Doctor Who News Former Doctor Who star Billie Piper

Published on June 6th, 2014 | by Rebecca Crockett

An Eighth Season One Too Many? Piper A Pop Star Again? Tom’s Horrific Who?

Hello, dear reader, and welcome to another Doctor Who News Blast, where we ask: is there a curse on sci-fi shows after their seventh season? Is Billie Piper thinking about getting back to singing? Should Doctor Who be scary? Tom Baker says yes! Also, look out for Peter Capaldi’s sneaky little cameo…

Could Series 8 Be Terrible? The History of Modern Sci-fi Says YES!

Seven seasons. That’s how long some of the best science fiction shows of the last 30 years have lasted before they ended their first, non-syndication runs. Others told their stories in fewer seasons, and some lasted way longer than they should have, and in the end, the show wasn’t as good as when it started.

So should the same go for Doctor Who? Junkee says maybe it should be, but maybe not.

Most science fiction shows have an end, a goal set forth from the beginning of the show that the characters must reach. Voyager was trying to get back to Earth, Battlestar Galactica was trying to find it. Dr. Sam Beckett was trying to finally leap home and back into his own life. A good show knows when that goal has been or needs to be reached and when it’s time for the story to end. When a show doesn’t do that, we get those “jumping the shark” moments that are so crazy. insane, and just make absolutely no sense to the show as a whole.

Has Doctor Who already gotten there? There were episodes in Series 7 that seemed odd and outlandish even for Doctor Who. And with the whole having-to-violently-end-the-Time-War backstory of the 9th Doctor now essentially ret-con’d because of The Moment and The Day Of The Doctor, what’s left for our beloved Time Lord to do other than look for his home planet? And now that we know why the Impossible Girl was so impossible, what will be the continuing reason for Clara to stick around? Only time will tell if Doctor Who will continue to be the great and amazing show we know it can be or if it’s all downhill from here…

(Yes, we know the show has been around for 50 years. It’s an anomaly in that sense. But in those 50 years while it was still airing before the Dark Times, it had some pretty low, what-were-they-thinking moments. More than you can count with all your fingers and toes…)

Billie Piper A Pop Star Again?

Before she was flying through time and space with the Doctor, Billie Piper was a pop star. She began her showbiz career as a singer at age 15, but left that part of the business in 2003 for acting.

In speaking with British magazine Seven Days, Piper says she doesn’t ever want to go back.

I haven’t been watching The Big Reunion. [The show follows those making musical comebacks] I saw a bit of it and I found it was a bit of a frightening flashback. It’s all quite moody and sad, so much of it. I’d never go on it. I’d never be tempted to go back into singing. That’s it.

A shame, or a relief?

Tom Baker On The Horrific Side of Doctor Who And Sharing The Role

 

Since April, Doctor Who has been airing on the Horror Channel. Tom Baker thinks it’s a good fit.

In an interview with TV Choice, Baker talks about, among other things, the horror and frightening aspects of Who and about having to share the role of the Doctor with other actors.

Tom, now that Doctor Who has found a home on the Horror channel, which of your stories are the most horror-filled and why?
I thought they were all great comedy when I was doing it. But they’re very obvious aren’t they? It’s going to be Talons of Weng Chiang [a Victorian horror, first aired in 1977], stuff like that. My God, they’ve taken their time to discover the horror, haven’t they? I mean it’s only 32 years since I finished it! Seems like only yesterday.

Do you think Doctor Who should be horrific?
Yes. I think it should be whatever people want it to be. I’m very interested in horror. Not so much now, because horror is an actuality with me. But, yeah, we like to be frightened. We all want to get away from sanity and chastity and virtue. And be frightened. Enter another world. When in reality we want nice neighbours and no crime, don’t we? It’s that lovely area of our imagination that says, ‘Let’s get out of here.’

tom-horrorchannel1Meanwhile, talking about getting to know the other actors that have played the role, Baker says he doesn’t know them all that well. He did like working with Matt Smith for their special little scene in the 50th anniversary…

When you came back and appeared with Matt Smith last year, did you feel proprietorial then?
Well, going to Cardiff [where it's now filmed] on a winter’s morning at 4am couldn’t possibly be fun. But he was nice, you know, and I didn’t understand the cameras anymore because of the HD. I didn’t understand that. I was a bit uneasy. But Matt Smith was a charming young man and we did this little scene, which people liked a lot, that little scene.

Check out the rest of the piece, where Baker also talks about not appearing in the 20th anniversary, what it was like to first get fanmail for playing the Doctor, and about who he thinks his character in the 50th really was. Or, you could check our own interview, from the same day

Peter Capaldi’s Uncredited Cameo

Did YOU hear the Twelfth Doctor on another BBC show?

Capaldi’s wife, Elaine Collins, just happens to be the executive producer for the BBC drama Shetland. The show follows Douglas Henshall’s (Primeval) Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez as he investigates a murder.

