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20 September 2018

The BBC have just released a second full trailer for Series 11 of Doctor Who, which you can view, below:

+ 11.1: The Woman Who Fell To Earth airs on Sunday 7th October on BBC One.

[Source: BBC Studios]

 

19 September 2018

Michelle Gomez, who played the Doctor’s best friend and wicked enemy, Missy, in the recent Doctor Who television series, will be returning to the role in some brand new audio adventures from Big Finish Productions made in arrangement with BBC Studios.

Throughout her time on Doctor Who, Missy – an evil incarnation in the guise of a Victorian nanny – was a delightful devil, at one point sentenced to death for terrible crimes against the universe. And now we get the chance to hear more of what she is really capable of. 

 

These new adventures see an unleashed Missy bringing the universe to wrack and ruin. We can’t wait for its release in February 2019!

 

Michelle, speaking about her return said:

 

“I was very excited to return to Missy’s world via the medium of audio because along the way I’ve always had a lot of fun with Missy; her voices and her rhythms. I absolutely love capturing it and distilling it down to the word on the page. I’m absolutely delighted! She’s such a ridiculously brilliant character, and hopefully that earns her that moment in the spotlight. To find myself centre stage with these Missy adventures is thrilling – I’m very grateful.”

 

And (whilst evading the Doctor’s clutches) Missy will encounter another enemy of her ‘boyfriend’ as she crosses paths with the Meddling Monk played by Rufus Hound.

 

David Richardson, producer of these adventures, said:

 

“Missy’s own series is just like the Time Lady herself – anarchic, funny, unpredictable and wildly imaginative. It’s absolutely glorious to have Michelle returning to the character at Big Finish, and our recording days have been filled with so much laughter. And we haven’t even met face to face yet! Michelle’s busy filming the new Sabrinaseries in Vancouver for Netflix and so we’ve been pairing studios down the line; Michelle thousands of miles away while we’re in London synched up with her. It’s been a joy to make. And just wait until you hear the collaboration of Missy and the Meddling Monk!”

 

Jason Haigh-Ellery, executive producer, said:


“Having Michelle Gomez return to Big Finish is wonderful – a lovely lady who was magnificent as Missy in the past couple of seasons of Doctor Who.”  

 

Executive Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

Producer: David Richardson

Script Editor: Matt Fitton

Director: Ken Bentley

 

Pricing:
 

Pre-order: £23 (CD box set) / £20 (Download) from www.bigfinish.com

General Release: £35 (CD box set) / £30 (Download) from www.bigfinish.com

Big Finish online:
 

Website: www.bigfinsih.com
Twitter: @BigFinish
Facebook: Facebook.com/TheBigFinish
Instagram: @BigFinishProd

[Source: Big Finish]

18 September 2018

The BBC have unveiled a new iconic image for Series 11 of Doctor Who, along with information for the first two episodes and some interviews!

Bigger and bolder than ever, this series marks the arrival of Jodie Whittaker, the Thirteenth Doctor - a super-smart force of nature, alongside a team of new and delightful characters. This series is full of action and adventure, humour and thrills - an unmissable drama everyone will enjoy.

Alongside Jodie’s Thirteenth Doctor, is an all new cast with Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole


The series showrunner, Chris Chibnall, said:
 

“Finally – Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor is about to crash land on to the nation’s screens. It’s thrilling to think, in the next few weeks and months, there will be children encountering Jodie’s Doctor in the next few weeks who’ve never seen the show before. She’ll be forever their Doctor: you never forget your first. 

 

Alongside Jodie, we have a delightful ensemble of new characters for the audience to fall in love with, led by the incomparable Bradley Walsh.

 

So break out the popcorn and hunker down for Sunday night adventures in space and time, with the Thirteenth Doctor and her new best friends. The journey’s about to begin.”
 

Episode One: The Woman Who Fell To Earth
Action-adventure for all the family, starring Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill. 

 

“We don’t get aliens in Sheffield.” In a South Yorkshire city, Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan and Graham O’Brien are about to have their lives changed forever, as a mysterious woman, unable to remember her own name, falls from the night sky. Can they believe a word she says? And can she help solve the strange events taking place across the city?

 

Guest starring Sharon D Clarke, Johnny Dixon and Samuel Oatley. Written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Jamie Childs.

 

Episode Two: The Ghost Monument
Still reeling from their first encounter, can the Doctor and her new friends stay alive long enough, in a hostile alien environment , to solve the mystery of Desolation? And just who are Angstrom and Epzo?

 

Guest starring Shaun Dooley, Susan Lynch and Art Malik. Written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Mark Tonderai.

Interview: Jodie Whittaker - The Doctor

 

Why should viewers tune in this series?

If you’ve never seen the show before this is a great season to start with. It doesn’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of Doctor Who to get into it.
 

The show has a very rich history of about 55 years. The wonderful thing about this is every time there’s new cast members, and new Doctors or new companions, the show is regenerated in a literal sense with the character. New energy is brought into it.


We wanted to make a series that was very inclusive because for people like me, we’re all very new Whovians as well. We’re introduced into this world as new fans will be on this season.


What do fans have to look forward to this series?

If you’re a fan of the show already, it’s got everything you expect. It’s got new monsters, it’s got fantastic new worlds. It’s also got worlds that we’re familiar with, but are maybe seen from different points of view. It honours everything that has gone before, but it then has a different burst of energy with all the new cast members. Doctor Who is for everyone and anyone.


What journey do the characters go on this series?

This season is ten stand­alone episodes so you have contained storylines within every episode. So you have a huge series character arc for many of the characters. But if you come in at episode five, you’ll get a stand-alone story which feels like a film, and which stands up amongst all the television that’s available to anyone now.


What themes do you think are important this series?

Friendship and loyalty and survival. All things that are very human, interlaced with things that are very far from human and familiar. It’s a very inclusive world. 

When I watch TV and film I want to feel engrossed and excited, particularly in this world and genre. Doctor Who in itself is its own genre. I suppose you want it to feel like a roller coaster ride!

Interview: Chris Chibnall - Showrunner

Do viewers need to have seen Doctor Who before to enjoy this series?

Not at all. This series is the perfect stepping on point.

 

With the new Doctor you’ve got a new beginning, a new opportunity for people to join the show as viewers, for people who might have drifted away or haven’t seen the show for a few years, or 10 years or 20 years; it’s a great time to remind people of how amazing Doctor Who is and to have a restart. But also, it’s a great time for a new generation of children and families to start the habit of gathering around the television together to watch this funny, scary, extraordinary show!

It’s not a reboot it’s just that great, unique thing which is built into Doctor Who: a fresh start happens every few years. This is no different to when Tom Baker changed to Peter Davison, or when the show went from black and white to colour, with Patrick Troughton handing over to Jon Pertwee. The show has a history of renewal, while also staying faithful to what it is.


It’s the amazing thing about Doctor Who is this fresh start every few years which brings a whole new jolt of energy to the show. And hopefully encourages the next generation of audiences to try the show, while also reminding existing audiences why they love it.


Casting a new actor also brings in new opportunities to think about where the show is, think about where the world is, think about where you might want the stories to go. I hope we’ve got a fresh set of stories that are engaged with, and resonate with, the world we live in now.


What can viewers expect this series?

You can expect emotion, you can expect action and adventure and monsters and far off planets and huge alien vistas. You can expect a lot of humour, a lot of warmth and some great characters.

Four great new friends for you to meet as they go through past, present and future and meet some incredible people from history and go and battle on alien planets and fight threats closer to home. 


It’s really a whole array of different stories. Ten individual stories that show off the range of the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends but also of the show as a whole. I hope you can expect everything you’ve ever loved about Doctor Who.

More than anything, it’s hopefully incredibly entertaining and I think this series has something for absolutely everyone. If you’ve seen Doctor Who before I hope we’re going to be giving you all the
stuff you love. If you’ve never seen it before, this is the place to start and I think you’re in for a rollicking ride.


Interview: Bradley Walsh is Graham O'Brien

Have you enjoyed being part of this year's ensemble cast?

I love being part of an ensemble. I love it. Jodie leads from the front and she’s fun and she’s upbeat and she keeps it all together – it’s great.


Working with Jodie, Mandip and Tosin and the different directors that are coming in, and this fantastic crew – that’s the thing I’m enjoying most about being on Doctor Who.


How do you think audiences will react to the Thirteenth Doctor?

I think they’re going to be excited by Jodie and I’ll tell you for why... Not only is she an exceptional actress, the energy she brings, because she’s still so young, the energy she brings is extraordinary. To keep up with her is hard work! 


Describe the show in a sentence. 

This new dawn for Doctor Who will be ground­ breaking and exciting and fantastic and unpredictable and beautiful and timeless.


I’m telling you now, this is going to be so brilliant. Jodie is fantastic! She works so hard and is so enthusiastic. She leads from the front and she’ll trailblaze for a lot of other shows.

 

The new series of Doctor Who in a sentence is forward thinking, innovative, bold and brave.

+ 11.1: The Woman Who Fell To Earth airs on Sunday 7th October on BBC One


[Source: BBC Studios]

   

17 September 2018

Doctor Who Magazine have sent DWO the cover and details for Issue 530 of DWM.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JODIE WHITTAKER, PLUS PREVIEWS OF HER FIRST TWO EPISODES – ONLY IN DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE!

DWM meets Jodie on the set of the new series: “I don’t ever forget what I’m a part of because Doctor Who’s been around much longer than I have,” she says. “But every part of this experience is to make it my own.”

Also in this issue...

CHRIS CHIBNALL
The latest update from Doctor Who’s showrunner.

WHO’S CREW
Meet the team responsible for bringing the new series to our screens.

MATT BERRY
He’s best known for his sitcom appearances, but Matt Berry is reinterpreting the Doctor Who theme for his new record. 

TARDIS EVOLUTION
Secrets of the TARDIS control room revealed!

COSPLAY
A meticulous recreation of the torn coat worn by the Twelfth and Thirteenth Doctors in Twice Upon a Time and The Woman Who Fell to Earth.

THE SEVATEEM
An interview with Christian Erickson, whose new concept album is inspired by The Caves of Androzani.

THE CLOCKWISE WAR
The Twelfth Doctor’s final DWM strip adventure comes to a shattering conclusion.

THE TIME TEAM
The Time Team watches four very different episodes in an effort to discover what the First Doctor was really like.

THE FACT OF FICTION
In-depth analysis of the 2006 Tenth Doctor story School Reunion.

PLUS...
The Blogs of Doom, reviews, news, a huge prize-winning competition and much, much more!

***

A deluxe edition of this issue is also available, exclusive to WHSmith. As well as the regular edition, it includes:

SERIES 11 GUIDE featuring new interviews with Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill

DOCTOR WHO CD from Big Finish

FOUR DOUBLE-SIDED ART CARDS of the Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yasmin

A MASSIVE, DOUBLE-SIDED POSTER featuring scenes from the new series

FOUR DOCTOR WHO DOWNLOADS from Big Finish and BBC Audio

+  Doctor Who Magazine Issue #530 is on sale from Thursday 20th September, priced £5.99 (regular edition) / £9.99 (deluxe edition).
+  SUBSCRIBE to Doctor Who Magazine, digitally from just £2.69 a month!
+  Check Out The DWO Guide to Doctor Who Magazine!

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine]

5 September 2018

The last time viewers saw the Doctor, she was falling from her TARDIS so it’s about time for the Doctor to land. This time it’s all change, as Doctor Who is moving to Sunday nights, launching on Sunday 7th October.

Never before in the show’s history has an entire series descended to earth on a Sunday. This year marks a brand new era with a new Showrunner, a new Doctor, new friends and a whole host of new monsters – so it’s only fitting that the new Time Lord will land in a new time zone on BBC One.

Chris Chibnall, Showrunner said:

“New Doctor, new home! Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is about to burst into Sunday nights — and make the end of the weekend so much more exciting.  Get everybody’s homework done, sort out your Monday clothes, then grab some special Sunday night popcorn, and settle down with all of the family for Sunday night adventures across space and time. (Also, move the sofa away from the wall so parents can hide behind it during the scary bits). The Thirteenth Doctor is falling from the sky and it’s going to be a blast.”

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content said:

“With Chris Chibnall at the helm and Jodie Whittaker’s arrival as the new Doctor we are heralding a brand new era for the show and so it feels only right to give it a new home on Sunday nights at the heart of BBC One’s Autumn schedule. ” 

Showrunner Chris Chibnall has written the first episode of the brand new series which is titled “The Woman Who Fell to Earth”. With the Doctor on her way it’s only a matter of time before viewers can enjoy being transported out of this world this autumn.

[Source: BBC Studios]

   

28 August 2018

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Una McCormack

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: July 2018

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"London, 2017. Except... it isn't. Berlin, 1961. But it isn't that either. Not really. Not in the timeline the Doctor knows. Something is very wrong.

While Ace tries to save the life of a wounded British spy, Mel and the Doctor must get to grips with the modern day socialist Republic of Mokoshia. For Mel it feels strangely familiar and 'right', which makes the Doctor feel even more uneasy.

Soon, a message from a dark and blood-soaked distant future is on its way... But the Doctor will have to act fast to stop this timeline becoming reality.

And with Ace stranded in an alternate 1961, will saving the Earth end her existence?"

They say that bad news comes in waves, but I’ve often found the reverse to also be true. 

 

After a few months now of plays mostly failing to land for me, Big Finish have suddenly hit a run of very strong offerings: The Barbarians And The Samurai is hands-down the best thing Andrew Smith has written for Big Finish and had me raving about it to friends; Flight into Hull! is a truly fantastic story by Joseph Lidster (I was, I’ll admit, very unsure about wanting to hear anything about the Meta-Crisis Doctor until I saw his name attached to the project, and both outings were very strong); False Coronets by Alice Cavender was a lot of fun; I’ve only dipped into Class so far but what I’ve heard I’ve liked; and then there is this, Red Planets by Una McCormack.

In a word? Superb.

Mel and the Seventh Doctor find themselves on Earth in 2017 - only not quite the Earth it should be: Mel is singing Russian anthems and recalls a history very different to that she should remember and even the Doctor can’t persuade her otherwise. Meanwhile, Ace finds herself in Berlin in the early 1960s but, again, things are all askew. Time and history are at a crucial turning point and it’s going to be up to the two groups to put things right.

“Okay,” people will say. “Parallel timelines. Done this before!” Ah, but rarely with such grace and depth and plausibility. This isn’t just spinning out an idea into a side-story, but creating a believable world. You feel you could spend an entire trilogy exploring the ins and outs of this new history and not get bored, and it is this that makes it a cut above the standard, alternative-history adventure. McCormack goes into just enough detail to make it hold tight but not enough to swamp you with detail and research.

The characters are rich, the performances strong, the different locations (the past! The present! Space!) varied enough to stand tall and carry three very different, but equally engaging storylines. The play also scores points for being true to the era in which it is set, i.e. the Seventh Doctor’s run on TV. Yes, Mel here is still the Mel of Big Finish and not the one often criminally underwritten on-screen (poor Mel, I do love her) but you can picture the BBC sets as you listen to this story and imagine them pulling it off. Credit must go to the sound design for that and also the direction by Jamie Anderson, not to mention the script editing by Guy Adams. (He was also in the driving seat for the excellent Davison trilogy which kickstarted the year, and I see he was in charge for next month’s play, too. This bodes well.)

Red Planets is helped along by sterling performances from the three leads. As long-time fans, we know the anecdotes of old: no glasses and late to the audition, a letter sent whilst working with builders, a chance encounter charming people at a party, lying about being American or lying about Australian air hostesses. We know these tales of old and that knowledge can, at times, make us take for granted how good the casting was; how perfect the fit between role and actor. This play helps us be more appreciative of that. Sophie Aldred in particular, gives us what is, for my money, one of her strongest outings as Ace, yet.

The ending of the play sets things up for stories to come and with a whopping five McCoy plays on the trot, it’s doubly nice that this one is so very good. This play, like those at the start of 2018, reminds me just how brilliant the Main Range can be. There’s an energy about Red Planets; a spring in its step and a confidence in its vision that all make for one of the most enjoyable listens I’ve had from Big Finish this year. In short, plays like this make the yearly subscription worth it.


+ Red Planets is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


28 August 2018

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of New Series Production Designer, Michael Pickwoad.

Michael joined the production team during Matt Smith's first Christmas story; A Christmas Carol, and remained in the role of production designer for a total of 71 episodes - right through to Peter Capaldi's final episode as The Doctor in Twice Upon A Time.

Michael's other career highlights include directing credits for; ClassWithnail And I, The Prisoner and Poirot (to name just a few).

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Michael's family and friends.

[Source: DWO]

23 August 2018

Doctor Who Magazine have sent DWO the cover and details for Issue 529 of DWM.

Series 11 Companions Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole write for Doctor Who Magazine! Read their Doctor Who diary in the latest issue.

Doctor Who Magazine 529 also includes:

+  Meet the writers and directors of Series 11

+  An interview with Roy Scammell, who was part of Doctor Who‘s stunt team in the 1970s

+  The life and work of Don Harper, the composer responsible for the soundtrack to 1968 epic The Invasion

+  Big Finish’s Lisa Bowerman answers questions from the TARDIS tin

+  Games company Gale Force 9 reveal the background to Time of the Daleks

+  A tribute to Alan Bennion, who played three Ice Warriors in the 1960s and 70s

+  Part Six of The Clockwise War, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill

+  The Time Team watches three pseudo-historical Doctor Who stories

+  The Fact of Fiction explores the 2013 Eleventh Doctor story Hide

+  Third Doctor cosplay with Rob Lloyd

+  Previews, audio, DVD and game reviews, news, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!

