2013, A Special Year

With 2013 being the 50th anniversary year of Doctor Who, I thought I’d share a little bit about me.  Some of you know a bit from my About page, but I didn’t put too much personal information on there.

When I was young I had an imaginary friend.  Unlike little Amelia Pond, mine wasn’t so real.  Mine looks suspiciously like Tom Baker.  I was a lonely child, and an only one as well.  Because I didn’t have any older brothers or sisters I was left out of the cliques when school started.  I was a little chubby, had glasses, always had my nose in a book and was really shy so you can guess how that turned out.

My uncle introduced me to Doctor Who at a young age, and I can still remember my first episode.  The scarf, the fedora and the jelly babies… yup, the 4th Doctor was my first Doctor (and still my favorite).  When my overactive imagination kicked in I was in the TARDIS with him helping him save the world… and when I was terrified of something under my bed or in my closet I conjured up an image of him to chase the scary things away.  Oh and just so we have any romantic thoughts out of the way: I was a kid and way too young to be thinking about that sort of thing.

When I get a bit of time home alone, I’ve been trying to catch up on all of the programming that was aired for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary last month.  I know, I know.  It’s just that I don’t get much time to myself when I don’t have tons of chores to do.

Tonight I finally got the opportunity to watch Doctor Who – The Companions while wrapping a  few  ton of gifts.  For those who haven’t seen it, it’s basically talking about the companions and their roles in the series.  Obviously they couldn’t get to everyone, and there was quite a bit of focus on NuWho (2005 and later) but it was still enjoyable.  In particular I enjoyed watching all of the actual actors speak about their characters and roles.

At one point John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) is talking about what he would say to himself if he could go back to when he first got the job on Who.  He teared up a little (causing me to as well) and it reminded me of something.  This show means a lot to us fans, but it also means a lot to a ton of other people.  It’s changed the lives of everyone from the actors to the writers, in ways that we can only imagine.

I know I’m a much better person because of it.

I’m sure no one involved with the show will ever actually see this, but in this special year I’d just like to say “Thank You” to the writers/cast/crew of Doctor Who – everyone involved.  May the show continue for another 50 years.

Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty

After the 50th aired, there was an “after-party” show.

I haven’t found a link to the whole thing, but here’s a clip where they tried to talk to One Direction live:

For what reason they wanted to talk to them, I have no idea.  But this was terrible.  I have to give credit where credit was due – Matt Smith fielded a horrible question quite wonderfully.  Aside from them (the show-runners themselves) just not knowing enough to give up, we were also subjected to one of the boys readjusting himself on camera.  Seriously?  Poor Steven Moffat had his head in his hands.  He looked horrified, and rightly so.

On a side note, I’m rather impressed to see that Matt Smith shares my affection for crazy socks.

There were a number of technical glitches during the show, some more glaring than others.  All in all, some of it was pretty painful to watch.  At the same time, it was nice to see some former Doctors and all of those companions.  I understand there’s a link where you can watch it if you’re in the UK (I’m not) so that’s an option for you if you’d like to try.

Oh, and I’ve seen a few other reviews of the show… and mine is really nice in comparison.

My Day

I spent my *entire* day watching a marathon of the 11th Doctor.  Now “The Doctors Revisited” is on featuring Sylvester McCoy (the 7th Doctor).  I haven’t watched any of the others, but I’m thinking I may need to reconsider that.  Steven Moffat, Matt Smith, former companions, writers and just a ton of great people are weighing in.

I’m very excited because my local theatre has been added to the sites airing the 50th anniversary special.  At the same time I’m EXTREMELY disappointed that they aren’t airing it lice.  Instead it will be Monday night before I get to witness the special in glorious 3D.  It’s better that nothing I suppose, but it’s not like there’s anything else going on in this sleepy town that would interfere with airing it live.  I feel like it’s a disservice to our local Whovian population… and there’s quite a few of us.  I suppose I’ll watch it live on TV then go to the theatre to see it in 3D.

