Tag Archive: doctor who

Doctor Who Video Game!

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.

Supermassive Games website

BBC World Wide’s Press Release

Doctor Who Fiction (Magnetic Poetry Style) Contest!

So recently while dusting the top of my refrigerator, I found an old Magnetic Poetry kit.

(One: don’t judge me for owning magnetic poetry, I’ll bet lots of you do to!  Two: yes, I do clean.)

Well I realized that I hadn’t seen this set in like three years!

(Three: I do clean, but I guess that doesn’t speak well of how often I do the top of my refrigerator.)

ANYWAY, I thought it would be fun to toss the magnets up on the fridge and see if anyone still played with them.  And as is frequently the case when I’m left alone around words, the creative side of my brain took over and started writing.  So I snapped a picture of the finished product to post for all of you here.  (It’s a bit rough obviously, as these kits don’t always contain the words you want or need to pull the imagery off, but at the same time, that’s part of the fun!)

And now, a challenge!  I’m betting that those of you who DO have magnetic poetry kits lying around could probably come up with your own Doctor Who themed poem, so I want you all to do the same!  Line those magnets up and snap a picture and email it to shaun@travelingthevortex!  I’ll get them posted here, and then we’ll vote on them.  The writer of the winning poem will win a Traveling The Vortex *Prize Package of GAME SHOW proportions!  The contest will run through December 31, 2011!  Winner to be announced next year…

* NOTE – Our lawyers (if we had any) would probably disallow me to use the term “Prize Package of GAME SHOW proportions” in a post, since there is in actuality NO prize package and if there was one, it would certainly NOT be of game show proportions.  They’d bring up a lot of terms like “illegal” and “fraudulent” and “false advertising” and probably force us to run the contest just for silly fun.  Lucky for you I don’t own the “law speak” Magnetic Poetry kit, so those words are pretty meaningless to me anyways.


Happy 48th Birthday, DOCTOR WHO

On November 23rd, 1963, a little show was launched on the BBC.  It came on the heels of the coverage of the Kennedy assassination, was in fact, the first thing shown following that event, so maybe that explains why it has taken root so deeply.  Perhaps a little fun and frivolity and a little hope and joy, a look at life through those rose collared glasses was needed after that black day.

But whatever the reason, the show survived.  It has stayed with us for 48 years, and we are all better people for it.  So a big, heart felt thank you to everyone who has been associated with the show through the years, and here’s hoping for 48 more…

Happy Anniversary, Doctor Who.

Keith & Shaun’s Doctor Who Shrine

As Chrissy pointed out we spent a lot of time in episode 42 of Traveling the Vortex talking about the new Doctor Who acquisitions and we should post pictures of them. Well as we promised in Episode 43 here they are! First up is the entire “shrine”

We also have a nice collection of Doctors with a TARDIS bank

And how can you have Doctors without their adversaries?

Then the adorable Character Building Mini Figures Cybermen and Amy Pond.

And to wrap up this long post pictures of the new action figure additions (Silence, 11th Doctor with Stetson, and Nephew) and a picture that I got while in Omaha for Contagion Outbreak.

Doctor Who Variety Hour

Artwork By Andy Lambert

Here on Traveling the Vortex we tend to discuss the variety that Doctor Who brings on the show. From actor’s different takes on the Doctor to the tone of various stories.

With Doctor Who returning this Saturday the great folks over at io9 wrote up an interesting article about how there are almost as many different shows within Doctor Who as there are regenerations. They even include video examples.

io9.com: 10 Totally Different TV Shows that Doctor Who Has Been Over the Years

Loose Threads: Around The Vortex

Welcome to “Loose Threads”, where like the 4th Doctor’s scarf, I hope to combine bits of factoidal information to present a fun if chaotic picture of the Whoniverse at any given moment.

50th Anniversary Plans, Big Finish Comes To Gally and The Waters Of Mars

* TV line talks with Stephen Moffat about the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who in 2013, and he promises emphatically, “it will be huge”.  Moffat wouldn’t be pinned down on weather the anniversary extravaganza would involve stand alone specials, an extra memorable season or other fun stuff.  “It won’t be just one thing…. We’ll be doing lots of stuff,” is all Moffat would concede.  “The plans are quite extensive and changing all the time.  Oh my God, we will hit that year very, very hard indeed.”  The BBC execs “are full committed” to his vision.  “There’s lot of decisions we’re making that are about making all that possible.  It’ll be amazing.”

With all the talk of a multi Doctor story featuring some or all of the combinations—Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccelston and David Tennant—reuniting, is it true?  And might other familiar faces from the past return as well?  “Possibly…. It’s so far in the future, it’s only a set of notions,” Moffat replies, adding that he’s still got this year’s Christmas special to focus on before he gets to locking in plans for the big 50.

