Table of Contents
- Popular Blog Posts
- Popular Reviews
- ‘The Good Doctor’ looks to go in all directions with rest of Season 3
- No hanky-panky with ‘The Good Doctor’
- Going outside the walls
- Character layers revealed on ‘The Good Doctor’
- Synopsis Edit
- Plot Edit
- Cast Edit
- Crew Edit
- References Edit
- Story notes Edit
- Continuity Edit
- DVD, video, and audio releases Edit
- External links Edit
- My review of ‘The Good Doctor’ as an adult with autism
- 11 Episodes of Eleven: Night and the Doctor Mini Episodes
- Deactivated Account
Ever since Grey’s Anatomy went haywire and hits like House, Nurse Jackie, and ER completed formidable seasons-long runs, folks have been clamoring for the next great medical procedural. This fall, it seems they got their wish with ABC’s new drama The Good Doctor, created by House’s David Shore and based on a Korean series of the same name. Is The Good Doctor “great”? Well, not exactly, but it does enough to fill the void in a genre that’s always been less about medicine than the often galactic, always dramatic goings-on at our favorite fictitious hospitals.
Last week, after just three episodes, The Good Doctor became the most-watched show on US television, surpassing The Big Bang Theory, which has held that title for quite some time despite running on pseudo-comic fumes. Yes – “most-watched” is a superlative that’s both widely appropriated and, in the age of multi-platform viewing increasingly irrelevant – but 18.2 million viewers, which The Good Doctor reeled in last week, is nothing to scoff at, especially as it trounces flashier fall debuts like The Orville, The Gifted and Seal Team and runs neck-and-neck with CBS’s Big Bang Theory spinoff Young Sheldon. It also received a full-season order at ABC after only two episodes and has found a quietly passionate fanbase on Facebook (the show’s official page already boasts over 650,000 likes), where fans praise its depiction of autism and attest that the soapy medical plotlines have reduced them to tears. There’s even talk of an Emmy nod for its star Freddie Highmore, of Bates Motel fame.
The premise is simple: Shaun Murphy, played by Highmore, is an autistic surgeon with savant syndrome. His stream of consciousness speaks the language of anatomy, and when the show’s particularly keen on calling attention to his genius, organs and veins and glands float above his head like illustrations ripped from a med-school textbook. “He’s not Rain Man,” says his main advocate at the prestigious St Bonaventure hospital in an attempt to convince the board that Murphy is hirable and high-functioning. To those in the autism community, the show has deftly done just that. “The Good Doctor does a fine job of navigating this razor’s edge,” wrote Kerry Magro on the website Autism Speaks, noting that it shows “several characteristics that can accompany an autism diagnosis such as social awkwardness, lack of eye contact, playing with his hands during stressful situations”. He adds: “Freddie’s take will resonate with many in the community.”
As for its entertainment value, The Good Doctor proceeds the way most medical dramas do: each day brings a new patient in need of life-threatening surgery; the doctors fight for stature and opportunity while romancing one another in the process; we discover that Shaun’s childhood was marred by the gruesome deaths of both his little brother and pet bunny, and he’s disciplined for behaving poorly or erratically in front of patients before saving the day with surgical heroics. It’s schmaltzy and sentimental, and it’s probably no coincidence that as hitmaker Shonda Rhimes (of Scandal, Grey’s and How to Get Away with Murder fame) prepares to leave ABC for Netflix, the network has pushed a new drama to the forefront of its programming. And like Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor has accrued a wide fanbase in just a few episodes by weaving the day-to-day tasks of surgeons into the larger framework of its protagonist’s story. In its first season, Grey’s brought in roughly 18.5 million viewers per episode, and so far The Good Doctor, with more than half of its audience watching the show live and the rest on DVR, is outperforming both that show at the same stage and others in the same lineage, like House and Private Practice.
But before The Good Doctor and last year’s network breakout This is Us, a non-linear tearjerker about a family with three children who share a birthday, it had been a while since a debut series on either CBS, ABC, NBC or Fox became a ratings powerhouse. Network television was mostly underwhelming or, like The Big Bang Theory, stagnant and formulaic, and so viewers flocked instead to cable (HBO, AMC, FX) or streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu).
In that sense, network dramas are the new underdogs, at least in relation to the Game of Thrones and Walking Deads of the world. But perhaps they won’t be any longer, since both The Good Doctor and This is Us provide the guilty pleasures many people look for in their TV diets: earnest storytelling, very attractive actors doing very noble things, and characters who tug at our heartstrings. Both shows, too, have diverse casts and optimistic outlooks, debuting as the collective national mood called for encouraging, beat-the-odds entertainment in the vein of La La Land, Hidden Figures and Wonder Woman. The recent popular network dramas of the pre-Trump era – Empire, Madam Secretary, How to Get Away with Murder, Chicago Med and The Good Wife – were somewhat less uplifting in spirit and tone. As David Shore told Indiewire: “There’s an honest, unabashed emotionality to this show that I think is very refreshing. It will make you cry in an unembarrassed way.” So far, fans agree. “Find myself crying every episode,” one YouTube commenter wrote. “I was kind of getting sick of so many medical dramas but this one stole my heart,” says another. In its promotional campaign, too, The Good Doctor, like This is Us, has embraced its emotional resonance: “We’re not crying. You’re crying,” reads the caption to its episode three trailer.
A still from the pilot of ABC’s The Good Doctor. Photograph: Liane Hentscher/2017 Sony Pictures Television
As one might expect, what’s made The Good Doctor a hit has made it divisive among critics: despite its ratings, it has a meager 43% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Maureen Ryan, writing in Variety, called it both “preposterously tragic” and “a third-rate Grey’s Anatomy ripoff”. That discrepancy between the show’s critical reception and its popularity among audiences is one of the most extreme in the website’s history, and like last year’s blockbuster film Batman v Superman, which spawned a wave of think-pieces about the dissonance between critics and audiences, reviewers like the show about half as much as the 18 million who watch it.
Ultimately, critics may be of little significance to The Good Doctor: it’s now ABC’s most-watched Monday drama in 21 years. Unseating The Big Bang Theory alone brought the show a good deal of press, and should it continue to handle autism as deftly as viewers think it does, The Good Doctor will join This is Us as that rare network hit in the age of streaming supremacy.
- The Good Doctor is on in the US on Mondays at 9pm on ABC and will start in the UK on Fridays at 9pm on Sky Living
There’s a lot of “good” being tossed around on TV these days, from NBC’s “The Good Place” to CBS’s “The Good Fight,” but it’s “The Good Doctor” on ABC that is the good word in diversity and is changing television. “The Good Doctor” was one of the panels at PaleyFest LA 2018 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. On board for the panel Thursday night were eight members of the production with ABC7 entertainment reporter George Pennacchio moderating.
The series is about a brilliant surgical resident named Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), who has been diagnosed with autism and savant syndrome. As a child, he ran away from an abusive home with his younger, protective brother, but following his brother’s accidental death, he found sympathy and understanding from a doctor named Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff), who has his own tragic backstory. Now the president of San Jose Bonadventure Hospital, Glassman has championed Shaun as a resident in his hospital against the skeptical attitude of chief of surgery and board member Dr. Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper). The chairman and vice president, Allegra Aoki (Tamlyn Tomita), is the neutral voice between the two men. Under Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez), the attending cardiothoracic surgeon in charge of surgical residents, Shaun finds a friend in Claire Brown (Antonia Thomas) and a buddy in Jarel Kalu (Chuku Modu). Midseason, they are joined by ambitious and calculating new resident Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann) and ex-cop-turned-doc Alex Park (Will Yun Lee).
