Posts tagged doctor who

Comic Review: Dr. Who vol. 1: the Hypothetical Gentleman

Comic Review: Dr. Who vol. 1: the Hypothetical Gentleman by Diggle, Buckingham, Seifert, Bond, and many more

Review by: Prof. Jenn

doctor-who-idw-2012-001-cover-topperThe Hypothetical Gentleman consists of two story arcs: the title one, and one called The Doctor and the Nurse. Both are quite different both in writing feel and artistic style, and both are quite enjoyable.

The Hypothetical Gentleman takes place in a few different time periods in London. It concerns seances, artifacts of time, and what is real and what is shenaniganry, and of course there’s a dangerous device having to do with the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey and the Doctor must save the day. Or space-time. You get the picture. There’s some wonderful Amy-Rory dialogue, and a delightful bit where the Doctor is exploring a museum, coming across some objects that any Whovian readers will recognize with a chortle (Just checking to see the mummy is deactivated. Yes). The art is elegant and full of emotion–it reminds me a little bit of the style of CrossGen’s old series Ruse, in that we get lots of character and movement, with rich color and a sort of Impressionist realism about it.

The Doctor and the Nurse is a much more whimsical storyline, and the art is more colorful and cartoony as is appropriate. It follows Rory and the Doctor attempting to have a Boys’ Night Out, ending up with a trapped Amy and many many time periods and a flood of beer. And the Silence. But they’re not the scary Silence in this one, they’re just slightly menacing–even though we get a sense of tension and high-speed action, this isn’t one of those terrifying or super-deeply-poignant stories, but rather a fast-paced Whovian romp. The comedic relief of the Doctor’s dynamic with Rory when trapped alone with him is a lot of fun, and Amy is a resourceful hero in her timeline too.

Bottom Line: Volume One is a lot of fun–the stories are beautifully drawn, and they read like good episodes of the show. Highly recommended.



Need Some Geeky Shoes?

In my many journeys through the internet, I stumbled across something awesome, and thought it deserved to be shared.  Catherine Gretschel with Aisha Voya Creations makes these intricately glittered geeky shoes by hand. Men, do not get disheartened, for I have picked out some slides for a man.

Not only are they very expertly done, but she has such a fun geeky collection. Take a look:





All of those pics lead to the actual shoes, and it looks like she has a ton of sizing options. Take a look at her shop for other fun geekness:

Double Review: Axe Cop & Star Trek / Dr. Who Crossover

It’s another two-fer review, readers!

Axe Cop: President of the World, Part 2
If you are a regular reader, you’ll know I am already an Axe Cop fan. President of the World delivers all the strange, fresh fun and weirdness that makes Axe Cop so entertaining. It’s interesting, though–remember when I interviewed Ethan Nicholle, and asked him what he predicted would change about Axe Cop once his little brother starts getting older? I noticed two things right away about President of the World that are significantly different than older Axe Cop issues: one is, Axe Cop actually has a female best friend (she’s “one of the only girls he [does] not think of as dumb”). And she’s pretty cool, too–though she appears so briefly in this story, I’d like to see more of what the Water Queen can do.
The other most significant difference in this recent Axe Cop might just be me, but it  strikes me that this issue is much more violent than previous stories. It’s, well…kind of dark in some places. The bad guys really are working with complex psychology, and there’s lots of mass devastation, too. This is a good thing–I think the more Axe Cop evolves, the more compelling it will continue to be.
Also, it’s really cool to have Axe Cop in color.


