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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24 July 2011

The official Doctor Who BBC Doctor Who Facebook page has announced that a trailer for Series 6: Part 2 will be exclusively available Tonight at 9:30pm, via the page.

To tie in with tonight's trailer, DWO will be giving away 1 x copy of the recently released Paradise Towers Doctor Who DVD, to one lucky follower of the Doctor Who Online Facebook page. Simply click the 'Like' button and you will automatically be entered. If you are already a follower, the good news is that you too are already entered in the competition.

To give each member time to watch the trailer tonight, we will be announcing the winner on the DWO Facebook page at 9:35pm.

+  Click Here to 'Like' the BBC Doctor Who Facebook page.

+  Click Here to 'Like' the Doctor Who Online Facebook page.

[Sources: BBC; DWO]

22 July 2011

Character Options have released details and an image for the TARDIS Console Room Mega Set by Character Building.

TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space and looks just like a wooden Police phone box from the 1950’s on the outside, but is of infinite proportions on the inside. 

This incredible time machine is piloted by The Doctor, a mysterious Time Lord and it’s able to transport him anywhere through time and space, disappearing in one place and reappearing somewhere new.

Amy Pond waited fourteen years for her chance to travel with the Doctor, after meeting him when she was seven years old. Despite her small-town roots, Amy takes everything in her stride and quickly became the Doctor’s best friend.

Now you can build the Eleventh Doctors iconic vehicle with this highly detailed construction playset that features TARDIS interior console room and exterior with alien world landscape.

Set also includes four Doctor who micro-figures! The Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond, Rory Williams and River Song.

+  The Cyberman Conversion Chamber Mini Set is released on 21st August 2011, priced £39.99.

+  Preorder this product from Forbidden Planet!

[Source: Character Options]

<mce:script

21 July 2011

Our friends over at the Bad Wilf Podcast recently attended an acting master class at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where Christopher Eccleston (The 9th Doctor) shed some light on the real reason behind his decision to quit.

“I left Doctor Who because I could not get along with the senior people. I left because of politics. I did not see eye-to-eye with them. I didn’t agree with the way things were being run. I didn’t like the culture that had grown up, around the series. So I left, I felt, over a principle.

“I thought to remain, which would have made me a lot of money and given me huge visibility, the price I would have had to pay was to eat a lot of shit. I’m not being funny about that. I didn’t want to do that and it comes to the art of it, in a way. I feel that if you run your career and– we are vulnerable as actors and we are constantly humiliating ourselves auditioning. But if you allow that to go on, on a grand scale you will lose whatever it is about you and it will be present in your work.

“If you allow your desire to be successful and visible and financially secure – if you allow that to make you throw shades on your parents, on your upbringing, then you’re knackered. You’ve got to keep something back, for yourself, because it’ll be present in your work.  A purity or an idealism is essential or you’ll become– you’ve got to have standards, no matter how hard work that is. So it makes it a hard road, really.

“You know, it’s easy to find a job when you’ve got no morals, you’ve got nothing to be compromised, you can go, ‘Yeah, yeah. That doesn’t matter. That director can bully that prop man and I won’t say anything about it’. But then when that director comes to you and says ‘I think you should play it like this’ you’ve surely got to go ‘How can I respect you, when you behave like that?’

“So, that’s why I left. My face didn’t fit and I’m sure they were glad to see the back of me. The important thing is that I succeeded. It was a great part. I loved playing him. I loved connecting with that audience. Because I’ve always acted for adults and then suddenly you’re acting for children, who are far more tasteful; they will not be bullshitted. It’s either good, or it’s bad. They don’t schmooze at after-show parties, with cocktails.”

[Source: Bad Wilf]

21 July 2011

BBC Books have been in touch with DWO to let us know about an exciting new Classic Series Book title for 2013, titled Harvest of Time.

BBC Books is delighted to announce that Alastair Reynolds, the bestselling author of the Revelation Space series, will be writing a novel for the Doctor Who list, entitled Harvest of Time.

Harvest of Time will feature the Third Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee and will be the first all-new adventure for a Past Doctor that BBC Books has published since the show’s return in 2005. A novel set on both 20th century Earth and far into the future, it will have the Doctor battling his arch-nemesis, The Master, to save the universe – and facing the ultimate moral crisis. 

BBC Books editorial director Albert DePetrillo commented, ‘We’ve been carefully planning our venture into Doctor Who’s past for a while now, first with our reissues of six of the Target novelisations, then our novelisation of Shada in 2012. The next step is all-original adventures with past Doctors, and we knew we needed to publish those in a special way. I’m absolutely delighted that Alastair can be part of that plan. He is simply one of the best science fiction writers around, and we’re thrilled to have him contributing to the Doctor Who list.’

Alastair Reynolds commented, ‘Doctor Who has been a big part of my life for forty years. To put things into perspective, when I was little I did not want to go round to another boy's house because he had Dalek wallpaper, a concept I found unspeakably terrifying. I am delighted and honored to have the chance to write a novel featuring not only one of my favorite Doctors, but the single greatest villain ever imagined:  The Master.’

Alastair Reynolds is an award-winning author of science fiction, including the novels Revelation Space (shortlisted for the British Science Fiction and Arthur C Clarke awards), Chasm City (winner of the British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel), and House of Suns. He received a PhD in Astronomy from St Andrews in Scotland and worked as a scientist for the European Space Agency for twelve years before devoting himself to writing full time. He lives in Wales.

+  Harvest of Time will be published in 2013 as hardback, priced £16.99.

[Source: BBC Books]

<mce:script

21 July 2011

The BBC have confirmed the new Adventure Game will be released this October and is called The Gunpowder Plot.

It's the most ambitious Adventure Game to date and stars Matt Smith as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy and for the first time, Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams. This new, dazzlingly epic story gives you the chance to battle aliens in London, 1605. But as well as extra-terrestrial monsters, you'll meet Guy Fawkes (visualisation above) and really get a feel for what was happening at this incendiary moment in Britain's history. It's your chance to virtually step back in time, chat to famous figures and participate in one of the most notorious plots the world has ever known.

The BBC Doctor Who website are delighted to say that The Gunpowder Plot also sees the return of two old enemies... more about them soon! Right now they can confirm that this, the fifth Adventure Game, was written by Phil Ford (Doctor Who: The Adventure Games, The Sarah Jane Adventures and co-writer of The Waters of Mars) and produced by Gary Russell. The executive producers are Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger, Beth Willis, Anwen Aspden and Charles Cecil.

The Gunpowder Plot will be the most advanced of the Adventure Games so far. Gamers will be able to play as the Doctor, Amy and Rory, exploring the immersive environments of this historic period. The adventure will feature multi-linear gameplay, even more sophisticated puzzles, and a complex lighting system specifically designed to recreate the atmosphere of 17th Century London. And for the very first time, the introduction of portal technology will enable gamers to experience for themselves that the TARDIS really is bigger on the inside...

To accompany the game, BBC Learning will be offering teachers an online resource pack containing unique, downloadable assets to support History and Literacy in the classroom. And in the adventure itself you'll be meeting not just the main figures from the plot, but everyday Londoners who lived through an exciting, dangerous and fascinating era.

The Adventure Games have received over 2.6 million download requests since the launch of the first adventure, City of the Daleks, which SFX called 'the best Who game to date.' The series was a finalist at the Develop Awards and nominated at the Banff World Media Festival for Best Branded Entertainment.

As always, the Adventure Game will be free in the UK and we'll be giving you more information soon. The Gunpowder Plot explodes in approximately three months time. It may not rhyme, but remember, remember... October!

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

21 July 2011

The BBC Doctor Who website has confirmed details via an interview with Steven Moffat, of the show's new Executive Producer, Caroline Skinner, who replaces Piers Wenger:

These are exciting times for fans of Doctor Who. We've recently had the very welcome announcement that 14 new episodes have been commissioned along with confirmation that Matt Smith will be onboard for them. Hurray! Now comes the news that a new executive producer has been appointed. We felt it was the perfect moment to catch up with lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, who revealed all about the new exec...

What can you tell us about Doctor Who's new executive producer?

Steven Moffat: The exec joining me on Doctor Who is Caroline Skinner - fresh from the wonderful Five Days, and still finishing up on a brand new show called The Fades (a fantasy horror series, written by Jack Thorne - I've seen episode 1, and it's BRILLIANT.) Somewhere between me laughing in a basement and choosing planets to invade, and Marcus Wilson raising armies, there has to be a Prime Minister actually running the whole thing. That's the job Piers Wenger and Beth Willis have been doing so wonderfully for the last few years. Now that Piers is off to movie land, that's the furnace Caroline will be walking into.

How did you meet her?

SM: It's a funny thing about this show: the people who work on it, get so attached and so passionate about it, they can't just leave - they have to make sure it's going to be okay after they're gone. Just as when Russell was leaving, he sounded me out about taking over, Piers had strong views on who should be his successor. And as soon as I met Caroline, I knew exactly why. It takes a particular kind of person to work on this show - you have to be prepared to work every day of the week, laugh in the face of holidays, and above all, understand that Doctor Who is completely impossible to make and then make it anyway. I could see all that in Caroline - so off we go!

When will she actually start on the show?

SM: This has been in the works for a very long while, and a smooth succession is vital on this show. Caroline starts work almost immediately on the Christmas Special, alongside Piers Wenger. They've worked together before so this will be the smoothest hand-over we've done - and since Piers is determined to go out with a bang, that means Caroline will arrive with one. Just as it should be!

What are you working on at the moment? Is there anything you can tell us about the Christmas Special?

SM: I think I spent the entire budget on the first page. A baptism of fire for Caroline Skinner. Literally fire. And aliens!

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

21 July 2011

Forbidden Planet have teamed up with Character Options for another Exclusive Doctor Who Toy.

The Leela 'Face of Evil' Action Figure features the charactr from her Classic Series debut in The Face of Evil.

The TARDIS arrives on a planet where a savage tribe called the Sevateem worship a god called Xoanon. The Fourth Doctor discovers that Xoanon is in fact a spaceship computer that he tried to repair at some point in his past and inadvertently drove mad by giving it a multiple personality.

It is tended to by another tribe of humanoids, the ascetic Tesh. These are the descendants of the ship's original technicians, while the Sevateem are the descendants of the original survey team. The Doctor, with the help of a Sevateem girl called Leela, manages to gain access to the ship and wipe the additional personalities from the computer, leaving it sane and in proper control once more. 

Leela, deciding that she no longer wants to stay on her own planet, pushes her way on board the TARDIS. The Doctor has gained another companion.

+  The Leela 'Face of Evil' Action Figure is released on 12th August 2011, priced £16.99.

+  Preorder this product from Forbidden Planet!

[Source: Forbidden Planet]

<mce:script

19 July 2011

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Doctor Who Actor, Derek Crewe.

Derek was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Synge in the 4th Doctor adventure; The Sun Makers.

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

[Source: Neil Marsh]

16 July 2011

Manufacturer: BBC DVD / 2|Entertain

Written By: Robert Holmes

RRP: £20.42

Release Date: 1st August 2011

Reviewed By: Dale Who for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 16th July 2011

The Doctor (Tom Baker) lands the ever unreliable TARDIS on Pluto, a dwarf planet on the outermost reaches of our solar system, where he finds it isn't the cold, barren, lifeless rock he was expecting. Someone's been very busy; Pluto now has a breathable atmosphere, it's warm and very humid, and has six suns. It also has an overly efficient taxation system, oppressed work units who live underground, and public executions. Can the Time Lord, Leela (Louise Jameson), and a small robot dog free the people and bring down the sinister Collector and his Internal Retinue? This single disc release from the BBC and 2|Entertain will let you find out... all praise the Company!

The Sun Makers is an enjoyably daft romp; a satire on taxation and bureaucracy. Two characters steal the show from start to finish; Leela, as played by fan favourite Louise Jameson, and Henry Woolf's delightfully odious and fiscally-obsessed Collector. Leela has all the best heroic lines - including a beautifully withering put-down of the less than brave rebels - and The Collector has all the best villainous lines, backed up with a characterisation that's hard not to warm to. It's all small fry by Whoniverse standards, and isn't an especially memorable story for plot reasons, but it's diverting and fun. The K-9 prop is so noisy it's untrue, the TARDIS door doesn't want to lock, and The Doctor no longer knows what a jelly baby looks like.

Annoyingly, the DVD is let down by a lack of decent extras, with only a few things holding the interest for any length of time; mostly because the rest of the extras are very, very short.

Commentary - This time, the commentary boasts both main cast members sitting in as both Tom Baker and Louise Jameson join Michael Keating and The Sun Makers director Pennant Roberts to talk about the story, the production and life during and after Doctor Who. Tom is always great fun to listen to, and teamed up with Louise again, the commentary provided is both entertaining and informative.

Running From The Tax Man - Louise Jameson is one of those people you instantly adore. She's very gentle and calm, witty and warm. She's also honest - but in a nice way that doesn't tread on people's toes. She's easily the best reason to watch this retrospective of The Sun Makers, and she reveals why this story above any other is her particular favourite. Also in the mini-documentary discussing the story are Michael Keating, (best known as "Vila" from "Blake's 7"), director Pennant Roberts, and an astronomer and a historian have been drafted in as well, partially to explain about Pluto and it's new status as a dwarf planet rather than a planet. It's an odd extra as it seems to repeat the same information several times, especially when it comes to the astronomy parts; but it's entertaining enough for that.

Outtakes - Citizen Cordo's gun fails to go off twice...No, really, that's it. Hardly an interesting or justifiable extra in itself, but would have been better used hidden away as an Easter Egg on the DVD, perhaps.

Trailer - The original BBC1 trailer for The Sun Makers.  Again, nothing else, just the one trailer.

The Doctor's Composer: Part Two - The second and final part of the series on one of Doctor Who's most prolific composers, the fantastic Dudley Simpson. This segment concentrates on his Doctor Who work from the seventies with the man himself talking us through much of his work and utilising many examples of his famous compositions through a wealth of clips. It's a delight to watch, as you try and figure out which music came from what story. A nice piece, with a genuine affection for one of Doctor Who's often unsung but most deserving behind the scenes heroes. This brilliant featurette gives a warm nostalgic glow and it's hard not to be drawn down memory lane for an enjoyably exciting jaunt.

Coming Soon Trailer - This one will blow your socks off. The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and his assistant Jo Grant (Katy Manning) team up with UNIT to help save a peace conference being hosted by Sir Reginald Styles. However, those tinpot terrors The Daleks have other ideas... With new Dalek voices, and a wealth of new special effects and CGI, the Day of the Daleks Special Edition is out in September.

With the usual Photo Gallery of production and publicity stills, the Radio Times Listings in PDF format, and Subtitles available for those who might need them, and the usual information text on hand with trivia and viewing figures, The Sun Makers is a worthy enough story, rather badly supported by the extras available on the disc, and it all feels a bit empty as a result.

+  Compare Prices for this product on CompareTheDalek.com!

+  Want to rent The Sun Makers before you buy? Or even better watch online? head over to our friends at http://www.lovefilm.com and do either, also sign up today and receive a 2 week free trial, what are you waiting for!

16 July 2011

Character Options have released details and an image for the Cyberman Conversion Chamber Mini Set by Character Building.

Cold, emotionless figures, encased in steel suits, their original insanity stripped away and replaced by machinery and computers. No sense of hot or cold, fear or pride, love or hate. The Cybermen just exist to convert everyone to their way.

Highly detailed Cyberman construction playset featuring swivelling cyber-conversion machine arm and moveable conversion bed with restraining arms. Set includes one Space Captain and one Cyberman micro-figure. For ages 5 years and over.

+  The Cyberman Conversion Chamber Mini Set is released on 12th August 2011, priced £19.99.

+  Preorder this product from Forbidden Planet!

[Source: Character Options]

<mce:script

16 July 2011

Character Options have released details and an image for the Dalek Factory Mini Set by Character Building.

The Daleks are building their armies ready to return to Earth to battle the Doctor and reign supreme!

Highly detailed Dalek construction playset featuring swivelling Dalek factory machine arm, moveable conveyor belt, control panels and rejected parts bin! Set includes one Dalek Drone and one Dalek Scientist micro-figure. For ages 6 years and over.

+  The Dalek Factory Mini Set is released on 12th August 2011, priced £29.99.

+  Preorder this product from Forbidden Planet!

[Source: Character Options]

<mce:script

13 July 2011

The BBC have launched a brand new Doctor Who video on demand service via Facebook.

The service, which currently offers 9 stories from both the Classic Series and the New Series, uses the Facebook credits system as currency, and charges 15 Facebook credits (£0.94) per story.

Titles currently available:

An Unearthly Child

The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Time Warrior

City of Death

Earthshock

Attack of the Cybermen

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

The End of the World

Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead

+  Click Here to check out Doctor Who VOD service on Facebook.

+  Like Doctor Who Online on Facebook.

[Source: BBC]

13 July 2011

BBC Worldwide have published their Annual Review for 2011 which highlights Doctor Who as one of the 'most valuable' brands, largely responsible for the corporations commercial success.

The report showed pre-tax profits rose 59pc to £201.2m, or £188m following disposals, on revenues up 7.8pc to £1.16bn.

The Doctor Who franchise saw revenues climb 49pc, following significant growth in the US. It is now sold to more than 50 territories. Doctor Who was also the number-three TV series purchased globally on iTunes in 2010/11.

BBC's Worldwide's top five power brands include Top Gear, Doctor Who, Lonely Planet, Dancing with the Stars and BBC Earth. Headline sales from these brands were £308.1m, a rise of 12.6pc year-on-year.

The corporation also notes in the report how it has embraced the online social avenues. John Smith, the chief executive of BBC Worldwide, said Worldwide will increasingly use Facebook to both market and sell its content and events.

Doctor Who episodes will be available for Facebook users in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and episodes will be available to view for 48 hours.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

12 July 2011

To celebrate the launch of our new Bublaa social network bubble, DWO are offering our visitors a chance to win the Doctor Who Series 6: Volume 1 DVD Box-set simply by following us!

To enter, follow these simple steps:

1) Sign up to Bublaa for FREE here.

2) Join the Doctor Who Online bubble here.

3) Reply to the Doctor Who Online DVD contest thread here.

That's it! The winner will be announced on August 1st 2011.

What is Bublaa?

Bublaa is a new type of social network that allows us all to share and collaborate around any community or topic called bubbles. Bubbles can be created and customised to suit our interests and desires.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

7 July 2011

The BBC Press Office have issued a Press Pack for Torchwood: Miracle Day.

The pack kicks off with a 5-minute introduction interview with John Barrowman:

The highly anticipated series of Torchwood – Miracle Day, starring John Barrowman and Eve Myles, starts on Thursday 14 July on BBC One. The new series created by Russell T Davies welcomes Mekhi Phifer, Bill Pullman and Alexa Havins, plus recurring guest stars Arlene Tur and Lauren Ambrose.

One day, nobody dies. All across the world, nobody dies. And then the next day, and the next, and the next, people keep aging – they get hurt and sick – but they never die. The result: a population boom, overnight.

With all the extra people, resources are finite. It's said that in four months' time, the human race will cease to be viable. But this can't be a natural event – someone's got to be behind it. It's a race against time as CIA. agent Rex Matheson investigates a global conspiracy. The answers lie within an old, secret British institute. As Rex keeps asking "What is Torchwood?" he's drawn into a world of adventure, and a threat to change what it means to be human, forever.

+  Interview with Russell T Davies

+  Interview with Julie Gardner

+  Interview with John Barrowman

+  Interview with Eve Myles

+  Interview with Mekhi Phifer

+  Interview with Bill Pullman

+  Interview with Lauren Ambrose

+  Interview with Alexa Havins

+  Interview with Arlene Tur

[Source: BBC Press Office]

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