by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Doctor Who”

So, Without Official Confirmation, It Looks As Though The Next Doctor . . .

Posted 23 November 2008 in by Catriona

May well be Paterson Joseph.

There’s no official notification and the blogosphere is divided on the apparent accidental reveal of Joseph as a frontrunner in this very short snippet of an interview (via IO9) with his Survivors co-star Phillip Rhys.

Me, I’m not quite certain that the interview is as revelatory as some people are thinking. It could be an accidental slip of the tongue or it could simply be a verbal shift away from a potentially damaging statement.

As to whether I’d like to see Paterson Joseph as the Doctor? Well, I think I would.

I’ve seen Joseph in a number of things, most recently as the punctuation-challenged Dr Rossi in the first episode of The Gil Mayo Mysteries: the one who had “No special relationship’s” written on his wall and to whom Gil said, “You’re really just making yourself look stupid.”

Before that, he was Lyndon, the world’s sexiest IT consultant, in Green Wing, which was a superb show and a charming role.

He was in Steven Moffat’s Jekyll, which is probably where the rumours started in the first place: anyone who has ever worked with Moffat is currently being linked to the role of the Doctor for 2010.

He’s been in Doctor Who itself, of course, as Rodrick in season one’s weepy two-parter “Bad Wolf” and “The Parting of the Ways.”

And before all of those, the role I genuinely adored and the reason why I’m not too worried about these rumours—he was the fabulous Marquis de Carabas in the BBC version of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.

(And if you’ve neither read that book nor seen the television version, I can strongly recommend both of them—but if you’re thinking of catching up on what Joseph is capable of before this rumour is confirmed or denied, definitely track down the television serial.)

Gaiman has, apparently, said that he wrote the Marquis de Carabas’s character as William Hartnell’s Doctor, so the role is both unique and, simultaneously, a nice primer for perhaps playing the Doctor.

I don’t know if this rumour is true or not, but I’m not going to fret if it is.

The Marquis de Carabas knows everything. Knows everyone. Can go anywhere. Can do anything.

Just like the Doctor.

[An aside: Today might well, as Nick has just reminded me, be an auspicious day for an announcement of some kind. Today, forty-five years ago, Doctor Who premiered.]

At Last, A Meeting Of My Two Interests

Posted 19 November 2008 in by Catriona

And by two interests, I mean Doctor Who and archival research.

The BBC, it seems, is opening its Doctor Who archives and making them available on the web.

Nick, it need not be said, is neither to hold nor bind after discovering this.

The archive begins, chronologically, with an exploratory document outlining the practicality of developing a science-fiction programme for television—and the document is awesome: at one point, it suggests that “More pretentiously, far less ably, the novels of CS Lewis likewise use the apparatus of SF in the service of metaphysical ideas” (see here for that document, written in 1962).

I guess nobody in the BBC was a big fan of Lewis’s work?

That document also outlines the fact that science fiction is overwhelmingly an American genre, which I find fascinating: no-one would argue, now, that there’s a distinctly British flavour of sci-fi, but this document largely predates that time.

And the archive ends with the announcement of the new series in Radio Times.

Surely no more incentive is needed to go and rummage through this? Everyone loves archives, yes?

Well, how about this audience report on “An Unearthly Child,” the pilot episode? According to page two, “The acting throughout was considered satisfactory.”

Or this concept report from 1963, which talks about the “unsexual” nature of science fiction and emphasises the need to avoid the generic tendency against in-depth character development.

Or the image gallery, including this image of William Hartnell from the pilot episode. (What a silly hat!)

Or . . .

I’m talking to myself here, aren’t I? You all disappeared at the first link and are now happily rummaging through the archives, aren’t you?

Thought so.

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