Wednesday’s “ghost story for Christmas” news

Doctor Who


  • Adam Brody and Greta Gerwig to star in Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress
  • Luke Evans, Alice Eve join John Cusack in The Raven
  • Paramount acquires Out of Range


British TV

  • Downton Abbey gets a second series
  • BBC drama chief Ben Stephenson questions Sky’s commitment to homegrown drama, proves even more ignorant of US TV production than before
  • Aardman profits halve
  • John Hurt to star in remake of Whistle and I’ll Come To You for BBC2 at Christmas
  • Channel 4 and BBC bosses write letter to the government about News International’s takeover of Sky


  • Mark Carroll

    I do hope we get a bit of explanation sometime about any change in regeneration limit. Even our kids are well-aware of it, given that they’ve watched all the “original” series we’ve been able to get our hands on. The now-fairly-rich backstory does add something to the show. Or, at least, could.

  • SK

    I hope we get at least as much explanation as was given the first time they changed the Doctor’s status from ‘immortal, barring accidents’ to ‘Time Lords can only regenerate twelve times.’

  • MediumRob

    I imagine it’ll be a throwaway jokey line and easily manageable as “the Doctor lies” if necessary. But the evolution from “immortal barring accidents” to 13 lives is still fine. If you think William Hartnell’s Doctor was 750 or so (guesses) before his body gave out, that’s 13×750 years of life, and who knows how long other bodies after the first one can last. It’s practically immortal. Getting rid of something so well quantified and that’s been used as major plot points in Mawdryn Undead, Trial of a Timelord and Deadly Assassin is a lot harder (although since new cycles can be granted by the Time Lords, Rassilon, etc, it’s not something that can’t be done).

  • SK

    ‘Practically immortal’ is like ‘fairly unique’, isn’t it? 13 x 750 is still under ten thousand years, which is not very like immortal.
    The ‘immortal’ thing was never used as a plot point, it’s true, but my point was that the old series never felt any need to give ‘explanations’ for these things: it just declared what was now the case and went on with the story.

  • My understanding is that it is throwaway: and I have no problem with that. An explanation is nice, but everyone knows that whatever is done there will be some aspects of fandom who will complain bitterly, and others who will use the fan-fic to ‘explain’ it their way.
    let it be.