Recently, even though there has been no Doctor Who for over five months and far more pressing concerns going on globally, there has been a rise in discourse about whether Doctor Who is “woke” or “too political”. This argument is rubbish now and has always been rubbish. Since the very beginning, Doctor Who has been politically charged and has always represented what science fiction should be – a reflection on current times and using fantastical stories to address contemporary issues.
Well… that certainly was something.
Today’s the day. Today is the Doctor Who Series 12 finale. And whilst I did get overexcited and publish my Cyberman retrospective way too early, thankfully another major Doctor Who villain is going to be in The Timeless Children to discuss. Sacha Dhawan’s chaotic and brilliant incarnation of the Master is set to battle Jodie Whittaker and her companions once again, with the Cybermen, a ruined Gallifrey and so many other plot threads to resolve (for anyone curious, I don’t review multi-part stories until the story is finished, so I didn’t review Ascension of the Cybermen and will review the story as a whole tomorrow). On top of all that, it’s Roger Delgado’s birthday today, so to celebrate this wonderful character I’m going to do something a bit different and discuss Big Finish and what I believe to be the Best. Big. Finish. Story. Ever.
The Cybermen, first introduced in 1966, are Doctor Who’s second oldest and persistent foe. There are many different versions and interpretations, but the Cybermen are always tragic figures who in the right hands can be brilliant villains and characters. Chris Chibnall is planning to bring them back in Series 12, with the “Lone Cyberman” already being teased in both Fugitive of the Judoon and the trailer and today we got a glimpse of the beautiful new Cyberman design for the two part finale, Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children. So to celebrate my favourite Doctor Who monster, we’re going to discuss all sixteen Cybermen television stories so far, plus an audio sidetrack. We’re not doing any story where the Cybermen are featured but not about them or as a main villain (such as The Five Doctors or The Pandorica Opens) or Cyberwoman from Torchwood, mainly because I haven’t seen it and have no intention of doing so thank you very much. So with that aside, let’s chronicle the Cybermen throughout Who’s history-
- The Tenth Planet
OK, heads up. Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 8:00 last night, you’ll know that some MAJOR stuff happens in Fugitive of the Judoon. It’s impossible to discuss the episode without discussing the two major twists and as a result I will be spoiling EVERYTHING. So watch the episode then come back. Seriously.
So… the past seven days have been a bit of a mess when this fandom is concerned as Orphan 55 pretty much became the most toxic thing the show has done since… well, since at least Hell Bent. It got so ridiculous people were actually using The Twin Dilemma as an example as to why Chibnall’s Who is the worst thing ever but have those people actually seen The Twin Dilemma? Because I have, and let me tell you Orphan 55 is not as bad as that. So to say that Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror had some big shoes to fill with regards to uniting the fandom and making discussing the show a joy rather than a chore is a bit of an understatement. You can, in a way, compare this to Mummy on the Orient Express, which similarly followed a divisive episode. Well, I’m safe to say that Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror, which for the sake of sanity I’ll refer to as “the episode” from now on, is a fun, exciting and great episode that HAS united the fandom again. It seems Orphan 55 is a fluke, because Series 12 is on the up.
As you probably all know, last night Doctor Who returned. Whilst I absolutely do have thoughts on Spyfall (still, even after broadcast, a stupid name) as it’s a two parter I’ll be reviewing the story as a whole sometime next week. But for now, a really, really, insane theory/speculation for the series arc. Why am I doing this after only one episode? Because I need to vent my theory somewhere, I’ve spent the past week working on university essays and I need a brief moment to just go crazy with this random idea. But in order to do this I’m going to need to completely spoil Spyfall Part 1 so SPOILER ALERT AND DO NOT CLICK OR SCROLL DOWN PAST THE IMAGE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE YET…
When it comes to Jodie Whittaker’s era of Doctor Who so far, I enjoy it. With that said, is it perfect?
Whilst there’s no series of Doctor Who this year, Chris Chibnall and his team are busy working on a fantastic somophore season for Jodie Whittaker and the Thirteenth Doctor for 2020. Whilst her first season wasn’t perfect (I’m looking at you Tsuranga Conundrum) it was a great series overall and the viewing figures have spoken- Doctor Who is a household name again and is dominating the pop culture discussion once again. It is a great time to be a Doctor Who fan, as for the first time in years the average person on the street might know what you’re talking about and the quality of stories have reflected the level of attention the series is now getting (not you Pting). Chibnall’s all-new writing team were great and actually better than the man himself- I wouldn’t mind any of them returning, which leads me to this post. Here are twelve writers I would love to see write for Series 12 and make the next season as good as possible-
- Toby Whithouse
Would I really say no to the writer of my favourite Doctor Who story returning? Toby Whithouse is a Who veteran, first contributing the amazing Series 2 story School Reunion which still holds up as the strongest story from that series. His main contributions were to the Eleventh Doctor era, where his vision of the Doctor as a dark, mythical figure cropped up first in the underrated Vampires of Venice and then the magnum opus of the entire show, The God Complex, which masterfully deconstructed then reconstructed who the Doctor is. A Town Called Mercy and the Fisher King two parter are both great too, and whilst Lie of the Land was incredibly… not good I can’t really blame that entirely on him due to the difficult behind the scenes circumstances surrounding that arc. In short, any season without Whithouse is poorer off without him and his idea of the Doctor is one that I support 100%. I would have preferably wanted him as showrunner but if that’s not the case, another story would do just fine. Whithouse is a master of genre storytelling and is one of the finest writers this show has had and Lie of the Land is such a poor way to end a fantastic collection of stories.