Friday, 30 May 2003

Richard Henwood


May 30, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
We are sad to report the death of editor and publisher Richard Henwood, the 'grandfather' of the Target Doctor Who novelization range, who died on the morning of the 28th May, following a massive stroke on the 25th May. As David Howe tells Outpost Gallifrey: "Henwood enjoyed a prestigious career as an editor and published, specialising in children's books and it was in 1972 that he was head-hunted from Scholastic by Ralph Stokes and Brian Miles, who were setting up a children's imprint at their own publishing house, the Universal-Tandem publishing company. Henwood was pleased with the challenge and started looking for books for this new imprint, named Target. Among the books he found were the original 1960's hardbacks of three Doctor Who titles: Doctor Who in an exciting Adventure with the Daleks, The Crusaders and The Zarbi.

"æI was ushered into the boardroom of Frederick Muller in Tottenham Court Road by the rights manager,' Henwood recalled when talking about the origins of the range for a series of articles for Doctor Who Magazine, 'and arranged on the table were some twenty books. One swift glance told me that I was almost certainly wasting my time, but my eyes strayed back to a trio of tired looking hardbacks in the centre. ôDoctor Whoàö I mused aloud to myself. ôOh I donÆt know àö the fact is (IÆm ashamed to say) that back then I didnÆt. As a matter of deliberate choice we had no television at home, and I had only seen a few minutes of the odd episode of Doctor Who in someone elseÆsÆ house. However, I said, ôIÆll take an option on that trio, if I may.ö æ ôThey didnÆt sell very well into the libraries when we published them in 1964,ö said the rights manager, ôà but Armada paperbacked one as an experiment. ItÆs out of print now.ö æBack at Gloucester Road I showed my morningÆs ôcatchö to Brian Miles. Without hesitation, he exclaimed ôDoctor Who à theyÆll sell!ö'

"Miles was correct, and Henwood's decision to republish the Doctor Who novelisations resulted in an astonishing range of books which is still with us today, and which, to Richard's great delight, was entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest series of books based around a lead character. When I spoke to him for the history of Target series, I found him enthusiastic and keen to talk about his involvement in the range. He was still writing, despite having retired some years earlier, and was still having a great time doing what he loved. His death is a sad loss as he was what every writer wants: an editor who loved books and publishing with a passion."

The attached photo at right (click for a larger version) shows writer Terrance Dicks, Richard Henwood, Doctor Who Producer and writer Barry Letts and editor Elizabeth Godfray at a reunion meal in 2000. (Special thanks to David Howe for sharing his memories with us; the photo is copyright to David Howe and may not be reproduced without permission.)

Thursday, 29 May 2003

Big Finish Update


May 29, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The next "season" of Big Finish stories starring Paul McGann has been revealed in issue 331 of "Doctor Who Magazine". The new group of stories stars in December (following McGann and the other Doctors in the anniversary story "Zagreus") with Scherzo by Rob Shearman ("Jubilee"). In January, Philip Martin -- best known as the author of the television stories "Vengeance on Varos" and "Mindwarp" -- returns to Doctor Who writing The Creed of Kromon. In February, author Jim Mortimore ("Campaign") pens The Natural History of Fear while new-to-BF author Will Shindler (script editor for the drama "Born and Bred" and formerly of Radio 5) pens the March 2004 serial The Twilight Kingdom. The DWM article mentions, meanwhile, that "anyone expecting the cliffhanger from 'Neverland' to be wrapped up by the end of 'Zagreus' will be disappointed" and that the story arc running through this forthcoming "season" will be a slender one.

In other news, a new alien companion is introduced; named C'Rizz, played by stage actor Conrad Westmaas (who is also currently assistant editor of "Doctor Who Magazine") who also plays Tarpov in the upcoming serial "Omega"... where the new companion is said to make a "small but significant" contribution (perhaps the two are the same character). C'Rizz has a 'vestigial exoskeleton' and can "change skin colour at will" and can hide by blending against a background (effectively invisible). There is no word yet as to whether or not India Fisher ("Charley") returns for these stories as well. Big Finish will also be reopening their submissions policy to new authors for a short time. Further details on these stories are forthcoming. (Thanks to DWM)

Wednesday, 28 May 2003

Australia Misses the Doctor, Too!