* GallifreyOne just updated their guest list for next year.  The list now includes a quartet of Big Finish folk: Nicholas Briggs, executive producer for Big Finish Productions as well as the voice of the Daleks for the past six years; Barnaby Edwards the principal Dalek operator, director, actor, and writer for Big Finish; Beth Chalmers, new 7th Doctor companion Raine Creevey; and Lisa Greenwood, 6th Doctor companion Philippa “Flip” Jackson.  Also on the guest list are new series directors Toby Haynes and Richard Senior, between the two of them responsible for some of the more impresive Matt Smith episodes, including; “The Impossible Astronaut”, “Day Of The Moon”, “The Pandorica Opens”, “The Big Bang”, “Time”, “Space” and the upcoming “Let’s Kill Hitler”. 

And working on a full house for the 1996 TV Movie reunion (Paul McGann, Daphne Ashbrook and Yee Jee Tso are already signed to appear), Philip Segal, executive producer of the TV Movie and the man who championed to get Doctor Who back on the air.  It is the 15th anniversary of the Movie, is it possible that The Master himself, Eric Roberts could be making an appearance?  Stay tuned…

* And finally in a bit of science reality, NASA has announced the Reconnaissance Orbiter has discovered evidence of flowing water on Mars.  Water on Mars is no news and has been reported on before of course, but flowing water on the surface is a big deal.  Just ask the Doctor, he could tell you.  For the full report, click here. <>

Passing The Torch(wood)?

Coming up this week will be our first serious look into Doctor Who spin off series Torchwood. While not everyone is a fan of the show, and welcome to their opinions, I’d like to throw out a counter argument in favor of the spin off.

Generally (if incorrectly) thought of as “Doctor Who for adults”, Torchwood started off a little rocky. The concept was sound, a group of investigators tackling the strange and unusual for the benefit of England. The problem is, we’ve already seen that show. It was called “The X-Files” and it was pretty good. Yes, there was (at least originally) more sex and violence and swearing than what you’d find on Doctor Who (that’s where the adult comes in) Torchwood has its share of monster of the week episodes, and a few mythology arcs thrown in, and as Glenn calls it, it’s the cherry on top of the Doctor Who sundae. You don’t need to see it, but it makes the over all experience a bit more enjoyable.

The show grows up a bit in its second season, (although there are still a handful of meh thrown in) becoming even more thoughtful and thought provoking science fiction. But it was the third season “Children Of Earth” miniseries where Torchwood blew the doors off its conventions and came into its own. It did this by going DARKER. Now, Torchwood was already a darker show, especially when compared to Doctor Who, and I think that’s where some people got off the carousel, and that’s fine. But for those who also enjoy a wilder ride, it became some of the most riveting television I have ever seen.

The biggest difference between the two shows is that Doctor Who shows humanity at its best, usually through the rose colored lens that is the Doctor. He wants to believe in our ability to be better than we are, and because of his faith, we frequently rise to his expectations. That is a powerful way of looking at the world. It’s joyous and infectious and makes the show fun to watch. Torchwood tackles some of the same issues and aliens as Who, but does it with just us humans. There is no all powerful savior watching over us, we’re left to our own devices, and we muddle through the best we can. As such, the violence and sex doesn’t seem out of place, it seems… well, human.

At the center of the maelstrom is Captain Jack Harkness. He’s not quite the same cheeky hero we remember from Who, but is himself dark and jaded. As the events of Torchwood play out, we discover the transformation of Jack. Who wouldn’t change after becoming immortal? We understand his detachment, who wouldn’t tune out after hundreds of years without the marvels of the universe to keep one occupied? And eventually, we see his long fall from grace in “Children Of Earth”. It’s a great character arc, it’s well written and compelling. Reminds me a bit of Stephen King. People ask me why I read him when I’m not much of a horror fan. And I always reply with, even if I dislike the subject matter, I enjoy the way the story is told. Torchwood’s story—if nothing else—is well told.

And now with Miracle Day, I’m hoping to see Jacks resurrection. While Torchwood is dark, I can still find the hope. Doctor Who gives me hope for humanity, Torchwood gives me hope for television. Because it’s consistently the most thoughtful thing on, and in today’s wasteland of reality TV, news magazines and game shows, a tightly woven, thinking-man’s science fiction script is a commodity to be cherished. <>

Seven Weeks for Seven Doctors: The Finale

Another week, another Doctor down. That makes this week the final Seven Weeks for Seven Doctors….and this week’s FRIDAY NIGHT WHO plans are to watch Sylvester McCoy’s seventh Doctor in “Delta and the Bannermen”. This will not end Friday Night Who just Seven Weeks for Seven Doctors. Stay tuned to the website for our Friday Night Who plans coming up.

You can follow @TravelVortex @vortexglenn @vortexshaun and @vortexkeith for all the fun. Hope to see you on Twitter!

4/22/11 – William Hartnell in “The Aztecs”

4/29/11 – Patrick Troughton in “The Dominators”

5/6/11 – Jon Pertwee in “Carnival Of Monsters”

5/13/11 – Tom Baker in “Pyramids Of Mars”

5/20/11 – Peter Davison – “Black Orchid”

5/27/11 – Colin Baker – “Vengeance On Varos”

6/3/11 – Sylvester McCoy – “Delta And The Bannermen”

The Penultimate Seven Weeks for Seven Doctors

Friday Night Who update:

Another week, another Doctor down. That makes this week the penultimate 7 Weeks for 7 Doctors…and this week’s FRIDAY NIGHT WHO plans are to watch Colin Baker’s sixth Doctor in “Vengeance On Varos”.  You can follow @TravelVortex @vortexglenn @vortexshaun and @vortexkeith for all the fun. Hope to see you on Twitter!

4/22/11 – William Hartnell in “The Aztecs”

4/29/11 – Patrick Troughton in “The Dominators”

5/6/11 – Jon Pertwee in “Carnival Of Monsters”

5/13/11 – Tom Baker in “Pyramids Of Mars”

5/20/11 – Peter Davison – “Black Orchid”

5/27/11 – Colin Baker – “Vengeance On Varos”

6/3/11 – Sylvester McCoy – “Delta And The Bannermen”

Spoiler Wars Episode V: Steven Moffat Strikes Back

A long time ago in a galaxy not so, far away…

It is a dark time for Who fandom. Although the season six premier has been aired, a few journalists and fans have rooted show secrets from their hidden scripts and posted them across the internet.

Evading the dreaded SPOILERS, a group of purists led by Steven Moffat has established a new secret keeping method called the honor system.

The evil Lord Spoiler, obsessed with finding the tiniest tidbits of information, has dispatched thousands of search engines into the far reaches of the internet….

It sounds a bit over blown and over dramatic, just like the movies, but Steven Moffat’s passion is for real.

The Doctor Who show runner isn’t a fan of fans who post spoilers online. “You can’t imagine how much I hate them,” the writer said after crucial plot details of the series six premier were revealed on the internet.  At the press launch for the new series last month, Moffat pleaded with journalists not to spoil details of the two-parter, which was packed with surprises and revelations, a request to which they largely conceded.

But one fan who had been invited to the screening posted the entire storyline on an internet forum. Moffat told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It’s only fans who do this, or they call themselves fans. I wish they could go and be fans of something else.  It’s heartbreaking in a way because you’re trying to tell stories, and stories depend on surprise. So to have some twit come to a press launch, write up a story in the worst, most ham-fisted English you can imagine, and put it on the internet? I just hope that guy never watched my show again, because that’s a horrific thing to do.”

There’s a balancing act between a fan’s desire and reality, to know everything they can about something they are passionate about, versus becoming so “in the know” they can no longer enjoy the object of their passion.  Part of it is the role of mass media today.  Between television, the internet, Twitter, Facebook, text messaging, etc… human beings are wired in more than ever before in the history of the planet.  News and information circle the globe in a flash, picked up and re-broadcast by legions.  Spoiler news is no different.  When something leaks, and people’s natural response is, “Did you hear…” it’s tough to stay pure and un-spoilt.

But part of it is the dark side of fandom.  Those who relish in showing off how plugged in they are, how much they know, and how quickly they can get it.  I liken these fans to Paparazzi, laying in wait for a juicy tidbit in 4-inch high heels to walk by, then ambushing their subject and posting the results on line.

And, I’m forced to admit, that once upon a time, I was one of the jackals.  I worked for Suncoast Motion Picture Company back in the day, (it was a Tuesday.  Not sure if you knew that, but “back in the day” ALWAYS refers to a Tuesday.)  Anyway, I dealt with a lot of people, and a lot of information.  And I found that the more information I had, the more I was sought out.  I was in demand.  People came to ME to get their news.  It was a very heady feeling.  I liked being needed.  So I devoured more information and passed it on.  I never consciously ruined the end of movies or anything, and any true spoilers were always tempered with “are you sure you want to know?” as if those seven little words made what I was doing okay.

**** SPOILERS AHEAD.  (Old news for almost EVERYONE on the planet at this point, but just be warned so I don’t accidently ruin something…)

Eventually the game caught up with me, when a customer presented me with an advanced copy of the script for “Star Trek: Generations”.  Now I was all for some advance knowledge, but the script?  Surely that was overkill.  But I gave into the temptation, and flipped through the book.  Not reading it, just flipping pages.  And what two words did my eyes seize upon? KIRK DIES.  This was before the flap and hubbub, before the world knew this was even a possibility.  And of course, it ruined the movie for me.  The big emotional moment of the film left me hollow, cause I already know it was going to happen.

