Thursday, 30 September 2004

Big Finish Update

September 30, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has released the titles of its forthcoming UNIT audio series. Part One is Time Heals by Iain McLaughlin and Claire Bartlett; part two is Snake Head by Jonathan Clements; part three is The Longest Night by Joseph Lidster; and part four is McLaughlin and BartlettÆs The Wasting. Also noted today is that a special 'prelude' adventure, The Coup by Simon Guerrier, with the new UNIT cast will be released with a forthcoming issue of Doctor Who Magazine prior to the start of the series (so likely, the November or December issue). More casting and other UNIT details were previously announced here on the OG news page.

Also updated today, the full list of stories for Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury edited by Paul Cornell. The stories include "Last Christmas" by Simon Guerrier, "UNIT Christmas Parties: First Christmas" by Nick Wallace, "In the TARDIS: Christmas Day" by Val Douglas, "Water's Edge" by Peter Adamson, "Who the Dickens?" by Juliet E. McKenna, "Spookasem" by Peter Anghelides, "Christmas Special" by Marc Platt, "Never Seen Cairo" by Darren Sellars, "The Man Who (Nearly) Killed Christmas" by Mark Michalowski, "Last Minute Shopping" by Neil Perryman, "Every Day" by Stephen Fewell, "The Eight Doctors of Christmas" by Matthew Griffiths, "The Little Things" by Paul Beardsley, "UNIT Christmas Parties: Christmas Truce" by Terrance Dicks, "The Clanging Chimes of Doom" by Jonathan Morris, "Perfect Present" by Andy Campbell, "Present Tense" by Ian Potter, "Good Will Toward Men" by J. Shaun Lyon, "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow" by Martin Day, "All Our Christmasses" by Steve Lyons, "Lily" by Jackie Marshall, "A Yuletide Tail" by Dave Stone, "Be Forgot" by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright, "The Feast of Seven. Eight (and Nine)" by Vanessa Bishop, "UNIT Christmas Parties: Ships That Pass" by Karen Dunn, and "Evergreen" by Stephen Cole, with linking material by Paul Cornell.

There has also been a clarification regarding Her Final Flight, the subscriber-only CD release that was numbered #65 as part of the regular relases. After repeated queries about this, "we've opted thus to take Her Final Flight out of the sequential system and list it instead alongside The Maltese Penguin (our previous subscriber-only free disc), Real Time and Shada as a 'special'. Thus January's regular release, The Game becomes 65, The Juggernauts, 66 and so on." We do know from several correspondents who have checked that the story will be released at some point later for general availability, but likely not for the first year. They also mention a another subscriber-only free disc towards the end of next year.

The Big Finish site also mentions that part five of the "Dalek Empire III" series, The Warriors, and the ninth Short Trips volume, Short Trips: Monsters are now in release; and that they have re-released the four-CD set The John Nathan-Turner Memoirs as part of their "Talk Back" series with a new cover illustration. Finally, Big Finish does clarify that the reissues of older stories on the website do not have new covers; the different illustration was simply for benefit of that site.

Tuesday, 28 September 2004

MediaGuardian's Top 30

September 28, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
A recent story on the MediaGuardian site (registration required) lists the top 30 "hottest people, places and things this autumn," and one of the mentions is Doctor Who producer Russell T Davies. "The Queer as Folk creator has a national institution in his hands - Dr Who. Starring Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, it's back on BBC1 next year. 'I can do what I want,' said Davies. 'The purists may be up in arms but there are more things to worry about in life.' Expect surprises. And Daleks." The third radio series of "The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy," currently airing on Radio 4 and via the internet, also made the list. (Thanks to Mark Williams)

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

September 28, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the standard authoritative biographical reference work for the British past, published by Oxford University Press on September 23 in 60 print volumes and online at, includes several articles of interest to Doctor Who fans. Included for the first time are first Doctor William Hartnell(written by UK film historian Robert Sharp), third Doctor Jon Pertwee (written by David J. Howe), and producerSydney Newman and Daleks creator Terry Nation (written by Matthew Kilburn). While the dictionary itself is extraordinarily expensive, there are subscriptions available to the online edition for a far less obtrusive price; check the website for details. (Thanks to Matthew Kilburn)

John Barrowman Interview

September 28, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
An interview with John Barrowman, who plays the mysterious character of "Captain Jack" in the forthcoming first series of Doctor Who next year, appeared in last week's October edition of Gay Times in the UK. The interview mentions his forthcoming appearance in the same way a few other clues have happened, as more than a simple guest role. "Next year will see him appearing in the BBC's new series of Doctor Who, as the Doctor's male assistant opposite Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper. 'It's a dream come true for me because I watched Doctor Who as a kid in Scotland, and used to catch all the marathons on public TV in the States. When I got the news from my agent, I just stood in the street screaming. I mean... I'll be inside the Tardis!'" (Thanks to Chris Winwood)

Rutan, Not The Rutans!

