Out Now: Star Trek Magazine No: 68 Fall 2018

Out Now: Star Trek Magazine No: 68 Fall 2018
Star Trek Magazine #68 features the last part of Chris A Mad Man With A Blog’s Chris Gardner’s History of the Future.

Future History

The Klingon Empire: These Prime Universe Klingons can teach us Terrans nothing!

War and Peace

Star Trek Magazine’s epic, multi-part future history of the Klingon Empire, by A Mad Man With A Blog’s Chris Gardner concludes, as peace breaks out between the Empire and the United Federation of Planets, and the two galactic powers combine forces to take out the might of the Dominion. Meanwhile, in the Delta Quadrant, a half-Klingon/half-human rebel joins the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager. . .

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William Shatner returns to New Zealand

William Shatner returns to New Zealand

New Zealand audiences will get another rare chance to see Star Trek actor William Shatner live on Stage in October.

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William Shatner, right, as Captain James T. Kirk, alongside Yeoman Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney) and Mr Spock (Leonard Nimoy).

Here’s my interview with Shatner which appeared on Stuff on October 4, 2015, ahead of his 2015 show Shatner’s World: You Just Live In It:

The wonderful world of William Shatner

“Why is it Shatner’s World?” asks an ebullient William Shatner. “I would have called it your world, but I didn’t know your name then!”

The 84-year-old Star Trek captain arrives in Auckland this week to give a solo performance that he’s fizzing about. “This one man show is as good as it gets for me,” says Shatner as he prepares to perform Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It, at the Aotea Centre in Auckland on October 10. “I have written it, essentially I’ve directed it, and I am touring in it and it is a joy to perform. It’s the combination of my abilities as an actor.”

Shatner, best known for playing Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek television and film series and lawyer Denny Crane in Boston Legal, loves being back on stage following Kirk, Crane and Beyond which he performed in Auckland in 2011.

“It’s a wonderful evening in the theatre,” he said of his new show. “It’s filled with laughter and tears and the connection between me and the audience is very . . .  unusual.

“I talk about love and death as well, I talk about children, I talk about music, I talk about gorillas, I talk about motorcycles, I talk about a variety of subjects, and all of it having to do with the awe of saying yes to the energy of life, the relish of saying yes to the energy of life, and that’s what I’m about.”

Footage of previous performances show a man with the energy of some half his age. What’s his secret?

“Well, I’d like to say it was the purity of my living, but it’s obviously genetic and one of these days I’ll just fall down and won’t get up . . . I’ll delay that for as long as possible.”

In the meantime Shatner is working on a couple of books, one being a tribute to Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy who died in February told through the context of Shatner’s 50 year friendship with the Spock actor.

“I’m in the middle of writing it now,” Shatner said.

“You know, when you have a friend, which is not unlike having a partner in life like a wife or husband, and they leave what leaves with them is the validation of those memories that you shared. So if something major happened between the two of you it begins to fade from your memory if you don’t say ‘remember that laugh we had?’ So the memories of the event fade and the event might as well not have happened. That’s how sad it is.”

Shatner confessed to not having seen the remastered versions of his television series, a kind of special edition released in 2009 with updated special effects.

“I haven’t seen that, no. I’ll have to take a look. Are the special effects good?”

Come September next year it’s 50 years since the broadcast of the first episode of Star Trek and the cast of J. J. Abrams rebooted Star Trek films are marking it with a new film called Star Trek Beyond.

“I would love for them to come up with a way of using me, I’ve told them that,” Shatner said.

“J. J. Abrams has solved the mystery of how to get more audience into a Star Trek movie . . . It’s a big hurrah, it’s a tour de force of the CGI effects, and J. J. Abrams is a master at that. So, yes I’m delighted that they are a success and that J. J. is a great director.

“It’s a little different, they do things that I don’t think (the late Star Trek creator) Gene Roddenberry would have okayed, but it’s a new reality. Knowing Gene, he’d have been paid quite well and I think he’d be very happy.”

Shatner described the show as modern mythology.

