The Doctor, the lonely god, last of the Time Lords, comes face to face with his own people and their most evil son, the Master, but manages to avert their disastrous return, seemingly avoiding his foretold death. But Wilf, an ordinary old man present for the final battle, taps on the radiation-filled booth in which he is trapped – fulfilling the prophecy that “he will knock four times”. The Doctor grudgingly saves Wilf, absorbing the fatal radiation, and leaves for a “victory lap” around the Universe, waving a silent goodbye to old friends. Having held back death for so long, his regeneration is explosive, severely damaging the TARDIS and sending it hurtling towards Earth. The new Doctor is youthful, eccentric, enthusiastic and affectionate, but rather more alien than his predecessor, out of touch with human culture and at times feeling all of his 900 plus years. He forms a bond with a young Scottish girl, Amelia Pond, and accidentally binds their entire lives together.
Splendid Chaps is a year-long celebration of Doctor Who‘s fiftieth anniversary: eleven live performances recorded as podcasts in which your brains will be fed, your funny bones tickled, and your hearts opened (yes, both of them!). Our eleventh and final(ish) major episode brings us to the (still) current Doctor, Matt Smith. Splitting fan opinion on his announcement, in part because of his youth and obscurity, he soon won over audiences with a performance influenced by Patrick Troughton. This was also the biggest time of change in the revived show’s history, with not only a new Doctor, but a new production team, headed by fan favourite writer Steven Moffat, bringing a definite new feel to the show.
As Splendid Chaps draws to a close, we want to look forward as well as back, and so we take as our theme the future. The Doctor in the old series and the new has often looked forward in time, whether a few decades, a few centuries, or even millions or billions of years. How has the show depicted the future? Has it tried to be predictive, or to express our hopes and fears? And what of the future of the show itself? With Matt Smith leaving, and Moffat’s time surely also coming to an end, what does the future have in store for Doctor Who?
Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by comedians Justin Hamilton and Stella Young, plus a new song from Keating! composer Casey Bennetto, backed by our house band The Time Lads. Plus there will of course be prizes, surprises, jokes and more; it’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for! (We have a little something extra up our sleeves…)
Space: ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne
Time: Thursday, November 21; recording starts 7 PM
Accessibility: This venue is wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: $15 full, $12 concession, $11 ACMI members (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via ACMI online, or at the ACMI box office (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23rd of November, 2013.