Production RoundupBookmark and Share

Monday, 12 March 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Casting:

Reports from Spain indicate that actor Garrick Hagon is currently filming Doctor Who, with Genshiken Spain saying: "Garrick Hagon, our guest at FreakCon, is currently shooting in Almeria, filming a series of Doctor Who." This was also backed up by Rob Cavazos, who said: "I am currently working with an actor who was in the first Star Wars film. I am by no means a fanboy, but that's still pretty awesome!"

Hagon has previously appeared in Doctor Who, alongside Jon Pertwee in 1972's The Mutants as the Solonian rebel Ky.

Film appearances include A Bridge Too Far, The Spy Who Loved Me, Batman, Mission Impossible and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but as mentioned above he is probably best remembered as Luke Skywalker's best friend Biggs in the original Star Wars. Television appearances include Moonbase 3, Colditz, Cambridge Spies, and as Frank Oppenheimer in 1980's Oppenheimer.

On Location

Filming kicked off last Thursday in the Almeria region of Spain, at the Oasys Parque Temático del Desierto de Tabernas and Fort Bravo Studios. Both Executive Producer Caroline Skinner and Brand Manager Edward Russell travelled to Spain (with the latter celebrating his birthday at the weekend!), plus Doctor Who Magazine was also represented by Benjamin Cook.

A number of photos of the cast and crew on location in the Tabernas desert and at Fort Bravo Studios were captured by Spanish fans and media, including a glimpse of the story's adversary (confirming the report by by The Sun last week).

On Location Photos 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31; Adversary Images 2 3 4 5 6 7 (with thanks to Whovians.Net, Zimbio)




Production RoundupBookmark and Share

Thursday, 8 March 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Cast and Crew:

The two episodes currently being directed by Saul Metzstein have been confirmed by Doctor Who Magazine as episode two by Chris Chibnall, and a wild-west themed episode three by Toby Whithouse. The cast for Chibnall's episode included the previously announced Mark Williams, Rupert Graves, and David Bradley, and joining Rob Cavazos for episode three are:

Adrian Scarborough

Adrian Scarborough is listed by agent Curtis Brown as playing Kahler Jax.

Scarborough has appeared in a number of prominent roles on television, having appeared as Mr Jolly in Psychoville, Pete in Gavin and Stacey, Mr Johnson in Cranford, and most recently as Mr Pritchard in Upstairs Downstairs. He has also appeared in films such as Vera Drake and Elizabeth: The Golden Years, and featured as a BBC Radio Announcer in The King's Speech. This won't be his first role in the Doctor Who world, having played Rupert von Thal in Big Finish's The Boy That Time Forgot.

Dominic Kemp

Dominic Kemp is listed by agent Sainou as playing Kahler-Mas.

Kemp has appeared in guest roles in a number of television dramas, including Waking the Dead, Wire in the Blood, Moses Jones (featuring Matt Smith) and most recently in the Christmas special of Downton Abbey. Film-wise, he appeared in Miss Potter, and will be seen with former Doctor Christopher Eccleston in the forthcoming Song for Marion.

Ben Browder

Ben Browder has been confirmed by Doctor Who Magazine.

Browder is no stranger to the sci-fi genre, having played John Crichton in Farscape and Cameron Mitchell in Stargate SG1. More recently he has appeared in Chuck and will shortly play Nick Naught in Naught for Hire.


The character being played by Mark Williams has now been revealed, according to his online CV.
The name of the character could be considered a spoiler and can be read from this article on the news page.


The second recording block, which comprises two episodes by Steven Moffat, will be directed by Nick Hurran, who filmed last year's The Girl Who Waited and The God Complex.


On Location:

If you've ever wondered what a casting call can look like, here's a number of Doctor Who hopefuls in Almeria, Spain queuing up to audition as extras for the episode that would be filmed there - the process of which was politely described as 'chaotic'!

Filming itself kicked off on the 7th at the Oasys Parque Temático del Desierto de Tabernas in the Almeria region. The resort is set in the only European desert, and provides a number of themed areas such as an aquatic zone, wildlife park, and of more interest to Doctor Who of course, a Western theme town known as "Mini Hollywood". The area has played host to a number of renowned films, like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Lawrence of Arabia, and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

In The Media/The Rumour Zone:

Executive Producer Caroline Skinner commented in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine on reading the opening script for the new series: "Once I'm finally on the plane into Heathrow I re-read Steven's scary, thrill-ride of an opening episode. There I am, gasping and laughing away to myself, and kinda wishing planes had sofas - because if there'd been a sofa on this one, I would've hidden behind it."

Today's Sun carries an item on filming in Spain, courtesy of the ubiquitous 'insider':
A BBC spokesman said it was more cost-efficient to film in Spain than recreate the set in the UK, while the weather conditions will also prove sunnier than Cardiff, where Doctor Who is usually shot.

"Matt and Karen are really excited about the episode. Filming on the same set as a lot of western films, together with the Spanish weather, will give it an epic feel."
The paper has also suggested the adversary up against the Doctor:

Possible spoiler on the adversary follows:






The episode will feature a half-human half-robot Terminator-style beast which patrols a Victorian-era western town.

(with thanks to Ruther, Condensador de Fluzo, Diego Armando Alías)




Doctor Who Magazine 445Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 March 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The new Doctor Who Magazine (out Thursday) sees Sophie Aldred take a candid look back at her time on the show:
We never thought, at the time, how far-reaching our episodes would be – especially now, with this rebirth of the series, people discovering our episodes for the first time. It would be interesting to see what Amy Pond thought of Ace . . .
Also in this issue:
  • Doctor Down Under - Executive producer Caroline Skinner tells DWM about her recent trip Down Under for the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular and her reaction on reading the script for Episode 1 of the new series, in her first Production Notes.
  • Keep It In The Family - DWM catches up with the scourge of the Silents, CIA agent Canton Everett Delaware III – aka actors Mark Sheppard and his father, Morgan Sheppard – and finds out about making it as an actor and whether Canton could return.
  • It's The Key Thing! - DWM celebrates 1978/9's Key To Time season: six linked adventures that introduced Time Lady Romana and featured Douglas Adams's first script for Doctor Who, as Countdown To 50 continues.
  • The Fall Of The Gods? - With the Doctor at the mercy of the mighty Zeus, and with Rory and Amy facing a titanic foe in ancient Athens, what can humble philosopher Socrates do to save the day? Find out in the final, world-changing episode of the latest comic strip, The Chains of Olympus, written by Scott Gray, with art by Mike Collins.
  • The Last Voord! - Get ready for adventures within adventures, as the First Doctor and his companions brave screaming jungles, snows of terror and seas of acid! Discover a wealth of fascinating new info as The Fact of Fiction scrutinises the 1964 story The Keys of Marinus.
  • Changing History For The Better . . . ? - Doctor Who fans are spoilt with the care and attention that is lavished on the DVD releases. But as well as being lovingly restored, should the stories be improved, correcting technical "errors" of the past? Sparring partners Toby Hadoke and Johnny Candon argue whether rewriting history is ever justified, in A Battle of Wits.
  • Chaos In The Classroom - The Time Team go back to school with the Tenth Doctor and Rose and are reacquainted with two dear old friends – Sarah Jane Smith and K-9. Join Chris, Emma, Will, and Michael on the sofa and see what they make of 2006's School Reunion.
  • Off The Record! - The Watcher challenges readers with The Six Faces of Delusion, celebrates another Supporting Artist of the Month, and continues A History of Doctor Who In 100 Objects with a look at the extraordinary 1985 single Doctor In Distress, in Wotcha!
PLUS! All the latest official news, TV and merchandise reviews, previews, competitions, a prize-winning crossword, and more.





Production RoundupBookmark and Share

Monday, 27 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Production

In an interview with SFX, executive producer Caroline Skinner confirmed that the first recording block contains two individual stories (being directed by Saul Metzstein). On whether all the scripts were written, she said: "No, if only. But we’ve got a lot of them and the ones that are written are really, really epic and very exciting. (The opening episode) is indeed written by Steven and it’s going to blow everybody’s mind."

Speaking on the Richard Bacon Show, BBC1 Controller Danny Cohen talked about series developments: "The Doctor Who team are writing away. There are more episodes next year. We've got some big events coming up in the near future. So, stay tuned! I always try and keep things close to my chest with Doctor Who because there's such interest in it, and I think it's right that Steven Moffat and the team are the people that bring the news on Doctor Who to the audience rather than me."

Toby Whithouse talked to BBC America about writing for the new series: "My episode is in a genre I’ve never written before — frankly, no one has written in that genre for quite a while now. But I absolutely love it. Steven gives me a one-line pitch, and then I’ll go away and put together a story and so on. And he gave me a great one-line pitch for this, so I’m really excited about it. Doctor Who is always a joy to write. It never gets boring, it never gets dull, it never gets routine. It’s an incredibly difficult show to write because it’s remarkably complex, but it also has to have such momentum and pace. And within that there has to be room for character and humour and so on. It’s always a huge challenge but always extraordinary fun. That’s why I keep going back."

On Location

As well as production commencing on the new series last Monday, later in the week saw filming taking place at Southerndown Beach; the distinctive Dunraven Bay location has featured in a number of BBC Wales programmes, including Merlin and Being Human, and has been used previously in Doctor Who to represent an alien planet (Army of Ghosts), Bad Wolf Bay (Doomsday/Journey's End) and Alfava Metraxis (The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone). Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill and Mark Williams were pictured during filming, which was covered by a number of media sources including The Sun, Radio Times, and the Western Mail.



Casting

According to Spotlight, Rudi Dharmalingham will feature in this block, playing the role of ISA Worker. The actor has had a number of small guest roles in recent series, including The Bill, Casualty and New Tricks. He has also undertaken a number of stage roles, including the international tour of History Boys.

The Rumour Zone

This section talks about elements of the series that have not been formally confirmed and might well be considered spoilers!





In her discussion with SFX about Worlds in Time, Caroline Skinner was also asked about the possibility of a foe returning to the series itself:
SFX: The Zygons are in it! Is this a hint they’re going to be returning to the show anytime soon?
Caroline Skinner: [Laughs] “Wait and see.”

The Express has suggested that Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch might have a role to play in Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary. The traditional 'insider' said:
It's fitting that the Doctor comes face to face with his ultimate enemy, The Master, for the 50th anniversary and it's felt Benedict is the perfect choice if schedules can work. Fans will love the idea of the man who plays Sherlock Holmes taking on the Doctor.

Benedict has often been asked about whether he would like to play the Doctor so it will be ironic if he now ends up being The Master instead.

(with thanks to Chris Williams, Ruther)




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 17 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Karen Gillan (seen here on the cover of the new Radio Times) commented on how she could have met Jean Shrimpton, who she plays in We'll Take Manhattan next week: "She runs a hotel in Penzance. Part of me was tempted to check in but I thought that might be a little weird. I read her modelling guide and her autobiography, though. The guide was written at the height of her fame, the autobiography later on in life, so she’s far more honest in that about how she feels. She hated the fame side of things." [Express, 12 Jan 2012]

The actress also commented on things that help unclutter her head: "Space! I went to the Royal Observatory the other day, and looked through the biggest telescope in the UK. I saw a star from 47 years in the past. Yep, space excites me. My dream is to go to space. And dreams – I find the meanings of dreams very interesting. And the brain. Did you know the brain has three layers, and when we're drunk, we revert to the bottom layer, which is only interested in eating, sleeping and 'meeting a partner'. And music connects to that layer, that bottom layer! Did you know that?" [Guardian, 14 Jan 2012]

Producer Caroline Skinner commented on her arrival into the world of Doctor Who with the Christmas Special: "That was an absolutely fantastic one to start on. And now, I'm thrilled and slightly daunted at the scale of what we're achieving in the next series. We're not too far away from starting shooting, and I think it's going to be the biggest series ever - 2013 is going to be the biggest year in the history of Doctor Who so far." [io9, 12 Jan 2012]

