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18 February 2011

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Dick Sharples & Terry Nation (Adapted by Simon Guerrier & Nicholas Briggs)

RRP: £25.00

Release Date: 31st December 2010

Reviewed by: Paul Everitt for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 18th February 2011

Big Finish continue their Lost Stories season, with a very special box set dedicated to the second doctor; the great Patrick Troughton.  The box set includes two adventures plus over fifty minutes of bonus material – including interviews and a look behind the scenes. The first adventure sees Earth in a very different light, with a very sinister undertone throughout. The second adventure is rather special in its own right, a lost story involving the mighty Daleks which never saw the light of day...

The first adventure, Prison In Space see’s the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe looking for a little vacation. Even Jamie has become tired of fighting “wee little beasties”.  Promising them a vacation, with perhaps a picnic, the Doctor flies the TARDIS to safe haven – one with plenty of greenery and peace, or so he thinks. 

It’s not long before our heroes find themselves in trouble, arrested for trespassing the soon find that their so called haven is actually run by a mad tyrant – Chairman Babs. Not only do they find themselves arrested, the Doctor and Jamie soon realise that this world is run by women, who see men as inferiors – men are the weakest and are therefore treated like animals, with contempt and disdain. Soon things get even more serious as Jamie and the Doctor are sent to a prison in space, trailed and convicted for their crime – Zoe is left in the hands of the Chairman, forced to choose sides – with the resulting events proving to be explosive and quite unexpected. 

For this adaptation we see the return of Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury, reprising their roles as the Doctors companions. It’s great to hear the Scottish accent of Jamie return; Zoe is as bright as ever, in a part which really pushes Zoe to the limits. The sound effects bring back the sense of the sixties incarnation of the show, helping to push the narrative along at a great pace. Big Finish has adapted this lost script brilliantly, bringing back the essence of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor. This could have easily proved to be one of the second Doctor’s best TV adventures...

Moving onto the second adventure included in this box set, The Daleks: The Destroyers, is the adaptation of the unmade US TV Pilot. Big Finish has adapted this script into a gripping space adventure, full of tension and scares. This is definitely one to listen to by yourself in the dark. 

The adventure takes place around Explorer Base 1, a human exploration station – located on the surface of meteorite M5. Newly built and protected by a force wall, the occupants have no reason, to think of anything dangerous, from the swamp lands laying, just past the force wall. However in the darkness lurks a terrible threat – The Daleks. Within the first five minutes of the adventure, the station is ripped apart – all personnel killed in cold blood. 

Enter our three heroes, sent to investigate by the Special Space Security forces. Sarah Kingdom, played brilliantly by Jean Marsh is an intelligent, efficient agent, who has a habit of screaming. Mark Seven the android, with an emotion chip, classic good looks and superhuman strength. Played by Alan Cox, who gives the character life, making great use of the lines to inject some life, into what could have been a dull character. Then we have the leader of the squad, one Jason Corey rugged and intelligent. Jason is played by Chris Porter with an authority, which brings the character to life in your head.  The intrepid trio soon find themselves playing a cat and mouse game with the Daleks, trying to remain hidden – whilst discovering the alien’s master plan.

The narration to the story, drags you into this new world – masterfully read and acted making the hairs on your body tingle with excitement. The story is a lot darker than I had imagined, giving the Daleks a meaner darker look, than I can remember from the sixties. Even though there is a definite darker undertone, Big Finish have still managed to make it sound like an original episode from yester year. The main theme brought flashes of sixties TV flooding back, its catchy American style stays in your head, hours after listening to it. The score sets new standards, becoming at times operatic in substance, making you tense up, feel elation all at the right moments. Even the sound effects help you build a picture of what could have been, allowing you to connect to the main characters. A blinding story, which ends on a cliff-hanger, which I hope is resolved.

Also included is a fifty minute documentary, detailing how Prison In Space happened. A fascinating look into how the original script was found and the process that followed. It’s full of fact and gives us an insight into the love that the team had for Patrick Troughton

This box set prove compelling listening for any fan out there, showcasing what could have been if things were done a little differently.

15 February 2011

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Doctor Who Actor, T.P. McKenna.

T.P. was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Captain Cook in The Seventh Doctor adventure; The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to T.P.'s family and friends.

[Source: Neil Marsh]

15 February 2011

The guys from London's new Doctor Who Exhibition, The Doctor Who Experience, have been in touch with some new images from the event.

Image 1 – A team of technicians at the Doctor Who Experience showcase five generations of Cybermen heads. The evolution of the Cybermen forms part of The Doctor Who Experience – a fully interactive themed adventure and exhibition which opens at London’s Olympia Two venue on 20th February 2011.

Featured Cybermen models: (from left to right)1966 Cyberman from ’The Tenth Planet’, the 1967 Cyberman from ‘The Moonbase’, the 1975 Cyberleader from the ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’, the 1985 Cybercontroller from ‘Attack of the Cybermen’, and the 1988 Cyberman from ‘Silver Nemesis’ .

Image 2 – Technicians Steve Richley and Shane Winterbourne put the finishing touches to a 2005 model Dalek which forms part of a display at The Doctor Who Experience – a fully interactive themed adventure and exhibition which opens at London’s Olympia Two venue on 20th February 2011.

Image 3 - MacLaine Marshall, aged 6, encounters four generations of the Daleks during a sneak preview of The Doctor Who Experience – a fully interactive themed adventure and exhibition which opens at London’s Olympia Two venue on 20th February 2011.

Featured Daleks: (from left to right) the1984 Dalek from Resurrection of the Daleks, the 1988 Special Weapons Dalek, the 2005 lone Dalek encountered by ninth Doctor , and the new Dalek paradigm from 2010.

Image 4 - Exhibition worker, Samantha Crawford puts the finishing touches to the iconic 1974 Doctor Who Monster K1 which forms part of Doctor Who Experience – a fully interactive themed adventure and exhibition which opens at London’s Olympia Two venue on 20th February 2011.

Image 5 - Exhibition worker, Samantha Crawford puts the finishing touches to a 2005 model Dalek which forms part of a display at The Doctor Who Experience – a fully interactive themed adventure and exhibition which opens at London’s Olympia Two venue on 20th February 2011.

Image 6 - Evolution of the Cybermen exhibit taken from the The Doctor Who Experience – a fully interactive themed adventure and exhibition which opens at London’s Olympia Two venue on 20th February 2011.

Featured Cybermen models: (from left to right) 1966 Cyberman from ’The Tenth Planet’, the 1967 Cyberman from ‘The Moonbase’, the 1975 Cyberleader from the ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’, the 1985 Cybercontroller from ‘Attack of the Cybermen’, and the 1988 Cyberman from ‘Silver Nemesis’.

[Source: Taylor Herring PR]

14 February 2011

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the charter of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Mail is issuing a set of 6 stamps and a miniature sheet, one of which features David Tennant.

Working with the Company Royal Mail selected six iconic Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Shakespeare’s plays to illustrate the issue.

1st class - Hamlet - The stamp shows former Doctor Who David Tennant as Hamlet in 2008.

66p - The Tempest Antony Sher plays Prospero in the 2009 production.

68p - Henry VIChuk Iwuji plays Henry VI in the 2006 production.

76p - King Lear - A classic shot of Paul Schofield as Lear from 1962.

£1.00 - A Midsummer Night’s DreamSara Kestelman plays the fairy queen Titania from 1970.

£1.10 - Romeo and JulietIan McKellen and Francesca Annis play the doomed lovers from 1976.

+  The stamps will be released on 12th April 2011.

[Sources: Royal MailNorvic Philatelics]

11 February 2011

After a longer than planned hiatus, DWO's very own Doctor Who Podcast, The DWO WhoCast is returning.

With nearly 200 episodes under its belt since 2006, the show returns with two new hosts that will be familiar to most of our visitors.

Our first host is Cameron K. McEwan, who many of you will know as the editor of fellow Doctor Who site, Blogtor Who. On joining the team, Cameron said:

"After a number of years expressing my opinions and thoughts through mere text, I'm delighted to be using my own actual voice now to help highlight the Scottish agenda in Doctor Who. I can't think of a better way to do this than through The DWO WhoCast."

Joining Cameron is a veteran of The DWO WhoCast, as we welcome back Tony Gallichan. Tony is also the host of the popul ar podcast, The Flashing Blade, and on rejoining The DWO WhoCast had the following to say:

"I'm surprised and delighted that I have been persuaded to return. The DWO WhoCast has become the Morcombe and Wise show of podcasts. I think that the memory cheats. Stay tuned!"

Outgoing host and creator of The DWO WhoCast, Paul Wilson had the following advice for the new hosts:

"I wish you all the best and I'm sure you will entertain everyone. Just remember to give your honest opinions, and never leave a pie in the oven whilst interviewing any guests!"

Outgoing co-host and DWO Editor, Sebastian J. Brook had the following words of encouragement for the boys:

"Hosting The DWO WhoCast has been a tremendous joy, but the torch is being passed onto two extremely capable chums who will take the show in a whole new direction. I wish Cam and Tony all best - splendid chaps, both of you!"

The DWO WhoCast returns Tonight, continuing on from the original episode numbering with Episode #178.

+  Subscribe to the DWO WhoCast on iTunes.

+  Follow The DWO WhoCast on Twitter / 'Like' The DWO WhoCast on Facebook.

+  Check Out the show and previous episodes on The DWO WhoCast website at: www.dwowhocast.com.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

11 February 2011

At Midnight on Saturday 12th February 2011, The Doctor Who Appreciation Society will open the first section of it’s extensive archive online. They have a massive collection of publications about Doctor Who going back over thirty years and in the coming months will make some of the best parts available online, starting on Saturday with a number of interviews with people from years gone by.

Future selections will include items on conventions, newspaper stories, reference items, the changing faces of The Doctor and more.

Each item is, where possible, presented in it’s original format showing the public the changing face of Doctor Who Appreciation.

The ‘Celestial Archive’ will be available from Saturday at http://www.dwasonline.co.uk.

The Doctor Who Appreciation Society is the longest running Doctor Who fan club in existence.

For more information and for press interviews please contact www.dwasonline.co.uk/pressandpublicity.

[Source: DWAS]

11 February 2011

Although hardly the pinnacle of reliable news, The Sun newspaper today reported the casting of Model and Actress, Lily Cole in Series 6 of Doctor Who.

DWO have confirmed the news, and Lily will indeed be featuring in the new series, in Episode Three, which is reportedly set in the 1600's and is currently filming in Cornwall.

The Metro newspaper have also run with the story, and include some images from the filming.

[Sources: The Sun; The Metro; Doctor Who Online]

10 February 2011

BBC Worldwide is to launch its first ever shop devoted to Doctor Who at the much anticipated Doctor Who Experience. The shop will be a treasure trove for fans showcasing Doctor Who toys, games, books and licensed merchandise. Designed, staffed and managed by brand experience and retail specialists Brandnew Corporation, it is the first time BBC Worldwide has created a stand-alone retail operation dedicated to a single television brand. The shop will open on 20th February in tandem with the Doctor Who Experience and remain open throughout its run.

The Doctor Who Experience will be further supported by a Wi-Fi service exclusive to Olympia. Also provided by Brandnew, the ‘closed loop’ mobile Wi Fi platform is dual purpose – while receiving redeemable coupons for use in the Doctor Who shop, visitors can also use smartphones to enjoy an immersive browsing experience related to the aliens, monsters and storylines at the show. It is the first time an event at Olympia has used Wi Fi to enable mobile content to be distributed this way.

The Wi Fi service has an easy login interface and one click access to content. From a special offers area, users download promotional barcodes which are then swiped at the checkout reader in the usual way, with price reductions shown at the till and on receipts. The wireless service is security encrypted and much faster than any 3G network. Much of the material for download is exclusive to the Dr Who Experience with a wealth of facts, figures and information. A special subtitling service can be accessed for the deaf, ensuring the Experience – led by the Doctor’s own vocal commands – is just as meaningful.

The shop will retail over 400 Doctor Who SKU’s at any one time, with many items exclusive to Olympia – a showcase of licensed product larger than anything available on the high street in one place. The Doctor Who shop is a stand-alone outlet adjacent to the café, though most visitors will enter after enjoying the Experience and Exhibition. The 133 square metres has a circular layout to encourage easy and full navigation of the merchandise. The tills and checkout area at the centre mimic the central console of the TARDIS.

The brief from BBC Worldwide was to create a retail extension of the Dr Who brand experience. The Doctor Who Experience promises to be a spectacular event, featuring an exhilarating walk-through adventure, where visitors can step into a full recreation of the Eleventh Doctor’s TARDIS, and an ‘out of this world’ exhibition featuring iconic Doctor Who props and costumes from its 47 year history. This is the first ever fully immersive Doctor Who attraction - an unprecedented opportunity for fans to step through a crack in time and take part in their own Doctor Who adventure in the role of the Doctor’s companion. Their challenge will be to reunite the Doctor with the TARDIS whilst facing some of the best-loved and most-feared monsters from the hit series, including a Dalek spaceship and Weeping Angels.

Brandnew Corporation is responsible for the full retail offer at the Dr Who Experience; designing the interior and layout, determining the fixtures and displays, setting up the till and EPOS systems, product ranging and merchandising. The company is also tasked with the live customer experience; recruiting, training and briefing staff for the interactive show, exhibition and shop, plus stewarding at the event itself. 

Alex Johns, MD at Brandnew Corporation said “After the exhilaration of the Doctor Who Experience the area of the shop and café provide an opportunity for fans to catch their breath. Inspired by what they’ll have seen and experienced, our retail offer makes it both easy and pleasurable to turn their excitement into tangible rewards”. He continued “The Wi Fi platform will considerably enhance the immersive experience for all Doctor Who lovers while maximising footfall and sales in the shop. It is an important part of our ‘from the till backwards’ approach to retail planning”   

Ian Wickham, Head of Retail Development, Licensed Consumer Products UK/EMEA said “We’re delighted to be working with Brandnew on this exciting project. Some of the innovative plans we have, in particular with regards to new technology being applied at the Experience, are state of the art. This technological aspect of Brandnew’s capability made them a perfect fit for the Doctor Who Experience.”

Doctor Who Online have access to a large version of the shop interior image, which you can view to the right.

+  The Doctor Who Experience runs at London’s Olympia 2 from 20th February 2011.

[Sources: BBC Worldwide; Brandnew; Doctor Who Online]

10 February 2011

UK costume manufacturer, Cesar UK, have produced a neat little range of Doctor Who outfits to buy.

For those of you who felt cheated by the recent 'Ride-In' Dalek range for kids only, fear not, as these outfits are aimed at adults!

Currently available in the range are:

The Fourth Doctor

(medium 38/40" and large 42/46")

Follow in the footsteps of fashion icon Tom Baker with this natty Doctor Who costume designed to meet all your time travelling need!

The Fifth Doctor

(medium 38/40" and large 42/46")

Follow in the footsteps of fashion icon Peter Davison with this natty Doctor Who costume designed to meet all your time travelling need!

Leela

(small UK size 6-8, medium UK size 10/12 and large UK size 14-16)

Every Doctor needs an assistant and who better than the very sexy Leela? This fab costume arrives all ready to pop into the TARDIS and go off adventuring!

Tegan

(Temporarily unavailable to preorder)

Further details Coming Soon...

Depending on the success of the range, further outfits may be released in the future.

+  The Doctor Who costumes will be available from July 2011, priced £49.99 each.

+  Preorder the Doctor Who costumes from Forbidden Planet for just £39.99 each.

[Source: Cesar UK]

5 February 2011

With the rather disappointing (and frankly, ridiculous) National Television Awards out of the way, things are looking up for Doctor Who in the Awards world, thanks to the results in this years SFX Awards.

The winners of the 2011 awards were announced at this weekend's SFX Weekender event, where Doctor Who scooped up in 5 categories: 

Best TV Show - Doctor Who

SFX Sci-Fi Phenomenon - Doctor Who

Best Actor - Matt Smith

Best Actress - Karen Gillan

Best Collectible Model or Toy - The Eleven Doctors Figure Set

Steven Moffat (pictured), was on-hand to accept the award for Best TV Show.

+  The results in full can be seen in Issue #206 of SFX Magazine, on sale 9th February 2011.

[Source: SFX Weekender]

5 February 2011

Panini reveal more details for their upcoming Doctor Who Magazine for North America; Doctor Who Insider - or DWI as DWO are affectionately calling it!

The new North American magazine, Doctor Who Insider, is officially licensed by BBC Worldwide and will feature 100% original material, celebrating all eras of Doctor Who.

Each issue will explore the fantastic Doctor Who universe with star interviews, behind-the-scenes features, character and monster guides, news and pictures from the world of Doctor Who fandom, and an in-depth look at the latest Doctor Who releases. Plus, every issue will include a double-sided fold-out poster.

“We are absolutely delighted to be launching Doctor Who Insider in North America,” says Mike Riddell, Managing Director of Panini UK. “Doctor Who has always been a strong performer for Panini UK and we are very excited to be able to collaborate with BBC Worldwide and BBC AMERICA and build on its increasing popularity in the United States and Canada.”

Panini will launch the first monthly issue of Doctor Who Insider on 7th April 2011, priced $6.99. It will be available alongside the established Doctor Who Magazine, offering Doctor Who enthusiasts more than ever before.

** Please note that the cover is a draft and may not necessarily be the cover used in the final version.

[Source: John Ainsworth]

5 February 2011

BBC America have sent DWO the cover and details for the June 2011, Region 1 DVD release of Frontios.

An irresistible force draws the TARDIS to the barren surface of Frontios, where in the far future the last surviving humans cower amongst the ruins of their wrecked spacecraft.

Under constant threat from lethal meteorite bombardments, few of the doomed colony members realize that the ground of Frontios itself opens up and devours the unwary.

Not permitted to assist, the Doctor attempts to leave, but is thwarted when the unimaginable occurs: the TARDIS is utterly destroyed.

Special Features:

• Audio Commentary

• Driven to Distractation 

• Deleted and Extended Scenes 

• Photo Gallery 

• PDF materials: Radio Times Listings

• Production Notes Subtitle Option

+  Frontios is released on 14th June 2011, priced $24.98 (USA) / $26.98 (Canada).

+  Compare Prices for this product on CompareTheDalek.com.

[Source: BBC America]

5 February 2011

Silva Screen Records have sent DWO the cover and full tracklisting for the forthcoming Soundtrack for 5.14: A Christmas Carol , featuring music by Murray Gold and conducted by Ben Foster.

Tracklisting:

1. Come Along Pond

2. Halfway out of the Dark

3. Pray for a Miracle

4. Geoff

5. You Didn't Hit the Boy

6. Fish

7. Kazran Sardick 12 1/2

8. Ghost of Christmas Past

9. Babysitter

10. Talk About Girls

11. Sonic Fishing

12. Just a Little One

13. Big Colour

14. I Can't Save Her

15. The Other Half's Inside the Shark

16. Abigail

17. He comes every Christmas

18. Shark Ride

19. New Memories

20. Holding Hands

21. Christmas Dinner

22. Goodlucknight

23. Goodnight Abigail

24. This Planet Is Ours

25. Ghost of Christmas Present

26. The Course of my Life

27. Ghost of Christmas Future

28. Abigail's Song (Silence is all you Know) - Performed by Katherine Jenkins

29. Everything Has to End Some Time

 Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol - Soundtrack is released on 21st March 2011, priced £8.99.

 Compare Prices for this product on CompareTheDalek.com.

[Source: Silva Screen Records]

4 February 2011

Speaking live on BBC Radio 2, Little Britain and Come Fly With Me star, David Walliams, confirmed that he has a role in the upcoming series of Doctor Who.

Speaking on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show, Walliams stated: "I've actually been offered a part in Doctor Who, which I'm very excited about." He continued: "I've said yes. I don't think I can reveal much, I'll just say I'm playing an alien."

He added that he will be filming the role "in a few weeks", which means it will form part of the second half of the season which will air in the Autumn.

[Source: BBC Radio 2]

3 February 2011

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Jonathan Morris

RRP: £14.99

Release Date: 31st January 2011

Reviewed by: Matthew Young for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 3rd February 2011

Part of Big Finish’s Sixth Doctor range, The Crimes of Thomas Brewster marks the return of the eponymous past companion as part of a fine cast in this funny, referential but somewhat unbalanced adventure...

The story begins when The Doctor (Colin Baker) is called to London by the Metropolitan police to investigate a mysterious gangster known only as...‘The Doctor’! The fun of this premise isn’t so much the mystery of who might be behind this (the title gives you a fairly good guess to begin with) but The Doctors reaction to the situation. Investigating, he at first assumes the gang leader could be a version of himself from a forgotten past or yet-to-occur future. Discovering that ‘The Doctor’ is collecting weapons for some unknown purpose, he wonders if his future self could be capable of something which, to him, seems unthinkable; “doesn’t sound like me” he muses. This timey-wimey conundrum is furthered by the inclusion of DI Patricia Menzies (Anna Hope reprising her role from The Condemned and The Raincloud Man) who, previously a companion to The Doctor, has now encountered him from before he has met her. All the while, she must keep quiet about knowing him in order to secure their time line. As well as some humorous scenes where Menzies feigns amazement over time travel, I laughed out loud when Menzies said she figured all of this out by reading ‘The Time Travellers Wife’ (“well, watched the DVD”). It’s a brilliant piece of referential humour that brings a great sense of fun to the story while also playing with the concept of time travel to great effect.

Moments like this reveal The Crimes of Thomas Brewster as a story driven by its appealing characters. It’s strongest when it allows them to let loose with some great humour and energy. I have always loved Evylne Smyth (Maggie Stables) as a companion – an elderly British History professor travelling with The Doctor just makes sense – and her dialogue and relationship with The Doctor is at its best here.  There are also some brilliant Colin Baker moments that will give you the giggles: The Doctor finds a use for that coat; asserts that he is “not captain Kirk!”; and even lets out a well timed “Geronimo!” 

Gangland goings on are not the only thing the Doctor has to contend with, however. He is also being attacked by Terravores; giant and deadly robotic mosquitoes. To continue with the theme of displaced meetings, they have met The Doctor before; but he has yet to meet them. As the story progressed, and The Doctor got involved with the police and murky underworld of London as supernatural goings on transpired, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a contemporary version of The Talons of Weng-Chiang. This, in my book, is a very good thing and the first two parts of the story have a similar sense of referential fun mixed with genuine threat. I wish the story either embraced its setting of modern London more or had picked another time period as a setting. There are references to iPhones, Twitter and Lady Gaga which make it unmistakably modern, but there is also a large cast of stereotypical cockney gangsters which, while causing some serious titters, seemed out of place. 

In fact, the setting of London was so fun that some of the lustre was lost once the action shifted to a mysterious alien world. The storyline involving the Terravore conflict with ‘The Locus’ – the hive mind of a living planet – is interesting in itself, but feels drafted from another story. While modern London and this alien world are linked – quite literally – in the story, I felt that after leaving London the story never replicated the sparkle present in the first two parts. This is made worse by the late introduction of two needless and little used characters and the absence of Evylne’s lively self in the later sections. Most disappointingly, Thomas Brewster (John Pickard) himself isn’t used to great effect. Again, he is closely linked to the story line but, other than a compelling conversation with The Doctor explaining his actions, he is by no means the heart of the story I was hoping for. I felt more interested in his history and activities in London than the story of the Terravores and Locus.  While consistently entertaining, this story had all the ingredients to be much more. Thankfully, the final minutes suggest we might learn more about Brewster very soon...

 

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