September 28, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Aviation pioneer Burt Rutan will be engaging the skies Wednesday with SpaceShipOne in hopes of winning the coveted Ansari X Prize for the first human commercial space flight, according to BBC News and CNN... and no, this isn't a Rutan invasion! (Our readers have very strange senses of humor, don't they?!)

Colin's No Weakest Link

September 28, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Colin Baker appaered last weekend on "The Weakest Link," playing the game for charity. The theme of the episode was "TV Doctors" and of course our beloved Sixth Doc was in usual fine form, likening host Anne Robinson to the Rani because, although she was an evil villain, "you know she's wicked but at the same time you are drawn to her"... Good fun! (Thanks to John Pettigrew, Andrew Hinton)

Mal Young Leaving BBC

September 28, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to a news report on BBC News -- widely reported elsewhere on the internet as well -- Mal Young is set to leave the BBC at the end of the year, joining 19 TV, creators of "Pop Idol" and US counterpart "American Idol," as director of drama. "I've had the happiest and most fulfilling seven years at the BBC, but when Simon approached me about he and I working together, it was a no-brainer," Young told BBC News. "I wasn't actively looking to leave the BBC, but this felt like the perfect fit." Mal Young is, of course, one of the developers of the new Doctor Who series, listed as an executive producer alongside Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner; however, this is not expected to impact the series in any way. Of course, Outpost Gallifrey would like to offer our best wishes to Mr. Young in his future endeavors, as well as our thanks for his involvement in the rebirth of the Doctor Who series on television. (Thanks to Paul Hayes, James Whittington and everyone else who wrote in!)

Saturday, 25 September 2004

Press Clips

September 25, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
There is a vast amount of news coverage today (which we won't otherwise comment on) regarding personal developments in the private life of new series companion Billie Piper and her marriage to Chris Evans, covered here at the Daily Record, or here in The Sun, and elsewhere on the 'net.

Tom Baker has some things to say about the new show -- yet again! -- in an interview with today's The Guardian. "It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that Baker is wary of the forthcoming series of Doctor Who, in which Christopher Eccleston - the ninth TV incarnation - will allegedly tackle 'social issues' and 'romantic encounters'," says the article. "'Romance? Well, I shouldn't be surprised, really,' snaps Baker, who once tried to murder his former mother-in-law with a hoe. 'They'll do anything to make people watch. But the Doctor was always a mystery. We know he had two hearts, but what of the rest? Four lungs, four balls and a sonic screwdriver? AH-HAH-HAH! It's best to leave people guessing. ... I read an interview with the guy who's playing Dr Who,' he continues, audibly miffed. 'He was talking about Earth as if it was important! I was deeply, deeply disappointed. I mean, Christ, the next thing they'll be doing is talking about global warming. Oh, it's so sad, isn't it? I find a fantasy programme's preoccupation with this world so parochial.'" Indeed. You can read the full article, in which he talks about his new series of "Monarch of the Glen" at the link.

About Time

September 25, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Mad Norwegian Press' forthcoming six-part About Time series, detailed guidebooks to the original Doctor Who series by Lawrence Miles and Tat Wood, have undergone a slight change. The books have been "reformatted to divide the TV show by Seasons rather than Doctors," says editor Lars Pearson. "This leaves the great bulk of the text unchanged, but the books will now be divided as follows: Volume 1 (Seasons 1 to 3); Volume 2 (Seasons 4 to 6); Volume 3 (Seasons 7 to 11); Volume 4 (Seasons 12 to 17); Volume 5 (Seasons 18 to 21); Volume 6 (Seasons 22 to 26, the TV Movie). Note that this alters most of the books only slightly, and some such as Volume 3 --- which details the Pertwee era --- aren't affected at all. The main change is that Season 18, Tom Baker's last season, is now paired with the Davison volume." The first volume in release, the Pertwee book (#3), is due in October; the cover illustration for that and the subsequent release (#4) are below - click on each for a larger version. (Thanks to Lars Pearson)

SFX Issue 123

September 25, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Issue #123 of SFX Magazine, due out on September 29, features a conversation with new series producer Russell T Davies. "It was when I saw the TARDIS interior," Davies tells SFX about his most exciting moment. "I was lucky, cause I'd been trapped at home, writing episode seven, and only saw it in studio half-built. So my first sight of it was fully lit, on a glorious wide shot, on the rushes. The second best day of my whole working life." Davies also discusses the Dalek situation: "We had the script written and ready to go, and then the bad news came, that we couldn't forge a deal... So a rewrite was commissioned - same story, new monster. There was no need to think of a completely new story, cause the original idea's so good, Dalek or no Dalek. The script was rewritten - and it was great, we were all really happy with it. It was only a first draft, and still smacked slightly of 'this creature used to be a Dalek'. It would make a good book one day, I suppose, that little bit of Who history. Certainly a good article - there's even some artwork to back it up! But then again, I might still use the New Enemy one day, so that embargoes the material for a few years." Pick up the magazine for full details. (Thanks to Ian Berriman/SFX)

Horror of Fang Rock DVD

September 25, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
As expected, the release of Horror of Fang Rock on DVD in the UK in January is even more confirmed than when Outpost Gallifrey announced it last week -- there's a new article in the DVD section of the Doctor Who Restoration Teamwebsite.

