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.

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18 February 2013

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

Richard was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series, 7th Doctor adventure; Paradise Towers as Chief Caretaker. He also appeared in the Torchwood episode A Day In The Death as Parker.

Richard's other career highlights include; The Good Life, Ever Decreasing Circles, Down To EarthMonarch Of The GlenLove's Labour's Lost and Cockney's Versus Zombies.

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

[Source: BBC News]

17 February 2013

The Daleks invaded London earlier this morning and resistance was useless – insofar as it was impossible to resist the striking sight of The Doctor’s iconic enemies swarming through the capital!

But their presence was not part of a plan to enslave Earth – or at least that’s what the production team is saying! The cast and crew of An Adventure in Space and Time were there to recreate some of the most memorable moments from Doctor Who’s early years – the scenes from The Dalek Invasion of Earth where the metal monsters imperiously glided through London, gloriously framed against the backdrop of famous sites like the Palace of Westminster.

Back in 1964 the photos of the ‘invasion’ became instant classics and over the years the imagery of those episodes has been referenced and updated on several occasions. But this is the first time that a production team has attempted to faithfully replicate the 1964 shoot using Daleks that were unique to that single adventure. The results look set to be stunning, as you can find out for yourselves when An Adventure in Space and Time - a one-off drama exploring the genesis of Doctor Who - debuts later this year.

A promotional image (pictured-right) was posted by the BBC Doctor Who website this morning.

Writer, Mark Gatiss, recorded a short video diary to make the event, which you can view below:

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

7 February 2013

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

Reg was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his roles in the following Classic Series adventures:

Ben Daheer in the 1st Doctor adventure; The Crusade.
Man In Mackintosh in the 1st Doctor adventure; The Dalek's Masterplan.

Reg, who was born in Wrexham; Wales, had a long career spanning as far back as 1961, and featured in such shows as Dixon Of Dock Green, The Avengers, The Saint and Z Cars.

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

* * *

On a personal note, there was a bit of story behind getting Reg's birth date. DWO deal with a number of Doctor Who related obituaries, and it is normally easy to find birth dates, but for some reason, there was no record online, or in any printed media of Reg's. We had this news item ready two days ago but kept drawing a blank when it came to finding Reg's year of birth. We contacted Equity, to no avail, and then contacted The Stage (on advice from Toby Hadoke), who informed us they would be in touch.

This afternoon we received a telephone call from a lovely lady named Audrey Leybourne - an actress, who has also had a long career. Audrey was friends with Reg, and did some detective work of her own and managed to find Reg's year of birth for us!

I guess the reason we are recounting this story is because we find it baffling and sad that a man who had such a long career, and who clearly had a lot of friends, should have so little said about him online - despite all the technology and resources we have available to us these days. And thank heavens for people like Audrey, who single-handedly trumped even the best that Google could offer!

[Sources: Neil Marsh; Audrey Leybourne; The Stage; Toby Hadoke]

5 February 2013

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

Peter was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series adventure Frontios as Brazen.

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

UPDATE: Wednesday 6th February 2013

There are some reports online that Peter's death was a hoax, but DWO have contacted Equity and Peter's agent (Roger Carey Associates), who both sadly re-confirmed the news that he passed away on Sunday 3rd February.

[Sources: Alan Pulverton; Equity; Roger Carey Associates]

29 January 2013

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

Bernard was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in four, Classic Series adventures:

The Mind Robber as Lemuel Gulliver
The War Games as a Time Lord
Planet of the Daleks as Taron
The Deadly Assassin as Chancellor Goth

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

[Sources: Alan Pulverton]

9 November 2012

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

Trevor was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Lodge in the 3rd Doctor adventure; Invasion Of The Dinosaurs.

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

[Sources: Neil Marsh; Equity]

9 November 2012

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

David was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Eric Leeson in the 3rd Doctor adventure; Colony In Space.

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

[Sources: Neil Marsh; Equity]

18 August 2012

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

Michael was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Jarvis Bennett on the 2nd Doctor adventure; The Wheel in Space.

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

[Source: Neil Marsh]

26 July 2012

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

Mary was best known to Doctor Who fans for playing The 4th Doctor's companion; Romana I. Mary appeared as Romana in a total of 6 televised stories which formed the Key to Time series of adventures:

The Ribos Operation
The Pirate Planet
The Stones of Blood
The Androids of Tara
The Power of Kroll
The Armageddon Factor

The actress, who was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, fought a long battle with cancer and died in hospital in London.

Agent Barry Langford, who confirmed the news, said she had a "zest for life".

Tamm's stage and screen career also included films The Odessa File and The Likely Lads, as well as recurring roles in EastEnders and Brookside.

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

On announcing the news to the @DrWhoOnline Twitter followers, we asked for some of your comments to include in our obituary, of which we have added a small selection below:

@yeles - @DrWhoOnline really sad news. All my thoughts to family and friends.

@UKVampire - @DrWhoOnline #RIPMaryTamm will forever live on in our hearts as Romana - Thoughts go out to friends and family during this difficult time.

@Blackadder345 - @DrWhoOnline A wonderful actress and companion, will be sadly missed. Shall never be able to watch the Key to Time again without a tear.

@TheGazulator - DrWhoOnline Great chunks of our past, detaching themselves like melting icebergs. :( RIP, Mary Tamm. Thoughts and prayers with her family.

@TheOldLondoner - @DrWhoOnline How awful that the wonderful Mary Tamm has passed away. She was the very best of actresses & my favourite Dr Who assistant

@Deensey - @DrWhoOnline Romana was the first thing I loved about Doctor Who. I was about 6 and watched with my big brother

+  You can leave messages of condolence in the DWO Forums thread, here.

[Source: BBC]

22 July 2012

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Costume Designer, Colin Lavers.

Colin was the credited costumer for four Doctor Who serials, most in the Peter Davison era. As the designer of costumes for Four to Doomsday — the first adventure that Davison recorded — he was responsible for helping to realise The Fifth Doctor's iconic "look".

One part of The Fifth Doctor's costume that was not his idea was the retention of the question mark-lapeled shirt from Tom Baker's season 18 look. He was specifically asked to keep them in, via a 10 February 1981 memo from John Nathan-Turner to Lavers. "I do feel that the Doctor Who shirt with the '?' mark on the lapels is worth hanging on to," wrote Nathan-Turner.

A couple of years later, Lavers' duties on The Five Doctors gave him the opportunity to clothe a wide range of Doctors and companions, some of whom had never been seen on colour television before. Combined with his turns on his other two serials, The Power of Kroll and The King's Demons, he provided outfits for more recurring characters in "classic" Doctor Who than any other costumer.

He provided new or significantly modified outfits for the Fifth Doctor, The Master, Susan, Sarah Jane, Liz, Zoe, Jamie, the Brigadier, Romana I and Tegan. He recreated costumes for Mike Yates and The First, Second and Third Doctors. Although he didn't actually design this last group's costumes, their Five Doctors costumes were at least subtly different from those they had worn in any other serial. In his stories, Lavers failed to provide costumes for only two main characters: Turlough and the Fourth Doctor

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

[Sources: Richard Kewing; TARDIS Index File]

21 June 2012

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

Caroline was best known to Doctor Who fans for playing The 3rd Doctor's companion; Liz Shaw. Caroline appeared as Liz Shaw in a total of 5 televised stories:

Spearhead from Space
The Silurians
The Ambassadors of Death
Inferno
The Five Doctors

It is understood that she passed away on 5th June 2012, but news has only been made public today.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Caroline's family and friends, and particularly her husband (and fellow Doctor Who actor) Geoffrey Beevers.

On announcing the news to the @DrWhoOnline Twitter followers, we asked for some of your comments to include in our obituary, of which we have added a small selection below:

@WhoFrazer - @DrWhoOnline so so sad to hear the news. Another of our family gone.

@BarryAldridge - @DrWhoOnline Caroline John was a wonderful actress on the screen was an equal to Jon Pertwee #doctorwho

@dn21media - @DrWhoOnline She really made that first season of Pertwee top notch, excellent particularly in Spearhead and as Evil Liz in Inferno.

@MattHolme0 - @DrWhoOnline Goodbye Liz. Underrated and understated. Say hi to Sarah,Barbara and the Brig for me x

@Tarkers73 - @DrWhoOnline so sad about Caroline John, put so much back into the show in the DVD era, thank heaven her memories are recorded forever #rip

@OptimusGinge - @DrWhoOnline another great and much loved companion leaves us

+  You can leave messages of condolence in the DWO Forums thread, here.

[Source: BBC]

6 June 2012

Rare behind-the-scenes footage from Dalek Invasion of Earth: 2150 A.D has been discovered.

The brief clip shows movie Doctor Peter Cushing preparing to battle arch foe, The Daleks during the making of an early big-screen adaptation of the long-running sci-fi series.

The precious black and white footage, taken on the set of cult sixties film, also captures director Gordon Flemyng - father of film star Jason - behind camera as he talks with stunt-men and plans out the movie's climatic final scenes.

The material is the first to be uncovered documenting the 1966 film and forms part of a 'lost' TV show found recently in the possession of a collector living in Wales.

Though the BBC wiped the master-tape of A Whole Scene Going, a copy of the magazine show - also featuring an interview with Flemyng and musical performances by the Spencer Davis Group - was made and found its way on to the collector's circuit.

Classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope, which recovered the unique 16mm film print in conjunction with the Tim Disney Archive, said the find will “delight” Doctor Who and vintage music fans alike.

Chris Perry of Kaleidoscope said:

“A Whole Scene Going is an exciting TV find. For Doctor Who fans there's a fascinating glimpse into the making of feature film Dalek Invasion of Earth: 2150 A.D., showing Peter Cushing as the Doctor on the set along with director Gordon Flemyng and lots of Daleks. For music lovers there are priceless performances by classic British beat band the Spencer Davis Group as well as American singer/songwriter Judy Collins. Sixties pop shows were routinely shown live or wiped after transmission so it's great to find one that slipped past the eraser's magnet!"

Tim Disney of the TDA said:

“How this print came into existence or found it's way to a Welsh village, we'll never know. However, one theory is that it could have been film recorded by BBC Wales from the network feed down the line from London for transmission at a later date.”

A Whole Scene Going was a short-lived TV teen culture show hosted by Wendy Varnels and Barry Fantoni.

The recovered edition, from March '66, captures Flemyng at Shepperton Studios while directing an action-packed finale involving Horror icon Cushing and an army of Robomen thwarting a Dalek plan to drop a giant bomb into the Earth's core.

Cushing played the Time Lord - currently portrayed on TV by Matt Smith - in two Flemyng-directed films during the height of “Dalekmania”, also starring in 1964's box-office hit Doctor Who and the Daleks.

Interspersed with the footage is an interview with Flemyng - who died in 1995, aged 61 - revealing that he preferred making “entertainment pictures”as opposed to more high-brow films, but “didn't take them any less seriously”.

The emergence of A Whole Scene Going has also got music fans excited with the discovery of a rare interview with the Spencer Davis Group, who also perform chart-topping single “Somebody Help Me Now” in the studio.

Kaleidoscope and the TDA - who bought the film print privately from the collector - are currently in the process of returning a digital copy to the BBC Archive.

Eager fans will get the chance to see the recovered footage for the first time in more than four decades at Kaleidoscope's next screening event, taking place in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on Saturday 9th June.

Tim Disney of the TDA added:

“Dr Who was not the primary draw for us in recovering this programme, but the content of the programme as a whole — the exciting period of popular culture it reflects and it's place in the history of British television. Thankfully, after the collector discovered he had a unique TV recording he was keen to ensure it would be returned to the BBC archives, turning down silly money offers to deal instead with Kaleidoscope and the TDA.”

To see a clip from the recovered show visit www.timdisneyarchive.com.

[Source: Kaleidoscope]

17 April 2012

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who VFX Desginer, Peter Wragg.

Peter was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his work on the 5th Doctor adventures; The Visitation & Resurrection of the Daleks and the 6th Doctor adventure; Minwarp, which formed part of the Trial of a Time Lord season.

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

[Source: Steve Freestone]

17 April 2012

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

Tony was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Mr Huckle in the 4th Doctor adventure; Terror of the Zygons. Sibbald also had roles in movies, such as Superman II and A View To A Kill.

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

[Source: Neil Marsh]

17 April 2012

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

Richard was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as a Mentor in the 6th Doctor adventure; Minwarp, which formed part of the Trial of a Time Lord season.

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

[Source: Neil Marsh]

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