Friday, 31 May 2013

Name of the Doctor: Official Ratings


Full ratings data for the week ending 19th May 2013 is now available and give Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor an official rating of 7.45 million viewers, a share of 31.7% of the total television audience.

Once ITV HD and +1 figures are factored in, Doctor Who was the 10th most watched programme on British Television for the week.

On BBC One, Doctor Who was the third most watched programme of the week, behind the The Eurovision Song Contest and one episode of Eastenders. ITV won the week with Britain's Got Talent with Coronation Street and one episode of Emmerdale in the top Ten..

Figures do not include iPlayer viewings where around 1.6 million have accessed the episode. Final figures will be available later.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Sixth Doctor Revisited On BBC America

Vengeance on Varos will represent the Sixth Doctor's era next month in BBC America's Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited celebratory season.

A documentary entitled Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited - The Sixth Doctor will air on Saturday 29th June at 7.30pm ET/PT, followed by an omnibus edition of the adventure, which was written by Philip Martin, directed by Ron Jones, and originally broadcast in two episodes in January 1985 as the second story in Season 22.

The documentary will see Sixth Doctor actor Colin Baker, both his companion actors Nicola Bryant and Bonnie Langford, and current lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, among others, examining the Sixth Doctor's adventures and discussing his famous foes, including the universe's most slippery businessman, Sil, who made his first appearance - of two so far - in the story.
The Doctor visits the planet Varos to obtain the rare ore Zeiton-7, vital to the functioning of his TARDIS. But Varos is a dangerous place, where rebels are tortured on live television and executions are used to win votes from the public. Trapped in the dreaded Punishment Dome, the Doctor and his companion Peri must fight for their lives - and save the starving population from the machinations of the villainous reptilian Sil.


BBC America is paying tribute to the programme's 50th anniversary by showing a story per Doctor per month.

Attack of the Cybermen on UKTV


UKTV

Sunday 2nd June sees the broadcast of the 1985 Colin Baker story, Attack of the Cybermen on Australian and New Zealand television. The story is presented as part of the 50th Anniversary season of Doctor Who on the UKTV channel.

In New Zealand the story screens at 4:25pm and in Australia at 4:30pm. New Zealand has an additional screening on Monday 3rd June at 4:40am.

The UKTV billing describes Attack of the Cybermen as follows:
While trying to fix the TARDIS's chameleon circuit, the Sixth Doctor returns to Foreman's Yard on Totter's Lane in 1985, where he meets his old enemies the Cybermen.
Attack of the Cybermen was first broadcast in Australia in 1985. New Zealand did not get to see it until 1989. The story was originally screened in Britain as two 45-minute episodes, but was first broadcast in Australia and New Zealand in a four-part format. The UKTV transmission will feature the two-episode version of the story.

UKTV is showing stories throughout the year in the lead-up to the anniversary in November. The stories due to be screened during June all feature Colin Baker's sixth Doctor. The schedule includes: Vengeance on Varos (9 June), The Mark of the Rani (16 June), The Two Doctors (23 June), Revelation of the Daleks (30 June).

Up-and-coming broadcasts from both 20th and 21st Century series of Doctor Who can be found via UKTV's Doctor Who sections for Australia and New Zealand.



Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Doctor Who Magazine 461

Doctor Who Magazine 461 (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine is in the shops Thursday, and marks the centenary of legendary actor Peter Cushing’s birth, as well as the release on DVD and Blu-ray of Dr Who and the Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD in which he starred. DWM takes a look at the life of the man who was the big screen Dr Who...
I only saw one episode of Doctor Who on TV, but I felt the character was unnecessarily harsh. I see him as a jolly old fellow – not sour at all!

Also in this issue:
  • The Cyber-Planner: "I thought the coolest thing in the world would be writing Batman, and it absolutely was... until the point that I wrote Doctor Who." Neil Gaiman tells us about writing the recent episode Nightmare in Silver!
  • And The Winnder Is... The votes are in for the 2012 Season Survey and the winners are revealed, including: Favourite Story, Best Director, Best Writer, and what was top of your wish list for the forthcoming 50th anniversary – as well as a chance to vote in our 2013 poll.
  • Countdown to Destruction! The TARDIS takes the First Doctor, Vicki and Steven to a doomed alien world where a conflict rages between the survivors of two crashed spaceships, the Drahvins and the Rills in Galaxy 4. This overlooked serial from 1965 is the subject of this issue’s Fact of Fiction, which reveals new and fascinating facts about the production.
  • Good Things: Doctor Who’s top man Steven Moffat answers questions from DWM readers, including how he times the length of episodes, and how would he feel about an American version of Doctor Who?
  • Noble Companion: DWM’s journey through the history of Doctor Who reaches 2008 and the show's thirtieth series in Countdown to 50. Donna Noble becomes the Doctor’s travelling companion and together they encounter Sontarans, crazed Ood, Davros and Agatha Christie, and visit ancient Rome, parallel worlds, and the Shadow Proclamation.
  • Youth Today! Chris, Emma, Michael and Will roll back the years when they sit down to watch The Lazarus Experiment from 2007. What will our trusty Time Team make of Professor Lazarus’ quest for eternal youth?
  • Final Reckoning... The Promethians have won, mankind has been reduced to a state of barbarism and the Doctor and his friends Ian and Barbara are at the mercy of the Tribe of Gum. All hope is lost. Or is it? The Doctor has a plan, but is it already too late? Events reach a staggering climax in the sixth and final instalment of the epic comic strip adventure Hunters of the Burning Stone, written by Scott Gray, with pencils by Martin Geraghty.
  • It's The End... Columnist Jac Rayner recalls how she helped her children face the reality of death – both fictional and in reality in this issue’s Relative Dimensions.
  • The Reason We're Writin': The Watcher tackles the thorny subject of Doctor Who mispronunciations in A History of Doctor Who in 100 Objects; presents a Grecian themed challenge to readers with The Six Faces of Delusion; outs another hapless Supporting Artist of the Month; and goes Wild with a list of Top Ten Westerns. All this and more in this issue’s hilarious Wotcha!

PLUS! All the latest official news, TV and merchandise reviews, previews, ratings analysis, competitions, a prize-winning crossword and much, much more!

K9 Stole My Trousers

Fantom Publishing have announced the forthcoming publication of Bob Baker's autobiography.

K9 Stole My Trousers (Credit: Fantom Publishing)K9 Stole My Trousers
An Autobiography

Bob Baker, co-writer of three Oscar and BAFTA winning Wallace & Gromit films, creator of K9, and writer of numerous Doctor Who episodes, releases his autobiography this June.

A stalwart of HTV, Bob has worked with Sir Laurence Olivier, Leonard Rossiter, Ron Moody, Toyah Willcox and Trevor Eve. Among his many TV credits, Bob wrote a number of episodes of Doctor Who with co-writer Dave Martin, several episodes of Bergerac starring John Nettles and the smash hit children's show, Into the Labyrinth; Bob also script edited the popular crime series Shoestring.

Bob is perhaps best known for his work with Nick Park on Aardman Animations' Oscar and BAFTA-winning shorts, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave and A Matter of Loaf and Death, and the feature film The Curse of the Wererabbit.

Among his recent work, Bob has just finished the first 26-part series of the regenerated K9, currently showing on the Disney Channel and Channel 5 and is gearing up for a second series in the coming year.

