Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures 305

1/31/2013 06:48:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

The new edition of Doctor Who Adventures - out today - takes a look at the latest series trailer and examines just what is in store in the forthcoming new episodes.

Also in issue 305:
  • A free mystery gift plus free Doctor Who Monster Invasion trading cards
  • Comic-strip adventures with the Doctor and Decky Flamboon
  • Behind-the-scenes Dalek fun
  • How to spot an alien
  • Puzzles
  • Posters
As well as being available in print form, the publication can also be downloaded as an app for the iPhone and iPad from the App Stores in the UK and USA.

Bookmark and Share Dark Bunny T-Shirts: 50th Anniversary designs

1/31/2013 02:27:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Dark Bunny Tees have announced a new range of officially licensed t-shirts to tie in with Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary.

Owner Alex Chenery said:
Dark Bunny Tees: I.M. ForemanDark Bunny Tees: Masters of Earth
I have been working closely with BBC Worldwide to produce some very special designs every month throughout 2013. Dark Bunny Tees will be celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who by releasing two designs a month; one inspired by each of the Eleven Doctors and the other inspired by a classic and iconic monster. These strictly limited edition t-shirts will also come with an exclusive post card, designed by Dark Bunny Tees, with 12 to collect throughout the year.

In January we celebrate the First Doctor, William Hartnell and the iconic Daleks, with designs inspired by the classic episodes An Unearthly Child and The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

Details on Dark Bunny Tees can be found via their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger.

(with thanks to BBC Worldwide)

Bookmark and Share The Aztecs Special Edition: Full DVD Details

1/31/2013 12:48:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The cover and contents of the forthcoming two-disc special edition DVD release of The Aztecs in the UK have been finalised.

As well as representing a huge technical improvement on the original DVD release from 11 years ago, it also features a selection of new extras and the premiere of the recently recovered third episode of Galaxy 4. Missing for many years, the episode is presented in its entirety, within a shortened reconstruction of the rest of the adventure.

The Aztecs - Special Edition
Release date: 11th March 2013 (available for pre-order)

Starring William Hartnell as Doctor Who, with Carole Ann Ford as Susan, William Russell as Ian, and Jacqueline Hill as Barbara
Written by John Lucarotti
Directed by John Crockett

Broadcast: 23rd May - 13 June 1964

The TARDIS arrives in fifteenth century Mexico inside the tomb of Aztec High Priest Yetaxa. The travellers become cut off from the ship after the tomb door closes behind them and Barbara is proclaimed as Yetaxa's divine reincarnation. However, she incurs the enmity of the High Priest of Sacrifice, when - against the Doctor's advice - she attempts to use her new-found authority to put an end to the Aztec practice of human sacrifice.

Special Features - Disc One
  • Commentary - with actors William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, producer Verity Lambert OBE.
  • Arabic Soundtrack - optional soundtrack for episode four only.
  • Remembering The Aztecs - actors John Ringham, Ian Cullen and Walter Randall recall the production of the story and of television production in the sixties in general.
  • Designing The Aztecs - designer Barry Newbery talks about his work on the story, illustrated with many never-before-seen production drawings and photographs from his personal collection.
  • Cortez and Montezuma - an extract from a 1970 Blue Peter, introduced by Valerie Singleton on location in Mexico, giving historical background to the Aztec belief in human sacrifice.
  • Restoring The Aztecs - a short featurette demonstrating the restoration and videoisation effects used for the release. With subtitles.
  • Making Cocoa - an animated guide to making cocoa the Aztec way, voiced in character by John Ringham as Tlotoxl and Walter Randall as Tonila, with both characters animated and presented in South Park style.
  • TARDIS-Cam no.3 - the third of BBCi’s TARDIS-Cam shots.
  • Photo Gallery - production, design and publicity photos from the story
  • Easter Egg - an animated BBC Enterprises logo recovered from the end of one of the prints sold overseas.
  • Intro Sequences - the umbrella story title The Aztecs does not appear on any of the episodes, so for (outdated now) BBFC compliance a caption card with the title has been provided. To add interest, six versions have been provided, each with a different voiceover, in character, from three of the actors involved in the production. The intention is that the disc will randomly select one of these six sequences and play it out at the appropriate point.
  • PDF Material – Radio Times listings in Adobe PDF format for viewing on PC or Mac
  • Programme subtitles
Special Features - Disc Two
  • Galaxy 4 (dur. 64’ 43”) – a shortened reconstruction of the missing story Galaxy 4, using off-screen stills, audio recordings and animation plus the recently recovered complete episode three to tell the story.
  • Chronicle – The Realms of GoldJohn Julius Norwich’s superlative 1969 retelling of the story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and the Aztecs, which also features music by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
  • Dr. Forever! – Celestial Toyroom – the first of a new five-part series introduced by Ayesha Antoine looks at Doctor Who toys. With original series producer Verity Lambert, new series creator Russell T Davies, writers Mark Gatiss, Rob Shearman, Paul Cornell and Joseph Lidster, BBC Worldwide product licensing executive Richard Hollis, product approval executive Dave Turbitt and ex- range editor Steve Cole, AudioGO commissioning editor Michael Stevens, Character Options’ Alasdair Dewar, DWM’s toy reviewer Jim Sangster and last, but by no means least, Doctor Who’s very own Winston Churchill, actor Ian McNiece.
  • It’s a Square World – the very first Doctor Who skit (as far as we can ascertain), with Clive Dunn in full First Doctor costume as a scientist demonstrating his new space rocket to Michael Bentine, resulting in Television Centre being launched into space! Features cameo appearances by Patrick Moore and Albert Steptoe.
  • A Whole Scene Going – an excerpt from a recently recovered edition of the sixties music and arts programme, featuring an interview with director Gordon Flemyng and a behind the scenes look at filming of his movie Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 AD.
  • Coming Soon - a trailer for a forthcoming DVD release.
  • Radio Times Listings - in Adobe PDF format.
  • Programme subtitles

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

1/31/2013 09:46:00 am - Reported by John Bowman


The seventh instalment in our series looking at events leading to the creation of a true TV legend.

As stated in our previous feature, having joined the BBC in December 1962 as its new Head of Television Drama, Sydney Newman, pictured below, had been somewhat dismayed from the off, feeling that most of the directors, although perfectly nice people, were stuck in old-fashioned ways. He needed to implement long-overdue changes to re-energise the department - and a newly-published report helped the "new broom" do just that.

