Get to Know Jodie Whittaker in Four Hours or Less

Anyone not a fan of Wimbledon or Doctor Who may have missed the news that when Peter Capaldi regenerates at Christmas he will be taking the form of Jodie Whittaker. This news is particularly significant because this makes Whittaker the first woman to play the shape shifting, time travelling alien after a line of twelve men. This is either a major step forward or the biggest disaster since women thought they could bust ghosts depending on whether you pronounce it “feminism” or “feminazi”. I am not interested in debating that right now but will unapologetically eye-roll anyone arguing for the latter.

Fans of Broadchurch, the ITV crime drama created by Doctor Who‘s incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall, will recognise Whittaker as grieving mother Beth Latimer but she may be less known to some. In the following I highlight three other performances of hers that are easy to find online and don’t last for 24 episodes.

Attack the Block


Way back in 2011 I sat close to, but by no means with, Jodie Whittaker and her friends at a screening of Joe Cornish’s directorial debut Attack the Block at Somerset House the one year I managed to convince Film4 that I was a VIP.

Setting my bragging aside for a moment this film remains a great watch, particularly for anyone concerned about Whittaker’s alien battling skills. In Attack the Block Whittaker teams up with the young gang, led by a pre-fame John Boyega, who have mugged her to tackle an alien invasion on a South London estate. The film is a lot of fun and Whittaker is the audience’s emotional route through proceedings. And what is more Doctor Who than fighting aliens in London?

Attack the Block is available to stream on Amazon Instant Video.

Black Mirror – The Entire History of You

Finishing off the startling good first series of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror is this dark tale of obsession, jealousy, and tech. Like Doctor Who this series works best when it uses science fiction to explore very human ideas.

In The Entire History of You humans have an optional implant in their brains that allows them to record their every waking moment. Naturally this leaves people obsessing over every small detail of their day and replaying innocuous moments looking for deeper meaning. This particular episode is one of Black Mirror‘s finest and the whole episode pivots on intense scrutiny of Whittaker’s performance as we hunt for the subtext written on her face.

Black Mirror – The Entire History of You is available to stream on Netflix.

Adult Life Skills

This small independent comedy drama about a young woman stuck in arrested development crept in and out of cinemas this time last year. The film affords Whittaker a showcase for her skills and the one proper lead role I’ve seen her in.

Not enough people saw this film when it made it to the cinema and I don’t think many people even had a chance to so I suggest you seek it out now so that you can form an opinion of Whittaker beyond her gender. There are lots of silly jokes to distract you from the fact that the film is hitting you in the soft bits where your feelings live.

Plus… at various points she pretends her thumbs are two people travelling in a spaceship so there’s a tenuous Doctor Who link for you.

Adult Life Skills is available to stream on Amazon Instant Video.

Infrequently Asked Questions 2013

Michael Fassbender Pianist

Following the success of last year’s Infrequently Asked Questions I have decided to repeat the exercise in the hopes of satisfying lost Googlers. The concept is simple, I trawl through all the search terms from 2013 that lead to this site and answer any questions people had that they would not have found the answer to on Mild Concern. The only questions I will ignore are people looking for various actors in a state of undress; there is a limit to what I will do for hits.

As with last year the most popular search query was people searching for nude pictures of Michael Fassbender, pictures that sound very similar to how you might describe the above picture… For the full stats on that particular search term see the pie chart at the end of this post.

Did the actors play their instruments in A Late Quartet? The cast studied their instruments to at least look like they were playing them but no, it is not their playing that you hear in the film.

Anyone know the sunglasses Giovanni Ribisi wore in Gangster Squad? Not entirely sure but he is the face of Barton Perreira eyewear. Apparently.

Are there snakes in The Hunger Games? Look carefully in the credits and you’ll find Jonwilder Lee Bartlett credited as “snake wrangler”. But can I remember any snakes? No.

Does After Porn Ends show nudity? Yes. You all asked this last year. IT IS A FILM ABOUT PORN STARS!!!

Does Claire wear a wig in Lost? Not at first but in flashbacks she certainly does and from memory she wears one on the island in later years. Sometimes an actress cuts her hair. Things happen.

How much swearing is in Philomena? Let’s ask the BBFC: “There are two uses of strong language (‘f**k’). Milder language includes the terms ‘bloody’, ‘crap’; ‘fecking’, ‘shit’, ‘shite’ and ‘tits’.”

How much of Philomena is based on fact? Most of it. Philomena is a real woman who was forced to give up her son and did not mention it for fifty years. She was also helped by Martin Sixsmith and they did indeed discover the thing that they discovered in the film. (No spoilers here.) The only thing that was fabricated was that in real life Philomena did not make the trip to America with Martin but followed his progress through phone calls.

Do you need to see Avengers Assemble before seeing Thor: The Dark World? Not really no. So long as you know that Thor is from another world, has an evil brother, and pines for Natalie Portman who is living on Earth then you’re all set.

Natalie Portman Thor wellies? Not so much a question but an oddly frequent request. Here you go perverts:

Portman Wellies

Do you like Doctor Who? Yes thanks, as does Kat, but we didn’t care much for the latest Christmas special. Stephen loathes it though if you’d prefer a balanced view.

Why do people like Doctor Who so much? It is scary, funny, and has a lot of heart. Also, Jenna Coleman is hot.

I don’t get Doctor Who He’s a centuries old alien who travels through time in a spaceship the shape of a police telephone box. The box is massive on the inside and he only has a limited number of lives which was recently reset due to receiving new regeneration energy via a rift in space from his home plant. He likes to travel with an assistant who is normally young, female, attractive and human. What’s not to get?

What is premise of How I Met Your Mother? I’ll take this slow for you. A man. Is telling his kids. How he met their mother. Admittedly he takes his sweet time but it’s not that hard to understand. Maybe they confused you by writing the title in the second person?

Is Lily in How I Met Your Mother bisexual? From the HIMYM wiki: “Lily could be bisexual, this could be proven as she said in one episode that she wants to have a lesbian experience, and that she told Robin she had a great ass. She also admitted to having some romantic dreams about Robin. It stated that whenever she drink martinis she wants to make out with Robin and she has dreams about her when she’s pregnant.”

What are Tim Burton’s Batman movies? Batman and Batman Returns. Now let me introduce you to IMDb, it will save us both some time.

Was The Strangers movie connected to The Cabin in the Woods? Not any more than every other horror film ever made. In many ways The Cabin in the Woods provides an alternative way to watch The Strangers in a non-canon way and those masks are awfully similar…

The Cabin in the Woods The Strangers

What team does Nicholas Hoult support? You asked this last year and I still don’t know. I have tweeted him to ask so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Where does Nicholas Hoult stay at in California? How would I know and why do you care? Stop trying to stalk Nicholas Hoult and get yourself a nice boyfriend instead.

What’s new pussycat? Not much thanks.

What’s the film called that was released on boxing day in 2012? How specific! Grabbers, Jack Reacher, Midnight’s Children, Parental Guidance, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Zaytoun.

What has happened to Cameron Crowe? Since you asked last year he has written and directed a film starring Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, and Rachel McAdams. I’m hoping for another Almost Famous and not another We Bought a Zoo.

What certificate is Pulp Fiction? 18 for strong violence, sex references and hard drug use.

Who did Jon Cryer play in Clarissa Explains it AllHe was never in it but a lot of people seem to think he looks like a grown up Ferguson.

Who are Matt Smith’s parents? There’s a Doctor Who pun to be had but I will ignore it. You can find his mum on Twitter, she likes “all things Fabulous”.

Who is Edgar Wright dating? Not Anna Kendrick. That’s as deep as my knowledge goes.

Social concern about Jurassic Park? Well the first thing to worry about is the misuse of science. The second is OH MY GOD THE DINOSAURS ARE ALIVE AND TRYING TO EAT MY FACE!!!

Rupert Grint’s acting ability? On average about 6.32 out of 10. Source

rupert grint chart

Why is David Cameron such a prick? His upbringing perhaps? Or something to do with having to live with that face 24/7.

Why does Mama DVD have no extras? They’ve put them all on the Blu-Ray to try to make you buy that instead. That aside the film is AWFUL so why are you even buying it?

He loves me he loves me not He loves you!

Is there an alpha gibbon? Yes.

Dancing as a metaphore for freedom in 1984 Footloose First of all that is not how you spell metaphor. Second of all… yes. Footloose is clearly a subtle adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984.