Star Trek TNG/Dr. Who Crossover, Assimilation2 #4
Wil Wheaton is right when he shares memories of the future that Star Trek TNG is quite talk-y. This could make for a very static, text-heavy comic, even with the eccentric action of the Doctor thrown in. However, the almost-Impressionist style of art in this comic makes for much emotion and movement in every frame, even just in discussion scenes. The painterly style with its rich jewel-toned color and broad brush strokes is lovely to look at.
About the premise: does the idea of the Borg and the Cybermen teaming up terrify the bejeezus out of you as much as it does me? Also: duh, of course Guinan and the Doctor are sort of a breed alike. Actually, I’m now convinced Guinan is actually a Time Lady.
This issue is sort of a detective story, in that the crew and company are investigating what happened down on a planet between the inhabitants, the Borg and the Cybermen. So we do the classic away team and go investigate. It’s got the Star Trek and the Doctor Who tropes I want as a reader, along with the novelty of the mashup, and the story rolls along like a good episode of either. I found myself hoping Amy’s red hair didn’t make her a redshirt.
Really, when I first heard that they were going to do a comics mashup with Dr. Who and Star Trek, I thought, “Why hasn’t that happened before?” This is delivering.

I recommend both of these comics, highly.   ~Prof. Jenn

News: Doctor Who’s Katherine Jenkins joins the cast of Dancing with the Stars

Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins (courtesy of

Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins, familiar to Doctor Who fans from her role as Abigail Pettigrew opposite Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor and Michael Gambon’s Kazran Sardick in 2010’s “A Christmas Carol” has joined the cast of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

Michael Gambon, Matt Smith, and Katherine Jenkins in A Christmas Carol

Michael Gambon, Matt Smith, and Katherine Jenkins in promo still from A Christmas Carol (courtesy of

Jenkins, 31, will be partnered with dancer/musician Mark Ballas, 24. Ballas has won the competition twice, with partners Shawn Johnson and Kristi Yamaguchi. Could we see Doctor Who composer Murray Gold join Ms. Jenkins for a performance of Abigail’s Song?

ABC is enjoying genre success with Once Upon A Time and mid-season supernatural offering, The River, could they be courting the Whovian fandom with the addition of Ms. Jenkins to the cast?
Will fans of Doctor Who come out in force to support Jenkins in the online voting?
Katherine Jenkins will be joining athletes Donald Driver and Martina Navretilova, actors Jaleel White, Melissa Gilbert, William Levy and Jack Wagner, singers Gavin DeGraw and Gladys Knight, and television hosts Maria Mennounos and Sherri Shepard when season 14 of Dancing with the Stars premiers on ABC on March 19th at 8pm EST.

How To Build A Dalek

Last Halloween, my friend Stephanie revealed an incredible costume she had been working on all year: a dalek. At first, I thought ‘How is that even possible? How will you wear it?” I underestimated the creativity, crafty skills and motivation Stephanie had behind this undertaking. It was unfortunate that New York was slammed by a huge snow storm Halloween weekend which cancelled all local parties, including the big one Stephanie had planned to show the dalek off at, and hopefully win a costume contest at. I couldn’t let this incredible costume go back into the basement without sharing it with all my fellow Doctor Who fans, so I set upon compiling all the information I could from Stephanie on how she pulled this off. Hopefully some of you will feel inspired by this to create your own awesome Halloween costumes this year!

I asked Stephanie to answer a few questions for me about the experience of building her dalek and hopefully a little advice for those of us thinking of trying this out:

Lissa: When did you first decide to take on the project of building the dalek? Was there some thing/event in particular that prompted you to do it? 

Stephanie: I started in February of 2011.  I am not sure what exactly got me into the idea, but when I found out Dalek’s stand about 5 feet tall (and that is my height), I figured it would be an excellent idea.  Then when I found the very detailed plans online, I was sold.

L: Did you have some idea at the beginning of how long it might take you to finish it, and how close was your estimate to the actual time it took?

S: I don’t think I had an idea, but I definitely did not think it would take the amount of time (and money) that it did.  I knew it was good to start early, and I’m glad I did, because I ended up finishing very close to Halloween.

L: Was it challenging to collect the materials?

S: It definitely was.  I was trying to find components that would work but be cheap and light and would make the final product mobile/portable.

L:  What were some of the changes you made (if any) from the original set of build instructions you used?

S: I didn’t make many changes, except ones to make it able for me to go inside.  Accidentally, it ended up taller than expected, but that turns out to be good because now people who are not petite like me can go inside it as well.


