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The Friday Docback Revisits DOCTOR WHO Season/Series 7 on Blu!! Plus Neil Gaiman's New Cyberman Episode, And More!!


Merrick here...


With a quick revisitation of DOCTOR WHO Season Seven, Part One.  This batch of five Season/Series 7 episodes transmitted recently, and marked the exit of companions Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) from the show.  


As these episodes have already been broadcast and have been systematically available from streaming on iTunes, Amazon, etc. I’ll be working on the assumption that...if you’re already seen them, or are at least aware of their content.  Therefore, there may be SPOILERS freely splashed throughout the following.  You’ve been warned.


More on S7 shortly.  But first...







We can confirm that the Cybermen will be menacing the universe once again when ‘Doctor Who’ returns for a run of eight epic episodes in Spring 2013. The iconic enemies will feature in an adventure directed by Stephen Woolfenden and written by the acclaimed Neil Gaiman whose previous episode was the Hugo Award-winning, 'The Doctor's Wife.' 

 ...says THIS BBC issuance...


The same piece goes on to identify guest stars Warwick Davis (WILLOW, Wicket the Ewok in RETURN OF THE JEDI, LIFE’S TOO SHORT, two LEPRECHAUN films), Tamzin Outhwaite (EAST ENDERS, HOTEL BABYLON) and Jason Watkins (BEING HUMAN, TOMORROW NEVER DIES, DIRK GENTLY) as “a band of misfits on a mysterious planet...”


Tamzin Outhwaitem by the way, is crazy hot.  She’ll probably eyes, two noses, and tentacles for boobies in the real show, though.  Or something :-/

Love him or hate him it's clear The Moff knows a good looking woman when he sees one.  

Stephen Woolfenden (whose name I keep seeing as WOLENSTEIN, damn it), this installment’s director, helmed Second Unit on HARRY POTTERs THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, and DEATHLY HALLOWS 1/2 along with directing episode of TRINITY and ECHO BEACH.  

While BBC’s press release does not indicate as much, Wolfenstien’s IMDB page indicates that this Neil Gaiman Cyberman episode is the thirteenth episode of the Season.  

Making it, presumably, the final episode of Season/Series 7!?  




DOCTOR WHO Season Seven, Part One 



Firstly, I’ve said this before and I don’t expect to stop saying this anytime soon - Moffat-era DOCTOR WHO looks absolutely stunning in full HD.  And, yes, it looks absolutely stunning on this new Blu-ray set.  


DOCTOR WHO in HD is a transformative viewing experience.   If you’ve watched the show but have never seen S5+ in HD?  The HD used here is more than worth your time - consider revisiting these shows in High Def.  


If you’re thinking of picking up Moffat-era WHO and haven’t yet done so?  Be sure to start in HD.  It truly matters in this case.  Based on its work in DW and SHERLOCK, I’m willing to assert that Team Moffat knows...perhaps better than anyone else on television right to utilize the HD formats and capabilities.  They grow and enrich their worlds and works exponentially through their well-considered, utterly-classy approach to their shows’ photography...and create potent imagery which, for the most part, simply isn’t offered on other titles.  


When revisiting S7 on this soon-to-be issued Blu-ray set, I found that my perspective on the episodes had changed very little since my initial mini-reviews of them a few months back (linked below).  If anything, my response was more favorable and appreciative than before - possibly’s a little less awkward to watch these five shows sequentially now that Amy and Rory have cast off.  The sense of anticipation...and the guestimating and distraction caused by their impending, highly-publicized exit the first time around may’ve impacted my own personal viewing a bit earlier on.  I think I may’ve been looking too hard for clues, hidden meanings, foreshadowing, etc. - tendencies far easier to dodge now that Moffat & Co. have laid their cards on the table (as much as they ever do, that is).  


Regarding the departure of Amy and Rory:  I’ll admit to once more finding their finale utterly moving and surprisingly potent (especially given that I knew what was coming), although I am a tad frustrated by the raw mechanics of the affair.  The whole shebang feels, somehow, less permanent than I might’ve liked.  It feels like they’re still out there...still in play, just moved off the field.   Even though rules are put into place which, supposedly, would prevent them from being (easily) revisited...their fate, while bitter sweet, didn’t resonate as fully or sacrificially as I think it might have.  They still lived a full life.  They still accomplished.  They were still together.  They still...mattered.  


This said:  as my friend Ken Plume pointed out, “What else is there to do? It’s a time travel show and no one and nothing is ever truly gone or inaccessible because of that....”  Fair enough.  So,  this may well be an issue of DOCTOR WHO simply bumping up against the same paradox which has characterized it for so many years:  the show’s hugely flexible time/location hopping nature is one of its greatest strengths, but also an element which inherently dilutes it from time to time.  After all, without a sense of true permanency, jeopardy and ramifications are much harder to sense and grasp.  Or believe.  


What I’m going to write next is MY OWN CONJECTURE and EXTREMELY THEORETICAL....I have no inside knowledge that anything herein the case.  But, after watching these installments again, I am now more convinced than ever that a theory I espoused two or three months ago is still very plausible:  Amy and Rory are still out there, still functioning, because we are not done with them yet.  “The girl who waited” fairytale isn’t finished...and the ultimate endgame of Moffat-era WHO still hinges very much on Amelia Pond...and her availability in future resolutions.  I believe that, somehow, Amy will figure critically into whatever punch line awaits us...whatever zinger Moffat has in store before us before handing over the reigns of the show to us Docbackers. 


Some possible evidence...and these, I believe, are what Docbackers would call HATs!  


-- Remember how Amy brought the Doctor back from oblivion at the end  of the first Season, for example?  Memory.  Almost as if a fanciful construct  was being wished into existence (tying into her “raggedy Doctor” thing).   And what’s happening now to the Doctor on an apparently universal scale?  Records of his very existence seem scarcer and scarcer.  Even the Asylum of the Daleks prequel evokes a memory issue.  Connection?  Portent?  


-- Doctor Who? as a question.  At first I believed this was an existential question...a question of the Doctor’s true nature and identity.  Is he the angry, bitter, unpredictable god-like Doctor -  the one’ we’ve seen flash into play more than a few times in Season 7?  Or, is he a force of peace and good?  Or, is he...something else altogether?  Does the Doctor Who? question denote some entirely different layer which is not evident to us on the surface?  Might this question tie into the aforementioned loss of records and general awareness about the Doctor?  When I initially started to mull this, I felt that Doctor Who? (as a question) denoted the Doctor’s simmering identify which might well come to a head in events leading to Matt Smith’s regeneration into whomever (go Idris Elba!  Although I’m still holding out for Bill Nighy...a fools, hope, in all probability...but a hope...). theory...Amy could play an integral part in helping the Doctor find his way back to himself, or to finding his way to whatever comes next.  She can, after all, SUMMON HIM FROM NON-EXISTENCE...(** ahem **) 


-- Moving FWD with connecting these admittedly HATish notions, is it possible that all roads lead back to one of two destinations...or possibly both?  1) The little girl sitting on her suitcase, waiting for that blue box to return.  A poignant and indelible image which could well mean much more than face value (admittedly, the fact that Moffat ended Amy’s run with that same image may’ve just been a sweet idea suggesting the full circleness of Amy’s adventure - but it could denote quite a bit more), and/or 2) the broken universe/cracks/etc. Maybe...reality didn’t reassemble as cleanly as we thought in The Pandorica Opens or The Big Bang (both Smith, Season 5).  Which, again, could also point back to Amy’s (continued?) importance in the overall process of Moffat-era WHO.  


Fun food for thought...feel free to take my humble and likely inadequate musing further in the Docback below.  In the meantime, our next new DOCTOR WHO is coming up with this year’s Christmas Special...on Christmas Day.  There will be a Docback for it, and we should be getting new material from that special soon I should think.  


Back next week with a return to classic WHO, possibly even chronologically again.  Frankly, I haven't decided.  


Stay tuned...



DOCTOR WHO Season Seven, Part One arrives November 13 in the US and is preorderable HERE on DVD and HERE on Blu-ray.  It's now available in the UK HERE -  with an agreeable number of packaging choices.  


Extras include...



Pond Life (6:12) - HD


Asylum of the Daleks Prequel (2:35) - HD


The Making of the Gunslinger (1:46) - HD


The Science of DOCTOR WHO (43:52) - HD


Comic-Con 2012 (11:04) - HD





Glen Oliver




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[Season / Series Seven Docbacks - MOST RECENT DOCBACK IS HIGHLIGHTED]


The Coming of Season/Series 7

Asylum of the Daleks 

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

A Town Called Mercy 

The Power of Three 

The Angels Take Manhattan 






"The Impossible Astronaut"

"Day of the Moon"

"The Curse of the Black Spot"

"The Doctor's Wife"

"The Rebel Flesh"

"The Almost People"

"A Good Man Goes To War"

"Let's Kill Hitler"

"Night Terrors"


"The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" (2011 Christmas Special)  





"An Unearthly Child" (Story #1)

"The Daleks" (Story #2)

"The Edge of Destruction" (Story #3)

"Marco Polo" (Story #4)

"The Keys of Marinus(Story #5)

"The Aztecs" (Story #6)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7 - full DVD release) 

"The Reign of Terror" (Story #8)

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9) 

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9, full DVD release) 

"The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (Story #10)

"The Rescue" (Story #11) 

"The Romans"  (Story #12) 

"The Web Planet" (Story #13) / SHERLOCK - "A Scandal in Belgravia" (Story #4)

"The Crusade" (Story #14) 

"The Space Museum" (Story #15) 

"The Chase" (Story #16) 

"The Time Meddler" (Story #17) 

"Galaxy 4" (Story #18) 

"Mission to the Unkonwn" (Story #19) 

"The Myth Makers" (Story #20) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

"The Tomb of the Cybermen" (Story #37)

"The Mind Robber" (Story #45)

"The Krotons" (Story #47)

"The Seeds of Death" (Story #48) 

"Spearhead from Space" (Story #51) 

"The Abassadors of Death" (Story #53)

"The Colony in Space" (Story #58) 

"The Daemons" (Story #59) 

"Day of the Daleks" (Story #60) + Preview of the DotD Special Edition

"The Three Doctors" (Story #65) 

"Carnival of Monsters" (Story #66) 

"Death to the Daleks" (Story #72) 

"Invasion of the Dinosaurs" (Story #71) and SHERLOCK: "The Reichenbach Fall" (Story #6) 

"The Android Invasion" (Story #83) and SHERLOCK: "The Hounds of Baskerville" (Story #5) 

"The Face of Evil" (Story #89) 

"The Robots of Death" (Story #90) 

"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (Story #91)

"The Sun Makers(Story #95)

"The City of Death" (Story #105)

"Nightmare of Eden" (Story #107) 

"Kinda" (Story #118)

"Snakedance" (Story #125) 

"The Five Doctors" (Story #129) 

"The Awakening" (Story #131)

"Frontios(Story #132)

"Resurrection of the Daleks" (Story #134) 

"The Caves of Androzani" (Story #136) 

"Vengeance on Varos" (Story #138) 

"Time and the Rani" (Story #144)

"Paradise Towers" (Story #145) + New WHOvian Documentary / Newsbits

"Dragonfire" (Story #147) 

"The Happiness Patrol" (Story #149) 

"The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" (Story #151) 

"Doctor Who: The Movie" (aka TVM) - McGann) 


Merrick's Personal Journey With The Doctor (How Merrick Got Hooked On DOCTOR WHO)

DOCTOR WHO Title Sequences & DW At Comic-Con 2011

"The Crash of the Elysium" (Manchester version - interactive DOCTOR WHO adventure)

Why Eccleston Left, Here Comes Caroline Skinner, And Season/Series Six Part 1 on Blu-Ray And DVD

New Trailer For Season/Series Six Part 2

The Companions of DOCTOR WHO + New Trailer & Artwork For Season/Series 7  

Impromptu Docback!! + Galaxy 4 'Airlock' Coming to DVD, Christmas Special 2012, And More!!

The Friday Docback Mulls The 50th...





1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc.)... 

2) matters of SPOILAGE should be handled with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity.  Posts containing SPOILERS should clearly state that a SPOILER exists in its topic/headline and should never state the spoiler itself . "** SPOILER ** Regarding Rory" is OK, for example.  "** SPOILER ** Battle of Zarathustra" is fine as well.  " **SPOILER** Why did everyone die?"  Is NOT good.  
And, above all... 

3) converse, agree, disagree, and question as much as you want - but the freedom to do so is NOT a license to be rude, crass, disrespectful, or uncivilized in any way.  Not remaining courteous and civil, as well as TROLLING or undertaking sensational efforts to ignite controversy, will result in banning.  Lack of courtesy may receive one (1) warning before a ban is instigated.  Obvious Trolling or Spamming will result in summary banning with no warning.  One word posts intended to bump-up any Docback's figures on AICN's "Top Talkbacks" sidebar will be considered actionable Spam - they not only complicate efforts to access Docback from mobile devices, but impede readers' abilities to follow or engage in flowing conversation. 
In short, it's easy.  Be excellent to each other.  Now party on... 
Readers Talkback
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