Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

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Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 6th February 2010, 12:46

Ok, so hands-up who would like to read some hints of what to expect in the forthcoming ‘31st Series’ of Doctor Who? Yeah I thought so....and so as a pre-season warm-up I thought I would compile some of the confirmed announcements released by new Who-Supremo Steven Mofatt in the last month, along with a couple of rumours from various sources for good measure:

As per the norm now, this season will be comprised of 13 episodes which will be allocated into x3 two-parters and x7 self-contained adventures. There will also be a plot arc running throughout the series, which kicks off in episode 1 and ends in a big-way in episode 13. The expected transmission order and new-series writers are outlined below, together with a few of the guest cast announcements and story titles:-

Episode 1: The Eleventh Hour – by Steven Moffat
The 1st episode of the series, but interestingly was the 5th to be filmed. Will introduce the 11th Doctor and his new companion Amy Pond. Confirmed guest star: Arthur Darvill as Rory. Appears to be a contemporary Earth-bound and several photos have appeared in the press from this story showing Matt Smith wearing the tattered remains of David Tennant’s costume. You can also expect a new-look to the Police-Box exterior (which now more closely resembles the design of the Peter Cushing version), along with a new console-room which is so far being kept tightly under wraps....

Episode 2: The Beast Below – by Steven Moffat
Confirmed guest star: Sophie Okonedo as the mysterious Masked Lady. No further details known.

Episode 3: Victory of the Daleks – by Mark Gatiss
Steven Moffat has confidently claimed that this episode will be regarded as the ‘Mark Gatiss classic’, and will see the Daleks return to the series big-time. If you’re thinking ‘same-old, same-old’, think again because this time they’re really BACK - for Victory! This is also something of a ‘celebrity historical’ as it features none other than Winston Churchill and I believe is set in the trenches of World War I. Confirmed guest-stars: Bill Paterson as ‘Bracewell’, and Ian McNiece as the mighty Winston Churchill.

Episode 4 and 5: by Steven Moffat.
Our first two-parter, which was the first serial to be filmed in the new series, which is promised to be action-packed. This will feature the return of Alex Kingston as the mysterious ‘River Song’.

Episode 6: by Toby Whithouse
Along with episode 10, this featured location filming in Croatia. Toby Whithouse is perhaps better known these days for writing “Being Human”, but also wrote the memorable 10th Doctor episode “School Reunion” which featured the return of Sarah-Jane and K9. This episode is rumoured to be titled “Vampires in Venice”!!!!

Episode 7: by Simon Nye
Simon Nye is perhaps better known for creating Men Behaving Badly, and has scripted something that Steven Mofatt has claimed was brilliant – fast, funny and world-class.

Episode 8 and 9: by Chris Chibnall,
Our second two-parter, written by Chris Chibnall who previously wrote the Tennant-era ‘real-time’ episode “42”, along with the highly acclaimed trilogy of episodes which concluded Torchwood series 2. No other details have been released so far, but is believed to feature a returning monster.

Episode 10: by Richard Curtis
-Yep that’s right, it's THE Richard Curtis of Blackadder fame, Mr Bean, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Notting Hill. He was also the person responsible for commissioning a certain Steven Mofatt to write that Doctor Who sketch for Comic Relief in 1999, (staring Rowan Atkinson). This episode is a historical featuring Vincent Van Gogh and was filmed on location in Croatia. Confirmed Guest star: Tony Curran as Vincent Van Gogh, and the rumour-mill has also recently added the name of Bill Nighy to the guest cast as a Van Gogh art-expert.

Episode 11: by Gareth Roberts
Gareth Roberts previous Doctor Who credits include ‘The Shakespeare Code’ and ‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’. No information has been released for this adventure, which has only just gone into production at the time of typing.

Episodes 12 and 13: by Steven Moffat
Recent location filming reports seem to imply that this will feature the return of River Song again and include location filming at Stonehenge.

Returning Foes:
The Weeping Angels are back, and I expect they'll be the main adversary for episodes 4 and 5. This sinister threat first appeared in the classic episode ‘Blink’ in which we learnt that they were “nearly as old as the universe, but no-one knows where they really come from.” They turn to stone when they are observed by any living being, which acts as the ultimate defence mechanism, because as the Doctor noted, “you can’t kill stone.” While in their quantum-locked state, the Weeping Angels usually cover their eyes, so as not to observe others of their kind. ‘Blink’ was recently voted as the 2nd most popular Doctor Who story of all time in last year’s poll of all 200 Doctor Who stories, and the Weeping Angels were themselves voted as the most popular monsters from the 2007 series, but of course as we all know they’re not so bad really. After-all the Doctor told us; “they’re the only psychopaths in the universe to kill you nicely – they just zap you into the past and let you live to death.”
But Steven Mofatt has since hinted: “Ahh, so you think you know the Weeping Angels...well think again! That lot in Blink were just scavengers, survivors hiding out on Earth. What might an Angel achieve at the height of its powers? And do you really think you’re safe just because you don’t blink....?”

Aside from the return of the Daleks, there have also been rumours of “The Silurians” appearing too. When asked about this Steven Moffat has responded with; “People keep asking me if the Silurians are back. Well I’ve checked my natural history wall chart, and there were no creatures of even remotely that description around during the Silurian era. Honestly, will you people just ask the right question?”
Hmm, so if I were to put my money on the table and decipher this cryptic response, I would hedge my bets that this is confirmation that the reptile life-forms that previously appeared in the Pertwee era stories “Doctor Who and the Silurians” and “The Sea Devils”, will be returning but are more likely to be accurately referenced as being called something like, “the Eocenes”, “Cretaceans” or “Maastrichtians” - as it would have been impossible for Reptile life-forms to have existed during the ‘Silurian era’. It is interesting to note that the term “Silurian” has never been referred to by the creatures themselves, but the misnomer has stuck ever since after the geologists in their debut story claimed that this was the era they derived from (which scientists have since have disproved).

Well that’s all for now, but needless to say I will keep posting updates as further casting announcements and episode titles are revealed Very Happy
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by Renny on 6th February 2010, 20:03

Hey Chris, nice work. Excellent piece and I look forward to seeing the new series.

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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 18th February 2010, 01:30

News Flash: A new trailer for the forthcoming series will debut on BBC1 this Saturday (early evening). The BBC have also released a new promotional pic for the forthcoming series (available as desktop wallpaper) which you can view here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/s4/characters/doctor11#wallpapers
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 19th February 2010, 06:07

....And in another exciting update I can confirm that the new trailer has also been filmed in 3-D for exhibition in cinemas too!! Apparently this 40-second version will precede screenings of the forthcoming movie 'Alice in Wonderland'.

For those of you who may wish to tune in to see the the 2-D version on Saturday night, I have received further information to clarify that this will be screened on BBC1 at 18:30 immediately before "Lets Dance for Comic Relief".
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 12th March 2010, 10:57

We're now less then a month away from the expected premiere of the new series on Easter Saturday, so I thought it was about time (sorry bad pun) that I updated the episode listings with some new titles and further casting announcements:-

Episode Listing:-

1.1 The Eleventh Hour

Written by: Steven Moffat
Directed by: Adam Smith

In addition to Arthur Darvill as Rory, we now have Nina Wadia (Goodness Gracious Me/EastEnders) as a doctor, Annette Crosbie (One Foot in the Grave) as Mrs Angelo, Marcello Magni (The Tudors) as Barney Collins, Tom Hooper as Jeff and Peter Moyes as a patient.
The 11th Doctor’s debut, in which he meets Amy for the first time, has a longer running time than usual clocking in at approximately 65 minutes!!!

1.2 The Beast Below

Written by: Steven Moffat
Directed by: Andrew Gunn

Alongside Sophie Okonedo as the Masked Lady, are Terrence Hardiman as Hawthorne, Alfie Field as Timmy, Christopher Good as Morgan, David Ajala as Peter, and Jonathan Battersby – and the sinister Smilers....

1.3 Victory of the Daleks

Written by: Mark Gatiss
Directed by: Andrew Gunn

Joining Ian McNeice as Winston Churchill and Bill Paterson as Bracewell in this wartime thriller are Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the Daleks, Tim Wallers as Captain Childers, Jamail Nasir as a Civil Servant, Colin Procktor as ARP Warden, Susannah Fielding as Lillian, Nina de Cosimo as Blanche, and James Albrecht as Group Captain Todd. Dalek Quote: “Behold the restoration of the Daleks”


1.4 The Time of Angels
1.5 Flesh and Stone


Written by: Steven Moffat
Directed by: Adam Smith

This terrifying two-parter, the first of the season to be recorded, sees the return of both the Weeping Angels and Alex Kingston as River Song. Steven Moffat has been quoted as saying: - I showed the episodes to my sons, Joshua and Louis, a few days ago, and there’s this sequence which starts exactly 15 minutes and 35 seconds into the Episode 4...well, what can I say? Afterwards Joshua turned to me and said “That, Daddy, is the scariest thing ever, in Doctor Who.”

1.6 Vampires in Venice

Written by: Toby Whithouse
Directed by: Johnny Campbell

This is the one with the good-looking vampires, as seen in the series trailer. Partly filmed in Croatia, the story is set – you’d never guess – in Venice...

1.7 TBA

Written by: Simon Nye
Directed by: Catherine Morshead

Along with episode 11, this episode is being recorded in the final production block, which is currently being completed as I type these words.

1.8 / 1.9 TBA

Written by: Chris Chibnall
Directed by Ashley Way

This two-parter by former Torchwood head writer Chris Chibnall guest stars Meera Syal, probably best known for her appearances in Goodness Gracious Me, and The Kumars at No.42. This is believed to be the ‘Earth Reptile’ (Silurian) story.

1.10 TBA

Written by: Richard Curtis
Directed by: Johnny Campbell

Comedy legend Richard Curtis’ episode was partly filmed in Croatia alongside Vampires in Venice. As well as guest-starring Tony Curran as the famous artist Vincent Van Gogh, the cast includes none other than Bill Nighy.

1.11 TBA

Written by: Gareth Roberts
Directed by: Catherine Morshead

Along with Episode 7, this episode is still being recorded. This features guest stars James Cordon and Daisy Haggard, and appears to involve the Doctor staying at a house as a Lodger. One particular sequence they have filmed recently features the Doctor playing football, which is raising suspicions that this story is loosely based around a script Gareth Roberts previously wrote for The Doctor Who magazine comic-strip called “The Lodger”.

1.12 / 1.13 TBA

Written by: Steven Moffat
Directed by: Toby Haynes

Little has been confirmed so far about the final two-parter, other than the rumours of River Song, Stonehenge and the fact that it features the Doctor carrying a flaming torch in one sequence, and that we have been promised an incredible epic finale to the 11th Doctor’s first season...

Expect further updates to this listing in the coming weeks....... Very Happy
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 15th March 2010, 04:13

The BBC Programme information site has provisionally confirmed that the new series will debut on Saturday 3rd April at 6:25pm, (although this date and time are subject to change). As previously stated the 11th Doctor's debut will be 60 mins long, and the episode-summary provided states that:- "The Doctor has regenerated into a brand new man, but danger strikes before he can even recover. With the TARDIS wrecked, and the sonic screwdriver destroyed, the new Doctor has just 20 minutes to save the whole world - and only Amy Pond to help him."
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by scarab on 23rd March 2010, 06:48

have found a extended trailer for the new doctor who series , it seems the yanks get a extended trailer than us brits , have to say am really looking forwad to it

find the 2 trailers here
http://news.thedoctorwhosite.co.uk/brand-new-trailer-on-digital-spy/

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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by Great Teufel on 4th April 2010, 05:27

Yeah. Okay. That rocked pretty hard.

And a nice Spearhead from Space riff too.

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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by Renny on 4th April 2010, 08:24

Hmmmm...thought that was pretty weak. Sorry.

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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by Renny on 4th April 2010, 09:02

Maybe some exposition is called for.

I found the episode a bit too manic and directionless. Matt Smith seemed to be channeling David Tennant for a lot of it. Early days, of course but would have liked his Doctor to feel different from the get go. A lot of coincidence in the story, such as Amy's boyfriend just happening to work on the coma ward where the exact guy that Prisoner Zero was simulating was being treated. Really hated the eyeball look of the alien spaceship. Didn't like the whole notion of the world's scientific leaders (including Patrick Moore???) dealing with the Doctor via some bloke's laptop screen. Also disappointed to hear the hints of a season plot coming i.e silence is falling. Didn't we have the darkness is coming before? I would like a season without an over-arching plot for once, or at least not one that gets hinted at every week. Sigh. Didn't mean to sound so negative just didn't blow me away. Quite liked the tardis, though.

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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 4th April 2010, 13:00

Well I really enjoyed that episode. The script certainly had a lot to deliver in its 60 minutes run time, much like ‘Rose’ did back in 2005 with the introduction of a the new Doctor, a new companion, the focus on building their relationship, whilst also telling an engaging story, and setting the tone for the rest of the series.

Overall I think it dealt with these challenges very well. From my perspective the strongest (and arguably the most important) element of the serial was Matt Smith’s portrayal of the Doctor. In contrast to most of his predecessor’s whose debut episodes are spent unconscious/stuck in bed/with optional loss of memory, (Tennant, Davison, Pertwee etc) – Matt re-freshingly benefited from being thrust straight into the action and forced to deal with a crisis to humanity while still ‘cooking’ from his regeneration – and this was fun to watch as he clumsily gets used to moving within his new body, trying out his new taste-buds, and adjusting to a fractured mindset, that doesn’t fully settle into “his” Doctor until we reach the rooftop scene near the end of the episode. It is here that you finally see the maturity in his composure that makes you believe that this is not a young man but a 900+ year old Time Lord impressively commanding the Atraxi to leave Earth and never return. Perhaps most importantly I didn’t spend the episode thinking of the 10th Doctor, (except for a brief “What, what, what” scene), as Matt’s Smith’s version felt distinct and more alien then before and did a very good job of putting his own stamp on the part. If you are looking for comparisons though then I know that Matt Smith loved Troughton’s Doctor after seeing Tomb of the Cybermen which is where some of his inspiration may derive from, (they even both wear bow ties!).

From a narrative standpoint, I think this episode worked best in its focus with Amy Pond and her relationship with the Doctor which was ingenious, and evoked a magical, fairy tale quality that shone throughout. Whilst she evoked all the ‘right’ qualities that you might wish to see in a new companion, the most striking thing I thought was how much character development the story afforded her. I cannot recall a previous companion who has benefited from such an arc within the space of 1 episode. By introducing her as a child, then jumping forward 14 years to early adulthood and then at the conclusion moving forward another 2 years, allowed us to view the shift in her relationship and expectations of the Doctor from ‘raggedy’ childhood obsession, to adult disillusionment, attraction, and then eventually maturing emotionally to the point where she is prepared to put aside her dreams of the TARDIS to settle down for married-life . The final development of her voluntarily leaving with the Doctor the night before her wedding was an intriguing twist which I look forward to seeing develop over the rest of the series. In fact thinking about it now, I like how her character journey also kind of parallels nicely with the Doctor’s post regeneration-arc over the episode too.

The sign-posted series–arc , (Prisoner Zero: ”The Universe is Cracked, the Pandorica will open, Silence will Fall.”) is intriguing and perhaps more clever then it first appears. I recall reading an interview with Steven Moffat in which he referred to the unnamed story-arc by hinting that it would start in episode 1 and be resolved in a big way in episode 13, and that certain things along the way would take on a significance retrospectively that they didn’t at the time. He recommended that we should therefore watch everything, twice, maybe three times. This, to my mind hints at something ambitious in scale but also subtle in execution so that it rewards the loyal viewer but also doesn’t alienate a casual viewer who just wants to dip in from time to time and be able to follow an episode in isolation from what’s come before. As to this particular arc, Im already thinking back to the word ‘Pandorica’ which brings to mind the mythical opening of ‘Pandora’s Box’ and all the evils it contained (lots of monsters hopefully) – and also that curious scene near the end of the first episode (just as we are about to jump forward 2 years) where we flashback to the child Amy sitting on her case in the garden, and then suddenly hears the TARDIS engines....(is this a hint that the Doctor did return for a further visit of which we were previously unaware?) or that history is being altered?, (or that maybe this is just a dream and Im completely on the wrong track!! Lol)

Anyway, overall I think the episode was very inventive, cleverly plotted, delivering a good balance of humour and creepy sequences, whilst also being shamelessly entertaining. The extended trail for the next few episodes looked superb – especially the WWII Daleks and Weeping Angels...Roll on next week and 'The Beast Below'!! Very Happy
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 4th April 2010, 19:05

Initial reaction from the Press can be found via the following weblinks:-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/doctor-who/7545387/Doctor-Who-BBC-One-review.html
http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv-entertainment/columnists/kevin-osullivan/2010/04/04/phew-a-brilliant-new-doctor-who-115875-22160131/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2010/apr/03/doctor-who-eleventh-hour
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/reviews/article-1263402/Giant-flying-eyeballs-kissagram-assistant-maybe-best-Doctor-Who-ever.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/tv-radio/new-doctor-shows-hes-right-man-for-the-job-1935491.html


In summary, the Telegraph says Matt Smith has taken up the mantle as the alien Time Lord perfectly, giving an A+ to the casting director and an A+ to Smith, while it describes Karen Gillan as a fine foil. The Mirror breaths a sigh of relief with the headline Phew.. a brilliant new Doctor Who saying the Beeb’s best franchise is in safe hands while The Guardian said some of the plot devices were a brilliant conceit that puts a new spin on a 50-year-old dynamic. The Mail says this was a deft first episode, packed with one-liners and an even more fantastical feel than of late, but with that old reassuring combination of intense Britishness, quirkiness and a sense of the macabre. And The Independent thinks Moffat has clearly picked the right leading man saying he is the Doctor. And he might be more the Doctor than anyone who was the Doctor before.

Fan reaction has been overwhelmingly positive with over 80% of contributors to the 'Gallifrey Base' website poll rating the episode 8/10 or more. Doctor Who and Matt Smith have both been trending topics on twitter.

More news/views as I get them....
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 4th April 2010, 20:25

The raw overnight viewing figures are now in and reveal that Doctor Who scored approx 8.3 million viewers and a 38.4% share of the total viewing audience easily beating every program on TV yesterday. "Who 'da man indeed!!" Very Happy


1 …. 8.3 * (38.4%) …. Doctor Who (18:15) BBC One
2 …. 5.6 * (26.1%) …. Over the Rainbow (19:30) BBC One
3 …. 5.5 (25.3%) …. Casualty (21:30) BBC One
4 …. 5.3 (24.1%) …. The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins (20:45) BBC One
5 …. 4.8 (23.7%) …. BBC News (22:15) BBC One
6 …. 4.0 (26.2%) …. Match of the Day (22:30) BBC One
7 …. 3.9 (18.6%) …. Ant & Dec's Push the Button (19:30) ITV 1
8 …. 3.9 (22.8%) …. BBC News / Regional News and Weather / All New Total Wipeout (17:15) BBC One
9 …. 3.6 (26.8%) …. The Boat Race (15:15) BBC One
10 … 3.5 (16.0%) …. Harry Hill's The Best of TV Burp (19:00) ITV 1
11 …. 3.5 (15.9%) …. The Door (20:30) ITV 1
12 …. 2.9 (13.5%) …. Piers Morgan's Life Stories: Geri Halliwell (21:30) ITV 1
13 …. 2.9 (16.8%) …. ITV News & Weather / Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (16:15) ITV 1
14 …. 2.3 ( 2.0%) …. Come Dine with Me (18:15) Channel 4
15 …. 2.2 (31.5%) …. Formula 1: The Malaysian Grand Prix (08:00) BBC One
16 …. 1.8 (23.8%) …. Saturday Kitchen Live (10:30) BBC One
17 …. 1.8 ( 1.6%) …. Come Dine with Me (17:45) Channel 4
18 …. 1.8 (22.6%) …. BBC News / Regional News and Weather (12:00) BBC One
19 …. 1.7 ( 7.7%) …. CSI: NY (21:00) Five
20 … 1.7 ( 7.7%) …. Have I Got a Bit More News for You (21:15) BBC Two

Time ………. BBC1 ……………… ITV ……………… BBC2 ……………… CH4 ……………… CH5 ……………… BBC HD
17:30 ….. 3.3 (20.2%) ….. 3.5 (20.9%) ….. 0.9 ( 5.6%) ….. 1.5 ( 9.0%) ….. 0.4 ( 2.4%) ….. 0.1 ( 0.4%)
17:45 ….. 3.9 (22.6%) ….. 3.7 (21.4%) ….. 0.6 ( 3.8%) ….. 1.6 ( 9.2%) ….. 0.5 ( 2.8%) ….. 0.0 ( 0.2%)
18:00 ….. 4.3 (24.1%) ….. 3.8 (21.4%) ….. 0.7 ( 3.8%) ….. 1.8 ( 9.8%) ….. 0.6 ( 3.2%) ….. 0.0 ( 0.2%)
18:15 ….. 6.3 (31.3%) ….. 3.3 (16.7%) ….. 0.7 ( 3.6%) ….. 2.0 ( 9.8%) ….. 0.6 ( 3.1%) ….. 0.3 ( 1.4%)
18:30 ….. 7.2 (33.6%) ….. 3.4 (15.7%) ….. 0.7 ( 3.5%) ….. 2.1 ( 9.7%) ….. 0.6 ( 2.8%) ….. 0.4 ( 1.8%)
18:45 ….. 7.9 (36.1%) ….. 3.0 (13.7%) ….. 0.8 ( 3.6%) ….. 1.4 ( 6.6%) ….. 0.7 ( 3.4%) ….. 0.3 ( 1.5%)
19:00 ….. 8.1 (36.8%) ….. 3.6 (16.3%) ….. 0.9 ( 4.2%) ….. 1.2 ( 5.2%) ….. 0.7 ( 3.3%) ….. 0.3 ( 1.4%)
19:15 ….. 7.6 (34.5%) ….. 3.6 (16.3%) ….. 0.9 ( 4.2%) ….. 1.3 ( 5.9%) ….. 0.9 ( 4.2%) ….. 0.2 ( 1.1%)
19:30 ….. 5.0 (23.5%) ….. 3.7 (17.5%) ….. 0.9 ( 4.2%) ….. 1.5 ( 6.9%) ….. 1.2 ( 5.7%) ….. 0.1 ( 0.5%)
19:45 ….. 5.2 (24.4%) ….. 3.9 (18.5%) ….. 0.7 ( 3.4%) ….. 1.5 ( 6.9%) ….. 1.3 ( 6.1%) ….. 0.1 ( 0.4%)
20:00 ….. 5.3 (24.8%) ….. 4.2 (19.7%) ….. 0.8 ( 3.6%) ….. 1.5 ( 7.0%) ….. 1.0 ( 4.9%) ….. 0.1 ( 0.3%)
20:15 ….. 5.7 (26.5%) ….. 3.9 (18.2%) ….. 0.9 ( 4.0%) ….. 1.4 ( 6.5%) ….. 1.2 ( 5.4%) ….. 0.1 ( 0.3%)
20:30 ….. 5.4 (25.1%) ….. 3.4 (15.6%) ….. 1.1 ( 4.9%) ….. 1.5 ( 7.0%) ….. 1.3 ( 5.8%) ….. 0.0 ( 0.2%)
20:45 ….. 4.8 (22.0%) ….. 3.6 (16.5%) ….. 1.5 ( 6.7%) ….. 1.7 ( 7.6%) ….. 1.2 ( 5.7%) ….. 0.0 ( 0.2%)
21:00 ….. 5.3 (23.9%) ….. 3.5 (15.5%) ….. 1.9 ( 8.5%) ….. 1.2 ( 5.4%) ….. 1.8 ( 8.1%) ….. 0.0 ( 0.1%)
21:15 ….. 6.1 (27.0%) ….. 3.3 (14.7%) ….. 1.4 ( 6.1%) ….. 1.3 ( 5.9%) ….. 1.9 ( 8.3%) ….. 0.0 ( 0.2%)
21:30 ….. 5.3 (24.1%) ….. 2.7 (12.4%) ….. 1.9 ( 8.5%) ….. 1.5 ( 6.7%) ….. 1.7 ( 7.8%) ….. 0.0 ( 0.1%)
21:45 ….. 5.4 (24.4%) ….. 3.0 (13.6%) ….. 1.8 ( 8.1%) ….. 1.4 ( 6.6%) ….. 1.5 ( 6.8%) ….. 0.0 ( 0.1%)
22:00 ….. 5.8 (26.8%) ….. 3.2 (14.8%) ….. 0.7 ( 3.2%) ….. 1.5 ( 7.2%) ….. 1.0 ( 4.5%) ….. 0.1 ( 0.3%)
22:15 ….. 5.1 (25.1%) ….. 2.6 (12.9%) ….. 0.8 ( 3.7%) ….. 1.5 ( 7.5%) ….. 1.1 ( 5.4%) ….. 0.1 ( 0.2%)
22:30 ….. 4.4 (23.5%) ….. 1.7 ( 9.1%) ….. 0.8 ( 4.1%) ….. 1.5 ( 7.9%) ….. 1.2 ( 6.3%) ….. 0.0 ( 0.2%)
22:45 ….. 4.5 (25.4%) ….. 1.5 ( 8.7%) ….. 0.7 ( 3.9%) ….. 1.4 ( 8.0%) ….. 1.0 ( 5.9%) ….. 0.0 ( 0.2%)
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by scarab on 5th April 2010, 00:12

Its time for my 2 peneths worth.

in a nut shell i enjoyed the episode , i found the aliens to be a bit off par to what we have come to expect but seeing as this episode is all about the new doctor and his new companion thats to be expected .

dislikes :
the new theme , i think that it may grow on me .
the alien : see above
the almost quick revelation of the season plot line : seems like there was a concious decision to make a point for this new seasson that there is a plotline !!
The central tardis column seems like a new age thermometer /blown glass i think this would have been better with some additional effects.

Likes:
I liked the way/idea that the tardis almost seemed to regenerate along with the doctor
The New tardis style
The regeneration / food scenes , were humorous without being too much , the bread and butter flying out of the door "and dont come back" , "your scottish fry something" made me chuckle
The ending sequence does this planet pose a threat , has this planet been invade , is this planet protected . was particularly good.
and the "one thing you must remember " " i am a crazy man in a blue box"


Observations
the crack on the oscillator in the tardis that the doctor covered up !!!! this sequence sort of gave me the thought that the new doctor is being more secretive/sinister(although too strong a word)
Steve Moffat has a habit of creating monsters that repeat a short sentence
"are you my mummy" " hey who turned out the lights " " surrender subject zero" although not complaints here.

In summary ,
am i looking forward to the new season : Hell Yeah
Do i think David Tenant was a good doctor : yes one of the best
do i feel that the epsiode was weaker for not having DT as the doctor : no
Do i think that Matt smith will make a good doctor who : from the first episode definatley
Are we looking forward to seeing the rest of the season : Hell yeah.

Ratings
Ben 8/10
Laura 8.5/10
Ruth 7.5/10
Hayden 8.5/10

Ben
btw , it doesn't get much better than the all 5 off us sitting down on the sofa watching doctor who on a saturday night
Very Happy
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 5th April 2010, 02:20

Glad to hear you all enjoyed it Ben. I would give this episode an 8/10 from me too.

I agree with your critique of the alien threat, but as you quite rightly pointed out the main purpose of the episode was to focus on introducing the new Doctor and Amy which inevitably leaves the aliens being a bit under-developed, (although I liked the eye-ball ships). It reminds me of being back n 2005 when the first episode made its debut with the Auton plotline being sidelined in favour of introducing the 9th Doctor and Rose. I think that's the right narrative priority and overall it was no less enjoyable for taking that approach.

I wasnt blown away by the new version of the theme tune which I havent quite warmed to yet either. But in fairness I think its probably because I've become really used to the fast-paced, bombastic nature of the Tennant theme whereas this seems more sedate in comparison and will probably grow on me over time. I've subsequently re-listened to a 'clean-cut' of the new theme a few times today on the BBC website and have to admit that its now growing on me, (especially as it means not having to listen to that stupid BBC continuity announcer talking over it). Try out the link below:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw/episodes/b00rs6t7/videos/p00765br
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by Renny on 11th April 2010, 09:00

Well, I watched "The Beast Below" earlier this evening. I found this episode to be a sloppy offering. Extremely dodgy central conceit, namely Starship UK ( a ropey effect btw that reminded me of early Red Dwarf), a frankly baffling notion that England of the 29th Century would still be using red telephone boxes and other seventies - eighties iconography, a strange Empire Strikes Back shtick with giant space going whales called space whales ??? That must have taken seconds to dream up. This plot element even harks back to "Encounter At Farpoint". The Doctor's strange treatment of Amy when he realised that she had tried to save him from an impossible situation jarred with me as well. He treated her harshly without good reason and this seems out of character. Liked some small bits in the episode but these were mostly Amy bits. Overall it felt like a throwback to the dark days of Sylvester McCoy. I'd rate it 6/10.

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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by Mykilus on 11th April 2010, 10:09

2 episodes down and 11 to go.
First thought about episode 2 is that i wonder if Terry Pratchet is going to take legal action.I realise that it may take Moffet a little time to develop his style and for the audiance to get used to it but back in the Davis era he allways produced some of the best storys of the season.But now he seams to have caught a bit of what ailed RTD.
I am still not convinced by the theme tune, the main actors do a fine job and i have no complaints there. The main problem to me seams to be the storys, they just feel like Daveis never left, i just hope that these are not storys that where discarded by Daveis but are now ``up to scratch``.
We`ll have to see how they get on with the Daleks next week, if they screw that up we are in trouble

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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 11th April 2010, 15:32

Im sorry to read from the two previous posts that not everyone enjoyed this episode. Personally I thought this was a strong offering with a huge wealth of clever ideas at the heart of an intriguing mystery which overall I loved from start-to-finish. Here are a few things that I enjoyed and observed from this episode:-

• The Voting-booths: – with our next General Election due to take place in a few weeks, this story-point is nicely timed and sets up the big theme for the episode about the nature of democracy, and how much we turn a blind eye to what our leaders are doing because we don’t want to face those responsibilities ourselves. Just like the characters in this story we are all floating through space together so when our election comes round on May 6th we have a vote and need to make it for the right reasons. Steve, (in his previous posting) referred to this episode as being a bit like a throwback to the Mccoy era, and perhaps in a way it is if you’re thinking of “The Happiness Patrol” from 1988 which was a political pastiche of the Thatcher-era – (which ironically made the news recently). But that’s purely on a superficial level as old-school Doctor Who could be too simplistic in its approach by setting up good-vs-evil stories where we see (for example in The Happiness Patrol) a sci-fi version of Margaret Thatcher imposing her evil rule over the poor inhabitants of Terra Alpha. The Beast Below by comparison poses far more difficult issues by taking the viewer into the morally grey-areas of responsibility by asking “what of the people who voted for her?” – and this I think demonstrates where this episode and Doctor Who as a series has grown up considerably since the McCoy era. I thought it was chilling to think how these people are (through democracy) shown the reality of their existence every few years in the voting booths, but nearly always choose to forget, (or object and die). The closest thing we had to a responsible adult on Starship Uk was Liz 10 who in a clever twist turned out to be living in a groundhog day style existence of following the same path that would lead her every 10 years to the ‘Tower of London’ and an unpalatable truth– which she too would choose to forget just like everyone else on the ship.

• Design and Depiction of Starship UK:-
I think this worked very well, and I liked the idea of how the last remnants of our country have fled Earth and now live-out this weird throwback existence which harkens back to 20th Century nostalgia and British wartime frugality. It brought together this wonderful combination of retro stylised buildings, and old style lettering, streets and clothing (from different eras) - which all evoke that superficial sense of being English (sorry Scotland) whilst being weirdly meshed together within a high-tech spaceship (that doesn’t fly!), and all presided over by the creepy Smilers. This is one of those imaginative concepts that Doctor Who does very well that no other drama would probably think of trying. I thought the cgi was mostly very good, especially in the early scenes of the ship in orbit and Amy floating out the TARDIS doors. However as a long term fan from back in the days when there was little time or money spent on visual effects, Im not one to fuss too much on the quality of the cgi as that’s ultimately not that important in comparrison with the narrative. With some perspective here, even if they had a movie-budget to make Starship UK look absolutely stunning (which isn’t realistic especially as this is a TV series and one with a reduced budget due to the recession) it would still look dated in about 5 years time anyway just as some of the early RTD-era stuff does from back in 2005.

• The Smilers:-
I thought these were very creepy and memorable adversaries, and loved the rotating heads, and how they dumped undesirables into the heart of the ship to be eaten. I imagine that there may be quite a few kids enduring nightmares on Saturday night after seeing those things, especially at the realisation that they are not restrained to their booths and that some of them can look like humans too (until their heads swivel round)!!

• Lead performances:-
This is the crucial 2nd story where the new companion gets thrown in the deep-end during their first adventure in the TARDIS and has to prove their worth whilst also learning more about the mysterious man they are now travelling with. Rather then rely on that traditional adage of splitting-up the TARDIS crew due to some convenient misfortune, in this instance the Doctor refreshingly just points Amy in the right direction and trusts her to follow his advice. It was here (when separated from the Doctor) that I thought Amy Pond really came into her own, having to rely on her own judgement, with a strong performance from Karen Gillan. I think she managed to achieve a good balance of the wow-factor, inquisitiveness, bravery, and stubbornness whilst feeling different from her predecessors. The explosive results of her argument with the Doctor were a good narrative reminder of the Doctor’s fallibility and need for a companion to rein him in at times, whilst also allowing Amy the chance to prove her worth (and that of humanity in general) by saving the day. Matt Smith was on good form again throughout, and Im loving the distinctive way he moves, (his energetic bursts) and delivery of his lines which all points towards him becoming one of the best actors to play the role.

• Steven Moffat vs Russell T Davies:-
I suppose it’s inevitable that there’s going to be some comparison of their writing styles, so as Mike has raised this point I would like to say a few things for your consideration. First off, RTD has had no input on the new series or storylines used by Steven Moffat which are of his own devising since he was cut loose to begin scripting material and shaping his vision of the new series back in 2008/2009. One of the key differences I have noticed between the two writers is that RTD was good at setting-up stories, writing kitchen-table dialogue exchanges, and presenting big spectacles – but this sometimes seemed to come at the expense of having to wrap up the stories hastily with a last minute Mcguffin, such as whatever it was that Donna did in Journey’s End to defeat the Daleks (by tapping stuff on a computer whilst spouting incomprehensible techno-jargon). Steven Moffat’s stories (thus far) have managed to avoid this pitfall with clever dramatic structures that often unfold like a puzzle-box with plots that twist and turn throughout very satisfactorily, and ultimately build up (as in the Beast Below) to a satisfying dramatic conclusion where (in this instance) Amy has to figure out the mystery by putting together all the clues seeded throughout the story and make a choice with just seconds to spare, (so no RTD McGuffins in evidence here!).

Steven Moffat also appears to have a different viewpoint on humanity too – in the RTD era humans were usually depicted as more selfish and unsympathetic with only a chosen few worthy of travelling with the Doctor. The human characters in Moffat’s Beast Below however have their grey areas but are also tempered with a moral belief in the human spirit to do the right things too. He has a preference in showing us ordinary everyday characters like Miss Evengelista (Silence in the Library), and Nancy (The Empty Child) who are able to provide vital assistance in the face of adversity and without whom the Doctor would be unable to save the day, and the Beast Below continues this tradition with characters like Liz 10 and Hawthorne who don’t have clean hands but are not unredeemable either.

Overall, I feel that after two episodes Steven Moffat's scripts are very different from what RTD would have attempted, with Moffats clear focus being on presenting stories that are evocative of magical, dark fairy tales - and the Beast Below (like the Eleventh Hour before it) forfills his criteria very well.

• Dislikes:-
I couldn’t find much to fault with this one, although part of my old-school Who preferences were slightly disappointed that the Doctor didn’t have to destroy the Smilers, but then again this is just a quibble as this story seemed intent on presenting something that felt initially familiar (mystery on a ship with oppressed population) whilst following a narrative that didn’t follow the expected clichés.


• Narrative Link to Victory of the Daleks:-

Not sure if this is going to be a regular thing now, but I liked how they seeded in the next serial at the end of the Beast Below which kind of reminds me of how they used to end the Hartnell era stories. BTW, the next episode looks like the mutts-nuts from where Im sitting!!


• Trivia:-
i) The solar-flares which caused the last vestiges of humanity to flee for the stars in the 29th Century refers back to a Tom Baker serial “The Ark in Space”, (which was by co-incidence also his 2nd story just as The Beast Below was Matt Smith’s 2nd foray as the Doctor). Following his escapade with the Wirrn on the Ark, the 4th Doctor, Sarah and Harry then travelled down to Earth to assess the damage caused by the solar-flares and suitability for re-colonisation (“The Sontaran Experiment”).

ii) Although a widely used sci-fi trope in literature/tv/film this is the first time in Doctor Who that the series has utilised the concept of a whale in space, (referred to here as a ‘Star Whale’, Steve) although this was very nearly not the case as back in 1983 writers Pat Mills and John Wagner wrote the story, “Space-Whale”, intended to introduce the character of Turlough in the 20th Series of Doctor Who. This story would have seen the 5th Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa landing in the stomach of the titular creature, but was dropped for various reasons and replaced by “Mawdryn Undead”. Perhaps Steven Moffat was inspired by this concept when devising the plot for the Beast Below? Fans of Torchwood may recall though that there was an episode in the 2nd series which did feature a sapient whale/slug/cow-thing from another world which come through the Rift and suffered the misfortune of getting abused for cheap meat. Perhaps it’s just as well the ‘Star Whale’ didn’t know about this when it decided to save us from extinction!! Anyway, I think with whales and other deep-space life-forms (ranging from space jellyfish to dolphins, slugs and amoeba) being fairly common in sci-fi literature, tv and film, (where said creatures are either exploited, face extinction, host other lifeforms within or without etc) I therefore don’t think Terry Pratchett, Star Wars or Star Trek fans need get too possessive over Doctor Who joining the fun for one episode!!



• My Favourite Lines:-
The Doctor: “Big day tomorrow.”
Amy: “Sorry what?”
The Doctor: “Well it’s always a big day tomorrow. We’ve got a time machine. I skip the little ones.”

The Doctor: “I never get involved in the affairs of other peoples or planets.”

The Doctor: “Nobody talk to me! Nobody human has anything to say to me today!”


Overall I would give this episode 8.5 out of 10 Very Happy
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by Renny on 11th April 2010, 18:38

rogartheranger wrote:Personally I thought this was a strong offering with a huge wealth of clever ideas at the heart of an intriguing mystery which overall I loved from start-to-finish.

No really, i'm shocked Very Happy . Chris, I love the fact that you feel passionate enough about this stuff to write 9 gazillion words every week on how wonderful the episode was. You make good counterpoints to everything I said. I started writing an equally impassioned rebuttal to your points as I hate not getting the last word but really, it's probably a waste of time. I suspect it would simply degenerate into nitpicking. Let's agree to diasgree on this one. Glad you enjoyed it, and Dr Who wins in the end as i'll continue watching regardless, i'm sure. Looking forward to the daleks next week anyway.

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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 11th April 2010, 23:51

Well, I was expecting a drop-off in viewers due to the earlier timeslot and nice weather, but am pleasantly surprised to see that it still came out as the top viewed program of the day (according to the preliminary overnight figures) which is unusual for a show screened before 7pm. It’ll be interesting to note the timeshift figures once final data is collected by the BARB.

Overnight Figures

1 …. 6.7 * (34.0%) …. Doctor Who (18:15) BBC One (6.4 + 0.3 HD)
2 …. 5.9 (25.8%) …. The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins (20:15) BBC One
3 …. 5.7 (25.7%) …. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (19:00) ITV 1
4 …. 5.7 (24.2%) …. Casualty (21:00) BBC One
5 …. 5.5 * (26.0%) …. Over the Rainbow (19:00) BBC One (5.4 + 0.1 HD)
6 …. 4.9 (22.4%) …. BBC News (21:45) BBC One
7 …. 4.0 (26.2%) …. Total Wipeout (17:15) BBC One
8 …. 3.8 (27.5%) …. BBC News / Regional News and Weather (17:00) BBC One
9 …. 3.2 (20.2%) …. ITV News & Weather / FA Cup Live: Aston Villa v Chelsea (16:30) ITV 1
10 … 3.2 (18.1%) …. Match of the Day (22:15) BBC One

Doctor Who in the Media:-
Have so far managed to scour out two reviews this morning for the Beast Below:-
The Guardian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2010/apr/10/doctor-who-the-beast-below
Den of Geek - http://www.denofgeek.com/television/459522/doctor_who_series_5_episode_2_the_beast_below_review.html
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 12th April 2010, 00:10

No really, i'm shocked . Chris, I love the fact that you feel passionate enough about this stuff to write 9 gazillion words every week on how wonderful the episode was. You make good counterpoints to everything I said. I started writing an equally impassioned rebuttal to your points as I hate not getting the last word but really, it's probably a waste of time. I suspect it would simply degenerate into nitpicking. Let's agree to diasgree on this one. Glad you enjoyed it, and Dr Who wins in the end as i'll continue watching regardless, i'm sure. Looking forward to the daleks next week anyway.

Lol, well there's no harm in disagreeing as it'd be a lesser discussion forum if we all agreed about everything all the time. I accept that not every episode will be loved by everyone in equal measure and stories with 'starwhales' may not be to everyones personal tastes. Believe it or not I dont love every episode with equal passion (Not a big fan of "Fear Her", "The Idiots Lantern", "The Lazarus Experiment", or "Daleks in Manhatten/Evolution of the Daleks" which are fairly weak offerings imo) and if there's something I didnt like then I'll say so too. However, in this case I genuinely loved this one, and off the back of two negative reviews I thought it worth giving my two-pennys worth so that theres a bit of variety and food for thought perhaps. I hope that next weeks Mark Gatiss scripted Dalek offering will be more to your liking!!! Smile
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by kevinrolfe on 12th April 2010, 04:38

We managed to finally watch the first one, is it me or has Tennant lost some weight ???

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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by rogartheranger on 12th April 2010, 05:14

Kevinrolfe wrote:We managed to finally watch the first one, is it me or has Tennant lost some weight ???

Yes I think you've hit upon something there, as he did seem a bit thinner then usual and thats saying something considering how skinny he usually is anyway! Laughing
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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by Mykilus on 12th April 2010, 09:25

[quote="rogartheranger"]
Kevinrolfe wrote:We managed to finally watch the first one, is it me or has Tennant lost some weight ???

Not judgeing by the size of that fishfinger from episode 1.

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Re: Doctor Who - Season 31 (Spring: 2010)

Post by kevinrolfe on 12th April 2010, 17:17

no i think it is our damaged TV, everytime a ginger person is on we throw stones at it. Are we bad people?

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