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Bookmark and Share Fifty Years of the Brigadier

2/17/2018 08:19:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Credit: BBC)Moments in Time
Written by Peter Nolan
17th of February 1968. Fifty years ago today The Web of Fear Part Three is transmitted for the one and only time; never to be seen again save for a brief sighting of a film tin in a far-flung relay station. A tin which, itself, would vanish into thin air. It would be handy to describe this as a particularly tragic loss – the moment the Doctor meets (then) Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart. But strangely even if we had the episode to include in our collections alongside the five recovered episodes, we still wouldn’t have that magical moment to see – it occurs inconveniently offscreen, with the Doctor simply showing up with the Colonel in tow, describing how they’d bumped into each other in the tunnel.

The throwaway nature with which the character debuts is an earmark of how unplanned and organic his growth into a Doctor Who legend is. It’s par for the course with this show, of course, with possibly the Master the only time a production team has set out to create the Next Big Thing and succeeded – the likes of the Krotons and the Mechanoids and the Zarbi litter the battlefield of intended recurring elements that didn’t take off, while ever since the Daleks the most in-demand characters always seem to take the creators by surprise. Yet even considering that, the Brigadier’s has been an astonishing evolution from shifty looking suspect in the mole hunt for a traitor to a character that’s such a universal totem of Doctor Who that when Steven Moffat wanted to bring the First Doctor face to face with the future life he was destined to live, it was Lethbridge-Stewart’s WWI era grandfather that he brought in to symbolize it.

In part, this evolution from guest star to icon is down to good fortune. Had it not been for the bright idea to cut costs by leaving the Doctor Earthbound then there would have been no need for UNIT to become such fixtures of the early to mid-1970s. But the lion’s share of glory must go to that magnificent gentleman Nicholas Courtney.  Circumstance promoted the Brigadier from one-off guest to regular fixture, but it was Courtney that elevated him to a legend almost as beloved by fans as the Doctor himself. His combination of warm charm, unflappable dignity, and self-knowing irony made him the perfect straight man to Jon Pertwee’s caustic egoist and Tom Baker’s mercurial oddball.

Perhaps the Brig’s best quality as a character was his attitude to “the odd, the unexplained, anything on Earth, or even beyond.” However bizarre or strange the threat, he faced it all with the same matter of fact acceptance that the world was plainly a jolly rum old place and that pondering the deep metaphysical questions that raised was less important than figuring out which bits of it he needed to shoot in the face. Sometimes, yes, as time went by that will slip over the line into giving him a kind of literal-minded stupidity instead for the sake of a quick gag but the equilibrium would always be restored. When people think of their favourite Brigadier moments, it’s his response to being confronted with a living statue animated by dark magic from beyond the dawn of the human race (“Chap with wings there. Five rounds rapid,”) his giving the best ever response to discovering the TARDIS is bigger on the inside (complaining as he finally realizes how much of his UNIT budget has obviously gone into the Doctor’s work on it), or his deep sighs at discovering he’s been transported halfway across the galaxy to a ‘Death Zone’ populated by Yeti, Cybermen, and other beasties as if he’d expected nothing less.

If anything underlines this perfect combination of actor and character it’s how forgettable every substitute for the Brigadier has proven to be. In The Android Invasion, we even get Patrick Newell’s Colonel Faraday as such a direct, and late, substitution for the unavailable Nicholas Courtney that his dialogue was practically unchanged yet Faraday is never more than a bit of plot machinery to represent the authorities in the final couple of episodes. While it’s not until the introduction of Alistair’s own daughter, Kate Stewart, forty-four years after his own, that we again get a UNIT leader worth re-visiting and not just the one-off guest that Lethbridge-Stewart himself could have been.

Such was his cache as a Doctor Who institution that for decades after he was no longer a regularly recurring character, meeting the Brig was still a box every Doctor need to tick. Not only did he reunite with the Fifth and Seventh Doctors on television, but clearly one of Big Finish’s earliest priorities on getting their license was to finally give the Sixth and Eighth proper outings alongside him. Even David Tennant’s incarnation was all set to have one last hurrah with the Brig until Courtney’s worsening health tragically robbed us of the brilliance such a team up offered.

