Friday, April 2, 2010

Doctor Who?

Doctor Who?

Oh man, aren't you excited? This weekend is the return of Doctor Who. Yes, that's right. In the long standing tradition of BBC showing Doctor Who on all holidays when it's a big fucking deal, they are going to premiere the first episode in the 5(?) season of Doctor Who on Easter Weekend.

Us Americans can wait for BBC America to show it on April 17th, but then again, I'm Aries and I'm stubborn. So you're not going to have me wait, god damn it. I'll be downloading it like the rest of the real, true blooded nerds in this world.

Oh wait, you might now know what Doctor Who is. Or for that matter, you may be intimidated by the fact that this is actually the 31st season of Doctor Who to hit the television airwaves. Yes, that's right. 31 seasons of Doctor Who. That's 756 episodes from the original air date back in 1963.

Doctor Who may look like an intimidating series to get into considering it's going on so many seasons on the air. Just remember this. The only things you need to know to appreciate any story is that the Doctor is an alien with a time machine whose idea of fun is having adventures in time and space, and he almost always brings one more more usually-human companions with him. The rest will come out in the wash.

So yes. Doctor Who is about a Time/Space traveling alien called the Time Lord. He's potentially the last of his race, and he likes to go on travels with humans. Mostly female and in the past there has been a lot of love interest and what not. They go to places in time that they are needed.. or that something needs to be done.. or hell, just to watch the demise of something.

For those of you who are looking for a more detailed on why the actor who has played the Doctor isn't ancient looking, well.. there's a reason. They replace him. After the last actor wanted to venture off to the land of American television, they had it so that the Tenth actor to play the Doctor absorbed a great deal of radiation. He regenerated, a trick that time lords could do, which brings him into a new incarnation of what he should look like. Now he looks like a young hipster.

But this last regeneration was pretty violent. So violent that it set the TARDIS on fire and sent it crashing back onto Earth. Oh wait, you don't know what that is yet, do you? Well, the mode of transportation through time and space is a blue police box called the Tardis. Yes, a 1950's British Police box is the tool of time travel. Now that Hot Tub concept doesn't look so far fetched, now does it?

Not only is the Doctor getting a new look, but the Tardis will also have a new design and layout on the inside. I believe that it has been described as very Steam Punk. Oh my, not only is the new Doctor a hipster, but they're making the TARDIS steam punk? Clearly they're trying to target a certain demographic.

But still, it's worth giving it a shot. It's classic sci-fi. Hell, it has to be since it's been on for so long. This is what the folks across the pond were looking at while we were enjoying the Twilight Zone.

Back in the 1980's there was talk that they were going to have a cartoon version. The Nelyana cartoon never happened. Here's some choice selections from the concept art. Rest are here. The first one's not bad. We've got what looks like an aged Tom Baker, there's K-9 and some Daleks.

Those all look pretty silly. I mean, they really do look a bit odd. Sort of Mobius. But let's not focus on the past. let's take a look to the future, this is, after all a time travel show. Am I right?

So who are the new players for this upcoming season?

Karen Gillan - Amy Pond

A fine young redheaded... hot... police woman dressed girl who first meets the Doctor as a child when he crash lands into her garden. She and her boyfriend (good ones always taken) join the Doctor on his adventures when she's all grown up.

The redesigned TARDIS

Looking a bit bright blue and plasticy and ENORMOUS but still an indication of the series going old school with the return of classic design elements such as the white window frames and the St John's Ambulance sticker from the Hartnell days. The inside, like I already mentioned being more Steam Punk, will also have a science lab in it. I wonder if we'll get to see the wardrobe room.

What are we looking forward to in terms of story? Well, we have Steven Moffat as the head writer now. You may remember him as the writer of such awesome episodes as The Library and Blink.

So here's what we're expecting in terms of episodes.

Episode 1 -"The Eleventh Hour" -Written by Steven Moffat: The new Doctor episode.
Involves: Young 1996 Amy Pond, Grown up 2010 PC Amy Pond, Present day Earth, exploding sonic screwdrivers, duck ponds lacking ducks, Barney and his shapeshifting dog.

#2 "???" - Steven Moffat: The Monks episode.
Involves: Monks with keys. Possibly mostly set inside the TARDIS, possibly Earth based.

#3 "???" - Mark Gatiss: WW2 of the Daaaaaaaaaaaa...leks! episode.
Involves: Winston Churchill, "WOULD YOU LIKE A CUP OF TEA?", Power of the Daleks remake but with redesign Daleks

#4 "The Time of Angels" - Steven Moffat: Super Moffat recycling station two-parter.

#5 "Flesh and Stone" - Steven Moffat
Involves: Returns of River Song, Sally Sparrow's boyfriend and the Weeping Angels. Lots of soldiers, a crashed spaceship called the Byzantium, treks through the forest, and strange underground ruins. Likely not Earth.

#6 "Vampires of Venice" - Toby Whithouse: Vampire episodes.
Involves: Amy's boyfriend Rory joins the TARDIS CREW, Pointy teeth, vampire brides, fancy swordsmen, Earth based but in Croatia and not London

#7 "???" - Gareth Roberts: ???
Involves: ???

#8 "The ground beneath their feet" - Chris Chibnall: Supposed Silurian two-parter.

#9 "Cold Blood" - Chris Chibnall: part Two
Involves: Silurians probably or similar reptiles, set in a post global-warming devastation future Earth.

#10 "Vincent and the Doctor" - Richard Curtis: Van Gogh episode.
Involves: Dreadful ear jokes, historical Dutch celebrity artists, 1880s Earth, yellow monsters.

#11 "???" - Simon Nye: ???
Involves: ???

#12 "???" - Steven Moffat: Cybermen two-parter.
#13 "???" - Steven Moffat: Part two.
Involves: Mondas Cybermen, hopefully. Probably not.

See, now I completely ruined it for you. I must have gone into the future and picked out all those story lines, but since I don't know any of the details, neither do you, I guess we'll be okay in watching them and enjoy as we come along to them once a week. Is that alright with you?

There's also talks that after this first season, Neil Gaiman is potentially going to write an episode for the 2011 season of Doctor Who.

On a final note.. It looks like our latest Doctor had some problems with the law.
Matt Smith, the latest actor to play Doctor Who in the BBC series, was stopped at Heathrow airport for taking a sonic screwdriver through security. The 27-year-old actor was stopped as he passed through a security scanner before a flight to Belfast.

Officials pulled the new timelord to one side, believing the gadget to be a weapon, according to The Sun.

A source told the newspaper: "Matt's a huge fan of the screwdriver so didn't think anything of carrying it with him on the plane. It's basically just a fake prop and doesn't exactly do much.

"But going through the X-ray scanner it probably looks like a weapon, albeit something you'd see in Star Wars.

"Matt was very polite and explained what the screwdriver was. But the guards just looked puzzled. Fortunately he had some Doctor Who promo material on him so was able to show them who he was.

"Once the penny dropped and they had a proper look at the screwdriver, they let him through."

It was revealed yesterday that Smith has already broken four sonic screwdrivers while getting to grips with his new role.

The new timelord told the Radio Times he keeps the tools – most commonly used in the series for unlocking doors – with him all the time for extra practice.

He admitted: ''I've broken four of them ... I like to have it about my person at all times, just twirling it around and flicking it. It's all part of the magic, isn't it?''

Ha ha, that's pretty funny when you think about it. Really though, a guard at Heathrow didn't know about Doctor Who? Come on.. you're joking, right? I'm just wondering why Smith didn't just tell them to call UNIT? Maybe they remembered Time-Flight or remembered what happened the last time he called UNIT.

So, as a huge nerd, I'm anticipating this weekend. Not for any coming of Christ, but for the coming of new Doctor Who!

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