‘It’s Ghost Time!’ Doctor Who: ‘Hide’ Preview Clip


It’s Hammer Horror Time in Doctor Who this week.

The upcoming series/season 7 episode, ‘Hide,’ finds The Doctor and Clara in a posh house.

Cue thunderclaps, candelabras and a nervous-looking Dougray Scott. They’re on the trail of a ghost. Lady Grantham, if you’re there, rap three times on the table…

Come on Who fans, time to pull up (or jump behind) a sofa and watch the new preview clip, courtesy of the official Doctor Who website.

And as if that wasn’t enough, click over to RadioTimes and check out the latest sneak peek photos from the set of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode: Matt Smith, David Tennant, old-school TARDIS and a Zygon!

In the UK: Doctor Who airs Saturdays at 6.45pm on BBC One

In the US: Doctor Who airs Saturdays at 8pm ET on BBC America


Doctor Who Returns: Bells of St John Premiere Date, Steven Moffat Talks Spoonheads


Hey, Whovians, have you heard? Just when you’ll be at the end of your giving-stuff-up-for-Lent tether, a tasty treat: Doctor Who is back on Saturday 30 March.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement, showrunner Steven Moffat promises that in the Series/Season Finale, “the Doctor’s greatest secret will at last be revealed! If this wasn’t already our most exciting year it would be anyway!”

Series/Season 7 picks up again with “The Bells of St John,” a modern-day thriller set in London. Penned by Moffat it features such landmarks as The Eye of Sauron Shard, The Gherkin and Westminster Bridge.

And intriguing new villains, The Spoonheads,  will make their debut battling the Doctor (Matt Smith) as he discovers that something sinister is lurking in the Wi-Fi.

The episode also officially marks the debut of the Doctor’s newest companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman). Yes, yes, she’s already popped up twice now, but this time Moffat’s promised that this time she’s here to stay. (Or, at least, here for the next eight episodes.)

The rest of Doctor Who Series/Season 7 will bring some familiar (evil) faces with a new twist, and boasts an impressive line-up of guest stars including Richard E. Grant, Warwick Davies, Celia Imrie and Dougray Scott. Plus, the first-ever on-screen pairing of Diana Rigg and her daughter Rachael Stirling.

Here’s the gossip straight from The Moff himself: “It’s the 50th year of Doctor Who and look what’s going on! We’re up in the sky and under the sea! We’re running round the rings of an alien world and then a haunted house. There’s new Cybermen, new Ice Warriors and a never before attempted journey to the centre of the TARDIS. And in the finale, the Doctor’s greatest secret will at last be revealed! If this wasn’t already our most exciting year it would be anyway!”

Excited, much?

In the UK: Doctor Who premieres Saturday, March 30, on BBC One

In the US: Doctor Who  premieres Saturday, March 30, 8pm ET on BBC America

Doctor Who Recap: The Angels Take Manhattan

The Angels Take Manhattan
(Photo: Catherine Lawson)

What have the Weeping Angels got against the outer boroughs anyway? This mid-series/season Doctor Who Finale had a Manhattan-centric view of New York City.

The island was colonised and policed by a vengeful group of Weeping Angels who’d managed to not only remain in 1938 in perpetuity, but had also managed to turn the NYU dorms in the West Village into a time prison for anyone unlucky enough to catch their eye.

Freshers beware! Those eyes that look as if they’re following you around the room? That’s not just the Jäger-bombs taking effect … they are.

Now, obviously, let’s address the giant elephant in the room. This was the final outing for Amy and Rory. I interviewed Matt Smith and Karen Gillan the day after they’d had their first read-through of the script for this episode, and she said everyone was in floods of tears throughout.

Steven Moffat then promised me that the Ponds’/Williams’ exit would be heartbreaking. And it was. (But, he also said he wasn’t tweaking Doctor Who to make it more America-friendly, and now I’m not so sure I believe him.)

As for the rest of the episode, I’m torn. Yes, it’s always awesome to see my old home town featured so prominently, but it felt redundant. If having the action take place on an island was the most important bit of the plot then obviously it works better for the larger audience than using the Isles of Wight, Man or Sheppy, but still …

If Lady Liberty had been seen and not just heard stomping across the Hudson River to claim her victims it might have been more effective. But then again, it could also have come across as a low-budget Stay Puft Marshmallow Man moment.

Let’s face it: if Russell T. Davies was still running the show, this episode would have been filmed in Cardiff and the argh!-dive-behind-the-sofa! moment would have featured Ivor Novello. And personally, I think I would have preferred it.

