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 4 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 25 Jul 2012

Bournemouth police box opening date announcedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 27 March 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
The TARDIS-type police box specially made for Bournemouth is to be opened on Tuesday 8th April, Dorset Police has announced.

The steel box is to be installed at the western end of Boscombe precinct in Christchurch Road, with the official opening ceremony taking place at 11.30am in front of local dignitaries plus businessmen and women as well as the community.

Sgt Chris Amey, Boscombe Partnership and Regeneration officer, said:
The steel construction has been completed, the box has been galvanised and is currently being powder-coated at a secret location. When it returns it will undergo its internal fit, which will include security locks, CCTV, telephone and the installation of some exciting bespoke technology.
The opening will be followed by a family fun day between midday and 4pm, to be held at the precinct marquee and led by Creative Kids, with free activities and entertainment organised, including a bouncy castle, face painting, music and games.

It has not been announced who will perform the opening honours.

The design - by James Roberts of Christchurch-based architect and design practice Anders Roberts Cheer - has been based on the iconic 1929 version created for the Metropolitan Police by Gilbert Mackenzie Trench. The box has been built by AMK Industries, also of Christchurch, and been funded by local firms and organisations via donations or services, either free or at a significantly reduced cost. The sponsors are to be recognised with an engraved paving stone at the foot of the police box.

The new box will be regularly staffed during the day by police officers and police community support officers, who will offer help, advice and support to members of the public. A phone will be attached to the police box for people to use to contact the police at other times.

Dorset Police says that as well as serving an important policing purpose it is hoped that the police box will become an iconic landmark, creating tourism opportunities.

Inspector Chris Weeks, who is responsible for the Bournemouth East neighbourhood, said:
The Boscombe police box is just one of a number of projects aimed at reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and will place an obvious policing footprint exactly where it is needed.

Dorset Police is committed to listening to the concerns of the community and we hope the police box will both reassure those living, working and visiting Boscombe, as well as sending out a very clear message that the area is policed.
Sgt Amey added:
I'm extremely grateful to Clare and Cary from Creative Kids who are very kindly organising the family fun day to mark the opening of the police box. The day has specifically been organised during the Easter school holiday to encourage parents to bring their children along to celebrate the opening of this iconic landmark.

I would like to thank the following businesses and organisations supporting the police box without whom this project would not have been possible: Dorset Police; The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset; Bournemouth Borough Council; AMK Industries Limited; Anders Roberts and Associates Ltd; Glossbrook Builders Ltd; DWP Housing Partnership; National Landlords Association - Dorset; Hamilton Fraser Insurance; Hoare Banks Stonemasons; Koh Thai; Nationwide Building Society; Urban Reef Restaurant; Michael Grubb Studio; Backing Boscombe Regeneration Partnership; Royal Arcade Apartments; Graemar Group; Community Development Foundation; Bournemouth Coastal Bid; Southern Security Services Ltd; Sovereign Shopping Centre; South Western Ambulance Service and the O2 Academy Bournemouth.
Two pictures showing work nearing completion were tweeted by Dorset Police two days ago with the hashtag #BoscombePoliceBox, and they can be seen below. Click here and here for the tweets.


UPDATE - 30th MARCH: A picture tweeted by Dorset Police on 28th March shows the police box on the move ahead of its grand opening.


UPDATE - 1st APRIL: And here's a picture tweeted by Dorset Police yesterday, showing the box with what looks to be a fresh coat of paint.






FILTER: - UK - Miscellaneous

Bournemouth police box picture updateBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
Pictures of the TARDIS-style police box bound for Bournemouth have been tweeted by the Dorset force as the construction moves closer to its spring installation.

As previously reported, the TARDIS-style box is being put up to combat crime and anti-social behaviour as well as act as a tourist attraction for the south coast resort, and a picture tweeted at the time showed its basic frame.

Now, though, pictures have been released showing its unmistakeable "TARDIS" look, which comes from the iconic 1929 design created by Gilbert Mackenzie Trench for the Metropolitan Police.

The first image, tweeted on 14th March, shows the steel box ready for galvanising, while the second one, tweeted on 17th March, shows it being moved on a fork-lift truck for the next stage of its build.

Once finished, the police box will be installed at the western end of the precinct in Christchurch Road, Boscombe, where it will be manned throughout the day. It will also have a phone attached to it via which the public will be able to contact the police at other times.

