Russell T Davies returns to helm Doctor Who for 60th Anniversary and beyondBookmark and Share

Friday, 24 September 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Russell T Davies to return as Doctor Who showrunner in 2023 (Credit: BBC)

The BBC have announced that Russell T Davies, the man behind the return of Doctor Who in 2005, is once again to take the helm of the television series for its 60th Anniversary and further series beyond.

As the first showwunner of Doctor Who, Davies's tenure saw the programme surge in popularity and win a number of accolades, and his departure in 2009 left a legacy which continues some sixteen years later!

Speaking of his return, Davies said:

I'm beyond excited to be back on my favourite show. But we're time-travelling too fast, there's a whole series of Jodie Whittaker's brilliant Doctor to me to enjoy, with my friend and hero Chris Chibnall at the helm - I'm still a viewer for now.

Chibnall says of Davie's return:

It's monumentally exciting and fitting that Doctor Who's 60th anniversary will see one of Britain's screenwriting diamonds return home. Russell built the baton that is about to be handed back to him - Doctor Who, the BBC, the screen industry in Wales, and let's be honest everyone in the whole world, have so many reasons to be Very Excited indeed about what lies ahead.

Piers Wenger, BBC Director of Drama said:

As the 13th Doctor prepares to embark on new and extraordinary adventures, the winds of change are blowing… bringing with them news to delight Doctor Who fans across the globe. We are thrilled that Russell is returning to Doctor Who to build on the huge achievements of Chris and Jodie. Thank you to the two of them and the team in Cardiff for all they continue to do for the show and hello Russell, it’s wonderful to have you back.

 

The show will be produced by BBC Studios in partnership with Bad Wolf, the production company created by Davies's former co-producer Julie Gardner and the former BBC Head of Drama, Jane Tranter. 





Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 569Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 16 September 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 569 (Credit: Panini)

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, out today, features an interview with new companion John Bishop. 

 

Highlights of the new issue include:

 

• An exclusive interview with John Bishop, in which he discusses growing up with Doctor Who, shooting the new series, and answers questions from DWM’s TARDIS tin.
• The second and final part of Black Powder, a brand-new adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor and Yaz, written by Joy Wilkinson.
• New insights into the Second Doctor’s missing episodes from fans who remember watching them.
• A detailed look at Doctor Who ‘orphaned’ episodes.
• How did 1972’s The Sea Devils threaten the entire series’ future? The untold story is revealed.
• Apocrypha revisits Wartime, an independent short film from 1988.
• Collectivity investigates how the BBC’s VHS releases transformed the world of Doctor Who fandom.
• How the alien world of 1967’s The Macra Terror was created by Doctor Who’s production team, featuring new CGI models by Gavin Rymill.
• The Fact of Fiction continues its analysis of the 1968 classic The Web of Fear.
• Meet the team behind the new Doctor Who Atlas.
• Sufficient Data explores Doctor Who’s big ideas.
• Previews, reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, Time and Space Visualiser and more.

 

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 569 is on sale from panini.co.uk and WH Smith from Thursday 16 September priced £5.99 (UK).
 

Also available as a digital edition from pocketmags.com priced £4.99.





Galaxy 4 AnimationBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 September 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Galaxy 4 Animation (Credit: BBC Studios)

BBC Studios have announced that the first Doctor story Galaxy 4 will be released as an animated reconstruction later this year. 

Galaxy 4 was the first story of Season 3 of Doctor Who and was originally shown on BBC 1 in September 1965. It starred William Hartnell as The Doctor, with Maureen O'Brien playing Vicki and Peter Purves playing Steven. The story was wiped after transmission and most of the story is missing from the archives. 

DOCTOR WHO: GALAXY 4

Written by William Emms
Directed by Chloe Grech (2021 Production)
Directed by Derek Martinus (1965 Production)

Executive Producers for Big Finish Creative – Gary Russell, Mark B.Oliver and Jason Haigh-Ellery (2021 Production)

Executive Producer for BBC Studios – Russell Minton (2021 Production)

Produced by Verity Lambert (1965 Production)

Starring William Hartnell, Maureen O’Brien, Peter Purves, Stephanie Bidmead, Marina Martin, Susanna Caroll, Lyn Ashley.

Galaxy 4 Animation (Credit: BBC Studios)The animated version of the story will be released in the UK on the 15th November 2021 and BBC Studios have today released a sneak peek of what’s included in the release.

