i’ve been putting doctor who confidential on in the background while i’m doing other things and i really like that the first series is just filled with actors from the classic series talking about the history of the show. i forgot that was the focus originally, half about a different element of the show’s history, half behind-the-scenes of that week’s episode, although when i watched it last i hadn’t seen any classic who at all so everything they were talking about was probably pretty alien to me, haha.

i’m on the one about companions atm and i never realised christopher eccleston’s somewhat infamous quote about being frustrated that the show was “always” about the man being clever and the woman being attractive and stupid actually runs over a clip of ZOE. she’s wearing that glittery skin-tight suit and screaming as she trips over, so i guess it’s meant to illustrate his point??? but implying zoe, of all people, was just there to be attractive and stupid is pretty hilarious.

it will never not bug me that they reused the first doctor’s farewell speech to susan from the dalek invasion of earth at the beginning of the five doctors but never actually had either susan or any of the incarnations of the doctor acknowledge the fact he finally came back. i understand it was a way to include william hartnell, and it really is a wonderful performance from him, but its context is what made it so emotional, and having carole ann ford back and not putting aside even a minute to confront her grandfather was such a wasted opportunity. 

considering carole ann ford had to fight for them to actually acknowledge susan was the doctor’s granddaughter at all it’s not a surprise no more attention was paid to their relationship, but it’s still frustrating. even if you assume she forgot what happened as soon as she was whisked off back to her original place in time and space a la the day of the doctor, so any future encounter would seem to be the first from susan’s point of view (which i think has been done in the audios with the eighth doctor, right? i don’t know if she remembers the five doctors in it), the doctor still comes across as a dick for, you know, never even asking if she’s had a good life after he essentially abandoned her with some guy she barely knew in a place she had no real knowledge of.


Before I finally start Nine, the Doctor sketches so far…

it’s still a half-formed thought, and i’ll probably expand on it later once i’ve thought it over some more/rewatched more of the tenth doctor’s episodes (we’ve just passed tooth and claw in our new who rewatch), but after watching dalek last night—which basically reverses the roles of the doctor and the dalek to highlight their similarities following the time war (commented upon again later a bunch of times), going to far as to have the dalek refer to their healing as a “regeneration”, and the doctor say “i killed her” directly after hearing the dalek cry “exterminate!”, supposedly killing rose—i think there’s an argument to be made that it kind of acts as a blue-print/parallel for the doctor’s arc (both nine and ten) under rtd.

just bear with me while i ramble. 

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OMG i’m laughing so hard at this 


because it looks like the Doctor is thinking 

"shit where did that girl come from"

"Shit where did that girl come from?" is pretty much one of the major running themes of Doctor Who.

my parents are really cute. we marathoned all of new who back in 2011 to get them caught up, and they like it a lot, but because of the wait between series they always start to forget things and get confused by what’s going on, particularly during the seventh series because they watched it without me, so there was no one there to remind them of things as they went along. like, when we sat down to watch the day of the doctor together they were really confused by who john hurt was playing, and by the time the time of the doctor came around they’d forgotten about the cracks and things like that, but once you jog their memory they’re fine and dandy.

anyway, because of that my mum kept saying she wanted to rewatch the series to refresh her memory, and because she really likes peter capaldi she wants to be totally ready for his first episode so we started today, and it’s just lots of fun going back to rose again. we just finished world war three, and i think knowing what happens in the day of the doctor really does add an extra layer of sadness to the way nine’s characterised throughout the season. it doesn’t take away from anything—his obvious guilt at what went on during the time war is more heartbreaking, if anything.

i know not everyone agrees, but watching series one again i think the time war really was a good choice on rtd’s part. it allowed the writers to strip away a lot of the mythology and call-backs that had made the show less accessible by the end of its original run, and over the run of the new series they’ve slowly been able to reintroduce those elements again without being alienating to a majority of viewers. making the doctor a lonely figure when he first meets rose in a lot of ways put him back to where he was in 1963—pretty oblivious to humanity—and his opening up over the course of the series in a lot of ways mirrors the first doctor slowly learning to trust ian and barbara, and his other companions by extension.

and now that arc has essentially come to a close with the day of the doctor and the time of the doctor, removing his source of guilt, and literally giving the doctor a new life with a new set of regenerations, i’m excited to see where they’re going to take things in series eight. i’m just really giddy to be back into doctor who in a big way again, haha.


Cast members who have played minor roles in the televised Doctor Who universe who have gone on to play major ones (and vice versa). No other show has as dedicated or rich a history of reusing talent, and it really wouldn’t be the same without it.

This doesn’t even include people like Lohn Levene, whose face was hidden when he played Cybermen and Yetis before taking on the recurring role of Sergeant Benton; or Naoko Mori, whose earlier appearance in Doctor Who was retconned into being Toshiko Sato, the same character she plays in Torchwood; or the dozens upon dozens of people who have played aliens and multiple one-off characters in a variety of stories throughout the show’s history, in both the classic and new eras (sometimes even both).

