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

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Russell T Davies and Phil Ford are bringing new action adventure drama Aliens Vs Wizards to children's TV this autumn. The series will comprise 12 episodes of 30 minutes each and centre on two 16-year-old schoolboys, Tom and Benny, and an alien race entitled the Nekross. Davies said: "Writing for children is the biggest challenge of all and I think CBBC stands right at the heart of broadcasting. So I'm delighted to launch this show, a true nationwide collaboration - a Salford commission from a BBC Wales team. We're joining genres too - the show's a wild, funny, thrilling and sometimes scary collision of magic and science fiction." The show will be produced for CBBC by BBC Cymru Wales with FremantleMedia Enterprises. The executive producers are Davies, Bethan Jones and Gina Cronk for the BBC and Bob Higgins and Sander Schwartz for FME. The producer is Brian Minchin, while Ford will co-produce. [BBC Media Centre, 23 Jan 2012], [BBC News, 23 Jan 2012]

It was back to school for new series writer Tom MacRae when he received a request to help children develop their creativity. He visited his alma mater near Daventry, Northamptonshire, after an invitation by two pupils at Weedon Bec Primary. MacRae revealed how, during an assembly while there as a child, he came up with the idea of a magnifying glass that could see through time - a concept he went on to use in The Girl Who Waited. MacRae, who also took some Doctor Who props with him to show the pupils, said: "I have used quite a few playground games and school daydreams in shows, particularly programmes that have a magic element to them. The Girl Who Waited has probably done more to boost my career than anything else I've done. I owe the huge boost it gave me to the idea I had when I was six years old." [BBC News, 23 Jan 2012]

Sheridan Smith, who played Eighth Doctor companion Lucie Miller for Big Finish, has won the Critics' Circle Best Actress award for her portrayal of Doris Skriczevinsky in the wartime drama Flare Path, by Terence Rattigan, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London - a role for which she previously received the 2011 Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress. [BBC News, 24 Jan 2012]

Arabella Weir (Billis in The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, as well as an alternative Doctor in the Big Finish audio adventure Exile) is among the star names taking part in this year's Let's Dance For Sport Relief, which starts on BBC One on Saturday 18th February. [BBC Media Centre, 25 Jan 2012]

FILTER: - People - Russell T Davies - Awards/Nominations - Charities

Fan video roundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 - Reported by Harry Ward
This roundup contains four fan-made music videos that have recently been released.

DWFO #3: "Rose's Theme / Doomsday", socksofbalhoon, via YouTube

Doctor Who - A Mad Man With a Box, aphireRain42, via YouTube

Doctor Who and the Universal Vacation, kittridge, via YouTube

river song (original), allysmusic14, via YouTube

FILTER: - Music - Fan Productions

Doctor Who Wins 5 At The Virgin Media TV AwardsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 - Reported by Harry Ward
Doctor Who won in 5 categories at this year's Virgin Media TV Awards. The show itself won "TV Show of the Year" with 43.63% of the vote, beating off competition from Merlin. Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) won "TV Character of the Year" and the Doctor getting shot at Lake Silencio in The Impossible Astronaut won the "Most Explosive TV Moment of the Year". Karen Gillan won two awards; one for her acting talents ("Best Actress") and one for her good looks ("Hottest Female").

Doctor Who will be hoping for the same success tonight at The National TV Awards; which will be broadcast live on ITV1 from 7:30pm.

FILTER: - Doctor Who - Arthur Darvill - Karen Gillan - Awards/Nominations

Miracle Day Premieres On ZtéléBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 January 2012 - Reported by Harry Ward
Torchwood: Miracle Day premiered on the Canadian French-language channel Ztélé on Monday. The series originally premiered in Canada on SPACE in July 2011.

Premiere dates:
Episode 2: Le transfert - 30 January, 9pm
Episode 3: Phicorp - 6 February, 9pm
Episode 4: Mort, c'est mort - 13 February, 9pm
Episode 5: Les modules - 20 February, 9pm
Episode 6: Les témoins - 27 February, 9pm
Episode 7: Péchés immortels - 5 March, 9pm
Episode 8: Le bout du tunnel - 12 March, 9pm
Episode 9: Le rendez-vous - 19 March, 9pm
Episode 10: La fin du miracle - 26 March, 9pm

You can view the full schedule including repeats at This Week in Doctor Who.

Ztélé are also showing Torchwood: Web of Lies - the animated web series companion to Miracle Day - on their website.

FILTER: - Canada - Torchwood - Miracle Day (Series 4)

Gallifrey One's Network 23Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Gallifrey One's Network 23, the twenty-third annual North American Doctor Who Celebration convention, will take place February 17-19, 2012 at the Marriott Hotel at Los Angeles Airport.

Featured guests from the Whoniverse at this year's annual installment of the long-running fan convention -- blending both classic and new series guests -- are Paul McGann (the eighth Doctor), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Mark Sheppard (Canton Everett Delaware III), William Russell (Ian Chesterton), Louise Jameson (Leela), Caitlin Blackwood (Young Amelia Pond), Maureen O'Brien (Vicki), Richard Franklin (Captain Mike Yates), Tony Curran (Vincent van Gogh), Eric Roberts (the TV Movie Master), Daphne Ashbrook (Grace Holloway), Yee Jee Tso (Chang Lee), Simon Fisher-Becker (Dorium Maldovar), Philip Segal (TV Movie Producer), John de Lancie (Torchwood's Agent Shapiro), Toby Haynes (director of five Series 5-6 episodes), Richard Senior (director of "Let's Kill Hitler"), Nicholas Briggs (the voice of the Daleks), W. Morgan Sheppard (Old Canton), Daniele Favilli (Torchwood's Angelo Colasanto), Waris Hussein (director of "An Unearthly Child"), Barnaby Edwards (new series Dalek operator), Michael Troughton (author & son of Patrick Troughton), Gary Russell (Sarah Jane Adventures script editor), Phil Ford (Sarah Jane producer), Simon Guerrier (Graceless), Richard Dinnick (The Big Finish Companion), Jason Haigh-Ellery (Big Finish Productions), "Torchwood" writers Jane Espenson, Doris Egan and John Shiban, IDW Doctor Who comics editor Denton Tipton, writer Joshua Hale Fialkov, colorist Charlie Kirchoff and illustrators Matthew Dow Smith & Blair Shedd, comedian Charlie Ross (who brings his famous UK Doctor Who themed comedy show to America for the first time), and many other guests from the science fiction media, comics and literary community.

Gallifrey One is the world's longest-running annual Doctor Who convention, with three days of events including a weekend-long tribute to actors Nicholas Courtney and Elisabeth Sladen; a live Friday night performance of Louise Jameson's one-woman stage show Pulling Faces; a full Saturday masquerade/costume show and performance of Charlie Ross's legendary Doctor Who comedy show; previews from Big Finish Productions, IDW Comics, the Doctor Who Restoration Team and Hirst Publishing; a dealers room, art show, an annual charity benefit auction this year benefitting Students Run L.A., cosplay program and costuming hall, an exhibits area this year featuring the fully restored 1996 TV Movie TARDIS console, science programming, the North American debut of the Guerrier Brothers' short film Cleaning Up starring Jameson and Mark Gatiss, Q&A sessions, interviews, autographs and much more.

Online convention pre-registration closes on January 31 (with at-door registration open as the convention begins). For more information visit or check out the Facebook page at

FILTER: - USA - Conventions

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 21 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Matt Smith narrowly missed out being named Britain's Coolest Man in a poll by Zoo Magazine; the actor lost out to magician Dynamo, with other runners up including F1 driver Jenson Button, Prince Harry and singer Noel Gallagher. [Huffington Post, 17 Jan 2012]

Karen Gillan is about to start work on her first film, Not Another Happy Ending, directed by John McKay (who also directed We'll Take Manhattan); McKay said of the actress: "Every now and again, we produce somebody who really holds your attention on the screen and she’s got it. She is not just a small screen star, she is a big screen star. She really is one of Scotland’s greatest talents and can go all the way." [Daily Record, 20 Jan 2012]

John Barrowman and his sister Carole are due to appear at Waterstones in Bluewater on 4th February to sign their new book, Hollow Earth. [Dartford Messenger, 20 Jan 2012]

Actor and Never Mind the Buzzcocks captain Noel Fielding has his eye on a particular role: I wouldn't mind being on Doctor Who. I like the guy who does it at the moment and I thought David Tennant was amazing, but next I think we need an androgynous, slightly dippy Doctor who gets everything wrong... [Radio Times, 20-26 Jan 2012]

Speaking at the Radio Times Cover Party, actor Warwick Davis said about networking at the event: "Mr. Steven Moffat is somebody I want to talk to, certainly, cos I love Sherlock and I would love to be in Doctor Who. It's been a dream of mine for many years - I don't want to play the Doctor, but a villain or something like that would be good." [Radio Times (video), 18 Jan 2012]

John Simm has indicated on Twitter that he would consider reprising his Doctor Who persona; when asked, he said: The Master - of course! Mr Moffat is a brilliant writer. [@john_simm, 16 Jan 2012]

Writer Richard Curtis (Vincent and the Doctor) is about to direct a film based upon his own script; About Time is described as "a low-budget time-travel picture", and will be made by Working Title. [Hollywood Reporter, 18 Jan 2012]

FILTER: - People - Karen Gillan - Matt Smith - John Barrowman

Crash of the Elysium tickets now on saleBookmark and Share

Friday, 20 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Tickets are now on sale for the forthcoming run of Punchdrunk's The Crash of the Elysium at the Ipswich Arts Festival this summer.

The immersive theatre experience is part of the London 2012 Festival, celebrating the Olympic Games taking place in the summer, and from 15th June to 8th July 2012.

New Wolsey Theatre Chief Executive Sarah Holmes said:
We are thrilled that tickets are now on sale and so excited to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience - since the production was announced it has generated so much interest from fans of Doctor Who and many others who recognise that this is a truly unique experience not to be missed. My advice is to book early.

Tickets can be purchased via the New Wolsey Theatre, with three types, School Performances (aged 4-7), Family Performances (aged 7-12 with adult), and After Dark Performances (aged 13 and above).

FILTER: - Doctor Who - Special Events - Theatre

Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred interviewedBookmark and Share

Friday, 20 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Shadowlocked have conducted an interview with Sylvester McCoy - who stars in the Death Comes to Time spin-off audio series The Minister of Chance as The Witch Prime - alongside his former seventh Doctor sidekick Sophie Aldred.

In an short interview segment released by the site, Sophie discusses how she might have appeared in The Sarah Jane Adventures, whilst Sylvester reflects on the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who and how fans would like to see the Doctors re-united, or cast in other cameo roles ...

Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, Shadowlocked, via YouTube

The full, hour-long interview will appear at The Minister of Chance website soon.
(with thanks to Martin Anderson)

You can also read Shadowlocked's "complete reviews" of Doctor Who, kicking off from the very start with An Unearthly Child through to The Wedding of River Song, published this week.

FILTER: - Audio - Sylvester McCoy

Matt Smith interviewed by Australian TV - updated 20 January 2012Bookmark and Share

Friday, 20 January 2012 - Reported by Adam Kirk
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is promoting an exclusive TV interview with Matt Smith on its ABC 24 News interview program One Plus One. In a trailer for the program, Smith talks of the longevity of Doctor Who in Australia. The interview will debut on ABC1 on Friday 20 January 2012 at 11.30am and then on ABC24 the same day at 8.30pm. The interview will also be available on the program's website after broadcast.

Update 20 January 2012: The ABC has now made its Matt Smith interview available on the ABC website (Smith's interview starts around 17 minutes, 48 seconds). During a wide-ranging interview, Matt Smith speaks of the recent discovery of the missing 1960s episodes, his desire to film an episode in Australia (including possible Australian themed Doctor Who monsters, such as a "sand monster in the outback or giant mutated spiders"), the design of his costume, his interpretation of the role, time travel, and his career ambitions after Doctor Who.

FILTER: - Matt Smith - Broadcasting - Australia

BBC Books: Dark HorizonsBookmark and Share

Friday, 20 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Books have announced the latest in their line of hardback Doctor Who novels - Dark Horizons sees a new adventure for the eleventh Doctor, written by Jenny Colgan.

Doctor Who: Dark Horizons
J T Colgan
Available for pre-order

"Now, you may or may not have noticed, but we appear to be on fire..."

On a windswept Northern shore, at the very tip of what will one day become Scotland, the islanders believe the worst they have to fear is a Viking attack. Then the burning comes. They cannot run from it. Water will not stop it. It consumes everything in its path - yet the burned still speak.

The Doctor is just looking for a game on the famous Lewis chess set. Instead he encounters a people under attack from a power they cannot possibly understand. They have no weapons, no strategy and no protection against a fire sent to engulf them all.

Add in some marauding Vikings with very bad timing, a kidnapped princess with a secret of her own and a TARDIS that seems to have developed an inexplicable fear of water, and they all have a battle on their hands. The islanders must take on a ruthless alien force in a world without technology; without communications; without tea that isn't made out of bark. Still at least they have the Doctor on their side... Don't they?

A thrilling new adventure starring the Doctor, as played by Matt Smith.

A successful author with some thirteen books under her belt, Jenny Colgan is also a lifetime Doctor Who fan, and won a national fan competition aged 11 to meet Peter Davison as the Doctor (who mistook her for a boy!). Speaking about her new book, she said:
Writing Dark Horizons has been, as my friends and family already know, a dream come true for me. I grew up on Terrance Dicks and I'm beyond thrilled to be joining the ranks of Doctor Who novelists.
Albert De Petrillo, Senior Editorial Director at BBC Books, said:
Our Doctor Who list is a place to showcase talented writers and bold ideas – and it was a sheer delight to discover that Jenny Colgan, whose commercial fiction is so well respected and loved, was a massive Doctor Who fan. And even better to discover she wanted to turn her hand to a Doctor Who novel. We were deeply impressed with the originality and enthusiasm she brought to the task of writing an eleventh Doctor adventure. Dark Horizons is simply a terrific Doctor Who story – fast-paced, thrilling and often quite funny, it captures Matt Smith's Doctor perfectly and introduces some very memorable new characters as well. It's a testament to Jenny’s range as a writer of quality commercial fiction, and a book I’m proud to publish on the Doctor Who list.

Dark Horizons is due to be published on 7th July 2012.

FILTER: - Books