10.10: The Eaters Of Light – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

It has been 28 years since Rona Munro's Doctor Who episode, Survival was televised. It happened to be the last episode of the 'Classic Series' of Doctor Who, and in spite of that, the story was strong and seemed to promise us adventures new with those immortal words "Come on Ace! We've got work to do!" echoing out into the cosmos...

We are pleased to confirm that all these years later, Munro's scripts are still of an incredibly high calibre; rich characters, a great storyline - not to mention strong female leads! In fact, the main parallel between the two stories is that the lead female character in The Eaters Of Light is named Kar - and for those of you who remember Survival, the lead female character was called Karra - also a strong, female warrior.

For The Eaters Of Light, Munro takes us on a historical adventure that plays on the real-life disappearance of the ninth legion of the imperial Roman army. The Doctor, Nardole and Bill arrive in Scotland with Bill intent on proving to The Doctor that her knowledge of history on this particular subject, may just be better than his! The TARDIS team split up with The Doctor suggesting he can find proof of their demise by finding their last Battlefield and Bill going to find proof that they didn't disappear and that they can actually be found. What could possibly go wrong? 

Within minutes Bill encounters a young female warrior who gives chase, leading Bill to fall down a big hole (and not for the first time this series). There she encounters a Roman soldier, and it's not long before we are introduced to the big, bad, titular monster of the episode, (who is used sparingly to great effect).

There's some great pacing and suspense throughout, too and the landscapes are just beautiful; kudos to the location scouts for their work on this episode!

We have some lovely moments with The Doctor; Peter Capaldi is so comfortable and at ease in the role, and he has such a quiet power and gentle way of explaining things, and then on another hand there's that unpredictability that he plays so well. Pearl Mackie continues to shine as Bill, and has several lines of dialogue that stand out in particular - there's a great one regarding her sexuality and another regarding the TARDIS' translation system. We cannot leave out Matt Lucas' Nardole, who Munro has written some cracking lines for - not to mention involving him in the plot more, after last week's Nardole-light story.

The main adventure portion of the episode ends with 5 remaining minutes of glorious dialogue between The Doctor and... a certain character (no not that one - well...not technically). 

The Eaters Of Light stacks up well with the high quality of Series 10 episodes so far, and whilst it may not hit you as an instant classic, it will be a 12th Doctor adventure you'll remember with a fond affection, due to the fact you genuinely care about the characters within.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  Listen to the crows!
2)  Beware the night!
3)  "Time to grow up."
4)  Roman soldiers are much more liberal that we might think.
5)  "It's time for us to become friends again."

+  10.10: The Eaters Of Light airs This Saturday at 6:45pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

Review: Doctor Who Memorabilia: An Unofficial Guide To Doctor Who Collectables

Publisher: Amberley Books

Written By: Paul Berry

RRP: £14.99 (Paperback)

Release Date: May 2017

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 9th June 2017

Part of being a Doctor Who fan is about collecting the merchandise associated with our favourite show; be it an action figure, a DVD, a CD, or a rare collectors piece. During the show’s rich 50+ year history, Doctor Who has created more pieces of merchandise than any other British TV programme, and the new ‘Doctor Who Memorabilia’ book by Paul Berry chronicles a surprising amount of it!

Since the show returned to our screens in 2005, the floodgates opened to a whole new wave of merchandise, but for this particular book, Berry has wisely focused on the classic series and everything right up to the 2005 series.

Split up into easy to navigate chapters, Berry kicks off with the various Doctor Who books that have been released over the years - as far back as 1964 with ‘The Dalek Book’ and as far ahed to the BBC Eighth Doctor and Past Doctor novels. It’s worth noting at this point how vibrant the pictures are (full colour of course), and it’s so good to come across a piece of merchandise that jogs a memory from your youth. Who could forget the Target books, or the annuals, and not forgetting The Doctor Who Monster Book!

Chapter 2 covers the Toys, Models and Games released over the years - some of which are now incredibly valuable. The Cowan De Groot Daleks, Jigsaws, Dapol action figures and Big Chief statues all get a look-in. There’s also room for the classic series merchandise released in recent years from Character Options.

Perhaps our favourite section is Chapter 3, which covers the Audio Visual releases. Who could forget travelling to your local WH Smith and seeing the vast selection of Doctor Who videos for sale, complete with all the stunning cover art by Alister PearsonAndrew Skilleter and Colin Howard. There’s also an area dedicated to the Doctor Who DVD releases, as the merchandise transitioned into the 21st century.

