We move sideway once again this week into another universe where our familiar Doctor is not present, but replaced with an old time traveling scientist called Dr. Who. To celebrate the 50th anniversary, we look at Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. We give our impressions of the second outing of Peter Cushing as the lovable old doctor as he encounters some new friends and an old enemy.
Also, Glenn does a mini-review of the Traveling the Vortex Book Club book for June, Doctor Who: Royal Blood by Una McCormack, featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara as they first encounter The Glamour.
If you live or going to be in the Topeka area, you won’t want to miss TopCon: Topeka’s Original Comic & Game Convention, September 18, 19 & 20. Traveling the Vortex will be there again in the convention’s second year, and it promises to be a lot of fun. The con will feature media guests, cosplayers, comic, games and artists from all area’s of fandom. For more about this event, we encourage you to check out the website www.topcon.us or visit the facebook page at facebook.com/TopConExpo
The BBC has announced that Doctor Who will return to our screens a bit earlier than what they claimed before.
Instead of being April, as previously thought, the Doctor & Clara will return March 30th! (or Easter Saturday)
Of course Shaun predicted this when they announced a spring return.
Not only will it air on BBC One on March 30th, American audiences will get to watch the Doctor save the day on that date, too, on BBC America as part of their Supernatural Saturdays alongside BBC America’s New Sci-Fi series Orphan Black and The Nerdist.
Doctor Who magazine reports that after the Christmas Special, the Doctor will return to grace our sets with the second half of season seven in April, no specific date or time has been set. (This reporter is still betting on the traditional Easter weekend, which this year falls on Sunday the 31st of March, meaning an air date of the 30th) The other odds-on favorite would be the following weekend, on April 6th, but again, both dates are speculation.
The following is a reprint of a blog post I did for my school blog…
This week, something extraordinary happened.
I’m not referring to a successful preseason game for a football team, or the reuniting of a loving couple, or even a political rally, thou those things too undoubtedly happened. I’m talking about the return of Doctor Who.
For the uninitiated, Doctor Who is a British science fiction series that started all the way back in 1963. Keep in mind, 1963 was not exactly a bumper year for science fiction. The heyday of films like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, FORBIDDEN PLANET and EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS was long past, Star Trek had yet to air an episode, and the juggernauts like STAR WARS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS were far off in the future. So, without a built in audience, this was considered quite the gamble. Add to the mix that Doctor Who started (and in many ways remains) a children’s show. Dedicated to tossing in some education with it’s entertainment, many early episodes traveled back to historical Earth, and encounters with The Aztecs, or The Romans were common place. The show enchanted, captivated and scared the little ones.
And it’s been doing it for nearly fifty years.
It ran continuously on BBC from 1963 to 1989, when it was put on hiatus… and never returned. A co-produced TV movie for FOX television was made in 1996, (Steven Spielberg had a hand in bringing it back) with the idea of a new series launch, BUT, it was up against the episode of Roseanne where Dan had a heart attack. Viewing figures were not kind in the states. But it did well enough that hope remained for the show to return. Finally, it did in 2005. Not a reboot, but a continuation from where we left off, though with a faster pace and better effects.
This is the longest break between episodes since the show was revived. Partially because of the summer Olympics in London, partially because current show runner Steven Moffat has something planned for the last half of this season, which will actually air NEXT year in 2013 for the show’s 50th anniversary. Current episodes air Saturdays on both BBC and BBC America. So naturally, there’s a huge amount of hype built up right now, and many people are wondering, why?
The show is pure magic. Unlike Star Trek, which almost prides itself on it’s techno-babble, there are times when the Doctor just gives up. An example: “We’re just entering conceptual space. Imagine a banana. Or anything curved. Actually, don’t, because it’s not curved or like a banana- FORGET THE BANANA!” and then the matter is dropped. Most episodes deal with the Doctor and his friends landing on Planet X to discover Problem Y which must be solved by Time-Frame Z. The odd thing, is that at any point in time, the Doctor could just climb back into his ship and fly away. They’ve made jokes about it. But he doesn’t, because he’s curious, and because we wouldn’t have a show if he did. A hero who runs from trouble just isn’t all that exciting.
I co-host a Doctor Who Podcast, Traveling The Vortex (www.travelingthevortex.com) so I’ve been talking to a lot of newbies about the show, which is riding a crest of unprecedented popularity at the moment (last season it had the highest number of downloads from iTunes). I frequently find myself repeating some of the same things (not that I mind). So here’s my list of the 5 things you MUST know about Doctor Who, and the 5 things you MUST know before you sit down and try to delve into the new Series 7:
5 Things you NEED to know about Doctor Who
1) The Doctor is the last of the Time Lords, a race who understands, and can travel through time and space. He does this via his TARDIS, which stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. It’s bigger on the inside, and its outside appearance is locked into that of a 1960’s London Police Box thanks to it’s cloaking device–called a chameleon circuit that disguises itself as something in the environment around it–or it would before it got stuck in that form.
2) Time Lords have two hearts and the ability to Regenerate their bodies depending on the extent of the injury, resulting in a new body (although sometimes the process is unpredictable). To date, 11 different actors have played the Doctor (Matt Smith is the newest), each bringing a unique set of quirks and personality to the role, but it’s always the same man.
3) The Doctor usually travels with one or more companions.
4) The Doctor is beyond intelligent, often making “Sherlock Holmes” like deductions with very little available information. Sometimes these are explained, sometimes you just roll with it.
5) Yes, there are nearly 50 years of history associated with the program, but don’t let that deter you. For the most part if you really need to know, they’ll let you know, and there are always plenty of fans to ask!
5 Things you NEED to know before you start Series 7…
1) Amy and Rory are the current companions, and are married.
2) The Doctor is presumed dead by most of the universe at the moment, which he is only too happy to play into, believing he’s gotten too big for his britches as there are legends about him.
3) One of those legends is about the First Question “It’s all still waiting for you. The fields of Trensalore, the fall of the eleventh, and the question. The First Question. The question that must never be answered. Hidden in plain sight, the question you’ve been running from all your life… Doctor… WHO?” The legend says that silence will fall when the question is asked, leading many to believe it will be the Doctor’s REAL death.
4) The show is unpredictable and quirky, and unlike most science fiction, the “WHOniverse” has things that may not be explainable. Roll with it.
5) The show is British; yes they have accents, yes sometimes they talk fast and are hard for the untrained ear to understand. Just roll with it and stick with it!
If you are really interested but afraid to jump into the middle even with the primer, then I suggest “series one” or the 2005 relaunch as an excellent jump off point to familiarize yourself with the show. And since British shows run shorter seasons, there’s only thirteen episodes for you to digest in a block.
In the words of the first… “One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.”
Welcome back, Doctor. <>
Check out this awesome tribute video from LastWhovian on Youtube…
The past few weeks have been a veritable who’s who of actors being announced for guest star spots on the new season of Doctor Who. David Warner (TIME BANDITS, TRON, STAR TREK VI, TITANIC), Liam Cunningham (FIRST KNIGHT, CLASH OF THE TITANS, Game Of Thrones), Dougray Scott (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, ENIGMA), Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate SG1) Michael McShane (ROBIN HOOD PRINCE OF THIEVES, CLERKS, SPAWN) and most recently Dame Diana Rigg (The Avengers, ON HER MAJESTIES SECRET SERVICE, Mystery!) and her daughter Rachael Stirling (SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, CENTURIAN).
And now, there’s rumors circulating that MAY be more than rumors, that Tom Baker will be returning to the show for the 50th anniversary.
Ordinarily we’d write it off as “yeah, right”, BUT STV’s website had a report saying:
“Former Time Lord Tom Baker will return to ‘Doctor Who’ to mark the show’s 50th anniversary. The 78-year-old actor, who played The Doctor from 1974 to 1981 on BBC One’s iconic sci-fi drama, is being lined up to reprise his role in 2013. A ‘Doctor Who’ insider told The Daily Express: ”It will be fitting to have Tom back to mark the 50 years. He was a big part of the show’s success and is much-loved by the fans.”
The interesting part here is STV is reporting something reported by The Daily Express, who claims to have gotten the info from a “Doctor Who insider”. It may be something, or it may be nothing. If something, I would love to be kept in the dark until the credit sequence of that episode runs across my tv screen. But I’d also love to be barraged with a series of announcements over the next few weeks confirming all the remaining Doctors are coming back. Until then… who knows?
My cousin Matt sent this to me and I’ve been meaning to get it posted for a while. (Nearly complete, *Does not include the new Christmas Special “The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe) A very fun and cool info graphic. Info graphics are cool.
We’re all gamers here at Traveling the Vortex, and have often spoke of a LEGO Doctor Who game. Well it may not be LEGO but BBC Worldwide has teamed up with Supermassive Games to release a console based game called “Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock” exclusively for the Playstation 3, PC and Sony’s new handheld device, Vita.
It looks like it won’t be disk based, bu a downloadable title. The game will also feature the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and River Song (Alex Kingston). And according to the press release “Gamers must learn to master the complexities of time travel with exceptional time based game play, changes made in one time will impact another creating multiple possibilities and challenging players to solve puzzles across the centuries.”
Supermassive Games is no newbie to the Console either…they have created user packs for Little Big Planet 2, as well as Start the Party, and Start the Party 2. The game is set to be released early 2012. Below is the first teaser trailer for the game.