Doctor Who: The 2017 Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time,” and the Series 11 Preview (MAJOR SPOILERS)

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in July 2018, our panel – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Sarah, Hilary, and Kyle – is Around the Water Cooler and recapping the 2017 Christmas Special of Doctor Who, “Twice Upon a Time,” as well as speculating upon Series 11, Jodie Whittaker’s first as the titular Doctor. If you haven’t seen the series through the 2017 Christmas Special, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

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PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Doctor Who” – “Twice Upon a Time,” the 2017 Christmas Special Review and the Series 11 Preview (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Doctor Who” airs on cable TV, specifically on BBC America/BBC Worldwide; though it is currently on hiatus, it was announced today that Doctor Who will begin airing Sundays this fall, starting October 7, 2018.

What: “Doctor Who,” the long-running British science fiction show about an alien time and space traveler who gallivants across the universe with companions in an effort to save people and/or history and/or the universe itself.  The synopsis changes from Doctor to Doctor, but the above statement pretty much encapsulates all of them.

When: The 2017 Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time,” aired on December 25, 2017, at 8:00 PM on BBC America/BBC Worldwide.

Where: The show is set literally everywhere in the whole universe at any given time, though not without the Doctor’s ship, the TARDIS, and some face of the man (or woman) who pilots it.

Why:  Once upon a time (no, not that show), friends of the Chief CP said precisely this: “Why aren’t you watching Doctor Who?!  It’s science fiction, it’s British, it’s everything you love (short of vampires)!  Watch it! Do it!”  I started with the 2005 pilot of “Rose” and kept right on chugging. Now, I’m a fully converted Whovian, with an obsessive eye to both past, as in Classic, Who and the future incarnations of the “Madman in a Box;” I’ve joined a rotating roster of friends who are Whovians in their own right as we meet for another discussion “around the water cooler.”

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

Welcome to the days leading up to a new season of Doctor Who! Last week, we published our review and recap of Series 10!  In case you missed it, here it is again:

Series 10

True to form, our CPU! “Who” panel of Kristen, Sarah, Nick, Hilary,  and Kyle, plus the Chief CP, reconvened Around the Water Cooler to dissect the 2017 Christmas special, including the stellar and interstellar as well as the parts that should really be exterminated.  We also take time to speculate upon the new Doctor, the Thirteenth, to be played by Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch); the three prognosticated new companions; and the general oeuvre of the series under new show runner Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch), as Peter Capaldi made his departure from the series effective as of the 2017 Christmas special, along with longtime writer and show runner for the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors, Steven Moffat.

Give our latest Doctor Who rundown a listen, and tell us what you think in the comments.  For our part, the panel generally enjoyed this special, particularly for its meeting of the First Doctor, currently played by David Bradley (Harry Potter film franchise), and the Twelfth; there was little bad said about it, in fact, as the panel found it to be a generally “sweet” if not necessarily memorable sendoff for Doctor Twelve. Do you agree?  Do you disagree? What did you like?  What did you hate?  Tell us!

For (other) previous CPU! Doctor Who episodes, check your podcast feeds or click the floating box up right within the header, the picture with the TV watcher, and search for those words!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, our Supernatural panel returns to the Water Cooler, newly reconstituted and resurrected in its fullest form, to wax wickedly about the second half of the longtime cult favorite’s thirteenth season.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions Are the New Questions (repeated from the Series 10 entry)

1) REPEAT QUESTION: Is Gallifrey really back?  How is it back?  Is it only in existence at the end of the universe, where the Doctor met Me and Clara?  Where is Gallifrey in current times and in current universes?  We need clarification.

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Series 10 did not answer this question, so we move it forward into the Series 11 list of questions.

2) REPEAT QUESTION: Where did Missy go?  Will she be back?

