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 8 - An Unearthly Series: The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 26 Mar 2013

More on Jacobi's DeadlineBookmark and Share

Sunday, 15 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Further details about Derek Jacobi's appearance in Deadline, the Doctor Who Unbound story due in October, are now available at the Big Finish website, including a downloadable trailer for the production. Among the notes presented are comments by the director, Nicholas Briggs. "I think all of us are a bit cynical about production companies issuing what seems like self-congratulatory quotes about how wonderful, marvellous 'darling, luvvie' everything was during 'the show/film/recording'," says Briggs. "But, you know, it's not for nothing that Sir Derek is up there in the top rank of British actors. He brought so much commitment, invention and receptivity to the studio session. He was an absolute delight to work with, not just because his portrayal was a brilliant and moving piece of work, but because he's a team player in every sense of that description. He was more than willing to work with me and the rest of the cast to create something that I felt may just be extraordinarily good. ... There are rare times in your career when you feel that everything has miraculously come together to raise you and those working with you up to a level where you all get a feeling of intense fulfillment. This was one of those times." Also featured in the cast are Genevieve Swallow (Susan), Peter Forbes (Philip), Jacqueline King (Barbara), Ian Brooker (Sydney) and Adam Manning (Tom). (Thanks to Big Finish)

FILTER: - Big Finish

Big Finish UpdateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 15 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Big Finish has announced that, contrary to its earlier report, they will allow fans to choose which of the two covers for Project: Lazarus they wish to receive, either the Sylvester McCoy or Colin Baker cover. (For both covers, visit the releases page here at OG.) "When ordering the play on-line, please specify if you would like the Sixth Doctor cover or the Seventh Doctor cover in the Special Instructions / Requests box on the ordering page. If you have already pre-ordered the play or have a subscription and would now like to choose which cover you would like, please e-mail Big Finish at with your choice no later than Thursday 19th June." Meanwhile, hot on the heels of the cover for Short Trips 4: The Muses, which we published a few days ago, confirmation has been received for the publication of Short Trips 5: Steel Skies, edited by John Binns, which is due out in hardcover in December. Stories in the fifth Doctor Who anthology volume include "Bruklose" by Peter Anghelides, "Oh, Darkness" by John Binns, "Eternity" by Jonathan Blum, "Reversal of Fortune" by Graeme Burk, "House" by Jeremy Daw, an untitled story by Matthew Griffiths, "A New Life" by Simon Guerrier, "The Slaves of Zondar" by Matt Jones, "Monster Season - A Poem" by William Keith, "Dust" by Paul Leonard, "Cold War" by Rebecca Levene, "In a Nutshell" by Lance Parkin, "The Ruins of Heaven" by Marc Platt, "Deep Stretch" by Richard Salter, "Inmate 280" by Cavan Scott, an untitled story by Huw Wilkins, and "Light at the End of the Tunnel" by Mark Wright. Finally, BF's The Bellotron Incident, the next audio featuring Bernice Summerfield (the former Doctor Who books companion), has been released; the story by Mike Tucker features Rutans from "Horror of Fang Rock". (Thanks to Big Finish)

FILTER: - Colin Baker - Big Finish

Sir Derek Jacobi Stars in "Deadline"Bookmark and Share

Friday, 13 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

EXCLUSIVE!   Sir Derek Jacobi, one of BritainÆs most respected actors, star of the BBC series, "I, Claudius" and "Cadfael," many stage roles and such films as "Gladiator," "Gosford Park," "Othello," "Hamlet," "Henry V" and "Dead Again," this week recorded his role in the forthcoming sixth and final chapter of Big Finish's "Unbound" series, Deadline by Rob Shearman. Big Finish informed Outpost Gallifrey of the actor's participation in the final "Unbound" chapter... but is Sir Derek really playing the Doctor? "Well, yes and no," says producer John Ainsworth. "All of the Doctor Who Unbound plays have been quite 'experimental' in a variety of ways, but this final play almost certainly stretches the boundaries the most. 'Deadline' is more of a play about Doctor Who rather than an actual Doctor Who story in the traditional sense. The 'what ifà' is effectively 'what if Doctor Who never quite made it to our TV screens!' But, rest assured, Sir Derek will take on the role of the Doctor and be at the controls of the TARDIS for at least some of the play." The single CD story will be directed by Nicholas Briggs and will be released in October. Details on the third, fourth and fifth plays are yet to be released; the first (already released) and second feature Geoffrey Bayldon and David Warner, respectively. (Thanks to John Ainsworth and Big Finish)

FILTER: - Big Finish

The LegendBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Justin Richards, BBC Books range consultant and author of the forthcoming Doctor Who: The Legend wrote Outpost Gallifrey to let us know a few things regarding the publication of the anniversary hardcover book, due in November. "The cover on the brochure about the book (repordeuced on OG, and elsewhere) isn't actually going to be the cover of the book, which is still being designed and won't have an artwork Dalek half on it! It will have the Who logo though. Also, the page count has crept up from 368 to 392 and the number of photos will be considerably over the 500 advertised. Despite this, the price remains unchanged." (Thanks to Justin Richards)

FILTER: - Books

Reign of Terror ExtrasBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The Doctor Who Restoration Team has updated their site with an article about the restoration of the four extant episodes, and the three individual episodes from missing stories ("The Web of Fear" episode 1 and "The Faceless Ones" episodes 1 and 3), being included in the VHS boxed set The Reign of Terror Collectors' Edition. The article includes technical details about the restoration of the episodes, including the clean-up and VidFIRE process. You can read the article at their website; click "VHS Releases" at left, then "Reign of Terror Box Set". (Thanks to the Restoration Team)

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

Bernard SpearBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 11 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Veteran UK television comedian Bernard Spear died on May 9. While he was apparently well known in the UK by face, if not by name, among his many roles he played the "Man with Carrier Bag" in the sixties' film "Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD". His obituary can be read here. (Thanks to Steve Stratford and the Death Comes in Time site)

FILTER: - Obituary

Doctor Who: Tops AgainBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 4 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

According to a press release from TV Zone, the longest-running Cult Television magazine, issue #164 names the Top 100 Cult TV Programmes Ever. "With many surprising winners and programmes ranging from the classic Quatermass television series of the Fifties to present-day programmes, Doctor Who, celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, managed to come top, beating all newcomers. Colin Baker, the sixth actor to play the time-travelling Doctor said: 'The readers of TV Zone are clearly endowed with great taste, discernment, wisdom and long memories! For a TV series that has not been in production for 14 years to pip to the Galactic Post modern series like Buffy and Stargate is quite remarkable. As one of the actors lucky enough to be associated with Doctor Who I salute your readers, your magazine and thank them for their continuing devotion to the good Doctor and his adventures. I just wish I was as good looking as Spike or Jack OÆNeill and that Doctor Who had benefited from the budgets of their programmes - but there again it wouldnÆt have been the same, would it?'" (Thanks to Jan Vincent-Rudzki)

FILTER: - Magazines

Big Finish UpdateBookmark and Share

Monday, 2 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Big Finish has revealed more details on its forthcoming 'season' of Paul McGann audios. No mention has yet been made as to who stars in these audios other than Paul McGann as the Doctor (leaving the fate of Charley Pollard, aka actress India Fisher, up in the air) and Conrad Westmaas as new companion C'Rizz. Also released today: the cover illustration for Jonathan Morris' Flip-Flop starring Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford, with cover illustration by Lee Binding (with Slithergee CGI by Chris Gregory); and two covers, not one, for Project: Lazarus by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright... instead of the one cover (which has been online for a while), two different covers will be offered, one with Sylvester & one with Colin. All three covers are below; click on each for a larger version. Further details on the new McGann stories:
  • Scherzo by Rob Shearman "has no incidental music at all," says producer Gary Russell. "Only Rob could give us a music-themed play with no music!" This story was recorded last in the batch and was recorded completely in order in one session, and looks to be quite unusual indeed.
  • The Creed of the Kromon by Philip Martin (note the slight variation in the title) stars Brian Cobby (the Oroog), Stephen Perring (the Croaker), Jane Hills (L'da) and Daniel Hogarth & Stephen Perring (Kromon voices). Cobby "for the last fifteen or more years has been the voice you hear when dialing the Speaking Clock here in Britain." The story is a "four-part Doctor Who romp with insectoid aliens. My only other criteria was that I didn't want it to feature Sil."
  • Jim Mortimore's The Natural History of Fear was recorded first, and was according to McGann "one of the best scripts he'd ever read." It features Geoff Searle, Alison Sterling, Sean Carlsen, Wink Taylor, Jane Hills and Ben Summers.
  • The final story, Will Shindler's The Twilight Kingdom features special guest stars Michael Keating (Vila of "Blake's 7") as Koth and Alan Rothwell ("Picture Box") as Janto, with Ann Carus-Wilson (Vayla), Dale Ibbetson (Quillian), Jeremy James (Bryn), Vivien Parry (Tysus), Alison Sterling (Koth's Wife) and Stephen Perring (the Croaker, returning from "Kromon").
  • A new bit of information: Doctor Who Magazine will release Living Legend in November, their fourth CD special featuring the Eighth Doctor. The one-episode CD, written by Scott Gray (DWM comic strip author) and starring Paul McGann, will be on the cover of issue #336.

FILTER: - Big Finish