Alongside that, they have also announced the directors for series two, who include ‘classic’ series director Graeme Harper, who was responsible for both The Caves Of Androzani and Resurrection Of The Daleks.
The BBC are going all out with the build up to the final episode of the current series of Doctor Who, even going so far as to suggest that fans avoid the internet so as not to be tempted by the daily teasers and clues on the www.badwolf.org.uk site!
I’m still no nearer to working out who or what Bad Wolf is, however a quick glance and the cast list for the episode on Saturday shows two names playing the Doctor, so it looks like it was always planned that David Tennant would take over at this point. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens, and how the changeover occurs.
As was mentioned in the beginning of a Guardian article this week, for me, like many, the new series has certainly brought back the Saturday teatime ritual of not missing Doctor Who. As a result, when I worked out that I couldn’t get home in time following the Peat family reunion we sat and watched the penultimate episode of the series with the family.
Despite being titled Bad Wolf, episode 12 still left us guessing as to the identity of the Bad Wolf, with us only having heard a voice in the trailer for next week. About half of the episode was taken up with the Doctor, Captain Jack and Rose trapped in nightmare versions of well known TV shows, Captain Jack in What Not To Wear with two killer robots, the Doctor in Big Brother where the evictees were atomised, and Rose in a game of the Weakest Link where a robotic Anne Robinson blasts the weakest link with a laser gun.
Whilst the BBC did well to secure the actual stars of the relevant quiz shows to provide voices, and even the Big Brother UK logo from Channel 4, this was still ultimately a rehash of the fairly common TV gone crazy plot that many people have done over the years. However the real purpose of those sequences was to build up to the big reveal of a fleet of Dalek ships ready to invade Earth – the Dalek ships that the Doctor has been saying that he destroyed during the last time war all series!
Certainly from the clips that were shown in the preview of the episode next week, there are lots of Daleks. Whereas the old series could never afford to show an entire Dalek army (most shows made use of at most four or five physical Daleks), it looks like with the mixture of computer graphics, and also a sizeable number of props built, you really do get to see millions of Daleks invading!
As to Big Wolf, one of the clips has the Doctor asking how the Dalek fleet survived the war, to which a voice says “they survived through me”. There is much speculation over who Big Wolf will be. The producers point blank deny that it is the Master, but the internet rumours are naming almost any of the big badies over the years. The most way out suggestion being that Bad Wolf is the Doctor himself, partly justified through the scene in the first episode where the Doctor remarks on his new face, whilst he has been seen on his own through history (i.e. before Rose has joined him). Suffice to say there is enough speculation and rumour floating around that it could be anybody.
On top of that, according to the papers this week we’re getting a spectacular US style end of season cliff-hanger, complete with pictures of the Dalek army:
However it is worth bearing in mind at this point that the BBC have filmed a number of different endings for the series, so quite what will happen remains to be seen…
Episode 11 of Doctor Who was a definite change of pace. Although it opened with what seemed like it would be an action packed story, the Doctor captured the main enemy very early, and then the real episode unfolded. The main thrust of the episode was to consider what happens afterwards, and left the Doctor dealing with a big question of what to do with an alien who had potentially killed thousands, and would kill again if released, but was sentenced to death if he returned her to her own people. Ultimately the TARDIS solved the problem in a unique fashion, and the episode left us with a tantalising glimpse of the main event next week when the Daleks return in force.
Other interesting points were that the Doctor made mention of the “Bad Wolf” references, but then brushed them aside. However the appearance of a Bad Wolf website, and the next episode being called Bad Wolf tends to imply that there is something more on the way!
The BBC Web Team have been busy as usual, having now updated the Fear Factor Panel with details of the episode, and also updated the spoof Who Is Doctor Who? site with an interview with Henry VanStatten, the main human enemy last night, and even a link off to his company website, Geocomtex.
I had been told in advance that this was one of the best episodes, and it didn’t let me down. We got some more of the time war back-story, including the fact that the Time-Lords were fighting the Daleks. This leads to some big question marks over the Doctor, especially the way he reacts to the Dalek after the war. Although there is a lot of character stuff in the episode, the Dalek does escape pretty quickly for the usual round of Dalek induced chaos. As with previous Dalek episodes, this had a pretty high death count (apparently Resurrection Of The Daleks had a higher body count than The Terminator). Classic moments were the “What are you going to do, suck me to death?” when it escapes, and also the moment when after surviving a hail of machine gun fire from a squad of soilders without a scratch, the Dalek floats into the air, and shoots the sprikler control, and you suddenly realise what it is going to do! After the slightly wobbly stair climb back in Remembrance Of The Daleks which was done by brute force and metal poles, the modern CGI effects gave us several flying Dalek sequences.
The episode finishes with a view of the creature inside, and a very touching character moment as the Dalek struggles with the humanity it has recieved from Rose, (echoes of The Evil of the Daleks with the effects of the human factor) and the realisation that it is alone.
The BBC then followed the episode up with a good Doctor Who – Confidential, which included a couple of interesting stories from the filming of past Dalek stories. Apparently somebody called an ambulance and fire engine after seeing and hearing the results of one explosion during filming of Remembrance Of The Daleks – the ambulance driver got a bit of a shock when he arrived to be met by three Daleks coming out of the smoke! As was said about the special effects guys, “Thank heavens for Doctor Who, as these guys would be positively dangerous in the outside world!”
The BBC is really going for the publicity for episode 6 of Doctor Who, which has the return of a lone Dalek. I’ve seen the trailer twice already, BBC News Online have an article, and there is even an article and special cover picture on the Radio Times!
The word from those who have seen previews of the episode rate it as the best episode of the series, indeed in the SFX review, Dave Golder rates it as the best episode of all time!
So looks like I’ll need to clear a space behind the sofa ready for Saturday night! 😮