Thursday, 27 November 2003

The Story of Doctor Who

The Story of Doctor Who, a one-hour documentary celebrating the show's 40th anniversary, will air on BBC1 on Tuesday December 30 at 6:30pm. Says the blurb: "Nostalgic retrospective of the longest-running sci-fi series ever, which made its low-key debut 40 years ago and went on to become a national institution that had generations of young viewers hiding behind their sofas from the colourful alien menaces tackled by the time-travelling hero. This documentary features behind-the-scenes revelations, recalls some of the classic stories from the series' past and interviews all the surviving actors who have played the good Doctor on TV, including Tom Baker and Peter Davison." (Thanks to Alexander Sives, Phillip Madeley, Neil Perryman, John Leacey, Andrew Foxley)

New Doc from Cardiff...?

Gavyn Davies, the BBC Chairman, made a speech in Cardiff last night to the BBC Governors, and made the following comment: "The new Doctor Who will come from Cardiff, though he will not necessarily speak Welsh." The speech is reprinted here in its entirety; it's likely that he was referring to the production, not a future cast member. (Thanks to Steve Tribe)

Wednesday, 26 November 2003

Davies Interview with BBC News

In an article for BBC News Online, Russell T. Davies today spoke to correspondent Nick Dermody about some new details on the series. Russell apparently has the first series planned, but he "admits that his way of working means he will 'leave the typing to the last minute - and panic'." He says he has some very specific ideas for the character of the Doctor: "As an alien, he is the most human you could wish to meet. He is so marvellously human, a scientist, an artist, passionate, funny, emotional." The article also mentions that he's been bombarded with ideas from fans and that he won't say whether or not the show will feature familiar adversaries or "a new generation of monsters fit for the 21st Century." If you'd like to read the full article, click here and follow the link under South West Wales at bottom (for some reason you can't get to the page directly!) (Thanks to Steve Tribe)

Tuesday, 25 November 2003

New Zealand Locale?


mber 25, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Interesting rumor, take with a grain of salt: a radio update on New Zealand's Newstalk 1ZB on Tuesday morning stated that the first new Doctor Who episode would be filmed in that country, at Mount Ruapehu. The mountain (seen most recently in the "Lord of the Rings" films) is one of New Zealand's more popular ski resort areas. Of course, Outpost Gallifrey doubts that this is any more than simple wishful thinking, as location scouting for any new series is likely not to have yet begun. Update: Mount Ruapehu also features in the first episode of "The Scream of the Shalka" so it's likely this is where the confusion lies, mistaking "Shalka" for the new series. (Thanks to Campbell Pentney, and Jeff Murray for the addendum)

Adult Swim Tribute


November 25, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Sunday night's Adult Swim block of programming on the Cartoon Network featured a tribute to Doctor Who's anniversary. The brief announcement, at the end of the "Sealab 2021" animated program, featured a voiceover with some artwork (silhouettes of various iconic images from the show.) Obviously there's a Doctor Who fan in the office, there... (Thanks to Graeme Burk, Mike Fuller)

BBC Internal Auction

November 25, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Last Friday, the BBC apparently held an internal auction for the "Children in Need" charity; among the items auctioned at the two-hour event, broadcast on the BBC's internal channel for staff, was a "day out" no the new Doctor Who set next year, including a lunch with producer Mal Young and the cast. A Dalek was on hand to push bids along at the auction, in which BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessey participated. If there was any doubt that Doctor Who would be back, this is probably enough to tip the scales in its favor!

Series Press Items


November 25, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
New items in the papers today: icLiverpool celebrates the 40th anniversary in an article that includes comments from several Doctors, including Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. "I think the next Doctor should be a woman - Dawn French," said Colin. "She'd be fabulous, but I don't know if they'd have the bottle to do it this time." icWales also chimes in with anarticle about the show which includes comments from Russell T. Davies, in which he comments about being bombarded with personal e-mails from 'fans' demanding the return of the Daleks Cybermen, and so forth! The article speculates that there will be seven episodes, but this is speculative. (Thanks to Steve Tribe)

Bonnie Speaks

The Objectmonkey website features a new interview with Bonnie Langford, in which the actress speaks about her website, gadgets & gizmos, and her album "Jazz and the Theatre". She also speaks a bit about her time on Doctor Who and her performances in the Big Finish audios. "The audio dramas can be fun," Langford says. "They're rather polite and reserved though. Lovely civilised lunches, don't have to learn the lines, can park outside and enjoy.... I only agreed to do the audios after hearing the quality of their previous CDs and on the understanding that Mel had some decent input - no screams and no 'but, Doctors'." You can read more of the interview by clicking here (note: there is a bit of language used)

Michael Sheard

Michael Sheard speaks about his roles in Doctor Who, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and appearing at conventions, in an audio interview with BBC Wiltshire.

