"The Fitzroy Tavern" - change of venue for the regular London Doctor Who fan gatBookmark and Share

Thursday, 25 June 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Due to a major refurbishment taking place at the Fitzroy Tavern in Charlotte Street, London, the regular "first Thursday of the month" gathering of Doctor Who fans will be temporarily changing to a new venue:


The Tavern is moving! After more than 30 years playing host to the regular ‘First Thursday’ gatherings of Doctor Who fans, luminaries and commentators, THE FITZROY TAVERN in Central London’s Charlotte Street is closing its doors. But not forever…

This landmark pub at the heart of vibrant Fitzrovia is embarking on a major refurbishment that will see it shut to the public from the end of June until early summer 2016.

The task of finding a suitable alternative venue nearby for these evening pub-meets has fallen to the London Launch Party Team, the group responsible for organising many of the Doctor Who start-of-series parties for fans since 2005.

The College Arms (Credit: Jeremy Bentham)The new venue will be THE COLLEGE ARMS, Store Street, London WC1E 7DH, close to Goodge Street Underground Station. The first gathering will take place there on Thursday 2 July, from 6.00pm until late. Future evening gatherings will take place on the first Thursday of each month thereafter.

Launch Party founder Jeremy Bentham said:
Tavern nights were the original Doctor Who social media, and their history dates back to the mid-1970s. A once-a-month opportunity for fans and luminaries to hear and debate news and gossip, to exchange ideas, to be in the company of fellow fans, and to share our enthusiasm for all things Who. It’s a tradition that deserves to be continued unbroken.

Normal pub rules about being 18 or over to drink alcohol apply, but otherwise Tavern meets are evenings open to all. “If you’re a newcomer just wear a relevant T-shirt, fez, stick of celery or UNIT badge. You might not know too many faces to begin with – though you might recognise a few – but good conversation is never far away!”

(with thanks to Jeremy Bentham)

All Aboard the John Nathan TurnerBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 - Reported by Marcus
John Nathan Turner (Credit: Stephen Cranford)
The bus named after John Nathan Turner, Doctor Who's longest serving producer, has entered service in the South Coast city of Brighton.

As reported earlier this year, the decision to honour the producer, who lived in Brighton, was taken by public vote, with Nathan Turner's name adorning one of the 24 new Coaster buses brought by the city.

The bus travels Route 12, from Brighton to Eastbourne, passing the Seven Sisters Country park, where parts of 1969 Doctor Who story The War Games were filmed.

John Nathan Turner comes with a low emission ‘Euro 6’ engine, free Wi-Fi, an upper deck table with USB charge points, softer seating, next stop information and real time tracking of the bus location.

Plaything of Sutekh Issue 4Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 20 June 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
Plaything of Sutekh Issue 4 Issue 4 of the fanzine, Plaything of Sutekh is available to order now.

In this issue:

  • Pacifism in Doctor Who - a look at how The Daleks and The Dominators gave turning the other cheek the thumbs down.
  • The Ark vs The Ark in Space - David Rolinson looks at the similarities between these two stories.
  • RTD & Religion - Sean Alexander examines a key aspect of the series under Russell T's tenure.
  • E-Space - Jez Strickley spies a dystopian slant in this Season 18 trilogy.
  • Secret Who - we look at two underrated stories The Claws of Axos and The Time Monster
  • Changing Times - a look back at Peter Capaldi's first season.
  • Doc Top Ten - one writer looks at his favourite Who comic strips.
  • Gateway Drug - Stephen Wood confesses how it all started with him and Who…

Issue 4 has 36 pages and is fully illustrated with colour covers.

Details on how to order Issue 4 are available at playthingofsutekh.blogspot.co.uk

Titan Confirms Year Two of Doctor Who comicsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 20 June 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Titan Comics have announced Year Two of Doctor Who comics has been commissioned, with the series starting in September 2015.

The series will follow this summer’s Doctor Who comic crossover event featuring four Doctors, and will see the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors begin their second year of adventures.

Eleventh Doctor - Issue 2.1 (Credit: Titan)
Si Spurrier, best known for X-Men Legacy, Numbercruncher, Six-Gun Gorilla and The Spire writer, will join Rob Williams (Ordinary, 2000AD) as a co-writer on Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor: Year Two, with art by Simon Fraiser (Grindhouse, Nikolai Dante) and Warren Pleece (Hellblazer, The Invisibles, Incognegro). The series will pick up from Year One and the 2015 Event.
Charged with a crime he never committed (...or did he?), the Eleventh Doctor is on the run, with a galaxy-worth of nefarious bounty hunters pursuing him through time and space -- in an attempt to scalp the last remaining Time Lord!

Exhausted, haunted, and determined to clear his name, the Doctor is forced to turn to someone who knows all about busting out of prisons and staying one step ahead of those who’d prefer they were safely locked up.
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor: Year Two #1 hits stores on Sept 9 and comes with five covers to collect: an art cover by Alex Ronald; a photo cover; a Mark Ellerby variant; a Jake variant; and a blank sketch variant.