“The Good Doctor” is based on a 2013 South Korean limited series of the same name that had only 20 episodes. The American series is a gamble that has paid off for executive producer Daniel Dae Kim. Last year, Kim made waves on the set of CBS’ “Hawaii 5-0” when he asked for pay parity, but left after being refused. CBS had also originally bought the series from Kim, but when the project stalled, Kim bought back the rights and found a new home at Sony Pictures Television with the creator of “House” on board. The program debuted on ABC in September of last year, and quickly became the #1 new show of 2017-18.
On the panel—which included Kim, Shore, Highmore, Gonzalez, Thomas, Schiff, Harper and Tomita—Kim stated, “It’s important to have not only diversity in front of the camera, but behind it. I couldn’t be prouder of the team that I’m working with, because I know that’s important across the board.” He noted this is the first time that a South Korean drama has been brought to a US audience and been given a second season. When asked if he would make an appearance, Kim said, “I would love to at some point” because “I am such a fan of the writing, such a fan of these actors” so if the right storyline comes at the right time, don’t be surprised to see Kim in front of the camera.
Already in front of the camera, Tomita expressed her delight at playing a powerful woman who is “calm and cool and collected.” It seems a rare opportunity to play “a woman of color running one of the most prestigious hospitals in the nation” and hopes this reflects what is really going on this the world. Harper, who is based on the East Coast, confessed, “I’ll move wherever there is great writing.” (The series is filmed in Vancouver).
A recent development had Schiff’s doctor beginning a romance with a woman played by his real wife, Sheila Kelley. Previously, he and his wife had played exes. Schiff exclaimed, “I could not be more in love or in awe with my wife” and he was so ecstatic and giddy that he “enjoyed every second of her being on the set.” Otherwise, Schiff was more reticent and noted, “You know why people think I’m smart? Because I don’t talk a lot.” Still he said he does try to “turn off my brain” and go with an intuitive flow. Tomita added that acting “isn’t about feeling stuff; it’s about how you make the other actors feel.”
The cast seems chummy and Gonzalez says they all work well together, and it seems “we’re having way too much fun” with characters that are “fully fleshed out.” At the beginning he worried that the network was “never going to let us do this.” This kind of situation doesn’t come around very often although he later confessed to some accommodations since communicating with an actor who is portraying autism has challenges. Eye contact is one of them.
Highmore stated that the positive reaction from people who either have autism or know people who do has been inspiring. And while Highmore doesn’t have autism, the show has featured an actor with autism (Coby Bird who was in the audience last night). While Highmore and the writers have worked to “make authentic” they are also “constructing Shaun as an individual in his own right.” Unlike many series where the characters rarely change, Shaun “will always have autism but he will change. He has to change. He’s changed dramatically in this season.” And the face and look of a hit television ensemble is changing with him.
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Dr. Shaun Murphy did some serious soul searching in the midseason premiere of ABC’s The Good Doctor. He weighed his options and listened to his heart (literally). When his pulse didn’t race for Lea, Shaun made his decision to pursue his relationship further with Dr. Carly Lever. He even shockingly said the big ol’ “L-word,” LOVE. However, it seems there may still be some trouble brewing in paradise.
On Monday’s new episode of The Good Doctor titled Mutations, Shaun needs Carly’s help with his current patient, and the pressures of their profession may put a strain on their newly repaired relationship. We want nothing but the best for Team Sharly, but can they make things work?
Fun fact for this upcoming episode, it’s another Bates Motel reunion as Nestor Carbonell returned to the set once more to direct. You definitely won’t want to miss this one!
Below is the official synopsis from ABC for the upcoming episode as well as the promotional trailer. Check it out:
“Dr. Audrey Lim, Dr. Shaun Murphy, and Dr. Morgan Reznick treat a 25-year-old runner suffering from severe swelling; but when things take a turn for the worse, Dr. Shaun Murphy enlists the help of Dr. Carly Lever. Meanwhile, Dr. Alex Park, Dr. Claire Browne and Dr. Neil Melendez treat two 16-year-old cancer patients who are dating; and Dr. Shaun Murphy and Dr. Carly Lever work toward intimacy”
Could this be the end of Shaun and Carly? #TheGoodDoctor is all-new Monday on ABC. pic.twitter.com/gr5deLwvXw
— The Good Doctor (@GoodDoctorABC) January 18, 2020
The Good Doctor stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital with autism and savant syndrome. In addition to Highmore, the series also stars Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Browne, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neil Melendez, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews, Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman, Christina Chang as Dr. Audrey Lim, Fiona Gubelmann as Dr. Morgan Reznick, Will Yun Lee as Dr. Alex Park, Paige Spara as Lea Dilallo and Jasika Nicole as Dr. Carly Lever.
From Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios, David Shore is the executive producer and showrunner. Daniel Dae Kim, Erin Gunn, David Kim, and Sebastian Lee also executive produce
Guest-starring in Mutations is Elfina Luk as Nurse Villanueva, David Iacono as Ryan, Kaare Anderson as Doug, Alyssa Jirrels as Angie, Thomas Cadrot as James McDougal, Brigid Brannagh as Elise and Caitlin Stryker as Marjorie.
Mutations was written by Liz Friedman and Tracy Taylor, and directed by Nestor Carbonell.
The Good Doctor airs Monday nights at 10 PM on ABC.
Are you ready for an all-new episode of The Good Doctor on ABC? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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- The Good Doctor returned to ABC for its season 3 premiere on Monday.
- Fans on Twitter were mostly excited about the show’s return, but some thought the show went too far with one of its more graphic scenes.
The Good Doctor officially returned to ABC for its season 3 premiere on Monday night, and with it came the witty banter, heart-wrenching diagnoses, and life-saving solutions that fans have come to know and love. But as is the case with any medical drama, the episode also brought with it a number of rather graphic scenes — and when it came to one particular scene in last night’s episode, some fans thought The Good Doctor took things a little too far.
About halfway through the premiere episode, Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) goes to visit Dr. Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) at the Stevens Creek Health Center. There, he finds his mentor attending to a patient named Marco, who Shaun quickly deems as “boring” and having “boring symptoms.” But after a short conversation about the importance of getting to know one’s patients, Shaun discovers that Marco isn’t so boring after all: He was suffering from an infection in his foot, and the resulting open wound was now covered in maggots.
Of course, the grisly (albeit fake) wound was shown in its entirety on TV, and fans — who otherwise seemed to really enjoy the episode — immediately took to Twitter to express their disgust.
first episode of the season of the good doctor and i already had to see a foot full of maggots… i’m so itchy and anxious now ksdjfnksd
— i belong to the stars (@pronetomisery) September 24, 2019
The repulsed reactions continued from there: “Are we just going to ignore the maggots on that man’s infected foot. Huh? That was gross,” one fan wrote. “I wish I could unsee that foot 🤮,” another tweeted. Yikes.
To be fair, a maggot-infested foot is an exceptionally yucky case for the characters on The Good Doctor to encounter. Here’s hoping we’ll have time to avert our eyes before any equally horrifying injuries pop up in the show’s future!
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Heather Finn Content Strategy Editor Heather Finn is the content strategy editor at Good Housekeeping, where she heads up the brand’s social media strategy and covers entertainment news on everything from ABC’s ‘The Good Doctor’ to Netflix’s latest true crime documentaries.