More New Series Cast, Crew

September 25, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, there are some names we can add to our list of cast and crew for the new series production. Cast members in at least one story, likely one of the stories already completed, are actors Basil Chung and Fiesta Mei Ling as "an old Chinese couple", and Corey Doabe as a "spray-painting kid". On the production side, the following names have been linked to the first block of stories (directed by Keith Boak): Lowri Thomas, Unit Manager; James DaHaviland and Steff Morris, Assistant Directors; Patrick Begley, Props; andIan Richardson, Sound. The action vehicles -- likely the ones seen in the Cardiff shoot from late July/early August outside the Albion Hospital set (see the photo gallery) -- were provided by Millers Action. (Thanks to DWAS / Chuck Foster)

Friday, 24 September 2004

Telos Publishing Goes Back to the Vortex

September 24, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Telos Publishing announces the first nonfiction book covering the launch of next year's new Doctor Who television series, to be released during the summer of 2005, shortly after the first season is transmitted. Back To The Vortex: The Unofficial and Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who 2005 is written by J. Shaun Lyon, the editor of Outpost Gallifrey, with an introduction penned by Philip David Segal, the last television producer of Doctor Who (the 1996 TV movie starring Paul McGann), and cover montage illustration by noted Polish artist Dariusz Jasiczak (who did the frontispiece illustration for Telos' Doctor Who novella "Ghost Ship".)

Back to the Vortex is a two-part deconstruction of the new Doctor Who series. The first section is a primer on the time period between the announcement of the new series and the start of transmission, from the perspective of the outside looking in -- the media coverage, the press and magazines, the location shoots and the hype, as well as biographies of the cast and crew, and how the entire event changed the way the world looks at the series. The second part is a detailed and exhaustively researched guide to the first season of the show, complete with episode breakdowns, casting, historical outlook, logic issues, continuity and technology, as well as a collection of critical review and analysis of each story from a variety of perspectives by professional and fan writers from five countries, including Keith Topping, Scott Alan Woodard, Graeme Burk, Sarah Hadley, Robert Franks, Paul Hayes, Simon Catlow, Cameron J. Mason and Jon Preddle.

The book will be released in the UK very shortly after transmission of the series in both softcover and signed, limited edition numbered hardcover signed by the author and Segal, and will be distributed overseas shortly thereafter. The press release is below; meanwhile, the cover illustration is at right -- click the thumbnail for a larger version. Further details will be available shortly on the Telos Publishing website, and there is a Back to the Vortex page with some background information and other details here at Outpost Gallifrey.
BACK TO THE VORTEX: The Unofficial and Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who 2005,
by J. Shaun Lyon

Christopher Eccleston Is... The Doctor!

The adventures in time and space continue, as the Doctor and his faithful companion Rose Tyler travel time and space fighting evil, righting wrongs and saving the course of history. This is the ultimate guide to the newest adventures of the Doctor: an archive of information, review and commentary, from the press to the production to the fans, as the venerable Time Lord returns to television in 2005 in a thirteen-part series set to stun viewers and critics alike.

Back to the Vortex unfolds as history happened, from the announcements to the press releases, casting calls, the highs and lows, and the start of production. Discover the background to the new series, through the eyes of the press, the commentators and fans; read about the casting of Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and one-time pop princess Billie Piper as Rose; and be there during the lead-up to the return of the travelling Time Lord to regular prime time television after sixteen years away. And as the show debuts, investigate the stories themselves, through detailed analysis, facts and figures, as well as extensive reviews and commentary with a panel of fans and aficionados spread across the world.

This is the essential guide to the long awaited and anticipated return of the Doctor... and it's about time!

Foreword by Philip David Segal, Executive Producer of the 1996 "Doctor Who" made-for-television film.

Featuring critical analysis and reviews of the first season by Keith Topping, Scott Alan Woodard, Graeme Burk, Cameron J. Mason, Sarah Hadley, Paul Hayes, Robert Franks, Simon Catlow andJon Preddle.

Thursday, 23 September 2004

No "Exterminate"!?!

