Dr Who News (4)

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    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Reports are coming in that Jacqueline Pearce has died.

    From the Whovian point of view she played Chessene in The Two Doctors – but those of us of a certain age will always remember her as the gloriously nasty Supreme Commander Servalan in Blakes 7.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    She was wonderful as Servalan, surely the most elegant and stylishly dressed villain ever. I read once that the brilliantly OTT clothes originated with a suggestion by Jacqueline Pearce herself; the intention at first had been to dress her in military-style gear which would not have had nearly the same impact.

    Not least of her accomplishments was the ability to run in high heels and a slinky full length grown, sometimes over rough ground, without either tripping or breaking an ankle.


    And it took the BBC the fat end of 12 hours to get a story up.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Ouch! gown, not grown.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    The Series Premiere has been announced – and there are tickets available! Well, for the red carpet arrivals. Sorry. Not for the premiere itself. But if you’re free to go to Sheffield on Monday afternoon, 24th September, you can see the cast arriving, and maybe get an autograph/selfie if you’re super lucky.

    The random draw is for tickets for the red-carpet before the premiere of the new series. Applications for the random draw will be accepted up to 4pm Monday 17th September. Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole are all booked to be there.

    If it’s you and a friend, and the friend lives in or near Sheffield, get them to apply. 🙂 The allocation is going to be 50% of tickets to Sheffield or surrounding area postcodes, and 50% for rest of UK.

    I have a faint feeling that a lot of kids in Sheffield may have ‘an appointment with the Doctor’ on that Monday afternoon. 😀

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Have applied for two tickets – not sure who my plus one will be if I’m lucky, but I’ll post on here if so, in case any of you lovely lot can join me!

    janetteB @janetteb

    Have fingers crossed for you @cathannabel

    Sad news regarding the death of Jacqueline Pierce, AKA Servalon. She was instrumental to the success of Blake’s 7 and excellent in the few other roles I saw her in. She was a very disturbing Rosa Dartle in David Copperfield.

    There was an article about Jenna Coleman in the Guardian the other day. Nice to see that her career continues to flourish. I must confess that she was the main reason I watched Victoria, gritting my teeth at the historical inaccuracies.




    Not sure if it is news or sofa material, but this riff on Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets is fun:


    ( @craig – any idea why Tweets don’t seem to be embedding any more?)


    Hadn’t even spotted there’s an interview (I don’t think I am quite Style’s demographic): JW Interview

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Jodie Whittaker will be on ‘The Graham Norton Show’ next Friday (28th Sep)

    She will also be returning to Radio 2 with Dermot on Saturday 29th September to talk about the upcoming series of Dr Who.

    Jodie is also going to be on an episode of ‘Jamie Oliver’s Friday Night Feast’ in the near future.



    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Jodie will join Shaun Keaveney on Radio 6 on Thu 27th sep…


    Missy @missy


    Yes, I remember her in Blake’s 7, but not the Two doctors.


    toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond


    I have no words.

    Missy @missy

    <div class=”bbp-reply-author”><span class=”useratname”>@toinfinityandbepond</span></div>
    <div>Very clever.</div>
    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”></div>

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    I don’t think this really qualifies as a spoiler. No Christmas Special this year but a New Year Day one instead.


    Cue the usual outrage but I’m not sure I’m all that bothered by this. Can’t recall ever actually watching a Christmas episode ‘live’ and shoehorning in festive feelgoodness into some of them made them feel a little forced (Yes, Time of the Doctor, I’m looking at you).

    I am slightly irked on Moffat’s behalf that he exerted himself with Twice Upon A Time in order to keep the Christmas slot for Chibnall to just let it die. If for no other reason than it now needlessly neutered the end of The Doctor Falls by artifically extending CapDoc’s regeneration when that episode should really have been his far more effective swansong.

    My other concern, despite continued ambivalence to s11, is that it also means we’re looking at another year gap until s12 and I wonder if that might undo the good work that’s been done in lifting the ratings again. They certainly didn’t do Smith’s and Capaldi’s runs any favours when they happened in the past.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @toinfinityandbeyond  — GAWD, that clip is *wonderful* — thanks so much!  Love it, love it — and they used the middle eight!  Hurray!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Opinions can vary on whether The Doctor Falls should have been Capaldi’s swansong. Personally, I prefer regeneration dramas that don’t have me wondering if I should see my GP about some psychological counselling. Or whether I could borrow someone else’s anti-depressants. 😈

    Of course, this is a personal view. 😀

    As the end of the era of all-male Doctors, I think having the Capaldi Doctor meet the Bradley Doctor and work through his hatred of regeneration was a much better coda. As, indeed, was the hint of hope gained from the unexpected survival of Captain Lethbridge-Steward, rather than the despair of ‘even the people we rescue now are going to be turned into Cybermen later’.

