Shane RichieBookmark and Share

Saturday, 25 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
More of the same... today's Daily Mirror features a sidebar article that says that Eastenders actor Shane Richie is one of the candidates to be the next Doctor. We've provided the article which you can read by clicking the thumbnail at right... but of course this is likely just more from the publicity mill. (Thanks to Gallifrey 5)

FILTER: - Press

UK Gold UpdateBookmark and Share

Saturday, 25 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The forthcoming UK Gold Anniversary Weekend will feature, if our information is correct, the following stories selected out of their recent viewers' poll: "The Time Meddler," "Tomb of the Cybermen," "The Daemons," "Pyramids of Mars," "The Caves of Androzani," "Attack of the Cybermen" and "Dragonfire". The stories will be aired over the weekend, with various interviews/features interspersed throughout. Hopefully, UK Gold will avail themselves of restored-quality prints as some of their viewing prints (specifically "The Time Meddler") are "virtually unwatchable". (Thanks to Mark Campbell)

FILTER: - Broadcasting

TARDIS MagazineBookmark and Share

Saturday, 25 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The Doctor Who Appreciation Society is releasing two new publications for the 40th anniversary. In November, the regular DWAS newsletter Celestial Toyroom will take a monthÆs break and there will be a special issue of TARDIS, the SocietyÆs other publication. TARDIS will have a colour cover (right) and features articles and interviews as well as details on the forthcoming "Doctor Omega 2". Also, Ian WheelerÆs collection of drabbles, entitled Who XL, will also be available soon and will feature contributions form the likes of Colin Baker and Nicholas Courtney. They hope to make both publications available to non-members. More information can be had by emailing (Thanks to Ian Wheeler)

FILTER: - Fan Productions

North America DVD UpdateBookmark and Share

Saturday, 25 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
At last, we're getting details about North America's 2004 list of Doctor Who selections. Having now exhausted the VHS range, the current plans call for the distribution of two DVDs per quarter, released at the same time, likely in February, May, August and November. According to email from BBCAmericaShop, the first two DVDs for 2004 will be The Seeds of Death starring Patrick Troughton and, in a surprise move, The Three Doctors starring Jon Pertwee, Troughton and William Hartnell. ("Three Doctors" is only seeing release next month in the UK!) This is, of course, subject to change. We do know that at this time there are no plans for an additional North America-only boxed set (like "The Key to Time") and that only stories released first in the UK will be on this schedule. More details as we get them.

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

The Wormery and Inside StoryBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
At right: the new cover illustration from The Wormery, the November 2003 Big Finish audio starring Colin Baker with Katy Manning as Iris Wildthyme (click on the thumbnail for a larger version). Also at the BF site - a preview of the forthcoming The Inside Story book with PDF copies of the pages for two stories, "The Sirens of Time" and "The Spectre of Lanyon Moor". Visit the Big Finish website to view them.

FILTER: - Audio

New Shalka DetailsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The BBC has released press details for the forthcoming The Scream of the Shalka, which has been announced as starting on Thursday, November 13 on BBCi. Says the press release:

ItÆs not only cats that have nine lives ... Doctor Who is back! As the cult series prepares to celebrate its 40th birthday, Richard E Grant, star of films such as Withnail And I, Jack And Sarah and Bram StokerÆs Dracula, steps out of the Tardis as the ninth incarnation of the Doctor û only on BBCi. The new, animated Doctor Who series, The Scream Of The Shalka, premi?res on BBCi this week and fans can access it at the click of a mouse whenever they wish. Grant, who is joined by an all-star cast including Derek Jacobi, Sophie Okonedo and Diana Quick, describes his interpretation of the much-loved Time Lord as 'something of a Sherlock Holmes in space'. The six-part drama, animated by Cosgrove Hall and posted on BBCi at lunchtime on Thursdays, follows hot on the heels of the success of previous BBCi web dramas, including Shada, a lost Doctor Who script written by the late Douglas Adams, and the Prix Europa-nominated Ghosts Of Albion, starring Leslie Phillips, written by Amber Benson (who plays Tara in Buffy The Vampire Slayer). The Scream Of The Shalka has been scripted by established TV writer Paul Cornell, who has worked on series including BBC OneÆs Casualty and has written a number of science fiction novels. BBCiÆs Martin Trickey says: 'We are delighted to be able to bring another fantastic series of Doctor Who to a whole new generation of people. Broadcasting the series via the BBCi website means that people can watch it whenever they want to, so theyÆll never have to miss a minute!' To celebrate the new series, BBCi is also running a competition in which fans of the Time Lord can phone 0870 787 4040 and leave a message for the Doctor û the person who leaves the funniest message will win a Doctor Who goodie bag.

The article from the BBC Press Office goes on further to describe the story, the first story information so far released:

The series is available to download in six weekly episodes at from 12.30pm on Thursdays. The series begins as an unexplained meteor crashes into the side of a New Zealand volcano, unleashing the snake-like Shalka, an alien species with a deadly scream.Thousands of miles away in a Lancashire town, the Tardis materialises on a Saturday night. The streets are empty, the pubs are deserted and random, unexplained pools of lava keep appearing on the ground. Time isnÆt on the DoctorÆs side and neither, it seems, are the townÆs inhabitants û with the possible exception of feisty barmaid Alison. When the Tardis disappears in a pool of lava and the Doctor and Alison are confronted by the hunting Shalka, it seems that thereÆs just no way out...

Looks like it's only a few weeks away. (Thanks to Phil Creighton, Steve Tribe)

FILTER: - Online

Resistance is FutileBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
More on that special Doctor Who anniversary album we reported some time ago: it's called Resistance is Futile and includes "a series of remixes, modern interpretations and re-workings of Radiophonic Workshop material and classic Doctor Who music." Says BBCi: "Artists, which include Lemon Jelly, The Orb, Radioslave, 808state, Unkle, Howie B, Coldcut, Mark B and St Etienne were all given access to parts of the extensive archive of material which help shape the sound of modern dance music. The results are a unique insight into how artists of today were influenced by this groundbreaking music of the past. The album ... is out at the start of 2004, and all attendees to Panopticon 2003 will receive a free limited edition 3 track promo sampler. Numbers are limited so make sure you don't miss out." A small version of the cover is at right. (Thanks to BBCi)

FILTER: - Audio

Marco Polo MP3Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
We've just learned that the forthcoming BBC Radio Collection audio release of Marco Polo will, like the "Daleks' Master Plan" relase, contain MP3 files of the "clean" soundtrack, without William Russell's narration. The package
will also contain a fold-out colour map, on which the caravan's journey can be traced as the story progresses, and this will also be included as a jpeg file. The "extras" will be on the first of the three discs. (Thanks to Stephen James Walker)

FILTER: - Audio

Independent Wants Who, TooBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
A new article in tomorrow's The Independent in the UK picks "The A-Team," the cult 1980's television series, as the show they most want returned to the airwaves. "Doctor Who" came in ninth place with a mere 1% of the vote... falling behind such "classics" as "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Knight Rider," "Dallas" and "Miami Vice" (just who were they talking to, anyway?) but, of course, the numbers could be skewed because ... Doctor Who's already scheduled to return! Read the article here. (Thanks to Andrew Harvey)

FILTER: - Press

Deconstructing Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
In a message today to the Outpost Gallifrey Forum, author Peter Anghelides attempted to deconstruct some of the disinformation surrounding the forthcoming new Doctor Who series with details freely available on the web about some of the people behind it. We felt it was too important not to share with readers of our news page.

In response to who Julie Gardner and Mal Young are: Julie Gardner is head of Drama at BBC Wales (see picturehere). And Mal Young is BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series.

Here's how Drama Commissioning responsibilities are described on BBCi.

You may also find it interesting to peruse some of the public domain documents on BBCi. There's a lot of rather idle speculation on this forum about what may or may not happen, but you can get some excellent clues in document such as this BBC Producer Briefing Day document (it's a PDF) about what the BBC are looking for in their drama series.

It is a transcript of the Genre Session they ran on April 1 this year (yes, I know, April 1). From it, you'll see information about the ratio of spend between returning drama series and serials/events; the longevity they expect of newly-commissioned series; the difference between commissions on BBC1, BBC2, and BBC3; etc. No need for wild guesswork or speculation, even at this early sage: this is published opinion of Jane Tranter herself (BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning).

Or check out the Commissioning site on BBCi, including the section about Drama.

My point is that there's a wealth of available information in public domain. We're happy enough to graze a myriad DW sites on the web, so perhaps we should spend some time looking at what the BBC actually tell us!

Now you can try and work out why I have called this thread "Five is the magic number".

We guess, as do our readers, that the BBC "is looking for a drama series that'll run for five years - provide some innovative and character-driven drama (either period or futuristic will do) and come off with a bang for a large viewing audience. My, but doesn't that sound like a made-to-order job for Doctor Who." Of course, all this is speculative, but it's a good primer on what we might expect from a future serise. (With thanks to the brilliant Mr. Anghelides for his insight, and Forum user "No Heroics" for the 'five year' summation)

FILTER: - Production - Series 1/27