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Jul 06, 2005

Next Time on Doctor Who

In a couple of weeks time, season two (or twenty eight, depending on how you look at it) will go before the digi-beta cameras somewhere in Wales. A few days after that we'll all know what the tenth Doctor look like, how he talks, walks and and probably, knowing Russell, how he snogs too.

Before that happens we have one last opportunity to make a wish-list for what we'd like to see in six months time, and what we'd like to see less off as well (without sounding like a bunch of disingenuous nerds, of course).

First of all, if the rumours are true then it looks like we might get an appearance from Sarah Jane Smith and K9 (which basically makes K9 and Company compulsory for Stripped Down Too - sorry!). I don't know how I feel about this. I hated K9 when I watched the show as a kid, but as an adult I found his and Tom Baker's banter real highlights. And if they can get daleks to go upstairs then getting K9 to enter the TARDIS should be a cinch.

And it would be great to see an old companion again. It could be quite an interesting experience for Rose too (especially when SJS tells her that the Doctor basically dumped her at the drop of the hat). Personally, I'd love to see Ian Chesterton one last time but I also understand that SJS is probably one of the most recognisable faces from the show's past so if we get anyone it'll probably be her.

What else do we already know? Well, the cybermen are coming back for starters. Personally, I think they are going to be harder to reinvent than the daleks. They may be borne out of a scarier concept but, and let's be frank about this, they've always looked crap! Every single design has been naff in some way or another (kitchen utensils! moon boots!) and in the 1980s they became utterly ridiculous (and pathetically easy to defeat to boot).

I reckon we'll see something far more Borg-like and organic. Well, I hope so.

We also know that the first episode is called The Christmas Invasion. Here's what I'm hoping for: another Auton invasion but this time with plastic toys killing all the kiddies. How scary would that be, eh? Imagine a story like that on Christmas Eve - the kids wouldn't open their presents the next morning!

There's also a rumour that the Doctor will battle noneotherthan Santa Claus himself! It sounds daft, doesn't it? Not when Santa is actually an Auton - more children scared stiff and emotionally scared for life - result!

If it's the *real* Santa, then I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for John and Gillian.

There are two episode titles that I know about at this stage: School Reunion (the Master and the Rani?) and Army of Ghosts (dead time lords and stuff?). I'm sure we'll know more soon.

Now that's out of the way here are ten things I'd like to see in the next season:

1) Alien Planets. Actually, just the one will do. A quarry would be nice, too.

2) Zygons. They are such a great design and you wouldn't need to tweak them too much. The producer's could also save loads of money when they take on the shape of the hu-mans (oh, they already did that in season one, didn't they?)

3) The Doctor's costume: this is really tricky since the ninth basically rewrote the rule-book as far as what the Doctor should look like is concerned. Something simple, with a clean, recognisable silhouette would be nice. I'm thinking 60s mod. Oh, and a visit to the wardrobe would also satisfy my next wish -

4) More TARDIS, please. A corridor scene would be nice.

5) Another story arc, please. Just be sure that it makes a modicum of sense this time. Russell has already suggested that there's another repeated meme in season two so here's hoping.

6) More fanwank. Seriously, what's the problem with it? Russell says the show should be accessible to everyone and then he throws in a Time War which might as well be fanwank for all the sense it makes. It just means that everyone is confused, rather than just the majority. The Weakest Link section in PotW is a prime example - they could have put loads of fan-gags in there without spoiling anything.

7) More Jack. I want to meet him during his "missing" two years when he was up to no good...

8) A million Sontaran clones kicking the shit out of some Earth colony.

9) More Adam. I want to see an older, resentful, mad-as-a-hatter Adam.

10) A nine month gap between the Christmas Special and Season Two, please. It'll be worth it in the long run.

And finally, five things I'd like to see less of:

1) Scatological humour. Farts, burps and bodily fluids should be excised completely.

2) The Slitheen. Does anyone want to see these guys back again?

3) Mickey and Jackie. I thought they might have done something interesting with Mickey after Boom Town (especially given his 'dark side' frown in that episode) but in The Parting of the Ways he basically let Rose go. Again. If he goes bad now, well, it won't wash with me. And since he probably won't, please, please, please let's just ditch the whole domestic angle. In fact, let's have a scene where Rose asks to pop back for some lip gloss or something and the Doctor laughs in her face for making such a preposterous suggestion.

4) Coming Next Previews - if you have to have them then put them right at the end of the show, with a warning attached. They managed it for The Empty Child, so there's simply no excuse. And don't tell me to switch over - I like listening to the theme music!

5) Famous people playing themselves. They just about got away with it in PotW but if Jeremy Clarkson turns up in season two I will not be amused.

Over to you...


Did you rip this from the latest issue of SFX? I shall quote directly from the hollow pages of my father's leading Sci-Fi magazine (I prefer Dreamweaver myself, but that doesn't have the Spoiler Zone). Incidentally, is it right to call what we've seen a season rather then a series? Surely Doctor Who is a series OF serials?

Wish List: We asked what you want Season Two of Doctor Who should offer. Here's what you suggested...

1. Alien Planets. "Enough of planet Earth!" you cried. "Give us some alien planets!" Season one was just too grounded in reality for many readers, and since we have the technology now, we should be able to see some amazing alien worlds, not just hear stories about them. "The TARDIS is Time and Relative Dimension in SPACE, right?" said Kirstie Murray, via email. "So why haven't they travelled in space yet? I've seen Britain, I have lived here all my life so I would rather see some alien races and distant worlds."

2. Classic Villains. The Autons and the Daleks whetted out appetites, so you wanted to see more classic Who villains in season two! By far the most popular request was for the Cybermen (who will be returning - hurrah!), and to be the emotionless, calculated killing machines they were in the '60s: "They need to be based firmly on the original vision of the Cybermen, not on the camp, emotional, gold-a-phobic, easy to kill '80s abominations," said Mark Saunders, via email. The Cybermen were closely followed by requests for The Master. Other suggestions included the Sontarans, the Zygons and Davros!

3. More darkness! Less silliness! Farting aliens? Smug one-liners? What a load of rubbish, you said! After the dark brilliance of the little boy in the gas mask in "An Empty Child", (Yes, I know they've got the episode title wrong. Bad SFX!) and the good, solid storytelling of "Dalek", you wanted to see more of the same. "I want the tenth Doctor to be more serious," emailed Mark Harrison, "Humor is fine in the context, but as much as I love the new series the 'humor' seems to drag me out of the stories on far too many occasions. Give the Doctor the wit to deal with his dilemma, not a gormless grin and farting aliens."

4. More of the TARDIS. The TARDIS is infinitely huge, right? So why don't we get to see some more of it? "The thing's meant to have an almost infinite amount of space inside, so what about another room or two?" implored Mark Bell via email. Paul Johnson, also via email, agreed: "Having not seen the end of this season, I don't know if they show any more of other than the console room, but the Doctor and Rose must sleep somewhere..?"

5. A cameo from a former Doctor. Some faces from the past would be nice, you said. Although there were a few specific requests, a handful of you also liked the idea of a multi-Doctor story! One such reader was Toyah Patmore from Australia: "I'd love to see the Doctor meet up with previous Doctors for some sort of bizarre Time Lord Convention, which turns out to actually be organised by Davros as a means of destroying all the Time Lords at once!"

Personal Requests were "A naked episode", "Florence Hoath!", "No more spoilery previews!", "Sarah Jane [to] appear for an episode or two", "Renegade Time Lords! ... Wouldn't it be possible for some of them, such as Romana, to have survived in E-Space?", "Lots of death, darkness and fear", "More UNIT" and, finally, "Season two of Doctor Who to be as good as the first!"

I'm seeing a lot of similarities here. Then again, that's pretty much everything I want too.

Incidentally, when it comes to the Cybermen, why not just shove them on a space station and make them human. Only not blinking. Not breathing. Motionless. And when they do move, it's smooth, machine-like. Think Robert Patrick-Terminator. That'd scare the pants off the kids. Better yet, have the Doctor not realise it's the Cybermen until, during a fight, he damages one of them and scrapes off some of the face, revealing a Cyberman-style mask underneath.

Think of the cheers from fans across the world as they suddenly realise "F*** me! It's the Cybermen! I knew they'd be in it sometime, but I was NOT expecting that!"

Well SFX did rip off Damon's Tachyon TV Jedi/Hoodie gag so I thought it was appropriate

"More Jack. I want to meet him during his "missing" two years when he was up to no good..."

Who says he was up to no good? Maybe he had a brief bout of madness and spent two years as a celibate monk, later regretting it and wiping his own memory in shame? ;-)

Darth Marsden - although that'd just be seen as a rip-off of the new Battlestar Galactica, I certainly do hope that rumours about the Cybermen "having evolved" for the new series are true. :)

Eh, it's just my thoughts. I'd also like to see some MUCH darker episodes (How about one where the Doctor doesn't actually manage to save anyone?), as well as some really alien worlds. And a quarry, just for kicks.

Neil: Yes, they did, but it was such a nice picture I'm prepared to let them off. Just this once, mind.

Darth Marsden: "Eh, it's just my thoughts."

I know, I was just saying that having the Cybermen appear totally human would be too similar to Battlestar Galactica to work.

"I'd also like to see some MUCH darker episodes (How about one where the Doctor doesn't actually manage to save anyone?), as well as some really alien worlds. And a quarry, just for kicks."

A flashback/prequel of the Time War would fulfil all that, surely? (Although Gallifrey is probably not "alien enough"?)

They did say the next season was gonna be "the same mix" so nothing really dark, but I do hope we're gonna get the full emotional whammy and despair from the Time War that the 9th Doctor carried with him.

I want to see the 'other' repeated meme from series 1 (apart from 'Bad Wolf')followed up on. There's been some talk of 'Bad Chickens' and so forth but i think the other arc is something to do with volcanoes. Remember Clive showing Rose the picture of the Doctor at Krakatoa before it erupted. Remember the Doctor in the Long Game muttering something about the blobby villain 'sitting on top of a volcano'? Remember the Jack/Doctor 'you forgot to set your alarm clock - it's volcano day' conversation? Coincidence or foreshadowing - it's your call.

In the new DW special it transpires that Boomtown's slot was almost taken up by a story set a Pompeii too ...

This has just come to me... maybe, when the Doctor sends Rose back home in Episode 13, she gets sent to a time BEFORE Episode 11. This would explain...

1. Why Mickey is so anxious to greet her in Ep.13
2. Why Mickey (seems to) have no memory of the big argument they have, and why he doesn't seem to have informed Jackie about 'Captain' Jack.
3. Why he's so mad at Rose in Ep.11 for swaning off and leaving him - she's already told him he means nothing to her, even through he really cares for her.

So technically, if we follow this through, chronoligically the last we see of Mickey is the end of Episode 11. Which means that we could see more of his dark side (As it was so delicately put). Personally, I'd like to see this.

Neotic - Okay, how about the Doctor discovers that he's gone back in time, and finds the human-machines to be the very original Cybermen? If you look at their appearence throughout the show, it's not that hard of a leap to make.

DM: "Okay, how about the Doctor discovers that he's gone back in time, and finds the human-machines to be the very original Cybermen?"

But the Cybermen used to be human (or humanoid) and modified themselves in order to survive. It would not make sense to go from top-notch androids to modified half-humans, right? That, plus the one thing I have heard about their return is that they "have evolved" in the meantime, meaning they will not be proto-Cybermen.

Okay, I know when I've bee beaten. Now let us never speak of this again. B-P

DM: LOL ;-)

I'd certainly love to see them featured before they become the "full" Cybermen though :)

Ha! New angle! They're not Cybermen at all, but alien parasites that infect, take over and control humans, making them zombie-like. And, to satisfy my darker urges, the Doctor can't save the infected humans - the parasites eat out their brains and basically use human bodies as 'robots'. They're all linked together like a colony, so they don't need to talk. It'd be really, REALLY creepy.

Not so Battlestar now, huh?

And why has nobody picked up on my 'Parting of the Ways' is set before 'Boom Town' theory? Is it too perfect to mock? Come on, I can take it.

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