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Bookmark and Share doctor who is tops

12/27/2002 07:37:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The character of Doctor Who has been named the greatest science fiction character of all time, according to a poll taken by British genre magazine SFX. Rounding out the top ten characters are Spike, Buffy and Willow from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," John Crichton and Aeryn Sun from "Farscape," Han Solo and Darth Vader of the "Star Wars" saga, Angel from the Buffy spinoff "Angel" and Gandalf of "Lord of the Rings". Said SFX editor Dave Golder to BBC News, "It just goes to prove that there is a certain magic to the character and the idea of the face-changing Doctor which strikes a chord with the public's imagination." The full article on BBC news can be read by clicking here. (Thanks to Damon Querry, Deejay)

Bookmark and Share big finish update

12/20/2002 07:38:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Big Finish has released information about a few forthcoming releases. First, the revised cover illustration for Short Trips: Zodiac, the first of their hardcover Doctor Who anthologies due out on December 23, is now online; click the thumbnail below left for a larger version. The cover (artist unknown at present) replaces a mockup cover released earlier by Adrian Salmon; the illustration was changed, as explained by producer Gary Russell, to better match the photomontage cover illustration seen on most Doctor Who book releases (as opposed to artwork). Also, title of the second Short Trips book from Big Finish is Short Trips 2: Companions. Meanwhile, new details are available for the February and March 2003 audios: February's Nekromanteia by Austen Atkinson stars Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant and Caroline Morris, and features guest appearances by Simon Williams (best known as Group Captain Gilmore in the season 25 serial "Remembrance of the Daleks") and Glyn Owen (who played Rohm-Dutt in season 16's "The Power of Kroll"); while March's The Dark Flame by Trevor Baxendale features Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred alongside Lisa Bowerman returning as Bernice Summerfield. The cover blurbs for both are listed below. Finally, a new Desk Calendarwill be out for the new year; the 15-month calendar features, as before, illustrations from selected BF covers. Click on the thumbnail below right for a larger version.

NEKROMANTEIA, by Austen Atkinson
In the depths of space a little known district harbours a terrible secret. Long known as a place of death, it claims thousands more lives as a great corporate space-fleet goes to war. As the fleet screams out in fear and pain, an irresistible voice calls out to three travellers and a macabre mind sets a deadly trap.
        The Doctor, Peri and Erimem face the terrors of Talderun and the wrath of a corporate empire as they struggle to understand the hideous secret of the domain of the dead  a district known in legend as Nekromanteia.
        Starring Peter Davison (the Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri) and Caroline Morris (Erimem), with Simon Williams (Paul Addison), Glyn Owen (Harlon), Gilly Cohen (Jal Dor Kal), Kerry Skinner (Cochrane), Ivor Danvers (Marr), Kate Brown (Tallis), Nigel Fairs (Rom) and Andrew Fettes (Salaysian).

THE DARK FLAME, by Trevor Baxendale
A thousand years ago, the evil Cult of the Dark Flame infiltrated every star system in the galaxy. In the history books the Cult is legendary, its despotic leader a terrible memory. But for some the Dark Flame still burns. For some, its horrifying power is the ultimate goal. All that is required is for the right people to be in the wrong place and time.
        An archaeologist and his robot are on the poisonous world of Sorus Alpha, where they will uncover a hideous relic. The Doctor and Ace are on their way to the deep space research centre Orbos, where Professor Bernice Summerfield is soon to start the countdown to universal Armageddon.
        Four acolytes of Evil. Three mad scientists. Two companions. One Doctor.
        Starring Sylvester McCoy (the Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace) and Lisa Bowerman (Bernice Summerfield); further cast TBA. Directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery.

