Bookmark and Share Mervyn Haisman

10/31/2010 12:07:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

We are saddened to report the death of the writer Mervyn Haisman.

An actor in his early career, Mervyn Haisman turned his hand to writing, forming a partnership with Henry Lincoln where together they penned three Doctor Who stories for the Patrick Troughton era of the series. The Abominable Snowmen saw the first appearance from the slopes of the Himalayas of the Yeti - robotic servants of the Great Intelligence. The strength of this first story subsequently led to the sequel The Web of Fear, which also saw creation of one of the most enduring guest characters in the series, Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart (The Brigadier). Their third outing The Dominators introduced the Quarks, but artistic disagreements with the production team ended further contributions to Doctor Who. However, their association with the show was to be marked once again with a credit on The Sarah Jane Adventures story Enemy of the Bane for Sir Alistair.

Haisman went on to script-edit a number of television series, notably Sutherland's Law (alongside future Doctor Who producer Graham Williams), Jubilee, and some seventeen episodes of The Onedin Line. He also wrote a number of episodes for the popular 1980s drama Howards' Way.

Mervyn Haisman (died 29th October 2010)

Bookmark and Share Sarah Jane Adventures

10/29/2010 11:00:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Press details are now available for the final three stories in the current series of The Sarah Jane Adventures

4: The Empty Planet
Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 November, CBBC
Part One
Clyde and Rani wake up one day to discover that they are the only survivors of the human race, as the alien-busting adventures series continues. The whole of Earth is empty – even Sarah Jane has vanished. But a deserted London holds terrors of its own. Strange forces lurk in the shadows, as mysterious visitors approach...
Clyde and Rani meet their enemy as the Robots arrive on Earth – but what do they want, and where has the human race gone? It's a race against time, but without Sarah Jane's expertise, Clyde and Rani must trust each other like never before if they're to save the whole world.

5: Lost In Time
Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 November, CBBC
Part One
A harmless investigation turns into an epic quest through time, as the alien-busting adventure series continues. Sarah Jane and the gang are separated by the enigmatic Shopkeeper and find themselves in three different time-zones throughout history, thrown together with ghosthunters, Nazis, Tudors ... and a mysterious parrot called Captain.
While Sarah Jane tries to prevent a future tragedy, Clyde has to take on the Third Reich single-handed. But Rani discovers to her horror that the march of history cannot be stopped, as a greater danger from the Time Vortex threatens to consume them all.

6: Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith
Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 November, CBBC
Part One
Sarah Jane faces her saddest day, as she realises that no one can defend the Earth forever, as the alien-busting adventure series concludes. She's saved the world so many times but must now hand over the task to safer hands. Clyde and Rani are distraught, and the forces of darkness gather as the inevitable day approaches.
Sarah Jane has gone – but a new regime begins at Bannerman Road! Clyde and Rani must face the fact that nothing lasts for ever – but can they still unite as a team, to face a new and deadly threat from Outer Space? Or is the old gang finished for good?

Bookmark and Share US DVD Release Dates

10/28/2010 03:58:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who: The TV MovieThe 1996 TV Movie will finally get its North American release on February 8, 2011.

In August we reported that, for the first time, the rights to release the story outside the UK had been obtained by 2|entertain. The feature length episode is the only televised adventure of the Eighth Doctor played by Paul McGann.

The story was released in the UK as part of the Revisitions box set. In North America it will be released as a single story on two discs, containing the same extras as the UK version.

It has also been confirmed that the Third Doctor story, The Mutants, will be released in North America on the same day, February 8, shortly after it's released in the UK.

Both North American covers can be seen at TV Shows on DVD.

Bookmark and Share Children in Need 2010: Christmas Preview

10/27/2010 11:40:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

In what is rapidly becoming a tradition, the BBC's charity appeal show Children in Need will once again include a clip from the forthcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special.

Slotted amongst the various activities listed in the latest press release is:
  • A sneak preview of the Doctor Who Christmas special
  • No other information is available at present, but in previous years this has been a teaser scene from early in the episode to whet our appetites for the main event on Christmas Day.

    This year's Children in Need evening is on Friday 19th November, 7:00pm on BBC One and the new BBC One HD.

    Bookmark and Share Telegraph Update

    10/27/2010 11:50:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

    We have been informed that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the free download of False Gods reported earlier this week - planned for this coming Saturday’s edition of The Telegraph - has been postponed. The article on Big Finish, however, will still be included in the paper and on the Telegraph’s website.

    On Saturday 30th Big Finish will be launching a November Sale on its site, with 10 acclaimed Doctor Who titles available at a discounted price. These include Spare Parts and Jubiliee, alongside some recent offerings Forty Five and The Bride of Peladon.

