Saturday, 25 October 2003

Shane Richie

October 25, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
More of the same... today's Daily Mirror features a sidebar article that says that Eastenders actor Shane Richie is one of the candidates to be the next Doctor. We've provided the article which you can read by clicking the thumbnail at right... but of course this is likely just more from the publicity mill. (Thanks to Gallifrey 5)

UK Gold Update

October 25, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The forthcoming UK Gold Anniversary Weekend will feature, if our information is correct, the following stories selected out of their recent viewers' poll: "The Time Meddler," "Tomb of the Cybermen," "The Daemons," "Pyramids of Mars," "The Caves of Androzani," "Attack of the Cybermen" and "Dragonfire". The stories will be aired over the weekend, with various interviews/features interspersed throughout. Hopefully, UK Gold will avail themselves of restored-quality prints as some of their viewing prints (specifically "The Time Meddler") are "virtually unwatchable". (Thanks to Mark Campbell)

TARDIS Magazine

October 25, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Doctor Who Appreciation Society is releasing two new publications for the 40th anniversary. In November, the regular DWAS newsletter Celestial Toyroom will take a monthÆs break and there will be a special issue of TARDIS, the SocietyÆs other publication. TARDIS will have a colour cover (right) and features articles and interviews as well as details on the forthcoming "Doctor Omega 2". Also, Ian WheelerÆs collection of drabbles, entitled Who XL, will also be available soon and will feature contributions form the likes of Colin Baker and Nicholas Courtney. They hope to make both publications available to non-members. More information can be had by emailing (Thanks to Ian Wheeler)

North America DVD Update

October 25, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
At last, we're getting details about North America's 2004 list of Doctor Who selections. Having now exhausted the VHS range, the current plans call for the distribution of two DVDs per quarter, released at the same time, likely in February, May, August and November. According to email from BBCAmericaShop, the first two DVDs for 2004 will be The Seeds of Death starring Patrick Troughton and, in a surprise move, The Three Doctors starring Jon Pertwee, Troughton and William Hartnell. ("Three Doctors" is only seeing release next month in the UK!) This is, of course, subject to change. We do know that at this time there are no plans for an additional North America-only boxed set (like "The Key to Time") and that only stories released first in the UK will be on this schedule. More details as we get them.

Thursday, 23 October 2003

The Wormery and Inside Story

October 23, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
At right: the new cover illustration from The Wormery, the November 2003 Big Finish audio starring Colin Baker with Katy Manning as Iris Wildthyme (click on the thumbnail for a larger version). Also at the BF site - a preview of the forthcoming The Inside Story book with PDF copies of the pages for two stories, "The Sirens of Time" and "The Spectre of Lanyon Moor". Visit the Big Finish website to view them.

New Shalka Details

October 23, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The BBC has released press details for the forthcoming The Scream of the Shalka, which has been announced as starting on Thursday, November 13 on BBCi. Says the press release:

ItÆs not only cats that have nine lives ... Doctor Who is back! As the cult series prepares to celebrate its 40th birthday, Richard E Grant, star of films such as Withnail And I, Jack And Sarah and Bram StokerÆs Dracula, steps out of the Tardis as the ninth incarnation of the Doctor û only on BBCi. The new, animated Doctor Who series, The Scream Of The Shalka, premi?res on BBCi this week and fans can access it at the click of a mouse whenever they wish. Grant, who is joined by an all-star cast including Derek Jacobi, Sophie Okonedo and Diana Quick, describes his interpretation of the much-loved Time Lord as 'something of a Sherlock Holmes in space'. The six-part drama, animated by Cosgrove Hall and posted on BBCi at lunchtime on Thursdays, follows hot on the heels of the success of previous BBCi web dramas, including Shada, a lost Doctor Who script written by the late Douglas Adams, and the Prix Europa-nominated Ghosts Of Albion, starring Leslie Phillips, written by Amber Benson (who plays Tara in Buffy The Vampire Slayer). The Scream Of The Shalka has been scripted by established TV writer Paul Cornell, who has worked on series including BBC OneÆs Casualty and has written a number of science fiction novels. BBCiÆs Martin Trickey says: 'We are delighted to be able to bring another fantastic series of Doctor Who to a whole new generation of people. Broadcasting the series via the BBCi website means that people can watch it whenever they want to, so theyÆll never have to miss a minute!' To celebrate the new series, BBCi is also running a competition in which fans of the Time Lord can phone 0870 787 4040 and leave a message for the Doctor û the person who leaves the funniest message will win a Doctor Who goodie bag.

