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
8 June 2017

Wow...just...wow!

If this turns out to be Mark Gatiss' final script for Doctor Who, then he's going out on a massive high as we absolutely loved and adored Empress Of Mars!

There are so many classic series elements here that tick all the right boxes, and we don't just mean the Ice Warriors. The majority of the adventure is set in the caves underneath Mars, and thanks to the truly awesome locations used, the look and overall feel instantly pulls you in. There are elements of those cave scenes in Earthshock, but owing to the colour palette everything feels so much more other-worldly. This feels straight out of the classic series, but with all the trimmings of the new series and its budget.

In a nutshell, the year is 1881 and The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on Mars to find Victorian soldiers from Earth in the subterranean cave network. Among them is a lone Ice Warrior who serves tea and even tidies up afterwards! It's not long before the army discover a long-lost tomb, but with dissension in the ranks, chaos is just around the corner. As promised by Gatiss, we are introduced to a new type of Ice Warrior, and how wonderful she is! Iraxxa not only adds a new vein to the Ice Warriors mythos, but she proves a powerful force to be reckoned with, whilst throwing a good old punch in the air for girl power. Bill bookends the girl power, thanks to her negotiation skills with Iraxxa; in fact women seem to rank higher than men in Ice Warrior culture.

Whilst historically The Ice Warriors have generally been considered a Doctor Who villain, we like how Gatiss has fleshed them out (quite literally in Cold War) and made them so much more than a slick, green, waddling "upright crocodile", and given them some redeeming qualities (beach ball kills, aside). In fact, in Empress Of Mars, we actually see an Ice Warrior run!

If there is just one gripe we have, it's the way in which the Ice Warrior's kill their victims. Gone are the days of the inverted, shaky mirror death, now they're turned into...well...human beach balls. That being said, I certainly wouldn't want to be turned into a human beach ball, so the threat element remains intact...in a roundabout way.

This is a relatively Nardole-light episode, with the main pocket of his scenes at the start, but when he does eventually turn up again, it sets the scene for a rather complex situation that The Doctor will have to resolve at the start of The Eaters Of Light.

Empress Of Mars is a textbook Doctor Who adventure that does a lot more than it seems at first glance. As well as being a rollicking good monster story, it actually incorporates many aspects of the show that has lead to its success over the years. There's time travel, rich characters, genuinely scary monsters, and, more importantly, a stonkingly good script. We really hope this isn't Mark Gatiss' final script for Doctor Who! This is probably our favourite episode of Series 10 so far! 



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  Sleep No More.
2)  A nod to an actress last seen in Series 2.
3)  Not a good idea, Nardole...
4)  An old friend.
5)  
"This can't happen. This...is not what we agreed to."

+  10.9: Empress Of Mars airs This Saturday at 7:15pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

8 June 2017

Manufacturer: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo Switch

RRP: £34.99 / $59.99

Game Age Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 26th May 2017

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online & ToysWorld

Review Posted: 8th June 2017

Since its release a couple of months ago, the Nintendo Switch has delivered some truly awesome games based on immortalised classics like ZeldaMario Kart and Tetris – each taking the success of what has gone before and ramping it up for a new generation.

Now and again, however, there’s a title that doesn’t really need a massive update; you just want the familiarity of a game you loved, but for the shiny new console you’ve just bought. Enter Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers!

Ultimately this is a port of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, a title that is already the definitive mix of all previous versions in one tidy package. The new switch version has some nifty additions, however, and they more than make the purchase worthwhile. The title also happens to be released as Street Fighter celebrates its 30th anniversary, so the timing couldn’t be better!

Firstly – the graphics have been souped up, making everything that bit smoother and more clean. Kudos to UDON (responsible for the Street Fighter comics), for the game visuals, which, stylistically works so well. If that’s not for you, though, you have the option to switch to classic visuals and sounds, so there’s something for everyone.

As for the roster, this now clocks in at a total of 19 characters, including Evil Ryu, Violent Ken and Akuma – who is no longer hidden and available to play straight away.

There are several game modes to choose from including Arcade, Buddy Battle, Way Of The Hado, Training, as well as Versus & Online modes. Way Of The Hado makes use of the detachable Joy-Con controllers, and allows you to play from Ryu’s point of view, as you make your way through waves of Shadaloo soldiers. The motion controls are pretty accurate, with only the odd rogue move, and you do feel like you’ve had a workout afterwards – which totally counts by the way! [kisses non-existent biceps]

Multiplayer mode is incredibly easy and works right out of the box, with the ability to use the Joy-Con’s for 2-player mode. Online play is refreshingly straightforward, too, and the expected lag is nowhere to be seen. One of the best parts is that you can get into a match quickly and even rematch straight away afterwards.

Whilst gameplay is perfectly suited to the Joy-Con’s, the game really comes into its own if you use the Switch Pro controller, where everything feels a little bit more natural.

Speaking of gameplay, it’s just as you remember it! The buttons and combos are pretty much the same, with only a few slight changes, which you can adjust to seamlessly.

Overall, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers couldn’t really go wrong. It’s a timeless classic that, despite new takes on the franchise, keeps going back to this particular iteration – and for good reason. With an RRP of £34.99, there is enough new / additional content to make it a worthwhile purchase, but it is undoubtedly the classic gameplay that you’ll keep going back to again and again.



