Regardless of how you feel about the direction Doctor Who has taken in recent years, there’s no question that it boasts some much more impressive production values in its current incarnation than it did back in the classic era. The Who creators had to stretch every shilling back in the day, which is why The Doctor’s adventures across time and space so often involved wobbly walls and rubbery aliens. One element of the show you might not even consciously notice making a difference is the score. Musical director Murray Gold has been shaping the soundscape of Doctor Who since its 2005 resurrection, and even if you couldn’t name any of the work he’s done for the show, compositions such as “I am The Doctor” are both instantly recognizable and inextricably associated with the feel of the modern series. So what if he’d been scoring the classic Who episodes? They might have looked a bit like the video up top.
Based on my 10 seconds of serious pondering and research, I don’t think the Doctor has been back to the Moon since the 2007 episode “Smith and Jones,” which introduced Martha Jones and had the Doctor dealing with an entire bloody hospital that had been relocated to the lunar surface. Sure, the moon played a major role in “Day of the Moon” — and gave us one of Matt Smith’s finest moments as the Doctor — but as far as I can recall, our very favorite Time Lord hasn’t actually been back to the moon since he still looked like David Tennant. That’s about to change this week in an episode entitled “Kill the Moon.” If that title didn’t tip you off, The Doctor’s going to run into some trouble up there. And it’s looking a bit…spider-y.
How come adults don’t get meals that come with prizes? Some of my favorite rituals from childhood involved being elbow-deep in a box of cereal, feeling around for the prize, or dumping all the food out of my Happy Meal just so I could get to the toy. So how come we don’t get a grown-up equivalent? After-dinner mints and fortune cookies don’t count, damn it. I want to be able to finish my snazzy, five-star meal, and then have the waiter bring me out a Rocket Raccoon action figure on a silver platter. Sadly, I will probably never live in such a world, but at least pretending is a little bit easier thanks to these faux Happy Meals that were ripped right out of my Happy Place.
These awesome fake Happy Meals are the work of Los Angeles digital artist Newt Clements. (He mostly comes out at night. Mostly.) His Pinterest is full of a wide variety of crazy projects, but his Happy Meals collection is one of the most extensive. He’s got over 100 of the things by my count, and they’re all incredibly well done. Designing Happy Meal boxes to tie into Doctor Who, Aliens, or Escape from New York would have been worthy of a story in and of itself, but Clements goes the extra mile by imagining what toys might be included with each meal as well. And I don’t care what bounty McDonald’s has on offer, there’s no way it’s cooler than an action figure of Firefly’s River standing atop a pile of Reaver corpses.
Over the course of this season, the Doctor and Clara have climbed inside a Dalek, ventured to the very end of time, and even helped rob a supposedly impenetrable bank. Where to next? This week’s episode will unfold inside Coal Hill School, Clara’s current place of employment and an institution that featured in the Doctor’s very first adventure way back in 1963. Based on this new batch of images from the episode, we’ve got one big question: why is The Doctor dressed like a Ghostbuster?
Thankfully the clip and synopsis below otter…er, offer some clues to just what’s going on in episode six, “The Caretaker.”
The terrifying Skovox Blitzer is ready to destroy all humanity — but worse, and any second now, Danny Pink and the Doctor are going to meet. When events threaten Coal Hill school, the Doctor goes undercover.”
The annual Doctor Who Christmas Special is always a big deal. Just last year, it’s where we first met Peter Capaldi’s 12th incarnation of the Time Lord, a rather noteworthy occasion (okay, he first appeared in the 50th anniversary special, but that was a cameo, and we didn’t really get to know him at all until around the Holidays). They’re even fond of bringing in special guest stars to help them celebrate their seasonal adventures, and this year isn’t going to be any different, as they’ve lined up a nice collection of homegrown talent, headlined by Nick Frost.
If you’re unfamiliar with Frost, he’s sometimes considered Simon Pegg’s better half, and has appeared alongside him countless times, though most notably in the Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy comprised of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End, as well as many others. He’s a pretty damn good time, and joins fellow British actors Nathan McMullen, who appeared on BBC’s Misfits, Michael Troughton from Breathless and dozens of other series, Fay Marsay (The White Queen), and Natalie Gumede (Coronation Street).
Let’s be honest, if we were suddenly to gain unexpected powers, say the ability to jump back and forth in space and time as much as our hearts desires, many of us would be at least tempted to use them for our own personal gains, possibly even nefarious purposes. It’s easy to imagine why someone like Marty McFly would consider using that sports almanac in Back to the Future Part 2 in order to make a little extra scratch (or like Lou in Hot Tub Time Machine who used his knowledge to start Google and join Motley Crue). And if this trailer for next week’s installment of Doctor Who is accurate, it looks like the Time Lord may be about to embark on a career as a bank robber.
We’re sure the Doctor and his travelling companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) have a very good reason for knocking over a bank in the episode called “Time Heist,” but it’s still going to be fun to watch them pull off a scheme like this, no matter the impetus. After all, Peter Capaldi’s version of the character is much darker and more dangerous than his predecessor Matt Smith (not to mention he doesn’t seem to have a crush on Clara), but we still don’t think he’s going to go full on outlaw bandit anytime soon. Capaldi does, however, seem like he might enjoy pilfering the vault at an intergalactic bank.