Bookmark and Share DVD Update: Terror of the Zygons

7/31/2012 10:59:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The British Board of Film Classification has now passed special features that will appear on the forthcoming DVD release of the last complete Tom Baker adventure Terror of the Zygons:
00:01:47:19  (EASTER EGG)
In addition, the Board have also passed a "director's cut" version of episode one, which has a run-time of 23m21s (the broadcast version is 21m41s).

No release date for the story has been announced at present.

The current confirmed schedule consists of Planet of Giants for 20th August, Vengeance on Varos (special edition) for 10th September, and The Ambassadors of Death for 1st October. Online retailers have also listed The Claws of Axos (special edition) for 22nd October.

Other known releases still be to scheduled include The Legacy Boxset (known to feature Shada and More Than Thirty Years In The TARDIS), The Reign of Terror (with animated episodes 4+5), Inferno (special edition), and The Mind Of Evil (with colourised episode 1 and colour-restored 2-6), plus the two recently returned episodes Galaxy Four: Air Lock and The Underwater Menace: Episode 2. How the remaining episodes of The Tenth Planet and The Ice Warriors are to be released has yet to be announced.

The Ambassadors of Death - Cover:

A clean version of the cover art by Lee Binding for October's The Ambassadors of Death has been published via the Tea-Lady Design Facebook page.

Bookmark and Share Big Finish's Licence Is Extended

7/30/2012 04:11:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

Big Finish has had its licence to make Doctor Who audio adventures extended to December 2015.

Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery said:
I'm so excited that we can continue our voyages with the Doctor for at least another three years, and so pleased that AudioGO and the BBC continue to trust us with the telling of these stories.
Fellow executive producer Nicholas Briggs commented:
It's been a privilege and a pleasure for me to have worked on the Doctor Who audio range since 1999. I'm looking forward to continuing the excellent relationship we have with AudioGO and the BBC – and, of course, to the many exciting adventures for the Doctor I'll be working on over the next three years or more.
Line producer David Richardson added:
We're already making plans for 2015, which will be the sixteenth year of Doctor Who audio productions from Big Finish and will include our landmark 200th main range play!

In addition to the Doctor Who main range and Companion Chronicles, we are working through ideas for an exciting new range which we hope to announce during 2013.

Bookmark and Share Geoffrey Hughes 1944-2012

7/28/2012 07:13:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Geoffrey HughesThe actor Geoffrey Hughes has died at the age of 68.

Geoffrey Hughes was well known for supporting roles in several British television series. He played the lovable rogue Eddie Yeats in the soap opera Coronation Street from 1974-1983 as well as Onslow in the sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, Twiggy in the television comedy The Royle Family, and Vernon Scripps in the ITV drama series Heartbeat.

In 1986 he played Mr. Popplewick in The Ultimate Foe, the story which comprised the final two episodes of the Trial of a Time Lord Series of Doctor Who. Popplewick was the identity used by the Valeyard while in the Matrix.

Hughes also had a number of film credits to his name including Smashing Time, Till Death Us Do Part, The Bofors Gun, The Virgin Soldiers, Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall, Carry On at Your Convenience, and the cartoon Yellow Submarine for which he supplied the voice of Paul McCartney.

Hughes lived on the Isle of Wight where he was appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant in 2009, providing the official link between the island and royalty at formal events.

Hughes had thought he had beaten prostate cancer in 2009, but a year later, after collapsing at his home, found it had returned. His agent said he died "peacefully in his sleep" on Friday night.

Bookmark and Share TARDIS "materialises" at Olympic Opening Ceremony

7/28/2012 12:14:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The eyes of the "universe" were focused upon London last night for the Opening Ceremony of the 30th Modern Olympic Games, with some 27 million viewers in the UK alone tuning in to watch a celebration of British iconography, including James Bond escorting the Queen to the Games and Mr Bean in Chariots of Fire. Doctor Who was also represented by the TARDIS materialisation sound effect complementing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody during the 1970s music section.

An additional segment to feature the theme tune itself had originally been planned but was dropped for timing reasons. However, a video montage did accompany the TARDIS within the Queen track during the technical rehearsal, though it appears to have been dropped for the live ceremony broadcast (available via BBC iPlayer until the 4th August, at about 1h01m10s). Doctor Who's brand manager Edward Russell clarified:
A video montage which very briefly showed all 11 Doctors was approved but we were told it may not be included which was clearly the case.

