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 31 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 23 Nov 2013

The Church On Ruby RoadBookmark and Share

Friday, 1 December 2023 - Reported by Marcus
The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) (Credit: James Pardon/BBC Studios/Bad Wolf)

The BBC has released details of the Christmas episode of Doctor Who, The Church On Ruby Road. 

Long ago on Christmas Eve, a baby was abandoned in the snow. Today, Ruby Sunday meets the Doctor, stolen babies, goblins and perhaps the secret of her birth.

New images have been released from the story where Ncuti Gatwa, takes over the TARDIS for his first adventure. The Fifteenth Doctor will be joined by Ruby Sunday, played by Millie Gibson, as she makes her debut as the Doctor’s companion.

Airing on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, the episode sees the Doctor come face-to-face with the mythical and mysterious goblins as his life collides with Ruby Sunday.

Little is known about Ruby Sunday as she was abandoned on Christmas Eve as a baby. Now living with her mum, Carla and grandmother, Cherry,  her world is about to be turned upside down when she encounters the Doctor and the two set off on their first adventure together.

Alongside Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson is Davina McCall who will be playing herself as she joins the cast alongside Michelle Greenidge as Ruby’s mum Carla, Angela Wynter as Ruby’s grandmother Cherry and Anita Dobson as Mrs Flood.

Davina McCall said:

It is beyond an honour to be asked to appear in not only Doctor Who but also Ncuti’s first episode as the new Doctor. It was such an extraordinary experience and Russell has written you all a Christmas delight!  Now I  just can’t wait for everyone to see it!

Russell T Davies, Showrunner adds

From Day One in this job, I wanted Doctor Who back on Christmas Day!  And with Ncuti, Millie, Davina and the Goblin King, I hope it’s a feast for all the family!

The Church On Ruby Road: Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) (Credit: BBC Studios (James Pardon))The Church On Ruby Road: The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) (Credit: BBC Studios (James Pardon))The Church On Ruby Road: Davina McCall (Credit: BBC Studios (James Pardon))The Church On Ruby Road: Gobins (Credit: BBC Studios (Maxine Howell))

FILTER: - Fifteenth Doctor - Production

The Official Doctor Who PodcastBookmark and Share

Saturday, 25 November 2023 - Reported by Marcus
The Official Doctor Who Podcast (Credit: BBC)

As the world gears up for Doctor Who mania, BBC Studios has launched The Official Doctor Who Podcast to accompany the latest episodes of  Doctor Who.

The Official Doctor Who Podcast is a three-way panel discussion between author and columnist Juno Dawson, pop culture TikToker and movies podcaster Tyrell Charles, and cosplayer and digital creator Christel Dee, with exclusive insights from showrunner Russell T Davies. Each week the team will be reacting to the latest episode, discussing their thoughts, and diving into upcoming theories!

Watch the trailer here:

The 30-minute podcast will drop weekly straight after each Doctor Who episode airs on the BBC starting on Saturday 25th November, and can be found on all major podcast platforms globally and BBC Sounds (UK only). It will also be broadcast globally in a video version on the Doctor Who YouTube channel.

Doctor Who writer and showrunner Russell T Davies said:

No show is complete without its own podcast, and this is a chance for viewers to have their say! I’m proud to have this alongside our vast and unrivalled behind-the-scenes coverage.

 BBC Studios’ digital content development director, Chris Allen said

We were thrilled and honoured when Russell T Davies approached us to produce The Official Doctor Who Podcast, And we were even more excited when Juno, Tyrell and Christel all said yes to hosting. Publishing the podcast both in audio via all major podcast platforms, and in video on YouTube means we can reach Doctor Who viewers everywhere, and we hope you join in our conversation.

 The Official Doctor Who Podcast is produced by James Goss for BBC Studios Digital. The executive producers are Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner, Madi Woodstock and Chris Allen.

FILTER: - Production

Radio 2 Celebrates Doctor Who @60Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 21 November 2023 - Reported by Marcus
Radio 2 Celebrates Doctor Who @60 (Credit: BBC)

BBC Radio 2 is marking Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary with a number of special programmes available worldwide on BBC Sounds.

