Doctor Who: Chronicles – 1975Bookmark and Share

Friday, 18 June 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: Chronicles 1975 (Credit: Panini)

The second issue in a new series of bookazines, Doctor Who: Chronicles, has been released by the makers of Doctor Who Magazine.

This issue takes us back to 1975

Tom Baker’s debut came as a shock to some critics and even regular viewers, but his charismatic portrayal of the Doctor soon propelled the series to new heights of popularity. In 1975 Doctor Who attracted both critical acclaim and controversy in stories that many regard as the benchmark for everything that would follow.

This 116-page bookazine includes newly discovered images and all-new features, including:

  • A summary of the year’s most significant events in the Doctor Who universe (both on and off screen)
  • Highlights of the memorabilia released in 1975
  • Tom Baker’s column for Reveille!
  • Dr Where and other spoofs
  • The story behind the ‘lost’ radio interview with Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter
  • Doctor Who in the popular press
  • Archive rarities, including director Christopher Barry’s notebooks, the BBC’s Audience Research Reports, concept artwork from The Sontaran Experiment and unused props created for Pyramids of Mars
  • The Doctor Who and Dalek annuals
  • The Doctor Who Monster Book and other Target publications
  • Special effects and production techniques
  • Overviews of Robot, The Ark in Space, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen, Terror of the Zygons, Planet of Evil, Pyramids of Mars and The Android Invasion

And much more!

Doctor Who: Chronicles – 1975 is on sale now, RRP just £9.99 from panini.co.uk and selected branches of WH Smith while stocks last. It’s also available digitally from pocketmags.com priced £8.99.

 





Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 10Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 6 January 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Fourth Doctor - Series 10: Volume 2 (Credit: Big Finish)

The next Fourth Doctor audio release has been announced by Big Finish.

Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are plunging back into the Time Vortex for volume 2 of Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures due for release in February 2021.

These two brand-new full-cast audio dramas follow the Fourth Doctor and Leela into an uproarious tour through time and a prehistoric encounter with an esteemed palaeontologist.

Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 10 Volume 2 is now available to pre-order as a collector's edition box set (on CD at £24.99) and as a digital download (at £19.99), exclusively from www.bigfinish.com.

The volume consists of two rip-roaring rides, as follows:
 

Tribulations of Thadeus Nook by Andrew Smith

It’s time for the trip of a lifetime! Come along on one of Thadeus Nook’s Time Tours. See history as it really was. Get to witness wars and assassinations! See barbarian warlords right up close!

The Doctor and Leela encounter a most enterprising young gentleman – using time travel for his own financial gain. The Doctor is horrified at the irresponsibility – but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Because Thadeus Nook is about to learn that history is often best left in the past.

 

The Primeval Design by Helen Goldwyn

Dorset, 1830. The Doctor has taken Leela to meet Mary Anning, the noted palaeontologist, but the duo immediately stumble into trouble.

A body has been found in unusual circumstances. Attacked by an animal... but one of a size unknown in the area.

It turns out some things might be better off staying buried.

 

Taking on the role of the Doctor for his tenth year with Big Finish, Tom Baker said:

I so love doing all this, I never ever get tired. It’s as if each one is the very first one – and the more improbable it is the more I love it because I, of course, am totally improbable myself!

Series 10 Volume 2 is now available to pre-order as a collector's edition box set (on CD at £24.99) and as a digital download (at £19.99), exclusively at the Big Finish website.

Louise Jameson / Tom Baker / Lucy Briggs-Owen / Charlotte Bate (Credit: Big Finish)




Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 555Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 19 August 2020 - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Magazine - Issue 555 (Credit: Panini)

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine goes back to the 1970's to investigate a TARDIS journey we never saw. 

 

Highlights of the new issue include:

  • The story behind a bizarre and long-lost adventure starring Tom Baker as the Doctor.
  • Derek Jacobi answers questions from the TARDIS Tin.
  • An exclusive preview of the new animated version of Fury from the Deep.
  • How Doctor Who was nearly cancelled in 1970… and how the show was saved.
  • How Doctor Who joined the satellite revolution on Super Channel and UK Gold.
  • The inside story of BSB’s Doctor Who Weekend – 30 years on.
  • The Controversial Continuity of Doctor Who companions, the Silurians, UNIT dating and time travel.
  • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2014 story Mummy on the Orient Express.
  • Apocrypha revisits Continuity Errors, Steven Moffat’s first professional Doctor Who story.
  • A review of The Power of the Daleks Special Edition.

 

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 555 is on sale from Thursday 20 August £5.99 (UK)





Doctor Who: Shadow of the Sun - Release Date MayBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: Shadow of the Sun - Tom Baker (Credit: Big Finish)The first full-cast, full-length Doctor Who audio drama to have been recorded entirely during lockdown will be released on 12 May.

Tom Baker, Louise Jameson and John Leeson star in Doctor Who: Shadow of the Sun, a Fourth Doctor mystery adventure written by Rob Valentine.

This is the first full-cast Doctor Who audio drama to have been produced using Big Finish’s remote recording techniques, and it boasts among its guest cast Fenella Woolgar (Inside Number 9, Call the Midwife) as a terminally bored socialite, Lady Malina Rigel-Smythe. She is one of many passengers onboard a luxury liner with a difference.

Doctor Who: Shadow of the Sun is now available to pre-order exclusively at the Big Finish website, from just £8.99.

After an accident, the TARDIS lands on a luxury star-liner. Leaving their ship to repair itself, the Doctor, Leela and K9 find themselves facing a great terror: mingling at a cocktail party.

Something seems awry behind the pleasantries however. Guests are going missing, and equipment is breaking down. When the Doctor investigates further he discovers that the star-liner is literally on course for disaster.

But no-one seems surprised by this information, still less troubled. What’s going on? And can the Doctor and his friends save everyone... when nobody wants to be saved?
Doctor Who: Shadow of the Sun  (Credit: Big Finish)Director Nicholas Briggs said
In Shadow of the Sun, we have a great, well-made script by Rob Valentine. A lovely slice of science fantasy. It has a great central idea and a cast of superb characters. At its core, there’s a fanatical belief in something that is patent nonsense, but the Doctor, Leela and K9 find themselves to be the only people who know the truth. That’s a great set-up!

And it also has a flavour of the often talked about ‘base under siege’ setting, which adds appealing claustrophobia to the storytelling. It makes the situation more extreme and therefore more of an exciting ride for the audience.
Writer Robert Valentine added
This is a story inspired by the modern trend of giving the same value to opinion as fact – including everything from climate change denial to the anti-vaccination movement – but specifically the recent (and ultimately fatal) rocket launch experiments intended to prove that the Earth is flat. The Doctor is about to find himself in a situation where the true enemy is pseudo-scientific hubris, and for once it might be an enemy he hasn't the tools to overcome.
Doctor Who: Shadow of the Sun is now available to pre-order exclusively at the Big Finish website, as a collector’s edition CD (priced at £10.99) or digital download (price at £8.99).

Please note that Big Finish is currently operating a digital-first release schedule. The mailout of collector’s edition CDs will be delayed, but all purchases of this release unlock a digital copy that can be immediately downloaded or played on the Big Finish app from the release date.




From the Doctors... to all doctorsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 April 2020 - Reported by Marcus
From the Doctors... to all doctors. A thank you to the NHS and all frontline workers.

As seen on the BBC One programme The Big Night In

The Doctors Say Thank You | #TheBigNightIn




The Lost Stories: Return of the CybermenBookmark and Share

Friday, 17 April 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Return Of The Cybermen, with Sadie-Miller, Tom_Baker and Christopher Naylor (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish have announced details about their forthcoming Lost Stories release, Return of the Cybermen, due to be released in January 2021.

The unmade story was written by Gerry Davis for the Fourth Doctor's first season, but after heavy rewriting by script editor Robert Holmes it eventually transformed into the broadcast story Revenge of the Cybermen. Now realised in its original form, the story will star Tom Baker reprise his role as the Fourth Doctor, with his faithful companions Sarah and Harry.

With both actors sadly no longer with us, the characters needed to be recast. The role of Sarah will be played by Elisabeth Sladen's own daughter Sadie Miller, who observed:
When Big Finish asked me to play Sarah Jane for this story, I was very nervous. I didn’t want to create a performance from someone else’s.

So I tried to approach it as I would with any other role. I’ve tried to find my own piece of Sarah - the part of my mum that’s in me. But I have had a quick look on YouTube for Sarah Jane Smith screams, because I wasn’t quite sure how she would want me to do those. Other than that I just tried to keep it as separate in my mind as possible from the original.

