Script Doctor ReprintBookmark and Share

Sunday, 31 January 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Script Doctor (Credit: Ten Acre Films)
Script Doctor, Script Editor Andrew Cartmel's inside account of the final years of classic Doctor Who returns for a limited reprint.
 
‘There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea’s asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea’s getting cold. Come on, Ace – we’ve got work to do!’
 
Andrew Cartmel was the script editor on Doctor Who from 1986 to 1989. During his time on the show, he introduced the seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and his companion Ace (Sophie Aldred) and oversaw 42 scripts written by eight writers new to the series.
 
With a clear mission to bring proper science fiction back into Doctor Who, he formulated what was later termed ‘The Cartmel Masterplan’, reintroducing the mystery to the character of the Doctor as the series celebrated its 25th anniversary and beyond.
 
Script Doctor is his memoir of this time, based on his diaries written sometimes on set and sometimes not even in the diary itself but on the backs of script pages. 
 
With an introduction by modern-era Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, a foreword by Sylvester McCoy, and an afterword by Sophie Aldred, this book is illustrated with 32 pages of photographs, many never published before. It is a vivid account of life in the Doctor Who production office in the late eighties.
 
The book can be ordered online
 
 




Fifty Years of The MasterBookmark and Share

Saturday, 2 January 2021 - Reported by Marcus

The Master - Roger DelgadoRadio Times - January 1971 (Credit: Radio Times)Fifty years ago today a new character entered the world of Doctor Who when, in Terror of the Autons, we met the Doctor's nemesis, The Master.

Created by producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks, the character was devised as a foil to the Third Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee. Given an academic name. The Master, to counterpoint the name of The Doctor, the character was to be the Moriarty to Pertwee’s Holmes, a character very much the equal to the Doctor in terms of intelligence and background. 

The character outline was sketched out in an internal BBC document sent to the writers of Season 8 of the series, a document which also introduced the characters of Jo Grant and Captain Mike Yates, played by Richard Franklin and Katy Manning. 

Only one actor was considered for the role of the Master, Roger Delgado, an actor known for playing sinister villains and a personal friend of Jon Pertwee.

The Master would appear in every story of season 8, becoming just as much a fixture of the series as The Doctor and Jo, somewhat to the chagrin of Jon Pertwee. 

He was used less in season nine but still appeared in two of the five stories. In season ten he was used just once and it was decided to write the character out at the end of season 11 in a big final story.

That final story never happened as on the 18th June 1973 Roger Delgado was killed in a car accident in Turkey. The death stunned the production team and helped Pertwee to his decision to leave the series at the end of the eleventh series. 

The actor may have died but the character he created was so strong it would return to the series in many incarnations. A mutilated Master at the end of his regelation cycle was seen in the 1976 story The Deadly Assassin. 

In 1981 new producer John Nathan Turner decided to bring back the character as a regular with a look based on the original Delgado character. Played by Anthony Ainley, The Master would appear regularly until the cancellation of the series in 1989, appearing with the fifth, sixth and seventh Doctors. It was perhaps fitting that the last story of the classic series featured the Doctor and Ace in a battle with The Master. In the story Survival.

The TV movie in 1996 saw the arrival of the eighth Doctor and The Master was there to welcome him, this time in the body of American actor Eric Roberts. 

When Doctor Who returned in 2005 there was much talk about reprising characters from the original series and The Master was high upon most fans wish lists. They had to wait until the series 3 before show-runner Russell T Davies obliged, and the story Utopia saw the character reappear in no less a body as that of veteran actor Derek Jacobi. At the end of the episode John Simm took over the role and a mad hyperactive Master took on the mad hyperactive Tenth Doctor. In 2010 the character helped bring about to the demise of the Tenth Doctor. 

The next showrunner Steven Moffat put his own spin on the character when he created Missy, played by Michelle Gomez, in 2014 to taunt the Twelfth Doctor as played by Peter Capaldi. Much speculation about the real identity of the character was ended at the end of Series 8 when she was revealed to be a female incarnation of The Master.

