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

Doctor Who: Worlds in TimeBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 February 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC Press Office have announced a new, multi-player game is in development.

Entitled Doctor Who: Worlds in Time, the online game is being produced in partnership with games developer Three Rings, and is aimed to be "both highly engaging and fun, allowing players to socialize and foster genuine cooperation, building a global community where fans worldwide will now be able to experience first hand the exciting action and adventure synonymous with Doctor Who."

For the first time ever, players from around the world will be able to follow in the footsteps of the eccentric and brilliant Doctor by travelling through time and space, exploring new worlds and encountering many alien races, both friend and foe. The game allows players to enter the TARDIS and be set a challenge by the mysterious Time Lord to help him defend civilized culture against infamous Doctor Who enemies.

Robert Nashak, EVP Digital Entertainment at BBC Worldwide, said:
Doctor Who: Worlds in Time will be a free-to-play multiplayer online game that invites players to save the universe by using their wits to solve time-bending puzzles and pulse-pounding challenges. Three Rings is the ideal team for this groundbreaking creative partnership. Not only are they visionaries in the online gaming space, they are lifelong Doctor Who fans with a passion for delivering the level of quality that our players will expect and deserve.

Daniel James, CEO Three Rings, said:
Three Rings is delighted and honored to have the opportunity to create an online game based on Doctor Who. Our goal with 'Words in Time' is to capture the imaginative spirit and depth of the series, whilst being fun and easy to play for all ages.

The game is announced ahead of the San Francisco Game Developers Conference, and is expected to launch later in the year.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest news on Worlds in Time by following BBC Worldwide Games on Twitter.

FILTER: - Online - Games

DWA 'Design-a-Monster' competitionBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 - Reported by Harry Ward
Doctor Who Adventures magazine has launched a 'Design a Monster' competition. The winner will see their creation battle the Doctor, Amy and Rory in a special comic strip in the magazine and be made into a model to go on display at the Doctor Who Experience in Olympia, London.

Comic artist John Ross offers the readers some great tips to help them create the perfect creature:

The great thing about Doctor Who monsters is that they can be scary but a bit funny, too. For example, a really scary face could be balanced out by something quite wacky, like a foot that's joined on backwards, or one arm that's much bigger than the other.

Things that tend to look good on monsters are wrinkles, extra eyes, fewer eyes, long tongues, tentacles, spots, stripes, spikes and funny-looking alien weapons/gadgets. Monsters based on animals are quite popular. For example, you could take the head of a rat and put it on the body of a chimpanzee and add tentacles.

Posture is always something you have to think about, too. If your monster is strong and confident, it should stand straight and tall. If it's a bit more nervous and unsure of itself, it could be hunched over, possibly with slumped shoulders. If it's just a jumbled mass of tentacles with a head, it's a bit trickier to give an idea of the creature's personality.

Your monster has to pose a threat to the Doctor, so will need some special powers or weapons. It could fire energy beams from its fingertips/tentacles, laser beams from its eyes or cannonballs from a hole in its belly - whatever you think is interesting. Weapons could be a giant device which could destroy the planet or a tiny alien flower which looks like a daisy but releases a scent which sends people to sleep.

It's also good to colour your monster nice and brightly so he stands out in a crowd.

How to enter

Download the PDF entry form by clicking on the button below, then print it out and draw your monster! Fill in the monster's details, along with your name, age, address and daytime telephone number. Put the page in an envelope and send it to: DWA DESIGN, PO Box 8951, Market Harborough LE16 0EF, or scan the page and email your design to

Download the pdf entry form

For full terms and conditions please visit

FILTER: - Comics - Magazines - Competitions - DWA

Nebula nomination for Vincent and the DoctorBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Doctor Who story Vincent and the Doctor has been nominated for the The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation in the 2010 Nebula Awards, an annual event held by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

The episode, penned by writer Richard Curtis, is the only television episode in this category, and is up against the films Despicable Me, How To Train Your Dragon, Inception, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Toy Story 3.

The winners are selected by members of the SWFA during March, with the results announced at the Nebula Awards Banquet, taking place at the Washington Hilton, Washington D.C. on 21st May.

