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.

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21 September 2011

Production has started on the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas Special in which the Doctor (Matt Smith) finds himself in war-torn England embarking on a magical and mysterious adventure with a young widow and her two children.

A stellar guest cast including Claire Skinner (Outnumbered), Bill Bailey (Black Books), Arabella Weir (The Fast Show) and Alexander Armstrong (Armstrong & Miller), join Matt Smith in the emotional festive special, packed full of Christmas thrills and chills.

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, commented:

"The Doctor at Christmas - nothing is more fun to write. Maybe because it's so his kind of day - everything's bright and shiny, everybody's having a laugh, and nobody minds if you wear a really stupid hat. Of all the Doctors, Matt Smith's is the one that was born for this time of year - so it's the best news possible that he's heading back down the chimney."

The special, set during World War II, sees Madge Arwell and her two children, Lily and Cyril, evacuated to a draughty old house in Dorset, where the caretaker is a mysterious young man in bow tie, and a big blue parcel is waiting for them under the tree. They are about to enter a magical new world and learn that a Time Lord never forgets his debts...

Claire Skinner said: "I am thrilled to be in Doctor Who playing Madge who is a bit of super-mum. It's a magical part."

This marks Matt Smith's second outing as the Doctor at Christmas time and will follow hot on the heels of the successful 2011 series, currently airing on BBC One until October.

The Christmas special was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama and Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One. Steven Moffat is Lead Writer and Executive Producer with Piers Wenger and Caroline Skinner, also executive producing.

Filming on the Christmas special will continue until mid October 2011.

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

20 September 2011

DWO have seen 6.12: Closing Time and have put our spoiler-free preview together:

After the heady heights of last weeks Doctor Who episode (The God Complex), it was inevitable that this weeks story would have a lot to live up to. But with a certain Mr.Gareth Roberts taking up the challenge of writing this penultimate episode of Series Six, Closing Time not only lives up - it breathes!

It's been 200 years since the events of The God Complex, and The Doctor has been off having adventures of his own. Time, though, has caught up with him, and now he pays one last visit to his friend, Craig Owens. Craig has been busy too since he last saw the Doctor - he's a dad!

It's no secret that the Cybermen are back in this episode, and they've brought an old friend with them. As people start going missing, it's up to The Doctor...and Craig to get to the bottom of things.

Closing Time has a wonderful sense of nostalgia about it, harking back to some of the 1960's Cybermen stories. It has that wonderful sense of danger lurking in the background - you know who it is, but you're on the edge of your seat waiting for their arrival and, more importantly, their purpose.

Roberts has most definitely delivered his finest script here. There's so much for fans to love, from the awesome chemistry between The Doctor and Craig, to the laugh out loud one-liners, right through to another particularly memorable scene at the end of the episode.

Director, Steve Hughes does a fantastic job matching the light and dark notes of the script with flair, whilst using lighting and camera angles to full potential and effect. Once more, Murray Gold deserves a look-in owing to his excellent scoring within the adventure, tempering the moods to perfection.

Everything just works in this episode. Ok, it may not be as serious as some of the other stories this season has to offer, but then again, it doesn't pretend to be. This is about The Doctor having a bit of fun before his inevitable demise on the shores of Lake Silencio.

With so many different elements pulling together and working harmoniously, you will be reaching for the rewind button as soon as the episode has finished to relive what proves to be one of the finest new-who episodes to date.

Five things to look out for...

1) "you've redecorated, I don't like it".

2) Stormageddon.

3) "Shhhhh!".

4) Petrichor.

5) Don't turn around!

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

18 September 2011

The overnight viewing figures are in for 6.11: The God Complex.

The episode achieved a figure of 5.2m viewers, with an audience share of 23.8%, and Doctor Who was the third most-watched programme for Saturday:

Top Overnights - Saturday 10th September:

1 - 10.8 - (44.5%) - The X Factor - 20:00 - ITV 1

2 - 5.3 - (24.6%) - All Star Family Fortunes - 19:00 - ITV 1

3 - 5.2 - (23.8%) - Doctor Who - 19:10 - BBC One

Final BARB ratings will be available within the next 10 days.

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

[Source: Andy Parish]

14 September 2011

Ex-Doctor Who star David Tennant is to co-host the Children in Need Rocks Manchester concert on 17th November.

Tennant will be joining Fearne Cotton and Chris Moyles to host the event which will air on BBC One and BBC Radio 1. The show which takes place at Manchester's MEN Arena - will also feature Michael Buble, JLS, N-Dubz and Hugh Laurie.

The concert, which raises money for the popular Children in Need appeal, has been hosted at London's Royal Albert Hall for the past two years, and the move to the north-west of England ties in with the relocation of several BBC departments to Salford.

Tickets go on sale on Friday with details at www.bbc.co.uk/pudsey.

[Source: Press Association]

14 September 2011

Doctor Who, David Tennant and Karen Gillan have all won awards at this years TV Choice awards.

Hosted at London's Savoy Hotel, the 2011 TV Choice Awards saw a number of nominations for Doctor Who and its related actors.

Doctor Who won the Best Family Drama category, beating off Waterloo Road and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

David Tennant won the Best Actor category for his role in Single Father, beating off current Doctor Who star, Matt Smith and previous Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston for his role in The Shadow Line.

Karen Gillan won the Best Actress category for her role in Doctor Who, beating off competition from numerous other actors including Doctor Who stars, Elisabeth Sladen (The Sarah Jane Adventures), Freema Agyeman (Law and Order UK) and Alex Kingston (Marchlands).

Finally, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' Sherlock was also honoured at the event, scooping an award for Best New Drama.

[Source: TV Choice]

12 September 2011

DWO have seen 6.11: The God Complex and have put our spoiler-free preview together:

The God Complex is one of the most grown-up Doctor Who stories to date, quite literally taking the word complex and running with it.

It forms an important part of a season that has forced the viewer to evolve with a new, more intelligent way of story-telling. A way that pays the loyal and casual viewer in dividends...as long as you stick with it, and pay attention.

The adventure kicks off with the TARDIS team arriving in an alien hotel, where everything is not as it seems, where nightmares come true, and where a mysterious creature hunts its prey in the maze-like corridors.

Emotions run high at various points throughout this episode, and by the end you will feel quite drained (in a good way) - one particular scene springs to mind that's totally unexpected, totally genius, and utterly heart-breaking - made even more poignant thanks to a perfectly placed piece of scoring from Murray Gold.

Writer, Toby Whithouse, once again pulls out all the stops and raises the stakes on both his previous Doctor Who outings and the momentum of the series so far. His scripts are incredibly distinctive whilst having the ability to slot in seamlessly with Moffat's tone for the season.

There are some great moments too for Classic Series fans, as well as fans who have watched the New Series of Doctor Who from the beginning. Subtle and not-so-subtle nods to the past make the viewer feel like they are part of this ever-growing show that's constantly changing and evolving.

This is Doctor Who at its very best. Surely it can't get better than this...can it?

Five things to look out for...

1) Cat Nun!

2) The Doctor has a degree in cheese-making!

3) Angry Doctor!

4) Nimon!

5) The Doctor finally gives Amy a key!

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

12 September 2011

On Monday 19th September, David Tennant can be seen in Sky Atlantic's new comedy; This is Jinsy.

Packed with surreal sketches and infectiously catchy songs, each episode follows the adventures of the island's pompous arbiter Maven (Justin Chubb) and his beleaguered assistant Sporall (Chris Bran) as they enforce the wishes of The Great He, and generally find trouble at every turn. 

Featuring a who's who of comic guest stars including Peter Serafinowicz, Simon Callow, David Tennannt, Harry Hill and Catherine Tate, the eight-part series is set to bring bags of off-kilter charm to British screens.

In the first episode, it is wedding lottery time again on Jinsy and residents are making frantic last-minute preparations before being randomly assigned new partners for the next three cycles. Over-seeing the proceedings is local celebrity Mr Slightlyman (David Tennant), an outrageously camp wedding planner with a penchant for plastic surgery.

Fans can catch a glimpse of Tennant camping it up on the hilarious clip below:

+  This is Jinsy begins on Sky Atlantic on Monday 19 September at 10:10pm.

[Source: Sky]

11 September 2011

The final BARB viewing figures are in for 6.9: Night Terrors.

The episode achieved a final figure of 7.07m viewers, with an audience share of 29.8%. This is compared to the overnight's which reached 5.5m viewers, with an audience share of 25.9%, meaning a total time shift of +1.57m viewers.

Figures do not include BBC iPlayer downloads for this episode, which have nearly a million downloads so far.

The episode also achieved an AI score of 86.

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

[Source: Andy Parish]

11 September 2011

The overnight viewing figures are in for 6.10: The Girl Who Waited.

The episode achieved a figure of 6.0m viewers, with an audience share of 26.8%, and Doctor Who was the third most-watched programme for Saturday:

Top Overnights - Saturday 10th September:

1 - 10.6 - (43.6%) - The X Factor - 20:15 - ITV 1

2 - 7.6 - (37.3%) - Strictly Come Dacing - 18:15 - BBC One

3 - 6.0 - (26.8%) - Doctor Who - 19:15 - BBC One

Final BARB ratings will be available within the next 10 days.

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

[Source: Andy Parish]

11 September 2011

I know, I know...we only just got done with Series 4 of Torchwood, right? Well, if a certain 10-second teaser at the end of the Australian airing of Torchwood: Miracle Day is anything to be believed by, fans can expect to see more Jack as soon as January 2012.

The 10-second promo (which you can view at the end of this news item), which features the familiar Torchwood 'T' in the background, flashed up with the tagline 'Jack will be back - January 2012'.

Now, let's refresh ourselves with a certain interview with Russell T. Davies from a 26th June 2011 edition of The Guaradian, where he had the following to say regarding more Torchwood:

"It's hugely exciting and I've got to do this again. I've got one more story that I can tell – just one more that has Gwen right at the centre of it – that would be fantastic. So I'm my own worst enemy."

Maybe there will be new Torchwood in January, but with just 4 months to go, surely they're cutting things a little close? Either way, looking at the ratings worldwide for Miracle Day, an official announcement cannot be far off...can it?

UPDATE - 9:50am - Sunday 11th September: It now looks like the teaser is simply to promote a planned series of repeats. More news as we get it.

UPDATE - 1:00pm - Tuesday 13th September: BBC Australia have now added the teaser to their Torchwood dedicated site, citing that 'Jack will be back - keep checking back for updates'.

[Sources: BBC Australia; The Guardian]

9 September 2011

Several sources have now confirmed The Complete Sixth Series box-set, due for release on DVD and Blu-ray this November.

The set will contain 6 discs in total and has a running time of 645 minutes. As well as including all thirteen episodes from Series Six, the previously available Christmas special; A Christmas Carol will also be included, as well as the following Special Features:

- Meanwhile in the Tardis feature – Five newly filmed scenes for episodes 1, 3, 7, 8 & 13, telling what happens between the episodes. (Two of which, 'Bad Night' & 'Good Night' are directed by Richard Senior, as confirmed on his agencies website). Also included are the 'Space' & 'Time' mini episodes which formed part of Comic Relief 2011.

- Doctor Who Confidential featurettes: An inside look at each episode.

- Monster Files featurettes - Get under the skin and inside the minds of the new Doctor's most challenging opponents.

- Audio commentaries.

- Trailers and Trails feature.

+  Compare Prices for this product on CompareTheDalek.com.

[Sources: BBFC; Curtis Brown; Blu-ray.com]

9 September 2011

DWO have seen 6.10: The Girl Who Waited and have put our spoiler-free preview together:

Tom MacRae takes time travel to a whole new level in this weeks episode of Doctor Who, 6.10: The Girl Who Waited.

The TARDIS team arrive in a futuristic alien healthcare clinic, called the Twostreams Facility. Within minutes Amy gets separated from The Doctor and Rory, and so begins a thoroughly entertaining 40 minutes of trying to find and rescue her.

Unlike some of the other stories from this season, this isn't a laugh-a-miniute adventure, as we discover the consequences of choices (a theme that has been concurrent throughout Series Six), in a new, beautifully written way. That's not to say there isn't humour, however, as MacRae uses it sparingly but with bullseye accuracy.

Although The Doctor and Rory do feature in the adventure, it does feel quite Amy-heavy - and quite right too. Karen Gillan really gets something to sink her teeth into here with the opportunity of playing a totally different facet to her character. For the most part she delivers, but there are moments when the delivery isn't as genuine as it could be.

The Handbots featured in this episode, are perhaps the nicest killer robots in Doctor Who history ever, as they quite simply kill you with kindness. The threat of someone or something hunting you down, is a winning concept, and one that is put to great use in The Girl Who Waited. It sits there in the background, and you can't help feeling the inevitability of a showdown at the end. 

This is truly a great story, with an ingenious take on a concept that has already been worked with on so many levels in Doctor Who. There are some fantastic sets and visuals with the garden scenes particularly worthy of note, all of which help compliment the script. It makes you wonder why Tom MacRae's absence since Series 2 has been allowed to happen, as he clearly deserves a place in every season going forward.

Five things to look out for...

1) Forgetting your camera phone can have disastrous consequences.

2) Green Anchor or Red Waterfall?

3) Don't touch the hand!

4) Possibly the world's largest handheld magnifying glass.

5) Samurai Amy.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

6 September 2011

The TARDIS is set to land on Caerphilly Castle, just before the BBC Proms in the Park takes place in the town.

This is the first outdoor concert ever staged in Caerphilly. The event is expected to attract thousands of people, some avid BBC Proms in the Park followers and many who have never experienced being part of BBC Proms before.

The TARDIS is on show from 6th-12th September and visitors can see the TARIDS up close within the castle walls.

On Saturday 10th September Caerphilly town is turned into ‘Fringefest’ in celebration of BBC proms in the Park and Caerphilly Castle throws is free all day between 9:30am and 5pm.

Inside the Castle between 10:30am4pm there is entertainment such as Twerlin the Wizard, Fiery Jack with Escapology, Dragon Stories and a Dragon Parade.

Take a stroll into Caerphilly town and enjoy ‘Fringefest’ with an eclectic mix of music, comedy, entertainment and art.

To purchase proms tickets go to www.blackwoodminersinstitute.com or call The Visit Caerphilly Centre on 029 2088 0011 or go into the centre seven days a week between 10am5:30pm.

Tickets are just £10 per adult, children 12 and under are Free with an accompanying adult and £12 on the night.

[Source: Campaign]

6 September 2011

Cosmic Hobo Productions have sent DWO the cover and details for their forthcoming Scarifyers adventure; The Magic Circle, which features Classic Series 'Davros' actor Terry Molloy.

The Scarifyers: The Magic Circle

Professor Dunning (Terry Molloy) is finding the business of single-handedly saving Great Britain from the forces of darkness rather taxing.

And Lionheart? Lionheart is missing.

When the only clue to his disappearance seems to lie in a twenty-year-old murder investigation, Dunning turns to the one man who might have the answers: Lionheart’s erstwhile colleague Harry ‘Thumper’ Crow (David Warner).

Harry doesn’t hold with supernaturalism, but over the next few days he’s going to see some very strange things indeed: a string of murdered magicians, a dead music-hall star come back to life, and a pensioner from the depths of hell.

Can Crow and Dunning find Lionheart? A terrible truth awaits, as they unearth the long-buried secrets of The Magic Circle.

This is the sixth adventure of The Scarifyers.

About The Scarifyers:

The Scarifyers began life in 2006 with The Nazad Conspiracy, uniting 1930s ghost story writer Professor Dunning (Terry Molloy) with Detective Inspector Lionheart (Nicholas Courtney), as they battled the vengeful spirit of Rasputin. In The Devil of Denge Marsh, Lionheart left the force to set up top-secret government department MI-13, and rescue Dunning from an evil cult and a giant squid. For King and Country saw our heroes save King George VI from an irate resurrected Oliver Cromwell; in The Curse of the Black Comet they travelled to Egypt in the company of Brian Blessed, and in The Secret Weapon of Doom they searched for the titular secret weapon, aided by Nigel Havers and Leslie Phillips.

BBC 7 (now Radio 4 Extra) picked up The Scarifyers in 2007, and has continued to broadcast the series ever since. The Radio Times called them ‘rollicking good fun.’

In 2011, Nicholas Courtney – Inspector Lionheart in The Scarifyers - passed away. The Magic Circle introduces a new lead character, played by David Warner, and serves as a farewell to both Lionheart and to the actor who played him. 

Available from www.cosmichobo.com or all good bookshops. For further information, e-mail simon@cosmichobo.com.

+  The Scarifyers: The Magic Circle is released on 1st November 2011, priced £11.99.

[Source: Cosmic Hobo Productions]

6 September 2011

Fandom features website Hypable have been in touch regarding their latest interview with Doctor Who Director, Peter Hoar.

Nicholas Myers (NM) -  Now that Doctor Who has been renewed for another series, would you like to return as to direct another episode? Have you been asked already?

Peter Hoar (PH) – I haven’t been asked as yet but wouldn’t turn down a great offer!

NM – How much did you know about River in order to gauge a feel for how best to deliver the ending? Did Steven inform you of anything prior to filming that we don’t know?

PH – Steven tells us only what’s in the script. I had no idea for example of the recent developments in ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’. And that’s the truth!

NM – This episode featured quite a cliff-hanger. What is your all-time favourite Doctor Who cliff-hanger?

PH – Sarah Jane being left behind at the end of Hand of Fear or Tegan being left behind at the end of Time Flight.. Maybe there’s a pattern here…

+  Read the full interview with Peter Hoar at Hypable!

[Source: Hypable]

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