Tuesday, 26 March 2013

On the temporal horizon

It is that time of year agin.  Doctor Who is a moment away, and by 'moment' I actually mean countable days.  Our heroes will be gracing our screens on March 31.  I won't laden you with any of the spoilers that have come my way, but I will direct you to the minisode that acts as a lead in to the up coming episodes.

I should also mention that this is a special year for the show.  "Why?", I here you ask. "Tell us, oh glorious knower of things. What is it that separates this year from the rest?"  Is it that there will be yet another classic villain appearing this season?  Seeing that there has been at least one (sometimes two) villain(s) from the classic series reintroduced in all but one season of the revived series, that doesn't seem like it would be that special.  Is it that this year's Christmas special will be the 800th episode?  True, but no.  Is it that the fourth episode in* this block will be the 100th episode of the revived series?  Also true, but also no.  It is in fact because this year we mark the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who.  On 23rd November, 1963 William Hartnell appeared as The Doctor for the very first time, and with the astounding powers of mathematics we can mathematise that it will have been fifty calendar years on 23rd November, 2013, give or take nothing (because I'm that good).

While we are looking at score cards I would like to point out that with eight episodes left in series 7 and two specials airing later in the year Matt Smith will move up two spots into second place for appearances in the most televised stories, and up one into seventh for appearances in the most televised episodes.  Here are the current leader boards.

Televised Stories Televised Episodes
Tom Baker 4th 41                 Tom Baker 4th 172
David Tennant 10th 36 William Hartnell 1st 134
William Hartnell 1st 29 Jon Pertwee 3rd 128
Matt Smith 11th      29 Patrick Troughton 2nd 119
Jon Pertwee 3rd 24 Peter Davison 5th 69
Patrick Troughton 2nd 21 David Tennant 10th 47
Peter Davison 5th 20 Sylvestor McCoy 7th 42
Sylvestor McCoy 7th 12 Matt Smith 11th      34
Christopher Eccleston   9th 10 Colin Baker 6th 31
Colin Baker 6th 8 Christopher Eccleston   9th 13
Paul McGann 8th 1 Paul McGann 8th 1

50 years of time and space

I should also point out that the BBC will be actually celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who.  I will also be celebrating it, but I won't be producing two TV films to air later this year.  An Adventure in Time and Space will be about the inception and early production of the series, while the other, as yet unnamed, TV film will be a feature length adventure starring the current cast.  I will probably just make a cake.

An Adventure in Time and Space will be written by former Doctor Who villain, Mark Gatis, whose writing credits include Sherlock, The League of Gentlemen and of course Doctor Who, and the Doctor's 50th anniversary adventure will be penned by the current show runner of both Sherlock and Doctor Who, Steven Moffat.

And the future?

Matt Smith has also signed up for at least one more tour as the Doctor, with filming of series 8 to start later this year, and is likely to include the shows 250th televised story.

If you you are interested in the later Doctors from the classic series Big Finish Audio has three ongoing audio play series.  Doctor Who (starring the 5th, 6th and 7th incarnations), The Eighth Doctor Adventures and The Fourth Doctor Adventures.  All of these series see the original actors reprising their  role as the Doctor.



Edit: I stated above that the 100th episode of the revived series was going to be 'the fourth episode in this block' (Series 7, episode 9), which would have made it "Hide". I botched my maths, and it is actually "Crimson Horror", which is the sixth episode of this block (Series 7, Episode 11).



For 10 points:
During their long and tumultuous relationship, the Doctor's home planet of Gallifrey has:
a) executed him
b) exiled him
c) elected him president
d) all of the above

For 20 points:
What are the the first and last purely historical episodes in which the only fantasy elements were the presence of the Doctor, his companions and the TARDIS?

For 50 points:
From what we have seen in Doctor Who what is the most obvious distinction between those characters who appear to have some control over their appearance during regeneration and those that appear to have none?

For 100 points:
The first series of the revived Doctor Who carried on a tradition of fulfilling two criteria for regular season stories that contain one of the classic series' monsters.  What are the monsters?  What are the two criteria?

1 comment :

JCWH said...

Answers:
For 10 points: d) all of the above, and in that order.

For 20 points: 'The Unearthly Child' (1st Doctor) and 'The Black Orchid' (5th Doctor)

For 50 points: The most obvious distinction is that they are female. Both Romana and River Song show evidence that they have some control over their regeneration

For 100 points: The Monsters are the Autons, and that only appeared in regular season stories in which 1) a new companion was introduced and 2) were the first stories of their respective season.