Bookmark and Share Verity Lambert's Comments

9/30/2003 03:12:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Comments from Verity Lambert, the first producer of Doctor Who in the early 1960's, in an interview given to the American Who internet audio program: "I think it's wonderful. I'm really thrilled." Lambert's advice to Russell Davies: "Well, I think that I always felt that you had to play it for real, you know, that camping it up wasn't right. And I think that that's the advice. I mean, it just has to be believable." And her thoughts on the rumored choice of Bill Nighy? "He's a fantastically good actor. And I think that it would be a really good idea." But on Alan Davies: "Well, I think Alan would be very good too, but Alan is younger." The program will be broadcast on the American Who website at a date to be determined later

Bookmark and Share Big Finish Licence Renewed

9/30/2003 03:11:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 30, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish announced today that it has signed a new agreement to license production of Doctor Who audio dramas through 2007. Says Jason Haigh-Ellery of Big Finish: "This agreement will run through to 2007 and will be active during the launch of the new Doctor Who series on television, which Big Finish will heartily support. We would like to thank our loyal regular purchasers for their support over the past four years and hope that they enjoy the next four just as much." Good news for all fans of the audio adventures.

Bookmark and Share Big Finish Update

9/29/2003 08:22:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 21, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish have updated some information about the forthcoming 40th anniversary audio Zagreus; in addition to confirming the cast of the story (while careful to make note "but who are they playing?") they've added several names including Anneke Wills (Polly), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane) and Stephen Perring (who has played a variety of BF roles including Sebastian Grayle in "Seasons of Fear"). A photo gallery from the recording of the audio is online at their website. Meanwhile, the cover illustration for the audio release of Shada has been revealed; click on the thumbnail at right for a larger version. Also, on Big Finish's spinoff series, Bernice Summerfield, a new audio has been confirmed: Simon A. Forward's The Bone of Contention, released in June and featuring the Galyari from the Doctor Who audio serial "The Sandman" which Forward penned. (Thanks to Big Finish)

Bookmark and Share Miscellaneous September 29 Notes

9/29/2003 03:16:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 29, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Fourth Doctor Tom Baker will be a guest on UK's GMTV this Wednesday morning. Tom will also appear on Radio 2 during Mark Goodier's show this Friday afternoon; the show is broadcast between 1400 and 1700 GMT but it's unlikely Tom will be no before 3.15pm. Tom will likely be discussing his thoughts on the show's return on both shows. Tom will also be a guest of BBC Radio London 94.9 chat show host Danny Baker this Friday morning and the show will be webcast (listen by going to this website); Tom will be discussing the new series announcement among other topics. This is in addition to his Wednesday GMTV and Friday Radio 2 appearances (see next item). (Thanks to Lloyd Ellis)
          According to BBCi, Jon Culshaw did his impression of Tom Baker on the "Dead Ringers" comedy sketch series in a performance that pinned the new Doctor Who series as a "makeover/reality TV" show, with the first 'episode' ending as the Doctor regenerates into "Changing Rooms" designer Linda Barker ("well, at least I'm not Sylvester McCoy!")
          The gentlemen behind BBC's South East Today contacted us regarding last Friday's news item they ran regarding the return of the seris. The show also featured a rundown of the top three locations used in the South East (such as Brighton) and an interview with DWM's Clay Hickman in the DWM offices at Tunbridge Wells, among others. Certainly there's a lot of press interest now that the BBC's made their announcement.
          (Thanks to Richard Allison, Ian Robinson, Andrew Curry, Dan Hadley, Andrew Swann & Stuart Maisner for the September 29th stories)

Bookmark and Share Other Commentators

9/29/2003 03:15:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 29, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Today's review section of the Independent asks the big question "Are you looking forward to Doctor Who's return?" to such notables as Colin Baker (who describes the news as "a cautious pleasure"), DWM's Clayton Hickman ("dancing on the desks"), League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss ("simultaneously sick with excitement and trepidation"), Dead Ringers' Jon Culshaw ("delighted, but don't Americanise it too much"), Kylie Minogue's tour set designer William Baker ("ecstatic") and British Medical Association Press Officer Linda Millington ("we're short of Doctors, does he know of an intergalactic planet with a surplus of GPs?") The Times today quotes Paul McGann's comments from the weekend regarding a female Doctor, and yesterday's Sunday Times featured a cartoon of a BBC man ordering a Dalek to "Exterminate Alastair Campbell" in the News Review section.

