Extremis

Extremis

When we learned just before the start of Series 10 that Steven Moffat opted to begin and end the season with his own penned episodes, it came as no surprise. After all, it was becoming the expected fashion for the showrunner, and none would have expected anything less in his final tenured season. Upon hearing that he would check in mid-series with the start of a three-part arc, however, our collective ears stood up. Something complex and fascinating was in the works, and the maestro himself wanted to be the hand that set the gears in motion. Now here we are, at the very midpoint, with a Doctor in distress, a companion unaware, a revelation in a vault…and the head of the Catholic Church in the bedroom.

It must be Saturday, because things have just waterski-ed past “isn’t that odd?” and propelled headlong into “what in the heck does this all mean?”.

We hit the fulcrum of Series 10 with Moffat’s organized-religion-and-virtual-reality mindbender, “Extremis”. With the expected tilted ratio of questions raised to questions answered, we grapple with the newly discovered but highly formidable Monks of Veritas, Bill’s increasing exasperation with the inability to balance adventure with a stable life, Nardole’s apparent (albeit limited) bad-assery, and another fascinating wrinkle in the greatest frenemy relationship to ever emerge from the Prydonian chapter. No fewer than three rewatches were necessary to try and feel we were in any way prepared to unpack this complicated episode — and darned if it’s not just the start to a three-part story.

(And yes, we end up at some point merging “monks” and “mummies” to refer to them as “mum-keys”, and we’re not sorry.)

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Series 10 Wishes

It’s nearly here…that wonderful, horrible moment where we realize that we are FINALLY getting new Doctor Who content…but at such a price. Steven Moffat has us teased and tempted for what could be an exceptional final series in his hands, and Peter Capaldi shows absolutely no signs of letting off the accelerator for his final season as the Doctor. Bill and Nardole are ready to (basically) run, and the cavalcade of monsters waiting in the wings are both impressive and formidable. What could we possibly want? Well, funny you should ask…

This week, we look at all we know about the upcoming season, and lay out some of our wishes for the Series 10 episodes to come. These aren’t the if-it-were-up-to-me or if-continuity-didn’t-matter or other “pipe dream” wishes; these are realistic, achievable (at least in our estimation) goals for what could be presented in the next 12 episodes…and Christmas special. From character progression, to utilization of classic foes, to that (ahem) recent news about a certain evil Time Lord, we really hope some of these boxes get ticked by the close of the Moffat era.

BONUS: “This Day in Doctor Who”, where we haunt Jay’s sanity for a few moments regarding ‘The Unquiet Dead’.

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Series 10 Preview

Doctor Who Series 10

Every break between seasons feels like an eternity…some more so than others. When we are given the news that this will be the final season with the glorious Peter Capaldi as our Doctor, and moreover, the final season with Steven Moffat at the program’s helm, our eagerness to see what the “swan song” consists of reaches a fever pitch.

This week, we take stock of what we know, what we *think* we know, and what are still scandalous rumours, and lay the cards out for Doctor Who Series 10. From Mondasian Cybermen to Emojibots, from Bill to Nardole, from Mars to Missy, it’s hard to believe that all will be contained — and revealed! — in twelve episodes and a bittersweet holiday special. But we are Whovians. WE BELIEVE.

Bonus: We play a fast round of “Fire, Hire, Admire”, as featured in our ReGeneration Who 3 game panel, “Oh No, Who DIdn’t!”

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Let It Be Written

Doctor Who Writers

We are appreciators, enthusiasts, and fanatics of certain television programs due in no small part to the captivating nature of the stories they tell. They are the creators and builders of worlds, the artists that add color, detail, and depth to an audio-visual experience that captures our imaginations, stimulates our minds, and often touches our hearts. With over 250 televised stories within Doctor Who, how does each writer put their individual and unique mark upon the tale being told? Can a producer or showrunner look to a repertoire of wordsmiths, knowing which ones can fulfil certain wishes or needs for the program’s trajectory in a given season? What aspects of fledgling writers stand out to make them ideal candidates to be given a first opportunity to write for the program?

This week, we look at the contributions of a series of beloved Doctor Who writers, classic and new, veteran and freshman. We discuss the nature of their individual craft, what impact their stories had upon the DWU both within their respective seasons and beyond, and what adept skills many of them demonstrate when penning a script for the Doctor. From the prolific Robert Holmes, to the acclaimed Paul Cornell, to brilliant newcomer Sarah Dollard, the pen so often proves mightier than the sonic screwdriver.

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Farewell, Mr. Moffat

Moffat and Minchin

In what was the start of a wild weekend of unexpected news regarding Doctor Who, the BBC released a statement that with the airing of Series 10 of the revived program, six-year head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat would be stepping down from his position, and handing the reins over to Broadchurch showrunner Chris Chibnall. While many were aware that Moffat was actively seeking his successor (odds favoring veterans and insiders like Brian Minchin, among others), the news that it would be happening in one more season was shocking enough. When combined with the notification to the public that, with the exception of a 2016 Christmas special, there would be no new content until Spring of 2017, the story grew from surprise, to shock — and in many’s eyes, upset.

The official news release from the BBC regarding Steven Moffat’s departure

In this unscheduled reaction episode, we look at all the facts given in the BBC statement regarding Moffat’s departure, Chibnall’s succession, and the Series 10 delay. We try to make some sense of the circumstances, the impact it will have on the program both in content, casting, and audience, and how much we’re actually being told about the machinations within the BBC.

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