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Bookmark and Share Torchwood: Week Seven Production

2/28/2011 07:26:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

A shorter week for the Torchwood production, with Presidents Day being a public holiday in the States on Monday.

Cast name-checked during the week included John Barrowman, Eve Myles, and Mekhi Phifer, though of course many others were involved during filming! Also, Christopher Thomas Howell (The Outsiders, Criminal Minds, Southland, The Amazing Spider Man) mentioned in an interview with SouthLAndTVFans that he would shortly be joining the production.


The weekend before saw the GallifreyOne convention take place in Los Angeles, during which there was a panel involving writers Jane Espenson and Doris Egan who discussed their involvement with the new series; this included dealing with the nuances between UK/Welsh and US modes of speech and the cultural differences in the meaning of words like 'vest', a discussion on the differences that seems to exist between the US and UK approach to scripting a series - especially in terms of the freedom that UK writers have (though with more re-writes), and how the enthusiasm of Russell T Davies 'infects' their own approach to writing! Episodes-wise, it was clarified that the last three episodes are still being prepared, with episode eight in third draft, nine nearly finished, and ten about to be written by Russell. The two writers also admitted that they'd already bandied about ideas for future stories, though no futher series of Torchwood have been commissioned (yet!)

Video by TDrury, via YouTube


Times cited within reports are in Los Angeles local time, except where indicated


Tuesday


Photo: Jane Espenson, via Twitpic
Back to Warner Bros for another long day's shoot. Filming continued on episode three, with John Barrowman, Eve Myles and Mekhi Phifer shooting scenes.

Writer Jane Espsenson reported that there would be a production meeting for episode four that lunch time; she also clarified that the final three episodes were still in the process of being tweaked.

Meanwhile, Shawna Trpcic also explained that no date had been set as yet for the release of the publicity photos.

Jane also provided the first "TW-Spy!" photo of the week, giving us a glimpse of how studio backdrop looks on-set!

Twitter gossip for the day included:
07:34 MC  6am call. Sick as a dog. God I want to sleep for 12 hours straight.  
07:52 MP  Just got on set of Torchwood.. Cold LA morning and I am going shirtless!! 
          Not complaining though, just need some ideas on how to stay warm??
09:06 JE  Just got good morning hugs from John and Eve on set. Love this cast!
09:08 ST  Hello faux Monday. Had an amazing fitting with eve at 630 am and
          she was still amazing :-)
09:51 KO  Back to LA tomorrow for a few days filming. | 
12:47 JE  Tour group of UK tourists just spotted John Barrowman on lot.
          Apparently there was much excitement! | 
14:48 MP  having a great time working on Torchwood...
          great cast and great people to work with. lots of action/intensity

Wednesday


Photo: Alana Stone, via Twitpic
Today's "TW-Spy!" is from Alana Stone, who teased us with this shot of a set interior. This evoked a number of ideas, including: "ooohhh...is this at the new Hub?", "Now I really want to know what's behind the door.", "could the 'June 45' be significant?".

The day also saw Kai Owen setting out to return to Los Angeles for some more filming; his time at Heathrow awaiting the flight turned out to be quite a 'happy hour'! (UK time)
14:10 Having a very large vodka tonic at Heathrow,
      Los Angeles beware!!
      a drunk Welshman will be arriving shortly.
14:54 @JaneEspenson I just hope they let me on the plane!!
      theses 'Large' vodkas are getting Larger by 
      the minute!!! Cant wait to see you x 
14:56 Thats's it I'm starting to do typos!1
      i'm drumk and have too bored this plain!!
      see you on the other side  peeple xx
05:48 Hello Los Angeles!!!!!

Other Twitter chat included:
10:51 JE  In scene that shot yesterday.  Gwen: "I got you this."
10:51 AS  In awe! That's all.
12:03 AF  They are filming at WB, but I'm not there today.
          Maybe tomorrow! It is very day-to-day for me.  ^_^ | 
15:02 AF  Torchwood tomorrow!  It is confirmed.  ^_^ | 
15:10 MP  on set on the Warner bros lot in between shots watching short films on
          thirdREEL.com. Definitely a cure for boredom!! Check it out! 

The Doctor Who News report on Torchwood last week also seemed to generate a bit of interest!
16:19 AF  @doctor_who_news It's strange to see stuff I worked on posted as "news"!
16:21 ST  Wow great reporting! @alanastone u should read - lots of fun  
          RT @doctor_who_news: Torchwood: Week Six... last week.

Thursday


Photo: Michael Colbert, via Twitpic
Torchwood takes to the roads today! However, in reality this was to actually remain on-set at Warner Bros rather than out and about on the streets of Los Angeles! Whether there would be some "low-loader" shots later in filming is unclear, though scenes were filmed this way back in the UK along the M4.

This was to be a late-nighter for filming in the (cold) studio, eventually wrapping around 3:00am.

Meanwhile production meetings continued, with Jane Espenson heard to say: "Where does the reality end?", whilst the production office reported that prepping for episodes five and six were about to start as filming for episodes three and four continued.

13:21 MC  Back at work FYI I did sleep for almost 20 hours straight. Feel better.
15:18 MC  Complicated multiple-department car gag happening right now 
15:28 MC  Light car gag http://twitpic.com/43dnu7 
16:20 AF  Driving shots. To simulate motion, rotate fake streetlights on
          a contraption resembling a ceiling fan.  :-) 
15:42 JE  Just uttered at Torchwood production meeting: "Where does the reality end?"
          Work stops as we ponder.
16:32 ST  @JaneEspenson Should b a tshirt 
21:05 AF  Torchwood night shoot later tonight.  Freezing outside.
          Did not bring furry boots.  My toes will be sad indeed.  T_T
23:11 BBC Getting wild tonight with the #Torchwood nocturnal crew! Stay warm everyone.
          Also, @KaiKaiOwen we're not going to let you leave...
23:13 BBC Tomorrow, prepping for EP 5&6 while shooting EP3&4.
          Perhaps a second coffee maker is in order. Go team go!! 
00:52 AF  Non-stop for 2 days: commercial -> DJ gig ->
          chilly #Torchwood night shoot ->
          no sleep and on to an 8AM calltime at The Bachelor. Oy. T_T 
01:31 AF  I was just fantasizing about the bananas foster-flavored coffee
          I'm going to make when we're wrapped at #Torchwood.  :-)
03:03 MC  Just past 3 am and finally Martini is called. 

