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

The Collectable Art Company launches ‘Sixth Doctor’ costume designBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Collectable Art Company is to publish a series of Limited Edition Fine Art prints of the original Doctor Who costume designs.

The officially licensed range will be launched on 1st March with Pat Godfrey's final design of the distinctive, multi-coloured Sixth Doctor's costume. 'Totally Tastless' will be limited to 1500 high quality individually numbered A2 prints, and will also be autographed by both the costume designer and the eventual wearer himself, Colin Baker.

Each print will also be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity and a special 28 page Script to Screen booklet which describes the making of the iconic costume, plus an interview with Godfrey and introduction by Baker.



Grahame Flynn, Managing Director of The Collectable Art Company, said:
We are delighted to have secured the rights to reproduce costume designs from this flagship BBC series. We are committed to bringing world-class, museum quality reproductions of the production designs to collectors. The range will expand to include the images from the classic and new series.

The print is now available for pre-order.

(with thanks to Grahame Flynn/The Collectable Art Company)




FILTER: - Merchandise - Colin Baker

Life Imitates ArtBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 February 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
It's said that truth is stranger than fiction, and in a case of life imitating art (in more ways than one), two iconic paintings with very close connections to Doctor Who have been hitting the headlines.

Firstly, one of Edvard Munch's four versions of The Scream - which was a major influence on the design of Series 6 monster The Silence - is to be exhibited in the UK before being auctioned in the USA by Sotheby's.

It will be on display in London from 13th April and in New York from 27th April, with the auction taking place on 2nd May, when it is estimated it could fetch more than £50m ($80m).

This version - dated 1895 and the only one to still be in private hands - is a pastel and is in the original frame that was hand-painted by the Norwegian artist. It also includes a poem by Munch explaining what inspired his masterpiece.

The Scream is reckoned to be the second-most recognisable image in art and popular culture after the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci - and by a funny coincidence another version of that particular masterpiece has also been causing a huge stir in the art world.

The globally famous portrait - also titled La Gioconda - was a major plot point of the Season 17 story City of Death. Now a copy of the picture - reckoned to have been painted by one of Leonardo's apprentices at the time of the original - has been restored and displayed at the Prado Museum in Madrid, where it will stay until 13th March, after which it will be moved and hung next to Leonardo's original at the Louvre in Paris for an exhibition.

As reported previously, photographic portraits of David Tennant and Karen Gillan can still be seen in the Hot Scots exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. This display runs until 1st April.

Tennant is also among the actors featured in backstage theatre photographer Simon Annand's exhibition The Half at the Idea Generation Gallery in Chance Street, London. The display takes its name from the half-hour before curtain-up, when actors are left by themselves to focus on the performance ahead of them. Also pictured at the gallery are Michael Gambon, Carey Mulligan, and Mark Gatiss. The exhibition opens tomorrow and runs until 8th April, with the opening times 10am to 6pm Mondays to Fridays and midday to 5pm Sundays.




FILTER: - USA - UK - Karen Gillan - Exhibitions - David Tennant - Miscellaneous - Auctions

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
In recognition of his contribution to drama business for BBC Wales, Doctor Who's former lead writer Russell T Davies has had the main walkway connecting all of the new Media Village facilities in Cardiff Bay named after him, with a plaque put up denoting Russell T Davies Alley. [Standard, 16 Feb 2012]

Talking about 'walkways', film cameraman Peter Eveson has filmed and directed the debut video for the north Suffolk band Walkway. As well as Doctor Who, the cameraman also filmed and directed Zoo Days, and worked on James May's Toy Stories. [Diss Express, 19 Feb 2012]

David Tennant will be the narrator for the audio version of Silver: Return to Treasure Island, a sequel book to Robert Louis Stevenson's original novel written by Sir Andrew Motion; the author said: "I'm completely delighted David Tennant's reading Silver. I honestly can't think of anyone I'd rather hear do it.". Dominic White of audiobook publisher W F Howes Ltd added: "David Tennant really conveys the thrills of an ocean odyssey. This is the making of a modern classic in spoken word form." [Booktrade, 22 Feb 2012]

