Way back in 1996, the BBC co-produced a Doctor Who television movie with Fox in the United States which starred Paul McGann as the Doctor. Since then, the rights regarding reproduction or broadcast of that movie in North America has been somewhat convoluted at best. In the last Christmas special, a clip of Paul McGann from that TV movie was shown, and I cannot help but wonder if that clip is holding up release of the video.
Of course, it could simply be a case of the BBC waiting until Christmas or any one of a dozen other reasons. But I have a suspicious mind and I cannot help but think that it was a mistake for the BBC to ever co-produce Doctor Who with an American company if it is such a hindrance to the American release of their own DVDs.
This makes perfect sense, of course. Despite having science-fiction trappings, Doctor Who is, at its core, a British show. BBCA also runs other Brit science-fiction programs like Torchwood and Primeval (which runs on BBC rival ITV, but is still British), so having Doctor Who on it is a no-brainer.
With the Sci Fi Channel's "reimagining" to Sy Fy, I can even see why it would pass on the show this year and probably future years. No doubt Sy Fy wants to own future programming and not broadcast someone else's stuff (particularly something that could be perceived as the competition).
In short, it's another reason to call your cable company and request BBC America if you don't already have it. Believe me, I've tried.
While obviously Dalton would not play the main villain of the piece (that role has already been cast by a returning arch-nemesis), he's exactly the sort that Russell T. Davies would have play an evil businessman. I suspect that is the plan.
I'd be more impressed with they had gotten Roger Moore or Sean Connery to play a role in Who, but I think that would be pushing it.
For you Dalton fans (and I just loved him in the 80's Flash Gordon movie), it's just one more reason to tune in to the specials when they are broadcast later this year. Damn you, Sci Fi and/or BBCA for not broadcasting these specials in the U.S.!
10 - Dr. Helen Magnus (Sanctuary, SyFy)
9 - Captain Jack Harkness (Torchwood, BBC America)
8 - Castiel (Supernatural, The CW)
7 - Tony Almeida, (24, Fox)
6 - Angela Petrelli, (Heroes, NBC)
5 - The Devil (Reaper, The CW)
4 - Christina Scofield (Prison Break, Fox)
3 - The Doctor (Doctor Who, SyFy)
2 - Richard Alpert (Lost, ABC)
1 - Walter Bishop (Fringe, Fox)
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But there are those characters we don't know much about. Think about Benjamin Linus from Lost when he first appeared as Henry Gale among the Flight 815 survivors. There were so many secrets and mysteries surrounding him that we couldn't take our eyes off of him when he was on-screen. Well Ben's story may be more or less told, though something tells me there's still more to be gleaned, but there are plenty of familiar faces on television with not so familiar back-stories. And while Ben didn't make the list, that doesn't mean Lost went unrepresented.
If you just want the list, click here.
Granted, the show couldn't use a police box (a definitively British icon) for the TARDIS. So? Use a phone booth. Also, if the show simply started from scratch, it wouldn't have 46 years of continuity to bog it down. No need to pay the estate of Terry Nation for use of the Daleks. Simply use the Doctor, the TARDIS, and whatever alien menaces the creators' imagination provides.
(Granted, there was a Doctor Who movie with American involvement in 1996 starring the British Paul McGann, which I personally didn't think was bad but others disagree with me.)
With this in mind, I have composed a list of the ten American actors (and by American, I include all of North America, so some Canadians will make the list) whom I feel could at least adequately play the Doctor in an Americanized version of the show.
Spoilers after the jump...
News and links are after the jump...
Is anybody else itching for the next Doctor Who special as much as I am? There hasn't been a new episode since December, and while I appreciate the need to give a franchise such as this a break, there's only so far reruns, comic books and audio dramas can go.
Of course, once the Easter special is done, it will be a long eight months until the three episodes that wrap up David Tennant's time in the role are broadcast. And who knows when the American broadcast will be. Perhaps Sy Fy will take the five episodes for this year and broadcast them as a mini-series like Torchwood: Children of Earth.
They seem to think that the BBC and the producers will go with the semi-famous pop star route that proved successful with Billie Piper (The article throws out names like Lily Allen). It's a safe bet that whomever the Doctor's next companion is will be young and female.
Given the complete history of the show, companions have run the gamut. Since the reboot, I liked Rose and Martha and adored Donna (up until the end, which I fell flat a bit). For his remaining specials, David Tennant's Doctor will be pretty much companion-less. Who would you like to see join the next Doctor for a romp in the TARDIS?
I am leaving the spoiler until after the jump so nobody decides to blow up my house in retaliation for ruining the surprise.
Doctor Who wasn't created by an individual. Rather, it was created by committee which included Sydney Newman, who was Head of Drama of the BBC at the time. As a result, the show is owned out-and-out by the BBC and no individual gets any royalties for the fundamental show (although individuals are credited with the creation of certain alien villains, such as the Daleks).
Concepts such as regeneration and Gallifrey were added later by various writers (even the Doctor's nemesis The Master was created by a group of writers for the show's 8th season). It's interesting how the memos between BBC executive describe him as an amnesiac from the future. That concept was obviously abandoned later.
It's a wonderful history lesson and gives some insight into a circumstance where television executives actually create something lasting and meaningful.
Okay, let me preface this first: this tidbit of information comes directly from The Sun. Not the piece of crap North American tabloid but the piece of crap United Kingdom tabloid. This was the same paper that reported Doctor Who was ending after the fourth series, which ended up being refuted by millions of other reputable sources. So, take this information I write below with a grain of salt.
The Sun is reporting that Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself, Patrick Stewart, has agreed to guest star in the next Doctor Who series (season, to us in the Colonies) as a Time Lord. The agreement came after Stewart performed with Who star David Tennant in a summer production of Hamlet. According to the report, Stewart would team up with the Doctor in a two-part episode involving the Daleks (who just. Won't. Die.). He would play the role of a renegade Time Lord seen during the early days of the first Doctor Who series called the Meddling Monk.
And apparently voices that matter agreed, because writer Stephen Moffat was just awarded the prestigious Hugo Award for short form dramatic presentation for "Blink." I have to figure it's a large part of why he's been selected to take over as lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who from Russell T. Davies when the show returns for its fifth series in 2010. Based on this one episode alone, the show couldn't be in better hands.
For a Doctor Who episode, this was a great episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures. This goes back to my statement from last week in which Russell T. Davies, while not a bad writer, simply cannot write science fiction.
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