The times we met the Doctor – and so did you (part one)

Dear Blog Readers,

What you are about to read below is not your usual blog post. It was designed as a panel for a convention. And it will not be any panel but a special panel about Doctor Who. Something that combines our knowledge of the series, the meetings on the Who fan circuit and all those crazy happenings that make us feel like we have been characters on the show itself. It has a lot of anecdotes and should be treated in a tongue in cheek manner. We did this panel to inspire other fans to share their own stories. We had to separate it into two instalments, because the text is so long – we were afraid you will be bored to eternal sleep. In this instalment we will cover three sections: who are Whovians, what can happen if you encounter people with strange names, and we will tell you about the music with Who references. Our encounters with the Doctor (in his 12th and 7th reincarnation) and the monster stories will be added at a later stage.

We hope this will make you giggle a couple of times.

***

The times we met the Doctor – and so did you.

We had this panel idea for a very long time. Actually, we have decided to hold it off for a year, just to write down all weird moments and observations. As aloof as it may sond – we will here argue that Doctor Who universe is very real, and The Whovians are not just fans – they are a noble race of fearless and unstoppable time travellers in their own right.

We don’t know a person that wouldn’t want to jump in a time machine to see other worlds. Compared to the Doctor’s, our lives seem routine and boring. But perhaps we are already on our biggest adventure; we just haven’t been paying attention to the signs. Maybe the Time Lord is not the only one blessed with privilege of travelling though time and space and living out various reincarnations. What if our paths have crossed and we have already met the Doctor and his allies and enemies? We want you to decide if this is possible, but before we lay out our evidence, let us pen few paragraphs about the Whovians.

***

Whovians – impossible time travellers.

For fifty years, one TV series raised generations of nerds, geeks and sci-fi fans. It became a cultural phenomenon, instantly recognized and immersed in national consciousness just like tea-time, tabloid press and Buckingham Palace. Hiding behind a sofa when Daleks appear on screen is an experience that binds entire generations. All it took to win minds and hearts of millions of people on Earth was one Doctor, sonic screwdriver and a police box.

Fans of Doctor Who series – known as Whovians – are peculiar. They are dedicated to the point of obsession and follow all plots and nooks of the saga with great interest. Even the most obscure characters on the show will have their fans and detailed biography. People often refer to different reincarnations of the main protagonist as “their Doctor”. If you don’t believe us how dedicated Whovians are – let us tell you this. David Tennant (10th Doctor) and Peter Capaldi (12th Doctor) became actors because they were following the show since early childhood. Legend says, both had replicas of TARDIS in their bedroom. Peter Capladi sent regular letters to Doctor Who Magazine and made fanarts. Steven Moffat (writer/producer) used to write Doctor Who fan-fiction. Another writer on the show Russel T. Davies kept a Doctor Who diary where he noted reviews of the episodes.

How do we know all those things? Didn’t we mention that we are Whovians? We have it all memorized! You can even ask us for co-ordinates to Gallifrey and how to pilot a time machine. No problem. 🙂

Being around devoted fans is an experience in itself. Whovians don’t act like your regular fandom. They read a lot of unusual books: encyclopaedias, scientific papers on quantum physics, pulp novels from the 30s, fairytales…They often discuss odd topics like paradoxes, monsters and parallel universes during mundane activities (morning bus ride to work suits perfectly) and have an interesting way of putting things. If they don’t like you – they will call you a “little Dalek”, if they find a subway carriage overcrowded, they will complain loudly that it is not bigger on the inside. Their dress code is out-worldly: scarves that are half a mile long, combat shoes or converse shoes worn with a suit, hats, trench coats with cat emblems, entire wardrobe that seems to be transported from Victorian era (and who said it isn’t?). Whovians tend to be wary of their surroundings – for some strange reasons they will stare at statues of angels or keep out of shadows if in a library.

Whovians are restless dreamers that yearn for travels and adventure. They are curious like kittens, open minded and they expect the unexpected. They throw themselves head first into action, maybe that is why they find themselves in situations that sound like scripted by Steven Moffat (or David Lynch). If you are a fellow fan, you will know what we are talking about. There are days when you turn around because you are sure you hear the sound of oncoming TARDIS or your instincts tell you that the Doctor himself just passed you by in the crowd. Or you are certain that something is manipulating the time votex and things are just not right. Whatever this may be, each Whovian has multiple anecdotes of this sort that range from bizarre to blood chilling.

These are ours stories; we hope that they will entertain you.

***
Nomen Omen – it’s all in the name

On his adventures, Doctor meets all sorts of unusual characters. They represent all possible races, social classes and occupations, some of the characters also come up with extraordinary names. Fellow traveller and a Time Lady – Romana`s full name is Romanadvoratrelundar. Vile and infantile breed of Slitheen (also known as Raxacoricofallapatorians) have a proud history of having absurdly long surnames such as “Blon Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day” or “Glune Fex Fize Sharlaveer-Slam”. To know somebody’s name is a true power. It can give you a hint of the bearer’s origins or intentions and perhaps that is why Doctor never reveals his own name even to the closest allies.

We have crossed paths with several individuals with truly exotic names. An unsuspected observer would think that it was a case of having eccentric parents but we are Whovians and we can read between the lines. One time at work we dealt with a customer named “Asterios”. Pretty poetic unless you know Greek – then you would know this means “Ruler of The Stars” or “Of The Stars”. Not only it was a clear indication that the person was an alien but also showed he held a high status in the Outer Space. Rulers of the Stars – how many races would fit the description? Only the powerful Time Lords themselves. If we wanted to dig deeper, Asterios was known to be a god of rivers to the ancient inhabitants of Earth. River, a Time Lord – you know where this is going 😉

On another occasion we ran into a whole family waiting for an appointment to a GP. The kids were named Andromeda, Medea, Cassandra and Iason. The mother was Helena (and she was suspiciously beautiful). We weren’t sure if the family was on their way to Hogwarts or Camp Half Blood, but knowing the Greek mythology (and the turbulent history of the original characters) we decided to keep our distance. You can never be too careful when meeting strangers with strange names, especially if they could have come from another fandom (apologies to Rick Riodan and JK Rowling).

Situation looks a bit different if you are the one with an unusual name. So, if you have been named “Attilla”, “Achilles” or “Cleopatra” then it is possible that you are an echo of your former self from a different time line or you have jumped into somebody’s life stream and there are million copies of you throughout the universe.
But don’t panic, you are not the only one. Something similar happened to Doctor’s own companion Clara Oswald when she tried to save the Time Lord from evil Great Intelligence. Having multiple versions of yourself has advantages – no matter the space and time, you are guaranteed to always meet a familiar face.

***

“You are not alone” – meeting other Whovians

One observation rings true when you travel – nothing stands out in the crowd like the things that remind you of home. You may find yourself in the busiest street in a foreign land and once somebody starts speaking your own language, you will hear it. Don’t ask us how – but this is how it works.

Many people meet their neighbours or even relatives in the most unlikely places – when on holidays far away from home or during delegations abroad. Or they strike a conversation with a complete stranger only to discover they have mutual acquaintances. Then they joke the world is small. However truth is quite opposite – the universe is infinite and it is constantly expanding. And yet something brings us all together.

We are not sure if even the Doctor could explain this mystery. But to be honest – isn’t it wonderful to meet souls that are alike? How terrifying and lonely it would be if we were truly alone in the universe? Doctor knows this pain very well – he had spent three reincarnations believing he was the last of the Time Lords until The Face of Boe revealed that to be a misconception.

For Whovians, it is relatively easy to meet their own. In the age of merchandise, conventions and fandom – you have a good chance to run into a fellow fan almost every day. We have lost count how many times we’ve seen people wearing Doctor Who tees on the streets. We have attended sold out premiere of “Deep Breath” (first episode of series 8) with thousands of other fans and managed to meet up with Steven Moffat face to face twice. Nothing out of ordinary.

And yet, we had some encounters with other fans that were so unique and unexpected that they could be a part of Doctor Who episode.

The other day Mal nearly fainted after she went out to pay her Internet bill. High blood pressure ain`t no fun. She would be laying face first in the mud outside Marks & Spencer if not an elderly gentleman who grabbed her and took back into the Internet shop. First thing he did was to sit her down and take her pulse. The conversation was something along those lines:

Mal: Call the ambulance.

The man: No need, I’m a doctor.

Mal (cynical): But not the one I was expecting.

The man (with a laugh): Judging from your age, your doctor is called Smith.
Mal: No, Tennant.

The man: Mine was Pertwee, such a gentleman, all reason, no whining. But he passed away many years ago…Who is now in regency?

Mal: Doctor Capaldi.

The man: Ah yes, should be all right. You need to drink more, you are dehydrated. And go and see a GP.

He went away after a while. When Mal was able to stand on her feet, the shop girl asked her where she could find Doctor Capladi. Mal told her he was only taking the best before she continued on her way home.

Again, if you are the fan of the series, this conversation makes perfect sense, but a word of explanation to those who are not familiar with the Who saga. When the man introduced himself as a medical practitioner, Mal responded in a witty way that he was not the doctor she was expecting. This was a direct reference to the words of Ninth Doctor (Paul McGann) from the episode “The night of the Doctor”. Matt Smith (Eleventh Doctor), David Tenant (Tenth Doctor) and Peter Capladi (Twelfth Doctor) are actors who portray the Time Lord for the younger generations. Jon Pertwee was Third Doctor and was mostly known by the older audience. Mr Pertwee sadly passed away in 1996. There is also ongoing gag in the series that Doctor takes only the best as his travel companions.

Sometimes, you meet fellow Whovians by sheer accident. But on occasion they appear by themselves, like it was scripted. On October 19, 2013 Rita attended Doctor Who 50th Anniversary celebrations in Hereford, UK. One of the guests was an amazing artist Mike Collins. Rita had a long discussion with Mike and bought one of his prints for a common friend – writer – Helen Stringer. On November 30th, 2014 – a whole year later – Mike Collins found himself visiting Malta for Malta ComiCon. Guess who showed up at his table, all looking mysterious and smiling like a sphinx. Yes, Malicia. Mike just returned from a quick brunch and was hard at work sketching for people. But from time to time he would look at Mal (who was silently standing in a corner) with a strange glare. When he was finally done with all the sketches, he gave Mal a nod to which she replied: “Do you remember me?” It took him about few seconds to proclaim “Ah, we’ve met in Hereford! Your friend Helen was a science fiction writer”. But then he looked at Mal again, smiled to himself and corrected his statement – “No, I have met your sister. You darling are the evil clone”. Mal had a good laugh but was quite impressed that Mike was able to tell us apart (consider the fact that our own mother can’t tell which is which when we are on the phone). The whole scene gathered quite a crowd who were equally amused with a story of comic artist meeting twins in two different countries in a span of a year. But then the crazy thing happened. Mobile phone rang and it was Rita on the line. Before Mal knew it – Mike Collins was reaching for the phone to say hi to the other twin. The crowd was roaring with laughter while Malicia’s ears were crimson red. Rita was confused while Mike had a highlight of the day.

That morning Mike Collins sketched a small drawing of Peter Capaldi (as 12th Doctor) and it was one of the few remaining items on his stand. Malicia grabbed the sketch before anyone noticed and it now forms our collection of Doctor Who memorabilia.

The Hereford encounter with Mike Colling can be found here:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/doctor-who-50-years-celebration-in-hereford/

***

Listen! – The music of Who

Main theme from the series is one of the most easily recognized pieces of music in the history of television. It is also one of the very first pieces of electronic music ever created. It was composed by Ron Grainer and arranged by Delia Derbyshire in 1963 at the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop in Delaware Road, London. Just imagine – it’s been in use for five decades. Since the Doctor Who series revival in 2005, the soundtrack duties fall on Murray Gold. Each Reincarnation and each Companion (and some monsters) in the show have their own individual theme and the soundtrack albums are released regularly. Three Doctor Who themed orchestra concerts have taken place as part of The Proms festival at the Royal Albert Hall in London (2008, 2010 and 2013 respectively).

Doctor himself is extremely fond of music. Second Reincarnation (played by Patrick Troughton) carried around a flute, while Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) composed a whole symphony in an episode “Music of the Spheres”. During a visit to the Rings of Akhaten, Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) met and helped young girl named Merry Gejelh (Emilia Jones) to defeat a memory parasite. The song performed by Merry is recognized as a highlight of seventh series.

Doctor seems to have a lasting influence on many professional musicians as well. Ambient duo Orbital released a mix of Who main theme in 1996 hoping it would be used in the planned series with Eight Doctor (Paul McGann). In 2010 Orbital performed this song alongside with Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) at Glastonbury Festival:

Members of scandalous KLF also mixed the main theme and went on to chart with the single “Doctorin` the Tardis”. For the occasion they renamed themselves as “The Time Lords”. The video to the song is just an eye candy with a Dalek and a car that was introduced as “Ford Time Lord”.

British rock band Supergrass paid their tribute to the series and the Doctor in their 1997 song “Sun hits the sky”. The chorus incorporates famous introduction line: “I am a Doctor” and there is a cartoon of a medial person on the single cover.

If you consider yourself a Whovian, you must have blasted those songs on a regular basis, or they cheered you up when you heard them in public while going about your business. We have to admit, we haven’t found the reference to the series in Supergrass song until very recently (we must have been drunk back in the 90s) and once we got it – it was on a public bus. We have been on our way from the office and had a very fascinating conversation about what to have for dinner, when this song came on the radio. The bus driver must have been a big fan of the band, because he pulled the volume to 11. So here we were deciding between a potato salad or fish and chips when the line “I am a Doctor” hit us. We just went silent for a minute, looked at each other and other passengers thinking “Did we just hear Supergrass singing about a Time Lord?” Obviously since we are both very much in the spirit of John Peel, we had to consult Wikipedia and YouTube at home to double check. We were right; there was a direct reference in the song. Dinner could wait.

