Outpost Gallifrey notes the passing of actor Jack Pitt, who appeared in guest roles in both "The Web Planet" and "The Chase", who passed away approximately four weeks ago at his home in Penzance from complications of bronchial pneumonia. A Myth Makers interview with Pitt is recently being re-released on DVD by Reeltime. (Thanks to Richard Unwin)
During an interview by Fern Britton on the June 25 edition of ITV's "This Morning," British actor/presented Shane Ritchie was touted as the "next" Doctor Who. Asked for his reaction to this apparent exclusive, a surprised Ritchie said, "Really? Wouldn't that be great!" I loved all the hat and long scarf." "How would you dress as Dr. Who?" an excited Britton asked him. Ritchie replied: "It would have to be black leather trousers. A Matrix look." "Yes, that's what an updated Doctor needs!" chipped in the other interviewer, former kids TV frontman Philip Scofield who chatted with Sylvester McCoy many times back in the 80's. Of course, we'd like to point out that this is certainly not the way the BBC would have a new Doctor announced, nor do we put any credibility into it... but we've gotten a number of emails about the past couple of days and had to share. (Thanks to everyone who's written in with this story.)
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has posted details about extras on the forthcoming DVD release of The Two Doctors later this year in the UK. The listing is as follows:
00:09:16:17 | JIM'LL FIX IT 00:02:02:10 | EASTER EGG NO. 1 00:27:55:22 | THE TWO DOCTORS DVD - BENEATH THE LIGHTS - BBC TELEVISION 00:36:13:10 | BENEATH THE SUN 00:29:24:17 | ADVENTURES IN TIME AND SPAIN
Steve Roberts of the Doctor Who Restoration Team noted on the RT's Forum that this was not a complete list; that there was another group to be classified which contains "Behind the Sofa" and a photo gallery. Of course, this does give a picture of some of the extras to be released on that DVD -- including the celebrated "Jim'll Fix It" segment with Colin Baker, Janet Fielding and the Sontarans (and featuring the dreaded evil of Gareth Jenkins!) (Thanks to Steve Traylen, Steve Roberts)
The newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine features some new details about forthcoming novels from BBC Books in 2004. In May 2004, Jonathan Morris ("Anachrophobia") returns with The Tomorrow Windows, an Eighth Doctor novel set on Earth and in another world's present and past. Craig Hinton's previously announced Sixth Doctor & Peri novelSynthespians(TM) is confirmed for June 2004; it features an adventure aboard a space station where everyone is entertained by soap operas, and the Doctor battles an old foe. While details for later in 2004 haven't been announced yet, the October 2004 book will be Match of the Day by Chris Boucher ("Psience Fiction"), with the Fourth Doctor and Leela's visit to a planet inhabited by organized vigilantes. All dates are of course tentative. (Thanks to DWM)
Australian fans (and, likely, New Zealanders as well), take note: Doctor Who at the BBC, the anniversary audio boxed set, will be out in November, according to a brochure included in the latest video release ("Meglos"), while the Power of the Daleks/Evil of the Daleks set is due in December. The Marco Polo CD is due in early 2004, as are three video releases: The Horns of Nimon, Invasion of the Dinosaurs and The Reign of Terror. Curiously, the brochure also lists two early 2004 audio releases that have yet to be announced by BBC Worldwide (for anywhere): The Wheel in Space and The Underwater Menace (though, to be fair, these are two of the final releases and were likely for 2004 anyway!) (Thanks to Matthew Jones)
Updated twice! Some additional details on this fall's Doctor Who video and DVD releases in North America are available today. First, contrary to our report yesterday, the DVDs of Talons of Weng-Chiang and The Dalek Invasion of Earth are due October 7, not September 2; there was an error on Warner's vendor site which listed the order date instead of street availability date for the two, and we've since verified this with BBC America. Both releases are two-disc sets (the story and then a separate extras disc) and will retail for $34.98 US each. Better versions of the cover illustrations for both are available below in our June 24 news item. Meanwhile, BBC America has released the cover illustrations for ten of the eleven VHS videos in the End of the Universe Collection (which we also have a better version of the cover in the June 24 item as well); the only one missing is Invasion of the Dinosaurs which has also not yet been given a release date in the UK. While these covers are mostly the same as the ones in the UK, the cover illustration for The Reign of Terror Boxed Set is a specific-to-North-America design (according to BBCA, the same will be true for the "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" cover when it's released). We've also managed to clarify that it is indeed true that the "Reign" boxed set will be out in North America an entire month prior to the UK release. The covers attached are for: top row, The Reign of Terror Boxed Set, The Sensorites, The Time Meddler, The Gunfighters and The Ambassadors of Death; bottom row, The Mutants, The Invisible Enemy, The Creature from the Pit, The Horns of Nimon and Meglos. (Thanks to WHV, BBC America/Laura Palmer)
Big Finish just released more information about the third in their Doctor Who Unboundaudio series, Full Fathom Five by David Bishop. As noted yesterday, actor David Collings ("Sapphire and Steel") stars as the Doctor; he is joined in this story by Ed Bishop, whose many roles include Commander Ed Straker in "UFO," voices for the animated "Star Trek" series and guest shots in series such as "The Professionals" and "Highlander", and Siri O'Neal, who starred in the popular BBC children's TV serial "Moondial". "The story is set in two time periods, twenty-eight years apart," says producer John Ainsworth, "in a military base at the bottom of the ocean. To reveal much more about the story would perhaps spoil the enjoyment, but unlike the previous two Doctor Who Unbound adventures, there will be no re-working of familiar Doctor Who continuity. This is quite a different approach to the Unbound concept." At right is the Collings promotional art; the blurb and full cast are below. "Full Fathom Five" is due in late July. (Thanks to Big Finish)
Full Fathom Five, by David Bishop
What if... ?
"If I told you the truth, I'd have to kill you..."
The Deep-sea Energy Exploration Project was apparently destroyed by dirty bombs in 2039 AD, turning the surrounding sea bed into a radioactive tomb. Rumours suggest the DEEP was conducting illegal, unethical experiments...
In 2066 the Doctor discovers the research centre remains intact. The terrible truth about what happened twenty-seven years ago will soon be revealed. The Doctor is determined to be the first to uncover and confront the secrets of the DEEP.
But unearthing the past can have terrible consequences for your futureà
Starring David Collings (the Doctor), with Ed Bishop (General Flint), Siri O'Neal (Ruth), Jeremy James (Hoskins), Matthew Benson (Professor Vollmer) and Jack Galagher (Lee). Directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery.
Pyramids of Mars, the Tom Baker / Elisabeth Sladen serial from season 13, was the winner of Doctor Who Magazine's 2004 DVD poll contest, according to the newest issue of DWM released this week (now on shelves). As noted before, the story will be released at some point during 2004 on DVD from BBC Video. In order of the poll: the Fourth Doctor classic "City of Death" came in at #2, the already-released "Talons of Weng-Chiang" at #3, the first story "An Unearthly Child" at #4, the Tom Baker story "The Seeds of Doom" at #5, already-scheduled "The Curse of Fenric" at #6, the Dalek origins serial "Genesis of the Daleks" at #7, the Jon Pertwee story "Inferno" at #8, Tom Baker's final serial "Logopolis" at #9, and the just released "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" at #10. (Thanks to DWM)
Updated June 25: BBC America and Warner Home Video have revealed further details and cover illustrations for the forthcoming North American versions of The Talons of Weng-Chiang starring Tom Baker and The Dalek Invasion of Earth starring William Hartnell, both due out September 2, as well as a collectors' box cover and details for The End of the Universe Collection, the massive 11-story, 13 tape VHS release that will mark the end of Doctor Who on video, scheduled for October 7. Details and covers are below (click each thumbnail for a larger version). The tapes in the "End of the Universe" collection will be sold separately as well as in the box set, which retails for $149.98. Meanwhile, BBC America has also announced that, later this year, Warner Home Video will reprice all existing VHS tapes; single tapes will be $9.95, double tapes $14.95 and the triple tape "Trial of a Time Lord" $29.95, all while supplies last (but not including this year's new releases). Details are below. (Thanks to Warner Home Video and Laura Palmer/BBCA) Cover illustrations below are updated with better versions!
The Talons of Weng Chiang The Doctor brings Leela to Victorian London to meet her ancestors (though Agincourt might have been more her style). The TARDIS materializes in the darkest heart of the city, where life - and death - is anything but dull. A hapless cabbie is slain by agents of a secret Chinese cult. Young women are disappearing at an alarming rate, and Li H'sen Chang, the Palace Theatre's celebrated magician, may know more about that than he admits. Li H'sen's ventriloquist dummy, Mr. Sin, appears to have a life of its own, and the rat problem in the sewers is bigger than anyone can imagine. With Tom Baker and Louise Jameson. WHV catalog #E1814.
The Dalek Invasion of Earth Radiation nil, oxygen normal, pressure normal, yet London is deserted, with no sign of life and no sense of normality. Exploring the decaying city sometime after 2164AD, the Doctor and his companions soon learn that it is not as empty as it seems. The Daleks - far from having been destroyed on Skaro - have conquered the world. Nearly wiped out by storm and plague, the Earth's population has been commandeered by the Daleks into huge mining operations. Some humans have suffered the further indignity of being transformed into Robomen to serve the Daleks in their diabolical plans. Humanity's only hope for survival lies with a small band of resistance fighters who need all the help they can get. With William Hartnell, Carole Ann Ford, Jacqueline Hill and William Russell. WHV catalog #E1813.
The End of the Universe Collection On November 23, 1963, the BBC launched the world's longest running science fiction television series when it aired the premiere episode of Doctor Who. To celebrate the Doctor's 40th Anniversary, BBC Video presents the largest Doctor Who video collection ever assembled. On home video for the first time, these eleven adventures span 16 of Doctor Who's 26 seasons. With four Doctors, 19 companions, 56 episodes and 46 cliffhangers, fans will agree that this cosmic collection is "bigger on the inside." WHV catalog #E1840. This set contains:
The Sensorites starring William Hartnell (#E1852)
Meglos starring Tom Baker (#E1862)
The Mutants starring Jon Pertwee (#E1857)
The Horns of Nimon starring Tom Baker (#E1861)
The Ambassadors of Death starring Jon Pertwee (#E1856), a double-tape set
The Gunfighters starring William Hartnell (#E1855)
The Invisible Enemy starring Tom Baker (#E1859)
The Time Meddler starring William Hartnell (#E1854)
Invasion of the Dinosaurs starring Jon Pertwee (#E1858)
The Creature from the Pit starring Tom Baker (#E1860)
The Reign of Terror Collectors Set starring William Hartnell (#E1853), a double-tape set that includes linking material and the standalone extant episodes "The Faceless Ones" parts 1 & 3 and "The Web of Fear" part 1, starring Patrick Troughton
Issue #332 of Doctor Who Magazine will be on sale on June 26. Featured in the next issue is "The Fact of Fiction," the start of a major new feature for DWM as Alan Barnes dissects The Deadly Assassin; Mark Gatiss ("League of Gentlemen") is interviewed; Gareth Roberts gives Doctor Who's storytelling credentials the once-over and discovers that the show's format isn't nearly as flexible as we like to think...; the conclusion of the comic strip "Doctor Who and the Nightmare Game"; and the announcement of the DWM DVD poll, the winner of which will be released on DVD in 2004. Plus the usual news, reviews and previews. Also out soon (July 10, to be exact) is The Complete Eighth Doctor, the fifth in their continuing series of archive specials, including a detailed Archive by Andrew Pixley of the TV movie and lots more. The covers for both are below. (Thanks to BBCi)
Further details about Derek Jacobi's appearance in Deadline, the Doctor Who Unbound story due in October, are now available at the Big Finish website, including a downloadable trailer for the production. Among the notes presented are comments by the director, Nicholas Briggs. "I think all of us are a bit cynical about production companies issuing what seems like self-congratulatory quotes about how wonderful, marvellous 'darling, luvvie' everything was during 'the show/film/recording'," says Briggs. "But, you know, it's not for nothing that Sir Derek is up there in the top rank of British actors. He brought so much commitment, invention and receptivity to the studio session. He was an absolute delight to work with, not just because his portrayal was a brilliant and moving piece of work, but because he's a team player in every sense of that description. He was more than willing to work with me and the rest of the cast to create something that I felt may just be extraordinarily good. ... There are rare times in your career when you feel that everything has miraculously come together to raise you and those working with you up to a level where you all get a feeling of intense fulfillment. This was one of those times." Also featured in the cast are Genevieve Swallow (Susan), Peter Forbes (Philip), Jacqueline King (Barbara), Ian Brooker (Sydney) and Adam Manning (Tom). (Thanks to Big Finish)
