Summary: This docudrama looks at the Hartnell era of Doctor Who, as its first executive producer Verity Lambert and her mentor Sydney Newman (BBC’s head of serials at the time) look to create a brand new science fiction series that will be both fun and educational. The cast includes David Bradley as William Hartnell, Jessica Swaine as Verity Lambert, and Sacha Dawan as Warrin Hussein (director of “An Unearthly Child”, Doctor Who‘s pilot episode).
Steven Moffatt’s first Doctor, Matt Smith, became a fan favorite, and in some cases eclipsed his predecessor, David Tennant. It seemed as though he mostly proved he was a worthy successor to Russell T. Davies. But could the trend continue with Peter Capaldi?
“I do what I do because it’s right! Because it’s decent! And above all, it’s kind!”
About Peter Capaldi
At 59 years old, Peter Capaldi is the oldest actor to play the Doctor. He follows the tradition of Colin Baker in that he actually appeared in an episode of a previous Doctor’s run, “The Fires of Pompeii” as Lobus Caecillius (which became a plot point of the era). he’s also the second Doctor to have appeared in a spin-off prior to becoming the Doctor, playing Dr. Frobisher in the Torchwood mini-series “Children of Earth”. (David Tennant was the first, appearing in one of Big Finish’s UNIT audio dramas. He was a longtime fan of the show, much like Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and David Tennant before him. Prior to Doctor Who, his most famous role was Malcolm Tucker in the BBC TV sitcom The Thick of It. He played a “WHO Doctor” in World War Z and plays Mr. Curry in both Paddington movies.
In a Nutshell:
- Catch Phrases: “Pudding brain” and “Shut up!”
- Series 8’s premiere “Deep Breath” was an extended episode, which continued to be a fixture for all three series.
- The Master returned in “Deep Breath”, having changed genders and referring to herself as “Missy.” She was played by Michelle Gomez.
- Series 9 consisted mostly of 2-part episodes, with “Sleep No More” being the only stand-alone episode.
- Series 10 was postponed one year, making the third time Doctor Who was put on hiatus during its history.
- A new spin-off, Class, aired both online and on TV, but wasn’t nearly as successful as Torchwood or The Sarah Jane Adventures, only lasting one series.
Writer: Steven Moffatt
Director: Rachel Talalay
Producer: Peter Bennett
Companions: First Doctor (David Bradley), Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), Archibald Lethbridge-Stewart (Mark Gatiss)
Summary: Refusing to regenerate, the Doctor meets a soldier from the First World War and his original self. They meet a mysterious being made completely out of glass that calls itself Testimony, who wishes to exchange an old friend for the soldier–Bill Potts.
Writer: Terry Nation
Director: Richard Martin
Producer: Verity Lambert
Companions: Ian Chesterton (William Russell), Barbara Wallace (Jacqueline Hill), Vicki (Maureen O’Brienn), Steven Taylor (Peter Purves)
Season: 2, episode 8 (29-35)
Summary: After the events of “The Space Museum”, the Daleks have tracked down the Doctor. They place a device on the TARDIS so that no matter where or when the Doctor and his companions go, they will be right behind.
Writer: J.C. Wilsher
Director: Ashley Way
Producer: Richard Stokes
Summary: Martha Jones joins Torchwood, having joined UNIT after leaving the Doctor. They investigate mysterious deaths at a medical testing center. They discover an alien larva is incubating in the bodies.
Writer: Cavan Scott & Mark Wright
Director/Producer: Gary Russell
Companion: Dr. Evelyn Smyth (Maggie Staples)
Running Time: 1 hr. 30 minutes
Summary: The Doctor and Evelyn find a trail of dead animals and discover that humans have been eating them. The Doctor and Evelyn investigate, causing him to meet Dr. William Abberton, (aka Nimrod), a mad scientist working with The Forge, who are trying to create human/vampire hybrids.
Writer: Catherine Treganna
Director: Colin Teague
Producer: Richard Stokes
Summary: An alien named Adam Smith joins Torchwood and uses his abilities to make them believe he’s been part of the team from the beginning.
Writer: Ben Aaronovitch
Director: Michael Kerrigan
Producer: John Nathan-Turner
Companions: Ace (Sophia Aldred), Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney)
Season: 26 (eps 1-4)
Summary: The Doctor and Ace assist UNIT for one last time (in Classic Who anyway) and discover a nuclear missile convoy has headed into difficulties. Near Lake Vortigan, Morgaine, the evil sorceress from the legends of King Arthur has returned, seeking Excalibur once more. She’s mistaken the Doctor for Merlin, or is he actually Merlin?
Big Finish is a great way to get into the world of Doctor Who. They’ve been around since 2000, and have produced stories featuring nearly every Doctor, even the War Doctor! But it’s easy to go to their website and get overwhelmed by their endless selection of stories. Where can you even start, especially when new titles are released every month? This editorial can give you some titles worth trying.
First of all, I should point out there are several ways to enjoy Big Finish. You can either purchase or download their media from their website (downloads are less expensive) and I’ve heard Amazon also has some titles. Also, Spotify and Hoopla both have lots of Big Finish stories, and both have different selections. The drawback for Spotify is unless you’re a premium subscriber or are using it on your desktop computer, you won’t hear the story the correct way. It’ll shuffle not only the story you’re listening to, but everything else Big Finish has loaded. And what’s Hoopla, you ask? Hoopla is an app that lets you borrow media using a library card–movies, music, books, you name it!
Writer: Jonathan Morris
Director: Ken Bentley
Producer: David Richardson
Companion: Romana I (Mary Tamm)
Running Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes (includes interviews)
Summary: After the events of “The Armageddon Factor”, the Doctor has left K-9 inside the TARDIS and left it on autopilot to distract the Black Guardian. who is still in pursuit of the Key to Time. The Doctor and Romana are in the 1920’s, having set up a cover as upperclass elite. Romana meets a man named Reginald, who is looking for a new girlfriend that his extremely demanding aunt must approve of. What he does not realize is that his “aunt” is actually an alien!