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 4 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 25 Jul 2012

DVD Update: Series 7 - Part 1Bookmark and Share

Friday, 19 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The first part of Series 7 is due to be released in the UK on the 29th October, and will come in two flavours. Both versions feature the five episodes shown so far (Asylum of the Daleks to The Angels take Manhattan), the UK mini-episode Pond Life, and also the two special 'prequels' that were originally exclusive to iTunes:
  • Asylum of the Daleks: The Doctor receives a message from a mysterious hooded stranger – a woman called Darla Von Karlsen wants to meet him...
  • A Town Called Mercy: Civil war has ravaged the Kahler race, but a team of scientists has found an advantage. The Gunslinger is born.
In addition, a limited edition "Weeping Angels" release also contains the documentary The Science of Doctor Who, which delves into whether the scientific concepts of the series live up to reality.

Both the standard (DVD/Blu-ray) and limited edition (DVD/Blu-ray) versions are available for pre-order.

FILTER: - Merchandise - Blu-ray/DVD - Series 7/33

AudioGo: Winter ReleasesBookmark and Share

Friday, 19 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
AudioGo have released details on audio titles in their spoken word range due to be released towards the end of the year.

After November's Destiny of The Daleks, the next in the television soundtrack range will also be the following adventure, City of Death, again with linking narration and bonus interview from Lalla Ward (Romana). Meanwhile, the next Eleventh Doctor story, Snake Bite, will be the final one to feature the characters of Amy and Rory.

City of Death
Written by David Agnew
Narrated by Lalla Ward
Released Winter 2012 (CD)

Whilst sightseeing in Paris, 1979, the Doctor and Romana notice a series of unexplained temporal disturbances – ‘like a crack in time,’ as the Doctor puts it. They discover that Count Scarlioni, has a knowledge of advanced technology that far exceeds that of normal 20th century Parisians. Not only that, the Count is forcing a genius professor to undertake time experiments. The question is, why? As the time travellers become involved in an audacious plan to steal the Mona Lisa it becomes evident sinister forces are afoot… What lies behind the Count’s suave persona and what are his plans, not only for Paris, but the entire world? The Doctor and his friends must find the answers before time runs out.

In an exclusive bonus interview Lalla Ward recalls her time as Romana in the BBC TV series. Also included are colour PDF files of the original TV scripts.
Snake Bite
Written by Scott Handcock
Read by Frances Barber
Released Winter 2012 (CD)

After a lifetime spent working on her secret project, Doctor Elehri Mussurana and her husband, Ernst Wharner, watch in awe as their experiment reaches its final, glorious fruition. A wormhole in time and space is being created… Then the unexpected occurs: inside the swirling vortex appears a tall blue box...

Potential disaster awaits the Doctor, Rory and Amy as the Tardis arrives in a scientific research outpost far into the future just as the fabric of reality is ripped at the seams and the universe tears in two….

This story is the final Audio Original to feature Amy and Rory, as played by Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill who left the most recent TV episode ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’.

FILTER: - Merchandise - Audio - Classic Series - BBC

Christmas Special for ... Christmas Day!Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who at ChristmasIt might seem enshrined in tradition, but the Christmas Special is seldom confirmed to be on Christmas Day itself until just a few weeks before broadcast. This year, however, the BBC have announced some ten weeks in advance that Doctor Who will indeed feature in the line-up for the festive evening, which it hopes will help settle the audience in front of BBC1 with their turkey sandwiches for the duration!

The time of the episode has yet to be announced, but will slot into the usual late afternoon/early evening line-up, which this year includes the Pixar Oscar-winning film Up as well as the usual instalment of Walford mayhem in EastEnders. The prime-time 9:00pm slot this year falls to the popular new series Call the Midwife, which is expected to go head-to-head with the ratings winner of last Christmas, ITV1's Downton Abbey. The main evening viewing on BBC1 is rounded off with The Royle Family at 10:00pm.

The as-yet-untitled hour-long special set in Victorian times will be Matt Smith's third Christmas outing, and sees the debut of Jenna-Louise Coleman as the new regular co-star; the episode also guest stars Richard E Grant. In addition, the episode will see the return of several of the Doctor's compatriots from last year's A Good Man Goes To War, with Neve McIntosh, Catrin Stewart and Dan Starkey reprising their roles of Vastra, Jenny and Strax respectively. The episode is written by Steven Moffat and directed by Saul Metzstein.

