We could argue for the rest of our lives about who’s the best Doctor -and lets be honest we will - but for me, the best single performance in the role is settled forever. You can only ask a solo of a virtuoso, so thank God and Scotland for Peter Capaldi.
Steven Moffat on Peter as the Doctor with regards to Heaven Sent (DWM 503)
Terrific review of UNIT Shutdown in the new DWM. This bit in particular made me smile a lot:
“Jemma Redgrave is equally assured, clearly relishing playing Kate in full ballbuster mode: the way she tears strips off the man from the energy ministry would have made the Third Doctor’s chest swell with pride, and when someone warns her she’s opening a can of worms she replies casually ‘Then I’ll set the ravens on them’. Show THIS woman a glass ceiling and she’s likely to throw a Cyberman’s severed head through it.”
There’s a little girl waiting in a garden. She’s going to wait a long while, so she’s going to need a lot of hope. Go to her. Tell her a story. Tell her that if she’s patient, the days are coming that she’ll never forget. Tell her she’ll go to see and fight pirates, she’ll fall in love with a man who’ll wait two thousand years to keep her safe. Tell her she’ll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived, and save a whale in outer space. Tell her, this is the story of Amelia Pond.
(Early on in doing this blog I did about two dozen of these. I stopped doing them when I lost count.)
You know you’re deep in Whouffaldi when you can’t help yourself from feeling a little down when you come across a story that reminds you that Clara was in love with Danny Pink, too. Because it’s like seeing a rival - indeed, he was a rival - for the Doctor. There have been a few stories, such as the recent DWM comic strip, “Witch Hunt”, where it is Danny, not the Doctor, who is the centre of Clara’s thoughts and affections. And there’s a lot of fanfic where the OTP is Clara and Danny, not Clara and the Doctor.
But then you remind yourself that it was all part of Clara becoming another Doctor, as we have seen him demonstrate the ability to be in love with numerous people simultaneously too. We saw this with Reinette and Rose, and the fact he was still married to River when the Eleventh Doctor - never mind Twelve - unambiguously fell in love with Clara in Series 7B. And we must assume that, throughout all his time with Clara, and with River, the Twelfth Doctor still retained the feelings Nine and Ten had for Rose, even after all this time. We have to assume this because if (when?) the Doctor eventually regains his memories of Clara and what she meant to him, I personally wouldn’t want there to be an implication that this will vanish with the Thirteenth Doctor.
Yet being deep in Whouffaldi, it’s still tough to accept that there was another who held at least part of Clara’s heart and provided her with the form of companionship which the Doctor was unable to provide in his new body. Stuff like hugs willingly given and received. Going to restaurants. Parties.
And then you are reminded that the loss of Danny resulted in Clara hanging onto the Doctor tighter than ever. Bonding with him tighter than ever. And the Doctor reciprocated. Hugging. Going to restaurants (per Sleep No More). Parties (per Under the Lake). No more insults. No more anger directed at her. The Doctor, in many respects made himself into another Danny. For her.
I am a diehard Whouffaldi believer. But I do not deny that Clara x Danny was real. It was part of a triangle with the Doctor that ran throughout Series 8 and particularly after Clara found herself saying “I love you” to the two men at the same time. Danny’s death, tragic and sad as it was, was I think directly responsible for Clara and the Doctor entering into the state of “deep love” that Peter Capaldi has mentioned.
A deep love to the extent that Clara wanted to become the Doctor, and I contend that the Doctor wanted to become more human in return. Wow. I never even realized that until I typed all this out right now.
Clara wanted to become the Doctor, for the Doctor. The Doctor wanted to become more human - another Danny - for Clara.
Behind the Scenes of The Sontaran Stratagem /
The Poison Sky (Part Two)
Excerpts from Jason Arnopp’s set report from DWM 396
UNIT and the Sontarans both have a code of conduct. A sense of honour. Are the two sides really so different? Joining David for dinner-time deserts (he brings the deserts; DWM makes the tea) we ask for his take on the matter.
“The Doctor’s anti-military stance throughout this story is clearly showing that parallel a bit”, he considers, “with his insistence that we don’t need guns and all this ammunition. Although, of course, the Doctor did work for UNIT! It’s quite a grey area, where the Doctor stands on all that. He obviously doesn’t like to get his hands dirty. There’s also the whole situation with Martha. I think he’s very proud of her for being there and doing what she’s doing. But he’s maybe even disappointed, at first, to see she may have gone over to what he might consider the dark side! She’s transformed. In fact, in the scenes we’ve been doing today she’s literally transformed, in that she’s not actually Martha!”
When we emerge from David’s trailer, having put the world to rights, Freema Agyeman passes by, chuckling, “I just left half me make up inside a gas mask,” she reveals. “No one’ll want to use that again!”
Additional parts of this photoset: [ one ] The rest of the behind-the-scenes photosets are available [ here ]
As unsurprising as it is to see Heaven Sent come out top on the DWM poll I have to say I’m shocked to see Hell Bent so low at number six (out of ten due to the way DWM chose to group stories) also there seems to be very little variation with this result when organised by age group with the over 40s being the group with which it was most popular, and under 18s the least! It is yet another example of how the opinions of the Doctor Who Magazines readership differs massively from those of the people I see on Tumblr, which I assume is partly down to the fact that a large proportion of the people on the internet are Americans with limited access to the magazine. Still it’s a shame to feel that DWM isn’t as representative of the fandom as a whole as I often believe it to be (then again DWM put The Talons of Weng-Chiang in sixth place on the poll of all 250-odd stories so maybe I should have realised this before now).
Ending on a more positive note I am very happy to see that Rachel Talalay won the award for best director. Frankly I think she may well be the best director the show has ever had (classic and contemporary series) and deserves all the awards!
For more than a year we’ve been talking about how Clara was becoming more and more like the Doctor, ultimately becoming a Time Lord in all but name. And, like the Doctor, she has had companions. After the jump: a tribute to the (surprisingly numerous) companions of Doctor Clara.