Bookmark and Share Odds On Who: Peter Capaldi emerges as favourite

7/31/2013 02:41:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

As this year's Christmas Special moves into production, speculation continues as to who will replace Matt Smith as the Doctor by the end of the festive adventure. This week saw a surge of interest in Peter Capaldi, with odds on the actor rapidly dropping to now make him the favourite to continue in the TARDIS.

Joe Crilly, a spokesman for betting company William Hill, said:
Peter Capaldi was not even in our list a few days ago but he has been the subject of a lot of betting interest recently and this gamble would suggest that if he does not have the part already, he is almost certainly on the shortlist.

Capaldi is best known as the acerbic Malcolm Tucker from The Thick Of It, though he has appeared in Doctor Who before as Roman merchant Lucius Caecilius in The Fires of Pompeii, and more prominently as the Home Office Permanent Secretary John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of Earth.

The actor revealed he was a fan of the show back in 2008 when he spoke to SFX about his forthcoming appearance in Pompeii:
When I was a kid, being a huge fan, I wrote numerous letters to the Doctor Who office largely inquiring about how the show was made. I was thrilled to have delivered to me a large package from the BBC containing two full studio scripts for the Jon Pertwee serial The Mutants, which they were making at the time. The package also contained set designs and studio floor plans for these episodes and a delightful letter from Barry Letts giving me an idea what all this stuff was. It was a fantastic exciting insight into both Doctor Who and television production generally. I had never seen a script in any form whatsoever before then and was immediately fascinated by the documents. And of course Barry’s kindness was a trigger to my ambition to work somehow (I didn’t know how) in TV. The scripts are still sitting on my bookshelf downstairs.
In light of his sudden association with the role, the Radio Times has also found an archive letter from a 15-year old Peter Capaldi congratulating them on the 10th Anniversary Special!

Odds had been temporarily suspended on 9th June, with betting company Coral informing Doctor Who News that "We've suspended betting on the next Doctor Who, following a rush of bets on Rory Kinnear in the last 24 hours.". This came about after Sunday newspapers such as the Telegraph had reported that the actor had been offered the role. Kinnear strongly denied this, saying:
I don’t know where it came from and how these things evolve - I haven’t been, and I am totally certain that I will not, be asked to be the next Doctor Who. If I was an actor who was really longing to play Doctor Who, then this would be torturous, but it’s a programme I’ve never watched, so I don’t even really know what it is.
Any likelihood of his casting seems to have been quashed this morning after the announcement of his lead role in ITV's Lucan, which films next month.

Chris Addison as the Doctor, Mock The Week, June 2013 (Credit: BBC)June also saw another favourite emerge with Capaldi's co-star in The Thick of It, Chris Addison, causing William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams to observe:
We have seen a good old fashioned gamble on Chris Addison today, with a number of three figure bets placed. Gambles such as these normally have some substance and I would think he is on the shortlist.
It is believed that the flurry of interest in the actor came about after singer Paloma Faith tweeted "A friend who works on Doctor Who says that Chris Addison is replacing Matt Smith - WOW". Acknowledging the interest in his potential as the Doctor, the comic actor appeared during the recording of the comedy news panel show Mock The Week in suitable attire (however this was not shown on its transmission on 13th June).
Another suggestion via the media has been Green Wing actor Julian Rhind-Tutt, which The Sun reported was on the shortlist after missing out on the role last time around to Matt Smith. The same article also suggests that Torchwood actor Burn Gorman (Owen Harper) is another contender for the role.

Luther star Idris Elba ruled himself out of the running, with the Radio Times reporting that when asked at the preview (20 June) he joked: "I’d look silly in a bow tie!". Meanwhile, on television David Harewood told Loose Women (ITV, 18 June): "It would be really difficult to turn down, it would be very exciting if the phone rang - but I doubt it!"

Former companion Bonnie Langford was asked on The Wright Stuff (C5, 28 June), if she thought the show would work with a female lead:
The thing about Doctor Who, the reason it's been successful is that it has no limits, and basically it's a story about good overcoming evil - and to be honest you could probably do anything with it. As long as it's written well - they've proved in this new series it is the writing and the production and the casting that makes it good - so to be honest as long as you write it with a certain sense of integrity and fun, I think it could survive anything.
John Barrowman commented at the recent San Diego Comic Con:
I think it's about time that we have a female Doctor, because the majority of the fans are girls, let's have a girl and see what happens - because if it doesn't work, the beauty of Doctor Who is that (they can use) regeneration and out you go!
However, Helen Mirren flatly denied that she would be the first female Doctor when asked on Daybreak (ITV, 3 July):
I'm not going to be the first female Doctor, absolutely not. I wouldn't contemplate that. But, I do think it's time to have a female Doctor - I think a gay, black, female Doctor Who would be the best of all!

Current Odds

The Independent give odds on Capaldi as the Doctor at 2/1, followed by Ben Daniels (4/1), Rory Kinnear (6/1), Ben Whishaw (10/1), and David Harewood (10/1). Meanwhile, at the time of writing online betting site Unibet give odds for Capaldi at 3/1, Daniels (also 3/1), Kinnear (7/2), Harewood and Chiwetel Ejiofor (both 9/1), and Wishaw and Colin Salmon (both 11/1); Betfair offer Capaldi at 19/10, Colin Morgan (47/11), Daniels and Julian Rhind-Tutt (both 19/4), Kinnear (57/10), Chris Addison (113/17), and Wishaw, Russell Tovey, Tom Ellis, Bill Bailey, Anthony Head and Idris Elba (all at 94/11).

Bookmark and Share Anniversary Episode on New Zealand's Prime TV

7/31/2013 10:21:00 am - Reported by Paul Scoones

New Zealand's Prime television channel has posted a statement on Facebook regarding the 50th Anniversary Special.
Doctor Who fans! Fear not, we will be playing the 50th Anniversary Special. Phew. However, we are still awaiting details from the BBC which will determine when we can transmit. As soon as we have any more information, we'll be sure to pass it along.
BBC Worldwide issued a statement last week in which they announced an intention to simultaneously broadcast the Anniversary Special internationally.

What this means for New Zealand viewers is that if - hypothetically - the Special screens in the UK on Saturday 23rd November at 7pm, the episode would be seen on Prime on Sunday 24th November at 8am.

It remains unclear at this stage whether the episode will in fact screen at the same time in New Zealand. Prime has addressed this in a follow-up statement:
We haven't had any confirmation that simulcast is the BBC's plan - they have not confirmed that with us. If that is an option, we need to know the time and the content because if it comes in early morning, it needs to have a G rating, when usually Doctor Who has a stronger rating. As we said, we'll pass any new info on as it's confirmed.
In New Zealand, new series episodes of Doctor Who invariably receive a PGR (Parental Guidance Recommended) rating, which makes them unsuitable for an early morning timeslot on Prime.