Tenth Doctor - Issue 2.1 (Credit: Titan)
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor: Year Two will see alternating art team Elena Casagrande (Angel, Suicide Risk) and Eleonora Carlini, while writer Nick Abadzis (LAIKA) plots the story arc.

The Tenth Doctor: Year Two picks up from Year One and the 2015 Event with 'The Singer Not the Song', Part 1.
Fresh from the Event, the Tenth Doctor and Gabriella Gonzalez are plunged into a harmonious alien world of musical life-forms...But the Doctor and Gabby are walking straight into a war!
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor: Year Two #1 hits stores on Sept 16 and comes with five covers to collect: an art cover by Alex Ronald; a photo cover; a Rachel Smith variant; a Jake variant; and a blank sketch variant.

The Essential Doctor Who: MonstersBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 June 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The latest of the "Essential" special edition magazines from the makers of Doctor Who Magazine has been published, focussing on the monsters of the series.

The Essential Doctor Who: Monsters (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)Issue 5 of Panini’s The Essential Doctor Who comprises 116 pages of all-new material exploring the dark side of the series...

Horror has been Doctor Who’s most consistent genre since the Daleks first threatened viewers in 1963. The metal-cased mutants are still notorious, but the programme’s shadows are occupied by many equally grotesque and disturbing creatures.

This is a comprehensive guide to the monsters that have been haunting our nightmares for more than 50 years. Everything from the Abzorbaloff to Zygons is covered in a richly illustrated, encyclopaedic format.

Says editor Marcus Hearn:
When I was a kid I wished for a book that included all the Doctor Who monsters. Now I’m a grown-up my ambitions haven’t really changed. It’s been a labour of love for all of us to channel the spirit of Terrance Dicks’ Doctor Who Monster Book, and a treat to add so many aliens from the show’s now greatly expanded universe.

The Essential Doctor Who: Monsters is on sale now at WH Smith and all good newsagents.

Colin Baker's new sci-fi role seeks fundingBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 17 June 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
Last Man on Earth (Credit: Alt Angle Films) A new sci-fi thriller starring Colin Baker is seeking to fund money on Indiegogo to help fund the production. Last Man on Earth is a 20 minute short film which starts filming in Manchester in late July. Just over £200 has been raised within the first day of the campaign launch, with 29 days left to reach their goal of £10,000.

A short synopsis has been posted by the film's producers:
Last Man on Earth is a short pre-apocalypse sci-fi thriller about a virologist who is recruited to a bio research conglomerate to help work on a cure for cancer. It's a film about decisions and their consequences. A story about the future told in the present day.

Baker, who will be playing a "renowned virologist who fronts a bio research conglomerate" said:
Jack Levy and Darren Langlands have written a brilliant script… I’m looking forward to filming it. I hope you enjoy watching it.

Director of the short film Darren Langlands commented:
We're hugely excited to have someone of Colin's Sci Fi calibre on board - we can't wait to get started!

The team behind the film are based in Manchester. Langlands added:
Manchester is such an exciting and vibrant place to be for indie filmmaking at the moment. Collectively, our team has had their films shown at film festivals all over the world. We're keen to showcase the film as a proof of concept - and the crowd funding is essential to helping us tell the story in the most impactful way possible.

As an incentive for contributors who donate their money, a variety of perks are available including autographed scripts, copies of the final film, a private message from Colin Baker and the chance to share the screen with The Doctor himself.

Sir John Hurt diagnosed with cancerBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
John Hurt as The Doctor in The Day of The Doctor (Credit: BBC/Adrian Rogers) Sir John Hurt has revealed he has been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer. In a statement released to the Press Association, he said:
I have always been open about the way in which I conduct my life and in that spirit I would like to make a statement.

I have recently been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer. I am undergoing treatment and am more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome, as indeed is the medical team.

I am continuing to focus on my professional commitments and will shortly be recording “Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell” (one of life’s small ironies!) for Radio 4

Alex Ford, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer UK, one of several national charities fighting pancreatic cancer, said:
We were deeply saddened to learn of Sir John Hurt's recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer – but eternally grateful for his openness in talking about the disease and his treatment. This can only help raise much needed awareness of pancreatic cancer and the importance of early diagnosis. Importantly, John Hurt's attitude and optimism will provide hope for many others affected by this disease. We wish him the best with his treatment.

If you wish to make a donation to the charity, you can do so at pancreaticcancer.org.uk/donate.

John Hurt was awarded a Knighthood for his services to drama in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Titan Comics Doctor Who SDCC exclusivesBookmark and Share

Monday, 15 June 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
Titan Comics have revealed their exclusive range for this year's San Diego Comic-Con. A story exclusive to SDCC will feature the Doctor and Clara at the convention, while the tenth, eleventh and twelfth Doctor's will feature on an exclusive triptych cover.

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor SDCC Exclusive

When the Twelfth Doctor and Clara turn up at San Diego Comic Con, a quick selfie outside the TARDIS reveals an alien threat among the con-goers and cosplayers! The green-skinned Lady of Neverness can only be viewed through mirrors, photos and quantum snapshots, and has turned up in the background of photos all over the convention! But if enough people view her at the same time, she'll gain the power to breach into our dimension... to feed on the life-force of the whole planet! Can the Doctor and Clara defeat her and save the day?
Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor SDCC Exclusive (Cover A) (Credit: Titan Comics) Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor SDCC Exclusive (Cover A) (Credit: Titan Comics)

Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor #14 with SDCC Exclusive Cover

Just one issue away from this year's season finale, and things have never looked more dangerous for the Doctor and Gabby! Separated by an ancient force from the centre of the galaxy, the Doctor takes a cosmic trip into the history of the universe, while Gabby must negotiate with an unearthly intelligence for the sake of the planet! How much has she learned from her brief travels with the Doctor... and will it be enough to save her?!
Doctor Who: Eleventh Doctor #14 with SDCC Exclusive Cover

Part 1 of the 2-part Season Finale!

Series co-writers Al Ewing and Rob Williams team up for an unmissable mini-epic, as a year's worth of stories come to a head!

- Can the Doctor save his new friends from their time-twisting fates?
- Will Alice find peace – or be marooned far from Earth?!
- Will ARC finally discover the truth about itself – or be reduced to atoms?!
- Will Jones fulfill his cosmic rock god destiny – or die among the stars?!
- And who will be left to join the Doctor as we head into Year Two?!
Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor #11 with SDCC Exclusive Cover

Fresh from their adventures in Las Vegas, the Doctor and Clara are eager for a change of scenery, but their next destination aboard the TARDIS will prove a SHOCKING change of pace!
Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor #14 (SDCC Exclusive Cover) (Credit: Titan Comics)Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor #11 (SDCC Exclusive Cover) (Credit: Titan Comics)Doctor Who: Eleventh Doctor #14 (SDCC Exclusive Cover) (Credit: Titan Comics)

Titan will also have exclusive merchandise available from the Titan booth #5537.

Doctor Who Titans: 3" Tenth Doctor Fez

From the 50th Anniversary Special 'The Day Of The Doctor' comes the Tenth Doctor, played by the returning David Tennant, wearing the Eleventh Doctor's trademark Fez!

Doctor Who Titans: 4.5" Tenth Doctor

This 4.5" Titan figure features the Tenth Doctor, as played by David Tennant, all dressed up in his tuxedo!​

Doctor Who Titans: 3" Tenth Doctor Fez (Credit: Titan Comics) Doctor Who Titans: 4.5" Tenth Doctor (Credit: Titan Comics)

Benny Sommerfield makes live-action debut in new Big Finish trailerBookmark and Share

Monday, 15 June 2015 - Reported by Alex F
Big Finish Productions has released a special video teaser for its upcoming box set, "The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield Vol. 2: The Triumph of Sutekh" that breaks new ground for the long-running character of Dr. Bernice "Benny" Summerfield.

The teaser titled "Transmission from Mars" features Benny's voice actress Lisa Bowerman as Benny relaying an emergency message. Although Bowerman has played the character in dozens of audio dramas for Big Finish since the late 1990s, including posing for publicity photos in-character and voicing Benny for a CGI minisode, this is the first time she has been featured on screen performing the role. (She first appeared on screen in Doctor Who as Karra, one of the cheetah people, in the final story of the original series, "Survival", and also voiced an alien in the animated special "Dreamland".)

The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield Vol. 2, featuring Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Gabriel Woolf reprising the role of Sutekh the Destroyer from "Pyramids of Mars", consisting of four new audio dramas, is scheduled for release by Big Finish later this month.

Steven Moffat awarded OBEBookmark and Share

Friday, 12 June 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
Steven Moffat. Image: BBCSteven Moffat, lead writer for Doctor Who and co-creator of Sherlock, has been award an OBE for his services to drama in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Speaking to the BBC's Lizo Mzimba:
I never thought I would get something like this, I'm astonished and more thrilled than I ever thought someone like me would be. I'm not the least bit cynical, or the least bit trying to be cool about it. I'm just really, really happy.
The full interview is available here.

Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of BBC Cymru Wales commented on Moffat's honour:
We're thrilled to see Steven's creative brilliance being recognised today.

Not only has he enthralled countless millions of viewers across the world, he has helped rocket-boost the Welsh creative sector, inspiring a new generation of talent here in Wales to make their mark on the global stage.

I'm so delighted to see his remarkable achievements being honoured.

Moffat's predecessor, Russell T Davies, was awarded an OBE in 2008.

Also awarded OBEs for service to drama are Lesley Manville, who played Heather Hartnell in the 50th Anniversary drama An Adventure in Space and Time, and Martin Clunes, whose first television role was as Lon in the fifth Doctor adventure Snakedance.

Lenny Henry, who once played the Doctor in a 1985 spoof of Doctor Who for his comedy show, is being knighted for his services to drama and charity.