Fan ProjectsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 - Reported by Marcus
A fan-written biography on First Doctor William Hartnell is now available as an e-book.

The 6,500-word booklet, first available last year, looks at Hartnell's earliest years and those of his ancestors, going right back to the 1500s. There are a few surprises and a lot of interesting personal and social history throughout the journey. The PDF file is available via eBay.
The first issue of Fan Fiction Illustrated, the 'zine that will give fan writers and artists a place to showcase their comic strips, etc, is now accepting pre-orders via

Former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel is writer and script editor of the 'zine, and will be producing new stories based on his masterplan for Doctor Who for the first time in comic strip form. The first issue will feature 4 stories:
  • Andrew Cartmel's 7th Doctor & Ace adventure "Phantom Freight"; art by Emerson Dimaya
  • Paul Cooke's "The Cabe" - a prequel to Terror of the Zygons; art by Adrian Salmon
  • Mike Dwyer's 5th Doctor & Peri adventure "Phantom of the Space Opera"; art by Flavio Bezerra
  • Plus a Ducktor Who adventure authored by "Lord Aylesbury Mallard" and illustrated by "Vincent Van Duck"

A new blog, The Doctor Who Book Project, reviews all of the Doctor Who books published in the Wilderness Years, by one fan who's intimately familiar with them and another who really only got into the series when it came back in 2005.

FILTER: - Fan Productions - William Hartnell

Fourth Doctor ScarfBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 - Reported by Marcus
Scarves specialists Lovarzi have released a new scarf based on one worn by Fourth Doctor Tom Baker during his time on the series.

The scarf measures 13ft or 3.96m, including tassels, and is 10" or 28cm wide.

Supposedly knitted for the Doctor by "witty little knitter" Madame Nostradamus, the scarf actually began life when Begonia Pope received the commission from costume designer James Acheson. Acheson had been inspired by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec's painting of his black coat and long scarf-wearing friend Aristide Bruant, and bought a mass of multi-coloured wool. Pope proceeded to use it all and the cast and crew fell in love with the idea of the Doctor having an absurdly long scarf.

Maninder Singh Sahota, Director of Lovarzi, says:
We feel proud to be working with the BBC to create such a wonderful product. We've worked hard to deliver the best-ever Doctor Who scarf; we're sure Doctor Who fans will absolutely love to own one.

The scarf, priced £49.99, is available from retailers including Amazon UK.

FILTER: - Merchandise - Tom Baker

BBC Announces A Host Of Books For 2013Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
BBC Books is to bring out a number of publications next year in the run-up to Doctor Who's 50th anniversary.

Editorial director Albert DePetrillo said the "first official piece of anniversary publishing" would be out on Thursday 7th March with the reissue of 11 paperback novels - one per Doctor and with each book boasting a "little bit retro, but fresh" look. They will include Only Human by Gareth Roberts, Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell, Ten Little Aliens by Stephen Cole, Festival of Death by Jonathan Morris, and Dreams of Empire by Justin Richards.

Before that, though, comes the paperback edition of Shada by Gareth Roberts on Thursday 31st January, followed by A Silurian Gift by Mike Tucker on Thursday 7th February, the latter of which is for the Quick Reads range and will be the seventh Doctor Who title in the series so far. Shada can be pre-ordered here and A Silurian Gift can be pre-ordered here.

Next April will see three mass-market fiction books brought out: Dalek Generation by Nicholas Briggs, Plague of the Cybermen by Justin Richards, and Shroud of Sorrow by Tommy Donbavand. A specific date for their publication is yet to be announced.

DePetrillo said:
Next year we have new stuff publishing every month. We are trying to celebrate the anniversary in every different way - the past of classic episodes and stories, the present, and looking to the future too. This autumn is very much the build-up to the big show next year.
In addition, the publication of the Melody Malone e-book The Angel's Kiss earlier this month could be the first of a number of similar releases. DePetrillo said: "That's certainly the hope. We are looking into it now and, considering the response we've had, we could do more."

BBC Books will also be updating the Doctor Who Encyclopedia app for the iPad so that it includes the five Series 7 episodes aired so far plus the 2012 Christmas special.

FILTER: - Books - WHO50 - BBC

Improvised Time Lord On Stage In MelbourneBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
An improvised show inspired by Doctor Who is taking to the stage in Melbourne from tomorrow for a seven-date weekly run.

