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Roderick Donald

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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8 November 2021

One of the contributors of a fantastic new Doctor Who book has been in touch with details of a new title, chronicling the history of the Blackpool Doctor Who Exhibition. Below is the press release from the website, where you can also download the books for FREE:

Blackpool Remembered and Blackpool Revisited are FREE digital publications, collated and edited by John Collier. They celebrate the original Doctor Who Exhibition on Blackpool’s Golden Mile, which ran from 1974 to 1985, and the Doctor Who Museum, which ran from 2004 to 2009.

Both books are a labour of love for their creator John Collier and project collaborator Alex Storer. These projects are the first of their kind: in-depth, full-colour, vividly detailed and illustrated accounts of the Doctor Who exhibitions as told by the fans who visited and the people who made them possible. Explore year-by-year floor plans and hundreds of photographs alongside personal recollections and nostalgia of the era, publicity materials, merchandise and everything that made visiting Doctor Who exhibitions so special.

Whether you visited either exhibition in the years gone by or missed out completely, now is your chance to step back in time to visit the TARDIS and defy the Daleks.

Although there have since been many Doctor Who exhibitions, Blackpool was unlike any other and remains fondly remembered by generations of fans. These are their stories.

Download the books via the Blackpool Remembered & Revisited website!
Follow @Blackpool7485 on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source: Philip Brennan]

7 November 2021

Hello Doctor Who Online Community

My Name is Barry Aldridge and I did an article back in 2018 called “Doctor Who, Autism and Me” which I'm really happy to have put out there. Big thanks to the DWO team, including Seb Brook who believed in me to talk about the issue, which gave me real confidence.

Now I am back to talk about my favourite Doctor Who Story of all time. To me this is an all-time classic that I believe, 50 years on, still holds the test of the time. It stars my favourite Doctor, Patrick Troughton, and features my favourite villains of all time; The Daleks! It was broadcasted between 20th May 1967-1st July 1967. Only one of the episodes has survived in the archives and it was the first appearance of Deborah Watling as Victoria Waterfield, which was Episode 2. The story I am talking about is The Evil Of The Daleks, written by David Whitaker and directed by Derek Martinus.

It's a story/serial of 7 episodes or 7 parts, which I know can be a turn off for some people, but I love long stories that go on for many weeks - especially with Patrick Troughton at the helm.

I first heard about this story back in 2003/2004 - I think, when I was getting into the show after a rest between 1999-2003, as I was more focused on college and early University. This was good in a way as it meant I could get the excitement back for the show, which I needed. I was going through different shows and remember Troughton’s performances from stories like The Dominators, The Mind Robber and The War Games. Also, around that time I had a friend who had The Tomb Of The Cybermen DVD and I loved that story! I thought of looking at more of Troughton’s era of the show and found out the shocking news that a lot of his episodes were missing from the BBC archives.

I actually saw a clip of Episode 2 of The Evil Of The Daleks, where the Doctor, Edward Waterfield and Theodore Maxtible were discussing the villain, where the Doctor was finding out why he was sent back in time and where his TARDIS had gone. Then... the villians of the hour; The Daleks! I remember Troughton’s facial expressions going from fear to being brave in a matter of seconds and it was this reaction that was a major key to me wanting to find out what happens in this story.

Around 2006, when I watched Genesis Of The Daleks “Dalek Tapes” and they briefly touched on The Evil Of The Daleks, and they said how fantastic it is and admired David Whitaker’s writing, which was the first time I heard his name, strangely, but, again, it got me wanting to find out more.

I went back and forth with the story and was looking online for the The Evil Of The Daleks scripts, and I was blown away by how he was able to write the story and keep it going for 7 episodes / parts - which amazes me! It's not an easy feat to do, as some writers can find it hard to pull off even 6 episodes. I love how Whitaker was able to create characters and give them development throughout the story. John Bailey and Marius Goring (from Episode 2) were able to make their characters believable, owing to with Whitaker’s writing. I also only found out recently that it featured Windsor Davies who starred in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

In my view David Whitaker is one of the most underrated writers in the history of Doctor Who. As mentioned, he knows how to write great characters - other examples can be seen in The Edge Of Destruction and The Rescue from William Hartnell's era. He worked with Dalek creator, Terry Nation, quite a bit during his year as Script Editor - this surely lends itself to the fact he understood how to write for the Daleks, and keep up with the pace and make it in interesting to watch.

I saw the second episode for the first time in 2009 when I got the Lost In Time DVD box-set, which contained surviving episodes of missing stories, including The Crusade, The Daleks Master Plan, The Enemy Of The World (now complete), The Web Of Fear (now nearly complete) and The Space Pirates - to name a few. When watching the episode at the opening, then hearing Roy Skelton’s Dalek voice is, to me, one of the best Dalek voices ever

Whist not the best episode in the story, I loved everything about it! It featured brilliant performances from Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, John Bailey, Marius Goring, and Windsor Davies. It was really well put together through the direction of Derek Martinus, who knew how to put shots together and knew how to direct the actors on the screen -  especially when the Doctor found out the Daleks were behind the whole thing. Let's not forget the fantastic music cues from Dudley Simpson - so well done, and it really makes the episode much more tense.

The Lost In Time box-set did contain a rough version of the finale of Episode 7, and I thought it was amazing, and if this was going to be the final end of the Daleks, I think this would have been so perfect, making the Daleks eternally memorable in the audience’s eyes.

In the early 2010’s I decided to get the audio of the story on CD and I really enjoyed Frazer Hines' narration, which helped to bridge the gap with the story. I loved the tension between the Doctor and the Emperor of the Daleks in Episode 6. I won’t spoil what happens there but it leads into Episode 7 in such an epic way. The 3 hour adventure went by so quickly that it felt like 90 minutes which is what I want in an excellent story.

I remember winning the vinyl from Zoom back in August 2019 and I couldn’t believe that I had won the vinyl of my favourite Doctor Who Story of all time. I still haven’t played it as I need the record player and I will not be selling it. It's great to have another version of the story, that I'm yet to discover.

I would still put this story at the top for years to come. When they started to do more animations from 2016, when they were doing it for the 50th Anniversary of Patrick Troughton’s debut The Power Of The Daleks, I was thinking to myself that maybe one day The Evil Of The Daleks would get the animated treatment and I would be over the moon! After they finished working on Shada, The Macra Terror, The Faceless Ones, The Power Of The Daleks: Special Edition, Fury From The Deep and The Web Of Fear, and I read that the next animated adventure being worked on was The Evil Of The Daleks, I had one reaction... Holy [expletive]!

I found out on Thursday the 1st July 2021, when I was on my final day of holiday down in Weymouth, Dorset. I switched on YouTube and watched the trailer. I was blown away! 

I just want to finish up by saying that I think we should spread positivity within the Doctor Who community. Yes, we all have different opinions on how we feel in terms of favourite doctors, stories, companions, villains, aliens, character development, political messages e.t.c, but I feel we should be more respectful to each other and more kind to each other. Sometimes there can be tension in fandom, but I think overall, Doctor Who fans are wonderful, brilliant, kind, knowledgeable and great to be around. 

Thank you for reading!

Barry

Follow @BarryAldridge on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source:
DWO]

7 November 2021

Publisher: Self Published

Written By: Nathan Jones

RRP: £7.99 / $9.99 (Paperback) | £2.99 / $4.12 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Imagine, if you will, a world that blends The Matrix, Mortal Engines and TRON, - this would go some way to giving you just a taste of the mind-blowingly brilliant world that Nathan Jones has given us in Travelling Without Moving. In fact, it's fair to say that, right from the off, this book, even in light of the comparisons, is genuinely unlike anything we've ever read before.

Focusing on Napalm Carton, the story explores his self awareness of the world he lives in (Kaputt) and the suspicions he has about the very reality around him. A mystery that takes you right up to the last drops of ink to unravel.

The exploration of multi-faceted aspects of reality is realised in lavish detail. From the moment we see Mokey taking Napalm's Willy Wonka-esque, mind-enhancing concoction we are catapulted into his game like world - and like all good stories, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. Jones' world-building is king here; the lore, the sounds, the shapes and the very fabric of the detail he paints, enwraps the reader in totality. It's like putting on a VR headset and being immersed in a new world; you completely forget everything around you and focus only on everything before you.

The disparity between The Americas (the Western half of Kaputt) and Kaputt Real (the Eastern half), is almost akin to The Man In The High Castle; the West VS East 'us and them' duality, almost serves as an underlying theme throughout the book - in many different forms. On this front, Jones' work feels very much on a higher intellectual plain than you may at first think. There's purpose and planning that slowly reveals itself in several 'Aha!' moments, or even back-pocketed until the very end. It's impressive to say the least. 

There was a section in the book that reminded me of a kids TV show I watched, growing up, called Knightmare, in which a team of kids enter a virtual reality type game world, where they have to survive on their wits, whilst making smart choices along the way. Every now and then they would arrive in a room with a table which has a selection of items you need to choose from - I couldn't help but feel pangs on nostalgia as I read that paragraph:

"The scullery door, yes, a scullery door, was locked. He didn’t have the key, and he needed to get out. That was all that mattered. On the table sat a selection of items: a pocketknife, a compass, a box of matches, a tin pot of glue, a length of copper wire, and a hessian sack of quick-rice.   ‘Ok,’ he said, his voice flat and mechanical.  ‘Classic locked room puzzle, I reckon.  How do we get out of here?’

It also made me sit up and realise just how worrying the prospect is of being trapped somewhere you *know* just doesn’t feel right. That every move you make is somehow pre-determined or destined to be outplayed. It can be a real rabbit-hold moment for the reader if you truly allow yourself to be immersed in the allegory.

From the clockwork sun of Kaputt's bio-dome, to the rich tapestry of realities, characters, cultures and devices, Travelling Without Moving is truly a ground-breaking piece of literature that captivates the imagination, frees the mind and ensnares the reader in Jones' mastery.