(DEFINITIVE) ANSWER: Missy went and got herself in trouble with a group of Time Lord like (but not Time Lord) aliens that were prepared to execute her.  Yet, River Song told Nardole to tell the Doctor that he better save his longtime best friend – or else, naturally.  So, the Doctor promises to the executing aliens that he will watch over Missy for 1000 years while she is locked up in a vault, hidden in the basement of some unnamed British University (maybe it’s called British University).  When we start the season, he is lording over that vault.  So, Missy is back.  Plus, she gets to have a run-in with her past Master generation, played by John Simm.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

3) REPEAT QUESTION: Steven Moffat has announced that he will step down as show-runner after Series 10, and Broadchurch’s Chris Chibnall will take his place.  Unofficially, Peter Capaldi has suggested that Series 10 will also be his last as the Doctor.  Who could possibly be the new Doctor?  Feels too soon, doesn’t it?

(DEFINITIVE) ANSWER: The new, Thirteenth, Doctor will be played by none other than Broadchurch’s Jodie Whittaker, marking the first time that the titular Doctor will be female in all 55 years of the show’s existence.  This announcement proved to be controversial as well as crucially and critically circumspect for the international legions of Whovians – some were more enthusiastic about this decision than others – but we might be over the hump of some of the initial ugliness, at least until Series 11 premieres.

4) REPEAT QUESTION: How many extra regeneration cycles does the Doctor have right now?

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Still a question, which moves forward.

New Questions

1) Will the TARDIS survive the explosion that sent Doctor Thirteen plummeting to the earth?  Why did Chris Chibnall choose to somewhat mirror the entrance of Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor?

2) Will Jodie be awesome enough to calm the more feisty corners of the fandom down?

3) Who will the new companions be, as there are predicted to be three?

4) Mr. Chibnall has suggested that he will not, at least at first, rely on canonical appearances of villains like Daleks and Cybermen to tell the stories.  What new villains and/or conflicts will he create for our thirteenth Doctor?

5) Is the Master truly out of the running after what happened in the tenth series finale?

6) Will Doctor Thirteen find the Time Lords of Gallifrey again?

7) Will Doctor Thirteen be earth-bound for awhile like the Fourth Doctor was?  Will she take over UNIT?

8) Will Doctor Thirteen meet any of her old companions again?  A meeting with John Barrowman’s Captain Jack would be fun, but our panel continues to hope for the return of favorites like Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble or Alex Kingston’s River Song.

9) What will Doctor Thirteen’s TARDIS look like?  How about her sonic screwdriver?  Will she still have one?

10) Will the Doctor meet her past selves in her current form this season?

11) Will the show revisit the concept of the Doctor “revisiting old faces,” as was suggested by Tom Baker’s Curator in the 50th Anniversary Special?

12) Will Doctor Thirteen avoid romance?  The panel votes please do.

13) What will be the explanation for Doctor Thirteen’s latest form (other than that it’s time or some such)?

PARTING SHOTS

The CPU! Doctor Who podcast panel offered an unusual and modestly surprising consensus when reviewing “Twice Upon a Time,” as all of the panelists heartily enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s swansong, even if they felt his goodbye scenes lacked the emotional punch of his two most recent predecessors’.  The panel characterized the strongest parts of the special to be those that centered on interactions between the First and Twelfth Doctors, including all of the clever parallels written into the narrative, as well as the appearance of Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) as the soldier plucked out of time before his death.  Alternatively, the panel found the “Testimony” story line to be the weaker segment of the episode, at least in terms of using the story as a contrivance to reintroduce a version of Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) in a way that did not seem as organic as it could have been – and since, of course, the panel continues to offer mixed reactions to Bill as a companion.  The panel remains cautiously intrigued about the upcoming season, with a new Doctor, new companions, and a new show-runner on the horizon, the latter of whom has teased leaving aside some of the classic/signature elements that have defined the series since its inception.  Some of the panelists are additionally looking forward to not spending as much time with the Daleks, Cybermen, and the Master, but the longer term Whovians note that too much change would also not be good, and that any of the frequent flyers should be revisited at some point in the future, even if not for awhile. The entire panel, of course, continues to eagerly hope for the (unlikely) return of River Song or Donna Noble – whatever may happen, though, the panelists remain excited to see what happens in the coming season, Series 11.

