Christmas without Who

By Beth Axford

Whether you celebrate it or not, Christmas is a special holiday for many. It’s a time of rest and giving, for spending with family and loved ones… and for watching Doctor Who. Tradition is important during the festive period and Doctor Who on Christmas day has become just that for many families. Since The Doctor and Rose saved the Earth during Christmas 2005, we’ve been treated to a special festive episode every year.

Taking the prime time evening slot, families would sit down together filled with mince pies and turkey and enjoy an adventure through space and time. This year though, Doctor Who is embarking on a new tradition – the yearly special episode has been moved to New Year’s Day instead of Christmas.

The Christmas Invasion (2005) begun a Christmas tradition for many.

Christmas can be difficult if you’ve lost someone. It can be difficult if you suffer with mental health struggles or family issues. Throughout all of my Christmases, and all of these difficulties, I’ve always been comforted by the Doctor Who Christmas special. It has been there to wrap its arms around me and tell me I’m not alone. It’s taken me on adventures and helped me escape when I’ve found the festive period hard.

No matter the contents of the story, the Christmas episodes are always based around one core theme: hope. This is exactly what I and many others need during the holidays, particularly on the big day itself. I spent Christmas day sick and alone, and I really could have done with that Doctor Who episode this year. Somehow I’ve been left feeling like my hope was taken away, or my only saviour around Christmas time had let me down. That is the importance of this show to me and many others.

The Doctor, the widow and the wardrobe (2011)

In times like this, it’s easy to get upset with how the show changes when it means so much to us, or when things differ from its traditional way. But Doctor Who has lasted for 55 years for a reason – it thrives on change. In the words of the Doctor, ‘If things didn’t end, nothing would ever get started.’

Despite my feelings, I am very excited for a brand new adventure with team TARDIS on New Year’s Day. What better way to begin a new year than with my favourite form of hope – Doctor Who! Christmas may have been hard without it, but January will be much easier with it.

Resolution airs New Years day

Am I upset with the lack of Who on Christmas day? Yes. But times change, and so must Who. We will begin 2019 with The Doctor and friends taking us on a brand new adventure. So begins a new tradition – New year, new Who.

What do you think of the move from Christmas day to New year’s day? Let us know @thetimeladies_

Celebrating The 12th Doctor: Series 10

Get your tissues ready for the many sobs, it’s our last series with PCap!

  Overview

‘Where’s there’s tears, there’s hope…’

At the beginning of 2017, well before we started watching series 10, the news broke that Peter Capaldi was leaving Doctor Who. His next series would be the last time he graced our screens (minus Christmas joy) and quite rightly, we were heartbroken. But with the addition of the absolutely wonderful Pearl Mackie as Bill, it seemed like the 12th Doctor was starting all over again – a massive contrast to what was going on behind the camera, and which made series 10 feel very bittersweet.

Introducing the Doctor as a professor in a university, and Bill as his most enthusiastic assistant, this series felt like a breath of fresh air. With Clara’s storyline at an end, the 12th Doctor had no baggage, and it finally felt like he was truly having fun! Even the look of the show changed, with bright vivid colours and a warm glow in place of the cold, gritty feel of series 9. With story lines including such larks as the thames freezing over, emoji robots, monks taking over the earth and of course, the Mondasian Cybermen, series 10 was a TREAT of a series.

Top 3 Defining Moments

Punching a racist in the face
Thin Ice

After seeing Lord Sutcliffe’s underwater burning fuel In Thin Ice, the Doctor and Bill take a visit to his swanky manor house to determine if he’s alien. The Doctor assures Bill he can do the talking, he will be all ‘charm and poise’. But as the (ahem) utter prat walks through the door and starts mouthing off at Bill, shouting at her to get on her feet in ‘the presence of her betters’, the Doctor sees red and swings a mighty blow right under the chin of the repugnant man. And cor blimey it was quite the biff.
Three cheers for the Doctor punching racism in the face! Hip hip hooray!

Sacrificing his eyesight for Bill
Oxygen 

As Bill’s spacesuit malfunctions (for the second time and our nerves are FRAZZLED), she thinks she’s done for. Not believing the Doctor will be ‘seeing her soon’ and realising there’s no escape, she asks for a joke, just a joke. But they all leave and she’s left by herself, using her last words to speak to her mum. But we should always trust the Doctor – even if he sometimes lies! When Bill wakes up, we walk through the space ship with her to see the Doctor, who looks up with milky white eyes – he’s blind. He sacrificed his sight to save Bill. Assuring her (and the viewers at home it feels), that it is only temporary we breathe a sigh of relief… until it’s revealed that even with some sonic-ing in the TARDIS, our beloved Doctor still has no sight. This moment really hammers home the Doctor and the ‘duty of care’ he feels. He wouldn’t risk the lives of any of his friends, even if it means sacrificing himself. Sorry, we’re, yup… a few more tears.

“I do what I do because it’s right!”
The Doctor Falls

One of our favourite moments from the 12th Doctor is as he addresses the Master(s) in The Doctor Falls, questioning their plans of scarpering off away from conflict. The speech focuses on the very essence of who the Doctor is – who and what he fights for. Because it’s not about winning, or beating someone; it’s about being kind and because simply, it’s the right thing to do. He’s a Doctor and he’s there to help people.

“What would you die for? Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand, is where I fall.”

This is one of the most powerful moments between the two characters, as the Doctor reveals the core of who they are. To me, it also shows how much Capaldi truly understands the Doctor. The performance cements his mark on the role. showing the many layers the character has shown over his era.