+ PLUS a huge double-sided poster featuring the Doctor, Yasmin, Ryan and Graham.

+  Doctor Who Magazine Issue #529 is Out Now, priced £5.99.
+  SUBSCRIBE to Doctor Who Magazine, digitally from just £2.69 a month!
+  Check Out The DWO Guide to Doctor Who Magazine!

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine]

21 August 2018

My Name is Barry Aldridge - I'm a Doctor Who fan, born and raised in Forest Hill, London. I also have autism. I am 35 years old and working part-time as a retail assistant (at the time of writing this). I moved out of London when I was 23, and lived in Brighton for 3 months, before moving to West Sussex, to a small town called Goring By Sea, where I live to this day.

I have been a Doctor Who fan since 1988. I can remember watching my first ever story when I was just 5 years old; Remembrance Of The Daleks. I recall the first episode cliffhanger, and my love for the Daleks began. The reason we watched was because my Mum didn’t want to watch Coronation Street (which was on at the same time), and, looking back, I'm so glad she made that decision! To me, the Daleks will always hold a special place, no matter what. It is their design by the late Raymond Cusick that was so iconic and memorable. I can see why people call them pepper pots, even though I never did call them pepper pots, myself.

I remember watching the rest of the season which included The Happiness Patrol which featured the Candyman, who freaked the hell out of me! I was glad he got dealt with by the end. Silver Nemesis was actually filmed near me in a town called Arundel. As for The Greatest Show In The Galaxy, I found that a bit weird as a five year old, but as an adult, I find it rather enjoyable now.

The next season of the show featured Battlefield, the confusing Ghost Light and two true favourites; The Curse Of Fenric and Survival. By the end of 1989 I thought it was coming back and then there was nothing... My Mum had bought VHS Tapes of the show from both the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker years, and I loved all the stories. Nowadays, I have every single story - organised from outstanding to poor stories (in my view) - but hey, that's just my opinion!

I really loved the theme music, which I found mysterious, scary and generally wonderful to listen to - especially with McCoy’s era, which made feel like I was going into outer space for a big adventure.

Around 1990 there was a weekend where they showed, for the first time in a long time, the black and white episodes - and I loved them! I will admit that I found the first Dalek story a bit long - particularly the bits without the Daleks, which were a bit boring, but watching it years later, I love it. It was during that weekend that I truly fell in love with my favourite Doctor of all time; Patrick Troughton.

In 1993 I watched all the colour stories on UK Gold, which was a real gem. I would start watching at 7am, as some of the earlier Pertwee stories were longer as they were 7-parters.

In 1998, I have to admit that I fell out of love with Doctor Who for a bit, as GCSEs and other things in my life took over, but in 2005 I once again had to thank my Mum as she had watched the new series and told me to "give it a chance". I did, and at that moment, I was back in love with the show. I particularly loved Episode 6, Dalek, by Robert Shearman who actually shares the same birthday as me and Peter Purves. That’s something that being autistic can do; allowing me to build knowledge and remember even the smallest of facts that maybe others would forget.

I first got my diagnosis for autism when I was 3 years old, which, back then was more like an underground movement (like going to a rave club). All good in the hood in my book. I finally found out that I had it, probably around the age of 7 onwards, when I moved from a special school to a mainstream primary school.

Autism has really good and bad points to it. Normally people start with the good then go for the bad, but I'm going to start from the other way around.

When you talk about the show and there are sometimes disagreements, other people wouldn’t give me the time to explain my side and think I am very slow on getting through. It can normally be tricky, but luckily there are fans who are understanding. I can feel quite nervous at conventions, which can be really tricky as noise and lighting can be distracting and trigger a meltdown, which some people find really hard to understand. People wonder why I am having a meltdown and think I am mentally ill and should be locked up. I can also find the number of people at the conventions tough to deal with. I know some people who have had breakdowns owing to the crowds. It happened to me once, but I made sure I quickly got somewhere quiet to relax myself.

I would get anxious about time slots on whether it is a photo shoot or meeting one of the stars of the show. It was / is really important to me to make sure I get everything right. I know some people will see it as a selfish attitude but I call it being prepared and making sure I am on time. Autistic people I know, like to keep up with time and if they are late it can cause a meltdown.

One other downside is that I may not be able to understand certain forms of humour - if explained, then I would be alright, but a few fans can have trouble understanding that.

Now onto the good side of being autistic! You can build a real encyclopaedic knowledge of the show - for example, I know which stories were directed by Barry Letts, or how many episodes Tom Baker did (not stories but individual episodes to every single story he did). I can recall, at a moments notice, who did the music on each show and can even pick out which instruments were used at different times. I can even spot a reference to a certain time in another episode. There are a lot of autistic Doctor Who fans too who are the same and you can have a really good chat - especially talking about good and bad episodes of the show.

Every time I have met someone who has worked on the show, they have always been incredibly welcoming. Conventions or museums like the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff and other places in Brighton and London were brilliant and very calming atmospheres - especially the Cardiff place which is no longer there, sadly. I think that conventions have improved over the years where there is more understanding for everyone, whatever condition you may have, and I think that is a wonderful thing. There is always going to be a negative that could overshadow the event but I never think of it for long and move on and focus on the positives.

Organising merchandise from the show is really important to me; like putting magazines, books, CDs and DVDs in order - that helps me to be calm! When I was younger, I would make sure to put the stories whether DVD or Blu-Ray, in order, so then I know which one to get down to watch. If it was messed around I would have a bit of meltdown.

Being a fan of the Daleks, I would love to collect anything Dalek related - it was like a mission, and autistic people love missions - or at least the ones I know, do - lol.

Every autistic person is different; not every autistic Doctor Who fan has the same favourites - we are different like everyone else, but the one thing we all have in common - autism or no autism - is our love and passion for the show. Whether we agree or disagree on certain doctors, stories, writers and so on, the one thing we can all agree upon is that we love Doctor Who.

Barry

Follow @BarryAldridge on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source:
DWO]

   

21 August 2018

The BBC has announced the full list of writers and directors for the new series of Doctor Who, launching this autumn on BBC One.

Showrunner Chris Chibnall, said:


“We have a team of writers who’ve been working quietly and secretly for a long time now, crafting characters, worlds and stories to excite and move you. A set of directors who stood those scripts up on their feet, bringing those ideas, visuals and emotions into existence with bravura and fun. 

 

Hailing from a range of backgrounds, tastes and styles, here’s what unites them: they are awesome people as well as brilliant at their job. (It matters!) They love Doctor Who. And they’ve all worked above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to bring audiences something special, later this year.” 

Writers

Former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman has written over 60 books for children and young adults including the Noughts and Crosses series of novels, and her book Pig-Heart Boy, which was adapted into a BAFTA-winning, six-part TV serial. 

 

Malorie says:


“I’ve always loved Doctor Who. Getting the chance to write for this series has definitely been a dream come true.”

 

Ed Hime was nominated for a Craft BAFTA for his first episode of Skins, and won the Prix Italia for his radio play The Incomplete Recorded Works of a Dead Body.

 

Ed says:


“Writing for this series comes down to the adventure really, and telling emotionally engaging stories to bring everyone along with you.”

 

Playwright and screenwriter Vinay Patel’s television debut, Murdered By My Father, won the 2016 Royal Television Society Award for Best Single Drama and was nominated for three BAFTAs. 

 

Vinay says:


“I grew up watching shows like Star Trek and Quantum Leap on the edge of my dad’s bed, and I loved how they managed to capture the imagination of a kid like me as well as acting as a moral compass. I never imagined that I’d get to write for Doctor Who – I was pretty thrilled.”

 

Pete McTighe is the originating writer of Wentworth, the female prison drama that has sold to over 150 countries. He’s written over a hundred hours of TV drama and been nominated for five Writers Guild Awards. 

 

Pete says:


"My entire television career has quite literally been an elaborate plan to get to write Doctor Who – and no one is more shocked than me that it paid off. I've been having the time of my life working with Chris, and writing for Jodie and the new team, and can't wait for everyone to see what we've been up to."

 

Joy Wilkinson has been selected as a Screen International Star of Tomorrow and has had two screenplays featured on the Brit List. Her TV scripts include the critically-acclaimed BBC five-parter The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby, while her theatre work has won prizes including the Verity Bargate Award. 

 

Joy says:


"I loved the show and felt like it might be a good fit for me, but I knew it was really hard to get onto. So quite frankly I’m still pinching myself to be here!”

Directors

Sallie Aprahamian has been directing television for over two decades with critically acclaimed shows including: Extremely DangerousThe SinsReal MenThe LakesTeachers and This Life

 

Sallie’s memories of Doctor Who go right back to the 1960s, when William Hartnell created the role. She says:


“I watched the First Doctor from behind the sofa through my fingers, frightened and exhilarated. I was really delighted, as a fan and as a director, to be invited to work on the first female Doctor’s series. What a brilliant time to be on the show!”

 

Jamie Childs, who directed Jodie Whittaker’s reveal as the Thirteenth Doctor, returns for the opening episode of the new series. 

 

Jamie says:


"Doctor Who represents an important part of our television landscape. We tend to avoid making many shows in Britain that really allow the audience to properly escape, and Doctor Who has been doing this for decades. So yes, sign me up – I’ve always wanted to be part of that! There really aren’t many shows made over here that allow the viewer to travel to another universe.”

 

Jennifer Perrott wrote, directed, produced and executive produced her award-winning 35mm short film The Ravens. Since finishing Doctor Who she has been directing Gentleman Jack, a forthcoming BBC One/HBO historical drama series created by Sally Wainwright.

 

Jennifer says:


“Doctor Who is an iconic show and one I’d loved as a child, especially when Tom Baker was the Doctor. Space travel has become more a part of modern life and this has opened the door for more human stories to be told amidst the escapist fantasy of saving the world from alien invasion. The aliens are now as emotionally complex as the humans, and I was really excited by that.”

 

Mark Tonderai went to school in Zimbabwe and architecture school in Kingston, before landing a job at the BBC as a trainee presenter. Mark has directed the full season of The FiveImpulseLuciferGothamBlack Lightning, George RR Martin’s Nightflyers and Jennifer Lawrence thriller House at the End of the Street.

 

Mark says:


“What was really crucial in my decision to direct the show was Chris Chibnall. I’m a huge fan of his and I like the way he sees the world. He has this ability to entertain and also deliver truths – questions, too – about who we are. And he does it all with a hint of a smile.”
 

[Source: BBC Studios]

   

20 August 2018

In 2019 Big Finish will celebrate 20 years of creating Doctor Who stories on audio, and it’s doing so in style with The Legacy of Time – the biggest audio crossover event ever!

Six hour-long stories see characters from the entire history of Doctor Who crossing paths – some for the very first time – Classic and New Series Doctor Who will collide! 

 

Professor River Song (Alex Kingston) meets her predecessor, another time-travelling archaeologist, Professor Bernice Summerfield (Lisa Bowerman). Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) travels back in time to classic UNIT and meets the Third Doctor (voiced by Tim Treloar) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning). 

 

As 2019 is also the 30th anniversary year of their first appearance in Remembrance of the Daleks, the Counter-Measures team will be reunited with the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace (Sophie Aldred). And the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) and his companion Charlotte Pollard (India Fisher) once again meet Detective Inspector Patricia Menzies (Anna Hope) in a police procedural like no other! 

 

Plus we go to Gallifrey, and elsewhere we enter the Time War. Doctors will meet, and there will be Easter Eggs aplenty.

 

"Time is collapsing.


Incidents of temporal chaos and devastation are appearing throughout the many lives of the Doctor and his friends – fallout from one terrible disaster.

The Doctor must save history itself – and he will need all the help he can get."

 

1. Lies in Ruins by James Goss

2. The Split Infinitive by John Dorney

3. The Sacrifice of Jo Grant by Guy Adams

4. Episode four by Matt Fitton (to be confirmed)

5. The Avenues of Possibility by Jonny Morris

6. Collision Course by Guy Adams

 

The truth is revealed, and it will take more than one Doctor to save the day! 

 

Executive Producer and one of the founding members of Big FinishNicholas Briggs told us about this exciting new release:


The Legacy of Time will probably go down in Big Finish history as our biggest, most exciting production, ever! Celebrating 20 years of Doctor Who at Big Finish, it expertly pulls together all the strands from our many and varied Doctor Who ranges. This is down to the brilliance of script editor Matt Fitton and producer David Richardson. They epitomise the creative strength, organisational expertise and leadership of the company. Quite simply, this is going to blow people’s minds! It’s got everything!” 

 

Big Finish Producer, David Richardson said:


“How do you celebrate 20 years of Doctor Who at Big Finish? How do you celebrate something that has meant so much to all of us who work here – the friendships, the freedom to be creative, the glory that is Doctor Who itself? That was the challenge facing myself and Matt Fitton, but once I’d had an idea for what this six-hour epic would be about (spoilers!) it was then relatively easy to start assembling the huge team of characters and actors who would take us on the journey.


The Legacy of Time is quite possibly the biggest Doctor Who story we have ever told at Big Finish. It’s been so hugely satisfying to make – I hope everyone finds it just as satisfying to listen to!”

 

Chairman and Executive producer of Big Finish, Jason Haigh-Ellery, said:


“In July 1999 we released The Sirens of Time. In July 2019 we're releasing The Legacy of Time. Those two decades have been so fulfilling for us at Big Finish - a chance to work with so many great and talented actors, writers, productions crews and all of our friends at the BBC. This is a celebration of it all, with lots of surprise returns and references. Think of it as one massive Doctor Who party - and everyone is invited…”

 

Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time will be available from www.bigfinish.com on download and, as one of the last audio producers and distributors still making CDs, released in an eight-disc CD set with a limited edition of just 4,000.  

 

Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time will be released in July 2019 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Big Finish’s first Doctor Who release, The Sirens of Time. 

 

The cast of The Legacy of Time includes:


Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Alex Kingston, Lisa Bowerman, Sophie Aldred, Simon Williams, Pamela Salem, Karen Gledhill, Hugh Ross, Tim Treloar, Katy Manning, Jemma Redgrave, Ingrid Oliver, India Fisher, Anna Hope, Lalla Ward and Louise Jameson…

 

Producer: David Richardson

Writers: James GossGuy AdamsJohn DorneyMatt FittonJonathan Morris 

Script Editor: Matt Fitton

 

Executive Producers: Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery

 

Pricing:

Pre-order: £45 CD box set / £40 download from www.bigfinish.com

General release: £60 CD box set / £55 download from www.bigfinish.com

[Source: Big Finish]

20 August 2018

Subscribers to Doctor Who Magazine, who have received their copies of Issue 529 early (due out this Thursday), have reported confirmation of the planned release of Season 19 on Blu-ray.

The release follows the recent success of the Season 12 blu-ray box-set, which featured Tom Baker's (The 4th Doctor) first 5 adventures. As with the Season 12 release, Season 19 will feature Peter Davison's (The 5th Doctor) first 7 adventures, remastered together with special features, all presented in special, limited edition packaging, in an 8-disc box-set.

The set will be released on 19th November 2018, priced £54.99, although we expect the date could be pushed back if there are any technical issues.

+ PREORDER this title from Amazon.co.uk

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine]

20 August 2018

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Andrew Smith

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: July 2018

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"Answering a call from UNIT, the Doctor arrives in London to find the streets deserted, apart from looters in possession of a valuable commodity - water.

Britain is suffering an extreme and bizarre drought. The cause is suspected to be extra-terrestrial.

The discovery of a signal being transmitted into space, and of a spacecraft whose crew are desiccated corpses, provides a possible answer. But the true enemy is an old foe of the Doctor’s.

The Cybermen have been patient, setting their plans in place over a number of years. As the final stage is implemented, in the darkest hour, the Doctor must identify who among his allies he can trust."

There was a real buzz online and through fandom when it was announced that David Banks and Mark Hardy were returning to the role of Cyber Leader and Cyber Lieutenant after so many years. Given that Banks had previously said no to a return, it felt all the more exciting that it was finally happening. When I saw that they were coming back in a script written by Andrew Smith, my interest was piqued further still as Smith is always a solid pair of hands and has done some good work for Big Finish in the past.

What is the end result though? Nothing special, sadly, but it has some very nice parts.

The play starts well with the Doctor landing in a deserted London, wryly wondering if dinosaurs have returned, and stumbling upon looters. Before long, and before it really does descend into a full-blown remake of Invasion of the Dinosaurs, UNIT arrive and the Doctor is shown the plight England is enduring and is then reunited with some old friends.

Hour of the Cybermen is a follow-up, of sorts, to The Helliax Rift, a play which roundly unimpressed me. You definitely need to have listened to that first to get any sort of emotional satisfaction out of this play, even if the plot mechanics do not carry over.

Blake Harrison and Russ Bain return as Daniel Hopkins and Lewis Price respectively, and both have changed a fair bit, with Price now written as likeable and Hopkins sombre after suffering a personal tragedy. There is some justification for Hopkins, but you have to question why they’ve gone down this route with Price as it doesn’t really fit in with what we had before, at all. That said, Price’s character was utterly ludicrous in Rift, so I suppose we should be thankful.

The plight mentioned earlier is a drought, which amused me. England has been enduring a heatwave with record-breaking temperatures, so the subject matter feels one step removed from being bang on the money at present. That said, the play was released on the day the hot weather broke and rain fell in some parts of the country, so depending on where you listened to it, it’s either a reminder of what’s outside the window, or a reminder of what was only the day before.

