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Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Time of the Doctor (Seth's Take)

Hi there! Remember me? Seth, classic-series aficionado. I've been gone a while, school and such, but I'm back now! I'll do another post catching you up on my opinions on the things I've missed--the fiftieth and so forth--later, but that can wait, because we've got this much more immediate thing to discuss.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Time of the Doctor (Ley's Take)

Spoiler warning!

Good Night, Raggedy Man: A Love Letter to the Eleventh Doctor

"I'll be a story in your head. But that's okay. We're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? Because it was, you know, the best."

Dear Doctor,

They say you never forget your first Doctor.

I will say, you were not quite the first for me. The first Doctor I watched was the Ninth. But you were the Doctor when I became a Whovian. So, not only is this my first Christmas special, but this is my first regeneration as well.

Though this may be the first time I actually
admit it, the answer is, and always will be yes.
You know by now that I have mixed feelings about you. I hope it counts for something that a really, really do want  to like you. But I think Ten will always be my Doctor.

I began watching the show on a medical leave from college in February of this year. I am a Theatre Arts major and a lot of the other students in the program love it. I didn't quite fit in with them, and so I began watching it as something to be able to talk with them about and understand the references.

But, as you can tell, it became more. So much more.

Since my second or third year of high school, I've known I was a relatively decent writer compared to my peers. (Quite franklyI thought that spoke more about my peers than myself.) Starting this blog proved me wrong. Once it picked up momentum, it never really stopped. It evolved in a way I could not imagine.

And you carried the show while all this was happening.

For me, you only became the Doctor in late February or March, so I am still attached to your previous face. It's strange, how we attach to faces.

Your song is ending now, too. But, as Ood Sigma said, the story never ends.

And that is so true. Just over a month ago, we all celebrated fifty years of Doctor Who. And we, as a community, have never been stronger. I would attribute most of that to the internet, allowing millions of Whovians to connect everyday. I believe there have been studies that prove that talking about things (and people too!) is conducive to creating the bonds that we call love. Twitter. Facebook. Tumblr. All crawling with Whovians, if your know where to look. I believe the epic of your story will only perish when the human race does so as well. It will go to the end of the Earth--and perhaps beyond.

Here's the gist of what I'm trying to say. Bad Wolf said it best:
You know the sound the TARDIS makes? That wheezing groaning? That sound brings hope where ever it goes. To anyone who hears it, Doctor. Anyone. However lost.

There has been no line in all of Doctor Who with more veracity than that. That wheezing, groaning used to invoke such a response in me that I set it as the text tone on my phone to desensitize myself it it (not that it really worked, of course).

Before I end this letter, I'd like to share my most fond memory of you with you. This summer, I babysat my two-year-old cousin, Max, for two consecutive weeks. On the Tuesday or Wednesday of the second week, I popped on "The Beast Below," as we had just watched Treasure Planet and the Orcus galacticus, naturally, reminded me of the Star Whale. Max, curious as ever, asked what exactly a Star Whale is. And, as that episode is pretty child-friendly (compared to a lot of the other stories), I didn't think it could do any harm (and as far as I know, it has not). He and I watched it. And he loved it. I wonder when his mother (my aunt) will Google "star whale" and figure out what happened.

So, Doctor. The Eleventh Doctor. Matt Smith. Sir Doctor of Tardis. The Oncoming Storm. The Drunk Giraffe. And, in a way, my Doctor. You are so loved. And by no one in the exact same way as me.

Goodbye, Raggedy Man.
The Forever and Always Yours Ley Wynn

PS. It's not quite goodbye, you know--same software, different casing.

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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

What I Want From the Twelfth Doctor (or Whatever Number Capaldi Is…)

And ever since then...
With Matt Smith’s reign as Doctor having less than twenty-four hours remaining, the internet is atwitter with…timey-wimey stuff. There is no doubt in my mind that the Doctor Capaldi will be will be unlike the last two Doctors. More than twenty years older at the start of his tenure than David Tennant, it would be unfitting to have him play a flirty, sexy Doctor, especially alongside the youthful Jenna Coleman.

The most recent Doctors have had faces that reflect the personality of their Doctors, Tennant being young, flirty, and suave, and Smith being joyous (most of the time) and a tad crazed. When you look at Capaldi’s face, what do you think of? His face is aged in a way the likes of which we have not seen since at least Sylvester McCoy, or perhaps even Jon Pertwee. There is a striking similarity between the eyes of William Hartnell and our incumbent Doctor, at least to me. Capaldi’s face, in general, especially when paired with the little First Doctor impression he did when he walked on stage upon being announced as Smith’s successor, reminds me of Hartnell. Perhaps his Doctor will be a bit more like the Classic Doctors rather than the new Doctors.