In Doctor Who lore, of course, the ceremony saw the Doctor himself light the Olympic Flame (Fear Her, 2006). In reality, the Olympic Cauldron (made up of 204 copper petals representing every country competing at the Games) was ignited by seven aspiring young athletes chosen by British Olympic champions.

Bookmark and Share UK Trailer confirmed for 2nd August

7/27/2012 06:40:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The BBC have confirmed that the first official television trailer for Doctor Who's next series will air on Thursday 2nd August, around 8:00pm on BBC1, with a repeat the following week.

The trailer forms part of a series of promotions for shows that form the latest Original British Drama campaign that will run throughout the London Olympics coverage over the coming seventeen days.

As well as Doctor Who, the list includes Merlin, Hunted, Good Cop, Accused, The Secret of Crickley Hall, The Paradise, Ripper Street, plus the stalwart soap EastEnders. The 'series' of trailers kicks off from 28th July with a special "Bundle" compilation.

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, said:
BBC One drama offers audiences the most vibrant and most original home-grown drama in Britain today. This upcoming range of new drama titles are the very best of British, made with ambition and scale that I hope will capture the imagination of our audiences with the same spirit as the London 2012 Olympics.

Bookmark and Share 50th Anniversary Stamps

7/27/2012 04:56:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Royal Mail is to release a set of stamps to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who next year, with the first day cover reportedly due on 8th January 2013.

No other details are available at present, with the Royal Mail informing us:
Unfortunately it is too soon to have or to send out any information regarding an issue in January 2013. Probably around end of November or start of December we should have a FIRST publication that we can send.

It won't be the first time that Doctor Who has been officially recognised in such a prestigious way. A Dalek was chosen by Royal Mail to represent television in The Entertainers' Tale issue that was released on 1st June 1999. The set also comprised Bobby Moore (sport), Charlie Chaplin (cinema), and Freddie Mercury (popular music).

(with thanks to: Richard Thomas)

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine 450

7/26/2012 06:05:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine - out today - has a "Patrick Troughton" flavour to it, with a number of features on the actor and his Doctor's adventures. To mark this, an exclusive brand new interview imagines what would happen if the current Doctor Matt Smith were to talk to him ...
MATT: Patrick has a very Doctory face. Everything about Patrick is Doctory! He is peculiar without ever asking you to find him peculiar. All the elements were right. I loved his costume.

PATRICK: Well, you go along to the costumiers and they produce various things, and you say, "Ahh, that would be good..."

Also in this issue:
  • Do You Want To Know A Secret? Head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat drops his guard and reveals what's happening with the next 14 episodes of Doctor Who, exclusively in Production Notes!
  • Dinosaurs on a Spaceship! DWM talks to writer Chris Chibnall and grills him about his forthcoming scripts in the new season of Doctor Who – Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and the "very different" Episode 4...
  • Remembering Carry: DWM pays tribute to the late Caroline John, the much-loved actress who played the Third Doctor’s assistant Liz Shaw and died in June – and looks back over her life and times.
  • Recollections of the Daleks: seasoned Dalek operators Nicholas Pegg and Barnaby Edwards give DWM readers on a unique, Dalek-eye view of the making of 2005’s Bad Wolf/The Parting Of The Ways – accompanied by photos from their private collections!
  • When Pat met Colin: stern Sontarans, ambitious Androgums and fantastic food! Yes, it’s time to uncover the fascinating details of what really happened when the Second and Sixth incarnations met, as The Fact of Fiction looks back at the 1985 adventure The Two Doctors
  • Doctor Who's Replacement? DWM investigates Starwatch, a sci-fi series that, had it been made in the 1990s, would have starred Jon Pertwee. With never-before-published images from the project, DWM talks to the people who tried to make it happen...
  • When Pat Met Jon... and Peter and Richard and Tom: Countdown to 50 takes a nostalgic look back at the story which celebrated Doctor Who’s 20th anniversary with some old friends – and some ever older enemies! – as it remembers The Five Doctors.
  • Treasures Beyond Imagining... The Doctor, Amy and Rory face up to a ruthless collection of alien criminals within a mysterious ziggurat stuffed with priceless treasures in The Cornucopia Caper, the latest DWM comic strip, written by Scott Gray with art by Dan McDaid!
  • Find the Doctor! The Time Team convenes to watch one of the most innovative and controversial Doctor Who stories of all time – 2006’s Love & Monsters. But what will Emma, Chris, Will and Michael make of it...?
  • The Bare Essentials: DWM strands Toby Hadoke and Johnny Candon on a desert island, with only eight Doctor Who stories each to keep them company. But which episodes will they choose? And whose selection do you agree with? Find out, in A Battle of Wits!
  • Wotcha: the mysterious Watcher marvels at the TARDIS’ food machine, challenges readers with his Six Faces of Delusion, and champions another Supporting Artist of the Month in Wotcha!