May 28, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Reporter Paul McIntyre from Australia's ABC Online recently took to the streets of Hobart, Tasmania to find out what television series Australians miss the most... and at the top of their list, "Doctor Who". "Many people told Paul they probably wouldnÆt watch their favourite missed show should it ever be returned to TV," says the article, "for fear of ruining their special memories. It was felt however that programmes such as æDoctor WhoÆ, æThe GoodiesÆ and æAstro BoyÆ should be made available to entertain future generations." The full article can be read by clicking here. (Thanks to "Indigo Blue")

UK DVD Update


May 28, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Doctor Who Restoration Team has posted feature articles on the forthcoming DVD releases of Earthshock and The Curse of Fenric, as we reported from the BBC's press release late last week. Earthshock features commentary by the four regulars in the series -- Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and Matthew Waterhouse (pictured at right), as well as the extras noted in our May 23 article (the 30-minute documentary, by Ed Stradling, is entitled "Putting the Shock into Earthshock"). The article on "Earthshock" also features before-and-after video captures for some of the film clean-up work, as well as details about the work done on the film sequences, the music restoration and the new effects work on the freighter and gunfire effects. The feature onCurse of Fenric discusses the two versions being released -- the original four-part transmission and a special "brand-new, movie-format extended edit with a full Dolby Digital 5.1 sound remix... [that] had always been director Nick Mallett's vision for an extended version of the story." Twelve additional minutes have been added (five more than the 'extended' VHS release), and the movie version features a slightly new score by Mark Ayres, the original composer. "It's the same basic score," says Ayres, "with new bits added for the new scenes. It also means that I can properly assimilate the bits I wrote for the old video version so that it's not such a patchwork quilt. I'm updating the arrangement and orchestration as I go - tastes change in 24 years!" Extras have not been announced but there are slight modifications being done on effects work on several segments. Very little information about The Two Doctors, this year's other release, has been released, though work on remastering it is underway. You can visit the RT's website to read the full articles; click on the "DVD releases" menu item at left, then the individual title. (Thanks to the Restoration Team)

DWM 331


May 28, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Issue 331 of Doctor Who Magazine is on sale May 29. Featured in the article is the last-ever DWM Archive, taking a look back at "The Daleks" in 1963; the third and final part of Gary Gillatt's article "The Fan Gene"; the full, uncut transcripts of the Tom Baker and Philip Hinchcliffe interviews recorded for the 1977 "Whose Doctor Who" documentary in "Lively Conversations"; part two of the comic strip "Doctor Who and the Nightmare Game"; plus the Time Team, "the Watcher plays six degrees of Salyavin," and all the usual news, previews and reviews! The cover illustration is at right. (Thanks to Clayton Hickman/DWM)

Friday, 23 May 2003

Earthshock Details


May 23, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The forthcoming BBC UK release of Earthshock, due out August 4, is featured in an article on the Restoration Team'swebsite, which includes information on the extras being planned for the disc. Like the release of "The Ark in Space," several special effects shots were updated with modern versions, including "the pink and magenta striped rays of the trooper guns and the demise of the freighter at the end of the story." They can be played as an alternative to the original version. Also featured on the disc are commentaries by the cast -- Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and Matthew Waterhouse -- as well as Did You See?, a 10-minute feature on Doctor Who monsters from 1981; a new 30-minute documentary featuring interviews with castmembers and fans and "examining the impact of the return of the Cybermen and the death of a companion..."; complete film sequences; an isolated music soundtrackeaster eggs; plus photo gallery and production subtitles. (Thanks to the Restoration Team)

BBC Audio - 40th Anniversary


May 23, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide's press release for the 40th anniversary details various Doctor Who audio releases. As Outpost Gallifrey previously mentioned, the audio box set Yeti Attack (a box set of repackaged CDs of "Abominable Snowmen" and "Web of Fear") is due out July 7. Adventures in History (featuring "The Myth Makers," "The Massacre" and "The Highlanders") will be out August 4, the Dalek Tin with the new audio releases of The Power of the Daleks and The Evil of the Daleks is due out November 3, as is a three-disc version of Marco Polo, and the BBC also confirmed the September 1 release of the audio Doctor Who at the BBC, though it now appears that the linking narration is being done by Elisabeth Sladen (instead of Nick Courtney, who was noted on the information we were given previously).

