: What, two historical stories in one season? Good stuff, it kept me guessing until the end. I liked the idea of the alien basing its activities around Agatha Christie’s plots.
Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead: Oh Stephen Moffat, you are a genius, and not just because you managed to again use wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff and childhood fears made real. The whole thing had me guessing until right near the end, Doctor Moon had me creeped out at first, and the Vashta Nerada is pure brilliance. The River Song character was terrific too, though I wonder if we’ll ever see her past when she meets the Doctor.
Midnight: This year they did the main actor’s time-off over two stories. I thought this story was interesting, both for the alien that was invisible, and the way they played the “trapped in a room” plot, involving people who might consider themselves normally civilised going feral on each other.
Turn Left: Best story of the year, I thought. Bringing back the last year or two’s events and seeing how they would have played without the Doctor being involved — very clever. The acting — including minor characters like the Italian housemate bloke — was great, and it really brought out how much Donna matured throughout the series. The only thing that let it down slightly was the beetle. What a cliffhanger!
The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End: There’s no doubt about it, executive producer Russell T Davies loves a shock-and-awe season finale; he does them every year. But just when I thought I was tiring of them, this had some clever stuff, plenty of returning friends and villains, celebs like Richard Dawkins, tying up a multitude of plot threads and… well, the ultimate in nostalgia, Sarah Jane meeting Davros again for the first time since 1975. I found the ending poignant — the “loss” of Donna (or at least that whole aspect of her) was quite sad. Let’s just hope she doesn’t run into Martha or Sarah Jane or Mickey or Jack in the street…
The year’s episodes might have started a little slowly, but they built up to a great conclusion. (Go look at the early ones again and you’ll find clever forward references, like mentions of the missing planets, bees, and Lucius in the Pompeii episode telling Donna “There’s something on your back!”)
Looking forward to what happens next.
That cult show, the one I’ve liked for 30+ years. I think it’s really gone mainstream.
Nice touch the ads being on phone booths, too. Not quite as well done as the Get Smart ones though.
The week before we moved, the BBC started a new drama, starring William Hartnell. An old man, whose name appeared to be Grandfather or the Doctor, had a police phone box of the kind we saw in the street all the time in those days. It turned out to be a magical and unimaginably wonderful time machine. My brother and I watched this drama in complete amazement. The first ever episode of Doctor Who. I had never been so excited in all my life. A whole week to wait to watch the next instalment. Never have seven days crawled so slowly by, for all that they involved a complicated house move from Buckinghamshire to Norfolk. A week later, in that new house, my brother and I turned on the good old television set in its new sitting room, ready to watch Episode 2. The TV had been damaged in transit and was never to work again. We missed that episode and nothing that has transpired in my life since has ever, or could ever, make up for that terrible, terrible disappointment. There is an empty space inside me that can never be filled. It is amazing neither of us were turned into psychopathic serial killers from that moment.
I hope by now he’s seen that second episode.
For those who are waiting for ABC1 to get its act together and show (new) series 4, they’ve said this year the show will air on Sunday nights. Voyage of the Damned will be on Sunday 29th June at 7:30pm, followed by season 4 starting the following week.
PS. I have a strict comment policy of no spoilers for AU broadcast viewers.
Doctor Who fans, rejoice. Acclaimed writer Steven Moffat, who wrote some of the most memorable (and Hugo-award-winning) recent stories such as Blink and The Empty Child, has been appointed the next Lead Writer and Executive Producer of the show, taking over from sometimes-loved, sometimes-loathed Russell T Davies.
“My entire career has been a Secret Plan to get this job,” said Steven Moffat. “I applied before but I got knocked back cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven.” — Doctor Who web site
Would he be over-stretched? Hopefully not – he wrote four series of Coupling on his own. (Coupling included one character who was a secret Doctor Who fanatic, who in one very funny scene had a dream in which women were riveted by news of classic lost Doctor Who episodes being found.)
So the future of Doctor Who looks very bright indeed.
(Reminder to commenters: Please, no spoilers for those watching Australian broadcasts.)