John Barrowman and Raquel Cassidy will be appearing in Hustle on Friday 3rd February as diet fraudsters Dr Dean Deville and his wife, Dana. The episode airs at 9pm on BBC One. [BBC Media Centre, 17 Jan 2012]

Bob Baker (writer/K9 co-creator) and his wife Marie have been helping students at Fareham College on literary and theatrical projects, sharing their experience in the industry and providing feedback on their work. The writer said: "The main thing is to start working on something and to keep sending it away. They should try to get their work on somewhere – whether on TV or a play – so they can hear it spoken because that’s important." [Western Wards Gazette, 13 Jan 2012]

In Memoriam

The actor Harry Fowler, who played Harry in Remembrance of the Daleks, has died at the age of 85. He had numerous TV and film credits and was possibly best known as Corporal "Flogger" Hoskins in the ITV sitcom The Army Game, in which he appeared with William Hartnell (as Sgt Major Percy Bullimore) during the show's fifth and final series, which ran from September 1960 to June 1961.

(newslinks: Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Mirror, also with thanks to Chris Winwood)




Christmas Special enters productionBookmark and Share

Saturday, 17 September 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
This week saw the first public confirmation that production has begun on the forthcoming Christmas Special of Doctor Who, with cast and crew settling in at the Welsh town of Llanelli. Filming took place at the private residence of Stradey Castle over the last four days, with Matt Smith spotted at the production base during the course of the shoot.



THE FOLLOWING DETAILS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS SPOILERS




It was not initially clear that this was indeed filming for Doctor Who, as signs seen in the vicinity were "NRG" - used previously for the production of Baker Boys that saw its wrap party a week previously. However, Matt Smith was eventually spotted at the production base, which confirmed that this was indeed the return of our Time Lord. Karen Gillan was also reported as being at the hotel where the cast and crew stayed, but she was not actually seen on location.

As noted above, filming took place at the private residence of Stradey Castle both during the day and into the evening; the secluded location meant that no photos of the production were forthcoming, though there had been reports of a large mechanical bear seen on the castle grounds.


Photo: Graham Harries (via YFrog)
Production signs in use for filming

Photo: Sophie Cook (via Tumblr)
A view of black-out screens at the house

Photo: Graham Harries (via Twitter)
Matt Smith leaving his trailer

(news with thanks to the Llanelli Twitter spotters Sophie Cook, Graham Harries,
Josh Nicholas Thomas, Meriel Williams, Cerys Perkins, and Ashley Taylor)
 

Some photos of Matt Smith were also published by the Western Mail, though the BBC clarified that the guest star pictured with the actor was not the name suggested by the paper.

Production is now believed to be in studio for the next few days.


In July, the BBC announced the new Executive Producer for Doctor Who, Caroline Skinner, who would be working on the Christmas Special alongside Steven Moffat and Piers Wenger. This weekend saw Moffat introduce her to Twitter followers, saying:
@CaroSkinner The new exec on Doctor Who. If you don't follow her, you'll miss EVERYTHING!





New Executive Producer AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 21 July 2011 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC has announced that Caroline Skinner will join Steven Moffat as Executive Producer on Doctor Who.

Skinner has recently been working as producer on Five Days, a serial for BBC One. She has previously been script editor on productions such as House of Saddam, The Shadow in the North, The Ruby in the Smoke and Bleak House.

Skinner will start work on the series immediately, working alongside departing Executive Producer Piers Wenger on the 2011 Christmas special, before taking charge for the fourteen episodes which form the next series of the show, which leads up to the programme's 50th Anniversary.

Speaking about the appointment, Moffat told the official website:
The exec joining me on Doctor Who is Caroline Skinner - fresh from the wonderful Five Days, and still finishing up on a brand new show called The Fades (a fantasy horror series, written by Jack Thorne - I've seen episode 1, and it's BRILLIANT.) Somewhere between me laughing in a basement and choosing planets to invade, and Marcus Wilson raising armies, there has to be a Prime Minister actually running the whole thing. That's the job Piers Wenger and Beth Willis have been doing so wonderfully for the last few years. Now that Piers is off to movie land, that's the furnace Caroline will be walking into.