The fans of Doctor Who have always been so kind and generous to me and to my family. It was always a part of my life growing up, I was never not aware of it. People have always been very kind in letting us come along for the ride really, through conventions and now things like Big Finish and, after mum passed away, the outpouring of love for her has been lovely.
Senior Producer, David Richardson added:
How do you recast Sarah Jane Smith? Would you even want to? Those were the questions that bothered us - we love the character. We loved Lis Sladen. We worried it might be too soon and too difficult to go there. But then we realised that part of Lis lives on in Sadie, and Sadie has beautifully brought that to the role of Sarah - we all approached this carefully, and respectfully, and with love and I couldn’t be happier with Sadie’s performance. She’s done her mum proud.

The third of the trio, Harry, is played by Christopher Naylor; David continued:
Tom has actually worked many times before with Christopher Naylor, who’s played guest roles throughout different series of the Fourth Doctor Adventures. Chris is a very versatile actor, so we can cast him in so many things. But, we realised, he’s also the perfect Harry. Again, it’s very hard to follow Ian Marter, but Chris has managed to do that and Tom was full of praise for what both Sadie and Chris have done. I wonder where they could pop up next?”

Return of the Cybermen (Credit: Big Finish)Speaking on how the production came about David said:
I’d known of Return of the Cybermen for many years, but it was only relatively recently that I was able to source Gerry Davis’s script thanks to some great detective work by archivist Richard Bignell! John Dorney’s adaptation stays true to the original script and the era, though there have been some very minor changes to bring it in line with the kind of amends we believe Robert Holmes would have asked for. Little things that make it sit comfortably in season 12.

It’s rather different in tone to Revenge of the Cybermen - darker, scarier and more reminiscent of claustrophobic 1960s Cybermen tales like The Moonbase and The Invasion.

Director Nicholas Briggs added:
It was interesting working with Tom on this, because he noticed the difference in style immediately. This is Doctor Who as Gerry Davis imagined it in 1974, and it’s very much like he wrote Doctor Who in the mid-1960s. So the script didn’t quite have the same levels of emotional sophistication and wit that was present either in what Robert Holmes eventually crafted into Revenge of the Cybermen, or certainly the more recent Fourth Doctor Adventures we’ve made on audio.

I imagined what it would have been like, back in the day, if Tom had been presented with this script to rehearse and record. If you look at the script book of the first Tom Baker season, you can see masses of line changes that were added by the cast or director during rehearsals and shooting in all those stories. Some of them are the best, most memorable moments, so I reasoned that it would be a faithful process to take on board Tom’s suggestions for this production of Return of the Cybermen.

We had loads of fun, as usual, with Tom finding it particularly amusing when I was directing him with a Cyberman voice effect. At one point, he asked, 'Is he talking to me?' which made us all laugh out loud!




Doctor Who: Return of the Cybermen is now available for pre-order as a collector’s edition 2-disc box set or download from the Big Finish website. Big Finish listeners can also save money by pre-ordering a bundle of forthcoming adventures from The Lost Stories range, including both Return of the Cybermen and The Doomsday Contract.






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.




The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1987Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 13 October 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1987This November sees the release of the Fan project The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1987.

The publication is the latest project from Terraqueous Distributors, who earlier this year released The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972
It proved to be far more popular than we anticipated. Even before its release, people started to ask "what's next?

Well, we love the sixth Doctor, so the decision to do another classic-style annual was very easy. This time continuing from where World Distributors finished their run of Doctor Who annuals.

As children growing up in the eighties, collecting those wonderful books. A lot of fans were disappointed when after 21 years, the annuals stopped being produced. Those original 28 books (including two omnibus', a spin-off, four Dalek Annuals, and a k9 annual). hold such fond memories for us, that we felt the need to celebrate them.

Like our previous release, we have been blessed by the kindness of such well-known names from the worlds of Doctor Who, Frazer Hines, Alister Pearson, and David J Howe have all contributed to the publication, joining a large number of Doctor Who fan writers and artists.

We are so grateful to everyone who has supported this project.
The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1987 is a not-for-profit publication and is released through LULU.com's print-on-demand service at a price to be determined.

Please visit the Terraqueous Distributors facebook page for further details and updates.




Fourth Doctor on vinylBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Wave of Destruction (Credit: Big Finish)Following the sell-out success of Big Finish Productions limited edition Doctor Who stories on vinyl, the audio company is delighted to announce another exclusive release in conjunction with Sainsbury's.

Doctor Who: Wave of Destruction starring Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson on Friday 19th July 2019. It will be released as a Limited Edition run of 1500 copies on ocean swirl vinyl – only available in the UK, in Sainsbury’s stores.

In this full-cast audio drama from 2016, the Vardans return to take on Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor. The Doctor had previously encountered the Vardans on Gallifrey, the Doctor’s home planet, in the 1978 television story, The Invasion of Time.

A modulated frequency wave cancellation signal isn’t something that the Doctor and Romana expect to detect in 1960s London. But then they don’t expect to find Professor Lanchester, the man who invented it, lying unconscious. Or MI5 investigating. With the help of MI5 Agent Miller; Lanchester’s daughter Jill; and his nephew – a pirate radio DJ called Mark; the Doctor, Romana and K-9 investigate. They soon discover that there is more at risk than they imagined, and an alien invasion is about to begin. Can the Doctor identify and defeat the aliens in time? Will Romana manage to find a recombinant transducer before it’s too late? And how will K-9 cope with his new job?
Tom Baker portrayed the Doctor on screen from 1974 until 1981 returning to star alongside Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as the curator in the 50th anniversary TV special, The Day of the Doctor, in 2013.

John Leeson was first brought in as the voice of K-9 – the Fourth Doctor’s robot dog – for the 1977 TV story, The Invisible Enemy. After a short break John returned for season 18 of Doctor Who in 1980. He also reprised his role as K-9 in the pilot TV episode for K-9 and Company (1981 – a spin-off from Doctor Who) and voiced K-9 for the 20th anniversary TV episode of Doctor Who, The Five Doctors and the 2006 Doctor Who TV episode, School Reunion.

Lalla Ward made her debut as Romana in December 1979, and after almost three series she made her last appearance alongside John Leeson in January 1981.

Of this special vinyl release, Lalla Ward said:
Recording Wave of Destruction was an absolute delight and I’m very pleased that we’ve made it onto a record. Romana is used to running circles around the Doctor so she’ll be right at home on the turntable.
Wave of Destruction, written by Justin Richards, is the first story of the fifth series of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, produced by Big Finish Productions.




Black ArchiveBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The latest editions from Obverse Books Black Archive looks at two very different stories from the First and Fourth Doctor

Black Archive: Warrior's Gate (Credit: Obverse Books)Black Archive #30: The Dalek Invasion of Earth

Released 2 April 2019

Survivors of London, the Daleks are the masters of Earth. Surrender now and you will live.

The story of the Daleks’ return to Doctor Who in The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964) has been told in multiple media, but for this Black Archive, Jonathan Morris has had unparalleled access to the many variants of the scripts.

After 55 years, learn the identity of ‘The Waking Ally’, discover Milton Subotsky’s working draft of the second feature film, and find out why the iconic shot of the Daleks crossing Westminster Bridge doesn’t appear in the televised story… Author Jonathan Morris is one of the most prolific and long-standing contributors to Doctor Who Magazine, as well as writing five novels for BBC Books and over fifty stories for Big Finish.

RRP: £7.99 (£5.99 direct from Obverse)

Black Archive: The Dalek Invasion of Earth (Credit: Obverse Books)Black Archive #31: Warriors Gate

Released 2 May 2019

The shadow of my past and of your future.

Representative of Doctor Who at its most experimental, narratively and visually, Warriors’ Gate (1981) was the rich by-product of a producer seeking to modernise the series for the 1980s, a radio writer and novelist who had never written for television, and a film director with one television drama to his credit.

Examining television authorship in the 1980s, and using archive research and new interviews, this Black Archive traces the development of writer Stephen Gallagher’s scripts and their onscreen realisation by producer John Nathan-Turner, script editor Christopher Bidmead, and director Paul Joyce.

Similarly, it explores the story’s complex blend of absurd tragicomedy, quantum theory, randomness and entropy, within the context of British New Wave SF, the philosophy of science, modernist theatre, film and television, German Romantic painting, pop video, and the development of electronic video effects. Many ‘authors’ contributed to the transmitted version of Warriors’ Gate and the book also considers whether it can be claimed as the work of a single author given the collaborative nature of its troubled production.

RRP: £7.99 (£5.99 direct from Obverse)