May 17, 2013 | 5:09 p.m.
Fans of the BBC sci-fi series “Doctor Who” know that this season’s biggest mystery isn’t about sinister aliens or otherworldly adventures, but rather about the origins of the latest in the Doctor’s long and lovely line of traveling companions. Played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, Clara Oswald has been dubbed “the impossible girl.” Before the Doctor (Matt Smith) recruited Clara, a London nanny, to join him on his jaunts through time and space, he had met her before — or at least he met two women who looked just like her. Both women died, and Clara’s existence baffles the Time Lord. Coleman’s Clara has big shoes to fill after the departure of Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan, a fan-favorite companion who shared the screen with Matt Smith’s Doctor for 2 1/2 seasons. Like Amy, Clara is adventurous and spirited and not afraid […]
May 08, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.
“Doctor Who” star Jenna-Louise Coleman has been warned. She knows that two months from now, fans at Comic-Con International in San Diego will line up in the thousands, camping overnight outside the city’s convention center to secure seats for the annual panel devoted to the BBC TV sensation. Many will wield sonic screwdrivers or wear Dalek costumes, and more than a few will come dressed as Coleman’s character, Clara. But back in March, the hype hadn’t caught up with her. “Everyone wants to know, ‘Has your life changed since joining the show?’” Coleman said over a lunch of baby beets and tangerine at downtown Los Angeles’ Lazy Ox Canteen. “And I’m like, ‘No, not really.’ I just go to Cardiff, and I do mad things and experience mad stuff on set, and then I come back to my London life, […]
March 27, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
“Doctor Who” returns Saturday with “The Bells of St. John,” starring Jenna-Louise Coleman as mysterious new companion Clara opposite Matt Smith’s Doctor. It’s an auspicious year for “Doctor Who” as the sci-fi series turns 50. Whovians are celebrating the anniversary with commemorative postage stamps, an audio drama, a three-day event in London and two TV movies — one about the filming of the first “Who” episode and the second an adventure rumored to feature all 11 incarnations of the Doctor. “In Britain, you can practically define yourself, your generation by which actor played the Doctor when you were a kid,” executive producer Steven Moffat told Hero Complex. To celebrate 50 years of “Who,” Hero Complex takes a look at the many faces of the time-traveling Doctor, as well as the monsters he fought and the friends who traveled with him, in […]
March 24, 2013 | 4:00 a.m.
The signs of a seismic shift became clear a year or so ago, in even the nonhipster communities of Los Angeles: a tween boy in a “Bow Ties Are Cool” T-shirt, a silver Camry with a license plate holder reading “My other car is a TARDIS,” a girl at an elementary school Halloween costume parade dressed in a homemade blue police box and bearing a sonic screwdriver. By the time TV Guide got around to putting Matt Smith on its cover, it seemed almost old news: The Doctor, ancient and perpetually regenerating Time Lord, savior of multiple universes, wearer of classic bow ties and trench coats, wielder of the multi-purpose sonic screwdriver and intergalactic protector of Earth, has at long last jumped the pond. It’s a triumph for long-term fans, the newly high profile of “Doctor Who” — now celebrating […]
March 22, 2013 | 1:58 p.m.
PERSPECTIVE In the annals of space, time and television, there is nothing quite like “Doctor Who,” the British sci-fi series that this year is celebrating a 50th anniversary, in your Earth years. Only “Star Trek” comes close for persistence of a franchise, and it does not come close. What sets “Doctor Who” apart is that, notwithstanding the distance from its paint-and-cardboard, spaceship-on-a-string early episodes to the beautifully realized, seamlessly fantastic creation it is today, the current series is the same one that began on the BBC in 1963 — neither a sequel nor a re-conception, but the identical show. It has centered on the same character: an extraterrestrial Time Lord who travels all of creation in what looks like an old London police box and who has been played by 11 actors, each new Doctor a “regeneration” of the last, […]
March 18, 2013 | 2:04 p.m.
