SciFi Friday: Doctor Who and Its Spin Offs

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This week’s installment of SciFi Friday will deal with Doctor Who and some of its spin offs. First let’s get everyone up to date. The video above contains the entire history of Doctor Who in under eight minutes from the first episode in 1963 through this season’s two-part finale, The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End, and even covers the spin offs.

Tardis and Torchwood Treasures reports that David Tennant has bee named the planet’s greenest star:

David Tennant has been named the Planet’s greenest star in this year’s Playing for the Planet Awards. The poll was carried out by Playhouse Disney and David was nominated for the award as he drives a hybrid car. Peter Duncan, awards judge and ambassador, said this about David winning the award:

“I am delighted that David Tennant has won the Greenest Star award – he’s a great role model for kids everywhere and clearly is as passionate at saving the planet as his character ‘The Doctor’.

Torchwood will be returning as a radio play on September 10. Here is a description of the planned show:

“Somewhere out there in that chaos of darkness and light, of science and protons, of gods and stars and death… somewhere there’s an answer.”

The Torchwood Institute was founded by Queen Victoria in 1879 to protect the British Empire against the threat of alien invasion. By 2008, all that remains of the organisation is a small team based in Cardiff. And now, following the tragic deaths of two of their colleagues, the remaining three – Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones – have to protect the human race against another unknown force from the darkness.

Martha Jones, ex-time traveller and now working as a doctor for a UN task force, has been called to CERN – the world’s largest particle physics laboratory in Geneva – where they’re about to activate the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The LHC is a particle accelerator which has been built deep underground in a 27km tunnel under Switzerland and France. Once activated, the collider will fire beams of protons together, recreating conditions a billionth of a second after the Big Bang – and potentially allowing the human race a greater insight into what the Universe is made of.

But so much could go wrong – it could open a gateway to a parallel dimension, or create a black hole – and now voices from the past are calling out to people and scientists have started to disappear…

Where have the missing scientists gone? What is the secret of the glowing man? What is lurking in the underground tunnel? And do the dead ever really stay dead?

Torchwood is a spin-off from the award-winning BBC Wales TV production Torchwood. Written by Joseph Lidster, it stars John Barrowman, Freema Agyeman, Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd, Lucy Montgomery (of Tittybangbang) and Stephen Critchlow.

The television show will be limited to a five-part miniseries next season entitled Torchwood: Children of Earth, but it has been promoted to BBC-1. Hopefully this will give the show greater exposure and perhaps it will be shown for longer periods in future years.  While BBC-1 might not allow some of the material from earlier seasons on BBC-2 and BBC-3, fortunately it will air after 9:00 p.m. where some naughtiness is still allowed.  The miniseries is rumored to be about the sleeper aliens from the second season.

The final story technically isn’t about a Doctor Who spin off but there is a close connection. Coupling, which I’ve previously posted about here and here, was written by Steven Moffat who will be taking over as producer of Doctor Who in 2010. Moffat had a couple brief references to Doctor Who and Daleks in the first three seasons. In the fourth season Jeff was replaced by a new character named Oliver. In order to demonstrate his geekiness, he was made the owner of a science fiction book store, and in one scene he was seen with a full sized Dalek.

I completed watching the series this morning and then attempted to read a post at a Doctor Who forum mentioned in the shows Wikipedia entry in which Steven Moffat answers a fan’s request for closure by giving a run down of what will happen to the characters. The link given is to a forum which is now closed to new registration and therefore is no longer visible to many people. I finally tracked it down at a newer version of the forum and even found there were some fights at Wikipedia over the post’s inclusion.

As Steven Moffat’s post on the fates of his characters is not  easily available I will post it below. It does reference events in episodes of the show which will not mean anything to those who have not seen it. It also contains spoilers which those who plan to watch the show should avoid until they have seen the complete series. Beware the first line contains a major spoiler.

Sally said yes to Patrick, they got married and are very happy. Especially as Sally beat Susan to the altar, and finally did something first. Patrick is now a completely devoted husband, who lives in total denial that he was anything other an upstanding member of the community. Or possibly he’s actually forgotten. He doesn’t like remembering things because it’s a bit like thinking.

Jane and Oliver never actually did have sex, but they did become very good friends. They often rejoice together that their friendship is uncomplicated by any kind of sexual attraction – but they both get murderously jealous when the other is dating. Jane has a job at Oliver’s science fiction book shop now – and since Oliver has that one moment of Naked Jane burnt on the inside of his eyelids, he now loses the place in one in every three sentences. People who know them well think something’s gotta give – and they’re right. Especially as Jane comes to work in a metal bikini.

Steve and Susan have two children now, and have recently completed work on a sitcom about their early lives together. They’re developing a new television project, but it keeps getting delayed as he insists on writing episodes of some old kids show they recently pulled out of mothballs. She gets very cross about this, and if he says “Yeah but check out the season poll!” one more time, he will not live to write another word.

Jeff is still abroad. He lives a life a complete peace and serenity now, having taken the precaution of not learning a word of the local langauge and therefore protecting himself from the consequences of his own special brand of communication. If any English speakers turn up, he pretends he only speaks Hebrew. He is, at this very moment, staring out to sea, and sighing happily every thirty-eight seconds.

What he doesn’t know, of course, is that even now a beautiful Israeli girl he once met in a bar, is heading towards his apartment, having been directed to the only Hebrew speaker on the island. What he also doesn’t know is that she is being driven by a young ex-pat English woman, who is still grieving the loss of a charming, one-legged Welshman she once met on a train. And he cannot possible suspect that (owing to a laundry mix-up, and a stag party the previous night in the same block) he is wearing heat-dissolving trunks.

As the doorbell rings, it is best that we draw a veil.

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    scientist says:

    CERN macht mir persönlich doch schon nen wenig Angst. Niemand weiß, was wirklich passiert. Alle sprechen in Wahrscheinlichkeiten. Selbst wenn die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass etwas “Unschönes” passiert gegen 0,00999 tendiert, sollte man die Finger von solch einem folgeschweren Versuch lassen. Der Versuch wird ja irgendwie millionenfach wiederholt…

  2. 2
    Christopher says:

    I grew sour with Torchwood when they killed off too many key characters for no good reason. It didn’t serve the storyline.

    Are you watching Primevil? It’s pretty good but I must admit, understanding the accents is a challenge. Especially, Prof. Cutter and his Scottish accent.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    It looks like they planned on reforming the show around the three surviving characters and Freema Agyeman. There plans might have been screwed by Agyeman signing with a different show. At least Torchwood could do well with changes in cast as long as they keep some of the old characters and it might benefit in the long run by having new cast members to do stories around.

    I haven’t seen Primevil. Most of what I’ve been watching on tv this summer has been watching older shows I’ve missed– the first two seasons of Dexter, the only two seasons of Huff, and all of Coupling. Besides this I can’t recall watching much of anything else on tv, and since I finished watching the last season of Doctor Who 4th of July weekend (when the BBC concluded it) the only currently broadcast shows I’ve watched have been Weeds and Secret Diary of a Call Girl on Showtime. There was also the remake of Andromeda Strain not long ago but it was a disappointment

    Now that we finished Coupling yesterday our next plan is to start watching The Wire from the beginning.

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