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21 July 2017

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actress, Deborah Watling.

Deborah was loved and cherished by fans for her role as the 2nd Doctor's companion, 'Victoria Waterfield', in the Classic Series of Doctor Who.

Deborah's other career highlights include A Life Of Bliss, The Newcomers & Danger UXB (to name just a few).

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Deborah's family and friends, and we will remember her fondly not just for her role in the series and her personality off-screen, but for the many occasions she gave her time to Doctor Who Online.

You can watch a greeting that Deborah recorded for us at the 2013 press event for the return of the missing Doctor Who episodes, in the player below:


[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]

18 January 2017

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Director, Rodney Bennett.

Rodney directed the 4th Doctor stories; The Ark In Space, The Sontaran Experiment & The Masque Of Mandragora. As an in-joke reference, the 4th Doctor mentions the "Bennett oscillator" in Episode One of The Ark In Space.

Rodney's other career highlights include directing credits for; The Darling Buds Of May, Z Cars, Tales Of The Unexpected and Soldier Soldier (to name just a few).

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Rodney's family and friends.

Comedian, Actor and Writer, Toby Hadoke has put together a more in-depth obituary on his blog. You can also watch Toby's 'In Memoriam' video for the Doctor Who personalities we lost in 2016.

[Sources: Toby Hadoke; DWO]

15 January 2016

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Writer, Robert Banks Stewart.

Robert was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for penning two, much-loved, 4th Doctor adventures; Terror Of The Zygons & The Seeds Of Doom.

Robert's other career highlights included contributing scripts to; The Sweeney, Callan, Special Branch and The Edgar Wallace Mysteries. He also produced Bergerac, The Darling Buds Of May and Lovejoy (to name just a few)

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Robert's family and friends.

+ Read DWO's Interview with Robert Banks Stewart from 2013. 

[Source: BBC News]

27 July 2015

DWO interviews Ex-Doctor Who DVD Commissioning Editor, Dan Hall, regarding his time on the range, his current projects, and what the future could hold for the Classic Series range.


What have been some of your fondest memories in your time working on the Doctor Who DVD range?

Having the opportunity to work with some great people. Two of my bosses - Sue Kerr and Stuart Snaith - are people who I respect highly in the Home Entertainment publishing world. I learnt a huge amount from them over the years, and they were always highly supportive of the content.

Do you have any regrets, any tears any anxieties from your time on the range?

Ah! I would have liked to have taken more risks. It is impossible to please everybody, and I should have spent less time trying to do this.

What have you been up to since the last release and do you have any non-Doctor Who future projects we can look out for?

It’s been a real mixture of things since Doctor Who. Probably the biggest was working with PWL and Cherry Red records on the recent four Kylie Minogue Special Editions. Pup worked with the record company restoring the content, designing and authoring the DVDs. It was a great project and my teenage self would have been very proud!

We gave over control of the next question to the @DrWhoOnline Twitter followers and Francis (@lifetrainee) asks: “I'm a producer with an unlimited budget ready to go*. What would be your dream extra for any of the classic stories? *[I'm not]”

An unlimited budget is never a good thing! Limitations feed creativity, and certainly some of the best content we made for the range was by no means the most expensive. Where money can help is by providing consistency of content; a regular schedule of commissions and releases.

But if I had had a wee bit more money on some of the releases, I would have liked an Ed Stradling season overview for every single season. The few we had were always insightful and fascinating.

What do you feel the future is for the Classic Series Doctor Who range? Physical / Digital? Season Box-sets? Or has it had its day?

Classic DW has a terrible habit of not going away! It was broadcast and people wanted more. It was broadcast again and they wanted more. Then it came on VHS and they wanted more. Then DVD… So I would be a pretty bad gambler if I said it had had its day.

I am working in other parts of the industry these days and don’t have much to do with Classic DW. But I have genuine confidence that the BBC and BBC Worldwide will take the brand somewhere exciting. Why wouldn’t they?! As for what that is, that is a much wider Home Entertainment question. And if you find the answer, there are a lot of studios in Hollywood that I’m sure would like to speak with you!

Follow Dan Hall on Twitter!
Follow DoctorWhoOnline on Twitter
+ Check Out the Classic Series Doctor Who titles on Amazon.co.uk.
Check Out more interviews in the DWO Interviews section.  

[Source: DWO]

7 April 2015

Doctor Who fandom is amazing! We're lucky enough to hold some of the most creative and inventive fans around (it's no wonder it's the Doctor Who fans who end up running the series) - and two such fans have created something a little bit special for those of us who love the classic series.

Christopher Thomson and Siobhan Gallichan have produced an unofficial Minisode titled 'The Glimpse', featuring the 1st and 2nd Doctors, with, perhaps, the finest impersonations you have ever heard of William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, respectively.

Synopsis:
The Doctor and Jamie accidentally slip into another, rather familiar, time zone.

DWO caught up with Christopher and Siobhan to discuss the project.

Christopher Thomson discusses the genesis of the story:

"I've been an impressionist for many years, but aside from making people laugh for a moment, I wanted to go further. Michael Sheen is no Rory Bremner. And Patrick Troughton was an obvious choice.

I adored his Doctor, but also himself as an actor. I've watched many of his work that I could, and the more I read about his background made me more interested in him. In fact, I want to make a biographic film of his life after Who. If there's a real person I wanted to play in a film, like Sheen, then it would be Pat.

There sadly isn't much of Pat's Doctor we can watch. I've listened to the audio-books of his missing adventures, which is sadly half a performance, but you can vision in your head how great he was. I wanted to keep working on the voice to try and bring that enjoyment in new adventures. My aim was for people to sit back, listen to Patrick. Not me. And judging from the wonderful response I've had... I think I've succeeded.

I'm always working on the performance with each attempt. I don't want to disrespect his family or people who knew him. So I'm constantly learning and improving. Anything to keep Patrick Troughton going, and show the many fans the wonders of the Second Doctor that they've sadly missed.

The Glimpse came to be after Siobhan's fantastic suggestion late one night, which I immediately fell in love with. If I could bring back the Second Doctor, then why not have him meet the First (beautifully performed by SIobhan!)? Combined with telesnaps, which were fun to use, it really gave it that missing episode feel - almost as if Loose Canon had reconstructed an actual recorded episode!

I'm immensely happy and ecstatic with the response it's had. I'm a pessimist, and it's really shown me I should believe in myself more. I couldn't have done it without Siobhan, and she has been remarkable. 

I also voiced Jamie (for the first time) and have heard very little comments regarding it, which is pleasing!"

Siobhan Gallichan discusses working with Christopher and tackling the 1st Doctor:

"Whilst not as acomplished as Chris, I leapt at the chance to work with him. His script was very sympathetic and true to the characters. When I read it I imagined it being done as a charity thing - maybe for the Blue Peter Appeal, 1968, where Hartnell comes back - ill, but having the time of his life. Hence him sounding so happy. Like Chris, I too would very much like to work for Big Finish: as a new First Doctor in my case. We have been overwhelmed by the support and good wishes we have recieved for The Glimpse. And I'm sure that we'll do more..."

Watch 'The Glimpse' in the player, below:


[Source: Siobhan Gallichan]

31 January 2015

Every once in a while a genuine surprise turns up to treat Doctor Who fans. This week came the news that a long lost episode of Desert Island Discs featuring William Hartnell (The 1st Doctor) had resurfaced.

The programme which was first broadcast on the BBC Home Service Radio channel on Monday 23rd August 1965, is now available to listen to on the BBC Radio 4 website.

[Source: BBC Radio 4]

15 September 2014

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actor, Angus Lennie.

Angus was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for playing the role of Storr in the Classic Series 2nd Doctor adventure; The Ice Warriors, Angus in the Classic Series 4th Doctor adventure; Terror Of The Zygons.

Angus' other career highlights include roles in; The Great Escape, Crossroads and Monarch Of The Glen.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Angus' family and friends.

[Source: Scottish Daily Record]

1 August 2014

Luken Communications has announced the highly-anticipated debut of Doctor Who on Retro TV coming this Monday 4th August. Beginning with the very first episode of the series, “An Unearthly Child,” American fans of the science fiction classic can find two episodes of Doctor Who back-to-back every weeknight at 8:00PM ET/PT on Retro TV.

Retro TV will be showcasing the series’ classic run, featuring the first seven incarnations of The Doctor: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy.

Matthew Golden, Luken’s Vice President of Production, said:

“We’re excited to set a fixed point in time for the arrival of classic episodes of Doctor Who on Retro TV. These meticulously restored episodes will bring the history of the Doctor to the U.S. in a way that viewers have never seen before.” 

In addition to the weeknight schedule, a two hour encore block will air on Saturday evenings as part of Retro TV’s new Sci-Fi Saturday. Starting at 6:00PM ET/PT, viewers can enjoy the supernatural anthology One Step Beyond, Doctor Who and Mystery Science Theater 3000.

For more information on Retro TV or to find a Retro TV affiliate in your area, please visit www.watchretrotv.com. Everyone at Retro TV is dedicated to expanding the network’s footprint. If you do not yet have a Retro TV affiliate in your area, you can help by contacting your local TV stations to request that they add Retro TV to their subchannel lineup. Retro TV can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/watchretrotv and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/watchretrotv.

[Source: Retro TV]

21 July 2014

Philip Morris, the man behind the recent recovery of nine lost episodes of Doctor Who, and Director of TIEA, took part in a Q&A yesterday on the 'Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group' on Facebook.

The inevitable question of whether more missing episodes of Doctor Who had been found or not, came up, and here was Morris' response:

“A tricky one to answer, and fans will just want a yes or no, haven’t you or have you. But it;s complex. All I can say is the wind is blowing the right way. Be patient.”

Morris also clarified if any announcements were due soon:

“There are no announcements in the pipeline at present. It can sometimes be the wrong thing with ongoing work and investigation. An example would be during the last announcement. I was in a very hostile part of the world and suddenly I was everywere on TV. My anonymity was compromised, which made the team a target. So we must plan these things carefully for the greater good of the project and the safety of the personnel involved.”

The 'omni-rumour' surrounding missing episodes has been going on for some time now, with many fans believing more episodes of Doctor Who will turn up. DWO also believe more episode discoveries will be announced in the not too distant future, but as Morris suggested, we all have to be patient.

DWO Discussion:
Do you think more lost episodes of Doctor Who have been found? What do you make of Philip Morris' comments? Post your comments in the comments section, below, or in the DWO Forums thread by clicking on the yellow 'Discuss' bar!

[Source: Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group]

30 March 2014

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actress, Kate O'Mara.

Kate was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for playing the role of The Rani in the Classic Series adventures; The Mark Of The Rani, & Time And The Rani. She also appeared as The Rani in the 1993 Children In Need charity special, Dimensions In Time.

Kate's other career highlights include roles in; Z Cars, The Brothers, Dynasty, Howards' Way and Benidorm.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Kate's family and friends.

[Source: BBC News]

28 March 2014

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Director, Derek Martinus.

Derek was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for directing the Classic Series adventures; Galaxy 4, Mission To The Unknown, The Tenth Planet, The Evil Of The Daleks, The Ice Warriors & Spearhead From Space.

He was also the first person to direct a colour episode of Doctor Who (Spearhead From Space).

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Derek's family and friends.

[Source: Tim Vine]

13 March 2014

Fans of Doctor Who are set to find the TARDIS materialising at a new location this Easter as a selection of the Time Lord’s classic adventures in time and space start screening on Horror Channel.

The UK’s prime home for fans of horror, fantasy and sci-fi has completed a deal with BBC Worldwide to broadcast 30 stories from the Classic series which ran 1963 to 1989 featuring the first seven Doctors, starting with William Hartnell and concluding with Sylvester McCoy.

This specially curated season give fans old and new a chance to get re-acquainted with favourite companions Jamie, Jo Grant and Sarah Jane Smith, rogue Time Lords such as The Master, Omega and The Rani and all those iconic monsters including Daleks, Cybermen, Sea Devils and Ice Warriors.

Launching on Friday 18th April (Good Friday) the season begins with the very first story ‘An Unearthly Child’, starring William Hartnell as The Doctor. It then leads into a special WHO ON HORROR weekend - a classic marathon featuring one story from each of the Doctors across the Easter weekend.  There will then be weekday double-bills in daytime and evening slots with stories shown in chronological order starting on Easter Monday 21st April

Horror Channel is screening many of the stories that are regarded as the most memorable that the show produced including ‘The Mind Robber’, ‘The Daemons’, ‘Genesis of the Daleks’, ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’, ‘The Caves of Androzani’, ‘Attack of the Cybermen’ and ‘The Curse of Fenric’. Many emphasise the horror elements of the programme from the first scary moments the Daleks appeared, to encounters with giant spiders and maggots, and even battles with Mary Whitehouse over the violent content of the show during Tom Baker’s era. 

Alina Florea, Director of Programming, said today:

“There are many horror themes that Doctor Who has tackled over the years and people of all ages have been terrified and found cowering behind the sofa. Our selection from the classic series include the original appearances of some of the most revered monsters and TV moments which captured the imagination of children and adults throughout the decades.  Doctor Who is an iconic brand and we are proud and thrilled to welcome this giant of British television to our channel.”

The classic Doctor Who series complements the growing segment of cult television series available on the channel.  Wonder Woman, Xena: Warrior Princess, New Twilight Zone, Star Trek and The Invaders fill the daytime schedule, reflecting the expansion of the channel acquisitions into the fantasy, adventure, and science fiction genres. Doctor Who will have been the first taste of frightening television for many Horror Channel viewers, and following on from the show’s record-breaking 50th anniversary celebrations last year, they will now have the opportunity to relive those terrifying moments and exciting cliff-hangers again.

[Source: Horror Channel]

13 February 2014

To celebrate the release of recently recovered missing Doctor Who adventure The Web of Fear on DVD, a marathon screening of the story, and preceding adventure The Enemy of the World has been announced by BBC Worldwide and Prince Charles Cinema, in association with BFI.

The twelve 25-minute episodes will be shown back to back at London's Prince Charles Cinema on Saturday 22nd February at 11:15am. Tickets will go on sale from 9:00am on 14th February 2014 from www.princecharlescinema.com, and are priced £14 (£11.50 Prince Charles Cinema members).

The screening will be followed by a 45 minute Q&A session with key cast members from the episodes as well as a member of the Troughton family. The panel will be chaired by writer, actor and Doctor Who fan Toby Hadoke.

Nine of the episodes from these classic stories were missing and feared lost forever before they were returned to the BBC by television archive expert Philip Morris in 2013, after he located them in Nigeria.

+  Download The Enemy Of The World for £9.99 via iTunes in the UK.
+  Download The Enemy Of The World for $9.99 via iTunes in the USA.
+  Order The Enemy Of The World DVD on BBC Shop for just £13.99!

+  Download The Web Of Fear for £9.99 via iTunes in the UK.
+  Download The Web Of Fear for $9.99 via iTunes in the USA.
+  Order The Web Of Fear DVD on BBC Shop for just £13.99!

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

[Sources: BBC Worldwide]

10 February 2014

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Director, Christopher Barry.

Christopher was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for directing the Classic Series adventures; The Daleks, The Rescue, The Romans, The Savages, The Power of The Daleks, The Daemons, The Mutants, Robot, The Brain Of Morbius and The Creature From The Pit.

He was one of only three people to direct stories featuring the first four Doctors (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker).

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Christopher's family and friends.

[Source: Tim Vine]

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