It seems a voiceover was needed for a radio weather report for the fifth episode, so the man soon-to-be the Doctor was asked to lend his lovely vocal talents

Fortunately, the weather report didn’t include some of the…extreme…language some of Capaldi’s other characters have been known for…

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About the Author

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Rebecca is new to the Who world, having only recently watched the entire new series in a span of 8 days. She is no stranger to sci-fi though, being a life long Trekkie and has vague memories of seeing the 4th Doctor on US television as a child. When not watching, reading, blogging, or talking about Doctor Who, she is a fan of pop culture and loves movies and books so much she has to keep a list of both so she doesn't forget any of them. She also likes to make attempts at various forms of art including photography and painting. Rebecca is currently working her way through as many classic serials and as many books related to the show that she can find and wishes she could have been with the Doctor and Amy when they met Van Gogh.



16 Responses to An Eighth Season One Too Many? Piper A Pop Star Again? Tom’s Horrific Who?

  1. avatar Nick says:

    Stargate and Smallville all went to 10 series’s but thats over in America. Doctor Who is still getting solid ratings and its fanbase is still growing, why end it? Lets not forget Doctor Who was brought back by a very popular demand after it previously ran for 26 series’s and its something thats become a great part of British Culture.

  2. avatar DonnaM says:

    Agreed there were some… odd is in my mind a polite way of putting it, episodes in series 7 but then so there have been throughout the whole television history of Doctor Who. There were also some, in my opinion, pretty good episodes as well.

    It may even be that with the whole “Last of the Time Lords” malarkey behind us, the show can find a new impetus. And just listen to me, coming over all optimistic! That’s the power of Doctor Who for you :-)

  3. avatar Solonor says:

    As I said, yesterday, the hiatus brings the looneys out of the bin. Should we cancel Doctor Who? WTF?? The only reason this junk is even news is because we don’t have enough Who on our screens.

    • avatar Cynthia Y says:

      I agree! :)

  4. avatar Cynthia Y says:

    “Could Series 8 Be Terrible?”

    Short answer is, No. The reboot Doctor Who is not a “new” show. It’s a continuation of Classic Who so in actuality, it’s not really series 8, it really should be season 35. Of course that is debatable, but to me, it’s still the same show since 1963.

    If Doctor Who was to follow the “rules” of “modern sci-fi” (depends on which era you are referring to) then it would’ve ended long before it even get to reach it’s 50th anniversary. It appears that Doctor Who was meant to be axed several times throughout it’s history, but somehow something is keeping it alive.

    I think the beauty of Doctor Who is the very simple fact that the actor for the main character is allowed to change. And anything can be written for that actor, as long as they keep the backbone of the story intact. The possibilities for this show is endless.

    I can’t equate this show with other sci-fi/fantasy shows for that simple fact. With Doctor Who, when something doesn’t make sense you can sort of explain your way out of it and come up with something to make sense of it. I mean, it’s confusing as it is to explain time travel and paradoxes!

    The main factor, however, is the vision of the current behind-the-scenes staff and where they want to take the story.

    I agree that there have been many Classic Who serials that don’t make sense and should probably have never been produced. However, it did not trend that way and the majority of the serials were actually good (my opinion). I have been catching up on Classic Who and towards the end of the Fourth Doctor I found those serials to be weak and not as exciting. Based on what I have read, some people claim that Doctor Who had slowly gone down the hill since then and so I was worried that I might find the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctor less enjoyable to watch. I was wrong. Once the regeneration happened the interest of the show was renewed for me. JNT’s era with Tom Baker was terrible and I actually did felt the same sentiments as other anti-JNT critics. But JNT with Peter Davison was actually good (despite they still have their differences behind the scenes). The last 3 seasons were a bit iffy at times but I can’t say they were all that terrible. I did find myself enjoying some stories.

    My point is if the producers and writers write the stories in ways that the majority of the audience can accept it does not matter where the story is going. In response to what can the Doctor really do now, I think that’s an open-ended question. When the Doctor first left Gallifrey he wasn’t going anywhere or on a mission for anything, he just wanted to travel and see the universe. However, instead of just travelling for sheer pleasure his TARDIS manages to take him to where he is needed (The Doctor’s Wife?). Why should there be an end to that?

    He just received a new set of regeneration cycle so there will be 12 more regenerations of him and perhaps another 50 years of adventures and getting himself into trouble!

    Why not? And why give the Doctor a mission now (well apart from the fact that his goal is to stop races from killing each other)?

  5. avatar drscoffeecup says:

    American series like those mentioned run for over 20 episodes per season, so in a 7 year run that’s nearly 70 episodes more than Who would have. There’s plenty of Doctor Who adventures to go!

  6. avatar Paul McGann's Cat says:

    Worth remembering that the Star Trek shows had, for the most part, 26 episodes a season – nearly double what Who has had since it’s return. So, from that point of view, Who is onlyup to it’s forth season! ;)

  7. avatar TimeChaser says:

    The assertion is invalid. Doctor Who is not just a ‘television series’ like most others. It is a phenomenon, and icon. It will go on forever! (As it should.)

  8. avatar Mark Stone says:

    8 seasons is too many? SAY WHAT? who is writing this tripe?

  9. avatar Steve Andrew says:

    The whole “seven seasons” thing in sci-fi seems to come from the Next Gen era of Star Trek. So, it’s based on the American idea of TV sci-fi, where all seasons have 20-25 episodes, stick to a rigid schedule every year and tend to run out of steam after around 7 seasons. That’s also an average number, so there are always some series that last longer (the aforementioned Stargate, Smallville and X-Files), some shorter (anything with Scott Bakula, for some reason.)

    American TV, at least in the 80s – 90s was very formulaic and safe. TNG, for all that I adore it, changed very little over its 7-year run. It’s generally accepted that once a show “jumps the shark”, it rarely recovers. (On a related note – has anyone heard the term “growing the beard”? It refers to when a show does a reverse shark-jump and improves. It refers to TNG getting better after Riker grew the beard…)

    Doctor Who is not so easily pigeon-holed and any comparison to a standard American sci-fi show would be pointless. Its longevity speaks for itself, and in that time it has done repeated shark-jumps that would have killed lesser shows. Recasting the main character multiple times, crappy 70s special effects, padding out the thinnest stories to 4 or 6 episodes, contradictory continuity, Colin Baker’s costume, the Kandy Man… and this show has just celebrated its 50th anniversary? It’s as popular as ever, despite media concern-trolling, and thanks to the casting of Peter Capaldi most fans are looking forward to season 8 more than any other. I know I am.

  10. avatar Al says:

    Comparisons to other show’s 8th seasons cannot be made when it comes to Doctor Who. Because in those other examples, you have cases where they’re trying to keep the same cast together, often they lose people, etc. And the shows sometimes thrive, sometimes suffer. Doctor Who becomes a new show whenever the Doctor changes. Has everyone forgotten that it was reported back in 2010 that the BBC was thinking about branding Matt Smith’s first season “Series 1″? They decided not to do so, but the fact they were thinking about it shows how they view the show as being reborn. Funnily enough, Tom Baker stayed for 7 seasons, not 8, so there is some validity to the “7-year rule” of sci-fi. But not in the show as a whole. And anyway, Season 8 of the classic era was the year the UNIT family solidified, The Master was introduced, and the Brigadier made the phrase “Chap with the wings, five rounds rapid” iconic. That pretty much shows there is no reason for “Series” 8 to be any different. And lots of people consider it Season 34 anyway (or 35 if you count the 2008-2010 specials as a separate season), so we’re well beyond Season 8!

  11. avatar lozzer says:

    Doctor Who has an almost total revamp every 4 years. It’s never always the same, and it’s hardly ever set in the same place. It’s nothing to worry about.

  12. avatar drewboynton says:

    I am er, proud (?!) to say that I might have been one of the few(-ish) Americans who knew who Billie Piper was before she was cast in DW. I heard “Honey to the B” on the movie theater sound system after seeing “The Blair Witch Project”…and saw a picture of a young Billie with short black hair! True story! Amazing, I know… ;)

  13. avatar It is the end..... says:

    Dr Who should end after its 7th season? Hasn’t the horse bolted somewhat, given that we’re about to watch season 34?

  14. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    “Is an 8th season too many?” Just because other science fiction shows usually don’t go longer? Come ON. Silly question. Not the least of which because of this show being what it is and what it’s always been. A superior sci-fi show. And it’s a different show depending on the producer and the star in the case of Doctor Who.

    Some might say that it’s a different show with each Doctor over the decades and they’d be mostly right but I’d maintain that the show is also somewhat of a different show with each new producer. Not only did the Eccleston season seem a bit different from from Tennant’s era but I’d say things changed up a bit when Moffat took over and it’s going to be another shift this fall.

    The show was even more dramatically different in the classic era.b the Lambert/Hartnell era with its historicals were a very different show from the Lloyd/Troughton monster era, which was also a totally different show from the Letts/Pertwee present day earth setting.

    Tom Bakers era was almost 3 different TV shows by nature of the changes made by Hinchcliffe, then Williams and worst of all, JNT. Sadly, under the JNT rule, it was pretty much the same show for ten years. But it being a constantly changing show is one of it’s many charms. So let’s ignore the question.

  15. avatar Alan Drucker says:

    It’s hard to hold these feature limits with the 300 + channels looking for programming at this time. If the BBC does not continue i am sure the likes of SYFY or ION playing the reruns will keep this alive for a while… I only hope the production company can keep up with the great stories we have seen this last 8 years…

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