Sydney NewmanThe Pilkington Committee, chaired by glass magnate Sir Harry Pilkington, had been appointed in July 1960 to look into the organisation of the entire broadcasting industry and programmes. It eventually reported in June 1962, and among its recommendations it said that the BBC should be awarded a second national TV channel as an alternative to what was perceived as a populist approach by the BBC (whose Television Service had begun regularly-scheduled electronically-scanned programmes on 2nd November 1936 and was renamed and restyled BBC tv in 1960) and its commercial rival ITV (which began broadcasting on 22nd September 1955, initially in the London area). As a result, BBC2 (as it was originally styled) would be launched on 20th April 1964, with BBC tv becoming BBC1.

Then, in January 1963 - 50 years ago this month - Newman received some very welcome news. He would later recall being summoned to the office of Kenneth Adam, the BBC's Director of Television, to be told that as a result of BBC2 being given the go-ahead the Drama Department would now have a 40 per cent budget increase. Newman said:
Of course, that opened the door. I could then hire people whose work I liked. So I put the word around, and many of the directors and writers who worked for me at ABC - Philip Saville, Ted Kotcheff, Peter Luke and so on - came over to join me at the BBC.
One of the far-reaching decisions Newman made during January 1963 was to disband the Children's Department at the BBC, meaning that every children's drama programme would now be made by the Drama Department.

Further fundamental changes to working practices followed. Newman had found the Drama Department an unwieldy beast and impossible to control by himself. He therefore took the decision to break it down into three separate departments: Series, Serials, and Plays - each of which had its own head with direct control but doing his bidding.

In addition, Newman gradually abandoned the all-in-one producer/director role, replacing it with the production-team style used greatly by ITV and, hitherto, to a far lesser degree by the BBC. Directors would be appointed - either from staff or on a freelance basis - to make individual episodes or programmes, whereas producers would now act in a more
Joanna SpicerDonald Baverstock
executive capacity, with total financial and artistic control over a specific project. A story editor would also form a permanent part of the team, and their job would be to find writers and work with them to produce scripts. A move that would take some three months to fully put into place, this brave new world of drama production would ultimately see the Script Department become mostly redundant, leading to its eventual closure.

During March 1963, Newman would also hold talks with Donald Baverstock, pictured left, newly promoted from being BBC tv's Assistant Controller of Programmes to the role of Chief of Programmes for BBC1 (in anticipation of the launch of BBC2), and Joanna Spicer, pictured far left, the Assistant Controller (Planning) Television, on the need for a new drama serial to plug an important gap in the Saturday-evening schedule.
Here's what Newman would later say about it:
As Head of the Drama Group, I was privy to problems of scheduling. Probably articulated by Donald Baverstock or [Controller of Programmes] Stuart Hood, there was a gap in the ratings on Saturday afternoons between BBC's vastly popular sports coverage [Grandstand], ending at 5.15, and the start at 5.45 of an equally popular pop music programme [Juke Box Jury].

What was between them was, I vaguely recall, a children's classic drama serial, ie, Charles Dickens dramatisations, etc. This could be moved to Sunday if the Drama Department could come up with something more suitable.

So, we required a new programme that would bridge the state of mind of sports fans and the teenage pop music audience while attracting and holding the children's audience accustomed to their Saturday-afternoon serial . . . The problem was, as I saw it, that it had to be a children's programme and still attract adults and teenagers. And also, as a children's programme, I was intent upon it containing basic factual information that could be described as educational - or, at least, mind-opening for them.
Among the possibilities was a series centring on two lads in a boys' school, but Newman later settled on a science-fiction show. He gave a general outline of his idea to Baverstock and Spicer, who were extremely positive about it, and Newman subsequently asked Donald Wilson, head of the still-remaining Script Department, to think of format ideas for a 52-week science-fiction series made up of shorter serials. A meeting in Wilson's office was then scheduled for 26th March to talk about suggestions for the new series, using as the basis for discussion the April 1962 and July 1962 Survey Group reports concerning science-fiction.

Next EpisodeA Meeting of Great Minds

SOURCES: The Handbook (Howe, Walker, Stammers; 2005); Doctor Who: The Early Years (Bentham; 1986); Committees of Enquiry (The BBC Story); Wikipedia - BBC Television, History of ITV

Bookmark and Share DVD Update: The Ice Warriors / The Mind of Evil

1/30/2013 02:13:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Coming Soon: The Ice WarriorsBack in December the BBFC classified a trailer for Second Doctor story The Ice Warriors - this trailer has now been confirmed for the forthcoming The Aztecs - Special Edition DVD, though it should be noted that, as the name implies, the trailer illustrates a release that is "Coming Soon". Restoration Team member Steve Roberts clarified:
I think you'll find The Ice Warriors has moved further back in the schedule. These things happen. It's one of the reasons we no longer put "Coming Soon" on the trailers, now it's simply "Doctor Who on DVD".
Though the trailer indicates that the story is to be released, there is no indication as yet if the new DVD presentation will also feature animated recreations of the missing episodes two and three in the same way as this week's release of The Reign of Terror. Steve Roberts has reported previously, however, that the DVD would include the reconstruction of those episodes that appeared on the original VHS release back in 1998.

The official confirmation of story releases beyond The Aztecs will be announced later in the year.

Meanwhile, the colour restoration work undertaken on The Mind of Evil is almost complete, with the Restoration Team reporting on Monday: "At TV Centre, grading episode one of The Mind of Evil - back in colour and looking stunning!". Unlike episodes two to six, which contained the chromadot information enabling Richard Russell to restore their original colour, the first had no such detail and needed to be painstakingly coloured from scratch by Stuart Humphryes and Peter Crocker.

The fruits of everybody's efforts will be premiered at the BFI on 10th March. The DVD release of the story has yet to be announced.

Bookmark and Share Casting announced for "An Adventure in Space and Time"

1/30/2013 12:32:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has announced that actor David Bradley will play William Hartnell in the upcoming docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time, detailing events leading to the creation of Doctor Who fifty years ago.

Bradley is best known for playing Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch in the Harry Potter film series. He is also an established theatre actor with a career that includes a Laurence Olivier Award for a supporting role in a production of King Lear.

This won't be Bradley's first involvement with the worlds of Doctor Who. He played Solomon in last year's episode Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and provided a Shansheeth voice in the 2010 Sarah Jane Adventures story Death of the Doctor.