And so the book continues exploring other arms of the merchandising tree, including Comics, Magazines, Audiobooks & CDs, Cards and Collector pieces. Each area makes room for poignant pieces as well as harder to find and more unknown items. Even the most devoted of fans will find something they didn’t know about, here.

Berry has clearly done his homework, and as well as introducing and presenting the various pieces, there are some great nuggets of information and facts along the way, too. One example being the fact that prior to the laserdisc rage being cancelled, artwork was produced for ’Spearhead from Space’, but sadly the title, and the artwork were never released.

Although a relatively slimline book, sitting at just under 100 pages, it’s surprising just how much is packed into it! The Doctor Who Memorabilia book not only serves as a valuable guide to some of the key (and even more obscure) pieces of Doctor Who merchandise over the years, but it acts as a comforting trip down memory lane - a trip you’ll be happy to take over and over again.
 

 

+  Doctor Who Memorabilia is Out Now, priced £14.99.
+  Buy this book from Amberley Books for just £13.49!
+  Follow Amberley Books on Twitter.

10.9: Empress Of Mars – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

Wow...just...wow!

If this turns out to be Mark Gatiss' final script for Doctor Who, then he's going out on a massive high as we absolutely loved and adored Empress Of Mars!

There are so many classic series elements here that tick all the right boxes, and we don't just mean the Ice Warriors. The majority of the adventure is set in the caves underneath Mars, and thanks to the truly awesome locations used, the look and overall feel instantly pulls you in. There are elements of those cave scenes in Earthshock, but owing to the colour palette everything feels so much more other-worldly. This feels straight out of the classic series, but with all the trimmings of the new series and its budget.

In a nutshell, the year is 1881 and The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on Mars to find Victorian soldiers from Earth in the subterranean cave network. Among them is a lone Ice Warrior who serves tea and even tidies up afterwards! It's not long before the army discover a long-lost tomb, but with dissension in the ranks, chaos is just around the corner. As promised by Gatiss, we are introduced to a new type of Ice Warrior, and how wonderful she is! Iraxxa not only adds a new vein to the Ice Warriors mythos, but she proves a powerful force to be reckoned with, whilst throwing a good old punch in the air for girl power. Bill bookends the girl power, thanks to her negotiation skills with Iraxxa; in fact women seem to rank higher than men in Ice Warrior culture.

Whilst historically The Ice Warriors have generally been considered a Doctor Who villain, we like how Gatiss has fleshed them out (quite literally in Cold War) and made them so much more than a slick, green, waddling "upright crocodile", and given them some redeeming qualities (beach ball kills, aside). In fact, in Empress Of Mars, we actually see an Ice Warrior run!

If there is just one gripe we have, it's the way in which the Ice Warrior's kill their victims. Gone are the days of the inverted, shaky mirror death, now they're turned into...well...human beach balls. That being said, I certainly wouldn't want to be turned into a human beach ball, so the threat element remains intact...in a roundabout way.

This is a relatively Nardole-light episode, with the main pocket of his scenes at the start, but when he does eventually turn up again, it sets the scene for a rather complex situation that The Doctor will have to resolve at the start of The Eaters Of Light.

Empress Of Mars is a textbook Doctor Who adventure that does a lot more than it seems at first glance. As well as being a rollicking good monster story, it actually incorporates many aspects of the show that has lead to its success over the years. There's time travel, rich characters, genuinely scary monsters, and, more importantly, a stonkingly good script. We really hope this isn't Mark Gatiss' final script for Doctor Who! This is probably our favourite episode of Series 10 so far! 



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  Sleep No More.
2)  A nod to an actress last seen in Series 2.
3)  Not a good idea, Nardole...
4)  An old friend.
5)  
"This can't happen. This...is not what we agreed to."

+  10.9: Empress Of Mars airs This Saturday at 7:15pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers – [Nintendo Switch]

Manufacturer: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo Switch

RRP: £34.99 / $59.99

Game Age Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 26th May 2017

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online & ToysWorld

Review Posted: 8th June 2017

Since its release a couple of months ago, the Nintendo Switch has delivered some truly awesome games based on immortalised classics like ZeldaMario Kart and Tetris – each taking the success of what has gone before and ramping it up for a new generation.