Weighing more than two tonnes, it is three metres high by 1.8 metres wide. It has been paid for by local businesses and organisations and is being built by AMK Industries of Christchurch, Dorset, having been designed by James Roberts at the Christchurch-based architect and design practice of Anders Roberts Cheer.







FILTER: - UK - Miscellaneous

Bournemouth police box takes shapeBookmark and Share

Saturday, 1 March 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
A TARDIS-style police box aimed at cutting crime and anti-social behaviour in Bournemouth as well as acting as a tourist attraction is nearing completion.

As previously reported, police in Boscombe wanted to reintroduce police boxes, and a councillor has been calling for their return for a number of years. Now it is soon to become a reality, with Dorset Police saying a box will be up and running at the western end of the precinct in Christchurch Road this spring.

The police box will be regularly staffed during the day, offering help, advice and support. In addition, it will have a yellow phone attached to it via which the public can contact police at other times.

Based on the classic look that was created for the Metropolitan Police by Gilbert Mackenzie Trench in 1929, the steel box has been designed by James Roberts at Christchurch-based architect and design practice Anders Roberts Cheer. It will weigh more than two tonnes and be three metres high by 1.8 metres wide. The box is being built by AMK Industries, also of Christchurch, and has been paid for by local businesses and organisations.

Inspector Chris Weeks, whose policing responsibilities include the Bournemouth East neighbourhood, said:
The community voiced concerns regarding levels of crime and disorder in Boscombe precinct. Due to these concerns I considered an enhanced policing presence essential to reassure the public. The introduction of the police box will place an obvious policing footprint exactly where it is required.

The Boscombe police box is just one of a number of projects aimed at reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.

It will provide a much-needed and alternative engagement point with the community and send a very clear message that the area is policed.
Boscombe Regeneration Partnership officer Sgt Chris Amey added:
Building a police box in Boscombe has been a lengthy project which began in May 2011 and has seen years of hard word, dedication and support to make it a reality. I would like to thank all those companies and organisations that have donated sponsorship - they are as keen as we are to help make a difference in Boscombe.

The police box will be staffed by police officers and police community support officers who will be able to help members of the public with any issues or concerns they may have, as well as reporting crime.
Jane Kelly, the cabinet member for partnerships and regeneration at Bournemouth Borough Council, said:
We welcome this exciting new initiative in Boscombe. Working together with the police, we are determined to drive down anti-social behaviour in Boscombe and boost regeneration. I fully support this initiative to maintain a regular police presence in the precinct area, acting as both a convenient information point for the public and also to provide reassurance to residents, businesses and visitors to the area.
Once a widespread sight in Britain, police boxes started being phased out in the 1960s with the rise of personal radios within the police force. Currently, the only other operational "Mackenzie Trench" police box in the UK is at Earl's Court in London, having been installed there in 1996.

The progress of the Boscombe police box can be checked by following Dorset Police on Twitter - hashtag #boscombepolicebox - and by visiting Dorset Police's Facebook page.




FILTER: - UK - Miscellaneous

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

People: DVD roundup (The Fifth Estate, Not Another Happy Ending)Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 13 February 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster

The Fifth Estate


The film The Fifth Estate is due out on Blu-ray and DVD next Monday (17th February); the story follows the events surrounding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as played by Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch, and also features new Doctor Peter Capaldi as Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger. Grapevine have kindly sent us some photos of Capaldi in his role:

Peter Capaldi in The Fifth Estate (Image: Grapevine) Peter Capaldi in The Fifth Estate (Image: Grapevine) Peter Capaldi in The Fifth Estate (Image: Grapevine)

The Fifth Estate (Cover) (Image: Grapevine)The Fifth Estate
Released 17th February 2014 (pre-order on DVD or Blu-ray)

Driven to expose corporate crimes and government secrets not matter what the cost, an activist (Benedict Cumberbatch - Star Trek Into Darkness) and computer hacker (Daniel Brühl - Rush) team up to become the underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. As their WikiLeaks organisation starts to gather support and influence across the globe so the stakes are raised; pitching them into conflict with US intelligence agencies and putting the lives of thousands in danger. Also starring Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Laura Linney (Hyde Park on Hudson) and Peter Capaldi (In the Loop), The Fifth Estate is based on the thrilling true story of the battle for the control of power and freedom in the 21st century.