Another time we had this strange feeling like being on a set of Doctor Who, complete with a soundtrack, was when shopping at a local supermarket. It is a very cinematic feeling, when you enter a shop and hear a song called “Exterminate”. You never know from which aisle a Dalek will pop up and the invasion will begin. The song in question is a single by Snap! with the vocals of one and only Niki Harris. We love Niki and follow her since the late 80s when she was touring with Madonna (you can see her in video to “Vogue”). Niki issued two singles with Snap! between 1992-1993: “Exterminate” and “Do you see the light (looking for)”. Check her video below and tell us if she doesn’t look like an Empress of the Daleks?

Let us remain with Snap! for a minute longer. In 1995 they teamed up with vocalist Paula “Summer” Brown to record their third album “Welcome to tomorrow”. Second single from that album was named “The first, the last eternity (till the end)”. Set in New York in the 30s, it shows Summer as a comic femme fatale travelling between pages like she is travelling between parallel dimensions, calling out to people to follow her into the eternity. She rocks a beautiful red dress and her hairdo is immaculate. Now if you ever seen Professor River Song (Alex Kingstone) on the Doctor Who series, then you will be having déjà vu when watching the video. Remember the video was filmed fifteen years before character of River Song was even created. Strange coincidence or perhaps Paula Brown reincarnated into Alex Kingstone at some point in the last decade? 😉

You may argue that a song called “Exterminate” is rather easy reference to the Doctor and we will agree with you. But sometimes a song you have heard millions of times will catch you off guard. Both Rita and I are dedicated listeners of Absolute Radio and been so for over a decade. When we say dedicated, we really mean it – we are listening to it from Malta, despite the fact that their international broadcast was cut off two years ago (guys, please reconsider your policy regarding international online listeners!). One day at work, Mal was listening to Absolute and Dionne Warwick “Whisper in the dark” came on. This is one stunning love ballad off the album “Friends” released in 1985. Now imagine sitting in an office with your headphones on and singing along, only to realize the lyrics go “Travel with me through time and space”. Just like this, a simple song turns into something completely different. An invitation into the TARDIS? You look at your colleagues and they seem completely oblivious to what just have happened. You may brush it off as mere accident, but can you truly rule out the possibility that you have just received a message from the Doctor?

***

This makes the end of the first installment of the panel.

Should you have any comments or perhaps your own stories to share, let us know! We will gladly add and expand this panel with stories of ours or other fans.

Please come back as the second part will be posted quite soon. Until then, keep cool and have your eyes opened. This is a strange world we live in.

Mal+Rita

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The Reading Hour – 10 (un)easy questions for Alisa Stern

Hello Stonehenge!

We don’t say it often but having a blog is a fascinating thing. It truly changes the way you look at things, people and the whole world around you. You are no longer going somewhere just to have fun, meeting your friends or simply hanging around. Now you are on a mission. Wherever you go, you carefully observe the entire place looking for hidden clues, things that you have not seen before. You read every street sign and commemorative plague, you study the faces of passer-by’s. You are becoming a hunter for something new, something interesting, something worth sharing with others and worth writing about. You turn into an artist, a journalist, a social commentator, a political expert or even a fashion critic.

Doctor Puppet - The Adventure in Time and Space

Doctor Puppet – The Adventure in Time and Space

Doctor Puppet by Alisa stern

Doctor Puppet by Alisa Stern

There are millions of personal blogs online, millions of opinions, million voices waiting to be heard. When we started Vanadian Avenue, nearly 4 years ago, we have never thought that we would talk to rock legends, published authors, translators, Star Wars comics writers and our childhood heroes. We never dreamt of 30 .000 readers and subscribers. It was just our small project that grew more and more. New columns were added as time went on and before we knew it – our small project grew into something significant.

A similar thing happened to our today’s guest – a talented animator Alisa Stern, the creator of mega popular “Doctor Puppet” show. From humble beginnings as a simple picture blog to international sensation that has been featured in press, radio and TV around the globe. Alisa is a life-long nerd and fan of cartoons. Her hobbies including walking around NYC, hiking, jewelry making, and eating falafel. A graduate of Pratt Institute in (BFA with honors in Traditional Animation), she lives in Brooklyn with a black cat named Beryl.

Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor Puppet

Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor Puppet

And Matt Smith as 11th Doctor Puppet

And Matt Smith as 11th Doctor Puppet

In recent months we have extensively covered a lot of Doctor Who related events. We have written about Steven Moffat’s visit to Hay on Wye Festival, Doctor Who Season 8th premiere in Cardiff and reviewed our visit to Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. When one of our readers contacted us with an idea to speak to Alisa about Doctor Puppet, we didn’t hesitate for a single second. It was a true pleasure to chat to her about the show, the ongoing IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign and her plans for the future. Ladies and gents – please welcome Alisa to Vanadian Avenue!

——————————————————————–

                              Interview with Alisa Stern – the creator of Doctor Puppet

Alis and Peter Capaldi Puppet

Alisa and Peter Capaldi Puppet

Vanadian Avenue: Doctor Puppet is taking the World Wide Web by storm. Can you introduce us to the team behind the newest Internet sensation?

Alisa Stern: Doctor Puppet is truly a team effort. We’re all professional artists and musicians outside of Doctor Puppet. Rachel has done a lot of stop motion, but also contributed props, sets, and background paints. Erin has also done a lot of stop motion as well as storyboards. Shelby is the engineer and figures out how to build the technical stuff, like the TARDIS and sonic screwdriver. Amanda sews the costumes and somehow finds a way to squeeze all the detail into them. Isam paints backgrounds. Scott composes the music, narrates, and is the resident Doctor Who expert. Phil orchestrates the score for live instruments. Then there’s a whole group of extremely talented musicians in England who bring the music to life. I make the puppets and write most of the scripts and make tea for the others. Of course everyone contributed to the stories and adds their ideas.

The 12th Doctor Puppet visiting the Cardiff Rift during  Doctor Puppet World Tour 2014

The 12th Doctor Puppet visiting the Cardiff Rift during Doctor Puppet World Tour 2014

Clara and The Doctor  during their visit to the Tower, please understand the UNIT didn't allow any more pictures.

Clara and The Doctor during their visit to the Tower, please understand the UNIT didn’t allow any more pictures

Clara,the 12th Doctor and The Tardis stopping to greet the fans

Clara,the 12th Doctor and The Tardis stopping to greet the fans

Vanadian Avenue: Where the idea for an animated Doctor Who series came from? Do you have any professional experience in animation or puppet making?

Alisa Stern: Doctor Puppet cme about whilst I was teaching a stop motion animation class actually. I needed to make an example puppet for my students, and I though Matt Smith’s Doctor was already so puppet-like, that he seemed like a good choice. I began posting pictures of the puppet on Tumblr, and everyone really like it, so that eventually became the series on YouTube. I’ve been a professional animator and puppet maker for about 7 years. My background is mainly in stop motion TV commercials and preschool TV. Actually, I met Erin while we were working on a Nick Jr. show called “The Wonder Pets.”

Vanadian Avenue: Your videos are receiving rave reviews not only from fans of the TV series but also from mainstream media such as Huffington Post, BBC UK and BBC America. What equipment is being used during the production and how long does the post production take to make a single episode?

Alisa Stern: We used a Canon Rebel T1i camera and Dragonframe software to capture the stop motion frames. It’s all composited in After Effects with backgrounds make in Photoshop. An episode takes 2 – 4 months to produce. Pre-production (storyboarding, sets, props) takes about a month, or more if the set is complicated. Stop motion animation itself takes about a month. Post-production (compositing, music, sound) takes a few weeks. Every episode has gotten progressively more complicated to make.

Clara and the Doctor re-visit a location featured in "Rose" - the first episode of the reneved Doctor Who series. We are sure  Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper where somewhere close

Clara and the Doctor re-visit a location featured in “Rose” – the first episode of the renewed Doctor Who series. We are sure Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper where somewhere close

The Doctor Puppet wants you to Listen. thank you for your attention

The Doctor Puppet wants you to Listen. Thank you for your attention

Clara and the Mini TARDIS

Clara and the Mini TARDIS

Vanadian Avenue: There are six main episodes available online at the moment and we have to admit the story is very intriguing. The mysterious door in “The Sign of Four”, disappearing previous reincarnations and the sinister laugh. Can you tell us who is responsible for the script? Was the inspiration drawn from any particular sources outside of The Doctor Who Universe? Favorite books or movies maybe?

Alisa Stern: When I wrote the first episode, I also I wrote an outline of the whole story, from beginning to end. I’m so glad that you’re intrigued by it! As we’ve make the episodes, the story has changed a bit, mainly because the others have given their input. I always brought the scripts to Scott because he knows Doctor Who better than anyone I know. So he adds many of the Doctor Who references, and also makes sure that the script isn’t too American. He’s caught some of my Americanisms, especially in Episode 5, which was set in London in the 80s. I don’t think there’s a particular influence outside of Doctor Who – it’s influenced by all kinds of stories I love, specially serialized stories.

Vanadian Avenue: “Doctor Who” series is owned by The BBC. Did you have any contact with them? If so, what was their reaction to “Doctor Puppet”?

Alisa Stern: Yes, I’ve had some really nice interactions with the BBC. They enjoy what we do, and have given us some nice press. We’ve been included in the BBC America blog a number of times, and had episode clips air on BBC America. Also, I was interviewed for a documentary about Doctor Who fans. The documentary crew was able to record Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, and so Erin got to animate the puppets speaking with the real voices! She did an incredible job. The documentary is called “Earth Conquest” and will be included on the Series 8 DVD, so be sire to watch it!

Mauve alert - the universally recognised colour for danger. The 11th and the 4th Doctors are having some bad luck!

Mauve alert – the universally recognized color for danger. The 11th and the 4th Doctors are having some bad luck!

The danger is averted - but we have lost all jelly babies!

The danger is averted – but we have lost all jelly babies!

5th and 6th Doctors are shopping for sweets in the 80's. Piece of cake  if you have a time machine.

5th and 6th Doctors are shopping for sweets in the 80’s. Piece of cake if you have a time machine.

Vanadian Avenue: Let’s talk about the puppets. You have created Clara, all previous incarnations of the Doctor and even some of the most famous monsters like Zygons. Do you have a favourite puppet? Any new creations in the works? The Ponds, Sarah Jane or River? We have to say we love the 80’s version of Clara! She’s looking very New wave-y.

Alisa Stern: I love Eleven because he was the first I made. My favorite at the moment is probably Four though. I’m so pleased with how he came out I have a few more puppets planned. (Not saying who!) 80s Clara was especially fun because we could do anything we wanted to with her.

Vanadian Avenue: We have mentioned the New Wave so let’s focus on the music for a moment. The soundtrack is one of the strongest points of the series. You even had an entire choir singing carols in “Time Lord Christmas”. Do you have a professional composer working for you?

Alisa Stern: Yes, I do! Scott Ampleford has composed everything you’d heard in Doctor Puppet. He’s written all the original music and the songs, plus the lyrics. Also, he sings the songs. And he narrates. He’s a bit prolific. I love how he’s created a unique musical style for nearly every episode. The first few episodes are pretty standard orchestra, but Episode 4 is all synth. Episode 5 and 6 both have scores that sound like the music from those Doctor Who eras. He did an especially fantastic job capturing Dudley Simpson’s 70s era music for Episode 6.

The Fourth Doctor on the set - Anybody wants a jelly baby?

The Fourth Doctor on the set – Anybody wants a jelly baby?

The Third Doctor is ready for some action!

The Third Doctor is ready for some action!

Clara and The Doctor are learning their parts. So much to remember!

Clara and The Doctor are learning their parts. So much to remember!

Vanadian Avenue: You are currently using IndieGoGo, a popular crowd-funding website to collect funds to make a Christmas Special. What can fans expect for backing up your cause?

Alisa Stern: There are a lot of cool perks being offered, including an exclusive thank-you video, behind-the-scenes updates, music, your name in the credits, and chances to meet the crew and puppets.

Vanadian Avenue: 2013 and 2014 were highly successful years for Doctor Puppet. Next year, what can we expect from you guys? Where will the Doctor go in 2015?

Alisa Stern: In 2015, we hope to wrap up the series. There are 2 episodes left in the Eleventh Doctor’s story. After that… I’m not sure. We want to do more Doctor Puppet, as well other projects.

The Eight Doctor looking very romantic

The Eight Doctor looking very romantic

10th and 11th reading the scripts

10th and 11th reading the scripts

The 9th Doctor went for a walk  - after whole day of shooting it's nice to stretch your legs

The 9th Doctor went for a walk – after whole day of shooting it’s nice to stretch your legs

Vanadian Avenue: What are your plans for the future outside of Doctor Puppet? Are you involved in any other projects?

Alisa Stern: We all have other things going on, and I hope we can do more projects together outside of Doctor Puppet. We’re a great team and I hope we can stick together for a while!

Vanadian Avenue: Thank you for your time Alisa. It has been a real pleasure.

Alisa Stern: Thank you!

If you’d like to learn more about the Doctor Puppet please use the links below.

Doctor Puppet links:
http://www.youtube.com/user/HelloDoctorPuppet
http://doctorpuppet.tumblr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TheDoctorPuppet
https://twitter.com/TheDoctorPuppet

Alisa’s website:
http://www.mon-alisa.com/
https://www.facebook.com/alisasternart

Please help The 12th Doctor and his team to create the best Christmas Special yet.

Please help The 12th Doctor and his team to create the best Christmas Special yet.

IndieGoGo campaign:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-doctor-puppet-stop-motion-christmas-special

After the interview was conducted, we have received a note from Alisa with excellent news: An exclusive animated Doctor Puppet clip using the real voices of Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman was featured in “Doctor Who: Earth Conquest”. The 45-minute documentary about the 2014 Doctor Who World Tour was broadcast on Canadian SPACE channel. “Earth Conquest” will also be available on the Series 8 DVD!

An exclusive promo picture has also been released! Congratulations to the entire team!

Doctor and Clara in the Madison Square Park

Doctor and Clara in the Madison Square Park

Official SPACE channel website: http://www.space.ca/
You can pre-order 8th Season DVD here: http://www.bbcshop.com/science-fiction/doctor-who-series-8-dvd/invt/bbcdvd3935

Please do not forget to help Alisa and her friends to collect enough funds to produce the awaited Christmas special! If you cannot donate, please spread the word. It is worth it!