September 23, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Could it be that Doctor Who is returning with the Daleks... but without the famous catchphrase, "Exterminate!" In anarticle in today's "The Sun," it is noted that "BBC chiefs have deemed the aliensÆ catchphrase too cheesy for modern audiences. A Beeb insider confirmed last night: 'Doctor Who fans may be upset. But although the word may have scared kiddies in 1963, today it would be laughed off screen.' The source said: 'The Daleks have said æexterminateÆ for more than 40 years but it never did them any good. The Doctor always won in the end.'" Of course, the Sun also claims that the Daleks returned only after their 'campaign' to bring the monsters back to the show; meanwhile, quoted elsewhere, Tim Hancock, agent for the estate of Daleks creator Terry Nation, says, "There are three scripts in the new series of Doctor Who that will feature the Daleks.ö However, the BBC won't confirm the number of episodes they appear in. The article is also on Sky News, Ananova and other web sources. (Thanks to Paul Engelberg & Steve Tribe)

Delia Derbyshire: Standing Wave

September 23, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Standing Wave is a new stage play about the life and music of Delia Derbyshire, the ground-breaking electronic composer among whose most notable contributions is her arrangement of the Doctor Who theme. The press launch of the play featured a life-sized Dalek. Details about the play, which runs at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland from October 7, can be found at the Tron Theatre website. (Thanks to Ben Morris)

Wednesday, 22 September 2004

Dalek Empire III: 5 Cover

September 22, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has released the cover for the fifth Dalek Empire III serial, The Warriors, due out in October. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version. Meanwhile, part four of Dalek Empire III as well as the current Eighth Doctor serial "Faith Stealer" have been released according to Big Finish.

Her Final Flight

September 22, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has released details for Her Final Flight, the special one-off audio release due in December. Although it was previously announced as a Sylvester McCoy audio, this has changed; it now reunites Colin Baker with Nicola Bryant (the Sixth Doctor and Peri) as the principal cast for the first time since "...ish" two years ago. It's also got a regular number - number 65 - as opposed to previous limited-edition releases (which may surely irritate people who aren't part of the subscriber base!) Click on the thumbnail below for a larger version of the cover.
HER FINAL FLIGHT by Julian Shortman

When the Doctor lands on Refiloe, he's not impressed.
In fact, he doesn't intend to stay for more than just a few minutes. But someone has decided that the TARDIS has made her final flight. Someone whose future depends on the Doctor?s death.

Starring Colin Baker (the Doctor) and Nicola Bryant (Peri), with Steven Bugdale (the Agent), Jonathan Owen (Hamiyun), Heather Tracy (Rashaa) and Conrad Westmaas (Damus). Directed by Gary Russell.

Tom and Chris: Together or Not So

September 22, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Today's icWales features an article called "Ex-Doctor 'may return as villain'" which seems to pick up on the current rumors that Tom Baker wants to play the Master... and in the same headline mentions that actor David Jason ("Only Fools and Horses") "is likely to appear in the new version of the show" despite denials by the production team. One member of the crew said, "We would all be delighted to see Tom Baker back. ... He's a tremendously charismatic actor and would be a superb villain." Of course, it coudl just be publicity notions. Read the article by clicking the link.

Of course, this follows a report in the Sun from the weekend in which Baker has reportedly "slammed" Christopher Eccleston, saying he's never heard of him. Of course, this is several months after Baker gave similar interviews wishing Eccleston well. The report quotes Baker as saying Eccleston is taking the role too seriously: "Get your head out of your fat bottom," specifically. "It always sounds very hollow in the mouth of an actor. When actors use words like 'challenge' and 'serious' you think to yourself 'Oh just shut up'." Very peculiar; both stories could simply be publicity hounding.

Sky Showbiz Photos

September 22, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
An article at Sky News in the photos section shows several pictures from the Swansea filming location including close-up shots of Simon Callow as Charles Dickens and Billie Piper in period costume. Click on the link to see the photos and the accompanying article.

Western Daily Mail

September 22, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
An article in today's Western Daily Press focuses on the transformation of part of Monmouth into 1869. "A large crowd of set workers descended on the market town of Monmouth to prepare it for the arrival of the star-studded Doctor Who cast," says the article by Janet Hughes. "Old fashioned signs, shop frontages, bales of hay and tons of false snow transformed the square back to Victorian times." The article notes that the scenes are from Mark Gatiss' episode, "where the cult hero meets Charles Dickens." The article notes that the location manager is quoted as saying that the square in which they're filming is "absolutely perfect becasue it is charming and dateless. Nowadays it's so hard to find anywhere without a McDonalds coming into view but this is fantastic."

More SFX Photos

September 22, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
SFX has posted fifteen new photos from the filming sessions this week including one of Chris Eccleston and & Billie Piper (a small snapshot of which, at right, is displayed here with permission) and some of the background and setup, and of the "christmastime" streets. Click here to view them.

DVD: Daphne Ashbrook in UK

September 22, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Tenth Planet, in cooperation with Covert Productions, will release Daphne Ashbrook in the UK, a DVD release covering the actress' recent trip to the UK, including her signings and the "Evening with Daphne Ashbrook" event. This was the first time Ashbrook -- best known to Doctor Who fans as Dr. Grace Holloway, Paul McGann's co-star in the 1996 Doctor Who film -- had made Doctor Who related appearances in England. The DVD will be released in November; meanwhile, below is the press release and cover (click for a larger version). (Thanks to Tenth Planet)

When DOCTOR WHO returned in 1996 for a big budget TV Movie, actress DAPHNE ASHBROOK faced the challenge of reinterpreting the classic companion figure for a modern audience. As the quirky Grace Holloway, Daphne brought life to a memorable character and a controversial love interest for PAUL McGANN as the eighth Doctor.