There's a hell of a cliffhanger, too - one that Doctor Who itself would be proud of. With the seeming promise of more adventures to come, this epic work - and it really IS epic - will take some beating. 


+  Travelling Without Moving is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.com!
+  Follow @NathanJonesBook (Nathan Jones) on Twitter.
+  Follow @SebastianJBrook (Sebastian J. Brook) on Twitter.
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline (Doctor Who Online) on Twitter.  

3 November 2021

Publisher: The Pencil Princess Workshop

Written By: R.L.S. Hoff

RRP: £9.44 / $12.99 (Paperback) | £2.43 / $3.34 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

R.L.S. Hoff's Leaving Hope is a futuristic SciFi story that focuses on Anya - a strong female lead who is desperate to live up to the book's title by leaving the titular spaceship 'Hope' and join the team colonising the planet Shindashir. The wonderful thing about Anya’s s strength is how it builds throughout the course of the book - yes you have that strong-willed seed at the beginning, but there’s a hell of a journey for her. 

Hoff's world-building has to be commended first and foremost. Every word on the page has meaning and purpose and through her deliciously descriptive writing, Anya's life and her immediate world, jumps out of the book in such a rich, detailed way. 

Sometimes in life there are paths that are set before us that we don't want to take; choices that are made for us that we don't necessarily want to act on. This theme, for us at least, was the beating heart of Leaving Hope. The ability to know what is expected of you and the conflict of what you *really* want to do, was palpable here, and every wall Anya smashes through results in an air punch moment for the reader.

Leaving Hope lends a warm comparison to The Little Mermaid, but in space; a girl who has dreams and aspirations beyond her position, going against her father's wishes. This is no bad thing, by the way, it merely represents an interesting narrative that clearly follows a trend throughout history - even fictional nautical tales! Just like its comparative counterpart, you realise the safety and assurance in what's set before you, but long for the excitement of that alternative path.

Worthy of note is just how diverse the story is; there are a fantastic set of characters - each with poignance and purpose, and each with varying backgrounds. Ethnicity also plays an important role, and it's so refreshing that it isn't just touched on or glanced over, but intrinsic to plot points throughout.

The ending is magnificent; we won't spoil it, but despite being a book series, it's self contained and leaves the reader more than satisfied. We particularly loved the arc in which Anya has throughout the book, and where she ultimately ends up. So much can be said for strong female leads, but to see one written in such an interesting, intelligent, and well-thought-out way that Hoff manages to do so effortlessly, makes the journey she has, so much more poignant. A genuinely brilliant read and cannot wait to see what's next in store for the series.


+  Leaving Hope is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.com!
+  Follow @RRachelH55965605 (R.L.S. Hoff) on Twitter.
+  Follow @SebastianJBrook (Sebastian J. Brook) on Twitter.
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline (Doctor Who Online) on Twitter.  

29 October 2021

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Andy Frankham-Allen

RRP: £14.99 (CD) | £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: August 2021

Reviewed by: Robert Emlyn Slater for Doctor Who Online


“When the Doctor, Steven, and Dodo arrive in the Himalayas, they have no idea that they are about to set off a chain events that will haunt the Doctor throughout his many lives. 

Joining a pilgrimage to the nearby Det-Sen monastery, the traveller’s discover that everything isn’t as it seems. As the situation grows increasingly dire, they will have to uncover the secrets of Det-Sen before it’s too late.”

WARNING: The following review contains spoilers. You have been warned!

This may not be our first visit to the Det-Sen monastery on the slopes of the Himalayas, but for the First Doctor, it is, and events from this story are the catalyst for his troubles with the Great Intelligence throughout his various regenerations. 

The Secrets of Det-Sen, written by Andy Frankham-Allen, is a notable release by Big Finish for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that it acts as a direct (from the Doctor’s point of view) prequel to 1967s The Abominable Snowmen, and the second reason is that it’s the first appearance of 60s companion Dodo Chaplet in the Early Adventures range. Dodo, who was previously played by the late Jackie Lane, has now been recast, with regular Big Finish contributor, Lauren Cornelius now taking on the role. With Jackie Lane’s recent passing, it was very touching to hear that her character’s first appearance in the range was dedicated to the actress who bought Dodo to life so long ago.  

The Secrets of Det-Sen is set in the 1600s in what will one day become Det-Sen Monastery in the Himalayas. When the Doctor, Dodo, and Steven Taylor land in the Tibetan Mountains, they soon come across a group of pilgrims and decide to tag along with them on their trip to Det-Sen. Once there, things inevitably start to go wrong, and the TARDIS trio’s lives are put in danger when a group of bandits attack the monastery. 

This is pretty much a classic ‘pure historical’, something we don’t get anymore on TV. The villains are humans and there’s no alien or any other supernatural presence present. The only aspect of the story which would probably not make this a 'pure historical’ story is the yeti’s, who are in the background and don’t really have much to do until the final episode of the set. If you’re going into this boxset expecting a showdown with the Great Intelligence then you’re going to be disappointed, but if you’re going into this boxset looking for a historical story with characters at its heart, then you’ll be very happy indeed. 

The Secrets of Det-Sen is definitely a bit of a slow burner, and I hate to admit it, but I did find my attention wandering at times. There’s a lot of talking about Buddhism and the cultures and beliefs of those who live in the Det-Sen Monastery in the story, which I found to be a little excessive. Whilst the chats were quite interesting at times, it did tend to slow the story down and leave me a little bored. It’s a relatively simple story (which isn’t a bad thing in the slightest) that has been stretched out to 4 episodes, which I feel was perhaps an episode or two too long. 

This isn’t like the normal Big Finish audios that I listen to, as there was a narrator present for this piece. Peter Purves acts as the storyteller in this audio drama, and he also provides the voices for both the Doctor and Steven Taylor too. I was a little apprehensive going into this audio as I’m not the biggest fan of audiobooks, but I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly integrated the narration of this story was. It didn’t slow the pace of the piece down, and it didn’t feel intrusive or annoying either. In fact, it helped keep the pace of the story up, cutting down bits of the story which could have ground the whole thing to a halt. Credit must be given to Frankham-Allen for this. The writer also deserves a lot of praise for his writing of the First Doctor, who I think he nails. He even gives him a little ‘sword fight’ halfway through the story too, which brought up some really amusing and entertaining mental images! 

As well as narrating, Purves does an excellent job with his impression of William Hartnell’s First Doctor. At times he sounded exactly like him, which was really quite cool. Overall, his impression was spot on enough for it not to detract from my immersion in the story, so I was very impressed. 

Lauren Cornelius also does a great job in the role of Dodo Chaplet. Dodo’s Mancunian accent is present in this story (I’ve read that it was replaced by RP on TV), and I felt as though the youthful energy of the character was portrayed very well. This is also a story where Dodo saves the day, which in hindsight, is very fitting. I hope to hear more of Cornelius as Dodo in the near future. 

Overall, this is an entertaining enough story that I do feel was stretched out a little too long. I did enjoy Dodo’s influential role in proceedings and I liked that Steven was a bit grumpy and like Ian does with the Thals in The Daleks, has to try and get the peace-loving Buddhist monks to take up arms and fight back to save their monastery, something they pretty much point blank refuse to do. However, I felt as though the story did drag at times with all the talk about Buddhism and the beliefs of the monks and pilgrims, though this may just be a personal thing, and you yourself may find those chats to be incredibly interesting and a rewarding listen. 

Ultimately, if you’re on the lookout for a ‘pure historical’ adventure for the First Doctor, then The Secrets of Det-Sen could well be the Big Finish audio drama for you! 


+ TEA 7.2: The Secrets Of Det-Sen is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) | £12.99 (D/L).

+ ORDER this title from Big Finish!


27 October 2021

Publisher: Three Ravens Publishing

Written By: John Drake

RRP: £12.00 / $25.84 (Paperback) | £4.25 / $5.86 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Nathan Jones

I’m definitely not the first person to compare John Drake’s Zoomers to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books by Douglas Adams, and I certainly won’t be the last. The plot, after all, revolves around a typically English character being whisked away from Earth into a madcap, hilarious sci-fi adventure.

The Arcadian people—if you can call tentacled creatures people—have decided the end of the universe is nigh. Doubting their own ability to avert the ultimate disaster, General Buck—a tea and biscuit obsessed leader—and Professor Doubt, decide to enlist the aide of a human. Their logic is that, since Earthlings tend to obsess over meaningless details and often ignore the major devastating issues in life, a human might be able to provide a completely different viewpoint on the end of everything.    

So, Scratch, a Southend-on-Sea professional burglar, is “Zoomed”, mid-job, to Arcadia, by Pdnrtk (otherwise known as Terry). Unexpectedly, Scratch does not arrive alone. He’s accompanied by Mr. Reisback, a retired human resources manager who is obsessed with the imminent delivery of his new sofa, Cantina, a Swiss pharmacogenomicist, and Glorious, the well-groomed, female plumber to the king of Kenya.

Before they begin training Scratch et al to collect data from on the demise of individual planets, Corporal Cauliflower (a “miserable optimist”) and Sargent Bakewell must practice the task themselves, Zooming through space and time to various, unexpectedly dull planets, when all they really want to do is head to the Moon Shots bar for a glass of Pomplefitzer and “cheerful”.

Elsewhere, in the Arcadian Production Corporation, Jod, Quality Control Engineer, Fourth Class, has a regrettable accident with his iron wedding ring on the lithium bracelet production line. It results in the creation of the universe’s first conscious alloy. This gift of self-awareness and intelligence spreads quickly across inanimate items, resulting in attempts to overthrow their sentient overlords in ways you would never conceive.

Despite Zoomers obvious parallels with Adam’s works—is it possible to write a space comedy without such comparisons being made?—Drake definitely has his own, individual style. Firstly, his plot moves much faster, thereby cramming more comical content into a similar space. Secondly, he focuses much more on dialogue than description. And last but not least, if you can possibly imagine so, the plot is even more eccentric and ridiculous than those of the Hitchhiker’s series.

For me, the highlight of the book is definitely the farcical dialogue of a host of characters who all—except possibly Scratch—appear to have serious mental misgivings. Each and every scene seems comparable to a stand-up routine full of wordplay, quips, and humorous miscommunication. Following Scratch through the bizarre plot gives the reader a perfect grounding, however, as he’s a plain-speaking, no-nonsense kind of chap, with the ability to see through all the nonsense thrown at him to the heart of the matter.

If you’re in need of a seriously good laugh, Zoomers is for you.


+  Zoomers is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.com!
+  Follow @RavensThree (Three Ravens Publishing) on Twitter.
+  Follow @NathanJonesBook (Nathan Jones) on Twitter.
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline (Doctor Who Online) on Twitter.  

23 October 2021

The team over at Arcbeatle Press have been in touch with details of their P.R.O.B.E.: Out of the Shadows, short story anthology, continuing from the BBV Doctor Who spin-off films, which is now available to purchase from Amazon.

"Welcome to the Preternatural Research Bureau, also known as P.R.O.B.E. For decades P.R.O.B.E. has defended Earth from the strange, the paranormal, and the alien. Hidden away from the eyes of the public. Times have changed. 

A threat looms in the dark, intent on utilising perihelion to further its goals. With budget cuts shuttering other organisations tailored to combat alien threats, P.R.O.B.E. alone must step out of the shadows to defend the very existence of humanity. 

But how will they cope? With the team struggling to get along, tensions fray. And for Azacca Dixon, P.R.O.B E.'s newest member, things will never be the same again. Darkness is waiting."

In conjunction with the release a short video prequel has been released to the Arcbeatle Press YouTube channel, starring Bill Baggs as Giles. 

+ YouTube: https://youtu.be/nYp4oeK8VKw
+ Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HMB1J6V
+ Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HQ7FDCQ

[Source: Arcbeetle Press]

7 October 2021

BBC Studios has today announced the next instalment in the Doctor Who: The Collection range with Season 17, offering Doctor Who fans the opportunity to continue building their own home archive on Blu-ray. Starring Tom Baker in his penultimate season, Doctor Who – The Collection: Season 17 consists of:

DESTINY OF THE DALEKS
CITY OF DEATH
THE CREATURE FROM THE PIT
NIGHTMARE OF EDEN
THE HORNS OF NIMON
SHADA 

In 1979, Tom Baker’s Doctor was in full flight. With Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) as script editor, the series leaned into Baker’s penchant for humour, and paired his Doctor with a regenerated Romana (Lalla Ward) as his traveling companion. Together, they would form one of the most popular Doctor/companion duos of all time.

Although Season 17 was halted behind-the-scenes by strike action (resulting in the season finale being abandoned part-way through production), it remains a beloved slice of Doctor Who history, featuring the return of Davros and the Daleks, and one of the all-time classic stories, Douglas Adams’ own City Of Death. 

With all episodes newly remastered from the best available sources, this Blu-ray box set also includes extensive and exclusive Special Features including:

BRAND NEW DOCUMENTARIES
Including a Making-Of documentary for Destiny Of The Daleks, and new featurette for The Creature From The Pit.

TOM TALKS
A candid interview with Tom Baker as he gives us his unique take on life, the universe and everything.

DOUGLAS ADAMS TRIBUTE
Friends and colleagues remember the Doctor Who writer/script editor and creator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. 

IN CONVERSATION
Matthew Sweet chats to Bob Baker, writer of Nightmare Of Eden, co-creator of K9 and one of the creative forces behind Wallace & Gromit. 

BEHIND THE SOFA
New episodes with actors Colin Baker, Katy Manning, Matthew Waterhouse, Nicola Bryant, June Hudson, Graeme Harper & Mat Irvine

LALLA WARD INTERVIEW
An extensive interview discussing her first year on the programme.

UPDATED SPECIAL EFFECTS
View Nightmare Of Eden with optional new effects

SHADA
An updated version of the ‘lost’ story, completed with enhanced animation and presented in six episodes for the very first time, alongside the original 1992 VHS and 2017 versions

EXCLUSIVE NEW AUDIO COMMENTARIES
With Tom Baker on episodes of Destiny Of The Daleks and City Of Death, and Lalla Ward & Catherine Schell on City Of Death

EXTENDED EPISODE
An early cut of The Creature From The Pit Part Three

BLU-RAY TRAILER
A familiar face returns in a brand new mini-episode of classic Doctor Who

IMMERSIVE 5.1 SURROUND SOUND
On Destiny Of The Daleks and Shada

RARE GEMS FROM THE ARCHIVES
BBC archive material covering the promotion of this season

CONVENTION FOOTAGE
A triumphant 1997 appearance from Tom Baker

HD PHOTO GALLERIES
Including many previously unseen images

PRODUCTION SUBTITLES
Behind-the-scenes information and trivia on every episode

SCRIPTS, COSTUME DESIGNS, RARE BBC PRODUCTION FILES AND OTHER RARITIES FROM OUR PDF ARCHIVE AND LOTS MORE! 

