|National Dr. Who Night: Several US PBS stations are showing a "National Doctor Who Night" broadcast (the same episodes at the same time), including stations in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa, Maryland, Indiana, Washington State and Colorado. Sylvester McCoy was the evening's host for the taping. (The Pennsylania airing on WQED, where it was taped, already occurred in late October.) Showings include WCET Cincinnati OH (November 18), KBTC/KCKA/K65BU Tacoma WA (December 2), MPT Maryland (December 2), NHPTV New Hampshire (December 10), iPTV Iowa (March 2001), and WYIN Gary IN and KBDI/K32EO Denver/Colorado Springs CO (date unknown). For more specific information, read the This Week in Doctor Who column.|
Northern Ireland Showings at Queen's Film Theatre: Several Doctor Who stories are being shown on Saturday afternoons in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the run up to Christmas at the Queen's Film Theatre. These include "The Five Doctors," "The Daemons," "The Web of Fear" and 4 mystery episodes, "Attack of the Cybermen" and "Destiny of the Daleks." For more information, visit the website athttp://www.qub.ac.uk/qft/latest.html. (Thanks to Stephen Law)
Who Returns to Dallas: KERA 13 in Dallas, TX is going to air Doctor Who for the first time in years, starting Saturday, December 2nd. KERA will air the episode versions of the Jon Pertwee stories, beginning with Spearhead From Space.
New Zealand Renewal: Prime TV in New Zealand is ordering 142 more episodes of the series , from The Time Monster through Image Of The Fendahl. This is certainly good news. One of the episodes will be episode 1 of Invasion Of The Dinosaurs, which has never aired before in New Zealand (likely to air early in 2001.)
Canada Film Showing: Though the series no longer airs in Canada, SPACE wil be running the 1966 movie "Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.", an adaptation of The Dalek Invasion Of Earth starring Peter Cushing, on Saturday, November 25th at 2PM EST (3:30PM Newfoundland Time, 11AM PST). For one day at least, the Doctor will be back.
BBC Canada?: In April 2000, the BBC and Alliance Atlantis productions submitted a bid to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch BBC Canada, a digital Cable network. The station was approved by the CRTC in late November. Doctor Who would theoretically be one possibility for broadcast on this new network, likely to be in operation in late 2001, as it is on BBC America. (Thanks to Benjamin Elliott and Jamie Howse)
New Word on the TV Movie Rights in America: Some curious news about the rights to rebroadcast the Doctor Who 1996 TV movie with Paul McGann in America. Sources indicate that the US rights to the 1996 film are held by Studios USA (formerly Universal.) FOX's rights to the program apparently expired in May 2000 -- not the previously rumored New Year's eve 1999 expiration. The cost to purchase the rights to the program are, unfortunately, prohibitive for PBS stations (somewhere in the ball park of half a million dollars.) Studios USA, however, is owned by Barry Diller, who also owns the USA Network and the Sci Fi Channel, so it is possible that the movie could turn up on one of those two outlets. (Information courtesy Benjamin Elliott)
11/28/2000 11:49:00 p.m. - Reported by Marcus
11/28/2000 11:44:00 p.m. - Reported by Marcus
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
A New Doctor Who Film Report: Over the November 25-26 weekend, the Sunday Times in the UK broke a new film-related story. Entitled "Dyke calls up Daleks to take on Hollywood," the article by media editor Nicholas Hellen suggested (erroneously, as we have been able to confirm) that a new Doctor Who film is imminent. "MOVE over Darth Vader, here come the Daleks," says the article. "The BBC is to compete head-on with Hollywood under plans by Greg Dyke, the director-general, to revolutionise British film-making. The £250m venture, to be announced next month, will lead to the corporation's first foray into big-budget movies after years of small-scale costume dramas. Dyke's blueprint for a full-scale Hollywood-style film studio at the BBC is intended to reverse the talent drain which has seen generations of actors and directors leave Britain for Hollywood. ... The Daleks will lead the assault on the international box office as the BBC devises a movie version of Dr Who, the science-fiction series first screened in 1963 in black and white. Sequels are already being prepared." The full article can be found at the Sunday Times website.
