Thursday 31 October 2013

October Round-Up - A Great Month for Doctor Who!

This was quite the month for Doctor Who fans! And there’s still nearly a month until the 50th anniversary. Build-up to the anniversary certainly has begun in earnest though. The month opened with further information on the anniversary simulcast. Specific information on the theatre venues came later in the month, although I didn’t specifically report on that. Tickets for the simulcast went on sale on October 25th, and I’m pretty sure they all sold out quite quickly. They certainly did in Toronto.

The tickets were scheduled to go on sale at 9 a.m. eastern time. I was ready and waiting to get mine. The option to purchase tickets for the Toronto location (Scotiabank Theatre) didn’t go live until nearly quarter past nine. I immediately clicked to purchase and went through the whole process, confirmed all my information for payment, and so on. Then I got the following message: “We cannot finalize your payment due to a technical error. Please try again later.” I tried again immediately, only to find that the tickets were sold out. I was very unimpressed. Oh well. I purchased tickets for November 25th instead and encountered the same problem a couple more times before I decided to try a different payment option. That finally worked, so hooray! I hope the 3D doesn’t give me too much of a headache.

The first trailer for the 50th anniversary episode (not including the Comic-Con trailer from several months ago) was released this month. It was specially recorded and does not contain any actual scenes from the episode. Instead, it’s a bit of a tribute to the full 50 years of Doctor Who history, with a narration by Matt Smith to whet viewers’ appetites for the special. Visually, it’s really quite stunning, and if you look carefully, you can see a lot of images from across Doctor Who’s history, both the classic series and the new. Apart from being a nostalgia-fest, however, there’s not much of what one could actually consider content in it, but it is just a trailer. I do wish, though, that Doctor Who would lighten up on the superlative adjectives for a while. “One impossible day”, “the Impossible Girl”, “the Doctor’s darkest hour”—lines like these show up not just in trailers, but in the programme itself, and after a while, they start to lose their meaning. When impossible things keep happening, they’re just not impossible anymore. At any rate, here’s the trailer:

The 50th anniversary, however, was not the biggest news of the month. That honour definitely goes to the recovery of missing episodes! Nine previously missing Doctor Who episodes from the sixties have been discovered and are now available for download purchase. I wrote a review of one of the newly recovered stories, “The Enemy of the World”, something I never imagined I’d get to do a couple years ago when I started this blog. I’ve not actually had a chance to watch “The Web of Fear” yet, but I’ll hopefully get to it soon. Expect a review of it shortly after.

I also continued my own reflections on the impact of Doctor Who on my own life, looking at the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth Doctors. The last couple were published a bit late (I’ve been trying to work to a schedule of one each weekend), but I hope to be back on schedule with the tenth Doctor this weekend.

In other Doctor Who news, the TARDIS in Orbit project has another update:

With the heavy emphasis on Doctor Who this month, one might start to think this is a Doctor Who blog, but it’s really quite a bit more than that! There were only three non-Doctor Who posts this month, all of them Pathfinder. With my reviews of Mythic Realms, Mythic Origins, and Sword of Valor, I finally got caught up on Pathfinder reviews. When I posted the review of Sword of Valor, I had not yet received any new products. Of course, that’s changed in the last couple of days, so expect some more Pathfinder reviews soon.

Since November is the 50th anniversary month, there will likely be lots more Doctor Who stuff to come this month (including my remaining reflection posts on the tenth and eleventh Doctors, as well as one on the spin-off series), but I’ll be looking at other stuff too. A new season of Wizards Vs Aliens began this week, so I’ll be reviewing that. Plus, I have a couple of other things I hope to get to as well.

Happy Hallowe'en, everyone, and have a great November!

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Doctor Who - The Enemy of the World

I started this blog for the purpose of writing reviews, and although I initially intended to primarily write reviews of roleplaying game products, I knew right from the start I’d be doing Doctor Who reviews as well. One of my earliest posts was a review of “Let’s Kill Hitler”, which had just aired at the time. Since then, I’ve reviewed new episodes as they’ve come out (well, except “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe”, which was many months late). I’ve often contemplated writing reviews of earlier stories, both from the new series before I started the blog and from the classic series, but other things have always gotten in the way of that idea and taken priority. However, until very recently, I never dreamt that if I did write a review for an earlier story, it would be “The Enemy of the World”. It was a missing story, and while episode three existed in full and audio of the remaining episodes existed, it just wouldn’t have seemed right to review something that was mostly incomplete.

With the return of the remaining episodes of “The Enemy of the World”, along with most of the remaining episodes of “The Web of Fear”, it was no longer just a case of finding time to write a review of an old story. It was also a case of finding time to watch an old story that I had never seen before (apart from a single episode) and then write a review of it. But it is a joyous problem to have.

The Enemy of the World”, I feel, suffered from being missing more than many other stories. It was rarely on people’s lists of favourite stories or most-wanted missing episodes. It tended to have a bit of a reputation for being dull. This is due pretty much entirely to the fact that the one surviving episode, the third, is without doubt the weakest of the story. It is rather dull, being mostly filler. The plot thread involving Fedorin is really the only important part of the episode, and that takes up only a small part of it. Griffin the chef is hilariously entertaining, but the rest of the episode contains little of relevance or interest to the rest of the story. With audio existing of the other episodes, it was always clear that episode three was the weakest, but there is so much nuance (particularly in the performances) lost in the audio recordings that this fact wasn’t enough to elevate the entire story in people’s minds. I always suspected that if “The Enemy of the World” ever turned up, people would considerably re-evaluate their opinions of the story, and it seems I was right. People everywhere are now praising it, and with good reason. “The Enemy of the World” is brilliant and perhaps one of the best Patrick Troughton stories of them all.

(Although I’m not really sure you can have spoilers for a 45-year-old programme.)

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary - Reflections on the Ninth Doctor

As year by year passed after the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie, the likelihood of new Doctor Who (at least in my mind) seemed to diminish—even more rapidly than it had diminished between the end of the original series and the TV Movie. It seemed to me that they had tried a comeback and it had failed. Thus, the coffin was sealed. As I mentioned last week, these next several years became the years that I was least connected to Doctor Who. It wasn’t gone from my life; there were just other, newer things to focus on for the time being.

In the summer of 2002, I left Montreal and returned to London for a couple of months while I searched for new work in Toronto. I then moved to Toronto that September and began a new chapter of my own life, little realizing that efforts were under way for a new chapter of Doctor Who as well. My first year in Toronto was very much a time of establishing myself and making sure I could pay the bills month to month (Toronto is an expensive city to live in; my first apartment here cost more than my one in Montreal and was only about a quarter the size). At some point along the way (either that year or the following year), I acquired my first-ever DVD player and the first-ever DVDs I bought were the complete “Key to Time” season of Doctor Who.

Apart from the very slow change-over of VHS tapes to DVD, however, there was very little Doctor Who going on in my life. I wasn’t paying much, if any, attention to the wider world of Doctor Who fandom and rarely even bothering to check up on the latest news. What news there was, was generally of a kind that either didn’t effect me or just frustrated me: new book releases that never showed up in any local stores, or audio adventures that I couldn’t afford to buy. There seemed little point to following the world of Doctor Who news. Nonetheless, I still checked up on news from time to time and looked at the occasional Doctor Who messageboard. After all, there might occasionally be something to interest me.

Saturday 26 October 2013

Wrath of the Righteous - Sword of Valor

As I mentioned in my review of The Worldwound Incursion, when Wrath of the Righteous was first announced, I wasn’t all that interested in it. I didn’t expect it to be bad; I just didn’t expect it to be all that remarkable either. However, The Worldwound Incursion blew me away. That volume, combined with the excellent The Worldwound sourcebook, opened my eyes to an area of Golarion I had paid little attention to. Of course, a great opening instalment to an adventure path doesn’t necessarily guarantee a great adventure path overall. There have been adventure paths with excellent first volumes that have been followed up with mediocre to poor second and third volumes (Serpent’s Skull comes to mind). Luckily, the second volume of Wrath of the Righteous, Sword of Valor by Neil Spicer is not one of those sub-par follow-ups. Instead, it may just be setting up Wrath of the Righteous as one of the best adventure paths to date. It manages to wrap overland travel, mass combat, dungeon crawling, and extensive roleplaying options up into one really quite brilliant adventure.


Tuesday 22 October 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary - Reflections on the Eighth Doctor and the Wilderness Years

The years 1990 to 2005 are known among Doctor Who fans as the “wilderness years”, the years when, with only one brief exception, the show was off the air—well, “off the air” in the sense that no new episodes were being made. For much of the 90’s, here in Canada, YTV continued to air repeats of the show, albeit in ever later and later time slots. It moved to 1:30 a.m. five days a week for a while, and then 2:30 a.m. seven days a week—a slot it stayed in for a few years before they stopped showing it altogether.

It was an exceedingly annoying timeslot, as I was desperate to get all the episodes on tape—again. I had taped them all previously, but large chunks of them had ended up with commercials in them. The 1:30 slot wasn’t so bad as it was a time I could pretty much guarantee being home at and I was always something of a night owl. But 2:30... Ugh. Even for me, staying up till 3 in the morning was exceedingly late, and as it was seven days a week, it wasn’t even possible to get a weekend relief. And I was in university and had classes. But I was dedicated and a fool. At least I was successful. I eventually replaced all my commercial-filled copies. Of course, by then, the release schedule for the official tapes had picked up somewhat and I began replacing them all again. Then later, VHS got replaced by DVD. Sigh. That’s something I’ve had enough of, these days. If ever the series is re-released on a new medium, I won’t be getting them again. I’ll keep my DVDs until they wear out and only replace them at that time.

While there may not have been any new television episodes, there was nonetheless new Doctor Who coming out—novels! For the longest time, Doctor Who novels were just novelizations of television stories, but as the television series came to an end, Virgin Books began The New Adventures, a monthly series featuring the seventh Doctor that continued on from where the TV show had left off. I fell in love with these books right off the bat, and they continued to get better as they went along.

I’ve rarely been into TV or movie tie-in books. I find they tend to be poorly written and are little more than an attempt to cash in on the popularity of the programme they were about. Over the years, I’ve read a few Star Trek and Star Wars books, Dragonlance or various other Dungeons & Dragons-related books, and books for various other series, and I have pretty much always been disappointed (with a few notable exceptions). I expected much the same from The New Adventures. Yet they surprised me. They were better than other tie-in books. The weren’t necessarily masterpieces (especially several of the early ones), but they were well-written and enjoyable. In some ways, I actually started to prefer the books to the show. They could do things that would have been impossible for the TV series to pull off—not just in terms of special effects, but also the style of storytelling. The New Adventures could delve into topics and issues that there just wasn’t time to deal with on TV. More than that, the characters developed in ways that they rarely had on the TV show. They had story arcs and they grew as people. Actions—even and especially the Doctor’s actions—had consequences later on, and the characters had to face these consequences.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Mythic Origins

Mythic Adventures introduced the base mythic rules to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. However, these rules are setting-neutral, usable in any game regardless of what world the gamemaster uses. Of course, individual worlds are likely to have their own particular takes on the mythic rules. Mythic Realms and Mythic Origins take on the task of introducing mythic rules to the Golarion setting. Mythic Realms deals with the setting itself, describing founts where mythic characters can gain their power, places where their new abilities may prove useful, and NPCs for them to interact with and fight. Mythic Origins provides information for the PCs, providing various new options for players to use with their characters.

Despite its name, Mythic Origins doesn’t really deal much with the origins of mythic characters, apart from adding a category of mythic character known as a godling. Indeed, most of the book is simply new mechanical options, primarily new path abilities, but also a few new spells and magic items. Make no mistake, this is a book of “crunch”. While this is typical of Player Companion books, Mythic Origins goes beyond even many of them. There is next to no “fluff” at all, apart from a couple of brief descriptive paragraphs or sidebars here and there. To be honest, the amount of new options in here is a little overwhelming. This isn’t because it’s a big book (just 32 pages like all Player Companions), but it’s the fact that it comes so soon after Mythic Adventures itself. I still haven’t had a chance to use or get used to the breadth of options introduced in that book, and suddenly there’s a whole pile more here to remember and consider when making a mythic character. More so, the new abilities in this book are actually rather generic. There’s not a lot that makes them Golarion-specific, so they lack that added touch of flavour to make them memorable. Even the godling abilities, which are tied to specific Golarion gods, lack anything that really makes them stand out as anything other than abilities tied to generic gods.

I would have much preferred a book that actually dealt with becoming a mythic character in Golarion, as implied by its title. I certainly don’t expect the book to have no crunch in it. Indeed, I would expect quite a bit of crunch, but crunch that ties characters more strongly to the setting, instead of generic abilities like transformative familiar (which lets your familiar take on the shape of a magic item) or mule’s strength (which lets you count your Strength score as 5 higher for determining carrying capacity). All that said, there are still some interesting options in Mythic Origins, particularly the information on mortal heralds (which actually does have the flavour ties I wish the rest of the book had). People looking for more options beyond those in Mythic Adventures will find lots of new ideas here.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary - Reflections on the Seventh Doctor

The first I ever heard of Sylvester McCoy was on the cover of Doctor Who Magazine announcing him as the seventh Doctor. Similarly to when I first learnt of the sixth Doctor, my first thought was that it seemed a little soon for a new Doctor. The difference here, however, was that this time, I was more aware of how long Colin Baker had been the sixth Doctor already (even though we were only just getting to his episodes in Ontario). When I first learned of the sixth Doctor, I mistakenly believed Peter Davison had only been around for one year. When I first learned of the seventh, I knew Colin Baker had only had two seasons.

