The Infinite Quest

Doctor WhoAfter capturing the notorious galactic criminal Baltazar, the Doctor and his companion Martha learn that he has escaped from prison and is seeking data tapes that will lead to the location of the age-old space ship The Infinite. On the ship, Baltazar will supposedly find his “heart’s desire”. In an effort to head him off, the Doctor and Martha seek out the items themselves, coming up against a space pirate, in the middle of an interplanetary war and even to the prison planet Volag-Noc, which had once held Baltazar. But all is not as it seems and the Doctor must make sure that this time, someone else doesn’t run an end game around him.

written by Alan Barnes
directed by Gary Russell
music by Murray Gold

Cast: David Tennant (The Doctor), Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), Anthony Head (Baltazar), Toby Longworth (Caw / Squawk), Liza Tarbuck (Captain Kaliko), Tom Farrelly (Swabb), Lizzie Hopley (The Mantasphid Queen), Paul Clayton (Mergreass), Steven Meo (Pilot Kelvin), Barney Harwood (Voice of Control), Stephen Greif (Gurney), Dan Morgan (Locke / Warders)

Broadcast from April 2 through June 30, 2007 (parts 1-12 shown during Totally Doctor Who; part 13 shown in omnibus airing only)

Notes: Anthony Head previously appeared in the 10th Doctor story School Reunion and several Doctor Who audio dramas, and narrates the weekly behind-the-scenes series Doctor Who Confidential. The Infinite Quest takes place in an undisclosed period during series 3.

LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey Read More

Dreamland

Doctor WhoUndetectable by the primitive civilization on the planet below, alien spacecraft battle each other above Earth. One combatant survives; the other crashes near Roswell, New Mexico. The year is 1947.

Years later, the Doctor arrives in the TARDIS; strange sightings at Roswell have all but passed into the local folklore. Some, however, are still convinced that something sinister is afoot, including ranch hand Jimmy Stalkingwolf, who the Doctor meets at a diner. A piece of supposed UFO debris on display at the diner catches the Doctor’s eye, and he inadvertently proves that it’s the real thing – men in black suits arrive almost immediately to confiscate it. The Doctor and his new friends run for it and discover that there really are aliens in and around Area 51. Some of them are helpless, and some of them are bent on conquering Earth – with the unwitting help of the U.S. military.

Order the DVDwritten by Phil Ford
directed by Gary Russell
music by Murray Gold

Cast: David Tennant (The Doctor), Georgia Moffett (Cassie Rice), Tim Howar (Jimmy Stalkingwolf), David Warner (Lord Azlok), Stuart Milligan (Colonel Stark), Peter Guinness (Mister Dread), Ryan McCluskey (Soldiers), Clarke Peters (Night Eagle), Nicholas Rowe (Rivesh Mantilax), Lisa Bowerman (Saruba Velak)

Broadcast from November 21 through 27, 2009

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Space / Time

Doctor WhoThe Doctor enlists Rory’s help in working on the TARDIS, but with Amy unwittingly providing a distraction, a near-disaster results: the TARDIS’ outer police box shell materializes inside its own control room, spelling certain doom for its occupants unless they can find a solution. Fortunately, one by one, the Doctor’s companions – from just a few moments into their own future – pop out of the police box to offer helpful suggestions. Unfortunately, the Doctor’s companions now have to remember what their future selves have just said so they can remember to say exactly the same thing in just a few moments’ time to save their own lives.

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Richard Senior
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory)

Notes: This was the Doctor Who franchise’s contribution to the 2011 Comic Relief charity event; past Doctor Who and related Comic Relief appearances have included 2009’s Sarah Jane Adventures mini-episode, a 2007 Weakest Link special featuring David Tennant and other cast members, and the 1999 spoof The Curse Of Fatal Death, which was technically the first televised Doctor Who adventure for current showrunner Steven Moffat. This adventure was presented as two mini-episodes – neither of them topping four minutes – titled, respectively, Space and Time.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Death Is The Only Answer

Doctor WhoAn incident with a mini-time-vortex and a fez alerts the Doctor to a disaster in the making: Albert Einstein is conducting his own experiments in time travel. Even stranger than that is the celebrated scientist’s sudden transformation into an Ood, with a cryptic, ominous warning for the Doctor.

Order the DVDwritten by the children of Oakley Junior School
directed by Jeremy Webb
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Nickolas Grace (Albert Einstein), Paul Kasey (Ood)

Doctor WhoNotes: Death Is The Only Answer was a short script selected by Steven Moffatt as the winning entry in the “Script to Screen” contest that was part of series six of Doctor Who Confidential, challenging young writers to create a short adventure for the Doctor. The finished mini-episode, running just under four minutes, aired as part of the final episode of the behind-the-scenes series Doctor Who Confidential, which was cancelled shortly before the episode aired. There are no clues as to where this story happens chronologically, or if it can be considered official at all.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

2011 Children In Need Special

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, in trying to draw attention toward a worthy cause, offers the shirt off of his back, as well as a few things he wears on his front. The problem now is how to get back to the TARDIS without anyone seeing that he’s just given up his clothes.

written by Steven Moffat
directed by Richard Senior
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor)

Doctor WhoNotes: Written by Steven Moffat and shot at BBC Television Centre in London mere days before air, this brief (exactly two minutes) scene was part of the BBC’s annual Children In Need charity event, of which Doctor Who has been a part for years (Dimensions In Time, the 2005 special scene, Time Crash). This was the first time Doctor Who had been before the cameras at Television Centre since the production of the Sylvester McCoy story Ghost Light wrapped in 1989. Following the short skit was a trailer for the 2011 Christmas episode The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Pond Life

Doctor WhoIt’s just another day in the life of Amy and Rory – a life that’s routinely thrown into disarray by the comings and goings of a rogue Time Lord, that is. As if it’s not enough that he’s constantly calling and leaving messages about his adventures, he leaves them a gift: a subservient Ood to help out around the house. But between their discomfort with typical Ood behavior and the Doctor’s frequently ill-timed visits, life with the Ponds is anything but normal, and increasingly it’s anything but relaxed and pleasant.

Doctor Whowritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Saul Metzstein
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Paul Kasey (Ood)

Notes: The Doctor says that the Ood wandered aboard the TARDIS during “the Androvox conflict,” a reference to an intergalactic war criminal and refugee encountered by Sarah Jane and her young friends in the Sarah Jane Adventures stories Prisoner Of The Judoon (2009) and The Vault Of Secrets (2010), and whose ship was at the heart of the Doctor Who universe’s interpretation of the Roswell UFO incident (the animated adventure Dreamland, 2009). Pond Life premiered as five short segments during the week prior to the premiere of Doctor Who’s seventh season, with an “omnibus” edition collecting all five segments into a five minute mini-episode available shortly before Asylum Of The Daleks.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Last Day

Doctor WhoA new recruit in the Gallifreyan Guard puts on his headcam for the first time and gets his first look at life on the defense outpost atop the Time Lord city of Arcadia, a location on the planet assumed to be impenetrable because of the hundreds of sky trenches protecting it in the atmosphere. But if even one Dalek were to breach those defenses, it could be the last day on Gallifrey.

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Jamie Stone
no incidental music

Cast: Chris Finch (Time Lord Soldier)

Doctor WhoNotes: The more experienced Time Lord soldier walking the viewer through the activation of the headcam appears to be the same soldier who loans his gun to the War Doctor in The Day Of The Doctor; his new recruit is no longer with him by that point, for rather obvious reasons. This three-minute “minisode” was released on iTunes initially, and then through other platforms; it also appears as a bonus feature on the Day Of The Doctor DVD.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

An Adventure In Space And Time

An Adventure In Space And TimeIn 1963, newly arrived BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman shakes the stolid BBC establishment with his rebellious attitudes and his desire to make the British broadcaster’s output less posh and more popular. With a 25-minute gap in the Saturday evening schedule to fill, Newman assembles a team to begin working on a new television series called Doctor Who, concerning an eccentric time traveler whose incredibly time-space machine, the TARDIS, is disguised as a 1950s police box. Wanting to appoint a producer to run this show, Newman looks for someone with “piss and vinegar” and settles on Verity Lambert, who had previously worked as his production assistant. But in her new position as the first female producer in the BBC, Verity makes waves… and a few enemies. She bucks conventional wisdom in hiring esteemed character actor William Hartnell to play the part of the Doctor, the show’s wizened and yet ageless time traveler. For his own part, Hartnell has been looking for a role to get him out of a rut of being typecast as tough authority figures and military characters. Verity also finds a willing collaborator in rookie director Waris Hussein, and after months of preparation and planning, Doctor Who is finally in a studio (one of the smallest and least sophisticated at the BBC’s disposal, naturally), though the show is fighting for its life up to the moment of broadcast and beyond.

Order this series on DVDwritten by Mark Gatiss
directed by Terry McDonough
music by Edmund Butt

Cast: David Bradley (William Hartnell), Ross Gurney-Randall (Reg), Roger May (Len), Sam Hoare (Douglas Camfield), Doctor WhoCharlie Kemp (Arthur), Brian Cox (Sydney Newman), William Russell (Harry – Security Guard), Jeff Rawle (Mervyn Pinfield), Andrew Woodall (Rex Tucker), Jessica Raine (Verity Lambert), Jemma Powell (Jacqueline Hill), Lesley Manville (Heather Hartnell), Cara Jenkins (Judith Carney), Sacha Dhawan (Waris Hussein), Toby Hadoke (Cyril), Sarah Winter (Delia Derbyshire), Jamie Glover (William Russell), Claudia Grant (Carole Ann Ford), David Annen (Peter Brachacki), Mark Eden (Donald Baverstock), Ian Hallard (Richard Martin), Nicholas Briggs (Peter Hawkins), Carole Ann Ford (Joyce), Reece Pockney (Alan), Reece Shearsmith (Patrick Troughton), Anneke Wills (Farewell party attendee), Jean Marsh (Farewell party attendee), Anna-Lisa Drew (Maureen O’Brien), Sophie Holt (Jackie Lane)

Notes: Numerous actors appear in this movie who have appeared in actual episodes of Doctor Who before, not least of which are surviving members of the original 1963 cast William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, who played Ian and Susan respectively. David Doctor WhoBradley appeared in the 2012 episode Dinosaurs In A Spaceship as the episode’s villain, while Jessica Raine guest starred in 2013’s Hide. Hartnell-era companions Jean Marsh and Anneke Wills – both of whom reprise their 1960s roles for Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas – appear as partygoers at Verity Lambert’s farewell party. Big Finish Doctor Who producer Nicholas Briggs, the voice of the Daleks in modern Doctor Who, appears (in a wig) as 1960s Dalek voice originator Peter Hawkins.

LogBook entry by Earl Green Read More