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Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine - The 2015 Yearbook

12/17/2014 01:52:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The 2015 Yearbook (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)The latest Special Edition of Doctor Who Magazine reviews an incredible year for the programme, its spin-offs and licensed merchandise. Highlights include the magazine's first major interview with the show’s executive producer, Brian Minchin, in which he reflects on Peter Capaldi’s first year as the Doctor and looks forward to further adventures with the twelfth Doctor.

Editor Marcus Hearn said:
This is the Doctor Who Magazine almanac. We’ve taken a fresh look at every episode from Peter Capaldi’s first series, but we’ve also explored many other corners of the Doctor Who universe. For many fans, the television series is just part of a world that includes DVDs, Blu-rays, books, soundtrack albums, audio dramas and action figures. We’ve tried to reflect the last 12 months in all those different areas.

Also inside the 100 page issue:
  • Features on every episode in Peter Capaldi’s first series.
  • We speak to the team that accompanied Capaldi and Jenna Coleman on the Doctor Who World Tour.
  • Fourth Doctor Tom Baker discusses his return to television and audio Doctor Who.
  • Eighth Doctor Paul McGann reveals what he thinks about Capaldi’s Doctor.
  • Orchestrator and conductor Ben Foster previews the 2015 Symphonic Spectacular.
  • Inside the new ‘making of’ show, Doctor Who Extra.
  • Behind the scenes at the new Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.
  • Interviews with some of the key players behind recent books, soundtracks, audio dramas, DVDs, Blu-rays and action figures.
  • Highlights from the year’s newspaper and magazine reviews of Doctor Who.
  • A round up of Doctor Who’s awards and honours from the last 12 months.
  • Detailed tributes to the Doctor Who luminaries who passed away in 2014.
  • ...and much more!

Doctor Who Magazine: The 2015 Yearbook is due out on Thursday 18 December.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Experience advert to be shown in cinema and on television

12/16/2014 11:54:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

In the run-up to Christmas the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff will be promoted in cinema and television in a new advert featuring Peter Capaldi as the Doctor:

Some TV and cinema viewers will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, in the new Doctor Who Experience TV advert. The advert gives fans and families a sneak preview of some of the adventure visitors will go on. Spoiler Alert - we haven't given too much away but you will see some of the interactive adventure.

Props from this year's Christmas Special, Last Christmas, are also being displayed in the Experience's foyer.

The attraction is closed today (16th December), and between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. It will also be closed on both Mondays and Tuesdays during January.

Bookmark and Share Tom Adams 1938-2014

12/13/2014 05:56:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The actor Tom Adams has died at the age of 76.

Tom Adams was best known to Doctor Who fans for playing Commander Vorshak, the leader of Sea Base 4, in the 1984 Fifth Doctor story Warriors of the Deep.

He played Dai Nimmo, known as Diversions, in the classic 1963 film The Great Escape.

On television he appeared in many classic series including Casualty, Strike It Rich!, The Enigma Files, Dixon of Dock Green, Spy Trap, Z Cars, General Hospital, The Avengers, Emergency-Ward 10 and The Onedin Line where he played Daniel Fogarty in twenty episodes.

Adams had a distinguished voice and worked as a voice-over artist on many adverts. He was a long-running voice of E4.

His agent Emma Harvey paid tribute
A true gentleman, his personality was as big and warm as his voice. We’ll miss him very much.
The actor died after a battle with cancer.

Bookmark and Share Sneak Peek: Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3

12/13/2014 02:06:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

December 24 sees the release of Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 by Robbie Morrison and Dave Taylor and Titan have released some preview images from the issue.
In the distant past, the land that would be India played host to a war between ancient aliens, whose cross-temporal battles contributed to the country's rich myths and legends. Kali, oldest and deadliest of these creatures, was thought defeated long, long ago; her body scattered throughout time to prevent her return. But her psychic essence could not be killed... nor her millennia-long quest for vengeance.

Now, in the 23rd Century, she is on the brink of resurrection. And with India at the forefront of human spaceflight, it's not only Earth that falls to her predations if she succeeds – but the whole cosmos!

In a race against time, and across it, the Doctor and Clara must gather secrets, intelligence and allies from across India's past, present and future – if they are to survive... THE SWORDS OF KALI!
Comes with three covers to collect!

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3 Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #3

Bookmark and Share Fish Fingers and Custard - Issue 15

12/13/2014 01:44:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Issue 15 of the fanzine Fish Fingers and Custard is out now.

