Once More Unto the Breach – The War Doctor Returns

A secret incarnation of the Doctor forgotten after the horrors of the Time War, the era of the ‘War Doctor,’ as he became known, is still a mysterious chapter in Doctor Who’s long history.

Played by Sir John Hurt, CBE, the War Doctor was invented by Steven Moffat after he was unable to obtain the services of Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. This left a new avenue open to the program that seemed contrived in the lead-in story ‘Name of the Doctor,’ but blossomed into one of the most unexpected and fantastic casting moments. A knight became a Doctor!


This scraggly angry incarnation of the Time Lord was forged in the fires of war, a persona chosen by the Doctor’s eighth incarnation as he lay dying on the planet Karn during the Time War. Stricken from the Doctor’s personal history, he redeemed himself in the 50th anniversary episode when he teamed up with twelve other incarnations to end the Time War and save his home world of Gallifrey rather than destroy it. He of course quickly forgot this cooperative encounter before transforming into the grief-stricken and traumatized Ninth Doctor.

Yes, one of the greatest incarnations of the Doctor is without a number and is known only as ‘The War Doctor.’

Glimpses of the War Doctor have been seen since he was last on screen (such as the flashback in ‘Listen’) but he has not enjoyed any further adventures… until now.

Thanks to Big Finish, fans will be getting more of the John Hurt in the TARDIS with a special audio adventure box set and a preview was just revealed.

Via The Radio Times:

doctor-who-day-of-the-doctor-john-hurtExactly two years after John Hurt stole the Doctor Who 50th anniversary show, we have the very first clip of his return as the War Doctor.
Hurt is coming back to Who for a series of 12 all-new episodes from audio drama producers Big Finish. The first box set, Only the Monstrous, is set to be released this December.

This exclusive clip comes from the first episode of the new run, titled The Innocent, which finds the War Doctor in the midst of the Time War, before the events of 50th anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor.

“I’ve seen too much of this war already,” Hurt’s weary voice says in the clip – although by the sound of it, he has plenty of tricks (OK, explosives) up his sleeve to help him in the Time Lords’ battle against the Daleks.

And for all the fighting, the War Doctor clearly still has a touch of humanity, saving two “patsies” from approaching Daleks.

Hurt’s character has not been seen since the episode marking the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, where the War Doctor (or ‘Captain Grumpy’, whichever you prefer), appeared alongside Matt Smith and David Tennant’s Doctors.

The new audio dramas are written and directed by Nicholas Briggs, who says he couldn’t wait to explore Who’s 50th anniversary back story in more detail.

“The story of the Doctor who refuses to call himself the Doctor in order to do the unthinkable upon the ultimate battlefield — all of space and time — was irresistible to me,” he said.

“Such a deeply disturbing and engaging character created by the formidable talents of writer Steven Moffat and actor John Hurt. It’s such a privilege to be working on this.”

Doctor Who explores the Web Planet and meets the Zarbi

The Web Planet

DrWho_Hartnell_WebPlanetStory 2.05
Written by Bill Strutton
Transmitted 13 February 1965 to 20 March 1965

Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction TV series. A cult phenomenon today, it was transmitted to over 80 countries back in the 1960’s and revered as a unique program combining the elements of fantasy, high adventure and sci-fi. In comparison to the series as it stands today, Doctor Who was geared as an educational program for children back when it first aired with entertainment a secondary concern or means to an end.

Sydney Newman’s team of writers performed extensive research before the first script was even commissioned. But in its second year, Doctor Who was a runaway hit (thanks in large part to the popularity of the Daleks).

Celebrating its 52nd anniversary this week, I decided to take an in-depth look at an often-forgotten adventure, the ‘one with the giant insects.’ Not just overlooked, the Web Planet was believed to be lost until prints were discovered in the 70’s.



Bill Strutton’s script came at a time when Doctor Who was very experimental and looking to stretch its creative muscles. Some say that The Web Planet was too ambitious and given the thrown together nature of some episodes (such as an entire race of grubs introduced to extend the story some more) in comparison to the inspired brilliance of others, I am inclined to agree.

