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

Daemos RisingBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Release of Daemos Rising, the sequel film to the DW story "The Daemons" from Reeltime Pictures, has been delayed to February 2004.

FILTER: - Blu-ray/DVD

Telos 2004Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Telos Publishing has announced some of its 2004 offerings. The final two books in their Doctor Who novellas range, already previously announced, include Blood and Hope by Iain McLaughlin (February) and The Dalek Factor by Simon Clark (March). Also in release will be two books in their "Time Hunter" series, spun-off from the Doctor Who novella "Cabinet of Light": The Tunnel at the End of the Light by Stefan Petrucha (March) and The Clockwork Womanby Claire Bott (June). Meanwhile, their latest Doctor Who novella, Companion Piece by Mike Tucker, as well as the paperback versions of their books Ghost Ship by Keith Topping and Foreign Devils by Andrew Cartmel, are now in release. More details can be found on Telos' website. (Thanks to Telos Publishing)

FILTER: - Books

RevolverBookmark and Share

Sunday, 14 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The Daleks will feature in a BBC comedy series called Revolver in January, a show that features actors in surreal situations. Actors taking part include Rodney Bewes ("Resurrection of the Daleks"), Honor Blackman ("Terror of the Vervoids") and actress Julie Goodyear, who plays a nosey neighbour who watches over the garden fence as Daleks attack the children next door. You can read more about it at an article today on BBC News by clicking here. (Thanks to Mark Murphy, Mark Oliver)

FILTER: - Special Events

Head on WhoBookmark and Share

Sunday, 14 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Friday's Daily Express (UK) features an interview with Anthony Stewart Head, who makes note of the recent attention pegging him as a possible new Doctor. "I suppose I might be consider because of my sci-fi status," Head says. "If I did get the part I'd like to take him back to the kind of character that was played by Patrick Troughton. He was the best. He had whimsy but he had a dark side, too, and I think that the subsequent Dr Who's, there was too much emphasis on whimsy." The article makes note that he was picked the favorite successor by Radio Times. (Thanks to Mike Pitt)

FILTER: - Press - Radio Times

Big Finish UpdateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 14 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has released the cover illustration and details for January's The Creed of the Kromon, the second in the new "season" of Paul McGann Eighth Doctor adventures; the blurb is below (click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover). Meanwhile, Big Finish revealed to DWM that its third series of Dalek Empire audios, six parts in total, will debut in May; also debuting at the same time will be a large-format script book for all eight plays of the first two seasons. "As well as the scripts themselves, there will be lots of extra bits and bobs, including cut scenes and alternative storylines," says writer Nicholas Briggs. 'I'm also going to do an ongoing commentary for each episode, although it'll be done in a Q&A interview format. Hopefully that'll get to the nub of what people actually want to know, and cut down on the waffle!" Concerning the stories themselves: "I've had the basic storyline mapped out for a while now, but in writing it I found it's taken on a life of its own. Some of the old characters will be returning, but there'll also be plenty of new ones. ... [The Daleks] are even nastier. They've become even more desperate - and even more cunning..." Finally, a newtrailer has been issued for the February audio release, The Natural History of Fear.

In another development, Big Finish's Bernice Summerfield series (featuring the further adventures of the former Doctor Who book companion) continues in both books and audios throughout 2004 and 2005, with four CDs and four hardback books due in 2004: April sees the release of a novel, followed in July by a collection of three novellas in one volume; another anthology edited by Paul Cornell follows in September, and a book similar in format to Big Finish's recent "Inside Story" written by Ian Farrington due in November, which will begin with Benny's first appearance in Love and War, and cover all her other appearances in books and audios. Meanwhile, Gary Russell told Outpost Gallifrey that the appearance of two new items on Amazon is incorrect: "I have emailed Amazon to point out that no such titles exist and have asked them to remove them . I'm not sure what would happen if you tried ordering them from Amazon. Who knows what one might get!! No one at Big Finish has supplied Amazon with these titles and whilst it's always nice to see our stuff offered by Amazon, in this case, I'm afraid neither The Swan Princess nor The Giant Robots are actually Big Finish/Bernice Summerfield titles." Finally, Big Finish posted the cover and blurb for The Axis of Evil, the latest CD offering, due out in January. (Thanks to Simon Catlow, Gary Russell, Big Finish)

The Creed of the Kromon, by Philip Martin

The Interzone is a fearsome nether-world protecting a zone ruled by the Kromon. Theirs is an arid land of dust and dying trees. Across the landscape are spheres that look like giant anthills. The Doctor believes that within one of these structures lie the clues that will lead him to his lost TARDIS.

