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

Meet the Cast-Event: Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in BerlinBookmark and Share

Sunday, 19 July 2015 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
Apple Event (Credit: Melanie Jäggle)Last Friday, Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi visited Berlin for a Q&A in the Apple Store. Fans could reserve a seat for free via the Apple Store App or the Apple Store website. Around 250 fans were lucky to get access to the event, as reservations were quickly gone.

Those who were there cheered and clapped excitedly when the two actors entered the stage. Hosted by US-born German TV presenter Steven Gätjen, the two stars of Doctor Who revealed that they are a bit jetlagged, as they just have been at Comic Con, then L.A. and now Berlin. This did not stop them from making jokes about Peter always looking for food, getting wet from disinfection liquid while filming at a power plant or more jokes about food.

It was also revealed that one of the upcoming stories in Series 9 will be "very much like a horror movie" with many "scares and thrills" and an "extraordinary direction". Peter praised the director, saying that it takes very special skills to film a horror movie.

When being asked about a possible return of Caecillius, the character Peter Capaldi portrayed in the Series 4 episode The Fires of Pompeii, he carefully told the audience that this might actually happen in Series 9. "Or not", Jenna added.

The complete Q&A will be available on iTunes for free at a later point.

Earlier that day, Doctor Who News had the chance to interview Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. Read the complete interview here.

UPDATE: The Q&A is now up on iTunes. Download it here.

FILTER: - Germany - Jenna Coleman - Peter Capaldi - Special Events

Ianto Jones ReturnsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 16 July 2015 - Reported by Marcus
 Gareth David-LloydAudio Producer Big Finish have announced that fan-favourite actor Gareth David-Lloyd will star as Ianto Jones for the second release in a new series of Torchwood Audio Dramas.

Producer James Goss is delighted
Well, how could we not? Ianto's such a brilliant character, and if we kept people on tenterhooks any longer, we'd be fools. Of course he's in it and as soon as possible. We recorded with him literally the first day after he finished a theatre tour. Did he want to put his feet up? Nope. He wanted to be Ianto.
David-Lloyd appeared throughout the first three series of the TV verion of Torchwood, created by Russell T Davies. A mild-mannered administrator for the Torchwood team, Ianto helped defend Cardiff from the horrors of the rift, and aided the Tenth Doctor in a battle against the Daleks in two episodes of Doctor Who.

Ianto made his final TV appearance in the 2009 mini-series Children of Earth, but his popularity and legacy has stood the test of time, with a special commemorative memorial for the character erected in Cardiff Bay. The character's last outing was in a BBC Radio Play The House of the Dead part of the Torchwood: The Lost Files series broadcast in 2011.

The character will return in Fall To Earth, following on from John Barrowman's return as Captain Jack Harkness in the opening instalment, The Conspiracy.

Director Scott Handcock spoke about the recording
Seeing Gareth in studio was an absolute delight. He clearly loves the part and had a great time. And can't wait to be back.
The new story will be released in October, allowing for an unbroken run of stories from September. Four more releases will follow at monthly intervals through 2016.

James Goss explained the timetable
There was originally going to be a gap after the first release, but we soon realised that everyone we spoke to was being so helpful, we'd be in studio a lot earlier. Actors, writers, agents, BBC Worldwide have all been amazing. So it's coming out early.
Torchwood: Fall To Earth will be released in October.

FILTER: - Big Finish - Torchwood

Colin Baker project is fully fundedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 16 July 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Sixth Doctor Colin Baker is set to return to his roots in Manchester to star in a new sci fi thriller being filmed in the city, following the successful funding of the project on Indiegogo

Baker is due to play a virologist in Last Man on Earth - a 20-min pre-apocalypse short film.

Speaking about the project Baker said
The idea and the writing intrigued and excited me. And the idea of going to Manchester to film it excited me even more because that's where I'm from
Joining Baker and the filmmakers on set are several Doctor Who fans who helped fund the film via crowd funding. As part of several perks on offer they will be sharing a scene with Colin Baker in the film.

