Thursday, 31 July 2003

Big Finish Update


July 31, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has issued the cover illustration for the forthcoming fourth "Doctor Who Unbound" storyHe Jests at Scars starring Michael Jayston and Bonnie Langford; click on the thumbnail at right for a larger version. Big Finish also announced today an additional slight delay on the third "Unbound" story Full Fathom Five, which will now be released on August 7. Trailers for both stories can be downloaded from the site. Finally, a new interview with Nicholas Briggs on the BF site confirms a thirdDalek Empire serial, which will be six chapters instead of four and will begin in May 2004. "I know where it starts and where it's going to end... exactly," says Briggs. "And I know more or less what happens in the middle. But it'll be bad luck to spill the beans just now, since it could all changeà I suppose. That's the anarchist creeping in again." (Thanks to Big Finish)

Wednesday, 30 July 2003

Microsoft Who


July 30, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Researchers in the Speech Technology group at software giant Microsoft have developed a technology they have code-named Dr. Who, which "will allow the computer to travel through our living spaces as a handy electronic Hal pal that answers questions, arranges our calendars, and sends messages to our friends and family." Using speech recognition technology, the prototype uses a handheld device that doubles as a web browser, email device and cellphone. "Let's say we are talking on Instant Messenger, and we're talking about where I should take you for lunch. You realize there is a web service out there that is a restaurant guide, and we can probably ask it to join our conversation. Now this web service is not human, still, with Dr. Who we can type text or use speech to talk to this service. So we can ask it to find a restaurant that's a French restaurant, and not too far away from Microsoft. With a spoken or typed text dialog system we extend the horizon of the project." Read the full article by clicking here.

Earthshock DVD: To Delay Or Not...


uly 30, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
This story has been updated all day long... the following is correct as of 0500 GMT July 31

On July 30 we were contacted by several sources -- notably the Galaxy 4 shop and readers of the ChoicesDirect website -- that the UK DVD release of Earthshock had been pushed back two weeks, to August 18 (instead of August 4). Almost immediately, the BBC websiteBBCi posted a news item stating that BBC Worldwide was denying the report, and that it would be out on schedule, as planned. That was followed in sequence by a note that at least one retailer had received the DVD stock but had been given a note that the DVDs were being recalled; and then information direct from the BBC's own sales website BBC Shop which changed their release date to the delay date of August 18!

Outpost Gallifrey has learned that the situation is, in fact, the initial shipment is missing the enclosed DVD booklet - at least some, possibly all. Retailers that have already received it have been asked to send them back (no obligation but service to customers), and meanwhile BBC Worldwide is now apparently informing retailers that a new batch which includes the booklets will be ready for August 18. We'll keep you updated on further developments. (Thanks to Ben Keywood of Galaxy 4, Tenth Planet UK, Tim Harrison, John Batty, Nathan Baron and everyone else who's written in on this all day!)

Earthshock Update
DVD and Video
July 31, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide, contrary to their report which was published yesterday on the BBCi site, is now confirming the delay of the DVD release of Earthshock that Outpost Gallifrey reported yesterday. Worldwide confirms our report yesterday that the discs were missing the interior booklet and that they have been recalled, and that August 18 is the new release date.

Fury From the Deep Footage Found!


July 30, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Steve Roberts of the Doctor Who Restoration Team this morning posted details of a brand-new Doctor Who footage find from the missing Patrick Troughton serial Fury From the Deep, episode six. Says Roberts:

Andrew Martin down at Windmill Road was recently checking through some reels of old waste film which had been stored away to use as filler and leader material, when he came across 3 mins 32 secs of 16mm negative from the weed creature attack scenes in episode 6, shot at Ealing Studios. The film consists of several near-complete scenes, although they are trims (ie unused takes of the shots that were finally used in the programe) and they are mute. Expect to see them on the next Troughton DVD!

Needless to say, this is terrific news for Doctor Who fans today... another glimpse at a story which is completely lost (except for the audio and some photos)! (Thanks to Steve Roberts, and Steve Manfred for giving us the heads up!)