Vincent and the Doctor had previously been nominated for a Mind Mental Health Media Award last year but lost out to Channel 4 drama Shameless.

Doctor Who has been nominated for a Nebula Award twice in the past: The Girl in the Fireplace lost out in the Best Script category to Howl's Moving Castle in the 2006 awards, and the following year saw Blink miss the award in favour of Pan's Labyrinth - both were penned by the current lead writer, Steven Moffat.

FILTER: - Awards/Nominations - Series 5/31

Torchwood: Week Six FilmingBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
After the excitement of the previous fortnight, last week was a relatively quiet week for the Torchwood cast and crew.

Eve Myles rejoined the team in Los Angeles, with John Barrowman, Mekhi Phifer, Dichen Lachman, and Bill Pullman all involved with filming during the course of the week.

Filming was away in private throughout this week, with Monday kicking off at the Orlando International Airport. No other exterior locations were reported last week, with other work taking place back at the Warner Brothers Studios lot. As usual, followers were able to pick up little pieces of gossip from cast and crew via Twitter.

Times cited within the reports are in Los Angeles local time.


Monday saw the Torchwood team at another airport, this time the Ontario International Airport in Los Angeles (filming took place at Cardiff International Airport three weeks previously). Mekhi Phifer and Dichen Lachman were reported to be on location. Meanwhile, Jane Espenson clarified some differences between the UK and US film schedules.

07:25 AS  Had to be at work at 4:12am in Ontario. I have my Valentine, 
Dichen Lachman, with me tho so that makes things a little better.
08:33 MC Had 5 am call at Ontario airport. Run slight risk of $11,000 fines
and it's cold as hell. This business is great!
11:52 BBC Big day at the Airport location today. We're Also beginning prep for
a 2nd Unit tomorrow = DOUBLE the #Torchwood fun. Happy Valentine's day
13:24 JE I think they shoot on Saturdays in the UK,
but have shorter working days. We def. have Sat/Sun off. Yay weekends!
19:00 ST Past the 2000 mark for followers. Welcome all - hope to keep u entertained
with stories of costume life on the set of torchwood :-) Peace
06:12 MP Could use a few more hours of sleep.
On the phone for 2hrs with moms last night...
If I just had half her strength!


Eve Myles returned to production in the US, which sounded to be another 'bloody' affair according to Mekhi Phifer. Scenes today were back on the Warner Bros lot. As previously reported, whilst exteriors may have been filmed in Wales, the respective interiors have been shot back in the States, something Jane Espenson reports as meeting the Welsh cast's approval!

10:55 ST  Beautiful Eve back with us today. Even slimmer after all the action
and -10 weather. Glad to have her back on set.
13:20 BBC Going to have an exciting reunion with wonderfully effervescent Eve Myles
this afternoon. Lets see what she's up to...
15:54 MP Shooting Torchwood and I'm all bloodied up right now!
Rain machines, green screen, u name it, we got it!! Dope ass show!
16:25 JE The Welsh people haven't objected to the interiors,
so I think they must be good!
16:38 JE The current thiller / arc / connected-story feel of TW is working
really well and is best done in shorter runs.
18:24 BBC "I'm terrified of Twitter because computers hate me, but
(Cowgirl Voice) Howdy Partners I'm having a blast on set today" - Eve Myles


Shawna Trpic, via Twitpic

 Got to visit this set today thanks to Shawna (Kim Evey)
BBC Torchwood, via Yfrog

 Got to visit this set today thanks to Shawna (Kim Evey)
Kim Evey, via ImgMu
After a few days absence, a welcome return to "TW-Spy!" today as we get to see the inside of the costume truck (Captain Jack, Simpsons-style!), Russell T Davies with a (very!) large cheese, and a set visit by actress/producer Kim Evey.

Kai Owen also revealed that he'll be heading back to L.A. next week, which indicates that the return to the UK for filming wasn't to happen after all.

07:43 ST  One of the walls in the costume truck :-)
that's our set crew!
10:07 MC Barrowman is a tighty whitey man.
11:50 KO Nate: Hey mate! What's happening?
Just having a glass of red and thinking of you!!
Nice to be home? I'm back with you next Wednesday.
Looking forward to have a burger with you!! Kai x
12:46 DL Mekhi Phifer has just been showing me his website
called 'thirdreel' on the torchwood set.
Check it out.
14:47 BBC Russell stands proud with the mystery cheese sent
to us from the UK. Who's the culprit???
15:42 KE Got to visit this set today thanks to Shawna
15:51 Sarann: Are you doing exciting costume
related things on the Torchwood set today?

ST Always :-)
19:04 MC Eve Miles is about the nicest person I've met in awhile -
charming, friendly, energetic. Super cool.
20:25 DE Just back from the Torchwood set, where I forced
John Barrowman and Eve Myles to look at pictures
of my dogs.


Michael Colbert revealed more plane antics for the cast and crew, though this is was on a set rather than a inside a real plane. He also noted that a number of the production crew were unaware that they were working on a series with quite a legacy!

Michael Colbert, via Twitpic
09:31 ST  Eve Myles told Kim Evey that she is the voice of one of
the characters on the DragonAge II game. Small world
10:54 MC 10 am call spending the whole day in
an airplane set on 27
11:01 ST Forgot to wear my hearing aid today
Driving my crew crazy. Huh?
11:36 AS I'm on a plane!
14:32 MC Strangely enough a large portion of the crew have
no idea that this is season 4.
16:49 NG Kai: can't wait to see ya. Give the baba a kiss fer me.
23:11 MC I have met Barrowman he's a really sweet and
hella funny guy. Big Captain America fan
(if you didn't know)
23:25 MC Wrap!
00:16 DL LOVE Torchwood peeps. Having so much fun.


BBC Torchwood, via ImgMu
Another day on set, and more mysterious items that may or may not be what they seem! With conventions and holidays on the way nobody wanted another late night Friday, though Bill Pullman continued to keep everybody entertained as production completed for another week.

13:42 BBC It seems the line between salad dressing and
chocolate custard is little hazy today.
You only live once!
22:47 ST The rain makes me tired well that, prepping 3 episodes
while shooting two, cleaning house, feeding the kids..
Time for a meeting & chocolate
17:30 AS Is it really Friday?
18:44 ST Alana: should not be a fraterday I hope :-)
22:19 BBC We're coming to set, Shawna, Alana,
its dark and lonely over here.
22:25 AS BBC_Torchwood: yay!!! Can't wait for your visit!
Bill is being awesome as usual.

Speaking of Bill Pullman, his fan site published a photo of him with John Barrowman in their Jack/Oswald mode!


Friday brought an end to filming for the week, and an extended weekend was due with a holiday on Monday for Presidents Day, not to mention Jane Espenson and Doris Egan attending the GallifreyOne convention over the weekend too!

However, it wasn't a complete halt to proceedings:

01:20 BBC We're location scouting in a couple of hours!
That's right we work Saturday's in the US too!
(But let's be honest not a full days work)

Director of Photography Nate Goodman also commented on Torchwood so far ...

19:26 NG  One week back from Wales. Saw some of Ep 1 cut together. Epic.
Not your mother's Torchwood...

Key to initials: AS - Alana Stone (fashion designer); BBC - BBC Torchwood (production office); DE - Doris Egan (writer); DL - Dichen Lachman; JE - Jane Espenson (writer); KE - Kim Evey (visitor); MC - Michael Colbert (electrician); MP - Mekhi Phifer (Rex Matheson); NG - Nate Goodman (director of photography); ST - Shawna Trpcic (costume designer)

With a short break for Presidents Day, production resumes Tuesday, though with Kai Owen confirming that he is flying out to Los Angeles on Wednesday it seems that the anticipated return to the Welsh shores for filming is not to be this week, after all!

FILTER: - Torchwood - Production - Filming Reports

Doctor Who stars lend a hand to charityBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 - Reported by Harry Ward
Stars from Doctor Who have designed candle holders to be auctioned for the ILLUMINATE Campaign, an offshoot of The Cure Parkinson's Trust. The auction on eBay began yesterday and will finish at 7.00 pm on Friday 4th March 2011.

Peter Davison (the fifth Doctor and Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott) have both designed an image to be used on a candle holder. Also in the auction are hand signed photos by Davison and Katherine Jenkins (Abigail Pettigrew, A Christmas Carol).

Other celebrities who have appeared in Doctor Who and have designed a candle holder for the auction are Harry Lloyd (Jeremy Baines / Son of Mine, Human Nature / The Family of Blood), Roy Hudd (Max Miller, Pier Pressure, Big Finish Audio), Louise Minchin (Newsreader, Torchwood: Children of Earth), Julia Sawalha (Emma, The Curse of Fatal Death, Red Nose Day parody episode), who has signed a photo, and Ricky Gervais, who appeared as a slug-like monster alongside David Tennant as the tenth Doctor in a scene in Extras - The Special.

Britain’s favourite celebrities have personally designed these 34 candle holders, which will be auctioned on eBay for 10 days starting 7pm on 22nd FEBRUARY 2011. Only one candle holder of each design has been made … making each of them truly unique.

These top quality, bone china candle holders, are made in Stoke on Trent and filled with 100 hour white wax. They are approximately 75mm in diameter and 92mm tall and come in a specially made presentation box. The design has been kiln-fired onto the candle holder, during the manufacturing process, to make it permanent. Remember - the items for auction here are truly unique - only one of each design exists.

Additionally we are auctioning 10 hand signed photographs sent to us by celebrities in response to our appeal for support. Included with every item is a Certificate of Authenticity signed by The Cure Parkinson’s Trust’s Managing Director.

If you decide not to bid for a candle holder, perhaps you might donate to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust instead? By donating to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust you are investing in the hope of a future without Parkinson’s.

FILTER: - Bernard Cribbins - Charities - Auctions - Peter Davison

Nicholas Courtney 1929-2011Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Nicholas Courtney, known to and beloved by Doctor Who fans worldwide as Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart and one of the longest-serving co-stars of the series, has died, aged 81.

Born in Egypt, William Nicholas Stone Courtney spent his childhood and education in a variety of places - his father serving in the diplomatic service - before entering the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art after completing his National Service in 1950. He then entered rep in 1952 - his first job being actor/ASM in Cromer! - before a move to London brought him to the world of television.

His first appearance in this media was as a Warrant Officer in the 1957 series Escape, followed by playing King Charles II in Looking About and Mark Norman in an episode of No Hiding Place. He was then to appear throughout the 1960s in shows like Callan and Sword of Honour, as well as popular fantasy genre titles like The Saint, The Champions, The Avengers, and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (alongside Master-to-be, Roger Delgado).

His first brush with Doctor Who was to be as Space Security Agent Bret Vyon in the First Doctor epic The Daleks' Master Plan. For Doctor Who fans, of course, he will always be remembered as UNIT stalwart Lethbridge-Stewart. Originally slated to play Captain Knight in the Second Doctor adventure The Web Of Fear, he was 'promoted' to the role of Colonel by director Douglas Camfield when original actor David Langton pulled out, and returned a year as a newly promoted Brigadier in The Invasion, a role he was to become associated with for over forty years! Appearing as one of the main characters throughout the Third Doctor's incarnation as the UK head of UNIT, he was then to appear with every other classic series Doctor, both during the television show's original run and through the Big Finish audio adventures. Name-checked a number of times in the revived series of Doctor Who, Sir Alistair was to eventually return in the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2008 - the actor being re-united with 70s co-star Elisabeth Sladen.

Work continued after his departure from Doctor Who, appearing in shows such as All Creatures Great And Small and Sink or Swim (both alongside Fifth Doctor Peter Davison), Shelley, Yes, Prime Minister and Only Fools and Horses; he also played Lt. Col. Robert Witherton in 1993's Then Churchill Said to Me. More recently, he appeared in popular shows like The Bill, Doctors, and Casualty. In 2008 he played the Archbishop of Canterbury in Incendiary.

In 1997, he became the Honorary President of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, a position he was very proud to hold.

There have been two autobiographies on his life, Five Rounds Rapid! in 1998 and Still Getting Away With It in 2005; his memoirs were also released by Big Finish as A Soldier In Time in 2002.

He is survived by his wife Karen, his son Philip and daughter Bella.