Director Darren Langlands said
We're hugely excited to have someone of Colin's Sci Fi calibre on board - we can't wait to get started! We're honoured to have some of our contributors join the team on one of our shooting days. These are some of the people who made it all possible. So to have them be on set with us is a real thrill for us too.
The aim was to raise £10,000 for the project. To date over £10,300 has been raised, with the campaign closing on Friday. As well as the chance to appear in the film, a range of perks are available as an incentive to contribute including autographed scripts and t-shirts and a private message from Colin Baker. Each perk also includes a donation to cancer research charities.

For more information visit the film's Facebook site.

FILTER: - Colin Baker

Olaf Pooley 1914-2015Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Olaf Pooley, the man who was the oldest surviving actor to have worked on Doctor Who, has died at the age of 101.

Olaf Pooley was one of a small group of actors to have appeared in both the Doctor Who and Star Trek franchises. He appeared in Doctor Who in 1970, playing both Professor Stahlman and his parallel-Earth counterpart Director Stahlman in the seven-part story Inferno. His appearance in Star Trek came thirty years later when he appeared in the Voyager episode Blink Of An Eye playing Cleric.

Pooley was born in the Parkstone area of Poole in Dorset to an English father and Danish mother, he studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London and painting at the Chelsea School of Art. Until his death he was still an exhibiting painter.

His first full-time job was with Pinewood Film Studios' design department, and he then became a member of the BBC Radio Drama Repertory Company, with his prolific acting career also seeing him appearing in the West End, on film and on TV

During his career, he wrote and appeared in the film The Corpse - entitled Crucible of Horror in the USA - which starred Michael Gough, and wrote, directed and appeared in The Johnstown Monster. He also wrote the screenplay for a film version of Bernard Taylor's The Godsend, which was directed by his future second wife Gabrielle Beaumont. Pooley's other writing credits include the 1982 TV film Falcon's Gold, while he was an uncredited writer on the 1985 sci-fi horror movie Lifeforce.

His TV guest appearances since the 1950s included roles in Dixon of Dock Green, Paul Temple, Jason King and MacGyver, as well as playing Lars Torvik in the first episode of The Sandbaggers.

In 1958, Pooley took part in the BBC radio play Ambrose In Paris, and he played Sebastian in a 1956 film production of The Tempest. Pooley had a major career in West End theatre, appearing in notable productions such as Noël Coward's Peace In Our Time as well as The Tempest and Othello, and he counted Sir Alec Guinness among his close friends.

He emigrated to the United States in 1986, where he continued his acting, also becoming a respected artist both there and abroad. In an interview, he said: "It is a privilege to be an artist and I am fortunate in this respect."

He celebrated his 100th birthday in 2014 with a special exhibition of his paintings at the Santa Monica Art Studios

Olaf Pooley died on Tuesday.
Additional reporting by John Bowman

FILTER: - Classic Series - Obituary

Steven Moffat defends BBCBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat is one of a number of Hollywood stars and TV professionals to write to the British Prime Minister in defence of the BBC.

The Corporation is currently the subject of a review of its scope and purpose in the period leading up to its charter renewal in 2016. The new Conservative government has many Members of Parliament who think the BBC does too much and should reduce in size, concentrating on public service output and ceasing to supply popular entertainment and drama. It's a view held by many of the BBC's commercial rivals.

The BBC is funded by a licence fee of £145 per year, levied on all households owing Televisions, in the United Kingdom. Last week the Corporation was told to take on the cost of supplying free TV Licences to those over 75, a move which will cost it over £500 million.

The government has appointed eight people to work on the renewal of the BBC's royal charter, many of whom have previously called for the licence fee to be cut and to consider charging for website output.

The Director General, Lord Hall on Tuesday defended the BBC saying the government must not meddle with the BBC's creative output and that it is one of this country's most precious assets.

The letter, which is also signed by many stars of stage and screen including David Attenborough, Brian Cox, Richard Curtis, Judi Dench, JK Rowling and Daniel Craig is a statement of support for the Corporation and for its long term future.

We have seen that the Government has pledged to modernise the licence fee, return funding that had been diverted to pay for broadband roll-out, and increase the licence fee in line with inflation in return for the BBC taking on the costs of Licence Fees for the over 75's.

The Government and the BBC are now entering the Charter Review. We are writing to place on record at the very start of the process our concern that nothing should be done to diminish the BBC or turn it into a narrowly focused market-failure broadcaster.

In our view, a diminished BBC would simply mean a diminished Britain. The BBC is a very precious institution. Like all organisations, it has its faults but it is overwhelmingly a creative force for good.

Britain's creative economy is growing and enjoying unprecedented success. The BBC is at the heart of this as the global showcase for our creative industries. The BBC is trusted and loved at home by British audiences and is the envy of the world abroad.

During the course of the Charter, we will continue to make the case for a strong BBC at the centre of British life and will be vocal in making the case for the BBC as it approaches its centenary.

FILTER: - BBC - Steven Moffat

Doctor Who Series 10 ConfirmedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Hidden away on page 32 of the BBC Worldwide Annual Review, published today, is the first official confirmation of the commissioning of Doctor Who Series 10

On page 32 of the report, detailing with Corporate governance the text reads
During the year matters under review included plans to launch the global genre brands BBC First in Australia and New Zealand on Foxtel and BBC Brit and BBC Earth in Poland; and investments in The Musketeers S3 and Doctor Who S10. Additionally, during the year WEx reviewed people policies and development opportunities across the company.
Full report on the review here here

FILTER: - Doctor Who - Leading News - Series 10/36

Doctor Who Stars support Save the ArcticBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Exhibition launch at Waterloo underground station showing photographs of celebrities by Andy Gotts . The celebrities are wearing T-shirts designed by Vivienne Westwood. (Credit: Andy Gotts MBE/Greenpeace)A new exhibition has opened in London featuring stars from Doctor Who supporting the Greenpeace Save the Arctic campaign.

Peter Capaldi, David Tennant, John Hurt and Jenna Coleman are just some of the 60 celebrities captured by award-winning photographer Andy Gotts in his Save the Arctic public photography exhibition.

The exhibition features a collection of stars all wearing a Vivienne Westwood’s Save the Arctic t-shirt. It is situated in London Underground’s Waterloo Station where it takes over of the entire advertising space along escalators running up to the London HQ of the oil company Shell, which is due to start drilling in the Arctic this month, and which Greenpeace is campaigning against.

Peter Capaldi talked about why he supported the campaign
We know this planet is a fragile one. Yet we stand and watch as the Arctic shrinks. We watch the home of Polar bears and whales and walruses disappear before our eyes. The time has come to stop watching. We must act.
John Hurt, who played The War Doctor in the 50th Anniversary story added
The Arctic is one of the last great pristine ecosystems, a safe haven for endangered species and home to Indigenous Peoples whose lifestyle has survived in harmony with nature for thousands of years. This is now all under threat. It’s time to act.
Other Doctor Who actors taking part include Kylie Minogue, Olivia Colman, Simon Pegg, Lily Cole and Maisie Williams who has been signed up for Series 9.

Greenpeace UK’s Executive Director John Sauven said:
Behind the 60 famous faces in this collection, there are millions more rising up to demand Arctic protection. The global movement to defend the Arctic is snowballing – with seven million people already calling for its protection
The exhibition runs in the Waterloo Underground station, York Road exit, until Sunday 26 July.

David Tennant models a Vivienne Westwood-designed t-shirt for the Save the Arctic collection, shot by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts MBE. (Credit: Andy Gotts MBE/Greenpeace)Sir John Hurt models a Vivienne Westwood-designed t-shirt for the Save the Arctic collection, shot by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts MBE (Credit: Andy Gotts MBE/Greenpeace)Peter Capaldi models a Vivienne Westwood-designed t-shirt for the Save the Arctic collection, shot by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts MBE (Credit: Andy Gotts MBE/Greenpeace)Jenna Coleman models a Vivienne Westwood-designed t-shirt for the Save the Arctic collection, shot by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts MBE (Credit: Andy Gotts MBE/Greenpeace)
Kylie Minogue models a Vivienne Westwood-designed t-shirt for the Save the Arctic collection, shot by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts MBE (Credit: Andy Gotts MBE/Greenpeace)Maisie Williams models a Vivienne Westwood-designed t-shirt for the Save the Arctic collection, shot by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts MBE (Credit: Andy Gotts MBE/Greenpeace)Olivia Colman models a Vivienne Westwood-designed t-shirt for the Save the Arctic collection, shot by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts MBESimon Pegg models a Vivienne Westwood-designed t-shirt for the Save the Arctic collection, shot by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts MBE (Credit: Andy Gotts MBE/Greenpeace)Lily Cole models a Vivienne Westwood-designed t-shirt for the Save the Arctic collection, shot by celebrity photographer Andy Gotts MBE (Credit: Andy Gotts/Greenpeace)

FILTER: - People - Special Events

BBC Worldwide Annual ReviewBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who features prominently in the annual BBC Annual Review, published today.

Lord Hall, Director General of the BBC and the Chairman of BBC Worldwide, the Corporations commercial arm, singled out Doctor Who as one of the success stories for BBC Worldwide, which allows audiences in the UK to enjoy investment in programmes at a higher level than the licence fee alone can provide. Series 8 of Doctor Who, which was seen in the UK by an average consolidated audience of 7.4m, has now aired in over 70 other countries, and achieved record ratings on BBC America and Space channel in Canada.

Doctor Who is one of the BBC's best selling brands, along with Top Gear, Orphan Black and Life Hall and Series 8 has been licensed to 189 territories in the year

One stand out achievement listed in the report is Doctor Who: The World Tour which took place last summer.
Building on the success of the 50th anniversary we embarked on a 12-day global promotional tour for series eight. We visited South Korea, Australia, USA, Mexico and Brazil introducing the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and companion Clara, Jenna Coleman, to international fans. This was a first for a British TV series and featured a creative social media programme with activity on Facebook generating 130m post impressions and more than 2m video views across Facebook and YouTube.
The report highlights new licensing deals for core BBC brands including a Doctor Who partnership with LEGO.

The report highlights that the launch of series eight on BBC America delivered the show’s highest ratings to date for the channel, up 19.7% versus prior series, with an average of 2.2m viewers each week. Meanwhile licensing sales on the title returned year-on-year growth in North America.

Doctor Who remains the number one TV brand on Tumblr and ranks among Twitter’s top five most-tweeted about original dramas.


Frazer Hines Makes his Pop Video DebutBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Frazer Hines, Killing Kiss
At the grand old age of 70, former companion Frazer Hines has just made his pop video début.

Hines plays a Renfield-like barman in a just released a vampire-themed music video for Linzi Gold's track Killing Kiss . The video can be seen on YouTube.

Linzi Gold is the daughter of Horror author Sam Stone, who is the partner of Doctor Who writer and historian David J Howe, and there is also a fundraiser running at the moment to try and help Gold to make her first album.

FILTER: - People

Titan Comics Announce Eighth Doctor Mini-SeriesBookmark and Share

Monday, 13 July 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Titan Comics have announced that they will publish a brand-new miniseries featuring The Eighth Doctor, as played by Paul McGann.

The series will hit comic stores ​October 28​ and will be penned by writer George Mann (New York Times-bestselling Doctor Who novel Engines of War!) with art by Emma Vieceli (Breaks, Alex Rider: Scorpia, Dead Boy Detectives, Vampire Academy, Manga Shakespeare)​.​

Issue #1 comes with four covers to collect: a special art cover by Alice X. Zhang; ​a ​photo cover; art cover by Warren Pleece and a ​b​lank ​s​ketch variant.


Get ready for an all-new season of comics adventures featuring the Eighth Doctor, as played by Paul McGann in the Doctor Who movie, fan-favorite minisode Night of the Doctor... and over fourteen years (and counting!) of astounding Big Finish audio spectaculars!

Five amazing, interconnected new stories take the Doctor on a rollercoaster of threat and misadventure, as he investigates the mysteries surrounding his new companion Josie. Victorian magic shows, murderous trees, lost books, crystalline life-forms, barges in space crammed with the undead... and the grand journey all begins in a sleepy Welsh town... besieged by living paintings!

Buckle up for a wild ride that embraces all the Gothic Romance and interstellar terror of the Doctor's eighth incarnation!
Eighth Doctor Mini-Series #1 (Credit: Titan)Eighth Doctor Mini-Series #1 (Credit: Titan/Alice X Zhang)Eighth Doctor Mini-Series #1 (Credit: Titan/Warren Pleece)

FILTER: - Comics - Eighth Doctor