The release follows the success of the existing animations, which are filling a gap in the missing Doctor Who archive. Thanks to fans who recorded the audio on domestic machines at the time of broadcast, audio-only recordings of all four episodes have survived and have been used here to create a brand new fully animated presentation of the entirety of this lost classic.

This will be presented alongside the original Episode 3, which was recovered from a collector in 2011 and over five minutes of original footage from the otherwise lost Episode 1.

The story sees the TARDIS landing on a planet on the verge of total annihilation as it drifts too close to the three suns which it orbits. Trapped on the planet with them are the Drahvins, a race of warrior women, and the reptilian Rills. The Drahvins want to steal the Rill spaceship to escape the planet's death throes and enlist the Doctor's help, which he is forced to give when Maaga, the cunning Drahvin leader, keeps first Vicki and then later Steven as her hostage.  Even though the Doctor is determined to broker a peace deal between the two sides in this conflict and help everyone escape safely, Maaga doesn't trust him, or the Rills...

The two-disc release gives fans the opportunity to enjoy the four new animated episodes of Galaxy 4, in either colour or black and white. The release will also include:

  • Remastered Surviving Original Episode 3
  • ​Remastered Surviving Clip from Episode 1
  • Telesnap Reconstructions of Episodes 1,2 and 4.
  • Audio Commentaries 
  • Making Of Documentary
  • Finding Galaxy 4 Documentary
  • Photo Gallery
  • Production Subtitles 

Gary Russell, Executive Producer from Big Finish  said

After a gap of many years, it is very exciting to bring the era of the First Doctor back into the animation world. Galaxy 4 is one of the most traditional adventures of 1960s Doctor Who and it’s been a real honour to work on this alternative version which hopefully reflects those technicolour thrills that sci-fi movies of the '60s had but which Doctor Who’s monochrome TV limitations couldn’t yet achieve.

BFI Southbank will host a special screening of all 4 episodes of the newly animated story Galaxy 4 on 7th November 2021; tickets go on sale on 16th September at 11:30 to BFI Champions and Patrons, at 12:30 to BFI Members and at 16:00 to the general public.

The new animated release will be available online and in-store as is available to pre-order on DVD, Blu-ray, and as a Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook   

 

  




Christopher Eccleston returns to Big FinishBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 September 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Christopher Eccleston (Credit: Tony Whitmore / Big Finish)

Big Finish Productions have confirmed the second series of Doctor Who –The Ninth Doctor Adventures starring Christopher Eccleston, due to be released throughout 2022 and into 2023.

Last year, Big Finish announced the Ninth Doctor’s return to Doctor Who, with his inaugural series of full-cast audio dramas currently delighting audiences and critics alike. Now, Christopher Eccleston returns to the TARDIS for twelve more adventures in time and space, across four brand new box sets.

Each volume is now available for pre-order exclusively at the Big Finish website(www.bigfinish.com), with prices starting at just £19.99.

Christopher Eccleston said:

Just before Christmas in 2020, I walked into a small recording studio in an industrial estate in North London. Me and the sound engineer looked at each other and we smiled and said, ‘Let's go!’ Then I started playing the Ninth Doctor again, and I loved it.

It's been one of the great joys for me of the past year. It's a lovely way to do it, so I'm coming back to record more.

Big Finish Chairman Jason Haigh-Ellery said:

I am so glad that Christopher has enjoyed his time with us so much that he has agreed to continue his travels in the TARDIS. Bringing the Ninth Doctor back to the Doctor Who universe has been one of the few enjoyable parts of the past year and I am so glad that the adventures will continue!

Producer David Richardson added:

I’ve spent most of my summer weekends sitting in the garden, iPad on my lap, reading the scripts for The Ninth Doctor Adventures–Series Two. Happy days indeed. No spoilers but expect emotional, character-based stories, and lots of adventure –going deep into Earth’s past and into the far future.

From an old railway station to the seas of Titan, to a very unusual furniture store in the present day, it’s another trip of a lifetime –and I can’t wait to be back in the studio again in October, where we will bring these words to brilliant life. Recording the first season with Chris was one of my happiest times at Big Finish, and I feel privileged to be going back for more.

Doctor Who fans worldwide can now pre-order the second series of the Ninth Doctor Adventures, which are available in three formats –collector’s edition CD, digital download or limited edition gatefold triple LP vinyl –exclusively from the Big Finish website at bigfinish.com.

 





Tony Selby 1938-2021Bookmark and Share

Monday, 6 September 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Tony Selby (Credit: Chuck Foster)

The actor Tony Selby has died at the age of 83.

Tony Selby had a long and illustrious career spanning more than 70 years and appearing on Stage, on Television and in Films. 

