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

Official BBC Online Shop Launches in Australia and New ZealandBookmark and Share

Friday, 5 September 2014 - Reported by Marcus
BBC Worldwide have today launched an official online shop in Australia and New Zealand.

Available are a range of over 2,000 clothing, homeware, merchandise, toys and DVD products from a host of popular BBC brands including Doctor Who, Sherlock, Top Gear, BBC Earth and CBeebies, are now available to purchase, including:
  • Doctor Who DVD’s, clothing, homeware, toys and gadgets, from Sonic Screwdrivers and Vortex Manipulators to TARDIS iPhone 5 covers and Cyberman mugs
  • The latest Top Gear DVD’s, books, clothing, and gift products, including all things ‘Stig’
  • Sherlock products previously unavailable in Australia and New Zealand, including ‘Highly Functioning Sociopath’ mugs and t-shirts
New and exclusive products will continue to be added to the site as soon as they become available. Other features of the site include free delivery on orders over $100, recommendations based on browsing and the opportunity to sign up for alerts on the latest products and offers.

The launch follows on from the success of the dedicated Doctor Who e-commerce shop in Australia last year, which marked the 50th anniversary of the show.Doctor Who and Sherlock fans in Sydney can also currently purchase a range of products at the Doctor Who pop-up shop, Shop 9.28A World Square Shopping Centre, 644 George St.

Elie Mansour, Head of Consumer Products, BBC Worldwide ANZ said
As a company we are looking to get ever closer to our consumers, and this site provides us with an advanced platform to take our content and products directly to them. The BBC and its brands are hugely popular across Australia and New Zealand, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer fans with the convenience of a dedicated online shop.
The shop can be found at bbcshop.com.au




FILTER: - Australia - Doctor Who - Merchandise - New Zealand

New Zealand airdate announcedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) (Credit: Ray Burmiston, BBC/BBC Worldwide 2014)PRIME in New Zealand have announced that they will be broadcasting the new series of Doctor Who starring Peter Capaldi from Sunday 31st August, at 7:30pm.


In recent years regular series episodes have aired in the country two Thursdays after broadcast in the United Kingdom, so the new timeslot marks a shorter interval to wait for viewers. However, for those able to get tickets, the series premiere Deep Breath can be seen a week ahead in cinemas - some presentations within a few hours of UK transmission.

(with thanks to Aman Jamwal, Nathan Hall)




FILTER: - Broadcasting - New Zealand - Series 8/34

Symphonic Spectacular Returns to AustralasiaBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 6 August 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Symphonic SpectacularBBC Worldwide has announced that the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular will return to Australia and New Zealand early next year.

The show toured the region earlier this year, earning rave reviews and performing to sell out houses. The show will feature a cast of over 145 musicians, actors and singers and will be presented by the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. It includes Daleks, Cybermen and a host of other Doctor Who monsters.

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular is a musical celebration of the iconic TV series which last year celebrated its 50th anniversary. The concert includes special edited sequences of Peter Capaldi’s debut as the Twelfth Doctor, as well as fan favorites from recent series and classic nostalgic footage. Composer, Murray Gold’s music, will be performed by Australia’s finest musicians and singers including Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Sydney’s The Metropolitan Orchestra.

Four venues are listed for the 2015 itinerary.
  • Sat 24 January 2015 - Adelaide Entertainment Centre
  • Sat 31 January 2015 - Perth Arena
  • Sat 7 February 2015 - Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney
  • Sat 14 February 2015 - Auckland Vector Arena

Tickets for the performances go on sale to the general public from 18th August

A UK version of the tour was announced last month and takes place next May.




FILTER: - Australia - Music - New Zealand

Deep Breath in New Zealand cinemasBookmark and Share

Sunday, 3 August 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Fans in New Zealand will get the chance to watch the new series premiere Deep Breath only a few hours after its broadcast in the United Kingdom as some cinemas will present the episode on Sunday 24th August at 10:00am - taking into account time zone differences between the two countries, New Zealand cinema-goers might well be the first to see the debut of the new Doctor outside of Europe!

