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It was in November of 1963 that BBC viewers first stepped into the TARDIS and met the mysterious time- and space-travelling alien known as the Doctor. At the time, he was portrayed as a grumpy, duplicitous and quite possibly dangerous old man. Luckily for us, he mellowed, and “Doctor Who” became a British institution. Fast-forward nearly 50 years and he’s now an even older man (maybe 1000), though he’s portrayed as youthful, energetic, and most definitely dangerous. 11 actors have played the Doctor since 1963, and here at Bullz-Eye we attempt to celebrate all eras of the longest running science fiction series in the world. We’ve got interviews, features, loads of DVD reviews, and plenty more.

So much more, in fact, that this area of the site also mixes in the “Doctor Who” spinoff, “Torchwood,” which began in 2006, and stars John Barrowman as the immortal Captain Jack Harkness and Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper. The pair, along with a seemingly ever-changing cast of co-stars, investigates alien invasions on the planet Earth, and as the series has gone on, the aliens have gotten bigger and the situations more intense.

The two shows are very different types of science fiction, yet both created by people with fevered imaginations and a desire to tell engaging, thrilling stories. If you’ve not yet dipped your toe in either pool, a great place to start with “Doctor Who” is either “The Complete First Series” or “The Complete Fifth Series.” With “Torchwood,” starting with its first season would be great, but if you’re running short on time and want to find out what it’s all about quickly, you can’t go wrong with the “Children of Earth” miniseries.

FEATURES & INTERVIEWS
Doctor Who Top 10Top 10 "Doctor Who" Stories of the Decade
December 12, 2009

There's been no better decade to be a fan of “Doctor Who” than the '00s. With that in mind, here’s an entirely subjective list of its crowning achievements since the new series started in 2005.

Piers WengerPiers Wenger
Executive Producer, "Doctor Who" | November 22, 2010

I felt just so proud and pleased for Matt [Smith] and pleased for Steven [Moffat] that it’s worked out as well as it has, and that we’ve been able to do things for the audience and for the fans that we’ve been able to do.

Arthur DarvillArthur Darvill
Rory Williams, "Doctor Who" | April 21, 2011

On the "Doctor Who" legacy: It's one of those things that's part of British culture. It's so sort of deep in there that, yeah, it's kind of unavoidable. You can't really get away from it, and it's always been since I was a kid.

Eve MylesEve Myles
Gwen Cooper, "Torchwood" | March 11, 2011

Every day playing Gwen is challenging. I mean, seriously, because she’s so complex. And she has two very different worlds, and they are the antitheses of each other.

DVD REVIEWS
Doctor Who: Season 1Doctor Who: Series 1

Here’s where it all restarted. Join the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler in their first round of thrilling adventures.

Doctor Who: Season 2 Doctor Who: Series 2

The Time Lord has regenerated into the Tenth Doctor, and the seeds for “Torchwood” were first planted.

Doctor Who: Season 3 Doctor Who: Series 3

Will the Doctor’s new companion vote Harold Saxon? And just what connection does he have to the Doctor?

Doctor Who: Season 4 Doctor Who: Series 4

Enter Donna Noble, possibly the Doctor’s most important friend yet, and reenter a classic “Who” villain.

Doctor Who: The Complete Specials Doctor Who: The Specials

All of the Tenth Doctor’s final adventures are presented here. Dry eyes in the house will be few and far between.

Doctor Who: Season 5 Doctor Who: Series 5

Enter Doctor Eleven and his companion Amy Pond in the wibbly-wobbliest, timey-wimiest season yet!

Doctor Who: Season 6, Part 1 Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1

Amy and Rory follow the Doctor to America where some pretty bad things happen in the first half of Season Six.

Doctor Who: Season 6Doctor Who: Series 6

River Song is a woman of mystery, but in this season, the layers are peeled back to reveal the truth.

Torchwood: Season 1 Torchwood: Season 1

Gwen Cooper joins a secret organization dedicated to sorting out extra-terrestrial life in Cardiff, Wales.

Torchwood: Season 2 Torchwood: Season 2

Stakes are raised and antes upped in this sophomore season which ended on a brutally dark finish.

Torchwood: Children of Men Torchwood: Children of Earth

The five-part miniseries explores what happens when aliens come to Earth and demand we give them our children.

Torchwood: Children of Men Torchwood: UK Complete Series

Just in time for those watching "Miracle Day," this set collects all the previous "Torchwood" episodes to date.

More Reviews

Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest
The Tenth Doctor and Martha go on an epic animated adventure to find the spaceship Infinite and battle the evil Baltazar, voiced by Anthony Stewart Head.

Doctor Who: The Next Doctor
The Doctor encounters his possible future self (David Morrissey) living in Victorian London and battles the Cybermen at Christmas.

Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead
The Doctor meets cunning jewel thief Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan), who accompanies him via a wormhole to the desert planet San Helios.

Doctor Who: Dreamland
In another animated adventure, the Tenth Doctor – after years of time and space travel – finally ends up at Area 51.

Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol
The Eleventh Doctor faces a sticky holiday situation on the Earth colony of Sardicktown. Guest starring Michael Gambon in the strongest “Who” Christmas special to date.

The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete Third Season
Starring Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith and guest starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor.

Classic Doctor Who Reviews
Find reviews for many of the classic "Who" adventures currently available on DVD – from "The Keys of Marinus" to the 1996 TV movie – in our science fiction archive.

"DOCTOR WHO" EPISODE BLOG (more)


Doctor Who 5.13 - The Big Bang

And so we come to yet another season finale of the greatest science fiction series ever created. This is the recap I’ve been both anticipating and dreading writing in equal parts since first seeing “The Big Bang” some weeks ago; anticipating because of how much I adored this finale, and dreading because there’s no way I can do it justice in a mere recap. It’s not even an issue of space or time (or is it?), it’s a matter of the story, as well as the 12 episodes prior to it, being too dense to dissect thoroughly. You’ll have to forgive that this doesn’t resemble a recap proper, and I instead ramble on about other issues.

I didn’t go into “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang” expecting a whole lot, conditioned as I am on Russell T Davies’s extravagant-yet-ultimately-lightweight season finales. Don’t get me wrong, they were most always a great deal of fun, but they most always left me somewhat wanting - excepting Season Three’s Master trilogy, although I’m not sure that’s in line with popular opinion. Oh, and “The Parting of the Ways.” Wait a minute…I loved most of his finales! But I often felt as if they didn’t go as far as they could. Part of the way through the current season the Pandoricrack, as I’ve come to call it, started to annoy me, and I began not so much resenting the thread, but rather simply dismissing it – assuming that whatever it was about wouldn’t be terribly thrilling. It turned out to be not only thrilling, but strange and deep and stimulating. This was Steven Moffat’s trademark “Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey” taken up to 11. (Maybe next year will go to 12?) This two-part finale forces viewers to go back and reexamine most of the season, and that isn’t something that can really be said for the Davies finales, which isn’t to imply they’re inferior. More on that later…

Here’s the thing, as great and complex as this finale (as well as the season) was, I don’t think there’s any way this could have been executed and accepted by the average BBC TV viewer five years ago when Davies unveiled his first season. It took five years worth of the less complex Davies structure, as well as him introducing and reintroducing all the ideas that make up this series, to get the show to a point where someone like Steven Moffat could come along and attempt something this elaborate. And make no mistake – it elaborate, not to mention confusing. (One need only to get an idea of how complexly structured the two-part finale is. Another great piece of reading is ) But this doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Even before he started working his magic on “Doctor Who,” as far back as “Coupling,” Moffat showed how skilled he was at twisting narrative structure around, and in that show he didn’t have the benefit of time travel as a means to accomplish it. So even though I’ve had issues from time to time with some of the choices Davies made during his tenure, I give him several warm rounds of applause for being the guy whose choices allowed for Steven Moffat to step up to the plate and give it a go. great that happens with “Doctor Who” in the coming years owes a huge debt to the groundwork laid by Russell T Davies.