Bookmark and Share The Spirit of Wobbliness

9/29/2003 03:14:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 29, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Another article appeared in today's The Guardian paper in the UK; entitled "The Spirit of Wobbliness" by Brian Logan, the article pins the future success of a new series of Doctor Who on the spirit of the Sixties. "Rejoice, rejoice - but with reservations," says the article, which quotes messages printed on several websites and notes some of the changes that the show went through in its long life. "If the return of Doctor Who is to be a success," Logan writes, "then it needs to bring back a little piece of the 1960s with it. It's not that the oft-cited wobbly sets should be recreated. (And they're not always wobbly - you should watch The Robots of Death!) It's the spirit of wobbliness, the primacy of imagination over special effects, that counts. Likewise, the Doctor needn't remain forever sexless - it can't be easy, after all, when your fellow traveller is wearing leopardskins. But in an age as sexually obsessed as ours, a hero who'd rather be knobbling Daleks than knocking off his leggy companions is surely to be welcomed." The full article can be read by clicking here.

Bookmark and Share Scificollector Update

9/29/2003 03:14:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 29, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon has commissioned two exclusive Corgi die cast toys due out in November, including a Cyberleader model and an exclusive TARDIS giftset, in addition to variations of the Gold, Black, Red and Grey Daleks being produced. Meanwhile, Colin Baker will be joining Scificollector at the Stamp Centre on November 20 to launch both the range of toys as well as the Mark Campbell book (see yesterday's news item), while Tom Baker will be present at the NEC Birmingham Memorabilia Fair on November 29-30 to give the Corgi range and the book a Midlands launch. Tom will also be signing a 40th anniversary limited edition (1000 pressings only) Wedgewood Plate, featuring the Fourth Doctor and the Daleks. There will also be a Talking Fourth Doctor and K-9 available! For full details visit their website. (Thanks to Steven Scott of Scificollector)

Bookmark and Share McGann Comments

9/28/2003 03:18:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 28, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Paul McGann, the last television Doctor (from the 1996 movie) has weighed in on his choice for a new Doctor in an article in the Telegraph: "I think it's high time that Doctor Who was a woman," McGann says. "There is nothing in the stories to say that the Time Lord can't be female. I'd like to see somebody really scary, Amazonian, highly intelligent and gorgeous in the role: someone who could be a complete handful. Rachel Stirling [the actress daughter of Dame Diana Rigg] could do it because she's got great charisma. Dame Maggie Smith would be brilliant. I'd like to see the Doctor as diva, rather than being played by some dippy, wide-eyed girl." McGann adds: "For too long the Doctor has been played as a very heavy, melancholic man with Victorian gravitas. I'd also like to see a black actor, like Chjwetel Ejiofor [the British actor who starred in the 2002 film Dirty Pretty Things] take the role. The producers of the ninth series should cast their net slightly wider than the usual white male, but it'll probably end up going to James Nesbitt, the star of Cold Feet, because his stock is so high at the moment and he'll be a ratings winner." The article also quotes Telos publisher David Howe ("It is a family show and there is no place for overt sexual relations," Howe says) and Sophie Aldred, who played Ace: "I'm very old school and I don't think they should really change anything, ... I think Richard E Grant would be good and I'd like to see Sylvester McCoy make a comeback." (Thanks to Steve Tribe)

Bookmark and Share Radio 4 Interviews DWM

9/28/2003 03:17:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 28, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
An interview with Doctor Who Magazine editor Clayton Hickman was broadcast on this morning's "Today" program on Radio 4 (listen to it by going here until Monday) in which Hickman stated that Russell Davies prefers actor Bill Nighy("Still Crazy," "Underworld," "The Maitlands") as his choice for the Doctor. Hickman later added a comment on the lines of "maybe I wasn't meant to say that..." Meanwhile - Could it be eight episodes instead of the rumored six? We've even heard a tip that the show has been pegged for eight 50-minute episodes. Of course, Outpost Gallifrey cautions that this is simply just a rumor at this time, as it's still very early in the game.

