Doctor Who Christmas Story; Twice Upon a Time, Not Very Good

pd I have only recently seen the Doctor Who Christmas story, Twice Upon a Time. Yes, I know that I’m way behind. But even so, I have to say that it was a very poor way for Peter Capaldi to go out. The plot of the story was that the twelfth was refusing to regenerate, presumably to die, when he meets the first Doctor, who was also refusing to regenerate. As a result of both refusals, there was some kind of problem with the fabric of time. The problem with the idea was that the story didn’t seem to make the difficulty with time to be much of a threat to the universe. The follow through wasn’t very strong. There was a strange alien race that didn’t turn out to be much of a threat. The tension between the two Doctors wasn’t very strong. David Bradley, of course, played William Hartnell in the BBC drama An Adventure in Time and Space, but he really didn’t come across with a good portrayal of the first Doctor. This story could have been and should have been so much better.  Of course, there was the bright spot of Jodie Whittaker as the thirteenth Doctor.

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Let’s Not Make a Big Deal About Jodie Whittaker Being the Doctor

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A great deal has been made of the fact that Jodie Whittaker, the thirteenth Doctor Who, is a woman. In my opinion too much has been made. Talk about the Doctor regenerating into a woman has been brought up to my knowledge since the early 1980s, and probably before that. So, it is likely that it was discussed before the actress was even born. It was almost inevitable that in a science fiction series where the main character could change his (her) body and personality that it would happen. Now it has happened, so let’s get on with the show. I just want to see some good Doctor Who stories, and I hope that Jodie Whittaker is a fine Doctor. And I hope that she stays a lot longer than three years. Some fans of the show in the 1960s had trouble accepting the change when Patrick Troughton took over the role from William Hartnell, and they missed out on some great adventures. Fans of Doctor Who today shouldn’t make the same mistake.

A New Era For Doctor Who

The next episode of Doctor Who will be bittersweet for me. It will be the end of the Matt Smith era and the beginning of the Peter Capaldi era. I look forward to seeing  Peter Capaldi, I expect him to have some aspects of the Jon Pertwee Doctor and I hope he stays at least 5 series. But I will miss Matt Smith. I have enjoyed his portrayal of the Doctor very much. He has reminded me of Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell. But changing Doctors has long been a part of the show, and it’s a big reason why it has been so successful.

Doctor Who Turns Fifty

It all began on November 23, 1963. The BBC had just finished its coverage of the assassination of President John F Kennedy. And a new science fiction program was begun. It was a modest program that  few thought would last more than a few months, but it became a legend. Doctor Who was a low budget program that sometimes had very bad special effects, but children of all ages soon came to love it. The original cast was William Hartnell (The Doctor). Carol Ann Ford (Susan) Jacqueline Hill (Barbra) William Russell (Ian). The show was created by Sydney Newman the BBC Head of Drama and Donald Wilson. Newman was asked to create a show that would be more interesting to the audience as the programming moved from the Saturday afternoon sports coverage to the Saturday evening programming. Newman wanted to do a program about time travel. But he wanted the program to be an educational one. Therefore, Ian was a science teacher and Barbra was a history teacher. Newman set guidelines that the program not be fanciful. For example, a trip to Mars could only include things that were known about the planet. And above all there were to be no bug eyed monsters. But the team of producer Verity Lambert, associate producer Mervyn Pinfield, and script editor David Whitaker soon violated that directive in a huge way. Whitaker approached a writer named Terry Nation to write a story for Doctor Who. Nation came back with a seven episode story about a planet that had been ravaged by war centuries before. On this planet lived two races, the Thals, a peaceful race tired of war and struggling to survive, and the Daleks. The Daleks had been mutated so that they had to travel in machines that looked very much like R2D2 in Star Wars. The Daleks were an evil race that wished to dominate and exterminate other races. The story nearly didn’t make it on the air, but it had to be produced because there no other script available. The Daleks turned Doctor Who into a sensation. Newman was upset with the Daleks, but the audience loved them, so he had to accept it. It was just the beginning for Doctor Who. Millions of people have watched and enjoyed the show around the world, for generations. This Saturday marks the show’s fiftieth anniversary. It has become a legend. Not bad for a program that was created just to fill a time slot.