“The Sea Devils”
Great Britain’s Horror Channel will begin running a selection of 30 stories from the classic era (1963-’89) beginning tomorrow with a “Who on Horror” marathon featuring a story from each of the first seven Doctors spread over the whole of Easter weekend!
The action begins Friday with the very first serial, William Hartnell’s “An Unearthly Child,” and other episodes bound for the Horror Channel include “The Sea Devils,” “Genesis of the Daleks” and “The Caves of Androzani,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Pity the poor DOCTOR WHO fan in the USA: The Horror Channel isn’t available here in the Colonies, and that’s a great shame; the programming lineup features a lot of great stuff beyond DW, including movies, other old TV series and new interviews.
The clever folks over at ComicBookMovie.com have put together a splendid infographic that depicts the first and last lines of every incarnation of the Doctor, from William Hartnell to Peter Capaldi — and yes, even the War Doctor.
While I do have a soft spot for David Tennant’s “I don’t want to go,” I have to say my favorite farewell is Matt Smith’s, because I feel the same way he does: I don’t want to forget a moment of the time when he was the Doctor.
Which are your favorites? Have you seen every regeneration?
At age 55, Peter Capaldi was the oldest actor cast* in the lead role on DOCTOR WHO (until John Hurt, 73, became the War Doctor), but Capaldi insists that he’s actually too young for the role — a declaration backed up by show-runner Steven Moffat.
*Yes, I know William Hartnell also assumed the role at age 55, but this is neither here nor there.
A lot of DOCTOR WHO fans spent a lot of the summer theorizing/obsessing over the rumor that mountains of episodes previously believed lost forever — anywhere from 40 to 96 installments — had been discovered hidden in Africa. Then came the announcement that “The Web of Fear” and “The Enemy of the World” really had been recovered and reconditioned for release.
But since then… nothing. Well, that’s about to change.
As I mentioned earlier, a tale about the recovery of the entire William Hartnell serial “Marco Polo” has been gaining steam recently — but website Bleeding Cool says Hartnell’s “The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve” (left) has also been found and could be set for release alongside “Marco Polo.”
And, just to make things sound really amazing, BBC execs are said to be negotiating with Philip Morris — noted recoverer of “The Enemy of the World” and “The Web of Fear” — over the Patrick Troughton Second Doctor tales “Power of the Daleks,” “Evil of the Daleks” and “The Macra Terror”!
What a great Christmas gift those series would be! Stay tuned to see if the tale turns out to be true…
The latest rumor sweeping across the interwebs is that the lost DOCTOR WHO story “Marco Polo” has been found — all seven episodes!
According to Britain’s The Mirror newspaper, the episodes were filmed off a television screen by a dedicated fan back when it was first broadcast in 1964!
Now this is the point where I emphasize that this is an unconfirmed, unsubstantiated rumor in a British tabloid, so it may be true, or it might be a cruel hoax undertaken to sell a few more papers over the Doctor’s 50th anniversary weekend. Remember this past summer’s big to-do over 90+ episodes that turned out to be far less than was hoped for.
Peter Capaldi has been anointed as the 12th incarnation of the Doctor — whether you like it or not!
I like it.
I like it a lot. In fact, I am overjoyed that Executive Producer Steven Moffat went with an older Doctor. I definitely appreciate a Time Lord with more gravitas. Not that Matt Smith was lacking at all — no one has ever played an old soul in a young body better than Matt — but going with a young actor again would have been a mistake, because continuing that trend would have brought the show dangerously close to a situation where saving the universe might conflict with the Doctor’s bedtime!
My own dream casting would have been Bill Nighy. Even though he was offered the part before and passed, I was secretly hoping he would change his mind. To me, he would have made a Doctor who was a blend of loveable and irascible!
“The Web of Fear”
After a few weeks of silence, the rumor that huge a cache of previously missing episodes of DOCTOR WHO has been returned to the BBC has suddenly lurched back to life. And, once again, the rumors are being attributed to members of the DOCTOR WHO production team, not mere fans.
The Bleeding Cool website passes along the rumor of a dinner party at which someone “heavily associated” with the production team claimed that “at least 40 episodes” are held by the BBC right now, while another source put the number at 93. Which is still not the total 106 that were wiped/junked at the end of the 1960s/beginning of the 1970s. Bleeding Cool says the still-missing episodes are: “Mission To The Unknown”; nine episodes of “The Dalek Master Plan”; one episode of “The Ice Warriors”; and one episode of “The Wheel In Space.” Upping the ante, the BBC is also said to be preparing to air “The Web of Fear” during the 50th anniversary week in November, and to release “The Enemy of the World” on DVD.
This is a promotional image from AN ADVENTURE IN SPACE AND TIME!, this fall’s BBC TV-movie that dramatizes the early years of DOCTOR WHO as part of the celebration of the series’ 50th anniversary.
Here we see David Bradley (Solomon from “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”) looking amazingly similar to the late, great William Hartnell, the man who started it all.
Rumor has it that a trailer will be unveiled at Comic-Con International: San Diego next week.
“The Macra Terror”
With this being the 50th anniversary of the launch of DOCTOR WHO, a lot of fans had wishes and dreams for how the milestone would be celebrated, with many (most?) invested in the hope that there would be a very special episode filmed using all of the surviving actors to create a multi-Doctor story to air on Nov. 23. With those hopes now dashed — although I am certain the story that will air will be a lot of fun — many fans despaired of a seeing a “proper” celebration.
But now comes word — and I cannot stress strongly enough that this is all just rumor at this point — that the BBC may have uncovered a huge trove of missing episodes in Africa, where they were sold into syndication in the late 1960s and ’70s. And by huge, I mean lots of episodes. Supposedly even full serials that were lost when the BBC either junked the masters or recorded over existing tapes. The story is that an “eccentric” broadcast engineer who loved science fiction took a lot of DW tapes into his personal custody for “safekeeping” — a move that turned out to be more necessary than he could ever have dreamed.
Yes, this is one bit of fan service that just refuses to die — no doubt because DOCTOR WHO fans want it so very badly. The new twist on the same old rumor is that show-runner Steven Moffat — who is writing the anniversary episode as we speak — has fanned the flames with a cryptic remark of his own.
At a BBC Drama Commissions event last week, Moffat said:
“Getting the other Doctors involved would be very fitting for the anniversary episode wouldn’t it?”
YES, it would be very fitting, and it would be very possible to pull off — with the right script and the right approach to coaxing former actors back into their costumes.