Bookmark and Share Updated Hill Bookmakers

9/28/2003 03:17:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 28, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
William Hill, the UK-based bookmakers which we preivously announced had made Alan Davies their 8-to-1 favourite to play the Doctor, have now got their full book open on who will take the role; you can visit the site by going here. Alan Davies still has the 8-1 odds, with Richard E. Grant at 14-1, Sean Pertwee (son of the late actor) at 16-1, and even Ian McKellen, Michael Caine and Don Cheadle at the extremes. Says William Hill spokesperson Jennie Prest, "Amazingly it is 14 years since the last series, but everyone remembers who was Doctor Who when they were a kid! Every time the actor was replaced there was intense excitement about who would be the next one, and this time it is just the same!!

Bookmark and Share Big Finish Update

9/28/2003 03:16:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 28, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has released several new cover illustrations for its forthcoming fall releases. At bottom left is the cover illustration for Zagreus, the 40th anniversary three-CD set starring Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker and Peter Davison and a host of other Doctor Who performers. Next is the cover illustration for Exile, the final Unboundserial starring Arabella Weir as the Doctor. The "Zagreus" cover art is duplicated on the Doctor Who: The Inside Story hardcover book release featuring an inside look at the making of all of the Doctor Who audios; and finally, the cover for the next Short Trips short fiction anthology, Short Trips 5: Steel Skies, for which the cover blurb is available below. Click each thumbnail for a larger version.

SHORT TRIPS 5: STEEL SKIES edited by John Binns

There are many places that most of us can never see: places that are sheltered, locked away, cordoned off from the outside world. But to the Doctor, and those who travel with him in his TARDIS, there is no such thing as a locked door. Anywhere in space and time is open to them to visit even if sometimes it might be better to leave such places well alone.
     Steel Skies is a collection of stories based in enclosed and artificial environments: places constructed to keep the dangers of the universe outside, perhaps, or to keep their inhabitants locked in. It is divided into four sections, each exploring a different kind of confinement:
     Section One, Flight, comprises four tales of travellers who left their homes for far-away destinations to explore, to start a new life, or to fight for the survival of their species.
     Section Two, Frontiers, explores the corridors, living quarters and ventilation shafts of four futuristic environments designed to shelter men, women and children from harsh natural forces, or from the threat of nuclear war.
     Section Three, Incarceration, tells four stories of punishment and imprisonment, from San Francisco?s infamous Alcatraz, to the cage of a flightless angel in the dilapidated ruins of Heaven.
     Section Four, Isolation, deals with the loneliness and despair of being cut off from the world outside, by physical or mental incapacity, by the ravages of war, or caught between destinations aboard the TARDIS itself.
     A recurring theme in all four sections is the effect of the Doctor's arrival in these enclosed environments sometimes positive, sometimes less so.
     Featuring "Corridors of Power" by Matthew Griffiths, "A Good Life" by Simon Guerrier, "Reversal of Fortune" by Graeme Burk, "Monitor" by Huw Wilkins, "Dust" by Paul Leonard, "Light at the End of the Tunnel" by Mark Wright, "No Exit" by Kate Orman, "House" by Jeremy Daw, "Deep Stretch" by Richard Salter, "Inmate 280" by Cavan Scott, "Doing Time" by Lance Parkin, "The Ruins of Heaven" by Marc Platt, "Cold War" by Rebecca Levene, "Oh, Darkness" by John Binns, "Greenaway" by Peter Anghelides, and "Eternity" by Jonathan Blum.

Bookmark and Share Human League Who?

9/27/2003 03:18:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 27, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Human League lead singer Philip Oakey will be offered the role... or so says the League Online website, although we suspect that it's a bit of publicity without merit. The article says that the Human League may be offered the possibility to update the "world-famous theme tune" (again, probably a bit early and likely simply speculative!) Oakey is said to be a massive Doctor Who fan; in fact, the B-side of one of their early singles was in fact caled "Tom Baker". (Thanks for the September 27 stories, by the way, to Peter Ware, Chuck Foster, Russ Merryman, Craig Hinton, Neil Billinness, Matthew Wood)

Bookmark and Share Links to Media Coverage

9/26/2003 07:22:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 25, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The following are links to the media coverage of the announcement of the new Doctor Who series:

Eddie Izzard rumors fly after Tom Baker's "announcement" (1 Oct):

Special thanks to DWAS, Steve Tribe, Rich Kirkpatrick and many others for these links!