Have a fantastic Day and thank you Alisa! You are the best!

Geronimoooooo!
xxx
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Kill the moon review

Vanadian Avenue blog presents:

“Kill the Moon” review
(a horror in time and space in one act)

Screen title

Screen title

Dramatis personæ:

Malicia (as Statler)
Rita (as Waldorf)

Peter Capaldi (as 12th Doctor)
Jenna Coleman (as Clara Oswald)

Samuel Anderson (as Danny Pink)
Ellis George (as Courtney Woods)
Hermione Norris (as Captain Lundvik)
Tony Osoba (as Astronaut Duke)
Phil Nice (as Astronaut Henry)
Christopher Dane (as McKean)

Peter Harness (as scapegoat)
Steven Moffat (as it’s all his fault)

With special appearance of Invisible Booing Choir

Time: 45 minutes (of pure torture)

Date (of crime): October 4th 2014

Promotional image #1

Promotional image #1

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Curtain!

Rita and Mal sit un-comfortably on their sofa staring blankly at the TV screen in front of them. You can see popcorn and sodas on the table in the distance, but the food is untouched, clearly both reviewers lost their appetite quite suddenly. Rita and Mal appear pale and shaken as if coming out of traumatic shock.

Rita: Welcome dear readers of our blog to the exclusive review of “Kill the Moon” episode. We have been writing about Doctor Who series regularly, but we have never done a review of a single episode. So, this is a first!

Malicia: And since the episode in question was very specific, we will do the review in style of Eurovision commentary to keep up with the kitsch and lack of any standards.

Rita: It is not confidential that Steven Moffat is very creative when it comes to bringing to life scary monsters. Think Weeping Angels. Think Clockwork Robots. Those were terrifying!

Malicia: But after tonight, you should be really quaking in your boots. Steven Moffat just introduced us to one of the rarest and most terrifying creatures in the multiverse!

Rita: A monster native to the realm of Developer`s Hell that makes even seasoned viewers cringe and scream. And the worst thing about this new monstrosity is that it can be encountered in real life!

Episode poster

Episode poster

Malicia: Like on Saturday evening when you are all ready and set to watch your beloved show. Please meet our Monster of the Week: Writer Debutante on an Established TV Series – Mr. Peter Harness.

(Invisible Booing Choir: Booooooooooo!)

Rita: To be fair, Mr Harness has an impressive resume: he is a theatre actor, writer and producer. He worked on critically acclaimed series: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Wallander and Case Histories.

Malicia: We have seen his bio on Wikipedia before the show (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Harness) and it looked quite promising.

Rita: Unfortunately, our hopes for a good story were as short lived as the lifespan of Mr Harness’ Twitter account (@mrpeterharness). Once the episode aired and people started to ask inconvenient questions, the account was taken down completely. Pity, we had several questions ourselves.

Malicia: I don’t think we would be able to ask about anything, even if we could type at the speed of light. Mr Harness (or whoever was behind that Twitter account) simply ran away, not wanting to deal with the audience. That’s the impression that I’ve got.  

More promotional material - the only good thing about this episode

More promotional material – the only good thing about this episode

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Rita: So, Mr Harness, this is why we do this review. And we are truly not sorry for tearing your script to pieces, as you have left us no other choice. But no hard feelings, we are just cruel to be kind.

Malicia: Let’s get down to business – spoilers! Be my pal, sister and give us a short summary of the “story” behind “Kill the Moon”.

Rita: Doctor and his companions Clara and Courtney crash-land on a space shuttle en-route to the Moon. This is not a usual moon landing. It is a suicide mission (nuclear missiles et all) to blow up the Earth’s natural satellite. It turns out that Moon is really a huge alien egg that is hatching and the entire human population is at stake. More over, the surface of the enormous egg is populated by spiders that kill all males in the party, leaving only females to decide the fate of the human race and the hatching alien. So instead of helping, Doctor leaves the issue to Clara, Courtney and Lundvik – the captain of the shuttle – and buggers off. He shows up at the end to pat his companions on the back for saving the day – meaning the alien. In the meantime, Earth hold a tele-con on extinction while three females discuss having children.

Clara gives a warning. Run!

Clara gives a warning.
Run!

Malicia: As you can see dear blog readers – the story makes as much sense as Daily Mirror in the middle of cucumber season. In an interview with CultBox, Peter Harness mentioned that he came up with the idea of moon being a giant egg the night before meeting with Doctor Who crew – it came to him while travelling on the plane. You can see the whole interview here:
http://www.cultbox.co.uk/interviews/exclusives/doctor-who-interview-peter-harness-kill-the-moon

Rita: We would love to blame the lousy story-telling on the eleventh hour and pressure, only that would be not seeing the forest for the trees. The reality is much more unnerving and once you start seeing “Kill the Moon” for what it really is, you get rightfully furious.

Malicia: In case you haven’t guessed by now, the whole affair with hatching alien is just a smoke screen for abortion issue. “Kill the Moon” is not a science-fiction story – it is very poorly disguised “pro-life” propaganda written into your favorite TV show. And it is the foulest, most barbaric and misogynist type of propaganda you can imagine. Calling it anything else would be an understatement.

Rita: Doctor Who has been running for 50 years. It started in the early 60`s – not the best time for being a female on TV. Doctor’s companions were often lowered to being scream queens, silly blondes or fashion accessories. That is why Carol Ann Ford (who played Doctor’s grand-daughter Susan Foreman)left the show.But never in the history of the series, was somebody’s personal agenda written into the episode, especially when this agenda is so incredibly sexist.“Kill the Moon” is unique in this regard.

Malicia: Let’s be rotten feminists and point out few things that Mr. Harness put into the script. First and foremost – all male characters were removed from the episode like red shirts in Star Trek. Besides Captain Lundvik, the space shuttle has two male astronauts: Henry and Duke.

The (impossible) astronauts

The (impossible) astronauts

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Rita: And they both die within first ten minutes, having uttered few one liners, which is criminal! Tony Osoba who portrayed Duke was a member of Royal Shakespeare Company and appeared on the Who series twice before (“Dragonfire” and “Destiny of the Daleks”). Phil Nice (Henry) is widely recognized actor working on small screen for the last thirty years. Shame to treat actors this way!

Malicia: Just think of it – the whole surface of the moon is covered with lethal spiders and for some reason only male members of the expedition are getting eaten. Of course it would be fun if the spiders were black widows, but male actors are written off to make space for actresses – and their entertaining dialogue about reproduction.

Rita: Doctor himself gets removed too. He jumps into the Tardis and disappears as soon as a choice between the life of hatching alien and the human population on Earth below is to be made. But not before he utters this charming and very memorable line to Clara and Courtney: “It’s not my moon, women-kind”. Even babies in the nursery know that human kind consists of men and women in rather equal parts and it would be rather logical to have some men included in the decision making process. But no, Mr Harness turned all men into spider’s buffet.

Malicia: Escape of the Doctor made me furious because Time Lord would never leave his companions or Earth alone. He is strict, aloof, deceiving but he has never been an asshole. In Mr Harness` script Doctor staged out the most common stereotype – that all things related to pregnancy, having children and caring for the vulnerable are female problems only.

The Doctor being "pro-choice"

The Doctor being “pro-choice”

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Rita: And this is a very dangerous stereotype because men walk out in drones at first sight of problems.

Malicia: Exactly! If Mr Harness would like to check how this stereotype looks in real life and paid a visit to a website called Institute for Women’s Policy Research (http://www.iwpr.org/) he would discover for example that only 5% of disabled kids in US live with a father. Divorce rates for couples with disabled children stand at 85 % and only around 25% of fathers decide to stick around if a child requires additional assistance. Numbers in Europe are similar. Mr Harness could also read Wikipedia and see the profile of statistical carer of the elderly:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elderly_care.

Rita: Do you think Mr Harness cares for social data? This is boring stuff. Can’t you find him something – umm- more dramatic? Something that would make a good story for example on the big screen?

Malicia: Actually I can. How about a story about Kelly Stapleton? A woman who was left to her own devices when taking care of severely autistic daughter? Imagine: insurance stops rehabilitation of a minor (too expensive), husband is making a professional career and is never around, relatives do not care. It goes to the point where a mother is so desperate and alone that she tries to murder her autistic daughter. She gets 25 years in prison. Best bit is when father gets custody: miraculously the relatives start to care, money is found for rehabilitation, he gets volunteers to help and every one is praising him a hero – even if he doesn’t do any of the job himself. In the meantime his wife is in jail with PTSD. NYT had a nice story on it, if you are curious how a life of a woman left alone to care for a disabled child looks like outside the silver screen:
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/10/kelli-stapleton-issy-stapleton.html

Rita: Woman does the hardest part until she breaks, while the man’s basking in the glory of a hero.

Malicia: Doesn’t it remind you how Mr Harness portrays the Doctor?

Rita: Yep, 12th Doctor reacted like a typical male and took an easy way out, leaving the problem (aka the alien) to Clara. That puts a new meaning to Clara’s being Mrs. Carer so the Doctor doesn’t have to care!

Malicia: Pure sexism but it doesn’t end here. Oh now! Let’s now have a look at what we are left with when all the men either ran away in a time machine or have been consumed by spiders.

Rita: Demographics. I have been making notes: a woman in the 50s (Captain Lundvik), a woman in her late 20s (Clara) and a teenager (Courtney). Three generations of women have gathered on the moon.

In space no one will hear you scream

In space no one will hear you scream

Malicia: And see what they are discussing because this is very interesting. Captain Lundvik (who is too old to have any more children) is worried about grandchildren. Clara (who is here regarded by Mr Harness as a person of “child bearing age”) is asked if she plans to have a family and Courtney is looking all scared, when she is not babbling about cute little aliens.

Rita: Another interesting bit about female demographics. Did you know that unplanned pregnancy is twice as likely to happen to a teenager of color or to a young female of minority? Is this the reason why Courtney has been added to the episode?

Malicia: The whole concept that three females are stranded in space and they spend their time asking each other about family planning is outrageous. Mr Harness, this is Doctor Who not Rush Limbaugh show!

Rita: I believe Peter Harness reflected on how anti-women his script was and tried to add some desperate measures to cover it up by stating that Courtney Woods will become American President in the future. Woman of color being a president of USA – very progressive indeed only completely unrealistic. You need to be born on American soil to become president. Courtney is British. Mr Harness – you are not fooling anyone!

courtney for president

Malicia: The script is a complete train- wreck. Hermione Norris is a fantastic and established actress. Jenna Coleman is as iconic as Elisabeth Sladen. And Ellis George is keeping everyone buzzing. This is the most striking new actress we have seen in a long while. To have such a cast and force them to act out propaganda is a sin.

Rita: I have found something very cool the other day. Geena Davis (#GeenaOnGender) recently spoke about how badly females are portrayed in the movies. And she showed some powerful examples – I want to share the hands outs now with the readers because they seem to be very poignant now that we are discussing “Kill the Moon” and its use of female characters.

Malicia: (looking at the hand outs) Only 27% of characters in movies are females. And here we had a female strong cast acting out somebody’s private (im)moral views. Such a wasted opportunity for a valuable show! Does that constitute a crime against humanity? A severe breach of viewer’s rights? Can I sue?

#GeenaOnGender hand out #1

#GeenaOnGender hand out #1

#GeenaOnGender hand out #2

#GeenaOnGender hand out #2

#GeenaOnGender hand out #3

#GeenaOnGender hand out #3

Rita: I think you would have to sue a lot of people because women are mistreated in the film industry on a regular basis. They are basically non existent on all levels! Here is BBC reporting on the same issue, with more shocking findings. Only 16% of script writers and directors in the industry are females. Apparently, situation in the UK is even worse. When did you last see a female script writer on Doctor Who?
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20141007-where-are-the-women-in-hollywood

Malicia: So, that is why you get such dreadful scripts like “Kill the Moon”. Do you think Peter Harness is aware of the situation?

Rita: I am sure Mr Harness would stumble upon the data we are quoting on social media, had he not ran away from Twitter like… um a Time Lord from an alien egg…

Malicia: Ah, never ending sexist stereotypes, derogatory use of female cast, views out of the dark ages. Mr Harness will have a lot of explaining to do in front of his mother come next family gathering. I would like to stop a bit on the message behind “Kill the Moon” because we haven’t touched upon this aspect yet.

Rita: The “pro-life” message. The whole episode is full of dreadful wording that could turn your stomach around. Doctor preaches about “making the right choice” and “moon putting on weight”, Courtney proclaims that a planet is “a baby” while Lundvik and Clara ramble about “having babies” and “killing babies”.

Malicia: We have a collection of screens documenting the level of propaganda that Mr Harness serves us in “Kill the Moon” just below. Please grab a paper bag…

Bad wording

Bad wording

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Rita: And this is our favorite screenshot – the close up of a monitor showing the moment when Clara stops the bombs. In case, you were dumb enough not to notice that the show is about abortion.

Very subtle message by script writer...

Very subtle message by script writer…

Malicia: It makes me want to swear in some really creative way…

Rita: There was a very good line in “Girl in a fireplace”. You can quote if you are Tennant fan-girl.

Malicia: Mr Harness – “you are brilliant, you are the best, you know why? Cause you’re so thick! You’re Mr. Thick Thick Thickety Thick-face from Thick-town, Thickania”.

Rita: Feeling any better?

Malicia: A lot.

Rita: Next to awful wording on the show, we have questionable actions. Since no compromise was reached between Captain Lundvik and Clara on what to do with the hatching alien, an appeal was issued towards Earth. Humans would vote to either let the being live or to kill it. If the alien was killed, the moon would remain intact and the Earth would not be exposed to a cosmic apocalypse. If the creature would hatch, there was a risk that the Earthlings would be devastated by the monster and the remains of the moon itself. Humans obviously decided on self perseverance yet in the last moment Clara stopped the bombs and allowed the creature to hatch, against the wishes of her entire kind. That was applauded by The Doctor once he arrived in the last minutes of the show.

