Welcome to the News & Reviews section here at Doctor Who Online! This is where you will find all the latest Doctor Who related news and reviews split up into easy to use sections - each section is colour coded for your convenience. The latest items can be found at the top, and older items follow down the page.

Archived news and reviews can be accessed by clicking on the relevant area on the News / Reviews Key panels to the right.

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10 September 2019

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Andrew Smith

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: August 2019

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"On the planet Omnia, a young man leads the Doctor and Peri through the battle-scarred ruins of a city. Among the rubble he shows them proof that their invaders and new masters, thought to be invincible, can be defeated. The proof is the blasted, burnt-out remains of a Dalek.

But this is a Dalek-occupied world like few others. For one thing, there are few Daleks to be seen. And for another, the Daleks have appointed an Omnian, Magister Carmen Rega, to govern the planet as their emissary.

Why are the Daleks not present in force? And can the Doctor and Peri risk helping the Omnians, when the least show of resistance will be met with devastating reprisals from space?"

There was a lot of buzz surrounding Emissary Of The Daleks, the latest play from Andrew Smith, when it was first announced. Rightly so, too, as the premise sounded very promising indeed: a world under Dalek rule which ticks along nicely, just so long as no-one rises up against them. As ideas go, it's a good one. Would you dare risk killing everyone if things are actually okay as-is?

There is a lot of potential there, with the Doctor and Peri in the role of possible antagonists. Do you risk it all just because they're Daleks, or accept the planet is fine right now with them in charge?

 

I was therefore excited to start this play, but that soon slipped into uncertainty and quickly into being unenthused. The trouble is, the premise is never really tapped into. Instead, we have a story we have seen a hundred times before. Daleks invade the planet; a well-meaning but ultimately flawed and foolish leader acts as human / Dalek liaison and does terrible things when trying to "do the right thing"; general population is terrified and live in fear and slavery; and the Doctor saves the day.

 

There was not one plot point or twist that I did not see coming at least two scenes earlier. Two of the cliffhangers involve screaming and what sounds like the death of the regulars… only they're fine. The character development and family relationships are as easy to guess as the plotting.

 

I really wanted to like this play, and there are definitely some good parts. I like the piece of Dalek mythology which Smith gives us, about how each Dalek sucker is as individual as a fingerprint. It ranks up with Trevor Baxendale's assertion in his novel Prisoner of the Daleks that Daleks could kill you quickly, they just choose to do it painfully, as good ideas that will be forever stuck in my mind as canonical now.

 

The story is something you've come across before, time and again, but the plot is at least free of holes, and whilst none of the characters made an impression, the cast have no weak links or performances on show.

 

Perhaps it's unfair to judge this play on what it is not, but what it is is so familiar as to be a bit dull. It may be told competently but I'm not sure you'd be able to call it exciting with any real sincerity.

 

As it stands, Emissary of the Daleks is by no means a disaster, but it's also entirely nonessential and overfamiliar to the brink of being boring. The buzz for the premise may be justified, but any for the execution is not.

 


+ Emissary Of The Daleks is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


3 September 2019

BBC Studios continues to offer Doctor Who fans the opportunity to build their own home archive on Blu-ray. Debuting on Monday 23rd December is Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 26; the acclaimed final season from the series’ original run, starring Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred.

The set includes four stories: 

BATTLEFIELD
GHOST LIGHT
THE CURSE OF FENRIC
SURVIVAL

In 1989, Doctor Who was on a creative high, with the Seventh Doctor and his companion Ace revitalising the programme for a new generation. Season 26 featured four epic adventures traversing a future Britain invaded by inter-dimensional knights, a strange Victorian house haunted by ghosts from Ace’s past, an alien world populated by Cheetah People and a 1940s army camp under siege from monstrous vampires.

With guest stars including Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Anthony Ainley (The Master), Jean Marsh, Nicholas Parsons, Anne Reid, Ian Hogg, Sylvia Syms and comedy duo Hale & Pace, this fondly-remembered set of stories saw the end of an era for Doctor Who, and set the stage for its hugely successful revival.

With all episodes newly remastered from the best available sources, this Blu-ray box set also contains extensive and exclusive special features including:

Rare Restored Extended Cuts
The Curse of Fenric VHS Extended Version The Curse of Fenric DVD Special Edition Battlefield VHS Extended Version Battlefield DVD Special Edition, plus

5.1 surround sound & isolated scores
On all 14 broadcast episodes, plus 5.1 sound on all extended versions of The Curse Of Fenric and Battlefield.

Behind the Sofa
New episodes with Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, plus companions Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Anneke Wills and Jodie Whittaker-era writers Pete McTighe & Joy Wilkinson.

Showman - the Life of John Nathan-Turner
A feature-length look at the life and career of Doctor Who’s longest-serving producer, who fought to keep the programme on-air during the 1980s. Contributors include Peter Davison and Colin Baker.

Making ‘The Curse of Fenric’
A brand new documentary featuring Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Tomek Bork, Nicholas Parsons, Cory Pulman, Marek Anton, Ian Briggs, Andrew Cartmel, Mark Ayres and Ian Collins featuring unseen behind-the-scenes footage and photographs.

In Conversation
Matthew Sweet chats to companion Sophie Aldred.

The Writers’ Room
Ben Aaronovitch, Marc Platt, Ian Briggs, Rona Munro and Andrew Cartmel discuss their work on Season 26.

Becoming The Destroyer
Actor Marek Anton and prosthetics designer Stephen Mansfield recall the creation of one of Doctor Who’s best ever monsters.

Blu-Ray trailer
Sophie Aldred back in character as Ace.

Brand new Ghost Light extended workprint Unseen studio footage

Rare archive treats

Convention footage

HD photo galleries

Scripts, costume designs, rare BBC production files and other gems from our PDF archive

And lots more!

The seven-disc box set also includes hours of special features previously released on DVD.

+ PREORDER this title from Amazon.co.uk for just £39.99 (RRP: £56.16)!

 
[Source: BBC Studios]

2 September 2019

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Writer & Script Editor, Terrance Dicks.

This is genuinely one of the hardest news stories we have ever had to post on DWO, due to how much Terrance meant to us as fans, but also for his contributions to the site over the years.

Terrance's agents confirmed the news today, stating;

"The Agency is sad to announce that Terrance Dicks died last Thursday 29th August after a short illness, aged 84."

His first work on Doctor Who was in 1968 as Script Editor on the 2nd Doctor adventure, The Invasion. His first writing credit was on The War Games (1969), in collaboration with Malcolm Hulke. He then went on to continue serving as Script Editor throughout Jon Pertwee's tenure as the 3rd Doctor.

Other stories he contributed to the show include; Robot, The Brain Of Morbius (as Robin Bland), Horror Of Fang RockState Of Decay, and the 20th Anniversary adventure, The Five Doctors.

One of his greatest contributions to Doctor Who was in 1973 for Target Books as he adapted over 60+ televised episodes for novelisations. Many fans grew up reading these books, with some still in publication today for BBC Books. He also wrote a number of novels for the Virgin Doctor Who adventures as well as the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures and BBC Past Doctor Adventures.

In addition to Doctor Who, Terrance's TV credits also include; The Avengers, Moonbase 3, Space: 1999 and Goodbye Mr. Chips (to name just a few).

For DWO, Terrance was kind enough to lend his time for interviews on the DWO WhoCast podcast - Episode #269 was a particular treat. He also gave his time to take part in the Ask & Answer section of the old DWO Forums.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Terrance's family and friends. We remain ever thankful to Terrance for all his contributions to Doctor Who; his stories stand the test of time, and will remain an important part of many a fan's childhood.

+ Do you have any memories you'd like to share? Please leave a comment, below! 

[Source: DWO]

8 August 2019

Over the past couple of days there has been a rather nasty rumour claiming that Chris Chibnall has sensationally quit the show mid-season, and with him, Jodie Whittaker.

DWO have received confirmation from a trusted BBC insider who has reassured us that these rumours are false. Further rumour also suggested there will be a press release today confirming the departures - this too is false and there will be no such press release coming today or anytime in foreseeable future.

We also want to take the opportunity to say how disheartening it is to see such vicious rumours appear. Chris isn't the sort of person to up and quit a show he cares so much about - especially mid-season, and likewise, Jodie wouldn't want to disappoint fans in this manner either.

Further to this, whilst there are some fans who may not like the current showrunner / Doctor choice, jumping on a hate-fuelled bandwagon simply throws shade a TV show that they claim to love. Doctor Who has a long, rich history - full of change. Whilst we all may have our favourites, we believe that supporting this show through all its many changes is something we should all be a little bit better at.

We have a wonderful fandom; truly wonderful - a wide-ranging mix of fans from all kinds of backgrounds. What an even better place it could be if we could pull together just that little bit more...

[Source: DWO]

16 July 2019

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Roland Moore

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: July 2019

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"What if you’d committed a truly dreadful crime but couldn’t remember?

The Doctor takes Peri to the Memory Farm – a state of the art space station where hidden memories can be harvested and analysed. To their surprise, they find the station in lock-down and all its resources dedicated to probing the memories of an elderly man. Garius Moro may, or may not, have been responsible for the deaths of billions of people many years ago, but he simply can’t remember.

The assembled representatives of two opposing factions, each with their own agenda, anxiously wait for the truth to be unlocked from Moro’s mind. But when a memory does eventually surface, everyone is surprised to learn that it is of Peri..."

Following on the heels of the Mags trilogy, we see the return of Peri to the main range after several years’ absence. Rather than follow up the plot threads left hanging from her last, post-Trial trilogy, we are instead treated to a story set earlier in her timeline, though at times it feels even earlier than that.

Roland Moore’s debut story for the Big Finish main range, Memories Of A Tyrant is a bit of an odd beast in that it’s a Sixth Doctor and Peri story that feels entirely geared towards it being a Third Doctor and Jo story, complete with a fight scene, references to The Curse of Peladon and The Green Death, central ethical dilemma, and an old friend of the Doctor who helped free wrongly convicted aliens. It gives the entire play a slightly unusual feel, being simultaneously true to the show but not really true to the era. I wonder if perhaps it started off with a different TARDIS team in mind, or if they just wanted to try something different? Either way, it can be a little jarring at times.

This air of incongruity aside, it also happens to be an unusual play for other reasons. Its central premise is interesting: Garius Moro is a tyrant responsible for the murder of billions and he has finally been captured - or has he? No visual record of Moro exists, and the man captured has no memory of his past life whatsoever. There is, therefore, a question of morality at stake here. Is it right that a man utterly ripped of his memories should suffer a punishment for his actions, actions which he cannot recall committing and finds hard to believe himself capable of? And what if they have the wrong man?

The main issue with this play is that it dodges both these issues entirely, something not down to Moore who addressed this in his original script, but down to director, producer and script editor John Ainsworth, who according to the play’s extras insisted that they go unanswered, to better retain uncertainty. All this does is neuter Memories Of A Tyrant, robbing its exciting meat and bones of weight and making the ending feel unsatisfactory. It goes out of its way to dodge the moral quandary but that just raises more questions than it answers, namely why commission a play such as this if you don’t want to fully engage with its soul?

It’s a pity as overall Memories Of A Tyrant is a fairly enjoyable listen which gives Peri a lot to do, and Colin Baker is clearly having fun pretending to be a convict. Moore has hit upon an interesting issue, has written it as a Third Doctor tale, and has had his answers removed from on high. It makes for one of the strangest releases Big Finish have put out for a while now, and certainly a tricky one to grade.

I would like to try and take a leaf out of its book and cheat my memory. I would like to recall the happy cast and the good ideas this play has, ignoring the era uncertainty and production interference. I will not succeed; the execution looms large in my mind. But trying to do so, at least, feels the done thing.


+ Memories Of A Tyrant is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


16 July 2019

BBC Studios and Oculus will be teaming up at this year's San Diego Comic Con [18th-21st July] to give fans a chance to check out the brand new 'Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time' VR game, ahead of its launch this September.

The demo will be available at the BBC America stand (#4129), where fans can also see a full-size TARDIS! 

Published by PlayStack and developed by Maze Theory, Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time will transport fans into a globally-beloved world of aliens, mystery and wonder, letting them embark on a brand-new and fully-interactive adventure, inspired by the show’s 55-year history and starring the Doctor’s current incarnation, played by Jodie Whittaker.

Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time will launch in September 2019 on PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC VIVE and the upcoming VIVE Cosmos.

Watch the thrilling new trailer for the game in the player, below:


[Source: BBC America]

25 June 2019

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Alan Barnes

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: June 2019

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"A space-time summons brings the TARDIS to the strangest place Mags has yet visited. A haven for the freakiest freaks and the weirdest weirdoes: Camden Lock, London, in the early 1990s.

But there's a reason why former TARDIS traveller Ace has brought the old gang back together. She’s on a mission to rescue an alien being, held prisoner in a massive mansion…

A mission that can’t possibly go wrong. Can it? "

An Alien Werewolf in London is the final story in this trilogy of stories featuring Mags, this time with Ace along for the ride. Believe it or not, that’s about all I can say without straying further into spoiler territory, so brief is the CD blurb. Keeping that in mind, what follows will contain spoilers so you may want to just skip ahead to the score without context or read this after listening.

With that in mind, let’s carry on. Werewolf is a slightly weird release; on the one hand, there is much to praise: it’s a decent enough plot, using time travel and double-bluffing rather well and the title is an amusing enough pun. In short, it’s an entertaining enough play that doesn’t feel like it has ever outstayed its welcome, despite episodes running over the 30 minute marker. The continual pop cultural references don’t really work, mind, not feeling true to the era, and the music utterly swamps everything, relying on only a couple of cues over and over again, an issue I had last month, too. The direction feels a bit off, too, with notable pauses between lines at times that kills the flow dead.

Enemy-wise, we’re back in one of Doctor Who’s favourite territories: vampires. Okay, so they don’t like to be called vampires, but we all know what they are. I suppose there was a certain inevitability about vampires and werewolves coming together in the end, but it’s done fairly well here.

Sadly though, the issue that has plagued this trilogy since the start is here again: just who is Mags beyond “I’m a werewolf and I’d rather not be”? I still don’t know, three plays and a television story in.

I mentioned in previous reviews for this trilogy that Mags was essentially a well-acted plot point back in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, and though the plot point has changed now (from “I am trapped and secretly a werewolf” to “I am a werewolf and I feel trapped”), I do not know her character. She wants a cure and feels like an outsider because she changes but, again, that’s not really a great deal to go on. That’s the sketchy, one-sentence pitch to potential writers.

Alan Barnes, the play’s writer and the outgoing script editor for most of the main range, says that bringing back Mags was always on his “to do” list, but I’m still unsure just why he was. On paper, a werewolf looking for a cure could be fun, but it strikes me as fuel for a spin-off comic book series instead of a great idea for an ongoing companion.

Nothing in this trilogy had persuaded me otherwise. Jessica Martin puts in her best performance as Mags by a mile here in this play, and we end not with a conclusion but a potential continuation of the storyline, only I’m not sure ‘continuation’ is the right word. We haven’t moved anywhere. We end up how we started, only with Mags in the TARDIS instead of on a planet.

In the end, I just feel torn. The opening and closing plays of the trilogy are enjoyable enough; enough to ensure this one gets a healthy score out of 10, despite my niggles with the direction and music, but that one word keeps coming back to me: why?

Why bring Mags back? Just who is this trilogy for: what is the audience Big Finish are aiming for? I’m utterly baffled.

Mags, we hardly knew thee. I’m not sure any of the writers really did, either.


+ An Alien Werewolf In London is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


21 June 2019

To celebrate the return of Doctor Who in early 2020, BBC Books will publish Star Tales; a unique collection of name-dropping historical adventures inspired by Jodie Whittaker’s first series as the Doctor.

The Doctor is many things – curious, funny, brave, protective of her friends... and a shameless name-dropper. While she and her companions battled aliens and travelled across the universe, the Doctor hinted at a host of previous, untold adventures with the great and the good: we discovered she got her sunglasses from Pythagoras (or was it Audrey Hepburn?); lent a mobile phone to Elvis; had an encounter with Amelia Earhart where she discovered that a pencil-thin spider web can stop a plane; had a 'wet weekend' with Harry Houdini, learning how to escape from chains underwater; and more.

In this collection of new stories, Star Tales takes you on a rip-roaring ride through history, from 500BC to the swinging 60s, going deeper into the Doctor's notorious name-dropping and revealing the truth behind these anecdotes.

The book will feature 6 brand new stories, detailing the Doctor's untold adventures with famous figures in history - Audrey Hepburn, Elvis Presley, Harry Houdini, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein and Pythagoras, written by Steve Cole, Jenny T Colgan, Jo Cotterill, Paul Magrs, Trevor Baxendale and Mike Tucker.

For those who can’t wait until 5th December, two chapters will be available for download as e-shorts a month prior to publication. 

+  Doctor Who: Star Tales is released on 5th December 2019, priced £12.99.
+  PREORDER this title at Amazon.co.uk!
 

[Source: Penguin Random House]

18 June 2019

BBC Studios continues to offer Doctor Who fans the opportunity to build their own home archive on Blu-ray. The first jam-packed release for Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor, Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 23, debuts on Monday 23rd September.

In 1985, Doctor Who was taken off the air for an 18 month hiatus. When it returned, it was with an ambitious fourteen-episode adventure, The Trial of a Time Lord. The epic story saw the Doctor on trial for his life, with the court examining his adventures with companion Peri (Nicola Bryant) and looking to his future escapades with new companion Melanie (Bonnie Langford).

This season saw the return of popular villain Sil, along with the Master, the towering robot Drathro and the plant-based Vervoid monsters. With the Inquisitor (Lynda Bellingham) overseeing the proceedings, it was the Valeyard (Michael Jayston) who proved the greatest threat, hiding his own sinister motives for wanting the Doctor’s downfall.

With all episodes newly remastered from the best available sources, this Blu-ray box set also contains extensive and exclusive special features which include:

+ Extended edits - of all fourteen episodes
+ Terror of the Vervoids - four-part standalone edition with updated Fx
+ Immersive 5.1 surround sound & isolated scores - on all 14 broadcast episodes
+ Behind the Sofa - new episodes with Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Bonnie Langford, Mark Strickson, Frazer Hines and Matthew Waterhouse
+ The Writers’ Room - Eric Saward, Philip Martin, Christopher H Bidmead & Waly K Daly discuss the ‘Lost’ Season 23
+ The Doctor Who Cookbook Revisited - brave cast members tackle their original recipes from the 1980s official cookbook
+ The Doctor’s Table - join Colin Baker and friends for dinner
+ In Conversation - Matthew Sweet chats to companion Bonnie Langford
+ Unseen studio footage
+ Rare archive treats
+ Convention footage
+ Blu-ray trailer
+ HD photo galleries
+ Scripts, costume designs & more in the PDF Archive

The six-disc box set also includes hours of extensive special features previously released on DVD.

View the announcement trailer for the box-set in the player, below:


Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 23 stars Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Bonnie Langford with Michael Jayston and Lynda Bellingham. Guest appearances include Anthony Ainley, Nalbil Shaban, Joan Sims, Christopher Ryan, Michael Craig, Honor Blackman, Tony Selby and Geoffrey Hughes.

+ PREORDER this title from Amazon.co.uk for just £38.99 (RRP: £56.16)!

[Source: BBC Studios]

12 June 2019

Character Options is delighted to announce a new series of exclusive Doctor Who toys that will be available later this summer from local B&M stores (UK variety retailer). Full details of the product line-up (with images) will be revealed in the coming weeks but here’s a small taster of what will be available.

Fans of the Doctor’s Sonic Screwdrivers will be able to get their hands on a heritage set of three popular incarnations. The new blister-pack series will include electronic versions, inspired by the 50th anniversary episode, of the Tenth, Eleventh and War Doctor’s sonics.

For action figure fans, Character Options presents a set of three unique Doctor & Dalek Twin Packs, inspired by the Doctor Who audio series from Big Finish. This includes a brand new take on the Eighth Doctor, plus the Dalek Interrogator Prime, as featured in Big Finish audio book story In the Garden of Death. The two additional Doctor and Daleks sets to be released from this range will feature the Seventh and War Doctors respectively.

This year there will be not one, but two new TARDIS & Doctor sets released, each with a completely new take on both the Doctor and the blue box, inspired by adventures spanning the 1970s and 1980s. 

To complete the summer line-up there are three brand new collector sets with a range of three figures in each, inspired by the Classic adventures of the Second, Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors.  

Al Dewar, Creative Director at Character Options commented:

“We are delighted to announce this first taster of what’s to come from our B&M stores Doctor Who toy range. To reveal the visuals of these brand new products, we plan to do a full unveiling live, which will take place ‘unboxing style’ on Character Options’ own Youtube channel in July; details of the time and date will be announced."

[Source: Character Options]

5 June 2019

Publisher: Spaceboy Books LLC

Written By: M. Drewery

RRP: £10.68 (Paperback) / £2.14 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 5th June 2019

We're not usually fans of apocalyptic stories; they're not exactly light reading and the running theme tends to feel a little worn by the time you've reached the (literal) end. That wasn't the case for M. Drewery's 'Stolen Futures', however - in fact, never have we read a story within this genre that had so much heart and soul.

"Callum Tasker isn’t special. He isn’t a genius, or a star athlete. He’s not unique. But he, along with 257 other ordinary kids from around the globe, has been assigned to a spaceship that will flee an alien attack on the Earth. Callum will leave everything behind; his family, his friends, his country, to give humanity a new beginning on a new home world."

The opening chapter throws you right into the action, but balanced with all this action is a tender and heart-breaking story of a boy being ripped from his family. Every scene is painted with such rich colour through description and emotion, that you feel a connection to Callum very early on. It is genuine, lump-in-throat reading, before you are hurtled off into a rip-roaring adventure that doesn't stop for one minute. At its heart, this story is about growing up, making important decisions and, of course, saving humankind!

Together with a continuous switch-up in the narrative, as well as some intelligent use of the author's sci/tech knowledge, Stolen Futures never fails to keep your attention. Just when you think you need to put the book down to continue with your real life tasks, it pulls you back in and makes you want to keep reading.

It is clear that the author is a science fiction fan, and whilst there are moments that will have you thinking of scenes from some of your favourites like Star Wars or even Doctor Who, make no mistake that this is very much its own thing - it's dripping in confidence and drive.

We don't want to spoil the ending, but what we can say is that the future looks very bright more more stories in the Stolen Futures universe (or should that be multiverse)? :)

M. Drewery has crafted a thoroughly fantastic story that is screaming out for a movie or tv series! Cannot wait to see what's next from this author!

+  Stolen Futures is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow M. Drewery on Twitter.

4 June 2019

BBC Studios is pleased to announce that The Faceless Ones will be the next animated Doctor Who release, filling a gap in missing content. Following the success of The Power Of The Daleks, Shada and The Macra Terror, The Faceless Ones will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and as an exclusive steelbook next year. Pre-order is available now from Amazon.

The Faceless Ones is the mostly missing eighth serial of the fourth season in Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from April-May 1967. Starring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, the story concerns a race of identity-stealing aliens known as the Chameleons. 

Only two of the six episodes are held in the BBC film archives with snippets of footage and still images existing from the other four. Off-air recordings of the soundtrack also still exist, making the animation of a complete serial possible once again.

The six new animated episodes are being made in full colour and high definition and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2020. The DVD/Blu-ray release will also include surviving archive material from the original 1967 production.

Check out the announcement trailer in the player, below:


+ PREORDER this title on Blu-ray from Amazon.co.uk

[Source: BBC Studios]

25 May 2019

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Emma Reeves

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: May 2019

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"The Doctor has returned Mags, formerly of the Psychic Circus, to her native world: Vulpana.

Not the savage Vulpana that Mags was taken from, but Vulpana in an earlier era. The Golden Millennium – when the Four Great Wolf Packs, each devoted to one of the planet’s four moons, oversaw the height of Vulpanan civilisation. A time when the noblest families of the Vulpanan aristocracy found themselves in need of new blood…

A golden age that’s about to come to a violent end!"

I noted at the start of my The Monsters Of Gokroth review that Big Finish seem to be tailoring their output for a very small and specific audience right now, and went on to question exactly what fans were dying to hear more tales about Mags and what stories could be told with her. This month sees the release of The Moons Of Vulpana and it goes some way to answering the latter question, but not always in a positive way. 

By returning to Vulpana, Mags’s home planet, we get a good chance to do some world building and add some background details. This is a welcome development and I could start to see the potential in the character and why some fans may have been clamouring for further adventures.  I’m not of the mindset where I hear a throwaway line and want to see it filled out: we’ve learnt from things like the Star Wars prequels or Big Finish’s own The War Doctor box sets that this is often not a good thing. Still, there are blanks that can be filled here should writers wish to, and so it is here. I hope that the fistful of fans who crave this sort of thing are enjoying the ride.

 

The problem really is not the mindset but the execution here. Yes, we get to visit Vulpana but what we get for those filled-in blanks is nothing original or especially engaging.  We land on a planet with pseudo-medieval trappings and Mags finds herself wooed by two werewolves. Before too long, she has met their haughty mother and their surly, outsider brother who feels isolated and unsure they should be celebrating the past after all, going against the grain of the planet. But despite Mags feeling at home here, perhaps all is not what it seems… to which I found myself saying, “Well, no, of course it isn’t going to be, is it?” because I feel like I have heard this story before. Many, many times. I kept waiting to be surprised, but nothing felt out of the ordinary. Even larger plot points later on lacked the impact they ought to have.

 

Throw in a repetitive musical motif that has outstayed its welcome before the opening episode is through (it makes that fanfare used in Rosa feel positively underused), and you’ve one of the most disappointingly average releases for a while.

 

All of the above elements contribute towards the creation of a play that is competent, but that’s about the most positive thing I can say about it. The script is functional and the performances not bad, but nothing here grabbed me because nothing here is new. I’m not sure it’s a fault with the writing. Emma Reeves has done great work elsewhere, with her Unbound play The Emporium At The End being one of the wittiest and joyful releases Big Finish have done this past decade. It’s not a fault with the acting either. The guest cast fails to shine, mind, but that’s not their fault: they can do only so much. As for Mags, Jessica Martin is really trying her best with what she has. It’s just that the character lacks true dimension and depth and I think the relatively uninspired feel of The Moons Of Vulpana is but a reaction to this.

 

Even this review feels underbaked and brief, but that’s because there is almost nothing to say beyond that which has been stated already. It doesn’t makes me especially hopeful for the conclusion to this trilogy, but you never know. Miracles happen and how blissfully Doctor Who-like it would be to save it all at the eleventh hour. Here’s hoping.

 


+ The Moons Of Vulpana is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


21 May 2019

When Jodie Whittaker returns to Doctor Who next series, the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends won’t be the only familiar faces. The show, currently filming, is set to welcome back The Judoon as one of the Doctor’s fearsome adversaries. 

More than twelve years after they stampeded onto screens to terrorise the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones on the moon in 2007’s “Smith And Jones", the rhino-headed, brutish intergalactic police are returning to cause havoc and thrill children and adults alike.

These ruthless enforcers are on a deadly mission: but what for? And why has it brought them to present-day Gloucester? 

The episode will also star acclaimed actor Neil Stuke. Neil has an established career on stage, television and films, and is a two times BAFTA nominee. Neil’s recent credits include Doctor Foster, Silk and Silent Witness.

Chris Chibnall, Showrunner said:

“No! Sho! Blo! The Judoon are storming back into Doctor Who in full force, and the streets of Gloucester aren’t safe. If anyone has anything to hide, confess now. The Judoon are taking no prisoners, and will stop at nothing to fulfil their mission! The whole team on Doctor Who are delighted and scared in equal measure to welcome them back: one of many treats we’ve got in store for viewers next series. And we’re over the moon (with Judoon), to be welcoming the wondrous Neil Stuke as guest star. We can’t wait to show you what happens when his path crosses with the Thirteenth Doctor."

The eleventh series of Doctor Who was the biggest series of the show in over a decade with an average audience of 8.6m viewers in the 28 days following broadcast, across all available devices.

[Source: BBC]

20 May 2019

Join a mission to save the universe: Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time lets fans embark on an adventure through space and time!

In a landmark year of digital Doctor Who entertainment, and following the recent reveal of The Runaway, an animated VR experience, comes a new cinematic, feature-length Doctor Who VR videogame this September.

Published by PlayStack and developed by Maze Theory, Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time will transport fans into a globally-beloved world of aliens, mystery and wonder, letting them embark on a brand-new and fully-interactive adventure, inspired by the show’s 55-year history and starring the Doctor’s current incarnation, played by Jodie Whittaker.

Armed with the iconic Sonic Screwdriver, players will solve mind-bending puzzles, grapple with classic monsters and encounter new horizons in a quest to find the Doctor and defeat a powerful force that threatens to destroy the fabric of reality. They will face the infamous Daleks and other known faces from the Doctor’s world plus some brand new never-before-seen monsters as they travel through stunning cinematic environments that truly bring the show to life!

The Doctor has been hurled through time to the end of the universe. A virus that threatens to rip apart reality itself has been unleashed. Players can pilot the TARDIS on a journey across worlds both familiar and strange to recover a series of powerful time crystals that can repair spacetime and ultimately, save the universe itself.

Developed by immersive entertainment studio Maze Theory, led by former Activision and PlayStation veterans, Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time will launch in September 2019 on PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC VIVE and the upcoming VIVE Cosmos.

Head of Digital Entertainment & Games for BBC Studios, Bradley Crooks said:

“VR is the perfect home for a truly immersive Doctor Who adventure. Fans and newcomers alike will be able experience the universe of Doctor Who like never before, working with the Doctor and facing enemies new and old. Gaming is a key part of the future of Doctor Who and allows us to tell new and exciting stories beyond the TV screen.”

Maze Theory Creative Director, Marcus Moresby said:

“Maze Theory is committed to re-defining storytelling through awesome, innovative and immersive experiences in virtual reality. Doctor Who is an incredibly exciting and timeless franchise with a passionate and committed global fan base. We are looking to give them an entirely new experience; an opportunity to team-up with the Doctor and feel like they are in the show. This of course includes piloting the TARDIS, a dream come true for fans!”

PlayStack CEO, Harvey Elliott said:

"Virtual Reality is unmatched in its ability to transport people to far flung worlds. PlayStack has always seen this as the central promise of the technology, and for us there’s no better place to take players than the iconic, eccentric, and deeply fascinating world of Doctor Who. We are delighted to be working with Maze Theory and the BBC Studios on this flagship VR project, and can’t wait for fans to experience the game for themselves."

The fully-interactive VR videogame, featuring the voice of Jodie Whittaker, will arrive this September.

Watch the teaser trailer in the player, below:


[Source: Indigo Pearl]

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