Included in the magazine
  • Reviews of the 50th Anniversary
  • A 50th Anniversary Diary
  • Goodbye Matt Smith
  • 'Thrifty Fives'
  • Where's The Money Gone
The Issue can be purchased from fishcustardfanzine.co.uk for £2 (UK) and £4.50 (Rest of The World).

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - New Trailer

12/11/2014 06:42:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has released a new trailer for the 2014 Christmas special Last Christmas.

Bookmark and Share The Tenth Doctor #5 - Sneek Peek

12/11/2014 02:40:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Next Wednesday December 17 sees the release of Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #5 by Nick Abadzis and Elena Casagrande and Titan have released some preview images from the issue.

With the Doctor half the man he should be, under the draining influence of an alien tourist trap, Gabriella is left to shoulder the burden of saving him, the planet, and the future of art in our galaxy - and all on her first off-world trip, no less!

Trapped in a terrifying creative retreat, where what was once beautiful has been rendered corrupt and horrifying, is Gabby strong enough to reverse whatever has been done to the Doctor and save an intergalactic artistic community from itself? You’d better hope so!

And who, or what, are the deadly Consultants… and what plans do they have for the Doctor?!
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #5 comes with two covers to collect: an art cover by Verity Glass and a photo cover.

Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan Credit: Titan

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine 481

12/10/2014 03:00:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 481 (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 481 in bag (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)
The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine previews the festive special, Last Christmas, with head writer Steven Moffat giving the magazine the lowdown on the Doctor's face-off with Santa ...

I think I’m being pretty open that it’s Santa meets Alien meets The Thing from Another World meets Miracle on 34th Street. It’s a weird mash up! There’s a base under siege, there are scary monsters. It’s one of the scariest Christmas Specials we’ve made, actually...

Also inside this issue:
  • DWM talks exclusively to Santa himself, Nick Frost, along with his elf helpers, The Wolf and Ian, played by Nathan McMullen and Dan Starkey. Meanwhile, Michael Troughton, who plays Professor Albert, talks about making his television Doctor Who d├ębut, and his close family connection to the series.
  • Rachel Talalay, director of this year's phenomenal two-part finale, Dark Water and Death in Heaven, talks to DWM about the challenges of bringing this masterful Cyber-story to our screens.
  • DWM comic strip artist Mike Collins goes back to the drawing board and reveals all about his new role as a storyboard artist for the latest television series of Doctor Who.
  • Former showrunner Russell T Davies reveals new facts about 2007's Voyage of the Damned in The Fact of Fiction!
  • This year gave us a new series and a fantastic new Doctor, and DWM looks over the past 12 months with the Review of 2014!
  • The first part of a brand-new comic strip for the Twelfth Doctor and Clara as they embark on a wartime desert adventure in The Instruments of War, written and illustrated by Mike Collins.
  • The intrepid Time Team passes comment on 2008’s festive Cyber-Special The Next Doctor.
  • It may be Christmas, but Steven Moffat still has time to answer readers’ questions in his exclusive column.
  • Jaqueline Rayner compiles her Christmas wish-list for Relative Dimensions.
  • The Watcher presents his annual Fiendishly Festive Christmas Quiz!
  • Have your say on Peter Capaldi’s first series as the Doctor in the DWM Season Survey.
  • Dark Water and Death in Heaven are put under the spotlight in The DWM Review.
  • The Watcher goes back to the early days of Doctor Who merchandise in Wotcha!.
  • The DWM Crossword, competitions, and much more!

The bumper-sized 100 page DWM Issue 481, which includes a giant double-sided poster, is out tomorrow.

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - Interviews

12/10/2014 01:18:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has released a set of interviews with showrunner Steven Moffat and the stars of the 2014 Christmas special Last Christmas.

The Doctor and Clara face their last Christmas.

Trapped on an arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call?

Santa Claus!
Steven Moffat - Q&A

What can you tell us about the plot of this year’s Christmas special?
Well obviously as everyone knows from the end of Death In Heaven, it’s the ultimate meeting of Christmas heroes - Santa Claus meets Doctor Who. The buddy movie you’ve always wanted. In addition to that, it’s quite surprising - it won’t be what some people expect because it’s a thriller of an episode. The Christmas element is covered in the fairly notable form of Santa Claus and the elves and their sleigh. But the rest of it is very much Doctor Who – scary, in a polar ice cap base, scientists under threat. I keep describing it as Miracle On 34th Street meets Alien.