Bob’s life has been rich and varied; his adventures outside of his illustrious career range from a wine-tasting tour of France and mad sea voyages with the legendary Keith Floyd to playing jazz with John Fortune of Bremner, Bird and Fortune. K9 Stole My Trousers is a tribute to some of the finest talents in TV in the last fifty years, both people Bob worked with and people he considered himself lucky to know in his personal life.

The book is due to be published on the 10th June 2013, and will also be available for Kindle.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Competitions Update

Here is an update on the current competitions running from Doctor Who News.

Studio Canal: The Dalek Movies
Closing Date: 27th May 2013

In Dr Who and The Daleks, what is Ian Chesterton's lucky number?

Please send the answer to the question to comp-movies@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "Thal play!", along with your name, postal address, and where you saw the competition mentioned (the news website, facebook, twitter, etc.). Only one entry will be accepted per postal address. This competition is only open to UK residents.
Big Finish: The Apocalypse Mirror
Closing Date: 31st May

As well as Doctor Who, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury also appeared together in Emmerdale Farm - what were their character names?

Please send the answer to the question to comp-apocalypse@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "Beckindale re-union", along with your name, postal address, and where you saw the competition mentioned (the news website, facebook, twitter, etc.). Only one entry will be accepted per postal address. This competition is open worldwide.
AudioGo: Trouble in Paradise
Closing Date: 4th June

The Doctor's arrival on sailing ships often leads to trouble: what was the name of the first such vessel in the series to suffer from such an encounter?

Please send the answer to the question to comp-paradise@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "Below Decks", along with your name, postal address, and where you saw the competition mentioned (the news website, facebook, twitter, etc.). Only one entry will be accepted per postal address. This competition is open worldwide.
AudioGo: Doctor Who and The Planet of The Daleks
Closing Date: 4th June

Planet of the Daleks is often loosely described as the second part of a longer story: name the novelisation of the preceding adventure.

Please send the answer to the question to comp-potd@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "I've Got The Power!", along with your name, postal address, and where you saw the competition mentioned (the news website, facebook, twitter, etc.). Only one entry will be accepted per postal address. This competition is open worldwide.
AudioGo: The Dalek Generation
Closing Date: 4th June

In recent years Nicholas Briggs has become the de-facto voice of several monsters in Doctor Who: name his original vocal 're-creation' for the series.

Please send the answer to the question to comp-generation@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "Benevolate!", along with your name, postal address, and where you saw the competition mentioned (the news website, facebook, twitter, etc.). Only one entry will be accepted per postal address. This competition is open worldwide.
AudioGo: Harvest of Time
Closing Date: 4th June

The Harvest of Time features the Master as originally portrayed by Roger Delgado; this CD is narrated by a future Master, Geoffrey Beevers - in which story did he feature as the Doctor's old adversary?

Please send the answer to the question to comp-harvest@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "Don't touch any seaweed...", along with your name, postal address, and where you saw the competition mentioned (the news website, facebook, twitter, etc.). Only one entry will be accepted per postal address. This competition is open worldwide.

AudioGo: June Releases

AudioGo's next stage in the Destiny of the Doctor reaches the Sixth Doctor in June with he and companion Peri meeting Trouble in Paradise. Meanwhile, the latest audio adaptation of the Target novelisations sees the Third Doctor ahd Jo arriving on The Planet of the Daleks. Plus, two audio adaptations of recent BBC Books releases include the Eleventh Doctor once again encountering his greatest alien foe in The Dalek Generation, and the Third Doctor facing off against fellow Time Lord The Master in Harvest of Time.

Destiny of the Doctor: Trouble in Paradise (Credit: AudioGo)Destiny of the Doctor: Trouble in Paradise
Starring Nicola Bryant, with Cameron Stewart (pre-order)


Responding to a desperate summons from the Doctor's future self, he and Peri find themselves on a sailing ship in 1492, where the crewmen are gripped by superstitious fear. They say the Devil walks among them, stalking and striking them down. Even though they have landed in paradise, they fear that 'El Diablo' himself will drag them over the edge of the world and into the depths of hell. When the Doctor and Peri meet the captain of the ship, they both discover that heroes can sometimes behave un-heroically. Peri's reaction leads her into deep water, and soon the Doctor fears not only for her life but also for the existence of the ship, the paradise island, and the Universe itself...

Celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who, a brand new adventure for the Sixth Doctor. Nicola Bryant - Peri in the BBC TV Doctor Who series - and Cameron Stewart perform this original story by Nev Fountain, with music and sound design.
Doctor Who and The Planet of The Daleks (Credit: AudioGo)Doctor Who and The Planet of The Daleks
Written by Terrance Dicks
Read by Mark Gatiss, with Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the Daleks (pre-order)

An exciting novelisation of a classic 1973 Doctor Who serial, featuring the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and his companion Jo Grant.

After pursuing the Daleks through Space, the Doctor and Jo land on the planet Spiridon, in the midst of a tropical jungle…and finds more than Daleks. Vicious plants spitting deadly poison, invisible Spiridons attacking from all sides and, in hiding, a vast army of Daleks waits for the moment to mobilise and conquer.
 
The Dalek Generation (Credit: AudioGo)The Dalek Generation
Written and read by Nicholas Briggs (pre-order)

"The Sunlight Worlds Offer You A Life of Comfort and Plenty. Apply now at the Dalek Foundation."

Sunlight 349 is one of countless Dalek Foundation worlds, planets created to house billions suffering from economic hardship. The Doctor arrives at Sunlight 349, suspicious of any world where the Daleks are apparently a force for good - and determined to find out the truth. The Doctor knows they have a far more sinister plan - but how can he convince those who have lived under the benevolence of the Daleks for a generation? But convince them he must, and soon. For on another Foundation planet, archaeologists have unearthed the most dangerous technology in the universe...

A thrilling, all-new adventure featuring the Doctor as played by Matt Smith in the spectacular hit series from BBC Television.
Harvest Of Time (Credit: AudioGo)Harvest of Time
Written by Alistair Reynolds
Read by Geoffrey Beevers (pre-order)

An unabridged reading of a brand new novel from BBC Books.

After billions of years of imprisonment, the vicious Sild have broken out of confinement. From a ruined world at the end of time, they make preparations to conquer the past, with the ultimate goal of rewriting history. But to achieve their aims they will need to enslave an intellect greater than their own...

On Earth, UNIT is called in to investigate a mysterious incident on a North Sea drilling platform. The Doctor believes something is afoot, and no sooner has the investigation begun when something even stranger takes hold: The Brigadier is starting to forget about UNIT's highest-profile prisoner. And he is not alone in his amnesia.

As the Sild invasion begins, the Doctor faces a terrible dilemma. To save the universe, he must save his arch-nemesis... The Master.

A brand new adventure featuring the 3rd Doctor, as played by Jon Pertwee in the original BBC TV series, and his adversary the Master, as played by Roger Delgado.

Publications Roundup

A roundup of some of the independent publications that have recently been published or announced.

Fifty Years in Time and Space: A Short History of Doctor Who (Credit: St Mark's Press)Fifty Years in Time and Space: A Short History of Doctor Who
by Frank Danes
282 pages, published by St Mark's Press, out now

St Mark’s Press has just released a new, unauthorised, single volume critical history of the programme: "Fifty Years in Time and Space: A Short History of Doctor Who". The author is Frank Danes and the cover is by Roger Langridge, whose work regularly appeared in Doctor Who Magazine.