The pairing of Tennant and Catherine Tate in last year's West End production of Much Ado About Nothing was named theatre event of the year in the Whatsonstage.com awards, voted for by the public. It also scooped the best Shakespearean production award at the event, co-hosted by Sheridan Smith (Eighth Doctor companion Lucie Miller in the Big Finish audio plays). Tate also won the award for best supporting actress in a play for Season's Greetings, and James Corden was named best actor in a play for One Man, Two Guvnors. [BBC News, 20 Feb 2012]

And speaking of Sheridan Smith, she has won the title role in Mrs Biggs, an ITV Studios drama that will chronicle the life of the former wife of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs from when she first met him. The five-parter will also feature Daniel Mays (Alex in Night Terrors) as the notorious criminal. [ITV Press Centre, 20 Feb 2012]

Actress Katy Wix (who played Ianto's sister Rhiannon in Torchwood: Children of Earth) can be seen in the new series of Not Going Out. Talking about her blossoming career as a comedienne, she said: "At times I've felt people in the industry didn't trust me with the joke, me being a woman and all – but they're just people I don't want to work with." [Observer, 19 Feb 2012]

Tom Price will be appearing in a new comedy show for BBC3, World Series of Dating, playing the character of James Chetwynd-Talbot, described as a nervous sports journalist, unlucky with the ladies and in his first commentary role. The 8-part series, which stars American actor/comedian Rob Riggle, commences on the channel in March. [BBC Media Centre, 22 Feb 2012]

Actor Zach Braff learnt about how famous his All New People co-star Eve Myles was by meeting her fans at the stage door! "I didn't (know) until I got here. Eve does not play a very - how do I put this? - her character is not like a sex pot, hottie, and I'm seeing these pictures from Torchwood of her firing guns and these tight outfits, and I'm like 'Eve?!!' But it's become quite popular in the States, too, I have a friend who I didn't know even watched it, he was like 'you're acting with Eve Myles!' - he was freaking out. She's a wonderful, wonderful actress, and doing comedy for the first time, which people haven't seen - wait until they see how good she is at comedy. [STV, 21 Feb 2012]

Mark Ayres was recently asked about how the incidental music was handled in the classic series. When asked if music was always mixed in on the board while filming, he said: Almost always prior to 1970, yes (the show was made, as far as possible, 'as live'). After 1970, music added in post-dub.«" On whether composers saw the visuals on post-dub: "Yes, composers saw playback at BBC and made notes. From 1980-onwards (perhaps slightly earlier) they were given a time-coded VHS.« From mid-70s, Doctor Who office and Radiophonic Workshop were using Shibaden black-and-white reel-to-reel video dubs for reference.«"

The composer also added: "It's taken 15 years, but I have finally digitised all of the classic Doctor Who sound effects.«" However, "There remains a massive amount of cataloguing and documentation to complete, but the 246 tapes are done.«" A collection of Doctor Who sound effects from the 1970s has recently been re-released on CD.

The Series 6 episode The Doctor's Wife has been nominated for a 2011 Nebula Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Richard Clark, it has been put forward for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. The winner will be announced during the SFWA's 47th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, which takes place from Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th May in Arlington, Virgina. The Series 5 episode Vincent and the Doctor was similarly nominated last year in the 2010 awards but failed to win. [Richard Clark, via Twitter, 20 Feb 2012]




FILTER: - People - USA - Russell T Davies - Theatre - Catherine Tate - David Tennant - Awards/Nominations

Series 7: First publicity photo releasedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released the first promotional photo and details for the new series of Doctor Who:

Filming has just started on Series 7 of Doctor Who in Cardiff. This series will see the last days of the Ponds with Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill returning for their final, rollercoaster voyage with The Doctor. Amy and Rory have been at the Doctor's side for more than two series but what will he do after their heartbreaking departure?

On returning for his third series as the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith says: "It's thrilling and exciting to be back and working with two of my closest friends."

Karen Gillan adds: "It's just brilliant to be back on the TARDIS with Matt and Arthur for our craziest adventures yet."

Series 7 will then see a dramatic turn of events when The Doctor meets a new friend. Prepare yourselves for thrills, adventures and dramatic surprises as the show builds towards its enormous, climactic 50th anniversary year. Fourteen big, blockbuster-movie episodes - each a brand new epic adventure featuring new monsters and some familiar foes as you've never seen them before.

