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
3 November 2016

Over the years there have been a few individuals who have helped formulate the Doctor Who Online you see before you today. One of those people (and we're sure he'd be surprised to learn of this) is Doctor Who fan, author and publisher, David J. Howe. At a Doctor Who Appreciation Society event, back in the early days of our online journey, David gave us some sage advice about cutting our own path and being original with the site. For too long we had followed too closely in the footsteps of Outpost Gallfrey and tried to emulate their style, and it was David who kindly set us on the right path and helped us carve our own direction.

David J. Howe is a name that most Doctor Who fans worth their salt, will know - and those who do not, really should! He has authored and co-authored some of the best factual Doctor Who books in many a fans collection. Titles such as The Sixties, The Seventies, The Eighties - not to mention the Handbooks and the Transcendental Toybox books, have all been a companion to this site, as well as important reference points.

What David doesn't know about Doctor Who merchandise isn't worth knowing, and with the recent news that he plans to open a merchandise museum, showcasing his lifetime's collection, we were incredibly excited. The whole operation needs your help though - the fans! David, and his lovely wife Sam, have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise the £30,000+ needed to open the museum. Fans can help from as little as £1 and there are some truly fantastic perks, ranging from getting a shout out from the man himself, to having Dinner with Chase Masterson or Frazer Hines!

To give you an idea of how popular the campaign has been, its only been live for 48 hours and has already accumulated £2000+ of donations, and we want you to help them smash their target, so please donate whatever you can afford and in the Summer of 2018 we can all be rewarded with an incredibly exciting museum experience!

+  SUPPORT The Doctor Who Merchandise Museum Indiegogo Campaign!

+  BUY some fantastic Doctor Who books from Telos Publishing

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

 

3 November 2016

Who Dares Publishing is the legendary Doctor Who Artist Andrew Skilleter and Matthew Doe; one of the UK's latest and leading Doctor Who memorabilia experts, an entrepreneur solely in the field of Doctor Who. It was Matthew who had the inspired idea of bringing together their skill sets and relaunching Andrew’s legendary 1980s publishing company, Who Dares, beginning with the first ever Target Art Calendar featuring a selection of Andrew’s cover paintings. During 2017, Who Dares intends to launch a number of high quality art based projects of distinction.

Who Dares Publishing (often referred to as simply Who Dares) was set up by Andrew Skilleter to produce a range of high quality print based merchandise, setting new standards for printed Doctor Who merchandise based on his new artwork, that included poster prints, artcards, bookmarks and the official Doctor Who calendars for 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1989.

The name Who Dares was inspired by bringing together his connection with Doctor Who and his affection and knowledge about the classic British space comic strip hero, Dan Dare.

Andrew Skilleter was providing cover art for the W H Allen Target imprint at the time and realising they had no plans to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Doctor Who series with any art based projects, he approached Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner. JNT was aware of his work, having approved all the covers for Target Books. This led to meetings with BBC Merchandising who initially licensed a series of A3 size new series poster prints.

The first prints featured Omega from Arc of Infinity and the Cybermen from Earthshock. Prepared in time for the twentieth anniversary event at Longleat House, two thousand were sold. Further prints followed including The Master, Sontarans, K9, Davros and the Daleks, Sea Devils, The Sixth Doctor and The Fourth Doctor. These sold in their thousands in the States.

The license to produce Doctor Who calendars in the USA had lapsed and Who Dares picked it up. The complexity of multiple copyright ownership of characters limited the choice of subjects to be painted and featured in the calendars. The first in 1986 was a showcase for Andrew Skilleter's work and sold 20,000 copies in the USA alone. While not illustrated by Andrew Skilleter, Who Dares initiated the publication of two other books of interest to him — The Man Who Drew Tomorrow, a look at the work of Dan Dare creator and artist Frank Hampson, and Timeview, the complete collection of the Radio Times Doctor Who illustrations by Frank Bellamy.

The last and best known book title published by Who Dares was the hardback Doctor Who: Cybermen, a collaboration with David Banks and Adrian Rigelsford, with a foreword by Gerry Davis. It was later published by Virgin Publishing as a paperback.

As mentioned, the first product to be released by Who Dares is 'The Andrew Skilleter Target Art Calendar 2017', for which we have the product synopsis and purchasing link, below:

The Andrew Skilleter Target Art Calendar is a large format A3 size with generous image area, wiro-bound in white and printed on heavy weight 250gsm satin paper with heavy weight front and back covers. Each is despatched in a substantial full board envelope with stiffener to ensure safe delivery.

Featuring: Warriors of the Deep, The Invasion, The Twin Dilemma (unpublished version), The Mind of Evil, Frontios, Nightmare of Eden, The Gunfighters, The Two Doctors, Logopolis, The Daemons, An Unearthly Child and The Abominable Snowmen.

+  BUY 'The Andrew Skilleter Target Art Calendar' from Who Dares for £19.95.
+  BUY a wide range of prints from Andrew Skilleter via his Etsy store!

[Source: Who Dares Publishing]

28 October 2016

BBC DVD have sent DWO the DVD cover and details for the upcoming 2nd Doctor release of 'The Power Of The Daleks'.

Product Synopsis:

50 years after its only UK broadcast on BBC One, one of Doctor Who’s most celebrated, lost adventures is regenerated, with a brand new hand-drawn black and white animation, synchronised with a digitally remastered recording of the original 1966 audio. The six-part adventure takes place immediately after the first regeneration, as the Time Lord and his companions, Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze), do battle with an old foe on the mysterious planet Vulcan. How will Polly and Ben cope with a new Doctor? How will the Doctor take to his new body? And how will they ever overcome the power of the Daleks?

Special Features:

Alternate soundtracks – DVD only
The option to listen to the story with a series of completely new digital re-masters of the original soundtrack – a stereo mix; a 5.1 surround sound mix and version of the original 1966 mono sound mix.

Animation Test Footage
A compilation of animation tests, created during the production of the new animated series. 

Audio Commentaries on all 6 episodes – DVD only
Members of the original cast and crew are joined by members of the new animation unit to discuss the production of the story and its new animated reconstruction. Moderated by Toby Hadoke. Includes archive audio.

Booklet with Production Notes – DVD only
An extensively researched set of production notes, written by the noted television historian Andrew Pixley, covering the behind the scenes story of how the original production was made. 

Original Camera Scripts – DVD only
Selected items of original production paperwork and a complete set of original camera scripts.

Original Title Sequence - new restoration
An unedited presentation of the full original 'Doctor Who' title sequence, prepared using an all new HD re-master of the original film elements.

The Power of the Daleks Animation and Photo Gallery
An extended gallery of images, featuring production photographs from the original 1966 series and artwork from the latest animated production, accompanied by incidental music from the story, which has been digitally re-mastered from the original music production tapes.

The Power of the Daleks Surviving Footage & Original Trailer – BBC Store/EST only
A compilation of short film fragments and clips from the original 1966 BBC television production - the only surviving footage to remain of the show's original BBC1 run.

Original Dalek Voice Session Recording (1966) DVD only
Rare and previously unreleased sections from the studio recordings that were made at Maida Vale Studios in 1966 for the Dalek voices.

Servants and Masters - The Making of The Power of the Daleks
A specially prepared documentary directed by John Kelly and featuring interviews with members of the original 1966 cast and crew. 

Telesnap reconstruction.
Around 400 individual still frames of film exist from the original 1966 television production of The Power of the Daleks. These images were kept in the programme's production files by the BBC Written Archive Centre. These images are here combined with the programme's soundtrack to present a photographic reconstruction of the original programme.

+  The Power Of The Daleks is released on 15th November (DVD), priced £20.42.
+  PREORDER The Power Of The Daleks DVD from Amazon.co.uk for just £13.50!
+  Discuss all the Doctor Who DVD releases in the DWO Forums.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

17 October 2016

DWO recently caught up with Doctor Who Missing Episode hunter, Philip Morris - responsible for the discoveries of The Web Of Fear & The Enemy Of The World, 3 years ago. Read the DWO interview, below:


It has been 3 years since the official announcement of your fantastic discovery of nine missing episodes of Doctor Who. How happy were you with the finished, packaged product released by BBC DVD and how likely do you feel it is that the last missing episode from The Web Of Fear will be found?

Very happy with the job BBC Worldwide did on restoration, packaging, artwork. You have to remember, back then BBC Worldwide did not really know how these lost stories would be received - basically, how successful. Web 3 will surface, I will make sure it does! I never give up and never give in!

Which single discovery has brought you the most satisfaction in all your years of hunting?

The single best discovery is still ahead of me. Definitely!

Have you read all the theories on the now famous ‘Omnirumour’ and what are you thoughts on it all?

The famous omnirumour! I have seen some of the strange theories, but it’s nothing new. Rumours always surround Doctor Who - it’s always ‘my mate who has an uncle’, that sort of thing. Never any solid facts to back it up, so I haven’t read all the theories, really, I stick with the hard facts. However, I will say the truth is stranger than fiction and my best advice… believe it when you see it!

There has been some chatter about more potential discoveries. Is the wind still blowing in the right direction and can we hope to have more episodes returned in the near future?

There will always be chatter about wishing our favourite shows back into existence. It’s nice to discuss, however, the truth is it takes a lot of really hard work - which I enjoy, I really do. I really believe in what I do and the work TIEA does, however, there is hope, of course.

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

A trip in the TARDIS... where would I go… probably back to were I could record every missing show possible in UK history and bring it all back so we can all enjoy our rich heritage.

Many thanks, Phil!

Thank you! …we will return.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

11 October 2016

Puffin Books (a division of Penguin Random House Children’s Books UK), BBC Worldwide and Sanrio Global Ltd are delighted to announce a new partnership.  

Doctor Who meets The World of Hargreaves brings to life Doctor Who characters in the distinctive story-telling and illustrative style of Roger Hargreaves.


Puffin Books, will publish these stories in the UK.  Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House is master publisher and will release twelve titles, one for each Doctor. 

 

These storybook mash-ups, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves, combine the iconic storytelling of Doctor Who with the whimsical humor and design made famous by his father, Roger Hargreaves. The first four books will be available in Spring 2017.

 

Francesca Dow, MD of Penguin Random House Children’s Books, said:


“As the global publisher of Doctor Who and champions of books which push creative boundaries, we are delighted to be publishing such unique and fun stories. We're confident and excited they will appeal to the thousands of Doctor Who and Mr Men fans around the world”

 

Jan Paterson, Head of Book and Audio Publishing, BBC Worldwide commented:


“We are thrilled to be teaming up with Sanrio on this fantastic project and think that fans will love these creative incarnations of the Doctor reimagined in the ‘Hargreaves’ style. We’re always looking for innovative ways to engage our fans so this is the perfect partnership for us.”

Alastair McHarrie, Licensing Director of Sanrio Global Ltd added:


“There is a wealth of unofficial fan-created content online. We wanted to give something back to these supporters so we’ve created the first official Hargreaves mash-up. Who better to partner with than another classic British property, Doctor Who. We couldn’t be more excited.”

 

Francesco Sedita, President and Publisher of Price Stern Sloan, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, added:


“It is such a special moment for us to unite these two great properties. Our books bring Hargreaves’ wonderful, fun style to the mysterious, magical world of Doctor Who. I know we're going to delight fans of all ages!”


Follow @PuffinBooks on Twitter!
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source: Penguin Random House]

 

7 October 2016

This Christmas on BBC One, the Doctor joins forces with a comic-book superhero in New York for a heroic special written by Steven Moffat, titled ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’. 

The family favourite will return on Christmas Day as The Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, joins forces with an investigative journalist, played by Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall, The Player) and a superhero to save New York from a deadly alien threat.

Steven Moffat, Writer and Executive Producer, says:

“I’ve always loved superheroes and this Christmas Doctor Who dives into that world. My favourite superhero is Clark Kent. Not Superman, Clark Kent.”

Justin Chatwin (Orphan Black, War of the Worlds) plays Grant in the special, he says:

“Working with the amazing people at Doctor Who has been one of the most fun and rewarding projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of being involved with.”

Matt Lucas (Nardole) will also be joining the cast of the special with Adetomiwa Edun (Lucifer, Bates Motel), Aleksandar Jovanovic and Logan Hoffman.

The 60 minute Doctor Who Christmas Special will air on BBC One and is written by Steven Moffat, Executive Produced by Brian Minchin, Produced by Peter Bennett and Directed by Ed Bazalgette (Poldark), it was shot in Cardiff at BBC Wales Roath Lock Studios.

Watch a special teaser trailer in the player, below:


[Source: BBC Worldwide]

23 September 2016

The wait is over! Today BBC Three confirm the new YA drama, Class, written by Patrick Ness, will drop its first two episodes on BBC Three on Saturday 22nd October.

Peter Capaldi will join the cast of exciting new talent in the opening episode of the series, For Tonight We Might Die. Coal Hill School holds some very dark and deadly secrets in its shadows….but who will survive? 

Commenting on his involvement with the new Doctor Who spin-off series, Peter Capaldi, said:

“The Doctor Who family is growing, and it’s fantastic to be able to welcome the young new cast of Class in to the Whoniverse.”

It’s a new term at Coal Hill Academy, and students are preparing for their Autumn Prom. But when the school comes under attack, four alienated students must form an unlikely alliance to defeat them. And this incursion is only the beginning…

Charlie (Greg Austin), April (Sophie Hopkins), Ram (Fady Elsayed) and Tanya (Vivian Oparah), assisted by their physics teacher Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly), are charged with a great responsibility by the mysterious alien known as The Doctor (Peter Capaldi): guard against the creatures of nightmare that want nothing more than to find a way through to Earth and take it for their own.

Patrick Ness has created intriguing and complex characters that have to navigate their way through more than just teenage hormones, exams and detention. Joining them as series regulars are Jordan Renzo (Chosen, Troubled), Pooky Quesnel (The A Word, Accused), Nigel Betts (Boy Meets Girl, Doctor Who). The first two episodes also feature Ben Peel (The Fall, Vampire Academy), Anna Shaffer (Harry Potter, Hollyoaks), Paul Marc Davies (Doctor Who, Torchwood), and Shannon Murray (The Totally Senseless Gameshow).

YA writer and Class creator Patrick Ness, says: 

“At last, we can tell you a little more about Class! Though there are still many, many secrets to come. Many. Like, a lot. But of COURSE, the Doctor is in episode one! That’s how these things are done. Truly, though, I can't wait for everyone to see the show; we've worked so hard and I'm so proud of it. Soon, soon...”

Grab your tickets now! An exclusive World premiere of the first episode will take place at Rich Mix on Thursday 20th October, the home of Coal Hill Academy, Shoreditch, with doors opening at 6pm. Tickets are limited and are now available via the BBC Shows and Tours website bbc.co.uk/showsandtours. Drawn at random, successful applicants will be allowed a maximum of one pair of tickets each. 

Damian Kavanagh, Controller, BBC Three, adds: 

“We know lots of BBC Three fans are Doctor Who fans so Class on BBC Three is a perfect fit. It’s nice to be back as part of the Doctor Who family.”

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

13 September 2016

Back in July, John Barrowman gave us all a glimmer of hope that another series of Torchwood could very well be a possibility. But in the weeks that have passed, it now seems that we may be back to square one. This week, Barrowman added an update, citing 'egos' as the reason for the shows prolonged absence. Today, Steven Moffat hit back at the claims, and rather than trawling through the internet, we have provided you with all the quotes and sources, below:

July 2016 - Barrowman offers hope for the future of Torchwood
Source:
Comic Con HQ

Speaking to Comic Con HQ in San Diego at the weekend, Barrowman explained how the wheels are already in motion to bring the show back:

“I’ve already set the ball rolling to get Torchwood back (and that’s an exclusive here at Comic Con), I have a first telephone conversation on Monday about moving it forward to see how we can get it back on television.”

Barrowman then went on to talk about his new Torchwood comic, explaining how its success will help the cause:

“The fans know me well enough, I’m only going to say it if I really mean it and believe it, and if you do believe in Torchwood as you all do and say online, get the comic, just get the series going; it’s like a kickstarter - if you buy the comic you’ll show the support and also it’ll be a huge success because we need Captain Jack back on the screens!”

11th September 2016 - Barrowman blames certain "egos" for the show's absence
Source:
Radio Times

“I was told that there are some obstacles to overcome, and every time I tried to talk about a way around them, it was almost like there was another obstacle.
 
And this is a personal thing for me, this is not anything that was discussed, but I find it really a little disheartening that a company like the BBC can’t just say “Put your egos aside, we’re gonna go forward with this.
 
There’s a lot of politics involved, and the people that are close to it, I think would love to see it done, but there’s just certain egos in the path that are just standing in the way. That’s all I’ll say…
 
I just don’t understand then why someone very high up can’t say “This is gonna be done. I don’t care.”‘
 
Tuesday 14th September 2016 - Steven Moffat hits back at Barrowman's claims
Source: SciFi Bulletin
 
“If you don’t give a damn about Torchwood, skip this post. For those of you who do .…..
 
“You may be aware that John Barrowman has been saying, publicly, that I’ve been blocking a new series of Torchwood. To be very clear – I haven’t blocked it; I wouldn’t block it; I wouldn’t even be ABLE to block it. I didn’t even know a revival had been mooted till I read about it on the Internet. As John perfectly well knows, it’s not my show and I could no more prevent it happening that he could cancel Sherlock. I am bewildered, and a little cross, even to be included in this conversation. For the record, I really liked the show (especially the third series) and would be very happy to see more – monsters and mayhem, why not? But the fact is, it has nothing to do with me. Please pass this on to the anxious and the angry – I’ve had enough hate mail now.”


So what does this all mean for the future of the show? If there really is some bad blood between John Barrowman and Steven Moffat (the writer of Captain Jack Harkness' first ever TV episodes), then there obviously needs to be some resolution before everything can move forward amicably. It's clear, (and one is inclined to believe what Steven says here), that he is not trying to block the show, but according to Barrowman, someone is. The question is who, and, more importantly, why?!

DWO would like to hear from our visitors as to what you think about the situation and how you'd like Torchwood to return. Please leave your thoughts in the comments box, below.

[Sources: Comic Con HQ; Radio Times; SciFi Bulletin]

7 September 2016

BBC Books / Penguin have confirmed three new tie-in titles for Doctor Who spin-off show, Class, which will be released in October.

Joyride
By Guy Adams

One of three thrilling tie-in novels for Class, the new BBC Three series created and written by bestselling author Patrick Ness. Official Synopsis Coming Soon... 

+  Joyride is released on 27th October 2016, priced £7.99.
+  PURCHASE
this title on Amazon.co.uk!


The Stone House
By A.K. Benedict

One of three thrilling tie-in novels for Class, the new BBC Three series created and written by bestselling author Patrick Ness. Official Synopsis Coming Soon...

+  The Stone House is released on 27th October 2016, priced £7.99.
+  PURCHASE
 this title on Amazon.co.uk!


What She Does Next Will Astound You
By James Goss

One of three thrilling tie-in novels for Class, the new BBC Three series created and written by bestselling author Patrick Ness. Official Synopsis Coming Soon... 

+  What She Does Next Will Astound You is released on 27th October 2016, priced £7.99.
+  PURCHASE
 this title on Amazon.co.uk!

[Sources: BBC Books]

7 September 2016

It's one of The Doctor’s most celebrated adventures and yet no complete film recordings of The Power of the Daleks are known to have survived. The master negatives were destroyed in an archive purge in 1974. 

BBC Worldwide has announced that a brand new black and white animation based on audio recordings of the programme using the original cast, surviving photographs and film clips will be released 50 years to the minute after its only UK broadcast on BBC One.

The six half hour episodes feature the regeneration, or as it was then called ‘renewal’, of First Doctor William Hartnell into Second Doctor Patrick Troughton, as the Time Lord and his companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) do battle with the Daleks on the planet Vulcan.

Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks is being produced by the team behind the highly successful animation of lost Dad’s Army episode A Stripe For Frazer, first released on BBC Store in February this year. The producer and director is Charles Norton, with character designs from acclaimed comic book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon.

Charles Norton says:

“The Power of the Daleks animation is the most ambitious Doctor Who archive restoration ever attempted and we’re all very honoured to be a part of such a an exciting project. Intelligent, suspenseful and magnificently staged, Power of the Daleks is one of the great lost classics of 1960s television and a superb example of the black and white era at its finest.”

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide says:

“Charles and his team are remarkably talented and passionate about Doctor Who and we are thrilled that fans will soon be able to enjoy this rather sinister but wonderful, classic story.”

Doctor Who: The Power Of The Daleks will be released on BBC Store on Saturday 5th November followed by the DVD on Monday 21st November.

+  Register your interest in the BBC Store download!
+  Pre-order the DVD from Amazon and HMV (£20.42 RRP)

On Saturday 5th November there will be a special screening of episodes 1-3 of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks at BFI Southbank, London which will also include a Q&A with Anneke Wills, Charles Norton and Frazer Hines. Further information will be available from bfi.org.uk from Monday 19th September.

Watch the glorious trailer in the player, below:

 
+  Follow Doctor Who Online on Twitter (@DrWhoOnline)!


DWO ChatBack:
Are you looking forward to this release? Is there a missing episode of Doctor Who that you'd like to be animated in this way? Let us know in the comments box, below! 

[Sources: BBC Worldwide]

4 September 2016

The Sisterhood of Karn - the London-based social group for LGBT Doctor Who fans - present ‘An Evening With Adric’.

Companion actor Matthew Waterhouse, who played Adric alongside the fourth and fifth Doctors, will be joining the Sisterhood Of Karn as a special guest for the evening. Matthew will be performing live commentary on episodes that he is in, and perhaps even on one that he isn't...! He will also be signing copies of his books, which will be available to purchase at the event.

+ Tickets: £5.90 Available at http://eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-adric-tickets-27489952187

[Source: Richard Unwin]

16 August 2016

Our friends over at Lasermad are known for creating some weird and wonderful nixie devices but this time they really have made time fly:

"Hovering just above the ground, the Beacon floats in defiance of gravity, suspended by unseen forces. An orange glow begins to form around delicately crafted wires, surrounded by rarefied neon, inside the giant single glass tube that forms the main part of its structure as it prepares to transmit another sequence of apparently random numbers. 

The sheer scale of the internal electrode structure implies this was intended to be seen clearly over vast distances, possibly even the other side of a large room. Again it signals to an unknown observer. 

'01:08 am'

May we present the world's first and only levitated nixie clocks. Once set up correctly it will hover above the base for as long as it is powered, displaying the time and date on digits of glowing metal and glass."

You can see it in action over on their Kickstarter for this project:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lasermad/time-flies-levitating-nixie-clock

or visit their shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Lasermad for more down to Earth nixie gadgets, clocks and board games.

[Source: Lasermad]

 

24 July 2016

John Barrowman has given fresh hope that a new TV series of Torchwood may be making its way back to our screens.

Speaking to Comic Con HQ in San Diego at the weekend, Barrowman explained how the wheels are already in motion to bring the show back:

“I’ve already set the ball rolling to get Torchwood back (and that’s an exclusive here at Comic Con), I have a first telephone conversation on Monday about moving it forward to see how we can get it back on television.”

Barrowman then went on to talk about his new Torchwood comic, explaining how its success will help the cause:

“The fans know me well enough, I’m only going to say it if I really mean it and believe it, and if you do believe in Torchwood as you all do and say online, get the comic, just get the series going; it’s like a kickstarter - if you buy the comic you’ll show the support and also it’ll be a huge success because we need Captain Jack back on the screens!”

Watch the interview in full in the player, below:


[Source: Comic Con HQ]

14 July 2016

Our friends over at Toybox Treasures recently got in touch with DWO with some rather exciting news regarding a classic series VFX Dalek prop that they've recently discovered.

The Dalek prop, which featured in the 1973 serial 'Planet Of The Daleks', was given to the daughter of Fred Elphick; a worker at EMI Central Research in Hayes, where he designed parts for TV cameras and equipment. On several occasions Fred would speak with Roy Field of Pinewood Studios on his visits to the site, which is where they formed a friendship.

The Dalek is modelled on the Louis Marx toy from the 1960's, where a mould was made and subsequent Daleks reproduced in plaster - a cheap material to save money due to the sheer volume they needed to produce for the cave scenes. If you look closely, you can actually see mould join on the rear of the Dalek. The other benefit from making the Daleks out of plaster was because they needed to be weighty as there was going to be a lot of liquid emptied on them by the Doctor. They made some alternations to the dome ears, the eye stalk was a more accurate looking eye stalk and made out of a golf tea, also a total rework of the gun box section.

Unfortunately, after filming, the majority - if not all of the Dalek models were thrown away, and as a result they are now extremely rare. Roy kept this prop and gave it to a friend before his death in 2002. It is
now in the collection of Matt Doe of Toybox Treasures who is inviting fans to make offers on this rare collectable and encourage offers to be emailed to: sales@toybox-treasures.co.uk.

Matt Doe explains his excitement at the find:

"All that was going through my head was "I'm going to own a screen used/ production Dalek!". Every who fans dream is to get a full size Dalek and this was one step closer. Due to the rarity and high costs of owning a full sized screen-used Dalek, this is a more affordable way of owning one, even if it is 6" in height."  

+. Check out this item and more at www.toybox-treasures.co.uk
+  Find out more about the VFX Daleks at www.dalek6388.co.uk

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

[Sources: DWO; Matt Doe; Dalek 6388]


 

1 July 2016

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Writers: Matt Fitton & Andrew Smith

RRP: £20.00 (CD) / £20.00 (Download)

Release Date: June 2016

Reviewed by: Bedwyr Gullidge for Doctor Who Online


2.1 Power Cell by Matt Fitton

"Osgood and Captain Josh Carter are sent to investigate the disappearance of a UNIT scientist.

Meanwhile, alien technology has fallen into the hands of Lyme Industries, and Kate Stewart can't persuade the company’s CEO, Felicity Lyme, to give it back.

But UNIT find themselves fighting a third battle when innocent people start to die. Who are the mysterious assassins? And what does Felicity Lyme want with top secret alien technology?"

UNIT is back! Jemma Redgrave and Ingrid Oliver return to their roles of Kate Stewart and Osgood for a second outing with Big Finish. UNIT: Extinction was the skilled storyteller’s first venture into the world of modern Doctor Who created in 2005 and such was its success the team have returned for a second outing in a proper, full-fledged drama featuring the popular characters seen in only a handful of onscreen stories. It is such a joy to have more adventures with these individuals because it allows for more time to be dedicated to them alone, for instance, more scenes that they dominate instead of the Doctor, which aids their personal growth and builds that connection with the audience still further. As an example, the story opens with Osgood at a pub quiz, something which there simply would not be time for during a television episode that needs to grab the audience’s attention immediately and to engage them enough to quell the impulse to change the channel.

Osgood and Kate Stewart are the leading stars of the series and hopefully draw in new listeners to the wonders of Big Finish audio adventures. Ingrid Oliver’s Osgood has become a popular choice for cosplay fans but she is far more than a clothes horse and is a wonderfully rounded character; her likeable nature without question and she even uses a cloister bell message alert tone. Similarly, Kate Stewart maintains an approachable connection to her inferiors, despite her seniority, much like her father did. Jemma Redgrave is very respectful of the legacy passed down to her by her character's onscreen father, the sadly missed Doctor Who legend Nicholas Courtney. This story also draws an element from the UNIT era of Third Doctor Jon Pertwee which the Brigadier played such a key role in.

Writer Matt Fitton creates a tale which shines an investigatory light on Whitehall figures in a similar way that the Third Doctor's era provided scathing critiques on those Governmental types, such as Chinn in The Claws of Axos or Walker the Parliamentary Private Secretary in The Sea Devils. The timing of this subject matter also seems appropriate given the current political turmoil in Westminster, with Kate Stewart stating categorically, “I don't trust the Government” and seemingly capturing the mood of a nation. In the UK we fear the intrusion of public companies, siphoning off our most valuable resources for the sake of profit margins, the privatisation of the NHS for example, is a constant concern these days. For UNIT it is their alien technology which they place the highest value upon and so must be recovered from the hands of the unknown but wonderfully intriguing Miss Lyme, expertly played by Alice Krige. These competing ideologies, supposedly in partnership and on the same side but yet the potential selling off of those shared secrets, adds further to the developing intrigue.

However this story is not only a satirical perspective on the Government, as the first part draws to a close with an action sequence of unidentified, but clearly alien, creatures attacking Osgood in her own flat. Things are developing quickly and the adventure has only just begun…


2.2 Death In Geneva by Andrew Smith

"With few people left to trust, and with assassins on their tail, Kate and Osgood race to UNIT Command in Geneva. Will General Avary be able to help them?

But when death follows UNIT all the way from the English countryside to the snowy slopes of the Alps, Captain Carter finds himself in a race against time.

As the body count rises, Kate struggles to separate friend from foe, danger circles Osgood ever closer, and, high in the mountains, Josh comes face to face with the enemy..."

In a move borrowed from Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart himself, Kate and Osgood head to Geneva to gain support from UNIT Central Command. Unlike the television production of the 1970’s the limitless scope of Big Finish allows listeners to follow the action to Geneva. Unfortunately, the danger follows too and even in Switzerland not everyone can be trusted. Slowly the UNIT team begin to unravel events and learn more about the mysterious Tengobushi as the bodies start piling up and innocent people are now being caught in the crossfire.

This episode starts with a bang and maintains that pace throughout, gripping the audience with numerous twists and turns along the way as Kate and Osgood come under seemingly constant attack. Continuing the work of Matt Fitton, Andrew Smith picks up the momentum created by the introductory first episode, skilfully teasing out more information for the developing plot. Although the Kate Stewart and Osgood pairing receive the bulk of the attention - and rightly so - they are in reality two thirds of a trio which also includes James Joyce as Captain Josh Carter. Admittedly Carter has a curiously convenient knack for turning up at the most opportune moment, which happens a lot in this four part story, but when under threat from lightning fast alien ninja warriors UNIT need a military leader and Joyce is perfect in his role - one which will be vital in the next episode…


2.3 The Battle Of The Tower by Andrew Smith

"The threat is now clear, and Kate Stewart retreats to UNIT HQ with her most trusted colleagues. She has no choice but to place the Black Archive into lockdown, and the Tower of London is where UNIT will make its stand.

While the capital sleeps, an alien horde is gathering, ready to rise from the shadows to attack Earth’s greatest defence force inside its own stronghold.

The Tower is infiltrated, and UNIT must hold the line. At any cost. Lock and load..."

The action packed pace of Death in Geneva continues as UNIT retreat to the stronghold of the Tower of London - first identified as a UNIT base in The Christmas Invasion. This episode also allows a period of downtime to expand on the plot as UNIT attempt to identify and understand the alien trinket which has drawn the Tengobushi to London so they can recover it. Osgood and Kate Stewart are able to investigate the artefact, postulating why the Tengobushi want it back so badly and revealing crucial plot points required for the story’s final resolution to the audience.

Like an episode of Game of Thrones, these early parts of the episode provide material that adds depth and detail to the story that would be quickly skirted over in a Doctor Who television episode, limited by a finite running time.

Other nice story touches include the revelation that the Yeoman warders are in fact members of UNIT capable of reporting to Kate Stewart. There are also lovely references for fans of the televised output such as name checking Malcolm who appeared in Planet of the Dead and the Ravens needing batteries as mentioned in The Day of the Doctor.  When the Tengobushi do reach the Tower and begin their attack, the action comes thick and fast, the accompanying soundscape headed by director Ken Bentley aiding in the dynamism that builds nicely for a spectacular conclusion… 


2.4 Ice Station Alpha by Matt Fitton

"Caught between human greed and an unstoppable alien power, Kate Stewart leads her closest allies on one final, desperate mission. This could be the very last chance for the human race.

But the UNIT team has been declared rogue, and ruthless military forces are in pursuit as they race across the globe. Kate calls Lieutenant Sam Bishop to their aid, while Josh and Osgood head out across the frozen Antarctic plains to try and prevent a disaster no-one else knows is coming."

In the concluding part we return to the original themes outlined at the very beginning, casting a scathing comment on the spurious methods of big business, plus raising doubts about the true motives of those individuals supposedly working to protect us. The tale also raises an interesting argument regarding UNIT’s own use of alien technologies and the dangers of allowing unregulated individuals equal free-reign. However whilst the small-minded humans argue amongst themselves a much more substantial power is closing in on the eye of the storm in Antartica…

This second adventure with Kate Stewart and Osgood is another triumph; superbly combining intelligent plotting from writers Matt Fitton and Andrew Smith with explosive action in a journey across planet Earth - the likes of which would be difficult to do justice to on a television budget. In a refreshing move, the lines between good and evil are masterfully blurred to deliver an excellent adventure which grips and thrills the listener throughout.



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