‘The Good Doctor’ looks to go in all directions with rest of Season 3
If pure anticipation for “The Good Doctor” can be calibrated as a ratings measure, tonight’s winter premiere return of the medical drama in Episode 11 of Season 3, “Fractured,” may be only the beginning of a series of episodes which take loyal fans on a zigzagging emotional ride for the rest of the season.
Dr. Shaun Murphy confronted his most painful personal crisis since his youth in Episode 10, “Friends and Family.” The performance from Freddie Highmore is not only Emmy-worthy, but also thrusts his character into realms of emotion that are rarely broached on broadcast television.
He faced his dying father and still spoke about his personal pain from the past, ending with the pledge: “I don’t want to punish you anymore.” Unfortunately, the father reverts from what starts as acceptance and forgiveness into slurring blame and rejection.
“The Good Doctor” is literally giving himself a flailing from the painful past and the parting of his father when Lea (Paige Spara) lends her comforting embrace through the night. A January 12 sneak peek video answers questions of intimacy on one level, but does not resolve the relationship issues for Dr.
Murphy going forward. According to a January 13 Good Housekeeping feature with Will Yun Lee, who portrays the open-hearted and up-front Dr. Park, the drama is going places throughout the rest of Season 3.
No hanky-panky with ‘The Good Doctor’
The term “slept together” can have a literal translation, and in the preview clip, Shaun assures Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff) that “protection” was neither used nor needed overnight in Lea’s embrace.
Dr. Murphy says only that “I was upset and Lea comforted me.” He does note, however, that his time in bed with Lea “felt different” than with Carly. He asserts that “Lea and I are just friends,” and Glassman reminds him that “she’s made that very clear.”
Shaun’s mentor elaborates that actions can speak louder than words, but Lea has a history of erratic swings, however much she cares for Shaun. Shaun needed a friend with history and a personal understanding of family upheaval for this encounter.
On the other hand, Carly (Jasika Nicole) has defended their relationship and their right to keep it to themselves to everyone in the hospital circle. She stands up for Shaun as her boyfriend fervently and has proven her commitment. Few women, whether chief pathologists or not, would dive into 18 psychological journals to discover timed intermittent exposure as a way of building true trust and intimacy. All of her efforts lasted just eight seconds for “The Good Doctor,” but Carly stands ready to move forward. Shaun’s explanation for the incident will be the crux of mending their relationship. Fans are fairly 50-50 when it comes to these two ladies, so it’s up to “The Good Doctor” to make his decision.
Even Will Yun Lee describes that one of the most exciting elements in being part of “The Good Doctor” is seeing which direction Highmore will go in a scene. “You’ll think he’ll play it one way (on paper), but he’ll show up on set and play it four totally different ways.” Will praises further that he enjoys being a “spectator” and watching good actors craft scenes.
Going outside the walls
Will Yun Lee understands contrasting characters. Through 11 episodes of “Hawaii Five-O” from 2010-2017, the versatile actor was the sometimes lovable, funny, but still felonious, Sang Min. The character befriended the elite crime-fighters when it served his purpose, but on “The Good Doctor,” there is no doubt that Dr.
Alex Park is one of the good guys.
He compares his relationship with his co-stars and their Vancouver shooting location to being like “a family.” He describes that “we huddle up like we’re around a campfire, and we hang out” after shooting stops.
Some very popular surgeons from “The Good Doctor” won’t be hanging out as much. Last week, Christina Chang, who plays Dr. Audrey Lim, related in Good Housekeeping that her character and Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) are not going to be getting back together. If Neil’s last love relationship is a barometer, the surgical wizard could need stitches in his heart for a very long time.
Character layers revealed on ‘The Good Doctor’
There are going to be more “complexities” revealed in the character of Alex Park, according to Lee. Some storylines and coming scenes “will take things outside the hospital.” Dr. Murphy sometimes does his best work with frozen drink machines and confiscated airport materials, fans will recall. Dr. Park may also use this former police experience in future episodes. Tonight’s episode features a surgery, free of anesthesia– that should be interesting.
Survival was the fourth and final serial of season 26 of Doctor Who.
As the final broadcast story of the series’ classic era, following the airing of its last episode, the series would enter a period of wilderness years devoid of new televised adventures until an attempt was made to revive it in 1996. As a TV show, Doctor Who would not see any regular airings for 16 years, with these wilderness years being both a period of cancellation and a hiatus simultaneously; while the show was officially discontinued, there were official attempts to revive it and the BBC officially classified the wilderness years as a hiatus during and after its occurrence. The next story in the show to be part of a regularly airing program would be Rose, broadcast in 2005. This story would finally mark the undoing of Doctor Who’s cancellation, though taking place significantly later in the Doctor’s life.
It marks the final appearance of Sophie Aldred as Ace in a regular television serial; although she would reappear for the special 1993 Children in Need special Dimensions in Time. It was also the last time that Anthony Ainley appeared as the Master in a regular televised story; he appeared one more time in the video game Destiny of the Doctors. Ainley’s final portrayal of the Master in the original series is considerably different – subtle and darker than the often bombastic and forceful impression he had been told to deliver since Logopolis; Ainley had always intended to portray the Master with this calmer characterisation.
Lisa Bowerman would ironically make her debut in Doctor Who during its final classic episode, as Karra. However, she would later become more widely recognisable for her portrayal as Bernice Summerfield, a character introduced in and adapted from the Virgin New Adventures novels which continued the series and the adventures of the Seventh Doctor in printed format.
Despite making his final full appearance in Survival, Sylvester McCoy would return as the Doctor in the 1996 television film, marking his final outing as the Doctor both chronologically and from a production standpoint. Since the film focused mainly on his immediate successor, McCoy was brought in to mark his own departure, with the Seventh Doctor regenerating into the Eighth shortly into the film.
Additionally, Survival is the last televised adventure to feature Tom Yardley-Jones’s TARDIS prop commissioned by John Nathan-Turner, which debuted in The Leisure Hive and remained in use for the whole of his time as producer. It saw one more brief use in the Search Out Space special.
The final story to be recorded on analogue tape, it was also the final story to be broadcast from a videotape master.
The Doctor brings Ace back to her hometown of Perivale. Her old friends are being kidnapped by a race of alien hunters called the Cheetah People, who were shown the way to Earth by the Doctor’s old enemy the Master.
The Doctor is in search of a special kind of cat
Part one Edit
The Seventh Doctor brings Ace back to her hometown of Perivale in the suburbs of North West London. A mysterious black cat is wandering around and humans are hunted down and made to disappear to another world. Ace grows worried; most of her old friends seem to have disappeared, but the Doctor is preoccupied with the behaviour of the strange cat. It becomes apparent it is controlled by a strange being in the other world, viewing Perivale through its eyes and choosing which humans to chase and transport. An unhappy young man, Stuart, is his next victim. Ace follows soon afterwards, hunted down by a Cheetah Person on horseback, with a hunting affinity with the curious cat. The Doctor and a keep-fit instructor called Paterson are chosen and teleported to another world, bathed in a blood-red sky, where the Doctor finds his nemesis the Master greeting him.
