3 Things I Want For the New Doctor Who Companion

Unless you’ve been trapped in solitude all weekend, chances are solid that you heard a new companion has officially been named. The companion is called Bill, and she’s played by the actress Pearl Mackie. I wrote about her a bit on Geek & Sundry over the weekend.

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Image credit: BBC

Even though we’ve got to wait until 2017 for the new season of Doctor Who (though there will be a Christmas special this year, so maybe we’ll see Bill there), all of our Whovian brains are racing as we imagine what kind of a companion Bill will be, and what adventures she and the Doctor will have together. While I don’t share the Clara-hate that a lot of Whovians had, I will admit that she had a tumultuous run with the Doctor. That original “Impossible Girl” story line made her more of a weird anomaly throughout the Doctor’s timeline rather than an actual character, and it wasn’t until her final season that I really started to love her. Jenna Coleman is a great actor, and I think she could have sealed herself a higher ranking in the “favorite companion” leaderboard had she started her run as companion as more than just a puzzle for the Doctor to solve. Clara, once she was fleshed out as a character, was reckless, she was caring, she was brave, she was snarky, she was loving, she was sarcastic, and she was everything I love in companions.

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It kind of frustrated me, actually, because I felt like so much time was wasted on guessing who–or WHAT–Clara could be. The awkward crush she had on Eleven, the Impossible Girl thing, feeling weird about Twelve because he was old, all of that got in the way of what turned out to be a really fun Doctor/Companion run there at the end. I don’t want that for Bill. Here’s what I hope we see once she officially boards the TARDIS:

No Romance

Eleven and Clara

I loved watching Nine/Ten and Rose’s romance. It was sweet, even though we all knew that it would ultimately end in heartbreak. However, that gooey romance has sort of tainted the Doctor and Companion romance thing for me. Martha’s run as companion got lost, I felt, because there was that awkward “rebound companion” behind everything they did together. When she left the TARDIS on her own accord, I cheered her on because frankly, the Doctor was kind of stringing her along. Then with companions like Donna and the Ponds, we saw how fun–yet still highly meaningful–it can be to watch the Doctor travel with someone who is just a friend and nothing romantic. I got why Clara crushed on Eleven. I get it dude, Matt Smith’s adorable, easy on the eyes, endearing, and he can pull off short pants and “delicate” eyebrows better than anyone. But we all knew the Doctor didn’t fully return Clara’s affections–after all, this was still the age of River Song. Then when Eleven regenerated, everything was weird between Clara and Twelve for a bit because of that crush. The Doctor–especially this Doctor–needs a friend, needs family, far more than he needs a girlfriend. It can get awkward when the Doctor has to navigate a companion crush, so I hope Bill and Twelve are just mates. Plus, I’m not really ready to see him with anyone but River just yet.

She’s Just a Regular Human

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In the Doctor Who universe, it gets repeated over and over again how important the Doctor finds each individual he meets. That’s part of the show’s appeal: everyone’s important. Rose loved the Doctor, Martha was his friend who pushed him from heartbreak, Donna was simultaneously the best temp in Chiswick/the most important woman in the universe/and the Doctor’s best mate, and the Ponds were the Doctor’s family. So taking Clara and making her something more than a human who works her way into the Doctor’s hearts felt…unnecessary. The Doctor doesn’t pick companions because they have some secret identity or skill. The Doctor finds his companions special and important because he thinks everyone is important and special–which leaves room for the companions to grow and develop as characters, and ultimately help the Doctor grow. I want Bill to be a regular human, and not a puzzle or problem for the Doctor to solve. I want to see her evolve during her time with the Doctor like an actual human, to see how her presence changes the Doctor, and not for the Doctor to simply work his way to a solution with her.