Into 2013 ...

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine has summarised the expected running order of the remaining eight episodes of the current series to be broadcast in 2013, and also confirmed that fantasy author Neil Gaiman - who suggested he was writing a script last month - has indeed done so.

EpisodeWriterDirectorGuest stars
2013 #1 Steven Moffat Colm McCarthy
2013 #2 Neil Cross Farren Blackburn
2013 #3 Mark Gatiss Douglas Mackinnon David Warner and Liam Cunningham
2013 #4 Neil Cross Jamie Payne Dougray Scott and Jessica Raine
2013 #5 Steve Thompson Mat King Ashley Walters
2013 #6 Mark Gatiss Saul Metzstein Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling
2013 #7 Neil Gaiman Stephen Wolfenden
2013 #8 Steven Moffat tbc

FILTER: - Series Specials - Series 7/33

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Paul McGann is to be interviewed as part of the Personal Development Planning Week at the Liverpool John Moores University on Tuesday 23rd October. The actor will be there to discuss how his own career has developed. The event is only open to university staff and students. [LJMU, 15 Oct 2012]

Russell T Davies is to be a guest on BBC Radio 2's Graham Norton show on 27th October, to tie in with the premiere of his new children's show Wizards vs Aliens on CBBC on 29th October. Questions can be submitted to the show address.

Arthur Darvill is adding theatrical composition to his ever-growing list of activities; the actor/musician said: "I write music as well, so I work a lot with Sean Walker. We've been working on a twisted version of The Bacchae called The Lightening Child (written by Che Walker) with carnival music, so I've co-written music for that. We made it really big and refused to scale it down. Finally, the Globe said they would love to do it, so we’ll be doing that next summer." [Independent, 17 Oct 2012]

Actress Chase Masterson talks about working with two Doctors on the forthcoming Big Finish audio dramas The Shadow Heart and Night of the Stormcrow: "They were all absolutely charming and very welcoming to me, and it was big fun to see them exude the same playfulness and brilliant quirks that they displayed on screen. Tom and Sylvester were particularly generous with stories of working with other British greats, including Olivier and Gielgud and McKellen, and I even got Sylvester to do a command performance on the spoons. Some of my now-favorite career moments include hearing Sylvester recount stories of the roots of his career in vaudeville, as well as tales of his upcoming, key role in The Hobbit trilogy. Also truly lovely and deserving of her reputation as a favorite Companion is the gorgeous Louise Jameson. What is even more stunning about Louise is the richly aware person she is, and her kindness and personal attention to everyone she comes into contact with." [Star Trek, 11 Oct 2012]

Nina Toussaint-White is currently playing one of four twentysomething white witches in the new contemporary ITV2 comedy-drama Switch. The six-episode show, which started on Monday 15th October, is set in Camden Town and Kensington, with Toussaint-White's character, Jude, as the fashionista of the group, and she said she couldn't believe how alike she was to her. "When I first read the script I thought, 'That's me!' I could see myself in the role because we are so similar. We're both quite bolshie, energetic people. Jude is a hedonist. I wouldn't say I'm a hedonist as such, but I sometimes speak before I think. I like to go out and have fun and party. She's confident and loud, fun and care-free, and I think that's what I'm like," she said. [ITV Press Centre]

BBC Four is to show Mark Gatiss's documentary Horror Europa on Tuesday 30th October at 9pm, it has been confirmed. The 90-minute journey through European horror cinema is a follow-up to his 2010 series A History of Horror for the same channel. [BBC Media Centre, 18 Oct 2012]

Phil Collinson is leaving his post as Coronation Street producer but will be staying at ITV to take up a new role of drama development. He has produced the soap opera since July 2010 and will hand over the reins to current Emmerdale producer Stuart Blackburn in January 2013. He said: "It's been an honour to produce Coronation Street and I'll be sad to leave. But the drama can only stay at the top of its game if the producer is re-energised every two to three years." [ITV Press Centre, 17 Oct 2012]

FILTER: - People - Special Events - Arthur Darvill - Russell T Davies - Audio - Theatre - Broadcasting

Air Lock for MarchBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Galaxy 4: Air LockAs reported by Dan Hall at Recon last month, the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine has a summary of the DVDs scheduled for the beginning of 2013, which includes the announcement that the recently recovered and restored third episode of the William Hartnell story Galaxy 4, Air Lock, will be released as a bonus episode on the special edition version of Season 1 story The Aztecs.

