2012 – The Year That Was (Part 1)
John Hussey begins a look back over the major news, rumours and developments of 2012.
Wow, another year has nearly passed and what a year it has been. 2012 has had its ups and downs, but certainly a lot of ups when it came to the grand scaled news and rumours we’ve received this year. It has been a huge year for Doctor Who and I would like to take this opportunity to look back and relive all its glory and sadness.
Rumoured Returning Monsters for Series 7
One of the first exciting pieces of news we received were the rumours that monsters from the 60s and 70s will make an appearance in Series 7. One of the first to have a look in for this spot was the Abominable Snowmen, aka The Yeti. The deadly creatures first appeared in ‘The Abominable Snowmen’ as Patrick Troughton’s enemy, serving the sinister Great Intelligence during its attempts in invading Earth. The rumour resurfaced in December, and claimed that the creatures and their master would be revealed as the secret enemy within this year’s Christmas Special, ‘The Snowmen’, which we now know was partially true.
Another rumoured returning enemy from the past was of course The Ice Warriors. This rumour has gone on for many years now, but it seemed like this year our wishes would come true. It has been mentioned and hinted many times over this year that Mark Gatiss’ first story for the second half of Series 7, staging the popular story format ‘base-under-siege’, will feature the iconic Martian warriors.
The final rumoured returning monster was The Zygons. With this one, it was a clear hint by Executive Producer Caroline Skinner that the creatures may make a return in Series 7. Upon the arrival of Episode 4 of Series 7, ‘The Power of Three’, we got a rather disappointing off-screen appearance by the deadly creatures who have so far had only one appearance in the show while maintaining a massive fan-base. At the moment it is unclear whether this small cameo is, in fact, the return Skinner talked about. One can hope that they are making a full-on-appearance in the second half. This raises the question of who the enemy will be in Moffat’s ‘base-under-siege’ story; The Ice Warriors or The Zygons. Time will tell.
The Doctor Who Movie
This was certainly one of the scary highlights earlier on this year. For those of you who didn’t know, or like me tried to erase the horrifying idea from their memory, allow me to refresh this little rumour. It all started late 2011 when Harry Potter director David Yates had gotten it into his head that he was doing a Doctor Who Movie. The news seemed fantastic at first, until he unveiled his ideas for it. He wanted to start afresh with a brand new Doctor and basically go against the continuity of the last 49 years of the show’s history. One word for that: BIG NO NO!!! Okay that’s three words, but you get the point.
The story continued throughout 2012 with an endless back and forth between Yates and Steven Moffat. Yates seemed very adamant he’s working on the project, but at the end of the day Steven Moffat is the current owner, and in many ways the protector, of the show and until he says the word there is going to be a movie, I’m not buying one word of Yates’ claims. Besides, Moffat nor the BBC would commission such a reboot. It would go against the show and in my eyes that’s not good business. They would receive more hassle than profit if that project was put into action.
Return of The Master?
The idea of The Master returning has been playing on my mind all year. With the continuous releases of interviews from John Simm expressing wishes for the characters return, I’ve been growing more excited about the idea it might actually happen. The other month though, the idea seemed to hit a point where it could actually happen. First Simm expressed his opinions on his past performance, pointing out that the bleaching of the hair was his idea – a big mistake from his part he expressed – and that the behaviour of his incarnation was more down to how Russell T Davies wanted the character. He basically then went on to say how he would play the character should he get the chance to return; saying he would play him more darker. This was added to by an interview from Matt Smith who expressed desire to have The Master return so his Doctor could “whoop his ass”. Coincidence perhaps, but these interviews do give off some strong hints that there could be a card ready to be dealt which puts into action the renegades return.
Build-up to Series 7
One of the biggest fears at the beginning of the year was when and how Series 7 was going to be produced. There were many rumours going around saying that the series would be reduced in the numbers of stories while on the other hand Moffat reassured that this wasn’t the case and that there would be an increase in stories. As it turned out, there was truth on both sides. The series was pushed back to the autumn (which upset a lot of fans due to the long break between the 2011 Christmas Special and the Series 7 opener) with yet another split. Within the first half though there would only be five episodes followed closely by a Christmas Special. In that respect, we did get a decrease in stories this year but come next year we will have lots of episodes. 8 episodes in the second half of Series 7, plus whatever Moffat brings to the table with the 50th Anniversary finished off with a Christmas Special no doubt. Needless to say, until this information was confirmed, everyone, including myself, was worried about the future of the show.
This worry soon passed as the year slowly revealed many tasty hints as to what we would expect within the next series. We had early rumours of a Wild West story (which would be the second within the history of the show) along with rumours that the Dinosaurs would be coming back. The biggest announcement for the build up of Series 7 was the unveiling of the return of not only the Daleks in the opener, but also the Weeping Angels in the Ponds swansong. The news got even better when it was announced that every single Dalek would make an appearance, which reassured me a lot over the Daleks appearance as I wasn’t too keen on the idea at first. I thought they needed a well earned rest due to their overuse within the new series. But I can happily say ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ did them justice and brought them back into the category of the supreme-beings.
One of the greatest articles we received this year was a very tasty rumours list of things that might happen within the second half of Series 7. I must admit this year’s rumours and hints have been bang on so far, which is exciting because half the things on that list were like wish lists; things that I thought would never happen in a million years because they sounded too good to be true.
Build up to The 50th Anniversary: Who will Return?
Another of the big build ups this year was, of course, for the grand occasion next year; the 50th Anniversary. As we well know, next year marks 50 years since Doctor Who first aired onscreen but the big question is: what has Moffat got in store for us? One possible scenario is the return of past Doctors and throughout the year there have been many interviews from the different Doctors (from both the Classic and new era) and they have all given their thoughts about returning. David Tennant for instance seems very up to returning, whereas Christopher Eccleston did not. At least at first anyway. In a more recent interviews, he appears keener and it’s possible he might be returning for a multi-Doctor plot. As for the likes of Davison, McCoy, McGann and the two Bakers, they all seem to be up for a return. When they all came together for the Collectormania Festival in June, they expressed that they would like to return (even though Colin jokingly said he wouldn’t due to some fans disliking him). That video was a definite highlight for me as it was really nice and exciting to see the existing Classic Doctors all together in one room having a laugh. It felt right and totally special. It made me want them all back next for the 50th even more than before. McGann has also expressed his interests in returning within other interviews throughout the year as well. Who can blame him; he only has one lonely appearance onscreen to show for his incarnation. Within that 90-minute movie he nailed the part and showcased how right he was playing the Doctor. It’s such a shame he hasn’t been back since. Next year could be that time. Fingers crossed.
Matt Smith Leaving Confusion
This was a massive worry moment when more rumours were coming in about Matt leaving the show during the NTA Awards. That was a tense time, leaving many fans on the edge of their seats wondering whether or not the amazing Eleventh Doctor would be bowing out at the end of next year. Luckily though it was just the press and news building up yet more lies to throw around in order to make a story (as seen months later when the Daily Mirror announced that Smith had officially quit – which just shows how gullible my parents are). As far as we are aware, Matt is staying until at least the 2013 Christmas special. He also said Moffat has already pitched him some ideas for 2014. But Smith always says he takes the role one year at a time and with a hectic schedule to do next year, who knows how much longer he can take the heat. I have confidence that his love for the part and show will make him stay for a quite a few more years.
River Song’s Involvement in Series 7
For those who enjoy River’s character and her complicated storyline (like myself) it has been interesting waiting to find out what her involvement would be like with Series 7. Her role was quite central in the last series in order to unveil her back-story and what she meant to the Doctor. We discovered that she would be starring in the Ponds’ swansong, ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’, which to me was very obvious. I mean, it’s their daughter. Of course she had to appear in their final outing with the Doctor. I also assumed that she would appear in the series finale. It has been a track record so far in Moffat’s era that she plays a part within them. As it turned out, two points to me for correct predictions.
The Reinette Conspiracy
For those of you who remember this, we had a massive conspiracy going on during the earlier days of Series 7’s filming. I speak about the rumours of Sophia Myles possibly being the new companion. Because of this rumour, theories flew around about the possibility of Reinette (aka Madame de Pompadour) making a return and finally getting her promised trip with the Doctor in time and space. As it turned out, this was just a ploy to keep us off the scent of the true candidate.
The Time Travellers Guide to Being Funny
Matt on Top-Gear
Now on to the mad and hilarious points of the year where the cast were unleashed outside of Doctor Who. One of those grand occasions has to be when Smith went onto Top Gear and took up the challenge of driving a reasonably priced car around the track. How can we forget his brilliant line of “I’m going to hit Gambon like a f**king train.” This along with Smith singing ‘Singing in the Rain’ whilst driving around the track. The bonus of this was he became the fastest Doctor to do the track but unfortunately didn’t quite beat ex-co star and old friend Billie Piper (Rose Tyler).
Comic-Con is always a fun time of year when you’re a science-fiction fan but Whovians have had an extra treat these past few years with Doctor Who becoming one of the headline acts for two years straight. The panels have been very entertaining, especially this year when the mad trio (Smith, Gillan and Darvill) were released into the grounds and the different panels. It was hilarious to watch. Even John Barrowman got in on the action by interviewing the trio about the series he used to work on. Let’s not forget, of course, Gillan’s excellent voice acting skills when it came to impersonating a Dalek. Good times which will be missed dearly.
I’m a Time Lord, Get Me Out of Here!!!
One of the funniest points of the year was definitely Colin Baker going on ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here’. What a fun occasion that was while it lasted. While he was there he became the belly Buddha, did a rap song and beat the world-record of how many jokes you can tell in a minute. The man became a legend within the Australian jungle. Also he did what he set out to do and that was to lose weight. I was slightly disappointed he left earlier than I wanted him to, but at the end of the day I was happy for him because he was reunited with his wife Marion, who he had started to miss dearly. In the end, I believe Colin was the true King of the Jungle.
I couldn’t help but add this to the year’s highlights. Doctor Who TV as many of you will know has a good sense of humour and likes to make pranks on April Fools’ Day. This year’s prank resulted in an article which announced the Doctor’s next incarnation would be a woman, backed up by an IMDb link filled with the evidence. I say evidence, simply the trump-card to their prank which led the unfortunate victim to a movie called ‘April Fool’s Day’. That was certainly an eventful day filled with laughter all around.
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow featuring the biggest announcements, awards and more …