In Summer 2004, Daphne crossed the Atlantic to make her first ever DOCTOR WHO personal appearances in the United Kingdom. This special documentary follows DaphneÆs entire visit, looking back at the world of DOCTOR WHO, and sharing her unique perspective on the show, past and present.

As well as following her public appearances, in a newly shot interview, Daphne offers an in-depth discussion of the making of the TV Movie, the character of Grace and that infamous kiss. Plus we go behind the scenes of DaphneÆs return to DOCTOR WHO in the Big Finish audio adventure THE NEXT LIFE. Along with insights from writers ALAN BARNES and GARY RUSSELL, the Doctor himself, PAUL McGANN, joins Daphne for an exclusive on-camera reunion.

Special Features: An Evening with Daphne Ashbrook: A 25 minute stage talk moderated by Gary Russell ò Photo Montage ò Biography
Feature Running Time: 50 Minutes Approx. DVD Extras Running Time: 30 Minutes Approx.

Script Doctor

Reynolds & Hearn will be releasing Script Doctor in February 2005 by Andrew Cartmel. "The Inside Story of Doctor Who 1986-89," the book by the original series' final script editor is "a unique insight into an area of the show's history that has previously been shrouded in uncertainty." Sylvester McCoy (the Seventh Doctor) provides the foreword for the book, which is listed on Amazon already. More details soon.

(Thanks to Paul Greaves)

Exclusive Monmouth Set Report, Photo Gallery

September 22, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey tonight has an exclusive, detailed set report from the Monmouth filming location from last evening (21 September) into early this morning, along with a large collection of pictures from behind-the-scenes. The report is by Roger Anderson of the Cuttings Archive, photos by Anderson and Harrison Jase. Click each photo for a larger version; click on the spoiler tag to read the set report (which does have spoilers in it!) (Thanks to Roger Anderson, Harrison Jase)
Set Report - Doctor Who Filming in Monmouth, Wales between 6pm 21st September and 2am 22nd September 2004

Filming in Monmouth took place on Tuesday night and the early hours of Wednesday morning in Beaufort Arms Court in the centre of the town. There was also a small sequence due to be shot just around the corner outside the Punch House bar in Agincourt Square.

The story in question, part of the second block of filming, is set at Christmas 1869 and, as we all may know, includes the distinguished actor and Dickens expert Simon Callow in the cast as Dickens himself.

I arrived at around 8pm to find the crew well established in the car park directly behind the location shoot. The area of the shoot was cordoned off and many props, such as barrels, braziers and rather a lot of fake snow already in place. A giant crane towered above the scene, in place to shower the location with even more fake snow once filming had commenced. There were rumours of sightings of Billie Piper in makeup but sadly there was no sign of Billie whilst I was there.

Shortly after our arrival the final work was being done on dressing the area, with 20th Century telephone boxes camouflaged under sacking and a large horse trough with a fake water pump carried out into Beaufort Arms Court.

It was noticeable that the crew and security people were quite jumpy about flash photography and they became more so as camera rehearsals commenced. This may well be the result of their reportedly having to re-mount/re-shoot scenes in Swansea during the preceding night shoots as a result of press cameras being used with large flash guns. Certainly one of the production staff later told me that one of the main differences between this and any other production sheÆs worked on was the number of ôpaparazziö and the intrusive interest of the press wherever they go. I hasten to add that almost all the footage I took was on a video camera with stills being grabbed from this so no need for flash photography on my part. I would urge any other fans visiting the set to do the same or risk being jumped on by security and also ruining the shooting of scenes.

There were two vantage points where filming could be glimpsed, although with difficulty; one being our initial location at the far end of Agincourt Square. From here I could see through a large door into Beaufort Arms Court itself but the site of the actual shoot was, I discovered, pretty much obscured. This was even more the case when the crew cleared onlookers away from the side of the Punch House and strung up black material to hide the road and any passing traffic.

The area I then moved to was at the other end of Beaufort Arms Court where I could see various prop carts and much of the crew and camera equipment but again little of what was going on. However, it was here that I stayed for the rest of the night and later managed to get some good shots of one of the scenes and Eccleston and Callow waiting together in the wings for their scenes.

The first scene that was filmed involved an old woman, dressed in black who uttered a blood curdling moan further down the Court, where the action was out of view, then advanced on the camera as it pulled back and then stared straight into a close-up shot. The woman was, we guessed, probably possessed by some alien æmonsterÆ, rumoured to be creatures called the Geith (sp?) who inhabit gas, and was wearing a set of contact lenses that made her eyes look white and dead. The scene looked quite chilling despite the fact I could see all the accoutrements of filming and TV production.

In comparison to my earlier visit to Cardiff in July to see shooting on block one there seemed to be fewer takes and the pace of filming appeared far quicker. Why this is I cannot speculate.

During the course of filming this scene two of the stars of the story arrived in costume; Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor) and Simon Callow (Charles Dickens). Callow looked particularly distinguished in his period clothes and cape and this was a good chance to see the actors close up. Eccleston seemed very relaxed and happy to chat and joke with Callow and the crew, even winking at the odd onlooker. At one point he beamed and waved at someone further up Beaufort Arms Court.

I saw nothing of the next scene but it seemed to involve Callow and Eccleston and, judging by the sound of a door knocker, someone knocking on the door of the house at the far end of the Court. I later discovered that this was dressed as ôSneed and Company, Undertakers of 7 Temperance Court Llandaffö. Interestingly, a quick trawl of the internet reveals that Llandaff (now a suburb of Cardiff) was host to some early experiments with gas in 1767 when the bishop of the diocese conveyed generated gas in tubes, made coke, and purified gas for burning. Whether this has any bearing on the story can only, at this point, be speculated on. Certainly by the time the story is set gas lighting had been installed in the area for some years but was still a æmodernÆ wonder of the time.

At one point I spotted Callow in costume, and deep in thought, striding up the back road behind me, and followed at a safe distance until he disappeared in to the cordoned area outside the Punch House.

By this point most people, including the remaining press photographers had left and the few spectators left were given a ænod and a winkÆ and allowed to stand inside the cordoned off area at the far end of Beaufort Arms Court. Here I had the privilege of watching camera rehearsals for the next scene which involved Simon Callow (Dickens) breathlessly opening the door of the Undertakers, slamming it behind him and running, seemingly for his life. It was fascinating to see the actor work himself into the scene as rehearsals went on and then faultlessly act the scene for the final take. His look of terror and superlative acting was something to behold!

The scene was also accompanied by verbal directions from an assistant director which proved very interesting indeed and perhaps can give us an insight into the nature of the scene. If my memory serves me correctly his words were: ôTheyÆre rising in the house, doing something to the door knocker, now theyÆre roaringö, the latter phrase being repeated a number of times. Certainly something so horrified Dickens, presumably the Geith or perhaps the possessed bodies of the dead, that he runs from the property in sheer terror.

Once this scene was æin the canÆ the crew took a break for ælunchÆ and the cameras and technical equipment were moved over to the area outside the Punch House. Given that it was by now very late indeed I prepared to go, but before leaving I had a chance to walk round the now silent set and take a few close up photos of the set, including an apparently genuine Victorian hearse parked near the entrance to Sneed and Company.

This ended a fascinating night watching the filming of what looks like a stunning and eerie new Doctor Who story and one I certainly look forward to viewing next year

Tuesday, 21 September 2004

Hitchhikers Begins

September 21, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Just a reminder that, today, the Tertiary Phase of The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, the long-awaited "third season" of the classic radio serial, begins today on BBC Radio 4. The serial, based on the legendary Douglas Adams' third book, "Life, The Universe and Everything" -- itself based on Adams' aborted "Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen" screenplay -- features five members of the original cast from the 1970's as well as a host of new cast members. The first series of 6 new episodes begins on Tuesday 21 September at 6.30pm, with repeats on Thursdays at 11.00pm on Radio 4. For detailed information on the making of the program as well as to listen via the Internet, click here; each episode will be available for 7 days following the Thursday evening repeats. The six episodes will run through as many weeks and the entire story will be released on CD in late October. (Technically no, this isn't Doctor Who news... but for Hitchhikers we always gladly make the exception!)

Press Updates

September 21, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Today's "The Mirror" has an article about Billie Piper, her quest to lose weight and her dropping a dress size. "I was brought up on bread and butter," Billie tells the Mirror. "Every meal, I'd have two rounds. So suddenly not having it as part of my diet is a bit like losing a friend... I find myself hanging around bakeries inhaling the smell of the pastries. It's quite sad. ... Getting rid of bread does make a difference. Bread makes me feel like such a heifer!" You can read the full article and decide for yourself (it does mention the new Doctor Who series.) (Thanks to Paul Hayes, Steve Tribe)

An article at Brand Republic discusses new technologies for broadcasting including the use of pay-per-view through British Telecom broadband service in the UK. "Viewers can expect to download a selection of programmes from an archive by typing in a keyword like 'Dr Who', giving the viewer complete control of their own schedule," says the article, although it doesn't mention whether or not this is the classic series or the new one. (Thanks to Steve Tribe)

Location Reports

Monmouth: Eccleston and Callow On Location
General TV Series News
September 21, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Tonight's images from the filming in Monmouth feature shots of Christopher Eccleston and guest star Simon Callow, in their costumes, awaiting their takes. The photos are dark, obviously, taken without flash from the side of filming in the town, but are the first photos we know of featuring both Eccleston and Callow together. We hope to bring more to you tomorrow. (Thanks to Roger Anderson of the Cuttings Archive)
First Monmouth Photos
General TV Series News
September 21, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Production has moved out of Swansea (where only one night's filming was done) to the eastern Wales town of Monmouth. As the production commences -- and we must remind people to make sure they don't use flash photos if they happen to be in town -- we have our first handful of photos out of Monmouth from the setup of the town sets; click for a larger version. (Thanks to Jonathan Knibbs)
Newest Swansea Photos: Three Sets
General TV Series News
September 21, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Updated 2030 GMT with new photos (Mount, "Andrew") and larger/better versions of others (Graham)

Here's a new collection of photos from the Swansea filming last evening, both at dusk and in the evening. (One of the photographers notes that some of the blur is due to having to shoot at a distance without a flash on.) We're getting larger versions of the ones by Chris Graham as of the time of writing (they should all be updated later today); meanwhile, you'll notice some of the set trappings including playbills, horse-drawn carriages, and local color. Click on each for a larger version. (Thanks to Paul Mount, Chris Graham and "Andrew"/Kiteroft69)
Swansea Shoot: It's Episode 3
General TV Series News
September 21, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Today's "This Is South Wales" features a full article about the filming in Swansea over the past two days. "Snow covered the streets of Swansea last night," says the article. "But this wasn't more bad weather for the city - time lord Dr Who had landed his Tardis in the Maritime Quarter as part of his latest TV adventure." It mentions that "fake snow covered the road between Adelaide Street and Pier Street, as well as along the whole of Cambrian Place, Burrows Place and Gloucester Place, as the area was transported back to 1869. Horses and carriages helped to bring the scene to life as it went through a 19th Century makeover. Filming lasted for much of the night." The article also confirmed that Simon Callow was a part of the production, playing the role of Charles Dickens as previously reported -- and it does confirmed that this is indeed episode 3 of the new series written by Mark Gatiss; extrapolating from available information, this is likely the fourth or fifth episode being filmed (as part of the "second block," directed by Euros Lyn). You can read the full article by clicking here. (Thanks to "lchrisl")
Regarding Site Photography...
General TV Series News
September 21, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey has been asked to relay the following to fans who have been showing up at the location filming sessions in Cardiff, London, Swansea and elsewhere: "If you are going along to watch filming, can you please keep an eye out for people using flash photography, and ask them politely not to? If used during takes it can ruin complicated set-ups, and, in particular it can also scare the horses being used in these scenes." Thank you for your cooperation.
Swansea Photos and More Set Reports - Updated Twice!
General TV Series News
September 21, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
At last... some new photos for location filming work from the Swansea filming location. Due to the inability of photographers to use flash (for obvious reasons; it's an active set!) the photos are very dark, but we've been able to adjust the color and brightness as much as we could so readers can at least make out some detail on the night shots. The daytime shots are from the set-up for filming in the area; the evening shots include horse-drawn carriages and local color. Click on the photos for larger versions of each; meanwhile, click on the spoiler tag for two additional set reports.Update: the spoiler section has been further updated with more set reports from last night's shoot. (Thanks to Steven Morgan, Steven Howlett, Ian Golden, John Campbell Rees)
In one scene outside the pub Rose runs to the horse drawn hearse shouting "Oi what are you doing". When she gets to the herse she looks inside to see ???? (dead body ?). The Victorian owner ? of the herse runs around the herse and comes and grabs her from behind and suffocates her. Then with another girl they lift Rose into the hearse. The girl screams "What did you do".

The following scene (presumably) has the Doctor run out of the theatre shouting "ROSE", he calls/confronts the driver of the hearse (I think) and then climbes inside a carriage shouting "follow tat herse". During the scene Charles Dickens runs after the Doctor demanding to know "what that hobgoblin was".

Another scene has a mass exit of terrified patrons from the cinema with The Doctor and Rose in pursuit ?

There were carols being sung in another scene. There was also a lot of fog on set - is this the gaseous enemy ?

Mark Gatiss said hello to us as well ! We asked him for the title of the episode and I think he said (jokingly) The Monsters !

BTW I have been told that one episode feature 9 blue child aliens.
--Steven Morgan

I arrived at the Marine Quarter of Swansea at 9pm, where the technical crew were busy giving the mid September streets a dusting of artificial snow. Given a keen wind from the marina, it seemed cold enough for the real thing. A reasonable sized crowd had build up outside the Swansea Museum to watch the filming. A half a dozen different horse drawn vehicles were parked by the museum, including a stunning Victorian hearse, drawn by a pair of black stallions with black feather plumes in their mains.