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

7/31/2013 07:01:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Sign on the dotted line
The sixteenth in our series of features telling the story of the creation of Doctor Who, and the people who made it happen.

Production is now well underway on the new science-fiction series, and with the first filming just a couple of months away it was time to announce the cast.

It was on Wednesday 31st July 1963, exactly fifty years ago today, that the four main cast members were issued with their contracts.
William Hartnell will play The Doctor

William Hartnell is a film and Television actor well known for his 'tough guy' performances in several British films of the 1950's.

He was born William Henry Hartnell in the St Pancras district of London on 8th January 1908. England, His mother was unmarried and he was brought up partly by a foster mother. Through his membership of a boys' boxing club he met the art collector Hugh Blaker, who took an interest in the lad and became his unofficial guardian. As a keen follower of the theatre, Blaker helped the young Hartnell enter the Italia Conti Academy.

Hartnell entered the theatre in 1925 as a general stagehand. He appeared in a number of Shakespeare plays, including The Merchant of Venice (1926), Julius Caesar, As You Like It, Hamlet, The Tempest, Macbeth. He also appeared in She Stoops to Conquer, School for Scandal and Good Morning, Bill, before performing in Miss Elizabeth's Prisoner in 1928. It was in this play he worked with the actress Heather McIntyre whom Hartnell married the following year.

Hartnell made appearances in more than sixty British films, taking his first role in the 1932 film Say It With Music. Other roles included Freddy Fordum in Swinging the Lead , Pat Spencer in Nothing Like Publicity and Stubbs in Midnight at Madame Tussaud's. The outbreak of war in 1939 saw Hartnell join the Tank Corps where he served for eighteen months before being invalided out as the result of suffering a nervous breakdown.

Hartnell returned to acting playing a number of bit parts in several war time moves. In 1944 his career reached a turning point when he was cast as Sergeant Ned Fletcher in Carol Reed's film The Way Ahead. His success in playing the tough Army sergeant led to a career playing mainly policemen, soldiers, and thugs. He played the eponymous Sergeant in the first ever Carry on film, Carry on Sergeant. Other roles included a town councillor in the Boulting brothers' film Heavens Above! and Will Buckley in the film The Mouse That Roared alongside Peter Sellers.

In the early 1960's he was best known to British TV audiences for another army role, as Sergeant Major Percy Bullimore in The Army Game. In 1963 he won the role of 'Dad' Johnson in the film This Sporting Life. In the film he played an aging rugby league talent scout, a performance which caught the attention of Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert and Director Waris Hussein who asked Hartnell to play The Doctor.
Carole Ann Ford will play Susan

Carole Ann Ford is a film and Television actress who has appeared in several British TV dramas.

Carole Ann Ford was born in June 1940 and first appeared in a film at the age of eight. After appearing in a number of commercials and walk-on work, her first proper role was in the play Women of the Streets.

She appeared in the TV Movie Expresso Bongo and had roles in Horrors of the Black Museum, Probation Officer, The Ghost Train Murder, Emergency-Ward 10, Dixon of Dock Green, No Hiding Place, Crying Down the Lane, The Day of the Triffids, Mix Me a Person, Harpers West One, The Punch and Judy Man and Z-Cars.

It was her performance in Z-Cars that let her to being tested for the role of Susan in Doctor Who.
Jacqueline Hill will play Barbara

Jacqueline Hill is a British actress known for a number of character roles on television.

She was born Grace Jacqueline Hill on 17th December 1929 in Birmingham. She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made her stage debut in London's West End in The Shrike.

Hill first appeared on TV in 1953 playing Maureen in The Blue Parrot. Other roles included Grace Carney in Blood Money, Carrie Dean in Joyous Errand and Ellen Ferguson in The Flying Doctor.

In 1958 she married top director Alvin Rakoff, who cast her opposite Sean Connery in one of ABC TV's Armchair Theatre plays. In 1962 she played Sally Walker in The Six Proud Walkers . She also appeared in Out of This World and in an episode of Maigret.

Jacqueline Hill was friends with Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert, who suggested she should go forward for the role of Barbara.
William Russell will play Ian

William Russell is best known for playing the title role in The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the 1956 ITV series.

William Russell was born William Russell Enoch on 19 November 1924 in Sunderland. He was involved in organising entertainments during his national service in the Royal Air Force and then, after university, went into repertory theatre. He appeared in Hamlet in London's West End.

His first TV appearance came in 1940 in God Gave Him a Dog. Several other roles followed including playing Leslie Gowland in The Gay Dog, St. Ives in St. Ives and Count Rene D'Albert in Sword of Freedom.

His big break came in 1956 when he was cast as Sir Lancelot du Lac in The Adventures of Sir Lancelot. The series was made in colour and screened on ITV in the UK and on the NBC network in the United States nine days later. It is one of the very few British television series ever to have been screened on one of the major broadcast networks in the US and gave Russell recognition on both sides of the Atlantic.

Further success followed with the title roles in Nicholas Nickleby and David Copperfield as well as playing Hamlet in 1961. In 1963 he played St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre and also had a role in the feature film The Great Escape.
Next EpisodeThe Delia Mode
SOURCES: Hartnell, William Henry (1908–1975) by Robert Sharp, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press; The Handbook: The First Doctor – The William Hartnell Years: 1963-1966, David J Howe, Mark Stammers, Stephen James Walker (Doctor Who Books, 1994)

Bookmark and Share BBC Worldwide to include 'Widow' on Series Seven Box Set

7/31/2013 12:10:00 am - Reported by Marcus

BBC Worldwide has bowed to fan pressure and agreed to include the 2011 Christmas special, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe on the UK version of the Complete Series Seven DVD Boxed Set.

Although the episode has always been included on the North American version of the DVD set, it was excluded from the UK version on the grounds it was already available as a standalone product. However after lobbying from fans BBC Worldwide have reviewed their position and will now include the episode, originally shown on Christmas Day 2011, in the Series Seven Box set.

BBC Worldwide issued this statement explaining the position
Originally the decision was taken not to include this release on the box set as it had previously been released as a standalone product. However after listening to feedback from our fans we have decided to include the episode and its prequel on the set. The price of the set will not be altered as a result of the change of contents

Complete Series 7 - Cover (Credit: BBC Worldwide)The revised five disc set has a number of new features that were not orginally announced:
  • Audio commentaries for episodes: The Snowmen, Cold War, Hide, and The Crimson Horror
  • Prequels for: The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, Asylum of the Daleks, The Snowmen (The Great Detective, Vastra Investigates, Demons Run: Two Days Later), The Bells of Saint John and The Name of the Doctor (She Said, He Said, Clarence and the Whispermen)
  • Pond Life
  • As Good as Gold (exclusive to the UK version)
  • Featurettes: The Making of the Gunslinger , Creating Clara, Rain Gods, Clara and the TARDIS, Inforarium, and Clara’s White Christmas
  • Behind the scenes featurettes for every episode (except The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe)
  • Additional features: Last Days of the Ponds, The Science of Doctor Who, The Companions, and Doctor Who at Comic Con

Bookmark and Share The Radio Times Doctor Who Cover That Never Was

7/30/2013 12:00:00 am - Reported by John Bowman

It's the Radio Times cover that could have been but never happened - publicising the first episode of Doctor Who back in November 1963.

