Saturday, December 28, 2013

Doctor Who Saturday: Now What?

Hello and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You and my year end edition of Doctor Who Saturday.

Dave-El here to take stock of where we Whovians have come over the last year and where we are now.

At the end of last year, we found ourselves still reeling from the gut wrenching loss of Amy and Rory as the Doctor's companions and the beginning of the mind spinning mystery of Clara Oswald, the Impossible Girl.

A year later and we are reeling once again, this time over a loss we did not anticipate this time a year ago, the loss of Matt Smith as the Doctor

Do yourself a favor and check out this post by Brendan Connelly on what Matt Smith meant to him and to Doctor Who. I am amazed at how well Brendan put into words some of the very thoughts that I myself could only poorly articulate.

(Also take a look at this this examination of the some of the details observed during The Time of the Doctor. I always look forward to Rich Johnston's "10 Thoughts" feature on a new Doctor Who episode. He sees things I don't see. I sometimes disagree with his opinions but he never fails to make me think and consider an episode of Doctor Who from new and intriguing perspectives.) 

What else did we not know a year ago?

  • The world of Trenzalore is the Doctor's final resting place and we would visit the Doctor's tomb.
  • There's a mysterious Doctor from the past that we did not know about.
  • We would get to see Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor on screen in a solo outing. (Yes, it was a mini-sode but damn if did not kick butt!)
  • Denials aside, we knew David Tennant would have to be in the 50th anniversary special. (Or as Matt Smith put it, "There would be rioting in the streets.") But who knew the only other actor to previously portray the Doctor to appear in the special would be Tom Baker?
  • We could actually buy tickets to see Doctor Who in a cinema theater! In 3-D! And that box office results for this event showing would actually be competitive with actual motion pictures including the highly anticipated Hunger Games sequel. Wow!
  • The Doctor is out of regenerations due to both the previously unknown War Doctor AND the face saving regeneration trick that the 10th Doctor pulled in Journey's End.
  • The Doctor would have a new objective, to find his way back home, back to Gallifrey.
  • The Doctor's new face would be an older face.
2013 was Doctor Who's 50th anniversary and what a year of surprises this has been. Where we stand now is not where we could have guessed a year ago we would be.  But as we look back over this year, we can see 12 months that played out every drama and joy we associate with Doctor Who: welcoming a new companion, the sadness of a Doctor leaving, the excitement of a new Doctor to come.

And it was all good! The Day of the Doctor could have imploded on a world wide stage. Instead, Steven Moffat delivered a script crackling with drama, action, humor, adventure and heart. And then he did it again a month later with The Time of the Doctor.

The 8 episodes that preceded these events were a bit of a mixed bag but that's all true to the Doctor Who experience. When you have a series centered around a madman with a box that can travel through time AND space, different episodes will have different appeals.

And a shout out to Mark Gatiss and his wonderful An Adventure in Space and Time, the story of the origin of the Doctor Who series and the first Doctor, William Hartnell. It was a story told with profound affection for the foundations on which this show continues to stand and to grow.

And kudos to Peter Davison and The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, an insanely clever, laugh out loud funny and, in the end, touching tribute from the former 5th Doctor joined by Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy and a plethora of cameos and guest stars from the width and breadth of Doctor Who history. 

So...what next?

After the euphoria of the 50th anniversary year and the clash of emotions that always greets a change in Doctors, we now have...a break. Filming on the next series does not start until January with new episodes not available until this Fall at the earliest.

And to be honest, perhaps we need a break. It provides a chance to look back on the wild ride of the Matt Smith years and even further back to the history of the show, to discover the wonders of episodes once thought lost but now found. 

But then we will begin to feel again the hunger for something new. Where can Doctor Who go next? What exactly will a Peter Capaldi Doctor be like? How is Clara faring with this Doctor with the weathered face and the wild eyes?

Where will we be a year from now?

We have no idea.

And isn't that fantastic?

"I'm the Doctor! I have wrinkles now. Wrinkles are cool!"


NOTE: the next post for I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You is the 300th Post (Yay!) and will appear on Tuesday, December 31st. Until then, be good to one another.

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