As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 3 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 14 May 2012

The Complete Matt Smith - Blu-ray Gift SetBookmark and Share

Monday, 22 September 2014 - Reported by Marcus
BBC Home Entertainment in the United States, has announced a massive collection in honour of the Eleventh Doctor and the man who portrayed him with the release of Doctor Who: The Complete Matt Smith Years Limited Edition Blu-ray Gift Set, which will be released in time for the holidays on November 4, 2014.

Matt Smith made his first appearance as the Doctor in 2010, and went on to star in three seasons of Doctor Who, written and executive produced by Steven Moffat.

The set features the complete adventures of the Eleventh Doctor – every season, every special, every episode. It also includes, for the very first time on a special bonus disc, Doctor Who Proms 2013, The Day of the Doctor: From Script to Screen, The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot and Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide. It also includes the two part special The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Death of the Doctor and the docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time.

Doctor Who at the Proms 2013 – It’s always a thrilling night when the BBC’s annual classical music festival, the Proms, features the music of Doctor Who. Hosted by none other than the 11th Doctor himself, Matt Smith, plus companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) and a fantastic assortment of special guests (and monsters), Murry Gold’s iconic music from the program has never sounded better than in this live concert, which was a highlight of the build-up to DoctorWho’s 50th Anniversary.
The Day of the Doctor: From Script to Screen – Witness the initial table read for Doctor Who’s legendary 50th Annivesary episode, The Day of the Doctor, and then see the episode come to life on screen through interviews with Matt Smith, David Tennant, Steven Moffat and others as well as footage from the filming. It’s an exciting look inside the process of bringing Doctor Who to life.
The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot – In the build-up to Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary, rumors were swirling wildly about which former Doctors would be featured in the anniversary episode itself. In this hilarious comic spoof, former Doctors Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, and Paul McGann poke fun at the mystery and themselves in hysterical fashion. With cameos from Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna Coleman, Steven Moffat, Russell T Davies and others.
Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide – Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith and companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) introduce this insightful look back at the remarkable 50-year history of Doctor Who featuring interviews with the cast and the people behind the scenes, past and present, plus a host of celebrity fans. Doctor Who – The Ultimate Guide delves deep into the history of the Doctor, profiling his many incarnations and charting the progression of his character from his old-fashioned, black and white origins to his more complex, many-layered, modern-day persona and the multi-faceted menaces he has faced through the years. This is the defining documentary of Doctor Who, the perfect way to celebrate a rich 50-year old marvel.
Sarah Janes Adventures: The Death of the Doctor - The Eleventh Doctor makes a special appearance in the spin-off series Sarah Janes Adventure. In the two part special written by Russell T Davies, Sarah Jane is reunited with another of the Doctor’s former companions, Jo Grant (Katy Manning), as they investigate the fate of the Doctor at his own funeral. Things get more complicated when they’re joined by the Eleventh Doctor himself in an alien-busting adventure featuring brand-new vulture aliens, the mysterious Shansheeth and a trip to an alien planet.
The set is available for pre-order from Amazon.




FILTER: - Blu-ray/DVD - Matt Smith - USA

Doctor Who Magazine Special: The Year Of The DoctorBookmark and Share

Friday, 15 August 2014 - Reported by Marcus
DWM Special, The Year of the DoctorDiscover the behind-the-scenes secrets of the most exciting year in Doctor Who's long history in the latest Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition. Doctor Who celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013, marking half a century of time-travel adventures. The Year of the Doctor is researched and compiled by Andrew Pixley, and has 100 pages packed with previously unpublished photos, day-to-day details of Doctor Who’s production and hundreds of fascinating new facts.

This essential guide contains in-depth articles on the Paul McGann mini-episode The Night of the Doctor; the 50th Anniversary Special The Day of the Doctor; Matt Smith's final story The Time of Doctor; the drama based on the origins of the series, An Adventure in Space and Time; the hilarious The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot; Doctor Who at the Proms 2013; the Brian Cox lecture The Science of Doctor Who; the documentaries Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide and Me, You and Doctor Who; Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty; and much, much more!

The Year of the Doctor is in shops now, priced £5.99.




FILTER: - Day of the Doctor - DWM - Matt Smith - Time and the Doctor

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 May 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Matt Smith has been cast in a new Terminator film. The actor will play a new character with a strong connection to the leader of the anti-machine resistance, in the long running franchise.

