Saturday, February 26, 2011

On the run-up to the next adventures of a timelord

We're just weeks away from the next season of Doctor Who, and if I have to tell you what that is, kindly leave the Internet.

Gleefully little information has come out about the upcoming series, and while that's torturous, it's also for the best. Here's a brief look at what we know so far.

We know that the season will indeed be two mini-seasons. The average BBC series is six or so episodes in a series, while Doctor Who is 13 episodes, plus the Christmas special. Showrunner Steven Moffat realized that by splitting the season in half, you can spread the excitement out - the first half of the season will run starting in April, and the remaining episodes in late summer or early fall, followed by the Christmas episode. This means there won't be as long a wait between new episodes, no more than a couple of months at any time. This also means they'll be able to change up the current narrative format of the season, that of one long narrative arc, culminating in the last two episodes. Now they can do two smaller arcs, with what they describe as a gamechanging cliffhanger in between. One wonders if they could extend things and make the Christmas episode part of the storyline as well, as opposed to the more standalone story they are now. Odds are it's not necessary, as it does quite well as it is.

We know Neil Gaiman has written an episode. And that's damn near about it, save that "It will be on television, and it will be in color" We know it'll be broadcast in the first half of the season, or at least that seems likely, considering when it was filmed. Suranne Jones (who played the Mona Lisa in Sarah Jane Adventures last year) plays a character named Idris, about whom many have already kvelled.

Mark Gatiss is writing another episode, as is gareth Roberts. Moffat's writing five, as it's tradititional for the showrunner to provide the lion's share. Steve Thompson, who wrote for Sherlock, is writing one as well, and Matthew Graham, creator of Life on Mars, is writing a two-parter

The casting news has been trickling through as well. Another British comedian with a long history with the series is joining - David Walliams of Little Britain fame will be playing a character named Gibbis in what's being called "A spooky episode" written by Toby (Being Human) Whithouse. Also, elfin waif Lily Cole and ubiquitous British actor Hugh Bonneville will be in an episode with a pirate theme of some type.

Most recently, James Corden announced (quickly confiemed) that he'd be back this season, reprising his role of Craig Owens from last season's The Lodger. Considering we saw a control room that looked just like the one from that episode in the season teaser, this raises many questions as to how much of that episode was more important than originally thought. It is in fact very possible that the control room we saw in the teaser is the EXACT same one from the Lodger - considering that Corden's episode has yet to film, that may be a clip from the previous episode, or just a random unused shot of the set, tacked on there.

It's amazing the actors that the new series has been attracting. Not just for the cool factor either; the show has been doing such a good job that people know that an appearance on the show will be a feather in their cap.

If you need a bit of a look back on the previous season, I happen to have done recaps of each episode for the folks at Newsarama. Here's a list of them if you want to give them a perusal...

01. The Eleventh Hour

02. The Beast Below

03. Victory of the Daleks

04. The Time of Angels

05. Flesh and Stone

06. The Vampires of Venice

07. Amy's Choice

08. The Hungry Earth

09. Cold Blood

10. Vincent and the Doctor

11. The Lodger

12. The Pandorica Opens

13. The Big Bang

14. A Christmas Carol

See you all in a couple weeks.

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