Friday

Back out on location for today, with scenes for episode four involving Kai Owen taking place in a hospital - this may have been a return to the Linda Vista Hospital where they filmed previously (a well-used film location), but wasn't confirmed. Another location mentioned by Michael Colbert was described being the "Lethal Weapon House"! The day was interrupted by rain (though fortunately not the snow that beset Los Angeles at the weekend!).

Meanwhile, amidst concerns on Twitter about possible alterations to Jack's character, Jane Espenson reassured: "Not all 'straightening' Jack! Jack is very much still Jack! Fans will be pleased."

04:06 KO  Damn! I'm wide awake, wide awake!! It's 4am here. I'm on set all day.
          Espresso's all day I reckon! Have a good Friday everyone. X 
06:45 KO  I'm shooting at a hospital today. Scenes from Ep 4.
08:05 ST  Early call on first unit late call on second unit
          we are taking over LA units everywhere :-) 
16:57 MC  Ugly rainy night with super cold (for southern Cal) temps.
          All outside and goin till probably 5 in the morning.
          This is what we do for you.
17:00 KO  There's no official wrap time here, so it could be anything really, 
          you finish when you finish. Longest for me so far 15 hours. 
17:05 MC  Sitting in the lethal weapon house.
          Can smell still smell Joe Pechi even with the rain.
17:30 KO  It raining in LA!!
18:50 AS  I'm such a geek. Hehe
20:58 AF  Looks like it'll be several days before I'm back working on #Torchwood.
          On the flip side, I'm working on #Glee on Monday!
21:09 KO  Back at the bar!! Great crew on #Torchwood. It's gonna be one helm of a show. 
          Back to blighty tomorrow.
21:18 KO  One HELL of a show, not one Helm of a show!! 
21:21 AF  My job on TW isn't quite as exciting as you think tho!
          I'm just standing in for now; hopefully more jobs with lines to come. 
21:37 MC  Were WAY past suck tonight already and still have hours to go.
07:34 BBC We're not going to let a torrential downpour stop us from 
          shooting all night. Bring it.
          Also, @KaiKaiOwen safe travels back see you soon! 
00:50 ST  @KaiKaiOwen gave Kai a welcome kiss so glad to have him here feels right
05:54 MC  Finally going home 16 hours later

As usual no filming took place at the weekend, though this doesn't apply to writers, as Jane Espenson observed on Sunday:
14:12 Working hard today on #Torchwood episode 8. How much can I get done before #Oscars? 
14:27 Russell is incredibly positive! I've been lucky to work with a number of
      visionaries and he's up with best of 'em! 

Key to initials: AF - Allyson Floyd (stand-in); AS - Alana Stone (fashion designer); BBC - BBC Torchwood (production office); JE - Jane Espenson (writer); KO - Kai Owen (Rhys); MC - Michael Colbert (electrician); MP - Mekhi Phifer (Rex Matheson); ST - Shawna Trpcic (costume designer)


Kai Owen is due back to L.A. for three months of filming from the 12th March, and tweets intimated that he'll be joined by Tom Price too!
23 14:53(UK) Im back on Sunday, Then on the 12th March we all head out for three months!!
26 14:41(LA) Tom, Where are you? I'm sitting in the lounge at LAX,
             don't let me come here alone again.

Week Eight sees the production back into the heart of Los Angeles, with filming scheduled on Tuesday at the US Tower Building (also known as the Library Building) - a tall skyscraper at 633 West 5th Street - between 7:00am and 10:00pm; another unit is also active on the same day in a parking garage at 524 South Flower Street, between 6:00am and 2:00pm.

Week 8 of Torchwood aka 80s revival week!
 

Bookmark and Share The Crack - Qwertee T-Shirt Offer

2/27/2011 11:06:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster


Europe's largest daily T-Shirt website Qwertee have launched a new Doctor Who inspired design, featuring the Doctor and Amy peering through the Crack. It was created by animator Billy Allison, who said: "an idea I thought of while watching Dr Who ... why don't they just have a look inside? I thought, maybe not a good idea but still :D"

This is a limited edition print which will only be available to purchase for three days (i.e. until 11:00pm Wednesday 1st March).

Readers of Doctor Who News will be able to take advantage of a special 50p/50c discount off the usual £8/€10/$13.50 price of the t-shirt - simply enter this promotional code when ordering:
 
                   TheDoctorWhoNewsPage

The t-shirt can be ordered from the Qwertee website.




When it comes to the world of online t-shirt stores Qwertee.com is a little bit different in that we are the UK and indeed Europe’s first daily t shirt store. Qwertee is very simple: we sell one t shirt, for one day only, for one incredible price. Every day at 11pm we put a new tee on sale for 24 hours only (or less if it sells out) for the amazing price of £8/€10/about $13. Our shirts are about as limited edition as you could imagine: after 24 hours they are gone from Qwertee forever, never to return again. So if you see a tee you like you need to act fast before it is too late!

We work with some of the finest artists/designers both local and international to bring you an amazing new design every day of the year. But rather than deciding what to print ourselves, it is the Qwertee community members that decide what we print. Artists submit their designs, Qwertee users vote for what they like and the most popular designs are printed and put on sale for 24 hours. The artist then gets paid a €1 commission for every shirt that sells. We welcome all kinds of designs on Qwertee: from funny, pop culture and parody to more serious artwork. Qwertee want to offer something for everybody and with the shirt a day system, the next design is never far away, so you’ll always find something that suits you.

Though our shirts cost a mere £8/€10 (less if you use our discount codes) they are ethically produced, made of supersoft 100% ringspun cotton and are hand printed locally in the UK/Ireland. They also feature screen printed tags and are shipped in environmentally friendly 100% degradable bags. These are the kind of features you’d normally associate with much more expensive tees but it is just a small part of Qwertee’s commitment to providing you with a great quality product at a ridiculously low price. We ship to everywhere in the world and our shipping rates (from €1.35 with €3 worldwide delivery) are the best around.

As well as our commitment to amazing tees we also aim to provide the best service of anywhere you have ever shopped, online or otherwise. When it comes to customer service, we will do whatever it takes to make sure you are happy. We provide you with detailed sizing charts and comparisons with popular brands to make sure you get a great fitting shirt. We offer free returns and will reply to your emails within 24 hours or less, even at the weekends.