Moffat is also clearly able to indulge in ludicrous flights of fancy in the same way Davies did. “If something can be remembered, it can come back.” What the fuck is all that about? It has no basis in science, not even wacky “Doctor Who” science, and yet it’s immensely pivotal to the story. There’s a poetry to it, no doubt, but it’s strictly fantasy, and really has no more business being a component of this series than the mumbo-jumbo sprinkled liberally throughout “The End of Time.” But “Doctor Who” is an ever-evolving beast, and it has to be to survive. These are the kind of ideas that it pulls out to assert its place in the TV universe. No other sci-fi series would dare display something so baroque, and ultimately its peculiar bits and bobs such as that are quickly becoming hallmarks of this show. Nevermind that Philip Hinchcliffe wouldn’t have dared try something of that ilk; the fact is Steven Moffat and it somehow works.

One of the serious ideas Moffat has brought to the series is the notion that “time can be rewritten,” which is in stark contrast to Davies use of “fixed points.” Fixed points indicate rules and structure; time can be rewritten means all bets are off. Now this isn’t necessarily a brilliant move on Moffat’s part, as much as it is a bold one. It says, “I’m not going to play by the rules. Instead I’m going to invent some new ones.” Steven Moffat’s style of writing practically begged for this development, as I suspect he’d have felt stifled by hanging onto the old rules. For some this could be considered heresy, but ultimately that’s what any good showrunner will do with this series. He or she will find a way – their way – to reinvent it. What’s interesting is how this is quite logically an extension of what was going on in the last few Davies specials, starting with “The Waters of Mars,” and the Doctor’s trashing of the fixed point at Bowie Base One, because as far as he was concerned, the Laws of Time were now his to play with. Furthermore, everything that went down with the Time Lords in “The End of Time” could easily have exacerbated this attitude in the Doctor. Whether Moffat and Davies ever discussed this we do not know, but it’s worked out beautifully, and it’s taken the series to a whole new, exciting level. Whether or not the Doctor will someday have to pay the piper remains to be seen, but for now it sure seems that his abilities to see through and manipulate time are at an all time high.

I also conjectured a while back that Moffat had a longer-range plan in mind than just the components of this season, and sure enough, we were left with numerous, important dangling threads. What is The Silence? Whose nasty, ugly voice is uttering those words? Who ‘sploded the TARDIS? Exactly how different is the rebooted universe of Big Bang 2? Oh, and pretty much everything about River Song, who remains almost as much of a mystery as she did when we first met her in Season Four. If time can be rewritten, does that mean it’s possible that River’s death will not be in the Library after all? (By the way, Alex Kingston was especially strong in this hour.) Exactly how far does Moffat plan to take this idea? This show can seemingly go anywhere it wants at this point. I suppose that’s always been the case, but it’s feeling unusually fresh at the moment. Moffat had a very tough job putting his stamp on “Who” after the Davies renaissance, but now he’s got an entire season under his belt, and I’d like to believe that Season Six will be considerably tighter. For the time being though, just the seasonal arc as presented in “The Eleventh Hour”, the Weeping Angels two-parter, and the two part season finale is a five hour testament to what Moffat’s capable of doing with this series.

