Welcome to 25 days of Doctor Who coverage on SFX.co.uk. Yes, in the lead up to the Christmas Special we’re going to give you an advent calendar of Whovian delights, culminating with a review of “The End Of Time, Part One” (yes, someone from the team will be working on Christmas Day). Some stuff will be extended or different versions of stuff seen in the mag (like today’s article which comes from the 24-page Doctor Who section in the latest SFX Special ) but much of the stuff we will be putting up will be all-new (including some snippets from an exclusive Russell T Davies speaking about “The End Of Time" tomorrow!).
Anyway, on with today’s feature! Things SFX loves about New Who.
The writing's great, the companions have been fantastic, Eccleston and Tennant have been brilliant. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all accept that. But it’s the little, esoteric details which have turned New Who from a good show into a great, big, lovable must-see event of a show. Here are some of the SFX’s favourite things from the first five years of the revitalised show, in no particular order …
1 CAMEOS BY FAMOUS PEOPLE
Often news would leak out that Derek Acorah, McFly, Paul O'Grady or Richard Dawkin were going to guest star in Doctor Who, and fandom would groan at the prospect (see also number 18). In fact, these cameos, invariably realised as faux TV clips commenting on the latest alien invasion, have always turned out to be amusing little cutaways with the stars gloriously sending themselves up. The first was still the best, though – a Blue Peter presenter making an alien spaceship cake in “Aliens Of London”. Though seeing Anne Widdecombe with The Master was a peach of a moment too.
2 THE ADVENTURES WE NEVER SAW
Not the big mythical Time War (though that was intriguing) so much as the tempting little hints of adventures unseen we were given: the Doctor rescuing Charlemagne from an insane robot; whatever it was that pissed off Queen Elizabeth I; and whatever the Doctor and Martha were chasing with bows and arrows in “Blink”. It’s a shame, though, when things that were previously only mentioned finally appear on screen and turn out to be a bit rubbish – who thought the Shadow Proclamation was going to be a bunch of women who'd overdone it with the peroxide?
3 THE LION KING SPEECH
The moment we all fell in love Doctor Ten. “From the day they arrive on the planet and blinking, step into the sun, there is more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than... No hold on... Sorry, that's the Lion King. But the point still stands.”
Not just the Doctor’s (“Fantastic”, “Molto bene”, “Allons-y”) but those episode-specific catchphrases that you just knew were going to be echoing around the schoolyards countrywide come the Monday afterwards – “Are you my mummy?”, “Burn with me!”, “I’m hungry!” “Don’t blink!”, “Who turned out the lights?”, “You will be catalogued!”
5 THE DOCTOR’S SPARE HAND
What seemed like a throwaway gag developed into one of the most important plot threads of Tennant’s era. Handy indeed. We’re going to miss it bubbling away in the corner of the TARDIS, though we're still not sure why it got quite so excited about meeting the Doctor’s daughter (though knowing RTD’s twisted mind, maybe it was hoping for some bean-flicking action).
6 JUDOON SPEAK
“Sco bo tro no flo jo ko fo. To to.” Need we say more?
Go to SFX’s fave things about New Who 7 to 13