An Adventure in Space and Time will tell the story behind the creation of Doctor Who and the many personalities involved. The BBC’s Head of Drama Sydney Newman, credited with the creation of the show, will be portrayed by Shakespearean actor Brian Cox, who voiced the elder Ood in the 2009 Doctor Who episode The End of Time.

Doctor Who's first producer, Verity Lambert, will be played by Call the Midwife star Jessica Raine (shortly to appear in one of this year's episodes), while the director of the first serial, Waris Hussein, will be played by Sacha Dhawan, best known for his appearances in The History Boys and Last Tango In Halifax. (Some photos of Waris and Sacha together can be seen courtesy of the Radio Times.)

Commenting on his upcoming role, Bradley said:
I’m absolutely thrilled. I first heard about this role from Mark [Gatiss] while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre. When he asked if I would be interested, I almost bit his hand off! Mark has written such a wonderful script not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television’s history. William Hartnell was one of the finest character actors of our time and as a fan I want to make sure that I do him justice. I’m so looking forward to getting started.
The one-off 90-minute BBC Two drama has been written by Doctor Who writer and actor Mark Gatiss, who will also act as executive producer alongside Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner. Gatiss said:
What a cast! I'm utterly delighted that everyone's favourite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company. We have a terrific team who can't wait to tell the fascinating and surprising story of how the Doctor began his journey through Space and Time.

The readthrough for the drama took place yesterday, with Gatiss describing the day as "thrilling and moving". Filming starts at the beginning of February at BBC Television Centre before moving to Wimbledon Studios. It is being produced by Matt Strevens (Misfits, Skins) and directed by Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, The Street).

The film is a co-production between BBC America and BBC Cymru Wales and will air both sides of the Atlantic in November, after being premièred at the BFI in London.

Bookmark and Share Bernard Horsfall 1930 - 2013

1/29/2013 03:15:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The actor Bernard Horsfall has died at the age of 82.

He appeared in 14 episodes of Doctor Who, alongside the second, third and fourth Doctors.

Born on 20th November 1930 in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, Horsfall had a long career in film and television in the UK, including roles in the feature films On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Gandhi and Braveheart.

He appeared in many classic television dramas including Casualty, Agatha Christie: Poirot, The Bill, The Jewel in the Crown, Juliet Bravo, Minder, When the Boat Comes In, Within These Walls, Jackanory, Elizabeth R, Doomwatch, Out of the Unknown, Softly Softly, Dr. Finlay's Casebook and Z Cars. He also played the respected doctor Philip Martel in the Channel Islands wartime drama Enemy at the Door, which ran for 26 episodes between 1978 and 1980.

Horsfall's first appearance in Doctor Who came in the 1968 story The Mind Robber, where he played Lemuel Gulliver, encountered by the second Doctor in the Land of Fiction.

After a small role as the First Time Lord in the final Troughton story The War Games, Horsfall returned to the series in 1973, playing the Thal Taron in the six-part story Planet of the Daleks, working with the third Doctor to defeat the Daleks on the planet Spiridon.

His final role in Doctor Who is arguably the one he is most famous for, playing Chancellor Goth in the 1976 story The Deadly Assassin. His most famous scene involved a battle with the fourth Doctor inside the Matrix with the climax of episode three showing the Doctor being held underwater by Goth. The sequence prompted complaints from the TV campaigner Mary Whitehouse and was edited from repeat showings.

Horsfall returned to the world of Doctor Who in 2003 when he played Arnold Baynes in the Big Finish audio play Davros.

The actor, who was due to attend the 2013 Gallifrey One convention next month, collapsed and died this morning.

Bookmark and Share Preview and Details for "Prisoners of Time"

1/29/2013 03:39:00 am - Reported by Josiah Rowe

Diamond Comics, the main distributor for comic books in North America, has published a preview of the first issue of IDW's new Doctor Who comic, Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time. The first five pages of issue #1 can be read in PDF format here.

As previously reported, Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time is written by Scott and David Tipton. Each issue will feature each of the eleven Doctors in turn, with art by a different artist. The first issue's art is by Simon Fraser; the second issue, featuring the Second Doctor, will be illustrated by Lee Sullivan; Mike Collins will tackle the Third Doctor in the third issue, and the fourth issue will have art by Gary Erskine. Artists on the remaining issues have yet to be announced.

Interested readers can find interviews with both the Tiptons at Comic Book Resources, with Scott Tipton at Comic Book Therapy, and with Simon Fraser at (though some readers may consider some of the promotional material in those interviews to be spoilers).

The first issue will be available in comic stores and via download at this Wednesday, January 30. North American readers who prefer their comics in old-fashioned paper-and-ink format can find their nearest comic store via the Comic Shop Locator.

Bookmark and Share Guests Announced For Tomb Screening At BFI

1/28/2013 11:50:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

The guest line-up for next month's celebratory screening of The Tomb of the Cybermen at the BFI Southbank was announced today.

The event, which takes place on Saturday 9th February at 2.30pm, will see seven people make up the Q&A panels. They are:
Part of the organisation's Doctor Who At 50 season to mark the show's milestone anniversary, it sold out to BFI members before tickets went on general release.

Throughout 2013, the BFI is showing a story per Doctor as well as digitally-restored prints of the two Dalek films. It will also be premièring An Adventure In Space And Time - a 90-minute BBC Two docudrama about the show's creation, written by Mark Gatiss, which is due to start shooting next month.

Marking the Third Doctor's era, the première of the colour-restored story The Mind of Evil plus a discussion takes place on Sunday 10th March at 2pm. Tickets will go on general sale on Tuesday 12th February at 11.30am. BFI members get priority booking plus discounts on ticket prices and are exempt from booking fees. An annual membership currently costs £30 - down from £40. This special offer expires at the end of February - click here for more details.

Bookmark and Share "Splendid chaps" podcast now available

1/28/2013 09:52:00 am - Reported by Adam Kirk

The Splendid Chaps podcast is now available on its website.  As previously reported, to celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who,  John Richards (creator/writer of the ABC1 sitcom OutlandBoxcutters podcast) and Ben McKenzie (Channel 31′s Planet NerdDungeon Crawl, ‘patron saint of geek comedy’ – T-Squat magazine) have joined forces to host a year-long performance/podcast project, entitled "Splendid Chaps", in Melbourne, Australia.
Each month, from January to November 2013, John and Ben will record a live Doctor Who panel discussion – one for each of the eleven Doctors – with a different theme, special guests, musical and comedy performances and loveliness. These will also be edited into podcast episodes, released on the 23rd of each month.