It’s this, more than anything that has solidified the Brigadier as the Doctor’s unlikely best friend of all. While fans can’t even agree whether he qualifies as a companion or not, the fact remains that so many of those the Doctor has traveled with have been left in his past with nary a backward glance, yet it’s the Brig that he’s returned to time and again.

Since Nicholas Courtney’s death in 2011, Doctor Who has tried more than once to provide him a final salute. But none of them, whether a final phone call, Kate’s name-checking of him, one last act of heroism by the controversial ‘Cyberbrig’, or Mark Gatiss’ aforementioned Captain, has really stuck. None of them have felt like a final word that sums up the Brig’s contribution to the series.

In truth, probably nothing ever can. But what we can do tonight is raise a glass of good scotch, or ginger ale, or whatever you're having yourself, and give a nod to Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, fifty years on from that business with the Yeti. Cheers, Brig!

Nicholas Courtney: (Credit:BBC) Nicholas Courtney, Jon Pertwee: (Credit:BBC) Nicholas Courtney, Tom Baker: (Credit:BBC) Nicholas Courtney, Patrick Troughton: (Credit:BBC) Nicholas Courtney, Peter Davison: (Credit:BBC) Nicholas Courtney, Sylvester McCoy: (Credit:BBC) Nicholas Courtney: (Credit:BBC)

Bookmark and Share The Seventh Doctor and Ace Come to Titan Comics

2/16/2018 10:03:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #1DOCTOR_WHO_7D_BLACK_AND_WHITE_PROMO_ART.JPG (Credit: Titan )BBC Worldwide Americas and Titan Comics have announced that the Seventh Doctor is back, in comic form.

This brand-new three-part comic series stars the Seventh Doctor, as played by Sylvester McCoy, alongside classic companion Ace, played by Sophie Aldred.

Released in June 2018 with a double-sized first issue, DOCTOR WHO: THE SEVENTH DOCTOR #1, is written by Seventh Doctor script editor Andrew Cartmel, and writer Ben Aaronovitch who wrote the seventh Doctor stories Remembrance of the Daleks and Battlefield.

Actor Sylvester McCoy starred as the Seventh Doctor from 1987 to 1989 anchoring hundreds of novels and comic strips before regenerating in the 1996 TV movie. As well as this new comic, the Seventh Doctor’s era lives on in a tremendously successful series of audios from Big Finish. McCoy’s portrayal as the Doctor was, at first, a light-hearted eccentric who darkened into a secretive, mysterious, and cunning planner across the course of his tenure.

In Titan Comics’ new mini-series, an unknown alien intelligence in orbit around the Earth. Astronauts under attack. A terrifying, mysterious landing in the Australian interior. The future of the world itself at stake. Counter Measures activated. The Seventh Doctor and Ace are slap bang in the middle of it all! This is OPERATION VOLCANO!

Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel return to the TARDIS, on the 30th anniversary of fan-favorite episode Remembrance of the Daleks with The Seventh Doctor comics, and are joined by illustrator Christopher Jones (The Third Doctor) and colorist Marco Lesko (Robotech, The Ninth Doctor) to bring astonishing twists and turns to the lives of the Seventh Doctor, and his companions, with Titan’s new comic series.

The debut issue comes with four variant covers to collect: three art covers by artists Alice X. Zhang, Simon Myers, and Christopher Jones, and a photo cover by Will Brooks. The Seventh Doctor will also materialize with a back-up strip written by Twelfth Doctor scribe Richard Dinnick, with art by Jessica Martin (Actor: Doctor Who: The Greatest Show In The Galaxy, Voice actor: Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned).

Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #1 - Cover D (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #1 - Cover C (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor #1 - Cover B (Credit: Titan )

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine - Circulation Figures

2/16/2018 12:25:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Magazine had an average certified circulation figure of 21,275 issues, between July and December 2017, according to figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The figure is an increase of 4% on the figure for the first six months of the year, although the figure usually rises when the series in being broadcast.

Of the total 19,467 are printed copies, while 1,808 ore digital editions. An average of 7,482 subscribe to the magazine, while 13,706 copies are sold to those without a subscription. 75% of the copies are sold within the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland.

In comparison SFX sells 18,716 copies while Radio Times sells 631,960 copies

The best selling edition of Doctor Who Magazine in 2017 was issue 515, the biggest seller since the Tom Baker Special in 2016

Doctor Who Magazine 508 (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine - Issue 509 (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine Issue 510 (Credit: DWM) Doctor Who Magazine issue 511 (Credit: DWM) Doctor Who Magazine: 512 (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magezine 513 (Ice Warrior variant) (Credit: Panini)Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 514 (Credit: Panini)
Issue 508 - 21,724 Issue 509 - 18,790 Issue 510 - 19,442 Issue 511 - 21,561 Issue 512 - 20,048 Issue 513 - 20,421 Issue 514 - 21,438
Doctor Who Magazine 515 (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine 516 (Credit: Panini)  Doctor Who Magazine 517 (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine Issue 518 - Cover (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine - 519 (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine Issue 520 (Credit: Panini)
Issue 515 - 23,620 Issue 516 - 22,021 Issue 517 - 19,587 Issue 518 - 20,690 Issue 519 - 20,425 Issue 520 - 22,972

Bookmark and Share New Twelfth Doctor Comic

2/15/2018 10:43:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

This week sees the release of the twelfth part of year three of Titan's Twelfth Doctor series, as well as the fourth episode of the latest Torchwood saga.

Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor - Year Three #12

Writer: Richard Dinnick
Artist: Pasquale Qualano
Cover A: Mariano Laclaustra

The Hosts with the most and the Angels you never want to meet in a darkened spaceship corridor collide in an unforgettable epic - featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Bill in an all-new adventure!
Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor - Year Three #12 - Cover A (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor - Year Three #12 - Cover B (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor - Year Three #12 - Page 1 (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor - Year Three #12 - Page 2 (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor - Year Three #12 - Page 3 (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor - Year Three #12 - Page 4 (Credit: Titan )

Torchwood The Culling #4

Writer: John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman
Artist: Neil Edwards
Cover A: Neil Edwards

Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood is back! The official continuation of the saga!
Torchwood The Culling #4 - Cover A (Credit: Titan ) Torchwood The Culling #4 - Cover B (Credit: Titan ) Torchwood The Culling #4 - Page 1 (Credit: Titan ) Torchwood The Culling #4 - Page 2 (Credit: Titan ) Torchwood The Culling #4 - Page 3 (Credit: Titan ) Torchwood The Culling #4 - Page 4 (Credit: Titan )

Bookmark and Share Thirteenth Doctor Comic to Arrive this Autumn

2/14/2018 07:07:00 pm - Reported by Marcus


BBC Worldwide Americas and Titan Comics have announced that the Thirteenth Doctor will be debuting in comics this autumn.

The launch, timed to coincide with the thirteenth Doctor's first full television series, will be written by Eisner-nominated writer Jody Houser (Orphan Black, Star Wars: Rogue One, Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Faith, Supergirl, Mother Panic)

Art will be by fan-favorite artist Rachael Stott (The Twelfth Doctor, Motherlands) joined by colorist Enrica Angolini (Warhammer 40,000).

It features the Thirteenth Doctor, as played by Jodie Whittaker, who made her first appearance on 2017’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, Twice Upon A Time.

Bookmark and Share See Billie Piper in New York

2/13/2018 03:02:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Billie Piper is offering fans a chance to win a once in a lifetime opportunity to fly to New York to see her Broadway hit play, Yerma for just £1.

Piper, whose portrayal of a woman driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child saw her sweep up six Best Actress Awards, has launched a competition to help raise money for her chosen charity, The Primary Shakespeare Company.

The Primary Shakespeare Company aims to engage, inspire and empower primary school children in the UK from disadvantaged backgrounds using the magic of drama, but face a challenge raising the necessary funds each year to continue their work.

The flights have been donated by Virgin Atlantic and every penny raised from Piper’s Broadway competition will go towards the charity.

The winner will receive two VIP tickets to see ‘Yerma’ in New York, the chance to hang out with Piper and the cast backstage, flights, accommodation and a goodie bag.

Billie Piper's first played the role at the Young Vic in London. The Independent's critic described it as a force that left [him] visibly shaking and The Telegraph warned her devastatingly powerful performance will leave you feeling numb with pity.

Piper picked up six Best Actress awards including the coveted Laurence Olivier Award.

Billie Piper said:
As a child I really struggled in school, I just wasn’t connecting with my lessons and the curriculum and I found that really frustrating. Drama changed all of that, it gave me a purpose and a passion.

I know there will be so many children right now feeling exactly the same way and this is why what The Primary Shakespeare Company does is so important.

We’re running this exciting competition to help raise the much needed funds so they can continue their invaluable work.
Neil Carter, from The Primary Shakespeare Company, added:
We are so excited to be working with Billie on this amazing campaign.

It's an incredible prize on offer for her fans, and the money raised will make a massive difference to our charity - enabling us to work with even more schools and children.
Tickets are available for a limited time only from Billie Piper’s website

Bookmark and Share The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns

2/11/2018 01:44:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books have announced the latest novel in their Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off series, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries:

Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse Of The Mirror Clowns (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns
Written by Chris Lynch
Cover by Steve Beckett


The circus is coming to town – and it may never leave.

Lucy Wilson is just about getting used to life in Ogmore-by-Sea. School, homework, friends, and the occasional alien... It’s not easy being the new girl in town but, with the help of her steadfast companion Hobo, she’s making it work.

But when a mysterious circus opens for one night only, the town suddenly finds itself overrun with invisible clowns and the gang are faced with their biggest mystery yet – the disappearance of Lucy Wilson herself.

Thankfully, they’ve got help – a mysterious stranger from another world with a special box that moves in time and space.

Curse of the Mirror Clowns is written by Cardiff-based film and comic writer Chris Lynch who commented that t writing the book gave him the opportunity to tackle a personal fear:
Did you ever think you saw something, just out of the corner of your eye? It happens to me all the time and it freaks me out quite a bit. So, when I got the chance to add my own monster to the Lucy Wilson universe, I knew it had to be a monster that you couldn't always see. I also wanted it to be a clown because, if there's something that freaks me out more than things I can't see, then it's something I can see – clowns. Of course, that's not all I added – there are plenty of other surprises in there that I hope people will really enjoy. It's been great fun adding my own strange and spooky elements to Lucy's world and I hope to be back very, very soon.

The book is available to pre-order from the Candy Jar Books website.



The 29th March sees Candy Jar officially release The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton. The book was previously available exclusively to fans since September, but will now be made available to the wider public.

Head of publishing at Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, says:

We’ve had such good feedback for this book. Reviews have been encouraging and fans seemed to have embraced Lucy and Hobo. Moreover, we’ve also had a positive response from the general public. We’ve been trialling Avatars of the Intelligence with 1300 school children and the initial feedback has been very promising. In particular, we’ve had high praise for Steve Beckett’s cover design and, consequently, Curse of the Mirror Clowns has another fantastic piece of artwork by the talented Beano artist.

Lucy and her family have featured in two recent Lethbridge-Stewart short stories: Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton (The HAVOC Files 3) and The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho (The HAVOC Files 4). Added to this, they will also make an appearance in the upcoming short story collection Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage in two further stories.

Bookmark and Share 50th Anniversary Script Starring Eccleston to be published

2/10/2018 07:17:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

A Second Target for Tommy (Credit: Nigel Parkinson / Obverse Books)
One of the most intreguing 'what-ifs' of the modern era of Doctor Who, could be solved with the publication of a new book from Obverse Books.

Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary was marked by the television story The Day of The Doctor, which starred David Tennant and Matt Smith and the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, but also featured John Hurt as the War Doctor, the missing incarnation of the Doctor.

What is not so well known is that the original hope of the producers was to reunite the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors with their Ninth incarnation played by Christopher Eccleston

Eccleston declined to feature in the story, but not before scripts were written by showrunner Steven Moffat. Excerpts from these scripts are now to be released as part of a new charity book.

The Second Target for Tommy is a charity book designed to raise money for Tommy Donbavand, a writer who having overcome throat cancer, developed a tumor in his lung. As a result, he continues to be unable to do the school visits which previously generated much of the income needed to support his family.

As well as including the draft script for the Christopher Eccleston scene in Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Special, Day of the Doctor, the book will feature stories from over two dozen writers.

Every penny of profit raised will go to support Donbavand while he works on making a full recovery.

The book is a sequel to A Target for Tommy, released in August 2016

More about Donbavand's battle with Cancer can be found on his blogTommy vs Cancer

The new book can be ordered from Obverse Books.

Bookmark and Share New Tenth Doctor Comic

2/08/2018 11:13:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The Tenth Doctor: Facing Fate Volume 2: Vortex Butterflies - Cover (Credit: Titan ) This week sees the release of the​ latest comic in the Titan Tenth Doctor collection. ​

Doctor Who - The Tenth Doctor: Facing Fate Volume 2: Vortex Butterflies

Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Giorgia Sposito


The brand new Year Three comic adventures of the critically acclaimed Tenth Doctor, as played by David Tennant, continue in a bold new volume!

Besieged by an evil red TARDIS and bounced around from the inside of a living nightmare to ancient China, the Doctor and his friends have had a tough time of late!

As Cindy recovers from the... splitting headache she developed on her most recent adventure, Gabby's mysterious block-transfer butterfly powers continue to develop - and Noobis, the amnesiac offshoot of a former god, continues to grow as his own entity.

But the TARDIS team put all that to one side when they visit the distant past of VENUS. What strange civilisation once lurked in its now-poisonous depths? And what connection does it have to the Doctor's own history?

And out in the darkness of the vortex, the Time Sentinel lurks. What nefarious plan does it have for the Doctor and his friends?
The Tenth Doctor: Facing Fate Volume 2: Vortex Butterflies - Page 1 (Credit: Titan ) The Tenth Doctor: Facing Fate Volume 2: Vortex Butterflies - Page 2 (Credit: Titan ) The Tenth Doctor: Facing Fate Volume 2: Vortex Butterflies - Page 3 (Credit: Titan ) The Tenth Doctor: Facing Fate Volume 2: Vortex Butterflies - Page 5 (Credit: Titan ) The Tenth Doctor: Facing Fate Volume 2: Vortex Butterflies - Page 6 (Credit: Titan ) The Tenth Doctor: Facing Fate Volume 2: Vortex Butterflies - Page 7 (Credit: Titan )

Bookmark and Share The Enemy of the World - Special Edition

2/07/2018 11:37:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World (Credit: BBC Worldwide)The BBC has announced that they are releasing a recovered and restored classic Doctor Who adventure as a Special Edition DVD, Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World.

The Enemy of the World was first transmitted between Saturday 23rd December 1967 and Saturday 27th January 1968. Five episodes were lost from the BBC Archives for 45 years before being discovered at a TV relay station in the city of Jos in Nigeria by Philip Morris and returned to the BBC.

A standard DVD of the story was released in early 2014. The Special Edition version has been remastered and has a number of extra features.

The TARDIS lands on an Australian beach in the 21st century. But this is no seaside holiday - within minutes, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are under attack. They soon discover that the Doctor bears a startling resemblance to Leader Salamander, a would-be dictator intent on world domination. Before long, the Doctor and his companions are plunged into a dangerous game of intrigue and deceit as they face off against the enemy of the world...
BONUS CONTENT
  • Remastered episodes.
  • Even though all episodes were restored in 2013 for the previous DVD release, Peter Crocker from the Restoration Team is using advances in technology since then to go over each one with a fine tooth comb to ensure they are now presented in the best possible quality for this special edition.
  • Treasures Lost and Found - produced by Ed Stradling.
  • With so much information now available about every Doctor Who serial, it's not easy to learn anything new, so Toby Hadoke embarks on an exciting treasure hunt to find out all he can about the production. Along the way he'll interview some of the cast and crew including Frazer Hines, Mary Peach and David Troughton - who made his first TV appearance in this serial as an extra.
  • Recovering the Past – The Search for The Enemy of the World” - produced by Paul Vanezis.
  • A brand new interview with the episode hunter Philip Morris, we hear how he tracked down the last surviving film copy of the serial to a dusty room in the African desert.
  • Remembering Deborah Watling - produced by Cameron McEwan.
  • Family, friends and colleagues pay tribute to Debbie Watling who played Victoria Waterfield, companion to Patrick Troughton’s doctor.
  • Audio commentaries on all six episodes produced by John Kelly.
  • Contributors include Frazer Hines, Mary Peach, Gordon Faith, Milton Johns and Sylvia James. Moderator is Simon Harries.
  • Production subtitles on all six episodes written by Martin Wiggins.
  • Photo gallery produced by Derek Handley.
  • Scripts of all six episodes as PDFs.
The DVD will be released on 19th March and is available to pre-order on Amazon