Doctor Who Triumphs at the 2014 NTABookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who has triumphed at the 2014 National Television Awards, with the show winning Best Drama and Matt Smith winning Best Drama Performance.

Smith, who won the award for Best Actor in 2012, triumphed in a category that now includes both male and female actors, beating Martin Clunes, Maggie Smith, and Miranda Hart.

The actor is currently appearing in American Psycho at the Almeida Theatre, London, so the award was collected by Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat on his behalf. However, Smith did record a video message thanking the NTA for the marvellous award.
Thank you to everyone who voted. You made my time on Who the best and most brilliant and most audacious part of my career to date. I am forever grateful.

Doctor Who won the award for Best Drama for the first time since 2010, regaining a title it held from 2005-2010. It beat Broadchurch, Downton Abbey, and Call The Midwife. The award was collected by Coleman.
Fifty years and still going strong. Well done Who!

I think this award absolutely belongs to the team, the cast and crew who are grafting away in Cardiff as we speak. The genius and mastermind that is Moff, and of course Matt Smith. Thanks to everyone who voted.
The awards were presented at The O2 in London. Other winners included Benedict Cumberbatch, who won Best TV Detective in the Moffat and Mark Gatiss series Sherlock.

FILTER: - Doctor Who - Matt Smith - Awards/Nominations

New Doctor Who comic-book adventures announcedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
Titan Comics and BBC Worldwide Americas have signed a deal to publish all-new Doctor Who comic-book adventures, it was announced today. It comes following the end of the licensing agreement that IDW Publishing had had with the BBC since 2007.

The adventures will feature the Doctors as portrayed by David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi. A press statement datelined New York said:
In the universe of Doctor Who, regenerations bring not only a new Doctor but often a fresh look and feel to the series, and BBC Worldwide is bringing that same approach to Doctor Who comics as it signs a new deal with Titan Comics.

The deal will open up the world of Doctor Who and provide fans with new stand-alone adventures featuring the Tenth Doctor, Eleventh Doctor and, after the new series launch, the Twelfth Doctor. Creative and production teams will be announced in the coming weeks and the first comic books will be released in 2014.
Today's statement was purely to announce the partnership agreement. A more precise date for when the first issue will be published is yet to be given, as is confirmation of the publication frequency. Although ostensibly an American production, the comic books will be available to buy worldwide.

Titan Comics is the comics and graphic-novel division of publisher Titan, whose magazine subsidiary previously published Torchwood - The Official Magazine.

FILTER: - Merchandise - USA - Comics - Magazines - BBC Worldwide

Verity Lambert biography to be publishedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
A biography of Doctor Who's first producer is to be published next January. Drama and Delight: The Life and Legacy of Verity Lambert is being written by Richard Marson and will be brought out by Miwk Publishing Ltd.

Not only was Lambert the show's first producer, it was also her first TV programme as a producer, having been poached from commercial rival ABC by drama boss Sydney Newman. At the time, she was also the youngest and only female drama producer at the BBC.

Lambert went on to have a hugely successful and influential career in TV production, becoming a head of drama herself - at Thames Television - and later setting up her own production company. She received an OBE in the 2002 New Year Honours for services to film and television production, and that same year also saw her presented with BAFTA's Alan Clarke Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television. She died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 71.

For five decades, the name Verity Lambert appeared on the end credits of many of Britain's most celebrated and talked-about television dramas, among them Adam Adamant Lives!, Budgie, The Naked Civil Servant, Minder, Edward and Mrs Simpson, Eldorado, G.B.H. and Jonathan Creek. She was the very first producer of Doctor Who, which she nurtured through its formative years at a time when there were few women in positions of power in the television industry. Later, she worked within the troubled British film business and became a pioneering independent producer, founding her own highly successful company, Cinema Verity.

Within her profession, she was hugely respected as an intensely driven, sometimes formidable but always stylish exponent of her craft, with the stamina and ability to combine quantity with quality.

Many of her productions have had a lasting cultural and emotional impact on their audiences and continue to be enjoyed to this day. But who was the woman behind all these television triumphs and what was the price she paid to achieve them?

Combining months of painstaking research and interviews with many of Lambert's closest friends and colleagues, Drama and Delight will capture the energy and spirit of this remarkable woman and explore her phenomenal and lasting legacy.
Marson wrote for Doctor Who Monthly/Magazine between 1983 and 1988, and after graduating from the University of Durham in 1987 joined the BBC, progressing from floor assistant to producer/director. Along the way, he worked on many iconic programmes including Top of the Pops, That's Life!, Going Live!, and Wogan. He went freelance in 1994, with stints at companies such as Planet 24, Chatsworth, and LWT. A return to the BBC in 1997 to direct series of Record Breakers and Tomorrow's World led to his appointment as a producer on Blue Peter in 1998, where he remained for almost a decade. He spent four years as the programme's editor.

In 2007, he was the executive producer of BBC Four's Children's TV On Trial, while more recently he produced and directed the 90-minute documentary Tales of Television Centre for the same channel. He is currently with TwoFour, producing a major 15-part "fixed-rig" documentary (where the cameras are stationary) for CBBC called Our School.