Best 12th Doctor outfit

Thin Ice regency get-up

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I mean, who doesn’t love Peter Capaldi in a cravat and a top hat? Need we say more?
We here for Cravat Capaldi.

 The ‘Not-So-Doctor’ Moment

Faking regeneration
Lie of the Land

Now, I can see why the Doctor did this but it seemed like such a cheap shot. Regeneration is a sacred thing. Say it with me, s-a-c-r-e-d; and this scene just blew that out the window. Plus, Bill is an emotional mess, having had to build up the courage to shoot her best friend and then it’s all ‘haha lol prankeD u’. We weren’t very happy with that Doctor.

Best story

World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls

Even though the thing I loved most about series 10 was its vibrancy, colour and sense of adventure, World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls is a very, VERY dark story in comparison. But it’s brilliant Doctor Who. I love an origin story, and seeing the beginning of the Mondasian Cybermen was near perfection. Mix that in with a throwback to classic Who and the Master revealing himself under the disguise of Razor, timey wimey goodness on a spaceship and more than one Master?! It’s like a dream come true. Everyone is at their absolute best: The Doctor laying his heart on the line and sacrificing himself to save as many people as he can, the Master(s) being both cunning, evil and yet hilarious, Bill being our eyes in this horrible new world and Nardole, well just being Nardole. Although more gritty, it was a terrific drama and the best Capaldi finale by far.

Rating

Series 10 was a fresh start for the 12th Doctor. As well as Bill Potts boarding the TARDIS and Nardole making up the gang, it has some of the best stories of the 12th Doctor and Capaldi is at his very best. So… *drumroll* we have to give this series a strong 9/10.
(Although we give him dying a 0/10 thanks.)

Let us know which your favourite series was from the 12th Doctor along with your favourite moments! Tell us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

5 times Doctor Who proved a female Doctor would work

As you’ve probably heard by now, series 11 will see our first ever female incarnation of The Doctor. What’s that, you didn’t notice from our multiple posts on the subject? Well we’re about to talk about it some more! Time Ladies have always been prominent in Doctor Who history; from the very first companion being a Time Lord herself, to the latest incarnation of the master regenerating into a female. If you’re still unsure about the casting of Jodie Whittaker as 13, here’s 5 times the show proved it will work!

Romana

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“It’s funny, you know, but before I met you, I was even willing to be impressed.”

The above quote is from Romana I, played by the brilliant Mary Tamm. Originally Romanadvoratrelundar, Romana graduated from The Time Lord Academy with a triple first (our gal got BRAINS) and out-smarts the Doctor at every opportunity. Heck, we’d be as smug as her if we could constantly laugh at the Doctor’s stupidity. Although she grows into one of the Doctor’s closest friends during Lalla Ward’s stint as Romana II, she always stays as the Doctor’s equal and feels significantly different from his previous companions. She’s cleverer, more skilled and more charming than him in nearly every capacity and is the first glimpse of what a female version of the Doctor could be.

The Rani

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“You and the Doctor are a well-matched pair of pests. You bring nothing but trouble.”

The Rani grew up with the Doctor and the Master when they were time tots and is another renegade Time Lord. This makes people automatically associate her with the Master but the Rani is a menace in her own right. A brilliant neurochemist obsessed with experimenting on the human race, the Rani tries to perfect a formula to take back to Miasima Goria, the planet she rules. Her and the Master attempt to work together to thwart the Doctor but she ends up laughing at them both whilst they show off their hyper masculinity, and subtly points out that they just can’t exist without each other. Aww. She’s the perfect mix of evil whilst having impeccable logic and reason behind her plan – a perfect villain. Her brains and wit equal her with the Doctor and Master, and proves how Time Ladies are more than a match for Time Lords.

Missy

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“I couldn’t very well keep calling myself The Master now, could I?”

First appearing in Deep Breath (2014), It took the whole of series 8 for the character of Missy’s true identity to be revealed. In the explosive finale we see her once again causing havoc in The Doctors world, madder, scarier and more evil than ever before. Michelle Gomez brings a wonderful craziness to the role, proving that done correctly a change of time lord gender can work. She has been a massive highlight of The 12th Doctors era, appearing multiple times as his main adversary. There is no doubt that the character is still the master and is translated onto screen perfectly, laying the perfect foundations for a female Doctor to take to our screens!

The General

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“The only time I’ve been a man, that last body. Dear God, how do you cope with all that ego?”

After being shot by the 12th Doctor in Hell Bent (2015), The male General regenerates into a woman. This is the first time we’ve seen a Time Lord regenerate from one gender to another on screen, a massive moment for the show.  There is no question that it is the same character and works flawlessly, normalising the process of regenerating into different genders. This scene is more groundwork for the future of our hero, and proves that there is no limits for our favourite race of time travelling aliens!

 

The Doctor and Bill discuss gender politics

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“We are the most civilised civilisation in the universe, we’re billions of years beyond your petty human obsession with gender and its associated stereotypes!”

In the most recent series finale, World enough and time (2017), The Doctor and Bill discuss The Doctor and Missy’s history on the rooftop of the university. Casually dropping in that Missy used to be a man, the two discuss the flexibility of Time Lord genders. Bill is not phased, other than that they still call themselves Time LORDS (Well, she has a point!). Here we see an almost representation of the audience and peoples opinions on gender, including a reference to stereotypes. The Doctor is an alien from outer space who travels around in a blue box saving the universe, what does gender have to do with it? A perfect scene and incredible foreshadowing for what is to come, it portrayed finally that gender doesn’t matter, and a female doctor could indeed be fantastic.

And finally:

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