How much Doctor Who are we getting this year?

Series eight of Doctor Who is almost upon us, and we’ll soon get to find out if Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor is a good man.

The BBC, as usual, are being very secretive about anything but guest stars and writers, with info slowly being drip-fed in anticipation of a big launch in August. One thing that remains shrouded in mystery, however, is the actual number of episodes we’ll be seeing this year.

Since 2005, the norm has traditionally been fourteen a year, albeit sometimes split into two shorter runs across the year. In series seven the usual fourteen episodes were joined by two more specials, but split across two years.

Back in October Steven Moffat stated that there would be “at least thirteen episodes” this year. However, it’s unknown whether this includes a Christmas Special or not.

When details of Matt Smith’s exit were leaked early by e-mail last year, the number of episodes for this year was stated as a slightly reduced twelve.

Another interesting factor is the announcement of ‘feature length’ opener Deep Breath. Feature length can mean something the length of The Day of The Doctor (75 minutes), but it could mean longer, perhaps a double-length episode to act as a big tentpole intro for Capaldi?

What is known, is that filming on the two-part finale is underway, bringing the total filmed for this year to eleven. It could be just secrecy, as the production team are playing it closer to their chests this year, particularly after some of last year’s problems with leaks, but, if you pick through what we have been told, no mention has actually been made of any further episodes yet to film. A lot of the round-ups going round at the moment online are more fan supposition based on filming photos and scant information, than cold fact. The truth is, there’s nothing firm been said.

There could be an episode or more yet to go before the cameras, from earlier in the series. Some round-ups suggest an episode ten, written and directed by TBA and TBA. If there is, we know nothing about it; who is writing, directing, who is in it…….it could be a Neil Cross episode that’s been mooted, or, less likely, a Neil Gaiman one. Or one by Frank Cottrell Boyce. If all three, then there’s your fourteen, and that’s presumably not including any Christmas special, as Moffat writes those….

Anyway, before I get carried away, until we hear it from the production team, it’s just conjecture.

So, if there is , say, one other episode to come, that makes twelve.

If a Christmas Special is to follow, then we’re up to thirteen. Does Deep Breath‘s ‘feature length’ status, mean that we will get the same run-time as fourteen episodes spread over thirteen?

Some fans argue that if there is a shorter run, we might see a leaner, more focused series. I’m on the fence about the benefits of that, but it’s also possible that we might have a season the same length as usual, but in a different format.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be exciting finding out. Who keeps count when you’re having fun, anyway?

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Dark Journey Episode 4

This job is all about the perks. When you’re a big time Doctor Who site like TIMD, you get a lot of freebees. Okay, that’s a complete fabrication, I’ve yet to get anything free because of the site, but you know what I did get? An exclusive early listen to episode four of Doctor Who Dark Journey!

Episodes two and three were dark, edgy. As I previously mentioned, I think they were more about building the Andrew Chalmer’s Doctor, hinting at some of the emotional trauma he’s suffered, showing a darker and grittier side. Moving on to number four, entitled Emily Looks To The Stars, it felt like I was in the sun again after being under a dark cloud!

Out of danger and finally having a rare moment of relaxation, Holmes and the Doctor again rekindle the easy camaraderie they had when they met in episode one. They interact like old friends who have known each other their whole lives.  Oh the banter! The first three minutes of this story are the funniest so far in Dark Journey and many of the quips rival some of the best from the new show. Seriously.

“It’s the age old story, lunatic cult member meets girl, girl meets lunatic cult leader. It’s all so romantic.”

To top it all off, they even reference the production staff’s favourite Canadian band, Rush! Don’t get too comfortable and think that this penultimate episode is nothing but warm fluff. Halfway through things start to get intense and it races forward to a conclusion that will have you begging for the next and final episode.

Oh yeah and there’s a great Downton Abbey joke too.

So, if you haven’t started along the Dark Journey yet, what are you waiting for? All the episodes are up online at AMAudioMedia.com and episode four, Emily Looks To The Stars will be up Saturday June 28th at 5:35!