Bookmark and Share daleks on the march

12/15/2002 07:40:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

March 1, 2003 will see the premier of a brand new documentary on the malevolentDaleks on Radio 4, as part of the show's upcoming 40th anniversary. The documentary will be "an affectionate tribute to the Doctor's arch enemies," and will delve into the origins of the Daleks, with interviews and contributions from first producer Verity Lambert, Ray Cusick, Roy Skelton, Cy Town, John Scott Martin, Alexei Sayle ("Remembrance of the Daleks"), Terry Molloy (the final Davros in the series), Kim Newman ("Time and Relative") and others. The documentary is produced by David Priest and airs on Radio 4 on March 1 at 10:30am. (Thanks to BBCi)

Bookmark and Share blue veils and golden sands

12/15/2002 07:39:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

One of the pioneers of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the late Delia Derbyshire, one of the architects of the signature Doctor Who theme tune, will be honored as the subject of a new play, Blue Veils and Golden Sands, broadcast on Monday, December 23 at 14:15 GMT (2:15pm) by UK Radio Four. Derbyshire, "one of the most colourful & interesting composers of electronic music, and at the forefront of its development," passed away in 2001, and the play is about her work. The 45-minute radio play is written by Martyn Wade and stars Sophie Thompson as Delia, Peter Kember as himself, Stephen Critchlow as Anthony Newley, and Martin Hyder as Ron Grainer, with original music composed by Elizabeth Parker. Fasn should be able to listen to the play for up to seven days after its broadcast at www.bbc.co.uk/radio4. (Thanks to Neil Fountain, Hendryk Korzeniowski, Chris Moore and Geoffrey Cotterill)

Bookmark and Share the return of shada

12/08/2002 07:42:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

BBCi has revealed plans for its 40th anniversary of Doctor Who webcast: a remake by Big Finish Productions of the classic "lost" Doctor Who story Shada, written by the late Douglas Adams. "Shada" was originally abandoned due to an industrial strike, although it was eventually released on video with linking narration by Tom Baker. In this new version of "Shada", the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) is reunited with old friends Romana (Lalla Ward) and K-9 (John Leeson) "in a quest to track down the most dangerous book in the universe." The cast features such notables as James Fox ("A Passage to India," "The Remains of the Day") as Professor Chronotis, Andrew Sachs (best remembered as daffy waiter Manuel on "Fawlty Towers") as Skagra, Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood in the "Harry Potter" films) as Chris Parsons, Hannah Gordon (presenter of UK Channel Four's "Watercolor Challenge" and originally in the Doctor Who serial "The Highlanders") as the voice of Skagra's ship, Susannah Harker ("Ultraviolet") as Clare Keightley,Melvyn Hayes ("Quatermass II," "Ain't Half Hot, Mum") as college porter Wilkin, andStuart Crossman in an unknown role. "This is a tremendously exciting project," director Nicholas Pegg told BBCi. "We’ve really pulled out all the stops on this one. We’ve had a fantastic time in the studio and I hope people will agree that we’ve done justice to one of the greatest writers Doctor Who was ever blessed with." Says Big Finish producer, Jason Haigh-Ellery, "This is a great opportunity to finally produce Doctor Who's most famous lost script, and a fine tribute to Douglas Adams." Lee Sullivan will produce animation for the new webcast and Gary Russell, on authority from the estate of Douglas Adams, has tailored the script to add some framing information and tie it into the story. BBCi senior producer James Goss stated on the Outpost Gallifrey Forum, "Big Finish have come up with a neat way of fitting the new Shada into continuity without messing around with the original script too much. Without going into detail, there's a short prelude set on Gallifrey, where the Doctor turns up to see Romana, explaining that they've got some unfinished business to attend to... involving a call for help from an old friend that they appear to have been somehow prevented from answering." At right, a photo from BBCi with McGann, Ward and K-9. The recording was taped in early November, and is set for debut on BBCi next spring. (Thanks to BBCi, as well as everyone who wrote in to let us know about it and the report on Biggerstaff's website)

Bookmark and Share dvd & video updates

12/08/2002 07:41:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

In the UK, the DVD release of The Three Doctors, originally moved from January 2003 to November 2003, is now currently scheduled for a July 2003 release according to the Restoration Team. Meanwhile, Resurrection Of The Daleks starring Peter Davison will be available on DVD in Australia on February 3, 2003. Finally, in the US, two new VHS releases have been confirmed from BBC Worldwide for release on May 13, 2003: Planet of Giants with William Hartnell, and Underworld with Tom Baker. There will also be a further video release in the US in September, with the two-month gaps filled in by DVD releases. (Thanks to Steve Roberts, Sean Brady, Rodney Hrvatin)