Now and again, however, there’s a title that doesn’t really need a massive update; you just want the familiarity of a game you loved, but for the shiny new console you’ve just bought. Enter Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers!

Ultimately this is a port of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, a title that is already the definitive mix of all previous versions in one tidy package. The new switch version has some nifty additions, however, and they more than make the purchase worthwhile. The title also happens to be released as Street Fighter celebrates its 30th anniversary, so the timing couldn’t be better!

Firstly – the graphics have been souped up, making everything that bit smoother and more clean. Kudos to UDON (responsible for the Street Fighter comics), for the game visuals, which, stylistically works so well. If that’s not for you, though, you have the option to switch to classic visuals and sounds, so there’s something for everyone.

As for the roster, this now clocks in at a total of 19 characters, including Evil Ryu, Violent Ken and Akuma – who is no longer hidden and available to play straight away.

There are several game modes to choose from including Arcade, Buddy Battle, Way Of The Hado, Training, as well as Versus & Online modes. Way Of The Hado makes use of the detachable Joy-Con controllers, and allows you to play from Ryu’s point of view, as you make your way through waves of Shadaloo soldiers. The motion controls are pretty accurate, with only the odd rogue move, and you do feel like you’ve had a workout afterwards – which totally counts by the way! [kisses non-existent biceps]

Multiplayer mode is incredibly easy and works right out of the box, with the ability to use the Joy-Con’s for 2-player mode. Online play is refreshingly straightforward, too, and the expected lag is nowhere to be seen. One of the best parts is that you can get into a match quickly and even rematch straight away afterwards.

Whilst gameplay is perfectly suited to the Joy-Con’s, the game really comes into its own if you use the Switch Pro controller, where everything feels a little bit more natural.

Speaking of gameplay, it’s just as you remember it! The buttons and combos are pretty much the same, with only a few slight changes, which you can adjust to seamlessly.

Overall, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers couldn’t really go wrong. It’s a timeless classic that, despite new takes on the franchise, keeps going back to this particular iteration – and for good reason. With an RRP of £34.99, there is enough new / additional content to make it a worthwhile purchase, but it is undoubtedly the classic gameplay that you’ll keep going back to again and again.



+  BUY Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers from Amazon.co.uk from just £29.99!
+  BUY Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers from Amazon.com from just $39.99!

Book – Doctor Who Memorabilia: An Unofficial Guide To Doctor Who Collectables By Paul Berry

First appearing on our screens over fifty years ago, Doctor Who has not only been a television phenomenon, it has spawned more merchandise than any other British TV programme in history. Literally thousands of products have been produced since the series launch in 1963, with many of these items now being collectible and highly sort after by fans of the programme.

Doctor Who has featured on virtually every conceivable product, from books and records to toys and games, breakfast cereal promotions to full-size prop replicas. The series merchandising has enjoyed many peaks and troughs from the heady days of Dalekmania in the 1960s to a drought in the early ’70s, the rise of the collectible in the ’80s to the nostalgia driven days of the ’90s and then a huge resurgence following the Doctor’s return to television in the twenty-first century.

Whether you're looking for a full-size Cyberman or a pair of Dalek slippers, a Tom Baker scarf or a pinball machine, Doctor Who has produced something for every type of collector.

Sit back and revel in nostalgia as we take a look at some of the more notable and unusual items that have been produced over the last half century.

+  Doctor Who Memorabilia is Out Now, priced £14.99!
+  BUY NOW from Amberley Books for just £13.49

[Source: Amberley Books]

 

10.8: The Lie Of The Land – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

And so we have our first three-parter since Series Three's Utopia, The Sound Of Drums & The Last Of The Time Lords...

As far as gravitas goes, it would be unfair to compare The Lie Of The Land to those episodes, after all, it provided us with one of the biggest rug-pull moments in Doctor Who history as we finally got to see the long-awaited return of The Master. The big question is: "Does this really work as a three-parter?", and whilst we enjoyed all three episodes, the mini-saga felt a little drawn out by the time we finally get to the end of the adventure. The narratives of all three episodes, whilst linked, still feel quite disparate and the set-ups at the end of the first two episodes have no resolution at the start of their concluding parts.