Speaking at at Wizard World Minneapolis, Smith said he was very excited to be in the movie.
All I can say about Terminator is that I'm very excited to be part of the Terminator franchise because those movies – those first two movies, particularly – are brilliant.
The fifth Terminator movie will be directed by Alan Taylor and sees Arnold Schwarzenegger return to the role that made him famous.

Karen Gillan's ABC pilot Selfie has been commissioned for a full series.

The American sitcom is based on My Fair Lady, with Gillan playing Eliza Dooley, a 20-something who pays more attention to her online persona than professional image. Written by Suburgatory’s Emily Kapnek, the comedy also stars John Cho as marketing expert Henry.

Meanwhile the Warner’s horror film Oculus, which stars Gillan, will be released in the UK on Friday, 13th June. The official UK trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

Arthur Darvill recently appeared on BBC Radio 1 where he performed The Ballad of Arthur Darvill, lamenting, life after Doctor Who.



Bob Baker co-creator of K9, is currently working on Marti, the amazing adventures of the World’s most unlikeliest of Superheroes. Marti is a creator-owned cartoon character series about a Superhero Meerkat and his friends. The concept began life after seeing the Meerkat Manor natural history series.

The new Cartoon Superhero is being funded via Kickstarter, with an exclusive bonus K9 DVD being given free alongside pledges of £15 and upwards. The DVD features the complete story of K9, with exclusive footage never seen before.

Full details here.

A new project called Contradiction - The Interactive Murder Mystery Game is in production, also funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

The game stars Paul Darrow, who played Avon in Blakes 7 as well as appearing in two Doctor Who stories. Also appearing is John Guilor, who provided the voice of the First Doctor in the 50th Anniversary story The Day of the Doctor.

Full details here.




FILTER: - People - Arthur Darvill - Karen Gillan - Matt Smith

Farewell to Matt Smith on UK channel Watch this EasterBookmark and Share

Sunday, 13 April 2014 - Reported by Melad Moshiri
Christmas Special 2013 - Promotional Image (Credit: BBC America) BBC America's A Farewell to Matt Smith special is to air on UK television on digital channel Watch this Easter.

The programme, initially broadcast on the US network celebrating the 11th Doctor actor's time on Doctor Who, will be shown in the UK on Good Friday at 5:00pm.

Narrated by Alex Kingston, it sees contributions from her, David Tennant, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat alongside fans of Matt Smith and his incarnation of the Time Lord.

As part of the run-up, Radio Times have released a two-minute preview clip concerning the actor's relationship with his fans.

An audience of 1.54 million viewers watched the special on its original transmission before The Time of the Doctor's airing, more recently included as an extra on Time's DVD/Blu-rays.






FILTER: - BBC America - UK - Matt Smith

The Radio Times: BAFTA coversBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 8 April 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who makes the front cover of the Radio Times once again as the magazine celebrates this year's BAFTA Nominations. As mentioned yesterday, the Radio Times Audience Award is open to the public vote over which of Doctor Who (The Day of the Doctor), Broadchurch, Educating Yorkshire, Gogglebox, Breaking Bad, and The Great British Bakeoff is the best British drama over the last year.

As well as the latest Matt Smith/Jenna Coleman cover joining a Doctor Who collection way exceeding 50 in recent years, actor David Tennant has adorned over 20 himself, this time alongside Olivia Colman to represent writer Chris Chibnall's crime drama Broadchurch!

Radio Times (12-18 Apr 2014) - Doctor Who cover (Credit: Radio Times) Radio Times (12-18 Apr 2014) - Broadchurch cover (Credit: Radio Times)

Readers can vote for Doctor Who their favourite drama via the Radio Times website.





FILTER: - Matt Smith - Jenna Coleman - David Tennant - Awards/Nominations - Radio Times

Matt Smith to play for England in Soccer Aid 2014Bookmark and Share

Monday, 17 March 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
Matt Smith will be playing football for England when he takes part in this year's Soccer Aid.

And he'll be facing a former nemesis in the shape of Michael Sheen - who provided the voice of the sinister House in The Doctor's Wife - at the charity event at Old Trafford on Sunday 8th June. Doors open at 5pm and kick-off is at 8pm, with the match being broadcast live on ITV.

It is being held in aid of the global children's charity UNICEF, with Smith signed up for Robbie Williams's England team. Meanwhile, Sheen is heading the opposing Rest of the World side. Joining Smith on the England squad will be Bradley Walsh, who appeared in The Sarah Jane Adventures story The Day of the Clown.

Before he became an actor, Smith's dream was to be a professional footballer, and he played for the youth teams at Northampton Town, Nottingham Forest, and Leicester City, but the spinal condition spondylosis wrecked his sporting hopes. However, he retains links to the game through his avid support for Blackburn Rovers, and the 2010 episode The Lodger saw the actor don a number 11 football shirt as the Doctor and lead fictional pub team The King's Arms to victory.

Williams, who is UNICEF's UK ambassador, said:
Soccer Aid returns for the fifth time in June and I admit there are scores to settle.

Leading the England team, I will be making sure we defend that trophy against Rest of the World. There's never been a better time for us to show our support for UNICEF, so please dig deep and buy your tickets now!
And UNICEF UK executive director David Bull said:
Soccer Aid 2014 will raise vital money to help some of the world's most vulnerable children get life-saving food, medicine and clean water.

Every day, children are in serious danger and thousands die needlessly in the struggle against poverty, hunger and disease. It's time for us all to act. Please, buy a ticket to go to Soccer Aid or watch the match on ITV and help us change children's lives.
In the past six years, Soccer Aid has raised more than £12m to help children around the world.

Tickets for the match cost from £20 for adults and from £5 for under-16s and over-65s, with premium seats at £40 (plus booking fees), and can be bought via the Soccer Aid site.

Sheen features briefly in his kit in the promotional video below, while The Lodger guest star James Corden can also be seen cheering:


Other celebrities on the England team are Stephen Moyer, Jamie Theakston, Mark Owen, Jack Whitehall, Damian Lewis, Paddy McGuinness, John Bishop and Olly Murs, while Sheen's celebrity players will include James McAvoy, Nicky Byrne, Adam Richman, Patrick Kielty and Gordon Ramsay. Former professional footballers joining the England side are Teddy Sheringham, Jamie Redknapp, David Seaman, Paul Ince and Jamie Carragher, with Jaap Stam and Edwin van der Sar among those playing for Rest of the World.

UPDATE - 8th JUNE: Sadly, Matt Smith was unable to take part in the game because of an injury. In a statement, he said:

It is with great disappointment that I will have to withdraw from this year's Soccer Aid as a result of injury. I have always wanted to play at Old Trafford, a personal dream, and was hugely excited to have the opportunity to support UNICEF. I do hope I will be invited to join Soccer Aid and UNICEF in the future and play football for such a good cause.

I really am so sorry to disappoint anyone who may have bought tickets to see me play. I can't express my apologies enough. However, I am certain this year's incredible line-up will still entertain and, most importantly, continue to raise money for children all over the world.




FILTER: - Special Events - UK - ITV - Matt Smith - Charities

Whoniverse Australia CancelledBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - Reported by Marcus
A Town Called Mercy. Photo: BBCThe Hub productions Whoniverse event has been cancelled following the withdrawal of Matt Smith from the event for family reasons.

The convention was due to hit the four main Australia cities over the next two weeks, bringing together the original Eleventh Doctor team of Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. Although Gillan pulled out of part of the tour last week, the absence of Matt Smith has proved a fatal blow with the organisers having no choice but to cancel the event.

Matt Smith is unable to leave the UK at present due to a family matter. He gave the convention organisers the following statement.
I am deeply saddened to have to advise that I will not be able to come to Australia for the Hub Productions' Whoniverse event. Although I wish it were otherwise, due to a personal family emergency it's not possible for me to leave England at this time. I truly regret the situation, and the disappointment it must be causing, but I'm hoping to be able to reschedule as soon as possible for the future; I look forward to see you all then.
The organisers have said they are working to try to bring the team to future events, but in the meantime, Ticketek will be in touch regarding refunds.




FILTER: - Matt Smith - Conventions - Australia

Smith and Gillan - The first camera testBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 February 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
Karen Gillan has posted online one of the first pictures of herself and Matt Smith in costume as Amy Pond and the Doctor - taken at their initial camera test.

The actress shared the image via Twitter on Tuesday, saying: "1st pic of Matt and I [sic] in character was released 4 yrs ago today [sic], but, I have the real one..from the 1st camera test".

Having already appeared in the show as a soothsayer in The Fires of Pompeii in April 2008, Gillan made her debut as Amy two years later in The Eleventh Hour on 3rd April 2010.

On 17th February 2010, the BBC released a montage shot featuring the duo to promote the start of Series 5, as reported by Doctor Who News, with the world having been given its first look at Gillan and Smith in costume seven months earlier, when an official image was released as filming began on the series - also reported by Doctor Who News.