Frank is Head of English at King’s Ely school in England. He’s written Victorian Literature for Cambridge University Press and those of us with long memories may remember that he co-edited the fanzine Fendahl way back in the late 70s and early 80s. Fifty Years in Time and Space is a well-written, amusing and carefully researched guide.

Frank comments:
I was born in 1965 – on a Saturday, in fact, and just in time to watch ‘Galaxy Four’ episode two. Some of my earliest memories are of watching the programme: I remember my twin brother and I putting our hands over the screen when the Yeti appeared, prompting yells of ‘Get those twins away from the television!’ from my elder brothers. I’ve always been a Doctor Who fan even as I have become (in Terrance Dicks’ words) older, fatter, greyer, but not noticeably wiser.

The book is available direct from St Mark's Press, or from Amazon, Galaxy 4, Who One, The Who Shop and other bookshops.
Celebrate Regenerate (Credit: Celebrate Regenerate/Lewis Christian)Celebrate Regenerate
edited by Lewis Christian
due for publication 13th July 2013

In order to aid the celebrations of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary this year, quite an epic-sized group of fans have come together from all over the world to build Celebrate Regenerate, a fan-made (non-profit and unofficial) book, filled with reviews and articles covering every televised story.

At over 300 A4 pages, this doorstop of a book is packed with pieces from over 250+ fan writers, and we’ve even included some fanart too. To top it all, we’ve also bagged a few exclusive interviews with Series 1 director, Joe Ahearne; writer Tom MacRae, and writer Joseph Lidster which will be published alongside some other special features in the book.


The project, now a year in the making, is set to be released on 13th July this year, well in time for the anniversary. We aim to simply add to the growing list of contributions from other fans and writers, and our goal is now to reach out to as many fans as possible to share our finished project.

(Up until 8th July, we’re offering everybody the chance to have their name listed in the book as a 'Companion' too, to make up for them not knowing about this and being able to submit)

This is an non-profit, unauthorised and unofficial fan publication, and will be available for free for download in PDF format; it will also be possible to purchase a physical copy via lulu.com.


For more details, visit the Celebrate Regenerate website and Facebook page.
Liberating Earth, A Faction Paradox Collection
edited by Kate Orman
due for publication by Obverse Books in May 2014

Coming in May 2014 from Obverse Books: Liberating Earth, an anthology of science fiction and fantasy written entirely by women, edited by award-winning Australian author Kate Orman.

In Liberating Earth, rival cousins from the mysterious time-travelling Faction Paradox cult decide our planet should be freed from the human race and placed in better hands. As the cousins ruthlessly compete to create the perfect alternative Earth, history and reality change wildly again and again. Humanity is helpless. Or is it?

SF and fantasy readers and viewers, especially women, are increasingly calling for more work by female writers. Stuart Douglas of Obverse Books has commissioned Liberating Earth in response to that demand.

Editor Kate Orman was the first woman published in the Doctor Who: the New Adventures range of novels, eventually writing and co-writing a total of thirteen Who-related books, as well as publishing original fantasy and science fiction.

Liberating Earth will be printed in hardback and ebook formats in May 2014.

Other recently reported publications include Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith, Time & Space Visualiser: The Story and History of Doctor Who as Data Visualisations, and Companions: 50 Years of Doctor Who Assistants

BBC Books: Autumn Releases

BBC Books have released details on two hardback publications to tie in with the 50th Anniversary celebrations this coming Autumn.

The Doctor: His Lives and Times (Credit: BBC Books)The Doctor: His Lives and Times
by James Goss and Steve Tribe
Published by BBC Books on 26 September 2013, hardback

"I'm the Doctor. I’m a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. And I'm the man who’s going to save your life."

He's made a mark on almost every era of history, and he’s touched millions of lives across space and time. In these pages you'll find just some of the stories behind those brief encounters, each of them addressing the question that must never, ever be answered: "Doctor Who?"

This is the story of an impossible life – of a man who borrowed a spaceship, travelled through time and continually saved the universe - as told by the Doctor's friends, by his enemies, and by the man himself. Letters, journals, trial records, secret government files and the occasional bit of tabloid journalism reveal the never-before-told story of Gallifrey's last Time Lord.

Contributors to His Lives and Times include: Colin Baker, John and Carole E. Barrowman, Tim Berners-Lee, Nicholas Briggs, Jenna Coleman, Paul Cornell, Rusell T Davies, Peter Davison, Terrance Dicks, Neil Gaiman, Mark Gatiss, Waris Hussein, Bonnie Langford, Paul McGann, Steven Moffat, Matt Smith, Laila Ward and Marcus Wilson.
The Vault (Credit: BBC Books)The Vault
by Marcus Hearn
Published by BBC Books on 24 October 2013

Drawing on unseen and iconic material from the BBC archive and private collectors, The Vault is an unforgettable journey through 50 years of Doctor Who, via carefully selected photographs, props, costumes designs, production memos, letters, scripts and more.

This is the full and official story of Doctor Who, from the first pre-production memos in 1963 to the most recent props created for the 2013 series, including interviews with key players and scores of prop photos, design sketches and behind the scenes stills from every decade of the show’s production. Taking you year by year through the world’s
longest running science fiction series, Marcus Hearn explores the show’s groundbreaking innovations as well as its impact on popular culture through books and comics, magazines and toys, merchandise and ephemera.

The Vault is a collector’s dream, and the ultimate celebration of Doctor Who.
 

Also re-released in paperback:

The Wheel of Ice (Credit: BBC Books)The Wheel of Ice
by Stephen Baxter
Published by BBC Books on 1 August 2013, paperback

The Wheel. A ring of ice and steel around a moon of Saturn, and home to a mining colony supplying Earth. It’s a bad place to grow up.

The colony has been plagued by problems and there are stories of mysterious creatures glimpsed aboard the Wheel. Many of the younger workers refuse to go down the warrenlike mines anymore. And then young Phee Laws, surfing Saturn’s rings, saves an enigmatic blue box from destruction.

Aboard the Wheel, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe find themselves caught in a mystery that goes right back to the creation of the solar system. A mystery that could kill them all.
 

Details announced of Splendid Chaps: "Six/Clothes"

.As previously reportedSplendid Chaps is a year-long performance/podcast project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who hosted by comedian Ben McKenzie (Dungeon CrawlMelbourne Museum Comedy Tour) and writer John Richards (ABC1 sitcom OutlandBoxcutters podcast)

Described by its creators as part intellectual panel discussion, part nerdy Tonight Show, Splendid Chaps is a combination of analysis, enthusiasm and irreverence. The first episode went to number 1 on the iTunes TV & Film Podcast chart in Australia, and to number 4 in the UK.  The podcasts to the first few episodes are now available at www.splendidchaps.com or at  iTunes.

Tickets are now on sale for their 6th Doctor show! Their sixth outing discusses the sometimes controversial Sixth Doctor, played by actor Colin Baker. Better known for playing villains and bullies – including Time Lord Commander Maxil in the Peter Davison story Arc of Infinity - Baker dug into the character’s past, bringing back some of William Hartnell’s arrogance and pomposity in order to offer a different take to his good-natured predecessor. It was a turbulent time to become the Doctor, though, as the show was suspended for 18 months, put on trial by the powers that be, and finally forced to make drastic changes – including firing the lead actor.

