The Torchwood Institute - A Doctor Who and Torchwood Blog

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

In Local News...

Finally -- with only two episodes left in the first series left to air on Sci Fi, the Twin Cities City Pages has a pretty positive review of the series -- though you do have to wade through a few paragraphs of gentle sneering at some of the attendees of Chicago TARDIS.

But it is a review of Doctor Who by someone who wrote a book about her experiences as a stripper, which has to make it one of the more interesting reviewers Doctor Who is going to get.

It's the flip side of what Paul Cornell talked about a few months ago though -- there's something glorious about these spaces that generally try to be accepting of the people that are on the socially awkard side. After all, "every lonely boy must learn how to dance".

And I think those of us who are at all geeky find some comfort in knowing that there's someone more out there than you are. That might be one of the real tricks about Doctor Who -- there's really no one truly geekier than the Doctor. Even Christopher Eccleston's Doctor is still just a geek going through a phase; like Lindsay quitting the Mathletes.

I think it's somehow fitting that this article in a local paper appears on the 20th anniversary of the first Doctor Who convention in the Minneapolis/St Paul area.

I'm amused that the BBC America Shop version of the Series 1 Boxed Set has apparently been imported from the alternate reality where Paul Abbott wrote an episode for the first series as was rumored in the very early days.

Shows what they know!

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Sci Fi continues to post clips from their Torchwood themed interview. There's a lot of talk about how Sci Fi's newswire coverage doesn't necessarily connect with their program acquistions, but I can't help but think it's a good and encouraging thing. After all, they didn't cover Life on Mars to this extent, did they?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Sci Fi Wire has another article about Torchwood.

I'm a bit surprised that Sci Fi's newswire didn't cover the Doctor Who BAFTA win. As that's a mainstream television award in the UK -- the equivalent of the Emmy -- I would have thought that worth at least a little note. Maybe I blinked and missed it.

Channel Who

I've been thinking back on the history of Doctor Who in the Minneapolis/St Paul metro area since Romana1, in her blog, mentioned that she was looking for when Doctor Who first started on KTCA Channel Two (now TPT). I knew that it had started around the new year of 1982, as I was directed towards the program by my parents almost immediately after it aired, and Steve Manfred of the Doctor Who DVD FAQ confirmed a while back in an archive of old tv listings that it started on Monday, December 28, 1981.

This wasn't the first time it was aired in this market though, it aired for a little while in the late 1970s on KSTP, Channel 5. I don't have a real solid grasp on what exactly they aired and when. Early Tom Baker seems certain, and I have heard tales that Jon Pertwee stories were aired in that time period as well.

Also, we're coming upon the 20th anniversary of the first Doctor Who convention to be held in the Twin Cities area. The Doctor Who Fan Club of America hosted a event at the prom center with Peter Davison. I've realized that more than a few of my generation of local science fiction fans attended that event as their first convention, or the one in October with Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton.

One of the things that's been different about the new series airing on Sci Fi is that it's going across the whole nation at once. That's never happened before with Doctor Who in this country.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Stuff On Someone Else's Cat

Someone else's cat had almost as harsh an experience with a Dalek as mine did.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Neil Gaiman s Dr Who thoughts...

Neil Gaiman is blogging about Doctor Who again....

I bet that Neil has a good Doctor Who story in him somewhere, even though he's super busy with a billion projects all going on at once. And it took him years to write one episode of Babylon 5, after all...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Google Trends: Doctor Who

I was looking at the Google Trends for Doctor Who in the US. I was especially curious to note the places where there was the proportionally strongest. The top three cities over all were St Louis, Chicago, and Minneapolis. Oddly, three of the four metro areas where I've attended Doctor Who conventions.

In 2006, Minneapolis is still number 3, but number one is Rochester (New York, I presume), and Raleigh.

I would be remiss not to pay attention to how Torchwood does. Of course, as yet it hasn't registered enough to be of interest in the US.

If you're interested in rivalries, check out how Battlestar Galactica does against Doctor Who.

Inferno on a Web Planet

As TV Shows on DVD has pointed out, there are two classic series DVDs coming out later this year. The cover for The Web Planet has one of the funnier Hartnell pictures I can imagine. It's rather an odd story -- and one that I think has aged particularly poorly. But I'll be very, very interested in seeing how it cleans up.

I don't think it's one of those episodes that the American market is really hungry for though. I've almost got to hope that no one deciding to go through the back catalog after discovering the show through the new series grabs this too early -- it's one of those stories at this point that is best suited for people who already love the program, not someone just getting into the series.

Of course, now I'll hear it from the Zarbi fans...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sci Fi Wire and FAQs

Sci Fi Wire is covering the second series of Doctor Who a lot this week. It's my impression that they're covering it more than they covered the first series -- of course, the first series is currently airing on Sci Fi, and while there isn't much news about the first series any more, there's a fresh supply of second series news.

I'm kind of surprised that Doctor Who's BAFTA wins haven't made it to Sci Fi's news service yet. It is the equivalent of winning an Emmy, after all, as far as British television is concerned. I imagine it'll get a mention there at some point.

One thing I've been wondering is if there are any British television series that are getting a higher viewership than Doctor Who at the moment, and if there are any, what they are. I doubt anything on BBC America does as well, as that's only digitial.

Television Without Pity has updated their Doctor Who FAQ. One of the challenges with the new series is that there are probably a billion different Doctor Who FAQs out there, and of course, with a series like Doctor Who you have multiple decades woth of fan controversies and misunderstandings in old FAQs. But really, for most people something like the 1996 TV Movie isn't really relevant for someone new to the show. People have fresh questions -- and this does a fairly good job of this.

And if you're not reading their recaps, you really should. They're wonderful.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Nice to see some US Coverage

IMDB listed all of the BAFTA winners, pointing out Doctor Who's success.
Also, it's worth pointing out that the Best Actress BAFTA went to Anna Maxwell Martin for Bleak House, but she also appeared as Suki in the Doctor Who episode The Long Game.


Doctor Who picked up two BAFTAs tonight, and lead writer Russell T Davies picked up the Dennis Potter Award for his writing career in general.

The two BAFTAs are just the most recent proof of Doctor Who's critical and popular success in the UK. This is equivalent in the American context to winning both an Emmy and the People's Choice Awards.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I was over at The Source, one of the local comic book/game/geek shops, and I over heard some of the staff talk about Father's Day. I imagine that isn't that unusual in a lot of places, and I'm certainly not surprised by it, but it was the first time that I had heard the new series discussed in a public venue...

(I've also noticed that they've raised the profile of the classic series DVDs in their store, and probably have the most complete stock of any store in town now.)

Number Nine Becomes Number Six?

This strikes me as very, very hard to believe, but according to this article, Christopher Eccleston is going to be Number Six in the new remake of The Prisoner.

I'm very, very intrigued. I don't know if it's true -- I can certainly see him in that sort of role -- but that's why it could be nonsense. But still. Err. And I thought nothing could surprise and intrigue me more than tonight's episode of Lost....

Monday, May 01, 2006


Time to get those Taco orders in, as it looks like Sci Fi will be running a marathon of Doctor Who episodes in June.

The precise episodes haven't beem announced, and it'll be interesting to see what they pick.

Obviously, there's been no official word on when (or if) the current series makes it to Sci Fi. But I'm very optimistic, as I don't see their current activity as a sign of a channel that doesn't intend to follow up with more episodes that are just on the shelf..