Bookmark and Share International Coverage

9/26/2003 10:21:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 26, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The word has crossed all of the news services; the BBCi Doctor Who page updated; breakfast-time shows in the UK have been running the story all morning. Even CNN's international edition features the story on its front page. Outpost Gallifrey (and our Forums) have been flooded with readers new and old. We continue to monitor for new information.

Bookmark and Share Press Release Notes on Episode Number

9/26/2003 04:19:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 26, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Says the BBC's official press release, "No budget has been set for the new series; the number of episodes and their duration is under discussion. It will be a family show, but no details are available as to when it will be scheduled." Outpost Gallifrey has reason to believe that the six episode quote from the Telegraph article may be incorrect, and the number of episodes may even eventually be higher than that. We'll keep you posted.

Bookmark and Share Irish Examiner Announces Story

9/26/2003 03:22:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 26, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Irish Examiner has picked up the story with new quotes from Mal Young, BBC controller of continuing drama series. "It's time to crank up the Tardis and find out what lies in store for the Doctor," says Young. "We're thrilled to have a writer of Russell's calibre to take us on this journey. However we're a the very early stages of development and further details including casting will not be available for some time." We've also received reports from folks online that Sky News Radio Overnight has reported the story but it's not yet on their web service.

Bookmark and Share BBC News Confirms Series

9/26/2003 03:21:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 26, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC News confirms the story; see top of this article for details. The story confirms that BBC Wales Head of Drama Julie Gardner will executive produce with Davies and Mal Young. "Russell is one of Wales's leading TV writers. It will be a thrill for BBC Wales to work with him on such a landmark TV series," Gardner is quoted as saying. "This is very early days and it is unlikely anything will be on screen for at least two years but it is very exciting and I can't wait to get started."

Bookmark and Share William Hill Books Favourites

9/26/2003 03:20:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 26, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Ananova newswire service (often spurious with its information) features another report that just crossed the wires: "Jonathan Creek star Alan Davies is the bookies' favourite to become the new Dr Who. ... William Hill have made Alan Davies 8/1 favourite to land the role of the Doctor. Richard E Grant is second favourite followed by Sean Pertwee - whose dad, Jon, played the time lord in the 1970s. Other names in the frame include Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart and Cold Feet star James Nesbitt. And Lenny Henry is 33/1 to become the first black Dr Who in the show's 30 year history." Speculation, of course, but it's speculation about a confirmed new series so why quibble? (Thanks to Steve Freestone!)

Bookmark and Share The Original Breaking News

9/26/2003 01:23:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The story broke in the Friday morning London Daily Telegraph newspaper, whose webservice featured a headline article (already released to their web service) entitled Doctor Who ready to come out of the Tardis for Saturday TV series by Tom Leonard, Media Editor - an article that hit shortly before midnight UK time Thursday evening. Outpost Gallifrey had received a few emails over the past week hinting that something "was soon to be announced" but waited until the news hit Thursday evening in North America as the Telegraph's article was released, and then we heard that numerous Doctor Who experts such as Mark Campbell ("Pocket Essentials: Doctor Who") and the editors of Doctor Who Magazine were contacted for comment. Shortly after 0400 GMT, BBC News confirmed the story, which has now been carried on most major UK, US and Australia news services (including CNN, MSNBC, ITN News, Associated Press and Reuters).