Most people, of course, remember Six for that outfit, and so this episode the Splendid Chaps discuss Clothes. Few programs have as broad-ranging a costume design remit, with new worlds, eras and civilisations needing to be created every week. Not to mention that an eccentric Time Lord and his companions need to find clothes that are practical in any situation, from soulless steel corridors to rocky alien landscapes, polar caps and the inside of volcanoes. Oh, and they need to be fashionable in any era… It’s a big ask, and as The Discontinuity Guide reminded us, there were fashion victims as well as triumphs.

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by writer and podcaster Tansy Rayner Roberts (Galactic Suburbia, Verity), and another guest to be announced soon. There will also be a special musical performance, prizes, surprises – and a fashion show! Yes, and Splendid Chaps want to see your best cosplay and Doctor Who related sartorial creations – and there will be prizes on offer.

Space: Agent 284, 284 Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne
Time: Saturday 15 June; recording starts 4 PM
Accessibility: Regretfully this venue is not wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: $15 (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via trybooking.com or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23 June 2013.


With thanks to John Richards

Friday, 24 May 2013

Nightmare in Silver: Official Viewing Figures


Full ratings data for the week ending 12th May 2013 is now available and give Doctor Who: Nightmare in Silver an official rating of 6.64 million viewers, a share of 27.1% of the total television audience.

Once ITV HD and +1 figures are factored in, Doctor Who was the 22nd most watched programme on British Television for the week.

On BBC One, Doctor Who was the ninth most watched programme of the week and it was the third most watched programme of Saturday, behind the two reality shows Britain's Got Talent and The Voice.

Figures do not include iPlayer viewings, figures for which will be available later.

Troughton's Hitch In Time To Get Spruced-Up DVD Release

The film A Hitch In Time starring Patrick Troughton as a time-travelling professor is to be released on DVD for high-definition viewing.

Penned by the Oscar-winning scriptwriter T E B "Tibby" Clarke and directed by Jan Darnley-Smith, the 54-minute Children's Film Foundation feature from 1978 will form part of the three-film CFF collection Weird Adventures from the BFI.

In A Hitch In Time, Patrick Troughton plays time-hopping inventor Adam Wagstaff. Discovered working on his time machine by two curious kids, Wagstaff decides to send them back through the ages. But with malfunctions a-plenty, will they be able to make it back?
It also stars Jeff Rawle as "Sniffy" Kemp, a teacher out to spoil the fun. The art direction is by Doctor Who's current production designer Michael Pickwoad.

The other two films in the collection are Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's last collaborative feature The Boy Who Turned Yellow (1972) and Alberto Cavalcanti's The Monster of Highgate Ponds (1961).

All the films have been newly transferred for high-definition viewing from the best available elements in the BFI National Archive, having been out of distribution for a number of years.

Weird Adventures - the third volume of CFF films brought out by the BFI - will be released on Monday 17th June and is available to pre-order.

The CFF was a non-profit-making pan-industry initiative set up in 1951 by the owner of the Odeon and Rank cinema chains to make home-grown entertainment for young cinema-goers to see at the "Saturday morning pictures". Key themes included adventure, mysteries, monsters, science-fiction, shipwrecks, races, and animals, with regional content from Scotland to south-west England.

It became the Children's Film and Television Foundation in 1982, with film production ending in 1987. The CFTF is now known as the Children's Media Foundation, with the film collection preserved in the BFI National Archive.

BFI Screenings: Seventh Doctor Title Announced

Remembrance of the Daleks is the story that has been chosen to represent the Seventh Doctor's era for the BFI's Doctor Who At 50 season.

The four-parter, written by Ben Aaronovitch and directed by Andrew Morgan, originally aired in October 1988 and saw the Doctor return to Coal Hill School and the Totter's Lane junkyard first seen in the show's premier episode in 1963. It also continued the story arc of the civil war between rival Dalek factions and marked the last appearance of the Daleks and Davros in the original run of the show.

Remembrance will be getting its big-screen showing on Saturday 27th July at 2pm, with priority booking for tickets being subject to a ballot via the members' section.

BFI Champions can enter the ballot from Monday 3rd June and members can enter from Tuesday 4th June.

The ballot will close on Friday 7th June and be run over the weekend of 8th and 9th June, with all entrants to be notified on Monday 10th June if they have been successful or not. Any tickets reserved for Champions and members through the ballot will be held until 8.30pm on Friday 14th June, and any that are unclaimed by then will be released for public sale on Saturday 15th June.

Although all the celebratory screenings have been immediate sell-outs, returns and stand-bys are a strong possibility, so if all else fails do keep checking with the BFI!

Guests for the accompanying question-and-answer panel will be announced nearer the time.

UPDATE - SUNDAY 16th JUNE: The BFI has launched a competition to win a pair of tickets to the Remembrance screening, with a copy of the BFI book 100 Science Fiction Films - to be published on Friday 28th June - also going to the winner. Enter via this link. The competition closes on Friday 19th July. Travel is not included, and terms and conditions apply.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Ice Warriors: original trailer to be included on DVD

ClentPenley
The DVD release of The Ice Warriors is to include the original in-character trailer, with brand new animation. Producer Chris Chapman explained on Twitter:
So... the plan is at the moment that the Ice Warriors DVD will include the original 1967 in-character trailer- animated back into existence! We weren't going to do this - didn't think we'd have time, but Chris Chatterton and his team have pulled out all the animated stops! Worth saying though that the Ice Warriors trailer audio is beyond restoration - it's really bad. So we're including subtitles to help!
As mentioned, the audio quality of the trailer utilised for the project is in very bad quality, and Chris has asked if anybody owns a copy that they believe is of a good standard that could be used on the DVD to please contact him asap.

The original trailer was broadcast after the final episode of The Abominable Snowmen on 4th November 1967, and featured Peter Barkworth as Clent and Peter Sallis as Penley introducing the situation facing Brittanicus Base.

BBFC Updates

The BBFC have recently classified various aspects of the DVD release, including the existing four episodes and their commentaries, plus special features (which confirms their running times):
00:10:03:06 BLUE PETER (DOCTOR WHO - THE ICE WARRIORS - 
            DVD EXTRAS - BLUE PETER DESIGN-A-MONSTER)
00:03:51:24 THE ICE WARRIORS - PHOTO GALLERY (DVD EXTRA)
00:13:46:08 DOCTOR WHO STORIES - FRAZER HINES (DVD EXTRA)
00:19:17:23 (DOCTOR WHO - THE ICE WARRIORS - DVD EXTRAS - VHS LINKS)
00:24:28:18 COLD FUSION - MAKING THE ICE WARRIORS (DVD EXTRA)

The newly animated version of The Tenth Planet: Episode 4 has also been passed (running time 24m 35s), as has the trailer for Scream of the Shalka.

The Daemons' White Witch To Return On DVD

A drama production featuring Damaris Hayman reprising her role as white witch Olive Hawthorne from Third Doctor story The Daemons is to be released on DVD later this year.

White Witch of Devil's End is a Reeltime Pictures spin-off and, according to producer Keith Barnfather, despite nearing the age of 84 Hayman jumped at the chance of playing the role again.

Hayman herself said:
I shall retire, I think, in my coffin! Miss Hawthorne was my all-time favourite role and I was enchanted by the thought of being her again for a little while. After a lot of working together consulting over the scripts I'd subsequently never enjoyed filming more, and I can't wait now to see the final result.
Barnfather commented:
I was amazed and delighted that, as an octogenarian, Damaris was prepared to take this on. We had recently recorded an interview with her for our Myth Makers series profiling actors who had appeared in Doctor Who and I already knew she still had a hunger to act. But I really didn't expect her to be so keen.
Because of her age, the actress knew she had to pace herself, so director Anastasia Stylianou decided to film the drama in a "talking head" style, adding dramatic cutaway material to bring the words to life. Stylianou said:
I knew it would be a challenge. We needed to film a 50-minute drama at least, so I decided to make an asset out of a limitation.
Primary filming has already taken place at a cottage near Hayman's home, with the crew collecting and returning her each day. Once back home each evening, she was able to recover and study the next day's script.