The highlight of the first podcast, featuring the first doctor, includes Alexandra Tynan (nee Sandra Reid) talking about her designs for the Cybermen, in both The Tenth Planet and The Moonbase, and also the filming of the first doctor's regeneration scene. The podcast is also available at iTunes.

Bookmark and Share Troughton And Gold Win Audio Drama Awards

1/27/2013 11:47:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

Both David Troughton and Murray Gold were winners at the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2013 this evening.

The event - a celebration of audio drama on air and online - was hosted by David Tennant at BBC Broadcasting House. He said:
The quality of our radio drama is one of the things that makes me proud to be British. Acting on the radio is challenging, inspiring, delicate, and always a privilege. Radio drama is often overlooked and undervalued next to its showier younger siblings on the television and in the cinema, and yet it is on the wireless that so many important and brilliant talents have been discovered and nurtured. I am delighted radio drama is being celebrated in this way.
Troughton was named Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the Earl of Leicester in BBC Radio 3's Singles and Doublets, while Gold's Kafka the Musical, which aired on Radio 3 and starred Tennant in the title role, won the Tinniswood Radio Drama Award 2012 for best radio drama script. Tennant was named Best Actor in last year's BBC Audio Drama Awards for his portrayal of Kafka in the production.

The BBC awards covered audio dramas first broadcast in English in the UK between 1st October 2011 and 31st October 2012 – or first uploaded/published for free listening online in the UK during the same period.

Last Wednesday's National Television Awards saw Colin Morgan win the Drama Performance: Male gong for Merlin, while Coronation Street, produced by Phil Collinson, won the Serial Drama trophy, Downton Abbey, starring Hugh Bonneville and Penelope Wilton (who presented the Best Actor award to Andrew Scott for Betrayal on Radio 4 at this evening's BBC Audio Drama ceremony), claimed the Drama title, and Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs won the Factual Entertainment award.

Bookmark and Share The War Machines on UKTV

1/26/2013 06:34:00 pm - Reported by Paul Scoones

UKTVThe 50th Anniversary season of classic Doctor Who stories on UKTV in Australia and New Zealand continues with The War Machines.

The four-part story is broadcast on Sunday 27th January at 4:15pm (New Zealand) and 4:30pm (Australia). New Zealand has another screening for The War Machines on Monday 28th January at 4:00am.

The 1966 story was first broadcast in Australia in 1967. New Zealand viewers saw it in 1969.

This is the fourth story to be aired as part of the channel's celebration of the First Doctor this month. It follows earlier screenings of An Unearthly Child, The Aztecs and The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

UKTV is showing stories every Sunday throughout the year in the lead-up to the anniversary in November.

From next week the focus shifts to the Second Doctor, with The Tomb of the Cybermen scheduled for 3rd February, followed by The Dominators (10th), The Mind Robber (17th), and The Seeds of Death (24th).

Up-and-coming broadcasts from both 20th and 21st Century series of Doctor Who can be found via UKTV's Doctor Who sections for Australia and New Zealand.

Bookmark and Share The Reign of Terror: related animations

1/25/2013 05:09:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

BBC Worldwide have released a number of videos to tie in with The Reign of Terror coming out on DVD next Monday.

In Animating the Doctor, lead animator Chris Chapman from Planet 55 Studios demonstrates the process of bringing the First Doctor to animated life in his attire as a regional officer from the Provinces. Travelling with the Doctor is a creation by the company of the First Doctor within the TARDIS as he prepares to undertake his travels. Finally, A glimpse inside the First Doctor's TARDIS presents a brief colour animation of the console room as it was imagined during the first season of the show.

Bookmark and Share People Roundup

1/25/2013 02:11:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

David Tennant in Richard II. Photo: RSCDavid Tennant is to return to the Royal Shakespeare Company in October; the actor will play the title role in Richard II at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon in a production helmed by his former Hamlet director, Gregory Doran, and will be joined by another Hamlet compatriot Oliver Ford Davies. An interview with Tennant on the role can be watched via the RSC. Priority Booking opens on 11th February for the five week production which runs from 10th October to 16th November, with public tickets available from the 18th March.

The BBC have released the warm-up video for Matt Smith's appearance on Top Gear as the Star in a reasonably priced car last year, during which he engages in a rendition of Singing In The Rain!

'River Song' is to meet 'Captain Jack' as Alex Kingston is to be a guest star on CW series Arrow, which also features John Barrowman as a guest character. The actress is to play Dinah Lance, the separated wife of police sergeant Quentin Lance and mother of Laurel. [Entertainment Weekly, 22 Jan 2013]

Bernard Cribbins spoke about the way children's television has developed over the years: "It's all very fast and noisy now I think. You think of the gentleness of Jackanory, somebody would walk onto the set, sit down and say 'hello I'm going to tell you about Ratty and Mole and the Wind in the Willows' and off you went. Nice and gentle, and the only thing you saw, apart from the guy or lady talking to you, was a few captions and illustrations, which were stills. That was how it used to be. Pure, simple storytelling. Now there seems to be - sometimes, not always - a tendency to use every single opportunity to put in CGI and animation and a lot of it is, I think, gratuitous when the story is actually doing the work for you." [BBC News, 19 Jan 2013]

Talking about her role as Larissa Loughton in The Carrie Diaries - and more importantly her fashion sense - Freema Agyeman said: "I always look forward to my costume fittings because I walk in and I can instantly tell which rail is mine, because they have the brightest shiniest outfits that make me smile because they are so outrageous and so wacky but beautifully put together. I think they look like pieces of art." [Celebuzz, 23 Jan 2013]

Brian Cox has been re-elected as the University of Dundee's rector, serving students' interests. He said: "It is such a privilege and honour to be allowed to serve the students of Dundee for another three years. I hope to reciprocate in my heart the tremendous trust you have given me." [BBC News, 18 Jan 2013]

Adam Woodyatt spoke about his interest in appearing in Doctor Who: "I want to be an alien, heavily made up so people wouldn't be able to tell it was me. I think everyone of my generation would like to do Doctor Who because we all have something significant from the show that we remember from childhood. For me it was Jon Pertwee, the Brigadier and these giant maggoty slug things. I have this memory of watching it when I was off school ill. So it must have been repeated in the daytime. Or maybe it was the school holidays. I do like the new series as well, though - I enjoyed the Christmas special and I think Matt Smith is brilliant." [Radio Times via RTE, 18 Jan 2013]

Neil Gaiman, a patron of the Bookend Trust (a Tasmanian education charity) visited Dunalley Primary School, which was unfortunately destroyed during recent wildfires that rampaged across the island. Niall Doran, director of the Trust, told us:
Neil Gaiman and Polly Adams with the pre-release copy of Chu's Day donated to the school by Bloomsbury.Neil took part in a fundraising concert on Monday night, but he, Bookend and his publishers (Hachette Australia and Bloomsbury) also arranged for a special donation to the new school library consisting of a full set of Neil's children's books and a wider selection of the publishers' other children's titles. In addition, they have also kindly provided a selection of Neil's adult books and titles from other authors that can be distributed to the wider community and/or used for fundraising.