One additional new item: The Doctor Who Remix Album will feature "major artists' interpretations of the Radiophonic Workshop" (specifically remixes of Ron Grainer's theme music). This is due out in the "Autumn" with no date specified.

Below are cover illustrations for the "Yeti Attack" box, the "Adventures in History" box, "Power of the Daleks" and "Marco Polo", as well as a mock-up cover in the booklet for "Dr. Who at the BBC" (which we gather is NOT the final cover illustration!)

BBC Books - 40th Anniversary


May 23, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The BBC Worldwide press release for the 40th anniversary details additional developments in forthcoming books. The press info confirms the release of Doctor Who: The Legend on November 13, including a much larger version of the cover (at right; click the thumbnail for a larger version). Meanwhile, here are the press blurbs for forthcoming 2003 novels as issued by BBC Worldwide (skipping ahead to books where the cover blurbs haven't been made available yet):

Timeless, by Stephen Cole
Reality has been blown apart; the only chance the Doctor has of saving the multiverse from total collapse is if he can get back to Earth and put things right. With time running out, the Doctor finally understands why "our" universe is unique. In proving it, he nearly destroys the TARDIS and all aboard -- and becomes involved with the machinations of the mysterious Timeless organisation...

Wolfsbane, by Jacqueline Rayner
Harry is dead. Having abandoned him in pre-war Britain, the Doctor and Sarah try to solve the mystery of his death. But the only witness is in a lunatic asylum, driven mad by what he has seen. He tells of murder and mutilation, of wolfmen and war... and of a mysterious stranger known only as the Doctor.

Emotional Chemistry, by Simon A Forward
Who can bridge three disparate events in time? 1812 - the advance of Napoleon Bonaparte; 2023 - Fitz under interrogation after a burglary and fire at the Kremlin; 5000 - Lord General Rasum Kinshal ready to set in montion the final stages of a world war. Love will find a way, but the Doctor must find a better alternative, before love sets the world on fire.

Deadly Reunion, by Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts
A Third Doctor novel with Jo and the Brigadier, written by the script editor and producer of the popular Jon Pertwee era of the TV series. The Doctor and Jo encounter an unusually high mortality rate in the picturesque village of Sanctorum Magnus and must discover the link between the murders, the Lady of the Manor and the Brigadier's trip to Greece 30 years before.

BBC Video - 40th Anniversary


May 23, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide's press release for the 40th anniversary has some information about this year's video & DVD releases. First is the story we previously reported of the release of The Horns of Nimon on June 2, as well as the November 24 date of the VHS release of The Reign of Terror Collectors Set, which features both the surviving episodes of the 1964 story The Reign of Terror (with, Outpost Gallifrey has learned, a linking segment for the missing episodes currently being put together by Ed Stradling) as well as the final unreleased individual episodes of the Patrick Troughton stories The Web of Fear (episode 1) and The Faceless Ones (episodes 1 and 3).

While it is not actually mentioned in the text, though, a cover illustration for the release of the only other Doctor Who story not yet put out on video, Invasion of the Dinosaurs, is listed as "Release date: to be confirmed," though it will hopefully be released either this year before the "Reign" tape or as the very last VHS release in early 2004.

BBC Worldwide has also confirmed the DVD's we've mentioned over the past several weeks and given them release dates, including The Dalek Invasion of Earth on June 16, Earthshock on August 4, The Two Doctors on September 8, The Curse of Fenric on October 6, and The Three Doctors on November 24. According to the press info, "The Three Doctors" will be packaged with a special Corgi model of the Doctor's car, Bessie (part of Corgi's anniversary release packages; see below).

The following are larger and much clearer versions of the draft cover illustrations of the forthcoming DVDs "Earthshock," "The Two Doctors" and "The Curse of Fenric" from the BBC press package, along with the video package for the eventual release of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" -- an updated cover illustration with much more clarity than our original posting -- and the June release of "Horns of Nimon". (Special thanks to Julian Knott and the folks at Zeta Minor for initial press reports!)

BBC 40th Anniversary Release


May 23, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide today, at long last, issued a massive 27-page press kit called "Doctor Who Celebrates 40th Anniversary in Style" with articles, cover illustrations and press information for its 2003 slate of videos, DVDs, audios and books. Also included in the press package were several feature articles including "It was 40 years ago today...", "Doctor Who Still Makes the Headlines," "Awards," "40 Fabulous Facts" and an article called "Doctor Who: Britain's Best-Loved Eccentric" by Andrew Beech. (And OG was mentioned as one of the primary Doctor Who informational sites.) Following are the three major sections of release information for the forthcoming year. (With special thanks to David Howe, Julian Knott and Steve Roberts)

Saturday, 17 May 2003

Revelation Studio Footage


May 17, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Steve Roberts of the Doctor Who Restoration Team announced on the RT's forum an interesting discovery this week while trying to find a clean print of the Colin Baker title sequence. "Finally tracked down a clean copy of both the opening and closing sequences on a tape logged under the 'Revelation of the Daleks' programme number," says Roberts, "listed on the library system as containing Philpott File & Dr. Who Titles - which indeed it did. But what the computer failed to say was that it also included an 80 minute compilation of studio recording material from 'Revelation' - basically a loose pull-together of all the material which would require video effects treatment. This includes some of the film sequences, including clapperboards and alternate takes of the model shots of the destruction of Tranquil Repose. There's a lovely little shot of Davros having a drink of water between takes, a BBC paper cup clasped in his good hand..." Hopefully we'll see some of this on an upcoming DVD release in good time.

Tuesday, 13 May 2003

Troughton's Grandson Does Battle


May 13, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Dr Who's grandson ready to exterminate opposition is the headline for an article that appeared in the May 12Daily Telegraph online, focusing on Jim Troughton, cricket player and grandson of the late second Doctor, Patrick Troughton. Says the article: "When your grandfather has defeated the Daleks and scattered the Cybermen, the prospect of engaging battle with Australian cricketers is unlikely to send you cowering behind the sofa in terror. They may be a dastardly enemy but by the time the next Ashes series comes round, there is every chance England's hopes of victory against the fearsome forces from Down Under may be boosted by a new weapon in the shape of Jim Troughton's trusty willow." Read the rest of it by clicking here.

The Programme Guide Returns


May 13, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier's The Doctor Who Programme Guide, long a staple of Doctor Who collections worldwide, has finally been reprinted by iUniverse. Says the press release: "The Programme Guide first appeared in 1981, and immediately established itself as the single, most important reference work about Doctor Who, and was reissued / updated twice in 1989 and 1994. This fourth, revised edition was again updated to include the television movie starring Paul McGann. This new edition also restores the original foreword written by Barry Letts in 1981." Click on the cover illustration at right for a larger version. (Thanks to Jean-Marc Lofficier)

The Most Missed Series


May 13, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who was voted the most missed television programme in the UK in a survey by the electrical retailer Dixons. 500 customers were asked to vote for the show they wished would come back, restricted to shows that they had not seen for five years. Doctor Who was at #1, followed by Dallas at #2, Blake's 7 at #3, The Goodies at #4 and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin at #5. The other shows on the list, in order: Just Good Friends, Starsky and Hutch, 3-2-1, Tiswas, Not the Nine O'clock News, Treasure Hunt, The Muppets, Rent-A-Ghost, The Waltons, Man About the House, Hong Kong Phooey, The Adventure Game, Mork and Mindy, Jim'll Fix It, and Bod. (Thanks to Guy Clapperton, Callum Macfarlane)

Saturday, 3 May 2003

Heggessey on the Record


May 3, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC 1 Controller Lorraine Heggessey has gone on record about the future of Doctor Who in a letter to controller Ian Wheeler of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society. In the letter, published in the new issue of DWAS' periodicalCelestial Toyroom, Heggessey says, "Dr. Who is a classic BBC format, beloved by millions, myself included! If there was a refreshing, affordable treatment for a new series avilable and we could navigate ourselves around some potentially troublesome rights' issue, then I would consider reviving the series. It's only a wish, there is nothing substantial to back things up so I don't want to raise false hopes with die-hard fans! Suffice to say that Dr Who has its fans among my commisioning team, most of whom spent the 70s behind the sofa on Saturday evenings too!" Wheeler tells Outpost Gallifrey, "I think Lorraine Heggessey's honesty is refreshing. It means we can enjoy the anniversary without worrying about whether there will or will not be a new series this year." In addition to the exclusive with Heggessey, the new CT features an interview with Paul McGann. (Thanks to Ian Wheeler/DWAS)