July 03, 2006

sugoi!

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The new series has just been sold to the Japanese station BS-2, and season 1 will start broadcasting in August. This is not the first time Japan has been treated to Doctor Who - in the eighties several Target books were published in Japanese, with groovy and weird illustrations, and some subtitled videos were also released.

The Japanese logo says ドクターフー - “dokutaa fuu”. I think this is the only time the logo has been altered for another script, if not another language.

Update: I’ve been told that this isn’t the first time the logo has been changed for another language. If anyone has images of the covers of the Turkish editions of the Target novels, I’d love to see them.

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June 19, 2006

it’s a mystery


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My cousin took this photo outside of Buckinham Palace last week. Who left this ceramic Dalek on the pavement where it could get broken? No one knows.

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June 14, 2006

Educational Opportunities

As many long-time fans know, Doctor Who was created, initially, with a remit to educate children under the guise of entertainment. Eventually, it became clear that exciting adventures with Bug Eyed Monsters from the planet Skaro was better received than a trip through Mongolia with Marco Polo or being shrunk to six inches high, so the ‘educational’ remit gradually faded.

Even so, the program still educated viewers albeit in an odd way. Scott Clarke points out in his column in the latest Enlightenment that even though Doctor Who used arcane details about science and history incorrectly, it still compelled him to look up subjects ranging from entropy to the great fire of London.

I say all this because the BBC Doctor Who site is a fabulous website. An amazing resource. Probably the best website for a TV series, ever. But I can’t help but think it’s missing a trick. Instead of showing us loads of pictures and behind the scenes videos, why not try educating its site visitors a little?

For example (and I’m not giving anything more spoilery than what is said in the TV listing), last week’s episode (in Britain) dealt with Black Holes. The episode Tooth and Claw featured Queen Victoria. Other episodes this past season have involved the televised Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and Madame De Pompadour among others.

It would have been wonderful if the official site could not only show exciting behind the scenes snaps but actually give a 500 word precise of the historical or scientific aspects refered to, or at the very least posted links to find out more information. The latter wouldn’t be that hard—as I demonstrated with the links above, a lot of this information already exists on bbc.co.uk or on the H2G2 wiki site they host. And their usual boilerplate “The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites” covers a multiple of sins and links to wikipedia.

Doctor Who this season should be congratulated for raising the bar and giving us really enjoyable and shows us how incredible science and history can be. It would be great if the best TV website in the world could follow that tendency up in its work.

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sharing the love

spotted elsewhere and it’s worth sharing. This photo was taken in the UK the Sunday after Rise of the Cybermen:

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June 13, 2006

the beginner’s guide

The BBC have created a short beginner’s guide to Doctor Who, for new fans who want to learn more about the show’s history, or for old time fans who can’t get enough of hearing about those maggots. The Dalek history is the most extensive part - I had no idea that the Mechanoids were the only match for the Daleks.

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May 31, 2006

Can He Change Back?

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Sean Connery or Roger Moore? Dick York or Dick Sargent? Paul Martin or Stephen Harper?  Such are the age old comparisons drawn between old and new, predecessor and successor.  Numerous actors have donned the role of our favourite Timelord, and no doubt a number of pub brawls have erupted over the years in defence of William Hartnell’s honour or Paul McGann’s right to be in the “union.” 

But can we truly trust our judgements around a new Doctor? Do Gallifreyans age like a good bottle of single malt scotch or do they eventually rot the lining of your stomach like a cheap bottle of hooch? Individual tastes will decide how far back in the liquor cabinet Sylvester McCoy belongs.

And what of Christopher Eccelston, the man who carried the hopes of a generation on his back, and David Tennant who carried the rest.

Eccleston exploded on the scene to the delight of the general public, with perhaps a more mixed reaction from old time fandom. Reactions ranged from “he’s enigmatic and edgy” to “the man’s a grinning fool.” Some fans saw Dalek as a turning point, with a script that allowed the actor to show a wider range of emotion and reaction. Others experienced religion with his masterful performance in The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. Still others released a collective sigh of relief when his departure was announced.

Suddenly fans came out of the woodwork declaring that Eccleston had never really gelled as the Doctor. Tenant became the poster boy for a fresh start; the bugs had been worked out, and now we’d get “real” Doctor Who.

And it’s June 2006, half of the second season has been broadcast in Britain.  Tenant has been described as “lacking the dramatic weight” of Eccelston, too angry, too manic. Many fans are pining for Eccleston, wondering how he might have played a particular scene or changed the tone of a particular story.

Here we go again…

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May 23, 2006

I Bring You Sutekh’s Satan’s Gift of Death

Best Doctor Who casting news of the century

My girlfriend can only recite one line of Classic Series Doctor Who dialogue—“I am Sutekh the destroyer”. Actually, she usually calls him ‘Soltek’, but the impression Gabriel Woolf made is still nonetheless there.

Me, I still get goosebumps when Woolf as Sutekh says “your evil is my good” and have been that way for the past 22 years.

This is a nice bit of casting, and I can’t help but think that both Russell T Davies and Matthew Jones—who used dialogue from Pyramids of Mars to brilliant effect in Queer As Folk—had more than a small part in this.

(6) Comments

May 17, 2006

Fans


Raf was telling his tiny assistant: ‘If any of those Doctor Who fans come in, demanding this month’s book, just tell them the delivery’s late and they’ll have to wait.’ His voice was soft and breathy. The contrast with the girl’s voice was marked. She rasped back at him: ‘Sure thing. Raf. Doctor Who fans are the worst, aren’t they?’

Sadly, Raf was shaking his head. ‘Unfortunately not, Vicki. There are far worse Fans out there. But we get them all. We’re the ones in the firing line when they come out to feed their funny appetites.’ Suddenly he looked up at Colin. ‘I know what you’re going to say.’

‘But you’re a fan as well!’ Colin complied.

from To the Devil - a Diva! by Paul Magrs (2004)

(1) Comments

May 11, 2006

10 things to do while you’re waiting for the next episode of Doctor Who…

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10. Drum the Doctor Who theme on your keyboard
9.  Engage in a torrent of ethical angsting (for a bit anyway)
8.  Spell-check your “Bring back Doctor Who” email to the Sci-Fi network
7.  Help Mickey defend the Earth
6.  Watch the trailer over and over and over and over and over again
5.  Renew your DWIN membership online
4.  Curse the NHL Players Association for not holding out longer
3.  Generate new anagrams of ‘Doctor Who’ for use in future season story arcs (“Crow Dot Ho”, “Crowd Hoot” “Cohort Dow”) and then register all possible domain names. 
2.  Make dire predictions on Outpost Gallifrey
1.  Clean the dust off your VHS copies

roll for your regeneration

The comic Full Frontal Nerdity has a funny installment today about the Doctor Who role-playing game (the FASA version - you can see the box). Those of us who have played it know that regenerations can happen that frequently.

Still waiting for a d20 Doctor Who game…

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