William Nicholas Stone Courtney (16th December 1929 - 22nd February 2011)

Special Tributes: Tom Baker, Steven Moffat (via BBC Doctor Who), GreyhoundLeader (Nicholas Courtney's official site).
Media coverage: Sat: The Independent; :Fri: TVlia (Spanish), MyJoyOnline; Thu: Unreality TV, Airlock Alpha, Pure People (French), The A.V. Club, AceShowbiz, The Telegraph (Blog), TNT Magazine, Mirror, MTV, The West Australian, Adelaide Now; Wed: BBC News, BBC Doctor Who, BBC America, RadioTimes, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Express, Belfast Telegraph, AOL News, CBS News, Digital Journal, The Stage, Big Finish Productions, SFX, io9, The Register, Den of Geek, Digital Spy, The Sun, Metro, The List, Geeks of Doom, Anglotopia, Zap2It, ATV Today,, MediaSpy, Kansas City Star, AlloCiné (French)
"Very sad to hear about Nick Courtney – I was enormously proud to have interviewed him for DWM, and to have enjoyed his company many times." - Tom Spilsbury, DWM

"Sad news about Nick Courtney, though. Lovely, gentle man. Interviewed him several times. He'll be missed." - Ben Cook, DWM

"So very sad about Nick Courtney. A truly lovely man." - Clayton Hickman, writer

"has no words to decribe the loss of Nicholas Courtney, a true gentleman and much loved icon. RIP, with a heavy heart" - Toby Hadoke, Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf

"Very sad news about Nicholas Courtney. A true gentleman, a wonderful actor, a dear friend - splendid chap, all of him." - Barnaby Edwards, Dalek operator

"So sad to hear about Nicholas Courtney. A wonderful actor, a childhood hero, a treasured friend, and the kindest, funniest, gentlest of men." - Nicholas Pegg, Dalek operator

"Aw...Nick Courtney is trending worldwide. Feel the love. RIP" - Murray Gold, composer

"Nick Courtney really meant something to my generation of Who fans. His performance- funny, emotional, restrained, human - heart of the show." - Paul Cornell, series writer

"Desperately sad to hear that Nicholas Courtney has passed away. A childhood hero and the sweetest of gentlemen. Splendid chap. All of him. x" - Mark Gatiss, series writer/actor

"News reached Gary Russell and I of Nick Courtney's passing. A terribly sad end to our #Gally week. Best wishes to his family. A true gent." - Phil Ford, writer

"Very sad news about Nicholas Courtney. Lovely guy who knew how to live life. RIP." - Joe Lidster, writer

"Damn, just saw the Nicholas Courtney news. Such a shame." - James Moran, series writer

"I never properly met Nicholas Courtney when he came to Cardiff for SJA. What a shame I now never will." - Edward Russell, Senior Brand Executive for Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures

"Very sad news about Nicholas Courtney. A lovely bloke and fab actor who will be sorely missed." - Sam Watts, composer

"When I pitched the FORGOTTEN to IDW, the only tale I knew I wanted to tell at that point was one with the Brig. #NicholasCourtney" - Tony Lee, Graphic novelist

Video by Ed Stradling, via YouTube

On a personal note, it was a shock to hear the news tonight about Nick; having got to know him personally from my DWAS days, I have many fond memories of driving him to various promotions and being regaled by his stories down the local. Off-duty, he was as much the gentleman as he appeared in public, and will be sadly missed by family, friends and fandom alike. Chuck

FILTER: - Obituary

TARDIS at Raglan CastleBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - Reported by Harry Ward
The majestic medieval backdrop of Raglan Castle in South East Wales will be the temporary home of the TARDIS throughout this February half-term until Sunday 27 February.

The Welsh Assembly released the news on their website earlier today:

The arrival of Doctor Who’s world-famous blue telephone box at Raglan follows its recent appearance at Caerphilly Castle.

BBC Cymru Wales and Cadw, the Welsh Assembly Government’s historic environment service, have been working together over a number of series to provide Doctor Who with some unusual and unique historical filming locations, including Neath Abbey and Caerphilly Castle.

The TARDIS will be located in the Fountain Court area of the castle for visitors to admire.

