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.

E-Mail NewsE-Mail Reviews
17 March 2011

Michael Gough, the actor best known to Doctor Who fans as The Celestial Toymaker, has died. As well as his fondly remembered portrayal of the Toymaker, opposite the first Doctor William Hartnell in 1965, Gough also appeared as the Doctor’s old friend Hedin, in the 1982 story ‘Arc of Infinity’.

Gough was born in Kuala Lumpa in either 1916 or 1915 – he never knew which. Despite the uncertainty about his year of birth, he holds the honour of being the longest-lived actor to have appeared in Doctor Who. His career was extraordinary. Between 1947 and 2000, he recorded at least one film per year, often more, in addition to a busy TV and stage career, which included tours with the Royal Shakespeare Company

Michael Gough’s unstoppable film career began in the forties, with ‘Androcles and the Lion’, but it was his role as Nicholai in ‘Anna Karenina’ that set in motion a prolific and distinguished movie career. By the early sixties he was well-known to TV viewers through such series as ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’, ‘The Count of Monte Christo’, ‘The Saint’, ITV’s ‘Play of the Week’ and many more.

After appearing in the title role of the 1965 Doctor Who story  ‘The Celestial Toymaker’, Gough started to achieve a cult status among horror film fans, appearing in several notable productions from Hammer and Amicus, while continuing to be a regular face on British TV, with roles in ‘The Avengers’, ‘Orlando’, ‘The Champions’ and ‘Theatre 625’, to name just a few. Throughout the seventies, he continued making several movies and TV series each year. Among the many classic series he appeared in during that decade are ‘Colditz’, ‘The Protectors’, ‘Crown Court’ and ‘Blake’s 7’. His career continued into the eighties with ‘Brideshead Revisited’, ‘Smiley’s People’ and a second appearance in Doctor Who – this time with the fifth Doctor, Peter Davison.

After a further decade of TV and film appearances, Gough found new adoration among a new generation of film-goers as Batman’s butler, Alfred, in the new films in that franchise which began in 1989. His relentless work-rate continued during the 90s and into the 2000s, and he established a long friendship with director Tim Burton, appearing in ‘Sleepy Hollow’, ‘Corpse Bride’ and, in 2010, ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Even this however, was not his final appearance. Released in February 2011, ‘All Star Superman’ features one last outing for his legendary and unique voice. 

Gough was married three times – his third wife being Doctor Who actor Anneke Wills. Wills had encountered him at various times during her life – firstly during a theatre trip with her mother in 1952 – but they first met formally, on the set of ‘Candidate for Murder’ and the attraction was instant. Gough adopted Anneke’s daughter Polly, and in 1965, their son Jasper was born. 

Anneke says, “As his body was deteriorating this week, he said that he wanted to hang on for St Patrick’s Day. And he did, just. In the end... there is only love.” 

Michael Gough leaves his wife Henrietta, his daughter Emma and sons Simon and Jasper (Yogi).

[Source: Tim Hirst]

16 March 2011

2|Entertain have sent DWO the cover and details for the April DVD release of Planet of the Spiders.

What begins as innocuous research into ESP turns into a deadly mind battle, with the terrifying spiders from the planet Metebelis Three pitted against The Doctor, his friends and Time Lord K'Anpo. 

At a Tibetan-style spiritual retreat deep in rural England, a clandestine circle of chanting brethren unknowingly call upon the evil powers of the Metebelis Spiders, whose quest for the perfect blue crystal leads them straight to the Doctor. He must travel to the alien planet to meet the Great One, merciless ruler of her spiders and human slaves, who plans to take over Earth.

The future of the entire universe is in the Doctor's hands, but if he is to face the fear the Great One sees in his mind, then he must face the certainty of total destruction. Could this be the Time Lord's final death? 

Special Features:

Disc 1:

•  6 x 25 mins approx colour episodes with mono audio. 

•  Commentary - stereo. With actors Elisabeth Sladen, Nicholas Courtney and Richard Franklin, producer / director Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks.

•  Coming Soon - a trailer for a forthcoming DVD release.

•  Programme subtitles.

•  Subtitle Production Notes.

Disc 2:

•  The Final Curtain – five years after its re-invention in colour and its rise to massive popularity, it was time for Doctor Who’s charismatic lead actor Jon Pertwee to move on… and with him the production team that had guided the show throughout that period. This documentary looks at the background to the Third Doctor’s swansong. With actors Jon Pertwee and Richard Franklin, producer / director Barry Letts, script editor Terrance Dicks, designer Rochelle Selwyn, visual effects assistant Mat Irvine and actor and author Mark Gatiss. Narrated by Glen Allen. 

•  John Kane Remembers… – actor John Kane memorably played the gentle, slow-witted Tommy, reborn through the power of the Metebelis crystal. An accomplished writer and series creator, Kane now lives in France, from where he looks back on his memories of the story. 

•  Directing Who with Barry Letts – Barry Letts is perhaps most famous as producer of Doctor Who, but he was also responsible for directing some of the show’s best-loved stories. Barry looks back on his career as a director in this documentary. 

•  Now & Then – the latest instalment in our ongoing series takes a trip back to some of the locations used during production of the story. 

•  ‘Planet of the Spiders’ Omnibus Edition – the full-length omnibus edit of the story, presented here totally unrestored.

•  Omnibus Trailer 

•  Photo Gallery - production, design and publicity photos from the story.

•  Radio Times Listings in Adobe pdf format.

+  Planet of the Spiders is released on 18th April 2011, priced £20.42.

+  Compare Prices for this product on CompareTheDalek.com.

[Source: 2|Entertain]

16 March 2011

Doctor Who spin off show, The Sarah Jane Adventures has scooped an award at this year's Royal Television Society Awards.

The show picked up the award in the Children's Drama category. Also winning at the awards was Steven Moffat, who picked up the Judge's Award.

[Source: Royal Television Society]

16 March 2011
="" />

Big Finish Productions have issued a press release confirming Tom Baker's involvement in future Doctor Who audio adventures:

We’re delighted to announce that Tom Baker will be playing the Fourth Doctor in a number of audio adventures for Big Finish, to be released from the beginning of 2012. Storylines and scripts are already at an advanced stage, and we plan to start recording early in the summer.

The first season of six single-disc releases will begin in January 2012, with a second season of seven single-disc releases to follow at a date to be confirmed. There will also be a five-disc box set entitled Doctor Who: The Lost Stories – The Fourth Doctor Box Set... The producers across the Fourth Doctor adventures are Nicholas Briggs and David Richardson.

“As many of you will know, we've been talking to Tom for a long time,” says Big Finish executive producer Nick Briggs. “David Richardson and I went to visit Tom at his home not long ago to chat about it all. We had a really great time. At that point, I sincerely felt that had we taken a microphone with us, Tom would have started there and then - but, of course, there are always finer details to sort out. Now that our plans are in place, and Tom has enthusiastically told the world that we're going ahead, we thought it best to follow-up with our own announcement. Rest assured that in the coming months we will be releasing news on this as soon as we are able.”

Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery says: "I am delighted that Tom will be joining the Big Finish audio adventures of Doctor Who. As a small child, I remember how charismatic and engaging his performance was each Saturday tea time - and we are all looking forward to recreating that era again."

We can confirm that the companions in these productions will be Louise Jameson as Leela and Mary Tamm as Romana, and some familiar monstrous faces from the past will be popping up too.

In early 2010, DWO interviewed Tom Baker, who expressed interest in possibly working with Big Finish. Listen to the Big Finish portion of our 90-Minute interview with Tom Baker below:

[Source: Big Finish]

13 March 2011

DWO WhoCast host Cameron K McEwan, also known as Blogtor Who, is presenting a two-hour online radio show in aid of Comic Relief.

The Big Mix Grill Radio Show is a sizzling blend of puns, succulent news stories and vibrant quizzes all served up on a bed of listening perfection. Tickle your taste buds with a wide variety of music and stories from the show which brings you everything from your five a day to your evening hot chocolate.

Join hosts Cameron K McEwan and Sandy McKinnon as they mix and mash all the best bits in to this amazing two hour comic relief special radio show, raising as much money as possible for Comic Relief along the way. 

The show airs Tuesday 15th March 5pm – 7pm only on ASR.

Listen live, around the world, on: http://aberdeenstudentradio.com/

Request a song and donate to Comic Relief: http://www.justgiving.com/bigmixgrill

[Source: Cameron K. McEwan]

9 March 2011

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine has announced the likely airdate for Series 6 of Doctor Who.

As expected, the show is set to return on Easter Weekend, with Episode One airing on Saturday 23rd April, and Episode Two airing as soon as Sunday 24th April - although that point is nothing more than a rumour at this moment in time.

The magazine also confirms the title of Episode 11 as The God Complex. The story is written by Toby Whithouse and features David Walliams as Gibbis.

+ Buy / Subscribe to Doctor Who Magazine at CompareTheDalek.com.

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine - Issue #432]

6 March 2011

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Mike Maddox

RRP: £14.99

Release Date: 28th February 2011

Reviewed by: Matthew Davis for Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 6th March 2011

Bringing back an old foe in Doctor Who is always risky, especially if that villain is as iconic as Axos.  With characters like this, simply rehashing old storylines is an easy trap to fall into and one that this adventure seems at times perilously close to.

The sentient parasite is brought back in the latest Sixth Doctor audio and one of the most exciting things about this release is the return of Bernard Holley to the role of Axos, 40 years after playing the role in The Claws of Axos.

The story picks up immediately after the cliff-hanger from The Crimes of Thomas Brewster, where Brewster has hijacked the TARDIS demanding the Doctor take him back to his own time. Of course things don’t go according to plan when they land in the time loop where The Doctor originally trapped Axos many ages ago. Inside the parasite they find a group of astronauts working for Space Tourism billionaire Campbell Irons, intending to revive Axos and use its energy to solve the world’s energy crisis. But of course the newly awakened Axos has other ideas.

What follows is, to put it simply, a slight inversion of The Claws of Axos.

In that story, Axos intended to feed off of Earth’s energy and now the Earth intends to return the favour. Despite an interesting current event twist, it becomes somewhat lost as Axos’ intentions are essentially the same as before though I suppose one can’t ask much more of a space parasite with a large appetite.

What seems to be the focus here are the characters, with the focus shifted onto Brewster yet it all seems a bit of a retread. At end of the previous audio there was potential for a sparky team relationship with The Doctor, Evelyn and Brewster however once again the characters are separated, leaving Brewster to get up to his old tricks. The potential for these characters with such differing personalities working together more is tantalising but to have them separated yet again is somewhat of a let down.

In The Crimes of Thomas Brewster, Thomas was in cahoots with a sentient planet to try and save it from destruction by emulating the heroic nature of the Doctor. Now Brewster, angry and hurt turns his services over to a sentient parasite to punish the Doctor but of course with his own gains in mind. For once I’d like to see Brewster in a non-scheming mode. I know it is a driving force of his character, but it is becoming a little tiresome.

The supporting characters, although serving their parts well, tend to get lost in much of the noise and Campbell Irons, a potentially great villain, seems in the end to be a bit wasted.

Despite this, there are some lovely moments with the Doctor and Evelyn and a rather distressing cliff-hanger to Episode Three however the stand out of this audio is Bernard Holley.  Sounding every bit like he did in 1971, his rich voice really serves well on audio and the impact of Axos, a very strong visual presence in the original television serial, loses none of its impact here, although the same cannot be said of the Axonites. He is so good that he almost dominates the whole adventure.

Despite some flaws there is a lot to like in The Feast of Axos, but like Axos himself, you end up wanting a little bit more.

 

4 March 2011

Gaming website; Big Download have informed DWO of a brand new interview they conducted recently with the BBC regarding the forthcoming online Doctor Who Multiplayer game; Worlds in Time.

Speaking to The Executive Vice President of Digital Entertainment at BBC Worldwide; Richard Nashak, the interview sheds some more light on what to expect with the hotly anticipated MMO.

What sorts of quests will players have to go on in the MMO?

In general, players will be able to help the Doctor stave off the forces of evil by thwarting the plots of classic villains from throughout the show's history. There will be a variety of quest types requiring different skills to keep the game constantly fresh and exciting.

Will there be any support for multiplayer quests in the game?

You bet. The game will allow for collaboration on quests and encourage social play at every turn.

The Doctor doesn't normally use violence. How will this attitude affect the gameplay in terms of how the player deals with challenges?

The acronym in the name "Worlds in Time" says it all. The game embraces the Doctor's philosophy of using cleverness and wit above violence whenever possible. This allows us to create an innovative and interesting gameplay experience where players have to work together and be creative to solve problems, battle the forces of evil, and help save time and space. They also get to have a laugh.

What sort of social features will there be in the MMO?

As an online social game, Doctor Who: Worlds in Time has social gameplay at its core. The game will not only foster collaboration and cooperation inside the game, but integrate with social platforms. We can't reveal too much right now about how these mechanics will unfold.

+ Click Here to read Big Download's full interview with BBC Worldwide.

[Source: Big Download]

4 March 2011

BBC Children's Books have been in touch with a last minute offer for fans to attend the 2in1 Book Signing tomorrow in London.

The event will take place between 11am-1pm in The Doctor Who Experience at Olympia 2, Hammersmith Road, London.

Don't miss this fantastic chance to meet the masterminds behind the exciting new Doctor Who adventure series from BBC Children's Books. Justin Richards, Oli Smith and other Doctor Who experts will be ready to be grilled on all things intergalactic.

For the book signing, no ticket purchase in necessary, but tickets for the Doctor Who Experience are selling fast so advanced booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

For more information check out: www.doctorwhochildrensbooks.co.uk & www.doctorwhoexperience.com.

[Source: BBC Children's Books]

4 March 2011

In a recent press release at the BBC Press Office website, Matt Smith has been interviewed regarding his role in upcoming drama; Christopher And His Kind.

Christopher And His Kind, by acclaimed British playwright Kevin Elyot (My Night With Reg), explores Christopher Isherwood's formative years in Thirties Berlin in the run-up to the Second World War. Here, Matt Smith reveals why he wanted to play one of the 20th century's finest writers.

"First and foremost as always it was the script that attracted me to the role," explains Matt Smith, who is best known for playing The Doctor in Doctor Who. "The story is such a fascinating one. I loved the idea of playing someone so extreme to me, that different kind of vocalisation and physical shape.

"Christopher Isherwood is such an interesting man. There's something very romantic about Christopher and Auden going off as young men to Berlin. At the heart of the piece is Christopher's acceptance of his own identity and self-discovery – I think we learn about a man exploring his sexuality and the arena in which he can do that freely."

The popular actor explains why visiting the home Isherwood shared with his partner proved to be an invaluable experience.

"For research I went to see Don Bachardy [Isherwood's partner before he died] in the States at the house they shared. Don helped me understand his character – he said Christopher was very polite. Just seeing the love Don had for him, and to be in the space where Christopher had lived and written was very informative.

"I also read Christopher's novels, and then spent a lot of time trawling through video footage, watching, listening and repeating his voice. I had a wonderful voice coach called Patsy Rodenburg who said: 'Look, just go for it. Don't worry about trying to imitate him. What's more interesting is trying to capture the essence of the man and then be yourself.'

"I don't know whether I've managed to capture his voice exactly because I think that has to remain the invention of the actor; however, I hope there's an element of him in there."

Playing Isherwood has given Matt a fresh perspective on the magnitude of the work involved in trying to characterise a real person on screen.

"This has given me a great respect for people like Michael Sheen," continues Matt. "But I hope I've captured a moment – that little glimpse of glee in Christopher's eye you know he had; that mischief."

Having to make mental adjustments away from his Doctor Who persona was a hurdle the 28-year-old was able to master.

"Just thinking in a different way physically to The Doctor was also a very interesting challenge for me because one is based on movement and madness and the other on stillness and stiffness really. I hope that you look at this and quickly forget that you're watching The Doctor."

Another challenge for Matt was taking part in the nude scenes ... and experiencing stubble rash for the first time!

"Well, you've just got to commit to it, gung ho. It's different from when you're doing nude scenes with a boy than doing them with a girl, as you can imagine," explains Matt. "But I tried to commit to it and wholeheartedly go for it. Having to kiss boys, and finally understanding the nature of stubble rash, was interesting," he laughs.

Filming took place in Ireland where sets were constructed to resemble Berlin in the Thirties, but Matt had no difficulties visualising the real Berlin because he'd spent some time there shooting another project prior to filming.

"I did a film in Berlin last year before doing Christopher And His Kind; I was there for three months. It's one of my favourite cities in the world. I would have loved to have seen it at that time in the Thirties because even now it has such a liberal sort of atmosphere, that's one of its great virtues. That's one of the things that drew Christopher there, I think."

The Northampton-born actor, whose credits include Moses Jones, Party Animals and The Street, was a huge fan of his period costumes.

"The costume designer has done a wonderful job; the costumes really fly off the screen. I think she captured the Thirties to Fifties brilliantly. It made me want to buy a three-piece suit from the Thirties!" laughs Matt.

Having old friends on set made the experience even more enjoyable, he continues.

"Working with Lindsay Duncan again, who's a great friend of mine, was wonderful. I could work with her on everything I do, every hour of the day. She makes me laugh, she's so much fun. Pip Carter [who also starred alongside Matt in Party Animals] is wonderful as Auden; he's a fabulous actor who really makes it all look very effortless."

Matt, who studied drama with creative writing for a time at the University of East Anglia, has aspirations of his own to be a writer.

"Christopher was such a wonderful writer of prose. The other thing I learnt from Don is Christopher would always write in the morning, he'd get something done every day.

"When I was playing Christopher I would write as much as I could every day. Being around Steven Moffat [Doctor Who writer and creative head] and working with writers like Kevin Elyot has been really interesting. I'm just trying to learn about structure at the moment."

With Christopher Isherwood under his belt, would Matt consider playing another real person on the small screen if the role was right?

"Well I'd quite like to play Ted Hughes. That would be cool."

[Source: BBC Press Office]

3 March 2011

DWO can exclusively reveal that The 6th Doctor adventure; Vengeance on Varos will be released on DVD in 2012.

2|Entertain Classic Doctor Who Commissioning Editor, Dan Hall spoke to DWO regarding the release and had the following to say:

"We have been surprised and delighted by the fan campaigns that have championed for a Special Edition release of Vengeance on Varos, and due to the good old fashioned display of fan power that Doctor Who is famous for, 2|Entertain have listened and can confirm a fast commission for the release in 2012."

The Vengeance on Varos Special Edition DVD was originally slated to be part of the Revisitations 2 box-set, but was later replaced in favour of The Seeds of Death. 2|Entertain have kindly supplied us with a draft copy of the original proposed box-art that would have included the story (pictured).

Earlier today, 2|Entertain also confirmed the Late 2012 release of The 1st Doctor adventure; The Reign of Terror via their Twitter feed.

[Source: 2|Entertain]

3 March 2011

After many weeks of hard work, the DWO iWho App is now live on the Apple App Store.

Developed by DWO's Sebastian J. Brook and James Kelly, iWho is your #1 app for the latest Doctor Who News and Reviews, together with episodes of the DWO WhoCast podcast, as well as the DWO Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Blog Streams - right in the app itself!

Don't forget to Rate & Review iWho on the App Store, and as always, your feedback is greatly appreciated.

+ Click Here to buy iWho for just £1.19 ($1.99).

Read More about iWho in the DWO Apps section.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

28 February 2011

The DWO WhoCast podcast is planning a Nicholas Courtney tribute episode, and we want you, his fans, to get in touch.

Although we will have our own feature on Nicholas, the DWO WhoCast is asking our listeners to get in touch with mp3 audio (no background music) and emails for us to read out, about what you thought of Nicholas Courtney's role as The Brigadier, how you felt when you heard the tragic news, as well as any other stories or memories you may have.

You can send your feedback to: feedback@dwowhocast.com, and we will put the episode together over the next week.

+  Watch DWO's tribute video to Nicholas Courtney.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

28 February 2011

AudioGO have sent DWO the cover and details for the forthcoming CD release of Doctor Who: The BBC Radio Episodes.

A special slipcase containing each of the Doctor's full-cast BBC radio adventures: "The Paradise of Death"; "The Ghosts of N-Space"; "Exploration Earth - The Time Machine" & "Slipback".

Also included is the 1975 made-for-LP audio adventure 'Doctor Who and the Pescatons' and the 1994 spoof 'Whatever Happened To...Susan?'.

Jon Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen, Nicholas Courtney, Tom Baker, Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Jane Asher are amongst the cast.

+  Doctor Who: The BBC Radio Episodes is released on 7th April 2011, priced £60.00.

+  Compare Prices for this product on CompareTheDalek.com!

[Source: AudioGO]

28 February 2011

AudioGO have sent DWO the cover and details for the forthcoming CD release of Inferno.

In this exciting reading of a Doctor Who novelisation, first published by Target Books in 1984, the Doctor is trapped in a parallel world, unable to act as the Earth is threatened by a poisonous liquid leaking from top-secret drilling project Inferno.

This title is read by Caroline John.

+  Inferno is released on 7th April 2011, priced £13.25.

+  Compare Prices for this product on CompareTheDalek.com!

[Source: AudioGO]

E-Mail NewsE-Mail Reviews
RSS Feed
News Key
News Home
General
The New Series
The Classic Series
Spinoffs
Merchandise
Site
Blog Entries
Reviews Key
Reviews Home
Books / Magazines
DVD / Blu-ray
Audio
Toys / Other
TV Episodes
Search
Advertisements
iWho - The Doctor Who App!
Super Loot