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Bookmark and Share Revelation of the Daleks on UKTV

6/29/2013 09:14:00 am - Reported by Paul Scoones


UKTV

Sunday 30th June sees the broadcast of the 1985 Colin Baker story, Revelation of the Daleks on Australian and New Zealand television. The story is presented as part of the 50th Anniversary season of Doctor Who on the UKTV channel.

The story screens at 4:15pm in Australia and 4:10pm in New Zealand.

The UKTV billing describes Revelation of the Daleks as follows:
The Doctor arrives in a facility where the wealthy can have their newly-deceased bodies cryogenically frozen until medical science can cure what killed them.
Revelation of the Daleks was first broadcast in Australia in 1986. New Zealand first saw it in 1988, as part of a week of special screenings to mark the series' 25th anniversary. The story was originally screened in Britain as two 45-minute episodes, but was first broadcast in Australia and New Zealand in four parts. The UKTV transmission will feature the two-episode version.

UKTV is showing stories throughout the year in the lead-up to the anniversary in November. In July the focus is on Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor, with the following stories scheduled: Paradise Towers (7 July); Remembrance of the Daleks (14 July); The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (21 July); The Curse of Fenric and Survival (both 28 July).

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.

Bookmark and Share Create a Soundtrack: Winners Announced

6/28/2013 11:12:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Prom 2013 - Promotional Image (Credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou)The BBC has announced the winners in the Doctor Who: Create a Soundtrack competition, launched in April.

The challenge was for secondary school students to create their own musical soundtrack for a scene from Doctor Who, to be performed at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The winners – two in each of the categories, junior (11-14) and senior (14-16), attended a workshop with Ben Foster, the orchestrator and conductor of Murray Gold’s music for Doctor Who, and Samuel Thompson the orchestration coordinator for the television series. The workshop was held earlier this month at the BBC's Maida Vale Studios, former home of the BBC Radiophone Workshop, and the place where much of the soundtrack to the classic series was created, including the iconic theme music.

Winners of the Junior Category (11-14) were William and Jordan of the Biddulph High School in Stoke-on-Trent, who commented
Being big fans of Doctor Who, it is great to have our music recognised on the BBC Proms stage. We are now really looking forward to the Doctor Who Proms that are kicking off the season.
Winners of the Junior Category (14-16) were Gabe and Matthew of Cirencester Deer Park School in Gloucestershire, who said
This is an amazing experience and a fantastic opportunity, particularly working with Ben and Sam to gain a real insight into this side of the music world. This experience has inspired us to work in this wonderful field of music-making and we are so looking forward to hearing our piece at the Proms.
The jury which included Executive Editor Music Television BBC Cymru Wales Paul Bullock, composer Anna Meredith and conductor Ben Foster were extremely impressed by the quality of music submitted. Paul Bullock commented:
I was really impressed with the quality, creativity and individuality of the work submitted. The vivid imagination displayed across the wide range of entries truly captures the spirit of the Doctor Who series and I can’t wait to see the winners’ works come to life at the Proms!
The 2013 Proms season starts on Friday 12 July with Prom 2 and Prom 3 featuring some of the music from Doctor Who.

Bookmark and Share Hinchcliffe Era Revived

6/28/2013 02:06:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Big Finish are to produce a couple of Doctor Who stories in association with former producer Philip Hinchcliffe, the man who led Doctor Who through one of its most successful and best remembered eras.

Starring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela, the two audio plays will evoke the spirit and feel of the period when Hinchcliffe was in charge of production. Philip Hinchcliffe produced Doctor Who from 1975’s The Ark in Space through to the 1977 story The Talons of Weng-Chiang. He was responsible for a series of stories which regularly top fan polls of favourite titles and which include some of the episodes with the highest ratings in Doctor Who’s history.

The idea for revisiting the era came after Hinchcliffe visited the Big Finish studios to watch the recording of series three of The Fourth Doctor Adventures. Big Finish Producer David Richardson said
I know that Tom Baker and Louise Jameson were thrilled to have him there, and they both enthused to him about what a great time they were having working for Big Finish. After the recording ended, Philip took me and executive producer Nicholas Briggs aside, and pitched the idea of doing a set of stories of the kind he would have hoped to have done, had he stayed on to produce the series for longer. We just said ‘yes’ instantly!

The first story in the set will be an epic six-parter set in Victorian London, adapted by Marc Platt, who wrote the TV story Ghost Light, which will be paired with a four-parter.

Hinchcliffe said he wanted to create stories that felt as if they could belong to his second or third season
They are not designed to follow on from my era, more to re-evoke it for fans who enjoyed the originals: and so the Doctor and Leela in these new stories are the same as they were then, in the glorious seventies! That's the beauty of radio - they look and sound the same.

Doctor Who: Philip Hinchcliffe Presents will be released in August 2014, and is available for pre-order.

Bookmark and Share Who Is The Doctor?

6/27/2013 08:01:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

BBC Radio 2 has told Doctor Who News it is to produce a documentary entitled Who is the Doctor? to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.

The 90-minute programme will be broadcast on Thursday 21st November, just two days before the celebration date. More details when we have them.

Also on Radio 2, former companion to the Sixth Doctor, Bonnie Langford, will be Graham Norton’s guest this Saturday. The actress, who played Mel from 1986 to 1987 is scheduled to appear at around 12.15pm UK time. Questions can be sent to Norton at the usual address graham.norton@bbc.co.uk

BBC Radio 2 can be heard worldwide via the BBC website.

Bookmark and Share An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend

6/27/2013 06:00:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Hassle
The thirteenth in our series of features telling the story of the creation of Doctor Who, and the people who made it happen.

The story so far: Pre-production is now under way on the new Saturday evening science fiction series Doctor Who. Conceived by Sydney Newman, the series was expected to air on BBC Television in the late summer. A producer had been appointed, Verity Lambert, but the show was far from being ready. With no completed scripts and no actors yet cast, the new producer was in for a rocky ride.

At the end of June Sydney Newman returned from holiday to discover all was not well with his new show. Like any big organisation the BBC throughout its history has often suffered from an overblown bureaucracy and middle managers determined to protect process over progress, Doctor Who was not immune from such obstacles and on the 27th June 1963, exactly fifty years ago today, Newman was determined to tackle the problem.

In a heated phone call with Joanna Spicer, the Assistant Controller (Planning) Television, Newman listened to some of the complaints. The new series had bypassed the proper BBC procedures and the production had been carrying out auditions without authorisation he heard. Indeed just two days before director Rex Tucker had been interviewing actresses for the role of Susan Foreman. Furthermore, he was told the series would place unacceptable demands on the servicing departments due to its ambitious nature. Scripts weren’t ready and production was way behind schedule.

Newman leapt to the defence of his team. He dictated a memo to Spicer which pulled no punches. It was entitled Doctor Who Hassle.
Doctor Who Hassle

From: Sydney Newman.
To: Joanna Spicer
27 June 1963

Your comments of today on the phone absolutely flabbergasted me and I take exception to most of what you said. We are trying to get a new children's serial out economically and quickly have from what I can see the Serials Department of this group has acted in complete accordance with all standard Corporation procedures.