The Fifth Estate (Image: Grapevine)The Fifth Estate (Image: Grapevine)The Fifth Estate (Image: Grapevine)

We have two copies of the film on DVD to give away, courtesy of Grapevine; to be in with a chance to win please answer the following question:
Which spoof television documentary saw Peter Capaldi researching the history of a "lost" film studio?
Send your answers to comp-fifthestate@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "Was Wikileaks an Omnishambles?", along with your name, address and where you read about the competition. Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open to readers in the United Kingdom only, and the closing date is 28th February 2014.


Not Another Happy Ending


Former TARDIS traveller Karen Gillan's first film, Not Another Happy Ending, is out this week, and Organic have kindly provided us with a few video clips of the actress in action:


Recently in an interview with MSN, she revealed the romantic comedies that she watched to prep for her role:
I worked my way through all the great rom coms of our time, started off with His Girl Friday, ... then The Apartment, When Harry Met Sally, Annie Hall...I worked through quite a lot, just to kind of research.

Not Another Happy Ending - Cover (Credit: Organic)Not Another Happy Ending
Released 10th February 2014 (order on DVD)

Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy) stars in the Glasgow-set romantic comedy Not Another Happy Ending. Written by David Solomons (Five Children and It), the film had its World Premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival before hitting the big screen in October.

Starring alongside Karen Gillan is Stanley Weber (Thérèse, Borgia), Iain de Caestecker (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Filth), Freya Mavor (Sunshine on Leith, Skins), Kate Dickie (Game of Thrones, Prometheus), Gary Lewis (Gangs of New York, Billy Elliot), Amy Manson (Being Human) and Henry Ian Cusick (Lost).

With her debut novel, Happy Ending, Jane Lockhart (Karen Gillan) pulled off that rare double critical acclaim and mainstream success. But now, with just the last chapter of the follow-up novel to write, she encounters crippling writer's block. She has no idea how her story ends... This is not good news for her publisher, Tom Duval (Stanley Weber). His company is up against the wall financially and the only thing that will save him is a hit, in the form of Jane's next novel. When he discovers that his most important author is blocked, Tom knows he has to unblock her or he's finished.

Everyone knows you have to be miserable to write well, and Tom realises that the only way he s going to get her to finish the novel is to make her life a misery. With the help of his best friend and cynical, child-hating high school teacher, Roddy, he sets about trying to dismantle the things in Jane's life that make her happy. Meanwhile, Jane's block spirals out of control to the point where her fictional characters, twiddling their thumbs in the not-happening novel, intrude into her real life. Her heroine, Darsie, is terrified that Jane won't give her the ending she desires because Jane has given up on her own happy ending. Will Tom, or Darsie, manage to get Jane writing again, and create a happy ending for everyone?

Not Another Happy Ending. Image: OrganicNot Another Happy Ending. Image: OrganicNot Another Happy Ending. Image: OrganicNot Another Happy Ending. Image: OrganicNot Another Happy Ending. Image: OrganicNot Another Happy Ending. Image: Organic

We have two film posters signed by Karen Gillan to give away, courtesy of Organic; to be in with a chance to win please answer the following question:
Not Another Happy Ending marks Karen Gillan's big screen debut, but in which play did she make her on-stage debut?
Send your answers to comp-nahe@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "Blink and you'll miss her", along with your name, address and where you read about the competition. Only one entry per postal address will be accepted. The competition is open to readers in the United Kingdom only, and the closing date is 28th February 2014.




FILTER: - People - UK - Karen Gillan - Peter Capaldi - Competitions - Miscellaneous - Blu-ray/DVD

Earls Court TARDIS reveals secretBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Ever since it was established in 1996, the police box at Earl's Court has been an attraction for visitors to London - not to mention Doctor Who fans, able to have their photo taken next to the "TARDIS". But little have they known how close they really were ... click on the double chevron when directions are shown on the map below for all to be revealed ...


(Follow this link if the map isn't displayed - users of the new Google Maps Beta please note that they need to be logged out in order for the correct Streetview image to load)




FILTER: - Miscellaneous

Elvington Maize Maze celebrates Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Saturday, 13 July 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Elvington Maize Maze 2013 (Credit: BBC)The annual Maize Maze from YorkMazes Ltd has been unveiled this weekend, with sixth Doctor Colin Baker on hand to open the special Doctor Who-themed maze, which this year celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the series. The maze, shaped in the form of a Dalek and featuring the likenesses of William Hartnell and Matt Smith is over 1,000 feet long, and contains some 6 miles of pathways.

Baker, who had just encountered the Daleks in the field upon his 'arrival', wrly observed:
If we had to walk through a maize maze with a Dalek it would take two hours to film, because the wretched Dalek would fall over every second inch of the journey. Now, stick it on digitally afterwards - a twelve year old with a computer does it for them - and it looks brilliant - very envious!

There will also be a special sci-fi day at the site on the 27th July - see the website for more details.

 
Elvington Maize Maze - Colin Baker (Credit: BBC) Elvington Maize Maze - Daleks (Credit: BBC) Elvington Maize Maze - Chase! (Credit: BBC)

A report and video of the opening with Colin can be found on the BBC News website.




FILTER: - Miscellaneous

Jenna-Louise Coleman meets the QueenBookmark and Share

Friday, 7 June 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Jenna-Louise Coleman was one of the people honoured to speak to the Queen during a visit by the Monarch to the BBC's new Broadcasting House, which she officially opened today. After passing by the resident Dalek, the Queen was then introduced to the actress - next to the TARDIS!

Coleman later spoke to BBC News about her experience:
The Queen and I had a conversation about time-travel, and I told her I am the Doctor's assistant and we get to travel anywhere in all of time and space, to which she replied "That must be fun" - to which I replied it really is, it's marvellous, not knowing where you're going to be from one week to the next.
And did she ask who the next Doctor might be?
No! Everybody else in the building has asked me who the next Doctor is, and I can tell you honestly we don't know. It's going to be a long, long search. But yes, I'm being asked that question a lot.
The full interview with BBC News can be watched in the United Kingdom via their website.

The Queen meets Jenna-Louise Coleman at BBC Broadcasting House, 7th June 2013 (Credit: BBC News) The Queen at BBC Broadcasting House, 7th June 2013 (Credit: BBC News)




FILTER: - Series 8/34 - Miscellaneous - Jenna-Louise Coleman

Beano Reprints Summer Special Seen In Rings Of AkhatenBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 May 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
This week's edition of children's comic The Beano includes a reprint of the 1981 summer special seen at the beginning of The Rings of Akhaten.

Publisher DC Thomson said it had been swamped with requests for the 32-year-old 32-page special after it was used by the Doctor to hide behind while he spied on Clara's parents-to-be.

In addition, the cover of the new issue - published today - shows Beano character Dennis The Menace catapulting a Dalek over a fence as his canine sidekick Gnasher exclaims "Gnexterminate!" Meanwhile, a caricature of Matt Smith as the Doctor views the mischief from the masthead.

Editor-in-chief Mike Stirling said:
Everyone at The Beano was delighted to see one of our summer specials appear on Doctor Who.

We're big fans of the show, and so are our readers, who haven't stopped talking about it. We decided to travel back in time and get a copy of the 1981 summer special, which we've reprinted inside the latest issue, in time for the last episode of the season.

We're all really excited about this issue and thrilled that Doctor Who is one of our fans. We hope Matt Smith and the whole Doctor Who team love this issue. We're giving every child the opportunity to travel back in time - just like the Doctor.




FILTER: - UK - Comics - Miscellaneous

Campaign To Save Studios RenewedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Campaigners are renewing their efforts to save film studios that have close links to Doctor Who.

Bray Studios, near Maidenhead in Berkshire, are probably most famous for the Hammer horror films that were made there, including some starring Peter Cushing, but they have also hosted TV work as well as band rehearsals.

Doctor Who used the facilities for six stories between 1972 and 1979 - namely, Frontier In Space, The Invisible Enemy, Underworld, The Invasion of Time, The Power of Kroll, and City of Death - and the studios were also used by Gerry Anderson for his shows.

The now-dilapidated site, owned by showbusiness agent Neville Hendricks, is set to be turned into seven executive homes but the Save Bray Studios campaign, headed by Robert Simpson, aims to halt the bulldozers in their tracks.

Mr Simpson told Doctor Who News:
Over the years the studios have been home to hundreds of films, television productions, including model work for Doctor Who, and music. They are now set for demolition and conversion into housing following a successful planning application, but the campaign is looking into halting this and exploring any options that would allow them to continue functioning as studios.

Director Terry Gilliam and Rocky Horror's Richard O'Brien have now lent their support publicly, and other big names are in the wings.
An online petition has been launched, which can be signed here.




FILTER: - UK - Miscellaneous