Time Lord is being put on by The Impro Box and will be performed by Rob Lloyd with members of the improvisational troupe. Made up on the spot, it will centre on a fan presenting an audience-suggested adventure about the Doctor.

The show will be at Club Voltaire in Raglan Street every Wednesday at 7.30pm from 31st October to 12th December. Tickets can be booked via The Impro Box.

Lloyd previously performed the one-man Doctor Who-themed comedy show Who, Me at the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, Armageddon Expo 2011, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

FILTER: - Special Events - Australia

Torchwood: in limbo, not cancelledBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Russell T DaviesRussell T Davies was a guest on the Graham Norton show on Saturday, where he discussed his new series starting on Monday and Tuesday next week, Wizards vs Aliens. During the interview, the question of future series of Torchwood was raised, to which he answered:

I loved making it over there (in the USA), and I would have carried on if circumstances hadn't brought me back to this country, so it's kind of in limbo for me at the moment. I'm not working on it at the moment, I'm only working on Wizards vs Aliens - when I get back to work one day, I don't know, it'll be old news to the BBC!

It's not officially (cancelled), it's in a nice limbo where it can stew - those shows can come back in ten, twenty years time.

The interview can be heard via the BBC website.

FILTER: - Torchwood - Russell T Davies

Big Finish: October UpdateBookmark and Share

Saturday, 27 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Big Finish have updated their details for releases in their Doctor Who range this month, including an early release of an adventure originally planned for November:

UNIT DominionThe five-disc box set Doctor Who – UNIT: Dominion finds the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) taking on invading forces from another dimension. Luckily, he has the help of UNIT, including former companion - and former Nazi! - Dr Elizabeth Klein, his trusty safe-cracking companion Raine Creevy and... another version of himself!

A massive event of a story running to approximately four hours (plus an hour of behind-the-scenes material), Doctor Who – UNIT: Dominion also stars Tracey Childs as Klein, Beth Chalmers as Raine and Alex Macqueen as the Other Doctor. It's written by Nicholas Briggs and Jason Arnopp and directed by Nicholas Briggs.
Love and WarOriginally starting its life as one of Virgin's Doctor Who: New Adventures novels, Love and War was now-TV-Who-writer Paul Cornell's second novel for the range, and the one which introduced Bernice Summerfield, a stalwart of Big Finish's audio output literally from day one.

Doctor Who: Love and War is an audio adaptation by Jacqueline Rayner of that novel, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Benny's creation. It finds the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace (Sophie Aldred) visiting the planet Heaven, where they meet Professor Bernice Summerfield (Lisa Bowerman) and discover dark deeds afoot that will change the Doctor and Ace's relationship forever... The three-disc set includes a special prelude plus an extensive behind the scenes documentary.
Voyage To VenusFinally, a whole month earlier than scheduled, is Doctor Who – Voyage to Venus. The story finds Victorian investigators of infernal incidents Jago and Litefoot off on a jaunt with the Sixth Doctor, in the aftermath of their latest series of adventures in their own spin-off series. Their first stop is the planet Venus, mentioned on several occasions in Doctor Who but not actually visited - and what a wealth of strange creatures both fair and foul it brings!

Colin Baker once more plays the Sixth Doctor, while Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxer again embody the olden-days adventurers Henry Gordon Jago and George Litefoot as they're taken out of the comfort zone of their own time and space for the first time!

Voyage to Venus is available now at a special bargain price, and all three titles are included in the Special Releases bundle offer (extended until December) that also includes the new epic Eighth Doctor tale Doctor Who: Dark Eyes (out in November) and another story starring the Sixth Doctor with Jago and Litefoot – Doctor Who: Voyage to the New World (out in December).

Visit Big Finish's website for full details on special offers.

FILTER: - Merchandise - Audio - Special Offers - Big Finish

Roundup (current series)Bookmark and Share

Friday, 26 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Current Filming

Filming commenced this week on episode 7 (2013 #2), written by Neil Cross and directed by Farren Blackburn, who announced on Sunday: "Once more unto the breach! Start filming Neil Cross's latest Doctor Who ep tomorrow. Gonna be a ride!!!" Filming is due to continue until the 6th November on the episode, which appears to be set in the early 1980s - though no guest stars have been announced for this episode so far. Filming kicked off in Newport on Monday, with eagle-eyed viewers possibly recognising the Gaer estate from Torchwood: Children of Earth back in 2009; another old haunt from previous stories was the nearby St. Woolos Cemetery, which was used on Tuesday. Blackburn commented: "Several coffees a day keeps the Doctor at play. Boy you need energy to direct this show!!! « BTW the Doc is looking cooler than EVER!!! « When I say The Doc is looking cooler than EVER!! I mean what he's wearing!!! Just wait and see!!! «"

