Bookmark and Share Production Designer's Notebook for Auction

8/31/2013 08:17:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The personal notebook of Tristan Peatfield is being auctioned for charity.

Tristan Peatfield was the production designer on Doctor Who for two episodes in 2010, Amy's Choice and The Lodger, covering the gap between the departure of Ed Thomas and the arrival of Michael Pickwoad.

The item is a 14cm x 21cm black covered "Guildhall" notebook, which contains notes on a number of productions on which Peatfield worked, including at least 13 pages dedicated to Doctor Who. It includes text, designs and drawings in pencil by Peatfield and his colleague Peter McKinstry, including the original design for the "Lodger TARDIS" console and "Amy Pond, TARDIS Pilot".

The notebook is offered on behalf of Peatfield to raise money for The Isabella Peatfield Memorial Fund, a charity raising money for children's projects in Sri Lanka. Tristan and Kim Peatfield's daughter Isabella died in the country on Boxing Day 2004, the youngest British victim of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

The ebay listing is now live and the auction runs for the next nine days.

Bookmark and Share The Ninth Doctor on UKTV

8/30/2013 09:52:00 pm - Reported by Paul Scoones


September sees the broadcast of ten episodes featuring Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor on Australian and New Zealand television. These screenings are part of the 50th Anniversary season of Doctor Who on the UKTV Australia and UKTV New Zealand channels.

Each Sunday afternoon during September will see a block of two episodes screened from the 2005 series.

The schedule for the month in both countries is as follows:

1 September
Rose - AU: 4:30pm; NZ: 4:50pm (NZ repeat 2 Sep, 4:30am)
The End of the World - AU: 5:30pm; NZ: 5:40pm

8 September
Aliens of London - AU: 4:30pm; NZ: 3:00pm
World War Three - AU: 5:30pm; NZ: 4:00pm (NZ repeat 9 Sep, 4:35am)

15 September
Dalek - AU: 4:30pm; NZ: 4:45pm
The Long Game - AU: 5:30pm; NZ: 5:40pm (NZ repeat 16 Sep, 4:30am)

22 September
The Empty Child - AU: 4:30pm; NZ: 4:50pm
The Doctor Dances - AU: 5:30pm; NZ: 5:40pm (NZ repeat 23 Sep, 4:35am)

29 September
Bad Wolf - AU: 4:30pm; NZ: 3:50pm
The Parting of the Ways - AU: 5:30pm; NZ: 4:45pm (NZ repeat 30 Sep, 4:45am)

The line-up includes all but three of the entire run of Ninth Doctor episodes. The omissions are The Unquiet Dead, Father’s Day and Boom Town.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures launch Superfan Competition

8/30/2013 05:52:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Adventures magazine is on the hunt for the nation’s biggest young Doctor Who fan, with the prize of a Cyberman visiting their school and a VIP family ticket to the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebration at the ExCel Centre in London.

The competition is open to children aged between 5-13 and runs until 2 October 2013. Fans need to send up to 250 words explaining why they should win the competition and a photo demonstrating why they’re the ultimate Who fan.

To enter, children must fill in the entry form in the magazine, out now until 10 September. The magazine is encouraging fans to send in their most creative ideas and brilliant collections for a chance to win. The winner will be able to upgrade their school with a visit from one the show’s top monsters, and they and their family will enjoy VIP access to all areas, travel and accommodation at the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebration. Four runners-up will receive a goodie bag filled with official Doctor Who products.

Editor of Doctor Who Adventures magazine, Natalie Barnes said
We have such imaginative and dedicated readers, so this competition is a fantastic way of giving them the opportunity to show the world what Doctor Who means to them. I can’t wait to see how they celebrate their favourite show through photos of them dressed as the Doctor or monster, pictures of their incredible bedrooms, fantastic collections and more! We’re really excited to offer such a fantastic prize.

Bookmark and Share New Doctor Who Range for 50th Anniversary

8/30/2013 03:06:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

After the success of its Fourth Doctor scarf, online scarf retailer Lovarzi is releasing five more Doctor Who products in partnership with BBC Worldwide to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary.

The range includes the Seventh Doctor's jumper and a detailed silk scarf, ideal for cosplayers, complete with a 100% cotton hanky. The Seventh Doctor's costume was designed by Ken Trew in April 1987, ready for Sylvester McCoy's debut in Time and the Rani.

Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor swapped his brightly-coloured scarf in his final set of stories. Lovarzi's Season 18 Fourth Doctor Scarf in burgundy is made from acrylic chenille. It was first seen in The Leisure Hive (1980) and was designed by June Hudson under instructions from producer John Nathan-Turner. The scarf was used extensively until the Fourth Doctor's swansong serial, Logopolis, and was used in publicity shots for the 20th anniversary special, The Five Doctors, before retiring to Blackpool's Doctor Who exhibition, which operated from 1974 to 1985, and 2004 to 2009.

Lovarzi's Fourth Doctor scarf is 13ft/ 3.96m in length, including tassels, and 10" (28cm) wide.

The reversible Dalek scarf is an entirely unique design, initially available in two inter-woven colour combinations: blue and light grey; grey and charcoal. The scarf is made in Italy from finest quality wool and modal, resulting in a very fine finish.

Maninder Singh Sahota, Director of Lovarzi, says:
After the success of the Doctor Who Scarf last year, it is great to offer Doctor Who fans some other classic products. We are dedicated to providing fans with fine quality products which I'm certain they'll love.
Alex Carter-Jones, Business Development Manager from Forbidden Planet, says:
Following on from the hugely successful Fourth Doctor Replica Scarf this range of new scarves and knitwear for the Seventh Doctor looks set to be a real fan favourite. Alongside this the addition of the burgundy Fourth Doctor scarf to the range makes for a great way to continue upon the line from last year.

Last year's Fourth Doctor Scarf remains available online and in Forbidden Planet stores nationwide, as well as at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff and various independent retailers across UK.

The Seventh Doctor jumper, silk scarf and hanky, Season 18 Fourth Doctor scarf in burgundy and exclusive Dalek scarf will all be available for pre-order from, Forbidden Planet, and the Doctor Who Experience from September 2013.

Bookmark and Share DVD Update

8/30/2013 11:40:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

BBC Worldwide have announced details for the forthcoming release of The Tenth Planet on DVD. The two-disc set has been provisionally scheduled for release on 18th November August 2013 for R2, 19th November for R1, and 20th November for R4.

The Tenth Planet
Release date: 18 Nov 2013 UK

The Tenth Planet - DVD R2 Cover (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Starring William Hartnell as Doctor Who, Anneke Wills as Polly, and Michael Craze as Ben
Written by Gerry Davis and Kit Pedler
Directed by Derek Martinus

Broadcast: Sat 8 Oct - Sat 29 Oct 1966

The TARDIS brings the Doctor and his friends Ben and Polly to the South Pole in 1986. Their arrival coincides with the appearance of Earth’s forgotten twin planet Mondas and visitors from that world – emotionless beings called Cybermen. It’s up to the Doctor and his friends to stop these creatures before they convert Earth’s population into similar cyber creations – but the encounter will have a devastating effect on the Doctor...

Special Features: Disc One
  • Episode Four - animated version of the missing episode
  • Commentary, with actors Anneke Wills (Polly), Christopher Matthews (Radar Technician), Earl Cameron (Williams), Alan White (Schultz), Donald Van Der Maaten (Cybermen Shav and Gern), Christopher Dunham (R/T Technician) and designer Peter Kindred. Moderated by Toby Hadoke.
  • Frozen Out - Cast and crew look back on the making of the story. With actors Anneke Wills, Earl Cameron and Reg Whitehead, designer Peter Kindred and vision mixer Shirley Coward.
  • Episode 4 VHS Reconstruction - The reconstruction of the missing fourth episode using audio, stills and surviving clips, which featured on the BBC Video VHS release of the story back in 2000.
  • Radio Times listings - Episode listings for The Tenth Planet from the BBC listings magazine Radio Times (DVD-ROM only – to be viewed on PC/Mac).
  • Production subtitles - Subtitles provide the viewer with cast details, script development and other information related to the production of The Tenth Planet.
  • Photo gallery - A selection of production, design and publicity photographs from this story.
  • Coming soon - An exclusive new trailer for a forthcoming DVD release.
Special Features: Disc Two
  • William Hartnell Interview - Shortly after leaving Doctor Who, star William Hartnell joined the 1966 Christmas pantomime tour of Puss in Boots. Interviewed in his dressing room for the BBC Bristol’s Points West programme, Hartnell talks frankly about Daleks, the merits of pantomime and his own thoughts on his future career in this extremely rare glimpse into the mind of the man who first brought the role of the Doctor to life...
  • Doctor Who Stories – Anneke Wills - Anneke Wills look back on her role as Polly in the series, in an interview recorded for the BBC’s Story of Doctor Who in 2003.
  • The Golden Age - Historian Dominic Sandbrook examines the myth of a ‘Golden Age’ of Doctor Who.
  • Boys! Boys! Boys! - Peter Purves, Frazer Hines and Mark Strickson reminisce about their time as companions to the First, Second and Fifth Doctors respectively.
  • Companion Piece - A psychologist, writers and some of the Doctor’s companions over the years examine what it means to be a Time Lord’s fellow traveller . With actors William Russell, Elisabeth Sladen, Louise Jameson, Nicola Bryant and Arthur Darvill, writers Nev Fountain and Joseph Lidster, and psychologist Dr Tomas Charmorro-Premuzic.
  • Blue Peter: Doctor Who's Tenth Anniversary - Two weeks before the show’s tenth anniversary, the Blue Peter team take a look back at Doctor Who’s history. Ironically, the strict preservation of Blue Peter’s history means that the clip of the first regeneration has been preserved, but the final episode of The Tenth Planet that it came from was never again seen after its use here.

Next month sees two DVDs released: 16th September will see the 2003 animated adventure Scream of the Shalka, featuring the 'forgotten' Ninth Doctor as played by Richard E Grant; then on 30th September the final complete Doctor Who story arrives on the shelves with Fourth Doctor adventure Terror of the Zygons. Internationally, Shalka is released in R1 on 17th September, and Zygons in R1 on 8th October.

Scream of the Shalka
Release date: 16 Sep 2013 UK

Scream of the Shalka - DVD R2 Cover (3D) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Starring Richard E Grant as the Doctor, with Sophie Okonedo as Alison, and Sir Derek Jacobi as The Master
Written by Paul Cornell
Directed by Wilson Milam

Broadcast: 13 Nov 2003 - 18 Dec 2003 (online), Tue 30 Dec 2003 - Sun 4 Jan 2004 (BBC Red Button)

The TARDIS lands in a small English village in 2003, where the population are living in fear of a malevoelent alien force. With the help of UNIT and his new friend Alison, the Doctor discovers that a race called the Shalka are residing underground, preparing to strip away the earth's ozone layer and embark on a full-scale invasion of the planet ...

Special Features:
  • Commentary, with writer Paul Cornell, director Wilson Milam and producer James Goss.
  • Carry on Screaming - behind-the-scenes personnel discuss the making of Scream of the Shalka
  • The Screaming Sessions - cast and crew interviews recorded at the time of production in 2003
  • Interweb of Fear - a brief history of the BBC website and the important role that Doctor Who has played over the years
  • Soundtrack Album
  • Production information subtitles
  • Photo gallery
  • Coming Soon trailer
Terror of the Zygons
Release date: 30 Sep 2013 UK

Terror of the Zygons - DVD R2 Cover (3D) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Starring Tom Baker as the Doctor, with Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah, and Ian Marter as Harry, and Nicholas Courtney as The Brigadier.
Written by Robert Banks Stewart
Directed by Douglas Camfield

Broadcast: Sat 30 Aug - Sat 20 Sep 1975

Returning to Earth, the Doctor, Sarah and Harry arrive in the Scottish Highlands to investigate the mysterious destruction of several oil rigs in the North Sea. Local superstition speaks of a deadly threat that lurks in the mists on Tulloch Moor, but the truth is even more disturbing: the legendary Loch Ness Monster is a terrifying cyborg beast which is controlled by the Zygons, an advanced alien race who are desperate to ensure their own survival, at any cost...

Special Features:
  • Commentary, by producer Philip Hinchcliffe, writer Robert Banks Stewart, production unit manager George Gallaccio, make-up artist Sylvia James and sound effect producer Dick Mills, moderated by Mark Ayres.
  • Scotch Mist in Sussex - Cast and crew look back at the making of this story. With actors John Levene and John Woodnutt, Philip Hinchcliffe, Robert Banks Stewart, designer Nigel Curzon, costume designer James Acheson, visual effects assistant Steve Bowman, writer and historian Simon Farquar and the director’s son, Joggs Camfield.
  • Remembering Douglas Camfield - The life and work of respected director Douglas Camfield is remembered in this documentary. With actors Celia Imrie, Peter Purves, Jonathan Newth and John Levene, Philip Hinchcliffe, Robert Banks Stewart, director Graeme Harper and Joggs Camfield. Narrated by Glen Allen.
  • The UNIT Family Part 3 - The concluding part of the series looking at the stories featuring the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. With actors Tom Baker, Nicholas Courtney, Katy Manning, John Levene and Richard Franklin, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks.
  • Doctor Who Stories: Tom Baker - Tom Baker talks about his work on the series in this interview originally recorded for 2003’s The Story of Doctor Who.
  • Doctor Who Stories: Elisabeth Sladen - Elisabeth Sladen remembers her time as Sarah Jane Smith in this interview recorded for The Story of Doctor Who.
  • Merry-Go-Round: The Fuel Fishers - Elisabeth Sladen flies out to visit North Sea oil rigs and learn about the process of oil exploration in this schools programme from 1977.
  • South Today - Tom Baker interviewed on location in Sussex during the Terror of the Zygons filming by the BBC’s regional news programme South Today.
  • Disney Time - featuring the The Fourth Doctor (easter egg)
  • Isolated Score
  • Dolby 5.1 - option to listen to the episode in surround sound
  • Photo Gallery
  • Radio Times Billings
  • Coming Soon
  • Production Subtitles

The Moonbase

It has now been confirmed that the Second Doctor adventure The Moonbase will be released in 2014, enabling animation work to be completed. The animation is once again being undertaken by Planet 55, who rendered the missing episodes for both First Doctor adventures The Reign of Terror and The Tenth Planet; Pup Ltd have released two headshot images to illustrate how the principal characters will look:

The Moonbase - head animation image (Credit: Pup Ltd/Twitter) The Moonbase - head animation image (Credit: Pup Ltd/Twitter)

DVD Artwork

The DVD Artwork for recent and new releases have been published by Tea Lady Design via their Facebook Page:

The Visitation SE - DVD Cover Artwork (Credit: Tea Lady Design) Spearhead from Space - Bluray Cover Artwork (Credit: Tea Lady Design) The Green Death SE - DVD R2 Cover Artwork (Credit: Tea Lady Design) Terror of the Zygons - DVD R2 Cover Artwork (Credit: Tea Lady Design) The Tenth Planet - DVD R2 Cover Artwork (Credit: Tea Lady Design)

Bookmark and Share Obituaries

8/29/2013 03:25:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Gerard Murphy 1948-2013

The actor and director Gerard Murphy has died at the age of 64.

Gerard Murphy played Richard Maynarde, the servant of Lady Peinforte, in the 1988 Doctor Who story Silver Nemesis.

Murphy was Born in Newry, County Down, and began his professional career with the Glasgow Citizens Theatre. He returned there last year for an acclaimed Krapp’s Last Tape. He was also and was an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing as Hal alongside Joss Ackland’s Falstaff in Henry IV, Part I in 1982.

For BBC Radio he narrated the 1981 adaptation of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Television work included roles in Spooks, Z Cars, Minder, Charters & Caldicott, Heartbeat, Father Ted, Dalziel and Pascoe and The Bill.

His agent Lynda Ronan said he died at home on Monday after “battling courageously with cancer for two and a half years”.

He was last seen in the West End in the 2010/11 revival of The Rivals at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.

Christopher Burgess 1926-2013

The actor Christopher Burgess has died at the age of 86.

Christopher Burgess had three roles in Doctor Who, appearing in eleven episodes.

He played Swann in the 1967 story The Enemy of the World. Swann was the leader of Salamander's underground community of scientists. Burgess returned to Doctor Who in 1971 playing Professor George Philips, a scientist under the control of The Master, in Terror of the Autons.

His final appearance in Doctor Who was as Barnes, a resident of the meditation centre, in the 1974 story Planet of the Spiders.

He appeared in many British Television dramas including The Bill, Jossy's Giants, David Copperfield, Two People, Danger UXB, Les Miserables, Treasure Island, The Growing Pains of PC Penrose, Z Cars, Softly Softly: Task Force, Dixon of Dock Green, Sherlock Holmes, Deadline Midnight and Who Killed Menna Lorraine?

Bookmark and Share Big Finish: August Releases

8/28/2013 02:39:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

This month's Doctor releases from Big Finish feature the continuation of the Seventh Doctor's travels with Klein and Will, an adventure for the First Doctor and Susan, plus an interview with the two actors that brought the popular Victorian investigators - aka Jago and Litefoot - to life.

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

Sick of the same-old slaughter-appliances? In need of a killer new killing-machine? Then look no further than Garundel Galactic's secret arms auction. Blasters, tanks, missiles and bombs – no bang too big or micro-laser too small. If you’ve got the credits, Garundel's got the kill-sticks. (Cash buyers get preferential rates.)

In search of the key to a sinister alien technology, the Doctor, Klein and Will set their sights on an illicit intergalactic arms fair run by an old acquaintance – the slippery Urodelian crook, Garundel. But what are their chances of pulling off a particularly audacious heist from under the noses of Garundel and his alien clients, the ever-belligerent Sontarans...?
The Companion Chronicles: The Alchemists (Credit: Big Finish)The Alchemists (available to order)
Starring Carole Ann Ford as Susan Foreman

The TARDIS lands in Berlin in the 1930s, where Hitler and his National Socialist party are in the ascendant.

Some of the greatest scientific minds are gathering here: Einstein, Heisenberg, Planck, Schrödinger, Wigner. The people who will build the future of planet Earth.

But the Doctor and Susan have brought something with them. Something apparently harmless, something quite common. Yet something that could threaten the course of history...
Benjamin and Baxter (Credit: Big Finish)Benjamin and Baxter (available to order)

The stars of Jago & Litefoot, Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter, prove immensely endearing raconteurs as they chat with Nicholas Briggs about their long and varied careers, covering their first appearance as Jago & Litefoot in Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang and a rich tapestry of other tales from their lives...

NOTE: Benjamin & Baxter contains some adult material and is not suitable for younger listeners.

Win a copy of The Alchemists

This month's competition thanks to Big Finish is to win one of five copies of The Alchemists. To be in with a chance to win, please answer the following question:
Name one of the televised stories in which the Doctor meets Einstein.
Send your answer to with the subject line "I'm a Genius!", 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 5th September 2013.

Bookmark and Share AudioGo: September releases

8/27/2013 10:57:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

AudioGo's ongoing celebration of 50 Years of Doctor Who reaches the Ninth Doctor in September, with he, Rose and Jack entering the Night of the Whisper in the Destiny of the Doctor series. Meanwhile, the Sixth Doctor finds himself on trial for his lives in The Trial of a Time Lord in the latest Target novelisation adaptations, whilst the soundtrack of six adventures with the First Doctor are released in a collected edition.

Destiny of the Doctor: Night of the Whisper (Credit: AudioGo)Destiny of the Doctor: Night of the Whisper
Starring Nicholas Briggs, with John Schwab (pre-order)

New Vegas, 23rd Century – a sprawling city huddling beneath an artificial atmospheric bubble on a distant moon. Pleasure seekers flock there from every corner of the galaxy, to take in the shows and play the tables in the huge casinos. But beneath the glitz and the glitter, organised crime rules the streets.

Whilst Rose Tyler works as a waitress in the Full Moon nightclub, Jack Harkness poses as a reporter for the Daily Galaxy. Meanwhile, the Doctor is helping the police department with their investigation into The Whisper, a strange vigilante that has been terrorising the city’s underworld. But the Doctor is also on a mission of his own – to save Police Chief McNeil’s life at all costs.

Nicholas Briggs - the voice behind the Daleks - and John Schwab perform this original story by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright.

To be in with a chance to win one of three copies of Night of the Whisper courtesy of AudioGo, answer the following question:
Name John Schwab's credited appearance in the television series of Doctor Who.
Send your answer to with the subject line "Fantastic!", 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 4th September 2013.
Doctor Who - The Trial of a Time Lord Volume 1 (Credit: AudioGo)Doctor Who - The Trial of a Time Lord Volume 1
Written by Terrance Dicks and Philip Martin
Read by Lynda Bellingham and Colin Baker (pre-order)

Lynda Bellingham and Colin Baker read these thrilling novelisations of the first two adventures in 'The Trial of a Time Lord', featuring the Sixth Doctor. Doctor Who and the Mysterious Planet: The TARDIS has been taken out of time and the Doctor has been brought before a court of his fellow Time Lords. There the sinister Valeyard accuses the Doctor of breaking Gallifrey's most important law and interfering in the affairs of other planets. If the Valeyard can prove him guilty, the Doctor must sacrifice his remaining regenerations... Doctor Who: Mindwarp: The sinister prosecutor, the Valeyard, presents the High Council of Time Lords with the second piece of evidence against the Doctor...

To be in with a chance to win one of three copies of the first volume of The Trial of a Time Lord courtesy of AudioGo, answer the following question:
Name one of the Books of Knowledge that can be found at Marb Station.
Send your answer to with the subject line "Of course, Segacity", 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 4th September 2013.
The TV Episodes Collection 6 (Credit: AudioGo)The TV Episodes Collection 6
Starring William Hartnell as Doctor Who
Linking narration by William Russell, Peter Purves and Anneke Wills (pre-order)

Six Doctor Who adventures starring William Hartnell as the First Doctor - plus extra bonus material. These classic soundtrack adventures, with additional linking narration, have all been remastered and include bonus interviews with William Russell, Maureen O'Brien, Peter Purves and Anneke Wills.
  • The Sensorites: the Doctor and friends meet the alien Sensorites...
  • The Romans: in first-century Rome, Ian and Barbara are sold into slavery and the Doctor encounters Nero...
  • The Space Museum: the Doctor and his companions see a terrible potential future...
  • The Ark: the Doctor, Steven and Dodo come face-to-face with the last humans and their servants, the Monoids...
  • The Gunfighters: 1881, Tombstone. The TARDIS crew are in trouble, as they try to avoid getting caught in the crossfire at the OK Corral...
  • The War Machines: The TARDIS lands in London in 1966 - only to find that the brand new Post Office Tower is home to a monstrous supercomputer.

To be in with a chance to win one of three copies of The TV Episodes Collection 6 courtesy of AudioGo, answer the following question:
Name the story episode this competition subject is quoted from.
Send your answer to with the subject line "The gentle art of Fisticuffs", 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 4th September 2013.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Prom - Rating

8/27/2013 04:58:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Live: The Next DoctorThe 2013 Doctor Who Prom was watched by 1.2 million viewers, according to unofficial overnight viewing figures.

The show, broadcast on BBC One yesterday afternoon, had a share of 13.3% of the total television audience. The audience built throughout the 75 minute programme, peaking at 1.6 million for the final quarter hour. It won the timeslot beating The Incredible Hulk on ITV, which had 0.9 million watching.

Bookmark and Share Eccleston Message to BFI

8/25/2013 02:34:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Christopher Eccleston has paid tribute to Doctor Who in a special message read out to the audience at the British Film Institute's retrospective of the Ninth Doctor's era.

The event is the latest in the BFI's year long celebration of Doctor Who, looking back at each era of the programme. The Ninth Doctor event, held yesterday in London featured a screening of the final Eccleston story Bad Wolf/The Parting of The Ways

The event panel included director Joe Ahearne, producer Phil Collinson and actor Bruno Langley. Although Eccleston did not attend, he sent a written message which was read by BFI host Justin Johnson.
I love the BFI. I love the Doctor and hope you enjoy this presentation. Joe Ahearne directed five of the 13 episodes of the first series. He understood the tone the show needed completely – strong, bold, pacy visuals coupled with wit, warmth and a twinkle in the performances, missus.

If Joe agrees to direct the 100th anniversary special, I will bring my sonic and a stair-lift and – providing the Daleks don’t bring theirs – I, the ninth Doctor, vow to save the universe and all you apes in it.
The BFI has also confirmed that both David Tennant and Paul McGann will appear live on stage for the look back at their retrospective eras as The Doctor.

The Tenth Doctor event on Sunday 29th September will include a screening of the Series 4 two-part finale The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, while the Eighth Doctor screening of the TV Movie will be held on Saturday 5th October.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular Comes to New Zealand

8/24/2013 01:22:00 pm - Reported by Paul Scoones

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular 2014The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular is coming to New Zealand for the first time. The special event will open the 2014 New Zealand Festival in Wellington.

Touring with a new show based on the recent Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Proms, the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular will play three performances at Wellington’s TSB Bank Arena on 21 and 22 February 2014.

This will be the first time the show has been put on for New Zealand audiences. When the 2014 Australian performances were previously announced it was speculated that the show might also come to New Zealand.

The music will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. During the show there will be live appearances in the aisles by monsters from the series, and specially edited sequences featuring the Eleventh Doctor played by Matt Smith will play on the big screen.

New Zealand Festival Artistic Director Shelagh Magadza said:
We’re expecting an invasion from around the country. This show really is spectacular, it dances between fantasy and reality and will appeal to people of all ages, whether they’re theatre regulars, music lovers or Doctor Who fans old and new.
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Head of Artistic Programming Melissa King said:
This is a fantastic opportunity to bring the world of Doctor Who to New Zealand and celebrate the Doctor Who 50th anniversary.
Helen Pendlebury, Head of Commercial, Entertainment and Children’s Brands, BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand commented:
It’s a very exciting time as Doctor Who celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and we are delighted to give Kiwi fans a chance to experience the series in a whole new way. The 2014 tour will also include performances in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Tickets go on sale to the General Public on 30 August 2013 with pre-sales available from 26 August 2013 from

Bookmark and Share The Doctors Revisited Specials 5-8 on UKTV

8/23/2013 03:15:00 am - Reported by Paul Scoones


Sunday 25th August sees the broadcast of four more instalments in the Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited series of specials on Australian and New Zealand television - and one of these episodes will be a world premiere. These specials are part of the 50th Anniversary season of Doctor Who on the UKTV Australia and UKTV New Zealand channels.

The Doctors Revisited specials will screen in a two hour block of four episodes, covering the first four Doctors. They screen in Australia at 4:25pm and in New Zealand at 4:40pm, with a New Zealand repeat screening at 3:45am on Monday 26th August.
The Doctors Revisited - Fifth Doctor (Credit: UKTV)
New Zealand has the honour of being the first in the world to screen Episode 8 in this series, covering Paul McGann's eighth Doctor. Doctor Who Revisited is usually first screened on BBC America, but this particular episode is due to be broadcast in the United States on 31st August.

UKTV describes the specials as follows:
Episode 5:
The Fifth Doctor introduced viewers to a character who was fresh faced, youthful and more vulnerable than we had seen before. Doctor Who Revisited takes a close look at a TARDIS that was bursting at the seams with a range of different companions, and examines one of the most dramatic departures from the series to date. We also look at the return of two popular foes, the emotionless Cybermen and the ever-deceitful Master.

Episode 6:
As Doctor number six colourfully generated onto our screens in a patchwork blast of colour he brought with him his own sense of style and character. Featuring Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant join The Doctors Revisited as we unveil the compassionate side of the Doctor, his attempts at Tardis maintainence and introduce Sil the galaxies most slippery business man!

Episode 7:
The seventh doctor crashed onto our screens, clowned around in a question-marked tank top and juggled his way around foes. Join The Doctors Revisited as we examine the darker side of this Doctor and take a look at some of his surreal adventures. Featuring interviews with Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, we look at the Doctor's modern day companion Ace and his most scientific foe The Rani.

Episode 8:
Celebrate the uniqueness of the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, who appeared in the Doctor Who TV movie in 1996 to fight a new incarnation of his oldest nemesis, the Master. Featuring Steven Moffat and Daphne Ashbrook.
The specials were originally made for BBC America, where they are presented in conjunction with screenings of stories including Earthshock, Vengeance on Varos, Remembrance of the Daleks, Doctor Who (The Movie). All four stories have previously screened on UKTV as part of the 50th Anniversary season.

The specials replace earlier scheduled Doctor Who programmes on UKTV. Australia was due to screen Doctor Who America Specials: The Destinations of Doctor Who and The Women of Doctor Who, while New Zealand was to have seen Pyramids of Mars.

Bookmark and Share The Light at the End: limited collector's Vinyl edition

8/22/2013 01:47:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The 50th Anniversary audio adventure Light at the End from Big Finish is to be released in a limited edition Vinyl edition.

The Light at the End (cover) (Credit: Big Finish)The Light at the End
Starring Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann
With Louise Jameson, Sarah Sutton, Nicola Bryant, Sophie Aldred and India Fisher
Featuring Geoffrey Beevers as The Master

November 23rd 1963 proves to be a significant day in the lives of all eight Doctors…

It's the day that Bob Dovie's life is ripped apart…

It's also a day that sets in motion a catastrophic chain of events which forces the first eight incarnations of the Doctor to fight for their very existence. As a mysterious, insidious chaos unfolds within the TARDIS, the barriers of time break apart…

From suburban England through war-torn alien landscapes and into a deadly, artificial dimension, all these Doctors and their companions must struggle against the power of an unfathomable, alien technology.

From the very beginning, it is clear that the Master is somehow involved. By the end, for the Doctors, there may only be darkness.

This Special Edition will feature deluxe premium packaging, and includes:
  • Discs 1, 2 and 3 – The Light at the End
  • Disc 4 – The Making of The Light at the End (approx 40-minute documentary exclusive to this release)
  • All discs on heavy 180g vinyl
  • Limited and numbered to 500
  • Four-way gatefold sleeve
  • Rigid slipcase
  • an array of professional photos of the cast.
  • includes an exclusive 30cm x 30cm lenticular image.
The Light at the End (lenticular image) (Credit: Big Finish)

Big Finish trailer, via You-Tube

The Light at the End will also be available as a limited edition five-disc CD, which features:
  • Discs 1 and 2 – The Light at the End
  • Disc 3 – The Making of The Light at the End (70 minute documentary)
  • Disc 4 – This is Doctor Who at Big Finish (70 minute documentary)
  • Disc 5 – Doctor Who – The Companion Chronicles: The Revenants performed by William Russell as Ian

The Light at the End is scheduled to be released on 23rd November 2013; the standard version is currently available to pre-order via our shop.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine 464

8/21/2013 11:30:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Doctor Who Magazine 464 (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)The new edition of Doctor Who Magazine, out Thursday, goes behind the scenes of Doctor Who Live, the special show which finally revealed the identity of the Twelfth Doctor. The magazine features interviews with the people who made it happen, including show runner Steven Moffat, presenter Zoë Ball and producer Russell Minton... and there's also has an exclusive letter from Peter Capaldi himself!

Steven Moffat told DWM:
He’s always looked like Doctor Who, how has this taken us so long?! Because the moment you say his name, you go ‘Of course!’ Because he’s got the hair, and he’s got the look, he’s brilliant, he’s known to be a fan, of course it’s bloody him!

Also this issue:
  • Waiting in the Wings... Steven Moffat writes exclusively for DWM about how Peter Capaldi came to be chosen as the Twelfth Doctor.
  • No Hiding ... The author of the recent episodes The Rings of Akhaten and Hide, and the creator of the acclaimed drama series Luther, Neil Cross talks exclusively to DWM about how he came to fulfil his dream of writing for Doctor Who.
  • Out of the Wilderness... In the second part of The Way Back, we continue to examine the rebirth of Doctor Who in the 21st and take a look at the other Ninth Doctor whose life was cut short after just one animated adventure, Scream of the Shalka – with contributions from Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner, Jane Tranter and many more...
  • Back to the Sixties: The Seventh Doctor and Ace take a trip to 1960s London where the Doctor hidden a dangerous Time Lord artefact. Unfortunately, two opposing Dalek factions also want to get their suckers on it... Remembrance of the Daleks from 1988 takes its turn under the scrutinising lens of Fact of Fiction, which reveals new and fascinating facts about the production.
  • Dead Man Walking: The Doctor is killed by an impossible astronaut – and that's just the start of his problems! DWM’s journey through Doctor Who’s long history arrives at 2011 and the thirty-second series, as Countdown to 50 continues.
  • Blinking Marvellous? Chris, Emma, Michael and Will are keeping their eyes open as they watch the award winning Doctor Who episode Blink from 2007. What will our fearless Time Team make of Steven Moffat’s ‘Doctor-lite’ episode, and will they escape being sent back in time by the Weeping Angels?
  • Fight and Flight! The Doctor’s bug problems are bigger than ever as the over-sized insect Koragatta’s plans come to fruition and the Prime Mother and her swarm threaten the Earth, in the exciting final episode of the DWM comic strip A Wing and a Prayer, written by Scott Gray, with art by Mike Collins.
  • The Best of the Best: The votes have been counted in the 2012 DWM readers merchandise poll and the winners are revealed, including your favourite fiction and non-fiction books, audios, and DVD releases. Plus, we also reveal the top features, covers and interviews from DWM itself.
  • Ain't Misbehaving... Mother of twins and devoted fan Jacqueline Rayner shares those occasional embarrassing moments when Doctor Who has let her down in the company of friends and family, in this issue’s Relative Dimensions.
  • Doctor Blue? The Watcher takes his cue from the casting of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor and selects the TARDIS Swear-Box as this issue’s A History of Doctor Who in 100 Objects; presents a Capaldi-themed joke in What a Load of Rubeish; and celebrates another extra in Supporting Artist of the Month. Plus regeneration forms the basis of the brain tease in The Six Faces of Delusion and a Top Ten Fine Wines with a Doctor Who vintage are revealed. All in this issue’s Wotcha!

PLUS! All the latest official news, TV and merchandise reviews, previews, competitions, a prize-winning crossword and much, much more!

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

8/20/2013 07:09:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Title Deeds
The eighteenth in our series of features telling the story of the creation of Doctor Who, and the people who made it happen.

Production on the new series was progressing. The main cast were under contract and being measured for costumes and make-up.

It was on Tuesday 20th August 1963 - exactly 50 years ago today - that Doctor Who had its first studio session.

The place was Stage 3A of the BBC's television studios in Ealing, and the event was testing for what would become the iconic Doctor Who title sequence. The designer assigned was Bernard Lodge and the inspiration for the design came from a piece of 35mm film obtained by Verity Lambert. The film had been created for the children's production of Tobias and the Angel, made in 1960, and featured a howl-round effect that impressed Lambert.

The use of howl-round as an effect had been pioneered in the late Fifties by Norman Taylor, a BBC technical operations manager on Crew 9 based at Lime Grove in London. He discovered, while experimenting with a camera looking at a monitor showing its own picture, the effect of diminishing images into limbo.
Norman Taylor
We sometimes were allocated to two minor programmes in the same studio on the same day. This often resulted in a gap of activity between the transmission of the first and the start of rehearsals of the second.

On one of these days I used the gap to experiment with a camera looking at a monitor displaying its own picture. I think it was either Studio H or G Lime Grove. I got the usual effect of diminishing images of the monitor disappearing into limbo, when suddenly some stray light hit the monitor screen and the whole picture went mobile with swirling patterns of black and white. Later I repeated the experiment but fed a black-and-white caption mixed with the camera output to the monitor, and very soon got the Doctor Who effect.

I reported this to Ben Palmer the Investigations Engineer, who did some further work on it, and he mentions it in his book. I submitted it as a Technical Suggestion which was forwarded to the Specialist Engineering Departments. They obviously had no idea of what I was talking about and rejected it. I then demonstrated it to [broadcaster and future BBC1 Controller] Huw Wheldon and others who were impressed.
Lambert would later ask permission for Taylor to be given a credit for his work on the series. Although this was rejected by Taylor's Head of Department, R W Bayliff, Taylor was given a Technical Suggestion award of £25 for his idea.

In 2011, Palmer recalled how Taylor had brought the effect to him in his role as an Investigations Engineer, responsible for developing new operational techniques:
Ben Palmer
Norman told me of the interesting effect and thought I might like to look into it further. I conducted several tests and discovered an astonishing range of feedback effects which were visually stunning. By deliberately moving the camera slightly and changing the operation of the camera tube – reversing line scan, reversing field scan, rotating the picture, phase reversing the signal – one achieved multiple patterns – all quite abstract in nature. Using an image, such as a human face, to initiate the feedback made the face distend and break up in a very strange way. Although not involved in the first use of this technique for Doctor Who, I was fully involved in generating the titles for several subsequent series, when the role holder changed. Because of this, I became associated with the feedback effect as well as with other special effects.

I demonstrated this effect to BBC production staff but they could find no use for it except for a brief scene in a Rudolph Cartier play – Tobias and the Angel.
It was this film sequence for Tobias and the Angel that had caught the attention of Lambert and which she showed to Lodge as the type of effect she would like for the opening of her new drama series. The sequence impressed Lodge and he suggested feeding the letters from the Doctor Who title into the sequence.
Bernard Lodge
Quite a lot of howl-around footage already existed as a technical guy named Ben Palmer had been experimenting. Although the pattern generation was a purely electronic process it had been recorded on film, They had yards and yards of this experimental footage and I was asked to go down to Ealing and watch through it all with Verity Lambert.

When I saw the footage I was amazed. I suggested that if the facility for producing the effect could be arranged, we ought to try entering the basic lettering into the howl round. What I didn't realise was that the simple shape of the words, the two lines of fairly symmetrical type, would generate its own feedback pattern. When we introduced the title, the effect was sensational.

I didn’t realise that it would involve a TV studio for half a day. Verity had to plead for more money. On the day there were about five technical men, with Ben Palmer in charge, and the effect was created again – the camera looking at the monitor to which it sent the image. When we introduced the title, the effect was sensational. We used 35mm film recording, and amassed miles of film. Verity asked me to edit the sequence, which I did.

Clive South, who was part of the technical team, recalls that TC3 was used to create the effect which was recorded on to film at Lime Grove. He said:
Clive South
I was one of the three-man engineering team in the VAR (Vision Apparatus Room) so we set up a spare camera channel to look at a preview monitor switched to its own video output. Next was the really high-tech operation – a candle was lit and quickly flashed in front of the camera, and hey presto! A video howl-round was created.
Hugh Sheppard, who was on camera for the session, recalls Taylor lighting matches to trigger the howl-round.

Geoff Higgs, who was working in videotape in 1963, talked about some of the complications in recording the sequence:
Geoff Higgs
I remember that the result was fed through the device in standards converters (third or fifth floor, central wedge, TVC) that split the picture vertically down the middle and made the left and right halves of the raster mirror-imaged. I definitely recall titles that looked like that.
Lodge used just one part of the old Tobias and the Angel footage: the very start, the opening line that comes up and then breaks away. Everything else was new.

Complete with the Ron Grainer music, realised by Delia Derbyshire and Dick Mills, the opening sequence would become one of the most memorable and inspired in the history of British television.

Next EpisodeBox of Delights
SOURCES: BBC Prospero 2011; The Handbook: The First Doctor – The William Hartnell Years: 1963-1966, David J Howe, Mark Stammers, Stephen James Walker (Doctor Who Books, 1994); Ben at the Beeb, Ben Palmer, Valarie Taylor

Bookmark and Share Puffin Books: Spore by Alex Scarrow

8/19/2013 04:16:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Spore, by Alex Scarrow (Credit: Puffin Books)The writer of the eighth Puffin Books e-book to celebrate the 50th Anniversary is the author of the TimeRiders series of books, Alex Scarrow.
Written by Alex Scarrow
Published 23rd August 2013

In a small town in the Nevada desert, an alien pathogen has reduced the entire population to a seething mass of black slime. When the Eighth Doctor arrives, he realises this latest threat to humanity is horrifyingly familiar – it is a virus which almost annihilated his entire race, the Time Lords...
With careers as a rock guitarist, graphic artist and game designer Scarrow became a successful author, writing adult thrillers and screenplays, but it is the world of Young Adult fiction that has enabled him to further develop concepts he originally delved into when designing games. Commenting on his latest commission, he said:
I am squeeing like an over-sugared toddler at the thought of being part of this project. Doctor Who is an export this country can be proud of. We OWN time travel. My small part in this project was to breathe life back into the least known, Eighth Doctor, played by Paul McGann. I chose him because I felt I had the most room to manoeuvre, to explore a lesser known Doctor and add flesh to his character. In my story entitled Spore, we're getting a particularly grisly tale of an intelligent virus that liquifies and absorbs any creature it infects. All in all... quite gross - liquified people an' all.
The author can be reached on Twitter via @AlexScarrow, and more details about the TimeRiders series can be found via this website.

A promotional video featuring Scarrow has been made available via the BBC's YouTube channel, and the Guardian has also published an extract from the e-book.