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

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

E-Mail NewsE-Mail Reviews
15 January 2020

Maze Theory have been in touch with DWO to let us know that Doctor Who VR game 'Edge Of Time' will be released on Oculus Quest on 23rd January.

Oculus Quest is an untethered version of the popular Oculus VR headset, and was released earlier in 2019. Fans have been wanting to know when Doctor Who: Edge Of Time would be getting a Quest release, and we now have our answer! 

Speaking to DWO, Maze Theory CEO, Ian Hambleton said:

"It’s benefitted from getting a lot of the patches and feedback from the community, plus it’s got the free-roaming untethered benefits of Quest.

I’ve actually been playing in the garden with my kids in a massive 6 x 6m space to let them go in and out of the Tardis and walk around it freely."

In addition to the news, Maze Theory have also supplied us with a few teaser images (viewable in the right-hand column).

Doctor Who: Edge Of Time - game synopsis:

Be transported into the extraordinary world of Doctor Who to face a sinister force that threatens to destroy the very fabric of reality.

Join the Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker) along with iconic and never seen before enemies to discover new horizons in this feature length, fully interactive and breathtaking VR adventure. 

Look out for DWO's review later next week!

[Source: Maze Theory]

14 January 2020

BBC Studios continues to offer Doctor Who fans the opportunity to build their own home archive on Blu-ray. Debuting on Monday 20th April is Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 14; Tom Baker's third season as The Doctor.

In 1976, Doctor Who took a dramatic new turn, electrifying audiences with changes in format, companion and appearance of the TARDIS. Season 14 saw the departure of the Doctor’s long-term companion Sarah Jane Smith, and the introduction of Leela. The season contains some of Tom Baker’s most iconic serials, with intrepid investigations in Victorian London, deadly robots in a murderous whodunit, a return to the Doctor’s homeworld, and one of the saddest goodbyes in Doctor Who history.

Producer Phillip Hinchliffe led Doctor Who through a creative high, joined by Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, Louise Jameson as the Doctor’s captivating new companion Leela and guests stars Tim Pigott-Smith, Stephen Thorne, Peter Pratt, Pamela Salem, David Collings, Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter.

Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 14 includes the following stories and extras, spread out over 8 discs:

THE MASQUE OF MANDRAGORA
THE HAND OF FEAR
THE DEADLY ASSASSIN
THE FACE OF EVIL
THE ROBOTS OF DEATH
THE TALONS OF WENG-CHIANG

With all episodes newly remastered from the best available sources, this Blu-ray box set also contains extensive and exclusive special features which include:

-  Immersive 5.1 surround sound - The Deadly Assassin
-  Brand new audio commentaries - Tom Baker and Matthew Sweet on selected episodes of The Face of Evil and The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
-  Behind the Sofa - New episodes with Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Philip Hinchcliffe, plus companions Sophie Aldred and Peter Purves.
-  Our Sarah Jane – Elisabeth Sladen Tribute - A feature-length look at the life and career of Sarah Jane Smith, played by Elisabeth Sladen.
-  Whose Doctor Who Revisited - Toby Hadoke meets the producers and grown-up stars of the very first Who Documentary.
-  In Conversation - Matthew Sweet chats to producer Philip Hinchcliffe.
-  Blu-Ray trailer - Louise Jameson has trouble with her new home assistant.
-  Brand new interviews
-  Rare archive material
-  Convention footage
-  HD photo galleries
-  Scripts, costume designs, rare BBC production files and other gems from our PDF archive

+ Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 14 is released on 20th April 2020, RRP: £56.15
+ PREORDER this title from Amazon.co.uk for just £39.99!

[Source: BBC Studios]



14 January 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

1.2: Day One 

Well, well, well. If Torchwood wanted to prove that it’s more grown up theme wasn’t the family friendly Doctor Who we all know, this is the episode that proves it. 

 

This is the first Torchwood story written by current Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall. The whole theme of ‘Day One’ circulates around themes of sex, which for the Doctor Who Universe was a bold move to make.

 

‘Day One’ follows Gwen Cooper on her first day as part of team Torchwood. As a meteor crashes into Earth, Gwen leaves her very cute date with Rhys to join the gang where during some banter, Gwen quite literally throws a spanner (accidentally) in the works. It lands in the meteor letting out a purple gas cloud, which heads towards a very upset Carys Fletcher on the phone telling her boyfriend to die. This is when it all gets a bit weird.

