Davies on the RadioBookmark and Share

Monday, 28 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
New series executive producer Russell T Davies is scheduled to be a guest on the Steve Wright Afternoon show on BBC Radio 2 on Thursday, March 10, as the host announced today on a run through of upcoming guests. The show is on Radio 2 from 2pm - 5pm; if you can't hear the radio station, you can visit the Radio 2 site that evening and listen to it on the BBC's Radio player. (Thanks to Jonathan Stockley, Steve Tribe)

New Series Reviewed by Q MagazineBookmark and Share

Monday, 28 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Q Magazine, a popular UK music magazine, has published a glowing review of the new series in its latest issue, calling it "must-see TV for everyone". From the comments and some of the details given in the review it would appear that the reviewer, Boyd Hilton, has seen a number of episodes from the series - all of which impressed. Amongst many plaudits Hilton states that "the much-hyped return of rickety sci-f? classic Doctor Who lives up to all expectations: it's every bit as good as its mid-'70s heyday. Furthermore, this time around you don't have to be a geek to enjoy it." He goes on to comment on Eccleston's performance; "The inestimable Christopher Eccleston plays the ninth Doctor... replete with trendy leather jacket and wry sense of humour." As for Billie Piper; "the biggest surprise of the show is Billie Piper's performance as the Doctor's "assistant" Rose Tyler. Not only does Piper prove she can hold her own in the company of esteemed actors, but her feisty cockney character shows real depth. Importantly, Rose's relationship with the Doctor is as an equal, rather than just being there to whimper when the aliens show up." The special effects also impress: "Gone are the cardboard sets and naff-looking monsters of old, this time you see... [edited geographical location] ...landmarks come under thrilling alien attack, as convincing and exciting as anything shown before in a British TV series." Boyd ends by praising series writer and executive producer Russell T Davies for the "triumphant regeneration" of Doctor Who (the series rather than the person) and for "the slick, sharp dialogue". He ends by saying that "Doctor Who is no longer the domain solely of sci-fi spods, this is must-see TV for everyone". (Thanks to Roger Anderson / The Cuttings Archive)

Penguin, Panini Doctor Who BooksBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Penguin Books will be co-publishing with BBC Books a new series of non-fiction releases tying into the first season of the new series, aimed at children. Due out on July 7, 2005, are The Doctor Who Sticker Guide, an 8 page paperback; The Doctor Who Activity Book (with a pull out board game), an 18 page paperback; and The Doctor Who Postcard Book, a 64-page paperback. Due for later release, on November 3, 2005, is Doctor Who: Make Your Own TARDIS, a 16 page paperback book. No further details are currently available on these titles.

Meanwhile, Panini (the company responsible for the monthly "Doctor Who Magazine") will be publishing the Doctor Who Annual 2006 on August 1, according to Amazon.co.uk. The book is released in hardcover. (Thanks to Steve Tribe)

Big Finish 2005 PlansBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Big Finish made several announcements about forthcoming plans at the recent Gallifrey 2005 convention, including the following tidbits (with thanks to John Hutton):
• Thicker Than Water is the title of the August 2005 release, written by Paul Sutton; it's a sequel to "Arrangements for War," and stars Colin Baker as the Doctor, Maggie Stables as Evelyn... and Bonnie Langford as Melanie!
• A second Sarah Jane Smith series will be released in 2006; the four-CD series, all by the same (as yet unknown) writer, will be produced by John Ainsworth and will take the character in a different direction.
• David Warner and Nicholas Courtney will return for an eighth installment of the Doctor Who: Unbound series, in a sequel to the Unbound audio "Sympathy for the Devil"; no official word on the writer, but it's probably "Sympathy" author Jonathan Clements.
• Three's a Crowd by Colin Brake (a "traditional corridor romp" on a space station) and The Council of Nicea by Caroline Symcox (an historical adventure) both star Peter Davison as the Doctor, Nicola Bryant as Peri and Caroline Morris as Erimem.
• Terror Firma by Joseph Lidster follows directly on from the cliffhanger at the end of the last Paul McGann story, "The Next Life"; the story "puts the Doctor through the wringer" and will hint about some of the things the Doctor was up to prior to the first Eighth Doctor audio, "Storm Warning".
• The second Gallifrey audio series will end with a double CD for the normal price; the series is also said to be serialized, moreso than the first.
• John Ostrander's Dead Man's Hand may be released in September this year, depending on the writer's schedule; if not, there are other scripts that can take its place as it is bumped again to next year.
• There will soon be more stories with Sarah Sutton (Nyssa). Mark Strickson (Turlough) also wants to do additional stories but his schedule is hectic. And Matthew Waterhouse may do an audio in the future, but defniitely not as Adric. Janet Fielding has made it clear she will not appear in any audios.

