Doctor Who fans are eagerly awaiting the adventures of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor when the show returns later this year. But while we can’t zip forward to avoid the long wait, we can do what the Doctor would do: go explore another time period and come back later. And while we don’t have a TARDIS, we do have YouTube, and it can magically transport us back to 1974, when a curly-haired eccentric named Tom Baker was about to take over the beloved sci-fi series as the Fourth Doctor, picking up from Jon Pertwee’s number Three.
When I was young, I can’t say I was incredibly inventive when it came to making things out of LEGO blocks. It was mostly this kind of house, or that kind of house, and “skateboard that only has wheels in the middle because that other piece either got eaten by the dog or actually up and walked out of the house.” But people more accomplished than I have been doing amazing things with them in the past few years, and I think this is the dawn of the Golden Age of LEGO. Maybe someone greater than all of us came back in time to make this so, or maybe it’s all an effort to cancel the apocalypse. Either way, these unofficial Pacific Rim figures look incredible, and anyone who wants to is now able to submit Doctor Who projects to LEGO Cuusoo, the user-submitted concept site.
The introduction of a new actor in the role of the Doctor is always an exciting time for Who fans, introducing a new take on the centuries-old time lord. After a pair of younger actors in David Tennant and Matt Smith, the Doctor is showing his years a bit more with the newest incarnation, played by Peter Capaldi. The new Doctor is said to be a darker take on the character, and we here at GFR are really excited to see what he brings to the role. But could his tenure inside the TARDIS be shorter than anyone imagined?
That’s the crazy Who rumor of the day, as reported by The Mirror. Granted, the fact that it’s coming from The Mirror suggests we should take this all with a Gallifrey-sized grain of salt, but the story does at least include an alleged reason as to why Capaldi will supposedly only be sticking around for one season of the show. The Mirror’s Richard Beech says he’s hearing that Capaldi’s Twelve was specifically intended as a transitional Doctor “in order to steer the show in a new direction and pave the way for an even more radical (and possibly more controversial) choice for the role.”
One of the reasons Doctor Who has lasted so long and resonated with so many is because the role is so aspirational. We all wish we were as brave and smart and clever and compassionate as the Doctor. But at the same time, the character also reflects those hopes back at us, because the time lord is forever seeing the potential in our species — the ways we could be better and kinder and stronger than we are right now. Case in point: actor Matt Smith, who took a few moments out of his day for a simple act of kindness for a young, ill fan.
Fans of the NBC sitcom Community are familiar with the show’s catchprase/goal of “Six Seasons and a Movie.” The series is currently in its fifth season — which is worlds better than last year due to the return of its creator Dan Harmon — but it doesn’t seem like an actual Community film will ever get made. But if they changed that to “Six Seasons and a Spinoff,” it might make more sense, as the popular Doctor Who-spoofing Inspector Spacetime (Travis Richey) is getting his own movie! And it will feature appearances from the Seventh Doctor himself, Sylvester McCoy, as well as Star Trek alums Robert Picardo and Chase Masterson, and The Big Bang Theory‘s Mayim Bialik. I don’t see how this movie can get made without Danny Pudi getting involved, so make this happen, Internet!
While the producers (including former Marvel development director Golan Ramras) ran an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign last year to try and raise funding for a second season of their Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time, they’re headed back to crowdfunding with IndieGogo to get the pre-production off the ground for what is now being called Untitled Motion Picture About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time. Those interested can donate money here. The switch to a feature was made once the awesome guest stars all signed on, and the producers figured that they could probably attract bigger investors with a film rather than a web series. Smart guys.
Speculating about which actors could admirably fill the Doctor’s sand shoes is a regular part of being a Doctor Who fan. Allowing the time lord to evolve into different versions of himself, and to be played by different actors, is one of the ways the show has survived and thrived for 50 years. But what if the show wasn’t a quintessentially British phenomenon, but had been born in the gold ol’ US of A? And I don’t mean the movie version David Yates kept insisting he was making, I mean if the show had actually been invented here in the States. Who might have played the Doctor over the years? How about Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, for one?
Tumblr user Smug Mode decided to turn this hypothetical situation into a series of pictures depicting the Twelve Doctors: The American Version. Obviously this is the sort of thing that will get fans twisted all out of shape, possibly to the point that fistfights break out. And we’ll be in there swinging right along with you, because while some of the picks are brilliant — we would totally be on board for Cranston’s portrayal of the time lord — some of them are…less brilliant. Let’s run through the Docs in order, along with my thoughts about each of Smug Mode’s picks. (He’s American now, so people would probably call him Doc, right?)