Titan Comics release two Doctor Who comic book trailers

On 16th May, the Doctor Who YouTube channel premiered the trailers for Titan Comics’ new Doctor Who comic book lines, The Tenth Doctor and The Eleventh Doctor.

Which was odd at the time, since comic book trailers aren’t a thing I’ve ever seen before. And the first thing that I noticed about these trailers is that they seem to be made on iMovie, with composite images made from publicity shots to create new material overlaid with fast, close-up zooms of the covers and information about them flashing on-screen in the most “iMovie”-ish way I can think of.


And yet, I don’t mind. Because that still spurred my interest in the new lines. I’ve never been committed to any original comic book series before and mostly read graphic novels or anything I can pick-up on FCBD. The last one I must have read is Future’s End #1. But I’ve never subscribed myself to an ongoing publication.

Even though I’m not really a fan of the artwork in every shot, and feel quite skeptical about the new companions that have been introduced, what these trailers managed to do is make me interested in the most important thing – the story. The focus of these trailers is the new adventures, and horizons and possibilities, which is exactly what this Universe is about. Creating a new comic book line will allow new writers to tell their own stories in a medium that couldn’t resemble an episode more closely without being an episode. Plus, the new companions, Gabrielle Gonzalez and Alice Obiefune are new. That’s the point. Stories are character-driven and by creating new characters for a new line of stories, an entirely new dynamic is created that will make sure Titan Comics’ continuity feels and is different to BBC Cymru Wales’ as well as being an incentive – had Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Amelia Pond, Rory Williams or Clara Oswald been seen, I might not have been as enthusiastic, because that make them feel like unproduced episodes. But the way this has been approached creates the impression that this is taking place between hidden seasons, because they effectively are. Inserting Gonzalez and Obiefune into continuity means the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors can probably remember both of them.


11D_01_Cover_A_RGB_PREVIEWS_BC.jpg.size-600Which is a real testament to the way the Doctor Who universe works. Even when one Doctor has been and gone, we can still tell stories about them, and widen our understanding of the character as one. Now, the Eleventh Doctor retired not out of losing the Ponds, but from losing many potential friends. We give him new memories by adding new elements into his past, and we ourselves get new memories. Now, when watching The Snowmen, I’ll know more about his choice to resign than I did before.

And this is only one example. BBC Books, Big Finish and many others, even Doctor Who Magazine do the same. The possibilities really are endless, as we can tell stories from any point in his life we choose. Who knows… maybe these two new characters will also get a mention in the television show one day…

Foxes to appear in New Series of Doctor Who

Foxes, British singer/songwriter, will make an appearance in Series 8 of Doctor Who.

As soon as this was announced, I could feel everyone together, asking who she was. As someone who doesn’t follow music, I understandably haven’t heard of her before, even if she is a Grammy-winning tourer who debuted her album at #5 in the charts.


What I’ve also felt is that a lot of people have been overreacting to this.  How dare you cast a singer in Doctor Who!, they all seemed to say (a lot of commenters were met with responses from Foxes fans, who… well, let’s just say fandoms can be corrupting). Despite the fact that we have absolutely no reason to say Foxes will actually be “a character”. Remember when jazz musician Courtney Pine cameoed in Silver Nemesis? I think it’s safe to say we’re looking at a similar situation here, especially as the press release states Foxes will “perform a track and appear”. I can only assume she will be appearing to perform a track.

According to Foxes, she was performing a gig and found herself talking to representatives of the production crew who’d been watching it. I’ve no evidence to back this up, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say the production crew was there specifically to make a judgement on her music, needing a musician to appear in the show to perform in a scene.


Steven Moffat says Foxes’ appearance is due to the Doctor “finally catching up on his phone calls”. If this meant she’d be the main guest star for that episode, the press release would be different. It would say she’d be guest starring, rather than appearing to presumably perform a track.

And while Foxes has referred to this as her acting debut, that’s another thing. If she meant that seriously, she’s technically correct because appearing in an episode would be classed as acting in this scenario. And if the doesn’t mean it seriously, then she doesn’t mean it seriously.


Honestly, there’s nothing to worry about. As I concluded in my previous post regarding Frank Skinner, the producers haven’t resorted to stunt casting. A musician that’s been deemed the best person to appear has been chosen to perform a track for the show. Headlines often have the role of summarising the article, and in this case it’s accurate – Foxes to appear in the New Series. That is all.

Or is that what we’re lead to believe…?

Frank Skinner to appear in New Series of Doctor Who

It’s been announced British comedian Frank Skinner will appear in Series 8. At first, there’s the chance one might think of stunt casting, but it’s important to remember Frank Skinner is also an actor, as a member of Equity.