Jayne Rowlands, Cadw’s Head of Presentation, said: "It’s fantastic that we are able to welcome the Doctor’s TARDIS to Raglan Castle this half-term, and we expect it will prove a big hit with fans from both the UK and overseas."

FILTER: - UK - Miscellaneous

Doctor Who Experience opensBookmark and Share

Monday, 21 February 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
After several test days and special preview visits, the Doctor Who Experience finally opened to the general public on Sunday morning.

Current Doctor Matt Smith was on hand at the Experience, during which he was to meet 'himself' in the form of a life-sized model: "I think he's sort of a bit musclier than I am! It's a surreal experience to have an image of yourself in 3D. So weird but one of the wonderful privileges of this particular job - you get rather mad experiences." The encounter didn't faze him, however, as he then straightened up his alter-ego's tie!

Executive Producer and lead writer Steven Moffat said about the project: "We're not setting out to frighten anyone, but kids will come here expecting it to be a bit scary, and I don't think we will be letting them down. But with the Doctor on screen following you around, hopefully you will know that you are in safe hands. After all, the Doctor always wins."

A video is available via the Experience home page, plus coverage of the launch via Sky News and Digital Spy. BBC Radio 1's Jo Whiley also visited the launch, which can be heard on her latest show from her website, which includes photos from the Experience.

Over the course of the week leading up to the grand opening, a number of articles/reviews featured in the press regarding the Experience, some of which are highlighted below:

SFX Magazine reported:
The big crowdpleaser, and reason to part with your money, will clearly be the walkthrough, a kind of mini-Doctor Who adventure with filmed snippets of Matt Smith ingeniously inserted along the way. From beginning to end it takes about 20 minutes, including a visit to a space museum, a daring step through the Crack (which opens up in front of you) a Dalek war, a flight in the TARDIS (with a moving floor bouncing you up and down – though not quite as violently as in the show), the previously mentioned 3D flight through the vortex and a few Stone Angels lurking in the shadows.

It’s unashamedly aimed at the kids (the Eleventh Doctor urges grown ups to let the kids take the controls of the TARDIS) but if you can go with the flow it’s a good laugh. And because it uses props from the actual series, even the most “grown-up” fans can treat it like an animated museum if pretending to fight Daleks is all a little too silly.
The Sun's TV Biz editor Colin Robertson enjoyed his visit:
By the end, it was clear why it's dubbed "Experience", because it's far from being a boring exhibition of Doctor Who throughout the ages. Money and creative energy has been lavished on a labyrinth of themed rooms where all manner of Who-ness is within touching distance. Your guide here, and throughout this whistle-stop tour around the galaxy, is current Timelord Matt Smith, whose video image flashes up on screens in each room.

But arguably the biggest treat is the exhibition at the end, where the entire prop department seems to have decamped. The Face of Boe, the Timelord's arch-enemy Davros, several Cybermen, Zygons, Melkurs, Doctor Who's many outfits through the years - even his doggy sidekick K9. All Who life is here. I got to grips with the old Tardis control console from the 1980s used by the sixth doctor Colin Baker and his immediate successor Sylvester McCoy.
The Daily Mail's Michael Hellicar summed up:
The whole Experience is, well, an experience. Children at the preview with me loved it — although one or two had to be persuaded by their parents to watch the scariest bits, and one six-year-old, dressed as Matt Smith’s Doctor, refused point-blank to go in once the familiar theme tune had struck up.
Nigel Whitfield of Reg Hardware, concluded:
Certainly the kids there seemed to be enjoying themselves, but there's perhaps less in it for the more mature fan. And if you've visited one of the other recent exhibitions, you may well feel, as did my companion, that – aside from the walkthrough experience – you’ve not seen anything really new.
Daisy Bowie-Sell of the Telegraph said:
I’m not the biggest Doctor Who fan. I love the series, I’ve watched a lot of the recent episodes and I’ll certainly watch it if I’m in that night, but I don’t study the Time Lord’s every movement. My knowledge of the pre 2005 Whos is patchy - I just about know who they are and what they look like.