L: What was the biggest challenge in the project and how did you work past it?

S: The biggest challenge was making the dome for the head.  I could not find any bowls that were the right size (huge), so I decided I would use paper mache over a large beach ball.  However, I also could not find a beach ball that was the right size, despite ordering some online that turned out to be incorrectly described.  I finally had to use wire mesh and shape my own dome and then cover it with paper mache.


L: I know thanks to a big snow storm you were unable to show the dalek at  Halloween parties. Did you get to actually take it out for display to the public? Have you made any plans to display it since halloween?

S: I have not yet had a chance to bring it out to the public yet.  I do plan on attending one or two cons this year, though, to show it off.  And hopefully this coming Halloween.  Unfortunately I need a large venue to effectively display it, and that can be hard to find.  (It does not fit through a conventional doorway, except in pieces, so that also creates a challenge.  I have to put it together in one room and stay there the whole time.)


Now for the technical details:

The plans Stephanie used were found here. That site offers plans for several different styles of daleks. Stephanie chose to build the ‘New Series Dalek’, which premiered in 2005. I’m assuming she picked that model because, being fans of David Tennant’s 10th Doctor, her boyfriend Dave would be happy to wear the appropriate Doctor costume.

For technical notes from Stephanie and her bio, read past the break.


Failproof Ways to Troll a Whovian

This is absolutely glorious.

Have any Whovian trolling ideas of your own?

Posted by beanzerz on Reddit

News: Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill leaving Doctor Who?

Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill in “The Girl Who Waited” (courtesy of

BBC News journalist Lizo Mzimba tweeted the news from the screening of the upcoming Christmas Special “The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe.” Swiftly posted to the Doctor Who official tumblr page and confirmed on the BBC entertainment news blog. Steven Moffat has announced that Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill (Amy Pond and Rory Williams) will be leaving. Moffat said, “The final days of the Ponds are coming.” 

While it’s been considered a strong possibility that Gillan, (soon to be seen as model Jean Shrimpton in “We’ll Take Manhattan”) and Darvill, (with a successful run as Mephistopheles in the Globe Theatre’s production of “Doctor Faustus”) would leave Doctor Who after the seventh series, this announcement raises some questions.

Arthur Darvill in “Doctor Faustus” trailer (courtesy of

Although the BBC has confirmed the story, Moffat is well known for teasing fans via twitter and at the screening for “Let’s Kill Hitler” Moffat actively encouraged the audience to circulate fake spoilers on social media sites, to confound anyone who might be angling for a bit of attention. Could this all be an elaborate ruse?

It’s unlikely that this is a prank on an epic scale. Given executive producer/head writer Steven Moffat’s occasionally fractious relationship with those who leak spoilers and how much the energy and heart that Karen and Arthur have brought to their roles, fans can be forgiven for a little bit of wishful thinking.







Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series

Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series - Own it on DVD or Blu-Ray Today!

If you’re a Doctor Who fan, it’s very likely that you have either already bought this set (released November 22) or it is on your holiday wish list.  However, just in case you’re still on the fence, I have to say that the BBC has once again put together a fabulous series collection that is worth every penny.

First off, a synopsis of the DVD set:

The 6-disc set combines all 13 episodes of the new season from award-winning lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat (Sherlock, The Adventures of Tintin), along with the 2010 Holiday Special, A Christmas Carol, starring Harry Potter’s Michael Gambon, plus hours of bonus features. The series follows the adventures of the Doctor, a mysterious traveler who journeys throughout all of time and space, picking up companions along the way. ©BAFTA nominee Matt Smith (the Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory) and Alex Kingston (River Song) are back when the Doctor faces his date with death and learns a lot more about the mysterious River Song. Guest stars include Mark Sheppard (Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Notting Hill), supermodel Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), James Corden (Gavin & Stacey,The History Boys), and David Walliams (Little Britain, Come Fly With Me). Catch a surprise appearance by NBC’s Meredith Vieira in the series finale as well as Michael Sheen (The Twilight Saga, Midnight in Paris), who voices a character in Neil Gaiman’s episode and Imelda Staunton (Cranford, Vera Drake), who voices a character in Tom MacRae’s episode. Executive producers are Piers Wenger (Upstairs Downstairs, Ashes to Ashes) and Beth Willis (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes). Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1, Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 2 and Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol are also available for purchase separately on DVD and Blu-ray.