A special two-page feature in the new edition of the listings magazine - out today and covering 3rd to 9th August 2013 - takes a look at how Doctor Who missed out on the prime Radio Times spot at its birth, including a modern-day mock-up of how the cover of that edition may have looked, and thanks to Immediate Media Co, which now publishes the magazine, Doctor Who News is delighted to bring you a clean version of that dummy front cover.

The Cover Story: Radio Times At 90 exhibition, which opens at the Museum of London at 150 London Wall this coming Friday to mark the publication's 90th birthday, has turned the spotlight on a document from the BBC archive that reveals the corporation's doubts about the programme that has subsequently appeared on the front of the magazine more times than any other show.

Back in 1963, Radio Times existed to publicise only the BBC's output, and an internal memo by Donald Wilson, head of the BBC's serials department, to Douglas Williams, then editor of the magazine, complained that the forthcoming launch of the programme on 23rd November 1963 was not being supported by Radio Times with a cover feature. Dated 5th November 1963, it read:
I was unhappy to hear to-day that the proposal to give 'Dr Who' the front page of the 'Radio Times' had now been abandoned. It was particularly distressing to hear that one reason given was lack of confidence in the programme at Controller [Kenneth Adam's] level. I assure you that this does not exist and if you have a word with [him] I know he will express enthusiasm. I myself believe that we have an absolute knock-out in this show and that there will be no question but that it will run and run.

I would be most grateful, if it is not too late, for the decision against it to be reversed, and that will help me to get this show off to a good start.
However, Wilson's pleas for a reprieve as regards front-page publicity for the show's first episode fell on deaf ears and the cover star for the issue ended up being Kenneth Horne, publicising his popular Light Programme radio comedy Beyond Our Ken, although the new sci-fi series was granted a short mention in a side panel on the front, highlighting an article on page 7 of the magazine. Doctor Who would ultimately have to wait another three months and for the start of its fourth serial - the epic historical adventure Marco Polo - before landing a coveted front cover.

Radio Times wasn't alone in having doubts about the show, though. Many within the BBC were also uncertain what to make of this odd-seeming new drama, as the show's first director Waris Hussein - who also directed Marco Polo - explains in the new edition of the magazine:
Radio Times echoed the prevailing attitude, and it was only when the programme began to make its mark that the magazine started to give it a prominent billing.

As far as I knew at the time, the BBC was fairly indifferent to [creator] Sydney Newman's whole concept of Doctor Who. This was echoed in the placing of the production in basic facilities at Studio D Lime Grove. . . [Producer] Verity Lambert and I were newcomers entrusted with what was considered a fill-in show for children between Saturday football and Juke Box Jury. There was no apparent need to promote an oddball show. . .

Radio Times covers are very important in promoting a show and in the case of Doctor Who I'm proud to say David finally became bigger than Goliath.
Meanwhile, current showrunner Steven Moffat comments on whether he would have pleaded for a cover if he were running things back in 1963:
It's a different show now. I knew Verity Lambert and part of her back then was amazed it broke through in the way it did. For them it was just the show they were doing at the time and they had no idea it would become what it was. But when I look back on the historic Doctor Who covers, I can imagine being a child again and looking at it and scrutinising it and probably thinking, 'I want to write my own stories for it.'
The full feature appears in the new edition of Radio Times.

A postcard set of 101 classic Radio Times covers - including six from Doctor Who - will be on sale at the exhibition, which will have a special display devoted to the magazine's long association with the programme. The Doctor Who covers in the set will be the 5th-11th November 1966 one for the start of The Power of the Daleks and the beginning of the Second Doctor's era, the 1st-7th January 1972 one for the Season 9 opener Day of the Daleks, the 26th March-1st April 2005 one heralding the show's return with Rose, the award-winning 30th April-6th May 2005 "Vote Dalek!" one for the episode Dalek, and the 8th-14th July 2006 Daleks and Cybermen ones for the Series 2 finale Doomsday (and World Cup final!).

The exhibition, which is free, opens on Friday 2nd August and runs until Sunday 3rd November.

Bookmark and Share Radio Times Exhibition

7/28/2013 07:07:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The new exhibition marking Radio Times's 90th anniversary opens at the Museum of London this week, complete with a special section dedicated to Doctor Who.

Covers of the listings magazine, which launched on 28 September 1923, will be displayed at the museum. Doctor Who was denied a cover for its launch in 1963, so first graced the front of the magazine in February 1964 for a cover promoting the historical story Marco Polo. Since then the series has been featured a number of times.

The exhibition will contain a life-size Dalek against a backdrop of Westminster Bridge, recreating the famous 2005 "Vote Dalek" Radio Times cover, which was voted the Cover of the Century by the Periodical Publishers Association.

Other highlights in the exhibition include a 1920s Marconi valve radio and a 1941 Luftwaffe map that pinpoints the Radio Times's Waterlows printing plant in London as an air-raid target alongside transport hubs, factories and national landmarks.

The exhibition runs from 2nd August until 3rd November 2013 at the Museum which is located at London Wall in the City of London. Entry is free.

Bookmark and Share BBC issues statement on Comic-Con trailer availability

7/27/2013 01:59:00 am - Reported by Harry Ward

50th Anniversary Special: First Official Dalek photo (Credit: BBC Doctor Who) The BBC has issued a statement regarding the 50th Anniversary Episode trailer that was shown at San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday. Fans have been expressing their disappointment at not being able to watch the trailer online.
This was an exclusive Comic Con trailer made especially for the Doctor Who 50th panel, it has not been released in the US.

This world famous international event is an established platform used by all of the major producers. UK fans can look forward to exclusive content over the next few months.
While Matt Smith was being interviewed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on Wednesday, Craig asked if fans who were not at Comic Con would be "mad" for not seeing the trailer. Matt apologised to fans saying, "Sorry to all of those who haven't seen the trailer".

Bookmark and Share The Curse of Fenric and Survival on UKTV

7/27/2013 12:37:00 am - Reported by Paul Scoones


Sunday 28th July sees the broadcast of the 1989 Sylvester McCoy stories, The Curse of Fenric and Survival on Australian and New Zealand television. The stories are presented as part of the 50th Anniversary season of Doctor Who on the UKTV channel.

Karra, [Cat person] played by Lisa Bowerman
In Australia The Curse of Fenric screens at 3:00pm and Survival at 5:00pm.

