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Time-Travelling Humanoid Alien

Christmas Special

by Raeanne Rubenstein

No matter who plays Doctor Who, a viewer can be certain of several things! First, he will be handsome, Secondly, he will be likeable. And finally, he will be wry, and great fun to watch. This is true to a greater or lesser degree, of all the Doctors who have played the role, beginning in 1963 with William Hartnell, the First Doctor, and continuing on-and-off until today with the delightful Eleventh Doctor, and BAFTA- winner for the role, Matt Smith.
11 Doctors
Now for those of you who live with your head in a hole, have no sense of humor, or do not know what you are missing, let me educate you. Doctor Who is a British science fiction television program produced in London by the BBC. The program depicts the adventures of a Time Lord—a time travelling, humanoid alien known as The Doctor. He explores the universe in his TARDIS, a sentient, telepathic time-and-space-travel machine that looks like a blue British phone box, a common sight in Britain in 1963. He travels through a time vortex, while working to save civilizations, destroy evil,  help ordinary people, and right wrongs.

TARDISNeedless to say, The Doctor has faced a crazy variety of foes in his 47 years of travelling the galaxy, among them the legendary Daleks, one of Doctor Who’s earliest enemies, and including Cybermen, Ice Warriors, and The Master himself. And now, bring on The Snowmen.

Among all the fascinating characters, twists, turns, and mysteries explored on the show, one of the most fascinating is the phenomenon of the good Doctor’s companions. Sometimes men but more often women, companions travel with their Doctor for various periods of time, some joining him on a single voyage and others lasting for several years. Oddly enough, a Companion’s purpose is strictly to help the Doctor with his work, and until now there has not been a romantic liaison.

However it is 2012 now, not 1963, and that could dramatically change when The Doctor’s brand new companion, Clara, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, arrives on the scene. She’s the Eleventh Doctor’s 5th Companion, replacing his best-liked-to-date companion Amy Pond (actress Karen Gillan), who remained with him for 31 episodes. Who knows? Could love be in the Doctor’s future?
Doctor Who and Clara
When asked what he thought of his new co-star, Matt Smith, just like The Doctor, was straight-forward, “Jenna is pretty smoking. She is doing really great, coming into something so big, she has done so well. I think people are going to really like her.”

He added, “She works incredibly hard and is incredibly detailed. She is a joy and I lucked out again. I look back to my first day and I was like a rabbit in the headlights. She is much more assured than me, and I have tried to help her into the process of making the show. It is a big lifestyle change. And I’m sure she will be a fantastic companion.”
And of course, that lucky dog Jenna (pardon the French) feels the same. “I’m still kind of digesting everything,” she said. “I came out to L.A. not long after I got the part and so many people out there were talking about it. It’s still becoming real to me in a way.”

Doctor Who with TardisWhen asked if she prepared for the role by watching previous episodes, she replied, “I didn’t watch too much of Karen and Matt’s stuff on purpose, because it’s such a rhythmic thing, the dynamic, that I don’t want to pick up on anything. I kind of want to research it and watch every single episode, but my character, I’m just a girl who’s going into this not knowing anything and has to experience it front on. So that’s what I need to do as well, I think. And that’s what Steven’s very keen for me to do.

“It’s strange, actually,” she continued. “I watched the five episodes that went out recently as we were filming. It was strange to watch their goodbye, as I was doing the beginning - and interesting to see where it left The Doctor as well. There’s no way to consider it other than something totally different. You fill somebody else’s shoes by trying to do the same thing - and I don’t think that’s a healthy way to look at it. It’s a whole new story, it’s a whole new character. It changes The Doctor and you’ve got to go on that journey and also go on your own journey with it, as well.”

She added, “My grandma is a huge fan. My auntie was over from Australia when I got the part and she told me she used to hide behind the sofa from the Daleks.” Oddly enough, she discovered that “my family, it was kind of like every single generation” loved the show.

Matt Smith in black coatWhen asked what it was like working with Matt Smith, Coleman was equally as enthusiastic as Smith . “He is awe-inspiring,” she said. “His work ethic just knows no bounds, really. It’s a work-in-progress and every day is something new. He’s incredibly creative and I feel like I’m learning more and more from him.

Needless to say Doctor Who fans are excited, perhaps even ecstatic, at the arrival of not only a new season for Doctor #11, (an additional eight epic episodes will premiere in the Spring) but also the announcement of a Doctor Who Christmas Special that will be airing this Christmas Day, December 25th, 2012. Hooray, I say!

The title of this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special is The Snowmen, in which Clara, and a new look for The Doctor, plus a new monster will all be introduced in this movie-scale episode. And if you’ve seen the just-released images of the actual Snowmen, with their icy bodies and pointy teeth, they really don’t look like much fun to be around.  
Doctor Simeon
The Snowmen
follows the duo’s adventures as they embark on a mission to save Christmas from the villainous Doctor Simeon, played by Richard E Grant, and his army of icy snowmen.  The Doctor’s new costume will also soon be revealed, as well as a special prequel showing the impact of the loss of the Ponds on the Doctor, with old friends Vastra, Strax and Jenny trying to persuade the Doctor not to give up his adventures.

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, explained what’s going on, “The Doctor at Christmas is one of my favorite things - but this year it's different,” he admitted. He's lost Amy and Rory to the Weeping Angels, and he's not in a good place- in fact, he's Scrooge. He's withdrawn from the world and no longer cares what happens to it. So when all of humanity hangs in the balance, can anyone persuade a tired and heartbroken Doctor that it's time to return to the good fight??
Vastra, Strax and Jenny
Matt Smith commented, “For this year’s Christmas special we have the wonderfully villainous Richard E Grant as Doctor Simeon. As well as lizards, Victorian assassins and deranged warriors from the future, who all return to convince the Doctor that he should board the TARDIS again and save the world.”

Plus, he says, “Add to that Jenna-Louise Coleman, and so begins the Christmas Special 2012. I hope everyone enjoys it!”

FYI, people! Do you know that Doctor Who is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world and as the "most successful" science fiction series of all time—based on its over-all broadcast ratings, DVD and book sales, and iTunes traffic.”
Doctor Who Christmas Specail Poster
Even famed Director Steven Spielberg has commented that "the world would be a poorer place without Doctor Who." And I could not agree more!

So climb out of that pathetic hole you’ve been moldering in all this time, and join the rest of us as we accompany Doctor Who throughout the Universe, and having a hell of a great time in the process.

This year’s Doctor Who Christmas special premieres Tuesday, December 25, 9:00pm ET/PT on BBC AMERICA. / Issue 141 - March 2018
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