Matt Smith filming in London. Photo: Anne KoerberThe bulk of episode six (2012 #1) by Steven Moffat has been completed, with a high-profile shoot in London taking place last week incorporating motorcycle antics on the South Bank and around Westminster streets, plus scenes in the shadow of the Shard near to London Bridge. Some pickups also took place on Wednesday back in Cardiff, with director Colm McCarthy wryly commenting: "Five cameras on a corner of a street in Cardiff shooting Dr Who for an hour. Nobody has noticed yet. Too late Whovians! We're out of here."

Thursday evening saw filming by Barry Pump House with director Saul Metzstein present - this seems likely to have been pickups for the Mark Gatiss story (2013 #6) that stars Dame Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling - though the scene in question features another character, familiar to regular viewers... Main filming back at the BBC Studios during the day was briefly interrupted to celebrate Matt Smith's birthday (he'll be 30 on Sunday) - the cake surprise is available to watch via the BBC's Doctor Who website.

Neil Gaiman's script (2012 #7) has its readthrough next week, with the writer saying: "in case you are wondering: I'm really a bit nervous: the table read of my episode of Doctor Who is next week. Think good thoughts at us. I'll try and post some photographs afterwards. Oh, and for the curious, the episode will be called ███ ████ ████████ . Only with letters instead of Ascii Blocks. Unless we change the title again before it's broadcast. Which might well happen, actually. I mean, it was originally called █ █████████ ██ ██████." [Neil Gaiman's Journal, 25 Oct 2012]

Ashley Walters (who guest-stars in the fifth episode next year) spoke about his co-stars from his recent stint filming for the series: "You can't beat being in Doctor Who - it's something I've grown up with my whole life and working with Matt Smith was amazing. He's a really, really good actor and just being a part of that huge BBC franchise was an incredible thing. And Jenna Louise Coleman is really good at what she does - it seems like she's enjoying her job and I loved working with her." [Radio Times, 22 Oct 2012]

The Radio Times also reports that the fifth episode is intriguingly entitled Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS - however, episode titles won't be finalised until closer to transmission (for example this year's The Power of Three was originally entitled Cubed).

London MCM Expo: Q&A

Matt Smith and Caroline Skinner participated in a Q&A at the London MCM Expo taking place at the Excel Centre in order to promote The Series 7 Part 1 boxed set, and answered a variety of questions about the series both shown and still to be broadcast. The session was streamed live, and will be made available to watch on YouTube next week.

Into the Future: re-occuring roles

Steven Moffat has re-iterated that Amy won't be back for the 50th Anniversary, in spite of recent media speculation: "Amy and Rory won’t be back. At the very beginning, when I was talking to Karen, I said, 'Let's make it a proper ending'. Heaven knows if they will appear in some flashback – I have no plans – but the story of Amy and Rory is over." [Mirror, The Sun, 15 Oct 2012]

If he were to return, John Simm would like to take the Master in a different direction: "I'd love to have another take on him, to be a bit quieter. Russell T Davies had a specific idea of what he wanted him to be like. So I just had to do exactly what he wanted me to, and he wanted a giggling lunatic. There's a new writer now, and I'm sure his take on him would be different so I'd be interested to have a look at it. I'd like to take the Master to a very, very dark place." [Radio Times, 23 Oct 2012]

Matt Smith confirmed at the MCM Expo in answer to a question that he'd expect that - should the Master ever return - he'd expect it to be played by John Simm! Both he and Caroline Skinner indicated that Alex Kingston would also be back as River Song (though not exactly when!).

Former Doctor Who lead writer Russell T Davies wants to be surprised by next year: "I think I’d be like the ghost at the feast, what would I do – turn up and make the tea? I have asked current boss Steven Moffat not to tell me what they are planning." [What's on TV, 24 Oct 2012]

Into the Future: alternative Doctors?