But even for me, the experience of standing next to a large, shouting Dalek threatening to exterminate all humans was thrilling. In this first section of the exhibition the current doctor Matt Smith appears via a screen: he needs you (me!) to help him out. You control of the TARDIS, irritate the Daleks, run past weeping angels (actually terrifying), and into a room where you watch a 3D film of all the nasty monsters Doctor Who has recently fought. Their arms/plungers reach out of the screen at you, as if they might drag you into a black hole.
The Independent took a more personal look, with father and son Andy and Joshua McSmith visiting during one of the previews. Andy, being more of a casual watcher in comparison to his teenaged son, was to feel a little bemused by the proceedings, though overall enjoyed the experience:
It was a bit like one of those school trips when I was taken around a museum to have my head filled with knowledge about Egyptian civilisation or the combustion engine, under the threat of being tested later. Except in those days, the experts were old. The sad thing is that, judging by the company at Olympia yesterday, they mostly still are. Groups who booked their tickets early were being admitted for a preview, and though there were a few children taking pleasure in the nonsense on display, most of the visitors were adult, solemn and knowledgeable.

Myself, I could soak up the occasion with that bemused pleasure that comes from near total ignorance, but I don't envy the organisers their task, for I fear that if they have one fact wrong, they would face an irate horde of anorak-clothed Doctor Who wonks. For that very reason, I am sure they researched and assembled their exhibits with the same reverential care as a team of paleontologists assembling dinosaur bones.

FILTER: - Special Events - Exhibitions

People roundupBookmark and Share

Monday, 21 February 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Billie Piper returned in The Secret Diary of a Call Girl amidst a huge blaze of press coverage; speaking about her career plans and a possible Hollywood calling: "I keep thinking about it, but then I like England; to be out there with a baby and to do seven, eight auditions a day is just not massively appealing at the moment." On future Call-Girl: "I think we've pretty much been everywhere with the stories and as that's at the heart of every episode, you wouldn't want to exhaust it to the point of just complete ridiculousness and seediness. I really like this job but you always want the story to have legs and not be that you're scraping the bottom of the barrel. I think if we go any further then we might be guilty of that." And on the future: "I just want to do something radically different and I don't know what that is yet. I think I've just chosen things that have interested me and then kept trying new and different things. It has worked out well and I can thank Doctor Who for all of that really. It was wholly responsible for giving me a great opportunity." [various]

Torchwood star John Barrowman has recently been embroiled in media discussions over who might replace Bruce Forsyth when he eventually retires from presenting the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, with reports that both he, gameshow presenter Vernon Kay, and The One Show house Alex Jones are vying for the position. However, the stories have been refuted by new BBC1 Controller Danny Cohen, who said that Bruce would carry on for as long as he wanted to. [Sun, Western Mail, Mirror]

Karen Gillan has been voted the 77th in men’s heath and fitness guru site Ask Men's Top 99 Women for 2011.

Fifth Doctor Peter Davison reminisces about a visit with his family to New Zealand, which tied in with the islands' Armageddon convention last Autumn. During their trip, they visited Wellington, the Weta workshops, Napier, Lake Taupo, Tepau and the Coromandel peninsula; speaking on Lake Taupo: "You can take a fishing boat out on the placid waters, see hot steam coming out of the ground at The Craters of the Moon – reminiscent of an early Doctor Who landscape – and watch the majestic Huka Falls." [Daily Mail]

Catherine Tate has expressed an interest in taking up directing; speaking at a platform event at the National Theatre in London, the actress said: "I directed for the first time at Christmas, a short film for TV. I would like to do more. I have got a project but I don’t know what’s happening with that." [Express]

Alex Kingston discussed her feelings towards her Doctor Who character River Song in the Readers Digest: "I'm not allowed to breathe a word about the new storylines... otherwise, they take away my sonic screwdriver. When I was first offered the part, I had no idea how successful the new Doctor Who was because I was in the US. But as soon as I read the script, I fell in love with River. She provides a very complex link to the Doctor's life and ever since I saw Alien, a little bit of me has wanted to run around a spaceship shooting intergalactic monsters." [Press Association]

Mark Strickson has been based in Qatar for the last couple of years, and recently talked about his filming projects at the Qatar Natural History Group, during which he regaled its members with tales of his adventures over the years, including his time in Doctor Who. [Gulf Times]