It was great to see the always superb Alex Kingston back as River Song, and to have her relationship status confirmed with all the other TARDIS residents, but the Doctor healing the sick? Come on … I’m a Doctor Who fan, not a super-fan, so it’s entirely possible the Doctor has done it before, but it seemed to me that Moffat simply used this plot device as a way of not having Smith and Kingston snog each other’s faces off.

The insinuation that the Doctor only likes ’em young seemed a bit mean-spirited. Yes, we all know that the Doctor’s forever travelling with younger women but hey, that’s part of the schtick. (Frankly, no one’s going to watch his adventures with old women or other men, so get over it naysayers.) To now write the Doctor as a creepy old misogynist was like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick to Moffat’s Who predecessors.

The Weeping Angels have long been in my pantheon of best Doctor Who villains, and I think their creepy putti progeny will be getting their own niche there in due course. However, there were so many dead ends and so much misdirection in this episode that even the introduction of these sinister toddlers was somehow lost in the mix.

  • Who was Grayle? And why was he feeding random people to the creepy Barbarella killer dolls in the basement?
  • Who were the statues watching Grayle’s house? His wife and child? Amy and a pint-sized Rory?
  • Just how did he capture a Weeping Angel in the first place?
  • Do basic Yale locks really work against intergalactic alien time vampires?
  • Why single out Rory when Central Park was packed with people, including a Time Lord?
  • Why on earth would Rory get into that creepy lift/elevator in the first place? (Is he really supposed to still be that stupid?)

There were also some nice touches.

  • Amy finally admitted to everyone that she loves Rory. Properly. At last: some loooong overdue payback for the aeons of time he stood outside the Pandorica.
  • I *think* that was the Calvary Cemetery in Queen’s (you know, the one you can see from the BQE on the way to and from JFK), so there was at least a nod to the outer boroughs. UPDATE: According to the “Doctor Who Official” production notes for the episode, all of Alex Kingston’s scenes were shot in Wales, not New York City, so I’m presumably wrong about the cemetery. Sorry, Queen’s residents. Maybe next time …
  • The TARDIS-washing made me smile. Yes, we’re an old married couple and we avoid snogging in front of the kids by washing like to wash the car TARDIS together of a weekend. (But, sidebar: have they gone and done a TARDIS equivalent of a loft conversion? Check out the spacious new interior.)

So now Doctor Who is on hiatus until the Christmas Special. To tide you over until then, here are some glimpses of what we can expect. Snow! Victorians! Withnail! Richard E. Grant! New companion Jenna-Louise Coleman!

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw

Doctor Who, The Angels Take Manhattan: Trailers

So that’s why they call New York the city that never sleeps …

As Doctor Who viewers brace themselves for Amy and Rory’s swansong, the BBC have released a number of trailers ahead of Saturday’s episode, which was shot on location in New York City.

The Weeping Angels at WhoCon

Say hello sweetie to River Song (Alex Kingston) as the Doctor and his companions face off against the Weeping Angels.

Steven Moffat wrote “The Angels take Manhattan” and, judging from the trailers, it promises to live up to what he told me about Series/Season 7 back in March 2012: “There’ll be utter heartbreaking tragedy to knock about, silly fun … But if you’re laughing one minute, expect to be crying in five minutes.”

The cast had their first read-through of “The Angels Take Manhattan” the night before I interviewed Matt Smith and Karen Gillan at WhoCon, and Gillan especially was very moved by the manner of the Ponds’ departure.

She wouldn’t tell me exactly what happens to Amy (natch), but said “I want her to go out in all her sort of glory.”

The trailers have echoes of the classic David Tennant–Carey Mulligan episode “Blink,” which saw the first outing of the Weeping Angels. Check out the way Amy seems to be reading or writing a letter a la Kathy Nightingale.

One fanmade trailer caught my eye. Made by angelsblink2, it is a superb piece of editing and scoring. Watch it and remember all the best bits of the Matt Smith–Karen GillanArthur Darvill triumvirate. (And yes, don’t they look young?)

So here’s the BBC1 trailer:

And here’s the BBC America trailer:

Doctor Who Series 7 airs in the UK on Saturdays on BBC1 (transmission times keep changing so check local listings).

Doctor Who Season 7 airs in the US on Saturdays, 9pm ET on BBC America.

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw

Doctor Who, The Power of Three Trailer: Rory’s Dad In The TARDIS

Welcome back, Brian Williams (not that one, US readers)! Your 15 minutes of Doctor Who fame is not yet up.

Yes, the sublime Mark Williams is back as Rory’s dad Brian for this week’s episode of Doctor Who, “The Power of Three.” (Could he be the new Wilf Mott?)

Brian is examining the curious black cubes that have been appearing, and he has a number of theories as to what they might be. “Very thorough, Brian.”

Calling Comic Relief: can we get a Donna Noble–Brian Williams spin-off? Please?

Here’s an earlier trailer, in which Rory and Amy ponder their disjointed lives. Rory says they must choose between their real life and their Doctor life. But can they?

Tune in Saturday for the latest episode written by Chris Chibnall. It looks good.

Doctor Who Series 7 airs in the UK on Saturdays on BBC1 (transmission times keep changing so check local listings).

Doctor Who Season 7 airs in the US on Saturdays, 9pm ET on BBC America.

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw

Doctor Who, A Town Called Mercy Trailers: BBC1 and BBC America

Doctor Who, “A Town Called Mercy” Trailers: BBC1 and BBC America.

This third episode of Doctor Who Series/Season 7 promises to be a-may-zing.

Shot on location in Almeria, Spain it used the same sets as Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti westerns, and the promotional images pay clear homage to grumpy old man iconic poncho-wearer Clint Eastwood.

Snippets of the episode were featured in a trailer reel that showrunners Steven Moffat and Caro Skinner debuted at WhoCon back in March 2012, and there was more than a frisson of excitement when the crowd recognised guest star — and all-around sci fi god — Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate SG-1).

The episode also features Adrian Scarborough, who was most recently seen playing Pritchard the butler in the rebooted Upstairs Downstairs.

The two trailers below are very similar, but there is a noticeable difference in tone. The one from BBC America is darker, and has more of an emphasis on action and heavy weaponry, whereas  the BBC1 trailer feels lighter and more comedic.

In a recent interview with SFX, Browder revealed that he’s long had a soft spot for Doctor Who: “Look, in my house, I have a TARDIS. It’s a small one, but I have a TARDIS. There’s a sonic screwdriver, too.”

Check out what writer Toby Whithouse told SFX about the inspiration behind “A Town Called Mercy”.

Doctor Who Series 7 airs in the UK on Saturdays, 7:35pm on BBC1.

Doctor Who Season 7 airs in the US on Saturdays, 9pm ET on BBC America.

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw

Doctor Who Recap: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Doctor Who S07/E02 — Rory and the Doctor snog

Doctor Who Season 7 got off to an explosive start with the premiere episode, “Asylum of the Daleks”.

The second episode, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”, was no less ambitious in terms of far-reaching plot and special effects. (Next week’s Wild West-themed ep “A Town Called Mercy” was shot in Spain — seriously, will we ever see Cardiff again? I’m starting to miss it.)

Written by Who vet Chris Chibnall (Camelot), it reintroduced the Silurians, who were there in spirit if not in person. They had been done away by the dastardly space pirate Solomon (David Bradley) who’d hijacked their ship/ark and was planning to sell  the precious cargo  — dinosaurs, natch — to the highest bidder.

Problem was, Solomon had been attacked by a dinosaur and, injured, had lost control of the ship. It was now hurtling towards 24th-century Earth and UNIT had targeted it for destruction.

Cue the Doctor to save the day. He decided to put the band back together, and who better to help out than Queen Nefertiti (Riann Steele) and a big game hunter named Riddell (Rupert Graves)? Oh, and Rory’s dad, as played by the always completely brilliant Mark Williams.

I’ll confess: I enjoyed this episode. It was a welcome respite from the convoluted over-arching mythologies of the previous series and it had a vintage Doctor Who rollicking sense of humour.

However, it felt a bit rushed and compressed, and I can’t help feeling that it would have benefited from being a two-parter. Plus, it made me miss David Tennant and his particular brand of barely simmering rage. When the Tenth Doctor made a threat, you just knew he meant business. Matt Smith sometimes lacks that level of gravitas.

But, he and Arthur Darvill have always had great chemistry onscreen and as the Ponds continued their valedictory lap in the TARDIS it was so entertaining to see it come to fruition.

Yes, the Doctor and Rory finally got it on. Not in a full-on Captain Jack Harkness and Ianto kind of a way, but they did lock lips lingeringly.

Next week sees the gang in the Wild West where they run into Crichton Ben Browder and Adrian Scarborough. Written by Toby Whithouse it’s a Doctor Who homage to the spaghetti western, and it looks like a lot of fun.

Doctor Who Series 7 airs in the UK on Saturdays, 7:35pm on BBC1.

Doctor Who Season 7 airs in the US on Saturdays, 9pm ET on BBC America.

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw