From Leadworth to Trenzalore: How the Eleventh Doctor rewrote the past and the future

From Leadworth to TrenzaloreOh look, another off-cut from the Matt Smith thing I wrote for DWM #470. Again, it didn’t quite fit the bill – it’s that afterword I mentioned before, an effort to tie up, really, the ‘From Leadworth to Trenzalore’ tease that ran on the ‘Next Issue’ page in DWM #469. But – see that? And see that? Those are two stools, and this fell between it. Not long enough, really to do the job. It would have seemed more an afterthought than an afterword.

And with that lusty preview, here it is… Continue reading

The Matt Smith years – every single word


Click on the image for a full-size version

DWM #470So, what’s this above? Something I forgot about until just now, actually.

When writing my piece for DWM #470The Matt Smith Tapes (a compilation of all my mostly unpublished interviews with the chap himself) I – as is my habit – tried to also assemble some visual materials to accompany the feature. In the event, aside from the Sun and Mirror spreads that ran alongside my chat with former Doctor Who PR Kerry Parker, none were used. Unsurprisingly; it was mainly scans of things like press releases and lanyards. Things one could most kindly describe as ‘texture’.

Thinking a little latterly, though, I did also produce some Wordle ‘art’ which I thought could possibly be knocked back to provide some kind of interesting backdrop to sit behind my text. Or something. Text behind text? Maybe not.

Anyway, said art was produced by inputting all the Eleventh Doctor transcripts from this site into Wordle. The idea being, once I stripped out a few directional terms (“V/O” or whatever) it would give a visual overview of the preoccupations of the Matt Smith era.

Here’s the same idea in a different orientation. Anyone else getting the Band Aid logo here? Click on the image to see it full-size…

Anyone else getting the Band Aid logo here?

Click on the image for a full-size version

I also worked-up an afterword, which, in the end (follow the trend) also wasn’t used. Within which were some ‘fun’ facts that probably would have been a massive pain in the arse for Tom and the team to verify. I think I counted correctly, however. But take the following on face value…

The trawl of the Eleventh

Essential – maybe –  stats from the Matt Smith era complied by our own WOTAN* computer

 “Geronimo!” – Exclamation made by the Doctor a pleasing 11 times [if we don’t count The End of Time part two], also once each by Amy Pond, Craig Owens and River Song

Cool – Bow ties are emphatically cool (the Doctor tells us this five times) but so are fezzes, Stetsons, bunk beds, glasses and an office on a train.

Not cool – Monks and, according to The Time of the Doctor, “Cool is not cool”.

“Silence will fall” – We’re told 12 times.

Jammy dodgers – Deployed only in two episodes (Victory of the Daleks and The Bells of Saint John) and asked for, again, in two episodes (The Impossible Astronaut and Night Terrors).

“Spoilers!” – Of which we are warned 10 times.

“Doctor who?!” – The first question, the question that must never be answered and is hidden in plain sight, is actually posited 38 times.

Kisses Is there a lot of this in the future?” It does start to happen, yeah, with the Doctor initiating 16 instances of lip-puckering (four with River – albeit one is with her apparition in The Name of the Doctorthree with Clara, two with Amy, then pecks for Madge Arwell in The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, Ada from The Crimson Horror, Tasha Lem in The Time of the Doctor, a Barbie doll in Cold War, plus Rory, Strax and Jenny).

Air-kissing – Employed by our hero six times (to Craig, Sophie and Sean from Craig’s football team in The Lodger, Claire in Night Terrors, Val in Closing Time and Clara’s gran in The Time of the Doctor).

Gerroff! – The Time Lord is kissed on 10 occasions (three from River, and then a smooch – actually, more than one but we weren’t there – from Marilyn Monroe, Amy, Idris, Rory, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, Clara, and the Mr Punch puppet in The Snowmen).

*WOTAN – We’re Obviously Too Amazed by Numbers

After Image…

TARDISMy last word on Matt Smith’s Doctor. Well, until my next word. In some ways, this piece – from DWM #469 – was me limbering up for the ‘Mad Man in a Box’ Matt interview mash-up that appeared in the following issue. Delving into my own archive of Smith quotes. 

I’ve loved reviewing the Eleventh Doctor for DWM. I hope I got better at it over the years. Certainly the pieces have become less convoluted, and not so propped up by additional stuff that, at the time, I felt added value. But you can be the judge. It’s all here.

And if you have the stomach for more of me, every Friday morning I post TV reviews onto Off the Telly. Continue reading

The Time of the Doctor

The Time of the DoctorTARDIS
I nagged and nagged and nagged to get an invitation to the press screening of this episode – the only way I was going to be able to watch it in time to write the DWM review. I felt fraught. If I didn’t bag this one, I would fail at the very final instalment to cover all of Matt’s tenure for the magazine. Apologies, then, to the various limbs of the BBC I harassed. Got there in the end, though.

And, yes, indulgently, I did put in a little callback to my review of The Eleventh Hour…

From DWM #469.

Continue reading

The Day of the Doctor

The Day of the DoctorTARDISDoes it sound too gushy to say writing this one was a real privilege? I’m sure it does. But it was, I felt lucky to do it. And the for the first time, the decision was also made to cover one of the attendant web-only mini-episodes.

From DWM #468 Continue reading

The Name of the Doctor

The Name of the DoctorTARDISCoo, this was one to write.

Like the rest of the world (except America), I didn’t get to see this story’s final scenes until they were aired on BBC1 on Saturday night. I wrote the majority of the piece a week or so before, based on the press preview copy, which omitted the final five minutes. Then I had to wait to patch the final article together.

And, as is the way of things, it turned out I had tickets for a gig on the night of broadcast, so – although I had a strong inkling of John Hurt’s role – I first got confirmation thanks to texts I received after the finale aired.

On Sunday, I patched together the finished review, and sent it to Tom at DWM, who’d come into the office specifically to get the words onto the page. I may be wrong in saying so, but I think the decision to hold back finalizing DWM #461 until my piece was delivered resulted in it going out to the shops late. Continue reading

The Crimson Horror

The Crimson HorrorTARDISI felt like I wrote this one in a bit of a hot fog. My favourite story of the year, and I had lots to say, but I tend to find that after I’ve been turning reviews out every week, I reach a point where I feel a bit confused. Part of that is I’m becoming overly concerned by reacting to what I’ve written so far; trying to vary things, kick away writing crutches and the like.

So this, from DWM #461 was done in a weird, feverish frame of mind. Continue reading