Okay, last Doctor Who post for a bit. This covers some stuff revealed in San Diego over the weekend, and other announcements that have emerged during the same period from entities who weren’t in San Diego over the weekend. Confused yet? Sure you are. Some of this info may be spoileresque.
- Tennant’s Doctor Who finale: It had already leaked out that Tennant’s finale will involve Donna (Catherine Tate), Wilfred (Bernard Cribbins, who actually gets to travel in the TARDIS this time) and the Master (John Simm). But apparently Timothy Dalton is in it as well as – ready for this – a Time Lord prosecutor putting the Doctor on trial. It would seem that the Time Lords aren’t as extinct as we thought they were. The episode is called The End Of Time.
Now, follow my logic here as I take a wild stab in the dark at the identity of Dalton’s character. Patterns emerge with the titles released in the “classic” Doctor Who DVD range if you pay close attention; the box set which introduced Anthony Ainley as the Master was released mere months before John Simm brought the character back. Around the time Martha left the TARDIS and yet was rumored to be returning the following season, a box set was released in which Tegan was left behind on Earth at the end of one season and rejoined the TARDIS at the beginning of the next. The Davros box set presaged that character’s reappearance by mere months. Certain Sontaran stories from the show’s past happened to hit the stores right around the time the Sontarans popped up again.
What box set was released earlier this year? The Trial Of A Time Lord – i.e. the last time the Doctor was put on trial by a Time Lord prosecutor. Could Timothy Dalton be playing the same character? I had always considered that particular thread of Doctor Who continuity to be one that fandom had collectively allowed to fade into obscurity, but might RTD actually have the stones to reintroduce a character of dubious popularity from a story that, put bluntly, isn’t the most fondly remembered in the series’ history? On the other hand, wouldn’t that be a nightmarish situation if the Time Lords came out of hiding, led by that particular character? One wonders. I could be wrong though. For example, consider the following case in point…
- No movie announcement. I was dead wrong on this one. The thing is, there was so much buzz about an announcement of a Tennant/Piper big-screen Doctor Who adventure that I kinda let myself believe it. No such announcement was made; I have a friend who was at the Doctor Who panel, and while trailers for upcoming specials were shown, the guests of honor made it clear that no movie had been announced, though they admitted that the sheer amount of speculation was enough to make them wonder if it wasn’t a good idea…
- K-9 news. Filming has finished on the aimed-at-the-younger-crowd spinoff “K-9,” produced in Australia with Bob Baker, one of K-9’s creators, as one of the executive producers. The series will not, however, debut until next year. (Crud – I would’ve welcomed it in this almost Who-free year.) Biggest K-9 news so far? John Leeson is aboard as the voice of K-9 for all 26 (!!) episodes.
The original K-9 model will be seen in early scenes of the first episode, before it reconfigures itself into the newfangled model. Apparently, unlike what was announced previously, K-9 will tie back into Doctor Who inasmuch as this K-9 is the original K-9 Mk I, which stayed on Gallifrey with Leela. The story of how it came to not be on Gallifrey when the planet was destroyed begs some explanation, but I’d be surprised if the series ever goes further into it than that; I’ll be surprised if that backstory is actually in the text of any given episode, as opposed to being one of those pre-publicity things to get the fans excited.
- SJA news. Filming is also finished – quite some time ago, in fact – on the third season of The Sarah Jane Adventures, which should premiere as soon as September. David Tennant appears as the Doctor in the third two-parter of the season, The Wedding Of Sarah Jane Smith, and he’s fully involved in the story, not just putting in a cameo appearance; also appearing in that one will be Nigel Havers. K-9 – voiced, again, by John Leeson – is also a major presence in the season, appearing in most of the episodes and actually tagging along with the team rather than just popping up as a deux ex machina (thank God – I’m not the biggest K-9 fan in the world, but the character deserves better than that). Also putting in appearances in the third season will be the Slitheen (okay, aren’t we done with them yet?), the Judoon and the Trickster. Apparently plans are afoot for a fourth season, though it hasn’t officially been ordered by the BBC.
- Big Finish does Tegan. Sounds naughty, eh? More details have emerged about the three-story cycle with Janet Fielding aboard as Tegan. It’s been confirmed that these will be a “mini-season” with Peter Davison, as well as Sarah Sutton and Mark Strickson as Nyssa and Turlough. As virtually all of Big Finish’s stories to date have featured, at most, only one TV companion at a time, this is a big break with the format; it also means that all three stories will, out of necessity, be sandwiched in between Mawdryn Undead and Terminus in season 20 (Turlough joins at the end of Mawdryn, and Nyssa leaves at the end of Terminus). This also raises the intriguing possibility of the Black Guardian figuring into the proceedings, since Turlough at that point is still in the midst of his deal with that particular devil. The presence of Nyssa and Turlough suddenly has me a lot more interested in these stories.
- Pertwee action figures and more: The third Doctor figures were not for sale at SDCC, only display items in a case (damn!). Pre-orders are already being taken, with a delivery date on both sides of the Atlantic set at the end of October (thank God, because I ran up enough of a bill with my SDCC “mystery shopper” as it is…); the bad news is that the third Doctor packs will still be priced like they’re on the show floor in San Diego: $40 each. Ouch!! Also seen at SDCC: yet another sixth Doctor variant, this time putting Colin Baker’s head on a dirtied-up version of Peter Davison’s body, for a “post-regeneration sixth Doctor” figure; apparently this will be a US exclusive. UK fans are decrying this, but honestly, and maybe I can only get away with saying this because I’m not a collection completist, I’m wondering “why complain?” It’s a daft variation. Worse yet, the existing two sixth Doctors – the TV version and the blue-coated Big Finish version – are shorter than the fifth Doctor in plastic form. In plastic at least, Peter Davison is considerably taller than Colin Baker; this cheapo head-swap variant will result in a Colin Baker that’s taller than the other Colin Bakers. Oh, what’s that? His body is still morphing from the regeneration? Yeah. Right. Thanks, but I’m saving my money for Mr. Pertwee and Mr. Pertwee.
Okay, that’s all the news. Here are some in-package shots of the first and second Doctor figure packs, courtesy of John Morrison:
Be expecting me to rave about these when mine show up in the mailbox. John apparently has them already, of which I’ve got to admit the odd pang of jealousy. 😀
Special thanks to Kristine for her infinite patience with my ever-expanding shopping list, and to John for plentiful info and photos. I promise I’ll stop blogging Doctor Who for a little bit – I have to let the site’s review sections do some of the work, right?