Jack PittBookmark and Share

Friday, 27 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Outpost Gallifrey notes the passing of actor Jack Pitt, who appeared in guest roles in both "The Web Planet" and "The Chase", who passed away approximately four weeks ago at his home in Penzance from complications of bronchial pneumonia. A Myth Makers interview with Pitt is recently being re-released on DVD by Reeltime. (Thanks to Richard Unwin)

FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Yet Another DoctorBookmark and Share

Friday, 27 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
During an interview by Fern Britton on the June 25 edition of ITV's "This Morning," British actor/presented Shane Ritchie was touted as the "next" Doctor Who. Asked for his reaction to this apparent exclusive, a surprised Ritchie said, "Really? Wouldn't that be great!" I loved all the hat and long scarf." "How would you dress as Dr. Who?" an excited Britton asked him. Ritchie replied: "It would have to be black leather trousers. A Matrix look." "Yes, that's what an updated Doctor needs!" chipped in the other interviewer, former kids TV frontman Philip Scofield who chatted with Sylvester McCoy many times back in the 80's. Of course, we'd like to point out that this is certainly not the way the BBC would have a new Doctor announced, nor do we put any credibility into it... but we've gotten a number of emails about the past couple of days and had to share. (Thanks to everyone who's written in with this story.)

FILTER: - Press

Two Doctors DVDBookmark and Share

Friday, 27 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has posted details about extras on the forthcoming DVD release of The Two Doctors later this year in the UK. The listing is as follows:

00:09:16:17 | JIM'LL FIX IT
00:02:02:10 | EASTER EGG NO. 1
00:36:13:10 | BENEATH THE SUN

Steve Roberts of the Doctor Who Restoration Team noted on the RT's Forum that this was not a complete list; that there was another group to be classified which contains "Behind the Sofa" and a photo gallery. Of course, this does give a picture of some of the extras to be released on that DVD -- including the celebrated "Jim'll Fix It" segment with Colin Baker, Janet Fielding and the Sontarans (and featuring the dreaded evil of Gareth Jenkins!) (Thanks to Steve Traylen, Steve Roberts)

FILTER: - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

BBC Books UpdateBookmark and Share

Friday, 27 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine features some new details about forthcoming novels from BBC Books in 2004. In May 2004, Jonathan Morris ("Anachrophobia") returns with The Tomorrow Windows, an Eighth Doctor novel set on Earth and in another world's present and past. Craig Hinton's previously announced Sixth Doctor & Peri novelSynthespians(TM) is confirmed for June 2004; it features an adventure aboard a space station where everyone is entertained by soap operas, and the Doctor battles an old foe. While details for later in 2004 haven't been announced yet, the October 2004 book will be Match of the Day by Chris Boucher ("Psience Fiction"), with the Fourth Doctor and Leela's visit to a planet inhabited by organized vigilantes. All dates are of course tentative. (Thanks to DWM)

FILTER: - Books

Australia Video/Audio UpdateBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Australian fans (and, likely, New Zealanders as well), take note: Doctor Who at the BBC, the anniversary audio boxed set, will be out in November, according to a brochure included in the latest video release ("Meglos"), while the Power of the Daleks/Evil of the Daleks set is due in December. The Marco Polo CD is due in early 2004, as are three video releases: The Horns of Nimon, Invasion of the Dinosaurs and The Reign of Terror. Curiously, the brochure also lists two early 2004 audio releases that have yet to be announced by BBC Worldwide (for anywhere): The Wheel in Space and The Underwater Menace (though, to be fair, these are two of the final releases and were likely for 2004 anyway!) (Thanks to Matthew Jones)