Neil visited the school site for a tour of the damage and the reconstruction. Also there to show their support were Polly Adams (daughter of the late, great Douglas Adams) and the 2012 & 2013 Tasmanians of the Year: Robert Pennicott and Andrew Hughes. The Bookend Trust chartered a seaplane from Tasmanian Air Adventures in order to be able to get Neil back to Hobart in time for media interviews and sound-checks before the MONA fundraising concert for the bushfires. Neil spoke on Australian national radio to publicise the visit and the concert, and also talked about his upcoming Cyberman episode.

Photos of the visit can be seen at the Bookend Trust Facebook site.

Bookmark and Share BFI: The First Doctor panel

1/25/2013 12:19:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The British Film Institute have now made parts of the Q&A panel with guests at the screening of An Unearthly Child on 12th January available to watch via their YouTube channel.

The first, nine minute segment from before the story was shown features a chat with the story's vision mixer Clive Doig and special sounds creator Brian Hodgson, alongside writer/actor Mark Gatiss (writer of the 50th Anniversary drama An Adventure in Space and Time). The second, fifteen minute segment features a cast and crew discussion after the showing, with Waris Hussein (director), William Russell (Ian), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Jeremy Young (Kal), Donald Tosh (writer/script editor), and William Hartnell's granddaughter Jessica Carney.

The next (sold out!) event takes place on 9th February with the Second Doctor celebrated by a showing of The Tomb of the Cybermen (guests to be announced).

Bookmark and Share BBC AudioGo: Shadow of Death

1/25/2013 11:18:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

BBC AudioGo have released details for next month's release in their 50th Anniversary special series Destiny of the Doctor. Shadow of Death is written by Simon Guerrier and set during the Second Doctor's era; it is performed by Frazer Hines (Second Doctor companion Jamie McCrimmon), with Evie Dawnay.

Destiny of the Doctor: Shadow of DeathDestiny of the Doctor: Shadow of Death
Written by Simon Guerrier
Starring Frazer Hines, with Evie Dawnay
Released 7th February 2013 (pre-order)

Following an emergency landing, the TARDIS arrives on a remote world orbiting a peculiar star – a pulsar which exerts an enormous gravitational force, strong enough to warp time.

On further exploration the Doctor and his friends, Jamie and Zoe, discover a human outpost on the planet’s surface, inhabited by scientists who are there to study an ancient city. The city is apparently abandoned, but the scientists are at a loss to explain what happened to its sophisticated alien architects. The Doctor discovers that something dark, silent and deadly is also present on the world – and it is slowly closing in on the human intruders...

Bookmark and Share New Series 7 Publicity Picture Released

1/24/2013 07:22:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

A new publicity picture has been released following yesterday's announcement that Doctor Who will be returning on Saturday 30th March for the first episode of eight in the next part of Series 7.

The image, as seen below, shows Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman. Although newly released, it appears to hail from a photo shoot last March when Coleman was announced as the new companion.

Bookmark and Share Silva Screen 50th Anniversary releases

1/24/2013 04:29:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Silva Screen: The Caves of AndrozaniSilva Screen have announced plans for several classic television soundtracks to be released on CD over the course of the 50th Anniversary year.

The anniversary range will kick off on 25th March 2013 with the release of the original television soundtrack for the 1984 Fifth/Sixth Doctor regeneration story The Caves of Androzani, as composed by Roger Limb with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures 304

1/24/2013 12:59:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

The new edition of Doctor Who Adventures - out today - comes with free Silurian and Weeping Angel armies plus a board game on which to use them.

Also in issue 304 are:
  • A guide to the universe's scariest monster armies
  • Silurian jokes
  • More comic adventures for the Doctor and Decky Flamboon
  • Puzzles
  • Posters
As well as being available in print form, the publication can also be downloaded as an app for the iPhone and iPad from the App Stores in the UK and USA.

Bookmark and Share Silver Coins for the Golden Anniversary

1/24/2013 07:00:00 am - Reported by Paul Scoones

A legal tender coin, and a series of collectible coins are due to be issued to mark the 50th Anniversary.

New Zealand Mint will launch a one-ounce silver .999 coin which features an engraved picture of the TARDIS and a 50th Anniversary logo. The coin comes packaged in a 3D model replica of the TARDIS, which opens with the TARDIS sound effect.

The coins themselves are legal tender for $2 in the South Pacific Island nation Niue.

Later in the year New Zealand Mint will also release collectible coins featuring all 11 Doctors. Further Doctor Who coin releases are also planned for 2014 and 2015.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with New Zealand Mint on this global deal. It is an historic year for the Doctor Who brand, and we are pleased to be able to bring this unique product to Doctor Who fans and coin collectors alike,”
- Rachael Hammond, BBC Worldwide’s Senior Licensing Executive, Consumer Products
 “I grew up watching Doctor Who as a child in New Zealand which, coincidentally, was the first country outside the UK to screen the show. It’s a great honour to now be asked to produce these coins to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Fans are going to really like what we’ve come up with.”
- Simon Harding, NZ Mint Chief Executive
The coins will officially launch at the World Money Fair in Berlin on 1 February and will be available from 1st May. They can be pre-ordered  at for NZD $155 each + shipping, or via selected international coin distributors.

Bookmark and Share The Ark In Space Special Edition DVD

1/23/2013 05:38:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

The cover and contents of the forthcoming two-disc special edition DVD release of The Ark In Space in the UK have been finalised.

All four episodes have been newly remastered, using advances in technology and technique, and are supported by an expanded collection of bonus features.

