Friday, 20 July 2018

SDCC 2018 Doctor Who Press Room Q&A

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
San Diego Comic Con is known for its exclusive first looks, sneak peeks and insider information into what to expect in the future of our favourite fandoms. This year Doctor Who fans eagerly anticipated what they would learn about Series 11 and the future of Doctor Who. Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker, new show runner Chris Chibnall and Executive Producer Matt Strevens sat down and answered questions in the Doctor Who Press Room Wednesday (18th of July).

The cast of the new era of Who sat smiling and cheerful as they took on a variety of questions from fans attending the press conference. To start off the Q&A someone asked whether Whittaker had any doubts or insecurities and what she was nervous about with taking on the role of the Doctor and how well it would be received. She said that the reveal was a nerve wracking moment to see how it would land with fans around the world. However, she explained "being the first woman to play the Doctor is incredibly liberating", following up with a confidant "I'm not nervous".

Jodie Whittaker / Photo
Another individual asked whether there would be any difference in how this new Doctor will be reacted to in her adventures in series 11. Chibnall responds reassuringly that "The Doctor's still the Doctor". He explained that the only time when gender issues may occur will be in episodes "when we go into history", tailing off into a hinting "that might come up" at the end of the sentence as new executive producer actor Matt Strevens, sitting to the left of Chibnall, gave a telling smirk.

Chibnall went on to explain that when travelling through space to other worlds that the Doctor is still capable of walking into a room, adding "I'm not sure that's a gender related issue".
"The Doctor is that character who can walk into a room and through force of personality, force of charm, force of being amazing, totally bend everyone to their will, solve the problem, diffuse the bomb, make everybody happy and get out alive." - Chris Chibnall
When asked about what it has been like being in the public eye while working on such a successful and well known program as Doctor Who, actress Mandip Gill who will also be playing a new companion in Series 11, suggested she hasn't really thought about it, adding "We're just getting on with it and creating the show".  The actress did go on to say "I know there's a level of responsibility and I'd take that into any job regardless of whether it was on this scale or any other scale".  Tosin Cole, another actor playing a companion in Series 11 added "I'm just going with the flow".

Cole, Whittaker, Walsh, Gill / Photo @BBCDoctorWho
The new trailer reveals the Doctor asking the new companions if they want to be "best friends". When asked about this shift from companion to friend at the Comic Con Press Conference, Chris Chibnall stated "It just feels a bit more natural to me and to us", suggesting the term feels more emotionally connected. Strevens chimed in referencing that originally the term was 'assistant' before it became 'companion', furthering the idea that the terminology is just progressing naturally.

When questioned as to whether or not the Doctor will run into any old allies or villains in the new series, Chibnall stated "It's pretty much all new stories, all new monsters, all new villains". He assured fans that with it being two weeks from the end of filming he has still not come across any old villains yet. Whittaker added that though Series 11 is for returning fans of Doctor Who it is also going to be for brand new viewers who have never seen it before.
"I want to encourage everyone to go and find that friend of yours who's never seen Doctor Who -that crazy friend, and get them into your front room for Jodie's first episode and go 'This is why you should love this show'." - Chris Chibnall
Taking on such an iconic role can be a bit daunting for any actor. Whittaker was asked when during filming she first felt that she was really able to embody her version of the new Doctor. The actress explained that she was really thrust into the deep end during the very first week of filming. It was during that week when she was being filmed giving a really important speech as the Doctor that she truly felt that and explained it was "a pretty amazing moment".

Some fans may be wondering how this new era will compare to the Moffat era. Chris Chibnall explained that he really can't make comparisons but that he would describe Series 11 as "funny, scary, emotional, exciting, full of action adventure cinematic. It's epic." He suggested that he wants to be able to convince new viewers who have never seen Doctor Who in the past that "this is the greatest idea that television has ever had".

When the new costume for the Thirteenth Doctor was brought up in terms of thoughts going into the design, the practicality of it and how Whittaker felt wearing it, she explained that generally a costume has to fit a specific time and place and that this costume felt like "it could come from anywhere". When working together with the costume designer they decided they didn't want anything that felt "too neat and tailored". Whittaker recalled a picture she saw on Google when she was "stalking Chris Chibnall to give [her] the job". She described it as a picture of "a woman walking with purpose and deep in thought, striding", continuing, "She had short trousers on, boots, braces and a T shirt". The photo was black and white and Whittaker is unaware of what era it was from. Whittaker felt the image embodied "timelessness, purpose and inclusiveness" because the look "didn't feel you needed to be a certain shape or age to wear it". The actress teasingly taunts fans that this new Doctor costume has "so many little details that you're never gonna find".