Over two new shows, Jo Whiley takes a trip through the Whoniverse to discover the amazing stories behind the rise, fall, and subsequent resurrection of a British institution.

The Classic Years 

  • Whiley hears how the changing attitudes of Britain have been reflected through the TARDIS in a tale that features Dalekmania, Dad’s Army, Mary Whitehouse, Ridley Scott, the Cybermen, Hans Zimmer, the Beatles and the JFK assassination.  
  • With new and archive interviews from Doctors and companions past and present, including Peter Capaldi, Patrick Troughton, William Hartnell, Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee, Sophie Aldred, Bonnie Langford, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Louise Jameson and showrunner Russell T Davies


The Modern Era

  • In the concluding part of this documentary, Whiley finds out how despite being cancelled by the BBC, the combination of its fan base, a drinks party and a forgotten BBC sitcom combined to help bring one of Britain's greatest cultural institutions back to our screens.  Along the way we hear never before heard tales from the teams behind the hugely successful reboot including Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall, plus Doctors and companions past and present including Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker, Christopher Eccleston, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Aldred, Bonnie Langford, Ncuti Gatwa, Sylvester McCoy, Matt Lucas, John Simm, Billie Piper and Kylie Minogue.


Meanwhile, former Doctors, companions, and alumni of the series, introduce the music that has soundtracked their lives and careers, and talk about their involvement with Doctor Who in a series of 9x My Life In A Mixtapes, featuring:

Peter Davison (the fifth Doctor) 
Sylvester McCoy (the seventh Doctor) 
Janet Fielding (Tegan) 
Bonnie Langford (Mel) 
Sophie Aldred (Ace) 
Nicholas Briggs (Voice of the Daleks, Cybermen and numerous other monsters) 
Segun Akinola (Doctor Who composer during the Jodie Whittaker era) 
Ruth Madeley (Doctor Who newcomer)
Plus from the archives, Spiderman star Andrew Garfield (who guest starred in Doctor Who in 2007). 


Doctor Who @ 60 (Credit: BBC)

The music of Doctor Who is celebrated in a special concert, recorded at Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff,  featuring the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Singers conducted by Alastair King. 

The music includes composer Murray Gold's best-known Doctor Who themes, the classic years of Doctor Who are also featured by the Radiophonic Workshop's Mark Ayres and Peter Howell. And there are brand new works premiered including The Woman Who Fell to Earth, a full-length suite composed by Segun Akinola and three of Murray Gold's new works, heard here for the very first time before making their debut in the new season of Doctor Who in 2024.


All episodes of Radio 2 Celebrates Doctor Who at 60 can be found here


And in a bonus episode of the ‘Zoe Ball and Friends’ podcast, David Tennant and Russell T Davies join Zoe to look ahead to the show’s 60th anniversary celebrations


FILTER: - Music - Production

Nicola Coughlan Joins Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Monday, 13 November 2023 - Reported by Marcus
NICOLA COUGHLAN (Credit: James Pardon/Bad Wolf/BBC Studios)

Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan is set to trade the ballroom for the TARDIS, as she joins the cast of Doctor Who.

The Galway-born actress has made a huge impact in film and television having starred in roles such as Clare Devlin in the award-winning drama comedy series Derry Girls, Penelope Featherington in the regency-era international sensation Bridgerton, and not to forget one of the Barbies in mega-blockbuster Barbie, alongside the Fifteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa.

Coughlan is now set to make a big impact when she takes a trip through time and space in this undisclosed role.

On joining Doctor Who, Nicola Coughlan says:

I’m excited to join the Whoniverse under the leadership of the inimitable Russell T Davies. I’ve been a fan of Ncuti Gatwa for some time and getting to share the screen with him as the Doctor has been an absolute joy

Showrunner, Russell T Davies says:

This has been the most brilliant shoot, with Nicola lighting up the set and bringing joy.  From Derry, via Bridgerton, to the TARDIS, it’s the trip of a lifetime.

Nicola Coughlan will appear in Doctor Who next year

Doctor Who returns in November 2023 with three special episodes with David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor to coincide with the 60th anniversary. Ncuti Gatwa’s first episode as the Fifteenth Doctor will air over the festive period.