It would be a couple years before I actually got to see the seventh Doctor in action. However, it did come sooner than I would have expected. TVOntario had always been several years behind the U.K. in its broadcasting of Doctor Who, but in the late 80’s, it began to catch up. The ‘85 hiatus provided the first opportunity to catch up a year. Then, when TVO reached “The Trial of a Time Lord” season, they actually purchased both that and Sylvester McCoy’s first season together and aired them as one season. TVO ran several advertisements for the new “season” before it started, and they focused entirely on the seventh Doctor, showing scenes from “Time and the Rani”. I was actually a little worried at the time that they were going to skip “The Trial of a Time Lord” for some reason. They had skipped “The Five Doctors” a couple of years previously, so it didn’t seem impossible that they might skip that one too. Luckily, that wasn’t the case, and they showed “Trial” before moving on to the seventh Doctor.

I was well into high school by that time, and was surrounded by people who mostly despised Doctor Who, and would make fun of it and anyone who dared admit to watching it. Even most of my friends made fun of the show with a certain regularity, mainly taking it to task for its terrible special effects. Star Trek: The Next Generation was becoming extremely popular at the time, and it was generally the programme people held Doctor Who up to. Even the one friend I had who was a big Doctor Who fan (the one I used to swap VHS tapes with at the time, as I discussed in my first and second Doctor reflections) once said to me, “Let’s face it, Michael. Doctor Who will never be as good as Star Trek: The Next Generation.” I disagreed, of course, but I was alone in that assessment.

Saturday 12 October 2013

Mythic Realms

One potential difficulty that exists with the introduction of any new game mechanic or subsystem is integrating it into existing campaign material that it has never been present in before. For small things like new feats and new spells, this really isn’t an issue. It’s easy to say that it’s always existed; you just haven’t encountered it before. New archetypes or classes might add a little more difficulty, but are still relatively easy. However, something as major as mythic rules can threaten to unbalance the setting, as mythic rules contain within them the potential for massive power, something that doesn’t easily go unnoticed. It can leave people asking, “Why has no one ever noticed or mentioned this before?”

Luckily, the Pathfinder Campaign Setting of Golarion has preplanned for this from the start. Even though the rules themselves were far from finalized (or even started), the setting has always had creatures and characters of power levels in excess of what one can achieve with just the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. The interesting thing here is that the things on Golarion that are “mythic” all pretty much coincide with what would have been “epic” under 3.5 rules. The setting never previously took into account what is now low-level mythic characters or creatures. But as low-level mythics don’t really stand out all that much (despite assertions to the contrary in Mythic Adventures), it’s really not that much of a concern. The setting is more than ready to encompass mythic rules without looking any different after their inclusion.

Mythic Realms introduces the mythic rules to Golarion and takes a look at how they interact with the setting. It provides information on founts of mythic power, locations, and mythic characters. Just as there is a lot of variety to mythic characters, there’s a lot of variety in the book, particularly in Chapter 2: “Places of Myth”. Indeed, each location detailed is often different enough from the others to make it feel almost like you’re reading a different book. This does have the downside that most people are only likely to use one or two small sections of the book, and few people will actually find use for the entire thing. Still, it’s a good book and definitely useful for people wanting to introduce mythic rules into their Golarion campaigns. It’s also an entertaining read for people already familiar with Golarion, as it adds detail to a number of things that have only been mentioned or hinted at before.

Friday 11 October 2013

9 Missing Doctor Who Episodes Are No Longer Missing

Well, it has now been confirmed. Although news came out earlier this week that “a number” of missing Doctor Who episodes had been found and returned to the BBC, exactly how many and what those episodes were was not officially revealed until yesterday (although some people had a pretty good idea—see my post from Tuesday). The BBC held a press conference yesterday, attended by new series writer Mark Gatiss, and second Doctor companions Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Deborah Watling (Victoria). Details of the conference were embargoed until midnight U.K. time; however, many of those details began to leak out before that time.

It is with great happiness that I can now say that episodes 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 of “The Enemy of the World”, along with episodes 2, 4, 5, and 6 of “The Web of Fear” are no longer missing! Episodes 3 of “Enemy” and 1 of “Web” already existed in the BBC archives, meaning that “The Enemy of the World” is now complete. “The Web of Fear” is now nearly complete, missing only episode 3 (unfortunately, the episode that has Nicholas Courtney’s first-ever appearance as Colonel Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart). The episodes were found by Philip Morris, director of Television International Enterprises Archive (T.I.E.A.), which has been conducting an extensive search of television stations across Africa. He found the episodes (along with two other already existing episodes) in Jos, Nigeria. This find is one of the largest individual finds of missing Doctor Who episodes ever, and brings the total number of missing episodes down to 97. Also, for the first time in decades, more than half of Patrick Troughton’s episodes now remain. Rumours persist of further episodes having been found as well, but if true, the BBC and Philip Morris are remaining quiet about them.

The BBC has made all nine of these episodes available for download on iTunes, along with the existing episodes and a special reconstruction of the third episode of “Web”, using still photos and the existing soundtrack. “Enemy” will be out on DVD in the U.K. on November 22, while “Web” will be out in early 2014 (according to Amazon UK in February). There is no word yet on North American DVD releases; however, they will undoubtedly be along in due time.

While the iTunes downloads are definitely available in the U.K., U.S.A., and Canada, this is apparently not the case everywhere. Some countries (such as New Zealand) are not able to access them. It’s also a bit disappointing that the downloads are limited to iTunes and cannot be downloaded with different platforms. Linux users (such as myself), for example, cannot easily use iTunes as there is not a Linux-compatible version (although programs such as WINE can help solve this problem). Some of those unable to use iTunes may turn to other, more illicit, means of acquiring the episodes, losing BBC Worldwide money they might have otherwise made. Still, the downloads have hit both the number one and number two positions on the British iTunes charts, so they’re probably not hurting all that bad.

At any rate, this is a great time to be a fan of classic Doctor Who. We can now watch episodes that no one’s been able to see for 45 years. I am utterly overjoyed!

The BBC News article on the find can be found at this link. Also, here are the trailers for the recovered episodes:

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Missing Doctor Who Episodes Found!

O happy day!

Recently, I’ve been writing a series of reflections on my life with Doctor Who. It’s all part of my way of celebrating fifty years of my favourite show. Back in my reflections on the first Doctor, I mentioned how much I long for the missing episodes (of which, until recently, there have still been 106) to be found and returned. There are so many stories I and other fans desperately wish to enjoy. In that same article, I mentioned rumours of the discovery of a large haul of missing episodes and the hope that some aspect of that rumour might turn out to be true.

Well, it seems that dream has really happened. On the weekend, stories began to break in the British media about a find. In particular, Radio Times published a story stating that missing episodes would be available for download on Wednesday (later updated to say later in the week). Earlier today (well, yesterday now in the U.K.), BBC news published a story stating that "a number of early episodes...have been returned to the BBC," and that full details are expected to be available at the end of the week. The official website of Deborah Watling (who played 60s companion Victoria) has also confirmed the news by announcing that she and Frazer Hines (60s companion Jamie) will be at the press conference on Thursday where the find will be officially announced.

This is real. This is truly real, and I couldn’t be more overjoyed.

I haven’t written much about the rumours leading up to this point since, well, they’ve just been rumours and this isn’t a gossip blog. However, I have been closely following the rumour since May (although it’s been around considerably longer than that). I actually don’t usually pay any attention to rumours like this, preferring to let news come as it may. But this rumour was a little different, and utterly absurd. It caught my interest and so I paid attention. According to the rumour (dubbed by some fans as the “omni-rumour”), a haul of approximately 90 episodes of Doctor Who, along with missing episodes of other programmes had been found. It seemed too good to be true. But then Ian Levine (who found and recovered 20 episodes of Doctor Who in the 80’s) began tweeting his belief in the rumour and suddenly there was just a hint of credence to it. Then he fell uncharacteristically silent on the matter, refusing to comment on it for months before finally breaking his silence a week or so ago. My own willingness to believe these rumours has waxed and waned over the past few months, but I have always remained cautiously sceptical. There have been hoaxes before, although if this were a hoax, it would be a massive one. However, a couple of weeks ago, things began falling into place in such a way that I became near certain there was some truth to it all. Of course, even true rumours have some exaggerations or outright fabrications to them, but I started to become confident that the core of this rumour, at the very least, was true, and that some episodes had indeed been found.

At any rate, although we don’t know for sure what episodes and/or stories will be announced on Thursday, it seems likely that it will be nine episodes (note this is only rumour, even though I’m reasonably confident in it): five episodes of the Patrick Troughton story, “The Enemy of the World”, and four episodes of the immediately following story, “The Web of Fear”, featuring the Great Intelligence (the villain from the recent stories, “The Snowmen” and “The Name of the Doctor”). When combined with already existing episodes, these episodes will complete “The Enemy of the World” and leave “The Web of Fear” with only one episode still missing. As for the other 81 episodes in that supposed haul of 90? Well, I think we should just wait and see what happens on Thursday before jumping to any conclusions. Nine episodes is pretty amazing, really.

Whatever the exact episodes found are, even only one or two episodes, this will still be worthy of celebration. Every missing episode found is a triumph. We certainly couldn’t have asked for a better 50th anniversary gift!

Sunday 6 October 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary - Reflections on the Sixth Doctor

Much like with the fifth Doctor, the first I ever heard of the sixth Doctor was from the cover of Doctor Who Annual—the very next one I got after the one that revealed to me the existence of the fifth Doctor. Peter Davison’s episodes had only just started airing in Canada and there was yet another Doctor staring back at me that Christmas morning. Already? I thought. I still didn’t realize just how far behind TVOntario was with airing Doctor Who episodes and had always figured we were just a little behind.

The frustrating thing was, unlike the previous year’s annual, this one didn’t have a handy article explaining all about the different Doctors. There was no mention of another regeneration having occurred, simply a bunch of short stories featuring this new Doctor and a new companion named Peri. It didn’t even mention the actor’s name! I honestly can’t remember when I first learned Colin Baker’s name. It was probably when I discovered Doctor Who Magazine, which was sometime in the next year or so, but I can’t be sure on that. Whatever the case, much like when I first learned of the fifth Doctor, I became very eager to see the new Doctor to find out what he was like.

I have to admit, I was very taken by his appearance. It screamed Doctor at me in ways that Peter Davison’s didn’t. Not that I had a problem with Peter Davison (I explained last week how baffled I was that people could so strongly prefer one Doctor over another), but there was something about Colin Baker’s face and, yes, his outfit that just said to me that this was the Doctor through and through. Looking back now as an adult, I completely understand the criticisms of the sixth Doctor’s outfit. It was horrendous and garish. And having heard Colin Baker’s original idea for his costume (which would have had him sporting an outfit very similar to what Christopher Eccleston eventually wore), I agree that would have been far, far better. However, at the time, I liked the outfit, simply because it was bad. In my head at the time, the Doctor was supposed to dress in ridiculous outfits. The fourth Doctor had a 17-foot-long scarf! The fifth Doctor wore a strange amalgam of cricket uniform and Edwardian frock coat with a piece of celery on his lapel! Of course, the sixth Doctor had to look weird. In fact, he looked the weirdest of them all, and therefore was unequivocally the Doctor.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Simulcast Update

A few months ago, word broke that the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special (now known to be titled "The Day of the Doctor") would be simulcast around the world. Reports at the time were suggesting that 200 countries had purchased the episode, which was a number that seemed a little on the high side. Well, the BBC have now issued a full press release about the simulcast, confirming that over 75 countries are currently taking part and more are expected to be added soon. From the press release:

From Canada to Colombia, Brazil to Botswana and Myanmar to Mexico, fans in at least 75 countries spanning six continents will be able to enjoy the episode in 2D and 3D* at the same time as the UK broadcast, with more countries expected to be confirmed within the next month. The US, Australia and Canada have also signed up for the simulcast which will be shown in numerous countries across Europe, Latin America and Africa. In addition to Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman, the one-off special, entitled The Day of the Doctor stars former Time Lord David Tennant as well as Billie Piper, and John Hurt. 

On top of the worldwide TV broadcast, hundreds of cinemas in the UK and across the world also plan to screen the hotly anticipated special episode simultaneously in full 3D, giving fans the opportunity to make an event of the occasion and be part of a truly global celebration for the iconic British drama series.  Details about tickets for the anniversary screening will be announced in due course. 
 A full list of all the countries currently participating (and the stations carrying the episode) can be found on the press release page linked above.