The Ark In Space - Special Edition
Release date: 25th February 2013 (Available for pre-order)

Starring Tom Baker as the Doctor, with Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith and Ian Marter as Harry Sullivan
Written by Robert Holmes
Directed by Rodney Bennett

Broadcast: 25th January - 15th February 1975

The TARDIS arrives on the apparently deserted and deactivated space station Nerva, otherwise known as the Ark, orbiting Earth in the far future. There, the Doctor, Sarah and Harry discover the last survivors of the human race held in suspended animation, Earth having been evacuated thousands of years earlier when solar flares threatened to destroy all life. However, the Ark's occupants face a new threat in the form of the Wirrn - an invading insect life form.

Special Features
  • Commentary: With actors Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen plus producer Philip Hinchcliffe
  • A New Frontier: Making The Ark In Space
  • TV movie version: The 70-minute repeat compilation of the story that was broadcast on 20th August 1975
  • Dr Forever! – Love And War: A new documentary examining the Virgin/BBC Books range of novels produced during the show's hiatus. Interviewees include Russell T Davies and Mark Gatiss
  • Scene Around Six: 1978 news footage of Tom Baker's public appearances in Northern Ireland
  • 8mm location footage: Amateur film shot during Tom Baker's first story
  • Interview: With designer Roger Murray-Leach
  • Alternative title sequence and model footage
  • Optional CGI effects
  • Original BBC trailer
  • 3D technical schematics
  • Photo gallery
  • TARDIS Cam
  • Coming Soon trailer
  • Production information subtitles
  • Radio Times listings, Doctor Who Technical Manual, plus Crosse & Blackwell and NestlĂ© promotional material (Adobe PDF format)
  • Digitally remastered picture and sound quality

UPDATE: 11th FEBRUARY: The release date - originally set for 18th February - has been pushed back a week to 25th February.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who returns 30th March

1/23/2013 01:20:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The BBC have announced that the first of the eight episodes that comprise the second part of Series Seven will premiere on BBC One from Saturday 30th March - back in its 'traditional' Easter weekend slot! Though Doctor Who Magazine had already reported that the series would be on during April, this is the first time the BBC themselves have confirmed the date of a regular series of episodes so far ahead of its intended schedule - normally it is only announced a few weeks beforehand.

The time of broadcast has yet to be confirmed.

Both BBC America and SPACE (Canada) have confirmed that they, too, will launch the second part from the 30th March; no announcements have been made for the series to premiere in the other main countries as yet, though based on recent years they are likely to be close to transmission of the series in the United Kingdom.

Bookmark and Share Mind Of Evil Screening Date At BFI Is Changed

1/22/2013 09:46:00 am - Reported by John Bowman

The BFI has changed the date of its celebratory screening of The Mind of Evil.

Originally scheduled for Saturday 2nd March at 2.30pm, it will now take place on Sunday 10th March at 2pm. The new date and time supersede the details given in the BFI brochure, which had gone to print by the time things had to be changed. It is unknown as yet why the date change had to be made. Tickets for the event have not gone on sale yet so will show the new date and time, as will the BFI's website.

The story, which has been newly colour-restored, will represent the Third Doctor's era as part of the organisation's Doctor Who At 50 season, and its big-screen showing at the BFI Southbank will be its public première in its colour-restored state ahead of being released on DVD.

Episode one of the six-part story has been "colourised", as the surviving print didn't have the necessary information to make colour recovery possible. However, episodes two to six have been fully colour restored. The screening will take place just weeks after the work has been completed by the Restoration Team.

To mark the programme's 50th anniversary this year, the BFI is showing a story per Doctor as well as digitally-restored prints of the two Dalek films starring Peter Cushing, with question-and-answer panels featuring special guests at each session. In November, it will première the docudrama, commissioned for BBC Two, about the show's genesis. Entitled An Adventure In Space And Time and written by Mark Gatiss, it starts filming at Wimbledon Studios next month.

The first two events at the BFI sold out before the first one had even taken place. The second - a screening of The Tomb of the Cybermen - will be held on Saturday 9th February. The guests for it are yet to be announced.

The titles of most of the remaining stories to be shown during the season are yet to be revealed, although the Eighth Doctor's will, of course, be Paul McGann's sole TV outing as the Doctor (so far).

BFI members receive priority booking as well as discounts on ticket prices plus exemption from booking fees. There is currently a special offer with annual membership at £30 (down from £40). The offer expires at the end of February - click here for more details.

Bookmark and Share The First Doctor on BBC America

1/22/2013 01:34:00 am - Reported by Marcus

BBC America is to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who by showing one story from each of the first eleven Doctors, as part of a strand titled Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited.

The channel will screen one story each month, starting with the 1964 story The Aztecs, starring the First Doctor, William Hartnell.

The story features the original TARDIS crew of the Doctor, his granddaughter Susan (played by Carole Ann Ford), and two of her teachers, Barbara Wright (played by Jacqueline Hill) and Ian Chesterton (played by William Russell).

The story sees the TARDIS land in 15th-century Mexico, where the crew get caught up in the local politics of blood sacrifice.

Originally shown over four weeks, the complete story will air on BBC America on Sunday, January 27 at 9pm ET.

Bookmark and Share The Dalek Invasion of Earth on UKTV

1/19/2013 10:21:00 pm - Reported by Paul Scoones

UKTVUKTV continues its season of classic Doctor Who stories today (20 January) with the broadcast of The Dalek Invasion of Earth at 3:30pm (Australia) and 3:15pm (New Zealand). The six-part adventure is the third of four stories to be screened as part of the channel's celebration of the First Doctor this month.

It follows earlier screenings of An Unearthly Child and The Aztecs and continues with The War Machines next week, on 27 January (AU:4:30pm, NZ:4:15pm).

For New Zealand this is the fourth screening of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, and the second time that it has been broadcast to mark a milestone anniversary. It was first broadcast in November 1988 as part of the Doctor Who 'Silver Jubilee' celebration. New Zealand viewers missed out on seeing the story in the 1960s as it was judged by the NZBC censor to be unsuitable for children. It did however screen on Australian television in 1965-66.

UKTV is showing stories every Sunday throughout the year in the lead-up to Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary in November, focusing on a Doctor a month. February is dedicated to the Second Doctor, featuring The Tomb of the Cybermen (3rd), The Dominators (10th), The Mind Robber (17th), and The Seeds of Death (24th).

All up-and-coming broadcasts from both 20th and 21st Century series of Doctor Who can be found via UKTV's Doctor Who sections for Australia and New Zealand.