FILTER: - Doctor Who - Production

Doctor Who Returns 25th NovemberBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 October 2023 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials (Credit: BBC Studios)

Doctor Who will return to TV screens Worldwide on the 25th of November 2023.

The series will air in the UK on BBC One where it will be at the prime spot launching Saturday's evening entertainment just as it did in November 1963, 60 years ago.

With David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor and Catherine Tate reprising her role as Donna Noble the popular duo will make their spectacular return to mark the shows 60th anniversary with three special episodes running each Saturday.

Get set for three epic adventures starting with The Star Beast (25th November) where the Doctor and Donna will come face to face after all these years but just how, and why, is about to be revealed. Followed by Wild Blue Yonder (2nd December) and The Giggle (9th December) viewers are about to go on an otherworldly adventure through space and time.

Joining David Tennant and Catherine Tate is a stellar cast including, Yasmin Finney as Rose Noble, Miriam Margolyes as the voice of the Meep, Jacqueline King as Sylvia Noble, Karl Collins as Shaun Temple, Ruth Madeley as Shirley Anne-Bingham, Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart and Neil Patrick Harris as the Toymaker, set to cause all kinds of mayhem.

All before Ncuti Gatwa gets the keys to the TARDIS over the festive season.

Viewers outside of the UK will be able to accesss the episodes on Disney+

The first episode of Doctor Who: Unleashed will follow The Star Beast on Saturday 25th November. After every new episode of Doctor Who, viewers can switch over to BBC Three or BBC iPlayer to watch the access all areas show that gives viewers an unmissable insight into the creation of Doctor Who.


FILTER: - Production - Fourteenth Doctor

New Writers AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 October 2023 - Reported by Marcus
Kate Herron (Credit: BBC)Briony Redman (Credit: BBC)

The new series of Doctor Who will feature an episode co-written by writing duo Kate Herron and Briony Redman, which will air once Ncuti Gatwa takes control of the TARDIS as the Fifteenth Doctor.

Both writers have made their mark, Herron as the Executive Producer and director of the entirety of the popular Marvel Studio’s series Loki, as well as directing on the critically acclaimed series Sex Education.

Redman is an actor, comedian and BAFTA Rocliffe winning writer, whose work includes the Welsh crime-comedy Pont Brec with Damian Evans, and the award-winning short film Forget-Me-Not, which screened across film festivals internationally.

The pair have collaborated on a range of work together including their comic, The Storkening, as well as TV and film projects including the sci-fi Miss Universe and the acclaimed short film Smear.

Now they have now teamed up once more to take viewers on an unforgettable adventure in the new series of Doctor Who.

Kate Herron said:

Clearly, I can’t get enough of time travel. It is an absolute honour to write for Russell and Ncuti. We had so much fun and can’t wait for you all to see it.

Briony Redman said:

As a big fan of Doctor Who and Russell T Davies, it’s been a dream to write on this show.

Doctor Who Showrunner, Russell T Davies said

This is when I absolutely love my job. Working with the stellar talents of Kate and Briony makes my whole world bigger and brighter, and a lot more fun. I was a huge fan of Loki and reached out to Kate to say so - she then introduced me to Briony, and it was all systems go!  They've written a wonderful script which created unique challenges for cast and crew alike.  The end result is gorgeous and thrilling and scary, and not like any other episode of Doctor Who.

FILTER: - Production

David Whitaker BiographyBookmark and Share

Friday, 29 September 2023 - Reported by Marcus
David Whitaker (Credit: Ten Acre Films)

A new biography of David Whitaker is to be published by Ten Acre Films

David Whitaker in an Exciting Adventure with Television will look at the life of Doctor Who's first story editor. The book, by Simon Guerrier, will be published in November to mark 60 years since the first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast. 

Discover the extraordinary, little-known life of one of the series chief architects. As the show’s first story editor, he helped to establish the compelling blend of adventure, imagination and quirky humour that made – and continues to make – the series a hit. 

