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

Radio Times CoverBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 November 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Radio Times (5-11 Dec 2015) (Credit: Radio Times)As mentioned earlier this week, the latest edition of the Radio Times to be published, 5-11 Dec 2015, features a festive Doctor Who front cover, an annual tradition from since the series returned in 2005!

This edition covers both the finale of the current series, Hell Bent, and looks forward to the
forthcoming Christmas Special, featuring a three page interview with Steven Moffat, during which he discusses his shyness, how to replace Jenna Coleman and also on taking inspiration from other writers:
Some things you see on TV are so bad, you think you shouldn’t write for a week in case you’re contaminated. In case it’s got into your head. The sheer rubbishness of the dialogue and story construction. You have to detox. But you read a script by Russell [T Davies] and suddenly everything makes sense in an immaculate, clean way.

Talking about his own eventual departure and on finding on a worthy succesor to run the show, Moffat said:
That's an issue I'm actively engaged in. Everything is difficult in Doctor Who, including leaving. I'd never leave it in the lurch because it means too much to me. Let's not pretend it's not a big problem. But there will be a solution.

The 'legendary' Christmas double edition of the Radio Times (19th Dec - 1 Jan), featuring the 'legendary' Doctor Who Christmas Special, is due to be published in London/Midlands on 5th December, and on general sale from 9th December.

FILTER: - Radio Times - Steven Moffat

Russell T Davies defends the BBCBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 September 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Russell T Davis with Alison Graham at the Radio Times Festival (Credit: Maggie Gibbons) Russell T Davies has made a strong defence of the BBC and the licence fee and the values it stands for, but warned the battle may already be lost.

Speaking at the Radio Times Festival, he urged people to consider the alternatives to the compulsory licence fee, such as a subscription model and to look at the schedules of current subscriber services such as the American premium cable network HBO and see what subscribers get for their money. He said: "couple of high class dramas. No news. No weather, no radio stations. Google their schedules and see if that is what you want?"

Davies was being interviewed by Alison Graham for the first ever Radio Times Festival, which is being held at Hampton Court in West London. He said his favourite memory of working on Doctor Who was the laughter he had. "It was hard work but we did have fun". He revealed he most enjoyed writing dialogue for Daleks. "They are so clever. I love them".

He also spoke of how proud he was of Doctor Who. "It's indestructible. Imagine if they tried to cancel it now. There would be riots in the streets".

Speaking on writing for the Doctor: "you get the secret of writing for the Doctor when you realise he is much cleverer than you are. Then it falls into place".

He talked about how he started in the industry and advised aspiring writers to just write. "get all the experience you can, not necessarily on your pet project but say for your local youth theatre".

He talked about his current project, a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for the BBC. "It's something I've always wanted to do, he told the audience. It has a fantastic cast, and the whole play finishes with a joyous dance choreographed by Arlene Phillips. It's going to be on Saturday night in prime time. Only the BBC would do that".

Davies finished the session by talking to fans and signing autographs.

(Maggie Gibbons for the photo)

FILTER: - BBC - Radio Times - Russell T Davies - Special Events

Radio Times looks forward to Series NineBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
Radio Times: 19-25 September 2015 (Credit: Radio Times)Doctor Who once more features on the cover of this week's Radio Times, which is out in shops today.

The issue looks forward to the news series and talks to stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, who discuss their on-screen relationship, the challenges of working on the series and the success of the show.

Jenna Coleman on the announcement of Peter Capaldi:
I’d no idea who would take over from Matt Smith, and when I was told it was Peter, it was one of those ‘aha, that makes sense – genius’ kind of moments. But the first thing he said to me was, ‘There will be no romance in the Tardis.’

Peter Capaldi on the challenges of working on Doctor Who:
It’s a difficult show to act. It goes from B-movie sci-fi to Freudian drama and tragedy. There’s romance, pantomime, humour and sadness, so you’re kept on your toes. I try not to be too romantic or sentimental. Sometimes Jenna will run down a corridor shouting, ‘Doctor, there’s a monster,’ and stuff. Part of the tradition is that sets wobble and you have to fight a giant spider made of rubber. I enjoy that. It’s not so well budgeted as viewers might think but it looks great because of the talent of the people working on it. 

