Doctor Who References in the Arrowverse

Since the beginning of the television series, Arrow, the CW’s DC shows have referenced the long-running BBC television show, Doctor Who on a fairly regular basis. These are references from the 2016-2017 seasons of Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and The Flash.

Casting

Arrow and the rest of the CW’s Arrowverse has featured many former Doctor Who actors, including Colin Salmon as Walter Steele in Arrow, Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter in Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow and The Flash, John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn in Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, and Alex Kingston as Dinah Lance in Arrow. The most amusing of these is, of course, Arthur Darvill who played the companion Rory Williams to Matt Smith’s Doctor, and who now leads his own merry band of time travelers in Legends.

Legends of Tomorrow References

Corrupt Time Masters and Villainous Time Lords

The first season of Legends of Tomorrow featured the Time Masters, a group who are supposed to be guardians of time, but as the season progresses are shown to be corrupt. On Doctor Who, the Doctor is a Time Lord who escaped his own planet, Gallifrey. In the Classic series, when the Doctor met other Time Lords, such as the Meddling Monk, the Master, the Rani, or the War Chief, they were often villains. When the Doctor returned to Gallifrey, he, more often than not uncovered corruption at the heart of his own society. Even when the Doctor was put on trial by his own people, the Doctor ended up uncovering corruption and conspiracy and challenging it. When the new series started, Gallifrey was simply no more, destroyed in the Time War. Over the ten-plus years of the New Series, we have learned more about that conflict, but the tendency for corruption of power on Gallifrey certainly hasn’t stopped. There is, then, a certain resemblance between the corruption Rip Hunter uncovers at the heart of the Time Masters and the corruption the Doctor faces on Gallifrey every so often.

Where have We Seen This Before?

In the second season of Legends of Tomorrow, the Waverider has a new computer console. This six-sided console looks very similar to the TARDIS console.

This is especially true when you consider the TARDIS console room is redesigned on a regular basis on Doctor Who.

Lily – Second Doctor Cosplayer?

In the second season of Legends of Tomorrow due to Martin Stein meeting his younger self, when he returns to the present he meets his daughter – Lily Stein. Previously, Martin and his wife, Clarice had no children. Now, they have a brilliant daughter, a physicist named, Lily. Lily, though with her black string ties, white shirts, and black jackets or cardigans dresses more like the Second Doctor than she dresses like the other intelligent women on the CW shows, such as Caitlin, Felicity, Kara, or Sara.

Rip Hunter – Missing in Time with an Personality Over-Write

In the second season of Legends of Tomorrow, Rip Hunter is missing in time. When the Legends find him, his personality has been hidden and over-written as a form of protection. Because of this he doesn’t know who he really is (he thinks he’s a film student), nor does he recognize the Legends.

This is eerily similar to the final three episodes of Series 3 of Doctor Who, in which the Master as played by Sir Derek Jacobi has hidden his personality inside a pocket watch to hide himself from the Time Lords. With his personality hidden – he doesn’t remember being the Master or even being a Time Lord – he thinks he is a scientist. When the watch is opened, not only does he remember being the Master, he regenerates into John Simm.

Rip Hunter also remembers but is immediately captured by the Legion of Doom and re-programmed to do their bidding.

Legends of Tomorrow – Curiously American Doctor Who?

Of course, the entire premise of Legends of Tomorrow, that of a group of Time Travelers out to preserve history and prevent or reverse aberrations in the timeline, does in many ways remind one of Doctor Who. Now, for much of it’s history the Doctor and his companions have treated history as a prime vacation spot – but also as the “foreign country that’s a nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there”. In other words, the Doctor and his companions neither set out to change history nor set out specifically as a goal to stop others from changing history. Nevertheless, a frequent plot in Doctor Who is that someone or something is out, deliberately or merely by their presence, to change history and the Doctor must stop it. Certainly, Daleks invading London in the 1980s would have an effect on history for example. So the ability to interfere, to change history, or in some cases to not change history, are frequent plot threads in Doctor Who.