The synopsis reminds you about all the awesome guest stars/writers they had throughout the sixth series, but it doesn’t elaborate on all the great bonus features in this DVD set.  Not only does the DVD set contain all of the Doctor Who Confidential episodes for series six, but it also provides plenty of commentaries, prequels to specific episodes, four different “Monster Files” that aired throughout the season, and two Comic Relief sketches.  Basically, almost every Doctor Who special that aired on BBC over the last year is present in this DVD collection.  Just in case re-watching all of the episodes wasn’t enough of the Doctor for you.

My favorite special is the Doctor Who Confidential for last year’s Christmas episode.  It’s longer than your average Doctor Who Confidential episode (almost an hour), and it offers us (amongst other things) a glimpse of the table read for “A Christmas Carol.”  I love seeing the giddy excitement on Matt Smith’s face when he reads with Michael Gambon, and hearing Steven Moffat read his own stage directions.  I’m a sucker for “behind-the-scenes” footage, and the Doctor Who Confidential episodes provide plenty of it.

Series Six of Doctor Who was full of awesome, including Neil Gaiman, Mark Sheppard, and a wonderfully intricate overarching story-arc involving the “death of the Doctor.”  Steven Moffat yet again drives us crazy with twists and turns throughout the series; providing some answers to long-standing questions and, of course, posing new ones.  Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and Alex Kingston have great chemistry as a whole and compliment each other (and the scripts) perfectly throughout the season.  Needless to say, I can’t wait for the next season to start.  In the meantime, I strongly recommend that every Doctor Who fan checks out this DVD/Blu-Ray series, if for no other reason than to watch out the awesome bonus features.

In case you need just a little more convincing, here’s the trailer:

Review – Doctor Who 6×13: The Wedding of River Song

Image from

Warning: Spoilers, sweetie.

The fifth and sixth series of Doctor Who represent storytelling as a long game. I’m not willing to say that we’ve seen that game fully played out, but the sixth series has certainly gone out with a bang. It’s how we get from the Doctor running from his death while River is kidnapped to inhabit a spacesuit at the end of “Closing Time” to a wedding and what it means for the Doctor to die, that makes all the difference.

I’ll say up front: “The Wedding of River Song” does what it says on the tin. What Steven Moffat has written, is the cherry on the top of the meta sundae that this season has been. Time folding in on itself, history happening all at once, self-referential humor and even more questions when we come to the end of it. Silurians and Pterodactyls and Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill. Amelia Pond with an office on a train. There is no shortage of familiar faces in unfamiliar surroundings to bring the point home: the Doctor’s death is a fixed point, and reality is disintegrating. Amy Pond remembers, as she’s done before. The crack in the wall poured the universe into her head and that means she can see more than the average bear. Moffat ties this episode to “The Big Bang” on multiple levels: “Every explosion has an epicenter,” in TBB, it’s the TARDIS and here, it’s the Doctor and the fact that he hasn’t died. The drawings and figures that littered young Amelia Pond’s bedroom have their echo in the illustrations and model of the TARDIS that litter the adult Amelia Pond’s office. Amy stares down Madame Kovarian (Frances Barber) who is begging for mercy, and delivers the most chilling line in the episode, “River Song didn’t get it all from you, sweetie.” A duck pond that isn’t a duck pond, an eyepatch that isn’t an eyepatch. . . nothing is ever quite what it seems. Not every question is answered, yet Moffat manages to pack in references not only to Classic Who and Indiana Jones, but also display savvy humor towards media and fandom speculation.