The article from the BBC Press Office goes on further to describe the story, the first story information so far released:

The series is available to download in six weekly episodes at from 12.30pm on Thursdays. The series begins as an unexplained meteor crashes into the side of a New Zealand volcano, unleashing the snake-like Shalka, an alien species with a deadly scream.Thousands of miles away in a Lancashire town, the Tardis materialises on a Saturday night. The streets are empty, the pubs are deserted and random, unexplained pools of lava keep appearing on the ground. Time isnÆt on the DoctorÆs side and neither, it seems, are the townÆs inhabitants û with the possible exception of feisty barmaid Alison. When the Tardis disappears in a pool of lava and the Doctor and Alison are confronted by the hunting Shalka, it seems that thereÆs just no way out...

Looks like it's only a few weeks away. (Thanks to Phil Creighton, Steve Tribe)

Resistance is Futile

October 23, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
More on that special Doctor Who anniversary album we reported some time ago: it's called Resistance is Futile and includes "a series of remixes, modern interpretations and re-workings of Radiophonic Workshop material and classic Doctor Who music." Says BBCi: "Artists, which include Lemon Jelly, The Orb, Radioslave, 808state, Unkle, Howie B, Coldcut, Mark B and St Etienne were all given access to parts of the extensive archive of material which help shape the sound of modern dance music. The results are a unique insight into how artists of today were influenced by this groundbreaking music of the past. The album ... is out at the start of 2004, and all attendees to Panopticon 2003 will receive a free limited edition 3 track promo sampler. Numbers are limited so make sure you don't miss out." A small version of the cover is at right. (Thanks to BBCi)

Wednesday, 22 October 2003

Marco Polo MP3

October 22, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
We've just learned that the forthcoming BBC Radio Collection audio release of Marco Polo will, like the "Daleks' Master Plan" relase, contain MP3 files of the "clean" soundtrack, without William Russell's narration. The package
will also contain a fold-out colour map, on which the caravan's journey can be traced as the story progresses, and this will also be included as a jpeg file. The "extras" will be on the first of the three discs. (Thanks to Stephen James Walker)

Independent Wants Who, Too

October 22, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
A new article in tomorrow's The Independent in the UK picks "The A-Team," the cult 1980's television series, as the show they most want returned to the airwaves. "Doctor Who" came in ninth place with a mere 1% of the vote... falling behind such "classics" as "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Knight Rider," "Dallas" and "Miami Vice" (just who were they talking to, anyway?) but, of course, the numbers could be skewed because ... Doctor Who's already scheduled to return! Read the article here. (Thanks to Andrew Harvey)

Deconstructing Doctor Who

October 22, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
In a message today to the Outpost Gallifrey Forum, author Peter Anghelides attempted to deconstruct some of the disinformation surrounding the forthcoming new Doctor Who series with details freely available on the web about some of the people behind it. We felt it was too important not to share with readers of our news page.

In response to who Julie Gardner and Mal Young are: Julie Gardner is head of Drama at BBC Wales (see picturehere). And Mal Young is BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series.

Here's how Drama Commissioning responsibilities are described on BBCi.

You may also find it interesting to peruse some of the public domain documents on BBCi. There's a lot of rather idle speculation on this forum about what may or may not happen, but you can get some excellent clues in document such as this BBC Producer Briefing Day document (it's a PDF) about what the BBC are looking for in their drama series.

It is a transcript of the Genre Session they ran on April 1 this year (yes, I know, April 1). From it, you'll see information about the ratio of spend between returning drama series and serials/events; the longevity they expect of newly-commissioned series; the difference between commissions on BBC1, BBC2, and BBC3; etc. No need for wild guesswork or speculation, even at this early sage: this is published opinion of Jane Tranter herself (BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning).

Or check out the Commissioning site on BBCi, including the section about Drama.

My point is that there's a wealth of available information in public domain. We're happy enough to graze a myriad DW sites on the web, so perhaps we should spend some time looking at what the BBC actually tell us!

Now you can try and work out why I have called this thread "Five is the magic number".

We guess, as do our readers, that the BBC "is looking for a drama series that'll run for five years - provide some innovative and character-driven drama (either period or futuristic will do) and come off with a bang for a large viewing audience. My, but doesn't that sound like a made-to-order job for Doctor Who." Of course, all this is speculative, but it's a good primer on what we might expect from a future serise. (With thanks to the brilliant Mr. Anghelides for his insight, and Forum user "No Heroics" for the 'five year' summation)

Monday, 20 October 2003

Martin Johnson

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Tomb of the Cybermen production designer Martin Johnson died on October 9. A small obituary and picture can be found by clicking here.

The Daleks Are Our Enemies

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to a report on BBC News, the Daleks, sworn enemies of eccentric timelord Doctor Who, have been voted the most evil villains on TV. Footballers' Wives' Jason Turner (Cristian Solimeno) came in second place, Soames Forsyte (Eric Porter) in the 1960s version of The Forsyte Saga took third place, and rounding out the top five were Jewel in the Crown's Ronald Merrick and House of Cards' Francis Urquhart. More than 3,000 GMTV voters took part in the poll, which also voted best TV Drama ("Cracker"), top TV detective (Inspector Morse) and many others.

