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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.

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4 January 2019

2018 was an incredibly exciting year for Doctor Who; we got our first female 'Doctor' - something that would change the history of the show, and take it into a new, exciting direction. Having now seen the entirety of Series 11 and the New Year's Day Special ('Resolution'), we are thrilled with Jodie and her awesome TARDIS team. It's just such a shame we now have to wait a whole other year until the next series. :( - I guess, though, when you really think about it, it's actually not that much of an extended wait than we're used to. The Christmas special was the only thing that really broke up the wait between series, and what makes it feel longer is the fact that 2020 - a year which, to many of us, still feels like a futuristic SciFi movie setting - is one whole year away from us, at the time of writing.

Of course, 2018 also brought with it some other key Doctor Who moments; Doctor Who On Twitch was a particular revelation, and with it saw some fantastic memes and personalities that emerged as a result. In case you missed it, we got confirmation yesterday that another Twitch run will begin as of tomorrow!

There was also the release of some terrific Doctor Who merchandise; a new sonic, new toys, clothing - and the long-awaited release of Classic Who box-sets on Blu-ray.

As for the DWO site, we are now in our 22nd year (crazy, I know?!), and we have lots of exciting things planned in this (slightly quieter) year. We are planning a full site revamp, and the return of a few features that many of you will consider to be some old favourites. Our Forums continue to grow, with over 49,000+ members - again, we will be unveiling some design tweaks on there, as well as some new guests for our popular 'Ask & Answer' section.

On social media, DWO continues to amass a large Twitter following (@DrWhoOnline); we now have over 130,000+ followers, and we plan on some exciting new content and interactivity on the platform during 2019.

In a recent tweet, we asked you to tell us some of your favourite moments / memories & merchandise during 2018, and, as promised, here are some of your replies:

As always, thank you all for your continued support of Doctor Who Online! It's hard work - especially as I also juggle it with taking care of my young family, but reading your emails and tweets is a genuine highlight of my day.

I posted a blog entry last year about some health issues, which impacted some of the regular updates on the site, and whilst I'm still getting through these, I can confirm that things are much better, and shouldn't affect the regularity of updates going forward.

I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and am very much looking forward to what 2019 has in store! 

Sebastian J. Brook - Site Editor
Doctor Who Online
January 2019

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21 August 2018

My Name is Barry Aldridge - I'm a Doctor Who fan, born and raised in Forest Hill, London. I also have autism. I am 35 years old and working part-time as a retail assistant (at the time of writing this). I moved out of London when I was 23, and lived in Brighton for 3 months, before moving to West Sussex, to a small town called Goring By Sea, where I live to this day.

I have been a Doctor Who fan since 1988. I can remember watching my first ever story when I was just 5 years old; Remembrance Of The Daleks. I recall the first episode cliffhanger, and my love for the Daleks began. The reason we watched was because my Mum didn’t want to watch Coronation Street (which was on at the same time), and, looking back, I'm so glad she made that decision! To me, the Daleks will always hold a special place, no matter what. It is their design by the late Raymond Cusick that was so iconic and memorable. I can see why people call them pepper pots, even though I never did call them pepper pots, myself.

I remember watching the rest of the season which included The Happiness Patrol which featured the Candyman, who freaked the hell out of me! I was glad he got dealt with by the end. Silver Nemesis was actually filmed near me in a town called Arundel. As for The Greatest Show In The Galaxy, I found that a bit weird as a five year old, but as an adult, I find it rather enjoyable now.

The next season of the show featured Battlefield, the confusing Ghost Light and two true favourites; The Curse Of Fenric and Survival. By the end of 1989 I thought it was coming back and then there was nothing... My Mum had bought VHS Tapes of the show from both the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker years, and I loved all the stories. Nowadays, I have every single story - organised from outstanding to poor stories (in my view) - but hey, that's just my opinion!

I really loved the theme music, which I found mysterious, scary and generally wonderful to listen to - especially with McCoy’s era, which made feel like I was going into outer space for a big adventure.

Around 1990 there was a weekend where they showed, for the first time in a long time, the black and white episodes - and I loved them! I will admit that I found the first Dalek story a bit long - particularly the bits without the Daleks, which were a bit boring, but watching it years later, I love it. It was during that weekend that I truly fell in love with my favourite Doctor of all time; Patrick Troughton.

In 1993 I watched all the colour stories on UK Gold, which was a real gem. I would start watching at 7am, as some of the earlier Pertwee stories were longer as they were 7-parters.

In 1998, I have to admit that I fell out of love with Doctor Who for a bit, as GCSEs and other things in my life took over, but in 2005 I once again had to thank my Mum as she had watched the new series and told me to "give it a chance". I did, and at that moment, I was back in love with the show. I particularly loved Episode 6, Dalek, by Robert Shearman who actually shares the same birthday as me and Peter Purves. That’s something that being autistic can do; allowing me to build knowledge and remember even the smallest of facts that maybe others would forget.

I first got my diagnosis for autism when I was 3 years old, which, back then was more like an underground movement (like going to a rave club). All good in the hood in my book. I finally found out that I had it, probably around the age of 7 onwards, when I moved from a special school to a mainstream primary school.

Autism has really good and bad points to it. Normally people start with the good then go for the bad, but I'm going to start from the other way around.

When you talk about the show and there are sometimes disagreements, other people wouldn’t give me the time to explain my side and think I am very slow on getting through. It can normally be tricky, but luckily there are fans who are understanding. I can feel quite nervous at conventions, which can be really tricky as noise and lighting can be distracting and trigger a meltdown, which some people find really hard to understand. People wonder why I am having a meltdown and think I am mentally ill and should be locked up. I can also find the number of people at the conventions tough to deal with. I know some people who have had breakdowns owing to the crowds. It happened to me once, but I made sure I quickly got somewhere quiet to relax myself.

I would get anxious about time slots on whether it is a photo shoot or meeting one of the stars of the show. It was / is really important to me to make sure I get everything right. I know some people will see it as a selfish attitude but I call it being prepared and making sure I am on time. Autistic people I know, like to keep up with time and if they are late it can cause a meltdown.

One other downside is that I may not be able to understand certain forms of humour - if explained, then I would be alright, but a few fans can have trouble understanding that.

Now onto the good side of being autistic! You can build a real encyclopaedic knowledge of the show - for example, I know which stories were directed by Barry Letts, or how many episodes Tom Baker did (not stories but individual episodes to every single story he did). I can recall, at a moments notice, who did the music on each show and can even pick out which instruments were used at different times. I can even spot a reference to a certain time in another episode. There are a lot of autistic Doctor Who fans too who are the same and you can have a really good chat - especially talking about good and bad episodes of the show.

Every time I have met someone who has worked on the show, they have always been incredibly welcoming. Conventions or museums like the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff and other places in Brighton and London were brilliant and very calming atmospheres - especially the Cardiff place which is no longer there, sadly. I think that conventions have improved over the years where there is more understanding for everyone, whatever condition you may have, and I think that is a wonderful thing. There is always going to be a negative that could overshadow the event but I never think of it for long and move on and focus on the positives.

Organising merchandise from the show is really important to me; like putting magazines, books, CDs and DVDs in order - that helps me to be calm! When I was younger, I would make sure to put the stories whether DVD or Blu-Ray, in order, so then I know which one to get down to watch. If it was messed around I would have a bit of meltdown.

Being a fan of the Daleks, I would love to collect anything Dalek related - it was like a mission, and autistic people love missions - or at least the ones I know, do - lol.

Every autistic person is different; not every autistic Doctor Who fan has the same favourites - we are different like everyone else, but the one thing we all have in common - autism or no autism - is our love and passion for the show. Whether we agree or disagree on certain doctors, stories, writers and so on, the one thing we can all agree upon is that we love Doctor Who.


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14 August 2018

The Legacy Of Karn

This month Panini have published a superb Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition that deals with the many-faceted phenomena of Doctor Who fandom - covering fanzines, conventions, websites, and numerous other shining little corners of this uniquely strange and delightful world that we inhabit. Oddly, however, they seem to have neglected to mention the fan group that I’ve been involved with for the past decade or so - outrageous! So, I’ll just have to tell you all about it here… Think of this column as an addendum - for you to print out and slip into the magazine proper, to paper over this glaring omission… 


The Sisterhood of Karn is a London-based society for LGBT Doctor Who fans. I’ve been helping to run the group for a few years now, but it will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year. Founder member Ian D P recalls the origins of the Sisterhood:


“The Sisterhood of Karn was formed in February 1994, a particularly dark time for Doctor Who. The TV movie hadn't yet been announced and over four years had passed since the final episode of the original twenty-six year run of the series. 


