Tag Archive: Steven Moffat

12th Doctor To Be Revealed on Sunday!

Stand by for an announcement….of an announcement!

Seriously though….the BBC has announced that the actor to play the 12th Doctor will be announced on a Live TV Special, entitled Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor that will air at 7:00 PM (in the UK) on Sunday and 2 pm ET LIVE on BBC AMERICA.

Widely regarded as one of the most hotly contested roles in British television, the show’s host Zoe Ball will unveil the 12th Doctor in the first ever interview in front of a live studio audience set against the backdrop of a swirling vortex, amongst Daleks and the TARDIS.

Current Doctor Matt Smith and lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat will both give interviews about one of the biggest roles in TV and set out just what it takes to be the Doctor.

They even made at trailer for the show. You can find out more about the special here.

Doctor Who Adventure Calendar Day 3

The Doctor Who Adventure Calendar will not be limiting it’s self to Christmas special teases. Today’s content is an interview with Steven Moffat on the Daleks.

From the website: “To celebrate the Doctor’s oldest alien adversaries we’re beginning a short series of videos which feature Doctor Who’s lead writer and Executive Producer, Steven Moffat, discussing their history. He selects a number of stories that are amongst his favourites and the most significant Dalek adventures, beginning, appropriately enough, with the Daleks’ debut from December, 1963.

He reviews stories stretching right back to the First Doctor era.”

You can watch the video here:  Doctor Who Adventure Calendar Day 3

A Madman With A Box

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…

Friday Night Who 6/1

For this week’s Friday Night Who we return to “new” series and our second 11th Doctor story, the Eleventh Hour!

Hopefully you can join us at Midnight CDT, who knows maybe we’ll break out fish fingers and custard.

Follow @travelvortex, @vortexshaun & @vortexkeith (maybe @vortexglenn) for the fun and keep an eye out for the #FridayNightWho and #TheEleventhHour hashtags!


New Companion Ident Confirmed

** The following article contains SPOILERS **

Jenna-Louise Coleman was announced as the new companion to the Doctor today by the BBC and Steven Moffat.  We’ve known since Christmas that Amy and Rory would be making an exit from the show sometime this season, and that the Doctor would find a new companion.  Well the details are here (at least some of them, so wait no longer.)

The 25 year old from Blackpool has already made a name for herself on the soap Emmerdale, having been nominated for a National Television Award, British Soap Award, and TV Choice Award.

More details can be found here, from the official BBC Doctor Who Page, and BBC America has a fun selection of clips of some of her other work.  An interview with the actress about being chosen for Doctor Who can be found on the BBC News page.

Here’s the tweet stream from the official BBC Doctor Who Twitter Page:

Jenna-Louise Coleman announced as the new Doctor Who companion. More to come….

“I want to get started already” says Jenna. “I’m a huge fan of the show”. Of her favourite companion “Between Billie Piper & Karen Gillan”

“Matt Smith did my audition with me. It was fun and I felt like we were in it together” says Jenna.

Steven: “We saw a lot of brilliant actresses. But Jenna was the only person going faster than Matt – he had to keep up!”

There will be 6 episodes this year, including the Xmas Special. Then 8 next year. Jenna’s character will first be seen at Xmas.

No announcement on plans for the 50th anniversary given today.

Steven “Amy & Rory will leave in a final encounter with the Weeping Angels in ep 5. Not everyone gets out alive and I mean it this time”

Jenna has asked us to remind you that she does not have and doesn’t plan to have a Twitter account. Beware of imposters!

Episode 42 – Life, the Universe, and Steven Moffat

Series Six is “in the can”, as they say, and now a chance to fondly look back over the Matt Smith/Steven Moffat era thus far.

In this episode we review the last two years and take an over all look at Series Five and Six as a whole, and the state of Doctor Who with Moffat at the helm.

Also, a Galley and Chicago Tardis update, news, and of course your feedback.


Links mentioned in the show:

Chicago TARDIS 2011

Gallifrey 2012: Network 23

Spike Scream Awards


Moffat Tops At BAFTAS

You win some, you loose some.  In somewhat of a surprise, outsider Daniel Rigby, beat off Benedict Cumberbatch’s modern reinvention of Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock as well as audience favorite Matt Smith, (the first Doctor Who lead to be nominated for the award), to take home the award for Eric & Ernie, a biopic about British comedians Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise.

Best supporting actor went to Sherlock Holmes co-star Martin Freeman, who played Dr. Watson, while the Steven Moffat-penned drama was also named best drama series.

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”.