Marson is the author of several books, including Inside Updown: The Story of Upstairs, Downstairs, Blue Peter 50th Anniversary, and JN-T: The Life and Scandalous Times of John Nathan-Turner, which caused a media stir when it was published last year.

FILTER: - People - Merchandise - Books - Classic Series

Tom Baker interviews released on his 80th birthdayBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 January 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
Tom Baker celebrates his 80th birthday today and the BBC has simultaneously released a short video in which the actor discusses playing the Doctor and his return last year to the programme.

In it, he says:
It's 30-odd years since I finished with it but I still get recognised. Everybody in the village calls me "Doctor" and people on building sites still shout "'Ello Doctor!" which amuses me no end!

In addition, a slightly longer audio-only interview has been made available via BBC Worldwide's Doctor Who site in which Baker says he stayed for so long in the show because it made him so happy:
I've been gone and I keep telling people I wrote an autobiography and said how happy I was doing Doctor Who and here I am now about to have my 80th birthday event and I'm Doctor Who again, you know, so my happiness is restored.
Asked to sum up in one line his Doctor for someone who had never seen him, Baker responds: "One word, I think: Adorable!" and laughs. The interview can be listened to below:

FILTER: - People - Special Events - Tom Baker - Online - BBC

Ken Trew 1936-2014Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 18 January 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Ken Trew (Credit: Grahame Flynn 2013)Veteran BBC costume designer Ken Trew, the man who designed the Seventh Doctor's costume as well as revamping the Third Doctor's costume and creating the first costume for The Master, played by Roger Delgado, has died at the age of 77.

Kenneth Trew was born in Newport, South Wales and attended Newport College of Art. He left college and worked in repertory theatre as a set designer before moving to London. He joined The Festival Ballet for six months, which included a tour to Barcelona and Lisbon. It was during this tour that he applied to become a Costume Designer at the BBC. He joined the corporation in 1964 as a dresser and at the end of 1965 became an Assistant Designer working on such productions as Z Cars.

His first involvement with Doctor Who was on The Myth Makers (1965) with William Hartnell, which was recorded at Riverside Studios. He assisted Designer Bobi Bartlett on the Patrick Troughton, Cyberman story The Invasion (1968).

Ken Trew (Credit: Grahame Flynn 2014)Trew designed the opening story of Jon Pertwee’s second season, Terror of the Autons (1971) introducing a more colourful version of Pertwee’s costume originally designed by Christine Rawlins.

Producer John Nathan-Turner used Trew regularly in the 1980s for the Peter Davison story Snakedance (1983) and the first part of Trial of A Time Lord – The Mysterious Planet (1986) with Colin Baker. He established the look of The Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy for Time and the Rani (1987), and then worked on Remembrance of the Daleks (1988), The Curse of Fenric (1989), Ghost Light (1989) and Survival (1989). He was also the designer for the Children in Need Special Dimensions in Time (1993).

Other design work included A Very Peculiar Practice, Bergerac, The Prisoner of Zenda, Strangers and Brothers, The Onedin Line and Anna Karenina.
The designer died on 11th January of Sporadic CJD, a very rare condition affecting only 1-2 in every million people each year in the UK.

Pam Trew, Ken’s wife said, I always knew that Ken was one in a million!

Obituary by Grahame Flynn

FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Arthur Darvill joins Who Down UnderBookmark and Share

Saturday, 18 January 2014 - Reported by Connor Johnston
A Town Called Mercy. Photo: BBCArthur Darvill who played Rory Williams in Doctor Who, is to join The Doctor is in event taking place in Australia this March.

Darvill joins previously announced guests Matt Smith and Karen Gillan who are both heading down under for the special tour around the country.

The Hub Productions event features guests live on stage, talking about the phenomenon of Doctor Who and their lives as the Doctor and his companion. There will also be merchandise as well as rare collectibles available to purchase from dealers. Limited autographs and professional photographs will be available with the guests. The tour dates are as follows:
  • Sydney March 1st 2014
  • Perth March 2nd 2014
  • Adelaide March 8th 2014
  • Melbourne March 9th 2014

FILTER: - Arthur Darvill - Conventions - Australia

Roger Lloyd Pack 1944-2014Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 16 January 2014 - Reported by Marcus
The actor Roger Lloyd Pack has died at the age of 69.

Lloyd Pack played John Lumic, the owner of Cybus Industries and the creator of the Cybermen, in the 2006 Doctor Who story Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel.

He was best known for playing Trigger in the long-running sitcom Only Fools and Horses as well as Owen Newitt in The Vicar of Dibley. In later years, he attained fame in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where he played Barty Crouch.