Welsh Opera singer and recent Doctor Who guest star Katherine Jenkins announced that she and long time partner Gethin Jones would be getting married. (Jones has also featured in Doctor Who under monster costumes during his tenure as a Blue Peter presenter). [BBC News]

Third Doctor Jon Pertwee's son Sean explains why he never expected to follow in his father's footsteps when David Tennant was announced as leaving: "No, I never said I wanted the part, but there is a financial tale behind how the rumour started. For a laugh I tried putting a £50 bet on me to play the next Doctor because I thought I was in with a chance, but all the boys I knew in Islington decided I must have some inside info so they piled in behind me. When the betting shop staff asked who I was, the boys told them my father had played Doctor Who so they called head office about it and then declared all bets off. The next thing I knew I was in the news as running for the part, but I think it stemmed from trying to put £50 on myself. I'd love to have a guest part, but when it comes to the main role my father was too big an act to follow." [Telegraph]

Former First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan, pays tribute to outgoing BBC Wales Controller Menna Richards, during which he also reflected on how he almost ended up in Doctor Who back when the series first started filming in 2004: "I’m still kicking myself though. If you knew how my grandchildren rate having a First Minister in the family tree compared to playing a tree on Doctor Who in relative street cred in the playground, you’d understand why, too!" [Western Mail]

BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee Colin Firth was interviewed on Twitter by Vue Cinemas, during which he was asked about Doctor Who: "I’d never rule out a part in Doctor Who or Torchwood – especially Doctor Who. I’d also love to play a villain like Moriaty in Sherlock Holmes."

Finally, speaking of the Oscars, Tariq Anwar is also nominated for an Editing award for The King's Speech; the film editor worked back on Fourth Doctor stories The Face of Evil, The Sun Makers and Shada during the 1970s.

FILTER: - People

BroaDWcast launchedBookmark and Share

Monday, 21 February 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster

BroaDWcast is a new online resource that traces and catalogues the broadcasting of 20th Century Doctor Who throughout the world.

It is the brainchild of prominent New Zealand fan Jon Preddle, and is the culmination of many years work travelling and collating information from broadcasters etc. to create a site providing comprehensive coverage of 20th Century Doctor Who, with airdates and screening schedules from 1964 onwards for more than 70 fully-profiled countries.

Have you ever wanted to explore exciting foreign worlds? Worlds where El Doctor Misterio battles with the Dalekios; where Hombres Metalicos seek venganza; where the Sechst Doktor encounters Zweimel Einstein and Kybermanner; where Le Docteur Who is trapped by L'Araignee whilst seeking Les Yeux de Maurinius?

And have you have ever wondered:
  • when The Tomb of the Cybermen screened in Hong Kong?
  • why Carin C. Tietze is ace?
  • what is a Senorita Sistema Solar?
  • which city in America was the first ever to screen Doctor Who?
  • what is a Witchmaster from Gallifrey?
  • how many countries screened The Claws of Axos?
  • where Rhodesia sent its film prints?
  • who Gonzalo Uriarte provided the voicefor?
  • what was on television at 5.01pm on 14 March 1987 in the Seychelles?
The answers to those questions - and much, much more - can befound at BROADWCAST - the ultimate online index, directory and history of foreign broadcasts of DOCTOR WHO.
The site was launched at the weekend's GallifreyOne convention in Los Angeles, with layout design by Preddle, John Lavalie and Steven Warren Hill.

It is still a work in progress - currently estimated to be around 75% complete - and the site has a plea for further assistance and information in order to create the most complete record of Doctor Who's broadcast possible:
As with any research of this nature, there are gaps in the information - and perhaps even errors. If you can assist us in any way by filling in any of the gaps, or if you've got additional information, such as foreign newspaper articles, clippings, copies of TV listings, or sales literature that we can use, or if you spot something that is wrong or you plain just disagree with, please drop us a line

Jon Preddle is not shy of long-term projects, he is also the author of Timelink: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Continuity of Doctor Who, a two volume book exploring the complex continuity of the show, which has taken the author some fifteen years to compile! The books are due to be published by Telos Publishing at the end of February.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Broadcasting