The seven-disc box set also includes hours of special features previously released on DVD.

+ The Collection - Season 17 is released on 13th December 2021
+ PREORDER this title from Amazon.co.uk for just £44.99!

Watch the trailer for this set in the player below:

[Source: BBC Studios]

29 September 2021

BBC Studios and Sarner International today announce a brand new exhibition, Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder: Where Science meets Fiction. The exhibit will explore the science behind the global hit series Doctor Who and will give fans a chance to experience the Doctor’s adventures from a scientific perspective.

Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder will be wowing audiences at several locations across the UK from May 2022, with an ambition to tour internationally.

This ground-breaking venture plunges fans of all ages into a scientific universe to explore the various ways in which science has played a part in the longest running science fiction show in the world, Doctor Who. 

The eight zones set within this educational exhibition cover a diverse selection of exciting scientific topics while drawing in content pieces from the full canon of the TV show.

Visitors can journey through Cosmic Curiosities, while discovering more about the time traveling Police Box in the TARDIS Tech room, learning about the science behind time travel and whether it is really possible. Or visit the Monster Vault to get up close with some of the weird and wonderful characters that have graced our screens.

The user journey for this engaging experience will take approximately 90 minutes, inspiring schools, family groups and fans of the show. Tickets will be available for purchase to the general public, from October 2021. 

Following their work on the hugely successful Doctor Who Experience in both London and Cardiff, Sarner worked closely with BBC Studios to design, create and produce this new experience, Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder, to WOW fans next year. Sarner, a renowned international experiential design and production practice are behind many world leading visitor attractions and will be sure to deliver a wonderous experience for ticket holders.

Paula Al-Lach, BBC Studios Events Director, Live Entertainment said that the team were:

“delighted to be working with Sarner again, following their creation of the Doctor Who Experience. It is really exciting to explore Doctor Who from this perspective and have the opportunity to take the exhibition to fans globally.”

Ed Cookson, Projects Director, Sarner International:

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with the opportunity to work with BBC Studios again. For almost 60 years Doctor Who has been exploring mind-bending scientific developments, and has also influenced a generation of scientists, engineers, and artists. The iconic characters, monsters, stories, and settings of the television series provide a perfect guide through the wondrous worlds of space, time and life sciences."

[Source: BBC Studios]


24 September 2021

Publisher: Self Published

Written By: Jeremy Dwyer

RRP: £0.77 / $1.06 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Our latest fantasy review is for Jeremy Dwyer's Potion Voyages series, as we delve into Book 1: Castle & Conceit.

Right from the start the author launches straight into his world-building, and immediately paints a vivid  world, rich in detail and description. Hot blue suns, far-reaching oceans and jewel-encrusted palaces tease the menu of the delicacies to come in this epic fantasy series.

Written in third-person prose, the writing style works wonderfully in an almost 'Fighting Fantasy' type way, and any character interactions are made all the more prominent because of this.

Speaking of characters, we have a terrifically diverse cast here; from the magical Taesa, the conflicted historian, Judith, to the deliciously evil Prince Octavian and his equally despicable advisor Cassius, to the awful Keallach (Captain of the Burning Bones). There are many more, but these were among our favourites.

As with all good fantasy, this is a tale of good vs evil, but rather more than that, what's interesting is the various levels between each - on both sides, and the clever way in which Dwyer plays them off against each other. The empire that Octavian, and moreso, Cassius is building, neatly and cleverly ties into key players throughout the book, and it interesting seeing the conflict in those with better intentions.

There is a brilliant magic system, which isn't complex and really invigorates the plot through its perfectly peppered usage - rather genuinely it all ties into the water-based theme that is current throughout the story.

Perhaps most genius of all is Dwyer's ability to pull in an audible experience to the Potion Voyages series. Those of you with access to SoundCloud, will find a selection of free music that go hand-in-hand with those referenced in the book. Chapter 10's 'Praise Every Sun Upon The Sea' is a wonderful, almost lamentful song, sung by Taesa. It's incredibly immersive and genuinely adds to the overall experience, and we HIGHLY recommend you make use of it when reading.

When you get to the end you just know this is the start of something much bigger, and kudos to the author in his craftsmanship of this entire world and its rich detail and characters. Here's looking excitedly towards Book 2!


+  Potion Voyages - Book 1: Castle & Conceit is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.com!
+  Follow @Jeremy_pv (Jeremy Dwyer) on Twitter.
+  Follow @SebastianJBrook (Sebastian J. Brook) on Twitter.
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline (Doctor Who Online) on Twitter.  

24 September 2021

Publisher: Fresh Ink Group

Written By: Robert G. Williscroft

RRP: £3.57 / $20.54 (Paperback) | £2.16 / $2.95 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Icicle: A Tensor Matrix, is the first book in the Oort Chronicles by Robert G. Williscroft - a story that holds no bars in its opening prologue. Right from the off we are thrown right into the action as our protagonist, Millionaire, Braxton Thorpe, dies of prostate cancer and is whisked off to have his head cryogenically preserved. And just like that...BOOM!...we head forward in time by 100 years, straight into the 22nd Century, where Braxton wakes to come to terms with his new *ahem* life.