Malicia: Or to put it in plain English: one “unborn” is much more important than any fully formed being already alive, even a whole planet with an entire species. Terrible message hammered bluntly into faces of millions of viewers.

Rita: Mr Harness wanted to create the ultimate moral dilemma: one life versus many. Only he failed miserably.

Malicia: Firstly because, when a child is being born (or in this regard – hatching) it is too late for abortion. Such procedure would kill a woman instantly. It is called infanticide and it is illegal. In a country that allows a choice, 90% of medical abortions happen in the first trimester when we deal with cells rather than fully developed fetus. If a late abortion happens it is mostly due to some traumatic occurrences. The most common – woman had been denied the access to safe and early medical procedure. Opponents of abortion love to paint a picture that abortion is a Babies Slaughterhouse nr 5 but the reality is so much different. Mr Harness yet decided to use this stereotype to his advantage.

Rita: Secondly, situation where you have to sacrifice one life to save many others is a well known ethical meta-model. And like every other philosophical meta-model it is very rare. Most of us will never face such choice in our life time. This meta model is also considered to be a paradox. Whovians love paradoxes – the impossible occurrences, the series is full of them. One life vs. many is a “lose-lose” scenario, you cannot find a way out, without a defeat.

Malicia: But Mr Harness serves us a sappy “happily ever after” at the end of the episode. Earth is saved and the alien flies away leaving a new egg in place of the moon. It would be laughable, if it wasn’t so cruel. When you have to choose between one life and another, it should be left to those involved only. You cannot force a resolution on somebody without making much more damage. It is very curious that “pro-life” activists always try to make martyrs and survivors out of others, but not themselves. Perhaps Peter Harness would talk to real women who were forced to carry unwanted pregnancy to term and see what a happy ending they have. He could even write some real script about it. But why bother, so much easier to evoke a dilemma with no solution and trivialize it.

Rita: Exactly. Peter Harness shows us in “Kill the Moon” that there is only one solution to abortion: to carry pregnancy to term. After that, you are guaranteed a fairytale solution to all issues that may have arisen.

Malicia: In the name of this solution millions of women suffer. 800 women die every day due to lack of safe and standard medical procedures such as abortion, number of women affected by mental and physical scars in unknown. Mr Harness, two sources from WHO (World Health Organisation) and Amnesty International. This is how your cherished “pro-life” solution looks in practice:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/women-s-silent-killer-sexual-health-policies-found-lacking-worldwide-2013-02-13
www.amnesty.org/en/news/sexual-and-reproductive-rights-facts-and-figures-2013-02-14

Rita: Women rights are violated so often world wide that there is a term for fighting for it: reproductive justice. Bet you dear readers that you didn’t know that. We even bet your school sexual education (if you had one that is!) never mentioned it either. Why for? This only concerns half of the entire planet population. Who cares?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reproductive_justice

Malicia: What Mr Harness did with his “Kill the Moon” script was basically delivering a huge slap into women’s faces. Another reminder that females don’t matter: either as an actress, as a human being, as a person. They are just baby making machines who can be hurt or tortured and denied basic rights like right to self governance and the right to medical care. We don’t matter Mr Harness – only the fetuses matter (until they are born). Pretty much like the human kind didn’t matter in your story – just the alien in the egg.

Rita: Mr Harness you should be also aware of the fact that you have been discussed across extreme right blogs (we won’t mention them not to give them any web traffic, but surely you can Google one rightly wired or another). Well done here, Doctor Who is now being recognized as a political tool, especially in the US. No more science fiction – now we have Tea Party followers watching the show…

Malicia: And we are sure you will be delighted that the new fan base you brought into the series is having really humane approach to life. For example one blog that hailed you a “pro life fighter”, also advocates Amendment 67 in Colorado. It will not only ban all abortion in the state, it will also sentence women who had miscarriage to jail for a murder. Your version of the Doctor would definitely approve. Some reading:

http://www.voteno67.com/index.php/faqs/faqs
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jen-caltrider/hello-america-its-me-colorado_b_5870476.html

(good news here – it didn’t pass)

 Rita: Come to think of it, I believe Peter Harness took Doctor very seriously. He may be under the impression that he was a medical specialist, most likely a gynecologist.

We will now move to other aspects of the show, but our Choir wanted to voice their disapproval for the writer again.

Invisible Booing Choir: Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

Rita: Thank you, Ladies.

Malicia: Leaving the propaganda aside. There are some ground work rules for writing. The first rule would be: Your story must be believable. It doesn’t matter where the story is taking place – it has to be logical and harmonious. A reader should believe everything that is happening in the story, it has to feel real. If the readers are asking questions (why? how?), the writer has failed and the universe he created has logical or scientific faults.

Rita: The story of “Kill the Moon” was killed (or should we say butchered?) by scientific mistakes the size of the moon itself. Since something as obvious as research before writing isn’t apparently so obvious, we recommend The BBC to hire a scientific adviser for the series. Brian Cox would be delighted, we are sure about that.

The Doctor Who couldn't count

The Doctor Who couldn’t count

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Malicia: Let’s take a closer look at the scientific and logical errors in the episode.

Rita: The Doctor’s age – The Doctor in series 8 is, as he says in the trailer, over 2000 years old. He has been traveling for two millennia throughout the time and space, has seen the universe born and die; visited parallel words and the nothingness among the realms. He has become a legend, something of a (lonely) god. He is also a genius, an alien of knowledge and science, who adopted Earth as his second home.

Malicia: So, it is simply impossible that The Doctor would not know/not realize that the Moon is an egg. We have seen him on the moon with Martha Jones in “Smith and Jones”, but we can logically assume that he has been there many times before and knows it like the back of his hand.

Rita: If the episode was taking place somewhere else in the universe (or even in Earth’s alternative time line), we could have believed it, maybe. The Doctor is not a fool – he would have known long time ago if the moon was a giant egg. Please note that we don’t want to say that the Doctor is not capable of making a mistake. He is, but not an elementary mistake like that that because it borders on ignorance…

Malicia: Even if the Doctor is wrong, there’s always  a trusted companion he has, that can set him onto the right track.

Rita: Aye, The TARDIS. Doctor’s marvelous time machine has been referred to as the most powerful piece of technology in existence. Let’s say that the Doctor really made a mistake and never realized the moon was an egg. Errare Time Lordum Est. What about the TARDIS? Can the machine be fooled as well? With her powerful scanners and other timey-wimey unearthly equipment? Even less possible!

Malicia: Don’t forget about human technology. Humans are curious and have their own gadgets and ways to investigate the mysteries of the universe.

Rita: Good point. We might be just children compared to other races, but Humanity has enough knowledge not to mistake natural satellites for an egg. The moon’s structure has been checked multiple times and the results are easily available on the Internet:
http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/moon_core_chat.html#.VDqVrKJoFCU

Malicia: Denying climate changes or evolution these days will make you look silly. Some ideas, doesn’t matter how colorful or shocking, will always sound stupid. Egg as the moon is one of them.

Rita: Another aspect of the story that is absolutely Looney Tunes: the moon is gaining mass. This has to be one of the most ridiculous concepts introduced in the episode. The egg has been dormant for billions of years and suddenly it starts to grow. How it is gaining mass is never explained. During pregnancy, the baby is connected to the mother, is fed by her body and that’s how it grows. The embryos in normal eggs feed on the nutrient fluids inside the shell; they also need the right temperature and humidity to hatch. The moon is a planet; there is no warmth, no mother, nothing. We could say that this is an alien egg after all and maybe it is being fed by cosmic dust or it doesn’t need to eat at all, but again, it would have to be somewhere else in the universe and not our moon.

Lights are going out

Lights are going out

Malicia: I have an explanation for moon putting on the weight!

 Rita: Oh, really?

Malicia: Peter Harness not only skipped sexual education at school. He also failed basic maths, sciences and biology.

Rita: Then perhaps he should educate himself. He can for example start with this blog:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/10/06/slate_plus_doctor_who_podcast_episode_7_kill_the_moon.html

Malicia: ATalking about maths, the age of the moon is another faux pas of the episode.

Rita: Our Time Lord has some problems with basic counting. The moon is not 100 million years old…rather 4.5 billion years old. Wikipedia to the rescue, author dear…

Malicia: And how did you like the spiders? They were supposed to be the Classic Who monstrosities.

Rita: Bacteria in the form of carnivorous spiders – the egg is hatching and the bacteria feeding off the alien baby are running loose on the moon’s surface. I am not going to criticize the fact that the alien bacteria look like giant earth spiders and act exactly like them (i.e. create cobwebs to catch prey). What I truly find hard to digest is that the whole concept of spider bacteria is so cliché: they are not scared of humans (who are largely the same size or bigger), attack the characters on sight and eat human flash.

Malicia: The cherry on the top of the cake – you can kill them with any random cleaning detergent.

Rita: Imagine the same concept in other s-f classics. Ripley should have been given a bottle of Domestos instead of a gun. No Alien would survive.

Courtney kills 99% of bacteria

Courtney kills 99% of bacteria

Malicia: You know what irked me besides the abortion issue? The whole rescue mission with nuclear missiles. A group of astronauts, Earth’s last chance for survival arrives to an old abandoned space station with nothing else but nuclear missiles.

We have got WMD

We have got WMD

Rescue mission - blow it up!

Rescue mission – blow it up!

Rita: Their mission was to blow up the moon. It’s the lazy writing striking again. Middle grade school question: what happens when the moon is ripped to millions of pieces? In short – we are still doomed and blowing up the moon has not helped us a tiniest bit. It’s not a question of do we kill the poor alien or let it live. The effect of moon hatching or being blasted into oblivion would still be the same.

Great article on this question can be found here:
http://www.spaceanswers.com/solar-system/what-would-happen-if-we-blew-up-the-moon/

Malicia: And there was the light – this poor old abandoned space station should seriously consider suing Paul Harness for defamation. The writing is so illogical here it truly physically hurts when you are thinking about it. Group of astronauts enters a deserted, non operational space station and after a decade, just like that, they switch on the lights. There is no need to fix anything, replace the parts – you press the button and let there be light. Brilliant.

Lights on, common sense off

Lights on, common sense off

Rita: Did we mention the cliché interior design?

Malicia: I nearly forgot: Mexican flag, some tribal rags, a poncho…cultural sensitivity like in a Lidl hand-out when they have a Mexican week: http://euroviv.blogspot.com/2012/05/perks-of-shopping-lidl-margarita-recipe.html

Rita: Because Latin culture has nothing more to offer that few overused items. I have seen less stereotypes in Escrava Isaura (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escrava_Isaura_(1976_telenovela) and María la del Barrio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar%C3%ADa_la_del_Barrio).

The Mexican space station was set up in 2039

The Mexican space station was set up in 2039

The Mexicans are not coming - they have been eaten

The Mexicans are not coming – they have been eaten

Space station (derogatory) interior

Space station (derogatory) interior

Malicia: It could have been a great opportunity to introduce some Latin actors in this episode. If Mexico was the last country to have a space mission on the moon and all the crew was feared dead or hurt, it would be logical to send somebody who was from their country or at least who spoke Spanish. Just in case if the was a need to communicate with the survivors in their mother tongue. But why bother with the details…

Rita: The script is full of such nonsense. Another example is the teleconference with humans on Earth. We see the Earth voting – Clara asks humans to make a decision: kill the creature or not. Then she sets up the rules. The Earth will vote by turning off the lights (to kill) or leaving them on (letting the alien live).

The voting

The voting

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Malicia: And our impossible girl is standing by the window of the space shuttle for 45 minutes and … Well nothing!

Rita: To quote NASA: “The moon orbits the earth with a period of four weeks (a month) and during the orbit it always has the same side facing the earth.” It means that we can only see the only side of the moon during the lunar cycle. If we were standing on the moon, we could see only half of the Earth, not the whole planet and even then, we have to stand on the side of the moon that faces the Earth. If we were on the dark side of the moon (not visible from the Earth), we wouldn’t be able see our planet at all.

Malicia: Watching the Earth revolve in 45 minutes and seeing the lights going out is impossible, even for the impossible girl. Not to mention that half of the Earth is sleeping while the other one is awake and you will not be able to see the lights on that side of the globe from the space…

Rita: Clara would have to board the TARDIS and fly around Earth to see the entire planet. But as we could see, Doctor escaped from making the life changing decision and took TARDIS with him leaving Clara on the noon.

Malicia: One more thing, the first time we meet Clara in “Asylum of the Daleks”, she is portrayed as extremely smart girl, a genius. She was so smart that Daleks did a full conversion on her, instead of turning her into simple puppet. We wonder where that smart Clara is now as she is having problems with rather elementary geography and physics.

Clara stops the vote

Clara stops the vote

Rita: I believe we can give Clara a hand in here. NASA has a project called “STAR CHILD” dedicated to passing elementary knowledge about space to kids: http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question58.html

We can also use the BBC archives to learn about Sun, Moon and rotating:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/scienceclips/ages/9_10/earth_sun_moon.shtml

Malicia: Yes, that would definitely be very helpful, even for some script writers…

Rita: Let’s talk now about the egg itself and what’s inside. After ignoring the democratic vote she has proposed herself, Clara is saving the egg and lets it hatch. The egg breaks open and the shell miraculously disappears after the alien creature is out. The Doctor explains that the rest of the egg (or the moon) has just “disintegrated” but what he truly means is “disappeared into thin air”. The debris is just vanishing, like magic – again without any sensible explanation.

Malicia: Some commentators mentioned that it could have something to do with the creature blowing us a raspberry but we would rather not get into that discussion, thank you.

Rita: The baby alien has a nice pair of wings. Why it would need a pair of wings in space, is beyond our understanding.

The birth

The birth

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#4

#4

Malicia: It is also very kind. It flies away in peace and leaves a new moon behind as a parting gift for the humanity. The new egg is identical as the old moon – it has the same shape, the same mass, is left in exactly the same places and even has the same surface.

Rita: Also, the new moon is created under 10 seconds – a new galactic record we are sure…

(Malicia and Rita look at each other in sudden silence. They look exhausted and given up. The Invisible Booing Choir would  like to add another Booooo but they also give up)

Malicia: Did we ever review such a mess before?

