Tube Talk: A new ‘Who’ for you, too

By Paula Hendrickson
Contributing Writer

Ever since the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston, now seen on HBO’s The Leftovers) regenerated into the 10th Doctor (David Tennant, coming to FOX soon in Gracepoint, the U.S. version of his popular BBC series, Broadchurch), Doctor Who has given fans an annual Christmas treat in the form of a special stand-alone episode.

We’ve seen everything from a Christmas invasion to killer snowmen — even a spinning Christmas tree of death. And who can forget the 2010 Whovian take on A Christmas Carol in which Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor accidentally gets engaged to Marilyn Monroe?

The show’s 2013 Christmas special also happened to be Smith’s final episode as The Doctor and Peter Capaldi’s introduction as the 12th Doctor.

While no one likes losing a Doctor, there’s always a bit of excitement surrounding the newest Doctor. What will the new actor add to the iconic character? Will the new Doctor be a mad man, a madcap or a madcap mad man? Will he be awkward or suave, captivating or curmudgeonly? And perhaps least important of all, how will he be attired?

The 12th Doctor was all about the bowties and he loved a silly hat. No. 10 wore Chuck Taylors with dark suits. The fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) was known for his bulky and seemingly endless multi-colored scarf. The worst-dressed Doctor of all Time Lords had to be No. 6 (Colin Baker, no relation to Tom), whose clownish, boldly-colored suit of many colors wouldn’t look good in any universe — unless it happened to be populated entirely by circus clowns.

Thankfully, promo footage shows Capaldi’s Doctor sporting a dapper black three-piece suit with a flash of red lining.

If Peter Capaldi isn’t a familiar name, you’ve probably seen him before, especially if you’re a fan of British TV, where he played the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker on the popular British comedy The Thick of It. Drama fans might notice him as Randall Brown, the new news director of the show-within-the-show on season two of The Hour. He also plays Cardinal Richelieu on The Musketeers, the first season of which recently aired on BBC America. Or maybe you saw him in World War Z.

(Bringing Marilyn Monroe around full circle, earlier in is career, Capaldi played a drag queen murder suspect who liked to dress like Monroe on Helen Mirren’s award-winning Prime Suspect 3.)

When Doctor Who returns Saturday, Aug. 23, we’ll get our first real glimpse of Capaldi’s Doctor in action. Don’t be surprised if his first full episode leaves us with even more questions about our newest Doctor. Even The Doctor’s time-traveling companion, Clara (Jenna Coleman), is bound to question who this new Doctor really is.

Programming notes

BBC America has an all-day Doctor Who event, including the entire previous season, a couple of specials, a 15-minute pre-show leading up to the season premiere at 7:15 p.m., Central, and a live aftershow at 10 p.m. Central — all Saturday, Aug. 23.

The pre-show and after show are hosted by’s Chris Hardwick (also the host of The Walking Dead’s life aftershow, The Talking Dead).

The only non-Who hour of the entire day will be the series premiere of Intruders, a new show from former The X-Files scribe Glen Morgan, starring John Simm (who is also part of the Whoverse, having played The Master in several episodes of Doctor Who) and Mira Sorvino.

Catch every episode of The Simpsons, in order

Starting at 9 a.m., Central, Thursday, Aug. 21, the cable channel FXX (it’s a spin-off of FOX’s FX — Comcast 555; DirectTV 259; and Dish Network 390) will air every single episode (to date) of The Simpsons, in order. It’s undoubtedly the longest TV marathon ever — it ends at midnight Eastern, Sept. 1.

Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Follow her on Twitter at P_Hendrickson and send your suggestions to

Posted Aug. 19, 2014

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