Hoyts Cinemas will present the same premiere package as with other countries outside of the UK (i.e. the 'prequel' and behind-the-scenes footage but no Q&A), showing at various times during the course of the Sunday; for example Te Awa (Hamilton) has showings at 10:00am, 4:10pm and 6:30pm, whilst Sylvia Park (Auckland) has showings at 10:00am, 4:30pm and 6:40pm; others such have Northlands only has one showing at 2:00pm - see the cinema website for overall availability.

Following the unprecedented success of the 50th anniversary special in cinemas around the globe, BBC Worldwide is delighted to announce a unique big-screen opportunity for the special feature-length first episode of series 8 launching Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor.

Set in Victorian London, episode 1 reunites the newly regenerated Doctor and returning companion, Clara, with series regulars and fan favourites, Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax. The episode will be approximately 80’ in duration and has been specially created to celebrate the launch of series 8, which represents another a key milestone for the Doctor Who brand: the first full length episode with Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. In addition to the main feature, which like the 50th anniversary episode will also be available on TV, cinemas will be offered 15 minutes of exclusive content; 5 minutes of specially scripted content to play before the feature and 10 minutes of behind the scenes post the main feature.

Episode 1 provides the ideal jumping on point for new audiences and an exciting moment in Doctor Who’s history for dedicated fans.

There will be 15 minutes of content exclusive to cinemas this will include:
1 x 5 min scripted drama written by Steven Moffat
1 x 10 min behind the scenes of the series

Update: Event Cinemas will also be showing the episode at various times during the day and following week in local theatres - see their website for times and booking.


Broadcaster PRIME have yet to confirm a transmission date and time for the episode, though if scheduled in a similar fashion to the four debuts of the last couple of series Doctor Who would likely be at 8:30pm on a Thursday evening, starting on the 28th August or 4th September.





FILTER: - Cinema - New Zealand - Premiere Events - Series 8/34

Doctor Who Comics DayBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 8 July 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Titan Comics' Doctor Who series for the 11th DoctorTitan Comics' Doctor Who series for the 10th DoctorTitan Comics have declared 26th July as Doctor Who Comics Day, to celebrate the release of the new range of comics based on the adventures of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor.

July 23 sees the release of the new ongoing series, which Titan hope to make the biggest Doctor Who comics launch in recent times. To celebrate the company is inviting Doctor Who fans and comic readers to join in with the celebrations.

Doctor Who Comics Day will give fans the chance to celebrate everything Doctor Who with signings, events, special variant covers and promotions in stores and at shows in the U.S.A, Canada, U.K. Australia and New Zealand.

Full details will be released next week.

You can follow Titan Comics on Twitter at @ComicsTitan.




FILTER: - Canada - USA - Comics - UK - New Zealand - Australia

Subscriptions open for new Doctor Who ComicsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 13 April 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Print subscriptions are now open for the two new Doctor Who comic series Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor and Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor, which will be published on July 23, 2014.

Please note that although these titles are available in print and digital in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, due to rights issues, only digital copies will be available in the UK and Eire.

The Tenth Doctor comic series: Early Bird Offer!
  • US Residents: Get 15 issues for $53.99 – saving 10% off the cover price. Plus receive a FREE Tenth Doctor Titan figure!
  • Canadian Residents: Get 15 issues for $63.99 – saving 10% off the cover price.
  • New Zealand and Australia Residents: Get 15 issues for $153.99 – saving 10% off the cover price (includes $100 shipping and handling fee!).

The Eleventh Doctor comic series: Early Bird Offer!
  • US Residents: Get 15 issues for $53.99 – saving 10% off the cover price. Plus receive a FREE Eleventh Doctor Titan figure!
  • Canadian Residents: Get 15 issues for $63.99 – saving 10% off the cover price.
  • New Zealand and Australia Residents: Get 15 issues for $153.99 – saving 10% off the cover price (includes $100 shipping and handling fee!).





FILTER: - Doctor Who - Canada - USA - Comics - New Zealand - Australia

Free exhibition to open in Wellington as Symphonic Spectacular arrives in New ZeBookmark and Share

Monday, 17 February 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
A free Doctor Who exhibition is to open in Wellington this week as New Zealand prepares to welcome the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular.

The Spectacular, hosted by Peter Davison, will see the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform music from the series during three shows at the TSB Bank Arena in Wellington over Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd February, with a big screen showing clips from the series while monsters roam the aisles and stage.

