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Time Lord #13

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Hint – Not Idris Elba.

(Found via: Malcalypse.)

Neither is it Rowan Atkinson.

Or Joanna Lumley.

 

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  • Docrailgun

    Not Idris Elba, but I’ll take it.

    • sharculese

      It’s three weeks til we get to see Idris Elba race-bend a different beloved nerd property, so I’m fine with it.

      • wjts

        Wait, what?

        • sharculese

          Dark Tower

          • wjts

            Oh, right. Not gonna watch it now that they’ve ruined it.

            (And by “they” I mean “Stephen King” and by “now” I mean “2004-2005”.)

            • sharculese

              I’m going to let this version stand on its own.

              • wjts

                A perfectly reasonable position, but after the bullshit in the final books I just can’t bring myself to care about anything Dark Tower-related.

                • sharculese

                  Given that they’re gonna do one move and then pivot to a TV series they have infinite room to reshape things. Stephen King’s cashed checks for worse ideas; I’m sure he’s on board for letting them make their vision.

                • Stephen King’s endings have always been the worst parts of his stories. It sounds like they’re going to have a different ending for the film/TV adaptation, though, and I’m interested to see where they take it.

                  (Interestingly, it wasn’t book five that lost me, as seems to have been the case with a lot of other people; it was book six.)

                • N__B

                  Stephen King, like Kilgour Trout, would be a great writer if he could write.

                • wjts

                  Disagree. The Shining is, for my money, one of the three all-time great haunted house novels along with Hell House and The Haunting of Hill House. He also has a real knack for short stories. In the main, his early stuff is better than his later stuff (and much of his middle stuff is pretty bad), but some of his recent novels (Joyland, the second Mr. Mercedes book, Revival) have been pretty enjoyable.

                • N__B

                  Agree on the shorts, disagree about the rest. The first King I read was The Shining and I’ve never got over the feeling that there was a 150-page-shorter novel inside it, screaming to be allowed out.

                  I like him as a person, and happily recommend his shorts and On Writing, but he needs a serious dom editor who will discipline him severely when he goes over three hundred pages, when he uses brand names, and when he repeats himself.

                • wjts

                  He does go on, doesn’t he? You might like Joyland. It avoids most of his worst excesses and comes in at a couple hundred pages.

                  I’ve almost finished Justin Cronin’s The Passage, and there’s a book that needs trimming by 40-60%.

                • N__B

                  I just finished writing tomorrow’s post for the company blog and I’m annoyed that I couldn’t bring in the topic at hand in 500-550 words. It’s 690, which means I ran my mouth.

                • Kilgore. But yes, that sounds about right. I’d place the late Robert Jordan in the same category: his worldbuilding and plotting are great; his prose is usually, at best, average. (His characters run the gamut from great to terrible.)

                • wjts

                  I liked Wolves of the Calla OK up until the end when Father Callaghan found the copy of ‘Salem’s Lot, at which point I said, “I bet this is going to get really stupid.” And I was right!

                • I’ve forgotten that part. I’m probably better off for having forgotten it.

                  This also dovetails completely with my observations about his endings. Good book but for the ending.

      • alexceres

        He looks amazing in the trailer. My expectations are undoubtedly too high

        • sharculese

          “My expectations are undoubtedly too high”

          This is how I’m starting to feel about A Wrinkle in Time.

          I keep alternating between telling myself not to get my hopes up and then watching the trailer again.

  • sibusisodan

    Looking forward to this. Capaldi’s been great.

    My wife is reading takedowns of the inevitable internet backlash and they are superb.

    • wjts

      Capaldi was the best since Baker, T.

      • sibusisodan

        Tennant is my personal fave of New Who, but Capaldi may have him beat for the way he inhabited the role.

        Still mildly disappointed that they didn’t unveil Malcolm Tucker though!

        • wjts

          I liked Tennant, but Capaldi is behind only Baker, T. and Troughton. He managed to call back to earlier Doctors (particularly Hartnell) while still making the part his own.

          • Malaclypse

            I have a soft spot for Eccleston. You believed that this was a Doctor that remembered the Time War’s atrocities. I wish he’s been in the anniversary special.

            But this is still the greatest scene in all Who: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCYobBjA1kk

            • wjts

              I liked Eccleston, too. Smith was my least-favorite of the new Doctors, just because I found the manic wackiness occasionally wearying.

              • Captain Oblivious

                I thought Eccleston played the part a bit too straight, not quite wacky enough. He pulled it off because he’s such a great actor, but I can’t say he was one of the more interesting Doctors.

                • wjts

                  Yeah, there should be some wackiness. I just thought Smith laid it on a little too thick sometimes.

                • sibusisodan

                  I think whoever revived the role would have had to play it more straight. Once it was clear the reboot was successful, successors had more freedom to cut loose.

                • Malaclypse

                  Keep in mind Eccleston is fresh off, to the best of his knowledge, bearing responsibility for the death of billions in the Time War. He’s trying to come back from being thoroughly broken. That Doctor could not be wacky.

                • Dennis Schlacter Von Staggers

                  He was the first Doctor to sound like he’s from the North. A Scots-English Doctor, like my great-grandfather.