Although Gomez was the incumbent Master, John Simm hadn’t quite finished with the role as he returned at the end of series ten to take part in a memorable Master v Master battle with Missy and The Doctor

The strength of the character is such that just last year another incarnation arrived when Sacha Dhawan took on the role of The Master in the 2020 Chris Chibnall story Spyfall.

The character of The Master is the most enduring in Doctor Who apart from that of the Doctor himself. Today, 50 years on, we pay tribute to all the hugely talented actors who have made the character such an essential part of Doctor Who lore. And we pay tribute to the numerous writer and Directors who have helped create such a fascinating and enduring character. 
 

Peter Pratt - The Master (Credit: BBC )Anthony Ainley - The Master (Credit: BBC )The Master - Eric Roberts (Credit: BBC )Derek Jacobi - The Master

John Simm - The Master  (Credit: BBC )Michelle Gomez as Missy (Credit: BBC / David Venni)Spyfall: O (Sacha Dhawan) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall))

 





Doctor Who Back on New Year's DayBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 November 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Revolution of the Daleks (Credit: BBC Studios)

The Festive Special of Doctor Who, ‘Revolution of the Daleks’, will air in the UK on New Year’s Day.

In Australia it will air on ABC & ABC iview on January 2.

The Festive Special episode will see a host of exciting guest artists including previously announced John Barrowman MBE who will be reprising his role as Captain Jack Harkness alongside Chris Noth who will be back as the disgraced Jack Robertson. Chris Noth previously appeared in the series 11 episode ‘Arachnids in the UK’ and it’s safe to say the Doctor and all those involved were less than impressed by his questionable actions. However, viewers will have to wait and see just what brings him back this time…

Star of the stage and screen Dame Harriet Walter will also be making her Doctor Who debut for the Festive Special alongside television star Nathan Stewart-Jarrett who has recently appeared in The Trial of Christine Keeler.

Viewers last saw the Thirteenth Doctor at the end of series 12 where her fate was left hanging in the balance as she was locked away in a high-security alien prison with no hope of escape. In the upcoming Festive Special, Yaz, Ryan and Graham are far away on Earth and having to carry on with their lives without her. However, they soon discover a disturbing plan forming. A plan which involves a Dalek. How can you fight a Dalek without the Doctor? Even with Captain Jack’s help, the gang are set to face one of their biggest and most frightening challenges yet… 

Chris Chibnall, the Executive Producer, said:

We’ve crammed this year's Doctor Who Festive Special with an explosion of extraordinary acting talent.  Where else would you get British acting royalty, a globally renowned US screen star, an (inter)national treasure of stage and screen and one of Britain's hottest young actors — just in the guest cast! Put those together with Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole (and Daleks! Did I mention Daleks!) — and you get a cast to be exterminated for. And things will explode. Promise.

‘Revolution of the Daleks’ will air on New Year’s Day on BBC One.

 

Doctor Who is a BBC Studios Production.

 

Revolution of the Daleks (Credit: BBC Studios) Revolution of the Daleks (Credit: BBC Studios) Revolution of the Daleks (Credit: BBC Studios)




Captain Jack Returns for ChristmasBookmark and Share

Monday, 23 November 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Revolution of the Daleks (Credit: BBC Studios)

The BBC has revealed that Captain Jack, played by John Barrowman, will return in the Festive special of Doctor Who Revolution of the Daleks

 

Described as one of the most loved characters in the Doctor Who Universe Captain Jack was last seen in the series 12 episode, ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’, when he made a brief surprise appearance with a stark warning for Yaz, Ryan and Graham to pass on to the Doctor before disappearing.

 

In the upcoming special Captain Jack will be on hand to help the Doctor and his companions as they discover a disturbing plan forming involving one of the Doctor’s most feared and dangerous enemies, the Daleks. With the Thirteenth Doctor locked away in a space prison, will Captain Jack be able to help save planet Earth?

