Welcome to the News & Reviews section here at Doctor Who Online! This is where you will find all the latest Doctor Who related news and reviews split up into easy to use sections - each section is colour coded for your convenience. The latest items can be found at the top, and older items follow down the page.

Archived news and reviews can be accessed by clicking on the relevant area on the News / Reviews Key panels to the right.

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17 June 2016

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Writer: James Goss

RRP: £10.99 (CD) / £8.99 (Download)

Release Date: May 2016

Reviewed by: Bedwyr Gullidge for Doctor Who Online


Donna Noble has never been lucky in love.

So when, one day, her Prince does come, she is thrilled to have the wedding of all weddings to look forward to. Though the Doctor isn’t holding his breath for an invitation. And her future mother-in-law is certainly not amused.

But on the big day itself, Donna finds her castle under siege from the darkest of forces, marching at the head of a skeleton army.

When it looks like even the Doctor can’t save the day, what will Queen Donna do to save her people from Death itself?"

Concluding the trio of new adventures for the Tenth Doctor and Donna on Big Finish is a refreshingly original story from skilled writer James Goss, which offers intrigue, grim revelations and an unexpected resolution. On a darker level it exposes how a public blindly following the instruction of it's masters can have devastating consequences; some times their intentions may be, no pun intended, noble, but the price of peace is occasionally a very costly one indeed. Goss’ intelligent script is supported with some particularly strong imagery, easy for the listener to envisage, with a fairytale castle under siege from an army of skeletons and the familiar hooded figure of Death stalking the Earth.

As is so often the case in the life of Donna Noble when things suddenly seem to be going her way, disaster strikes. Although an unlikely Queen, Donna’s experience in times of crisis means that she is very capable and cool under pressure, taking charge of the situation and saving lives. Despite her brashness, Donna is a companion to be dismissed at your peril and possessing inscrutable morals, touched on so briefly in the television universe during Planet Of The Ood. However the additional breadth of storytelling facilitated by these new Big Finish adventures has allowed such subtlety to be explored further to the undoubted benefit of the character and something which Catherine Tate is clearly enjoying and thriving upon.

The performances from the whole cast are superb with the six central characters all expertly well rounded, such as Alice Krige as the deliciously facetious and sharp-tongued Queen Mum and Blake Ritson’s well meaning but lovably spineless Rudolph, adding to the strength of the unfolding drama. David Tennant in particular enjoys lovely dialogue, explaining that the Doctor is never ready when one of his companions decides to leave, nor does he ever get a chance to lick his wounds. The Tenth Doctor’s persona of fast talking bravado conceals the heartbreak of losing Rose Tyler, for instance, a departure which still hangs a heavy burden on his travels, but in this brief and rarest of moments the Time Lord’s vulnerability is fully exposed.

Donna’s ingenuity in cheating Death is wonderfully wicked, finding a way to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, a classic Doctor Who scenario, with a style that is almost the antithesis of the show itself but in keeping with the uniqueness of this particular tale. The Doctor also gets an opportunity to show off his brilliance too and certain character’s attitudes are put in their place, crowning off a fantastic story that brings to a close these newly released Tenth Doctor Adventures.

With offerings of a consistently high standard produced by Big Finish, let’s hope that more stories featuring this brilliantly engaging Doctor and companion duo are to continue for many more years to come. This trio of new Tenth Doctor Adventures has been an unquestionable triumph and long may they continue with originality such as Death And The Queen.


16 June 2016

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Writer: Jenny T. Colgan

RRP: £10.99 (CD) / £8.99 (Download)

Release Date: May 2016

Reviewed by: Bedwyr Gullidge for Doctor Who Online


Calibris. The spaceport planet where anything goes. Where anyone who doesn't want to be found can be lost, and where everything has its price. Where betentacled gangster Gully holds sway at the smugglers’ tavern, Vagabond’s Reach.

The alien Vacintians are trying to impose some order on the chaos. Soon the Doctor and Donna discover why. An illegal weapon is loose on the streets. A weapon that destroys lives… Slowly and agonisingly.

The Time Reaver."