LOOKING AHEAD

It was announced today (sometimes, we do serendipity right!) that Doctor Who Series 11 will premiere via BBC Worldwide on October 7, 2018! The Doctor Who CPU! panel will next reconvene following the season finale of Series 11, at which time we will report on reactions to the new series, the new Doctor, and the new executive producer, Chris Chibnall.  Until then! 😉

Doctor Who, Series/Season Ten (MAJOR SPOILERS)

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in July 2018, our panel of stalwart Whovians – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Sarah, Hilary, and Kyle – is Around the Water Cooler and recapping Series/Season Ten of Doctor Who, i.e. Peter Capaldi’s last season as the titular Doctor. If you haven’t viewed the series through the 2017 Christmas Special, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: Doctor Who – The Series/Season 10 Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Doctor Who” airs on cable TV, specifically on BBC America/BBC Worldwide, though it is currently on hiatus.

What: “Doctor Who,” the long-running British science fiction show about an alien time and space traveler who gallivants across the universe with companions in an effort to save people and/or history and/or the universe itself.  The synopsis changes from Doctor to Doctor, but the above statement pretty much encapsulates all of them.

When:  Series 10 aired from April 15, 2017, through July 1, 2017, on BBC America/BBC Worldwide with a total of 12 episodes.

Where: The show is set literally everywhere in the whole universe at any given time, though not without the Doctor’s ship, the TARDIS, and some face of the man (or woman) who pilots it.

Why:  Once upon a time (no, not that show), friends of the Chief CP said precisely this: “Why aren’t you watching Doctor Who?!  It’s science fiction, it’s British, it’s everything you love (short of vampires)!  Watch it! Do it!”  I started with the 2005 pilot of “Rose” and kept right on chugging. Now, I’m a fully converted Whovian, with an obsessive eye to both past, as in Classic, Who and the future incarnations of the “Madman in a Box;” I’ve joined a rotating roster of friends who are Whovians in their own right as we meet for another discussion “around the water cooler.”  

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

Welcome to a new season of Doctor Who! With another full season under our belts, our “Who” panel of Kristen, Sarah, Nick, Kyle, Hilary, and Chief Couch Potato Kylie reconvened to discuss all things Series 10: the stellar and interstellar as well as the parts that should really be exterminated.  We, again, have many diverse thoughts about what we saw, including new companions Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas); the introduction of new villains (the Monks) and re-introductions of old villains (Daleks, Cybermen, and Ice Warriors, oh my!); and the return of what turns out to be several versions of the Master, including the version portrayed by John Simm as well as the fairer gendered incarnation known as “Missy,” played by Michelle Gomez.

Give our latest Doctor Who rundown a listen, and tell us what you think in the comments. Do you agree?  Do you disagree? Can Alex Kingston or John Barrowman or Catherine Tate come back for more, as our original Who panelists continually hope?  What do you want?  What did you like?  What did you hate?  Tell us!  Tell them!

For previous CPU! Doctor Who episodes, check your podcast feeds or click the floating box up right within the header, the picture with the couch full of TV watching potatoes, and search for those words!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, our Doctor Who panel returns – once more with feeling! – to the Water Cooler to dig deep into the most recent Christmas special, “Twice Upon a Time,” which notably centers on Peter Capaldi’s understated swansong: his version of the Doctor’s regeneration into controversial Thirteenth form Jodie Whittaker.  Stay tuned!
Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions Are the New Questions

1) REPEAT QUESTION: Is Gallifrey really back?  How is it back?  Is it only in existence at the end of the universe, where the Doctor met Me and Clara?  Where is Gallifrey in current times and in current universes?  We need clarification.

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Series 10 did not answer this question, so we move it forward into the Series 11 list of questions.

2) REPEAT QUESTION: Where did Missy go?  Will she be back?

(DEFINITIVE) ANSWER: Missy went and got herself in trouble with a group of Time Lord like (but not Time Lord) aliens that were prepared to execute her.  Yet, River Song told Nardole to tell the Doctor that he better save his longtime best friend – or else, naturally.  So, the Doctor promises to the executing aliens that he will watch over Missy for 1000 years while she is locked up in a vault, hidden in the basement of some unnamed British University (maybe it’s called British University).  When we start the season, he is lording over that vault.  So, Missy is back.  Plus, she gets to have a run-in with her past Master generation, played by John Simm.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

3) REPEAT QUESTION: Stephen Moffat has announced that he will step down as show-runner after Series 10, and Broadchurch’s Chris Chibnall will take his place.  Unofficially, Peter Capaldi has suggested that Series 10 will also be his last as the Doctor.  Who could possibly be the new Doctor?  Feels too soon, doesn’t it?

(DEFINITIVE) ANSWER: The new, Thirteenth, Doctor will be played by none other than Broadchurch’s Jodie Whittaker, marking the first time that the titular Doctor will be female in all 55 years of the show’s existence.  This announcement proved to be controversial as well as crucially and critically circumspect for the international legions of Whovians – some were more enthusiastic about this decision than others – but we might be over the hump of some of the initial ugliness, at least until Series 11 premieres.

4) REPEAT QUESTION: How many extra regeneration cycles does the Doctor have right now?

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Still a question, which moves forward.

New Questions

There are none!  We had more questions following our dissection of the 2017 Christmas special, so you should just listen to our next episode.  Are your whistles whetted yet?  Get ready!  Allons-y! Geronimo! Fantastic!

PARTING SHOTS

The CPU! Doctor Who podcast panel reactions were, again, varied and diverse when reviewing Series 10, with no universal or overriding feeling guiding the group.  Some panelists felt that Series 10 was stronger than Peter Capaldi’s other seasons, while others felt it was weaker, owing largely to whether or not each individual panelist personally connected to companion Bill.  The votes were literally split down the middle regarding Bill, with panelists Kylie, Nick, and Sarah feeling more enthusiastic about her, and panelists Kristen, Kyle, and Hilary less.  This then led to a philosophical discussion about Who regarding who on the show connects more in the moment for a viewer – Doctor, companion, or the combination of both/all – and how important companions are to the overall story and mythology.  If nothing else, the panel seemed to agree that this season was competently executed, though some panelists, in contrast, felt that some of the story situations were recycled variants of tales told already within Capaldi’s other/prior seasons. Happily, panelist Sarah found new love for the series upon realizing that she could understand and/or work through Capaldi’s Scottish brogue.

In any event, the podcast panel is cautiously intrigued about the upcoming season, with a new Doctor, new companions, and a new show-runner on the horizon, the latter of whom has teased leaving aside some of the classic/signature elements that have defined the series since its inception.  Some of the panelists are additionally looking forward to not spending as much time with the Daleks, Cybermen, and the Master, but the longer term Whovians note that too much change would also not be good, and that any of the frequent flyers should be revisited at some point in the future, even if not for awhile. The entire panel, of course, continues to eagerly hope for the (unlikely) return of River Song or Donna Noble – whatever may happen, though, the panelists remain excited to see what happens in the coming season, Series 11.

LOOKING AHEAD

Doctor Who Series 11 is expected to premiere via BBC Worldwide sometime this fall, though no official premiere date has yet been announced at the time of this publication. The Doctor Who CPU! panel will next reconvene following the season finale of Series 11, at which time we will report on reactions to the new series, the new Doctor, and the new executive producer, Chris Chibnall.  Until then! 😉

RERUN! – Doctor Who: The 2016 Christmas Special, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” and the Series 10 Preview (MAJOR SPOILERS)

This week: we rerun this episode, originally published in April 2017, to refresh your memories concerning the 2016 Christmas Special of Doctor Who and our cheeky preview and predictions of what we might like to see in Peter Capaldi’s final series as the Doctor.  In the meantime, we’re preparing to record and to publish two long-advertised new episodes: one covering Series 10, the aforementioned swansong for Doctor Number Approximately Twelve, and one covering the 2017 Christmas Special and the latest regeneration into Jodie Whittaker’s controversially female Doctor Number Approximately Thirteen.  What do you think?

In the meantime, we’ve replaced our failed equipment, we’re getting ready to replace some lost sound files (it’s crushing, isn’t it?), we’re getting lots of rest and drinking lots of fluids, and we hope to be back with a new episode next week.  Stay tuned!

—Original Synopsis—

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in April 2017, our panel – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, and Sarah, while subtracting Amanda and adding CPU! regulars Hilary and Kyle – is Around the Water Cooler and recapping the 2016 Christmas Special of Doctor Who, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” as well as speculating upon Series 10, Peter Capaldi’s last as the titular Doctor. If you haven’t seen the series through the 2016 Christmas Special, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace

Doctor Who: The 2016 Christmas Special, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” and the Series 10 Preview (MAJOR SPOILERS)

couchpotatoesunite

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in April 2017, our panel – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, and Sarah, while subtracting Amanda and adding CPU! regulars Hilary and Kyle – is Around the Water Cooler and recapping the 2016 Christmas Special of Doctor Who, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” as well as speculating upon Series 10, Peter Capaldi’s last as the titular Doctor. If you haven’t seen the series through the 2016 Christmas Special, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below!

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: Doctor Who – “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” Review and the Series 10 Preview (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Doctor Who” airs on cable TV, specifically on BBC America.  Series 10 will premiere on Saturday, April 15, 2017, at 9:00 PM.

What: “Doctor Who,” the long-running British science fiction show about an alien time and space traveler who gallivants across the universe with companions in an effort to save people and/or history and/or the universe itself.  The synopsis changes from Doctor to Doctor, but the above statement pretty much encapsulates all of them.

When: The 2016 Christmas Special, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” aired on December 25, 2016, at 9:00 PM on BBC America.

Where: The show is set literally everywhere in the whole universe at any given time, though not without the Doctor’s ship, the TARDIS, and some face of the man who pilots it.

Why:  Once upon a time (no, not that show), friends of the Chief CP said precisely this: “Why aren’t you watching Doctor Who?!  It’s science fiction, it’s British, it’s everything you love (short of vampires)!  Watch it! Do it!”  I started with the 2005 pilot of “Rose” and kept right on chugging. Now, I’m a fully converted Whovian, with an obsessive eye to both past, as in Classic, Who and the future incarnations of the “Madman in a Box;” I’ve joined a rotating roster of friends who are Whovians in their own right as we meet for another discussion “around the water cooler.” 

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

Welcome to the days leading up to a new season of Doctor Who! True to form, our CPU! “Who” panel of Kristen, Sarah, and Nick – less a panelist Amanda but adding familiar CPU! regulars Hilary and Kyle – plus the Chief CP, reconvened to dissect the 2016 Christmas special, including the stellar and interstellar as well as the parts that should really be exterminated.  We also take time to speculate upon the new companion, Bill (Pearl Mackie), and to guess at who might take over the titular Doctor’s two hearts, as Peter Capaldi made his departure the subject of an official announcement and effective during the 2017 Christmas special.

Give our latest Doctor Who rundown a listen, and tell us what you think in the comments – after all, the average rating of the panel regarding the latest Christmas special hovers around a 5.7.  We have many diverse reactions, though we pretty much agree that this latest entry in the Whoniverse does not wow. Do you agree?  Do you disagree? What are your hopes, fears, and expectations for Peter Capaldi’s (officially) final season as the enigmatic Doctor and his inevitable regeneration?  Can Alex Kingston or John Barrowman or Catherine Tate come back for more, as our original Who panelists continually hope?  What do you want?  What did you like?  What did you hate?  Tell us!  Tell them!

For previous CPU! Doctor Who episodes, check your podcast feeds or click the floating box up right within the header, the picture with the TV watcher, and search for those words!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, a new panel of old favorites gathers together to sing a jaunty tune while Looking Back at divisive tween favorite Glee – it might just be CPU!’s own attempt at a musical episode as we sing around the water cooler.  Or…it might not be. Stay tuned to find out!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions Are the New Questions

1) Is Gallifrey really back?  How is it back?  Is it only in existence at the end of the universe, where the Doctor met Me and Clara?  Or, is the confession dial some sort of inter-dimensional gateway?  Where is Gallifrey in current times and in current universes?  We need clarification.

ANSWER: The Christmas special did not answer this question, so we move it forward into the Series 10 list of questions.

2) Where did Missy go?  Will she be back?

ANSWER: We don’t know for sure where Missy went, but we know she will be back – plus, she’ll be encountering John Simm’s version of the Master from the David Tennant/Tenth Doctor era, as early press has spoiled.  When and how will all this transpire?  We have to wait and see in Series 10 (this question marches forward).

3) Can we see more of the Doctor’s most recent 24-year date with River Song?  The Christmas Special was universally the panel’s favorite episode.

ANSWER: So far, we only got a sideways reference to this glorious happenstance at the end of the 2016 Christmas special.  Our slowly more disappointed realization is that Alex Kingston and River Song may really be done…but we think showing us this 24 year interlude would make for a lovely anniversary special idea…

4) Who will the Doctor’s new companion be?

ANSWER: Her name is Bill, she will be played by Pearl Mackie, and she will be the first openly LGBT character in the Whoniverse.  That’s all we know so far…  Plus, Nardole (Matt Lucas) will be tagging along for awhile, apparently.

5) Stephen Moffat has announced that he will step down as show-runner after Series 10, and Broadchurch’s Chris Chibnall will take his place.  Unofficially, Peter Capaldi has suggested that Series 10 will also be his last as the Doctor.  Who could possibly be the new Doctor?  Feels too soon, doesn’t it?

ANSWER: Whether it’s too soon or not, it’s happening.  The search is on for a new Doctor, and the larger Whoniverse of Earth is wildly speculating – as is the CPU! Doctor Who podcast panel.  Listen to the episode for details (this question marches forward).

6) In the season premiere two-parter, when Davros tricked the Doctor into dosing him with regeneration energy, did that incident affect the Doctor in any way?  How many extra regeneration cycles does the Doctor have right now?

ANSWER: Still a question.  This Christmas special did not address much of the after effects of the Doctor’s last rides with Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), who is now playing Queen Victoria elsewhere.  Nor did it hint at much of his future.  It was very self-contained, in fact. So, this question moves forward.

New Questions

There are none!  “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” was merely an isolated episode whetting everyone’s whistle after a year-long Who absence.  Are your whistles whetted yet?  Get ready!  Allons-y!

PARTING SHOTS

The podcast panel’s reactions were, again, varied and diverse in response to the 2016 Christmas special, though ultimately underwhelmed universally.  One panelist continues to struggle with the 12th Doctor and the writing around him while others are less bothered by the Doctor’s actor but feel that the show during Peter Capaldi’s tenure has not been as engaging as the show during the tenures of David Tennant and/or Matt Smith.  The superhero theme of this Christmas special elicited such wide-ranging reactions of: “I didn’t mind it,” “I didn’t need it,” “It was forced,” “It was exposition heavy and continuity light,” “It was charming,” and “I’m just happy it was back.”  Many of the panelists, who are also on our superhero/comic book adaptation panels, enjoyed the comic book inspired Easter eggs hidden within the episode but also felt that some of the homage bend this episode utilized detracted from the “Doctor Whoness” of it all, given that so many other pop culture vehicles cater to the comic book crowd nowadays.  In any event, the entire panel with the (possible) exception of one and with the moderator and yours truly included, eagerly await the Series 10 premiere this Saturday.  As a reminder, Netflix and Hulu lost the rights to air the new series and the classic series, respectively, while it seems that Amazon Prime was able to pick up the revival series (subscription app Britbox, a joint venture by the BBC and iTV in Britain, offers Classic Who for $6.99 per month).  It continues to be wibbly wobbly and timey wimey in the Whoniverse as we speak!

LOOKING AHEAD

Doctor Who Series 10 premieres this Saturday, April 15, 2017, on BBC America (or BBC Regular, UK side, UK time zones apply).  The Doctor Who CPU! panel will reconvene following the season finale of Series 10.  We will report on reactions to the new series while prognosticating upon any announcements related to the new Doctor and the automatically renewed Series 11 under new executive producer Chris Chibnall, best known as the creator or Broadchurch.  Until then! 😉