And In This Corner…

We’ve been conditioned over the years to expect certain things from a full season of Doctor Who: a mix of light-hearted adventures, a few scares, and some emotional upheaval; a titular character who encompasses both staggering intelligence and dumbfounding eccentricity; a roster of ne’er-do-well characters and outright villains both familiar and unfamiliar to keep us either on the edge of our seats, or behind the couch entirely.

Take that last point of familiarity for a moment — the recurring adversary. We’ve had Daleks on the baddie radar for virtually as long as the show has aired. The Master has fascinated (messed with) us for nearly as long. Cybermen, Ice Warriors, Sontarans and Silurians have made returns to the screen in varying frequency, and critical success. You might even lump the Time Lords in there as well, for all their self-centered manipulations and machinations. But what if we lock them all away, and start fresh for a while? Is there a risk that a wholly new set of villains might in any way impact the continued success of the show?

This week, we process the statements by Chibnall and the BBC Worldwide informing us that Series 11 will have an entirely new roster of villains and dangers to be faced, and that the time-tested ranks of Daleks, Cybermen, Missy and the like will not be seen for some time. Does this have any discernible impact on the projected success of the season? Is this really such an original or unorthodox measure? And who, or what, might we see squaring off against the Doctor and friends instead?

We also officially welcome Charles to the GPR staff, and hope he doesn’t mind the permanent stains in the coffee mugs, or that one squeaky chair over in the corner of the studio. Sorry, newbie!

EXTRA: Now that we’ve processed the Sunday broadcast day for Series 11, what about the actual airtime, both in the UK and abroad?

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Whovian Starter Pack (2018 Edition)

We’ve been blessed with the overwhelming and continually growing global success of Doctor Who; we know this. As long-standing fans, we consider it rewarding to see so many new viewers come to discover the program, to journey through the storylines, to question, to wonder, to get invested in the same universe we are passionate about ourselves. Here at GPR, we personally consider ourselves not to be curators of that fandom, but ambassadors.

We invite, welcome, and if asked, guide the interested towards the material in ways that not only have the greatest hope of retention, but that appeal to the interests of each individual. After all, we’re dealing with a series that both prides itself on regular reinvention, but has experimented with numerous storytelling styles and techniques over the decades. This allows us to ‘know our audience’, and steer them to stories that perhaps build upon their personal tastes and predilections; again, cultivating that interest, and hopefully leaving them wanting more.

Being now just over five years since we last attempted to pull together such a ‘primer set’ of first stories, we have some incredible new content to consider when introducing new viewers to the program. While this doesn’t mean everything we considered back in Episode 42 is off the table, it certainly allows us to evaluate those selections (and new) with wider, even more enthusiastic eyes…as if that were possible. From young viewers to mature, from sci-fi fanatics to history buffs to horror-philes, from cynics to the open-minded, we try to find a Whovian entry point that would prove (or has already proven) most effective.

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Then Is the New Now

Look, the Round Things!

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult…I looked back on childish things and waxed nostalgic on just how awesome it all was. Seriously. Those were the days, you know? Rubber monsters! Machines that went “bing”! The round things!

We spend some time this episode looking at all the elements of “classic” Doctor Who that have been incorporated in some way into the modern (post-2005) series, be it a revisitation, an overt reference, or an extremely clever Easter Egg. We discuss characters, locations, technology, and even dialogue and designs that honor the ‘time that was’, lovingly enjoyed in the ‘time that is’.

EXTRA: We test the waters (pun intended, naturally) of a new game idea for ‘Desert Island Doctors’. Who would be your ‘survivalist’ Doctor?

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Earth Year 2017 in Review

Earth Year 2017 In Review

The calendar year 2017 was one of tumult around this blue-green planet of ours, for sure. Highs and lows, moments we could raise our fists, and moments we hung our heads. But cutting through all the clouds of unrest, like the beacon of light from a certain sonic device, the Whovian fandom has had plenty of reason to consider this a good year. Why’s that, you ask? Well, we’ll tell you. (Cue fanfare and pomp music, and enter company of minstrels.)

Looking back on the year, we run down some of the highlights that we as fans of Doctor Who have enjoyed from on screen, in audio, comics, books, and among the community channels. We revel in this jewel of a series from Peter Capaldi, the close of the Moffat era, and the arrival of Jodie Whittaker. We take time to acknowledge all the incredible releases from Big Finish and Titan Comics, as well as a few book releases that have graced our shelves this year.

EXTRA: We open up the suggestion box to you, good listeners, on topic ideas we can run with in 2018 until Series 11 finally arrives. GET THEE TO A COMMENT THREAD-ERY!

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Twice Upon a Time

In the Venn Diagram of Whovian anticipation, we stand at the tiniest of intersects. We desperately want Peter Capaldi to stay; we eagerly await Jodie Whittaker’s arrival. We adore where the stories have brought us of late; we are nearly shaking with anticipation for where Chibnall and his staff will take the tale.

And here, amid all the tumult and dissonance that threaten to drive us mad during what is supposed to be a holiday season, time stops — and all is quiet.

This week, we bid a most emotional farewell to our Twelfth Doctor, and shout in triumphant welcome to our Thirteenth. Steven Moffat gives us his final television story, and more characters returning than you could have imagined, in “Twice Upon a Time”. We unpack the themes, messages, subtle inclusions, and even a possible musical easter egg or two. There are a lot of feels flung about, but we lock it down as best we can, and even keep it together through a line analysis of Peter’s (read: Moffat’s) final monologue.

Be kind.

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