The actor was born in Islington, north London, in 1944, the son of Hammer horror actor Charles Lloyd-Pack. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before making his stage debut in Northampton. He had small appearances in The Avengers and Virgin of the Secret Service before his big screen debut in 1968 when he played a small part in The Magus. Other TV roles included parts in Spyder's Web, Crown Court, Dixon of Dock Green and both versions of Terry Nation's Survivors, playing Wally in the original 1970s production and Billy Stringer in the second series of the remake, which aired in 2010 - as such, he was the only actor to appear in both versions. Lloyd Pack also appeared in Life of Shakespeare, Private Schulz, Moving, Byker Grove, Selling Hitler, The Bill and The Gravy Train Goes East. In later years he had roles in The Borgias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Old Guys.

He was a committed socialist, campaigned for nuclear disarmament and was a supporter of Left Unity.

Sir David Jason, who starred with Lloyd Pack in Only Fools and Horses, has spoken of his sadness at the news of the actor's death.
A very quiet, kind and unassuming actor who was a pleasure to work with. Although he played the simple soul of Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, he was a very intelligent man and a very fine actor capable of many roles. I shall remember him with fondness and for all the good times we had together.
Andrew Hayden-Smith, who played Jake in Rise of the Cybermen said
Very sad to hear about Roger Lloyd-Pack. Trigger to many but to me he'll always be super villain John Lumic. RIP.
While Tom MacRae who wrote the Cyberman adventure said
So sad to hear that Roger Lloyd-Pack, the baddie in my first ever Doctor Who story, has died. I only met him once but he was so charming.
The actor died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday night. He is survived by his second wife Jehane Markham and his four children, the actress Emily Lloyd and his sons Spencer, Hartley & Louis.

FILTER: - People - Obituary

Tales of TrenzaloreBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
On 27 February 2014, BBC Digital will release the ebook Tales of Trenzalore, a collection of four novellas set during the Eleventh Doctor's centuries defending the planet Trenzalore, as seen in the Christmas adventure The Time of the Doctor.
Tales of Trenzalore (Credit: Mark Morris)Tales of Trenzalore

As it had been foretold, the armies of the Universe gathered at Trenzalore. Only one thing stood between the planet and destruction — the Doctor. For nine hundred years, he defended the planet, and the tiny town of Christmas, against the forces that would destroy it.

He never knew how long he could keep the peace. He never knew what creatures would emerge from the snowy night to threaten him next. He knew only that at the end he would die on Trenzalore.

Some of what happened during those terrible years is well documented. But most of it remains shrouded in mystery and darkness.

Until now.

This is a glimpse of just some of the terrors the people faced, the monstrous threats the Doctor defeated. These are the tales of the monsters who found themselves afraid - and of the one man who was not.

(Tales of Trenzalore documents four of the Doctor's adventures from different periods during the Siege of Trenzalore and the ensuing battle:

Let it Snow - by Justin Richards

An Apple a Day - by George Mann

Strangers in the Outland - by Paul Finch

The Dreaming - by Mark Morris)
Each novella features a classic Doctor Who monster. Justin Richards' story features the Ice Warriors (first seen in the 1967 serial The Ice Warriors, and most recently seen in Cold War), George Mann's story features the Krynoid (from the 1976 serial The Seeds of Doom), Paul Finch's features the Autons (first seen in 1970's Spearhead from Space), and Mark Morris's features the Mara (from the 1982 serial Kinda and its 1983 sequel Snakedance).
With Thanks To Mark Morris, George Mann and Paul Finch

FILTER: - Merchandise - Books - Eleventh Doctor - BBC

Moonbase animation clipBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
BBC Worldwide's site has released an exclusive clip from the forthcoming DVD of the 1967 Patrick Troughton serial The Moonbase. Episodes two and four of this story remain in the BBC archives; episodes one and three have been animated to the original soundtrack for this DVD release. The clip, from the animated episode three, shows Cybermen marching across the surface of the Moon in preparation for their attack on the eponymous moonbase.

The Moonbase DVD will be released on January 20 in Region 2 (Europe, Japan, Middle East, South Africa), on January 22 in Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, South and Central America) and February 11 in Region 1 (US and Canada).

FILTER: - Second Doctor - Animation - Blu-ray/DVD

Doctor Who: Worlds in Time to closeBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 - Reported by Connor Johnston
World in Time Poster The Doctor Who-inspired online multiplayer role-playing game Worlds in Time is to cease operation on 28th February 2014.

The game was first announced by the BBC Press Office prior to the San Francisco Game Developers Conference on 24th February 2011. On 17th November 2011, it was announced through a press release that publisher Sega would be collaborating with BBC Worldwide in the production of the game after having acquired Three Rings Design. Since its official release in March 2012, labelled The first-ever Doctor Who online game, it was free to play online for players aged 13 and above (with those between 13 and 15 needing parental permission to participate) meeting the game's terms and conditions.

An announcement email was sent out recently to members stating:
We are sorry to report that Doctor Who: Worlds in Time will discontinue service.

The game will no longer be accepting transactions from players. Existing players are welcome to use their earned in-game currency over the next two months. Customer support and game maintenance will be available through the shutdown date.
As an additional thank-you to "the loyal players of Worlds in Time for supporting the game through its years of operation", players have been offered a 10% discount code at the BBC Shop.

FILTER: - Online - Games