 

The extra-terrestrial sex gas turns an unexpected Carys Fletcher into a killer by absorbing climatic energy. A sentence I thought I would never write… 

 

The episode really explores the themes of sexuality with Gwen kissing her first woman, Owen being a bit of a lad after recording both Carys and Gwen kissing and then being caught out himself by getting locked away without any clothes on. How about Tosh looking away from Owen without any clothes on, is she shy about her sexuality? The Torchwood team also question Captain Jack’s sexuality and his ties with the past again, cementing the overall story arc. It’s the start exploring the LGBTQ+ themes that will be revealed in full later on in the series.

 

What makes the episode very tongue in cheek but realistic, is the fact the cast play it seriously. You can tell that Carys Fletcher has a conflict in herself for control and the distress its causing to her when then alien kills people. Gwen faces the situation by using her police training to tell Captain Jack, eating a Chinese meal or Owen filming them kissing in the cell is not the way they should be handling any situation with a distressed person. The conflict makes a noble stance of their moral grounds, until they realise they’re both on the same level of respect, when Jack reveals he’s been analysing Carys Fletcher to get her the best help.

 

The scene in which Carys steals The Doctor’s hand and Captain Jack being incredibly protective of it, just shows the incredible bond both him and The Doctor have. This is very apparent when the jar is smashed and Jack cradles the hand as if he’s holding the hand of a loved one. It's provides a heartwarming and upsetting scenario and also reveals why Captain Jack is apart of Torchwood.

 

‘Day One’ has a dignified and emotional resolution with the alien dying, with a weirdly poignant quote ‘Travelling half way across the universe for the greatest sex… But still end up dying alone’. It again explores the overall arc of who is Captain Jack and what has happened in the past for him to think this way.

 

Even though this isn’t my favourite episode out of the series, I can understand the shock factor ‘Day One’ brings and its take on being different with its sexual themes Doctor Who hasn’t been able to do before. This is what Torchwood is all about.


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 

 

 

Follow @Tardis_Monkey on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source:
DWO]

9 January 2020

Doctor Who Magazine have sent DWO the cover and details for Issue 547 of DWM.

OUT OF THE TARDIS WITH BRADLEY WALSH! 

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine also includes:

•  The second part of an exclusive, in-depth interview with showrunner Chris Chibnall.
•  Interviews with the new writers of Series 12.
•  Exclusive previews of the next four episodes.
•  The untold story of Denis Alan Print, the Doctor Who merchandise company co-owned by Tom Baker.
•  Doctor Who’s top ten Master reveals.
•  Behind the scenes at the OFFSTAGE Theatre Group, whose Doctor Who plays and comedy sketches were popular at conventions from 2003 to 2013.
•  The Fact of Fiction begins an epic exploration of The Daleks’ Master Plan.
•  Part Five of Mistress of Chaos, a new comic-strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends.
•  The answers to DWM’s Christmas Quiz.
•  Reviews of the Season 26 Blu-ray box set and the new vinyl edition of The Web Planet.
•  Big Finish previews and reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, The Blogs of Doom and much more!

DWM 547 is also available as a strictly limited Deluxe Edition, exclusive to WH Smith and store.panini.co.uk priced £9.99.

In addition to the latest issue of DWM, the Deluxe Edition includes:

•  An exclusive 76-minute music CD, featuring 22 classic and rare tracks from 1963 to 1989.
•  A 32-page supplement, comprising classic comic-strip stories featuring the Master.
•  A giant double-sided poster.
•  A Series 12 art card.
•  Three Big Finish audio dramas to download.  
•  Big Finish stickers.

+  Doctor Who Magazine Issue #547 is Out Now, priced £5.99 (regular) / £9.99 (deluxe).
+  SUBSCRIBE to Doctor Who Magazine, digitally from just £2.69 a month!
+  Check Out The DWO Guide to Doctor Who Magazine!

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine]

9 January 2020

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (547) is out now and has confirmed the titles and synopsis' for episodes 4, 5 & 6 of Series 12.

12.4: Nikola Tesla's Night Of Terror
Written by: Nina Metivier. Directed by: Nida Manzoor.

Synopsis:
The time: the earliest years of the 20th century. The place: New York City. Inventor Nikola Tesla is at war with his rival Thomas Edison. However, there’s an even greater threat in their midst…


12.5: Fugitive Of The Judoon
Written by: Vinay Patel. Directed by: Nida Manzoor.

Synopsis:
Stomping their way into present-day Gloucester, the Judoon are on the hunt for someone on the run. Who is this fugitive? And why are these alien mercenaries after them? 


12.6: Praxeus
Written by: Pete McTighe. Directed by: Jamie Magnus Stone.

