series 9

Doctor Who Magazine #494 Out Now

THE BUMPER 100-PAGE FESTIVE EDITION OF DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE IS OUT NOW!

Doctor Who Magazine #494

Doctor Who Magazine takes a look forward to this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special – The Husbands of River Song – and also features an exclusive interview with the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi…

We asked Peter how is the Doctor going to cope with meeting River Song again? (more…)

Doctor Who Magazine #493

WHAT IS TO BECOME OF CLARA OSWALD? DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE PREVIEWS THE AMAZING FINAL EPISODES – IN ISSUE 493!

DWM493_COVER

Doctor Who Magazine looks ahead to the dramatic final episodes of the latest series – Sleep No More, Face the Raven, Heaven Sent and Hell Bent, and talks to to the writers of the episodes: Mark Gatiss,  Sarah Dollard and showrunner Steven Moffat. We also catch up with the director of the series finale, Rachel Talalay and the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi…

“The whole episode’s quite big,” Peter tells DWM of the 12th and final episode of the series, Hell Bent.  “It’s huge, actually – but also there’s a sadness, a romance, and a tragedy to Episode 12,” he says. “It’s just so romantic. It’s very effective. And I loved all the stuff on one particular set. I was very excited. It looks so modern – a Kubrick-y kind of vibe. It was very nice. We’re in a very interesting place, because we’re competing with bigger shows, frankly. Most American shows have four times the budget per episode that we have, but that’s what we’re up against. We’re competing withGame of Thrones… This is traditional for Doctor Who, but it goes to show what this amazing production team can achieve.” (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 #491

THE FIRST FOUR EPISODES OF THE NEW SERIES OF DOCTOR WHO, PREVIEWED  IN DWM 491!

Doctor Who Magazine #491 Full Cover

Doctor Who Magazine exclusively previews the first four episodes of the new series: The Magician’s Apprentice & The Witch’s Familiar and Under the Lake & Before the Flood

Under the Lake and Before the Flood form Toby Whithouse’s first two-part Doctor Who story – and it hinges on time travel – and fairly mind-bending time travel at that. While plotting and writing, did Toby ever come to regret taking the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey route?

“Oh never, I loved it! I’ve always wanted to do a timey-wimey episode,” he says. “In fact, it was going to be a lot more timey-wimey, but we lost some of that before we started filming. It’s enormous fun to deposit something in a script, then have the reason for it happen later.”

This is also the first story that Toby’s written to star Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.

“I think he’s the most ‘alien’ Doctor we’ve had since the show came back,” says Toby. “Even though the essentials of the character remain the same – his heroism, his brilliance, his enthusiasm – he feels to me like much more of an outsider than Chris Eccleston or David Tennant or Matt Smith were. He’s more strange and otherwordly. That’s really interesting to play with.”

  (more…)

River Song Returns

River Song

Its been a couple of days now since the news of River Song’s return to (television) Doctor Who hit. Following hot on the heels of the recent Big Finish announcement, its safe to say its a good time for fans of the character. The announcement of her return taking at least this fan by surprise, given that same Big Finish announcement.

We’ll have to wait to Christmas to find out what her return will entail. Will her appearance in Name of the Doctor be explained? Fortunately, there’s something decent starting on BBC1 shortly that’ll help kill the time. 😉

Click after the break for the full press release. (more…)

Series Nine Preview, by Eddie McGuigan

eddie mcguigan

 

Regenerations have hung heavily over Doctor Who for a while now it seems. Ever since the Doctor was warned about Trenzalore we’ve head multiple Doctors, his death – more than once – secret incarnations, the end of a regeneration cycle and, spectacularly, the beginning of another. But that wasn’t the end of the story. This new regeneration harks back to the “classic” archetype; alien, difficult, rude, grumpy and, well, old. And just when the Doctor himself is getting used to being less matinee idol and more renaissance man, his best enemy goes and shows up in a skirt and his best friend is reincarnated as a zombie cyborg.

 

Identity and the perception of it has been a theme for a long, long time in the series, so much so that now it’s almost a trope, a signature of Moffat’s Second Age, and Series 9 – BBC1, 19th September – continues these themes and plays with those perceptions.

 

There are lots of returns in the new series. Returning old enemies – some you know about, some you don’t. Returns to places as well. Returning friends – both old and new. Return of the roundels as the console room gets a tweak! Return of the crazy hair as Peter Capaldi is finally allowed to express his Doctor without being shoehorned into “as far from Matt as possible”. Return of the two parter and therefore the return of the cliffhanger. And, of course, the return of the Master.

 

Episodes one and two hark back to many classic Who episodes – many, many Who episodes – in which the Doctor and Clara face threats from many sides – but perhaps not one side you’d automatically think they would – and explanations are forthcoming about the Master’s survival – both from s8 and perhaps before. He’s not become a She randomly.

eddie mcguigan

 

Identity and perception are again important in Ep 3 – prepare for a surprise, one of many this season –  and writer Toby Whithouse gets his teeth into a meaty 2 parter. But even your perception of two parters will be stretched this year. This series should really be seen as a 12 parter – the episodes mostly all link, and themes and events resonate across the series in a much more insidious way than the usual “Bad Wolf”esque arc.

 

No clearer is this shown in the “two parter” The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived – whilst these are indeed two parts of the same story, they are written by different writers and have very, very different feels. And both include a character the Doctor will have a very significant history with!

 

Much more traditionally a two parter is the Zygon story Invasion of the Zygons/Inversion of the Zygons by Peter Harness. This is an action adventure far more in tune with old school Who, or indeed, RTD’s era, in which the Doctor and UNIT battle a worldwide Zygon invasion. Again, though, identity and perception are important, as the Zygons epitomise this series main conceit. Don’t let the familiarity box you in though!

eddie mcguigan

 

The last third of the series is much more experimental. Mark Gatiss gets to go spooky and scary and all out horror, at last, with a very clever, if by now not new, twist on the series which might even not have credits! A brilliant Halloween Special, this could be Mark’s best to date.

 

Episode Ten is a divisive one which will probably blow fandom apart, and has cleverly snuck itself under the radar until now. Well done Episode Ten!

 

The two part finale falls into this “no it really is a two parter!” style with two very distinctively different episodes, one of which had Peter Capaldi exhausted! Alone he may be, but, as always with the Doctor, he’s never really alone, is he?

 

I’ll leave ep 12 hanging in the air, I think, as the “returns” trope is turned to 11 and we’ll be left with our heads whirling with events and locations.

 

I am very much looking forward to s9, and I’m loving the way it’s subverting what we know and trying different things. I can’t wait to get into reviewing it! Stay tuned!

eddie mcguigan

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