FILTER: - Blu-ray/DVD - Australia

More North America VideoBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Updated twice! Some additional details on this fall's Doctor Who video and DVD releases in North America are available today. First, contrary to our report yesterday, the DVDs of Talons of Weng-Chiang and The Dalek Invasion of Earth are due October 7, not September 2; there was an error on Warner's vendor site which listed the order date instead of street availability date for the two, and we've since verified this with BBC America. Both releases are two-disc sets (the story and then a separate extras disc) and will retail for $34.98 US each. Better versions of the cover illustrations for both are available below in our June 24 news item. Meanwhile, BBC America has released the cover illustrations for ten of the eleven VHS videos in the End of the Universe Collection (which we also have a better version of the cover in the June 24 item as well); the only one missing is Invasion of the Dinosaurs which has also not yet been given a release date in the UK. While these covers are mostly the same as the ones in the UK, the cover illustration for The Reign of Terror Boxed Set is a specific-to-North-America design (according to BBCA, the same will be true for the "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" cover when it's released). We've also managed to clarify that it is indeed true that the "Reign" boxed set will be out in North America an entire month prior to the UK release. The covers attached are for: top row, The Reign of Terror Boxed Set, The Sensorites, The Time Meddler, The Gunfighters and The Ambassadors of Death; bottom row, The Mutants, The Invisible Enemy, The Creature from the Pit, The Horns of Nimon and Meglos. (Thanks to WHV, BBC America/Laura Palmer)

FILTER: - USA - Blu-ray/DVD

More Full Fathom FiveBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Big Finish just released more information about the third in their Doctor Who Unboundaudio series, Full Fathom Five by David Bishop. As noted yesterday, actor David Collings ("Sapphire and Steel") stars as the Doctor; he is joined in this story by Ed Bishop, whose many roles include Commander Ed Straker in "UFO," voices for the animated "Star Trek" series and guest shots in series such as "The Professionals" and "Highlander", and Siri O'Neal, who starred in the popular BBC children's TV serial "Moondial". "The story is set in two time periods, twenty-eight years apart," says producer John Ainsworth, "in a military base at the bottom of the ocean. To reveal much more about the story would perhaps spoil the enjoyment, but unlike the previous two Doctor Who Unbound adventures, there will be no re-working of familiar Doctor Who continuity. This is quite a different approach to the Unbound concept." At right is the Collings promotional art; the blurb and full cast are below. "Full Fathom Five" is due in late July. (Thanks to Big Finish)

Full Fathom Five, by David Bishop

What if... ?

"If I told you the truth, I'd have to kill you..."

The Deep-sea Energy Exploration Project was apparently destroyed by dirty bombs in 2039 AD, turning the surrounding sea bed into a radioactive tomb. Rumours suggest the DEEP was conducting illegal, unethical experiments...

In 2066 the Doctor discovers the research centre remains intact. The terrible truth about what happened twenty-seven years ago will soon be revealed. The Doctor is determined to be the first to uncover and confront the secrets of the DEEP.

But unearthing the past can have terrible consequences for your futureĆ 

Starring David Collings (the Doctor), with Ed Bishop (General Flint), Siri O'Neal (Ruth), Jeremy James (Hoskins), Matthew Benson (Professor Vollmer) and Jack Galagher (Lee). Directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery.

FILTER: - Big Finish

Pyramids of MarsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Pyramids of Mars, the Tom Baker / Elisabeth Sladen serial from season 13, was the winner of Doctor Who Magazine's 2004 DVD poll contest, according to the newest issue of DWM released this week (now on shelves). As noted before, the story will be released at some point during 2004 on DVD from BBC Video. In order of the poll: the Fourth Doctor classic "City of Death" came in at #2, the already-released "Talons of Weng-Chiang" at #3, the first story "An Unearthly Child" at #4, the Tom Baker story "The Seeds of Doom" at #5, already-scheduled "The Curse of Fenric" at #6, the Dalek origins serial "Genesis of the Daleks" at #7, the Jon Pertwee story "Inferno" at #8, Tom Baker's final serial "Logopolis" at #9, and the just released "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" at #10. (Thanks to DWM)

FILTER: - Magazines - Classic Series - Blu-ray/DVD

North America DVD and Video UpdateBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Updated June 25: BBC America and Warner Home Video have revealed further details and cover illustrations for the forthcoming North American versions of The Talons of Weng-Chiang starring Tom Baker and The Dalek Invasion of Earth starring William Hartnell, both due out September 2, as well as a collectors' box cover and details for The End of the Universe Collection, the massive 11-story, 13 tape VHS release that will mark the end of Doctor Who on video, scheduled for October 7. Details and covers are below (click each thumbnail for a larger version). The tapes in the "End of the Universe" collection will be sold separately as well as in the box set, which retails for $149.98. Meanwhile, BBC America has also announced that, later this year, Warner Home Video will reprice all existing VHS tapes; single tapes will be $9.95, double tapes $14.95 and the triple tape "Trial of a Time Lord" $29.95, all while supplies last (but not including this year's new releases). Details are below. (Thanks to Warner Home Video and Laura Palmer/BBCA) Cover illustrations below are updated with better versions!

The Talons of Weng Chiang
The Doctor brings Leela to Victorian London to meet her ancestors (though Agincourt might have been more her style). The TARDIS materializes in the darkest heart of the city, where life - and death - is anything but dull. A hapless cabbie is slain by agents of a secret Chinese cult. Young women are disappearing at an alarming rate, and Li H'sen Chang, the Palace Theatre's celebrated magician, may know more about that than he admits. Li H'sen's ventriloquist dummy, Mr. Sin, appears to have a life of its own, and the rat problem in the sewers is bigger than anyone can imagine. With Tom Baker and Louise Jameson. WHV catalog #E1814.

The Dalek Invasion of Earth
Radiation nil, oxygen normal, pressure normal, yet London is deserted, with no sign of life and no sense of normality. Exploring the decaying city sometime after 2164AD, the Doctor and his companions soon learn that it is not as empty as it seems. The Daleks - far from having been destroyed on Skaro - have conquered the world. Nearly wiped out by storm and plague, the Earth's population has been commandeered by the Daleks into huge mining operations. Some humans have suffered the further indignity of being transformed into Robomen to serve the Daleks in their diabolical plans. Humanity's only hope for survival lies with a small band of resistance fighters who need all the help they can get. With William Hartnell, Carole Ann Ford, Jacqueline Hill and William Russell. WHV catalog #E1813.

The End of the Universe Collection
On November 23, 1963, the BBC launched the world's longest running science fiction television series when it aired the premiere episode of Doctor Who. To celebrate the Doctor's 40th Anniversary, BBC Video presents the largest Doctor Who video collection ever assembled. On home video for the first time, these eleven adventures span 16 of Doctor Who's 26 seasons. With four Doctors, 19 companions, 56 episodes and 46 cliffhangers, fans will agree that this cosmic collection is "bigger on the inside." WHV catalog #E1840. This set contains:
  • The Sensorites starring William Hartnell (#E1852)
  • Meglos starring Tom Baker (#E1862)
  • The Mutants starring Jon Pertwee (#E1857)
  • The Horns of Nimon starring Tom Baker (#E1861)
  • The Ambassadors of Death starring Jon Pertwee (#E1856), a double-tape set
  • The Gunfighters starring William Hartnell (#E1855)
  • The Invisible Enemy starring Tom Baker (#E1859)
  • The Time Meddler starring William Hartnell (#E1854)
  • Invasion of the Dinosaurs starring Jon Pertwee (#E1858)
  • The Creature from the Pit starring Tom Baker (#E1860)
  • The Reign of Terror Collectors Set starring William Hartnell (#E1853), a double-tape set that includes linking material and the standalone extant episodes "The Faceless Ones" parts 1 & 3 and "The Web of Fear" part 1, starring Patrick Troughton

FILTER: - USA - Blu-ray/DVD

DWM 332 and Eighth Doctor SpecialBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 June 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Issue #332 of Doctor Who Magazine will be on sale on June 26. Featured in the next issue is "The Fact of Fiction," the start of a major new feature for DWM as Alan Barnes dissects The Deadly Assassin; Mark Gatiss ("League of Gentlemen") is interviewed; Gareth Roberts gives Doctor Who's storytelling credentials the once-over and discovers that the show's format isn't nearly as flexible as we like to think...; the conclusion of the comic strip "Doctor Who and the Nightmare Game"; and the announcement of the DWM DVD poll, the winner of which will be released on DVD in 2004. Plus the usual news, reviews and previews. Also out soon (July 10, to be exact) is The Complete Eighth Doctor, the fifth in their continuing series of archive specials, including a detailed Archive by Andrew Pixley of the TV movie and lots more. The covers for both are below. (Thanks to BBCi)