Doctor Who

The Great 'Doctor Who' Rewatch: The End of the World

Previously, on Doctor Who: Simple shopgirl Rose Tyler meets a leather jacket-clad stranger called the Doctor who rescues her from living plastic, introduces her to aliens and invites her to go on adventures all over time and space. It’s fantastic.

Our recap series continues this week with The End of the World. This is the the Ninth Doctor’s second adventure, and is really our first proper Doctor Who story, featuring a trip into the future, a great number of fairly bizarre aliens and a mystery to solve. So click through, come chat and leave your thoughts in the comments!

British Actors You Should Know: John Simm

At work and with my friends, I often find myself recommending British series and movies wherein I spend the majority of my time just trying to explain who the actors are. Even people who are familiar with shows like Downton Abbey, for example, may still draw a blank when you mention the name Hugh Bonneville. You know…the 5th Earl of Grantham.

British telly looms large in my life, but I realize that’s not the case for everyone. Therefore, I’ve made it my self–appointed mission to bring the existence of many fine British actors into the mainstream consciousness of American TV and movie watchers. For this installment, my choice is the talented English actor, John Simm.

Why? Read on.

The Great 'Doctor Who' Rewatch Begins: Rose

This is not a drill: The Great Doctor Who Rewatch is here at last! I realize that I’ve been promising to get to this series for months and months now, so I’m pretty excited (and oddly relieved) to get started on this thing finally. Thank you to everyone that’s hung in there waiting for me to not quite be so excruciatingly slow, and double thank you to the people that have asked me when I was ever going to get around to doing this thing. Harassment generally works, so make a note of it.

Ever since we finished the Great Doc Martin Rewatch, I’ve been itching for something new to watch and write about. I ultimately decided that The Great Doctor Who Rewatch seemed to be an obvious choice for one of these reap series here on the blog – several readers have expressed interest in chatting about it and we’ve been airing the series (well, onward from the 2005 “reboot”) on WETA UK, so it feels like a good fit. Plus, as I know I have mentioned ad nauseum by now around here, it is my favorite show. Finding ways to talk about it is never going to be the problem.

So, here we are, done dusted and official, the Great Doctor Who Rewatch begins right now. But first, a bit of history: Doctor Who holds the Guinness World Record as the longest running science fiction television program in the world. It premiered on November 23, 1963 and has pretty much just kept going ever since. However, the show did take quite a substantial break after 1989 (with a small break for a television film in 1996) until it was re-launched in 2005 under showrunner Russell T. Davies. This is known in some Whovian circles as the “reboot”, and it’s where our Great Rewatch will get started. (I love all things Who but even I’m not sure if I could get us through every episode of both the new AND classic series. Maybe someday!) The 2005 re-launch featured Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth incarnation of the Doctor alongside companion Billie Piper, and, well, it’s been pretty successful ever since.

So, sit back, relax, and let’s chat about a time traveling alien, his human companion(s), and their adventures through time and space in a blue police box.

Amazing Internet Things: Malcolm Tucker is the Twelfth Doctor

Before he was cast to play the Twelfth Doctor on Doctor Who, actor Peter Capaldi was probably best known for his performance as foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker on The Thick of It. The actor has obviously done a tremendous amount of other great work besides this on screens both large and small, but, well, Malcolm does tend to be one of the characters people remember. Which, probably has a lot to do with the swearing.

Given this fact, it seems natural that the internet’s first reaction upon the announcement of Capaldi’s casting as Twelve was to make a mash-up video combining both Doctor Who and The Thick of It into a forty second burst of awesomeness that you’ll sort of wish was actually real. In short, if you’ve ever wondered what Malcolm Tucker might be like as a Time Lord, well, this video is for you. (And the answer is, surprisingly the same.)

Two things you should know going in: 1.) This clip is hysterical, even if you’ve never seen The Thick of It and 2.) It is full of profanity, because that’s basically the secret language of Malcolm Tucker. Don’t watch this if you’re at work or if a lot of strong language bothers you or maybe even if there is anyone standing near you at home that might overhear.

British Actors You Should Know: Peter Capaldi

We figured: You get cast to play the Doctor, you get bumped up our British Actors You Should Know List. It seemed fair.

After much speculation and trepidation on the part of Doctor Who fans worldwide, the announcement has been made that Scottish actor Peter Capaldi will take on the 12th regeneration of the Doctor. I, for one, am quite chuffed about this choice as I have been an admirer of Mr. Capaldi’s work for some time.

Also, I’m interested to see how Steven Moffat and company will handle the necessary changes as they transition from Matt Smith, the youngest actor to play the Time Lord, to Capaldi who, at 55 years of age, ties with First Doctor William Hartnell for oldest actor to inhabit the part. Come to that, how will his companion Clara take the news?

Anyhow, it’s very exciting times indeed.