No Fearing the Doctor

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I’ve really grown to love Twelve, but a huge difference between Eleven and Twelve is how rough Twelve is around the edges. Everyone wanted to go up and give Eleven a hug. The dude invented a dance called “the drunk giraffe”, and we refer to him as Raggedy Man. That’s SO not Twelve. Twelve doesn’t do hugging (except with Clara), he doesn’t tolerate most people,  he’s got biting sarcasm (one of the reasons I love him), he’s not even consistently nice to those he’s closest with (like Clara), and he’s even had to give himself cards to react appropriately in delicate emotional situations. Clara and Twelve’s first season was tough to watch sometimes because Clara would treat Twelve like she did Eleven. She let him get away with a lot, she let him treat her terribly, and she didn’t really stand up for herself. After all, Twelve can be a bit intimidating. The relationship felt a bit toxic, and not fun at all. However,  once Clara finally stepped up and stopped allowing Twelve to do whatever the hell he wanted whenever the hell he wanted, everything got better. He treated her respectfully, she pushed him to be better, and they were fun to follow on adventures. Bill needs to not be afraid of the Doctor (who may still be emotionally raw as he’s mending broken hearts after losing Clara), and not be afraid to call him out when he’s being crazy. The Doctor’s companions keep him good, and Bill needs writing that lets her keep him good.

It can take some time for the Doctor and his new companion to find their groove together, and I’m excited to watch Bill and the Doctor become friends. I can’t wait to see what kind of a character she’ll be, how she’ll evolve during her run in the TARDIS, and what kind of an impact she’ll have on the Doctor and the universe. New episodes of Doctor Who cannot get here soon enough! What do you think of Bill? What are you looking forward to seeing in the new season? What do you hope to see with this new companion? Let me know in the comments!

What You Actually Experience at the Doctor Who Experience

I’m writing again about my time in Europe (I previously wrote a post with a few European travel tips, and I also wrote a post about geeky UK travel on Geek & Sundry). I’ve put a couple of my pictures here on the blog, but you can see LOADS more photos from my European adventure on my Instagram. The hashtag is #KenInEurope.

While I got to see a TON of amazing bits of European history, architecture, and culture, I made sure to get a solid dose of geekery into my travels. One of the places I had to be SURE to hit was the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, Wales. Honestly, you guys, I was so excited to take part in the Experience, actually setting foot into the building bordered on emotional for me–though that could have just been a result of the exhaustion/jetlag and gnarly blisters that were forming on my feet. Either way, it was so fantastic when I saw the giant building looming overhead.

DWE Building

I had bought my tickets ahead of time (which I recommend you do, though they have several tours leaving throughout the day, I’d hate to travel all the way to Wales only to fine they’re sold out. Plus, it’s 16 pounds at the door versus 14 pounds ahead of time). I backpacked my way through Europe, so I was thrilled to find that they let me in and through the experience with my backpack (which is good–I would have had literally nowhere else to put it had it been against the rules). All in all, the experience was magical and highly timey-wimey. So what can you expect when you immerse yourself in the Experience?

You will assume you can walk to the Experience from the train station, and soon realize you cannot–at least, it would be a walk that is WAY longer than you’re okay with.

If you’ve got yourself a rental car or you’re cool with taking a taxi everywhere, you’re set. However, if you’re relying on Uber, don’t. They don’t have it yet. If you’re thinking you’ll walk from the train station (we traveled to Cardiff via train from London), you also probably shouldn’t do that either. It’s a bit of a hike, and if it’s raining, the rain will likely be intense.

You will discover they have a bus that runs from the train station to the Experience–the Number 6 bus. You will scrounge through your pockets to find 1 pound 80 because the bus stop sign says it takes exact change only.

And no, they don’t take credit cards.

Then, you will notice a sign that says to flag the driver down if you wish to board the bus. You will think this is meant for those wishing to board the bus in between stops, and that obviously the bus will stop at its designated stops. You will be wrong.

Seriously, FLAG THE DRIVER DOWN. Turns out that, though you are standing at the bus stop, the bus doesn’t automatically stop at its designated stops. It only stops if there are people signaling that they’d like to get on the bus. Make sure you signal him so he has enough time to see you, register you need the bus, and safely stop at the bus stop.

Once aboard the bus, you’ll see that the bus has one of those “pull to stop the bus” ropes. In your experience, those are for emergency stops only, so you don’t pull it. Mercifully, others on the bus know better and will pull the cord at your desired stop.

It makes sense now. If the bus wasn’t stopping at bus stops without a future passenger waving the bus down, why would he stop without a current passenger letting him know they wanted to get off the bus? When you’ve reached your stop (or really, a bit before arriving at your stop), pull the cord.

