Brace yourselves, Whovians: Long-running cult obsession Doctor Who returns to BBC America on Aug. 23 with a new star, Peter Capaldi, and a new attitude. Compared with Matt Smith’s previous Doctor, Capaldi’s lead character is ”a lot fiercer,” says Jenna Coleman, who plays his traveling companion, Clara Oswald. ”This man is a total adrenaline junkie.”
Once Upon a Time Lord…
Thanks for another great cover story on Doctor Who. I’ve been a Whovian since 1976 and was pleased that you didn’t ignore the classic Doctors. You could fill a whole magazine with Doctor Who, and I’d like to see that sometime in the future…or the past (depending on which way my TARDIS travels). —JIM CARTWRIGHT, Hesperia, Calif.
As the Mona Lisa is to art lovers and the Stanley Cup is to hockey nuts, so the TARDIS is to fans of the long-running science-fiction show Doctor Who. Since Who debuted on the U.K.’s BBC network in the fall of 1963, this time-traveling spaceship — which is, famously, bigger on the inside than its exterior would suggest — has transported the series’ alien hero to a vast array of locales where he has battled a variety of monsters.
Two villainous machines and a time-traveling phone booth were on hand for this week’s cover shoot, which spotlights iconic pieces of the Doctor Who-verse. (That’d be a Cyberman, a Dalek, and the TARDIS, respectively.) But photographer Ian Derry says the ”brilliant” chemistry between Matt Smith, as the bow-tied Time Lord, and Jenna-Louise Coleman, who plays the new companion, was the real star: ”[They were] probably the best two I’ve photographed in a long time.”
1. Instead of “Bah, humbug!” say “Bazinga!” (we’re sure Sheldon Cooper wouldn’t mind if you borrowed his catchphrase) in this Big Bang Theory Bazinga! sweater, a new take on the classic ugly holiday apparel. (80stees.com; $60)
Longtime CompanionsFinally, a Doctor Who cover! As a die-hard Whovian, I find it surreal to see the series I used to watch every Saturday on PBS be reborn into mainstream pop culture. As Craig Ferguson put it, Doctor Who is about the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism. What other show can top that?Charles SkaggsHilliard, Ohio
”When Amanda Bynes punches an address into her car, even her GPS says, ‘Stay home.”’ —Chelsea Handler, on Amanda Bynes’ recent car issues, on Chelsea Lately
”My couch was an exquisite leather antique. Now I’ll just think of it as Judi Dench with a tramp stamp.” —Bryan (Andrew Rannells), after someone marks up his couch, on The New Normal
”I see ‘Keep out!’ signs as suggestions more than actual orders, like ‘Dry-clean only.”’ —The Doctor (Matt Smith) on Doctor Who
”I want to show you something,” says Doctor Who star Matt Smith, excitedly jabbing at a cell phone in his trailer. For a longtime fan of the cult British science-fiction TV show like myself, these are thrilling words. Smith plays the titular alien time traveler on the now-49-year-old Doctor Who, and today is in the small Welsh town of Llantrisant shooting an episode for the upcoming season.
When Doctor Who makes its triumphant return to the United States on the Sci Fi Channel March 17, the average American’s reaction will likely be: It was here before? A science-fiction staple of British TV for over 40 years, Who achieved only cult status in the U.S. when the show was imported to PBS in the late ’70s. The newly revamped version, shot for the BBC, stars Christopher Eccleston (28 Days Later) as the Doctor and British pop star Billie Piper as his time-travel partner, Rose Tyler.
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