Takeover Ad
Takeover Ad

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
27 February 2020

Bad news for those expecting the long-awaited Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 12 box-set this Monday, we're afraid. According to an email from Amazon, and some reports from customers who got theirs a little early, the set has been pushed back to 30th March.

In a further blow to fans, it was also confirmed today that Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 14 box-set has been pushed back to 4th May.

We will keep you posted if there are any further updates.

+  See all the 2020 releases in the DWO Release Guide.
+  Discuss all the Doctor Who DVD releases in the DWO Forums.

[Source: Amazon.co.uk]

25 February 2020

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

1.7: Greeks Bearing Gifts

We finally have our Tosh specific episode and it's about time.

 

The episode starts off in Cardiff 1812, with what appears to be just a young woman running through the forest with her solider boyfriend. Not quite… It appears she is a prostitute winding up the redcoat solider, as it seems he is a virgin or as she jokes about her name “My name’s Mary, like the Virgin.” The teasing of this doesn’t seem to settle with the soldier as he slaps her viciously across the face before Mary sees an ominous light through the trees, It's something straight out of an alien abduction film. There’s a brief chase before the solider goes to shoot Mary stating “Do whores have prayers?” - bit extreme in the circumstances - before making a harsh cut in the edit and going straight into present day. 

 

The Torchwood team are sent out to a building site (which if you look in the background you can see the filming vans.) as there is a skeleton found with mysterious wounds. It’s the team working in these situations that really show the difference between Doctor Who and Torchwood. It brings a sense of realism around death, the consequences of it and the investigation work that happens afterwards. Owen claims the body is a woman with a single gun shot wound to the chest. However in contrast to the discovery, the camera pans over the crime scene to what appears to be Mary in 2006 watching over them. Spooky.
What happened? Why is Mary still alive? All will be discovered.

 

Ever felt like a third wheel? Well Tosh is the perfect character in this moment as Gwen and Owen play around like a couple of teenagers in love. To Tosh’s horror she discovers they’ve accidentally kicked out the computer plug ruining her alien translation. Gwen and Owen are the perfect example of opposites attract, as Gwen apologises for damaging Tosh’s computer whereas Owen doesn’t seem to own up to any kind of responsibility and in fact becomes defensive by asking Tosh “Does the stick up your ass have a stick up its ass?”. Tosh understandably annoyed by this, goes out on the town on her own.

 

Tosh sitting all by herself still reminiscing about her interest in Owen, isn’t alone for very long as suddenly Mary walks up to Tosh claiming a random man is trying to hit on her. It’s interesting as an audience, knowing that something is amiss with Mary as she was alive 200 years ago and almost feel a need to protect Tosh. The mystery around Mary becomes more apparent as she suddenly knows Tosh’s name without Tosh telling her. As Mary explains the situation of knowing how she knows Tosh, it becomes clear from Tosh’s expression there's a deep trust now between them, over Torchwood and alien tech. Sound familiar between Gwen and Owen?

 

There begins a touching moment as Tosh in mid conversation starts spilling all of Torchwood trade secrets to Mary as they’ve had a glass or two of wine. It's a very quick bonding session which as an audience makes you question has something happened to Tosh, until she realises she shouldn’t divulge such confidential information. Has this plan of Mary’s failed, or is there a lack of trust again? To solidify this uncertainty, Mary gives Tosh a gift of a pendant which innocently she tries on, to shockingly discover she can hear everyones thoughts in the room. Tosh seems completely overwhelmed by this situation, however it would have been nice to see her come to terms in a more scientific approach, as she is the go-to woman for working out how alien technology works. The moment makes for a good bond between Tosh and Mary, but does it make Tosh too dependent on Mary too quickly? The close ups on the camera and the sound that closes in around Mary’s voice, makes it a compelling and intimate scene, that makes Tosh question her sexual identity, before Mary claims “That I want to kiss you.” Is it the pendant that makes it so irresistible to Tosh or the alien herself, Mary? There seems to be a lot that is not divulged or explained in this episode.

 

Ok, so this is where the alarm bells ring. Mary comparing herself to a god, while giving away a so called family heirloom, I don’t know about you, but that just sounds a little creepy to me. 

 

Tosh with all her common sense and justice is dissuaded from showing the Torchwood team the pendant, however instead uses it to read her friends thoughts. Is this a good idea? Maybe not around Gwen and Owen. This scene is a great way in showing how through a voice over of their thoughts, the tone and expression in their voices gives away how they’re completely hormonal for each other, while keeping composed in their facial expressions in front of Tosh. The way everyone keeps themselves so composed is a true testament to their characters as finally Tosh has to break it off as it all becomes too overwhelming for her.

 

As Tosh walks home, who should be waiting right outside her front door but Mary. Now if someone came to me in a bar, knowing who I was and then waited outside my house after work, I don’t think I’d be the person leaving the door wide open for them to walk in. However this very uncharacteristic trait of Tosh, allows Mary to walk straight into her house and then sleep together. Again it's never explained if it’s the power of the pendant that makes Tosh fall for Mary or Mary herself. There’s some very unusual camera transitions and angles that suggest some force is at work but again is never explained on screen. Mary finally bows down to Tosh to reveal her real name, Philoctetes.

 

The whole episode seems to be a theme of fun and games about who wants to sleep with who and peoples thoughts about being a James Bond villain, when it suddenly takes a dramatic turn as a man wants to kill a group of people and himself. Time for super Tosh to come to the rescue. The scene is a huge juxtaposition to the story, which would have been a great theme to stick with rather than the alien manipulating Tosh. You could have Tosh become this power hungry superhero who the team have to help, rather than the school playground scenario with the 'who likes who' narrative. This side plot is very quickly resolved and does feel very out of place in terms of how it affects the main story.

 

Back in Torchwood, Tosh can’t read captain Jack’s mind and the secret of the pendant is slowly being revealed to the team. Gwen, Owen and Captain Jack are playing around whilst trying to discover what happened to the skeleton found in the pre-titles. In another Cardiff arial shot later, Gwen is working out why Owen doesn’t want to look at her, whilst Jack is observing an alien object found at the building site and talking to the prime minister. Torchwood has a very good reputation of squeezing in as much plot minute by minute every time.

 

Mary in a last minute attempt to not face the Torchwood team reveals her true self as a ghostly purple skeletal alien in front of Tosh, in some kind of hope that Mary won’t have to face them as she fears she’ll be locked away. This is kind of true if you’ve watched the last 6 episodes so far. (Also anyone recognise the alien from The Sarah Jane Adventures here?) This again is where my mind wonders as to why Mary is still alive? Is she now just Philoctetes? Or both? Again a question never explained or as to why she stole Mary’s body.

 

In true Torchwood style and an aerial shot of Cardiff later, Owen quickly discovers his analysis of the body is completely wrong and is in fact the murdered remains of our redcoat soldier at the beginning of the story. The tangled web of this story is slowly unravelling itself as Tosh seems to be losing control of her own thoughts, as the camera spirals around Torchwood as if we’ve entered a nightmare. 

 

Mary contradicting herself now wants to get into Torchwood to retrieve the transporter. Tosh again agrees out of the blue; even with this being a very light Captain Jack story, he comes to save the day by showing how much of a fraud Mary is. It’s a nice touch to see that Jack can still have a huge impact on concluding complicated situations even when he’s not majorly involved in the whole story. It gives a sense he’s always watching and not as gullible as the villainous aliens make him out to be. Tosh focusing on Jack’s voice shows the true loyalty to the team and no matter what mistakes happen, Torchwood will always have their backs.

 

The final reveal of Mary being the person ripping out people’s hearts and getting her comeuppance rounds off the story in a neat little present with a bow on top. Jack tricking Mary into doing it herself makes it even more perfect.

 

Tosh owning up to listening to everyones thoughts makes a difficult but touching scene between the team. Tosh being completely apologetic about invading their personal space is equally balanced with Gwen apologising about how they are not the ones to take the moral high ground. It shows that actions have consequences; no human is perfect and that what the series is all about. Gwen telling Tosh “Love suited you,” is such a heartwarming place to finish their friendship at that moment.

 

Now I understand why Tosh smashes the pendant but it also makes me slight saddened. It would have been a perfect moment for her to stand up to her fears and explore them, however it's just metaphorically trodden on, to be forgotten forever.

 

Overall this episode has been very mixed in terms of themes and characters. Some didn’t live up to my expectations but there are moments which work so well and a key highlight for the series. We’re now half way through the series and moments are now becoming more established with the Torchwood teams friendship and Captain Jack’s mysterious personality.


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 

 

 

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

[Source:
DWO]

18 February 2020

Build-A-Bear Workshop and BBC Studios have today launched a Doctor Who range, launching a Doctor Who Bear and accessories inspired by the popular BBC series.

The Doctor Who Bear features branded blue paw pads and a blue heart on its chest.

Complete your Time Lord’s look with the iconic Thirteenth Doctor or Tenth Doctor outfits. Sport the striped top and braces worn by the Thirteenth Doctor, or the suit, trousers, glasses and trainers worn by the Tenth Doctor. Each furry friend will arrive with a sonic screwdriver in its own TARDIS gift box.

The new range is available in the UK and can be bought exclusively online at: buildabear.co.uk. The range will be launching online in the US later this month.

The Doctor Who Bear is available online now for £21.50, with outfits and accessories starting at £8.

[Source: BBC Studios]

11 February 2020

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

1.6: Countrycide

The pre-title sequence is a scenario that has been lifted straight out of a typical slasher style film, with a poor unfortunate woman being dragged out of her car with blood curdling screams by a mysterious figure… Torchwood has diverged into the world of horror. 

 

Jack and co start investigating recent disappearances in the area. Owen begins to complain about being outside the city, making a quite delightful bit of banter between Gwen and Owen;  Gwen takes great joy in Owen’s disdain of the outdoors. The team feel as if they’re a proper family unit going on their first outing together, with the kids bickering in the back. With night approaching, the team set up camp in the middle of the field. With everyone circled around, Gwen gets the team to recall their most recent kisses with people. It all starts off as fun and games when Tosh mentions her kiss with Owen at Christmas. However it’s quickly turned as Owen mocks her for not being as promiscuous as the rest of the team. Captain Jack quickly steers the conversation by asking if non alien lifeforms count, followed by Owen’s smug response referencing his and Gwen’s make out session whist being chased by the Cyberwomen. It all seems to being going so well, until the mood shifts as Ianto mentions his last kiss was with in fact, his now deceased girlfriend Lisa. Oops. 

 

Avoiding the now awkward situation, Owen and Gwen go away to search for firewood, or that’s what Gwen thinks. As they walk through the forest, Gwen, who is understandably annoyed about Owen mentioning their kiss – is grabbed by him and pushed against a tree. In a heat of passion, Owen describes how great they’d be together. As they almost lock lips, they see a shadowy figure in the distance. It was a scene I was slightly worried about, as Owen leans closer and closer towards Gwen – leaving almost no space between their lips as they whisper their plans on how to catch the mysterious person. It’s a very sexually charged scene which depicts the whole theme of Series One in general. It's a great moment of passionate tension which quickly juxtaposes to the horror they’re about to endure.