 

On returning for the Festive Special, John Barrowman MBE revealed:

Putting on Jack’s coat and setting foot back on the set of Doctor Who was just like going back home.  It’s always thrilling  to play Captain Jack. He’s a character very close to my heart who changed my life, and to know the fans love him as much as I do makes his return even sweeter. I hope everyone enjoys Jack’s Heroic adventure with Thirteen.

Chris Chibnall, Executive Producer, said:

A Doctor Who Festive Special means treats galore, and there’s no bigger treat than the return of John Barrowman to Doctor Who, for an epic and emotional feature-length episode. If anyone can blast away the sheer rubbishness of 2020, it’s Captain Jack. Daleks beware!

Matt Strevens, Executive Producer BBC Studios, added:

After a tantalisingly brief appearance in Fugitive of the Judoon it’s a total joy and thrill to welcome back John as Captain Jack. One of the most iconic characters in Doctor Who lore, his presence ignites this Festive Special from the start.

‘Revolution of the Daleks’ will air over the festive period on BBC One and BBC America with more details to be revealed soon. 

 





Comsic Masque Issue XIIBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 November 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Cosmic Masque XII (Credit: DWAS)
 
 
The Doctor Who Appreciation Society has released issue 12 of Cosmic Masque, the Society’s e-magazine.
 
Cosmic Masque is about the worlds of fandom, and this issue contains items on recent merchandise releases, Interviews with people involved in the production of Time Lord Victorious comic books and Doctor Who themed Escape Rooms, and as always, new items of fan fiction. 
 
This issue runs to over 60 pages and is available for everyone to download free-of-charge at the DWAS website 




Series 13 Begins FilmingBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 11 November 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who - Series 11 (Credit: BBC / Ben Blackall)

The BBC has announced that filming has begun on Series 13 of Doctor Who, the 39th season since Doctor Who began in November 1963

The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way back with Jodie Whittaker once again reprising her role as the Doctor, but next seasons run will be curtailed to just eight episodes due to current restrictions over COVID-19

With safety protocols in place, the Doctor Who team are now filming under strict industry and government guidelines to ensure the safety of all cast and crew. Due to the added time and protocols required, the team will be completing a total of eight episodes rather than the usual eleven.

Talking about the new series, Showrunner Chris Chibnall said

In this strangest of years, the Doctor Who production team have worked wonders to get the show back into production. We’re thrilled to be back making the show. Given the complexity of making Doctor Who, and with new and rigorous COVID working protocols, it’s going to take us a little longer to film each episode, meaning we expect to end up with eight episodes, rather than the usual eleven. But rest assured, the ambition, humour, fun and scares you expect from Doctor Who will all still be firmly in place. For everyone around the world, this is a challenging period — but the Doctor never shirks from a challenge!

Matt Strevens, Executive Producer BBC Studios, added:

We are so thrilled to have unlocked the TARDIS, dusted down the sonic and be able to start filming again for the next series of Doctor Who. The amazing production team, crew and cast have worked wonders to get us shooting again in these challenging times.  It’s going to be as fun filled and action packed as ever - with plenty of surprises.

Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama, said: 

We are thrilled that filming series 13 of Doctor Who is now underway. The team have gone to great lengths to safely bring the TARDIS back to BBC One. We are all looking forward to seeing what adventures are in store for the Doctor but whilst we await her return, we can all look forward to the festive special.

The Thirteenth Doctor was last seen in the dramatic series 12 finale where the fate of the Doctor was seemingly left hanging in the balance after she was locked away in an eternal prison. In the upcoming festive special, titled ‘Revolution of the Daleks’, the Doctor’s best friends Yaz (played by Mandip Gill), Ryan (played by Tosin Cole) and Graham (played by Bradley Walsh) have to pick up their lives without her. However they soon discover a disturbing plan forming involving one of the Doctor’s biggest and most feared enemies – the Daleks. How do you fight the Daleks without the Doctor?

With the Doctor’s fate unknown, just what will series 13 bring?

Revolution of the Daleks will air on BBC One over the festive period. Doctor Who is a BBC Studios production.

 





Fish Fingers and CustardBookmark and Share

Saturday, 6 June 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Fish Fingers and Custard (Credit: Fish Fingers and Custard)The new edition of the fan publication Fish Fingers and Custard is now available.