Whittaker, Cole / Photo
With this series having so much diversity in gender and race in front of the camera, Chibnall assures viewers that this diversity was just as much a priority behind the camera as well. Actor Tosin Cole chimed in on the subject, stating "It's 2018, everybody deserves to work", adding "we've just gotta get with the times and crack on". Chibnall suggested Doctor Who should be the most inclusive show on television, reminding us that "the whole concept of Doctor Who is that anyone can go anywhere and do anything".

Regardless of the show's pro-diversity stance, some fans might still be torn on the decision of the Doctor being cast as female for the new series. However, when asked what makes this the right time for the Doctor to regenerate into the body of a woman, Chibnall stated "I think it was possibly overdue, to be honest." adding that the decision felt really "simple and obvious". Chibnall also brought up the mentioning of regeneration from male to female in past episodes being canon since the 1960s. He concluded the topic with the short answer of "it was a no brainer".

With the first female actress to take on the role of the Doctor being constantly asked about what message she has for young girls watching, she had this message for young boys watching the program "It's OK to look up to women", going on to suggest that heroes don't have to tick any particular boxes in order to be heroes.

Strevens, Chibnall, Whittaker, Cole, Gill / Photo BBC/
Mandip Gill, when asked about her companion character said "She's completely in awe of the Doctor". She plays "a 19 year old girl [...] who went on this adventure and found a family away from home".

Actor Tolsin Cole said about his character "He's a chap, you know [...] he just kind of goes with the flow" He describes his character as boisterous, suggesting he "challenges the Doctor from time to time".

Series 11 debuts this Autumn, and fans may be happy to know that when asked about a Christmas Special Chibnall did confirm that there will definitely be another episode after the end of the series this year. The full video of the conference can be seen below.

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

New sonic screwdriver revealed!

As well as a new trailer and more information about Series 11, San Diego Comic Con also saw the launch of the new sonic screwdriver.

With a new Doctor comes a new sonic, and this time is no different. The Doctor's trusty screwdriver has had an upgrade for series 11, with a completely different look.

Designed by Arwel Wyn Jones, the new sonic screwdriver has a more natural look, with a silver body with a yellow light running through it. Jones said of his creation:
"It’s a privilege to have been asked to redesign the iconic Sonic Screwdriver for the Thirteenth Doctor and a new generation of audiences. I can’t wait for people to see how the Doctor acquires it!"
But it's not just the Doctor who gets to wield the new sonic, as the toy version has also been announced.

The 8" replica, which has been created by Character Options in the UK and Seven20 in the US, features a light crystal and two buttons to control the light and sound elements.

The Thirteenth Doctor’s sonic will be available to buy from mid-August and it will soon be available to pre-order from Character Options  and the BBC Shop.
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New Doctor Who Series 11 trailer released

A brand new official trailer for the upcoming eleventh series of Doctor Who has been unveiled by the BBC.

The trailer was shown at this year's Doctor Who panel at San Diego Comic-Con and made available online immediately afterwards.

The new footage from Series 11 shows Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor in action alongside new friends Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh).

The new trailer follows a specially-filmed teaser that aired last Sunday during half-time of the World Cup final coverage on BBC One. New promotional images for Series 11 were released earlier this week.

Doctor Who Series 11 will air this autumn on BBC One.
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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

New Doctor Who Series 11 Promo Photos

Following the exciting teaser for Series 11, the BBC have released a few promotional photos for the upcoming series.

The photos show Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor along with companions Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole), and Yasmin (Mandip Gill).

There are also stills of the companions from the Series 11 teaser. The BBC have promised more content to follow on Thursday.

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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Doctor Who: Series 11 teaser trailer released

The first trailer for the upcoming eleventh series of Doctor Who has been released.

The teaser trailer aired during half-time of BBC One's coverage of the World Cup final match between France and Croatia.

As well as a new glimpse of Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker, the trailer also features the on-screen debuts of the rest of Series 11's new TARDIS team, Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yasmin) and Bradley Walsh (Graham).

Doctor Who will return for its eleventh series this autumn on BBC One.
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Davison & Tennant joined The Muppets in London's O2 Arena

Photo: Richard Isaac/REX/Shutterstock
Fans seem to love Doctor Who crossovers. Artists all over the internet have been mashing up Doctor Who with tons of other pop culture including Jim Henson's The Muppets. However, this time fans got a chance to watch this crossover happening live at The O2 Arena, and with the official cast!

Former Doctor Who actors Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor) and son in law David Tennant (the Tenth Doctor) joined The Muppets live on stage and in character this weekend in London's O2 Arena. The Doctors joined a popular Muppets skit Pigs in Space. The crew of the Swinetrek find themselves in need of a translator when suddenly a strange but familiar alien boards their ship, waving around a sonic screwdriver and sniffing out hidden plot devices.
David Tennant appeared on Friday to take on the role of the Doctor along side other special guests Kylie Minogue, Charles Dance and Kevin Bishop. Tennant even joined Kermit and Kylie Minogue to sing one of the most well known musical numbers for The Muppets, The Rainbow Connection. Peter Davison played the Doctor on Saturday, joined by Adam Hills and pop group Steps.

David Tennant's full Pigs in Space Skit from Friday as well as the footage of The Rainbow Connection sing along can be seen on Youtube.

“We’re thrilled and thankful to all these stars for joining us for The Muppets Take The O2, I’m sure the audience will have the time of their lives. And I promise that no celebrities will be harmed in the making of this once-in-a-lifetime event, so long as they don’t get between Miss Piggy and the audience.” -Kermit the Frog

This performance marked the first time ever that they have taken their musical stage show outside of The United States since The Muppets first formed in 1955.

Sources [Blogtor Who, David-Tennant.comRadio Times]
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Friday, 13 July 2018

First official look at Series 11 coming this Sunday!

With a few months still to go until Series 11 airs, excitement is building and fans are waiting in anticipation for Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor to bound onto our screen.

But this Sunday, we will be treated to a preview of Series 11 during the half time coverage of the World Cup Final on BBC One.

Despite the fact that England will not be in the final (yes, we're still a little sad about that), it's been estimated that the game will be watched by around 10 million people. One thing's for sure, there will be plenty of Whovians tuning in to catch a glimpse of the new Doctor.

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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

New Thirteenth Doctor merchandise available from SDCC 2018

San Diego Comic Con is renowned for being a big event in the Whovian calendar, with promises of potential trailers and exclusive merchandise, and this year is no different.

First up, Funko have announced two new figures that they will be showcasing on at the event: the Thirteenth Doctor 'Pop!' figure and the Thirteenth Doctor 'Rock Candy' figure.

The Funko Pop! will be available to buy on the BBC America booth #4129 and the Funko booth #5341/5347 and will be available for general retail this autumn.
Titans will also be selling a limited-edition 6.5″ 13th Doctor Titan and a limited edition 6.5″ 13th Doctor Kawaii Titan. The Titan figures will be available on the BBC booth #4129 and Titan Entertainment booth #5537.

Any Titan figures not sold at SDCC will be available to buy after the event from Hot Topic and the BBC Shop in the US and from Forbidden Planet in the UK. Although it seems unlikely that this will happen, you can pre-order for these potential store purchases opens after San Diego Comic-Con closes on Monday 23rd July.
Finally, Her Universe will be debuting their new Thirteenth Doctor rainbow striped top, long coat, and blue trousers, which will be available on the Her Universe booth #1321 and through general retail in Autumn at Hot Topic shops.
If you aren't able to attend SDCC, don't worry, because Character Options will also be releasing a 10" Thirteenth Doctor action figure outside of the event. The figure, which comes with real fabric clothes and a new Sonic Screwdriver accessory, is available to pre-order today from the Character Options website here.
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Have your Doctor Who artwork featured on Big Finish's magazine!

Big Finish have launched an exciting competition for all you budding artists out there and you could see your artwork on the back cover of their monthly magazine, Vortex.

To celebrate 20 years of Big Finish - the company that produces many Doctor Who and related audio adventures - are giving fans an opportunity to have their artwork featured in September's issue of Vortex, the free magazine that is given away with every purchase.

The competition asks fans to create artwork, drawings and pictures (but not photo manipulations) featuring their favourite Big Finish characters.

The deadline is 23:59 on 31st July 2018. The winner will be announced in August and their artwork will be used for the back cover of the magazine.

For the full brief and specifications, visit the Big Finish website here.

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Thursday, 5 July 2018

2018 Doctor Who Christmas Special Confirmed?

With the new formatting of the Doctor Who television program, it has thus far been unclear as to whether or not there will be a Christmas Special this year. However, an eagle eyed fan may have just found evidence that we can expect one after all.

A Twitter user known as Ruther2, who has posted similar reveals in the past about upcoming Doctor Who actors has recently tweeted about television editor Edel McDonnell's online CV which lists the 2018 Doctor Who Christmas Special as recent experience.

McDonnell's CV also lists the Christmas Special director as being Wayne Yip. Yip directed the Doctor Who spinoff Class as well as two episodes of Doctor Who entitled Empress of Mars and The Lie of the Land. Edel McDonnell has worked on the same episodes of Doctor Who and Class, as well as Broadchurch, which makes them ideal for the new crew.

The CV also lists the producer for the Christmas Special as Nikki Wilson, who fans may know for her work on The Sarah Jane Adventures as well as several episodes of Doctor Who.

BBC has not officially commented on the 2018 Doctor Who Christmas Special. Series 11 of Doctor Who airs in Autumn of 2018.

[Sources: Twitter, Berlin Associates]
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