“The stories had a meaning to them, and those are the best of any story, and certainly the best of Star Trek.”

Boston Legal creator David E. Kelley famously wrote the part of Denny Crane with Shatner in mind. The actor said there was quite a bit of himself in Crane, and vice versa.

“Well there’s a great deal in that as you get older the big fears, the senility of one kind or another that you will lose your mind and won’t know who you are. We’ve all seen these terrible, terrible, examples of that, and so my identification of this character who verged on the edge of being a little silly, and sometimes wasn’t and sometimes was, I felt a great depth of sympathy for him.

“There’s a great deal of me in Denny Crane, but that’s the same me that 50 years younger was another character, so it’s all me.”

Shatner is also known for the way he turns popular songs into soliloquies. The one he is most proud of is his interpretation of Pulp’s Common People which appears on Shatner’s 2004 album Has Been.

“I sang it with a rock and roll guy and I had to match his energy, but I was doing the lyric and he was screaming the song but we met somewhere in the middle and it works,” he said.

So is there anything he wished he’d done?

“Well, that list is endless, I’m thinking of ladies in the past,” and I imagine him winking down the phone before he gets serious.

“My life is so, so loved, by me and the people around me. I love what I’m doing. I’ve got my health, I’m gainfully employed. I’m talking to you about a one man show . . . I’m going to have the joy of performing it in front of the audiences that are there to enjoy it . . . How can I want for anything else?”

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William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek.

SHATNER’S WORLD – THE RETURN DOWN UNDER PRESS RELEASE

Without doubt, one of the most popular and recognisable cultural icons in the world today.

“He has gone where no man has gone before, chased down criminals in an unnamed city strangely resembling Los Angeles and fought off demons while speaking Esperanto. And a half-century into his Hollywood career, he still has the. Most. Recognizable. Cadence. In Showbiz. At 87, William Shatner has no plans to slow down.” Washington Post

William Shatner, pop culture icon, television superstar and raconteur extraordinaire, is returning to NZ with SHATNER’S WORLD – THE RETURN DOWN UNDER this October in Auckland, and for the very first time, Christchurch and Wellington.

Sharing more stories, songs, jokes and musings Shatner’s World, THE RETURN DOWN UNDER takes audiences on a 100 minute theatrical voyage through his life and career, from Shakespearean stage actor to internationally acclaimed icon and raconteur, known as much for his unique persona as his expansive body of work including Star Trek, Boston Legal, the publication of 30 books and the release of several spoken word albums, his latest, a soon to be released country music album and Christmas album!

“I’ve done this one-man show on Broadway and in many cities across the United States,” said William Shatner. “At the curtain call, the audiences’ reaction, their love and appreciation, moved me to tears. This show has been one of the highlights of my life.”

Bringing it back to where it all started is very special. With “The Return Down Under” I’ll be bringing more stories and songs. When you have been around and have worked in this business for as long as I have, there’s a heck of a lot to share. New Zealand audiences will also be able to hear some of my latest musical endeavours performed live for the very first time. It’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

Shatner’s World has been described as a, “chatty, digressive, and often amusing tour of his [Shatner’s] unusual acting career,” by the New York Times, “a fun evening of personal reminiscence, gossip, video clips and old-fashioned humor,” by AM New York and “equal parts endearing and funny – a mixture of two worlds, really: every day and rarefied,” by The Philadelphia Enquirer. Shatner himself has been praised as, “the most confident of performers,” by The Record and “a personality of galactic proportions,” by the New York Post. Shatner’s humour and ability to poke fun at himself, make this show a must-see memoir of a Hollywood veteran’s life.

Shatner is an award-winning actor, director, producer, writer, recording artist, philanthropist and horseman. In 1966, he introduced the character of Captain James T. Kirk in the television series “Star Trek.” The series became a film franchise with Shatner as Kirk in seven movies, one of which he directed. He also played the title role in the hit series “T. J. Hooker” before hosting TV’s first reality-based series “Rescue 911.” Shatner won two Emmys and his first Golden Globe for his portrayal of Denny Crane on “The Practice” and “Boston Legal” and received four additional Emmy nominations as well as Golden Globes and SAG Awards.