            • Snakelite

              Of the New Who, Eccleston and Capaldi were by far the best actors. I liked Tennant even when he was chewing the scenery. Smith turned out to be a great comedic actor, especially physical comedy, but his bombastic speeches were often painful to watch. The die-hard fans mock the concept of fangirls who came to Who because the Doctor was “hot”. Viewership dropped off during Capaldi’s reign and I think the fangirls wanted a lead they could fantasize about. The concept of the Doctor is extremely romantic and tragic. I fear viewership will go further down unless there is a strong and attractive male companion. If this show goes away again, it may never return.

            • alexceres

              Oh man, the whole thread leading up to that was great. I’ve felt Dr Who is often pretty inconsistent. But when it nails a moment, like that, damn they’re good.

          • Manny Kant

            His Tom Baker impression in “Mummy on the Orient Express” was also tremendous.

      • Karen

        I liked Capaldi, and I have been a fan since the early 80’s when KERA in Dallas had the Tom Baker ones. We needed a Time Lady again!

        • wjts

          Yeah, I cut my teeth on the Baker, T. and Davidson serials when they ran on the Denver PBS station around the same time.

          (Also, sorry for accidentally downvoting you – I keep clicking the little arrow when I mean to click “reply”.)

          • sibusisodan

            I think if you click it again it removes the downvote.

            • wjts

              That just seems to make the upvote I gave in compensation disappear. Maybe if I click the downvote button a hundred times in rapid succession?

              • N__B

                If you don’t mind growing hair on your phone.

          • Warren Terra

            sorry for accidentally downvoting you

            I was using my phone to look at an LGM post one day, and clicked that little button near he top of the Disqus section to see if there were any replies to my comments, and there was one, and it was clever, and I tried to upvote it. Big mistake! It’s hard enough to hit the upvote button on a small touchscreen to begin with, but in that display everything was askew and buttons weren’t really where they appeared. I’d downvoted the person instead, and it was a pain in the posterior to remedy it.

      • Kevin

        I really didn’t find him to be a great Doctor to be honest. I always felt he was one-note. I preferred Smith, then Tennant, then Capaldi, then Eccelstone for the new Doctors. Didn’t watch old Who, so can’t comment on those.

      • Gromet

        I’ll agree tentatively. I’ve only seen one McCoy — not enough to make a final judgment, but I liked him a lot and think he might give some competition.

        • wjts

          McCoy is weirdly uneven to me, though that may just be a consequence of the very mixed quality of his scripts.

          • mattmcirvin

            McCoy’s Doctor evolved rapidly over the course of his time in the role–he started out as a clownish figure like a more overtly comic Troughton, then turned into a mysterious master chessplayer with a vindictive streak, a little like the Capaldi Doctor in some ways.

            • wjts

              And while I haven’t seen the whole (or even the most) of his run, that transition never quite worked for me. And even the “good” episodes like “The Curse of Fenric” sometimes feel muddled and half-formed. Also, McCoy tended to leave a lot of tooth-marks on the already dilapidated scenery.

        • Manny Kant

          McCoy has some good stories, and I think overall did well in the part, but he’s probably the worst at actually acting of any who’ve held the role.

      • mattmcirvin

        I liked Peter Capaldi, and maybe liked Matt Smith even more, but often got frustrated with the general direction of the show under Steven Moffat–who was one of the show’s greatest writers of all time when Russell T. Davies was running it, but whose tendencies often got the better of him once he was in control. I haven’t been a great fan of Chris Chibnall’s work either, but it’s probably time for a change.

        • wjts

          I didn’t like Smith as much as you did, but I agree with the assessment of Moffat’s weaknesses.

      • Drew

        I love Tennant as Doctor but he was really wasted on Davies as showrunner. For all his faults I found amongst more interesting.

        • mattmcirvin

          The best combination was Davies running the show while Steven Moffat wrote. With either of them operating as both showrunner and writer, things often got out of hand.

          • I’m inclined to agree with this, though Moffat finally learned to rein in his excesses somewhat towards the end of his tenure as showrunner. The last two series of Doctor Who have been my favourites of NuWho, and it’s not close. (I’m not sure I can compare NuWho fairly to Classic Who, since the only season of Classic I’ve seen in its entirety is the Key to Time arc, which is consistently good, but so completely different in pacing and style from the new show that I’m not sure I can compare them. It’d be like comparing Connery-era Bond to Craig-era Bond; the craft of filmmaking has simply changed too much in the intervening years for a reasonable comparison to be possible.)

            • Manny Kant

              The first four stories of the Key to Time are all great fun, and very consistent. Power of Kroll…is not very good. Armageddon Factor has its moments, but is kind of a mess, and they definitely don’t stick the landing as far as the actual season-long arc goes. For the classic series, it’s definitely easier to come up with the *worst* seasons than the best. Seasons 22-24, specifically, seem to be generally agreed upon. Season 15 is the worst Tom Baker season. Season 11 is the worst Pertwee season.

        • Drew

          Moffat not “amongst”. Yeesh.

        • wjts

          Yeah, on balance I much preferred the Moffat era to the Davies era.