Supergirl References

Starry Night

In the Supergirl episode, “Star-Crossed”, Winn’s alien girlfriend frames him for stealing the painting, Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. Starry Night also featured heavily in the Doctor Who episode, “Vincent and the Doctor”. Although Vincent Van Gogh and Starry Night are both famous, so it is perhaps not surprising that on Supergirl, Winn would be framed for stealing that particular painting. But the show could have had any Old Masters painting stolen for plot purposes or it could have been a modern painting as well (and in many ways, modern art would have suited the plot better). That “Starry Night” was chosen seems like a deliberate reference.

Single Combat for the Planet

In the two-part season 2 finale of Supergirl, she challenges Rhea “for the planet” as a way of stopping the Queen of Daxam from conquering Earth. In David Tennant’s first episode, “The Christmas Invasion”, the Doctor (David Tennant), having discovered the invading force are using “blood control” to control and threaten a fourth of the population of Earth, challenges the aliens to single combat – “for the planet”. The Doctor wins his fight against the aliens. Supergirl eventually defeats Rhea, despite Rhea using Kryptonite against Kara. However, Rhea doesn’t accept defeat and calls in her guards.

The Doctor Who plot point of “blood control”, is very similar to the way Myriad is used in the first season of Supergirl to control National City citizens.

The Flash References

“It’s like one of those scientific romances by that Wells, chappie”

The claim to fame for HR Wells in Season 3 of The Flash is that he is a writer of “scientific romances”. This is the exact term used for HG Wells’ writing in “Pyramids of Mars” and “Time Lash”. HG Wells is mentioned fairly often on Classic Doctor Who. Also, having a character named HR Wells – just saying.

Savitar’s Back-up Plan

After HR Wells sacrifices himself to save Iris West, Savitar has another brief plan that he describes to Barry: he will split himself across all time and these splinters will rule time and incidentally destroy Barry’s life. In the classic Tom Baker episode, “City of Death”, Scaroth – last of the Jagaroth, has been split across time after his spaceship crash lands. Because these different versions of Scaroth are in contact with each other mentally they make money by having copies of priceless cultural works made back in time and hidden to sell later. For example, he has Leonardo Da Vinci paint six copies of the Mona Lisa. Although Savitar isn’t able to attempt his back-up plan – it sounds like it was inspired by Scaroth.

When All Else Fails – Reverse the Polarity of the Neutron Flow

In the season finale, as Cisco is trying to get the satellite and computer systems working after an explosion at Star Labs, he says, “Hey Wally, Can you reverse the polarity on the neutron flow?” This references the Third Doctor catch phrase to “reverse the polarity of the neutron flow”. It is a brilliant nod.

Paradoxes Take Time to Set

In The Flash, once Iris is saved, Cisco and Barry discuss that it will take time for the change to catch-up to them. This plot point gives Savitar a little bit of last-minute time to try and save himself. None of Savitar’s last-ditch efforts succeed, and he disappears from existence. In Doctor Who, especially during Matt Smith’s time as the Doctor – time continues to be malleable for a short period before becoming fixed. On the other hand, important details in time are often referred to as “fixed points” especially by David Tennat’s Doctor. This fluidity of time, where time paradoxes act more like a wave taking time to reach the shore rather than being instantaneous, is also seen in Legends of Tomorrow Season 2.

Doctor Who references in Arrow, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and The Flash are pretty common and range from actors from the British series appearing on the Arrowverse shows, to quotes, to plotlines. But I do not feel the Arrowverse is copying Doctor Who, rather, it adds to the fun.

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Adding My Book and Graphic Novel Reviews – Update 5

I have now cross-posted all my reviews from GoodReads to my blog here on WordPress. It’s been quite a project. But I completed it! I’ve also gotten a lot of likes from others on WordPress along the way, found new followers, and found new blogs to follow – for that I am profoundly grateful. Book reviews are popular – who knew?

Never fear though – this is an open-ended project so it isn’t really the end. I will continue to review at least one Big Finish audio play per week, and at least one graphic novel per week. I actually have a new audio and a graphic novel to review on my desk right now. I’ll also post my book reviews as they happen. I like GoodReads and it makes for an excellent reading journal, so I will still post new reviews there first, and I will then cross-post the reviews here to WordPress within a day or two.

