Sunday, 30 December 2012

Great Doctor Who Quotes #43

"This is one corner of one country, in one continent, on one planet that's a corner of a galaxy that's a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying, and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much.. to see, because it goes so fast. I'm not running away from things, I'm running to them. Before they flare and fade forever."

- The Doctor, The Power of Three (September 22 2012)
Written by Chris Chibnall

Friday, 28 December 2012

Radio Times TV Review of 2012

That venerable publishing colossus, Christmas perennial, and loyal Doctor Who advocate, the Radio Times, has revealed the results of their annual survey. Their website's 'Top 40 shows' of the year has placed the show at a respectable number fifteen (down from eigth position last year, and probably due to a reduced run of episodes).
Steven Moffat's other BBC One drama, Sherlock tops the list, voted for by the magazine's critics. You can read the complete list hereRT writer and resident Whovian Patrick Mulkern comments:

15. Doctor Who BBC1
"It was a lean year for [the programme], and the promise of “five blockbuster episodes” may have been puff, but there were classics in the mix. The (kind of) new companion debuted by surprise, unaware she was the maddest Dalek in the asylum with her obsession for soufflĂ©: “Eggs-ter-min-ate!” Who could resist dinosaurs and Nefertiti running riot on a spaceship, or the mystery of the black cubes and Jemma Redgrave as the new Brigadier? She must return! Then the Angels in Manhattan robbed us of the Ponds. Their timey-wimey dispersal left a hole in the Doctor’s hearts. And ours. "

Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Best (and Worst) Doctor Who of 2012

The io9 science blog published it's annual TV review of the year last week. The Best and Worst Television Moments of 2011, again from Meredith Woerner, features two recent Doctor Who stories. 
The season opener, Asylum of the Daleks is actually named as both one of the 'Best' and 'Worst' shows. The story is praised for the shock introduction of Jenna Louise Coleman as "the dazzling Oswin Oswald" then criticised for the Ponds' divorce storyline: "Amy and Rory pretend to fight for almost 25 seconds. This whole divorce.. was a sham.. [it] came from nowhere and went right back there.. [they] deserved better than this.. Amy sure as hell wouldn't "give up" Rory. If Amy has proven one thing, it's that she will fight to the bitter end for her centurion. Same goes for Rory. Boo to this facade of emotion."
Thankfully, the list of top sci-fi and fantasy programmes redeems the show, and includes Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, described as a "bit of fun before we had to say goodbye to the Ponds forever. This episode.. was a nice return to the "fun" Doctor, if only for a while."

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Doctor Who Gets the Stamp of Approval

All eleven actors to have portrayed the Doctor on television since 1963 are featured on First Class stamps next year. The Royal Mail today unveiled their Doctor Who 50th Anniversary collections, which presents every incarnation of the Time Lord, whilst the Second Class set showcases the programme's greatest monsters and the iconic TARDIS (pictured below).
Andrew Hammond of the Royal Mail said that the commemorative stamps paid "tribute to the brilliant actors that have played the Doctor over the years, as well as the adversaries that helped make the show so popular".
Meanwhile, current Doctor Who show-runner Steven Moffat has promised "tremendous surprises" for the golden anniversary year.
Both William Hartnell (pictured above) and David Tennant have already appeared on a postage stamp - when celebrating the Carry On films (Carry On Sergeant, 2008), and the RSC (Hamlet, 2011) respectively. The Daleks were first honoured with a celebratory Millennium stamp in 1999.
The new stamp sets are available in March.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Ripper Street Preview

I first wrote about this forthcoming BBC thriller way back in January (read here), which is now scheduled to begin transmission on Sunday, December 30th.

BBC One commissioned the new, eight-part period drama, Ripper Street in September 2011. Created by Richard Warlow, the series "is set in the East End of London in 1889, during the aftermath of the" Whitechapel Murders.
The original press release states that "the action centres around the notorious H Division - the police precinct from hell - which is charged with keeping order in the chaotic streets."
Produced by Tiger Aspect, the series "explores the lives of characters trying to recover from the Ripper's legacy, from crimes that have not only irretrievably altered their lives, but the very fabric of their city. At the drama's heart our detectives try to bring a little light into the dark world they inhabit." The programme's cast is led by Matthew Macfadyen (pictured) as real-life Inspector Edmund Reid, Jerome Flynn as Sergeant Bennett Drake, and Adam Rothenberg as Captain Homer Jackson. 

From it's inception in 1829, the Metropolitan Police was divided into seventeen districts for administrative purposes, and each was identified by a letter. 
 In 1888, H Division covered Whitechapel, and it's jurisdiction included three Ripper murder sites: Hanbury Street (Annie Chapman), Berner Street (Elizabeth Stride), and Miller's Court (Mary Kelly). The four police stations within the district where at Leman Street (the divisional HQ), Commercial Street (the area CID office), Arbour Square, and King David Lane. At the time, the Division was responsible for policing just 1 and a quarter square miles, but which housed some 67,000 poverty-stricken souls.
The officer in charge of detectives on the ground during the Whitechapel Murders, was Inspector Frederick Abberline (1843-1929) - he had worked in H Division from 1873-1887. 
Ripper Street features the actual Head of CID, Inspector Reid (1846-1917), who had led enquiries into the (non-canonical) murders of Emma Smith (in April 1888) and Martha Tabram (the following August). He retired in 1896, and later claimed that Frances Coles (killed in February 1891) had been Jack the Ripper's ninth, and final victim. 
Since 1965, H Division has covered Tower Hamlets.