Director Richard Martin, who had previously worked with the Daleks in their first televised appearance, excels at crafting bizarre captivating alien worlds. The costumes designed by Daphne Dare who worked on over 87 episodes of Doctor Who are outstanding. Additionally, the music (performed on glass tubes) is otherworldly and the camera effects make the studio filming unique. All of these creative factors combine to produce an adventure that stupefies the viewer and demands to be watched. This is a classic that does indeed push the boundaries of what Doctor Who can accomplish.

However… it’s all a bit of a mess.

The TARDIS crew arrive on Vortis after a fun romp in ancient Rome. The Doctor and Ian don what appear to be designer atmosphere suits and explore the planet while the TARDIS is hijacked by an unknown force and dragged across the lunar-like terrain.

They are soon drawn into a battle between the butterfly people called Menoptera and the ant people called Zarbi. Things get weird when it is revealed that the Zarbi are only operating under the control of a disembodied evil consciousness called ‘the Animus,’ represented by a tangled mass of tendrils and a creepy voice.

The plot stumbles along through SIX episodes with some truly hilarious (though unintentionally so) moments such as William Russell struggling to act with William Hartnell who is at a loss for his lines (bless the man, I know he wasn’t well but this occasion is a side-ripper in which Russell just stares at the elder actor saying “Hmm?” several times), a rogue Zarbi who rams headlong into a camera and a giggling crew member who interrupts a dramatic cave-in. I can just imagine the cast wondering aloud ‘What are we doing??!!’ Having lost his patience, Hartnell even calls out the absurdity of the situation, referring to a communication device as a ‘hair dryer.’

All that accepted, I have to admit that I have a great fondness for the Web Planet. It explores the fantastical side of children’s entertainment and sure, the giant ants are goofy but the Animus is spine-tingling. The cast is (with some exceptions) in fine form and the Menoptera are just awe-inspiring. Hardly as graceful as a butterfly, but fascinating.


To make matters more interesting, the Animus is one of many disembodied evil entities called the Great Old Ones who survived the death of a previous universe. The pantheon of Great Old Ones include the Great Intelligence, the Fendhal, Fenric, the Nestene Consciousness and the Celestial Toymaker (check out this amazing resource for more in-depth information). See what you can do with a presumably silly idea and some imagination? Make it akin to HP Lovecraft’s mythology.

In case you’re wondering why anyone would be even remotely interested in this story, keep in mind that it had the highest viewing figures of the program in the 60’s with 13.5 million tuning in. Yes, the Zarbi gave the Daleks a run for their money back in the day. Writers were so enamored by the killer ants that the Doctor returned to Vortis six more times in other guises.

Given current leading man Peter Capaldi’s fondness for the classics, don’t be surprised if you see a return trip to Vortis in the near future. And after reading this, you’ll be in the more-informed cool kid club.


The Fifth Doctor Who returned to the Web Planet in this Big Finish audio adventure.


The Zarbi and Menoptera appear in the Dr Who comic strip


Doctor Who and the Web Planet book cover for Portuguese release


For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the links below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