In view of the above and since the first recording date is only five weeks away do you wonder we are anxious not to be held up? We have got to cast people who must wear well over something like 52 episodes. I cannot understand from the mass of correspondence that has gone on about this project why permission is still required from your office. At no time have I received from Ch.P(1) (Controller of Programmes) or anybody else, the notion that the project was ever vaguely in doubt. Especially as we have in the main held to the limitations stated on 26 April. While I may be ignorant of some of the finer points of Corporation routine, it is apparent that Ayton Whitaker and others in my group are not. I am, therefore, surprised at what seems to me a last minute hold up. After all it was only H.Tel.Des who dug his heels in about the scripts and he changed his mind two days ago.

You may assume only that I intend to get drama programmes out on time and within budget. That my attitude to you and the Corporation routine will never be less than correct.

Newman's memo caused much discussion in the upper echelons of BBC Television. At a meeting with Donald Baverstock, Spicer and her Head of Department decided to rethink the early evening Saturday slot. The original plan was to fill 50 minutes with programming aimed at children. They now reduced this to 30 minutes between 5.20pm and 5.50pm each Saturday. The slot would be initially filled with the cartoon series Deputy Dawg and then Doctor Who. The new series would now need to be made in 30-minute episodes, so to give the production team more time it was decided Doctor Who would now be delayed by eight weeks. The pilot episode would be recorded on Friday 27th September and the series would debut on Saturday 9th November.

The budget for the series was now set at £2,300 per episode. Newman was asked to confirm that the costs of the 'time/space' machine would be met from an additional budget. The team were allocated Lime Grove Studio D. Newman accepted most of these changes but was unhappy about the proposal to increase the running time to 30 minutes. In this he was supported by Ronald Waldman, the General Manager of Television Enterprises, who favoured 25-minute episodes for overseas sales.

One major problem caused by the delay was the fact that Rex Tucker, the assigned director of the first story, would not be available to direct the story as he would be on holiday in Majorca at the time the episodes were in production. It was therefore decided to swap the first two directors around. The first story would now be directed by newcomer Waris Hussein, with Tucker taking on the second. With script editor David Whitaker now on board too, the production was now complete. But they still needed four character actors to play the main roles. Disliking Tucker's suggestions for the roles, Hussein and Lambert began the search in earnest.

Next EpisodeTeam Building
SOURCES: The Handbook: The First Doctor – The William Hartnell Years: 1963-1966, David J Howe, Mark Stammers, Stephen James Walker (Doctor Who Books, 1994)

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine 462

6/27/2013 03:03:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Doctor Who Magazine 462 (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)The new edition of Doctor Who Magazine, out today, asks the question as to who will be the Twelfth Doctor. And as speculation mounts about the identity of who that might be, the show’s head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat writes exclusively about casting Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, and the times they’ve shared together during the production of the series.

These have been the maddest few years of my writing career – so many ridiculous adventures, so many things I thought I'd never do – and I could not have shared them with a kinder, more considerate, more supportive friend than the man I completely refuse to call Smithers.

Also this issue:
  • How many Doctors? If you thought there just eleven Doctors, think again! And we’re not just referring to the surprise appearance of John Hurt at the end of The Name of the Doctor. Discover the Doctor’s forgotten incarnations in The Sixty-Seven Doctors!.
  • The Captain's Back! He fought at the Third Doctor's side as UNIT's Captain Mike Yates, confronting Autons, battling Daleks, and resisting the control of mad computers... DWM talks exclusively to Richard Franklin about his relationship with his alter ego.
  • Choc's Away! Clara makes her comic strip d├ębut in the first part of a brand new adventure, A Wing and A Prayer, written by Scott Gray with art by Mike Collins. When a sandstorm forces the TARDIS down in the Iraqi desert in 1930, Clara is overjoyed to meet the legendary Amy Johnson, currently engaged in her bid to become the first woman to fly across the world. But something else is hiding in desert sands. Something small and sinister...
  • Changing History: the Sixth Doctor uncovers a plot by the Cybermen to change their own history by using Halley’s comet to destroy the Earth, in Attack of the Cybermen, The Fact of Fiction places this serial from 1985 under the microscope, revealing more facts about the story than a Cyberman can shake a clenched silver fist at. Excellent!
  • Power Mad! DWM's Countdown to 50 reaches the final days of the Tenth Doctor era and the five Specials shown from Christmas 2008 to New Year’s Day 2010, as the chorological tour through Doctor Who history continues. So eager to help people, the Tenth Doctor crosses a line and breaks the rules...
  • Sun Burn: Chris, Emma, Michael and Will are on the edge of their seats as the seconds count down to disaster for the ill-fated SS Pentallian and her crew as it plunges down into the hungry fires of a sun. Will our Time Team chums survive the tension of the nail-biting Tenth Doctor adventure, 42? Or will it just be one big meltdown?
  • Don't Interrupt! There’s nothing more annoying than having your viewing of a brand new episode of Doctor Who disturbed by a phone call or a knock at the door. But, as Jacqueline Rayner relates in this issue’s Relative Dimensions, with a husband and two children, it’s not always easy to maintain that perfect peace and calm, even for just 45 minutes...
  • Yum, Yum: WOTCHA! is full of Goodies this issue as the mysterious white one shines a light on some of Doctor Who’s more notable, enduring and often quoted misconceptions – including that there was an episode featuring a giant kitten that climbed up the Post Office Tower! All this to be found in A History of Doctor Who in 100 Objects. Plus The Six Faces of Delusion continues the Goodies theme; a selection of new previously unknown definitions from The Stockbridge English Dictionary; The Top Ten Nursery Rhymes with a Doctor Who twist; and an unforgiving spotlight on another Supporting Artist of the Month.
PLUS! All the latest official news, TV and merchandise reviews, previews, ratings analysis, competitions, a prize-winning crossword and much, much more!

Bookmark and Share Competitions Update

6/27/2013 10:20:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

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

Big Finish: Council of War
Closing Date: 30th June

To be in with a chance to win one of five copies of Council of War courtesy of Big Finish, please answer the following question:

John Levene has been long associated with the role of Benton, but name his only credited monstrous role and relevant story from the television series.

Send your answer to comp-council@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "beneath the mask", along with your name, address, and where you saw the competition (the news website, twitter, facebook, etc.). Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open worldwide, and the closing date is 30th June 2013.
AudioGo: Shockwave
Closing Date: 4th July

To be in with a chance to win one of three copies of Shockwave courtesy of AudioGo, please answer the following question:

Ace's adventures with the Doctor can continue indefinitely in media, but what did she eventually become involved in, according to The Sarah Jane Adventures?

Send your answer to comp-shockwave@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "nitro-9", along with your name, address, and where you saw the competition (the news website, twitter, facebook, etc.). Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open worldwide, and the closing date is 4th July 2013.
AudioGo: Doctor Who and The Leisure Hive
Closing Date: 4th July

To be in with a chance to win one of three copies of Doctor Who and The Leisure Hive courtesy of AudioGo, please answer the following question:

In the broadcast version of the story, what 'special tactic' was employed by the production team in order to assist K-9's travels across the pebbly beach in Brighton?

Send your answer to comp-leisure@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "hover mode not engaged!", along with your name, address, and where you saw the competition (the news website, twitter, facebook, etc.). Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open worldwide, and the closing date is 4th July 2013.
AudioGo: Shroud of Sorrow
Closing Date: 4th July

To be in with a chance to win one of three copies of Shroud of Sorrow courtesy of AudioGo, please answer the following question:

What is the significance of the name "PC Reg Cranfield", as mentioned in the novel's publicity?

Send your answer to comp-shroud@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "'ello 'ello 'ello", along with your name, address, and where you saw the competition (the news website, twitter, facebook, etc.). Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open worldwide, and the closing date is 4th July 2013.

Other Competitions

If you're in the mood for more Doctor Who Competitions, you could also visit the following: win Doctor Who: Regeneration from Doctor Who Online; win Doctor Who: Series 7 Part 2 (and other DVDs) from Cultbox; win Spearhead from Space on Blu-ray from Eye of Horus; win the Aaru Movies on Blu-ray from Mature Times; and win tickets to see Remembrance of the Daleks on the big screen from the BFI.

Bookmark and Share AudioGo: July Releases

6/27/2013 08:54:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

AudioGo's ongoing celebration of 50 Years of Doctor Who reaches the Seventh Doctor in July, with he and Ace facing a Shockwave in the Destiny of the Doctor series. Meanwhile, the Fourth Doctor visits The Leisure Hive alongside Romana in the latest Target novelisation adaptation, and the Eleventh Doctor goes back to 1963 in the audio adaptation of BBC Books novel Shroud of Sorrow.

Destiny of the Doctor: Shockwave (Credit: AudioGo)Destiny of the Doctor: Shockwave
Starring Sophie Aldred, with Ian Brooker (pre-order)

In the far future, the inhabitants of Tarsus Six face a desperate struggle to evacuate their world before their sun, Tarsus Ultra, collapses into a cataclysmic spatial anomaly.

When the Doctor navigates the TARDIS to a space station orbiting Tarsus Six, Ace assumes that he intends offer their assistance. But it soon becomes clear that the Doctor has an agenda of his own.

With the TARDIS immobilised, Ace realises that their own lives are as much in danger as those of the fleeing inhabitants. The race is on to escape the destruction of Tarsus Six and the devastating shockwave that will follow, reaching out and destroying everything in its wake.

Celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who, a brand new adventure for the Seventh Doctor. Sophie Aldred - Ace in the BBC TV Doctor Who series - and Ian Brooker perform this original story by James Swallow.
Doctor Who and the Leisure Hive (Credit: AudioGo)Doctor Who and the Leisure Hive
Written by David Fisher
Read by Lalla Ward (pre-order)

An exciting novelisation of a classic 1973 Doctor Who serial The Leisure Hive, featuring the Fourth Doctor - Tom Baker.

The Doctor and Romana visit the Leisure Hive on the planet Argolis, the surface of which is uninhabitable following a twenty minute nuclear war between the Argolins and their enemies, the Foamsi. The Argolins themselves are now sterile. Pangol, the youngest, was created by the Tachyon Recreation Generator, a machine that runs games in the Hive. He now secretly plans to use the Generator, modified by an Earth scientist named Hardin, to recreate himself many times over, forming an army of duplicates to destroy the Foamsi. Pangol's mother Mena, the controller of the Hive, is meanwhile coming under pressure from a supposedly human finanacier, Brock, to sell it to the Foamasi …

Read by Lalla Ward, who played Romana in the original TV series.
Shroud of Sorrow (Credit: AudioGo)Shroud of Sorrow
Written by Tommy Donbavand
Read by Frances Barber (pre-order)

23 November, 1963. It is the day after John F. Kennedy's assassination - and the faces of the dead are everywhere. PC Reg Cranfield sees his late father in the mists along Totter's Lane. Reporter Mae Callon sees her grandmother in a coffee stain on her desk. FBI Special Agent Warren Skeet finds his long-dead partner staring back at him from raindrops on a window pane. Then the faces begin to talk, and scream...and push through into our world. As the alien Shroud begins to feast on the grief of a world in mourning, can the Doctor dig deep enough into his own sorrow to save mankind?

A thrilling new adventure from the spectacular BBC series, starring Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman.
 

Bookmark and Share BFI: The Sixth Doctor Panel

6/26/2013 06:56:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

A video of the guest panel from the BFI's screening of The Two Doctors earlier this month was released today.

Unlike previous panels, though, it has not been uploaded to the organisation's YouTube channel but instead is available to view on its videos page.

The event took place on 15th June to mark the Sixth Doctor's era, as part of the BFI's Doctor Who At 50 season.

Lasting 15 min 34 sec, it features the actors Frazer Hines and Tony Selby, script editor and writer Eric Saward, and visual effects designer Mike Kelt in conversation with season co-curator Justin Johnson.

UPDATE - SATURDAY 6th JULY: The BFI has now uploaded the video to its YouTube channel, meaning it can be watched below:

Bookmark and Share BFI Screenings: Ninth Doctor Stories Announced

6/24/2013 12:07:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

The BFI will be showing the episodes Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways to mark the Ninth Doctor's era for its Doctor Who At 50 season.

The two stories, written by Russell T Davies and directed by Joe Ahearne, first aired on Saturday 11th June and Saturday 18th June 2005 respectively. They comprised the Series 1 finale, which saw Christopher Eccleston hand over control of the TARDIS to David Tennant after an epic battle against the Daleks.

The screenings are being held on Saturday 24th August from 2pm at BFI Southbank. The special guests for the accompanying panel session are yet to be announced.

Tickets are being issued via a ballot system through the members' section, with BFI Champions able to enter the ballot from Monday 1st July and members from Tuesday 2nd July. The ballot will close on Friday 5th July and be run over the weekend of 6th and 7th July, with all entrants to be notified on Monday 8th July if they have been successful or not.

All tickets reserved for Champions and members through the ballot will be held until 8.30pm on Friday 12th July, and any that are unclaimed by then will be released for public sale on Saturday 13th July.

Although all the screenings in the season so far have been immediate sell-outs, returns and stand-bys are a strong possibility, so it's always worth checking back with the BFI.

The organisation is skipping from the Seventh Doctor's era to the Ninth Doctor's because of guest availability, with the Eighth Doctor event currently planned to be held sometime in September. The precise date plus guests are still to be confirmed and announced.