PLUS! All the usual features, latest official news, TV and merchandise reviews, previews, competitions, a prize-winning crossword - and a giant-sized, double-sided poster featuring the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, and "every Dalek ever"!

Bookmark and Share Mary Tamm (1950-2012)

7/26/2012 10:54:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Mary Tamm (1950-2012)The actress Mary Tamm - who played the first incarnation of Romana - died this morning aged 62 after a long battle with cancer, her agent Barry Langford has announced.

Born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, on 22nd March 1950, she graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and then acted with the Birmingham Repertory Company. Stage roles included Amanda in Private Lives and Beverly in Abigail's Party. Film and television roles followed, including Tales That Witness Madness, two appearances in Coronation Street, The Odessa File, and the film version of The Likely Lads.

She joined Doctor Who in the role of Romanadvoratrelundar, aka Romana (or Fred!), alongside Tom Baker as the Doctor for the sixteenth year of the show, which revolved around the search for the Key to Time. During the run she had the chance to play another character in the form of the identical Princess Strella in The Androids of Tara (not to mention android versions of both!). She only played the role of Romana for one year, citing that the character could not develop any further from its 'traditional' companion role, with The Armageddon Factor's guest actress Lalla Ward continuing the character from the following story.

Post-Doctor Who, Tamm continued her TV career with a recurring role as Jill Fraser in The Assassination Run and The Treachery Game, Jennifer Reynoldston in The Hello Goodbye Man, Yvonne Edwards in Paradise Heights and a stint in Brookside as Penny Crosbie. Other guest appearances included Casualty, Holby City, Jonathan Creek, Crime Traveller, Heartbeat, and adding EastEnders to her CV as Orlanda in 2009. She was due to play a judge in the film Far Out Far In but illness forestalled that role.

Though departing from Doctor Who in 1979, Tamm continued her association with the show through the audio plays of Big Finish, reprising the role of Romana - as well as the villainous Time Lord Imperiatrix Pandora - in the Gallifrey audio series. Later, she again reprised her original role for the Companion Chronicle The Stealers from Saiph in 2009, followed by Ferril's Folly and Tales from the Vault in 2011. She is also set to feature posthumously alongside Tom Baker once more, with the pair starring in the second series of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, due to be released from January 2013.

The first volume of her autobiography First Generation (Fantom Films) was published in 2009. Her official website can be found here.

Update 9th August: Tragically, her husband Marcus Ringrose also passed away this week, a few hours after Mary's funeral on Tuesday 7th August. They are survived by their daughter Lauren and family, including grandson Max.


Her agent Barry Langford said:
She had a great zest for life. She was a fantastic actress - she played stage parts of such range, parts that would take your breath away. She could play any role, and do so wonderfully.
Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor alongside Tamm, said:
She was a darling companion and wonderfully witty and kind. I'm so sorry to hear of her death.
David Richardson, producer for Big Finish, told us:
Such a sad day. My phone hasn’t stopped ringing – everyone is so deeply upset by the terrible news. Mary was just brilliant to work with – and such fun, with her infectious laugh and naughty sense of humour. I feel honoured to have had so many opportunities to work with her over the past year.
Dexter O'Neill, whose company Fantom Films published her autobiography, said:
As you can imagine, Paul [Ballard] and I are devastated to hear the news. Our condolences go out to Marcus, Lauren and Max. We will miss her sense of humour, her emails (affectionately known to us as Tamm Spam) and above all the gossiping. We won't half miss you xxx
Ian Fraser, Mary's photographer, told us:
I will always remember Mary’s honesty, down to earth approach and I have to say the dirtiest laugh I’ve ever come across in a Doctor Who girl, so opposed to the perceived image of ice-queen and aloof. The hours we spent working together in the studio, and her genuine kindness to me as her photographer... photographing such a beautiful woman - not just in looks but in her heart, and hearing her talk of her husband Marcus, daughter Lauren and how much she adored her time with Max her grandson, well you know there was goodness running through her.

My thoughts are with Marcus, Lauren and Max and the big wide Doctor Who actor family, who are missing Mary so badly already.
Steven Moffat, current lead writer of Doctor Who, said:
I remember Mary Tamm's first appearance so vividly - the ice Queen on the TARDIS. The Time Lady who thought the Doctor was HER companion. Perfectly brought to life by Mary, with such style and wit, you always thought she could have kicked the Doctor out of the time machine and got on with the adventure herself. A generation of little girls threw away the idea of being an assistant, and decided to fly the TARDIS for themselves.

On Twitter
  • Colin Baker (The Doctor): Shellshocked to hear Mary Tamm is gone. A funny, caring, talented, lovely and down to earth lady. My heart goes out to Marcus and Lauren
  • Nicola Bryant (Peri): Just heard the terrible news that Mary Tamm has died. Completely shocked. Very sad. Thoughts go to Marcus & Lauren. RIP Mary.
  • Anneke Wills (Polly): Mary Tamm - How sad! A brave, beautiful woman, she will be greatly missed. I'm grateful to have known her. Love Anneke x
  • Frazer Hines (Jamie): I'm still reeling from the shock of Mary passing away!always a smiley friendly person whenever we met at cons.
  • Edward Russell (brand manager): My condolences to Mary Tamm's family. As a companion, Romana was my hero when I was 8 years old. So very sad. Guess we've reached that point in Doctor Who's history where it's time for many of its rich cast to say goodbye. Thank you for taking part.
  • Nicholas Briggs (actor, Big Finish): Very sad indeed about the death of Mary Tamm. She was so much fun and lovely to work with. I shall miss her.
  • Barnaby Edwards (actor): Very sad to hear of the death of Mary Tamm. A lovely actress and a sharp, witty person.
  • Nicholas Pegg (actor): Raising a glass to the beautiful, talented, funny Mary Tamm. So young. What sad news.
  • Paul Cornell: I'm so sorry to hear about Mary Tamm. It's an obit every month in DWM these days. How terrible.
  • Andy Pryor (casting director): Sad times. Caroline John and now Mary Tamm. We salute you both.
  • Mark Ayres (composer): Sad news to wake up to: RIP Mary Tamm, Doctor Who's first Romana, aka Fred. She was of the few Doctor Who girls I never met properly, though I did "music" her Myth Makers, which she played as Alice in Wonderland.
  • Gary Russell (script editor): Mary Tamm, funny, sweet, smart and utterly outrageous. Will miss her so much RIP xxx
  • Toby Hadoke (performer): Reeling from the news that Mary Tamm has passed away. RIP. And what?!
  • Kai Owen (Rhys): Sad news indeed. RIP Mary Tamm.
  • Benjamin Cook (DWM): Such sad news about Mary Tamm. I interviewed her once, in 2009. (Couldn't believe she was old enough to be a grandmother.) RIP. "I never, ever thought of Romana as a sex symbol," she said. "Glamorous, but not sexy… An old-fashioned, movie star style."
  • Gary Gillatt (DWM): Mary Tamm now. Another tragedy. What an awful year it's been to be a Doctor Who fan. This terrible silence, slowly rolling over it all.

Bookmark and Share Entertainment Weekly Cover

7/25/2012 06:44:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who has been granted the accolade of being the cover story of the US media magazine Entertainment Weekly.

The title, which has been running since 1990, is one of America's most popular entertainment magazines, with a circulation of 1.8 million and an estimated readership of 8.2 million. To make the cover is regarded as a major achievement, an honour unprecedented for a UK-made series, and something BBC America has been celebrating on its Facebook site.

Inside, it asks whether the time has finally come for the Time Lord to break big in America, and describes the upcoming season as maybe the most eagerly anticipated ever, as the Doctor prepares to say goodbye to his two trusty companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams.

The publication notes the number of on-screen shout-outs the show gets from programmes such as Community, Criminal Minds, Craig Ferguson's The Late Late Show, Supernatural, and Grey’s Anatomy. Executive producer Steven Moffat tells the magazine:
It's not an obscure show anymore. It's not even a 'British import'. It's just Doctor Who.
The cover story tracks the ups and downs of the show's long history and previews the new episodes with help from Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill as well as Moffat.

Entertainment Weekly also checks out the 25 Best Cult TV Shows From the Past 25 years.

Bookmark and Share An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend

7/25/2012 07:00:00 am - Reported by Marcus

We Want To Sell You A Story

The fourth in our occasional series marking the 50th anniversary of events leading to the creation of a true TV legend.

The story so far. In May two BBC drama script editors had been asked to write a report identifying specific science fiction stories suitable for adapting for television.

It was on 25th July 1962, fifty years ago today, that Alice Frick and John Braybon presented their follow-up report to the Head of the Script Department at the BBC, Donald Wilson.

