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Roderick Donald

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

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

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28 September 2012

We’ve just had a creepy communiqué from our fearsome friends over at GrimmFest, Manchester’s International Festival of Horror and Cult Films. They’d like to remind you all that this year’s festival is almost here, and invite you to join them for a cornucopia of cinematic chills, chaos and carnage. The Festival commences on Wednesday October 3rd at the Plaza Super Cinema in Stockport with a special Preview Night Double bill of the critically-acclaimed chiller SINISTER and the much anticipated AMERICAN MARY, then runs from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th at the decadently art deco Dancehouse Theatre in Manchester. Even if blood and gore are not your thing, Lord and Lady Grimm inform us, there are a few film screenings in this year’s programme that should have a particular appeal to the Doctor Who Online community. 

The festival’s Opening Night Gala, on Thursday October 4th will be a double bill of London-based horror. First up, there’s the world premiere of COMEDOWN, the gritty new urban slasher movie from Mehnaj Huda, director of KIDULTHOOD, which marked the feature film screenwriting debut of Mickey Smith himself, Noel Clarke. Mehnaj will be there for a Q&A following the screening.

Second on the bill will be the riotous geezer gorefest COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES, starring such genre-familiar faces as Richard Briers, Honor Blackman, Dudley Sutton, Alan Ford, Harry Treadaway, and sometime Eastender and Bionic Woman, Michelle Ryan, who also got to show off her Lara Croft chops as aristocratic cat burglar Lady Christina De Souza in the “Planet of The Dead” episode of DOCTOR WHO. COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES, is written by James Moran, a rising star of British horror cinema, responsible for both TOWER BLOCK and SEVERANCE, as well as the forthcoming SILENT NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, which teams up gore sfx guru and horror legend Tom Savini, The League of Gentlemen’s Reece Sheersmith, and one of the leading figures in the new wave of US independent horror cinema, character actor AJ Bowen (House of the Devil, A Horrible Way To Die, etc). But James is equally well known for his TV writing. He wrote the classic “Fires of Pompeii” episode of DOCTOR WHO, which marked the first appearance of Karen Gillan in the show as a Roman Soothsayer - presumably a distant ancestor of Amy Pond’s - and the “Sleeper” episode of TORCHWOOD, featuring Nikki Amuka-Bird as a tormented “sleeper” agent from an alien invasion force. He was also co-writer of the 5-part TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH mini-series.  James will be attending the screening, so this will be a fine opportunity to pick his brains about his writing career and the various projects he’s worked on. 

There’s more WHO-connected horror on Sunday October 7th, in the festival’s closing film, STITCHES, a bloody black comedy in which a killer clown comes back from the dead to avenge himself. The film stars lugubrious Geordie comic Ross Noble, whose deadpan delivery has dominated many an episode of HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU, and Tommy Knight, who follows his droll and oddly touching performance as Sarah-Jane Smith’s otherworldly adopted son Luke with something rather darker. Ross and Tommy will be there, along with the film’s director and co-writer Conor McMahon for what promises to be an entertaining and informative Q&A.

Both screenings will be followed by aftershow parties, too, so there will be a chance to mingle. In short, it’s a hell of an opportunity to see some fearsome features, meet some creepy celebrities, and discover some of the darker places in the universe. The Grimm Team are waiting for you. Don’t you dare disappoint them, now...

[Source: GrimmFest]

28 September 2012

There have been a handful of last minute guest announcements for the Entertainment Media Show, including the wonderful Matt Smith from Doctor Who!

Our friends at Showmasters have also announced James Cosmo from Game of Thrones, Highlander and Sons of Anarchy, Vaughn Armstrong of Star Trek fame, the great British actor Joss Ackland, and Anime voice artist Vic Mignogna amongst others.

Photo shoot tickets are now available on the online shop, and for Matt Smith they have also added autograph tickets which can be bought now online with tickets exchanged for an in-person autograph on the day.

The online shop closes for UK orders this Saturday, however tickets will still be available to buy at the event. The online shop can be found here.

And for those of you who can't make the event but still want autographs, Showmasters have a pre-order service. You can find more details on the pre-order website here.

Convention Details:

The Entertainment Media Show
6th-7th October 2012
Olympia Grand Hall; London; UK

Early entry from 9am - £12 (all ages).

Standard entry from 11am - £6 adults, £3 children (aged 12 and under).

Under 4s go free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Doors open: 9am to 6pm both days. Last admission 5.30pm.

[Source: Showmasters]

8 September 2012

It’s been an exciting couple of years for our friend Oliver McNeil over at www.legend-photography.com, not only has he managed to get both sci-fi icons, Tom Baker and Blake’s 7's Paul Darrow to agree to appear in the special one off stage show 'Tales of Mystery & Terror' (12th October 2012, The Stable Theatre, Hastings, East Sussex) but he has, along with both of these iconic actors, worked along side them to produce some very special exclusive portraits. 

Tom Baker first came across Oliver’s unique fantasy portrait service, two years ago when he was shown some of this work by a close friend. Not knowing the he was also a huge Doctor Who fan, even having built his own TARDIS for outside his studio, the two of them started to work on some new portraits in preparation for the 50th anniversary.  Since then they have become quite chummy, which led to the collaboration in this stage show. 

“It’s going to be an unique evening themed around a Victorian spiritualist show. We have Tom reading an never heard self penned story and Paul Darrow performing a Edgar Alan Poe tale. We also have magic by Richard Bellars and music. I’m not sure the last time Tom acted on stage, but he’s really looking forward to it. It’s fantastic to also get Paul Darrow, He’s a wonderful story teller we are looking to do a special lunch with him for those who book early. It also comes at time when we might be seeing a new version of B7 coming back to our screens.

The second half of the show will be a Q&A with Tom, with myself and fellow organiser Steve Corke asking “interesting” questions. It’s not going to be like any other Q&A you have seen before”  warned Oliver.

Legend Photography’s story is an interesting one in itself. Formed 10 years, Oliver who comes from a theatre & film background, started shooting fantasy themed portraits for the general public. Using mostly props, costumes and practical lighting effects he quickly became a leader in his field, with many celebrity clients and many people traveling and diverting holidays just to have one of his portraits. Winner of a Brian Froud and bizarrely a RHS design award, Oliver now offers vampires and mermaids amongst his sessions of magical Fairy, wizard & knight images. 

Whats next for Legend Photography, Tom Baker and Paul Darrow, well with so much planned for next year it would be silly not to keep an eye out.

To get news on the 'Tales of Mystery & Horror' and any other collaboration, you can follow Oliver https://twitter.com/Legend_Studios or http://www.facebook.com/TomBakerPortraits.

[Source: DWO]

30 August 2012

DWO have been sent the first glimpse of Sylvester McCoy (The 7th Doctor) as 'Radagast the Brown' in the upcoming The Hobbit movie.

The image (pictured-right), comes from The Hobbit 2013 Calendar, and features McCoy as the brown wizard.

Below is the official synopsis for the movie:

The Hobbit follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

+  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is in cinemas from 14th December 2012.

[Source: Paul Lockwood]

9 August 2012

The BBC today announced that a special BBC TWO drama has been commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who next year.

An Adventure In Space And Time will tell the story of the genesis of Doctor Who since its first broadcast on 23rd November 1963. Exploring all aspects of the longest running science fiction series to date, the special one-off 90-minute drama will also look at the many personalities involved in bringing the series to life.

Written by Mark Gatiss, it is executive produced by current Doctor Who showrunner, Steven Moffat, and Caroline Skinner. The single drama was commissioned by Ben Stephenson Controller, Drama, and Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two.

Mark Gatiss said: "This is the story of how an unlikely set of brilliant people created a true television original. And how an actor - William Hartnell - stereotyped in hard-man roles became a hero to millions of children. I've wanted to tell this story for more years than I can remember! To make it happen for Doctor Who's 50th birthday is quite simply a dream come true."

Steven Moffat, Executive Producer, said: “The story of Doctor Who is the story of television - so it's fitting in the anniversary year that we make our most important journey back in time to see how the TARDIS was launched.”

The production and transmission schedule will be confirmed next year, along with casting.

[Source: BBC Media Centre]

2 August 2012

Next month Massive Events is launching their new Doctor Who fan convention. And their first confirmed guest is non other than David Tennant!

This September fans have the chance to hang out with some of their favourite companions, villains, heroes and not forgetting The Doctor himself at The Lords Of Time.

As well as the multi-talented David Tennant they have just confirmed Lachelle Carl, who’s name might not be well known but who’s face is instantly recognisable as newsreader Trinity Wells of AMNN. As well as 9 episodes of Doctor Who she has also appeared in several episodes of Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. And keep watching the website for many more guest announcements coming over the next few weeks.

The weekend-long convention is the perfect place to meet up with other fans of Doctor Who in the safe and relaxed atmosphere of a convention, take part in intimate group meetings with the guests, collect personal keep-sakes to treasure at the autograph sessions and professional photo shoots, and listen to on-stage talks and even ask the actors a few questions yourself!

And in the evenings you can party the night away at one of the great themed parties or chill out in the bar. (Parties to be announced soon) So dig out your best costumes and get ready to join in the fun!

For more information and the latest announcements check out the website: http://massiveevents.co.uk/

Convention Details:

The Lords Of Time
7th – 9th Sept 2012
The Hilton Metropole hotel, Birmingham NEC

Weekend tickets from £88 (includes autographs and entry to all parties and talks, etc). Tickets available to buy online now.

[Source: Massive Events]

25 July 2012

Speaking to reporters at the screening of his latest BBC One Drama; Bert and Dickie, Matt Smith admitted he is 'selective' about the roles he chooses.

"Because we shoot [Doctor Who] for nine, ten months, all in all, you get about a month to do something else. Of course, you have to be selective, but I responded to the [Bert and Dickie] script. It's made by people I know at the BBC and people that are of great repute. And that's important. There was a good director attached and I always thought it would get a good, strong cast. But it just has to start with a script and I guess I just responded to that."

+  Bert and Dickie airs on Tonight (25th July) at 8.30pm on BBC One.

[Source: Gabriel Torrens]

20 July 2012

The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff opened its doors today, and DWO's Will Brooks was there to report on the event.

This reporter visited the Doctor Who Experience - billed as an ‘interactive journey’ and a ‘spectacular adventure through time and space’ - during its stay in London last year, but I’ve been chomping at the bit to take a look inside its brand new home at Porth Teigr in Cardiff; right next door to the Doctor Who Studios. 

Housed in a specially constructed building - TARDIS blue, of course - the experience is set to stay in Cardiff for the next five years, meaning you’ve got plenty of chances to come down and meet the monsters. 

While outside, the waiting crowds are kept entertained by Daleks, Cybermen and Silents, Doctor Who Online has been given special access to all the exhibits - a real chance to get ‘up close’ to some of The Doctor’s greatest foes. 

The Experience, much like it’s previous incarnation at the Olympia in London, is comprised of two separate sections. The first is an interactive walk-through, which puts you at the heart of a Doctor Who adventure. Featuring specially filmed material of Matt Smith as The Doctor (who’s managed to get himself locked up in the Pandorica… again!), the half-hour journey sees you pilot the TARDIS, a fantastic replica of the TV series’ current console room, battle with Daleks, avoid the clutches of the Weeping Angels (absolutely no blinking allowed…) and more - which I’ll leave for you to find out! 

Obviously tailored toward it’s younger visitors, the interactive journey aspect of the Experience manages to walk that very specific line that the show itself pulls off - the kids will be enthralled, while us ‘older children’ will be loving the ride, too.

It was a bit of a shame too see that the walk-through hasn’t been changed since it’s London debut, as it’s very much written for a post-series 5 audience. That’s a minor quibble, though, and for people who didn’t visit the London version, it’s still going to be amazing. 

Where the Experience does cater for those of us who’ve been before is in the exhibition hall. Those who have visited the Experience before will recall a smallish section toward the end that housed several costumes and props from across the years. Now in its own purpose-built space, these items have real room to breathe.

The starting point being a display of all the eleven Doctor’s costumes should be a hint that you’re in for a real treat; the Experience makes no distinction between ‘classic’ and ‘new’ - it’s all just a part of Doctor Who. Given more space to breathe than was possible in London, the exhibits fill a huge space, and cover a real vast selection of things.  

Obvious ‘key’ areas are the Ninth and Tenth Doctor’s TARDIS console room - the original one - and also a console room for the Fifth Doctor, featuring the Five Doctors version of the console. You can get up close with the Eleventh Doctor’s TARDIS exterior, and they also have the Police Boxes from Tom Baker’s last season, and David Tennant’s run, too. While I was there, a screen above the 80s console was playing Timelash – say what you want, but I love that a whole audience are queuing up to see Colin’s Doctor! 

Upstairs is a whole new area of magic. You’ll find something to fascinate any fan of the show in here, from recent creations like Series 6’s Peg Dolls and Silents to The Giant Robot from Tom Baker’s debut, an Ice Warrior, a Zygon, the Empty Child and more. For a child discovering the classic series for the first time - this place is an absolute gold mine. It’s completely up to date, with the wooden king and queen from last year’s Christmas special happily throned in the centre of the large hall.

There’s plenty here that wasn’t on display in London - or at least wasn’t when I visited last July - which makes it possible to come back for a second visit if you’ve been before. Speaking with one of the – extremely friendly! – members of staff, they described it as ‘Doctor Who coming home’, and there really is a sense of that here.

After the Exhibition section, of course you’ve got a little shop! Filled to the rafters with Doctor Who goodies; this is the perfect chance to pick up DVD’s you’ve not seen, grab hold of the latest action figure, or get a commemorative T-Shirt.

So after all that, we’re just in time to head back outside - into sunshine! It’s a perfect day to open. The crowds are in high spirits - many in costume or waving sonic screwdrivers! There are people here who’ve come from all across the world – there’s fans from Australia, Canada, Scotland… and more than one or two from Wales!

Undaunted by looming Cybermen and Daleks, spirits really couldn’t be higher within the crowds. Anna (an English visitor!) said she’d been to the London version, "but there’s no way I was going to miss the opening of this one!"

11:30am, and it’s opening time. To cut the ribbon, three children have been selected from the waiting masses. All in costume, the ribbon is cut by a miniature Doctor (complete with fez!), and assisted by Amy Pond and a Blue Dalek!

I’ll leave them to it as the first group of ticket holders make their way into the big blue building - they’re off on the adventure of a lifetime, and they won’t be disappointed!  

The Doctor Who Experience really is a place any fan of the show has to visit. The perfect blending of the show’s current status with its rich and varied history alone makes it the best exhibition of its type ever held. Throw into that the interactive experience, the great atmosphere and the knowledge that just about a hundred feet away, they’re making actual, real Doctor Who for us to enjoy on TV next year… absolutely magical!

+ Get your tickets to the Doctor Who Experience via the official website.

** With thanks to BBC Worldwide for arranging everything for us.

[Sources: DWO; Will Brooks]

19 July 2012

Every Thursday DWO spotlight a Doctor Who related YouTube video. This week we look at Designworks' "Winston Churchill Action Figure Creation", which is a truly awesome video looking at the entire process of making a Doctor Who action figure.

Check out the video below:

[Source: Designworks]

11 July 2012

Doctor Who star, Matt Smith, is to become a patron of the National Youth Theatre.

The actor trained with the National Youth Theatre as a teenager and this week visited rehearsals to surprise the 140-strong NYT cast as they put the final touches to their Olympic and Paralympic Team Welcome Ceremonies.

National Youth Theatre’s Artistic Director and CEO Paul Roseby, who knew Smith when he was training as a teenager said:

“We’re all thrilled at the National Youth Theatre to announce that Matt Smith is the latest recruit to our illustrious list of Patrons, as we get ready for our Olympic and Paralympic performances. Matt is a perfect role model for the latest generation of brave new talent."

Smith joined the National Youth Theatre in 2002 and won critical acclaim for his performances as Thomas Beckett in their production of Murder in the Cathedral at London’s Southwark Cathedral and Basoon in The Master and Margarita at the Lyric Hammersmith.

On becoming a Patron, Smith said:

“I think from my experience the thing about the NYT is that you learn through practice. You’re out there on a stage, you’re doing a play, you’re being directed, you’re turning up for rehearsals every day and working as you would work in a professional rehearsal room. It completely transformed my life. No understatement. I’m proud to be part of it still and proud to be the organisation’s newest Patron, as I care very deeply about it.”

[Source: The Telegraph]

6 July 2012

DWO get sent countless awesome videos from our visitors, and we don't always get a chance to share them all on our news page, but this latest one from Jeremiah McDonald is simply amazing...

The video, titled 'A Conversation With My 12 Year Old Self' sees Doctor Who fan Jeremiah (aged 32) interacting with a video recorded by his younger self (aged 12), in an incredibly timey-wimey way.

Check out the video below:

** Please note - this video contains some swearing.

[Source: James Foster]

25 May 2012

Matt Smith will carry the Olympic Torch in Cardiff on Saturday, the official Doctor Who Twitter account has confirmed.

Smith, who is currently filming the seventh series in Cardiff with new companion, played by actress, Jenna Louise-Coleman, said:

"To carry the Torch is an honour, one I thought I'd never get. I'm very excited!"

The news will come as consolation to fans who have been campaigning for David Tennant (The 10th Doctor), to be the official lighter of the Olympic Flame. An online petition has acquired over 37,000+ signatures from fans wishing for the scene from the Series Two adventure; Fear Her, in which The 10th Doctor lights the Olympic Flame, to become reality.

[Source: Official Doctor Who Twitter]

22 May 2012

Tom Baker is back at 79 Strand for the first time in over a year on Thursday May 24th, and is joined by Mark Gatiss, who as well as writing for and appearing in Doctor Who has of course written and starred in Sherlock to great acclaim. 

Ian McNeice who appeared in Doctor Who as Churchill and alongside Martin Clunes in Doc Martin will be joining Tom and Mark and it all kicks off at 10am and will last until mid afternoon. To meet the guests you will need to purchase a qualifying item from the range of Official Fletch Prints and Licensed covers that are on offer. Prices for a single signed item start at £15.

Also available will be a range of Exclusive Classic Action figure sets, the new TARDIS Teapot and a great array of Whovian memorabilia.

Don't worry if you cant get there. It's all available online from scificollector.co.uk.

[Source: SciFiCollector]

19 May 2012

Doctor Who Showrunner and Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat is to receive a special prize at this year's BAFTA TV awards, organisers have announced.

Recognising his "outstanding creative writing contribution to television", the award will be presented on 27 May at London's Royal Festival Hall.

Previous recipients include Russell T. Davies, who preceded the 50-year-old Scot as Doctor Who's head writer.

"Blimey! A special award!" said Moffat, "I didn't even know I was ill."

The accolade follows the writing prize he received at last Sunday's BAFTA Craft Awards for A Scandal in Belgravia, the first episode of Sherlock's second series.

The Paisley native won his first Bafta in 1991 for Press Gang and was further recognised for his work on Doctor Who and Sherlock in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Moffat said he was "so thrilled" to be recognised again, "especially after two years of [working on] my two favourite shows ever".

Bafta chair Tim Corrie described him as "one of the finest exponents of his craft" and said the special award - presented in honour of Dennis Potter - was "very well deserved".

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is up for the best actor prize at this year's awards, which will also see his co-stars Martin Freeman and Andrew Scott go head to head in the supporting actor category.

[Source: BBC News]

18 May 2012

BBC Worldwide have sent DWO another video for the upcoming Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock video game, focusing on the monsters featured in the game, introduced by Simon Harris (Executive Producer) and Nick Dixon (Design Director).

The Eternity Clock launches on 23rd May for PS3 and 13th June for PS Vita on the PlayStation Network.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]


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