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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Doctor Who thing: “The Night of the Doctor” minisode

Oh my god oh my god oh my god!

I gasped. I actually gasped.

Not at the Sisterhood of Karn. Though almost.

[scroll down… after you’ve watched!]

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Paul McGann!

nightdoctor1

I’m glad Moffat found a way to work him in somehow. And he mentions lots of companions, which makes them canon now, and means the Eighth Doctor had lots of adventures we haven’t seen. Good.

Looks like some of us were wrong about who John Hurt’s character is. But Hurt looks much younger in that reflection:

nightdoctor2

Which suggests he’s been the War Doctor for a very long time.

Other thoughts:

How chilling to have someone reject the Doctor’s help, see him not as a wondrous savior but a menace and a monster. Barely distinguishable from a Dalek? Ouch.

“Man or woman”? Is Moffat mocking those of us who might have liked to see a woman as the Doctor? Is he’s saying he could have done it, but he didn’t? I think so.

(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)


posted in:
daily doctor | tv buzz
  • Kathy_A

    OK, THAT was awesome!!

    I love that Moffat got McGann to return, even if only for a webisode. Even though I was never a fan of the TV movie and never got into McGann as a result, seeing this, I can see his potential.

    What’s the difference between Time Lords and Daleks? Definitely ouch. I really hope they flesh out the Time War in the anniversary ep. And having a very young (good use of stock footage there!) John Hurt as the regeneration result surprised me, since I was expecting Eccleston, even though I knew he was newly regenerated in “Rose.” All of those depictions of the Doctor’s faces that we’ve seen in the last few seasons never showed the War Doctor, so they’d better explain that little detail, as well.

    (And young Hurt looks so much like he did as Caligula in I, Claudius, that it made me do a double-take. “By Jove, which of course I mean By Myself…” The best miniseries ever made, iMO!)

    A question–the Sisterhood of Karn is ringing some bells with me, but what episode was it from?

  • The Sisterhood is from the Tom Baker story “The Brain of Morbius,” one of the best-ever stories and a must-see for anyone dipping into the old series.

    The don’t think Moffat had to “get” McGann — I’m sure he would have been all over the 50th anniversary if he were given the chance!

  • Kathy_A

    I had a feeling it was a Tom Baker ep! But it’s been so long since I’ve seen most of them that the details get a bit fuzzy.
    I was talking with a 20-something classmate before class this week about Doctor Who–she’s a New Who fan, but is definitely interested in exploring Classic Who. I told her to check out what her local library has in their dvd collection, since she could only find a limited selection through Netflix streaming.

  • lannalee

    OMG! Can’t wait until this weekend!

  • Martin

    I think that the ‘Man or Woman’ line is more setting up even more canon that the Doctor could be a woman, rather than Moffat taunting the fans that want to see it. I don’t think, in all the interviews Moffat’s given, he’s stated that he’s against the idea at all.

  • althea

    Holy Moses! [spoken very slowly, with scant breath]

    That were spec-f’n-tacular. Would that they had cleaned McGann up a bit, he’s definitely aged, and I don’t know why he’d have a 3-day growth of beard and a haircut, I loved the old one – but never mind that, it was SO COOL to see him again! If anything, he’s more the Doctor here than before.

    I too was thinking Eccleston, but not sure enough to expect it and be disappointed. But the War Doctor? I missed something, obviously, but don’t tell me, I can wait.

    And the “man or woman” thing, that was very clever. Not mocking, I’ll bet, but finally putting into the canon that it could happen someday.

    Thank you MaryAnn.

  • Jonathan Roth

    That’s my hope as well.

  • Jonathan Roth

    So great! Although it’s going to cause merry hell with referring to “nine” “ten” and “eleven” in the future.

    It also potentially means Capaldi is the 13th… and possibly last… doctor.

  • Re War Doctor: It’s just that that’s how Hurt is credited here.

  • You’re in for some disappointment, then, because it’s *next* weekend. :->

  • Kathy_A

    I’m thinking that they’ll retcon that whole “12 regenerations” limitation out of existence, either that or totally ignore it.

  • innpchan

    That does it. I’m off to England to drown Moffat in big, wet, slobbery kisses. Can I stay at your house, MAJ?

  • Jonathan Roth

    Or bring in an all new Time Lord to carry on the mantle of The Doctor.

    Of if the ratings fall enough, end it, and reboot it in a few years.

    “The end” never really is in tv land.

  • lescarr

    Jaw drop! Yes, definitely that was a big surprise. No, shock. No, I-don’t-fucking-believe-it moment. I mean, it all makes sense, and it’s just colouring in a piece of the puzzle that was already implicit.

    But he did it!

    Still, if I were to be critical, I would say that the transition between “No I’m the Doctor” and “Yes, I’m a warrior” was a bit quick to be convincing. Especially since that’s the whole point of the piece!

    Also – TimeLord science – “What does that even mean?”

  • englerp

    So, since he namechecked his companions from the audiobooks, does that mean said stories are canon? (At least the one with 8)
    I kind of would like that. ;)

  • YES

  • the argument is that Hurt’s version rejected the name of the Doctor and became the Warrior instead, using the Carn’s elixir of life to perpetuate Eight’s regeneration. Thus getting around the number of regens and number of Doctors.

  • I prefer The Warrior. It’s how River described what The Doctor gets described by his enemies during “Good Man Goes To War”, for one. It’s the word the Eighth Doctor uses to describe what his next regeneration will become…

  • Actually what I said on my blog was “HOLY (expletive)(expletive), IT’S PAUL MCGANN OMG OMG OMG.”
    Still think McGann did well as The Doctor and deserved a series… just not one based on that weak tv movie.

  • d. mighty

    Apologies to all … i’ve never done this before. but if there is going to be a first time, i feel i have chose … wisely.

    SQUEEEEEE!!!!

  • Barb

    what a glorious surprise to have McGann back as the Doctor even for a few minutes. He was beyond screwed from having his chance to shine after the pilot (should have remained a wholly Brit production). Have always enjoyed the Big Finish audios with him and his companions are now officially part of the canon. Can we bring him back for more please.

  • I don’t have the BBCA on cable, so I indulged and got a ticket for the Monday night repeat at the closest available theater.

  • Stormy

    The Sisterhood also appears in a pair of Eighth Doctor audios called “Sisters of the Flame” and “The Vengeance of Morbius”. Both excellent stories, and essentially a two-parter.

  • Ooo!

  • I’m figuring this, too. Hurt’s isn’t a “real” regeneration because it was brought about by the Elixir.

  • Sure! If you don’t mind sleeping on the floor in a room that might actually be smaller on the inside. :->

  • Jurgan

    Apparently he had quite a lot of radio plays, and because of that may have had one of the longest tenures as the Doctor:

    http://sonicmetennant.tumblr.com/post/57562720352/eighth-doctor-master-post

  • Jurgan

    Neil Gaiman suggested that maybe Time Lords can exceed 12 regens, but there are dangerous repercussions. Like, say, the Valeyard?

  • Jurgan

    Some say it should have been “Battle Medic.”

  • Jurgan

    He said the Doctor being played by a woman would be like Queen Elizabeth II being played by a man.

  • that’s Strax’s job. Sheesh. Keep up.

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