Actor Stephen Mangan wants to add his name to the list of Doctors: "I'd love to be Doctor Who – who wouldn't, it's a great part, it's very exciting, I think the Doctor Whos we've had recently have been phenomenal and I'm glad I wasn't the one who had to follow David Tennant because he was extraordinary." [Radio Times, 12 Oct 2012]

Comedian Russ Noble wouldn't ignore it either: "I think anyone would cancel anything to be [The Doctor]! The weird thing about Doctor Who is, I think there isn’t a human being on the planet who would say no to Doctor Who. But the only downside of that is you’d have to live in Cardiff!" [Den of Geek, 22 Oct 2012]

Into the Future: location, location location!

After the more 'exotic' locations visited for the first part of the series, Caroline Fisher said that they sadly weren't travelling that far from Cardiff Bay for the current batch of stories being recorded. However, when asked by the audience the the London MCM Expo about the possibility of filming in places like Louisiana in the United States, or in Australia (as championed by MP George Christensen) she didn't rule either out in the future.

Having recently stirred the hornet's nest over Australian filming himself, Matt Smith throws a few more locations into the mix: "I also think you could make quite a fun episode in Iceland or South America, or you could go to Peru. I'd like to film something in those places. The Pyramids would be fun, too, but I'd rather go to Peru." [BANG Showbiz, 18 Oct 2012]

FILTER: - Steven Moffat - People - Doctor Who - Matt Smith

Christmas Prequel for Children in Need 2012Bookmark and Share

Friday, 26 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Pudsy WhoThe BBC have announced that, as with many years in the past, Doctor Who will feature as a part of its annual Children in Need fund-raising evening:

Doctor Who, featuring Matt Smith, will also bring viewers an extra special 'prequel' to its Christmas special, with a bespoke storyline made for Children in Need, and an exclusive preview trailer of the Christmas special including the first glimpse of the Doctor with his new companion.

Last year, the Doctor's costume was auctioned for the charity, raising £50,000.

Children in Need takes place this year on Friday 16th November.

Donate here!

FILTER: - Charities - Series Specials - Series 7/33

Inquest Held Into Death Of Mary Tamm's WidowerBookmark and Share

Thursday, 25 October 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The grieving widower of Mary Tamm who died shortly after the actress's funeral may have suffered from a rare condition in which the heart stops beating for no reason, an inquest was told.

Marcus Ringrose, who was aged 59, gave a moving eulogy at Tamm's funeral on 7th August this year but just hours later his body was found at their home in Battersea. The cause of death was given by pathologist Dr John du Parcq as sudden adult death syndrome, with emotional stress as the potential trigger. Mr Ringrose had collapsed while e-mailing a friend about his wife, but a post-mortem revealed that he had been fit and well and there was no evidence that he had suffered a heart attack. No alcohol or drugs were found in his body, nor were there signs of external injury, Westminster Coroner's Court was told.

Dr du Parcq said there may have been a genetic cause, as Mr Ringrose had complained of palpitations years earlier and had had an uncle who suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 52, but the pathologist added that "acute stress, be that metabolic or emotional" could have been the trigger.

Referring to the syndrome, deputy coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said: "It is a recognised situation that it can be triggered by particularly stressful and emotional events, which undoubtedly Mr Ringrose had been going through." She recorded a verdict of death by natural causes and advised the family to seek advice and tests from a cardiologist.

FILTER: - People - Miscellaneous

IDW: Prisoners of TimeBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
IDW Publishing have announced a new series of releases to tie in with Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary - launching in January, Prisoners of Time will focus on each of the eleven Doctors over the course of the year, with the first of course tracing the First Doctor. Each issue will also feature an essay on the Doctor of that month.

IDW: Prisoners of Time #1 IDW: Prisoners of Time #1 (photo cover)
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #1
Written by Scott and David Tipton
Artwork by Simon Fraser
Colouring by Francesco Francavilla

November 23, 1963: A day that changed the world forever. That day saw the broadcast debut of Doctor Who, which was to become the longest-running science-fiction series on television. And now 50 years later, we pay tribute to one of the greatest pop-culture heroes of all time with this special series, which tells an epic adventure featuring all 11 incarnations of the intrepid traveller through time and space known simply as... the Doctor.

The issue also features an article on the First Doctor written by producer, director and script editor for Big Finish Productions, John Ainsworth!

Featuring two covers, with artwork by Simon Fraser and a photo cover of the first Doctor.

Full colour, 32 pages

There'll also be a twelfth issue, details of which are unknown at present ...

FILTER: - Merchandise - Comics