Is Simon Bird in Plebs? No. The lead actor is Tom Rosenthal who stars in Friday Night Dinner with Simon Bird so you were close.

Lead female in Philomena? Seriously?! Who is the lead in Philomena?! Dame Judi Dench you ignorant fool!

Movie with yellow Volkswagen Well Little Miss Sunshine and Footloose both feature a prominent yellow VW. Were either of those what you were thinking?

When is Me Myself and Mum in general release in the UK? Still no idea which is a shame as it was the best film I saw last year. You can get it on DVD though.

Who was Andy Dick’s character in Laputa: Castle in the Sky? He voiced Henri. For future reference let me introduce you to the Internet Movie Database. You’ll love it.

I thought I’d finish by answering a question nobody asked; just what proportion of search terms related to Michael Fassbender’s appendage? The answer is below:

Watch This – The Night of the Doctor

The Night of the Doctor

A treat for your Thursday lunchtime as the BBC have delivered a meaty prequel to the much-anticipated 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who. This is a video best watched without any idea of what it contains. I did and it was all the more surprising for it. It should answer a question or two you might have about the upcoming feature-length episode and the three Doctors within. Now watch!

Exciting, no?

The Day of the Doctor airs on BBC One and in cinemas worldwide on 23rd November 2013.

Everyone Take a Minute to Get Excited About Doctor Who

Doctor Who

Everyone but Stephen obviously.

Besides this poster the BBC have also revealed a raft of other shows that will be celebrating Doctor Who this autumn. My personal picks (nothing from Blue Peter or CBBC for me) are…

An Adventure In Space and Time
Mark Gatiss scripts an original drama starring David Bradley as William Hartnell; the first actor to play the Doctor. The drama will detail how Doctor Who came to be and should be an interesting if slightly biased film. BBC Two are unlikely to make a film that shows the series in anything but the most reverential light.

Doctor Who
BBC Four will be airing the very episodes that An Adventure In Space and Time explores the production of as the channel shows remastered editions of the first four episodes of Doctor Who with William Hartnell.

Professor Brian Cox
Professor Brian Cox (not to be confused with actor Brian Cox who is co-starring in An Adventure In Space and Time) will be giving a lecture on BBC Two about the science behind Doctor Who… or lack thereof I suppose. As a fan of the show and someone with a science degree (ahem) this excites me more than a little.

Me, You and Doctor Who
There are a lot of documentaries covering the history of the show, its monsters and so on, but the only one I want to see is this offering from The Culture Show. In the episode Matthew Sweet explores the cultural significance of Doctor Who and possibly takes it a little too seriously. If I am going to be watching a documentary about a children’s sci-fi show I only want the most pretentious best.

The Day of the Doctor
And then we have the 50th anniversary episode itself. Matt Smith, David Tennant, and John Hurt are all playing the Doctor in a feature-length special accompanied by Jenna Coleman and Billie Piper. This is the only part of, what I will now brand as, the Doctor Who Bonanza with an air date so set your TARDIS dials(?) for 23rd November.

For more on the extensive and possible over-egged line-up have a read over at the BBC site.

If you have no love for the show then November is not going to be your favourite month.

And The Doctor Is….

The-Doctor

Peter Capaldi!

The last person I expected it to be precisely because he was the bookmakers favourite. Back before Matt Smith was announced in 2009 the favourite was Paterson Joseph from Peep Show and instead we got a young white guy with big ears/hair/chin.

I was planning to use this post to introduce you to whatever obscure actor had been passed the sonic screwdriver shaped baton but as it’s Peter Capaldi… do I have to?

Most known for his role as the truly iconic Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It Capaldi does have a bit of a history in the world of Doctor Who having played the role of Caecilius in 2008 episode The Fires of Pompeii alongside a pre-companion Karen Gillan. Capaldi also played John Frobisher in the only good series of Torchwood in 2009 when aliens demand the Earth’s children. The series was called Torchwood: Children of Earth and was genuinely gripping and featured a below average amount of John Barrowman – these two facts may be related.

Peter Capaldi is an excellent actor and while his casting may not be the big shocker I was expecting it is undeniably a good choice and though I will miss the excitable Matt Smith I look forward to Capaldi stepping up this Christmas.

And as we get to keep Jenna-Louise Coleman the dads (and film bloggers) will be kept happy.