    But while Moffat gave rescuing the Christmas Special a valiant try, I think this may be Chibnall putting a good face on a choice he didn’t make. It’s not that the 2017 Christmas Special did spectacularly badly in the ratings compared to the other Capaldi Specials (it was in the BBC1 Top Ten for that week) – but even adding the regeneration made it barely more popular than the previous year.

    If I were a BBC exec, I’d certainly be wondering if maybe there’s only so many exploding Christmas Tree monsters that can be done, and if moving it to New Year would free up the scripts and get the missing three or four million viewers back.

    P.S. Not a spoiler, but rumours are going round Twitter that some of the crew have been putting a 2019 series on their CVs. Which suggests we’re in pre-production.

    MissRori @missrori

    @bluesqueakpip I agree that as strong as “The Doctor Falls” was as a story, it would have been an awfully unfitting end for a Doctor who went through as much unusually personal heartache as Twelve did.  Having him die alone right after all that sacrifice and disappointment, with no reassurance that it wasn’t all for nothing to try and redeem Missy,  would have been just plain mean — especially after everything that happened to him in the final stretch of Series 9, which I still think was overly hard on him culminating in the victim blaming of “Hell Bent”.  (Still no explanation as to why nobody tried to get him out of the confession dial.  “Loved by so many”, eh, River?)

    While I understand the idea that “Twice Upon a Time” undercut “The Doctor Falls”, it is hard to be inspired to be kind by a story in which it pretty much doesn’t work out for the hero striving to be kind.  People choose to be cruel because they see the glory and riches right there for those who are.  You can’t have a stick without a carrot!  So giving the Doctor a little time to actually regain the will to live doesn’t seem unseemly to me.  😉

    I am disappointed that Moffat’s efforts didn’t pay out with regards to the Xmas slot, but it is true they’d pretty much run out of ideas for Christmas-y Christmas shows after “Last Christmas”; after the Christmas Truce, I’m not sure what other premise for a Christmas Who episode wouldn’t look really silly.  A New Year’s Day special can have just about any plot.  Unless they want to do something about the Tournament of Roses parade… 😀

    winston @winston

    @jimthefish  @missrori  @bluesqeakpip    I am disappointed that there will be no Christmas Who this year. I look forward to it as one of the few things I do for myself on that busy day. Dinner is over ,dishes are done and the family has gone home and finally I get to sit down, make a cuppa and watch Doctor Who . The specials are sometimes too sentimental or goofy and there have been a few wonky Christmas trees but I don’t care. If you can’t be all sappy and silly on Christmas when can you be?

    Oh well, I guess I can watch one or two of the old ones but it won’t be the same as a shiny new Who fresh out of its wrappings. It was a Who gift.

    Wonder what Doctor Who will be like with a hangover?


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    s12 is definitely in pre-production, although the early stages if the chat on Twitter and thereabouts is to be believed. I suppose it’s theoretically possible that we could see it late in 2019 but I doubt it, not with the amount of post that Who requires. I’m pretty sure they were well under way with filming s11 by this time last year. Could be wrong though. Those same voices who were mooting the Xmas special change are now hinting at a Jan 2020 premiere and I’m inclined to believe them.

    @missrori and Pip

    I get the argument that a regeneration in The Doctor Falls might have been a bit depressing but to my mind tonally it suited not only Capaldi’s run but that story. What irks is that that two-parter is pretty much perfect Who, Moffat running on full mojo and Bill’s loss and that defining speech to Missy/Master is lost by not having him regenerate at the end. I’m also not convinced that refusing to regenerate fits Capaldi’s Doctor. It seemed entirely appropriate for Tennant and I think it could have worked for Smith too but there was just too many instances of him not being that bothered about it before that story to really convince. And he was always the Doctor willing to make the tough decisions, the sacrifices. It just felt off. To me, The Doctor Falls would have been Nu-Who’s Androzani if they’d stayed to the plan.

    Not that I hate TUAT. Aside from a few missteps, it was perfectly fun but I’m just not sure ‘fun’ was the right way to end 12’s run. He should have gone out fighting — literally and intellectually and that ground was laid and squandered in The Doctor Falls. Personally, if we couldn’t have had 13’s run starting at Christmas, and I kind of understand why Chibnall might not have wanted to do that, I think we should have had a ‘missing adventure’, a prolonged regeneration flashback or something like that. Maybe with McGann, or even Bradley.