In New Zealand The Curse of Fenric screens at 3:25pm and Survival at 5:05pm with additional screenings on Monday 29th July at 2:55am and 4:35am respectively.

No billing information has been provided for The Curse of Fenric, but the listing for Survival describes the story as follows:
The Seventh Doctor brings Ace back to her home of Perivale. Her friends are being kidnapped by a race of alien hunters who were shown the way to Earth by the Doctor's old enemy the Master.
The two stories were first broadcast in New Zealand July-September 1990 and in Australia in November of the same year.

UKTV is showing stories throughout the year in the lead-up to the anniversary in November. Next week sees the broadcast of Doctor Who (the TV Movie) in both countries on 4th August.

Australia and New Zealand's schedules are entirely different for the remainder of August.

Australia has Doctor Who Proms (11 Aug), Doctor Who America Specials: The Science of Doctor Who and The Timey Wimey Stuff of Doctor Who (18 Aug), and Doctor Who America Specials: The Destinations of Doctor Who and The Women of Doctor Who.

New Zealand's line-up includes: The Dalek Invasion of Earth (11 Aug), The Three Doctors (18 Aug), and Pyramids of Mars (25 Aug).

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 Character: 50th Anniversary Doctor Micro-Figures

7/26/2013 06:38:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Character have announced the release of a new collection of micro-figures for each of the eleven current Doctors.

Character Building: 50th Anniversary Doctor micro-figures (Credit: Character)As the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who moves ever closer, a brand new ultimate range of Doctor Who micro-figures featuring all 11 incarnations of the Doctors will be released for the Character Building collection.

The latest series of Character Building Doctor Who micro-figures features all 11 incarnations of the Doctor. Each highly detailed and fully articulated micro-figure is sealed within a bag to keep the figure hidden, giving a surprise each time. Finding them all will be a challenge as some figures will be harder to find than others.

Within the new range, certain incarnations of the Time Lord will be classed as Rare, Super Rare or Ultra Rare:
  • Rare - Tenth Doctor, with just 500 pieces in circulation
  • Super Rare - Third and Fifth Doctor with only 250 pieces
  • Ultra Rare - Second and Eleventh Doctor with merely 100 pieces each to be found

Each comes with its own display base and collector’s leaflet highlighting all the characters available in this special series. Whether, Rare, Super Rare, Ultra Rare or one of the remaining six, these micro-figures will make treasured mementoes in a landmark year. The question is... Who will be the first to collect them all?

Bookmark and Share Anniversary Episode To Have Simultaneous Global Broadcast

7/26/2013 05:43:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

The 50th-anniversary episode of Doctor Who is to be broadcast around the world at the same time, it has been revealed.

It is believed the deal has been struck with global networks to prevent any spoilers and plot leaks, and is set to make it the world's biggest drama simulcast when it goes out on Saturday 23rd November.

In a statement, BBC Worldwide said:
It's always been our ambition to work with our broadcast partners so that international Doctor Who fans can enjoy the 50th-anniversary special at the same time as the UK. We'll have more details soon about our very exciting global plans for November.
The episode, whose title is yet to be publicly announced, will be shown in both 2D and 3D.

The time differences around the world mean that an evening transmission in the UK on the Saturday would see it being shown earlier the same day in North America and early on Sunday 24th November in Australia and New Zealand.

Bookmark and Share Complete Series Seven Boxed Set announced

7/26/2013 11:32:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

BBC Worldwide have announced the release of the Complete Series Seven Boxed Set on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom for the 28th October 2013.

Complete Series 7 - Cover (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series

Say farewell to the Ponds all over again. Meet the enigmatic Clara for the first time - and the second, and the third. Face enemies new and old, follow the Doctor (Matt Smith) to the one place he should never go, and learn the secret to a really great soufflé. With a cliffhanger ending that will leave fans breathless, this set arrives just in time to catch up before the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special on November 23, and the Doctor’s regeneration in this year’s Christmas Special.

In the first part of series seven, the Ponds (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) make their final voyages with the Doctor. They save a spaceship full of dinosaurs, don Stetsons in the Wild West and are even kidnapped by the Doctor's oldest foe. But when they arrive in Manhattan the Weeping Angels are waiting for them - and the Doctor has to say goodbye to his companions forever.

The 2012 Christmas special, The Snowmen, brings the Doctor a new friend (Jenna Coleman) in Victorian London - but has he already met her before? And will she be able to pull him from his mourning in time to save London from the chilling menace that threatens it? The final eight episodes of series seven see the Doctor and his new companion battle monsters on distant alien planets, become trapped in a Russian submarine with a deadly passenger, chase terrifying ghosts, and come face-to-face with an army of upgraded Cybermen. When his friends are kidnapped, the Doctor and Clara are forced to visit the fields of Trenzalore, where the question that must never be answered is finally asked… and the Doctor uncovers the secret of the Impossible Girl.

The incredible list of guest stars includes John Hurt (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), Warwick Davis (Willow, the Harry Potter films), Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones), David Warner (Titanic, TRON), Dougray Scott (Hemlock Grove, Ever After: A Cinderella Story), Ben Browder (Farscape), David Bradley (Game of Thrones), Jessica Raine (Call The Midwife, The Woman in Black), the mother-daughter duo of Dame Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones) and Rachael Stirling (Women in Love, Snow White and the Huntsman), and the voice of Sir Ian McKellen (The Lord of The Rings films). The episodes are written by lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, as well as Neil Gaiman, Mark Gatiss, Neil Cross, Chris Chibnall, Toby Whithouse and Stephen Thompson.

Complete Series 7 - Cover (3D) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Special Features:
  • Audio commentaries for: The Snowmen, Cold War, Hide and The Crimson Horror
  • "Prequels" for: The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, Asylum of the Daleks, The Snowmen (x3), The Bells of Saint John and The Name of the Doctor (x2)
  • Pond Life
  • The Making of the Gunslinger
  • Creating Clara
  • Behind the scenes featurettes for every episode
  • Additional featurettes: Doctor Who in the US, Last Days of the Ponds, The Science of Doctor Who, The Companions and Doctor Who at Comic Con

Note: this set does not include the 2011 Christmas Special, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe.

Bookmark and Share Entertainment pilot show

7/25/2013 09:50:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

BBC Entertainment & Events is piloting a new show paying tribute to 50 years of Doctor Who.

The show will feature special guests and clips from Doctor Who and is looking for fans to be part of the audience. The show records at the BBC studios in Elstree on Sunday 4th August at 6pm. The production team is encouraging audience members to come dressed as their favourite Doctor, companion or character from the series but stress this is not compulsory.

Tickets, which are free, can be obtained from the BBC website. Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and the minimum age is 10.

Bookmark and Share Sophie's World - An Ace Exhibition

7/25/2013 04:30:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

An exhibition of rare photos of Sophie Aldred taken during the time she played Ace opposite the Seventh Doctor on TV is to be held in London later this year.

Sophie's World, featuring hitherto-unseen images by Steven Cook, is to be hosted by Orbital Comics and Gallery, in Great Newport Street, from Thursday 5th to Monday 30th September and will be free to view.

The negatives have been missing for 22 years but high-resolution prints are currently being made from them.

A free-to-attend exhibition launch party, with Cook as the guest of honour, will be held on Thursday 5th September from 7.30pm. Meanwhile, Aldred will be signing prints at the venue on Saturday 7th September from midday to 3pm.

Bookmark and Share Details announced of Splendid Chaps: "Eight/Science"

7/25/2013 06:01:00 am - Reported by Adam Kirk

.As previously reported, Splendid Chaps is a year-long performance/podcast project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who hosted by comedian Ben McKenzie (Dungeon Crawl, Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour) and writer John Richards (ABC1 sitcom Outland, Boxcutters podcast)

Described by its creators as part intellectual panel discussion, part nerdy Tonight Show, Splendid Chaps is a combination of analysis, enthusiasm and irreverence. The first episode went to number 1 on the iTunes TV & Film Podcast chart in Australia, and to number 4 in the UK. The podcasts to previous episodes are now available at or at iTunes.

Tickets are now on sale for their Eighth Doctor show! Their eighth major episode brings them to the Doctor of the show’s “middle period” between classic and new Who - Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor. A cult figure thanks to his starring role in Withnail and I (alongside alternate Ninth Doctor Richard E Grant), McGann was a popular choice and garnered much kudos for his performance – but almost nothing else about the American co-produced telemovie seemed to please audiences on either of the Atlantic, and no new series was produced. It’s a weird moment in the so-called “wilderness years” between old and new Who.

It is also National Science Week, so Splendid Chaps are also looking at science in Doctor Who. Ostensibly science fiction, and starting out life with an educational remit, Doctor Who originally alternated between trips to historical events and sci-fi tales that were meant to teach us about science. But amongst the mad scientists, wobbly grasp of concepts like “black hole”, “neutron” and “constellation”, and the rather more fantastical bent of the post-2005 show, does Doctor Who actually depict real science in any meaningful way? Does it champion the idea of being “sciencey”? What does it get wrong, what does it get right, and what can we learn from it about science in either case?

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott will be joined by a panel of actual scientists including biologist and geneticist Jack Scanlan. Plus a musical performance, and all the usual prizes and surprises!

Space: upstairs, Bar Open, 317 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Time: Sunday, August 11; recording starts 5 PM
Accessibility: Splendid Chaps regret that this venue is not wheelchair accessible
Tickets: $15 (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23 August 2013.

With thanks to John Richards

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine 463

7/24/2013 07:08:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine, released Thursday, looks back ten years to the time when it had just been announced that Doctor Who was to return, and asks was the series nearly stopped before it could begin?

In the first part of a look back at how and why Doctor Who was recommissioned back in 2003, the magazine talks to the people who ensured its successful comeback, including the then BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning Jane Tranter, writer Russell T Davies and BBC Wales' Head of Drama Julie Gardner who tells the magazine:
When Michael Grade arrived back at the BBC as Chairman, Mark Thompson was back as Director General. Michael Grade didn't like Doctor Who at all. Mark Thompson actually asked me if we could stop. I said, no, we couldn't!
Also in this issue.
  • Doctor Who’s showrunner and head writer Steven Moffat presents the three pieces that he wrote for the actors that have auditioned for the role of the Twelfth Doctor.
  • Doctor Who author Bob Baker looks back on his career in an interview and speaks of his most famous contribution to the Doctor Who universe: K9, the Doctor’s robotic dog.
  • As we await the announcement of the new star of Doctor Who, journalist Claire Budd and novelist Una McCormack go head-to-head to debate the burning question: Is it time for the Doctor to become a woman?
  • Arriving in the far future, the Fourth Doctor, Harry and Sarah discover that the last survivors of mankind are about to face the deadly, parasitic Wirrn! The Fact of Fiction looks back to one of Doctor Who's all-time great adventures – The Ark In Space – and reveals some surprising new facts
  • It’s 2010, and the dawn of a new era as Matt Smith makes his début as the Eleventh Doctor. The show may have a new leading man and a new style, but it’s still Doctor Who in the latest instalment of the ongoing cruise through Doctor Who history in Countdown to 50.
  • The Time Team take a trip to pre-war England as Chris, Emma, Michael and Will settle down to watch the two-part Tenth Doctor story Human Nature/ The Family of Blood and find that the formidable Family of Blood and their sinister Scarecrow servants are following the Doctor’s trail.
  • Clara’s lunch date with the legendary pilot Amy Johnson has been rudely interrupted by two identical copies of themselves… made from sand! Meanwhile, the Doctor is having trouble with his own doppelganger, and the real enemy is about to make its entrance. The latest comic strip adventure A Wing and a Prayer – written by Scott Gray with art by Mike Collins – continues.
  • Change is an essential part of Doctor Who and has allowed the series to constantly reinvent and reinvigorate itself for 50 years. And, as Jacqueline Rayner tells in this issue’s Relative Dimensions, this means that the series can be a useful tool when teaching children that nothing lasts forever
  • Jon Pertwee is the Doctor, as former Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel reviews the new Blu-ray release of the Third Doctor's classic 1970 début adventure Spearhead From Space
  • The Watcher takes a look at Doctor Who episode titles in A History of Doctor Who in 100 Objects, and discovers that the names of colours have become a recent trend
Plus all the latest official news, TV and merchandise reviews, previews, competitions and a prize-winning crossword.

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

7/23/2013 07:00:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Coming Soon...
The fifteenth in our series of features telling the story of the creation of Doctor Who, and the people who made it happen.

With the production team now working hard on the new science-fiction series, thoughts in the BBC turned to how the series would be promoted.