Barnfather said:
We used autocue to help Damaris. It was an impossible task for any actor to learn so much dialogue. She was a true professional and took to it instantly.
A release date of Thursday 31st October - Halloween - is planned, and Stylianou added:
It's just getting all the dramatic cutaway material "in the can" that is crucial. The drama is really an anthology – a set of connecting stories about Olive's life told, as it were, in her own words.
Barnfather, who contacted pal David J Howe at Telos Publishing when considering who should write the stories, stated:
I thought it would be fantastic to ask individual writers knowledgeable in the occult and magic to write each story and David, through Telos, knew so many of the best young talent in the country.
Howe and his partner Sam Stone contacted several authors they felt would be sympathetic to the material and got them all on board for the project. Stone, who is an award-winning author, said:
I took on the task of outlining the whole story and then asked the writers to come up with ideas which fitted that framework. We needed to tell stories at different points in Olive Hawthorne's life, and the writers rose to the challenge and delivered scripts which exceeded all my expectations. I then worked with them to refine the scripts into the completed screenplay.
As well as Howe and Stone, the writers involved in the project are Raven Dane, Debbie Bennett, Jan Edwards, and Suzanne J Barbieri, with a final script polish being applied by Big Finish writer Matt Fitton.

The DVD, which will be region-free, is available to pre-order here. Extras are yet to be finalised but will include a "Making Of . . . " feature as well as interviews with the authors.

The Caves of Androzani on UKTV


UKTV

Sunday 26th May sees the broadcast of the last Peter Davison story, The Caves of Androzani on Australian and New Zealand television. The story is presented as part of the 50th Anniversary season of Doctor Who on the UKTV channel.

In New Zealand the story screens at 4:10pm and in Australia at 4:20pm. New Zealand has an additional screening on Monday 27th May at 4:20am.

The Caves of Androzani
The UKTV billing describes The Caves of Androzani as follows:
Landing on the planet Androzani Minor, the Doctor & Peri develop lethal spectrox toxaemia poisoning. They search for a cure & become enmeshed in a decades-old feud.
The story was first broadcast in Australia in 1984. New Zealand did not get to see it until 1989. When it was first broadcast in both Australia and New Zealand the story had extensive censor cuts intended to reduce scenes of violence.

UKTV is showing stories each week throughout the year in the lead-up to the anniversary in November. Next month shifts focus to Colin Baker's sixth Doctor. The schedule for June includes: Attack of the Cybermen (2 June), Vengeance on Varos (9 June), The Mark of the Rani (16 June), The Two Doctors (23 June), and Revelation of the Daleks (30 June).

Up-and-coming broadcasts from both 20th and 21st Century series of Doctor Who can be found via UKTV's Doctor Who sections for Australia and New Zealand.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith

Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith (Credit: Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)Last year we reported on a book to be compiled focusing on the portrayals of religion in Doctor Who. The book has now been completed and due to be published by Darton, Longman and Todd.

Editorial director David Moloney told us:
The book will be published on 29th October 2013, and its new title is Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith (and yes, there is a reason for the plural dimensions – as the editors Andrew Crome and James McGrath explain inside the book). The book is currently estimated to be a 304 page 198x126mm paperback, with 19 chapters written by contributors from the UK, US and Australia covering a wonderfully diverse range of subjects – all related to the exploration of religious themes in Doctor Who (in its many forms – TV old and new, books, audios, comics, etc).

As a Doctor Who fan myself I am absolutely delighted to be publishing this book in the show’s 50th anniversary year.

Doctor Who: Canada Ratings

The Name of the Doctor was watched by 584,000 viewers on Canadian station SPACE last Saturday, becoming the most watched season finale in the series history in the country.

The episode made SPACE the number 1 network for the 9pm timeslot for total viewers, as well as for the key demographics of 25-54 and 18-49.

Total reach for the finale was nearly 1 million total viewers. The programme was also the most-watched entertainment specialty program of the day on Saturday, capping off a strong Season 7 for the Doctor and Clara with a season average audience of 608,000.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Doctor Who wins Peabody Award

Doctor Who has been presented with a Peabody Award, one of the highest honours in American media.

The George Foster Peabody Awards recognize distinguished achievement and meritorious service by broadcasters, cable and webcasters, producing organizations, and individuals. Selection is made by the Peabody Board, a 16-member panel of distinguished academics, television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts.

The citation reads:
Seemingly immortal, 50-years-old and still running, this engaging, imaginative sci-fi/fantasy series is awarded an Institutional Peabody for evolving with technology and the times like nothing else in the known television universe.

The award was accepted by Steven Moffat, Jenna-Louise Coleman, and Matt Smith at a ceremony in New York last night.

TV Choice Awards 2013 Longlist Announced

The longlist for this year's TV Choice Awards has been announced, with Doctor Who nominated for Best Drama Series.

It is up against 22 other shows in the category, which this year has been changed from Best Family Drama, in which the show has previously featured and won.

In addition, Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman are up for, respectively, Best Actor and Best Actress, with Smith facing challenges from - among others - David Tennant (for Broadchurch), John Simm (for The Village), Derek Jacobi (for Last Tango In Halifax), and Daniel Mays (for Mrs Biggs), while Coleman must fend off the likes of Eve Myles (Frankie), Jessica Raine (Call The Midwife), Anne Reid (Last Tango In Halifax), Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey), Ruth Jones (Stella), Anna Maxwell Martin (The Bletchley Circle), Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), and Suranne Jones (Scott & Bailey) as the 25 contenders in her category are whittled down.

Voting in this qualifying round of the 17th awards is open online until midnight on Friday 14th June. A shortlist - again open to public vote - will then be revealed on Tuesday 2nd July with voting open for about a week, said a spokeswoman for TV Choice, and the winners will be named at a ceremony hosted by Ben Miller at The Dorchester in London on Monday 9th September.

The show or its actors have won a TV Choice award every year since 2005 except in 2009, including Christopher Eccleston (2005) and David Tennant (2006-2008) for Best Actor and Billie Piper (2006) for Best Actress.

Australian final ratings for Nightmare in Silver



Nightmare in Silver has picked up an additional 171,000 time-shifted Australian viewers, giving it a final, or consolidated, ratings average of 869,000 viewers in the five major capital cities.  This was the fourth largest number of time-shifted viewers for a program broadcast on Sunday 12 May. The final or consolidated ratings includes all 'time-shifted' viewers who record the program and watch it within a week.

Based on these final figures, Nightmare in Silver was the second highest rating ABC program of the day and the twelfth highest rating program of the day overall (it was the fourteenth highest rating program based on its overnight figures of 698,000 viewers). These ratings do not include regional viewers.
Media Links: TV Tonight

Monday, 20 May 2013

Australian overnight ratings for The Name of the Doctor


The Name of the Doctor has debuted in Australia, averaging 812,000 viewers in the five major capital cities. It was the ABC's highest rating drama of the day and the ninth highest rating program of the day overall. These ratings do not include regional or time-shifted viewers.
Media Links: TV Tonight

Name of the Doctor AI:88


The Name of the Doctor had an Appreciation Index, or AI score, of 88.

The Appreciation Index or AI is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the programme. The score, out of a hundred, is compiled by a specially selected panel of around 5,000 people who go online and rate and comment on programmes.

Doctor Who scored higher than most of Saturday's output with only Dad's Army on BBC 2 scoring higher with 89. Britain's Got Talent scored 84, with the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest scoring 69.

The score of 88 is the highest score since the season opener, Asylum of the Daleks, which scored 89.

An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend

Nothing At The End Of The Lane
The 11th in our series of features looking at events leading to the creation of a true TV legend.

The story so far: After initially looking into and discarding the literary merits of adapting science-fiction stories, the BBC has decided to make an original series of serials featuring four time-travellers, to run for 52 weeks late on Saturday afternoons. Following various discussions and meetings, the programme has been given the title of Dr. Who and a basic format plus character outlines have been devised. Rex Tucker has been appointed caretaker producer, and recording is set to start at Lime Grove's Studio D on Friday 2nd August, with the first episode scheduled to go out on Saturday 24th August. But following blunt feedback from drama boss Sydney Newman, script writer Cecil Edwin "Bunny" Webber has had to rethink his general notes on background and approach for writers.

Originally three and a half pages long, the document is trimmed by Webber to just one and a half pages, with some significant changes made. Newman had been unhappy with much of the section dealing with overall continuity, including the proposed "Secrets of Dr Who", and as a result that has now entirely gone.

In addition, the young girl is no longer called Biddy, with a handful of alternatives suggested, these being Gay, Jane, Janet, Jill, Mandy, and Sue - the preferred names in Webber's mind being Mandy and Sue. The names of Cliff and Miss (Lola) McGovern, given earlier for the teachers at her school, remain.

There has also been a radical change in approach to the realisation of the time machine, following Newman's dismissal of the suggestion that it could be invisible. After a walk near his office, staff writer Anthony Coburn - who has been placed by script department head Donald Wilson to work on the fledgling show - has suggested that outwardly the time machine could look like a police box. In his draft document, written in early May, Webber had actually been against the idea of using "something humdrum . . . in [the] street such as a night-watchman's shelter to arrive inside a marvellous contrivance of quivering electronics", as he felt that would just be "a version of the dear old Magic Door", hence his suggestion of an invisible time machine, but Newman had insisted that a visual and "tangible symbol" was needed, and Webber had obviously acquiesced.

The revised draft is completed on Wednesday 15th May, with Wilson making various notes on it. He opts for Sue for the teenager's name, and the section headed "The Machine" is changed by him to "The Ship". He also calls for further work to be done on the Doctor's character.

As a result, another format document is produced the next day - Thursday 16th May - and after some further (unknown) handwritten annotations by Wilson, it is retyped the same day, bearing the names of Wilson, Webber, and Newman as its authors, and on Monday 20th May - exactly 50 years ago today - a copy of this final, approved version is sent by Newman to Donald Baverstock, who has been promoted from BBC tv's Assistant Controller of Programmes to the role of Chief of Programmes for BBC1 (in anticipation of the launch of BBC2). It is accompanied by the following memo from Newman:
This formalises on paper our intentions with respect to the new Saturday afternoon serial which is to hit the air on 24 August. As you will see, this is more or less along the lines of the discussion between you and me and [Assistant Controller (Planning) Television] Joanna Spicer some months ago.

Those of us who worked on this brief, and the writers we have discussed assignments with, are very enthusiastic about it.
Somewhat prophetically, Newman adds:
If things go reasonably well and the right facilities can be made to work, we will have an outstanding winner.
Baverstock will subsequently reply, saying to Newman that the new series is "looking great." Below is what was in the approved format document:


'DR WHO'

General Notes on Background and Approach for an Exciting Adventure-Science Fiction Drama Series for Children's Saturday Viewing.


. . .

A series of stories linked to form a continuing 52-part serial; each story will run from between 4 and 10 episodes. Each episode of 25 minutes will have its own title, will reach a climax about halfway through, and will end with a strong cliffhanger.

APPROACH TO THE STORIES

The series is neither fantasy nor space travel nor science fiction. The only unusual science fiction 'angle' is that four characters of today are projected into real environments based on the best factual information of situations in time, in space and in any material state we can realise in practical terms.

Using unusual exciting backgrounds, or ordinary backgrounds seen unusually, each story will have a strong informational core based on fact. Our central characters because of their 'ship' may find themselves on the shores of Britain when Caesar and his legionnaires arrived in 44 BC; may find themselves in their own school laboratories but reduced to the size of a pinhead; or on Mars; or Venus; etc etc.

The series, by the use of the characters in action stories, is designed to bridge the gap between our massive audience who watch sport on Saturday afternoon and those teenagers who watch Juke Box Jury.

CHARACTERS

Our four basic characters:

SUE

15, working-class, still at school; a sharp intelligent girl, quick and perky. She makes mistakes, however, because of inexperience. Uses the latest teenage slang. Has a crush on Cliff and regrets that his name is the same as Cliff Richard whom [sic] she now thinks is a square.

CLIFF

27, red-brick university type, the teacher of applied science at Sue's school. Physically perfect, a gymnast, dexterous with his hands.

MISS MCGOVERN

23, a history mistress at the same school. Middle class. Timid but capable of sudden courage. Admires Cliff, resulting in undercurrents of antagonism between her and Sue.

These are the characters we know and sympathise with, the ordinary people to whom extraordinary things happen. The fourth basic character remains always something of a mystery . . .

DR. WHO

A name given to him by his three earthly friends because neither he nor they know who he is. Dr. Who is about 650 years old. Frail looking but wiry and tough like an old turkey - is amply demonstrated whenever he is forced to run from danger. His watery blue eyes are continually looking around in bewilderment and occasionally a look of utter malevolence clouds his face as he suspects his earthly friends of being part of some conspiracy. He seems not to remember where he comes from but he has flashes of garbled memory which indicate that he was involved in a galactic war and still fears pursuit by some undefined enemy. Because he is somewhat pathetic his three friends continually try to help him find his way 'home', but they are never sure of his motives.

THE SHIP

Dr. Who has a 'ship' which enables them to travel together through space, through time, and through matter. When first seen, this ship has the appearance of a police telephone box standing in the street, but anyone entering it finds himself inside an extensive electronic contrivance. Though it looks impressive, it is an old beat-up model which Dr. Who stole when he escaped from his own galaxy in the year 5733; it is uncertain in performance; moreover, Dr. Who isn't quite sure how to work it, so they have to learn by trial and error.

FIRST STORY

The Giants


Four episodes of turbulent adventure in which proportion and size are dramatized.

Leaving the secondary school where they work at the end of Parents' Day, the applied science master, Cliff, and the history mistress, Miss McGovern, come across Sue in the fog. She asks them to help her find the home of a strange old man (Dr. Who) who is lost.

To their surprise, they find that his home is apparently a police box. To their further amazement, they discover that its shabby exterior conceals a vast chromium and glass interior of a kind of space ship. They become locked in. Through the pressing of wrong buttons the ship convulses itself, breaking away from its moorings (no exteriors of this, please). More wrong buttons pressed and they discover that the ship has the capacity to transport them into time, space and other seemingly material worlds. In fact they get a preview of this.

The first episode ends when they find themselves in Cliff's own school laboratory. To their horror they have been reduced to the size of pinheads. 'All we have to do' says Sue 'is to get back to the ship.' Miss McGovern (somewhat hysterically) 'That's all! At our present size the door is equivalent to two miles away!'

Three more episodes follow to complete this first story in which their dreaded enemies turn out to be the other students and teachers who are of normal size and who might step on them at any moment. This adventure ends about two-thirds through the fourth episode and a new adventure begins . . .

As the search for a permanent producer continues, however, worries start emerging about the ability of Lime Grove to cope with the technical demands of the new show, and dates for the start of pre-filming at the BBC's TV film studios at Ealing are being bandied about. On Tuesday 21st May, John Mair, the senior planning assistant responsible for allocating TV studio time, is sent two memos by Drama Group Administrator Ayton Whitaker about when the filming at Ealing should begin, with the latter memo asking for a start date during the week beginning Saturday 6th July, since a pilot episode is to be recorded on Friday 19th July, to be broadcast as the first episode on Saturday 24th August if all goes to plan.

A week later, on Tuesday 28th May, Wilson is sent a memo by a concerned Tucker, who fears that Studio D at Lime Grove will not be up to recording such a complicated programme. Three days later - on Friday 31st May - Tucker's memo is discussed by Wilson with Controller of Programme Services for Television Ian Atkins, since he is responsible overall for the studio facilities of the BBC. Also there is Whitaker, whose note of the meeting records that Atkins concurs that Studio D's "old-fashioned lighting equipment" makes it "virtually the worst possible studio for such a project." Wilson says that for the first serial studios TC3 or TC4 at the purpose-built Television Centre in White City - which had opened three years earlier as the headquarters of BBC Television - should be used, unless the smaller TCs 2 and 5 can both be used on the same day. In addition, they agree that the second serial can be recorded in Studio 2 at the BBC's Riverside Studios, so long as it has the new inlay equipment.

At some point by the end of May, Mervyn Pinfield is made the show's associate producer. He has worked in television at the BBC since the 1930s and, significantly, directed the four-part sci-fi serial The Monsters, which aired between 8th and 29th November 1962, so is well-versed in TV's technical aspects and therefore deemed to be the ideal person to give suitable guidance. (Based on a Panorama documentary concerning the Loch Ness Monster, The Monsters - written by Evelyn Frazer and Vincent Tilsley - centred on a zoologist on honeymoon searching for a similar creature and stumbling upon a bigger mystery to do with humanity's survival. The cast included Philip Madoc, Clifford Cox, George Pravda, Clive Morton, Clifford Earl, and Norman Mitchell. The music was by Humphrey Searle, and Bernard Wilkie was one half of the team behind the special effects.)

As May becomes June, Tristram Cary is asked if he would be interested in composing the programme's theme music and incidental score for its premier serial. In addition, Coburn is put to work on the second story, which he suggests should be set in the Stone Age. This will also consist of four episodes.

On Tuesday 4th June, the full synopsis of the first story, The Giants, is sent to Newman by Wilson. Perils encountered by the miniaturised travellers include a spider inside a matchbox, a caterpillar, and a boy using a compass to etch his initials in a desk. Cliff and Sue, who have become separated from the Doctor and Lola, manage to get the attention of the pupils and teacher by placing themselves under a microscope lens, and after their voices are slowed down on a tape recorder – to make up for the pitch change – they unite in finding the others and get back to the police box before another looming danger, possibly a mouse eating the ship.

By Friday 7th June, it has become apparent that despite its inherent unsuitability Studio D at Lime Grove is the only option for recording the show, simply because of availability. The following Monday – 10th June – Newman returns an annotated synopsis of The Giants to Wilson. His memo states that "the four episodes seem extremely thin on incident and character", adding that despite being miniature the humans "must have normal sized emotions." Newman adds:
Items involving spiders etc get us into the BEM [bug-eyed monster] school of science fiction which, while thrilling, is hardly practical for live television. In fact what I am afraid irritated me about the synopsis was the fact that it seemed to be conceived without much regard for the fact that this was a live television drama serial. The notion of the police box dwindling before the policeman's eyes until it's one-eighth of an inch in size is patently impossible without spending a tremendous amount of money.

There are also some very good things in the synopsis, like the invention of the use of the microphone and microscope to enable our central characters to communicate with the normal size people.

I implore you please keep the entire conception within the realms of practical live television.
It is to be assumed that since Newman has commented earlier about the show being recorded, his references to "live television" can be taken to mean that the show will be recorded as if it were going out live.

By now, the draft scripts for the first two episodes of The Giants have been finished by Webber, but Wilson and Tucker subsequently reject the story, firstly because they recognise that reworkings won't deal with the objections by Newman and, most importantly, because Studio D will not be able to handle the "giant" effects. Wilson therefore decides that Coburn's story set in the Stone Age should be bumped up to become the premier adventure, with the first episode suitably rewritten. He also asks Coburn to come up with another four-part story to follow what will now be the first one.

Also on the Monday, Whitaker sends Mair a memo about the the first two stories' production dates and budgets. He adds that a change from Studio D will be needed for later stories, and asks if the change could be in place by the time it comes to record the third story. In order of preference, the studios are a) TCs1 and 5, b) TCs 3 or 4, and c) Riverside 2.

The next day – Tuesday 11th June – sees Wilson beginning holiday leave, going to Norway, and Whitaker is sent a "blocked-out schedule" by Tucker for the first story's production. It will see the pilot episode's pre-filming taking place during the week starting Saturday 6th July and will end with the fourth episode being recorded in either the week starting Saturday 10th or Saturday 17th August, depending on how well the recording of the pilot episode goes. Tucker says that Friday 19th July will be the best date for recording the pilot episode. On Wednesday 12th June, Mair and Atkins talk further about the issue of studio allocation for the show and it is proposed that special inlay equipment can be moved to Riverside 2 from TC2 so that the programme can be made in the former, but by the next day it has become apparent that Baverstock does not approve of the equipment's transfer because of the effect it will have on satirical programme That Was The Week That Was. A memo to Atkins from Mair adds that the Drama Group has agreed that Dr. Who's first eight episodes can be made at Lime Grove and Baverstock will then decide if a move to other studios is needed. In addition, depending on the cost and other aspects of putting special inlay equipment into Riverside, Baverstock may approve of it being used permanently.

Meanwhile, trouble was brewing as regards designing for the show . . .

Also on Thursday 13th June, Head of Television Design Richard Levin memoes Spicer – for Mair's attention as well - as he is annoyed at the demands being made on his department by the new programme, and he doesn't mince his words:
So far there are no accepted scripts for the series – at least if there are we have not seen any.

The designer allocated for the series – and I have no substitute – does not return from leave until Monday of Week 26 [Monday 24th June] and I am not prepared to let him start designing until there are four accepted scripts in his hands. The first filming cannot take place within four weeks of this.

I also understand that the series requires extensive model-making and other visual effects. This cannot be undertaken under four weeks' notice and, unless other demands are withdrawn, I estimate the need would be for an additional four effects assistants and 400 sq ft of additional space.

To my mind, to embark on a series of this kind and length in these circumstances will undoubtedly put this Department in an untenable situation and, as a natural corollary, will throw Scenic Servicing Department for a complete "burton". This is the kind of crazy enterprise which both Departments can well do without.
With Newman also away on leave, the drama group boss's deputy, Norman Rutherford, is sent a memo by Whitaker, who states that in view of what Levin has said the planned transmission date of the first episode should be postponed from Saturday 24th August "until such time as we are ready."