Also in the new issue, Steven Moffat’s series 9 episode guide teases each of the twelve episodes in the new series.

NB: Later this month Frank Skinner will hosting a Doctor Who session at the Radio Times Festival at 7pm on Friday 25th September.

(with thanks to Radio Times)

FILTER: - Doctor Who - Publicity - Radio Times - Series 9/35

Radio Times FestivalBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 9 June 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Late September will see Hampton Court Palace host the first Radio Times Festival, celebrating some of the biggest shows on television and radio.

The four-day event takes place between the 24th and 27th September, and features a number of talks and presentations including, of course, Doctor Who, represented on the Friday afternoon by Peter Capaldi, Steven Moffat, Brian Minchin, and also Russell T Davies:

Radio Times Festival (24-27 September 2015) (Credit: Radio Times)
  • DOCTOR WHO - Friday 25th September, 2:30-3:30pm
    Doctor Who holds a unique place in British popular culture. Here, the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi, is joined by creative chief Steven Moffat and executive producer Brain Minchin to talk Time Lords, Daleks and Cybermen. Together, they will reveal the inner workings of the Whoniverse.

  • RUSSELL T DAVIES - Friday 25th September, 4:00-5:00pm
    From busting social taboos with dramas such as Queer as Folk to inspiring the reboot of Doctor Who, Russell T Davies is one of Britain's most innovative screenwriters. Here he explains how he made the journey from Swansea schoolboy to one of the leading creative voices in television.

Details for these any of the other sessions will be available via the Festival website, with ticket sales commencing from noon today for Radio Times subscribers via phone or the website; general booking starts from 23rd June.

FILTER: - Radio Times - Special Events

Radio Times Nominated for Cover of the YearBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Radio Times (23-29 Aug 2014) (Credit: Radio Times)
The Radio Times cover, from the issue which announced the arrival of Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, has been nominated as the Cover of the Year by the PPA.

The Professional Publishers Association have listed the cover as one of ten nominated for the award. Radio Times was nominated last year for the cover celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, but lost out to Metal Hammer when the results were announced.

This year Radio Times faces competition from The Big Issue, Crumbs, GQ, ShortList, Country Life, Elle, n, Red and Time Out.

Voting can be done via the PPA website.

The winner will be announced at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London's Mayfair on the evening of Thursday, July 9.

FILTER: - Awards/Nominations - Radio Times

Radio Times: Top Ten Episodes in Ten YearsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 17 March 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The new edition of the Radio Times is out today, and features a Top 10 of episodes over the last 10 years, as voted by website readers.

Radio Times (21-27 March 2015) (Credit: Radio Times)Radiotimes.COM readers vote blink the best episode of THE MODERN DOCTOR WHO ERA
Top 10 revealed to mark 10th anniversary of the iconic show’s relaunch

Radio Times readers have voted Blink as the best episode of Doctor Who in the modern era, in a poll conducted by to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the relaunch of Doctor Who.

The poll by, which received 280,859 votes, asked fans for their favourite episode of Doctor Who since it was relaunched by Russell T Davies on 26 March 2005, 16 years since the last full series. Blink topped the poll beating 2010’s Vincent and The Doctor to second place and The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End (2008) in third position.

Blink was first shown in June 2007 and was the tenth episode of the third series of the relaunched show. Starring David Tennant as the Doctor, alongside Freema Agyeman, as his companion Martha Jones, the episode also featured Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow, who thwarted the Weeping Angels in their terrifying, Bafta-winning debut. The episode was written by the current series showrunner Steven Moffat, directed by Hettie MacDonald, with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner exec producers.