    • Captain Oblivious

      Worth noting that when Capaldi was announced, there was widespread criticism of the choice (he’s old! he’s white! he’s male!) and doubts about his suitability for the role.

    • twbb

      I have never really understood the point of pre-emptive takedowns.

      • Drew

        I think we all know what the silly sexist arguments will be. So why not preempt them?

  • wjts

    Hmm. Apparently, there’s a small part of my brain that keeps shouting, “But the Doctor is a man!”, which is a little bit surprising to me. Other thoughts:

    1. Most of the rest of my brain is excited to see what the new Doctor will be like. (A significant part is very sad to see Capaldi, a personal top-three Doctor, go.)

    2. I’m glad it wasn’t Tilda Swinton or Helen Mirren or Idris Elba or any of the other well-known actors some folks were pumping for. Like Neil Gaiman said, I want to be surprised by the Doctor.

    3. I really, really hope the first female Doctor isn’t as irredeemably awful as the supposed female Master.

    • Philip

      Moffat won’t be showrunner anymore. She’ll be better.

      • sharculese

        Plus Chibnall and Whittaker have been working to together on 3 seasons of Broadchurch, and he’s proven he knows how to get a powerful performance out of her.

    • I agree with all of this except 3, since I didn’t find Missy awful at all, but not having seen any of the classic stories with the Master may be skewing my view of the character. I’ve seen quite a few classic Who stories, but somehow none of the ones with the Master have been among them. (I agree with your assessment that Jacobi was by far the best Master, though. Casting someone with Jacobi’s acting chops in a part like that pretty much guarantees that no one else who plays the character will come close; the only comparison I can come up with is if they’d put Olivier onscreen as the character for five minutes. Jacobi only actually played the Master for five minutes, too, but what an impression.)

      I wrote a bunch more here that wound up having little to do with your comment, so I’ll move it into its own comment.

      • Manny Kant

        I’ve seen virtually all of the classic stories with the Master (well, up through Time-Flight, anyway. I’ve not seen the later Ainley stuff, but general consensus is that it’s all terrible other than “Survival”), and I think Missy is great. Certainly the best Master since Delgado (Jacobi doesn’t count).

    • Gareth

      “Apparently, there’s a small part of my brain that keeps shouting, “But the Doctor is a man!”, which is a little bit surprising to me.”

      I do find it amusing that there was a political campaign to change the reproductive biology of an alien race. “What do we want? Protandry! When do we want it? Now!” Next up, those damn Kzinti.

  • Somehow I clicked something up there that led me to a thread of Twitter comments on the choice.

    Christ, what a bunch of assholes.

    • Captain Oblivious

      The response from some quarters will be predictable and not worth climbing out of the boat to read.

  • LeeEsq

    If they really want to get radical, they should make the companion a young man rather than a young woman.

    • wjts

      Like Ben Jackson, Jaime McCrimmon, or Adric?

      • Malaclypse

        Or Jack Harkness.

      • LeeEsq

        At least it goes against the modern paradigm of Doctor Nine onwards.

        • wjts

          Fair enough.

      • JMP

        I really want to see a companion who’s not from present-day Britain. While the original show had them from all over the universe and many different times, except when the Third Doctor was trapped on Earth, the new series companions have all been regular humans from when the episodes were filmed, except for Captain Jack who was just a secondary companion and didn’t stick around long. Why can’t we have someone from 16th-century Scotland, a space station from the distant future of the 21st century, or Traken?

        • wjts

          Yeah, that would be cool. Here’s hoping.

        • Warren Terra

          I think the original show even had a companion from Australia!

          • wjts

            Strewth!

        • LeeEsq

          They have a bigger budget now to.

        • Malaclypse

          Nardo

      • TJ

        Specifically not like Adric, please.

    • libarbarian

      It’s Doctor Who, not Cougar Who!

      • Downpup E

        With at least 3 lesbians in the recent supporting characters, we shall see.

      • LeeEsq

        Don’t be a spoil sport. We can have both.

  • Malaclypse

    To quote my daughter, “Yes! Yes! Finally! I – I’m proud of this!”

    And I’m thrilled she gets representation, finally.

    • Erik Loomis

      PC!!!!

      According to Twitter anyway

      • Kevin

        Well, it is, let’s be real. If it weren’t for people complaining the last few times, if it weren’t for the sustained campaign, this wouldn’t be happening. BBC would be happy to just keep doing what they do and not do a woman in the role.

        But just because this is “PC”, doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, doing it once just opens up casting going forward. Next time can be a white man. It can also be an British woman of Indian ancestry. It can be anyone, which is the great thing.

        • wjts

          They’ve been talking about it forever. When Baker, T. announced his retirement, he said, “Good luck to the next Doctor – whoever he or she may be!” This was in 1980/1981. (Of course, it was also, so far as I know, a publicity stunt to get people talking rather than a serious suggestion.)

          • Kevin

            But that isn’t what has been happening the last few years. It’s gotten very loud, and to the point where people are furious when they cast another white male in the role. That kind of public backlash wasn’t happening in Baker’s day.

            • Gromet

              True, but I’m not sure you can credit public outcry (or blame PC run amok). I’ve got friends in entertainment who swear it’s a drag writing the same characters repeteadly; they’d love to recast and reinvent more than their shows allow. So I suspect the creative minds would have been on board with a female Doctor long ago. What you can credit current social media with is reassuring them that enough audience would go along.