Rita: Once. Remember “The Dark Water” by Hideo Nakata?

Malicia: It was such a dreadful waste of public money. But “Kill the Moon” beats the juvenile mass murderer in a yellow raincoat in all departments. Congratulation Mr Harness, we haven’t reviewed such a crap program in twelve years.

Rita: We truly wish we could say that the crew, producers and fans were all happy and “Kill the Moon” became an instant classic. Unfortunately, while the newspaper papers and fellow reviewers gave it a healthy 7 stars out of 10, the viewers and scientists have panned it to Gallifrey and back. This episode has set the lowest scientific and story telling standards for the new series and it will take a long time before it is forgotten…

(There is a sudden ring of the telephone in the back ground)

Malicia: Hang on, dear readers. Somebody’s on the line.

(picks up the receiver)

– Hello? Yes, this is Vanadian Avenue. Who’s speaking?
– (…)
– No, no there must be some misunderstanding. We do not need a doctor; we are in excellent health…
– (…)
– What do you mean The Doctor? Doctor Who?
– (…)
– Ah I see… his Eleventh reincarnation… Where are you calling from?
– (…)
– Trenzalore? But how?
– (…)
– You reversed the polarity of the neutron flow? That sounds very wibbly – wobbly to me…
– (…)
– No, he is not here, but you can leave a message. We will pass it on.
– (…)
– Right, thank you Doctor. Just… don’t travel alone.

(puts the receiver down)

Mr Harness, the Doctor just called from Trenzalore. He wanted to tell you that leaving after one episode is good, but never coming back to the series is better.

So basically,
Run.

 Epilogue:

Hand on the heart – we hope this is the last time we had to deal with dubious morality on the show. Having strong views is one thing, turning Doctor Who into propaganda machine is another. There is time and space to discuss birds and bees, aliens and eggs, female reproductive rights but Saturday evening on BBC is not one of them.

Morality that kills, wounds and maims millions of women world wide is not moral at all, on any level.
Dear script writers – if you plan to use eggs in the future episodes of the series, kindly stick to using them for soufflés.
We want to leave you dear readers with two great articles that would make much better story line than “Kill the Moon”:

http://www.iflscience.com/space/who-owns-moon
http://www.iflscience.com/space/what-if-moon-was-disco-ball

Thank you for reading.
Mal and Rita

Curtain falls. Invisible Booing Choir continues to boooo.

Doctor Who Experience Part 1

Hello Whovians!

Are you sitting comfortably? The premiere of “Deep Breath” is just round the corner (only three days are now left!) and the emotions are flying high. It’s been already two weeks since we have attended the red carpet event but it feels like it was only yesterday! If you have been scuba diving in Spain, living under a rock or traveling in another dimension and you have missed our three part review, this is a good time to familiarize yourself with everything what has been happening in Whoniverse. Click on the links below and you will be taken back in time to 7th of August!

Show me the way to Doctor Who Experience  or you will be exterminated!

Show me the way to The Doctor Who Experience or you will be exterminated!

Our ticket

Our ticket

Doctor Who Cardiff Premiere Part 1: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/doctor-who-season-8-premiere-in-cardiff-part-one/
Doctor Who Cardiff Premiere Part 2: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/doctor-who-season-8-premiere-in-cardiff-part-two/
Doctor Who Cardiff Premiere Part 3: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/doctor-who-season-8-premiere-in-cardiff-part-three/

That was a fantastic day and we will remember it for a very long time. Don’t worry, we still haven’t run out of Doctor Who related material and we will dedicate the entire month to the beloved Time Lord. Let’s make the countdown to Peter Capaldi’s debut a memorable one! Ladies and gentleman, humans, humanoids, aliens and other sentient forms of life – welcome kindly to the one and only Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff!

Are you experienced?

Are you experienced?

The main entrance to the building

The main entrance to the building

In May 2014, Rita and Mal arrived in Cardiff for the first time. It is one of those magical places we have always wanted to see. It took us maybe half an hour to absolutely and utterly fell in love with this beautiful city. We spent an entire day walking around the Cardiff Bay and afterwards, we even published a small tour guide listing many local attractions on our blog. However, we didn’t come to the Welsh capitol for beautiful views or good food. Our main goal was to visit the famous Doctor Who Experience to finally discover what the hype was all about. Was it worth the praise? Read on!

Doctor Who Experience is located a short walk away from the BBC studios, Millennium Centre and the Ronald Dhal Plass that has been featured both on “Torchwood” and “Doctor Who” TV series as the Cardiff Rift. It is impossible to miss it – the building is huge, futuristic looking and there are Dalek signs all over the place to show you the right way. If you are arriving to Cardiff by car as we did, take a look at your sat nav. You will notice that TARDIS Walk is also located nearby! Whovians will be delighted!

Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff - in its entire Whovian glory

Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff – in its entire Whovian glory

We approached the museum from the back, a little bit different that other visitors. There is a straight road that goes from the car park into the building, but since we wanted to see the city centre and the Cardiff Bay first, we had to use the waterfront promenade. It wasn’t a bad idea as we had a chance to discover a small exhibition called “The World of Boats”  located right behind the Doctor Who building, in a former boat yard. The exhibition has a famous blue box attached to the gate – a really nice tribute to the neighbours. Sadly, during the May Bank Holiday everything else except The Experience was closed so we were forced to take pictures from a distance. A bit of shame but we will be certainly back to see it very soon.

TARDIS at the entry to the marina

TARDIS at the entry to the marina – view from the distance

And a close up!

And a close up!

Word of advice before you enter the building. If you are claustrophobic, the Experience might not be for you. The tour is nearly 30 minutes long and you will be moving with a large group of people through dark and narrow corridors. The fire exits are well lit but concealed by decorations and we felt really uncomfortable. Luckily, you are not visiting on your own – there are always two tour guides with each group and they are ready to let you out in a flash. It is worth suffering through the tour – museum at the end is an real gem. The other thing you need to know is the tour starts at certain times (every hour) and when you book your ticket, the time of your visit will be displayed on it.  If you are late, the tour will leave without you so make sure you arrive at least 10 minutes before. On busy days tickets are selling out fast – booking online is always a safer option. Admission prices vary: 15 pounds for an adult and 10 pounds for a child. Discounts are offered to families and organized groups.

Just Perfect Ltd - Catering and Events are responsible for cafe inside the Doctor Who Experience. Very good food. You can visit them at: http://www.justperfectcatering.co.uk/index.html

Just Perfect Ltd – Catering and Events are responsible for cafe inside the Doctor Who Experience. Very good food. You can visit them at: http://www.justperfectcatering.co.uk/index.html

Real life size Dalek constructed from Lego bricks

Real life size Dalek constructed from Lego bricks – is welcoming visitors right after entering the building

Experience official website: http://www.doctorwho.tv/events/doctor-who-experience/
Experience on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DW_Experience
Experience on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DoctorWhoExperience
More information about tickets: http://www.doctorwho.tv/events/doctor-who-experience/tickets/general-admission-tickets

Our Experience movie still had the 11th Doctor in it. You have to hurry up if you still want to see it – the Raggedy Man Era will end on September 1st and the museum will be closed for several weeks.  In May, Steven Moffat admitted that they are working on a new Experience with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, but he failed to say exactly when it will be filmed. We don’t want to spoil anything for those who have not seen it yet, but you can expect Daleks, Weeping Angels and a crazy interactive TARDIS flight. It was almost bittersweet to see Matt Smith on the big screen again, knowing he will no longer be playing The Doctor. Kids cheered enthusiastically when he appeared and at the end somebody shouted “Please don’t go!” Matt would be very touched indeed.

Doctor Who Experience is decorated  with excellent murals - sorry but we don't know the artist's name. This one shows Rassilon (as played by Timothy Dalton), The Master (as played by Anthony Ainley) and Toclafane (as seen in the episode "The Sound of Drums). The mural  also includes the official Rassilon's seal from Gallifrey.

Doctor Who Experience is decorated with excellent murals – sorry but we don’t know the artist’s name. This one shows Rassilon (as played by Timothy Dalton), The Master (as played by Anthony Ainley) and Toclafane (as seen in the episode “The Sound of Drums). The mural also includes an official seal of Rassilon – the symbol of Timelords Society from Gallifrey.

Second mural located by the ticket office - The Silence, Ood kind and Sontarans - Strax and Staal from "The Sontaran Stratagem"

Second mural located by the ticket office – The Silence, Ood kind and Sontarans – Strax and Staal from “The Sontaran Stratagem”

Blink and you are dead - The Weeping Angels

Blink and you are dead – The Weeping Angels

Once you emerge from the darkness, you will find yourself inside the museum. Two big exhibition floors are filled top to bottom with costumes, monsters figures, robots, strange devices, character uniforms and other Doctor Who goodies. The first floor is dedicated to the Doctor, his previous incarnations and his companions. The upper floor is a home to enemies and monsters the Doctor has encountered in his travels. We have noticed that older visitors (Classic Who fans) tent to spend more time on the first floor while the younger audience (especially the kids) prefer to run straight to the second floor to encounter Dalkes and Cybermen. We have tried to dedicate equal amount of time to each part of the museum to provide you with an in-depth review. The costumes are beautifully done and we will describe them in detail a bit later, but there was something else that grounded us on the first floor for more than an hour. If you ever dreamt of touching the TARDIS console, pushing the buttons, seeing the machine work and move – this is your chance. The museum gives the visitors an unique opportunity to see the entire interior of two TARDIS’es: the first one stolen by The Doctor and Susan at the beginning of the TV series in 1963 and the one that belonged to David Tennant.

Third Doctor's car named Bessie, a Ford 103E Populars with a fibre-glass body. Bessie is now almost 40 years old and very fragile. Visitors are not allowed to touch it or sit in it.

Third Doctor’s car named Bessie, a Ford 103E Populars with a fibre-glass body. Bessie is now almost 40 years old and very fragile. Visitors are not allowed to touch it or sit in it.

Real science to entertain the kids. Do you know what makes the beach ball fly?

Real science to entertain the kids. Do you know what makes the beach ball fly?

an interesting display how Doctor Who Experience has been built

an interesting display how Doctor Who Experience has been built

It feels like being on a movie set! The original TARDIS interior is extremely bright. White walls (with famous “round things”) look sterile clean and a bit cold. Buttons and levers are white, green, black and transparent, there is also one  single big red button. Various cables and machinery parts are perfectly visible inside the time rotor (a glass tube in the middle of the console) as they move around, go up and down. The design is futuristic yet old by today’s standards: computer screens are too large, the console has hexagonal shape and is segregated into six geometrical sections with straight rows of buttons (even numbers on each side), gauges, compartments and something that looks like a glove boxes. This is a typical s-f production design from early 1960’s and we got teary-eyed just looking at the beautiful piece of equipment. You don’t see anything like that on the telly anymore. Standing next to the console, you have this eerie feeling that the unforgettable William Hartwell will come out of his dressing room any second to discuss what’s happening in the next scene. There was one gentleman from our group that nearly jumped out of his shoes from excitement when he saw the first TARDIS right before him. He explained (a bit ashamed) that he watched Doctor Who since its premiere and now his great grand children are playing with Dalek toys and couldn’t wait for the new Doctor to arrive!

The Madman and his blue box - TARDIS on display

The Madman and his blue box – TARDIS on display

St Jon Ambulance logo on TARDIS door - we have always been curious how the logo looked like in detail

St Jon Ambulance logo on TARDIS door – we have always been curious how the logo looked like in detail

Police Box sign is flashing  - the machine is ready for take off

Police Box sign is flashing – the machine is ready for take off

Police Telephone Free for Use of Public - every child knows that this is not a police box but a powerful time machine!

Police Telephone Free for Use of Public – every child knows that this is not a police box but a powerful time machine!

The other TARDIS located on the left hand side of the museum that belonged to the 10th incarnation of the beloved Time Lord (played by fan favourite Shakespearean actor David Tennant) is nothing like the original one. It is dark, wild, and mysterious. It reminded us of some exotic rain forest plant that could be highly toxic.  This time machine comes in different shades and hues of yellow, green and grey. Several pillars “growing” next to the giant time rotor, looks more like trees or some strange vines that a normal structural support. As you probably know, the 10th Doctor is so popular among younger audience that we had to stand in line to take few photographs! It was worth waiting those 15 minutes – the Coral TARDIS (as it is commonly known) is beautiful and you almost feel like an official companion!

Original interior of TARDIS from 1963 - we do love the round things on the walls!

Original interior of TARDIS from 1963 – we do love the round things on the walls!

TARDIS in flight as the time rotor is on

TARDIS in flight as the time rotor is on

TARDIS gallery - blue boxes that belonged to the 4th Doctor, 10th Doctor and 9th Doctor (from left to right)

TARDIS gallery – blue boxes that belonged to the 4th Doctor, 10th Doctor and 9th Doctor (from left to right)

You can find more information about TARDIS interiors using the links below:

http://www.whoniverse.net/tardis/controlrooms.php
http://www.thedoctorwhosite.co.uk/tardis/interior/season-1-interior/
http://www.pointlessmuseum.com/museum/drwhotechmanual015.php

If you cannot get enough of TARDIS, there is a collection of  blue boxes used in production of The Classic series of Doctor Who near the western side of the museum. Four machines are proudly standing next to each other and you can even open the door. We don’t know which series they were used in, but other visitors informed us that they served as galactic transport for the 4th, 10th and 8th Doctors.

Time Rotor in "Coral"TARDIS

Time Rotor in “Coral” TARDIS

Main console

Main console

Console close up with  computer read screen (in Gallifreyan)

Console close up with computer read out screen (in Gallifreyan)

In case something goes wrong - use a hammer

In case something goes wrong – use a hammer

And another look at the console - from a different side

And another look at the console – from a different side

And another close up  - from yet another perspective

We haven’t seen this side yet!

Comfortable seat

Comfortable seat

The console looks amazing - and it really works!

The console looks amazing – and it really works!

Slightly different perspective with the base of time rotor

Slightly different perspective with the base of time rotor

All right Whovians! It’s time to go for now but please return quickly!
Next time, we will show you some beautiful costumes for the Doctor and  his companions.