Science fiction was not unknown on British television at the time. In June the BBC had transmitted six half-hour episodes of a serial called The Big Pull, written by Robert Gould. Produced by Terence Dudley, the story concerned an alien invasion of earth, made possible by the return of a manned space capsule allowing the aliens to travel through the Van Allen Belt. Later in the month the sequel to the previous year's A for Andromeda, The Andromeda Breakthrough, also began a six-week run.

Dumb Martian Meanwhile, ITV screened Dumb Martian, adapted from a story by John Wyndham, an Armchair Theatre production broadcast as a prelude to Out of this World, the first science fiction anthology series in the UK. This was commissioned by ABC's drama supervisor, Sydney Newman, a lifelong fan of science fiction, who was working out his notice at the ITV company before joining the BBC later in the year.

FrickandBraybonThe report commissioned by the BBC was to investigate literary works and to see if any were suitable for adaptation for television. It was comprehensive and detailed. In the eight weeks it took to produce the report Frick and Braybon had read hundreds of science fiction stories, coming up with a short list of titles that they thought may be suitable for dramatisation on television. The two script editors were ambivalent about the appeal of science fiction, making it clear that they were not making a judgement as to whether any script should actually be produced. They were very clear that should a production be considered then it must be as realistic as possible.

They set out four main points at the top of their report. The stories must not include Bug-Eyed Monsters. The central characters must never be Tin Robots. The stories must not require large and elaborate science fiction-type settings, and they must provide an opportunity for genuine characterisation. The couple were very much of the opinion that any distraction which caused the audience to lose the belief that what they were seeing on screen was possible, would cause the drama to fail, citing some current ITV shows that they believed had failed for that reason.

They suggested two types of plot that they considered would make the best scripts for television: those dealing with telepaths, and those dealing with time travel. The latter they thought was particularly suitable as a variety of script editors could be assigned working on a number of plots.

The report went on to list seven titles that the couple considered would be suitable for television production:
Guardians of Time by Poul AndersonThree to Conquer by Eric Frank RussellEternity Lost by Clifford SimakPictures Don't Lie by Katherine MacLeanNo Woman Born by C L MooreThe Cerebrative Psittacoid by H Nearing JrThe Ruum by Arthur Porges
Guardians of Time by Poul Anderson / Three to Conquer by Eric Frank Russell / Eternity Lost by Clifford Simak / Pictures Don't Lie by Katherine MacLean / No Woman Born by C L Moore / The Cerebrative Psittacoid by H Nearing Jr / The Ruum by Arthur Porges

The report finished by concluding that a science fiction series was a possibility which had had a varied degree of success in the past. The report would not be acted upon for another nine months.

Next EpisodeWe Want To Sell You A Story

Frick/Braybon Follow-Up Report

SOURCES: The Handbook (Howe, Walker, Stammers; 2005) BBC Written Archive

Bookmark and Share BBC America Doctor Who Documentary Specials

7/23/2012 11:14:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

BBC America are to broadcast four new special documentaries in the lead-up to their premiere of the next series of Doctor Who. Forming part of their Supernatural Saturday themed evenings, the first documentary will be broadcast on Saturday 4th August:

Explore the real-life science behind the biggest concepts and most iconic ideas in the incredible Doctor Who universe.

The documentary will be preceded by repeats of last year's documentaries, Best of the Companions, Best of the Monsters and Best of the Doctor from 6:00pm.

The following weeks will see documentaries on The Women of Doctor Who (11th August), The Timey-Wimey of Doctor Who (18th August), and The Destinations of Doctor Who (25th August).

Bookmark and Share Big Finish: July Releases

7/23/2012 10:34:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Big Finish have now released the latest adventures for the Doctor and his companions for July; producer David Richardson said:
We’re really proud of this month’s releases. A brand new trilogy starts for the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex with Protect and Survive, and so begins a journey that will be packed with scorching surprises...

The latest Lost Story is The First Sontarans by Andrew Smith, and it's probably my favourite from the entire range. You’ll discover the secret of the Sontarans – and it's a secret so significant that I hope listeners will help us keep it under wraps until everyone gets a chance to hear it...

Finally Ian Chesterton is back in The Time Museum, caught up in a vast exhibit dedicated to... Himself. It's a glorious script from James Goss, that takes a nostalgic foray into the early days of Doctor Who.

In addition, the first episode of The First Sontarans is currently available to listen to for free, via the Big Finish podcast feed.

Protect and Survive (available to order)
by Jonathan Morris
starring Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Peter Oliver

If an attack with nuclear weapons is expected, you will hear the air attack warning. If you are not at home, but can get there within two minutes, do so. If you are in the open, take cover in the nearest building. If you cannot reach a building, lie flat on the ground and cover your head and your hands.

Arriving in the North of England in the late 1980s, Ace and Hex seek refuge at the home of Albert and Peggy Marsden... in the last few hours before the outbreak of World War Three.

Meanwhile, the Doctor is missing. Will there be anyone left for him to rescue, when the bombs begin to fall?
The First Sontarans (available to order)
by Andrew Smith
starring Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant

1872. After finding a strange signalling device on the moon, the Doctor and Peri travel to the depths of the English countryside to track down the source of its transmissions. But they're not the first aliens to arrive on the scene.

Old enemies of the Doctor are drawing their battle lines in the forest and the local humans will be lucky to escape the conflagration unscathed.

For hidden within this village is a deadly secret - a secret that could destroy the entire Sontaran race... and reveal the terrible mystery of their creation.
The Time Museum (available to order)
by James Goss
starring William Russell

"This is The Chesterton Exhibition. A series of breathtakingly faithful tableaux, painstakingly detailed to the nth degree. Dedicated to the life of that most extraordinary time traveller, Ian Chesterton!"

Ian finds himself in a shrine to his own past, and on the run with a man named Pendolin.

From Coal Hill School to Jobis Station, from Totter’s Yard to the Crusades, Ian’s history is unfolding.

And a confrontation with a deadly enemy with a voracious appetite awaits…

Bookmark and Share People Roundup

7/23/2012 09:44:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman
Talking about sport and acting, Matt Smith said: "One of the things about playing a sportsman and learning about the psychology and mentality of sport is that there are so many parallels between that world and the world that I inhabit. There's practice for one thing and that sense of discipline and preparation. But it's also about sacrifice. If you want to give it a good go, you've got to make some sacrifices and be as dedicated as you can be. Particularly with Doctor Who; it's two or three hours of line-learning a night." He also ruefully commented: "I'd love to play football now. Everyone at work plays on Tuesdays, but they won't let me. I guess it's the insurance companies and, realistically, if I turn my ankle over and we can't shoot, then we're screwed, aren't we? You just can't. It's a small price to pay." [Radio Times, 21-27 Jul 2012]

Karen Gillan may have just finished working with Steven Moffat but her connection with the name continues as she heads to the Scottish town of Moffat to film the rom-com Not Another Happy Ending. Film crews will also be shooting in Glasgow. [Dumfries & Galloway Standard, 20 Jul 2012]

John and Carole Barrowman's novel The Hollow Earth is to be made into a television series. The rights have been taken up by Zodiak Kids UK and the show is being developed by its production company The Foundation. The writing duo said: "We are so thrilled to have our TV rights in such good hands, we can’t wait to see all of Matt and Em's wild adventures and all their art come to life for viewers." [WorldScreen, Licensing, 19 Jul 2012]

Billie Piper has pulled out of the forthcoming production of BBC Three comedy series Tom and Jenny in order to concentrate on her family. [Express, 16 Jul 2012]

Author Mark Morris visited a school in Selby to chat about writing, with the classes encouraged to design and create their own Doctor Who monsters! School receptionist Ellen Briggs said: "For every Doctor Who enthusiast among the children and staff it was a dream visit.", whilst pupil Caitlin added: "It was really interesting to find out about the Doctor Who books. [Selby Times, 14 Jul 2012]

Artist and illustrator Alister Pearson is urging people to contact him if anyone tries to sell paintings that are attributed to him. Pearson, who has done numerous covers for Doctor Who books, magazines, and videos, is seeking to verify their authenticity before they are bought. Anyone who sees any of his artwork for sale or is offered the chance to buy it should contact him first on

Bookmark and Share The Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey Reader

7/23/2012 09:39:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Bigger Inside Press have announced that a new book is to be compiled for release during the show's 50th Anniversary year, and the authors are soliciting material from contributors:

Seeking Original DOCTOR WHO Essays For 50th Anniversary Book!

2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of the debut of Doctor Who, the longest running sci-fi show on television. To commemorate this historic milestone, Bigger Inside Press is compiling The Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey Reader, a collection of insightful and entertaining essays about the greatest show in the galaxy! Spearheaded by Don J. Krouskop, author of the acclaimed best seller The Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey Trivia Quiz (2011 BearManor Media), this volume will contain the best critical, expository, and anecdotal writing on this amazing program ever penned by its loyal fans.

If you'd like to contribute to this historic tome (and get paid for writing about Doctor Who!), you can submit your original essay via email. It can be a review of your favorite story or season, a general overview of the series, a retrospective of cast & crew, an exploration of the show's deeper themes, a personal memory of the show and its impact on your life, or just about anything else Doctor Who-related that catches your fancy (NO FAN FICTION!). Submissions should be between 2500 - 8000 words in length. Authors whose entries are selected will receive a royalty of 5% of net sales of the book.

Don't miss out on this chance to contribute to a once in a lifetime publication!

(with thanks to: Don J. Krouskop)

Bookmark and Share Movie update

7/22/2012 10:10:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Matt Smith has ruled himself out of appearing in a big-screen version of the show. Speaking to Collider at last week's Comic-Con the actor explained:
For my money, whoever is playing the Doctor should be in the movie. I don't think there should be two Doctors. I think it would take four or five years to get something like that off the ground, and I don't anticipate that I'll be playing the Doctor then. My skin and the aging process couldn’t take it. But, I don't see any reason why it couldn't work. I think they should get Steven to write it because he’s the best.

Meanwhile, Steven Moffat re-iterated that any film version of Doctor Who will not be a separate entity to the current television series. Speaking to Airlock Alpha at the same event, the show's lead writer commented:
There will not come a time when there's a separate kind of Doctor Who. What was talked about there was that there would be a separate Doctor and a different continuity. Of course it won't. That would be silly. Everyone knows that's silly. The BBC knows that's silly, and is not going to do that.

The likelihood of an alternative film version of the show was promoted by director David Yates back in November when he told Variety that BBC Worldwide Productions were undertaking the project and writers were being considered for a version that "would start from scratch".

Bookmark and Share Colin Lavers

7/22/2012 12:05:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The man behind the Fifth Doctor's costume, Colin Lavers, has died.

Colin Lavers was a costume designer for the BBC. In 1982 he was scheduled to work on the Doctor Who story Four To Doomsday, which just happened to be the first story recorded by Peter Davison, and therefore the realisation of the Fifth Doctor's costume became his responsibility.

The cricket motif came out of discussions with Davison and producer John Nathan-Turner, who insisted the question-mark lapels sported by Tom Baker's Doctor should remain.

Lavers was also the costume designer on the 20th-anniversary story, The Five Doctors, which gave him the responsibility of creating costumes for a large number of Doctor Who alumni, some of whom had not been seen on television in colour before. He also worked on the 1978 story The Power of Kroll and the 1983 story The King's Demons.

Other productions in his long career included EastEnders, Last of the Summer Wine and Judge John Deed.
(with thanks to Ryan Wigley)

Bookmark and Share Future of Television Centre Decided

7/20/2012 11:58:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

BBC Television Centre in London will remain a key broadcasting centre under a deal signed by the Corporation today.

The future of the iconic building had been in jeopardy ever since the BBC announced it was selling the Centre as part of its plans to reduce its property holdings by 30%. Television Centre was built towards the end of the Fifties as the BBC's first purpose-built television complex and was where some of the most recognised and respected British television programmes were made. It was the home of Doctor Who throughout the '70s and '80s when every single studio-based story, bar one, was shot at the Centre.

The BBC today completed the sale of the Centre for £200m to Stanhope Plc, a development company based in London and the south-east. The company has over 30 years' experience as developer, development partner and development manager. During this time it has been wholly or jointly responsible for the delivery of commercial projects in excess of £10bn of commercial value. Recent projects include Central Saint Giles, 23 Savile Row and AirW1, as well as headquarter offices for NM Rothschild and Unilever.

Following redevelopment the BBC's commercial arms BBC Studios and Post Production and BBC Worldwide will lease refurbished office and entertainment space in the completed scheme. The listed elements of Television Centre will be retained and enhanced, including the instantly recognisable exterior view, and some studios, including Studio 1, will be available for hire as television production facilities.

The rest of the site will be developed to include a mix of uses including leisure, office and residential. BBC Chief Operating Officer Caroline Thomson, who oversaw the sale, said: 
This is an exciting deal both for the BBC and for London. Working with Stanhope we will build a new creative hub in west London. It marks a critical step in the transformation of the BBC's property portfolio and the delivery of great value to licence fee payers.
David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope Plc, said: 
We are looking forward to working with the BBC to deliver a vibrant, mixed-use scheme for the Television Centre site. We will preserve and enhance the much-loved iconic buildings surrounding the forecourt for workspace, hotel and residential uses.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Experience Opens at Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay

7/20/2012 08:43:00 pm - Reported by Matt Hills

Today saw the official opening of the Doctor Who Experience to the public take place at its new home in Cardiff Bay.

