Sunday, 29 May 2011

‘Ghost Light’ Review – by Rob Christie

postpic_7thDoctor01The Story:
Ghost Light is a strange creature. It is a story that few have been able to grasp fully, and it is the last story ever produced. So, it has gained certain notoriety, but is it any good? Is it a jumbled and cluttered mess of a story, with too many plot threads, or is it a charming historical story with rich characters and unusually decent set pieces? I’m in the latter, and as far as I can work out, so is the vast majority of fandom.

Nevertheless, the dark mood, and the star-studded cast allows Ghost Light to be enjoyed despite the unfathomable plot. Marc Platt handles the two regulars incredibly well. I’ve always had a fondness for the last two seasons of Who, because gone is the Doctor that runs into trouble wherever he goes. This Doctor revels in trouble, thousands of steps ahead of the companion and the audience. This story is a turning point for Ace, her character develops more as McCoy lets her take centre stage for the most part. In developing Ace’s character, the Doctor is also developed. Ace enjoys her strongest television outing, with The Curse of Fenric being the only possible exception.
Light is a great character, camp, yet menacing and properly scary in some scenes, like the one where he turns Gwendolyn and Lady Pritchard to stone. Light came to Earth to catalogue all life forms, but soon discovers that the life forms he catalogued evolved, and so takes Earth’s future into his own hands and plans to destroy it. While all that is going on, Josiah wants to assassinate Queen Victoria to take over the Empire.

The last scene of Ghost Light, where the Doctor explains the evil aura Ace felt when she broke into the house aged thirteen, may be cheesy, but ultimately it is effective.
Overall, Ghost Light is a great story to watch, though a second or third viewing is recommended!

DVD_classic-GhostLightThe DVD:
Thankfully the DVD release includes a wonderful documentary, Light in Dark Places, which sheds some much needed light on the narrative, which is explained by Andrew Cartmel and writer Marc Platt. The story might have made sense in the script, and perhaps even in the studio, but the problem lies with cutting and condensing a four part story into just three. All scenes where the plot would have been explained were thrown on the cutting room floor.

The lavish DVD boasts many deleted scenes, and on top of the usual photo gallery and information text, we have Shooting Ghosts, an amusing insight into the last recording block of the series. Another interesting feature is Writer’s Question Time with Marc Platt, filmed at a convention in 1990 where he discusses the writing of the story. The original pitch is fascinating, set in a house on Gallifrey, which later evolved into the New Adventures book Lungbarrow.

Review by Rob Christie

Doctor Who ‘Ghost Light’ is available on DVD now…
> BBC Shop

Many thanks to Rob for the review!

A Little Sontaran Theory - 'A Good Man Goes To War'

There are no definite spoilers in my following blabbery-gasm of theories because I know NOTHING about the actual plotting in ‘A Good Man Goes To War’, but if you’re avoiding any spoilers at all you may want to wait until after you’ve seen episode 7 just in case something in the following text is correct…

So, the big “game-changing” cliffhanger to the end of ‘The Almost People’ was not, as many people thought, a reveal of the Sontarans having a connection to the Flesh. Instead, we got the very definitely game-changing twist that since some part of the first episode Amy Pond has been a Flesh copy and the the real Amy is 9 months into pregnancy, going into labour and trapped in God-knows-where, joined by a gloriously creepy Madame Kovarian watching on with glee.

I’m still holding out hope, however, that the idea I heard that the events of ‘The Rebel Flesh’ and ‘The Almost People’ is actually the origins of how the Sontarans – being a clone race born of a strange type of goo similar to the Flesh – first came about, a little like the ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ and ‘The Tenth Planet’ show the origins of the Daleks and Cybermen respectively.

My thought, under the hypothetical idea that the ‘Gangers’ two-parter is the origins of the Sontarans, is that it could be quite plausible that the Sontaran race are made up of the same matter (albeit most likely evolved further) as the Flesh. After all, the gangers did show a distinctly higher level of aggressive and battle-hungry behaviour than their human counterparts, especially the ganger version of Jenny – a classic trait of the Sontarans.

Hypothetically, again, assuming for the sake of this argument that this idea is true, it could lend itself as evidence that Sontarans are the culprits for the creation of the cloned ganger Amy that is revealed at the end of ‘The Almost People’. Actually, I suppose whether the Sontarans are Flesh matter or not this could indeed be the case. However, this may be a crazy idea, but I have a feeling the (now confirmed by the BBC) return of the Sontarans, alongside Cybermen and Silurians, is part of the grand plan of the Alliance of enemies in the climax of ‘The Pandorica Opens’.

See, you thought it was strange how they only appeared for a short amount of time didn’t you? The Nestene contributed their particular talents by creating the Auton Roman Centurion version of Rory and landing at Amy’s house to absorb memories from. I think the ganger version of Amy could very well have been the Sontarans’ contribution to the Alliance’s plan.

Hope that wasn’t too rambling and I hope it was all understandable!

What do you think of my theories?

Doctor Who ‘A Good Man Goes To War’ is broadcast on BBC One (UK) this Saturday 4th May at 6:45PM.

What do you think of my ideas here? Do you agree or disagree?
I’d love to know what you think! Please comment.

John Barrowman: “Jack gets full-on boy-sex!”

I take no responsibility for the dangerously rising blood pressure of any Ianto Jones fans.

John Barrowman has spoken to Entertainment Weekly, dispelling any ideas that the new series of Torchwood: Miracle Day would be watered down in its sexually-related areas for its new American audiences, now being co-produced by US cable network Starz

"I knew they would be true to the show and not change drastically," says star John Barrowman. "If it was watered down, I wouldn't have done it. For those people who are our stanch fans, it's going to have the heart and soul of Torchwood which we've always had, plus the energy and excitement of a show that's bigger and better."

As for his character's love life, Barrowman says Capt. Jack "gets to have full-on boy-sex a couple of times. On those days going to work I'd wake up and Scott my partner would say, ‘What are you filming today?' And I'd say, ‘Oh it's going to be a tough day, I get to have sex with a 24 year old.'" [...]

"You're going to get a lot into the history of Jack," Barrowman teases. "You see one of his big relationships that defines a lot about who he is. You also find out a lot about Jack and Gwen."

Despite not being a die-hard Ianto Jones fan myself, my only concern is hoping that they don’t skate over the grief and depression Jack has gone through, following Ianto’s tragic death in ‘Children Of Earth’.

Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres (local time zones)…
  • BBC One (UK) - Starz (USA) - Space (Canada) – Friday 8th July
  • UKTV (Australia) - Saturday 9th July 8:30PM

> Entertainment Weekly

What do you think? Are you glad they’re not watering it down for a US audience?
Please comment.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Doctor Who Magazine #435 Cover

Doctor Who Magazine have revealed the cover of issue #435, themed on the seventh episode of Series 6 called ‘A Good Man Goes To War’, or more specifically, focussing on what has happened to Amy and what her current situation is.

As you’ll know from ‘The Almost People’ cliffhanger, Amy is in a bit of a pickle under Madame Kovarian in what has very justifiably by Steven Moffat been described as a “game-changing” twist, which I certainly have not seen to be theorised or guessed by anybody beforehand.

Click image to enlarge.

Doctor Who Magazine #435 is available as of next Thursday 2nd June for £4.50 in W.H.Smith, selected Tesco stores and all good newsagents.

What do you think? Are you going to buy this issue?
Please comment.

Torchwood: Miracle Day – 27 Promo Images!

Due to a publishing error, this post is currently displaying the Torchwood: Miracle Day episode 1 images, rather than the real first set of 27 images that should be here.
This will be correctly shortly today. Thank you for your patience.

The official set of promotional shots and scene photos have been released of Torchwood: Miracle Day episode 1, entitled ‘The New World’. Among the images is the official shot for the first episode (top left, featuring Rex, Gwen & Jack outside her house), PC Andy's return to the show (5th row down, middle column), and a new regular character for ‘Miracle Day’ called Vera Juarez (2nd row, 3rd from the left)…


Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres (local time zones)…
  • BBC One (UK) - Starz (USA) - Space (Canada) – Friday 8th July
  • UKTV (Australia) - Saturday 9th July 8:30PM
What do you think of this news? What do you think of the promo shots?
Please comment.

Friday, 27 May 2011

‘The Almost People’ Confidential

The BBC Press Office have released the official full synopsis of the Doctor Who Confidential episode to accompany ‘The Almost People’, entitled ‘Take Two’


Tomorrow, 19:30 on BBC Three

Confidential hangs out with the stars in the 'Tent of Fun' and takes a look at how filming with doppelgangers can mean double the trouble. We discover whether playing The Doctor has given Matt Smith an insight into another world, while writer Matthew Graham takes a journey of discovery and sees one of his most powerful new characters coming to life. Featuring interviews with Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Sarah Smart.


Episode  of Doctor Who Confidential Series 6 will be broadcast 7:30pm Saturday 28th May on BBC Three.

Please comment.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Russell T Davies on Miracle Day’s ‘Undead’

Russell T Davies has spoken to SFX Magazine recently to promote the new series of Torchwood: Miracle Day and made a point of emphasising the fact that it is not a reboot or relaunch of the franchise, as some have said, but the same Torchwood, just this time primarily set in America. The former Doctor Who showrunner also told the magazine about the theme of the undead in ‘Miracle Day’, due to the main story of the the series of people gaining what is essentially immortality, much like Captain Jack.

“People are wondering, ‘Is it a reboot or a relaunch?’” he explains. “No: it’s literally the same show, but transplants itself to America. It’s absolutely based on the story, so we haven’t had to relaunch  it, to say ‘Who is Gwen?’, and we haven’t had to say ‘How does Rex fit into this?’ because he’s a CIA agent – they only operate abroad. I did RussellTDavies-02wonder about that – is it gonna look strange when the rushes come in, is it gonna be this weird combination? But it’s written to clash. I mean, Rex is the most swaggering, confident, brilliant American, and Gwen is not a shrinking violet. Put those two together and it’s just combustible! These people don’t naturally fit together, but the story makes it absolutely inevitable that they have to be together. So I think we’ve got it right.”

He also reveals that the big theme – suddenly everybody on Earth stops dying – doesn’t just mean people stop dying of old age: it means – people cannot die.
“In episode one there’s a soldier who’s blown up,” says Davies. “The body is in bits, stretched out across three tables, and he’s still alive! And it’s revolting and disgusting, and at the same time, it’s kinda great – you’ve got all the thrill of a zombie movie, but they’re not dead, y’know? The blessing of being a zombie is that you’re kinda brainless and you just wanna eat brains. These people are still alive and you cannot kill them.”

Which raises an obvious question: if you wanted to get rid of someone, what would you have to do? Annihilate every atom of their body?
“Exactly,” Davies says, “and those decisions are where the whole drama’s heading. By episode five they start to categorise what life is, and once human beings are in charge of what life and death is, that’s open to corruption and to some terrible things happening…”

The full interview will be available in the upcoming issue #210 of SFX Magazine.

Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres (local time zones)…
  • BBC One (UK), Starz (USA), Space (Canada) – Friday 8th July
  • UKTV (Australia) - Saturday 9th July 8:30PM
> SFX Magazine

What do you think of this news? What do you think of Jack’s new look?
Please comment.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Torchwood - Captain Jack’s New Look

TV Squad have given an exclusive first look insight into the designing of and look of the new look of Captain Jack Harkness, primarily his re-designed long grey coat, that is being introduced for the first time in Jack’s big return to our screens in Torchwood: Miracle Day. Due to the length of this article, I think I should shut up now so you can take a look for yourself…

Creator Russell T Davies commissioned the show's costume designer, Shawna Trpcic (a veteran of 'Dollhouse,' 'Firefly' and 'Angel') to make a new version of Jack's iconic coat. We've exclusively got the first photo of Jack in the new season of 'Torchwood,' wearing his new and improved greatcoat.promo_Jack02

Part of the reason Trpcic redesigned the coat and had it custom-made made by Italian tailors before production on the new season got underway: Los Angeles, where much 'Torchwood: Miracle Day' was shot earlier this year, is much warmer than Wales, which is where previous seasons of the show were filmed. The heavier versions of the greatcoat that actor John Barrowman wore in other seasons were just too much, in a variety of ways.

