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The Doctor

Forgive us, there were simply too many exciting things going on last week to gather them all into a Who’s Day roundup that didn’t immediately become outdated by a startling revelation or two. So we’ve been squirreling them all away into one almighty double roundup for this week.

Starting with the biggest event of the last… ages: the trailer for season 7, which, it’s fair to say, raises more questions that it answers:

Then there was yesterday’s revelation that the Doctor Who Christmas special will be boosted by the arrival of Richard E Grant. He’s already played the Doctor twice (once for Comic Relief, once for an animated online adventure), but this time he’ll be on the other side of the sonic screwdriver. Also joining him, Matt Smith and Jenna Louise Coleman will be Silent Witness star Tom Ward.

And who could forget this astonishing image? It’s like Gone With The Wind, only with Daleks:

Here’s what else has been going on in time and space recently:

Well, you all saw the Entertainment Weekly front cover, didn’t you? Something of a coup, that. The two most interesting things to come out of the whole affair (beyond the fact that it happened at all) were Matt Smith’s comments about the excellence of Ben Browder as a cowboy (he said: “He’s great in it. He brings that sort of American naturalism which we Brits just don’t have, however hard we try. He makes a good cowboy. He has that great drawl.”) and that they had a vote to find out who America’s favorite Doctor may be. And you will NEVER guess who came first…

• Speaking of the Entertainment Weekly issue, did you notice Matt Smith is quietly angling for a third visit from the Doctor to James Corden’s flat? His exact quote, reflecting the difficulty of realizing this ambition, was “We’d love him to return, but he’s pretty busy being a Tony award-winning actor on Broadway and having a baby. But we’d love to get James back.”

• Last Saturday (August 4), BBC America aired the first of its four original Doctor Who specials, The Science of Doctor Who, in which the border between science fiction and science fact gets a jolly good wobbling, to test how secure it really is. Here’s a clip:

• Inspired by this, we launched a blog investigating fantastical elements from Doctor Who that exist in real life.

• This Saturday (August 11) at 9/8c, BBC America will air The Women of Doctor Who, a look at the heroines who’ve traveled in the TARDIS. And in celebration of feminine Whovianness, we’ve launched an iTunes giveaway that will reward one lucky winner with 13 of the best Doctor Who episodes centering on women.

• And who is the greatest Doctor Who woman in all of history? We’re running a week-long tournament to determine the winner, and yep, YOU get to vote. Will it be Sarah Jane? Donna? It’s all up to you…

Nerdist host Chris Hardwick, Reggie Yates, Natalie Morales, and many other celebrity Who fans will appear in this weekend’s The Women of Doctor Who special. We asked them which iteration of the Doctor they’d most like to accompany in the TARDIS. Here were their responses:

• Oh and while we’re on the topic of those BBC America specials, do you have a special occasion that needs commemorating? Whovian in your office got a sudden and unexpected birthday you weren’t previously aware of? You’ll need one of these new Doctor Who e-cards, made to promote our season of Doctor Who specials. Informative AND useful:

‘The Women of Doctor Who’

• Tributes have been coming in for Mary Tamm, who played the first Romana back in the Fourth Doctor days. She died recently at the age of 62. Tom Baker told the Radio Times, “she was a darling companion and wonderfully witty and kind,” while Steven Moffat had the best line on why her role was so important to the show’s development:

“I remember Mary Tamm’s first appearance so vividly – the ice Queen on the TARDIS. The Time Lady who thought the Doctor was HER companion. Perfectly brought to life by Mary, with such style and wit, you always thought she could have kicked the Doctor out of the time machine and got on with the adventure herself. A generation of little girls threw away the idea of being an assistant, and decided to fly the TARDIS for themselves.”

• Who wants to know what David Bradley (Argus Filch from the Harry Potter films) is doing in the Season 7 adventure Dinosaurs on a Spaceship? Well he’s said a thing or two – nothing too spoilery – over here.

Here’s a lovely thing, YouTuber  has colorized the moment when the First Doctor bade farewell to his granddaughter Susan:

• Hats off to Den of Geek, who have devoted a marvelous blog post to one of the most underrated elements of Doctor Who scripts and performances: silliness.

• Did you catch David Tennant on G4’s Attack of the Show last week? The erstwhile Tenth Doctor stopped by to chat about his upcoming BBC America miniseries, Spies of Warsaw.

• We’ve brought back Life Outside The TARDIS, with a brief-but-optimistic look at Karen Gillan’s career to date.

• Since last we gathered, we’ve inducted two new rogues in the Rogues Gallery: the Cheetah People – feral cat-faced hunters, genetically modified by a dying planet, and yet skilled on horseback – from the final Seventh Doctor adventure Survival, and Lady Cassandra, the wafer-thin, self-styled Last Human from the Ninth Doctor’s visit to The End of the World.

• New Whovians, we’re going to be running a Fact of the Week slot from here, so that you can hold your own in conversation with Who fans from way back when. Today’s interesting fact is this:

Did you know Jon Pertwee (the Third Doctor) appears on the song “Can I Kick It?” by A Tribe Called Quest?

He’s the professorial voice that you can hear saying “er…you can?” at 0:20, and “uh, then do so at once” at 1:55, which is apparently taken from his performance as Spotty in the kids cartoon Superted.

• Oh and speaking of your length of Whovian service, we’re conducting a survey at the moment, to find out how you became a fan of Doctor Who, and why. The details are over here, but the gist is that we want your tales of falling in love with TARDIS, and we want to compile them all under the Twitter hashtag #newtoWHO.


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By Fraser McAlpine