...the Doctor had a thing about showers.
But so far, these clues have been just that—clues. And that’s not the title of this post. Here’s what I want to see from Peter and the team:
  • In all honesty, I want a sterner Doctor. While I love the playfulness of Matt, I would love to see this new Doctor be a bit more mature.
  • This may sound weird, but I want a Doctor who reminds me of a nice wine. In my view, they’ve been getting better with age, no question, but I want something with a deeper, more complex flavour. Something that might pair well with a filet mignon. (#SecretFoodie)
  • While Matt certainly had his darker moments, I personally loved the fire and ice and rage that was David’s Doctor, and I want that back for Capaldi. Some of that was a consequence of Gallifrey burning, which it has not (Can we just take a second to “appreciate” how Moffat broke the key rule and [sort of] negated eight years of writing? Clearly this man has no improv training.) Actually happened, apparently, and now the Doctor knows it there is less of an influence for is depression. Call me crazy (it’s OK; people have done it before), but when Clara goes, and we know it is only a matter of time, I’d like it to be in a way even more emotionally damning that the Rose…it’s been a long time since a companion’s been truly killed… Oh, I’m so bloody evil. Although Clara’s a bit of a meme, I wonder what having the definite article killed would do to her existence in the Doctor’s timestream…
  • Artwork (c) Erin Natal
  • NO BOWTIES. I will accept the fez now that it has been on the head of Ten, but no more. Please, costume designers, consider a cravat? Capaldi would look seriously good in a cravat. Allons-y on that cravat.

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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

TARDIStyle on the Naked Doctor: EX-PLAIN, EXPLAIN!

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The Extended BBC America "Time of the Doctor" Trailer?

Yeah, it's a thing.
Even as an American (for now) I think it is more than strange that the BBC would release a trailer only to the States.
But let's get past that, and discuss it!

-Clara's Grandmother (?)

That's where it is. That's how the Doctor does it. Regenerate again, I mean. Clara makes a wish for him not to die.


There's a huge surprise in store for Clara. She hasn't met the Silence yet. Whole years of Moffat plot, they are, and she has never had an experience with them (with the Doctor--as a person, I assume so, as everyone meets Silents.
But there's still another surprise in store--the Weeping Angels!


The Daleks never were too good with metaphor, so it is my thinking that they mean that the Silence will kill him.


Now, I try to avoid night-blogging here, but what if Capaldi is playing another William Hartnell Doctor? I mean, the Curator did say a  few things that would point to something akin to that.


Alright, I know that Gallifrey didn't burn (one thing, though, is he gonna just keep that cube like on his night stand or something?) but still that phrase must evoke some feelings to the Doctor after 400 years thinking he burned Gallifrey.

for which I have very little back up....

...what if the Doctor's name is Trenzalore? and, what if Trenzalore is Earth?

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

What's in Store for "The Time of the Doctor"? SPOILERS

Click on the picture to see it enlarged.

So we know that stuff's gonna go down this Christmas. Regeneration, what have you. But what else. The above picture is official from the BBC and it tells us a bit about what to expect.

  1. Cyberman: 11's holding a cyberman's head. Can we take a second to appreciate the expression on its face? And it looks like it have been repaired prior to the decapitation. So, there will be cybermen.
  2. The Silence: They're ba-ack! Hiding in the background, those cheeky buggers. Hopefully we will finally have their mystery explained....
  3. Weeping Angels: There, buried in the snow! Can they move if they don't know if someone's looking? I don't know. Based on Moffat being the creature behing the angels and the prominence they have in Eleven's life, I assume that they will be making an appearance.
  4. Minor: Near that tree, there's a pulley. What's it doing there? The world may never know....
  5. The Clock: It is pointing to 12. From the 50th special, I'd say that it's 12 midnight--the dawn of a new day.
  6. Clara: She is definitely checking out the Doctor there. Well, she's sure in for a surprise come Capaldi.....
  7. Eleven: That's a pretty sweet bowtie, but look at his face. It's all sad--he know's he's about to die.
  8. The Light in the Clock-tower: It looks like a lighthouse style thing--not a bell. A beacon? We shall see...
  9. And finally, Peter: Look there, between Clara and the Doctor. In the flames, Capaldi's face is evident. Nice job with Photoshop, Doctor Who.
Then, there was the little 11-second preview: "This planet...what's it called?" "Trenzalore." Whose voice said Trenzalore? Was it me, or did it sound a lot like Alex Kingston? And, now, Trenzalore's a planet? I thought it was a field.
Here's my thought for you to ponder: What if the Doctor's name is Trenzalore?

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

New to Who: Where to Start Doctor Who

A friend of mine knew I was the right person to ask about where to start when he decided to watch Doctor Who. I told him what I thought he'd like best, but it's different for everyone. Though I've never met any of them, I know that people sometimes don't like the series, and I think that is partly because people don't know where to start. Between 11 Doctors (for all intents and purposes) and the 2013 Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor", being episode 800 and story 240, there's a lot choices. I've made this little flowchart to help you decide which route is best for you, in my advice.

Click on the picture to see it enlarged.
Now, this is only one way of approaching it. What I think is ideal, and what I did, is to start with Nine and get caught up, then watch the Classic episodes.

There will be more posts regarding what you need to know when starting Doctor Who. They can be found here.

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Monday, 25 November 2013

The Time of the Doctor: The 2013 Christmas Special

It seems like Moffat has lost a bit of creativity. It's all been "The _____ of the Doctor" lately. It's been revealed the the 2013 Christmas special--the episode that will feature Matt Smith's regeneration into Peter Capaldi--is titled "The Time of the Doctor."
This is the BBC's synopsis.
Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them – the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.

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The Promise of the Doctor

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” 
-Marcus Aurelius

He is a man is who is never cruel or cowardly; a man who never gives up and never gives in. It is also an idea that I feel everyone should abide by. The Doctor is a hero, and heroes are models of what we all should aspire to be. No, we shouldn't go jump in a vat of radioactive waste or anything. What we need to be a hero is already inside of ourselves. The thing is we need to realize it is what should be done and also remember the concept so we can use it. 

