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Bookmark and Share New Comic - The Fourth Doctor #3

5/29/2016 10:37:00 am - Reported by Marcus

This week sees Titan release a new comic featuring The Fourth Doctor.

THE FOURTH DOCTOR #3

Writers: Gordon Rennie & Emma Beeby
Artist: Brian Williamson
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Comicraft
Covers Brian Williamson, Warren Pleece, Robert Hack

'GAZE OF THE MEDUSA' continues, as the Doctor and Sarah Jane team with Professor Odysseus James, and his daughter, Athena, to face down an ancient alien horror. Battling a malign influence all the way from Ancient Greece to London in 1887, the Doctor is faced with a petrifying challenge – and physical evidence that he cannot win!

THE FOURTH DOCTOR #3 THE FOURTH DOCTOR #3 THE FOURTH DOCTOR #3 THE FOURTH DOCTOR #3 THE FOURTH DOCTOR #3 THE FOURTH DOCTOR #3 THE FOURTH DOCTOR #3 THE FOURTH DOCTOR #3


On Sale Wednesday 1st June 2016

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine - 500th Edition

5/28/2016 10:53:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Credit: BBC Worldwide Doctor Who Magazine has celebrated reaching its 500th edition, launching the special edition at an event in London.

The long-running Magazine was presented with the Guinness World Record as the world's Longest Running Magazine Based on a Television Series, a record it has held since 2010.

The milestone was marked by the editorial team, past and present, who were joined by stars from the series as well as current showrunner Steven Moffat.

The magazine began life as Doctor Who Weekly in October 1979, before becoming a monthly publication the following year. Contributors have included Doctor Who’s head writers Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies, and the title has interviewed every Doctor and companion to appear in the TV series over the years.

Current Doctor Peter Capaldi paid tribute to the long running title.
When I was growing up, the same publications would print the same pictures over and over again. But then suddenly Doctor Who Magazine will produce something from the 60s that you’ve never seen. To me, that’s magic

The magazine caters to a whole range of ages and interests, and so many of your readers are so creative. It’s one of the things I love about Doctor Who, that it stimulates creativity in people. They may go off and become writers, or actors, or artists – and the magazine is part of that. As an examination of the nature of television production, it gives people a clear idea about the processes involved, both now and historically. You have very clever, very detailed articles for those who are of a scholarly bent… But also Doctor Who Magazine has a great artistic flavour to it. It’s about endeavour
Highlights of issue 500 include:
  • A message to DWM readers from the Doctor’s new companion, actress Pearl Mackie.
  • A letter from the Doctor himself!
  • Fourth Doctor Tom Baker recalls the launch of DWM nearly 37 years ago in the first part of his self-proclaimed ‘last ever interview’.
  • Peter Capaldi takes part in an exclusive photoshoot, recreating the cover for the very first issue, and explains how Doctor Who Magazine helped inform his portrayal of the Doctor.
  • In an extensive interview, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat talks candidly about why he’s decided that the next series will be his last, and reveals some details about the Doctor’s new companion.
  • Writer Jonathan Morris takes a look back at how DWM has changed from its first issue, noting all the highs and lows along the way.
  • A very special 20-page celebratory comic strip featuring the return of Maxwell Edison: The Stockbridge Showdown by Scott Gray, drawn by a host of guest artists including Dave Gibbons, John Ridgway, Dan McDaid, Roger Langridge, Adrian Salmon, John Ross, Martin Geraghty, David A Roach and Mike Collins.
  • Back in 2001, four years before Doctor Who returned to TV, Mark Gatiss, Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman pitched their own version of the series to the BBC. For the first time, find out details of exactly what was planned, and see what graphic designer Bernard Lodge – creator of the iconic Doctor Who title sequences of the 1960s and 70s – would do with the show’s titles today.
  • Peter Capaldi answers questions once put to the First Doctor, William Hartnell in a special ‘joint interview’!
  • Gain a fascinating new insight into The Day of the Doctor, voted DWM readers’ all-time favourite Doctor Who story, in The Fact of Fiction.
  • Full-page strips from the strange minds of Tim Quinn & Dicky Howett and Lew Stringer.
  • A countdown of the Top 20 moments from the history of DWM’s comic strip.
  • Behind the scenes of the Doctor Who mobile game Legacy – now featuring DWM characters Abslom Daak, Shayde and Frobisher!
  • Author Jacqueline Rayner gets nostalgic in her regular column Relative Dimensions.
  • Competitions to win HUGE prizes including hundreds of pounds’ worth of DVDs, Blu-rays, and audios, and a visit to see a Doctor Who audio drama being recorded!
PLUS
  • A BONUS 116-PAGE MAGAZINE looking back at the history of DWM, featuring every single cover, an introduction by Russell T Davies and commentary from the many editors who have steered the magazine over the years.
  • The first in a series of collectable art cards, inspired by The Iron Legion, DWM’s first-ever comic strip.
  • A massive double-sided poster featuring alternative versions of DWM 500’s cover.
Plus a sticker sheet, a prize-winning quiz, News, Reviews, Coming Soon and the Watcher.

Credit: BBC Worldwide Credit: BBC Worldwide Credit: BBC Worldwide Credit: BBC Worldwide Credit: BBC Worldwide Credit: BBC Worldwide

Bookmark and Share Sixth Doctor returns to the airwaves

5/28/2016 08:50:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Crimes of Thomas Brewster (Credit: Big Finish / Anthony Lamb)Colin Baker becomes the 'current' Doctor again on British airwaves today as BBC Radio 4 Extra begin a new run of Big Finish adventures on the radio, Saturdays at 6:00pm (repeated midnight). The Crimes of Thomas Brewster kicks off the run, broadcast in two parts over the next couple of weeks. The story also features Maggie Stables as the sixth Doctor's long-time audio companion Evelyn and guest stars David Troughton as Raymond Gallagher.

This weekend also sees a repeat of the 50th Anniversary programme Who Made Who, which was presented by Tracy Ann Oberman and featured a variety of interviews and special documentaries, plus the mockumentary from 2004, Whatever Happened to Susan Foreman?, which starred Jane Asher as the titular character whose life is examined some years after being left on Earth... The three hour programme follows on after Doctor Who at 7:00pm (and is also on at 9:00am this morning).


Both The Crimes of Thomas Brewster and Who Made Who should be available to listen to over the next 29 days via the BBC iPlayer.

Bookmark and Share Moments in Time: He's Back, And It's About Time

5/27/2016 04:54:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Paul McGann as the Doctor in the TV Movie (Credit: BBC)It was twenty years ago today that that viewers in the United Kingdom were to finally get their chance to see what American viewers had already experienced some thirteen days previously: the inauguration of a new Time Lord in the form of Paul McGann.

The regular series might have been allowed to drift into obscurity in its twilight years, but this was certainly not the case for the Television Movie, which received a generous dose of publicity on television and in the media itself, plus a primetime television slot following the popular soap serial Eastenders on BBC1 on a Bank Holiday Monday - though 8:30pm was perhaps a little late for a younger audience, even during a school holiday.

Though the majority of the British public were unaware or didn't care that the United States had already aired the special, thirteen days felt an awfully long time for fans in the United Kingdom to wait to see the latest adventure for the Doctor. This was compounded by a further 'predicament': BBC Worldwide scheduled its release on VHS on a date that turned out to be before its broadcast on television, and even with a week's additional delay it was still available to watch a few days beforehand. Should we wait patiently until after it's been on air before we watch the video, or indulge in the new Doctor's adventure as soon as possible?!! As members of the Doctor Who News team reflect in their memories below, the decision was definitely not unanimous!


One of the longest-serving members of the Doctor Who News team, Marcus Hilton recalls:
Boy it had been a long time coming. By the spring of 1996 we had been starved for new television Doctor Who for over six years. Oh there had been rumours of its return. Many rumours. After all, according to the BBC, it was merely resting, looking for a new format that would take it through the nineties. But most of us didn't really believe we would see it again. We thought the show lost. A memory only shared by a dwindling band of fans whose fond memories of a much-ridiculed show persisted.

We had the books of course. The Virgin New Adventures. And we had the Video releases, old fondly remembered stories viewable for the first time since transmission. We even had a couple of new Radio adventures to entertain us. But new Television Who? A pipe dream surely.

Doctor Who Magazine had fed us the latest, but by 1996 there had been so many false starts, so many spirits raised then dashed, could it really be happening.

It was happening of course. The Spring Bank Holiday was the target date, but for those of us with a WHSmith nearby D Day was sooner. The video was released about a week before the UK transmission, and we rushed out to get it. "Why buy it?" a colleague asked, "it's on TV next Monday." "Err, better quality," I mumbled, unwilling to be outed as a fan. But truth was I had to have it, I couldn't wait a few days. It was new Doctor Who. Unheard of. The Holy Grail.

Time has clouded my initial reactions. I know I enjoyed it. I loved Paul McGann's performance and enjoyed the story. I found it was a great improvement on the previous few seasons, which hadn't been entirely to my taste. But I think I knew it probably wasn't going to get us a new series.

It was a brave experiment, but one ultimately doomed to failure. Doctor Who wasn't American. It's ethos was so British it was never going to work as an American production. We enjoyed it, but knew the dream was over. The chance of resurrection had failed. There would be no new series. In ten years time our favourite show would be a dim memory, an antiquated curiosity remembered with affection by a few, but unheard of children of the new Century.

How wrong we were.

One of the youngest members of the team, BBC radio producer and occasional DWM contributor Paul Hayes takes us back to childhood expectations:
The TV Movie was the first time that a significant number of Doctor Who fans in the UK experienced their first viewing of a story at different times, in different ways; a fractured and fragmented experience, as compared to everyone always seeing when it went out on BBC One.

Many, no doubt, will have chosen to wait for the Bank Holiday Monday broadcast on the 27th of May. I was not one of those. I was 12 years old, and utterly impatient to watch brand new Doctor Who as soon as possible. It had been seven long years since the series was last on the air as a new programme; an eternity when you’re that age, especially when you’re looking back through the far-flung mists of time to when you were just five years old.

Yes, there had been a fairly generous number of repeats on the BBC, and these stories were ‘new’ to me, just as the videos I could buy with saved-up paper round money in Volume One or WH Smith’s in Worthing were. But, however much I enjoyed experiencing a Doctor Who story for the first time, I knew that they were not really new.

Not like the TV Movie was.

It’s an interesting contrast with what happened nine years later, with Rose. Then, I very deliberately chose not to watch the leaked version online. I wanted to experience the return of Doctor Who ‘properly’, when it was broadcast on television, to be part of that collective viewing experience. At the age of 12, I wasn’t nearly so fussy. Perhaps if I had been online at the time, and could have joined in with the excited chatter, I might have waited to be a part of it all on the night. Or perhaps it just felt different because the TV Movie’s video release before the broadcast date had been an official process, part of BBC Worldwide’s efforts to squeeze as much money from the venture as possible. The online leak in 2005 obviously wasn’t part of anybody’s plan and, to me, just felt a bit grubby.

There was an online Doctor Who world in 1996, but I was a long way from it, and thus had no idea that the video release of the TV Movie had been delayed. All of my Doctor Who news came from the monthly arrival of Doctor Who Magazine – or perhaps, occasionally, from Ceefax or Teletext if something particularly noteworthy was happening – and so I dutifully got mum to drive me down to Worthing on the original release date, Wednesday the 15th.

The man in Volume One was apologetic, but explained that the video had been delayed by a week. The disappointment was crushing, but the man did his best – he gave me a free poster, a promotion for the TV Movie with McGann’s eyes highlighted by that flash of light. I have a vague memory that we also tried in Smith’s, but it was clear it was no good. I had waited what felt like a lifetime for new Doctor Who, and I was now going to have to wait a little longer.

The following Wednesday, the 22nd, was a wet and miserable day, as I remember. As soon as I got home from school, I phoned Volume One to ask if they had the video in stock, and they confirmed that they did. It was there! It was in! New Doctor Who, so very close now!

Mum learned to drive comparatively late, and had only passed her test about eighteen months beforehand. She didn’t like driving in the rain, and as I excitedly got off the phone and explained that we could now go and get the video, she asked if we really had to go and get it today?

Yes. Absolutely. We did.

Mum, bless her, probably knew that it was a forlorn hope to try and persuade me to wait, and dutifully drove me down town so I could go and buy the precious thing.

Do you remember how oddly smooth the plastic covering of the video case was, compared to the more matt feeling of the ordinary Who releases? How shiny the logo? Just how blue the whole thing was?

It’s always hard for me to try and rationally analyse the TV Movie, just because of how exciting it felt at the time to have Doctor Who back. I think even at the age of 12 I was hopeful rather than confident that there would be more to follow after this, but I do remember enjoying it, as mum and I sat and watched it together as soon as we’d returned home.

Of course it isn’t perfect, but there are so many moments in it to enjoy, and the whole thing is wonderfully produced and performed, even if it’s not the best-scripted Doctor Who story ever to grace the series. Oddly, my one overriding memory of what happened when mum and I finished watching it is me rewinding to re-watch the end credits, because I wanted to double-check the fact that they’d missed out a credit for Ron Grainer, which seemed a shame.

“For the music?” mum asked. I was surprised she either knew or guessed that, and I’m still not sure how she did.

I did watch it again the following Monday, of course. I suspect I’d probably watched it again at least once before then, now I had the video and could do so whenever the TV in the lounge was otherwise unoccupied! I remember being pleased on the broadcast that they had a dedication to Jon Pertwee, but somehow, having already seen it, it did have something of an “after the Lord Mayor’s show” feel.

But an exciting time, nonetheless. Not quite as exciting as what was to come nearly a decade later, mind...

Unlike Paul, a slightly older but none-the-wiser Chuck Foster was one who did await the television premiere of the new Doctor, and how familiar it all felt:
1983. November. There's a new feature length episode of Doctor Who to enjoy on television very shortly. But then two events occur for the first time in history for UK fandom: the story could be experienced ahead of broadcast through the medium of print, as Target publish The Five Doctors novelisation a day before its premiere on BBC One; and it had already been seen by another country before its UK audience - yes, the bloody American fans (or Whovians as they were known) had got to see our beloved show first, and on the actual anniversary too!

Jump into the TARDIS thirteen years ...

1996. May. There's a new feature length episode of Doctor Who to enjoy on television very shortly. But then three events occur for UK fandom: the story could be experienced ahead of broadcast through the medium of print, as BBC Books publish the novel of the film on the 16th May; it has already been seen by another two countries before its UK audience (including those Whovians again!); but this time around UK fans also had the opportunity to watch Paul McGann in action ahead of broadcast courtesy of the BBC releasing it on VHS a week beforehand!

My little jest makes it sound like we in the UK must have been full of righteous indignation at the affrontary of these pre-emptions, but thinking back on those days I don't actually recall it being like that at all. I do remember being a little irritated to find out The Five Doctors had been shown in America first some years after the event, but the fifteen year old sitting there in front of the television on a Friday night had little knowledge of fans outside my group of school friends (I only entered the 'wider world' of fandom through DWAS and DWM the following year), and one of my friends reading the novelisation beforehand and subsequently being disappointed at what was on screen is about as controversial as it got! Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Doctors and companions hopping round the Death Zone during Children in Need (and the future me glad that I recorded it, my first Doctor Who on tape!)

The TV Movie: VHS and Novel releases
Could you resist the temptation to watch/read these before broadcast?
Things had changed a lot by the time I was twenty-seven, of course; I was a firm subscriber of DWM and reader of all manner of fanzines, and thanks to the rise of the Internet I was now helping out with DWAS online and deeply involved with the firmly established online fan community, running websites and mailing lists. This newfound widespread accessibility into the - literal - world of Doctor Who, however, was to present its own set of challenges as I certainly didn't want the TV Movie to be "spoilt" before I got to see it!

It might sound odd to hear that someone active on the news team and an avid follower of filming doesn't like spoilers, but that's me! Post 14th May I had to keep away from my usual online haunts to avoid reading something I'd rather not know. I avoided the novel and the VHS releases like the plague, but boy those thirteen days were hard work, especially with other friends who had succumbed to the allure of early access. But somehow I managed to muddle through (though I confess I did watch for screen clips to record for the video collection, so not totally untainted!).

And then it arrived. Monday 27th May. And I really can't remember what I was doing throughout the whole day any more, the day being overwhelmed by the evening's forthcoming spectacle. I had probably spent the day out with my then girlfriend on a bright sunny Bank Holiday (we did have them, once), but I know I was home, alone, all set up and ready to watch by the late afternoon, potential disturbances such as the telephone and door bell duly dealt with. Unlike 1983 the video was reserved well in advance for this (two, actually, as my parents' was also set up as backup!) I recall a brightly lit front room which needed the curtained firmly drawn to enable optimum viewing at 8:29pm. As JNT would say, the memory cheated somewhat too as I distinctly recall watching Batteries Not Included beforehand, but the BBC Genome project shows that film was actually on three weeks previously! Anyway, regardless of how good the actual night's That's Showbiz, Watchdog Healthcheck and Eastenders might have been in the run-up before the 'event', they have all been lost in the mists of time ... whereas the Doctor's narration over the Master's "execution" and lead into John Debney's strident version of the theme still remain indelibly etched within my mind...

There was an older, more 'regal' seventh Doctor, who then becomes the younger, boistrous eighth incarnation. It's Paul McGann! There was the Master, once again stealing others' lives to hang onto his own survival, corrupting the 'innocent' along the way. A brand new TARDIS interior! Shoes! I know I wanted to enjoy it, I really did. But then there was half human on my mother's side. The Eye of Harmony in the TARDIS? Dressing for the occasion. And of course, that kiss. With hindsight it is far easier to appreciate what it was attempting to achieve with regard to introducing a potential series, but back then I just wanted the Doctor Who I knew back, and this wasn't it, it was too much like other American-produced drama series - and not even American sci-fi (The X Files was well established by then). With the recent loss of the 'current' Doctor Jon Pertwee (and it was nice to see that acknowledged), I think I probably also wanted something to lighten that sadness and unfortunately the TV Movie didn't quite manage it.

Though of course I did watch it again straight afterwards just to make sure I hadn't imagined it had come back!

It is a bit weird to look back, now. I know I was disappointed with it back then, but I don't look back at the period itself in disappointment. We had Virgin, Reeltime and BBV to keep the idea of the show alive in the 1990s, with the mantle later taken up by BBC Books, Big Finish and BBC Online until Russell T Davies arrived to take us into a new age of Who prosperity. But in the middle we had that brief moment when new Who was in production once more, reminding us that the show could (and eventually would) come back.

(I could say we also had Dimensions in Time and The Curse of Fatal Death to enjoy too, but perhaps not!).

Former contributor John Bowman casts his mind back:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

In January 1996, the exciting news had broken that Paul McGann was to play the Doctor in an ambitious attempt to revive the show. At last, the long years of waiting and willing were over, and now here we were just four months later with the new episode about to air in the UK. Fingers were crossed, hopes were high and there was an increasing sense of elation.

It had already been shown earlier in the month in Canada and the USA, of course, but between those transmissions and its broadcast here, fate meted out a cruel blow and brought us crashing down when suddenly, exactly a week before its UK transmission, Jon Pertwee died. Such sadness, such a sense of loss – and, awfully and unbelievably, we’d now consecutively lost each of the first three Doctors just as we were in the process of welcoming a new one.

But as 8.30pm on that Bank Holiday Monday approached and as I pressed record and play on my VHS recorder then settled back to watch (with phone unplugged and doorbell disconnected – just to be on the safe side), excitement was still high. “He’s back. And it’s about time,” the BBC continuity announcer said dramatically. ”Yes, and it’s about bloody time, too,” (or words to that effect) chorused countless fans in return, I’m sure.

I desperately wanted this to be good and for it to succeed. So much was riding on it. After such shoddy treatment by previous incumbents at senior level at the BBC, our beloved programme was being given a new chance of life. And initial impressions were certainly good. It was different – it had to be, of course – but it still retained the vital core elements. McGann was superb, the result of the bigger budget was equally a joy to behold and the script delivered some real gems – while the Doctor and Grace kissing was pretty much only to be expected, uncomfortable viewing though it may have made for some.

But hang on... Just as I was really getting into it... What was all this nonsense about the Doctor being half-human? How did the Eye of Harmony manage to end up being transplanted from Gallifrey into the TARDIS? And putting things right by going back in time to just before they happened? Oh dear me no. What a cop-out. So much for the Blinovitch Limitation Effect!

As it finished, I was left with the uneasy feeling that what had started out with great promise had somehow not quite hit the mark. Perhaps my own expectations had been too high, but in my heart of hearts I just didn’t enjoy it in total as much as I’d hoped I would.

Nevertheless, it was a vibrant, valiant effort that had shown much promise and had much to commend it. It certainly deserved to continue to series, especially given the strong British ratings. It’s just a shame that ultimately those healthy numbers would be ignored in favour of the lacklustre US viewing figures and we would be plunged back into more wilderness years – possibly forever. Fortunately, braver souls with sparkling vision and a genuine belief in the show would eventually take up positions at executive level at the Beeb. And although the Eighth Doctor was only back on our screens for one night (until his next Night), the spirit of the TV movie would certainly live on when the series was properly revived, with Russell T Davies’ continuation owing so much to it in terms of style and presentation.

And at least they paid tribute to Pertwee at the end...

Regardless of how many fans did succumb to the temptation of VHS, come the evening of 27th May 9.08 million viewers tuned in to see the new Doctor - some 36% of the viewing audience!


Radio Times (25-31 May 1996) (Credit: Radio Times)
Radio Times (25-31 May 1996) - Doctor Who article (Credit: Radio Times)

The Radio Times covering 27th May 1996.
See the Radio Times website for full details of their coverage.
Extract from the Sun, 28th May 1996:
I preferred Dr Who when the props looked as if they had been made on Blue Peter and the actors sounded as if they were making it up as they went along. But this big budget adventure did have some snazzy special effects which gave it a glossy appeal. ... No doubt fanatical Dr Who followers will hate the new version for some nerdy, nit-picking reason or other. But, to me, Paul McGann seemed every bit as twittish as the seven previous doctors. A happy return for a TV hero.

Extract from the Guardian, Stuart Jeffries, 28th May 1996:
With Paul McGann at the helm of the Tardis, this isn't so much Doctor Who as Doctor Phworr! - the sexiest Time Lord in light years. But that seems one of the many mistakes that beset the conception and execution of the feature length Doctor Who (BBC1!) ... That's the chief problem with Doctor Who - it is stranded somwhere in the mid-Atlantic and about as interesting as Rockall. Director Geoffrey Sax has had to attempt the impossible - to make the Doctor's eighth incarnation engaging for those non-American viewers who've grown up during his 33 years of life on Earth, and for Americans who've joined the story two-thirds of the way through. ... The film, despite the big budget and accomplished special effects, couldn't scare or much divert a little child; the only people it is going to frighten are the suits who lavishly bankrolled this doomed project. Exterminate! Exterminate!

Extract from the Telegraph, Stephen Pile, 1st June 1996:
And so, finally, to that very odd one-off Americanised feature length instalment of Dr Who (BBC1, Mon). It looked as if he had landed the Tardis in an American daytime series. In fairness, it was well done, and gripping stuff, but the car chases and the morgue scenes and the master's spirit turning into green X-Files type plasma were a tour of genre cliches that made this programme no different to any other. Only the excellence of Paul McGann in the title role made it recognisable. His air of Victorian eccentricity was 100 per cent authentic and shows that, under other happier, more indigenous circumstances, he would be a worthy addition to the roll call of honour.

Extract from the News of the World, Charlie Catchpole, 2nd June 1996:
Why Doctor Who crashed spectacularly to earth was because next to nothing was spent on the script. All the old show's tongue-in-cheek, child-like charm was squeezed out by biff-bang action and tyre-squealing chases. Is there a bigger sci-fi cliche than Good battling Evil while a clock ticks away towards Doomsday? "This can't be how it ends!" gasped McGann, as the world faced oblivion. It wasn't, of course. But I wish it was.

You can find a variety of reviews from the period via the Cuttings Archive.



In spite of the media serving up its usual array of reviews ranging from the lovely to the ludicrous, The TV Movie was generally felt by the BBC to be a success in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, as a co-production it also needed the approval of the powers-that-be in the United States, but after its perceived performance on television there Doctor Who's fate had already been sealed... Whilst it was clear that audiences in the United Kingdom could be wowed by all-new adventures of the Gallifreyan time-traveller, it would some nine years before the BBC would be in the position to provide its viewers with such a chance to be so again...

Without McGann's single soirée as the Doctor re-invigorating public imagination, the series may never have come back, so it was perhaps fitting that in 2013 a now firmly established and much loved show around the world would re-embrace the Eighth Doctor, who - some seventeen years after his 'birth' - had the honour to set the 50th anniversary celebrations in motion as he returned to face his 'death' in The Night of the Doctor!



It was to be a couple of months later before the TV Movie made its way across to the other side of the world. But would it have the same impact as in the United States and United Kingdom?

Our Australian reporter Adam Kirk recalls:
Alas I recall the TV Movie as coming and going very quickly without much notice in Australia. (A very marked contrast to 2005!) By the time it broadcast in early July I think we already knew there would be no further series and so it was already a bit of a damp squib for local fans by the time it had arrived. I remember watching it by myself on VHS tape a couple of days after its ABC TV broadcast on a very cold Canberra evening. I was in my final year of university or ‘uni’ (as we Aussies call it) and I remember being taken aback at how very American and very different it seemed from the show of my childhood. I think the few remaining local fans damned it with faint praise too which probably did it no favours either! Unlike today, Doctor Who remained a little unfashionable at the time so I probably didn’t tell many of my mates that they should watch either! Shame on me! Mea culpa Doctor No. 8!

Still looking at it again recently, I think McGann & Ashbrook are great and I was struck by how much the action, romance and higher production values were a sign of things to come. Happy 20th birthday TV Movie! You helped keep the flame burning for fandom in the dark days of the mid 1990s! Forgive me for being too resistant to your charms as a pretentious twenty something!
Occassional Doctor Who News correspondent Tim Hunter also reflected:
Gosh, I can't quite remember. I do know I bought it on VHS before it was broadcast, and was excited about seeing it. I watched it with my wife at the time, but I remember feeling quite detached from any hype. Doctor Who was still very daggy, and not many people in Australia even knew about the TVM! It felt like it came and went with a whimper, to be honest. And my only real interaction with it was through DWM and the Virgin NA and PA novels, especially given the Internet was really only just kicking in. I was working at the Melbourne International Film Festival at the time, and we were connected to the Internet; I remember looking up some very early Doctor Who webpages and forums, but they didn't inspire me much. Opinion from other Who enthusiast friends was damning with faint praise with a sneer towards the co-production. I did think that McGann was great!

It would be another three months before New Zealand had its television debut. However, an impatient fandom had long since caught up with the new adventure, as Paul Scoones summarised:
The TV Movie first screened in New Zealand on 30 October 1996. I first saw it as an off-air VHS copy from either the US or Canadian broadcast. I watched it on the evening of Friday 24 May, the day before it was shown at a pre-arranged New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club video day in Auckland.

Bookmark and Share Candy Jar Books Sarah Jane Smith Competition

5/26/2016 09:39:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar (Credit: Candy Jar)Candy Jar Books have launched a competition to tie in with the release of their latest Lethbridge-Stewart novels, Moon Blink. People who order the book between today and 09:00 GMT on Tuesday 31st May will also entered into a competition to win a complete set of the Sarah Jane Smith audio series released by Big Finish, which as well as starring Elisabeth Sladen in the title role also features her daughter as Natilie Redfern - a certain Sadie Miller who is, of course, the author of Moon Blink! As a bonus, the author will also sign the set of CDs.

In addition, Candy Jar has created a Spotify playlist of music inspired by the books of Lethbridge-Stewart playlist.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine - Issue 500

5/25/2016 04:08:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Magazine - 500 (Credit: Panini)The cover has been released for the 500th issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

The first issue of Doctor Who magazine was published on 11th October 1979, when The Doctor was still being played by Tom Baker and fans were enjoying the Series 17 story City of Death

It began life as a weekly publication with a cover price of just 12p. Featuring exclusive interviews with Doctors, Companions and even some monsters, the magazine included comic strips, features, news and interviews. Among the buyers of Issue 1 were an eight-year-old David Tennant, 16-year-old Russell T Davies and 17-year-old Steven Moffat. All of them have been fans of the magazine ever since.

Doctor Who Magazine celebrates its 500th issue with an exclusive interview with Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, as well as a specially commissioned front cover where Capaldi recreates the first ever cover of the magazine.

Commenting on the magazine’s success, Peter Capaldi says
The magazine was enormously helpful to me. When I started playing the Doctor I was able to get piles of them and dive in. I went out and bought lots of Doctor Who Magazines, because I deliberately wanted to steep myself in Doctor Who and connect – reconnect – to it in a very kind of visceral way, to the affection and the heartbeat of it.
The Magazine also talks to Tom Baker in what he calls is his last ever interview with the magazine
500 is a big milestone, and I’m sure you’re right to want to mark it BIG. Your magazine has been extremely good to me, and has helped to create a warm and faithful fanbase for the programme. I am still signing first editions. After all these years
The 500th issue comes packaged in a card envelope and is a bumper 116 pages long, priced £9.99. Other highlights include an interview with Doctor Who showrunner, Steven Moffat and a special treat for fans also in the form of an exclusive letter to Doctor Who Magazine readers from Pearl Mackie, who will play new companion Bill.

Also featured in the magazine is an interview with the first Doctor William Hartnell, dating from 1965 and written by an eleven year old fan.

Doctor Who Magazine - Issue 500 is on sale 25th May 2016

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Experience over the Bank Holiday week

5/24/2016 06:18:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff have announced themes and events that will take place over the course of the Bank Holiday week (Saturday 28th May through to Saturday 4th June):

  • The costume worn by new sidekick Bill, as played by Pearl Mackie in the special introduction broadcast in April will be on display for a limited time.
  • The TARDIS memorial for Clara created by Rigsy, seen in the closing moments of Face The Raven, will also be on display.
  • The original Davros prop from his premiere story Genesis of the Daleks has been restored, and is presented with details from visual and model effects designer Mike Tucker who undertook the restoration (including the unearthing of the earliest head casts).
  • Millennium FX will be on-hand to part-transform visitors into Zygons! (31st May/1st June)
  • Visitors are encouraged to cosplay as their favourite companion in order to celebrate the exhibition's Companion Week (and share through social media via @DW_Experience and #BeTheCompanion

For full details visit the Doctor Who Experience website.


Bill's costume at the Doctor Who Experience (Late May Bank Holiday 2016) (Credit: Doctor Who Experience/BBC Worldwide) Clara Memorial TARDIS at the Doctor Who Experience (Late May Bank Holiday 2016) (Credit: Doctor Who Experience/BBC Worldwide) Genesis Davros at the Doctor Who Experience (Late May Bank Holiday 2016) (Credit: Doctor Who Experience/BBC Worldwide)

Bookmark and Share Burt Kwouk (1930-2016)

5/24/2016 03:24:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Burt Kwouk (Credit: Chuck Foster)The actor Burt Kwouk has died, aged 85.

Born in Manchester, raised in Hong Kong, and eventually graduating from Bowdoin College in the United States, the internationally travelled Burt Kwouk returned to the United Kingdom in 1954 and was soon an actor in great demand owing to his oriental appearance.

On television he worked on a range of ITC productions including The Avengers, The Saint, The Champions and Danger Man; he was a co-star in The Sentimental Agent, playing Chin Sung in 12 of its 13 episodes. He also provided English narration for both The Water Margin and Monkey. On film his first big break was in Inn Of The Sixth Happiness. He later appeared in two of the Sean Connery run of James Bond, Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice, plus the independent film starring David Niven and Peter Sellers, Casino Royale. However, it was alongside Sellers that Kwouk was to achieve 'immortality', playing the kung-fu servant Cato whose ambushes against Inspector Clouseau became key scenes to look forward to!

In 1982 he took on the role of the Mandarin leader Lin Futo in Four to Doomsday, acting alongside a fresh-faced Time Lord Peter Davison in his first filmed story. He was to later return to Doctor Who as Doctor Hayashi, again alongside Davison, in the Big Finish adventure Loups-Garoux

Other television roles included Major Yamauchi in the prisoner-of-war drama series Tenko, Mr Lee in Howard's Way, Philip Chen in Noble House, and Peter Lo-Ching in The House of Elliot; in film he played Mr Chen in Empire of the Sun, General Lu Soong in Air America and Fu King in I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle. He became a regular on the Harry Hill show between 1997 and 2000, provided voiceovers for Japanese spoof betting show Banzai between 2001 and 2004, and then settled into the role of Entwistle in the BBC's long-running Last of the Summer Wine between 2002 and 2010.

In 2011 he received an OBE for services to drama.


A statement issued by his agent said: "Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away. The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date."


Herbert Kwouk, OBE. 18th July 1930 - 24th May 2016

Bookmark and Share Competition Roundup

5/24/2016 09:24:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

A roundup of competitions from Doctor Who News that readers may enter:

The Fourth Doctor Adventures: Gallery of Ghouls

The fourth Doctor continues his adventures alongside Romana and K-9:
When the TARDIS lands in Brighton the Doctor and Romana have the chance to spend some time at the seaside. But with it being too early for the opening of the Pavilion, they have to look elsewhere for their entertainment - perhaps Madame Tissot's travelling waxworks, recently arrived in town? But they're not the only ones interested in her Exposition. When an unusual thief commits an unusual theft, the time travellers are on the case. What exactly is the sinister secret of Goole's Gallery? Is Tissot's heading for a meltdown? And what does it all have to do with the head of Marie Antoinette?
Gallery Of Ghouls (Credit: Big Finish)To be in with a chance to win a digital download of the audio adventure courtesy of Big Finish, simply answer the following question:
The Doctor, Romana and K9 have spent time on Brighton Beach before - or, rather, as is typical with time travel, they will do so later! - name that story.
Please send your answer along with your name and the email address you have registered with Big Finish, plus where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-bf4d@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Deja Vu". The competition is open worldwide, closing date 12th June. Note: entrants must have an active registration with Big Finish in order to be eligible to receive the prize - new registrations can be easily created on the website for free and with no financial obligation.

BBC Audio: The King's Demons

The latest classic novelisation adaptation from BBC Audio sees the fifth Doctor arrive in medieval Britain:
It is 4 March 1215, and the TARDIS materialises in England during a jousting match held in the presence of King John. But it soon becomes apparent to the Doctor that something is very seriously wrong. Why does John express no fear or surprise at the time-travellers' sudden appearance, and indeed welcome them as the King's Demons! And what is the true identity of Sir Gilles, the King's Champion? Very soon the Doctor finds himself involved in a fiendish plan to alter the course of world history by one of his oldest and deadliest enemies.
The King's Demons (Credit: BBC Audio)To be in with a chance to win the audiobook courtesy of BBC Audio, simply answer the following question:
This isn't the first time the Doctor has encountered the Plantagenet family - which incarnation met John's rather more fondly remembered brother Richard?
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-demons@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "We sing in praise of total war". The competition is open worldwide, closing date 12th June 2016. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

BBC Audio: Shakedown

BBC Audio's latest novel adaptation is Shakedown, originally released as part of the Virgin New Adventures range in 1995:
For thousands of years the Sontarans and the Rutans have fought a brutal war across the galaxy. Now the Sontarans have a secret plan to destroy the Rutan race - a secret plan the Doctor is racing against time to uncover. Only one Rutan spy knows the Sontarans' plans. As he is chased through the galaxy in a desperate bid for his life, he reaches the planet Sentarion - where Professor Bernice Summerfield's research into the history of the Sontaran/Rutan war is turning into an explosive reality...
Shakedown (Credit: BBC Audio)To be in with a chance to win the audiobook courtesy of BBC Audio, simply answer the following question:
The novel Shakedown is based upon the script Terrance Dicks originally wrote for the direct-to-video release Shakedown - Return of the Sontarans in 1994; name one of the main cast from that release who also has a strong connection to Doctor Who on television.
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-shakedown@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Moth to the flame". The competition is open worldwide, closing date 12th June 2016. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

Character: Missy figures

It is still possible to enter our competition to win a Character figure of Missy, which runs until 31st May. See the main competition article for full details.

Bookmark and Share Remembering Robert Holmes - 30 years On

5/24/2016 08:54:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Thirty years ago today we lost one of the great writers of Doctor Who, when Robert Holmes died at the tragically early age of 60.

It is difficult to exaggerate the impact of Robert Holmes on the series. He wrote 72 episodes, spread across 18 stories as well as being Script Editor throughout the first half of the Tom Baker era.

He introduced Jo Grant and Sarah Jane Smith, The Master and The Valeyard, The Autons and The Sontarans. He was the mastermind who named Gallifrey and then reinvented the Time Lords giving them Borousa and Rassilon. He devised The Key to Time and The Matrix, The White and Black Guardians. He imposed the 12-regeneration limit for Time Lords.

His characters were exquisitely written. Whether petty bureaucrats or megalomaniacs, they lived and breathed thanks to Holmes. Characters such as Sabalom Glitz, Henry Gordon Jago, George Litefoot, Sharaz Jek, Irongron and Pletrac.

Robert Holmes wrote the story voted Best Story of all time in the 2009 DWM readers survey, The Caves of Androzani.

Writing in 2008, Russell T Davies paid tribute to Holmes' legacy,
Take The Talons of Weng-Chiang, for example. Watch episode one. It's the best dialogue ever written. It's up there with Dennis Potter. By a man called Robert Holmes. When the history of television drama comes to be written, Robert Holmes won't be remembered at all because he only wrote genre stuff. And that, I reckon, is a real tragedy.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures #15

5/23/2016 11:26:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Adventures #15Doctor Who Adventures #15Doctor Who Adventures #15 is out later this week.

Doctor Who Magazine may be 500 issues old this month but DWM’s little sister is determined not to be left out.

In this month's issue
  • PETALS
  • Rik Hoskin, Russ Leach and John Burns bring you a chilling tale from the planet Eed’n, where a particularly virulent form of plant life is planning to spread its seeds across the universe!
  • PLANT LIFE
  • How are your botanical skills? We brush up on some of the other plant-based creatures the Doctor has crossed stems with over the years!
  • MAKE A MIRE ROOM GUARD
  • Tired of people rummaging through your stuff? Ashildr shows you how to make your own formidable Mire Room Guard! Get ready to unleash unlimited power on any unwanted snoopers!
  • UNIT ALIEN ARCHIVES
  • And carrying on from this issue’s make we give you the lowdown on the Mire, one of the most feared warrior races in the universe!
  • STRAX AND THE TIME SHARK!
  • More craziness from Grant Perkins as Strax goes undercover on a shopping trip!
  • THE PATERNOSTER GANG INVESTIGATES
  • The Paternoster Gang investigate the Terror of the Thames in a stunning tale from Tommy Donbavand!
Issue 15 comes with a set of free monsters magnets. On sale 26th May, 2016, price £3.99

Bookmark and Share Three New Comics Out This Week

5/23/2016 04:20:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

This week sees Titan release three new comics featuring The Ninth, Tenth and Twelfth Doctors.

NINTH DOCTOR #2

Writers: Cavan Scott
Artist: Adriana Melo
Colorist: Matheus Lopes
Letterer: Richard Starkings and Comicraft's Jimmy Betancourt
Covers Mark Wheatley, Adriana Melo, Blair Shedd, Stephen Byrne

The ongoing adventures of the Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack continue, as Part 2 of 'DOCTORMANIA' confronts the three with a solar system wide conspiracy, an intergalactic crime family, a murderous case of acid rain, and, more importantly, the return of an unexpected old foe in a hideous new guise!

NINTH DOCTOR #2 NINTH DOCTOR #2 NINTH DOCTOR #2 NINTH DOCTOR #2 NINTH DOCTOR #2 NINTH DOCTOR #2 NINTH DOCTOR #2 NINTH DOCTOR #2 NINTH DOCTOR #2


DOCTOR WHO: TENTH DOCTOR #2.10

Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Colorist: Arianna Florean
Letterer: Comicraft
Covers Elena Casagrande, Will Brooks, Eleonora Carlini

The Doctor, Gabby and Cindy land in New Orleans at the dawn of the Jazz Age, tracking down the source of the Nocturnes, twisted memetic creatures who ride music and use it as a weapon. Can the TARDIS team change the Nocturnes' tune before they infect all life on Earth?!

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DOCTOR WHO: TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.6

Writer: Robbie Morrison
Artist: Mariano Laclaustra
Colorist: Ivan Nunes
Letterer: Comicraft
Covers Steve Pugh. Will Brooks, Todd Nauck & Hi-Fi, Robert Hack, Simon Myers

ALL-NEW STORY ARC BEGINS! In the wake of Clara's exit, the Doctor is flying solo – and finding just as much trouble, danger, and cosmic wonder as when Ms. Oswald was around!

PLUS! A NEW comics companion for the Twelfth Doctor? Find out here! All this, and the new Sonic Screwdriver makes its debut!

TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.6 TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.6 TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.6 TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.6 TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.6 TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.6 TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.6 TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.6 TWELFTH DOCTOR #2.6


On Sale Wednesday 25th May 2016