talons of weng chiang dvdBookmark and Share

Friday, 31 January 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide's Tradelink (the release service the BBC uses to issue information to vendors) has finally posted some news about the forthcoming release of The Talons of Weng-Chiang on DVD, with a stated release date of April 28. The information from BBC Worldwide is as follows (with thanks to Chuck Foster of the DWAS):

The inimitable Doctor Who and his assistant Leela are confronted by sinister and seemingly inexplicable occurrences in this gripping thriller set in the shadowy depths of nineteenth century London.
        With the help of Professor Litefoot, the Doctor investigates the gruesome murder of a cabbie and the mysterious disappearances of young girls. Whilst being chased by giant rats and forced to pit his wits against an evil doll and a merciless illusionist, he comes face to face with his most deadly enemy to date: Magnus Greel - a fifty-first century war criminal posing as Weng Chiang, an ancient Chinese god.
        Can the Doctor thwart his dastardly plans before Leela becomes his next victim….

Two-disc set which includes the following special features: CommentaryWhose Doctor Who, a 1977 documentary from BBC2's 'The Lively Arts' strand, looking back at the history of the programme and its psychological impact on the viewers, particularly children, introduced by Melvyn Bragg; Blue Peter TheatreBehind the ScenesPhilip Hinchcliffe Interview; plus trails and continuity, 1 Easter Egg, photo gallery and production subtitles.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

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Wednesday, 29 January 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The BBC Radio Collection will reportedly be releasing two audio boxed sets this year, according to the Planet Who website. Amazon.co.uk is already listing a Yeti Box Setcontaining the CD releases of "The Abominable Snowmen" and "The Web of Fear" (which may include MP3 files as an extra), due out April 7. Additionally, a Dalek Box Set is reportedly being released later in the year containing the two stories "Power of the Daleks" and "Evil of the Daleks"; we've heard that these will be the earlier recordings released on cassette but remastered for CD. No official confirmation as yet on either one. (Thanks to Planet Who)

FILTER: - Audio

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Wednesday, 29 January 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Big Finish has posted new information on its website about a few forthcoming releases.Dalek Empire II: Dalek War - Part One is now in release after a brief delay, while the January audio Jubilee by Rob Shearman will be issued later in the week; both were delayed due to pressing issues. Meanwhile, Big Finish has posted a trailer for the February audio Nekromanteia by Austen Atkinson starring Peter Davison, Caroline Morris and Nicola Bryant, on its site, and issued the cover blurb for the forthcomingProject: Lazarus, the sequel to its earlier Project: Twilight by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright, starring Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Maggie Stables. Finally, a brief update to their Short Trips hardcover anthology series; the third installment will be called "A Universe of Terrors," edited by John Binns (due out in June), and the fourth book is "The Muses" edited by Jacqueline Rayner (due out in September). (Thanks to Big Finish)

by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright

"I'll survive Doctor. I always do."

Unfinished business. A frightened girl is stalked in a land of eternal night. A hunter longs for recognition and power. A traveller in time returns to correct the mistakes of the past and faces a danger that could rob him of his future. Unless his future intervenes. And in the shadows stands Nimrod. Waiting...

Welcome to the Forge.

Starring Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy (the Doctors) and Maggie Stables (Evelyn Smythe); with Stephen Chance (Nimrod), Rosie Cavaliero (Cassie), Emma Collier (Oracle), Adam Woodroffe (Sergeant Frith), Ingrid Evans (Dr. Crumpton) and Vidar Magnussen (Professor Harket).

FILTER: - Big Finish

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Friday, 24 January 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The Third Doctor returns on February 9 to the British channel UK Gold, which starts rescreenings with the first Jon Pertwee story "Spearhead from Space". There were hopes that UK Gold would return to the start of the series, but instead are opting this time for only the colour package. According to Sue Cowley in a post on the Restoration Team forum, UK Gold were recently supplied with information needed to retrieve new (much clearer) masters from BBC Worldwide for some of the stories that remain somewhat deteriorated in their library, although no word if they will actually do so. The show will air in both late night and early morning weekend screenings. (Thanks to BBCi, Sue Cowley, Steve Trevor)

FILTER: - Classic Series - Broadcasting

dwm 327Bookmark and Share

Friday, 24 January 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
BBCi has posted a preview of the next issue of Doctor Who Magazine, #327, on sale February 6. In the issue, Christopher Bailey (author of "Kinda" and "Snakedance") is interviewed; an article on the National Viewers and Listeners Association and its matron, Mary Whitehouse; "Guess Who?" with the Fifth and Sixth Doctors; "Full Circle" in the Archives; plus previews, reviews and so forth. At right is a thumbnail of the cover. For more details go to the BBCi website. (And speaking of BBCi... they've now launched both the photonovel of "The Smugglers" as well as a new birthday salute to Tom Baker called Doctor What... check them out!)


quick dvd updateBookmark and Share

Friday, 24 January 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The still-unconfirmed-by-BBC DVD release of The Talons of Weng Chiang will likely be out on April 28, says a representative of Technicolor, the UK distributor of BBC Worldwide products (according to Ben Keywood of the Galaxy 4 shop). Meanwhile, further to the report of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) extras on the disc: "the extra listed as 'Blue Peter Theatre' should be a compilation of the segments from Blue Peter," says reader Jim Sangster, "where viewers were shown how to build their own Doctor Who puppet theatre... in the style of those old victorian ones where the 'puppets' (cardboard cutouts) were on a horizontal stick and they entered from the wings of a large box-theatre. At the time, the Radio Times published the black and white photos of the Doctor and Leela for kids to cut out, mount on thin card and stick to a straw or piece of thin dowling. They also (I think) included cut-outs of the sets the kids could make for their theatre." Again, BBC Worldwide has not yet officially announced this release. (As an aside... Ben from the Galaxy 4 shop also let us know that release of the Blake's 7 Series 1 DVD set -- again, still apparently unconfirmed by the BBC -- was delayed again, until June 2.) (Thanks to Ben Keywood, Jim Sangster)