As you’re nearing the Experience, you’ll notice that you pass the BBC Cymru|Wales building. You will wonder what the hell “Cymru” means.

First of all, Cymru is Wales in Welsh. Though Wales is an English speaking country, they are working hard to preserve the Welsh language as it came very close to becoming extinct. So, in addition to teaching Welsh in schools there, just about every sign you see in Wales has Welsh and English printed on it. #TheMoreYouKnow Also,  I don’t know if you can tour the BBC office. I don’t even know if there’s anything to see in there. I just noticed it as we passed and was like, “Oh, hey look at that.” I was too nervous to explore for too long after our run at the Experience since we took the last Experience of the day. I wasn’t sure how long the bus would run to that area after the Experience closed, and I didn’t want to risk missing my train back to London.

The lobby of the Experience will literally take your breath away.

DW Experience Lobby.jpg

Okay,  let me back track a bit. The lobby is by far not the most outstanding part of the experience. Really, the lobby is just a lobby, it’s just that the lobby contains loads of authentic Whovian props. Being that close to a TARDIS, a smiler, Daleks, Handles, and other authentic props will make you simultaneously want to squeal and cry a little.

The lobby–where they have a waiting area and a small cafe–is where you’ll find the big guns like a TARDIS, Daleks, and the Smiler. But when you’re ready to queue up for the Experience, they make you wait in a line prior to letting in, and that room is also filled with a variety of props like the Time Lord costumes, Handles, and the Time Lord Hypercubes.

You won’t be able to take pictures in the Experience, and they’ll ask you to keep the Experience itself a secret.

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They want you to keep the adventure under your hat so everyone comes in to the Experience and it’s a new adventure for them. So I’m not going to tell you what I experienced specifically. Suffice it to say, you go on an interactive adventure with the Doctor. I don’t know how many times they make a new adventure, but I’m guessing at least one for every new Doctor, as mine was with Twelve.

You’ll quickly realize the Experience is designed to delight children. However, you’ll still have a blast, and feel a bit emotional that you’re actually in Cardiff, Wales, at THE Doctor Who Experience.

Yeah, the adventure is fully for kids, but it’s still loads of fun. Cheesy? Maybe, but it’s such a unique experience and I was so happy to simply be there, that everything delighted me to pieces. There’s even a part where we got to “drive” the TARDIS, and the Doctor instructed us to allow “small humans” to be in the front (so: Kendall, move back so the kids can have a turn). Mercifully, there were more TARDIS controls than children in my group, so I got to help drive. #TimeLordWin

Despite enjoying the adventure, you will be a bit disappointed that Peter Capaldi didn’t leap out at some point to surprise your group.

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I did NOT miss a bit, Doctor. You just weren’t physically there. And yes, I know it wasn’t a realistic thing to hope for, especially since I don’t think they’ll be filming new episodes of Who for quite a while, but how awesome would that have been?!? But hey, maybe he’ll surprise your group when you go…

Despite the campy fun of the Experience, you’ll think the Doctor Who Exhibit after the experience is just THE BEST

Once you leave the interactive experience, you’ll enter the “museum” where they store costumes and props from Who over the years. They had awesome stuff like the actual Moment that the Doctor used in the 50th special to end the Time War, they had the War Doctor’s actual TARDIS, the interior of the One’s TARDIS as well as Nine and Ten’s TARDIS, they had an exhibit (that I didn’t get a picture of) showing the evolution of Cybermen on Who, and various costumes actually worn by characters. It was just brilliant.

 You’ll soon realize that though there are a couple of TARDIS interiors to explore, you can’t enter any of the phone boxes. You’ll assume there are two reasons for this.

me and TARDIS

The first reason being that the TARDISes are just props, and it could be slightly devastating for fans to enter a TARDIS and realize it’s just a small, dark box. I mean, can you imagine sending this crazed fan into a fake TARDIS? That’s the smile of a chick hardcore fangirling over all the Who stuff around her, tired from walking with her dang backpack, and feet aching from the blisters she got from her stupid (but oh-so adorable) boots. She looks unstable enough that a disappointment like a fake TARDIS might just send her over the edge…

Of course, the other reason they may not have let us into any of the phone boxes (and there were several–the one pictured is from the lobby, but the museum itself had quite a few of the different phone boxes we’ve seen over the years) is because they are actual, functioning TARDISes. The reason the Doctor didn’t jump into my Experience was because he had merely parked his TARDIS at the museum and was off saving the world. Of course, it all makes sense now.