Finally we come to Matt Smith. Taking over from David Tennant’s near-unanimously beloved portrayal was never going to be an easy task for any actor. When Smith was announced it was very easy to be skeptical about what he could bring to the table. Right off the bat, his age seemed as if it could work against him. The fact that he was a total unknown didn’t seem to help matters. And yet he somehow projects all the hundreds of years the Doctor has lived seemingly effortlessly. Back before there ever was a new series, I think every “Doctor Who” fan had his or her idea of what they thought a new Doctor should be like. Matt Smith is almost alarmingly close to what I’d always thought a modern Doctor should be like – a heroic fogey trying desperately to get with the times; someone who’s equal parts clueless and clued in. Christopher Eccleston and Tennant were both great Doctor’s as well, but neither of them had a true sense of the alien about them. They sort of tried to chisel it into Eccleston, but there was so much going on with reinventing the series at the time, I don’t think it was the kind of thing that anyone really concentrated on. (Who knows what Eccleston may have done with the character had he done another season?) Tennant never seemed even remotely alien, and that’s fine. Not every Doctor must project that (Peter Davison certainly didn’t, and he was a great Doctor). Smith loses himself in the alien nature of this character. It’s a gorgeous thing to behold, and I imagine he’ll only get stronger and stranger as time moves on. The man is a fine actor and this series is lucky to have him.

If you’ve been reading throughout this season, I’d like to extend a thank you to you – and then an even bigger thank you to those of you who took time out to drop some comments my way. That really makes my day, when a reader takes the time to write a few words. I hope you’ve enjoyed this season as much as I have, and until Christmas, I think it’s time to say goodbye. So, goodbyyyyyyyye!

_____________________________________________

No DVDs to recommend this week. Instead I want to recommend a book: . I finally just found a copy of it myself today, and I’ve been paging through it and it appears to be every bit as good as everyone says it is. If you really want to have a better understanding of what it takes to put this series together, there is no better text. Make sure and pick up the edition subtitled “The Final Chapter,” as that includes an extra 300 pages worth of material that wasn’t in the previous edition.

(Thanks as always to for the screencaps.)

TV POWER RANKINGS
TV Power RankingsTV Power Rankings: Spring 2011
Ranked #23

It's still too early to give the sixth season of "Doctor Who" a thumbs up or a thumbs down, although given the show's tracks record, it would have to go disastrously off the rails for us to stop watching.

TV Power RankingsTV Power Rankings: Fall 2010
Ranked #17

It was never going to be a simple task to follow David Tennant's portrayal of the Doctor or Russell T. Davies' writing and vision, but damn if Matt Smith and Steven Moffat didn't made it look easy.

TV Power RankingsTV Power Rankings: Fall 2009
Ranked #10

It seemed a tad disappointing that a series with two successful 13-episode seasons under its belt was only granted a five-episode order for its third season, but once we tuned in, the disappointment dissipated pretty quickly.

TV Power RankingsTV Power Rankings: Fall 2007
Ranked #7

“Doctor Who” is cooler than just about any other sci-fi show on television, and while this new incarnation serves a more impressive effects palette, its stories are frequently as tongue in cheek as the stuff we grew up on.

TV Power RankingsTV Power Rankings: Fall 2007
Ranked #20

The first season is admittedly a little erratic in tone... but its ongoing dedication to presenting something different and challenging under the sci-fi banner indicates that its upcoming second season will see it coming into its own.

TV Power RankingsTV Power Rankings: Winter 2007
Ranked #19

Who, indeed, would’ve believed that this venerable British sci-fi series would become a must-see staple of American television viewing?

"DOCTOR WHO" AND "TORCHWOOD" ON THE WEB

BBC America’s official “Doctor Who” site
A go to spot for American fans looking for teasers, videos, wallpapers and photos.

The BBC’s official “Doctor Who” site
Same as above, except the site is about ten times as dense. Some material may not be available to U.S. residents.

The BBC’s official “Doctor Who: The Classic Series” site
Everything you need to know about Doctors One through Eight.

The Doctor Who News Page
Fan-run page featuring all the latest news on both “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood.” Daily check-ins for hardcore fans are a must.

The “Doctor Who” Facebook Page
Have news and videos delivered straight to your Facebook feed.

“Doctor Who” on Wikipedia
Detailed breakdowns of nearly every aspect of “Doctor Who” since 1963. These contributors mean business.

The BBC’s official “Torchwood” site
Episode guides, characters pages, behind the scenes videos and photo galleries.

Starz's official “Torchwood” site
Check in here for up to date info on the current series.

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