This is a still of actress Wanda Ventham from the British sci-fi series UFO. She’s also appeared in Doctor Who a few times, notably the Tom Baker serial “Image of the Fendahl” & Sylvester McCoy’s debut, “Time and the Rani”.
Does she look a bit familiar? She should - turns out, she’s Benedict Cumberpatch’s mother! (I literally just found this out today.)
It’s about the ways that people deal with situations that challenge their worldviews. Each story establishes a world, whether it be 1960s London or an alien planet thousands of years in the future, and then it drops the Doctor–a tiny piece of impossibility–into that world. Just to see what happens. (This is one reason why the series can run for so long on such a premise…it’s inherently new-viewer friendly. Since you have to establish the world before you can change it, you’re constantly creating entry points for people who’ve never seen the show before.)
Sometimes people cope with the changes. The first two seasons of the series were about Ian and Barbara, two normal 60s schoolteachers, dealing with situation after situation that was entirely outside of their experience. Rose gleefully embraces the strangeness, Dodo freaks out and leaves the second she gets the chance, and Tegan treats it like a package tour until the point where it all gets to be too much for her.
Other people try to slot the Doctor into their worldview. The new show makes it explicit with the psychic paper–when the Doctor shows it to you, you see what you expect him to be reflected back at you–but even in the old series, the Doctor was always treated like what he was expected to be. Authoritarians saw him as a rebel, police slotted him in as a criminal, scientists expected him to be a kindred spirit. People have tried, desperately and endlessly, to make him fit. Only to find, to their frustration, that’s he’s exactly what he says he is, and nothing else.
The people who can’t accept that, in ‘Doctor Who’, tend to come to unpleasant ends. If you can’t accept that a Dalek or an Ice Warrior isn’t something familiar and acceptable, something you can fit into your worldview by negotiating with them or threatening them or ignoring them, they will probably kill you. The only chance you have to survive in ‘Doctor Who’ is to keep an open mind, to accept that the universe is bigger and stranger and more wonderful than you previously imagined, and to believe the facts when they’re right in front of your face, even if they’re not pleasant. And that’s a premise big enough to last fifty years and then some.
What Is Doctor Who All About?”
A fantastic! Femme Ninth Doctor, photographed at Supanova Expo Melbourne 2013.
Yep, I took this. Thing was, I wouldn’t have known she was cosplaying as the Ninth Doctor if not for her sonic screwdriver! But she was very amenable to this tired old duffer taking a couple of pics - here’s the first one I snapped:
She was really lovely & patient too, it must be said, especially as it was the Sunday afternoon of the con, where most everyone’s dog-tired.
Mock movie-style poster for the upcoming Neil Gaiman-penned episode of Doctor Who, featuring the Cybermen.
Reverse the polarity of THAT sir!
From my favourite old-school Who serial, ‘Inferno’. Exchanges like this help explain why, I must admit - the 3rd Doctor was so sassy.
Jenna-Louise Coleman photographed by Helen McArdle. Evening Standard magazine, 22.02.13
(For the record, I’m not enthused about the “sexing up the TARDIS” strapline, but it is a nice cover shot.)