Sad news for fans of Doctor Who’s Matt Smith, the fez-and-bowtie-wearing, fish-fingers-and-custard-eating, proclaimer of what is cool. Smith, the current star of the long-running British TV show Doctor Who, has announced he will be exiting the show.
Neil Gaiman, the author of the famed Sandman comic book, as well as such novels as Coraline, American Gods, and many, many others, became a writer of Doctor Who last year, with the episode “The Doctor’s Wife.” His second time around the TARDIS, the fabulously titled “Nightmare in Silver,” will be airing this Saturday on BBC/BBC America. In a conference call, Gaiman spoke about his love for the long-running British show…and how he put his own particular twist on the Doctor’s old enemy, the Cybermen.
Egads, I disliked last week’s episode of Doctor Who, “The Rings of Akhaten.” There was an overlong musical number in an incomprehensible alien language. There was a planet-sized jack-o-lantern who shrivels under the power of infinite potential (seriously). There was a…nope, I can’t think of anything worse than a planet that sucks emotions. Fortunately, this week’s episode, “Cold War,” is markedly better. Although it’s not the best episode, it brings enough Who-ishness to blot out the pumpkin-faced planet from my mind.
This is only the second time in Doctor Who history that the phone on the police callbox-shaped TARDIS has rung. The first time was in “The Doctor Dances,” a season 1 (or season 27/28, depending on how you count it) episode, but that was an effect of electricity and nanogenes and whatnot. “The Bells of St. John” marks the first time that the phone box has actually been used to receive a telephone call.
As we know from season 6 of Doctor Who, the oldest question in the universe, the one that can never be answered, is…“Doctor who?” But the second half of season 7 has a different question that needs answering, and this question remains something of a mystery to the famously curious Doctor: Who is Clara Oswald?
Doctor Who has been on a mid-season break since September 2012, and although we saw the Doctor (Matt Smith) and met his new companion Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) during the annual Christmas special, it’s been too long since we’ve boarded the TARDIS for another adventure. We still have to wait until March 30, but until then, we have a look at the season to come in a poster.
“The Snowmen,” also known as the 2012 Christmas special, is the beginning of a new chapter in Doctor Who, with a new enemy to chase down and a new companion to chase with. But actually, the new enemy hails from a story from 1967, “The Abominable Snowman.” And the companion we meet in the episode is not the one we’ll be traveling with on our journey through season seven (or thirty four, depending on how you count).
I attended an advanced screening of the Doctor Who Christmas Special, “The Snowmen,” along with Matt Smith (who is surprisingly thin), Jenna-Louise Coleman (who was surprisingly my height—or lack thereof), producers Stephen Moffat and Caroline Skinner (who were unsurprisingly British), as well as Neil Gaiman (whose attendance was a surprise), and John Hodgman (whose attendance should have been a surprise, but actually it makes perfect sense).
In the long-running BBC show Doctor Who, our eponymous hero flits around time and space curtailing the spread of evil, defending the human race, and according to the first trailer for “The Snowmen,” prevents all the children in the world from ever having bad dreams. But it seems as if he won’t be living up to his responsibilities in the latter task, because if the trailer is anything to go by, some children who watch this are in danger of having nightmares.
With producer Steven Moffatt, star Matt Smith (the Doctor), and actors Karen Gillan (Amy) and Arthur Darvill (Rory) telling the media for the last several months that the Doctor Who episode “The Angels Take Manhattan” would show deaths of the characters Amy and Rory, I was afraid that the characters would merely appear to die, only to find they had been saved at the “eleventh hour.” But no. The last words of the episode are, “This is the story of Amelia Pond, and this is how it ends.” It was, and it did. It was riveting.