All of the Doctors as of August 2013

The Twelfth Doctor – Peter Capaldi

It’s hard to believe that it has been only a short while since the twelfth doctor was announced, and even though we have yet to see him on screen, Peter Capaldi feels like ‘The Current Doctor’ now, with Matt Smith biding his time until the change – how nice it would be if the casting could be a secret until the regeneration.

What did I want from the twelfth doctor? I wanted an older doctor – with Tennant/Smith the pendulum had swung too far in the ‘young’ direction. Yes, Smith was great at playing the "old man in a young man’s body", but that wasn’t a game to keep playing. I also wanted there to be a step away from the ‘romance in a box’ that the new series keeps reverting to – and I’m pleased to see that with Capaldi.

I’m not going to get into the arguments of ‘should the Doctor be female/black/ginger…?’ As regards the twelfth, the die is cast. What do I want to see with the twelfth incarnation?

First and foremost, I want a solid, full season of ‘Who’, I want Capaldi to have time to ‘bed in’. Then I want another series after that, and after that… and so on. These split seasons are just ghastly for, what is by any stretch, the flagship production of the BBC and the show with the greatest international recognition. I want Capaldi to have a decent run, with the split seasons it does feel like Smith has only just arrived and is leaving about a season too early. I want a generation to be able to look to Capaldi and say ‘he was my Doctor’.

I want Capaldi to meet River, just the once, I want to see that dynamic (though I still don’t understand how eleven suddenly went from gallavanting with River to mourning her loss, with no obvious on screen event to mark the divide).

I want to see any Moffat loose ends tidied up, and I’d like to see an acknowledgement that the production team are thinking ahead to, what under classic lore, is the doctors final regeneration (or death, if John Hurt counts as a regeneration) – after all, there can only be thirteen Doctors. I can think of several ways to address this, either with a throwaway line (‘Now the time lords are gone, I don’t think there is a limit…’) or something large (Resurrecting Gallifrey, somehow resetting the clock). I’d hate to see them just ignore the issue, or leave it so late that the hand was forced.

I hate to say it, but I think it could well be time for a new show-runner. We owe a lot to Moffat, not least is that under his tenure the show has really grown on the international market (a road started upon by RTD). The first and second seasons of Matt Smith’s doctor was fantastic (though the crack thing was a bit odd). The ‘split season 7′, though it had great bits within it, fell a bit flat. With Capaldi bedded into the role, I want to see a show-runner who can devote himself to the job, it seems that Moffat’s time is divided between several roles (not least of which is ‘Sherlock’).

Mostly, I want Capaldi to be one of the great doctors, to be the modern day Tom Baker.

Six Nations 2013 – Week 5

The big game of the weekend was Wales vs England in Cardiff. This would decide the championship.

A win from England would secure the Grand Slam, a win from Wales would upset England’s applecart, and a good win from Wales would take England’s applecart, puree it, and use it to season the hog roast of the Millenium stadium.

The game was, unfortunately, the last of these options. The first half was a fairly tight affair, and though Wales pulled ahead 3-9, there wasn’t much in it. A moment or two could have turned the tables – the second half, though, was an entirely different affair. It was a rout, Wales had soaked up any pressure that England had applied, and then came back strong, making several good runs of play as the scoreline built. A penalty from Leigh Halfpenny at about ten minutes in the second half was followed five minutes later by a try when England lost the ball at the breakdown and Alex Cuthbert ran it in for a try in the corner. The next ten minutes saw a couple of missed kicks, and then a drop goal from Dan Biggar saw the score reach 20-3 with 15 minutes on the clock. 17 points with 15 minutes left is a big ask… and the situation was made more dire almost immediately made worse for England when Cuthbert scores again. A conversion saw Wales 27-3 up.

The penalty with ten minutes left was the final nail in the coffin of England’s grand slam hopes.

It was a thoroughly deserved win for Wales.

The other games of the day saw France avoid the wooden spoon by beating Scotland 23-16, and a good show from Italy as they beat Ireland, 23-15. With Ireland and France in 5th and 6th respectively, we’ve a real mixed results table.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 Wales 5 4 0 1 122 66 8
2 England 5 4 0 1 94 78 8
3 Scotland 5 2 0 3 98 107 4
4 Italy 5 2 0 3 75 111 4
5 Ireland 5 1 1 3 72 81 3
6 France 5 1 1 3 73 91 3
Table Built : 2013, March 17 (Sunday) at 07:03am GMT

(Note: Unsportsmanlike comments will likely be deleted)

Six Nations – Week 4

Following yesterdays games, the six nations are gearing up for a tight finish. Though England is the only team on for a Grand Slam, the championship is not yet won. Wales have a chance of victory, especially with an Italian win vs England today.

Regardless of the result against Italy today, next week is crunch-time.

Should Italy win today, the Grand Slam dream is over, but a win against Wales will see England raise the cup on the 16th. Gloom is over this week, and a win sees happy faces…. however, by the same token, Wales could get it.

Should England win today against Italy, Wales need to beat England by a margin (yet to be determined) in order to raise the trophy. Should they beat England by a lesser margin, the trophy will be English, but the English will no doubt feel disappointed. Should England beat the welsh, it will be a grand slam.

What do I think will happen?