Synopsis:
The Doctor and her friends split up to investigate multiple mysteries across planet Earth. What they find will threaten all of humanity…

Further episode titles and synopsis' will be confirmed in due course.

+  Doctor Who Magazine Issue #547 is out Today, priced £5.99.
+  SUBSCRIBE to Doctor Who Magazine, digitally from just £2.69 a month!
+  Check Out The DWO Guide to Doctor Who Magazine!

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine]

8 January 2020

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Alan Terigo, Susan Dennom, Andrew Lias & Nev Fountain

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: December 2019

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


Blood On Santa's Claw by Alan Terigo

"The Doctor, Peri and Joe land on the planet Naxios, where they discover the body of Father Christmas.

Who killed him? The strange individuals dressed in Shakespearian costume or the talking animals wearing waistcoats digging in the tunnels?"

The Baby Awakes by Susan Dennom

"The Doctor, Peri and Joe visit the Ishtar institute, where the term 'designer babies' takes on a new and sinister meaning. Will our heroes survive Christmas day?"

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Andrew Lias

"A Christmas party that's been going on for three years. Strange silver robots who guard the Christmas decorations with lethal force. What is the secret behind the festivities on Tate Galactic?" 

Brightly Shone The Moon That Night by Nev Fountain

"The TARDIS crew encounters a shameful secret of the Time Lords. History has been rewritten, and this time it's all the Doctor's fault."  

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

Ho ho ho! Just as Christmas is an annual event, so too is the Big Finish 4x4 play and this year we have Blood on Santa’s Claw.

In the past, some of these releases have given us completely standalone plays (such as Circular Time) and some have linked them (1001 Nights, for example). Blood does the latter whilst trying to trick you into believing it’s the former. (This subterfuge extends to just who wrote the various plays, with pseudonyms being used to try and throw you off track.) I’m not sure this trick entirely works seeing as the second play opens with beats very reminiscent of the first one, and that alone was enough to make me fairly sure that everything here was going to be connected, but hats off to them all the same for giving it a go, even if I am unsure why they did it. To give the plays an air of mystery? To try and make Joe, Peri’s boyfriend in these plays, feel more of a permanent fixture and less a one-shot character?

Perhaps the latter, though I cannot recall any publicity trying to hint at future appearances for him. Because of this, from the get go I was looking for hints that he was up to no good, so when this was revealed I was less than shocked, but then again I do listen to an awful lot of Big Finish Doctor Who releases, so this may not be the case for other fans.

The release kicks off with the titular Blood on Santa’s Claw, which is not only the best play in this anthology by some chalk but also the best play Big Finish have put out for ages now. I found myself laughing hard at times and wishing to know more about the world it painted. This sense of joy is enhanced by great performances across the board, but I’ll draw especial attention here to Heather Bleasdale as Cordelia and Becky Wright as Mole, all of whom impressively stand out in a cast that is universally brilliant.

The Baby Awakes was probably my least favourite of the plays, being one which puts Peri through the emotional wringer but which never really hit for me. It tries very hard to get a reaction and twinge from its listeners, and for me it felt like it perhaps tried too hard to do so, and was less natural in its intent.

We end with what is in actuality a two-parter. Now, I mentioned earlier that I listen to a lot of Big Finish Doctor Who plays, so some things will inevitably strike me as repetitive or old in a way that would not occur for others who have listened to far less. This may help explain that when the antagonists overall were revealed to be werewolf-like creatures, I just sighed. Much like their obsession with Vardans, Big Finish seem to be using werewolves a lot at the moment, be it in the main range or in things like their War Master series, and I had an acute sense of déjà vu as a result. It doesn’t help that the same two or three wolf noises are used again and again in the background upon their revelation, looping, but I do wonder if that’s actually an in-joke of sorts as this looping wolf noise is near identical (if not the very same one) to one used in countless BBC TV shows, including The Time Meddler.  Perhaps this is just Big Finish poking fun and adding to a sense of televisual authenticity? I applaud them for it if it is that, and if not then… well, it’s irritating but I’ll let it pass. It’s Christmas, after all.

Speaking of, the Christmas theme felt slightly shoehorned in at times, but never to the extent that it was distracting. I do wonder though if this will herald in more Christmas specials as annual events now? I hope not. I’ve mentioned before that Big Finish often suffer from a feeling of revisiting past glories with threadbare results, and I’m not sure this should be encouraged further still.

As for this particular release, as a four-play series it didn’t wow me: but! It is worth the admission price for the opening story alone. Everything that comes after is fun enough and Nev Fountain (for it is he who wrote them all) is enjoying himself, but for a Christmas treat alone, Blood on Santa’s Claw as an individual episode is perhaps the best I could have received as a Doctor Who fan: inventive, clever, amusing, and brilliantly acted, this is the Christmas treat we’ve been craving and the best Christmas Special the show has had for a long time.

For that alone, I cannot help but leave this play with a smile.


+ Blood on Santa's Claw and Other Stories is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


7 January 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

1.1: Everything Changes 

Rewatching this episode has really shown how incredible Russell T. Davies is as a writer. You want a 'grown-up' version of Doctor Who? Well, look no further. Gwen Cooper; a police officer working her way up through the ranks and tackling hard cases, like a murder that has just happened outside a multi-story car park. But this is no ordinary case; a mysterious team enter the mists and bring a dead body back to life. Gwen Cooper's life has dramatically changed, forever.

 

Torchwood establishes its more grown up audience from the violence Gwen encounters when she meets her first alien, the Weevil. She tries to establish some normality to the situation by claiming the Weevil is a man in a mask, until some unfortunate soul gets his throat ripped apart.


Captain Jack takes up the 'Doctor' role in the episode, claiming to be a dark and mysterious person who wants to keep his past life a secret. Being an established character in the series really helps Torchwood have a familiar face that the audience can relate to and have some foreknowledge of Jack's history. The establishing scene that builds up the Torchwood team in their Cardiff base, when Gwen is delivering pizza, makes a nice little icebreaker when it plays on the stereotypical cheesy reveal scenes, making light hearted comedy of the situation. Seeing the teams camaraderie as Gwen enters the Torchwood base proves they are very tight knit, very much like the first episode of Doctor Who, An Unearthly Child – the existing chemistry of the gang proves they’ve already had many adventures.


Torchwood really builds itself as a series utilising these tropes, however it also throws in a grim twist to the universe we know and love from Doctor Who, with characters stealing, swearing and generally doing stuff that’s forbidden in a family show. This episode already has shocks, twists, turns and some amazing power poses from Captain Jack's figure on top of random buildings in Cardiff, which entices you to continue watching the next episode. You want to see Cardiff in all its glory? Well look no further than the fantastic amounts of establishing drone shots, which would make a good game someday.

 

(Also keep an eye out for the Doctor Who Experience sign in the background of some shots.) 

 

The first episode had everything it needed to establish characters, sets and the overall theme of the show. It’s still a little rough round the edges with slight exaggeration of the grown up themes.

Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 

 

 

Follow @Tardis_Monkey on Twitter!
+ Follow @DrWhoOnline on Twitter!

[Source:
DWO]

16 December 2019

Transport yourself back in time and space with Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series on Steelbook Blu-Ray, available to pre-order on Amazon now. The Steelbook will feature new and exclusive artwork and is being released on Monday 10th February.

Series Five welcomed the arrival of Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and Karen Gillan as his new friend, Amy Pond.  

After his explosive regeneration, the Doctor awakes to discover his TARDIS is about to crash. Pulling himself out of the wreckage, he comes face-to-face with Amy Pond and promises to take her on a journey to the stars. Boarding the TARDIS, Amy and the Doctor embark on a series of adventures that will change her life forever.

Executive Produced by Steven Moffat, the series features Arthur Darvill as Amy’s fiancé Rory Williams and guest stars including Olivia Coleman, James Cordan, Bill Nighy, Ian McNeice, Annette Crosbie, Helen McCrory, Lucian Msamati, Alex Price, Sophie Okonedo, Nia Roberts, Meera Syal and Nina Wadia. 

Bonus features include two ‘Meanwhile in the Tardis’ additional scenes, four ‘The Monster Files’, a three-part video diary, thirteen ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ cut-downs, six in-vision commentaries, out-takes and over twenty teasers and trailers.

The 13 episodes are:

· The Eleventh Hour

· The Beast Below

· Victory of the Daleks

· The Time of Angels

· Flesh and Stone

· The Vampires of Venice

· Amy’s Choice

· The Hungry Earth

· Cold Blood

· Vincent and the Doctor

· The Lodger

· The Pandorica Opens

· The Big Bang

+  This title is released on Monday 10th February 2020, priced £35.73.
+  PREORDER this title from Amazon.co.uk for just £29.99

[Source: BBC Studios]

9 December 2019

On Saturday 7th December 2019 'The Sisterhood of Karn’ held a special celebratory gathering to mark 25 years as the UK’s premiere LGBT Doctor Who fan group.

They were joined by actress Katy Manning, who played companion Jo Grant opposite Jon Pertwee’s Doctor in the 1970s, and were thrilled to present her with an award recognising her status as ‘A TRUE GAY ICON OF DOCTOR WHO’.

Organiser Richard Unwin said:

“Katy has been a staunch supporter of LGBT people for decades, and we are honoured to be joined by her for an evening - and to recognise her as a fabulous ally of the community. This is the first award of its kind that we have given out, but hopefully it won’t be the last.”

The Sisterhood of Karn hold regular meet-ups on the third Thursday of every month, in the upstairs bar of The Kings Arms pub in Soho, London. Newcomers are always welcome.

+  Facebook: facebook.com/SisterhoodofKarn
+  Twitter: twitter.com/sisterhood_karn

[Source: Richard Unwin]

9 December 2019

BBC Studios and Immersive Everywhere today announced Doctor Who Time Fracture: An Immersive Adventure. The show will be based on global hit series Doctor Who and will give fans a chance to experience the Doctor’s adventures like never before.

From the team behind The Great Gatsby, the UK’s longest running immersive show, Doctor Who Time Fracture will premiere in late 2020 at a London location to be announced.

This ground-breaking immersive adventure puts you at the heart of the story, plunged into a journey across space and time. Featuring amazingly realised worlds - the universe as we know it is at stake. Audiences will discover a great challenge lies ahead and that it’s time to be a hero, step up, and save the planet!

Audiences can purchase Gallifreyan Coin tokens prior to general on-sale. Each token purchased equates to one ticket and will provide priority access to book for the date and time of your preferred performance when announced in February 2020. You will receive a code for each token purchased which can then be redeemed for your ticket(s), as well as an exclusive pin badge given to you at the venue on the date of your chosen performance.

+  Tokens are available at: https://www.immersivedoctorwho.com
+  Further details will be announced in February 2020.

[Source: BBC Studios]


29 November 2019

Every month DWO like to take a little side-step from the Doctor Who universe to help spotlight an up and coming author who we feel shares something in common with the greater whoniverse. This month is the turn of Joe Basile; author of 'The Last Qumranian'.

"Time travel has been used to stop the birth of Christ, altering the timeline of human history.

Lukas is the last Qumranian, an ancient sect sworn to secrecy and to protect the prophecies that bind the worlds together. When they develop a powerful technology that can control time, their discovery attracts unwanted attention.

When the Unclean -- a militant force powered by dark magic -- attack the hidden Qumranian compound under what once was the Dead Sea, Lukas barely escapes. But at what cost? With his life intact, he finds himself a prisoner in an alternate timeline not his own.

Alone in a foreign landscape ravaged by wars, advanced by technology, oppressed by a corporation partnered with a ruthless religious group slaughtering any who oppose them in the streets, sinister supernatural forces, and an artifact that literally can -- and has -- changed human history, Lukas must not only struggle to stay alive, but locate the only thing that can prevent the Unclean and the powers that control them from destroying the world.

Will Lukas manage to retrieve the artifact before more damage is done to the timeline of history, or will he be too late, forever lost in a nightmarish alternate reality?"


5 Question with... Joe Basile (Author)

1) When did you first get into writing, and did you have any influences / favourite authors?

I love writing!!! :) I wrote my first screenplay with some help from friends 16 years ago, which subsequently became this book...The Last Qumranian. Yay!

I have written sermons for 20 years and shorter stories, but this story has been my passion, and I had no idea how much I would LOVE writing it! A true joy! 

Edgar Rice Burroughs is my favorite author of all time! No rules. Dreamed so big, and his heroes were soooo noble and good that I wished I were them.

2) What was it like to get your first book published and to have a tangible copy?

A trip! Most people asked what it feels like, but I said it is a little weird, but that is the vehicle. The destination is people reading it and being swept away in an adventure. That’s my goal. Punished is the vehicle.

3) Can you tell us a bit about The Last Qumranian? What inspired you and who was responsible for that awesome cover?

Matthew Thrush commissioned an AMAZING artist and I LOVE IT! 

I just couldn’t fathom the idea of time travel and no one wanting to use to stop the birth of Christ! Seemed obvious to me. And then I dreamed about what that world would look like. I Set it in Israel, a secret society not affected by the birth of a Christ, and a hero with the strength and training to take on an army of evil with supernatural demonic powers, and a mission to get his time travel machine back to set things right. 

4) Are you a fan of Doctor Who, and if so, what was your earliest memory of the show? Do you have a particular favourite episode?

I LOVE Dr Who! My earliest memory of the show is watching it in black and white. But I became HUGE FAN during the David Tennant Era! LOVE Matt Smith too!!!

They risk soooo much and are able to weave it all together so creatively and satisfactorily. Time Travel stories are a recipe for disaster in lesser hands, but Dr Who crushes it!!! IMO, from one time travel dreamer to another.

5) Finally, if you could take a round trip in the TARDIS, anywhere in time and space, where would you go and why?

First of all, I really want to try and figure out how big it actually is on the inside! The resurrection of Christ! I want to be in that room. Put my fingers the holes in his hands and feet. I have faith, but I would LOVE to see it with my own eyes too!! Amazing!!!

+  BUY The Last Qumranian via Odyssey Books!
+  Facebook: facebook.com/JoeBasileAuthor
+  Twitter: twitter.com/jesustattoos

[Source: DWO]

27 November 2019

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Chris Chapman (Warzone) & Guy Adams (Conversion)

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: November 2019

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


Warzone by Chris Chapman

"At Warzone, competitors gather from across the galaxy to test the limits of their endurance and achieve their personal best. So, when the TARDIS materialises in the middle of a racetrack, the Doctor and his friends must literally run for their lives."

Conversion by Guy Adams

"On the fringes of the galaxy, techno-pirates and research medics fight for the secrets of advanced extra-terrestrial technology. For the Doctor, however, a more personal battle awaits as he confronts his own guilt and the creatures that killed a friend: the Cybermen."

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

Warzone 

Warzone and Conversion are the final two plays in this latest trilogy for the Fifth Doctor. We kicked things off with extended episodes in Tartarus, then had a pair of adventures last month. This follows that trend, but with the two stories joined at the hip. This varying story structure has felt like a breath of fresh air and a welcome kick to the range.

What of the stories themselves this time around though? We begin things with Warzone by Chris Chapman. Back when I reviewed Iron Bright, I said it was a good story but that I felt Chapman had something rather great to bring to the table. I think Warzone is possibly that play, and if it's not then it's pretty close to being.

Weaponising Parkrun (and the current trend for running, Couch To 5K training routines and suchlike) is a superbly Doctor Who-ish idea which Chapman melds with a comic book setting: a race to the death across a planet of pitfalls and killer obstacles. The idea may be familiar, but the execution is what counts and Chapman milks it for all it's worth.

Better still, the slow segue into the second story is well done. We all knew the Cybermen were back in Conversion but the reveal that their plans start here is a genuinely good and slightly unexpected surprise. The penny drops a couple of scenes before the reveal, and it's a thrill when the hunch is proven correct. Again, more of this is always welcome and credit must go to Chapman for hiding the reveal in plain sight and still pulling the wool over the listeners' eyes: or should that be ears?

Warzone ends with things looking bad for Marc, who is dying and has unwittingly started to become conversed into a Cybermen.



Conversion

Cue Conversion by Guy Adams, the final play in this run. We start with the Doctor uncharacteristically angry and hell bent on revenge; indeed, he does not so much exit the previous story as flee it.  Even Tegan comments on this and the Doctor admits he's not being rational. Back in Tartarus, the spectre of Adric was raised and a dark fate for Marc hinted at, and Conversion ties this all together.

It's a great idea in theory, but the play itself suffers where Chapman's flourished. Where that may have had familiar elements executed well, here such elements feel overfamiliar and as such a bit dull. It doesn't help that we've very clunky exposition at the start, with a supporting character speaking in a way no-one ever does in day-to-day life.  I know the listener needs to be brought up to speed about characters' roles and power dynamics, but there is surely a better way of doing this than having characters say things along the lines of "As well you know, my role here is leader and I'm an expert scientist and so you should trust me!"

It's awkward to listen to and drags the listener out. This isn't the first time I've raised this complaint, but it's a valid one all the same.

Unfortunately, the rest of the play feels similarly clunky in its execution. The idea of the companion turning into a Cyberman has been done better, by Gareth Roberts in Closing Time and Steven Moffat in The Doctor Falls (Craig counts for the sake of this comparison). Here in Conversion though, it feels under baked.

Arguably though, the true cardinal sin in this play comes from confusion thanks to several actors all sounding the same. I genuinely found it hard at times, especially near the cliffhanger to Part One, to work out who was talking, so similar are the accents and tones and line delivery. This is a huge no with audio, and I'm staggered it passed any sort of checks.