Putting a pin in our gripe for a second, we start six months after the events of the previous episode, and the pre-titles scenes felt, stylistically, like they were straight out of the Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who - it works really well, but you are left wanting to know what happened at the lab after the end of the previous episode. Also, what happened to Erica? Hang on...sorry about that...putting the pin back in again.

The plot revolves around the Monks now having taken control of the planet, leading mankind to believe that they've always been there, guiding them since the dawn of humanity. In reality, it has only been 6 months since Bill Potts gave her "consent", but thus unravels the titular lie of the land. We know we said it was unfair to compare this trilogy to the Series 3, three-parter, but a chunk of the plot here does, in part, seem quite familiar. An enemy (known to The Doctor and us as an audience) has taken control of the planet, and over a period of time it has become accepted by humanity.

That really is all the negatives out the way, and in spite of them, we still enjoyed the episode, and yes - this does still retain Series 10's high standard of episode quality. We mentioned earlier about the infamous rug-pull moment from Utopia, and there is another in this episode, though not quite as big. A big chunk of the story is understandably focused on how to bring down the Monks, but there are some really poignant stand out moments; one in particular involves Bill, who delivers her most emotionally charged scene to date.

Capaldi's Doctor feels particularly unpredictable in The Lie Of The Land, and never does he feel more dangerous than when you don't know what he's going to do next. 

Missy is back again (thankfully) and she is on fine form here. We get to see inside the vault and get an update on whether she really is changing for the better. Without going too much into the detail, The Doctor needs Missy's help and it seems she may have met The Monks before...

Whilst The Lie Of The Land may prove a little divisive among fans, there's a cracking story at its heart that just feels slightly overstretched to the three-episode format.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  Daleks. Cybermen. Weeping Angels.
2)  "It's me! Nardy!"
3)  The Doctor does something dramatic that he's never done before!
4)  Chocolat.
5)  
A game of hot and cold.

+  10.8: The Lie Of The Land airs This Saturday at 7:35pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

1967 Screen-Used Original Ice Warrior Head from Doctor Who Discovered!

It’s not every day you find a screen-used, Classic Doctor Who prop, let alone one that has such an iconic image as the Ice Warrior, but that's exactly what Toybox Treasures' Matthew Doe did!

It was the monsters that first cemented Doctor Who’s popularity and carried it through the earth-shattering change in lead actor in 1966. Patrick Troughton’s era is renowned for its monster stories and indeed, his second year is known as ‘The Monster Season’ for good reason.

Along with the latest adventures with the Daleks and Cybermen, a parade of new aliens graced TVs everywhere – none more long lasting in impact than The Ice Warriors. They were so successful in their debut story that a return was swiftly arranged for Troughton’s last season in The Seeds of Death. The Pertwee era relied less on the past – despite three Dalek stories, the Cybermen didn’t return until the Fourth Doctor had arrived. However, the Ice Warriors did return, not once but twice in consecutive years with Curse of Peladon and Monster of Peladon in 1973 and 1974 respectively. And of course, they have returned in the modern series – facing down Matt Smith in Cold War and returning against Peter Capaldi this year.

Speaking on the find, Toybox Treasures' Matthew Doe said:

"As a prop collector and dealer, I often receive emails starting “I’ve got a screen used….” Unlike 90% of these emails, this one led to an incredible discovery – a screen-used Ice Warrior head that could be the only known surviving classic Ice Warrior head in existence. Not only that, but one of the very first made in 1967, the so-called ‘big head’ version.

We were actually on our way back from London, having met up with the lovely Sue Moore (modelling genius behind many 80’s monsters), when I received a call asking me if I’d like to meet up to discuss the Ice Warrior. This was arranged for the following morning. (We had travelled well over 800 miles in the past couple of days buying props for clients, so to cut down on travelling we opted to spend another night at a hotel for a welcomed break and an easier journey the next day)

And it was the real deal – despite clearly suffering the ravages of time, this was one of the very earliest Ice Warrior heads, used in both Troughton’s and Pertwee’s era. This is one of those moments you dream of as both a prop collector and Who fan.