And to complement the musical event, an exhibition will be held at Capital E Central in the city. Opening on Friday, Doctor Who: Celebrating 50 Years of Adventures in Space and Time will have a display of original and replica props from the show's history, including the Fourth Doctor's scarf, the First Doctor's cane and a TARDIS. Visitors will also be able to go face to face with a Dalek and knit a section of an extra-long Fourth Doctor-esque scarf that will be created by fans throughout the duration of the display, which is staying in Wellington until Saturday 12th April.

The exhibition is a joint presentation by the New Zealand Festival and BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand, and Capital E director Stuart Grant said:
It's a real honour to host this fantastic exhibition in our new home. We're delighted to partner with our friends at NZ Festival and BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand in celebration of this amazing show's history and, of course, its exciting future.
Following performances in Melbourne and Brisbane in January and February - as well as in Sydney in 2012 - it is the first time the Symphonic Spectacular has been staged in New Zealand, and Helen Pendlebury, the head of live entertainment at BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand, said:
The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular has been wowing audiences in Australia. We are delighted to bring this fantastic show to New Zealand as well as give Kiwi Doctor Who fans the chance to see part of the TV series' history in this fascinating exhibition.
A video promoting the Symphonic Spectacular is available to view:





FILTER: - Music - Special Events - Exhibitions - New Zealand

New Zealand Dalek Coin ReleasedBookmark and Share

Sunday, 9 February 2014 - Reported by Marcus
The New Zealand mint has released a new coin featuring a Dalek, the first in a five coin series featuring classic Doctor Who Monsters.

The Doctor Who Monsters series is a limited mintage of 5000 coins only per release, and is crafted from ½ Ounce of fine silver (0.999). Each coin is sold with an individual presentation case, along with an individually numbered certificate of authenticity. Like recent New Zealand releases, the coins will be issued under the licensing authority of Niue.

The coin, with a face value of $1, depicts a relief engraved Dalek, set against a colour background. This is surrounded by a finely engraved border design. The obverse features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The remaining coins will be issued over the course of the next four months and will feature the Weeping Angels, the Cybermen, the Silurians and the Sontarans.

Customers who purchase from the New Zealand Mint website will recieve low certificate numbers in the series, numbers 50-999. In addition, everyone who purchases the Dalek coin will have the opportunity to receive identically numbered certificates for each further release in the series.




FILTER: - Merchandise - New Zealand

The Best of the Doctor: R4 DVD detailsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 2 January 2014 - Reported by Connor Johnston
The Best Of The Doctor Specials DVD (R4 Cover)BBC Worldwide has announced Doctor Who: The Best of The Doctor is to get a 3 Disc Region 4 Release Date Early January. The DVD consists of all the BBC America Documentaries "The Best of ...." and according to some sources will also include an episode to accompany each documentary, though this has not been confirmed. The specials in the series, and are expected to be included on the set, are:
Each of the Specials duration time is around 45 minutes. The official details are below:
Discover whole new worlds behind three of your favourite Doctors: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith.

Immerse yourself in a total celebration of all that is Doctor Who! These unique documentaries explore Doctor Who through the ideas and moments that make the series such an unforgettable experience. Be awed by the artistry and imagination of the series' most iconic monsters, take an in-depth look at the Time Lord's trusty companions Amy, Rory and River Song, gather a new perspective on the perplexing and confounding paradoxes of time travel; and venture beyond the known universe for extra surprises, facts and theories that could fill the TARDIS.

A must-have for every fan, this collection will expand your knowledge and increase your appreciation for the universe of Doctor Who.
The DVD can be pre-orded online from JB-HI-FI




FILTER: - Merchandise - BBC America - Blu-ray/DVD - New Zealand - Australia

The Time of the Doctor: press reaction (international)Bookmark and Share

Friday, 27 December 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Here are a selection of excerpts from reviews published by the international press as The Time of The Doctor made its way around the world yesterday.

The most powerful moments in The Time Of The Doctor didn't involve a stand-off against intergalactic bullies and mad despots - they involved the Doctor reflecting on his time, and slowly giving in to the ravages of age. In this vein, Smith managed to wring genuine emotion out of his final on-screen appearance, but also nailed the quieter moments: the shutdown of a disembodied cyber-head is also the loss of a trusted friend.

