Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first sole credited single release by The Beatles - who would feature in Doctor Who in stock footage in The Executioners (episode 1 of The Chase) - and if he had a time machine Matt Smith would love to see the Fab Four: "I'd go see music - the Beatles at their height, or Woodstock, or Kurt Cobain live. I'd love to see Arcade Fire in a room somewhere. And Sinatra when he was with Dean Martin." [Bust Magazine via Yahoo, 2 Oct 2012] (DWN note: Perhaps Matt got his time trip after all, if this photo that was circulated earlier in the year is to be believed!)
Alex Kingston is to appear in the 10th season of NCIS as a "woman of questionable morals". The actress is to play a character named Miranda Pennebaker, and is described by series boss Gary Glasberg as someone who "deals in everything from high-end weapons sales to priceless gems. Her connections go all the way up the ladder of D.C. politics, and [Major Case Response Team leader Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro] Gibbs needs her for this very disturbing, emotional case." [TVLine, 3 Oct 2012]
Author and long-term fan A. L. Kennedy has expressed an interest to write for Doctor Who: "To go back to things that you are completely open to as a child, and which you allow to be very deeply part of who you are, as an artist, is to get back to that bit of yourself. And Doctor Who is very deeply there in my own work. Every crazy person, lots of the sense of humour, my viewpoint on what human beings are, absolutely. If I wasn’t going to be a writer I was going to be an anthropologist, because that was my thing: what are human beings?" The author will also be talking about Doctor Who when she appears at the Wigtown Book Festival on Sunday 7th October. [Scotsman, 1 Oct 2012]
A rare opportunity to see Sarah Sutton in one of her earliest TV roles is coming up. The BFI is screening the BBC's 1973 adaptation of Alice Through The Looking Glass, which stars Sutton as the eponymous heroine, at its Southbank venue in London on Saturday 17th November as part of its Beyond the Fourth Wall – Experiments in TV Drama season. Directed by James MacTaggart, who was keen to exploit the possibilities offered by the then-new technique of colour separation overlay, the 65-minute play was the BBC's official entry to the Prix Italia competition. Also appearing in it are Geoffrey Bayldon (White Knight), Bruce Purchase (Walrus), and Stephen Moore (Haigha). Tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday 9th October.
Mark Gatiss will be at the BFI Southbank on Sunday 28th October for a question-and-answer session following a preview of his feature-length BBC Four documentary Horror Europa With Mark Gatiss, which explores European horror cinema and is a follow-up to his BBC Four series A History of Horror. Again, tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday 9th October. The 90-minute documentary will air on BBC Four towards the end of October.
Billie Piper is moving to Los Angeles with husband Laurence Fox after they both finish their current theatre stints, according to a newspaper interview with Fox, who is appearing with Arthur Darvill in Our Boys at The Duchess Theatre in London until Saturday 15th December. Piper is in The Effect at The Cottesloe, which opens on Tuesday 6th November and runs until Wednesday 23rd January 2013, meaning that for a few weeks their performances will overlap. However, Fox said the two of them didn't compete over their careers. "It's not competitive but I feel like I've got to raise my game a bit. She's really good so it would be nice if I was really good too," he said. [i, 3 Oct 2012]
Meanwhile, Matt Smith and David Tennant bumped into each other at the press night for Our Boys. Also there was Billie Piper to give her support to her husband. [Mail Online, 4 Oct 2012]
Comedian and TV presenter Frank Skinner has told of his failed bid to secure a role in the current series of Doctor Who. In an interview with Absolute Radio, he said: "I got my manager to phone up the Doctor Who people when I heard this series was being filmed. He never mentioned it again so I take it that he couldn't break it to me." [i, 3 Oct 2012]
Comic book writer and playwright Grant Morrison, who penned stories for Doctor Who Magazine in the 1980s, told the MorrisonCon audience in Las Vegas that despite his desire to write for the show and apparent initial interest by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss in him doing so, nothing more had been forthcoming. "Moffat had been getting a lot of tweets from people who were saying, 'You should have Grant write Doctor Who', and I'd really love to write Doctor Who," he said. He added that a friend who had worked with Moffat and Gatiss suggested it to the pair and told him the duo wanted to hear from him. "We tried it four or five times, and he never wrote back," said Morrison. [Comic Book Resources, 1 Oct 2012 - NB: Article contains strong language elsewhere.]
In a two-page feature in the new Radio Times, Steven Moffat describes how he struggled to find the proper ending for Amy and Rory. "How and why would they leave? And would they live or die? I wrote and rewrote. I had a completely different ending and threw it away. So many times over those mad few days, the fate of the Ponds changed. Alive, dead, alive, dead . . . Nothing felt right. Nothing felt inevitable." [Radio Times, 3 Oct 2012]
Sheridan Smith - companion Lucie Miller to the Eighth Doctor in the Big Finish audio dramas - is the latest signing to BBC In-House Comedy's production of Mr Stink. As previously reported, the children's novel by David Walliams stars Hugh Bonneville as the eponymous tramp and has been adapted by Walliams and Simon Nye. Smith, who will play the overbearing mother of lonely 12-year-old Chloe who befriends Mr Stink, said: "David is such a brilliant writer, and the character just jumped off the page when I read it." [BBC Media Centre, 4 Oct 2012]