Saturday, 26 July 2003

The Legend, Again


July 26, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide has issued a press release for the forthcoming book Doctor Who: The Legend by Justin Richards, due out November 13. We've covered this book's release in the past, but this provides some interesting details about the book and its contents. Of note is the comment "special celebration planned on air during the anniversary weekend" on UK Gold. We'll keep you posted. (Thanks to Stuart Ian Burns and BBC Worldwide)

DOCTOR WHO: THE LEGEND

Doctor Who epic explores four decades of TV history

What is uniquely British, has its origins in the white heat of the technological revolution of the 1960s, features the most intriguing small screen characters ever to travel through space and time, and celebrates its 40th birthday on November 23, 2003?

It can only be Doctor Who. Last seen on terrestrial television in its original series format in 1989, Doctor Who is still shown twice weekly on UK Gold* and is known and celebrated around the world. To mark the Doctor's forty fantastical years of tea-time travel, on November 13th 2003, BBC Books is publishing Doctor Who: The Legend, a large format lavishly illustrated book that stretches to an amazing 400 beautifully designed pages.

At ú40.00, this epic publication chronicles every one of the 158 television stories, which ran to nearly 700 individual episodes. Each story entry includes a summary of events, new facts about the characters and fascinating behind-the-scenes information. Stunningly illustrated with 500 full colour and black and white photographs, including previously unseen pictures from archives and private collections, this book is a must-have - not only for die-hard Doctor Who fans but for anyone who has a fondness for the show. As well as providing a unique overview of the series, Doctor Who: The Legend includes features on the make-up, special effects, Radiophonic Workshop, and many other behind-the-scenes secrets that have contributed to the massive success of Doctor Who.

The author
Justin Richards met the second Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton, on a visit to the set in 1968 when he was only eight years old. Since then he has built up an encyclopaedic knowledge of the series and is now the BBC Books Doctor Who range consultant. He has written numerous Who-related novels, articles and audio plays, and this summer publishes the first of a new series of children's books, The Invisible Detective (Simon & Schuster).

Publication date: 13th November 2003
Price: ú40.00
ISBN: 0563 486023

* Special celebration planned on air during the anniversary weekend.

He Jests at Scars


July 26, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has announced full details of the forthcoming He Jests at Scars... by Gary Russell, the fourth "Doctor Who Unbound" serial that DWM reported (and we posted) earlier this week. The story explores "what might have happened if the Valeyard had not been defeated at the end of the Sixth Doctor's trial." "Gary had been itching to write a Valeyard story for a long time," says producer John Ainsworth, "and it seemed to be a good fit with the Doctor Who Unbound series." The story was contingent upon Jayston being able to return, which he did with open arms. Also returning is Bonnie Langford as Melanie, but a slightly different version: "Mel is a little bit more gritty a little tougher. ... It's nice to have a Mel who's a little bit more realistic and a little less goody-two-shoes." Also returning are Anthony Keetch (who played Vansell in several Big Finish audios) and Juliet Warner as Ellie Martin (from the Sarah Jane Smith series), who becomes the Valeyard's companion here. The story is due out in August; at right is the current publicity shot and below is the story blurb. The trailer for the story is available on Big Finish's website. Big Finish has also announced that the sixth story, Deadline by Rob Shearman, starring Derek Jacobi, has been moved up to fifth in release order, while Exile by Nicholas Briggs -- the story that will feature a female Doctor -- will now be released last, in October. (Thanks to Big Finish)

He Jests at Scars, by Gary Russell

What if... the Valeyard had won?

The thing about meddling with time is that one moment something is real, the next, it's been erased. Probability become just a possibility. Established truth becomes a theoretical falsehood. Like dominoes, as one timeline falls, the others come cascading down around it. You can engineer new timelines, new possibilities but before long, the distinction between what is, what was, what might be and what never can be becomes blurred.

Out of this grow myths, lies and legends. The Doctor was one such legend, but no one knows whether he truly ever existed. Well, not now they don't. The Mighty One, ruling the multiverses from the eternal city of Chronopolis has made sure of that.