He played the role of Sabalom Glitz in three Doctor Who stories. In 1986 he appeared alongside sixth Doctor Colin Baker in the first section of the Trial of a Timelord season, The Mysterious Planet. The character returned for the conclusion to the season in The Ultimate Foe

The following year he returned to the series, this time appearing with Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy in Dragonfire

 

Born in London in 1938, Selby trained at the famous Italia Conti Stage School.  One of his first TV appearances was in the TV play Mencius Was a Bad Boy appearing as Pig at the age of 13. Over the next 70 years he would be a constant presence on TV with appearances in programmes such as Compact, No Hiding Place, The Wednesday Play,  Shine a Light, Z Cars, Catweazle, Ace of Wands, Minder, Crown Court, The Good Life, Moody and Pegg, Jack of Diamonds, Hideaway, Mulberry, Love Hurts, The Detectives, The Bill and Dream Team.

One of his most memorable roles was as Corporal Marsh in the ITV sitcom Get Some In! about life in National Service. He appeared in EastEnders playing Clive Mitchell. 

On the stage, he appeared in the original production of Edward Bond's controversial play Saved at the Royal Court Theatre.

Film work included roles in Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall and Alfie as well as an uncredited role in Superman


Tony Selby's death was announced by his management LCM Limited. In a statement, they said

With great sadness, we announce that actor Tony Selby passed away peacefully in London yesterday.

In a career spanning 70 years in theatre, film and TV, Tony was highly respected and loved by family, friends and colleagues.

His renowned sense of humour will be missed by us all.

 





The Lucy Wilson Mysteries - The Children of JanuaryBookmark and Share

Sunday, 5 September 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books has announced the latesrt instalment of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries,
 

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries - The Children of January (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Children of January
Written by Tim Gsmbrell
 

A new calendar year. A new term. A new set of challenges for Lucy Wilson and Hobo Kostinen.

The two of them discover they’ve been selected to represent their school at a national team event, that weekend.

But why such short notice? Who are the other seven children making up their team? And why are none of them bothered by the prospect of searching out concealed aliens on the frozen wastes of Dartmoor in January 2020?

Pretty soon, Lucy and Hobo realise that no one is quite what they seem on this particular weekend away.

 

 

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries is a Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off adventure inspired by characters created for Doctor Who by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln. It also features Sergeant Benton, created by Derek Sherwin.

 

Lucy is the granddaughter of the iconic Doctor Who favourite Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, and the last four years have seen her contend with a succession of extra-terrestrial threats drawn to her home in the seaside village of Ogmore-by-Sea, Wales.

This time, however, Lucy is packed off on a school trip to Dartmoor, where to her surprise she encounters seven other young defenders of Earth.

 

Head of publishing at Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, said:

Lucy and Hobo have really grown as characters since Sue Hampton masterfully introduced them in Avatars of the Intelligence. Since then we’ve seen them thwart an invasion of Mirror Clowns, end the TV career of Billy Bandrel, meet the Quarks, help the Brigadier save the universe, visit Fang Rock, and even witness Lucy’s birth. But now Lucy and Hobo are taking on their greatest challenge – and this time they need help!

Enter Joshua Benton, Reisha Travers and many more – the Children of January!

 

Tim Gambrell, the author of The Children of January, is thrilled to be kicking off this new phase of the Lucy Wilson saga. He said:

For one reason or another, I seem to have spent a lot of time with Lucy Wilson and Hobo over the past two years! It wasn’t planned that way, that’s just how it’s worked out. For me, at least, it’s been a joy. Lucy and Hobo are great characters to write for and build stories around. But since The Brigadier and the Bledoe Cadets was published, the next planned step for me was always The Children of January.

The book is set in January 2020 (hence the title), before the impact of COVID-19. Lucy and Hobo are sent off to Dartmoor to represent their school, alongside various other pupils from schools nationwide. This adventure ties up a few loose ends from the previous books, and establishes a brand new mystery for our heroes. Tim continued:

The Children of January was never going to be just another Lucy Wilson Mysteries book. Shaun gave me the title and a shopping list of things he wanted the book to contain. This included quite a large cast of characters. In fact, there’s even a guest appearance from a certain well-known warrant officer! Shaun then left me to turn his shopping list into an engaging Lucy Wilson Mysteries book. It was a challenge, for sure, but hopefully I’ve succeeded.

 

The book is now available for pre-order exclusively from the Candy Jar and Lethbridge-Stewart websites. You csn read a free chapter from the book via our website.