Casting Update

As well as Mark Williams (who was busy filming on Monday), additional guest stars for the series have now been announced:

Rupert Graves

Graves has had a long film and television career, including roles in The Forsyte Saga (2002-2003), V for Vendetta (2005), and even The Famous Five (1979). He appeared alongside former Doctor David Tennant in Single Father, but is perhaps most recognisable currently as Inspector Lestrade in the Steven Moffat/Mark Gatiss re-imagining of Sherlock.

David Bradley

Another actor with a long career, Bradley has appeared on television ranging from A Family At War (1971) through to recent series like Five Daughters (2010), and has also worked with David Tennant, in Blackpool (2004). However, the actor is no stranger to the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who, having played a Shansheeth voice in The Death of the Doctor. He is probably most recognisable to the wider audience, though, as the scraggly caretaker Argus Filch in the Harry Potter film franchise.

Production Crew: Related Vacancy

BBC Careers have listed a job within Visual Effects for BBC Wales which, though not specifically advertised for Doctor Who, will encompass the show amongst others:
Senior Visual Effects Designer (Talent Pool)

BBC Wales produces some of the BBCs best known, most popular and loved productions: Human Planet, Crimewatch, Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, Being Human, Upstairs Downstairs, Merlin, Sherlock, Eric and Ernie, alongside a wide range of programmes for local output and S4C.

BBC Wales, Post Production and Graphic Design, is looking for visual effects designers, with experience in broadcast production, to join our highly creative and talented design team, to work on some of these high profile productions.

Requirements: You’ll have relevant experience within the Broadcast Visual Effects industry, with proven design creative ability in the field. You’ll possess strong working knowledge of customer/production bases, with a flexible/adaptable style to suit a wide range of different supervisors/customers preferred styles and strong interpersonal skills with the confidence to approach potential customers.
The role will "be responsible for delivering visual effects, to production requirements and standards, in either a support, or, lead role." Based in Cardiff, the closing date for applications is 4th March.





FILTER: - Arthur Darvill - Karen Gillan - Production - Matt Smith - Series 7/33

Regional RoundupBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster

United Kingdom

A bit of nostalgia for Boston as 1977 saw a report on a visit to the Oldrids store by Tom Baker, who was there to autograph books about the television series and "proved a hit with the locals." [Boston Standard, 20 Feb 2012]

A Doctor Who-themed day was held at Long Close School in Slough to herald the beginning of half-term. A special poster replaced the school emblem, pupils wore costumes, time travel stories and quantum mechanics got a look-in on the curriculum, a Dalek, Weeping Angel, Cyberman, and Tardis made an appearance - and even headteacher David Brazier got in on the act by dressing up as the Ninth Doctor! [Slough and South Bucks Observer, 17 Feb 2012]

Daleks helped raise more than £1,000 for the British Heart Foundation when they appeared as part of a fund-raising day at the Ashley Centre in Epsom. [Epsom Guardian, 20 Feb 2012]

Twickenham Film Studios
has gone into administration, with very little likelihood of it making movies again. Due to celebrate its centenary next year, it is, instead, being wound down between now and June. It was also host to TV productions over the years, including the BBC drama serial Our Friends In The North, which co-starred Christopher Eccleston, and Coupling, the BBC comedy created and written by Steven Moffat. On the cinematic front, An Education, which was filmed there, featured Carey Mulligan in her first leading role, while trivia buffs may like to know that the Amicus Films offering The Terrornauts featured shots of the Dalek flying saucer model from the same production company's Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. A partial Twickenham filmography is available here. [BBC News, 20 Feb 2012]
(With thanks to Jeremy Bentham)

United States

An outdoor advertising campaign by BBC America that uses Doctor Who among its references has proved to be an internet smash. Billboards and commuter transit ads have been appearing in the New York City area to promote the network - among them posters on all three suburban commuter train lines that say "My other commute is in a TARDIS" (which has reportedly been downloaded 1,000 times) and "If you were a Time Lord, you would be home by now or 700 years ago". The channel has also logged more than 12,500 posts and likes on Tumblr, plus nearly 500 tweets of photos or comments. [Multichannel News, 10 Feb 2012] [BuzzFeed, 8 Feb 2012]

Writing for Washington University's independent newspaper in St. Louis, David Sargeant rates Doctor Who amongst the best of British shows: "Arguably the most popular British show of all time, Doctor Who is the easiest show to jump into and the sole entry on this list still in production. The Doctor is an alien with a time machine, a fondness for humans and an out-of-this-world personality. He travels through time and space with a human companion, confronting various alien menaces and setting an example of tolerance and cool logic. The franchise is approaching its 50th anniversary but has yet to show its age." [Student Life, 20 Feb 2012]

