By now, everyone from the most hard-core Doctor Who watchers to the most casual fez-wearing fans have heard the sad, sad news: there will be no new season of the long-running series in 2016, just one lonely Christmas-special episode at the end of the year. While the British sci-fi serial has seen exponentially explosive popularity gains since its revival in 2005, this is hardly the first season in the show’s 50-plus year history in which no new episodes have been forthcoming. This year will be, however, the longest stretch of time in the “modern” era of the show where no new TV content will be presented.
So, what’s a Whovian to do? Whether “your” Doctor is One through Twelve (special shout-out to the select few who might claim the War Doctor as their favorite instead), twelve months is a long time to go without experiencing new adventures of our beloved madman with a box. However, you can now consider yourself luckier than an Adipose in a lard factory: we’ve got you covered with five options to get new Who that are so fabulous, they’d make the Ninth Doctor shout “Fantastic!” Allons-y, my friends, and read on to learn how you can fill that TARDIS-shaped hole in your heart.
1. COMIC BOOKS
Did you know that the fine folks at Titan Comics are pumping out multiple new monthly comic book series, all featuring original stories from 50% of the different incarnations – yes, SIX different Doctors? It’s a true fan’s dream, and a great opportunity to get all-new adventures in what is likely the closest visual medium to TV that audiences are going to see this year. Titan has something for everyone: with Doctors Four, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, and Twelve all having their own ongoing series, there are plenty of modern and classic tales to be told – not to mention appearances by a plethora of fan-favorite characters like Rose Tyler, Sarah Jane Smith, Clara Oswald, and Captain Jack Harkness. All of the series are widely available at comic book shops, as well as at online retailers such as Amazon and digitally via Comixology.
2. AUDIO DRAMAS
If you thought the amount of Doctors featured in the Titan comics was impressive, then hold on to your Time Vortexes: a company called Big Finish has been creating audio productions of brand-new Doctor Who adventures since the mid-1990s, and they’ve managed to present multiple stories featuring every past Doctor (current licensing agreements prohibit them from featuring the current Twelfth Doctor). If that’s not enough for you, Big Finish has been able to recruit almost every living past incarnation of the Doctor to reprise his role; that’s right, you can hear the dulcet tones of Tom Baker (Fourth), Peter Davison (Fifth), Colin Baker (Sixth), Sylvester McCoy (Seventh), Paul McGann (Eighth), John Hurt (War Doctor), David Tennant (Tenth), and Matt Smith (Eleventh), all giving you new adventures of their very own characters. A ridiculously-large slew of companions and secondary characters have come to reprise their roles as well, and Big Finish just announced a new series of audio adventures starring everyone’s favorite time-travelling archaeology professor, Alex Kingston as River Song herself. The audio productions are professionally done and are full-length stories; some are narrated, but most are done in a live-action style with a full cast, sound effects, the whole shebang. You can search the extensive catalog on Big Finish’s website, and many of the audiobooks are available on SoundCloud, iPlayer, and probably your local library.
3. ‘CLASSIC’ WHO
For those of you reading this that started watching Doctor Who after the series was revived for “modern” times in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor, there is a whole world of Who that you likely have never experienced. “Classic” Doctor Who is every bit as engaging and thought-provoking as the newer seasons, and there is a sizable amount of televised content to take in from the time of Doctors One through Eight. Spanning 26 seasons over 33 years, there are a whopping 694 episodes of classic content out there, and that doesn’t even include four charity specials, two animated serials, and one American made-for-TV movie. If you’ve been a modern-only viewer up to this point, you’ll be amazed at how many characters, locations, alien creatures, and references you’ll recognize in the old-school stuff. Classic Doctor Who is widely available for purchase online, including streaming on Amazon, and your local library should have a substantial collection of the DVDs at pretty much every branch – happy hunting!
For those of you who love to spend hours poring over a good book – whether you find them by scouring a used-book store or simply turning on your eReader – Doctor Who has got what you need in this department as well. Whether you want standard Doctor-and-companion adventures in prose form or something a little more off the beaten path (Doctor Who mad libs? Coloring books? Gallifreyan Fairy Tales? A how-to guide to becoming a Time Lord?), it’s all available for fans of the printed medium. All incarnations of the Doctor have works written about them; it’s just a matter of tracking them down. Almost all of the DW paraphernalia in book form is officially licensed and produced by the BBC, but much of it has gone out of print over the years. Regardless, there is a plethora of items available online at Amazon and BBC’s website, and you can have your very own space-and-time adventure if you’re brave enough to spend a few hours poking around a physical book store or a secondhand-retailer website like eBay or GoodReads.
If you’re a gamer, whether of the video or tabletop variety, the powers-that-be of the Doctor Who universe have your back in this area as well. The BBC website has featured a game on its site since last year called “Doctor Who: Game Maker,” which features the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald, as well as several high-profile villains such as The Silence, Mire, The Master, Weeping Angels, Sontarans, Cybermen, and Daleks. From the Apple App Store and Google Play, mobile and tablet users can download “Doctor Who: Legacy,” a puzzle/adventure style game that features several incarnations of the Doctor in addition to tons of former companions and alien races. On the tabletop/board game front, the licensing gurus have produced Doctor Who copies of Clue, Monopoly, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit, among others. There is also an RPG game and a card game, both of which feature several different incarnations of the Doctor; there are also original games such as the “Time of the Daleks” board game and a “Dalek Dice” game. These games can all be purchased online, and it’s likely that your local toy and gaming shops can order them for you as well.
There you have it, Who-heads, lots of great stuff featuring all-new (or at minimum, new to you) adventures of the galaxy’s greatest Time Lord. While it’s certainly not ideal for us to have to wait until 2017 for the next new season of the show, at least there are options out there to keep us saying “Geronimo!” all the way until the destruction of Earth in the year 5 Billion – which is how long it may feel for some of us until new episodes of Doctor Who really do come back on television.
If Tony Schaab could be the captain of any Federation vessel, it would almost assuredly be the Enterprise-C, because who doesn’t love a good recumbent time loop? A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Facebook and Twitter to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.