TARDIS Vol 17 - Issue 3Bookmark and Share

Monday, 25 October 2021 - Reported by Marcus
TARDIS Vol 17 Issue 3 (Credit: DWAS)
The Doctor Who Appreciation Society has published the latest edition of its features-based magazine 'TARDIS'.
 
The title was re-launched in 2020 and so far has helped to raise funds for 'Mermaids' (supporting transgender children and their families) and 'MIND' (which helps adults with mental health issues).  
 
Issue 3 supports DAVSS, a domestic abuse charity of which Louise Jameson is patron. The magazine has 64 colour A4 pages and contents include:
 
  • Louise Jameson writes about her time playing companion Leela
  • We hear from K9’s co-creator Bob Baker, and voice actor John Leeson in exclusive interviews
  • In Missing in Action we take an in-depth look at The Myth Makers, with many details previously unexplored. This bumper 15,000-word feature includes an analysis of the camera scripts and audience research reports, viewers’ memories, Keys of Marinus director John Gorrie’s recollections of actor James ‘Troilus’ Lynn, close-up photos of the original Trojan Horse model, and a look at some of the serial’s supporting artistes
  • In an extensive feature we examine the history of Doctor Who in Germany, from its original out-of-order broadcasts in the Eighties to its lavish special edition Blu-rays
  • We go behind the scenes of The Stones of Blood in a fascinating set report by Kevin Jon Davies, previously printed in Tardis in 1979. Includes a new introduction and Kevin’s original photos
  • Actor Edmund Pegge recalls his trip to Titan Base in The Invisible Enemy, and shares details of his autobiography
  • Doctor Who historian Andrew Pixley reveals his favourite way of watching the series in How to Watch Doctor Who
  • We uncover the whereabouts of the TV Movie TARDIS Console and speak to its owner and restorer
  • Curiosities from the Space Museum examines merchandise and tie-ins released alongside the TV Movie
  • The New Adventurers tackle the second New Adventure Timewrym: Exodus and Terrance Dicks discusses the writing of the novel in an in-depth archive interview
  • Blake’s Who?! A look at Doctor Who’s ‘sister’ show Blake’s 7
  • The novelisations of Castrovalva and The Invisible Enemy go under the microscope in Target Audience
  • We hear what The Daemons means to one fan, and what life was like living in Aldbourne
  • The creators of Cutaway Comics discuss the return of Omega and the Kangs
  • Writer Don Houghton talks Inferno and The Mind of Evil in an archive Tardis interview
  • Paul Magrs goes back to 1996 and a cold queue outside HMV, in his column
  • An Unconventional Pilgrimage encounters Monoids, War Machines and Daleks in a look back at Season 3
  • Colin Howard discusses his cover for The Armageddon Factor VHS
  • Nigel Robinson returns for another round of fiendish quiz questions
 
The magazine costs £9-99 including UK delivery (Europe £12-99 and Worldwide £14-99) and can be bought from the DWAS Shop at dwasonline.co.uk - it is also available at the DWAS eBay store at ebay.co.uk/usr/dwas_auction




Doctor Who - Series 13 - FluxBookmark and Share

Saturday, 23 October 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Flux (Credit: Zoe McConnell / BBC Studios)

With one week to go until the return of Doctor Who, the BBC has released more details about the upcoming series. 

Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, John Bishop and Jacob Anderson star in an epic six-part adventure that will take the Doctor and her friends to the edge of the universe and beyond, in a battle for survival.

Packed with action, humour, terrifying new villains, and iconic returning monsters such as the Sontarans and the Weeping Angels, the new series of Doctor Who tells one story across a vast canvas.

It features a host of acclaimed British acting talent including Rochenda Sandall, Annabel Scholey, Craig Parkinson, Kevin McNally, Sam Spruell, Robert Bathurst, Steve Oram, and Thaddea Graham.

From Liverpool to the depths of space, via the Crimean war and a planet named Atroposwhich shouldn’t even exist, fighting old foes and new creatures from beyond our dimension, theDoctor and company face a race against (and through!) time to uncover a universe-spanning mystery: what is the Flux?

Synopsis - Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse 

On Halloween, all across the universe, terrifying forces are stirring. From the Arctic Circle to deep space, an ancient evil is breaking free. And in present-day Liverpool, the life of Dan Lewis is about to change forever. Why is the Doctor on the trail of the fearsome Karvanista? And what is the  Flux? 

 
With the series launching next week, the cast and production team have been talking about their experiances making series 13. 
 

What was your vision for the series? The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Yaz (MANDIP GILL), Dan (JOHN BISHOP) (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)

My vision for the series was (to create) a massive story - bigger than we’ve ever told with Jodie’s  Doctor. And to start with an episode that feels like a finale and carry on from there and play out the rest of the story. I wanted it to be really epic, to be fun with lots of cliffhangers, to be surprising, and to really do things we hadn’t yet done with the Thirteenth Doctor. 

What can people expect from the series? 

People can expect a rollercoaster of a ride, very different episodes, six very specific chapters, lots of different places in time and space, lots of returning monsters, some really brilliant guest stars, some brand-new monsters, and some of my favorite cliffhangers we’ve done! 

How do you write new characters/monsters? 

I think you’re always thinking, “Who is interesting for the Doctor to come up against? Who is going  to reveal new things about the Doctor?” But with villains and monsters generally, you’re looking for an interesting visual, an interesting idea, something that will be scary or fun or a mix of both, and an underlying character that will be great for an actor to play or great for the Doctor, Dan or Yaz to be going up against.  

Who are the Ravagers? 

They are a couple of characters who we meet who are creatures of another dimension who have a  history with the Doctor – but I even think with this I am giving too much away! 

