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Christopher Eccleston Returning To Doctor Who After All…Sort Of

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Christopher EcclestonWhiplash. Migraines. Acid reflux. These are just a few of the conditions caused and aggravated by the ever-spinning carousel of conflicting Doctor Who rumors these days. With the 50th anniversary special due in November, we’ve only recently gotten some concrete confirmations, namely that David Tennant and Billie Piper will appear as the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler, although the nature of their return is still unknown. As exciting as that news was, it was followed shortly by some less happy news: Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston had opted out of participating in the 50th anniversary special. Today, however, brings word that Eccleston will return to Who…but not in the special, and not in the way anyone expected.

Xposé Entertainment is reporting that Eccleston will actually appear in next week’s episode of Who, “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS.” The episode will purportedly show us more of the TARDIS interior as the Doctor’s iconic craft is captured by a salvage team. Eccleston did not return to record any new lines, but apparently we’ll see/hear him say, “The assembled hordes of Genghis Khan couldn’t get through these doors, and believe me they’ve tried.” Devout Whovians will remember that line from “Rose,” the very first episode of the modern incarnation of Who, and the very first of Eccleston’s run as the time lord.

It’s not as cool as getting to see Eccleston share the screen with his successors, but it’s at least a nice tip of the hat to the guy who helped relaunch Doctor Who to the widespread pop culture success it’s attained. It also makes me wonder if we’ll get this same approach, reusing old footage or audio, to bring the other former Doctors into the proceedings.

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David Tennant/Matt Smith Location Pics Could Provide Who 50th Anniversary Clues

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DocsWhile it’s still up in the air whether any of the classic Doctor Who leads will play any part in the upcoming 50th anniversary special, we have at least been able to shift one candidate into the “Yes” column. Tenth Doctor David Tennant was confirmed late last month to be returning, along with actress Billie Piper as his beloved companion, Rose Tyler. Now some new shots of Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith and Tennant in the midst of filming in Cardiff, with Tennant back in his unmistakable Doctor garb. Aside from being nifty, these pictures may hold some clues as to how Tennant’s Doctor will return.

SPOILERS! Don’t read further if you want to avoid even speculation about how Tennant might figure into the anniversary special.

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Doctor Who 50th Casting Update: Two Docs Say They’re Out, With One More A Maybe

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Doctor WhoWe’ve been a bit distracted these past few days, what with Defiance and the trailer for that little indie movie we’re all excited about, but surely there’s some exciting Doctor Who news out there that we’ve been neglecting. I mean, they’ve got that whole big 50th anniversary shindig they’ve got going on this year, right? Ah, here we go! Two former Doctors have confirmed that they will indeed…not be appearing in the 50th anniversary special. Well, drat.

So yeah, Colin Baker (Sixth Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor), and Paul McGann (Eighth Doctor) were all appearing on an Australian morning show together, and while they didn’t categorically deny that they’ll be appearing in the special, they did point out that the special was filming at that very moment, so they probably wouldn’t be involved. Since they were, you know, in Australia.

One of McCoy’s comments also suggests that location isn’t the only problem. When the morning show’s host expressed his disappointment and said that he thought all the former Doctors should be involved, McCoy responded, “All the fanbases all over the world believe that, but not the producers at the BBC.” That certainly sounds like there may have been some less-than-friendly interactions between the BBC and the former Doctors, but it could just mean that no one has even approached McCoy and the others. Which, let’s face it, is kind of a dick move in and of itself.

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Doctor Who Post-Game: Cold War

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Doctor WhoAfter watching the Doctor put himself through the emotional ringer last courtesy of a pissed-off planet-sized alien parasite, this week’s “Cold War” is a much more down-to-Earth story. Actually, it goes down to Earth and then keeps on going, eventually arriving inside a disabled 1980s Soviet nuclear submarine that’s come to rest on an undersea shelf some 700 meters below the surface. In typical Doctor Who fashion, the TARDIS materializes in the middle of the bridge and a shades-wearing Doctor pops out yelling, “Viva Las Vegas!”

Once again, the Doctor should have taken that last turn at Albuquerque, landing right in the midst of trouble with a capital T rather than Vegas with a capital V. The Russians are none too happy to have people inexplicably appearing on their boat, and before the Doctor can even try to talk his way out of getting fired out a torpedo tube, the TARDIS vanishes, leaving the time lord and his companion trapped inside a cramped submarine where a series of Bad Things are about to happen. (The Doctor later explains that he’d been “tinkering” with the TARDIS’ “Hostile Action Displacement System,” and he perhaps made it a little too prone to bugging out at the slightest hint of danger.

They don’t have long to worry about their ride, however, because the sub is carrying a critter they found frozen in the Arctic ice. The sailor tasked with standing guard over the block of ice — one that everyone assumes contains a mammoth, a claim that makes no sense at all given the size and shape of the ice — decides to thaw it out with a welding torch, just so he can have a look-see. That ends about as well as you’d expect.

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Amy Pond’s Novel Is A Real Thing You Can Buy

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There was a lot to like about Doctor Who’s spring premiere, “The Bells of Saint John,” which was a much-appreciated return to form after last fall’s disappointing episodes. But one of the cooler things was a simple throwaway moment that you could easily have missed. Namely, that new companion Clara at one point name-checks one of her very favorite books: Summer Falls, penned by one “Amelia Williams.” As in “formerly Amy Pond,” that lady whose TARDIS closet Clara just recently took over.

Summer FallsAs Whovians know, Amy and Rory were stranded in 1930s New York in the episode “The Angels Take Manhattan,” where a sphere of technobabble prevents the Doctor from rescuing them. The couple settles into their new home in the past and live out the remainder of their lives together, even adopting a son at one point. And somewhere along the way, Amy wrote a children’s book, one that would later capture the imagination of Clara Oswin Oswald. Gotta love Doctor Who.

Well, now you can actually purchase your very own copy of Amy’s Summer Falls. It’s the same idea as when the Lost folks published Bad Twin, a book ostensibly written by “Gary Troup,” a fictional author who died shortly after the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 (he was the poor sap who got sucked into the engine). There’s no word whether Summer Falls contains any easter eggs for Who fans or if it’s just a straight-up kids’ book with a fictional character’s name on the cover.

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Doctor Who Monthly Short Stories Focus On The Second Through Fourth Doctors

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One of the cooler bits of the ongoing Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebrations are the monthly Who short stories/ebooks focusing on each of the Doctor’s incarnations. They began with Eoin Colfer’s “A Big Hand for the Doctor.” Well, while we’ve been busy writing zillions of Star Wars: Episode VII stories, those cheeky bastards have gone and released three more of the damn things. So silver lining: a veritable Who-splosion of content!

First up, we have February’s entry, “The Nameless City,” by author Michael Scott, best known for his The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. “City” has the Second Doctor encountering a mysterious book that transports the TARDIS to a glass city on a distant world, and pits the Doctor against Archons with revenge on the mind. Here’s Scott’s introduction, and you can purchase the story via these links: Amazon US, Amazon UK, iTunes.