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REVIEW: Bernice Summerfield – The Story So Far (Vol 1 and 2) is a Beautiful Birthday Bash for Benny

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 18:40
Can you believe that Big Finish’s First Lady has turned twenty this year?

Lisa Bowerman’s fantastic performance as Bernice Summerfield paved the way for the Big Finish to become the audio powerhouse we know today. Without her, there’d be no Classic Doctor Who adventures; no returning Doctors, companions or monsters. In fact, we might not even have Bernice herself. To celebrate Benny’s second decade in audio, Big Finish have treated her to two big lovely box-sets of new stories.


James Goss’s opening story takes us back to Benny’s roots as a reluctant cadet. Shying away from war, offering advice to her fellow classmates on love, happiness and homework.

For some listeners, the adventures of Bernice Summerfield might seem a little daunting. But Goss crafts this story in such a way that no real knowledge of her past is required. You can easily follow this story if you’re a newcomer. Yet, at the same time, it appeals to old listeners with the presence of Lisa Bowerman herself alongside the younger Bernice played by Emily Laing. In particular, Laing effortlessly captures the qualities that make Bernice such a lovable character while making the role her own. Given she was working alongside the Woman Herself, that’s no easy feat. She has a great chemistry with everyone, including Che Francis as Bernice’s childhood sweetheart, Simon. There another great performance from Robbie Stevens as the Academy Headmaster, a man with a few skeletons in his closet.

But things aren’t all fun and games and James Goss gives us some truly heart-breaking moments. Bernice sees friends die, her camp is raided and the conclusion leaves us on tenterhooks. A follow-up adventure is practically demanded. Hopefully Big Finish will bring back Emily Laing at some point in the future.

The Grel Invasion of Earth by Jacqueline Rayner

Continuing on the set, Jaqueline Rayner returns to writing with her story, ‘The Grel Invasion of Earth’. As you might have guessed it is a parody of the 1964 story but you’ll have to listen to the story to find out what is happening. The story opens and closes with some brilliant musical numbers from Lisa Bowerman which are rather amusing. But these are far from the only humorous moments that litter this story.

Thanks to Rayner’s witty writing style, the story rattles along at a pace, not only working as an homage to ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ but also in dealing with the sudden appearance of Bernice’s ex-husband, Jason Kane, played brilliantly by Stephen Fewell. Hearing Fewell and Bowerman re-united is a treat despite spending a large chunk of the story alone. Bernice is solving the problems while Jason is trying to get to her to prove his devotion to her. And like the previous story, this one also delivers a knife to the heart in their parting.

Rayner has such a great handle on Bernice’s character, which is little surprise as it was her who worked on Bernice’s adventures for a long time during the range. She gives Lisa Bowerman some hysterical one liners, especially when she paired up with some of the least threatening monsters in the Doctor Who mythology: the Grel!

Braxiatel in Love by Simon Guerrier

The third and final tale for this opening set is ‘Braxiatel in Love’, written by Simon Guerrier. Again, this is another enjoyable piece, if a little slower in pace because it makes the bold choice to not really put the focus on Benny but her shady partner, Braxiatel.

As the title suggests, Braxiatel finds himself in love with someone whom Bernice doesn’t like or trust. At first this leads to some rather amusing little moments but things quickly escalate and Bernice finds herself on the receiving end of Braxiatel’s wrath.

Miles Richardson steps up brilliantly to the tasks this role demands in this story, moving from love, to rage to grief in fairly short succession. He and Lisa Bowerman have a tremendous chemistry together and, in keeping with the apparent theme for this release, Guerrier gives us another sad ending for one of the characters.

Likewise, Guerrier has a good handle on Bernice’s characterisation and delivers a third and final tale for this set which is thoroughly enjoyable.

Volume One – Overall

‘Bernice Summerfield: The Story So Far’ is a tremendous set, featuring the return of old writers, stars, characters and concepts that will thrill both old and new listeners. The guest and main cast are both excellent and the writing makes for a good variety of tales. And the direction from Scott Handcock is just divine: maintaining a nicely rattling pace along long and complicated scripts.

‘Bernice Summerfield – The Story So Far (Volume One) is available to buy now from the Big Finish website.

Volume Two BERNICE SUMMERFIELD – THE STORY SO FAR (VOLUME TWO) Every Dark Thought by Eddie Robson

Eddie Robson kicks Volume Two off with a story that knows the villain’s identity has been given away by the first line the actor says so doesn’t waste time with false suspense. But Robson does a very good job of making us think that the Valeyard has the upper hand this time around.

Intentional or not, Robson makes the story feel like a ‘Virgin New Adventures’ book. Which is fitting since that’s where Benny originates. The NAs grew increasingly dark and morbid and that is exactly the vibe you get from ‘Every Dark Thought’. There’s some disturbing moments involving the monsters and the sound design alone is enough to make you uneasy!

Lisa Bowerman is predictably excellent as Benny and the rapport she shares with Michael Jayston’s Valeyard is a surprise. Of course, Benny is initially willing to believe this man is the Doctor but it is fun to hear her finally working out the truth, something Robson gives to us in a gloriously twisted way. A brilliant start to the second set.

Empress of the Drahvins by David Llewellyn

While ‘Every Dark Thought’ is a particularly dark story, ‘Empress of the Drahvins’ couldn’t be more different. The story from David Llewelyn sees the return of the First Doctor villains, the Drahvins and is gloriously amusing.

Llewelyn starts things slow before launching full-pelt into a very charged and relevant script. We know how ruthless and shifty the Drahvin’s are from their appearance in ‘Galaxy 4’ but this story depicts them at their most cold-hearted. Their actions throughout this story is shocking and their blasé attitude shows how cold and calculating they really are.

It was nice to hear Ayesha Antoine as Ruth – a long-running main character in Bernice’s series – take centre stage. She doesn’t upstage the birthday girl, but it’s nice to hear a story where she gets the spotlight. Antoine rises to the challenge brilliantly, proving how funny she is, especially with her exasperation with Gorath played by Luke MacGregor. She is a definite highlight of this release.

The Angel of History by Una McCormack

Una McCormack’s closing story in the set takes place in the latest timeline for Benny. Some time during (or after) her travels in the Unbound Universe with its own Doctor played by David Warner. McCormack does a brilliant job with this story benefiting from there being no over-arching storyline. Each writer gets free reign and McCormack’s story makes possibly the best use of that freedom.

‘The Angel of History’ puts Benny right under the microscope. The story is shocking and surprising, made all the better because it does mirror some real-world events both in the past and currently happening. But McCormack does a good job of not shoving that in our faces and just letting the story run its course. It has a tremendous twist at the end but to say anything more about the plot would ruin it completely.

With a very Benny-centric script, it falls to Lisa Bowerman to carry the bulk of the dialogue which she does with absolute aplomb. This bolsters and already heartbreaking conclusion that asks a lot of questions for the listener to ponder over the credits.

Volume Two – Overall

Volume Two is a heavier set than the previous one. Whereas the first set decided to tell some fun, lighter stories, this one goes for dark and thought-provoking. Again, Scott Handcock has risen to the challenge wonderfully as director and deserves a lot of credit for delivering a worth anniversary for Benny.

‘Bernice Summerfield – The Story So Far (Volume Two) is available to buy now from the Big Finish website.

With a wealth of guest stars making reappearances, it would have been easy for the lead to get lost in the muddle. So let’s talk about Lisa Bowerman as Benny in more detail…

Lisa Bowerman

It goes without saying that Lisa Bowerman is a tremendous actor and a delight to listen to as Bernice Summerfield. As well as playing the character for twenty years, she has starred in a plethora of other Big Finish audio adventures and acted as director for plenty too. Not to mention she’s a tried and tested director for Big Finish as well in ranges like the Short Trips, Jago & Litefoot, Graceless, Torchwood and many others. We genuinely don’t know how she does it all!

It’s a testament to her talent and dedication that Bernice is still sounding strong twenty years down the line. Enthralling new and old fans alike to her corner of the Big Finish world. Here’s to another twenty years and more!

Do you have any favourite Benny moments from the audios or books? Let us know in the comments.

The post REVIEW: Bernice Summerfield – The Story So Far (Vol 1 and 2) is a Beautiful Birthday Bash for Benny appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

The Doctor’s Earring: Original Designer Alex Monroe Announces Official Replicas

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 12:01
For the Thirteenth Doctor’s soon to be iconic earring, Jodie Whittaker turned to celebrity jeweler Alex Monroe. Now fans can buy their own Doctor Who replicas from Monroe himself.

The Thirteenth Doctor is in many ways, both completely the same person the Doctor always was and very much her own woman. But there’s one particularly distinctive things about the Doctor’s new appearance. Whittaker is the only actor, so far, to wear an earring as the character. Easily missed in those final scenes in last Sunday’s Doctor Who, when the Doctor unveils her new look she’s also acquired a single, classy, cuff earring in her left ear.

The design was the result of a collaboration between Whittaker and celebrated jeweler Alex Monroe. It features gold and silver hands shaking hands (representing the bond between the Earth and the Doctor) on the ear lobe and a cluster of silver stars cuffed around the upper ear to represent the Doctor’s alien origins. Once the design was agreed, it was hand made in Monroe’s exclusive London Bridge workshop.

Now you can have the Doctor’s Galaxy Earring too

Now Alex Monroe is making exact replicas of his original custom piece available for general sale. Whether you’re a perfectionist cosplayer, or are just showing your fandom, the ‘Doctor Who Galaxy’ earring is ideal. It’s available exclusively from Alex Monroe’s own online store, or from their London Bridge shop. It’s priced at £135.

The Doctor Who Galaxy Single Earring, available from Alex Monroe (c) Alex Monroe

Of the project, Alex Monroe says “I love Doctor Who and watched it religiously when I was a kid and now my kids absolutely love it. I have three girls, each one brought up with a different Doctor. To create a piece for the show and such a strong character is incredibly rewarding and exciting.”

Monroe has also made other pieces inspired by the Thirteenth Doctor. If the cuff and chain look isn’t to your tastes, then a more straightforward version is available. Consisting simply of the handshake in the form a single stud the Companion Earring is priced at £75.

The Doctor Who Companion Single Stud Earring by Alex Monroe (c) Alex Monroe

Also being produced is the Galaxy In-Line Necklace featuring two silver hands holding a cluster of golden stars between them.

The Doctor Who Galaxy In Line Necklace by Alex Monroe (c) Alex Monroe

The new Alex Monroe x Doctor Who range can be shipped anywhere in the world, with free shipping within the UK. For full details on the range of products seen the official Alex Monroe site.

The post The Doctor’s Earring: Original Designer Alex Monroe Announces Official Replicas appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

BREAKING: David Tennant and Catherine Tate Return to Big Finish for Volume Three

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 09:00
David Tennant and Catherine Tate have returned to Big Finish for Volume Three of The Tenth Doctor Adventures. And this time they have brought the family with them.

The fan-favourite characters will be joined by Bernand Cribbins as Wilf Mott, Donna’s grandfather, alongside Jacqueline King as Donna’s mother, Sylvia Noble. Due for release in May 2019, the inspiration for this new boxset came from the man who brought Doctor Who back to our screens in 2005 – Russell T Davies.

“Three box sets in and my excitement about working on The Tenth Doctor Adventures is as strong as ever,” says producer David Richardson. “When we first started thinking about this new set of stories, I emailed Russell T Davies to ask about including Sylvia. He suggested we should try for Wilf too – it had never occurred to me that we might be able to get Bernard Cribbins involved. But a call to Bernard’s agent revealed how delighted he was by the prospect, and there we had it – the Noble family together again, nine years after they last appeared on TV.”

David Tennant and Catherine Tate

Jacqueline King was thrilled to return to her role as Donna alongside Catherine Tate and Bernard Cribbins. “Doctor Who has been the gift that keeps on giving. I started, believing I was to appear in one Christmas episode, then was thrilled to appear in more. I recently returned to the role with Big Finish and it was like putting a cherished old sweater back on. That old sweater will have to be washed and conditioned ready for this episode with the A team back in full. Can’t believe my luck. I’m guessing it might actually feel a bit emotional.”

The new release features tales from stalwart Big Finish writers James Goss, Jenny T Colgan and Roy Gill with Big Finish veteran Ken Bentley assuming the directing role. The Doctor and Donna will battle the 1952 Great Smog of London and a holiday in the underwater paradise of Vallarasee. But perhaps their scariest adventure to date will be joining Sylvia and Wilf in their home renovation of the family bathroom. Just imagine the trauma!

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume Three (Limited Edition) is available now for pre-order. A five-disc collector’s edition – limited to 5,000 copies – is available on CD in a deluxe book set packaging for a pre-release price of £35, with the download-only version for £25.

Included with the limited edition release, Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 costume designer June Hudson has provided costume designs for the creatures and aliens. Writer and SFX specialist Mike Tucker has created storyboards for the new stories. With behind-the-scenes interviews from some of the cast and crew as well, this limited edition makes for an unmissable audio package.

The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume Three is available to pre-order now from the Big Finish website.

Each story can also be bought individually for £8.99 on download and £10.99 on CD. The three can also be bought together in a bundle for £22 on download and £25 on CD.

Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 3 will be released in May 2019. 3.1 No Place by James Goss

It’s Haunted Makeovers! The home improvement show with a spooky twist.

The Noble family are hoping to cast out a few spirits along with the old bathroom suite, as presenter Justin joins Donna, Wilf, Sylvia and the Doctor for the latest edition of his reality TV series.

Of course, Justin knows that any supernatural phenomena can be faked. Ghosts can’t possibly be real.

Can they..?

3.2 One Mile Down by Jenny T Colgan

Donna and the Doctor take a holiday – in the beautiful underwater city of Vallarasee.

Things have changed since the Doctor last swam through it: Vallarasee is now enclosed inside an airdome. Judoon patrol historic sites, and instead of tourists wearing helmets to breathe, the native Fins are forced to adapt.

But leaks have begun to trickle into the dome, and the Doctor and Donna must convince the Judoon that disaster is imminent. Or else thousands will be trapped, as the waters rise…

3.3 The Creeping Death by Roy Gill

London, 1952, and a deadly smog envelops the capital.

But something even more dangerous – and alien – is hiding within the mists.

When the Doctor and Donna get lost in the fog, they find a motley group of Londoners trying to make their way home.

Soon the stakes are raised, as death creeps along fume-choked streets, and not everyone will make it out alive….

  • Executive Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
  • Producer: David Richardson
  • Script Editor: Matt Fitton
  • Director: Ken Bentley

The post BREAKING: David Tennant and Catherine Tate Return to Big Finish for Volume Three appeared first on Blogtor Who.

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REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Volume One

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 08:55
Titan Comics’ The Lost Dimension sees eight different Doctors encounter the Void as it threatens to undo all of time and space. It’s a purposefully ridiculous thrill ride

Multi-Doctor stories in Doctor Who, where various incarnations of our favourite Time Lord meet themselves, are traditionally affairs high in sugar and low in nutritional value. Like Death by Chocolate cakes and magnums of Champagne, they’re not usually wheeled in for regular Saturday nights in. They’re to celebrate some massive occasion like a 10th, 20th or even 50th wedding anniversary.

Titan Comics’ The Lost Dimension has no such excuse for existing, so readers could be forgiven for considering it a bit indulgent. But it’s no lavish bash, with tinkling glasses and lots of toasts to the happy couple. Instead it’s like an epic night out with your best friends. The sort of night that sees you wake up fully dressed, crumpled on the floor. Perhaps with dim memories of squinting at the chipper menu and pondering when ‘deep fried battered pizza’ became a thing. The sort of night that leaves you squinting into the afternoon Sun, a mug of coffee the size of your head in hand, declaring to the world “I regret nothing!”

Doctor Who: Lost Dimension Part 1 – Pg 6. Art by Rachael Stott. (c) BBC Almost daring the reader to laugh along at its audacious spectacle and use of characters, Titan Comics’ Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension is unapologetically fun

This is particularly true of the opening chapter by Cavan Scott and Rachael Stott. There’s a massive sense of joyful abandon infecting every panel as yet more characters and ideas are thrown at you. The Ninth Doctor! Captain Jack! Jenny! Jenny encountering the Fifth Doctor! “Oh, she’s got herself a bowship!” The Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole! The Tenth Doctor, Cindy and Gabby! Kate and Osgood! It’s fantastically silly and fun and powered along by the charisma and energy Stott brings to every panel of art. To keep a cast this big distinct, not just in likeness, but expression and body language is amazing. And her spot on ability to give Bill, in particular, hairstyles and clothes she never wore on TV but feel absolutely right for the character is genuinely impressive and rare.

The nature of this sort of event, snaking its way through various books, means it feels a bit disjointed. We move from one Doctor Who book’s writer and artist team to another every couple of dozen pages. That’s offset a little by the nature of the threat. A void that’s appeared throughout time and space, consuming reality itself and breaking down history, means that all the different Doctors can encounter it simultaneously as separate adventures.

Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Part 1 Pg 4. Art by Rachael Stott. (c) BBC Events lead to a cliffhanger ending on ancient Gallifrey that leaves you drumming your fingers impatiently for Volume Two

So in Nick Abadzis and Mariano Laclaustra’s tale, the Ninth Doctor, Rose, Vastra and Jenny Flint discover the Void while visiting a Silurian leper colony on 19th century Earth. And the same writer teams with Ariana Florean and Giorgia Sposito to bring us the story of the Void taking over the Cybermen to launch an assault on a space station in the far future. And in the final installment in this volume, writer Alex Paknadel and artist I.N.J. Culbard fling the Eleventh Doctor and Alice back to ancient Gallifrey and the test flight of a Type 1 TARDIS. A test flight which may well be the cause of everything else that’s happening.

Overall, this gives Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Volume One the feeling of an anthology of linked stories, rather than one narrative. There’s a stop-start pace as events build to a climax, only to restart with setting up a new scenario. It robs it of any huge sense of momentum. But the cliffhanger ending leaves us with signs that, if Volume One saw a collection of problems and clues thrown into the air, Volume Two will cut a clearer path towards the solution.

Fun, brash and freewheeling The Lost Dimension is an entertaining thrill ride from Titan Comics despite its piecemeal nature. A cheeky explosion of ideas, it more than merits its place among the canon of multi-Doctor adventures.

Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Volume One Pg 62. Art by Ariana Florean and Giorgia Sposito. (c) BBC Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Volume One

In this first of two volumes collecting Titan Comics’ giant Doctor Who crossover event, witness the return of Jenny, the Doctor’s daughter, who has a terrifying message for the Twelfth Doctor, Bill, and Nardole. The Void is hungry, and it’s beginning to devour the universe we know and love!

From there, the threat of the Void spirals out to affect all of the Doctor’s incarnations. From the Ninth, who re-encounters Silurian detective Madame Vastra. To the Tenth, who battles cybernetic foes on a space station orbiting a white hole. To the Eleventh, who journeys beyond the universe and into an impossible era of his civilization’s ancient past…!


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Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

VIDEOS: Ryan, Yas, Sonic…and Tim Shaw!

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 20:27
The BBC has released a host of short videos following the first episode of Doctor Who series 11 featuring the Doctor’s new friends, her new sonic, and horrible alien Tim Shaw.

We’ve put them all together in one place because we like you so much. So grab yourself a cup of tea and settle down to watch. Click ‘play’ and make sure the sound is on!

Introducing Tim Shaw (this one is very short!)

Tosin Cole does his own stunts.

He’s sweet, enthusiastic and he loves his nan. Doesn’t give up. He’s Ryan Sinclair.

A look at the dynamics of the new Tardis team

Learning all about Yas

And last, but by no means least, the making of the new sonic – with added Sheffield Steel!

The post VIDEOS: Ryan, Yas, Sonic…and Tim Shaw! appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

Newsweek Doctor Who Special Edition Out Now

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 19:05
To celebrate the new series of Doctor Who, Newsweek have released a Special Edition issue. On sale today the Newsweek Doctor Who Special Edition covers the history of the show right up to the Jodie Whittaker era. We are also excited to announce that the Newsweek Doctor Who Special Edition features an article from Blogtor Who!! Newsweek Doctor Who Special Edition cover (c) Newsweek

Newsweek is an American weekly magazine, available in print and digital formats. Following New York Comic Con this past weekend and the broadcast of ‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’ on BBC America, Newsweek are also exploring the Whoniverse. From the origins and formula of the show, through to the monsters that have terrorised viewers, all bases are covered. Focus is given to each incarnation of The Doctor and some of his most famous adversaries. Not to be forgotten are of course the TARDIS and Sonic Screwdriver. BlogtorWho has also contributed a short snippet on our favourite journalist and companion.

The cover promises ‘The Ultimate Whoniverse Companion’ and it is hard to disagree. Each Doctor is analysed, with their companions and must-see stories listed alongside. Plus, if you have ever wondered in which stories different incarnations of the Time Lord have crossed paths, an extensive list is provided. This includes not only televised stories but in audio, novels and comic adventures. Arthur Darvill, who played Rory Williams opposite Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, also provides an insight into how the role changed his life. The Newsweek Doctor Who Special Edition concludes by revisiting the modern tradition of Christmas specials.

Newsweek Doctor Who Special Edition is on sale from Tuesday 9th October at newstands and in digital format. For more information click here.

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Doctor Who – BTS – How to Regenerate the Doctor

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 12:27

BBC has released another short clip on Twitter.  Sorry no YouTube.  In this video, executive producer Matt Strevens and series producer Nikki Wilson chat about how it takes a team, a family to make this new series of Doctor Who.

“It’s like a really tight knit family.” Watch brand new Doctor Who on in the UK #DoctorWho

— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) October 9, 2018

Doctor Who continues on BBC One at 6.55pm this Sunday with The Ghost Monument by Chris Chibnall. Series 11 stars Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien), and Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair). The program is simulcast on BBC America.  For other countries and territories around the world check your local listings.

The Ghost Monument

Still reeling from their first encounter, can the Doctor and her new friends stay alive long enough in a hostile alien environment to solve the mystery of Desolation? And just who are Angstrom and Epzo?

The post Doctor Who – BTS – How to Regenerate the Doctor appeared first on Blogtor Who.

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OPINION: Jodie Whittaker Proves the Doctor’s Gender Doesn’t Matter

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 11:15
Doctor Who is back on our screens, with Jodie Whittaker playing the show’s first ever female lead. But should the Doctor’s gender really make a difference?

Cast your minds back 15 months ago. The date was 16th July 2017, and Jodie Whittaker had just been unveiled as the Thirteenth Doctor in a specially-filmed trailer. It was an announcement that shook the nation – nay, the globe! – with its ramifications for the future of Doctor Who. Naturally, there was fevered excitement and speculation. There always is after a new Doctor gets announced. But for the first time in over 50 years, the Doctor was regenerating into a woman. For better or worse, the show (and the character) would never be the same again.

This caused a mixed reaction, to put it mildly. Most fans welcomed Jodie into the Time Lord pantheon with open arms. But wherever you looked – be it Twitter, tabloids, or message forums – you’d be just as likely to find someone claiming Doctor Who had been ruined forever. The TARDIS was finally opening its doors to a wider audience than ever, yet it also seemed to be shutting out purists who had been following the series since the start. It was a vocal minority, for sure (as the impressive viewing figures for Jodie’s debut, The Woman Who Fell to Earth, now prove). But it was one that was also very hard to ignore.

Doctor Who – Series 11 – Episode 1 -The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) – (C) BBC/BBC Studios – Photographer: Sophie Mutevilian Change, My Dear

Personally, Jodie’s announcement thrilled me to bits. She’s a fantastic actor and I loved her in Broadchurch, Attack the Block, and Black Mirror. But was she right for the Doctor? Sure, the character’s been a man for the last 55 years and 12 (or is it 13?) regenerations. But there’s absolutely no reason, on or off-screen, why the Doctor shouldn’t be a woman. Steven Moffat started sowing the seeds a long time ago. There was the Corsair in The Doctor’s Wife and the General in Hell Bent. Then of course, there was Missy, the ultimate test-run for a female Doctor. Casting Michelle Gomez as the Doctor’s best frenemy was (if you’ll pardon the pun) a Master stroke. After her storming success, it was only a matter of time until the Doctor followed suit.

Plus, if ever there was a time to make this change, it was now. Just like 2005 and 2010, there’s a clean slate. A ground-breaking regeneration is one sure-fire way to make that count. Still, I was sceptical about a female Doctor at first. Not because I didn’t think it could work, but because I knew it would split the fanbase right down the middle. Whenever this decision happened (and whoever it involved), it was always going to be the same. But it’s been said repeatedly that the Doctor should be cast because they are the right person, not because they are the right gender. Having a female Doctor for the sake of a female Doctor would just be a tacky gimmick. Thankfully, I wholeheartedly feel that casting Jodie as the Thirteenth Doctor was not only a good choice, but also the right one.

Doctor Who Series 11 – Episode 1- The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) – (C) BBC / BBC Studios – Photographer: Simon Ridgeway And It Seems Not a Moment Too Soon

Chris Chibnall, love or loathe his previous work, undoubtedly writes incredible characters. More specifically, he writes incredible female characters. Everyone in Broadchurch was well written, but the women really stood out. Jodie Whittaker was a particular hit as grieving mother Beth Latimer – arguably the highlight of the show. Therefore, she was an assured and safe choice for the Thirteenth Doctor. Just like Russell T Davies and David Tennant before them (what a dream team that became!), Chris knows how to write for Jodie. He knows her strengths and he knows how to get the best of her talents. Female Doctor or no female Doctor, Series 11 was always going to be a massive risk for Doctor Who. It’s a huge and daunting task for any new showrunner – Chris Chibnall wouldn’t have taken this casting decision lightly. He’ll have wanted someone he can trust to make his new era a hit.

Hopefully you’ve all seen The Woman Who Fell to Earth now, and hopefully you all agree that Jodie is an instant star. It’s also clear that we haven’t got a female Doctor “just because”. A couple of knowing winks aside, the Doctor’s gender proves all but irrelevant. There’s no feminist agenda, and no TARDIS full of bras. Just an incredible actor in an incredible role. And yet, still there will be those who hold Doctor 13 to an unfair standard, waiting for any misstep they can latch the blame onto. Admittedly, yes, there are still nine episodes left – but if Series 11 fails to impress, it’ll be because of bad scripts or bad direction. Not Jodie herself. She’s an actor with her head screwed on and her heart(s) in the right place. She knows the significance of this job, and she won’t be the one to let the side down.

Only time will tell how history looks back on the Thirteenth Doctor. But for now, she’s broken through the show’s glass ceiling. Let’s hope she keeps on soaring ever further to new heights!

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What We Learnt About The Companions in ‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 16:40
The Doctor has some new companions… or should that be friends? We were introduced to them in the opening scenes. But what did we actually find out about them during the episode?


  • His Family – Ryan’s mum died 6 years ago and his farther seems like he has been largely absent from his life since with references to his unreliability. So after his mother’s death he was raised by his paternal grandmother, Grace.
  • Dyspraxia – Ryan has the condition Dyspraxia that affects coordination. As a result he is unable to ride a bike, but has been trying to learn with the help of his Nan and her husband Graham.
  • He doesn’t seem particularly comfortable with his Nan’s marriage to Graham. He doesn’t want to call Graham ‘Grandad’, doesn’t he want Graham to call him “mate”
  • Ryan went to primary school (Midland Primary) with Yasmin. Also its indicated that they haven’t seen each other since they left that school (so when they were about 11 years old)
  • He works as a warehouse worker but doesn’t like it and is studying for an NVQ to be a mechanic.
  • Ryan has a Youtube channel that, based on the one video we see, is a to camera vlog style channel.


  • Graham is a retired Bus driver.
  • He had cancer and during chemotherapy treatment met Grace, who was his Chemo nurse. They fell in love over the course of his treatment and they married three years ago.
  • He is still in remission for his cancer
  • He seems to want to form a bond with Ryan, lamenting the fact that after three years of marriage to Grace Ryan still won’t call him ‘Grandad’.


  • She went to Midland Primary school with Ryan
  • She is a trainee Police constable (2nd year probation) with Hallamshire police mostly dealing with mundane things like parking disputes. She want to start getting assignments that are a bit more interesting.

Throughout the episode we found the most out about Ryan and we probably know the least about Yasmin’s life so far, especially any family she may have. Of course there is a whole series of development to come. What more will we lean about them in the weeks to come?

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Meet The Doctor’s Friends – Ryan Sinclair

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 16:04

Yesterday we met Ryan Sinclair.  A young man with many great hopes and a few challenges to overcome.  Who is Ryan and what do his friends and family think about him?  What does the Doctor think about Ryan?

“He doesn’t give up.” #DoctorWho

— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) October 8, 2018

And what about Tosin Cole who plays Ryan?  Well Ryan did his own stunts for the episode 1 – The Woman Who Fell To Earth.   Take a look at this behind the scenes view into the cycling scenes.

.@TosinCole does his own stunts #DoctorWho

— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) October 8, 2018

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