I’m currently reading the second book in the Doctor Who Timewyrm mini-series that starts of the New Adventures. I’ve started the Doctor Who New Adventures books, so expect reviews of those as I read them. I’ve also found through reading and copyediting my own reviews that I miss reading the typical “English cozy” style of mystery, so expect reviews of those too. I will also continue to post reviews of various television series box sets. And I want to get back to reviewing movies because it’s been awhile. So there shouldn’t suddenly be a lack of content.

I’m also want to fit reviewing movies back in to my schedule. I’ve been watching my backlog of those too, usually one, and on my weekend – because with my schedule I don’t have any other time to do it. However, many of the films I have on DVD or Blu-Ray to watch I have never seen before, or I have and it’s been years, or even if I saw the film recently in the theater, I still want to watch it once without interruption before watching and reviewing. My mindset for watching and enjoying a film is slightly different than for watching and reviewing it. Still, it’s something that I want to get back to.

So even though in a sense this project is now complete – it’s open-ended too. Again, I sincerely appreciate the likes and new follows, and I welcome comments too. Thank you all!

Nightwing New Movie – Who should Direct?

Warner Brothers adding a new Nightwing movie to the DCEU has gone from rumor to something that will definitely happen, even if we don’t know precisely when it will happen. That’s okay, I’m patient, and it’s about time that the general populace got a chance to meet grown-up Dick Grayson – the man comics fans know, who is no longer running around in short green pants. So, naturally I’ve been following the news on-line about the film.

Director Promises a Nightwing Film of Action and Heart

But reading about the film, while it sounds promising, I found the following quote, well, disturbing,

“It’s gonna be a fucking badass action movie with a lot of heart and emotion,” McKay told Collider.

and not just because of the language. While Nightwing is a strong character, there is more to him than that, and he’s also the antithesis of the “beat-up now ask questions later” superhero. Dick Grayson’s greatest strength is his compassion, not his physical abilities. It’s what sets him apart from Batman. It’s what in a very real sense caused Dick to quit being Robin, attend college, date Barbara Gordan, then move to Blüdhaven to be his own man and develop his own hero, Nightwing.

I’d prefer a female director for Nightwing. The character is over-whelmingly popular with female comics readers and female fans, and not simply because of Dick Grayson’s looks or assets filling out his costume. Furthermore, Nightwing’s popularity with women is something that happened organically – suddenly Nightwing was a book that in all it’s guises was being read by women (versions such as the original Chuck Dixon Nightwing series from the 90s, New 52’s Nightwing and later, Grayson, and the current Rebirth Nightwing).

It isn’t simply Dick’s handsome looks, or his butt, or his incredible physical skill and agility that make women “swoon” for the character – Dick Grayson is a character who cares for others, and uses his skills to help them – in long-lasting, impactful ways, whether that’s with his money, or saving someone, or putting a dangerous criminal in jail, or simply being a good listener – to other members of the Bat Family, to his friends, even to strangers. Batman may save a city, Superman may save the planet, Oracle may supply the information the Justice League needs to understand what a villain is trying to do – but Dick Grayson will take the time to stop his landlady from losing her apartment building and home after an earthquake, or help a friend get into medical school on a scholarship, or listen to Tim Drake as he tries to figure out his life, or even stop to give a hurt child a teddybear.

Dick Grayson is a natural carer – and that’s probably a reason that a lot of women like him. So why not let a woman direct the Nightwing film? I will see it either way, and I’m sure Chris McKay will be great (I loved The Lego Batman Movie – I really did) but Patty Jenkins knocked it out of the park with Wonder Woman, and the film saved Warners this Summer. So why not do something different. Why not hire a woman?