Starring Michael Jayston (the Valeyard) and Bonnie Langford (Mel), with Anthony Keetch (Coordinator Vansell), Tim Preece (the President), Juliet Warner (Ellie Martin), Jane McFarlane (Nula) and Mark Donovan (Gerrof). Directed by Gary Russell.

Thursday, 24 July 2003

Big Finish Update


July 24, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
As we reported yesterday, the newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine notes that, in addition to Michael Jayston and Bonnie Langford as the Valeyard and Melanie (as noted two days ago), the fourth "Doctor Who Unbound" CD He Jests at Scars... from Big Finish, written by Gary Russell, features the return of Juliet Warner as Ellie Martin, a character from the Sarah Jane Smith series of audios (and now, apparently a companion to the Valeyard), and Anthony Keetch as Coordinator Vansell from several BF audios including "The Sirens of Time" and "The Apocalypse Element". The story posits "what if... the Doctor didn't defeat the Valeyard?" DWM also reveals that Rob Shearman's Deadline, starring Derek Jacobi, is about a writer whose idea for a new television series was rejected... but is later haunted by visions of himself as the Doctor. The new DWM issue also mentions that Big Finish has commissioned a third Dalek Empire serial, likely from Nicholas Briggs. More details as we get them. (Thanks to DWM and Gallifrey 5)

Emotional Chemistry


July 24, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Updated July 25: BBCi has revealed more details about another forthcoming Doctor Who novel,Emotional Chemistry by Simon A. Forward, due out in October. At right is the cover illustration; click for a larger version. Also, the recent interview on BBCi with author Stephen Cole reveals some important details about his forthcoming novel "Timeless," expected to be a lynchpin in the ongoing Eighth Doctor series. Highlight the following spoiler information to read itSays Cole, "An awful lot happens in Timeless - the TARDIS comes back to Real Earth, Trix is revealed, Sabbath's plan is discovered at last, Anji departs - it was good fun to be moving things along into the last, definite stages of the arc." Apparently, therefore, this marks the onset of actual companion status for Beatrix "Trix" MacMillan, and the departure from the series of Anji Kapoor. The cover blurb for "Emotional Chemistry" is as follows. (Thanks, as always, to BBCi... and by the way, readers: this information isn't in the new Telepress, but it is in the BBCi book release schedule in the "Eighth Doctor" section. Enjoy!)

Emotional Chemistry, by Simon A. Forward

"Love! Surely one of the most destructive forces in the universe. There’s nothing a man – or woman – won’t do for true love."

1812 The Vishenkov household, along with the rest of Moscow, faces the advance of Napoleon Bonaparte. At their heart is the radiant Dusha, a source of inspiration – and more besides - for them all. But family friend, Captain Padorin, is acting like a man possessed – by the Devil.

2024 Fitz is under interrogation regarding a burglary and fire at the Kremlin. The Doctor has disappeared in the flames. Colonel Bugayev is investigating a spate of antique thefts on top of which he now has a time-travel mystery to unravel.

5000 Lord General Razum Kinzhal is ready to set in motion the final stages of a world war. More than the enemy, his fellow generals of the Icelandic Alliance fear what such a man might do in peacetime.

What can bridge these disparate events in time? Love will find a way. But the Doctor must find a better alternative. Before love sets the world on fire.

This is another in the series of original adventures for the Eighth Doctor.

The Two Doctors

Updated July 25: Full details of the forthcoming DVD release of The Two Doctors have been revealed by the newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine. The audio commentary has been recorded with Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Frazer Hines, director Peter Moffatt and guest star Jacqueline Pearce. The "Jim'll Fix It" segment with Colin, Janet Fielding and the Sontarans (and, of course, legendary Gareth Jenkins), is included on the disc, as well as "Behind the Sofa," a 45-minute documentary about the writing of Robert Holmes; "Beneath the Lights," a 25-minute featurette of studio recording footage; "Beneath the Sun," a 35-minute featurette with some of the raw footage shot on location in Seville, Spain; and "Adventures in Time and Spain," an interview with Gary Downie about the trials and tribulations of being a location manager, with particular reference to this story. Also included is a segment from the radio series "Wavelength" on the making of the story, an isolated music soundtrack, production notes, photo gallery and easter eggs. The disc is due out in the UK on September 8. (Thanks to DWM and Gallifrey5, and the Restoration Team for pointing out the error in the original report!)

Wednesday, 23 July 2003

Time Lord Branagh?


July 23, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Despite the big picture of Richard E. Grant even in this week's issue of Radio Times, there's still speculation about other Doctors, it seems. From 'The Green Room', Neil Sean's showbiz gossip column in the Tuesday, July 22 edition of 'Metro', the big-circulation UK free paper from the same group as the Daily Mail: "Dr Who fans will be thrilled to hear the BBC is considering turning the classic sci-fi series into a film. And they are thinking of Kenneth Branagh in the role of the Doctor." Of course, this is all part of the usual speculation... (Thanks to Alex Wilcock)

The Dalek Factor


July 23, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
The final Doctor Who novella from Telos Publishing has been announced by the new issue of Doctor Who MagazineThe Dalek Factor by award-winning horror and dark fantasy author Simon Clark is due in February 2004, and it features the Daleks as you've never seen them before. "We wanted to end Telos' range of DOCTOR WHO Novellas with a real bang," said Telos' David J Howe, "and what better way than to feature one of the most iconic images from the twentieth century. The last time the Daleks were featured in print was back in 1998, and after five years away, we felt it was about time they were brought back into the spotlight." Simon Clark, described by SFX magazine as "one of the most exciting British horror writers around", is the author of numerous horror novels, including THE FALL, DARKER and BLOOD CRAZY. His short story 'Goblin City Lights' won the British Fantasy Award, as did his novel, NIGHT OF THE TRIFFIDS, which continued where John Wyndham's original novel left off. His new novel, VAMPYRRHIC RITES, is released in July by Hodder and Stoughton in the UK. "I grew up watching DOCTOR WHO," says Clark. "I never missed DOCTOR WHO. Not even on my wedding day. DOCTOR WHO fuelled my imagination and my appetite for the fantastic as a child. To get the opportunity to work on a DOCTOR WHO story is a dream come true. The Telos range of books are just beautiful. I'm proud to be part of that stable." Being able to work with the Daleks is also a large part of the appeal. "Like total eclipses, the chance to write a Dalek story only happens once in a blue moon. There was no way I could turn down something like that. But, darn it, I knew if I was going to tackle THE DALEK FACTOR, it would be my mission to make the Daleks frightening again. I want them to be menacing. I want them to be the essence of evil. No more 'stairs' jokes. I'm determined to write a dark, disturbing story where even to catch a glimpse of a Dalek makes the palms sweat, and triggers waves of revulsion and fear. Think back to the time when you were last frightened by a DOCTOR WHO episode. My personal quest in writing this novella is to pull that fear trigger again. THE DALEK FACTOR is going to be a journey into the heart of darkness. Not everyone on that journey's going to come back in one piece." For more details on Telos novellas visit www.telos.co.uk. (Thanks to David Howe and DWM)

Friday, 18 July 2003

Katy's "Me and Jezebel"


July 18, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Sunday, July 13 saw the debut in Brisbane, Australia by Katy Manning (Jo Grant) in her new one-woman show ôMe and Jezebel,ö performed for the very first time. It was a one-off, in front of a ôtest audienceö which had "filled the Stage-Door Theatre at Bowen Hills to overflowing." "Me and Jezebel" was originally written by Elizabeth Fuller, then re-written as a solo performance by Manning and partner Barry Crocker, and concerns the "true story of how Bette Davis met one of her biggest fans, and invited herself to stay with the fan (in her home) for one or two days. A month later, she was still there!" Crocker directs Manning in the production. Fans can listen to an interview with Manning and Crocker at the ABC website atwww.abc.net.au/brisbane/stories/s901799.htm. (Thanks to Peter Levan)

Brief Ninth Doc Update


July 18, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
A bit of detail on Sophie Okonedo, one of the stars of the BBCi Doctor Who animated series coming soon with Richard E. Grant (she plays "companion" Alison Cheney -- not Cheneym as has been reported): Sophie most recently appeared on British screens in episode four of the current series of "Spooks" as Amanda Roke from the Chancellor of the Exchequor's office, "a real bitch of a character." "Spooks" is due to air in the USA at the end of the summer, retitled 'MI5' and combining both series to form one 16-part series; the episode featuring Sophie will be episode 10. (Thanks to Jim Sangster)

Daemos Rising


July 18, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Reeltime Pictures have announced to Outpost Gallifrey their first Doctor Who spinoff drama in four years, Daemos Rising. Says Reeltime's Keith Barnfather, "With this year being the 40th anniversary of DOCTOR WHO, we really wanted to mark it with something special, and what better way to bring back one of DOCTOR WHO's greatest alien races." "Daemos Rising" is a sequel to both the Third Doctor story "The Daemons" as well as Reeltime's earlier video spinoff sequel "Downtime" featuring the Yeti (later adapted as part of Virgin Books' Doctor Who: The Missing Adventures novel series), and stars Miles Richardson (Irving Braxiatel in Big Finish's Bernice Summerfield audio series) as ex-UNIT operative Douglas Cavendish, and Beverley Cressman ("Downtime") reprising her role as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart's daughter Kate. Writer David J. Howe (Telos Publishing) says, "I wanted to play with the characters a little, and to see what made them tick. I always loved 'The Daemons' - it's simply so full of great themes and potential that just one television outing never seemed enough. When I first started discussing the ideas with Keith for this drama, we both wanted to see how far we could go in both entertaining and unnerving the viewer ... and I hope we succeed on both counts. There's a far broader background to this tale, and readers of Telos' new Time Hunter range of Novellas will immediately make some connections as 'Daemos Rising' is very much set in the same universe. It's been tremendously challenging and great fun to do."

Says the press release: "A chilling new DOCTOR WHO spin-off drama featuring elements from the classic third Doctor adventure THE DAEMONS and the independent Yeti drama, DOWNTIME. Written by David J Howe. Directed by Keith Barnfather. Trapped in an isolated cottage, ex-UNIT operative Douglas Cavendish (Miles Richardson) thinks he is seeing ghosts. The only person who might understand and help is Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Beverley Cressman) ... but when she arrives, she realises that Cavendish is key in a plot to summon the ancient Daemons back to the Earth. With time running out, Kate discovers that sometimes even the familiar can turn out to be your worst nightmare." "Daemos Rising" is out in October in the UK. (Thanks to David Howe)

Thursday, 17 July 2003

Delia Derbyshire


July 17, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
A new play about the life and career of Delia Derbyshire is being developed. Derbyshire, who produced the original recording of the Doctor Who theme as well as countless scores for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, passed away last year and the co-production between The Tron venue, Glasgow and the Reeling and Writhing theatre company, "will use Derbyshire's creative career as a way of portraying the space age era of the early 60s." Says BBCi: "Every care has been made to make the production as historically accurate as possible, with Delia Derbyshire's life being directly researched through interviews with her friends and colleagues. The Doctor Who theme will feature heavily, as will Delia's other work. It's also hoped that new music, inspired by the music, and using the technology of the time, will be performed live. The design of the show will draw on the futurism of the 60s as well as 'swinging' London. The production will also be supported by a website, which will feature free music downloads. 'Delia Derbyshire' (working title) is planned to premiere in September 2004." More details when they become available. (Thanks to BBCi)

Reeltime Update


July 17, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Besides their forthcoming "Daemos Rising" series, Reeltime Pictures has shared with Outpost Gallifrey their schedule of forthcoming releases for the second half of 2003. Late July sees the debut of the "Myth Makers" interview series edition with Gareth Thomas ("Blake's 7") on VHS and DVD as well as the re-release of the "Myth Makers: Sophie Aldred & Andrew Cartmel" interviews on DVD. In August, "Blake's 7" stars and DW guests Peter Tuddenham (various voices), Jacqueline Pearce ("Timelash" and Big Finish's "Fearmonger) and Stephen Greif (BF's "Primeval") are featured; Tuddenham's is new, Pearce and Greif are featured together on DVD. September will see the VHS debut for Blake's 7's Jan Chappell as well as the re-release on DVD of Deborah Watling & Victor Pemberton's "Myth Makers" releases, while October sees not only the debut of "Daemos Rising" but the DVD release of David Howe's "Mindgame" starring Sophie Aldred. For the anniversary of Doctor Who, Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks are featured in November in a "Myth Makers" release on VHS and DVD, while the month also sees the re-release on DVD of interviews with Ian Marter and Michael Wisher. Finally, December sees the re-release of interviews with Patrick Troughton and BBC Head of Drama Shaun Sutton, as well as a new VHS/DVD release "The Doctor Down Under: History of Aussie Fandom". More details as we get them. (Thanks to Keith Barnfather)

Sunday, 13 July 2003

Ninth Doctor News


July 13, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
The newest issue of SFX Magazine has more details about the forthcoming animated adventure "The Scream of the Shalka" starring Richard E. Grant as the new Ninth Doctor. The story of "Shalka" concerns about a town in Lancashire under siege by mysterious forces. As noted prior, there are no continuity references, except for the Doctor and his TARDIS, though it's been quite a while since the last time we saw the Eighth Doctor... some big things have happened in the meanwhile, which we'll find out about as we travel with this incarnation. The ninth Doctor is said to be impatient, a bit angry with humans, but caring and passionate, bitingly witty, vulnerable, brittle and a bit of a snob. While SFX mentions the new companion Alison Cheneym (Sophie Okonedo), Outpost Gallifrey has been told she's the the Doctor's companion in much the same way that Grace was around for the TV movie (or Spandrell was the companion for "The Deadly Assassin"... only "she's prettier than Spandrell, and less keen on the kissing than Grace.") The Doctor's new military liaison Thomas Kennett is played by Irish actor Jim Norton, among whose many roles are appearances in "Father Ted," "Red Dwarf," "Babylon 5" and as Albert Einstein in "Star Trek: The Next Generation". As noted prior, Derek Jacobi is in it, in the following role (protected by spoilers; use your mouse cursor to highlight the following text): Jacobi plays the Master, though OG has been led to believe that it's only a cameo appearance and not a Doctor v. Master face-off like in the TV movie. The animated serial was recorded in mid-June at the BBC facilities at Shepherd's Bush and is directed by stage director Wilson Milam. The Cosgrove Hall company -- responsible for animating "Dangermouse" and "Count Duckula" -- are the animators, and are said to be using the actors' likenesses in a "rich, gothic style". (Thanks to Neil Billinness, Mark Donovan, John Meier)

Thursday, 10 July 2003

James Saxon


July 10, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Actor James Saxon, who played played Oscar Botcherby in the forthcoming DVD release The Two Doctors, died last week of a heart attack while spending the day with his family in Somerset. He has been appearing at Chichester Festival Theatre this summer in the production of "The Gondoliers" as grand inquisitor Don Alhambra del Bolero and was due to appear in other productions in the main house and studio theatre during the season. The performance of "The Gondoliers" on Friday July 4th was dedicated to James as a celebration of his life. James recently appeared on stage alongside Brenda Blethyn in Mrs Warren's Profession in the West End. he worked extensively in TV with credits including Jonathan Creek, Poldark, Murder Most Horrid, Sharpe, Lovejoy, and Soldier Soldier. He also provided the voice of Captain Pugwash in the most recent ITV incarnation. He was 48. (Thanks to David Guest)

The Scream of the Shalka?


July 10, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
The official website of Richard E. Grant, the actor confirmed yesterday as playing the Ninth Doctor, actually noted several weeks ago on its pages that Grant was playing the Doctor, and apparently news didn't reach us! The official site informs us that the title of the forthcoming animated webcast is The Scream of the Shalka by Paul Cornell, and states that the story is five episodes (other sources say six). The article also mentions, curiously, that Derek Jacobi is in it (in addition to his appearance in Big Finish's Unbound series, previously reported) as well as actress Sophie Okonedo (whose repetoire includes various film roles -- the Grant site mistakenly identifies her as Sophie Okinodod),Craig Kelly (Vince in the UK version of "Queer as Folk") and Diana Quick ("Brideshead Revisited"). The website also states that this animated project will eventually be released on DVD. None of this information has been confirmed yet by BBCi but has seen pretty wide discussion elsewhere. Meanwhile, Cornell has made further comments on Outpost Gallifrey's forum with some additional information on the webcast. "I'm going to hang onto doing Ninth Doctor stuff as long as they'll let me, and as long as there's stuff to be done," he says. "There's no regeneration sequence. We start a long time after that. Yes, there's a new companion. People have somehow seen this as doing down McGann, but I don't feel that it is at all. I love the Eighth Doctor. This is just a new start. This will be accessible to new viewers, but will hopefully please the old ones at the same time. There's nothing to get in the way for new viewers." He adds that the animation "is more like [BBCi's] Ghosts of Albion" and the script "is written to be watched rather than heard. One of the joys of this is being able to write lines like: 'hundreds of monsters surround the Tardis'. It also makes storytelling faster. ... And yes, it was written especially for Richard." (Thanks to the official Richard E. Grant website and Paul Cornell)

Wednesday, 9 July 2003

Benny Summerfield Update


July 9, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has issued details on two of its forthcoming Bernice Summerfield audios, both due in August, featuring the further exploits of the former Doctor Who novel companion: The Draconian Rage by Trevor Baxendale, featuring the return of the Draconians (the Third Doctor story "Frontier in Space") and The Poison Seas by David Bailey featuring the Sea Devils (from "The Sea Devils"). Details are as follows (with thanks to Big Finish):

The Draconian Rage, by Trevor Baxendale
On the fringes of the Draconian Empire, an entire planet has gone mad: twenty million Draconians lie dead victims of an ancient, apocalyptic suicide ritual. Now the Draconians need an archaeologist and in particular they want Professor Bernice Summerfield.

Female and human, Benny is everything a Draconian distrusts. So why has she been invited to the very heart of the Imperial Homeworld? As an age-old conspiracy deepens around her, and her own bad memories are disturbed, Benny wonders if she can really trust the Draconians. And, even worse, if she can even trust herself.

Starring Lisa Bowerman (Bernice) with Miles Richardson (Irving Braxiatel), Philip Bretherton (Emperor Shenn), Kraig Thornber (Lord Paranash) and Johnson Willis (Lord Vasar). Directed by Edward Salt.


The Poison Seas, by David Bailey
Professor Bernice Summerfield's life has never been what you could call simple. But, just as she really feels like things at the Braxiatel Collection might be settling down to some sort of normality, she is sent away from the comforts of home on a mission for the Earth Reptile Council.

Bernice has visited the planet Chosan before, so she seems the ideal candidate to intervene when a Sea Devil colony there comes under threat from a terrorist cell. Under cover of visiting an old friend, Bernice sets out to learn who is working in league with the terrorists to ensure the eradication of the colony. But as she delves deeper under the oceans of Chosan, she discovers that something else something much more ancient and powerful wants rid of the Sea Devils. Soon, every living thing on the planet is in peril. And all because there's no place like home...

Starring Lisa Bowerman (Bernice) with Miles Richardson (Irving Braxiatel), Ifan Huw Dafydd (Principal Lurnix), Nicky Goldie (Clinician Nedda), Jenny Livesay (Joanne Carver) and Matt Dineen (Ressix). Directed by Edward Salt.

DWM 333


July 9, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
The next issue of Doctor Who Magazine, issue 333 features the first of a three-part feature by Daniel O'Mahony, "The Accidental Tourist," looking at the genesis of Doctor Who, and finds that it would have been a very different show were it not for a series of happy accidents; an interview with author Mark Gatiss; the Archive extra "Thirty Years in the TARDIS" by Andrew Pixley; the first of a new comic strip "The Curious Tale of Spring-Heeled Jack" by Scott Gray and Anthony Williams; and the usual news, reviews and previews. (Thanks to BBCi)

Reign of Terror Update


July 9, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey has learned that, for the forthcoming release of The Reign of Terrorstarring William Hartnell, where two episodes (4 & 5) do not exist, rather than rerecord new linking material and narration, BBC Worldwide has opted to instead use the original footage shot for the aborted release in 1993 with Carole Ann Ford (Susan). The footage, which was produced by the late Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner, has been slightly re-edited to include a few new audio soundbites, stills and eight-millmeter clips to illustrate Ford's linking section, which extends the section by a couple minutes. More details as we get them. Meanwhile, Amazon.ca (Amazon's Canadian counterpart) has listed "Reign of Terror" along with "The Gunfighters" and "The Sensorites" as October releases on DVD. These are NOT being released at this time on DVD -- they are, however, as we previously reported, part of the "End of the Universe Collection" of VHS releases later this year. (Thanks to Derek Stevens for the Canadian info)
Earthshock DVD
DVD and Video
July 9, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide has issued a press release for the forthcoming DVD release ofEarthshock starring Peter Davison. At right is a thumbnail of the final version of the front cover; click on it for a larger version including the full wraparound cover. Meanwhile, the press information is as follows (with thanks to Paul Taylor at Tenth Planet)

EARTHSHOCK
Peter Davison's incarnation of the Doctor faces classic foes the Cybermen in this 40th Anniversary release. The Doctor and companions arrive in a cave full of fossils on 26th century Earth. Suspected of being behind the disappearance of scientists, they are attacked by androids. The title and plot were devised to create genuine surprise in the revelation that the Cybermen are behind the android attacks.

"àan excellent script, an excellent monster, crisp direction, and the daring step of wiping out a companion - all combined to produce an epic adventure." Doctor Who - The Television Companion.

Originally transmitted as four 25-minute episodes between 8th March 1982 and 16th March 1982. Special features include commentary track, photo gallery and production sub-titles. Catalog # BBC DVD1153

BBCi: Richard E. Grant is the Ninth Doctor


July 9, 2003 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who is indeed returning for the show's 40th anniversary, in a special new six-part audio webcast on BBCi. Following in the footsteps of the earlier animated webcasts "Death Comes to Time," "Real Time" and "Shada," the fourth webcast (still untitled) is written by Paul Cornell ("The Shadows of Avalon") and will star none other than popular British actor Richard E. Grant(who also played one of the future Doctors in the charity special "The Curse of Fatal Death"). Grant describes his interpretation as "something of a 'Sherlock Holmes in Space.'"

Cornell, posting on the Outpost Gallifrey forum, had this to say about the project: "This is the start of everything again, not the end. Don't be scared. The Ninth Doctor is Richard E. Grant, fully animated... fully animated, not Shada animated... Batmanlike rather than Shadalike. With a new companion, a new military liaison, new monsters, and a vastly starry cast!" Cornell says that "if the response is good enough, then there'll be more. (And listen: you *never know* where this could end up.)" Cornell goes on to confirm that this is indeed the official, BBC made and sanctioned Ninth Doctor, approved by all the requisite parts of the BBC that needed input on this. "Traditional but original is what we're going for," says Cornell. "Very Hinchcliffe/Dicks, but with no previously used elements and only a tiny smidge of continuity. This story starts after the Ninth Doctor's been in the job for several years. And quite a lot has happened to him. So there's room for all continuities to resolve themselves. And BBC Books has made a positive response, and are talking about stuff."

Apparently the story will completely disregard "Curse of Fatal Death" (this Ninth Doctor isn't Grant's Doctor in that charity satire.) Cornell says he is "honoured to have the chance to set the Doctor off on another forty years of adventures," said Paul. "Just wait until you hear Richard! He is the Doctor!" The story is set to debut in mid-November, in time to celebrate the show's 40th anniversary. (Thanks to BBCi and Paul Cornell)