The Day of the Doctor was a brilliant celebration of five decades of Doctor Who. While involving all of the living actors who had played the Doctor proved to be too daunting a task, it did include a brilliant cameo by Tom Baker, the one who played the time lord the longest, and still found countless other ways to honor the show’s long legacy. The crux of the whole special, however, was centered on a “forgotten” Doctor, a “War Doctor” (John Hurt) — one retroactively dropped into the continuity between Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor and Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth. A transitional Doctor bridging the gap between the 1996 Fox Who TV movie and the “modern” run of the show initiated by Russell T. Davies in 2005. But if executive producer Steven Moffat had had his way — and a bigger budget — “The Day of the Doctor” would have also paid tribute to another forgotten Doctor, one who exists outside the canon of the show. One played by Peter Cushing.
With five decades and 12 — going on 13 — incarnations over the years, there’s a lot of Doctor Who to digest. Or, as is often the case with dedicated fans, to dissect. And let’s face it, when your five decades of stories also happen to be about a repeatedly regenerating traveler through time and space, all that history can be pretty damn hard to keep track of without some sort of a visual aid. Thankfully, the Whovians of the world are on the job and happy to help out. Sometimes, that passion and creativity manifests as something simple, like the above tribute to the various Doctor’s catchphrases, from “Nonsense!” to “Geronimo!” I wonder what the new guy’s battle cry will be.
As much as I like that one, I love this next one, which celebrates the ever-changing nature of the Doctor by highlighting each incarnation’s first and last words. If you’re a long-time Whovian, there’s a good chance one or more of these is going to make you tear up, or sigh wistfully, or go sit and cry in a dark closet while weeping violently. I do love the trend of the last few Doctors always taking a moment to comment on how weird it is to suddenly have a new body.
If you and your friends are as dark-humored as we are here at GFR, there’s a good chance you’ve already played Cards Against Humanity, or at least heard someone talk about it. Described on the official website as “A free party game for horrible people,” Cards Against Humanity challenges you to indulge your worst instincts in a way that makes you and your buddies belly laugh and possibly spray snot across the room. Well, if CAH has become a staple of your social group’s parties, now you can mix up the gallows humor with some Gallifrey humor, thanks to a free Doctor Who-themed expansion. Do I need to tell you that this post is going to get a bit NSFW? Because it is.
The way you play Cards Against Humanity is pretty simple. There are two types of cards: black question cards and white answer cards. Each round one player picks a black card and reads the question aloud, then the other players look at their hand and choose the white-card answer that is the funniest response. For example, one such call-and-response that’s currently on the game’s website reads, “Before he died, Michael Jackson thought about _____.” The most offensive of the scrolling responses: “The profoundly handicapped.” You get the idea.
It’s one of the great traditions of Doctor Who fandom: meeting a new Doctor, and a new actor portraying him. But as the old saying goes, the clothes make the man, and each Doctor’s wardrobe has played an important and iconic part in establishing the character. We’ve had Tom Baker’s scarf, Peter Davison’s lapel celery, and Matt Smith’s bowtie. While we’d previously seen shots of new Doctor actor Peter Capaldi filming his episodes, we hadn’t gotten a glimpse at his defining duds. Now the official Doctor Who Twitter has finally revealed the Twelfth Doctor’s costume. a sleek black outfit that definitely suits the actor well. You gotta love that snazzy red lining. And Doc Martens, no less! My high school self heartily approves.
Last year, when the BBC and Doctor Who announced Peter Capaldi as the twelfth incarnation of the venerable Time Lord, there was quite a stir among fans of the long-running space and time adventure. We got our first glimpse of the new Doctor in December in the Christmas special, “Time of the Doctor.” Regardless of you take on Capaldi and his rendering of the beloved character, one thing is certain, the man is a huge fan of Doctor Who. How big? Well, we stumbled across some Doctor Who fan art, by none other than Peter Capaldi, from 1976.
Io9 found this image, which first appeared in the May, 1976 edition of the Doctor Who International Fan Club Magazine. I’m not entirely certain what it is supposed to show, but it looks to be the Doctor’s preferred method of time and space travel, the TARDIS, hanging out in some rugged mountains, most likely on some remote alien world. Then again, he could be hanging out in the Himalayas with a crew of Yetis. I wouldn’t put it past him.
With Peter Capaldi stepping in as the latest incarnation of the Doctor, the show will be diverting from the path it’s followed in its “modern” run so far. David Tennant was in his 30s when he took on the role. Matt Smith was in his 20s, and as the first of the revamped show’s time lords, Christopher Eccleston was in his 40s. Capaldi, however, is 55. He certainly isn’t the first older actor to take the lead of Doctor Who, but his age will be a major change for fans who only got hooked on the show in the era of dashing young “sexy” Doctors. But aside from letting his centuries of experience show a bit more, what can we expect from this new Doctor? According to executive producer Steven Moffat, this new “kick-up-the-arse Doctor” is designed to “flip the show around” and establish that Who will be taking a very different direction during Capaldi’s tenure.
There would be little point in making as radical a change as we’ve made unless you’re going to go quite different with the Doctor. The last two Doctors have been brilliant, and have been your ‘good boyfriend’ Doctors. But the Doctor isn’t always like that. There is the sort of Tom Baker, Christopher Eccleston end of the spectrum, where he is mad and dangerous and difficult.
If we’d cast Ben Whishaw, you’d know what we were doing. You’d think, ‘Well, that’s another quirky young man with entertaining hair!’ And he’d be a brilliant Doctor, but Clara would just think, ‘Okay, you’ve rearranged yourself a bit…’