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Bookmark and Share The Celestial Toyroom Annual 2019

1/16/2019 12:28:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The Celestial Toyroom Annual 2019 (Credit: DWAS)
The Doctor Who Appreciation Society has released The Celestial Toyroom Annual 2019.

This is the third CT annual and on this occasion, concentrates on the era of the First Doctor, which follows on from the Heritage Plaque placed at Ealing Studios in October 2018 to honour William Hartnell.

The annual runs to over 100 pages and feature items on every first Doctor story featuring Hartnell, from over 30 contributors.

The book can be downloaded free-of-charge from the Society’s website at dwasonline.co.uk and a hardback version will be able to buy in a limited run to support a charity.

Bookmark and Share Resolution - Final Ratings

1/16/2019 10:50:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Resolution: Dalek (Credit: BBC/James Pardon)
Doctor Who: Resolution had an official rating of 7.13 million viewers, according to figures released by the Broadcasting Research Audience Board, BARB.

6.95 million watched the episode on a conventional TV set. However the BARB 4-Screen Dashboard shows that an additional 73,000 watched on their PC, 54,000 watched on a Tablet device and 44,000 watched on a smartphone These figures make Doctor Who the 14th most watched programme of the week ending 6th January.

Top for the week was the New Year Fireworks on BBC One getting 12.27 million watching.

The final rating is the lowest consolidated rating for a Christmas/New Year special since the series returned in 2005.

Resolution had an Appreciation Index score of 80

Bookmark and Share The Daleks’ Master Plan On Vinyl

1/14/2019 07:20:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The Daleks' Master Plan (Credit: BBC Studios) The soundtrack to The Daleks’ Master Plan, first seen in 1965, is to be released on Vinyl for the first time.

The release, from Demon Music Group, follows the recent popularity of similar releases of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and League of Gentlemen

The Daleks’ Master Plan, is a narrated full-cast TV soundtrack adventure. Starring William Hartnell as the First Doctor, in a battle against his archenemies, the Daleks.

The vinyl will be released on 15th February 2019 and is now available for pre-order. RRP £99.99.

Ben Stanley, Head of Product & Marketing, Demon Music Group, said
We’re very excited about the first release in our ‘Vinyl Who’ collection - it’s a new way for fans to discover lost episodes of Classic Doctor Who.
The release comes in two editions.
  • Standard edition: 7LP x 12” Heavyweight Translucent Blue
  • Amazon exclusive edition (limited to 1000 units): 7LP x 12” Heavyweight Splatter Vinyl
In this classic 12 part ‘lost’ adventure, first shown on TV from October 1965 to January 1966, the Daleks threaten to destroy the fabric of time itself. In their quest to control the Solar System, they have taken possession of the devastating Time Destructor. Determined to stop them, the Doctor steals the core of the weapon before he and his friends are pursued across time and space by his ruthless, powerful nemeses.

From the eerie sonics of Ron Grainer & Delia Derbyshire’s original theme tune and the familiar ‘wheezing, groaning’ of the TARDIS, to soundscapes illustrating the jungles of Kembel and alien spacecraft, the story is brought to life by the unique sounds produced by the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop .

Written by Terry Nation and Dennis Spooner, this is the longest single Doctor Who adventure ever made for television. Linking narration is provided by Peter Purves (Steven) and the cast includes Kevin Stoney as Mavic Chen, Nicholas Courtney as Bret Vyon, Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom and Peter Butterworth as the Meddling Monk. The film recordings of all but three episodes of this story are lost from the BBC archives.

The prelude episode Mission to the Unknown is presented on its own single-sided disc with a unique Dalek (exclusive edition) or TARDIS (standard edition) etched reverse.

The Daleks Master Plan (Credit: BBC Studios)

Bookmark and Share War Master battles the Eighth Doctor for Big Finish

1/08/2019 10:21:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The War Master: The Rage of the Time Lords (Credit: Big Finish) In a climactic audio battle the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) takes on the War Master (Derek Jacobi) in The War Master: The Rage of the Time Lords, coming out in July 2019 from Big Finish Productions.

Sir Derek Jacobi reprises the role of the War Master opposite Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor in the third series of The War Master audio adventures made in association with BBC Studios.

In The War Master: The Rage of the Time Lords, four new stories explore the Master’s exploits in the Time War.
  1. The Survivor by Tim Foley
  2. The Coney Island Chameleon by David Llewellyn
  3. The Missing Link by Tim Foley
  4. Darkness and Light by David Llewellyn
With all of space and time in chaos, the Master plots his most audacious project yet. Only one other Time Lord has ever been able to stop him. But where is that Time Lord when the universe needs him?

This new series of adventures take the Master into darker terrain as he gathers his forces against the Daleks in one of his most nefarious schemes to date. Will the Doctor stop him? Will he want to? Or has the Master’s deadly scheme proved too great to be controlled…

Producer and director Scott Handcock told us more
This incarnation of the Master is very much the ‘Hannibal Lecter’ of Time Lords – intelligent, charming, but thoroughly ruthless. We had a lot of fun in studio bringing the War Master back to life! It’s been a gift of a project, and we can’t wait for listeners to hear it.”

Sir Derek was only seen on screen for one TV episode. On returning to the role on audio in 2017, he said: “I didn’t expect to come back to it all these years later but I was thrilled to be remembered. The plots in all these episodes have been very good indeed, very interesting, very dramatic and beautifully written. The whole process has been a delight!
The War Master: The Rage of the Time Lords is being released in the 20th anniversary year of Doctor Who on audio, and it showcases some of the best qualities of the format. One of the greatest delights for Big Finish is being able to further explore and add to the mythology of characters such as the Eighth Doctor and the Master.

Series three, The War Master: Rage of the Time Lords will materialise in July 2019 written by Tim Foley and David Llewellyn. Series four, The War Master: Anti-Genesis written by Nicholas Briggs and Alan Barnes, will complete the saga in December 2019.

The first two series in The War Master range – Only the Good and The Master of Callous – are available from Big Finish Productions each at £35 on CD or £30 on download, while series three and four are available for pre-order now each at £23 on CD or £20 on download.

Bookmark and Share Whotopia: Issue 33

1/07/2019 11:47:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Whotopia 33 The latest edition of the fan magazine Whotopia: Number 33 is available now.

In the magazine
  • The second life of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
  • Adventures in time and space: rewatching Doctor Who
  • When you say nothing at all
  • A faction paradox primer
  • Mel bush: more than screams and carrot juice
  • Column: who you build 6
  • Column: Master who 6
  • Talkin’ about regeneration
  • Column: the audio archives
  • Column: the curate’s egg: lost in the dark
  • Column: the black archives
  • Doctor Who has lost her way
Whotopia Issue 33 is available to download free in PDF format as well as to purchase in hardcopy print version.

Bookmark and Share W. Morgan Sheppard 1932 - 2019

1/07/2019 10:19:00 am - Reported by Marcus


The actor W. Morgan Sheppard has died at the age of 86.

William Morgan Sheppard appeared in the 2011 Eleventh Doctor story The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon playing the older version of ex-FBI agent Canton Everett Delaware III, who accompanied the Eleventh Doctor during the latter's visit to the United States of America in 1969. The younger version of the character was played by his son Mark Sheppard.

William Morgan Sheppard was born in London and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He spent 12 years as an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Sheppard has a strong connection with Science fiction, appearing in both Star Trek The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager as well as the films Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and the 2009 reboot Star Trek.

He appeared in two roles in Babylon 5. His best known role was probably Blank Reg in the comedy Max Headroom. In the films Gettysburg and Gods and Generals he played the Confederate general Isaac Trimble.

As well as Doctor Who he appeared alongside his son in the television series NCIS.

William Morgan Sheppard died on Sunday in Los Angeles, California. He is survived by his wife and children.

Bookmark and Share Cosmic Masque: Issue VII

1/03/2019 11:57:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Cosmic Masque issue VII  (Credit: DWAS)
The latest edition of Cosmic Masque is available for download from the Doctor Who Appreciation Society

Cosmic Masque issue VII is an e-magazine all about being a fan. This edition has 90 pages full of fiction, reviews, interviews and articles.

It is free for everyone to download and in two formats - single page to a view, or two page spreads.

A limited run print copy of Cosmic Masque VII will be produced in 2019

Comments and contributions are welcome at cm@dwasonline.co.uk

Bookmark and Share New high quality audio recordings of missing episodes discovered

1/02/2019 03:15:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Kaleidoscope, a non-profit organisation that specialises in locating missing television programmes, have announced that a new selection of audio recordings of missing Doctor Who episodes have been recovered, many of which are an improvement of recordings that have previously been available.

Chris Perry on Facebook reported:
Randolph Tapes: Missing Episode recordings (Credit: Kaleidoscope)In late 2018, Kaleidoscope was delighted to be contacted by one of our volunteers who normally helps with photographic restoration. Robert Wyn is normally better known to us as the man who works with glass photo negatives for us; but this time he had been given some audio reels of Doctor Who stories.

Kaleidoscope transfers hundreds of hours of radio and TV soundtracks every year that are quietly returned to us without any fuss. We know many audio experts including Keith Wickham, Ted Kendall, Alys Hayes and Mark Ayres. Where possible, we try to give them full access to all our archive so they can create the best CD and DVD projects possible for commercial release.

Mark Ayres and I have worked together before; we share the same aims; and we trust each other's work. Mark asked if he could work on the reels first. We agreed, with Robert’s permission.

Kaleidoscope is a team of volunteers from many backgrounds, all guided by a love of preservation, heritage and history. Mark and I sit in the same camp, working together to safeguard our heritage for the future. As with all Kaleidoscope projects, we returned the material to Mark Ayres and the BBC free of charge so all may enjoy in the future.

Mark Ayres provided a technical report on the find to Kaleidoscope:
These tapes are the real deal. Original off-air recordings.

The first half of the first episode recorded (The Nightmare Begins) was not captured, so it starts with the second half. That aside, uniquely these recordings include opening and closing music with all cliffhangers and reprises intact. No surrounding presentation was captured, but some episodes have back-announcements on the closing titles.

I have two main machines I use for this kind of thing. One is a heavily modified Ferrograph that I use for troublesome tapes. But I got a very marginally better result from the Sony TC377, which tends to be better for good condition tapes originally recorded on decent machines (as these obviously were). The TC377 dates from 1971 and was a very common high quality, reliable domestic deck. It’s recently been thoroughly serviced … and it’s the same machine we used to transfer the Graham Strong tapes.

A couple of Graham [Strong]’s Master Plan episodes are trumped by these, but we now have some cliffhangers and reprises that we’ve been missing due to all of them being intact on this new collection. For instance, Graham’s tape ran out a couple of minutes before the end of The Highlanders ep 1, and the best (not very good) patch we had was far inferior. We now have that. And Graham recorded over The Celestial Toymaker so we only had roomy microphone recordings - this trumps those. (These are probably mic recordings, but using a rather good, close mic).

It’s all a jigsaw, and we now have some much better quality pieces. And as I say, where other collections can vary from very good to very poor within the batch, these are pretty consistent.

It’s amazing these have never come to light before.

The Randolph Tapes

Original off-air audio recordings of 1960s Doctor Who, being three 5 3/4-inch reels of 1/4” tape recorded 4-track mono at 1 7/8 ips (except “The Savages” episode 3 which was recorded at 3 3/4 ips).

The boxes all have the name “Randolph” written on the front. They are also numbered (1) - (3) and finish with episode 1 of “The Moonbase”, suggesting there were originally more. There are also a couple of part-episodes of “The Sky at Night”.

Unless otherwise stated, episodes include cliffhangers, reprises, and themes. Most appear to be line recordings (or, at least, very close-mic’d). First half of the first episode of The Daleks’ Master Plan is missing. There are two big faults during the recording of episode 3 of The Ark.

The quality is generally very good (within the limitations of the recording medium - frequency response is limited to 6-8kHz at best). Quality is the most consistent of any collection of these episodes we have found; many of the episodes here are now probably our best source for future remastering. They are particularly useful given that all cliffhangers and reprises are intact. It is a shame that reels (4) onwards have not been retrieved.”

TAPE CONTENTS

TAPE 1 - TRACK 1

Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 1 - The Nightmare Begins [second half only]
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 2 - Day of Armageddon
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 3 - Devil's Planet
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 4 - The Traitors
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 5 - Counterplot
The Sky at Night - 111 - THE MOONS OF JUPITER, tx 14.1.66 (complete)

TAPE 1 - TRACK 2

Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 6 - Coronas of the Sun
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 7 - The Feast of Steven [microphone recording]
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 8 - Volcano
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 9 - Golden Death
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 10 - Escape Switch

TAPE 1 - TRACK 3

Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 11 - The Abandoned Planet
Doctor Who - The Daleks Master Plan Ep 12 - Destruction of Time [with closing continuity announcement]
Doctor Who - The Massacre Ep 1 - War of God
Doctor Who - The Massacre Ep 2 - The Sea Beggar
Doctor Who - The Massacre Ep 3 - Priest of Death

TAPE 1 - TRACK 4

Doctor Who - The Massacre Ep 4 - Bell of Doom [with “next week” continuity announcement at end]
Doctor Who - The Ark Ep 1 - The Steel Sky
Doctor Who - The Ark Ep 2 - The Plague
Doctor Who - The Ark Ep 3 - The Return [contains two large faulty-connection dropouts]
Doctor Who - The Ark Ep 4 - The Bomb

TAPE 2 - TRACK 1

Doctor Who - The Celestial Toymaker Ep 1 - The Celestial Toyroom
Doctor Who - The Celestial Toymaker Ep 2 - The Hall of Dolls
Doctor Who - The Celestial Toymaker Ep 3 - The Dancing Floor
Doctor Who - The Celestial Toymaker Ep 4 - The Final Test [with apologies to Frank Richards Estate at end]
Doctor Who - The Gunfighters Ep 1 - A Holiday for the Doctor

TAPE 2 - TRACK 2

Doctor Who - The Gunfighters Ep 2 - Don't Shoot the Pianist
Doctor Who - The Gunfighters Ep 3 - Johnny Ringo [no end titles]
Doctor Who - The Gunfighters Ep 4 - The OK Corral
Doctor Who - The Savages Ep 1
Doctor Who - The Savages Ep 2

TAPE 2 - TRACK 3

Doctor Who - The Savages Ep 3 (recorded at 3.75 ips)
Doctor Who - The Savages Ep 4
Doctor Who - The War Machines Ep 1 [end continuity announcement: later time next week]
Doctor Who - The War Machines Ep 2
The Sky at Night - 114 - MAN ON THE MOON, tx 11.3.66 [final 3m36s]

TAPE 2 - TRACK 4

Doctor Who - The War Machines Ep 3
Doctor Who - The War Machines Ep 4
Doctor Who - The Smugglers Ep 1
Doctor Who - The Smugglers Ep 2
Doctor Who - The Smugglers Ep 3
“Out of Time” (Chris Farlowe) (part) (recorded at 3.75 ips)
“Get Away” (Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames) (recorded at 3.75 ips)

TAPE 3 - TRACK 1

Doctor Who - The Smugglers Ep 4
Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet Ep 1
Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet Ep 2
Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet Ep 3
Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet Ep 4

TAPE 3 - TRACK 2

Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 1 [voice-over credit for Terry Nation at end]
Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 2 [voice-over credit for Terry Nation and Tristram Cary at end]
Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 3 [voice-over credit for Tristram Cary at end]
Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 4
Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 5

TAPE 3 - TRACK 3

Doctor Who - The Power of the Daleks Ep 6
Doctor Who - The Highlanders Ep 1
Doctor Who - The Highlanders Ep 2
Doctor Who - The Highlanders Ep 3
Doctor Who - The Highlanders Ep 4
Unknown US comedy clip (recorded at 3.75 ips)

TAPE 3 - TRACK 4

Doctor Who - The Underwater Menace Ep 1
Doctor Who - The Underwater Menace Ep 2
Doctor Who - The Underwater Menace Ep 3
Doctor Who - The Underwater Menace Ep 4
Doctor Who - The Moonbase Ep 1

Mark Ayres
31st December 2018

Details from Kaleidoscope can be found via their website, Facebook and Twitter.

Bookmark and Share Resolution: Overnight Viewing Figures

1/02/2019 10:17:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Resolution: The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Mitch (NIKESH PATEL), Lin (CHARLOTTE RITCHIE) (Credit: BBC/Sophie Mutevelian)
Doctor Who: Resolution was watched by 5.15 million viewers, a share of 22.4% of the total TV audience, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The rating makes Doctor Who the fourth highest rated programme for New Year's Day. Top was the BBC One Drama Luther with 5.63 million watching. On ITV two programmes edged above the Doctor, Coronation Street had 5.39 million watching, while Emmerdale had 5.17 million. EastEnders had 4.74 million viewers and the Mrs Brown's Boys New Year Special had 5.06 million watching.

The return of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? had 3.39 million viewers, but was beaten by Bradley Walsh in The Chase with 3.86 million.

Final figures should be available next week, which will include those who recorded the programme and watched it later.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who In Memoriam 2018

12/31/2018 08:02:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

As 2018 draws to a close, Toby Hadoke has released his annual look back at those from the Doctor Who universe whose lives drew to a close in the past twelve months.

Remembering those people from the world of Doctor Who who we lost this year.

Bookmark and Share June Whitfield 1925 - 2018

12/29/2018 08:39:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Actress and comedy legend June Whitfield has died at the age of 93.

June Whitfield made an enormous contribution to British comedy with a career stretching over 70 years. Her single appearance in Doctor Who came in 2009 in The End of Time, when, at the age of 84, She played Minne Hopper, a member of the silver cloak tracking down the Tenth Doctor.

June Whitfield was born in Streatham, London, in 1925. Her first stage appearance was at the age of three at Robinson's Dance Studio. After studying to be a secretary she enroled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating in 1944.

Whitfield began her career in radio in the 1940s appearing with Wilfred Pickles. In 1951, she had her first credited television role in The Passing Show, and she joined the London cast of the musical South Pacific.

In 1953 she had her big break joining the radio comedy series Take it from Here, starring Jimmy Edwards and Dick Bentley. She played Eth, fiancée of the dim Ron Glum and earned a place in the nation's heart.

For the next 15 years, Whitfield had many supporting roles on television, including in Dixon of Dock Green, Arthur's Treasured Volumes, The Arthur Askey Show, Faces of Jim, The Benny Hill Show, Steptoe and Son and Frankie Howerd. She had a place in one of the greatest comedy skits of all time, playing the Nurse to Tony Hancock's Blood Donor.

In 1959 she made the first of her four appearances in the Carry On film series.

The 1960s saw her as a leading lady with regular parts in a succession of television comedy series. Beggar My Neighbour ran for four years before Whitfield teamed up with Terry Scott in Scott On.... The partnership was so successful that the two worked together for the next ten years with many viewers assuming they were actually married. A Comedy Playhouse sitcom pilot called Happy Ever After developed into a series running for five years. The couple then appeared together in the Terry and June which ran for 65 episodes.

After appearing an episode of French and Saunders in 1988, Whitfield was asked to play Jennifer Saunders Mother in the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous a role that introduced her to a new generation of fans.

From 1984 until 2001, she was a regular on the Radio 2 satire programme The News Huddlines. From 1993 to 2001, she played Miss Marple in 12 radio adaptations of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple books

Work continued into her ninth decade with appearances in Coronation Street and EastEnders. In 2013, Whitfield became the inaugural recipient of the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend Award, a recognition of her lifetime's contribution to the world of comedy.

June Whitfield was appointed a Dame in the 2017 Queens Birthday Honours.

Jon Plowman produced the first four series of Absolutely Fabulous for the BBC. He paid tribute to the actress
Very sad at the news of the death of the wonderful June Whitfield. There was no-one with more warmth or a better ability to just "place" a line ,always an act of utter precision. Hit after hit! Take it from Here Terry and June Absolutely Fabulous over seven decade. A great loss
June Whitfield died peacefully in her sleep early on Saturday morning. She is survived by her daughter Suzy.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine - The 2019 Yearbook

12/27/2018 05:39:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The latest magazine special from Doctor Who Magazine is their annual Yearbook, covering the developments in Doctor Who over the last year.

Doctor Who Magazine - The 2019 Yearbook (Credit: Panini)THE DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE YEARBOOK 2019

Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Doctor was one of the television events of 2018 and a landmark in Doctor Who’s long history.

The latest Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition explores the making of Series 11 in unprecedented detail. Highlights among the exclusive interviews include:


Editor Marcus Hearn says:
We’ve packed an incredible amount into the latest Yearbook. It was always our intention to create the ultimate guide to Series 11, and this issue includes much of the material that we’ve been gathering with the cast and writers since the beginning of 2018.

Doctor Who Magazine - The 2019 Yearbook (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine - The 2019 Yearbook (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine - The 2019 Yearbook (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine - The 2019 Yearbook (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine - The 2019 Yearbook (Credit: Panini)

The Doctor Who Magazine Yearbook 2019 is on general sale from 3 January.

Bookmark and Share New Trailer Released - Beware Spoilers

12/25/2018 01:14:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The BBC have released a new trailer for next week’s episode of Doctor Who, hinting at the return of an old adversary

Coming Soon: New Year’s Day | Doctor Who

Bookmark and Share Candy Jar release Companions for Christmas

12/25/2018 09:31:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants (Credit: Candy Jar Books)As part of their festive advent calendar, today Candy Jar have released their book Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants as a free download. Author and Lethbridge-Stewart range editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
“When Shaun told me that Candy Jar would be giving away something every day for twenty-five days I thought he was mad. I said, “You’ll regret it by day seventeen”, and indeed he did. However, I do feel that he has pulled it off, just! To be honest, I have actually enjoyed many of the freebies, particularly the Eileen Younghusband documentary. So, I am really pleased that he has chosen Companions as the Christmas Day giveaway. It deserves to be out there again. For six months I watched every episode of Doctor Who, and the book, in my opinion, encapsulates what is great to be the Doctor’s best friend. And Christmas is certainly a good time to celebrate this.
The book culminates their free downloads over the last few weeks, which have included sample book and audio chapters as well as brand new works. Keren Williams, publishing coordinator at Candy Jar, explained the thinking behind the advent calendar:
It’s a Christmas tradition that we give away some short stories to our loyal readers, and this year I thought why don’t we go the whole hog and really spoil everybody? I feel that, despite Andy’s reservations, the giveaways have been successful. I have certainly received many emails from readers who have been looking forward to each day. Perhaps this is something we might repeat in the future. Time can only tell.
You can find all the festive giveaway on the Candy Jar website.

Bookmark and Share Torchwood’s Captain John Hart returns for Big Finish

12/20/2018 12:08:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The Sins of Captain John (Credit: Big Finish) James Marsters, the star of cult television shows Buffy, Angel, Smallville and recent hit Runaways, is reprising the role of Captain John Hart for his own adventures in the Torchwood audio universe.

The rambunctious, deadly and ever-so charming captain will be back at the helm in a new four-story box set, The Sins of Captain John, created by Big Finish Productions in association with BBC Studios.

Captain John Hart made his audio debut in The Death of Captain Jack, released in March 2018. In this story he killed the entire Torchwood team – including John Barrowman’s supposedly immortal Captain Jack Harkness. He also married Queen Victoria and had no less than three ‘relationships’ with characters from history.

James Marsters told us about returning to the role, and the world of Torchwood.
Doing The Death of Captain Jack was incredible! I have missed doing Torchwood so much. Beyond being proud of playing a part in it, the character itself is a blast to play, and those two episodes just weren’t enough.
Set for release in January 2020, The Sins of Captain John will see Captain John Hart leading the universe into rack and ruin in four new adventures…
  1. The Restored
  2. Escape from Nebazz
  3. Peach Blossom Heights
  4. Darker Purposes
In these stories we’ll find the villainous anti-hero thriving in Restoration London, exploring gas planets, playing ‘Stepford wife' and kissing (then killing) countless victims… Just a day in the life of a rogue Time Agent!

Writer, David Llewellyn, tells us what to expect
Writing The Death of Captain Jack was a total blast, and both James Goss (producer of the Torchwood range) and I realised we could have a lot more fun with Captain John Hart, providing James Marsters was happy to return.

Captain John is this chaotic, disruptive, insubordinate force of nature; completely amoral and unpredictable, so that gave me a lot of freedom! Writing is often a case of knowing when to hold back, when to tread a more subtle line, but with Captain John it’s the complete opposite. And setting it before Torchwood on television meant we were able to go to places where Torchwood can’t.
Torchwood fans will also find answers to many of the questions and plot points that have so far been left hanging from the beginning of the television show. More details on what in the future.

The Sins of Captain John, out for release in January 2020, is available for pre-order from Big Finish at £28 on CD or £25 on download, rising to £35 on CD and £30 on download at general release

Bookmark and Share Bill Sellars 1925 - 2018

12/19/2018 11:52:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The television Producer and Director Bill Sellars has died at the age of 93,

Bill Sellars directed the 1966 Doctor Who story The Celestial Toyroom, which saw the creation of the character of the Toymaker.

Sellars joined the BBC in the 1960's working on the drama A for Andromeda as a Production Assistant. Director roles followed on Compact, United and The Newcomers.

The majority of his work for the Corporation was as a Producer, responsible for some of the best loved drama series of the time. He produced 29 episodes of the Sunday night deama The Brothers, giving Colin Baker one of his first major roles. His best loved series was the adaptation of James Herriot novels about the life of a Yorkshire vet, All Creatures Large and Small, starring a young Peter Davison as Tristan Farnon.

All Creatures Great and Small won him two awards nominations, a BAFTA nomination for Best Drama Series in 1979, and a Primetime Emmy nomination for Best Children's Series in 1990.

Perhaps his biggest misfire was a producer of Triangle, the soap set and shot on a cross channel ferry on its journey across the North sea.

Other series include One by One, Flesh and Blood and The Terracotta Horse.

On retirement he managed The Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond, Yorkshire, the oldest and most complete Georgian theater in the world.

Bill Sellars died peacefully in his sleep.