Till then,
xxx
Rita and Malcia Dabrowicz

Doctor Who Season 8 premiere in Cardiff part three

Geronimo!!

Welcome Whovians! The third and last part of our review from Cardiff Premiere is finally here. If you’d like to read two previous entries, use the TARDIS database links below. Please be careful, the time archives are very delicate! One careless move and you will rip a hole in the fabrics of reality. That might have a terrible consequences: people could be misplaced, clocks could be stopped, unspeakable terrors could slip into our dimensions… Just be aware ok? And whatever you do, don’t push any big red buttons! We don’t have any big red buttons anyway, but it’s always better to leave them alone.  And don’t go wandering off – the pool is closed. We think, we have an illegal Kraken on board…

So hurry up, read the archives and get back to us!

Doctor Who Cardiff Premiere Part 1: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/doctor-who-season-8-premiere-in-cardiff-part-one/
Doctor Who Cardiff Premiere Part 2: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/doctor-who-season-8-premiere-in-cardiff-part-two/

All right, that was quick!  Now, where were we? It’s always handy to keep notes on what you have written before. You can pick up your tale from the exact moment where you finished it last time. Isn’t it brilliant? And we also did a bit of a research to make this part even more interesting.  Ah! That’s right, we witnessed the arrival of the 12th Doctor and his companions, we fought off the Daleks and escaped the Cybermen. Quite a busy morning! Our destination was the St David’s Hall. It may look like an ordinary building constructed in 1982, but in fact… it is an ordinary building constructed in 1982…

St David's Hall - a view from the outside

St David’s Hall – a view from the outside

Just in case you forgot where you are :)

Just in case you forgot where you are 🙂

BBc crew at the entrance

BBC crew at the entrance

Well, St David’s Hall may not be an UNIT Headquarters or Torchwood Institute but it still made a big impressions on Doctor Who fans. It has a very strange and remarkable shape – nothing like any other building we have seen in Cardiff so far. It has been designed and erected by Seymour Harris Partnership to fill a small gap between existing buildings and the newly created St David Shopping Centre. The performing arts and exhibition venue has capacity of 2000 people and contains foyers, several balconies, auditorium, dressing rooms, bars, restaurant, cloak room, offices and technical crew area. We were surprised how spacious it is inside. Sounds a bit like a TARSIS – it’s bigger on the inside and smaller on the outside. Time Lords engineering? Several major artistic events are held at St David’s Hall: Welsh Proms (annually), BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition (every two years), Welsh Artist of the Year Awards Ceremony, Roots Unearthed folk series and A Taste of the Fresh Welsh Sound among others. The venue is also a home to BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales (the BBC NOW) that kindly provides soundtrack to Doctor Who series.

Our ticket to heaven - front

Our ticket to heaven – front

And the back

And the back

Official website: http://www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk/
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stdavidshall
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/stdavidshall

After entering the building, we have been greeted by BBC Crew that provided us with some neat promotional materials (including a set of three unique Word Tour character cards) and we were asked to go to the first floor. Upstairs, we had a chance to buy something to eat (chocolates and jelly babies) and to refresh ourselves.  A large group of fans who arrived before us, were queuing to pose for an official “companion” picture for BBC in the main lobby. Rita was tempted to have a go but the line was long and you had to sign a consent form as the pictures were to be uploaded to official BBC Facebook profile. Realizing we were very tired, we had to give up. It was time to find our seats and rest a bit. The lady checking our tickets was incredibly professional. She told us a bit about the venue, explained how to get to our sector and even showed us where we could find the fire exits (a necessary knowledge for claustrophobics like us). The control strips have been then torn off our tickets and we finally entered the auditorium. Our jaws hit the floor. The place is enormous and beautiful. The interior is very new and it contrasts with the 80’s feeling of the building itself. The auditorium has three levels: front, middle and upper with balconies located at both ends. Finding our seats was easy – we were sitting in the front row, next to the exit leading behind the stage. You may ask how do we know it. Well, Rita usually checks if the fire exits would open. They did and she walked right into three men carrying Dalek heads and Peter Capaldi himself. The Doctor threw her a long surprised look and disappeared in the dressing room and Rita gave him her best nervous grin. Call it a perfect timing! Mr Capaldi must have just finished his red carpet duty by then and was on this way to prepare himself for the premiere. It’s a real talent to bump into celebrities in the most inconvenient/humiliating moments possible: Malicia met Sharon Osborne in the Ozzfest  kitchen area, who was munching on strawberries, we caught Sharon Del Arden (Within Temptation) going out of the dressing room wearing a towel on her head, Metallica in their pyjamas asked us for breakfast, Rita poured Mark Lanegan a drink and bumped into Andi Deris (lead singer of heavy metal band Helloween) while he was going out of a shower, completely naked…The list is very, very long…

Pictures from previous shows are decorating the walls inside the venue

Pictures from previous shows are decorating the walls inside the venue

Musical instruments on display

Musical instruments on display

Doctor Who diet? Yes, please!

Doctor Who diet? Yes, please!

We don’t have to tell you how happy we were sitting so close to the screen.  It was a truly fantastic place to be.  We had an excellent view at the main stage, we could  just turn around to see the entire auditorium behind us and we were seated in the VIP section – what else could you ask for? Rita took several picture of the crowd sitting next to us and they even waved at the camera. Thank you people – you are simply the best!

Around 12:30 the lights in St David’s Hall dimmed and the public went wild again. BBC Director, Rhodri Talfan Davies entered the stage and greeted visitors again, saying that he barely could believe so many people traveled the world to be there. The audience jumped to their feet when Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Steve Moffat joined him for few minutes. Jenna and Peter were now dressed differently – Mr Capaldi wore a black suit and Jenna replaced her red dress with a dark shirt and Bella Freud ‘1970’ Jumper in black & ivory. We have been asked not to share or mention anything regarding the “Deep Breath” to anybody as leaked transcripts and raw videos released on the Internet weeks earlier caused the producers a lot of grief. When  2 .000 people promised to behave by screaming at the top of their lungs, Rhodri Talfan Davies laughed and gave the signal to turn off the lights.

Crowd of fans waiting for the doors to open

Crowd of fans waiting for the doors to open

Do you want to be a companion? Stay in line!

Do you want to be a companion? Stay in line!

Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor

Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor

We will not spoil you anything, so if you are looking for illegal content, sorry but we are not able to help you. However, we can list few interesting things about the first episode that are worth waiting for. Please take a look at our personal top ten of “Deep Breath” highlights:

1.Peter Capaldi – It is a common knowledge that Peter Capaldi is one of the most talented British actors today. He has received all important awards to prove his skills including an Oscar and several BAFTA’s. As 12th Doctor, he is wild, exciting, new and fascinating. He can make you laugh, he can make you feel scared, he can terrify you – all at the same time. Steven Moffat is a genius and you can believe us, there is no other actor that could play the new incarnation of the Doctor better. Mr Capaldi is a life long fan and he is not just playing the Doctor. He is the Doctor. This is a great opportunity for young audience to become introduced to Peter Capaldi. Remember that name – Peter’s on a roll!

2. 12th Doctor – say good-bye to flirty, young Doctors. This newcomer is not a romance material. He is not even Mr Nice Guy. He is not a human being, but a Time Lord and now you will see the difference. Part of the Doctor hasn’t changed – he is curious like a cat, unpredictable, headstrong, smart, funny and charming. But number twelve is not forgiving or kind. He has a lot of darkness in him, and we could say he nearly walks on the thin red line that separates the good and bad.  Do you remember the Time Lord Victorious from “Waters of Mars” episode? The 10th incarnation came close to that line several times, but only crossed it once and it shook him to the core. The new Doctor is not afraid, he embraces the dark side like an old friend. You cannot trust him. He is deceitful, angry, cruel. He can abandon you without second thoughts. And at the same time, he is lost and scared. He needs somebody beside him. The Doctor has as just regenerated – new persona, new body confuses him. He is suffering. He doesn’t understand his old friends and they don’t understand him. The Doctor is discovering himself and the inner investigation is not a pleasure trip. Our favourite scene is that with an homeless man and a broken mirror.  Rita thinks that the 12th Doctor is like a Shakespearean play  – it is brilliant, dark, serious and you know that the blood will flow in the end but you cannot stop reading (or in this case watching). Is this the best series of Doctor Who yet? Possibly!

A view from the VIP section

A view from the VIP section

The auditorium starts to fill in

The auditorium starts to fill in

3.  Clara Oswald – The impossible girl is no longer in the lead. She might have wrapped the 11th incarnation around her little finger, but the charm is now broken. She is stuck with a stranger and the stranger doesn’t care. She needs to learn how to dance to his tune and this is not a waltz, rather a wild pogo at heavy metal gig! The 12th Doctor is wearing Doctor Marten’s for a reason. Clara ‘s situation is rather desperate. She wants to trust the Doctor, but he lets her down. She offers her friendship and he doesn’t take it. She is told to be quiet and follow him without asking question. Clara has been truly born to save the Doctor and she is still doing her job. She is ready to sacrifice everything what’s dear to her (including her own life!) to help him, but the Doctor she knew is gone. The relationship they had is now strained – there is confusion, hurt, sadness and doubt. For the first time, Clara is doubting the Doctor and this is a seriously scary experience for her. So far, he has always been there to cover her back. Will he still be able to do it? Will Clara stay? Fantastic performance by Jenna Coleman – there were several sobs coming from the audience during the screening.

4. Madame Vastra –  by popular demand the Veiled Detective is back with a vengeance. Well, maybe not with a vengeance, but she still brings a lot of humour and action with her. Her relationship with the new Doctor is not going smooth, she has to trick the Time Lord to actually keep him in check (for a little while at least). We find her a bit frustrating in the first episode, especially her baseless accusations against Clara can struck few nerves. Then again, Silurians have never been particular charming creatures, were they? It’s good to see her again and we hope that she will continue to appear in the future episodes as well. Madame Vastra is played by actress, Neve McIntosh.

Panaorama of the entire auditorium! We took it first and others followed by our example.

Panorama of the entire auditorium! We took it first and others followed by our example

Upper part of the auditorium and balconies

Upper part of the auditorium and balconies

5. Strax and Jenny Flint – Madame Vastra’s wife (Catrin Stewart) and butler (Dan Starkey) are also present. Those guys are exactly the same as usual – Jenny serves the best afternoon tea in Victorian London and looks gorgeous in a latex cat suit delivering high kicks left and right.  Strax is having continuous issues with distinguishing human sexes (still calls Clara a boy) and praises the Sontaran Empire at least 10 times a day. Old friends of the Doctor, they will come to his aid as expected but even they are surprised how strange the Doctor has become. A touching scene between Jenny and Clara will make you think how bad her situation truly is. Catrin and Dan still have a great chemistry together and we hope that somebody at BBC will finally produce a spin off series to The Paternoster Gang.

6. Dinosaur – Yep, there is a T-rex in Victorian London. Yep, it makes a lot of noise. Yep, you know what happens to dinosaurs in Doctor Who.  Apologies were demanded during the QnA session but certain person haven’t offered any. One of the most heart breaking moments of the new episode, what have you expected!

7. TARDIS – We only see the new interior  briefly at the end of the episode but be prepared. We have loved David Tennant’s TARDIS the most but the new design is perfect. It fits the new Doctor like a glove. Obviously, somebody’s not going to like it!

8. Special effects – Finally BBC is spending the right amount on special effects and the end results are brilliant. Victorian London looks like it should – it’s dirty, smelly, foggy and lovely. The dinosaur is animated really well and the bad guys are properly scary. You will find your kids hiding behind the sofa as they should be!

9. Music – there is a new remix of the Doctor Who theme.  We absolutely love it. We could sing it, but you will not hear it. Sorry.

10.  DW logo/Title credit – It has been confirmed nearly two months ago that a new opening sequence has been created by Doctor Who fan, Billy Hanshaw. He posted it on YouTube where it was discovered by Steven Moffat. You will see a lot of clockworks, fob watches and time travel co-ordinates. TARDIS is still in flight through the time vortex, but the animation is much different. We were truly impressed.

Well, we think we are also allowed to criticize a bit now. The opinions are divided: one of us liked the episode in every detail, the other was kind of disappointed. If you don’t want to know why, skip this paragraph. No spoilers ahead, yet we need to explain.

Q&A session - Jenna, Peter and Steven Moffat

Q&A session – Jenna, Peter and Steven Moffat

A boy named Elliott asked for an autograph and Peter was more than happy to make his dream come true

A boy named Elliott asked for an autograph and Peter was more than happy to make his dream come true

The episode has everything what a great Doctor Who episode should have: trilling storyline, perfectly measured dosage of light and dark moments,  scary bad guys, great acting and a lots of action. There is even more: a new Doctor, new TARDIS, new relationships between established characters – in one word you will not be bored. So what is there to complain about? Well, we have seen it all before. Rita was expecting something big, an earthquake, some fireworks, something new. And the new “new” still feel a bit old. She doesn’t know how to explain it better, but the audience is left feeling hungry and craving more.  Rita had the same feeling about “The Time of the Doctor”, the last episode written by Steven Moffat for Matt Smith.  We admire him, don’t get us wrong. He is one of the most talented writers out there, but let’s put an emphasis on it again – we have seen it all before. Mr Moffat can deliver – go and watch Scherlock’s “His last vow” and you will start chewing your fingernails. This is what the “Deep Breath” is lacking.  If we are promised darkness, please give us the pitch black night, not just twilight.  Maybe we are spoiled, maybe our expectations are too demanding, but some ideas only work once. “Deep breath” is connected to fans beloved episode from David Tennant’s era (also penned by Moffat) and while the connection is truly appreciated, the whole mystery surrounding the bad guys is reviled too quickly. And this is not an argument for the Moffat haters trolling every forum and comments section on the Internet. Steven Moffat is where his place is and we hope he will stay for at least several more seasons.  This is just our own, unbiased opinion.  If we were to rate the episode, we’d still give it 9 on a 10-point scale. “Deep Breath” is an excellent, solid episode that will keep you hanging till the last minute. Yet, it could have been so much more: an instant classic, a ground shaker, a history maker, but it’s not. And it’s a crying shame.

