TODAY IS ZERO DAY!
DOCTOR WHO RETURNS TO OUR TELEVISION SCREENS TONIGHT!
While you still have time, enjoy the final installment of our countdown to Asylum of the Daleks! Word of the Nerd has been honored to have been your host on this journey through the best of Doctor Who on the internet! Be sure to comment below to let us know your favorite way stations on this timey-wimey road to Doctor Who Series Seven!
Video 05: Pond Life (Episode Five) by the BBC
After four solid days of laughs, the fifth installment of Pond Life tells a different tale. The Doctor has saved Amy and Rory from the Daleks, the Weeping Angels, the Silence, the Silurians, and many other threats and monsters from all points in space and time. The real question, however, is can The Doctor save the Ponds from the biggest threat to their continued co-habitation….each other?
Video 04: Doctor Whooves And Assistant (Episode One) by Ocarinaplaya
Every pony wants to travel in time! In this clever Doctor Who spoof set in the universe of the current My Little Pony cartoon, The Doctor has regenerated into a pony. Episode one introduces us to The Doctor’s new assistant, and gently eases us into this adorable pop culture mash-up. Very nicely done!
Video 03: Doctor Who – The Anime by OtaKing77077
Originally put together as a teaser trailer, the original footage has now been expanded into a mini-episode. Using existing audio of Jon Pertwee as The Doctor, Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart and Roger Delgado as The Master, this anime gives us glimpses of the TARDIS, the Cybermen, and the Daleks. There have been several half-hearted Doctor Who animated episodes made by the BBC, and some excellent animation in the Classic DVD range to complete stories where episodes have gone missing, but this Doctor Who Anime really puts all official attempts to shame.
In a perfect world, the BBC would realize that pairing an incredibly talented animation house with the audio wizards at Big Finish Productions (who have produced well over two hundred full-cast Doctor Who audio adventures with Doctors 4-8 and many of the classic companions) could result in an amazing animated sister-series to Doctor Who.
Video 02: Doctor Who: The Scream of the Shalka by Paul Cornell
This could have been your official Ninth Doctor.
Before Russell T Davies brought Doctor Who back in a major way in 2005, the BBC was planning on bringing Doctor Who back, but as a web series on the internet. This pilot episode was written by Paul Cornell, responsible for some of the most popular Doctor Who novels and audio adventures, and was animated by Cosgrove Hall.
The animation is fine in an “early internet flash cartoon” way, and had this web series not been abandoned due to the Russell T Davies TV series, your official Ninth Doctor would have been Richard E. Grant.
Foreshadowing his eventual televised turn at The Master, Sir Derek Jacobi played The Master in Shalka, but a much different Master than you have seen before. The Shalka Master was trapped in an android body, and was being held prisoner in the TARDIS by The Doctor. Making The Doctor’s greatest enemy his traveling companion was a brilliant plot device, and it would have been interesting to see how this version of Doctor Who would have evolved over time.
Grant’s portrayal of The Doctor is very low-key and sarcastic, and seems to be doing the bidding of the High Council of the Time-Lords. This one-off episode was not the first time Grant had played The Doctor, however. He had a very quick turn as the Time-Lord in Steven Moffat’s first televised Doctor Who adventure, a spoof for charity called The Curse of Fatal Death (1999).
Rather than point you to youtube for this episode, it is still streaming for free at the official BBC Doctor Who website, so treat yourself today and give it a watch. Honestly, it is a very nice piece of work, and I believe that I would have watched it and eventually loved it if it had been the only new Doctor Who series we were given.
P.S. David Tennant appears in The Scream of the Shalka as a very minor character. Oh, NOW I have your attention. I see how it is.
Video 01: Doctor Who And The Curse of Fatal Death by Steven Moffat
There are literally millions of videos that could have landed at our top spot on the countdown, but this one holds special significance because it is the very first glimpse we received at how Steven Moffat might handle Doctor Who. In addition to a cast worthy of a feature film, this 1999 Red Nose Day telethon special episode is vitally important in many other aspects. Wikipedia says:
It has a special status amongst Doctor Who-themed charity productions. It has twice been featured on the cover of Doctor Who Magazine – an unusual feat even for a regular episode of the programme. It is the only parodic story to be covered by “DWM Archives”, a section of DWM normally reserved for discussion of past episodes of the regular series. Similarly, it is the only parody to be given an extensive behind-the-scenes article on the BBC official website,and its own video release through BBC Video. It is also the only BBC-commissioned live action Doctor Who production between the Paul McGann Doctor Who: The Movie (1996) andRose (2005).
Finally, it serves as a production bridge – if not a narrative bridge – between the 1963 and 2005 versions of the programme. Most notable amongst the many connections between “old” and “new” versions is the fact that it showcases the first televised Doctor Who script by Steven Moffat, the first post-production work of The Mill on the programme, the only time a woman produced an episode of the programme between Verity Lambert and Susie Liggat, and the final performance by the longest-serving Dalek vocal artist, Roy Skelton. Executive Producer Richard Curtis would later write the 2010 episode, Vincent and the Doctor.
The episode begins with Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) as The Ninth Doctor, ready to end his wandering adventures because he is engaged to his loving companion, Emma played by Julia Sawalha (Absolutely Fabulous). In an attempt to put an end to The Doctor’s eternal battle with The Master, played by Jonathan Pryce, The Doctor attempts to broker a final peace with his deadliest foe. The Daleks soon get involved, and due to a series of unfortunate accidents, The Doctor regenerates first into Tenth Doctor Richard E. Grant (with sideburns that rival David Tennant’s), then the Eleventh Doctor Jim Broadbent, and Doctor Number Twelve, Hugh Grant. As Grant’s Doctor gets injured and all hope is lost, the magic of the Time-Lords grants him one extra life…as a woman! Joanna Lumley (Absoultely Fabulous) ushers The Doctor into a new gender and a new way of life. There are so many memorable moments and heartfelt nods to the past in this spoof that it almost feels like proper Doctor Who!
Many thanks to all of you who became our companions on this journey through the vortex of internet Doctor Who oddities! Proper, real, actual new Doctor Who begins tonight, and with the 50th Anniversary on the horizon and Doctor Who at an all-time ratings high, this is a very special time to be a fan of The Doctor!
Comment below and let us know what you liked and what we missed!