The Doctor Falls - WNAR #116

Welcome to Who New and review, a podcast from the Galactic Network

So as with all my reviews I will give the synopsis – what you mean that wasn’t the synopsis. The good bits, the bad bits. The most whoniversal bit and then my rambling musings.

The Doctor makes a final stand against an army of Cybermen to protect a tiny band of humans from destruction.

Good bits - master missy and doctor at the lift. Stellar performance from all

Bad bits - bills savior 

Whoniversal bit - that ending though

For much of The Doctor Falls, it really looked as if Bill – one of the absolute triumphs of the series – was doomed. We thought Clara was doomed last series too, but Bill especially so. After all, Bill was turned into a Mondassian Cyberman at the end of World Enough And Time, but what I wasn't expecting was for her to spend pretty much the entire episode in that state. The point of view switching between Mackie and the Cyberman, as she gradually realised what she’d become, was really nicely handled too. Mackie, in turn, delivered her best performance to date, and that’s against some pretty stuff competition. The sense of dread and the growing appreciation of what Bill had become was superbly conveyed.

at the heart of all of this was Peter Capaldi. The majestic, wonderful, brilliant Peter Capaldi. If you needed a reminder of just how much he’s going to be missed when he finally departs Doctor Who at the end of the year, his outstanding work here was precisely that. When he was blasted, apparently mortally, and he kept holding off his regeneration (a power that we’ve not really seen before, even though it's been established in Who lore - see the geeky spots article for more on that), I found myself saying out loud “I don’t want you to go”.His final episode at Christmas will seemingly see himself – and Steven Moffat – wrapped heavily in very early Doctor Who too, with the appearance of David Bradley as the first and original Doctor (a spoiler that wasn’t announced by the BBC, but was revealed anyway, which offers a mini-audit of just what theWhopress office is up against). Why has the TARDIS taken Capaldi's Doctor to the end of the character's first generation, and is there a precise reason he was holding off the regeneration? Good question. Was he just scared, and/or not wanting to go through it. Quite probably. The answer may be deeper, though.

Things have been left with both Simm’s Master and Missy seemingly on the way out, and the option to regenerate gone. But this being Doctor Who, there’s no such thing as a story dead end like that. Perhaps that's why the episode didn't really dwell on it any longer than necessary. What's more, the Master/Missy narrative seemed pretty incidental to the series in the end to me, and that’s a disappointment too, given that the idea of Missy in the vault was written through the heart of this run (at least in the earlier stages). I’m not quite sure why, in hindsight. It feels like the story there was only three quarters told. There were threads teased – Missy going good, and the possibility that there was a regeneration between Simm’s Master and Missy.

The cybermen sort of lost their effectiveness but I did like the concept of a time dilatation ship. It will be interesting to see if we get mondas cybermen again and if nardol appears once more.   I'm pleased they didn't kill bill and thought the reemergence of the pilot was a nice twist, sadly though I think that's the last we will see of Bill

Let's do the News

Doctor Who Series 10 Christmas Special

Win some Doctor Who stuff

When will Doctor Who season 11 start?

Do you want set pictures from christmas?

IT’S the showbiz rumour that just can’t be exterminated… Doctor Who fans are more convinced than ever the next Time Lord will be a woman.


World enough and time - WNAR #115

Welcome to Who New and review, a podcast from the Galactic Network

A huge spaceship trapped in the gravity well of a black hole, teeming with impossible lifeforms, harbours one of the Doctor's most feared enemies... Mondasian Cybermen.

The Good BitsThe slow creeping realisation of wht is happening – The masters reveal

The Bad Bit Harsh but the doctor who jokne

The whoniversal bitwere to start? Too much, but I think the cyberman bill tear  

Oh to have been able to watch World Enough And Time in that kind of bubble, where the surprises were kept under lock and key. Because I can’t help but feel that by revealing the presence of both the Cybermen and John Simm’s return as The Master in advance, this particular episode was undercut. The BBC would rightly argue that the majority of casual fans wouldn’t give two hoots. I get that. But for Doctor Who fans, the ones who, er, ‘gently’ try and persuade others to give the show a go, was there anyone out there who didn’t know what was coming?

Rejoice everyone - the finale is going to edge over 60 mins


Can Time Lords change gender?


Some subtle hints


“I am that mysterious adventurer in all of time and space known only as Doctor Who.”




Eaters of Light - WNAR #114

Welcome to Who New and review, a podcast from the Galactic Network


A hunt for the lost Ninth Roman Legion leads the Doctor, Bill and Nardole into the middle of an ancient battle that could cast humanity into the dark forever. What is inside the cairn? And how far will they have to go defeat the terrifying alien Eaters of Light?

The Good BitsBill realizing and explaining the tardis translation circuits and subsequent realization of how species sound to the Doctor.

The Bad BitMonster design was a bit ugh

The whoniversal bitThe way in which the doctor explains the crows

David Tennant doesn't actually expect Broadchurch co-star Olivia Colman to take thejob

Doctor Who is coming to the big screen in a new documentary about the Daleks.

"Well... my next job is playing a doctor."

Chris Chibnall

Sir Derek Jacobi

Empress of Mars - WNAR #113

Welcome to Who New and review, a podcast from the Galactic Network

'God save the Queen' has been scrawled on the surface of Mars. What are Victorians doing on the home of the Ice Warriors? And what will they find beneath the Martian soil?

The Good BitsAll those movie references

The Bad BitThe doctor's movie reference ‘frozen’

The whoniversal bit the design of the Victorian space suit.