Karen Gillan’s new series drawing closer to a premiere

Karen Gillan is about to star in a new series for ABC in the US. The series is called ‘Selfie’ and from the promo doing the rounds, Karen appears to be the main star of the piece and she appears to be playing a severe narcissist.


It might not be the cup of tea that most Who-fans tune into, but it looks to have the potential to be funny and at a guess, popular. The only thing that’s disappointing is to hear her doing an American accent. This writer would like to see people on the whole using their own accents when working abroad. It works both ways across the pond (did you see what I did there?) lest we forget ‘Evolution of the Daleks’.  Don’t get me started on fake Australian accents.

I reckon I’ll tune in and give it a go. What do you think?

Dark Journey Episode 2

Emotionally shattered after a tragedy, the Doctor arrives in London and becomes companion to Sherlock Holmes in an effort to stop Jack the Ripper’s murderous trail of terror. But is there an even greater evil at work in Victorian England?

This is the premise behind Dark Journey.

Episode one was fast and full of witty dialogue. The plot moved along pretty quickly, Holmes and the Doctor had to come together  and start unraveling the mystery. It had a bit of a light hearted feel, maybe because there was so much banter.

The second installment is very different. Yes, there still is some great interactions between between two of the most brilliant men in all of fiction, but the plot slows down. This second episode is more about emotion, atmosphere and building character than it is about moving the story forward a lot. That’s not to say that the plot doesn’t move forward. It does.  But I don’t think that’s the main point of this episode.

Rather, they start to build up their own version of the Doctor. In the various interviews I have done with the AM Audio guys, they talked about how Andrew Chalmers version of the Doctor is different from the others, how he is darker and we start to see that here. He hints at losing someone he loved and drowns his sorrows in drink after drink at the local pub surrounded by women. Events start to take an emotional toll on him. And I’ve been promised this is just the beginning.

If you haven’t checked out the story yet, what are you waiting for?

Monday Morning News Round Up- June 16

Happy Father’s Day to everyone out there who celebrated yesterday! I know there are a lot of proud dads who love spending time watching Doctor Who with their kids, and a couple of great dads who work on the site, myself and Gary!

So, what did you miss last week? It wasn’t a super busy week, but we did have some cool stuff!

Evil

Not only was it Father’s Day, but there was a birthday to be celebrated last week! That’s right, the omnirumour turned one! Oh I remember when it was so cute and cuddly as a newborn, now it’s running around and throwing toys and generally misbehaving…

Doctor Who Dark Journey!

Episode two of Dark Journey went live on Saturday and stay tuned for our review of that one, but here’s our review of the first episode. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the interview I did with Mike, Andrew and Clayton, be sure to check it out. You can head over to AM Audio Media and listen to the episodes and see a quote from my review as their page header!

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Cartmel Speaks!

Former Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel talks to TIMD’s Martin Ruddock about the omnirumour, what he did and didn’t know, Pip and Jane Baker and a whole host of other interesting topics! Talk a look, you will probably be surprised!

So, that’s what made our news over the past week. Follow us @troughtonsmy

Happy Birthday OMNI!

Oh, doesn’t time fly? One day your baby is just a newborn in tiny clothes that are too big and then before you know it they’re out of diapers and running around the house like crazy. That is the spirit in which I wish the omnirumour a Happy 1st Birthday.

That’s right. One year ago today the news hit the internet. The omnirumour was born. Oh sure, it had been kicking around the dusty ME forums for a while prior to that, but I consider that it’s conception (continuing with my analogy) while it’s true birth was one year ago today.

As we blow the candle out on that cake, and make a wish (we’re all wishing for the same thing, I am sure), I present a repeat for your reading pleasure. Here is a little piece I originally wrote for Doctor Who Worldwide back in January, celebrating a different milestone!

Dr. MEWlove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Omnirumour

January 14th is a little bit of a milestone for me, one that I celebrated quietly on this very site. It’s not really important like my wedding anniversary or my kids birthdays, hell it’s not even something my wife wants me to talk about anymore. That’s because on January 14th my family will have been hearing my omnirumour conspiracies for a whopping seven months.

Oh, I remember June 14th very well. It was one of those warm summer days that always fill me with nostalgia. Even though I’ve been out of school for more than a decade, I still feel happy and optimistic toward the end of the semester. My brain’s hardwired to enjoy those last few weeks in June, remembering the thrill that comes when you’re set free from the confines of class and able to laze about for two months.

So I was already in a great mood when my friend Jamie came in to work. He was a recent Who convert, having spent most of his life thinking the show was more suited for his Dad than for himself. Over the course of a year my enthusiasm for the show and Matt Smith’s tenure in particular, eventually won him over and he gave it a shot, starting with “The Eleventh Hour.” I don’t know if it was love at first sight or not, but he became a fan and we’ve spent many hours discussing new episodes.

On this particular day he dropped the bombshell. “There’s a report on the internet that they found all kinds of lost Doctor Who episodes!” He said gleefully. And I stopped breathing. Literally. Even though he was a fan, Jamie had never delved into the classic series, so he didn’t really know what this news meant to me. Yes, he was aware that there were a number of classic episodes destroyed by the BBC and that my favourite Doctor, Troughton, had lost practically all of his stories. But there was a big difference between our two reactions. To him this was a “oh, that would be cool if they found them” sort of thing.

But to me it was like being struck by lightning.

A few years previous I had been sitting on my bed surfing the web. I was supposed to be writing, trying to finish up a novel that I had been working on for quite a long time. My wife was in the other bedroom trying to get our one year old daughter to sleep. It was always a challenge, the toddler hated going to bed and most nights we would have to rock her to sleep, sometimes spending hours with her in that dark room. I had hit a road block in my editing and decided to waste a little time looking at my favourite Doctor Who news site. My heart stopped when I saw the headline proclaiming that two lost episodes of Doctor Who had been found and screened at the Missing Believed Wiped event. I was so excited I fist pumped the air and hopped up and down. It was only with the utmost self-restraint that I kept myself from barging into my daughter’s bedroom and telling my wife the fantastic news. This was one of the greatest days in my life.

So you can imagine how I felt when suddenly confronted with the possibility that many episodes were found. My emotions ran free and unchecked for a moment and I doubt $50M lottery winners were as excited as I was, hopping up and down and making a complete fool of myself. After a minute I felt the tug of reality and tried to rein everything in. “That would be awesome,” I told him. “But you know you can’t believe everything you hear on the internet.” With extremely limited web access as work, I knew there wasn’t a chance of finding anything out right away. It would have to wait until I got home from work.
Those were some of the longest hours of my life. The clock ticked slower and slower as 5:30 neared, but eventually it was quitting time and I took off for home, ignoring everything and everyone on my way. Once there I burst through the door, side stepping my wife and kids to run straight for the computer, anxiously twitching as I waited for my trusted Doctor Who news site to load up. And I was devastated when it did. There was nothing. No report of missing episodes found. No rumours. Just a boring release about the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

Frustrated I grabbed my phone and sent Jamie a coded text that read “…” That’s it, three dots. We had come up with the response earlier in the day. It was the fastest way I could tell him that he had gotten my hopes up for nothing.

I pouted around the house for a few hours, inconsolable. Yeah, I didn’t really think that the rumours were going to be true, but still… Eight o’clock came around and it was time for the kids to go to bed. I read them a story and tucked them in. With no other distractions I headed back online, determined to find the source of the rumours that Jamie had passed along. It only took me a moment before I traced them back to Bleeding Cool and I laid my eyes on that site for the very first time.

“Will Doctor Who Have A Very Special Surprise For Us In November?” It said and under the headline was a picture from Evil Of The Daleks.

It was a defining moment in my Doctor Who fandom, one that changed my life forever. I abandoned my previous Doctor Who site immediately. No more waiting for official news, no more being completely in the dark. It was time to embrace the speculation and love the omnirumour.

 

That’s the end of my original article. Here we are six months after I wrote that and we’re still no nearer to actually seeing anymore of those episodes. The wait has been hard on a lot of fans, some more than others, but at least something good has come from it. Friendships. I have made several awesome friends over the past few months with DWW and TIMD, and don’t forget about the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group on Facebook. So, even though no more episodes have been announced, many of us are still better off than we were before.

Having said that, I would still like to see some more of those episodes…