Finally we like to think of Qwertee as being one of the friendliest online communities so whether you want to check out today’s design, talk about tees or anything else in our forums, or just drop by to have a look around, you’ll be made very welcome at Qwertee.com. See you soon!

Bookmark and Share Docteur Who: ratings update

2/27/2011 09:02:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Series Five of Doctor Who continued on France 4 on Saturday, featuring Le Seigneur des Rêves and La révolte des intra-terrestres (1+2). The shows achieved 295,000 viewers, a drop of 80,000 since the previous week. This was also reflected in the audience share, down to 1.3% of the total audience.

This week's audience figures for Saturday can be viewed at Premiere, which showed Doctor Who second-from-bottom in the ratings for the thirteen listed channels - Danse avec les stars on TF1 continued to dominate the evening, with some 5.385 million viewers (25.6%) of the audience.
 
Next week will see just two episodes broadcast:
Vincent et le Docteur
Le TARDIS remonte le temps. En Provence, seul un peintre solitaire semble se rendre compte du danger qui se cache dans les champs de blé et de tournesols. Doctor Who et Amy unissent leurs forces à celles de Van Gogh pour combattre un puissant extra-terrestre, mais parviendront-ils à le vaincre?

Le colocataire
Dans une maison sur Aickman Road, les visiteurs qui montent l’escalier pour se rendre à l’étage ne redescendent jamais… Afin de résoudre le mystère, Doctor Who doit se faire passer pour un être humain comme un autre et partager l’appartement de Craig Owens.



Bookmark and Share "Ace" boxed set in the works

2/27/2011 12:29:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

2|Entertain have announced a new boxed set via their @ClassicDW Twitter feed:
The Ace Box commissioned and in production.
Whilst no other details have been revealed at present, it seems likely that the set will be themed around the Seventh Doctor's sidekick, Dorothy "Ace" McShane.

At this late stage in the release schedule, there are only three other stories featuring the character that have yet to come out on DVD: Dragonfire, Ace's introductory story; The Happiness Patrol, with Helen A, Fifi, and the Kandyman; and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy with the Psychic Circus and the Gods of Ragnarok.

Bookmark and Share Broadcasting Press Guild Nomination

2/26/2011 04:14:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Broadcasting Press Guild have announced the nominations for their 37th Annual Award Ceremony.

This year, Steven Moffat has been nominated for the Writer's Award for both his work on Doctor Who and alongside Mark Gatiss and Steve Thompson for Sherlock. Other nominees for this award are Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan for Getting On, and Julian Fellowes for Downton Abbey.

The winners will be announced at the BPG Awards lunch on 25th March at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Doctor Who was nominated for three awards last year, but was beaten in every category.

The Broadcasting Press Guild is an association of journalists who specialise in writing and broadcasting about television, radio and the media.

Bookmark and Share AudioGO Spring Sale

2/26/2011 09:30:00 am - Reported by Harry Ward

AudioGO, the home of BBC Audiobooks is having a spring sale, with 50% off the price of all downloads from their site. A huge range of Doctor Who audios are available at a discounted price until the end of the sale on 31st March 2011.

Doctor Who audiobook downloads are available in the following categories: TV Soundtrack, Classic Novel (includes recently released Doctor Who and the War Games), Audio Original, New Reading, and Broadcast. You can download the award winning Dead Air by James Goss and read by David Tennant for just £3.39.

Torchwood audiobooks (with Radio 4 plays: Lost Souls, Asylum, Golden Age, The Dead Line) and The Sarah Jane Adventures are also included in the sale.

AudioGO have announced that they are going to close their BBC Audiobooks Facebook page on 31 March and move to a new one with the AudioGo branding, and the promise of "exciting Doctor Who news".

Bookmark and Share Saturn Award Nomination 2011

2/25/2011 06:00:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Hot on the heels of the Nebula nomination this week, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films have announced the nominations for their annual Saturn Awards.

This year, the 37th ceremony sees just one nomination for the Doctor Who franchise: A Christmas Carol, broadcast by BBC America, is listed in the Best Television Presentation. The episode, penned by Steven Moffat, is up against his other success of 2010 co-created with Mark Gatiss, Sherlock, which was broadcast on PBS.

Other nominees include NBC's Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special, AMC's The Walking Dead, and two series from new Torchwood co-producer Starz, The Pillars of the Earth and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.

The Saturn Awards will take place this June in Burbank, California.


Last year, Torchwood: Children of Earth won the award for Best Presentation on Television, which beat fellow nominee Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead. Other nominations included David Tennant for Best Actor in Television, and Bernard Cribbins for Best Guest Starring Role in Television.

Bookmark and Share Docteur Who: la prochaine fois sur France 4

2/25/2011 05:21:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

France 4 have released a new trailer for this Saturday's episodes, Le Seigneur des Rêves and La révolte des intra-terrestres (1+2); they will be broadcast from 8:35pm (local time).


Doctor who saison 5 tous les samedis à 20h35, via YouTube.

You can follow France 4 via their Facebook page and Twitter feed.


Bookmark and Share Craig Owens returns to Doctor Who

2/25/2011 04:40:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The BBC have officially confirmed today that the actor James Corden will be reprising his role as Craig Owens - the Doctor's landlord from last year's episode The Lodger.

Though unconfirmed, this is believed to be for a forthcoming episode to be filmed that has been written by Gareth Roberts, who also penned Craig's previous appearance in the series. Roberts was a guest at last weekend's Gallifrey One convention, and during a live commentary for The Lodger was reported as saying that his new episode would begin filming "in a week" (i.e. from next week).
"I work in a shop, now."


The news comes after a tweet was posted yesterday unofficially revealing that Corden would be coming back to Doctor Who: "They're filming Doctor Who with James Corden the whole 2nd week of March on my street. Just saying."

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures 206

2/25/2011 01:45:00 am - Reported by Harry Ward

This week's issue of Doctor Who Adventures comes with a free Fez and four free posters!