It is currently unknown when exactly the test photo - shown below - was taken.





FILTER: - Doctor Who - Karen Gillan - Matt Smith - Miscellaneous - Series 5/31

Matt Smith sends message to young fanBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 19 February 2014 - Reported by Marcus

Matt Smith has sent a personal video message to a four-year-old fan recently diagnosed with a serious illness.

The News, Portsmouth reports that Jack Robinson, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour last month, received a video message from the actor, who is currently in Austin, Texas.

Since he was diagnosed, Jack's family have been trying to make the boy's dreams come true. When singer-songwriter Gary Barlow heard about their challenge he arranged for the actor to record the video message.

Terry Robinson, Jack's dad, said:
Jack was over the moon. Gary Barlow tweeted he had a message from Matt Smith, but we didn't expect this, thank you Gary. And thank you to Darren Langford, a well-wisher, who said he had also been in contact with Matt. Not sure which person he responded too, but we are grateful that he has.

Jack had gone to sleep, but we woke him up to show him the message. His eyes just lit up and he was so delighted. It has made his day.




FILTER: - Matt Smith

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Sunday, 16 February 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
Today sees a certain actor reaching a certain milestone and we couldn't let it go unrecognised, so here's wishing A VERY HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY to Christopher Eccleston - the man who was so fundamental in ensuring that Doctor Who was a success when it returned in 2005! To mark the special occasion, here are his first and last scenes as the Doctor.


Matt Smith is to appear at the Wizard World Louisville Comic Con on Saturday 29th March, which is being held at the Kentucky International Convention Center, 221 S 4th Street,
Louisville. He will be greeting fans, signing autographs, posing for photos and conducting an interactive question-and-answer session. [Wizard World]

The first photo of David Tennant in Gracepoint - the US remake of ITV drama Broadchurch in which he also starred - has been released and published by Entertainment Weekly. It shows Tennant, who plays Detective Emmett Carver, with Anna Gunn as his sidekick Detective Ellie Miller. The 10-episode series - written by Chris Chibnall who created the original show, and directed by James Strong who helmed five Broadchurch episodes - is being made by Fox and will air next season. [Entertainment Weekly, 14 Feb 2014]

Ben Wheatley - who is directing Peter Capaldi's first two episodes - has been talking about working with the actor. "With someone like Capaldi, he's a massive Who fan. He knows Who inside out. And everything he does is very, carefully planned and thought about. I remember when they first started talking to me about doing it, and I was very nervous for just those reasons. How do you shape this performance? But then when I heard who was going to do it - when they told me it was Capaldi, [I thought] that's not really a problem. He's so good. I was relieved, pretty much. It would have been a very different situation if it had been another kind of Matt Smith character. A guy who you don't know. Moulded from the start. But with Capaldi, you look at his career and you look at his performances they are all so brilliant, and all so different as well. It was a lucky break for me, I think that." He added: "It seems to me the episodes that we're doing now seem more like classic Who. We're going back to that style. But you'll have to wait and see." [io9, 3 Feb 2014]

Carey Mulligan will be playing the former lover of a character portrayed by Bill Nighy when she makes her West End debut in Skylight by Sir David Hare. The revival will be on at Wyndham's Theatre from Friday 6th June to Saturday 23rd August and will see Mulligan in the role of schoolteacher Kyra Hollis, while Nighy plays Tom Sergeant, as "the two attempt to rekindle their once-passionate relationship only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires." [BBC News, 14 Feb 2014]

Bonnie Langford is returning to play the Lady of the Lake in the hit West End musical Spamalot, which is at the Playhouse Theatre. She will be appearing in it from Monday 24th February. [The Stage, 10 Feb 2014]

The fifth series of ITV period drama Downton Abbey will see Richard E Grant joining the cast as Simon Bricker - a guest of the Granthams. The eight-part series will also see the return of Hugh Bonneville, Penelope Wilton, Samantha Bond and Raquel Cassidy. [ITV Press Centre, 14 Feb 2014]

Michael Gambon will be among those taking part in the HighTide Festival in Halesworth, Suffolk. Among the theatre festival's events are world premieres of plays, readings and music, and Gambon will be taking part in the Face To Face series, when he will be interviewed by the theatre critic Michael Billington on Saturday 19th April. The festival - which takes place from Thursday 10th to Saturday 19th April - will also see the world premiere of Peddling, a play written and performed by Patrick Troughton's grandson Harry Melling, which will then transfer to New York.

Alex Kingston, Noel Clarke and Reece Shearsmith are to star in the ITV drama Chasing Shadows. The four-part production, which focuses on the work of a missing persons field unit charged with tracking down serial killers who prey on impressionable and vulnerable people, is due to start filming in the south-east of England soon for eight weeks. Shearsmith will play Det Sgt Sean Stone, with Kingston portraying his partner, Ruth Hattersley, while Clarke will take the role of Det Insp Prior. [ITV Press Centre, 11 Feb 2014]

Actress and model Lily Cole has been cast as Helen of Troy in The Last Days of Troy - an adaptation by Simon Armitage of The Iliad - which will receive its world premiere at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester from Thursday 8th May to Saturday 7th June, before transferring to The Globe in London from Tuesday 10th to Saturday 28th June. [The Stage, 12 Feb 2014]

A forthcoming show featuring Louise Jameson that is for children who have learning difficulties needs actors and costumes after some cast members had to leave the production. The Unexpected Heroes is being put on at Sandhurst School in Berkshire on Tuesday 25th, Wednesday 26th and Friday 28th February, and producer Jonathan Turner said: "We are facing great difficulties as some cast members had to drop out due to unforeseen circumstances, so we are appealing for help with costumes and sets." Jameson is voicing a magic mirror in the show. Turner can be contacted on jonathanturner560@gmail.com [Local Berkshire, 14 Feb 2014]

Oft-rumoured to have been considered to play the Doctor, Paterson Joseph has told in an interview of his audition to take over from David Tennant. "I was in South Africa at the time, and I think if I'd been in England I probably would have suffered some sort of trauma. But I'll be very honest with you. I was overjoyed. Not that I thought I had been considered, because I hadn't been - they hadn't approached my agent at that point - but I was overjoyed." He added that after the audition "I came back and I think I pretty much knew that I hadn't got it and weirdly wasn't disappointed." [The Independent, 8 Feb 2014]

With his new TV entertainment show Superstar Dogs due to start on Channel 4 tomorrow at 5.30pm, John Barrowman has been talking about the programme and how his own dogs - Captain Jack, a Jack Russell terrier named after his Doctor Who/Torchwood character, and cocker spaniel Harris - would get on in the challenges. "Captain Jack knows how to dive underwater and swim down to retrieve a bone but I don't think he'd be good at fetching any balls because he'd burst them. And I'd probably have to train him a bit for the Dogstacle course. Harris would refuse to do anything!" [What's On TV]

An inquest into the death of former director Christopher Barry is to be held on Thursday 5th June. The 88-year-old died on Friday 7th February after falling down an escalator at a shopping centre in Banbury, near his home, earlier that day. He was taken to hospital but while there he suddenly stopped breathing and doctors couldn't revive him. [The Telegraph, 15 Feb 2014]

Lalla Ward and her husband Richard Dawkins will be sharing their memories of writer and former Doctor Who script editor Douglas Adams, as well as celebrating his life, at Highgate Cemetery, where Adams is buried. The sold-out event - entitled A Conversation At The End Of The Universe - takes place on Tuesday 11th March, which would have been Adams's 62nd birthday. Ward and Dawkins were introduced to each other by Adams at his 40th birthday party in 1992 and they married later that year. [Highgate Cemetery website]

Among those paying their respects to Roger Lloyd Pack at his funeral at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden, on Thursday were fellow Only Fools And Horses stars John Challis and Tessa Peake-Jones, plus the actor Nigel Havers. Daughter Emily Lloyd gave a reading of Kahlil Gibran's poem On Death and said afterwards that Lloyd Pack's last words to his family were "I'm fine." [The Mirror, 14 Feb 2014]

In Memoriam

The actress Lisa Daniely - who played Madeleine Issigri in The Space Pirates - has died at the age of 84. She made her film debut in 1951 as the eponymous Lilli Marlene, starring in the sequel, The Wedding of Lilli Marlene, two years later as well. Among her other roles, she also appeared in ITV's 1958-59 version of The Invisible Man as Diane Brady Wilson - the title character's widowed sister - with Deborah Watling playing her daughter. Other TV appearances included The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Van der Valk, The Protectors, Strange Report, Danger Man and The Saint. [The Stage, 12 Feb 2014]




FILTER: - People - ITV - Theatre - Conventions - David Tennant - Special Events - USA - UK - Matt Smith