On 24 August, less than 24 hours after the UK telecast, Whovians will be able to catch the return of Doctor Who (Series 8). When we last left off we saw the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) regenerate into the twelfth incarnation of the eccentric Time Lord.
The highly anticipated series, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary last year – The special 50th anniversary episode gained the Guinness World Record for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama was shown in 94 countries on six continents – will feature the newly regenerated Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman).
The special feature-length premiere episode of the series, ‘Deep Breath‘, will feature regulars and fan favourites including The Paternoster Gang – Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart) and Strax (Dan Starkey). Directed by Ben Wheatley (Sightseers, A Field in England) and written by Lead Writer and Executive Producer Steven Moffat the episode – which features dinosaurs… and Strax! I love Strax!
Doctor Who?… Exactly
The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels through time and space in his —”bigger on the inside”—time machine, the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space) which looks like a 1963 police telephone call box.
The Doctor’s longevity as a series (it first aired on November 23, 1963) is truly down to its unique concept of regeneration. It is very common for TV shows (and movies) to lose it’s charm when a member of the cast leaves – let alone the leading character. When the First Doctor, William Hartnell, wanted to leave the series after three years, the idea of renewing their leading man was born.
Each time, the Doctor regenerates into someone completely different. The looks, mannerisms and quirky affectations aren’t carried over – although memories are. This gives the new Doctor the room to create and portray the character as his own… and boy has it worked.
Christopher Ecclestone was my FIRST Doctor (you never forget your first) and David Tennant and Matt Smith followed after him. Each brought their own unique flavour to the series – be it a black leather jacket and bananas, glasses and sneakers or a fez and a bow tie. Each managed to make the role their own with iconic performances that will forever be etched in Whovian lore.
Capaldi however, a much more ‘matured’ Doctor than his recent predecessors, will have to convince a new generation of Whovians (especially the female fans) that he is the man for the Blue Box . The Doctors just before him were akin to modern day Prince Charmings, aloof in their ways – Tennant is ever present on ‘sexiest man lists’ and Smith has his own groupies.
However, The Doctor himself has always been about personality and character. While I have no doubt that Capaldi will make a good Doctor (he IS a lifelong fan of the series), I’m intrigued to see what KIND of Doctor he will be.
When they made this particular hero, they didn’t give him a gun, they gave him a screwdriver to fix things… They didn’t give him a tank or a warship or an x-wing fighter, they gave him a call box from which you can call for help… And they didn’t give him a superpower or pointy ears or a heat ray, they gave him an extra heart. They gave him two hearts. And that’s an extraordinary thing; there will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the Doctor. – Steven Moffat, Executive Producer
Doctor Who: The World Tour
Most recently, Doctor Who embarked on a Global World Tour to launch series eight. The Asia stop in South Korea saw more than 1,200 fans attend the screening event with over 200 pieces of coverage generated within 3 hours of the event.
Doctor Who: The World Tour marks the largest ever promotional undertaking in Doctor Who’s 50-year history and will kick off in Cardiff, Wales on August 7th before taking in London (UK), Seoul (South Korea), Sydney (Australia), New York (US), Mexico City (Mexico) and finish in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) on August 19th.
Catch the Asia premiere of Doctor Who (series eight) within 24 hours of UK premiere on Sunday 24 August 2014 at 7.30pm exclusively on BBC entertainment (StarHub Channel 521). Catch subsequent episodes every Sunday at 7.30pm.