Night Of The Living Dead The Beginning Complete Box Set, $99.99
Escape From New York #12 (Cover A Jason Copland), $3.99
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth #137, $3.50
Action Comics #46 (Aaron Kuder Regular Cover), $3.99
Astro City #29, $3.99
Astro City Lovers Quarrel HC, $24.99
Batman66_29Batman ’66 #29, $2.99
Batman And Robin Eternal #7, $2.99
DC Comics Book And DVD/Blu-Ray Slipcase Set, AR
Doctor Fate #6, $2.99
Masks 2 #8 (Of 8)(Cover A Butch Guice), $3.99
Will Eisner’s The Spirit #1 (Dennis Calero AOD Collectables Variant Cover), AR
Doctor Who The Complete History Volume 4 The First Doctor Stories 1-2 HC, $18.99
Thunderbirds Agents’ Technical Manual 50th Anniversary Edition HC
, $21.95
Godzilla In Hell #5 (Of 5)(Cover A Dave Wachter), $3.99
LeagueofExtraordinary_NemoLeague Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Nemo Trilogy Slipcase Edition HC, $39.99
Astonishing Ant-Man #2 (Mark Brooks Regular Cover), $3.99
Black Knight #1 (Julian Totino Tedesco Regular Cover), $3.99
Captain America Sam Wilson #3 (Daniel Acuna Regular Cover), $3.99
Deadpool #2 (Tony Moore Regular Cover), $3.99
Extraordinary X-Men #2 (Humberto Ramos Regular Cover), $3.99
Mighty Thor #1 (Russell Dauterman Regular Cover), $4.99
Ms. Marvel #1 (Cliff Chiang Regular Cover), $4.99
Secret Wars Too #1, $4.99
SpiderWoman_1Spider-Woman #1 (Javier Rodriguez Regular Cover), $3.99
677936_star-wars-vader-down-1Star Wars Vader Down #1 (Mark Brooks Regular Cover), $4.99
Uncanny Inhumans #2 (Steve McNiven Regular Cover), $3.99
Michael Allred Conversations HC, $40.00
Batman 1966 Catwoman Bust, $59.99
Batman 52 Symbol T-Shirt SM, $18.95

Doctor Who ‘Sleep No More’

“Sleep, that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care. The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath. Balm of hurt minds, chief nourisher in life’s great feast. Congratulations, Professor. You’ve revolutionised the labour market. You’ve conquered nature… You’ve also created an abomination.”
DrWho_CapaldiStory 9.09
Written by Mark Gattis
Transmitted 14 November

In sharp contrast to previous sequences, Clara and the Doctor are not the centerpiece of this week’s story. Sleep No More is an experimental episode told via ‘found footage’using a first-person point of view.

Sleep No More has been getting damning reviews from fans, but I quite like it. Even though this is essentially ‘Attack of the Eye Boogers,’ it’s just a spin on the traditional ‘base under siege’ story that has been used since the 1960’s. The added flair is that the monsters win in the end in a way that doesn’t really make sense. Quite a change of pace from the Doctor defeating the monster in a way that makes no sense!

For the uninitiated, Doctor Who is a long-running science fiction series that screened for 26 years from 1963-89 with a triumphant return in 2005. Doctor Who’s greatest strength is its variety and outlandish style.  The leading man (referred to only as ‘The Doctor’) has changed twelve times over its 50 years with more to come and each time this change occurs, the character of the Doctor has altered.

2QTV3FnAided (and often hampered) by young travelling companions, the Doctor faces dangerous obstacles and bizarre aliens throughout the entirety of time and space (but usually England). Whereas the 1963-89 program had limited success that tapered off toward the end, the current series has obtained a strong following. The program is a cult phenomenon combining elements of science fiction, fantasy, history, comedy, action and drama. It really is like no other TV program and as such it’s an acquired taste.

In this week’s installment ‘Sleep No More,’ the time travelers are aimlessly wandering about before being discovered by a rescue operation to a space station orbiting Neptune. The station appears to be empty and as the exploration continues, a series of sleep pods, called Morpheus, are found. Clara gets snared into one of the pods and is immediately placed into a sleep state with a hologram of dancing girls hovering over the lid. The cloned ‘grunt’ notices that one of the pods is occupied and Gagan Rassmussen, the man who opened this episode explaining the unusual nature of the narrative.

After much prodding, Rassmussen explains that he has been enhancing the Morpheus pods which compress sleep into 5 minute bursts allowing the surviving members of the human race to be more productive. The Doctor is horrified by this revelation and explains the importance of sleep for the quality of life, citing poets and playwrights from human history to back this up.

In no time, strange horrific monsters attack the survivor, rescue team and the TARDIS crew. To add to the confusion, the creatures are reduced to sand-like granules when under stress. Then the satellite begins a drastic fall from orbit and a loss of heat shielding. Using his sonic sunglasses and the helmets worn by the soldiers, the Doctor defuses the situation but cannot understand how or why the creatures (dubbed ‘Sandmen’ by Clara) could do this.

After Rassmussen is devoured by a Sandman, the Doctor and Clara lead a daring chase through the satellite with the only surviving member of the rescue squad, Nagata. Befuddled, the Doctor pieces together that the entire affair is being masterminded by Rassmussen but cannot understand why. The scientist gladly explains that a side-effect of the Morpheus’ ability to compress sleep is the creation of a new, superior, life form. He endeavors to aid this new life form which can find its way into a victim’s body through the corner of one’s eye with dreams of galactic conquest. The Doctor defies Rassmussen and manages an explosive escape.

Even after defeating a monster made of five years’s worth of Sandman material, the Doctor is not convinced that he has succeeded in foiling Rassmussen’s scheme. In a video that only the viewer can see, Rassmussen reveals that the invasion is through the video itself and that if it is being viewed, the Sandmen are already on the move.

Sleep No More is the second foray into first person point of view as a mode of storytelling (previously used in Love & Monsters), but this attempt was far more in-depth with only footage via headcams and security footage used, eventually including Clara and Nagata’s point of view sans camera.

There has been outcry over this episode with viewers claiming that it is incomplete and incomprehensible. Interviews with Gattis have revealed that the initial script was two-parter, but maintained the open ending. A devoted fan and scribe of novels, audio adventures and several episodes for the new program, Gatiss added nods to the classic era. The Doctor casually mentions The Silurians (from the 1972 story, the Sea Devils), the Great Catastrophe (introduced in the underrated 1984 story Frontios), and even a ‘When I say run, run!’ command dating back to the Troughton era. Gatiss was influenced by classic adventures that hinted at a vast future at war and strove the leave hints at this in his script, but due to the truncated length of the story from two to one parts, these details get muddied and confuse the action.

The visuals of Sleep No More are quite striking and the stellar acting ability of Capaldi (whose face fills the screen much of the 45 minutes) is top notch. After a foray into decidedly wacky behavior earlier in the year, it appears that the ‘Thin White Duke’ of old is back. From next week’s preview images, it seems be seen that he has ditched the disheveled hoodie and check trousers for a more refined look including a red velvet jacket that would be at home with Third Doctor Who, Jon Pertwee.

The ninth series of Doctor Who has been controversial with fans. As any regular reader of my blog will attest, I am much more critical of the new series in comparison to the 1963-89 program. However, I have been re-watching the past few years with a much more casual eye and recognized the strength of the new series lies in its ability to fascinate viewers with bizarre situations and visuals that cannot be found elsewhere. From a room full of ventriloquist’s dummies in an alien hotel to graffiti that comes to life and a lion-headed fire-breathing alien… Doctor Who excels at leaving viewers scratching their heads wondering what they just witnessed.

… and hopefully come back for more.

The 2005-present Doctor Who program has added a new element of melodrama which more often than not hampered my enjoyment but was still an essential part of its success. Just mention Rose Tyler to a fan and they will tear up. The past few years has seen a departure from the ‘Doctor in love’ angle as well as a less hug-able leading man. I applaud these changes, but as the viewing figures and outcry indicates, I could be in the minority. The 9th series has been incredibly ambitious with all two-part stories with the exception of two episodes (this week and next). This year’s 9 installments are wildly diverse in tone, use time travel in new ways, explore topical subjects using fantastical characters and introduce a new layer of absurdity to the program.

After seeing the negative reception it received online, I entered this week’s episode with low expectations but was pleasantly surprised. While not a classic, Sleep No More is chilling and weird with a threat so deadly that even the Doctor cannot fathom it. And we could use more of that. Open endings have been used before in Idiot’s Lantern (where did the Wire come from?) Impossible Planet (was the Beast really the Devil? Was it Sutekh? Did the Doctor defeat it) and even Listen (what was that thing knocking at the door and hiding under the bedding?), but fans seem to be furious that this story was not resolved.

Personally, I think that the muddy nature of a script crammed with too many ideas due to a reduced running time and a monster essentially made from grit that you scrape out of the corner of your eye are the main problems preventing enjoyment of this story. But even accepting those limitations, it moves quickly and introduces a new scary monster as well as clever tech and some positively unsettling moments. Even the Doctor admits to being scared!


