Thursday, 30 July 2015

Doctor Who Executives Talk Monsters

The BBC have released a video of Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin talking about some of the new monsters in Series 9, including the return of the Zygons and some teases for new monsters.

We've also been talking about monsters here at The Gallifrey Times in our weekly debate, which you can read here.

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Doctor Who Series 8 Coming To Netflix In August

The most recent series of Doctor Who will finally be coming to Netflix in the US in August! The streaming service has announced their new TV and movie additions for the fall, and series 8 will finally be joining the previous seven series of the show on 8 August.

Unfortunately, fans in Australia and New Zealand will have to wait a bit longer for series 8, as Netflix in their countries will not add it until 31 August. And fans in the UK will not be able to watch Doctor Who on Netflix at all, due to the BBC's strict policies on its shows on other media platforms.

But those in the US without access to BBC America will be able to watch the Twelfth Doctor's first adventures very soon!

Series 9 premieres on 19 September with "The Magician's Apprentice" on BBC One and BBC America.

[Source: Doctor Who Watch]
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Doctor Who Series 9 Prequel To Air In Cinemas

BBC Worldwide North America have teamed up with Fathom Events to once again bring Doctor Who to the big screen. In a two-night special theatrical event, the series 8 two-part finale, Dark Water/Death in Heaven, will be screened in selected cinemas in 3D.

The event will take place on 15th and 16th September at 7:30pm (local time). The episodes will be shown in RealD™ 3D and Dolby Atmos sound (where available) and will feature a never-before-seen prequel to Series 9, as well as an exclusive interview with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, hosted by Wil Wheaton. 

Tickets for the screenings will be available to purchase online on 31st July from or participating theatre box offices. The complete list of cinemas taking part will be announced on 31st July.

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

TGT Debate - Do we still love the classic aliens, or is it time for new ones?

Last week we discussed whether the Doctor should travel with more male companions. Most of you seemed to think that he should, with 86% saying he should travel with more male companions and 14% preferring he stick to female companions.

With a range of new monsters being featured in the Series 9 trailer, we've been talking about whether it's a good idea to bring back old aliens or if the show should invest more in new aliens.

"It's time for some new aliens!" argues Anna

When I think of enemies from Doctor Who, I think of the Daleks and the Cybermen. These monsters were there from the beginning, and they were scary then. But now, audiences have grown accustomed to these and other recurring enemies. We expect them to be there, and are rarely surprised when they turn up, again and again, to try and defeat the Doctor. Over the years, this show has presented us with many formidable enemies, renewing the audience’s fear and excitement. These monsters may only appear for a brief episode, but they make their impact, unlike enemies who are constantly brought back time and time again. 

If Doctor Who only presents viewers with a limited variety of aliens, the audience does not get to see the vast amount of diversity our universe offers. Surely there are not only five or six aliens races bent on the destruction of worlds? New enemies would allow for new strategies, values, and different ways of trying to achieve world domination. 

There should also be more unpredictable alien tech. Surely these other races would have new technologies, new strengths and weaknesses, new ideas and ways of living. With new aliens, we get to see and learn more about the amazing and terrifying universe in which we reside within one tiny, minute corner of. I’m sure many would like to see the variety of alien tech. The only way to wage war can’t be with guns? There has to be more than just spaceships to take you from one place to the next, and on alien planets, there are tasks that we could never have dreamed of, requiring skill and technology we do not have. Doctor Who is known for bringing viewers new concepts they’d never imagined before and I think we’d all like to see more of that.

Also, who is to say that all aliens are bad? Most of the aliens we’ve met on the show are enemies, but perhaps with new species being introduced, the show could have a chance to add more alien good guys. This would give us an equal representation of our friends and foes in the universe, and perhaps teach people that not everyone alien is our enemy. We have the Doctor and a select group of others who help him, but there seem to be a lot more alien cultures out to get us. With more kind aliens, perhaps we’d have a better look at the wonderfully varied sights and cultures of our universe.

"We still love the classics!" argues Ben

Should aliens and villains return in Doctor Who? Of course they should! Imagine if the Daleks never came back or if the Cybermen had never returned. These aliens have been brought back time and time again over the last 50 years, and for good reason.

Revisiting old aliens also gives us a chance to expand on what we know about them and create new ideas for them. The most obvious example is the Doctor’s oldest enemy, the Daleks. Over the years the Daleks have developed the ability to move off of their magnetic flooring, revealed Davros, had multiple emperors, formed a cult and had numerous facelifts. Every time we see them we learn something new, so it’s not as if it ever gets boring. Occasionally it feels like the Daleks get overused, but they have become an icon of the show now, so people expect to see them just as much as they expect to see the Doctor or the TARDIS. Brining a character back gives the original writer a chance to use the ideas they didn’t get to use in their first story. It also gives new writers an opportunity to share their take on the character. 

Another reason for bringing back an old alien is that the quality of effects has dramatically increased over the years, so we can show them off in their full glory, the way the writer envisioned them. For example, the Autons. In Spearhead From Space, the plastic-loving meanies were used to great effect and looked visually stunning even then, but by 2005’s Rose, they looked eerily close to real life shop window dummies, while the Nestene Consciousness itself was rendered beautifully in a way that would not have been possible in the 70s. The Autons are also a great example of using an old enemy as an element of surprise. In The Pandorica Opens, the setup is so clever because the Autons have disguised themselves so well. Although we are spoiled hugely with episode previews in magazines and next time trailers, there have still been a few times when one of our favourite aliens have popped up to delight us.

In the post-2005 series, we have had a number of villains from the classic series return to our screens. Some have been used a lot (Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans) and some have only returned for an episode or two (Autons, Ice Warriors, Zygons). It’s fair to say that, considering the wide range of aliens from the show’s history, only a select few fan favourites have been used. This is because they are fan favourites. Remember the sheer joy when you heard the Zygons were coming back for the 50th Anniversary special, or the moment of awe when you saw the new Ice Warrior being defrosted in Cold War? I think we deserve these little treats now and then. It’s not just the bad aliens that make a welcome return either. With the likes of Vastra and Strax becoming regulars in the show now, it’s good to have some aliens that we can trust. 

I think it’s obvious why these aliens are being brought back. It’s because we love them. So while it’s nice to see some new alien lifeforms - and I hope there are plenty of new creatures to scare us in Series 9 - let’s not bid farewell to our beloved Cybermen and Daleks.

You've heard what we think, but what are your thought on the matter? Would you like to see more old villains return, or do you prefer to see more new aliens in the series? Vote in the poll and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Monday, 27 July 2015

BARB Announces Plans To Measure Online Viewing

The Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB) have announced that it will be releasing official figures showing the level of UK viewing through live-streamed and on-demand content through online TV Player apps.

BARB provides the official ratings for the UK TV Industry. Traditionally, the final figures only represent the amount of viewers who watch a programme live or on catch up (within one week of broadcast). This does not include people watching on iPlayer, where a large amount of viewers are watching the show at their own convenience. The BBC's own research suggests up to 10% of the viewers watching Doctor Who currently watch the show online.

Justin Sampson, Chief Executive at BARB, said:
We're excited to be introducing our customers to the TV Player Report. It's a significant innovation from BARB and the result of close collaboration with broadcasters. At its heart is the generation of a census-level dataset that will provide our customers with a gold standard measure of online TV viewing.
The first BARB TV Player Report is due to be released in September and will be the first set of BARB data to include viewing figures from devices such as laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones, using data that is generated from software code that has been developed by Kantar Media and implemented by broadcasters.

The software used is one of the most advanced audience measurement systems for online TV viewing in the world, and will play an important part in Project Dovetail, the hybrid measurement system that will deliver full cross-platform reporting of audiences.
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Capaldi On Monsters He'd Like To See Return To Doctor Who

It's no secret that Peter Capaldi, long before becoming the Doctor himself, was a massive fan of Doctor Who. In an interview with the Doctor Who Fan Show, Capaldi discussed which classic monsters he would like to see return to the show. He detailed ways in which one of his favourites, the Mondasian Cybermen (first seen in "The Tenth Planet" in 1966) could return. He said:
“We should either have some of them becoming Time Lords and somehow channelling it so that they have access to time and space. Or I think it would be good if we had 'Genesis of the Cybermen.' If we found the Doctor on Mondas itself in an adventure where he discovered the Cybermen actually being created.”
Other classic monsters Capaldi would like to see return include the Axons, the Daemons, the Zarbi, and the Menoptera.

Are there any classic monsters you would like to see return? How could they return in a way that's interesting for newer viewers? Let us know below!

Doctor Who returns to our screens this autumn with "The Magician's Apprentice" on Saturday, 19 September on BBC One and BBC America.

[Source: Doctor Who TV]
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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Capaldi Teases Imminent Return of Caecilius

The past appearances of Peter Capaldi in the Whoniverse is a topic that has long been discussed and theorised since the actor's announcement as the Twelfth Doctor. Former showrunner Russell T Davies has even himself postulated a theory outlining the existence of these identical weathered faces. Now, Capaldi has offered the biggest hint to date of Caecilius's return from The Fires of Pompeii in an Apple Meet the Cast event:
“With regards to my Roman alter-ego, there will be a… he may appear again.” 
“He will certainly be invoked.”
Capaldi's language suggests at least a reference to Caecilius beyond the hints dropped in Deep Breath, but what with Davies's theory and current showrunner Steven Moffat's own admission of addressing the elephant in the room, Series 9 is shaping up as the likely destination for the end of this mystery.

[Source: Doctor Who TV]
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Doctor Who: The Magician's Apprentice To Premiere In The Cinema

It has been announced that the first episode of series nine, "The Magician's Apprentice," will premiere at the Filmhouse Cinema in Edinburgh on 27 August. The screening is a part of The Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Unfortunately, the event has already sold out but, for those lucky enough to be attending, they will have the opportunity to watch "The Magician's Apprentice" three weeks before the rest of us!

According to the press release for the event (which can be found below), the run time for the episode is a normal forty-five minutes, as opposed to last year's eighty-minute feature-length premiere, "Deep Breath."

The Magician's Apprentice

27th August 2015, 8:30pm

Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez

Directed by Hettie Macdonald, 45 minutes

Exploding with epic and thrilling adventures, don't miss the opportunity to see the opening episode of BBC One's new Doctor Who series 'The Magician's Apprentice', written by Steven Moffat, produced by Peter Bennett and directed by Hettie Macdonald.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with guests to be announced later.

Series nine premieres with "The Magician's Apprentice" on Saturday, 19 September.

[Source: Doctor Who News]
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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Peter Capaldi: What To Expect In Doctor Who Series 9

In a recent interview with Comic Book Resources at San Diego Comic-Con, Peter Capaldi discussed what adventures await for the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald in the forthcoming ninth series of Doctor Who.

