At a time when productions across the pop culture landscape have been shuttered and millions find themselves at home in social distancing, self-isolating situations. It hasn't been the easiest time for a whole lot of folks, but if you're a Doctor Who fan then you know there's been a steady flow of "geek relief" that's been happening nearly every week. Doctor Who Magazine writer and BBC Radio producer Emily Cook has coordinated a number of global rewatch events that have attracted the likes of Steven Moffat, Russell T. Davies, David Tennant, Karen Gillian, and more to take part in live-tweeting the rewatches. If having the cast and creative teams behind the episode offering their behind-the-scenes insight weren't good enough, there's the bonus material released around each episode that makes these events the kind of gift that keeps on giving.
Last week's global rewatch of 2005's "Dalek" is a perfect example: Andrew Ireland wrote and directed a new prologue for the episode entitled "Sven and the Scarf" that introduced Adam Mitchell's predecessor at GeoComTex, Sven (Leo Flanagan). Following the rewatch, episode writer Robert Shearman released script extracts from Shearman's early drafts showing there were other "old monsters" being considered for the series' revival.
Which means that it was only a matter of time before the "And This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" crowd decided to take to social media to pushback on these "lockdown" events for what they believe is a disrespect being shown the older episodes that aired prior to the show going into hibernation. Interestingly, the complaints have a range of implications, from Cook deliberately looking to disrespect the older Doctor Who episodes to her only promoting the newer episodes because she's being manipulated by either the BBC or Doctor Who Magazine (or both).
Cook finally took to Twitter to answer the charges, emphasizing once again that she's not acting on behalf of any corporate entity and putting these events together because (perish the thought) she's a fan and thought other fans would enjoy them. As much as we'd like to rattle off about a dozen points in support of Cook and all of the hard work she's put in and continues to put in for these events, it's best to leave it to author Neil Gaiman. and the very excellent point he makes about people needing to spend less time complaining and more time actually doing.
The Doctor Who Lockdown continues this week with another "modern classic" episode, this time a look at the 10th Doctor's "The Girl in the Fireplace", which finds the Doctor meeting Madame de Pompadour in pre-revolutionary France. To mark the 14th anniversary of the episode's original air date, the global rewatch is set for Wednesday, May 6, at 7 pm British Standard Time (2 pm US East Coast Time) and will feature writer and former showrunner Steven Moffat and actress Sophia Myles (Reinette) live-tweeting. Moffat will also release the new bonus short "Pompadour", featuring Myles reprising the Reinette role for the first time in 14 years.