Other releases lined up for the first quarter include the previously reported Legacy Box on 7th January, the animation-enhanced The Reign of Terror on 28th January, a special edition version of The Ark in Space on 18th February, and the above-mentioned special edition of The Aztecs on 11th March. No features for the DVDs have been announced at present.

In addition, the last 'intact' story of the range, Terror of the Zygons has been announced for June (The Mind of Evil undergoing colour restoration) - features for the final Tom Baker release were unexpectedly revealed by the BBFC back in July.

Finally, DWM also revealed that Jon Pertwee's inaugural story Spearhead from Space is to be released yet again in June, this time taking advantage of the 'classic' series story's unique film recording to produce a high-definition Blu-ray presentation. Features on this release will include an extensive biography on Pertwee and an obituary for his co-star Caroline John, who died earlier this year.

Future History ...

Since our summer update the list of currently unannounced titles has diminished rapidly, with only fourteen episodes remaining to see the DVD treatment:
In addition, several special edition versions of previously released stories are expected during the course of the year, including Inferno.

FILTER: - Merchandise - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

Legacy for JanuaryBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Legacy BoxThe Legacy Box has now been confirmed to be the first DVD release for 2013, coming out in the UK(R2) on 7th January and in North America(R1) on the 8th. As previously reported, the two-disc boxed set will feature the 'lost' story Shada from Season 17 and the 30th Anniversary celebratory documentary More Than Thirty Years in the TARDIS.

After months of speculation, the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine has confirmed that the main version of Shada presented will be the 102 minute, 1992 VHS release, which included added effects, music, and linking narration by Tom Baker. Though no other R2 information has been released at present, the R1 details indicate that the set will also contain the re-interpreted version of Shada featuring Paul McGann that was produced by Big Finish and released as a Flash animation during the 40th Anniversary for (and still available from) the BBC's official Doctor Who website.

Shada (R1)Other features (R1 details) include a documentary on the troubled history of Shada's production, Taken Out of Time, a look at the story's locations in Now and Then, the first part of a feature on Doctor Who's first producer Verity Lambert in The Lambert Tapes - Part 1, memories of the Doctor's honorary companion in Remembering Nicholas Courtney, another companion profile with Doctor Who Stories - Peter Purves, plus Strike! Strike! Strike!, Being a Girl - Women in Doctor Who, and Those Deadly Divas.

Region 1 details thanks to TVShowsOnDVD

FILTER: - Tom Baker - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

Big Finish: UNIT DominionBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Later this month Big Finish release Doctor Who – UNIT: Dominion, an epic five-disc box set that reunites the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) with his cat burglar companion Raine Creevy (Beth Chalmers) in a fight to save the universe. Joining the fray are Dr Elizabeth Klein (Tracey Childs), scientific advisor to UNIT, and a future incarnation of the Doctor (Alex Maqueen).

Producer David Richardson said:
UNIT: Dominion is a massive story. The script was enormous and we realized when we were making it that it’s actually the same length as The Invasion. But it needed to be that long to tell a tale of such scope, which crosses between multiple dimensions.

To count down to the release, Big Finish have released a number of digital postcards, such as the ones below which feature the Seventh Doctor, Raine, the Other Doctor, Sergeant Pete Wilson, the Nexus, the Skyheads and the Mind Leeches.

The boxed set can be pre-ordered on its own, or as part of a fifteen disc bundle from Big Finish with productions Love and War, Dark Eyes, Voyage to Venus and Voyage to the New.

FILTER: - Merchandise - Audio - Big Finish

Mary Tamm: Second GenerationBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Mary Tamm: Second Generation (temporary cover)Fantom Publishing have announced the publication of the second part of the actress Mary Tamm's autobiography. Second Generation continues on from the first volume, with the late actress imparting her personal recollections of playing Romana during her final three Doctor Who stories from Season 16.

Publisher Dexter O'Neill said:
We want to make this book the ultimate celebration of a wonderful person who we so sorely miss. We are presenting the entirety of her writings together with tributes and anecdotes from Mary's closest friends and colleagues.

The book is due to be published early next year, and will be available in both paperback and a limited edition hardback with additional photographs. Pre-order details can be found via the Fantom website.