At 9:p.m., both Julie Gardner and Russell T. Davies arrived, followed by a gaggle of press photographers, Mark Gatiss was somewhere in the vicinity, unfortunately I did not spot him tonight. I noticed that RTD was talking animatedly to a camera at this point, and as I think it is unlikely to be another Wales Today feature, then this must be for Making Of feature for the inevitable DVD release of the new series.

Shortly afterwards, at 9:m car dropped Simon Callow off by the Swansea Museum, and a host of costumed extras came trailing after him, ready to take up their places. The first scene shot was a short establishing scene featuring Callow as Dickens being wished a "Merry Christmas" by a passer-by as Dickens walked past along a crowded street, in a flurry of acrid fake snow. There were two brief rehearsals of this shot, and then straight to a take. After a short break, the scene was filmed again from the opposite camera angle. With this shot in the can, the action moved a few yards down Gloucester Place to a scene featuring Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper.

Piper was wearing a period evening dress, consisting of a full red skirt and black basque top with a grey coat an hair up decorated with a red feather. Eccleston was in his standard brown leather jacket, black shirt and black trousers, thus ending speculation that his Doctor would appear in a more traditional doctorish outfit in this story. In this seen, the Doctor and Rose are walking towards the Queens Hotel, deep in conversation, the stop to let a horse drawn vehicle pass, when the Doctor spots a newspaper seller, and switches direction, leaving Rose to hitch up her skirts and go charging after him. During the first take, Billie tripped on the hem of her skirts and almost went flying, proving that she, like Peri in Mark of the Rani is not used to "flouncing around in skirts". On the next two takes, all went smoothly, and the actors disappeared whilst the cameras and lighting was re-arranged. When filming was due to start again, almost as soon as the director had shouted "action", a very modern burglar alarm in a nearby building filled the street with an anachronistic squeal, delaying filming for a costly ten minutes. It must have been a false alarm, as it would have been a very foolish criminal who would try anything given the large number of uniformed police officers in the vicinity.

At this point I had to make my way home, however, I was impressed by what I saw. My feeling is that this is quite early in the story. My friend Tim Farr told me that the Lee Electrical vans and a van belonging to Any Effects Limited had been seen parked outside Cardiff's New Theatre on Sunday, 19th September, and it is likely that filming inside that Edwardian building, which could easily pass as Victorian took place on that day. Given the way that Rose is dressed, and the brisk pace Callow's Dickens adopted in his scene, I speculate that the Doctor is taking Rose to see one of Dickens' famed readings, and this was filmed at the weekend.
--John Campbell Rees

As I said, not much too see. I went down at about 7pm, which is the time they asked the pub to close in order to start adding the snow effect to the buildings. As expected, the area was closed off, but if was quite surprising how close to the "action" you could get.

If you look closely, you can make out the addition of some street furniture such as carts, crates and barrels etc. The street lamps are original for this area.
--Steven Howlett

I'm from Swansea so I couldnt' wait to get down to the marina last night for the filming. I left work at 9pm, picked up my mate and off we went. As we entered Swansea we passed a guy dressed like Tom Baker (very funny) and proceeded to the marina filming area, trying to ask police to let us in to no avail. We witnessed a scene with Simon Callow, but I'm sorry to say that it was my mate who caused the scene to be filmed twice as his dig camera's flash was not on night mode. Oh dear. I was very impressed between takes; they looked like they were getting on graet with Chris at one point warming Billie up by hugging her closely, and at one point they were both doing funny walk impressions. All in all a very good night... if only we'd seen the TARDIS!
--Richard Hancock
SFX Photos
General TV Series News
September 21, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
SFX Magazine has a small collection of six photos from last night's filming session, with more promised in the next issue of their magazine. Below is one of the photos, of a horse-drawn carriage (reprinted with permission from SFX; click on the image for a larger version). To see the other photos and the story that accompanies, click here; the photos include "snow" being blown onto the rooftops and other night images from the production. (Thanks to Ian Berriman / SFX)

Monday, 20 September 2004

More on the Pescatons Audio

September 20, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
A clarification on our story from late last week: it appears that the release of the Tom Baker / Elisabeth Sladen audio adventure The Pescatons will indeed be a BBC audio release; according to a page on the UK Amazon site, BBC Audiobooks is the publisher for the January 3, 2005 release, with an ISBN number of 0563527641. (Thanks to Ceri Laing)

Production in Swansea

September 20, 2004  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
As we previously reported, the production team for the new Doctor Who series will be on location this coming week in Swansea for several days filming parts of the adventure that takes place in 1869, before moving on to Monmouth for more location work (as we noted a few days ago). "From Monday the "old section" of Swansea's Maritime Quarter will be used to film a 19th-century scene featuring actor Simon Callow as Charles Dickens," says an article on icWales. "Artificial snow will be sprayed onto Adelaide Street and Gloucester Place, around Swansea's five-star Morgan's Hotel. And horses and carriageways will be brought in to add atmosphere to what is intended as a Christmas scene." (Thanks to Steve Tribe, Paul Engelberg, Gil Williams, Howard A. Treesong)