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

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

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30 April 2017

The overnight ratings are in for 10.3: Thin Ice.

The episode achieved an overnight viewing figure of 3.76m viewers, with a 20.3% audience share, and was the fourth most-watched show on BBC One for the evening.

The final BARB ratings will be confirmed by Monday 8th May, and will include the time shift which will see a much larger rise in the final rating.

Although lower than last week, this rating is still up on Episode 3 from Series 9! 

Viewing Figures for Series 10:
10.1: The Pilot - 4.64m / 24.8% audience share (Overnights) / 6.68m (Final BARB Figure)
10.2: Smile - 4.25m / 22.9% audience share (Overnights).
10.3: Thin Ice - 3.76m / 20.3% audience share (Overnights).

+  What did you think of the episode? Rate / Discuss in the DWO Forums!

[Source: DWO]

27 April 2017

At the end of last week's episode, we were desperate to talk about the elephant in the room...quite literally, but as we are prohibited from revealing certain elements of the episodes (as part of our advance preview agreement), it would have given away the ending. Thankfully, by the time you are reading this, we will have seen The Doctor and Bill arrive in historical London at the last of the great Frost Fairs.

This is an episode that feels like Oliver Twist meets The Curse Of The Black Spot, and is as rich in story, character and script as it is in the beautiful setting - and what a setting it is! When we first read the synopsis, it felt like one of Virgin's Doctor Who Missing Adventures books from the 1990's - that's no bad thing at all, in fact, it seemed like one of those stories that read so well that you couldn't imagine there being a budget to allow it on screen. But seeing it on-screen is a delight, and it looks like a BBC period drama with all the trimmings. There are crowd scenes with so much going on that you'll want to pause it to see just how much life and activity there is. This is then juxtaposed with some literally chilling scenes on the Thames where there is just one character, a mist, a threat, and nothing but Murray Gold's eerie score to accompany them.

We get to see more of The Doctor and Bill's dynamic here, and their first proper argument, which feels a little awkward at first, and you begin to wonder if Bill might just pack it all in and demand to go back home. Bill really questions The Doctor - perhaps more than any other companion, and it's so refreshing to see how differently she views situations. The Doctor also comes more to the forefront in this episode with a couple of great speeches, whilst still allowing Bill some room to stand up and take the stage.

As for the main threat in the episode, there's more than just one, but the initial threat is dealt with in a wonderfully Doctor Who way; something lurking beneath the Thames, and it selects its victims with little green lights that swirl around you, underneath the ice, and then....splosh....you're gone! FANTASTIC! 

Writer, Sarah Dollard (Face The Raven), has done a truly fantastic job with Thin Ice; a very different story to her Series 9 offering (which we also loved). There are some bold decisions in the episode; without giving too much away, there's a character that gets pulled under the ice, and you think there may be a chance they'll survive, but Dollard sticks to her guns and it makes for a sad, but rather poignant moment. Whilst there haven't been that many female writers during the show's 52-year history (just 8 at our last count), Sarah Dollard is a prime example of why we need more, and we hope she remains under Chris Chibnall's reign. 

Thin Ice is a textbook historical adventure that, once over, gives you a warm glow. (Except for that bit right at the end...) 😮



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) “Who's Pete?”

2) The Doctor steals!
3) "I'm 2000 years old, and I have never had the time for the luxury of outrage."
4) The long-awaited return of Search Wise!
5) 3 Knocks...No...4 Knocks!

+  10.3: Thin Ice airs This Saturday at 7:20pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

26 April 2017

Even before the wilderness years (1989-1996 & 1996-2005), Doctor Who fanzines have played an important role in the fandom of the show. Often produced in black and white, these periodical mailings were produced by the fans themselves, and contained all sorts of cool creations, from fan fiction, to reviews, articles, interviews, quizzes, artwork and competitions.

Since the emergence of online fandom, and the ability for fans to make their own websites, forums and social groups, fanzines appear to have drastically fallen in their numbers. But does this mean that there is no longer a place for them in our lives? Are fans content with just having Doctor Who Magazine (as awesome as it is)?

Having spoken with fans over the years at conventions and events, it seems that fanzines are still very much an important output, but it is the younger generations that are either unaware they exist or unsure of how to contribute. With this in mind, we wanted to cast a quick spotlight on Doctor Who fanzines and focus on some of the fantastic publications out there, with details on how you can join in, or even start your own!

If this is a completely new area of fandom to you, you may take heart in the knowledge that one particular fan who contributed to fanzines was none other than our 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi! Below is an excerpt from an article Peter wrote for a fanzine back in 1976:

"Watching the abstracted light forms & patterns which appear in the opening sequence of Dr. Who has become a familiar ritual for all of us. The wonder of the opening is that it manages to capture in only a very few moments of screen time the atmosphere of Dr. Who.”


You can see Peter Capaldi's full page article in the images column to the right!

Of the few fanzines that are still around, the quality is of an incredibly high calibre; take Vworp Vworp!, for example - perhaps one of the most popular of the current wave of fan publications. Their latest issue has been hailed as one of the greatest fanzines in Doctor Who history, and we've heard nothing but positivity surrounding it - it even comes with a FREE full-cast audio play!

DWO got in touch with Vworp Vworp's publisher, Gareth Kavanagh, regarding the importance of fanzines and why they enjoy producing them:


"
Originally, fanzines were our own Gutenburg Press. A place for fans to share news, gossip, opinions and thoughts on the show without any filters in place. Well that's before the internet provided a more immediate platform for these, although who can forget some of those lurid DWB news headlines (The AFRO TAPES: THEY EXIST!!!)?  But this in no way means that fanzines no longer have a place. Indeed, despite the net doing news and gossip very well and providing an immediate way for people to vent / gush, it's not as good at considered analysis, depth and opinion. This, really is what we see ourselves as being about with Vworp. Exploring lesser explored niches of Doctor Who; fandom, the comics, art and bringing new perspectives and knowledge to the table.  It's something a printed work can do so much better in my opinion.


The other thing that fanzines can do better is by being a beautiful, gorgeous piece of art. Now we recognise that not everyone has the time or resources Vworp Vworp! has, but I do think taking the time to make it look and feel special is important. It's a point Bryan Talbot made to me when he launched Alice in Sunderland as a beautiful volume at a time when digital downloads of comics were beginning to take off.  By making Alice a gorgeous physical artefact, his reckoning was that there would always be a place in someone's collection for it.  And I think he's right. The same goes for free gifts. The transfers for Vworp Vworp! #1 were an attempt to reconnect with people's ingrained and treasured sense of excitement at getting home with #1 of Doctor Who Weekly in October 1979. That sense of nostalgia is something I feel for all the great fanzines and I hope, in our own small way we've been able to add to that with Weetabix cards and vinyl Century Dalek records."


If you would like to contribute to Vworp Vworp!, you can email them directly at: info@vworpvworp.co.uk

We also got in touch with Jamie Beckwith, features writer for The Terrible Zodin fanzine, who shared his thoughts:


"The Terrible Zodin was trying to juggle an old media format but make it accessible for new media so it's released as a downloadable PDF. TTZ has grown in the 9 years we've been running and gives fans the opportunity to write about the series and showcase their artwork.

 

We always aim to have something interesting to say and whilst our initial focus was on female fandom as we felt this was an underrepresented voice, we welcome viewpoints from all. We're pleased to say we've had contributors from all over the world, not just the UK, US & Australia but places like Colombia, Poland and Japan. Fanzines are a great way of being creative about the very show which has inspired that creativity."


If you would like to contribute to The Terrible Zodin, you can email them directly at: theterriblezodinezine@yahoo.co.uk


Other fanzines worth checking out are The Tides Of Time, Fish Fingers And Custard & Celestial Toyroom - the longest-running Doctor Who fanzine in the world! You can also keep your eyes peeled for a brand new fanzine called 'Sacred Flame', produced by the London-based LGBT Doctor Who group, The Sisterhood Of Karn. (Thanks to Richard Unwin for the heads-up on that one).

Having run this site for 21 years now, we have seen an incredible amount of creativity from our visitors and followers, and it's clear that Doctor Who is responsible for creating one of the most dedicated fandoms in history. This is a show where anything is possible; a fan writing an article for a fanzine can become The Doctor! Fan artists can see their creations on actual pieces of merchandise. Fan fiction writers can become show runners or writers for the actual TV show - as we say, ANYTHING is possible!

So if you feel you have something to offer, fanzines are one of the best places to start, and we heartily recommend getting in touch with any of the aforementioned publications. Some of you may be interested in starting your own fanzines (we've put a few resources together in the links down below), but if you're struggling getting off the ground, why not get in touch with a Doctor Who group near you (USA groups here), and collaborate with likeminded fans. Come up with a catchy name, and pull together some content from local contributors, and before long you'll be well on your way!


Get in touch!

Are you thinking of starting up a fanzine? If so, we'd love to hear from you in the comments box, below, or in the DWO Forums! Likewise, if you run or recommend a particular fanzine, please also leave details below or in the Forums!

Fanzine Resources:

Doctor Who Image Archive - A fantastic archive of Doctor Who related images.
The Doctor Who Logo Collection - Throup's excellent transparent Doctor Who logos.

Brochure Prints (UK) - a cost-effective fanzine printing service, based in the UK.
Brochure Prints (USA) - a cost-effective fanzine printing service, based in the USA.


[Source: DWO]

 

25 April 2017

As far as central characters go, few are as iconic as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. Both have had huge impacts on popular culture for decades due to their fantastic characters and stories: but which of our iconic protagonists is better? While Sherlock and the Doctor both use science and logic to prevail, the two have completely different qualities to offer.

You know where our loyalty lies, but let's try to be objective here. To help us decide we’ve created four rounds: impact on popular culture, sidekicks, villains and finally, a category comparing the main men themselves. Here we go:

Impact on Popular Culture

Sherlock Holmes has influenced popular culture and literature for over 100 hundred years, and so it is no surprise that so many people consider Sherlock the epitomic detective. In fact, Sherlock is so influential that he currently holds the Guinness World Record for most portrayed character in history (with a whopping 254 times!), and some even believe he actually existed.

Due to how pervasive Sherlock is, Sir Conan Doyle’s character has inspired numerous other programmes and movies, including House and The Mentalist. He even manages to transition with ease to more modern platforms like video games. These go all the way to 1984 when Melbourne House’s Sherlock was released on the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum. Since then there have been no less than fifteen console and PC-based games, though there are numerous other games available as well. These include apps such as the iOS title Hidden Objects: Detective Sherlock Holmes and iGaming titles such as the new release Sherlock Holmes: The Hunt For Blackwood, which can be found amongst a plethora of slots at William Hill. In fact, if you wanted to give this new release a go, the online casino is currently giving newcomers £40 worth of welcome deposit bonuses.

Possibly due to the fact Doctor Who isn’t quite as old as Sherlock Holmes, or perhaps because he possesses a lot more unique qualities that are difficult to pastiche, Doctor Who’s reach appears far less influential. That isn’t to say Doctor Who hasn’t inspired anything – Star Trek, Star Wars, Bill & Ted and plenty of other sci-fi productions include elements of the Doctor’s stories and characters, but usually in quite smaller, unbranded ways. There are some games as well, but these tend to be for children or young adults rather than for a universal audience. All in all, it just doesn’t seem like our favourite time-travelling doctor has reached Holmes levels of impact yet. But we probably know the reason: Doctor Who is very much in copyright as a character, while Sherlock isn't - at least not exactly.

Winner: Sherlock Holmes

Sidekicks

Fortunately for Doctor Who, as there is no canon source material for writers to rely on new characters and allies can be introduced at any point. This is definitely a positive, as while we love Sherlock’s companion Dr Watson there’s only so much he can offer. In Doctor Who, a new sidekick usually means at least one entirely new plot that is sure to keep viewers interested and invested in the programme. Plus, although some more recent allies have unfortunately succumbed to media tropes, they tend to balance the Doctor out and often become equally as liked as the main man himself.

There’s no denying that Sherlock’s friends are pivotal to his story, but over the years it has become clear that Dr Watson and Mrs Hudson alone cannot compete with Doctor Who’s vast array of quirky, bold and memorable companions. We can't wait to meet Pearl Mackie's new character.

Winner: Doctor Who

Villains

"Doctor Who Exhibition" (CC BY 2.0) by shining.darkness

There seems to be a similar problem when it comes to Sherlock Holmes’ villains. Sure, he has apprehended many a baddie throughout his many years of service, but Sherlock’s main nemesis will always by Moriarty. Now, we love the various portrayals of this dastardly villain as much as the next person, but there is a limit to how many times we can see this foe attempt to take Sherlock down.

Meanwhile, the Doctor Who universe is filled with more villains than you can shake striped scarf at. These baddies have threatened everything from cities to reality and come in all shapes and sizes from Cybermen to Darleks to The Master. Sure, the Master's probably the Doctor's Moriarty - and Missy's simply splendid - but there's so many more to choose from, aliens of all persuasions and criminal masterminds extraordinaire.

Each of these antagonists or groups of villains is equally if not more fleshed out than Moriarty, so again the points go to Doctor Who for sure.

Winner: Doctor Who

Protagonist


"Sherlock" (CC BY 2.0) by kaffeeringe

Considering Sir Conan Doyle only ever wrote four full-length Sherlock Holmes novels and 56 short stories, it is incredible that the tale of the brilliant yet difficult detective lives on today and continues to engage with new generations. In addition to this, many believe Sherlock Holmes has Aspergers Syndrome, making him the only truly iconic cult character on the spectrum.

Doctor Who has staying power as well of course, with numerous new stories, spin offs and villains popping up regularly. The Doctor himself even changes from time to time, and with each new regeneration, our main character gets a new personality, face and style. Still, in each imagining of the Doctor he remains a borderline pacifist, loves humans and always sticks with his morals. Really, Doctor Who is almost godlike. 

Sherlock Holmes is more realistic; he is flawed as well as fascinating and remains basically the same character in every reimagining. 

This has its benefits, but also has shortcomings. Due to the nature of a Timelord, different Doctors will provide new opportunities for the script, new twists and turns and more surprises. Yes, the Doctor is not as consistent as Sherlock, but that's one of his (should we say her from now on?) strong points. So, apologies to Mr. Holmes, but this round will have to go to Doctor Who too. 

Winner: Doctor Who

Now, we realise that it's what you expected from us. But we do respect Sherlock, and it was fun to come up with the comparison, especially considering Stephen Moffat's hand in the current-day popularity of both. Do you think we have been fair though? Let us know which of these characters is better and why in the comments below.

21 April 2017

Having seen what The Doctor and his TARDIS are capable of, Bill is given the choice to go into the future or into the past, as the second episode of Series 10 hits our screens this Saturday.

Having chosen the future, and when asked why by The Doctor, Bill retorts:
“Why do you think? I want to see if it’s happy!”, and she is about to see just how happy the human race are (and the cost if you're not).

This episode feels like a cross between The Happiness Patrol and Silence In The Library. The emoji-bots, as we've all come to know them as, have more than one similarity with the Vashta Nerada, and we genuinely thought they were going to be revealed as being behind the events of the story, but the emoji bots are something new to the Doctor Who universe, and we can't help feeling this was perhaps an opportunity missed. That being said, there's still something rather sinister in their cute exterior, coupled with the emoji's they display on their faces.

If you were a fan of Bill's TARDIS observations in episode 1, get ready for some more classic one-liners as she critiques the point of the chairs being so far away from the console, and whether there are seat belts! It's great seeing how differently Bill sees things, and, rather amusingly, how The Doctor reacts.

One of the main stars of this episode is undoubtedly the setting, and the Doctor Who locations team deserve a pat of the back for what they came up with in Smile. The main white structure, coupled with the surrounding wheat fields in contrast with the blue sky, make for a striking visual, and you really feel like this could be a futuristic city in a far off world.

Ralph Little's role was much smaller than we were expecting - he only appears about 10 minutes before the end of the episode, but he does a great job - as does Kaizer Akhtar as Praiseworthy! Mina Anwar is also a little underused; she's so loveable and watchable, and you can't help wanting more screen time with her.

Murray Gold's music features a little more in this episode, and it really helps set the scene and pace, further. Without giving too much away in the scene, there's a great piece of music that plays after The Doctor tells Bill to stay away from his browser history. It's the first piece of music this season that we've got really excited about and it was worth waiting for. There's something quite Classic Who about it in feel, and has a touch of Mark Ayres about it.

This is the second offering from writer, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, and whilst his first episode (In The Forest Of The Night) divided some fans (not sure why - we actually loved it), this episode should have something everyone likes. There's great Doctor / Companion dialogue, and the main plot point was cleverly constructed, albeit slightly rushed at the end - but this feels more of a production decision than a writing decision.


Smile is a great episode that neatly checks the box for futuristic adventure, and is only let down by the speedy resolution at the end.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) “You don’t steer the TARDIS. You negotiate with it.”

2) Bill refers to Nardole as 'Little Fella'
3) A magic Haddock!
4) There's something in the fertiliser.
5) Patch.

+  10.2: Smile airs This Saturday at 7:20pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

20 April 2017

The BBC has indirectly confirmed our suspicions that the next actor to take over as The Doctor, will once again be male.

The confirmation comes in the form of a reply to an official complaint made by a 'fan', who claimed that switching the gender of the role would confuse his kids.

Complaints officer Joanne Coyne replied:

“We appreciate that you’re a big Doctor Who fan and you have concerns that the programme would change should there be a female doctor. Be assured there are currently no plans to have a female Doctor Who.”

DWO Opinion:

Whilst we most definitely live in a time where there could be a female Doctor Who, the question has to be asked as to whether there should be. It's very easy for any fan voicing their preference for The Doctor to remain male to be labelled as "sexist" or a "misogynist", but not every fan doing so is either. It has been established in the show that Time Lords can change gender, but perhaps The Doctor has remained male for all his incarnations because he wants to remain male and that's just the way it is?

There are some truly fantastic strong female roles in the show - the most recent of which being the awesome Bill, played by Pearl Mackie, and we wonder if there would be such prominent roles for women if the lead was changed to a female actor?

It would be a bold move indeed if the BBC did make the decision to change the gender of The Doctor, and with a new showrunner (Chris Chibnall) taking over next year, it is unlikely that this would be a decision he would make for his first season in the role.

We'd love to hear from you - let us know in the comments below or via the Forum discussion button.

[Source: DWO]

19 April 2017

There are a lot of things that politicians are judged for. From the way they dress to the way the direct the economy of the nation. But no one has ever wanted to rate politicians for the way they perform.

Like artists on a stage. Even though politicians have a more boring dress code but yes like actors on a stage. Or in front of a camera. In reality that is what they are. And we even give them the stages and camera crews to perform for us. Did you know that sports betting has expanded you can also place your bets on no-athletic events such as political party, movies and many more to visit newzealandcasinos.co.nz to review best online casinos.

Because essentially that is what they have to do in order to convince us to vote for them. And the human mind and heart are not easily won over. So it has to be great performance.

However there is a man who managed to quickly win over the hearts of men and women. His performance was perfected over several on screen careers. Spanning from getting in the ring with pro wrestlers to telling interns they are fired on cable TV.

The current President of the United States of America is the biggest performer. Who else deserves such a title other than the most powerful man in the world. The guy knows how to woo a crowd. He has certain magnetism which draws people to him. This may be the secret behind his great empire. And what an empire it is.

Hate him or love he knows his has a way to people’s hearts. By the end of his second term. The charmer will most probably get that far. There will be several online casino games based on him. All great performers have real money online casino games based on them or the characters they play visit www.casinous.com to see which online casinos you can play at.

You may have doubted the man’s abilities as a performer during his time as a TV game host or at wrestling entertainment. But the American election must have convinced you. The whole nation fell in love him. Even though there is very little love. Really there isn’t. Mr. Trump fails to be politically correct even in his own party.

19 April 2017

Real money gaming is proving to be the next billion dollar opportunity. With the relaxation of the online gambling laws across the United States, online casinos can present massive opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs. Online casinos maplecasino.ca are able provide more effectively for the massive market. There is high demand for gambling services. This translates to a very large market which is attractive to entrepreneurs and investors.

In most properly legislated regions online casinos are giving back to the community. These states are earning an estimated 32 billion dollars annually collectively as generated revenue. The governments are using the funds for developmental projects. Funds from online gambling are being channeled towards promoting responsible gambling initiatives.

Juniper’s research shows that online betting using mobile devices will produce income valued at a hundred billion dollars. This revenue is a joint amount for worldwide industry by end of 2017. Remember that mobile casinos are actually on the rise. Most gamblers still prefer to gamble online using their PC.

MGM National Harbor is fast becoming one of Maryland’s biggest revenue growth drivers. Since its opening the casino has already brought USD133,000 to the state. This is by December 2016. Pushing up the impressive year-on-year income to above 40%. This amount excludes the revenue from the newly opened casino. MGM’s casino managed to remain the one biggest driver to the state’s gaming revenue. 

This alone shows that the contribution that casinos, both online and offline, make to a state’s budget is remarkably important. The time has come for the world to embrace online casino gaming. The benefits of the pastime are numerous. These go beyond just getting tax from the casinos. The industry has created a lot of new jobs for people. Jobs that previously did not exist like live online casino dealers. The future cannot be stopped no matter how much we try and delay it.

16 April 2017

The overnight ratings are in for 10.1: The Pilot.

The episode achieved an overnight viewing figure of 4.64m viewers, with a 24.8% audience share, and was the second most-watched show on BBC One for the evening.

The final BARB ratings will be confirmed on Monday 24th April, and will include the time shift which will see a much larger rise in the final rating.

Overnight Viewing Figure:
4.64m / 24.8% audience share.

+  What did you think of the episode? Rate / Discuss in the DWO Forums!

[Source: DWO]

13 April 2017

Going into Series 10 was always going to be a bittersweet situation; there's the excitement of a brand new series, after what feels like an age away from our screens, coupled with the sadness - and reality - that Peter Capaldi will be leaving the show this year. Perhaps, what has made this a particularly bitter pill to swallow, is just how good Capaldi is in this opening episode. He is fully into his groove as The Doctor, and embodies the role with gusto, and you can't help reminding yourself after every little Doctor-y moment, that his days are numbered. Thankfully, we have new companion, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), to help distract us from the harsh reality of Capaldi's departure.

'The Pilot' takes Doctor Who back to its basics, and, much like 2005's 'Rose' was a companion-centric episode, Bill has a real chance to shine as she takes up the majority of the screen time in the episode. And just how good is Pearl Mackie as Bill?! She positively shines with energy, attitude, intelligence and...yes...that AMAZING hair! The lump in our throats from Clara's departure is very much still there, but hands-down, Bill Potts will win you over before the end titles roll. There's a heart-breaking scene set at Christmas that is played down wonderfully, allowing you to connect your own dots, but it really gets you in the feels, and Pearl plays it so, so well.

Matt Lucas' Nardole is definitely warming to us and he is fast becoming a character that you're glad to have in moments when The Doctor seems a little too 'alien' to Bill's emotions. There's a rather lovely little scene towards the end of the episode that stands out in particular. 

The episode itself delivers in so many ways, and whilst it may not quite live up to the Series 10 opener, it sets up a new direction, a new companion and a new threat, fantastically. A typical device used by Steven Moffat is to take an everyday object and turn it into something sinister, and The Pilot is no exception. Without wanting to give too much away, there's a puddle that's...well....not *quite* a puddle, leading to some moments within the episode that will genuinely make you jump out of your seat. Oh...and taking a shower will never seem quite so appealing anymore. There's a neat little scene that almost mirror's Rose's descent into the basement in 'Rose', and whilst Bill is very different to Rose, you can't help feeling the connection here. Expect a very different reaction from Bill when she sees the interior of the TARDIS for the first time (rather frustratingly for The Doctor), but it's played out very well indeed, to comic effect.

Those of you expecting an all-out Dalek-filled romp will be disappointed as their appearance is fleeting, but you do get a rather nice cameo from some Classic Series characters who have a certain association with them. The scene that featured in the BBC One companion reveal of 'Pearl Mackie as Bill' does indeed find its way into the episode, albeit an edited version to suit the pacing.

What we are missing most from the episode is Murray Gold's amazing scores. Don't get us wrong, there is some new material here from Gold, mostly connected to Bill Potts, but the music isn't as anthemic as it used to be. For the record we absolutely adore Murray Gold's music for Doctor Who, and there's no denying we've been a little spoiled over the years with so many audible treasures, but the days when 'All The Strange, Strange Creatures' or 'I Am The Doctor' became set pieces that followed through the season, seem to be fading. There is a rousing snippet of the 12th Doctor's 'A Good Man?' theme, but it feels a little shoe-horned in, and what this episode is crying out for is something new and bold to push it above and beyond.

Overall we loved the episode and you definitely feel like you've been on an adventure by the end of it. Things feel renewed and refreshed, which goes hand-in-hand with this show and The Pilot wonderfully, and rather aptly creates a new stepping-on point for anyone wanting to start their own journey into the Doctor Who series.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) A TARDIS trip to Australia!

2) A jar of Sonic Screwdrivers!
3) A present in the wardrobe.
4) What is The Doctor guarding?
5) "I fatted her!"

+. 10.1: The Pilot airs This Saturday at 7:20pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

5 April 2017

During last night's press screening of the Doctor Who Series 10 opening episode 'The Pilot', Steven Moffat teased an "enormous spoiler" in the trailer that precedes it.

Moffat apparently encouraged the audience to close their eyes at a certain point during the Episode Two trailer;

"This is just a public warning... some people hate spoilers and some people love spoilers; and everybody hates me whatever way they think about it. So this is my last attempt in this role to avoid hatred.

At the end of the episode there will be yet another awesome trailer for Doctor Who. At the very end of the trailer there is, frankly, an enormous spoiler, a spoiler that may actually melt your brains. But I promise you, you'd be better off not knowing because - awesome though it will be here - it will be even more awesome in a few weeks' time. So we're gonna give you the option, in our frankly camp and ridiculous way.

There will come up a warning and then there will be a countdown to the spoiler, and then there will be a warning to 'blink now'. If at that point you close your eyes and wait until you hear the cliffhanger noise, you will have a better experience in a few weeks’ time."

So what could this spoiler be?

Well, as the loyal readers among you will know, DWO is a spoiler-free site, but that can't get in the way of a gentle bit of speculation. Now we could be completely way off with this, but we believe the spoiler *may* be centred around The Doctor's granddaughter, Susan [Foreman]... and here's why:

Let's cast our minds back to yesterday, when the Radio Times released an image featuring 13 clues from Series 10. One of the clues (No.3) was a book that Pearl Mackie was holding - a book that anyone who is familiar with the Penguin Classics will know as 'Northanger Abbey'.

What a lot of people don't know is that Jane Austen (the author of the book) originally titled it 'Susan'. Based on the prominent placement in the image, as well as the brief shot of a photo of Susan in a recent clip from the episode, our money is on Susan being the big spoiler.

We could, as we say, be completely wrong, but it's a very exciting prospect if true! There are other possibilities of what the spoiler could be, including a regeneration, another Doctor or even something connected with the Time Lords...

We'd love to hear what you think the spoiler is. Do you agree with us? Do you have another theory? Let us know in the comments box below or in the DWO Forums, by clicking the 'Discuss' button. 

+  Series 10 of Doctor Who airs from Saturday 15th April 2017.

[Sources: DWORadio Times; Sean Lassiter]

27 March 2017

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Writer: Matthew J. Elliott

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: March 2017

Reviewed by: Steve Bartle for Doctor Who Online


"In the Vortex, the TARDIS comes under a form of psychic attack – resulting in the abductions of first Adric, then Tegan. Following their trail, the Doctor and Nyssa arrive under the lurid skies of the planet Zaltys, whose entire population has vanished in strange circumstances. Soon, they discover that Zaltys is now the target of treasure seekers, come to scavenge this so-called Planet of the Dead…

Meanwhile, deep below the planet’s surface, Adric learns the earth-shattering reason why the people of Zaltys disappeared... and why they were wise to do so. And Tegan is, quite literally, in the dark – enduring interrogation by the mysterious Clarimonde. Any friend of the Doctor’s is Clarimonde’s enemy... because theirs is a blood feud!"

It wasn’t until reading Peter Davison's recently released autobiography that I realised he has now been doing Big Finish for over fifteen years. It puts into perspective the challenges faced by the writers of Big Finish to continually come up with new ideas while also staying true to the time the stories are set within the series original run.

Although Davison's tenure with Big Finish is lengthy it wasn’t until 2014 when the original ‘Crowded Tardis’ team of the Doctor, Adric, Tegan and Nyssa were reunited once more. In 2017 they are now well into their stride and Zaltys writer Matthew J. Elliott has managed to recapture the sense of relationships that instantly transports you right back to that weekday tea time slot from the early eighties.

All the tropes of that particular era are here and affectionately conveyed. The story opens with a protracted Tardis scene with our four protagonists. Big sister Tegan and little brother Adric are bickering away just as they always did. Tegan is still incessantly going on about getting back to Heathrow and actually goads Adric into showing off his so called superior maths skills and putting them into practice when programming a flight course to her desired destination. The chance to impress naturally appeals to Adrics constant desire to prove his worth to The Doctor, but needles s to say  this goes disastrously wrong leading to the TARDIS crew disappearing one by one. And with that we are off into the heart of the story!

This might be one of the most jam-packed stories Big Finish has ever produced, with so many disparate elements. We have fish people, a wolfman with psychic abilities, and grave robbers - to name a few. And all the while our TARDIS team are encountering these colourful characters, there's the threat of a huge space meteorite heading towards Zaltys that will mean the ultimate destruction of everyone.

Of course Elliot’s real challenge is to serve all the main characters well, a feat the TV series failed at with regularity during this period. As well as getting all their characteristics spot on, Elliott manages to give them all a decent narrative strand too. Nyssa is paired with The Doctor as she frequently was in the original run; Adric forms an uneasy alliance with the custodians of Zaltys in a very similar vein to his questionable allegiances in Four To Doomsday and State Of Decay. Additionally Tegan gets plenty of time in a ventilation shaft. What could be more appropriate than that!!

Special mention should go to Rebecca Roots' portrayal of Sable who brings a deadpan style of delivery that makes you really warm to the character and want to see her on more adventures. Phillip Franks and Niamh Cusack are also effective as the questionable villains of the story.

Elliott also writes Davison's Fifth incarnation extremely well too. I always enjoy the breathless energy that he injects into every story but here we also get the acerbic wit that we know his portrayal was capable of but never truly had the opportunity to show consistently on TV. Perhaps only in Time Crash, so many years later, did we see what his potential for humour truly was.

At certain points in the story you wonder how Elliott is going to tie all these storylines together, as it seems all the strands are running parallel and yet so separate, but manage it he does, and with aplomb. It is almost a shame we don’t get to spend more time with all the fascinating characters that he has created for our enjoyment.

However the real gem of this story for me is some of the interaction between the regulars. There are a couple of standout scenes for me; at one point Tegan questions whether Adric was happier when it was just The Doctor and him onboard the TARDIS and when one thinks back to the opening scenes of The Keeper Of Traken and Logopolis it would be hard to argue that wasn’t the case. Additionally a scene towards the end between The Doctor and Adric which, knowing Adrics ultimate fate, is extremely emotive.

Overall a great showcase for one of my favourite TARDIS teams; once again and a very ambitious story that revels in seemingly pulling together various storyline strands into a satisfying conclusion.



+  ORDER
this CD via Amazon.co.uk!

24 March 2017

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: David Llewellyn

RRP: £9.99 (CD) / £7.99 (Download)

Release Date: March 2017

Reviewed by: Dan Peters for Doctor Who Online


"Everyone’s a little worried about St Helen’s Hospital. In many ways it is a miracle of the modern NHS. It has plenty to offer its patients. The problem is that a lot of them keep dying of natural causes in the night. And no-one can find the bodies.

People are beginning to notice. Questions are being asked. And there are rumours – the strange whispering figures seen at the end of the corridors, the electrical buzzing, the screams.

Also, Rhys Williams has come to visit his mother. Brenda’s had her hip done and is looking forward to a bit of rest and regular crumble. Rhys and his mam are in for a night they’ll never forget."

Last year the double dozen Torchwood stories that Big Finish realised were met with great acclaim, with some even stating this is the best form of the spin-off yet.

Torchwood is back and we’re all ready. The new audio series starts this month with ‘Visiting Hours’, when a hospital’s dodgy menu is the least of a visitor’s worries...

It’s often the case that secondary characters get largely overshadowed in television series, even one of the calibre of Torchwood. The structure of these releases, focusing on individuals, allows for personalities and backgrounds to be effectively fleshed out. Although Rhys is more than a spare part throughout the TV episodes, it’s clear that other half Gwen wears the trousers in the relationship.

Here, the attention is pointed at Rhys (played by Kai Owen) and he’s given an opportunity to shine. It would have been easy for writer David Llewellyn to have him acting the clown, blundering his way through proceedings, but after his brushes with previous alien incursions, Rhys has learnt quite a bit. 

Torchwood, like Doctor Who, seems to flourish in circumstances where the extra-terrestrial meets the mundane. For all its spaceships, aliens and megalomaniacs bent on invasion, the ‘brand’ (especially since its reboot) is very strongly grounded. It cleverly  focuses on individuals and their everyday lives. Most of this tale is set within the walls of a Hospital. With Rhys visiting his mam, but it’s not long before things turn eerie.

The brilliant Nerys Hughes returns as (the comparatively less fanged-up) Brenda from ‘Torchwood: Something Borrowed’. She portrays the older mother vibe perfectly. Nerys and Kai have a believable ‘’mam’ and son relationship. Essentially this story is about family, exploring  how far people will go in protecting them.

Ironically, stars of ITV2’s Plebs, Karl Theobald and Ryan Sampson, play foreboding henchmen, pursuing our heroes. Uniquely, they have strong motives for their actions over and above that of their ‘employers’ After the climax of last year’s series, which brought to an end the villainous committee’s escapades, mutterings of a similarly mysterious force suggests a running plot. 

The one element of the story that for me unfortunately let it down, was that the plot’s resolution didn’t do it’s lead up justice. It felt a bit like a sonic screwdriver solution, and would have really benefited from a little more time to establish.

On the whole, this is an excellent release, which rattles along at pace. It expands the background of a much loved character, containing some heart-warming moments, against an eerie impending threat.

The writers seem to be keen to push the boundaries and dynamics further at this point in it’s audio run. Next month’s release: ’The Dollhouse’ centres itself around the institute’s branch of female fighters in LA.



+  ORDER 
this CD via Amazon.co.uk!

22 March 2017

Awesome Writers, James Moran (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Cockney's Vs Zombies) & Cat Davies (Connie, KEEN-wah), have joined forces for a cool new Horror short about a man-eating shed, and they need YOUR help with their Kickstarter project!

About the project:

A dark and twisted laugh out loud comedy about a man’s love for his shed… that eats people. Brought to you by an established, award-winning team, prepare for the night of the living shed… Starring comedy icon Sally Phillips (Smack the Pony, Veep, Miranda, Green Wing, Bridget Jones) and award-winning actor Shaun Dooley (Gunpowder, Broadchurch, The Woman in Black, Misfits, The Awakening).

The project also features contributions from BAFTA-nominated Composer, Ben Foster (Doctor Who, Torchwood), and Illustrator Andy W. Clift - who worked on some of DWO's VortExtra episodes (you really should check out the AMAZING artwork he did for us for 'An Unearthly Child'!)

The project is less than £2,000 short of their £10,000 target, with just a few days to go, so please give whatever you can to help fund this AWESOME film!

Kickstarter Project Link:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jamesmoran/blood-shed-comedy-horror-short-about-a-man-eating

Project Promo Video:

[Source: Kickstarter]

20 March 2017

Ever wanted to have breakfast with The Doctor? Now you can! In fact, now you can have breakfast with 7 Doctors...all at once - and it's all in the name of Comic Relief!

The Wolseley on Piccadilly will be hosting a landmark meal where, for the first time in the show's 54 year history, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi will meet to break bread and talk TARDIS. Here, inside its hallowed hall, the meal of meals will take place. An epic event, a world first, and a legendary opportunity to witness history in the making. To join them on this remarkable morning, bid now, the highest bidders will be invited to take their seats at the table to join the seven Doctors for what is already considered the most historic breakfast in the history of television. Can you imagine the talk?

The meet and greet will take place between September 2017 and May 2018. Comic Relief will give you as much notice as possible once the date is confirmed.

There are two ways to enter; 1) Enter a bid in the online auction, where the current bidding stands at £10,000, or 2) Enter a Prize Draw, where the tickets cost just £5.

Auction:
https://www.givergy.com/listing/red-nose-day/breakfast-with-doctor-whos-2

Prize Draw:
https://www.givergy.com/listing/red-nose-day/breakfast-with-doctor-whos

[Source: Jordan Mitchell]

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