The group was originally called 'Strictly no Anoraks’, but as this might have put off a significant proportion of the potential membership, the name 'Sisterhood of Karn' was chosen at the first meeting. In the 1976 episode ‘The Brain of Morbius', the mysterious coven known as the Sisterhood of Karn were entrusted to keep alive the flame of eternal youth. The new group also kept alive the flame of Doctor Who and, in a sense anyone who continues to follow Doctor Who into their adult life is keeping alive their own youthful sense of wonder and imagination.


The Sisterhood met in the upstairs bar at The Kings Arms, at the time home to many special interest groups including the self explanatory 'Beards meet Beards' and 'Blue Haze'  - a group for cigar and pipe smokers. I once made the mistake of entering the upstairs room whilst 'Blue Haze' were in full session and the smoke was so thick that you couldn't see the far corners of the room. If this group still exists today they must have difficulty in finding a suitable venue. (In contrast, Beards meet Beards would be inundated with members.)


The group moved from the Kings Arms in Poland Street to Central Station in Kings Cross when the Kings Arms decided to install a pool table in their upstairs room (one of us had to go) but returned to the Kings Arms just as soon as the pool table was removed. The group survived both the return of Doctor Who to the television screens and the formation of a short lived breakaway group. A great many firm friendships (and one or two lasting enmities) have been formed over the last twenty five years and The Sisterhood of Karn is still going strong and meeting once a month in that upstairs bar in Poland Street.”


I can’t remember how I initially became aware of the Sisterhood - presumably I had carried out an internet search for ‘Gay Doctor Who’… but from the moment I first ascended the narrow stairs up to the first floor room of the Kings Arms in Soho - London’s foremost ‘bear bar’ - I was immediately made to feel welcome.

Aside from a couple of Panopticon conventions as a young teen, this was my first proper interaction with other fans - and also one of my first social events with other gay men since moving to the capital. (While all are welcome, and we’re always striving to improve diversity, the vast majority of our membership is made up of cis gay men…) This double-barrelled kinship made for an exceptionally warm and light-hearted atmosphere, and before I knew it I had become a regular, quickly making firm friends - not to mention a few more ‘involved’ dalliances - and found myself volunteering to run the admin side of things - which is basically just listing the monthly meetings on Facebook, attending to the social media, and organising the occasional special event. People jest about me being the group’s ‘Maren’, but the truth of the matter is that a collective like ours has no need for something as appallingly hierarchical as a ‘leader’!


One of my first memories of Karn is being incredibly hungover during an outing to Chislehurst Caves - one of the locations used for the planet Solos in Jon Pertwee story ‘The Mutants’ - that I’d organised because an actor that I was appearing with in a play at the time had a day job giving guided tours there. And I mean *really* hungover - irresponsibly so, and on the verge of blacking out. Not an ideal condition for traipsing through miles of dark, oppressive, labyrinthine underground caverns infested with evil looking massive spiders… Fascinating as the history of the complex was, the urge to flee was overwhelming. And to cap it all - when we finally emerged into the sunlight at the adventure’s end, our guide realised that he’d completely forgotten to show us the portion of the caves where Doctor Who was filmed - so the delegation from Karn never actually made it to Solos after all…!


As well as the more unusual events - including intimate Q&A sessions with both Louise Jameson and Matthew Waterhouse - some of the most memorable moments of Karn, for me, have been at the regular monthly meet-ups. Whether we’ve been happily plastering the free gay bar-magazines with stickers of Toclafane, making Dalek figures pop-up on the security cameras, or just nattering over too much wine, that warm and joyful room above The King’s Arms in Soho has always been such a happy and hearty place. I recall a particularly lively evening that saw one one of our more gym-oriented members bench-pushing a popular Big Finish author… Never, in all my time involved with the group, have I seen a hint of the egos or rivalries that one hears stories of other fan gatherings being plagued by. Maybe we’ve just been lucky - maybe we’ve just been too silly! But I like to think that there’s something rather special about our little gathering of like-minded folk, who find kinship with each other, month after month, in a bustling bar, slap bang in the absolute centre of London’s tireless and trendy LGBT heartland - mainly to talk about Dodo. 


At the time of writing we’re gearing up for our latest special event - ‘An Evening with Lisa Bowerman’ - a special appearance from the actress who plays Bernice Summerfield for Big Finish, and who also appeared as Karra the Cheetah Person in the final Sylvester McCoy story, ‘Survival’. So if you’d like join us on the evening of August 17th, tickets are still available (see link below), or feel free to turn up at one of our regular monthly meetings - on the third Thursday of each month - for a drink and a chat. We’re very informal and newcomers are always welcome. Sacred fire, sacred flame. 


Tickets for ‘An Evening with Lisa Bowerman’ can be purchased here: www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-lisa-bowerman-tickets-47678420439


Follow the Sisterhood of Karn on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SisterhoodofKarn/


And on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sisterhood_karn


Richard Unwin

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15 July 2018

The Box-Set Of Delights

With the new series still several months away, there seems to be more and more focus on classic Doctor Who as we eagerly await the new Doctor making her grand entrance in October. The Twitch marathon continues apace, 20th century companions Wendy Padbury, Carol Ann Ford, and Sophie Aldred grace the front cover of this month’s Doctor Who Magazine, and we’ve recently seen the (slightly delayed) release of the shiny new Season 12 Blu-ray box-set. (Or the ‘Tom Baker Season 1 box-set’ if you’re in America…) 


I confess to being slightly nonplussed when the announcement was first made that seasons of the classic show were going to be re-released as box-set collections. I mean, lovely as they are - how many times can we possibly be expected re-buy these old episodes…? But then the sheer amount of love and care that was being put into making this an ‘ultimate’ edition quickly became apparent - this was no rush-job cash-in. Seduced by the strikingly beautiful box artwork by Lee Binding, as well as a glorious gallimaufry of brand new extra features - it took me, ooh, minutes, before I caved in and pre-ordered. And now that I’m sitting here with this sexy and sturdy box of complete joy in my hands, it’s got me thinking about all the different ways in which we’ve welcomed these old friends into our homes over the years… Allow me to take you by the plunger and lead you on a personal voyage through thirty years of house-calls from the Doctor… 


Live Transmissions


I became a fan at the age of eight, in 1988, halfway through Remembrance Of The Daleks - so, although I didn’t know it at the time, opportunities to watch new episodes as they went out live were shortly to be subjected to something of a hiatus… We did have a video recorder by this point, but no one knew how to work the timer - someone had to be there to press ‘record’ as each episode went out, or it was lost to the time vortex forever. At that time Doctor Who was transmitted on a Wednesday evening, which clashed with the local cub scout pack meetings that I attended, so the sacred duty of capturing each week’s instalment was entrusted to my parents. Something went wrong with the taping of Part Three of The Happiness Patrol, however - they somehow managed to record the wrong channel, and I was inconsolable to find that all I had was a tape of northern people going about their everyday lives. I had to wait NINE years to see it - when the commercial VHS release finally came out in 1997. Naturally, this incident prompted me to quit the cub scouts for good. To this day I can’t make a fire or tie a knot, but I did manage to see all of Silver Nemesis, which, I’m sure you’ll agree, makes me the winner in this story. 


VHS Tapes


I’d already begun to collect the VHS releases by the time the TV show came to an abrupt end in 1989. Those early tapes, such as Pyramids Of Mars, Day Of The Daleks, and The Talons Of Weng-Chiang, were so indelibly impressed upon my young mind that I can still recite them word for word. And watching the fuzzy, unrestored, VHS quality was like looking through a time-window to a thousand years ago - I felt like a noble historian, carefully collecting and preserving these impossibly old artefacts - most of which were in reality not much older than myself. Our family home was burgled once, when I was about eleven, and I was utterly distraught to see that my collection had gone. Never mind the priceless heirlooms and family silver - I insisted upon giving the police a detailed description of each and every Doctor Who video that I owned. (It later turned out that I’d actually just not left them where I thought I had, and they hadn’t been stolen at all. Some burglars have no taste.) 


UK Gold


As with many technological innovations - satellite television was something that I only became interested in when it offered an opportunity to see more Doctor Who. My parents surprised me with a satellite dish one Christmas, when I was thirteen. This was too good to be true - they were showing my favourite show on UK Gold EVERY DAY! And the truly dedicated fan could get up at some ungodly hour on a Sunday morning and catch an omnibus of a complete story - every week! The first story I caught on this space-age medium was The Ark - I loved it so much. The following September, however, I was packed off to boarding school - where there were definitely no satellite dishes, and putting up a poster of a Sea Devil in one’s dorm room was, in retrospect, not the best way to make friends and influence people. So they were short lived, those heady satellite days, but they were UK Golden. 




I was in my first year of drama school by the time Doctor Who started to be released on DVD. Again - it was this development that prompted me to invest in the technology required to play the shiny futuristic discs. My first acquisition was The Robots Of Death. The picture was so sharp and clear! And there were extra features and menu screens - we truly were living in the promised times! (Admittedly, the main extra feature on that first disc was a copy of the studio floor plans - but I remember thinking at the time that they were a valuable and fascinating resource. I have never looked at them since.) The DVD range went on to spoil us with vast arrays of bonus content and VidFIRE restorations. For years it felt like getting a monthly video magazine, packed with making-of features and interviews - and the occasional documentary on black pudding. Truly, we thought - this is the definitive collection… 


Back to the present day…


Now, of course, there are more ways than ever to pipe Doctor Who into our homes, with the likes of Twitch marathons and iPlayer streaming. And the aforementioned blu-ray box-set, which surely is the ‘ultimate’ collection of these stories that we’ve carried with us throughout our lives. There’s a special feature devoted to a compilation of studio clocks. And half an hour of silent footage of the Season twelve cast chain-smoking. (As well as my absolute favourite extra bit - Janet Fielding, Louise Jameson, and Sarah Sutton doing a ‘Gogglebox’ style viewing of episodes that they weren’t in - I could happily watch this trio chewing the fat for hours, on any topic at all. Lots more of this please, blu-ray elves.) So, finally, we can be sure that we’re buying these episodes for the last time, can’t we…?


Yeah, right. See you in 2028 for the 3D brain-implant of Spearhead from Space - featuring an artificially intelligent and fully-restored Terrance Dicks. I can’t wait. 


Richard Unwin

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5 June 2018

The Day Of The Zarbi Riots

One of the biggest stories from this past week has, rather surprisingly, been original companions Ian and Barbara making it back to London in 1965. Contrary to Mr Chesterton’s claim in An Unearthly Child, it seems that time does indeed go ‘round and round in circles’… 


When the news broke a few weeks ago that Doctor Who was coming to ‘Twitch’, I confess to having no real idea what that meant - but as it happens, it’s turned out to mean something rather marvellous. Twitch is an online service for watching and streaming digital broadcasts which has acquired the rights to show almost all of the original run of Doctor Who. (Missing episodes and, sadly, several Dalek adventures are excluded - the latter on ‘rights’ grounds apparently.) It’s streamed in batches of three or four stories a day, Monday to Friday, with the whole batch on a loop that gets repeated twice. They started last week with An Unearthly Child and are working their way right through the classic series. What  makes this different from other repeats, however, is the inclusion of a chat box that allows viewers to comment on the episodes in real time - suddenly watching these beloved old treasures has become a worldwide communal experience. And judging from the rapidly streaming chat, the audience includes thousands of young people, many of whom have never experienced classic Doctor Who before - and they’re LOVING it. 


The comments whizz by at such a frenetic rate that it’s impossible to read every single thing that’s being said, but if you stare at the chat box for long enough, and relax your mind, it’s possible to achieve a zen-like state of higher consciousness that allows one to perceive the mood and general opinion without focussing in on each individual statement. It feels rather like being one of the infospike journalists from The Long Game - a massive download of information that is processed and packaged subconsciously by the human brain to become comprehensible content. Unlike many other social-media platforms, there’s no facility to ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ anyone’s contributions, so there’s no dopamine reward for outstanding efforts - people are simply joining in the chorus of commentary for the sheer joy of it. The Cave of Skulls, for example, provokes gems such as: “Za is a poser”, “Praise Orb”, and “LISTEN TO THE WOMAN”. The first glimpse of the cat in Planet Of Giants results in a bewildering blizzard of feline emojis and countless cries of “KITTY!”. 


What’s really fascinating is witnessing the formation of patterns that emerge from the maelstrom as these new viewers seize upon and celebrate certain moments and lines of dialogue, happily weaving memes from fragments of the past - ones that we’ve always been aware of, but have perhaps never celebrated to this degree. At the time of writing, Ian Chesterton’s line from The Chase about he and Barbara having made it back to London in the year 1965 has become an overnight internet sensation. This is mainly due to the clip in question being featured in a trailer for the Hartnell era that’s currently playing (twice) between each episode - along with the First Doctor’s “Believe me - I know!” from The Aztecs, which has been similarly seized upon. (In a pleasing piece of synchronicity, Russell T Davies’ currently airing BBC1 drama about Jeremy Thorpe - A Very English Scandal - happened to open with a massive caption reading ‘London 1965’. Always got his finger on the pulse that one…!) 


A truly heartwarming aspect of the week has been the degree to which this hyperactive hivemind has embraced the characters of Ian and Barbara. (The former now often referred to as ‘EEYAN’ due to the pronunciation of his name by Ixta in The Aztecs…) It’s been more than half a century since our intrepid schoolteachers first followed their unearthly child home through the London smog, and a whole new audience has fallen completely in love with them. There’s been fan-art, and memes, and a genuine connection - proving indisputably the brilliance of those wonderful performances, still shining through from all those years ago. (Though the adoration of Barbara did experience a brief wobble when she shoots Sandy the sandbeast in The Rescue… “She’s a MURDERER!”) There’s apparently even been ‘shipping’, whatever that is - probably something to do with the Mary Celeste scenes in The Chase


Then, on the forth day of the schedule, something went terribly wrong at Twitch HQ - the fluid links burnt out, the fault locator was on the fritz, and a time loop was established. Viewers tuning in for the scheduled showing of The Web Planet were instead confronted with a repeat performance of An Unearthly Child. Frustrations were vented in the comments: “Wrong Episode!”, “Wrong Episode!”, “WRONG EPISODE!!!”. After about fifteen minutes of protest, the episode was was eventually changed… to Planet Of Giants. They then proceeded to show the entirety of that story, and then The Dalek Invasion Of Earth - repeating the previous day’s playlist while an increasingly disgruntled audience continued to demand the promised trip to Vortis. The outrage was mostly good natured and healthily humorous, but still overwhelming. Variations on “We want Zarbi!”, “Justice for Vortis!”, and “ZARBI RIOT!” were repeated ad infinitum. This was one of the strangest, most surreal, and unexpected Doctor Who moments of the year so far. Thousands of young people on the internet, in 2018, threatening to riot if they weren’t shown The Web Planet immediately. All quite tongue-in-cheek, obviously - no one was actually going to take to the streets and start smashing the place up in the name of insect movement movement by Roslyn De Winter, but apparently The Web Planet was trending on Twitter. In 2018. Extraordinary. 


Eventually the time-track was corrected, and the clamouring masses got their fix of vaseline-smeared sci-fi action. Whether it was quite what they were expecting is another matter: “BLEEP BLOOP. I AM AN ANT!”… But the Day of the Zarbi Riots made one thing very clear - that these dusty old episodes are more than being enjoyed by their shiny new audience - they are being cherished.


Younger fans may well be getting rather fed up by now with the constant and sometimes rather patronising commentary from older enthusiasts on their viewing habits, attitudes, and Time Teams. Sorry about that. But honestly - seeing you take such delight from this material - that many of us had never imagined would once again be so celebrated - is actually rather moving and beautiful. We love that you love what we love, and can’t wait to see what mega-memes you pluck next from the Doctor’s adventures as the Twitch marathon progresses. We hope you enjoy it as much as we're enjoying your reactions! 


Richard Unwin

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7 May 2018

Terror Of The Time Team!

In the absence of any new news from Cardiff, the big talking point this past week has been the reveal of Doctor Who Magazine's all-new Time Team lineup. Traditionally, the Time Team - a feature launched in 1999 - has consisted of a group of four fans working their way through the entirety of Doctor Who, in chronological order, giving commentary, opinions, and observations as they go - usually accompanied by sublime illustration by Adrian Salmon. Now, however, it’s all-change, and a brand new group of twelve bold adventurers, who’ll be ruminating on a selection box of stories each month, was revealed in Issue 525 on Thursday the 3rd of May.

This may not sound like a big deal to the casual observer, but such was the interest in this unveiling that the phrase ‘Time Team’ was trending on Twitter - it appeared that everyone had something to say about this shiny new team. The responses could be broadly sorted into three main categories - celebration, apoplectic fury, and people who were confused that the news wasn’t to do with Tony Robinson and archeology.  


Most of the complaints seemed to stem from the fact that none of the new team are over the age of twenty-six, and that some of them are *gasp* only familiar with the post-2005 modern series of Doctor Who. Some people clearly felt that the magazine was betraying its loyal older readership by ‘dumbing down’ and presenting a selection of young ’n’ trendy social media types who wouldn’t know a Garm from a Gastropod. The sense of entitlement - the outrage that these whippersnappers could be permitted to pass comment on OUR holy texts - was fascinating to witness. And, at times, a little disturbing. 


There were also complaints from some quarters about the fresh team being diverse in race and gender - presumably from the same sorts of people who refuse point-blank to watch a female Doctor, get their knickers in a twist about racially diverse actors appearing in historical adventures, and think that accusing someone of being concerned with social justice is somehow an insult… You know the type - those who are convinced that even the vaguest mention of anyone who’s not a straight white cisgendered male is some sort of ‘box-ticking’ PC conspiracy. We shan’t concern ourselves with this monstrous minority any further - let’s just leave them screaming impotently into the void.


I have to confess to some brief, initial agreement with those who voiced concerns. And, as someone who was born in the year of City of Death, I’m naturally confused by, suspicious of, and a little bit scared by YouTubers and social media ‘influencers’…  The few that I’ve been exposed to in the past seemed to share identikit ‘upbeat’ personalities and unnatural uniform beauty, weaponised by ruthless commercial acumen. ‘YouTuber hair’ is definitely a thing. I quickly realised, of course, that this distrust is merely a product of my own advancing years and a failure on my part to embrace and comprehend new forms of expression. (But I still reckon that someone ought to write a Doctor Who episode where YouTubers turn out to be Autons - have that for free if you’re reading this Chris…) 


However, having done some light research on the debuting dozen, I’m pleased to report that any foolish fears have been allayed. They appear to be a delightful bunch of bright young things, many of whom have more than demonstrated phenomenal creative talents in various other projects and arenas. And of COURSE they are - they were selected and put together by Benjamin Cook, a shining stalwart of our beloved periodical since he was but a tadpole himself, and proof, if it were needed, that it’s perfectly possible to be simultaneously a YouTube sensation AND wield expertise on the life-cycle of a Vervoid. Plus I’m already familiar with, and a fan of, the work of two of our intrepid archeologists - the fabulous Fan Show presenter Christel Dee, and the smouldering Big Finish performer Jacob Dudman. We’re in safe hands. (If you’re reading this Jacob - I love you.) 


Yes - they could have plumped for greater variance in age, but isn’t it actually rather fun and exciting that they haven’t…? We’ve all heard a hundred opinions on The Claws of Axos from the old guard who can recite the production codes backwards. The fact that some of this new gang of bright-eyed beauties have never even seen a single episode of ‘classic’ Who means that we’re going to get real fresh and untainted responses to the material. In a way, this modern approach is more akin to the phenomenally successful ‘Class 4G’ articles put together by Gary Gillatt in the nineties, than the classic Time Team's who were often clearly just faking that it was their first time. I know it seems unthinkable to some that Doctor Who fans could possibly be trendy young people who don’t own even a single anorak, but to me it’s thrilling and heartwarming to see the sacred flame being passed on to the next generation of space oddities. I’d encourage anyone who’s worried by this development to do their best to put aside their concerns, embrace the future, and enjoy the ride. Sure, these youngsters may spout the occasional odd opinion - such as classic show cliffhangers being ‘cheap tricks’, or describing the Brigadier as a ‘babe’ - but surely we’ve all held odd opinions at some time or another…? (I took me until my thirties to truly appreciate the utter glory that is Time And The Rani. “Leave the girl, it’s the man I want!”) Different perspectives are what makes this interesting.


Isn’t it extraordinary that the lineup change of a humble magazine feature has sparked such passionate discourse…? But, ultimately, the only way is forward. Doctor Who is for everyone - everyone who ever caught a glimpse of the magic blue box and had it imprinted forever on their hearts. To jealously guard our fantastical treasures and deem others who are perhaps less well-versed in the scripture as somehow ‘unworthy’ of studying them is the antithesis of everything that blue box represents. If the magazine, and the show, are to survive for future generations to enjoy, we literally HAVE to welcome fresher faces to the party - none of us are immortal! I wish the Time Team of 2018 the very best on their new adventure. Enjoy! 


However, I’m FURIOUS about the new article not being accompanied by an Adrian Salmon illustration. Doctor Who Magazine is dead to me!

Richard Unwin

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17 April 2018

Hello! Welcome to this new column! ‘What’s it about?’ I hear you cry. Good question. I’m not entirely sure of the answer yet - let’s just see what happens. 

My initial thought was that this would be a sort of ‘Doctor Who Diary’ - a monthly round-up of things that have been happening in the Whoniverse, peppered with gossip and chit-chat and gags. A bit like the ‘3AM Girls’, but with more Terileptils. With this in mind, on Friday the 13th of April I dutifully headed off to the Target Books signing at the London Forbidden Planet Megastore on Shaftesbury Avenue. Due to attend were all five authors of the new adaptations, including Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat - perhaps I could get some juicy quotes from them! Maybe Russell could be persuaded to finally spill the beans on Christopher Eccleston, or Steven could explain the actual literal silence at the end of Vampires of Venice…? That sort of inside scoop could really get this fledgling feature off to a flying start! 

Quick bit of background: I have been to a few organised fan events in the past, but not many. I attended Panopticon 93 - the big 30th anniversary convention - as a precocious fourteen year old. And then, twenty years later, I trotted along to the enormous, slick, BBC organised 50th Anniversary celebration at London’s ExCel Exhibition Centre. (Where fans were herded about in giant hangers like Ood being prepared for shipping - a lot of the experience was quite miserable.) And, most recently, for the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed the annual Utopia weekends held at Eynsham Hall in Oxfordshire, relaxed affairs which are much more up my alley. Mostly a lot of drunk gay men in a big old country house fawning over Wendy Padbury and other ‘actresses of a certain age’. (I say that with the greatest of affection, and count myself among the fawners.) Throw in the odd book signing here and there, (as well as pub meets for LGBT Doctor Who fans with The Sisterhood of Karn in Soho - more on them another time…) and that’s about the sum total of my fan event experience. So I had a reasonable idea of what to expect from the Target event, but by no means consider myself an expert on such matters. 

I arrived at Forbidden Planet a good hour before the scheduled start time, and was surprised to be confronted by a snaking queue already winding its way right around the block - there were *hundreds* of people there, far more than I had anticipated. Perhaps you were one of them and saw me - looking slightly panicked as I walked along the line to join the back of the queue, trying desperately to appear terribly cool and above it all.

I’ve always had a slightly complicated relationship with my own fandom. I consider myself to be a hardcore aficionado - I own Wartime on DVD - but there’s still sometimes a slight sense of shame that can nip at my heels from time to time. Here I was, suddenly exposed and out on the street, clutching my carrier bag full of books ready to be signed. Within the first few minutes several bemused onlookers asked what was going on - the look on their faces when I explained that the queue was to meet some Doctor Who writers only helped to fuel my shame demons… Which I *know* is ridiculous - I *know* that being a fan is wonderful and magical and enriching - I think it’s just the baggage of preconceived ideas of others that sometimes weighs heavy on me. Plus there was the fact that at that precise moment I was surrounded by the worst thing in the universe - other fans. 

Fans in front of me, fans behind me - nothing but fans. I didn’t want to interact, I didn’t want them to talk to me - I steeled myself for however many hours it was going to take of standing in complete silence. I absolutely didn’t want to engage with the sort of people who would subject themselves to standing in the cold, for hours, all for the sake of a sci-fi show. So instead I popped in my headphones and played the latest Fifth Doctor adventure from Big Finish

Eventually, the people in front of me, two men and a girl, did strike up a conversation, and, reluctantly, I got drawn in. And then, of course, we talked for *hours*. Talking and talking and more wonderful talking. It is an extraordinary and liberating thing to converse with people who share the same specialised knowledge as oneself. (‘Yes, the spine numbering on the Titan graphic novels IS quite irritating…’ ) We learnt about each other’s lives and loves and favourite Virgin Missing Adventures. And it was glorious. There was I, intent on being all stand-offish and judgemental, and here were these wonderful, funny, generous people - kind and wise enough to ignore my pretentions and include me in a happy little makeshift group that smiled and laughed and queued in the cold.

When we reached the head of the line - two and a half hours later - we insisted to the Forbidden Planet gatekeepers that we should go in to the signing as a foursome, and refused to be separated. It is clear to me, and probably to you, that I had been projecting my own fears and insecurities about my own fandom onto others, and that, dear reader, is a very silly thing to do. What I had so foolishly feared wasn’t other fans at all - it was simply my own reflection. Fortunately, on this occasion the Mara was defeated, and everyone skipped off into the sunset for space buns and tea. 

I can’t say that the shame demons will never haunt me again, but this happy and enlightening experience has equipped me to better fight them off if they do. (Oh - also there was a bit where some people signed some books for us, but that was over very quickly, and I was too busy giggling with my new friends to ask them for any quotes or gossip. Sorry.)

Richard Unwin

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27 March 2018

Some of you may have noticed over the past couple of years that our site updates haven't been as regular as they used to be, and I feel that now is a good time to fill you in on why that has been.

I've run DWO for the best part of 22 years, and, all being well, I hope to do so for a good time to come, but for the past couple of years the regular updates have been somewhat of a struggle due to some ongoing issues with my health.

It all started when I was exhibiting at the 2015 London Film And Comic Con (which was a fantastic event, by the way). We had the DWO space set up, and got to meet so many of our lovely visitors and twitter followers - I had my wife on hand to help out, and things were going very well indeed. On the morning of the Sunday show, we arrived and I wasn't feeling great; for some reason I was feeling a bit panicked. I literally could't think of anything that was panicking me, nor could I comprehend why I was feeling this way. I started to become very aware of everything, and it felt like the space around me was closing in a bit. The lights started to feel a bit more intense and I began to feel my heart racing - like, super fast! I was naturally feeling quite anxious, and decided to make my way to the medial booth on the upper floor. As I got to the staircase, every step felt laboured, and I was starting to feel a little light-headed. I finally got to the office and the very helpful woman asked me to sit in a chair as she took my blood pressure and other stats.

My heart rate was around 170bpm (beats per minute), and I was just sat in the chair. She talked to me to calm me down, and it eventually slowed to around 120bpm. By this point, my hands were physically shaking, due to the adrenaline that was rushing through me. The woman asked me some questions; "Have you ever had a heart issue?", "Have you ever been diagnosed with a heart attack?, "Do you suffer from anxiety?". I replied "No" to all three questions, and sipped on some cold water, which helped to relax me further.  She then suggested that I go to the hospital to get some precautionary blood tests to rule out anything sinister.

My wife and I stayed for an hour whilst I contemplated whether to go right away or not, before deciding that we would in fact leave. I got to our local hospital, and they ran some tests, and everything checked out normal. On paper I was fit and healthy, and nothing seemed to be wrong. In my head, however, I was confused and unsatisfied with the fact that there was no diagnosis for what had happened to me earlier that day. This was something that has never happened to me before.

A few weeks passed by, and I was at home with my wife and kids, and we were having our dinner, when, again, out of nowhere, my heart was racing once more - this time around 180bpm. I made my way to the hospital, where they did some tests again, and could see the high heart rate. Again, I was asked if I suffered from anxiety, to which I responded "No", but I felt like this was a word that kept being thrown at me - like it was something I was meant to accept. They let me go and asked me to get an appointment with my GP to set up a referral to a cardiologist.

A day or so later, I met with my GP and we set up the appointment, which was for a few weeks from that date. During that time, I had several more incidents of my heart racing - a couple of the times I was at home on my own, and for the first time ever, I called an Ambulance. I was finding my breathing was somewhat laboured, and was trying to breathe through the fast heart rate (which, can make you feel quite breathless, alone), and, again, they checked me over and couldn't find a cause.

I eventually got my appointment with the Cardiologist, who did a number of tests; ECGs, a running test and more in-depth blood tests, but all of them seemed to draw a blank. He suggested I go on some beta blockers to manage the issue, and I went onto a medication called 'Propanolol'. At first it seemed to work, as the events were happening less frequently, but days later, I started to notice a small red patch on my left arm. It didn't occur to me that it could be related to the medication as it was happening at such a slow rate, but over the next 9 months, the red patches covered the whole of my body. I went to the Doctors, who, after numerous tests, put it down to a condition called Psoriasis. 

For 9 months I was dealing with the red patches, and I was incredibly self conscious to go out in public and be seen; my face was the only place I wasn't really getting them, but you could see them on my neck, which forced me to wear long-sleeve shirts and jumpers during a particularly hot summer. It was at this point, that I started to realise the affect this was having on my mental state. I was given a special lotion which was paraffin based (the same stuff you use to light a fire, although on a much, much lower scale). It helped a little to reduce the visibility, but was not recommended over long periods of time. 

Having been feeling rather low and unhappy about the situation for some time, I asked my GP about setting me up with a Dermatologist, and a few weeks later, she confirmed that this was indeed Psoriasis and that, unfortunately, it would be something I would have to deal with throughout my life, although there were treatments to help lessen the red marks. 
I was given bath liquids, whole body lotions and the most foul-smelling cold tar lotion, which I had to put on twice daily. 

A few days later I had another of my heart issues and was given an alternative beta blocker to try. I came off the Propanolol and went onto something called Verapamil. The first 24 hours seemed fine, and then in the evening I had another fast heart rate, with what I now know to be a panic attack. It was single-handedly the most terrifying experience I've had to date... I went to the hospital who actually kept me overnight this time, and was given another new beta blocker to try called 'Bisoprolol'. This one seemed to work perfectly!

Days and weeks passed without any large events, and I was starting to feel a bit better. The red marks on my skin also appeared to be fading, and I finally felt that things were moving in a positive direction. Something was niggling away at the back of my mind though, and it was the fact that the heart situation was still undiagnosed. By this point, I started to feel like I was being pigeon-holed in the 'anxiety' box. There was no doubt that I was anxious, but I felt that it was a result of the process to this point (now going on 16 months), and the fact I still didn't know what was causing it.

By now it was March of 2017, and the red marks were almost gone. I had a follow-up appointment in a few days with the Dermatologist, and was hoping for her to tell me that this was now managed. My wife was looking online and found that a side effect of the original beta blocker I was on was "red marks on the skin". We started doing our maths and worked out that it was almost to the week that I went onto the Propanolol (my original beta blocker), that I started to get the red marks. My Dermatology appointment came around and I brought it up to the specialist. She looked at my skin, and how vastly improved it was, and confirmed that this was now likely an interaction due to my body being intolerant to the Propanolol. I came out from the appointment relieved and angry; relieved that this wasn't something I'd have to constantly battle throughout my life, but angry that this wasn't picked up - or even suggested, by my GP.

Days, weeks and months went by, and by now we were coming to the Summer 2017. My skin had completely cleared up, I was getting confidence to go out more, and my heart rate was managed by the bisoprolol, to the point that I started to reduce my dosage to the point I didn't need to take it anymore. I did still get the faster heart rate, but I managed it by breathing through it or trying to focusing on something else. I had another appointment with my Cardiologist where I expressed my happiness at the fact the incidents had reduced, but my frustration at still not knowing why or how it started in the first place. The cardiologist suggested I have a small procedure to fit an implant (the size of a USB stick) just under my skin on the left side of my chest, which would constantly monitor my heartbeat, and pick up any irregularities. I was nervous at the thought of being in an operating theatre - even through it was a small procedure - but I had it fitted, and tried to forget about it.

From now on, whenever I had an incident, I just pressed a button on a key fob and held it over the left side of my chest, and it would monitor 5 minutes before and after the event. Before long, the hospital had enough data to finally give me a diagnosis.

January 2018 came around, and I met up with the cardiologist, who confirmed it was something called 'Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia'. It's not life-threatening, but just gets in the way of things now and then. He also added that over time, it could completely sort itself out. There were a few more back-and-forth's with my GP, but all this time later, I finally feel much better and confidant in myself that I can deal with future episodes.

That being said, the toll it has taken on me, mentally, has been exhausting to say the least. I still have a distrust at my body in the way it just came out of nowhere, and my confidence has taken a bit of a beating through all of this, too. I was previously a confidant person, and this is something I need to work on again. Ironically, and despite the incorrect analysis of what was wrong with me at the start, anxiety now seems to be a part of me as a result of all this, and I'm working through it. It has made me become so much more aware of others who have to deal with it, and want to give more time to those who have their own struggles. We take so many things for granted, and to have your health - arguably the most basic thing that we take for granted - is something we must all be thankful for.

So back to DWO... Whilst there have been loads of DWO updates over the past couple of years, there were nowhere near as many as I would have liked, due to the constant fragmentation of my daily life due to my health issues. This is a site that used to have almost daily news updates, but thankfully, I feel like I am back to the point where normal service can be resumed. This is going to be a truly exciting year for Doctor Who, and I want to be where I've always been, right here on DWO, along with my fantastic team, providing you all with the very latest news, reviews and updates.

Thanks for reading this and allowing me to explain fully the reason for the lack of updates. There's probably more information than you needed, but I wanted to give you all the full picture and be clear about where I was at. Here on in, all is looking good and we have lots of exciting things planned for the site and forums in 2018!

Thank you, as always, for your support and dedication to the site. It's you the visitors and forum members who make DWO what it is, and genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, it means so much to me.

Sebastian J. Brook - Site Editor
Doctor Who Online
March 2018

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17 July 2017

As I was watching the reveal on BBC One, I was genuinely shocked when Jodie Whittaker was revealed to be our first-ever female Doctor in Doctor Who. I've always been of the opinion that The Doctor is male, and, perhaps, always should be - it has clearly been his preference for 12 (ok 13) incarnations, but maybe now really is the time for a whole new take on the role?

We live in a time of equality and representation, and TV is an important platform to portray this. The sad reality is that it has taken so long for these issues to start being reflected realistically, and even now there's still a long way to go.

I genuinely didn't think the BBC would commit to the casting of a female actor in the role of The Doctor - especially now that Top Gear has lost its shine and put Doctor Who front and centre, but I fully support and applaud them for doing so. It's a bold move to take the franchise in this direction; just as it would be to change the gender of James Bond or Buffy, but Doctor Who lends a real opportunity now that Steven Moffat has paved the way for Time Lords to change their gender as part of canon.

I do not believe this is an "experiment" or "stunt casting" - or even an attempt to "boost ratings", which, by the way, are still excellent. I think this is the BBC, and Chris Chibnall saying "the time is right!".

When Jodie removed the hood and revealed herself as the Thirteenth incarnation of The Doctor, despite my initial shock, there was something so right about her. Having watched Broadchurch from the start, I was already aware of her as an actress, and can honestly say she has a huge amount of talent that she is going to bring to the role. I am genuinely excited, and cannot wait to support Jodie and the show when it returns in 2018 (after the Christmas special, of course).

Another happy side product of the decision is that there will be a whole new generation of fans - both female and male, growing up with a new role-model to look up to. But hasn't that always been The Doctor? Throughout the show's long history The Doctor has always been on the side of good; a character everyone can look up to, and now that he will become a she, that very same trait will still be at the core.

Back in 1986, Sydney Newman (creator of Doctor Who) sent a letter to the then head of BBC, Michael Grade, actually proposing and supporting the idea of a female Doctor:

"At a later stage Doctor Who should be metamorphosed into a woman. Don’t you agree that this is considerably more worthy of the BBC than Doctor Who’s presently largely socially valueless, escapist schlock? ... This requires some considerable thought – mainly because I want to avoid a flashy, Hollywood Wonder Woman, because this kind of heroine with no flaws is a bore."

If there was any further worry that this was a bad decision, not in keeping with the show, then surely its creator, essentially giving his consent to the idea is something to take comfort in.

Yesterday was our most active day on Twitter (twitter.com/DrWhoOnline), with literally thousands of tweets from our followers and visitors, mainly in support of the new choice. There were, however, a group of fans spouting a lot of hate speech towards the BBC and Jodie Whittaker, which is completely unacceptable. Freedom of speech is one thing, but hate speech has no place in fandom. I was appalled at some of the comments I read, with some fans saying they would stop watching. One has to ask the question if they truly are fans? 

There is no denying that this has split fandom somewhat, but now is not the time for division or segregation, we should come together and rally around our new Doctor, after all, she IS The Doctor, whether you like it or not.

Fandom should be a safe place for fans of all ages to share their opinions and discuss things, and DWO will not tolerate any hate speech or intolerance of others. We will therefore be stepping up to anyone doing so on any of our website or social media platforms.

We would love to hear from you in the comments below or via the Forum Discuss link, below.

- Sebastian J. Brook; Site Editor 

[Source: DWO]


26 April 2017

Even before the wilderness years (1989-1996 & 1996-2005), Doctor Who fanzines have played an important role in the fandom of the show. Often produced in black and white, these periodical mailings were produced by the fans themselves, and contained all sorts of cool creations, from fan fiction, to reviews, articles, interviews, quizzes, artwork and competitions.

Since the emergence of online fandom, and the ability for fans to make their own websites, forums and social groups, fanzines appear to have drastically fallen in their numbers. But does this mean that there is no longer a place for them in our lives? Are fans content with just having Doctor Who Magazine (as awesome as it is)?

Having spoken with fans over the years at conventions and events, it seems that fanzines are still very much an important output, but it is the younger generations that are either unaware they exist or unsure of how to contribute. With this in mind, we wanted to cast a quick spotlight on Doctor Who fanzines and focus on some of the fantastic publications out there, with details on how you can join in, or even start your own!

If this is a completely new area of fandom to you, you may take heart in the knowledge that one particular fan who contributed to fanzines was none other than our 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi! Below is an excerpt from an article Peter wrote for a fanzine back in 1976:

"Watching the abstracted light forms & patterns which appear in the opening sequence of Dr. Who has become a familiar ritual for all of us. The wonder of the opening is that it manages to capture in only a very few moments of screen time the atmosphere of Dr. Who.”

You can see Peter Capaldi's full page article in the images column to the right!

Of the few fanzines that are still around, the quality is of an incredibly high calibre; take Vworp Vworp!, for example - perhaps one of the most popular of the current wave of fan publications. Their latest issue has been hailed as one of the greatest fanzines in Doctor Who history, and we've heard nothing but positivity surrounding it - it even comes with a FREE full-cast audio play!

DWO got in touch with Vworp Vworp's publisher, Gareth Kavanagh, regarding the importance of fanzines and why they enjoy producing them:

Originally, fanzines were our own Gutenburg Press. A place for fans to share news, gossip, opinions and thoughts on the show without any filters in place. Well that's before the internet provided a more immediate platform for these, although who can forget some of those lurid DWB news headlines (The AFRO TAPES: THEY EXIST!!!)?  But this in no way means that fanzines no longer have a place. Indeed, despite the net doing news and gossip very well and providing an immediate way for people to vent / gush, it's not as good at considered analysis, depth and opinion. This, really is what we see ourselves as being about with Vworp. Exploring lesser explored niches of Doctor Who; fandom, the comics, art and bringing new perspectives and knowledge to the table.  It's something a printed work can do so much better in my opinion.

The other thing that fanzines can do better is by being a beautiful, gorgeous piece of art. Now we recognise that not everyone has the time or resources Vworp Vworp! has, but I do think taking the time to make it look and feel special is important. It's a point Bryan Talbot made to me when he launched Alice in Sunderland as a beautiful volume at a time when digital downloads of comics were beginning to take off.  By making Alice a gorgeous physical artefact, his reckoning was that there would always be a place in someone's collection for it.  And I think he's right. The same goes for free gifts. The transfers for Vworp Vworp! #1 were an attempt to reconnect with people's ingrained and treasured sense of excitement at getting home with #1 of Doctor Who Weekly in October 1979. That sense of nostalgia is something I feel for all the great fanzines and I hope, in our own small way we've been able to add to that with Weetabix cards and vinyl Century Dalek records."

If you would like to contribute to Vworp Vworp!, you can email them directly at: info@vworpvworp.co.uk

We also got in touch with Jamie Beckwith, features writer for The Terrible Zodin fanzine, who shared his thoughts:

"The Terrible Zodin was trying to juggle an old media format but make it accessible for new media so it's released as a downloadable PDF. TTZ has grown in the 9 years we've been running and gives fans the opportunity to write about the series and showcase their artwork.


We always aim to have something interesting to say and whilst our initial focus was on female fandom as we felt this was an underrepresented voice, we welcome viewpoints from all. We're pleased to say we've had contributors from all over the world, not just the UK, US & Australia but places like Colombia, Poland and Japan. Fanzines are a great way of being creative about the very show which has inspired that creativity."

If you would like to contribute to The Terrible Zodin, you can email them directly at: theterriblezodinezine@yahoo.co.uk

Other fanzines worth checking out are The Tides Of Time, Fish Fingers And Custard & Celestial Toyroom - the longest-running Doctor Who fanzine in the world! You can also keep your eyes peeled for a brand new fanzine called 'Sacred Flame', produced by the London-based LGBT Doctor Who group, The Sisterhood Of Karn. (Thanks to Richard Unwin for the heads-up on that one).

Having run this site for 21 years now, we have seen an incredible amount of creativity from our visitors and followers, and it's clear that Doctor Who is responsible for creating one of the most dedicated fandoms in history. This is a show where anything is possible; a fan writing an article for a fanzine can become The Doctor! Fan artists can see their creations on actual pieces of merchandise. Fan fiction writers can become show runners or writers for the actual TV show - as we say, ANYTHING is possible!

So if you feel you have something to offer, fanzines are one of the best places to start, and we heartily recommend getting in touch with any of the aforementioned publications. Some of you may be interested in starting your own fanzines (we've put a few resources together in the links down below), but if you're struggling getting off the ground, why not get in touch with a Doctor Who group near you (USA groups here), and collaborate with likeminded fans. Come up with a catchy name, and pull together some content from local contributors, and before long you'll be well on your way!

Get in touch!

Are you thinking of starting up a fanzine? If so, we'd love to hear from you in the comments box, below, or in the DWO Forums! Likewise, if you run or recommend a particular fanzine, please also leave details below or in the Forums!

Fanzine Resources:

Doctor Who Image Archive - A fantastic archive of Doctor Who related images.
The Doctor Who Logo Collection - Throup's excellent transparent Doctor Who logos.

Brochure Prints (UK) - a cost-effective fanzine printing service, based in the UK.
Brochure Prints (USA) - a cost-effective fanzine printing service, based in the USA.

[Source: DWO]


25 April 2017

As far as central characters go, few are as iconic as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. Both have had huge impacts on popular culture for decades due to their fantastic characters and stories: but which of our iconic protagonists is better? While Sherlock and the Doctor both use science and logic to prevail, the two have completely different qualities to offer.

You know where our loyalty lies, but let's try to be objective here. To help us decide we’ve created four rounds: impact on popular culture, sidekicks, villains and finally, a category comparing the main men themselves. Here we go:

Impact on Popular Culture

Sherlock Holmes has influenced popular culture and literature for over 100 hundred years, and so it is no surprise that so many people consider Sherlock the epitomic detective. In fact, Sherlock is so influential that he currently holds the Guinness World Record for most portrayed character in history (with a whopping 254 times!), and some even believe he actually existed.

Due to how pervasive Sherlock is, Sir Conan Doyle’s character has inspired numerous other programmes and movies, including House and The Mentalist. He even manages to transition with ease to more modern platforms like video games. These go all the way to 1984 when Melbourne House’s Sherlock was released on the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum. Since then there have been no less than fifteen console and PC-based games, though there are numerous other games available as well. These include apps such as the iOS title Hidden Objects: Detective Sherlock Holmes and iGaming titles such as the new release Sherlock Holmes: The Hunt For Blackwood, which can be found amongst a plethora of slots at William Hill. In fact, if you wanted to give this new release a go, the online casino is currently giving newcomers £40 worth of welcome deposit bonuses.

Possibly due to the fact Doctor Who isn’t quite as old as Sherlock Holmes, or perhaps because he possesses a lot more unique qualities that are difficult to pastiche, Doctor Who’s reach appears far less influential. That isn’t to say Doctor Who hasn’t inspired anything – Star Trek, Star Wars, Bill & Ted and plenty of other sci-fi productions include elements of the Doctor’s stories and characters, but usually in quite smaller, unbranded ways. There are some games as well, but these tend to be for children or young adults rather than for a universal audience. All in all, it just doesn’t seem like our favourite time-travelling doctor has reached Holmes levels of impact yet. But we probably know the reason: Doctor Who is very much in copyright as a character, while Sherlock isn't - at least not exactly.

Winner: Sherlock Holmes


Fortunately for Doctor Who, as there is no canon source material for writers to rely on new characters and allies can be introduced at any point. This is definitely a positive, as while we love Sherlock’s companion Dr Watson there’s only so much he can offer. In Doctor Who, a new sidekick usually means at least one entirely new plot that is sure to keep viewers interested and invested in the programme. Plus, although some more recent allies have unfortunately succumbed to media tropes, they tend to balance the Doctor out and often become equally as liked as the main man himself.

There’s no denying that Sherlock’s friends are pivotal to his story, but over the years it has become clear that Dr Watson and Mrs Hudson alone cannot compete with Doctor Who’s vast array of quirky, bold and memorable companions. We can't wait to meet Pearl Mackie's new character.

Winner: Doctor Who


"Doctor Who Exhibition" (CC BY 2.0) by shining.darkness

There seems to be a similar problem when it comes to Sherlock Holmes’ villains. Sure, he has apprehended many a baddie throughout his many years of service, but Sherlock’s main nemesis will always by Moriarty. Now, we love the various portrayals of this dastardly villain as much as the next person, but there is a limit to how many times we can see this foe attempt to take Sherlock down.

Meanwhile, the Doctor Who universe is filled with more villains than you can shake striped scarf at. These baddies have threatened everything from cities to reality and come in all shapes and sizes from Cybermen to Darleks to The Master. Sure, the Master's probably the Doctor's Moriarty - and Missy's simply splendid - but there's so many more to choose from, aliens of all persuasions and criminal masterminds extraordinaire.

Each of these antagonists or groups of villains is equally if not more fleshed out than Moriarty, so again the points go to Doctor Who for sure.

Winner: Doctor Who


"Sherlock" (CC BY 2.0) by kaffeeringe

Considering Sir Conan Doyle only ever wrote four full-length Sherlock Holmes novels and 56 short stories, it is incredible that the tale of the brilliant yet difficult detective lives on today and continues to engage with new generations. In addition to this, many believe Sherlock Holmes has Aspergers Syndrome, making him the only truly iconic cult character on the spectrum.

Doctor Who has staying power as well of course, with numerous new stories, spin offs and villains popping up regularly. The Doctor himself even changes from time to time, and with each new regeneration, our main character gets a new personality, face and style. Still, in each imagining of the Doctor he remains a borderline pacifist, loves humans and always sticks with his morals. Really, Doctor Who is almost godlike. 

Sherlock Holmes is more realistic; he is flawed as well as fascinating and remains basically the same character in every reimagining. 

This has its benefits, but also has shortcomings. Due to the nature of a Timelord, different Doctors will provide new opportunities for the script, new twists and turns and more surprises. Yes, the Doctor is not as consistent as Sherlock, but that's one of his (should we say her from now on?) strong points. So, apologies to Mr. Holmes, but this round will have to go to Doctor Who too. 

Winner: Doctor Who

Now, we realise that it's what you expected from us. But we do respect Sherlock, and it was fun to come up with the comparison, especially considering Stephen Moffat's hand in the current-day popularity of both. Do you think we have been fair though? Let us know which of these characters is better and why in the comments below.

19 April 2017

There are a lot of things that politicians are judged for. From the way they dress to the way the direct the economy of the nation. But no one has ever wanted to rate politicians for the way they perform.

Like artists on a stage. Even though politicians have a more boring dress code but yes like actors on a stage. Or in front of a camera. In reality that is what they are. And we even give them the stages and camera crews to perform for us. Did you know that sports betting has expanded you can also place your bets on no-athletic events such as political party, movies and many more to visit newzealandcasinos.io to review best online casinos.

Because essentially that is what they have to do in order to convince us to vote for them. And the human mind and heart are not easily won over. So it has to be great performance.

However there is a man who managed to quickly win over the hearts of men and women. His performance was perfected over several on screen careers. Spanning from getting in the ring with pro wrestlers to telling interns they are fired on cable TV.

The current President of the United States of America is the biggest performer. Who else deserves such a title other than the most powerful man in the world. The guy knows how to woo a crowd. He has certain magnetism which draws people to him. This may be the secret behind his great empire. And what an empire it is.

Hate him or love he knows his has a way to people’s hearts. By the end of his second term. The charmer will most probably get that far. There will be several online casino games based on him. All great performers have real money online casino games based on them or the characters they play visit www.casinous.com to see which online casinos you can play at.

You may have doubted the man’s abilities as a performer during his time as a TV game host or at wrestling entertainment. But the American election must have convinced you. The whole nation fell in love him. Even though there is very little love. Really there isn’t. Mr. Trump fails to be politically correct even in his own party.

19 April 2017

Real money gaming is proving to be the next billion dollar opportunity. With the relaxation of the online gambling laws across the United States, online casinos can present massive opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs. Online casinos maplecasino.ca are able provide more effectively for the massive market. There is high demand for gambling services. This translates to a very large market which is attractive to entrepreneurs and investors.

In most properly legislated regions online casinos are giving back to the community. These states are earning an estimated 32 billion dollars annually collectively as generated revenue. The governments are using the funds for developmental projects. Funds from online gambling are being channeled towards promoting responsible gambling initiatives.

Juniper’s research shows that online betting using mobile devices will produce income valued at a hundred billion dollars. This revenue is a joint amount for worldwide industry by end of 2017. Remember that mobile casinos are actually on the rise. Most gamblers still prefer to gamble online using their PC.

MGM National Harbor is fast becoming one of Maryland’s biggest revenue growth drivers. Since its opening the casino has already brought USD133,000 to the state. This is by December 2016. Pushing up the impressive year-on-year income to above 40%. This amount excludes the revenue from the newly opened casino. MGM’s casino managed to remain the one biggest driver to the state’s gaming revenue. 

This alone shows that the contribution that casinos, both online and offline, make to a state’s budget is remarkably important. The time has come for the world to embrace online casino gaming. The benefits of the pastime are numerous. These go beyond just getting tax from the casinos. The industry has created a lot of new jobs for people. Jobs that previously did not exist like live online casino dealers. The future cannot be stopped no matter how much we try and delay it.

5 February 2017

The Player of Games


“Don’t play games with me. Don’t ever, ever think you’re capable of that.” 

The 11th Doctor’s warning to River and Rory in The Impossible Astronaut is couched in a boast by no means idle. The errant Time Lord, ever more trickster than warrior, displays quite a knack for playing games – though perhaps he is not always as proficient in them as he believes himself to be.

Peter Davison’s sportive Fifth Doctor spent 69 episodes from 1982 to 1984 running around in impeccable cricket whites (until they were utterly ruined by a mud-burst at the end of The Caves of Androzani), and showed off his impressive grasp of the “gentleman’s game” in Black Orchid (1982).

Previous Doctors also hinted at sporting prowess – most frequently, the Fourth, who references cricket on numerous occasions, and reckoned himself a dab hand at Alpha-Centauran Table-Tennis, producing his honorary membership card as ID during the events of Robot (1974), with the flip aside “Very tricky opponents, those chaps. Six arms, and of course six bats. It really keeps you on your toes…”

Overall though, the Doctor seems to express a preference for pursuits of a more sedate nature. Let’s sort through some of the games the Doctor has played in the course of his travels throughout the multiverse.

The Doctor at Cards

MASTER: “You're bluffing on an empty hand, Doctor.”

DOCTOR: “I'm not bluffing and my hand, as you can see, is not empty.”

This exchange from Terror of the Autons (1971), when the two adversaries meet for the first time in a tense encounter at the UNIT laboratory, suggests that both the Third Doctor and Roger Delgado’s Master are somewhat conversant with the rules and language of the game of poker. 

Given the Doctor’s predilection for deploying feints and bluffs against his opponents, it’s reasonable to assume he might appreciate an occasional round or two - and he certainly knows his way around a pack.

Poker currently enjoys worldwide domination over card games, but what many non-players don’t know is that there is a wide variety of poker variants with different rules, from Community Card type poker games, where part of the hand is shared by all players, to Draw type games, where you can exchange some of your cards for new ones, and everything in between.

It is, therefore, not that far-fetched to note that very frequently, Doctor Who plots mirror a strategic hand of poker, especially when he’s pitted against the quintessential antagonist that is the Master. Sometimes, the plot allows for an exchange of the Doctor’s hand, others he has to make better use of what’s available to get himself (and his companions, and entire planets) out of trouble.
The Fourth Doctor exhibits a flair for card-shuffling in Robot. Still dazed from his recent regeneration, he bounds onto stage to placate an audience of techno-cultists with an improvised conjuring routine before being dragged off into the wings.

Two seasons later, he’s at it again, this time in Robert Holmes’ Victorian pastiche, The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977). At London’s Palace Theatre, the Doctor expertly catches and handles a card pack thrown to him by the sinister magician Li H'sen Chang. By the advent of his seventh incarnation, the artful Doctor has a number of card-conjuring tricks to hand – or, most likely, up his sleeve.

With twelve+ poker faces to choose from, and forays beyond the realm of the small screen, he seems to be getting pretty good at the game.

In Lonely Days, a short story by Daniel Blythe for the anthology Decalog 2: Lost Property, the Fifth Doctor tells Nyssa that he once won a planet in a game of poker against a Draconian opponent.

Five Card Draw, the ninth story in the Short Trips: Zodiac collection, goes one better. Todd Green’s short story has multiple Doctors (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th & an unspecified “future self”) gather for a poker game at a besieged medieval castle to decide their collective fate.

The mischievous New Adventures companion Professor Bernice Summerfield cites poker as her one of her favourite pastimes and it’s easy to picture the redoubtable archaeologist and the Seventh Doctor playing together in some readily-fashioned game room somewhere deep within the TARDIS. 

The Doctor at Backgammon

Marco Polo has taken away my caravan and given it to you, sire. If I win, perhaps I could have my caravan back again?

In a celebrated scene from 1964’s Marco Polo, the First Doctor plays a genteel game of Backgammon against the mighty Kublai Khan, in the luxury of his Peking palace. A very fitting choice, considering that the board game is estimated to be over 5,000 years old and played by many early cultures, such as the Ancient Greeks, Romans and of course, the Chinese.

At stake at this game of backgammon is his TARDIS, gifted somewhat presumptuously to the ageing Khan by the explorer Marco Polo. 

Over hours of play, the Doctor accumulates a wealth of riches – he wins from Khan 35 elephants complete with ceremonial bridles, trappings, brocades and pavilions; also, 4,000 white stallions, 25 tigers, the entire commerce of Burma for one year, and the sacred tooth of Buddha.

Thankfully, at least for whoever tidies the TARDIS trophy room, the Doctor doesn’t keep any of his prizes, exchanging them all for the front-door key to his precious time/space craft.

The Doctor at Monopoly & Draughts


The Doctor has yet to play Monopoly in an on-screen story, but in The Romance of Crime, a 1995 novel penned by Gareth Roberts for the Missing Adventure series, the Fourth Doctor plays aboard the TARDIS with Romana II and K9.

K9, fittingly, uses the dog token, and the others must roll the dice and move on his behalf. Come to think of it, K9 does look a lot like the Monopoly dog, no? Let us not forget that there is an official, albeit limited, edition of Doctor Who Monopoly.

The One Doctor, a 2001 big finish audio play by Roberts and co-writer Clayton Hickman, features the Sixth Doctor winning a game against Mel - but his triumph is interrupted when the TARDIS drifts off-course, and the game is suspended, mid-gloat.

In The Talons of Weng-Chiang, the Doctor attempts to teach Leela another ancient board game: Draughts. Draughts board have been found in archaeological digs in the Middle East and are believed to date back to 3,000 BC. But in our case, the Doctor doesn’t appear to be getting very far; the scene ends with him leapfrogging across the board in one move to sweep all of her pieces. Leela isn’t happy.           

Endgame - The Doctor at Chess

You couldn’t resist it, could you? The game of traps…

Chess, the ancient ever-shifting game of traps, has to be the game that most defines the Doctor’s temperament, and he is seen playing it on many occasions. It is also in many ways the quintessential strategy game. The amount of thought humankind has invested in finding the most effective ways to move the 16 pieces of each side to capture the opponent’s king is impressive and has even spawned AI research, with IBM’s Deep Blue computer famously beating global chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997. 

Cell-bound in The Mind of Evil (1971), the Third Doctor and Jo Grant play chess together to while away the time. Jo captures the Doctor’s pieces, and he complains the game is just too simple for him to concentrate on, adding that he much prefers playing the three-dimensional version.

According to events in David Fisher’s The Androids of Tara (1978), the Fourth Doctor thought enough of standard chess to program K9 with a record of all world chess championship games since 1866.

As the TARDS makes landfall in pursuit of the Fourth Segment of the Key to Time, the Doctor plays K9 in the control room. With Romana looking on, the Doctor airily recalls watching a similar game between Capablanca and Alkhine in 1927, and seems rather taken aback when K9 (fittingly another AI, something the Doctor comments on) predicts mate in 11 moves. Initially, he refuses to believe he has lost, until Romana intervenes to confirm the outcome.

The story arc underpinning the sequence of Seventh Doctor/Ace episodes from Dragonfire (1987), to the finale of The Curse of Fenric (1989), concerns an unfinished chess game, abandoned long ago in some nameless desert.

The Eleventh Doctor claimed – possibly in jest - that the game was originally a Gallifreyan invention (2013’s Nightmare in Silver). It apparently endures until the 52nd Century in one form or another – live chess, anyone?

Evidently the Doctor has been gaming for almost as long as he has been a wanderer. Games appear over and again, in books and comics, audio plays and elsewhere in the DW universe - small wonder, when their subtleties of play and emphasis on stealth and ingenuity over brute force, so match the wily Doctor’s approach to dealing with his enemies. 

For everyday humans, there are a wide variety of places to take part in some fantastic games - particularly over at 
Casino Expertti, so please have a dig around online and let us know some of your favourite games! 

[Source: DWO]

13 December 2016

Who? Doctor Who, of course! Britain's top science fiction television programme, loved the world over, is a force in its own right. Since its creation in 1963 we've seen 34 series encompassing 813 episodes beam their way on to viewers' screens and the programme has been a favourite amongst groups of all ages. As such all manner of merchandise has been released to accompany the various series, including games. After so many years in the Sci-Fi limelight all manner of board and video games have been released, but what are they?

Dr. Who Monopoly

Nowadays there's a version of the popular property trading board game for practically every city, franchise or brand worth its salt, and Doctor Who is no different. In a rather uninspired move the creators decided not for the player to buy particular planets or space stations, but to trade in iconic episodes, playing with tokens inspired by the series and its recurring titular character; an umbrella, sonic screwdriver, celery, recorder, bow tie and scarf.

Operation: Doctor Who

The iconic game of Operation has been around for decades now, but got a reboot in 2004 when a Doctor Who version was released. Players must operate on one of the Doctor's arch nemeses, a Dalek, replacing its constituent parts and weathering its classic bellicose rhetoric in order to make the villain ready and able to take over the world.

Doctor Who on Xbox One & PS4 

There hasn't ever been a true triple-A Doctor console game created in the history of the franchise, although recent news suggests that the creators of the show, the BBC, are actively looking to join up with a high profile video game producer in order to produce a next generation game based on the series. Hopefully it'll be better than the terrible PS3 title "Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock", and might even spur on other developers to make new Doctor Who themed games, perhaps within the online gaming industry. Wintingo Online Casino, a provider of online games, has released all manner of games related to the television and film franchises we know and love, perhaps we'll see a Doctor Who slots game being released in the near future!

Dr. Who Minecraft DLC 

Minecraft is one of the most popular games ever to be released on console or PC, so it seems fitting that the popular TV show and the game released a pack of downloadable content back in September based on all things Who. Players can change their in-game avatars to make them appear more like the show's protagonist(s), and are able to fight all manner of Doctor Who monsters, including blockish Daleks.

As audiences across the world catch on to the craze that is Doctor Who, the appetite for amazing Who-themed games will only grow larger. Who knows what amazing physical and digital games will be released in the near future that are based on the series? If only we had access to a TARDIS!

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