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.

E-Mail NewsE-Mail Reviews
6 June 2018

If you're up for a fun night out filled with Doctor Who and comedy, we highly recommend the upcoming UK tour of Rob Lloyd and his hilarious Who, Me, show.

Rob, who some of you may remember as the host of 'The Science Of Doctor Who' tour by the BBC, will be performing 7 UK venues for Who, Me:

-  June 27th Exeter.

-  June 29th Bordon.

-  June 30th Southport.

-  July 4th Chipping Norton.

-  July 5th Norwich.

-  July 7th Salford (near Manchester)

-  July 8th Inverness. 

DWO caught up with Rob for a quick interview:

What is your earliest memory of Doctor Who, and do you have a particular favourite episode of the classic / new series (or both)? 

 

My earliest memory of Who was after school episodes of the Sylvester McCoy era on our Australian National Broadcasting network (the ABC) when I was in Grade 5/6, so I was roughly 10/11. I distinctly remember Paradise Towers and Survival. 

 

It wasn’t until University that I had someone sit me down and explain ALL of Doctor Who to me…and I’ve been a fan ever since.

 

My favourite classic story is Inferno or The Robots of Death.

 

My favourite modern story is either Dinosaurs on a Spaceship or Oxygen.

 

You had great success at last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival; how did you find the audience and would you return again? 

 

Last year was the second time I’ve performed Who, Me. at the Edinburgh Fringe. I was also there in 2013 for the 50th Anniversary of Who. I adore Edfringe, it is an intense experience and it is an incredible amount of hard work but it all worth it to be playing in the biggest playground (for performers) in the world. You have the opportunity to meet so many different people from around the world and see so many amazing shows. I cannot wait to return to do another one of my shows there.

 

This year sees you touring the UK - is there a particular leg of your tour that you are looking forward to? What can we expect from Who, Me this year? 

 

To be honest…and I don’t mean this to be a cop-out but…all of it really! 

 

I’ve never had the chance to explore England. On this tour we’ve got to cover seven cities in three weeks. So we’re hiring and car and then we will most definitely see a lot of the English landscape. I’m so excited.

 

Who, Me. is a solo comedy show where I put Doctor Who on trial, to see whether he has been a negative or a positive influence over my life. The audience are the jury and ultimately the fate of The Doctor is in their hands.

 

Finally, if you could take a round trip in the TARDIS, anywhere in time and space, where would you go and why?

 

Oh that’s easy... the UK in the 1960s, so I could record all the incomplete stories and missing episode of Doctor Who. Then I would bring them back to modern times and be worshipped as a god!

+ Purchase tickets for Who, Me, here!

 

[Source: DWO]


5 June 2018

The Day Of The Zarbi Riots

One of the biggest stories from this past week has, rather surprisingly, been original companions Ian and Barbara making it back to London in 1965. Contrary to Mr Chesterton’s claim in An Unearthly Child, it seems that time does indeed go ‘round and round in circles’… 

 

When the news broke a few weeks ago that Doctor Who was coming to ‘Twitch’, I confess to having no real idea what that meant - but as it happens, it’s turned out to mean something rather marvellous. Twitch is an online service for watching and streaming digital broadcasts which has acquired the rights to show almost all of the original run of Doctor Who. (Missing episodes and, sadly, several Dalek adventures are excluded - the latter on ‘rights’ grounds apparently.) It’s streamed in batches of three or four stories a day, Monday to Friday, with the whole batch on a loop that gets repeated twice. They started last week with An Unearthly Child and are working their way right through the classic series. What  makes this different from other repeats, however, is the inclusion of a chat box that allows viewers to comment on the episodes in real time - suddenly watching these beloved old treasures has become a worldwide communal experience. And judging from the rapidly streaming chat, the audience includes thousands of young people, many of whom have never experienced classic Doctor Who before - and they’re LOVING it. 

 

The comments whizz by at such a frenetic rate that it’s impossible to read every single thing that’s being said, but if you stare at the chat box for long enough, and relax your mind, it’s possible to achieve a zen-like state of higher consciousness that allows one to perceive the mood and general opinion without focussing in on each individual statement. It feels rather like being one of the infospike journalists from The Long Game - a massive download of information that is processed and packaged subconsciously by the human brain to become comprehensible content. Unlike many other social-media platforms, there’s no facility to ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ anyone’s contributions, so there’s no dopamine reward for outstanding efforts - people are simply joining in the chorus of commentary for the sheer joy of it. The Cave of Skulls, for example, provokes gems such as: “Za is a poser”, “Praise Orb”, and “LISTEN TO THE WOMAN”. The first glimpse of the cat in Planet Of Giants results in a bewildering blizzard of feline emojis and countless cries of “KITTY!”. 

 

What’s really fascinating is witnessing the formation of patterns that emerge from the maelstrom as these new viewers seize upon and celebrate certain moments and lines of dialogue, happily weaving memes from fragments of the past - ones that we’ve always been aware of, but have perhaps never celebrated to this degree. At the time of writing, Ian Chesterton’s line from The Chase about he and Barbara having made it back to London in the year 1965 has become an overnight internet sensation. This is mainly due to the clip in question being featured in a trailer for the Hartnell era that’s currently playing (twice) between each episode - along with the First Doctor’s “Believe me - I know!” from The Aztecs, which has been similarly seized upon. (In a pleasing piece of synchronicity, Russell T Davies’ currently airing BBC1 drama about Jeremy Thorpe - A Very English Scandal - happened to open with a massive caption reading ‘London 1965’. Always got his finger on the pulse that one…!) 

 

A truly heartwarming aspect of the week has been the degree to which this hyperactive hivemind has embraced the characters of Ian and Barbara. (The former now often referred to as ‘EEYAN’ due to the pronunciation of his name by Ixta in The Aztecs…) It’s been more than half a century since our intrepid schoolteachers first followed their unearthly child home through the London smog, and a whole new audience has fallen completely in love with them. There’s been fan-art, and memes, and a genuine connection - proving indisputably the brilliance of those wonderful performances, still shining through from all those years ago. (Though the adoration of Barbara did experience a brief wobble when she shoots Sandy the sandbeast in The Rescue… “She’s a MURDERER!”) There’s apparently even been ‘shipping’, whatever that is - probably something to do with the Mary Celeste scenes in The Chase

 

Then, on the forth day of the schedule, something went terribly wrong at Twitch HQ - the fluid links burnt out, the fault locator was on the fritz, and a time loop was established. Viewers tuning in for the scheduled showing of The Web Planet were instead confronted with a repeat performance of An Unearthly Child. Frustrations were vented in the comments: “Wrong Episode!”, “Wrong Episode!”, “WRONG EPISODE!!!”. After about fifteen minutes of protest, the episode was was eventually changed… to Planet Of Giants. They then proceeded to show the entirety of that story, and then The Dalek Invasion Of Earth - repeating the previous day’s playlist while an increasingly disgruntled audience continued to demand the promised trip to Vortis. The outrage was mostly good natured and healthily humorous, but still overwhelming. Variations on “We want Zarbi!”, “Justice for Vortis!”, and “ZARBI RIOT!” were repeated ad infinitum. This was one of the strangest, most surreal, and unexpected Doctor Who moments of the year so far. Thousands of young people on the internet, in 2018, threatening to riot if they weren’t shown The Web Planet immediately. All quite tongue-in-cheek, obviously - no one was actually going to take to the streets and start smashing the place up in the name of insect movement movement by Roslyn De Winter, but apparently The Web Planet was trending on Twitter. In 2018. Extraordinary. 

 

Eventually the time-track was corrected, and the clamouring masses got their fix of vaseline-smeared sci-fi action. Whether it was quite what they were expecting is another matter: “BLEEP BLOOP. I AM AN ANT!”… But the Day of the Zarbi Riots made one thing very clear - that these dusty old episodes are more than being enjoyed by their shiny new audience - they are being cherished.

 

Younger fans may well be getting rather fed up by now with the constant and sometimes rather patronising commentary from older enthusiasts on their viewing habits, attitudes, and Time Teams. Sorry about that. But honestly - seeing you take such delight from this material - that many of us had never imagined would once again be so celebrated - is actually rather moving and beautiful. We love that you love what we love, and can’t wait to see what mega-memes you pluck next from the Doctor’s adventures as the Twitch marathon progresses. We hope you enjoy it as much as we're enjoying your reactions! 

 

Richard Unwin

Follow @Richard_Unwin on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!
+ Join the DWO Forums!
+ Donate to DWO's running costs via PayPal!

[Source:
DWO]

   

30 May 2018

Anoraks is a Nerd web sitcom. The first season saw the adventures of the three Men Behaving Sadly featuring Big Finish actor Seán Carlsen and cameos from Doctor Who actors Anneke Wills and Terry Molloy. Season Two is in pre-production and the Anoraks team need your help with our Indiegogo campaign! 

They are all fans themselves, so have first-hand knowledge of how warm, passionate, and often-times how ridiculous, self-obsessed yet warm, welcoming and creative fandom can be.

 

Series two sees the addition of a new cast member in the form of acclaimed stand-up comedian, Lorna Prichard, who will bring a new and younger voice to the Anorak's worlds of fandom. Season One was mostly about Doctor Who fans and fandom. Series Two sees them open their vista to have fun with Marvel, Star Trek, Star Wars and SF/Fantasy. They've included a host of new secondary characters, more guest stars and a planned bigger budget, and special guest stars to be announced! 

 

Help the Anoraks team make the best possible second series!

 

+ Contribute to our Indiegogo campaign and get some fantastic perks!  

+ Read more about Anoraks on their website.

Watch the first season on our Youtube Channel and subscribe for exclusive content. 

 

Follow Anoraks on social media:

 

https://www.facebook.com/anorakstv/

https://twitter.com/anorakstv

Check out the Anoraks fundraiser video:
 

[Source: Anoraks]


25 May 2018

For a limited time, friends of Doctor Who Online can get this unique Doctor Who 2017 pure silver coin at 20% OFF the recommended retail price. In order to qualify for the discount simply use the code DOCTOR when you purchase your coin on the New Zealand Mint website before 5pm, 31st May 2018.

This stunning coin depicts the Twelfth Doctor along with key characters from the 2017 series: his foes Missy, the Master, the Cybermen and, of course, his companions Bill and Nardole. The coin is packaged in a modern, stylish case featuring black and white images of the iconic TARDIS. Inside the case you’ll find the Certificate of Authenticitywhich contains information about the coin and its unique serial number - confirming it as one of only 10,000 coins available worldwide!

This may well be your last chance to own a coin featuring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor. And with a new season – and a new coin - on its way, don’t delay and start your collection here.

 

[Source: New Zealand Mint]

24 May 2018

Over 500 classic episodes from the 1960s to the 1980s will air worldwide on Twitch from May 29th to July 23rd.

Social video service Twitch today announced it is joining forces with BBC Studios for the first-ever digital broadcasting event of the Classic Doctor Who series. Over 500 episodes from 26 seasons dating from the show’s inception in 1963 until the 1980s will air worldwide over a seven-week period. Starting May 29th, fans can tune in each week Monday to Friday at 11 am PDT to catch episodes on Twitch.tv/TwitchPresents.

Doctor Who is a British action adventure sci fi series produced by BBC Studios which follows the adventures of "The Doctor", an alien Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels through time in a TARDIS, a spaceship shaped like a police telephone box. Accompanied by a number of friends, the Doctor combats a variety of foes, while working to save civilizations and help those in need. Instead of dying, the Doctor is able to "regenerate" into a new body, taking on a new personality with each regeneration. This has led to 13 different incarnations of the Doctor appearing in the series.

Nick Coulter, Director of Digital Sales and Business Development at BBC Studios says:

“We are constantly looking at ways to reach new audiences and make it easier for fans to engage with our most popular shows. Doctor Who, in particular, has a great tradition of pioneering new technologies, from early VHS all the way through to the new digital services of today. Twitch is another great example of this, as a brilliant service with over 15 million active daily users, we are thrilled to be able to offer them the chance to indulge in the Classic Doctor Who series and celebrate its amazing 54 year legacy of excitement and innovation.”

 

Leveraging the real-time shared viewer experience that has defined Twitch, Doctor Who is the latest entry in over a dozen TV shows that have aired on the service. To elevate the social experience in chat, viewers who Subscribe to the TwitchPresents channel will gain access to 14 exclusive emotes themed after each of the first seven doctors.

 

For Doctor Who fans in the US, UK, and Canada, Twitch is hosting a giveaway each week of the event, including a grand prize trip to London Comic Con in Fall 2018. For details on the giveaway, visit: https://watch.twitch.tv/DoctorWhoSweepstakes.

 

As part of the event, leading UK digital content creators The Yogscast are producing a series of shows that will introduce each Doctor. With a cast of Doctor Who screenwriters, experts, fans, and even a former companion, the Yogscast's Turps and resident Doctor Who expert and High Roller's player Matt Toffollo will be discussing why modern audiences should be watching Doctor Who. Each 20-minute episode will provide a brief summary of the stories that are about to be shown, including the actors, monsters, famous phrases or production gaffes to look out for. With first-hand knowledge from former companion Katy Manning (who played Jo Grant the Third Doctor Companion) and writers Bob Baker and Paul Cornell, the shows will give insight into the series alongside the humor and irreverence viewers expect from the Yogscast.

Also joining them will be Beth Axford of The Time Ladies, Tom Spilsbury of Doctor Who Magazine and YouTuber, Bill Garratt-John.

Jane Weedon, Director of Business Development at Twitch, says:

 

Doctor Who and its clever take on sci-fi exemplifies the type of adjacent content to gaming that has resonated with the Twitch community. By presenting this iconic BBC show in a new interactive format, it is a fun new way to bridge several generations of Doctor Who fans, while building a new generation of them.”

 

For more information on the Doctor Who episodes that will air on Twitch, visit the Twitch blog.


[Source: BBC Studios]

   

22 May 2018

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Matthew J. Elliott

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: May 2018

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"For thousands of years, it has drifted through space, unimpeded, forgotten, seemingly lifeless. Now, finally, it has been discovered.

Responding to a distress call from the mysterious hulk, the Doctor and his companion, space pilot Mathew Sharpe, walk into a desperate situation. The multi-tentacled semibionic Makara were tasked with renovating the abandoned craft, but now they’ve begun murdering their employers.

The Doctor soon realises that the Makara have been programmed to kill, but by whom, and for what reason? Finding out the truth will mean uncovering a secret that threatens the entire Universe."

The following review contains massive spoilers for this play from the very start. Please read NO FURTHER if you do not want twists and character / plot developments ruined. I cannot stress enough how from the off YOU WILL BE SPOILED should you choose to read any further.

Heard the one about the spaceship that’s about to crash with a sole occupant left behind, sending out a distress signal which is picked up at the last possible minute by a man in a Police Box, who materialises on board to save the otherwise doomed pilot? What’s that? You have and it featured the Eighth Doctor? How about you listen to it featuring the Sixth Doctor for Big Finish instead.

You like the Sixth Doctor you say? Then have you heard the one where we are introduced to his new companion after he’s been travelling with them for some time? You can pick or choose Mel or Constance here. Or perhaps the one where the Sixth Doctor has a brand new companion in spin-off media? (Hello, Grant or Flip or Evelyn or Frobisher, and so on and so forth.) 

No? Then maybe the Big Finish play where we are introduced to a new companion that turns out to be solely for this tale, as they’re secretly a baddie? Again, you can pick The Fifth Traveller or this one: it’s your call.

You catch my drift, I’m sure. The Lure Of The Nomad, written by Matthew J Elliott, is Big Finish’s 238th main range release and boy does it feel like it. Uninspired and riffing off past glories, it’s difficult to imagine that anyone genuinely read the script without a feeling of déjà vu hanging around. I simply cannot believe the CD extras where they express surprise at the ending. From the moment the story was announced with tiny fanfare for the supposed new companion, and no image of said companion on the cover art, I would have had money on them either dying or turning out to be a wrong’un by the end of the play had I been able to get decent odds anywhere, so when the twist comes that Mathew Sharpe is not the man we thought he was, it was less a surprise and more a case of “Well, obviously, yes. Can we hurry this up now please?” It’s a pity but not something that shocked me, and if anything that’s the saddest part of all.

Nicholas Briggs kicks off the play by announcing with funereal gravitas that you’re listening to a Big Finish production, but he needn’t have bothered. By the time we have references to Quarks, the very first Dalek serial and a joke about carrot juice and exercise bikes riffing on Terror Of The Vervoids, I could have guessed. Later nods to Terileptils, Harry Sullivan and Stattenheim remote controls only add to this sense of it being business as usual, where characters cannot go five minutes without making a nod to past adventures and winking unsubtly at the audience.

Done well, these sorts of kisses to the past can be fine and not derail the action, but done with the sledgehammer regularity as is the case here, they are not. Indeed, the one to Harry is the worst offender. It stems after Mathew makes a reference to the boxer John L. Sullivan, which makes no sense for the character. We’ve already had much said about how far into the future he is from and so he is unfamiliar with cultural touchstones such as Monty Python’s Flying Circus, so why would he then be able to namecheck a boxer dead since 1918CE?

I know this is a minor point, but it’s symptomatic of a script littered with clumsy dialogue. The opening scene is painfully bad with its on-the-nose exposition, for example: nobody in the world speaks how the two characters here do. It’s the sort of ham-fisted “Let us set up the backstory” chatter we mocked The Space Museum for many moons ago now, and it’s sad to see we haven’t moved on yet. Elsewhere, we’ve more than the usual quota of ‘say what you see’ descriptive lines and the conclusion features a self-sacrifice so out of the blue and out of character that it’s insulting to suggest it happens for any reason other than to wrap up the plot.

(Sadly, these are familiar issues with Elliot’s writing, similar and in some cases identical to ones in his last main range play, The Silurian Candidate, and also present in Backtrack, which he wrote for The Tenth Doctor Chronicles, which makes me suggest this clumsiness of his isn’t moving anywhere any time soon.)

The Lure Of The Nomad is not a good play. There are good aspects, but good aspects do not a good play make. For what it’s worth though, these good aspects include an amusing joke about the plural of ‘octopus’ and nice performances by Matthew Holness and Anna Barry in the guest cast. The final scene is relatively underplayed and memorable, too. It’s for these reasons and these alone that it gets 2 out of 10.

Three very good main range plays followed by two of the worst in recent memory? I really hope things pick up again soon. The Lure Of The Nomad is as forgettable as it gets.

 



7 May 2018

Terror Of The Time Team! 

In the absence of any new news from Cardiff, the big talking point this past week has been the reveal of Doctor Who Magazine's all-new Time Team lineup. Traditionally, the Time Team - a feature launched in 1999 - has consisted of a group of four fans working their way through the entirety of Doctor Who, in chronological order, giving commentary, opinions, and observations as they go - usually accompanied by sublime illustration by Adrian Salmon. Now, however, it’s all-change, and a brand new group of twelve bold adventurers, who’ll be ruminating on a selection box of stories each month, was revealed in Issue 525 on Thursday the 3rd of May.

This may not sound like a big deal to the casual observer, but such was the interest in this unveiling that the phrase ‘Time Team’ was trending on Twitter - it appeared that everyone had something to say about this shiny new team. The responses could be broadly sorted into three main categories - celebration, apoplectic fury, and people who were confused that the news wasn’t to do with Tony Robinson and archeology.  

 

Most of the complaints seemed to stem from the fact that none of the new team are over the age of twenty-six, and that some of them are *gasp* only familiar with the post-2005 modern series of Doctor Who. Some people clearly felt that the magazine was betraying its loyal older readership by ‘dumbing down’ and presenting a selection of young ’n’ trendy social media types who wouldn’t know a Garm from a Gastropod. The sense of entitlement - the outrage that these whippersnappers could be permitted to pass comment on OUR holy texts - was fascinating to witness. And, at times, a little disturbing. 

 

There were also complaints from some quarters about the fresh team being diverse in race and gender - presumably from the same sorts of people who refuse point-blank to watch a female Doctor, get their knickers in a twist about racially diverse actors appearing in historical adventures, and think that accusing someone of being concerned with social justice is somehow an insult… You know the type - those who are convinced that even the vaguest mention of anyone who’s not a straight white cisgendered male is some sort of ‘box-ticking’ PC conspiracy. We shan’t concern ourselves with this monstrous minority any further - let’s just leave them screaming impotently into the void.

 

I have to confess to some brief, initial agreement with those who voiced concerns. And, as someone who was born in the year of City of Death, I’m naturally confused by, suspicious of, and a little bit scared by YouTubers and social media ‘influencers’…  The few that I’ve been exposed to in the past seemed to share identikit ‘upbeat’ personalities and unnatural uniform beauty, weaponised by ruthless commercial acumen. ‘YouTuber hair’ is definitely a thing. I quickly realised, of course, that this distrust is merely a product of my own advancing years and a failure on my part to embrace and comprehend new forms of expression. (But I still reckon that someone ought to write a Doctor Who episode where YouTubers turn out to be Autons - have that for free if you’re reading this Chris…) 

 

However, having done some light research on the debuting dozen, I’m pleased to report that any foolish fears have been allayed. They appear to be a delightful bunch of bright young things, many of whom have more than demonstrated phenomenal creative talents in various other projects and arenas. And of COURSE they are - they were selected and put together by Benjamin Cook, a shining stalwart of our beloved periodical since he was but a tadpole himself, and proof, if it were needed, that it’s perfectly possible to be simultaneously a YouTube sensation AND wield expertise on the life-cycle of a Vervoid. Plus I’m already familiar with, and a fan of, the work of two of our intrepid archeologists - the fabulous Fan Show presenter Christel Dee, and the smouldering Big Finish performer Jacob Dudman. We’re in safe hands. (If you’re reading this Jacob - I love you.) 

 

Yes - they could have plumped for greater variance in age, but isn’t it actually rather fun and exciting that they haven’t…? We’ve all heard a hundred opinions on The Claws of Axos from the old guard who can recite the production codes backwards. The fact that some of this new gang of bright-eyed beauties have never even seen a single episode of ‘classic’ Who means that we’re going to get real fresh and untainted responses to the material. In a way, this modern approach is more akin to the phenomenally successful ‘Class 4G’ articles put together by Gary Gillatt in the nineties, than the classic Time Team's who were often clearly just faking that it was their first time. I know it seems unthinkable to some that Doctor Who fans could possibly be trendy young people who don’t own even a single anorak, but to me it’s thrilling and heartwarming to see the sacred flame being passed on to the next generation of space oddities. I’d encourage anyone who’s worried by this development to do their best to put aside their concerns, embrace the future, and enjoy the ride. Sure, these youngsters may spout the occasional odd opinion - such as classic show cliffhangers being ‘cheap tricks’, or describing the Brigadier as a ‘babe’ - but surely we’ve all held odd opinions at some time or another…? (I took me until my thirties to truly appreciate the utter glory that is Time And The Rani. “Leave the girl, it’s the man I want!”) Different perspectives are what makes this interesting.

 

Isn’t it extraordinary that the lineup change of a humble magazine feature has sparked such passionate discourse…? But, ultimately, the only way is forward. Doctor Who is for everyone - everyone who ever caught a glimpse of the magic blue box and had it imprinted forever on their hearts. To jealously guard our fantastical treasures and deem others who are perhaps less well-versed in the scripture as somehow ‘unworthy’ of studying them is the antithesis of everything that blue box represents. If the magazine, and the show, are to survive for future generations to enjoy, we literally HAVE to welcome fresher faces to the party - none of us are immortal! I wish the Time Team of 2018 the very best on their new adventure. Enjoy! 

 

However, I’m FURIOUS about the new article not being accompanied by an Adrian Salmon illustration. Doctor Who Magazine is dead to me!
 

Richard Unwin

Follow @Richard_Unwin on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!
+ Join the DWO Forums!
+ Donate to DWO's running costs via PayPal!

[Source:
DWO]

   

2 May 2018

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Scott Handcock

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: April 2018

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"Daniel Hopkins thought he knew what he was letting himself in for when he joined the top-secret UNIT organisation as its latest Medical Officer.

Racing about the countryside, chasing strange lights in the sky? Check. Defending the realm against extraterrestrial incursion? Check. Frequent ear-bashings from UNIT’s UK CO, the famously no-nonsense Lt-Col Lewis Price? Check. Close encounters of the First, Second and even Third kind? Check, check, check.

But he had no idea what alien beings were really like. Until the day of the Fallen Kestrel. Until the day he met the Doctor."

The start of this year has been a joy when it comes to writing these reviews.  The main range has been well and truly riding high and each month has presented us with something funny, something well-constructed and something downright enjoyable.  It is far more fun to write a review praising something to high heavens than to write one explaining why a certain release has utterly failed to grip you.

But all good things must come to an end perhaps.

I want to state here that I have enjoyed Scott Handcock’s work elsewhere. His direction of The War Master was very strong, for example, as it was in The Worlds of Big Finish (a much underrated release) and a lot of Gallifrey. His first outing as a writer for the ‘main range’ of Big Finish plays, World Apart, was a triumph of character study and understatement. Handcock is a very capable and strong writer, producer and director, of that there is no doubt in my mind at all. It just wasn’t to be, here.

The play starts as follows: the Doctor lands on Earth, drawn there by a signal of extra-terrestrial origin. He is not alone though. UNIT are also on the scene, but this is a UNIT the likes of which the Doctor has not encountered before. Gone are Lethbridge-Stewart, Bell, Yates, Benton and the rest. In their stead is a far colder and harder military outfit headed by one Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis Price. Sometimes, it’s the lack of familiarity on your home soil that can be the biggest threat of them all…

There is a problem here. The problem is quite a big one because it goes on to undermine and underline everything that comes next. The problem is that this new version of UNIT are fully aware of who the Doctor is and his past with UNIT: and they still treat him as an alien hostile, threatening him with execution, giving him orders and acting as if he could be a traitor to the Earth and an enemy of humanity. Which makes no sense whatsoever. If they just thought he was another alien wandering around with significant intelligence, then so be it, but the Doctor? He of heroism and daring do? He who helped UNIT so often?

It doesn’t work and renders these soldiers utterly inept and stupid, thus making a huge aspect of the story just a bit… well, silly. UNIT has moved on, yes, but they know the Doctor of old and all he has done, so to try and make him out to be a threat to the planet just doesn’t wash or hang together at all.

This isn’t helped by the aforementioned Lieutenant-Colonel, who is as drab and one-note a character as the range has ever seen. There is no nuance or depth; no subtlety or, crucially, believability. He shouts, he snarls, and when the plot needs to wrap up he has a slight change of heart for no explicable reason. Everything about this character is painfully dull. It is utterly flat and this extends elsewhere sadly. The plot feels overfamiliar: aliens fall to Earth, humans experiment upon them. Aha, though! There is a twist!

Because of course there is, because you expect there to be, because nothing here feels new or exciting or fresh at all. It feels like we’ve been down this path many, many times. Misguided humans, the power of love, the Doctor poised against the authorities, a token ‘good’ character who is on the Doctor’s side against their commander’s wishes.

The same goes for the Morden Clinic and those who work there. They never convince as real people. They’re plot devices and twists. They’re there to try and make you think the story is going one way when in fact it’s going quite another: only you never believe it’s going just one way, because that sense of familiarity from the off means you never expect to be surprised.

In the end, it all makes for a rather boring play.  I don’t think I ever once failed to see what was round the corner, and even if I could not spot the specific incident about to unfold, I was certain that a twist or incident was incoming because it’s that sort of Big Finish play. The plot would be competent at least, but the UNIT element in the wider world of Doctor Who means it stumbles on that front as well. 

Across the past three releases, I’ve talked about how exciting and fresh the plays have felt; how new and interesting. This feels like a massive leap back, into predictability and stale writing; into characters poorly executed and an absence of shock. Lewis Price is the worst of them all, but he is by no means alone.

Perhaps this is just a blip; a small hiccough and no more. I hope so. Because as it is, this has been as disappointing a release from Big Finish as I think I’ve ever heard.



23 April 2018

Our friends over at Pwork Wargames make some awesome mats that we think would go nicely with the Warlord Games, Doctor Who miniatures range!

One of their recent releases includes a partnership with Osprey Games, where they have exclusively created the official Frostgrave gaming mat; a fantasy skirmish wargame of epic wizard battles.

Whether you are an Enchanter, a Thaumaturge or an Evil Necromancer with his warband, if you are a Templar or just a foot soldier, facing a snow leopard or a flesh Golem, hunting the treasures of a collapsed empire… still, you will tread the same frost ground: the ruins of an ancient abandoned frozen city.

Pwork Wargames, a passionate Italian design and manufacture company, took inspiration from the wargame background and created a dedicated landscape. The exclusive design wisely balances an enchanted fantasy atmosphere with a touch of cold (!) realism, in a scenario of collapsed snow-covered buildings and a cobblestone pavement cracked by frost and ice.

Limitless adventures can be found amidst the ruins of the Frozen City, on Pwork Wargames Official FROSTGRAVE gaming mat!

Check it out on www.pworkwargames.com

Available materials:

High quality PVC or premium Mousepad material

Available sizes:

4×6’ (122x183cm) - 4×4’ (122x122cm) - 3×3’ (92x92cm)
 

[Source: Pwork Wargames]

17 April 2018

Hello! Welcome to this new column! ‘What’s it about?’ I hear you cry. Good question. I’m not entirely sure of the answer yet - let’s just see what happens. 

My initial thought was that this would be a sort of ‘Doctor Who Diary’ - a monthly round-up of things that have been happening in the Whoniverse, peppered with gossip and chit-chat and gags. A bit like the ‘3AM Girls’, but with more Terileptils. With this in mind, on Friday the 13th of April I dutifully headed off to the Target Books signing at the London Forbidden Planet Megastore on Shaftesbury Avenue. Due to attend were all five authors of the new adaptations, including Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat - perhaps I could get some juicy quotes from them! Maybe Russell could be persuaded to finally spill the beans on Christopher Eccleston, or Steven could explain the actual literal silence at the end of Vampires of Venice…? That sort of inside scoop could really get this fledgling feature off to a flying start! 

Quick bit of background: I have been to a few organised fan events in the past, but not many. I attended Panopticon 93 - the big 30th anniversary convention - as a precocious fourteen year old. And then, twenty years later, I trotted along to the enormous, slick, BBC organised 50th Anniversary celebration at London’s ExCel Exhibition Centre. (Where fans were herded about in giant hangers like Ood being prepared for shipping - a lot of the experience was quite miserable.) And, most recently, for the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed the annual Utopia weekends held at Eynsham Hall in Oxfordshire, relaxed affairs which are much more up my alley. Mostly a lot of drunk gay men in a big old country house fawning over Wendy Padbury and other ‘actresses of a certain age’. (I say that with the greatest of affection, and count myself among the fawners.) Throw in the odd book signing here and there, (as well as pub meets for LGBT Doctor Who fans with The Sisterhood of Karn in Soho - more on them another time…) and that’s about the sum total of my fan event experience. So I had a reasonable idea of what to expect from the Target event, but by no means consider myself an expert on such matters. 

I arrived at Forbidden Planet a good hour before the scheduled start time, and was surprised to be confronted by a snaking queue already winding its way right around the block - there were *hundreds* of people there, far more than I had anticipated. Perhaps you were one of them and saw me - looking slightly panicked as I walked along the line to join the back of the queue, trying desperately to appear terribly cool and above it all.

I’ve always had a slightly complicated relationship with my own fandom. I consider myself to be a hardcore aficionado - I own Wartime on DVD - but there’s still sometimes a slight sense of shame that can nip at my heels from time to time. Here I was, suddenly exposed and out on the street, clutching my carrier bag full of books ready to be signed. Within the first few minutes several bemused onlookers asked what was going on - the look on their faces when I explained that the queue was to meet some Doctor Who writers only helped to fuel my shame demons… Which I *know* is ridiculous - I *know* that being a fan is wonderful and magical and enriching - I think it’s just the baggage of preconceived ideas of others that sometimes weighs heavy on me. Plus there was the fact that at that precise moment I was surrounded by the worst thing in the universe - other fans. 

Fans in front of me, fans behind me - nothing but fans. I didn’t want to interact, I didn’t want them to talk to me - I steeled myself for however many hours it was going to take of standing in complete silence. I absolutely didn’t want to engage with the sort of people who would subject themselves to standing in the cold, for hours, all for the sake of a sci-fi show. So instead I popped in my headphones and played the latest Fifth Doctor adventure from Big Finish

Eventually, the people in front of me, two men and a girl, did strike up a conversation, and, reluctantly, I got drawn in. And then, of course, we talked for *hours*. Talking and talking and more wonderful talking. It is an extraordinary and liberating thing to converse with people who share the same specialised knowledge as oneself. (‘Yes, the spine numbering on the Titan graphic novels IS quite irritating…’ ) We learnt about each other’s lives and loves and favourite Virgin Missing Adventures. And it was glorious. There was I, intent on being all stand-offish and judgemental, and here were these wonderful, funny, generous people - kind and wise enough to ignore my pretentions and include me in a happy little makeshift group that smiled and laughed and queued in the cold.