The series two-part opener, The Magician's Apprentice / The Witch's Familiar, will pick up the Doctor's story at a later point than where we left off with series 8. Peter discussed the upcoming developments of the character:
"Yeah, I think the thing about this season is that having regenerated you probably have to rediscover who it is you are. It's not just a case of changing your face, you have to figure out what nature you have. I think that the Doctor has done a lot of that. But I don't think it ever finishes because that's the nice thing about Doctor Who; that he's constantly developing as a character as he discovers more about himself."
"But I certainly think that he thinks that even at 2 thousand and a half years old that life is short. And the universe is fabulous. And when you have the toy box of the whole of time and space, you should explore it and have fun. So I think he and Clara are sort of a little gang of two, running around the universe, running towards danger. Really going after adventure and having a great time. Of course being as it's Doctor Who, a great time has to be painful in the end."
The previous series explored a complicated area in the relationship between the Doctor and Clara, and Peter elaborated on how the relationship would evolve:
"I think it remains complicated. I think initially Clara probably felt, 'Well, this is my best friend, and now he's become the guy with this face who has very poor social skills and who is very impatient and just wants to get on with travelling the universe. Do I really want to be around him anymore?' Is it worth it, being around him. And I think she's decided it is worth being around him."
Peter also reflected on the history of Clara's relationship with the Doctor:
"I think the Doctor is deeply, deeply bonded with Clara. One of the things about the Doctor is he sees things and understands things that are beyond the perspective of human beings. He's not a human being so he knows things about Clara's future that even she doesn't know. So I think that's informed his decision to try and stay with her. But we have a lot of fun with her trying to improve his social skills, and trying to make him more palatable toward the human beings he's impatient with. And they have a great relationship. It's a very unusual relationship for sure, for television. It's romantic in the old sense. Two people who are really crazy about each other, and would really miss not seeing each other. But they're not romantically involved."
It has previously been hinted that the Doctor and Clara will be more reckless and adventurous in the upcoming series, and Peter explained why the Doctor is throwing caution to the wind:
"Because the universe is very dark and inevitably that is where he will end up. Inevitably, the darkness will - he will have to fight. He will have to face terrible things. So rather than walking around being like 'Oh this is so terrible,' I think he's decided, 'I'm gonna have some fun'. I always think he's a joyful character. I think he can find the joy in just sitting in a car park watching the sun coming up or feeling the wind. These are amazing beautiful things to him and he's impatient that people don't get that. I've forgotten the question now! I went off on a poetic line."
Peter is known for his charisma and wit, and revealed whether he would consider writing for Doctor Who:
"No. I'm so full of awe and admiration for Steven (Moffat) and for the writers of this show. And what they do is extraordinary. The constituency of the show is so large, you have to be able to deliver episodes that are interesting to students, to little kids, to hipsters, to middle-aged people. To cover all those bases, you have to be a very skilled writer. And I don't have that skill. And the same with the directors, I look at that - someone said, 'Do you want to direct?' And I said, 'No. Not really'. Because I see what those poor guys have to go through!"
Elaborating further on his opportunity to direct:
"It's suggested sometimes. But I don't really see how I could ever have the time to do that, and to be in the show."
Peter also revealed whether he'd consider trying to beat Tom Baker's record of being the Doctor for more than seven years:
"It's not really up to me. I'm very thrilled to be there. Every day I find it an extraordinary privileged position to be in. It's get up in the morning and go work on the TARDIS or go chase men in rubber suits down corridors, and be part of all this. So I'm just happy to be there as long as people want me to be there."
Some of the most popular episodes in each series feature scary storylines and terrifying monsters, and it was discussed how the monsters would make an impact in series 9:
"I think generally there are scarier monsters. Because I was thinking about it, we have quite a lot of vintage monsters, who have been rethought and have a new vigor about them. But I thought about the newer monsters that we have, they have a kind of more... they are like creatures from the id. They are much more creatures of the subconscious, and are frightening in that way. There are things that play with the Doctor in particular, and his understanding of the world, the way he sees the world is played with. The way he sees the universe is played with a lot. He's pushed into the other side of his understanding of what monsters are. But later, as the season unfolds, there are stranger creatures. Creatures is the wrong word for them."
Peter elaborated on his way of finding balance between the darkness of the show and the joyfulness of the Doctor:
"I think it's the challenge of Doctor Who, to bounce from one moment - something tragic to something almost pantomimic. It's rather old-fashioned in that way. You can be doing a gag, and then suddenly expounding on cosmic profundity. So, I think that's part of his DNA, and sort of why you get cast. I think that's why guys like me get cast because there's something about us that suggests we could be idiots and also rather profound. But it is a constant balancing act. You have to keep all those things in the air, and it is the trick of it."
There was a famous anecdote from the previous series about Peter visiting the Doctor Who set on his days off just to watch Daleks being blown up, and he enthused about being able to watch recent episodes being filmed:
"What did I see this year? This year I saw something that was so great. I wasn't in the scene, but I came in. Maisie Williams was in it, and Jenna (Coleman) was in it. And it was a spaceship. And Jenna had a spacesuit on, and she turned around in this spaceship full of Vikings! With all the horns and stuff, and I just thought, 'This is so great! This is not work'."
Are you excited for series 9? Let us know what you think in the comments section!

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Cover For Doctor Who Magazine #489 Revealed

Doctor Who Magazine has revealed the cover for this month's issue (#489) via their Twitter account. Featuring Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor, the magazine promises an exclusive interview with him, as well as a new comic story.

Doctor Who Magazine #489 will be available to buy this Thursday, 23 July. A large image of the cover can be seen below.

[Source: Twitter]

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Series 9: The Magician's Apprentice