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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21 April 2011

ShortList.com have added a brand new interview with New Series Producer, Marcus Wilson to their website:

THE NEW VILLAINS ARE AMAZING

“The Silence [which we’ve heard about since last series] have a special power to make people forget them. They’re scary. And Lily Cole plays a Siren, a type of demon who lures soldiers to their death. Then, in episodes five and six, we’ve got something called The Flesh. It’s a technology that lets humans create duplicates of themselves — but this being Doctor Who, things don’t run smoothly.”

WE GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO KEEP THINGS A SURPRISE

“For the final scene of the last episode before the mid-series break, we only gave the actors their final lines. Everyone else had a script that just said ‘interior of a spaceship hanger’ and that was it. We get papped every day and there are Facebook groups dedicated to where they think we’re going to be filming next. They’re right a freakish amount of the time, so on location we have to black out car windows so that they can’t see the guest stars and monsters. It’s unfair to spoil it for the fans.”

JAMES CORDEN WANTS TO BE A REGULAR

“What’s lovely about Doctor Who is that people want to guest star in it. We set out the story commissions for this series and we knew that we wanted to do a sequel to [episode] ‘The Lodger’. James said, ‘Tell me when, I’ll be there.’ We thought that his episode would be a one-off, but it did so well that everyone was keen to do another. Now he’s pitching to us for a trilogy.”

MATT SMITH’S ROLE AS THE DOCTOR SET TO GO ON AND ON…

“Matt Smith makes the show a great environment to work in. He turns up with a lot of energy, welcomes the guest cast and is ready to work. Matt and Karen [Gillan, Amy Pond] have a sweet brother/sister relationship. You cut the camera and immediately they’re dancing to some tune that they’re singing. They both love it. Matt especially is very keen to continue in the role.”

[Source: Short List]

20 April 2011

The BBC have confirmed that 'something suitable is being planned' for Saturday Night to mark the recent passing of Doctor Who Actress, Elisabeth Sladen.

DWO contacted the Doctor Who PR department who confirmed this, and although no further information can be given currently, it is understood that it will take the likely form of a textual tribute on screen at either the beginning or the end of 6.1: The Impossible Astronaut.

The BBC have also confirmed that the CBBC channel will air an Elisabeth Sladen tribute titled 'My Sarah Jane: A tribute to Elisabeth Sladen', and had the following text to accompany the announcement:

Elisabeth Sladen created one of Doctor Who's best loved and most enduring characters, Sarah Jane Smith. For over 35 years she brought the feisty, compassionate journalist to life, creating a figure that was adored by audiences of all ages - truly a heroine whose appeal had no boundaries.

This 15 minute programme is both a tribute and a celebration of Elisabeth Sladen. It brings together stories from friends and colleagues and draws on a rich archive of material to remind us of Sarah Jane's journey, from companion to the Third Doctor to the central character in CBBC's award-winning The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Produced by Gillane Seaborne and Brian Minchin, My Sarah Jane: A Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen is on CBBC on Saturday, at 6.45pm, straight after the end of The Impossible Astronaut.

+  Click Here to read Elisabeth Sladen tributes from DWO visitors and Doctor Who related Celebrities.

+  6.1: The Impossible Astronaut airs on BBC One this Saturday at 6pm.

[Source: BBC]

20 April 2011

When you hear the words 'Doctor Who Companion' for the majority of us it is Elisabeth Sladen's face you see. Her portrayal as Sarah Jane Smith has forever cemented itself in Doctor Who fandom as a textbook female Doctor Who companion.

Her chemistry with Tom Baker was unmatched, and her reactions to the many evils she faced were amazing - in particular, her delivery of the line "Doc-tor" as she trembled her lips in that unforgettable Sarah Jane style.

Who could forget her triumphant return in 2006 alongside David Tennant in the Series Two story; School Reunion. Of course her character, and indeed Lis herself had aged a little since we last saw her on our screens, but everything was there from her mannerisms to her delivery of dialogue.

I think we all owe a particular thanks to Russell T. Davies for not only bringing her back into Doctor Who (twice) but for giving Sarah Jane her very own series, so that a whole new generation of fans could fall in love with her character.

When the terribly sad news came in last night of her untimely passing, we asked you to get in touch with some of your thoughts, memories and messages about Lis and her portrayal as Sarah Jane Smith.

Here are just a few together with some Doctor Who celebrity Tweets and messages:

Kris Schultz via DWO Facebook

"My prayers are with Elizabeth's family, friends and fellow fans. I love her portrayal of Sarah Jane Smith and will miss her very much."

Rob Carpenter via DWO Facebook

"A tear Sarah Jane ? I believe there will be many tonight :(("

Christopher Joseph Kerr via DWO Facebook

"First Sir Nicholas Courtney and now Lis. Im genuinely both shocked and shaking. Tears? Yes but tears are good. Will she be forgotten? No!"

Richard Teta via DWO Facebook

"When Doctor Who started to be broadcast here in South Florida, Sarah Jane was the companion. Seeing her reprise the role in the new series and The Sarah Jane Adventures was like re-visiting part of my childhood. Thank you so much, Elisaabeth. God Bless. A tear, Sarah Jane?"

doctorwho2013 via DWO Twitter

"We send our love to Elisabeth Sladens family she will be surely missed from all doctor who fans in the north east UK.XX"

bergie72 via DWO Twitter

"So sad about Liz Sladen. First Dr Who ep was Robot. Its been hard to top Dr #4 and Sarah Jane as fave doc/companion pair since."

jennnlovesyou via DWO Twitter

"She taught me the most important lesson I've ever learnt: some things are worth getting your heart broken for."

jimmyboulton via DWO Twitter

"Elisabeth Sladen was the best of them all. A true great in the world of Doctor Who, completely irreplaceable."

Patrick Sanders via DWO Email

"I had just finished watching Lis Sladen crying her way through the end of "Planet of the Spiders" when I heard she had sadly died. I put it on Facebook and it was amazing the response - shock, sadness and am outpouring of love from fans who remembered her in the 70s, new fans of new-Who, and parents who watch SJA with their children. I think Lis Sladen's great feat was that she made Sarah Jane Smith feel like a personal friend - when the Doctor calls her "my best friend" you believed she could be yours too. A lot of children of all ages will miss her very much."

Dale Who via DWO Email

"I was fortunate enough enough to meet Lis twice at conventions; and she was very friendly and we chatted at some length about how much she loved that Sarah was still held in high regard long after her leaving the TARDIS (the first time round!).  I'm of the generation who grew up watching Lis in Doctor Who; and it was always a pleasure to see her back in the role for cameo appearances such as The Five Doctors, K-9 and Company and later on, School Reunion.  When The Sarah Jane Adventures started on CBBC I fell in love with the character all over again; Sarah had lost none of her magic and even looked just as glorious as she had in 1976.  I'm deeply saddened by Lis' passing and hope that her family, friends and fans, both young and old, can find some comfort in knowing that in the world of Doctor Who at least, Sarah Jane will live on for ever."

Mark Scott via DWO Email

"A real shock to hear the news.She will be much missed by Who fans. Sympathies to her family and friends."

Celebrity Tributes to Elisabeth Sladen:

Colin Baker via Twitter

"Very sad to hear of the death of Lis Sladen. Great sympathy for her husband and daughter. She was far too young to be lost to them."

Nicola Bryant via Twitter

"I'm so sorry to have to say I've just had a call to say Liz Sladen has died. It's too much to take in, but it's true. How tragically young."

Murray Gold via Twitter

"Elisabeth Sladen enchanted three generations, never seeming to age, tire or cloud. RIP"

Mark Gatiss via Twitter

"'A tear, Sarah Jane?' Farewell to the wonderful, irreplaceable Lis Sladen. The best.x"

Gareth Roberts via Twitter

"Can't really find the words. Goodbye, our wonderful wonderful Lis."

Stephen Fry via Twitter

"What terribly sad news about Elisabeth Sladen - her Sarah Jane was part of my childhood. Deepest sympathy to her family."

Elsewhere on the internet:

2|Entertain - clips featuring Elisabeth Sladen on the Classic Doctor Who YouTube Channel.

BBC News - a touching tribute to Elisabeth Sladen that includes a contribution from Russell T. Davies.

Sky News - a tribute to Elisabeth Sladen on their website.

The Sun - news item citing Elisabeth Sladen as the 'Greatest Dr Who Girl Ever'.

[Sources: DWO; TwitterYoutube; BBC News; The Sun; Sky News]

19 April 2011

Unconfirmed reports are coming in that much-loved Classic Series Doctor Who Actress, Elisabeth Sladen has died.

It would be an understatement to say that Doctor Who fandom is in shock with this news, especially after the recent shock of Nicholas Courtney's passing.

It is understood that Elisabeth had been ill for some time, and that filming on Series 5 of The Sarah Jane Adventures had to be postponed as a resul

We are still waiting to hear official confirmation from the BBC, but Doctor Who Magazine, Gallifrey One, Nicola Bryant and Matthew Sweet (to name just a few) have all confirmed the news on their Twitter feeds.

We would like to extend our sympathies to Elisabeth's friends and family, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

On a personal note, Elisabeth's portrayal as Sarah Jane Smith solidified her place as one of our favourite Doctor Who companions of all time. Members of our team have met Liz on several occasions, and she held a very special place in her heart for fans of Doctor Who and Sarah Jane Smith.

DWO would like to hear from our visitors with their thoughts, memories and messages about Elisabeth, some of which we will add to this news item. You can get in touch with us via Email, Twitter, or on the DWO Facebook page.

[Source: Adam Reynolds]

19 April 2011

The Doctor Who Experience have recruited the Daleks in their latest promotional push for the fantastic Doctor Who exhibition.

In the first promotional image, a Dalek is seen crossing the road with a Dalek 'warning' sign in view. The second image alerts Max Hardy and his mother, Sophie, that they are walking past a Weeping Angel CCTV camera.

The Doctor Who Experience allows visitors to join the Doctor on a journey through time and space, encountering some of the best-loved and scariest monsters from the hit international television series. Special scenes filmed with current Doctor Matt Smith combine with amazing special effects and the chance to enter a recreation of the modern TARDIS interior topped off by a breathtaking 3-D finale. The walk through experience is a fully contained interactive Doctor Who adventure, which puts the public at the heart of the action. 

The exhibition element of the Doctor Who Experience charts the success of the show from the first series in 1963 to the most recent episodes starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.  Displays will include items never seen before including original costumes, the Tom Baker TARDIS police box and two authentic TARDIS sets from the eras of David Tennant and Peter Davison.  The public will also be able to get up close and personal with iconic sets from recent series, including the Pandorica Box and Chair and confront numerous monsters including several generations of the Daleks and Cybermen as well as Silurians an Ice Warrior and a Zygon.

Steven Moffat, Executive Producer and show runner for the hit television series comments:

"The Doctor Who Experience is a fan’s dream come true - a fully interactive adventure that will allow viewers of the show to get as close as possible to some of the scariest monsters from the series. It will also be the first time that Doctor Who artefacts from all the show's 47 year history - classic and new - will be on display together, many of them being seen for the first time. And never mind that, this is the day the Doctor teaches you how to fly the TARDIS through time and space, and takes you into battle with all his deadliest enemies in a brand new adventure.  So steady your nerves and bring your own sofa - the Doctor needs you!" 

Doctor Who star, Matt Smith, who has recorded a series of special, new scenes exclusive to the Doctor Who Experience comments:

“The whole concept of the Doctor Who Experience, which will give fans a chance to star in their very own Doctor Who adventure, is massively exciting! I hope as many people as possible enjoy boarding the TARDIS next year to embark upon an exhilarating and sometimes terrifying adventure through time and space.”

BBC Worldwide is pleased to announce that it is planning to relocate the Doctor Who Experience to a long term home in Cardiff in 2012.

[Source: Taylor Herring]

18 April 2011

Manufacturer: BBC DVD / 2|Entertain

Written By: Christopher H. Bidmead

RRP: £20.42

Release Date: 30th May 2011

Reviewed By: Dale Who for D octor Who Online

Review Posted: 18th April 2011

Let's get something straight and out in the open right from the outset...  There is a type of creature that is made scarier by making it larger.  In Doctor Who's long history, they would be giant maggots and giant spiders.  They work with an already present fear or revulsion of the creatures to produce a memorably scary Doctor Who monster.  In the not scary bracket are giant ants and butterflies (the Zarbi and Menoptera from 1965's "The Web Planet")... and woodlice.  Woodlice are not scary.  Not even remotely.

Frontios is a polarised story.  Some parts of it work brilliantly, and some parts of it really don't; and this new BBC / 2|Entertain DVD showcases both these aspects and examines them in the special features on the single disc release.

Starting with the story itself, Frontios is a fairly low budget studio bound Doctor Who, coming towards the end of Peter Davison's tenure as The Doctor.  The regular cast continue to shine, with Davison and Janet Fielding especially stealing every scene they're in; and there are some brilliant guest stars in Jeff Rawle as Plantagenet and Lesley Dunlop in the role of Norna.  There are some great lines and jokes along the way, and the Doctor is in one of those "grouchy professor" moods that suited his young persona so very well.  

Sadly for Frontios, that's about where the good ends.  The sets - although you can see an awful lot of effort and thought went into them - don't work in convincing that the studio is the surface of an alien planet, some of the performances really aren't great, and then there's the Tractators.  Giant flapping woodlice that fail in just about every way possible to be even remotely thrilling.

This story will be remembered for two main reasons; firstly this is the one where the previously indestructible TARDIS was destroyed (albeit briefly!), and secondly for the unpleasant infestation of some particularly large  and rubbish woodlice that hung around for two (and a bit) episodes.  Its failures certainly aren't for the lack of trying: the direction, the handling and the production all work well with what they've got.  However it looks cheap and rushed and all a little too hurried to carry off what still wouldn't have been a great story with a budget ten times larger.

It is also worth noting that several of the concepts shown in this story (the colonists being pulled down through the ground, and witnesses referring to this as the Earth being hungry) were re-used and utilised to much better effect in the 2010 series of Doctor Who, in the Silurian episode "The Hungry Earth"... now where did they get that title from?

Special Features:

Driven To Distractation - There are many reasons to love this half hour featurette; it has a lot of frank honesty, a lot of humour, and gives a robust defence of the story itself.  It almost succeeds in making you like the story more.  Almost.  What it definitely succeeds at is showing the rush-job that the Doctor Who cast and crew faced to get the story in the can, in the face of several tragedies and setbacks; and it shows the thought processes behind the writing of the serial.  It's nicely put together, uses relevant footage from the time and is decidedly non-judgemental and supportive in what comes across in quite a sweet way.  The writers and stars do admit where there were mistakes made, and it's very brave of them to do so, even if Christopher H. Bidmead neatly places the blame on everyone but himself.

Extra / Deleted Scenes - Minor trims and one or two scenes that play rather well but didn't make it into the final cut of the programme.  There's a brilliant bit about the Doctor's spectacles, and Tegan being an android that really should have been aired; they're funny, clever, and give Tegan and the Doctor some great lines.

Commentary - Peter Davison, Jeff Rawle, Dick Mills and Eric Saward sit around a red table and give opinions, anecdotes, memories and an overall view of how the show holds up for them twenty seven years on.  It's all quite pleasant and jovial and Rawle and Mills especially give some new angles on how the guest stars, and the "special sound" on Doctor Who were used.

Info Text - The usual trivia packed information is available on this disc as well, although most of it seems obsessed in pointing out where anything over two seconds of cuts were made to trim episodes down from over running.  It also points out a couple of continuity errors and the careers and times of the guests stars that appeared in Frontios.

Coming Soon Trailer - The next absurdly themed boxed set: Earthstory, in which William Hartnell's Doctor lands in Tombstone in search of a dentist and gets rather caught up with "The Gunfighters", and Peter Davison's Doctor lands in Little Hodcombe and discovers a centuries old evil lurking in the local church in "The Awakening".

With the usual fripperies as well, such as the Radio Times PDF files, and the Photo Gallery from Frontios, these features help buoy a story that's not as strong as it might have been; however it's certainly not for the lack of trying.

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16 April 2011

2|Entertain's @classicdw Twitter feed is running an exciting opportunity for fans to feature on upcoming DVD commentaries!

Simply record your question along with your name and where you're from (city / town only - no addresses!), and upload it to this group: http://me.lt/1o0L6 

Th 2|Entertain team will pick their favourites and feature them in upcoming commentary recordings. The ACTUAL RECORDINGS! Hear your voice on a DVD!

Entrants must by over 18. Please ensure you speak slowly and clearly. 

The stories 2|Entertain are asking for your questions on are The Happiness Patrol, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy and Dragonfire. Get thinking! Submissions close 22nd April 2011. Good luck!

[Source: 2|Entertain]

16 April 2011

Manufacturer: BBC DVD / 2|Entertain

Written By: Robert Holmes

RRP: £30.63

Release Date: 9th May 2011

Reviewed By: Dale Who for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 16th April 2011

The Classic Series Auton stories get a paired release in this two disc set from the BBC / 2|Entertain.

Spearhead from Space: Special Edition

Starting off the Third Doctor's era is Spearhead From Space; and with the show now in colour and set on Earth in contemporary Britain, the whole feel of the programme changes radically.

As with previous older releases, it looks like the recording has been cleaned up considerably, and the print is fresh, sharp, and looking and sounding first class.  Spearhead from Space also benefits from being on location and film, as opposed to the studio based scenes and with the usual videotape recordings.  The story looks more expensive and runs more smoothly as a result.

A swarm of meteorites land on Earth drawing attention from UNIT and a new and deadly alien menace emerges; and at the same time an old blue Police Box lands in the middle of Oxley Woods, and a strange man with an odd metabolism emerges and passes out...

Featuring an amazing debut from the unstoppably charismatic Jon Pertwee, a perfectly pitched and suitably sceptical Liz Shaw arriving on the scene with Hugh Burden being amazingly creepy as the not-quite-what-he-seems Channing.  Also missing shoes, overly sticky blood platelets, and a Hoover 913 Commercial...

The Spearhead from Space Special Features focus, understandably, on the changes that Doctor Who as a programme was going through.

Special Features:

Down To Earth - A clever look at the problems facing the show at the end of the Troughton era, how it narrowly avoided being cancelled, and how a new team in front of and behind the camera and the advent of colour television turned the show's fortunes around.  It's easy to see the level on love and passion for Doctor Who here, especially from Terrance Dicks and the late - and much missed - Barry Letts.  A smart set up to keep the narrative flowing, Down To Earth works very well indeed.

Regenerations - A closer look at the introduction of colour and how it affected Doctor Who.  From colour test transmissions to getting round the tricky problem that colour cameras didn't replicate the show's "howlaround" title sequence effects, this enlightening little documentary demonstrates all the changes behind the scenes that the entertained Who viewer never knew anything about.  

UNIT Recruitment Film - Serving as a timely, if unintended tribute to the recently deceased Nicholas Courtney, this spoof film about the life of a soldier in UNIT now mixes the humour with a twinge of sadness.  Narrated by Adam Woodyatt (EastEnders' Ian Beale) and the aforementioned Brigadier himself, it's a short, warm tribute to the Earth-bound Pertwee years with the UNIT family.

Trailers - The BBC Two trails for the mid 1990s repeats for Spearhead From Space, and one for BBC Two's Doctor Who Night; the latter featuring a traumatised child on the sofa and evil possessed goldfish.  Fun fluff, if nothing else, good for raising a smile.

Commentaries - With this release there are two commentaries available, one with Caroline John (Liz Shaw, who debuts in this story) and Nicholas Courtney, and one with story producer Derrick Sherwin and script editor Terrance Dicks

Trailer - The TARDIS, with the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough on board, is heading for a rather bumpy arrival on the planet Frontios.

Terror of the Autons:

It's the return of the Plastic People!  In a story with another few firsts, smart and sassy Liz Shaw has been replaced by small and screaming Jo Grant (Katy Manning), as Terror of the Autons heralds the debut of one of Doctor Who's major player villains; the only person who's managed to cause the Doctor to regenerate not once but twice... fellow Time Lord and all round bad egg; The Master.  Here played by the absolutely glorious Roger Delgado, this incarnation was impeccably mannered, unstoppably suave... and as black hearted as they come.  UNIT has also expanded with Mike Yates (Richard Franklin) on the crew, and there's some memorably monstrous moments from the Nestenes causing pandemonium once more.

Doctor Who stalwart (and later to be Davros), Michael Wisher puts in a great performance alongside the major cast members, but the scenes are stolen by the ingenious ways in which the writers came up with to kill people... notably scarily faceless Policemen and murderous clammy black plastic sofas…

In a step beyond its coloured VHS release, the BBC / 2|Entertain release has been fully restored so the colour looks a lot more natural this time around.  Again the restoration looks pin sharp, with top quality sound and visuals.  The story justifies the amount of love and attention given to the release, and it's all top quality entertainment paired with its earlier Auton outing.

Special Features:

Life On Earth - Another, wider look at Doctor Who being set on Earth and its implications.  This time around there's talk around the newer, post-2005 Doctor Who as well as the influences and origins of the Russell T. Davies era Autons.  It's a very interesting and entertaining documentary, with a really clever visual style, some really honest interviews, and again, it all goes to show the level of commitment shown to Doctor Who past and present.

The Doctor's Moriarty - A look at The Master, who turns up to meddle in the Doctor's affairs for the very first time in this story.  Quite naturally this little retrospective focusses mostly on Roger Delgado's era of The Master, but mention is made of the Master's later incarnations as well, right up to John Simm's recent outings as the character.  A decent featurette looking at the origins of the character, uses and overuses, and what made Roger Delgado so good as the Doctor's Nemesis.

Plastic Fantastic - A short look at the Autons, their creation, uses and the society they were unleashed upon, with writers and historians shedding some light on the Nestenes' favourite substance to inhabit. 

With a highly entertaining Commentary from Barry Letts, Nicholas Courtney and Katy Manning, the usual info text option to divulge trivia, audience figures and bloopers and the same Coming Soon Trailer for Frontios, this rounds off an appallingly titled, but absolutely stunning Auton double feature that should feature in anyone's collection.  Brilliant.

just remember DVDs are made of plastic... 

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15 April 2011

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Writ ten By: Eddie Robson

RRP: £14.99

Release Date: 31st March 2011

Reviewed by: Matthew Davis for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 15th April 2011

The Industrial Revolution is not a new subject for Doctor Who or for the Sixth Doctor.

Having encountered luddites in The Mark of the Rani,  the Doctor now gets entangled with all the cogs and machinery in this somewhat disappointing end to the latest Thomas Brewster trilogy.

The story begins with Brewster working at a Brass mill in 19th century Lancashire, left there by the Doctor after his request to return to a more normal life. Unknown to Brewster, the Doctor is not too far away, keeping an eye not just on him, but the mill’s mysterious owner Samuel Belfrage.

After a series of gruesome accidents, it’s not long before there is real trouble at the mill as the nature of Mr Belfrage’s business begins to wreak havoc.

While the play is not a bad one, you cannot help but feel the sense of missed opportunity, particularly with Brewster. John Pickard is as ever charming and rascally as Brewster, but the character is once again simply scheming with the people not on the Doctor’s side, a theme that has occurred throughout this trilogy. Separating Brewster from the Doctor once again, makes you question whether he was actually needed as the story could have worked just as easily without him.

Colin Baker and Maggie Stables continue to show why The Sixth Doctor and Evelyn Smythe are a perfect Doctor and companion team and the supporting cast do give it their all but the story seems a little stretched in places.  

The villains of the piece are almost steampunk in nature and with some excellent sound design and musical score make very effectively creepy antagonists.

There are some interesting ideas about our over dependence on technology as well as an obligatory class issue as Brewster engages the factory workers to strike, which amounts to padding at best.

Ultimately though, it is a story that doesn’t really go anyway, although the intriguing nature of Brewster’s departure leaves an opportunity open for him to return. 

I hope it is a far more interesting affair, as the character does have a great deal of potential to develop further than the artful dodger persona he seems to be stuck as.

Industrial Evolution is not a complete failure but it is certainly not one of Big Finish’s strongest plays.

 

14 April 2011

DWO were lucky enough to receive an invite to the BBC America Doctor Who Series 6 premiere in New York, and our very own Robyn Schneider was there to report LIVE from the event. Check out the video below:

In an unprecedented display of support for the British import show, over a thousand fans turned out at New York City's Village East Cinema on Monday for the chance to watch the Doctor Who season six opener--and to see the cast and crew. The U.S. premiere screening, courtesy of BBC America, featured appearances by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston, Steven Moffat and executive producers Piers Wenger and Beth Willis.

** With thanks to BBC America.

+ 6.1: The Impossible Astronaut airs in the UK and the USA on Saturday 23rd April 2011.

+ For this and many other exclusive videos, check out the Doctor Who Online YouTube Channel.

[Source: DWO]

<mce:script

13 April 2011

The BBC Doctor Who website have uploaded two new clips from 6.1: The Impossible Astronaut:

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

12 April 2011

The BBC Doctor Who website has confirmed the return of The Cybermen in Series 6 of Doctor Who.

The metal meanines will be back for the second half of the season, which will air in the Autumn, and it is believed they will return in Episdoe Twelve.

Those of you who pay extra special attention to the new image released today, will notice the omission of the Cybus logo on the chestplate of the Cybermen - not to mention an Auton-caped Rory.

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

11 April 2011

This news really couldn't have come with better timing, but documents recently released by the FBI appear to acknowledge the existence of aliens - in particular the Roswell / Area 51 incident.

DWO have included two of the documents to the right, which you can view by clicking 'enlarge image'.

Although not a particular favourite newspaper of ours, The Sun have reported the news and picked the relevant data into a news item which we are reproducing below:

REAL-life FBI X-Files have emerged sensationally claiming flying saucers piloted by aliens did crash on Earth.

The top secret memos appear to back up conspiracy theories that extra-terrestrials landed in the US town of Roswell - before they were sent to the infamous Area 51 US airbase.

Three circular-shaped spaceships crashed containing the bodies of extra-terrestrials which were only three feet tall, said a special agent in 1950.

The explosive claims - that could be out of an episode of sci-fi thriller X Files - were unearthed after classified FBI documents were made public. And they are sure to fuel conspiracy theorists' beliefs that the existence of alien life has been covered up.

Last night UFO experts said the files could be final proof that aliens and flying saucers "are real". The amazing UFO find at Roswell, New Mexico, was detailed by FBI agent Guy Hottel in a 1950 memo to the agency's director.

Hottel reveals what a US Air Force investigator found:

"Three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico. "They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50ft in diameter. "Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3ft tall dressed in a metallic cloth of a very fine texture. "Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed flyers and test pilots."

The name of the investigator who told Hottel about the sensational discovery has been blacked out in the memo titled 'Flying Saucers' and there is no mention of the date of the discovery.

Roswell's radar sparked technical problems on the UFOs causing them to come down, said Hottel who was in charge of the FBI's Washington field office.

He said the spaceships crashed "due to the fact that the Government has a very high-powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed the radar interferes with the controlling mechanism of the saucers".

Last night British UFO expert Nick Pope - who investigated mystery air threats for the Ministry of Defence - said: "These are the real life X-Files. This document could be the smoking gun that proves UFOs are real".

The FBI published the document along with thousands of files available in a new online archive called The Vault.

Roswell became infamous after reports that a flying saucer had crashed in the desert near a military base there on or around July 2, 1947. The bodies of aliens were said to have been recovered and autopsied by the US military at Area 51, in Nevada, but American authorities allegedly covered the incident up.

Another secret FBI memo could confirm the 1947 Roswell UFO incident. It claims in the same year that an object was found at the base "purporting to be a flying disc".

The disc was "hexagonal in shape" and "suspended from a balloon by a cable", according to the "urgent" memo sent to the FBI director. The disc was initially thought to be a weather balloon - but the memo claims the US Air Force "had not borne out this belief". But the United States military maintains the debris was just an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon belonging to a classified program.

[Sources: The Sun; FBI]

10 April 2011

DWO are thrilled to announce our brand new Doctor Who RPG series - exclusively on the DWO Forums.

The new role playing game series, titled Vortex Adventures, launches tonight at 6pm, with our first adventure: 1.1: Lost in Time.

Taking part is free and requires membership to the DWO Forums - prospective players will also need to submit a character profile, which you can get a template for in the Vortex Adventures 'Rules and Gameplay' thread.

There is no current limit to the number of players, and all players will get their own profile thread to keep track of their scores, accomplishments, battles and awards.

Members of the DWO Forum Moderation and Admin team will be supplying linking story text, and will be accepting new players regularly.

To whet your appetites we've included the introductory story text below:

The Doctor opened his eyes and took a sharp intake of breath as he clambered to his feet. Slowly looking around him, there was a distinct air of unfamiliarity about the environment. How did he get here? Where are Amy and Rory? What planet is this? And more importantly…Where is the TARDIS???

It's late at night and the starry sky above twinkles in an unnatural manner as it meets with the almost blue hue of the planets surface. The Doctor shivers and tries to gain a sense of bearing. Up ahead in the distance he can just about make out the lights of what appears to be a small city.

He starts off in the direction, when an asteroid lands 30 metres to his right, shaking the ground beneath him, forcing The Doctor to maintain his balance. Suddenly it becomes clear as to the unnatural nature of the stars as The Doctor realises an asteroid belt passes through part of the planets atmosphere. Quickly he gathers his pace and starts running towards the city.

As he gets closer, The Doctor finally realises where he is…The Maldovarium…

He gathers his wits and becomes mindful of the setting, which is famed across the galaxy for its reputation as a hive of opportunistic characters where strange things happen to even the most steadfast of travellers.

The Doctor needs to find some allies and piece together the events that are clearly missing from his memory.

+ Join the DWO Forums and take part in Vortex Adventures, here.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

5 April 2011

The BBC Press Office have issued a Press Pack for Series 6 of Doctor Who:

Doctor Who returns to UK screens later this month for a seven-episode run which opens with a spectacular two-parter set in the USA and penned by "Who supremo" Steven Moffat.

In the opening two episodes, co-produced with BBC America, key scenes have been filmed in Utah for a story set in the late Sixties in which the Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves on a secret summons that takes them on an adventure from the desert in Utah – right to the Oval Office itself.

The new series follows on from the Doctor Who Christmas Special which featured guest stars Katherine Jenkins and Michael Gambon, and has been split into two blocks, with the second block to be shown in autumn 2011. By splitting the series Moffat plans to give viewers one of the most exciting Doctor Who cliff-hangers and plot twists ever, leaving them waiting, on the edge of their seats, until the autumn to find out what happens.

Steven Moffat on Series 6:

Steven Moffat is Lead Writer and Executive Producer. After taking over the reins on Doctor Who last year, Steven Moffat has certainly been kept busy. He's answered seven quick-fire questions on what to look out for when the show returns at Easter.

How has this series evolved from last year?

Well we've moved through the funfair a bit – we've done the rollercoaster, now we're on the ghost train. Last year, in a way, was all about saying, don't worry, it's still him, it's still the same show, nothing's really been lost. Losing a leading man like David Tennant is seismic – unless you gain a leading man like Matt Smith. It's been the biggest joy to see him stride in and just claim that TARDIS for his own. But now he's really here, and the part is his, and the bow tie is cool, he's ready to lead us places we didn't know existed. Last year we reassured you – this year, to hell with that, we're going to worry the hell out of you. How well do we really know that man, or what he's capable of? We're putting the "who?" back in the Doctor.

Is there a major story arc to look out for?

Oh, there's a big story being told this year, and major mysteries from the very off. As ever, in this show, the stories all stand alone, and every episode is a perfect jumping-on point for a new viewer. But at the same time the over-arching plot will be a bigger player this year. More than hints and whispers – we're barely 10 minutes into episode one before our heroes face a dilemma that they'll be staring at months from now. And there will be no easy answers.

Will there be new monsters?

They're ... scary. Very scary. And, ohh, I don't want to say more – there's the Silence in episodes one and two, the Siren, in episode three, the Gangers in five and six, all these are more than just freaky costumes and masks; there are SCARY ideas here. And just wait till you meet Idris in episode four.

Is this series scarier than the last one?

See above. Yes, I think so. But it's not JUST scary – it's funny and moving and revelling in its own insanity too.

How have the characters evolved?

The big difference, I suppose, is how long the Doctor is hanging around in the lives of his companions. His normal MO is get them while they're young, and leave them while they're young too. He's careful to put them back where he found them, before he screws up their lives. But here he is, married couple on board – and much as he loves them both, he does wonder if it isn't time he got out of the way; before something really BAD happens.

Did you always plan for Amy and Rory to get married?

Oh, always. Married couple on the TARDIS, that was the plan from the off.

What can you tell us about the cliff-hanger at the end of episode seven?

Normally our cliff-hangers are lives being threatened; with this one, three live are changed FOREVER.

Matt Smith on Series 6:

Matt Smith inhabited the role of the Doctor last year and instantly won a legion of fans with his kooky take on the iconic character. Here he reveals what lies in store for the Doctor and his fellow TARDIS travellers in 2011, and why the Fez is no longer his favourite hat.

"I think The Silence are one of the greatest monsters of recent years and certainly one of the scariest," reveals Matt Smith. "They're also very clever and I love the fact they've been silently working since the dawn of time to make The Doctor come unstuck."

Matt is talking about the new breed of monster which viewers will be introduced to in the opening two episodes of the series. He is remaining tight-lipped about what viewers can expect but he does offer some insights into the story arc for this series. "Steven [Moffat, writer] has a grand plan and some of the seeds he planted in the last series start coming to fruition and affecting the characters in drastic ways," explains Matt. "Every character is faced with the most seismic and high-stakes choices we've seen so far."

Opening the new series is a special two-part story penned by Steven Moffat and set in America, marking the first time in its history that an episode of Doctor Who has been filmed there. The cast spent three days in the desert in Utah but that didn't stop hardcore Doctor Who fans from tracking them down. "It was very strange," laughs Matt. "We were in the middle of the desert and suddenly there was a lady with a campervan and deck chair, holding an iPad up with a moving screen which read 'autograph please!'. I mean how on earth she knew we were in the middle of the desert I have no idea, but it certainly proved her dedication to the show!

"The landscape was incredible," continues Matt, "and I think being in America, filming in that terrain, has definitely added a sense of scale and a filmic quality to this series of Doctor Who. It was an amazing experience and a brilliant laugh. I have to confess that I think the Stetson has been my favourite hat for the Doctor so far, 100 per cent. Viewers may well see more of the Stetson later in the series but I couldn't possibly reveal when..."

Alex Kingston joined Matt, Karen and Arthur in Utah to reprise her role as River Song and Matt admits it was great to have her back. "I'm very fond of Alex and I simply love the part of River Song because it makes the Doctor come unstuck; she's the one person in the world who knows more than him. I think Steven has written some really revelatory stuff about the character and she's extremely important to this series," teases Matt.

"We've also been incredibly lucky to welcome a number of fantastic guest stars including Hugh Bonneville, Suranne Jones and Lily Cole. James Corden also returns later in the series," reveals Matt. "I've admired so many people who have been involved and all of them have brought a touch of quality."

Matt also has high praise for his fellow co stars, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. "I think with Rory, Arthur has perfectly judged the humour and he's got some fantastic storylines with Karen. I do think that Amy and Rory now being married has changed the dynamic in the TARDIS and in many ways it's the Doctor who is perhaps the odd one out," explains Matt. "However, Karen and Arthur are hilarious and together we are always mucking around between takes and telling silly jokes to annoy each other!"

Matt also reveals that his clumsy reputation is still fully justified! "I was chatting away to someone the other day on set and I had my hand on a lamp stand. Little did I know that as I was leaning it was actually turning and suddenly it came crashing down on my head!"

Perhaps it was lucky for the rest of the cast then that Matt wasn't tasked with any sword fighting in episode three which is set on a pirate ship: "It was 4am and we had four huge rain machines making us soaking wet but we all loved it. Karen had to do the sword fighting though," chuckles Matt, "I just had to walk round and act clever in the background!"

Karen Gillan on Series 6:

Karen Gillan burst onto TV screens last year as feisty companion, Amy Pond, and immediately secured her place in Doctor Who broadcasting history which has been an integral part of British culture since the Sixties. Returning for her second series aboard the TARDIS, Karen reveals what lies in store for Amy, the naughty tricks her co-stars play on her and why she has a newfound passion for fencing.

"There were clues planted in the last series that are going to become major storylines in this one," divulges a conspiratorial Karen Gillan; a revelation which is bound to have all "Whovians" avidly watching Series Five to spot what the Inverness-born actress is referring to.

"There's a really interesting arc in this series that involves all of the major characters and it's evident from the first episode that everyone on the TARDIS is withholding secrets from one another," continues Karen. "It makes for a fascinating dynamic between the characters and it's incredibly important to the overall series."

Karen also believes that Amy has more respect for her new husband Rory after his recent adventures. "I think Rory has perhaps developed the most out of all the characters," explains Karen. "By the end of last series he became a Roman Centurion hero and he had changed a lot; it felt like he had earned his place in the TARDIS. In fact, it's hard for me to imagine the TARDIS without him now!"

But has married life changed Amy Pond? Karen quickly sweeps that concern out of the way exclaiming: "if anything she is even more Amy Pondish! I don't think it would work for Amy to completely change now that she's a married woman and I certainly don't think she should become a subdued version of herself. However, I do think being married has helped to define the Doctor and Amy's relationship and I can reveal that something takes place this series which makes Amy see Rory in a new light..." teases the actress.

While the majority of filming for Doctor Who usually takes place in Cardiff, the cast found themselves in the middle of the desert in Utah last November to film scenes for the opening two-parter. "The new series starts with a real bang," exclaims Karen. "Filming in Utah was so much fun and I spent a lot of time running around the desert; the scenery was amazing and simply wouldn't have looked the same if we had filmed it in Cardiff against a green screen. The desert backdrop really gives the opening two episodes an epic feel."

However, it wasn't all fun for the actors as temperatures plunged below freezing at night and then they had to battle searing temperatures during the day. "We were all 'thermaled' up and I had on two pairs of trousers and four tops! Then the sun would come up making it blistering hot and we'd all peel off the layers," laughs Karen.

But despite the elements, Karen enjoyed being reunited with Alex Kingston who plays enigma River Song. "Alex is so much fun to have around," reveals Karen. "She makes the TARDIS team feel complete."

But the question on viewers' lips is: "will we find out who River Song actually is?"

"The ending of this first set of episodes has been hidden from everyone!" laughs Karen. "Even I got given a dummy ending to episode seven and it was only at the read-through that Steven Moffat took me, Matt and Arthur into the corridor to read the proper version on his laptop. We then all paced around going, 'oh my God!'. It's brilliant and viewers will just have to tune in to find out more. It certainly provides a fantastic cliff-hanger to see us through until the autumn."

Karen also reveals that this series is set to be the scariest yet with the debut of a number of new monsters. "Ooh, in particular I think The Silence, which are the new monsters in the opening two episodes, actually rival the Weeping Angels in terms of scariness and they look disgusting!" says Karen, screwing up her face in revulsion. "The concept behind them is ingenious because it feels like they are undefeatable, and this series also sees the return of some of the Doctor's oldest foes, but with an interesting twist..."

A new series of Doctor Who wouldn't be complete without a number of well known guest stars; Hugh Bonneville, Lily Cole, Suranne Jones and Marshall Lancaster are all billed in upcoming episodes.

"The great thing about this show is that it attracts big names and everyone who comes on set is so excited to be part of the Doctor Who experience," explains Karen. "These actors could all be off doing other things but they choose to come on the show because they are either fans or their kids are, so it makes the whole experience enjoyable. For me, it's also a wonderful experience to watch these people at work – it's like an acting masterclass every episode."

With each story set at different points in time and occasionally on alien planets, Amy Pond has certainly experienced a lot in her relatively short time on the TARDIS. But for Karen the episode that really stands out for her this series features Hugh Bonneville as a Pirate Captain in the 1600s. "I had a brilliant time filming this episode," reveals Karen. "Swinging across a pirate ship was a particular highlight and I loved doing the sword fight. I'd never done anything like that before so I literally picked up the sword and started learning moves with a stunt guy – in fact I loved it so much that I actually want to take it up as a hobby! Luckily I caused no major injuries on set, although I did collide with Arthur at one point but that was his fault."

It is clear that Karen has become firm friends with her co stars Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill and their chemistry certainly translates on screen. "We genuinely mess around all day," confesses Karen, "but I think that works because as a viewer I'd like to see the Doctor, Amy and Rory having fun. Of course we are serious when we need to be, but in general we clown around between takes and I think that helps to create chemistry on screen.

"Matt has also taken to hiding in my trailer and I'll go in, humming to myself, and then he'll just jump out at me and shout", giggles Karen. "The first time he did it was hilarious because he scared me so much that I fell backwards against the wall and slid down it! He also has an annoying habit of filming me when I fall asleep, while in make-up in the mornings, and it's a hideous sight – I'm not going to lie!" continues Karen. "Arthur eggs him on and the pair of them gang up but don't worry, I give as good as I get. Although it's brilliant when Alex Kingston is around because she knows how to handle them!"

So with two mischievous lads and a number of monsters to deal with, both Karen and Amy Pond have a lot to contend with, but where would Karen go if she had sole control of the TARDIS? "The tundra," she says, "no reason why! Just go with it!"

Arthur Darvill on Series 6:

Arthur Darvill won over Doctor Who fans last year playing Amy Pond's devoted boyfriend, Rory Williams. The pair are now enjoying life as newlyweds aboard the TARDIS and returning for his second series, Arthur reveals how his character has grown, what being married to the feisty companion is really like and how filming on a pirate ship made his childhood dreams come true.

Out of all the characters, Rory has perhaps been on the biggest journey since stepping into the TARDIS. "Last series I think Rory felt like he was on the outside looking into this world he was desperately trying to save Amy from," admits Arthur. "But he's very much inside that world now and married life has stopped him feeling so unworthy. He feels that he's proved himself."

Arthur believes that Rory's new-found confidence is all down to his exciting travels with the Doctor and Amy. "His sense of adventure has awoken," reveals Arthur. "But he hasn't become arrogant in any way, he's just more comfortable."

However, his new self belief hasn't helped him shake the nickname "Mr Pond". "I think Amy will always wear the trousers in the relationship. As much as Rory has proved himself, it's Amy after all, and I dare any man to be in charge of that relationship. She's a firecracker," laughs Arthur.

It's obvious that three isn't a crowd when it comes to life in the TARDIS, but how does Arthur find working with Matt and Karen? "They're brilliant, it's lucky we all get on so well. The most fun I have is when all three of us are together; it's a really good working relationship. It helps that we all came on board together because we're growing as a unit and keeping each other on our toes."

Doctor Who is known for its fantastic guest stars and the new series is no exception, featuring the likes of Hugh Bonneville as a Pirate Captain and David Walliams as a mole-like alien. Alex Kingston also makes a welcome return for Arthur, "Alex is back, which makes the team feel complete. She's just a dream to work with and is hilarious on set." But Arthur isn't daunted at the prospect of working with such household names. "Funnily enough I get more nervous meeting writers than actors," he recalls, "even more so with Neil Gaiman as he's just brilliant."

This year, the cast swapped Cardiff for Utah in the USA to film the epic opening two-parter set in the Sixties. "Filming in America was amazing, especially going to an area of America which I've seen in so many movies," says Arthur.

Asked what his highlight of the series has been, Arthur excitedly reveals that it was filming on board a pirate ship for the third episode. "Going on a pirate ship was unbelievable; it felt like we were on a movie set." But it wasn't pirates that Arthur was worried about; instead it was clumsy Karen Gillan let loose with a sharp weapon. "Karen got to do a massive sword fight and I thought she was going to be a liability. Someone was going to have their eye out at the very least! But she was actually pretty good, I think she'd been practising secretly," confides Arthur.

It appears Amy's swashbuckling skills could come in useful this series as Arthur hints that the monsters are scarier than ever before. "The ambition of the show has grown, there are a lot of surprises this year," hints Arthur. "It's not necessarily a big monster on the screen, but ideas that are presented in episodes one and two that keep building throughout the series." One monster stands out in particular for him. "I think The Silence are really going to blow people's socks off. They're terrifying," exclaims Arthur.

Rory and Amy may be settling into the routine of married life, but the honeymoon period definitely isn't over for Arthur when it comes to the show: "Everyone cares so much about it, which is what makes coming to work such a joy every day," he says.

[Source: BBC Press Office]

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