“Deep Breath” is set to debut on BBC on Saturday, August 23rd at 19:50. It will also be screened in selected cinemas around the world, and we are thinking of actually going to see it again on the big screen. The episode is 80 minutes long (a respectable length for a TV special) and it looks wonderful. There is no such thing as too much Doctor Who, remember that!

It must have been nearly 2 o’clock when the lights returned again. There was silence for about 10 second after the credits finished rolling and then the public started raising from their seats. Another standing ovation, so loud that it was surely felt several miles away.  Rhodri Talfan Davies appeared on stage again and tried to silence the crowd. In vain. People were cheering and clapping and the only thing Mr Davies could do was to invite Jenna, Peter and Steven to join him.  Once they sat down, the audience calmed down a bit, but occasionally somebody shouted “Jenna marry me” or “Peter, I love ya!” interrupting the Q&A session.

Whovians are the best!

Whovians are the best!

Waves and sonic screwdrivers

Waves and sonic screwdrivers

Q&A stands for Question and Answers. We have never attended that type of interview before so we were rather curious how it would look like. Well, it was very quick. Quick question, quick answer and another question. Some were asked by chosen members of the public, some were asked by Rhodri Talfan Davies. Questions ranged from utterly silly (“How many lives does the Doctor have?” to which Moffat answered “26” while hiding his face in his hands), obvious (“Will the Doctor Who Experience change since we have a new Doctor?”, the answer was “Yes”) to really complicated ones that nobody knew how to answer. Our favorite question came from a 4 year old boy named Elliott (with double T’s) who asked Peter Capaldi, if he could have his autograph. Mr Capaldi was very touched and gave the boy a big hug as well.

We have learned few interesting things: Steven Moffat thinks that webisodes are an excellent idea to introduce old and new characters to Doctor Who fandom and they are going to use them more often in the future. There will not be a Doctor Who – Sherlock crossover, not even for Comic Relief or any other charitable cause. Not because he is against that idea (he isn’t), but other producers are not happy with it (he called them “killjoys he has to work with”). He also thinks that Madame Vastra is the real Sherlock Holmes in Whoniverse and there is no place for another great detective. Mr Moffat also added that it’s better for Sherlock and The Doctor not to meet as they would sit in TARDIS’ corners sulking that somebody is more intelligent than they are. A good news for Paternoser Gang fans – Steven Moffat said that he would love to give them a spin off series but nobody has offered any financial support yet.  Let’s write to BBC, shall we?

Peter Capaldi admitted his Doctor is influenced by the Classic Who actors (especially William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee) but also by Peter Cushing. There is a lot of  Malcolm Tucker in him minus the cursing, of course. Peter has always thought of Doctor Who as a show for an older audience (certainly not for young kids) and considered the Doctor to be a dark character. He would travel to Ancient Rome if ever given a chance and encouraged the fans to keep on doing what they love, without looking at anything or anyone.

Jenna was asked how Clara feels about the new Doctor and she replied that her character has a lot of growing up to do. Clara is lost  and confused, and she needs to learn how to  co-operate with the 12th incarnation of the Time Lord. She would go to NYC in 1920’s to learn how to dance. She also dropped a small bomb saying that the next episodes are very dark and scary for Clara.  We simply cannot wait!

And the show came to an end. Peter and Jenna waved their good bye’s, sent few kisses and disappeared quickly. Steven Moffat stayed a bit longer, talking to fans and co-workers. The entire crew was going back to London straight away and they didn’t even have time to grab something to eat.  We were tired as well. Slowly, we made our way to the door. It was a perfect day and we were glad we could spend it with other fans.

Steve John, Doctor Who animator at Craft folk event outside St David's Hall

Steve John, Doctor Who animator at Craft folk event outside St David’s Hall

Original sonic screwdriver

Original sonic screwdriver

Close up of Steve John's  art shed

Close up of Steve John’s art shed

We would like to thank several people for making our trip to Cardiff possible. First of all, a big  THANK YOU to all St David’s Hall employees, especially the ladies in box office department. You are wonderful, true stars! We had so many problems with buying the tickets, but we are glad that the issues were positively resolved. Your patience and assistance is more than appreciated. We will never, ever forget your kindness.

Rita would like to personally thank several BBC employees that assisted her after the premiere. Thank you for listening me out and for your interest. That means a world to me and many other readers.  And finally best wishes and eternal thanks to Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Steven Moffat, Samuel Anderson and the entire Doctor Who crew who made it all possible. Without you, we would probably spent the day at work, making the Excel spread sheets looks prettier and being bored out of our minds.

There is one last thing to be added. After leaving St David’s Hall, we noticed a row of small wooden sheds standing some 50 meters away from the entrance. The sheds have been previously locked as the entire street was closed off for pedestrian traffic. Once the premiere was over, the street was re-opened and sheds were now accessible for tourists. We were told that they belong to Craft Folk (fair crafts organizers in South Wales) and allow local artist to display their works in popular places around the city.  What a great idea to promote Welsh makers that came from the Council itself! You know we are always interested in art markets and we decided to take a quick look. To our surprise, we found an artist displaying Doctor Who drawings and an original sonic screwdriver! The artist name is Steve John and he is a well known Cardiff based cartoonist, painter and animator. He specializes in super cute cartoon animal artworks, but can create animated wonders in Flash. His work has been featured on numerous times on TV, printed media and on the Internet (Doctor Who animations for BBC1). Steve is a graduate of Farnham College of Art and Design and has a diploma in Animation and Graphic design. He has been professionally working as an artist for nearly 30 years.

Official website: http://www.bang-bang-art.com/
Hugs Art project:
http://www.hugsart.com/

The exciting day finally came to an end. After 12 hours of running around with camera, taking pictures and talking to people, we were simply exhausted. We have returned home with our heads filled with dreams about time and space, intergalactic travels and possible scripts for Doctor Who adventures. Who knows, maybe we should start writing fan fiction?

Once you start running with the Doctor, it feels like it will never end.
We don’t even want it to end.
The journey must continue and there are amazing places on this planet that we still haven’t seen. Please return soon as out tale is not done yet. Our next stop – Doctor Who Experience!

You just watch us run!
XXX
Rita and Mal

Doctor Who Season 8 Premiere in Cardiff – part two

Allonsy!

Hello again Whovians! We had a bit of sleep and we are back in action! Today, Doctor Who crew and stars are attending the premiere in London and on Saturday, they will fly to Korea! It’s going to be a mega busy weekend for them but this is what you get for being involved in the biggest s-f show on the planet! Traveling through timezones, meeting crazy fans, lack of rest – this is Whovian history in the making and everybody is very excited.

Clara, be my pal. Tell me, am I a good man?

Clara, be my pal. Tell me, am I a good man?

Red carpet treatment

Red carpet treatment

If you have missed first part of our review from the red carpet, please click on the link below. Doctor Who fans are incredible and we had buckets of fun chasing after cosplayers to take their pictures!

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/doctor-who-season-8-premiere-in-cardiff-part-one/

Now, the second part is where things are getting truly interesting. As you know, we had to split up to fully cover the event. Mal was assigned to keep an eye on the main door to St David’s Hall and Rita went to check the entrance to the red carpet area along with other journalists. This strategic move allowed us to notice everything worth knowing about. It can be a hard thing to work alone – even the Doctor needs companions to help him! At least every previous reincarnation of the Doctor did. The 12th Doctor doesn’t seem to need companions or assistants at all. He has carers so he doesn’t need to care!

Daleks arrive in cloud of smoke

Daleks arrive in cloud of smoke

Dalek chasing the BBC cameraman

Dalek chasing the BBC cameraman

Stop filming and run or you will be exterminated!

Stop filming and run or you will be exterminated!

At 10:30, Malicia witnessed the sudden arrival of two Daleks in a cloud of smoke that scared the children nearly to tears. The Daleks were soon followed by Cybermen and the full invasion began. It is worth noting that both Daleks were radio controlled, while hired actors were dressed in metal suits. Doctor’s enemies paraded up and down the street, trying to exterminate passer-byes or strangle the photographers and BBC workers. One Cyberman got into a short row with a police officer. He was not pleased and didn’t take kindly to being pushed around. The machine was threatened with pair of handcuffs and confrontation seemed unavoidable. Luckily for everybody involved, the BBC Radio Wales presenter Jason Mohammad was able to separate them and Cyberman returned to its routine patrol. To lighten the mood, Jason announced that he would be interviewing the stars and running a Q&A session after the premiere of “Deep Breath” episode. His revelations were received with huge applause and cheers from the public.

Police officer is warning the Cyberman to behave

Police officer is warning the Cyberman to behave

The invasion continues - Cybermen arrive

The invasion continues – Cybermen arrive

Cyberman is looking around - you will be upgraded or deleted!

Cyberman is looking around – you will be upgraded or deleted!

Cybermen ready for action

Cybermen ready for action

We have to tell you more about Jason Mohammad. He is an incredibly energetic person and a brilliant commentator. He was practically all over the place – interviewing fans and guests, cheering and dancing, braking up fights between Daleks/Cybermen and journalists. Jason has joined BBC in 1997 right after graduating from Swansea University in broadcast journalism. He worked for BBC Wales Today as a reporter and hosted a number of successful radio shows for BBC Radio Wales. Since 2013, he is the host of Final Score on BBC One, snooker commentator and presents a daily morning show for BBC Wales Radio. He has also been featured on Doctor Who twice: in “Christmas Invasion” and “Voyage of the Damned”. He is the right person for the job then!

Jason dancing on the red carpet

Jason dancing on the red carpet

BBC Crew taking pictures of Mini TARDIS

BBC Crew taking pictures of Mini TARDIS

Mini TARDIS has been featured on Doctor Who Facebook page

Mini TARDIS has been featured on Doctor Who Facebook page

You can learn more about him at:
Jason on BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/profiles/4msqlXLpFWdFmjTJZ07yygn/more-about-jason
Jason on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jasonmohammad

Reporting from red carpet is not only a privilege but a real adventure as well. The best part of the job was hanging with the other photojournalists from every respectable newspaper in the country. The journalists are a crazy bunch, we tell you. They carry at least 30 kilograms worth of equipment (at least two Canon or Nikon cameras with tele-lenses), backpacks willed with different filters, additional lenses and external flashlights. It seems that the bags and cameras weight nothing – they move around at the speed of light, joke, laugh out loud, tease each other mercilessly.  They are not afraid to lay flat on the ground just to get a good shot, a rare dedication for the job. And while they work their hardest to catch every moment, they still find the time to have fun! Daleks are trying to exterminate the audience? All cameras ready, but the photogs (a slang term describing a photojournalist) were screaming their best advices to the crowd how to fight off the monsters. “Hey, give the can a healthy boot!” – a smiling 10 year old girl tried to kick the Dalek to the loud approval of the people and hit home. “For the Doctor!” the journalists were triumphing and we were clapping with them. The girl was declared a hero of the day and would be featured in the press! Does anybody want a selfie with a robot? There is always a right moment to get the smartphone out of the pocket and take a picture. Cyberman is chasing you? Let’s hide behind the cameras and pretend you are not there. It was a pure joy watching them work and play. Carpe diem, tomorrow you might be dodging the bullets in Gaza…

Ready, steady, shoot!

Ready, steady, shoot!

Waiting for the arrival

Waiting for the arrival

Here they come!

Here they come!

It’s true that time does go fast when you are having a ball. We haven’t been watching the clock but suddenly we realized we were running late. The description on our tickets said that film premiere would start exactly at 12:15 but the stars have not arrived yet. One look at the BBC crew was enough to confirm that we were correct. Nervous looks, endless phone calls, whispers – and then at 11:45 a black car showed up. Journalists threw themselves to get the best places, public went wild – they have arrived!

Peter Capaldi approaching BBC crew for an interview

Peter Capaldi approaching BBC crew for an interview

Interview is about to start

Interview is about to start

Interview in progress

Interview in progress

Fans are the most important - the new Doctor started signing autographs straight away

Fans are the most important – the new Doctor started signing autographs straight away

Where are you from? Poland and Malta? Malta is a beautiful country! Mr Capaldi signing picture for us

Where are you from? Poland and Malta? Malta is a beautiful country! Mr Capaldi signing picture for us

Peter Capaldi emerged from the car first, casually dressed in Hugo Boss dark navy suit and a shirt. Jenna Coleman appeared seconds after him, wearing a stunning red dress from Peekaboo Vintage Red Maxi line. She was followed by Samuel Anderson in an elegant three piece grey suit.  Sorry girls,  if you are thinking about purchasing a copy of Jenna’s dress, we have a bad news for you! It has been sold out completely and apparently, Jenna could keep the last dress the famous London boutique had on stock.

And here it is! Signed photo from Doctor Who World Tour

And here it is! Signed photo from Doctor Who World Tour

Peter is not on Twitter or Facebook but you can follow BBC to learn more about him and the  new series: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p021r78j
Peter has a long entry on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Capaldi

Mental note to ourselves: bring earplugs next time we are about to attend a red carpet event! 10.000 screaming fans can severely hurt your hearing. It ‘s impossible to describe what was happening when Peter Capaldi rose his hand in a greeting and smiled. It was like a bomb has exploded somewhere near us and the shop windows started to shake! Thousands of hands holding posters, autograph pads, magazines, t-shirts and million of other items were thrown out in his direction, melodic chanting “Peter!Peter!” filled the air. You could have seen the shock on actors’ faces when they saw the crazy crowd. Rita has been standing right next to the barriers and noticed that Steven Moffat, who left the car as the last person, looked around and whispered “WOW!”. Lots of visitors were expected to attend the premiere but the real number of fans surprised everybody.