Bookmark and Share Fan Productions

6/24/2013 01:43:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Inferno Fiction 14Inferno Fiction; Volume Fourteen

Issue Fourteen of Inferno Fiction is now available online.
  • THE CAFE by Ashley Myles The Doctor and Dodo's peace is shattered when the TARDIS comes under attack from an intruder, intent on stealing it to help save his friends from an eternal prison set within a cafe...
  • I, ZYGON by Al Dickerson "Being a manuscript of the final transmission to the Zygon refugee fleet from the survivors of the exploration vessel Hiskarasa; the final testament of Grotton, bound squire to Commander Broton. Found on Earth in 2357 and verified authentic by the cultural council of New Zygor, 51 Pegasi."
  • RULER OF THE FOURTH DIMENSION by Sean Bassett "There was once a man. The most amazing man. A man who’s saved many civilizations and improved so many lives. I imagine he’s still out there somewhere, gallivanting around the universe with his screwdriver. I met him once, a long time ago, in the summer of 1963."
  • THE GIFT by Michael Falino The Doctor answers a distress signal from the planet Clyreon where the inhabitants have a predicament involving a child...
  • THE SHADOW MAKERS by Joe Ford PART TWO: Steven recounts his time during the time distortion...and a meeting from the Doctor's future...
  • SILENCING THE BEAST by Meg MacDonald "I’m here Doctor. Still. You thought you’d left me behind, didn’t you? Thought you’d buried me at Arcadia? Cast me into the heart of the Nightmare Child? Left me behind like one of your Companions? You didn’t. I’m still here, Time Lord. And I’ve been waiting for you. Wake up!"
  • WHAT PLANET? by Michael Baxter
  • THE COMING OF THE DALEKS by Nathan Mullins The Daleks are after the key to the TARDIS and along with some old and new friends the Doctor sets out to stop them at any cost...
Kasterborous MagazineKasterborous Magazine #1

Issue one of Kasterborous Magazine, from the team behind the website, is now available complete with an interview with current Doctor Matt Smith and former companion Karen Gillan who told the magazine
I just feel like I’ve learned actually how to act. When I look back at what I was like as an actress when I first started, I just think I didn’t know anything about acting! Through the show I feel like I’ve learned so much, and I’ve learned so much from Matt Smith as well, just because he is the most inventive actor I’ve ever, ever seen work.

  • Elton Townend-Jones’ Enlightenment – how should Doctor Who’s 50th be celebrated?
  • Never a Doctored Word with the Valeyard – the Doctor’s alter ego sets the world to rights.
  • Interview: Illustrator Paul Hanley – popular artist reveals his inspirations and plans.
  • The Shape of… The TARDIS – the real star of Doctor Who, the iconic time machine.
  • Crash of Elysium – Tom Macrae discusses his audacious live Doctor Who play.
  • My Mate John IS the Doctor! – John Guilor, the voice of the First Doctor, interviewed.
  • All Monsters Great and Small – Phil Bates meets Matt Smith at the Doctor Who Experience.
  • In the Shed: With a Dalek Builder! – want to build your own Dalek? Gareth Mugridge is the man to ask!
  • The History of Doctor Who Fandom – kicking off an in-depth look at organized fandom.
  • Doctor Who Takes Manhattan – we speak to Matt Smith & Karen Gillan in New York!
  • The Masque Revisited – 38 years later, a trip to Portmeirion revisits The Masque of Mandragora.
Three stage shows based on the world of Doctor Who fandom are also in preparation for this year's Fringe Festival in Edinburgh.

I Need a Doctor: The Unauthorised Whosical Adventure - Work in Progress
takes place at the Pleasance Theatre London from 27-29 June before moving Edinburgh in August

Doctor-loving nerd Jamie and his companion Jess wrote a musical about their time-travelling hero. Now, they must avoid BBC copyright as they battle with evil exterminators and dancing cyber-gents. Will they manage to escape unscathed? And will they manage to rewrite a whole musical in one hour? Original songs include ‘I Need A Doctor’ and ‘Phonebox of Love’
Who Are You Supposed To Be?
the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from 14-26 August

Classic tale of a boy in a TARDIS t-shirt standing in front of a girl dressed as the Fifth Doctor, asking her to love him... and a girl demanding to know why she can’t be the Doctor or Han Solo or Captain Reynolds. They’d be star-crossed lovers (Wars and Trek, obviously) but they have so much in common - surely they can find the time and space to fall in love? This is a story about wanting to feel safe, to be appreciated and how far we’ll go to find people like us.
Rob Lloyd: Who, Me
the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from 1-25 August

Doctor Who is about to face his greatest challenge: his number one fan. Rob Lloyd (Fan Number One) is putting The Doctor on trial. Is Doctor Who (the television show) guilty of inciting in Rob a debilitating obsession, or shaped him into a well-rounded, mentally-sound member of society? After sell-out seasons at the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals plus the Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and Perth Comedy Festivals, Rob now brings his show to Edinburgh for the first time. Suitable for anyone who has ever been tickled -or tortured - by obsession. Court is now in session.

Bookmark and Share RegenerEIGHT: The Great Doctor Who Movie Rewatch

6/23/2013 04:52:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Fans worldwide are invited to relive and discuss the 1996 TV Movie in the company of two of its stars, in a online event RegenerEIGHT.

Daphne Ashbrook and Yee Jee Tso will be providing commentary on the story, via a special event hosted at Google Hangouts, which begins at 2000 GMT Sunday. That's 9pm UK time, 4pm EDT or 1pm PDT, and 6am Monday morning for those in east coast Australia.

Daphne Ashbrook played Dr. Grace Holloway in the 1996 film, which starred Paul McGann in his only TV appearance as The Doctor and which also featured Sylvester McCoy. She’ll be bringing her own experience of the film, thoughts on her character, and stories from behind the scenes. Ashbrook also starred in four Big Finish audio dramas including “Doctor Who: The Next Life”, Companion Chronicles “Tales from the Vault” and “Mastermind”.

Yee Jee Tso played Chang Lee in the movie. His Doctor Who connection continued when he played the part of Doctor Goddard in the webcast Real Time produced by Big Finish Productions, the part of Major Jal Brant in the audio drama Excelis Decays in 2002 and the role of Warrant Officer Charlie Sato in 2011′s Tales from the Vault.

The couple will be joined by Doctor Who Podcaster Ken Deep and former editor of Doctor Who Magazine and author of the novalisation of the story, Gary Russell

To participate viewers need to have their own copy of the movie to watch. The commentary and chats will be launched from Google Hangouts on Air. Anyone with any Google account: YouTube, Gmail, G+, can participate. The event will also be simulcasting on YouTube and daphneashbrook.com. The event also has its own Facebook page.

Bookmark and Share Angus MacKay 1927-2013

6/22/2013 09:29:00 pm - Reported by Marcus


The actor Angus MacKay has died at the age of 86.

Angus MacKay appeared in five episodes of Doctor Who.

He played Chancellor Borusa in the 1976 story The Deadly Assassin, the first time the Doctor's old teacher was seen in the series. He returned to the show in 1983 alongside the fifth Doctor playing the Headmaster in the story which introduced Turlough, Mawdryn Undead.

Away from Doctor Who he had numerous television credits in productions such as One Foot in the Grave, Only Fools and Horses, Howards' Way, The Professionals, Steptoe and Son, The Sweeney, Minder and Z-Cars.

Bookmark and Share People Roundup

6/22/2013 03:06:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Tea with The Doctor

Afternoon tea at the Ritz in the company of Matt Smith, is being auctioned in aid of Autism Charities.

The auction is part of A Curious Night at the Theatre, a one off performance taking place at the Apollo Theatre in London, with Jude Law performing live as well as filmed performances from Helen Mirren, James Bond actor Ben Whishaw, and Matt Smith himself.

Tea with the Doctor will be auctioned, along with several other celebrity lots, after the performance.

Bids can also be accepted online.


Death Comes To Pemberley

Jenna Coleman is to play Lydia Wickham in the BBC One adaptation of Death Comes To Pemberley, the sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The drama, based on the bestselling novel by P.D. James, involves the well known characters of the english classic in a new tale of murder and emotional mayhem.

The cast includes Matthew Rhys who stars as Mr Darcy and Anna Maxwell Martin, who played Suki in the Ninth Doctor adventure The Long Game, playing Elizabeth. Other Who alumni include Tom Ward who played Captain Latimer in The Snowmen, and James Norton playing Colonel Fitzwilliam. Eleanor Tomlinson who played Eve in The Sarah Jane Adventures two-parter, The Mad Woman in the Attic, is playing Georgiana Darcy. Filming will take place in Yorkshire later this month.

NB: Jenna-Louise Coleman has decided to drop the Louise from her name for future credits so will now simply be known as Jenna Coleman.



Walk for Life

Four former Doctor Who actresses took part in the Walk for Life last Sunday, joining forces with Gay Times to raise money for the Terrence Higgins Trust, a charity concerned with sexual health issues.

Freema Agyeman who played Martha Jones, Sophie Aldred who played Ace, Louise Jameson who played Leela and Katy Manning who played Jo Grant, walked the 10km route through the centre of London, from Bloomsbury Square Gardens to Waterloo Bridge.

Donations can still be made by clicking the relevant actress's name above.


Michael Sheen is to read Neil Gaiman’s latest novel, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, for BBC Radio 4’s Book At Bedtime strand.

Sheen played the voice of House in Gaiman's 2011 story The Doctor's Wife. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is the first adult novel in eight years by the acclaimed author. It’s a tale about memory, about the adventures, experiences and enchantment of childhood and the power of stories. The reading will be broadcast in five 15-minute instalments during July and will be available worldwide via the Radio 4 website.


The Queen's birthday honours list for 2013 saw veteran actors Julian Glover and Claire Bloom and comic actor Rowan Atkinson all made Commanders of the Order of the British Empire. David Haig, who played Pangol in the 1980 story The Leisure Hive, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Bookmark and Share The Two Doctors on UKTV

6/21/2013 09:59:00 pm - Reported by Paul Scoones


UKTV

Sunday 23rd June sees the broadcast of the 1985 Colin Baker story, The Two Doctors on Australian and New Zealand television. The story is presented as part of the 50th Anniversary season of Doctor Who on the UKTV channel.

The story screens at 3:25pm in Australia, and 3:35pm in New Zealand. The latter country has an additional screening on Monday 24th June at 3:30am.
The Two Doctors (Credit: BBC)
The UKTV billing describes The Two Doctors as follows:
Time & time again, the Doctor has teamed up with himself to save lives. This time, he must save his past self in order to ensure his own existence in his present.
The Two Doctors was first broadcast in Australia in 1986. New Zealand did not get to see it until 1989. The story was originally screened in Britain as three 45-minute episodes, but was first broadcast in Australia and New Zealand in six parts. The UKTV transmission will feature the three-episode version of the story.

UKTV is showing stories throughout the year in the lead-up to the anniversary in November. The run of Sixth Doctor stories concludes next week with Revelation of the Daleks (30 June). Next month the focus shifts to Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor, with the following stories scheduled: Paradise Towers (7 July); Remembrance of the Daleks (14 July); The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (21 July); The Curse of Fenric and Survival (both 28 July).

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.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Adventures 323

6/21/2013 05:07:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

The new edition of Doctor Who Adventures has plenty of food for thought.

A Cyber cress head is the free gift with the magazine, which has also been creating prehistoric parasites out of fruit and is inviting readers to send in their own fruit monster designs.

Editor Natalie Barnes said:
We had so much fun creating our own edible monsters and I know our creative readers will love coming up with their own scary lookalikes. The Cyber cress head is the perfect way to upgrade boring sandwiches and add something mean and green to their meals!
Issue 323 of DWA is on sale until Tuesday 2nd July.

Bookmark and Share A Message from The Doctor

6/21/2013 01:18:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Matt Smith has recorded a thank-you message to Doctor Who fans.

The actor is currently filming in Detroit for a feature film, How to Catch a Monster, directed by Ryan Gosling.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who To Be Star Attraction At Radio Times Exhibition

6/21/2013 11:30:00 am - Reported by John Bowman

Doctor Who is to have its own special display at an exhibition marking the 90th anniversary of listings magazine Radio Times.

Cover Story: Radio Times At 90, to be held at the Museum of London from Friday 2nd August to Sunday 3rd November, will celebrate the history of the publication and reflect the story of broadcasting in Britain, showcasing some of its iconic covers from various programmes over the past nine decades.

It will be divided into sections covering various time frames, but as a nod to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and the fact that the programme has had such a lengthy relationship with the magazine - it was granted its first cover in February 1964 to publicise the start of the seven-part story Marco Polo - there will be a separate section for it that will feature covers as well as photographs from the Radio Times archive.

In addition, visitors can become cover stars themselves, posing alongside a life-size Dalek against a backdrop of Westminster Bridge to re-create the 2005 "Vote Dalek!" Radio Times cover, which promoted the episode Dalek and was voted most iconic cover of all time in the Great Cover Debate run by the Periodical Publishers Association (now called the Professional Publishers Association) in 2008. That particular cover is also currently in the running to be named Cover of the Century, with public voting open until Monday 30th September via the PPA website.

The free exhibition will take visitors from the BBC's first radio transmission to today's multi-channel offerings, through landmark broadcasts, archive clips, broadcast artefacts, and original Radio Times photography and artwork, including pieces by C R W Nevinson, John Gilroy, and influential British graphic designer Abram Games.

Radio Times editor Ben Preston said:
To flick through the covers of Radio Times over the past 90 years is to watch a popular history of Britain unfold: royal weddings, coronations, the outbreak of war and peace, moon landings, and even a victorious World Cup, household names created, and stars born - all have graced the cover of Radio Times.