Why is it important to bring back monsters from the past like Sontarans and Weeping Angels? First of all, it’s a joy. I think it’s always lovely to connect back into the history of the show as the history is so rich and varied. Bringing back the Sontarans was a story I really wanted to do…I felt like there hadn’t been a big Sontaran story for quite a long time. They have a great mix of threat and humour, they’re very identifiable, they’re great characters as well – a brilliant creation by Robert  Holmes. They’re great because they have range. They’re dangerous, they’re violent, they’re also funny and that’s a great mix for Doctor Who. With the Weeping Angels, I really wanted Jodie to come up against them and we’d been thinking about a story for her for a long time, testing out ideas. They are genuinely scary and a brilliant creation by Steven Moffatt and they haven’t been in a main Doctor Who story for nine years so they were due to come back as well. There are lots of ideas you can explore around Weeping Angels so we’ve had a lot of fun with them. 

Can you tease us about what the Flux is? 

The title of the serial is Flux, it’s divided into six chapters, and the Flux is a mysterious event that is going to have an effect on all the characters in the story. 

 

How was your experience filming series thirteen? Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios

It’s been amazing. It’s been a long journey – we thought when COVID hit, to be honest, we didn’t know whether we’d be back and how we’d make the show so it was brilliant to be back, to start filming again, and to get the team back together again. We had a small delay due to COVID so it was lovely when we all got back on the TARDIS. It’s been amazing actually and we’ve managed through all the challenges of the last year. The fact that we’ve gotten this far seems slightly miraculous but it’s brilliant and an amazing testament to the cast and crew. It’s brilliant to be back, it’s been a real thrill. 

What’s in store for viewers of this series? 

Series thirteen evolved quite late in the day, we had a plan for what we wanted to do and then the pandemic hit, and what we realized was that there were certain things we wouldn’t be able to do in the normal way, as we had for series eleven and twelve. So rather than be compromised – as what  you want for Doctor Who is for every series to be bigger and better than the last, you don’t want to  

rest on your laurels - Chris came up with the brilliant idea of going, “Why don’t we just do something  different for our era, wouldn’t it be great if we told one big story?” We knew we wouldn’t be able to do the same number of episodes in the time that we had so he came up with the fantastic idea of this overarching narrative. Each episode has the same bang for its buck, each episode has the story of the week, we’ve still gone for that filmic quality for each episode, but much more than the previous two seasons we’ve tied it together with a massive overarching story for the Doctor and huge jeopardy for the Doctor. It picks up on a lot of the things the Doctor learned about herself and her history at the end of series twelve. I can honestly say it’s not like the previous two series. It’s huge in its scope and its scale and the jeopardy. Also, we’ve really tried to go as big as could with the  visuals as well, in terms of CGI and in terms of the design of the series, we really tried to pull out all  the stops so when you watch the show, whether it’s in five years’ time or whenever, no one will be  able to say, “You made that during a pandemic!” We didn’t want that to impact the experience for the audience.  

Where do we find the Doctor and her “fam” at the start of this series? 

This year we’ve got the wonderful Mandip Gill returning as Yaz, but the “fam” as it was ended in the last New Year’s Day special - Revolution of the Daleks - where we said goodbye to Graham and Ryan. This year we start the adventures with Yaz and the Doctor, the Doctor is very much on the hunt for something and we encounter our new friend of the Doctor Dan Lewis, who is played by the brilliant  John Bishop. I think when you’ve done two series of a show and you’re coming back, it’s really great to have familiarity but it’s also really great to mix it up a bit and to bring a new element to the cast and the teams on the TARDIS and to see what that brings out in the other actors. It’s great fun for  Chris to create a brand-new character who I know the audience will take to their hearts almost immediately. John is just perfect in it and Dan is a glorious character – warm, funny, an action hero.  It’s seamless really. The moment John walked on the TARDIS he clicked with the other two and the team and it was like he had been on it forever. 

What kind of monsters do they face? 

In terms of monsters, we’ve got some returning favourites…so we’re bringing back the terrifying  Weeping Angels who have a very sinister role to play, and a very different role to play. it’s quite an  interesting development to their story if you like. The much loved and villainous, and basically, warmongering Sontarans are back, with a brilliant new iteration. They’re very much the classic monster, the look is classic that has been adapted and reinterpreted for our era. We have two wonderful performers playing our Sontarans, and there’s great menace with them but there’s also incredible humour and Chris gets that fine line between menace and humour just perfect. I think they are going to provide lots and lots of thrills and excitement for this series. We have quite a lot of new characters and new villains! 

What were some of the challenges you faced? 

I think probably the biggest challenge was to keep the scale of Doctor Who as big as it had been - with every series you want to go one better than the last series in terms of that. As we couldn’t travel, the challenge was to create worlds that the audience would never know you had been curtailed by COVID. The other one was, with a really stellar returning cast, being able to get those actors back on a returning basis. 

This year the guest actors have the opportunity to have a recurring appearances across the episodes,  can you tell us about what we can expect? 

For me, it was a real joy to welcome Craig Parkinson, who I’ve worked with very briefly on Misfits,  but I’ve always followed his work and career - I think he’s a wonderful actor. For him to bring his unique qualities to one of our greatest characters of the series, it was just a joy to watch him work.  Kevin McNally, I’ve watched him for years and I’ve always thought he’s an exceptional actor and talent so to have his gifts was just wonderful. He’s such a detailed actor, he has so much fun with it and there’s a wonderful quality to his performance. Mandip and John who got to spend the most time with him relished working with him and bounced off him, the whole dynamic between those three actors was taken to another level and that was a joy. The wonderful Annabel Scholey who plays Claire, was so delightful to have around. I was blown away that Jacob (Anderson) was available  (for the role) and then we realised he was a massive Doctor Who fan. Obviously Chris has worked with him previously but seeing his delight and childlike glee when he had that costume on for the first time, that was a joy to see! He’s a wonderful actor to work with, so humble and so kind. The atmosphere on set with our guest actors, all of them have been absolutely glorious. Craige Els as  Karvanista goes down as one of my favourite characters of all time, he’s an exceptional actor and it was a joy. More than ever we’ve been able to build an ensemble we haven’t been able to build before as we’ve been largely episodic so by the end of it the Doctor Who family feels properly expanded. Not only do you have a new companion in Dan (John Bishop) who is amazing, but the whole family grows substantially which is the biggest thrill out of Doctor Who: Flux for me. 

What is the Flux? 

So Flux is the title of the series in fact, this is the first time we’ve titled this series as it’s one epic story. It’s kind of the biggest nemesis that the Doctor has ever faced. It’s a hugely destructive force but quite what it is and why it’s become unleashed will become apparent as you watch the serial unfold. It’s quite awe-inspiring and terrifying and the way it’s realised on screen will be I think quite breath-taking for the audience as they realise what the Flux is and what the Flux does. 

What does Doctor Who mean to you and what will you take away from the experience?

Firstly it’s something that’s always been around in my life, it’s something I watched as a child and something that has never been out of the consciousness or cultural life of the country so it’s immense in terms of British icons, it’s that and Bond for me. So to be a part of it in a way is surreal and it’s never stopped being surreal. When it’s all over it’ll all feel a bit of a dream. Of course there’s been challenging times but all of that is tiny in terms of what I’ll take away from it, it’s been the longest job of my television career and I doubt there’ll ever be a longer one. I take away a sense of real privilege to have been a small part in this sixty-year story, about one-twelfth of Doctor Who history! Being a part of that story is a privilege and is something that no one can ever take away. It’s  nice just to be a small footnote in the Doctor Who history books and that’s something I’ll forever be thrilled about.

For anyone that hasn’t watched Doctor Who before, why should they watch the series?

If you’ve never seen it before you can step in on this story. If you like a great action-adventure story with great fully rounded characters, lots of humour, lots of explosions and really pacey storytelling.  At the end of the day it’s great fun and something you can watch with the whole family, it’s something everyone can enjoy. If you were ever going to come on board with Doctor Who, now is  the time. 

 

How did it feel filming your last series, during COVID? The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)

We started filming late because of COVID so starting was a tentative time because none of us had shot during the pandemic. So knowing it was my last I knew it would be very different because we weren’t able to travel, we couldn’t be tactile in that way we were. But what was immediately reassuring is as soon as you got on set, no matter if the logistics or the face of the show seemed different because of masks and all of that, all of the heart and all the love was still there and it was still great fun. We were able to be safe as we could be and as caring as we could be and not lose the atmosphere on the set. It was such a pleasure to be around people, so I was delighted! It was emotional to start with because you hadn’t seen anyone and everyone has gone through so much to get to the first day, and you want to make sure you’re not the person to make a mistake as the domino effect can be so catastrophic on the set. Also, it was the longest time I hadn’t seen Mandip! 

Did you approach anything differently coming to a serialised story? 

I don’t think so. As an actor you’re so used to things changing so the change between serialisation  and episode arcs doesn’t change your approach in any way - I could not quote what happened in what episode as I can see the whole story in its entirety. I just know we all start on a journey, where we go and how it pans out. The thing that’s most different is that it’s been almost twelve months (of  filming) and it requires a different type of stamina than I’ve ever had to find before.  

Are you excited for how it will be for audiences to see the story portrayed that way?

Definitely. Obviously for Whovians (the story) has played out in many different ways over the years,  and I think it for us it was great to have had the experience of both. It was definitely the right decision for us to start series eleven, my first series, in a way that was a jumping off point for anyone  that hadn’t watched it before. And this series certainly doesn’t exclude people that haven’t seen it  but it gives reason to go back and rediscover, it also has those brilliant cliffhanger moments and that, as actors and for the characters, it gives lots of different layers you can bring to it. You don’t want to play the endnote in the first episode because you know you’ve got this journey to go with a  particular beat or particular emotion. Even with the serialisation it’s still very episodic and each episode has its world that is different from the rest. There may be characters you see again but you certainly feel like you are taken through many different worlds and times like you would in our previous seasons. 

Were there any special moments that stood out for you filming series thirteen?

For us, getting to know John (Bishop) has been wonderful. He came in at one hundred and ten (percent) with his energy and enthusiasm. He’s been so much fun to be around he’s been a massive team player. For us, we were still grieving Brad (Walsh) and Tosin (Cole) and for him to come in and  not to fill anybody’s shoes and be his own person…we found a new dynamic which felt brilliant and it felt so comfortable. I think the way you meet Dan and that whole introduction; those are really fun  scenes. I think all the early scenes with him and Karvanista has been really fun to shoot. I’ve been lucky to enough to work with new people but I’ve been lucky enough to work with people I’ve worked with before. This is the third time I’ve worked with Jacob, I’ve worked with Annabel, we’ve played sisters before, and this was so lovely just to spend time with her. Thaddea Graham, I’ve never  worked with Thaddea and she blew me away from the read-through – just from Zoom I was like, “That girl is phenomenal.” And that’s the thing, it can be your first interaction with people or it can be an old friend stepping on set but what you always get at the end is that it’s like you’ve all known each other for years. Like I was in Kevin McNally’s company for about ten minutes and I felt like I’d known him for twenty years. We’ve had to put certain safety precautions in place, but it hasn’t in any way dampened that kind of camaraderie. Other highlights are we’ve so many ensemble scenes, we’ve had some brilliant scenes with the likes of Craige Els, Craig Parkinson - we can feel so many people in a scene and it can feel really epic, it’s been great. 

Have you gotten used to being spotted everywhere by the fans, three series on?

I’m really lucky, as whenever I have a reaction it’s always really joyous and everyone is really warm and welcoming. The fans are the show - there’s no way a show can last this many years without loyalty and a fan base and you don’t have the show without them. To have those interactions when you have them is wonderful. 

What journey does the Doctor have this series? 

From where we’ve left her, I think self-discovery is the biggest journey the Doctor goes on this series. 

Can you tell us about any stunts you have this series? 

We’ve done a lot of wires this year, particularly for certain scenes in episode one, it was mine and  Mandip’s first few days (on set). We started at energy of a hundred and then after two days I was bruised and hurt and realised that this is why there are stunt doubles, as I am pathetic! You do a lot  of flips as if you’re falling through space and have to spin yourself backwards in a rotation and make  sure you don’t get tangled. It’s all wonderful as you don’t think at the time that you’ll be able to do it. I also do sword fighting in this, or maybe it is best described as avoiding being got by a sword - I  really loved that. Stunts wise there is lots of action but rather than jumping through cranes it feels  like a lot of falling through space! 

There are lots of exciting monsters this series -can you tell us about any that stand out for you?

The thing that’s fun about working with monsters that have been in it before but are new for me is that it makes you feel like you are getting your moment of history…like Sontarans, for me it’s my first (as The Doctor) so that was great. 

The prosthetics are amazing – do you get used to working with actors that you can’t recognise?

You forget that the make-up is on them after ten minutes as you’re so used to seeing them having a  cup of tea and talking to people. 

Why should people tune into series thirteen? 

It’s bigger and better than ever, it’s my final (full) series, there’ll be questions asked, there’ll be answers, there’ll be exclamation marks, and huge exclamation marks and I think that in itself will pique your interest and pique your curiosity.  

How would you describe the series in three words? 

A self-discovery rollercoaster!

 

Can you tell us a bit about the journey Yaz goes on this series and the challenges she faces?Yaz (MANDIP GILL) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)

Yaz continues to go from strength to strength in terms of independence in Space during this series.  She can be seen to be taking charge in adventures without the Doctor but naturally at times is out of  her depth and asks herself, “What would the Doctor do?” I very much enjoy these struggles as it naturally shows that no matter how many adventures she goes on she will always need the Doctor.  

Can you talk to us a bit about how it was filming one serialised story this time around and how that changed things for you? 

Filming one serialised story for me personally has been great. I did love the stand-alone episodes but this way feels like I have longer to explore relationships with other characters such as Vinder played by Jacob Anderson and Jericho played by Kevin McNally. Both characters are seen in several episodes and so Yaz is able to develop a much deeper relationship with them that doesn’t end at the end of an episode. On a personal level, I have really enjoyed having such amazing guest leads around for a longer period of time and sharing this experience with them.  

How was it introducing John Bishop into the Doctor Who family, and what kind of relationship does  Dan form with Yaz? 

John was so brilliant from the beginning. He was eager and excited and I loved that about him because I am still so excited by costumes and sets and the amazing crew in Cardiff myself. Yaz and  Dan have a really wholesome relationship, they have quickly managed to find a place in which they can tease one another confidentially. They really create a special bond on some of the adventures,  they are able to get to know one another and can connect on a human level. 

Can you tell us a bit about working with Jacob Anderson? 

Meeting and working with Jacob Anderson has been one of the highlights of the series for me. He is incredibly talented and such a joy to get to know.  

We hear monsters and prosthetics will be on another level this year, what can you tell us? Did you feel spooked by any? 

You have heard correctly; the monsters and prosthetics are on another level this year. I was so intrigued by the detail and intricacy of some of the prosthetics. We have Karvanista an alien dog and as much as I am scared of dogs in real life, he was so fascinating to look at. Craige Els playing  Karvanista is over six feet tall, imagine that! 

Did you do any exciting stunts this series? 

We have a really exciting stunt scene over an acid ocean. Jodie and I spent the day on wires been hung upside down, spun around, and winched up like small animals. Yaz also has a quick sword fight.  It was a short rehearsal before the shoot, but I really enjoyed it and am excited to see how it looks. 

There are some amazing guest actors in this series, who have you enjoyed working with?

I have enjoyed working with all of the guests leads this year. It has been an absolute honor to work during COVID and to be able to meet new people. I have previously worked with Rochenda Sandall so it was a delight to see her again. Kevin McNally is one of the most talented actors I have had the pleasure of working with. He unknowingly taught me so much on and off-screen. John (Bishop) and I  joked about going to the ‘McNally school of Acting’. It was really refreshing to see how much he enjoys being on set. 

What has been the highlight of your third series?

The highlight of the series for me was genuinely being able to work during COVID with the same crew as the previous series in Cardiff. They are the kindest, most funny, and genuine cast and crew I have ever met.  

How would you describe Series 13 in three words? 

An emotional rollercoaster. 

Why should people tune in to this series? 

Tune into this series to see an emotional rollercoaster heavily sprinkled with old and new enemies.  

What did it mean when you got the call to be a part of Doctor Who? Dan (JOHN BISHOP) (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)

It meant I could get out of the house and not be stuck in with COVID (laughs)! I’ll be honest I don’t know how big an impact this will have on my life or anything like that as it’s not come out yet, but as a life experience, it’s one of the best things that I’ve done since I’ve managed to get into this world of showbusiness. I genuinely feel I’ve learned a lot and I genuinely feel I’ve made good friends, and I  didn’t think that I’d come away with that. 