If Technophobia was an attempt to recapture the atmosphere of 2008’s Series 4, Time Reaver steps out of the television set and into the Big Finish universe renowned for the limitless scope for storytelling. Set on a bustling intergalactic transport terminus, this story’s location would have proved tricky for a television production team to realise effectively, as would the key villain Gully and all his tentacles. Instead, through the excellent medium of audio storytelling and the assistance of a single image of the tentacled creature in question on the cover, the listener can fully immerse themselves into the fast paced action.

The plot of the story centres on the presence on the planet Calibris of a dangerous and valuable weapon, the Time Reaver. It has the ability to extend time potentially indefinitely, allowing people to savour precious moments for longer but sadly can also be used to provide agonising torture. Once again the realisation of a poor soul enduring this torment works incredibly well on audio, taking the listener into the mind of the subject and sharing the experience. It reminded me of a specific episode of American medical drama ER which guest starred Cynthia Nixon as a mother who had suffered a devastating stroke and the viewer witnessed the ‘locked in’ syndrome she was subsequently experiencing. Both are harrowing journeys and an excellent method of telling the story.

Gully is also very successful on audio, the rasping sliminess of a voice which shares similar tones to that of 1980’s villain Sil who first appeared in Vengeance on Varos, enhancing the skin-crawlingly grotesque creature. The bureaucratic Vacintians are however a bit bland and generic but Terry Molloy’s Officer Rone adds a relatable character despite those restrictions. Another triumph is Sabrina Bartlett as Cora, who sounds much younger than her years and delivers the story’s powerful emotional dimension.

Although a largely grim tale, Time Reaver’s extravagant setting helps elevate a simplistic story to the darkly atmospheric tale which tears through at a swift pace whilst taking the listener on a deeply emotional journey, feeling for the key characters affected by the Time Reaver and also those forced to endure it’s devastating power.


14 June 2016

Following his hilarious appearance in The Husbands Of River Song, Matt Lucas returns to Doctor Who from the opening episode of series 10 which starts filming next week in Cardiff (Monday 20th June).

Commenting on his return to Doctor Who, Matt Lucas, said:

“I’m chuffed to bits that Nardole is returning to the TARDIS for some more adventures. I loved acting with Peter and I’m excited to work with Pearl.”

Bringing her energy and zest to the show, Pearl Mackie embarks on her first week of filming as she takes up the role of the Doctor’s companion. In her first major television role following her West End appearance in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, she’ll be bursting on to screens in the opening episode.

Steven Moffat, lead writer and Executive Producer, added:

“Delighted and slightly amazed to be welcoming Matt Lucas back on to the TARDIS - and this time it’s not just for Christmas, he’s sticking around. One of the greatest comedy talents on planet Earth is being unleashed on all of time and space.” 

Stephanie Hyam will play a guest cast role in the new series and is recognised for her performance as Lily Clarke in Jekyll & Hyde. She’s also appeared in Peaky Blinders, Murdered by My Boyfriend, and Sherlock.

The opening episode of series 10 is written by Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, executive produced by Brian Minchin, produced by Peter Bennett and directed by Lawrence Gough. The second episode in the new series has been crafted by award winning screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce.

Block 2 writers are Sarah Dollard (writer of acclaimed episode Face the Raven) and Mike Bartlett (multi award winning Doctor Foster).                                                                                                                                                                              

Doctor Who is a BBC Cymru Wales produced drama for BBC One. It will return in December 2016 with a Christmas Special, followed by the new series in 2017.

+ Series 10 of Doctor Who airs in 2017.

10 June 2016

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Writer: Matt Fitton

RRP: £10.99 (CD) / £8.99 (Download)

Release Date: May 2016

Reviewed by: Bedwyr Gullidge for Doctor Who Online


When the Doctor and Donna visit London’s Technology Museum for a glimpse into the future, things don’t go to plan.

The most brilliant IT brain in the country can’t use her computer. More worrying, the exhibits are attacking the visitors, while outside, people seem to be losing control of the technology that runs their lives.

Is it all down to simple human stupidity, or is something more sinister going on?

Beneath the streets, the Koggnossenti are waiting. For all of London to fall prey to technophobia..."

The Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble are back! It might not be on our television screens but we are treated to the next best thing, a trio of wonderful Big Finish audio adventures.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate slip effortlessly back into their roles, Tate in particular sounds a lot more comfortable as Donna now released of the burden to perform for the camera. Tennant's Tenth Doctor is full of energy and listeners are reintroduced to Donna the ‘super temp’ through another temp, Bex, with the two bonding immediately through shared experiences of agency work. Our favourite Noble of Chiswick becomes a driving force in the tale with her humanity, bravery and deduction skills eventually proving critical to the resolution. This story fits comfortably into the 2008 series with writer Matt Fitton neatly recapturing the feel and atmosphere of that era of televised offerings with an interesting variation on an ‘invasion Earth’ scenario.

Set a couple of years into our future, technology has continued to develop with the M-Pad from Meadow Digital the latest product to hit the high street. However, the M-Pad has not come from the traditional technological innovators of Silicon Valley or Japan but instead from London and the mind of IT whizz Jill Meadows. Without the restrictions of a television production budget the story could quite easily have been replicated in Tokyo for example but clichés are avoided with the head of the company being female. In a modern world that revolves around technology, all designed to make our lives easier, this story ponders what would happen, not if technology turned against us, but if we became unable to use it.

What initially appears to be a traditional ‘ghost in the machine’ or ‘robot uprising’ storyline actually unravels to explore that far more intriguing concept. Instead of turning human technology against it's inventors, the villains of the piece erase our ability to use items which have become essential to our lives and suddenly our surroundings become a lot more terrifying. As paranoia and fear spread, it seems that the Koggnossenti can emerge unchallenged from their base in the London Underground prepared to enslave a human race made intellectually redundant.

Technophobia reunites a popular Doctor and companion combination with a refreshing Earth-based story, parodying a popular fruit-based brand and shining a light on our technology obsessed society in an enjoyable story which sets a high standard for these new adventures for the Tenth Doctor.


28 May 2016

Geekinomicon, Oklahoma’s largest Comic Con, hosted at Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center on September 2­4th this year, is the official 20th anniversary celebration of “Doctor Who: The Movie”. Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Daphne Ashbrook, Eric Roberts, Yee Jee Tso, Jeremy Radick, and Eliza Roberts will be attending the convention and providing photo­ops, autographs, and live screenings of the movie with cast commentary.

Yee Jee Tso is publishing a special edition of his book, “Time and Spaces: A Photo Journal of Doctor Who Filming”. All VIP tickets will receive this special limited edition Geekinomicon copy as well.

This is the first time since the movie was made that the cast has been reunited. Geekinomicon will also have the original screen used Tardis console as part of the VIP Photo­op.

Admission and VIP tickets can be purchased at: http://bit.ly/1S59kR3

In honor of our 20th anniversary launch we have a special 20% discount code on admission: DW20th (Expires May 30th, 2016).

+  Website:  www.geekinomicon.com

+  Facebook:  facebook.com/geekinomicon

+  Twitter:  @Geekinomicon

[Source: Geekinomicon]

25 May 2016

Doctor Who Magazine celebrates its 500th issue with two exclusive interviews with Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, as well as a specially commissioned front cover where Peter recreates the first ever cover of the magazine. The 500th issue features Peter adopting the same pose alongside a Dalek that fourth Doctor Tom Baker did for the very first edition on 11th October 1979. Doctor Who Magazine hits newsstands on Thursday 26th May.

Commenting on the magazine’s success, Peter says:

“The magazine was enormously helpful to me. When I started playing the Doctor I was able to get piles of them and dive in. I went out and bought lots of Doctor Who Magazines, because I deliberately wanted to steep myself in Doctor Who and connect – reconnect – to it in a very kind of visceral way, to the affection and the heartbeat of it.’

And in what he calls is his last ever interview with the magazine, Tom Baker adds:

“500 is a big milestone, and I’m sure you’re right to want to mark it BIG. Your magazine has been extremely good to me, and has helped to create a warm and faithful fanbase for the programme. I am still signing first editions. After all these years." 

The highly collectable 500th issue comes packaged in a striking card envelope and is a bumper 116 pages long, priced £9.99. Other highlights include an interview with Doctor Who showrunner, Steven Moffat and a special treat for fans also in the form of an exclusive letter to Doctor Who Magazine readers from Pearl Mackie, who will play new companion Bill.

Also featured in the magazine is an interview with the first Doctor William Hartnell, dating from 1965 and written by an eleven year old fan.

The first issue of Doctor Who Magazine was published on 11th October 1979. It began life as a weekly publication with a cover price of just 12p, created as the perfect accompaniment for fans of the BBC One primetime show. Featuring exclusive interviews with Doctors, Companions and even some monsters, the magazine included comic strips, features, news and interviews. Among the buyers of Issue 1 were an eight-year-old David Tennant, 16-year-old Russell T Davies and 17-year-old Steven Moffat. All of them have been reading the magazine ever since. 

+  Doctor Who Magazine Issue #500 is out on Thursday 26th May, priced £9.99.
+  Check Out The DWO Guide to Doctor Who Magazine!

 

Follow @DWMTweets on Twitter!

Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline on Instagram!

[Sources: BBC Worldwide]


 

19 May 2016

Manufacturer: Character Options

RRP: £14.99

Release Date: June 2016

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 19th May 2016

At the end of Season 10 of Doctor Who (which seems so long ago now), to ease the pain of Clara’s departure we were treated to a brand new sonic screwdriver with a completely revamped look, and at last the 12th Doctor got his very own model - and what a model it is!

When we visited Toy Fair back in January of this year, there was next to no Doctor Who merchandise whatsoever - for the first time since the show returned to our screens in 2005. At the event, we had our annual chat with Character Options who said that things should fire up again for the second half of the year, kicking off with the brand new Sonic Screwdriver.

Here we are in May, and we are lucky to be among the first to review the new toy, ahead of its official release date at the start of June.

Starting off with the packaging, it comes in the familiar cylindrical plastic tube and looks quite striking against the blue and orange visuals. The blue of the new sonic really stands out whilst the silver paintwork seems to catch the light more than previous models, again making it jump out at you.

Once out of the packing, it’s clear that Character Options are going more down the replica route this time around. Gone are the legal text and copyright statements - instead, these are housed inside the sonic with a twist and pull motion.

There’s a good weight to it and the hand hold feels natural. The wheeled thumb grip looks and feels great to the touch with a simple push / pull motion, whilst the palm grip, although slightly bulky from an aesthetic point of view, actually sits really well in your hand.

The very bottom of the sonic protrudes out a little, but this is explained on-screen as it's a plug-in point for the TARDIS console.

As for features, for the very first time in a sonic, we have both blue and green light modes with 4 different light FX and sound FX modes. Pushing up once will give you the static green light mode, with familiar baseline sound FX. Pushing down once will give you the static blue light mode with the familiar upper baseline sound FX.

However, the best modes (in our opinion) are when you push up or pull down twice on the wheel; pushing up twice will give you a throbbing green light mode with a tracking bell type sound FX. Pushing down twice will give you a rotating blue light mode with whirring sound FX.

It’s very hard to find fault with the sonic - it looks stunning and it’s nice how the blue paintwork ties in with the TARDIS colouring, whilst the light section at the top reflects the TARDIS’ time rotor. 

For the very reasonable £14.99 RRP, not only do you get a durable, feature-packed toy, but now, thanks to Character Options' continued efforts to listen to the fans, you have a loyal replica!

+  PREORDER The 12th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver from Character Options for £14.99!

<mce:script

18 May 2016

DWO are thrilled to exclusively unveil the cover for The Official Doctor Who Annual 2017.

Puffin Books were kind enough to give us the exclusive and you can view the cover to the right hand side. Below is the official product synopsis for the title:

 

Join the Doctor for brand-new adventures on board the TARDIS in this year's Doctor Who Annual. With secrets from the latest series, fact files on the latest terrifying monsters, exciting comic strips, stories, puzzles and activities, it's the perfect read for any fan of the brilliant BBC show Doctor Who.

 

+  The Official Doctor Who Annual 2017 is released on 6th October 2016, priced £7.99
+  PREORDER The Official Doctor Who Annual 2017 from Amazon.co.uk for £7.99.

 

Follow @PuffinBooks on Twitter!

Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline on Instagram!

[Sources: DWO; Puffin Books]

 

17 May 2016

Our friends over at Puffin Books have been kind enough to give DWO the exclusive cover reveal for The Official Doctor Who Annual 2017!

The book, which is released on 6th October, is full of activities, puzzles and secrets from the most recent series. Make sure you come back here at 6pm Tomorrow for the cover reveal, which will be simultaneously revealed on the DWO News page, Twitter feed and Instagram account!
 

In the meantime, below is the official product synopsis:
 

Join the Doctor for brand-new adventures on board the TARDIS in this year's Doctor Who Annual. With secrets from the latest series, fact files on the latest terrifying monsters, exciting comic strips, stories, puzzles and activities, it's the perfect read for any fan of the brilliant BBC show Doctor Who.

 

+  PREORDER The Official Doctor Who Annual 2017 from Amazon.co.uk for £7.99.

 

Follow @PuffinBooks on Twitter!

Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline on Instagram!

[Sources: DWO; Puffin Books]

 

10 May 2016

When it comes to Captain Jack Harkmess and his appearances in Doctor Who thus far, we're sure we can all agree that his return has been long-overdue. The last episode to feature Jack was a short scene in David Tennant's, 10th Doctor swan song; The End Of Time. But could a recent video posted by John Barrowman lead way to the return of Jack this Christmas?

Well yes...and no... You see, John was recently in Cardiff to sign copies of his new book, Conjuror (co-written with his sister, Carole E. Barrowman), and at the end of the day, John posted a video to his Facebook page stating:

"I will be back in Cardiff in about a week and a half, but I'm not telling you what for... Shhh!"

So what could it be? As a DWO visitor, we rather suspect that you (like us) are hoping it will be to film scenes for the 2016 Doctor Who Christmas Special - and we may very well be right. Evidence to support the theory exists in the form of a recent interview with Doctor Who Production Designer, Michael Pickwoad, who stated that filming for Series 10 would start in May 2016. A week and a half from now and we'd still be quite comfortably in May.

Other possibilities are that John could be filming scenes for new Doctor Who spin-off 'Class' which is now well underway with the filming schedule. Of course, the other possibility is it could be something entirely different that John just so happens to be excited about.

Either way, whatever the reason, we would love to hear your thoughts on what you think will happen, and, if Jack is back, how would you like to see him return?

In the meantime, check out the video in the player, below:

+ The 2016 Doctor Who Christmas Special will air on Christmas Day, Time TBC.

1 May 2016

Our friends over at Retro & Collectables have a large selection of Rare Pop Vinyl Figures including the Exlusive Doctor Who K-9 figure and the Tenth Doctor Exclusive Pop! Figure With 3D Glasses.

Funko Pop Figures come in window box packaging and are carefully packaged for delivery. All items ordered from Retro & Collectables also get free delivery in the UK.

Retro & Collectables are a UK based supplier of Retro Memorabilia, Movie Merchandise, Prop replicas and More. They are specialists in 80's movie merchandise and action figures including a range of superb quality Sixth Scale Figures and Statues.

DWO visitors can also get 10% off your their first order with discount code "DWO"!

+  Check Out Retro And Collectableswww.retroandcollectables.co.uk

Follow @GeekAndRetro on Twitter!


[Source: DWO]


 

30 April 2016

A popular trend in the past year has been subscription boxes, and with so many to choose from, it can be a difficult choice on which one to go for! One of our favourites is the service provided by Generation-A!

They provide monthly boxes sent direct to your door filled with items to inspire creativity and develop lateral thought! Every month there are 5 to 8 items which relate to a changing theme that are curated making each month an exploration into the exciting unknown!
 

Previous themes have included ‘Stage, ‘Space’, ‘cARToon’ and this month it’s ‘Photo’! It promises to include a whole host of items relating to the accessibility of photography now and to inspire you to get creative. 
 

With the advent of digital cameras, instant printing and powerful software, photography now widely available and accessible, some cameras on mobile phones have more power than commercial cameras from less than a decade ago! 

 

So why not visit the Generation-A website below and see how you can get more creative! To ‘Join The Generation’ (what they call their subscribers), it’s just £21 per month for UK and £27 elsewhere! If you choose a longer plan you’ll get a higher discount too!
 

As an exclusive to DWO visitors, they have generously provided a £3.00 discount code to be used on ANY plan. Just type ‘DRWHO’ in the coupon field and press apply! 

 

So if you want to be inspired monthly and develop your lateral thinking, just visit their website below and JOIN THE GENERATION!

 

+  Check Out Generation-Awww.Generation-A.co.uk

Follow @Generation.A on Instagram!

Follow @GenerationA_UK on Twitter!

Follow @Generation.A.UK on Facebook!

[Source: DWO]

 

28 April 2016

Doctor Who Magazine have sent DWO the cover and details for Issue 499 of DWM.

Take a look back at the history of Doctor Who Book Cover Art - in DWM 499!

As the art of the Target books is celebrated in a new exhibition, DWM tracks down the men who painted Doctor Who

DWM speaks to Chris Achilleos, the first regular artist on the range, establishing a new visual style for Doctor Who

“I didn’t need direction – I knew how to do a cover,” he explains today. “I was always very aware that a book cover needs to be attractive – almost interactive, in a way – so that you’re drawn to pick it up in a shop. I still think they work as good punchy covers.”

Target book fan and modern-day Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss has much affection for the artwork: “The Three Doctors was my first and perhaps still my favourite,” he says warmly. “The incredibly evocative orange and green luridness of Omega’s deadly fingers, the Doctors themselves in grave monochrome. I still get a Proustian rush from seeing these images.”

ALSO INSIDE THIS ISSUE...

PRODUCTION NOTES
Doctor Who’s executive producer Brain Minchin tells DWM about the operation to reveal the identity of the Doctor's new companion…

WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER?
DWM investigates what it is to be immortal in the Doctor Who universe.

NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Ahead of a very special Fact of Fiction next issue on The Day of the Doctor, DWM looks back at the most unexpected Doctor Who story of all time…

BACK IN THE SISTERHOOD
We ask Clare Higgins, High Priestess of the Sisterhood of Karn, if Ohila could be the Doctor’s mother?

THE WITCH IS FAMILIAR…
… in the third part of our brand-new comic strip adventure, Witch Hunt, written by Jacqueline Rayner and illustrated by Martin Geraghty.

DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
Jacqueline Rayner talks about the challenges of dressing her boys up as the Doctor, in her column, Relative Dimensions.

DOCTOR, I MARRIED HIM!
An increasing number of couple are incorporating Doctor Who into the most important day of their lives. But why? DWM investigates...

FISHY BUSINESS
There’s something fishy going on under Venice, as the Time Team watch The Vampires of Venice...

GATEWAY TO THE UNIVERSE
The Fourth Doctor, Romana, Adric and K9 try to find a way out of E-Space in this month’s Fact of Fiction on 1981's Warriors' Gate...

COMING SOON
DWM previews all the latest Doctor Who CD and book releases.

DREAM WORLD
Russell T Davies return to BBC Wales with his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream...

PLUS!
All the latest official news, reviews, competitions and The DWM Crossword.

+  Doctor Who Magazine Issue #499 is out on Today, priced £4.99.
+  Check Out The DWO Guide to Doctor Who Magazine!

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine]

26 April 2016

As fans of science fiction, we're often introduced to a wide range of related books, dvds and audios, and every now and again, one comes along that blows us away! If you haven't heard of him already, Kev Heritage is an author whom we were introduced to about a year ago, and his books are engaging, gripping and of huge interest if you happen to be a Doctor Who fan (which, if you're reading this, we rather suspect you are) :)

Heritage's first book Blue Into The Rip, focuses on Blue - a teenager who is 'ripped' hundreds of years into the future. Blue is enlisted in the space corps where he gradually learns the truth about his past.

We caught up with Kev to discuss his books, his love for scifi and - perhaps more importantly - if he was a fan of Doctor Who!

What got you into writing and were there any authors who have influenced or inspired you?

The headline is… I think way too much. So much so that it can become a little crippling when trying to deal with the real world. 

I have an over-active imagination, which means that given the time and the inclination (and without something to keep my mind occupied) I can convince myself of pretty much anything - and it all makes perfect sense! As you can imagine, overthinking in this way can be quite a serious flaw to a happy productive life. 

Writing is a perfect heat-sink for all of that extra thought-time I seem to need. Instead of worrying about imagined illnesses, plane crashes, bills, social situations and the strange green mold growing under my bed, I use my thinking time to come up with the next cool idea, solving plot problems and trying to make sense out of the nonsense of my first draft. 

Writing, was and is, always a way to escape from myself and to think about the other people—the characters in my books—who, thankfully, lead a far more interesting life.

I suppose, even now, I’m a little bit disappointed with real life as it never lives up to the fantasy world buzzing around inside my head. But the way I can get closest to making that real is by writing. No matter how annoying, frustrating or sometimes depressing, life can be, writing always delivers. I can escape into those worlds and live inside of them for a while. For me, it’s a magical experience.

Don’t misunderstand, my life is not mostly annoying, frustrating or depressing, but perhaps in the way people like to disappear inside a soap, a movie or a book, I like to enter worlds of my own making… whilst trying my best to not sound pretentious!

The authors who inspired me? I’m sort of inspired by everything I manage to read till the last page (I do give up on a lot of stuff half-way through). But at age ten to twelve I discovered Robert E. Howard, Philip K. Dick, Heinlein, Vonnegut, Asimov, Clarke, Tolkien, Frank Herbert—the list goes on. I was astounded by the imagination behind these novels. They contained worlds undreamed of.

When it comes to writing though, inspiration and creativity are a small part of the process. The hard part is slogging through to the end.

Just reading the opening blurb from the first in your ‘Into The Rip’ series, our interest was genuinely piqued! It’s one of those descriptions that you simply can’t let slide without wanting to delve in and find out more. We have a number of our visitors who love to write and I’m sure they’d love to know how you pulled all the elements of the story together? Did the time travel element come first, or did you have a clear idea of the main character before adding in the variables?

The novel is certainly a thrill ride. Blue is a misfit with a ‘gob on him’—as we say in Derby where I’m from. He’s arrogant, cocky—a typical mixed up teen. Except that it’s not just his emotions that are mixed up, but also his genetics. He is an artificially created human living in the past with mysterious hippy parents. And nothing is as it seems. He gets ripped forward in time and well… you need to read the story to find out what happens to him. And A LOT happens to Blue and his new friends. So go buy the book!

But I digress…. Blue into the Rip came about after I was flipping through a notebook (years old) to see if I’d had any good ideas (I hadn’t), but scribbled at the top of one page were the peculiar words: Blue Into The Rip. I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote that phrase, yet it stuck in my mind. I started to wonder what it could mean. Blue became a character name and The Rip some kind of tear in the fabric of time and space. The story sort of jumped out from there.

At the outset, all I knew was that Blue would be transported to the future, meet some cadets, visit a flooded London, live under the remains of the Amazon Rainforest and visit a spacestation with the story ending with him floating over the Rings of Saturn (although I had no idea why, I just thought it’d be cool) and that was it.

That…and a terrific twist!

And as soon as I discovered Blue was the result of genetic experimentation, the back story leapt fully formed into my mind and I knew it would take more than one novel to tell that story, so the series was born. 

But as I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, each story is a standalone mystery.

I’m very proud of Blue Into The Rip– but the finished novel bears very little resemblance to the absolute mess of the first draft.

Writers are either pantsters (writing by the seat of their pants) or plotters. I’m a pantster all the way. I have no firm ideas about plot or characters. I put pen to paper (or fingertips to plastic) and we’re off! I let the characters guide me. I write down whatever they want to do, or act like, or say. No constraints. I have no idea who the ‘goodies’ or the ‘baddies’ are until they reveal themselves to me. When I’m about two thirds in, I restructure, work out an ending and fill in the gaps. This gets me to my first draft.

The Ying Yang of my process: first absolute chaos, then enforced order.

I cannot write any other way. Believe me, I’ve tried, but any kind of planning kills my writing. I wish it were not like this because I can spend weeks stuck in plot cul-de-sacs with no idea how to continue. But I wake up one day and blam!—there’s the answer…Mostly.

The next drafts are pure hard work. Subbing. Refining. Plotting. Adding better concepts and ideas. Pruning. I keep going until my gut feeling that ‘the novel needs more work’ goes away. I often ‘finish’ but become consumed with niggling doubts. My subconscious doing its job. I push on again until it sort of becomes something I almost, conceivably, maybe think is sort of perhaps okay. Possibly.

Learn more about the first book in the series, Blue Into The Rip: http://www.kevheritage.com/blue-into-the-rip/

What Science Fiction books, movies or TV shows are essential to you and what would your favourite be from each of those categories?

Red Dwarf has helped me through many a crisis. There was a time around 2003/4 where the series were released every month or so as DVDs with documentaries and cast commentaries. It didn’t save my life, but it got me through a very difficult time. I have a lot of love for that show and still watch occasional episodes and force them on friends. I hold it with the same level of affection I have for Doctor Who.

As for favourites... that’s not my thing at all. It’s impossible to decide. Out of all the formats though, books are the best. Sure, I love a good sci-fi movie, particularly Aliens, but books always win out. Imagination is a great tool and reading exercises my imagination like nothing else. 

What is your earliest memory of Doctor Who and do you have a particular favourite episode?

For me it was the original music. Outer-worldly and terrifying. I’m not sure that’s appreciated today, but the intro to Doctor Who was ground-breaking in many ways. It’s an astonishing composition. To my kiddie ears, it was like nothing I’d ever heard before and symbolised terror and excitement. That and the sound of the TARDIS materialising (with its brakes on as we now know!).

I can’t remember any particular scene. I know the Daleks scared the living sh*t out of me and I used to watch from behind the sofa. Literally. And then there were the Cybermen. There was one incarnation where they wore black balaclavas with a sort of sown-in metallic mouth. They’d open and close their mouths, but their words didn’t sync up with their mouth movements. For some reason, I remember that very clearly. It was utterly horrifying. 

There are too many moments from the original shows but here’s a few of my favourite stories…

The Ark in Space (This scared me silly. Watched it recently… wasn’t as scared this time around. But it’s a cracking story.)
The Robots of Death
Caves of Androzani
The Time Warrior
Terror of the Autons

From the New:

A Christmas Carol (I love, love, love this).
The Girl in the Fireplace
(This is so excellently paced and the ending has real pathos)
The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances
Blink
The Lodger

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

I’d like to go back and find the person who created the very first bacon, egg and brown sauce sandwich and shake him or her by the hand. 

After that... it would have to be go and meet the most extraordinary person who ever lived. Isaac Newton. He came up with the concept of gravity. That has to be just about the most amazing idea any human has ever had (after bacon sandwiches and tea of course). The guy was a genius and quite bonkers. If you don’t know much about him, you need to go find out.

+  Coming Soon... we catch up with Kev regarding his latest book VATIC! 

+  Blue Into The Rip is available as a paperback for £8.99 or eBook for £1.99.
+  ORDER 'Blue Into The Rip' from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Website: http://kevheritage.com
+  Twitter: @KevHeritage: http://www.twitter.com/KevHeritage
+  Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KevheritageAuthor/  
+  LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/kevheritage
+  Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KevHeritage
+  Goodreads: http://www.pinterest.com/KevHeritage
+  Join Kev for news & free stuff: http://kevheritage.com/join/

[Source: DWO]

23 April 2016

BBC One today announced Pearl Mackie will join the Doctor Who cast as The Doctor’s new companion, Bill. Pearl was exclusively revealed to audiences on BBC One during half time the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday 23rd April.

On joining the cast in her first major television role, Pearl said:


I'm incredibly excited to be joining the Doctor Who family. It's such an extraordinary British institution, I couldn't be prouder to call the TARDIS my home! 

 

Peter Capaldi is such a brilliant actor, and his Doctor is such a wacky and wonderful character, I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for him and Bill throughout time and space. Reading the script at the audition I thought Bill was wicked. Fantastically written, cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in - I can't wait to bring her to life, and to see how she develops through the series.

I always loved stage combat at drama school so I can't wait to get on set and kick some evil monsters into the next dimension! 

Shooting the trailer was absolutely mental, there were pyro technics and smoke and I met my first Dalek! I'm not sure it will ever become ‘the norm’ seeing crazy monsters on set, but I cannot wait to meet some more! The weirder the better, bring it on!

 

Peter Capaldi said:


It is a genuine delight to welcome Pearl Mackie to Doctor Who. A fine, fine actress with a wonderful zest and charm, she’s a refreshing addition to the TARDIS and will bring a universe of exciting new possibilities to The Doctor’s adventures.

 

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer adds:

A new face in the TARDIS, a new voyage about to begin: welcome aboard the amazing Pearl Mackie! This is where the story really starts.

Charlotte Moore, Acting Director of Television said:


It's so exciting to be revealing the much anticipated new companion to the nation in such spectacular style. Pearl brings a wonderful energy and lights up the screen. She will captivate Doctor Who fans old and new across the globe.

 

Brian Minchin, Executive Producer adds:


We’re utterly thrilled to have the hugely talented Pearl join Doctor Who and I can't wait to begin her new adventures in time and space!

 

Friend from the Future, can be seen on the player, below:

+ Series 10 of Doctor Who airs in 2017.


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