As they give chase, they stumble across a body in the forest, however; this is no ordinary body. The whole of the flesh has been stripped back to the bone. Sorry for anyone who doesn’t like gore, this is not the episode for you. The contrast between the scenes depict the characteristic of Torchwood’s themes. One moment it’s horny passion and then the next, body horror. It's a technique that gives the show it's uniqueness for story telling. The Torchwood team have been rumbled, as they hear the Torchwoodmobile drive away. Thankfully, Ianto is able to track the vehicle and follows the car for 4 miles where it appears to have stopped. Said the spider to the fly...

 

We join the team as they encounter a rather abandoned looking village, something straight out of ‘Village of the Damned’. The environment has all the 'horror film' hallmarks of a place you really shouldn’t visit. The setup feels almost claustrophobic as they are very much cut off from the outside world. The intercutting with a POV shot, makes the scene feel uncomfortable as they’re being watched from the inside. 

 

The Torchwood team foolishly split up to find the Torchwoodmobile (have they not seen an episode of Scooby Doo?) and to check out the pub for any ideas as to what’s going on in the area. Gwen very quickly discovers another body carved exactly the same as the one she and Owen found previously in the woods, and a mysterious noise echos from the distance. As Gwen and Jack give chase, Gwen is dramatically shot in the stomach with a shotgun. Who or what can weald a shotgun and create such horrors to humans? Typically here, the camera would go to a close up of the situation, however in a more interesting editing choice – the audience is taken through a long POV shot, almost as if we’re an animal watching its prey. It’s this 1st person perspective that really makes for carnal viewing, and adds to the intrigue of the story. Thankfully Doctor Owen is on hand to take care of Gwen’s wound, which in the spirit of Torchwood, makes even that a sexy scene between Gwen and Owen.


Meanwhile, if that wasn’t enough, Ianto and Tosh are kidnapped and locked away in what appears to be a dark cellar. A blood covered fridge catches their eyes as Tosh anxiously opens it up to discover why they’ve been captured; they’re going to be the main course. The suspense leads up to the horror across Ianto’s face as he quickly closes the door with an echoed bang. Their fate has been sealed. The story is very plot heavy; not a scene goes by that doesn’t expand the characters, or the unravelling situation that they find themselves in.

 

There is a huge amount of plot that happens within this story, however it never detracts from developing the characters of the whole team, such as Jack’s concern over Gwen and the unity between Ianto and Tosh when they’re captured by the cannibals! In a shocking plot twist, it transpires that the villains are actually humans.. cannibals. This is the first time we’ve had a villain who isn’t an alien, which we the audience wrongly assume. It’s a horror/slasher film lover’s dream. In true Torchwood style, Captain Jack comes to save the day by driving a tractor through the main barn doors and shooting the place up in slow motion. I don’t think we could get anymore 2006 with that dramatic moment.

 

Owen Teale (Ewan) and Maxine Evans (Helen) give fantastic and down right skin-crawling performances as a couple who, along with the rest of the village it seems, take part in a ‘harvest’ once a decade, on unsuspecting tourists. The line, ‘because it made me happy’, as Gwen confronts Ewan about the horrors they’ve committed, is spine tingling. As he sits there with a grin like a Cheshire Cat, with no remorse or care, it’s an image that will haunt my dreams forever. It really makes for uncomfortable, disturbing viewing.

 

However, I love the contrast in the final scene as Gwen narrates how she could have had a normal life, having kids and staying with Rhys, but Torchwood has set her on a new path. It’s just that moment when you think she’s talking to herself or to us as the audience, until Owen appears in the reflection of the window, showing her how her life is changing. She’s not the same woman we saw at the beginning of the series. She’s seen things that nobody else could comprehend and wants to take comfort in someone that does. Is Owen and the Torchwood team the right choice? We’ll have to wait and see...


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 


 

 

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

[Source:
DWO]

7 February 2020

DWO have received the cover art and details for the upcoming DVD & Blu-ray release of Doctor Who’s missing serial The Faceless Ones, which will be released on 16th March 2020.

The Faceless Ones is the mostly missing eighth serial of the fourth season of Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from April to May 1967. Starring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, the story concerns a sinister race of identity-stealing aliens known as the Chameleons.

Only two of the six episodes are held in the BBC film archives with snippets of footage and still images existing from the other four. Fortunately, off-air recordings of the soundtrack also still exist, making the animation of a complete serial possible once again.

The six new animated episodes are being made in full colour and high definition and will include the following exclusive special features:

·  Photographic reconstruction of the story, including surviving footage of episodes 1 & 3
·  Audio commentary on episodes 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6
·  ‘Making of the animated series’
·  Camera script PDF’s
·  Surviving film fragments from the story
·  5 x ‘Easter Egg’ surprises
·  Coming Soon Fury from the Deep trailer

Check out the teaser trailer in the player, below:



+  The Faceless Ones is released on 16th March 2020.
+  
PREORDER this title from Amazon.co.uk

[Source: BBC Studios]

6 February 2020

Doctor Who Magazine have sent DWO the covers and details for Issue 548 of DWM.

SACHA DHAWAN ON THE RETURN OF THE MASTER!

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine has an exclusive, in-depth interview with Sacha Dhawan. Other highlights include:

• A choice of collectable covers, one featuring Sacha Dhawan and one featuring Jodie Whittaker.
• Exclusive previews of the final four episodes of Series 12.
• The latest Production Notes from showrunner Chris Chibnall.
• A report from the filming of Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror at the Nu Boyana Film Studios in Bulgaria.
• An exclusive interview with Robert Glenister, who played Thomas Edison in Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror.
• A tribute to the 1960s writer and story editor Donald Tosh.
• Peter Purves shares his memories of Donald Tosh.
• The director of Doctor Who and the Silurians, Timothy Combe, looks back on its production.
• Remembering the late Doctor Who comic-strip artist Bill Mevin.
• Updates on Doctor Who luminaries, past and present, with new feature Time and Space Visualiser.
• Public Image looks at how Doctor Who is doing in the TV ratings.
• The Fact of Fiction continues its epic exploration of The Daleks’ Master Plan.
• The final part of Mistress of Chaos, a new comic-strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends.
• Reviews of the Series 5 Blu-ray Steelbook and Sophie Aldred’s novel At Childhood’s End.
• Big Finish previews and reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, The Blogs of Doom and much more!

DWM Issue #548 is available as two collectible covers.

[Information supplied by DWM Editorial Assistant, Emily Cook]

+  Doctor Who Magazine Issue #548 is Out Now, priced £5.99.
+  SUBSCRIBE to Doctor Who Magazine, digitally from just £4.99 a month!
+  Check Out The DWO Guide to Doctor Who Magazine!

[Source: Doctor Who Magazine]

6 February 2020

Manufacturer: Big Finish Productions

Written By: Guy Adams

RRP: £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download)

Release Date: January 2020

Reviewed by: Nick Mellish for Doctor Who Online


"The Eleven has a plan. A grand plan. An appalling plan. A plan that endangers all life in the cosmos.

With Ace working for the enemy, the Doctor must rely on scheming Time Lord Cardinal Ollistra for help. The stage is set for an epic confrontation.

Because the Doctor has a plan to stop the Eleven. A grand plan. An appalling plan. A plan that endangers all life in the cosmos.

Whichever one of them wins, the Dark Universe won’t want to lose..."

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

With so many releases across so many ranges, it is semi-inevitable that at some point they will converge in one place. We’ve seen that recently with the Who/Cicero crossover play Tartarus, and now we are mixing the streams again with the Eighth Doctor box sets and the main range in this, Dark Universe. In some ways this was an inevitable release, what with the Seventh Doctor having kicked off Doom Coalition in the first place. We know he captured the Eleven, so I suppose temptation would always be succumb to in the end and we’d get the story of how it unfolded.

That is not surprising. What arguably is surprising is that Dark Universe very much relies upon you knowing who the Eleven is and how he operates. You get a brief hand-waving exercise of “this is his basic modus-operandi” but not much beyond that, and an entire cliffhanger resolution being wrapped up in knowing that one of his incarnations was nice is the icing on the cake. Unfamiliar with the Eleven? You’ll get the vague gist of things but hand on heart(s) I am not sure this is necessarily the best introduction, which is odd as this is, chronologically speaking, the Eleven’s debut appearance in the world of all things Who. Ah well: the show loves a paradox, doesn’t it?

Speaking of confusing states of affair, Dark Universe sees an older Ace reunited with the Seventh Doctor, still up to his old tricks, years after they parted. If you thought tracking the chronology of the Eleven is hard, good luck trying with Ace. I have listened to every single Big Finish release featuring her (not an exaggeration), and I’m largely lost nowadays. Can you imagine how a casual listener must feel? The Big Finish main range is not a welcoming one.

Back to the play in hand, though. With any prequel, you run the risk of things feeling redundant. We know how everything ends, so just how exciting can the road there really be? A fair bit, it turns out. Guy Adams is definitely having fun here. We expect some of the cliffhangers before they come, but that’s part of the game. A weapon is discovered, it’ll have devastating effects… and the Doctor wants the enemy to have it! He doesn’t think they will use it… but they do! And so on. The game here is to play along, anticipate, hear it happen with a knowing wink, and smile as the episode ends. It’s a playful approach that benefits the script enormously.

I felt that perhaps things ran their course a little by the end, mind. The final episode carries on with what you expect: the Doctor looking at the bigger picture as if playing Chess; Ace calling him on it and the two of them being at loggerheads. It’s something we’ve seen many times before but unlike the cliffhangers and playfulness earlier, it’s so era-specific, instead of the wider tropes from earlier, that it feels like a cliché and little else. Perhaps it will lead to more meaningful things in the range down the line, but that’s hard to say.

As it stands, there is a lot to recommend with Dark Universe. Does it work as an introduction to the Eleven for new listeners? I’m not sure it does. But the play is fun with some nicely imaginative parts, and whatever else, Dark Universe is a declaration of intent.

The main range is increasingly wanting to acknowledge the other ranges Big Finish has to offer. We’ve had these crossovers before, but I’m not sure it’s felt as apparent then as it does right now. (New Series) UNIT dipping its toes into the Lady Christina box set is one thing, but (New Series) UNIT dipping its toes into the main range would be something else entirely. Right now, it feels plausible. Case in point, we’ve Churchill making an appearance soon: a New Series character, yes, but one who has also had two box sets of his own, and I’m sure the play will be sure to remind us of this.

What to make of this approach? It’s probably a smart move on Big Finish’s part, reminding us of just how much there is out there, but as with Ace and her timeline jumping, it’s arguably also symbolic of how intimidating Big Finish can appear from the outside looking in. Maybe having Eleven personalities at once to digest it all would help? Time will tell, it always does… ah, maybe there’s something in era-specific clichés after all.


+ Dark Universe is OUT NOW, priced £14.99 (CD) / £12.99 (Download).

+ ORDER this title on Amazon!


6 February 2020

Further to Tuesday's news about the Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 12 blu-ray box-set re-appearing for preorder on Amazon, DWO have a couple more 2020 related DVD / Blu-ray updates.

In regards to The Collection - Season 12, the ability to preorder was removed again on Wednesday, after just a few hours, but as of this morning, it's now back up again on Amazon for £39.18. You can also order at HMV, Zavvi and Zoom.

We reached out to BBC Studios for confirmation on the replacement discs, who stated the corrected discs (discs 3 & 5) will be included.

A release date has now also been confirmed for The Faceless Ones, which will be released on 9th March 2020. You can preorder this title for £14.99 (DVD) / £18.99 (Blu-ray) on Amazon.

The 2020 DVD & Blu-ray release schedule now looks like this:

27th January - Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 26
10th February - Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series (Steelbook)
2nd March - Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 12 (re-release)
9th March - Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones
16th March - Doctor Who: The Complete Twelfth Series
20th April - Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 14
Date TBA - Doctor Who: Fury From The Deep 

Further titles are expected in 2020 and DWO will keep you posted as soon as we get more information.

+  The Collection - Season 12 is re-released on 2nd March, priced £56.16.
+  PREORDER this title from Amazon.co.uk.
+  See all the 2020 released in the DWO Release Guide.
+  Discuss all the Doctor Who DVD releases in the DWO Forums.

[Sources: BBC StudiosAmazon.co.uk]

5 February 2020

After working on Doctor Who for a grand total of 15 years, it is our sad duty to report that last week's episode (12.6: Praxeus) was the final contribution from prosthetics and creature design team, Millennium FX.

Going right back to Christopher Eccleston's first episode in 2005 (1.1: Rose) Millennium FX were in charge of producing the Auton masks and arms we saw on-screen. They went on to produce countless creations for the show, including: The Ood, Davros, Clockwork Droids, Weeping Angels and Judoon (to name just a few), finally ending with the praxeus virus skin-effect from last weeks episode of the same name.

At the time of writing, it is unsure as to why the team are leaving but MFX Director, Neill Gorton confirmed the news on his Instagram page:

"So sixteen years ago the first episode of Doctor Who I worked on was the Autons - an alien intelligence that inhabits plastic and brings it to life to kill people. This is my last episode and its one about a space virus that infects people through plastic and kills them. Anyway, moving on."

We at DWO are genuinely sad to hear the news; we were actually invited to visit the MFX studios by Neill and his team way back in 2007, and were blown away by the sheer amount of hard work and detail that went into each of their creations. You can read our article from the visit, here.

We would like to wish Neill and the team at Millennium FX all the best for the future, and thank them for all their hard work on Doctor Who

+ Purchase a range of MFX Doctor Who masks at MFX Warehouse.
+ Follow @Millennium_FX on Twitter

[Sources: DWO, Instagram]

4 February 2020

Amazon are now taking orders for the re-release of the popular Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 12 blu-ray box-set.

Whilst we wait for an official word from the BBC, we understand the release will be exactly the same as the 2018 release, except with the corrected, replacement discs.

The title is due to be released on 2nd March 2020, and is currently available to preorder for £39.17 from Amazon.co.uk

Season 12, Tom Baker's first as the Doctor, features five stories over 20 episodes, including The Ark in Space and Genesis of the Daleks. The Doctor is accompanied in this season by Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) and was first broadcast between December 1974 and May 1975.

The new Blu-Ray release includes existing bonus material from the original DVDs as well as the brand new features below:

TOM BAKER IN CONVERSATION
A candid new one-hour interview with the Fourth Doctor.

BEHIND THE SOFA
Classic clips from Season 12, viewed by Tom Baker, Philip Hinchcliffe, Louise Jameson, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and Sadie Miller.

NEW MAKING-OF DOCUMENTARIES
For The Sontaran Experiment and Revenge Of The Cybermen.

IMMERSIVE 5.1 SURROUND SOUND MIXES
For The Ark In Space and Genesis Of The Daleks.

OPTIONAL BRAND NEW UPDATED SPECIAL EFFECTS
For Revenge Of The Cybermen.

GENESIS OF THE DALEKS - OMNIBUS MOVIE VERSION
Unseen since broadcast in 1975.

THE TOM BAKER YEARS
The 1991 VHS release, on disc for the first time.

PRODUCTION ARCHIVE MATERIAL
PDF files from the BBC Archives.

+  The Collection - Season 12 is re-released on 2nd March, priced £56.16.
+  PREORDER this title from Amazon.co.uk.
+  Discuss all the Doctor Who DVD releases in the DWO Forums.

[Source: Amazon.co.uk]

4 February 2020

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

1.5: Small Worlds

Grab the tissues everyone, this is an emotional ride. 

 

We are greeted by the adorable character of Estelle Cole, played by Eve Pearce, as she explores the hidden and enchanted world of fairies. It's a classic opening to a Brother’s Grimm.

 

Estelle starts taking pictures on her film camera of these seemingly harmless looking creatures until she starts walking away, satisfied with her discover; however the creatures turn into evil demons ready for the kill… Cue title sequence. (I can safely say this is the first Torchwood episode that has gripped me straight from the off.) 

 

The camera pans through Torchwood until we see a sleeping and very shirtless Captain Jack, which is a shot definitely for the men, ladies and anyone in-between. We’re thrown back in time to what appears to be a nightmare with Jack seeing his army platoon on a train, dead,with flower petals in their mouths. A disturbed Captain Jack quickly leaps out of bed from the nightmare, prepared not to sleep for the rest of the night. However he finds a petal on his desk. Was this a dream?

Small Worlds offers an array of themes here, but the most interesting has to be the exploration of Captain Jack’s past. This is the first time we’ve had real hints and stories about Jack’s history, and the troubles that he’s been so good at covering up so far.

Murray Gold’s music creates a dream like world as if we’re living in a childhood fairytale, thus creating the perfect introduction to Jasmine Pierce, a primary school girl waiting for her parents who are late picking her up. In a sharp turn of events and a harsh cue from Gold’s music, a disturbing man watches her from afar. Jasmine continues to walk from school on her own, as the predatory man creeps behind her in his car, but is she alone? The camera cuts to a green eyed perspective as the man tries to grab Jasmine, until a strong wind whirls around the paedophile who gets his comeuppance as his face smashes against his car. He runs away in terror as Jasmine watches in glee and skips away. Not a way I would react if someone tried to grab me or having an unknown entity save the day. It creates a divide of are these creatures the good or the bad guys?

Torchwood really brings that grey area into the world that is so typically written as black and white. However there is justice when the paedophile man starts coughing up petals and water, as he runs through Cardiff Market wanting to be arrested by a police officer nearby. It’s a true body horror moment that makes for an uncomfortable watch. Are these creatures forcing him to repent or filling him with pure terror as they have taken guardianship of Jasmine. As Gwen quotes ‘One persons’ good, could be somebody else’s evil’.

Meanwhile, Jack and Gwen attend a talk about the legend of Fairies – hosted by none other than Estelle. Gwen, seemingly very unconvinced by the whole situation, dismisses the theme of fairies existing and questions whether Estelle’s either making it up or has a really distorted view on the world. That is until Gwen starts to notice Jack and Estelle getting very close, hinting at a past intimacy. As they turn up to Estelle’s house, Gwen notices a man who looks very similar to Captain Jack, however Jack is adamant it’s his father. It’s a great twist on the norm here, for the audience who know the picture is our Jack – it’s good to see it play the other way around, with Gwen using her detective powers to work out it’s not Jack. It’s a very similar style to ‘Columbo’ where we know who the murderer is before the story is introduced.

The main part I love about this story, is the relationship between Jack and Estelle. It feels that there is such a strong bond between them, as if they’d been married for years. It’s a nice moment to see Captain Jack as we’ve never really seen him before. It’s a softer approach to his character, exploring his long term relationships during the war. It’s a love that seems could last forever.

Elsewhere Jasmine appears to be forming a stronger bond with the fairies everyday, as her parents become increasingly more and more worried about her relationship with her friends and staying out in the garden. As we see into Jasmine’s home life, it becomes more apparent that her stepdad Roy is seemingly despondent and uninterested in poor Jasmine. Dismissing her left, right and centre, which contributes to family conflict and Jasmine’s increasing feeling of loneliness, this is the fairies time to strike everyone down.

The first attack starts off with the typical Torchwood style alien murder mystery, as the paedophile finally gets his comeuppance as he’s attacked in his empty prison cell by the Fairies, in much the same way as previously seen – he chokes to death on flower petals. However, the fairies don’t stop there.

We come to the changing of the equilibrium in one of the most emotional sides of Torchwood so far. The death of Estelle. The fairies in their chance to get their chosen one, Jasmine, will try anything to make sure the Torchwood team and especially Captain Jack, from stopping their plans. Estelle is so brutally taken away from us and it easily becomes one of the most heartbreaking deaths. I will not be afraid to admit I cried my heart out. It shows how incredible Peter J. Hammond’s writing is, to create such a bond with a character in the first 20 minutes of the show. John Barrowman equally makes it such a heart breaking moment as he holds her in his arms one last time, before kissing her on the forehead as he leaves. It creates a truly upsetting moment as Captain Jack will never be able to reveal his secret of who he actually was. (Damn you Murray Gold and your stunning music to this scene) - a scene that will be the pinnacle moment which reveals how Torchwood was such a fantastic show and pushed those boundaries like never before.

Captain Jack now has to make an impossible choice, a theme that is regularly brought up in Doctor Who. Torchwood has the same flexibility in its story telling, being able to confront the horrific demons of the past, as Jack knows the fairies need a chosen one or they’ll destroy the world. How do you make that decision when the chosen one is a child?

The final showdown between the fairies and the Torchwood team ends up in Jasmine’s garden, as her stepdad is brutally killed by the fairies shoving petals down his throat. Jasmine’s mum in complete distress, looks upon Captain Jack for the reassurance that the Doctor would show. However, unlike the Doctor, where some impossible choices are taken from him, Captain Jack faces them.

We approach the forest where it all started and a struggling Jasmine wants to join the fairies in eternal life, but in a shocking turn of events Jack lets her go. The second crying moment ensues. Jasmine’s mum watches in horror as her little girl runs away and disappears as if she never existed. This is a heartbreaking moment, in which Jasmine’s mum blames Jack for the loss of her family and is also the moment Captain Jack realises he had no choice, no matter how broken he would feel afterwards. It’s a true testament again to the relationship between Captain Jack and his team, that would so easily have created a TARDIS team to separate. (Damn you Murray Gold again and your stunning music). 

 

Small Worlds is real horror story and a great theme for a true Grimm’s Fairy Tale. The only criticism I have is the CGI of the fairies do somewhat let some of the scenes down. For me, I would have love to have seen the fairies still looking small and innocent but with razor sharp teeth, rather than a full sized, green alien style. It just creates a juxtaposition that no matter how innocent something appears, there’s something always deceptive underneath its appearance.

Captain Jack’s love for Estelle and the guilt he felt for letting Jasmine go, is one of the most powerful performances we’ve had in the series so far. (Ok Gareth David-Lloyd did give a hell of a performance is ‘Cyberwoman’). This episode has been a true testament of stunning performances from the supporting cast, as well as the main team. 


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 

 

 

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

[Source:
DWO]

28 January 2020

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

Nicholas was known for the playing the role of Reverend Wainwright in the 7th Doctor adventure, The Curse Of Fenric.

His career began at the end of the Second World War, making his stage debut as Kiwi in The Hasty Heart. Nicholas then went on to have further credits in Film and TV; The Eric Barker Half-Hour, Look At It This Way, Here And Now, The Adventures Of Robin Hood, Four Feather Falls, The Ugliest Girl In Town, Benny Hill, Cluedo, The Wotwots and Good Omens are just a few from his many performances.

Nicholas was also the host of popular BBC Radio 4 panel game, Just A Minute - a show which had its first broadcast in 1967! There were some episodes where he relinquished his chair to be a panellist, but was famed for never missing an episode until 2018, where Giles Brandreth stood in for him due to illness.

On a personal note, I met Nicholas in 1998 during the Southampton leg of The Rocky Horror Stage Show. I was studying drama at college at the time, and all of our class were dressing up as characters from the show. As I knew Nicholas was in Doctor Who, I decided to dress up as him with flour in my hair and eyebrows and a cravat (much to the confusion of some of my peers) - in hindsight, this was also my first-ever cosplay!

I met him after the show (pictured-right) and he was incredibly generous with him time. A gently spoken man who looked back on his Doctor Who role with pride. He even found time to give me a few career tips and advice. Lovely man!

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

[Source: DWO]

28 January 2020

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

1.4: Cyberwoman

Our next episode once again, is written by current Doctor Who show runner Chris Chibnall. We start with the Torchwood team playing a friendly game of basketball while a pterodactyl flies around because reasons? Its quite nice to see Gwen finally being accepted as one of the team, however there’s a figure who appears to be left standing in the shadows, Ianto.

 

Ianto has been a character whom we just assume is taking up the role of the butler. He just stays in the background, cleaning up the mess of the Torchwood team. However, this episode starts turning into a case of a whodunnit as Ianto runs off to meet a mysterious Doctor, while the team goes out for drinks.

 

We’re introduced to the secretive world of Ianto Jones, as it is discovered he has been keeping Lisa Hallett, a former employee of Torchwood One down in the basements of Torchwood Three. Although in a shocking revelation tying into the aftermath of the battle of Canary Wharf, Lisa is part Cyberman or should I say Cyberwoman! The story of Ianto doing everything he can to save the woman he loves, is a dynamic way to quickly explore his character. It’s a tragic tale of two people in love, which drives this episode forward in its themes.

 

However, what should be a very emotional scene between the reveal of Ianto and Lisa is let down slightly, in the design of the Cyberwoman. Unfortunately the design of the cyberbra and cyberknickers isn’t exactly what I had in mind when cybermen converted people. Does this mean other people get cyberboxers or cyberbriefs? It detracts from the overall seriousness of the situation, whereas I would have had more of a Frankenstein’s monster look proving no matter what you look like, there’s always someone who will love you, no matter what.

 

Ianto with the help of Dr Tanizaki, try to save Lisa by reverting part of the cyber process to help her live as a human again. In true Torchwood style, this all goes horribly wrong. Lisa’s cyber programming kicks into gear as she tries to process an unfortunate Dr Tanizaki, killing him. What creates a shocking twist is she is doing this out of love? The idea of human emotions and partial cyber conversion is a great concept, briefly explored originally in Doctor Who with Yvonne Hartman crying as a Cyberman. The Torchwood team quickly discover what Ianto has been doing all this time and try and stop his plans. Again this questions the loyalty of the team, as Ianto admits he couldn’t trust Torchwood to protect Lisa from being destroyed.

 

I know I mentioned the theme of Frankenstein’s monster earlier, but this literally happens within the ending of the episode. It created a major shock factor with Lisa trying to prove her love and not processing human emotions properly. She kills a poor pizza delivery woman and swaps her brain out to replace it with Lisa’s.

 

The finale of the story ends up with Ianto making a choice either letting Lisa live or shooting her for the murderous rampage she undertook. I feel this part should have been left to Ianto for his redemption. However this was brutally taken away by Captain Jack shooting first. It almost detracts from Ianto’s choice, as I think it would have made a greater impact if he shot her because he loved her so much but couldn’t let her carry on murdering people.

 

Overall I did prefer this episode to ‘Day One’; the conflict between the Torchwood team and Captain Jack has become a recurring theme, as well as the secrets of Jack’s past with him not being able to die, makes the team lose their trust even more. Maybe Torchwood should get a better vetting system for their staff?


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 


 

 

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

[Source:
DWO]

21 January 2020

Toy Fair 2020 (London) is upon us; the annual event that showcases some of the merchandise coming out throughout the year. In recent years there has been a steady decline in the volume of Doctor Who related releases, and, unfortunately, this trend continues for 2020.

DWO trawled the many stands finding very little in the way of Time Lord offerings, save a few posters, puzzles and some FUNKO Pop's, we literally couldn't find anything worthy of note.

Thankfully, Character Options - makers of the official Doctor Who action figures, were able to give us a sneak peek at their 2020 range.

Whilst admittedly the range is small, we will be getting the following 5.5" action figures, currently slated for release this February:

- The 13th Doctor (with Bag & Sonic Screwdriver Accessories!)
- Graham O'Brien
- Judoon Captain
- Reconnaissance Dalek (with Dalek Mutant Accessory!)

We also saw Ryan and Yaz action figures, which we expect to be released in due course.

In addition to the above figures there will also be The Thirteenth Doctor Electronic TARDIS, featuring a loyal replica of the on-screen TARDIS with lights, sounds and opening doors. Also on show was the 13th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver replica, although it was unclear whether this was the same one released last year or an updated model.

Having attended Toy Fair for the past 10 years, it was quite disheartening to see the limited number of Doctor Who related licenses. One can only hope this will change during 2020...

[Source: DWO]

21 January 2020

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

1.3: Ghost Machine

We encounter the Torchwood team in an epic chase through Cardiff, but chasing who?

 

Gwen nearly catching the suspect through Cardiff market (where they make very nice Welsh Cakes by the way) unfortunately only grabs his coat as he runs off. Gwen thinking she failed, repeatedly apologises, while a happy Tosh shouts in her ear she’s got it. But what has Gwen discovered?

 

The opening sequence creates a fantastic juxtaposition. After an adrenaline filled chase, Gwen finds a unique piece of alien tech - changing the pace of the story entirely. Pressing its button, Gwen is unknowingly transported to, we assume, WW II. We see a young boy leaving the train station wearing a name tag, looking lost and calling for help. However in the same instance, Gwen is thrown back into the present… Looking around shocked, she utters “I’ve seen a ghost.”

 

This is the first episode which has grabbed my attention straight from the off. This episode starts to focus around Owen, which again seems to show the themes of the series that everyone has a story dedicated to them. Gwen and Owen seek out who the boy from Gwen's apparition is. They later discover via a phonebook, (which a sarcastic Owen holds in his hands), it's a Mr Tom Erasmus Flanagan. They visit the now elderly Tom and realise the alien technology was showing them a real person's past, not a fictional vision.

 

The stand out line for this episode has to be when they are trying to track down the original suspect Bernie Harris, who stole the alien tech: 'Splot' 'Splot?' 'I believe estate agents call it Splough…’. 

 

Its the brilliant comedic element that Torchwood is perfect for. The down to Earth part when they use their detective skills to find him, establishes the normal everyday aspect of working in Torchwood. This is a complete contrast to their other counterpart flying around the universe in a TARDIS.

 

As the Torchwood team have no luck ‘catching them killers then’ (Hot Fuzz reference for anyone there), Owen quickly stops in his tracks as they walk under a bridge and the Quantum Transducer activates. The whole world seems quieter and colder. Unknown to Owen, he has been transported back to the 1960's, where he unwillingly watches the rape and murder of Lizzie Lewis, coldly carried out by Ed Morgan. Owen can't move or bring himself to take action. It really does become an uncomfortable moment to watch, leaving Owen in tears as the Quantum Transducer brings him back to the present. This harrowing scene becomes the key driving force for Owen to get justice for Lizzie.

 

Posing as a Police Officer, Owen tracks down Ed Morgan to his house, which leads to an intense battle of wits. Owen describing the incident to Ed in such detail, makes us as the audience feel as insecure as Ed. The heart beat sound and the close up shots, creates the sense of panic, claustrophobia and guilt, as he’s finally been found out. It’s a fantastic scene between the characters, to which both Burn Gorman and Gareth Thomas (yes Blake’s 7), make the scene teeth clenching.

 

The Torchwood team finally track down Bernie Harris, but in a intriguing plot twist, it is revealed that there are in fact TWO parts to the Quantum Transduce; one to show you the past, the other to show you the future. Bernie, afraid of the alien tech, sees his death. Having earlier blackmailed Ed Morgan he becomes afraid of what's to come. Gwen on the other hand touches the future side of the QT, and sees herself with blood on her hands - but who's? All this builds up to be a true murder mystery tale with a side of time travel, which is what Torchwood is perfect at playing.

 

We have reached the final confrontation. Ed Morgan is about to be held to account by Owen Harper. Morgan has the knife, as previously seen in Gwen's future vision - he is ready to kill anyone before his terrible murderous secret out. It's another fantastic show of Gareth Thomas's acting as he builds up the intensity as the situation escalates. The agoraphobia is making him panic and not think rationally or logically. This is on the edge of the seat viewing. Captain Jack quickly pounces on him, while Owen takes the knife. Owen almost takes on the role of vigilante in this episode, taking justice into his own hands and fighting for the late Lizzie Lewis. Owen holds the knife to Ed's face - can he do it? He quickly realises that actually, he is the better man, and doesn't act. Sound familiar? Unfortunately this is where the ending slightly lets it down. Ed runs towards Gwen to hug her for helping him, to ultimately stab himself. Why was Gwen holding the knife pointed outwards so that someone could get stabbed? I feel the resolution is a slight let down, as it would have been nice to see Ed finally show redemption for his actions. However the final scene of Captain Jack easing the pain of Gwen accidentally killing Ed is really sympathetic and full of wonder, straight out of Tomb of the Cybermen style with the Doctor and Victoria.

 

Helen Raynor has created a diverse, atmospheric and witty script. Overall I think this has been the strongest episode so far next to ‘Everything Changes'.


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 

 

 

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

[Source:
DWO]

E-Mail NewsE-Mail Reviews
RSS Feed
News Key
News Home
General
The New Series
The Classic Series
Spinoffs
Merchandise
Site
Blog Entries
Reviews Key
Reviews Home
Books / Magazines
DVD / Blu-ray
Audio
Toys / Other
TV Episodes
Search
Advertisements