Doctor Who Confidential UpdateBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
SFX Magazine revealed today on their official website the details of the forthcoming documentary series Doctor Who Confidential, which will air over thirteen weeks in half-hour installments on BBC3 immediately after transmission of each episode of the new series. Narrated by actor Simon Pegg (who appears in episode 7 of the new series), the show "will combine behind-the-scenes footage with interviews with the cast, the production team, and past Doctors." Seen above is the official logo of "Doctor Who Confidential," as revealed to SFX. To keep some details out of our readers' view, the information is spoiler protected; click on the spoiler tag for full details. (Thanks to Ian Berriman of SFX Magazine)

EPISODE 1: Back From The Future
To link with the first sighting of the Doctor and first sighting of the TARDIS and, of course, the Doctor saving the world again. This episode reminds us of all the elements of Who that make his return so mouth-wateringà

EPISODE 2: Aliens û The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Making convincing aliens - behind the scenes of the space station, "Platform One" - behind the scenes making the prosthetics - showing how they work - we visit The Mill to show the CGI for the new series and take a look back at aliens from the past.

From behind the scenes of the Dickens set in Swansea we take a good long look at the TARDIS and its vital role in the DoctorÆs adventures. We look at all the different worlds that the present and past doctors visit and visited.

EPISODE 4: I Get A Side-kick Out Of You
Rose and her predecessors. What does it take to make the grade as the Doctor's companion? We look back at companions from the past: Why does the Doctor need Rose? What does she add to the mix?

EPISODE 5 : Life On Earth
The Doctor's links to Earth/relationships with humans/his humanity/ what makes him alien and why he appeals to us all.

EPISODE 6 : The Daleks
Following the return of the Doctor's most feared foe. We watch the tests, see how they work, and meet the men behind the metal.

EPISODE 7: The Dark Side
Evil genii and sudden death - the vital ingredients of Doctor Who.

EPISODE 8 : A Time And A Place
Looking at each Doctor as a product of his time, and looking at how the Doctor has evolved over the last forty years.

Following the director in a meeting with The Mill (CGI), model makers and prosthetics people and looking at the first stages of talking through the FX through til they're finally finished. We follow the start to the finish of the making of episode nine - creating the look and sound of aliens and alien worlds. How do you light a spaceship? How do you make space?

EPISODE 10: The Weird Science of Doctor Who
Starting with the sonic screwdriver's appearance, we look into the weird science that is Doctor Who. From "a hole in the time vortex" to "I'll tell you later"; from flying a helicopter to arguing with a small metal dog.

EPISODE 11: Unsung Heroes And Violent Death
Coming off the back of an episode that deals mainly with death and justice, we look at the importance of death to Doctor Who and look at his moral code.

EPISODE 12: The Cult Of Who
The conventions, the reactions, the anticipation of the fans who have had a feast of sci-fi treats over the past 12 weeks. We will look at the fans on-set, the clamour for sci-fi facts, the problems with confidentiality, through to the success of merchandising.

EPISODE 13: Finale
Review of the past 13 weeks - the highs and lows of life with the Doctor and Rose.

Complete Seventh DoctorBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 16 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The official Doctor Who site today featured a preview (with cover) of The Complete Seventh Doctor, the final "Doctor Special" volume due out from DWM, which is released on February 17, as follows:
The Complete Seventh Doctor

The Seventh Doctor's era is walking, talking proof - if any were needed - that Doctor Who and its fan following constitute a remarkably broad church. Every period of Doctor Who has its champions and its detractors, but when it comes to these three seasons the division of opinion is more acute than most.

Some fans consider them an abberation in both style and substance, offering little more than the prolonged death-rattle of a once-loved show; others have found a renewed spirit, imagination and commitment in the Sylvester McCoy era that puts it among the most inspired and inspiring periods in the show's history...

In this special issue, Philip MacDonald puts the Sylvester McCoy stories under the microscope and examines in detail these three highly-inventive seasons of Doctor Who. Meanwhile, resident Archivist Andrew Pixley provides a full behind-the-scenes history of Doctor Who between 1987 and 1989, while some of DWM's finest authors - including TV writers Steven Moffat, Rob Shearman and Paul Cornell - give their own thoughts on stories from the era.

There's also a full guide to the Seventh Doctor's adventures in audio, book and comic strip form, and an Afterword from Ace actress Sophie Aldred.

Packed with dozens of never-before-published photographs, this 100-page special is out on Thursday 17 February.

Monsters and VillainsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 16 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The BBC Shop has released details about Monsters and Villains, the first official Doctor Who tie-in book (rather than fictional novel) that includes characters and information from the new series. The cover and blurb are below; click the thumbnail for a larger version. "Monsters and Villains" is 96 pages and is due out on May 19.
Monsters and Villains, by Justin Richards

For over forty years, the Doctor has battled against the monsters and villains of the universe. This book brings together the best û or rather the worst û of his enemies.

Discover why the Daleks were so deadly; how the Yeti invaded London; the secret of the Loch Ness Monster; and how the Cybermen have survived. Learn who the Master was, and û above all û how the Doctor defeated them all. monsters and villains that have made Doctor Who the tremendous success it has been over the years.

Whether you read it on or behind the sofa, this book provides a wealth of information about the and the galactic phenomenon that it is today.

New North America DVD CoversBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 16 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Warner Home Video and BBC Video have released the cover illustrations for the North American DVD releases of The Leisure Hive starring Tom Baker (WHV catalog #E2217) and Ghost Light starring Sylvester McCoy (WHV catalog #E2218), both due out on June 7. The extras on each DVD set match the ones on the original UK releases: For "The Leisure Hive," audio commentary by Lalla Ward, director Lovett Bickford and script editor Christopher H. Bidmead, "A New Beginning" featurette on John Nathan-Turner, music only track, interviews with writer David Fisher, script editor Christopher H. Bidmead, graphic designer Sid Sutton, composer Peter Howell and costume designer June Hudson, optional Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix, photo gallery and production notes; and for "Ghost Light," audio commentary by Sophie Aldred, script editor Andrew Cartmel, writer Marc Platt and composer Mark Ayres, deleted scenes, extended takes, "Light in Dark Places" - Making-of featurette, "Shooting Ghosts" - Behind-the-scenes, 1990 convention Q&A with writer Marc Platt, music only track, optional Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix, production notes. The standard North American 'Who's Who" feature is also expected on these discs. Click on each thumbnail below for a larger version.

New Series Books: Full CoversBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Now online: the full-sized covers for all three Ninth Doctor and Rose books being released by BBC Books in May, as posted on amazon.co.ukThe Monsters Inside by Stephen Cole, Winner Takes All by Jacqueline Rayner, andThe Clockwise Man by Justin Richards. These are the final versions of the covers, and all three are due out May 19. (This replaces our earlier story from February 8 with the cover thumbnails only as posted on play.com.) As before, the cover blurbs have been on the Releases page for a while. Click each for a larger version.

Audible Offers Audio BooksBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

The Audible.com website today opened up a new downloadable audio section featuring more than 500 hours of audio books licensed from the BBC, including 24 Doctor Who selections from the BBC Radio Collection such as the soundtrack albums for missing episodes, "Tales From the TARDIS," "Death Comes to Time," "The Paradise of Death" and many others. The selections are available in several audio formats, available for both PC and Mac, and carry a price comparable to, or less than, the retail cost of the CD's. Check out the website link to browse the catalog of BBC and Doctor Who items. (Thanks to Stuart Ian Burns)

February 15 Set ReportBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Another set report from Paul Mount, who braved the elements today in Cardiff Bay to report on the current state of affairs from the outdoor production of the new series; click on the spoiler tag for more information.
Paul Mount:

Well there's cold and then there's cold. Then there's freezing. Then there's Cardiff Bay, mid february 2005 and my extremities have never felt more extreme.

Just back from a recce down to the Bay to see what's going on tonight. A hive of activity and some interesting bits'n'pieces. Firstly, as reported above, the TARDIS is there outside the Millenium centre, covered by its tarpaulin and curiously, when I passed at around 8.40pm, unguarded. I was tempted to run inside and fiddle with helmic regulators or at least turn the heating on but thought better of it. (On the way back not long ago there are security guards milling around and the Police Box is lit up, still underneath the tarpaulin)

Further on, on the esplanade of the Bay where a number of restaurants and bars cluster together, the unit's been busy filming otuside the long Terra Nova bar. Here Noel Clarke and Billie Piper's stand-in (Billie's sick, apparently) are filming a scene on a bench by the railings overlooking the bay (the same bench,I think, where I once ate chips with a now ex-girlfriend....ah, the romance!) A couple of rehearsals and the camera turns. Mickey (for it is he) is talking with Rose. A number of pedstrians are passing by. Suddenly, they start looking alarmed, looking up and all around. They start running and screaming, mass panic. Rose jumps up and runs off. Mickey, clearly annoyed, jumps up too. "It's him again, isn't it?" he says (or words very much to that effect). "It's the Doctor. It's always about the Doctor, isn't it? It's never about me!" The scene is recorded again - Noel fluffs his line and curses in fluent Ango-Saxon (Denis Nordern wouldn't approve) to the amusement of crew and onlookers. A quick break and the scene's rehearsed and recorded again, this time with the addition of a shower of polystyrene rubble being thrown on the fleeing crowd from the balcony of the Terra Nova bar.

Now it's getting seriously cold. Even a cappucino from the nearby coffeee mania booth can barely get my fingers tingling again. The unit starts to reposition their equipment (oo-er). More extras (and Billie's double) rush around in front of another nearby building and more rubble is thrown. Much screaming.

Sorry, my toes are dying. As I drift off back to the warmth of my car (ah, blessed heater!) the crew are positioning tables and chairs outside the coffee bar so they look as if they've been knocked over during some sort of panicky exodus. On my way back to my own private TARDIS (well, my car) I pass the real thing, glowing beneath the tarpaulin. I take a quick snap but the flash obviously attracts the attention of a security guard who starts to wander over as I'm wandering away. I suspect that if I linger he'll chase me away with a big stick.

Dr Who returns in March (apparently)

New Series: 26 March 2005Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

While there is still no official confirmation from the BBC (and we stress that there's still plenty of time for this to change!), we've received enough information from various sources to safely conclude that the new series will indeed premiere on BBC1 on Saturday, March 26, 2005, likely at either 6:45 or 7:00pm (with the BBC3 "Doctor Who Confidential" series airing immediately afterwards at either 7:30 or 7:45pm.) Various sources have reported a range of rumored plans for a possible March 8 press launch, including radio and television trailers and broadcasts starting around that time; various radio interviews and photo shoots; new merchandise; a relaunch of the official Doctor Who website; and plenty of other publicity plans tying into the relaunch of the series. It also mentions that the show has been sold overseas in Canada, New Zealand and, surprisingly, Australia (for which a venue has not yet been announced), but omits the US as of this writing. As soon as we have a clearer picture of all of the various publicity plans, we'll pass the word along.

(Editor's note: Once again, I want to stress that this is not an official confirmation, but after checking with many sources, I'm now confident that this is indeed the broadcast date, barring any last minute change of plans, and that it will be announced through official channels soon. I've also been told that this date has only been finalized within the past month. More soon!)

Isla BlairBookmark and Share

Monday, 14 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Actress Isla Blair, who appeared as Isabella in "The King's Demons" and is married to actor Julian Glover, will appear in the new Faction Paradox audio CD series from Magic Bullet, joining Glover and actor Gabriel Woolf.

More Doodles for CharityBookmark and Share

Monday, 14 February 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
As well as Colin Baker's doodle for National Doodle Day, the Epilepsy Action organization now has a doodle by the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, which will be auctioned on National Doodle Day, Friday 25 February, along with all the other celebrity doodles, and can be seen at this website. Other new Doctor Who-related actors include Hannah Gordon (the Highlanders/Shada webcast), Sean Biggerstaff (Shada webcast/Harry Potter), Tony Adams (The Green Death/Crossroads) and Stephen Fry (Death Comes to Time/The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy). Doctor Who fans may also be interested to see the doodles from Terry Gilliam, Nick Park (creator of Wallace and Gromit), Graham Norton, Rob Brydon and Josie Lawrence. Visit www.nationaldoodleday.org.uk for more information on the charity event.
(with thanks to Alan Jones)