The spheres are ruled by the insect-like Kromon who covet the TARDIS. When Charley is captured she is forced to metamorphosise into a hybrid-insect Queen and so to save her, the Doctor must barter his knowledge of space-travel technology, all the while knowing that he risks opening up all the realms of space to a rapacious race whose creed is not to create, only to plunder.

Starring Paul McGann (the Doctor), India Fisher (Charley) and introducing Conrad Westmaas (C'rizz), with Brian Cobby (the Oroog), Stephen Perring (the Kro'ka / Kromon voices), Jane Hills (L'da), Daniel Hogarth (Kromon voices). Directed by Gary Russell.

The Axis of Evil, by Paul Cornell

The Braxiatel Collection has been occupied by the Fifth Axis, led by a figure from Bernice's past.

As Bernice's friends rise up to end the occupation, Bernice embarks on a desperate rescue mission, to somewhere she last went long ago.

Braxiatel confronts his destiny, Jason risks all for his love, and lives are shattered and lost, as the battle of the Braxiatel Collection reaches its epic conclusion.

Our heroes will live free or die...

Starring Lisa Bowerman (Bernice Summerfield), other cast TBA. Directed by Gary Russell

FILTER: - Audio - DWM

Halflife BlurbBookmark and Share

Sunday, 14 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey has received the working cover blurb for the forthcoming April 2003 BBC Books novel Halflife by Mark Michalowski, as follows. Please note that this may change before it goes to print.

Halflife, by Mark Michalowski

æTo lose one set of memories may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two smacks of carelessness.Æ

The Terran colony world of Espero seems the unlikely source of a sophisticated distress call. And the Doctor, Fitz and Trix are not the only ones responding to it.

While Fitz consorts with royalty, the DoctorÆs on the run with a sixteen year old girl, and Trix meets a small boy with a dark secret.

In a race for the minds and souls of an entire planet, the Doctor and Trix are offered temptations that may change them forever.

And at least one of them will be unable to resist.

FILTER: - Books

Malcolm ClarkeBookmark and Share

Friday, 12 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Composer Malcolm Clarke passed away yesterday, December 11. Says Mark Ayres, himself a Doctor Who composer and current member of the Restoration Team: "Malcolm was undoubtedly one of the most colourful characters ever to work at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, joining in 1969. Fuelled by his keen interest in the visual arts, his music - always anarchic, never boring - holds a special place in my affections." Clarke composed the incidental music for seven Doctor Who stories, including the very haunting and memorable score for "The Sea Devils," the ghastly cybernetic tones of "Earthshock" and the high-seas-adventure movements of "Enlightenment," as well as "Resurrection of the Daleks," "The Twin Dilemma," "Attack of the Cybermen" and "Trial of a Time Lord: Terror of the Vervoids." "His work for ... 'The Sea Devils,'" says Ayres, "is a benchmark in 'doing it your own way and hang the consequences' and made a deep impression on at least one young would-be composer. His award-winning 'August 4th 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains' (1976) is a beat-perfect lesson in pure radio." Clarke was one of the last to leave the BBC Radiophonic Workshop when it was dismantled in the mid 1990's and had been studying for a PhD in music ("at last he would be qualified to do what he had spent his life successfully doing," Ayres joked). Selections from his work were made available on a variety of CDs from Silva Screen and the BBC Radio Collection. (Thanks to Mark Ayres)

FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Visitation Cover ControversyBookmark and Share

Thursday, 11 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Yesterday (see below) Outpost Gallifrey revealed the final cover design for The Visitation UK DVD release courtesy Tenth Planet... which, as was discussed on our forums, features a reverse image of Peter Davison (with a backwards question mark on his lapel!) We were then informed that the cover art being used by BBC Worldwide differed from the original submitted by artist Clayton Hickman, so we contacted Hickman for information. "The final version of The Visitation DVD cover has been significantly altered from the artwork I submitted," Hickman told Outpost Gallifrey. "This is completely within BBC Worldwide's rights, and once I submit a cover I have no further say over the way it's presented. Sometimes deadlines are such that there is no time to consult the original artist about changes, so the BBC's in-house team make those which are deemed necessary by the high-ups (or whoever decides these things). It's a shame in this case that there's an error on their revised version (Peter's back-to-front question mark collar), so I did just want to point out that it wasn't me who made it! I had no idea that the cover had been changed until I saw it on OG this morning. Ah well. That's the cut-and-thrust world of Doctor Who covers for you. You can make up your own minds which you prefer..." At right is the artwork the way it wasoriginally submitted; click it for a larger version. (Thanks to Clayton Hickman)

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

More Benny Books?Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 11 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
While Big Finish hasn't released any info about its plans for more Bernice Summerfield novels, two releases have suddenly materialized on the sales pages. The two books are identified as Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Swan Prince and Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Giant Robots, both due in 2004, with no authors identified. The series of novels, featuring the further adventures of the character originally created as a companion to the Seventh Doctor in the Virgin New Adventures novel series, was discontinued last year; Big Finish's audio series featuring the character is still in progress. (Thanks to John A.K. Gunther)

FILTER: - Books

BBC Books 2004 - updated!Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 11 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The newest issue of DWM features the complete 2004 schedule of releases from BBC Books, which includes the following releases. Details on several of the books ("Sometime Never," "Scream of the Shalka," "Empire of Death" and "Eleventh Tiger") have already been released, including blurbs and some covers; visit our release guide for those details. The new information on the books is as follows (with several updates to the original story noted in red):
  • Sometime Never by Justin Richards (January)
  • The Scream of the Shalka by Paul Cornell (February)
  • Empire of Death by David Bishop (March) - Fifth Doctor and Nyssa tale set in Victorian England; the Doctor becomes Queen Victoria's advisor and investigates mysteries from beyond the grave
  • Halflife by Mark Michalowski (April) - A standalone Eighth Doctor adventure with no ongoing arc threads. It's set on an Earth colony in the future, where th Doctor takes up smoking and drinking and generally behaves very oddly (The novel is called "Halflife" not "Half Life" according to author Michalowski)
  • The Eleventh Tiger by David McIntee (May) - First Doctor pseudo-historical set in nineteenth century China with Ian, Barbara and Vicki
  • The Tomorrow Windows by Jonathan Morris (June) - A Hitch-Hiker-eque romp in the company of the Eighth Doctor Fitz, and Trix... and then there's a guest appearance from the current Mayor of London Ken Livingstone
  • Synthespians by Craig Hinton (July) - Sixth Doctor and Peri story set on a space station in the far future; kind of "Dynasty" meets "Spearhead from Space" and also allows the Sixth Doctor to behave at his most theatrical
  • The Sleep of Reason by Martin Day (August) - An Eighth Doctor adventure, also featuring Fitz and Trix, set in a mental asylum in present day Britain, a dark tale of evil and insanity... DWM reported this novel as being titled "Dreams Never End"; author Martin Day contacted OG to inform us that "The Sleep of Reason" is indeed the correct title and that "Dreams Never End" was a working title when the article was written
  • The Algebra of Ice by Lloyd Rose (September) - Seventh Doctor and Ace story set on Earth
  • The Deadstone Memorial by Trevor Baxendale (October) - A dark ghost tale set on contemporary Earth with the Eighth Doctor (the DWM report said "Dreadstone Memorial"; author Trevor Baxendale emailed OG to let us know of the proper spelling)
  • The Indestructible Man by Simon Messingham (November) - Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe novel; fans of Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation series may recognise echoes of his work in here
Meanwhile, range consultant/editor Justin Richards discusses the rumors that the novel series might come to an end. "There's no notion of stopping and never has been, whatever the rumours," says Richards. "The cutback to one a month was partly forced on us by our American distributor going bust, which meant we had a warehouse full of books and there wasn't physical space to store anymore. So that was a pragmatic decision which came at a time when we needed people who normally worked on the novels to work on The Legend and The Dalek Survival Guide. Now we're waiting to see what happens with the new series. We're commissioned up to Febuary 2005 and we'll hang fire a bit now and see what develops. I know that people doing the series are keen to tie in with the books. My feeling is that we won't do novelisations - simply because people don't these days. That's not to say we wouldn't do an annotated script book of instance or original novels which use whoever the new TV Doctor might turn out to be." Meanwhile, Chris Boucher's novelMatch of the Day featuring the Fourth Doctor and Leela, confirmed some time ago, was pushed back to February 2005. (Thanks to DWM, Trevor Baxendale, Martin Day, Mark Michalowski, David McIntee, John Laurent, Dave Master)

FILTER: - DWM - Books