Viewers will be thrilled to see the Doctor and Clara brought together again - what can we expect from this and what can you say about what brings them together?
They’re brought together by a crisis that returns the Doctor to Earth to help Clara. The stuff that separated them, the lies they told each other – all of that will be addressed in this episode. We don’t just ignore it for the sake of Christmas. It is properly addressed and forms the emotional core of the episode.

Nick Frost seems an inspired choice for Santa Claus – how did that casting come about?
As ever with Doctor Who we’re very lucky to have Andy Pryor casting for us and he suggested Nick Frost. The moment you think of Nick Frost as Santa Claus you just know he’s exactly right – he has the right style, has the right attitude and more than that he seems like a slightly 'funky' Santa Claus – the sort of Santa Claus that OUGHT to turn up in Doctor Who. Simultaneously he subverts the role of Santa Claus and affirms it very definitively. He’s a truly great Santa. It’s hard to think of anyone else for the role once you’ve seen him.

Will we see the traditional Santa we know and love, or should we expect a different side to him?
Santa Claus will be real, and definitely not evil. Parents shouldn't worry, Santa is presented, as he is in real life, as a great Christmas hero.

How do the Doctor and Clara become involved with Santa Claus?
As was shown in the Children In Need clip, Clara encounters Santa Claus on a rooftop with a crashed sleigh and a couple of grumpy elves. Then the Doctor turns up too.

Did you also have Dan (Starkey) in mind as one of the elves?
Obviously we know Dan really well because he plays Strax, and we’ve been thinking that he should play a part without all the prosthetics on. We needed elves with attitude and real comic timing and Dan is a brilliantly funny actor. So if Dan will forgive me, it’s fair to say he’s the right height, genuinely funny and we just thought he’d be perfect for that role.

How does writing and filming the Christmas special differ from the series?
The Christmas special is an oddity because it’s on its own. As a matter of production, we don’t have episodes either side of it. We just have a few weeks where we shoot that one episode so certain pressures are removed from us – we’re not prepping another show. You should also be slightly aware that there will be more people than usual who don’t usually watch it by virtue of the fact it’s on at Christmas time. It’s become a bit of a Christmas tradition to watch Doctor Who so there will be a number of people who maybe haven’t seen it since the last Christmas special.

What is it about Peter’s Doctor that you think fans are enjoying the most?
What Peter triumphs in is that he is bracing. We’ve been used to a particular kind of Doctor across three very different actors – Chris (Eccleston), David (Tennant) and Matt (Smith). The Doctor has been younger, blokier, slightly more modern, you might say more approachable. We’ve now thrown that into reverse. There are moments with the other three actors where you can see a spiky, scary older man inside him and now we’re seeing more of that man. Peter is bracing – he’s a reminder that the Doctor isn’t your best mate or your big brother; he is in fact a quite scary man from outer space who nonetheless will save your life. He makes you look for the heroism more which I think is exciting - it throws you off balance. It’s almost like going from Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig as James Bond. Making the Doctor older has inadvertently made the show feel new again. He’s different and different is good.

The show is now a global phenomenon. How was it this year to see the reactions of fans in different countries?
We’re quite used to seeing Doctor Who launched in the UK and it’s always fun, but essentially people here are used to it. Seeing the extraordinary reactions when we arrived at various airports on the world tour when people were chanting our names and shouting like we mattered was very exciting. We had no idea that it would happen and that people who lived in other parts of the world were so invested in it. The increasing world significance of the show is something that we don’t really see most of the time. We just go to Wales and make our show, we’re not thinking about the people in Rio or America who seem to be hanging on our every word. It’s been great to see how it plays out on the world stage.
Peter Capaldi - Q&A

Everyone will be pleased to see the Doctor and Clara brought together again for this Christmas special. What does bring them together?
A terrifying festive dilemma forces the Doctor back to Earth to help Clara. Then a story unfolds which is quite unexpected – I can’t really say more than that.

How does filming the Christmas special differ from the series?
It’s all very festive and even though you’re shooting in October it does lull you into the festive spirit, because there are lots of Christmassy things around. There are snow machines all the time which is lovely but they’re noisy like lawnmowers or concrete mixers. We have Christmas lights, polystyrene icebergs - which is classic piece of set dressing on Doctor Who. There’s a roast dinner going on in Clara’s house and a big Christmas tree. There were also lots of tangerines!

What was your reaction to Nick Frost being cast as Santa? What sort of Santa does he play?
I was delighted when Nick was cast, I’m a big fan of his. I love Hot Fuzz and Shaun Of The Dead. He’s actually quite a traditional Santa but with a comic undertone. He is the real Santa – he’s not a robot or an alien, but he is a little bit cantankerous. He’s a little bit like the Doctor and at first they don’t really get on together.

How do the Doctor and Clara become involved with Santa?
Santa appears on the roof of Clara’s house and only the Doctor knows the danger of it.

What can viewers expect from this episode?
It’s both really scary and really festive. It manages to be quite frightening and still have Santa Claus in it. It is extremely Christmassy but there is a plot line in it that is quite dark and I think Steven (Moffat) has done a brilliant job at balancing those two things. It’s perfect for Christmas viewing – it supplies everything that Doctor Who should supply at Christmas. It’s scary but it leaves you feeling warm and cheerful.

What have been your fondest memories of your first year as the Doctor?
It’s difficult to say what specific moments were significant to me because the whole thing has just been amazing. So many things have been fantastic. The first time you go onto the set, the first time you meet a Dalek or even the first time the TARDIS wobbles when you shut the door. I know it won’t last forever so I’m just enjoying it all.

The show is now a global phenomenon – how was it to see the reactions of fans in different countries earlier this year? What is it about your Doctor that you think they’re enjoying?
It was extraordinary to see how popular the show is all over the world. I’ve had the great benefit of riding the wave of success that Matt (Smith), David (Tennant) and Chris (Eccleston) had started. I myself was fascinated by what made the show so popular abroad. To me it seems a particularly British thing. However, it seems that the themes of escapism and adventure are universal. Fans of Doctor Who are usually so warm-hearted and creative. It’s quite moving to see how much they love it. You don’t realise when you’re making the programme that it’s reaching out to so many people in Latin America or Asia or Australia. Obviously the character is so popular now and the concept is so clever, so I think that is what they’re responding to rather than me.

What will you be doing this Christmas and is there anything you want from Santa?
I’ll be watching the Christmas Special and I want a tangerine and a Doctor Who annual because that’s what I had as a kid.
Jenna Coleman - Q&A

What’s it like for Clara to be reunited with the Doctor in the Christmas Special?
She’s just really glad to be back with him. She’s dealing with the death of Danny Pink but happy to be back in the arms of the TARDIS again, and meeting Santa. A lot of the episode is about telling that adventure, and it’s about the Doctor and Clara resolving what they’ve just been through.

What was it like coming back to film the Christmas Special?
It was good because we’d had the build up to filming the finale, and then Peter and I went off on the World Tour, so we were obviously tired but we were rejuvenated having had a break. We had such a big reaction from around the world and then you get back to filming and back to what feels like your home really. It’s always like that when you’re filming the Christmas Special, and you’re surrounded by tinsel and mince pies and all of that on set every day. Even though it’s October you get a bit of Christmas spirit.

It’s a very Christmassy theme this year. What did you think when you heard there was going to be a real Santa Claus, and played by Nick Frost no less?
Genius. And it’s like Steven (Moffat) said in the read-through - his name is actually ‘Frost’ so it couldn’t be more perfect. Nick really pitches Santa Claus so well between being the Santa as we know him and being very traditional, and then also cutting the act and giving quite a contemporary feel. So it works really well within the context of the episode and he has got the right tone. He’s really nice to have around on set, very funny in between takes and on camera.

You must have had a lot of fun filming the Christmas episode with Nick?
I keep using the word funny to describe Nick but what I mean is he can take anything and make it hilarious. You can give him any line and he’ll just do something with it and I don’t even know how he does it. I’ve never seen Peter (Capaldi) corpse as much as when we were working with Nick. Even in make-up every morning before you get ready to go on set he would have you cracking up.

What does Clara make of Santa Claus?
When she meets him she can’t quite believe he’s there, because bumping into Santa Claus on your roof is quite a weird way to wake up. Deep down she has always wanted to see him, and so when he materialises it’s really a nice thing.

And working with the fabulous elves played by Dan Starkey and Nathan McMullen?
It was like they’d been working together for years. I thought they must have been rehearsing in their trailers because the timing and the double act between the two of them is like they’ve grown up together almost. But they’d only just met!

What can viewers expect from the Christmas special
It makes you question reality. You can’t quite figure it out. It makes you question what is real and what isn’t, but with a thriller and psychological element. It’s very Doctor Who - it’s got all of the traditional elements as well, and the one sequence we have with the sleigh is so magical. It’s what you want to sit down and watch at Christmas.

How do you like to spend Christmas?
With my family eating lots of food, surrounded by grandparents and nieces and lots of good TV, and going for nice big country walks. I really embrace Christmas. I love it.
Nick Frost - Q&A

How much of a Doctor Who fan are you?
On a scale of one to ten I’m probably a seven, if I’m being honest. I suppose most actors would just say ten. I was a big Tom Baker fan and I liked Sylvester McCoy, and Peter Davison. Then I missed out on that Saturday evening TV for a long time. I lived abroad and I travelled and I worked most Saturdays, so it just drifted out of my consciousness. Matt Smith reignited my love of the show and my love for that special feeling you get on Saturday when you can put your feet up and watch. There’s so little original sci-fi on British television, and to get something like Doctor Who that’s prime time Saturday night is something really special I think, as a science fiction fan. When Matt left and Peter came in I thought ‘he’s perfect’. It’s like James Bond. If you love Connery more than Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan more than Timothy Dalton – they’re still James Bond. They just bring different things to it. I love what Peter’s doing with it – I think it’s great.

How did the part come about?
It was just offered to me which was fantastic. I was in the pub on a Friday afternoon. It was about 5 o’clock and I had about two percent battery left on my phone. My agent phoned me and all I heard was ‘they’re going to offer you a part as the guest lead in the Christmas special on Doctor…’ I thought Doctor what? Doctor Kildare?! So then I had to wait until I got home to get the message and I was thrilled. It’s a big deal to be a guest lead in Doctor Who for the Christmas special. It’s the most popular show in the world right now essentially, and with this one feature in this one episode, more people will probably see that than all things I’ve done combined.

Was it fun playing Santa and being part of the production?
I’ve loved it. I felt quite bereft that I wouldn’t get to put on my beard once we’d wrapped. I think the real secret of Doctor Who is the fact that people presume and assume that they have essentially a bottomless budget – but they don’t. It’s just that the people who work on the show make it seem like they have because of their inventiveness and ingenuity. It’s great to watch, and everyone made me feel welcome. It’s a place where you can do some good work because you trust everyone and like everyone.

How would you describe your Santa?
There’s a percentage of ‘Ho Ho Ho’ as every good Santa needs, but that’s all people ever see of Santa. They never see him day to day or when he’s a bit grumpy, or when he’s in a playful mood or if he’s a bit cross. I’ve tried to get all those sides to him. Hopefully he’s funny. I wanted him to be funny and I wanted him to be like what he is essentially – and that’s the spirit of Christmas.

How does he get on with his two elves (played by Dan Starkey and Nathan McMullen)?
It’s fairly fractious. They take any chance they can to undermine him in front of people, and it makes Santa very cross but at the same time he’s very protective. I’m not sure if they’re his sons or not? What’s the relationship between the elves and Santa Claus? Are they just friends or are they just employees? Is there some kind of blood line? I’m not sure…

What would you say viewers can look forward to from this Christmas special?
There’s going to be a nice combination of comedy and terror, and cool creatures – and Christmas fun. There’s a sleigh ride and snow. It’s going to be beautiful!

Bookmark and Share Radio Times at Christmas

12/09/2014 09:17:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Radio Times (13-19 Dec 2014) (Credit: Radio Times)Doctor Who on Christmas Day is now a firm tradition on British television, and the Radio Times has been there each year to celebrate with the Doctor; 2014 will be no exception as the 13th-19th December issue's front cover features the tenth festive adventure for the Doctor, Last Christmas.

This issue features an interview with guest star Nick Frost, during which he discusses the iconic character he brings to life in the episode:
My Santa is cross, mean and curt as well as cheery and funny. He's got a little bit of Robert De Niro in Mean Streets. And he has history with the Doctor: it's not talked about explicitly but they have a beef with each other from way back.
He also is very supportive of the show's writer:
Steven Moffat is a very clever man - taking Doctor Who somewhere completely different isn't easy. And he was happy to allow me to improvise on set and push things out a bit.
Moffat himself comments on the Doctor's latest encounter and his performer:
It does look like the most insane moment when Santa turns up, but we haven't gone off our rockers. No, Santa is written in properly, in a science-fiction way, into Doctor Who. I've always had a very clear impression of Santa, but when we got Nick Frost, well, first of all how perfect is his name! Nicholas Frost. It's the nom de plume that Santa Claus would use, isn't it? Nick is ideal. He's what Santa should be in Doctor Who land.

Radio Times (20 Dec 2014 - 2 Jan 2015) (Credit: Radio Times/Judith Kerr)Meanwhile, the magazines 'legendary' double issue features an interview with the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi, who reflects on his first series and the attention it has brought:
What’s now shocking is I can’t say anything publicly without it having a life. Not because I have extraordinary views but because people are keen on conflict, so they’ll make that the story. They love to make out that Steven Moffat and I have disagreements. But that’s business as usual. It made me realise how awful it must be to be a politician. I’m a lot more sympathetic to Malcolm Tucker’s views now.
He also comments on the whirlwind World Tour that preceeded the series' broadcast:
That was extraordinary. People tell you the show’s successful abroad but until you actually see it, you don’t realise. You’re effectively joining a boy band or the Beatles. You arrive at the airport and there are packs of people screaming and holding up pictures of you. We’d do press events all day and then in the evening a public screening and Q&A, and people went bananas. In South Korea the venue seated 1,500 people, and 50,000 people applied for tickets. I was benefitting from Chris Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith making the show so beloved – I swept in on their coat-tails and got all the adoration and BA first-class treatment.

The full interviews can be found in their respective editions of the Radio Times, with the 13th-19th December issue in the shops now and the double issue covering 20th December - 2nd January due out tomorrow.

Christmas Covers in Previous Years

2005 (The Christmas Invasion)2006 (The Runaway Bride)2007 (Voyage of the Damned)2008 (The Next Doctor)2009 (The End of Time)2009 (Christmas Issue)2010 (A Christmas Carol)2011 (The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe)2012 (The Snowmen)2013 (Time of the Doctor)

Bookmark and Share Lethbridge-Stewart novel series announced

12/08/2014 06:28:00 pm - Reported by Josiah Rowe

Candy Jar Books has announced a new series of novels featuring Colonel Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Created by writers Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln and played by Nicholas Courtney, Lethbridge-Stewart first appeared in the 1968 serial The Web of Fear. He subsequently became a major recurring character in the classic series, appearing on television with six Doctors and returning decades later in The Sarah Jane Adventures. (Including appearances in books, audios and comics, Lethbridge-Stewart has appeared with ten Doctors in authorised Doctor Who stories.) The character was referred to in several 21st-century episodes of Doctor Who before Nicholas Courtney's death in 2011; the Doctor learned of Lethbridge-Stewart's demise in the 2011 episode The Wedding of River Song, and a version of the character appeared in this year's Death in Heaven.

The new novel series will feature the young Lethbridge-Stewart, and will be set shortly after the events of The Web of Fear. The novels, which will be released quarterly, are:
  • The Forgotten Son by Andy Frankham-Allen
  • Horror of Det-Sen by Lance Parkin
  • The Schizoid Earth by David A McIntee
  • Mutually Assured Domination by Nick Walters

The novels are fully licensed by the executor of the Haisman Literary Estate, Mervyn Haisman’s granddaughter Hannah Haisman, and endorsed by Henry Lincoln. The first novel will be released on February 22, 2015, four years after the death of Nicholas Courtney.

Lethbridge-Stewart Coming Soon banner (Credit: Candy Jar Books) Lethbridge-Stewart: The Forgotten Son cover (Credit: Candy Jar Books)
The series can be ordered from Candy Jar Books here. The full press release from the publisher can be found below:
Available from People’s Book Prize winning publisher, Candy Jar Books, Lethbridge-Stewart is a new series of novels revealing the untold story of Colonel Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart set shortly after the 1968 serial, The Web of Fear, fully licensed by the Executor of the Haisman Literary Estate, Mervyn Haisman’s granddaughter Hannah Haisman, and endorsed by Henry Lincoln.

The first series consists of The Forgotten Son by Andy Frankham-Allen, Horror of Det-Sen by Lance Parkin, The Schizoid Earth by David A McIntee and Mutually Assured Domination by Nick Walters.

Brigadier Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart has been an essential element of Doctor Who since 1968. He was created by authors Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln for the six-part Doctor Who serial, The Web of Fear. A one-off character. Until over a year later when he was brought back to Doctor Who, promoted to Brigadier and the head of UNIT. Forty-six years on and the Brigadier has become one of the most iconic characters in Doctor Who, having appeared with ten different Doctors in countless TV episodes, books, audio dramas and comic strips! The character’s death was acknowledged in the 2012 Doctor Who series starring Matt Smith, and was resurrected briefly in the 2014 series finale starring Peter Capaldi. On TV the character’s story is over, but there is so much more to tell.

Andy Frankham-Allen has been a Doctor Who fan since his childhood and serves as line editor for the series, as well as penning the opening novel. Andy is the former line editor of Untreed Reads Publishing’s series Space: 1889 & Beyond, and has penned several Doctor Who Short Trip stories for Big Finish and Candy Jar’s very own celebration of Doctor Who, Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants. He said: “It's an insane privilege and responsibility to put this series together, to reveal the real story behind such a legend of Doctor Who.”

Lance Parkin has written over twenty books and audio dramas for Doctor Who since 1996, including the 35th Anniversary novel, The Infinity Doctors, and the 2008 Tenth Doctor novel, The Eyeless. He also worked on British soap Emmerdale and wrote Magic Words, the definitive biography of Alan Moore. Lance said: “Lethbridge-Stewart was always a steady presence in the Doctor's life. Even in The Web of Fear, he instinctively trusted the Doctor from almost the moment he met him. I wrote for the character in The Dying Days, and that was the version of the Brigadier we all think of now, I think, an old soldier, semi-retired, seen it all. It's been interesting writing for a younger, hungrier Lethbridge-Stewart – not even a Brigadier at this point in his life. It's also been nice writing a story that's set in the aftermath of The Web of Fear, with Lethbridge-Stewart only just starting to realise that the Earth's facing a whole new type of enemy."

David A McIntee has written novels for Star Trek, Final Destination and Space: 1999 and over fifteen books and audio dramas for Doctor Who since 1993, including the Brigadier-centric novel, The Face of the Enemy. David said: “To be honest it (the series) is something I'm amazed hasn't been done before – it’s just such a natural and obvious thing. The form it's taking is also cool because it has the flexibility to move between styles and genres – thriller, SF, horror, etc – while maintaining a definite identity. As for the Brig himself, he's one of those characters where the casting was so perfect that it just made the character so memorable, and who (usually) feels so right.”

Nick Walters has written five novels for Doctor Who since 1998. Nick said: “After the Doctor himself the Brigadier is the best-loved character in Doctor Who. I met Nick Courtney a number of times and he really is a splendid fellow. He brought a real humanity and vulnerability to the role without compromising the essential toughness of the character. Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart is the chap you'd want on your side in a fight – any fight – and it is a real privilege to be exploring what made him into the character we came to know and love.”

Simon Williams, the man behind the cover art, is a former artist for Marvel UK having drawn for The Transformers, The Hulk, Spider-Man and Death’s Head. Simon said: “I’ve always been a big fan of Doctor Who and the Brigadier and having the opportunity to draw this iconic character is a huge privilege.”

Hannah Haisman said: “This project has been a long-time coming. I had to be certain that I was entrusting my grandfather’s legacy to a publisher and authors who would respect what he created. Candy Jar and Andy have assembled a team that are sympathetic to the Brigadier, and these are very exciting times that we can all be proud of.”

Doctor Who first appeared on our screens in 1963, running for twenty-six years until 1989. It was then re-launched in 2005 attracting old fans and new. Doctor Who is now one of the most prestigious shows on British television, loved and watched by millions, and the character of the Brigadier has been an essential part of that institution for forty-six years.

Lethbridge-Stewart will be launched on 22nd February 2015, the fourth anniversary of Nicholas Courtney’s death, the actor behind the Brigadier. The first series of novels will be released one book per quarter throughout 2015.

Also available as part of a bundle:
Bundle 1 (Get all four as they are released)
For the reduced price of £35 you can receive all four Lethbridge-Stewart books before general release.

The Forgotten Son by Andy Frankham-Allen
Horror of Det-Sen by Lance Parkin
The Schizoid Earth by David A. McIntee
Mutually Assured Domination by Nick Walters

Bundle 2 (Get Companions now)
Pre-order Lethbridge-Stewart: The Forgotten Son and get Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants for just £6 straight away.

Bookmark and Share MediaGuardian 100

12/08/2014 04:34:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat continues his steady rise up through the ranks of the Media Guardian's top 100 most powerful people in UK Media.

The writer and producer comes in at number 84 in this years chart, a rise of three places from the 2013 list. Moffat entered the chart in 2011 as number 92.

The list, which has been running since 2001, attempts to quantify the people with the most influence over the British media and is complied by a team of judges drawn from across the industry.
The debate is not whether Moffat warrants inclusion, but which of his BBC1 shows is more important. Doctor Who wins in terms of sheer volume, plus there was the 50th anniversary special and Peter Capaldi’s debut in the lead role. But it was Sherlock (reinvented by Moffat with Mark Gatiss) that won a hat-trick of Emmys, and it is hard even for a time lord to outshine the star power of its leads, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Not only are they two of BBC1’s most important dramas, they are also among the biggest earners of the corporation’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide.
Other BBC personnel listed include the current controller of BBC Drama commissioning Ben Stephenson at number 71, controller of BBC One, Charlotte Moore, at number 25, and the Director of BBC Television, Danny Cohen at number 12. The current Chief Executive of the BBC, Director General Tony Hall was the top British listing coming in an number 4 while the new head of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the BBC, Rona Fairhead, was number 17.

The head of the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, Tim Davie, and the man ultimately responsible for selling Doctor Who around the world, was number 42.

The most influential actress is deemed to be Sheridan Smith at number 62. The former Big Finish actress was lauded for he role playing Cilla Black in the recent ITV biopic.

The top three places in the list were taken by the heads of Google, Facebook and Apple respectively.

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - Transmission times

12/08/2014 02:44:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

ABC Australia has confirmed the Christmas episode of Doctor Who, Last Christmas, will be broadcast on ABC 1 on Friday 26th December at 7.30pm

Transmission times have now been confirmed for the UK, Christmas Day at 6,15pm, the USA and Canada, Christmas Day at 9pm ET and Germany, Christmas Day at 9.30pm

Other broadcasts follow during the week with full details listed here.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures Magazine 359

12/06/2014 08:03:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

This month in BBC Doctor Who Adventures you’ll find the first pictures from the Christmas episode plus an exclusive interview with actress Jenna Coleman who talks about the upcoming episode.
It’s about what’s real and what isn’t and about dreams. And Father Christmas is in it – with elves! It’s not your traditional Christmas but there are definitely some traditional elements in there.
Coleman also tells what she likes about Christmas Day, the first Christmas she remembers and what present she thinks the Doctor would get her.
A mask – because he’s always commenting how she looks tired. A mask with his own face on it probably!
The issue comes with a free monster kit, which includes four characters to build.

  • 25 awesome facts for every day until Christmas.
  • What would the Doctor’s enemies get him for Christmas?
  • A seasonal adventure for the Doctor and Clara in an exciting comic strip.
  • Race Against Time with a cool board game.
  • Cut out a scary Snowman mask!
  • Read a guide to Christmas monster invasions.
  • Make Monster gift tags for your presents.
  • Read a festive behind-the-scenes feature.
  • Mega prize page, puzzles and four posters – including a stunning image from the Christmas special. You can win the Complete David Tennant years and loads of Doctor Who books, too.
The new Christmas issue of BBC Doctor Who Adventures, Issue 359, is on sale for four weeks from 3 – 30 December, priced £3.99.

Bookmark and Share Last Christmas - New Pictures

12/06/2014 04:40:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has released new pictures from this year's Christmas special, Last Christmas.

The story can be seen on BBC One at 6.15pm on Christmas Day, followed by screenings around the world.

Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Santa Claus (NICK FROST) (Credit: BBC / David Venni) Santa Claus (NICK FROST) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Wolf (NATHAN McMULLEN), Ian (DAN STARKEY) (Credit: BBC / David Venni)
Santa Claus (NICK FROST) (Credit: BBC / David Venni) Clara (JENNA COLEMAN) (Credit: BBC / David Venni) Wolf (NATHAN McMULLEN), Ian (DAN STARKEY) (Credit: BBC / David Venni) Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI) (Credit: BBC / David Venni) Santa Claus (NICK FROST), Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Santa Claus (NICK FROST), Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Santa Claus (NICK FROST) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Wolf (NATHAN McMULLEN), Ian (DAN STARKEY) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers)
Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Bellows (Maureen Beattie) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Clara (JENNA COLEMAN) (Credit: BBC / David Venni)
Bellows (Maureen Beattie) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Ashley (NATALIE GUMEDE) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Shona (FAYE MARSAY) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Professor Albert (MICHAEL TROUGHTON)
Professor Albert (MICHAEL TROUGHTON) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Clara (JENNA COLEMAN) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers) Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI) (Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers)