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

Terence Bayler 1930-2016Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 - Reported by Marcus

The actor Terence Bayler has died at the age of 86

Terence Bayler appeared in two Doctor Who stories. In 1966 he played Yendom, one of the Monoids' slaves, in the First Doctor story The Ark. In 1969 he returned to the series playing Major Barrington, an officer in the British Army, in the final Second Doctor story, The War Games.

Bayler was born in New Zealand, where he first trained as an actor, appearing the 1952 film Broken Barrier, playing a young journalist who falls in love with a Maori woman.

After moving to the UK he made regular appearances on British Television appearing in Hamlet, Moonstrike, Compact, Maigret, Ivanhoe, The Brothers, Upstairs, Downstairs, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Squad, London's Burning, The Bill and Dangerfield.

In 1971 he needed stitches above an eye after he was injured in a sword fight while the shooting Roman Polanski's 1971 film of Shakespeare's Macbeth where he played Macduff.

Terence Bayler had a long association with the Monty Python team, appearing in Eric Idle's BBC TV series Rutland Weekend Television as well as in The Rutles, All You Need Is Cash and in the play Pass The Butler. He appeared in two Terry Gilliam films, Time Bandits and Brazil. He had a small but memorable role in the film The Life of Brian declaring I’m Brian and so’s my wife.

In later years he played the Bloody Baron in the Harry Potter films.

Terence Bayler died early last month.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Obituary

Lethbridge-Stewart: Times SquaredBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced details of the first novel to be released in the third series of Lethbridge-Stewart adventures:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Times Squared (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Times Squared
Written By Rick Cross
Cover by Martin Bainess
Published by Candy Jar Books end October 2016

When Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, his fiancée Sally Wright, and nephew Owain Vine, embark on a much-needed holiday to New York City, the last thing they expect to find is a puzzling mystery involving coma patients, a stranger from a distant land and a dark menace lurking in the bowels of the city's labyrinthine subway system.

Before long, they're battling an ancient evil pursuing a deadly campaign of terror that could bring Manhattan under its control... and the world to its knees.

The book sees the return of the Great Intelligence, last seen on television during Series 7 and influential to the Lethbridge-Stewart range from the very start. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
For (the first novel) The Forgotten Son I was interested in wrapping up the story of the Great Intelligence as seen in Moffat’s trilogy, and exploring something of its origins. So now it’s time to go back to the Intelligence as depicted in the original Haisman/Lincoln stories. Ever wondered what happened to it in those long years between The Web of Fear and The Snowmen, and how the 1995 straight-to-video film, Downtime, fits in? Well, now it’s time to start finding out.

Times Squared, written by first-time novelist Rick Cross, takes place some eight months after The Web of Fear, transferring the Yeti from the London Underground to the underground network of New York. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:
I had the idea of the Yeti roaming through Times Square, plaguing the immense underground of New York. And by throwing in a bit of time travelling shenanigans, the title was an obvious one.
Andy continued:
After Shaun came to me with the basic idea, it was quickly decided we wanted, ideally, an American author to write it. I turned to Rick Cross, an aspiring US author I knew via social media. We talked and he jumped at the chance. We spent a short while discussing story ideas, telling him the elements I wanted, and he came to me with a few ideas of his own. And it has turned out rather brilliantly; the first bona-fide sequel to The Web of Fear, dealing with the Intelligence from that story, as well as a story that brings back Owain, Lethbridge-Stewart’s nephew, last seen in Beast of Fang Rock. A character with a very special relationship to the Intelligence.
Rick said:
It’s been an exciting opportunity. Hard work, trying to remember the British rules of grammar, but I’ve enjoyed telling my story and delving into the relationship between Lethbridge-Stewart, his fiancée, Sally, and his nephew, Owain. Owain in particular has been fun, exploring his freedom of spirit, and his destiny – which is, one day, to be reincarnated into the person who will ascend to be the Intelligence.
On bringing back the Yeti, he continued:
I had this brilliant idea about the rats in the sewers of New York, and their connection to various plagues throughout the years. What if one such plague was the result of the Intelligence? Coupled with that was my desire to explore the origins of the Yeti. Who made them? How did so many of them get to be in the London Underground in The Web of Fear? Remember, in that story it is revealed that Travers only brought one of them back from Tibet with him. Hopefully Times Squared will provide fans with an interesting take on that, as well as expanding the mythology surrounding the Intelligence and Yeti.