Steven Moffat being interviewed ans Samuel Anderson walking right behind him

Steven Moffat being interviewed and Samuel Anderson walking right behind him

Samuel Anderson  as Danny Pink on Doctor Who world Tour character card

Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink on Doctor Who World Tour character card

Samuel Anderson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theblackpaddy
Samuel on Instagram: http://instagram.com/theblackpaddy

Peter, Jenna and Samuel quickly recovered from the astonishment. They posed for the obligatory portraits and spoke to BBC reporters about their first impressions of the opening day. Peter was first to approach the fans saying “Who wants my autograph?” and he laughed with delight as people used all kind of tricks to get his attention –  from climbing the barricades, shouting utter nonsense (like “I love spaghetti!”), waving flags and declaring their feelings to the Oscar winning actor. We are sure that Mr Capaldi must have signed more than 400 autographs during his walk on the red carpet.  He kept signing during photo-shoots and interviews, stopped to talk to kids and even signed a Big Issue magazine for a vendor!

Jenna interviewed for the first time...

Jenna interviewed for the first time…

And for the second, all in about 10 minutes!

And for the second, all in about 10 minutes!

Jenna signing autograph for us as well - we were lucky!

Jenna signing autograph for us as well – we were lucky!

Barely visible autograph, but at least we have it

Barely visible autograph, but at least we have it

Please visit Peekaboo official website at: http://www.peekaboovintage.com/
You can follow Jenna on Instagram: http://instagram.com/jenna_coleman_
or Twitter (we recommend both!): https://twitter.com/Jenna_Coleman_

Jenna coleman as Clara Oswald on doctor Who World Tour character card

Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald on Doctor Who World Tour character card

We have already mentioned that Jenna Coleman looked like Disney Princess in her beautiful long red dress. Following Peter’s example, Jenna greeted her fans waving her hand in true royal fashion and then posed for photographs along with Peter, Steven Moffat, Samuel Anderson and solo. In real life, Jenna looks even prettier than on screen but it must be noted that she is very tiny! Karen Gillian, the actress playing Amy Pond, a ginger haired Scottish companion to 11th Doctor, was incredibly tall. In contrast, even wearing golden high-heeled shoes, Jenna barely reached Mr Capaldi’s shoulders. Her delicate frame might look worrying but it is not stopping her from doing her own stunts on the show. Jenna spoke to the press and signed couple of autographs including our own.

Red carpet Rita

Red carpet Rita

We haven’t been able to reach Samuel Anderson to get his signature as he was quickly moved away from fans and spent a long while talking to the press and TV crew. We think that BBC producers were a bit afraid that fans could start asking him questions, but if that’s the case, it was unnecessary caution. There was absolutely no time to ask questions and it was too loud to hear any answers! Also, the probability that the actor would like to share any secrets with us at the red carpet  is minimal. We thought that once the guests are seated inside, we would have a chance to approach him, but we couldn’t see him anywhere. Oh well, there’s always another time. Samuel Anderson will play a recurring character named Danny Pink, a teacher at famous Coal High School and a colleague of Clara’s. Some sources are claiming that he will join the TARDIS duo in their travels, but we had no official confirmation for that. We will have to wait and see.

And here's another picture of a Dalek - just because we think they are cool

And here’s another picture of a Dalek – just because we think they are cool

The stars spend nearly 40 minutes greeting the fans. Finally it was time to go. As VIP ticket holders, we had the chance to walk the red carpet ourselves and we have used that opportunity to take some pictures. In the lobby, we have been greeted by BBC workers that directed us to our seats. Thrilled to the core we have made our way up the stairs but that’s a tale for another day!

Please return tomorrow as we still have some excellent news to share!
Till we meet again!

Your Whovians,

Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Doctor Who Season 8 premiere in Cardiff – part one

Hello sweeties!

What a day! What a crowd! What an experience! Doctor Who Series 8 World Premiere in Cardiff has been a huge success! We have just returned from the capitol of Wales and we have to update you straight away. Please excuse this short review but we are barely alive. It’s been 12 hour marathon for us, but we will remember this day for many years to come.

This was our first ever red carpet event. We set up very early, at 7:30 in the morning and we arrived at Saint David’s Car park around 9:30. Saint David is not only a cinema/theatre – it is a huge shopping centre with multiple shops, restaurants and a car park that looks like a futuristic abandoned industrial complex. Going to level four on foot in a spiral staircase is enough to give you a major vertigo. Now try that in a car  – Rita felt like on a roller-coaster. A great idea is to dedicate a whole level to blue badge holders – somebody who thought about that should receive a pay raise. The car park was perfect for such a big event. There was nearly 1000 free spaces available when we arrived and you didn’t have to fight for a spot to park your vehicle. The spots are also bigger than normal and we could  fit our large car without any issues. The only downside is the price. 6 hours will cost you 18 pounds. Ouch!

The Hayes closed off to normal pedestrian traffic

The Hayes closed off to normal pedestrian traffic

St David’s Hall was located only 5 minutes away so we had a leisurely walk into town. We were very lucky with the weather. Previous days have been cold and rainy but we had a true summer sunshine and clear, TARDIS blue skies. The whole street leading to the theatre has been barricaded off as announced the day before on the organizer’s website. People were already taking places along the red carpet and a large crowd was packed near the entrance to the building. The TARDIS was parked in the middle of the street, but sadly it has been placed behind barriers and fans had to stay at least 2 meters away from it. We had no problems with the security measures but kids were devastated. It would have been better if there was a staff member near the blue box keeping an eye on it instead of a 3 feet metal barricade. One teary 4 year old was asking why somebody has put the TARDIS in jail and his poor mom had no answers to offer. Talking about security, the even has been protected by regular police officers, private security companies (we have seen at least three different uniforms and badges), BBC security staff and St David’s Hall guards. There were no incidents or any aggressive behaviour – Whovians showed up in peace and everybody had fun. Whole families arrived to celebrates. We have seen hordes of teenagers, young adults, newly born babies dressed as the 10th Doctor, two year old girl wearing Cyberman mask (she didn’t want to be photographed) and fans well into their 70’s eating ice-creams and waving American flags. The love for Doctor Who has no boundaries. Your age, nationality, country of origin, religion  – nothing matters. Fans came from Jamaica, Canada, USA, Iraq, Maldives, Japan, China and all over Europe (Poland, Germany, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Holland and Norway). We are sure even more countries were represented in Cardiff, but we only had the pleasure to speak to fans from the mentioned places. Can you imagine a conversation regarding Doctor Who Experience between Iraqi couple, two German tourists, yours truly, an American, a Canadian mother and a Chinese student? We have used several kinds of English (American English, British English and Engrish), a mix of our native languages, gestures, body and sign language and we all understood what the other person meant. Fantastic!

TARDIS ha been arrested

TARDIS ha been arrested

To fully cover the event, Mal and Rita decided to split up and each of us covered the other end of the show. Mal was located by the main entrance and kept an eye on everything/everybody going into and out of the building. Rita moved about a lot – she first walked up and down the street talking to people and taking pictures of cosplayers. Later, she found a comfortable spot by the journalists stand and witnessed the arrival of Peter Capaldi, Steven Moffat and Jenna Coleman at 11:15. To learn more about what has been happening on the red carpet before and after the stars arrival, you will have to wait till tomorrow. Right now, we would like to show you some of the best Whovian costumes. Forget the haute couture fantasy fashion shows at Comicon last month. Doctor Who addicts rule and we have lots of pictures to prove it. Take a look at some of the best costumes in time and space!

1. Monica and Bill

Monica and Bill came all the way from the lovely state of Iowa. They haven’t slept much. They flew from Iowa to Chicago, then to Ireland and finally to Cardiff. We have spoken to them around 10:00 am and they were on their last legs but excited and happy! This American couple is married and had Doctor Who inspired reception. Monica has two rings in TARDIS blue: her engagement ring and her wedding band.

They will spend their honeymoon in Cardiff and they started off with Doctor Who premiere! Monica is also a big  Sherlokian fan. Her mobile phone is SHERLOCKED (fans of the TV series will understand). Congratulations to the happy couple and may your journey together be a good one!

Monica and Bill showing off pictures from their Doctor Who inspired wedding

Monica and Bill showing off pictures from their Doctor Who inspired wedding

2. Nadine

Nadine is probably the most professional cosplayer we have ever seen. Not only she was dressed in the exact replica of Amy Pond’s policewoman kissogram costume from “The eleventh hour”, but she gave us her business card where her profession is stated simply as “Whovian”. Pretty neat! We cannot give out her email address but it contains references to both 10th and 11th Doctor and simply rocks. If you’d like to send some fan mail to this red haired Irish beauty, please direct them to us at rdabrowicz@yahoo.com and we will pass them on!

Nadine was picked from the audience and had a chance to ask the cast a question after the premiere of “Deep breath” episode. She also encouraged Peter Capaldi to  say “Judoon Platoon on the Moon” (David Tennant’s favorite quote from “Smith and Jones” episode). the audience gave both a standing ovation!

You can follow Nadine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SheldineCooper

Nadine posing as Amelia Pond

Nadine posing as Amelia Pond

Amy Pond and UNIT officer

Amy Pond and UNIT officer

3. UNIT officer

We don’t know the name of the UNIT officer pictured below but his costume is probably far better than the original UNIT uniforms used in the show. The soldier was accompanying Nadine and together they created a lot of buzz! Thank you kindly for allowing us to take the picture, sir!

UNIT officer

UNIT officer

4. Fan in a red shirt

Not many people feel comfortable giving out their names to a stranger with a camera phone in hand. We can understand this but it’s a bit of a shame not being able to tell you who those fans are and what they do. An old red t-shirt that says “Trust me I’m a Doctor” was truly unique among hundreds of other Doctor Who related shirts. (Luckily, it was a Doctor Who premiere and not a Star Trek one. Otherwise the red shirt would be somewhat unlucky – Mal)

Trust me I'm the Doctor

Trust me I’m the Doctor

5. The 11th doctor

We have met this 11th Doctor twice. First time he was on his own, posing for pictures and pointing his sonic screwdriver at other fans. The second time we saw him, he was with a group of friends that included Amy Pond and Clara. Unknowingly, we asked him to pose for us at both occasions. You deserve a cookie for your patience!

First encounter

First encounter

And second meeting

And second meeting

6. Boys in fezzes

No, this is not a name for a Whovian boy band (although it is an cool idea) but a nick name we have given to two teenage fans that arrived to the premiere with their fathers. They introduce themselves to us, but we have lost a piece of paper with their names written down.  Sorry about that guys. Please look at their arms – those brave boys have faced a whole army of Silence on their own!

Fezzes are cool

Fezzes are cool

Fighting the Silence

Fighting the Silence

7. The 5th Doctor

Dressing up is not only for the kids. Anybody can look good in Doctor’s clothes, especially if the costume is adorned with a fresh celery stalk from nearby grocery store! The Doctor can regenerate into any age: from incredibly young 11th Doctor, middle to late 30’s (9th Doctor, 10th  Doctor) to an older incarnation (the present 12th Doctor). Age is just a number and the gentleman on our picture had been working on the costume himself and greatly enjoyed the experience.

Peter Davison would be proud

Peter Davison would be proud

8. Lake Silencio Amy Pond

This version of Amy Pond has been a companion to 11th Doctor from picture number 5. She is dressed in a costume from Lake Silencio saga as shown in  two first episodes of the 6th season – “The Impossible Astronaut” and “The Day of the Moon”. Amy’s arms are covered with pen marks (number of Silence she encountered) and she has been frantically looking for her daughter. We wish we could tell you her real name as the lady was very kind and even re-created Karen Gillian’s famous “running” pose for us.

Lake Silencio Amy

Lake Silencio Amy and the Doctor

Amy smiling at the camera

Amy smiling at the camera

9. Anna

Anna came to Cardiff with her mom who was kind to allow us to take a picture of her daughter. Looking like small version of River Song (or rather Melody Pond before she regenerated for the first time), Anna was wearing Doctor Who cardigan, Cyberman t-shirt and held a big TARDIS notebook in her hands.  She also helped us look for interesting costumes by pointing out two Doctors standing at the other side of the street. Thank you Anna!

Anna  and her TARDIS diary

Anna and her TARDIS diary

10. The Two Doctors

Spotted by Anna, The 9th Doctor and 11th Doctor were very happy to pose for a picture. They arrived to the premiere in hopes of seeing Peter Capaldi and wanted to wish him good luck in the role of beloved time traveling Time Lord. Their wish soon became a reality as Peter stopped next to them and even complimented the leather jacket!

Best friends and Two Doctors

Best friends and Two Doctors

11. The New Doctor

After arriving in Cardiff, we quickly noticed that nobody has been dressed as the 12th Doctor! We have seen at least dozen of 11th Doctors, several 10th and 9th Doctors. Many girls were dressed as companions (the beloved ginger Amelia Pond was a fans favorite) or TARDIS in Idris form (from “The Doctor’s Wife” episode). However, nobody seemed to dress as Peter Capaldi! We were really thrilled when this young man passed us by wearing  a 100% Rebel Time Lord T-shirt. We still cannot believe he was the only one! Come on people, we want to see more suits and Dr Marten’s next time!

100% rebel Time Lord

100% rebel Time Lord

12. TARDIS is a lady

The 11th Doctor used to called his precious time machine sexy when they were all alone.  Many female cosplayers chose to dress as the blue box in her female form, but this young lady was very original. Her TARDIS dress was in fact three piece costume that consisted of white undershirt with a collar, blue dress with a belt and Time co-ordinates pattern and matching cardigan. We have met her in a queue for an autograph from Jenna Coleman.

TARDIS Dress

TARDIS Dress

13. The fabulous 10th Doctor

The last but not least! Our lucky number 13  belongs to 10th Doctor. We have met this gentleman inside St David’s Hall right after the premiere. He gladly posed for a picture, regretting that he left his long coat and his sonic screw driver in the cloakroom. Oh well, you cannot have everything, but we have to tell you that he looked really well. And his hairdo was exactly like David Tennant’s. This is  something that cannot be easily copied. Much respect to you Doctor!

Look at the fabulous hair - it's the10th Doctor!

Look at the fabulous hair – it’s the10th Doctor!

All right Whovians, the bed is calling us! It’s been a manic day and we barely can look at the computer screen.
Please be back quickly as we have some fantastic news for you!

Hang in there and have sweet dreams!

XXX
Tired but very happy
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz