Doctor Who Series 10 Brain Droppings

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Soon, in less than a couple of weeks (premiering between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as a matter of fact), we Whovians will finally have a new series (referred to as a “season” here in the States) of Doctor Who. To say the wait was a long one may be exaggerating a bit; lest we forget the Wilderness Years between the original cancellation of the show and the 1996 television movie, followed by another nine years until it was officially brought back in 2005 (not counting the brilliant 1999 special “The Curse of the Fatal Death”). A year and a half really wasn’t that much of a slog; besides, we had the two Christmas Specials to provide a break in the waiting. Not to mention all the books and radio dramas being produced.

Anyway, we are finally near the 10th Series of Doctor Who. This one purports to be the final one for Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor. Which is a pity, as I thoroughly enjoyed his take on the Time Lord, bringing to mind the best of the First, Third and Fourth Doctors, with a smattering of the Eighth, all while making it his own whimsical beast. I dare say, Capaldi’s Doctor had replaced Eccleston as my second-favorite Doctor.*

There’s a new companion for the Doctor as well, and it looks like, according to reports**, that there’s going to be a refreshing lack of romantic tension between the Doctor and the companion this time around. I understand the logic of getting some forced romantic tension to bring in the younger demographic (which also favors making the Doctor younger every time he regenerates), but in my not-so-humble opinion, the Doctor works best as an asexual character, and not having to rebuff his companion (or companions) while trying to save the world from whatever threat is besotting us this week. That’s part of the reason why, since the relaunch of Doctor Who, the companion of Donna Noble is listed high up as one of my favorite companions: she never fell for the Doctor. If anything, she was a much-needed foil to the Doctor’s ego. But, I digress.

The previews and teasers show promise. There seems to be a return of the classic Cybermen from the First Doctor serial “The Tenth Planet” (creepy), an obligatory Dalek episode, Missy pops up, and some kind of Emoji-based robot, I think? There’s also seems to be more inclusion of the character Nardole, which is awesome, as I think he plays off of the Doctor perfectly. Why not make him the companion? Because we need a female companion every time? I don’t know.

Anyway, the wait is almost over, and I anxiously await April 15th to see where the final adventures of the 12th Doctor brings us. Cheers, all.

* – Tom Baker is my all-time favorite, in case you were wondering. You’re welcome.
** – source

HALLOWEEN’ING 2016: Day 27 – Ghostwatch

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Last year, I wrote about the infamous “War Of The Worlds” broadcast, and all the wackiness that ensued therein. While a lot of the fallout has now, over time, been more folklore and hyperbole, and we can look back and laugh at the alleged gullibility of a simpler time, it took a more modern television special from Britain to remind us all that gullibility transcends generations.

Ghostwatch was a 90-minute special that was essentially one of the first documentary-style horror movies made, only it was for television, and nobody in the viewing audience was in on the joke. It was played as a live news report on the paranormal experiences of a family plagued by a malevolent poltergeist. The realism was enhanced with the use of four recognized BBC presenters, and little to no hints as to the true nature of the program. Everyone thought this was the real deal. The result? Several thousand phone calls, thousands of angry letters, and at least one report of an induced labor while watching the show.

What’s even more impressive is that Ghostwatch was released on Halloween of 1992. That’s right. It wasn’t done back when television was still a novelty; this was a time when televisions were ubiquitous, and most viewers the most jaded we’ve ever been. This got such a reaction that, according to this article on Mental Floss, the UK’s Broadcasting Standards Council ruled that the producers of Ghostwatch had deliberately set out to “cultivate a sense of menace”.

In other words, the BBC had been found guilty in scaring the crap out of 11 million people. For that, I salute you, gentlemen. And women, I’m sure.