              • Kevin

                I find it hard to believe it was anything but the public pressure to be honest. BBC and Moffatt have been forced to answer this question over and over since basically Tennant’s time, and each time they come back with “another” white guy, it blows up again. I really do think this is 100% due to public pressure, and that’s a good thing. Now, I hope it works out, but that’s on the show runner and the people writing the episodes.

        • Manny Kant

          Also “if it weren’t for Moffat spending the last several years establishing the possibility of the Doctor changing sex”

  • libarbarian

    First Ghostbusters and now THIS!

  • thebewilderness

    She will be splendid, though short for a Time Lord.

  • Abigail Nussbaum

    I’m glad to see they had enough common sense to realize that having a fourteenth white man play a character who is meant to represent open-mindedness, and the limitless potential of those who choose not to be bound by convention and expectation, would be unacceptable. To be honest, this is long overdue, and especially right now, absolutely essential.

    That said, I actually feel like a POC Doctor would be making a stronger, and more necessary, statement than a white woman. Hell, they could have gone for a twofer and cast a non-white woman.

    • Murc

      Remember that Jasika Nicole hoax about five years ago? I was so sad when it turned out not to be true.

      • Kevin

        I don’t remember that, but no way would they do a black woman from ALABAMA no less. Maybe a black woman from London, maybe. But Alabama? Not in our lifetime.

    • CS Clark

      There’s a very cynical part of me that thinks that not having a female POC Doctor this time at least means that the BBC can’t go full-Marvel if the ratings are down a little.

    • I’m glad to see they had enough common sense to realize that having a fourteenth white man play a character who is meant to represent open-mindedness, and the limitless potential of those who choose not to be bound by convention and expectation, would be unacceptable.

      You obviously don’t grasp how this contributes to white male genocide.

      • Abigail Nussbaum

        Either that, or I’m in favor :-)

      • njorl

        The new Doctor definitely needs to combat an adversary who has a nefarious plot to kill off all of Earth’s white men by some inexplicably subtle process.
        “You see Brigadier, the Mefinists have introduced a retrovirus into Earth’s atmosphere that destroys feelings of self-worth, thereby reducing the likelihood of procreation. So far it’s only affecting caucasoid males.”

    • I have to confess I might be the only person on this thread to a) not like Doctor Who and b) not really give a flying fuck about its trembling first steps into the modern world of casting (gasp) not males for the first time. But I fail to see why the doctor couldn’t be played by two or three different kinds of actors in the same series. Like why would he/she have to be consistently male or consistently female, or consistently black or consistently white or any other race. Quantum Leap, for all its cheesiness, at least structured the show so that the white/male lead had to literally inhabit the body (and therefore the experience) of both men and women and different races and ages as well.

      • wjts

        Well, they established that regeneration doesn’t work like that quite a while ago. And yes, they could have set it up differently 30-40 years ago, but they didn’t. And they could have found a way to write around it like they did when the Doctor ran out of the established number of regenerations, but that would be a massive break with the earlier continuity. Like making Kirk turn into a pterodactyl every other episode massive.

        • Like making Kirk turn into a pterodactyl every other episode massive.

          Wait. You mean he doesn’t???

          I was misinformed.

          • wjts

            You may be thinking of the Pteracula movies, which were about a dracula who, because of a paleontologist’s curse, turns into a pterodactyl whenever there’s a full moon.

  • Downpup E

    The important part is that they’re rid of Moffatt & all his overblown self-important twaddle.

    • wjts

      I have very mixed feelings about Moffatt. One the one hand, he’s been responsible in one way or another for almost all of my favorite episodes of the new series. On the other hand, his awful, awful female characters. On the other other hand, sometimes the cleverness gets away from him and it becomes overblown self-important twaddle. It may seem as though the case against him is carried two hands to one, but that one hand is very, very large.

      • Philip

        He’s a good episode writer and a terrible showrunner, IMO.

        • wjts

          I think he’s a great episode writer and a showrunner who veers wildly between excellent and appalling because he seems to have no intrinsic ability to discern which of his clever ideas are clever and which are too clever by half.

          Or, to connect this thread to The Simpsons one below, he went mad with power. Just like Albert Schweitzer.

          • Abigail Nussbaum

            All this, plus, much like Russell T. Davies, he’s outstayed his welcome on the show by about two years. This last season should have worked like gangbusters – Capaldi is great, a lot of the baggage involving Clara had finally been cleared away, and Bill was just lovely. And yet I could barely keep myself interested, because every story felt like a retread of about three previous stories, with all of Moffat’s familiar tics and none of his charm.

            • wjts

              I still haven’t seen it. For the most part, I’m looking forward to it – I’ll put up with a lot to watch Capaldi as the Doctor.

          • LeeEsq

            Moffat seems to be one of the writers that always needs somebody to go over his work and edit somethings.

            • wjts

              Agreed.

        • Kevin

          His first series with Smith was brilliant, and that alone makes me say he can’t be a terrible showrunner. The rest of the series veered in quality, but I’m not sure I’d say I disliked any, apart from the first Capaldi series. I don’t think I can remember a single moment from it.

      • Downpup E
        • wjts

          Don’t be foolish. The only British sci-fi character with three hands is Zaphod Beeblebrox.

      • twbb

        The worst part of Moffatt is the ridiculous melodramatic messianic story arcs. He basically has turned entire seasons into Doctor Who fanfiction.

        • wjts

          The worst example of this is when he took something he once wrote on an online fan forum about how maybe our word “doctor” (as in “healer”) came from the Doctor and wrote it into the show.

    • econoclast

      The Moffatt era was the greatest era in the show’s 50 year history. His ideas are pretty tired at this point, but given that he’s being followed by Chris “Cyberwoman” Chibnall, we’re going to be looking back fondly in two years or so.

  • I was hoping they’d tap John Lydon for the role, but I love the idea of all the Rabid Puppies/8chan-ers’ heads exploding.

    • wjts

      Honestly, if they’d let me pick anyone I wanted, I would have gone with Mark Rylance. (Yes, I know I said I liked to be surprised by the Doctor. Shut up. I’m the Doctor Who dictator in this fantasy, not you.)

      • sibusisodan

        Rylance has a wonderful stillness to his acting. Seems to enable a lot of stuff to pivot round him.

        • N__B

          In Wolf Hall he gave the impression of regretting every word he spoke.

    • If you're just catching up with the internet today here is what you need to know pic.twitter.com/JkPoRiIFoe— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) July 16, 2017

  • I eagerly await the tech bros and gamer gate yahoos explaining how this violates the fundamental laws of the universe. I mean, before you know it, Obama will be the next time lord.

    • wjts

      The Doctor Who universe or the real one? Because I can totally make the earlier case, complete with references to the non-canonical FASA role-playing game if you want.

      (You don’t want. Nobody wants that.)

    • They’re revising their Idris Elba can’t be a comic book character that is based on a Norse God scripts.

    • JMP

      Of course Obama’s a time lord, how else could he have planted his own fake birth certificate and birth announcement to hide the fact that he’s really an alien from Galifrey and not a natural-born US citizen.

  • Murc

    If Moffat were still running the show I would not be at all happy, because if you think him handling women in supporting roles was bad what he’d do to a lady in the lead role would have been pretty terrible to contemplate.

    But he is not still in charge! So I am glad.

    • wjts

      Yeah, a female Doctor written by Moffat would be an appalling mashup of River Song and whoever Michelle Gomez’s character actually is.

      • Murc

        Is she… not playing the Master?

        • wjts

          No. You can tell because the Master isn’t a flirty, flighty, whoopsie-poopsie mashup of Mary Poppins and Amanda Palmer. Now that I think about it, he also isn’t a grating little twerp who says things like “Here come the drums!”, so I’m not sure who John Simm’s character was, either.

      • econoclast

        The Master is a shitty character, and Michelle Gomez played the only good version of it.

        John Simm was doing a full-blown Anthony Ainsley impression, so he should be your favorite.

        • wjts

          Concur in part, dissent in part. Masters (and “Masters”) ranked from most worst to least worst:

          Michelle Gomez
          John Simm/Eric Roberts (tie)
          Anthony Ainley
          Roger Delgado/Peter Pratt/Geoffrey Beevers (tie)
          Derek Jacobi
          The Melkur prop

  • Warren Terra

    It’s nice that Doctor Who is helping people realize their dreams. Though that doesn’t always work out:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HdmNVXAiLc

    Joking aside, she’s a terrific actor, she’s worked with the new showrunner before, I suspect this will be some entertaining and occasionally uplifting television that makes good people happy and bad people unhappy. What’s not to like?

    • wjts

      I saw that she was on Broadchurch, which I liked, but cannot remember a single thing about her character including who that character was.

      • Three_nineteen

        She was the mother of the dead child in Series 1. I’m currently watching Series 3 and she’s still on. Try and picture her with dark hair.

        • wjts

          Thanks. I guess I sort of remember her? (I do remember that the dead kid had a mother.)

          • Kevin

            She was also on “Attack the Block” a great, small British sci fi movie (staring John Boyega from Star Wars). Worth checking out.

            • wjts

              I’ve heard of it, but didn’t see it. (And won’t anytime soon so I can see her Doctor with as few preconceptions as possible.)

            • dhudson2728

              Oh sweet, that’s the new Doctor? I didn’t recognize the name, but she was great in Attack the Block.

              That movie really is quite excellent. John Boyega’s performance is sublime. Though I do need subtitles when I watch it, otherwise I can’t understand half the dialog.

      • I had to be reminded who she played, too (I hadn’t watched the series in awhile and the different hair colour threw me off), but as soon as I realised who her character was, I instantly remembered a number of scenes quite vividly. Several scenes from the show wouldn’t have worked at all without her.

      • Drew

        Damn I need to watch broad church now.

        • wjts

          I only saw the first season. I liked it, didn’t love it. If you like crime dramas set in small, close-knit British communities you’ll probably enjoy it.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    not Andrea Parker? I suppose the Dr *does* have to be English

    • wjts

      Well, British.