Off screen, Shatner has authored over 30 bestsellers in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His autobiography “Up Till Now” was a New York Times bestseller and in 2011 he released “Shatner Rules,” a collection of rules illustrated with stories from his personal life and career. In 2016 Shatner released “Leonard: My Fifty Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man” about his enduring friendship with the late Leonard Nimoy.

He has also been successful in another area—horse breeding. A dedicated breeder of American Quarter horses, he has had enormous success with the American Saddlebred, developing and riding world champions and has won numerous world championships in several events.

Read more.

1997-05 Star Trek Monthly Star Prints 2.5
Captain Kirk was the beating heart at the centre of science fiction’s most famous triumvirate.

Review: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Plays Beethoven & Brahms – So Enduring

Review: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Plays Beethoven & Brahms – So Enduring

CL 8 Augustin HadelichMesmerising.

That’s the only word to describe Augustin Hadelich’s performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Hadelich earned a standing ovation at Claudelands Arena, Hamilton, New Zealand, tonight, after captivating the crowd with his violin.

During Beethoven’s life, music director Edo de Waart says in the in te programme, there were only two documented performances of his Violin Concerto: allegro ma non trappa Larghetta – Rondo (Allegro).

Hadelich, de Waart said, is a beautiful player and rightly regarded as one of the finest violinists of his generation. Tonight’s audience agreed. Most people sat still as they watched him make his violin sing and listened to Beethoven’s beautiful music. But some, like myself, joined Hadelich as he nodded his head to the marvellous music being made on Hamilton’s biggest stage. He was in the zone, I thought, as someone behind me enunciated what I was thinking.

Then, after 42 minutes, it was all over. Hadelich, bowing to the pressure of the crowd who demanded more, came back for an encore with Paganini’s Caprice No.21.

“Wow, it was just stunning,” said my 12-year old son Thomas.

de Waart promised a “deeply moving” Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73, from the pen of Johannes Brahms before conducting the eclectic piece which dallies between light and dark.

Brahms’ work is more reminiscent of incidental movie music, although it was composed before the medium was invented. In the hands of de Waart and the NZSO it was a fitting end to a wonderful night of music.

The NZSO will reprise the concert on Saturday in Auckland, August 15 in Napier, August 17 in Blenheim and August 18 in Wellington. More details here.

 

Blu-ray Review: Doctor Who: The Complete Series 10 (BBC, M)

Blu-ray Review: Doctor Who: The Complete Series 10 (BBC, M)

 

Now here’s a Blu-ray release that is bigger on the inside.

First, it includes the 2016 Christmas Special: The Return of Doctor Mysterio.

“In The Return of Doctor Mysterio, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) joins forces with a masked Superhero for an epic New York adventure,” the episodes DVD sleeve notes promise. “With brain-swapping aliens poised to attack, the Doctor and Nardole (Matt Lucas) link up with an investigative reporter (Charity Wakefield) and a mysterious figure known only as The Ghost (Justin Chatwin). Can the Doctor save Manhattan? And what will be revealed when we see behind the mask?”

Writer Steven Moffat creates the ultimate dynamic duo as he pairs the Doctor with The Ghost to take on alien invaders. But, like so often with the masterful Moffat, there’s a charming subplot that involves the power of love. The Return of Doctor Mysterio is Doctor Who at its very best.

Second, it includes all 12 episodes of Doctor Who Series 10 in stunning High Definition. They are: The Pilot, Smile, Thin Ice, Knock Knock, Oxygen, Extremis, The Pyramid At The End Of The World, The Lie Of The Land, Empress Of Mars, The Eaters Of Light, World Enough And Time and The Doctor Falls.

Doctor Who The Complete Series 10 B

I’ve written about the series in detail on this blog. In conclusion Moffat and his team of writers found the 12th Doctor’s voice in this series, just as the character would lose it with the departure of Peter Capaldi.