Never Cruel...

The Doctor aims to treat all with respect. They call it "the golden rule," to do unto others as you would have others do unto you. The Doctor takes this one seriously, but he, like everyone, falters from time to time. Think of the Fury of a Time Lord- when he gives the Family of Blood the immortality they were seeking, or when he was going to leave the Caecilius family to die in "Fires of Pompeii" (fun fact: Caecilius was a real person! For info on him, click here).

We, as humans, also falter. I'm sure you can think of examples from your own life, and so can I. They tend to grow to be the things we regret.

...or Cowardly...

There is a difference between being afraid and being a coward. Cowardice would be a constant trait of someone, while fear is a temporary emotion. Sure, the Doctor has been scared. He's not immune to fear,and the War Doctor's actions highlight that quite well. Select the following text to be able to read it (there are spoilers!) When he is going to use the Moment to destroy Gallifrey and end the Last Great Time War, he is scared. He fears what the Moment thinks of him. He fears for his future, knowing that he will live on. The Doctor works with his fear and turns it in to fuel for his adventure. 

For us, it can be very hard to get over fear. Humans tend to over-think things and come to conclusions about how people will react and what the conclusions will be. We fuel our fear with self-doubt, which is a large difference between us and the Doctor--he has very little self-doubt. In fact, I'd say the man is too confident at times.

...Never Give Up...

The Doctor is determined to find a solution for everything. In "The Day of the Doctor," (select text to reveal spoilers) he works for four hundred years to find how to save Gallifrey from burning. He even says that he's kind of been working all his lives to save his people, but personally I'm a bit confused. Did the someone tell the First Doctor about it? I just don't know but I'm not going t argue. Also, there is Clara. Eleven refuses to let the mystery of Clara go unsolved.

Humans tend to preserver as well, at least for the most part. When we get the desire to do something, we tend to pursue our goals. It is frustration that is our downfall. We get frustrated that we can't accomplish things when there are roadblocks that seem insurmountable. Sometimes, we say it is okay to "give up" there are times when the effort is not worth the outcome. It's kind of like me and maths. I have a non-verbal learning disorder, which means my mathematics processing skills are severely lacking, but my verbal processing is excellent. Yesterday, I kid you now, I asked someone to not tell me the answer to 18 + 30. It took me a few seconds for me to end up with 48. I know that I don't ave great ability with maths, but admitting that is not giving up. I didn't ask what 18 + 30 was, I specifically asked my friend not to tell me what it was. I try to get better, and that is what counts.

...Never Give In

It's manipulation in this one. Maybe not true manipulation, but being strong. It's been there since the First Doctor, "go forward in all of your belief, and prove that I am not mistaken in mine." That may be him telling his companions to be strong, but the First Doctor was a man who practised what he preached, and even though not all the Doctors did, they all never gave in. They have their principles and live by them. They have their rules and live by them, even though those rules may not always be morally correct. The Doctor always sticks with his convictions.

I, personally, think that this is one thing that we, as a species, have trouble with. We tend to yield to other peoples' desires too much. We get confused easily between what we want to do versus what other people want us to do. I think that even if what we want to do may not necessarily be the right thing to do, sticking to your convictions and beliefs is what is the most important.

and Lastly...

The Doctor's promise doesn't say anything about morals, really. It doesn't say something like "always do good things," which I think is because sometimes doing the "good" thing isn't the "right" thing. The Doctor himself does not admit to being as good man--"good men don't need rules and today is not the day to ask me why I have so many of them." And these are his rules--no, they are stronger than rules, they are his laws.

Going forward, I have created tags for the four elements of the promise, and will tag posts referring to examples of each with the tags.

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What was Tom Baker Doing in "The Day of the Doctor"?

I can’t say I know, but I will explore some possibilities.

I’ll start with my favourite one so far—it was brought up by someone in a comment on The Day of the Doctor: Gallifrey Falls No More. It is this: Baker is playing a character akin to the Watcher in “Logopolis,” the episode in which the Fourth Doctor regenerated into the Fifth Doctor. From the beginning of the story, the Watcher enigmatically tags along with Team TARDIS. When Four falls to his regeneration, the Watcher saunters over to his body and becomes the Fifth Doctor—and I do not believe that he was played by Peter Davison. It’s never been explained why or how this happened, and Moffat may be the man to solve this thirty-plus year-old mystery? I wouldn’t put it past him. I don’t remember where I heard this said, but I believe I read that the Doctor is aware that his regeneration is impending.

Upon meeting the Tom Baker character, Eleven remarked that he never forgets a face. I have a hard time believing that they are going as far to stretch Tom Baker still being the Fourth Doctor. I love the man, but he does not quite look like he used to. In all honesty, even the timeless David Tennant is starting to show his age in the face a bit, but that disbelief I could suspend, and even in “Time Crash,” Peter Davison wasn’t that different. But Tom? He’s barely recognisable. Love you Tom, but it’s true.

The Watcher fuses with the Doctor in Logopolis
“Never forgetting a face” also fuels that he could be the Watcher. The Watcher did not have quite discernible features, so I could deal with that being what he looked like, or an alternate version of what the Watcher looks like.

The same argument is somewhat valid for Tom reprising the Fourth Doctor, but as I said before, I have some doubt about that. They do have discourse about what if they are each other, which could go into either camp of Watcher v. Doctor.

What do you think? Please comment below!

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A Story of Skaro

Once upon a time, there was a planet. It was called Skaro. There was an explosion on Skaro and everone died. The Doctor said "Allons-y" and was flung into space. The Doctor died because he had no oxygen, so he couldn't regenerate. Skaro became inhabited by velociraptor-human hybrids, and everyone had many babies.

Seems a little wonky right? Well, I will tell you why. I minor in French at college, and we did a exercise where we wrote one sentence on an index card and passed it to the next person. I started the story with the sentence "Il etait un fois quand in y avait une planète. Il a s'été appelé Skaro." The story above is an exact translation of what happened, except I conjugated everything correctly because errors in my native are bad.

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Saturday, 23 November 2013

#SaveTheDay: Doctor Who Official 50th Celebration at ExCeL, London

Hello everyone! My name is Eva and I’m about to share with you some of my experience at the Doctor Who 50th Celebration event I attended the past weekend. I apologise it has taken me so long, but believe me, the whole gathering has left quite an impact in my head and it takes some time to put everything down into some coherent words and not just mindless babble.

As you may know, this event was held in London on the weekend 22nd till 24th November, in the congress centre of Excel. Due to the amount of people expected to come they decided to make it a one-day event (meaning that the same programme would be held each day, even though the star guests change according to the date) and divide them into two groups – Ice Warriors and Weeping Angels. I was assigned Ice Warrior on Friday, the first day of the celebration, so many of my objections may have been solved in the later days.

Anyway, on with the show… I’ve been looking forward to the celebration for months. I booked the ticket as soon as they went on sale (the got sold out in few hours) and was lucky enough to get an opportunity of photoshoot with Matt Smith. Arriving to the venue appeared to be an easy task, but underestimated the vastness of the place and little conversance of the place by the staff, so instead of West entrance I found myself in the East. Fortunately that turned out to be no problem at all. Before getting to the panel, the tickets were scanned by the staff and I received a card and lanyard that entitled me to enter the panels of my group, various shows and the arena. I decided to follow the first bigger group of people and unknowingly ended up at the first panel: SFX show.

The Arena was divided into several sections – there was the TARDIS console (screen-used one where the photographs were taken), Costumes sets and props (10 out of 11 Doctors’ costumes were there and many other from both New and Classic era), Make-up trailer (they had David Tennant’s wig there, hehe), Pub quiz (you could test your knowledge of Doctor Who there), Production trailer (a double-decker used as a canteen), visual effects (the actual models used before the CGI and you got to talk to Mike Tucker and Mat Irvine – specialists in the area), Millenium FX (where the shows about the prosthetics for DW monsters were held), Sound Lab (with all the ‘ancient’ equipment they used in early days of the show and you could chat with Dick Mills there as well). Of course there was the merchandise corner, always overflowing with crowds and there was a massive queue to enter the BBC merchandise store.

There were two more levels with DW goodness to raise a bit of panic about not being able to attend everything you’d like to (which was truly impossible). On the second floor they arranged a lounge for TARDIS ticket holders with refreshments. The third floor was more Con-like, with screening room that played Doctor Who episodes with actual live commentaries (so it was better if you’ve seen the episode before, because all the guests talked about the behind-the-scene and funny incidents and such); and with Classic lounge (which offered comfort to Classic Who fans to listen to stories and interviews of previous companions).

Okay, I hope the introduction is over and I didn’t put you off with all the information. But there’s still so much more to come…

My Experience

Now to the fun stuff. As I stated before, the whole convention was a bit confusing at first. I had no idea where to go and was just herded into the Theatre, where I sat down and prepared myself for the unexpected. It was really a huge space, filled with chairs and podium in the front. I could clearly see the screen as the BBC trailer for the Special episode was shown. I must admit, my mood went up the ceiling. That’s when I finally admitted to myself: I’m in London about to witness something unbelievable for sure!

They screened variety of clips for us while we waited for the SFX show to start, mostly the trailer and the opening tune. Then the presenter, Dallas Campbell (to be honest, this was the first time I heard of this guy, is he well-known in Britain?), started the show and invited the special effects guy, whose name I unfortunately never caught up. They talked about blowing up Daleks, how it’s important to have a break-up Dalek so they don’t fly away in pieces (which might hurt someone). Lot of things in Doctor Who nowadays are made in CGI, but the prosthetics and Visual Effects are always needed as well. Especially an explosion. He liked the explosion behind David Tennant in the "End of Time" (even though it was made higher through CGI). The Guy also mentions that he set David Tennant’s hair on fire (by accident, but I think he was just a little bit jealous, hehe).

Of course they had to involve the audience too. So after blowing up the Dalek, another bang was heard (which made me jump, it was so out of the blue!) and Cyberman stepped out the cocoon that was on stage. Dallas C. asked who’d like to learn how to kill a Cyberman and chose a kid to be the Doctor and a girl to be his companion (she does nothing but stand, really). Billie Piper’s gun ("The Stolen Earth") was brought and the kid got to shoot the Cyberman! They showed us the remote fire system duct-taped to Cyberman’s back. I thought it was quite clever. Then came the wind (I’m sure most of you have seen it, a huge fan really) and the snow (which didn’t quite work). The snow showed up to be a surprise to me. It’s made of paper! All the snow you’ve seen on set is made of paper! How this is humanly possible is beyond my capacity... The nicest thing was when Dallas pointed out a Dalek in the audience. It was a very nice costume. Well, the rest were question about the Anniversary episode and only one thing was revealed: that it’d be a show (as it turned out to truly be), with lots of explosions and it was the "trickiest one to make, physical effects-wise."

