Doctor Who

Big Finish: Jago and Litefoot Series 10

Jago and Litefoot Series 9 was great, but not amazing if truth be told. A nice bunch of stories but nothing ground-breaking: almost as if the franchise were treading water a bit, waiting for the someone to turn on the metaphorical wave machine in the swimming pool of Supernatural Steampunk Shenanigans (gone a bit Jago, sorry).

Well, hold onto your hats, Ladies and Gents, because if that metaphor serves at all then Series 10 is a veritable tsunami!

jl10_cover_large

The series opens with Simon Barnard and Paul Morris’s The Case of the Missing Gasogene. The writers’ names may be familiar from the Cosmic Hobo/Bafflegab Scarifyers series – and their script certainly will be. It is immediately recognisable as from the same stable, populated as it is with plummy, infeasibly-named aristocrats and their servants, suffused with gags, and possessing of an ingeniously off-the-wall plot. (more…)

Peter Harness talks to Eddie McGuigan about Zygon Invasions, Bringing back Osgood and Killing the Moon

Before he took a temporary hiatus Eddie took the chance to talk to Kill the Moon writer Peter Harness about his upcoming S9 Zygon two parter.

Zygon Invasion!

How did you go from being someone who wrote to a professional writer? (more…)

The Woman Who Lived, review by Eddie McGuigan

The Woman Who Lived

Review by Eddie McGuigan

So, half way, almost, through this season. Half way out of the dark.

It’s fair to say that this has been the most successful run of episodes in many a year. Sure, there’s the odd droopy drawers moaning about this than and the next thing, but on the whole, it’s been pretty positively received. Part Two of the season promises to be a little more experimental – especially episodes 9 and 11 – but more of that at another time.

If I can criticise s9 at all at the moment it’s for its lack of great enemies – the Fisher King and the Mire are intriguing creations, but not nearly fleshed out enough, meaning they come across, unfortunately, as the Monster Of The Week. With the exception of Davros and Missy there’ve been no stand outs. Yet.

Unfortunately, The Woman Who Lived is pretty much following on in the same vein. It’s a cross between a character piece and a historical romp with a fair bit of jolly old banter, which, despite his protestations, the Doctor does well. Capaldi continues his evolution to be Doctor Prime as he wanders around with a Curio Detector. He seems surprised that it detects curios.

Catherine Tregenna takes a darker tone than Moffat and Mathieson last week in the fate of Ashildr and Maisie Williams manages quite admirably to get a lot of age into her young eyes. She’s not the villain of the piece, but that in itself is pretty much a catch all, over designed Any Monster.

The joy in this episode is in the dialogue and the drive and very much in the chemistry between Capaldi and Williams – this episode is very much Clara lite – and how the two old souls interact. The Doctor’s reticence to take Ashildr with him is beautifully played in Capaldi’s eyes, as is her desperation to leave such a backwards planet. The Doctor’s footprint is not as light as he would like it to be, it seems.

Rufus Hound, himself a huge fan, turns up as part of the deus ex machina finale which you’ll all see a million miles away, and is all a little convenient, but he’s fun in the role of Sam Swift the Quick and again gives more gravitas to the performance than you’d think.

The setting – 17 century England – and the Highwayman conceit – is pretty much irrelevant to the piece, it could be set anywhere, and could have any kind of monster in place of the Tharil-a-like we have, but it’s all pretty inoffensive and does what it does well enough.

There are ramifications in the actions of this story, and it’s all a bit serious and worthy and you just know it’s going to creep up again – and it should, or it’ll be a loose thread of Jenny proportions.  It’s a better episode than The Girl Who Died as it’s way less bitty and way more linear, and the performances are way more serious – director Bazalgette calmly and understatedly ushers the tale along – but it’s unlikely to win any awards, despite the hype. The echoes of this episode will ring more loudly than the episode itself probably deserves thanks to Maisie Williams and Ashildr but that’s fine – it’s a new thread, and, whilst it sort of echoes Captain Jack (Williams is way less sympathetic than Barrowman in Utopia) it won’t bother anyone enough to complain.

Doctor Who Magazine #492

THE ZYGONS ARE COMING! 

Doctor Who Magazine 492

DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE PREVIEWS THEIR RETURN IN ISSUE 492!

Doctor Who Magazine looks ahead to the return of one of Doctor Who’s most popular monsters, in the forthcoming two-part adventure The Zygon Invasion & The Zygon Inversion – which also sees the return of fan-favourite Osgood...
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The Girl Who Died, Review by Eddie McGuigan

The Girl Who Died

review by Eddie McGuigan

eddie mcguigan

Doctor Who, we know, has to be everything to everyone. It has to be a space adventure, it has to be historical drama, it has to be a romance, a horror story and it has to reflect its past with a nostalgic glow.

Of course, there are people out there, feral, skitter people who live on The Internet, who will tell you that Doctor Who better not be a bloody romance/horror story/soap opera. They’ll tell you it hasn’t been the same since Dicks/Saward/RTD left and they’ll tell you, without a doubt, that You Are Wrong. Then they’ll throw a teddy at you and stomp out.

The Girl Who Died is going to scatter these Internet Dwellers like skittles on a Friday night in France. It’s going to make others punch the air in excitement and it’s going to make others scratch their head a bit and go “Really? OK then…” (more…)

Big Finish – Doctor Who Main Range 203 – Terror of the Sontarans

An alien base, deserted.  Well almost deserted. Something is giving out a distress signal and the Doctor and Mel have arrived to offer assistance.  But what is behind the cry for help is the last thing the Doctor would ever have expected. And it’s not just our heroes who are investigating. A force of Sontarans have landed, searching for survivors from their research team.  Will the Doctor and Mel last long enough against the Galaxies greatest warriors to find the mysterious cause of madness that afflicts everyone on the planet?  Sontarans don’t feel terror or worry about death…  until now!

