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-
(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.’
Meanwhile, 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…