Moffat, who takes over for previous lead writer and producer Russell T. Davies, remembers his father calling him excitedly to the television, saying Doctor Who was on. It wasn't the show's regular night, but Moffat rushed to the television anyway, only to find it was the kids show Blue Peter, which often promoted and previewed episodes of Doctor Who, and burst into tears.
The two-part story, "The End of Time," was watched by 10 million in the UK -- flirting with a 50 ratings share. So, it's an undeniable success. It was also an undeniable mess of a story that proved unworthy of Tennant's swan song.
Davies forever deserves credit for taking the street credit his successful work on series like Queer as Folk gave him and investing it in one shot from the BBC to bring back the network's crown jewel, Doctor Who. And he deserves credit for increasing the nerdy guy-friendly show's popularity with women by introducing "Buffy-ized" romance and humor.
But, the hard truth is Davies isn't a gifted sci-fi genre writer. And it showed in "The End of Time."
Every once in a while, the British television show Doctor Who is revamped. This is usually done by replacing the lead actor and his supporting crew. However, it is also done by changing the logo of the series. As a result, certain logos are associated with certain eras. Yesterday, the BBC has revealed on their website the logo to be associated with the Matt Smith era of the show. They also have a video of the historical logos of the show.
I don't have a particular favorite logo, although I liked both the "diamond" logo of the 70's, most closely associated with Tom Baker's era, and the "neon" logo of the 80's, which spanned three Doctors (Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Colin Baker). The current one isn't bad either with the cylinder thing with pointy ends (what is that shape called?).
A video preview of thenew logo is available on certain sites such as Topless Robot. What do you think of it? Which logo has been your favorite?
If true, which Doctor is it? Will it be David Tennant or Matt Smith? And which showrunner is it? Russell T. Davies or Steven Moffat? Or is the answer none of the above?
There has been a lot of recent developments in the Doctor Who world. A movie is the next logical step.
If I had my druthers, the movie would be about the Time War (the Daleks being the obvious choice for the alien enemy of the movie). It would star Paul McGann and fill the gap between the 1996 television movie and the 2005 relaunch. The odds are so astronomically against as to be incalculable, but I can dream.
Who might be playing the Rani in the new series? That's after the jump.
The favored odds are Paterson Joseph, who would be the first black person to play the character, but that is not certain. The Beeb along with Steven Moffat could pull someone out of their collective behinds who wasn't even on any of the online lists. The mind boggles at the possibilities, but it should be noted here that Steven Moffat has already worked with Paterson Joseph on his mini-series Jekyll.
I have repeatedly said that I would like to see a woman as the Doctor, however I would be equally satisfied with a black actor simply because it would be a sort of Doctor we've never seen before. I comfort myself with the fact that whomever they choose will be nowhere near as good as Colin Baker. Let the debate begin.
It kind of makes sense. That's when the changeover from Russell T. Davies to Steven Moffat takes place. If one was going to leave the show, that would be the time. Still, Tennant was utterly amazing in the role. Even when the episode was crap, his youthful enthusiasm made the character always a pleasure to watch. His love for the role and the character always shone through. It's probably best for him to leave while the fans are wanting more and he hasn't worn out his welcome.
There is an upside to this. While in his tenure as the Doctor, Mr. Tennant wasn't permitted by BBC to attend any conventions. Perhaps now we'll be able to catch him at one, if he isn't busy with moving on in his career.
Who should play the next Doctor? I vote for Paul McGann. Discuss.
Rumors will fly, of course. Doctor Who movies have been attempted since the days of Tom Baker as the lead role. Two out-of-continuity movies were made in the 1960s (based on William Hartnell episodes of the program) in which the Peter Cushing Doctor fought his greatest enemies, the Daleks.
If I had my druthers, I'd want to see a Paul McGann movie that fills in some of the gap between the 1996 movie and the Christopher Eccleston Doctor, but that's just me. Given the logistics of arranging such a thing, I'd put the odds of that happening somewhere between diddly and squat. Still, a movie about the Last Great Time War would be nice.
After the Kings panel, then attending a bit of the Battlestar Galactica 20th reunion panel (more on that later), I headed over to get in the enormous line to Ballroom 20 (within which you can fit four Kings rooms) for the Doctor Who panel. Writers Julie Gardner and Steven Moffat were up there talking about the show and taking questions from the attendees. Since I don't watch the show, you'll have to deal with what seemed to be the highlights based on crowd reaction and what I thought sounded cool. Rich Keller will hopefully listen to my recording later and update if need-be.
Read on for the highlights.
(S04E08) Thank you very much, Steven Moffat. You can't satisfy yourself with making me terrified of statues, now you have to make me afraid of the dark as well. Besides scaring the pants off me, this episode is the highlight of this season so far (having seen the second episode already, I can assure you that one is just as good). Since all the remaining episodes after this two-parter are written by Russell T. Davies, I may be able to stand by that statement before watching the rest of the season. As I've mentioned before, Mr. Davies is an excellent writer (and recent O.B.E. recipient) and I will always be greatful for his actions in returning Doctor Who to television, but the man just can't write science fiction.
The article goes on to discuss a situation in which he responds to some homophobic comments. It also discusses Captain Jack Harkness, one of his "omnisexual" characters from both Doctor Who and Torchwood.
Neil Gaiman first garnered fame for his comic book of the 80's and 90's, The Sandman, which endeared him to all sorts of people who are now influential in the entertainment industry. He has written novels (one of which, Stardust, was recently adapted into a movie). He has written movies (most recently Beowulf). He has written for television before as well (the Babylon 5 episode "Day of the Dead").
I hope this rumor is true. Gaiman is well-versed in the fantasy genre and would add a great deal of knowledge and depth to the program. Given how the Doctor is portrayed more or less as a wizard with his sonic screwdriver doubling as a magic wand, perhaps Gaiman could add some more fantasy elements to it. Perhaps the Doctor could even meet Death.
This is definitely a step in the right direction for the series, as Moffat's previous contributions to the show have been some of the greatest highlights. For example, that chilling episode "Blink" (the one that made it impossible for me to walk through a sculpture garden without looking over my shoulder every two seconds) was his masterpiece.
Friday's TCA, which continued cable TV presentations, felt like three days rolled into one.
Just how jam-packed and eclectic are the programs and announcements that were made?
Here's a sample: Dynasty diva Joan Collins is checking into BBC America's Hotel Babylon, Richard Dreyfus (Jaws) is not afraid to get back into the water as host of The Discovery Channel's Ocean of Fear: The Worst Shark Attack Ever and Jonny Fairplay (Survivor) of CMT's Ty Murray's Celebrity Bull-Riding Challenge sadly announced that his beloved grandmother passed away two weeks ago.
Remember the short-lived American version of Coupling that ran on NBC a few seasons back? Do you know why it was so short-lived? Two words: Jeff Zucker!
That's what writer/producer Steven Moffat says. He was the creator and writer of both the British and American versions of the show (he has also written several episodes of Doctor Who). He's still angry that Zucker actually said that the show "sucked" back in 2003.
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