Next Saturday sees the third episode of Series 6 being aired and it's called 'The Curse of the Black Spot'. Check out the prequel to the episode and two new trailers for the swash-buckling adventure here!
It's Russell T. Davies' birthday today and here at Mad Man, Blue Box we want to say happy birthday to the man who brought our beloved show back onto television in 2005 and it's being going strong ever since. Davies has created some of the most memorable episodes of 'Doctor Who' as well as creating the wonderful 'Torchwood' and 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'. Happy birthday indeed Russell and thanks for everything you've done!
Matt Smith has been nominated for a BAFTA for his performance as the Eleventh Doctor. Although some doubted him after the tremendous David Tennant, Smith has filled The Doctor's shoes incredibly comfortably and continues to impress every week. He's up against some stiff competition including the incredible Benedict Cumberbatch for 'Sherlock' (which was also created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss), but hopefully the new Time Lord will walk away with the prize.
Written by Steven Moffat - Directed by Toby Haynes
Yesterday saw the return of 'Doctor Who' and what a return it was! Steven Moffat wanted the series to start with a bang and it certainly did. 'The Impossible Atsronaut' was an emotionally challenging, gripping and terrifying start to the new series and threw audiences right into the deep end with snappy dialogue, fast pacing and tons of crucial information.
The Doctor, Amy, Rory and River embark on a quest that takes them from the visually stunning Utah desert to the White House where he's enlisted by President Nixon himself to assist enigmatic former-FBI agent Canton. The Doctor's mission - save a terrified little girl from a mysterious spaceman.
'The Impossible Astronaut' was a great series opener for numerous reasons; it didn't waste time establishing nor did it dwell on past events, it threw the audience into the adventure and held the viewer throughout the duration. As I mentioned earlier, this episode was dialogue heavy so there was no time for distraction - focus was key. Moffat placed an awful lot of information that will bear dramatic importance throughout the series into these 45 minutes. Personally, I feel the episode could have benefited from an hour length - the spare 15 minutes could have helped to reflect the importance of events, characterisation and circumstance, but there is another part to come, so 'Day of the Moon' looks to be just as relentless as this episode.
Karen Gillan provides a staggering performance in this episode; she's starting to show cracks in Amy's confident facade. She forces heavy emotions onto the viewer and we can feel for her and relate to her situations. It's almost like the penny has finally dropped; she's a married young woman who happens to have a mad man in the centre of her life who almost moulds her by his bizarre lifestyle. Alex Kingston also provides a great performance; River is such a fascinating character and I love her presence in the show - I just hope she gets a few more episodes this series. The sequence in which she tells Rory about the her and the Doctor's timelines was the highlight of the show. Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill were both great too and provided excellent chemistry that counteracted the females emotional scenarios.
The cinematography in this episode was electric; the landscape shots of Utah were like something from a John Wayne picture; so vast and vacant, yet activity seems so apparent. It's a very visual and engaging location and I'm glad the crew took advantage of their time in the US rather than just imitating everything in Wales. Haynes' direction was precised and accurate - various technical camera angles were used and it seems his confidence behind the camera is growing. I'm certain shooting 'Doctor Who' in America is the biggest piece he's worked on and his desire to succeed shows.
Overall, I thought this was a brilliant episode and a great way to get the ball rolling again. I think I will have to re-watch it before next week as a refresher because as I mentioned earlier, this is like a club sandwich in content.
Please feel free to post a comment with your review for the episode below!
I'm certain everyone is perfectly aware but 'Doctor Who' Series 6 begins tomorrow night! 'The Impossible Astronaut' will air at 6pm on BBC One and BBC One HD. There will also be a 15 minute tribute show to the late Elisabeth Sladen called 'My Sarah Jane' which will air at 6:45pm on the CBBC Channel before 'Doctor Who Confidential' screens at 7pm on BBC Three, so it's fair to say that tomorrow night is 'Who' Madness!
I will be posting about the episode over the weekend so post a comment and let me know your thoughts too!
It has just been announced that the wonderful and multi-talented Elisabeth Sladen has passed away at the age of 63 after a long battle with cancer.
Sladen, whose best know for playing the legendary 'Doctor Who' companion Sarah Jane Smith, has been a crucial part in the world of the show and today is a very dark day indeed. Sladen also reprised her role in the spin-off show 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' which is incredibly popular and has had 4 seasons.
Whovians across the globe are shocked by this tragic news. Here at Mad Man, Blue Box, we want to express our deepest sympathy for Sladen's family and friends. Rest in Peace Elisabeth Sladen, you may be gone, but you will forever remembered, loved and cherished.
Sarah Jane Smith: No. The universe has to move forward. Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love. Whether it's a world, or a relationship... Everything has its time. And everything ends.
It's David Tennant's 40th birthday today and here at Mad Man, Blue Box we want to wish our favourite Time Lord a very happy birthday and further congratulations on his engagement and the birth of his child!
1. She has some of the most memorable quotes in the history of the show:
The Doctor:K-9! Rose Tyler, Mickey Smith, allow me to introduce K-9. Well K-9 mark III to be precise. Rose:Why does he look so... disco?
- 'School Reunion' (2006)
2. She is hopelessly devoted to The Doctor - without being annoying or repetitive; Rose's emotions are refreshing and endearing. Her farewell in 'Doomsday' (2006) is the most harrowing and touching scene of Series 2; it brings a tear to the eye on every view.
3. 'Super Rose' in 'The Parting of the Ways' (2005) is one of the most intoxicating and incredible things that's ever appeared in the show.
4. She saw the regeneration of the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) into the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), so Billie Piper's companion outlived an actor playing the main character; not many if any other companion have achieved this.
5. Not everyone will agree with me but in my opinion, Rose Tyler is the best 'Doctor Who' companion. Period.
It's nearly here! Just over a week before 'Doctor Who' returns to our screens and once again the BBC have given us some more new stuff! Look below for new images and new videos including two clips from 'The Impossible Astronaut'! POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!
The images above are the new promotional pictures for Series 6 including The Impossible Astronaut and The Silence! Steven Moffat and Matt Smith have both boasted that The Silence is the best and scariest villain the show has ever seen!
Check out the video below where Matt Smith talks about the new series and how 'cinematic' it is!
News just in! The cast have been interviewed about the series, new images are available and the first SEVEN episode titles have been released! We treat you here at Mad Man, Blue Box don't we!
Read all this great stuff below!
1. The Impossible Astronaut
2. Day of the Moon
3. The Curse of the Black Spot
4. The Doctor's Wife
5. The Rebel Flesh
6. The Almost People
7. A Good Man Goes to War
Matt Smith on the New Series
The Press Pack for the new series has been released and in it, Matt Smith - alias the Doctor - reveals what lies in store for the Time Lord and his fellow TARDIS travellers in 2011, and why the Fez is no longer his favourite hat...
"I think The Silence are one of the greatest monsters of recent years and certainly one of the scariest," reveals Matt Smith."They're also very clever and I love the fact they've been silently working since the dawn of time to make The Doctor come unstuck."
Matt is talking about the new breed of monster which viewers will be introduced to in the opening two episodes of the series. He is remaining tight-lipped about what viewers can expect but he does offer some insights into the story arc for this series."Steven has a grand plan and some of the seeds he planted in the last series start coming to fruition and affecting the characters in drastic ways," explains Matt."Every character is faced with the most seismic and high-stakes choices we've seen so far."
Opening the new series is a special two-part story penned by Steven Moffat and set in America, marking the first time in its history that an episode of Doctor Who has been filmed there. The cast spent three days in the desert in Utah but that didn't stop hardcore Doctor Who fans from tracking them down. "It was very strange," laughs Matt."We were in the middle of the desert and suddenly there was a lady with a campervan and deck chair, holding an iPad up with a moving screen which read 'autograph please!'. I mean how on earth she knew we were in the middle of the desert I have no idea, but it certainly proved her dedication to the show!
"The landscape was incredible," continues Matt, "and I think being in America, filming in that terrain, has definitely added a sense of scale and a filmic quality to this series of Doctor Who. It was an amazing experience and a brilliant laugh. I have to confess that I think the Stetson has been my favourite hat for the Doctor so far, 100%. Viewers may well see more of the Stetson later in the series but I couldn't possibly reveal when..."
Alex Kingston joined Matt, Karen and Arthur in Utah to reprise her role as River Song and Matt admits it was great to have her back. "I'm very fond of Alex and I simply love the part of River Song because it makes the Doctor come unstuck; she's the one person in the world who knows more than him. I think Steven has written some really revelatory stuff about the character and she's extremely important to this series..." teases Matt.
"We've also been incredibly lucky to welcome a number of fantastic guest stars including Hugh Bonneville, Suranne Jones and Lily Cole. James Corden also returns later in the series" reveals Matt."I've admired so many people who have been involved and all of them have brought a touch of quality."
Matt also has high praise for his fellow co stars, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. "I think with Rory, Arthur has perfectly judged the humour and he's got some fantastic storylines with Karen. I do think that Amy and Rory now being married has changed the dynamic in the TARDIS and in many ways it's the Doctor who is perhaps the odd one out," explains Matt."However, Karen and Arthur are hilarious and together we are always mucking around between takes and telling silly jokes to annoy each other!"
Matt also reveals that his clumsy reputation is still fully justified!"I was chatting away to someone the other day on set and I had my hand on a lamp stand. Little did I know that as I was leaning it was actually turning and suddenly it came crashing down on my head!"
Perhaps it was lucky for the rest of the cast then that Matt wasn't tasked with any sword fighting in episode 3 which is set on a pirate ship."It was 4am and we had four huge rain machines making us soaking wet but we all loved it. Karen had to do the sword fighting though,"chuckles Matt."I just had to walk round and act clever in the background!"
Karen Gillan on the New Series
The Press Pack for the new series has been released and in it, Karen Gillan - alias Amy - reveals what lies in store for her character, the tricks her co-stars play on her, and why she has a newfound passion for fencing...
"There were clues planted in the last series that are going to become major storylines in this one," divulges a conspiratorial Karen Gillan; a revelation which is bound to have all Whovians avidly watching Series 5 to spot what the Inverness born actress is referring to.
"There's a really interesting arc in this series that involves all of the major characters and it's evident from the first episode that everyone on the TARDIS is withholding secrets from one another," continues Karen."It makes for a fascinating dynamic between the characters and it's incredibly important to the overall series."
Karen also believes that Amy has more respect for her new husband Rory after his recent adventures."I think Rory has perhaps developed the most out of all the characters," explains Karen."By the end of last series he became a Roman Centurion hero and he had changed a lot; it felt like he had earned his place in the TARDIS. In fact, it's hard for me to imagine the TARDIS without him now!"
But has married life changed Amy Pond? Karen quickly sweeps that concern out of the way exclaiming "if anything she is even more Amy Pondish! I don't think it would work for Amy to completely change now that she's a married woman and I certainly don't think she should become a subdued version of herself. However, I do think being married has helped to define the Doctor and Amy's relationship and I can reveal that something takes place this series which makes Amy see Rory in a new light...," teases the actress.
While the majority of filming for Doctor Who usually takes place in Cardiff, the cast found themselves in the middle of the desert in Utah last November to film scenes for the opening two-parter. "The new series starts with a real bang," exclaims Karen. "Filming in Utah was so much fun and I spent a lot of time running around the desert; the scenery was amazing and simply wouldn't have looked the same if we had filmed it in Cardiff against a green screen. The desert backdrop really gives the opening two episodes an epic feel."
However, it wasn't all fun for the actors as temperatures plunged below freezing at night and then they had to battle searing temperatures during the day. "We were all 'thermaled' up and I had on two pairs of trousers and four tops! Then the sun would come up making it blistering hot and we'd all peel off the layers," laughs Karen.
But despite the elements, Karen enjoyed being reunited with Alex Kingston who plays enigma River Song. "Alex is so much fun to have around," reveals Karen. "She makes the TARDIS team feel complete."
But the question on viewers' lips is "will we find out who River Song actually is?"
"The ending of this first set of episodes has been hidden from everyone!" laughs Karen. "Even I got given a dummy ending to episode 7 and it was only at the read-through that Steven Moffat took me, Matt and Arthur into the corridor to read the proper version on his laptop. We then all paced around going "oh my God!" It's brilliant and viewers will just have to tune in to find out more. It certainly provides a fantastic cliff-hanger to see us through until the autumn."
Karen also reveals that this series is set to be the scariest yet with the debut of a number of new monsters. "Ooh in particular I think The Silence, which are the new monsters in the opening two episodes, actually rival the Weeping Angels in terms of scariness and they look disgusting!" says Karen, screwing up her face in revulsion. "The concept behind them is ingenious because it feels like they are undefeatable, and this series also sees the return of some of the Doctor's oldest foes, but with an interesting twist..."
A new series of Doctor Who wouldn't be complete without a number of well known guest stars; Hugh Bonneville, Lily Cole, Suranne Jones and Marshall Lancaster are all billed in upcoming episodes. "The great thing about this show is that it attracts big names and everyone who comes on set is so excited to be part of the Doctor Who experience," explains Karen. "These actors could all be off doing other things but they choose to come on the show because they are either fans or their kids are, so it makes the whole experience enjoyable. For me, it's also a wonderful experience to watch these people at work - it's like an acting master class every episode."
With each story set at different points in time and occasionally on alien planets, Amy Pond has certainly experienced a lot in her relatively short time on the TARDIS. But for Karen the episode that really stands out for her this series features Hugh Bonneville as a Pirate Captain in the 1600s. "I had a brilliant time filming this episode," reveals Karen. "Swinging across a pirate ship was a particular highlight and I loved doing the sword fight. I'd never done anything like that before so I literally picked up the sword and started learning moves with a stunt guy - in fact I loved it so much that I actually want to take it up as a hobby! Luckily I caused no major injuries on set, although I did collide with Arthur at one point but that was his fault."
It is clear that Karen has become firm friends with her co stars Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill and their chemistry certainly translates on screen. "We genuinely mess around all day," confesses Karen, "but I think that works because as a viewer I'd like to see the Doctor, Amy and Rory having fun. Of course we are serious when we need to be, but in general we clown around between takes and I think that helps to create chemistry on screen."
"Matt has also taken to hiding in my trailer and I'll go in, humming to myself, and then he'll just jump out at me and shout", giggles Karen."The first time he did it was hilarious because he scared me so much that I fell backwards against the wall and slid down it! He also has an annoying habit of filming me when I fall asleep, while in make-up in the mornings, and it's a hideous sight - I'm not going to lie!" continues Karen. "Arthur eggs him on and the pair of them gang up but don't worry, I give as good as I get. Although it's brilliant when Alex Kingston is around because she knows how to handle them!"
So with two mischievous lads and a number of monsters to deal with, both Karen and Amy Pond have a lot to contend with, but where would Karen go if she had sole control of the TARDIS? "The tundra," she says."No reason why! Just go with it!"
Arthur Darvill on the New Series
The Press Pack for the new series has been released and in it, Arthur Darvill - alias Rory Williams - reveals how his character has grown, what being married to Amy is really like and how filming on a pirate ship made his childhood dreams come true.
Out of all the characters, Rory has perhaps been on the biggest journey since stepping into the TARDIS. "Last series I think Rory felt like he was on the outside looking into this world he was desperately trying to save Amy from," admits Arthur."But he's very much inside that world now and married life has stopped him feeling so unworthy. He feels that he's proved himself."
Arthur believes that Rory's new found confidence is all down to his exciting travels with the Doctor and Amy."His sense of adventure has awoken," reveals Arthur."But he hasn't become arrogant in any way, he's just more comfortable."
However, his new self-belief hasn't helped him shake the nickname of "Mr Pond"."I think Amy will always wear the trousers in the relationship. As much as Rory has proved himself, it's Amy after all, and I dare any man to be in charge of that relationship. She's a firecracker," laughs Arthur.
It's obvious that three isn't a crowd when it comes to life in the TARDIS, but how does Arthur find working with Matt and Karen?"They're brilliant, it's lucky we all get on so well. The most fun I have is when all three of us are together; it's a really good working relationship. It helps that we all came on board together because we're growing as a unit and keeping each other on our toes."
Doctor Who is known for its fantastic guest stars and the new series is no exception, featuring the likes of Hugh Bonneville as a Pirate Captain and David Walliams as a mole-like alien. Alex Kingston also makes a welcome return for Arthur,"Alex is back, which makes the team feel complete. She's just a dream to work with and is hilarious on set." But Arthur isn't daunted at the prospect of working with such household names."Funnily enough I get more nervous meeting writers than actors," he recalls."Even more so with Neil Gaiman as he's just brilliant."
This year, the cast swapped Cardiff for Utah in the USA to film the epic opening two-parter set in the 1960s."Filming in America was amazing, especially going to an area of America which I've seen in so many movies," says Arthur.
Asked what his highlight of the series has been, Arthur excitedly reveals that it was filming on board a pirate ship for the third episode."Going on a pirate ship was unbelievable; it felt like we were on a movie set." But it wasn't pirates that Arthur was worried about; instead it was Karen Gillan let loose with a sharp weapon."Karen got to do a massive sword fight and I thought she was going to be a liability. Someone was going to have their eye out at the very least! But she was actually pretty good, I think she'd been practising secretly," confides Arthur.
It appears Amy's swashbuckling skills could come in useful this series as Arthur hints that the monsters are scarier than ever before. "The ambition of the show has grown, there are a lot of surprises this year," teases Arthur. "It's not necessarily a big monster on the screen, but ideas that are presented in episodes one and two that keep building throughout the series." One monster stands out in particular for him."I think The Silence are really going to blow people's socks off. They're terrifying," exclaims Arthur.
Rory and Amy may be settling into the routine of married life, but the honeymoon period definitely isn't over for Arthur when it comes to the show. "Everyone cares so much about it, which is what makes coming to work such a joy every day," says Arthur.