You will find that, unsurprisingly, the museum exit is through the gift shop. You will want to buy everything, and this will not surprise you either. What will surprise you is that you will not be able to afford any of the pretty things.

i'm poor

Everything is wonderful and beautiful, but hella expensive. If you want to buy something from the gift shop, save up. It makes it a bit worse because, at least when I was there, the US dollar was worth less than the pound making everything doubly expensive for me. Lame.

You will think the entrance to Torchwood/Ianto’s Door/Millennium Centre will be right behind the Experience. It isn’t, and because you aren’t feeling great, you’ll resign yourself to not seeing it and hop on the Number 6 bus to return to the train station. Literally the very next stop (or two stops, I can’t recall now) will be at the Millennium Centre and Mermaid Quay. Frustrated but ultimately too tired to leave the bus (and lacking another 1 pound 80 to get back on the bus), you will simply snap a picture from your seat.

Torchwood Pic

I call this picture: Good Enough.

Really though, this whole area isn’t too far from the Experience if you’re walking, and it’s even shorter if you’re taking the bus. This building is called the Millennium Centre, which you can find in Roald Dahl’s Pass. Apparently there are various Doctor Who/Torchwood things all around here. Ianto’s door (which is now apparently a bit of a Torchwood shrine to Ianto and others who died on the show) is near the location where the speedboats land on Mermaid Quay. Also, you might have picked this up from your viewings of Doctor Who/Torchwood, but just in case: quay is pronounced “key”, not “kway”.

Ultimately, it will be one of your favorite moments from the trip.

missy doctor who squee

Seriously, the entire thing will be a giant celebration of Doctor Who with other people who love the series just as much as you do. It was, without a doubt, one of my favorite moments from the trip.

Have you been to the Doctor Who Experience? What did you think of it? Are you planning a trip to go out there sometime soon? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Everyday Cosplay: Ashildr/Me

I was so excited about Maisie Williams’ role on Doctor Who as Ashildr (who prefers to go by “Me” later in her life). Her story was fascinating, heartbreaking, and the end of it had me hoping that she’d get her own spin-off (no spoilers here). While that isn’t likely to happen, I still LOVE her..though I have to admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of her style for much of her story line.

Then, in what was likely the last time we’ll ever see Ashildr on our Whovian screens, she wore this outfit.

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Seriously, I LOVE this outfit and this character SO MUCH. So, to pay homage to one of my Whovian faves, I decided I’d focus my everyday cosplay look on her for the day. Check it out:

Everyday Ashildr/Me

 

 

What did you think of Ashlidr? Do you think we’ll see her again, despite what Maisie herself has said (I mean, we saw Sarah Jane again, we can see Ashildr again, right?). Let me know what you think in the comments!

The Rise of the Tragic Christmas Special

Haven’t watched “The Husbands of River Song” just yet? Then be warned…

spoilers

I have mixed feelings about the Doctor Who Christmas specials. Like I’ve said in the past, the episodes are often hit-or-miss for me. Usually they don’t have a regular companion, and the stories don’t play much into the larger storymline of that particular Doctor. Really, that’s the whole point of the special. It’s a fun adventure with the Doctor to help give you some Gallifreyan holiday cheer.

Of course, there’s also another sort of Doctor Who Christmas special, and that’s the special utterly breaks your heart. For the past three years now, we’ve had specials that are quite sad on different levels. We’ve had Eleven’s regeneration, the almost-final episode of Clara (that ended up being Danny Pink’s official, final episode), and this year marked what is likely River Song’s last episode (you never know with River–she’s so timey-wimey it’s not totally unrealistic for us to hope to see her again). Before that, we also had Ten’s regeneration happen over Christmas as well as feels-inducing “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe” and “The Snowmen”. With Capaldi staring down his third season as the Doctor, rumors are beginning to fly that this may be his last season as our favorite Time Lord, which means we could have another tragic Christmas special in 2o16.