Andrea Shelton reflects on her experience at the GallifreyOne Convention that took place in Los Angeles last weekend: "This weekend I made my first trip to the 23rd installment of Gallifrey One – a Doctor Who convention held annually in LA – and it was nothing short of OUTSTANDING. The defining characteristic of this event is that it is 100% fan-run. This means every staff member and volunteer is participating out of sheer love and enjoyment of the series, and it shows in every detail of the programming. The charm of this convention goes beyond the quality of programming. Just as important to the overall experience is the character of the fans. I am pleased to say I have never been surrounded by so many friendly, enthusiastic, and kind people that I immediately felt a connection with. This convention has everything a Doctor Who fan could ask for, and I am already counting down the days until next year. It is a trip worth saving for, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year’s 50th Anniversary special." [What Culture, 21 Feb 2012]

Lastly, a selection of photos taken at the convention. [LA Weekly, 20 Feb 2012]




FILTER: - Steven Moffat - USA - UK - Tom Baker - Christopher Eccleston - Charities

AudioGo: release updateBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
AudioGo have released details on audio titles in their spoken word range due to be released next month, with the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory continuing their adventures in Darkstar Academy and Gwen and Rhys embroiled in post-Miracle Day shenanigans in Army of One. Plus, the new novelisation of Shada, reported last week.

Darkstar Academy
Written by Mark Morris
Read by Alexander Armstrong
Released 8th March 2012 (CD) (pre-order)

When the TARDIS is buffeted by ‘time slippage’, the Doctor experiences a terrible vision of the end of everything. Tracking the source of the disruption, he takes Rory and Amy to what appears to be an English public school in the 1950s.

But as the friends are about to discover, there are some very unusual things about Darkstar Academy. For a start the prefects carry guns, and then there is the strange forcefield that surrounds the perimeter. Not to mention the foot-long, crab-like creatures with spiny, armoured bodies...

When the Doctor learns the truth about the Academy, he also discovers that the whole place is in terrible danger. But with a swarm of creatures on the loose, what can he, Amy and Rory do to help prevent a terrible disaster?
Army of One
Written by Ian Edginton
Read by Kai Owen
Released 8th March 2012 (CD) (pre-order)


Washington D.C., post-Miracle. The city has been hit by a spate of very unusual serial killings.
The victims are different ages and genders and the locations vary, but each body has one thing in common – it has been reduced to a dried-up, desiccated husk.

Special Agent Lucas Avery has dealt with some tricky puzzles in his time, but this is stranger than anything he has ever encountered. His one lead is a pair of names: ‘Gwen’ and ‘Rhys’...

For Gwen Cooper and Rhys Williams, still recovering from the recent, traumatic events that shook the world, life is about to get difficult and dangerous again. For it’s not just Homeland Security on their trail, but something else – something alien, terrifying and deadly...




FILTER: - Audio

Doctor Who filming underway!Bookmark and Share

Monday, 20 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
This morning saw filming begin in earnest for the next series of Doctor Who!

A brief summary of activities appear below, which though we do not consider as spoilers (there are no plot points for the episode being filmed), some readers may prefer not to continue reading!

Cast

Mark Williams. Photo: Grace JenkinsThe first guest star for the series has been revealed as the comic/actor Mark Williams. Having come to fame as one of the faces of The Fast Show, Williams has appeared in a variety of television and films, most recently on Sunday evenings as vampire lore-master Regus in Toby Whithouse's supernatural show Being Human. Arguably, though, the actor is now recognisable worldwide though his role as Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise.

On Location

Recording took place inside a private house in Church Road, Penarth, which had been dressed to represent the Amy/Rory household. Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan were on set, as was Mark Williams.



Resident Grace Jenkins kept Twitter followers appraised of activities inside, including set-dressing the week before:
Fri 12:20pm Living room has been cruelly disfigured so they can film Doctor Who in it.
Fri 4:26pm Rory and Amy Pond's wedding photos are now on my living room wall and will be all weekend as they're filming Monday.

8:18am I just met Mr Weasley!
8:51am What a lovely group of people.
9:18am Karen Gillan keeps playing my piano.
10:18am Blows my mind how many people it takes to make a tv show. I've counted at least 50.
1:58pm SO glad I can finally just get a bloody cup of tea without tripping over camera leads.

(with thanks to Grace Jenkins and Ryan Farrell)




FILTER: - Production - Series 7/33

DVD developmentsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 19 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Speaking at the GallifreyOne convention in Los Angeles, Patrick Troughton's son Michael said that he had recently recorded a commentary on the life of his father to be included as a feature for The Ice Warriors. There are no details as yet over whether the incomplete story will be an individual DVD release or form part of a boxed set.

On the subject of incomplete stories, Nicholas Pegg reported on Twitter that he was "into the final furlong of the Shada DVD production subtitles, and still unearthing previously unknown trivia bombshells!«" Earlier he said: "Researching the full facts and events of the Shada cancellation for the DVD info text. It's awfully sad. They so nearly made it!«"

Ed Stradling has made the following appeal: "if any Doctor Who fans out there know the whereabouts of any of the original models from Terror of the Zygons, could you let me know? Thanks«"


Talking about the forthcoming The Face of Evil (out 5th March), Chris Chapman said on Twitter: 'Into the Wild' features an exclusive chat with the child voice of Xoanon, then-schoolboy Anthony Frieze! Yes, I can tell you are excited!« It also features Louise Jameson, Philip Hinchcliffe, Austin Ruddy, Mat Irvine and an archive interview with Pennant Roberts.« But the big star of the doco is Mat Irvine's AMAZING Tom Baker mountain face!«"

Chapman also discussed the documentary The Show Must Go On, to be included on the DVD of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: "The guest line-up (Aldred, Wareing, Reddington, Laskey, Tucker, Cartmel and JNT archive) now has an added cameo from the Bus Conductor Robot!« Worth saying that the doco and commentary feature an almost completely different line-up of guests - virtually no crossover!« Doco is clocking in just over 30mins, which I think is our longest yet.« It includes the words 'doormat', 'rat-bucket' and 'I was a bit too male for that'« ... Fiddling on with our doco - one last scan through the 'studio' footage... looking for things that went wrong!« ... Just added a bit of swearing - will have to bleep that one out!«" Today, he added: "We're just finishing our Greatest Show doco - which is a great chance to say how flippin' brilliant Who was at that time!«".

The latest edition of Nothing at the End of the Lane reports that some 90 seconds of behind-the-scenes footage had been captured on 8mm film during the recording of Robot on location at Wood Norton Hall by an extra in the story, Roger Squires; the material may appear on a future DVD release.

DVD range producer Dan Hall updated Doctor Who Magazine on the status of the recently rediscovered episodes of Galaxy 4 and The Underwater Menace: "There's one release that hasn't been announced yet which will provide a home for one of them. And there's a potential release that will provide a home for the other one as well. People aren't going to see them out on DVD in 2012, though. But they are on our schedule."

Hall also indicated that other special editions might be on the way: "I'm hoping that Vengeance on Varos will be the first of our single Revisitations imprint. So we'll see how Varos does and I've certainly got my sights on some future titles. (on choosing the titles) It's a mixture of things. I'll sit down with the Restoration Team and say 'What do you think could look a lot better now than it did on its first release?' Another consideration is looking at the extras that are on the existing DVD, and seeing if there's really basic stuff missing. I'm very proud of the idea that the DVDs form a kind of encyclopaedia."




FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

Big Finish: Eighth Doctor SaleBookmark and Share

Sunday, 19 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Big Finish are to run a special sale of Eighth Doctor audio adventures over the course of this week, with a different season every day. The series features Paul McGann reprising his role as the Doctor, alongside Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller.

DaySeasonComplete Season PriceEpisode Price
Monday 20th FebruarySeason One (eight episodes)£35 (US $60)£5 each (US $9)
Tuesday 21st FebruarySeason Two (eight stories)£35 (US $60)£5 each (US $9)
Wednesday 22nd FebruarySeason Three (eight stories)£35 (US $60)£5 each (US $9)
Thursday 24th FebruarySeason Four (ten stories)£40 (US $75)£5 each (US $9)

The first Eighth Doctor Adventure Blood of the Daleks is also available to download for free until midnight tonight (Sunday), US time.




FILTER: - Audio - Paul McGann - Big Finish

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 18 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Matt Smith is to feature on Top Gear as the "star in the reasonably priced car" - recorded last Wednesday, his attempt will appear in the episode due to be broadcast at 8:00pm, 26th February on BBC2/BBCHD. Both of his predecessors have attempted this in the past, with Christopher Eccleston in 2005 (completed in 1:53:4) and David Tennant in 2007 (1:48:8, watch here).

Alex Kingston talks about the period setting on Upstairs, Downstairs (returning to BBC1 tomorrow evening at 9:30pm): "Oh yes, setting this series just before the Second World War is clever. In 2012, our world is changing radically and that is reflected in Upstairs Downstairs, too. These characters are on the verge of something, they don’t know what is going to happen and people will identify with their fears. This is the beginning of the modern world and here is a society just clinging onto what they know, but it is going to change irrevocably." [What's on TV, 16 Feb 2012]

Sylvester McCoy will be playing the lead role as Mr Peters in Plume by the Tron Theatre Company in Glasgow; it runs from 1st-17th March. The actor will also be a guest on Janice Forsyth's show on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday. [JaniceForsyth, 16 Feb 2012]

The CBeebies animated series Tree Fu Tom, featuring the vocal talents of Sophie Aldred and David Tennant, starts on Monday 5th March. [BBC Media Centre]

Cosima Shaw (Steffi Ehrlich, The Waters of Mars) plays Emma, Colin McFarlane (Alien Voices, Voyage of the Damned) Terrence, and Miranda Raison (Tallulah, Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks) Kate in the new three-episode series of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, based on the books by Douglas Adams. The transmission date and time are yet to be confirmed, but it is currently due to start on BBC Four during the week beginning Saturday 3rd March. [BBC Media Centre]

The theatrical version of The King's Speech, featuring Ian McNeice as Winston Churchill and which premiered in Guildford earlier this month, is to transfer to Wyndham's Theatre on Thursday 22nd March for a four-month West End run, following its provincial tour. [BBC News, 17 Feb 2012]

John Simm is appearing on stage as Jerry in Betrayal by Harold Pinter at The Crucible in Sheffield from Thursday 17th May to Saturday 9th June. [@john_simm]

Just opened in the West End - appropriately enough at the Noel Coward Theatre - is Hay Fever, Coward's classic comedy of bad manners, with Lindsay Duncan (Adelaide Brooke in The Waters of Mars) leading a cast that also includes Kevin McNally (Hugo Lang in The Twin Dilemma), Olivia Colman (Mother, The Eleventh Hour),and Sam Callis (Security Guard, Bad Wolf). It is on until Saturday 2nd June. [Broadwayworld.com, 17 Feb 2012]

Brian Cox (Voice of Elder Ood, The End of Time: Part One) and Ron Donachie (Steward, Tooth and Claw) are to star in a new three-part TV comedy called Bob Servant Independent. Set in Dundee and airing on BBC Four later this year, the show's origins lie in the hit BBC Radio Scotland comedy The Bob Servant Emails and the best-selling Bob Servant books, and will see the title character, played by Cox, bid to become the MP for Broughty Ferry. [BBC Media Centre, 16 Feb 2012]

Ronnie Corbett has received his CBE from the Queen at an investiture at Buckingham Palace. As reported previously, the comedian, who played Ambassador "Rani" Ranius in the 2009 Sarah Jane Adventures special for Comic Relief, was recognised in this year's New Year Honours list for services to entertainment and charity. [BBC News, 16 Feb 2012]

The latest Doctor Who crewmember that can be followed on Twitter is James Strong (@jimmystrong); the David Tennant-era director's work has most recently been seen on screen in Law and Order UK and Downton Abbey, and the film United (which also featured Tennant).

In Memoriam

Fight choreographer and fencing Olympian Bob Anderson has died aged 89. He had just one role in Doctor Who - that of Fighting Guard in episode 4 of The Enemy of the World - but achieved great acclaim in the film industry, working with - among others - Errol Flynn and coaching Charlie Sheen and Johnny Depp. Most notably, perhaps, he played Darth Vader in fight scenes in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, standing in for Dave Prowse. [The Stage, 14 Feb 2012]




FILTER: - People - Theatre - Matt Smith - David Tennant - Awards/Nominations - Animation - Sylvester McCoy