The Torchwood Institute - A Doctor Who and Torchwood Blog

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Primeval bought by BBC America

It has been called the ITV answer to Doctor Who, and I've heard good things about it, so I'm happy to see that it has been bought by BBC America.

There's one episode by Paul Cornell in the bunch, and I've heard some positive reviews -- so I'm happy to see it cross over as well.

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The Sarah Jane Adventures on SCIFI

The Sci Fi channel has a web page up with the press release about the The Sarah Jane Adventures starting on Sci Fi in April. Apparently they've also purchased some little known program called Doctor Who to air in April as well.

From what I understand Sarah Jane starts on April 11th and the new series of Doctor Who starts on April 18th.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Time Lord Regenerates To Mate

One of the fascinating panel discussions at this year's Gallifrey One convention was about how sexuality has been placed into the new series, as well as in the original series. There certainly was a time where the first fact we learn about the Doctor -- that he is a grandfather -- is disputed as controversial. That's less so in the modern era, as there has been more sexual tension in the foreground of the series.

But one of the things that this discussion led into meant that it looks like Time Lords regenerate to match in their surroundings. Someone described it as a "mating form", and that's not entirely wrong. It was partially led into with the realization that despite there being some sexual tension between the first Romana and the Doctor, there's certainly a whole new level of tension between the second and the Doctor, and it almost appears that she deliberately regenerated into a form (and personality) *more* like and compatible with the Fourth Doctor.

But this isn't the only case of this -- almost every other regeneration we've seen on screen has been some sort of reaction to the people around them. Going backwards, we've got the Master -- where the Saxon Master is very much one that is a mirror image of the Tenth Doctor. The Master even says that the goal of his regeneration is to be just like the Doctor, after all.

But it's not also about two of the regenerations outside the Doctor -- almost every regeneration of the Doctor qualifies as well. The Tenth Doctor regenerates to be more compatible with Rose -- in a deleted scene, it's pointed out that his new incarnation takes his accent from Rose.

The Sixth Doctor regenerates into a personality bright and obnoxious -- maybe not with an American accent -- but more compatible with Peri (in a bizarre, twisted way) -- and while it might not be successful, you can see the connection between the sixth Doctor and Peri.

And then the Fifth Doctor -- a younger form to match the very much younger companions around him.

And the Fourth Doctor has a remarkable compatibility with Sarah Jane Smith -- into one of the most successful Doctor and companion pairings in the series.

The only other regeneration that we see is the one from the First to Second Doctor -- and while the full nature of this regeneration is difficult to see with the loss of the Tenth Planet and Power of the Daleks -- you've got a feeling that the younger, more whimsical Second Doctor was because of his proximity to Ben and Polly. We get someone who regenerates into a Beatle haircut around the two companions the most of the 1960s.

And this perhaps explains why we get so many old, dry men whenever we go to Gallifrey -- they all regenerate to be *like each other* -- where the only Time Lords that have real personalties like Drax or the Meddling Monk get them once they leave -- and even more so once they regenerate.

One of the best things, in my mind, about Doctor Who is that I doubt that much of this was explicitly thought of -- most of the compatibilities between Doctor and Companion (and the Master) come about due to the requirements of good drama. But as you look at it, one of the incredible things is how well it all ties together.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So, is “Captain Britain and MI:13” the Marvel version of Torchwood?

Like Torchwood, it looks like we've got another project that started as Excalibur changing into something else -- Paul Cornell's new book for Marvel will be called “Captain Britain and MI:13”.

And of course, Paul has to include Alistaire Stuart -- a name instantly recognizable to Doctor Who fans.

It really goes without saying that this is going to be appealing to the Doctor Who and Torchwood audience. I can't wait to read it.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

The American Success of Doctor Who

Considering how long it took the first season to cross over -- Doctor Who fans have long memories, after all -- it's very nice to see an article about the success of the Doctor Who franchise in the US.

It's interesting that the success of Torchwood on BBC America is what led The Sarah Jane Adventures to Sci Fi. When it first was in production, we were led to believe that Sarah Jane wouldn't be exported at all, and certainly a children's show is going to be an interesting sell on Sci Fi.

My favorite quote from the article is that Doctor Who has "a loyal viewership so fanatical that most of the show's entry on Wikipedia actually appears to be correct".

The other big part is that like Torchwood series two, the window between the UK and US airings of the next year of Doctor Who has shrunk a great deal. This is certainly a good thing -- for example, the window means that the cover of Doctor Who magazine won't be a spoiler, as it takes DWM a couple of weeks to get on the shelves over here.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Kevin Stoney

I'm sad to hear about the passing of Kevin Stoney. He's really the main force driving both The Dalek's Master Plan and The Invasion. I watched The Invasion fairly recently, and it's his performance that is by far the most memorable, and one that is one of the greats in the entire history of the series. It's an intense, larger-than-life villain in the James Bond mold, and really he was the model of this sort of villain in the show.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Poll Campaigning

i09 is having a poll about What's The Most Underrated TV Show? Since Torchwood is on the list, you know what to do...

I mean, it's either that or Flash Gordon....


Moving On Up

I think one of the exciting things about the new Doctor Who's success is how it is positively impacting the careers of many of the people involved. Where in the 1980s Doctor Who might have been a career dead-end, seeing Phil Collinson getting promoted to Head of Drama at BBC Manchester is very nice.

Also, it is incredible to see the reports that The Sarah Jane Adventures will be airing on Sci Fi this spring along with the next episodes of Doctor Who. I'll be interested to see how a show that is targeted for younger audiences is marketed here, because I think that while it is generally a good show, it's definitely targeted for a younger audience.

But it is still incredible to see how well Doctor Who is doing right now, as well as the people attached to it.

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