The episode itself felt a pretty much a standalone piece of work, save for the return of Missy. It landed – after a pre-credits bit at NASA - the Doctor, Bill and Nardole land on Mars in 1881. Curiously, there’s a bunch of Victorian soldiers already there, complete with their stiff upper lips, their carry on chaps British accents, and a good dose of God Save The Queen.  I think Mark Gatiss and the production team have comfortably exceeded expectations, though. It’s hard not to get the flavour of a contained old-style Doctor Who adventures from it, not least because it’s a clash of very British characters against an alien foe. What other show on the planet does that?


Let's Do the News

Alan Cumming has revealed that he could have played The Doctor

It's 10 actual years since Doctor Who scared us witless with the classic episode 'Blink'.

Russell T Davies has revealed he knows who's going to be taking over the TARDIS

The Eaters Of Light.

Are you a BBC radio iplayer user?


Lie of the Land - WNAR #112

Welcome to Who New and review, a podcast from the Galactic Network

Earth has been invaded and Bill is living alone, an isolated figure surviving in occupied Britain. The Doctor is imprisoned and appears to be on the side of the enemy, flooding the airwaves with fake news. Bill and Nardole must embark on a deadly mission to rescue the Doctor and lead the resistance against the new regime, whatever the cost.

The Good BitsEvil fake news Doctor was genuinely creepy

The Bad BitThe fake regeneration - lame

The whoniversal bitSome of the references were nice – especially the Magpie Electronics made me whoop a little.

I really like The Lie Of The Land, from the pen of Toby Whithouse, up to the fake regeneration. Up until then, there’s certainly lots to enjoy. Peter Capaldi’s quite creepy, different take on the Doctor, when we’re given the impression that he’s been brainwashed by the Monks is a lot of fun. We get less Nardole, although not for the first time, Matt Lucas wrings plenty out of the little screen time he gets. We get a true pervading sense of doom is built.


Let’s Do the News

The Paddington2 Trailer is out.

Ice Warriors find.

Doctor Who Steelbook.

It looks like Doctor Who spin-off Class is no longer in session.

Empress of Mars.

Eaters of Light




The Pyramid at the End of the World - WNAR #111

Welcome to Who New and review, a podcast from the Galactic Network

So as with all my reviews I will give the synopsis – what you mean that wasn’t the synopsis. The good bits, the bad bits. The most whoniversal bit and then my rambling musings.

An 'ancient' pyramid appears overnight. Every clock in the world begins counting down to the Earth's destruction. Three opposing armies lie ready to annihilate each other. An alien race stands ready to offer humanity a deal that could save them, but enslave them. It is a terrifying race against time to save the world. Will the Doctor be forced to accept their help?

The Good Bits – Bills date and its interruption from the UN

The Bad BitThe monks, humans are idiots and would recoil from such horrors, except these ones, and the doctors indifference to war

The whoniversal bit – It was a pure sci-fi romp like the good old days

Two lab technicians, one hungover, one missing her reading glasses, are sleepwalking into the apocalypse, with a string of seemingly small moments threatening to unleash a biohazard that will wipe out the entire human race. After a pacey, impressive set up then, The Pyramid At The End Of The World admirably slows down to slide more things into place. The episode could quite easily have been the opening of a two-parter, as much the middle part of three. As things stand, I’m still not quite sure as to where Extremis fits in now, certainly to the degree that it seemed to a week ago. I get the story strands, and the computer simulation, but it took a whole episode to set up to that. And then The Pyramid At The End Of The Earth escalated the threat anyway, and made it a real one. The middle segment of this one I had a few quibbles with. I liked the impending sense of doom, which had a tinge of Torchwood: Children Of Earth to me. Also, as the biological threat escalated, I did make a mental note to dig out a copy of Steven Soderbergh’s thriller, Contagion, for a deserved rewatch. Furthermore, ticking Doomsday clocks are always fine fodder for building tension, and making clear the stakes. They proved to be so again. Doctor Who "brings it" once more with 'The Pyramid at the End of the World'. It's not a perfect episode – there's an occasional over-reliance on technobabble, with more than one problem solved by some nonsense tinkering, and while the Pyramid gimmick is attention-grabbing, it never really goes anywhere. (The Monks' craft could have been disguised as a Waitrose for all the difference it'd make to the plot.)

For the most part though, this is a smart and distinctive sci-fi tale, visually impressive and told with pace and heart.


And even if it's not perfect, well – it's not the end of the world.


Let’s Do the News

Those wags over at Digital Spy have ranked all the new Doctor who episodes. I am telling you just as a matter of course. I disagree with a lot of what they have said and advising you to avoid it at all costs.

Rachel Talalay will be directing the Doctor Who Christmas Special

Pearl Mackie and past time traveller Billie Piper have just been added to the growing guest list for the upcoming Wizard World convention in Philadelphia

Agent Carter actress Hayley Atwell


Extremis - WNAR #110

Welcome to Who New and review, a podcast from the Galactic Network

So as with all my reviews, I will give the synopsis – what you mean that wasn’t the synopsis. The good bits, the bad bits. The most whoniversal bit.

'The Veritas. The truth. Truth so true you can't live with it. Is that looking into hell... or seeing the light?' Everyone who has ever read the Veritas has been found dead. In a forbidden library at the heart of the Vatican, the pope urges the Doctor to read the ancient text - but can he handle the truth?
The Good Bits – Bills date and its interruption from the Pope

The Bad Bit – The eyes thing – we have cybermen that are brains in boxes and here we are trying to believe that blindness is an issue

The whoniversal bit – The doctor's compassion for Missy and the belligerent way he does it.


Let’s Do the News

Michelle Gomez has revealed that she’s leaving Doctor Who.

Surprised at John Simm.

More Missy

Pilot the TARDIS.

A 5,000-year-old pyramid.