After a hearty applause we were rushed out the Theatre by Daleks' threat to be exterminated (it did the trick: we were all out in five minutes). My next stop turned out to be a photoshoot with Matt Smith! I hurry-scurry run through the venue in a search of a map to locate the photo studio. Fortunately all the visitors were helpful and with an aid from a German couple I found the studio, respectively the queue to the studio, in no time. With a time to spare, I chatted with the pair. Both coming to celebrate the Anniversary from Germany, enjoying the London along the way and both were pretty excited about the Special. We reached the studio in 20 minutes and let me tell you, when I first saw Matt, I wanted to run. I and the German girl had a bit of a fangirly moment. From all I could see, Matt was extremely polite to whoever he met, posed and chit-chatted a bit. When it was my turn, I gave him a smile, introduced myself, passed over the greetings from Czech Whovians and asked him to dance with me in the photo. It all lasted less than a minute, but it was a pleasure. What a bigger surprise awaited for me at home when I looked at the picture and noticed there’s another one. I got two pics with Matt and they already hang on the wall.

After leaving the German couple with the photos in my hands, I practically run to the Arena so I could have another picture taken, this time in the TARDIS console. What I wasn’t prepared for was the line that stretched throughout the Arena and I knew I’d end up there for ages. The queue slowly proceeded to the TARDIS, but it could have been miles away for all knew. Solid hunger forced me to buy a little snack (my first food that day for I woke up quite late to have any time for a proper breakfast) and waited and shifted and waited. As I was closing to the TARDIS’ door I remembered I also purchased an autograph from Sylvester McCoy. Being just few meters from my final destination, I had no other option then to ask the staff guy to hold my place for me so I wouldn’t miss Sylvester.

Sylvester was such a sweetie. I was one of the last to show up yet I had to wait at least 15 minutes because Sylvester talked to everyone who wanted to have a small talk with him. I let him sign my 50 Years edition book of Remembrance of the Daleks and thanked him for his performance as Witch Prime in Minister of Chance Sonic Movie (if you haven’t already, check this one out. Also starring Paul McGann, Julian Wadham, Jed Brophy, Lauren Crace among others. They just finished crowd fund-raising to make a Movie. The Sonic Movie is free to download here) and he even remembered him dancing with me at HobbitCon! Few photos with him and off I went, back to the TARDIS.

As I got back, I noticed with some horror that the guy I spoke to and who would let me back to the line where I was, was replaced by someone else. I tried very hard to convince him that I hadn’t my photo taken yet and I was promised to be let back into the line. And that’s when my ‘personal’ Doctor came in.

His name was Richard and he simply said that he knows me. I was bit confused but the guy said ‘oh, you know him, you can go’ and so I was back in line! I don’t think I would be mentally capable of waiting in the line from the start. I’d end up in a little ball of tears somewhere. Anyway, I finally had a company, a Brit living in the States and we had a very lovely chat. At that time I was getting quite confused whether any Brits actually were at the Event at all…

The time flies fast when you have a partner to chat and laugh with. He turned out to be a massive DW fan, who bought the family ticket because the single ones were sold out! And he built TARDIS out of Lego (which looked impressive, positioned by the sea with waves crashing around it) and knitted 4th Doctor’s scarf by himself. We got to the door in no time and then I entered the TARDIS though the main door and… I was taken aback. I was in the TARDIS. Everything was flashing and moving and I had to be moved to the position to have the pic taken. I tried the best pose I could master but all I could see was the wonderful machine. The huge grin that appeared on my face hadn’t left me till I was back in Purfleet, where my temporary base was set.

I bid goodbye to Richard, a little sad to leave such a good companion behind, and let out to explore the rest of the venue.  

I started with the Costumes, sets & props. There were 10 Doctor’s costumes (3rd Doctor’s missing), which were beautiful and you could examine the patterns on each of them real close. Then there were companions, Donna Noble’s dress, Martha’s outfit, Amy Pond’s Kissagram, Rory’s adorable shirt (with him and Amy in the heart on the chest of the shirt), Jack Harkness’ coat and so many more. There were placed Classic costumes and props as well. The one prop I remembered clearly was the Snowmen-making machine from the Snowmen episode. Quite cool thing to look at.

Next stop was the Make-up trailer.It’s just mirrors and chairs and frankly I couldn’t imagine sitting in those things for few hours. There’s David Tennant’s wig and I just kept on running my fingers through it. Think what you want, but it was a sensational feeling.

I kept on wandering through the crowd, stopping by Visual Effects, where I got to talk to people who build the miniatures and next to them we could touch glass-like shards, which were in fact made of some kind of jelly or touch the insides of the Dalek. I had to climb inside the Production trailer (even though it looked more like canteen) to see how far the whole place stretches. Awesome view, overlooking the crowds you knew where your people, people who shared the same passion for one Doctor we all call our own.

As mentioned at the beginning, there were three other stages in the Arena. I only caught glimpses at each of them. I listened, while waiting in the queue for the TARDIS photo, to Dick Mills talking about creation of the iconic opening tune of Doctor Who. He went layer by layer and revealed its complexity. Then I saw the Walk like Cyberman show, where they called children and taught them how to move and shoot like a proper Cybermen (we all shall be upgraded soon, no doubt about that). And the last one I saw was a stunt school, where they showed the audience various tricks, at times very impressive.

Of course, there was the merchandise corner, filled with T-shirt, Big Finish audiobooks…

Unfortunately I missed the Regeneration panel with Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Peter Davison and Nicolas Briggs. I nearly missed the beginning of Eleventh hour panel, starring Steven Moffat, Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman. I made just in time to get a decent seat and the talk began with discussion about the idea of Matt’s costume, which should have been all piraty, blazers, and wasn’t supposed to have the bowtie (Moffat didn’t like it) but upon seeing Matt in it, he changed his decision. Moffat was being sassy throughout the panel, throwing stuff like ‘old boffin’ which should have described the perception of Matt to Steven. There was actually a lot about casting the 11th Doctor, as you may have heard before, because Matt was taken almost immediately. It was about his eyes, which looked so old, yet set in such a young (lovely) face.
“People get all emotional, and they don’t even make it. Imagine how we feel about the end.” 
-Steven Moffat
They added that the saddest moment of filming was definitely the last scene of Matt (which comes this Christmas), the scariest monsters were the Weeping Angels for Matt, the Silents for the director. and for Jenna, the Whispermen. When the panel reached its end, all the guests earned a very long and heartfelt applause, it sounded as thank you from fans to Matt.

The last bit I decided to explore was the third floor with its screening room. I signed up for the screening of School Reunion. It was really commentary about the episode, here present were the producer and costume designer. A few fun-facts: they had 4 schools in which it was filmed, the best costume wore Rose (the school canteen worker), Mickey caught himself talking to the metal dog (K-9) instead of to the actor who voiced him instead.

After this, I bid my last goodbye and farewell to the venue, carrying unforgettable memories and warmth in my heart.

One more thing, I spotted quite a lot of cosplayers. Do some googling and find them. They are awesome.
If you made it this far, congratulations, and a huge thank you. It was an honour and privilege to be able to attend and I’m most grateful if I was able to pass some of the awesomeness along.

More photos can be found here.


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Ley, Trains, and The Day of the Doctor

Hello! It is my solemn duty to report that Ley will not be covering the 50th until, at the earliest, 11pm EST and Monday night (25th Nov) at the absolute latest. She is traveling and thought that the Wi-Fi on the train would be good enough to stream the episode; alas, she was mistaken.

The good news is this: Seth will be writing about the episode as soon as it is over and Eva will be posting about the ExCeL celebration soon as well!

Don't forget to come back when Ley has the post up. It will be announced via our Twitter and Facebook, as all our posts are.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Ley is Published!!

My new article on the Doctor and the hero archetype will be the
topic of a lecture at the University of Arts London in a course on Doctor Who.

To the untrained eye, it may not seem like wildly popular British cultural phenomenon Doctor Who draws on advanced psychological and complex literary theories and is simply a show about time travel and scary aliens and bug-eyed monsters. But one reason it has the right to call itself the longest-running Science Fiction program in television history, is because it transcends cultural lines. The Doctor is not just the Last of the Time Lords, he is a hero. Truly, at the heart of it, he is the very definition of a hero. Carl Jung, a Swiss pioneer in Psychiatry, first devised a system through which he could categorize everyone in the world into nine different categories, which he called ‘archetypes,’ the best known of these being the hero archetype. Joseph Campbell, an American author, later built upon Jung’s theory in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and Dr. Bryan M. Davis made a nine-part amalgamation of their numerous criteria in his work at Stephen F. Austin University. The Doctor fills all of the nine criteria of being a hero and that is why so many are transfixed with his story.

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Coverage of the ExCeL Celebration

As most of you know, I had a ticket to go to the 50th Celebration in London, but as I live in the US and am a student, I could not afford the airfare. But fret not, my Whovians! A TARDIStyle fan from the Czech Republic, Eva, is at the event as I write this. She is taking photos, video,  tweeting from the TARDIStyle account (if we get it to work), and writing a post about the celebration tonight. Thank to Eva for saving the day!

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#SaveTheDay Hyper-Hype

Tomorrow The Day of the Doctor will air. Our wait will be over. Remember when The Name of the Doctor ended, and the countdown to 23rd November began? It was something like 190 days until the 50th. The wait seemed unbearable, almost impossible. But--now it is here.

The celebration at ExCeL in London runs from today until Sunday. Monday, the special in 3D (you have no idea how not amused I will be if the 3D glasses are not the void-spec kind) will be shown in the US. will be over. Done.

The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who will have come and past. It will be...over.

Of course, it is still the Year of the Doctor. The fandom will relentlessly continue, but there will be something missing. I can't quite say what it is, but something will be gone.

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#SaveTheDay Showcase: The First Doctor--William Hartnell

As a countdown to the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Doctor
Who, TARDIStyle will be showcasing one Doctor a day.

William Hartnell was born 8 January 1908 in St. Pancras, London. He was the only child of his unmarried mother, Lucy. The Hartnell family owned a farm, where he enjoyed riding horses. William spent holidays there but lives mostly with a foster mother. Although Hartnell tried to find his father, he was never able to. After school, he had little prospects and experimented with crime. He joined a boy's boxing club, where he met Hugh Blaker. Blaker would later become his mentor and unofficial guardian through training Hartnell as a jockey. After that, Blaker arranged for Hartnell to study theatre (a passion of Blaker's) at the Imperial Service College. William found the environment to be to confining and ran away from the school, although he would later end up living next to Blaker until the 1960s.

In 1925, William was hired as stagehand by Frank Benson. The job opened his gateway to the stage. In the next year, Hartnell performed in multiple Shakespearian plays, including As You Like It, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, The Tempest, and Macbeth. It was through the play  Miss Elizabeth's Prisoner in 1928 that Hartnell met his wife, Heather McIntyre. The couple would have one daughter together. Hartnell made his first of over sixty film appearances in 1932 in Say It With Music.

Hartnell served in the Tank Corps in WWII for eighteen months before being invalided out after a nervous breakdown. He then returned to acting, playing comedic characters for a while, until 1944 he was cast as Sergeant Ned Fletcher in The Way Ahead. His portrayal of the character started a pattern of typecasting as the no-nonsense-tough-guy, playing policemen, soldiers, and thugs.

As we all know, Hartnell accepted the offer from Verity Newman to play the Doctor in 1963. He revealed after his tenure that he took the role to get out of the typecasting. Interestingly enough that is the exact reason many actors left the role of the Doctor. Although his Doctor is now remembered as being one of the least emotional, gruffest Doctors. No matter our opinion of the First Doctor, we owe so much to William Hartnell as fans. Without doubt, Doctor Who would be very different had he not been the first man for the job.

Hartnell died in 1975 of heart failure after several years of illness. He was 67.

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Thursday, 21 November 2013

#SaveTheDay Countdown: The Second Doctor--Patrick Troughton

As a countdown to the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Doctor
Who, TARDIStyle will be showcasing one Doctor a day.

Patrick George Troughton  was born in Mill Hill in Middlesex, England on 25 March 1920. He had one older brother, Alec, and a younger sister, Mary. He attended Mill Hill School. At the school he acted in a performance of Bees on the Boat Deck in March of 1937.

Later, Troughton studied under Eileen Thrordike at the Embassy School of Acting. After that, he won a scholarship to the Leighton Raillus Studios at the John Drew Memorial Theatre in Long Island, New York. In 1939, he joined the Tonbridge Repertory Company.

In WWII, Patrick came home form the US on a Belgian ship, which was struck by a sea mine and sank. He escaped on a lifeboat. He joined the Royal Navy in 1940. Patrick was commissioned as Lieutenant with the Royal Navy Reserve, and was deployed on East Coast Convoy duty from February to August of 1941. After that, he was with Coastal Forces' Motor Gun Boats until 1945. Troughton was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, and was Mentioned in Dispatches. Interestingly, he would wear a tea cosy on his head in the colds of the North Sea. It doesn't get much more British than that.
After the war, he returned to theatre. He was with several troupes, and made his film debut in Laurence Oliver's extremely influential Hamlet, playing the Player King in the "play within the play". In 1953, he became the first actor to ever portray Robin Hood on television. He said often that television was his favourite medium.

When Patrick took over for Hartnell in 1966, Doctor Who producer Innes Lloyd hand-picked Troughton for the role. He said of him, "There's only one man in England who can take over, and that's Patrick Troughton."  Don't worry, Pat. No pressure. As per many actors who played the Doctor, Troughton left after three years in fear of being typecast afterwards. This wrote an unwritten law--"The Troughton Rule"--in acting, to not stay on one show for more than three years.

After his time on Doctor Who, Patrick went on to play many, many roles, like all the ex-Doctors. He did a bit two much--his doctor said that he was stressing himself and it manifested in the form of a serious heart condition. He was not an extremely healthy person, so he should of heeded the doctor's advice to slow down, but he did not. he had two major heart attacks--one in 1979 and the other in 1984, both of which prevented him from working for several months. In 1987, Patrick attended the Magnum Opus Con II, a sci-fi convention in Georgia, US, against the doctor's warning him not to leave the UK.On the first day, he seemed happy and healthy, even celebrating his belated birthday. The next day, he had a heart attack at breakfast and died instantly, according to the paramedics.

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

#SaveTheDay Countdown: The Third Doctor--Jon Pertwee

As a countdown to the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Doctor
Who, TARDIStyle will be showcasing one Doctor a day.

John Devon Roland Pertwee was born 7 July 1919 in Chelsea, London. He was of Huguenot ancestry, the surname being an Anglicisation of "Perthuis," which originated from "de Perthuis de Laillevault." He was the son of Roland Pertwee, a noted screenwriter and actor and was a distant cousin of Bill Pertwee. His parents separated shortly after his birth, and his father remarried and he did not have a relationship with him after that.

Pertwee attended Frensham Heights School in Surrey, Sherborne School in Dorset, and also several other school from which he was expelled. After, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but was expelled from there as well, after refusing to play a Greek "wind" (I don't know what that is...) in his lessons. Also, he was accused of writing about the teachers on the bathroom walls. What a baddass!

It was during his time in the Navy
that we woke up from what must
have been a crazy night drinking 
with a cobra tattooed on his arm,
 not remembering getting it done.
Pertwee was in the Royal Navy, and during WWII, he worked in the Naval Intelligence Division. There, he worked with Ian Fleming (the author of James Bond) and reported directly to Winston Churchill himself. In a 1994 interview published in 2013, he says,
I did all sorts. Teaching commandos how to use escapology equipment, compasses in brass buttons, secret maps in white cotton handkerchiefs, pipes you could smoke that also fired a .22 bullet. All sorts of incredible things.
He sailed on the HMS Hood and was transferred off the ship just before the ship sank, and all the crew perished.

Directly after the war, he quickly made a name for himself in radio comedy. He also played multiple stage roles, including Lycus in the 1963 London production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He appeared in many films as well, such as Ladies Who Do. He had no trouble finding television roles as well.

He played the Third Doctor from 1970-74.

Jon married twice, first in 1955 to Jean Marsh. They divorced five years later. Also in 1960, he married Ingeborg Rhoesa. They had two children, Dariel (1961) and Sean (1964). Both sons became actors. He stayed with Rhoesa until his death from a heart attack on 20 May 1996 at 76 years of age. This was just before the UK release of the 1996 Doctor Who telemovie, which was dedicated to him. He had just finished work on his book Doctor Who: I am the Doctor - Jon Pertwee's Final Memoir on 8 May 1996 (which was my second birthday!) The book was published that November.

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"Father's Day" Podcast

Here is the podcast on "Father's Day"
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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

#SaveTheDay Countdown: The Fourth Doctor--Tom Baker

As a countdown to the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Doctor
Who, TARDIStyle will be showcasing one Doctor a day.

Tom Baker was born 20 January 1934 in Liverpool. His mother was a cleaner and his father was a sailor who was rarely home. Baker attended Cheswardine Boarding School until the age of 15, when he decided to be a Roman Cathloic monk. He lived in the lifestyle for six years, but lost his faith and left. From 1955-57, Baker served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. It was then he started acting, first as a hobby, and became professional at the tail end of the 1960s.

Baker was a member of the National Theatre Company, from the late 60s until the early 70s. His first big film break was as Grigori Rasputin in Nicolas and Alexandra in 1971. For the performance, he was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, one for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and the other for Best Newcomer. In 1973, Tom appeared in The Vault of Horror as Moore, an artist whose paintings had voodoo power in them. Also in 1973, Baker played Koura in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.

He accepted the role of the Doctor in 1974 and stayed until 1981, making him the Doctor with the most hours of footage. Like most Doctors, Baker has no trouble finding roles after leaving the show.

Tom has two sons, Piers and Daniel, from his first marriage to Anna Wheatcroft in 1961. He and his sons lost contact until Piers found himself in the same pub as his father in New Zealand. He married Doctor Who co-star Lalla Ward (Romana II) in 1980, and divorced sixteen months later. Baker has been married to Sue Jerrard, an assistant editor on Doctor Who since 1986. She and baker lived in France between the years of 2003 and 2006. They now reside on the East Sussex countryside. Baker describes himself as irrelgious or Buddhist, but he is not anti-religion. He is skeptical on the concept. Politically, Baker has expressed dislike for both the Conservative and Labour parties.

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Monday, 18 November 2013

#SaveTheDay Countdown: The Fifth Doctor--Peter Davidson

As a countdown to the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Doctor
Who, TARDIStyle will be showcasing one Doctor a day.

Peter M. G. Moffett was born on 13 April 1951 in Streatham, London. His father was an electrical engineer, originally from Guyana. Shortly after his birth, the family mover to Surrey. There, he became a member of the Byfleet Players, and amateur theatre company. Before he started his career as an actor, Peter obtained three O-levels at Winston Churchill School. He also took odd jobs, including one as a mortuary attendant.

Peter attended the Central School of Speech and Drama. His first theatre job was the assistant stage manager of the Nottingham Playhouse. To avoid confusion with the actor/director Peter Moffatt (with whom he would later work), he adopted the stagename of Peter Davison. Peter's first television appearance was in The Tomorrow People, a children's sci-fi show. He co-starred with Sandra Dickinson, whom he married on 26 December 1978. The couple would stay together until 1994.

Peter had a hard time finding jobs in the mid-1970s. He worked 18 months in a Twickenham tax office. The lull came to an ent in 1976 when Davison was offered a prominent fole in the ITV mini-series Love for Lydia. In 1978, he was cast as Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small. It was through this programme that he became a household name. He has said that he was cast because he bore a resemblance to Robert Hardy, who played his older brother in the series. In 1981, Davison played  the Dish of the Day in a television adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In 1984, he and his wife had a daughter, Georgia Moffett.

Davison became the youngest actor to play the Doctor in 1981 at age 29. By this time he was already well-known. He heeded the advice of Second Doctor Patrick Troughton to leave the show after three years. Peter had a fear of being type-cast after playing such an iconic role. He also believed that he was too young to play the Doctor, as all his predecessors were over the age of 40. In 1999, Davison lent his voice as the Doctor  to over 50 Big Finish audio adventures.

After the role, Davison found much success in the film/television industry and also appeared in numerous live theatre roles. He currently is a regular on Law and Order UK as Henry Sharpe, co staring with Tenth Doctor Companion Freema Agyeman

Davidson is politically active. He was one of 48 celebrities to sign a letter warning voters against a Conservative Party policy towards the BBC in 2010. Also in 2010, Davidson spoke in a Labour Party election broadcast. 

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