Fifth Doctor Opposes Casting a Female Doctor

docdaughterWith the smashing success of Peter Capaldi‘s debut season as the 12th Doctor, no one is looking to recast the lead of DOCTOR WHO anytime soon. But we’re between seasons, so that means the troublemakers have to start manufacturing “news” in the absences of real tidbits from the production. And that means, sooner or later, someone is going to ask, “Hey, what about a female Doctor?”

After dutifully wishing that former producer John Nathan-Turner could have been imprisoned in the heart of a neutron star for having the bad judgment to try to drum up interest in the series by tossing this hand grenade into fandom — when he had no intention of ever casting a woman — I generally sigh and wait for the hysteria to blow over.
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Is the Fifth Appearing in the Fiftieth?

timecrashErstwhile Fifth Doctor Peter Davison made a few cryptic remarks this week that have folks speculating hoping he will make a surprise appearance in “The Day of the Doctor,” DOCTOR WHO’s 50th anniversary story. And then he said something not-so-cryptic.

According to a website called Female First, Davison said:

“I’m making an appearance somewhere over that period of time but I can’t reveal in what. I can’t reveal anything specific about it. I’m not allowed to. It is a big year for the show and we’re all doing our bit for it. Trust me.”

Well, when a Doctor asks you to trust him, it’s a good idea to trust him. Even though the Doctor lies. Also: Run.
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The Dress That Was a DOCTOR WHO Monster Waiting to Happen

purplesidepurplebackI’ve never seen a dress that was more ready to be a villain on DOCTOR WHO than Jennifer Garner‘s wine-colored Oscar dress, which seemed intended to use as much fabric as possible.

There’s even this photo of Jennifer at right that looke like she’s running away from the fluffery on her own back. Call it a Giant Purple People-Eater claiming its first victim right in front of everyone!

As soon as I saw this Gucci dress I thought, “What a monstrosity,” and instantly pictured it as the baddie in a particularly low-budgted episode, perhaps from the Peter Davison era, or season 24 Sylvester McCoy.

Tell me you can imagine it, too: “Doctor Who vs. the Giant Purple People-Eater.” You can run, Jen, but they will bite you in the end!

What do you think: Is this dress a menace? What would be its weakness? (I’m thinking hubris.)

A DOCTOR WHO Special with 11 Doctors?!?!

11doctorsartCould it be true? Could the collective greatest dream of DOCTOR WHO fandom come true in this, the series’ 50th anniversary year? I am referring, of course, to a special episode featuring all the living actors who have played the Doctor. But the newest rumor bouncing around the Internet today is that Steven Moffat is penning an episode incorporating all 11 Doctors — played by their original actors!

Now, before we get all teary-eyes over the prospect of David Tennant’s 10th Doctor working alongside Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor once again, or Matt Smith’s barking mad 11th Doctor getting a hand from Patrick Troughton’s fussy Second Doctor, we need to take a deep breath and note that this is nothing more than a rumor.

And not even a very solid one, at that. The Birmingham Mail newspaper printed a story about an 11-Doctor special this morning without any sourcing or quotes — a sure sign that the story should be taken with a huge grain of salt (if not the entire salt shaker). Plus, certain details mentioned don’t really ring true.
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DOCTOR WHO: a germ of an idea…

Apparently, it’s never too late for a major revelation about the Doctor’s Gallifreyan physiognomy on DOCTOR WHO.

In the latest episode to air in the USA, “Cold Blood,” the Doctor (Matt Smith) was subjected to a decontamination process by the Silurian scientist Dr. Malokeh. The Time Lord writhed in pain as the procedure was explained to him. “Removal of human germs will remove half the things keeping me alive!” the Doctor cried.

Really? Since when? Well…since now.

I am not suggesting that it is impossible for the Doctor to require “germs” to keep him alive. We humans use lots of helpful bacteria in our bodies. And I assume that the Time Lord needs human germs in particular because he is, as the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) revealed in the 1996 TV movie, “I’m half-human on my mother’s side.” Further, the Master (Eric Roberts) echoes the assertion, stating, “The Doctor is half-human.” (The fact that he is a hybrid must account for why those germs are “half” the things keeping him alive.) The Doctor has undergone decontamination procedures before, but perhaps not processes designed to so specifically wipe out all “ape-based” germs. Indeed, the very word “germs” is often colloquial for “microscopic organisms” in general, though I would hardly expect a medical specialist like Dr. Malokeh to be so imprecise with scientific terminology.

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Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 6/9/08

As I expected, DOCTOR WHO kicked off with a bit of chicanery, as “The Doctor’s Daughter” was not exactly what she seemed to be. (But she was also more — see my note at the very end of this section.) To the show’s credit, it didn’t try to pretend “Jenny” was anything other than a sort of clone grown from the Doctor’s genetic material.

What happened was, the TARDIS delivered the crew to the planet Messaline, where a group of humans was locked in a generations-long war with the fish-like Hath. Both sides create instant soldiers via genetic manipulation. Martha gets separated and falls in with the Hath, while the Doctor and Donna are brought before General Cobb, the human leader with a curiously regal voice (which I quickly recognized as belonging to Nigel Terry, the man who played King Arthur in director John Boorman‘s magnificent Excalibur, the best-ever screen adaptation of the Arthur legend. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and add this grim, violent, majestic yarn to your Netflix queue). Cobb is determined to wipe out all the Hath, and if there’s one thing that gets the Doctor’s back up, it’s genocide.