It was on Tuesday 23rd July 1963 - exactly 50 years ago today - that Richard Bright, the Television Publicity Organiser, circulated a memo to members of his department. He attached the format document for Doctor Who that gave a brief rundown of how the series would be broadcast, referencing The World of Tim Frazer, a Francis Durbridge crime series that had aired in 1960.
This is the first time we have undertaken a 52-part serial. It will be rather on the Tim Frazer pattern - a series of stories of varying lengths, each one starting during the last episode of the previous one. It will go on the air at 5.20-5.45 on Saturdays and is planned for family viewing with special attention to the 11-14 group.
The format document gave the planned recording times and indicated the series would start mid-November. The date of the first episode was now planned to be broadcast on Saturday 16th November, having recently been pushed back a week thanks to unplanned coverage of athletics from Moscow earlier in July, which had knocked the schedule back a week..
  • Story 1: Written by Anthony Coburn. Directed by Waris Hussein
  • Four Episodes. The story begins the journey and takes the travellers back to 100,000BC and Palaeolithic man. In this story the 'ship' is slightly damaged and forever afterward is erratic in certain sections of its controls.
  • Story 2: Written by Anthony Coburn. Directed by Rex Tucker
  • Six Episodes. This story takes the travellers to somewhere in the 30th Century, forward to the world when it is inhabited only by robots.
  • Story 3: Written by John Lucarotti. Directed by Waris Hussein
  • Seven Episodes. The travellers join the explorer Marco Polo on his Journey to Cathay.
Bright gave his team some details of the people behind the new series.
Verity Lambert is a twenty-seven year old girl who has done a lot of commercial TV over here and has worked in the USA for David Susskind. She has been put on programme contract for a year to handle this new serial. The two directors, Waris Hussein and Rex Tucker, will be in charge of alternate stories beginning with Hussein on No. 1. Anthony Coburn is writing the first two stories and the third will be by John Lucarotti who has written a lot of television in the USA, Canada and commercial over here.
While the press department was being briefed on the new serial, a new dispute was being settled by Ronald Waldman, the General Manager of Television Enterprises, and R G Walford, the Head of Copyright. It involved a company called Zenith Film Productions Ltd which had contacted the BBC, claiming the idea for Doctor Who had originally come from them. Their claim related to a puppet series they had proposed to the Corporation called The Time Travellers, which the BBC had turned down because of its similarity to Doctor Who. Zenith now claimed that the BBC had stolen the idea and used it to create their own series. On Thursday 25th July, Walford wrote to the company to refute the allegations.
The first important point I must make is that this Dr Who series was devised jointly by Sydney Newman and Donald Wilson, and I have ascertained that at the time when they worked it out they had no knowledge whatever of the suggested puppet series The Time Travellers. The scriptwriter of the first ten episodes of Dr Who is Anthony Coburn who likewise had no knowledge whatever of The Time Travellers....

... while the idea of the two programmes is similar, ie the idea of crossing time borders, the two series are themselves completely different, one being for puppets and the other being for live actors, and there could be no possibility of there being plagiarism of any sort.
The BBC did offer Zenith a special ex-gratia payment of 100 guineas as an offer of goodwill, on the understanding that it was without prejudice and that the offer made no admittance of legal liability.

Next EpisodeSign on the dotted line
SOURCES: The Handbook: The First Doctor – The William Hartnell Years: 1963-1966, David J Howe, Mark Stammers, Stephen James Walker (Doctor Who Books, 1994)

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who at San Diego Comic Con 2013

7/22/2013 08:25:00 pm - Reported by Harry Ward

Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat (Credit: BBC America) Doctor Who once again had a presence at this year's San Diego Comic Con. Fans in the packed Hall H were treated to an exclusive screening of a trailer for the 50th Anniversary episode as well as a trailer for An Adventure In Space and Time.

Steven Moffat told fans who saw the trailer to not leak any audio or video footage of it or there would be no more exclusives at the convention in future years.

The panel was hosted by Craig Ferguson and consisted of Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, Steven Moffat, Marcus Wilson, Mark Gatiss and David Bradley. Before the panel took place, Smith disguised himself as Bart Simpson as he wandered the convention floor while talking to Doctor Who fans in an American accent.

The cast and crew had a busy few days doing lots of interviews. A selection of these are below.

As part of Entertainment Weekly's Star Portrait series, Smith, Coleman, Gatiss and Bradley had their pictures taken for the publication.
Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman (Credit: Entertainment Weekly) Matt Smith (Credit: Entertainment Weekly) Jenna Coleman (Credit: Entertainment Weekly) David Bradley and Mark Gatiss (Credit: Entertainment Weekly)

Karen Gillan takes off her wig (Credit: Getty)
Karen Gillan shocked fans at Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy panel by showing off a new look. The actress will be playing Nebula in the film which required her to shave her hair off. She was wearing a wig before she took it off at the panel. The video footage of that is viewable here. She was also there taking part in interviews for NTSF:SD:SUV. A clip featuring Gillan in one of the episodes can be viewed here.

John Barrowman was also at the convention as part of the Arrow panel. In an interview with That Hashtag Show he discussed Doctor Who and said he would like a female Doctor. During the fan questions of the Doctor Who panel, Moffat was asked why Captain Jack wasn't in the 50th Anniversary episode, to which he replied: "How do you know what is or is not in the 50th? I've lied my arse off for months - you know nothing, so don't make presumptions."

Bookmark and Share Greatest enemy returns for 50th Anniversary Special

7/22/2013 12:54:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The BBC have officially announced that the Doctor's greatest enemy will return to Doctor Who in the 50th Anniversary Special, releasing a number of photos portraying them in a "blaze of glory":

50th Anniversary Special: Second Official Dalek photo (Credit: BBC Doctor Who (via Twitter)) 50th Anniversary Special: Third Official Dalek photo (Credit: BBC Doctor Who (via Twitter)) 50th Anniversary Special: First Official Dalek photo (Credit: BBC Doctor Who (via Twitter))

The episode's writer, Steven Moffat, said:
The Doctor once said that you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies, so it's fitting that for this very special episode, he should be facing the greatest enemies of all.

Bookmark and Share David Spenser 1934-2013

7/21/2013 05:17:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The actor David Spenser has died at the age of 79.

Spenser appeared in six episodes of Doctor Who, playing the young Tibetan Monk Thonmi, who helped the Second Doctor fight the Great Intelligence in the 1967 story The Abominable Snowmen.

Born in British Ceylon, Spenser began his acting career at the age of 11, working for BBC Radio on Children's Hour. He became a household name in the 1940s when author Richmal Crompton cast him as William Brown in the first radio adaptation of her series of short stories Just William. As a member of the BBC Drama Repertory Company, he went on to play some of the great Shakespearean and other classical roles on radio, including Romeo to Judi Dench's Juliet.

Spenser moved into television in 1950 and appeared in many well-known productions, including playing Hurree Jamset Ram Singh in Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School and Saint Mark in the 1960 production of Paul of Tarsus, which starred Patrick Troughton as Saint Paul. He played the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice, with Maggie Smith and Frank Finlay. Other roles included parts in Dixon of Dock Green, Play for Today and Z Cars.

In 1987 he formed Saffron Productions Ltd with his long-term partner Victor Pemberton, making a number of documentary films, including Gwen, A Juliet Remembered and Benny Hill: Clown Imperial for the BBC.

Spenser died yesterday in Spain.

Bookmark and Share BFI Eighth And Tenth Doctor Screenings

7/19/2013 06:54:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

The BFI today announced details for its celebratory screenings marking the eras of the Eighth and Tenth Doctors - with both happening within a week of each other but in reverse order.