The formative days were starting to prove troublesome - and there was still the matter of casting to consider, as well as the permanent appointment of the producer and story editor.

Next EpisodeWho's That Girl?
SOURCES: The Handbook (Howe, Walker, Stammers; 2005); Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction (Fulton; 2000); BBC Archive

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Series Eight Officially Confirmed

The BBC has officially confirmed that Doctor Who has been re-commissioned for a new series, the eighth since the series returned in 2005 and the Thirty Fourth since the series began in 1963.

The official website has revealed that the show’s lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, is already working on the new series and plotting a new run of adventures for the Doctor. The series is expected to start filming at the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014 which suggests a transmission date of Autumn 2014.

The website also looks ahead to the 50th Anniversary later this year and promises big plans are being put in place that will well and truly celebrate the Doctor’s half-centenary.

Name of the Doctor: Overnight Audience

The Name of the Doctor: Publicity ImageDoctor Who: The Name of the Doctor achieved an overnight audience average of 5.5 million viewers, a share of 25.9% of the total TV audience.

Doctor Who was the third most popular show of the night with ITV's talent show, Britain's Got Talent, once more taking top spot with 9.2 million watching. The annual Eurovision Song Contest had an average audience of 7.7 million with audiences peaking at 9.1 million during the end of the voting.

Doctor Who outrated its direct opposition You've Been Framed! Top 100 Holidays during it's first half hour, but the tables were turned during its final 15 minutes when the drama achieved 5.3 million against 8 million for the first 15 minutes of Britain's Got Talent. Overall You've Been Framed was fifth for the day with an average of 4.1 million.

Final figures will be available next week.

The Name of The Doctor: Media Reaction

A roundup of selected quotes from the media for the premiere of The Name of The Doctor last night - links to the full review can be found via the author's name. You can also read our own review here.

Please note that as these are reviews, spoilers may be present within the text!

Independent

Overall, The Name of the Doctor has everything that you could possibly want from a good episode of Doctor Who. It was an utterly brilliant instalment, from the performances to the aesthetics. The archive footage was a big surprise but a welcome one. Those who say that Moffat has forgotten the classic series or suggest that the show is not what it used to be should watch this episode; it is a wonderful precursor to the 50th anniversary.
(Neela Debnath)

Telegraph

This has been a patchy series, to put it kindly, but thankfully it has finished on a high. The last two episodes – the Victorian romp, then the return of the Cybermen – have been a return to form. This climactic episode was even better. It was momentous, moving and thrilling, yet somehow still found time to be very funny in flashes (mainly thanks to the highly quotable Strax).

The only downsides? A tad too much clunking exposition, the odd spot of creaky CGI and some unconvincing metaphors about souffl├ęs and leaves. However, the biggest catch of all is that it’s now a six-month wait for November’s 50th anniversary special. Still, that should be just enough time to digest this breathless, brilliant finale.
(Michael Hogan)

Guardian

And so the mystery of Clara is finally resolved. Your demented theories as to her true nature have been fantastic, but I always thought it would be something much more simple than her being Susan or Romana or The Rani. She chases the Great Intelligence into the grave, fracturing herself through time and space, in endless copies and versions: sometimes Clara the governess, sometimes Oswin, usually souffle girl. The Clara we meet now is the real one, with different facets of her saving the Doctor in different eras. The pre-credits sequence, with all the Doctors, actually made me fall over.

The solution is both straightforward and mindbending. But that doesn't quite get over any of the question marks about what Clara is like as a person. I still don't feel I know her. Now this is all over with and we know Jenna is back for the 50th, hopefully that can change.
(Dan Martin)

The Mirror

We know pretty much from the start (in fact, we've known since the end of last season) that The Doctor will inevitably end up on Trenzalore, so why on Jupiter's moons does it take him so bleedin' long to get there? The first half of the episode (if not more) is tense and occasionally effective, but boy, does it feel like padding.

Some of it is clearly there to bring the dozier viewers up to speed, but it also highlights another of the episode's failings. The idea of the Doctor's tomb and the vast web of timelines it contains is a good one, but it feels like everything's written around it, a game of distractions until we get to that point.

There's not an awful lot of story here, and the big ideas don't get pulled off as interestingly or satisfyingly as the hyperbole surrounding them suggested. There's also some niggling questions from the last couple of seasons that (as far as I'm aware) still don't get resolved.
(Jon Cooper)

Radio Times

The Doctor’s name was obviously going to be a red herring. Did anyone really imagine that it would be revealed? Me neither. It is key to the story, however, as well as a key River uses to unlock the Tardis-tomb. So – phew! – the Doctor can safely remain Doctor Who into his golden anniversary. But his darkest secret tumbles out...
(Patrick Mulkern)

SFX

Arguably this story started last autumn with “The Asylum Of The Daleks” (arguably, because you could say it started in winter 1963) and it’ll (probably) end this autumn with the 50th anniversary. So, “The Name Of The Doctor” is just a lot of middle. A stepping stone. A mere cog in a massive continuity machine.

To be honest, who cares? Who cares when the cog is so gorgeously crafted it transcends mere function and dazzles in its own right? It may make no sense outside of the machine but that doesn’t make it any less striking. Viewers without a degree in Who-ology might miss out on some of the more esoteric references, and certain plot beats may not make a lot of sense to them, but they’re still going to love the broad strokes. Those of us who can spot a line from “Castrovalva” or a sound bite from the First Doctor or a reference to the Doctor’s penultimate incarnation, well… we’re simply being rewarded that little bit more.
(Dave Golder)

Den of Geek

The Name Of The Doctor was then, for our money, the most satisfying, brilliant finale in Steven Moffat's run on Doctor Who, the kind of episode you rewatch for fun, as much as to solve mysteries (and we'll be hunting for clues). Much better than The Wedding Of River Song and a real rival to The Big Bang, this was, for large parts, really gripping stuff, surrounded by an air of mystery, and a real sense that something big was going to be revealed. Fortunately, on this occasion, that was very much the case. And while series seven, in both parts, has been a bumpy ride (with Jenna-Louise Coleman's Clara our highlight), Steven Moffat and his team pulled quite a rabbit out at the end. Just brilliant.
(Simon Brew)

Digital Spy

So 'The Name of the Doctor' has ingredients that 'the casual viewer' can enjoy - great monsters, some genuinely scary scenes, zippy dialogue and fantastic performances from the cast, particularly our two leads.

But despite Steven Moffat's protestations, this finale is unashamedly a fanfest and it might run the risk of alienating any viewer who doesn't know their Tom Baker from their Colin. Still, in this 50th anniversary year, just this once, I think it's okay for Doctor Who to get its geek on.
(Morgan Jeffery)

Entertainment Weekly

After half a season of standalone episodes, all strung together by the question of what cosmic force kept bringing companion Clara back to life in different times and on different planets, the finale circled back to some of larger themes that Moffat has been tinkering with since season 5: The lasting impact of previous companions Amy and Rory; the lasting love between the Doctor and Professor River Song; the goodness of the Doctor’s friends; the havoc (both momentous and random) that time travel can wreak. Also: Trenzalore! We saw the Doctor and Clara forced to head to that long-talked-about place, which we learn is the Doctor’s future grave, in order to save their friends. Trenzalore is also the resting place of the Doctor’s greatest secret (and was apparently the site of a giant battle). Do we learn much more than that? Not really!
(Adam Carlson)

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