Tag Archives: Steven Moffatt

“Doctor Who” season 7 begins filming…

I'm putting the old band back together...

We don’t know when it’s going to air, exactly how many episodes will be in it or how it will tie into the 50th anniversary of the series next year – but we do know that season seven of “Doctor Who” has begun filming in Cardiff.

Huzzah!

The smart money has it that we’ll see at least some episodes this Autumn with the normal Christmas special, and the remainder of the run showing up in the early part of 2013.   How this fits into the BBC’s 50th anniversary plans is anybody’s guess.

If you want more guff on writers, directors and guest stars – Mark Williams, anybody? – why not head over to SFX magazine’s comprehensive coverage here…

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“Doctor Who”: ‘Closing Time’ episode review

Stormageddon. Toy shop. Name badge. Papoose. Cybermouse. First word.

Oh, you want a review.  That’s cool. SPOILERS commence herein...

This was another episode in the Moffatt era which took a pleasing digression away from main Arc business and told a sweet, uncomplicated story about normal folk intersecting with the Doctor, reintroducing James Corden as Craig Owens from last season’s “The Lodger”.

The name badge - a sight gag for the ages.

If anything, this episode was even less concerned with science fiction storytelling than its predecessor, being quite happy to relay an amiable tale of an odd couple, the baby they have to look after and convincing an uncertain new father that his new-found responsibility might actually be the making of him.

When typical “Who” business happens along throughout the episode – the plot driver being a rogue unit of crippled Cybermen kidnapping unaware staff at the department store built atop the site of their crash-landed ship and turning them into Cyber soldiers – it felt really quite jarring and not really necessary.  Sort of like another show invading the one that you’re watching (a point somewhat conceded by Moffatt and episode writer Gareth Roberts in last night’s episode of “Doctor Who Confidential” on BBC Three).

That’s very weird to write, of course – protesting about the Sci-Fi aspects of a “Who” episode is like watching a Simon Cowell show and complaining about all the MOR variety acts.  It raises the question – are we at the point where a show like this can comfortably break format and tell stories which occur outside the remit of the “Who” universe or do we need to come back to the comforting familiarity of Cybermen, Daleks and, yes, Weeping Angels?

What we had here, then, was a quite touching and often hilarious tale of a new father being undone by misplaced lack of confidence in his own capability to care for his new son – I’ve never had to look after a demanding new baby whose every cry is a wrench to the soul, but I have taken care of an occasionally truculent terrier, and let me tell you that taking care of a pet who wants something and can’t communicate it is no picnic. No two AM feeds, but I have had more than my share of three AM doggy comfort breaks – and being sleep-deprived is a feeling which transcends species.

Two Cybermen walk into a pub...or is a Dalek and two Ice Warriors? I'm rubbish at jokes.

An intriguing ending, too, which went to some oddly melancholy places, a motif which is becoming the hallmark of the Moffatt era – we had the Doctor facing his inevitable end with quiet resignation, making good with friends from the past and present (a lovely little cameo from Amy and Rory earlier in the episode, the Doctor watching them from afar, seeing his companions getting on with their lives – Amy’s now a successful model. Figures).

What about that moment before the climax, with River Song tracked down by Madame Kovarian and the Silence and locked into the space suit from “The Impossible Astronaut”?  I guess we have been able to guess that River might have killed the Doctor at least since the events of “A Good Man Goes To War”, which seemed to hint that either Rory or the Doctor were for the chop.  And as this is still nominally a family show, I doubt that BBC higher-ups would have wanted to go with a storyline where a daughter murders her father.  All very Greek and tragic but not exactly what the Saturday night, post tea-time audience are going to go for.

What's with the eye patch? That's got to be a thing, right?

River’s trapped in Lake Silencio, the Doctor’s heading for certain death and I genuinely have no idea how Moffatt’s going to sort all of this out in “The Marriage of River Song” next week.

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“Doctor Who”, season six, episode 12, ‘Closing Time’

Why a sonic screwdriver? Why not a sonic spirit level, eh? Talk about utterly symbolic alien tech...

This week’s episode brings back James Corden as Craig, and hopefully manages to repeat the uncanny feat of Season Five’s “The Lodger” by making him as appealing and charming as he was during his first encounter with the Doctor.

I will endeavour to share my undeniably irrelevant and inconsequential views on the episode with you shortly – the similarly hopelessly devoted to “Who” might be interested to know that the official BBC site will have a prequel for next week’s season finale online shortly after “Closing Time” airs tonight.

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“Doctor Who” series seven to air in Autumn 2012

The lovely chaps at the Tor blog have posted a story which seems to put the ‘No “Who” in 2012’ rumour to rest. It would appear that the show will have a full run, in the Autumn of next year – which, to be honest, is fine by me if it turns out to be true.

Autumnal "Who"? Yes please!

There’s something about “Who” which suits an Autumnal time slot – a thread of melancholy, a gothic quality, a lack of lighting – whatever it is, it works for me.  Rather selfishly, this probably means that ratings might be a tad higher, too, if it plays at the same time as next year’s season of “Strictly Come Dancing”.  Lovely, lovely extra viewers tuning in early and adding to “Who” ratings – make it so.

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