The Visitation Extras


November 25, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The British Board of Film Classification website is listing the following extras for the forthcoming DVD release of The Visitation starring Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and Matthew Waterhouse, due out in January:

00:05:31:12 | FILM TRIMS
00:26:12:18 | DIRECTING WHO - PETER MOFFATT
00:12:50:02 | WRITING A FINAL VISITATION
00:05:11:15 | PICTURE GALLERY
00:01:27:17 | CONTINUITY ANNOUNCEMENTS EPISODES 1 TO 4 (REPEAT UK TRANSMISSION)
00:16:17:24 | SCORING THE VISITATION

These items include the half-hour interview segment with director Peter Moffatt, a featurette about the scoring of the episode and other items. More when it's available.

Monday, 24 November 2003

Reuters


November 24, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Reuters news service on Sunday ran a feature story on the anniversary, including mention of "Shalka" and the new show.

Media Mentions


November 24, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
In the European edition of the Sunday Express (and presumably in the UK version as well), there were two brief mentions of Doctor Who. One was in the Pub Quiz: one question was "Which TV series started on 23 November 1963 with William Hartnell in its title role." The other was a half page interview with Tom Baker, in which he talked about the series. Said Baker: "When I was doing Who, I didn't have to do any acting. It was just me, reading the lines." Also, Sunday's "User Friendly" comic strip in the US featured a guest appearance by a Dalek! Also, a news item is available onYahoo UK/Ireland discussing the "Scream of the Shalka" webcast. (Thanks to Rollo Martin, Tom Beck, David French)

Welsh Anniversary Salute


November 24, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The ic North Wales site has a three-page article today on the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who, a summary of the show and it's connections with the Welsh. Interestingly, says the article, "The absence of a special Dr Who weekend of programmes dedicated to the time travelling doctor marks a bizarre scheduling decision which is entirely in keeping with the BBC's love/hate relationship with the adventurous Time Lord," omitting the fact that UK Gold did exactly that all weekend. You can read the full article by going here. (Thanks to Steve Tribe, Andrew Harvey)

UK Gold Docu Repeats


November 24, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to producers of this past weekend's Doctor Who @40 event on UK Gold, the documentaries that have been run are cleared for "six transmissions over the next year," so they'll be repeated for those who weren't able to see them. No word as to when it will be done. Also, credits were left off these programmes only because the producers ran out of time in production, but the credits on each will be run during the next transmission. Meanwhile, among the highlights during the weekend was a ten-minute feature at the end about the future of Doctor Who... which ended with a number of people recommending Paul McGann for the new series, and the very final word was McGann saying "You never know..." and winking at the camera. (Thanks to Roger Anderson, Dave Pashby)

Three Doctors DVD Error


November 24, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Fans have noticed a slight issue on the new DVD release of The Three Doctors that crept into the pressing of the DVD after the masters were delivered by the Doctor Who Restoration Team. Says Steve Roberts, it's "at the end of episode two, at the last chapter point in the episode. The sound continues across the chapter point OK, but the video jumps back three seconds and then continues to play out. The result is a shot gets repeated (a brief repeat of the grounds of the UNIT HQ minus the house, followed by the zoom into the soldier) and from that point on the picures are three seconds out of sync with the sound. I have checked the masters and they are fine, so I'm afraid that it's an error that has crept in downstream of us. ie it's not our fault!" Although a three second mismatch between audio and picture sounds a lot, there is no dialogue involved - the fault occurs just as the end title music is about to begin. According to Steve, the US/Canada release version, coming soon, doesn't have the problem; however, the Australia/New Zealand version has been for several weeks, demonstrating that it's not that noticeable if you're not aware of it. BBCi also comments on a different issue, that the DVD isn't as widely available as speculated: "It should be noted that only a few thousand copies of The Three Doctors come complete with a Corgi model Bessie car, making it a more limited edition than was previously thought." (Thanks to the Restoration Team and BBCi)

No Daleks? No Way!


November 24, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to a news article that appeared today in the UK's "The Sun" paper, the Daleks may not appear in the new Doctor Who TV series because of an ongoing rights issue between the BBC and the estate of the late Dalek creator Terry Nation. While the BBC jointly owns rights to the Daleks with Nation's estate, the executors are apparently saying no to a deal. The Sun quotes an 'insider' as follows: "No one knows exactly why, but Terry fell out with the BBC at some point. He told the executors never to let the BBC use the Daleks again. Fans want to see the Daleks return, but they may be disappointed.ö A BBC spokesman confirmed to the Sun that there were on-going discussions between the BBC and the executors. The story has also been picked up word for word by Ananova. (Thanks to Nathan Baron, Steve Tribe)

Friday, 21 November 2003

Newspaper Roundup


November 21, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Lots of discussions of the anniversary in the UK papers. The Times features a comprehensive article on Doctor Who with memories shared by various luminaries like Tom Baker, Paul Cornell, John Sessions, Mark Gatiss, and other journalists and broadcasters such as Alain de Botton and Joan Bakewell; it's accessible to subscribers (and may be visible to UK readers only without subscribing). The Friday Review section of the Guardian talks about the BBCi "Scream of the Shalka" webscast. BBC News is running their own Talking Point on memories and a poll for favorite Doctor (again), while BBC News also features several interviews and stories from the past few days including an interview with Elisabeth Sladen, a 40th anniversary feature and an article about fond memories of the show. (Thanks to Chuck Foster, Paul Hayes, Duncan Rose and Craig Hinton)