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

talons extras!Bookmark and Share

Monday, 20 January 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Though we emphasize that The Talons of Weng-Chiang is still unconfirmed for release on DVD in April (or May) by BBC Video -- even though retailers have received some notice -- the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has released details about this theoretical DVD's extras on its website, including the hour-long documentary "Whose Doctor Who" and an additional hour of other material. (This information does classify the release, like "Seeds of Death," as a two-disc set.)


00:58:42:01 | WHOSE DOCTOR WHO
00:25:57:15 | BLUE PETER THEATRE
00:23:58:22 | BEHIND THE SCENES


00:00:39:10 | EASTER EGG NO. 1

Meanwhile, there are rumors circulating that there will be only four Doctor Who DVDs released in 2004 in the UK. This is incorrect; it is based on information taken out of context in a post on the Outpost Gallifrey Forum from a member of the Restoration Team, but was merely speculative on the consequences of further drop-off of DVD sales. At no time has information been issued from the BBC or otherwise that a decision has been made to reduce Doctor Who DVD output.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

cyril shapsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 19 January 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Cyril Shaps, a frequent guest star on many BBC programs with a lengthy film career, died January 1 in the UK. Among his roles were Rasputin The Mad Monk (1966), To Sir, With Love (1966), The Odessa File (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), The Spaceman And King Arthur (1979), Erik The Viking (1989), The Madness Of King George (1994), The End Of The Affair (1999), The Importance Of Being Earnest (2002) and the new film The Pianist (2003). He was in over 50 TV series including Quatermass II, The Persuaders!, QB VII, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, The Young Ones and Lovejoy, and portrayed the voice Professor Popkiss and Masterspy in Gerry Anderson's Supercar. He also made four appearances in Doctor Who: as John Viner inTomb of the Cybermen, Lennox in The Ambassadors of Death, Professor Clegg inPlanet of the Spiders, and the Archimandrite in The Androids of Tara (pictured, above right). Shaps was best-known in the UK for his long-running regular role as Rabbi Levi in the ITV sitcom Never Mind The Quality, Feel The Width (from 1967 to 1971). Shaps was an actor for more than 50 years. He was 79. (Thanks to Daniel Hirsch, Lee Horton, plus Kenneth Parker for the detailed bio info)

FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

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Sunday, 19 January 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Daphne Oram, the co-founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, passed away on January 6 aged 77. Although Oram didn't work on Doctor Who directly, her work influenced it greatly; she "created an experimental early intelligent musical instrument called Oramics inspiring the modern electronic music industry of today," according to the BBC's internal magazine Ariel. "This charming, eccentric individual, who appeared at the college gate with her shopper trolley filled with oscilators, bits of electronic circuitry and a quarter inch tape machine, leaves behind a legacy of imaginative, alternative thinking as an inspiration to all composers from all musical genres. She very much wanted to remain until her dying day a 'useful' member of society. A true artist in the fullest sense of the word." Certainly her work inspired those who came after, including Doctor Who composers Ron Grainer and Delia Derbyshire. (Thanks to Jim Sangster)

FILTER: - Obituary

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Sunday, 19 January 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
BBC Worldwide Americas has issued press releases for the forthcoming Planet of Giantsand Underworld VHS releases on May 6 in North America, including cover illustrations (click on the thumbnail for a larger version). Outpost Gallifrey previously confirmed these May releases last month. The details are as follows:

Warner Home Video #E1740

In an attempt to return Ian and Barbara to the twentieth century, the Doctor tries an unorthodox new technique. It causes the TARDIS doors to open in mid-flight, which sets alarms ringing inside the craft. The time travelers arrive on Earth only to discover that they have been drastically reduced in size. They are now tiny people in a world of giant objects. The TARDIS has materialized between the cracks in a garden patio. The garden is teeming with giant worms, ants and cats - all deadly hazards for the miniature time travelers. Worse still, the TARDIS crew learns that this garden is the testing site for a deadly insecticide, DN6. Developed to eliminate all insect life, the chemical may be equally effective against miniscule time travelers. Starring Jacqueline Hill, William Hartnell, William Russell, Carole Ann Ford. Street date: May 6.

Warner Home Video #E1741

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the Time Lords of Gallifrey began exploring space and time with their new TARDIS technology. The first alien race they encountered were the Minyans, who treated the Time Lords as gods. In return, the Time Lords gave medical and scientific aid. As the Minyans became more advanced, they renounced their former gods. The war that followed destroyed the planet Minyos and set the Time Lords on the path of non-interference with the affairs of the universe. Before Minyos was totally destroyed, a single ship - the P7E - escaped. It carried the future of the Minyan species, locked into its onboard race banks. But the P7E disappeared into deep space centuries ago. Now the last of the Minyans have embarked on a quest to recover their lost race banks. Their quest is destined to bring the Minyans once again into contact with the Time Lords - one Time Lord in particular. Starring Tom Baker, Louise Jameson. Street date: May 6.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD