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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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18 August 2012

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

Michael was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Jarvis Bennett on the 2nd Doctor adventure; The Wheel in Space.

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

[Source: Neil Marsh]

26 July 2012

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actress, Mary Tamm.

Mary was best known to Doctor Who fans for playing The 4th Doctor's companion; Romana I. Mary appeared as Romana in a total of 6 televised stories which formed the Key to Time series of adventures:

The Ribos Operation
The Pirate Planet
The Stones of Blood
The Androids of Tara
The Power of Kroll
The Armageddon Factor

The actress, who was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, fought a long battle with cancer and died in hospital in London.

Agent Barry Langford, who confirmed the news, said she had a "zest for life".

Tamm's stage and screen career also included films The Odessa File and The Likely Lads, as well as recurring roles in EastEnders and Brookside.

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

On announcing the news to the @DrWhoOnline Twitter followers, we asked for some of your comments to include in our obituary, of which we have added a small selection below:

@yeles - @DrWhoOnline really sad news. All my thoughts to family and friends.

@UKVampire - @DrWhoOnline #RIPMaryTamm will forever live on in our hearts as Romana - Thoughts go out to friends and family during this difficult time.

@Blackadder345 - @DrWhoOnline A wonderful actress and companion, will be sadly missed. Shall never be able to watch the Key to Time again without a tear.

@TheGazulator - DrWhoOnline Great chunks of our past, detaching themselves like melting icebergs. :( RIP, Mary Tamm. Thoughts and prayers with her family.

@TheOldLondoner - @DrWhoOnline How awful that the wonderful Mary Tamm has passed away. She was the very best of actresses & my favourite Dr Who assistant

@Deensey - @DrWhoOnline Romana was the first thing I loved about Doctor Who. I was about 6 and watched with my big brother

+  You can leave messages of condolence in the DWO Forums thread, here.

[Source: BBC]

22 July 2012

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Costume Designer, Colin Lavers.

Colin was the credited costumer for four Doctor Who serials, most in the Peter Davison era. As the designer of costumes for Four to Doomsday — the first adventure that Davison recorded — he was responsible for helping to realise The Fifth Doctor's iconic "look".

One part of The Fifth Doctor's costume that was not his idea was the retention of the question mark-lapeled shirt from Tom Baker's season 18 look. He was specifically asked to keep them in, via a 10 February 1981 memo from John Nathan-Turner to Lavers. "I do feel that the Doctor Who shirt with the '?' mark on the lapels is worth hanging on to," wrote Nathan-Turner.

A couple of years later, Lavers' duties on The Five Doctors gave him the opportunity to clothe a wide range of Doctors and companions, some of whom had never been seen on colour television before. Combined with his turns on his other two serials, The Power of Kroll and The King's Demons, he provided outfits for more recurring characters in "classic" Doctor Who than any other costumer.

He provided new or significantly modified outfits for the Fifth Doctor, The Master, Susan, Sarah Jane, Liz, Zoe, Jamie, the Brigadier, Romana I and Tegan. He recreated costumes for Mike Yates and The First, Second and Third Doctors. Although he didn't actually design this last group's costumes, their Five Doctors costumes were at least subtly different from those they had worn in any other serial. In his stories, Lavers failed to provide costumes for only two main characters: Turlough and the Fourth Doctor

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

[Sources: Richard Kewing; TARDIS Index File]

21 June 2012

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actress, Caroline John.

Caroline was best known to Doctor Who fans for playing The 3rd Doctor's companion; Liz Shaw. Caroline appeared as Liz Shaw in a total of 5 televised stories:

Spearhead from Space
The Silurians
The Ambassadors of Death
The Five Doctors

It is understood that she passed away on 5th June 2012, but news has only been made public today.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Caroline's family and friends, and particularly her husband (and fellow Doctor Who actor) Geoffrey Beevers.

On announcing the news to the @DrWhoOnline Twitter followers, we asked for some of your comments to include in our obituary, of which we have added a small selection below:

@WhoFrazer - @DrWhoOnline so so sad to hear the news. Another of our family gone.

@BarryAldridge - @DrWhoOnline Caroline John was a wonderful actress on the screen was an equal to Jon Pertwee #doctorwho

@dn21media - @DrWhoOnline She really made that first season of Pertwee top notch, excellent particularly in Spearhead and as Evil Liz in Inferno.

@MattHolme0 - @DrWhoOnline Goodbye Liz. Underrated and understated. Say hi to Sarah,Barbara and the Brig for me x

@Tarkers73 - @DrWhoOnline so sad about Caroline John, put so much back into the show in the DVD era, thank heaven her memories are recorded forever #rip

@OptimusGinge - @DrWhoOnline another great and much loved companion leaves us

+  You can leave messages of condolence in the DWO Forums thread, here.

[Source: BBC]

6 June 2012

Rare behind-the-scenes footage from Dalek Invasion of Earth: 2150 A.D has been discovered.

The brief clip shows movie Doctor Peter Cushing preparing to battle arch foe, The Daleks during the making of an early big-screen adaptation of the long-running sci-fi series.

The precious black and white footage, taken on the set of cult sixties film, also captures director Gordon Flemyng - father of film star Jason - behind camera as he talks with stunt-men and plans out the movie's climatic final scenes.

The material is the first to be uncovered documenting the 1966 film and forms part of a 'lost' TV show found recently in the possession of a collector living in Wales.

Though the BBC wiped the master-tape of A Whole Scene Going, a copy of the magazine show - also featuring an interview with Flemyng and musical performances by the Spencer Davis Group - was made and found its way on to the collector's circuit.

Classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope, which recovered the unique 16mm film print in conjunction with the Tim Disney Archive, said the find will “delight” Doctor Who and vintage music fans alike.

Chris Perry of Kaleidoscope said:

“A Whole Scene Going is an exciting TV find. For Doctor Who fans there's a fascinating glimpse into the making of feature film Dalek Invasion of Earth: 2150 A.D., showing Peter Cushing as the Doctor on the set along with director Gordon Flemyng and lots of Daleks. For music lovers there are priceless performances by classic British beat band the Spencer Davis Group as well as American singer/songwriter Judy Collins. Sixties pop shows were routinely shown live or wiped after transmission so it's great to find one that slipped past the eraser's magnet!"

Tim Disney of the TDA said:

“How this print came into existence or found it's way to a Welsh village, we'll never know. However, one theory is that it could have been film recorded by BBC Wales from the network feed down the line from London for transmission at a later date.”

A Whole Scene Going was a short-lived TV teen culture show hosted by Wendy Varnels and Barry Fantoni.

The recovered edition, from March '66, captures Flemyng at Shepperton Studios while directing an action-packed finale involving Horror icon Cushing and an army of Robomen thwarting a Dalek plan to drop a giant bomb into the Earth's core.

Cushing played the Time Lord - currently portrayed on TV by Matt Smith - in two Flemyng-directed films during the height of “Dalekmania”, also starring in 1964's box-office hit Doctor Who and the Daleks.

Interspersed with the footage is an interview with Flemyng - who died in 1995, aged 61 - revealing that he preferred making “entertainment pictures”as opposed to more high-brow films, but “didn't take them any less seriously”.

The emergence of A Whole Scene Going has also got music fans excited with the discovery of a rare interview with the Spencer Davis Group, who also perform chart-topping single “Somebody Help Me Now” in the studio.

Kaleidoscope and the TDA - who bought the film print privately from the collector - are currently in the process of returning a digital copy to the BBC Archive.

Eager fans will get the chance to see the recovered footage for the first time in more than four decades at Kaleidoscope's next screening event, taking place in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on Saturday 9th June.

Tim Disney of the TDA added:

“Dr Who was not the primary draw for us in recovering this programme, but the content of the programme as a whole — the exciting period of popular culture it reflects and it's place in the history of British television. Thankfully, after the collector discovered he had a unique TV recording he was keen to ensure it would be returned to the BBC archives, turning down silly money offers to deal instead with Kaleidoscope and the TDA.”

To see a clip from the recovered show visit www.timdisneyarchive.com.

[Source: Kaleidoscope]

17 April 2012

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who VFX Desginer, Peter Wragg.

Peter was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his work on the 5th Doctor adventures; The Visitation & Resurrection of the Daleks and the 6th Doctor adventure; Minwarp, which formed part of the Trial of a Time Lord season.

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

[Source: Steve Freestone]

17 April 2012

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

Tony was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Mr Huckle in the 4th Doctor adventure; Terror of the Zygons. Sibbald also had roles in movies, such as Superman II and A View To A Kill.

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

[Source: Neil Marsh]

17 April 2012

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

Richard was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as a Mentor in the 6th Doctor adventure; Minwarp, which formed part of the Trial of a Time Lord season.

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

[Source: Neil Marsh]

5 March 2012

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Doctor Who Actor, Philip Madoc.

Philip, who was born in 1934 in Wales played no less than five roles in Doctor Who:

The Krotons (as Eelek)

The War Games (as the War Lord)

The Brain of Morbius (as Mehendri Solon)

The Power of Kroll (as Fenner)

Madoc also appeared in the 1966 Doctor Who Movie; Dalek's Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., as Brockley.

In 2010, DWO interviewed Philip Madoc at the Series 5 Launch Party in London, below is the video interview segement, taken from our VLOG from the event:

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

[Sources: DWO; TARDIS Index File]

11 December 2011
DWO have received reports that missing Doctor Who material from the 1960's is being aired at todays 'Missing Believed Wiped' event at the BFI in London.

Christmas has come early for Doctor Who fans as two previously missing episodes of the show have been found, as announced at todays 'Missing Believed Wiped' event at the BFI in London.

Episode Three of Galaxy 4 (1965) which was previously missing all 4 episodes, has been confirmed as found.

Episode Two of The Underwater Menace (1967) which was previously missing episodes 1, 2 & 4 has also been confirmed as found.

DWO caught up with Doctor Who Restoration Team member, Paul Vanezis regarding the find:

It's been 7 years since the last missing episode was found, and fans had started to give up al hope, how did the latest find come about?

"This discovery was made by two people, Ralph Montagu and a film collector meeting and realising there was a bit of a connection. Ralph was working on the Dr. Who restorations in the past and Terry Burnett had some film, but didn't know what."

What kind of condition were the stories in when they were returned to you and how much work will there need to be applied to their full restoration?

"There's a lot of work to be done on both episodes. Air Lock is missing the last 27 seconds of action and the closing credits. There are many scratches and scuffs plus the usual issues we have with black and white film recordings such as off-locks, videotape dropout etc... Some of the damage will take a lot longer to repair than usual. Underwater Menace poses a different set of problems as well as the more usual. Firstly, it's the ABC's censored print, so the censor clips need to be re-instated. We've already had the clips re-scanned by the National Archives of Australia who have been very helpful. There are numerous film breaks, missing frames, deep scratches etc... and a two second section missing in the middle. That will be the most challenging repair."

Is there anything you feel the public can do to help in the search for missing serials, what are your hopes for future missing material, and do you believe there is a chance more may be found?

"There are 106 episodes missing from the BBC, but I don't think there are 106 episodes missing in the world. Now, I don't want to get peoples hopes up. I've been mis-quoted before, but I am certain there are episodes out there with private collectors. I know fans are excited by these finds and rightly so, but we're also looking for other lost programmes as well. Yesterday, the BFI screened the Dennis Potter 'Emergency Ward 9', found by a friend of mine Ian Beard. That is an incredible and far more important discovery in my view that the Doctor Whos, yet we're all talking about Hartnell and Troughton eps. I of course understand why, but I think more recoveries like this are more likely if people don't go round asking about lost DW, but black and white TV material in general. So, yes. More material will surface, but I don't know when."

+  Read DWO's full interview with Paul Vanezis in the Features section.

Clips from both episodes have been added below:

Galaxy 4: Episode 3 - Clip

The Underwater Menace: Episode 2 - Clip

Doctor Who DVD content Producer / Director, Ed Stradling has put together the following short item regarding the finding:

Radio Times have provided further information on how the episodes came to light:

So how did they come to light?

“Through me,” says Ralph Montagu, Radio Times’s head of heritage and a lifelong Doctor Who fan. “I occasionally meet up with a group of film collectors and retired TV engineers at a café in Hampshire. 

“A few months ago I spoke to Terry Burnett, who used to be an engineer at TVS [the former ITV franchise based in Southampton]. Somehow Doctor Who was mentioned in passing, and Terry said, ‘Oh, actually I think I’ve got an old episode.’

“I thought it was bound to be something we’ve got already,” says Ralph. “I tried not to get too excited, but he came back the next day and brought this spool with him. It had no label, so I had a look at the film leader and it said ‘Air Lock’. I thought, ‘What’s that?’ I checked online and saw that Air Lock was an episode of Galaxy 4 - a missing Hartnell serial. So then I got very excited.” 

Ralph met Terry again a couple of weeks later, “And he said, ‘Guess what I’ve got.’ It was another episode of Doctor Who! Again not labelled on the can, but it turned out to be The Underwater Menace part two.” 

What other episodes of Doctor Who are missing?:

The First Doctor

Marco Polo - All 7 episodes

The Reign of Terror - Episodes 4–5 (of 6 total)

The Crusade - Episodes 2, 4 (of 4 total)

Galaxy 4 - Episodes 1, 2 & 4 (of 4 total)

Mission to the Unknown - Entire episode

The Myth Makers - All 4 episodes

The Daleks' Master Plan - Episodes 1, 3–4, 6–9, 11–12 (of 12 total)

The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve - All 4 episodes

The Celestial Toymaker - Episodes 1–3 (of 4 total)

The Savages - All 4 episodes

The Smugglers - All 4 episodes

The Tenth Planet - Episode 4 (of 4 total)

The Second Doctor

The Power of the Daleks - All 6 episodes

The Highlanders - All 4 episodes

The Underwater Menace - Episodes 1 & 4 (of 4 total)

The Moonbase - Episodes 1, 3 (of 4 total)

The Macra Terror - All 4 episodes

The Faceless Ones - Episodes 2, 4–6 (of 6 total)

The Evil of the Daleks - Episodes 1, 3–7 (of 7 total)

The Abominable Snowmen - Episodes 1, 3–6 (of 6 total)

The Ice Warriors - Episodes 2–3 (of 6 total)

The Enemy of the World - Episodes 1–2, 4–6 (of 6 total)

The Web of Fear - Episodes 2–6 (of 6 total)

Fury from the Deep - All 6 episodes

The Wheel in Space - Episodes 1–2, 4–5 (of 6 total)

The Invasion - Episodes 1, 4 (of 8 total)

The Space Pirates - Episodes 1, 3–6 (of 6 total)

+  If you have any information regarding any of the lost episodes, E-mail Us!

[Source: Doctor Who Online]

19 July 2011

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Doctor Who Actor, Derek Crewe.

Derek was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Synge in the 4th Doctor adventure; The Sun Makers.

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

[Source: Neil Marsh]

8 June 2011

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Doctor Who Actor, Roy Skelton.

Roy is best known to Doctor Who fans for providing the voices of The Daleks in the Classic Series, as well as supporting roles:

The Ark (Monoid voices), The Tenth Planet (Cybermen voices), The Evil of the Daleks (Dalek voices), The Ice Warriors (Computer voice), The Wheel in Space (Cybermen voices), The Krotons (Kroton voices), Colony in Space (as Norton), Planet of the Daleks (Dalek voices and as Wester), The Green Death (as James), Genesis of the Daleks (Dalek voices), The Android Invasion (as Chedaki), The Hand of Fear (as King Rokon), Destiny of the Daleks (Dalek voices), The Five Doctors (Dalek voice), Revelation of the Daleks (Dalek voices), Remembrance of the Daleks (Dalek voices), The Curse of Fatal Death (Dalek voices).

Roy died after suffering a stroke and was 79 years of age.

DWO would like to extend our wishes to Roy's family and friends.

[Source: BBC News; TARDIS Wiki]

27 April 2011

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Doctor Who Actress, Yolande Palfrey.

Yolande was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for her role as Janet in The Sixth Doctor Trial of A Time Lord adventure; Terror of the Vervoids.

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

[Source: Neil Marsh]

27 April 2011

BBC4 will be paying tribute to Elisabeth Sladen by airing the Classic Series story; The Hand of Fear.

The adventure, which features Sladen's last regular appearance as Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who, will air in two parts on Monday 9th May and Tuesday 10th May 2011.

+  The Hand of Fear was originally broadcast between 2nd-23rd October 1976.

[Source: Radio Times]

17 March 2011

Michael Gough, the actor best known to Doctor Who fans as The Celestial Toymaker, has died. As well as his fondly remembered portrayal of the Toymaker, opposite the first Doctor William Hartnell in 1965, Gough also appeared as the Doctor’s old friend Hedin, in the 1982 story ‘Arc of Infinity’.

Gough was born in Kuala Lumpa in either 1916 or 1915 – he never knew which. Despite the uncertainty about his year of birth, he holds the honour of being the longest-lived actor to have appeared in Doctor Who. His career was extraordinary. Between 1947 and 2000, he recorded at least one film per year, often more, in addition to a busy TV and stage career, which included tours with the Royal Shakespeare Company

Michael Gough’s unstoppable film career began in the forties, with ‘Androcles and the Lion’, but it was his role as Nicholai in ‘Anna Karenina’ that set in motion a prolific and distinguished movie career. By the early sixties he was well-known to TV viewers through such series as ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’, ‘The Count of Monte Christo’, ‘The Saint’, ITV’s ‘Play of the Week’ and many more.

After appearing in the title role of the 1965 Doctor Who story  ‘The Celestial Toymaker’, Gough started to achieve a cult status among horror film fans, appearing in several notable productions from Hammer and Amicus, while continuing to be a regular face on British TV, with roles in ‘The Avengers’, ‘Orlando’, ‘The Champions’ and ‘Theatre 625’, to name just a few. Throughout the seventies, he continued making several movies and TV series each year. Among the many classic series he appeared in during that decade are ‘Colditz’, ‘The Protectors’, ‘Crown Court’ and ‘Blake’s 7’. His career continued into the eighties with ‘Brideshead Revisited’, ‘Smiley’s People’ and a second appearance in Doctor Who – this time with the fifth Doctor, Peter Davison.

After a further decade of TV and film appearances, Gough found new adoration among a new generation of film-goers as Batman’s butler, Alfred, in the new films in that franchise which began in 1989. His relentless work-rate continued during the 90s and into the 2000s, and he established a long friendship with director Tim Burton, appearing in ‘Sleepy Hollow’, ‘Corpse Bride’ and, in 2010, ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Even this however, was not his final appearance. Released in February 2011, ‘All Star Superman’ features one last outing for his legendary and unique voice. 

Gough was married three times – his third wife being Doctor Who actor Anneke Wills. Wills had encountered him at various times during her life – firstly during a theatre trip with her mother in 1952 – but they first met formally, on the set of ‘Candidate for Murder’ and the attraction was instant. Gough adopted Anneke’s daughter Polly, and in 1965, their son Jasper was born. 

Anneke says, “As his body was deteriorating this week, he said that he wanted to hang on for St Patrick’s Day. And he did, just. In the end... there is only love.” 

Michael Gough leaves his wife Henrietta, his daughter Emma and sons Simon and Jasper (Yogi).

[Source: Tim Hirst]

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