HEAR YE, HEAR YE! Gather round for some Doctor Who news bites! Today we feature Peter Capaldi’s honors from the Royal Television Society of Scotland, the debate between using groups of writers versus a single writer to pen a show, a review of Paul McGann in Chekhov’s Three Sisters, and some new Who merchandise including some interesting takes on Legos…
Capaldi Honoured By Scotland
As if winning the coveted job of playing the Doctor wasn’t enough, the soon-to-be Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi was recently honoured by the Royal Television Society of Scotland for his many contributions to the television landscape of the UK.
With many roles and projects to his credit including the recent The Musketeers and what has been his most well known role on The Thick Of It, Capaldi has done many things in the entertainment world, from acting to writing to directing. He even has an Oscar to his credit.
In speaking to why Capaldi was chosen for the RTS Award, the jury had this to say -
An acclaimed writer, performer and director, Peter has achieved phenomenal success at home and abroad. Original, memorable, engaging and definitive – his contribution to television has been exceptional, and the committee feel he is a worthy and much deserved winner of this inaugural award.
Is it any wonder why he was chosen?!
(via Unreality Primetime)
Writing Teams or Solo Scribes?
Which model really works best? Is it the group of writers sitting around, discussing the on going plot lines and development of characters to create just one episode at a time in a 22 episode season like is frequently done in America or is it the show written by a single author for a much shorter season, sometimes just 6 or 8 episodes, like is common in Britian?
Variety’s Debra Birnbaum posed this question to a number of television writers and producers on both sides of the pond.
While having a group of writers can be a more expensive proposition, shows as big as the likes of Doctor Who are so large that a single scribe would have a hard time keeping every piece of the on-going story together. But with shows like Downton Abbey or Sherlock, a single writer’s vision for a character really can shine through.
Who’s head writer and showrunner Steven Moffat has had the experience with both types of productions, with a writer’s room model on Doctor Who and most recently having a separate, single writer, for each episode of Sherlock (which you could argue was sort of a hybrid of the multiple vs single writer models)
I don’t think the writers’ room and the showrunner model exists as a creative response as much as a necessity… How else would you imagine getting it all done?
When writers are left to focus on the story of the show, they can concentrate better and that leads to better shows. Gareth Neame, the producing partner of Julian Fellowes – who writes all of the episodes of the acclaimed Downton Abbey himself – says that’s exactly how it should be.
A lot of other parts of the making of the show can be taken off his hands so he can concentrate on the writing. That’s our system. The reason why our show works is that Julian isn’t being pulled into all of the other parts of the production.
The British model is much more like the film model, where the producer’s job is to find a property, put together an idea and a writer, and commission a writer to write that script. It’s much more like a film producer. The British writer is much more like the writer of a screenplay. He really doesn’t tend to have other responsibilities on the show besides the script.
It’s interesting to see that the British model has begun to influence American television. Shows on cable networks now regularly do not follow the traditional 22 episode schedule and leave the number of shows seeming up to how many it takes to fully allow the story to be told. I can think of a number of more recent US shows with long running story arcs like Heroes and Lost that would have been quite different had they only had 10 or 12 episodes to tell their story.
Police Box Bird Feeder
Looking for a Whovian decoration for your favorite outdoor feathered friends? How about giving them their own TARDIS?
The Doctor Does Chekhov
Did you catch Paul McGann in Chekhov’s Three Sisters at the Southwark Playhouse?
The show recently completed it’s run of an updated version of the Russian classic. Anya Reiss’ adaptation set the classic around a British embassy located someplace in the world in the middle of unrest, though where was never exactly mentioned.
Paul McGann played Vershinin, the commanding officer who falls for the charms of Masha, one of the titular sisters, played by Emily Taffe. Jonathan Bazz reviewed the show, saying of McGann,
[he brought] a clipped maturity to the role… the evident fondness he displays for the world that the three women have created in exile is a gem of understatement in a classy performance. McGann’s name on the bill hints at a star quality performance and he does not disappoint.
While I was not privileged to take in a performance, I would think that McGann would give nothing less than a star quality performance, He has a grace about him that suits to varied roles, whether it be the quirky Doctor or a Russian officer.
Lego and Doctor Who
If you’ve been keeping up with all of the Whovian merchandise out there, you might know that while there are Lego mini figure sets for various fan favorites like Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, and Batman, there is not an official Lego set for Doctor Who. All official minifigs and playsets are made by Character Options and while they work quite well with Legos, there are some in the fandom that would like to see Lego acknowledge how popular Who has become and create minifigs for the Doctor, his companions, and the TARDIS.
Until that happens, there are a number of sources for custom made mini figures for various Doctors and companions.
MiniFigsMe is one such source. The company specialises in making custom Lego mini figures for the general public. Yearn to have your own personal mimifig? Want to give one to someone as a gift? MiniFigMe has a wide range of everything you need to create your own custom figure, from different types of hair and clothing and all sorts of accessories.
The company has added a version of the 6th Doctor to their line of various Doctors including black and white versions of the 1st and 2nd Doctors and a spiky haired vs flat haired 10th Doctor.
In other Lego Whovian news, Anthony Stackhouse would love to see Lego officially approve his design for a different type of Lego set. He has created a portrait of the Eleventh Doctor out of Lego bricks.
The portrait is made out of 4,000 Lego bricks and reportedly took Stackhouse six weeks to construct! Along with a number of other portrait designs, the Eleventh Doctor is up for a vote on the official Lego Ideas site. As of writing this, the set only had about 50 or so supporters and needs 10,000 votes to be accepted for official review so if you’d love to see this as an official Lego product, get voting!
And if you don’t know, there are two Doctor Who themed sets currently in review by Lego for possible production! They recently announced a new female scientists set but there is still hope that there might be an official DW set in the future!