Series 8 To Be Darker, Return to Classic Roots

Ben Wheatley, who is directing the first two episodes of Series 8, has stated that Peter Capaldi’s debut will return Doctor Who to its classic roots.

When Wheatly spoke to io9, he said:

“Doctor Who is pretty dark, I think. Generally it’s dark, it’s always been dark. Even in the more modern ones. If you look at the Tom Baker stuff, it’s especially dark. When he leaves Leela — who’s a very beloved assistant — he just laughs after it. There’s none of the [breaking down and crying]. He just laughs, and “on to the next one,” you know. It’s a bonkers show. It’s a monster. To have a unity that runs eight years [of the new series]… it’s pretty crazy. They’ve done everything, they’ve tried all sorts of stuff. It seems to me the episodes that we’re doing now seem more like classic Who. We’re going back to that style. But you’ll have to wait and see.”

When asked about Peter Capaldi as The Doctor he said:

“With someone like Capaldi, he’s a massive Who fan. He knows Who inside out. And everything he does is very, carefully planned and thought about. I remember when they first started talking to me about doing it, and I was very nervous for just those reasons. How do you shape this performance? But then when I heard who was going to do it — when they told me it was Capaldi, [I thought] that’s not really a problem. He’s so good. I was relieved, pretty much. It would have been a very different situation if it had been another kind of Matt Smith character. A guy who you don’t know. Molded from the start. But with Capaldi, you look at his career and you look at his performances they are all so brilliant, and all so different as well. It was a lucky break for me, I think that.”

Wheatly elaborated on how he got the job directing the first two episodes saying:

“It was something I sought out. I got my agent to kind of badger them about doing, because I was a fan as a kid. But also because my kid was a fan of the show and I wanted to make something that he could see, for a change. That was it. And it’s been very geeky indeed. Going into the TARDIS, I held the Sonic Screwdriver the other day, and that was a particular thrill. All sorts of stuff. Also stuff I can’t talk about, that’s been very, very exciting for me.”

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The Time of the Eleventh is Over, Long Live the Twelfth

Well its happened, the clock has struck twelve, Silence fell and the time of the Eleventh is over. The Time of the Doctor may not have been what all Doctor Who fans hoped for, but I feel it was fitting end to Matt Smith’s time as the renegade Time Lord. There were a lot of loose ends that needed to be tied up and Steven Moffat did it beautifully.

Going into the 2013 Christmas special, Steven Moffat had a lot to do, such as figuring out how the Doctor ended up on Trenzalore, why “silence will fall,” and how to get around those pesky regeneration restrictions. It’s like Moffat enjoys creating problems just so he can to solve them later. Some may think that Moffat created a simple solutions to all these questions but his method was actually quite clever, and it cleans the slate rather nicely for Peter Capaldi to step into the Doctor’s shoes.

***SPOILERS***

Here is a list of all the loose ends that were wrapped up in The Time of the Doctor:

  • The cracks in the Universe are the Time Lords trying to get out of the pocket universe and back into ours.
  • Madame Kovarian’s sect of the Papal Mainframe  blew up the TARDIS to prevent The Doctor from ever reaching Trenzalore.
  • “Silence Will Fall” is the promise made by the non-Kovarian sect to not let the Doctor speak his name, as it would bring back the Time Lords and relaunch the Time War with the Daleks.
  • The Silence are priests of the Papal Mainframe, and are genetically designed to make confessors forget once they have confessed.

Day of the Doctor Will Change the Course of Doctor Who

Head writer Steven Moffat has made another bold pubic statement saying that the The Day of the Doctor will change the course of Doctor Who as we know it.

During an interview with SFX (#241, out today), Moffat says:

“We’ve got to set the Doctor off in a brand new direction. It’s chapter two of his life. Now something happens to him that changes the way he thinks and the way he will adventure from now on. You can celebrate an anniversary in many ways – I think the most productive one within the narrative is to say “This is where the story really starts. This is where he finds his mission, he finds his destiny.”

Moffat also added:

“We’re not fibbing – this one is going to change the course of the series. And it’s very rare in Doctor Who that the story happens to the Doctor. It happens to people around him, and he helps out – he’s the hero figure who rides in and saves everybody from the story of the week. He is not the story of the week. In this, he is the story of the week. This is the day of the Doctor. This is his most important day. His most important moment. This is the one he’ll remember, whereas I often think the Doctor wanders back to his TARDIS and forgets all about it.”

Moffat also discussed the dynamic between the three [known] Doctors featured in the 50th:

“I wrote it as the friction version. When you’re talking to yourself there are no limitations, there’s no holding back. You wouldn’t be kind or courteous. At the same time, because they are two loveable, madcap, caffeinated Doctors, they’re also quite fanboyish about each other. They think it’s quite cool. They’re not broody, upset Doctors – it’s more “There’s two of us! Brilliant!” But that’s mostly in the playing, because they were having such a good time together that they brought that out. They get giggly with each other. It is, by lovely accident, a tremendous double-act. They’re naturally funny together. Enough alike and enough dissimilar. Matt said it was like Laurel and Laurel, as if Hardy didn’t show up – except he does in the form of John Hurt!”

“The weird thing is there’s never that much contrast between Doctors. The truth is it’s not wildly different how they’re written. I’ve written quite a lot for both of them, and you just have the voice in your head, very clearly. Where they are similar is funny, because they’re practically in unison, and where they are different is David is a cheeky, sexy, genuinely cool Doctor, up against a Doctor who thinks he’s sexy and cool but is woefully wrong on that subject! And that’s just naturally funny.”

Whovians can create their own Daleks at museum exhibit

The National Media Museum is going to be invaded by Doctor Who fans. To celebrate the 50th anniversary, the museum is opening up its doors for Doctor Who Family Fun.

The exhibition will be a host of activities for Whovians of all ages. Visitors will be able to create a light-up TARDIS, a moving Dalek, or make their own Doctor Who monster to take home with them. The exhibit will also feature a behind-the-scenes film showing how Doctor Who is made.

The episode ‘Nightmare in Silver’, featuring Matt Smith taking on the Cybermen, will also be shown for visitors.

The whole family will be able to participate in a Doctor Who trivia while the children are making their own monsters.

The museum’s learning program coordinator Elaine Richmond said: “We hope families will join us this half term to help keep the Museum from the clutches of the dreaded Daleks. We’re very excited about this event and promise a lot of Doctor Who-themed fun and activities in anticipation of the 50th anniversary episode next month.”

The Doctor Who Family Fun takes place at the National Media Museum, Bradford from October 26 to November 3.

Steven Moffat Wants Fifty More Years of Doctor WHO!

Head writer Steven Moffat explained why The Day of the Doctor will not just be a “parade of the greatest hits” and how he hopes that Doctor Who stays on the air for another fifty years.

In an extract from The Doctor: His Lives And Times [Via], Moffat says:

“You’re going to get every kind of retrospective in the world when it comes to the 50th and you’re not going to be short. To make this show just a walk-down, just a tribute to the past, a backward glance, would be like one of those end of year shows: ‘That was the year that was! Look back and feel slightly old and sad.’ Don’t do that! Of course it’s a celebration of the legend of Doctor Who, but more importantly it’s ensuring there’s going to be a 100th anniversary.

He adds: “It’s a hugely important story to the Doctor. That was my mission statement. Very, very rarely in Doctor Who does a story matter to him very much at all. Obviously he runs around, defeats mutants, meets a space badger, saves a civilisation, causes epiphanies to happen to everyone he meets, rushes back to the TARDIS and forgets everything about it. If you asked him he might have a vague memory of the badger, and that’s it.

“My intent was to move it forward, to have a show that’s equally about the next fifty years of Doctor Who. Attaching the word fifty to anything… I almost tried to rip the logo off saying ‘Why is that good?! That show you’re watching is really old!’ Why is that a good thing to say? It’s about proving we’ve got many, many more stories to tell, and in a way, being able to say the story really starts here. People ask me how am I going to please the regular audience and I say I’m actually on a recruitment drive to get the people who’ve never watched it before to watch Doctor Who. That’s what matters. There are some people out there who’ve never watched it before, God help them. You want them to think, ‘Oh I’ve been missing out, I’m going to join in now.’

“If you’re going to celebrate Doctor Who, you’re celebrating the Doctor – well, why not tell his story? What’s it like for him? What’s it like being him, what defines him, what defines what he is? How do you make that might moment in his life? What would be the Doctor’s most important day, what would be the show that would change him as a person for ever, alter the course of his life?

“That’s what’s big enough to do for the 50th, rather than just a parade of the greatest hits. Never mind that space badger one; this is the adventure that he really remembers, and thinks, ‘That was the day everything changed.’”