Terrance Dicks Reprints


November 21, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has reprinted, in one volume, three novels called the "Star Quest" series originally written and published in 1978, 1979 and 1981 by Doctor Who's own longtime story editor & writer Terrance Dicks. "Three young cousins get caught up in galactic events when two battling UFOs land near Stonehenge," says Big Finish's website. "For Jan, Kevin and Anna it is only the beginning of their thrilling adventures. Helping the League of Sentient Lifeforms in their fight against the ruthless and evil Kaldor, the trio meet friendly aliens and savage beasts, travel across the galaxy and come face to face with golden robots and dinosaurs. In Spacejack, the young friends meet Tell, Osar and Garm agents for the League, an alliance of intelligent races from across the galaxy and come up against the Kaldor, who believe that only humans have the right to rule. Roboworld sees the cousins crashland on an asteroid infested with an army of killer robots. And in Terrorsaur!, Jan, Kevin and Anna must search for their new friends who have gone missing whilst on patrol." The book features a new cover by Jim Mortimore and Tim Keable and is now on sale.

Thursday, 20 November 2003

UK Gold Continued


November 20, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy will be appearing on GMTV on Friday morning at 8:20am, discussing the show's anniversary and this weekend's UK GoldDoctor Who @40 Weekend. Meanwhile, according to Benjamin Elliott's "This Week in Doctor Who" column today, advance TV listings for December reveal that UK Gold will be ending its weeknight run of Doctor Who stories with the broadcast on Tuesday 2 December (with the second half of "Logopolis"). UK Gold's weekday run began earlier this year and will have consisted of the entire Tom Baker run of stories bar Genesis Of The Daleks and Destiny Of The Daleks. Doctor Who will continue to air on Saturday and Sunday mornings in movie format. (Thanks to Mat Watson at UKTV, Benjamin F. Elliott)

Wednesday, 19 November 2003

Ricky Tomlinson


November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The November 18 issue of the UK's "The Sun" featured another 'potential': the star of "The Royle Family," Ricky Tomlinson. Says the article: "Dalek's My a**e! Royle family slob Ricky Tomlinson wants to be the new Dr Who. He reckons the Timelord should be a scouser and says: 'I'd be perfect! There are always funny moments and a scouse accent would work well. It instantly makes things funnier'. Ricky, 64 - famed for Royle Family catchphrase 'My a**e!' - added: 'I've always fancied myself as a bit of an action hero and i'd love to do some Dalek bashing'." Rivals for the job include Eddie Izzard, Alan Davies and Rowan Atkinson." As usual, take with adequate grains of salt. (Thanks to Scott Hughes, Phillip Madeley)

Mousemat Update


November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The edition of the BBC Radio Wales program mousemat that focuses on Doctor Who and its websites, originally scheduled for November 19, has been rescheduled to this Sunday, November 23 (the anniversary date itself!) The show airs at 5:30pm, with a repeat on Wednesday November 26 at 6:00pm. For further details on the program visit the Mousemat site. (Thanks to Alan Daulby)

Cardboard Cutouts


November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Cards Inc. has released some details on the new Doctor Who desktop cardboard cutout range they will be releasing soon, a limited range of desktop (around 12 inches) size cut outs, of The Doctor (Tom Baker), Dalek (60s model), Cyberman (Earthshock type), Davros and the TARDIS. The production run is limited to 1000 per variety. Cardboard Cutouts will be distributing these desktop cutouts and are currently taking orders for the releases, which will hopefully be out soon after the anniversary. Visit the website and take a look at some of these new tabletop products; meanwhile, a look at these products are below. (Thanks to Colin Ravey)

Doctor Who Design


November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who has made the cover of Design Weekly magazine, which features an article inside on Cosgrove Hall, the producers of the animated webcast of the Doctor Who story "The Scream of the Shalka", interviewing producer-director Steve Maher about the use of Flash animation techniques. "Flash has a reputation for being simplistic because it is used a lot for designing websites," says Maher. "But if you know what you're doing it's an extremely useful tool for animation. Because a lot of animators now use all the options at their disposal, you have to make sure it's not too obvious when you are using CGI. It has to look seamless. In the end, CGI is a tool, like Flash." You can read the full article by picking up the new issue. (Thanks to Andie Frankham, Richard Beeby)

Tom Baker Interviews


November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
In a new interview in the Radio Times with Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor comments about how different the new series should be. "They do have to move on and make it funny and wry. Will there be sexual chemistry between the Doctor and the companion? Will they make the Doctor gay? black? or a woman?" Baker says he wouldn't play the role of the Doctor again... "but if they did bring back the TARDIS they could have me in a glass cage, just moving my eyes... [the new Doctor] could turn to it and say 'What would you do I wonder?' Perhaps I could go back as the Master". Meanwhile, a new interview in today's issue of "The Scotsman" with Baker asks about him hosting an "imaginary dinner party". Says Baker: "IÆd like to go back in time and invite Anthony Hopkins and his then wife Jennie, because he and I were great friends when we worked together at the National Theatre in the 1960s. They only divorced in the last couple of years and heÆs now remarried. They were very kind to me... He was very strange and had a marvellous imagination which made him compelling. ItÆs a quality stars have. I havenÆt seen him since 1972. Maybe heÆs changed a bit.ö What kind of food would he serve? Italian, with 13 1/2 percent red wine. "None of this 12 per cent stuff. ItÆs amazing the difference in impact between 12 and 13 and a half per cent. It sounds so little. It was lovely to get squiffy with Hopkins.ö It goes on from there. Visit the website to read the interview. (Thanks to Steve Tribe and Planet Who)