Note- Mark Gatiss has confirmed that Steven Moffat has already asked him to write a sequel to this story.

The 2015 ratings so far (via DrWhoTV):

The Magician’s Apprentice 4.58m (overnight) 6.54m (final) AI 84
The Witch’s Familiar 3.7m (overnight) 5.71m (final) AI 83
Under the Lake 3.7m (overnight) 5.63m (final) AI 84
Before the Flood 4.38m (overnight) 6.05m (final) AI 83
The Girl Who Died 4.85m (overnight) 6.56m (final) AI 82
The Woman Who Lived 4.34m (overnight) 6.11m (final) AI 81
The Zygon Invasion 3.87m (overnight) 5.76m (final) AI 82
The Zygon Inversion 4.13m (overnight) 6.03m (final) AI 84
Sleep No More 4.0m (overnight) TBC (final) AI 78

The complete 2014 ratings: show

Overnight figures only include those who watched it live and those who recorded and watched it later that night.

Final figures includes those who recorded and watched within a week, making them a more accurate measure of how many were watching.

Live Plus 7 (L+7) counts those who watched live and all repeats, including iPlayer, within seven days following broadcast.

The Audience Appreciation Index (AI) is a score out of 100 which is used as an indicator of the public’s appreciation for a show. Over 90 is considered exceptional, 85 or over is excellent, 60 or less is poor, and less than 55 is very poor.

Next time: Face the Raven

Time to say goodbye

Time to say goodbye

Read more Doctor Who reviews

Read more Doctor Who reviews

The Doctor to make a special visit this Holiday

Since its return in 2005, the Doctor Who Christmas Special has been traditional. Some are better than others, but this year, fans will see the return of roguish time travelling flirt (and Roger Daltrey impersonator), River Song. The time line of River Song is so convoluted that this could be the time that the Doctor hands her a specially designed sonic screwdriver or teaches her to drive the TARDIS. Or not. We have seen River’s death, her birth, regeneration, her wedding and even her ghost, so I’m unclear on what is left for her to do… but the special guest star isn’t the only reason to get excited.

The 2015 Doctor Who Christmas Special will also be shown on the big screen on December 28th!


Via BBC America:

Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston together on the big screen? Where do we sign up?

For the first time, the Doctor Who Christmas special, which will premiere Christmas Day on BBC AMERICA, will also hit U.S. cinemas, with BBC Worldwide North America and Fathom Events announcing a two-night special theatrical event. The event will be in theaters December 28 and 29 at 7:30 pm local time and feature an exclusive interview with Alex Kingston, who is returning as River Song for the special, as well as a 15-minute behind-the-scenes “making of” featurette starring Peter Capaldi, Steven Moffat and more.

The theatrical event is expected to screen in nearly 300 theaters, according to a press release. Tickets can be purchased starting Friday, November 13 by visiting the Fathom Events website or a participating theater’s box office. For a complete list of theater locations, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Here’s the description of the Christmas special as announced:

It’s Christmas Day in the future and the TARDIS is parked on a snowy village street, covered in icicles, awaiting its next adventure. Time traveler River Song meets her husband’s new incarnation, in the form of Peter Capaldi, for the first time this Christmas.

Amazing Adult Fantasy

Ever wanted a set of comic book sheets but felt weird purchasing those colorful bedding? Beyond a certain age, it’s normal to fear that your love of comic books could open up a can of ridicule or even kill any chance of romance. Personally, I worry about being distracted by the question ‘is that a Buscema Silver Surfer or is that a Kirby drawing?’

This could spell 'No Nookie' rather than 'Wam!'

This could spell ‘No Nookie’ rather than ‘Wam!’

Worry no more as your bed can be both sophisticated and an homage to the hey day of Marvel Comics.

Via Robot6:

While many of us had brightly colored Spider-Man or Captain America sheets and pillowcases when we were kids, now that we’re adults they’re a little tougher to get away with. Thankfully, Marvel has us covered with sophisticated (well, “sophisticated”) bedding for adults.