Since the article ran -- and the Outpost has been inundated with emails pointing us in this direction -- we have been able to confirm that the article is merely a retread of old news. While the news about Dyke and the British film plans are true, the BBC's film plans for Doctor Who are currently only in early planning stages, and no appropriation, financing or production schedule is on the horizon for the near future. Indeed, the BBC's own official Doctor Who website posted on November 27 that the article merely highlights long-standing possibilities, and that a Doctor Who film is no further along than it was when stories started to break in 1999 (see the news archive page for related stories). When and if the situation changes, Outpost Gallifrey will keep you updated.
11/20/2000 11:41:00 p.m. - Reported by Marcus
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
We are delighted to confirm that Bonnie Langford, and her husband Paul Grunert, are the proud parents of a baby girl, born on October 19. A spokeswoman for Bonnie said: "Bonnie and Paul are overjoyed. Both mother and baby are fine." The baby, weighing 7lb 11oz, was born at a London hospital. Our best wishes to the happy couple.
Daphne Dare, Doctor Who's most prolific costume designer died in London on September 27. She worked uninterrupted on every story from "The Daleks" to "The Smugglers" (though sometimes alongside another credited designer Tony Pearce on costume heavy stories such as "The Dalek Invasion of Earth.") She subsequently assisted Sandra Reid on stories from "The Moonbase" to "The Faceless Ones" and was a BBC staff costume designer for mant years. In recent times she had been associated with the films of Ken Loach making notable contributions to "Land and Freedom (1995)" and "Carla's Song (1996)" Working on the program at a time when the historical stories were prominent, Daphne Dare had to come up with suitable designs for Mongols from 12th century China, Aztecs of the middle ages and gunslingers from the wild west not to mention Monoids, Voord, Sensorites and other alien creations. Arguably her most notable work was on "The Celestial Toymaker" designing a range of colorful original costumes including Mandarins robes for Michael Gough and doll outfits for some of the other characters. (Thanks to Scott Sherritt)
Mary Ridge, known for directing many episodes of Blake's 7 and the Doctor Who episode "Terminus" died in late September. Mary worked for many years as one of the BBC's Staff Directors.
Nicola Bryant recently suffered a back injury while taping a segment of a series she was working on. While attending the recording session for the audio commentary of "The Caves of Androzani," Bryant was only able to stand, as she was unable to sit for the taping. Our good wishes to Nicola for a speedy recovery!
Colin Baker & Nicholas Courtney join India Fisher ("Charley" of Big Finish fame) and actor Leon Parris in James Follett's prequel to his classic 80's SF radio drama "Earthsearch." Entitled "Earthsearch: Mindwarp," this audio series was recorded by Big Finish Productions in early September and will be released in May 2001. The original Earthsearch series was the second most successful BBC radio serial ever (after The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy) winning many awards and being translated into over 30 different languages.
11/11/2000 11:48:00 p.m. - Reported by Marcus
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
Doctor Who Continues on Audio: Big Finish Productions is currently releasing monthly Doctor Who stories starring members of the series' original cast. The BBC has renewed Big Finish's current contract for an additional year, through 2002.
Preview & Original Audio on DWM 300: Issue 300 of "Doctor Who Magazine" will feature a special promotional CD (akin to a previous DWM which had a "Sirens of Time" preview) from Big Finish. On the CD will be the first episode of "Storm Warning," the first Eighth Doctor adventure (but without the new opening theme) along with an exclusive short audio starring Sylvester McCoy. The original short drama will not be released independently by Big Finish.
David Arnold to Compose Music: Film composer David Arnold, whose numerous scores include the films "The World is Not Enough," "StarGate," "Independence Day," "Shaft," "Godzilla" and television scores for "Stargate SG-1," "The Visitor" and "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)," will be remixing the Doctor Who theme in an all-new arrangement (based on the Delia Derbyshire themes from the early days of the series) for the four 2001 Paul McGann Doctor Who stories from Big Finish. Arnold, who will also be composing the film score for the next James Bond film, is said to have gone back into the series' past to the Derbyshire recordings to give the McGann audios a new, haunting feel.
