Doctor Who: Legacy hits First Anniversary

Doctor Who Legacy, the online game based on Doctor Who, celebrates its first birthday next week, and to mark the event, Tiny Rebel Games have announced some of their plans for the future of the series.

The game launched on the 27th November 2013, with just two Doctors, and episodes from two seasons of the show. The series is now Doctor complete in that every Doctor can be obtained and added to a team.

To celebrate, the first 4 levels of the next chapter prologue will be released over the next few days, this will see the 12th Doctor join the storyline. On or about the first Birthday of the game, the final 3 levels will be released, bringing the 4th Doctor into the storyline.

Also, on the game’s first birthday, a new expert level A Madman with a Box / Happy birthday Legacy!, will be released, which will see the first Doctor face up against Zygon copies of all 13 Doctors. The level will drop the TARDIS+ “the bluest blue ever” now in grayscale along with 3 time crystals.

Over the course of Series 8, the team attempted to release content alongside each episode, around 24 hours after it aired in the USA. New levels based on encounters from the show were made available, and new enemies were added as they first appeared with new costumes available just hours after they appeared on the screen.

Tiny Rebel Games have thanked all those who worked to make this happen.
We are now very aware why nobody has tried this before. We wish to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, everyone who was part of the season 8 launch in Legacy. The production and licensing team at BBC Worldwide (esp our Producer, Peter Hickman), the amazing Doctor Who brand team, the production team in Cardiff, and the agents and representatives of the amazing stars who are now part of the Legacy world. We would like to thank those from the show who we’ve interacted with on social media, and a huge shout out to Pippa Bennett-Warner for joining us on our weekly Twitch show a few weeks back.
Future plans include the introduction of the Anthony Ainley and Eric Roberts versions of The Master, who join the Michelle Gomez, John Simm and Roger Delgado versions, as the producers move towards having every incarnation of The Master up against every incarnation of The Doctor.

The Advent Calender will return in December with new allies, Doctor and costumes from the Titan Publishing comic book series added to the game. Cinder, from the War Doctor novel, Engines of War, will be added to the game. In a set of levels with a story written by “Engines of War” author George Mann. Kylie Minogue as Astrid will be joining the game as will Frank Skinner as Perkins, and the team will also be launching content alongside the Christmas episode.

Also previewing in the Advent Calender will be Bigger on the inside , a new side story in the Doctor Who: Legacy universe which will be released in chapters over the next few months. The expansive story will see individual arcs for the 10th, 1st, 4th, 9th and War doctors, and will see episodes from as far back as The Gunfighters and The Tenth Planet.

The 50 Year Diary – Day 689 – Paradise Towers, Episode Four

Will Brooks’ 50 Year Diary - watching Doctor Who one episode a day from the very start...

Day 689: Paradise Towers, Episode Four

Dear diary,

Somehow, I’ve managed to make it through this entire story without making mention of Richard Briers’ performance as the Chief Caretaker. I think I’m right in saying that Briers once told an interviewer that he’d taken a part in Doctor Who as an excuse to ‘act badly’, and I think you can see that throughout appearance in this episode, because his performance is appalling…

…and completely right for the tone of the story! It works brilliantly, and I can’t help but fall in love with it. It’s so over the top that it’s almost grotesque, and it fits the slightly ‘comic book’ theme of this season particularly well. He’s been playing the part in a particularly bizarre way throughout (though, again, it’s fitted the story), but it’s really once his mind has been taken over that things really work for me.

It means that I’m also wondering if maybe I’ve been approaching Season Twenty-Four from slightly the wrong angle. I’ve spoken in the last week about how disappointed I am with the programme all of a sudden, shifting its tone from being television for children to strictly being ‘kids telly’, but with concepts and ideas that go beyond that area. I wonder if maybe I should have been looking at Time and the Rani and this story with a mind more willing to enjoy them on their own merits, including the ‘comic book’ tone that the programme has currently adopted. In the Last Chance Saloon feature on the Time and the Rani DVD, John Nathan-Turner comments that they were asked again to tone down the violence, and that they replaced it with more humour. I think that’s been very evident so far, and I’m looking forward to them managing to strike that right balance of violence and humour in the programme again.

All that said, I’ve still not really enjoyed this episode. There is - as usual - lots of little bits that I rather like, but they simply don’t add up to a satisfying whole for me. I’m thinking that this may be another story to add to my ‘must watch again’ pile (there’s at least one in every era), because taking a different approach may help. Today’s episode also isn’t helped by the inclusion of something that was so ridiculous that I couldn’t help but be put right off by it. The Doctor has brought Mel to Paradise Towers because she’s desperate to go swimming. Fine. Before they make it to the swimming pool, they get caught up in an adventure. Fine. During this adventure, Mel gets set upon by cannibals, and then screams for her life when she thinks she’s stuck in the basement. Fine. Mere minutes later, they arrive at the pool, so she decides to forget the events of the last few hours and take a dip! No! What the hell were they thinking? Does she think that now she’s found the swimming pool, all the dangers have gone? That she can simply abandon the adventure? What on Earth is she doing?

I think this is all part of my continuing dislike of Mel - and that’s not helping the season in my estimations much, either! Bonnie Langford isn’t actually bad in the role, but the problem is that she’s only as good as the material she’s being given. Mel is the absolute stereotype of a Doctor Who companion, screaming and asking questions, and getting in to trouble. She’s not in any way believable for me as a character, and I don’t think it helps that I know Ace is coming up soon; a character I’ve always liked. We’re shifting format to three parters for the next few stories - the format I’ve often claimed in this marathon to be the perfect length for a Who story - so I’m hoping it might help to give me a bit of a shot in the arm, because I really don’t like not enjoying the series!

 

Doctor Who pop-up shop returns to Melbourne

The Doctor Who pop-up shop will materialise in Melbourne from November 20th at 9am, BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand has announced.

The pop-up shop, which follows the overwhelming popularity of previous stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, will be open until after Christmas. To celebrate, special Doctor Who prize packs will be awarded to the first 20 fans to arrive at the shop on opening day wearing Doctor Who costume.

The shop will stock a host of Doctor Who products, including a brand new TARDIS print fashion range, exclusive to Australia and New Zealand, which includes a skirt, shirt and skater dress. There will be a range of Christmas gifts for Doctor Who fans, including K-9 & Cyberman or Dalek & Sontaran cookie cutters, as well as all things TARDIS, with products such as TARDIS toothbrush holders, teapots, creamers and sugar bowls.

In addition to Doctor Who merchandise, the pop-up shop will have a ‘Sherlock Corner’, with a range of Sherlock goods including ‘Consulting Detective’ and ‘High Functioning Sociopath’ mugs, and ‘I’m not a Psychopath...’ t-shirts.

Fans also have the chance to step inside the famous blue box with the TARDIS photo booth, where they can have their photo taken on a choice of three backgrounds to share with friends via social media.

The Doctor Who pop-up shop is open from 20th November to 4th January at: Shop E09/10, Galleria, 343 Little Collins Street (Corner of Little Collins Street and Elizabeth Street), Melbourne.

The 50 Year Diary – Day 688 – Paradise Towers, Episode Three

Will Brooks’ 50 Year Diary - watching Doctor Who one episode a day from the very start...

Day 688: Paradise Towers, Episode Three

Dear diary,

There’s something I’ve never understood about Paradise Towers… where is it set? In my mind, it’s always been a single tower block just out in the middle of… well, the middle of nowhere if I’m honest. In my head, there’s a void, and the tower block, and that’s it. Somehow it’s never felt right to have it just somewhere on Earth, and even being a part of a city feels wrong - if people can get out and nip down to the shops or to the local park, then it really lessens the tension of the whole thing.

The implication from the video the Doctor watched in this episode (on DVD, no less! Forward thinking, there…) is that it’s on some other planet, and he comments that as ‘space is a big place’, the Great Architect could always move on and find work elsewhere. I’m not quite sure what to decide, I’d say that it can’t be far from Earth - it won awards in the 21st century, and we’re still in ‘Solar System colonising’ mode by the timeline established with the Second Doctor…

While I’m on that subject, I’m not sure if I like the image of the towers that we see at the start of each episode. It feels wrong that this world - so run-down and grimy on the inside - should be so beautiful and gleaming outside, with fresh flowers growing. It’s a concept that can work, and rather well, I think, but because we only ever see this ‘veneer’ of the building in a single establishing shot, and it’s not brought into the story at all, it seems out of place.

That said, I’ve found myself enjoying the interior of the place more and more today. The interior of the flat is still a weak point, as is the swimming pool (it just looks too ‘generic’), but the actual walkways and corridors are lovely. In the making of documentary to this story, writer Stephen Wyatt makes a point of saying that each floor of the building has its own streets and squares, and I’m rather taken with that idea, I think!

On the whole, I think I’ve been more amenable to this episode than either of the previous two. Paradise Towers still isn’t grabbing me in quite the way that I’d like it to, but I’m finding lots more to enjoy, and I think it’s a bit like Time and the Rani, in that I can see lots of brilliant ideas all bubbling under the surface, crying out to be done slightly better. The story is still hampered by that ‘kids show’ vibe that we’ve had since the Seventh Doctor arrived, but there’s so many dark and sinister ideas in here that the jolly tone almost works - helping to make them even more sinister!

I think I’ve just got a sort of general apathy towards Season Twenty-Four, because this simply isn’t grabbing me at all, despite numerous things which by rights should be. I’ve spent so long thinking of this season as one I’d hopefully champion, that I’m somewhat crushed by the fact that it’s not connecting - and I think that’s even leading to harsher scores on episodes which might otherwise fare a little better…

 

The Popularity Of Doctor Who

As one of the absolute gems of British television programming, Doctor Who has been enthralling audiences since its first airing in 1963. The all-ages science fiction drama is well known for being appropriate for all ages, and as such the series has attracted a significant better-than-cult following, and with the release of the most recent bout of series, starting in 2005, the series has truly gone global, attracting an enormous cohort of fans; known as ‘Whovians’; whose number realistically could trump long standing sci-fi veterans Star Trek and perhaps even Star Wars.

The fan base is, as one might expect, a diverse one. Fan clubs are run across the world; New Zealand, Canada, USA; and local clubs are so enormously widespread that in 2012 a Google Map project commenced with the aim of logging all of the local Doctor Who groups in the UK so that fans could more easily find and join a club in their area!

As with any science fiction series, conventions are a large part of the Doctor Who fan experience. The first was held in 1977 by The Doctor Who Appreciation Society, quickly becoming the well known and fantastically well attended Panopticon, the largest of the Dr Who gatherings. Within these events fans have the chance to meet the stars of Dr Who, watch fan productions based on the show and indulge in a little collectible hunting. 

Collectibles are naturally big business in the Dr Who community. In 2007, a full sized Dalek prop from the 1988 series was auctions at London’s Bonham's auction house, reaching £7000. This is small change compared to an auction that took place just two years earlier, however, when an older specimen was sold for a gigantic £36,000! 

With Who-themed merchandise an important aspect of the fan community, one can see why many manufacturers and businesses have been keen to hop aboard the Doctor Who bandwagon. Clothing, mugs, TARDIS-themed fairylights, Dr Who-themed gelatine moulds and all-important Dr Who teapots; one wonders what other product ideas will be hatched regarding the series. Perhaps we could soon see Who-themed games on sites such as JackpotCity in the near future? There wouldn’t be any time travel involved though- it would surely defeat the object of playing! 

Dr Who is huge news and a cemented aspect of pop culture across the world, not just in its spiritual home of the United Kingdom, and with new series planned and no end of the entertaining adventures in sight, the Doctor seems set to reign long into the future!

[Source: Superserp]