+  BUY Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers from Amazon.co.uk from just £29.99!
+  BUY Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers from Amazon.com from just $39.99!

6 June 2017

First appearing on our screens over fifty years ago, Doctor Who has not only been a television phenomenon, it has spawned more merchandise than any other British TV programme in history. Literally thousands of products have been produced since the series launch in 1963, with many of these items now being collectible and highly sort after by fans of the programme.

Doctor Who has featured on virtually every conceivable product, from books and records to toys and games, breakfast cereal promotions to full-size prop replicas. The series merchandising has enjoyed many peaks and troughs from the heady days of Dalekmania in the 1960s to a drought in the early ’70s, the rise of the collectible in the ’80s to the nostalgia driven days of the ’90s and then a huge resurgence following the Doctor’s return to television in the twenty-first century.

Whether you're looking for a full-size Cyberman or a pair of Dalek slippers, a Tom Baker scarf or a pinball machine, Doctor Who has produced something for every type of collector.

Sit back and revel in nostalgia as we take a look at some of the more notable and unusual items that have been produced over the last half century.

+  Doctor Who Memorabilia is Out Now, priced £14.99!
+  BUY NOW from Amberley Books for just £13.49

[Source: Amberley Books]

 

1 June 2017

And so we have our first three-parter since Series Three's Utopia, The Sound Of Drums & The Last Of The Time Lords...

As far as gravitas goes, it would be unfair to compare The Lie Of The Land to those episodes, after all, it provided us with one of the biggest rug-pull moments in Doctor Who history as we finally got to see the long-awaited return of The Master. The big question is: "Does this really work as a three-parter?", and whilst we enjoyed all three episodes, the mini-saga felt a little drawn out by the time we finally get to the end of the adventure. The narratives of all three episodes, whilst linked, still feel quite disparate and the set-ups at the end of the first two episodes have no resolution at the start of their concluding parts.

Putting a pin in our gripe for a second, we start six months after the events of the previous episode, and the pre-titles scenes felt, stylistically, like they were straight out of the Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who - it works really well, but you are left wanting to know what happened at the lab after the end of the previous episode. Also, what happened to Erica? Hang on...sorry about that...putting the pin back in again.

The plot revolves around the Monks now having taken control of the planet, leading mankind to believe that they've always been there, guiding them since the dawn of humanity. In reality, it has only been 6 months since Bill Potts gave her "consent", but thus unravels the titular lie of the land. We know we said it was unfair to compare this trilogy to the Series 3, three-parter, but a chunk of the plot here does, in part, seem quite familiar. An enemy (known to The Doctor and us as an audience) has taken control of the planet, and over a period of time it has become accepted by humanity.

That really is all the negatives out the way, and in spite of them, we still enjoyed the episode, and yes - this does still retain Series 10's high standard of episode quality. We mentioned earlier about the infamous rug-pull moment from Utopia, and there is another in this episode, though not quite as big. A big chunk of the story is understandably focused on how to bring down the Monks, but there are some really poignant stand out moments; one in particular involves Bill, who delivers her most emotionally charged scene to date.

Capaldi's Doctor feels particularly unpredictable in The Lie Of The Land, and never does he feel more dangerous than when you don't know what he's going to do next. 

Missy is back again (thankfully) and she is on fine form here. We get to see inside the vault and get an update on whether she really is changing for the better. Without going too much into the detail, The Doctor needs Missy's help and it seems she may have met The Monks before...

Whilst The Lie Of The Land may prove a little divisive among fans, there's a cracking story at its heart that just feels slightly overstretched to the three-episode format.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  Daleks. Cybermen. Weeping Angels.
2)  "It's me! Nardy!"
3)  The Doctor does something dramatic that he's never done before!
4)  Chocolat.
5)  
A game of hot and cold.

+  10.8: The Lie Of The Land airs This Saturday at 7:35pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

31 May 2017

It’s not every day you find a screen-used, Classic Doctor Who prop, let alone one that has such an iconic image as the Ice Warrior, but that's exactly what Toybox Treasures' Matthew Doe did!

It was the monsters that first cemented Doctor Who’s popularity and carried it through the earth-shattering change in lead actor in 1966. Patrick Troughton’s era is renowned for its monster stories and indeed, his second year is known as ‘The Monster Season’ for good reason.

Along with the latest adventures with the Daleks and Cybermen, a parade of new aliens graced TVs everywhere – none more long lasting in impact than The Ice Warriors. They were so successful in their debut story that a return was swiftly arranged for Troughton’s last season in The Seeds of Death. The Pertwee era relied less on the past – despite three Dalek stories, the Cybermen didn’t return until the Fourth Doctor had arrived. However, the Ice Warriors did return, not once but twice in consecutive years with Curse of Peladon and Monster of Peladon in 1973 and 1974 respectively. And of course, they have returned in the modern series – facing down Matt Smith in Cold War and returning against Peter Capaldi this year.

Speaking on the find, Toybox Treasures' Matthew Doe said:

"As a prop collector and dealer, I often receive emails starting “I’ve got a screen used….” Unlike 90% of these emails, this one led to an incredible discovery – a screen-used Ice Warrior head that could be the only known surviving classic Ice Warrior head in existence. Not only that, but one of the very first made in 1967, the so-called ‘big head’ version.

We were actually on our way back from London, having met up with the lovely Sue Moore (modelling genius behind many 80’s monsters), when I received a call asking me if I’d like to meet up to discuss the Ice Warrior. This was arranged for the following morning. (We had travelled well over 800 miles in the past couple of days buying props for clients, so to cut down on travelling we opted to spend another night at a hotel for a welcomed break and an easier journey the next day)

And it was the real deal – despite clearly suffering the ravages of time, this was one of the very earliest Ice Warrior heads, used in both Troughton’s and Pertwee’s era. This is one of those moments you dream of as both a prop collector and Who fan.

I needed to know from a collector’s point of view, the best way forward for the Ice Warrior’s head. Should the head be restored or preserved? What kind of reception would it get? I am very fortunate to have a group of friends that I can call upon for advice so I contacted Mick Hall, Colin Young, Graham Flynn and John Tobin (for those who don’t know, these guys are what we call the dog’s dangles of Dr Who prop collectors – the world’s leading Doctor Who prop guys!). After a lot of discussion and thought, I decided the best way (and only way) forward was to call Mike Tucker who I am fortunate to know and proud to call a friend. Mike Tucker was really the only person for the job- a Bafta winner for his work on the series, he’s well respected within the industry having worked for BBC’s Visual Effects department and now owning The Model Unit – and he’s one of a tiny group of people to have worked on both the classic and modern series.

After consulting with Mike, and taking into consideration the collectors of the Doctor Who world, I decided it had to be be preserved (every time we touched the Ice Warrior latex was falling off in our hand) and it hand to be done quick. The worst outcome for this historical item would be for it to fall to pieces and cease to exist so within days of picking it up we drove to Ealing Studios to drop this off so Mike could start work.

If you haven’t had a chance to speak to Mike then do please make the effort and go to one of his public appearances/talks – I promise you will have a most enjoyable time listening to his experiences in film and TV, and both eras of the show we all love.

As any prop collector will tell you, props made to last a few weeks decades ago and which were used more than once, in this case over 7 years apart, are going to suffer damage. Add in that a lot of the Ice Warrior head is latex which doesn’t like hot lights – present in the studio and later at the Blackpool Exhibition – and you’ll see the problem.  The head needed a lot of work if it was to survive for future generations of fans to appreciate.

But if I went down a full restoration route it would mean that the head quite frankly would no longer be 100% original; currently having the odd repair here and there; with a result of bearing no resemblance of what was screen used. And that, was out of the question. Actually doesn’t that turn props into Replicas when most of it has been replaced? At what point does it remove that original factor? Perhaps that’s an open discussion for us over on the Facebook group. A future owner can still go down a restoration route but for me, the focus was on Preservation. "

Preservation work:

In preserving the Ice Warrior’s head, all existing pieces were used, colour matching the age and sometimes having to remove layers of paint. It’s a lot harder in some cases to do this than just fully restore a piece. Here’s a list of some what we have had done and in doing so have kept it’s original aspect.

·  Removed by hand the silver paint which was applied during exhibition, this covered the orange eyes in which it had from it’s time in the 1974 episode “Monster of Pela Don” with Jon Pertwee. – There was actually some of the green film attached to the inside from it’s 1967 Ice Warriors Appearance.

·  Using existing latex pieces that had fallen off to repair the side mouth, this meant we kept everything original we used no new pieces of latex.

·  Repositioned mouth. Due to one piece of the cheek missing, this had unfortunately lowered the mouth, so again using original latex pieces put back into position, this made the mouth whole again.

·  Matching paint to cover where needed. There are two layers of paint on the Ice Warrior; firstly when it was seen screen used, and then a brighter paint colour was added when used for the Doctor Who exhibition in the early 80’s

Doctor Who Magazine:

Matthew Doe spoke to Richard Moleworth of Doctor Who Magazine about the prop. Richard had gone to an in depth review of the Ice Warrior for his article in Doctor Who Magazine, and leaving no stone unturned in his research of the ice warrior. Purchase Doctor Who Magazine Issue #513 for an exclusive interview with Mike Tucker from The Model Unit.

DWO managed to grab a few more questions with Matthew Doe regarding the find:

Items like this don’t turn up very often. What did you think when you firs heard about the Ice Warrior head, and how do you choose between scepticism and belief?

Love at first sight? OK, no really, something that's really hard to fake in this game is age, so to start with, does it feel right, smell right, and are the materials of an age is the first thing. I think when you have got past that barrier with a prop from the 60's, you can then start looking at screen matching it, although we are talking poor quality recordings from the 1960's, so screen matching an item can be really hard unless you have access to promotional shots. Luckily with a combination of behind the scenes photos / on screen and the radio times photos, we were able to start tracing its pedigree history right from the go. It was also the first time I had the pleasure of speaking to Richard Molesworth; wow - no stone was left unturned with Richard. He was doing the interview and report for Doctor Who magazine about its history and really brought the whole Ice Warrior to life.

As far as finds go, how far up there is the Ice Warrior head in your collecting history, so far?

I've sourced things from a screen-used Cyberman Chest Piece to a 6" Screen Used Dalek, but this is pretty up there with the Dalek I think; it's one of the oldest pieces I have owned - I mean there isn't really that many years of Doctor Who before '67. So things are going to be limited what can be found now.

Is there a dream prop / costume that you’d love to find one day (Ice Warrior head aside)?

Dream prop, maybe - I think like any Doctor Who fan it would be a full sized Dalek but - I would probably go as far as something really iconic and easy to display like Bill's cane or Pat's recorder. I've had a fair share of my full size Daleks, two words "DUST TRAP" - I think we will leave that there. 

Be honest…have you tried it on, yet?

Actually I haven't - it's so fragile, trying to undo the leather straps and put around my head, I think I would break it trying.

If you could take a round trip in the TARDIS, anywhere in time and space, where would you go and why?

Help with world peace and save lives? Who wouldn't, if we are talking the Doctor Who world - probably go back and stop the tapes from being wiped - Grrrrr ! As most of the people who read this, Doctor Who is a large part of most of our lives, eat & sleep it, so why not, lets rescue some tapes!

[Sources: Toybox Treasures; DWO]

25 May 2017

As two-parters go, The Pyramid At The End Of The World had a lot to live up to from the previous episode...

The story itself is a lot simpler than last week's, and The Monks are centre stage with their plan to take the planet and its people. We kick off with a rather interesting twist on the 'previously...' recap at the start of the episode, that interjects with scenes from 'now' - something that not only works really well, but has Moffat written all over it!

As with last week, we have a side story, which, at first, seems completely unrelated, but we later find out how the two correlate and it plays out to set the stage for the episode's conclusion. For a moment, we actually thought this scene was setting us up for a shock regeneration, as it appears to mirror events from a previous episode in the 10th Doctor's timeline.

Those of you expecting to see Missy will be disappointed. After the set-up from the closing moments of the previous episode she is nowhere to be seen; a rather odd, but, in hindsight, deliberate choice.

Bill has some great moments in the episode, and you relish the times where she problem solves out loud, proving to The Doctor (and everyone around her) just how intelligent she is. The Pyramid At The End Of The World gives Pearl Mackie another platform to show off her skills and give great development to her character, and as events come to a head, Bill actually becomes the most important person on the planet.

Where we feel things are let down a bit is in the form of suspense; something that was peppered throughout the previous episode.Yes, Extremis was a little slower than other stories this season, but the suspense built throughout and coupled with the claustrophobic setting of the library, and the pursuit of the creepy Monks, it all worked together so well. This episode, whilst still suspenseful in places, felt disparate and a little disjointed; so many elements from last weeks story were missing here, and you expected them to reappear to give some form of a resolution.

One thing that the story did exceptionally well was its use of location; that pyramid (both external and internal) was fantastic, and it kind of has you longing for an Egyptian-themed episode of Doctor Who.

Something that deserves a mention is the way in which Rachel Denning (an actor with dwarfism) was used in the episode. Not only did she do a fantastic job with the role, but her disability wasn't even referenced in the story - nor did it need to be. Another excellent example of representation of diversity in Doctor Who.

Although The Pyramid At The End Of The World didn't tick all the boxes, and was far from a perfect episode, it still somehow manages to continue the quality and momentum of success that Series 10 has carried thus far. Speaking of momentum, the first line of this review will be turned on its head as the end titles roll. ;)



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  An indirect but totally accurate reference to Trump.
2)  The most advanced duffle coat in history.
3)  Strands of time.
4)  2 Minutes to Midnight...
5)  A scene reminiscent of The Doctor and Wilf in the isolation chamber...

+  10.7: The Pyramid At The End Of The World airs This Saturday at 7:45pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

18 May 2017

As we approach the halfway marker of Series 10, it's clear we've had a very strong season so far, but it's a point where we start to wonder how long the momentum can last. With the return of Missy, and an episode written by Steven Moffat, however, you may just have to wait a little longer as this series continues to deliver with Extremis.

From the off, Moffat is on fine form; the episode starts 'A long time ago' as we spiral in on an unknown planet that specialises in executions. To name either the executioner or the condemned would be giving too much away, but typical of Moffat's style, this little narrative which fades in and out of the main story is a pleasant distraction, and you keep wanting to know its resolution.

Ok..we can hear you asking... and YES - we do get to find out who or what is inside the vault, but as we read our checklist of what we can and can't mention in our preview, alas, the identity is something we cannot reveal - although the more astute among you will have probably guessed by now.

The episode is centred around a book called The Veritas - something that anyone who has read has soon after died. The way in which The Doctor is involved is straight out of a Dan Brown novel. In fact, The Doctor can very easily be compared to Robert Langdon (the central character in Brown's books); a smart man, called in by the Catholic church to solve a chilling mystery at its heart. There are scenes that appear to be straight out of Angels And Demons, and the adventure is all the richer for it. Previewing an episode like this is incredibly difficult without giving anything away, but, as you can expect, there is something much larger going on behind the scenes here, and you'll be left with way more questions before the titles roll.

There are so many elements that pull together to form a truly amazing episode of Doctor Who; you have the central season arc referenced, there are truly, TRULY terrifying villains, some amazing sets and locations and a terrific score that makes the adventure way larger than the sum of its parts. In many ways, Extremis feels more like a movie than it does an episode, and by the time the 48-minute timeframe is up, you are desperate for more. For the second time this season there are echoes of Silence In The Library; helped, in part, that there are several scenes set inside the Vatican library, and the re-emergence of a certain...ahem...diary.

We mentioned a couple of episodes back how the horror element has been ramped this season, something that is reminiscent of the Hinchcliffe years of Doctor Who, and as far as villains go, we think that the hooded monks are quite possibly the most frightening and chilling monsters the show has had to date. The look and feel of the monks, coupled with the way in which they talk will creep you out to the max.

Not sure if it is deliberate, but look out for the familiar melody from the opening bars of Thunderball that repeat themeslves throughout Murray Gold's score for Extremis. The similarities to Bond don't end there either, as there's something very Thomas Newman-esque about it, and at one point near the end, there's another familiar Bond riff. Comparisons aside, Gold's music once again takes centre stage and accompanies the adventure with audible precision.

Extremis, although a slower episode than we're used to this season (which isn't a bad thing), is a wonderful reminder of just how good Steven Moffat is as a writer, and why we've been so lucky to have him at the heart of Doctor Who for the past 7 years. This feels like the beginning of his swan song and he is going out in a blaze of glory. But before all that, The Pyramid At The End Of The World beckons...



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”Prydonian Chapter”
2)  CERN
3)  Shhhh! Spoilers!
4)  Someone has the authority to "kick The Doctor's ass"!
5)  The return of a location The Doctor last visited in Series 6.

+  10.6: Extremis airs This Saturday at 7:25pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

18 May 2017

Publisher: Amazon Media

Written By: Andrew Hastie

RRP: £9.99 (Paperback) / £2.99 (Kindle)

Release Date: January 2015

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 12th May 2017

DWO regularly receives a wide range of products to review; some Doctor Who related and some indirectly related to the Doctor Who universe. Whilst Andrew Hastie's The Infinity Engines series isn't a Doctor Who title, we couldn't help but feel that there were several strands that connected to the whoniverse, and the first book in the series 'Anachronist' is one many who fans will love and find it hard to put down.

Anachronist is the perfect blend of History and Science Fiction with intelligent plot devices, rich characters and more time travel than you can shake a stick at. In fact, this is a story that will give any Doctor Who fan that warm, Mr Kipling-esque feeling of familiarity. The first chapter even feels like a pre-titles sequence set-up that literally launches you right into the action. There's a slight feeling of John Green in Hastie's style, and at its heart (and much like a John Green title) this is a coming of age story.

The time travel element is set up pretty quickly, and without giving to much away, Josh (the main character), quickly finds himself in the past in historical Prussia in 1944. Hastie's ability to weave in actual historical elements, whilst carving out his own unique story is seamless and refreshing, and you go to so many places and points in time that the book never tires or stagnates.

Anachronist has something for everyone, and for those of you who are a sucker for a romance, Hastie has that covered for you, too! Nothing is shoe-horned in for effect, everything has its place and a meaning and the reader genuinely cares for Josh and the people he meets along the way.

The book ends on a cliffhanger, and you will be climbing the walls desperate for a resolution. We just wish we could time travel into the future to read it!

 

+  Anachronist: A Time Travel Adventure is Out Now, priced £9.99 / $12.99.
+  Buy this book on Amazon!
+  Follow Infinity Engines on Twitter.

15 May 2017

David Tennant and Billie Piper are reprising their roles of the Tenth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler in three new Doctor Who audio dramas from Big Finish Productions in arrangement with BBC Worldwide.

David Tennant’s Doctor, portrayed on screen from December 2005 until December 2009, returned in the 50th Anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor, with Matt Smith and Sir John Hurt in 2013, and on audio for Big Finish with Catherine Tate in 2016.

Billie Piper portrayed the Doctor’s much-loved companion Rose in 2005 and 2006, returning for a number of stories in 2008. She also appeared as The Moment – which had taken Rose’s form – in The Day Of The Doctor. These new stories will be Billie’s eagerly-awaited debut for Big Finish.

Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery says:

"Getting David and Billie back together was definitely on my bucket list – two wonderful actors who created an era of Doctor Who which is so fondly remembered and brought a different aspect of the relationship between the Doctor and his companion to the fore – love, both platonic and unrequited. It’s great to have the Tenth Doctor and Rose back again!"

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2, to be released in November 2017, is comprised of three thrilling hour-long full-cast audio adventures.

The set opens with Infamy Of The Zaross by John Dorney, in which an alien invasion of Earth isn’t quite what it appears to be – Camille Coduri guest stars as Jackie Tyler.

In the second adventure, Sword Of The Chevalier by Guy Adams, the Doctor and Rose arrive in Slough in 1791 and encounter Chevalier D’Eon, an enigmatic ex-spy who has lived his life as a woman. Together they must fend off alien slavers, who have come to Earth to abduct valuable humans.

Finally, in Cold Vengeance by Matt Fitton, the TARDIS arrives on Coldstar, a vast frozen food asteroid in deep space. But there is something sinister defrosting in the network of storage units… the Doctor’s old enemies the Ice Warriors! Nicholas Briggs plays Ice Lord Hasskor and Warrior Slaan.

Nicholas Briggs said:

"It was such a special time for me, working with Billie and David on the TV show, and it is such an honour to revisit it with them on audio."

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2 is produced by David Richardson, script edited by Matt Fitton and John Dorney, and directed by Nicholas Briggs. Executive producers are Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs.

David Richardson said:

"We were thrilled by the response to the first volume. David Tennant and Catherine Tate were on fantastic form, and it’s so exciting to reunite David with Billie Piper, playing the Doctor and Rose together again after nine years! Their time in the series transformed Doctor Who into a prime-time and international hit, and we’ve worked very hard to live up to the incredible standards of Russell T Davies."

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 2 (Limited Edition) is available now for pre-order on Download and CD. This five-disc collector's edition - limited to 5,000 copies - is available on CD in deluxe bookset packaging for a pre-release price of £35, with a download version for £25.

The three stories - Infamy of the Zaross, Sword of the Chevalier and Cold Vengeance, can be bought individually for £8.99 on Download or £10.99 on Download. These are also bundled together for £22 and £25 respectively.

Listend to the trailer in the player, below:

[Source: Big Finish]

 

11 May 2017

We're really loving the 'back in time for tea' element that Series 10 has brought; with The Doctor seemingly detained on Earth to watch over the mysterious vault. The impromptu trips with Bill have seen her travel to the future and the past, and now we get her very first space adventure - with Nardole along for the ride, too!

As the episode begins, you may be forgiven for thinking it was the start of a Star Trek adventure, with Peter Capaldi narrating a shot of space with the words "Space; the final frontier". There's something about those four words that instantly set the scene, and prepare you for something exciting, yet unknown. The pre-titles sequence makes use of some stunning visuals and there's a Kubrik-esque style to it that sets the precedent for everything that follows. We love our comparisons, and Oxygen feels like a mash-up of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien and The Walking Dead - all rolled into one!

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on a space station where almost all the crew have died and those that remain are being hunted down. Without giving too much away, as the title suggests, oxygen has an important part to play in the story. Let's just say that whilst we live in a time where bedroom tax is a real thing, the concept behind this episode, although slightly far-fetched, isn't exactly beyond the realms of possibility.

Writer, Jamie Mathieson (Mummy On The Orient Express, Flatline), has expertly woven an action-packed episode, with real horror and suspense, and there's more than one moment that will genuinely shock you - no matter how old you are! We did feel, however, that the episode has been a slight casualty of the editing process. There are some clunky cuts that sometimes makes the action on screen feel like it's moving ahead of the pace of the story. There's a lot going on in the episode, and much like with a Moffat-based story, you really have to pay attention to get everything that's happening.

The Doctor and Bill have definitely found their groove now, and it's a delight to see them sparring off each other on-screen. Pearl Mackie has continued to captivate us with her unique take on the Doctor Who companion template, and every frame she's in seems to sparkle with charisma.

If any of you are still undecided on Nardole (ok there are moments when he can be a little annoying), be prepared for a great scene, excellently executed by Matt Lucas, towards the end of the episode.

There's a lovely piece of music that kicks in about 5 minutes into the episode that dips beautifully from major to minor keys, and for the first time in a while, we get a taster of something anthemic building in Murray Gold's score. Music has played such a key role in Doctor Who since its return in 2005, and Gold has been at the heart of it. If we may embellish a (slightly cheesy) observation; Doctor Who glitters when Gold is at its beating heart.

Oxygen is a thrill-a-minute space adventure that will frighten, shock and surprise you. You definitely get the feeling that the production team are taking some risks and pushing the horror element, and whilst, at times, it sails perilously close to the border of what's acceptable for the kids pre-watershed time-slot, it reminds you that Doctor Who is perhaps at its best when it makes you feel slightly uncomfortable.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”I want to have a baby with you!”
2)  Velma.
3) ”That is my theme tune! Otherwise known as a distress call.”
4)  A similar shot of a companion to one we saw in The Girl In The Fireplace.
5)  A rug-pull moment, just before the credits roll.

+  10.5: Oxygen airs This Saturday at 7:15pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

7 May 2017

Manufacturer: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo Switch

RRP: £49.99 / $59.99

Game Age Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 28th April 2017

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online & ToysWorld

Review Posted: 7th May 2017

Mario Kart has been a defining racer since its original release in 1992. Combining fun with skill and those all-important power-ups, the game has sold well over 100 million copies, worldwide.

It was the release of Mario Kart Wii, however, that redefined the game, allowing (for the first time on a full console) the ability to connect online and race with players across the world.

2017 sees the highly-anticipated release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the new Nintendo Switch console, and it brings with it some cool new characters, karts and modes;

New Characters:

King Boo (Heavy)
Dry Bones (Light)
Bowser Jr. (Light)
Inkling Boy (Medium)
Inkling Girl (Medium)

If you manage to complete all the cups in 200cc mode, you will also get to unlock a special secret ‘Gold Mario (Heavy)’ character.

New Karts:

Splat Buggy
Ink Striker
Koopa Clown
Super Glider

New Battle Modes & Maps:

There are 8 new battle mode maps in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe:

Battle Stadium
Sweet Sweet Kingdom
Dragon Palace
Lunar Colony
3DS Wuhu Town
GNC Luigi’s Mansion
SNES Battle Course 1
Urchin Underpass

Within the new Battle Modes you get five different types;

Balloon Battle – each player starts off with 5 balloons, which other players have to pop.
Bob-omb Blast – similar to balloon battle, except the only items that players can find are Bob-ombs.
Renegade Roundup – players are split up into 2 teams, in a cops and robbers style pursuit. One group have piranha plants attached to the front of their vehicles and must capture players in the opposing group.
Coin Runners – players must battle to claim the most coins in the arena before the timer runs out.
Shine Thief – players have to battle over the control of a shine sprite in the style of capture the flag.

Other changes for the Nintendo Switch version of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, include being able to play in 1080p resolution (compared to 720p on the Wii U), with 720p resolution in handheld mode. There are also updated Mii animations, as well as new menu graphics.

So that’s everything new compared to the standard Mario Kart 8 version, but how about the gameplay itself?

Any of you familiar with Mario Kart Wii, will feel right at home with the latest iteration. Rather than rebuilding the game from the ground up, Nintendo have taken the success of the Wii version, and improved on it immensely, whilst retaining the spirit and barebones of its predecessor.

One major improvement is the graphics, and being able to play Mario Kart in high definition really does make a huge difference to the overall enjoyment and immersive feel of the game. There are some lovely little in-game, on-screen FX, like water when it’s raining. The raindrops hit the screen in an incredibly realistic style that makes you second guess whether you need to rub the screen dry or not.

The Nintendo Switch brings with it the fantastic ability to play on your TV, but also in handheld mode on the go, and this is where Mario Kart 8 Deluxe really comes into its own. The ability to take the game with you in the car and race while you’re literally on the road (with a responsible driver in charge of the actual car, of course), is truly fantastic!

Online multiplayer mode is as entertaining as ever, and you really feel like you need to up your game to compete with other players from around the world. For the first time you can also bring a second local player online with you for two-player, online mode.

The previously mentioned battle modes really take the game up a notch too, and add a welcomed change to the gameplay if you fancy switching things up a bit. One of our favourite modes was Renegade Roundup, where you have to try and catch (or evade) the opposing team members with your piranha plant.

We cannot find fault in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (except for that annoying thing where you’re in 1st place and know that the blue turtle shell is coming for you any second), everything we loved about the previous version has been improved, and with tracks that revisit some old favourites, you get a double hit of nostalgia with the game.



+  BUY Mario Kart 8 Deluxe from Amazon.co.uk from just £41.99!
+  BUY Mario Kart 8 Deluxe from Amazon.com from just $59.88!


4 May 2017

So we just moved the sofa back against the wall (where it belongs), having just emerged from watching the terrifying ‘Knock Knock’…

It’s an episode that, if Mary Whitehouse was still alive, would have had her penning one of her harshest letters directed at the BBC - and as any Doctor Who fan of a certain age will know, this can only be a good thing! :)

The run of high quality, entertaining Doctor Who stories that Series 10 has produced thus far continues in fine form here, and Mike Bartlett expertly manages to compress a horror movie into Doctor Who’s 45-minute time slot. There’s something very Moffat-esque about his script, and with Moffat himself stepping down at Christmas, we hope that Chris Chibnall [incoming showrunner] will bring Bartlett back to continue Steven's tradition of turning everyday objects into scary plots.

As far as scary Doctor Who stories go, this is up there with the likes of The Empty Child and Midnight - perhaps even scarier than those two serials. The sound team have done a fantastic job with the FX - and that’s even without us having the binaural version, which will also be available to viewers who choose to wear headphones. Murray Gold deserves a nod here for his fantastic score that accompanies the story, giving it a haunting undertone, throughout.

The basic plot involves Bill and her friends looking for a place to rent, with very little luck, until a stranger overhears their dilemma, offering the perfect solution; a spacious house with room enough for all of them. The house, however, is hiding a chilling secret, and the trade-off for cheap rent may result in the tennant's paying with their lives!

There are so many elements that pull together to make this story a success, but it is David Suchet, whose unannounced peppering in the plot, that is the real star of the show. Whilst his role in the story is villainous (from a certain point of view), he plays it straight up and with sincerity, dripping with creepiness. There’s something very human to him, though, and you end up feeling for the character by the end of the story.

Knock Knock is an instant classic that will have you fearing any building with wood panelling and one that will be rightfully putting the kids (and the grown-ups) back behind the sofa!



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”Regenerated?”
2) High Pitch.
3) ”Basically, this is the bit of my life that you’re not in.”
4)  Are you my mummy?
5) The Vault opens…

Fun Fact: The character of Harry is actually the grandson of Harry Sullivan (companion to the 4th Doctor), but this isn't included or referenced in the final broadcast version.

+  10.4: Knock Knock airs This Saturday at 7:20pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

3 May 2017

BBC Worldwide and Skype have today announced the launch of the first ever Doctor Who Bot. The Doctor will open the TARDIS doors and invite players to help him save the Universe in an exciting interactive digital experience titled The Saviour Of Time. The brand new bot uses the latest technology to deliver a unique experience between the Doctor and the player. 

In a world first, users get the thrilling opportunity to be the Doctor's companion as the bot immerses them in a specially-written six-part Doctor Who adventure.  Players will experience the Doctor communicating with them directly and setting them challenges that can only be solved by the best companions. 

 

Launching across multiple territories* today, May 3rd, the bot includes challenges, logic puzzles, and quizzes, revolving around the search for a mysterious artefact known as the Key To Time. Scattered throughout time and space, users must locate all six segments of the Key and restore it, in order to save the Universe.

 

Following the launch today, a new Chapter will be released every Sunday at 6 PM (BST) , shortly after episodes of Doctor Who series 10 air on BBC One, BBC AMERICA (USA), Space (Canada), ABC (Australia) and in other key international markets. [Click here for territory information]

 

Jaclyn Lee-Joe, Chief Marketing Officer at BBC Worldwide said:


It’s hugely exciting to be launching a Doctor Who Bot on Skype - which gives us the opportunity to deliver a new form of digital story-telling with our cutting-edge brand. Through this new innovation we get to experience first-hand how bots can help deliver digital first content, and immerse audiences, old and new, in the Doctor Who universe like never before.”

 

Steven Abrahams, Group Product Manager, Studios and Strategic Partnerships for Skype said:


Our goal is for everyone in the world to experience the best Skype has to offer and the Doctor Who bot with BBC Worldwide brings a range of new features and functionality. We’re excited to see the bot bring users and fans one step closer to meeting the iconic Doctor.”

 

The bot will feature exclusive voice-over from Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, and is creatively developed by writing talent Joe Lidster (The Sarah Jane AdventuresTorchwood).

 

The Doctor Who Bot builds upon existing relationships between BBC Worldwide and Skype, working together to uncover exciting new ways to reach audiences. In 2015 Skype launched the shareable, movie and TV clips initiative, Skype Mojis – featuring exhilarating short-form content from Top Gear, Doctor Who, and Sherlock.

 

To add the Doctor Who Bot manually, users need to search for “Doctor Who Bot” in the Skype Bot Directory, read the bot’s profile and terms, and then click “Add to Contacts”.  To see new updates as they begin to roll out, users need to be on the latest Skype app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or Web.

 

*The Doctor Who Bot will be available from the Skype Bot Directory in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Portugal, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil. 

 

Click here to add the Doctor Who bot to Skype and start saving the universe! Visit the Skype blog for more information on the bot and click here for a step-to-step guide on how to use the bot.
 

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

30 April 2017

The overnight ratings are in for 10.3: Thin Ice.

The episode achieved an overnight viewing figure of 3.76m viewers, with a 20.3% audience share, and was the fourth most-watched show on BBC One for the evening.

The final BARB ratings will be confirmed by Monday 8th May, and will include the time shift which will see a much larger rise in the final rating.

Although lower than last week, this rating is still up on Episode 3 from Series 9! 

Viewing Figures for Series 10:
10.1: The Pilot - 4.64m / 24.8% audience share (Overnights) / 6.68m (Final BARB Figure)
10.2: Smile - 4.25m / 22.9% audience share (Overnights).
10.3: Thin Ice - 3.76m / 20.3% audience share (Overnights).

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

[Source: DWO]

27 April 2017

At the end of last week's episode, we were desperate to talk about the elephant in the room...quite literally, but as we are prohibited from revealing certain elements of the episodes (as part of our advance preview agreement), it would have given away the ending. Thankfully, by the time you are reading this, we will have seen The Doctor and Bill arrive in historical London at the last of the great Frost Fairs.

This is an episode that feels like Oliver Twist meets The Curse Of The Black Spot, and is as rich in story, character and script as it is in the beautiful setting - and what a setting it is! When we first read the synopsis, it felt like one of Virgin's Doctor Who Missing Adventures books from the 1990's - that's no bad thing at all, in fact, it seemed like one of those stories that read so well that you couldn't imagine there being a budget to allow it on screen. But seeing it on-screen is a delight, and it looks like a BBC period drama with all the trimmings. There are crowd scenes with so much going on that you'll want to pause it to see just how much life and activity there is. This is then juxtaposed with some literally chilling scenes on the Thames where there is just one character, a mist, a threat, and nothing but Murray Gold's eerie score to accompany them.

We get to see more of The Doctor and Bill's dynamic here, and their first proper argument, which feels a little awkward at first, and you begin to wonder if Bill might just pack it all in and demand to go back home. Bill really questions The Doctor - perhaps more than any other companion, and it's so refreshing to see how differently she views situations. The Doctor also comes more to the forefront in this episode with a couple of great speeches, whilst still allowing Bill some room to stand up and take the stage.

As for the main threat in the episode, there's more than just one, but the initial threat is dealt with in a wonderfully Doctor Who way; something lurking beneath the Thames, and it selects its victims with little green lights that swirl around you, underneath the ice, and then....splosh....you're gone! FANTASTIC! 

Writer, Sarah Dollard (Face The Raven), has done a truly fantastic job with Thin Ice; a very different story to her Series 9 offering (which we also loved). There are some bold decisions in the episode; without giving too much away, there's a character that gets pulled under the ice, and you think there may be a chance they'll survive, but Dollard sticks to her guns and it makes for a sad, but rather poignant moment. Whilst there haven't been that many female writers during the show's 52-year history (just 8 at our last count), Sarah Dollard is a prime example of why we need more, and we hope she remains under Chris Chibnall's reign. 

Thin Ice is a textbook historical adventure that, once over, gives you a warm glow. (Except for that bit right at the end...) 😮



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) “Who's Pete?”

2) The Doctor steals!
3) "I'm 2000 years old, and I have never had the time for the luxury of outrage."
4) The long-awaited return of Search Wise!
5) 3 Knocks...No...4 Knocks!

+  10.3: Thin Ice airs This Saturday at 7:20pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

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