Doctors: Past, Present and Future
If you have the remotest interest in Doctor Who you would have had to be living under a stone to miss two recent news items. First. the sad death of Sir John Hurt and, secondly, the fact that Peter Capaldi is to stand down as the current incarnation.
Tens of thousands of words have been written about John Hurt (after all he had a long and very distinguished career), and I have very little to add to them. In a way his role in Doctor Who was a minor one - the War Doctor only appeared in a couple of episodes, but the character was a piece of genius retconning. Without a doubt the concept could have fallen flat if he had been played by a lesser actor. Hurt gave it a huge dramatic punch.
And Capaldi? He had his annoying bits and pieces (which seem to be a necessary part of playing the Doctor these days), but on the whole I think his has been a good incarnation. Let's see what he does in the coming season...
We're now faced with the old questions - "Can the next Doctor be a woman/be black?". I'm not going to go down that line. All I can say is that the writers made it very clear in the episode 'Hell Bent' that a male, white Time Lord can regenerate into a black woman. Some of the names mentioned as potential Doctors (and I'm thinking Idris Elba here) are too 'big' to be able to devote the time needed to being the Doctor (there's so much more work than merely shooting the show).
All I will say is that I think the BBC will go with a young Doctor again - Capaldi was apparently lacking 'yoof appeal' and wasn't sufficient of a heart-throb. It is said that 'they' want to appeal to the yoof market (more of which later) and ratchet up the sexual tension with the Companions. Really, they're harking back to the David Tennant glory days...
The third bit of actory news was that it was Tom Baker's 80th birthday in 20 January. This launched a lot of nostalgia on social media. It also prompted the BBC Store to have a special offer on several of the Fourth Doctor seasons.
These special offers are worth looking out for. For example, this week marks the 40th anniversary (yes really!) of one of the best stories in Doctor Who - the incomparable Robots of Death. To mark it, the BBC Store is selling it's robot bundle (a collections of serials from Hartnell to Capaldi) at half-price if you use the code ROBOT50 (possibly someone was too young to spot the error).
Recently I've been watching Class. It's a Who spin-off aimed a the said 'yoof'. Initially is was only shown on BBC3 (the BBC's web-only channel), but is currently on BBC1 (I believe it's soon to debut on BBC America). It's set in the Coal Hill Academy (as the old grammar now is). Apparently all the timy-wimy stuff that's been going on there since the sixties has left the space-time barriers very thin and prone to incursion (one exchange in the first show was 'So it's like we're on a hellmouth?', 'No, a bit more like The Vampire Diaries'. Nobody said 'Oh! Exactly like Cardiff is in Torchwood before it got all wierd'). So it's down to a group of ethnically-diverse sixth-formers (plus an emigre alien prince and his slave/bodyguard/prisoner) to Save the World. Basically it's a cross between the Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood before it got weird. Those of my readers who don't like sex in Doctor Who (especially gay sex with aliens) better not watch.
On the Paint Table
I do have some Who figures on the paint table, but as per the rules of the Analogue Painting Challenge I won't discuss them until they've featured there. That was supposed to be this week (I'm one of the Monday crowd), but that was stymied by a bad chest cold. Hopefully next week. All I will say is that they are Companions.
I was going to do a TARDIS for the 'Terrain: Home' bonus round, but have completely buggered up construction of the (two-piece) model.
Gratuitous Quill Photo