Third, there’s a wealth of behind the scenes value added material in this set that makes it an absolute must for the discerning Doctor Who fan. Let’s look at them one disc at a time.

Doctor Who The Complete Series 10 ADisc One

Doctor Who Extra: The Return Of Doctor Mysterio (25 minutes): Charity Wakefield, who plays Lucy in the Christmas Special, takes the audience behind the scenes. Capaldi calls the script great fun, Chatwin the best thing he has read all year, and the cast reveals it was not shot on location in New York but on a standing set at a Bulgarian film studio.

The Doctor: A New Kind Of Hero (6 minutes): “I don’t think it’s fair to compare the Doctor to super heroes, to comic book superheroes,” Capaldi says at the start of this one. “Because it’s not really the genre in which he exists.” Then Moffat comes in with: “The Doctor is not consciously a hero. He’s never set out to be a hero. He is a hero by virtue of the fact that he is a tremendously good man and he cannot walk past injustice without helping to put it right.“ Well, that’s a good start to the analysis.

The Pilot – Inside Look (3 minutes): “Series 10 sort of begins the show again,” Moffat admits. “The first episode is called mischievously The Pilot. If you’ve never seen Doctor Who at all this could be your jumping on point.”

Becoming The Companion (14 minutes): Ingrid Oliver, who played UNIT scientist Petronella Osgood in previous series, follows Pearl Mackie as she lands the role of a lifetime as the 12th Doctor’s companion Bill Potts.

Out Of This World (10 minutes):  Oliver looks back on previous companions, starting with Rose Tyler (Billie Piper). New Who companions only!

Disc Two

Smile – Inside Look (2 minutes): “I think this year’s very interesting because it boils the show down to the basic elements,” Capalid says. “A mysterious stranger takes the companions to an exotic and dangerous place.”

Thin Ice – Inside Look (2 minutes): “I think this is a very unusual episode based on a real historical event, which happened a number of times which is that the Thames froze,” Capaldi says. “So, the fact that we’re able to recreate this real event is lovely.”

Knock Knock– Inside Look (2 minutes): “The memory of real primal fear, the Fear Doctor Who extrapolated and rejoices in is born in the nursery when the house was all a bit bigger and darker and noisier and freakier,” Moffat says. “The house from the point of view of a child, every house is a haunted house.”

Smile (12 minutes): Award winning children’s author Frank Cottrell Boyce is back for Series 10, and despite everything he’s achieved this renowned writer is amazed ta the response you get when working on the show.

. . .Who’s There (13 minutes): The tale of the haunted house has been terrifying adults and children alike for generations. But what is it about this myth that sets our sense of fear alight?

Disc Three

Oxygen – Inside Look (2 minutes): “I think Peter always comes in from the drama angle and finds the comedy and I think Matt [Lucas as Nardole] tends to come in for the comedy angle and finds the drama,” Moffat says. “They are both hugely inventive actors.”

Extremis – Inside Look (2 minutes): Capaldi: “It was difficult playing a blind doctor mostly because I didn’t know what it looked like, I knew that there was a special effect going to be added. So, I didn’t know how much to do and not to do.”

The Pyramid At The End Of The World – Inside Look (2 minutes): “I think what [writer] Peter Harness came up with is a scenario in which you realise how close to destruction we can always be and that sadly will never not be topical,” Moffat laments.

Disc Four

The Lie Of The Land – Inside Look (2 minutes): “Toby [Whithouse] is a wonderful writer,” Capaldi says. “His scripts were always very tight and funny very dark he’s got a great imagination. Thus, was a very interesting take that he had on a dystopian 1984-style future that was dominated by the mysterious and strange monks.”

Empress Of Mars – Inside Look (2 minutes): “It was delightful to go to Mars again as the Doctor,” Capaldi says. “Not only to deal with Ice Warriors but also to deal with Victorians, to finding them on Mars was great fun.”

The Eaters Of Light – Inside Look (2 minutes): “I spent a lot of the day hiding in the TARDIS because it was the only thing that shielded you from the wind,” Pearl Mackie says.