The novel also links in to the BBC’s range of Eighth Doctor Adventures from the 1990s by the inclusion of character Adrienne Kramer, the future brigadier-general of the US arm of UNIT who made her official Doctor Who debut in the 1997 novel Vampire Science by Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman. Andy said:
Ever since first reading about this character in 1997 I’ve wanted to use her; indeed, she featured in an unpublished Doctor Who novel I wrote in 1998. Her connection to UNIT, and consequently the Brigadier, has been something I’ve wanted to explore since day one of this series. In particular to show the origins of how she came to know Lethbridge-Stewart and what piqued her interest in all things alien.
Rick added:
It was a wonderful opportunity. Andy set it all up, put me in touch with Jon, who compiled a detailed background document for the character. I had never heard of Kramer, but did my research, and it has been brilliant writing for her, exploring the young woman she was in 1969, long before she became the tough soldier in Vampire Science. I’ve been very blessed to play with all these wonderful much-loved Doctor Who characters in my book, and add one of my own creations to the mythos of Doctor Who.

Cover art is provided by Martin Baines, whose portfolio includes the Wallace & Gromit comic, Commando, The Beano, and more recently Thunderbirds Are Go magazine. Martin said:
As soon I was briefed on the key scene in the book, Yeti robots covered in rats coming out of the New York underground, I was onto a winner with the cover. This horrific, stark image along with the brilliant writing by Rick Cross makes this a worthy continuation to the classic Web of Fear.

The book includes a forward by Terry Molloy, narrator of the first series of Lethbridge-Stewart audiobooks (and best known in Doctor Who for his 1980s/Big Finish portrayal of Davros).

Times Squared can be pre-ordered individually or as part of the Series 3 Bundle (both UK and overseas), which will include the forthcoming novels Blood of Atlantis by Simon A Forward and Mind of Stone by Iain McLaughlin. There is also a subscription deal for those wishing to get six books for the price of five (UK only, covering the series three titles, plus the series four titles released early 2017)! Pre-orders are available directly from Candy Jar Books.

A free digital-only short story, The Wishing Bazaar by Sharon Bidwell, will be given out to all pre-order/subscription customers in October.

FILTER: - Books - Candy Jar Books - Lethbridge-Stewart - Merchandise

Diamond expands Doctor Who book availability in USABookmark and Share

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Diamond Comic DistributorsDiamond Comic Distributors and Penguin Random House have announced that they have arranged a new distribution deal to include the latter's entire range of Doctor Who books and novels for the American market.

Robert Waddington, International Sales Director for Penguin Random House UK, said:
Diamond Comic Distributors have proven themselves a strong partner on our young adult Doctor Who range, and we are delighted to now be selling our adult list through them as well. We feel very positive about our relationship moving forward, and 2017 will be a big year for Doctor Who with the series returning to television.

Tim Leneghan, Executive Director-Purchasing for Diamond Comic Distributors, said:
Doctor Who has always been an important brand license for Diamond and we’re happy expand our deal with Penguin Books UK to represent their entire line of Doctor Who books in the United States.

FILTER: - Books - USA

Silva Screen to re-release The SoundhouseBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Silva Screen have announced that the 1983 album The Soundhouse, featuring music by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, will be re-released on CD on 7th October with a vinyl pressing to follow on 4th November:


This historic 1983 BBC Radiophonic compilation reflects the advances made in computer technology and electronic music.

In 1979 the Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) was launched, the year that the BBC Radiophonic Workshop celebrated its 21st birthday. At the price of a house (approx £30,000) this state of the art piece of equipment was embedded with an 8 bit digital sampling synthesizer capable of emulating acoustic instruments and orchestras alongside the manipulation of sound effects. For the BBC Radiophonic Workshop this was a major change, as previously composers would spend weeks editing small pieces of tape together to create sounds. Ingenuity and creativity in music and sound was still at the forefront for Workshop members but suddenly made a whole lot easier. This 1983 collection (a first time re-release here of the complete album) celebrated these new found freedoms most notably on the opening track where five Radiophonic composers combined to add their own musical identity to a rhythmic percussive sequence from the Fairlight. Highlights include music from the radio production of The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy and Fancy Fish based on Saint-Saen's Carnival Of The Animals which was the first BRW project to utilise the Fairlight.