Capaldi

Seriously, can we NOT talk about regeneration? I feel like Capaldi JUST started…

While I get that having a Doctor regenerate in the Christmas special is the easiest option for everyone involved–remember Eccleston regenerated prior to the Christmas special, so Tennant’s first episode was a Christmas special which made the Christmas special a bit tough since he spent a majority of the episode regenerating–it can really put a bit of a dark cloud over the Christmas special. Still, I’ve said before that those MOTW-style Christmas specials often don’t stick with me much past the final credits. Though I HATE re-watching Tennant and Smith’s regeneration episodes, I can’t deny that those are solid episodes. And “Husbands of River Song” and “Last Christmas“? Both of those episodes are sad, but I think those are two of my favorite specials.

We’ve had three years of sad specials, and it looks like we’re in for another next year. So my question is: how do we feel about the rise of the sad Christmas special? It’s no secret that Doctor Who, for all of its silliness and frivolity, can be a bit of a gut-wrencher. For instance: Van Gogh, Bad Wolf Bay, “Angels Take Manhattan”, Melody Pond, Donna-freaking-Noble…this show likes to rip out our hearts on the regular. So a Christmas special that is sad isn’t necessarily an escape from the norm, but does adding that melancholy touch to the special ruin what makes it unique? Should the special simply be a fun adventure that isn’t important to the main timeline, or is it good for big events like companions final episodes and regenerations to happen at Christmas?

When the show had the split-season format, it made a lot more sense for the Christmas special to not offer fans closure on major plot lines from the season. It didn’t matter if anything vital to the season’s story arc addressed, because part two of that season was only a few months away. Closure and big plot events would be handled in the latter half of the season. Now though, the Christmas special is acting a sort of unofficial season finale (even though the episode prior to the special is officially billed as the finale). Since the seasons aren’t split anymore, I think it’s important for the Christmas special to tie in to the main season a bit more.

Certainly this year’s special didn’t have much to do with the events of season nine. Clara’s final episode had already happened, an we hadn’t seen River since the days of Eleven, but I think we all knew this episode was coming at some point since we never saw the Doctor give River a screwdriver. However, I think it was a big deal to have the Doctor bid River what is likely their final farewell, especially since it came on the heels of losing Clara (can we talk about how much I loved the TARDIS trying to cheer the Doctor up by putting hologram antlers on his head?). So while River didn’t directly tie into this season, she’s always a vital part of the Doctor’s story. Taking her to the Singing Towers of Darillium made him think about the people he loves, how he loves and treats those important to him.

I love it that the Christmas specials are getting a bit weightier. While I definitely don’t want every special to be soul-crushing, episodes like this one and “Last Christmas” are great because they’re vitally important to the Doctor’s story as a whole, they contain companions we know and care about, and the adventures aren’t stories to just fill the logbooks of the TARDIS–their stories have an impact that reaches far beyond that particular episode. For instance, did you catch when the Doctor told River the same thing Danny told Clara in the 2014 Christmas special?

Danny Pink

With the re-jiggering of the season’s structure, I think making the Christmas specials pack more of an emotional punch only makes the show stronger as a whole. I still may be on the fence on making us watch the Doctor regenerate on Christmas, but I love that the specials have had stories and characters that reach far beyond the sixty minutes of the special. And if the show runners can give us excellent, non-regeneration specials like “The Husbands of River Song” and “Last Christmas”, I’m definitely on board with more feels-heavy specials.

What did you think of this year’s Christmas special? Are you happy with Christmas specials that are a bit sadder and have more of a tie in to the season’s story line, or do you want the show to go back to the one-off Christmas special style? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Doctor Who on the Big Screen!