This is a bold opening gambit from Williscroft, and one that works so well due to the 'matter of fact' drive in which he pushes the story forward. One could be forgiven for drawing comparisons to The Matrix and Tron, where similar themes are explored - however - it is our sincerest belief that Williscroft actually trumps the aforementioned with this thrilling new take on uploading one's consciousness to a digital mainframe.

Despite being told in third-person prose, you feel every moment of pain and anguish that Braxton goes through. In fact, anyone who has had paralytic sleep, will find a rather eerie parallel in some of the moments our protagonist goes through.

Let's make no mistake, this is Science Fiction - and really good SciFi at that, but Williscroft's evident knowledge of technology and science, shines through to make this feel more like a foreshadowing of what will come to pass. Every technological detail is described in such detail that it's almost tangible to the reader, which make feel all the more intimate a read.

There's interstellar travel, wormholes, aliens and the threat of inter-planetary war, which, together with Braxton's personal and wider quest, adds up to one hell of an adventure. Not bad for a dead man!

We're thrilled to report this is only the first book in a planned series, and eagerly await the follow-up!


+  Icicle: A Tensor Matrix: The First Oort Chronicle is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.com!
+  Follow @RGWilliscroft (Robert G. Williscroft) on Twitter.
+  Follow @SebastianJBrook (Sebastian J. Brook) on Twitter.
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline (Doctor Who Online) on Twitter.  

19 September 2021

Publisher: Melange Books

Written By: Arrendle

RRP: £14.94 / $22.91 (Paperback) | £4.74 / $6.51 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Nathan Jones

Arrendle's debut novel, The Dragon Within: The Threat of Crowns, is an incredibly engaging fantasy adventure story with a refreshing take on the standard tropes of the fantasy genre. I truly loved every moment of this read, and even skipped a meal to continue reading.

The Dragon Within is set on a world of five distinct and isolated realms: Ahan, home of the sparkling star people; Mazati Iskus, where the vibrational sound people live; Badari, home to animal-headed humans (with a clear nod to Ancient Egypt); Wazari Eren, the realm of humans; and Indu, home of the shadow people. Each realm also has its associated type of Dragon, but at the point the book begins, dragons are believed to be merely mythical creatures.

Arrendle provides us with a comprehensive historic set-up to the story, but I’m not going to spoil it by revealing it here. I’ll just say that rather than giving the history as inactive exposition, it’s told through wonderfully immersive real-time events.

Once we’ve been grounded, the story begins. We get to follow the cocky, arrogant antagonist, Samil, as he attempts to unleash a terrible power upon the world, and his mysterious “co-conspirator”. Aubra, a powerful, ancient wizard, sets off to re-form the Magnus Concilium (magic council) in order to stop Samil, and is aided by his adopted daughter, Eshney, and an old friend, Char. Eshney must make a brave journey into learning the skills of magic as Char struggles with the complex, confusing assault of emotions that spur from his recent transformation into human form. And, of course, there’s a charming story of blossoming love woven throughout the main plot.

The descriptions as we travel through the fantastical realms are nothing short of beautiful. Arrendle’s use of language to conjure up such intricately woven societies and breathe life into peoples who look, operate, move, speak, and even think differently is stunning. In fact, Arrendle’s descriptions are delightful throughout; I believe a forty-two word sentence to describe laughter may be a record breaker!

The second big highlight is the novel’s comprehensive, very real journey through the thoughts and emotions of the main characters. They’re some of the best painted characters I’ve encountered. It’s a real pity this is a stand-alone novel, as it would have made an excellent series of books.

I could wax lyrical about this book for some time, but I’ll conclude by saying the epic ending, expertly bringing together all the elements and diverse characters encountered throughout the book, is one of the most satisfying and rewarding endings I’ve ever read.


+  The Dragon Within: The Threat Of Crowns is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.com!
+  Follow @Arrendle on Twitter.
+  Follow @NathanJonesBook (Nathan Jones) on Twitter.
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline (Doctor Who Online) on Twitter.  

19 September 2021

If, like us, you're a fan of CCGs - particularly Pokemon, then why not take a minute to check out the awesome products for sale over at our friends at Titan Cards www.titancards.co.uk

They have an awesome selection of Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Cardfight!! Vanguard, Digimon CG, Flesh & Blood TCG and more! They even sell card sleeves, dice, coins and binders, so you can keep your collection safe and secure. 

Ever since the 2018 Doctor Who episode, 'The Tsuranga Conundrum', which featured a vicious but cute little alien called a 'Pting', we've seen an influx of fans asking if we sell Pokemon (which we don't) - hence why we're hooking you up with our friends at Titan Cards :) 

If you follow them on Instagram or Facebook you'll be among the first to hear when they have exciting new products coming out (like Pokemon Celebrations & Fusion Strike - which we're particularly looking forward to!) 