No other magazine can rival Radio Times for showcasing the work of some of the nation's finest artists and photographers, creating unforgettable magazine covers that resonate today. In our 90th year, it is fantastic to work with the Museum of London to celebrate Radio Times' heritage and continued success.
Museum of London curator Jim Gledhill added:
The history of broadcasting in Britain has strong associations with London as the birthplace of the BBC. Radio Times has been an integral part of this history, so it is fitting that the Museum of London mark its 90th anniversary.
Sharon Ament, Museum of London director, stated:
Some of the most momentous moments from Radio Times' considerable canon will be on our walls. That's not only rather splendid but totally apt as this publication has been a large part of much of our culture for the past 90 years. With its roots in London there was a point when no sitting room was without this magazine. It was a weekly ritual to pore over its pages. I can't wait for the exhibition to open.
Radio Times, which was first published by the BBC in London on 28th September 1923 and is now published by Immediate Media Co, won the PPA's Consumer Magazine of the Year Award on Wednesday.

Bookmark and Share Charles And Camilla To Visit Doctor Who Studios

6/20/2013 11:59:00 am - Reported by John Bowman

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are to pay an official visit to the Doctor Who studios in Cardiff next month to mark the show's 50th anniversary.

It will form part of the royal couple's annual Wales Week, in which they tour the country to publicise its positive aspects.

Their diary shows that on Wednesday 3rd July they will be meeting cast and crew members of Doctor Who during a set visit to the Roath Lock studios.

A spokesman for Clarence House, which is their official residence in London, said:
The Prince and the Duchess always enjoy their annual visit to Wales and this year they are looking forward to a varied programme of engagements including everything from Dylan Thomas's Boat House to Doctor Who's TARDIS! Their Royal Highnesses are also keen to highlight the vital work being done across Wales by some of the charities they are involved with.
While they are at Roath Lock the couple will meet Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman, and will encounter some of the Doctor's enemies as well. It is not known as yet which production team members will be presented to Charles and Camilla.

This won't be the first official brush with the world of Doctor Who for the Duchess of Cornwall. While opening the West Wilts Show in Trowbridge in July 2009 she encountered a Dalek and TARDIS at a display dedicated to the programme.

Earlier this month, Coleman was presented to the Queen when the monarch officially opened the rebuilt Broadcasting House in London.

Bookmark and Share BBC Issues Statement Over Missing Episode Rumours

6/19/2013 10:33:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman



The escalation of internet speculation over the potential discovery/recovery of Doctor Who episodes currently missing from the BBC archive has led the corporation to issue a statement about it.

Philip Fleming, the Head of Communications, Brands, Content & Digital at BBC Worldwide, said:
There are always rumours and speculation about Doctor Who missing episodes being discovered. However, we cannot confirm any new finds.
He was responding to reports of a large number of episodes having been found in Africa.

Radio Times subsequently queried what exactly the BBC meant by saying that it could not confirm any new finds, to which a BBC spokeswoman said: "We can't confirm because it's not true as far as I'm aware." Pressed further about whether or not the BBC was in talks with people about episodes, she said: "I don’t think so", while to the question "So there are no episodes?" she responded: "Not as far as we know."

Following the discoveries of the Galaxy 4 episode Air Lock and The Underwater Menace episode 2 in 2011, hopes have been high in fandom that more missing episodes are out there. However, Doctor Who News will continue its policy of reporting only on official statements.

UPDATE - THURSDAY 20th JUNE: Following the BBC's response, a company that had featured in the rumours issued the following statement on Facebook today:

T.I.E.A. does not hold any missing episodes of the long-running Dr Who series. The original videotapes were wiped [and] subsequent film copies were either returned to the BBC [or] sent to landfill. Odd fragments have surfaced - two episodes on 16mm film - but that's it. The programmes in question, like many others, were destroyed as they had no further commercial value. They are not missing but destroyed. The end.

I am sorry if this upsets some people but these are the facts.

I have also become aware of the tracking of some of our clients' shipments. These are local cultural materials sent to us for migration to a modern format as the playback equipment in the country of origin no longer exists and as such is the best road to preserve international cultural heritage.

I will be making no more statements on this subject.

Philip Morris, Executive Director, T.I.E.A.
Reported by:
The Doctor Who News Team

Bookmark and Share BFI Seventh, Eighth, And Ninth Doctor Screenings Update

6/17/2013 07:45:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

The special guests for the BFI's celebratory screening of Remembrance of the Daleks next month have been announced.

The sell-out event, part of the BFI's Doctor Who At 50 season, is being held on Saturday 27th July at BFI Southbank to mark the Seventh Doctor's era and will see Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Ben Aaronovitch, Dick Mills, and Mike Tucker taking part in the question-and-answer panel.

The BFI is running a competition to win a pair of tickets to the 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 contest closes on Friday 19th July. Terms and conditions apply.

August's event should have seen the Eighth Doctor's solo TV venture (so far) being shown on the big screen but instead the Ninth Doctor will be honoured that month, with a story screening and guest panel being held on Saturday 24th August.

BFI spokeswoman Liz Parkinson told Doctor Who News today:
Due to guest availability, we've moved our Eighth Doctor event to a little later in the year, so our Ninth Doctor event has been brought forward.
The date for the TV movie screening is yet to be announced, while the story to be shown from the Ninth Doctor's era, and the accompanying guests, will also be confirmed in due course.

Because of the overwhelming demand to attend the monthly screenings, a ballot system is being run to allocate tickets and priority booking for the Ninth Doctor event will take place, as previously, via the members' section.

BFI Champions can enter the ballot from Monday 1st July and members can enter from Tuesday 2nd July.

The ballot will close on Friday 5th July and be run over the weekend of 6th and 7th July, with all entrants to be notified on Monday 8th July 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 12th July, and any that are unclaimed by then will be released for public sale on Saturday 13th July.

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

Bookmark and Share Tennant wins Emmy

6/17/2013 12:49:00 am - Reported by Marcus

David Tennant has won a daytime Emmy for his voice work on the Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars series.

The Tenth Doctor was named Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program at a ceremony in Los Angeles for voicing Huyang, a droid who trains Jedi on how to build lightsabers.

Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni said Tennant’s work as the Doctor convinced him that the actor, himself a Star Wars geek, was perfect for Huyang:
I absolutely loved what David Tennant was doing on Doctor Who. There was such a quizzical nature to his character, a sense of whimsy, but he could still get very powerful emotion out of the character — a lot of intensity, a lot of anger — just an incredible display of range.
Thanks to Cameron

Bookmark and Share Big Finish: June Releases

6/15/2013 05:52:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Big Finish have released details on the latest adventures for the Doctor and his companions in June ...

Prisoners of Fate (Credit: Big Finish)Prisoners of Fate (available to order)
Starring Peter Davison as The Doctor, Janet Fielding as Tegan, Mark Strickson as Turlough, and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa.

Twenty-five years ago, with Richter's Syndrome running rampant throughout the galaxy, the brilliant biochemist Nyssa, formerly of Traken, bade a painful farewell to her young family... and set off into the space, in search of a cure for this deadly disease.

She never returned.

Now, her grown-up son continues her work on the penal colony of Valderon, still desperate to make the breakthrough that eluded his presumed-dead mother.

