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Doctor Who: Planet of the Daleks (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

Planet of the Daleks originally aired in 1973.

You know, for a man who abhors violence, I must say I took great satisfaction in doing that.

– The Doctor on demolishing a Dalek

The combined Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks serials were intended to mark the tenth anniversary of Doctor Who with a twelve-part epic that could be measured against the lost Daleks’ Master Plan. I’m quite fond of The Frontier in Space, and I’d argue that it stands as the best space-opera of the Pertwee era, but I’ll concede that the story is severely weakened by the links it shares with this little adventure, which is conclusive proof that Daleks were quite stale long before Davros was invented.

Not all Dalek stories are gold…

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Doctor Who: The End of Time, Part I

That was… an episode of Doctor Who. I don’t know. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I know that wasn’t quite it. And there are enough cringe-worthy moments here to prevent the episode from becoming a classic (or even just a great episode) there are more than a few diamonds in the rough hidden amidst the mess of an episode. It is very much a Russell T. Davies episode, with all that involves – the ridiculously over-the-top moments paired with a fantastic grasp of character. Is it a fitting end to perhaps the most iconic version of the Timelord (I’m an Eccleston man myself, but only Tom Baker could be said to challenge Tennant as the most recognised face of the Doctor)? I don’t know – I should probably wait for the second part, to be honest. On the otherhand, it certainly doesn’t feel like a crowning moment for the first five years (or even Tennant’s last four) of the revival.

The Master in a hoody... and the establishment did tremble...

Note: This review will be discussing the episode in depth (including spoilers). If you are looking for a quick recommendation, it’s a decided ‘meh’. It isn’t a highpoint in the new series, but some good ideas and some nice character moments (as well as three fantastic lead performances) make something out of the mess that is the rest of the episode. I’m not sure what exactly, I’ll let you know next week. Continue reading

Doctor Who? Premature Guessing Games on Stephen Moffat’s Season

The Tennant/Davies era of New Doctor Who is well-and-truly over. Despite fandom’s speculations about what a Doctor Who panel at Comic Con means (movie! movie! movie!), it seems that – for the moment at least – the most recent incarnation of the Timelord has made room for his replacement. Filming began yesterday on the first episodes produced by Stephen Moffat and starring Matt Smith as the lovable time traveler. Of course, the photos started showing up around noon. So, what do we make of the newest actor in the role? What do we expect from Moffat as a showrunner (as compared to Davies)? Do we know anything at all?

Who is he? He is Who...

Who is he? He is Who...

Note: This article contains spoilers. Lots and lots and lots of spoilers, based off rumours about Tennant’s departure and the set photos revealed yesterday.

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