All right, rant over for now…

One Too Many

One last mini-sode for the night

An Adventure In Space And Time Photos

New photos have been released from An Adventure in Space and Time:





Modern Companions Interviews

The Guardian had the companions talking about their time in the TARDIS.  There’s a wonderful video, which you can watch HERE, and you can also read on below:

Billie Piper, Doctors: Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant

Doctor Who launched my acting career. I was in this awful transitional period, going from singing to acting, so getting the part of Rose Tyler felt like a real vote of confidence. I’m not sure the fans were as happy – loads seemed hacked off, as they often are about  change – but they soon seemed to accept me. I’ve signed quite a few fans’ bodies over the years, but my fan mail has been very gentle: these are smart people, with sci-fi intellects.

At first, I didn’t know whether the show was going to be a success or die a death. It was such a hard shoot: nine months, with pretty much everyone using CGI for the first time. There were times when I thought, “Is this ever going to pay off?” But it did. I remember being in a London hotel for the launch of the first episode. There was such a buzz; it was thrilling. I called a friend and said, “I’m going to remember this feeling for the rest of my life.”

I loved the character of Rose; the fact that she was a girl who went from a small, domestic life to experiencing time travel with this strange guy. She was both strong-willed and vulnerable. I think that’s a really healthy representation of women. Instead of showing a female character endlessly striving towards perfection, here we saw a range of genuine female reactions. The show seemed to say, it’s OK to cry, it’s OK to question yourself, and it’s OK to be excited about someone else coming up with a great idea.

I’ve had some discussions recently with a friend who is convinced the next Doctor needs to be a woman. I don’t think he does. I like that he’s a man and that he has his little time-travelling mate. You see what’s important in that kind of relationship: what a man can offer, what a woman can offer. It’s OK to feel small against this enormous male character. It’s actually quite romantic.


Freema Agyeman, Doctor: David Tennant

Being in Doctor Who changed my life. I went from being a steady, guesting actress to people recognising me and knowing my name.

I auditioned a couple of times, and for the spin-off show, Torchwood. Then the producers called to ask if I could come to Cardiff, tomorrow, to screen test with David Tennant. I was really nervous. David sent me a note saying, “Just be yourself, have fun.” The next day the producers called when I was driving with my sister and said I’d got it. I nearly drove off the road.

David was a dream to work with. He is a huge Doctor Who fan and as a child dreamed of being in the show. He was always being hoisted up, dragged around, put in prosthetics. I don’t think I heard him complain once. It’s an incredibly physical show. I’m 5ft 2in and I think David’s 6ft 1in – so to get us both in shot, I was always running in heels, often on cobblestones.

The show was hilarious to work on. The whole period John Barrowman was with us was so funny. We would often get the giggles. I remember shooting Daleks In Manhattan. We were in a music hall and the Daleks had these humans on a leash. We were supposed to be hiding and suddenly we all got the giggles. It wasn’t a funny scene, but we were all hysterical.

Shows reflect life and society. Look at the Carry On films from 40 years ago, all that bum slapping and “phwoar!” Things have changed and Doctor Who has changed, too. The companions today are there to challenge the Doctor, to contribute. They are intelligent, gutsy, strong, positive role models. Do I think there is room to change further? Yes. I’d love to see the Doctor be a woman one day, or a different ethnicity. It’s one of the major strengths of the show. The Doctor can be anything.


Catherine Tate, Doctor: David Tennant

I was not a Doctor Who fan. As a kid, I thought it was scary and for boys. I started watching it when David Tennant became the Doctor. Then, in 2006, I was asked to be in the Christmas special, The Runaway Bride. In 2008 I came back as the Doctor’s full-time companion for a series. Donna was a lairy temp from Chiswick: the Doctor used to refer to her as his “best mate”.

Leaving was really emotional, both within the series and in real life. Donna said, “I thought we were going to be for ever together, best friends, travelling the universe.” She loved the Doctor. John Barrowman pulled his pants down at my leaving do. It was by no means the first time. So many of my highs and lows in Doctor Who are encapsulated by John pulling his pants down.

In the early days, Doctor Who was pretty sexist. But later on we were given more to say. It would be nice to see a woman Doctor, but only when it’s the right one. They shouldn’t make the Doctor a woman just for the sake of it, and I think Peter Capaldi will be amazing.

Some would say there has been a female Doctor: me. I know it is a source of much debate among the cognoscenti, whether or not I am an official Doctor. I was Doctor Donna for a little while – all of one episode. The sceptics will doubtless point out that I merely became an amalgamation of David and my characters, so wasn’t in any real sense the Doctor.

The most important way that Doctor Who changed my life was that David became a good friend. We went on to work together in the theatre, and I recently saw him in Los Angeles. The Doctor Who love in the States is huge.

More than anything I’ve done, it will live on – because the fans keep all things Doctor Who alive.


Karen Gillan, Doctor: Matt Smith

Doctor Who changed my life drastically. It takes over everything. You film for nine months of the year. You move to Wales and work with the same people every day. And then you come out of this little bubble and it’s this hugely popular show that everybody watches. That’s a pretty strange sensation. I feel like I’ve spent all of my 20s so far on that show.

It was the most fun ever. No other job is like that. I mean, when you’re filming outside and it’s -9C and you’re eating ice cubes so nobody sees your breath, that’s pretty tough. But I’m Scottish, so I’m used to the weather.

Things were just ridiculous between takes. One of my favourite memories is of Matt Smith  hiding in my trailer. He used to do that on a regular basis. I’d walk in, and he would jump out at me and scream absurdities and freak me out.

I’ve had a really good experience with the fans. It’s amazing to work on something that people feel so passionately about. When I do conventions, it’s fun because they really care. One time, me and Matt and Arthur Darvill [Rory Williams in the series] went to a Doctor Who Tumblr party at Comic-Con in San Diego. They didn’t know we were coming, and I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was like being in the Beatles.

What I loved best about Amy is that we got to see her entire life play out. We see her as a little girl when she meets the Doctor. Then she grows up and gets married, and then we see her have a kid, and then we see her die. Rather than a snippet of her time with the Doctor, we got this epic journey.

But I feel I made the right decision to leave when I did. It was really difficult, because I was having so much fun and I could have carried on for many more years. But I had to put my own personal desires to one side and choose what was best for the character.

Blurred Lines Parody

The only thing that could have made this better would have been if they’d had the actual actors do it.  Just Fantastic!

Modern Companions

Doctor Who Companions

Companion Reasons

I don’t think I’d care how I got there – I’d just be happy to be there 🙂


Reasons To Love Doctor Who

Hypable has written a nice little article on why Doctor Who is awesome.  But… you already knew that, right?

Here it is, in case you need a refresher:

I’ve always hated science fiction. A Wrinkle in Time frustrated my 9 year old mind. I groaned through Ray Bradbury in 8th grade. My best friend’s Star Trek obsession puzzled me. I didn’t watch Star Wars until I was in college. What’s more, aliens terrified me. Even as a teenager, I had nightmares if I encountered space creatures on screen.

So I’m the last person who should like Doctor Who. But ever susceptible to hype, I started watching it in May. It was weird and campy yet oddly compelling. That first day, I watched three episodes. Four the next day. My family thought I’d lost my mind, because it was all I talked about. I plowed through all seven seasons of the new series in a month plus started the classic series. Not to mention endless hours of rewatching episodes, DVD commentaries, and more.

If you’re a sci-fi phobe like me, don’t be afraid to try Doctor Who. The show exterminated my preconceived notions of what science fiction is supposed to be:

1. Aliens Are People

Doctor Who emphasizes that (almost) all species are people. Everyone from humans to Time Lords to talking trees to homo-reptilia are sentient beings capable of joy, sadness, fear, and pain. The Doctor treats everyone he meets with respect. The only creatures he kills indiscriminately are those devoid of emotion and mercy, like the Daleks or the Cybermen, and he makes exceptions even for them.

It’s a different perspective than the big-green-head, evil, take-over-the-world aliens that dominate TV and movies. By its emphasis on the equality and worth of different kinds of people, Doctor Who exemplifies what’s best about science fiction: its ability to make social commentary in an indirect yet understandable manner.

2. All The Feels

The variety of Doctor Who monsters is fun, but I stuck with the show on the basis of the character drama. I love the Doctor, because he is a desperately lonely man haunted by the death of his species, the Time Lords, and constant guilt of the collateral damage he unintentionally inflicts every time he tries to save the universe. Yet he manages to find joy and adventure in the smallest of things and can’t resist helping anyone in trouble.

He travels with companions, each of whom develop a unique, meaningful relationship with him. The companions make the Doctor relatable to the viewer. I fell in love with the Doctor alongside Rose. I was his best friend with Donna. I grew up with him with Amy. And when each companion inevitably leaves the Doctor, I fall apart. I never would have imagined sobbing into a pillow over an alien TV show.

3. Living History

Doctor Who was intended to educate children about history when it debuted in the 1960s. While it’s known more for science fiction now, historical episodes still play a significant role in the show. History buffs like me will salivate at the opportunities posed by time travel. We meet Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, and Van Gogh. We travel to Pompeii on the eve of its destruction, the London Blitz, 17th century Venice, and more. My personal favorite is solving the mystery of Agatha Christie’s 10 day disappearance in 1926. Even though the inclusion of monsters is (presumably) fiction, Doctor Who brings the past to life and humanizes historical figures in a way that few other books or movies ever do.

4. Laugh Riot

Doctor Who is a show intended for all ages to watch. It reminds me of Pixar films and even The Simpsons in that it has layers of humor. There’s plenty of physical comedy to please young kids (and, I’ll admit, me). But there are also jokes meant for adults, for readers, for film buffs, for clever people. What other show will feature Shakespeare subtly coming on to the Doctor, to which the Doctor wryly says, “And 57 academics just punched the air!”? My favorite comedic moments often feature Donna, the fourth series companion. Such as:

“Donna: I finally got the perfect man. Gorgeous, adores me, and hardly ever speaks a word. What’s that say about me?

The Doctor: Everything. Sorry, did I say ‘everything’? I meant to say nothing. I was aiming for ‘nothing.’ I accidentally said ‘everything.’”

Doctor Who never fails to make me laugh, even if I end up crying a few minutes later.

5. Intelligence Is Valued

How refreshing is it to watch a TV show that values brains over brawn? Most save-the-universe adventures feature a hero wearing tights who looks like he spends more time at the gym than a library, carries huge guns, or can run at the speed of light. The Doctor is played by actors who are unconventionally attractive and generally dresses more like a lawyer than a superhero. He is largely subject to the same physical limitations as humans. Rather than wielding a gun, he carries a sonic screwdriver and saves the world with his knowledge of science, logic, and the vagaries of “human” nature. Neither is the Doctor infallible. He makes huge mistakes and is frequently saved by his young human companions.

What’s more, Doctor Who expects the viewer to be intelligent. You can watch it for the glitz and glamour alone, but it is full of subtle clues, themes, and symbolism purposely placed to tantalize the viewer into analyzing every detail until the big secret is revealed months or even years later.

In summary

Doctor Who has something for everyone. It will make you laugh, make you cry, make you think. It has shown me that my preconceived notions of science fiction may be wrong and that I should give Star Trek or Robert Heinlein or Firefly or Douglas Adams a try. If I can tear myself away from Doctor Who, that is.