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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.

E-Mail NewsE-Mail Reviews
19 May 2011

DWO recently caught up with New Series Doctor Who Director, Richard Clark, who spared us some time for a quick interview:

When you found out you would be directing the hotly anticipated Neil Gaiman episode, what was your first reaction, and how much input did he have?

I was absolutely thrilled. The Sandman blew me away when I first came across it and I loved American Gods. Having said that I hadn't been aware of this episode or any of the feverish anticipation surrounding it. And frankly I'm glad. The first I knew of Neil's script when it landed on my desk with his name on it, so I just approach it as I would any other story.

As for Neil's input, well I guess the honest answer would be very little. Like all good writers he understands that once you pass a script to a director you're in some ways saying goodbye. A writer's responsibility ends at the words on the page. It's then the director's job to turn those words into a walking, talking visual exciting reality, on time and on budget. 

However what did inevitably happen is that, because of our practical restraints, we did go back to Neil on several occasions to see if he could write us out of a corner. Hence there are a number of scenes, characters, locations and dialogue that never made the final film.

3.3: Gridlock, 3.6: The Lazarus Experiment, 6.4: The Doctor's Wife - Which has been the most challenging of all the Doctor Who stories you have directed to date and why?

Tricky one. Either Gridlock or The Doctor's Wife. In both cases you've got to create an entire alien world which is always a challenge. Gridlock had some very elaborate CGI work - David Tennant jumping from car to car and the Macra snapping at Martha's vehicle. 

However there was a visual ambition to The Doctor's Wife that we all just really went for. Just take the lighting for example (Owen McPollin was my wonderful DP). We tried to use it to really tell the story which meant we had all sorts of complex lighting changes going on all the time (look at when the Tardis first lands on the planet). And then the production design was a massive undertaking. Infact I'm n ot sure Dr Who hasn't seen sets built on that scale before.

When it comes to directing actors, do you prefer minimal input so that they bring more to the table or a more hands-on approach to get more out of them?

For me directing actors is about instinct. You have to get a feel for who they are and how they work. They all have different approaches and need supporting, encouraging or guiding in different ways. Matt for example knows his character, but I wanted this to be a really emotional episode for him (as did he) and so it was about teasing that out of him. However Suranne, as a guest on the show, had to create a character from scratch. In that case I had a clear idea of what that should be so it was very much about giving her the confidence to go for it. It was very ballsy of her to trust me because, had I got it wrong, she would have been the focus of fans anger! 

The other thing I should add is that actor's spark off each other and affect each other's performance. They create possibilities that you as a director couldn't have imagined.

Bearing in mind DWO is a non-spoiler site, what can you tell us about your upcoming episode written by Mark Gatiss?

Almost nothing I guess! Except to say that I absolutely love it. It's very creepy (young viewers might well need a cushion to hide behind). Oh and Danny Mays is brilliant. Great chemistry with Matt.

Finally, if you could have one round trip in the TARDIS, anywhere in time and space, where would you go and why?

Now that's tricky. 

Either I'd take a trip into the future, say 2000 years after mankind first inhabits another planet, and go to the planet with the most established human civilization but furthest from earth, just to see where we're all heading. OR. I'd go to the most advanced alien civilization that exists right now and see if they know about us.

[We also asked Richard another question in case he couldn't answer Question 4. The reply was so good, we have included it below]

Owing to the huge success of The Doctor's Wife, and your clearly successful partnership with Neil Gaiman, is there any possibility of a future collaboration in Doctor Who between the pair of you?

Neil and I would love to collaborate on something together. And we'd love to collaborate on another Dr Who. (a feature?) But the t ruth is it's not up to us. With Steven Moffat, Beth Willis and Piers Wenger in charge the show is in very capable hands and they will make the right choices about how to keep it moving forwards.

But I have to say I'd love to direct a Dr Who episode for each new Doctor across my lifetime!

+  Post a Question to Richard Clark in the DWO Forums Ask & Answer section.

+  To read more DWO Interviews, check out the DWO Features section.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

<mce:script

11 May 2011

Following today's comments from Steven Moffat on BBC Radio 5 Live, DWO have made the decision to make our online Forums, completely spoiler-free.

The site itself has already been spoiler free since 2006, and our forums have spoiler related discussion contained in one board. However, we now feel that any spoiler discussion at all has no place on our forums, and therefore, as of today, will be removed. Instead we will allow speculation and mild teasers, as per the BBC format, and have renamed the Spoiler & Speculation board to Speculation (No Spoilers).

We are aware that a few fans will not like this decision, and may not wish to use the forums anymore, but we feel it is the right decision, and one that the majority of our members will see as a good thing.

This may sound like a drastic step, but we think this is what the show, the fans and indeed the production team deserve, especially considering how much hard work and effort goes into the making of Doctor Who.

+  Link: The DWO Forums.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

23 April 2011

The DWO WhoCast Doctor Who Podcast is covering the New Series as soon as it airs each week.

The podcast, which is available weekly for FREE from iTunes and the DWO WhoCast website , will be moving to Saturday evenings whilst Series Six airs, and immediately after each episode has finished, you can find the latest episode of the DWO WhoCast online, with a review of the most recent adventure.

So at 6:45pm Tonight you will find Episode #190 available for download with our review of 6.1: The Impossible Astronaut.

** Don't forget to Rate / Discuss each episode of the DWO WhoCast in the DWO Forums!

+ Subscribe to the DWO WhoCast via iTunes.

+ Download the iWho App for just £1.19, complete with DWO WhoCast Episodes!

[Source: DWO]

10 April 2011

DWO are thrilled to announce our brand new Doctor Who RPG series - exclusively on the DWO Forums.

The new role playing game series, titled Vortex Adventures, launches tonight at 6pm, with our first adventure: 1.1: Lost in Time.

Taking part is free and requires membership to the DWO Forums - prospective players will also need to submit a character profile, which you can get a template for in the Vortex Adventures 'Rules and Gameplay' thread.

There is no current limit to the number of players, and all players will get their own profile thread to keep track of their scores, accomplishments, battles and awards.

Members of the DWO Forum Moderation and Admin team will be supplying linking story text, and will be accepting new players regularly.

To whet your appetites we've included the introductory story text below:

The Doctor opened his eyes and took a sharp intake of breath as he clambered to his feet. Slowly looking around him, there was a distinct air of unfamiliarity about the environment. How did he get here? Where are Amy and Rory? What planet is this? And more importantly…Where is the TARDIS???

It's late at night and the starry sky above twinkles in an unnatural manner as it meets with the almost blue hue of the planets surface. The Doctor shivers and tries to gain a sense of bearing. Up ahead in the distance he can just about make out the lights of what appears to be a small city.

He starts off in the direction, when an asteroid lands 30 metres to his right, shaking the ground beneath him, forcing The Doctor to maintain his balance. Suddenly it becomes clear as to the unnatural nature of the stars as The Doctor realises an asteroid belt passes through part of the planets atmosphere. Quickly he gathers his pace and starts running towards the city.

As he gets closer, The Doctor finally realises where he is…The Maldovarium…

He gathers his wits and becomes mindful of the setting, which is famed across the galaxy for its reputation as a hive of opportunistic characters where strange things happen to even the most steadfast of travellers.

The Doctor needs to find some allies and piece together the events that are clearly missing from his memory.

+ Join the DWO Forums and take part in Vortex Adventures, here.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

3 March 2011

After many weeks of hard work, the DWO iWho App is now live on the Apple App Store.

Developed by DWO's Sebastian J. Brook and James Kelly, iWho is your #1 app for the latest Doctor Who News and Reviews, together with episodes of the DWO WhoCast podcast, as well as the DWO Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Blog Streams - right in the app itself!

Don't forget to Rate & Review iWho on the App Store, and as always, your feedback is greatly appreciated.

+ Click Here to buy iWho for just £1.19 ($1.99).

Read More about iWho in the DWO Apps section.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

28 February 2011

The DWO WhoCast podcast is planning a Nicholas Courtney tribute episode, and we want you, his fans, to get in touch.

Although we will have our own feature on Nicholas, the DWO WhoCast is asking our listeners to get in touch with mp3 audio (no background music) and emails for us to read out, about what you thought of Nicholas Courtney's role as The Brigadier, how you felt when you heard the tragic news, as well as any other stories or memories you may have.

You can send your feedback to: feedback@dwowhocast.com, and we will put the episode together over the next week.

+  Watch DWO's tribute video to Nicholas Courtney.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

11 February 2011

After a longer than planned hiatus, DWO's very own Doctor Who Podcast, The DWO WhoCast is returning.

With nearly 200 episodes under its belt since 2006, the show returns with two new hosts that will be familiar to most of our visitors.

Our first host is Cameron K. McEwan, who many of you will know as the editor of fellow Doctor Who site, Blogtor Who. On joining the team, Cameron said:

"After a number of years expressing my opinions and thoughts through mere text, I'm delighted to be using my own actual voice now to help highlight the Scottish agenda in Doctor Who. I can't think of a better way to do this than through The DWO WhoCast."

Joining Cameron is a veteran of The DWO WhoCast, as we welcome back Tony Gallichan. Tony is also the host of the popul ar podcast, The Flashing Blade, and on rejoining The DWO WhoCast had the following to say:

"I'm surprised and delighted that I have been persuaded to return. The DWO WhoCast has become the Morcombe and Wise show of podcasts. I think that the memory cheats. Stay tuned!"

Outgoing host and creator of The DWO WhoCast, Paul Wilson had the following advice for the new hosts:

"I wish you all the best and I'm sure you will entertain everyone. Just remember to give your honest opinions, and never leave a pie in the oven whilst interviewing any guests!"

Outgoing co-host and DWO Editor, Sebastian J. Brook had the following words of encouragement for the boys:

"Hosting The DWO WhoCast has been a tremendous joy, but the torch is being passed onto two extremely capable chums who will take the show in a whole new direction. I wish Cam and Tony all best - splendid chaps, both of you!"

The DWO WhoCast returns Tonight, continuing on from the original episode numbering with Episode #178.

+  Subscribe to the DWO WhoCast on iTunes.

+  Follow The DWO WhoCast on Twitter / 'Like' The DWO WhoCast on Facebook.

+  Check Out the show and previous episodes on The DWO WhoCast website at: www.dwowhocast.com.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

24 December 2010

It's Christmas Eve! And DWO have one final present for all our visitors before the big day. With all the Christmas shopping now done, and all the Christmas cards posted, it leaves just enough time to make a simple sweet treat, with a Doctor Who twist.

Join Seb as he attempts to follow his wife's recipe making some Dalek Sugar Cookies:

Let us know what you thought of the video, by rating and leaving your comments on the DWO YouTube Channel.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

<mce:script

23 December 2010

As the big day approaches, we wanted to put together a final Christmas present to all our visitors. And so we present to you, our humble Christmas poem:

The Delight Before Christmas

by Sebastian J. Brook


'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land,


we wait for the TARDIS, all blue and so grand.


The shopping is finished - well, as much as we could,


Quick! Down to the pound shop, where Woolworths once stood!


A toy from last year at a bargainous price,


So what if it's plastic? It still looks quite nice!



It's a gift for my uncle, who lives far away,

in the constellation of Kasterborous, the planet Gallifrey!


It exists in a time loop, hard to get to, you see,


there's a Taxi that goes there, with a quite hefty fee.


Ill send it by Reindeer, with my old friend, Saint Nick,

he'll get there in time, with a neat little trick.


He'll slide down the chimney (Yes, they have them there too),

They have them on Skaro! (but ought really not to!).



But the hour gets late, and to home we must go,


through the crowds and carols, and the impending snow.


To a place by the fire, with the Quality Street,


or the Cadburys Roses, or anything sweet!


And then off to bed, where tomorrow we'll find,


a room full of presents, from people so kind.



Skip forward 6 hours, to quarter past three,


We're full up from Turkey, and all the debris.



But in two hours from now and 45 minutes,


we'll be sat all together, watching Doctor Who, innit!
 

The one with some Dickens, some singing and sharks,


it's written by Moffat, and will be full of such larks!


So we raise up a glass to all fans as we write,


Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!


[Source: Doctor Who Online]

 

22 December 2010

DWO caught up with YouTube video blog sensation and newly-appointed Doctor Who Confidential Reporter, Charlie McDonnell, regarding his latest projects, future prospects and his love for Doctor Who.

Some facts...You are the most subscribed YouTuber in the UK. You have over 70 Million video views. Youre in a band. You have your own album. And you've achieved all of this within the space of 3 years. At just 20 years old, you must be pretty proud of your fantastic achievements. Where would you like to be 3 years from now?

Well, first and foremost I'd definitely still like to be making videos for YouTube, though my style of video-making has changed a lot over the last three years so I don't really know what kind of stuff I'll be putting up in the future - I just know that I'll be doing it on YouTube! I love making stuff, so I have vague ambitions to work film and television in the future (whether that be in front of or behind of the camera) but only so long as I can have the kind of creative control that I'm used to getting on my YouTube channel. I've had free reign to do pretty much whatever I want recently because I've only had to answer to myself, so having decisions dictated to me my broadcasters and producers scares me a little, but it's still something that I'd love to try id I ever get the chance.

You're shortly going to be making a brief transition from YouTube to the BBC Red Button with a behind-the-scenes look at the 2010 Christmas Special. How did the opportunity come about, and what is it like having two of your passions rolled into one?

The videos are actually appearing on YouTube as well as the red button, so fortunately it's not too much of a transition for me! I n fact the whole red button thing happened very last minute and wasn't something I really thought about - I was just trying to make videos for the internet as I would normally, but within the Doctor Who theme. I also had members of the Confidential team to work with too, a cameraman and video editors, but I still directed everything in the same way that I would my normal YouTube videos, just with more people to help. Being able to combine two things that I love though, video-making and Doctor Who, has just been a joy, and a great learning experience too.

Doctor Who... Lets talk some more about that! We've seen some glimpses of Doctor Who in your YouTube videos, and we know youre a big fan. Lets get down to basics though Charlie; Favourite Episode (Classic and New), Favourite Doctor, Favourite Companion and Favourite Monster / Villain?

New Series: my favourite episode is "Blink", and has been since the moment it was aired, I can't get enough of it. I loved all of The Moff's episodes from the era before he was the Show-runner really, but I think I love Blink for the way it managed to tell such a brilliant, engaging and frightening story on such a small budget - it's something that, as a wannabe indie-filmaker, I really admire. I haven't seen much of the classic series, only a few of the best ones, and out of those I'd probably have to say "Genesis of The Daleks". I still don't have a favourite Doctor, I've never been able to pick one, Rory is by far my all time favourite companion. And for favourite monster, the Daleks. They never used to be, but I gained a real a appreciation for them and the Dalek operators when I learnt how to operate one myself during my time on set. There will hopefully be a video of that in the future, though not one of the ones building up to the christmas special.

Have you ever ventured along to any of the Doctor Who conventions, and do you collect any of the merchandise?

Unfortunately I can't say that I ever have been to a Doctor Who convention, I have a much firmer place in the YouTube community so, whenever I can go to conventions of any kind, they're usually related to something YouTubey. I do however have a few bits of merchandise sitting on desks, in cupboards, one in my bathroom, and a TARDIS T-Shirt sitting in my draw. I'm not really one to collect things like that, but apparently I haven't managed to help picking up Doctor Who kink-kacks...

If offered, would you ever like a part in Doctor Who, and have you ever considered an acting career?

For almost my entire life, my dream was to become some kind of actor, but that ambition was shattered a couple of years ago when I realised that, truly, I just wasn't very good at it. I'd love a part in Doctor Who just for the sheer thrill of being on the show, but I think the chances of me actually being on it are pretty slim, simply because, for whatever role I could fit into, they'd probably be able to find someone better to cast than me! Maybe I'll be an extra or something, but for the moment, hanging out behind the scenes will do :)

 Check Out more DWO interviews in the Interviews section of our Features area, here.

 Check Out the CharlieIsSoCoolLike YouTube Channel, here.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

17 December 2010

As a special Christmas present to all of our visitors at Doctor Who Online, we recently filmed a short documentary in Utah; USA, looking at potential alien landscapes for Doctor Who, as well as some of the states landmarks and places of interest.

Inspired by the recent news that the Series Six two-part opener would have scenes filmed in Utah, DWO flew out to the state in October of this year to put together the third in our series of who-inspired documentaries, presented by DWO Site Editor, Sebastian J. Brook, provided free of charge via our YouTube Channel.

After a week in the editing studio, we are now thrilled to present to you, The Sands of Time:

Let us know what you thought of the documentary, by rating the video and leaving your comments on the Channel.

 

 

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

9 December 2010

DWO are thrilled to announce that Doctor Who Writer and Being Human creator, Toby Whithouse has joined the DWO Forums to answer questions from his fans in our popular Ask & Answer section.

Toby penned the Series Two episode 'School Reunion' and the Series Five episode 'The Vampires of Venice', with another story due for Series Six of Doctor Who. He has also written for Doctor Who spinoff show, Torchwood, with the episode 'Greeks Bearing Gifts' from Series One.

Outside of Doctor Who, Toby is perhaps best known as the creator and head writer of Being Human, a supernatural dramedy television series that has a cult following of its own.

Whithouse is also an actor, having appeared in The House of Eliott and Bridget Jones' Diary. He is also a rising star on the comedy circuit and has played several gigs under the 'Laughing Horse' banner.

DWO visitors can post their questions to Toby regarding his career as a Writer, Actor and Comedian, by clicking here.

 Not a member of the DWO Forums? Register for FREE!

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

16 November 2010

DWO now have a brand new Facebook page which our visitors can follow on the popular social networking site.

To celebrate the launch of the new page, we are giving away a copy of the new Doctor Who: Series 5 Soundtrack to 1 lucky follower. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is click on the 'Like' button at the top of the Doctor Who Online Facebook page - that's it!

The winner will be announced via the Facebook page on December 1st.

We've also launched a new Facebook page for our CompareTheDalek.com price comparison website, which you can follow here.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

8 November 2010

DWO are pleased to announce the relaunch of our popular News page.

After a few weeks of tweaking, and streamlining, we can now present the new page, complete with full integration into the DWO Forums, search and archive functionality, an email NewsFeed, Twitter retweets and more!

A big Thank You to our resident genius, Rob Halliday, who undertook the job and has been furiously programming away to get it all working seamlessly.

Finally, due to the new system, we can now extend our news contributors, so get ready for even more news items at an even greater frequency.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

7 October 2010

DWO's very own Robyn Schneider, who produces the fantastic DWO Vlog's, will be signing copies of her fantastic book, Knightley Academy at the New York Comic Con this weekend.

Robyn, who will be appearing as her pen name, Violet Haberdasher, will be signing this Saturday from 1:15-2:15pm at Table #17 in Autograph Alley. The first five people in line will receive FREE hardcover copies of Robyn's popular book, courtesy of Simon & Schuster, and Robyn will also be signing some limited edition promotional posters on the day.

Robyn will also be recording a short video from the event, so if you want to be part of it, don't forget to pop by her stand! In the meantime, Robyn has recorded a video message for our visitors to promote this weekend's signing:

About Violet Haberdasher:
Violet Haberdasher is the pen name of 24-year-old videoblogger and social media personality Robyn Schneider, whose internet memes, videos and projects have received over 8.5 million hits. She is also the writer, producer and host of the webseries Doctor Who Reviewed, which recaps episodes of the show for Doctor Who Online.

About Knightley Academy:
Knightley Academy follows the adventures of the first three commoners accepted at an elite boarding school for knights in a dystopian version of Victorian England. The series has drawn comparisons to Harry Potter and has an active online following. Film Rights are currently being packaged with producer Andrew Panay in order to further develop this franchise for the big screen.

  Check Out the DWO YouTube Channel.

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

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