Bookmark and Share An Adventure in Space and Time: producer revealed

1/19/2013 06:01:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Matt Strevens, producer for An Adventure in Space and Time. Photo: Misfits behind-the-scenesThe producer for Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary celebratory drama An Adventure in Space and Time has been revealed to be Matt Strevens. Initially a script editor for EastEnders and The Bill, he then became producer for the latter show until 2009, before turning his hand to the shows Raw, Skins and most recently producer of the science fiction comedy drama Misfits.

Speaking on Twitter, he also confirmed that the production, written by Mark Gatiss and based at the Wimbledon Studios in London, is expected to commence from the beginning of February.

Bookmark and Share Big Finish: top titles of 2012 (50% sale)

1/19/2013 04:41:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Big Finish have revealed the top ten titles in their listener poll for 2012:

1. Love and War
2. Gods and Monsters
3. The Curse of Davros
4. The Emerald Tiger
5. Protect and Survive
5= Destination Nerva
7. Voyage to Venus
8.  The First Sontarans
8=  The Wrath of the Iceni
10. The Butcher of Brisbane

As part of a celebration of the list, Big Finish are also offering five of the top titles at 50% off this weekend. Stories on offer are Love and War, Gods and Monsters, The Last Post (Companion Chronicles), Destination Nerva (Fourth Doctor Adventures), and The First Sontarans.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures 303

1/18/2013 10:24:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The latest edition of Doctor Who Adventures is out now:
Doctor Who Adventures #303Don't miss this week's issue of Doctor Who Adventures – we've got some top information on the TARDIS as we take an EXCLUSIVE look at its new-look control console! We love the new-look TARDIS, but we want to hear what you think of it. Email us and give us your thoughts!

Also this issue:
  • Monster TV: We reveal the best Monster Television shows. Do you know what your fave aliens love to watch on the box?
  • Dr. Simeon Facts! Get the data on this bad doctor! We've got the lowdown on this cold-hearted villain and his cruel plans!
  • Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman interview
  • How a Silurian is made
  • Mystery Gift! This week's issue comes with a mystery gift. Everybody loves a surprise. Well, not Sontarans, but nearly everyone else!
As always, the issue is also packed with mega posters, loads of beastly brainteasers, top alien info and even more comic adventures!

Bookmark and Share People Roundup

1/18/2013 07:19:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Matt Smith is to make his directorial debut on an episode of Playhouse Presents... on Sky Arts. The episode is entitled Cargese and is described as "a unique piece of poetic realism which mines the tragic seam of adolescent love and loss.". Talking about his new challenge, Smith said: "Sky Arts offers creative opportunities that many other channels don't. To collaborate with (writer) Simon Stephens in this capacity was a thrilling and rare opportunity and one we both were keen to embrace." The episode airs on Thursday 25th April. [Sky Arts]

Marc Warren has also written and directed for the series with Hey Diddly Dee, which will feature Kylie Minogue in a starring role. Warren said: "Writing and directing for Playhouse Presents... has been one of the most magical experiences of my career. To give myself the best chance I called in every favour to surround myself with a dream cast and an incredible crew. And then by some miracle, Kylie appeared, and the fate of our film was sealed." As for Minogue, she said: "When the script was sent to me, I read it and knew instinctively I wanted to be part of this project. In Hey Diddly Dee, Marc has created a beautiful and quirky story." The episode launches the season on Thursday 14th March.

Other names to feature in Playhouse Presents... this year include Frances Barber, David Harewood, Suranne Jones and Reggie Yates.

As reported last year, a new series starring Bernard Cribbins with Freema Agyeman is to feature on CBeebies. Old Jack's Boat starts its 25-episode daily weekday run on Monday 21st January at 5.40pm, and sees Cribbins as the retired, story-telling fisherman of the title, with Agyeman featuring as café-owning character Shelly Periwinkle. The story to be broadcast on Friday 25th January is written by Russell T Davies and involves the Moon. "Sitting watching Bernard Cribbins reading out some lines that you've written, I can't tell you how good it was, it was a joy," said Davies. [BBC News, 15 Jan 2013]

Agyeman also made her US debut in The Carrie Diaries this week. The Sex And The City prequel series is airing on Mondays on The CW Channel and she plays Larissa Loughlin, a style editor at Interview magazine who also acts as a mentor to the eponymous young Carrie Bradshaw.

David Morrissey isn't averse to a return to Doctor Who, should he be asked. "I would absolutely love to do it again. I had such a ball doing it," he said. "Mark Gatiss says, you know, there's nothing more blissful for him to write than 'Interior TARDIS: Day' or whatever on the top of one of his scripts, it's living the dream. And for me, when I went down and worked on it, I thought 'This is great', it's a really well-run show, people take it very seriously but you have fun on it. And l loved that character, I really loved Jackson Lake, I thought he was a really interesting man, he was in some sort of trauma himself and the Doctor liberates him from that..." [Den of Geek, 17 Jan 2013]

A play starring Billie Piper and Tom Goodman-Hill has won a gong in the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards. The Effect, by Lucy Prebble, was named Best Play. Billed as a clinical romance, it is at the National Theatre until Saturday 23rd February, although all performances are sold out except for day tickets and possible returns. [BBC News, 15 Jan 2013]

Mark Williams - currently starring as the eponymous crime-solving priest Father Brown in the BBC One daytime drama - has spoken of his fondness for GK Chesterton's clerical detective. "He has a huge appetite for the detail of life and for humanity, and he cares very much about people's souls. That's the most interesting thing about him as a sleuth: it's not him solving a conundrum or a crossword, he's dealing with what he sees as people's eternal damnation. And when he works it out, the sky turns black and is full of harpies; he's desperately committed to his morality." [Radio Times, 13 Jan 2013]

Olivia Colman joins Tim Pigott-Smith and Shaun Dingwall in the cast of the ITV drama The Suspicions of Mr Whicher II: The Murder In Angel Lane. She will play Susan Spencer, who employs Whicher as a private inquiry agent to investigate the murder of her niece. Pigott-Smith reprises his role as Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Richard Mayne, while Dingwall will play Inspector George Lock. The two-hour story is being filmed in Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, and central London over the next four weeks. [ITV Press Centre, 11 Jan 2013]

James Moran talks about the temptations of writing darker stories: "It's when people decide to make something dark for the sake of it, and then work out the story and force it, that never ends well. Children of Earth was just a story idea that gradually turned dark all by itself, so I think it worked. But I've certainly seen it hurt other shows and movies, where they decide to make it grim just to be edgy, without it flowing naturally from the story. And sometimes, blimey, you just want to have a laugh when you sit down for a bit of telly in the evening" [Den of Geek, 10 Jan 2013]

Amy Manson has been short-listed for the title role in the new series of Wonder Woman that goes into production this year for the CW Network. [STV, 16 Jan 2013]

Mark Benton is to star in an advertising campaign for electronic cigarettes that could prove to be a landmark case, as there is currently a ban in the UK on promoting tobacco-related products. [Radio Times, 15 Jan 2013]

After the campaign last year, David Tennant, Sir Richard Branson and Usain Bolt are back to promote Virgin Media in a second series of adverts for the cable broadcaster's TiVo service.

Karen Gillan was a victim of hacking earlier in the week on Twitter when she apparently became a heavy promoter of weight-loss pills! The actress has since regained control of her account.

BBC Books authors Gary Russell, Jacqueline Rayner and Steve Cole are to be guests for Dr Who: Past, Present and Future, an event in Chelmsford on Sunday 24th March that forms part of the Essex Book Festival. [Essex Book Festival]

Eoin Colfer was revealed last week as the author of the first Puffin book for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. The author said: "When I was asked to write one of the 11 e-shorts for the Doctor's 50th anniversary it was like being whisked away by my own Tardis back to the 1970s when Kevin, my brother Paul and I were three science-fictioneers immersing ourselves in the lore of Doctor Who in the sunny south-east of Ireland. I chose the First Doctor because I always imagined him to be a crank who was jaded by the Universe's cruelty rather than amazed by its wonders. There was no naivety about him whatsoever. He had seen far more in his life than he ever wanted to, and his fight against evil‑doers was dogged and not punctuated by repartee. The First Doctor's companion was his granddaughter Susan and her love for her granddad was perhaps the purest thing in his world, and something he was prepared to protect fiercely." [Guardian, 12 Jan 2013]

Colfer also discusses the e-book in a video released by BBC Worldwide as part of the promotion for A Big Hand For The Doctor.

Written by Chuck Foster and John Bowman

Bookmark and Share Big Finish: January releases

1/15/2013 11:35:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Big Finish have released details on the latest adventures for the Doctor and his companions in January.

The Wrong Doctors (available to order)

The Wrong Doctors stars Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush. Disentangling a particularly knotty piece of series continuity, it tells the tale of how the Sixth Doctor attempts to put his timeline in order, having been introduced to Mel before they'd technically met. Unfortunately, his efforts go somewhat awry, and suddenly there are two Doctors roaming Mel's hometown of Pease Pottage. And that's not the worst of what's going on...

A brain-bending adventure from the mind of Matt Fitton, The Wrong Doctors begins a brand new trilogy of tales for the Sixth Doctor and Mel, with Bonnie Langford returning to the main range after a 71-release absence! The series continues in February with Spaceport Fear and March with The Seeds of War.


With Evelyn gone, the Doctor sets course for his destiny... in the form of his first meeting with Miss Melanie Bush, a computer programmer from the village of Pease Pottage, currently busy rehearsing with the local Amateur Dramatic Society – and blissfully unaware that her future is on its way, in his TARDIS.

Make that two TARDISes. Because at that very moment, a slightly younger Doctor is flying into Pease Pottage, too – returning his future companion Melanie Bush to her rightful place and time, after they were flung together during the course of his Time Lord trial.

Time travel is a complicated business – the iguanadon terrorising Pease Pottage being a case in point. But how much more complicated could things possibly become, if the wrong Doctor were to bump into the wrong Mel?
The Auntie Matter (available to order)

The Auntie Matter launches a brand new run of adventures starring Tom Baker and Mary Tamm, which will also see the return of John Leeson as K9.

England in the 1920s. The Doctor and Romana are enjoying a leisurely lifestyle as the Lord and Lady of a London townhouse. But trouble never stays away from them for long, and before they know it a chance discovery of alien technology leads them deep into the heart of the English countryside where a malign presence lurks. As the Doctor dodges deadly butlers and ferocious gamekeepers, Romana is faced with a malevolent Aunt and an even deadlier peril - marriage.

"It’s Saturday teatime in 1978 all over again," says producer David Richardson, "as Tom and Mary recapture their glorious partnership from Season 16 in 1978. It’s desperately sad that Mary is no longer with us to enjoy this release, but she adored playing Romana again, and was thrilled by her role in this run of seven stories."

Featuring in this intriguing tale from the pen of Jonathan Morris are Julia McKenzie (the titular detective in Marple) and Lucy Griffiths (the latest season of True Blood, Robin Hood's Marian). The Auntie Matter takes its inspiration from the works of PG Wodehouse, so it'll provide an excellent accompaniment to the Blandings series which began on BBC1 on Sunday!


England in the 1920s.

Whilst K9 is off in the TARDIS leading the Black Guardian on a wild goose chase, the Doctor and Romana are enjoying a leisurely lifestyle as the Lord and Lady of a London townhouse. But trouble never stays away from them for long, and before they know it a chance discovery of alien technology leads them deep into the heart of the English countryside where a malign presence lurks.

As the Doctor dodges deadly butlers and ferocious gamekeepers, Romana is faced with a malevolent Aunt and an even deadlier peril - marriage.
The Flames of Cadiz (available to order)

The Flames of Cadiz is a two-disc release starring original 1963 companion Ian and the Doctor's granddaughter Susan, once more played by William Russell and Carole Ann Ford respectively. Written by Marc Platt, it finds the TARDIS travellers in Spain in the late sixteenth century. The country is at war with England – and the travellers find themselves on the wrong side of the battle lines...

"This is a four-part pure historical for the original TARDIS team," says David Richardson. "Marc has written the most beautiful script, as The Flames of Cadiz echoes the glories of adventures like The Aztecs and The Reign of Terror. It’s a reminder that Earth history can be just as terrifying as outer space."

The Flames of Cadiz also features Nabil Elouahabi as Esteban.


The TARDIS materializes in Spain in the late sixteenth century. The country is at war with England – and the travellers find themselves on the wrong side of the battle lines.

When Ian and his new friend Esteban are captured by the Inquisition, the Doctor, Susan and Barbara plan to rescue them.

But these are dark days in human history. And heretics face certain death...