Radio Times Readers Poll


November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Tom Baker was voted the greatest Doctor ever in a poll by Radio Times, while companion Sarah Jane Smith was voted best companion. Said Baker, "The readers' vote is very pleasing and reassuring. I was lucky because all my stuff was in colour, the scripts were coming along, the effects were getting more refined, the sets didn't fall over so often. I loved it so much. Some were more successful Doctors than others, but no-one ever failed at Doctor Who. Twenty years on, the Doctor's image has stayed with me. People remember me fondly and are kind to me in the street, sometimes even physically affectionate. It's better than being royalty." Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane, noted that she "had a ball working on Doctor Who for three years - it was only after I left that I realised just what an incredible impact it had." The Cybermen were voted "favorite villains" (after the Daleks were removed, obviously to give someone else a chance!) Anthony Stewart Head of "Buffy" fame was voted the man who should play the next Doctor (see separate story on the TV News Page).

It's News to Nighy


November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Interviewed in The Western Mail, Bill Nighy, touted as a possible new Doctor (and indeed, the apparent first choice of producer Russell T. Davies), admits he doesn't have any idea what's up. "I've no idea about that," he says. "No-one's actually asked me. I did hear a rumour, but that's as far as it goes. I don't know if I'd be up for it or not; it would depend on so many things really. And I haven't got around to thinking what kind of a doctor I would be - except I probably wouldn't wear a scarf." Read the full article by clicking here. (Thanks to Andrew Harvey, Chuck Foster)

Anthony Stewart Head Tops Poll


November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Anthony Stewart Head, best known as Giles on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and known to Doctor Who fans for his turn as Grayvorn in the "Excelis" series from Big Finish, was voted the audience's favorite to play the next Doctor in a Radio Times poll, beating runners-up Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Alan Davies and Ian Richardson. "I'm in very good company - good God, I beat Alan Rickman," said Head. "I suppose I would be a logical choice to play the Doctor just because Giles, my character in Buffy, has the same light and dark sides and quirkiness as Doctor Who." He said his favorite Doctor was Patrick Troughton "because you never knew what was going on inside his Doctor." The article on the BBC's website noting the Radio Times poll results also features comments from writer Russell T. Davies; you can read it by clicking here(or here to read a similar story on Yahoo!). (Thanks to everyone who wrote in with comments)

MPs vote for Doctor Who


November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Members of Parliament have chosen Stephen Fry as the actor they most want to become the next Doctor, in a poll carried out by BBC Worldwide and announced on the BBC Press Office' website. 130 MP's responded to the questions, "many showing huge enthusiasm for this uniquely British institution". Fry beat Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, David Jason and former Doctor Tom Baker. 78 names were suggested including Eddie Izzard, Hugh Laurie, David Bowie, Zoe Wanamaker, Joanna Lumley, Dawn French, Kate O'Mara, Patricia Routledge... and even a few non-actors such as William Hague (former senior Conservative MP), Jeremy Paxman, Iain Duncan Smith, and John Peel. The Daleks were voted the scariest monsters; Tom Baker was voted the best Doctor; and in a question asking "Doctor Who is an example of Great British Television becauseà?", the frontrunner in that category was "because it was innovative, groundbreaking, original, unique and creative." Check out the full press release by visiting the Press Office site. (Thanks to Steve Tribe)

Five Years? 13 Episodes Each?


November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Journalist Matthew Sweet penned an article on the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who for the Independent on November 16, which has only now been made available to readers online. Click here to read the article. Very importantly, the article mentions the return of the series with some interesting information: "There'll be at least one important difference, though, between the programme's 20th and 21st-century incarnations," Sweet writes. "The new Doctor Who will be one of the BBC's flagship programmes. [Producer Russell T.] Davies and his co-conspirator, Mal Young, Controller of Continuing Drama Series, have secured a commitment to five series of 13, 45-minute episodes. They'll be able to afford an expensive actor for the lead role. They'll get billboard ads, Radio Times covers and publicity spots across the media. The original programme rarely enjoyed such security." The article then goes on to mention that "Russell T Davies has his first production meeting on 8 December." While we have no idea how definite any of this information is, it certainly breeds speculation that the BBC is fully committing itself to the production, and that good times may indeed be ahead.

UK Gold Schedule Update

UK Gold presents its Doctor Who @40 Weekend to celebrate the anniversary in just a few short days. The This Week in Doctor Who column -- which we host a mirror of at Outpost Galilfrey -- today has the complete, detailed breakdown of the schedule, which indlues all of the documentaries and inserts that are part of the weekend. Click hereto take a look at the detailed schedule. Meanwhile, Outpost Gallifrey has received word about the content of the original shorts; each will feature interviews with the Doctors where possible along with members of the cast and crew and fans, including Colin Baker, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Katy Manning, Louise Jameson, Sophie Aldred, Verity Lambert, Nicola Bryant, Nicholas Courtney and Peter Purves, plus the following specials, all presented by K-9 himself!
  • 1963 The year of Dr Who: Martin Luther. Aldermaston. Kennedy and the birth of the teatime classic. At about teatime on Saturday 23rd November 1963, a mysterious time traveller known only as Dr Who appeared on the nation's screens ... little did we know that a legend was in the making. This short film looks at the origins of the series in the pursuit of scientific education and awareness. Same timelord time, same timelord channel.
  • The Timelady: Arabella Weir is the first female doctor in the latest audio adventure and the subject of the female doctor has been a raging controversy for years ... so why is regeneration among the last bastions of sexual segregation.
  • Monstermania: For many of us our first Dr Who was seen through closed hands or from the safe confines from behind the sofa rather than in front of the fire. We take a journey through some of the most popular adversaries from 40 years of time travel.
  • Don't Mention Mel: Comedian Andre Vincent recalls his adolescent awakenings alongside various doctor's assistants - Jo (Katy Manning), Louise Jamieson (Leela) and, not forgetting Ace (Sophie Aldred) but strangely steering clear of Bonnie Langford's (Mel).
  • The Theme Music: The Chalkenwell Ladies Drum & Bass League on the classic theme music and the contribution of Ron Grainer and Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop to electronica.
  • The Cancellation Crisis: Paul McGann was the eighth Doctor but does he count and now that the series is coming back what can we expect from the modern day timelord.
  • The Timelord's Coming Home: The Doctor stopped in 1987 but why? We look back at the cancellation crisis and the hiatus of the 1985 season and the factors that contributed to the killing of Dr Who and the parallel lives of the Doctor since.

Russell T. Davies Interviews

November 19, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Two interviews with new producer Russell T. Davies, appearing in the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine and the anniversary edition of Radio Times, clear up some misconceptions and give a bit of insight into future plans. In Radio Times, Davies comments about his approach to writing the new show. "The trick is to make it more real in terms of the very first episode having genuine wonderment. I can fairly confidently predict that there will be a young female companion who will discover that she can explore time and space. If you watch Doctor Who you can take that for granted, but it's the most astonishing concept. It's really time to go back to basics on that." He says that he won't exclude historical stories: "Why exclude anything? The budget is going to be a determining factor. The 21st century is going to be the handiest place to be, because it's on our doorstep." There are copyright issues, he says, about old monsters, but "it'd be nice to bring in one or two moments of old archenemies, just because there's a great audience of dads and mums st home going, 'I remember that monster!' You wouldn't bring back Dracula without giving him fangs." But the sets won't wobble. "They won't! I shall lean against them myself, and I'm 6ft 6in. I will personally eliminate wobble." The full interview is in this week's Radio Times. Meanwhile, comments in the newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine go further. He says he feels "marvelous" about the return of the show. "And it's one hell of a responsibility. It's all a bit surreal, suddenly I've got an inbox offering me police boxes and Nimons. And to be honest, I'm busy finishing off two other projects until the New Year, so I don't think it will sink in properly till then. But every so often, in the middle of one of those jobs, I sit back and reflect on the fact that soon, in 2005, we're all going to be flying through time and space. That's just beautiful." All he says about the new Doctor is "that you will love him. That's all I'm saying for now, because it's the only things that matters. You will absolutely love being with him.... None of us is talking about a reboot, it's the same old Doctor Who. I want the Doctor, at least one companion, whose name is probably Rose Tyler. I want the TARDIS, I want it to look like a Police Box, and I want them to fly through the universe and all its history, facing death and danger and braving it out with a fast and funny fighting spirit. That's Doctor Who, isn't it?" You can read the full interview in the new issue of DWM. (Thanks to DWM, BBCi and everyone who let us know!)

Thursday, 13 November 2003

Enlightenment Anniversary


November 13, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The fanzine of Canada's Doctor Who Information Network, Enlightenment celebrates the anniversary with a 52-page issue written entirely by author Lance Parkin ("Trading Futures"). The article, "A Forty Year Adventure In Time and Space" is a year-by-year examination of Doctor Who, with observations on the Doctor Who franchise over the past four decades. The introduction is by Lloyd Rose ("Camera Obscura") with a full colour wraparound cover by BBC Radio Collection artist Max Ellis. To order, visit www.dwin.org.

Blue Peter


November 13, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Friday, November 21 edition of Blue Peter will be devoted to celebrating the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who. The programme, to be broadcast live, will celebrate some of the classic Doctor Who monsters, featuring clips from the show, and will feature a competition to win various prizes. The Hyde Fundraisers group will be taking part in the show as well. Meanwhile, the next day, Saturday November 22, the Museum Of Film & Photography will play host to a celebration of Doctor Who which will include special Dr Who screenings. These include 'The Horns Of Nimon' featuring Tom Baker and the first sixties Dalek film starring Peter Cushing, 'Dr Who & The Daleks'. (Thanks to Kevin Taylor)

Shalka Debuts


November 13, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBCi has debuted the first episode of The Scream of the Shalka by Paul Cornell, starring Richard E. Grant as the Doctor, Sophie Okonedo as Alison Cheney, with Diana Quick, Craig Kelly and Derek Jacobi. It's fully-animated using Flash technology and can be seen on your computer by visiting the BBCi site. There are stories about the launch in the popular media as well, including at Empire Online, the Manchester Evening News and Reuters. Visit the BBCi site and enjoy the first episode!

Wednesday, 12 November 2003

Gallifrey Details

Big Finish has released details about its forthcoming four-part miniseries caleld Gallifrey, to be released on audio next year and starring Lalla Ward as Romana and Louise Jameson as Leela. Says director/producer Gary Russell: "I've always loved the Doctor's home planet and feel that the actual society therein was never explored very deeply on TV. Oh we saw a few High Council meetings, and the odd assassination but I've always wanted to find out how the hierarchy ticks. How they cope under pressure. What Time Lords actually do all day long, and why. How do they cope with a Madame President with a somewhat more shady past than most of her predecessors, with a friend like Leela an off-worlder with a very different cultural heritage. I always felt, perhaps during the Tom Baker era, that an opportunity was missed by not stranding the Doctor on his home planet for a season. The Deadly Assassin and Invasion of Time so diluted the mystery of the Time Lords and yet added so many new layers to their story, I feel it would have been nice to discover a bit more. In the case of this mini-series, with no Doctor around, we might learn a few secrets that we've otherwise only had hints of before. I imagine this series to be The West Wing meets Spooks to some extent, with a dash of The Sopranos perhaps."

The first chapter is Weapon of Choice by Alan Barnes, which focuses on political bickering between the races who have some mastery over time, and a terrible super weapon that could erase entire continuums. But who developed the weapon, and will they use it? Part two is Square One by Stephen Cole, in which Leela goes under cover to attempt to expose the traitors who are attempting to destroy the d?tente that exists, tenuous as it is, between the temporally-capable species. Justin Richards penned part three, The Inquiry where Romana's methods in dealing with the other races come under the scrutiny of the Gallifeyan hierarchy. The final chapter is A Blind Eye by Alan Barnes, in which Romana must deal with exactly that which she has been afraid of: Someone is taking advantage of the space/time vortex and changing timelines to suit themselves... Says Russell, "Both Lalla and Louise were very excited by the ideas we discussed during Zagreus, and hopefully a couple of other familiar voices may crop up from time to time, including John Leeson as the voice of a K9 or two!" (Thanks to Big Finish)

Bob Russell

LibDem MP Bob Russell today said in the House of Commons that he was "delighted" Doctor Who is coming back, referring to its past success and contribution to the British economy. (Thanks to Ian Wheeler)

Shalka BBC Coverage

BBC News has posted information about the imminent launch of BBCi's The Scream of the Shalka; click here to read the article. Among the details is a brief chat with Cosgrove Hall animation studio producer Steve Maher. (Thanks to Steve Tribe)

Tuesday, 11 November 2003

BBCi series news page

BBCi today opened a new page to cover official news details on the new TV series. Says BBCi: "This means that we can only report what has been officially announced by the BBC about the new series of Doctor Who. As the new series approaches our screens, we'll be keeping you up to date with its development and production. But we won't be reporting speculation or uncomfirmed rumours." Very kindly, they singled out Outpost Gallifrey in our coverage of the media frenzy surrounding the announcement and continued to recommend us for the latest scuttlebutt. We've always supported BBCi (and vice versa), and we'll continue to keep you posted on developments, news, and the latest rumor & speculation (clearly identified as such) here at the Outpost too. (Thanks to BBCi, and a nod to James, Rob, Ann & Daniel for their kind comments about my site...)

Terry Nation Biog

Manchester University Press will be publishing Terry Nation, a book about the life of the creator of the Daleks, "Blake's 7" and other icons, written by Jonathan Bignell and Andrew O'Day, in late spring 2004. Says the press info: "Terry Nation was a prolific writer for television, specialising in science fiction adventure. This book charts his television career, focusing on Dalek and other stories for 'Doctor Who', the post-apocalyptic drama 'Survivors', and the space adventure 'Blake's 7'. As well as analysing programmes in detail, the book discusses Nation's collaborations with the producers, script-editors and directors who brought his work to the screen. Illustrations feature rarely-seen stills from key episodes." To be placed on Manchester's mailing list for further info, send email here. (Thanks to Andrew O'Day)

Monday, 10 November 2003

Wheel Confirmed, more CD's too

BBCi today confirmed our story from the weekend that The Wheel in Space will be out on CD in 2004. Meanwhile, according to the folks at the Galaxy 4 shop, the new Tales From the TARDIS CD and the previously released Death Comes to Time will be released as MP3-CD's in April; "Tales" is currently an unknown commodity but we believe it might include the previously released "Short Trips," "Earth and Beyond" and "Out of the Unknown" only available on cassette. (No word on a release of "Tales" as a normal CD.) Galaxy 4 also says that the BBC "intend to issue ALL the incomplete stories on CD including the ones previously released with BBC Video titles such as The Ice Warriors, The Invasion and The Tenth Planet. This is so that fans can hear the stories complete without having to swap between formats." (Thanks to BBCi, Galaxy 4)

Revised Empire Blurb


November 10, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Author David Bishop kindly supplied to the Outpost Gallifrey Forum's readers the revised version of the blurb for his forthcoming BBC Books novel Empire of Death (the one we featured a few days ago, taken from the distributors' publication, was an earlier draft.) The corrected version is as follows:

EMPIRE OF DEATH by David Bishop

In 1856, a boy discovers he can speak with the voices of the dead. He grows up to become one of England's most celebrated spiritualists...

In 1863 the British Empire is effectively without a leader. Queen Victoria is inconsolable with grief following the death of her beloved husband, Prince Albert. The monarch's last hope is a secret seance...

The Doctor and Nyssa are also coming to terms with loss, following the death of Adric and Tegan's sudden departure. Trying to visit the Great Exhibition of 1851, the time travellers are shocked when a ghost appears in the TARDIS, beckoning them to the Other Side...

What is hidden in a drowned valley guarded by the British Army? Is there life after death and can it be reached by those still alive? And why is the Doctor so terrified of facing his own ghosts?

Mindgame DVD


November 10, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Reeltime Pictures has released on DVD their independent video Mindgame, written by Terrance Dicks and starring Sophie Aldred (Ace) and Miles Richardson; the story isn't directly related to Doctor Who but features the Draconians and Sontarans, and Aldred plays "an 'Ace'-like character". The sequel story Mindgame Trilogy will be released separately. The "Mindgame" disc contains a new extended "making of" documentary and photo gallery. At right is a thumbnail of the cover of this DVD. (Thanks to Galaxy 4)

DW on Mousemat Radio


November 10, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who websites will be the focus of an article on BBC Radio Wales' Mousemat, a weekly radio programme discussing home computing and the internet. Each week they chat about websites on a particular topic, and in the programme that goes out on November 19, between 1803GMT and 1830GMT on BBC Radio Wales, they'll be discussing Doctor Who sites (hmm... wonder if they'll mention us here!) For those in the UK outside of Wales it's on Sky Channel 867 and it's also available online at www.bbc.co.uk/radiowales. (Thanks to Damon Querry)

Nightmare Fair Charity CD


November 10, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Rob Dunlop of Argolis Productions contacted Outpost Gallifrey to let us know that the charity audio CD production of The Nightmare Fair released earlier this year to raise money for Sense (a deaf-blindness and associated disability organization) -- chosen by former Doctor Who script editor Anthony Read -- raised ú403 for this worthy cause. Copies are still available at www.argolis.co.uk. (Thanks to Rob Dunlop)

Radio Times Reprints

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine apparently features a story about Radio Times reprinting their "10th Anniversary Doctor Who Special", overseen by members of the DW Restoration Team. Some of the original photos have since gone missing, but where possible they're reprinting them either exactly as they were or with slight variations, from photos taken at the same shoot. The odd one or two pics might have to be scanned in from the original special. The original release from 1973 is incredibly rare and it'll be very exciting for most fans to finally be able to see what it looked like (and see how all the Hartnell stories are listed with the titles taken from their first episodes!)

(Thanks to Jim Sangster for letting us know...)

Anniversary Broadcasting and Print


November 10, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
UKGold will be broadcasting their "Doctor Who @40 Weekend" from 7am to 7pm on both Nvoember 22 and 23, according to Radio Times. There don't seem to be any specific time slots for the programming, but Sky's customer magazine apparently states the weekend starts at 9.00am, so it's safe to presume the ongoing omnibus repeats will be running Saturday and Sunday mornings. Meanwhile, the BBC 4 channel will be rebroadcasting the "Alchemists of Sound" TV documentary on November 23 at 7pm. The issue of Radio Times published this week has a small (text only) plug for their forthcoming 16-page anniversary supplement due out next week, mentioning exclusive interviews and photos. Finally, the TV guide section of The Observer, OTV, yesterday included "The Scream of the Shalka" in its pick of the day selection for Thursday's TV, complete with the postcard image of the animated Doctor (played by Richard E. Grant) and the slightly odd implication that BBCi can be watched on satellite. (Thanks to Phillip Madeley, Steve Tribe)

Sunday, 9 November 2003

Neil Gaiman on New Series


November 9, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Comic and SF author Neil Gaiman, on his online blog today, posted a response to a question, which was "Russel T. Davies has suggested that the first season of new Doctor Who episodes will include 13 episodes at 45 minutes apiece. Any chance you would write an episode if asked?" Gaiman's answer: "If I have time, certainly. (It took five years to find time to write a Babylon 5 episode, of course...)" Gaiman recently penned the foreword for the forthcoming Telos Doctor Who novella "Eye of the Tyger" so he's obviously very familiar with the show... (Thanks to Steve Manfred)