+ Check Out the Titan Cards website.
+ Follow Titan Cards on Instagram.
+ Follow Titan Cards on Facebook.

[Source: Titan Cards]

16 September 2021

The team over at Unbound have been in touch with news of a new Kickstarter project to fund their Across Time and Space: An Unofficial Doctor Who Companion book - the ultimate journey through the Whoniverse by a life- long fan. The new beautifully designed 800-page book contains reviews of all 852 episodes of the televised Doctor Who story up to the end of the Jodie Whittaker era.

Head of Publishing for Unbound, Mathew Clayton developed the project with author Tony Cross based on his story-by-story blog The Patient Centurion which he began in 2011 and now runs to over 200,000 words. The epic undertaking includes an introduction from Doctor Who podcast host and Sunday Times bestselling author Daniel Hardcastle.

The Guinness Book of World Records cites Doctor Who as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world as well as the most successful science fiction series of all time, based on its overall broadcast ratings, DVD, and book sales.

Since the first episode was broadcast in 1963, the Doctor Who series has attracted a very large, loyal, and devoted fan base. This proudly unofficial book written by a fan for the fan community is about celebrating that fanbase in all its vibrant, vociferous, idiosyncratic, and argumentative glory. Many professional Doctor Who writers, for both the current TV series and the books began their careers writing for fanzines including Paul Cornell, Rob Shearman, Matt Jones, Marc Platt, and Stephen James Walker. Russell T Davies was himself a childhood fan of the series and wrote a Doctor Who novel before reviving the show.

Everyone that pledges for the book at the standard level will receive:

• 800-page large format book (234 x 153mm) and eBook.
• An Excel spreadsheet that lets you map your journey through the Whoniverse and keep a record of what you have watched and what you own.
• Your name printed in the book as a supporter (along with the name of the first episode you watched).
• Invitation to a series of watch parties hosted by Tony starting with the very first Dr Who episode 'An Unearthly Child' on November 23, 2021, the 60th anniversary of its first broadcast.

Mathew Clayton, who was also a former publisher of the official BBC Doctor Who books said:

“In a previous job I was lucky enough to be the commissioning editor for the official range of Doctor Who books. We published some great titles but being 'official' was also a straight- jacket - you can't offer opinions! You can't say who the best Doctor was (Tom Baker, obviously) or who the best companion (another no brainer: it has to be Rose). And it struck me that the best thing about being a fan is having opinions and sharing them (whether agreeing or disagreeing) with other fans. But in official books there is no room for a fan's point of view or expertise. This is not just a book by a fan - but there are various ways fans can become involved in the project whether attending watch parties with Tony or having their name and the first episode they watched printed in the book. The rest of the entertainment industry recognises the importance of fans - it's time that publishing caught up.”

Author Tony Cross said:

"Across Time and Space is a journey through all of televised Doctor Who. It began as a blog. I had decided to watch all of Doctor Who in order... It's not meant to be the final say on anything. They're my opinions. But I wanted something that might encourage others to take up the journey. To dip back into the William Hartnell era. Or find out why Sylvester McCoy is hard done by. It's why there's a spreadsheet with the book: you too can map your progress, if you're that way inclined. And I don't expect people to agree with my opinions. Indeed, I'd be disappointed if you did. You can use this as a guide or read the blogs once you've watched the story and curse my foolishness or praise my perspicacity. You can mock my attempts to compare stories to Shakespeare plays. You can see through my blatant nostalgic love for Tom Baker and (almost) all his works.”

+  Across Time and Space is now live on Kickstarter!
+  Follow @Unbounders (Ubound) on Twitter!
+  Follow @Mathew_Clayton (Matthew Clayton) on Twitter!
+  Follow @Lokster71 (Tony Cross) on Twitter!
+  Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source: Unbound]

16 September 2021

Doctor Who stars, David Bradley (The 1st Doctor) and Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), have sketched original drawings for a charity eBay auction, which will be going under the hammer this Friday for National Doodle Day.

The auctions are to support Epilepsy Action and the 600,000 people across the UK who are living with epilepsy. The live auction will start on eBay on Friday afternoon and it runs until Sunday.

Philippa Cartwright, director of fundraising at Epilepsy Action, said:

“National Doodle Day is a fantastic event which whips fans and collectors into a bidding frenzy. This is their chance to buy original artwork from celebrities, artists and designers and every doodle sold raises vital funds for people affected by epilepsy.

Every year we are overwhelmed with submissions from all kinds of doodlers. Since launching National Doodle Day 17 years ago, we’ve had over 1,500 celebrities and artists support us. After all the lockdowns, we can’t wait to unveil their new creations. Don’t forget to get bidding on Friday 17 September and all weekend!”

Since National Doodle Day began in 2004, doodlers far and wide have raised over £180,000 for Epilepsy Action, all to improve the lives of people with epilepsy.

+ Click Here to visit the Epilepsy Action website.
+ Click Here to visit the National Doodle Day page.
+ Follow @EpilepsyAction on Twitter.
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter

[Source: Epilepsy Action]


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