A special ceremony marked the event, with a young visitor dressed as the Eleventh Doctor (complete with fez) given the honour of cutting the ribbon to open the Experience, and a Dalek, Cybermen, Silent and Silurian were on hand to greet visitors and pose for photos.

You can read our full review of the opening and the Experience here.

Bookmark and Share Docudrama on the way?

7/20/2012 12:06:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

As the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who approaches, the first indication of special programmes to celebrate the milestone has surfaced with a recent advertisement by BBC Careers for a new producer, stating that a "passion for drama and a knowledge of Doctor Who is essential," and that the applicant should preferably have knowledge of period drama.

The role is for a single drama on BBC Two, with the producer based at the new Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff Bay for a five-month term. Full details of the position included the following:
You will be producing high-quality, cost-effective drama and will be accountable for the delivery of the drama on time and within the agreed editorial brief and production budget. One of your main responsibilities will be to help develop the script to the highest standards as well as encouraging, fostering and developing creative talent and ability on behalf of the Drama Department.

You will need drama-producing experience. A passion for drama and a knowledge of Doctor Who is essential.

Ideally the successful candidate will have a wide-ranging knowledge of the television drama production processes, preferably including period drama and use of CGI, and an understanding of the jobs of programme and resource personnel who are engaged to complete the production.
No other details of the post are known at present, but "docudramas" following iconic careers and film/TV developments have become common in recent years. The possibility of Doctor Who becoming such a subject was broached on The Graham Norton Show back on 11th February, when actor/writer Mark Gatiss was asked if he was involved in such a project - to which he avoided a direct answer to the question and said "I'm writing on the back of my hand, now, what a good idea that would be!" Gatiss previously contributed to 1999's Doctor Who Night on BBC2, including a spoof documentary on commissioning the series, The Pitch of Fear.

Applications for the role closed on Wednesday.

(with thanks to Ruther)

Bookmark and Share San Diego Comic-Con Panels

7/20/2012 05:04:00 am - Reported by Neil McNally

This past weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con two Doctor Who panel discussions proved to be immensely popular.
The first occurred Saturday night at the Nerd HQ event hosted by actor Zachary Levi. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill casually talked about their experiences on the show, the upcoming 50th anniversary, and sang an impromptu rendition of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

Matt Smith also spoke of his love for Patrick Troughton, and his dream episode would be to have their respective Doctors meet.

The next day, 6500 fans packed the Inside Doctor Who panel held in Hall H for the opportunity to see Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Steven Moffat, and Caroline Skinner. The moderator for the event was Chris Hardwick of The Nerdist.

Among the subjects discussed was the upcoming season, where clips from 
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and A Town Called Mercy were screened.

Of Asylum of the Daleks, Karen Gillan had this to say:

I've never been massively scared of them before...I like them because they're iconic, but they've never scared me before. They did in this episode.
However, the real focus was given to the upcoming departure of Amy and Rory in episode five. But, Matt Smith summed up the series as a whole:
This show isn't about us. The show is the star. Each week it can be anything...The heartbeat of the show is in the quality of the writing.
The Q & A portion yielded interesting information. As for a multi-Doctor episode, Moffat said he flat out wasn't going to tell the crowd. But, when asked the answer to the the Doctor's name he replied:
It's been there from the start. He never gives his name...It's a tremendously important question. But I know why, and you will find out the truth.
For further info on the panels please visit BBC America, Radio Times,, and Screen Crave.

Bookmark and Share Bert And Dickie Broadcast Date

7/17/2012 05:25:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

Bert and Dickie - the 1948 Olympic rowing drama starring Matt Smith - is to be broadcast on BBC One on Wednesday 25th July at 8.30pm.

Written by William Ivory and directed by David Blair, the 90-minute production, filmed last August, tells the true story of chalk-and-cheese scullers Bert Bushnell, played by Smith, and Dickie Burnell (Sam Hoare), who were paired to row for Great Britain in the double sculls event a matter of weeks before the 1948 Games in London and won gold.

Also appearing in the drama are Geoffrey Palmer, Alexandra Moen, Clive Merrison, Ron Cook, and Graham Padden.

The BBC has released a series of pictures from the production. Click on the images below to enlarge them.