I started shying away from entertainment news at that point, but still got hit with several, (Excitedly picking up the soundtrack to “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” two weeks before the movie came out and seeing the track “Qui Gon’s Noble End” listed on the back.  D’OH!  Lucasfilm struck again and showed a “spoiler free” 10 minute sneak preview of “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith” at SW: Celebration III in 2005, but I felt there was about 30 seconds worth of scenes that I didn’t need to see.  Someone told me Dumbledore dies in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince before I’d read it.  And I missed finding out the surprise twist at the end of “The Sixth Sense” by mere seconds, and only because I plugged my fingers in my ears and started screaming at the top of my lungs.)  I mean, who does that?  Especially knowing that people haven’t seen/read/listened or whatever yet?  That’s like walking out of “Empire Strikes Back” and commenting on Vader being Luke’s father. (Thanks Homer.) Or what if you read TV Guide the week after the big cliffhanger, and found out who DID shot J.R.?

Even currently, I had two elements of Neil Gaimen’s wonderful episode spoiled.  The episode title “The Doctor’s Wife” made the rounds on Twitter a month before the episode aired. (In hind sight, not so bad as it was a bit of a Red Herring.) But then I found out about the TARDIS taking over a body the day before the episode airs, and suddenly the title makes sense and… DAMNIT!!


So here comes “The Impossible Astronaut” in a special premier in the US.  And here’s the show runner, and author of that episode, live and in person on stage, pleading with the audience to NOT ruin the surprise and to keep the story under wraps.  And then this guy goes and posts the ENTIRE plot online?

Way to go, Jack-hole.  Not only have you given all of us a bad name and reputation, but you’ve seriously jeopardized future screenings like the one you were fortunate enough to attend.

I completely support Steven Moffat in his battle to keep things secret.  As a writer myself, as media person who does write a blog and record a podcast, but mostly as a fan.  Because, while yes, there is a part of me that does want to hear the news, the larger part of me enjoys the journey enough to say,

That’s okay, I’ll find out in due time….


…of course, if everybody rigidly adhered to that philosophy, Doc Brown would have died at the end of “Back To The Future”.

Seven Weeks For Seven Doctors Enters the Home Stretch

Friday Night Who update:

Another week, another Doctor down.  This week’s FRIDAY NIGHT WHO plans are to watch Peter Davison’s fifth Doctor in “Black Orchid”.  You can follow @TravelVortex @vortexglenn @vortexshaun or @vortexkeith (Keith might actually take part again this week) for all the fun. Hope to see you on Twitter!

4/22/11 – William Hartnell in “The Aztecs”

4/29/11 – Patrick Troughton in “The Dominators”

5/6/11 – Jon Pertwee in “Carnival Of Monsters”

5/13/11 – Tom Baker in “Pyramids Of Mars”

5/20/11 – Peter Davison – “Black Orchid”

5/27/11 – Colin Baker – “Vengeance On Varos”

6/3/11 – Sylvester McCoy – “Delta And The Bannermen”

Seven Weeks For Seven Doctors Continues

Friday Night Who update:

Another week, another Doctor down.  This week’s FRIDAY NIGHT WHO plans are to watch Tom Baker’s fourth Doctor in “Pyramids Of Mars”.  Hope to see you on Twitter!

4/22/11 – William Hartnell in “The Aztecs”

4/29/11 – Patrick Troughton in “The Dominators”

5/6/11 – Jon Pertwee in “Carnival Of Monsters”

5/13/11 – Tom Baker in “Pyramids Of Mars”

5/20/11 – Peter Davison – “Black Orchid”

5/27/11 – Colin Baker – “Vengence On Varos”

6/3/11 – Sylvester McCoy – “Delta And The Bannermen”

No New Sarah Jane

The BBC website confirms that despite reports to the contrary, there will be no new episodes filmed of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

The full statement regarding the future of the series is below:

“Contrary to press reports today we can confirm that no new episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures will be filmed following the tragic death of actress Elisabeth Sladen in April, 2011. As a tribute to Elisabeth the six episodes that were recorded with her last year will be broadcast on CBBC at a date to be confirmed.”

Elisabeth Sladen first played the role of Sarah Jane in Doctor Who in 1973 and following her return to the show in 2006, played the eponymous lead in the award-winning CBBC series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, from 2007 onwards.

While I agree with the decision not to continue the show on without Elisabeth Sladen (and really, how could it even be considered?  The absence of Sarah Jane would be a hole to big to fill, and recasting is out of the question), I do think CBBC should look into filming a final episode, giving the show a finale and handling her death “in universe”.  Yes we had tributes and dedications, but Sarah Jane has become too much of a fixture with the Whoniverse, and to just drop the show and never reference her again?  Seems wrong.  While it would be undoubtedly tough to watch and film, her fans deserve at least that.