That would be nigh on impossible.

possibly an odd request, but does anyone know where i can watch some of these doctor who documentaries online? 

from bbv productions:

  • bidding adieu: a video diary (1996)
  • the doctors: 30 years of time travel and beyond (2002)

from reeltime pictures:

  • i was a doctor who monster! (1996)
  • doctor who’s lust in space (1998)

i know they’re out there online somewhere, but mostly i’ve just found clips and pieces, or inactive download links, but i’d like to see them in their entirety. i’m just intrigued, is all. let me know if you know anything. thank you.



dodo’s great, full-stop. she gets a short shrift, spending so little time in the tardis, having eight of her episodes missing, and getting one of the worst exits a companion has had by being written out off-screen, but jackie lane made her fun and worthwhile. she really feels like a teenager whose home life isn’t that great so she’s just happy to be along for the ride, making the best of a (potentially) bad situation. given more time to grow as a character she could have been one of the best, but much like susan the writers at the time just didn’t know how to let her develop beyond “teenage girl”.

Dodo absolutely mystifies me.

The last time I said that someone was like “wait you don’t like Dodo!?” but no, that’s not what I mean at all.  It’s not an indictment.  It’s just that Dodo is for me the most seriously WTF companion of all time.  It’s like she’s living in completely different universe, much like how, say, the Fourth or Eleventh Doctors often come off.  I want to poke her and ask “are you real??”

Like…her departure is, yeah, off screen and apropos of nothing and all kinds of terrible for that but…in another way really seems to fit.  It’s just as random and inexplicable as her entrance.  It may be because that episode is missing, but she just waltzes into the TARDIS with really no explanation and is bothered not in the least by the fact that it’s, well, not a police box, or any of the other weird stuff going on around her.  Dodo, seriously WTF?  

And she plays dress-up and she …prances (that’s not the right word, but it’s what I’ve got) and she holds up Doc Holliday, and I just.  I have no idea what to make of her.  Dodo is the Impossible Girl.

I’m aware that this is a pretty unconventional take on Dodo, but there you have it.

don’t get me wrong, i don’t think half of the things she does or says actually makes a lick of sense, and her characterisation is all over the place, but jackie lane’s performance elevates all of that into this strangely endearing comedic performance. it’s like she’s walked out of a farce and onto set by accident half of the time, which is probably why she works so well in the gunfighters, the story i’d just watched when i wrote this post.

but in a lot of ways it feels like that was partly the point—a fresh new energy to reinvigorate things, that they quickly abandoned when it didn’t quite work as planned. her introduction, to me, worked so well because it comes on the tail of some of the bleakest stories the show had done up to that point, with the doctor sitting alone in his tardis lamenting the (brief) departure of yet another companion, and then suddenly there’s dodo bursting in, like a reminder that hey, look, life goes on. the doctor doesn’t stop.

it’s something that was employed again in new who, first with the appearance of donna in the tardis after the doctors says goodbye to rose, then again with the “titanic” crashing into the tardis following martha’s departure. it’s meant to be a “wait, what?” moment, to jolt the audience out of the sadness, and him out of his loneliness, although its effectiveness is arguable. i mean, maybe a lot of that is lost with the lack of visuals, but that’s how i read the scene with dodo, anyway. a palate cleanser after everything that’s happened.

which is partly why the way her exit was handled feels like such a slap in the face because, despite any faults, she did exactly what she was meant to do—make the tardis a fun place to be again. she lightened the mood, and brought the doctor and steven out of the funk they’d been in ever since the death of katerina, so having the last reference to her be the doctor calling her ungrateful doesn’t sit right. it feels more like the writers’ feelings than the doctor’s.

but yeah, i’m not sure any of that made sense and it’s late and i’m rambling so i should stop typing regardless. what i’m trying to say is i totally get not knowing what to think of dodo, because she really is so incredibly undeniably strange within the context of the show, but i think that’s a large part of why i like her. 

now that billie piper has played the moment in the day of the doctor it could be argued that every companion in new who has encountered the doctor in at least one story before officially becoming a companion in an entirely different one (i.e. going on an adventure in the tardis), whether in in-story terms, or because the actor portraying them appeared in the show previously. like,

  • billie played the moment, who took the form of rose, who interacted with the war doctor before rose ever met nine.
  • mickey was a recurring character in series one, but finally joined the tardis crew in series two.
  • (the same could be said of jackie, if much more briefly)
  • if we assume jack really is the face of boe the doctor meets him in the end of the world which is, what, seven or eight episodes before his past much smaller-headed form shows up in the empty child/the doctor dances.
  • freema agyeman played an entirely different character in the army of ghosts, right at the end of series two, before being cast as martha for series three
  • catherine tate was only meant to play donna as a one-off character who turned down the doctor in the runaway bride but after she showed an interest in returning rtd scrapped an entirely new companion for series four and brought donna back instead.
  • similarly, bernard cribbins’ appearance in voyage of the damned was meant to be a one-off cameo, but after the death of howard attfield who had portrayed donna’s dad rtd chose to introduce donna’s grandfather rather than recast, and because bernard was available they jumped at the chance of using him, and because the production was so ahead of time they were able to change his credit in voyage to the same name before broadcast, making the two characters one and the same
  • karen gillan played a soothsayer in the fires of pompeii in series four, well before ever auditioning for the role of amy for series five.
  • the doctor meets river in silence in the library/forest of the dead before ever travelling with her, at least from their perspective.
  • rory was always intended to join the tardis team later in the series, but still, technically he was nowhere near that police box until his second story.
  • and finally jenna coleman showed up unannounced as souffle girl in asylum of the daleks, five episodes earlier than expected, although we later discover she was an echo of clara.

is that actually interesting? probably not, but it’s, like, 5am and i can’t sleep so i was thinking about it. and clearly i had to share. definitely more than enough reason to do the reverse and bring back even more classic companion actors, though. whether as the characters themselves, or completely different ones. i mean, if its good enough for some…