As you would expect from the play’s title, it turns out that the Cybermen are responsible for this state of affairs and it’s with them that the play’s true success lies. Smith writes for the 80s Cybermen really well. Their dialogue rings utterly true, all pomp and bluster despite protesting they have no emotions, and on paper you could read their lines and hear their voices without a moment’s hesitation. On paper. You’d think that having the original actors back to deliver them would make that dream a reality, but in truth it doesn’t quite work. It gets close, but the modulation used for the voices is a bit… off. Not massively, not earth-shatteringly, but definitely off. 70% there and 30% missing at the best of times, nearer 60-40 at the worst. It means you are continually noticing something isn’t quite right beneath the surface, even if Banks’ performance in particular is absolutely perfect, which is a real shame.

And then there is the rest of the play. The main issue with it is that a lot of the plot revolves around a traitor and about, ooooh, ten minutes into the first episode it is very obvious who that traitor is. The fact the others are in the dark is insulting to their intelligence and the listeners’, especially with the Doctor. The traitor’s lines, and especially their performance, robs the play of any suspense whatsoever. It kills the play dead as much of it - most of it, even - is reliant upon this being a shock or dramatic talking point, but because it isn’t a shock it lacks drama, and because it lacks drama, what you’re left with is a lot of people running around and the Doctor carefully and slowly explaining his plans and how clever he is in front of the baddies to substitute for the lack of visuals. This becomes an increasing problem as the play goes along, and the final two episodes in particular suffer enormously from this to the point where those episodes’ 31-minute-long running time felt like a bit of a chore.

Hour of the Cybermen is not a write-off by any means, thanks to the performance Banks gives and Smith’s dialogue for him, but once you take the thrill of the original actors returning and a decent opening episode, you’re left with something a bit empty. Approach with caution. 


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

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


14 August 2018

The Legacy Of Karn

This month Panini have published a superb Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition that deals with the many-faceted phenomena of Doctor Who fandom - covering fanzines, conventions, websites, and numerous other shining little corners of this uniquely strange and delightful world that we inhabit. Oddly, however, they seem to have neglected to mention the fan group that I’ve been involved with for the past decade or so - outrageous! So, I’ll just have to tell you all about it here… Think of this column as an addendum - for you to print out and slip into the magazine proper, to paper over this glaring omission… 

 

The Sisterhood of Karn is a London-based society for LGBT Doctor Who fans. I’ve been helping to run the group for a few years now, but it will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year. Founder member Ian D P recalls the origins of the Sisterhood:

 

“The Sisterhood of Karn was formed in February 1994, a particularly dark time for Doctor Who. The TV movie hadn't yet been announced and over four years had passed since the final episode of the original twenty-six year run of the series. 

 

The group was originally called 'Strictly no Anoraks’, but as this might have put off a significant proportion of the potential membership, the name 'Sisterhood of Karn' was chosen at the first meeting. In the 1976 episode ‘The Brain of Morbius', the mysterious coven known as the Sisterhood of Karn were entrusted to keep alive the flame of eternal youth. The new group also kept alive the flame of Doctor Who and, in a sense anyone who continues to follow Doctor Who into their adult life is keeping alive their own youthful sense of wonder and imagination.

  

The Sisterhood met in the upstairs bar at The Kings Arms, at the time home to many special interest groups including the self explanatory 'Beards meet Beards' and 'Blue Haze'  - a group for cigar and pipe smokers. I once made the mistake of entering the upstairs room whilst 'Blue Haze' were in full session and the smoke was so thick that you couldn't see the far corners of the room. If this group still exists today they must have difficulty in finding a suitable venue. (In contrast, Beards meet Beards would be inundated with members.)

 

The group moved from the Kings Arms in Poland Street to Central Station in Kings Cross when the Kings Arms decided to install a pool table in their upstairs room (one of us had to go) but returned to the Kings Arms just as soon as the pool table was removed. The group survived both the return of Doctor Who to the television screens and the formation of a short lived breakaway group. A great many firm friendships (and one or two lasting enmities) have been formed over the last twenty five years and The Sisterhood of Karn is still going strong and meeting once a month in that upstairs bar in Poland Street.”

 

I can’t remember how I initially became aware of the Sisterhood - presumably I had carried out an internet search for ‘Gay Doctor Who’… but from the moment I first ascended the narrow stairs up to the first floor room of the Kings Arms in Soho - London’s foremost ‘bear bar’ - I was immediately made to feel welcome.


Aside from a couple of Panopticon conventions as a young teen, this was my first proper interaction with other fans - and also one of my first social events with other gay men since moving to the capital. (While all are welcome, and we’re always striving to improve diversity, the vast majority of our membership is made up of cis gay men…) This double-barrelled kinship made for an exceptionally warm and light-hearted atmosphere, and before I knew it I had become a regular, quickly making firm friends - not to mention a few more ‘involved’ dalliances - and found myself volunteering to run the admin side of things - which is basically just listing the monthly meetings on Facebook, attending to the social media, and organising the occasional special event. People jest about me being the group’s ‘Maren’, but the truth of the matter is that a collective like ours has no need for something as appallingly hierarchical as a ‘leader’!

 

One of my first memories of Karn is being incredibly hungover during an outing to Chislehurst Caves - one of the locations used for the planet Solos in Jon Pertwee story ‘The Mutants’ - that I’d organised because an actor that I was appearing with in a play at the time had a day job giving guided tours there. And I mean *really* hungover - irresponsibly so, and on the verge of blacking out. Not an ideal condition for traipsing through miles of dark, oppressive, labyrinthine underground caverns infested with evil looking massive spiders… Fascinating as the history of the complex was, the urge to flee was overwhelming. And to cap it all - when we finally emerged into the sunlight at the adventure’s end, our guide realised that he’d completely forgotten to show us the portion of the caves where Doctor Who was filmed - so the delegation from Karn never actually made it to Solos after all…!

 

As well as the more unusual events - including intimate Q&A sessions with both Louise Jameson and Matthew Waterhouse - some of the most memorable moments of Karn, for me, have been at the regular monthly meet-ups. Whether we’ve been happily plastering the free gay bar-magazines with stickers of Toclafane, making Dalek figures pop-up on the security cameras, or just nattering over too much wine, that warm and joyful room above The King’s Arms in Soho has always been such a happy and hearty place. I recall a particularly lively evening that saw one one of our more gym-oriented members bench-pushing a popular Big Finish author… Never, in all my time involved with the group, have I seen a hint of the egos or rivalries that one hears stories of other fan gatherings being plagued by. Maybe we’ve just been lucky - maybe we’ve just been too silly! But I like to think that there’s something rather special about our little gathering of like-minded folk, who find kinship with each other, month after month, in a bustling bar, slap bang in the absolute centre of London’s tireless and trendy LGBT heartland - mainly to talk about Dodo. 

 

At the time of writing we’re gearing up for our latest special event - ‘An Evening with Lisa Bowerman’ - a special appearance from the actress who plays Bernice Summerfield for Big Finish, and who also appeared as Karra the Cheetah Person in the final Sylvester McCoy story, ‘Survival’. So if you’d like join us on the evening of August 17th, tickets are still available (see link below), or feel free to turn up at one of our regular monthly meetings - on the third Thursday of each month - for a drink and a chat. We’re very informal and newcomers are always welcome. Sacred fire, sacred flame. 

 

Tickets for ‘An Evening with Lisa Bowerman’ can be purchased here: www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-lisa-bowerman-tickets-47678420439

 

Follow the Sisterhood of Karn on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SisterhoodofKarn/

 

And on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sisterhood_karn

 

Richard Unwin

Follow @Richard_Unwin on Twitter!
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[Source:
DWO]

   

16 July 2018

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Chris Champman

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: June 2018

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"It's London, 1828, and the father-and-son team of Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel are masterminding a dangerous project - the digging of the Thames Tunnel. There's just one problem...

The Brunels' tunnel is haunted. Every night, a spectral blue lady walks the excavation.

Now, the 22-year-old Isambard, eager to step out of his famous father's shadow, finds himself dealing with not only the supposed supernatural, but a second unexpected guest - a colourful trespasser who calls himself 'The Doctor'.

Isambard would like to know a great deal more about this strange man and his mysterious blue box..."

After a couple of major lows for the monthly range, I was a little nervous stepping into this play. Big Finish and historicals usually make for good bedfellows, but the sour taste left by The Lure Of The Nomad especially made me a little wary. Please (I thought to myself, going in), please, not another one like that.

The first thing to note is the cover: it’s beautiful. The wider space for the play covers’ imagery is a welcome thing, finally ditching the awkward black bars, and the new logo? It looks superb here, really catching the eye and wowing the viewer. It all makes for a far, far nicer and more consistent ‘Who identity’ and level of design than we’ve had before and I can’t say I’ll be mourning the loss of the old any time soon. A very good move / insistence by whoever is in charge of branding.

Iron Bright is by Chris Chapman, rapidly becoming a regular contributor to Big Finish’s monthly outings. So far, he’s given us The Memory Bank, a very solid one-episode-long story that I have found myself returning to since the first listen (always a good sign), and The Middle, which I thought had some very strong ideas but perhaps didn’t quite do them justice: very enjoyable overall all the same, mind.

Iron Bright probably falls into the same category, but that’s not to slight it. Big Finish were canny when they released the first episode as a free download for newsletter subscribers as it’s a lot of fun: ghosts and history, the Doctor and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and Colin Baker giving one of his best performances for a while all make for thirty minutes of drama which whizz by. The second two episodes are not quite as strong though.

When people see ‘Sixth Doctor + Historical’, the go-to story is normally The Mark Of The Rani, and this has some similarities in that the historical figures are, at times, sidelined in favour of alien goings-on. I feel, though, that this story shares most of its DNA with Timelash.

Remember how H.G. Wells is treated less as a figure of historical importance and more as a substitute companion, and historical period settings are largely ditched in favour of alien landscapes? That’s how Brunel is treated here, and indeed how the middle of this story feels a lot of the time.

When we return to Earth, I felt the story picked up a bit and I perhaps wish we’d been given a straight historical, or one with greater earthly grounding. I don’t feel the Doctor’s meeting with Brunel is wasted, in the same way his meeting with George Stephenson in Rani is not, and perhaps it was a silly and false expectation on my part to think we’d be getting something more ghostly and less... well, traditional Doctor Who.

After all this, the final episode then arrives and things really kick up a gear in quality again. The pocket emptying scene in particular is wonderful (even if Baker does note in the extras that he’s apparently hiding a key prop from the story’s opening in the process: surely a job for a script editor and not the lead actor?), and I want to stress again that the story is never bad.  Far from it.

One thing Iron Bright really has going for it is a truly excellent supporting cast. There is not one flat performance in there; everyone gives a wonderful turn. It’s one of the best ensembles we’ve had, with Catherine Bailey and Imogen Church being particularly impressive, and all credit must go to John Ainsworth for sorting it out. That said, Colin Baker’s remark that Becky Wright should return as a companion made me shake a little: surely no more companions for him? Baker and McGann between them seem to be having a competition to see who can collect the most, like a Gallifreyan game of Pokémon.

(In addition, Wright’s character, Flo, really did sound like the lost child of Flip and Ellie from Jago and Litefoot crossed with some of the backstory of Gwen from The Unquiet Dead, so I’m not sure it would be the wisest move.)

By the time Iron Bright finished, it had won me round again. This doesn’t wash away the bad taste left by recent plays, but it goes a long way to helping.

One thing is utterly apparent, mind: keep an eye on Chris Chapman. I truly believe he is one or two scripts away from writing something utterly superb for Doctor Who and I cannot wait to hear it. The Middle and Iron Bright may not quite hit all the marks, but my word do they show a promise and verve that makes me very, very excited to see his name next to a play again before too long.

 



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