Now, if at this point you’re saying “Who is this Capaldi chap?” I’m willing to bet you’ve seen at least one of his wonderful performances over the past 30 years. But if you actually don’t know Peter Capaldi, whether you’re Whovian or not, I’m here to say he really is a British actor you should know and here are some reasons why.

It’s Official: Doctor Who's New Twelfth Doctor Is…

The identity of the new Twelfth Doctor was announced today in a rather unprecedented BBC One live program – which was simulcast here in the States on BBC America. After about twenty-five minutes of interviews from Doctor Who alumni past and present – including Peter Davison, Bernard Cribbins, Jenna Coleman, Janet Fielding, headwriter Steven Moffat and more – during which the BBC drove us all absolutely crazy with tension and teasing and waiting, the official announcement of the new Doctor was made.

And it’s kind of a doozy, y’all.

The Twelfth Doctor will be played by well-known British character actor Peter Capaldi. You may have seen him as Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, in his turn on as the new Head of News during The Hour’s second series, or as the villainous John Frobisher in Torchwood’s Children of Earth miniseries. He’s a fantastic actor – and an exceptionally exciting choice to play Twelve. (Though I’ll be honest, I was kind of secretly hoping for a Time Lady – or Ben Whishaw. But I am overall happy with this pick.)

'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Special to Be Simulcast Around the Globe

Doctor Who fans around the world are going to have to synchronize their sonic screwdrivers to make sure they catch the iconic series’ highly-anticipated 50th anniversary special this November. In an unprecedented move (at least for anything that isn’t Prince William’s wedding), the BBC has decided that the Who anniversary episode will be simulcast around the world, in an effort to avoid spoilers and online leaks ruining the special event for fans following its initial UK broadcast. This event is set to be the biggest drama simulcast in history. So, get excited, Whovians!

According to a statement released by BBC Worldwide in the Radio Times, the commercial entity responsible for the global distribution of Doctor Who and other series, “It's always been our ambition to work with our broadcast partners so that international Doctor Who fans can enjoy the 50th Anniversary special at the same time as the UK. We'll have more details soon about our very exciting global plans for November."

This Fan-Made Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Trailer is So Awesome You’ll Wish It Was Real

The big question on every Doctor Who fan’s mind – well, other than constant wondering about the identity of the person playing the Twelfth Doctor – is what the upcoming landmark special to mark the iconic series’ 50th anniversary will entail.

We know that former Who stars David Tennant and Billie Piper are both back for the anniversary installment, but beyond that plot details are sparse. And following the events of the Series 7 finale and the surprise introduction of John Hurt as, well, “the Doctor,” anything seems possible.

Subsequently, fans are desperate for any tidbits of anniversary information, so it’s not surprising that this particular trailer - purported to be a leaked first look at the highly anticipated installment - spread like wildfire around the internet, with many claiming that it was the real deal. Sadly, that's not the case. We’re going to have to keep waiting for any sort of real Doctor Who teaser, because this one (which you can see below) is a fake.

That said, while yes, this trailer is fan-made, it’s so well done you won’t mind.

Doctor Who’s Matt Smith Says Goodbye in a Special Video Message

Doctor Who fans around the world are still reeling from the recent announcement that Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith will be leaving the show following its 2013 Christmas special.

Smith, who is clearly aware of the emotional devastation this news has wrought, has decided to make a public statement on the topic for the first time since the news broke.

Looking strikingly different since he shaved all his hair off for his role in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut How to Catch a Monster, Smith recorded a special video message for Who fans while shooting his new movie in Detroit. If you can get past the fact that Smith now bears an uncanny resemblance to former Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston thanks to his new hairdo, the video is quite sweet and a lovely gesture to all the fans who are already mourning his absence.

The Question of the Summer: Who Should Play Doctor Who’s Twelfth Doctor?

Naturally, all Doctor Who fans are feeling a bit sad about the news that star Matt Smith has decided to hang up his sonic screwdriver. At the same time, it’s hard to not also feel the tiniest, teeniest bit excited, because change is what this show is all about in many ways and a large part of the reason it’s been able to survive and stay fresh for so long.

So, yes, we’re losing Smith and Eleven – and we’ll obviously miss them both – but it’s also a bit thrilling to think about the next person who will take control of the TARDIS. What kind of performer will he or she be? What kind of character will that person’s interpretation of the Doctor be?

But the question of the moment remains – who will play Twelve? Despite a media rumor mill spun up to full force the second Smith said he was leaving – and a surprisingly active market among bookies – no one has any idea. It could be anyone – and subsequently, literally everyone seems to have a top three (Or five. Or seven.) list of actors they think would be perfect to play the Doctor.

Now, it seems pretty unlikely that an actor hasn’t already been chosen for this part – the casting process was probably conducted (and multiple Non-Disclosure Agreements secured) well before anyone ever thought of officially announcing Smith’s exit. But, it’s fun to speculate about what different actors could bring to the role, and everyone else is doing it, so why not.

Click through for ten individuals who would all be stellar Doctors and leave your dream casting choice in the comments.

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