Big Finish has announced that, contrary to its earlier report, they will allow fans to choose which of the two covers for Project: Lazarus they wish to receive, either the Sylvester McCoy or Colin Baker cover. (For both covers, visit the releases page here at OG.) "When ordering the play on-line, please specify if you would like the Sixth Doctor cover or the Seventh Doctor cover in the Special Instructions / Requests box on the ordering page. If you have already pre-ordered the play or have a subscription and would now like to choose which cover you would like, please e-mail Big Finish at email@example.com with your choice no later than Thursday 19th June." Meanwhile, hot on the heels of the cover for Short Trips 4: The Muses, which we published a few days ago, confirmation has been received for the publication of Short Trips 5: Steel Skies, edited by John Binns, which is due out in hardcover in December. Stories in the fifth Doctor Who anthology volume include "Bruklose" by Peter Anghelides, "Oh, Darkness" by John Binns, "Eternity" by Jonathan Blum, "Reversal of Fortune" by Graeme Burk, "House" by Jeremy Daw, an untitled story by Matthew Griffiths, "A New Life" by Simon Guerrier, "The Slaves of Zondar" by Matt Jones, "Monster Season - A Poem" by William Keith, "Dust" by Paul Leonard, "Cold War" by Rebecca Levene, "In a Nutshell" by Lance Parkin, "The Ruins of Heaven" by Marc Platt, "Deep Stretch" by Richard Salter, "Inmate 280" by Cavan Scott, an untitled story by Huw Wilkins, and "Light at the End of the Tunnel" by Mark Wright. Finally, BF's The Bellotron Incident, the next audio featuring Bernice Summerfield (the former Doctor Who books companion), has been released; the story by Mike Tucker features Rutans from "Horror of Fang Rock". (Thanks to Big Finish)
EXCLUSIVE!Sir Derek Jacobi, one of BritainÆs most respected actors, star of the BBC series, "I, Claudius" and "Cadfael," many stage roles and such films as "Gladiator," "Gosford Park," "Othello," "Hamlet," "Henry V" and "Dead Again," this week recorded his role in the forthcoming sixth and final chapter of Big Finish's "Unbound" series, Deadline by Rob Shearman. Big Finish informed Outpost Gallifrey of the actor's participation in the final "Unbound" chapter... but is Sir Derek really playing the Doctor? "Well, yes and no," says producer John Ainsworth. "All of the Doctor Who Unbound plays have been quite 'experimental' in a variety of ways, but this final play almost certainly stretches the boundaries the most. 'Deadline' is more of a play about Doctor Who rather than an actual Doctor Who story in the traditional sense. The 'what ifà' is effectively 'what if Doctor Who never quite made it to our TV screens!' But, rest assured, Sir Derek will take on the role of the Doctor and be at the controls of the TARDIS for at least some of the play." The single CD story will be directed by Nicholas Briggs and will be released in October. Details on the third, fourth and fifth plays are yet to be released; the first (already released) and second feature Geoffrey Bayldon and David Warner, respectively. (Thanks to John Ainsworth and Big Finish)
Justin Richards, BBC Books range consultant and author of the forthcoming Doctor Who: The Legend wrote Outpost Gallifrey to let us know a few things regarding the publication of the anniversary hardcover book, due in November. "The cover on the brochure about the book (repordeuced on OG, and elsewhere) isn't actually going to be the cover of the book, which is still being designed and won't have an artwork Dalek half on it! It will have the Who logo though. Also, the page count has crept up from 368 to 392 and the number of photos will be considerably over the 500 advertised. Despite this, the price remains unchanged." (Thanks to Justin Richards)
The Doctor Who Restoration Team has updated their site with an article about the restoration of the four extant episodes, and the three individual episodes from missing stories ("The Web of Fear" episode 1 and "The Faceless Ones" episodes 1 and 3), being included in the VHS boxed set The Reign of Terror Collectors' Edition. The article includes technical details about the restoration of the episodes, including the clean-up and VidFIRE process. You can read the article at their website; click "VHS Releases" at left, then "Reign of Terror Box Set". (Thanks to the Restoration Team)
Veteran UK television comedian Bernard Spear died on May 9. While he was apparently well known in the UK by face, if not by name, among his many roles he played the "Man with Carrier Bag" in the sixties' film "Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD". His obituary can be read here. (Thanks to Steve Stratford and the Death Comes in Time site)
According to a press release from TV Zone, the longest-running Cult Television magazine, issue #164 names the Top 100 Cult TV Programmes Ever. "With many surprising winners and programmes ranging from the classic Quatermass television series of the Fifties to present-day programmes, Doctor Who, celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, managed to come top, beating all newcomers. Colin Baker, the sixth actor to play the time-travelling Doctor said: 'The readers of TV Zone are clearly endowed with great taste, discernment, wisdom and long memories! For a TV series that has not been in production for 14 years to pip to the Galactic Post modern series like Buffy and Stargate is quite remarkable. As one of the actors lucky enough to be associated with Doctor Who I salute your readers, your magazine and thank them for their continuing devotion to the good Doctor and his adventures. I just wish I was as good looking as Spike or Jack OÆNeill and that Doctor Who had benefited from the budgets of their programmes - but there again it wouldnÆt have been the same, would it?'" (Thanks to Jan Vincent-Rudzki)
Big Finish has revealed more details on its forthcoming 'season' of Paul McGann audios. No mention has yet been made as to who stars in these audios other than Paul McGann as the Doctor (leaving the fate of Charley Pollard, aka actress India Fisher, up in the air) and Conrad Westmaas as new companion C'Rizz. Also released today: the cover illustration for Jonathan Morris' Flip-Flop starring Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford, with cover illustration by Lee Binding (with Slithergee CGI by Chris Gregory); and two covers, not one, for Project: Lazarus by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright... instead of the one cover (which has been online for a while), two different covers will be offered, one with Sylvester & one with Colin. All three covers are below; click on each for a larger version. Further details on the new McGann stories:
Scherzo by Rob Shearman "has no incidental music at all," says producer Gary Russell. "Only Rob could give us a music-themed play with no music!" This story was recorded last in the batch and was recorded completely in order in one session, and looks to be quite unusual indeed.
The Creed of the Kromon by Philip Martin (note the slight variation in the title) stars Brian Cobby (the Oroog), Stephen Perring (the Croaker), Jane Hills (L'da) and Daniel Hogarth & Stephen Perring (Kromon voices). Cobby "for the last fifteen or more years has been the voice you hear when dialing the Speaking Clock here in Britain." The story is a "four-part Doctor Who romp with insectoid aliens. My only other criteria was that I didn't want it to feature Sil."
Jim Mortimore's The Natural History of Fear was recorded first, and was according to McGann "one of the best scripts he'd ever read." It features Geoff Searle, Alison Sterling, Sean Carlsen, Wink Taylor, Jane Hills and Ben Summers.
The final story, Will Shindler's The Twilight Kingdom features special guest stars Michael Keating (Vila of "Blake's 7") as Koth and Alan Rothwell ("Picture Box") as Janto, with Ann Carus-Wilson (Vayla), Dale Ibbetson (Quillian), Jeremy James (Bryn), Vivien Parry (Tysus), Alison Sterling (Koth's Wife) and Stephen Perring (the Croaker, returning from "Kromon").
A new bit of information: Doctor Who Magazine will release Living Legend in November, their fourth CD special featuring the Eighth Doctor. The one-episode CD, written by Scott Gray (DWM comic strip author) and starring Paul McGann, will be on the cover of issue #336.