When we reached the head of the line - two and a half hours later - we insisted to the Forbidden Planet gatekeepers that we should go in to the signing as a foursome, and refused to be separated. It is clear to me, and probably to you, that I had been projecting my own fears and insecurities about my own fandom onto others, and that, dear reader, is a very silly thing to do. What I had so foolishly feared wasn’t other fans at all - it was simply my own reflection. Fortunately, on this occasion the Mara was defeated, and everyone skipped off into the sunset for space buns and tea. 

I can’t say that the shame demons will never haunt me again, but this happy and enlightening experience has equipped me to better fight them off if they do. (Oh - also there was a bit where some people signed some books for us, but that was over very quickly, and I was too busy giggling with my new friends to ask them for any quotes or gossip. Sorry.)

Richard Unwin

Follow @Richard_Unwin on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!
+ Join the DWO Forums!
+ Donate to DWO's running costs via PayPal!

[Source:
DWO]

   

28 March 2018
&E

Hold onto your butts... a massive tear in the fabric of time must have occurred as the release date, cover & track listing have finally been confirmed for the Doctor Who: Series 9 Soundtrack!

Our friends over at Silva Screen Records have been in touch with the full details, below:

Limited Edition only - includes additional booklet with Stuart Manning poster images and slipcase.

This edition will be generally available on other sites but is limited in number. The Standard Edition is the same as the Limited Edition but does not include the slipcase or additional booklet.

Premiering in September 2015, the ninth series of Doctor Who featured Peter Capaldi in the title role in his sophomore season as television’s favourite time traveller. This all encompassing four part collection features general cues on discs one and two, the complete score from the episode Heaven Sent on disc three and on disc four the Christmas Special, The Husbands Of River Song. Five time BAFTA nominee Murray Gold recently confirmed that he is stepping down from composer duties on the show after 12 years of providing some of the finest music to be heard on contemporary television. This is also the 12th Silva Screen release of his music from the 2005 revival onwards and underlines the breadth of Gold’s composing skill across over two and a half hours of music.

"It’s one of the last great morality tales out there but it also celebrates life. For that reason I think it’s a great show for kids. I couldn’t write this much music for it if I didn’t feel that way.”Murray Gold

DISC 1

1. The One in a Thousand
2. Davros Remembers
3. Message from Missy
4. Meeting in the Square
5. Finding The Doctor
6. What Have You Done
7. Davros Approaches
8. Some Kind of Submarine
9. The Ghosts
10. The Bootstrap Paradox
11. Finding The Fisher King
12. Another Ghost Has Appeared
13. We Need to Get Back to The TARDIS
14. Directions from The Ghosts
15. Something in the Spacesuit
16. Two Days on a Longboat
17. I Am Ashildr
18. In a Way, She's a Hybrid
19. I Call Myself Me
20. They Need Us
21. The Last Thing We Need

DISC 2

1. Deep Cover
2. Just Come Inside
3. This is Not a War
4. Defending The Earth
5. The Morpheus Song
6. Saving Rigsy
7. Madam Mayor
8. Running from the Raven
9. Death is Locked In
10. Face the Raven
11. Back Home
12. The General's Regeneration
13. A Duty of Care
14. Clara's Diner

DISC 3

1. A Second Shadow
2. The Veil
3. A Fly on a Painting
4. A Change of Clothes
5. A Mechanical Maze
6. Digging a Grave
7. Tell No Lies
8. Two Events in Life
9. Waiting for the Veil
10. The Final Room
11. One Confession Away
12. Break Free
13. Same Old Day
14.The Shepherd's Boy

DISC 4

1. Carol Singers will be Criticised
2. A Dying Husband
3. The Finest Surgeon in The Galaxy
4. The Halassi Androvar
5. The Husbands of River Song
6. The TARDIS Can't Take Off
7. Time to Do it Properly
8. Harmony and Redemption
9. Hydroflax in The TARDIS
10. Whole Again at Last
11. All the Firewalls in The Galaxy
12. A Restaurant with a View
13. The Woman He Loves
14. The Singing Towers

+  The Doctor Who: Series 9 Soundtrack is released on 27th April, priced £14.99.
+  PREORDER this title from Silva Screen Records.
+  Discuss all the Doctor Who Audio releases in the DWO Forums.

[Source: Silva Screen Records]

27 March 2018

Some of you may have noticed over the past couple of years that our site updates haven't been as regular as they used to be, and I feel that now is a good time to fill you in on why that has been.

I've run DWO for the best part of 22 years, and, all being well, I hope to do so for a good time to come, but for the past couple of years the regular updates have been somewhat of a struggle due to some ongoing issues with my health.

It all started when I was exhibiting at the 2015 London Film And Comic Con (which was a fantastic event, by the way). We had the DWO space set up, and got to meet so many of our lovely visitors and twitter followers - I had my wife on hand to help out, and things were going very well indeed. On the morning of the Sunday show, we arrived and I wasn't feeling great; for some reason I was feeling a bit panicked. I literally could't think of anything that was panicking me, nor could I comprehend why I was feeling this way. I started to become very aware of everything, and it felt like the space around me was closing in a bit. The lights started to feel a bit more intense and I began to feel my heart racing - like, super fast! I was naturally feeling quite anxious, and decided to make my way to the medial booth on the upper floor. As I got to the staircase, every step felt laboured, and I was starting to feel a little light-headed. I finally got to the office and the very helpful woman asked me to sit in a chair as she took my blood pressure and other stats.

My heart rate was around 170bpm (beats per minute), and I was just sat in the chair. She talked to me to calm me down, and it eventually slowed to around 120bpm. By this point, my hands were physically shaking, due to the adrenaline that was rushing through me. The woman asked me some questions; "Have you ever had a heart issue?", "Have you ever been diagnosed with a heart attack?, "Do you suffer from anxiety?". I replied "No" to all three questions, and sipped on some cold water, which helped to relax me further.  She then suggested that I go to the hospital to get some precautionary blood tests to rule out anything sinister.

My wife and I stayed for an hour whilst I contemplated whether to go right away or not, before deciding that we would in fact leave. I got to our local hospital, and they ran some tests, and everything checked out normal. On paper I was fit and healthy, and nothing seemed to be wrong. In my head, however, I was confused and unsatisfied with the fact that there was no diagnosis for what had happened to me earlier that day. This was something that has never happened to me before.

A few weeks passed by, and I was at home with my wife and kids, and we were having our dinner, when, again, out of nowhere, my heart was racing once more - this time around 180bpm. I made my way to the hospital, where they did some tests again, and could see the high heart rate. Again, I was asked if I suffered from anxiety, to which I responded "No", but I felt like this was a word that kept being thrown at me - like it was something I was meant to accept. They let me go and asked me to get an appointment with my GP to set up a referral to a cardiologist.

A day or so later, I met with my GP and we set up the appointment, which was for a few weeks from that date. During that time, I had several more incidents of my heart racing - a couple of the times I was at home on my own, and for the first time ever, I called an Ambulance. I was finding my breathing was somewhat laboured, and was trying to breathe through the fast heart rate (which, can make you feel quite breathless, alone), and, again, they checked me over and couldn't find a cause.

I eventually got my appointment with the Cardiologist, who did a number of tests; ECGs, a running test and more in-depth blood tests, but all of them seemed to draw a blank. He suggested I go on some beta blockers to manage the issue, and I went onto a medication called 'Propanolol'. At first it seemed to work, as the events were happening less frequently, but days later, I started to notice a small red patch on my left arm. It didn't occur to me that it could be related to the medication as it was happening at such a slow rate, but over the next 9 months, the red patches covered the whole of my body. I went to the Doctors, who, after numerous tests, put it down to a condition called Psoriasis. 

For 9 months I was dealing with the red patches, and I was incredibly self conscious to go out in public and be seen; my face was the only place I wasn't really getting them, but you could see them on my neck, which forced me to wear long-sleeve shirts and jumpers during a particularly hot summer. It was at this point, that I started to realise the affect this was having on my mental state. I was given a special lotion which was paraffin based (the same stuff you use to light a fire, although on a much, much lower scale). It helped a little to reduce the visibility, but was not recommended over long periods of time. 

Having been feeling rather low and unhappy about the situation for some time, I asked my GP about setting me up with a Dermatologist, and a few weeks later, she confirmed that this was indeed Psoriasis and that, unfortunately, it would be something I would have to deal with throughout my life, although there were treatments to help lessen the red marks. 
I was given bath liquids, whole body lotions and the most foul-smelling cold tar lotion, which I had to put on twice daily. 

A few days later I had another of my heart issues and was given an alternative beta blocker to try. I came off the Propanolol and went onto something called Verapamil. The first 24 hours seemed fine, and then in the evening I had another fast heart rate, with what I now know to be a panic attack. It was single-handedly the most terrifying experience I've had to date... I went to the hospital who actually kept me overnight this time, and was given another new beta blocker to try called 'Bisoprolol'. This one seemed to work perfectly!

Days and weeks passed without any large events, and I was starting to feel a bit better. The red marks on my skin also appeared to be fading, and I finally felt that things were moving in a positive direction. Something was niggling away at the back of my mind though, and it was the fact that the heart situation was still undiagnosed. By this point, I started to feel like I was being pigeon-holed in the 'anxiety' box. There was no doubt that I was anxious, but I felt that it was a result of the process to this point (now going on 16 months), and the fact I still didn't know what was causing it.

By now it was March of 2017, and the red marks were almost gone. I had a follow-up appointment in a few days with the Dermatologist, and was hoping for her to tell me that this was now managed. My wife was looking online and found that a side effect of the original beta blocker I was on was "red marks on the skin". We started doing our maths and worked out that it was almost to the week that I went onto the Propanolol (my original beta blocker), that I started to get the red marks. My Dermatology appointment came around and I brought it up to the specialist. She looked at my skin, and how vastly improved it was, and confirmed that this was now likely an interaction due to my body being intolerant to the Propanolol. I came out from the appointment relieved and angry; relieved that this wasn't something I'd have to constantly battle throughout my life, but angry that this wasn't picked up - or even suggested, by my GP.

Days, weeks and months went by, and by now we were coming to the Summer 2017. My skin had completely cleared up, I was getting confidence to go out more, and my heart rate was managed by the bisoprolol, to the point that I started to reduce my dosage to the point I didn't need to take it anymore. I did still get the faster heart rate, but I managed it by breathing through it or trying to focusing on something else. I had another appointment with my Cardiologist where I expressed my happiness at the fact the incidents had reduced, but my frustration at still not knowing why or how it started in the first place. The cardiologist suggested I have a small procedure to fit an implant (the size of a USB stick) just under my skin on the left side of my chest, which would constantly monitor my heartbeat, and pick up any irregularities. I was nervous at the thought of being in an operating theatre - even through it was a small procedure - but I had it fitted, and tried to forget about it.

From now on, whenever I had an incident, I just pressed a button on a key fob and held it over the left side of my chest, and it would monitor 5 minutes before and after the event. Before long, the hospital had enough data to finally give me a diagnosis.

January 2018 came around, and I met up with the cardiologist, who confirmed it was something called 'Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia'. It's not life-threatening, but just gets in the way of things now and then. He also added that over time, it could completely sort itself out. There were a few more back-and-forth's with my GP, but all this time later, I finally feel much better and confidant in myself that I can deal with future episodes.

That being said, the toll it has taken on me, mentally, has been exhausting to say the least. I still have a distrust at my body in the way it just came out of nowhere, and my confidence has taken a bit of a beating through all of this, too. I was previously a confidant person, and this is something I need to work on again. Ironically, and despite the incorrect analysis of what was wrong with me at the start, anxiety now seems to be a part of me as a result of all this, and I'm working through it. It has made me become so much more aware of others who have to deal with it, and want to give more time to those who have their own struggles. We take so many things for granted, and to have your health - arguably the most basic thing that we take for granted - is something we must all be thankful for.
 

So back to DWO... Whilst there have been loads of DWO updates over the past couple of years, there were nowhere near as many as I would have liked, due to the constant fragmentation of my daily life due to my health issues. This is a site that used to have almost daily news updates, but thankfully, I feel like I am back to the point where normal service can be resumed. This is going to be a truly exciting year for Doctor Who, and I want to be where I've always been, right here on DWO, along with my fantastic team, providing you all with the very latest news, reviews and updates.

Thanks for reading this and allowing me to explain fully the reason for the lack of updates. There's probably more information than you needed, but I wanted to give you all the full picture and be clear about where I was at. Here on in, all is looking good and we have lots of exciting things planned for the site and forums in 2018!

Thank you, as always, for your support and dedication to the site. It's you the visitors and forum members who make DWO what it is, and genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, it means so much to me.

Sebastian J. Brook - Site Editor
Doctor Who Online
March 2018

+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!
+ Follow @SebastianJBrook on Twitter!
+ Join the DWO Forums!
+ Donate to DWO's running costs via PayPal!

[Source:
DWO]

   

22 March 2018

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: David Llewellyn

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: March 2018

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"You are cordially invited to Argentia, the galaxy’s most exclusive tax haven, to attend the funeral of mining magnate Carlo Mazzini. The memorial service will be followed by music, light refreshments, and murder!

Carlo’s heirs have come to say their final goodbyes (and find out how much they’ve inherited) but when a masked killer begins picking them off one by one, Argentia goes into lock-down, closed off behind its own temporal displacement field.

Can the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric apprehend the murderer before Argentia – and everyone on board - is forever cut off from the rest of the Universe?"

Back in the dim and distant country that was September 2014, I reviewed the play Mask of Tragedy for DWO and sung the praises of Samuel West’s turn as Aristophanes in it. He nailed the comedy perfectly, and the extras showed him to be genuinely passionate about Doctor Who and infectiously enthusiastic.

Flash forward to March 2018 (present day at the time of writing) and Big Finish have just released Serpent In The Silver Mask. Who is that actor putting in a genuinely excellent comic turn with multiple characters, all of whom have a degree of humour and gravity where required injected into them? Take another bow, Samuel West! In the extras for this play, director Barnaby Edwards rightly sings West’s praises and I think it’s worth just stressing again how good he is here. Truly, you’ll not find a better guest performance in a Big Finish play across the board; this equals the very best of them, perhaps even besting his turn in I Went To A Marvellous Party.

(I’ll get a grumble out of the way now: the extras. Long-time readers of these reviews will know it’s a bugbear of mine that the extended extras for subscribers do not surface for weeks after the plays’ releases, and that’s especially irksome here when the extras we get on the CD/original download feel heavily edited. You can tell they’re curtailed, with some edits coming in almost mid-sentence, and that’s a real shame.)

What of Serpent In The Silver Mask elsewhere though?

The play starts with our heroes landing on Argentia where the Doctor is on the hunt for the materials to build a new sonic screwdriver. Before too long, they’ve had their tongues swabbed and they’ve gatecrashed a funeral, but it appears that there’s a murderer on the loose... cue a Sherlock / Christie-style romp with robots and prisons and dolls, oh my!

David Llewellyn is in the writing seat this time around and he’s clearly had the same memo as the other writers in this latest trilogy of Fifth Doctor / Adric / Nyssa / Tegan plays: listen to the DVD commentary for Earthshock and write them like that and not how the characters were on screen. It does mean you’re not going to come away from this play, or indeed any of the others in this trilogy, feeling you’ve experienced an ‘authentic’ era-accurate story. This sort of thing really bugs some fans and kills the mood for them, but for me personally it does not factor in at all when the scripts themselves are as strong as the past three have been. Are these the companions we used to watch on screen or the Fifth Doctor who saved the world in the early 1980s? Not even close at times but, crucially, does it matter at all? Mileage will vary.

For my money though, I’d say Llewellyn has crafted an exemplary script with a central mystery that genuinely surprised me. I was so sure I had worked out “whodunnit” but, pleasingly, I was wrong. I had the means but not the right antagonist: and what better treat for a fan of the genre to be close but outfoxed? I think I had as much fun trying to work it all out as the Doctor does. Indeed, the Doctor is having a lot of fun here, whether conversing with a robot or playing detective, and it’s a joy.

I’ve already celebrated West and the script, so it’s time again to heap praise on Edwards’s direction and the regulars’ performances. I want to highlight Janet Fielding here as this play gives Tegan a lot to do, but frankly Matthew Waterhouse is brilliant, Peter Davison hilarious, and Sarah Sutton making every scene count. This is an exciting time to be a fan of the Davison era. We had Jenny Colgan give us an incredibly good outing for Turlough in Gardens Of The Dead. Time In Office was my favourite main range release in 2017 by some distance, and this original trio of companions just goes from strength to strength in the main range.

Does all this praise feel repetitive to you? It would be understandable if so as I’ve done that time and again this trilogy, because this trilogy is by a leap - a bound - and a mile, the very best succession of releases in the main range we, as fans, have had the pleasure to receive for years, now.

Guy Adams’s stint as script editor for these plays has injected verve and spark in what was increasingly becoming a range of average releases, and his role in teasing out the best we’ve had for ages cannot be understated.

Three high hitters worthy of full marks? Yes, I really think these plays deserve that accolade, and that gives me more pleasure to write and share online than I can readily articulate. As the Doctor herself put it: “Oh, brilliant!"

+ ORDER this title on Amazon.co.uk!



19 March 2018

Our friends over at New Zealand Mint have begun a limited edition annual Doctor Who coin to celebrate the British science fiction television programme.

The first stunning 1oz pure silver coin to be released depicts the Twelfth Doctor along with key characters from the 2017 series: his foes Missy, the Master, the Cybermen and, of course, his companions Bill and Nardole.

The coin is delivered in a complementary modern, stylish coin case which incorporates black and white images of the TARDIS. Inside the coin case is the matching Certificate of Authenticity which contains information about the coin and its unique serial number.

With Peter Capaldi having stepped down from the role, this is your last chance to own a coin featuring him as the Twelfth Doctor. But with just 10,000 fine silver coins available worldwide, you will need to be quick to secure your special memento here.

[Source: New Zealand Mint]

7 March 2018

A new dawn for Doctor Who events in the UK has arrived, as Manchester based ‘Vworp’ launches their first event with a bang at the Printworks on 9th September 2018, with a line up of signings, panels and activities that will please fans of all ages.

Photo opportunities with full size police boxes, Daleks, Cybermen and a host of other monsters, lurking throughout the venue, and with a number of dealers for you to track down that elusive action figure or sonic spatula (it’s a thing - trust us) you’ll have to hope that your bag is bigger on the inside.

In addition to all the Doctor Who fun, a lot of the venues within the Printworks will be offering deals across the weekend on food and drink so you won’t even have to leave the event space.

There will be a full slate of panels and talks across three stages and signings with Doctors, Companions and Monsters.

Tickets are available now from: http://www.vworpcon.com/tickets.html.

Even though Tom Baker cannot make the event, the Vworp team have managed to secure a private signing with Tom on 27th March.

You can either send in your own items (actions figures, posters, books, records etc.) and Tom will personally sign these for you during the time that the Vworp team spend with him. Every attempt will be made to have photo proof of your items being signed subject to approval from Tom and his team.

Each signature ordered during the pre-order period will cost only £20.00. The pre-order period will last from 1st March 2018 – 21st March 2018. Orders placed after this period will not be accepted. Full details can be found at: http://www.vworpcon.com/tom-baker.html.

[Source: Vworp]

E-Mail NewsE-Mail Reviews
RSS Feed
News Key
News Home
General
The New Series
The Classic Series
Spinoffs
Merchandise
Site
Blog Entries
Reviews Key
Reviews Home
Books / Magazines
DVD / Blu-ray
Audio
Toys / Other
TV Episodes
Search
Advertisements
New Zealand Mint
Mineran