The Torchwood Institute - A Doctor Who and Torchwood Blog

Friday, December 29, 2006

Top Torchwood.Org Content For 2006

It is the time for the year-end review of our most popular stories according to our web logs of 2006.

  1. Eve Myles is Gwen Cooper
  2. Cats vs Daleks
  3. Cats Exterminated
  4. Eccleston On Heroes
  5. Doctor Who Podcast Revisited
  6. Sci Fi Airs First Doctor Who Trailer
  7. Ratings and October
  8. Welcome to Torchwood House
  9. Series Three Pictures
  10. End Of Gallifrey


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Made of Steel

It's excellent to see that Terrance Dicks is writing one of the new series books. Terrance is one of Doctor Who's elder statesmen, especially from the creative perspective and it is nice to see his name show up underneath the new logo. I can't really see him writing a new television episode -- but this should be fun.


Doctor Who - Series Two Review

I'll get into any sort of spoilers in the first comment of this post.

When Doctor Who returned in 2005, that a television series that was pretty much the same old Doctor Who in spirit as well as in title was enough to celebrate.

The second season was patterned very similar to the first, really.

In the first comment I'll go from worst to best:

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Eccleston on Heroes -- first images!

The following trailer has our first glimpses of Christopher Eccleston on Heroes. I'll generally write up about Heroes elsewhere, but if it's so specifically Christopher Eccleston related...


Series Three on Sci Fi

It is perhaps no surprise that Sci Fi is picking up the third series of Doctor Who -- but this is the first time we've had confirmation of a rough timeline before the episodes have aired in the UK. And it looks like the delay between UK and US airings will be even less this time.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

The American Christmas Invasion

Christmas in the US is not the television holiday as it is in the UK -- so it would never make sense for a new episode of Doctor Who to premier on that day, even with the series lower profile. But I was a bit surprised to discover while watching Army of Ghosts and Doomsday that Sci Fi will be repeating The Christmas Invasion right in the middle of Christmas Day. It'll be at 2:00 PM Central.

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Torchwood in US update

As part of Julie Gardner's interview on Radio Wales she was asked a question about Torchwood in America. While she didn't confirm any sale, she did say that she hoped that it would cross over in the new year. That matches up more or less with my expectations.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I can't believe I didn't know that

I've been reading through About Time 2 and I discovered that the Henry Lincoln that co-wrote the Yeti stories in the 1960s was also wrote Holy Blood Holy Grail conspiracy books that lead to the Da Vinci Code.

I'm really enjoying paging through About Time 2.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Women of Doctor Who

She's Such A Geek, a weblog about women and various geeky interests, just posted an entry about The Women Of Doctor Who. And I think that the contributions of both Verity Lambert and Delia Derbyshire were essential in making the series that we recognize today.

And while most of the recognition towards the new series has gone to Russell T Davies, there are a number of women involved in key roles as well with the new series.

At the top executive level of the BBC, both Lorraine Heggessey and Jane Tranter had (in the case of Heggessey) and still have a great contribution in making sure that new Doctor Who made it into production and supporting it.

And Julie Gardner's role as an Executive Producer is perhaps underrated. She wasn't a Doctor Who fan before she started to work on the show -- as opposed to Russell T Davies and Phil Collinson -- and that meant that she was a vital fresh pair of eyes. And I suspect that it was her involvement that really made sure that this new version of Doctor Who would be accessible for all of the people that weren't life long Doctor Who fans, especially women and girls.

Helen Raynor has been a consistent script editor for the new series, and will finally get a chance to be the first women writer for the new television series.

It has been a real oversight that the new series has yet to have women writers or directors so far, and it is good to see that change. It is especially unfortunate that it has taken the new series longer to find a woman director than it did for the original series.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Chloe Webber's Norse Interior Decorator

When watching Fear Her, we noticed that much of her room was furnished by Ikea. In particular, we recognized that the bedsheets were the BRUNSKÄRA line...why we recognized that, I won't say.

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More from the past

I've only had this site for a year and a half or so, and since then I've used this as my main forum for Doctor Who writing. However, I've had my general blog for over five years now. I've started to go back through and tagged old entries in that blog, and so you can follow all of my old Doctor Who thoughts from there as well. Many of those items are a bit dated, but that's really just to be expected. And it's not the most dated thing on the site either.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

When will Torchwood air in the US?

With articles like this appearing in some of the American press, I don't think the question is whether or not we'll see Torchwood distributed in the US -- just a matter of when.

I think the interesting observation is that the CBC in Canada hasn't made any announcements with regards to when they're airing Torchwood either, to my knowledge. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some desire to have them on roughly the same schedule in both countries; after all, the release date of the DVD will presumably be the same region wide. And I suspect the DVD release is the bigger concern as far as BBC Worldwide goes -- I know that the DVD releases have been very important to their Doctor Who plans.

My instinct and hope is that we'll see it sometime in the spring -- roughly at the same time of year as the Christopher Eccleston Doctor Who series aired this year.

Of course, what I really wonder is if there's going to be any way for the Sarah Jane Adventures to cross over. My thought might be that it will be DVD only... (I am confident that it'll make it on DVD, as there are enough Doctor Who fans that will want to buy it.)

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

About Time

About TimeOne of my favorite series of books about Doctor Who has been Lawrence Miles and Tat Wood's About Time series. I don't always agree with their opinions about the series, and I don't really need another book of Doctor Who facts. But the commentary throughout the series is fascinating -- for example, discussing where and when Gallifrey was, or why it's not at all uncommon for two people in the Doctor Who universe to have the same physical appearance, or connecting the trends in British society and our favorite television series.

I had a chance to briefly page through proofs of the volume that is coming out that primarily covers the Second Doctor's era, and it looked to be as fascinating as the already released volumes.

One of the other things that is also interesting to start to see how the new series has impacted the commentary and views of the classic series. My example (though this volume of About Time isn't out yet) is that a story like Delta and the Bannermen begins to look like a template for the new series, with a higher awareness of romantic issues, Welsh accents, and a rock and roll soundtrack.

But you've got to wonder about stories like The Ark and Frontios after seeing The End of the World. And finding a time for a story like The Satan Pit makes sense when you here that the relationship between the Ood and the Sensorites might be something similar to those from Raxacoricofallapatorius and the Abzorbaloff from Clom.

One of my favorite things about the entire series is seeing "patterns that aren't there" -- making connections between stories that might not be intentional, but looking at the entire series as a puzzle to a fictional universe that hasn't been entirely locked down.

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Torchwood Renewed

In a sign that the Doctor Who universe is still going strong, Torchwood has been picked up for a second series. This time, it is going to be on BBC Two instead of BBC Three, a higher profile station.

I'm hopeful that a second series announcement means that it will be more likely that we'll hear news of an American sale of Torchwood soon. And just as important, the related DVD announcement. As we haven't heard much about the Canadian broadcast either, I'm very curious if there is a connection.

With Doctor Who finishing the 2006 series on the Sci Fi channel next week, we'll have a very short window where we'll be completely caught up with the UK as far as that series is concerned.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Offical Doctor Who Soundtrack

Doctor Who SoundtrackI was able to get the new series Doctor Who soundtrack. In general, I'm quite happy with it -- the soundtrack for the new series has definitely grown on me over time, and so it's nice to have it available. Doctor Who has always had a distinctive soundtrack in one fashion or another, and while Gold's soundtrack fits into that as much as anything.

I can't be all positive, however. I am a little disappointed in the version of Song for Ten on the soundtrack -- it is recorded with a different singer, and the production isn't as lush as the version on the episode.

Right now the CD looks to only be available as an import in the US through sites like Who NA, but it looks to be available through sites like Amazon in the new year. And as it looks like it's available in the UK version of iTunes, I wonder if we'll see it on the American version of iTunes when it is fully released here as well.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thoughts on Love and Monsters

I enjoy Love and Monsters, the tenth episode of the 2006 series of Doctor Who. It is obvious to anyone that it's as much about people that are fans of Doctor Who (and really, fans of everything) as it is an episode that needed to have only a little bit of the leads in.

And when the villain of the piece is the very worst parts of fandom -- those that take advantage of individuals for their own purposes. I've certainly seen man Victor Kennedys in my time -- those that take away some part of the joy that you get within a community of people. They're the ones that take advantage, steal, get on ego-trips, assume that whatever fan activity it is was just for them, and not something that lots of people can get involved in and be a part of.

And it is quite fitting that the this is visualized by a monster created by a child for a contest. That it works so well thematically in the episode is just right. And the ELO soundtrack feels thematically right and true as well -- that love of something that isn't really fashionable, but celebrating being true to oneself and that sort of geeky passion that is true of any sort of fandom.

Should every episode be like Love and Monsters? Of course not -- this is Doctor Who, a series that thrives on variability and change. But it really worked for me, and it's an excellent part of the latest series.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

DVD reviews

It's always interesting to see Doctor Who reviews with fresh eyes, and so I found these reviews to be very interesting. The most interesting one is the review of the Beginning boxed set from someone who hasn't seen any Doctor Who before.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Craig Hinton

I'm sad and shocked to hear reports about Doctor Who fan and author Craig Hinton's passing. I had met him a couple of times at Gallifrey, and had been involved with some of the same forums online throughout the years as well.

I have positive recollections of the Doctor Who novels he wrote for Virgin, and I believe that his work with Millennial Rites started the rehabilitation trend of both Colin Baker's Doctor and Bonnie Langford's Melanie that continued throughout the novels and audios. And while The Crystal Bucephalus wasn't the only place to foreshadow Gallifrey's destruction, it was certainly one of the most memorable early examples.

I remember that Craig was always straight forward about his work -- he happily pieced together the pieces of Doctor Who mythology, in a fashion that wasn't always fashionable amongst the hard core -- he was the first to describe what he did as "fanwank", after all. But I think that showed how much he enjoyed the mythology and made his work fun for fans to read.

My thoughts go out to all of Craig's friends and family.

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