Part two Edit
The Master is evidently unwell. His eyes and mouth show feline characteristics and he uses the black cat, a kitling, to create a dimensional bridge for the Cheetah People to hunt prey on Earth. His reasons are unclear; he seems keen to keep the Cheetah People occupied. He tells the Doctor the planet is alive and has a bewitching influence. The indigenes bred the kitlings and had a great civilisation, then regressed into animals. The Master is beginning to show changes and needs the Doctor’s help to escape.
Ace has seen some of her friends, Shreela and Midge, hiding in woods with a young man called Derek. The planet is clearly dangerous. Ace and her friends find the Doctor and Paterson. The Time Lord deduces they are on an ancient, dying planet. A Cheetah Person hunts and kills a terrified milkman, prompting a Cheetah pack to attack the Doctor, Ace and friends. During the fight, Midge kills one Cheetah person and Ace injures another, called Karra. Ace forms an attachment to Karra and tends her injuries. Karra is intrigued by Captain Sorin’s shiny cap insignia which Ace has on her jacket, (TV: The Curse of Fenric) and gently paws at it. This worries the Doctor. He says that the only way they can return to Earth is if one of them turns into a Cheetah and then brings his prey home. That happens with Midge and the Master uses him to return to Earth. Karra appears again and Ace’s eyes change and she begins to transform into a Cheetah herself.
“If we fight like animals, we’ll die like animals!”
Part three Edit
Ace abandons the Doctor to go hunting with Karra but he eventually wins her around. Midge has fallen to the power of the planet and is turning into a beast. The Master seizes on this and has Midge teleport back to Earth, away from the dying world. He possesses Midge and goes with him to the youth club, using his hypnotic powers to enslave Paterson’s students. The Doctor persuades Ace to help him return to Perivale, also letting Paterson, Derek and Shreela flee the planet. Paterson insists nothing is amiss, falling back on his “survival of the fittest” mantras and self-defence classes. The Doctor and Ace roam Perivale in search of Midge and the Master. They find them at the youth club. They have killed Paterson for sport; Midge, too, is killed in the Master’s machinations. Karra’s arrival brings comfort to Ace, whose transformation continues, but the Master kills Karra too. As she dies, she transforms into a human woman, her metamorphosis having been reversed by death. With her final breath, Karra praises the hunt before another Cheetah Person teleports her dead body away.
Meanwhile, the Doctor catches up to the Master and finds him trying to pick the lock to the TARDIS. The Master gloats that he is capable of controlling the raw power given to him by the planet and declares that he will use it to destroy the Doctor, before grabbing him and taking him back to the Cheetah Planet for a final confrontation. In the ensuing struggle, the Master starts out having the upper hand, but the Doctor, drawing from the planet’s power, manages to turn the tables on him, and soon has him at his mercy, and raises a skull to bash him with. But in a moment of clarity, the Doctor realises what he is doing is wrong and manages to resist the planet’s pull, turning away from violence. The Master demands that they finish their fight, but the Doctor tries to convince him to let go of the violence too, pointing out that they will destroy both the planet and themselves if they keep fighting. The Master, however, rejects this and, grabbing the Doctor in a stranglehold, he spitefully tells him that he should have killed him while he had the chance. The Doctor screams out “If we fight like animals, we’ll die like animals!”, as the Master raises a club over his head to hit him with. But before the Master can strike him, the Doctor is teleported away. The Master is left for dead as the planet begins to break up.
The Doctor has gone back to the TARDIS and Earth, where he finds Ace. Her metamorphosis has reversed. He tells her she will have grown through the experience; the element of the Cheetah Planet, however, will remain within her forever. Ace is glad; it gave her a wonderful feeling. She then asks what happened to the Master. “Who knows?” answers the Doctor with a hint of sadness, before he asks Ace where they should go to now. “Home,” answers Ace with a smile, “The TARDIS.” The two walk off into the distance arm in arm, as the Doctor talks of adventures that await. As they walk, the Seventh Doctor ponders that “there are worlds out there where the sky is burning, the seas sleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere, there’s danger; somewhere, there’s injustice; and somewhere else, the tea’s getting cold!” Knowing his place in the world, the Doctor assures Ace that “we’ve got work to do.”
- The Doctor – Sylvester McCoy
- Ace – Sophie Aldred
- The Master – Anthony Ainley
- Paterson – Julian Holloway
- Karra – Lisa Bowerman
- Harvey – Norman Pace
- Len – Gareth Hale
- Midge – William Barton
- Shreela – Sakuntala Ramanee
- Derek – David John
- Stuart – Sean Oliver
- Ange – Kate Eaton
- Woman – Kathleen Bidmead
- Squeak – Adele Silva
- Neighbour – Michelle Martin
Uncredited cast Edit
- Dave – Damon Jeffrey (DWMS Summer 1994)
- Milkman – Jack Talbot (DWMS Summer 1994)
- Woman at telephone – Jean Channon (DWMS Summer 1994)
- Cheetah People – Leslie Meadows, Damon Jeffrey (DWMS Summer 1994)
- Assistant Floor Managers – Stephen Garwood, Leigh Poole
- Costume Designer – Ken Trew
- Designer – Nick Somerville
- Engineering Manager – Brian Jones
- Graphic Designer – Oliver Elmes
- Incidental Music – Dominic Glynn
- O.B. Lighting – Ian Dow
- Make-Up Designer – Joan Stribling
- OB Cameramen – Paul Harding, Alan Jessop
- Production Assistant – Valerie Whiston
- Production Associate – June Collins
- Production Manager – Gary Downie
- Properties Buyer – Nick Barnett
- Script Editor – Andrew Cartmel
- Sound – Les Mowbray, Scott Talbott
- Special Sounds – Dick Mills
- Stunt Arranger – Paul Heasman, Tip Tipping
- Theme Arrangement – Keff McCulloch
- Title Music – Ron Grainer
- Video Effects – Dave Chapman
- Videotape Editor – Hugh Parson
- Vision Mixer – Susan Brincat
- Visual Effects Designer – Malcolm James
- The Doctor exhibits the ability to juggle and ride a horse and motorcycle. He also has a calculator/scanner fob watch and regards Earth and/or the TARDIS as his home.
- The Doctor has heard of the Cheetah People, but knows nothing about them.
- The Doctor buys (with Ace’s money) cat food to tempt the kitlings.
- Derek wears a David Bowie t-shirt.
- Ace gets the money (as mentioned above) by breaking into a fruit machine.
- Ace learns from Ange that their mutual friend Flo married a “brain-dead plumber” whom they had nicknamed “Darth Vader”.
- Ace had friends named Jay and Stevie.
Story notes Edit
- Working titles for this story included Cat-Flap, Blood Hunt and The Survival.
- Survival was one of only three Doctor Who serials to be recorded completely on BBC Outside Broadcast video, instead of the mix of on-location and studio video that was more usual since 1964’s The Reign of Terror, and/or the mix of film and video that was utilised from the aforementioned serial to 1985’s Revelation of the Daleks. This was probably possible because Ghost Light, the next story in production, was filmed completely in the studio. The only other stories filmed on OB video were The Sontaran Experiment and The Curse of Fenric.
- Furthermore, this story was one of the only five to be filmed entirely on location, the others being Spearhead from Space, The Sontaran Experiment, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, and The Curse of Fenric.
- The first part of this serial features guest appearances by comedians Gareth Hale and Norman Pace, collectively known as “Hale and Pace” and actress Adele Silva (as an eight-year-old, in her first television role). Hale and Pace swapped roles soon before recording; Hale was originally going to have played Harvey, while Pace was originally going to have played Len.
- Stunt legend Eddie Kidd doubles for William Barton in a motorcycle crash scene in part three. This led to the series’ regular stunt arranger Tip Tipping walking off the production, as Kidd was apparently not a member of the actors’ union Equity. Tipping’s anger was arguably misplaced, however. Margaret Thatcher’s government had abolished the requirement of performers to be Equity members earlier in 1988. In other words, Doctor Who was not in violation of any then-current union regulations. Tipping’s beef was really with the changes Thatcher — and not John Nathan-Turner — had brought in.
- The Radio Times programme listing for part one was accompanied by a black and white full-length cartoon illustration by Christian Adams depicting the Doctor and Ace with seven different ray-gun muzzles pointed at them, along with a single tentacle, with the accompanying caption “All-round trouble: the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace (Sophie Aldred) find that nostalgia ain’t what it used to be / Doctor Who, 7.35 p.m. BBC1”.
- This was the last story until 2012 to feature the face of the current Doctor in the title sequence, a tradition dating back to The Macra Terror in 1967. The TV Movie that followed this and the first six and a half series of the 2005 revival had title sequences featuring a “time tunnel” effect with the TARDIS, but without the Doctor’s face. The TV movie did include an extreme close-up of the Master’s cat’s eyes in the opening sequence, harkening back to this story. The Doctor’s face would not be seen in the title sequence again until The Snowmen, approximately 23 years later. Survival is also the last Doctor Who story in which the lead actors are not credited at the opening, a practice used in the TV movie (in accordance with American production standards) and later in the 2005 revival.
- The tradition of crediting the lead role as ‘The Doctor’ did not immediately follow into the revived series, nor was there any such credit in the TV movie. The first series of the revived series credited the lead as ‘Doctor Who’, though the credit was reverted back to ‘The Doctor’ at the request of David Tennant in TV: The Christmas Invasion, and has continued as of 2017.
The Seventh Doctor and Ace walk off as the classic series’ final episode comes to an end.
Having surmised that part three of Survival was likely to be the last episode of Doctor Who for some time and possibly the last ever, producer John Nathan-Turner decided close to airing that a more suitable conclusion should be given to the final episode. Script editor Andrew Cartmel wrote a short, melancholic closing monologue for Sylvester McCoy, which McCoy recorded on 23 November 1989 – by coincidence, the show’s twenty-sixth anniversary.
“There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea’s asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea’s getting cold! Come on, Ace — we’ve got work to do!”
The quote above was dubbed over the closing scene as the Doctor and Ace walked off into the distance, heading for further, unseen adventures. The Doctor Who production office at the BBC finally closed down, for the first time since 1963, in August 1990.
Although Survival was the last Doctor Who serial of the original series to be transmitted, it was not the last to be produced; that was Ghost Light, which had been broadcast some weeks earlier.
This story is the last to feature Anthony Ainley as the Master. He was not asked to return as the Master for the 1996 Doctor Who television movie. Instead, Gordon Tipple was cast as the Master for the prologue, and Eric Roberts played the Master (possessing another character’s body, a-la Ainley) for the rest of the film. Ainley reprised the role of the Master for the 1997 computer game Destiny of the Doctors, which marked his final appearance as the character until his death. He continued to be active in Doctor Who, attending conventions and recording a commentary track for the DVD of 1981 serial The Keeper of Traken. Ainley died on 3 May 2004 after a lengthy period of ill-health, aged seventy-one. A sound-clip of his laugh was later used alongside excerpts of Roger Delgado’s performance in The Dæmons for the 2007 episode Utopia.
This story was also the last to entirely feature Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor. McCoy returned briefly to the role in 1996 at the start of the American television movie continuation of the series, Doctor Who, to regenerate into the Eighth Doctor.
Finally, this story was the last to feature Sophie Aldred as Ace. Aldred would have continued in her role had the series been renewed for Season 27; however, her contract was set to expire at the middle part of that season. The character of Ace was set to be written out of the series in an Ice Warrior story called Ice Time by Marc Platt, with her character joining the Prydonian Academy on Gallifrey to become a human Time Lord. According to interviews with the production team, the new companion would have been a female safecracker named Raine Cunningham, whom the Doctor would have taken under his wing, with her gangster father as a recurring character.
Doctor Who eventually returned to production as a BBC television series in 2004, produced by BBC Wales. Rose, the first episode of the new series, aired on 26 March 2005. As the new series is produced as 45-minute episodes, this makes Survival the final serial in the series proper to date to be produced in 25-minute instalments, which had been the standard for the series since 1963 (except for a one-season experiment with forty-five-minute episodes in 1985). A spinoff series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, which debuted in 2007, returned to the 25-minute, serialised episode format.
- Part one – 5.0 million viewers
- Part two – 4.8 million viewers
- Part three – 5.0 million viewers
Filming locations Edit
- The battle at the climax of the story was recorded and is set on the site of the ancient hill fort at Horsenden Hill, Perivale. The majority of location recording was done in and around Perivale, with small sections shot at nearby Ealing, outside and near The Drayton Court pub.
- Medway Drive, Perivale, London
- Medway Parade, Perivale, London
- Medway Estate, Perivale, London
- Bleasdale Avenue, Perivale, London
- Colwyn Avenue, Perivale, London
- Alley (between Colwyn Avenue and Woodhouse Avenue), Perivale, London
- Horsenden Hill, Horsenden Lane North, Perivale, Middlesex
- The Avenue, West Ealing, London
- Ealing Central Sports Ground, Horsenden Lane South, Perivale, London
- Woodhouse Avenue, Perivale, London
- EYJ Martial Arts Centre (now known as David Lloyd Centre (creche)), Greenford, Middlesex
- Warmwell Quarry, Warmwell, Dorset
Production errors Edit
If you’d like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode’s discontinuity discussion.
- The production team’s efforts to use an early audio-animatronic cat was unconvincing; there is an extremely obvious variance between shots that use a real black cat and ones that use the ‘robot double’.
- In part two (on the VHS release), there is an obvious Power of Kroll-esque juddering between the special effects alien pink sky of the planet and the quarry location, which occurs in the long shot as the Doctor and Paterson ride away from the Cheetah camp prior to the characters’ conversation regarding “worm stew”. (This has been digitally stabilised for the DVD release.)
- The gap between Survival and the Doctor Who television movie was filled by British publisher Virgin Publishing, who from 1991 onwards produced the Virgin New Adventures range of novels, carrying on the adventures of the Doctor and Ace following the end of Survival.
- The Master rids himself of the Cheetah virus and gains a new body in PROSE: First Frontier; a Kitling also appears in that story.
- However, at the start of the 1996 TV movie, the Master is shown still sporting cat’s eyes (and apparently in the same body). Yet because these yellow eyes are only explicitly seen when the Master possesses Bruce’s body, they may just serve as a visual indication of the latter’s possession (while also harking back to Survival).
- By the time of the Master’s next appearance after that (TV: Utopia) there is no longer any visible sign of the affliction. He had since been “resurrected” by the Time Lords.
- However, at the start of the 1996 TV movie, the Master is shown still sporting cat’s eyes (and apparently in the same body). Yet because these yellow eyes are only explicitly seen when the Master possesses Bruce’s body, they may just serve as a visual indication of the latter’s possession (while also harking back to Survival).
- The Doctor also meets cat-like aliens in PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People, TV: New Earth and Gridlock.
- Shreela Govindia (one of Ace’s friends) appears in PROSE: Cat’s Cradle: Warhead.
- There is a (very brief) explanation of the mattress the Doctor lands on (and how it got there) in COMIC: Emperor of the Daleks!.
- Ace previously met the Master during his previous incarnation in an alternative timeline. However, they both lost all memory of these events after the proper timeline was restored. (AUDIO: The Light at the End)
DVD, video, and audio releases Edit
DVD releases Edit
- This story was released as Doctor Who: Survival (2 discs).
- It was released:
- Region 2 – 16 April 2007
- PAL BBC DVD BBCDVD1834
- Region 4 – 6 June 2007
- Region 1 – 14 August 2007
- Region 2 – 16 April 2007
- Commentary by Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Andrew Cartmel
- Fan Commentary by the winners of a recent Doctor Who Magazine competition (Part 3 only).
- Cat-Flap – A two-part documentary covering the making of Survival.
- Photo Gallery
- Isolated Score
- Radio Times Listings
- Subtitle Production Notes
- Endgame – A documentary delving into why Doctor Who was cancelled at the end of Season 26 and what might have been in store for the Doctor and Ace if the series had continued into Season 27.
- Search Out Science – A schools programme featuring the Doctor and Ace, with Stephen Johnson and K9.
- Little Girl Lost – A retrospective look at the development of Sophie Aldred’s character, Ace.
- Destiny of the Doctors – Anthony Ainley’s last appearance as the Master, in these links from the 1997 computer game.
- Restoration and remastering for the DVD release (including an optional Dolby Digital 5.1 mix) was completed by the Doctor Who Restoration Team.
VHS releases Edit
- This story was released as Doctor Who: Survival.
- UK Release: October 1995 / US Release: September 1996
- PAL – BBC Video BBCV5687
- NTSC – Warner Video E1335
- UK Release: October 1995 / US Release: September 1996
- Survival at the
- Survival at RadioTimes
- Survival at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- A Brief History of Time (Travel): Survival
- The Locations Guide to Doctor Who – Survival
v • e Doctor Who television stories Seasons 1-4: William Hartnell
Season 1: 1963-1964
Season 2: 1964-1965
Season 3: 1965-1966
Season 4: 1966
Seasons 4-6: Patrick Troughton
Season 4: 1966-1967
Season 5: 1967-1968
Season 6: 1968-1969
Seasons 7-11: Jon Pertwee
Season 7: 1970
Season 8: 1971
Season 9: 1972
Season 10: 1972-1973
Season 11: 1973-1974
Contrary to common belief, season 10 kicked off in the last week of December 1972 — not in 1973, as would be expected. Season 10 actually began nine years after season 1 started. In fact, The Three Doctors began nine years to the week after The Daleks first aired.
Seasons 12-18: Tom Baker Season 12: 1974-1975 Season 13: 1975-1976 Season 14: 1976-1977 Season 15: 1977-1978 Season 16: 1978-1979 The Key to Time: The Ribos Operation • The Pirate Planet • The Stones of Blood • The Androids of Tara • The Power of Kroll • The Armageddon Factor Season 17: 1979-1980 Destiny of the Daleks • City of Death • The Creature from the Pit • Nightmare of Eden • The Horns of Nimon • Shada (unfinished) Season 18: 1980-1981 Seasons 19-21: Peter Davison
Season 19: 1982
Season 20: 1983
Children in Need 1983
Season 21: 1984
Seasons 21-23: Colin Baker Season 21: 1984 Season 22: 1985 Season 23: 1986 The Trial of a Time Lord (The Mysterious Planet • Mindwarp • Terror of the Vervoids • The Ultimate Foe) Seasons 24-26: Sylvester McCoy Season 24: 1987 Season 25: 1988-1989 Season 26: 1989 Battlefield • Ghost Light • The Curse of Fenric • Survival TV Movie: Paul McGann
TV Movie: 1996
In 2013, McGann reappeared as the lead in the mini-episode The Night of the Doctor.
Series 1: Christopher Eccleston Series 1: 2005
Series 2-4: David Tennant Series 2: 2005-2006
Series 3: 2006-2007
Series 4: 2007-2010
For the purposes of this list, “Series 4” is considered to be the production series 4, which ran all the way from Time Crash to The End of Time.
The years seen in this section may seem decidedly “off”. Remember, however, that this list only gives the first year in which an episode from a series was broadcast. David Tennant, unusual amongst other Doctors, began and ended on special episodes, not regular ones. Thus, his series actually begin in 2005, 2006 and 2007 — not 2006, 2007 and 2008 as is commonly thought. Series 5-2013 Specials: Matt Smith Series 5: 2010
Series 6: 2010-2011 Christmas special Mini-episodes Space / Time Regular episodes April 2011 Regular episodes August 2011 Mini-episode Series 7: 2011-2013
Christmas special 2011
Regular episodes 2012
Christmas special 2012
Regular episodes 2013
Specials: 2013 Series 8-10: Peter Capaldi Series 8: 2014
Series 9: 2014-2015
Series 10: 2016-2017
Series 11-present: Jodie Whittaker Series 11: 2018-2019
New Year special
Series 12: 2020
v • e The Master stories Early life
Pratt / Beevers
Ainley Television The Keeper of Traken • Logopolis • Castrovalva • Time-Flight • The King’s Demons • The Five Doctors • Planet of Fire • The Caves of Androzani • The Mark of the Rani • The Ultimate Foe • Survival Video games Prose Comics Audio John Smith
Television Doctor Who (“Old Master”) Prose Audio Parallel universes
From stories deliberately set
outside the “mainstream” DWU
My review of ‘The Good Doctor’ as an adult with autism
This blog is by Kerry Magro, an award-winning international motivational speaker and best-selling author who’s on the autism spectrum. A version of this blog originally appeared on Kerrymagro.com.
Full disclosure: After only watching one episode, I have no idea what the future is for “The Good Doctor“ (which premiered Sep. 25,2017 at 10/9C on ABC). What I can tell you: this show has all the makings of an ABC smash hit.
Let’s begin with the cast. Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) stars as Dr. Shaun Murphy, an up-and-coming surgeon who also happens to have autism and savant syndrome. This is a very difficult role for anyone to play given how broad the autism spectrum truly is. Some criticism has occurred as many TV productions and films try to address autism issues. There is no “one size fits all” in attempting to define characters on the spectrum. This list in recent years includes characters such as Walter Hill in Joyful Noise, Billy in the new Power Rangers Movie, Jane in Jane Wants a Boyfriend, and most recently in Sam Gardener, a high-functioning teen with autism in Netflix’s Atypical.
There seems to be an obsession with autism political correctness in some autism-related projects. Producers strive for realism in portraying these autistic characters with the danger of not clearly understanding the individuality of each person on the spectrum. It’s a razor’s edge. Trying to avoid producing “inspiration porn” but also making the programming meaningful to those in the autism community. Atypical, which received mostly positive reviews (77% rating from critics and 97% rating from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes) for example also received some criticism for not hiring an autism consultant who was on the spectrum to help bring a realistic portrayal of the role. To be fair, Atypical had a full-time consultant in the fabulous Michelle Dean along with the help from Exceptional Minds, a computer animation studio and non-profit digital arts school for young adults on the autism spectrum. Exceptional Minds worked on some shots for The Good Doctor team and also had a role with Atypical.
The Good Doctor does a fine job of navigating this razor’s edge. Freddie does well in his debut, showing several characteristics that can accompany an autism diagnosis. These characteristics include things such as social awkwardness, lack of eye contact, playing with his hands during stressful situations, etc. That last one is still something I do to this day as an adult who is on the autism spectrum. Freddie’s take will resonate with many in the community. It will be interesting to see how his character evolves moving forward into the season.
What really stood out to me though was the discussion during one scene where they are deciding Dr. Murphy’s fate and how people with autism lack empathy. How can they be sympathetic to patients and their families? It was refreshing to see Dr. Murphy have the opportunity to show his ability to care for others when asked point blank “why do you want to be a surgeon?” based off a traumatic event in Shaun’s history. I had to pause the show because I was sobbing like a baby.
As for the script there are several plot lines that will intrigue audiences and the direction couldn’t be crisper from Seth Gordon along with the writing done by David Shore (the creator and Director of House).
While many in the autism community may tune in for Dr. Murphy, autism is only one component of the show that will draw viewers. Based on statistics from the Department of Labor, a majority of those with disabilities in the U.S. today are unemployed. Discussing the hiring of someone with a disability highlights its importance. There are other areas that come to mind including relationships in the workplace, safety and different types of ways people learn. Dr. Murphy for example thinks in pictures (as can be seen when he’s on screen when he’s visualizing the human body or trying to remember a definition of a specific word).
This show has staying power and I can only hope the creators of the show along with Sony and ABC will continue to include voices of those on the spectrum as the show continues.
Dr. Glassman, who first met Dr. Murphy at 14, said it best during a Board of Directors meeting when he said…
“Aren’t we judged by how we treat people? I don’t mean as doctors I mean as people. Especially those who don’t have the same advantages that we have. We hire Shaun and we give hope to those people with limitations that those limitations are not what they think they are. That they do have a shot. We hire Shaun and we make this hospital better for it.”
A quote I tell audiences when I travel the country speaking is that, “Autism can’t define me. I define autism.” Shaun and I are not defined by our diagnosis.
I hope that we can give this show a shot and if we do, like giving Dr. Murphy a shot at employment and something he enjoys, we will all be pleasantly surprised by the results.
11 Episodes of Eleven: Night and the Doctor Mini Episodes
#8 Night and the Doctor written by Steven Moffat and Tom MacRae
With the release of the DVD box sets, the BBC and Moffat did something extra special in that they included extra mini episodes with the Doctor Who cast that weren’t available anywhere else. With the season 6 box set release in 2011 came these 5 adorable mini episodes that focus on the Doctor and what he does with his nights. It is difficult to find the clips on the web, and the only versions I found have french subtitles. So, watch, enjoy and practice your french with my number 8 pick in this 11 Episodes of Eleven series.
See them here:
Up All Night
Now, even if you are a really hardcore Doctor Who fan, you might not know of or might not have seen these specials unless you own the season 6 box set. I happened upon them on Pinterest and immediately became enamored with the behind-the-scenes look at my number one ship, River and Eleven as well as details into the complicated relationship between Amy and the Doctor. We all know that the Doctor has some crazy adventures, but what we don’t know is what he does while the Ponds are sleeping. In the first episode, Bad Night, we see the Doctor in his fanciest dress, and it is interesting to note that Eleven doesn’t sport the usual tweed and bowtie ensemble in any of these shorts. Apparently, in the evenings he becomes the dapper fellow, courting his wife and having misadventures. We don’t see River in this episode, but Amy knows that she is out there, getting into mischief with the Doctor across the galaxies. Amy awakens to the phone ringing in the TARDIS, tries to help but ultimately messes things up and then attempts to connect emotionally with the Doctor about her past. He quickly calls out for Rory, states that it isn’t his “turn”, and runs off with River to save the commonwealth. It is a 3 1/2 minute gem that establishes a kind of “home life” in the TARDIS with the Ponds and the Doctor and reminds us that there is so much we do not know about the mysterious Timelord.
If Bad Night sets up the emotional distance between Amy and the Doctor, Good Night reminds us that they are indeed best friends and that time travel remains wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey. While the Doctor, River and Marilyn (Monroe??) are saving a haunted orchestra, among other things, Amy is questioning her importance in the Doctor’s life. To remind her of the ridiculousness of the universe and her specific place in it, the Doctor asks Amy to relive her saddest memory, which happens to be dropping an ice cream at a carnival. He then suggests Amy give her former self an ice cream with advice on how to deal with the disappointments of life. “Cheer up, have an ice cream,” Amy tells her childhood self, as she finally begins to understand why she can remember not having parents and then having them, how Rory the Centurion could have waited 2000 years for her and how her life is forever changed by her interactions with the Doctor. What our favorite Gallifreyan is trying to teach Amy is that time and space are never going to make any sense but she should cheer up and just go with it. This is the mantra of the Eleventh Doctor, and why I love him. He is resilient, he is sentimental and our guide through the insanity of the universe.
Finally, we get not just a mention of my girl, River, but actual big hair herself! The title First Night refers to River Song’s first night in the prison Storm Cage, sentenced to 12 consecutive life sentences (12 regenerations?) for murdering the Doctor at Lake Silencio, whom we all know know she never really killed. This is the River that doesn’t know the Doctor yet, who just regenerated from Mels and who just received the TARDIS blue journal on her bedside from the Doctor. This means, the Doctor and River haven’t had any adventures together yet, and yet she is still doing time for her man, just to keep his secret. She is so badass. Anywho, River and the Doctor have a date to see a billion stars, and when she goes down to the wardrobe–first right, second left, just passed the Helter Skelter–the Doctor lands to a big surprise. There is another River who slams into the TARDIS in the middle of a firefight, calls the Doctor a “nostalgic idiot,” implying they have been there before, and then proceeds to pass out in his arms. The scene cuts and we are left to wonder what the Doctor plans to do with two Rivers in the TARDIS.
Okay, while the other 3 episodes are funny and cute and are self-contained stories, Last Night is an immediate continuation of First Night, and hits you right in the River Song feels. While the younger River is looking for the wardrobe, we meet River #2, who passes out after being shot out by Sontarans and has been in Storm Cage for five years. Immediately, the Doctor and her have a different repartee–oh, like a couple who has been together for a few years. She notices the dress he has brought for the other River, goes into a jealous rage and huffs off looking for the “other woman”. In the meantime, River #1 comes out of the wardrobe, barely missing herself, wonders aloud who the Doctor is talking to and then retreats back to change her clothes. Suddenly, a third River Song enters the TARDIS and immediately, the Doctor realizes that she is a River further along in their relationship. I love the subtle shift in tone that Eleven takes on with each River, and with this newest edition, he turns into an old married man. Instead of answering her question about the dress, which River #2 also asked, he instead directs River #3 to change the bulb on the TARDIS. Suddenly, a second Doctor enters the TARDIS, grabs River #3 and turns to go. River #3 then tells Doctor #1 that they are going to the Singing Towers of Dorillium, and hearts across the fandom begin to break. Yes, Doctor #1, the second you is spending his last night with River Song because her next adventure will be at the Library, where she dies for the Tenth Doctor. OH MY FEELS!
Goodness. This just got real. Seems that the Doctors, no matter how much they don’t want to, must get River to that Library. It is a sobering moment, and very Moffat-y. I love that Moffat has created such a character as River Song but does he have to kill my feels every damn time?? Gaaaah! Luckily, the last mini episode, Up All Night, has nothing to do with River, and it doesn’t even include a cameo from the Doctor.
I will end with this installment because it is adorable and we all know how much I adore Craig and Stormageddon. This particular story is set before the Closing Time episode I rec’d a couple of weeks ago and the Doctor doesn’t actually make an appearance in the 1 1/2 minute short, set at the diningroom table of Craig’s apartment. Up All Night is definitely out of place in this group of mini episodes, but it shares the common theme of understanding a bit of back story in between regular DW episodes. In this, we see Craig and Sophie discussing her weekend out of town, and James Corden (Craig) has perfect comedic timing, as usual. His bumbling portrayal of Craig and the easy way he makes us laugh at the most mundane moments are why Craig remains one of my favorite add-on characters/companions. FYI, season 5 also has 2 mini episodes that are only on the box set, titled “Meanwhile in the TARDIS.” Click the link and enjoy.
63 days til new Who!!!
The Collectiva Diva
**I don’t own any of these pictures or videos. If they are yours let me know so I can give you the credit you so much deserve.**
- 11 Episodes of the Eleventh Doctor: The Wedding of River Song (acollectivemind.wordpress.com)
- BBC Announces 12th Doctor Sunday, Aug 4th (acollectivemind.wordpress.com)
- Eleven Episodes of the Eleventh Doctor: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (acollectivemind.wordpress.com)
- 11 Episodes of the Eleventh Doctor: Closing Time (acollectivemind.wordpress.com)
- 11 Episodes of the Eleventh Doctor: Let’s Kill Hitler (acollectivemind.wordpress.com)
- 11 Episodes of the Eleventh Doctor: Vincent and the Doctor (acollectivemind.wordpress.com)
- Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Episode Title and Matt Smith’s Wig Revealed! (acollectivemind.wordpress.com)
- Why River Song is the Doctor’s soulmate (newauthors.wordpress.com)
Every time River Song appears in the Doctor’s life, it is a cause for celebration (for us) and deep concern (for both of them). The Doctor knows how River’s life will end, and River realizes that at some point she’ll meet the Doctor and he won’t know who she is, which can only add stress to what is already a fairly fractious relationship.
So, here are 10 things you may not have spotted from this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special (watch it right now with your cable login), just so we’re all aware of the more subtle references thrown in amid all the bickering:
As the Doctor and River Song have such a strange chronology, there were many hints about their various times together. But two particular comments stick out as being potentially confusing. When River refers to “the time when there were two of you,” she’s talking about the various comings and goings that happened in the mini-episodes “First Night” and “Last Night,” in which she and the Doctor prepare for their first date, interrupted only by iterations of themselves from the future.
Then there’s Jim the Fish. In “The Impossible Astronaut,” River and the Doctor synchronize their diaries, referring to various unseen adventures, and referencing someone called Jim the Fish, who the Doctor claimed was “still building his dam.”
While we’ve still not met this piscine chum, in the Doctor Who game “The Eternity Clock,” there’s an extract from River Song’s diary, which contains the following detail of a night out with Jim and the Doctor:
“There was this one time – 48th century I think, in a bar run by the Brotherhood of Maldovar – my sweetheart took Jim and me out for karaoke. I don’t remember much, it was all a blur – but I do remember ‘Islands in the Stream’ and the video recorder. We lost the tape afterwards. Never even gave it a second’s thought, I don’t think.
“‘Til today. We just unearthed a series of paintings on huge sandstone slabs. We’re not totally sure how they were formed – but that’s him – that’s Jim the Fish in that suit in that bar singing that song, gils flaring, teeth sparkling under the glitterball.
“Each tablet seems to represent a different line in the song. There are symbols, and Sssibeth says he’s seen something like them before. He read the words ‘peace unknown,’ ‘tender love,’ ‘dedication’… We think these people built some sort of religion of love around the images. Oh, Jim! I’m just grateful that the parts of the video featuring me don’t seem to be represented, but we’re still digging!”
The first time River attempts to take off in the TARDIS, it doesn’t work because Hydroflax’s head is on board but his body is not, which causes the ship to make a variety of noises of protest. However, when River pilots the TARDIS to rescue the Doctor later on, it makes the common take off/landing noise we’re all used to. Clearly she has grown to like the sound it makes when you fly with the handbrake on (see 10 greatest River Song moments in Gifs for details) after all.
More parts of the Doctor’s anatomy appear to be ready for conflict. When asked by Nardole why he keeps crossing his arms, he replies “because they’re cross. I’ve got cross arms.” Which go very nicely with his attack eyebrows (from “Deep Breath”), no doubt.
River’s stash of Aldebaran brandy in the TARDIS is not just a hidden delight for her, it’s for fans of Douglas Adams and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, in which Max Quordlepleen, the MC at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, explains that once diners have watched reality implode, there will be nothing: “After this, there is void… emptiness… oblivion… absolute nothing… Except, of course, for the sweet trolley and our fine selection of Aldebaran liqueurs. And for once, ladies and gentlemen, there is no need to worry about having a hangover in the mornings, for there won’t be no more mornings!”
Did you notice the shop named Mathiesa Boutique, where the TARDIS was parked? It’s very tempting to assume this was a nod to Doctor Who writer Jamie Mathieson, whose last writing credit for the show (shared with Steven Moffat) was “The Girl Who Died.” Which would be a fitting summary of River’s next big adventure. DO YOU SEE!? (etc).
The Doctor has always remained vague as to whether he is qualified as a medical professional or as an academic, or both. The First Doctor said on a few occasions that he wasn’t medically qualified, while the Second Doctor claimed to have got his medical degree (“The Moonbase”) under antiseptics pioneer Joseph Lister in Glasgow in 1888—which will have covered the very earliest days of vaccination, but predated such common medical practices as antibiotics by some decades—but later said he had no medical training at all (“The Krotons.”) The Third, Fourth and Fifth Doctors claimed to be qualified in “practically everything” and the Eleventh Doctor claims to have two degrees, one in medicine and one in cheese-making (“The God Complex”). That said, when the Doctor is asked to provide medical support to a raptor-chewed Solomon in “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” he makes a pretty good job of it. That still may not make him a surgeon, however.
There’s another Game of Thrones crossover in this episode, following the likes of Maisie Williams, Mark Gatiss, Harry Lloyd and David Bradley. The voice of Hydroflax’s body comes from Nonso Anozie, who played the merchant Xaro Xhoan Daxos, prince of Quarth, and would-be suitor of Daenerys Targaryen.
The clue that this story would end up at the Singing Towers of Darillium was there right at the very beginning. The Doctor says to the hooded stranger with River Song’s voice: “I’ve had a haircut and this is my best suit”…
…without quite remembering this quote from the first time they met (in “Forest of the Dead), River said: “The last time I saw you, you turned up on my doorstep with a new haircut and a suit. You took me to Darillium to see the Singing Towers. What a night that was; the towers sang, and you cried. You wouldn’t tell me why, but I suppose you knew it was my time. You even gave me your screwdriver – that should have been a clue.”
The relationship between Doctor Who and Stephen Fry goes a little deeper than the Doctor’s claim that he was married to River Song (a complicated claim, given that he is currently happily married to Elliott Spencer). Stephen was asked to write a Doctor Who script during the Russell T Davies era, and he wrote a draft of a script based on the legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Sadly it never made it to the production stage as time and expense were both too tight.
NEXT: 10 Things You May Not Know About ‘The Pilot’
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