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

#TripOfALifetime: Rose around the WorldBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
#TripOfALifeTime - Rose, 26 Mar 2020 (Credit: BBC)Following on from the popular global viewing of The Day Of The Doctor last Saturday, a followup event featuring the first episode of 21st Century Doctor Who, Rose is planned for this coming Thursday, 26th March at 7:00pm GMT - the exact time of its fifteenth anniversary! As with #SaveTheDay, viewers around the world are invited to watch the episode and comment along.
To join in, simply pop in your DVD or Bluray disc, or access a streaming service such as BBC iPlayer or Netflix, and then hit play at 7:00pm GMT/3:00pm ET/6:00am AEDT/8:00am NZDT and share your viewing experience!



With Steven Moffat getting involved last weekend, original writer and showrunner Russell T Davies has announced he too will be rejoining Twitter to join in the fun on Thursday, revealing something special to mark the occasion via his Instagram account:
ROSE livestream and tweet-a-long, THURSDAY 26 MARCH at 7pm GMT. Come and have fun! Before that, Thursday daytime, time TBC, we'll release ROSE: THE PREQUEL on the BBC's Doctor Who website - it's a lost piece of history from the 50th anniversary year, 2013. Never seen before! ROSE is available in the UK on BBC iPlayer and Netflix; worldwide, check your own resourced (don't ask me, I have no clue!). If you can't find a copy, close your eyes at 7om GMT and feel my psychic link. Yeah. I'll be tweeting along, twitter handle to be named on Thursday! Plus more surprises to come. Oh what a lockdown this is! #TripofaLifetime





FILTER: - Broadcasting - Doctor Who - International Broadcasting - Special Events

Flash Sale On The New Issue Of Doctor Who MagazineBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine: 550 (Credit: Panini)Issue 550 of Doctor Who Magazine is part of a bumper package that includes a poster magazine, a TARDIS control-room diorama, six 1970s-style collectors’ cards, a Talons of Weng-Chiang poster and a download code for a four-part Big Finish adventure starring Tom Baker and Louise Jameson.

The retail price for this unique issue is £9.99, but a new offer from publisher Panini includes the issue as part of a six-month subscription with large savings on cover prices. The offer includes issues with exclusive, subscriber-only covers, DWM Special Editions and free delivery, very important in these difficult times.

For a limited time only, you can receive a six-month subscription to Doctor Who Magazine and its Special Editions for just £32.50. If you take out a new subscription by 5.00pm ON TUESDAY 24 MARCH, you can receive issue 550 as part of this special offer.

Editor Marcus Hearn says
We all need our spirits lifting at the moment, and hopefully the extra-special issue 550 will help. Free delivery for subscribers is another bonus that will make things easier for a lot of our readers in these difficult times.
To take advantage of this limited-time offer, simply head to Panini Subscriptions. The 30% discount is open to UK direct debit subscribers only and is valid from 23 March to 23 April 2020. Minimum subscription term is one year. There are two payments of £32.50 during the first year of subscription. Subscriptions are charged at £37 per six months following the first year of subscription.

Issue 550 celebrates Doctor Who’s mid-70s classics. Highlights include:
  • Showrunner Chris Chibnall and former producer Philip Hinchcliffe – together at the Doctor Who studio!
  • Director Michael E Briant describes the making of his 1977 classic The Robots of Death.
  • Sadie Miller remembers her mother, Sarah Jane Smith actress Elisabeth Sladen.
  • The Doctor Who Magazine review of Series 12 – every episode from Spyfall to The Timeless Children!
  • A diary and scrapbook of 1976-77 – the extraordinary months that spanned the broadcast of Season 14.
  • A new presentation of Dr Who and the Hell Planet, a 1976 short story by Terrance Dicks.
  • A review of the new, animated version of The Faceless Ones.
  • How Robert Holmes reimagined the Time Lords for his 1976 story The Deadly Assassin.
  • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2006 story Tooth and Claw.
  • A look at Exploration Earth: The Time Machine, a 1976 schools programme starring Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen.
  • Updates on Doctor Who luminaries, past and present, with Time and Space Visualiser.
  • Public Image analyses the ratings for the final episodes of Series 12.
  • Part Two of The Piggybackers, a new comic-strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends.
  • Big Finish previews and reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, The Blogs of Doom and much more!
PLUS:
  • 1977-style poster magazine
  • TARDIS control-room diorama
  • Talons of Weng-Chiang music-hall poster
  • Six collectors’ cards
  • Four-part Big Finish download
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 550 is on sale from Thursday 2 April 2020£9.99 (UK)




FILTER: - DWM

David Collings 1940-2020Bookmark and Share

Monday, 23 March 2020 - Reported by Marcus
David Collings (Credit: The Old Vic)Actor David Collings has died at the age of 79.

David Collings had a number of memorable appearances in Doctor Who appearing in eleven episodes of the Classic series between 1975 and 1983.

His first appearance was in the Fourth Doctor story Revenge of the Cybermen. Collins played Vorus, leader of the guardians on Voga. His performance as the proud renegade, trying to assert his races sovereignty but nearly bringing about their destruction was a tour de force.

He returned to the series in 1977 playing Poul in the story The Robots of Death. A very different role Poul was an undercover agent for the Kaldor City Company, eventually succumbing to Grimwade's Syndrome, the fear of Robots.

His final appearance came in the fifth Doctor story Mawdryn Undead, playing the title character Mawdryn, desperate to get the Doctor to give up his remaining regenerations.

David Collings was born in Brighton in East Sussex in 1940. His first television appearance came in 1964, playing Raskolnikov in a live production of Crime & Punishment. Over the next thirty years, he was a regular of the British screen appearing in such programmes as Dr. Finlay's Casebook, Point Counter Point, The Possessed, Canterbury Tales, Elizabeth R, By the Sword Divided, Miss Marple: A Murder Is Announced, Sapphire & Steel and The Shadow of the Tower.

He played William Wilberforce in The Fight Against Slavery and Blind Pew in Treasure Island. In 1981 he appeared in the final episode of Blake's 7 playing Deva. He played Monkey in the late seventies adaptation of a Chinese folktale.

Film roles included Bob Cratchit in the classic 1970 film musical, Scrooge, as well as roles in The Thirty Nine Steps and The Outsider, while Radio listeners heard him as Legolas in the acclaimed BBC dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings.

In recent years Collins had worked for Big Finish appearing in several Doctor Who related productions.

David Collings died suddenly earlier today. He is survived by his children and by his wife, Karen Archer, who announced the death on Twitter.
I don’t if this is the right time, maybe no such thing anymore, but I feel I should share the news, for those who knew him, that our dear David Collings, actor, husband, father, died suddenly in the early hours of this morning. Perhaps we can celebrate him properly next year ...




FILTER: - Classic Series - Obituary

Strax introduces #SaveTheDayBookmark and Share

Saturday, 21 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster







FILTER: - Broadcasting - Doctor Who - International Broadcasting - Special Events

New Doctor Who scene for #SaveTheDayBookmark and Share

Saturday, 21 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Steven Moffat supporting #SaveTheDay (Credit: Steven Moffat on Twitter)A new, specially written scene is to be released online tonight at 6:30pm GMT to introduce the #SaveTheDay initiative for an international viewing of the 50th Anniversary story The Day Of The Doctor.

The scene has been written by the story's writer and former showrunner Steven Moffat; organiser Emily Cook told Radio Times:
Seeing as we’re all stuck in self-isolation with nothing to do, and given so many fans have got engaged with this now-global Day of the Doctor rewatch party, I thought it might be fun to create a new introduction video, inspired by the one which was shown in cinemas before the Anniversary Special was simulcast in 2013! I approached Steven Moffat with the idea and, amazingly, he jumped on board! He’s written a special scene which is utterly brilliant! Brand-new Doctor Who created remotely while we’re all in self-isolation. I really hope fans enjoy this! It's a real treat!
Details of the scene, and who will present it, are being kept under wraps, but the writer has briefly returned to Twitter to celebrate the event, saying:
Hi. Steven Moffat here. Actual Steven Moffat, if there's still anyone bothering to pretend to be me. Only here for the Day Of The Doctor tweet-a-long, 7pm GMT, 21st March. #savetheday Disappearing after that BEFORE THEY GET ME!!!!

The worldwide "watchathon" takes place at 7:00pm GMT/3:00pm ET/6:00am AEDT/8:00am NZDT.






FILTER: - Broadcasting - Doctor Who - International Broadcasting - Series Specials - Special Events - Steven Moffat

#SaveTheDay with Doctor Who around the worldBookmark and Share

Saturday, 21 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
#SaveTheDay (Credit: BBC)Today at 7:00pm GMT, Doctor Who fans (and anybody else who wants to join in!) all around the world are invited to join in a special global viewing of the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who adventure, The Day Of The Doctor!

Organised by Doctor Who Magazine writer, Emily Cook, the idea is to bring some cheer during the current global pandemic by fans watching episodes simultaneously and sharing their views together as the stories unfold. Back in 2013, The Day Of The Doctor achieved a world record for the number of viewers globally, and this story has been chosen to kick off this new shared experience, using the hashtag that promoted the anniversary, #SaveTheDay.

To join in, simply pop in your DVD or Bluray disc, or access a streaming service such as BBC iPlayer or Netflix, and then hit play at 7:00pm GMT/3:00pm ET/6:00am AEDT/8:00am NZDT and share your viewing experience!



If successful, further shared viewing days could follow, with provisional ideas including the 21st Century Doctor Who premiere Rose on 26th March to celebrate its 15th anniversary, and the eleventh Doctor opener The Eleventh Hour on 3rd April in celebration of its 10th anniversary!






FILTER: - Blu-ray/DVD - Broadcasting - Doctor Who - International Broadcasting - Online

Big Finish Suspend Recording SessionsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 17 March 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Big Finish (Credit: Big Finish)Due to the recent advice from Government about the spread of the Corona-19 virus, Big Finish has taken the decision to temporarily suspend the recording of audio dramas.

Speaking about the precaution to pause recording sessions, Chairman of the production company, Jason Haigh-Ellery, said:
We have always worked considerably in advance – indeed some of our series have recordings dates that are up to four years in advance of their release date. So we are lucky enough to have many productions already ‘in the can’

Subsequently, pausing recordings will cause minimal disruption to this year’s releases.

The majority of Big Finish’s staff are freelance and work from home and so are fully able to continue to work remotely, whether writing productions for when we re-open the studios, or editing and sound designing those productions already recorded.

However, the safety of our actors is of paramount importance and, given the advice by public health experts to limit the risk of transmitting the virus, we have taken the decision to suspended our recording schedule in consultation with the studios that we use on a regular basis.

We will obviously continue to review all productions on a case-by-case basis and take further expert advice where necessary.

At the moment, it is our hope to proceed with the annual Big Finish Day gathering on 6 June 2020 at Quad, Derby. If the situation changes, we will inform those who have bought tickets as early as possible.

For now, however, it’s business as usual for Big Finish.




FILTER: - Audio - Big Finish

Soundtrack releases for The Sun Makers and The VisitationBookmark and Share

Saturday, 14 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Silva Screen Records have now released details on the forthcoming CD releases of the soundtracks for the fourth Doctor adventure The Sun Makers by Dudley Simpson, and fifth Doctor tale The Visitation by Paddy Kingsland.

The Sun Makers - soundtrack (Credit: Silva Screen)The Sun Makers
Music by Dudley Simpson

1. Doctor Who Opening Title Theme
2. Death and Taxes
3. Mahogany
4. One Thousand Metres
5. Six Suns
6. The Others
7. Subway 13
8. Subway 13 (Continued)
9. A Heart as Big as your Mouth
10. A Little Hop
11. Jelly Babies
12. Something in the Air
13. K9, Bite!
14. Humbug
15. The P45 Return Route
16. The P45 Return Route (Reprise)
17. Morton's Fork
18. I’ve Heard That One, Too
19. The Rebellion Begins
20. Static Loop
21. The Steaming
22. The Steaming Continued
23. Gentlemen, Good Luck
24. Nobody Works Today
25. The Gatherer Excised
26. Doctor Who Closing Title Theme (53" Version)

The Visitation - soundtrack (Credit: Silva Screen)The Visitation
Music by Paddy Kingsland


1. Doctor Who 1980 (Opening Titles)
2. Have you Seen the Sky?
3. Heathrow, 1666
4. Richard Mace & The Miller
5. A Fascinating Wall
6. An Incredible Illusion
7. Death in the Cellar
8. Activation
9. Grim
10. The Poacher and his Friends
11. Looking for the Miller / Not Again!
12. Trouble at the Mill
13. Laying a Trap

14. More Trouble at the Mill
15. Oh for a Proper Key
16. The End for us All
17. A Final Visitation
18. Almost Your Old Self
19. Eureka!
20. The Sonic Booster
21. Almost as if we were Expected
22. The Great Fire
23. Doctor Who Closing Title Theme
24. Activation (Unused Version 1)
25. Not Again! (Unused Version 1)
Paddy Kingsland reminisces about the process for the score:
We decided early on that the music should have a period flavour together with the usual high tech (at the time!) synthesiser sounds. Peter was my favourite Doctor Who director and was always enormously encouraging and positive... he generously gave me the freedom to do my own thing, but always knew if something needed to be adjusted. I had about a week to put together the music for an episode before going to the dub… the score is quite sombre although there are elements of “yea verily” type music to set some scenes, which have a lighter texture. I played all the parts, using the synthesisers of the day, Oberheim, Roland and ARP, adding bass guitar plus drums and cymbals… not to mention my trusty Fender Mustang guitar.

Both CDs are due to be released on 1st May 2020.




FILTER: - Fifth Doctor - Fourth Doctor - Music

Lethbridge-Stewart: The George Kostinen Mystery.Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 14 March 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the next book in their Bloodlines series of Lethbridge-Stewart.

Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines: The George Kostinen Mystery (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines: The George Kostinen Mystery
Written by Chris Lynch
Cover by Adrian Salmon


With the fate of every reality hanging in the balance, the Accord sends Lethbridge-Stewart to a brand-new version of Earth.

His mission: to find Lucy Wilson. She is the final agent the Accord needs to fix the damage done to the quantum realm, but the world Lethbridge-Stewart finds himself in is quite unlike anything he’s ever seen before.

A dystopian nightmare, the UK is caught in a power struggle between the Clown Tithe, the deadly Kruge and the ever-mysterious Volpertinger.

Lethbridge-Stewart’s only ally in this nightmare world is a sixteen-year-old boy from Ogmore-by-Sea called George Kostinen. A boy who, in the real world, should be best friends with Lucy Wilson. Only is this reality – he’s barely heard of her!

How can Lethbridge-Stewart’s mission succeed when Lucy Wilson is a nobody? A girl who’s never even heard the name Lethbridge-Stewart before…

Following last year’s crossover between the Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range of novels, comes a new crossover event. The George Kostinen Mystery is written by Chris Lynch, whose work includes The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel, Curse of the Mirror Clowns.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
Bloodlines was always about taking a different look at our own characters, so this was a nice chance to offer up a unique look at the world inhabited by Lucy Wilson and her friend Hobo – only seen through a distorted mirror. The obvious choice for me was Chris – we haven’t actually worked together before, but we spent a lovely day at a convention a couple of years ago and after meeting to discuss the potential of this book, I knew he was the right man for the job. We had much success with our Lethbridge-Stewart/Lucy Wilson crossover project last year, but obviously we don’t want to hit the same beats again. The George Kostinen Mystery is a crossover quite unlike the previous one.

Chris Lynch says:
Andy and all the writers who have worked on the Lethbridge Stewart range before me have created such an intricate, well-realised universe that I have to confess I was a little nervous about stepping into it. It's somewhat like being given a very beautiful, very complicated grandfather clock and then being asked to service a number of vital parts using only a butter knife while wearing a blindfold. Thankfully, I've been let loose in my little pocket dimension where I can forget about butter knives and go at this thing with a nuclear-powered chainsaw. It's enormous fun putting Lethbridge-Stewart, George, and all other characters through the ringer, transforming jolly old Blighty into a dystopian nightmare, creating new creatures to scare people with, and revisiting my very first addition to this universe – the Clowns.”

The cover is by regular Lethbridge-Stewart contributor, Adrian Salmon. Adrian says:
This was a fascinating cover to compose because of the various components and the fact I had the honour of being only the second artist to interpret Lucy Wilson on a cover – the less said about getting her hair style right the better! The Kruge were a lot of fun to draw, and if you look closely you’ll spot the little drawings of their victims faces scratched into their armour.

The George Kostinen Mystery will be followed by Back to the Past, which wraps up the Bloodlines saga, and then the final book of series seven which will see a return to the Schizoid Earth in I, Alastair.

The book is available for pre-order now, an is including in the book subscription with Candy Jar Books.




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

Doctor Who Comes to RobloxBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 March 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Roblox (Credit: BBC Studios)A set of Doctor Who virtual items are available for free this month for the Roblox community to enjoy.

BBC Studios and Roblox today announced the launch of a series of Doctor Who-themed virtual items on Roblox, a global online platform bringing more than 115 million people together through play.

Players can now personalize their avatar with a variety of Doctor Who-themed items, including a TARDIS backpack, and avatars of The Tenth and Thirteenth Doctor, all obtainable for free, from the Roblox Avatar Shop.

These items are available for a limited time (12th March-26th March) and include:

The Pterrible Pting
This tiny terror from Doctor Who can eat any inorganic material. Thankfully, however, it won’t eat any organic material (meaning you).

Portable TARDIS
Funny thing about this backpack…it’s much, much bigger on the inside.

The Tenth Doctor
Two legs, two arms, two hands, BIG hair…and sideburns! This bundle is based on David Tennant’s character in Doctor Who.

The Thirteenth Doctor
This bundle, made of a bit of adrenaline, a dash of outrage, and a hint of panic, is based on Jodie Whittaker’s character in Doctor Who.

Christina Wootton, Vice President of Brand Partnerships, Roblox, said:
On Roblox your online identity is a powerful tool that helps our community express who they are and who they want to become. We are delighted to partner with Doctor Who, whose diverse set of characters inspire the freedom and creativity that help our community define who they are in the real world as much as the virtual world.
Sarah Bold, BBC Studios Global Franchise Head of Marketing for Drama, said:
The Doctor Who fan community is renowned for creativity making it a joy to take the TARDIS to Roblox where millions of fans will be able to play and create with these new items.




FILTER: - Games - Tenth Doctor - Thirteenth Doctor