    Bookmark and Share Filming roundup 26th October

    10/26/2010 11:47:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

    It was back to Cardiff today, with filming taking place in two locations during the course of the day.

    The daytime hours were spent at the Coal Exchange near Cardiff Bay - a frequent interior location for the series, used most recently for the forthcoming 2010 Christmas Special!

    The evening saw activity switch to Cardiff city centre, focussing around the streets just south of the New Theatre, Crockherbtown Lane and Park Place - another venue that has cropped up in past adventures. The following photos capture the transformation from Cardiff to the currently filming story's required setting!

    The story, being set in 1960s America, seems to require the recreation of a New York street, with the lane decked out with a number of American icons like hydrants and phone booths. A yellow cab was also on location (having also been seen during the day down the Bay), and the Thistle car park and road opposite the lane transformed into 44th Street.

    One scene filmed involved a tramp running past the taxi.

    Matt, Karen and Alex Kingston had been seen during the day, and a young girl was also present at both locations.

    Bookmark and Share SFX talks to Russell T Davies

    10/26/2010 09:57:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

    Russell T Davies has been talking to SFX Magazine about the infamous line in the latest episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures which has provoked much debate on the internet.

    In the episode the Doctor tells Clyde that he can have 507 different faces contradicting the 12 regeneration limit that was set in The Deadly Assassin in 1976.

    Davies told the magazine
    I could not resist! I was hooting. It’ll never stick, though. That 13 lives is stuck in people’s heads

    The Magazine is also appealing for questions for fourth Doctor Tom Baker who will be the subject of their regular “Fannish Inquisition” pieces.

    Bookmark and Share US News

    10/26/2010 01:39:00 am - Reported by Marcus

    Doctor Who is one of the programmes up for nomination in the annual People's Choice Awards.

    The programme is one of twelve listed in the Favourite SciFi/Fantasy Show category. Voting can be done on the website. The programmes will be short-listed on November 9th with the top rated show going forward to the final.

    Meanwhile Matt Smith will be a guest on CBS's The Late Show with Craig Ferguson on 16th November. Fans in Los Angeles can apply for tickets to the 3.30pm recording from the show's website. Smith will be joined on the show by Jeff Goldblum.

    Bookmark and Share The Telegraph: False Gods for download

    10/25/2010 06:42:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

    The Daily Telegraph will be making the Big Finish Doctor Who audio adventure False Gods available free for download for readers on Saturday 30th October.

    In the blistering heat of the Egyptian desert Howard Carter and his team search for the lost tomb of Userhat, a servant of the god Amun. What they discover sheds new light on the history of the world as we know it.

    Written by Mark Morris, the story stars Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, Sophie Aldred as Ace and Philip Olivier as Hex, with Benedict Cumberbatch as Howard Carter, Lucy Adams as Jane Templeton, Paul Lincoln as Robert Charles, Jon Glover as Creodont, and Paul Lincoln as Robot.

    The download accompanies an article on the new Doctor Who audio stories from the company that will feature in both the newspaper and on the Telegraph website. Readers will also be able to buy ten of the most popular Doctor Who stories at a substantial discount.

    Update: the download has been postponed, see the latest update for more details.

    Bookmark and Share Sarah Jane Adventures Children's BAFTA Nomination

    10/25/2010 06:11:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

    The Sarah Jane Adventures has been nominated for an award in the BAFTA Children's Awards. The series is listed as one of ten shows in the Television Category, facing opposition from other popular children's programmes like Horrible Histories, Deadly 60, Tracy Beaker Returns and The Wizards of Waverley Place.

    Votes can be entered on The BAFTA Kid's Vote 2010 until 26th November, and the ceremony takes place a couple of days later at the London Hilton, hosted by children's (and Totally Doctor Who) presenter Barney Harwood.

    For more details on the Award ceremony, visit the BAFTA website.

    Bookmark and Share DVD News - Seeds of Death Revisited

    10/25/2010 02:27:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

    Doctor Who: Seeds of Death2|entertain have confirmed that the third story in the Revisitations 2 Box Set will be the Second Doctor Story The Seeds of Death.

    DVD commissioning editor Dan Hall gave the news in an interview with Radio Free Skaro. The Seeds of Death stars Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon and Wendy Padbury as Zoe Heriot alongside Patrick Troughton as the Doctor. It was first released on DVD in February 2003.

    The story joins The Carnival of Monsters with Jon Pertwee and Resurrection of the Daleks with Peter Davison, on the box set expected to be released mid 2011.

