SciFi Weekend Part I: Doctor Who and The Prisoner

John Simm David Tennant the Doctor and the Master

There’s a lot of news coming out of Comic-Con this weekend. Because of all the news and a chaotic schedule this weekend I’m going to alter the usual format and post SciFi Weekend in installments, beginning with information on Doctor Who and the upcoming Prisoner miniseries.

Among the Doctor Who news, it does not look like the rumored movie is going to be movie, at least for now. The rumors that John Simm will return as The Master have been confirmed. Io9 has interviewed David Tennant about why his version of The Doctor acts as he does:

I think he feels guilty. I think he’s in a very difficult position. He has to make the hard choices, and he’s riddled with remorse for what happened to his people, and the part he played in that, which we’ll learn a little bit more about before I disappear. [Laughs] Not that much, just a little bit. It’s not the three-part miniseries staring [former 1990s Doctor] Paul McGann. But I think he’s tortured, and he travels time and space trying to make it better… but some of the side effects of that are not as we’d wish them to be.

After leaving his role as The Doctor,  David Tennant is being considered to play Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming movie adaptation of The Hobbit. That will be the strangest regeneration of all time.

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A number of pictures of Matt Smith and Karen Gillan playing the next Doctor and his new companion are appearing on line now that they have begun filming episodes for next season. Additional pictures can be seen here and here.  Note that Alex Kingston is also in the above picture. Is she reprising her role as River Song to complete the story about her relationship with The Doctor? While it has been stated that Stephen Moffat is not likely to use the supporting characters from past seasons, the episodes with River Song were written by Moffat making it more likely he would use the character again.

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I09 also has a lot of information from Bill Gallagher who is writing the reboot of The Prisoner for AMC. He was asked if  he pictured original series lead Patrick McGoohan when writing the series:

No, I deliberately didn’t do that, I didn’t think of an actor at all… I won’t cast it in my head, because then I box myself in, and I can’t do that. It has to be this imaginary character. I didn’t have McGoohan in my head because [this Prisoner] is a different kind of Number Six, he’s a different character, he has different attitudes. In the beginning of the series, Six wakes up the middle of the desert, no idea where he is, no idea how he got there, no idea what to do, and immediately he’s hurled into an event, which is this old man is trying to escape, he’s being pursued by soldiers. And he rescues this old man. For me, in my head, that’s McGoohan, the old Six. And that old man dies. In my head, he dies to allow us to imagine a new Number Six. McGoohan said that the end plate on the old series should’ve said “The Beginning,” because the cycle goes on, and so in my imagination, [that scene is where] one cycle ends and another cycle begins. And so that scene allowed me to imagine my own Number Six.

There will be some reminders of the original show:

There are lots of little things. Some of them are visual, some of them are story, stories that we were inspired by, and also some of them are little lines of dialogue. One of the difficulties we have is that we’re aiming for 45 minute episodes and some of them come in very long, we have to cut for story, so some of that gets lost, unfortunately. But there’s still a good deal of it in the show. Partly as a way of building on that series, partly as a little fun thing, and partly thematic… This bloody place goes on and on and on, you know? In episode two, Six gets involved in a trip to a place called Escape Resort, and when you go to Escape Resort, it’s like the original Village, and people are dressed like they were in the original Village.

On the conclusion of the miniseries:

The final episode has a climax, it has a conclusion, there’s a reversal, and there’s explanations and revelations, but they’re not conventional, and I hope they’ll be shocking, you know, that people will not expect this ending at all. What I hope is that, what we get in the end is more disturbing than where we were at the beginning… When we get to the end, what I hope is that people will get challenged by it, and disturbed by it, in the way that the original challenged and disturbed. What I hope people will feel is that there’s a sense of, ‘I know what that’s about, I think I know, oh my God, this was that and that was this, so that’s how it works. But I don’t like it.

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