Also in this issue:
  • Wow! Dress up like the Doctor with your free fez! There's a special treat for fans of cool headgear as well - a brilliant free fez. Stick it on and you'll look just like the Doctor!
  • Secrets of the Sontarans revealed! We've bagged an amazing interview with a Sontaran, where we ask him just why they have heads like baked spuds.
  • The Doctor answers your questions! The Doctor answers some truly monstrous questions, and reveals how you can get him to answer your queries about life, adventure and the Universe!
  • Winston Churchill battles the Daleks
  • Monster trouble for Brucie!
  • How to draw a Judoon
  • Alien Files The Vespiform takes flight!
Plus prizes, scares, puzzles and comics!

Issue 206 of Doctor Who Adventures magazine is out in the UK now.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who: Worlds in Time

2/24/2011 05:12:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The BBC Press Office have announced a new, multi-player game is in development.

Entitled Doctor Who: Worlds in Time, the online game is being produced in partnership with games developer Three Rings, and is aimed to be "both highly engaging and fun, allowing players to socialize and foster genuine cooperation, building a global community where fans worldwide will now be able to experience first hand the exciting action and adventure synonymous with Doctor Who."

For the first time ever, players from around the world will be able to follow in the footsteps of the eccentric and brilliant Doctor by travelling through time and space, exploring new worlds and encountering many alien races, both friend and foe. The game allows players to enter the TARDIS and be set a challenge by the mysterious Time Lord to help him defend civilized culture against infamous Doctor Who enemies.

Robert Nashak, EVP Digital Entertainment at BBC Worldwide, said:
Doctor Who: Worlds in Time will be a free-to-play multiplayer online game that invites players to save the universe by using their wits to solve time-bending puzzles and pulse-pounding challenges. Three Rings is the ideal team for this groundbreaking creative partnership. Not only are they visionaries in the online gaming space, they are lifelong Doctor Who fans with a passion for delivering the level of quality that our players will expect and deserve.

Daniel James, CEO Three Rings, said:
Three Rings is delighted and honored to have the opportunity to create an online game based on Doctor Who. Our goal with 'Words in Time' is to capture the imaginative spirit and depth of the series, whilst being fun and easy to play for all ages.

The game is announced ahead of the San Francisco Game Developers Conference, and is expected to launch later in the year.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest news on Worlds in Time by following BBC Worldwide Games on Twitter.


Bookmark and Share DWA 'Design-a-Monster' competition

2/23/2011 03:28:00 pm - Reported by Harry Ward

Doctor Who Adventures magazine has launched a 'Design a Monster' competition. The winner will see their creation battle the Doctor, Amy and Rory in a special comic strip in the magazine and be made into a model to go on display at the Doctor Who Experience in Olympia, London.

Comic artist John Ross offers the readers some great tips to help them create the perfect creature:


The great thing about Doctor Who monsters is that they can be scary but a bit funny, too. For example, a really scary face could be balanced out by something quite wacky, like a foot that's joined on backwards, or one arm that's much bigger than the other.

Things that tend to look good on monsters are wrinkles, extra eyes, fewer eyes, long tongues, tentacles, spots, stripes, spikes and funny-looking alien weapons/gadgets. Monsters based on animals are quite popular. For example, you could take the head of a rat and put it on the body of a chimpanzee and add tentacles.

Posture is always something you have to think about, too. If your monster is strong and confident, it should stand straight and tall. If it's a bit more nervous and unsure of itself, it could be hunched over, possibly with slumped shoulders. If it's just a jumbled mass of tentacles with a head, it's a bit trickier to give an idea of the creature's personality.

Your monster has to pose a threat to the Doctor, so will need some special powers or weapons. It could fire energy beams from its fingertips/tentacles, laser beams from its eyes or cannonballs from a hole in its belly - whatever you think is interesting. Weapons could be a giant device which could destroy the planet or a tiny alien flower which looks like a daisy but releases a scent which sends people to sleep.

It's also good to colour your monster nice and brightly so he stands out in a crowd.

How to enter

Download the PDF entry form by clicking on the button below, then print it out and draw your monster! Fill in the monster's details, along with your name, age, address and daytime telephone number. Put the page in an envelope and send it to: DWA DESIGN, PO Box 8951, Market Harborough LE16 0EF, or scan the page and email your design to design@dwacomps.co.uk

Download the pdf entry form

For full terms and conditions please visit www.dwamag.com/design-a-monster.

Bookmark and Share Nebula nomination for Vincent and the Doctor

2/23/2011 01:05:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Doctor Who story Vincent and the Doctor has been nominated for the The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation in the 2010 Nebula Awards, an annual event held by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

The episode, penned by writer Richard Curtis, is the only television episode in this category, and is up against the films Despicable Me, How To Train Your Dragon, Inception, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Toy Story 3.

The winners are selected by members of the SWFA during March, with the results announced at the Nebula Awards Banquet, taking place at the Washington Hilton, Washington D.C. on 21st May.

Vincent and the Doctor had previously been nominated for a Mind Mental Health Media Award last year but lost out to Channel 4 drama Shameless.


Doctor Who has been nominated for a Nebula Award twice in the past: The Girl in the Fireplace lost out in the Best Script category to Howl's Moving Castle in the 2006 awards, and the following year saw Blink miss the award in favour of Pan's Labyrinth - both were penned by the current lead writer, Steven Moffat.

Bookmark and Share Torchwood: Week Six Filming

2/23/2011 10:32:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

After the excitement of the previous fortnight, last week was a relatively quiet week for the Torchwood cast and crew.

Eve Myles rejoined the team in Los Angeles, with John Barrowman, Mekhi Phifer, Dichen Lachman, and Bill Pullman all involved with filming during the course of the week.

Filming was away in private throughout this week, with Monday kicking off at the Orlando International Airport. No other exterior locations were reported last week, with other work taking place back at the Warner Brothers Studios lot. As usual, followers were able to pick up little pieces of gossip from cast and crew via Twitter.

Times cited within the reports are in Los Angeles local time.

Monday

Monday saw the Torchwood team at another airport, this time the Ontario International Airport in Los Angeles (filming took place at Cardiff International Airport three weeks previously). Mekhi Phifer and Dichen Lachman were reported to be on location. Meanwhile, Jane Espenson clarified some differences between the UK and US film schedules.

07:25 AS  Had to be at work at 4:12am in Ontario. I have my Valentine, 
          Dichen Lachman, with me tho so that makes things a little better.
08:33 MC  Had 5 am call at Ontario airport. Run slight risk of $11,000 fines
          and it's cold as hell. This business is great!
11:52 BBC Big day at the Airport location today. We're Also beginning prep for 
          a 2nd Unit tomorrow = DOUBLE the #Torchwood fun. Happy Valentine's day
13:24 JE  I think they shoot on Saturdays in the UK, 
          but have shorter working days.  We def. have Sat/Sun off.  Yay weekends!
19:00 ST  Past the 2000 mark for followers. Welcome all - hope to keep u entertained 
          with stories of costume life on the set of torchwood :-) Peace
06:12 MP  Could use a few more hours of sleep.
          On the phone for 2hrs with moms last night...
          If I just had half her strength!

Tuesday

Eve Myles returned to production in the US, which sounded to be another 'bloody' affair according to Mekhi Phifer. Scenes today were back on the Warner Bros lot. As previously reported, whilst exteriors may have been filmed in Wales, the respective interiors have been shot back in the States, something Jane Espenson reports as meeting the Welsh cast's approval!

10:55 ST  Beautiful Eve back with us today. Even slimmer after all the action
          and -10 weather. Glad to have her back on set. 
13:20 BBC Going to have an exciting reunion with wonderfully effervescent Eve Myles
          this afternoon. Lets see what she's up to... 
15:54 MP  Shooting Torchwood and I'm all bloodied up right now!
          Rain machines, green screen, u name it, we got it!! Dope ass show!
16:25 JE  The Welsh people haven't objected to the interiors,
          so I think they must be good!
16:38 JE  The current thiller / arc / connected-story feel of TW is working
          really well and is best done in shorter runs. 
18:24 BBC "I'm terrified of Twitter because computers hate me, but
          (Cowgirl Voice) Howdy Partners I'm having a blast on set today" - Eve Myles 

Wednesday


Shawna Trpic, via Twitpic

 Got to visit this set today thanks to Shawna (Kim Evey)
BBC Torchwood, via Yfrog

 Got to visit this set today thanks to Shawna (Kim Evey)
Kim Evey, via ImgMu
After a few days absence, a welcome return to "TW-Spy!" today as we get to see the inside of the costume truck (Captain Jack, Simpsons-style!), Russell T Davies with a (very!) large cheese, and a set visit by actress/producer Kim Evey.

Kai Owen also revealed that he'll be heading back to L.A. next week, which indicates that the return to the UK for filming wasn't to happen after all.

07:43 ST  One of the walls in the costume truck :-)
          that's our set crew!
10:07 MC  Barrowman is a tighty whitey man.
11:50 KO  Nate: Hey mate! What's happening?
          Just having a glass of red and thinking of you!!
          Nice to be home? I'm back with you next Wednesday.
          Looking forward to have a burger with you!! Kai x 
12:46 DL  Mekhi Phifer has just been showing me his website
          called 'thirdreel' on the torchwood set.
          Check it out. 
14:47 BBC Russell stands proud with the mystery cheese sent
          to us from the UK. Who's the culprit???   
15:42 KE  Got to visit this set today thanks to Shawna
15:51     Sarann: Are you doing exciting costume
          related things on the Torchwood set today?
      ST  Always :-)
19:04 MC  Eve Miles is about the nicest person I've met in awhile -
          charming, friendly, energetic. Super cool.
20:25 DE  Just back from the Torchwood set, where I forced
          John Barrowman and Eve Myles to look at pictures
          of my dogs.

Thursday

Michael Colbert revealed more plane antics for the cast and crew, though this is was on a set rather than a inside a real plane. He also noted that a number of the production crew were unaware that they were working on a series with quite a legacy!

Michael Colbert, via Twitpic
09:31 ST  Eve Myles told Kim Evey that she is the voice of one of
          the characters on the DragonAge II game. Small world 
10:54 MC  10 am call spending the whole day in
          an airplane set on 27
11:01 ST  Forgot to wear my hearing aid today
          Driving my crew crazy. Huh? 
11:36 AS  I'm on a plane!
14:32 MC  Strangely enough a large portion of the crew have
          no idea that this is season 4.
16:49 NG  Kai: can't wait to see ya. Give the baba a kiss fer me.
23:11 MC  I have met Barrowman he's a really sweet and 
          hella funny guy. Big Captain America fan
          (if you didn't know)
23:25 MC  Wrap!
00:16 DL  LOVE Torchwood peeps. Having so much fun. 

Friday


BBC Torchwood, via ImgMu
Another day on set, and more mysterious items that may or may not be what they seem! With conventions and holidays on the way nobody wanted another late night Friday, though Bill Pullman continued to keep everybody entertained as production completed for another week.

13:42 BBC It seems the line between salad dressing and
          chocolate custard is little hazy today.
          You only live once!
22:47 ST  The rain makes me tired well that, prepping 3 episodes
          while shooting two, cleaning house, feeding the kids.. 
          Time for a meeting & chocolate
17:30 AS  Is it really Friday?
18:44 ST  Alana: should not be a fraterday I hope :-)
22:19 BBC We're coming to set, Shawna, Alana,
          its dark and lonely over here.
22:25 AS  BBC_Torchwood: yay!!! Can't wait for your visit! 
          Bill is being awesome as usual.

Speaking of Bill Pullman, his fan site published a photo of him with John Barrowman in their Jack/Oswald mode!

Saturday

Friday brought an end to filming for the week, and an extended weekend was due with a holiday on Monday for Presidents Day, not to mention Jane Espenson and Doris Egan attending the GallifreyOne convention over the weekend too!

However, it wasn't a complete halt to proceedings:

01:20 BBC We're location scouting in a couple of hours!
          That's right we work Saturday's in the US too!
          (But let's be honest not a full days work)

Director of Photography Nate Goodman also commented on Torchwood so far ...

19:26 NG  One week back from Wales. Saw some of Ep 1 cut together. Epic.
          Not your mother's Torchwood...

Key to initials: AS - Alana Stone (fashion designer); BBC - BBC Torchwood (production office); DE - Doris Egan (writer); DL - Dichen Lachman; JE - Jane Espenson (writer); KE - Kim Evey (visitor); MC - Michael Colbert (electrician); MP - Mekhi Phifer (Rex Matheson); NG - Nate Goodman (director of photography); ST - Shawna Trpcic (costume designer)


With a short break for Presidents Day, production resumes Tuesday, though with Kai Owen confirming that he is flying out to Los Angeles on Wednesday it seems that the anticipated return to the Welsh shores for filming is not to be this week, after all!

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who stars lend a hand to charity

2/23/2011 09:50:00 am - Reported by Harry Ward

Stars from Doctor Who have designed candle holders to be auctioned for the ILLUMINATE Campaign, an offshoot of The Cure Parkinson's Trust. The auction on eBay began yesterday and will finish at 7.00 pm on Friday 4th March 2011.

Peter Davison (the fifth Doctor and Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott) have both designed an image to be used on a candle holder. Also in the auction are hand signed photos by Davison and Katherine Jenkins (Abigail Pettigrew, A Christmas Carol).

Other celebrities who have appeared in Doctor Who and have designed a candle holder for the auction are Harry Lloyd (Jeremy Baines / Son of Mine, Human Nature / The Family of Blood), Roy Hudd (Max Miller, Pier Pressure, Big Finish Audio), Louise Minchin (Newsreader, Torchwood: Children of Earth), Julia Sawalha (Emma, The Curse of Fatal Death, Red Nose Day parody episode), who has signed a photo, and Ricky Gervais, who appeared as a slug-like monster alongside David Tennant as the tenth Doctor in a scene in Extras - The Special.


Britain’s favourite celebrities have personally designed these 34 candle holders, which will be auctioned on eBay for 10 days starting 7pm on 22nd FEBRUARY 2011. Only one candle holder of each design has been made … making each of them truly unique.

These top quality, bone china candle holders, are made in Stoke on Trent and filled with 100 hour white wax. They are approximately 75mm in diameter and 92mm tall and come in a specially made presentation box. The design has been kiln-fired onto the candle holder, during the manufacturing process, to make it permanent. Remember - the items for auction here are truly unique - only one of each design exists.

Additionally we are auctioning 10 hand signed photographs sent to us by celebrities in response to our appeal for support. Included with every item is a Certificate of Authenticity signed by The Cure Parkinson’s Trust’s Managing Director.

If you decide not to bid for a candle holder, perhaps you might donate to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust instead? By donating to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust you are investing in the hope of a future without Parkinson’s.

Bookmark and Share Nicholas Courtney 1929-2011

2/23/2011 02:45:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster



Nicholas Courtney, known to and beloved by Doctor Who fans worldwide as Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart and one of the longest-serving co-stars of the series, has died, aged 81.

Born in Egypt, William Nicholas Stone Courtney spent his childhood and education in a variety of places - his father serving in the diplomatic service - before entering the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art after completing his National Service in 1950. He then entered rep in 1952 - his first job being actor/ASM in Cromer! - before a move to London brought him to the world of television.

His first appearance in this media was as a Warrant Officer in the 1957 series Escape, followed by playing King Charles II in Looking About and Mark Norman in an episode of No Hiding Place. He was then to appear throughout the 1960s in shows like Callan and Sword of Honour, as well as popular fantasy genre titles like The Saint, The Champions, The Avengers, and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (alongside Master-to-be, Roger Delgado).

His first brush with Doctor Who was to be as Space Security Agent Bret Vyon in the First Doctor epic The Daleks' Master Plan. For Doctor Who fans, of course, he will always be remembered as UNIT stalwart Lethbridge-Stewart. Originally slated to play Captain Knight in the Second Doctor adventure The Web Of Fear, he was 'promoted' to the role of Colonel by director Douglas Camfield when original actor David Langton pulled out, and returned a year as a newly promoted Brigadier in The Invasion, a role he was to become associated with for over forty years! Appearing as one of the main characters throughout the Third Doctor's incarnation as the UK head of UNIT, he was then to appear with every other classic series Doctor, both during the television show's original run and through the Big Finish audio adventures. Name-checked a number of times in the revived series of Doctor Who, Sir Alistair was to eventually return in the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2008 - the actor being re-united with 70s co-star Elisabeth Sladen.

Work continued after his departure from Doctor Who, appearing in shows such as All Creatures Great And Small and Sink or Swim (both alongside Fifth Doctor Peter Davison), Shelley, Yes, Prime Minister and Only Fools and Horses; he also played Lt. Col. Robert Witherton in 1993's Then Churchill Said to Me. More recently, he appeared in popular shows like The Bill, Doctors, and Casualty. In 2008 he played the Archbishop of Canterbury in Incendiary.

In 1997, he became the Honorary President of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, a position he was very proud to hold.


There have been two autobiographies on his life, Five Rounds Rapid! in 1998 and Still Getting Away With It in 2005; his memoirs were also released by Big Finish as A Soldier In Time in 2002.

He is survived by his wife Karen, his son Philip and daughter Bella.

William Nicholas Stone Courtney (16th December 1929 - 22nd February 2011)

Special Tributes: Tom Baker, Steven Moffat (via BBC Doctor Who), GreyhoundLeader (Nicholas Courtney's official site).
Media coverage: Sat: The Independent; :Fri: TVlia (Spanish), MyJoyOnline; Thu: Unreality TV, Airlock Alpha, Pure People (French), The A.V. Club, AceShowbiz, The Telegraph (Blog), TNT Magazine, Mirror, MTV, The West Australian, Adelaide Now; Wed: BBC News, BBC Doctor Who, BBC America, RadioTimes, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Express, Belfast Telegraph, AOL News, CBS News, Digital Journal, The Stage, Big Finish Productions, SFX, io9, The Register, Den of Geek, Digital Spy, The Sun, Metro, The List, Geeks of Doom, Anglotopia, Zap2It, ATV Today, TV.com, MediaSpy, Kansas City Star, AlloCiné (French)
"Very sad to hear about Nick Courtney – I was enormously proud to have interviewed him for DWM, and to have enjoyed his company many times." - Tom Spilsbury, DWM

"Sad news about Nick Courtney, though. Lovely, gentle man. Interviewed him several times. He'll be missed." - Ben Cook, DWM

"So very sad about Nick Courtney. A truly lovely man." - Clayton Hickman, writer

"has no words to decribe the loss of Nicholas Courtney, a true gentleman and much loved icon. RIP, with a heavy heart" - Toby Hadoke, Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf

"Very sad news about Nicholas Courtney. A true gentleman, a wonderful actor, a dear friend - splendid chap, all of him." - Barnaby Edwards, Dalek operator

"So sad to hear about Nicholas Courtney. A wonderful actor, a childhood hero, a treasured friend, and the kindest, funniest, gentlest of men." - Nicholas Pegg, Dalek operator

"Aw...Nick Courtney is trending worldwide. Feel the love. RIP" - Murray Gold, composer

"Nick Courtney really meant something to my generation of Who fans. His performance- funny, emotional, restrained, human - heart of the show." - Paul Cornell, series writer

"Desperately sad to hear that Nicholas Courtney has passed away. A childhood hero and the sweetest of gentlemen. Splendid chap. All of him. x" - Mark Gatiss, series writer/actor

"News reached Gary Russell and I of Nick Courtney's passing. A terribly sad end to our #Gally week. Best wishes to his family. A true gent." - Phil Ford, writer

"Very sad news about Nicholas Courtney. Lovely guy who knew how to live life. RIP." - Joe Lidster, writer

"Damn, just saw the Nicholas Courtney news. Such a shame." - James Moran, series writer

"I never properly met Nicholas Courtney when he came to Cardiff for SJA. What a shame I now never will." - Edward Russell, Senior Brand Executive for Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures

"Very sad news about Nicholas Courtney. A lovely bloke and fab actor who will be sorely missed." - Sam Watts, composer

"When I pitched the FORGOTTEN to IDW, the only tale I knew I wanted to tell at that point was one with the Brig. #NicholasCourtney" - Tony Lee, Graphic novelist


Video by Ed Stradling, via YouTube


On a personal note, it was a shock to hear the news tonight about Nick; having got to know him personally from my DWAS days, I have many fond memories of driving him to various promotions and being regaled by his stories down the local. Off-duty, he was as much the gentleman as he appeared in public, and will be sadly missed by family, friends and fandom alike. Chuck



Bookmark and Share TARDIS at Raglan Castle

2/22/2011 10:15:00 pm - Reported by Harry Ward

The majestic medieval backdrop of Raglan Castle in South East Wales will be the temporary home of the TARDIS throughout this February half-term until Sunday 27 February.

The Welsh Assembly released the news on their website earlier today:

The arrival of Doctor Who’s world-famous blue telephone box at Raglan follows its recent appearance at Caerphilly Castle.

BBC Cymru Wales and Cadw, the Welsh Assembly Government’s historic environment service, have been working together over a number of series to provide Doctor Who with some unusual and unique historical filming locations, including Neath Abbey and Caerphilly Castle.

The TARDIS will be located in the Fountain Court area of the castle for visitors to admire.

Jayne Rowlands, Cadw’s Head of Presentation, said: "It’s fantastic that we are able to welcome the Doctor’s TARDIS to Raglan Castle this half-term, and we expect it will prove a big hit with fans from both the UK and overseas."

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Experience opens

2/21/2011 06:14:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

After several test days and special preview visits, the Doctor Who Experience finally opened to the general public on Sunday morning.

Current Doctor Matt Smith was on hand at the Experience, during which he was to meet 'himself' in the form of a life-sized model: "I think he's sort of a bit musclier than I am! It's a surreal experience to have an image of yourself in 3D. So weird but one of the wonderful privileges of this particular job - you get rather mad experiences." The encounter didn't faze him, however, as he then straightened up his alter-ego's tie!

Executive Producer and lead writer Steven Moffat said about the project: "We're not setting out to frighten anyone, but kids will come here expecting it to be a bit scary, and I don't think we will be letting them down. But with the Doctor on screen following you around, hopefully you will know that you are in safe hands. After all, the Doctor always wins."

A video is available via the Experience home page, plus coverage of the launch via Sky News and Digital Spy. BBC Radio 1's Jo Whiley also visited the launch, which can be heard on her latest show from her website, which includes photos from the Experience.


Over the course of the week leading up to the grand opening, a number of articles/reviews featured in the press regarding the Experience, some of which are highlighted below:

SFX Magazine reported:
The big crowdpleaser, and reason to part with your money, will clearly be the walkthrough, a kind of mini-Doctor Who adventure with filmed snippets of Matt Smith ingeniously inserted along the way. From beginning to end it takes about 20 minutes, including a visit to a space museum, a daring step through the Crack (which opens up in front of you) a Dalek war, a flight in the TARDIS (with a moving floor bouncing you up and down – though not quite as violently as in the show), the previously mentioned 3D flight through the vortex and a few Stone Angels lurking in the shadows.

It’s unashamedly aimed at the kids (the Eleventh Doctor urges grown ups to let the kids take the controls of the TARDIS) but if you can go with the flow it’s a good laugh. And because it uses props from the actual series, even the most “grown-up” fans can treat it like an animated museum if pretending to fight Daleks is all a little too silly.
The Sun's TV Biz editor Colin Robertson enjoyed his visit:
By the end, it was clear why it's dubbed "Experience", because it's far from being a boring exhibition of Doctor Who throughout the ages. Money and creative energy has been lavished on a labyrinth of themed rooms where all manner of Who-ness is within touching distance. Your guide here, and throughout this whistle-stop tour around the galaxy, is current Timelord Matt Smith, whose video image flashes up on screens in each room.

But arguably the biggest treat is the exhibition at the end, where the entire prop department seems to have decamped. The Face of Boe, the Timelord's arch-enemy Davros, several Cybermen, Zygons, Melkurs, Doctor Who's many outfits through the years - even his doggy sidekick K9. All Who life is here. I got to grips with the old Tardis control console from the 1980s used by the sixth doctor Colin Baker and his immediate successor Sylvester McCoy.
The Daily Mail's Michael Hellicar summed up:
The whole Experience is, well, an experience. Children at the preview with me loved it — although one or two had to be persuaded by their parents to watch the scariest bits, and one six-year-old, dressed as Matt Smith’s Doctor, refused point-blank to go in once the familiar theme tune had struck up.
Nigel Whitfield of Reg Hardware, concluded:
Certainly the kids there seemed to be enjoying themselves, but there's perhaps less in it for the more mature fan. And if you've visited one of the other recent exhibitions, you may well feel, as did my companion, that – aside from the walkthrough experience – you’ve not seen anything really new.
Daisy Bowie-Sell of the Telegraph said:
I’m not the biggest Doctor Who fan. I love the series, I’ve watched a lot of the recent episodes and I’ll certainly watch it if I’m in that night, but I don’t study the Time Lord’s every movement. My knowledge of the pre 2005 Whos is patchy - I just about know who they are and what they look like.

But even for me, the experience of standing next to a large, shouting Dalek threatening to exterminate all humans was thrilling. In this first section of the exhibition the current doctor Matt Smith appears via a screen: he needs you (me!) to help him out. You control of the TARDIS, irritate the Daleks, run past weeping angels (actually terrifying), and into a room where you watch a 3D film of all the nasty monsters Doctor Who has recently fought. Their arms/plungers reach out of the screen at you, as if they might drag you into a black hole.
The Independent took a more personal look, with father and son Andy and Joshua McSmith visiting during one of the previews. Andy, being more of a casual watcher in comparison to his teenaged son, was to feel a little bemused by the proceedings, though overall enjoyed the experience:
It was a bit like one of those school trips when I was taken around a museum to have my head filled with knowledge about Egyptian civilisation or the combustion engine, under the threat of being tested later. Except in those days, the experts were old. The sad thing is that, judging by the company at Olympia yesterday, they mostly still are. Groups who booked their tickets early were being admitted for a preview, and though there were a few children taking pleasure in the nonsense on display, most of the visitors were adult, solemn and knowledgeable.

Myself, I could soak up the occasion with that bemused pleasure that comes from near total ignorance, but I don't envy the organisers their task, for I fear that if they have one fact wrong, they would face an irate horde of anorak-clothed Doctor Who wonks. For that very reason, I am sure they researched and assembled their exhibits with the same reverential care as a team of paleontologists assembling dinosaur bones.


















Bookmark and Share People roundup

2/21/2011 03:32:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Billie Piper returned in The Secret Diary of a Call Girl amidst a huge blaze of press coverage; speaking about her career plans and a possible Hollywood calling: "I keep thinking about it, but then I like England; to be out there with a baby and to do seven, eight auditions a day is just not massively appealing at the moment." On future Call-Girl: "I think we've pretty much been everywhere with the stories and as that's at the heart of every episode, you wouldn't want to exhaust it to the point of just complete ridiculousness and seediness. I really like this job but you always want the story to have legs and not be that you're scraping the bottom of the barrel. I think if we go any further then we might be guilty of that." And on the future: "I just want to do something radically different and I don't know what that is yet. I think I've just chosen things that have interested me and then kept trying new and different things. It has worked out well and I can thank Doctor Who for all of that really. It was wholly responsible for giving me a great opportunity." [various]

Torchwood star John Barrowman has recently been embroiled in media discussions over who might replace Bruce Forsyth when he eventually retires from presenting the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, with reports that both he, gameshow presenter Vernon Kay, and The One Show house Alex Jones are vying for the position. However, the stories have been refuted by new BBC1 Controller Danny Cohen, who said that Bruce would carry on for as long as he wanted to. [Sun, Western Mail, Mirror]

Karen Gillan has been voted the 77th in men’s heath and fitness guru site Ask Men's Top 99 Women for 2011.

Fifth Doctor Peter Davison reminisces about a visit with his family to New Zealand, which tied in with the islands' Armageddon convention last Autumn. During their trip, they visited Wellington, the Weta workshops, Napier, Lake Taupo, Tepau and the Coromandel peninsula; speaking on Lake Taupo: "You can take a fishing boat out on the placid waters, see hot steam coming out of the ground at The Craters of the Moon – reminiscent of an early Doctor Who landscape – and watch the majestic Huka Falls." [Daily Mail]

Catherine Tate has expressed an interest in taking up directing; speaking at a platform event at the National Theatre in London, the actress said: "I directed for the first time at Christmas, a short film for TV. I would like to do more. I have got a project but I don’t know what’s happening with that." [Express]

Alex Kingston discussed her feelings towards her Doctor Who character River Song in the Readers Digest: "I'm not allowed to breathe a word about the new storylines... otherwise, they take away my sonic screwdriver. When I was first offered the part, I had no idea how successful the new Doctor Who was because I was in the US. But as soon as I read the script, I fell in love with River. She provides a very complex link to the Doctor's life and ever since I saw Alien, a little bit of me has wanted to run around a spaceship shooting intergalactic monsters." [Press Association]

Mark Strickson has been based in Qatar for the last couple of years, and recently talked about his filming projects at the Qatar Natural History Group, during which he regaled its members with tales of his adventures over the years, including his time in Doctor Who. [Gulf Times]

Welsh Opera singer and recent Doctor Who guest star Katherine Jenkins announced that she and long time partner Gethin Jones would be getting married. (Jones has also featured in Doctor Who under monster costumes during his tenure as a Blue Peter presenter). [BBC News]

Third Doctor Jon Pertwee's son Sean explains why he never expected to follow in his father's footsteps when David Tennant was announced as leaving: "No, I never said I wanted the part, but there is a financial tale behind how the rumour started. For a laugh I tried putting a £50 bet on me to play the next Doctor because I thought I was in with a chance, but all the boys I knew in Islington decided I must have some inside info so they piled in behind me. When the betting shop staff asked who I was, the boys told them my father had played Doctor Who so they called head office about it and then declared all bets off. The next thing I knew I was in the news as running for the part, but I think it stemmed from trying to put £50 on myself. I'd love to have a guest part, but when it comes to the main role my father was too big an act to follow." [Telegraph]

Former First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan, pays tribute to outgoing BBC Wales Controller Menna Richards, during which he also reflected on how he almost ended up in Doctor Who back when the series first started filming in 2004: "I’m still kicking myself though. If you knew how my grandchildren rate having a First Minister in the family tree compared to playing a tree on Doctor Who in relative street cred in the playground, you’d understand why, too!" [Western Mail]

BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee Colin Firth was interviewed on Twitter by Vue Cinemas, during which he was asked about Doctor Who: "I’d never rule out a part in Doctor Who or Torchwood – especially Doctor Who. I’d also love to play a villain like Moriaty in Sherlock Holmes."

Finally, speaking of the Oscars, Tariq Anwar is also nominated for an Editing award for The King's Speech; the film editor worked back on Fourth Doctor stories The Face of Evil, The Sun Makers and Shada during the 1970s.