  1. Radiophonic Rock - Peter Howell / Roger Limb / Jonathan Gibbs / Malcolm Clarke / Elizabeth Parker / Dick Mills
  2. Lascaux - Peter Howell
  3. Computers In The Real World - Jonathan Gibbs
  4. Seascape - Dick Mills
  5. The Whale - Paddy Kingsland
  6. Rallyman - Roger Limb
  7. Catch The Wind - Dick Mills
  8. Believe It Or Not - Malcolm Clarke
  9. Planet Earth - Elizabeth Parker
  10. Dawn - Jonathan Gibbs
  11. Mainstream - Attr. Henry VIII, arr. Peter Howell
  12. The Unseeing Eye - Malcolm Clarke
  13. Fancy Fish - Camille Saint-Saëns, arr. Peter Howell / Dick Mills
  14. Brighton Pier - Paddy Kingsland
  15. Armagiddean War Games - Dick Mills
  16. Yellow Moon - Roger Limb
  17. Radio Blackburn - Elizabeth Parker
  18. Macrocosm - Dick Mills
  19. Land And People - Peter Howell
  20. Houdin’s Musical Box - A. Le Charpentier, arr. Jonathan Gibbs
  21. Ghost In The Water - Roger Limb
  22. The Milonga - Malcolm Clarke


To be in with a chance to win a copy of the CD courtesy of Silva Screen, simply answer the following question:
Which of the tracks features prominently during the fifth Doctor adventure Enlightenment?
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to with the subject "Not so secret Seven!". The competition is open worldwide, closing date 9th October 2016. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

FILTER: - Audio - Competitions - Merchandise - Music

Power of The Daleks at the BFIBookmark and Share

Monday, 19 September 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The British Film Institute has now released details about its forthcoming special event based around the new, animated version of Patrick Troughton's premiere story, The Power of the Daleks:

The Power of the Daleks (animated) - The Doctor (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Preview: Doctor Who – The Power of the Daleks (animated)

We are delighted to preview the first three episodes of the new animated version of this classic story.

The TARDIS lands on the planet Vulcan where the crew discover a crashed space capsule containing some very dangerous visitors. This classic story containing the historic TV moment when the First Doctor regenerated into the Second is completely missing from the archives, but the audio recording still exists. We are delighted to preview the first three episodes of this specially commissioned, animated version of the story, painstakingly recreated for BBC Worldwide for release on DVD. The first episode was originally broadcast 50 years ago, on 5 November 1966.

The event also includes a Q&A with Troughton era actors Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines.

Tickets go on sale from the 4th October at 11:30am, and will be priced at £22.70, which includes a copy of the DVD which will posted once released. There is a maximum of two tickets per booker. More details can be found via the BFI website.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Second Doctor - Special Events

Class: new teaser imageBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 September 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released a new teaser image for the forthcoming spin-off series, Class, due to be broadcast via their online channel Three in October.

Class: "War is Coming" (Credit: BBC/Todd Antony)
"War Is Coming"

FILTER: - BBC - Class - Publicity

Moffat: I'm not blocking Torchwood returnBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 September 2016 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
John Barrowman has recently spoken about the obstacles preventing Torchwood's return to television.
Speaking at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con Barrowman mentioned Doctor Who's current lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat as the reason Torchwood would not be back, to which Moffat has clarified that he is not one of those obstacles:
You may be aware that John Barrowman has been saying, publicly, that I've been blocking a new series of Torchwood. To be very clear - I haven't blocked it; I wouldn't block it; I wouldn't even be ABLE to block it. I didn't even know a revival had been mooted till I read about it on the Internet. As John perfectly well knows, it's not my show and I could no more prevent it happening that he could cancel Sherlock. I am bewildered, and a little cross, even to be included in this conversation. For the record, I really liked the show (especially the third series) and would be very happy to see more - monsters and mayhem, why not? But the fact is, it has nothing to do with me. Please pass this on to the anxious and the angry - I've had enough hate mail now.

Acknowledgement: Wizard World Chicago Comic Con coverage report via YouTube, courtesy of ChristineDoesCons

FILTER: - John Barrowman - People - Steven Moffat - Torchwood

The TV Movie: Blu-ray update / competitionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 September 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide have confirmed details for the forthcoming blu-ray release of the 1996 Doctor Who Television Movie, starring Paul McGann.

Unlike the blu-ray release of Spearhead from Space the TV Movie hasn't been re-scanned from its original film elements to create a high definition version, but is instead presented as a 1080/50i upscaled image. Also, whereas Spearhead featured new supporting features, this release ports across those featured on the "Special Edition" version, previously only available as part of the Revisitations boxed set released in 2010. In addition, the 2013 mini-episode The Night of The Doctor - in which McGann reprised his role as the Doctor for the 50th Anniversary of the show - has also been included.

Full details below:

Doctor Who - The Movie
Release date: 19 Sep 2016 UK (available for pre-order)
Running time: 85 mins

Doctor Who: The TV Movie (blu-ray) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Starring Paul McGann as The Doctor, with Daphne Ashbrook as Grace and Yee Jee Tso as Chang Lee
With Eric Roberts as The Master
Written by Matthew Jacobs
Directed by Geoffrey Sax

Broadcast: 27 May 1996

The Doctor is returning home to Gallifrey with the remains of his arch-nemesis, the Master. Forced off course, the TARDIS arrives in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve 1999, where the Doctor is critically wounded in a gangland gun battle. At the local hospital, Dr Grace Holloway fights – and fails – to save his life. Later, in the morgue, the Doctor wakes up a new man. But he is not the only one – the Master has also found himself a new body. As the clock counts down to the start of a new millennium, can the Doctor stop his oldest enemy destroying all life on Earth?

Special Features: Disc One (blu-ray)
  • Commentary 1 - with director Geeoffrey Sax (recorded 2001)
  • Commentary 2 - with Doctors Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy, moderated by Toby Hadoke (recorded 2009)
  • The Seven Year Hitch - documenting the return of Doctor Who to the screen. Narrated by Amanda Drew.
  • The Doctor's Strange Love - writers Joe Lidster and Simon Guerrier discuss The TV Movie with comedian Josie Long.
  • The Night of the Doctor - the mini-episode released in 2013 in the run-up to the show’s 50th anniversary special, marking Paul McGann’s second on-screen appearance as the Eighth Doctor.
  • Isolated Score - the option to view The TV Movie with the isolated music soundtrack.
  • Music Tracks - tour tracks from the production presented in full: In a Dream, All Dressed Up, Ride into the Moonlight and Auld Lang Syne.
  • Production Subtitles
  • Photo Gallery
Special Features: Disc Two (DVD)
  • Electric Press Kit - used by Fox in 1996, this includes a short documentary and interview segments to allow other broadcasters to put together their own packages about the TV Movie.
  • Behind the Scenes - on set and on location in Vancouver, Canada during the filming of The TV Movie.
  • Philip Segal’s Tour of the TARDIS
  • Alternate Takes
  • VFX Tests June 1994 - early video effects tests by Amblin Imaging in 1994, featuring the ‘Spider Dalek’ design.
  • VFX March 1996 - video effects presented as mute time-coded ‘work in progress’ shots from the CGI department.
  • Paul McGann Audition
  • BBC Trails
  • The Wilderness Years - in the years between the end of the classic series and the broadcast of The TV Movie, Doctor Who survived in print, video and audio, kept alive by fans who were determined not to let it die.
  • Stripped for Action – The Eighth Doctor - looking at the Doctor’s adventures in comic-strip form.
  • Tomorrow’s Times – The Eighth Doctor - a look back at the contemporary coverage of The TV Movie in newspapers and other publications. Presented by Nicholas Courtney.
  • Who Peter 1989-2009 - the second part of this documentary, exploring the special relationship between Doctor Who and Blue Peter. Presented by Gethin Jones.


To be in with a chance to win a copy of the Television Movie on blu-ray, simply answer the following question:
The TVM is set in 1999 San Francisco, but where was it actually filmed?
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to with the subject "Right, where to next?". The competition is open to UK readers only, closing date 30th September 2016. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

FILTER: - BBC - Class - Publicity

Comics Out This WeekBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 September 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Next Wednesday September 14, as well as Titan Comics releasing the first issue in their brand new Third Doctor series - we also see a new comic featuring the Tenth Doctor, and the latest in the Summer series The Supremacy of the Cybermen.


Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Eleonora Carlini
Colorist: Arianna Florean
Cover A: Arianna Florean, Cover B: Photo, Cover C: Simon Myers

The Doctor, Gabby and Cindy face a difficult choice, as Anubis's ticking clock strikes the alarm, and the ancient Osiran's patience finally runs out! But they've dealt with the Son of Sutekh before… Now, armed with a year's worth of adventures and experience, can the TARDIS triumvirate rewrite the rules of a cosmic game of life and death?!
DOCTOR WHO: TENTH #2.14 (Titan)DOCTOR WHO: TENTH #2.14 (Titan)DOCTOR WHO: TENTH #2.14 (Titan)DOCTOR WHO: TENTH #2.14 (Titan)DOCTOR WHO: TENTH #2.14 (Titan)DOCTOR WHO: TENTH #2.14 (Titan)


Writers: George Mann & Cavan Scott
Artist: Ivan Rodriguez & Walter Geovanni
Cover A: Alessandro Vitti, Cover B: Photo, Cover C: Cybermen Variant - Fabio Listrani

Witness the birth of the new Cybermen invasion, as the history of this aggressive Cyberiad is at last revealed! The Tenth Doctor takes a titanic machine into combat. The Twelfth Doctor finds an unlikely ally. The Ninth Doctor loses one of his own. And the Eleventh Doctor discovers something impossible

FILTER: - Comics - Tenth Doctor

The Lives of Captain JackBookmark and Share

Saturday, 10 September 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Big Finish have announced further adventures for Captain Jack Harkness with a new series coming in June 2017.

The Lives of Captain Jack (Credit: Big Finish)John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow) returns to the Doctor Who universe as Captain Jack Harkness in The Lives of Captain Jack, a set of four full cast audio adventures from Big Finish, made under licence from BBC Worldwide.

Captain Jack - an immortal adventurer with a wicked sense of everything - has led an extraordinary set of lives. We all know he travelled with the Doctor, we all know he ran Torchwood - but what else did he get up to? The four adventures in this full cast series from Big Finish provide some of the answers.

Starring John Barrowman, and guest starring Russell Tovey (Doctor Who, Being Human and Looking), Camille Coduri (Doctor Who, Him & Her), Alexander Vlahos (Merlin, Versailles, The Confessions of Dorian Gray), Sarah Douglas (Superman I, Superman II, Space 1999, V, Strippers vs Werewolves), Scott Haran (Wizards vs Aliens), Aaron Neil (Class) and Katy Manning (Doctor Who) the four adventures see Captain Jack in different times and on different planets, doing battle with a variety of strange and horrible enemies, from Mother Nothing to the Council Of Three.

John Barrowman laughs:
I find it really easy to slip into Captain Jack. There’s a bit of Jack in John and vice versa. What’s great about these stories is that they’re the kind of episode we didn’t have time for on TV – exploring aspects of Jack that you’ve never seen before in a timey-wimey way. And getting to work with Camille was amazing. If you’re a fan of Captain Jack, or Torchwood or Doctor Who, then I say get them.
Producer James Goss says:
We love John. He understands Captain Jack like no-one else, and easily provided the various versions of him – having just spent three days playing Torchwood Jack, he suddenly delivered preppy Time Agent Jack, Satellite 5 Jack, End of Time Jack, and effortlessly locked horns with Jackie Tyler. Watching him together in the studio with Camille was genuinely one of the happiest days of my life. We were so lucky to get John, and can’t wait to get him back.

Released in June 2017, The Lives of Captain Jack is written by Guy Adams and James Goss. The stories include:
  • THE YEAR AFTER I DIED: Set in the year 200,101, on an Earth ravaged by the Daleks, we see Jack struggling to save humanity from its oldest enemy.
  • WEDNESDAYS FOR BEGINNERS: Jack and Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) must unite to rescue the Powell Estate from a force whose name Jackie can never say.
  • ONE ENCHANTED EVENING: Captain Jack and Alonso Frame (Russell Tovey) have only just met. But why did the Doctor want them to be together?
  • MONTH 25: He’s the young star of the Time Agency, and his whole life is about to fall apart. But that’s not going to stop him winning.

The Lives of Captain Jack is available to pre-order from the Big Finish website.

FILTER: - Audio - Big Finish - John Barrowman - Torchwood