Frank Cox 1940-2021Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 April 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Frank Cox

The TV Director Frank Cox has died at the age of 80.

 

Frank Cox worked on two early stories of Doctor Who.

In 1964 at the age of 23, he became Doctor Who's fourth Director, taking charge for the episode The Brink of Disaster, the second part of The Edge of Destruction, and an episode that involved just the four main cast members. 

He returned to the series later that year looking after the final two episodes of The Sensorites, Kidnap and A Desperate Venture. 

 

Doctor Who was one of the first programmes Cox worked on following completion of the BBC Directors training course. He went on to direct programmes such as The Revenue Men,  Mogul, Warship, Sutherland's Law, Softly Softly: Task Force, EastEnders and High Road

He also worked as a producer on many series throughout the 1980s and 90s

The last programme he directed was Taggart for STV

Frank Cox was married to the actress Bridget Turner, who played Alice Cassini in the 2007 story Gridlock. She died in 2014

 





Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition 57Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 April 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine: Special Edition S7 (Credit: Panini)

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 57 looks at writing for Doctor Who. 

How does an episode of Doctor Who evolve from an initial idea?

Since 1963 many producers and editors have applied their own philosophies and working methods to the pre-production of this complex series.

This Special Edition explains how a Doctor Who narrative is constructed and examines the careers of the show’s leading writers. Illustrated with previously unseen script pages from the BBC archive, alongside many other rare documents and photos.

Writing Doctor Who reveals the stories behind the storytellers.

Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition 57: Writing Doctor Who is on sale from panini.co.uk and WH Smith from Thursday 29 April priced £6.99 (UK).

Also available as a digital edition from pocketmags.com priced £5.99.





Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 564Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 April 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 564 (Credit: Panini)

This month's issue of Doctor Who Magazine,  Issue 564, marks 25 years of the Eighth Doctor

Highlights of this anniversary issue include:

  • What the Eighth Doctor Did Next – a guide to the adventures that took place after the TV movie.

  • A revealing interview with the actor who was very nearly cast as the Eighth Doctor.

  • The second part of an exclusive interview with Christopher Eccleston.

  • Director Joe Ahearne recalls working with Christopher Eccleston on the 2005 series.

  • The life and career of Christopher Baker, who briefly appeared as the Doctor in The Brain of Morbius.

  • A rundown of surprising references to Doctor Who in American TV series and films.

  • Collectivity looks at the merchandise released to tie in with the 1996 TV movie.

  • Apocrypha remembers the 2005 novel The Monsters Inside.

  • The Fact of Fiction begins its analysis of 1970’s The Ambassadors of Death.

  • Millie McKenzie discusses her Doctor Who-inspired clay creations.

  • Sufficient Data crunches Doctor Who’s numbers.

  • Previews, reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, the DWM poll, Time and Space Visualiser and more.

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 564 is on sale from panini.co.uk and WH Smith from Thursday 29 April priced £5.99 (UK).

Also available as a digital edition from pocketmags.com priced £4.99.

 




The Who AdventuresBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 April 2021 - Reported by Marcus
The Who Adventures (Credit: Telos)

Telos Publishing has announced a new book from writer and researcher David J Howe.

The Who Adventures looks at the ranges of Doctor Who titles published by Virgin Publishing in the early 1990s and contains a history of the range, as well as many pieces of the cover art, reproduced as full-page items.

It also includes sketches and unused art and covers everything you could want to know about the Doctor Who fiction published by Virgin.

David J Howe explained

This book started life as a series of articles for Doctor Who Magazine.  I still had all that material available. Plus, when Virgin closed their doors to Doctor Who and fiction generally towards the end of the 1990s, I was lucky enough to get to go through their Who files and to pull out and copy anything which seemed interesting, and so I had a pile of sketches and other information just begging to be compiled together in a book!

Last year, in lockdown, and with the absence of anything else to do, I started going through and organising all the material, reviewing the text, and generally pulling it all together into something which could be released as a new book!

'It's the ultimate guide to the Virgin New Adventures and Missing Adventures ranges of books, which saw several authors, including Russell T Davies, Ben Aaronovitch and Mark Gatiss publishing early works of original fiction!