The Telegraph article, which was first on the story, said that "in a move that heralds the most eagerly anticipated comeback in television history, BBC1 said yesterday that it is developing a new series of the sci-fi classic," which BBC News confirms will be produced by BBC Wales for BBC-1 Television. But, says the article, "in a development that may alarm purists, the new series is being written by Russell T Davies, the creator of Queer As Folk, the controversial Channel 4 drama about gay life in Manchester, and Bob and Rose, an ITV drama about a homosexual man falling for a straight woman," among his many other television credits, which also include "Second Coming," "Touching Evil," "Springhill" and "The House of Windsor"... and, of course, the Doctor Who: The New Adventures novel "Damaged Goods" for Virgin Publishing. (Davies was also mentioned several years ago as a possible bidder for a new series, a prospect that obviously stayed a possibility...) Davies says he wants to 'introduce the character to a modern audience'. It will also be limited, at this time, to one six-part series, says at least one report.

Lorraine Heggessey, controller of BBC-1 and a recent champion of Doctor Who, is apparently completely supportive of the whole thing (though she makes note that the Doctor will not be gay, despite the subject matter of the writer's previous material, noting that Davies was chosen because of his knowledge of Doctor Who and experience in television. Heggessey also apparently says in the article that it is "too early to say which of the Doctor's most famous enemies, who include the Cybermen, the Master and the Sea Devils, would return, but insiders said it was unthinkable that the Daleks would not be trundling back into action." Casting has not been undertaken at press time but the article mentions Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann and Alan Davies as possible choices. Heggessey then discusses the rights issues. "Worldwide has now agreed," she says, "that, as they haven't made the film and I've been waiting for two years, it's only right that BBC1 should have a crack at making a series." The series is not likely be be broadcast before 2005. Says Davies: "The new series will be fun, exciting, contemporary and scary."

The Daily Telegraph article can be read online by clicking here (you have to register, but it's free); the BBCi News report confirming the story is located here. Other news services have been picking up the story over the past few hours... only confirming what we've suspected since word first broke: that Doctor Who fans truly have cause for celebration today.

Bookmark and Share Radio Times Poll

9/22/2003 08:21:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 22, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who is the big winner of the latest Radio Times poll asking which show readers would like revived, according to a report circulating this morning on the Ananova web news service. With 31% of the vote, Doctor Who is the first choice, followed by "Blackadder" and "Fawlty Towers" in second and third position. The magazine also asked which UK show should be retired, with top honors going to "Last of the Summer Wine". The full results of the television poll are in the latest issue of Radio Times. (Thanks to everyone who wrote in to let us know!)

Bookmark and Share BBC Books Update

9/21/2003 08:25:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 21, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Continuing the release of both new books and the backlog of older books in North America, BBC Books (through new distributor Diamond Publishing) has the following releases due out in December: "The Legend" (the Justin Richards hardcover); Eighth Doctor novels "Reckless Engineering" by Nick Walters, "Time Zero" and "Sometimes Never" by Justin Richards; the Big Finish hardcover "Short Trips: A Universe of Terror"; and the Past Doctor novel "The Suns of Caresh" by Paul Leonard. It should be noted that some of these books, while technically not due until December, may actually hit shops early; both "Reckless" and "Suns" are already available via Amazon. (Thanks to Greg McElhatton)

Bookmark and Share Death Doesn't Come to Time

9/21/2003 08:23:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 21, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who was one of 19 award-winning titles being celebrated by BBC Audiobooks at this yearÆs Spoken Word Awards ceremony, hosted by Clive Anderson at the Dorchester Hotel in London last Thursday evening. A Gold Award for Best Drama was given to the remastered BBC Radio Collection CD release of Doctor Who û Death Comes to Time, the full-cast audio drama first webcast on BBCiÆs Cult website. Producer Dan Freedman, sound engineer Jon Taylor and actor John Sessions were present to collect the award. This is the second year running that BBC Radio Collection has had success with Doctor Who; last year The DaleksÆ Master Plan took Bronze in the Best TV/Film Adaptation category. Overall BBC Audiobooks won 8 Gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze awards this year, as well as Performer of the Year for Michael PalinÆs reading of Sahara. The awards are given by the Spoken Word PublisherÆs Association and judged by a panel of independent experts including journalists, producers, writers and retailers. (Thanks to Michael Stevens of BBC Audiobooks)

Bookmark and Share DWM 335

9/17/2003 08:25:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 17, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who Magazine #335 is due out this week (actually, it's already starting to be received by subscribers). Included are interviews with Peter Miles (Nyder of "Genesis of the Daleks") and the last part of the chat with Mark Gatiss; a preview of the "Curse of Fenric" DVD extended edition; "Fact of Fiction" covers "Invasion of the Dinosaurs"; the second part of the comic strip "The Curious Tale of Spring-Heeled Jack"; plus all the usual news reviews and features. The cover is at right.

Bookmark and Share Ben Aris

9/16/2003 08:27:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 16, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Ben Aris, who played Lieutenant Shears in part 1 of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs," the Jon Pertwee serial, passed away on September 4; he was 66. Aris found his greatest fame in the classic BBC sitcom Hi-De-Hi! as camp ballroom dancer Julian Dalrimple-Sykes. (Thanks to Steve Stratford and the Death Comes in Time site)

Bookmark and Share McGann in Mourning

9/16/2003 08:26:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 16, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Paul McGann has joined the cast of the Eugene O'Neill play "Mourning Becomes Electra," opening November 17 at the Lytteton theatre. McGann joins Oscar and Tony nominated actress Dame Helen Mirren (best known as Jane Tennison in the "Prime Suspect" television films), West End regular Clarke Peters and actress Eve Best in the play which "explores the wildly destructive forces of jealousy and desire unleashed when Lavinia discovers that her mother, the intoxicating Christine Mannon, has dared to take a young lover." Bookings for the play have begun; more details are available here. (Thanks to Paul Vazquez)

Bookmark and Share Zagreus Casting

9/16/2003 08:26:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 16, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine spills the beans on the cast for the forthcoming audio story Zagreus, due in November from Big Finish, a three-disc 40th anniversary story. Paul McGann and India Fisher return as the Eighth Doctor and Charley, alongside Lalla Ward as Romana and Don Warrington as Rassilon. The report also confirms participation by the following actors (though we should point out that these aren't necesssarily the roles they will be playing in the story): Colin Baker, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy (the Doctors), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier), Louise Jameson (Leela), Bonnie Langford (Mel), John Leeson (K-9), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Maggie Stables (Evelyn), Robert Jezek (Frobisher), Caroline Morris (Erimem), Lisa Bowerman (Bernice), Stephen Fewell (Jason Kane), Miles Richardson (Braxiatel) and Conrad Westmaas (soon to be the new Eighth Doctor companion, C'Rizz). Further details hopefully soon on Big Finish's website.

Bookmark and Share Radio Times Responses

9/14/2003 08:29:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 14, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Letters to the Radio Times in response to its recent report of the top television programmes of the UK -- omitting "Doctor Who" -- have been quite vocal. While one letter decried a possible rigging of the poll, Radio Times did state that the choices were the personal favorites of TV editor Alison Graham... but a letter from Mark Gatiss ("League of Gentlemen" star and author of Doctor Who books including "The Roundheads" and "St. Anthony's Fire") also takes them to task: "Finally, Doctor Who. It's become something of a personal crusade for me to remind everyone that this show (Doctor Who) was once pretty much universally loved. We should remember with pride and not sneer at it as though it were some anorak-sporting. half-mad relative. And we should bring it back now!" (Thanks to BBCi, Radio Times and those who wrote in with their own comments!)

Bookmark and Share An Almost Complete Guide

9/14/2003 08:28:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 14, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Author Mark Campbell ("Pocket Essentials: Doctor Who") has penned An Almost Complete Guide to Doctor Who, to be published this fall by SciFiCollector. The book will feature "an in-depth episode guide to all the television episodes - each entry includes full transmission dates (including repeats), BBC archive holdings, novelization details, video, DVD or CD availability, music and sound effects releases, cast and crew, a DWM index, recording dates, locations, selected factoids and an informed, no-nonsense summary. The second half of the book documents the Doctor's appearances in a variety of other media - namely TV spin-offs, cinema films, radio plays, comic strips, Big Finish audio plays, stage plays, books and webcasts." Tom Baker has written the foreword for the book. More details and a cover illustration available soon. (Thanks to Mark Campbell)