“Doctor Who” returns to U.S. airwaves on March 30, and this weekend the BBC released new images from four upcoming episodes, as well as information on what we can expect from the second half of Season 7. Here are a few hints: a dangerous cruise on a Russian submarine, a haunted mansion on the moor, and Dame Diana Rigg. Oh, and something about how the Doctor’s greatest secret will be revealed. Intrigued? Doctor Who quiz: Test your smarts as the Doctor turns 50 “It’s the 50th year of ‘Doctor Who’ and look what’s going on!” “Doctor Who” lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat said in a BBC release. “If this wasn’t already our most exciting year it would be anyway!” “Doctor Who” fans will also, hopefully, get some answers about the Doctor’s next companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman). We first […]
Feb. 06, 2013 | 3:34 p.m.
The fantasy adventure “Merlin” might have enchanted English fans for the last time in December, but the series continues to charm American audiences. Created by Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, “Merlin” provides a fresh take on the Arthurian legend. Irish actor Colin Morgan plays Merlin, a servant to King Arthur and a wizard-in-secret in a realm where magic has been outlawed. The show was massively popular in the U.K., rivaling “Doctor Who” in viewership, before wrapping up on Christmas with a tragic, two-part season finale. Morgan was named best actor in a drama by the U.K.’s National Television Awards earlier this year, beating out “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith and “Sherlock” actor Benedict Cumberbatch. In the U.S., the fifth and final season of the BBC original series is airing on Syfy. In Friday’s episode “The Dark Tower,” the sorceress Morgana […]
Jan. 01, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
BBC’s fantasy adventure “Merlin” cast its final spell in England over Christmas with a heartbreaking two-part finale that brought to a grand conclusion a series whose popularity rivals “Doctor Who” — the show drew about 7 million viewers each episode in the U.K., compared with around 1.7 million per episode in the U.S. For fans on this side of the Atlantic, though, it’s only the beginning of the end for the epic tale. The fifth and final season of the series, which traces the evolution of the relationship between young wizard Merlin (Colin Morgan) and future king Arthur Pendragon (Bradley James) in a realm where magic has been outlawed, premieres Friday on Syfy. Much in the way “Smallville” updated the story of Superman, “Merlin” brings fresh life and contemporary resonance to iconic characters from English myth. Hero Complex caught up […]
May 25, 2012 | 6:25 p.m.
The Doctor, River Song and the trusty TARDIS are coming to PlayStation in the new adventure game Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock. The PlayStation 3 game, released this week, puts Whovian gamers in the shoes of the Doctor or River as they travel back and forth through 600 years on a mission to save Earth, facing Daleks, Cybermen, Silurians and the Silence on the way. The game, which costs $19.99 to download, comes on the heels of a Doctor Who massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Doctor Who: Worlds in Time. The free-to-play, puzzle-based MMORPG has received positive reviews since it launched in March. Though reviews for The Eternity Clock have been mixed, the game boasts some fun details for hard-core Time Lord fans, including River’s powerful blaster, a sonic screwdriver that can scan your surroundings and gather hints, voiceovers by […]
April 23, 2011 | 9:40 a.m.
Times television critic Robert Lloyd checks in on tonight’s return of the Doctor. The Doctor is (back) in. The second season of the adventures of the 11th Doctor — which is also, officially, the sixth series of the post-16-year-TV-hiatus 21st-century “Doctor Who,” if you don’t count a year of “specials” — begins Saturday on BBC America, with an emphasis on the “America.” It has been a while — whatever “a while” means in the curlicue chronologies of this time-twisting show — since the Doctor (Matt Smith) has run with recent and future traveling companions Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill), now newlyweds. But they have been getting messages from him out of the deep past: the Doctor naked in a Baroque painting, cavorting in a fez in a Laurel and Hardy film. And then comes an actual invitation (in a “Tardis […]