The release ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, if the Doctor leaving to mope alone while his companions are abandoned on a nice holiday location can get counted as such. He is sad; sad that Marc is now part Cyberman as he could not save the day, and sad because it reminds him of Adric. Whilst I appreciate the attempt to do something more with Adric's death, again I am not at all convinced it works as it feels very out of character for the Fifth Doctor to be as he is here. The desire for repercussions and more believable responses to trauma is not necessarily a bad thing, but trying to reconcile any of this with the show we saw on screen in this era is, at best, a bit of a leap. I'm not wanting my characters to be one-dimensional, but the lack of fidelity here leads to a lack of conviction. (Speaking of, the modulation on the Cybermen voices is off throughout. It's nearly but not quite close to being right, which makes it all the more distracting.)

There are hints at better things for the main range across these past five stories. Not every one hits it for six, but it's a start. I just hope the writing is a bit more consistent going forward.


+ Warzone / Conversion is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


25 November 2019

Doctor Who Infinity, the follow up to the fan favourite Doctor Who: Legacy video game by Tiny Rebel Games, which soft launched in late 2018, has gone live as a full, 5- story release today for mobile devices, PC, and Mac. The game brings the world of the Doctor to life with brand new, stand-alone, comic-book style interactive audio adventures. Players can now delve into all five episodes including The Silent Streets of Barry Island, The Horror of Flat Holm, The Dalek Invasion of Time, The Orphans of the Poloypotra, and The Lady of the Lake.

Each of the stories in Doctor Who Infinity was created as a collaboration between Tiny Rebel Games and Seed Studio; they include an incredible roster of primarily Wales-based artists and writers and each features narration and dialogue from well-known British actors.

Doctor Who Infinity episodes include:

●  The Horror of Flat Holm: One of the new stories, this was written by the multi-talented Mike Collins, drawn by Patrick Goddard, and colored by John-Paul Bove. It is an epic U.N.I.T. Cyberman story told in several time periods with the Fourth Doctor joined by Captain Mike Yates (voiced by Richard Franklin) and with modern day Osgood (voiced by Ingrid Oliver) and Kate Stewart. The cast will be joined by a Cyberman (voiced by Nick Briggs).

●  The Silent Streets of Barry Island: Another new adventure, this was written by Jacqueline Rayner, drawn by Emma Vieceli and colored by Kris Carter. It features the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory Williams in mods-n-rockers era Barry Island. It's a summertime love story in an unseasonably snowy Barry Island which is plagued by mysterious, gruesome deaths and disappearances. They've arrived for a planned holiday but quickly have to ditch the beach gear and blend in with the locals. Their guide is Ted, a down-on-his-luck fish ‘n’ chip shop owner, voiced by Steffan Rhodri. Look for a startling reveal for Doctor Who fans!

●  The Dalek Invasion of Time: The first story to be released was written by George Mann, the critically-acclaimed author and screenwriter, including many Doctor Who stories; drawn by acclaimed artist and writer Mike Collins, known worldwide for his history of work with Doctor Who and other major comic properties; and colored by Kris Carter, who has a long history of working on brands such as Doctor Who, Torchwood and Shrek, among many others. The game is narrated by actors Michelle Gomez, who reprises her TV series role as Missy; Ingrid Oliver, who reprises her TV series role as Osgood; and Bella Ramsey, who voices new villain Freya in the game. 

●  The Orphans of the Polyoptra: This adventure was written by Gary Russell, which he has stated is his final Doctor Who story.  He is well-known as a writer of Doctor Who novels producer and writer of Doctor Who audio dramas for Big Finish productions, formerly a Script Editor for Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood and was formerly Editor of Doctor Who Magazine. The game’s art has been drawn by David Roach, noted inker of comic strips for Doctor Who Magazine; and also colored by Dylan Teague. The story is narrated by actor Katy Manning, who returns as Jo Grant, her role from the Doctor Who TV series, and also voices the enemy.

●  The Lady of the Lake: This story was written by Scott Handcock, author of many Doctor Who audio dramas and short stories; drawn by Neil Edwards, noted comic book artist whose work includes Marvel, DC, Doctor Who, Titan Comics and many others; and colored by John-Paul Bove, known for his colorist work on G.I. Joe, Doctor Who, Transformers; and Dylan Teague, known for his work as a comics artist and colorist for Doctor Who Magazine, DC Comics.  The story is being narrated by Celyn Jones as Geraint, a critically acclaimed and award-winning actor and screenwriter, who is known for films such as Set Fire to the Stars and Submergence and the TV series Joe.  Other voices featured include Katy Manning as Delyth and Marilyn Le Conte as the eponymous “Lady of the Lake”.

Doctor Who Infinity is being published and developed by Tiny Rebel Games in collaboration with Seed Studio, and is under official license from BBC Studios. The new game was funded as a joint effort between the Welsh Government’s Media Investment Budget and British game publisher/developer Double Eleven Limited

The game is available on the App Store, Google Play, Steam, Humble Bundle, and Green Man Gaming.

Watch a trailer for the game in the player, below:



[Source: 
BBC Studios]

24 November 2019

Publisher: Rude Cat LLC

Written By: Randy Smith

RRP: £15.99$17.99 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 24th November 2019

Something that Doctor Who and Star Trek has taught us is that Science Fiction doesn't always remain a fiction. Whilst Randy Smith's The Raffle may be nestled in a SciFi / Cyberpunk genre, the story itself is set in a dystopian future, just a few years from now (2026-2027), and serves more as a speculative glimpse into what could be.

There's an alternative history where on July 4th 2016, a multi-angle terror attack changed America forever; so much so that it is now known as the New United States. Our central character, Ramsey, has been separated from his wife and daughter for 10 years, and without trying to spoil anything, The Raffle sees his once-in-a-lifetie chance to be reunited with them.

Talk about prophetic; The Raffle predicted the election of Donald Trump, and there are many more instances within where the reader cannot help but feel spooked by the near-future clairvoyance in which author Randy Smith is worryingly good at.

If we could describe the series in a few words it's The Handmaids Tale meets The Matrix meets The Hunger Games. That being said, it's still very much its own thing and you will be swept along for the ride - a ride that is shocking, unpredictable and so addictive that you just want to keep reading and reading.

The Raffle was initially released as four separate novellas, and one can only imagine the torture as a reader as they got to the end of each book, desperately waiting to find out what happens to Ramsey next. Fortunately, this version brings all four novellas together, so you can tackle the saga in one sitting. The fourth part is considerably longer than the others and reads more like a full-on novel, and feels like a natural evolution of both the story and the author.

Perhaps, rather soberingly, The Raffle is the authors mouthpiece for the state of a country he so blatantly loves, and what could happen. Anyone that can predict the election of Trump NEEDS to be heard; The Raffle doesn't only serve as a fantastic piece of fiction, but a worryingly believable projection into where we are going if we don't change our ways.

After four distinct parts, there is still plenty more life in the series, and with an open ending, we really hope that Ramsey's journey continues!

+  The Raffle is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @TheRaffle2027 on Twitter.

15 November 2019

A few years back, you helped DWO raise over £1000 for Children In Need and today being the official Children In Need TV campaign, we want your help to do it again!

This year, we've put together another bundle of Doctor Who goodies for you to bid on; something old, something new, something rare and all things WHO! 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go to Children In Need and we will even pick 3 runners up (who have all placed bids in this auction) to win a Doctor Who related consolation prize. HURRY as you have just 24 hours to place your bids. Our target is £1000 and anything you bid all goes towards the final total.

Up for auction in this special bundle is:

1 x Poster SIGNED by Karen Gillan

2 x FREE tickets to 'An Evening With Sylvester McCoy' at the Penny Cars Stadium in Airdrie, c/o The Ross Owen Show. (Date: Friday 17th January 2020 at 7:30pm)

1 x copy of Series 9: Volume 1 on Blu-ray
1 x copy of Series 9: Volume 2 on Blu-ray
1 x copy of SHADA on Blu-ray

1 x copy of The Lost TV Episodes: Collection Two - 1965-1966 on Audio CD
1 x copy of The Ten Doctor Novels on Audio CD
1 x copy of The Tenth Doctor Novels: Volume 4 on Audio CD
1 x copy of Scratchman (by Tom Baker) on Audio CD
1 x copy of The Daleks Masterplan LIMITED EDITION vinyl

1 x copy of The Target Storybook

1 x LIMITED EDITION The Two Doctors Collector Figure Toy set
1 x LIMITED EDITION The Seventh Doctor Collector Figure Toy set
1 x LIMITED EDITION The Seventh Doctor & Axis Strike Squad Dalek Action Figure Toy set
1 x LIMITED EDITION The Fourth Doctor And TARDIS From SHADA Collector Figure Toy set

DWO will be covering the postage, too, so there is nothing to pay except the final bid price :)

If you're feeling extra generous, please also consider donating directly on the Children In Need website

+  BID NOW on the DWO Children In Need eBay auction!

[Source: DWO]

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