    Hall confirmed that The Resurrection of the Daleks will contain a documentary fronted by Tenth Doctor David Tennant (mentioned here). He said the story will be released in both the four episode and two episode edition.

    He confirmed that the missing Tom Baker Story Shada is in production and at present the plan is to release it with another title.

    In the wide ranging interview Hall also talked about his plans for the range and his hopes and desires for the remaining classic stories which still have to be released.

    Bookmark and Share Sarah Jane Ratings - The Nightmare Man

    10/25/2010 02:05:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

    Sarah Jane AdventuresThe Sarah Jane Adventures topped the weekly ratings for CBBC with both parts of the series opener getting a confirmed rating of over half a million viewers according to figures released by BARB.

    The Nightmare Man Part Two topped the charts with 0.67 million viewers with Part One getting 0.59 million watching.

    The score is the highest rating for the channel since January and the third highest of the year so far, beaten by Tracey Beaker Returns.

    The two episodes were repeated later in the week on BBC Two where overnight figures give the story an additional 0.21 million for Part One and 0.31 million for Part two. Final figures for these broadcasts will be out later this month.

    The ratings are slightly higher than the series opener last year although are split over two showings.

    Bookmark and Share Blue Box 2

    10/25/2010 01:48:00 am - Reported by Marcus

    Doctor Who: Blue BoxThe second issue of the fanzine Blue Box is now available.

    In this issue
    • 10 Films Every Doctor Who Fan Should Watch by Ian Wheeler
    • Escaping Sunbeams (Fan Fiction) by Robin Bell
    • Horror of Fang Rock Review by Richard Farrell
    • Season Fnarg Reviews by William JP Turner, David MacGowan and Jez Strickley
    • Paul Cornell Interview Part 2
    • Art by Nathan Lindsell
    • Prom Review by Tim Drury
    • Rumours of Death by Jez Strickley

    The Fanzine, which comes with a cover from Draculasaurus costs £1.50 in the UK and £2.50 for the rest of world. It can be ordered by PayPal from Email for other options.

    Bookmark and Share Sylvester McCoy wins role in The Hobbit

    10/23/2010 07:38:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

    Sylvester McCoySylvester McCoy has told fans he has been cast as Radagast the Brown in the upcoming film The Hobbit.

    Rumours of the Seventh Doctor's involvement in the Peter Jackson film have been around for a while but this is the first conformation from the actor that he has been offered a role in the movie.

    McCoy was speaking at the Armageddon Expo in Auckland yesterday, It is understood that McCoy had meetings in Wellington with Jackson and co-producer and co-writer Philippa Boyens last week, where he was offered the role, but that no contracts have yet been signed.

    The Hobbit is slated for release in two parts, the first due in 2012. Production is currently delayed due to a dispute involving the New Zealand branch of Actors Equity.

    Bookmark and Share New Eighth Doctor costume revealed

    10/23/2010 11:20:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

    Paul McGann is currently in New Zealand, a guest at the Armageddon Pop Culture Expo (Auckland, New Zealand) this weekend. On Saturday he appeared on a panel and revealed what is to be the 'new' costume for the Eighth Doctor.

    The costume consists of a double-breasted black Naval jacket, with gold buttons. Part of of the ensemble is a courier pouch bag. However, the shirt and trousers were actually McGann's own and not part of the costume.

    Also revealed is a new sonic screwdriver, courtesy of Weta Workshop, the wizards behind the effects on The Lord of the Rings. The screwdriver is similar to the one used by the current Doctor, Matt Smith, but has a wooden handle.

    The revision comes some fourteen years since the original Eighth Doctor image was established for the 1996 TV Movie; this is now felt to be a little out of date and the new costume - still a work in progress - is said to be used for future promotional purposes.

    No other information in known at present, other than this is an unofficial costume - but it is believed to have the blessing of the BBC.

    Bookmark and Share TARDIS crew to light up Cardiff for Christmas

    10/22/2010 10:25:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

    Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill together at the BBC Prom

    Cardiff Winter Wonderland in previous years

    David Tennant and Billie Piper turning on the lights in 2005
    The TARDIS crew will be materialising in Cardiff in order to mark the city's annual start to the Christmas festivities, with Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill all expected to be on-hand to switch on the Christmas Lights.

    The ceremony takes place at King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff Civic Centre, from 7:40pm on Wednesday 10th November.

    Matt Smith:
    It’s a real honour to be asked to switch on Cardiff’s Christmas lights because the city has become like a second home to not only me, but the rest of the Doctor Who production team.

    We love filming here in Wales and we even managed to get into the festive spirit extra early this year when filming the Doctor Who Christmas special in August.

    Cardiff is a great city and I’d like to thank all of its residents for being so welcoming and accommodating.

    Nigel Howells, Cardiff Council’s executive member for sport, leisure and culture:
    The Christmas lights switch-on has become the traditional start of the festive season in Cardiff, and this year, to celebrate the 10th Winter Wonderland, we welcome another three stellar names from BBC Cymru Wales’ Doctor Who, which has such a strong connection with the city, to help us launch the lights, shopping and attractions.

    This isn't the first time the show has been honoured in such a way; David Tennant and Billie Piper turned on the lights for the city back in 2005.

    Bookmark and Share Doctor John Smith's Cottage

    10/22/2010 12:31:00 am - Reported by Marcus

    Doctor WhoA holiday cottage, designed as a tribute to a long term Doctor Who fan, has opened in the South East of England.

    Doctor John Smith's Cottage has been set up in memory of David Bannister who died suddenly last year at the age of 51, leaving a large collection of Doctor Who memorabilia.

    Bannister had been a fan of the series since childhood and shared many happy moments watching the series with his brother Tony, who decided to refit a cottage in Kent in memory of his brother.

    The property houses Bannister's extensive library of DVDs, CDs and books all of which are available for the use of the tenants. There is a Dalek in the living room and the private Courtyard features a blue Police Box.

    The property is based at Lydd, one of the larger towns on the Romney Marsh in Kent. Bookings can made via the website.

    Bookmark and Share Radio Times Companion Poll

    10/21/2010 07:17:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

    The current issue of the Radio Times (23rd-29th October) includes an article with Matt Smith discussing who is his favourite companion in Doctor Who, plus the run-down on the Doctor's former companions appearing in next week's The Sarah Jane Adventures story Death of the Doctor, Elisabeth Sladen and Katy Manning.

    On the Radio Times website you can find an exclusive photo gallery to accompany the story.

    Plus, you are also invited to vote for your favourite companion, with the chance to win a limited edition Doctor Who Series Five Steelbook in either standard DVD or Blu-ray versions.

    The closing date for the competition is the 1st November.

    Bookmark and Share The Ark/The Mutants DVD details

    10/21/2010 11:40:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

    The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (#427) has confirmed details on the following DVD releases due in early 2011:

    The Mutants, a Pertwee story by Bob Baker and Dave Martin, will be a two disc release, with features including:
    • commentary by Katy Manning (Jo), Garrick Hagon (Ky), Christopher Barry (director), Terrance Dicks (script editor), Bob Baker (co-writer), Jeremy Bear (designer), Broan Hodgson (special sound)
    • Mutt Mad, a documentary on the making of the story
    • Race Against Time, examining the representation of black actors on British television
    • Dressing Doctor Who, A discussion with James Acheson on his work in Doctor Who
    • Blue Peter, an item featuring Peter Purves on Doctor Who monsters
    The Ark, a Hartnell story by Paul Erickson and Lesley Scott, will include:
    • commentary by Peter Purves (Steven), Michael Imison (director)
    • All's Well That Ends Well, a feature on the influence of writer H.G. Wells on the series
    • One Hit Wonder, on what makes a successful monster
    • Riverside Story, touring old production haunt Riverside Studios

    Both stories feature the usual production notes, photo gallery, and Radio Times PDF listings.

    Bookmark and Share Graham Crowden 1922-2010

    10/20/2010 10:46:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

    The actor Graham Crowden has died at the age of 87.

    Graham Crowden has had an expansive career in film, television and theatre. He has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and appeared in variety of films such as The Amazing Mr Blunden, Jabberwocky, For Your Eyes Only, The Company of Wolves, Out of Africa, and Calendar Girls. On television he is probably best remembered for two major roles, alongside Peter Davison as head of medical department Jock McCannon in the series A Very Peculiar Practice, and as Tom Ballard in the comedy series Waiting for God.

    He was one of the actors considered to take on the role of the Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who in 1974, but felt he couldn't commit to many years in such a role. However, he did get to appear in the series in 1979 for the Season Seventeen adventure The Horns of Nimon playing Soldeed, the leader of the planet Skonnos and ally of the titular Nimon - his death throe has been considered one of the most 'memorable' in the classic series! The story was released earlier this year as part of the Myths and Legends boxed set, and featured the actor on the commentary.

    Graham Crowden (30 November 1922 – 19 October 2010)

    Reported by: The Times (subscription only), BBC News, Scotsman, What's on TV. STV, Gonzo Media, Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Mirror, Press Association, Post Chronicle, British Comedy Guide, Inverurie Herald

    Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine 427

    10/20/2010 01:55:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

    Doctor Who Magazine 426The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine looks in detail at next weeks story in The Sarah Jane Adventures which not only features Matt Smith as The Doctor, but also sees the return of Katy Manning to the role of Jo Jones (nee Grant) some 36 years since she left the series.

    Death of the Doctor is written by Russell T Davies who talks to the magazine about the story, along with Katy Manning, Elisabeth Sladen and Matt Smith, who says on working with his two co-stars.
    It’s incredible. You realise what a wonderful legacy you are part of, and how much it affects people. Just the very notion of the Doctor and the companion. It makes me feel quite warm that I get to work with two companions who have worked with two really great Doctors.

    Also this issue:
    • The Fourth Doctor himself, Tom Baker is out to lunch with costume designer June Hudson in the streets of Soho, London. DWM tags along and discovers a wealth of stories about Seagulls, Ice Queens and crumbly pastries, not to mention Baker’s return as the Doctor in Demon Quest.
    • They’re everyone’s favourite race of militaristic clones. Yes, the secrets of those squat, troll-like monstrosities, The Sontarans, are finally revealed, as The Watcher's Guide presents the definitive low-down on one of the Doctor’s most enduring foes.
    • DWM meets Fin Jones, who plays Santiago in Death of the Doctor, to talk monsters, Matt Smith, and the possibility of his character’s return to the series.
    • What have rain gods, Daleks and Karen Gillan’s legs got in common? Find out, as Neil Gaiman writes exclusively in DWM about his much-anticipated Doctor Who episode in Production Notes.
    • It’s the show of the century. DWM goes behind the scenes of the brand new touring production, Doctor Who Live, and talks to stars Matt Smith, Nigel Planer and Nicholas Briggs, and writer Gareth Roberts about the new stage show.
    • Things look grim for the Doctor and Amy as the Axons invade Tokyo. It’s action all the way as the new comic strip, The Golden Ones by Jonathan Morris and Martin Geraghty continues.
    • The Fact of Fiction journeys back to 1983 and 1977, to look at the time-bending, Bliovitch-limiting, UNIT-dating-controversy-causing Fifth Doctor adventure Mawdryn Undead and reveals all you need to know to make sense of the temporal paradoxes presented.
    Also Doctor Who’s executive producer and head writer Steven Moffat tells DWM all the latest official news; the latest DVDs and CDs are previewed; merchandise reviews; prize-winning competitions; and much more.

    Bookmark and Share Writers' Guild award nomination

    10/20/2010 01:48:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

    As with last year, Doctor Who is nominated for an award from The Writers' Guild of Great Britain. Series five writers included within the nomination for Best Television Drama Series are Steven Moffat, Toby Whithouse, Simon Nye, Mark Gatiss and Chris Chibnall.

    Once again, the show is up against last year's winner in this category, Whithouse's successful 'horror' series Being Human; and for this year the other show in the running is another sci-fi/fantasy series, Ashes to Ashes.

    The awards ceremony takes place on Sunday 21 November 2010.

    The guild is a trade union for professional writers and the awards are deemed to be special because the work of writers is honoured by their peers and colleagues.

    Bookmark and Share Nintendo Games Update

    10/20/2010 01:31:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

    The release date for the two Nintendo Games Evacuation Earth and Return to Earth seems to have finally settled down for 12th November, according to online retailers.

    Games publisher Asylum's associate producer Glen Parry talked to the Official Nintendo Magazine about the differences between the Wii and DS versions:
    The Wii game is a third-person action adventure which includes stealth, distraction devices and the ability to fire sonic blasts at appropriate targets, so definitely more action based. It is set in a dangerous starship that the Doctor and Amy have to traverse through solving puzzles within the environment.

    The DS game is a puzzle adventure game in which the Doctor and Amy are investigating the last spaceship to leave Earth during a solar flare storm. Both games contain a strong Doctor Who story which unfolds throughout, penned by Doctor Who author Oli Smith.

    The age group the games are aimed at are for 7-11 year olds. Both games will feature characters well known to the Doctor Who universe, notably the Daleks and Cybermen, but also a new adversary for the Doctor to face.

    Parry went on to explain why this platform was chosen over others such as the Sony PS3 or Microsoft XBox360:
    The Nintendo Wii and DS are perfect due to the control options and the Wii Remote was just crying out to be used as a Sonic Screwdriver! Nintendo also connect to a wider audience and Doctor Who is loved by young children and adults alike, which makes Nintendo platforms perfect for the Doctor Who games.

    Read the full interview with Glen Parry here.

    The magazine also features a number of screenshots from Return to Earth:

    More details on the games may be found in our previous article.