Bookmark and Share Big Finish Returns to Gallifrey

9/14/2003 08:28:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 14, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish producer Gary Russell announced at this past weekend's Dimensions convention in Stockton-on-Tees that the company had commissioned a new four-part limited series for 2004, as yet untitled, to run alongside the regular Doctor Who range, with Louise JamesonLalla Ward and John Leeson reprising their screen roles as Leela, Romana and K-9. The series will be set on Gallifrey (obviously). All three will be featured in the forthcoming 40th anniversary audio special "Zagreus," the other details of which (including the rest of its cast) have not yet been announced. Meanwhile, Big Finish also announced that Paul McGann will indeed return for a fourth series of Doctor Who audios to be taped in late 2004; his third 'season' begins release in December. Finally, in response to a question about giving Sylvester McCoy an additional companion (besides Mel and Ace), Gary said that there were considerations for it, with a clue in the new Unbound serial "He Jests at Scars" (where he mentions several names including someone named "Hex"). (Thanks to Bob Fischer)

Bookmark and Share BBC Books 2004

9/08/2003 08:30:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 8, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Books has informed us that Paul Cornell's adaptation of his serial The Scream of the Shalka, based on the animated serial starring Richard E. Grant debuting online in November, will be released in February 2004. BBC Books was hoping to do Shalka as an 'extra' book, "but sadly that's not possible at such short notice without upsetting the distribution and making things difficult all round," says range consultant Justin Richards. All of the previously confirmed novels will therefore slip back one month, with David Bishop's "Empire of Death" in March, Mark Michalowski's "Half-Life" in April, David McIntee's "The Eleventh Tiger" in May, Jonathan Morris' "The Tomorrow Windows" in June and Craig Hinton's "Synthespians(TM)" in July. (Thanks to Justin Richards)

Bookmark and Share Curse of Fenric Extras

9/04/2003 08:32:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 4, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide confirmed details of the extras for the forthcoming DVD release of The Curse of Fenric, previously reported here from the list of released extras originally confirmed by the BBFC. They include commentary by Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Nicholas Parsons, an isolated music soundtrack, a cast & crew discussion at the 1990 Nebula convention, "Take Two" (a BBC1 children's programme), "Modeling the Dead" from BSB's Doctor Who weekend in 1990, "Claws and Effect" (a behind-the-scenes featurette), "Shattering the Chains" (an interview with author Ian Briggs), "Costume Design" (interview iwth costume designer Ken Trew), "Recutting the Runes" (interview with musician Mark Ayres), plus easter eggs and photo gallery. The two-disc set will also, as previously announced, feature a special edition version of the story with additional footage not seen before, recut as a "movie format" story. (Thanks to BBCi)

Bookmark and Share Arabella Weir is the Doctor

9/04/2003 08:31:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 4, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has revealed to Outpost Gallifrey the identity of the final alternate Doctor in the "Doctor Who Unbound" limited series being released this year: popular UK comedy actress and author Arabella Weir. Weir, one of the stars of "The Fast Show" and the author of three best-selling novels including "Does My Bum Look Big in This?" will play the Doctor in the sixth and final Unbound serial "Exile" by Nicholas Briggs, being released in October. Weir's numerous other credits include TV appearances in Alexei Sayle's "Stuff," "Harry Enfield and Chums" and "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)," in the films "Honest, Decent and True" and "Shooting Fish," and most recently co-starred with Richard E. Grant (the Ninth Doctor in BBCi's forthcoming "The Scream of the Shalka") in the BBC's "Posh Nosh," which Weir also wrote. "I think itÆs a very funny script," Weir says. "I have to say, I was a little bit nervous. I thought, 'Oh God, this is going to be one of those things for people who are real devotees and therefore itÆll be full of in-jokes and unintelligible,' but I thought it was very funny, indeed." While Joanna Lumley made a cameo appearance as the Doctor in "The Curse of Fatal Death" for Children in Need, Arabella Weir has the honour of being the first actress to star as the Doctor for a whole adventure. However, the first lady Doctor may not be quite what everyone is expecting... Details on the story are detailed below. (Thanks to John Ainsworth and Big Finish)

Exile, by Nicholas Briggs

What if... the Doctor had escaped the justice of the Time Lords?