I needed to know from a collector’s point of view, the best way forward for the Ice Warrior’s head. Should the head be restored or preserved? What kind of reception would it get? I am very fortunate to have a group of friends that I can call upon for advice so I contacted Mick Hall, Colin Young, Graham Flynn and John Tobin (for those who don’t know, these guys are what we call the dog’s dangles of Dr Who prop collectors – the world’s leading Doctor Who prop guys!). After a lot of discussion and thought, I decided the best way (and only way) forward was to call Mike Tucker who I am fortunate to know and proud to call a friend. Mike Tucker was really the only person for the job- a Bafta winner for his work on the series, he’s well respected within the industry having worked for BBC’s Visual Effects department and now owning The Model Unit – and he’s one of a tiny group of people to have worked on both the classic and modern series.

After consulting with Mike, and taking into consideration the collectors of the Doctor Who world, I decided it had to be be preserved (every time we touched the Ice Warrior latex was falling off in our hand) and it hand to be done quick. The worst outcome for this historical item would be for it to fall to pieces and cease to exist so within days of picking it up we drove to Ealing Studios to drop this off so Mike could start work.

If you haven’t had a chance to speak to Mike then do please make the effort and go to one of his public appearances/talks – I promise you will have a most enjoyable time listening to his experiences in film and TV, and both eras of the show we all love.

As any prop collector will tell you, props made to last a few weeks decades ago and which were used more than once, in this case over 7 years apart, are going to suffer damage. Add in that a lot of the Ice Warrior head is latex which doesn’t like hot lights – present in the studio and later at the Blackpool Exhibition – and you’ll see the problem.  The head needed a lot of work if it was to survive for future generations of fans to appreciate.

But if I went down a full restoration route it would mean that the head quite frankly would no longer be 100% original; currently having the odd repair here and there; with a result of bearing no resemblance of what was screen used. And that, was out of the question. Actually doesn’t that turn props into Replicas when most of it has been replaced? At what point does it remove that original factor? Perhaps that’s an open discussion for us over on the Facebook group. A future owner can still go down a restoration route but for me, the focus was on Preservation. "

Preservation work:

In preserving the Ice Warrior’s head, all existing pieces were used, colour matching the age and sometimes having to remove layers of paint. It’s a lot harder in some cases to do this than just fully restore a piece. Here’s a list of some what we have had done and in doing so have kept it’s original aspect.

·  Removed by hand the silver paint which was applied during exhibition, this covered the orange eyes in which it had from it’s time in the 1974 episode “Monster of Pela Don” with Jon Pertwee. – There was actually some of the green film attached to the inside from it’s 1967 Ice Warriors Appearance.

·  Using existing latex pieces that had fallen off to repair the side mouth, this meant we kept everything original we used no new pieces of latex.

·  Repositioned mouth. Due to one piece of the cheek missing, this had unfortunately lowered the mouth, so again using original latex pieces put back into position, this made the mouth whole again.

·  Matching paint to cover where needed. There are two layers of paint on the Ice Warrior; firstly when it was seen screen used, and then a brighter paint colour was added when used for the Doctor Who exhibition in the early 80’s

Doctor Who Magazine:

Matthew Doe spoke to Richard Moleworth of Doctor Who Magazine about the prop. Richard had gone to an in depth review of the Ice Warrior for his article in Doctor Who Magazine, and leaving no stone unturned in his research of the ice warrior. Purchase Doctor Who Magazine Issue #513 for an exclusive interview with Mike Tucker from The Model Unit.

DWO managed to grab a few more questions with Matthew Doe regarding the find:

Items like this don’t turn up very often. What did you think when you firs heard about the Ice Warrior head, and how do you choose between scepticism and belief?

Love at first sight? OK, no really, something that's really hard to fake in this game is age, so to start with, does it feel right, smell right, and are the materials of an age is the first thing. I think when you have got past that barrier with a prop from the 60's, you can then start looking at screen matching it, although we are talking poor quality recordings from the 1960's, so screen matching an item can be really hard unless you have access to promotional shots. Luckily with a combination of behind the scenes photos / on screen and the radio times photos, we were able to start tracing its pedigree history right from the go. It was also the first time I had the pleasure of speaking to Richard Molesworth; wow - no stone was left unturned with Richard. He was doing the interview and report for Doctor Who magazine about its history and really brought the whole Ice Warrior to life.

As far as finds go, how far up there is the Ice Warrior head in your collecting history, so far?

I've sourced things from a screen-used Cyberman Chest Piece to a 6" Screen Used Dalek, but this is pretty up there with the Dalek I think; it's one of the oldest pieces I have owned - I mean there isn't really that many years of Doctor Who before '67. So things are going to be limited what can be found now.

