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 11 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 20 May 2013

Verity Lambert's CommentsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 September 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Comments from Verity Lambert, the first producer of Doctor Who in the early 1960's, in an interview given to the American Who internet audio program: "I think it's wonderful. I'm really thrilled." Lambert's advice to Russell Davies: "Well, I think that I always felt that you had to play it for real, you know, that camping it up wasn't right. And I think that that's the advice. I mean, it just has to be believable." And her thoughts on the rumored choice of Bill Nighy? "He's a fantastically good actor. And I think that it would be a really good idea." But on Alan Davies: "Well, I think Alan would be very good too, but Alan is younger." The program will be broadcast on the American Who website at a date to be determined later

FILTER: - People - Production

Big Finish Licence RenewedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 September 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Big Finish announced today that it has signed a new agreement to license production of Doctor Who audio dramas through 2007. Says Jason Haigh-Ellery of Big Finish: "This agreement will run through to 2007 and will be active during the launch of the new Doctor Who series on television, which Big Finish will heartily support. We would like to thank our loyal regular purchasers for their support over the past four years and hope that they enjoy the next four just as much." Good news for all fans of the audio adventures.

FILTER: - Audio

Big Finish UpdateBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 September 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Big Finish have updated some information about the forthcoming 40th anniversary audio Zagreus; in addition to confirming the cast of the story (while careful to make note "but who are they playing?") they've added several names including Anneke Wills (Polly), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane) and Stephen Perring (who has played a variety of BF roles including Sebastian Grayle in "Seasons of Fear"). A photo gallery from the recording of the audio is online at their website. Meanwhile, the cover illustration for the audio release of Shada has been revealed; click on the thumbnail at right for a larger version. Also, on Big Finish's spinoff series, Bernice Summerfield, a new audio has been confirmed: Simon A. Forward's The Bone of Contention, released in June and featuring the Galyari from the Doctor Who audio serial "The Sandman" which Forward penned. (Thanks to Big Finish)

FILTER: - Audio

Miscellaneous September 29 NotesBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 September 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Fourth Doctor Tom Baker will be a guest on UK's GMTV this Wednesday morning. Tom will also appear on Radio 2 during Mark Goodier's show this Friday afternoon; the show is broadcast between 1400 and 1700 GMT but it's unlikely Tom will be no before 3.15pm. Tom will likely be discussing his thoughts on the show's return on both shows. Tom will also be a guest of BBC Radio London 94.9 chat show host Danny Baker this Friday morning and the show will be webcast (listen by going to this website); Tom will be discussing the new series announcement among other topics. This is in addition to his Wednesday GMTV and Friday Radio 2 appearances (see next item). (Thanks to Lloyd Ellis)
          According to BBCi, Jon Culshaw did his impression of Tom Baker on the "Dead Ringers" comedy sketch series in a performance that pinned the new Doctor Who series as a "makeover/reality TV" show, with the first 'episode' ending as the Doctor regenerates into "Changing Rooms" designer Linda Barker ("well, at least I'm not Sylvester McCoy!")
          The gentlemen behind BBC's South East Today contacted us regarding last Friday's news item they ran regarding the return of the seris. The show also featured a rundown of the top three locations used in the South East (such as Brighton) and an interview with DWM's Clay Hickman in the DWM offices at Tunbridge Wells, among others. Certainly there's a lot of press interest now that the BBC's made their announcement.
          (Thanks to Richard Allison, Ian Robinson, Andrew Curry, Dan Hadley, Andrew Swann & Stuart Maisner for the September 29th stories)

FILTER: - Tom Baker - DWM

Other CommentatorsBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 September 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Today's review section of the Independent asks the big question "Are you looking forward to Doctor Who's return?" to such notables as Colin Baker (who describes the news as "a cautious pleasure"), DWM's Clayton Hickman ("dancing on the desks"), League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss ("simultaneously sick with excitement and trepidation"), Dead Ringers' Jon Culshaw ("delighted, but don't Americanise it too much"), Kylie Minogue's tour set designer William Baker ("ecstatic") and British Medical Association Press Officer Linda Millington ("we're short of Doctors, does he know of an intergalactic planet with a surplus of GPs?") The Times today quotes Paul McGann's comments from the weekend regarding a female Doctor, and yesterday's Sunday Times featured a cartoon of a BBC man ordering a Dalek to "Exterminate Alastair Campbell" in the News Review section.

FILTER: - DWM - Press

The Spirit of WobblinessBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 September 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Another article appeared in today's The Guardian paper in the UK; entitled "The Spirit of Wobbliness" by Brian Logan, the article pins the future success of a new series of Doctor Who on the spirit of the Sixties. "Rejoice, rejoice - but with reservations," says the article, which quotes messages printed on several websites and notes some of the changes that the show went through in its long life. "If the return of Doctor Who is to be a success," Logan writes, "then it needs to bring back a little piece of the 1960s with it. It's not that the oft-cited wobbly sets should be recreated. (And they're not always wobbly - you should watch The Robots of Death!) It's the spirit of wobbliness, the primacy of imagination over special effects, that counts. Likewise, the Doctor needn't remain forever sexless - it can't be easy, after all, when your fellow traveller is wearing leopardskins. But in an age as sexually obsessed as ours, a hero who'd rather be knobbling Daleks than knocking off his leggy companions is surely to be welcomed." The full article can be read by clicking here.

FILTER: - Press

Scificollector UpdateBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 September 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon has commissioned two exclusive Corgi die cast toys due out in November, including a Cyberleader model and an exclusive TARDIS giftset, in addition to variations of the Gold, Black, Red and Grey Daleks being produced. Meanwhile, Colin Baker will be joining Scificollector at the Stamp Centre on November 20 to launch both the range of toys as well as the Mark Campbell book (see yesterday's news item), while Tom Baker will be present at the NEC Birmingham Memorabilia Fair on November 29-30 to give the Corgi range and the book a Midlands launch. Tom will also be signing a 40th anniversary limited edition (1000 pressings only) Wedgewood Plate, featuring the Fourth Doctor and the Daleks. There will also be a Talking Fourth Doctor and K-9 available! For full details visit their website. (Thanks to Steven Scott of Scificollector)

FILTER: - Merchandise

McGann CommentsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 September 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Paul McGann, the last television Doctor (from the 1996 movie) has weighed in on his choice for a new Doctor in an article in the Telegraph: "I think it's high time that Doctor Who was a woman," McGann says. "There is nothing in the stories to say that the Time Lord can't be female. I'd like to see somebody really scary, Amazonian, highly intelligent and gorgeous in the role: someone who could be a complete handful. Rachel Stirling [the actress daughter of Dame Diana Rigg] could do it because she's got great charisma. Dame Maggie Smith would be brilliant. I'd like to see the Doctor as diva, rather than being played by some dippy, wide-eyed girl." McGann adds: "For too long the Doctor has been played as a very heavy, melancholic man with Victorian gravitas. I'd also like to see a black actor, like Chjwetel Ejiofor [the British actor who starred in the 2002 film Dirty Pretty Things] take the role. The producers of the ninth series should cast their net slightly wider than the usual white male, but it'll probably end up going to James Nesbitt, the star of Cold Feet, because his stock is so high at the moment and he'll be a ratings winner." The article also quotes Telos publisher David Howe ("It is a family show and there is no place for overt sexual relations," Howe says) and Sophie Aldred, who played Ace: "I'm very old school and I don't think they should really change anything, ... I think Richard E Grant would be good and I'd like to see Sylvester McCoy make a comeback." (Thanks to Steve Tribe)

FILTER: - Paul McGann

Radio 4 Interviews DWMBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 September 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
An interview with Doctor Who Magazine editor Clayton Hickman was broadcast on this morning's "Today" program on Radio 4 (listen to it by going here until Monday) in which Hickman stated that Russell Davies prefers actor Bill Nighy("Still Crazy," "Underworld," "The Maitlands") as his choice for the Doctor. Hickman later added a comment on the lines of "maybe I wasn't meant to say that..." Meanwhile - Could it be eight episodes instead of the rumored six? We've even heard a tip that the show has been pegged for eight 50-minute episodes. Of course, Outpost Gallifrey cautions that this is simply just a rumor at this time, as it's still very early in the game.

FILTER: - DWM - Press

Updated Hill BookmakersBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 September 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
William Hill, the UK-based bookmakers which we preivously announced had made Alan Davies their 8-to-1 favourite to play the Doctor, have now got their full book open on who will take the role; you can visit the site by going here. Alan Davies still has the 8-1 odds, with Richard E. Grant at 14-1, Sean Pertwee (son of the late actor) at 16-1, and even Ian McKellen, Michael Caine and Don Cheadle at the extremes. Says William Hill spokesperson Jennie Prest, "Amazingly it is 14 years since the last series, but everyone remembers who was Doctor Who when they were a kid! Every time the actor was replaced there was intense excitement about who would be the next one, and this time it is just the same!!

FILTER: - Production - Series 1/27 - Betting/Odds