Stephen James Walker, Director of Telos Publishing, said

David J Howe's The Target Book has been one of Telos Publishing's most successful and acclaimed titles, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to publish a follow-up covering Virgin's Doctor Who novels ranges.

The New Adventures books are one of my own personal favourite 'eras' of Doctor Who, and I know that many other fans have very fond memories of them and hold them in the highest regard. Not only does The Who Adventures give an authoritative account of the books' history, with a lot of fascinating information, but it also presents a wealth of superb images, including full-page reproductions of many the original cover paintings, plus preliminary design sketches and ideas, and much additional material.

A sumptuous coffee-table-style book in full colour, it aims to be the ultimate celebration of a hugely important part of the Doctor Who phenomenon.

The book is available to preorder now direct from Telos Publishing - telos.co.uk - and is expected to be available in December 2021.





The Ice Warriors - Vinyl ReleaseBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 April 2021 - Reported by Marcus
The Ice Warriors (Credit: Demon Records / BBC)

The BBC is to release the Soundtrack from the Second Doctor Story The Ice Warriors as a vinyl disc

Demon Records is releasing the narrated TV soundtrack of the partially ‘lost’ six-part adventure set in a future Ice Age, starring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor. 

The Doctor and his friends land on Earth in the future, and find it in the grip of a new Ice Age. They join a team of scientists struggling to hold back the huge glaciers that threaten all human life. A giant creature is discovered inside the ice and quickly comes to monstrous life – it’s an Ice Warriors from Mars! It intends to find its crashed spaceship, where a whole crew of Warriors is waiting to be revived…  

Presented across a trio of 140g Molten Ice vinyl discs, this 1967 TV soundtrack – only four episodes of which survive as film recordings - is narrated by Frazer Hines, who co-stars as the Doctor’s companion Jamie, with Deborah Watling as Victoria.

The guest cast includes Bernard Bresslaw as the Ice Warrior Varga, Peter Barkworth as Leader Clent, and Peter Sallis as Penley. Incidental music is by Dudley Simpson, and the familiar strains of the Doctor Who theme are courtesy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

The coloured LPs are presented in fully illustrated sleeves which, when assembled together, form the cover image. Original episode billings, and full cast and credits, are included.

The discs will be released on the 4th June. 

Amazon Link

 

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Candy Jar Books updatesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 April 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books had announced the final novel of its eighth series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels:

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Haunting of Gabriel Chase (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Haunting of Gabriel Chase
Written by Andrew Allen
Cover artwork by Richard Young

 

1983, and Gabriel Chase burns. Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, teacher at Brendon School for Boys, had almost forgotten about the house. But the memories soon return to him, memories of thirteen years earlier…

1970, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Anne Travers, Captain William Bishop and RSM Samson Ware are brought to an old house in Perivale by an old friend of Samson's. An officer has been lost, and it is believed he may be in the house. 

They decide the only way to find out is to investigate within the house. But Gabriel Chase is waiting. It is always waiting. And once you're inside, you'll be very lucky to leave. 

Ghosts haunt Gabriel Chase. But who is in control? What is the angel? And who will escape?  Darkness falls. And heaven help anybody still inside after dark...

 

The official sequel to the 1989 Doctor Who serial Ghost Light Inspired by ideas developed by Marc Platt.

 

As the title suggests, The Haunting of Gabriel Chase is a sequel to the popular 1989 Doctor Who serial Ghost Light by Marc Platt. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:

We are always looking for connections to the larger Doctor Who universe, and wondering what good sequels or prequels there are to tell, that will fit into the LSVerse. And while I was working on Child of the New World, a sequel to Marc Platt’s Downtime, it occurred to me that Marc also wrote one of my favourite Doctor Who serials. Keith Barnfarther put me in touch with Marc, and after I explained what I had in mind for the sequel, he was delighted to give me the green light. But I didn’t want it to just be my vision, I wanted to know what Marc would have done had he continued the story of Josiah, Control, etc. Marc was happy to share his ideas, and sent me a few notes. As one would expect, they were very interesting, and a great launching pad. Then it just became a case of finding the right author.

That author was Andrew Allen, who had previously contributed short stories for such things as The HAVOC Files collections and the Lineage anthology, as well writing a Doctor Who short trip for Big Finish.Frankham-Allen continued:

I’ve always enjoyed Andrew’s work. I was aware of his upcoming Travers & Wells book, and knowing he had a feeling for the more esoteric kind of story, I approached him. Needless to say, he was daunted by the prospect, but 100% up for it. I told him my basic idea, which amounted to the prologue and general direction of the story, and sent him Marc’s notes.

Allen commented:

A couple of years ago, I was excited to see have chance to submit a short story for a Candy Jar anthology – and even more pleased to get a chance to write for one of my favourite classic Doctor Who characters, Anne Travers. Since then, I’ve been able to write a couple more short stories for the range, and even a novella featuring Anne’s father Edward, and HG Wells, as they face up to the monstrous Dr Moreau. When I was offered the chance to write The Haunting of Gabriel Chase, it was an opportunity both terrifying and irresistible.

Ghost Light, of course, ends up being a sequel to itself – Ace has burned down the house before we see it for the first time, and so, in The Haunting of Gabriel Chase, we see it being burned down before going inside, and back to a time before any of that happens – and also after Light has been banished. It’s as much of an ‘inter-quel’ as it is a sequel. It has been a hugely humbling experience to get the chance to play with the iconic characters not only created by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln, but also Marc Platt. As well as a traditional ‘haunted house’ story, I wanted to talk a little about the nuances of memory when we look back at the things that we remember fondly, and also examine the things that truly haunt us, and stop us from going forward in our futures.

Richard Young contriibuted the cover art, his second for 2021:

I love Ghost Light! The chance to do the cover for the sequel was something I couldn’t say no to. Doing an older, ‘80s era Brig was something I couldn’t resist either. However, this presented an unforeseen challenge, as the original portrait I did, which was from his time at Brendon School, just didn’t look right. And it soon became apparent that the Brig just isn’t the Brig without his moustache. Gabriel Chase was a bit of an issue as there aren’t that many good reference images of the (real) building in the daylight. And then there's fire! The last few covers I’ve done have included fire or some such – it’s almost like I’m the Candy Jar fire starter (can I have a nice, eerie, night-time misty story to illustrate next time please, with no fire?).

 

The Haunting of Gabriel Chase will be available late April 2021, and is available from the Candy Jar website; it is included with subscriptions.

 

The Lethbridge-Stewart range continues in July with the three-book series nine, starting with Warriors of Mondu by Gareth Madgwick

 


 

As mentioned above, the second book in the Travers & Wells series is also written by Andrew Allen, and features a cover by Richard Young:
 

The City of Dr Moreau

Wells blinked a couple of times, balling a fist into his eyes to rub away the sweat trickling there. But it was no good; the room was too dark and he still couldn’t see anything. Nonetheless, he was painfully aware that someone – something – was in the room with him. He heard a snuffling, a guttural breathing, and the thing moved closer."

Edward Travers and HG Wells are flung once again into an alternative reality: a London both achingly familiar and quite unlike the city either of them know. In the dying days of the Edwardian empire, public protests over the increasing use of vivisection in animal research collide with rising fears about looming war.

Connecting both is the mysterious Dr Moreau. Wells is fascinated by the accomplished scientist, but Travers is horrified by the dark truth of the man that he previously had believed to be mere fiction.

As the two men begin to discover the purpose behind their adventures out of time and come face to face with who is controlling their journey, they pursue Moreau to the inevitable conclusion: his very own island of creation, a perverse garden of Eden that’s very close to home…

 

Travers & Wells: The City of Dr Moreau (Credit: Candy Jar Books)   Travers & Wells: The City of Dr Moreau (ltd edition hardback) (Credit: Candy Jar Books)

 

Andy Frankham-Allen commented:

This one was finished ages ago – we never intended there to be such a long gap between book one and two, but unfortunately with the outbreak of the COVID last year, many things needed to be rearranged. But finally, I’m glad to say it’s all done and on the way.
Andrew Allen added::
In my book, Travers and Wells have managed to escape the world of The War of The Worlds as brilliantly introduced by Robert Mammone in his novella Other Wars, Other Worlds. Now, they’re in yet another alternative version of Earth. This one looks much more like the one that both men see as familiar, except they quickly meet a distinguished scientist known as Dr Moreau. Not only was it a delight to get a chance to borrow the characters of HG Wells and Professor Travers, but I also found myself fascinated by how those characters would respond when confronted with a character they previously believed to be fictional, as well as examining how they – and even the readers of the book – would react if it wasn’t necessarily guaranteed that they’d survive the story, even if it was the second book of four. I had a lot of fun pulling together many different elements, from the locations our heroes pass through (including a real-life island where legend says people tried to talk to God), to small tributes to some of my favourite films.

 

The City of Dr Moreau can be pre-ordered from the Candy Jar website as a standard paperback edition or a limited hardback and is expected to be available May 2021; this book is not included in subscriptions.

 

The Travers & Wells series continues later in 2021 as part of Candy Jar’s annual crossover event, with The Invisible Women by John Peel.





Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 563Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 1 April 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine: issue 563 (Credit: Panini)

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine is now available. 

 

Highlights of the new issue include:

 

  • An exclusive in-depth interview with Christopher Eccleston – his first with DWM in 16 years!
  • Former showrunner Steven Moffat on writing for the Ninth Doctor.
  • A preview of Ravagers, the new box set of audio adventures starring Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor.
  • Jonathan Morris explores the gaps in our knowledge of the Ninth Doctor – where could new adventures take place in his timeline?
  • Collectivity celebrates the merchandise released in 2005 after Doctor Who’s revival.
  • DWM tracks down some of the real soldiers who formed part of UNIT in the 1960s and 70s.
  • Members of the Doctor Who Restoration Team reveal the secrets of making old episodes look better than ever for their release on Blu-ray.
  • Apocrypha remembers BBC Books’ 2005 novel The Monsters Inside.
  • The Fact of Fiction looks back at 2005’s Father’s Day.
  • Reviews of the Season 8 Blu-ray box set and the new Target novelisations
  • Sufficient Data crunches Doctor Who’s numbers.
  • Previews and reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, Time and Space Visualiser and more.

 

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 563 is on sale from store.panini.co.uk and WH Smith from Thursday 1 April, priced £5.99 (UK).

Also available as a digital edition from pocketmags.com priced £4.99.





The Ninth Doctor vs the Cybermen!Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 March 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Christopher Eccleston (Credit: Big Finish / Joe-lee Coupe)

Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor will encounter some old friends and foes in the forthcoming volumes of Big Finish’s Doctor Who –The Ninth Doctor Adventures.

The Ninth Doctor will soon face off against one of his greatest enemies –the Cybermen, as voiced by Nicholas Briggs.

The final episode of volume three, due for release in November 2021, features one of the menacing Mondasian monsters on the set of Fritz Lang’s celebrated 1927 motion picture, Metropolis.

Writer John Dorney said:

“I know everyone was very keen for the Ninth Doctor to have an encounter with the Cybermen, and as they were the only Doctor and monster I hadn’t written for at Big Finish, I was very keen to be the one to write it! It was a real honour getting to script their meeting... particularly as it gave me the chance to dive into my love for the movies and write a bit of a celebrity historical.”

In volume four, due for release in February 2022, the Doctor is reunited with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, as played by Jon Culshaw, in an adventure that takes the Time Lord to the Firth of Forth.

Writer Roy Gill said:

“The Brigadier is an iconic character from the Classic Series, whereas the Ninth Doctor arrives at the very forefront of the New Series. They may initially seem very different, but there’s an interesting connection: both forthright and deeply decent, they’ve been through conflict and arestill fighting for what’s right... It was a privilege to write their first meeting for Big Finish.”

Producer David Richardson added:

“It’s been so enjoyable creating a whole new era for the Ninth Doctor, and I think the scripts really succeed in defining that bold new start. We are talking the Ninth Doctor pre-Rose. These are the adventures some time after his regeneration, travelling alone, starting to discover himself after all that time being the War Doctor.”

