Future to the Back

The third, and likely last full trailer for Series 10 dropped earlier this week.  It’s certainly the trailer-iest, most ‘traditional’ one so far and is chock-a-block with all sorts of enticing images for the 12-episode run to come, a few of which we’ve seen before, most we hadn’t.  It all makes for an interesting, if temporary, gallery of caps for the trailer.

What’s striking is how many foes we’ve seen before appear to be coming back:  Daleks, (Cloth-headed) Cybermen, the Master, Ice Warriors, and the Pyroviles (we think).  Heck it could almost be 1985 all over again.  That’s probably not a compliment.

But there’s also lots of stunning imagery forthcoming.  After roughly 18 months away from the main action, we’re all-too-ready for this.

Mondas, Mondas, Can’t Trust That Day

With Series 10 looming five weeks hence there’s much to do here at THT Towers, so much so that our missives of late have been regrettably few and far between.  But there are few moves the current production team could do that ould prick our collective ears more than the news, now several days old, that the original Mondas Cybermen would be part of the Series 10 finale.

There are several interesting questions that arise from this pertaining to continuity, not only of the Cybermen themselves but also of Mondas (which was destroyed in The Tenth Planet) and whether that matters or not.

What’s worth remembering is how weird those initial cyborgs were, with their cloth faces and hands and sing-song open maw voices.  They have been successfully ret-conned into obscurity but it’s more down to how quickly they evolved into a streamlined version of themselves, even as early their next story The Moonbase, as the reason why they were memorable.  It’ll certainly be interesting to see how they’ll be received later this year.

The Modern Re-Capitulation have been beavering away in advance of the new season.  They’ve capped the following stories for your viewing pleasure:

The Fires of PompeiiHuman NatureThe Family of BloodThe Sontaran StratagemThe Poison Sky, and The Doctor’s Daughter.

Happy capping.

Hero, Not Zero, How Wonderful You Are

The second trailer for Series 10 dropped on February 25th, a mere seven weeks before a run of 12 begins.

Capaldi is looking as floofty as ever but the emphasis of the trailer at least is the newcomer Bill as she shares her impressions of the Time Lord.

There’s the usual amount of dissection going on about what it all means, from the narration down to the final foe-cloud, but what we here at the Tour know is we have birthed another temporary gallery of caps for the trailer.  They, like those from the first trailer at the beginning of the year, will be available until the season starts.

It’s Comical!

It’s kind of flattering, isn’t it?  While the Tour brain trust has been beavering away at the remaining Modern Re-Capitulation stories (hint ..  look at caps for The Fires of PompeiiHuman Nature, and The Family of Blood) word spilled out a few days ago that Titan Comics, which publish several strands of Doctor Whos comics, have out on March 1st part 1 of a Matt Smith comic titled “THE TRAGICAL HISTORY TOUR!”

The cover variants are shown.

It would be nice to think that the editorial team in charge had perused the Tour from time to time, as befitting our standing in the firmament of Doctor Who websites, but we’re just happy for the reflected glory.


The Sixth Pretense

As has been mentioned before here at the Tour, for long, long standing fans of Doctor Who, there is the notion of the ‘big five’ classic Doctor Who monsters, these being (in order of appearance) the Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti, Ice Warriors, and Sontarans.  While it’s questionable that the Yeti, with only two appearances to their name, should be part of that quintet, here’s a better question …

What nu-Who monster(s) would you or could you nominate to join this list?  For us here at the Tour there’s only one answer.

The Weeping Angels.

That’s it.  That’s the list.

While four of the Five (again the Yeti) have appeared in nu-Who, only the Weeping Angels have really made multiple appearances in nu-Who.  The Silence?  Merely a variation on the Angels so we discount them on that score.  But the Weeping Angels made an impact, especially in their first story (and the latest Modern Re-CapitulationBlink.

It’s a great story of course, and made better by the (possibly apocryphal) story behind the story.  Realizing that the previous Doctor-lite story Love & Monsters, was to be charitable, underwhelming, RTD handed off the responsibility at the last minute to Steven Moffat.  To say he succeeded is anything but an understatement.

What’s astonishing is how logically tight Blink is.  The ‘conversation’ between the Doctor and Sally Sparrow, separated by 37 years, is magnificent in its logical construction.   In this vein it was crucially important to cast the right actress as Sally Sparrow–who had to be incredulous, fierce, coquettish,  and empathetic all at once.  To this end future Oscar Nominee Carey Mulligan carries Blink amazingly well.  It might not work well, or even at all, without her.

Blink is not necessarily a complicated story, with relatively few characters, nor is the direction terribly flashy, but it knows what the Weeping Angels are and highlights them to full effect.  They would be back, and then back again.  The caps for Blink will not go away should you close your eyes.  They’re forever.

Next time Peter Capaldi gets the Modern Re-Capitulation treatment.  How is that possible?

The Road Seldom Taken

The news of January 30 confirming the April 15th start date for Series 10 came at a bit of cost, though hardly a surprising one.  Peter Capaldi will be moving on after three full series, which has become the defacto norm going all the way back to the classic era.  This means, we add with some regret, that another Christmas Special will be a regeneration story, including all of them in the nu-Who era.  With Series 10 also being Steven Moffat’s last series as well it’ll be all change in 2018 for incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall.

It’s hardly surprising that Capaldi should be leaving alongside Moffat, but here at the Tour we do wonder about the road seldom, if ever, taken.  Namely that the actor playing the Doctor should stay on for one more series under a new production team before leaving.  Producers in the 60’s seemed to come and go with abandon.  It didn’t really happen that away of course.

As the 70’s dawned stability was the watchword with Barry Letts staying on a full five years, even through Tom Baker’s first story Robot (although history has it that Pertwee was willing to stay for a sixth season, but at a price the Beeb chose not to swallow).  Scarf Boy outlasted two administrations and left after JN-T’s first year only because his contract had one last year to run.  In fact he is the only example of a Doctor who stayed for that first year under a new Producership.  Davison, Colin Baker, and McCoy never got the chance because JN-T, despite, as we would later learn, his yearning to move on, never found a soft place to land elsewhere in the BBC.  It can be persuasively argued that it would have been best for JN-T to have left after The Twin Dilemma, but that would truly be revisionist history.

Eccleston ankled before anyone had a chance to know what they had.  Tennant wondered aloud about staying on for Moffat’s first year but ultimately didn’t.  And Moffat, as a celebrity showrunner, was too important to the image of the BBC as a whole to leave right after the 50th.

So here we are.  The blackboard of is being wiped clean once again.  As is said in tennis, 15-love?