Saturday, April 22, 2017

Doctor Who: Class (And the Doctor's Future)


Hi there, Doctor Who fans! Tonight is another new episode of Doctor Who as the Doctor and Bill go on their first proper adventure in the TARDIS. I will not have a write up tomorrow. As I write this, my plans for Saturday evening have me attending a play that my daughter is in. 

There is some stuff about the Doctor's future that came up earlier this week. but first, I wanted to look back at last Saturday and spin out a few words on the subject of Class, the new Doctor who spin off that finally got its American debut last week. 



I noted in Monday’s post that I did not enjoy it although I did qualify that statement by noting it wasn’t because it was a bad episode. Nope, the debut of Class was working against my own weariness. We had been at Geeksboro since 7;30 PM watching the rerun of Doctor Mysterio then the premier of Doctor Who Series 10. I was quite tired but it was a good kind of tired as 10:10 PM rolled around and Class started up. But other Whovians were sticking around, Geeksboro was letting the episode run and my wife and daughter made the case for staying.

By the time 11:20 PM rolled around, I was even more tired and it was NOT a good kind of tired. Sorry, the new gang from Class but I’m cranky when I’m sleepy. Sorry.

In terms of characters, Class has a motley crew of students in various states of messed up; in other words, like real teens. They are a certainly a diverse lot, this group of students whom chance or fate has thrust into facing a threat from another world with different gifts and different challenges. A lot of work has gone into making these young men and women people we should really care about.

So why don’t I? I think part of the problem is there’s no clear center to the group. I suppose it could be April, the wallflower charged with decorating for a prom she can’t get a date to.  She has more strength than her quiet demeanor would otherwise suggest. Or maybe Charlie, the odd out of place teen who really is from outer space? Or Miss Quill, the dragon lady teacher who is also from another world?  A good ensemble needs a solid core, something this group lacks. 


Props to series creator Patrick Ness for creating an original alien menace in the form of the Shadow Kin who are seriously creepy. But why is this a Doctor Who spin off other than the school location is Coal Hill where Susan Foreman & Clara Oswald once trod?   

Well, the Doctor shows for the final act and Peter Capaldi owns the proceedings as you might expect. But here’s the odd thing: the Doctor feels like an intruder. Class may be set in the Whoverse but its not part of the Doctor’s world.

Here's what my co-worker and fellow Whovian Chris had to say:

"As to Class, I had hoped it would feel like a slightly darker Buffy…maybe a watered down Torchwood with more focus, but something about it was missing. The characters are all over the place and flung together. It was hard to follow as an intro episode in a general sense." 

Chris observed that Class did not perform well in the UK (the whole series is finished there). Chris & I guess that if it does well on BBC America, it may get another shot. Overall, our consensus is that Class is all but canceled.
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Back to doctor Who itself as news... and rumors of news of it's future swirled about everywhere.

The big story was info about the 2017 Christmas special.  It seems that it will feature Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor in a team up with an earlier incarnation: the earliest incarnation actually.

The first Doctor.

OK then. David Bradley who played William Hartnell in Mark Gatiss' 50th anniversary movie about the origin of the Doctor Who TV program will portray Hartnell's 1st Doctor in the Christmas special this year. Presumably, it involves the 12th Doctor's quick appearance in the 50th anniversary special, Day of the Doctor.


This David Bradley portraying William Hartnell
performing as the Doctor.

And here's another twist. That zoom in on Capaldi's eyes is the moment before he regenerates. Yes, Capadli's first ever appearance as the Doctor could well be his last.

Mind. Blown.

Of course, how much any of this is a done deal is subject to speculation. But a number of news outlets have relayed the story of Bradley's appearance as the 1st Doctor as if it's a done deal.

What may not be a done deal is who will be the next Doctor? If it is going to bed Kris Marshall, (Psst! It's Kris Marshall.)  I think someone needs to just go ahead and make an announcement because if it's Kris, it's not a secret anymore.

If it isn't Kris, we seem to have a definitive answer from the BBC that it will not be a woman. An alleged fan reportedly made an impassioned and angry complaint to the BBC that the next Doctor should not be a woman. The BBC executive who responded to the complaint said that while no final decision had been made on casting the next Doctor, (Psst! It's Kris Marshall.) no women were being considered for the role. 


Which is a shame because both David Tennant and I agree: Olivia Colman would make a great Doctor.

In the more immediate future, the Doctor and Bill meet... EMOJI ROBOTS!!!! (Oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!)
I may have a write up on the episode Monday or I may post it next Saturday.

I will let you know.

Tonight I'm off to the theater to watch my daughter trod the stage in a production of Seussical! Yes, I will post something about that later in the week.

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.

(Psst! It's Kris Marshall.) 

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