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

Sneak Peek: The Eleventh Doctor #7Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Next Wednesday January 21 sees the release of Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #7 by Rob Williams & Warren Pleece, and Titan has released a preview of the issue.

NEW TWO-PART STORY BEGINS THIS ISSUE.

CRUCIAL CLUES TO THE ARC PLOT – AND THE DOCTOR'S HIDDEN ENEMY

INTERGALACTIC WAR BRINGS THE LONDON SKIES TO A SHUDDERING HALT!

The day after tomorrow – and the Vrezian Confederacy and the J'arrodic Federation have brought their 'honorable' air-war to Earth.

They're not here to invade, and they're being exceptionally considerate about collateral damage, all things considered.

But human air travel is at a standstill, our culture is collapsing, the skies are clogged with toxic smog... And UNIT can't do a thing, as the aliens vaporize the weapons stockpile of any country that dares interfere!

The deadlock needs a peaceful and clever solution – let's hope the Doctor is up to the job!

And in the middle of it all... Alice is given a shocking offer she dare not refuse!
​Comes with three covers to collect!​

The Eleventh Doctor #7 (Credit: Titan) The Eleventh Doctor #7 (Credit: Titan) The Eleventh Doctor #7 (Credit: Titan) The Eleventh Doctor #7 (Credit: Titan) The Eleventh Doctor #7 (Credit: Titan) The Eleventh Doctor #7 (Credit: Titan) The Eleventh Doctor #7 (Credit: Titan)




FILTER: - Comics - Eleventh Doctor

Series Nine UpdateBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Credit: BBCThe BBC has released details for Series Nine of Doctor Who, which began filming in Cardiff at the start of last week.

The episodes currently being filmed are written by Toby Whithouse whose first worked on the series in 2006, when he wrote School Reunion, the story which saw the reintroduction of Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 into the series. He also wrote The Vampires of Venice, The God Complex and A Town Called Mercy for the Eleventh Doctor, as well as an episode of Torchwood.

Steven Moffat, lead writer and Executive Producer, said,
An amazing guest cast for a brilliantly creepy two-parter by Toby Whithouse. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman are back in Cardiff, back in the box, and back in action - for one of our scariest adventures yet!
On set filming for the new series, Peter Capaldi added
The adventures begin again for myself and Jenna and I’m delighted to be back filming my second series of Doctor Who.
Joining the Doctor and Clara in the story will be Paul Kaye who is known for playing Thoros of Myr in the third series of Game of Thrones. In the 1990's he was better known for creating Dennis Pennis, the shock interviewer who ambushed celebrities with bizarre questions. Kaye is also well-known for being the voice of Vincent the fox on the puppet-based BBC comedy Mongrels.

Commenting on his role, Paul Kaye, said

As a kid of the 1970s, the two shows you always watched were Top of the Pops and Doctor Who, they were unmissable. I actually wrote a song called ‘Looking for Davros’ in my first punk band and I sang it like a demented Dalek. I got to present TOTP back in the mid ‘90’s and landing this role in Doctor Who completes the dream double.

Peter is a perfect Doctor and I’m loving every minute of the experience, even the five hours in make-up. What a treat, best 50th birthday present ever!
Also starring in the episodes will be Morven Christie who recently played the role of Amanda in the crime drama Grantchester and featured in Death in Paradise (2014) and Twenty Twelve.

Other guest artists in the story include Arsher Ali who played the part of Malik Suri in the critically acclaimed The Missing (BBC One) and Colin McFarlane who appeared in EastEnders as part of the Who Killed Lucy Beale? storyline. McFarlane provided an alien voice in the 2007 Christmas story Voyage of the Damned as well as appearing in Torchwood: Children of Earth.

Actress Sophie Stone also appears in the show for the first time. Stone was the lead actress in the play Woman of Flowers and has appeared in Midsummer Murders and Casualty. Also confirmed for roles in the double episode are Zaqi Ismail, Steven Robertson and Neil Fingleton.

While filming continues in Cardiff, plans are underway for location filming later in the series, with the show heading back to Spain according to a tweet from Director of photography Ali Asad. Last year's episode Kill The Moon was filmed on the Spanish island of Lanzarote, as was the 1984 story Planet of Fire. Spain has also been used for location work for The Two Doctors, Asylum of the Daleks and A Town Called Mercy.

The new series will be back in Autumn 2015.




FILTER: - Filming Reports - Series 9/35

New Torchwood radio plays plannedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 - Reported by Alex Frazer-Harrison
Torchwood is coming back, at least in audio form, John Barrowman revealed during a press conference promoting his series Arrow.

Speaking during the 2015 Press Tour hosted by the Television Critics Association, as reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Metro and other media outlets, Barrowman indicated that plans are afoot to produce several BBC audio dramas based on the series, which was last on TV in 2011.

"My sister and I are discussing the possibility of writing one of them and whether or not that leads to something [on TV]," Barrowman said, though he noted that he is "full-time" on Arrow at the moment (though he also reiterated that the producers of Arrow have indicated their willingness to allow him to film a Torchwood special if the opportunity ever arises). His sister, Carole E. Barrowman, has co-written several novels with her brother, including the Torchwood novel Exodus Code. Barrowman says "three or four" plays are planned.

No timeframe for production or broadcast was offered by Barrowman, who likewise did not say whether or not other Torchwood cast members (past or recent) will participate beyond teasing that at least one story will feature "the whole" Torchwood team. However, he did say that Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, producers of Torchwood (and, of course, former producers of Doctor Who) will be involved.






FILTER: - Torchwood

Anthony Ainley: The Man Behind The MasterBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Fantom Publishing have announced their plans to release a biography of Anthony Ainley, who played the Doctor's rival the Master in some nine full stories during the course of the 1980s, not to mention 'hosting' the computer game Destiny of the Doctors.

Anthony Ainley - The Man Behind The Master (Credit: Fantom Publishing)The Man Behind The Master
The Biography of Anthony Ainley
By Karen Louise Hollis

Although known to an audience of millions the world over for his portrayal of The Doctor's arch nemesis The Master in Doctor Who during the 1980's, Anthony Ainley had a prolific career which encompassed starring roles in Spyders Web and It's Dark Outside, as well as appearances in renowned dramas such as The Pallisers, Elizabeth R, Nicholas Nickleby, Upstairs, Downstairs, and cult films including Blood On Satan's Claw and The Land That Time Forgot.

But the dramas in Anthony's real life were far more fascinating than any of the many parts he played on screen. Born the illegitimate son of actor Henry Ainley, and taken into care at the Actors' Orphanage at the age of four, the hidden story behind one of Doctor Who's most enigmatic characters is brought to life by author Karen Louise Hollis.

Using exhaustive interviews with friends and colleagues from every aspect of Anthony's life, including his best friend from school, fellow children from the Actors' Orphanage, cricketing friends, colleagues, and those who remained close to him until his death in 2004, this book aims to uncover the real Anthony Ainley - The Man Behind The Master.

The book is now available for pre-order from the Fantom website and will be published exclusively through them from May 2015 until its trade release later in the year.




FILTER: - Books - Fantom

Crowdfunding campaign of the first Doctor Who convention in Germany launchedBookmark and Share

Monday, 12 January 2015 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
TimeLash Event 2015 A crowdfunding campain on indiegogo launched yesterday to fund the first ever Doctor Who convention held in Germany. At the same time the website to the event went online. The organisers previously only communicated via Facebook to the fans.

The event will take place in Kassel, on 24th to 25th October 2015. Guests announced so far are:
  • Catrin Stewart ("Jenny Flint")
  • Nicola Bryant ("Peri Brown")
  • Terry Molloy ("Davros")
  • Toby Hadoke (Actor, Comedian, Podcaster for Big Finish)
  • Jason Haigh-Ellery (Co-executive producer of Big Finish)
  • Terrance Dicks (Writer, Script-editor)
  • Andrew Cartmel (Writer, Script-editor)
Other guests include german dubbing-actors and -producers. According to the organisers of TimeLash, there are still more guests to be added to the line-up in the coming weeks.

Tickets are available on indiegogo. Since the launch of the campaign yesterday, the convention already achieved 40% of its goal and sold 112 weekend-tickets out of 500 available. The campaign on indiegogo runs for 60 days.






FILTER: - Big Finish - Conventions - Germany

50 Years of Doctor Who in AustraliaBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Monday marks the 50th Anniversary of the first screening of Doctor Who in Australia.

Although New Zealand first saw the series in September 1964, the series didn't reach Australia until 1965. The series had been purchased from the BBC in March 1964 and initially planned for premiere in May. However the Australian Film Censorship Board (AFCB) classified the series' first thirteen episodes 'A', meaning they were only suitable for an adult audience, thus preventing the ABC from showing the series in the 6:30pm Sunday timeslot they'd intended to use.

The series was therefore first screened in Perth, capital of Western Australia, by ABC station, ABW-2 on Tuesday 12 January 1965.

It was the days before satellite links, so the 16mm film print of the story had to be flown around the country for broadcasts to the different states. Sydney was the second city to screen the series, three days later on January 15th along with various New South Wales Country stations and the Australian Capital Territory. This was followed by screenings on 22nd January for Brisbane and Toowoomba in Queensland. The series reached Victoria on 20th February when Melbourne and various Victorian country stations screened the series. On the 4th March it was back in Queensland in Townsville before flying South to Adelaide where it was screened on 15th March. On the 18th March it was transmitted from Rockhampton before crossing the Bass Strait for broadcast on 11th June to viewers in Hobart and Launceston.

Many ABC stations had not been opened by January 1965, 10 opened in 1965 and a further 14 in 1966. The staggered launch dates of the stations that opened after 1965 meant that viewers in the country were introduced to Doctor Who well into the run, and often part way through a story. Some areas did not even have an ABC transmitter, so missed out altogether.
Thanks to Antony Howe - Founder and 1st President, Australasian Doctor Who Fan Club, 1976 and Dallas Jones - 2nd President and currently Vice President of Doctor Who Club of Australia.




FILTER: - Australia - WHO50

Last Christmas Chart PlacingBookmark and Share

Friday, 9 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus

Final figures now confirm that Doctor Who: Last Christmas finished as the 7th most watched programme on British Television for the Week.

The episode, which has 8.28 million watching, had a share of 31.6% of the total TV audience.

The Boxing Day repeat on BBC Three had a final audience of 0.48 million viewers, a share of 2% of the total audience. It had an AI of 84.




FILTER: - Ratings - Specials - UK

Last Christmas tops SPACEBookmark and Share

Thursday, 8 January 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Santa Claus (NICK FROST) (Credit: BBC / David Venni)SPACE have reported that the Christmas Special Last Christmas not only ranked as the channel's most popular show over Christmas, but also the highest ranked programme on the channel so far this broadcast year.
Space audiences skyrocketed this past December – the most-watched month in the channel’s history – making it the #1 entertainment specialty channel for the key A25-54 and A18-49 demos. Drawing in an average audience of 101,000 total viewers, December 2014 saw Space’s key A25-54 demo rise 37% and jump four spots to #1. A major contributor to Space’s record-breaking month is its signature series DOCTOR WHO and the premiere of the 2014 Christmas special LAST CHRISTMAS, which drew an average audience of 792,000 viewers, making it the top broadcast on Space this broadcast year-to-date.

Other key December audience boosters were Space’s Magical Merry Marathon which featured HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN on December 27 and HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS on December 28, pulling in 510,000 and 746,000 viewers, respectively. On December 28, Space’s exclusive series THE LIBRARIANS, currently airing at Sundays at 8 p.m. ET, pulled in a series-high 675,000 viewers, making it the #2 entertainment specialty program. THE HUNGER GAMES, which aired as part of Space’s Super Team Marathon, delivered an average audience of 526,000 viewers December 29.




FILTER: - Canada - Ratings - Series Specials

Doctor Who Magazine 482Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 January 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 482 (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine is published this week, and features an interview with Jenna Coleman, during which she discusses the loves and lives of Clara Oswald:
DWM asks Jenna if the Doctor and Clara can finally move on in their relationship – and after the sacrifice of Danny Pink, can things ever be the same again? "I think so," Jenna says. "But they are a bit addicted to each other, and to the dynamic that they share. It's getting so that one can't go without the other, and I think that's definitely what Clara's realised. In a way that's quite dangerous now, because she realises that there is no going back for her..."

Also inside this issue:

  • Rachel Talalay, director of the 2014 series finale two-part finale, reveals the secrets of how Death in Heaven was brought to the screen.
  • Peter Purves, who starred as companion Steven Taylor in the 1960s, talks in-depth about his time on Doctor Who.
  • Discover fascinating new facts about the acclaimed seventh Doctor story The Greatest Show in Galaxy in The Fact of Fiction.
  • Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat answers readers’ questions – including the knotty problem of the Doctor's many wives! – in his exclusive column.
  • Writer David Fisher, who wrote three memorable stories for the fourth Doctor in the 1970s, revisits his work.
  • The Doctor and Clara face Sontarans and Nazis as The Instruments of War continues, a brand-new comic strip written and illustrated by Mike Collins.
  • Sarah Jane and the Brigadier are reunited, as the Time Team watch The Sarah Jane Adventures: Enemy of the Bane.
  • Jaqueline Rayner wonders how the Doctor's companions would get on in the Cubs in Relative Dimensions.
  • Last Christmas is put under the spotlight in The DWM Review.
  • The Watcher considers the many surprising ways that Doctor Who stories can change from script to screen in Wotcha!.
  • The Watcher gives the answers to his Fiendishly Festive Christmas Quiz! How well did you do?
  • Have your say on Peter Capaldi’s first series as the Doctor in the DWM Season Survey.
Plus the DWM Crossword, prize-winning competitions, and much more!




FILTER: - DWM

Last Christmas - Chart Position and iPlayer RequestsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who finished Christmas Day as the Sixth most watched programme on British television for the day.

Final figures, which include those who record the programme and watch within seven days, give Last Christmas a final rating of 8.28 million viewers. The rating is down from the 11.14 million achieved the previous year when The Time of the Doctor saw the departure of the Eleventh Doctor. Ratings across the board are down with no programme reaching ten million viewers in the whole Christmas week. Top of the list was Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special which had 9.7 million watching, down from 11.52 million last year.

The final figures don't include those watching on iPlayer where Doctor Who had 1.06 million requests during Christmas week. Overall it was the 9th most requested programme, losing the title of Most requested programme over Christmas, a title it has held since the iPlayer was introduced. Top Gear topped the list this year, airing the controversial episodes filmed in Patagonia.

Victoria Jaye, Head of TV Content for BBC iPlayer has posted a blog praising the success of the iPlayer
BBC iPlayer usage over Christmas was up year on year. December saw a record-breaking 227 million requests, (excluding Sky and Virgin Cable), which is up 25% on December 2013. And since its launch, there’s been a staggering 30 million downloads of the BBC iPlayer app. Christmas week was a record-breaking week, with 54.5m requests and New Year’s Day was the best day on record, with 5.2 million unique browsers
Doctor Who's finished between 6th and 8th for the week. Final figures will be confirmed later in the week when full ITV HD and +1 figures are released.





FILTER: - Ratings - Specials - UK