 

 




The Life and Legacy of Verity LambertBookmark and Share

Friday, 3 September 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Drama and Delight
Drama And Delight: The Life And Legacy Of Verity Lambert has been reprinted by Ten Acre Films.
 
Richard Marson's acclaimed biography of Doctor Who's first producer has had a limited reprint.
 
For five decades, the name Verity Lambert appeared on the end credits of many of Britain’s most celebrated and talked about television dramas, among them Adam Adamant Lives!, Budgie, The Naked Civil Servant, Minder, Edward and Mrs Simpson, Eldorado, G.B.H. and Jonathan Creek. 
 
She was the very first producer of Doctor Who, which she nurtured through its formative years at a time when there were few women in positions of power in the television industry. Later, she worked within the troubled British film business and became a pioneering independent producer, founding her own highly-successful company, Cinema Verity.
 
Within her profession, she was hugely respected as an intensely driven, sometimes formidable but always stylish exponent of her craft, with the stamina and ability to combine quantity with quality. Many of her productions have had a lasting cultural and emotional impact on their audiences and continue to be enjoyed to this day.
 
But who was the woman behind all these television triumphs and what was the price she paid to achieve them?
 
Combining painstaking research and interviews with many of Lambert’s closest friends and colleagues, Drama and Delight captures the energy and spirit of this remarkable woman and explore her phenomenal and lasting legacy.
 




Blackpool RevisitedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 1 September 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Blackpool Revisited

A new ebook looking at the history of the famous Doctor Who Exhibitions at Blackpool. has just been released. 

Blackpool Revisited is the follow-up to the hugely popular Blackpool Remembered, which was released last year. 

This new book charts the history of Doctor Who exhibitions in Blackpool – the original exhibition which ran from 1974 to 1985 and David Boyle’s Doctor Who Museum, which ran from 2004 to 2009.

With an exclusive foreword by Lorne Martin, this ebook is available to download for free.

The reaction to the first book inspired us to do another – this time even bigger, at over 600 pages, with content from over 90 contributors. As well as more memories and nostalgia from the original exhibition, we take a detailed journey through the Doctor Who Museum, alongside a look at the life of its curator (and Dapol founder), the late David Boyle. We also look at the Blackpool Illuminations, Edwin Hall Dalek rides, Sevans Models, Dapol toys, the Whomobile, interviews with artists Andrew Skilleter, Rod Vass and Graham Potts plus much more!
 
 
 
 
The book and its predecessor can be downloaded from here

 

 

 

Blackpool Revisited Blackpool Revisited





UNIT - The Benton FilesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 August 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce a very special book for 2021, the first of its standalone UNIT books: 

UNIT: The Benton Files (Credit: Candy Jar Books)
The Benton Files
 
Written by Tim Gambrell and John Peel
Cover by Richard Young

 

 

Rifleman John Benton finds himself summoned to London, to the HQ of a brand-new organisation – UNIT – under Waterloo Station. There, he meets an old barrack room buddy, Major Bill Bishop, and UNIT’s Commanding Officer, one Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

The young rifleman is about to learn that not everything is as innocuous as it appears. Major Bishop has specially selected Benton to assist him on a mission – a mission that could change Rifleman John Benton’s life forever.

 

 

Featuring two UNIT stories…

Into the fire by Tim Gambrell

Car Wars by John Peel

The book features the very first meeting of the Brigadier and Benton, followed by Benton’s very first ever UNIT adventure.

 

Taking over as range editor from the hard working and very talented Andy Frankham-Allen is the equally assiduous Tim Gambrell. Tim said::

The Brigadier and Benton meeting for the first time seems such a momentous occasion in the Doctor Who universe. And we never saw it on screen. Of course, the Brigadier has a history of meeting much-loved characters off-screen. We never see the moment he first meets the Doctor in The Web of Fear, for example. And Benton is already a UNIT corporal when he shows up in The Invasion. But how did Benton join UNIT? The first story Into the Fire helps bridge that gap.

UNIT: The Bention Files (Credit: Candy Jar Books)To mark this occasion, Candy Jar recorded an audiobook version with John Levene. This will be released simultaneously with the paperback

The second story has been written by popular Doctor Who author John Peel, and is quite literally a race against time around the streets of Birmingham. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:

As we approach 2022, we will soon be wrapping up the Lethbridge-Stewart range of novels. It’s been a great journey, but it’s time to move on to our planned next phase.

Authorised by the Sherwin estate, these UNIT new books will move the story onwards, to after The Invasion and beyond. Tim continues:

Launching a series of books based around UNIT, and featuring the Brigadier and Benton, is by far my biggest creative challenge yet. But what an amazing opportunity it is! When Shaun telephoned and offered me the role of range editor, I remember thinking, "If I turn this down I know I’ll always regret it." So here I am, excited, enthused, immersed and loving every minute of it.

The series will be launched in 2022, although The UNIT Files (similar to The HAVOC Files) will be released later this year.Tim, who has written for both the Lethbridge-Stewart and Lucy Wilson series, is indebted to the outgoing range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen. He continued:

UNIT owes a debt to the work of Andy, and everything he established with the Lethbridge-Stewart books. UNIT won’t be a direct continuation of these novels, largely because the cast will change, and we don’t want new readers to feel they need to have read the Lethbridge-Stewart books first, but I hope the two ranges will complement each other. And if we get new readers jumping onboard with UNIT, it would be great if they feel they want to check out what else Candy Jar has done previously. Personally, I want to tell stories that will appeal to fans of Doctor Who, but also to readers who enjoy action-adventure stories in general. Character-driven narratives, grounded in their contemporary world, but with a modern inclusive awareness.

 Tim concludes:

How wonderful it is to have The Benton Files narrated by Benton himself, the fabulous John Levene.You can hear John’s love and enthusiasm for the character of Benton as he narrates Into the Fire and Car Wars. I really hope people enjoy both versions ofthis release. Also, I’d like to thank Richard Young for such a gorgeous cover. He has really done us proud this time.

 

The Benton Files novella and accompanying audiobook are available to pre-order from Candy Jar Books. and will be released in the next few weeks.

 

From the worlds of Doctor Who U.N.I.T. The Benton Files - Coming Soon!
An introduction to a brand new series of Doctor Who spin-off novels featuring the characters created by Mervyn Haisman, Henry Lincoln and Derrick Sherwin. Licensed by Hannah Haisman and Kate Sherwin.





Vworp Vworp! - Issue 4Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 22 August 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Vworp Vworp - Cover AVworp Vworp - Cover BVworp Vworp - Cover C

The long-awaited fourth issue of acclaimed Doctor Who comics and artwork fanzine Vworp Vworp! will be released in September.

This 172-page issue focuses on the Doctor’s strange adventures in TV Comic, Countdown and TV Action.

Trods, Daleks, Ugrakks, Quarks, The Pied Piper, Cybermen, Kleptons... For 15 years, Doctor Who fought them all with the help of his plucky grandchildren John and Gillian, and more familiar faces like Jamie, Liz, Sarah Jane, Leela and, of course, Santa Claus! We celebrate the weird and often wonderful TV Comic, Countdown and TV Action strips, and the equally colourful characters behind them.

This issue, lavishly illustrated with original artwork and never-before-seen photos, includes:

  • Interviews with artists Bill Mevin, Harry Lindfield and Martin Asbury

  • Celebrate of the lives of the late artist's John Canning, Neville Main, Gerry Haylock and Frank Langford, written with the full cooperation of their families

  • Scripters Roger Noel Cook and David Motton write about their Doctor Who work

  • Profiles of the strip’s other writers, artists and editors, including Tom Woodman, Alan Fennell, Dennis Hooper, Patrick Williams and Dick Millington

  • Brand new comic strips: the First Doctor, John and Gillian must avert The Trod Invasion of Earth  (written by Steve Lyons and drawn by Shawn Van Briesen), the Second Doctor faces the Return of the Piper (by Tim Quinn and Paul Cowan) and there’s trouble for the Third Doctor, in the epic Revenge of the Ugrakks (by George Mann and Paul Cooke)

  • The creation of Doctor Who Magazine’s homage to TV Comic, The Land of Happy Endings

  • Memories of growing up with the comics, and designing a competition-winning monster

Also in this issue:

  • Two of its three artists discuss the making of the much-loved book Doctor Who and the Daleks Omnibus, released through Marks & Spencer in 1976

  • Collecting original Doctor Who artwork

  • The life of prolific illustrator John Woods, who worked on many Dalek and Doctor Who books in the 1960s

  • ... and much more!

Plus, these exciting FREE GIFTS:

  • ‘Sugar Pats’, an authentic 1960s Doctor Who/TV Comic-themed cereal packet

  • A set of thrilling TV Comic stickers for your favourite cardigan

 

Vworp Vworp - p44-45Vworp Vworp - p32-33Vworp Vworp - p58-59

 

Order Vworp Vworp! issue 4, price £9.99, from vworpvworp.co.uk now.