So when the TARDIS lands on Valderon, bringing the Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa to its fortress prison, the scene is set for a painful reunion... but not only for Nyssa. The Doctor's past is about to catch up with him too...


Prisoners of Fate ends the current trilogy of Fifth Doctor adventures with a twisty tale from the pen of Jonathan Morris as the Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa are forced to confront head-on the consequences of Nyssa's travels in the TARDIS since Helheim, begun in Doctor Who: Cobwebs. The story guest stars Sarah Douglas (Superman, V) as Sibor and Alistair Mackenzie (Monarch of the Glen, Borgen) as Galen.

Producer David Richardson commented:
This story presents a huge dilemma for Nyssa, and there are no easy answers for the Doctor. Plus we get to meet something significant from the Doctorls past we never knew about before...
The Companion Chronicles: Council of War (Credit: Big Finish)Council of War (available to order)
Starring John Levene as Benton, with Sinead Keenan as Margery Phipps

At the Doctor's request, Sergeant Benton is investigating ghosts and missing people in Kettering, while undercover as a local councillor

And that's how he comes to meet Margery Phipps.

An alien incursion in the town hall leads them on a journey to a terrible future – where Margery discovers how she changed a world, and the life of a whole civilisation hangs in the balance...


Council of War, by Scarifyers creators Simon Barnard and Paul Morris, Sergeant Benton finds an undercover job taking on a life of its own when he gets involved in the life of Margery Phipps and the affairs of Kettering.

David:
Yes, John Levene has joined The Companion Chronicles. It's great to have him aboard – ably supported here by the brilliant Sinead Keenan (Nina from Being Human).
Fourth Doctor Adventures: The Dalek Contract (Credit: Big Finish)The Dalek Contract (available to order)
Starring Tom Baker as the Doctor, Mary Tamm as Romana, and John Leeson as K9

'These creatures have ravaged half the cosmos. They're experts at this kind of thing. Nothing can stand in their way.'

The Doctor and Romana find themselves in the Proxima System, where enigmatic Conglomerate CEO Cuthbert has been conducting his infamous 'experiment'. An experiment which might accidentally rip the universe apart.

Meanwhile, living conditions on Proxima Major have become harsh and hostile. Climate change has turned the landscape into a freezing wasteland and an alien power has condemned much of the population to life inside internment camps. For those still clinging to their freedom, the struggle for survival is now beyond desperate and outsiders such as the Doctor and Romana are only seen as a threat.

What is Cuthbert really up to in the Proxima System, and just how does he expect the dreaded Daleks to fit into his plan?


David:
A few firsts in this one. It's the first Romana's only meeting with the Daleks. It's K9's first fight against the Daleks (at least in a full cast medium). And it's also the return of David Warner as Cuthbert and Toby Hadoke as Mr Dorrick, as we head for a big season finale with high stakes...

Competition

This month's competition thanks to Big Finish is to win one of five copies of Council of War. To be in with a chance, please answer the following question:
John Levene has been long associated with the role of Benton, but name his only credited monstrous role and relevant story from the television series.
Send your answer to comp-council@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "beneath the mask", along with your name, address, and where you saw the competition (the news website, twitter, facebook, etc.). Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open worldwide, and the closing date is 30th June 2013.

Bookmark and Share The Mark of the Rani on UKTV

6/15/2013 08:17:00 am - Reported by Paul Scoones

UKTV
Sunday 16th June sees the broadcast of the 1985 Colin Baker story, The Mark of the Rani on Australian and New Zealand television. The story is presented as part of the 50th Anniversary season of Doctor Who on the UKTV channel.

The story screens at 4:20pm in both countries. New Zealand has an additional screening on Monday 17th June at 4:30am.
The Mark of the Rani
The UKTV billing describes The Mark of the Rani as follows:
In 19th century England, the Doctor finds himself facing two competing enemies: his old adversary, the Master, and the Rani, another Time Lord with a sinister plan.
The Mark of the Rani was first broadcast in Australia in 1986. 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 four parts. UKTV will screen the two-episode version of the story.

UKTV is showing stories throughout the year in the lead-up to the anniversary in November. Colin Baker's sixth Doctor is the focus of the stories screened during June. Upcoming stories include 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.

Bookmark and Share An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend

6/14/2013 03:17:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Who's That Girl?
The twelfth in our series of features telling the story of the creation of Doctor Who, and the people who made it happen.

The story so far: With Doctor Who having been initially conceived and formatted by Sydney Newman, Donald Wilson and CE Webber, along with other staff and writers in the BBC's script department, work on actually getting the series made is now under way. Although some scripts are in development, none of the main characters has yet been cast, and by June 1963 the programme does not even have a producer in place . . .

In the early summer of 1963, the day-to-day management of Doctor Who was in the hands of producer-director Rex Tucker. It was never envisaged that Tucker would be the producer of the series in the long term, but it was at the time planned that he would be the chief director on the programme, to helm the first serial and then several others across the proposed 52-week run.

Tucker's temporary position as producer of Doctor Who, in addition to his directorial duties, reflected something of a state of change in the way BBC dramas were being produced at the time. In the 1950s, it was common for a single producer-director to have overall practical and artistic control over a production, and Tucker himself had a great deal of experience in this producer-director role on a number of children's serials and adaptations of classic literature.

By the early 1960s, and in tandem with Newman's arrival as Head of Drama Group at the BBC, the system was changing for drama series and serials. The main regular members of a production team would be the producer and story editor, with directors being appointed on an ad hoc, serial-by-serial or episode-by-episode basis, much like the writers. But despite the knowledge that he would not be the full-time producer of the series, Tucker took full charge of all areas of production for the fledgling Doctor Who in May and early June 1963 – including ideas of casting.

Tucker was friends with an actor called Hugh David, a 37-year-old Welshman who had recently come to public attention as one of the stars of a Granada Television crime-drama series called Knight Errant Limited. Although David was younger than the "frail old man" envisaged by Newman, Wilson and Webber, at some point by early June 1963 Tucker had offered him the role of the Doctor – quite possibly the first actor ever to be asked to play the part.

David, however, had been uncomfortable with the public recognition that starring as Stephen Drummond in Knight Errant Limited had brought him, and he was reluctant to now become the star of another programme, so turned down Tucker's offer. He eventually decided to wind down his acting career not long after this, and made a move behind the cameras, working as a director. In this capacity, he would go on to direct two Doctor Who stories later in the 1960s, during the Patrick Troughton era – The Highlanders and Fury From the Deep. In later years, David would go on to make the claim that it had been Tucker who came up with the title Doctor Who, although there is no documentary evidence for this, and it is not a claim that Tucker ever made himself.

Despite Tucker's offer to his friend, it is doubtful that David would have ended up playing the Doctor even if he had been keen on the role. Not long after the offer had been made, Doctor Who finally had a full-time producer assigned to take charge of the series, someone who would later state that David would have been too young for the part.

But this producer had not been the first choice for the job.

When Newman was attempting to find a producer for Doctor Who, his first port of call was 26-year-old director Don Taylor, to whom he offered the job at an unknown point, probably in May or June 1963. This offer was something of an olive branch from Newman, as Taylor was a somewhat higher-brow and more classically-cultured figure than the Canadian, and he was horrified by the idea of such an unashamed populist being in charge of the BBC's drama output. In his memoir Days of Vision, published in 1990, Taylor wrote scathingly of Newman, saying that:

To put it brutally, I was deeply offended that the premier position in television drama, at a time when it really was the National Theatre of the Air, had been given to a man whose values were entirely commercial, and who had no more than a layman's knowledge of the English theatrical tradition, let alone the drama of Europe and the wider world.

Taylor was best-known for working on sophisticated single plays for adult viewers, particularly for his work directing the plays of David Mercer. Newman's Doctor Who offer held no interest for him, and he turned the producer's job down flat. Later in 1963 he resigned from the staff of the BBC in despair at the changes being wrought under Newman, particularly the abolition of the old producer-director system, and he would later claim to have been blacklisted from working for the drama department as a freelance director. Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine in 1993, however, Taylor had a more conciliatory attitude towards Newman and his offer:

He had this marvellous idea for a new series, that would be right up my street, really intellectual stuff, and he would like me to take charge of it, launch it, let it be my project. I've often wondered what might have happened if I'd taken him at his word... There, as they say, was a chance missed.

Newman next turned to someone who would perhaps have been rather a better fit for Doctor Who – 43-year-old producer-director Shaun Sutton. Sutton had formed a particular reputation for his work on children's serials in the 1950s, and unlike Taylor he had great respect and admiration for Newman. However, like Taylor, he also turned down Newman's offer to become Doctor Who's first producer. This was because he was keen to move on from children's drama and was interested in tackling more adult fare – he had already worked as a director on episodes of the police drama Z-Cars since that series had begun in 1962.

Sutton did, however, later go on to become involved in the production of Doctor Who. In 1966 he became the Head of Serials in the drama department, in which role he was effectively the show's executive producer. He gave approval for William Hartnell to be replaced, and was involved in the decision to cast Troughton as the Second Doctor. He later succeeded Newman as overall Head of Drama at the BBC, a role he went on to occupy until 1981 – longer than anyone else either before or since.

With both Taylor and Sutton having rejected the chance to take charge of the series, and a full-time producer badly needing to be appointed, Newman's thoughts turned back to his time in commercial television, at ABC. While working at the ITV contractor, he had been impressed by the verve and the vigour of a young production assistant in the drama department named Verity Lambert. With nobody else seeming to want to produce Doctor Who, Newman decided to take a chance and offer her the opportunity to follow him to the BBC and become the producer of the new series.

Born in London in November 1935, Lambert had been educated at Roedean School, near Brighton, and at the Sorbonne in Paris. She entered the television industry in 1956, working as a secretary at Granada Television, before moving to ABC Television a few months later. She was initially the secretary for the company's Head of Drama prior to Newman, Dennis Vance, before moving on to become a production secretary and then a production assistant. It was in this latter capacity that she had worked with Newman on dramas such as Armchair Theatre, and she had displayed the capable, positive attitude that had so impressed him. As he later told Doctor Who Magazine:

I remembered Verity as being bright and, to use the phrase, full of piss and vinegar! She was gutsy and she used to fight and argue with me, even though she was not at a very high level as a production assistant.

In 1961, Lambert had taken a break from ABC to work for a year as the personal assistant to noted American television producer David Susskind in New York. She returned to the UK in 1962, determined to become either a producer or a director, but no opportunities for promotion were forthcoming, and she remained as a production assistant at ABC.

Frustrated at this lack of opportunity, she had considered giving up television as a career entirely, until the offer from Newman to come to the BBC and finally earn the promotion she wanted. While she freely admitted to Newman that she knew nothing about children, he remained convinced that she was the right person for the job. If there were misgivings among any of Newman's fellow executives at the Corporation, these were perhaps allayed at least a little by the fact that the previous month the highly-experienced Mervyn Pinfield had been appointed as associate producer of Doctor Who, to advise particularly on technical matters (see previous episode). Tucker would also still be around as the principal director for the series – although this state of affairs would not last for very long after Lambert's appointment, as the pair of them disagreed over many aspects of the programme.

But that was all to come. By Friday 14th June 1963 - exactly 50 years ago today - the 27-year-old Lambert had arrived at her new office in Room 5014 at BBC Television Centre as the Corporation's youngest – and only female – drama producer. One of the first people sent to see her was a young Indian director called Waris Hussein, who around this time had been assigned to direct episodes of Doctor Who. Lambert and Hussein got on well at once, with the pair happy to admit to each other that neither of them knew quite what they had let themselves in for.

Next EpisodeDoctor Who Hassle
SOURCES: The Handbook: The First Doctor – The William Hartnell Years: 1963-1966, David J Howe, Mark Stammers, Stephen James Walker (Doctor Who Books, 1994); Days of Vision, Don Taylor (Methuen Publishing, 1990); Doctor Who Magazine – issues 207, 260, 391.
Compiled by:
Paul Hayes

Bookmark and Share Guests Announced For BFI's Two Doctors Screening

6/13/2013 07:09:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

Actors Frazer Hines and Tony Selby plus script editor and writer Eric Saward and visual effects designer Mike Kelt will be the special guests at the BFI screening of The Two Doctors.

The event, which takes place on Saturday 15th June to mark the Sixth Doctor's era, is the latest in the organisation's Doctor Who At 50 season and will start at 2pm.

The screenings have proved overwhelmingly popular, selling out as soon as tickets have been made available, although the BFI has introduced a ballot system to help make ticket allocation fairer.

Returns are always a possibility, though. As such, at the time of posting this news item four tickets were available via the event link. Stand-bys and other returns may also be available on the day.

Bookmark and Share Big Finish's licence renewed to cover 2016

6/10/2013 06:12:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Big Finish have announced that their licence to make Doctor Who audio adventures has been extended to December 2016.

Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery said:
It’s an absolute privilege to be entrusted with making audio adventures for Doctor Who for at least another three years, and it’s wonderful that we will be able to continue our excellent working relationships with our friends and colleagues at AudioGO and Cardiff.

Fellow executive producer Nicholas Briggs observed:
This year will mark my seventh anniversary as executive producer at Big Finish. For me, it's a clear indication of how much fun I've been having with the work and the people I'm privileged to work with that I am looking forward to the possibilities opening up with this latest extension of our licence so much. And by that time, I'll have been in the role for ten years! Bring it on, I say. We have a great relationship with AudioGo and there will be exciting developments ahead.

Line producer David Richardson added:
We have so many more tales to tell with the first eight Doctors and their companions. We can promise that 2016 will see more of your favourite ranges – plus maybe a brand new range or two that will surprise and delight. Certainly, as a team, we could not be happier that we will continue to be able to make our Doctor Who dreams a reality.