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William Hartnell’s Final Doctor Who Script Didn’t Originally Feature The Doctor Regenerating

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HartnellOne of the reasons why Doctor Who has survived and thrived for 50 years comes down to one of the more clever narrative conceits in science fiction history: the Time Lord’s ability to regenerate. Within the fiction of the show, it allows the character of the Doctor to evolve and change as the show carries on, revealing different elements of his persona. But die-hard Who fans know that the concept wasn’t in place at the beginning of the show, and in fact a newly discovered copy of the script for William Hartnell’s final episode reveals just how late in the day his regeneration was added.

A draft script for the 1966 serial “The Tenth Planet” was recently discovered in the attic of former Who writer Kip Pedler, unearthed by author Michael Steely, who is writing a biography of Pedler. In addition to being the final adventure for Hartnell’s First Doctor, “The Tenth Planet” also introduced the iconic Who baddies the Cybermen. After discovering the “Tenth Planet” draft, along with several other scripts, Steely realized “it was the first draft [script editor and co-writer] Gerry Davis prepared when Kit fell ill in June 1966.”

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Doctor Who Blu-Ray Box Set Collects Seasons 1 – 7, Upgrades Early Seasons To Full 1080p

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WhosThis November is going to be a big one for Doctor Who fans. The much-anticipated, no doubt epic 50th anniversary episode premieres on November 23. That same month will see the airing of An Adventure in Space and Time, a TV movie about the origins and making of Doctor Who, starring Harry Potter’s David Bradley as the spitting image of First Doctor William Hartnell. Now Who fans can add another bullet point to their list of reasons “Why November 2013 Will Be Awesome.” On November 5, BBC Home Entertainment will release the Doctor Who: Series 1 – 7 Limited Edition Blu-ray Giftset.

The set will collect the adventures of the three most recent Doctors: Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor, David Tennant’s Tenth, and Matt Smith’s Eleventh. More importantly, seasons 1 – 4 have been remastered into full 1080p high definition, which should be a real treat since those seasons had previously only been available on standard DVDs. The set will also include the standalone specials that wrapped up Tennant’s tenure as the Doctor.

All the bonus features from the earlier releases will be included in the set, along with a new Blu-ray disk with three new-to-Blu-ray specials:

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Doctor Who Season Eight Will Premiere In Fall 2014

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WhoAll the Doctor Who buzz of late has been focused on the 50th anniversary episode in November and the Christmas special that will introduce the Twelfth (or possibly Thirteenth) Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. But once we’ve consumed those, when will we get to dive into the new Doctor’s ongoing adventures? Unfortunately, we’ll once again have a long wait, because the show’s eighth season isn’t set to premiere until Fall 2014.

Showrunner Steven Moffat earned a place on the Guardian’s “Media 100” list, which is a sort of who’s who of “the most powerful people in television, radio, newspapers, magazines, digital media, media business, advertising, marketing & PR.” Moffat lands at the #87 entry, which includes the following tidbit:

Doctor Who may not be quite the force it was when it returned with Christopher Eccleston and in its David Tennant heyday in the UK, but has a growing audience in the US on cable channel BBC America.

It will not return next year until the autumn, giving it plenty of time to recharge batteries. And what better way to do that than with a new Doctor?

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Giant Freakin’ Fall Preview: Sci-Fi Movies And TV Through The End Of 2013

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RiddickThe summer moviegoing season is finally winding to a close, with some unexpected victors (http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/topic/world-war-z), some awesome surprises (Europa Report), and some big fat duds (R.I.P.D: Budget estimated at $130 million, worldwide gross of $59 million). Now it’s time to look forward to fall. For the movies, that mainly means Oscar bait and interesting smaller films; on the TV front it means new shows. Some will succeed, some will fail…and we hope at least one of them will actually be good. Here’s what to look forward to in the final months of 2013!

SEPTEMBER

Riddick (September 6)
After Chronicles of Riddick bombed at the box office in 2004 — it took in $92 million worldwide, against a $105 million budget — it looked like the adventures of the anti-heroic Richard B. Riddick were done on the big screen. Instead, director David Twohy and star Vin Diesel have resurrected the franchise pretty much through sheer force of will (and the leveraging of Diesel’s house). Riddick looks to be a return to the formula that worked so well the first time: Riddick being a badass and killing things in the dark. Twohy and Diesel obviously still have big plans for the character, so here’s hoping if we get a fourth one, it finds a way to mix the best elements of Chronicles and Pitch Black.

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John Hurt’s Doctor Who Role Could Be Bigger Than We Thought

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Doctor Who nabbed a major get for the upcoming 50th anniversary episode, casting the ridiculously talented John Hurt for a spoiler-rific role that we won’t mention up here, just in case anybody reading is still catching up on season eight. But even though the cat is out of the bag regarding the nature of his role, a recent tweet suggests his involvement in the show might be a bit bigger than we thought. If you want to know more, scroll on down.

To avoid spoilers, stay north of the Sad Doctor!

SadDoct

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Neil Gaiman Up For A Third Doctor Who Episode, And Steven Moffat Agrees To Give Peter Jackson A Dalek

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GaimanJacksonNeil Gaiman kicked many a Whovian’s salivary glands into overdrive when he first announced he was writing a Doctor Who episode back in 2010. Gaiman and Who is the sort of peanut-butter-and-chocolate combination that makes you wonder why it took them that long to make it happen. And things certainly turned out well for all involved: Gaiman’s first Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife,” was quite lovely and earned the writer a Hugo Award. This past season he contributed a second, Cyberman-heavy episode, “Nightmare in Silver.” It wasn’t as good as his first, in my opinion, but it was still good fun and served as an excuse to cast Warwick Davis in the show. Now Gaiman has confirmed that he would love to pen another episode for the show…at some point.

That’s certainly not an official confirmation, but it sounds like the primary obstacle standing between Gaiman and another Who episode is — appropriately enough — time. He tells Doctor Who Online:

I definitely, definitely — I don’t want to be coy, you know with ‘Nightmare in Silver’ it was like I was being coy, but I figured they would like to have me, I would like to do more. The only problem that I’m having right now is the time that I probably would have spent writing a Doctor Who script this year suddenly got eaten by going on tour for this book. So, what I’m hoping, is that I can persuade Steven Moffat, instead of getting the BBC to pay me in cash, cos, you know, I’m now like this best-selling author — I’ve got enough money! Money is just fine! So I’m wondering if maybe I can get them to start paying me in time.