Is there a dream prop / costume that you’d love to find one day (Ice Warrior head aside)?

Dream prop, maybe - I think like any Doctor Who fan it would be a full sized Dalek but - I would probably go as far as something really iconic and easy to display like Bill's cane or Pat's recorder. I've had a fair share of my full size Daleks, two words "DUST TRAP" - I think we will leave that there. 

Be honest…have you tried it on, yet?

Actually I haven't - it's so fragile, trying to undo the leather straps and put around my head, I think I would break it trying.

If you could take a round trip in the TARDIS, anywhere in time and space, where would you go and why?

Help with world peace and save lives? Who wouldn't, if we are talking the Doctor Who world - probably go back and stop the tapes from being wiped - Grrrrr ! As most of the people who read this, Doctor Who is a large part of most of our lives, eat & sleep it, so why not, lets rescue some tapes!

[Sources: Toybox Treasures; DWO]

10.7: The Pyramid At The End Of The World – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

As two-parters go, The Pyramid At The End Of The World had a lot to live up to from the previous episode...

The story itself is a lot simpler than last week's, and The Monks are centre stage with their plan to take the planet and its people. We kick off with a rather interesting twist on the 'previously...' recap at the start of the episode, that interjects with scenes from 'now' - something that not only works really well, but has Moffat written all over it!

As with last week, we have a side story, which, at first, seems completely unrelated, but we later find out how the two correlate and it plays out to set the stage for the episode's conclusion. For a moment, we actually thought this scene was setting us up for a shock regeneration, as it appears to mirror events from a previous episode in the 10th Doctor's timeline.

Those of you expecting to see Missy will be disappointed. After the set-up from the closing moments of the previous episode she is nowhere to be seen; a rather odd, but, in hindsight, deliberate choice.

Bill has some great moments in the episode, and you relish the times where she problem solves out loud, proving to The Doctor (and everyone around her) just how intelligent she is. The Pyramid At The End Of The World gives Pearl Mackie another platform to show off her skills and give great development to her character, and as events come to a head, Bill actually becomes the most important person on the planet.

Where we feel things are let down a bit is in the form of suspense; something that was peppered throughout the previous episode.Yes, Extremis was a little slower than other stories this season, but the suspense built throughout and coupled with the claustrophobic setting of the library, and the pursuit of the creepy Monks, it all worked together so well. This episode, whilst still suspenseful in places, felt disparate and a little disjointed; so many elements from last weeks story were missing here, and you expected them to reappear to give some form of a resolution.

One thing that the story did exceptionally well was its use of location; that pyramid (both external and internal) was fantastic, and it kind of has you longing for an Egyptian-themed episode of Doctor Who.

Something that deserves a mention is the way in which Rachel Denning (an actor with dwarfism) was used in the episode. Not only did she do a fantastic job with the role, but her disability wasn't even referenced in the story - nor did it need to be. Another excellent example of representation of diversity in Doctor Who.

Although The Pyramid At The End Of The World didn't tick all the boxes, and was far from a perfect episode, it still somehow manages to continue the quality and momentum of success that Series 10 has carried thus far. Speaking of momentum, the first line of this review will be turned on its head as the end titles roll. ;)



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  An indirect but totally accurate reference to Trump.
2)  The most advanced duffle coat in history.
3)  Strands of time.
4)  2 Minutes to Midnight...
5)  A scene reminiscent of The Doctor and Wilf in the isolation chamber...

+  10.7: The Pyramid At The End Of The World airs This Saturday at 7:45pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

10.6: Extremis – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

As we approach the halfway marker of Series 10, it's clear we've had a very strong season so far, but it's a point where we start to wonder how long the momentum can last. With the return of Missy, and an episode written by Steven Moffat, however, you may just have to wait a little longer as this series continues to deliver with Extremis.

From the off, Moffat is on fine form; the episode starts 'A long time ago' as we spiral in on an unknown planet that specialises in executions. To name either the executioner or the condemned would be giving too much away, but typical of Moffat's style, this little narrative which fades in and out of the main story is a pleasant distraction, and you keep wanting to know its resolution.

Ok..we can hear you asking... and YES - we do get to find out who or what is inside the vault, but as we read our checklist of what we can and can't mention in our preview, alas, the identity is something we cannot reveal - although the more astute among you will have probably guessed by now.

