Death in Heaven

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With Missy’s identity revealed and the fate of Danny’s soul still in question, Whovians were primed and ready for Steven Moffat’s final offering for Series 8. But did he deliver? With the aforementioned nemesis in full madcap form, the triumphant reappearance of Kate Stewart and U.N.I.T., and a new twist on the a Cybermen invasion all vying for the viewer’s attention, there is likely more to discuss than we can possibly cover — But honestly, has that ever stopped us from trying before?

“Death in Heaven” is the finale that the eighth series of Doctor Who both deserved and arguably delivered. Hitting us with epic showdowns both verbal and physical, and painful goodbyes both unexpected and unacceptable, we take one more deep breath, and plunge headlong into the thrilling conclusion of Capaldi’s inaugural series.

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Taking Kids to the Doctor

Have you watched kids television lately? I mean, really sat down, and paid attention to the shows kids enjoy watching? The vast majority of them are horrible beyond description. So you would think that introducing them to something as awesome as Doctor Who would be a slam dunk, right? Right?

So many kids can be seriously resistant to anything that’s not animated, and other programming may have some questionable (at best) content, so this time around, we we offer some pointers to help you in-Doctor-nate the little geeks-in-training in your life.

Our (non-comprehensive) list:

  • The Girl in the Fireplace

  • Love and Monsters

  • Partners in Crime

  • The Eleventh Hour

  • The Doctor’s Wife

  • Closing Time

  • Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

  • The Sarah Jane Adventures (spin-off series)

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HOW many Doctors in the Anniversary Special?

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Leave it to Clara to open her mouth, and let something slip about the upcoming 50th Anniversary Special.

During the Royal tour of the TARDIS set in Cardiff, Jenna Coleman (she is now dropping the “Louise” from her screen name) met Prince Charles of Wales and  the Duchess of Cornwall, along with Matt Smith and a few Daleks to boot.

BBC News: The Royals Meet Daleks During Doctor Who Visit in Cardiff

(As an aside, there’s something fascinating about hearing Charles yelling, “Exterminate!” into the Dalek voice modulator…)

After some greetings, a few chuckles about the size of the set, and other pleasantries, Jenna made a rather interesting comment about the filming of the 50th Anniversary Special, and the specific roles of the cast involved. Shall we warn you up front — SPOILERS, Sweeties?

(More after the jump!)

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Strax Day?

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In the interests of fairness, as we *did* recognize River Song Day last week, we should point out that on 4 June, 2011, BBC aired the episode “A Good Man Goes to War’, which featured the first appearance of our beloved soldier, field nurse, chauffeur, memory worm wrangler (novice) and explosive enthusiast, Sontaran Commander Strax. (Follow him on Twitter @SontaranStrax.) So join us in the battle cry: “Sontar-HA! Sontar-HA!”

Just don’t refer to him as “The Potato One”. He gets terribly testy.

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River Song Day

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Five years, sweetie.

As I reflect on some of the most spirited, or at times emotional discussions I’ve had with Whovians both here on GPR, and among the masses, there always seem to be two topics that at the merest mention, cause my Gallifreyan hearts to shudder, my chest tighten, and leave me scanning the room for an escape pod in case I begin to lose my composure completely. Topic One is, and always will be, the centuries-old symbiosis between Doctor and TARDIS. I…hold on a second. I just need to… *clears throat*

(Apologies. I think I have it under control.)

tumblr_mcel54bIX61rbsjugo1_500Topic Two is the role, and the enigma, that is the River Song story. Disjointed, displaced, and disastrous, yet beautiful and wonderful and sad…a brilliant creation by Moffat and company, and as I’ve expressed on the cast recently, SteeMo’s true legacy with DW to date. The idea of two brilliant minds and spirits adjoined through time, but out of sync with time itself, is complex, wonderful and awful. We cheer at their points of intersect, we shatter at their partings, though we know that no ‘goodbye’ between them ever really means the truest form of the word.

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To us, the fact that their intelligence and grasp of the complexities of non-linear time allow them to weather these challenges is no consolation — they seem to be able to assess and come to terms with the way their relationship narrows and widens, but we don’t have that advantage. River is a madwoman, but with such passion for her work, her causes, and her beloved, that the madness is not only acceptable, it may be necessary. Could a sane person survive the repercussions of such an existence? She is his counterpart, his compliment, and they are at their best when approaching anything from opposing sides of reason or reaction: she can talk him down from his anger over seemingly futile efforts; she will rouse him to action when he would rather wait and strategize.  Her ability to rattle him with knowledge of events beyond his current timeline does not anger him.  Rather, it sparks his childlike curiosity, and gives us those coat-whirling, lever-cranking moments where we know a fantastic leap into the unknown is about to happen.

She has grit, brilliance, savvy, wit, and a joie de vivre that endears her to the fan base. Her strength and independence are admirable traits as a prominent female character, and Kingston has put an energy behind her “strategic recklessness” that I honestly feel would be impossible to match.

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While Jay, Melissa and I have debated whether or not we’ll see her return in Series 8 (listen to the two ‘Name of the Doctor’ episodes for this and other River discussion), the fact remains that for five years, we have been amused, shocked, at times worried, but always wholly entertained by the gun-toting professor with the “space hair”.

Admit it — in the extended sci-fi community, will we ever hear any other voice when reading the word “Spoilers”?