Bookmark and Share earthshock: 2003

9/29/2002 10:52:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

At the Tenth Planet signing in the UK on September 29, Janet Fielding (Tegan), in a rare Doctor Who-related appearance, confirmed that she would soon be in-studio recording the commentary for Earthshock, which she said would be released on DVD some time during 2003. Fielding also mentioned that, according to her information, the hopes were to have Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Matthew Waterhouse all present for the commentary. (Thanks to Jon Frame, Zygon Curry)

Bookmark and Share tardis in oed again

9/28/2002 10:52:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The Oxford Shorter English Dictionary has come out again, and this time included in this popular edition is the word TARDIS. The word previously appeared in the much larger version, but this is the first mainstream book to include the Doctor Who title. Some of the other words to be included in the Oxford Shorter English Dictionary, due to their use in the vernacular, are Jedi, Klingon, Dilithium, Warp Drive, get real, text messaging and just war. (Thanks to Jonathan Baldwin, Ivan Philpot)

Bookmark and Share three doctors & seeds of death

9/26/2002 10:53:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

A late addition to the forthcoming DVD release of The Three Doctors is a recently located high-quality audio copy of the BBC News obituary of William Hartnell, the first Doctor, loaned to the Doctor Who Restoration Team by fan Ronald McDevitt. The RT is currently locating photo stills of Hartnell to be used alongside the extra, which will likely be featured as an easter egg on the disc. Meanwhile, the Restoration Team has also updated their site with a new article about the cleanup and restoration work done on the forthcoming DVD release of The Seeds of Death starring Patrick Troughton; visit the Restoration Team site, click "DVD Releases" and "The Seeds of Death". (Thanks to Steve Roberts & the Restoration Team)

Bookmark and Share big finish books

9/24/2002 10:54:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Big Finish has released further info about three upcoming books. The short story anthology reported first in DWM (which we mentioned last week) is called Short Trips: Zodiac, edited by Jacqueline Rayner; it features 12 stories each representing signs of the zodiac by authors Simon Forward (Leo), Sarah Groenewegen (Virgo), Simon Guerrier (Libra), Paul Magrs (Scorpio), Todd Green (Sagittarius), Joseph Lidster (Capricorn), Andrew Collins (Aquarius), Alison Lawson (Pisces), Mark Michalowski (Aries), Paul Leonard (Taurus), Tony Keetch (Gemini) and Ian Potter (Cancer), with introduction and linking story by Jim Sangster. Meanwhile, Big Finish also confirmed two releases for 2003: Doctor Who: The Audio Scripts - The Best of Big Finish and as as-yet-untitled "Making Of" book about the run of the Doctor Who audios. The script book is set for September 2003 and features four rehearsal scripts (as opposed to final versions) for "Loups Garoux" by Marc Platt, "The Holy Terror" by Rob Shearman, "The Fires of Vulcan" by Steve Lyons, and "Neverland" by Alan Barnes, with an alternative episode one script for "The Fires of Vulcan" that featured Ace instead of Mel. The hardcover making of book will be edited by Benjamin Cook and feature photos, interviews with writers, actors and directors, unpublished cover illustrations and "Doctor Who Magazine" style archives on the making of each installment. (Our own The Kar-Charrat Files, a release supported by Big Finish, is an actual episode guide as opposed to this making-of book.) Finally, in a separate story, Big Finish announced that their Music From the Fifth Doctor Audios CD is being delayed slightly as Peter Davison signs all of the subscriber copies. (Thanks to Big Finish)

Bookmark and Share doctor who returning soon?

9/18/2002 10:54:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Could Doctor Who be back next year? That's the conflagration of rumors that have started after an interview with BBC1 chief Lorraine Heggessey, who spoke to Simon Mayo of Radio Five Live on Tuesday. "Doctor Who was a fantastic series," said Heggessey, "and I think we should be looking at ways to reinvent it. ... Discussions are going on at the moment, but they are in the very early stages. There is an awful lot to sort out, including copyright and so on, but, yes, it could be coming back. And tea-time on Saturdays would seem an appropriate place." Many online and print media in the UK have picked up the story as a confirmation that the show is coming back, but of course reading Ms. Heggessey's comments don't specifically make note that the show will be back, only that it's being considered. While this is more of the same we've come to expect since the cancellation, this is perhaps one of the brightest discussions about the show's future, as it seems that those high-up at the BBC are indeed interested. We'll bring you more detail as we get it. (Thanks to the over 40 emails we received this morning about the comments, and BBCi for some clarification.)

Bookmark and Share dwight whylie

9/17/2002 10:56:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Journalist Dwight Whylie passed away recently in Bermuda. He played a small part as a voice-over announcer in part four of the Doctor Who serial "The War Machines," a part for which he was selected from the BBC's announcers pool. Whylie's numerous journalistic accomplishments included a career as a radio newsreader at the CBC in Canada, major journalistic initiatives in Guyana, Jamaica and Bermuda, and as a member of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union's Hall of Fame. (Thanks to Eric Briggs)

Bookmark and Share dwm 322

9/17/2002 10:55:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, #322 is now available. The issue includes the first part of a new series, "Guess Who?," by Gareth Roberts; part two of a three part interview with Colin Baker and a chat with Anneke Wills; the final chapter of the comic strip "Uroboros"; "The Moonbase" in the archives; the return of the Time Team; and all the usual reviews and features. The cover illustration is at right. (Thanks to BBCi and DWM)

Bookmark and Share seeds of death commentary

9/17/2002 10:55:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Actors Wendy Padbury (Zoe) and Frazer Hines (Jamie), director Michael Ferguson and writer Terrance Dicks will be featured on the forthcoming DVD commentary track on the release of The Seeds of Death, the Patrick Troughton serial. Padbury, Hines and Ferguson will be doing the commentary on episodes 1 and 2; Hines, Padbury and Dicks on episode 3 (along with Ferguson briefly); Dicks and Ferguson on episode 4; and all four on episodes 5 and 6. The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, on sale this week, broke the story on the commentaries. Outpost Gallifrey has also learned from the Doctor Who Restoration Team that the Seeds disc contains a 25 minute documentary called 'Ssssowing the Sssseedssss', in which Ice Warrior actors Sonny Caldinez and Alan Bennion and make-up designer Sylvia James talk about the process of bringing the Martians to life. (Thanks to DWM, Steve Roberts and the Restoration Team).

Bookmark and Share bbc books update

9/13/2002 10:56:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

BBCi has obtained the cover illustration and info on the forthcoming Heritage by Dale Smith, October's BBC novel featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace. Also online there now is a sample chapter of the subsequent novel The Infinity Race by Simon Messingham and an excerpt from the Dalek Survival Guide, plus an interview with BBC books range consultant Justin Richards. Among some of the notable items he mentions: "The main delivery from BBC Books [for the 40th anniversary] will be a massive, heavily illustrated and very lavish book that goes into the whole story of Doctor Who - the narrative side of things, telling the entire 40 year story right from the start in considerable detail. Of course there’s behind the scenes stuff as well and lots of new material. It’s an enormous project, but it’s looking really good so far." To read the full interview or the sample chapters click here for BBCI, and click on "September Telepress" in the News items. For Heritage (click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover):

HERITAGE by Dale Smith

"Things go missing on Heritage. It's one of the hazards of living here. One of the many hazards."

Nobody visits Heritage. Why would they? Dry, dusty and hot, it's nothing but a failed mining colony too stupid to realise that it's actually dead. No-one wants to visit, least of all Ace. But the Doctor's got his hearts set on a flying visit, just while they're in the neighbourhood. That's when he finds out that Heritage wants visitors just as much as visitors want them.

So, while Ace is getting friendly with the locals, the Doctor is trying his best to convince them he's not interested in their secrets. All he wants is a few quiet days and a nice cup of tea.

Trouble is, secrets have a way of unearthing themselves when the Doctor's around. Whether he wants them to or not.

This adventure features the Seventh Doctor and Ace.