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Tag Archive: Doctor Who 50th anniversary


Orphan Black Tatiana Maslany as everyone

Well it’s been one long year, with plenty to do and see, plenty of good and not-so-good to read and watch, and we’re certain we read more and reviewed more content this year than ever before.  And that in no less way was true for TV watching.  At the same time we waded through all that Hollywood had to offer and honed in on the genre films we thought were worth examining.  We went back and looked at it all and pulled together our 25 picks for our annual Best of the Best list.  Today we reveal the best content focusing on the moving image, and tomorrow we’ll run through our picks for the best in print and other media.  We hope you agree with many of these great creations of the entertainment industries, and wish everyone a great 2014!

Year’s Best Fantasy Fix — The Wizard of Oz in Theaters.  It’s a film that has been viewed on TV so many times you might take it for granted.  It’s historically been on many movie reviewers’ Top 20 movies of all time.  But when you watch The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in the middle of a year of modern blockbusters you realize how it can stand up against anything Hollywood has to offer today, even after 70 years.  Remastering the print for a new generation to see it in theaters was a highlight for movie watchers this year.

Almost Human partners

Year’s Best Sci-Fi Fix — Almost Human, Fox.  Like Continuum last year, the new series Almost Human created a future world that is believable and full of extraordinary technologies based in today’s science and touching on social issues of any day.  And even putting aside its buddy cop and police procedural brilliance, every episode plunged us into future police grappling with incredible technologies–DNA bombs criminals use to contaminate a crime scene, identity masking technology to avoid facial recognition video monitors–it was the best dose of sci-fi in 2013.

Best TV Series — Orphan Black, BBC America.  What rose above everything on TV or film this year was BBC America’s new series, the almost indescribable Orphan Black From its initial trailers that piqued our interest, to the surprise series consisting of one actress playing multiple roles that dazzled from out of nowhere, magical special effects, and a unique story of clones and X-Files-inspired intrigue propelled Orphan Black to be our clear winner for Best TV Series of 2013.

Sleepy Hollow

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An Unearthly Child

The day after President Kennedy was assassinated and The Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis died, at 17:15 GMT on 23 November 1963, 50 years ago today, a teleplay called “An Unearthly Child” aired in the United Kingdom for a new TV series called Doctor Who.  An older man called simply The Doctor and his companions walked into a blue British phone booth and transported through time to the Stone Age where they encountered a tribe that had lost the secret of fire.  With only a few years off the air in those 50 years, Doctor Who continues as a tradition in the UK that has in recent years expanded to become a fan phenomenon across the globe.

Day of the Doctor poster

Today at 1:50 p.m. Central, the BBC is broadcasting its 50th anniversary special simulcast throughout the world, bringing together actors and actresses who have performed on the series over the decades, including the current Doctor, played by Matt Smith, the last Doctor played by David Tennant, and guest star John Hurt as the previously unknown War Doctor.  Set your DVRs now if you haven’t already, since the show will air far earlier than in its normal local primetime spot on BBC America in the States.

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Tennant and crew

BBC America is providing 50 years of Doctor Who fans with an unprecedented volume of new content this week as well as marathon runs of episodes as we gear up for an epic 50th anniversary worldwide simulcast of the new episode “The Day of the Doctor” featuring Doctors and Companions then and now, this Saturday at 1:50 p.m. Central/11:50 a.m. Pacific.

After a day-long Doctors Revisited marathon featuring a behind the scenes look at Doctors #1 through #10, last night BBC America premiered Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS, showing interviews with the cast of the series over the years, and The Science of Doctor Who with Brian Cox–an interesting lecture-format special by the rock musician turned physicist talking about theories of space and time.  Don’t miss out on this week’s schedule of features.

Baker

Here’s the rundown of what’s on:

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Marathon – All day, starting at 9 a.m. Central — Get caught up with the adventures of Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Marathon – All day, starting at 1 a.m. Central — Get caught up with the adventures of Tenth Doctor David Tennant.

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Paul McGann returns as Eighth Doctor

If you wondered why we never got to see Paul McGann’s eighth Doctor regenerate into Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor, wait no further.  A new seven-minute episode on the Web written by Steven Moffat called The Night of the Doctor reveals the last minutes of the Eighth Doctor as the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who approaches next week.

If you haven’t seen the only appearance until now of the Eighth Doctor, you must get your copy of Doctor Who: The Movie, on DVD.  When everyone everywhere was speculating on the selection of what actor would be the Twelfth Doctor, which ultimately was given to Peter Capaldi, my instant pick for the perfect Doctor was Paul McGann, based on his role as Mr. Bush in the A&E Horatio Hornblower mini-series opposite Ioan Gruffudd, as well as roles in Kidnapped and Sea of Souls.  I was quickly advised by my brother-in-law, however, that McGann already played The Doctor.  Since I began my watching with Eccleston, I hadn’t known.

Doctor Who the Movie

After watching Doctor Who: The Movie this week, “my good idea” was confirmed as he is simply brilliant as the crazed Doctor with amnesia stuck in 1990s San Francisco, in his first adventure regenerating from Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor, with a new companion played by Daphne Ashbrook, who made an appearance at Planet Comicon this year.  And now McGann returns to the role for the first time on-screen since his first appearance in the role.

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Day of the Doctor poster

In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion.  Celebrating the series’ 50th anniversary, a new BBC episode of Doctor Who will be released for two one-night screenings as part of the Fathom Events series November 23 and 25, 2013.  Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor will bring together former Doctor and companion and fan favorites David Tennant and Billie Piper for the first time along with Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman in their penultimate episode as Doctor and companion.  Also featuring guest star John Hurt, the episode will be shown in REALD 3D, and includes a ten-minute behind the scenes featurette.  And who knows what other surprises may show up in this 50th anniversary event–other past Doctors?  A visit from the Cybermen and Daleks?

Daleks--Day of the Doctor

With a devoted audience of 80 million fans in over 200 countries, the series has twice been honored by Guinness World Records as the longest running and the most successful science-fiction series in the world.

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