What are the main differences to being in Doctor Who and your role as a stand-up?

The longevity, the fact you spend so much time with them, you genuinely create bonds with people.  And the fact you’re part of a team. Most of what I do is me, or “The John Bishop Show”- me on the stage on my own or leading something on my own. For this I was part of something, and I wasn’t the most important part which was good! It many respects the actors themselves are not the most important thing, there are so many other things that happen before that camera gets turned on and  I came away with that appreciation for the skill of so many others. 

How has the response been from fans so far? 

So far it’s been positive but they haven’t met him (Dan) yet! I think for me I have been given a  glimpse that once you’re in Doctor Who, you’re fixed in time in the eyes of a lot of people because they’ll come to it at different times in their lives and at different ages. And so of all the things I’ve ever done it might be the thing that lasts the longest. 

Can you tell us a bit about Dan and what you liked most about him? 

I liked his humility, his willingness to help people, when we first start off he is working in a food bank. I liked his vulnerability, he’s not really lucky in love, I liked his caring nature because he cares deeply for the Doctor and Yaz and wants them to be happy. I liked his sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. He’s really prepared to stand up to those who are doing something wrong. 

How did you enjoy working with this year’s guest actors? 

I loved spending time with Jacob Anderson, Kevin McNally was great – it’s like a masterclass all the time with Kevin. Paul (Broughton) and Sue (Jenkins), I had a few scenes with them and it was absolutely brilliant watching them work. During one scene, I had to remind myself they were acting!  

Why should audiences tune into series thirteen and can you sum it up in three words?

Fast, energetic, and heartfelt.

 

Can you tell us about what it meant to get the call to say you’d be on Doctor Who? What was your  reaction? Vinder (JACOB ANDERSON) (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)

It was a complete surprise, it felt like it was completely out of the blue. But it was one of those things that I always wanted to do. There are certain goals or dreams you might have in your life and the minute you stop obsessing over them, that’s when they happen! I had no expectation at all of being asked to be part of it, and Chris swooped in and asked if I’d like to be part of this iconic show that means a lot to me. 

What’s the difference between Doctor Who and other sets you’ve been on? 

It actually feels like walking into somebody’s family home. Everybody knows and cares about each other and you can tell that this is a group of people who have spent a lot of time with each other and would choose to continue to. There are some people who have been working on the show for fifteen years and you feel that, but you can also feel Jodie and Chris’ influence on the environment.  It’s just a really welcoming, comfortable, warm place to work. 

Are there any big moments in Doctor Who history that stood out to you, who was the Doctor that got you into the series? 

My first Doctor was Sylvester McCoy, he was great and kind of kooky and a bit curmudgeonly as well  - I’ll always have a special place in my heart for him. But David Tennant is just charisma to eleven, I  think he’s fantastic and really defined a modern-day depiction of the Doctor, so he’s probably my favourite before seeing Jodie. I think Jodie does such a wonderful job; she does things with the character that are subtler than she gets credit for sometimes. She puts so much pathos into this alien. The Doctor can sometimes be quite clownish, skittish and jumpy and that’s really a part of the charm that she can do that, but she also has the tragedy of their life and it is all contained in it. She  plays it in a really beautiful subtle performance, I really enjoy her Doctor. She makes it look effortless! 

Can you tell us about who you enjoyed working with? 

I really enjoyed working with Craig Parkinson, I knew him a bit before but this is the first time we’ve worked together. Thaddea is amazing, she’s an incredible actor, Mandip is one of my favorite human beings ever. She and Jodie are like the same person but also the inverse of each other,  they’re so similar but then also completely opposite. Being around them as a team is a joy, a proper joy. 

How has the reaction been from fans? 

I tend to hide a bit whenever there’s any type of announcement but in the immediate  announcement I saw some really nice “Welcome to the family” type tweets from Whovians,  “Welcome to our crazy family, it’s going to be an adventure!” I really appreciated that and thought it  was really nice. It was really nice to be welcomed so I zoned into that and I really appreciate it. 

Can you tell us a bit about Vinder?  

I really hope people like Vinder, as a fan of the show and as a fan of those characters that come in and recur and are part of the story beyond their singular story, there are some really iconic characters. Like River Song, and Osgood, and all these people you really remember and I hope Vinder can be a part of that, I really hope people like him. 

 

 

Doctor Who: Flux launches on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 18:25 on Sunday, October 31st





Doctor Who: The Halloween ApocalypseBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 20 October 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Karvanista, The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)

The BBC has announced that Episode One of the new Doctor Who series will be titled The Halloween Apocalypse.

 

The story will premiere on BBC One at 6.25 pm, on Sunday 31st October, appropriately enough Halloween night. 

It will be screened in the USA on BBC America later that evening. 
 

On Halloween, all across the universe, terrifying forces are stirring. From the Arctic Circle to deep space, an ancient evil is breaking free. And in present-day Liverpool, the life of Dan Lewis is about to change forever.

Why is the Doctor on the trail of the fearsome Karvanista? And what is the Flux?

 





Michael Ferguson 1937-2021Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 19 October 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Michael Ferguson (Credit: Chuck Foster)

The Director Michael Ferguson has died at the age of  84.

 

Michael Ferguson directed 21 episodes of Doctor Who, working on the series since its beginning in 1963 through to the 1970s. He later went on to work on EastEnders, responsible for a revival in the fortunes of the Soap. 

Michael Ferguson was born in South London in June 1937. After training as an actor at Lamda he worked with Theatre Centre, a touring company visiting schools. 

He joined the BBC in 1963 working in Television as an Assistant Floor Manager, the person responsible for keeping control of the Studio Floor and assisting the director.

The first programme Ferguson found himself working on was a brand new Science Fiction series called Doctor Who. He was engaged for the second story now known as The Daleks. As the AFM he was responsible for waving the Dalek sucker seen at the end of Episode One, The Dead Planet, and thus became the first person in history to play a Dalek.

Ferguson soon was promoted to Director, working on the popular soap Compact. It was as a Director he returned to Doctor Who in 1966, directing The War Machines, as a story that involved location filming around Fitzrovia in London. 

In 1969 he was given a chance to direct the Second Doctor in the six-part story, The Seeds of Death. one of the first stories to be released on BBC Video. 

He directed two stories with the Third Doctor, The seven-part Ambassadors of Death in 1970, and the four-part Claws of Axos the following year. 

As well as Doctor Who he directed many classic BBC programmes such as Z-Cars, Paul Temple, Colditz, Flambards, The Sandbaggers and The Glory Boys

By the late 1980s Ferguson was working as a producer on the ITV series The Bill. It was his success in revamping the police series that let the head of BBC ongoing drama, Peter Cregeen, offer him the position of Executive Producer on EastEnders.

The soap had been declining in popularity after its initial success, but the changes Ferguson made revived its fortunes. He introduced new characters, such as the Mitchell brothers and new storylines which caught the public imagination. 

After two years he moved onto Casualty, before returning to ITV and The Bill.

After retiring in 2003  he taught screen acting at the Actors Centre in London.

Michael Ferguson died on 4 October 2021. He is survived by his second wife Jana Shelden and his daughter with his first wife Tracy. 

 





Doctor Who: FluxBookmark and Share

Monday, 18 October 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Flux (Credit: Zoe McConnell / BBC Studios)

The BBC have released a trailer ahead of the return of Doctor Who later this month.

 

Doctor Who Flux is a six-part story that debuts in the UK and in the USA on Sunday 31st October, with a debut in Australia the following day. 

 

It stars Jodie Whittaker in her final full series as The Doctor, although she will appear in three specials next year leading up to the regeneration of the thirteenth Doctor. 

The images show the return of several classic monsters.

The six-part series is described by showrunner Chris Chibnall as six chapters of the same novel, the first time a series of Doctor Who has comprised a single story.  The decision to make the series a single story was taken due to restrictions imposed by filming under COVID secure conditions.

Each episode has been written by Chibnall himself except for episode four which was written by Chibnall and Maxine Alderton, who wrote last seasons' story The Haunting of Villa Diodati. 

 

The directing credits are shared by two directors. Jamie Magnus Stone has looked after episodes 1, 2, and 4. Stone directed the previous series opener, Spyfall as well as Praxeus; Ascension of the Cybermen and The Timeless Children.

 

The three remaining episodes have been directed by Doctor Who newcomer Azhur Saleem, who was recommended to the production team by composer Segun Akinola

 

Alongside Whittaker is Mandip Gill returning as Yasmin Khan. They are joined by John Bishop, who plays Dan Lewis, the newest companion to step into and be amazed by the wonders of the TARDIS. 

 

Returning to the series are the Sontarans, first created by Robert Holmes for the 1973 story The Time Warrior. Chibnall promises the Sontarans will pose a real threat to The Doctor with one episode focusing on the warriors. The look of the aliens has been updated by series designer Ray Holman who told Doctor Who Magazine he went back to the original design to get inspiration for their 2021 makeover. 

 

Doctor Who: Flux can be seen on BBC One on Sunday 31st October at a time to be confirmed.  

 

CybermanThe Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)Yaz (MANDIP GILL), Dan (JOHN BISHOP), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)Sontaran (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)Weeping Angel (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)Ood (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)Vinder (JACOB ANDERSON) (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)Teaser (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)Credit: James Pardon / BBC StudiosEpisode 1 (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Yaz (MANDIP GILL), Dan (JOHN BISHOP) (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)Dan (JOHN BISHOP) (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)Yasmin Khan (MANDIP GILL), Dan (JOHN BISHOP) (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)Teaser (Credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)

 

Jodie Whittaker has already filmed the final three episodes of her tenure as The Doctor which will be screened next year. Her final episode will be part of a special season making the 100th Anniversary of the BBC. 

 

 

The 2023 season, making Doctor Who's 60th Anniversary, will be written by returning showrunner, Russell T Davies.





Lethbridge-Stewart: The Overseers / Short Story Collection 3Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 17 October 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books has announced the second book in it’s ninth series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels:

 

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Overseers (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: The Overseers
Written by James Middleditch
Cover by Adrian Salmon

 

 

The Fifth Operational Corps is preparing for the future, but are horrified to see the shape of things to come.

 

A new form of surveillance is spreading across the South Coast of England. The British people are being shown a new kind of peace, but at what cost? Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and his team fear it may already be too late when this revolutionary method of control extends its reach through the ordinary city streets.

 

There are other secrets at work too, stretching from the past through the hidden world beneath the surface.

 

With nowhere to hide, Lethbridge-Stewart, Anne Travers, Bill Bishop and Samson Ware must find new allies. With their own histories part of the pattern and the fate of the country at stake, can they resist a force that’s closing in from every direction?

 


The Overseers is the first novel from author James Middleditch after two previous short stories for the series. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:

From the first time I read James’ first short story, Piece of Mind, I knew I had found a very good author. And it was after his second short, Latent Image for The Laughing Gnome anthology, that I knew it was time to test him on a novel. By that point plans were underway for the final eight Lethbridge-Stewart novels, which meant if I was going to use James, there would be no better time. James’ inventiveness is matched easily by his enthusiasm, and that shows in his writing. It took a few attempts to break his story, slotting in a few new elements and characters, but when the idea was locked down, James’ true skills came on full display.

James said:

I’ve loved spending time reading about these characters over the past few years and was thrilled to be able to write a couple of short stories featuring some of them. I was then asked to pitch a story for a full novel, and was quite overwhelmed to be selected. This will be my first published novel. Nothing quite prepares you for the task, so I’m grateful for the guidance Andy has provided throughout.

Andy continued:

It had been some time between finalising the outline and the first pass edit of the completed novel, time during which I had worked on a lot of other projects, so in many ways it was a nice surprise to read James’ book. I recalled only bits of the outline. What I discovered was some very sharp writing, in a book that exemplifies the what Lethbridge-Stewart (and indeed Doctor Who) does best, telling a good adventure story by playing on common fears and issues with modern culture. An even more clever task, considering the book is set in 1971.

James added:

Chapter planning was a great intermediate stage, although I’ve learned that these have to evolve as things progress and new ideas emerge. Spending an even more immersive time with these characters has been a pleasure. They have always felt so real, especially in the face of extraordinary things, and I feel privileged to have contributed one of their full adventures, especially as the series heads to its conclusion.

As well as keying into some of the more disturbing sides of popular culture, The Overseers highlights some of the more interesting aspects of the South Coast of England. James explained:

I’ve taken the chance with The Overseers to show off (and embellish!) some of our own local history here on the South Coast of England, while also exploring some very contemporary debates about surveillance and control. A few news stories have even broken during the time I’ve been writing that seem frighteningly close to the fiction. That blurry boundary between reality and speculation is an ideal one for our team of familiar characters to navigate. Likewise, the point between the past and the future, where each exerts a pull, is a great one to have taken them, and I hope readers enjoy going there too.


The cover sees the return of popular artist Adrian Salmon, hot off his work on the latest Doctor Who animation, The Evil of the Daleks:

I loved the ICUs the moment I read the brief – it's such a brilliantly simple idea, yet incredibly creepy: big brother on legs. I felt there should be a big bold drawing of an ICU with gun arm raised to catch the readers eye, whilst the rest of the montage hinted at scenes from the story. The speeding Volkswagen T2 Camper gave the cover a sense of movement, and all that was needed was Anne and Lethbridge-Stewart to complete the design.

 

The Overseers is due out at the end of October 2021, and can be pre-ordered now either on its own or as part of the series 9 bundle from the Candy Jar website.

 

The next book in the series will be Blue Blood by Chris Thomas

 


 

Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection 3 (Credit: Candy Jar Books)

In 2017, 2019 and 2021 Candy Jar offered aspiring writers and fans of the Lethbridge-Stewart series the/ opportunity to pen their own story. Notable entrants included Jonathan Macho (who has since written several short stories and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries book, The Serpent’s Tongue), Richard Brewer (the author of the recent Lethbridge-Stewart anthology, The Ever-Running) and the 2019 winner Megan Fizzell (who co-wrote Domination Game with Aly Leeds).

Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce that the winner of the third Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition is Peter Frankum.

Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, said:

It’s always a privilege going through entries and, as you can imagine, it was extremely difficult choosing a winner, but we felt that Peter’s stories were outstanding.

Peter’s two winning stories are called Prologue and Epilogue, and sit at the beginning and end of the book.

Will Rees, editorial co-ordinator at Candy Jar Books, said:

We have always offered entrants the opportunity to send in two stories, but not until now have we felt obliged to use both of them. Peter’s stories were both equally brilliant that we didn't really have a choice. Peter instinctively understands the characters of Professor Travers and Anne, and offers a new perspective on their lives. We look forward to working with him in the future.

 

The runner-up story is by Susan Brand. Shaun said:

In the Lucy Wilson books we usually include a flashback prologue; basically Lucy sitting on the Brig's knee as he recounts a fantastical story from his action-packed past. Susan has taken this concept and lovingly expanded it. As a co-creator of the series, I felt that this story was a joy to read!

 

The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as James Middleditch and Gareth Madgwick, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee.

The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection features eight exclusive short stories featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life (as well as one story from the wider LSverse). This is a chance for fans to see the Brigadier like they’ve never seen him before!

 

The eight stories are:

  1. Prologue by Peter Frankum
  2. The Grotesque by Tim Beeley
  3. The Dulcians by Dallas Jones & Roger Reynolds
  4. And... Cut by Robert Kilmister
  5. Feeding Animals in the Zoo by Peer Lenné
  6. A Master of Perception by Alan Darlington
  7. Perfect Day by Susan Brand
  8. Epilogue by Peter Frankum

 

Fully licensed by the Haisman estate, and featuring concepts and characters created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection is a must for fans new and old. Readers are advised that this book will be a limited edition release, only available to purchase directly from Candy Jar Books.





The Long Game: trailerBookmark and Share

Sunday, 17 October 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Ten Acre Films have released a trailer for their forthcoming book The Long Game, by Paul Hayes.

The book looks at what happened within the BBC to take Doctor Who from the aftermath of the TV Movie in 1996 to the recommissioning of the series in 2003, and includes material from more than thirty new interviews – audio clips from three of which are heard in the new trailer; Lorraine Heggessey, who was the Controller of BBC One when Doctor Who was recommissioned; Mal Young, who was the BBC’s Controller of Continuing Drama Series at the time; and Young’s former number two and Head of Development, Patrick Spence, who held the BBC’s first meeting with Russell T Davies about potentially writing Doctor Who in late 1998, and who tells his side of that story for the first time in the book.

 

The Long Game trailer on YouTube

 

The Long Game is released on November 1 and is available to pre-order via Ten Acre’s website.





