Doctor Who Revisited: The Third DoctorBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC America will broadcast the next in their Doctor Who Revisited series on the 31st March, covering the Third Doctor's era.

BBC AMERICA celebrates the third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, in a new special of Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited. Lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, executive producer Caroline Skinner, Tenth Doctor David Tennant, Season Six guest star Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), among others, discuss how the third Doctor brought action and stunts to the series.

It is followed by the classic storyline Spearhead from Space. In the story, a swarm of meteorites fall on the sleepy English countryside, bringing with them a terrible new threat to mankind: the Nestene consciousness - a disembodied alien intelligence with an affinity for plastic. The Doctor is forced to race against time, in order to stop humanity from being replaced by a generation of terrifying plastic replicas.




Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited – The Third Doctor premieres Sunday, March 31, 8:00pm ET/PT.




Caroline Skinner leaving Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 13 March 2013 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC has announced that Doctor Who's Executive producer Caroline Skinner is leaving the show to join BBC Drama Production in London.

Skinner will leave at the end of the current series. She took over the executive role for the production of the 2011 Christmas episode, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe and has been responsible for 15 episodes of the series.

Speaking about her departure Skinner said
It has been an honour to have been a part of Doctor Who, and a privilege to have worked with Steven Moffat and Matt Smith on this extraordinary show. I have hugely enjoyed my time in BBC Wales and would like to thank Faith Penhale, and our wonderful production team for their unending commitment and brilliance. I will miss them all enormously, but I'm leaving Doctor Who in fine form, with the new series starting at Easter and the fantastic plans for the 50th Anniversary already underway. I am delighted to be now returning to BBC Drama Production in London as an executive producer, and the new opportunities and projects that will bring.
The current Head of Drama at BBC Wales, Faith Penhale, will be undertaking the role of executive producer on the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who, due to be screened in the Autumn. Penhale paid tribute to Skinner's work on Doctor Who:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Caroline for her contribution to Doctor Who since taking on the role in 2011, on behalf of both the BBC and the show. She leaves the show in good shape - there's a brilliant new series starting on Easter Saturday that will see the official arrival of the Doctor's new companion! And the 50th Anniversary plans are on track to deliver audiences an unmissable event! I wish her all the very best for the future.
Skinner will continue working on BBC Two's one-off drama An Adventure In Space and Time which forms part of the BBC's celebrations to mark the 50th Anniversary.

The recruitment process for a new executive producer for the 34th series of the show will start shortly.




The Third Doctor Revisited On BBC AmericaBookmark and Share

Monday, 11 March 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Spearhead From Space has been chosen by BBC America to represent the Third Doctor in its Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited celebratory season.

A documentary entitled The Doctors Revisited: The Third Doctor will air on Sunday 31st March at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central, followed by the four-part story that ushered in the Jon Pertwee era.

The documentary will see Steven Moffat, Caroline Skinner, David Tennant, and Hugh Bonneville discussing how the Third Doctor brought action and stunts to the series. It will also feature other as-yet-unspecified contributors.

A swarm of meteorites falls in the English countryside, bringing with it a terrible new threat to mankind: the Nestene Consciousness - a disembodied alien intelligence with an affinity for plastic. The Doctor is forced to race against time in order to stop humanity from being replaced by a generation of terrifying plastic replicas.
The adventure - which originally aired in 1970 - was the first in the series to be made in colour and it saw the newly-regenerated Doctor, freshly exiled by the Time Lords, team up with new assistant Liz Shaw, played by Caroline John, and the British section of UNIT, headed by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney). Because of industrial action at BBC TV Centre, the story ended up being made entirely on location and on 16mm film - the only time this has ever been done on the show so far.

BBC America is paying tribute to the programme's 50th anniversary by showing a story per Doctor per month.





New Ice Warrior Design UnveiledBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 5 March 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
This is what the Ice Warriors will look like when they return to Doctor Who next month.

The picture was given to SFX magazine by the show's production team and released today.

The Martian monsters will feature in the third story of Series 7B, which has been written by Mark Gatiss, and is set to air on BBC One on Saturday 13th April. It co-stars David Warner and Liam Cunningham, with Nicholas Briggs doing the vocal honours for the adversary.

The new edition of SFX - on sale from tomorrow - has a Doctor Who cover, plus executive producer Caroline Skinner talking about the new series.


UPDATE 6th MARCH: The BBC has now made a number of new images from the new series available to see via its official Doctor Who page.




Ice Warriors To Return In The SpringBookmark and Share

Monday, 11 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The Ice Warriors will be returning to Doctor Who this year, it was announced today.

In an online report, the magazine SFX said that the iconic monsters would be back on our TV screens in the third story of the second part of Series 7. Written by Mark Gatiss, the episode is set on a submarine.