Terror of the Sontarans (more…)

Doctor Who Adventures #7

DOCTOR WHO ADVENTURES #7 ON SALE 8th OCTOBER
Doctor Who Adventures #7 Cover

It’s October and Something Wicked This Way Comes… in the form of the wickedest magazine in the universe – issue 7 of Doctor Who Adventures. So prepare for a Halloween like no other with a huge celebration of monster mayhem! (more…)

The Underwater Menace, by Eddie McGuigan

Doctor Who, Underwater Menace

release date news, by Eddie McGuigan

Eddie mcguigan underwater menace

The wait is finally over…

Featuring the imitable Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor and packed with wealth of un-missable extras, Doctor Who: The Underwater Menacewill be available on DVD from 26th October, priced at £20.42.

 

The Underwater Menace is the fifth serial of the fourth season, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 14 January 1967 to 4 February 1967. The story introduces Jamie McCrimmon’s (Frazer Hines) on his first journey with the Doctor as a travelling companion. This special release will contain the two re-mastered existing episodes, with the two missing episodes represented with restored audio and surviving stills, as well as over an hour of extras.

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The Time War Comes to Big Finish

Well, this author at least never saw this coming…

The War Doctor Only The Monstrous

Previously only the topic of myth and teasing references, the Time War becomes the setting for a new series from Big Finish, starring John Hurt as the War Doctor, and Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.

Following the proven format of the popular Dark Eyes boxsets, and starting this December, Big Finish have lined up four boxsets starring John Hurt as the War Doctor as introduced during the 50th anniversary.  The Eighth Doctor will appear in a boxset in 2017 exploring the early days of the War prior to the events of Night of the Doctor.

The first boxset, Only the Monstrous, is out in a few short months in December 2015, followed by Infernal Devices in February and 2 more volumes currently in pre-production.

For full details and pre-orders, check out the announcement on the Big Finish website.

Before The Flood, review by Eddie McGuigan

 

Before The Flood

review by Eddie McGuigan

eddie mcguigan

The Doctor, O’Donnell and Bennett go back in time…

Under the Lake has to be one of the most formulaic Doctor Who adventures in a long time – and more power to it for being that way. It’s a traditional story with a traditional Doctor/Companion dynamic and throws a punch directly into the face of the viewer for being so. It is, without a doubt, superb.

As a second part of the same adventure, Before The Flood couldn’t begin more differently and, indeed, continue to push against the traditionalness of Part One. It begins with a direct to camera monologue by the Doctor – some might say this is for the fan who doesn’t understand or like temporal shenanigans or paradoxes – but it allows Capaldi to showboat and talk directly to us about the story ahead – indeed, the scene itself has no plot drivers at all – but it is nonetheless a clever conceit which leads straight into a theme tune played, it seems, by the Doctor himself.

After those titles, we are we are treated – and treated is the word – to another type of Whovian trope – the mysterious village, so ably portrayed in The Android Invasion, for instance – as the Doctor and his friends search out the truth behind the Ghosts in the Drum and their reason to exist – a search which will bring the Doctor face to face with the Fisher King and his own mortality.

eddie mcguigan

Ghost Doctor… but what’ he saying?

Whilst still giving us the action adventure of Under The Lake with echoes of Alien³, and the creepiness of not just a haunted house but a terrifyingly ghostly Doctor, we also get the backstory to the spaceship and the Trivoli undertaker, which enhances the story with rich layers of plot.

So the story is split in two parts – inside the Drum and before the flood – and each intertwine with themselves as the stasis chamber discovered in Under The Lake slowly begins to open.

It’s fair to say that whilst the Drum sequences allow Clara more space to take charge, she’s not entirely separated from the Doctor thanks to some timey wimey skyping, whose presence is felt in both the past and the presence as Capaldi continues to dominate this story with aplomb. The base under siege story is continued whilst the mystery behind it unfolds in a time travelling paradox cleverly realised by Whithouse’s intelligent use of the device. It’s a little bit Sapphire and Steel and a little bit Bill And Ted. To say more would ruin the surprises.

Guest star wise, Paul Kaye channels David Walliams as the now alive Trivoli undertaker and does a great if fleeting job. Sophie Stone as Cass is impressive too, and the fact that she is deaf isn’t ignored either. It’s great that her deafness isn’t seen as a disability at all, but used to great effect in this episode in a creepy scene which will have everyone on the edge of their seats. Morven Christie continues to audition for the role of companion with a great turn as the likeable, somewhat cooky O’Donnell for the most part, with Arsher Ali’s Bennett being the other stand out, scared but unafraid to call out the Doctor when required. Peter Serafinowicz is creepy as the confident Fisher King as well, and, as its body, Neil Fingleton is terrifying.

Again though it’s Capaldi’s Doctor who dominates this episode in everything that he does – as his ghost in the present or the rebel Time Lord in the past. He controls every scene he’s in as he scampers through the adventure – ably scored it has to be said by Murray Gold, who’s now less melodic than before but has begun to channel the operatic of Hans Zimmer – and is capable of showing a traditional Doctor but one still capable of seeing the bigger picture, and making alien decisions for the greater good, again an echo of Mummy on the Orient Express.

I can’t fault this episode – although I do think its more divisive than Under The Lake and perhaps less traditional – but I loved it, and would have Doctor Who like this two parter all the time. Again, there were no arcs, no old enemies, nothing to link it along, but with fan pleasing nods and plenty of comedy to counteract the drama and horror, this is exactly what Who should be.

Bravo, Toby, bravo.

eddie mcguigan

just before the flood…

 

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