Silent: (to Rory) “Rory Williams, the man who dies and dies again. . .”
River: (to the Doctor) “There are so many theories about you and I, you know? . . . Am I the woman who marries you or the woman who murders you?”
TV Presenter: (to Charles Dickens) “So, do you think you can top last year’s Christmas special?”

Director Jeremy Webb has delivered an episode that is pure romp on the surface, but weaves together the threads of the past, present and future of the Doctor and his companions. While Amy, Rory and River may be the present and future, the Doctor hasn’t forgotten his past. Not merely the recent past of Rose Tyler and Jack Harkness, but Brigadier Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart, (providing a fitting and graceful tribute to actor Nicholas Courtney who passed away earlier this year.) The Brig is the reason the Doctor recognizes that there are some things he can’t outrun. It’s a lovely moment and Matt Smith plays it with the weight it deserves. Alex Kingston gets to let the arch mask River wears slip, just a little. There is a cost to being River Song. Just as there is a cost to being Amy, or Rory, and especially to being the Doctor.

I’m not going to give everything away. If you’ve followed the trail of breadcrumbs Moffat left through the series, you’ve got everything you need to know. Looking back over this series, I’m intrigued by how much faith Moffat has placed in the audience to do just that. Delivering the payoff in the finale usually involves some over-the-top theatrics, TWoRS is no exception to that rule. When you’ve got all of time and space at your fingertips: isn’t that kind of the point, though? Everything can be at stake and therefore everything is at stake.

It may not have been as much fun as “The Big Bang” but “The Wedding of River Song” has the titular wedding, a funeral, flesh-eating skulls, an awful lot of non-linear time and Dorium Maldovar’s big blue head in a box.

What more could we ask for?


Doctor Who 6×12: Closing Time – Review

Image from

Warning: Contains Mild Spoilers

“Closing Time,” is a comedic romp masquerading as the Doctor’s existential crisis as his death draws near, or it’s an existential crisis masquerading as a comedic romp. Either way, it works.

Oh, and there are Cybermen.

Writer Gareth Roberts picks up the awkwardly charming friendship between Craig Owens (James Corden) and the Doctor (Matt Smith) where he left off in last season’s “The Lodger.”

Craig and Sophie (Daisy Haggard, appearing all too briefly) have indeed added to the human population with baby Alfie, aka: “Stormageddon, dark lord of all,” (the Doctor still speaks baby).  While Sophie’s off on a holiday weekend, Craig is surprised by the Doctor’s return. Moping about on his, “Farewell tour,” and determinedly, “Not noticing that… I’m done saving them,” the Doctor’s curiosity gets the better of him. Shenanigans ensue.

Directed by Steve Hughes, there are plenty of laughs and more than a few chills in this episode. “Closing Time” also presents the audience with further clues that the timeline we think we’ve been on might not be quite as linear as we’ve been led to believe.

And Cybermats, which I’m told haven’t been seen in a very, very long time.

The last few episodes have been about everyone except the Doctor. Seeing the focus brought back around to him, in the company of Craig and Stormageddon, is a relief. There’s a brilliant playfulness between Corden and Smith that not only provides a nice counterpoint to the direct threat of the Cybermen, but lightens the sense of impending doom. This opens up an entirely new shading of Matt Smith’s performance as the Eleventh Doctor similar to the way Suranne Jones’ did as Idris in “The Doctor’s Wife.” Here, Smith carries the weight of the Doctor’s appointment with death in a way that’s visible in the set of his shoulders and the tilt of his head while also being incredibly gentle with the people around him. It’s a double-act, though: Craig’s haplessness should be pathetic, but Corden makes him the heroic heart of the Everyman that represents humanity’s pull on the Doctor.

Stand-alone episodes in this series have suffered somewhat with the weight of the series and character arcs. Fortunately, “Closing Time” is bubbly without ignoring the big picture, just scary enough, and gives us a companion whose relationship with the Doctor isn’t yet fraught with the vagaries of time and enemies that spring up out of nowhere. “The Lodger” took a while to grow on me; here, the respite and gentle hilarity are exactly what were needed in the penultimate episode of the sixth series.

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