steven moffat

Doctor Who Magazine Celebrates 50 Years of the Cybermen

ISSUE 504 OF DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF THE CYBERMEN!
Doctor Who Magazine 504 cover a

50 years ago, the Cybermen first marched onto our screens. We ask the costume designer who gave them life about their enduring appeal

“People often come up to me and say, ‘I think your Cybermen were the most frightening,’ says costume designer Alexandra Tynan, who gave the original Cybermen their distinctive look for 1966’s The Tenth Planet. “I looked at them yesterday, when I re-watched The Tenth Planet, and I thought, ‘I suppose they are a bit scary.’ At the time, they got a lot of press, some of it very negative. Angry parents said that we were scaring the bejesus out of their kids. Am I personally responsible, with my Cybermen, for a whole generation of disturbed people? The number of adults who have come up to me and said, ‘Your Cybermen terrified me when I was a child,’ and I have apologised a thousand times (more…)

Doctor Who Magazine #502

DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE LOOKS AHEAD TO THE NEW SERIES IN ISSUE 502!

Doctor Who Magazine #502 Cover

As Matt Lucas and Pearl Mackie join Peter Capaldi in the TARDIS, we ask showrunner Steven Moffat how it feels to be working on his final series…

“When I agreed to do one more run, I thought, ‘Sod it, I’m not doing the march to the scaffold,’” says Steven. “I want it to feel like a brand new show. I want it to feel like Episode 1 of a new series. I want to leave like it’s all just beginning.” (more…)

Doctor Who Magazine #495

FIND OUT HOW RIVER SONG MEETS THE EIGHTH DOCTOR – IN THE NEW ISSUE OF DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE!
 Doctor Who Magazine #495

Doctor Who Magazine finds out what happens when River Song runs into the Eighth Doctor in the new audio series The Diary of River Song – and interviews both Paul McGann and Alex Kingston!

“River has to interact with the Eighth Doctor to save him, to help him,” explains Alex. “When she’s figured out how she can do that without having to be physically present in front of him, alongside helping him, she can then tease and flirt a little bit, because she knows she’s safe, and she knows she hasn’t overstepped a boundary, or changed his or her future in any way by that actual physical interaction. So she can then have fun! She’s in control.”

And what does the Eighth Doctor make of River?

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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!

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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…)

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

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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…)

Before The Flood, review by Eddie McGuigan

 

Before The Flood

review by Eddie McGuigan

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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.

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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…

 

Class – A new Doctor Who spin off coming soon to BBC3

BBC Three today announces Class – a new 8 x 45 minute Doctor Who Spin off from the acclaimed YA author Patrick Ness. Class is a YA series set in contemporary London. Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected. With all the action, heart and adrenalin of the best YA fiction (Buffy, Hunger Games), this is Coal Hill School and Doctor Who like you’ve never seen it before.

Coalhill School, here be aliens!

Steven Moffat says: “No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness, and now we’re bringing his brilliant story-telling into Doctor Who. This is growing up in modern Britain – but with monsters!

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The Witch’s Familiar. Review by Eddie McGuigan

 

The Witch’s Familiar

Review by Eddie McGuigan

Davros! I can say “Davros”! Look “Davros”!

You’ve no idea how hard it’s been for me not to mention something that happens right at the start of The Magician’s Apprentice, and now I have the same trouble with episode two!

Let’s get it out the way at the start – The Witch’s Familiar is superb – it is, as promised by Steven Moffat, a perfect companion piece to Episode One, but the tone and pace of the episode is very different from its earlier brother. In this episode we get some very Big Finishesque exchanges by an old and dying Davros and a guilt ridden Doctor. Guilt, and of course, grief ridden Doctor, as he comes to terms again with the fact that the Daleks have exterminated his two best friends and destroyed his ship.

There is much to recommend about this episode and much to talk about, but, unfortunately, lots are just big old spoilers, and far be it from me to ruin it for the millions who haven’t seen it.

eddie mcguigan

Capaldi and Bleach crackle against each other in this episode, two thesps at the top of their game given no quarter and asking for none either, and both breath new light into the old dynamic, and more Doctor cameos thrill the fanboy. Davros’s plan is a masterpiece, something different again, and it takes all the Doctor’s guile to come up with a way out. But don’t think this Doctor is completely the victim. Capaldi shows more depth than ever before as the Doctor, and chews the scenery up around the very still Bleach. A Doctor confronting the Daleks is always something to relish, and THIS Doctor does this with a brand new, never before seen approach.

This episode will step on some pedants’ toes, it’s fair to say. Things are done in this episode which will be fan favourites and also enrage some. My pal Paul Simpson over at Sci Fi Bulletin pointed out to me that there is indeed a lovely channelling of Curse of the Fatal Death too and the denoument of the episode is not what you’d think, it’s almost Sherlock in its cleverness. Like the use of the Daleks of many types – behold a Special Weapons Dalek crying EXTERMINATE! – Hettie MacDonald uses fantastic sets, colouring and camera angles to portray both old school and new styles. It’s a lovely mishmash.

As well as the sparkling dialogue, and the clever ending, and, indeed, some comical moments (but not as many as last week), there are some truly horrible – and I mean horrible – fates in this and it has some awfully dark conceits, but it’s fair to say that all the characters are played out exactly as you would expect them to be, despite actions it would seem to the contrary. Again, this season is about identity, and nowhere is this more evident in how the main characters act in this episode.

eddie mcguigan

For me, both these stories have been the strongest start since The Eleventh Hour. That’ll either excite you or scare you. This is very much a new way of approaching Doctor Who but in many ways it’s the no holds barred devil-may-care approach we’ve all wanted. In being so however, it doesn’t particularly bother with what people will think, assuming people will think it’s great. And it is.

 

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