Davies at Hull Literary Festival


November 9, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
New series producer Russell T. Davies today attended a literary festival in Hull, UK, where some interesting bits of information came to light. Davies said that there is no concrete plan for the series at thsi stage, other than an outline (that will likely remain consistent) - nothing is set in stone apart from the fact that the series is coming back. The Doctor has not been cast yet. No master plan to bring the show back was in the offing; it just sort of happened, as a consequence of Davies repeatedly telling the BBC that he'd only work with them if he got to do Doctor Who. There's a production meeting on December 8th; things may start inching ahead around then. There will be other writers on the show but they'll be writing to specific briefs Davies sets. There will be a mix of stories; the whole spectrum of stuff from the old series, plus some new types of stories. Davies mentioned "Sapphire & Steel-type stories" involving shenanigans with time as one possible type of story. The reason BBC Wales are doing it is part of a wider plan to turn Wales into a production centre for television. Davies said that the series would likely consist of 13 45-minute episodes, most of which will be single stories. There are, at the moment, three two-parters, though that number may change according to how the budget plays out. He also said that we need to give Mal Young more credit for bringing back the series - it turns out that nearly every year, he's been coming up with budgeting plans and trying to get the series made. And people shouldn't just judge him by the fact that he produces Casualty and EastEnders - he also does less mass-market stuff like Dalziel and Pascoe, which tends to get overlooked. Doctor Who, he said, is a prestigious thing for the BBC - they're giving them an unheard-of 13 weeks of prep time, for instance, and it's envisaged as a series that will "run and run," in the manner of Casualty... a flagship programme. (Thanks to Stephen Graves, Paul Hayes, Ted Prendergast)

BBC Books Update


November 9, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBC Books' distributor has unveiled the cover blurbs (at least draft versions, we're not sure if they're the final ones) for the first four regular Doctor Who novels of 2004 (minus the "Scream of the Shalka" adaptation), as follows. (Thanks to Diana Dougherty)

SOMETIME NEVER by Justin Richards
This Week: A hideous misshapen creature released a butterfly. Next Week: The consequences of this simple action ensure that history follows its predicted path... Sometime: In the swirling maelstrom of the Time Vortex, The Council of Eight maps out every movement in history and take drastic measures to ensure it follows their predictions. But there is one elemental force that defies prediction, that fails to adhere to the laws of time and space... A rogue element that could destroy their plans merely by existing.

EMPIRE OF DEATH by David Bishop
In 1855, a boy discovers he can speak with the voice of the dead. He grows up to become one of England's most celebrated spiritualists. In 1863, the British Empire is effectively without a leader. Queen Victoria is inconsolable with grief following the death of her beloved husband, Prince Albert. The monarch's last hope is a secret seance. The Doctor and Nyssa are also coming to terms with loss following the death of Adric and Tegan's sudden departure. Trying to visit the Great Exhibition of 1851, the time travelers are shocked when Adric's ghost appears in the TARDIS, beckoning them to the Other Side. What is hidden in a drowned village guarded by the British Army? Is there life after death and can it be reached by those still alive? And why is the Doctor so terrified of facing his own ghosts? This adventure features the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa.

HALF-LIFE by Mark Michalowski
To lose your memory once may regarded as a misfortune; to lose it twice looks like carelessness. The Doctor's forgotten why he came to the colony world of Espero in the first place, but he's sure it was something important. Before long, he's engaged in the search for a time-bomb that could have consequences not only for Espero, but also for the Doctor himself- and his missing past.

THE ELEVENTH TIGER by David A. McIntee
In interesting times, love can be a weakness, hatred an illusion, order chaos, and ten tigers not enough. The TARDIS crew have seen many times. When they arrive in China in 1865, they find banditry, rebellion, and foreign oppression rife. Trying to maintain order are the British Empire and the Ten Tigers of Canton, the most respected martial arts masters in the world. There is more to the chaos than mere human violence and ambition. Can legends of ancient vengeance be coming true. Why does everyone Ian meets already know who he is? The Doctor has his suspicions, but he is occupied by challenges of his own. Sometimes the greatest danger is not from the enemy, but from the heart... This adventure features the First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki.

Wheel in Space CD


November 9, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to the Galaxy 4 shop website, the BBC Radio Collection release of The Wheel in Space starring Patrick Troughton has been set for May 2004. This would be their second release of 2004; nothing, however has yet been confirmed. (Thanks to Galaxy 4, Richard Mawson)

BBC7 Radio Update


November 9, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Martin Montague, Presentation Producer at BBC7 Radio, contacted us regarding our story the other day to clarify some of their plans to celebrate the 40th anniversary. "From Wednesday 19th November," said Montague, "we'll be re-airing the Jon Pertwee stories on weeknights at 6pm and midnight, starting with THE PARADISE OF DEATH and running through to the end of THE GHOSTS OF N-SPACE. Meanwhile, SLIPBACK will be repeated on Saturday nights at 1840 - straight after the THE TWILIGHT ZONE - and again at 0040 Saturday night / Sunday morning. We're airing this serial as 3x 20'00" episodes (it was originally aired as 6x 10'00" episodes). Non-UK listeners can find us at www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7. Incidentallt, we're also carrying 'cross-trails' for the BBCi webcast, so anyone wanting to hear REG [Richard E. Grant] as the Doctor can hear the first 'sneak preview' this Sunday night, just before midnight. (There are other previews leading up to the 'transmission' of the first episode)." Thanks to Martin for letting us know!