The Eighth Doctor Returns to Doctor Who: Actor Paul McGann, who played the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie (and whose only subsequent return to the Who fold was to read stories for an audio release, "Earth and Beyond") has taped four audio plays for Big Finish, reprising his role as the Doctor. McGann taped the four stories on 15-19 May in sequence after extensive negotiations with Big Finish and did so in secrecy until the story was sent to Doctor Who Magazine for their exclusive release in the June issue. Joining McGann for his return visit is actress India Fisher (who has a guest shot in the upcoming "Winter for the Adept"), playing the new role of companion Charlotte "Charley" Pollard, a 1930's teenager teenager from 1930 who stows away aboard the R101 airship on its maiden voyage, seeking a life of adventure away from the humdrum society world of her rich stockbroker father. Says Gary Russell: "Her only soapbox is that she's a Mrs. Pankhurst fan, but she isn't obsessive about it. And although she thinks the Doctor is a wonderful, funny, dear man, she has no romantic feelings for him!" Also making a return visit is Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Meanwhile, McGann has agreed (in principle) to a second season of audios for 2002, which will be comprised of six CD sets. One of these six stories may be set on Gallifrey and may feature Lalla Ward as Romana again. (Photo at right: Paul McGann and India Fisher; photo courtesy Big Finish Productions.)
Audio Production Updates:
- Eleanor Bron, popular UK stage & screen actress who appeared twice previously in Doctor Who (in a cameo with John Cleese as an art lover in "City of Death" and more visibly as villainous Kara in "Revelation of the Daleks"), portrays Ileana de Santos in the forthcoming "Loups Garoux".
- Joining Bron is actor Burt Kwouk, the popular character actor best known for his role as Cato in the "Pink Panther" movies alongside Peter Sellers, and who has appeared in such films as "Empire of the Sun," "Rollerball" and "Goldfinger" as well as in the Doctor Who story "Four to Doomsday" as Lin Futu; and actor Nicky Henson, a versatile TV character actor in Britain.
- Gareth Thomas, who starred for two years as the title character in TV's "Blake's 7" (and returned twice in later seasons), guest stars in "Storm Warning" as Lord Tamworth.
- The Cybermen are back in the Doctor Who fold, returning for "Sword of Orion," the February 2001 audio play.
- Nicholas Courtney returns for a second guest shot as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in "Minuet in Hell," completing the circle and making Courtney the only actor in Who history to star opposite all nine television Doctors (the first seven, McGann, and Richard Hurndall in "The Five Doctors")
- Actor Michael Sheard, who appeared in many Doctor Who stories including "Pyramids of Mars," "Remembrance of the Daleks" and "The Mind of Evil," is a confirmed guest for the forthcoming "The Stones of Venice" as Count Orsino.
Forthcoming Releases: Confirmed upcoming stories from Big Finish include:
- "The Holy Terror" (Now in Release): Written by Rob Shearman. Stars Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and introducing Robert Jezek as Frobisher, the Whifferdill shapeshifting companion (yes, the penguin) from the pages of Doctor Who Magazine. Music by Russell Stone. "The TARDIS lands in a forbidding castle in a time of religious upheaval. The old god has been overthrown, and all heretics are to be slaughtered. Obviously it isn't the sort of thing which would happen there every day - just every few years or so. And when the Doctor and Frobisher are hailed as messengers from heaven, they quickly become vital to opposing factions in their struggle for power. But will they be merely the acolytes of the new order - or will they be made gods themselves? An evil destructive force is growing deep within the crypt. And the pair soon find out that they will be lucky to escape their new immortality with their lives." Also starring Dan Hogarth, Sam Kelly, Roberta Taylor, Helen Punt, Stefan Atkinson, Peter Sowerbutts, Bruce Mann and Peter Guinness.
- "The Mutant Phase" (December 23, 2000): Written by Nicholas Briggs. Stars Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. "In the 22nd century, the Daleks have occupied planet Earth. By the 43rd century, only a handful of humans survive. Still further into the distant future, a Thal scientist must choose whether to betray his heritage, or see the universe destroyed. When the Doctor and Nyssa find themselves trapped in this deadly chain of events, they must decide who their real enemies are. What is certain, however, is that no matter where the Doctor turns... his arch enemies, the Daleks, will be waiting for him. What could possibly be worse than that? The Mutant Phase." Also starring Christopher Blake, Jared Morgan, Mark Gatiss, Andrew Ryan and Sara Wakefield.(At the request of Big Finish, we removed the tentative cover from our website. The cover was altered to a new version because the Terry Nation estate agents Roger Hancock Ltd. asked that the Emperor Dalek be changed and could not clear it because it was not something used previously in the series. We have now replaced it with a new version of the cover that is on the final product.)
- "Storm Warning" (January 22, 2001): Written by Alan Barnes (editor of Doctor Who Magazine), directed by Gary Russell. Paul McGann returns to Doctor Who in the first of four stories as the Eighth Doctor; also introducing India Fisher as Charlotte "Charley" Pollard and guest starring Gareth Thomas ("Blake's 7") as Lord Tamworth. "After a dangerous encounter in the space/time vortex, the Doctor finds himself on Earth, October 1930. Or rather above it, aboard the British airship R101 on it's maiden voyage over France. Also on board is a young stowaway, Charlotte 'Charley' Pollard, seeking adventure and excitement away from her stifling family atmosphere. What Charley doesn¹t know but the Doctor does is that the flight is destined to end in tragedy, although no-one really knows why. Not even the Doctor, although maybe the passenger in Cabin 43 can help..." Also starring Nicholas Pegg (Frayling), Barnaby Edwards (Rathbone), Hylton Collins (Chief Steward Weeks), and Helen Goldwyn (Triskelion). Set around an airship disappearance in 1930.
- "Sword of Orion" (February 26, 2001): Written and directed by Nicholas Briggs. Stars Paul McGann and India Fisher as the Eighth Doctor and Charley. The Cybermen are back, hiding aboard an abandoned freighter in space, being sought by less than honest scrap merchants. But what is Captain Deeva Jansen's involvement and why does the Orion war suddenly seem so perilously close... Also starring Michelle Livingstone (Deeva), Bruce Montague (Grash), Helen Goldwyn (Chev), Ian Marr (Ike), Hylton Collins (Vol), Toby Longworth (Kelsey).
- "The Stones of Venice" (March 19, 2001): Written by Paul Magrs, directed by Gary Russell. Stars Paul McGann and India Fisher as the Eighth Doctor and Charley, with guest star Michael Sheard as Count Orsino. The Doctor and Charley become embroiled in the decadent court of a tired Duke and his search for his beloved wife. The curse of the long since dead Duchess has finally come to pass and the enchanted city of Venice is sinking beneath the canals. Also starring Nick Scovell (Churchwell), Barnaby Edwards (Pietro), Elaine Ives-Cameron (Ms. Lavish), Mark Gatiss (Vincenzo).
- "Minuet in Hell" (April 17, 2001): Written by Alan W. Lear and Gary Russell, directed by Nicholas Briggs. Stars Paul McGann and India Fisher as the Eighth Doctor and Charley, with special guest star Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. The twenty-first century has just begun, and the newly-formed state of Malebolgia is seceding from the rest of the United States of America. After his successful involvement with Scotland's devolution, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart has been invited over to Malebolgia to offer some expertise. However, there's someone held in a lunatic asylum who interests him, someone who believes he travels through space and time in the TARDIS. It is not, however, his old friend the Doctor... Also stars Robert Jezek (Brigham Elisha Dashwood), Helen Goldwyn (Becky Lee), Maureen Oakeley (Dr. Dale Pargeter) and Nicholas Briggs (Gideon Crane).
- "Bloodtide" (May 21, 2001, formerly June): Written by Jonathan Morris, directed by Gary Russell. Features the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn with the return of the Silurians from the television series, and... Charles Darwin! The story will delve into the reasons behind Evelyn's travels with the Doctor. Music by Alistair Lock.
- "Loups-Garoux" (June 18, 2001, formerly May): Written by Marc Platt, directed by Nicholas Pegg. Features the Fifth Doctor and Turlough and concerns a "family" of lycanthropes (werewolves) from Rio de Janeiro. Also stars Eleanor Bron (Ileana de Santos), Burt Kwouk (Dr. Hayashi), Nicky Henson (Pieter Stubbe), Sarah Gale (Rosa Caiman), Jane Burke (Inez), David Hankinson (Anton Lichtfuss) and Derek Wright (Jorge). Music by Alistair Lock. Recording 9-10 December. (Originally called "The Werelings")
- Dalek Empire I-IV [Title TBA] (June 4, August 6, October 2 and December 3, 2001): Four stand-alone Dalek stories without the Doctor, written and directed by Nicholas Briggs. "'Attention all humans! You are now subjects of the Dalek Empire!' The largest Dalek fleet ever assembled begins its invasion of the galaxy... On planet Vega IV, Suz and Alby take their first, delicate steps towards romance. She's a career girl and he's just a drifter, but they've known each other for months now, and the attraction between them is undeniable. However, the Vega System is the Daleks' first target… and the token Earth defence force patrolling that sector is no match for the ruthless Dalek onslaught. Who is the mysterious stranger Suz finds amongst the devastated remains of Vega IV? What is Alby's secret? Can the Daleks' relentless advance across the galaxy ever be stopped? Dalek Empire is a story of human emotion and galactic intrigue set against the most destructive conflict the galaxy has ever known. Release is now confirmed in 2001 as of these dates.
- "Dust Breeding" (July 23, 2001): Written by Mike Tucker, directed by Gary Russell. Features the Seventh Doctor and Ace. Originally this slot was filled by a story called "Dark Rising" though we are told by Big Finish that Tucker was dissatisfied with his own progress on the script, and so he submitted a completely different story that Big Finish accepted.
- "Project Twilight" (August 20, 2001, formerly November): Written by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright, directed by Gary Russell. Features the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn, and is a vampire story set in modern day London. Says DWM: "a gritty tale of vampirism in modern-day London, the story promises gore, gambling and garlic galore."
- "Colditz" (September 17, 2001): Written by Steve Lyons. A Seventh Doctor and Ace story set in Colditz, Germany.
- Untitled stories (October & November 2001): No information
- "The One Doctor" (December 17, 2001, formerly August): Written by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman, directed by Gary Russell. Features the Sixth Doctor and Mel in their first audio together. ("A frantic romp around the galaxy in the company of some rather surprising characters," according to DWM.)
Big Finish Audio Online Ordering: Big Finish has opened its online store, allowing secure ordering from its website. Big Finish's website can be found at http://www.doctorwho.co.uk.
CD Distribution: Big Finish has announced that a number of the CD copies of "The Apocalypse Element" are defective and, in some cases, missing altogether. "These problems occurred in the latter stages of production at the CD pressing plant. The company used for The Apocalypse Element is not the one normally used by Big Finish and consequently we will not be using them again. If you have received a defective Apocalypse Element, Big Finish apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment and would ask you to return the play as purchased (the case and all enclosed CDs) to: Big Finish, PO Box 1127, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 3LW. A new, fully playable, Apocalypse Element will be sent back to you."
Changes to Distribution: Says Big Finish, "The final three releases of this year, The Shadow of the Scourge, The Holy Terror and The Mutant Phase are all set to be issued towards the end of their respective release months, so please be patient. Sorry about this but production constraints and the availability of the leading actors have made this necessary."
Filters: Big Finish
11/11/2000 11:46:00 p.m. - Reported by Marcus
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
Doctor Who Returns to the Radio: Doctor Who Magazine and several British newspapers recently reported that BBC Radio was in the advanced planning stages of a new Doctor Who project for Radio 4, for debut in early 2001. Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred were touted as being considered to reprise their roles as the Seventh Doctor and Ace for the serial. An article in The Guardian, a UK newspaper, on March 27, indicated that the script is written by Dan Freedman and Colin Meake of Radio 4's Loose Ends comedy show. Freedman told Doctor Who Magazine that "This will not be a comedy. I'm keen to develop a new take, to bring forward darker aspects of the character." The Guardian story goes on to mention that Sylvester McCoy is considering the role, but that a BBC spokesman would not promise a series, being quoted as saying "We don't want to build up fans' hopes." Recent information suggests that the radio drama bears the provisional title "Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time".
Actor Stephen Fry has apparently signed on to play a role in the production. Sylvester McCoy commented that the Radio 4 chief who commissioned the production has recently been replaced and this could affect the show, which is currently slated to be taped in October 2000 and aired in February 2001.
In early June, in the popular UK movie magazine Empire, Stephen Fry answered questions sent in by readers; he confirmed his involvement in a Doctor Who project for radio. "It is true. It's extraordinarily clever of him to know that. I've been sworn to the utmost secrecy by the BBC because there is such a huge contingency of Whovians, I think they call them. So it is true, but I can't tell you what part I play or what happens in it because I would be assassinated if I did." However, on June 7, Outpost Gallifrey was contacted by Dan Freedman, who sent us the following clarification: "The facts are: At least one episode is definitely being made, series is likely but not officially definite. Sylvester, Sophie and Stephen Fry are confirmed in it. Its called Dr Who: Death Comes to Time and is set after Survival. I write comedy when I'm writing, but I'm just producing this, not writing. Colin Meek (SF writer, not comedy) is writing it. Next week we should have an info page about how fans can be involved in it on the Online page. The departure of James Boyle (ex controller of Radio 4) doesn't mean anything bad, it took me 5 months to persuade him to have it..."
The BBC's official Doctor Who website has confirmed that the BBC has commissioned a pilot episode only ("This means that they have asked and paid for the production of one episode for Radio 4. If they like it, they will commission a series. Until then, there is no date for anything to be broadcast. At the moment, recording is scheduled for October.") Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Leonard Fenton (Dr. Legge in "Eastenders") and Stephen Fry are confirmed by the site, and we have received word that actress Jacqueline Pearce ("Blake's 7") and actor John Sessions have both been confirmed for the production.
It looks almost certain that the pilot will be released on BBC Audio, eventually. Meanwhile, the BBC Symphony Orchestra won't be doing the pilot because of the new date, but they will be doing the series, if and when it happens, according to the BBC's official site; neither will David Bowie, who isn't in the drama's pilot because of time concerns -- but who apparently has expressed interest in doing the series itself if the pilot proves to be successful (as a character called the Duke of White). However, William Hartnell does appear in the pilot (after all, this is a series about time travel...)
On Thursday June 29, BBC Online completed a live interview with Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, producer Dan Freedman and actor Kevin Eldon this week, all of whom are all taking part in "Death Comes to Time". The production will feature a new version of Ron Grainer's theme music. Eldon says he will not be playing the Master, but instead "a gay Cyberman triumphing in the homophobic world of evil robots" (he was, of course, joking).
As of November 8, the pilot for this proposed series is complete. In addition to the above, actor Huw Thomas (coincidentally the brother of early Dalek director Richard Martin) is among the many cast members. If BBC Radio decides to go ahead with an audio series -- commissioning editors likley to make a decision in early January -- the series would likely not be out before June, according to our highly-placed sources.
(With thanks to Peter Anghelides, David Whitten and Gareth Fenton...)
11/11/2000 11:36:00 p.m. - Reported by Marcus
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
These releases are only currently in PAL format (for UK, Australia and New Zealand & compatible DVD players); NTSC format (US/Canada) are expected from BBC Worldwide in late 2001. Special thanks to Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team and our other correspondents for this information.
- The Five Doctors: "The Five Doctors: Special Edition" is now out on DVD. Sound engineers were converting the soundtrack to Surround Sound format 5.1 as of late June. The DVD contains no "extras", but the soundtrack will be isolated so that incidental music can be listened to independently of the dialogue, even though the music doesn't necessarily match the screen action. Currently in release in the UK and Australia/New Zealand.
- Robots of Death: "The Robots of Death" will be released on November 13 in the UK (after several changes throughout October). The date was changed, according to Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team, because of an error on the packaging. Updated information on this production: The DVD will feature a commentary by writer Chris Boucher and producer Philip Hinchcliffe on the recording of this episode, 10 minutes of shots and model footage ("unused footage, ex-monochrome Shibaden tape"), an image stills gallery, production notes and a floor plan from the production. The graphics at right display some of the trailer being released on the DVD, along with some of the graphics for the menu screens. (Thanks to James Whittington and to our friend at the BBC who corrected the info, and to Paul Gordon for the graphics.)
- Remembrance of the Daleks: Due on January 29, 2001. The copyright holders have refused permission to clear two pieces of music by 'The Beatles' used in episodes one and three; these will be replaced by either clearable soundalikes or BBC copyright Beatles performances if they are clearable. Around thirteen deleted or extended scenes from the '71s have been compiled onto an 'extras' tape, which will be augmented by a series of bloopers and outtakes from the recording sessions. In addition, ALL of the isolated soundtrack score from this story will be released on this disc. Says Roberts: "Sadly, not all the original studio and location recordings exist in a broadcast format. However, the current owner of the timecoded VHS copies that were used during production has kindly loaned them to us, so we effectively have access to just about all the surviving recorded material." Two original BBC1 trails for the first two parts of the story have been located and will be included. In addition, two multi-angle sequences have been constructed, featuring Ace's baseball attack on a Dalek and subsequent escape through from the science lab window, and the impressive gate explosion sequence. Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred recorded a commentary, and an extensive photo gallery will likely be included.
- Spearhead from Space: Having been remastered for broadcast on BBC-2 in 1999, "Spearhead from Space" will be the fourth DVD release (instead of the third), moving to a February 26, 2001 release date. Says Steve Roberts, "The 1999 [trailer] for episode three has had to be revised due to problems with the music that was used. Although apparently cleared for use according to the paperwork that BBC Presentation had submitted, the trail actually feature music by Led Zeppelin, which is not clearable for commercial video release. An alternative piece of music has been substituted by the disc's producer, as omitting the trail from the disc at this stage in production would involve major reworking of the menu-screen graphics. However, the delay caused by this last-minute change forced the release date back to just two weeks before Christmas. The major retail chains such as HMV expressed concern that this would not allow them to properly promote the disc, so requested that the title be held over until early 2001." Commentary for the release was recorded by Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier) and Caroline John (Liz Shaw). Sound quality is being enhanced at Pebble Mill Studios, with colourist Jonathan Wood making additional tweaks to the colour. The Fleetwood Mac track playing in the background of the plastics factory sequence in part two was removed due to cost of clearances; Mark Ayres remade the soundtrack using the original sound effects tapes of the machinery but without the music. The disc includes Kevin Davies' five-minute spoof 'UNIT Recruitment Film', originally broadcast as part of the thirtieth anniversary celebrations in 1993. The disc will also feature a photo gallery, with many rare or previously unseen photographs from the story and it is hoped that it will also include the two BBC2 trails from the 1999 repeat season and the specially shot 35mm trail for the 1999 'Doctor Who Night', plus a bonus 'Easter Egg' hidden feature (highlight the following text to find out what it is): a bonus Jon Pertwee title sequence unused in the series
- The Caves of Androzani: Due on April 9, 2001. As the master tapes have seen some decay, the Restoration Team is busy doing some much-needed work for its DVD release. Director Graeme Harper has been liaising with the RT on some of the work, which includes remaking the planet surface matte shots in episode one to remove movement between the foreground and background elements. Harper, Peter Davison and Nicola Bryant recently taped commentary audio in the studio for the release. In addition, a number of special items will be included on the disc, including a BBC-1 trailer for part one (remade in broadcast quality); three news items including the announcement of Davison's departure on the One O'Clock News, a Kate Adie interview with Davison on the same day, and an interview with Davison and producer John Nathan-Turner from the following day's "Southeast at Six"; a photo gallery; and a subtitle 'text commentary'. Says Steve Roberts: "A 75-minute isolated camera recording from the last studio session exists (an 'iso' recording is generally designed to capture alternative angles that are not always being covered by the main cameras and provide additional shots for the director to use in post-production) and includes the shooting of the regeneration from Peter Davison into Colin Baker. An eight-minute featurette is being prepared which will include some of this material and will be accompanied by a commentary. An audio interview with the late Christopher Gable, who played Sharaz Jek in the story, has been loaned to us and forms the basis of a separate four minute featurette entitled 'Creating Sharaz Jek', which also includes previously unseen photographs from Gable's own collection, rehearsal and iso camera material from the last studio recording session, and extracts from the finished show." Musician Mark Ayres is working on the isolated soundtrack which will be presented in its entirety.
- Future Releases: BBC Video wants to run the gamut through all seven TV Doctors for DVD releases first; the Fourth, Third, Seventh and Fifth are represented with these four releases, with future releases likely to include a First Doctor, Second Doctor (though NOT "Tomb of the Cybermen" says Roberts) and Sixth Doctor release....
- Doctor Who Films on DVD: Doctor Who comes to DVD in North America on an unexpected avenue: the two 1960's Doctor Who films, "Dr. Who and the Daleks" and "Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD" will be released in 2002 on DVD by Anchor Bay, as announced at a recent chat with Home Theatre Forum. To view the transcript seehttp://www.dvdfile.com/community/transcripts/chat/2000/anchorbay_htf.htm
- Australia DVD Update: Despite of previous announcements that it wouldn't be releasing Doctor Who on DVD in Australia, Sydney-based Roadshow Entertainment (the company that currently releases Who videos down under) has begun releasing them. See notes above. (Thanks to Rob Irwin)
- DVD Miscellaneous: Correspondent James Whittington recently spoke to Rob Cory of BBC Worldwide on the subject of DVD releases in the UK. "We hope to roll out at least another 4 titles by Christmas 2001," Cory said, who indicated that the full-length version of the 1996 Doctor Who movie is among those currently under discussion. Cory said that BBC Worldwide hopes to be in a position within the next two years to release Doctor Who simultaneously on DVD and VHS video.
11/08/2000 11:33:00 p.m. - Reported by Marcus
Compiled by:Roadshow Video has apparently issued a recall of the newly-released "The Tenth Planet" video, after fans noticed that the tape was missing the reconstructed episode 4. Only the three complete episodes of the serial were included on the tape. Further investigation reveals that Roadshow may have ordered the wrong tapes from the UK video library. This is apparently the second recent instance of an alteration to a BBC video; the Louise Jameson Multi-Coloured Swap Shop interview was previously omitted from the Australia/NZ release of "The Face of Evil". Paul Scoones of New Zealand fandom recently said on the Restoration Team forum: "Roadshow were sent two masters of [Face of Evil] tape, one with the interview, and one without. They were informed by the BBC that this was because the interview clip had not yet been cleared and that they would be instructed which tape to use when and if the clearances were obtained. The go-ahead was given to use the interview, Roadshow printed up the covers stating that the interview was included, but made a mistake and used the wrong master. Obviously the situation is somewhat different with "The Tenth Planet" as there was of course no uncertainty as to whether a 3 or 4 part version would be released, but Roadshow were apparently completely unaware they'd duplicated an incomplete master tape and it's now costing them to perform a recall and reduplication. It doesn't seem at all likely that they deliberately removed the fourth episode (they didn't remove the reconstructed episodes of The Ice Warriors, so why now?)." Also, the clip of Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant from "Saturday Superstore" included in the UK version of "Attack of the Cybermen," the companion video in the two-tape box/tin set, was not included in the Aus/NZ release, most likely due to rights.
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen
Shaun Lyon with Mark Phippen