Stunt casting is different. Stunt casting is the hiring of a celebrity, often not an actor, to make a small appearance. Kylie Minogue was not stunt casting, as she started as an actor.


I say, if he’s good, that’s fine. He is trained as an actor, and has been cast by the BBC. Who are professionals. If he were just a comedian, that would be different. If he were appearing through a doorway to a studio audience cheering, that would be different. And although his acting career isn’t his most famous aspect, it’s still there. Just as Billie Piper and Catherine Tate were all known for different things, singing and comedy. But both of them gained successful acting careers because of Doctor Who.

What’s different is how he got the role. Steven Moffat said he’s volunteered himself numerous times, and now a role has come-up. If this is true, he’s been cast because only now has there been an appropriate role. Which is a good thing, because actors serve scripts. The reverse is rarely true.

This piece of news, on the other hand…


Doctor Who BAFTA TV Success

Poster_Day-of-the-DoctorRadio Times are a formerly BBC funded TV listing magazines that have held a special relationship with Doctor Who over the years, not least because the show’s appeared on the cover more than any other show. Every year, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts host two awards ceremonies – one for British film, and one for British television (plus an international category).

One of the awards is the Radio Times Audience Award, which is the only award voted by the public. This year, the fiftieth anniversary special, The Day Of The Doctor, was voted most popular nominee.


Which is odd, frankly. Given the other nominees, Breaking Bad, Broadchurch, Educating Yorkshire, Gogglebox and The Great British Bake Off, were all actual shows, why should Doctor Who only get one episode? Yes, it’s the anniversary special, but a Christmas special and a half-season was broadcast that same year.


The answer? Quality. This may be the only BAFTA award for which the public vote, but the nominations for this particular award are decided by – according to the BAFTA website – “A panel of leading media and entertainment journalists”. Not the academy, then. Media and entertainment journalists.

I suppose given that The Day Of The Doctor was a special (meaning an episode broadcast outside of a regular season), they were able to nominate that single episode. But it seems every other episode broadcast that year just didn’t do it for them.

Not that I can blame them at all. The Day Of The Doctor was noticeably better than the other episodes of 2013, and was indeed simulcast around the world, becoming a Guinness World Record for the Largest Broadcast of a TV Drama. Even if that weren’t the case, and the rest of the show were nominated, it would have still won. Why? Also simple: BBC One.

Of all the nominees, Doctor Who is the only one to air on BBC One, which has the highest audience share of any British channel. That’s why it gained 16 million viewers where others achieved significantly less. For whatever reason, the majority of people only seem interested in watching something if it’s on BBC One. Which makes any nominees broadcast there more likely to win an audience award.


Which asks the question of: why bother? If it’s more likely to win based on its channel, why should the audience award exist at all? Honestly, it shouldn’t. That’s what separates BAFTA from the National Television Awards and the Oscars from the Golden Globes – committees know best. Unlike most other people, who’ll vote because they’ve only seen one nomination, it’s the responsibility of BAFTA to watch the majority of what’s on television in order to make a legitimate vote. The audience award seems to be a ratings cow, therefore; give the audience one award of their own, and they’ll watch to find out who’ll win (because BBC One really needs that kind of ratings boost). Of course, Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor won, because more people saw that, so were more likely to vote given the trend that people only tend to have seen one of the candidates. (Seriously, ask yourself – have you seen all of them? Every one?)


That being said, it did totally deserve to win. It’s just interesting to me that the rest of the show wasn’t nominated by Radio Times or by BAFTA for the Drama award.

But what’s more interesting is that nobody from the BBC expected it to win. Even Producer Faith Penhale (which took some finding, by the way – neither BAFTA or the BBC said who it was and I eventually found it on Kasterborous) said that, had anybody expected it to win, somebody more famous would have collected the award. Not that directors or producers or writers are considered “famous” by the public. And don’t tell me Steven Moffat was in Lanzarote, because he wasn’t. They were filming in the UK on BAFTA night.

Why nobody expected it to win perplexes me, really. It won the National Television Awards – which is voted by the public – yet nobody thought it would win an audience award from a more prestigious organisation on a more popular channel? Maybe there’s something they’re not telling us.
Either way, it totally deserved to win. And I also say that like every other member of the public – having only seen one nomination (this one). With that out of the way, perhaps everyone can stop talking about the fiftieth anniversary now? While the hype was definitely justified at the time of the actual anniversary, we’re six months after it now. Literally half a year later. Hopefully, when Series 8 premieres, everyone will forget about the anniversary because they’ll be so impressed with Peter Capaldi. The anniversary was about honouring the past while looking to the future – and the best way to do that is to now leave even that behind and move on. And let’s hope Series 8 will be better and actually get nominated this time.

See The Day Of The Doctor winning the Radio Times Audience Award here.