Rona Munro: A Modern Classic (11 minutes): Since the show’s regeneration in 2005 no classic Who writer has penned an episode for the current era until now. Travel back through the time vortex to reminisce about Rona Munro’s previous episode, Survival, which ended Doctor Who’s classic run in 1989.

Disc Five

World Enough And Time – Inside Look (2 minutes): “I didn’t immediately have a story for the Master, I struggled with that character, right up until the idea of Michelle Gomez,” Moffat says. “From the moment I cast her I thought wouldn’t it be hilarious if John Simm turned up as well.”

The Doctor Falls  – Inside Look (2 minutes): “The fact that it’s Peter’s last series matters to the show,” Moffat says. “The fact that it’s my last series doesn’t matter at all.”

The Finale Falls (20 minutes): Series 10 has been an exhilarating ride through time and space and topping it off is a two-part finale that will knock us out.

The Finale Countdown (37 minutes):  The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, affectionately known as the Doctor Who House Band, kicks off a 37-minute reflection on Peter Capaldi’s time as the Doctor. The Finale Countdowns starts with a powerful rendition of Murray Gold’s A Good Man.

Deleted Scenes

Disc Six

The Doctor Who Fan Show Episodes 1-12:  Each week, straight after the latest episode aired in the UK, Christel Dee and friends talked to guests from the show.

Verdict

Doctor Who: The Complete Series 10 is a must own for any Doctor Who fan. If you recorded the series, or previously bought it in two volumes, you’re missing out on a wealth of behind the scenes material.

Review: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Plays Summer Pops Music From The Movies

Review: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Plays Summer Pops Music From The Movies

At Claudelands Arena, Hamilton

Hamish-MFC-300dpi

It’s funny how music can tip you over the edge.

Conductor Hamish McKeich and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra did it time and again tonight when they performed composer John Williams’s many film scores.

Williams’ theme from Jurassic Park is full of awe and wonder for the massive prehistoric creatures mankind has brought back from extinction in Steven Spielberg’s film. The expert way they played it just had the emotions welling up inside.

Later Williams’ Adventures on Earth from E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, another Spielberg classic, heightened the emotions further as I was flooded with memories of how a misunderstanding led to a harmless alien fleeing men in black on a flying bicycle. I was 10 when that film came out, and it’s as magic now as it was then.

Williams’ theme from Schindler’s List was heart stopping, as vivid images of Nazi inhumanity was contrasted in my mind with the compassion of a man who risked his own life to save others. Is it a true story, my son asked. He found it incredible.

The concert was supposed to end with Music from the Star Wars Saga.

Over 25 minutes we heard the thrills and spills of the Main Title from A New Hope, the revelatory Luke and Leia from Return of the Jedi, the funerary Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back, the impish Yoda’s Theme from the same, and the celebratory Throne Room and End Title.

I couldn’t stop beaming as the soundtrack of my childhood was performed live, just like it was in the movies, on vinyl, cassette, CD and MP3. But better! Not one note was out of place, or moment was out of time. My son couldn’t stop smiling, either, as he aped McKeich with his hands.

A standing ovation saw McKeich return to the stage for an encore with the Mission:  Impossible Theme.

It was a night of movie magic that the NZSO did proud. Little wonder Sir Peter Jackson and the BBC have turned to it over the years.

Other composers and films celebrated included: Bill Conti (Rocky), Vangelis (Chariots of Fire), Max Steiner (Casablanca), J. Strauss (The Blue Danube from 2001: A Space Odyssey), Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future) and Danny Elfman (Spider-Man). Was that Stan Lee in a cameo, disguised as celloist Roger Brown?

The next big thing is the Star Wars Film Concert in Wellington on March 10 and 11 as part of the NZ Festival.

“As an absolute treat for New Zealand fans, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will perform the Oscar-winning music of Star Wars: A New Hope in a live screening of the original film,’ the NZSO says. “Arguably the greatest film score of all time, this performance will whisk you away to another galaxy. A once-in-a lifetime opportunity.”

https://www.nzso.co.nz/concerts-and-tickets/season-2018-concerts/star-wars-film-concert-series-star-wars-a-new-hope

Star Trek: Discovery Collector’s Edition published

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The Official Star TrekDiscovery Collector’s Edition is an in-depth look at the new series written by myself (Chris Gardner), Kristin Baver, Ian Spelling and Karen Stoddard-Haynes.