The episode is centred around a book called The Veritas - something that anyone who has read has soon after died. The way in which The Doctor is involved is straight out of a Dan Brown novel. In fact, The Doctor can very easily be compared to Robert Langdon (the central character in Brown's books); a smart man, called in by the Catholic church to solve a chilling mystery at its heart. There are scenes that appear to be straight out of Angels And Demons, and the adventure is all the richer for it. Previewing an episode like this is incredibly difficult without giving anything away, but, as you can expect, there is something much larger going on behind the scenes here, and you'll be left with way more questions before the titles roll.

There are so many elements that pull together to form a truly amazing episode of Doctor Who; you have the central season arc referenced, there are truly, TRULY terrifying villains, some amazing sets and locations and a terrific score that makes the adventure way larger than the sum of its parts. In many ways, Extremis feels more like a movie than it does an episode, and by the time the 48-minute timeframe is up, you are desperate for more. For the second time this season there are echoes of Silence In The Library; helped, in part, that there are several scenes set inside the Vatican library, and the re-emergence of a certain...ahem...diary.

We mentioned a couple of episodes back how the horror element has been ramped this season, something that is reminiscent of the Hinchcliffe years of Doctor Who, and as far as villains go, we think that the hooded monks are quite possibly the most frightening and chilling monsters the show has had to date. The look and feel of the monks, coupled with the way in which they talk will creep you out to the max.

Not sure if it is deliberate, but look out for the familiar melody from the opening bars of Thunderball that repeat themeslves throughout Murray Gold's score for Extremis. The similarities to Bond don't end there either, as there's something very Thomas Newman-esque about it, and at one point near the end, there's another familiar Bond riff. Comparisons aside, Gold's music once again takes centre stage and accompanies the adventure with audible precision.

Extremis, although a slower episode than we're used to this season (which isn't a bad thing), is a wonderful reminder of just how good Steven Moffat is as a writer, and why we've been so lucky to have him at the heart of Doctor Who for the past 7 years. This feels like the beginning of his swan song and he is going out in a blaze of glory. But before all that, The Pyramid At The End Of The World beckons...



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”Prydonian Chapter”
2)  CERN
3)  Shhhh! Spoilers!
4)  Someone has the authority to "kick The Doctor's ass"!
5)  The return of a location The Doctor last visited in Series 6.

+  10.6: Extremis airs This Saturday at 7:25pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

Review: The Infinity Engines [Book 1]: Anachronist: A Time Travel Adventure

Publisher: Amazon Media

Written By: Andrew Hastie

RRP: £9.99 (Paperback) / £2.99 (Kindle)

Release Date: January 2015

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 12th May 2017

DWO regularly receives a wide range of products to review; some Doctor Who related and some indirectly related to the Doctor Who universe. Whilst Andrew Hastie's The Infinity Engines series isn't a Doctor Who title, we couldn't help but feel that there were several strands that connected to the whoniverse, and the first book in the series 'Anachronist' is one many who fans will love and find it hard to put down.

Anachronist is the perfect blend of History and Science Fiction with intelligent plot devices, rich characters and more time travel than you can shake a stick at. In fact, this is a story that will give any Doctor Who fan that warm, Mr Kipling-esque feeling of familiarity. The first chapter even feels like a pre-titles sequence set-up that literally launches you right into the action. There's a slight feeling of John Green in Hastie's style, and at its heart (and much like a John Green title) this is a coming of age story.

The time travel element is set up pretty quickly, and without giving to much away, Josh (the main character), quickly finds himself in the past in historical Prussia in 1944. Hastie's ability to weave in actual historical elements, whilst carving out his own unique story is seamless and refreshing, and you go to so many places and points in time that the book never tires or stagnates.

Anachronist has something for everyone, and for those of you who are a sucker for a romance, Hastie has that covered for you, too! Nothing is shoe-horned in for effect, everything has its place and a meaning and the reader genuinely cares for Josh and the people he meets along the way.

The book ends on a cliffhanger, and you will be climbing the walls desperate for a resolution. We just wish we could time travel into the future to read it!

 

+  Anachronist: A Time Travel Adventure is Out Now, priced £9.99 / $12.99.
+  Buy this book on Amazon!
+  Follow Infinity Engines on Twitter.