It’s the final Lockdown!
Around the world countries are beginning to ease lockdown restrictions, and people are stepping, blinking, out into the sun. And then going for a coffee. But as fans get to share time with their loved ones again, and step onto the slow, cautious path back to normality, so are the efforts to keep Doctor Who fans entertained and hopeful beginning to wind down. And so we come to the final edition of Blogtor Who’s weekly lockdown roundup.
The Best of Days
Starring Pearl Mackie as Bill, and Matt Lucas as Nardole, comes what’s definitely, asbolutely, undoubtedly Steven Moffat’s final piece of Doctor Who writing. And it’s only the fourth time he’s said that, so you know it must be true. Nardole and Bill keep in touch, even with one trapped on a spaceship on the edge of a Black Hole and the other living in London 2020. And the message of how Bill is continuing to be a hero, standing up for right and justice, even without the Doctor by her side couldn’t come at a better time.
UNIT: House of Silents
This week’s free #Lockdownload from Big Finish is UNIT: House of Silents. Jemma Redgrave and Ingrid Oliver reunite as Kate Stewart and Osgood in a full cast audio play pitching them against the Silence. But how can even UNIT’s finest protect the Earth against a threat that they keep forgetting even exists? You can keep up to date with the latest Lockdownload on Big Finish’s Weekly Deals page.
It’s a mark of just how extraordinary a week it’s been that even the global pandemic seems to have been overtaken by the tide of outrage at the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in America. And a police and government response to protests that has only served to sharpen age old concerns about institutional racism and abuses of power. In recognition of that #DoctorWhoBlackout replaced the originally scheduled rewatch of World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls, which was to have been the final in the Lockdown Who series. Organized by Black Girls Create it ran all evening in a celebration of black talent both in front of and behind the camera.
But it was more than just a time for fans to communally rewatch Thin Ice, Knock Knock, The Ghost Monument and The Haunting of Villa Diodati (complete with live tweets from Thin Ice writer Sarah Dollard). It was also an opportunity to share information, donate to good causes supporting black communities, both in the US and around the world, and, crucially, to amplify black voices within the Doctor Who community. Over $2000 was raised on the night for various causes during an event that brought a positive spirit to troubling times.
Quiz of Rassilon
The Quiz of Rassilon was also held this week. And like #DoctorWhoBlackout it took the opportunity to redirect the donations it usually collects from participants to Black Lives Matter related funds in the US. Beyond that, with rounds on Silence in the Library, The Mind Robber, the TV Movie, Ian & Barbara, the music of Doctor Who, and hilarious Qi homage Who-I, it was the usual mix of furrowed brows and riotous laughter. We can only hope that even as the Sebright Arms prepares to reopen its doors in the coming weeks, there will still be room as well for the online edition which fans around the world have fallen in love with.
Staying in the TARDIS
This week’s contribution from the official Doctor Who site continued their patented mix of challenges, free stories and printables. This week’s challenge was to create your own alien landscape to share online with the #StayingInTheTARDIS hashtag, while you could download a new audio story read by Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) from the Doctor Who Audio Annual. Printables meanwhile included a Dalek join-the-dots puzzle (from Dot-to-Doc), and a Victory of the Daleks colouring page (from The Colouring Book). There was also a trip back to Victorian London to find the Doctor and his friends with a page from Where’s the Doctor? and a colouring page highlighting comic book companion Alice Obifune, with art by Wellington Diaz.
Time Space Visualiser
This week also saw the last of Fantom Films’ virtual conventions in the Time Space Visualiser series, as hopes of fans being able to meet up in person again begin to cautiously blossom. The event featured panels and interviews with a wide range of contributors to Doctor Who, including:
- Phil Collinson (producer, 2005-08)
- Philip Hinchcliffe (producer, 1974-77)
- June Hudson (costume designer 1978-81)
- Louise Page (costume designer Series 2-4)
- Frances Barber (Madame Kovarian)
- Jamie Childs (Series 11 director)
- Trevor Laird (Martha’s dad, Clive)
- Fernanda Marlowe (Corporal Bell in the 70s UNIT stories)
- David Warwick (Kimus in The Pirate Planet and Police Commissioner in Army of Ghosts)
- Tom MacRae (writer, Rise of the Cybermen and The Girl Who Waited)
- Samuel Oatley (T’Zim Sha in Series 11)
- Paul Lavers (Farah in The Androids of Tara)
- Raquel Cassidy (Cleaves in The Rebel Flash)
- Gordon Warnecke (Tuza in The Trial of a Time Lord)
- Velile Tshabalala (Rosita in The Next Doctor)
- David Ames (Nathan in Planet of the Dead)
- Paul Marc Davies (Futurekind leader in Utopia)
You can catch up on the whole convention on their YouTube channel…
It’s the end, but…
And that brings us to the end of our lockdown round ups. There will still be some events and programs continuing, of course, and Blogtor Who will carry on keeping you up to date with those going forward.