Complicating things, the Doctor accidentally provides both sides with the location of the Source, which both sides of the war believe will give them ultimate victory. The race to the Source is on, and along the way the Doctor and Donna figure out that the humans are not living in deserted ruins, they are living in a new building that hasn’t been occupied yet because it’s too new. The genetic machines produced up to 20 generations and thousands of soldiers a day, so the “generations-long war” has been going on for only a week. The Doctor recognizes that the Source is a terraforming machine designed to make the harsh planet habitable, and unleashes its power so human and Hath can live together in peace. That really fraks off Cobb, who tries to shoot the Doctor, but Jenny takes the bullet for him. Despite having two hearts like a proper Gallifreyan, Jenny shows no signs of regenerating, and the Doctor leaves her for dead. After he leaves, however, Jenny does regenerate — though her appearance does not change, and she blasts off in a shuttle to adventure among the stars.

This episode continues the season-long theme addressing offspring/generational conflict, and asks important questions about family and what it means to be human (or, half-Gallifreyan, in the case of the Doctor/Jenny). Donna suggested Jenny wasn’t a “real” person, and the Doctor was slow to accept Jenny as a Time Lady, because being being a Time Lord represented “a shared code,” a “sum of knowledge” and “a shared suffering.” But all of that was “gone forever,” because “there was a war.” Cobb’s genocidal aspirations touched a nerve in the Doctor because of what he did in the Last Great Time War to destroy the Daleks and his own people. Jenny touched a nerve because she reminded him of the pain of losing his “real” family. “I’ve been a father before,” the Doctor confessed, admitting that Jenny reminds him of “the hole [his family] left and the pain that filled it. When they died, that part of me died with them.” Nevertheless, Donna egged the Doctor into accepting Jenny, only to have her die in his arms, just like the Master, who suppressed his own regeneration.

I’d like to take a moment to discuss Jenny’s regeneration crisis. The Doctor, perhaps unique among Time Lords, has consistently demonstrated no control over his regenerations, so Jenny apparently inherited his faulty proclivity. Last season, the Master refused to regenerate. During the Fourth Doctor’s tenure, Romana voluntarily regenerated and even chose her new appearance on a whim. And waaaaay back in the day, the High Council of Time Lords forced the Second Doctor to regenerate into his Third persona, so clearly some Time Lords have some control over the process. When the Seventh Doctor was shot, he was taken to a hospital in San Francisco, where physicians gave him an anesthetic that accidentally delayed his regeneration until after he had been sent to the morgue. His Eighth persona noted that the process had been delayed almost “too long.”

The design of the Hath was terrific; the execution, less so. I loved the little jar of fluid, but the limited movement of the mask made it look a little too fake. And I assume the producers avoided giving them translators because such devices figured prominently in the Ood story.

Yay, the Doctor is back to carrying toys in his pockets! The Fourth Doctor was partial to yo-yos, while the Fifth carried a cricket ball and the Seventh had jacks to pass the time.

Finally, Georgia Moffett, who portrayed Jenny, is the daughter of Peter Davison, who played the Fifth Doctor — which means she truly is the Doctor’s daughter!

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA did a little time-traveling of its own, showing us what happened to the rebel Cylon basestar while we viewers were with the fleet last week. It turned out that the hybrid did not kidnap Roslin, Baltar, et. al — she was pursuing the resurrection hub, according to plan.

During the various jumps, Roslin had visions of joining the late priestess Elosha on a deserted Galactica, where Roslin glimpses the future and sees herself dying with the devoted Bill Adama at her bedside. Elosha accuses Roslin of lacking empathy — and she’s not even around in the waking world, where a bloodthirsty Roslin plans to take out the resurrection hub and orders Helo to bring D’Anna directly to her, cutting out their Cylon allies. “I cannot afford to be sentimental,” she growled. Helo, meanwhile, ran into an Eight that had accessed Athena’s memories, and thus learned he likes back rubs. That freaked out Karl.

At the boxing facility, Cavil and Boomer awakened D’Anna and filled her in on the civil war she started. D’Anna commented on the fickle nature of Eights — the majority of whom are aligned against Cavil’s Ones. On cue, the rebel basestar appears, and when D’Anna realizes the rebels want to destroy the hub, she kills Cavil. Helo and Athena board the hub and capture D’Anna, so the rest of the combined Colonial/Cylon fleet nuke the hub in a spectacular battle. During the battle, Baltar received a nasty wound to his side. Roslin finds him and patches his wound with a medkit. Delirious, Baltar confesses, “I gave the access codes to the Cylons.” Horrified, Roslin removes the bandages and lets Baltar bleed while he begs for help. When the basestar jumps again, Elosha admonishes Roslin not to decide humanity’s fate on a case-by-case basis, so back in the real world Roslin tries to save the dying Baltar. Helo brings the hijacked D’Anna to Roslin, and we see the scene teased in the promos: D’Anna tells Roslin that she is one of the Final Five Cylons. Then D’Anna claimed to be frakking with Roslin’s head; she realizes that knowledge is the only thing keeping her alive, and it would be foolhardy to show her cards too soon — especially now that the resurrection hub has been destroyed (along with the boxing facility) and she is the last Model Three in the universe. She will name the Final Five only when they are back with the fleet. After the basestar returned to the rendezvous point, Adama came aboard and embraced Roslin, who told him she loves him. “About time,” he growled.

This episode carried on the theme of identity and dying that began earlier in the evening on DOCTOR WHO. Athena was heartbroken that Helo broke the bargain with the Cylons, especially after she made a stirring speech about trust and unity to the combined Colonial/Cylon fighting force: A sea of Sixes and Eights stood in flight suits, shoulder-to-shoulder with Colonial Viper pilots, as Athena pledged the Cylons would sacrifice their immortality both for the humans, and to give their lives meaning.

Was Boomer killed, or did she make it out of the boxing facility? She disappeared when D’Anna killed Cavil, and could have made it to a ship in time, but did she? I hope so.

And I hope you’ll be back for the next installment of Night Shift

Originally posted on Soap Opera Weekly.com