Whitaker commissioned the first Dalek story and fought for it to be made when his bosses didn’t like it. Regeneration, the TARDIS being alive, the idea of Doctor Who expanding to become a multimedia phenomenon in comics, books and films… David Whitaker was all over it. Yet very little was known about this key figure in Doctor Who history – until now. Why did he fall out with Irving Berlin? Was he really engaged to Yootha Joyce? And how did an assignment to Moscow badly affect his career?  

Simon Guerrier has written countless Doctor Who books, comics and audio plays. He’s also the author of Sherlock Holmes — The Great War and has produced a number of documentaries for BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.

The biography will be published on 6th November 2023 and is available for pre-order

FILTER: - Production

Evolution of the Toy DalekBookmark and Share

Friday, 18 August 2023 - Reported by Marcus
Evolution of the Toy Dalek (Credit: Alex Storer) A free eBook is available exploring the evolution of Dalek toys throughout the 60 years since the creatures were first created. 
Marx, Palitoy, Dapol, Product Enterprise and Character Options are just some of the names instantly synonymous with Dalek toys and models. From those vintage 1960s toys to the stunningly lifelike replicas we enjoy today, the Dalek toy has evolved over the decades.
Evolution of the Toy Dalek offers a retrospective critique of the various scale models and toys from each decade, examining the gradual improvements in their design and production alongside nostalgic reflections on Dalek merchandise collecting.
The book is by Alex Storer who previously produced books on the Blackpool Doctor Who exhibitions and the 1983 Longleat Celebration.

FILTER: - Fan Production

Lenny Rush Joins Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 June 2023 - Reported by Marcus
Lenny Rush (Credit: BBC Studios)

Award winning actor Lenny Rush is to appear in the next series of Doctor Who. 

Having just won a BAFTA at the age of fourteen, Rush takes on the role of Morris in the 2024 series of Doctor Who, starring alongside Ncuti Gatwa.

Lenny Rush has starred in numerous shows including ‘Dodger’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ but it was his starring role in Daisy May Cooper’s ‘Am I Being Unreasonable’ that won him the BAFTA for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme this year.

Now Rush is about to join the team travelling time and space as he takes on his new role as Morris.

Speaking about joining Doctor Who, Rush said:

It’s an absolute honour to be part of Doctor Who, one of the most iconic shows on television and wow what a dream come true!

Showrunner, Russell T Davies said:  

This is what Doctor Who's all about, brand new talent from the next generation, and no one’s more talented than Lenny! He joins the TARDIS team just in time for the Doctor’s greatest nightmare, so hold on tight!


FILTER: - Production - Series 13/39

Mel Returns to Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 June 2023 - Reported by Marcus
Bonnie Langford (Credit: BBC Studios)

Star of stage and screen Bonnie Langford will once again reprise her role as Melanie Bush as she returns to Doctor Who, this time starring alongside Ncuti Gatwa who plays the Fifteenth Doctor in the new series. 


Bonnie first entered the world of Doctor Who in 1986 as the companion to the Sixth and Seventh Doctors played by Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, before returning in a cameo role in Jodie Whittaker’s final episode as the Thirteenth Doctor.


Making her West End debut at just seven years old in ‘Gone with the Wind’ at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Bonnie has since gone on to lead an outstanding career. From her countless performances on both Broadway and West End, such as ‘Chicago’, ‘9 to 5’ and ‘Cats’, to her award-winning role as Carmel Kazemi on EastEnders.


Now Bonnie is back, as Melanie returns for another epic adventure.


Bonnie Langford said:

I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing Melanie Bush back. To be part of the exceptional cast, crew and production team led by the force of nature that is Russell T Davies is a career highlight. I’m so privileged and proud to have been a member of the Doctor Who family since the classic era and to be included in the new generation is phenomenal.

 Showrunner, Russell T Davies said:

“Open those TARDIS doors wide, because Bonnie’s back! What an honour, delight and hoot to welcome back the character of Melanie, after too long away. And this isn’t just a cameo, Bonnie is right in the thick of the action, battling monsters and chaos and cliffhangers, right at the Doctor's side, just like the old days.”


FILTER: - Production