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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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31 January 2015

Every once in a while a genuine surprise turns up to treat Doctor Who fans. This week came the news that a long lost episode of Desert Island Discs featuring William Hartnell (The 1st Doctor) had resurfaced.

The programme which was first broadcast on the BBC Home Service Radio channel on Monday 23rd August 1965, is now available to listen to on the BBC Radio 4 website.

[Source: BBC Radio 4]

15 September 2014

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actor, Angus Lennie.

Angus was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for playing the role of Storr in the Classic Series 2nd Doctor adventure; The Ice Warriors, Angus in the Classic Series 4th Doctor adventure; Terror Of The Zygons.

Angus' other career highlights include roles in; The Great Escape, Crossroads and Monarch Of The Glen.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Angus' family and friends.

[Source: Scottish Daily Record]

1 August 2014

Luken Communications has announced the highly-anticipated debut of Doctor Who on Retro TV coming this Monday 4th August. Beginning with the very first episode of the series, “An Unearthly Child,” American fans of the science fiction classic can find two episodes of Doctor Who back-to-back every weeknight at 8:00PM ET/PT on Retro TV.

Retro TV will be showcasing the series’ classic run, featuring the first seven incarnations of The Doctor: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy.

Matthew Golden, Luken’s Vice President of Production, said:

“We’re excited to set a fixed point in time for the arrival of classic episodes of Doctor Who on Retro TV. These meticulously restored episodes will bring the history of the Doctor to the U.S. in a way that viewers have never seen before.” 

In addition to the weeknight schedule, a two hour encore block will air on Saturday evenings as part of Retro TV’s new Sci-Fi Saturday. Starting at 6:00PM ET/PT, viewers can enjoy the supernatural anthology One Step Beyond, Doctor Who and Mystery Science Theater 3000.

For more information on Retro TV or to find a Retro TV affiliate in your area, please visit www.watchretrotv.com. Everyone at Retro TV is dedicated to expanding the network’s footprint. If you do not yet have a Retro TV affiliate in your area, you can help by contacting your local TV stations to request that they add Retro TV to their subchannel lineup. Retro TV can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/watchretrotv and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/watchretrotv.

[Source: Retro TV]

21 July 2014

Philip Morris, the man behind the recent recovery of nine lost episodes of Doctor Who, and Director of TIEA, took part in a Q&A yesterday on the 'Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group' on Facebook.

The inevitable question of whether more missing episodes of Doctor Who had been found or not, came up, and here was Morris' response:

“A tricky one to answer, and fans will just want a yes or no, haven’t you or have you. But it;s complex. All I can say is the wind is blowing the right way. Be patient.”

Morris also clarified if any announcements were due soon:

“There are no announcements in the pipeline at present. It can sometimes be the wrong thing with ongoing work and investigation. An example would be during the last announcement. I was in a very hostile part of the world and suddenly I was everywere on TV. My anonymity was compromised, which made the team a target. So we must plan these things carefully for the greater good of the project and the safety of the personnel involved.”

The 'omni-rumour' surrounding missing episodes has been going on for some time now, with many fans believing more episodes of Doctor Who will turn up. DWO also believe more episode discoveries will be announced in the not too distant future, but as Morris suggested, we all have to be patient.

DWO Discussion:
Do you think more lost episodes of Doctor Who have been found? What do you make of Philip Morris' comments? Post your comments in the comments section, below, or in the DWO Forums thread by clicking on the yellow 'Discuss' bar!

[Source: Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group]

30 March 2014

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actress, Kate O'Mara.

Kate was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for playing the role of The Rani in the Classic Series adventures; The Mark Of The Rani, & Time And The Rani. She also appeared as The Rani in the 1993 Children In Need charity special, Dimensions In Time.

Kate's other career highlights include roles in; Z Cars, The Brothers, Dynasty, Howards' Way and Benidorm.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Kate's family and friends.

[Source: BBC News]

28 March 2014

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Director, Derek Martinus.

Derek was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for directing the Classic Series adventures; Galaxy 4, Mission To The Unknown, The Tenth Planet, The Evil Of The Daleks, The Ice Warriors & Spearhead From Space.

He was also the first person to direct a colour episode of Doctor Who (Spearhead From Space).

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Derek's family and friends.

[Source: Tim Vine]

13 March 2014

Fans of Doctor Who are set to find the TARDIS materialising at a new location this Easter as a selection of the Time Lord’s classic adventures in time and space start screening on Horror Channel.

The UK’s prime home for fans of horror, fantasy and sci-fi has completed a deal with BBC Worldwide to broadcast 30 stories from the Classic series which ran 1963 to 1989 featuring the first seven Doctors, starting with William Hartnell and concluding with Sylvester McCoy.

This specially curated season give fans old and new a chance to get re-acquainted with favourite companions Jamie, Jo Grant and Sarah Jane Smith, rogue Time Lords such as The Master, Omega and The Rani and all those iconic monsters including Daleks, Cybermen, Sea Devils and Ice Warriors.

Launching on Friday 18th April (Good Friday) the season begins with the very first story ‘An Unearthly Child’, starring William Hartnell as The Doctor. It then leads into a special WHO ON HORROR weekend - a classic marathon featuring one story from each of the Doctors across the Easter weekend.  There will then be weekday double-bills in daytime and evening slots with stories shown in chronological order starting on Easter Monday 21st April

Horror Channel is screening many of the stories that are regarded as the most memorable that the show produced including ‘The Mind Robber’, ‘The Daemons’, ‘Genesis of the Daleks’, ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’, ‘The Caves of Androzani’, ‘Attack of the Cybermen’ and ‘The Curse of Fenric’. Many emphasise the horror elements of the programme from the first scary moments the Daleks appeared, to encounters with giant spiders and maggots, and even battles with Mary Whitehouse over the violent content of the show during Tom Baker’s era. 

Alina Florea, Director of Programming, said today:

“There are many horror themes that Doctor Who has tackled over the years and people of all ages have been terrified and found cowering behind the sofa. Our selection from the classic series include the original appearances of some of the most revered monsters and TV moments which captured the imagination of children and adults throughout the decades.  Doctor Who is an iconic brand and we are proud and thrilled to welcome this giant of British television to our channel.”

The classic Doctor Who series complements the growing segment of cult television series available on the channel.  Wonder Woman, Xena: Warrior Princess, New Twilight Zone, Star Trek and The Invaders fill the daytime schedule, reflecting the expansion of the channel acquisitions into the fantasy, adventure, and science fiction genres. Doctor Who will have been the first taste of frightening television for many Horror Channel viewers, and following on from the show’s record-breaking 50th anniversary celebrations last year, they will now have the opportunity to relive those terrifying moments and exciting cliff-hangers again.

[Source: Horror Channel]

13 February 2014

To celebrate the release of recently recovered missing Doctor Who adventure The Web of Fear on DVD, a marathon screening of the story, and preceding adventure The Enemy of the World has been announced by BBC Worldwide and Prince Charles Cinema, in association with BFI.

The twelve 25-minute episodes will be shown back to back at London's Prince Charles Cinema on Saturday 22nd February at 11:15am. Tickets will go on sale from 9:00am on 14th February 2014 from www.princecharlescinema.com, and are priced £14 (£11.50 Prince Charles Cinema members).

The screening will be followed by a 45 minute Q&A session with key cast members from the episodes as well as a member of the Troughton family. The panel will be chaired by writer, actor and Doctor Who fan Toby Hadoke.

Nine of the episodes from these classic stories were missing and feared lost forever before they were returned to the BBC by television archive expert Philip Morris in 2013, after he located them in Nigeria.

+  Download The Enemy Of The World for £9.99 via iTunes in the UK.
+  Download The Enemy Of The World for $9.99 via iTunes in the USA.
+  Order The Enemy Of The World DVD on BBC Shop for just £13.99!

+  Download The Web Of Fear for £9.99 via iTunes in the UK.
+  Download The Web Of Fear for $9.99 via iTunes in the USA.
+  Order The Web Of Fear DVD on BBC Shop for just £13.99!

+  Follow Doctor Who Online on Twitter (@DrWhoOnline)!

[Sources: BBC Worldwide]

10 February 2014

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Director, Christopher Barry.

Christopher was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for directing the Classic Series adventures; The Daleks, The Rescue, The Romans, The Savages, The Power of The Daleks, The Daemons, The Mutants, Robot, The Brain Of Morbius and The Creature From The Pit.

He was one of only three people to direct stories featuring the first four Doctors (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker).

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Christopher's family and friends.

[Source: Tim Vine]

20 January 2014

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actor, Jerome Willis.

Jerome was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series, 3rd Doctor adventure; The Green Death as Stevens.

Jerome's other career highlights include; Within These Walls, Wish Me Luck and Space Precinct.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Jerome's family and friends.

[Source: Neil Marsh]

11 October 2013

Nine previously missing episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960s, which have not been seen for over 45 years, have been discovered and will launch exclusively on iTunes Today.

BBC Worldwide announced the find at a press event yesterday, which DWO attended, and we're delighted to announce that nine recordings from the 1960s featuring missing episodes of Doctor Who, were recovered in Nigeria, Africa, and subsequently returned to the BBC.

The episodes were discovered by Phillip Morris, director of Television International Enterprises Archive, by the tracking records of overseas shipments made by the BBC containing tapes for transmission. BBC Worldwide has re-mastered these episodes to restore them to the fantastic quality that audiences expect from Doctor Who.

The stories recovered are The Enemy of the World (1967) and The Web of Fear (1968) - both starring Patrick Troughton as The Second Doctor.

The Enemy of the World, is the fourth six-part tale of Series 5 which first aired on the BBC in December 1967. Episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 had been missing from the BBC archives. 

Alongside Patrick Troughton who plays both the Time Lord and his antagonist (Ramon Salamander) are his companions Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Deborah Watling (Victoria).

Also recovered is the 1968 six-part story, The Web of Fear. Episodes 2-6 were feared lost forever but now episodes 2, 4, 5, and 6 have been recovered. Unfortunately, episode three is still currently missing but a restoration team has reconstructed this part of the story using a selection of the 37 images that were available from the episode along with the original audio which has been restored. 

Also starring Patrick Troughton alongside Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling, The Web of Fear introduces Nicholas Courtney for the first time as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart (who later returns as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart). 

All episodes are available to download exclusively from iTunes from today (links at the bottom of this article). The Enemy of the World will also be available to preorder exclusively on DVD from BBC Shop from 11th October for release on 22nd November. The Web of Fear will be available on DVD on 24th February 2013. DWO have been given the preview for the Limited Edition DVD cover which you can see in the right-hand image column.

Phillip Morris says:

“The tapes had been left gathering dust in a store room at a television relay station in Nigeria. I remember wiping the dust off the masking tape on the canisters and my heart missed a beat as I saw the words ‘Doctor Who’. When I read the story code I realised I’d found something pretty special.”

Fiona Eastwood, Director of Consumer Products, BBC Worldwide comments:

“We are thrilled with the recent discovery of The Web of Fear and The Enemy of the World and we’re very happy to be launching re-mastered versions of these treasured episodes to fans as we celebrate the 50th year of Doctor Who.”

The Press Event

The press event itself kicked off with a statement by Philip Morris, read out by TIEA archive coordinator, Roy Robinson, in which Morris thanked the BBC and Doctor Who fans for their support. This was then followed by a short video presentation by Philip Morris, explaining the story behind the recent finds, and conveying his own childhood memories of Doctor Who.

The room then went dark as Episode One of The Enemy Of The World was shown. It was a surreal experience - actually sitting down to watch brand new, yet old, Doctor Who - unseen for over 45 years! We were quite blown away by the opening scenes on the beach, with helicopters, hovercraft and long johns - and all in the first five minutes! Every moment was filled with joy as the episode unfolded and we got to see Patrick Troughton's dual performance as The Doctor and Salamander.

After the episode had aired, Mark Gatiss introduced Episode Two of The Web Of Fear, citing it perfectly as "the quintessential Doctor Who story that's also the most British thing you could imagine".

On a personal note, this was the story that we were *really* excited to see. To actually see the Yeti / Great Intelligence in action in the London Underground was really special. Interestingly, The Doctor only featured in the recap at the beginning of the episode, and doesn't show up at all in Episode Two - one of the first true examples of a Doctor-lite episode!

After a 10-minute break, we re-entered the screening room for a Q&A with Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling and Mark Gatiss. Below are some highlights:

Total TV Guide: (To Frazer and Deborah) Do you remember doing the scenes?
Deborah: Watching it just now, I knew the next lines!
Frazer: Yeh, but you didn't know them at the time on set, did you?!

Daily Telegraph: (To Frazer and Deborah) What made Patrick Troughton's performance so special?
Deborah: He had a wonderful sense of humour and a twinkle in the eye, but he was also a very, very good actor. We all got on so well and we were like a family. We had a chemistry, and I think it showed today.

Doctor Who Online: (To Frazer and Deborah) Did you keep any mementos from either of the two stories?
Deborah: I had one of the ornamental Yeti's but it broke in the middle, so Andrew Beech was kind enough to fix it for me.
Frazer: eBay! - I also had one of the Yeti's - and space glasses, but my mother told me to throw it all away, so I did.

BBC Worldwide have provided DWO with some trailers and clips from The Enemy Of The World and The Web Of Fear, which you can watch below.

The Enemy Of The World - iTunes Trailer

The Enemy Of The World - 'Long Johns' Clip

The Web Of Fear - iTunes Trailer

The Web Of Fear - 'Pyramid' Clip

As a final treat, DWO caught up with Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) and Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield) who recorded a special video greeting for our visitors:

+  Download The Enemy Of The World for £9.99 via iTunes in the UK.
+  Download The Enemy Of The World for $9.99 via iTunes in the USA.
+  Preorder The Enemy Of The World DVD on BBC Shop for just £13.99!

+  Download The Web Of Fear for £9.99 via iTunes in the UK.
+  Download The Web Of Fear for $9.99 via iTunes in the USA.
+  Preorder The Web Of Fear DVD on BBC Shop for just £13.99!

+  Follow Doctor Who Online on Twitter (@DrWhoOnline)!

[Many thanks to Chris, Phil, Emma and the rest of the BBC Worldwide Team]

[Sources: BBC WorldwideDoctor Who Online]

7 October 2013

After many months of speculation, the BBC is now tantalisingly close to officially announcing the discovery of missing episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960's.

Following yesterdays (inaccurate) report from The Mirror newspaper (quoting from the original Sunday People article) that "106 Doctor Who Episodes have been uncovered in Ethiopia", DWO took to Twitter to clarify some of the misleading details, simply stating missing episodes had been found, but that the BBC will announce it officially in due course:

Radio Times then took it upon themselves to scoop the waiting media with further details by reporting that newly discovered lost episodes are being prepared for digital release this week. The article suggested that two missing episodes will be released on Wednesday, before quickly removing reference to the number two and the word 'episodes' - suggesting it could be whole stories.

Their amended statement now reads:

"BBC Worldwide will put the previously lost episodes from different stories – both believed to be from the Patrick Troughton era – for sale on digital platforms such as iTunes from Wednesday, RadioTimes.com understands. They are believed to originate from a haul discovered in Africa and have been digitally remastered for sale, although exact details remain sketchy."

Online speculation has been rife, with many rumours circulating that the two stories to be released will be 'The Web Of Fear' and 'The Enemy Of The World' - both featuring Patrick Troughton as The Doctor. There are also reports that the First Doctor adventure, 'Marco Polo' could also be announced.

It is also widely believed that beyond the imminent announcement, that further episodes have been recovered and will be announced at a later date.

Members of the press have been invited to attend a press conference this week which will officially confirm the news.

It is expected that an in-depth feature covering the discovery of the missing episodes will appear in an upcoming issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

Which two, missing Doctor Who stories would you like to be announced have been found this week? Post your choices in the comments box below! 

+  Follow Doctor Who Online on Twitter (@DrWhoOnline)!

+  Follow Doctor Who Magazine on Twitter (@DWMTweets)!

[Sources: Radio Times; The MirrorDoctor Who Online]

1 September 2013

Researches for a forthcoming biography of a ‘60s Doctor Who writer have turned up an intriguing curio: a draft script of William Hartnell’s final episode which doesn’t end with the Doctor regenerating.

William Hartnell’s Doctor bowed out in October 1966 with the four-part adventure “The Tenth Planet”, a story which not only introduced the concept that the Doctor could change his appearance, but also saw the first appearance of the Cybermen.

Now author Michael Seely, who’s working on a biography of the story’s co-author, Dr Kit Pedler, has unearthed draft scripts of all four episodes which predate the decision to write out William Hartnell.

“I found these scripts and two more from ‘The Moonbase’ (known then as ‘The Return Of The Cybermen’) among a very large collection of Kit’s papers which one of his children had kept in their attic,” explains Seely. “As I looked through it, I realised it was the first draft [script editor and co-writer] Gerry Davis prepared when Kit fell ill in June 1966."

"The structure is more or less the same, though a lot of the dialogue is different. Some things were cut, especially involving the Cybermen. For example, the Cybermen planned to convert [companion] Polly and the Doctor into Cybermen towards the end of the story, and kept them prisoner in what they described as a waiting room. The most eye-catching difference is what didn’t happen at the end of the episode.”

The fact that this script was written in June 1966 and rehearsals for the story began on 14 September only underlines that the actor’s departure was decided upon rather late in the day (Hartnell’s wife’s diary records that he told her on 16 July 1966).

“Gerry Davis and [producer] Innes Lloyd were always very diplomatic and tactful in their interviews,” says Seely. “Both died in 1991, long before ‘warts and all’ interviews became the norm. We know that William Hartnell was being persuaded to give up the role he loved over the summer of 1966, and that they were sounding out replacements. He only decided to leave in the middle of July, the month after this draft was written.”

The cache of Pedler’s papers also includes five original storylines for Doomwatch, the 1970-1972 eco-thriller TV series he co-created with Gerry Davis - including several that were never made - as well as proposals for further TV shows, a couple of never-recorded radio plays, and various unfinished books and short stories.

+  The Quest For Pedler by Michael Seely is due for release in Early 2014. Visit www.miwk.com for more details.

[Source: SFX]

27 August 2013

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actor, Christopher Burgess.

Christopher was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series, 2nd Doctor adventure; The Enemy Of The World as Swann, and in the 3rd Doctor adventures; Terror Of The Autons as Professor George Philips, and Planet Of The Spiders as Barnes.

Christopher's other career highlights include; Z Cars, The Medusa Touch and Jossy's Giants.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Christopher's family and friends.

[Source: Toby Hadoke]

27 August 2013

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actor, Michael Goldie.

Michael was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series, 1st Doctor adventures; The Dalek Invasion Of Earth as Jack Craddock, and The Chase as Mire Beast, and the 2nd Doctor adventure; The Wheel In Space as Elton Laleham.

Michael's other career highlights include; Robin Hood: Prince Of ThievesLady Jane and Coronation Street.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Michael's family and friends.

[Source: Neil Marsh]

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