Sylv and Bonnie Panto!

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford reunite again... this time on stage. Both will be featured players in "Dick Whittington"; Bonnie's featured as the title character, Sylv as King Rat. The play will be on for three weeks starting December 12 at the Yvonne Arnaud theatre in Guildford.

Coventry City Speculation

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Who will play the new Doctor? Coventry City/GMK writer Neville Hadsley speculates the likes of Arsene Wenger, Peter Reid and Gordon Strachan in the role; click here to read the article. (Thanks to Chuck Foster)

Izzard: It's Not Me!

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Eddie Izzard recently told BBC Radio 1 that while he appreciated being thought of, he wasn't going to be the next Doctor, despite Tom Baker's claims to the contrary. "Tom Baker threw my name up which was fantastic," he says, "it's a wonderful honour. I hadn't considered it, I didn't even know (the series) was happening, and I don't think the BBC would want me. They'd probably rather spit on me and slap me about with fish. ... I'm really into doing my films, and so 26 weeks is a big commitment. There are other people that are up for it that everyone else wants. I'm slightly more on the edge. I think the BBC would say 'Well we want someone simpler and safer.' ... I think my breasts are too dangerous."

Alan Davies Isn't Who

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Alan Davies appeared on BBC1's "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" on October 17, coming onstage to an a capella version of the Doctor Who theme by the house band. Davies, who has been featured as a possible new Doctor in the media, made some comments rejecting the press stories: "Well, now you see, thatÆs just paper talk. ... No. Sadly, IÆm not the new Dr Who," he said. "I havenÆt been asked. Two years ago it was in the News of the World, GoÆ bless æem. They said I was signed up under a massive deal." Apparently a lot of his friends have already contacted him asking to play Daleks and/or Cybermen! They also showed an article from the Express newspaper that had a composite photograph of Alan in Tom Baker Who costume. Davies later talked about Mary Tamm and K-9, the Daleks, and even the new guy behind Doctor Who, his namesake, Russell T. Davies. "The thing is I would do Dr Who because Russell T Davies is writing it," he said. "HeÆs BritainÆs nicest man and best writer and he wrote Bob & Rose, so I sent him an email saying if youÆre really stuck and you canÆt get who you want, IÆll fill in but IÆm not wearing that hat." And who would make a good Doctor? "Annette Crosby," he answered, of BBC1's "One Foot in the Grave". "No, I mean it!" Davies cried. This all gives solace to -- or perhaps takes the wind out of the sails of -- a "prevent Alan Davies from being the next Doctor Who" campaign launched in the Diary column of Matthew Norman featured in the Guardian newspaper; the latest chapter was printed here (it's the fourth story down). (Thanks to everyone who wrote in, Craig Potter for the quotes and Steve Tribe for the "campaign" info)

Australia BBC Press Release

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
A recent press release by BBC Worldwide entitled The TARDIS lands down under talks about tribute programming to honor the show's 40th anniversary. "ABC TV is currently screening the entire Doctor Who series every Monday to Thursday at 6pm," says the press release. "Mrena Manzoufas, Head of Programming, ABC TV says, 'Doctor Who made its debut in November 1963 and ABC TV last screened it in March 1994. Since then we have received an endless number of requests from Doctor Who fans who want to re-live the whole Doctor Who experience and have decided to re-screen the entire series from episode one.' In addition, UKTV in Australia will run an extensive schedule to celebrate the anniversary year. Hosted by Katy Manning (the voice of UKTV and former companion to Jon Pertwee), the channel will show selected episodes featuring the eight Doctors who have steered the TARDIS since 1963, on Saturday mornings from 11 October - 22 November. Tony Iffland, Chief Executive, UKTV says, Doctor Who is an iconic British programme - we could not let the 40th Anniversary pass without a special UKTV celebration.' Julie Dowding, Head of Sales Australasia, BBC Worldwide says, 'The Doctor Who franchise has always been incredibly popular in this territory and this is reflected by the strong support from our broadcast partners in this anniversary year." The press release also mentions that "BBC Worldwide is currently exploring the possibility of developing Doctor Who into a major US studio film, and last month BBC green-lit scripts for a brand new television series from writer Russell T Davies," possibly keeping alive the word that a film may indeed happen as well as a TV series!

BBC Kids Back-to-Back

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Canada's BBC Kids network is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who with 40 back-to-back episodes starting on November 23 at 10am. The marathon runs through Monday, November 24 at 6am. "Forty years after it's debut, Doctor Who û airing exclusively in Canada on BBC Kids û consistently attracts loyal viewers and has spawned legions of followers and exhaustive fan sites," says John Gill, Senior V.P. Programming, BBC Kids. "BBC Kids is celebrating this milestone in style, offering viewers the opportunity to relive The Doctor's many adventures while introducing a whole new generation of fans to the classic villains and monsters of intergalactic travel." BBC KidsÆ time travel marathon will feature nine favourite storylines featuring Tom Baker as The Doctor, including two stories written by the late Douglas Adams (HitchhikerÆs Guide to the Galaxy). The marathon includes "The Ark in Space," "Genesis of the Daleks," "Pyramids of Mars," "The Deadly Assassin," "The Robots of Death," "The Talons of Weng-Chiang," "The Pirate Planet," "City of Death," and "Logopolis". (Thanks to Graeme Burk)

DWM 336 / Special Previews

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Issue #336 of Doctor Who Magazine is now in bookshops; the cover is below. Included in the issue are an article by Benjamin Cook focusing on the new BBCi webcast "The Scream of the Shalka," Daniel O'Mahony's "The Accidental Tourist," interviews with BBC Radio Collection Michael Stevens and audio guru Mark Ayres, an interview with Paul McGann, the final chapter of the comic "The Curious Tale of Spring-Heeled Jack", plus all the usual reviews and features. Also due out soon is "We Love Doctor Who," the 40th anniversary DWM volume, which is due November 6. "Based upon the results of the DWM Anniversary Poll, this special 84-page commemorative edition examines the very best that Doctor Who has to offer - as voted by you! As well as counting down the Top 50 TV stories of all time, DWM examines books fictional and factual, novelisations, audio dramas and comic strips. Moreover, it is revealed who you consider to be Doctor Who's best-ever writers and which individuals you feel have made the greatest contribution to our favourite series! The best writers in Doctor Who fandom are gathered to take an in-depth look at what makes the series so special in all its varied forms. Beautifully illustrated throughout with a wealth of photographs, this issue is destined to become the ultimate souvenir of Doctor Who's 40th anniversary."

Tom Baker's Talking

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
You can't keep Tom Baker down... he just keeps doing outrageous and extremely funny interviews. In a new chat withMetro Cafe Tom talks Doctor Who and more. Some of the highlights: Have you kept any memorabilia from the show? "I did have quite a lot but it was all begged off me. You know, smart begging. It is very highly organised now, isn't it? If I had held on to some of it, it would have been terribly valuable. I just gave it away." Tom on sexuality and the ladies: "Well, I tell you this: I am sexually - even as Tom Baker - irresistible to ladies over 80. They often say: 'It's Tom Baker, isn't it? The old Dr Who?' And I say: 'Yes.' And they say: 'I thought it was. As soon as I saw you, my bosoms began to tingle.' In Waitrose, there are lots of old ladies trying to pull me. They smash their trolleys into mine, saying: 'I live quite close by, dear.'" On his ex-wife: "I married one. I married Lalla Ward, who played Romana - she is terrifically articulate and witty. She was in New York at some science fiction bash. Somebody from the floor said: 'Ms Ward, what was your favourite monster?' and she said: 'Tom Baker.'" More on the new series: "Eddie Izzard would be excellent. Because he is so mysterious and strange, yet benevolent. He would be very good indeed. And Judith Chalmers perhaps as the assistant? Or am I getting her mixed up with Melinda Messenger? Oh yes, that's right, Melinda Messenger then." Would he reprise the role? "I might jib at that but I want to suggest the BBC makes me The Master. The new viewers wouldn't be bothered as they wouldn't recognise me - but for older people, there would be a certain frisson. The BBC wouldn't like it because it is a bit witty. But I am used to rejection." And on death: "What do you mean? I have a bloody coffin ready and waiting full of cat litter in the garage. You have got to be prepared these days. I am a professional. That's why I go to bed early. I am rehearsing for death." Click on the link above for the whole very entertaining article.

The Alchemists of Sound

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
A new hour-long documentary about The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Alchemists of Sound, has made its debut. Says the BBC press release: "In the Sixties, Delia Derbyshire frightened thousands of children every week, forcing them to hide behind sofas, cover their ears, and run crying to daddy. She did it by twanging strings, fiddling with wobbulators, and sticking tiny bits of tape together to create the theme tune to Doctor Who. Delia was part of a dedicated band of ground-breaking experimenters in the electronic manipulation of sound who laboured quietly behind the door of Room 13 in the BBC?s Maida Vale studios. They went by the name of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and received regular calls from members of the public who thought they repaired wirelesses. They were unsung pioneers in the field of electronics, whose strange inspiration was rooted in the curious constraints of the available equipment, and the combination of mathematical, musical, electronic and manual skills that their work required. Alchemists Of Sound is a lovingly crafted documentary in which those involved in the Radiophonic Workshop tell the story of this creative, and occasionally haphazard, group. It contains original footage of the team and the amazing machinery that created some of the best-known sounds of the times. It also reveals that the entire output of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, from 1983 onwards, would have been lost to posterity had it not been for a series of legendary mishaps. Their work added intense dramatic impact to productions such as Quatermass, The Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, The Body In Question and countless children?s television programmes, including Blue Peter. It was a style particularly suited to sci-fi and, in many respects, these 'alchemists' shaped the future of sound. The airing of this documentary coincides with the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who?s first transmission, which the BBC and BBC Worldwide will be celebrating with various activities." The programme contains archive footage and clips, and interviews with numerous Radiophonic Workshop luminaries including Delia Derbyshire (on archive film), Brian Hodgson, Dick Mills, Desmond Briscoe, Paddy Kingsland, Peter Howell, Roger Limb and Malcolm Clarke. A certain Radiophonic Workshop 'associate' by the name of Mark Ayres also features...and one segment in particular should be of interest to fans of the Doctor Who theme. The documentary was broadcast today in the UK (October 19) at 9pm, on BBC4, and will be repeated Monday 20th at 1.10am, Tuesday 21st October at 8.30pm, and Wednesday 22nd October 3.30am; it's hoped that a BBC2 replay will happen soon. Click here for the BBC4 webpage and full details. (Thanks to Mark Ayres)

Big Finish Updates

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The 2004 Big Finish limited series taking place on Gallifrey will be called... Gallifrey! Big Finish recently confirmed that the audio series, which features Lalla Ward as Romana, Louise Jameson as Leela and John Leeson as K-9, will be four parts; parts one and four are written by Alan Barnes, part two by Stephen Cole and part three by Justin Richards. Also recently confirmed: the special one-shot CD featuring the single-episode story Living Legend will be attached to the cover of Doctor Who Magazine #337, and includes both the story and interviews with much of the cast of "Zagreus", BF's 40th anniversary story due in November. Finally... could there be more Doctor Who Unbounds? No plans as yet for a second series, according to John Ainsworth, who would not be producing one if there were, he says. However, Ainsworth does mention one interesting possibility: "Having said that we MAY do one more Unbound as a one-off special which I will both produce and direct. We'll see what happens." More of the interview with John Ainsworth is at the Total Telly site. (Thanks to DWM, Brian Edwards, John Ainsworth)

How Many Episodes?

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine suggests that, contrary to earlier reports, the show will have either 8 or 12 episodes of 45-minute length (even at 8, it's more footage than the last four seasons of the original show!)

Kate O'Mara's Ready

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Rani's ready to return. Kate O'Mara, in an interview with the Daily Mail promoting her new autobiography "Vamp Until Ready," which was released October 16, mentioned that she'd be happy to return to the role she played in the television series, the "Children in Need" special "Dimensions in Time" and the BBV audio "The Rani Reaps the Whirlwind." She mentioned that she was always open to roles that would bring work (ever the life of the actor), and if asked, would be quite happy to appear in the new Doctor Who series.

Tom Corrects Himself

October 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
In an interview on Sunday with the Telegraph, Tom Baker set the record straight on his comments about Eddie Izzard being in the new series. "I went on the radio last week and told someone it would be Eddie Izzard. I have been putting the word around that it's him, with Sue MacGregor [formerly of Radio 4's "Today" programme] as his assistant. Sue MacGregor is a joke, but Eddie Izzard would be politically interesting..." In other words, don't count on it. (And we've since heard in the papers from Eddie, who discounted it anyway.) (Thanks to Steve Tribe)

Friday, 10 October 2003

It's Not Eddie

October 10, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Eddie Izzard told BBC Radio 1 on Thursday that any casting of him as the new Doctor would be a surprise to him - probably too much of one. "Tom Baker threw my name up," Izzard says, "which was fantastic, it's a wonderful honour. I hadn't considered it, I didn't even know (the series) was happening, and I don't think the BBC would want me. They'd probably rather spit on me and slap me about with fish." Izzard, who is currently on tour in America, wasn't aware of the rumours or about the series revival. "I'm really into doing my films, and so 26 weeks is a big commitment. There are other people that are up for it that everyone else wants. I'm slightly more on the edge. I think the BBC would say 'Well we want someone simpler and safer.'. I think my breasts are too dangerous." Of course, stranger things have happened. (Thanks to Chuck Foster, William Duffy, Stuart Ian Burns, Michael Eggleston, Jason Zerdin)

Telegraph Says Nighy

October 10, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Bill Nighy appears to be the front-runner for the role of the Doctor, being writer/producer Russell Davies' first choice. Now, another article in the Telegraph quotes television presenter Richard Bacon, who says the veteran actor is a "shoo-in" for the job. "I'm very good mates with the League of Gentlemen writer Mark Gatiss, who's going to be writing the show with Russell T. Davies. Mark says it's Nighy for the lead, and he's in the know on this." Of course, this is all second hand. (And the quest continues... Thanks to Matthew Sweet)

Tuesday, 7 October 2003

Tom Baker in the House

October 7, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Today's installment of The Age, a Melbourne Australia paper, features a very flippant (and quite amusing) interview with Tom Baker, among which he discusses why he left the show, tripping over his scarf, sipping gin and tonic in his French countryside house, and even the fact that the TARDIS didn't have any lavatories! "It didn't," Tom says. "The extraordinary thing was there was no sign of anyone eating either, was there? It's funny, in literature no one ever goes to the lavatory. No one ever says, 'Dorothy's just having a great Rabelaisian bowel movement.' No one ever says that, do they?" You can read the full article by clicking here. (Thanks to Catherine McIver, Steve Tribe)

Anniversary Hardcover changes for TV

October 7, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
An article by Morwenna Gordon in the BBC's internal magazine "Ariel" notes a change to the forthcoming Doctor Who: The Legend anniversary hardcover book by Justin Richards due to the forthcoming new series. The article text is as follows (with thanks to Henry Potts for the article's text):

Doctor Who: The Legend -- a celebration of 40 years of the UK's favourite time lord will go to the printers this week with an 11th hour amendment courtesy of BBC One's controller Lorraine Heggessey. Her decision to restore the Doctor to our screens required a quick revision by author Justin Richards, who was far from unhappy about the extra work. The return of his hero almost 15 years after the series was axed is 'terrific news', says the creative consultant for BBC Worldwide. And along with many loyal fans, he welcomed the decision to enlist Russell T Davies, author of Channel 4's Queer as Folk, to write the script: 'He's an obvious, but inspired, choice. He knows the subject and is respected within the industry.' Details are a long way from being finalised as the programme is not scheduled to return for around two years, but the identity of the next reincarnation of the Doctor, previously played by the likes of William Hartnell, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy, is sure to be a hot topic with both fans and the press. 'He's a deep character,' says Richards, 'I would like to see someone slightly older. It works better if the character is quirky and eccentric rather than an action hero.' Richards is also hoping to that the new production retains an element of the original music -- and some old enemies. 'It would be a shame not to have the Daleks just around the corner,' he says. Earlier this year, Doctor Who video and DVD sales reached 3m. More than 100 Doctor Who novels have been published by BBC Worldwide.

Monday, 6 October 2003

Curse of Fenric Out

October 6, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide has released The Curse of Fenric on DVD in the UK. Among the highlights on this new disc are a new extended 'movie format' version of the story in addition to the original four-part episodic version, as well as commentaries by Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Nicholas Parsons, an isolated music soundtrack, a cast & crew discussion at the 1990 Nebula convention, "Take Two" (a BBC1 children's programme), "Modeling the Dead" from BSB's Doctor Who weekend in 1990, "Claws and Effect" (a behind-the-scenes featurette), "Shattering the Chains" (an interview with author Ian Briggs), "Costume Design" (interview iwth costume designer Ken Trew), "Recutting the Runes" (interview with musician Mark Ayres), plus easter eggs and photo gallery. The disc is in wide release today all over Britain, though some stores have been selling it since last week.

Another Actor Purported

October 6, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
An article in the new The Sun claims actor Andrew Lincoln ("This Life," "Teachers") is on the BBC's "wish list" of actors to play the Doctor. The story hasn't been corroborated anywhere else, leading us to believe it's just a publicity move.
      Outpost Gallifrey would like to assure all of our loyal readers while we're following all of these leads, it's very likely that these are simple publicity put out by agents to increase visibility for their celebrities.

Sunday, 5 October 2003

Talons, DIOE and End of Universe out

October 5, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC America and Warner Home Video have just released The Talons of Weng-Chiangand The Dalek Invasion of Earth on DVD. Both are two-disc sets and match their UK counterparts in features, except "Talons" includes more of the Howard DaSilva narrative introductions as an extra.
      Also just out: The End of the Universe Collection (seen at right). As Outpost Gallifrey previously reported, this eleven-story video collection is a set of the final VHS Doctor Who releases that will be issued in North America! Included in the package areThe Reign of Terror Collectors Edition (which includes "The Web of Fear" episode 1 and "The Faceless Ones" episodes 1 and 3), The Sensorites, The Time Meddler, The Gunfighters, The Ambassadors of Death, The Mutants, Invasion of the Dinosaurs, The Invisible Enemy, The Creature From the Pit, The Horns of Nimon and Meglos. This pricey set (but well worth it) will complete American and Canadian VHS video collections.

Is It Bill Nighy?

October 5, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Today's Sunday Times weighs in on the debate over who the next Doctor is with a startling announcement: they say that it's Bill Nighy -- previously said to be Russell T Davies favourite -- to be the Doctor in the new series. Says the article by Arts Editor Richard Brooks, "The BBC is to approach Bill Nighy, one of BritainÆs most sought after character actors, to become the new Dr Who. Nighy, who played the crusading newspaper editor in the BBCÆs hit political thriller State of Play, is said by friends to be very interested in the role." The article does go on to mention other actors: "Other names mentioned include Alan Cumming, Jonathan Pryce, Paul McGann, the black actor Chiwetel Ejiofor ["Dirty Pretty Things"], Eddie Izzard and Mark Gatiss, from BBC2Æs The League of Gentlemen." You can read the full article by clicking here. Please note that we haven't heard whether this is the real thing or not, but apparently a lot of people read this article and let us know!

Saturday, 4 October 2003

Australian Campaigns to be New Who

October 4, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Australian journalist, writer and actor Chris Thomas has his sights on travelling through time in the TARDIS and taking on the Daleks, after launching a campaign to become the next Doctor Who, according to local papers in Australia. The eclectic Thomas, age 31, lives in Perth, Western Australia, and has a string of stage credits to his name; he says he is determined to be considered for the coveted role. "I know it's a long shot but when you get one chance to fulfil your ultimate ambition, then surely it's worth doing all you can to pursue it?" he says. "There are bound to be howls of protest from some quarters when they hear an Australian wants to take on the part but it's simply a matter of doing it with a British accent. Besides, Sylvester McCoy had a notable Scottish lilt when he played the role." Thomas is asking fans to write to the BBC to suggest his name. Innnnteresting.... (Thanks to Rick Hughes)

Saturday Repeats for Classic Series

October 4, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC-1 Controller Lorraine Heggessey earlier this week confirmed to various UK listings magazines that when Doctor Who returns to television, it'll be running in the traditional Saturday evening time slot. But, more interestingly, before the new series kicks-off, Heggessey is proposing to run polls in the UK TV listings magazines to find out which Doctor Who stories are the public's favourite (on a Doctor, by Doctor basis). The BBC will then run a repeat of each of the favourites in that Saturday night slot to drum up publicity for the new series. (Thanks to our friends at

BBC November Press Releases

October 4, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide has issued full press releases for two forthcoming, previously announced, releases: the UK DVD release of The Three Doctors and the UK VHS release of The Reign of Terror Boxed Set. The press releases are below.

Doctor Who 40th Anniversary DVD & VHS Releases

Sunday 23rd November 2003 will be the 40th Anniversary of Doctor Who, the longest running science fiction series in the world. To mark this milestone, BBC Worldwide are releasing a very special video box set and DVD on Monday 24th November...

Doctor Who: The Three Doctors DVD
Written to celebrate Doctor Who's 10th anniversary, this four-part story starring the first three Doctors (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee) is the perfect story to release in the week of the 40th anniversary. Omega, the creator of time travel technology is trapped in a black hole. He wants to escape and destroy the universe. Even with his two earlier selves helping him, can the Doctor defeat this powerful enemy? Special Edition added value packaging will also feature a CORGI model of the Doctors car 'Bessie'. Special Features include:
  • Commentary by Katy Manning, Barry Letts and Nicholas Courtney

  • Pebble Mill at One - Interviews with Patrick Troughton and Robert Wilkie from Christmas 1972

  • Blue Peter - Jon Pertwee and the Whomobile in studio, plus a look back at the first ten years of Doctor Who

  • BSB Highlights - Excerpts from the BSB '31Who' weekend, including the trail for The Three Doctors, interviews with Jon Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney, script editor Terrance Dicks and writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin

  • TARDIS-cam no.5 - The fifth of BBCi's new TARDIS features. This is a CGI sequence featuring the TARDIS traversing a pod of space whales

  • 'Five Faces of Doctor Who' trailer - BBC2 trailer for the 1981 repeat season, in which The Three Doctors was repeated

  • BBC1 Trailer - An off-air audio recording of the original 1972 BBC1 trailer combined with re-mastered pictures

  • PanoptiCon '93 - Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning and Nicholas Courtney on stage at the 30th anniversary PanoptiCon convention in 1993

    Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror Boxed Set
    This limited edition two-video box set includes the final episodes from the original television series to be released on VHS. Each box also includes an exclusive Doctor Who 40th Anniversary metal pin badge. There are three stories, each one being incomplete due to the original tapes being lost or disposed of. Due for release the day after the 40th Anniversary and limited to only 8000 copies, this set is a must-have for every fan to complete their collection. The stories included in this collector's box set are:
    * Tape One - starring William Hartnell as the First Doctor
    THE REIGN OF TERROR (Four surviving episodes: 1, 2, 3 and 6)
    The TARDIS materialises not far from Paris in 1794 - one of the bloodiest years following the French revolution of 1789. Rescued from prison after being sentenced to death by guillotine, the travellers and other freed prisoners get involved with the mysterious English undercover spy, James Stirling. But as treachery and double-dealing abound, who can be trustedà?
    * Tape Two - starring Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor
    THE FACELESS ONES (Two surviving episodes: 1 and 3)
    The TARDIS lands at Gatwick airport in 1966, and the Doctor and Jamie are separated from Ben and Polly. Polly sees a man murdered, but she goes missing soon after. What is the mystery behind Chameleon Tours?
    THE WEB OF FEAR (One surviving episode: episode 1)
    Many years after he returned from Tibet with a robot Yeti, Professor Travers is concerned that the Great Intelligence may strike again. London falls to a mysterious web that invades the streets - and the Underground tube systemà

    CAT NO: BBCDVD1144
    RRP: ú19.99

    CAT NO: BBCV7335
    RRP: ú19.99

  • Time-Space Visualizer 68

    October 4, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
    Issue 68 of Time Space Visualizer, the journal of the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club (NZDWFC) has been released. TSV 68 features a rare interview with Janet Fielding (recorded during her New Zealand visit earlier this year) in which she talks about life before, during and after Doctor Who, provides a Snakedance commentary and tells how she was asked to do Big Finish and what her response was. The packed, 100 page issue also features Robert Shearman's views on Season 20, a history of Target Books distribution in New Zealand, Andrew Pixley's guide to script cuts from Day of the Daleks, reviews of the latest books, DVDs, CDs and more. TSV is available by mail order - details available (Thanks to Paul Scoones)

    Who Killed Kennedy e-book!

    October 4, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
    David Bishop's Doctor Who novel Who Killed Kennedy, which was originally published by Virgin Books as an "extra" for their line of Missing Adventures novels, will soon be revived as an e-book on the TSV New Zealand website. The book, out of print for six years, was given to TSV to make the text of the novel freely available for readers, as has been done by BBCi with their current run of Doctor Who electronic book reprints. "IÆm immensely fond of Who Killed Kennedy," the author says. "It was my first official Doctor Who novel and a true labour of love. Alas, Virgin losing the licence meant the book has been unavailable for years. But getting it republished online is the next best thing." The novel will be made available in weekly instalments, building up to a complete online novel. Bishop will also provide background information on the genesis of his novel and notes on each of the individual chapters, including explanations of the huge number of continuity references seeded throughout the text. "Fortunately IÆve got help from New ZealandÆs continuity guru Jon Preddle to annotate the many, many Who references in the story. IÆll also be writing about the genesis of the book and how it became a JFK tie-in." Additionally, Bishop plans to produce a rewritten æauthorÆs cutÆ that will appear alongside the original novel as an alternative version. This new version will remove the JFK elements of the story altogether, thus giving the novel a new climax. "I was never satisfied with the Kennedy aspects of the novel," David says. "They felt bolted on at the time and still donÆt sit well with the rest of the story, seven years later. So when the NZDWFC started talking with me about putting the book online, I suggested publishing two versions - the printed novel with the Kennedy elements and a special online version with a freshly written beginning and end. Anyone visiting the site can choose which version they prefer to read." The e-book is planned to launch on the TSV website at on 22 November 2003 - the 40th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, and of course just one day before Doctor WhoÆs own 40th anniversary. (Thanks to Paul Scoones and David Bishop)

    Radio Times Editor

    October 4, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
    Radio Times editor Gill Hudson on BBC Radio 4's "The Message" on October 3: discussing RT's 80th anniversary and the "Doctor Who is #1" poll, Hudson mentions she had no idea DW was coming back... she thinks the news leaked and the Beeb was forced to announce the return before they'd planned!

    Fielding comments on BF

    October 4, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
    Janet Fielding to TSV on why she's not doing Big Finish audios: "If you don't shut the door behind you at some point in your life, you'll never move on... I've been there, I've done it. On to adventures new."

    Friday, 3 October 2003

    Queer as Daleks

    October 3, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
    Daily strip in the October 3 "Guardian" by Steve Bell, "Queer as Daleks"... featuring Tony Blair and his cronies as Daleks at the Labour Party conference. Bell's done Blair as a Dalek before but this must be a reference to Russell Davies & the new show... closet Who fan??

    Thursday, 2 October 2003

    BBC Responds to Izzard, more...

    October 2, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
    BBC News responds to yesterday's claims by Tom Baker that Eddie Izzard would be the next Doctor: "The corporation says no final decision has been made on who will star in the TV show when it returns in 2005," says the report. "A BBC spokesman described Baker's comments as speculation." Read the full article here.
              Dead Ringers' Jon Culshaw was interviewed on BBC1's about the Labour Party conference. The conversation moved to Iraq & the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon. Culshaw said he was delighted that "Dr Hoon was returning' and that he didn't feel that they would have much problem against the Ice Warriors! A bit of free series publicity there... (Thanks to Stephen Graves, Steve Jones)