Get ready, you guys. Doctor Who is returning to the big screen–in 3D–for a special screening of “Dark Water” and “Death in Heaven“, a special season 9 prequel (called The Doctor’s Meditation), AND an interview with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman hosted by Wil Wheaton. This two night event is coming to theaters September 15-16, just to get you ready for the season 9 premiere on September 19. Here’s the scoop:

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BBC Worldwide North America and Fathom Events announce the return of the longest running sci-fi television series, Doctor Who, to the big screen for a two-night special theatrical event, Doctor Who: Dark Water/Death in Heaven in spectacular 3D, starring Peter Capaldi. Doctor Who: Dark Water/Death in Heaven, the show’s two-part eighth season finale, will be presented in RealD™ 3D and Dolby Atmos sound (where available) on September 15 and 16  at 7:30 p.m. (local time). The event will feature The Doctor’s Meditation  – a special prequel scene to the first episode of season nine – and an exclusive interview with Doctor Who stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, hosted by Wil Wheaton (Big Bang Theory, Star Trek: Nemesis), in addition to the two-part season eight finale.

Tickets for Doctor Who: Dark Water/Death in Heaven in 3D can be purchased online beginning Friday, July 31 by visitingwww.FathomEvents.com, or participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in approximately 700 movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website(theaters and participants are subject to change).

“We love bringing Doctor Who events to theaters and seeing the fans come out in full force,” said Fathom Events VP of Programming Kymberli Frueh. “This time fans get the added excitement of seeing all the action in 3D with exclusive bonus content not available anywhere else.”

“After the enormous success of the 50th Anniversary and season eight premiere – both number one alternative cinema events, two years in a row – we decided to bring the Doctor back to the big screen in 3D so Whovians across the country can have a full immersive experience of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. The season eight finale, along with an exclusive interview with Peter and Jenna is the perfect way to get fans ready for the upcoming premiere of new season on BBC AMERICA,” said Soumya Sriraman, EVP Film, Home Entertainment, and Licensing for BBC Worldwide North America.

In this epic two-part finale, the Doctor comes face-to-face with the mysterious Missy, and an impossible choice looms. With Cybermen on the streets of London, old friends unite against old enemies, and the Doctor takes to the air in a startling new role.

The new season of Doctor Who premieres Saturday, September 19 on BBC AMERICA.

Are you as excited as I am for Doctor Who season 9? If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, be sure to check it out below!

Will you be going to see Doctor Who on the big screen? What do you think of the new season? Let me know your Whovian thoughts in the comments! 

SDCC News: Hunger Games and Doctor Who

San Deigo Comic Con is in full swing, and with it comes new trailers! As we all figured yesterday, we got a message from Panem’s District 13 in the Hunger Games panel today. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure!

UNITE

I’ll be honest, I was hoping for a bit of movie footage, but OH MY WORD, this is such an awesome clip! Where do I sign up to fight for District 13, because that propo GOT ME PUMPED! Seriously, is it November yet???

Of course, this isn’t just a Hunger Games party. We ALSO were blessed with a trailer for Doctor Who season 9! LOOK!!!

Guys, I don’t know what I’m more excited about, the return of Missy, the Doctor donning shades and playing the guitar, or him shouting, “I’m the Doctor, and I save people.” I don’t think Twelve will ever be as fluffy as Eleven, but I think we’re going to get a kinder Doctor this season, and I”m ready for it.

Also, can we just talk about Maisie Williams bit in the trailer? I thought she would be a random, one-off companion, but it seems like she knows the Doctor. Who is she? Is she a regeneration of River Song? Is she the Doctor’s granddaughter from Classic Who? Is she the Doctor’s daughter? Is she another Time Lord?

Let me know what you think about the trailers and your guesses to who Maisie Williams will be playing. Mockingjay Part II hits theaters on November 2, and Doctor Who returns to the BBC and BBC America on September 9!

A Doctor Who Book Review: The Crawling Terror

The best way to prep you for this book review is to provide you with this quote from the book:

“Well, I doubt you’ll ever see a bigger insect.”

So if you’re squeamish when it comes to spiders–even if it’s only talking about spiders–this one might not be for you. You’ve been warned.

crawling terrorYou certainly won’t find bigger insects than the ones found in Mike Tucker’s Doctor Who novel, The Crawling Terror. You thought the spiders were bad in the Doctor Who episode “Kill the Moon“? Yeah, those alien bugs have got nothing on the crawling harbingers of doom that scuttle around in The Crawling Terror.

Here’s a basic synopsis of the book:

Gabby Nichols is putting her son to bed when she hears her daughter cry out. ‘Mummy there’s a daddy longlegs in my room!’ Then the screaming starts… Alan Travers is heading home from the pub when something rushes his face – a  spider’s web. Then something huge and deadly lumbers from the shadows… Kevin Alperton is on his way to school when he is attacked by a mosquito. A big one. Then things get dangerous.

But it isn’t the dead man cocooned inside a huge mass of web that worries the Doctor. It isn’t the swarming, mutated insects that make him nervous. It isn’t an old man’s garbled memories of past dangers that intrigue him.

With the village cut off from the outside world, and the insects becoming more and more dangerous, the Doctor knows that no one is safe. Not unless he can decode the strange symbols engraved on an ancient stone circle, and unravel a mystery dating back to the Second World War.

This book was actually the very first Doctor Who novel that I had ever read, and I have to say that I utterly enjoyed it. Sure, I wish I had picked up one that wasn’t literally filled to bursting with spiders, but the book was awesome. I’m always very dubious of novel spin-offs of television shows or movies that I love, as I fear that they will just be a cheap knock-off of the movie or show. However, this book has definitely proved to me that my prejudices were unfounded–at least for Doctor Who novels. This felt like an actual episode of Doctor Who. Tucker was able to brilliantly capture Clara and Twelve’s tone in the dialogue, and I could practically hear Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi speaking as I read.

In short, this book is a must-read for Doctor Who fans (but again, probably not for the severe arachnophobes among us). Mike Tucker absolutely nails the tone of Doctor Who and he is able to translate that seamlessly to the page. It’s a fun and fast read, and highly recommended.

So if you’re like me and you’re a bit skeptical of the Doctor Who novels, don’t be. Check out The Crawling Terror or other Doctor Who novels today. Seriously…

lasagna…check ’em out. You won’t regret it!

Have you read any Doctor Who novels? Do you love them or hate them? If you love them, which are your favorites? Give me your thoughts and recommendations in the comments!

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Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review

12 Reasons I Loved The Doctor Who Christmas Special

***Warning to all of those not caught up on Doctor Who*** 

Spoilers

Last year, the Doctor Who Christmas special was a Christmas-ruiner that had me in an endless loop of hardcore ugly-crying.

raggedyman goodnight

To this very day, I cannot watch this episode without bursting into ugly, horrible tears. So I was quite concerned when rumors started breaking that this Christmas we would have another downer with the departure of Clara Oswald. Mercifully, we avoided having another Christmas-ruining, heartbreaking Christmas special. Actually, as someone who generally doesn’t care much for the Christmas specials, I was actually quite a fan of this year’s special. Apart from the plot itself (timey-wimey, alien-infused Inception? Yes, please), here are 12 reasons–in no particular order–why I loved the Christmas special:

oswin

1. Clara is sticking around! This one is the big one, so I thought I’d get it out of the way right off the bat. I am so very happy that she isn’t leaving the show. I was just started to get attached and interested in her character and her relationship with Twelve. It would have been such a shame to shut that down before the two of them really had a chance to become really close buddies. Of course, her sticking around another season only means her departure will be that much more tragic (and could very likely happen next Christmas since she’s on board for the whole of season 9), but that’s for Future Kendall to worry about.

nick frost santa

2. Nick Frost as Santa is everything. Frost was a brilliant Santa. He brought a good measure of heart, sass, and fun into the character. His portrayal was exactly as I would like to image Santa would really be–er–how he really is.

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3. Twelve. It was subtle, but Clara picking 12 packed a big feels punch for me. If you’ll recall in the episode “The Bells of St. John”, when she asks the boy she is nannying what chapter the boy is on, he responds saying he’s on chapter 10. She then says “Eleven’s the best. You’ll cry your eyes out.” I miss Matt Smith just as much as the next Raggedy Man fan, but I’m so glad to see that Clara is starting to warm up to Twelve just as much as I am.

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4. Facing your fears by dancing. It was a brief moment, but I loved it just the same. Her coping methods spoke to me on a spiritual level.