Speaking in the new issue of Radio Times, Steven Moffat says:
You know, when I wrote it, I thought Blink was a perfectly serviceable script. Nothing special, did the job – which, back then, was to have a Doctor Who story needing only two days’ shooting from David Tennant. I haven’t read the script in a long time, but I’m pretty sure I’d think the same now. What made it a little bit magical was, of course, the work of others…Some days everything just works. Sometimes you just stand in the right spot, all the windows align and the sunshine reaches you. I don’t think I can take a lot of the credit, but I’m very glad I was there when it happened.

Over the next ten days will be marking the 10th anniversary of the modern Doctor Who with a special mini-site celebrating the Doctors and companions from the last ten years, starting with the 9th Doctor Christopher Eccleston and his companion Billie Piper. There will also be rarely seen Doctor Who content from the Radio Times archive, quizzes and a very special surprise for Doctor Who fans on the actual anniversary, Thursday 26 March.

Tim Glanfield, Editor & Digital Products, says:
Doctor Who is unique in the world of television in its ability to regenerate and continually produce fresh and exciting adventures in space and time that appeal to old and young alike. But no such regeneration was as significant as the 2005 revival which has seen the show under the stewardship of first Russell T Davies and now Steven Moffat grow into a world beating powerhouse of quality British drama with an army of fans who will surely be celebrating many significant birthdays with the Doctor for (re)generations to come.

Top 10 Doctor Who Reboot episodes (2005-2015) as voted by readers of Radio
  1. BLINK (2007)
    DOCTOR: David Tennant / WRITER: Steven Moffat
  2. VINCENT & THE DOCTOR (2010)
    DOCTOR: Matt Smith / WRITER: Richard Curtis
    DOCTOR: David Tennant / WRITER: Russell T Davies
    DOCTORS: Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt / WRITER: Steven Moffat
    DOCTOR: Christopher Eccleston / WRITER: Steven Moffat
    DOCTOR: David Tennant / WRITER: Russell T Davies
    DOCTOR: David Tennant / WRITER: Steven Moffat
    DOCTOR: Christopher Eccleston / WRITER: Russell T Davies
    DOCTOR: David Tennant / WRITER: Steven Moffat
  10. THE END OF TIME (2009/10)
    DOCTOR: David Tennant WRITER: Russell T Davies

Read Steven Moffat’s full comments on Blink in the latest issue of Radio Times, on sale now.

FILTER: - Polls - Radio Times

Last Christmas - PreviewBookmark and Share

Thursday, 25 December 2014 - Reported by Harry Ward
The BBC have released preview clips from Last Christmas and the accompanying Doctor Who Extra.

Last Christmas: Preview - Santa arrives!:

Doctor Who Extra: Preview Clip 1:

Last Christmas: Preview - Clip 2:

Meanwhile the latest Radio Times free downloadable retro poster, created by designer Stuart Manning is now available.

Manning told Radio Times:
The title for this episode provided an idea almost immediately. The Tardis trapped in the hourglass is a little nod to the Radio Times Doctor Who Christmas cover from 2005. The typography owes a debt to 1960s cocktail-era design, drawing on Christmas cards from the time. I wanted it to look a bit like an old Christmas card – pleasant at first glance, but more sinister when you look more closely...

Last Christmas - Radio Times Poster  (Credit: Radio Times/Stuart Manning)

FILTER: - Radio Times - Series Specials

Radio Times at ChristmasBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 9 December 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Radio Times (13-19 Dec 2014) (Credit: Radio Times)Doctor Who on Christmas Day is now a firm tradition on British television, and the Radio Times has been there each year to celebrate with the Doctor; 2014 will be no exception as the 13th-19th December issue's front cover features the tenth festive adventure for the Doctor, Last Christmas.

This issue features an interview with guest star Nick Frost, during which he discusses the iconic character he brings to life in the episode:
My Santa is cross, mean and curt as well as cheery and funny. He's got a little bit of Robert De Niro in Mean Streets. And he has history with the Doctor: it's not talked about explicitly but they have a beef with each other from way back.
He also is very supportive of the show's writer:
Steven Moffat is a very clever man - taking Doctor Who somewhere completely different isn't easy. And he was happy to allow me to improvise on set and push things out a bit.
Moffat himself comments on the Doctor's latest encounter and his performer:
It does look like the most insane moment when Santa turns up, but we haven't gone off our rockers. No, Santa is written in properly, in a science-fiction way, into Doctor Who. I've always had a very clear impression of Santa, but when we got Nick Frost, well, first of all how perfect is his name! Nicholas Frost. It's the nom de plume that Santa Claus would use, isn't it? Nick is ideal. He's what Santa should be in Doctor Who land.

Radio Times (20 Dec 2014 - 2 Jan 2015) (Credit: Radio Times/Judith Kerr)Meanwhile, the magazines 'legendary' double issue features an interview with the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi, who reflects on his first series and the attention it has brought:
What’s now shocking is I can’t say anything publicly without it having a life. Not because I have extraordinary views but because people are keen on conflict, so they’ll make that the story. They love to make out that Steven Moffat and I have disagreements. But that’s business as usual. It made me realise how awful it must be to be a politician. I’m a lot more sympathetic to Malcolm Tucker’s views now.
He also comments on the whirlwind World Tour that preceeded the series' broadcast:
That was extraordinary. People tell you the show’s successful abroad but until you actually see it, you don’t realise. You’re effectively joining a boy band or the Beatles. You arrive at the airport and there are packs of people screaming and holding up pictures of you. We’d do press events all day and then in the evening a public screening and Q&A, and people went bananas. In South Korea the venue seated 1,500 people, and 50,000 people applied for tickets. I was benefitting from Chris Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith making the show so beloved – I swept in on their coat-tails and got all the adoration and BA first-class treatment.

The full interviews can be found in their respective editions of the Radio Times, with the 13th-19th December issue in the shops now and the double issue covering 20th December - 2nd January due out tomorrow.

Christmas Covers in Previous Years

2005 (The Christmas Invasion)2006 (The Runaway Bride)2007 (Voyage of the Damned)2008 (The Next Doctor)2009 (The End of Time)2009 (Christmas Issue)2010 (A Christmas Carol)2011 (The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe)2012 (The Snowmen)2013 (Time of the Doctor)

FILTER: - Peter Capaldi - Radio Times - Series Specials - Steven Moffat

Timeless art fit for a TimelordBookmark and Share

Monday, 1 December 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Big Chief Studios have announced that they will be releasing copies of the Stuart Manning designed posters, celebrating Series 8 of Doctor Who, as a collection of high-quality prints.

The set of posters were commissioned especially for publication in the Radio Times, released weekly in time for each episode. The posters were all individually designed in a retro style with particular attention paid to create striking imagery combined with period typography.

This art will be available to order very soon and will be sold separately as Limited Edition Art Prints, as well as a portfolio collection.

Ordering will be via the Big Chief Website.

FILTER: - Merchandise - Radio Times

Death in Heaven - PreviewBookmark and Share

Friday, 7 November 2014 - Reported by Harry Ward
The BBC have released a preview clip of the second part the Series 8 finale, Death in Heaven, which premieres tomorrow night at 8:00pm on BBC One. Full global broadcast details here. They have also released a behind the scenes clip from the Doctor Who Extra episode which accompanies Death in Heaven.

Meanwhile the latest Radio Times free downloadable retro poster, created by designer Stuart Manning is now available.

Manning told Radio Times:
It's the finale! I wanted to do something really simple and stark for this, which was absolutely in no way dictated by stringent embargoes and a lack of advance plot info.

I love Rorschach-style inkblots, not least because they look like 1960s Doctor Who title sequences, and they dovetail nicely with the symmetrical shapes of the Cybermen.

It only occurred to me afterwards that the whole image is loosely influenced by Daniel Kleinman's amazing title sequence for Skyfall – if you're going to steal, steal from the best. I expect it's how the opening titles to the new exciting spin-off series Missy Master will look…

Death in Heaven - Radio Times Poster  (Credit: Radio Times/Stuart Manning)

FILTER: - Radio Times - Series 8/34