 

 

 

Adding My Book and Graphic Novel Reviews – Update 4

Wow, this has been one of my most successful blogging mini-projects, something I’m both proud of and grateful for! I am now caught up on my fiction Doctor Who reviews. My Doctor Who backlog from GoodReads, in terms of fiction reviews (books, graphic novels, Big Finish audios) has now all been cross-posted to WordPress. My GoodReads pages includes all my Doctor Who books, except some of my older, collectible, non-fiction that may have never been added to my account. Anyway, since I have been collecting for so long, many of the books that I have and have read, weren’t reviewed because I read them years before getting a GoodReads account. I will, though continue to post reviews of new Doctor Who books first to GoodReads and then cross-post them here. I have three e-books from the Missing Doctor Adventures line (published by Virgin Publishing) to read and review. I have a lot from Big Finish to listen to and review – both classics that I have listened to before, and new purchases. I also have some Big Finish lines besides Doctor Who, such as the Sarah Jane Smith series, Sapphire and Steel, a few Sherlock Holmes audio plays, the new HG Wells audio play series, and Gallifrey. And I also have the Virgin Publishing New Adventures line (7th Doctor), and the BBC Books Eighth Doctor line (much of which I have read at least once – though with e-books I can now read the entire line from the beginning). And, since it’s obviously a main interest for me – I no doubt will continue to add to my collection. I also recently picked up several new volumes in Titan Comics’ Doctor Who lines, so I have those on my to-be-read shelf.

In terms of graphic novels, I have a few more reviews in my back log to cross-post from GoodReads. I also have a fairly large stack in my to-be-read pile. Also, like Doctor Who, DC Comics, especially Batman has been a major interest of mine for years. I added my entire graphic novel collection to GoodReads a few years ago, but many of the older ones do not have reviews. Besides adding newer books, I have it in my head to re-read some of the classics as well as my favorites and review them.

Finally, but certainly not least, I’d like to thank, and I mean this sincerely, everyone who has read and liked my reviews. Every once it awhile it feels like I’m simply throwing my blog entries in to the great void. The likes mean a lot. Likes and comments are always welcome. So, thank you very much my readers!

Adding My Book and Graphic Novel Reviews – Update 3

I have just cross-posted my last fiction Doctor Who book review from GoodReads to my WordPress blog. That isn’t to say that I have published reviews of every Doctor Who book, or even every Doctor Who book I’ve read or everything that I have reviewed on GoodReads. I still have a few of the Doctor Who Missing Adventures published by Virgin Publishing to read, and I am reading an e-book version of one of those now. I also have, in paperback, most of the Doctor Who New Adventures (from Virgin Publishing) featuring the Seventh Doctor and initially Ace, then later new companions such as Dr. Bernice Summerfield (whom I’m pretty sure is the basis for Dr. River Song) and Roz. I read some of those years ago, but I intend to re-read the entire series in order, and I have the e-books for the ones that I’m missing. I also have pretty much the entire run of the BBC Books Eighth Doctor series – I’ve read many of them (see list on GoodReads), and I have the e-books for the first 20 or so that I don’t have in paperback. And then there’s the New Series Adventures books, also from BBC Books, so there is still plenty of Doctor Who tie-in fiction to read.

I will continue to cross-post my book reviews though. I have reviews of many of the Big Finish audio plays and Companion Chronicles audio books. I have many non-fiction book reviews of books about Doctor Who. And, I have reviews of other books to cross-post, so there is plenty to continue to cross-post. As always, reviews get posted to GoodReads first, which I am keeping as a chronological reading journal, whereas here on this blog I am posting by topic for the most part. I’ve also read the entire BBC Past Doctor Adventures line, though most before I discovered GoodReads so I don’t have reviews at the ready. I may very well re-read some of my favorites to then review and post. I am also continuing to post my graphic novel reviews, and I may very well re-read some of my classic graphic novels to review and post. So there is plenty of content to be posted.

This project is going well, internet problems aside. I also appreciate the likes, new followers, and comments. Thank you all!

Oh, and by the way, I also want to get back to my movie and TV series on DVD/Blu-Ray reviews. My schedule limits my time on that project, however, I’m trying to at least watch a movie from my “to-be-watched” shelf every weekend, and I hope to get myself organized enough to review them as well. I don’t want to abandon the project.

Adding My Book and Graphic Novel Reviews – Update 2

The project to add my already-written book and graphic novel reviews from GoodReads is going well. I spent this weekend adding bibliographic information from my graphic novels. Needless to say, I have a lot of graphic novels, which are currently stored in stacked, plastic boxes. Finding a particular book, therefore can be a bit hard. However, I want to make sure the best information possible is included. I post these reviews in the morning, before work, adding a photo-header, categories, and tags. I’m also checking the HTML and line spacing and fixing any typos that I happen to spot. I don’t want to slow down the one book and one graphic novel post per day rate, so what I’m going to do for now is put in the information I have, and update it on the weekend, when I can search for the books. It should only be five graphic novels that will need to have their bibliographic information block updated at the end of the week.

Second, I wasn’t sure what information would be most useful for the information block. I’m including artists in a single line, including the letterer, inker, penciler, etc. Should this information be broken out by job description? Some of my older graphic novels aren’t very specific or detailed about credits. Yet, I want the information to be as accurate and helpful as possible. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

And again, thank you all for your likes, it means a lot to me. Feel free to post comments and questions as well.

Free Comic Book Day 2017

Free Comic Book Day 2017 was Saturday May 6th, 2017. I went with a friend of mine and we arrived probably around 11:00 am. So there was a long line that wrapped around the corner. However, it was still an excellent event. There were cosplayers, and Vault of Midnight, my local comics shop, had their side walk activity area with vendors, artists, and kids activities. This year there was even a food truck! Once inside the store was less packed solid than last year – making it even easier to get to the free comics on the back wall as well as to look around the store for other items to purchase. This year we were allowed to choose four free promo books. I also picked-up my weekly pull list comics and inquired about a Doctor Who graphic novel that was missing from my collection. It is to the credit of the excellent staff at Vault of Midnight that even as busy as they were, they were still willing to check on a special order for me.

On to the comics, this year I picked-up four free comics, all tie-ins by chance. I picked up: Titan’s Four Doctors FCBD event issue; IDW’s Star Trek the Next Generation Mirror Broken; Archie Comics Betty and Veronica (a tie-in to Riverdale, somewhat), and DC’s Wonder Woman.

I’m going to start by discussing Wonder Woman. I picked this free promo comic up thinking it would be a tie-in to this Summer’s Wonder Woman movie. However, I was a bit disappointed because it’s actually a re-print of Wonder Woman Rebirth #1, which I have already read. In fact, Wonder Woman has been on my pull list since Rebirth started. Also, with two volumes of Wonder Woman Rebirth available in graphic novel format – it’s probably something that a lot of people have read since it’s included in the first Wonder Woman Rebirth Graphic Novel. That’s the negative. The positive is – I re-read the comic anyway and I really enjoyed it. As much as I enjoy Rebirth, and I do, Wonder Woman and Green Arrow have been the hardest lines for me to “get in to” so to speak. I finally dropped Green Arrow (I applaud the extremely brave social commentary of Green Arrow – but I found I couldn’t connect to Oliver and it always ended-up at the bottom of the stack when I was reading my books.) Wonder Woman is also teetering on the edge of being dropped from my pull – though I’d probably get the graphic novels instead. With two completely different storylines, Wonder Woman is really hard to follow month to month, especially if one isn’t that familiar with her storyline and background in the comics. But having said all that, I re-read this, the first issue of Wonder Woman Rebirth, and I found I really enjoyed it. Having read the bi-weekly book for about a year, I had a slightly better idea what was going on. If you haven’t read the new Wonder Woman, I do recommend it, I just feel the graphic novels are an easier format for enjoying the stories.

Betty and Veronica I picked up as a tie-in to Riverdale, the new series on the CW that’s based on Archie Comics. This story was fun, and full of surprises. It’s narrated by J. Farnsworth Wigglebottom III (a.k.a Hot Dog) Jughead’s dog. The dog speaks directly to the audience and is amusing and fun as he both narrates and comments on the action. Wigglebottom even “eats” two pages of the comic and then has Betty and Veronica giving exposition instead – in swimsuits. There’s a fair amount of humor in the book too. The story involves a national coffee chain buying out and closing down Pop’s the diner where the kids hang out. Betty is angered by this and rallies everyone to save Pop’s. When she discovers that Veronica’s father owns the coffee company, and the bank that holds Pop’s mortgage, Betty explodes at Veronica – and the issue ends there. The back of the book includes informative advertisements for Archie Comics, including the “new Archie”, and a Riverdale tie-in. There are also character portraits from Riverdale. Overall, I enjoyed this. The story is somewhat basic, one of the characters even comments that threats of Pop’s closing seem to happen a lot. But the breaking of the fourth wall, and the humor, make this an enjoyable read. Betty and Veronica and the other newer Archie comic books make for an excellent comic for teens and children, filled with Americana and a slightly old-fashioned bent.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken is a return trip to the Next Gen Mirror Universe. This story follows Lt. Barclay’s Mirror Universe double. I have always like Lt. Barclay and his Mirror Universe counterpart is tough, capable, and definitely shaped by the circumstances of his universe. In the Mirror universe, the Empire is breaking down, having suffered catastrophic wars with the Klingons and the Cardassians – Spock’s era of reform is over, resulting in an even more ruthless attitude within the Terran Empire – or what’s left of it. Assassination is still the only means of advancement, something we forget as we see Barclay contemplating getting out of engineering and into a “better” life. I liked the focus on a single character with basically a concluded story in this promo book. It’s also a good intro to the ST:TNG Mirror Universe comic, and the write-up for that series promises to be very character-focused, introducing a character per issue before any major plot. That’s the type of writing I like in comics – focus on character, and character interaction as well as world-building. The plots should always add to this. But when mere “action” takes over, without character being explored – the stories can fall flat. This issue of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Mirror Universe comic emphasizes character, and a relatively minor one at that (Barclay) and I enjoyed it. The last pages of the book explain three other available series from IDW, with three sample pages of each one. They are Star Trek – Boldly Go, which follows on from the reboot Star Trek films, taking place just after Star Trek Beyond. The second is Star Trek / Green Lantern. And the third is, Star Trek – Waypoint. Star Trek – Waypoint is an anthology series featuring all the various versions of Trek, though the sample issue seems to be set in a future version of Trek (Data has been uploaded to the Enterprise and is now the ship’s computer, though he projects holograms of himself to various duty stations.) all three of these series looked pretty good, and I actually plan on looking for a graphic novel version of the ST/GL crossover series. The art in this book (and the sample pages) is also very good, with a lovely painted look that’s has a dark undertone that’s appropriate for the Mirror universe. The color palettes for the sample pages fit the various versions of Trek they represent. If you are a Star Trek fan, check out IDW’s comic series – you won’t be disappointed, I think.

Doctor Who – The Promise (Four Doctors, FCBD 2017) begins, appropriately enough with teh Twelfth Doctor and Bill running on an alien planet. They find an ancient temple and enter, using YMCA as the visual key lock. The Doctor locates a fob watch, but it’s broken. He and Bill tell the local aliens a story and prevent a civil war. In the TARDIS, Bill asks the Doctor to tell her the real story and he tells her about his friend, Plex. The story flashes back to when the Ninth Doctor has to break the bad news to the hermit, Plex, that his entire planet has been destroyed. Plex then reveals to the Doctor he’s producing clones from his own stem cells and siphoned Time Lord Arton energy. The Tenth Doctor visits Plex when he dies, where he sees a hologram from his friend, who sends him to the planet of the clones. The Tenth Doctor has t “fixing” the overly deferential nature of the race of alien clones. The Eleventh Doctor awakens Plex, who becomes the leader of his re-united planet. Though as the Twelfth Doctor tells Bill, he’s afraid the society will break down again. This is a pretty good story, though it’s a bit hard to follow at times, since the different Doctors visit Plex at different times in his life – and nothing occurs in linear order. The back of the promo book includes a very handy catalog of Titan’s various Doctor Who graphic novels and specials. The art is excellent, and colorful in this book.