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

Richard Curtis video interviewBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 16 September 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The BBC News website has made available a video interview with well-known scriptwriter Richard Curtis, who last week confirmed that he will be writing for the next series of Doctor Who, which is currently in production. In the short interview - conducted by BBC News Entertainment Correspondent Lizo Mzimba - Curtis says that he expects the episode to be shot in November. He also says that the script contains some comic moments, in line with his career as a comedy writer, and that showrunner Steven Moffat required him to rewrite the Eleventh Doctor's dialogue to make it less formal and more colloquial.

Please note that the full interview does contain some very minor spoilers about the episode's setting, so should not be viewed if all details about forthcoming episodes are being avoided.

FILTER: - People - Production

Doctor Who Magazine 413Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 16 September 2009 - Reported by Marcus
This month's Doctor Who Magazine features the results of their poll to discover which story, in the programme's 46-year history, is the most popular. The magazine is available with four different covers, featuring the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Tenth Doctors each in one of their highest-rated stories. The poll also details the most popular series, the highest-rated story for each Doctor and asks which Dalek story is the most admired.

Also in the issue:
  • Russell T Davies describes the incredible reception David Tennant received when he took to the stage in the USA
  • There’s a new comic strip adventure, Onomatopoeia, by Dan McDaid with art by Mike Collins.
  • Find out how to avoid spoilers in You Are Not Alone!
  • The Watcher asks was the Seventh Doctor as dark and mysterious as his reputation suggests?
  • Thomas Sangster, star of Human Nature/The Family of Blood talks about his role as Tim Latimer, his Doctor Who audio story and tells of playing Paul McCartney.

FILTER: - Magazines - DWM

Tom Baker - official websiteBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 September 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
Tom Baker, well-known to all Doctor Who fans and many thousands of people worldwide as the Fourth Doctor, has launched an official website. The site is the first official one for Baker, despite the claims of other sites in the past. Among the features present are a list of performances dating back to 1966, photo galleries with rare pictures, videos, and a newsletter.

(Thanks to John Bowman).
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FILTER: - Tom Baker - Online

New Audio Titles in OctoberBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 September 2009 - Reported by Marcus
Four new Doctor Who and Sarah Jane audio titles are to be released by BBC Audio in the UK on 8th October.
  • The Day of the Troll is a Doctor Who adventure read by David Tennant. It is the second in a series of audio exclusive stories, following the release of Pest Control in May.
  • The Dead Shoes is the second in the Hornets' Nest series starring Tom Baker and Richard Franklin. What is so special about a pair of ballet shoes on display in Cromer’s Palace of Curios? When the Doctor meets Ernestina Scott there in 1932, they discover the horrific truth together.
  • The Shadow People is a Sarah Jane Adventures audio book read by Elisabeth Sladen.
  • The White Wolf is a Sarah Jane Adventures audio book read by Elisabeth Sladen.
The third part of Hornets' Nest will be released in November, not in October as indicated in a previous press release.
  • The Circus of Doom is the third in the Hornets' Nest series. In Blandford, 1832, ringmaster Antonio exerts a strange influence on the townsfolk. When the Doctor steps into the ring, he discovers that Antonio has some familiar demons of his own.

FILTER: - Audio - Tom Baker - David Tennant - Sarah Jane

Dalek Films Soundtrack CD ReleaseBookmark and Share

Saturday, 12 September 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
TV/Movie CD publisher Silva Screen have released details on a new CD covering the music from the two 1960s Aaru films Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD.

The restored soundtracks feature the scores composed by Malcolm Lockyer and Bill McGuffie, with additional sounds from Barry Gray; the CD will also feature contemporary single releases, plus a 20 page booklet covering production notes and memorabilia.

The CD is due for release on 5th October; track details below.

Dr. Who and the Daleks

1. Fanfare And Opening Titles
3. The Petrified Jungle
4. The Petrified Creature And The City
5. Four Return To TARDIS
6. The Medicine Box And The Climb To The City
7. City Corridors
8. Captured By The Daleks
9. Susan Leaves The City
10. The Jungle At Night
11. Susan Returns To The City
12. Escape From The Cell
13. The Trap
14. The Swamp
15. The Mountain
16. The Cave
17. The Jump
18. The Thals Approach The City
19. The Countdown
20. The Countdown Stops
21. Finale And End Titles

Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.

22. Smash And Grab
23. TARDIS Departs (Sound Effects)
24. Opening Titles
25. TARDIS (Sound Effects)
26. London 2150 A.D. (Music And Sound Effects)
27. Daleks And Robomen
28. Message To Grandfather And The Dalek Saucer Takes Off (Music
And Sound Effects)
29. The Mine Workings And The Cottage
30. Preparing The Bomb Capsule (Music And Sound Effects)
31. Smash And Grab (Reprise) And End Titles

The Singles

32. The Eccentric Dr. Who
33. Daleks And Thals
34. Fugue For Thought

Dr. Who And The Daleks - Bonus Tracks

35. Fanfare And Opening Titles (Soundtrack Version With Effects)
36. TARDIS Effects
37. Dalek City Effects

FILTER: - Merchandise - Audio - Movies - Classic Series

Iain Cuthbertson 1930–2009Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 10 September 2009 - Reported by Marcus

The actor Iain Cuthbertson has died at the age of 79.

Cuthbertson appeared in the 1978 Fourth Doctor story The Ribos Operation, where he played Garron, a con man attempting to sell the entire planet of Ribos to the Graff Vynda-K, deposed ruler of Levithia.

He appeared in many roles on British television throughout the sixties and seventies, with his most memorable role that of the criminal and businessman Charlie Endell in Budgie, appearing alongside Adam Faith. He suffered a crippling stroke in January 1982, which forced him to give up theatre for fear of forgetting his lines. His first role following his stroke was as Scunner Campbell in SuperGran in 1985.

Cuthbertson's first marriage, to the actress Anne Kristen, was dissolved in 1988. His second wife was Janet Mary Smith. There were no children. He was born on January 4, 1930 and died on September 4, 2009.

Times Obituary

Thanks to Fiona Hall.

FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Ray Barrett 1927–2009Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 9 September 2009 - Reported by Marcus

The actor Ray Barrett has died at the age of 82.

Barrett appeared in the 1965 William Hartnell story The Rescue, playing the roles of both Bennett and Koquillion. The story was released on DVD earlier this year.

Ray Barrett was a popular leading men on British television in the 1960s, appearing in such programmes as Emergency - Ward 10 and The Troubleshooters as well as providing some of the voices in the popular series Thunderbirds.

In later years, Barrett returned to his native Australia where he made a string of television appearances in series such as Something In The Air, All Saints and White Collar Blue.

His last film appearance was in Baz Luhrmann's Australia.

He died from a brain haemorrhage early Tuesday morning.

FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Richard Curtis to write for Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 8 September 2009 - Reported by Marcus

Richard Curtis, the man behind some of the most successful British films and comedies, has agreed to write an episode of Doctor Who.

Speaking to the British Tabloid The Sun, Curtis said he has been asked to write for Matt Smith’s first series.

He told the paper he couldn’t reveal much about the plot. but it would feature a famous historical character battling against a monster.

Curtis was the brains behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, which became the highest-grossing British film in cinema history at the time and for which he was Oscar nominated. On television, he has been responsible for the Blackadder series as well as The Vicar of Dibley. He is a BAFTA and Primetime Emmy winner.

BBC News has confirmed, via Curtis's agent, that the writer is working on a script for Doctor Who.

FILTER: - Production - Press - Series 5/31

National Television AwardsBookmark and Share

Monday, 7 September 2009 - Reported by Marcus

Voting is now open for the 15th National Television Awards, which will take place at the O2 centre in January 2010.

Doctor Who and Torchwood are both nominated as Best Drama while David Tennant, John Barrowman and Eve Myles are all nominated for Best Drama Performance.

Doctor Who has always performed well in the awards, which are voted on by the general public. The series has won the Best Drama award for the past four years, with the lead actors taking the best Drama performance.

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FILTER: - Torchwood - Specials - David Tennant - Awards/Nominations

People NewsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 5 September 2009 - Reported by Marcus

Incoming Executive Producer, Steven Moffat, is to take part in a discussion on Sherlock Holmes as part of this year's BBC Proms Literary Festival.

Moffat, who together with Mark Gatiss is co-creator and Executive Producer of the BBC's new modern-day Sherlock, is joined by A. N. Wilson, author of The Victorians. They talk to Matthew Sweet about the enduring appeal of Sherlock Holmes and his special love of Mendelssohn.

The event takes place on Monday 7 September at 5.45pm at the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall of the Royal College of Music. It is free to anyone who turns up, although capacity is limited, and it will be turned into a radio programme for broadcast Monday night on BBC Radio 3. David Warner will be giving some readings from Conan Doyle, and there'll be a Q and A at the end.

David Tennant takes over as the host of the PBS series MASTERPIECE Contemporary on October 25, 2009. As host, he introduces the programme at the beginning of each episode and provides commentary throughout. The season starts with the U.S. Premiere of Endgame, a feature length film depicting the secret talks that ended apartheid in South Africa starring William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jonny Lee Miller.

The website whoviannet has launched a project to create a scrapbook to present to David Tennant at Christmas, to thank him for all his hard work, commitment and dedication to the show over the past four years. They are asking for contributions from Tennant's fans. Details on their website.

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FILTER: - People - David Tennant