The Tenth Doctor will be honoured on Sunday 29th September at 2pm with the Series 4 two-part finale The Stolen Earth and Journey's End, while the sole TV outing - so far - for the Eighth Doctor will be shown on the big screen on Saturday 5th October at 10am.

The adventures are being shown at BFI Southbank as part of the organisation's Doctor Who At 50 season.

The Series 4 finale episodes - written by Russell T Davies and directed by Graeme Harper - first aired on 28th June and 5th July 2008 respectively, and saw the universe crumbling and a number of planets, including Earth, having been stolen by Davros as part of his plot threatening the whole of reality. Julian Bleach took on the mantle of the Daleks' creator, with all the companions seen in the revamped series uniting with the Doctor to defeat the evil, mad Kaled scientist and the Daleks.

Meanwhile, the big-budget TV Movie - written by Matthew Jacobs and directed by Geoffrey Sax - originally aired in the UK on 27th May 1996 (although it had its global TV premiere in Canada on 12th May 1996, having been filmed entirely in the country) and saw the Seventh Doctor regenerate into the Eighth. It also featured the return of the Master - this time played by Eric Roberts - and a new-look TARDIS interior, in an adventure set in San Francisco on the eve of the year 2000 and with the whole of Earth at stake as the Master attempts to take the Doctor's remaining regenerations.

Tickets to both events will be issued via a ballot system through the members' section. Separate ballots are being held for each event but the same dates will apply for both. BFI Champions can enter the ballots on Monday 5th August and members from Tuesday 6th August. The ballots will close on Friday 9th August and will be run over the weekend of 10th and 11th August, with all entrants being notified on Monday 12th August whether they have been successful or not.

All tickets reserved for Champions and members via the ballots will be held for claiming by them until 8.30pm on Friday 16th August. Any that are unclaimed by then will be released for public sale on Saturday 17th August.

The guests for both events will be announced in due course.

Bookmark and Share AudioGo: August releases

7/19/2013 11:38:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

AudioGo's ongoing celebration of 50 Years of Doctor Who reaches the Eighth Doctor in August, with he and Charlie facing Enemy Aliens in the Destiny of the Doctor series. Meanwhile, the Seventh Doctor performs at The Greatest Show in the Galaxy in the latest Target novelisation adaptation, and the Eleventh Doctor's former compantion Amelia Pond writes about when Summer Falls in an audio adaptation of the e-book released earlier this year.

Destiny of the Doctor: Enemy Aliens (Credit: AudioGo)Destiny of the Doctor: Enemy Aliens
Starring India Fisher, with Michael Maloney (pre-order)

1935: a message from a Time Lord in trouble sends the Eighth Doctor and Charlotte ‘Charley’ Pollard to the streets of London’s West End, in search of a mysterious alien adversary – unaware that something monstrous is already on their trail.

They soon discover that an insidious conspiracy is indeed at work, its tentacles extending the length of the British Isles. Proving its existence won’t be easy, however, after a confrontation in a music hall ends up with the Doctor under arrest and Charley on the run, suspected of murder. All their hopes rest in a musical clue and a man named Hilary – neither of which are much consolation, with the two time travellers the object of a nationwide manhunt.

And all the while, the enemy aliens are drawing closer and closer still...

India Fisher - Charley in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio series - and Michael Maloney perform this original story by Alan Barnes, with music and sound design.

To be in with a chance to win one of three copies of Enemy Aliens courtesy of AudioGo, answer the following question:
Charlie travelled with the Eighth Doctor for a number of years, they are eventually separated during an encounter with the Cybermen - but what happened to her next?
Send your answer to with the subject line "Shh. Spoilers!", along with your name, address, and where you saw the competition (the news website, twitter, facebook, etc.). Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open worldwide, and the closing date is 31st July 2013.
Doctor Who - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (Credit: AudioGo)The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
Written by Stephen Wyatt
Read by Sophie Aldred (pre-order)

CREEPY. That's what Ace thinks of clowns. But the Doctor insists on entering the talent contest at the Psychic Circus, the self-proclaimed Greatest Show in the Galaxy, on the planet Segonax. What has reduced Segonax to an arid wasteland? Why have the happy-go-lucky circus folk stayed here so long? And why are they no longer happy? Above all, what is the dreadful truth about the 'talent contests' run by the sinister Ringmaster and his robot clowns?

The Doctor and Ace need all their death-defying skills in the big top to uncover a brooding, ancient evil that has broken the spirit of the Circus and demanded the sacrifice of so many lives.

Sophie Aldred, who played Ace in Doctor Who, reads Stephen Wyatt's complete and unabridged novelisation, first published by Target Books in 1989.

To be in with a chance to win one of three copies of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy courtesy of AudioGo, answer the following question:
Due to a re-arrangement of the running order of Season 25, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy ended up being broadcast last in the season - name an on-screen continuity error this introduced for the preceding Silver Nemesis (which would originally have been broadcast afterwards)?
Send your answer to with the subject line "Roll up, roll up!", along with your name, address, and where you saw the competition. Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open worldwide, and the closing date is 31st July 2013.
Summer Falls (Credit: AudioGo)Summer Falls
Read by Clare Corbett (pre-order)

Clare Corbett reads this enchanting tale of a peculiar painting, a talking cat and a very odd Curator, inspired by the Doctor Who episode 'The Bells of Saint John'...

In the seaside village of Watchcombe, young Kate is determined to make the most of her last week of summer holiday. But when she discovers a mysterious painting entitled 'The Lord of Winter' in a charity shop, it leads her on an adventure she never could have planned. Kate soon realises the old seascape, painted long ago by an eccentric local artist, is actually a puzzle. And with the help of some bizarre new acquaintances - including a museum curator's magical cat, a miserable neighbour, and a lonely boy - she plans on solving it. And then, one morning, Kate wakes up to a world changed forever. For the Lord of Winter is coming - and Kate has a very important decision to make.

To be in with a chance to win one of three copies of Summer Falls courtesy of AudioGo, answer the following question:
Which chapter of the book, according to Clara, is the best?
Send your answer to with the subject line "You'll cry your eyes out", along with your name, address, and where you saw the competition. Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open worldwide, and the closing date is 31st July 2013.

Bookmark and Share Big Finish: July releases

7/19/2013 10:01:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Big Finish have released details about the latest adventures for the Doctor and his companions in July.

Doctor Who: Persuasion returns former Nazi scientist Klein to the Seventh Doctor's life as the pair become embroiled in a quest for a very dangerous object. And this time there's room for another person in the TARDIS: Klein's assistant Will Arrowsmith. It stars Sylvester McCoy and sees Tracey Childs reprise her role as Klein, with Christian Edwards playing Will. It has been written by Jonathan Barnes, author of Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Perfidious Mariner, and the upcoming The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes box set.

Persuasion (Credit: Big Finish)Persuasion (available to order)
Starring Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor, with Tracey Childs as Dr Elizabeth Klein

The Umbrella Man is back. But when the Doctor recruits UNIT's Scientific Adviser Elizabeth Klein for an off-the-books mission to the apocalyptic final days of Hitler's Germany, he isn't expecting Klein's hapless young assistant, Will Arrowsmith, to be joining them too.

The Doctor isn't the only alien creature seeking to loot a very particular secret from a Nazi base in Dusseldorf, however. Strange and sinister beings are converging on the same time/space location in search of the scientist Schalk, whose experiments are the key to a devastating power...

The power of Persuasion.
Producer David Richardson says:
We love working with Tracey Childs at Big Finish, and in Klein – originally created by Steve Lyons – we have found the most wonderfully complex and nuanced character to play with. If you think you knew it all about Elizabeth, then you’re in for a few shocks in this new trilogy, which continues with Starlight Robbery in August (with features the Sontarans) and Daleks Among Us in September (with the return of Davros).

Doctor Who - The Companion Chronicles: Mastermind takes us back to the UNIT Vault and the lives of Ruth Matheson (Daphne Ashbrook) and Charlie Sato (Yee Jee Tso), guardians of its secrets. Alongside all the artefacts, though, is a highly deadly prisoner: the Master (Geoffrey Beevers). And he has a story to tell which is certainly not guaranteed to have a happy ending. Writer Jonathan Morris locks himself back into the Vault for an in-depth look at quite possibly the Doctor's most dangerous foe...

The Companion Chronicles: Mastermind (Credit: Big Finish)Mastermind (available to order)
Starring Daphne Ashbrook as Ruth Matheson, Yee Jee Tso as Charlie Sato, with Geoffrey Beevers as The Master

The Vault – an archive of alien artefacts securely stored deep beneath the Angel of the North.

There's also a prisoner in the Vault. An extraterrestrial known as the Master. He has been on Earth for some time, but now he's under lock and key.

This is his story.

Or, as Captain Ruth Matheson and Warrant Officer Charlie Sato discover… perhaps it is theirs.
David Richardson says:
After the success of Tales from the Vault, which introduced Ruth and Charlie, we were determined to revisit the Vault – and Jonny Morris has found the most fascinating way to do so. I’m thrilled that already it has been so well received, as people are responding to a labyrinthine script that reveals a lot of new information about the Doctor’s arch enemy. And Geoffrey Beevers is, of course, magnificent.

The Fourth Doctor’s second season ends with The Final Phase, in which the mysterious Cuthbert's plan for the Proxima System is reaching its climax. The Doctor and Romana have been separated. The Doctor is aiding the Proximan fight-back. Romana and K9 are prisoners of the Daleks. And as the countdown to the opening of the Quantum Gateway begins, the Daleks reveal their true intentions.

Starring Tom Baker as the Doctor, John Leeson as K9 and, sadly, for the final time Mary Tamm as the first Romana, Doctor Who: The Final Phase brings the second series of The Fourth Doctor Adventures to a shattering conclusion. It also stars David Warner and Toby Hadoke as Cuthbert and his ever-faithful sidekick Mr Dorrick, and the incomparable Nicholas Briggs as the ever-malevolent Daleks.

Fourth Doctor Adventures: The Final Phase (Credit: Big Finish)The Final Phase (available to order)
Starring Tom Baker as the Doctor and Mary Tamm as Romana, with David Warner as Cuthbert

'The raw power of the very fabric of reality itself. And you dare to think you can conquer it?'

Cuthbert's plan for the Proxima System is reaching its final phase.

The Doctor and Romana have been separated. The Doctor is aiding the Proximan fight-back. Romana and K9 are prisoners of the Daleks.

And as the countdown to the opening of the Quantum Gateway begins, the Daleks reveal their true intentions.
David Richardson says:
Mary loved this script. And when we recorded it, she specifically asked to record the final scene again – just because she felt it was a pivotal moment for Romana, and she wanted to get it exactly right. It’s heartbreaking to think that would be the last time we saw her. But we’re all so grateful to Mary for driving this second season of The Fourth Doctor Adventures through, despite her illness. A remarkable lady.

Finally, the second season of Counter-Measures stars Simon Williams, Pamela Salem and Karen Gledhill reprising their Doctor Who Remembrance of the Daleks roles of Gilmore, Rachel and Allison, Counter-Measures - Series Two brings four more tales of Sixties-set 'black and white' espionage, conspiracy and derring-do. It also stars Hugh Ross as the team's mysterious boss, Sir Toby Kinsella.

UNIT: Counter Measures 2 (Credit: Big Finish)UNIT: Counter Measures 2 (available to order)
Starring Pamela Salem as Rachel Jensen, Simon Williams as Group Captain Gilmore, and Karen Gledhill as Allison Williams

The British government has created the Counter-Measures group, a specialist team that investigates strange phenomena and dangerous technology. This box set contains four of their adventures plus a behind-the-scenes documentary.

Manhunt by Matt Fitton
Group Captain Gilmore is on the run for murder; Sir Toby is dealing with his unctuous new assistant, Templeton; and Allison and Rachel are investigating a bizarre series of deaths across the country. A maniac is on the loose, but for Counter-Measures it's business as usual.

The Fifth Citadel by James Goss
People are falling ill near Holborn and displaying a sickness with all the hallmarks of radiation poisoning. While Gilmore and Allison look into a graveyard, Sir Toby and Rachel venture underground to meet an old friend with a desperate scheme.

Peshka by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright
A visit to an international chess tournament isn't quite the relaxing experience the Counter-Measures team might have hoped for. With a defection to arrange and violence erupting on the streets it's time for a dangerous gambit. What pieces will be left on the table when the Endgame approaches?

Sins of the Fathers by John Dorney
When a massacre results from the ruins of an old case, it poses more questions than it answers. But with Sir Toby stonewalling, Gilmore and Rachel are forced to investigate alone. The past is catching up with Counter-Measures. With decades old secrets about to be revealed, can anyone survive the fallout?
David Richardson says:
I’m hugely proud of this series, which I think has really hit its stride now. The first series went down a storm, so we're delighted to be able to release the five-disc box set early.

These four tales take the Counter-Measures group into some dangerous new situations – in which the biggest threat is humanity itself... You can experience Gilmore's brush with the wrong side of the law, an illness that looks like radiation sickness, a chess match that leads to defection and the revelation of a long-kept secret - can the team stay together in the face of adversity?

Win a copy of Mastermind!

This month's competition thanks to Big Finish is to win one of five copies of Mastermind. To be in with a chance to win, please answer the following question:
Mastermind features both the Master and UNIT personnel - and on television Geoffrey Beevers has played both! Name the role he played within UNIT.
Send your answer to with the subject line "You Will Obey!", along with your name, address, and where you saw the competition (the news website, twitter, facebook, etc.). Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open worldwide, and the closing date is 31st July 2013.