    As to the scheduling move, it doesn’t massively bother me. But I think you can still do Christmas episodes without shoehorning Christmas in. Time and the Doctor, Doctor Mysterio and Husbands of River Song had only a passing Christmas relevance and they were perfectly fine stories. (Well, maybe not Time and the Doctor.) I think there could have been ways to continue the tradition. The problem is, I suspect, that Chibnall, while a great writer in many ways, just doesn’t have the sense of either festive bombast of RTD or the fairytale wonder of Moffat and you need either to do a Christmas ep. It looks like he’s at least got the self-awareness to realise this so maybe a New Year ep is a better fit.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    As you were. I hopefully stand corrected. S12 airing in Autumn 2019.


    Though interesting speculation that Chibnall and Whittaker might go afterwards. Where, one wonders, would that leave the much-vaunted five-year deal?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Yeah, the rumours were definitely 2019. The first series of a new producer, so far, has always taken longer in production time than subsequent series. Given that the post-production of later episodes can continue while the first episodes are being broadcast, I’d have expected pre-production to be starting around now if they were to make an autumn 2019 date.

    The speculation is interesting – but if you’ve got a successful series on your hands, then rumours of ‘we’re thinking of leaving’ from star and producer can be seen as the opening shots in ‘we want some changes around here’. It’s a fairly standard negotiation tactic – made more powerful by their very success, and made even more powerful if Chibbers can say ‘I go, and my star goes with me’.

    It’s perfectly possible that Chibbers is genuinely so unhappy that he’ll go after series 12 – after all, if we’ve been picking his scripts to pieces and examining every flaw, what do you think he’s been doing – but nothing is final until the announcement is made. 😀 Until then, I’d read it as ‘they want changes, and will go if they don’t get them.’

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    the opening shots in ‘we want some changes around here’

    I dunno, it seems a bit early in his run for him to be demanding changes, especially as it seems that the Beeb seems to have gone out of its way to accommodate him as it is. Unless he’s angling for more money, I don’t see what else there is that he could possibly want to change. I do suspect there’s nothing in it though, especially in an online climate that’s so fractious and full of broflakes agitating for change, cancellation and so on.

    It is possible that he’ll go, I suppose and the scuttlebutt was that he didn’t really want to do it in the first place but I the word was that he’d also committed to five years, so I dunno. Certainly, Whittaker will not hang around that long and I’d imagine her to do the standard three-year stint but again I wouldn’t be surprised if she did go earlier. She’s an actor with incredible depth and she’s clearly in demand and I’d imagine that she’d want to be moving on to other things, unlike say actors like Tennant or Capaldi who had a personal link to the character. I imagine it’s just another gig to her in the long run. So I wouldn’t be surprised if she does go after s12. That’s assuming Chibbers isn’t planning to stun us with a surprise regeneration on New Year’s Day. He’s done such a good job of keeping the show under wraps this year that he could conceivably manage it.

    I also see that the even latest rumblings are that it’s a split season. Not convinced by that either, bearing in mind just how much of a disaster it was when they did it last time. That strikes me as more gloomy broflake deathwishing, which is precisely the reason why I’m so uncomfortable with not enjoying the current run as much as I would like. I really don’t want to find myself lumped in with these eedjits. Personally, I’m glad that the show will be back ’19, just as I’m glad that there seems to be a new influx of fans who are enjoying the new direction. I don’t think the Beeb will want to screw around with the success that’s been attained this year by screwing around with gap years, split seasons and regime changes too much just yet.

    janetteB @janetteb

    If the rumours are true I would not grieve the loss of Chibnell half as much as I would the loss of Whitaker. I really would like her to stay on for at least one season under a different show runner. However Chibnell is not bad, just mediocre and  I think the series would improve with more scriptwriters. it is notable that the two best scripts to date were not penned by Chibnell. I don’t dislike his stories but they are place holders. One or two brilliant episodes is all it takes to make a series memorable. To his credit there have been no “stinkers” either and he has pulled in the ratings ensuring the show’s long term success so I am grateful for that. Also if Chibnell goes there is no guarantee the replacement will be an improvement. Things can  very easily get worse. There is a long way to fall. Perhaps I should be grateful for what the current production team are providing, (which I am) and keep fingers crossed for the long term. ( I am just suffering from post Moffat syndrome. 😉  Ask Moffat to guest write the occasional episode and all will be well.)




    Missy @missy


    Wouldn’t that be a treat. don’t think he will though, he was pretty adamant that he wouldn’t be writing anymore episodes. It wasn’t sensible when one runs out of ideas – he said

    Unlike you though, I wouldn’t grieve the loss of either of them. *shrugs*



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