      • Warren Terra

        I think only English or Scottish so far. Never Welsh (ironically), nor Irish/Northern Irish, nor Cornish. Nor Gibraltarian or Channel Islander.

        • wjts

          Will we ever get a Manx Doctor?

          • Philip

            I’d watch the crap out of a “The Doctor saves the TT” episode

            • Warren Terra

              “the TT” ???

              • wjts

                An annual motorcycle race, Google says.

          • Warren Terra

            Will we ever get a Manx Doctor?

            Well, I’ve never seen one with a tail …

          • LeeEsq

            I misread this as Marx and thought that Groucho might make for a perfectly good Doctor.

          • reattmore

            Without a tail?

  • MariedeGournay

    Cool. I’ll be interested in seeing if this is her costume or just a stand in. Need to catch up on Capaldi’s run.

    • wjts

      I hope it’s a placeholder. It’s fine, but too similar to Capaldi’s.

      (And I still haven’t seen the season that just finished.)

    • sharculese

      That’s almost certainly her waking up in the clothes 12 was wearing during the regeneration.

  • N__B

    So, she's what, like a "Time Lady"? Sheesh.

    • wjts
    • Warren Terra

      If they went by the House Of Lords system, would she be a Dame, rather than a Lady? Because “Time Dame” sounds rather more interesting, in a sort of 1930s noir manner.

      • N__B

        Good point. And they can get a chorus line of Daleks to sing “There Ain’t Nothing Like A Dame.”

  • TheBrett

    The time to cast Elba would have been a few years ago – he’s probably too expensive now, being a A-Lister who can headline summer movies.

    Good to hear that they finally got out of that box, though.

    • wjts

      I do not think Idris Elba would make a good Doctor.

    • Kevin

      Also….people should stop assuming Elba would even want the role. He actually might not! And he is in fact not the only black actor in Britain. They’ve got quite a few really good ones even!

    • Drew

      Bond is also kind of a boring role acting wise. Elba is also big now so not like he needs the prestige or exposure.

  • I really wanted Helen Mirren for 12th when Carpaldi got it, but my vote this time would have gone to Sue Perkins, co-presenter of the Great British Bake Off. She would make a perfect Doctor. But Jodie Whittaker will do well with it.

    • wjts

      I haven’t seen it, and so briefly confused Sue Perkins with Susan Calman, which… no.

      • Warren Terra

        Susan Calman has been campaigning for the job for quite a while. Tongue in cheek. I think.

        Sue Perkins was I think actually mentioned as a possibility.

        • wjts

          I think you’re right on the first count, and wouldn’t be surprised if you were right on the second, too.

        • LeeEsq

          How is Sue Perkins as an actor? I’ve only seen her play herself, so I’m not sure how that would translate into playing somebody else.

          • Warren Terra

            I don’t know of any acting Perkins has ever done beyond sketch comedy, but the mentioning did happen

    • sigaba

      We call that “The Great British Baking Show” here in Murka, being that Betty Crocker owns the trademark on the phrase “bake off.”

      • Ah. Betty Crocker. Her tentacles of batter have a stranglehold on American baking, I take it.

  • petesh

    Great to see the Atkinson/Grant/Lumley (et al) Doctor again.

  • Kevin

    Guess was best to just rip the band aid off and do it now, the bleating and gnashing of teeth had they not done this would have been unbearable. Not familiar with her, apart from Attack the Block, which i loved. So I hope she does well here (I mean, really really hope because if this tanks you know what that means for the future…)

    She’s worked with the new show runner on Broadchurch, so I’m sure that helped her get that role, the comfort. And it’s not like he could have taken a few of the other stars of that show, one having already been the doctor, and another having been his longtime companion.

    Unpopular internet take: I wasn’t a huge fan of Capaldi as the doctor. I preferred Smith, and then Tennant. Capaldi just never worked all the way for me (but he had his moments).

  • Socrets

    Darn, still no ginger.

  • Cranky old(er) person notes: Dr. Who hasn’t been any good since it went from B&W to colour.

    • wjts

      The Pertwee era wasn’t all that good, no.

      • Malaclypse

        Bessie wept.

        • wjts

          The best part of Robot was when Bessie blew up.

      • dhudson2728

        Pertwee era wasn’t all that good? Pistols at dawn, sir!

        (Actually, Seven is the best Doctor. And Ace was objectively the best companion. If for no other reason than she insisted on calling him Professor).

        • wjts

          Ace? Objectively best? This is crazy talk of the first water. Objectively, the best companions were Jaime and Zoe.

          • dhudson2728

            Oh, they are fine companions, no doubt, but I ask you: did either of them carry around high explosives and use them to blow stuff up? Did either of them destroy Daleks with a baseball bat? I think not.

            • Veleda_k

              When Ace best up Daleks with baseball bat, that’s when I knew she was objectively the best companion.

              “Ace, hand me some of that C4 you’re not carrying.”

            • wjts

              Zoe didn’t need to carry around high explosives because she could blow things up using nothing but math. And Jamie didn’t need a baseball bat because he fought Ice Warriors bare-knuckle.

              • dhudson2728

                But explosions are awesome, everyone knows that! Though perhaps ‘objectively’ best is a tad strong, every companion is someone’s favorite. Except Adric, of course.

                • wjts

                  No, no one likes Adric. Poor Adric.

                • dhudson2728

                  Well, he did kill (most of) the dinosaurs. For the only Companion to be KIA, he certainly went out big.

                • wjts

                  There were a couple of others who died. Sara Kingdom and what’s-her-name from Troy, at least.

                • dhudson2728

                  Picky, picky. Okay, the only (regular) Companion to be (permanently) KIA (on the show itself).

                  Regular, long-term companions get mind-wiped, trapped in another dimension, or just plain abandoned, but as far as I know, Adric is the only one to be permanently killed. Clara and Rory were both resurrected, and the Doctor always repairs K-9 when the doggy gets blown up.

                • wjts

                  I guess you can say that Sara Kingdom and Katarina (I looked her up) weren’t regular, long-term companions because Sara died in her first and only serial and Katarina, who was intended to be a regular companion, died in the serial immediately after her introduction when the writers changed their minds. Kamelion, Wikipedia informs me, also died, but that situation is similar to Katarina’s – he was intended to be a regular companion, but only appeared in two serials because of ongoing problems with the robot prop. So I guess Adric was the only companion who appeared in three or more serials to actually, permanently die on-screen.

                  Poor Adric.

                • dhudson2728

                  That’s what makes it so sad / funny, depending on your point of view–of all the dozens of long-term Companions, he’s the only one they actually, bluntly killed off with no hope of return. Poor Adric indeed–even Wesley Crusher didn’t get blasted into space dust!

                • wjts

                  It was the 1980s. Want to show your goofy kiddie entertainment is actually Grim, Dark, and Serious? Blow up Robin Adric.

    • Downpup E

      The Tom Baker era was in colour

      If you don’t like Tom Baker, you’re probably a Dalek.

  • hellslittlestangel

    I’d have preferred Vicky McClure, who was born to play The Doctor, but Jodie Whittaker is a good choice.

  • PressSecretaryCaptainHowdy

    So this means Idris Elba is the new Bond, right?

    • wjts

      I do think Idris Elba would make an excellent Bond. He might even be excellent enough to get me to watch a new Bond flick.

    • Eric K

      They just announced Daniel Craig is doing another one.

      Gotta figure that means at least 5 years until there is a new guy and assuming they want someone who can go another series of at least 3 movies it will need to be someone younger

      • PressSecretaryCaptainHowdy

        He’s still slightly younger than Roger Moore was when he started.

        • wjts

          And look how that turned out.

          • CP

            Moore did at least five movies where his age wasn’t an issue, so theoretically nothing wrong with that. Only problem is the movies come out much slower now.

            • wjts

              Yeah, but those movies stank on ice.

              • CP

                Not all of them. Though Moore did have more than his fair share of stinkers.

              • Drew

                Yeah but it had nothing to do with Moores age.

                • wjts

                  Can we afford to take that chance?

                • N__B

                  Octopussy 2: This Time It’s a Cuttlefish.

  • wjts
    • PressSecretaryCaptainHowdy

      “Nobody expects the TARDIS full of bras…because our chief weapon is surprise!”

  • PressSecretaryCaptainHowdy
  • Paul Thomas

    The page load time and the fact that the BBC twitter page initially appeared as though it were an image rather than a video made it seem as though the 13th Doctor was some sort of plant.

    I chuckled, anyway.

  • CP

    Good show. If it enraged the MRAs, you’re doing something right.

  • Origami Isopod
    • wjts

      I’m sure he’ll be back.

  • Whittaker is a great choice. There are some scenes in Broadchurch that wouldn’t work at all without her, or at least, they wouldn’t work with a lesser actor in the role. She has fantastic emotional range and quite a lot of heart, which is necessary for a character like the Doctor.

    This seems like as good a time as any to assess Moffat’s tenure on the show. Overall I find Moffat a great writer with great ideas and an incredibly annoying tendency to fail to stick some of his landings. I greatly enjoyed this season’s finale but I’ve felt let down by some of his previous finales. (For example, “Hell Bent” was about an 8/10, but nowhere near as good as “Heaven Sent”, which is legitimately one of the best episodes in the show’s history; similarly, Smith’s final episode was OK, but nowhere near as good as the 50th anniversary special. I also didn’t much enjoy “The Angels Take Manhattan”.) Sometimes he also seems to ignore established rules for the sake of a story, and how annoying I find that tends to depend on how good the resulting stories are (for instance, the later Weeping Angels stories contradict some of the mechanics in “Blink”, and since that remains by far the best Weeping Angels story, it’s less easy to overlook than it would be if the others had been better).

    His writing of female characters is also… erratic. Sometimes he writes them really well, and sometimes he’s way, way off. I’ve seen a number of people outright accuse him of being a misogynist, which always baffles me; I don’t understand how people believe the creator of characters like River Song, Madame Vastra, Bill Potts, and Clara Oswald somehow dislikes women. I think a strong case can be made that he doesn’t understand them that well, but that’s a different matter entirely. And then, of course, there are lines like (probably not a verbatim quote) “Is the future female?” “We can only hope” from the last season finale.

    I did like the way they handled Missy’s gender transition: it was more or less just treated as a natural thing that happened often and wasn’t a big deal. The character basically said, “Oh, I’m a woman now,” and just ran with it. I can understand why people would criticise Gomez’ version for being out of line with previous incarnations of the Master, but as an actual non-binary person I felt her transition was a pretty good step forward for what is, basically, the Gallifreyan equivalent of transgender media representation. (The character still did hew pretty sharply to the gender binary, but given that nonbinary representation in all forms of media is still almost nonexistent, I’m not inclined to single that out for undue complaint; the problem here is with media overall, not with Doctor Who specifically.)

    Adam Silverman’s headline about this story at Balloon Juice was “Still not ginger.” I’ll find it absolutely hilarious if that’s the part about the regeneration that the Doctor makes the biggest deal out of, especially since it would be an excellent way to tweak the nose of all the misogynists out there who are butthurt about this news today.

    Overall, looking forward to seeing how Chibnall and Whittaker handle the new series. I found Broadchurch frustratingly inconsistent (I found the first season brilliant and the second one unwatchable), but it sounds like Chibnall has been thinking pretty deeply about what to do with Doctor Who, and he already knows how to play to Whittaker’s acting strengths.

    • Drew

      I still need to finish the Smith years. Another case of life getting in the way

      • I feel like Smith’s tenure on the show has several episodes that are brilliant and several that are awful. There are no clunkers as irredeemably horrible as “Love & Monsters”, but all three of his series are pretty uneven. (The highlights still make it more than worth plowing through the naff bits, though.)

        Capaldi’s first series was also uneven, but the second is almost entirely great, with the exception of “Sleep No More”, which isn’t so much a bad episode as just not nearly as good as any of that series’ other episodes (it also stands out for being the only standalone episode in a series full of two- and three-part stories). Capaldi’s second series also has “Heaven Sent”, which is a legit contender for the best episode in the history of the show. The third one doesn’t have any awful episodes, either, though the Monks trilogy doesn’t quite stick the landing. On the other hand, the two-part finale is one of the best stories Moffat has written.

        I’m really looking forward to seeing David Bradley as the First Doctor in the Christmas special – haven’t looked forward to a surprise appearance on the show that much since John Hurt as the War Doctor.

        Anyway, yeah, definitely worth going through all that, but I know what you mean about life getting in the way. The final season of Orphan Black has aired six of its ten episodes, but I still haven’t even watched the first yet, even though it’s probably my favourite show on TV right now! I also probably won’t be watching Game of Thrones for a couple weeks, even though I have no idea how I’ll manage to avoid spoilers. (Somehow I’ve managed to avoid Orphan Black spoilers so far, but it’s nowhere near as famous as Thrones, so I suspect avoiding Thrones spoilers will be way more difficult.)

    • mattmcirvin

      Chibnall’s early writing for Doctor Who and Torchwood was terrible, but I get the impression that he improved later.

      • Judging from Broadchurch, he’s definitely improved a lot as a writer, though his writing for that show is frustratingly inconsistent. (The show’s problems mostly stem from its depiction of the legal system, however, so I’d attribute that to Chibnall’s understanding of law rather than his abilities as a writer, and it doesn’t seem like an issue that will have much effect on a show like Doctor Who.)

    • Veleda_k

      I think Moffat is a misogynist given the awful way he talks about women in interviews, but I think he’s a misogynist who has managed to give some very compelling storylines to some complex and well rounded female characters. People are complicated.

      In my little corner of the internet, loathing Moffat is the thing to do, but I enjoyed most of his run, and he created some of my favorite characters and storylines.

      • I haven’t read that many interviews with him lately, but you very well might be correct about that. A lot of flawed creators produce art that doesn’t reflect their flaws as people.

        I definitely agree that he’s created a lot of complex, well-rounded female characters, though. The more time I’ve spent thinking about this last series, the more I’ve realised how effectively it subtly but thoroughly addresses some complex philosophical and political debates without ever once making you feel like you’re listening to a lecture. There’s some fantastic writing about whether people can change, about punishment versus rehabilitation, about utilitarianism versus deontology, and so on, and it’s all done through showing characters’ actions rather than having them sitting around arguing philosophy. And most of the most interesting characters in it are women. This series is probably the most thorough pop culture examination of utilitarianism versus deontology I’ve seen since Watchmen.

    • mozzerb

      “I can understand why people would criticise Gomez’ version for being out of line with previous incarnations of the Master”

      Am I the only person who thought that Gomez basically played Missy as Simm!Master initially?

      I definitely preferred Moffat to Davies, and really don’t get the loathing some people have for both. (And sticking the landing is hard, whatever genre you’re writing. Doing just ok is a considerable success.)

  • N__B

    When I heard #13 was a woman, I wondered if Theresa May had found a graceful way to exit parliament.

    • Warren Terra

      May managing a graceful exit for herself while the country careens towards a profoundly ungraceful Brexit would almost be offensive.

      • N__B

        Almost.

        • Warren Terra

          The end of her political career would help to somewhat redeem the situation.

  • MarciKiser

    I pledge to eat nothing but mince pie for a week if they’ll make Capaldi’s last words pre-regeneration “fuckity-bye.”

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