"They want to punish me for being me!" All the Doctor has to do to avoid being caught by the Time Lords is work in a supermarket and go to the pub. It's a cunning plan - certainly far less dangerous than fighting the dreaded Quarks and all those other alien fiends.

But just when everything seemed mundane and safe, alien transmissions, exploding poison gas, Princess Anne and wobbly trolleys burst onto the scene to ruin everything. It's a crisis! A fiendish alien plot! And the Doctor must use all the resources at her disposal to defeat it. She'll probably need to have a large vodka first, though.

Starring Arabella Weir as the Doctor, with Hannah Smith (Cherrie), Jeremy James (Cheese), Toby Longworth (Time Lord 1), David Tennant (Time Lord 2), Graham Duff (Mr. Baggit) and Nicholas Briggs (the previous Doctor). Directed by Briggs.

Bookmark and Share Myth Makers Essentials

9/03/2003 08:33:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 3, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Myth Makers Presents: Essentials is a special fiction anthology release celebrating the show's 40th anniversary from the Doctor Who Information Network of Canada. "Contributors have selected an element of Doctor Who they consider to be essential to the longevity, success and popularity of the series, and have written a story to showcase their chosen element. In addition, notable people from inside and outside of Doctor Who circles were asked for their essential elements and their answers will be included throughout the issue." The "Essentials" volume features fiction from such Doctor Who book authors as Andy Lane, Daniel O'Mahony, Mark Clapham, Mags L Halliday and Dale Smith, with others to be announced. For more information visit the DWIN website at (Thanks to Richard Salter)

Bookmark and Share Aussie TV Celebration

9/03/2003 08:32:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 3, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Australia's UKTV has announced via their "Spring Preview" magazine that they will begin highlighting the 40th anniversary of the program with a special run of Doctor Who stories starting October 11 hosted by Katy Manning (Jo Grant), who will be "taking a look at all seven Doctors to have steered the TARDIS since 1963." Episodes include "An Unearthly Child," "The War Games," "The Three Doctors," "Planet of the Spiders," "The Deadly Assassin," "Logopolis," "The Five Doctors," "The Caves of Androzani," "The Two Doctors," "The Ultimate Foe" and "Survival" as well as the 1996 DW TV movie. This comes on top of ABC Television's announcement that Doctor Who returns to its screens on Monday, September 15. Further information on exact times of stories being aired will be found soon on the Varos website when it becomes available. Says the press information: "Tune in on Sunday, November 23 at 8:30pm for a special surprise." Also in Australia: a showing of the second Peter Cushing Dalek film "Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD" commercial free on both Wednesday, September 10 and Sunday, September 14. (Thanks to Jason Fraser)

Bookmark and Share Deadly Reunion

9/02/2003 08:34:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

September 2, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBCi have published the September edition of their Telepress continuing monthly column on the Doctor Who novels. Featured in this installment are interviews with Jonathan Blum ("Fallen Gods") and Daniel O'Mahony ("The Cabinet of Light") as well as the provisional cover and blurb for Deadly Reunion, the November novel by Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts, and extracts from "Wolfsbane" by Jacqueline Rayner and "Short Trips: The Muses". The details on "Deadly Reunion" are as follows (click the thumbnail at right for a larger version of the cover):

DEADLY REUNION, by Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts

"With one glance he will destroy your body and wither your soul." 

Second-Lieutenant Lethbridge-Stewart gets more than he bargained for when he is assigned to map out Greek islands at the end of the Second World War. Even if he lives to tell the tale, will he remember it?

Years later, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and his colleagues at UNIT investigate a spate of unexplained deaths and murders. Meanwhile, the Third Doctor and Jo are caught up in strange events in the small English Village of HobÆs Haven.

As preparations get underway for a massive pop concert, a sinister cult prepares for a day of reckoning û business as usual for UNIT. But can the Brigadier help prevent the end of the world? His friends and colleagues are not so sure, because this time, the Brigadier has fallen in love...

This special 40th Anniversary Doctor Who adventure features the Third Doctor, Jo Grant, and UNIT. It is written by Barry Letts - Producer of the Third DoctorÆs television stories û and Terrance Dicks û Script Editor for the latter part of the Second DoctorÆs era and all the Third Doctor television stories.