FILTER: - People - Merchandise - Auto/Biography - Books

Doctor Who Magazine 453Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
DWM 453The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine (out tomorrow) speaks to Karen Gillan about leaving Doctor Who after three years as the Doctor's companion:
I am so, so sad. I'm not going to lie. Leaving that show has to be one of the saddest experiences I've ever had. It was my life for, like, three years. That's going to take a while to go away. But also it's really exciting, because I get to go and do other things...

Also in this issue:
  • The First Lady of Time: DWM looks at the life and times of Mary Tamm, the actress who played the Fourth Doctor’s companion Romana, with never-before-seen photos and tributes from her friends and colleagues including Louise Jameson, John Leeson, and Anthony Read.
  • Matt's Missing Scene! Just how old is the Doctor nowadays? The clue’s in his hair, as showrunner Steven Moffat reveals, as he presents a missing scene from The Angels Take Manhattan – exclusively in Production Notes.
  • The Fear Factor: There have been some truly terrifying moments in Doctor Who's 49-year history... and, just in time for Halloween, DWM 453 celebrates the very best of them! Fear-merchants Philip Hinchcliffe and Terrance Dicks are on hand to give their expert opinion, so prepare to have your blood chilled and your spine tingled, with The A-Z Of Dread...
  • Rough Justice? DWM look back at the season that gave us the longest story ever, an evil future Doctor and Bonnie Langford, as The Trial of a Time Lord is put under the spotlight in Countdown To 50!
  • Daleks vs Cybermen! Witness the greatest battle in history as the Daleks and Cybermen come face to face with the Tenth Doctor and Rose in Torchwood HQ. It's Doomsday – and what will The Time Team make of it all...?
  • A Matter of Life and Death: It's one of the most controversial issues currently challenging fandom – the Doctor’s morality. Are there circumstances where it's acceptable for him to kill his enemies, or should this be avoided at all costs? Toby Hadoke and Johnny Candon argue the pros and cons in A Battle of Wits
  • Death in Prague: The Doctor, Amy and Rory encounter a legendary monster and terrifying creatures from another dimension in The Broken Man, the brand new comic strip written by Scott Gray and illustrated by Martin Geraghty.
  • The Secret Companion: Celebrate 20 years of Bernice Summerfield, as DWM talks to Paul Cornell, Lisa Bowerman, Jac Rayner, Gary Russell and Scott Handcock about one of the most enduring Doctor Who characters of all time.
  • Zap! The mysterious Watcher examines the Doctor’s little-known use of weaponry (including his ray-gun), challenges readers with The Six Faces of Delusion and champions another Supporting Artist of the Month, in Wotcha!
In addition, DWM catches up with former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies and chats exclusively with him about his brand new show – Wizards vs Aliens – and just why Doctor Who fans will want to watch...

PLUS! All the latest official news, the latest episodes, DVDs, books and CDs reviewed, sneak previews of forthcoming merchandise, a prize-winning crossword, FIVE fantastic competitions and much, much more!

FILTER: - Merchandise - Magazines - DWM

The Doctor Who ProjectBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 16 October 2012 - Reported by Marcus
The Doctor Who Project, the multiple award-winning Canadian Doctor Who fan fiction series, has just released the latest series of stories.

Season 38 is the latest in the continuing adventures of an alternate Doctor and his companions. Stories are published as part of an overall season that concentrates on delivering a collection of short stories that sees the Doctor facing new and original situations in time and space.

In the series the Tenth Doctor, and his companions Val Rossi and Tom Brooker, travel to pre-World War II Venice and discover an ancient mask that holds the key to a global holocaust; find adventure while investigating Cold War secrets in a lost vault hidden deep in the bowels of Mother Russia; are pitched into an encounter with an old foe from that vile cult, Section 13; visit the world of Proteus in a special two-part story from fan favourite John Gordon; and get a taste of the bizarre world of the paranormal when they visit Quarr Manor in a sleepy little backwater British village; and then everything comes to an end when they have to advert a catastrophe of global proportion.

Released over the next seven weeks, TDWP is available to readers from the TDWP Website in a PDF format with each featuring an original cover by some of Doctor Who fandom's most acclaimed artists.

THE MASK OF ANHUR by Robert Mammone
The discovery of a mask in an ancient burial tomb in western Asia unleashes an alien force that could engulf pre-WW2 Europe and the world in a genocidal holocaust. When the Doctor, Val and Tom arrive in Venice in 1938, they stumble across the surviving members of the archaeological team that unearthed the mask. Soon, they are caught up in a wild chase as darkness spreads across the city. Can they survive a night that promises to spread its terrible darkness across the world?

THE VAULT by Miles Reid-Lobotto
The Vault - a secret Russian installation, dating back to the Second World War. A research facility built deep into a mountain, dedicated to the collection and study of extra-terrestrial technology that crashes behind the Iron Curtain. Even to the Russian Government, it doesn't exist. Its existence covered up since all contact was lost back in the 1970s. On behalf of an old friend, the Doctor, Tom and Val accompany a U.N.I.T research team to find the Vault and explore it. What they find, deep underground are the remnants of some of the darkest days of the Cold War. Secrets are revealed, crimes are uncovered. Deep in the Vault, there is no way out and they are not alone and not all of their team are to be trusted. Deep in the Vault, something is waking up.

SECOND LIFE by Kyle Bastian
The Doctor thought he had everything under control. The cell was constructed to his design: quartz-sapphire laser bars, stasis field, time loop – all set up within in a reconstructed sector of the Time Lord's notorious prison planet of Shada. He thought that would hold her. But he was wrong – Bramahl has escaped and is out for blood. Along with Tom and Val, the Doctor must track down Bramahl, and their only clue is her successor from Section 13 – Tamara Scott. But her life as a companion was erased... wasn't it? An old friend's timely return may hold the key.

RED SHIFT by John Swogger
On the jungle world of Proteus, at the far edge of the galaxy, an archaeological expedition from the Hamilton Institute investigates an ancient tomb complex and its strange crystalline monument. But the Doctor, Tom and Val discover that there are more secrets on Proteus than those buried in the ground. What are the strange creatures that stalk the jungle after dark? Why have seven members of the expedition gone missing? And why can no one can remember them? As a devastating energy field begins to change the very world around them, Val and Tom become strangers to each other, and the Doctor uncovers a plot to steal the greatest prize of all.

BLUE SHIFT by John Swogger
On the ocean world of Proteus, at the far edge of the galaxy, an archaeological expedition from the Hamilton Institute investigates an ancient tomb complex and its strange crystalline monument. But the Doctor, Tom and Val discover that there are more secrets on Proteus than those buried in the ground. What are the creatures that stalk the shoreline after dark? Why have seven members of the expedition gone missing? And why can't the Doctor shake off the strange feeling that he's done all this before? It seems that on this ancient world, the past has not been properly buried - and when his own starts to catch up with him, the Doctor begins to suspect that it's all a question of memory...

Travelling back to a quiet English backwater at the turn of the twentieth century, the Doctor decides to give Val and Tom a taste of the paranormal when they visit Quarr Manor, the location of a mysterious fire which saw the Georgian mansion burnt to the ground with not a trace of a survivor to be found. With just hours before the infamous fire is due to take place, the time travellers discover a sinister case of spontaneous human combustion in Quarr’s rooftop observatory, sparking fears that a supernatural force is at work. Soon a terrible dilemma faces the trio, as the Doctor begins to realise that Quarr’s fiery visitant is just one of the dreadful effects of a terrible space accident, which threatens to unleash a firestorm across the whole of the British Isles. Battling an anonymous threat which strikes without warning, the Doctor soon discovers that sometimes there is no good decision, as he faces the awful choice of sacrificing the few to save the many.

After a short 4 week break, TDWP will round the year off with the 2012 Christmas Special.

THE SNOW MAIDEN by Matthew James
"There is something in the atmosphere above Earth. You can’t see it or feel it, but it is waiting, counting the days, the hours… waiting for Christmas…" Professor Ruby Tranter was a senior scientist working for the government finding new ways for mankind to survive in the 29th century. Now they’ve retired her. She feels cheated and bitter. Her big regret is never having a child to love and which would inherit her work. Snow is falling inside the TARDIS. The Doctor realises someone is tampering with nature and sets off to stop them. Using illegal government research Ruby sets about making the perfect child in her laboratory and uses the snow to gather her data. Next day the snowmen built by the local children come to life and envelop them. The Doctor, Tom and Val must make Ruby stop her experiment so the real children can be freed. But there is a further consequence to Ruby's experiment even the Doctor did not expect.

FILTER: - Canada - Fan Productions