Gone are the garish colors of our youth, replaced with a gray-and-black Avengers comforter, featuring subdued stripes depicting Captain America, Falcon, Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor.

To go beneath the comforter, there’s the Avengers sheet set, covered in a black-and-white comic book print featuring Captain America, Daredevil, Hulk, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Mary Jane and Thor; the accompanying pillowcases sport the Marvel logo.

They’re both available at ThinkGeek in twin, full, queen and king sizes.

Star Wars Scoundrel Goes Solo

OldHanSoloThe roguish pilot of the Millennium Falcon is undoubtedly one of the most popular characters in the entire saga. With a trusty blaster at his side and a walking carpet capable of tearing your arms off, Han Solo is a fan favorite. While actor Harrison Ford was adamant that the quick-witted scoundrel should have died at the conclusion of The Empire Strikes Back, he is excited to return to a galaxy far, far away for more adventure.
But there will be more Han Solo with the a film devoted entirely to his story (likely set before he encountered the old wizard and his protege, a young farm boy). Back in my early childhood days (which are now my extended childhood days), I often thought that the further adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca had untapped potential. It looks like I may have my wish fulfilled at last.

HanSolo_StarWarsVia MakingStarWars:

Lawrence Kasdan is stepping away from Star Wars. The screenwriting legend scripted The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens. Then he went on to work on the Han Solo anthology film with this son Jon. Now he’s saying enough is enough already and boy, has he earned it.

I don’t know if this is good news but it doesn’t sound like Lawrence Kasdan took the gig to write the screenplay for the Han Solo anthology film, according to THR: 

He added that he had little interest in being involved in the Solo movie, but that his family was so excited about the idea for him, he agreed to co-write the screenplay with his son Jon Kasdan.

Hopefully the opportunity to please his family and work with his son still means Lawrence Kasdan brought his A-game to the gig.

I have now made four Star Wars movies. That’s more than enough.

The man has more than done his part to contribute to the galaxy we all love so much. We’re lucky we have the films we do. Now, I just hope those rumors he’s agreed to take a pass on the Indiana Jones story and be a consultant are true! (Now we’re just getting greedy, though.)

The Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film has a TBD 2018 release date.



For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the links below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

SWars_ToppsStar Wars The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume 1 HC (not verified by Diamond), $24.95
Grendel Vs The Shadow #1 (Of 3)(Matt Wagner Signed Edition)(Dynamic Forces), AR
Batman #46 (Greg Capullo & Danny Miki Regular Cover), $3.99
Batman And Robin Eternal #6, $2.99
Batman Beyond #6 (Bernard Chang Regular Cover), $2.99
LEGO Star Wars Small Scenes From A Big Galaxy HC, $24.99
Django Zorro HC, $29.99
DC Batman Automobilia Figurine Collection Magazine #71 (Gotham After Midnight #1), $21.00
Airboy #4 (Of 4), $2.99
Astronauts In Trouble #6, $2.99
Age Of Ultron Vs Marvel Zombies TP, $15.99
All-New All-Different Avengers #1 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $4.99
All-New Hawkeye #1 (Ramon Perez Regular Cover), $3.99
DVader_12Darth Vader #12, $3.99
Illuminati #1 (Riley Rossmo Regular Cover), $3.99
Infinity Gauntlet #5, $3.99
Illuminati #1 (Riley Rossmo Regular Cover), $3.99
secret-wars-7Secret Wars #7 (Of 9)(Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.99
Spider-Man 2099 #3 (Francesco Mattina Regular Cover), $3.99
Squadron Sinister #4, $3.99
Star Wars Episode VI The Return Of The Jedi HC, $24.99
Batman Animated Series Batman The Animated Series Harley Quinn Action Figure, $24.95
Batman Animated Series The New Batman Adventures Roxy Rocket Deluxe Action Figure, $39.95
Batman The Long Halloween By Sale T-Shirt LG, $18.95

Farewell, Impossible Girl

Since she first appeared in 2012’s Asylum of the Daleks, Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald has been a divisive character… and frankly it’s all Steven Moffat’s fault.


Introduced as a recurring character who appeared throughout the Doctor’s timeline, cryptically oblivious to her previous appearances then dying before the Doctor could figure her out, Clara Oswald was the focus of the program… then she became even more important. She dove into the Doctor’s time line and saved him over and over, even influencing which TARDIS to steal when he left Gallifrey.


This is a disturbing trend in the modern Doctor Who to place the emphasis on the companion rather than the Doctor. Moffat has even gone on record as saying the companion is more important than the Doctor, which indicates a flawed approach. To make matters worse, Moffat introduced a character with a definite arc, completed the arc, then had her remain. This isn’t the first time this has happened, of course. We had already seen Rose imbibe the time vortex and un-write the Daleks from history… then awkwardly stay as a companion, lose the Doctor then come back AGAIN. Amy Pond was another mystery the Doctor was obsessed with unraveling and after she was involved in the second Big Bang and getting to the wedding she was avoiding… she also rejoined the Doctor which made no sense.

Someone needs to explain to these award-winning writers that stories have beginnings, middle and ends. Not several staggering ends like a recurring prank phone call.

Nevertheless, Jenna Coleman has remained a pivotal companion through more key moments in the program’s history than any other character to date with the possible exception of the Brigadier! So it comes as no surprise that many fans do not like (or hate) Clara. She has also been portrayed as instrumental to any successful activity by UNIT yet remains a character whose greatest strength on the surface is being a ‘cute as a button’ school teacher.

Doctor Who – 50th Anniversary Special - The Day of the Doctor

Despite all this, I quite like Clara. She’s something of a throwback to Sarah Jane Smith, an everyday city dweller with a sassy attitude and remarkable fortitude in the face of danger. She has also greatly influenced the Doctor’s character, often in spite of his reluctance to accept her (as seen in last year’s adventures when the Doctor and Clara flat out did not get along at all).

Coleman has exhibited an unusually wide range of characteristics from comedic to dramatic, to adventurous. She is sometimes the most important person in the room and other times the brunt of a joke or an outright insult. She has charted the course of a story and been the victim of circumstance. She really is a stand out actress who holds her own against those who came before her, yet I can sympathize with the fact that she was thrust down our throats as important and the scripts continue to make this mistake. If Moffat had more faith in the Coleman, she would have been allowed to show us how great she is rather than reminding the viewer that she’s the *impossible girl* over and over, which is a shame.

Jenna Coleman is only listed as being on the cast list for the next two episodes and her fate has been hinted throughout this season. Moffat has also stated that it will be a tear-jerker (much the same way as the loss of the Ponds was).

I predict that after she is gone, Clara will be remembered as an important and much-loved companion. After all, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Doctor Who materializes in Lego Dimensions

who_legoThe day of the Doctor is finally here… in Legoland.

Lego Dimensions should be the most wanted gift for kids and kids-at-heart alike this year. With unique packs for DC Superheroes, The Wizard of Oz, the Simpsons, Back to the Future, Scooby Doo, Ghostbusters, The Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, Ninjago and much more. Using a special base to import characters from individual Lego kits, the multi-platform game allows almost limitless diversity.

In addition to new dialog recorded by current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, the pack will include all 12 previous incarnations- each with unique animations, abilities and sampled dialog from classic adventures. The First Doctor sports a cane, the Second Doctor frets and plays his flute, the Third Doctor brandishes a fencing sword. The DLC will obviously continue to expand throughout the hopefully long life of Lego Dimensions. Each Doctor will also have his own TARDIS console room that has been painstakingly reproduced, even down to the mock paper walls. Additionally, the background music will match each era that the Doctor is from.

It’s a holiday gift designed for the most devoted Whovian.

In one clip we see Davros berating his Dalek army, urging them to destroy his nemesis while the Doctor takes a trip to a very familiar setting: “Here we are. Victorian London. The Gelth. Weng Chiang. A giant dinosaur in the Thames…”

The Doctor Who level pack for Lego Dimensions is released November 6th.

You can find all that you need at the Lego Store on Amazon.com

Also, the Lego Ideas Doctor Who play set is coming on December 1st!