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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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21 September 2011

Ex-Doctor Who star David Tennant will be lending his vocal talents to Postman Pat: The Movie - You Know You're The One.

The movie, which also stars Stephen Mangan (Episodes), Rupert Grint (Harry Potter) and Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter) will see the animated postman taking part in a television talent contest and achieving overnight fame.

Postman Pat made its debut on BBC One in 1981 and the announcement was made to mark the character's 30th anniversary.

+ Postman Pat: The Movie - You Know You're The One will be in cinemas in 2013.

[Source: Empire]

14 September 2011

Ex-Doctor Who star David Tennant is to co-host the Children in Need Rocks Manchester concert on 17th November.

Tennant will be joining Fearne Cotton and Chris Moyles to host the event which will air on BBC One and BBC Radio 1. The show which takes place at Manchester's MEN Arena - will also feature Michael Buble, JLS, N-Dubz and Hugh Laurie.

The concert, which raises money for the popular Children in Need appeal, has been hosted at London's Royal Albert Hall for the past two years, and the move to the north-west of England ties in with the relocation of several BBC departments to Salford.

Tickets go on sale on Friday with details at www.bbc.co.uk/pudsey.

[Source: Press Association]

14 September 2011

Doctor Who, David Tennant and Karen Gillan have all won awards at this years TV Choice awards.

Hosted at London's Savoy Hotel, the 2011 TV Choice Awards saw a number of nominations for Doctor Who and its related actors.

Doctor Who won the Best Family Drama category, beating off Waterloo Road and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

David Tennant won the Best Actor category for his role in Single Father, beating off current Doctor Who star, Matt Smith and previous Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston for his role in The Shadow Line.

Karen Gillan won the Best Actress category for her role in Doctor Who, beating off competition from numerous other actors including Doctor Who stars, Elisabeth Sladen (The Sarah Jane Adventures), Freema Agyeman (Law and Order UK) and Alex Kingston (Marchlands).

Finally, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' Sherlock was also honoured at the event, scooping an award for Best New Drama.

[Source: TV Choice]

12 September 2011

On Monday 19th September, David Tennant can be seen in Sky Atlantic's new comedy; This is Jinsy.

Packed with surreal sketches and infectiously catchy songs, each episode follows the adventures of the island's pompous arbiter Maven (Justin Chubb) and his beleaguered assistant Sporall (Chris Bran) as they enforce the wishes of The Great He, and generally find trouble at every turn. 

Featuring a who's who of comic guest stars including Peter Serafinowicz, Simon Callow, David Tennannt, Harry Hill and Catherine Tate, the eight-part series is set to bring bags of off-kilter charm to British screens.

In the first episode, it is wedding lottery time again on Jinsy and residents are making frantic last-minute preparations before being randomly assigned new partners for the next three cycles. Over-seeing the proceedings is local celebrity Mr Slightlyman (David Tennant), an outrageously camp wedding planner with a penchant for plastic surgery.

Fans can catch a glimpse of Tennant camping it up on the hilarious clip below:

+  This is Jinsy begins on Sky Atlantic on Monday 19 September at 10:10pm.

[Source: Sky]

6 September 2011

The TARDIS is set to land on Caerphilly Castle, just before the BBC Proms in the Park takes place in the town.

This is the first outdoor concert ever staged in Caerphilly. The event is expected to attract thousands of people, some avid BBC Proms in the Park followers and many who have never experienced being part of BBC Proms before.

The TARDIS is on show from 6th-12th September and visitors can see the TARIDS up close within the castle walls.

On Saturday 10th September Caerphilly town is turned into ‘Fringefest’ in celebration of BBC proms in the Park and Caerphilly Castle throws is free all day between 9:30am and 5pm.

Inside the Castle between 10:30am4pm there is entertainment such as Twerlin the Wizard, Fiery Jack with Escapology, Dragon Stories and a Dragon Parade.

Take a stroll into Caerphilly town and enjoy ‘Fringefest’ with an eclectic mix of music, comedy, entertainment and art.

To purchase proms tickets go to www.blackwoodminersinstitute.com or call The Visit Caerphilly Centre on 029 2088 0011 or go into the centre seven days a week between 10am5:30pm.

Tickets are just £10 per adult, children 12 and under are Free with an accompanying adult and £12 on the night.

[Source: Campaign]

6 September 2011

On Sunday 4th September, in front of a packed Riverside Studios, Colin Baker (The 6th Doctor), proudly accepted the post of Honorary President of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society.

His surprise appearance at the "Day of the Daleks" convention held in Hammersmith, London followed a poll amongst DWAS members where he received more votes than all the other candidates combined. The post had been vacant since the death earlier this year of Nicholas Courtney, who had previously been the incumbent since 1997.

Colin received a rapturous reception from the audience, and was genuinely taken aback by both the title that was bestowed and also the response from those present.

Colin said: "I feel humble and truly delighted. To follow Jon Pertwee and Nicholas Courtney is a great honour. I am abashed and very grateful." 

[Source: DWAS]

2 September 2011

Former Doctor Who star Billie Piper will return to the stage to star in the UK premiere of Neil LaBute's Reasons to Be Pretty, which runs at the Almeida Theatre from 17th November 2011 (previews from 10th November) to 14th January 2012.

Reasons to Be Pretty, which will also be directed by LaBute, examines our perception of beauty and asks whether it is as much of a curse to be conventionally attractive as it is to be considered ugly.

The play had its world premiere at New York’s Lucille Lortel Theater in 2008 and has previously been tipped for the West End and connected with names including Lily Allen, Julia Stiles and Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera.

Billie Piper made her stage debut in 2007 in the West End revival of Christopher Hampton’s Treats. The former pop star’s many television credits include Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Doctor Who, A Passionate Woman, Mansfield Park, The Ruby in the Smoke, ShakespeaReTold and Things to Do Before You’re 30.

[Source: What's On Stage]

30 August 2011

Doctor Who Brand Manager, Edward Russell, is taking on a 160-mile walk from Cardiff to London to raise money for Meadow House Hospice, in memory of Elisabeth Sladen, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Below is what Edward had to say about the task:

"I am going to walk 160 miles from Cardiff to London!

I'm walking in order to raise money for Meadow House Hospice. This NHS-funded facility recently cared for Elisabeth Sladen, known to many of you as Sarah Jane Smith from the TV series Doctor Who.

Like many of her fans and friends, I was deeply saddened by Lis' death in April 2011 and I hope to raise as much money as possible for this wonderful cause. More details and a target sum are to follow.

Starting on Saturday 3 September, I will walk from the BBC's Upper Boat studios in Cardiff (where SJA was filmed), aiming to arrive at the BBC Television Centre (where Lis first filmed Doctor Who) in London the following Friday. I will largely be following the National Cycling Route No. 4 - walking the equivellent of a marathan every day!

I'll be updating my training progress and adding words from colleagues and friends on my blog http://walkforlis.blogspot.com/.

Please dig deep and donate now, in memory of this fantastic lady."

+  Click Here to make a donation on Just Giving.

[Source: Edward Russell]

28 August 2011

Former Doctor Who star Billie Piper is to star in BBC Three’s new sitcom Tom and Jenny.

The show follows a feuding couple who split-up but remain living in the same house together.

Directed by Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners Movie), the series is written by Lee Hupfield, producer / co-writer of The Kevin Bishop Show and Star Stories.

Other shows heading to BBC Three include coming of age comedy Pramface, Life Story starring Sharon Horgan and Holly Walsh, plus a new series of White Van Man starring Will Mellor and Doctor Who star, Georgia Moffett.

[Source: BBC Three]

24 July 2011

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are attending this years San Diego Comic Con, and recently conducted a video interview for G4:

[Source: G4]

21 July 2011

Our friends over at the Bad Wilf Podcast recently attended an acting master class at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where Christopher Eccleston (The 9th Doctor) shed some light on the real reason behind his decision to quit.

“I left Doctor Who because I could not get along with the senior people. I left because of politics. I did not see eye-to-eye with them. I didn’t agree with the way things were being run. I didn’t like the culture that had grown up, around the series. So I left, I felt, over a principle.

“I thought to remain, which would have made me a lot of money and given me huge visibility, the price I would have had to pay was to eat a lot of shit. I’m not being funny about that. I didn’t want to do that and it comes to the art of it, in a way. I feel that if you run your career and– we are vulnerable as actors and we are constantly humiliating ourselves auditioning. But if you allow that to go on, on a grand scale you will lose whatever it is about you and it will be present in your work.

“If you allow your desire to be successful and visible and financially secure – if you allow that to make you throw shades on your parents, on your upbringing, then you’re knackered. You’ve got to keep something back, for yourself, because it’ll be present in your work.  A purity or an idealism is essential or you’ll become– you’ve got to have standards, no matter how hard work that is. So it makes it a hard road, really.

“You know, it’s easy to find a job when you’ve got no morals, you’ve got nothing to be compromised, you can go, ‘Yeah, yeah. That doesn’t matter. That director can bully that prop man and I won’t say anything about it’. But then when that director comes to you and says ‘I think you should play it like this’ you’ve surely got to go ‘How can I respect you, when you behave like that?’

“So, that’s why I left. My face didn’t fit and I’m sure they were glad to see the back of me. The important thing is that I succeeded. It was a great part. I loved playing him. I loved connecting with that audience. Because I’ve always acted for adults and then suddenly you’re acting for children, who are far more tasteful; they will not be bullshitted. It’s either good, or it’s bad. They don’t schmooze at after-show parties, with cocktails.”

[Source: Bad Wilf]

21 July 2011

The BBC have confirmed the new Adventure Game will be released this October and is called The Gunpowder Plot.

It's the most ambitious Adventure Game to date and stars Matt Smith as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy and for the first time, Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams. This new, dazzlingly epic story gives you the chance to battle aliens in London, 1605. But as well as extra-terrestrial monsters, you'll meet Guy Fawkes (visualisation above) and really get a feel for what was happening at this incendiary moment in Britain's history. It's your chance to virtually step back in time, chat to famous figures and participate in one of the most notorious plots the world has ever known.

The BBC Doctor Who website are delighted to say that The Gunpowder Plot also sees the return of two old enemies... more about them soon! Right now they can confirm that this, the fifth Adventure Game, was written by Phil Ford (Doctor Who: The Adventure Games, The Sarah Jane Adventures and co-writer of The Waters of Mars) and produced by Gary Russell. The executive producers are Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger, Beth Willis, Anwen Aspden and Charles Cecil.

The Gunpowder Plot will be the most advanced of the Adventure Games so far. Gamers will be able to play as the Doctor, Amy and Rory, exploring the immersive environments of this historic period. The adventure will feature multi-linear gameplay, even more sophisticated puzzles, and a complex lighting system specifically designed to recreate the atmosphere of 17th Century London. And for the very first time, the introduction of portal technology will enable gamers to experience for themselves that the TARDIS really is bigger on the inside...

To accompany the game, BBC Learning will be offering teachers an online resource pack containing unique, downloadable assets to support History and Literacy in the classroom. And in the adventure itself you'll be meeting not just the main figures from the plot, but everyday Londoners who lived through an exciting, dangerous and fascinating era.

The Adventure Games have received over 2.6 million download requests since the launch of the first adventure, City of the Daleks, which SFX called 'the best Who game to date.' The series was a finalist at the Develop Awards and nominated at the Banff World Media Festival for Best Branded Entertainment.

As always, the Adventure Game will be free in the UK and we'll be giving you more information soon. The Gunpowder Plot explodes in approximately three months time. It may not rhyme, but remember, remember... October!

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

13 July 2011

The BBC have launched a brand new Doctor Who video on demand service via Facebook.

The service, which currently offers 9 stories from both the Classic Series and the New Series, uses the Facebook credits system as currency, and charges 15 Facebook credits (£0.94) per story.

Titles currently available:

An Unearthly Child

The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Time Warrior

City of Death


Attack of the Cybermen

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

The End of the World

Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead

+  Click Here to check out Doctor Who VOD service on Facebook.

+  Like Doctor Who Online on Facebook.

[Source: BBC]

13 July 2011

BBC Worldwide have published their Annual Review for 2011 which highlights Doctor Who as one of the 'most valuable' brands, largely responsible for the corporations commercial success.

The report showed pre-tax profits rose 59pc to £201.2m, or £188m following disposals, on revenues up 7.8pc to £1.16bn.

The Doctor Who franchise saw revenues climb 49pc, following significant growth in the US. It is now sold to more than 50 territories. Doctor Who was also the number-three TV series purchased globally on iTunes in 2010/11.

BBC's Worldwide's top five power brands include Top Gear, Doctor Who, Lonely Planet, Dancing with the Stars and BBC Earth. Headline sales from these brands were £308.1m, a rise of 12.6pc year-on-year.

The corporation also notes in the report how it has embraced the online social avenues. John Smith, the chief executive of BBC Worldwide, said Worldwide will increasingly use Facebook to both market and sell its content and events.

Doctor Who episodes will be available for Facebook users in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and episodes will be available to view for 48 hours.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

2 June 2011

Planning permission has been sought by Cardiff Council for the construction of a 3000 sq metre building in Porth Teigr that will become the long-term home of the Doctor Who Experience when it relocates from London’s Olympia to Cardiff in 2012. 

Working closely in partnership with BBC Worldwide, the Council is progressing the feasibility of a commercial agreement that could bring this international attraction to the capital city of Wales in Spring 2012. In addition to submitting a planning application the council is carrying out ground investigations to establish substructure costs as part of the feasibility.

The Doctor Who Experience allows visitors to join the Doctor on a journey through time and space, combining a walk-through immersive adventure with the largest exhibition ever assembled of sets, props and memorabilia from the series.  It has been described by reviewers as “exhilarating”, “awe-inspiring” and “the hottest ticket in the Universe”.

BBC Worldwide announced in September 2010 that it intended to relocate the attraction in Cardiff during 2012, following consolidation of its previous Doctor Who exhibitions, including the closure of the former Doctor Who Exhibition in Cardiff’s Red Dragon Centre in March 2011.

The Experience boasts an array of incredible special effects, brand new filmed footage of Matt Smith as the Doctor, a recreation of the modern TARDIS and a breathtaking 3D finale.  The exhibition element includes items never publicly displayed before including original costumes, a full scale recreation of two iconic TARDIS sets from the eras of David Tennant and Peter Davison, and numerous monsters including several generations of The Daleks, Cybermen, Silurians, Ice Warriors, Zygons and the gigantic K-I robot.  The Doctor’s latest sinister adversaries from the current season – The Silence – are also on view.

Philip Murphy, Managing Director for Live Events at BBC Worldwide commented: “The Doctor Who Experience opened to tremendous critical and customer reviews.  Having a long-term home in a purpose-built facility in Cardiff will enable us to develop the Experience even further as the premier fan destination for Doctor Who.  We’ve worked very closely with Cardiff Council to bring the Experience to Cardiff, and we believe that it will draw fans to the Welsh capital from around the world”. 

Keith Jones, Director of BBC Cymru Wales, says: “Wales is the home of Doctor Who – our original made-in-Wales drama success story – so locating this fantastic experience in Cardiff Bay is a great development.  The show will have moved into its brand new production home at Roath Lock Studios by this time next year.  It’s therefore very exciting that around the same time audiences will be able to come and enjoy such a thrilling experience, within a stone’s throw of where the magic is made”.

Councillor Rodney Berman, Leader of Cardiff Council, said: “Cardiff is proud of being the home of Doctor Who which has undoubtedly helped raise the profile of the city. The new Doctor Who Experience coming to Cardiff Bay is a very exciting proposition and one that fans of the show are greatly looking forward to. This promises to be a great new attraction for the city with the added bonus of people being able to visit the Doctor Who Experience right next door to where the series is filmed.”

The Doctor Who Experience remains open at Olympia Two in London and tickets are currently available to book there through to 20th November 2011.  Further information about the closing date of the London run and the launch of The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff will be released after planning permission has been obtained.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

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