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5. The Doctor is still as tactless as ever. Clara may be sticking around, and the Doctor may be finally climbing down from his high horse, but Twelve will never be the gooey teddy bear of a man that Eleven was. I have to be honest, I kind of like it that way.

christmas cracker

6. The nod to Trenzalore. Remember back with Eleven was crazy old, prior to his regeneration, and Clara had to help him open the Christmas cracker? I sure do. It was very sweet to see the Doctor care for Clara in her old age like she cared for him when he was old. He’ll always be rough around the edges, but he will always love Clara. It was also terribly sweet that he kept telling her that he didn’t notice the drastic change in her appearance as Old Clara.

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7. The Doctor’s soft spot for Clara. I am loving their shift in relationship. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Doctor have a companion he was just mates with. Their friendship is just too cute, and the way the Doctor acted around Clara during the special–especially given how rude he had been to her all season–just makes my heart grow two sizes.

8. Alien jokes. Because the Doctor looks like a human, the show doesn’t always use the opportunities it has to crack a bunch of alien jokes. Happily, they made a TON of alien jokes, my favorite pictured above, in the Christmas special.

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9. Santa vs. The Doctor. Even though he turned out to be a product of everyone’s dream, I loved watching the Doctor and Santa square off.

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10. Danny Pink. I loved him, I miss him, and I’m so sad that he’s gone. I’m glad we got a bit more time with him. I’m gonna go ahead and begin my five minutes of properly missing Danny now…

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11. Beardy-weirdy. Probably the best Doctor-ism since “wibbley, wobbley, timey, wimey”.

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12. Did I mention that Clara is staying??? Seriously, I am so thrilled that we’ve not seen the last of her. She’s amazing, and I can’t wait to see how they continue to grow her character.

What did you think of the Christmas special? Let me know in the comments! 

Cinema Blend Post: Doctor Who Christmas Special Trailer

Christmas Day is inching closer, and that means that we’re one day closer to the Doctor Who Christmas special! I’ve already posted a clip from the Doctor Who Christmas special, and now I’m over at Cinema Blend with the official trailer for the special. I hope you’ll join me over there to check it out!

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The big question circling this year’s Christmas special is, of course, the fate of Clara Oswald. Will she continue travelling with the Doctor into the coming year, or will the Christmas special be her last hurrah? The official word from the BBC is that we’ll have to wait and watch the special to find out. However, I’ve got to say after watching Clara try to unsuccessfully erase the words “you are dying” from that chalkboard in the trailer, I’m pretty concerned for her fate.

Rumors had been circulating over the summer that Clara would be done travelling with the Doctor after this year’s Christmas special. After the Season 8 finale, however, the internet starting lighting up with more rumors that actress Jenna Louise-Coleman had gone back on her choice to leave the show…

Read the rest and see the “Last Christmas” trailer over at Cinema Blend!

Cinema Blend Post: Clara’s Fate on Doctor Who Is Unclear

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Hey, guys! I’m at Cinema Blend talking about Clara’s future on Doctor Who. After the series 8 finale (check my recap of Dark Water and A Death in Heaven) and several announcements in the press, it seemed like her days on the TARDIS might be numbered. However, after the release of the Christmas special sneak peek, Whovians started to wonder if Clara was indeed nearing the end of her run as companion. There were some interesting developments in the press today that have me even more curious. I’m talking about it at Cinema Blend!

We’ve been talking for months about the potential departure of Jenna Louise-Colemanfrom Doctor Who, and after the Season 8 finale, it seemed as though Clara’s days in the TARDIS were numbered. However, after Clara popped back up in the sneak peek for the Christmas special, some Whovians have started to wonder if we’ve really seen the last of Clara Oswald. It looks like we will have an official answer on Clara’s future in the TARDIS when we watch the Christmas special!

While Mirror UK ran a story this morning stating that Coleman will officially stay put as the Doctor’s companion, the new is nothing but a rumor at this point. When Radio Times contacted the BBC, a spokesperson for the network said…

Read the rest over at Cinema Blend! 

What do you think about Clara’s future on the show? Are you a fan of Clara or are you ready to see her go? Let me know in the comments!