Doctor Who Magazine 389Bookmark and Share

Monday, 22 October 2007 - Reported by Kenny Davidson


The cover for the next issue of Doctor Who Magazine has been unveiled - click on the thumbnail below to see a larger version.

As the cover suggests, the issue will preview the forthcoming Children in Need special featuring Doctors Five and Ten, as well as revealing the results of the magazine's recent season survey. Issue 389 goes on sale on 15th November.




RTD's Next Project for the BBCBookmark and Share

Monday, 22 October 2007 - Reported by R Alan Siler

The Media Guardian reports that Doctor Who show-runner Russell T. Davies is currently developing a new project for BBC, which will occupy the executive producer's time during Doctor Who's 2009 break.

"It's going to be about fortysomething gay men and how jealous they are of gay teenagers," Davies said in an interview with the Guardian on Saturday. "I've been longing to write something for adults."

In the interview, Davies said that the inspiration for the new drama is a friend, a former Mr Gay UK, who split up from his boyfriend.

"He asked me: 'Why are so many gay men so glad we split up?' That remark's stayed with me for six years. I think there's a self-punishing streak in that gladness and I want to explore it."

An unnamed BBC spokeswoman said that it was "too early" to say which channel might show the drama or whether it will be produced in-house or by an independent production company.




Davison Doctor to ReturnBookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 October 2007 - Reported by Jarrod Cooper

The BBC has confirmed that Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, who played the part in the classic series from 1981 until 1984, will reprise his role alongside current DoctorDavid Tennant in the forthcoming Children in Need telethon.

The mini episode, entitled Time Crash, was written by award-winning Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat and will be transmitted as part of the Children in Need fundraising evening on Friday 16 November 2007.

"It is an honour for me to be able to make the connection between the Fifth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor," noted Peter Davison. "However, now is not the time for sound-bites. I can feel the hand of history on my shoulder, even if I can't do the buttons up!"

This story has also been picked up by The Sun, with another photo of the duo.





Cummins' Work To Go On DisplayBookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 October 2007 - Reported by DWNP Archive

Drawings by Target Books cover artist Jeff Cummins will be among items on display at Hertford Museum from next month.

An exhibition entitled Devoted To Doctor Who will highlight local residents' passion for the series, and will include work by Cummins, who lives in Ware, a locally-made Tardis, a K9, a Dalek, and a Doctor Who-inspired wallpaper collage by artist Kimberley Bevan.

The display runs from November 28 to April 12. Entrance is free. The museum, in Bull Plain, is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 5pm. It will be closed between December 23 and 26.




Westmaas says goodbyeBookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 October 2007 - Reported by Jarrod Cooper

Conrad Westmaas, Eighth Doctor companion C'rizz, has issued aGoodbye Statement in the Big Finish Forum at DoctorWhoForum.com. This statement follows the release of his final audio for Big Finish,Absolution. Click on the Spoiler Box below to read the statement. It does not include actual spoilers, it is just to conserve space on the news page.

Dear All,

Well, my work here is done.

Five-ish years as a Who companion are up and before Lizard Boy is consigned to his odd little place in the Hall of Obscurity, I just wanted to say some thank-yous to a few fabulous people. (I would have prepared a Sarah-Jane or Tegan-style tear-jerker, but I haven't got a pot plant and it never "stopped being fun", so I've opted for the tried & tested 'thank-you-&-gush' format instead) Here goes:

DWM: First of all, HUGE thanks to the Talented Mr Clayton Hickman for keeping the flag flying in the wilderness years and beyond and for getting me involved in the crazy, mixed-up world of Who in the first place, to my then colleagues Scott Gray, Paul Burley, Peri Godbold, Benjamin Cook & Andrew Pixley - and to the new team Tom Spilsbury, Peter Ware & Stuart Manning. Big thanks to Martin Geraghty whose artwork has given me a great souvenir of my time in the TARDIS. And speaking of dreams coming true..