Doctor Who Magazine Issue 570Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 14 October 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 570 (Credit: Panini)

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine previews the brand new series of Doctor Who.

Highlights of the new issue include:

  • An exclusive preview of the first episodes of Series 13, with contributions from Chris Chibnall, Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill and John Bishop.
  • Jacob Anderson answers questions in Out of the TARDIS.
  • Costume designer Ray Holman discusses the new-look Sontarans in Series 13.
  • Prosthetics designer Danny Marie Elias describes her work reimagining the Sontarans.
  • A tribute to the late Tony Selby, one of the most memorable guest stars of the 1980s.
  • Collectivity meets fans who are avid collectors of Thirteenth Doctor merchandise.
  • A detailed look at Doctor Who’s most successful – and not so successful – relaunches.
  • Director Alvin Rakoff shares memories of his late wife Jacqueline Hill, who played Barbara in Doctor Who.
  • Apocrypha revisits Storm Warning, Paul McGann’s first Eighth Doctor audio drama.
  • The Fact of Fiction analyses the 2007 classic Blink.
  • The DWM comic strip returns with The Forest Bride, the first part of a brand-new adventure for the Doctor and Yaz.
  • Sufficient Data explores Doctor Who’s big ideas.
  • Previews, reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, Time and Space Visualiser and more.
  •  

PLUS:

  • A 28-page supplement on the making of Series 12, written by Andrew Pixley
  • A diorama of the Fifth Doctor’s TARDIS control room
  • Four exclusive art cards
  • A download code for a free Big Finish audiobook!

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 570 is on sale from panini.co.uk and WH Smith from Thursday 14 October priced £9.99 (UK). Also available as a digital edition from pocketmags.com priced £8.99.





Doctor Who Returns: 31st OctoberBookmark and Share

Saturday, 9 October 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who:Flux (Credit: BBC Studios)

The BBC has announced that Doctor Who will return to screens in the UK and in the USA on Sunday 31st October. 

 

The thirteenth series, since the return of the show in 2005, will debut on BBC One in the UK and BBC America in the states. 

The six episodes will all be grouped under the title Doctor Who: Flux and star Jodie Whittaker in her final series as the Doctor. 

 

 





Doctor Who – The Collection: Season 17Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 7 October 2021 - Reported by Marcus

Season 17 (Credit: BBC)

Season 17, the penultimate season starring Tom Baker as the Doctor, will be the next to be released as part of the Doctor Who Collection series.  

Doctor Who – The Collection: Season 17 was originally shown between September 1979 and January 1980 consists of the following stories
 

  • DESTINY OF THE DALEKS
  • CITY OF DEATH
  • THE CREATURE FROM THE PIT
  • NIGHTMARE OF EDEN
  • THE HORNS OF NIMON
  • SHADA

In 1979, Tom Baker’s Doctor was in full flight. With Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) as script editor, the series leaned into Baker’s penchant for humour and paired his Doctor with a regenerated Romana (Lalla Ward) as his travelling companion. Together, they would form one of the most popular Doctor/companion duos of all time.

Although Season 17 was halted behind-the-scenes by strike action (resulting in the season finale being abandoned part-way through production), it remains a beloved slice of Doctor Who history, featuring the return of Davros and the Daleks, and one of the all-time classic stories, Douglas Adams’ own City Of Death.

With all episodes newly remastered from the best available sources, this Blu-ray box set also includes extensive and exclusive Special Features including:

 

  • BRAND NEW DOCUMENTARIES
  • Including a Making-Of documentary for Destiny Of The Daleks, and new featurette for The Creature From The Pit.
  • TOM TALKS
  • A candid interview with Tom Baker as he gives us his unique take on life, the universe and everything.
  • DOUGLAS ADAMS TRIBUTE
  • Friends and colleagues remember the Doctor Who writer/script editor and creator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
  • IN CONVERSATION
  • Matthew Sweet chats to Bob Baker, writer of Nightmare Of Eden, co-creator of K9 and one of the creative forces behind Wallace & Gromit.
  •  BEHIND THE SOFA
  • New episodes with actors Colin Baker, Katy Manning, Matthew Waterhouse, Nicola Bryant, June Hudson, Graeme Harper & Mat Irvine
  •  LALLA WARD INTERVIEW
  • An extensive interview discussing her first year on the programme.
  • UPDATED SPECIAL EFFECTS
  • View Nightmare Of Eden with optional new effects
  • SHADA
  • An updated version of the ‘lost’ story, completed with enhanced animation and presented in six episodes for the very first time, alongside the original 1992 VHS and 2017 versions
  • EXCLUSIVE NEW AUDIO COMMENTARIES
  • With Tom Baker on episodes of Destiny Of The Daleks and City Of Death, and Lalla Ward & Catherine Schell on City Of Death
  • EXTENDED EPISODE
  • An early cut of The Creature From The Pit Part Three
  • BLU-RAY TRAILER
  • A familiar face returns in a brand new mini-episode of classic Doctor Who
  • IMMERSIVE 5.1 SURROUND SOUND
  • On Destiny Of The Daleks and Shada
  • RARE GEMS FROM THE ARCHIVES
  • BBC archive material covering the promotion of this season
  • CONVENTION FOOTAGE
  • A triumphant 1997 appearance from Tom Baker
  • HD PHOTO GALLERIES
  • Including many previously unseen images
  •  PRODUCTION SUBTITLES
  • Behind-the-scenes information and trivia on every episode
  •  SCRIPTS, COSTUME DESIGNS, RARE BBC PRODUCTION FILES AND OTHER RARITIES FROM OUR PDF ARCHIVE

 

 

The Collection will be released on 13th December 2021 and is available to pre-order on Amazon