"The coat from England was actually made out of a cotton, rather than a wool. And it also fit him quite broadly off the shoulder, and I just wanted to modernize it, give it a more modern fit, but leave the drape and keep it cape-like," Trpcic said in an interview on the show's set in February.

"I brought in the shoulders about two inches, so they'd be actually on his shoulders, and I brought in the waist almost 24 inches. He's lost weight, but the other coat was quite billowy and I'm sure that was to cover layers of warmth, because it was a lot colder in Wales. I got a cashmere-blend wool, and it's a very, very fine [material], so he would be OK in the heat and the L.A. sunshine."

The cashmere blend not only breathes well, it gives the coat the kind of movement and swagger that Jack brings with him on every adventure. There were other fashion challenges as well, Trpcic said: She said she enjoyed "redefining [Jack's fellow 'Torchwood' alien-fighter] Gwen and making her just a little bit sexier and playing with her femininity a little bit." Lauren Ambrose, who plays a P.R. executive named Jilly, was fun to dress "because she's high-fashion."

Still, Jack's military-inspired greatcoat is an iconic piece of sci-fi couture. Was Trpcic nervous at all about revamping Captain Jack's famous jacket? "Well, I worked on 'Firefly,' so I'm kind of used to iconic captain's coats and the importance of staying loyal to what the fans expect and to what we need," she said.

Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres (local time zones)…
  • BBC One (UK), Starz (USA), Space (Canada) – Friday 8th July
  • UKTV (Australia) - Saturday 9th July 8:30PM

> TV Squad

What do you think of this news? What do you think of Jack’s new look?
Please comment.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Alex Kingston on Graham Norton Show

Brief note to remind or inform you that, THE River Song (from, you know, Doctor Who) and Doctor Elisabeth thingy-wosit (from US hospital drama ERM, or something), Alex Kingston will be a guest on this Friday’s 27th May edition of The Graham Norton Show on BBC One.

Alex will be sitting on Graham’s long red sofa alongside Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Rob Lowe (?-?-?), as she presumably will be appearing in order to plug her upcoming returning appearance to Doctor Who in Series 6 Episode 7 ‘A Good Man Goes To War’.

The Graham Norton Show, with Alex Kingston as guest, airs this Friday 27th May on BBC One (UK) at 10:35PM and on BBC America (US) on Saturday June 4th at 10PM/9c.

> BBC – The Graham Norton Show
> BBC America – The Graham Norton Show

What do you think? Are you going to watch this?
Please comment.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Blue Peter TARDIS Winner Toy Playset

Character Options have released official images and details of an action figure toy playset of the “Junk TARDIS Console Playset” built by The Doctor and Idris in the scrapyard of dead TARDISes on the House asteroid.

The TARDIS was designed by then-12-year-old Susannah Leah as part of a Blue Peter Design-A-TARDIS competition launched last year, originally meant to be featured in Series 5 but was delayed along with ‘the Doctor’s Wife’ due to budget restrictions.

Click images to enlarge.

Highly detailed 5" scale Junk TARDIS based on the design by Susannah Leah, winner of the Blue Peter ‘Design a TARDIS Console’ competition.

The “Junk TARDIS Console Playset” is available for pre-order now from Forbidden Planet for £22.49 and is expected to arrive at their warehouse on 19th June 2011.

> Pre-Order from Forbidden Planet UK
> Pre-Order from Forbidden Planet US

What do you think of this? Are you going to get this playset?
Please comment.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

TW Miracle Day – Australian UKTV Broadcast

Full details has been released about the Australian broadcast of Torchwood: Miracle Day, and we now know that the BBC and Starz co-production series will be aired on the Australian network UKTV channel, another branch of the BBC (like BBC America) who also showed ‘Children Of Earth’ in 2009.

The channel have confirmed that ‘Miracle Day’ is set to premiere on UKTV on Saturday 9th July at 8:30PM, an impressive feat of ‘fast-tracking’ that they also managed with ‘Children Of Earth’. This also means that, due to the difference in time zones, Torchwood: Miracle Day will be broadcast down-under just a few hours after the UK & US broadcasts.

UKTV_logo2Deirdre Brennan, Director of Television, BBC Worldwide Australia said, Torchwood: Miracle Day is the pinnacle of event television with global locations, brilliant casting, exhilarating action and captivating story-telling. This is the most ambitious instalment of Torchwood to-date and UKTV is thrilled to fast-track this show to Australian audiences, rewarding the fans and offering new audiences the opportunity to experience Captain Jack’s charm first hand.”

Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres (local time zones)…
  • BBC One (UK), Starz (USA), Space (Canada) – Friday 8th July
  • UKTV (Australia) - Saturday 9th July 8:30PM
> UKTV website

What are your thoughts on this? If you’re in Australia, what do you think?
Please comment.

Torchwood: Miracle Day – Starz Full-Length Trailer 1

Starz have finally released the much-anticipated full-length version of their previous mini-10-second trailer for the upcoming and (again) much-anticipated fourth series, Torchwood: Miracle Day, in the BBC’s first drama co-production with BBC Worldwide and Starz Entertainment. And, oh boy, this looks exciting….

Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres (local time zones)…
  • BBC One (UK), Starz (USA), Space (Canada) – Friday 8th July
  • UKTV (Australia) - Saturday 9th July 8:30PM

It stars John Barrowman (Captain Jack), Eve Myles (Gwen), and new Torchwood recruits Mekhi Phifer (Rex Matheson) and Alexa Havins (Esther Drummond), and Bill Pullman as convicted child-killer Oswald Danes.

What are your thought of this trailer? Are you looking forward to Torchwood: Miracle Day?
Please comment.

‘The Rebel Flesh’ Unreleased Music


TheSkaroRevenger has uploaded his series of tracks of unreleased music from last night’s episode, ‘The Rebel Flesh’. From the chilling acid tank and flesh scenes to the curious clone Doctor, you can hear their accompanying music all on his YouTube channel DrWhoUnreleasedMusic, and listen to the tracks in the playlist below…

> Dr Who Unreleased Music – YouTube Channel

What do you think of this?
Please comment.

Friday, 20 May 2011

John Barrowman “Miracle Day is the darkest yet…”

John Barrowman has spoken to Inner Space (the extra content site for Canadian channel Space) in a series of mini-videos in which he talks about the new series of Torchwood: Miracle Day.  In one of the most recent videos, Barrowman speaks about how dark the new series goes compared with its ‘Children Of Earth’ predecessor…

“Series Three ended on a dark note, when Jack sacrificed his grandchild for the good of the human race and the planet. Series Four is even darker. I don’t want to spoil it - although I know sci-fi fans love spoilers!”

Darker than the end of ‘Children Of Earth’? Ohh boy.

Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres on BBC One (UK), cable channels Starz (it’s US co-producer) and Space (Canada) on 8th July 2011.

> John Barrowman on Inner Space

What do you think of this news? Any ideas or thoughts on ‘Miracle Day’?
Please comment.

‘The Rebel Flesh’ Clip 3 and Introduction

articleimage_504The BBC have released a third clip and the introduction for the next and fifth episode of Series 6 of Doctor Who, entitled ‘The Rebel Flesh’

CLIP #3:


> BBC Doctor Who site

What do you think of these videos? Got any theories about the episode?
Please comment.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Series 6 Wave 1 Action Figures

Character Options have released promotional images of their next waves of action figures from Series 6. The figures included in the Series 6 Wave 1 of figures are: The Doctor wearing a Stetson and Nephew (unfortunately yet another pair of variants), a Silent, a Silent with its mouth open, and Amelia Pond (young Amy, of course).

Click images to enlarge.

The Doctor Who Series 6 Wave 1 range of five figures from Character Options are due for release in June 2011 for the usual ‘new-figure’ UK retail price of £8.99.

What do you think of these figures? Are you going to get any?
Are you sick of Character Options' endless series of variant releases of old figures? Yep, me too. How did you guess?
Please comment.
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