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.

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?

Mirror Primer

This time round Modern Re-Capitulation takes on a story which is probably more remembered for the revelation at the end than for the meat of the story, which in the eyes of the Tour seems unfortunate for Partners in Crime should be known more for it’s somewhat unique tone and execution, not to mention the redemption of Donna as a character.

Farce as a theatrical form of storytelling had only been done once before in Doctor Who, all the way in the Hartnell era in The Romans, where portions of that story were fairly explicit about it.  In Partners it’s worked more in the form of the paralleling or twinning actions taken by Donna and the Doctor, moving towards the same goal, yet always seeming to miss each other until more than halfway through the story.

Their exaggerated and clumsy reunion, played with palpable glee by Catherine Tate, is the real showstopper.  What became clear almost from the jump once together again was what great chemistry Tennant and Tate had.  This was only briefly glimpsed towards the end of The Runaway Bride, and while it’s also withheld in Partners, it leaps off the screen.

But of course what’s more memorable isn’t the jaunty fat but the silent, surprise return of Billie Piper.  That the production team were able to keep her presence a secret is something of an achievement at the time, but it began to underline the notion that Doctor Who was beginning to draw in on itself, which would be further underlined towards the end of Series 4.

Nothing corpulent about the new ‘HD’ caps for Partners in Crime.  They’re lean without the mean, know what I mean?

PROse and ba-CON

After a bit of a break the lads down in Modern Recap-itulation emerge from their hidey hole with a double-header of nu-Who caps for Daleks in Manhattan and Evolution of the Daleks.  Here’s where we at the Tour damn with faint praise.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with either end of this two-parter, but there’s a certain Death to the Daleks feel that’s hard to avoid in this story.

Back in the Pertwee era the Daleks were brought back after a five-year absence in Day of the Daleks.  After such an interregnum, the novelty, and the menace, of the Daleks, seemed afresh again.  Then the production team got the Dalek virus and brought them back year after year in Planet of the DaleksDeath to the Daleks and finally Genesis of the Daleks.  It was only in the last of these four that something truly novel happened with the introduction of Davros, and the rest as they say, is history.

Similarly Daleks in Manhattan and Evolution of the Daleks are the third links in a chain which ends with Journey’s End and Davros once again.  But there’s a certain level of inventive desperation going on with this stateside pair of stories … ‘a human-Dalek hybrid?  Haven’t tried that one before!’ that works … to a point.

But there’s also, literally, too much theatricality going on with one Mister Tennant.  The knock, fair or not, of facial gurning was often put upon Patrick Troughton, but he had nothing on Tennant at least in these stories.  We certainly could have used less of it.  The new caps and caps for Daleks in Manhattan and Evolution of the Daleks are lovely however.