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?)
When Peter Capaldi begins his reign as Doctor Who (we know he’s already made his first appearance, but we’re talking about when he really gets going, when season eight kicks off later this year), there are going to be some big changes. Matt Smith’s eleventh Time Lord is often thought of as a living cartoon, and Capaldi promises to be a much darker incarnation. Ben Wheatley, most known for his twisted, genre-bending films like Kill List, Sightseers, and A Field in England, will helm the first two episodes. He’s also set to direct an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s surrealist dystopian novel High Rise.
Visit the home of any self-respecting science fiction fan and the telltale signs will be there. The shelves packed to bursting with books about strange new worlds. Full runs of Star Trek, Farscape, and Babylon 5 tucked away in the TV room. Perhaps even some prop replicas from the genre’s most memorable outings given a place of honor up on the wall. But for fans whose passion is equaled by their disposable income, things must be taken to the next level. Because why have a boring old basic media room when you could instead have the command deck of the Enterprise, complete with comfy chairs?
Just about a year ago we reported the story of Tony Alleyne, a British chap who had spent years converting his apartment into something straight out of Star Trek, only to have it become a sticking point in his divorce. (That’s him up top.) See, the apartment actually belonged to his ex, and now that they were divorcing, she wanted to sell it as a “conventional property.” Ouch. Hopefully the rest of these folks are either single, happily together in a stable relationship, or packing an ironclad pre-nup. It’d be a damn shame if the lawyers had to get involved in this gorgeous TARDIS control room replica, which Jayman White spent a year making. He even put in the round things! (What are the round things?)
The age of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor is well under way. While we’re still months away from seeing his first episode, filming has commenced and we recently got to see the outfit his Doctor will be sporting throughout time and space. It’s exciting, and it feels like there hasn’t been as much mourning as there was after David Tennant left. That’s not to say Smith wasn’t beloved by fans, but his regeneration was less tragic, more thoughtful than the Tenth Doctor’s “I don’t want to go,” so I think it’s easier for many fans to embrace the new guy. But while we’ve already seen the Doctor regenerate into his new form, it turns out the Eleventh Doctor might have one last task to complete.