Doctor Who fans worldwide can now pre-order all four volumes of The Ninth Doctor Adventures, which are available in three formats –collector’s edition CD, digital download or limited edition gatefold triple LP vinyl –exclusively from the Big Finish website at bigfinish.com.





Doctor Who: The Collection - Standard RangeBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 24 March 2021 - Reported by Marcus
The Collection - Season 19 (Credit: BBC Studios) The Collection - Season 12 (Credit: BBC Studios)

BBC Studios has announced a new standard packaging range to Doctor Who: The Collection  

The first titles to join this standard packaging range will be Season 12 and Season 19, which are available to pre-order now.  

Doctor Who: The Collection offers fans the opportunity to build their own home archive of classic content, and has proved hugely popular with collectors and fans of the TV series. The new standard packaging range is being introduced in response to this success, offering fans a second opportunity to fill gaps in their collection, and enjoy the classic era of Doctor Who.  

New releases within the Collection range will be marketed as Doctor Who: The Collection Limited  Edition Packaging, with the standard edition range marketed as Doctor Who: The Collection.  

Releases within the Doctor Who: The Collection Limited Edition Packaging range will continue to offer fans bespoke, premium packaging featuring a beautifully presented box containing the discs and a  full-length, premium-printed booklet that includes illustrations and in-depth, behind the scenes insight.

Releases within the new, standard packaging Doctor Who: The Collection range will feature a  standard, plastic Blu-ray case inside a slipcase, with a condensed, standard-printed 12-page booklet featuring disc-breakdowns and selected illustrations. The new range will include all of the watchable content and special features included in the Limited Edition Packaging release and will be available ongoing.  

Season 12 sees Tom Baker’s first outing as the Doctor and features five stories over 20 episodes,  including The Ark in Space and Genesis of the Daleks. The Doctor is accompanied by Sarah Jane  Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) and was first broadcast on the BBC between  December 1974 and May 1975.  

Season 19 introduces fans to Peter Davison’s first series as the Fifth Doctor, and sees the Doctor and his companions Tegan (Janet Fielding), Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) face off against The Master, the terrifying Mara, the Terileptils, the Plasmatons, Monarch and the revamped Cybermen, in seven stories across 26 episodes. 

Doctor Who – The Collection: Season 12 (£51.05 RRP) and Doctor Who – The Collection: Season 19  (£51.05 RRP) can be pre-ordered now from Amazon and will be available from Monday 31 May  2021.  

 




Big Finish Win Audie AwardBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 March 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Hattie Morahan, Rebecca Root, Tom Price, Paul McGann,  Nicola Walker, Tony Whitmore (Credit: Big Finish)

Big Finish has won the Best Audio Drama award at the Audie Awards 2021 with the Eighth Doctor story Doctor Who: Stranded 1

The Audie Awards is the premier awards program in the United States, recognising distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment, with a prestigious annual awards ceremony which took place last night.  

Big Finish Creative Director, Nicholas Briggs said:

It’s particularly gratifying that Stranded 1 has received this award, as it represents some of the most ground-breaking work produced in our Doctor Who range. It puts the Doctor in an entirely new context with a group of new and exciting characters

Producer David Richardson, script editor Matt Fitton and director Ken Bentley have done wonders with this strand of stories, with really strong sound design from Benji Clifford and great music from Jamie Robertson.

Doctor Who: Stranded 1 opens with the Eighth Doctor, Liv Chenka and Helen Sinclair seeking refuge in Baker Street after the TARDIS has gone. Stranded in one time and place, the Doctor and his friends face their greatest challenge yet: living one day after another, in 2020 London. 

David Richardson, the producer of Stranded, said of the win:

I’m so absolutely thrilled to see Stranded recognised with this very prestigious award. It’s a project close to my heart – those actors! Those scripts! All magically woven together by director Ken Bentley, sound designer Benji Clifford and musician Jamie Robertson. It felt very special to me throughout the whole production process, and it feels even more special now. What an honour!

Details of all the finalists and winners at this year’s Audio Awards can be found here: