*what the TARDIS probably contains.
I have been remiss here of late. Other than the holiday special I have mentioned none of the fun DW related things that have abounded.
Well, maybe not abounded as such…
Ages ago, we finished watching the spinoff “Class.” As of yet the show has no future – it has not aired on actual TV and no second season is confirmed – although the series ended on a hell of a cliffhanger. It was a lot of fun overall: well made, well performed, with no more adolescent melodrama than you would expect from a show about teenagers and rather less than the supposedly grown-up Torchwood. Miss Quill, played by Katherine Kelly, is one of my new favorite characters. She is badass, vengeful, unfriendly, and unkind – the antithesis of the pretty blonde alien. I enjoyed the hell out of her.
Unfortunately our DW meetup group more or less disintegrated toward the end of last year. The organizer came down with a series of malignant viral infections, cancelling first the “Boom Town” and “Bad Wolf” screening and then the series-ending three-parter from “Bad Wolf” through “The Christmas Invasion.” Our S1 rewatch effectively ended with “The Doctor Dances” – not a bad place to stop, of course, but I was looking forward to finishing the season among my nerd horde. Still, we could resume come spring. A new organizer has stepped forward, and he hopes to add more social events as well as screenings to our calendar.
I thought I had posted earlier about a certain writer’s return to the show, but it appears I never finished the post. Ages back – last summer? last fall? it was teased that a classic DW writer would be writing an episode for S10. When I heard, I thought instantly of Ben Aaronovitch. Aaronovitch wrote “Remembrance of the Daleks,” in which Ace defends Coal Hill School with a baseball bat, and “Battlefield,” an Arthurian story with the Doctor in the role of Merlin. Both are strong, memorable stories from a difficult time in the show’s history. Since then, Aaronovitch has created his own ongoing series of novels about a young mixed-race London cop who can see ghosts and who learns how to do magic. The Rivers of London series is great fun and very nerdy – any DW fan will relate to Peter Grant right off the bat.
However, it isn’t Aaronovitch. The returning writer is Rona Monro. Monro wrote the very last aired classic DW story, with the oddly prescient name “Survival.” Since then she has written extensively for film, television, radio, and the stage. Her return, and that of Sarah Dollard, marks the second series in a row in which two (or more? 1 writer may still be TBA) episodes are written by women. Yes, a pittance against the 5 or more male writers appearing every season, but better than the long drought of series 5-8. (Not to mention 1, 2, and the vast majority of classic DW.)
I have not seen “Survival” but I plan to fix that before S10 begins.
On the topic of women behind the camera, I note that the director slot has yet to be filled for episodes 11 and 12 of the new series. Rachel Talalay has admirably taken that role the last two seasons. Dare we hope for three in a row?
Finally, the holidays may be over, but I only recently stumbled across the Doctor Puppet’s latest Christmas special. It’s adorable, as always. Enjoy.
I wrote this ages ago, but it seems strangely relevant just now.
The Aftermath of the Unspeakable
I thought the Alice XZ images on the exclusive S9 steelbook were the same as the images on the 2015 SDCC exclusive comic.
They are not. One gorgeous Capaldi remains out of reach. 😦
SDCC exclusive covers (I have one):
So close, and yet…
For the second time, these images are on offer, and I am unable to acquire them:
It’s Alice XZ again, of course. The images she painted for a SDCC exclusive comic were PERSONALLY REQUESTED BY PETER CAPALDI for the limited edition S9 steelbook. (I had to look up “steelbook.”) Stunning, gorgeous, and PERSONALLY REQUESTED! And once again, out of my reach.
The first time, they were a con exclusive, for a con I was not attending and will likely never attend. And now, the limited edition will be offered in the UK only.
I know that feel, bro.
Maybe they’ll get crazy and offer it in the US too. That would be one way to persuade me to pay full price…
The writers of the Titan Doctor Who series have way too much fun in their job.
(What follows may be considered spoilery for regular comic readers. Proceed with caution.)
I’ve mentioned before I collect Alice XZ covers. I hadn’t been paying attention lately, but when a new comic shop opened in my neighborhood, I glanced online to see what I’d been missing. Turns out there were three new items out with Alice’s covers, one of which was on the shelf: The Twelfth Doctor Year 2, Issue #1
The gorgeous cover is only the first piece of fun I found. #2 occurred on the very first page of the story itself, where the name and face of the character surprised and delighted me:
The likeness is unmistakeably Christel Dee, host of Doctor Who: The Fan Show. (Later the character is given the surname Dean.) I can only imagine Christel’s fangirl delight at being so immortalized.
And there’s more! A few pages later, the Doctor slurps a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster – a drink concocted by former Doctor Who writer and script editor Douglas Adams for his most famous creation, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – to the ongoing affront of an angry alien, whose name he doesn’t quite recall:
Those are Marvel references: Janet van Dyne, the Wasp – or Hope, her daughter and successor – and Victor von Doom, antagonist of the Fantastic Four. That Marvel once published Doctor Who comics, and that Marvel is the latest landing pad of Doctor David Tennant (via Jessica Jones), are meta bonus.
And the story’s good too. I can’t personally justify buying serial comics, but it’ll be a tough wait for the trade.
The shop owner is ordering for me the two issues he didn’t have in stock: Tenth Doctor Year 2, issue 6, and Eighth Doctor #1:
And still to come: the Fourth Doctor, due next month:
Always so much to look forward to. 🙂
… here’s something I wrote for her way back when on my other blog:
I am the beginning and the ending
the start and finish of your life
the common thread.
Newborn you took my hand and ran
and what came after
was more than you knew
more than you believed
could ever be.
And now when things look black
as music fades and lights go dim
you return to me, reach out again
share a smile.
You tried so valiantly
to go on living
though you knew it couldn’t be
though you knew you’d had your time
the scant hope was worth the effort.
And in the end it seems
that final effort
that scant hope
was just what you needed
what it took
to save the world one last time
to complete your final adventure
to step bravely into death
accepting what must be
cherishing what came before.
And so dying you seek out that last smile
to warm you in the snow
cool you in the flame
as you close the chapter
pass the torch
conclude the verse
and let the song go on and on
The Eighth Doctor, coming to a comic shop near you.
This is one of her best yet. If we’re lucky, she’ll do two covers like she has for each of the other Doctors, and my collection will be even more awesome.