(It) is a celebration of the recent past, and a dedication to the Eleventh Doctor, and his time in the Tardis. Time marches on for everybody, even Doctor Who, and everything eventually ends. While there is comfort in the fact that the story goes on, the Eleventh Doctor's time is over. It might have been silly sometimes, and the time-travel shenanigans often got overly complicated, but it was another fine chapter in the lives and times of Doctor Who. The next one is about to begin, but there is plenty of fun and emotion in the Eleventh's chapter that is worth celebrating.

Robert Smith, New Zealand Herald
I shed a tear in the knowledge that possibly the best Doctor the show has seen in its half century is no more. Smith had the ability to persuade his audience that he was, indeed, a millennium old man in a very young man's body. Well, on Boxing Day night on Prime, he discarded that body like a favourite suit too worn and raggedy to patch anymore. RIP 11. We are already missing you.

Smith is at his glorious best in this special, with plenty of reminders of why he might just be the best Doctor yet. Scrub that, he is the best yet and I'm going to miss his portrayal terribly.
Chris Gardner, Stuff
The episode is ripe with writer/producer Steven Moffat's leitmotifs: messages sent across space and time, gatherings of The Doctor's rivals, small towns and sheriff badges. And some of the show's classic tropes: broken technology, the TARDIS telephone and lots of lovely one-liners. The risk, of course, is that the episode is so laden with in-universe references and nods to past episodes, moments, characters and aliens than it becomes almost impossible to navigate for someone without even a cursory knowledge of Doctor Who lore.

This is a pensive finish, but not gut-wrenching in the way that Davies wrote previous Doctor David Tennant's farewell. This is gentler, with only a cameo from his beloved Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) who says goodbye to her "raggedy man". Even Smith's lovely scene with old-school Fourth Doctor Tim Baker in the anniversary special was richer, and more touching. (And tearful, for Baker-era fans anyway.)

But salvation comes in the form of a gift, once promised (but never delivered) by the Time Lords to The Master in the 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors: a new life cycle of twelve regenerations. Which means that Peter Capaldi's Doctor becomes not the Twelfth Doctor, as previously thought, but the First Doctor, beginning a new chapter of life for the universe's most beloved Time Lord. And the comfortable assurance that his hope, his strength and, best of all, his eccentric madness, remains a light which will never be extinguished.
Michael Idato, Sydney Morning Herald
Even though the date of Smith's leaving and the identity of his successor, Peter Capaldi, had been known for some time, watching the episode knowing it was Smith's last kept at least one American viewer anxious and sad, with a finger on the pause button for when things got too heavy. Possibly there are still viewers, avid viewers even, who have never quite cottoned to him — Tennant continues to cast a long shadow — but I have loved his work. Elegant and heartfelt, authoritative and playful, swashbuckling and intimate, alien and familiar, Smith's acting has accommodated and, as it were, humanized every oddball, paradoxical, high-concept, low-humor passage Moffat has thrown at him.
Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times
It was always going to be so when facing the long-standing question of regeneration limits. Precedent for more regenerations being granted had been established before, and Steven Moffat led just about enough crumbs to the key moment to deal with the issue, without dwelling too much on it. Job done, whether you like the way it was done or not.

The Time Of The Doctor, then, brought the curtain down on what has to be classed as a successful 50th anniversary year for Doctor Who, that's had its bumps, but also given us some absolute treats. The Time Of The Doctor in itself is unlikely to go down as one of the Who highlights of 2013 in truth. We quite enjoyed it, but it still felt a bit underwhelming. Still, Smith's performance as the Doctor is undoubtedly one of the year's highlights, and it's very clear that the show is going to miss him a lot. What's also clear is that there are further exciting times ahead.
Simon Brew, Den of Geek

Other reviews/comment: Orlando Sentinel, News.com.au, CNN, Hypable, HollywoodLife, The Mary Sue, Examiner, RTT News, The Epoch Times, EntertainmentWise, Twitch, Cinelinx, UInterview, Nerd Reactor, MStarz

Additional UK reviews: SFX, Digital Spy, Metro, International Business Times, MSN, Nottingham Post, Cherwell, Crave





FILTER: - USA - Time and the Doctor - Press - New Zealand - Australia