Issue 18 is the first issue in four years and can be downloaded as a free PDF

Included in this issue 
  • The Curse of Time – Are all Doctor Who stories with ‘Time’ in the title destined to not be very good? The Doctor Who Cookbook – A review of one of the more ‘left-field’ official publications. 
  • 10 Years of Fish Custard – How we took 4 years off but still claim to have been ‘fanzining’ for a decade. 
  • Returning Villains – Which classic Who baddies are due for a return? 
  • Obituaries for John Hurt and Deborah Watling 

And plenty more besides




Tales from the MatrixBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 May 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Tales from the Matrix (Credit: Tales from the Matrix)
The latest edition of the Fanzine Tales from the Matrix is now available.

Tales from the Matrix is a free weekly Doctor Who long-form fiction zine. So far 10 issues have been published with over 300 pages of fiction.

The magazine is being distributed by three Doctor Who clubs (The Guardians of Gallifrey, the Prynceton Prydonians, and the Doctor Who Club of Australia) to all of their members. This is a non-commercial effort that now built a readership of over 1,000.

The zine can be found on Facebook, can be subscribed to by email,




Homemade WhoBookmark and Share

Friday, 8 May 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Homemade WhoDoctor Who fans around the world united in April 2020 to recreate their favourite moments during the lockdown.

The Homemade Who project was launched last month to give the Doctor Who community something creative and fun to do while everyone’s been stuck at home.

With Doctor Who celebrating 15 years since its revival, fans were asked to recreate some of their favourite scenes from 2005 onwards using whatever they could find in their house.

A compilation video featuring every clip sent in so far can be found here

Entries were sent in from England, Australia, France, Luxembourg, Argentina, Wales, Germany, Italy, the Philippines, the USA, and New Zealand!

You can watch all the complete clips on Instagram:

Due to its success, the project has been extended for another month. If you would like to take part you can find all the details here.

Homemade WhoHomemade WhoHomemade WhoHomemade WhoHomemade Whoc




The Unofficial Master Annual 2074Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 16 April 2020 - Reported by Marcus
The Unofficial Master Annual 2074 (Credit: Terraqueous Distributors)The Unofficial Master Annual 2074 (Credit: Terraqueous Distributors)The latest release from Terraqueous Distributors is The Unofficial Master Annual 2074.

The annual is 136 pages, featuring stories and illustrations produced by fans, as well as contributions from well-known names such as Alister Pearson, Smuzz, and Andy Walker.

The Master annual was originally announced last November, with a call for contributors. The following is an excerpt from the writer's guidelines: The Master is the Anti-hero. Sometimes saving people, not because of compassion or moral values, but because it suits whatever agenda he has. Of course, he can also be the villain, remember that meddlesome Doctor isn't around - and that's when villains come out on top.

The focus of the annual is the original Master portrayed by Roger Delgado. The cover artwork is a homage to the first-ever Dr Who annual that was released in 1965 by World Distributors.
We wanted from the start to send the message that the Doctor isn't here to save the day, he's gone, he's been replaced by a different kind of hero. And in the unofficial Master annual, we get to explore just how successful he can be. What could be more thrilling than exploring the Master's universe, without having the Doctor there to save the day.
The cover was illustrated by Paul Cooke and features original characters from the stories in the annual.

The publication follows The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972 and The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1987, which featured stories and illustrations produced by fans, as well as celebrity contributions from the worlds of Doctor Who.

The Unofficial Master Annual 2074 is available from Lulu at the print-on-demand price of £23.32 plus shipping costs). The annual is a not-for-profit publication, and none of the money paid by purchasers goes to the publisher or to any of the contributors.

The Unofficial Doctor Who Annual 1987 is also available, but will be retired later this year.

Later this year, Terraqueous Distributors will be releasing their fourth annual. This time the focus will be on the seventh Doctor. If you would like to contribute to the seventh Doctor annual, please send an email to: doctorwhoannual@aol.co.ukDetails on the Terraqueous Distributors FaceBook page