Big Finish: It's no secret that's it's been a bumpy ride at times but only when Pixley's Official History of Who is written will Big Finish's role in steering the show safely back to our screens get the credit it deserves. So another HUGE thanks to the wonderful Gary Russell and Jason 'Huge-Salary' for letting me guest in 'Omega' and then inviting me back on board proper to join the Eighth Doctor crew and making Daleks, Victorian freakshows and lethal ice-cream vans all part of a day's work! Thanks also to dear Nick Briggs and Barnaby Edwards for honouring what Gary started and giving me a great send off, to lovely Nigel Fairs, Ian Farrington, John Ainsworth & Ed Salt, and to BF's fine stable of writers including Joe Lidster, Lloyd Rose, Gary Hopkins, Julian Shortman, Alan Barnes, Trevor Baxendale, Nev Fountain, Simon Guerrier, Steve Lyons, Jim Mortimore, Will Schindler, Eddie Robson, Philip Martin & Graham Duff - and to the talents of the unsung post-production heroes, Steve Johnson and the CD cover artists - much appreciated. Thanks to my Who-gurus Davy Darlington & Robert Dick and of course to BF Doctors Peter, Colin, Sylvester & Paul and all the TV & audio companions & villains I've worked with, too numerous to mention, who've made the job such a joy. Oh, and just to put 3 quick myths to bed: a) No, Nick Briggs isn't systematically 'firing'/exterminating/deleting all the BF companions (hang on, what's that knock at the door? Aaargh!) b) Yes, Mr McGann recorded every single story with us in the studio and c) Yes, we really are all as buff as we look in the DWM 'Coming Soon..' comic strips.

Thanks to Derek & all at Tenth Planet for numerous signings & conventions, Cary & co at Regenerations, Ben & all at The Oncoming Storm, Shaun Lyon & the mods & bods of Outpost Gallifrey, James Goss & all at bbc.co.uk, Barnaby et al at The Offstage Theatre Co, lovely Charlie Ross, the fabulous naughty folk of KiNda and to Ed Thomas & Liz Griffiths at BBC Wales for a set visit I'll never forget.

And to every Who fan who's taken the trouble to write, email, draw a picture, buy a drink, make me laugh or just come up to say hi - you know who you are - thanks for making my day. (And to the less-than-kind corners of fandom - thanks for the tough exoskeleton.) Whatever you think of my contribution to BF, I hope you've enjoyed the work of some of the acting chums I've put their way like Daniel Barzotti, Liz Crowther, Lizzie Hopley, Eve Polycarpou and Zehra Naqvui.

Special mention must go to Edwardian adventuress and all-round best mate India Fisher. I suspect that (sooner rather than later..) Charley Pollard will be listed up there along with Sarah-Jane and Rose Tyler as one of the finest companions in any medium, just see if I'm wrong.

I'm bound to have missed a load of people out, so thanks to everyone who's made the last five years such a wild, weird & wonderful experience - aside from making all my fanboy dreams come true (Travelling in the TARDIS! Fighting Daleks! And getting paid!!!) it's been an invaluable source of fun, support and an incredible learning experience which has opened up some interesting new avenues of work. Speaking of which, if I can end on few of blatant plugs:

'Absolution' is available from Big Finish
Check out the trailer for my new film 'The Visitor'
& I'm currently appearing in 'Othello' at the Salisbury Playhouse.

To everyone listed above and to anyone I've missed - love always and thank you for giving me the trip of a lifetime.

Conrad xxx




Destiny cover releasedBookmark and Share

Friday, 19 October 2007 - Reported by Josiah Rowe

The BBC and 2|entertain have released the cover for the upcoming DVD release of the 1979 Tom Baker adventureDestiny of the Daleks. The DVD will be released in the UK on November 26, both individually and as part of the Davros box set. The cover is by Lee Binding




More Torchwood Books AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Friday, 19 October 2007 - Reported by Jarrod Cooper

BBC Books has released details on the second trio of Torchwoodbooks. The Twilight Streets by Gary Russell, Something in the Water by Trevor Baxendale, and an as yet untitled novel by David Llewellyn are currently due for release on March 6th, 2008.
SOMETHING IN THE WATER
by Trevor Baxendale
Dr Bob Strong’s GP surgery has been treating a lot of coughs and colds recently, far more than is normal for the time of year. Bob thinks there’s something up but he can’t think what. He seems to have caught it himself, whatever it is – he’s starting to cough badly and there are flecks of blood in his hanky.
Saskia Harden has been found on a number of occasions submerged in ponds or canals but alive and seemingly none the worse for wear. Saskia is not on any files, except in the medical records at Dr Strong’s GP practice.
But Torchwood’s priorities lie elsewhere: investigating ghostly apparitions in South Wales, they have found a dead body. It’s old and in an advanced state of decay. And it is still able to talk.
And what it is saying is ‘Water hag’…

[TITLE TBC]
by David Llewellyn
Tiger Bay, Cardiff, 1950. A mysterious crate is brought into the docks on a Scandinavian cargo ship. Its destination: the Torchwood Institute. As the crate is offloaded by a group of local dockers, it explodes, killing all but one of them, a young Butetown lad called Michael Bellini.
Fifty-eight years later, a radioactive source somewhere inside the Hub leads Torchwood to discover the same Michael Bellini, still young and dressed in his 1950s clothes, cowering in the vaults. They soon realise that each has encountered Michael before – as a child in Osaka, as a junior doctor, as a young police constable, as a new recruit to Torchwood One. But it’s Jack who remembers him best of all.
Michael’s involuntary time-travelling has something to do with a radiation-charged relic held inside the crate. And the Men in Bowler Hats are coming to get it back.

THE TWILIGHT STREETS
by Gary Russell
There’s a part of the city that no one much goes to, a collection of rundown old houses and gloomy streets. No one stays there long, and no one can explain why – something’s not quite right there.
Now the Council is renovating the district, and a new company is overseeing the work. There will be street parties and events to show off the newly gentrified neighbourhood: clowns and face-painters for the kids, magicians for the adults – the street entertainers of Cardiff, out in force.
None of this is Torchwood’s problem. Until Toshiko recognises the sponsor of the street parties: Bilis Manger.
Now there is something for Torchwood to investigate. But Captain Jack Harkness has never been able to get into the area; it makes him physically ill to go near it. Without Jack’s help, Torchwood must face the darker side of urban Cardiff alone…




Children in Need specialBookmark and Share

Friday, 19 October 2007 - Reported by Anthony Weight

The BBC Press Office has confirmed the long-standing rumours that this year's annual televised Children in Needfundraising night on BBC One will contain what is described as "a very special episode of Doctor Who".

No further details have yet been released. This year's telethon is on the evening of Friday 16th November, live on BBC One from 7pm.




Barrowman's Game Show Role ConfirmedBookmark and Share

Friday, 19 October 2007 - Reported by DWNP Archive

The BBC today confirmed that John Barrowman will host new TV entertainment show The Kids Are All Right.

According to the BBC Press Office, the primetime BBC One programme will see adults competing for cash prizes in a battle of wits, with seven children aged from nine to 15 determined to stop them.

Co-executive producer Andy Rowe said: "We are thrilled to have John Barrowman as our host: he's charismatic, commanding and very funny and gives the show that big event feel."

The show has been commissioned from Endemol company Initial. A pilot edition was taped on July 22, according to Barrowman's official site.

There was no indication as to when production would begin or when the series would start.

Outpost Gallifrey reported on July 20 media speculation that Barrowman had been tipped for the job.

UPDATE (21 OCT): Barrowman's official site is now reporting that the series will comprise eight editions, and will be recorded during the daytime at the BBC's Glasgow studios from November 26 to 30.

To apply for tickets to attend the recordings, follow this link.




BBC to sell TV Centre; Doctor Who safeBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 October 2007 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
Mark Thompson, the director general of the BBC, has announced plans for major cuts at the BBC, including the sale of Television Centre by the end of the 2012-2013 financial year. The complex was one of the world's first purpose-built TV studios and the home of Doctor Who production from 1966-89. The sale of the property is planned as part of a series of cuts proposed to fund digital switch-over in the UK. In a speech to BBC staff today, Thompson declined to discuss how his proposals, which also include a 10% reduction of new programme commissions and a predicted rise in repeats, will affect the BBC's commercial wing, BBC Worldwide.

However, the BBC has confirmed that one of its priorities after the cuts will be television drama, and specifically mentioned Doctor Who as an example of the programmes on which the BBC will focus:
Television drama: prioritising high-impact, distinctive drama series of wide appeal and range, from classic drama such as this autumn's new five-part drama serial Cranford starring Judi Dench to modern drama that captures the imagination of audiences, such as Life On Mars, Doctor Who and Spooks.

A BBC press release about the planned changes can be found here; BBC News covers the story (including BBC staff reactions) here and here.