  1. I expect England to have a tough time against Italy, winning the game, but giving a scare in the process
  2. For the Wales game, I expect this to be a real challenge, no surprises there, and can imagine Wales coming out strong, gaining an early lead, and for England to be under the kosh at the start of the game. I’m hoping for an English win, but I fear that Wales may pip them. If life were a storybook, I’d expect a Welsh win in the game, but an English win in the championship – and thus gloomy faces all round!
Team P W D L F A PTS
1 England 3 3 0 0 73 37 6
2 Wales 4 3 0 1 92 63 6
3 Scotland 4 2 0 2 82 84 4
4 Ireland 4 1 1 2 57 59 3
5 Italy 3 1 0 2 42 78 2
6 France 4 0 1 3 50 75 1
Table Built : 2013, March 10 (Sunday) at 07:03am GMT

Aviva Premiership 2012-13 – Irish vs Wasps

My team, Wasps, haven’t had a fun few years – at times it’s looked a bit of a struggle, and there were a few times when I was more concerned with the bottom of the table than the top. At the moment it’s all looking more hopeful.

Wasps have a game in hand (playing today away at London Irish) having put in some good performances of late, winning away at Quins, and again at home against Gloucester). A losing bonus (losing by 7 or less) would put us in fourth place, a win with a bonus would see us in third. It’s been the first time in a few years that we’ve been in contention for a place in the final four, and the knockout stages of the premiership, and top top it off, we’re sitting in a Heineken Cup place for next season.

Rugby has a playoff system to account for the fact that many clubs lose players for the six nations – and it also adds some buzz to the final stages of the competition. The premiership is such that there’s something to play for all the way down. At the bottom, there’s avoiding relegation (assuming that the league 1 side isn’t kept out of the premiership on a technicality, as almost happened with Welsh), in the middle, there’s playing for Heineken Cup slots (which go by rights to teams one through six, and occasionally team seven), then there’s the top four places for the playoffs, and within those top four, there’s seeding for the playoffs.

We just need to keep on form, we need to beat Irish today. Wasps should be able to, but Irish need the win to avoid relegation, and they’ve home advantage – so it’s not a walk in the park.

I won’t be able to watch it live, I’ll catch it a few hours later on ‘premiership rugby TV‘ – I hope to be able to remain unspoiled….

Team P W D L F A BP PTS
1 Harlequins 16 12 0 4 430 328 7 55
2 Saracens 16 12 1 3 356 241 4 54
3 Leicester 16 10 1 5 349 255 7 49
4 Gloucester 16 9 1 6 382 326 7 45
5 Wasps 15 9 0 6 372 328 9 45
6 Northampton 16 10 0 6 330 316 4 44
7 Bath 16 7 1 8 318 298 8 38
8 Exeter 16 7 1 8 378 331 7 37
9 Worcester 16 4 1 11 304 352 9 27
10 London Welsh 16 4 0 12 284 429 6 22
11 London Irish 15 4 0 11 283 416 4 20
12 Sale 16 4 0 12 260 426 3 19
Table Built : 2013, February 24 (Sunday) at 11:02am GMT

Six Nations 2013 – End of Week 3

The Italy-Wales game went much as I expected, a Welsh win. It was a fairly tight affair for much of the first half, but then Wales started to pull away.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 England 2 2 0 0 50 24 4
2 Wales 3 2 0 1 64 45 4
3 Scotland 2 1 0 1 52 48 2
4 Ireland 2 1 0 1 36 34 2
5 Italy 3 1 0 2 42 78 2
6 France 2 0 0 2 24 39 0
Table Built : 2013, February 23 (Saturday) at 17:02pm GMT

Then it was on to the real business of the weekend, England vs. France. After losing their first two games, France came from the hiatus with a determination to do well, as I thought they might. There was a great effort for a French try from Fofana, shaking off several England players, and the French went into half time a point up on England, 9-10.

The second half was scrappy, at one point I thought that England were ‘flocking’ a little bit, though they held onto the ball at this point. Tuilagi got across the line, that was nerve-wracking, as the camera shot made it look as if he’d be caught.

With time to spare, there was a try in hand, and another penalty took England 10 points ahead at 23-13. Phew!

The shots in the locker-room of a dejected France told the whole tail, three losses from three in the six nations…. though I can’t help thinking that the locker-room cam is a little… pervy. I hope it’s obvious to them, and they can easily disable it!

Next up for England is Italy. This one should be more straightforward – and England vs. Wales should decide the grand slam. It’s Scotland vs Ireland tomorrow.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 England 3 3 0 0 73 37 6
2 Wales 3 2 0 1 64 45 4
3 Scotland 2 1 0 1 52 48 2
4 Ireland 2 1 0 1 36 34 2
5 Italy 3 1 0 2 42 78 2
6 France 3 0 0 3 37 62 0
Table Built : 2013, February 23 (Saturday) at 19:02pm GMT

Update: The Ireland/Scotland game was a close run affair, with Scotland up against it for much of the game, but nonetheless, they ground out a 12-8 win, somehow.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 England 3 3 0 0 73 37 6
2 Wales 3 2 0 1 64 45 4
3 Scotland 3 2 0 1 64 56 4
4 Ireland 3 1 0 2 44 46 2
5 Italy 3 1 0 2 42 78 2
6 France 3 0 0 3 37 62 0
Table Built : 2013, February 24 (Sunday) at 15:02pm GMT