Executive producer Caroline Skinner was quoted by SFX as saying:
We wanted to bring them back because they're wonderful! In the mix of stories that we were planning for this year it felt as if doing something very bold with a monster that hadn't been seen for a while would be really cool. Mark is an enormous fan of the Ice Warrior stories and came up with the idea. The sense of a monster of that scale and that size trapped in a really small, contained environment such as a submarine was a really brilliant story to be able to tell.
The Martians have appeared in the show four times so far. They debuted in the Patrick Troughton story The Ice Warriors in 1967 and were last seen in 1974 in the Jon Pertwee story The Monster of Peladon.

Talking about their design, Skinner said:
We've had a huge amount of fun going back to the traditional designs and recreating them, bringing the Ice Warriors back to life again. They were such a beautiful original design, and are genuinely really scary in terms of what they look like as they’re coming towards you in that armour.
As reported last week, The Ice Warriors is to be released on DVD on Monday 26th August, but it is unknown as yet if the missing episodes two and three will be animated for it. It will, however, include the condensed reconstruction of both those episodes, which was on the 1998 VHS release.




Angels Preview Screening Tickets Up For GrabsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 20 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Tickets are being given away to an exclusive preview of The Angels Take Manhattan in Cardiff.

BAFTA Cymru has 35 pairs of tickets up for grabs for the screening, which will take place on Wednesday 26th September at Cineworld in Mary Ann Street at 6.30pm.

Afterwards, there will be a question-and-answer session with showrunner Steven Moffat, executive producer Caroline Skinner, producer Marcus Wilson, and production designer Michael Pickwoad.

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, you'll need to e-mail your name and e-mail address to infocymru@bafta.org by midnight tonight.

A random draw of names will be held tomorrow (Friday) and the successful entrants will get their notification by Monday.

BAFTA Cymru states that the tickets aren't transferable, nor will transport costs be covered. In addition, any under-16s will have to have an adult with them.

The episode will be broadcast in the UK on BBC One on Saturday 29th September at 7.20pm.




Script To Screen Winning School AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
ScreenThe winning entry in this year's Script To Screen competition has been revealed as coming from Ashdene Primary School in Wilmslow.

The theme of the contest was the Olympics, and the team's mini-episode, which stars Matt Smith and Karen Gillan and sees the return of the Weeping Angels, is to be shown on today's episode of Blue Peter, airing on CBBC at 5.45pm.

Irene Spawton, Year 6 teacher at the Cheshire school, said the pupils involved, named only as Emily, Libby, and Rebecca, pictured above, left to right, with Smith and Gillan - click on the thumbnail to expand, were thrilled and surprised to have won the competition:
It's unbelievable. I couldn't believe it when I got the call to say that the children's script had been chosen as the winner. They worked so hard and came up with some brilliant ideas. I'm so proud of them all, and meeting the Doctor and Amy Pond was a fantastic experience for the girls, their parents and me.
In a short piece last week in the school's newsletter, head teacher Keith Wadcock congratulated the trio on their victory.

The three-minute adventure, called Good As Gold, was filmed at Roath Lock studios the week before last, and Keith Gaskin, the father of Emily, tweeted about it on 8th May: "I've just wished my daughter luck as she's off to Cardiff to have her script made into a Dr Who episode after winning BBC comp. Good luck Em!", 9th May in reply to a comment about the win probably blowing her mind: "It certainly did thanks. The worst part was she knew a while back but couldn't tell anyone! Blue Peter are filming as well" and 10th May: "I've just picked up my daughter after their script was made into a Dr Who episode. Brilliant time apparently & Matt Smith fantastic with them."

The girls' script was chosen by Doctor Who supremo Steven Moffat, BBC Learning executive producer Katy Jones, and Doctor Who executive producer Caroline Skinner, who praised the quality of all the entries, saying:
We loved reading all of the scripts from schools across the UK and the standard of entries was truly outstanding. It was a difficult, but a tremendously fun task to choose a winner and it was just brilliant to see so many children being creative in developing an adventure for the Doctor. We hope all fans enjoy this special one-off mini episode!
Jones said:
This competition aimed to inspire and capture the imagination of storytellers of the future and we're thrilled that so many schools have engaged with it. Pupils have described the competition as the highlight of their school year. There was so much real talent displayed in the entries we received and the final film is a real testament to the hard work the school put into their entry.

A behind-the-scenes item on how Good As Gold was made will also feature in today's Blue Peter, which is repeated tomorrow on BBC One at 4.30pm and will be available via the BBC iPlayer here within the UK following today's broadcast.




Who Needs The Doctor's Help?Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 17 May 2012 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC wants you to help decide which figure from history the Doctor should meet next.

Over the years the Doctor has met some of the most influential figures in the history of the planet Earth. He has travelled with Marco Polo, flirted with Madame de Pompadour, had his tooth extracted by Doc Holliday and played Hide and Seek with the Emperor Nero. He has met the authors HG Wells, Agatha Christie and Charles Dickens, and even helped William Shakespeare with some of his ideas. He has debated with Winston Churchill, helped out Richard Nixon and rescued Queen Victoria from a werewolf.

Recently the BBC website asked which real person the Doctor should meet next and Doctor Who's Executive Producer Caroline Skinner was so delighted with the response and imagination in the replies that she decided to commission a Doctor Who writer to write a short story based on the best suggestion.

The story will appear on the BBC website, where suggestions for the character involved can still be made.

UPDATE - 18th MAY: The BBC has now stopped accepting suggestions after it was inundated with e-mails.




BAFTAs RoundupBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
baftaThe Mill is up for an honour at this year's BAFTA Television Craft Awards for its work on Doctor Who.

It has been shortlisted in the Visual Effects category against BlueBolt (for BBC One's Great Expectations), Philip Dobree, Sophie Orde, and Dan Upton (Inside The Human Body, BBC One), and Burrell Durrant Hifle (Wonders Of The Universe, BBC Two).

Meanwhile, Steven Moffat's other major show, Sherlock, is nominated in three separate categories at the awards, which are held to recognise behind-the-scenes professionals in TV production - Editing: Fiction (Charlie Phillips, for A Scandal In Belgravia); Sound: Fiction (John Mooney, Jeremy Child, Howard Bargroff, and Doug Sinclair, for A Scandal In Belgravia); and Writer (Steven Moffat, for A Scandal In Belgravia).

Doctor Who has failed to make the shortlist in this year's BAFTA TV Awards, but a number of people connected to the show have been nominated for other programmes, and Sherlock features in the nominations line-up as well.

John Simm vies against Sherlock title actor Benedict Cumberbatch for the Leading Actor prize for Exile, while Sherlock's Andrew Scott (Moriarty) and Martin Freeman (Watson) are pitted against each other for Supporting Actor.

Olivia Colman is nominated in the Female Performance in a Comedy Programme category for Twenty Twelve, as is Tamsin Greig for Friday Night Dinner. Ruth Jones, who played Nikki Bevan in the Torchwood episode Adrift, is also nominated for Stella.

Hugh Bonneville is shortlisted for Male Performance in a Comedy Programme for Twenty Twelve, and The Fades, which was produced by Caroline Skinner and had Farren Blackburn directing some of its episodes, is nominated for Drama Series, as is Scott and Bailey, which co-stars Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones.

Coronation Street, which is produced by Phil Collinson, is nominated for Soap And Continuing Drama, and The Cricklewood Greats, which was created, presented, directed, and co-written by Peter Capaldi, is up for Comedy Programme. Rev, which co-starred Olivia Colman, is nominated in the Situation Comedy category.

Sherlock is also one of the nominees in the BAFTA YouTube Audience Award, which is voted for by the public. It was similarly nominated last year but lost out to The Only Way Is Essex. This time it faces competition from Frozen Planet, Fresh Meat, Celebrity Juice, The Great British Bake-Off, and Educating Essex. Voting is open until 5pm on Thursday 24th May.

The Television Craft Awards will be held on Sunday 13th May at The Brewery in London, while the TV Awards, including the YouTube Audience Award, will be presented on Sunday 27th May at the Royal Festival Hall in the capital.





Production: Convention NewsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 March 2012 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who will return to America to shoot the final story featuring Amy and Rory, as they depart the series in an epic battle with the Weeping Angels to be shot in New York.

Executive Producer Caroline Skinner confirmed the news at the Doctor Who Convention taking place in Cardiff this weekend, were fans were given an exclusive premiere of Series Seven, with a showing of the first trailer featuring footage from the upcoming series. The trailer will be availble on the BBC Website from 9am Monday.

Asked how they felt about leaving the series Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill said they felt the time was right and that Amy and Rory's story had run its course. Darvill said: "we've had the most incredible time and it will be really sad when we leave. We had the read through for our final episode last night and it is going to be an amazing piece of Television.". Gillan said she was so pleased with the way she was leaving: "I just hope I can deliver it well."

Matt Smith said he would miss two of his closest friends, and that they had developed an incredible creative relationship. But all good things come to an end: "The thing about Doctor Who is that it is in constant change so we embrace the future and look forward to Jenna."

Asked how they felt about attending the convention, all the stars agreed said it was amazing to meet the fans and to see the reaction: "When making the series you forget how much people love it. We just try to make it the best it can be and its brilliant to see the reactions."

The production team were tight lipped about plans for Series Seven and the show's 50th Anniversary next year. Steven Moffat gave the headlines already known: "Amy and Rory leaving, tragedy, heartbreak and a Western, what more do you want out of Television. Come on Downton take that on!"

The Doctor Who Convention continues on Sunday although all tickets are sold out. A full Convention Report will follow later.