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

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

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14 November 2011

Harry Potter director David Yates is teaming up with the BBC to turn its iconic sci-fi TV series Doctor Who into a big screen franchise.

Yates, who directed the last four Potter films, told Daily Variety that he is about to start work on developing a Doctor Who movie with Jane Tranter, BBC Worldwide's L.A.-based exec VP of programming and production.

"We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right," he said. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena."

Doctor Who follows the adventures across space and time of a super-intelligent alien in human form, who battles a variety of cosmic bad guys aided by plucky human companions.

"The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time," Yates said.

The series ran from 1963 to 1989, and then was successfully rebooted in 2005 by writer Russell T. Davies and subsequently by Steven Moffat (The Adventures of Tintin). Tranter oversaw the revival when she was the BBC's drama topper in London.

Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith as the 11th incarnation of the Doctor, is now one of the pubcaster's most lucrative global TV franchises.

Yates made clear that his movie adaptation would not follow on from the current TV series, but would take a completely fresh approach to the material.

"Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch," he said.

Yates and Tranter are looking for writers on both sides of the Atlantic.

"We want a British sensibility, but having said that, Steve Kloves wrote the Potter films and captured that British sensibility perfectly, so we are looking at American writers too," he explained.

There are two previous films, based on the TV series: Doctor Who and the Daleks (1965) and Doctor Who: Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966), both starring Peter Cushing.

The BBC has since made a few unsuccessful attempts to develop a Doctor Who feature, and shot a one-off telepic in 1996 at a time when the TV series was dormant.

But the combination of Yates and Tranter means this is the most high-powered effort to date to launch "Doctor Who" onto the bigscreen.

Before directing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Yates worked with Tranter on several BBC TV series, including The Way We Live Now and State of Play.

DWO will keep you posted with more details as we get them.

Update -Tuesday 15th November @ 9:00am

Since the posting of our news item yesterday, many more media outlets have picked up the story. Certain circles at the BBC, however, appear to be playing down the movie news as rumour.

Doctor Who Brand Manager, Edward Russell, commented on his Twitter channel:

"Off Twitter for a few hours and the Doctor Who world explodes. There's always talk of a movie. Perhaps? Maybe one day. But not right now!"

Doctor Who Magazine had the following to say on their own Twitter channel:

"To those hearing Doctor Who movie rumours, it's just the same rumours which have been going round for years. Nothing's currently happening!"

BBC America tweeted confirmation that the movie is in development:

"A Doctor Who feature film remains in development w/ BBC Worldwide Productions in LA. As of yet no script, cast or production crew in place."

The official BBC Doctor Who website posted an update to the movie rumours this morning too:

"We can confirm that a Doctor Who feature film remains in development with BBC Worldwide Productions in Los Angeles. However, there is currently no script, cast or production crew in place.

We'll bring you any significant movie developments as they're confirmed, but right now there's a lot more Doctor Who coming your way which is imminent and incredible... You'll get a glimpse of what we mean when we release the first image from the amazing Christmas Special later this week!"

Many of you are asking us what we think about it all. The BBC are certainly correct that the movie isn't happening right now, but with David Yates confirming he is directing a Doctor Who movie (to renowned entertainment news site, Variety), and that it is 2-3 years away, surely this is confirmation that something iS happening, and that the movie IS going ahead...albeit in the planning stages.

We have received thousands of tweets from our followers on DWO's own Twitter channel. Many of you are excited at the prospect of a new Doctor Who movie, but there are a lot of fans expressing worry at the fact the movie will be separate to the TV series. It is worth noting that, as previously mentioned, everything is at a very early stage right now. Surely we should all give this project a chance and take the 'wait and see' approach? What do you think? Leave your comments below or discuss in the DWO Forums on the buttom below.

+  Are you happy at the news of a new Doctor Who Movie? Vote Now in the DWO Forums!

[Sources: DWO; BBC Doctor Who websiteVariety]

11 November 2011

BBC Worldwide today revealed details of the first ever official Doctor Who Convention since the series’ regeneration in 2005. The event will take place on the 24th and 25th March 2012 at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Wales - the current home of the show.  

Billed as the ‘Ultimate Doctor Who Fan Event’, there are just 1500 tickets available for each of the days – the programme is the same on each day to give attendees the most  in depth experience possible. Fans who manage to snap these up will gain unrivalled access to Eleventh Doctor star Matt Smith, Series Lead Writer and Executive Producer Steven Moffat and many more key members from the award-winning cast, crew and production team including Doctor Who Special FX Supervisor Danny Hargreaves, Production Designer Michael Pickwoad, Doctor Who Producer Marcus Wilson and the award-winning Millennium FX team. 

The unique interactive programme will include theatre sessions and Q&As with cast and crew; behind the scenes sessions show-casing the script to screen process; discussions with episode directors and writers and demonstrations from Special FX and prosthetics experts that will illustrate the challenges and scale of their work on the world’s longest running sci-fi show. Autograph and photo opportunities will also be available with attending cast members and there will be official Doctor Who merchandise and collectables on sale.

Convention attendees will be let into the secrets of Doctor Who special effects as Danny Hargreaves and his talented team, reveal the tricks used to create the stunning physical effects that leave audiences on the edge of their seats. Watch them recreate a spectacular battle scene with live pyrotechnics, amazing explosions and laser effects. 

Even more tricks of the trade will be unveiled by the award-winning Millennium FX team responsible for creating some of Doctor Who’s most iconic monsters including the Silence; the Silurians; the Weeping Angels and the Ood. The team will be giving a live demonstration of the skilful process involved in prosthetics application that fans can watch up-close and learn from the team how each stage is achieved. 

Convention attendees will also be able to get up close and personal with rare costumes and props from the show where designers and experts will be on hand to answer questions about the origins and history of the items on show. The Millennium Centre itself has starred in several episodes – it was the setting for a hospital in New Earth in Series 2 run by the cat-like Sisters of Plentitude, in Tom McRae’s episode The Girl Who Waited in Series 6 the building featured as a principle location on Apalapucia – the kindness facility where people were quarantined, see if you can spot the top floor balcony where Amy fought with a Handbot!

Matt Smith commented on the convention’s announcement: “It’s brilliant that the first official convention is being held in Cardiff, the home of Doctor Who. I’m really looking forward to seeing the fans there, and remember – bow ties are cool!” 

Steven Moffat said: “A whole weekend dedicated to all things Doctor Who, brilliant! We’re going to be celebrating the whole team behind the show, people who bring to life the Doctor's craziest adventures and letting fans into some of our trade secrets. If you want to get under the skin of Doctor Who this is an unmissable event!”           

All tickets will include:

-  Official Doctor Who Convention souvenir ticket.

-  Official Doctor Who Convention souvenir lanyard and pass.

-  Official Doctor Who Convention exclusive behind the scenes images postcard pack.

-  Official Doctor Who Convention bag.

+  Tickets are priced £99 will go on general sale on November 14th from 9am from: www.dwconvention.com.

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

28 October 2011

David Tennant is taking a double starring role as twin teachers at rival schools in Nativity 2, a sequel to Debbie Isitt's 2009 UK hit comedy.

Pic, backed by UK distributor Entertainment One, started shooting on 17th October for six weeks in the English Midlands and North Wales. Like the first movie, the low-budget sequel is based around a school putting on a Christmas performance in competition with other schools.

Tennant, best known for Doctor Who, plays a temp teacher who must lead a group of under-achieving kids in the national contest, while his golden-boy brother (also Tennant) leads the challenge from a posh rival school.

Written and directed by Isitt, Nativity 2 is produced by Nick Jones of Mirrorball Films, and co-financed by Premiere Picture and Media Pro Six.

[Source: Variety]

28 October 2011

In a recent interview with VH-1, it seemed that Matt Smith may have set his sights on Hollywood, and that his Doctor Who days are numbered. That is, of course, if you read into things a little too much (like a few well-known tabloids did last week).

But throwing a curveball at all the doubters, a new interview with Matt Smith via What's on TV, puts our minds at rest...for now:

"We work very long hours every day for nine months. The schedule is pretty brutal, but I'd never complain about it. I love playing this role, and I don't want to give it up any time soon,". "I feel very lucky. In the current climate for actors, I'd never say, 'This is too much' - quite the opposite, in fact. I'd say, 'Bring it on.'"

[Source: What's On TV]

18 October 2011

On Saturday 29th October, The Doctor Who Appreciation Society will be staging their annual 'Time' Doctor Who convention at Hammersmith's Riverside Studios.

Time 5 will be an unmissable event for Doctor Who fans - not just because of their fantastic guest line-up, but also due to the fact that Episode One of the Classic Series Jon Pertwee adventure Invasion of the Dinosaurs is going to be screened in colour for the first time since its original broadcast on 12th January 1974!

DWO will also be in attendance on the day offering a wide selection of Doctor Who related merchandise, and giving away a FREE Doctor Who Micro Figure to the first 50 customers!

Guests:

Paul Darrow (Tekker in Timelash, Hawkins in Silurians)

Richard Franklin (Mike Yates Pertwee era)

David Bailie (Taren Capel in Robots of Death, Celestial Toymaker at Big Finish)

Louise Page (costumes for the Tennant era)

Mike Tucker (VFX classic and New Who and bringing props!)

Dan Hall (Commissioning editor 2Entertain with surprises!)

Chris Guard (Bellboy from Greatest Show)

Andrew Hayden-Smith (Jake Simmons from Rise of the Cybermen and Doomsday)

Daniel King (Davenport in Unicorn and the Wasp)

Ayesha Antoine (Dee Dee Blasco from Midnight)

And Gareth David Lloyd (Ianto Jones in Doctor Who and Torchwood)

In other DWAS related news, the society now has a presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, so make sure you follow them, and stay tuned to their YouTube channel as some great Doctor Who related content will be added over the coming weeks and months.

+  For more info or to book tickets to DWAS events, visit the DWAS website at:http://www.dwasonline.co.uk/.

[Source: DWAS]

17 October 2011

Doctor Who took the top slot as well as 4 other entires in the BBC iPlayer Top 20 requests for September 2011.

Torchwood: Miracle Day aslo faired favourably with three placements in the Top 20 figures.

BBC iPlayer Top 20 requests - September 2011:

1 Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 10 - 1,156,000

2 Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 9 - 1,105,000

3 Outnumbered Series 4 Episode 1 - 1,039,000

4 Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 11 - 1,011,000

5 Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 12 - 965,000

6 Outnumbered Series 4 Episode 2 - 806,000

7 Waterloo Road Series 7 Episode 11 - 711,000

8 Outnumbered Series 4 Episode 3 - 686,000

9 Outnumbered Series 4 Episode 4 - 622,000

10 Torchwood Miracle Day Episode 8 - 612,000

11 Planet Dinosaur Lost World Episode 1 - 604,000

12 Torchwood Miracle Day Episode 9 - 590,000

13 Spooks Series 10 Episode 1 - 583,000

14 Waterloo Road Series 7 Episode 12 - 573,000

15 Torchwood Miracle Day Episode 10 - 566,000

16 Doctor Who Series 6 Episode 8 - 545,000

17 EastEnders 16/09/11 - 526,000

18 Mock the Week Series 10 Episode 8 - 518,000

19 Mock the Week Series 10 Episode 9 - 502,000

20 EastEnders 13/09/11 - 491,000

[Source: BBC Press Office]

4 October 2011

Ex-Doctor Who star Tom Baker is giving his free time for a special signing for St Michaels Hospice in East Sussex.

The signing will take place on Sunday 30th October at The Arthur Eastern Centre, St Michaels Hospice, Upper Maze Hill, St Leornards on Sea, East Sussex, TN38 0LB, between 12-4:00pm.

Tom will be signing photographs on the day and all proceeds will be going to the hospice.

[Source: Steve Corke]

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]

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