It includes detailed character profiles, most of which I wrote,  and interviews with key cast members, exclusive photographs, and behind-the-scenes facts on the making of Star Trek’s new voyages.

Also featuring guides to the Klingon Empire, again by me, and the United Federation of Planets, an exclusive look at Star TrekDiscovery’s props, costumes, weapons, and concept art, plus a complete Star Trek timeline.

DVD Review – Doctor Who Series 10 Parts 1 and 2

DW1The 12th Doctor found his voice in Series 10.

It’s not that Peter Capaldi’s Doctor didn’t have a voice in his debut Series 8 and Series 9 that followed, but it was more often spikey in those two series. That, is perhaps, at the request of show runner Stephen Moffat to make Capaldi’s Doctor contrast with Matt Smith’s take on the Doctor across Series 5, 6 and 7.

Something happened behind the scenes on Series 10 that saw Capaldi dial back the spikiness and deliver the cheerleader for humanity that we are used to.

Off screen, I can imagine it was the result of Moffat and Capaldi colluding and giving it their all in their final year on the show. On screen it was everything to do with the Doctor’s thrill of onboarding new companion Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) to the TARDIS.  Bill approaches her adventures as you and I might, if we had never seen Doctor Who, with questions about the TARDIS and the Time Lords. Bill’s pluck contrasts nicely with the Doctor’s occasional pomposity. The result is the strongest consistent series of Doctor Who since, perhaps, Smith’s last season in the 50th anniversary year of 2013.

There aren’t any clunkers this series, and there are quite a few stand out episodes. These include Thin Ice and Oxygen, which both did something completely different with the Doctor Who format.

The Pyramid at the End of the World is great for the commentary it delivers on the human need to wage war.

Empress of Mars did something new with the Ice Warriors.

The Eaters of Light brought Rona Munro, a writer of the classic Doctor Who series, back to Doctor Who.

World Enough and Time and The Doctor Falls paid more than a substantial homage to the original Mondasian Cybermen in Capaldi’s swansong stories. Plus, we’ve never seen two Masters on screen together before, even if one was Missy.

Special Features in these two DVD sets, which between them deliver Series 10 over four discs, are reasonably light. So, if value added material is your thing you might want to wait for the complete series in one package.

Each story is accompanied by an Inside Look of a couple of minutes containing soundbites on the episode from the Doctor Who production team. For the most part its Moffat and Capaldi, with occasional contribution from Mackie.

I’ve already reviewed each episode of Series 10 in depth on this blog, so what follows is the official BBC intro to each of the Series 10 episodes plus succinct quotes from the special features accompanying them.

DW2

Episode 1, The Pilot: Two worlds collide when the Doctor meets Bill, and a chance encounter with a girl with a star in her eye leads to a terrifying chase across time and space. Bill’s mind is opened to a universe that is bigger and more exciting than she could possibly have imagined. But who is the Doctor, and what is his secret mission on Earth?

Moffat: “Series 10 sort of begins the show again. The first episode is called mischievously The Pilot. If you’ve never seen Doctor Who at all this could be your jumping on point.”

Episode 2, Smile: The language of the future is emoji! The Doctor takes Bill to a spectacular city on a distant planet – but where are the colonists? A band of ‘cute’ droids hold the deadly answer.

Capaldi: “I think this year’s very interesting because it boils the show down to the basic elements. A mysterious stranger takes the companions to an exotic and dangerous place.”

Episode 3, Thin Ice: London, 1814. The entire city has turned out for the biggest Frost Fair in decades. But beneath the frozen Thames, revellers are disappearing, snatched through the ice. Pulled into the depths where a terrifying monster lurks. Will the Doctor and Bill stop the slaughter before they too are dragged into the icy waters?

Capaldi: “I think this is a very unusual episode based on a real historical event, which happened a number of times which is that the Thames froze. So, the fact that we’re able to recreate this real event is lovely.”

Episode 4, Knock Knock: Why do floorboards creak? When a sinister landlord shows Bill and her friends the perfect houseshare, they have no idea what lies ahead… knock knock, who’s there?

Moffat: “The memory of real primal fear, the Fear Doctor Who extrapolated and rejoices in is born in the nursery when the house was all a bit bigger and darker and noisier and freakier. The house from the point of view of a child, every house is a haunted house.”

Episode 5, Oxygen: “Space – the final frontier. Final because it wants to kill us.” Trapped on a space station with no oxygen, the Doctor, Bill and Nardole are horrified to discover the automated spacesuits keeping them alive are also trying to kill them!

Moffat: “I think Peter always comes in from the drama angle and finds the comedy and I think Matt [Lucas as Nardole] tends to come in for the comedy angle and finds the drama. They are both hugely inventive actors.”

Episode 6, Extremis: “The Veritas. The truth. Truth so true you can’t live with it. Is that looking into hell . . . or seeing the light?” Everyone who has ever read the Veritas has been found dead. In a forbidden library at the heart of the Vatican, the pope urges the Doctor to read the ancient text – but can he handle the truth?

Capaldi: “It was difficult playing a blind doctor mostly because I didn’t know what it looked like, I knew that there was a special effect going to be added. So. I didn’t know how much to do and not to do.”

Episode 7, The Pyramid at the End of the World: An “ancient” pyramid appears overnight. Every clock in the world begins counting down to the Earth’s destruction. Three opposing armies lie ready to annihilate each other. An alien race stands ready to offer humanity a deal that could save them, but also enslave them. It’s a terrifying race against time to save the world. Will the Doctor be forced to accept their help?

Moffat: “I think what [writer] Peter Harness came up with is a scenario in which you realise how close to destruction we can always be and that sadly will never not be topical.”

Episode 8, The Lie of the Land: Earth has been invaded and Bill is living alone, an isolated figure surviving in occupied Britain. The Doctor is imprisoned and appears to be on the side of the enemy, flooding the airwaves with fake news. Bill and Nardole must embark on a deadly mission to rescue the Doctor and lead the resistance against the new regime, whatever the cost.

Capaldi: “Toby [Whithouse] is a wonderful writer. His scripts were always very tight and funny very dark he’s got a great imagination. Thus, was a very interesting take that he had on a dystopian 1984-style future that was dominated by the mysterious and strange monks.

Episode 9, Empress of Mars: “God save the Queen” has been scrawled on the surface of Mars. What are Victorians doing on the home of the Ice Warriors? And what will they find beneath the Martian soil?

Capaldi: “It was delightful to go to Mars again as the Doctor and not only to deal with Ice Warriors but also to deal with Victorians, to finding them on Mars was great fun.”

Episode 10, The Eaters of Light: A hunt for the lost Ninth Roman Legion leads the Doctor, Bill and Nardole into the middle of an ancient battle that could cast humanity into the dark forever. What is inside the cairn? And how far will they have to go defeat the terrifying alien Eaters of Light?

Pearl Mackie: “I spent a lot of the day hiding in the TARDIS because it was the only thing that shielded you from the wind.”

Episode 11, World Enough and Time: A huge spaceship trapped in the gravity well of a black hole, teeming with impossible lifeforms, harbours one of the Doctor’s most feared enemies… Mondasian Cybermen.

Moffat: “I didn’t immediately have a story for the Master, I struggled with that character, right up until the idea of Michelle Gomez. From the moment I cast her I thought wouldn’t it be hilarious if John Simm turned up as well.”

Episode 12, The Doctor Falls: The Doctor makes a final stand against an army of Cybermen to protect a tiny band of humans from destruction.

Moffat: “The fact that it’s Peter’s last series matters to the show. The fact that it’s my last series doesn’t matter at all.”

Buy Doctor Who Series 10 at the BBC Shop.