Fan ProductionsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 April 2012 - Reported by Marcus

Plaything of Sutekh - Issue One

Plaything of Sutekh is a new A5 Doctor Who fanzine covering all eras of the series with 40 pages and colour covers with artwork throughout. The magazine can be ordered from the website

  • What Did the Sixties Do For Who? – a look at how the Troughton era of Doctor Who reflected the changes facing Britain in the late 60s
  • Franks’s Who – the lasting influence of Frank Bellamy’s Radio Times art on Doctor Who illustration.
  • Secret Who – we re-evaluate a clutch of less popular stories and find there’s more to them than meets the eye: Underworld, The Krotons and The Android Invasion. They're better than you may think!
  • Accidental Art – while Nation and Adams were pulling in opposite directions, Ken Grieve’s innovative approach raised Destiny of the Daleks above the norm.
  • A New Direction? – a look at the evolution of Doctor Who under Steven Moffat
  • DWDVD – recent DVD releases Invasion of the Dinosaurs and The Daemons
  • Return of the King – a look at (or a listen to) Tom Baker’s return as the Doctor in Big Finish audios

Time Leech Charity Edition

Time Leech Charity Edition Featuring the tenth incarnation of the Doctor, Time Leech is a compilation of a three-part web comic originating on the Kasterborous Doctor Who news and reviews website.

This compilation is being released as a non-profit project, with all proceeds being split 50-50 between the annual Children in Need event and the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR), of which David Tennant is patron.

Created by Christian Cawley and Brian Terranova, Justin Abbot and Rick Lundeen, cover art is Martin MacIntosh, with additional credits to Colin Brockhurst and former Doctor Who Magazine editor John Freeman, who advised on the project.

A 30 page adventure through time and space, the comic strip originated as a project to find a new comic book artist.

Time Leech will be available for £4.99 plus p&p, or £7.99 plus p&p for overseas readers.

The ebook version is available CBR and PDF and can be purchased for 99p. The electronic version is available now from the website; the printed comic will be available to purchase from mid-May 2012.

Well At Least It's Free

Well At Least It's Free
Well At Least It's Free is a book compiling fanzine and website articles by fan writer Tim Worthington.

  • An overview of the sixties historicals
  • A robust defence of The Underwater Menace
  • An epic-length look at The Daleks' Master Plan
  • Thoughts on the Russell T. Davies era.
Also articles on The Tripods, The Box Of Delights, and Barry Letts' adaptation of Pinocchio.

Well At Least It's Free is available in print and eBook form, and you can read more about it at Tim Worthington's blog.


Dave Clipson has sent us his animation featuring a Dalek and a Cyberman transforming into R2-D2 and C-3PO.

FILTER: - Fan Productions

Doctor Who's first CentenarianBookmark and Share

Friday, 27 April 2012 - Reported by Marcus
Zohra SehgalThe actress Zohra Sehgal today celebrates her 100th Birthday and becomes the first actor to appear on Doctor Who to become a Centenarian.

Zohra Sehgal appeared alongside first Doctor William Hartnell in two stories. She played Sheyrah in the second episode of the 1965 story The Crusade. She also had a small role playing an attendant in three episodes of the 1964 story Marco Polo.

Zohra Sehgal was born in 1912, in Saharanpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, the third of seven children. After attending Queen Mary's Girls College in Lahore she decided to pursue a career as a performer. Her uncle arranged for her to apprentice under a British actor, which involved driving from Lahore to Europe. She became the first Indian to study at Mary Wigman’s ballet school in Dresden, Germany studying modern dance. While there she saw the touring production of Shiv-Parvati ballet by Uday Shankar, who promised her a job on her return to India, something she took up in 1935.

In 1942 she married and worked extensively as an actor and dancer in Lahore and Bombay, where she also became involved in Bollywood. She made her film debut in Dharti Ke Lal in 1946, followed by Chetan Anand's Neecha Nagar , which became the first Indian film to gain critical international recognition and which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

After her husband's death in 1959, Zohra Sehgal first moved to Delhi and became director of the newly founded Natya Academy before moving to London on a drama scholarship in 1962. Her first role for British television was in a BBC adaptation of a Kipling story, The Rescue of Pluffles. She anchored 26 episodes of BBC TV series, Padosi (Neighbours), made in 1976–77. She was signed by Merchant Ivory Productions appeareing in The Courtesans of Bombay directed by James Ivory in 1982. This paved the way for the role of Lady Chatterjee in the television adaptation The Jewel in the Crown in 1984. She went on to appear in Tandoori Nights, My Beautiful Laundrette, Bhaji on the Beach, The Mystic Masseur, Bend It Like Beckham, Cheeni Kum and others.

She was awarded the Padma Shri in 1998, Kalidas Samman in 2001, and in 2004, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama, presented her with its highest award, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement. In 2008, she was named the ‘Laadli of the Century' by the United Nations Population Fund and she received the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honor, in 2010.

She returned to India in the mid-1990s where she has acted in several films, plays and TV series. She now lives in Delhi with her daughter, where she plans to celebrate her birthday with family and a few close friends from the artistic fraternity.

FILTER: - People

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - By John Bowman
By John Bowman
Colin Baker appears on tomorrow's edition of the Channel 4 show Get Your House In Order. He attempts to help collector Barry Phillips, who is looking to de-clutter his Doctor Who memorabilia-filled house, by selling items at a convention. The hour-long programme starts at 8pm and will also be available afterwards on catch-up service 4oD.

David Tennant
has launched the BBC's Shakespeare Season, which forms part of the Cultural Olympiad. He said of the Olympiad: "I'm a bit hazy as to what it actually means, what it all adds up to. But if it means more Shakespeare, it's fine my me." He will be starring in Romeo and Juliet on Radio 3 on Sunday 29th April at 8.30pm and was in Twelfth Night on Radio 3 last Sunday (available on the iPlayer until 13th May). [Radio Times, 22 April 2012]

Staying in the world of the Bard, the Royal Shakespeare Company has revealed that it was contacted three times by a man who wanted to buy a pair of David Tennant's unwashed socks - even offering £50 for them. The bizarre request came as the RSC announced that its costumes and props were for hire by the general public, and made particular mention of the crown worn by Tennant as Hamlet in the 2008 production being available for £20 a week. (The RSC refused to sell the socks, by the way!) [Daily Record, 24 April 2012]

Gareth David-Lloyd plays the male lead of Dr Robert Cameron in the independent short film Casimir Effect. Billed as a sci-fi romance, it is currently in post-production, having been filmed two years ago, and is looking for support to complete it.

The companion, not the Doctor, is the main character in Doctor Who, according to Steven Moffat. With Amy and Rory about to leave the show and a new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, arriving in this year's Christmas special, Moffat told BBC America: "The story begins again, not so much with the new Doctor, but with the new companion. It is their story. The Doctor's the hero, but they're the main character." He added: "I thought about the Doctor travelling on his own and it always faintly depresses me." [Radio Times, 19 April 2012]

Talking of companions, Katy Manning has given an in-depth interview to Radio Times, revealing her thoughts about life, the universe, Jo Grant, and everything. A gallery of photos ranging from her debut in Doctor Who to the present day has also been put online by Radio Times. In addition, she can be followed on Twitter at @ManningOfficial.

Karen Gillan
is among the 12 nominees for the title of Fashion Icon in this year's Scottish Fashion Awards, which take place at Clyde Auditorium on Monday 11th June. [Daily Record, 22 April 2012]

John Barrowman is urging fans to campaign for his character of Captain Jack Harkness to appear in the 50th-anniversary episode of Doctor Who. "I think it would be a shame if Captain Jack wasn't involved in the 50th anniversary, because he was such a big figure and a big presence within the show itself and also within Torchwood," he told MTV Geek at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. But, Barrowman said: "It's not up to me, it's up to the executives and it's also kind of up to the fans, because if they want it all they have to do is get on those keyboards and start writing." Addressing fans directly, he said: "You have been known to change things!" He added: " I've spoken to Russell [T Davies] about it, he thinks it would be a great idea for Jack to meet Matt's Doctor, I think it would be a great idea, Matt and I actually had a conversation at the BBC once, sitting round a table, thought it would be a great idea, Steven [Moffat] thought it would be a great idea, so again it's one of those things. Great ideas sometimes never happen, they sometimes do, but you know I guess you just have to watch this space." [MTV Geek, 18 April 2012]

Matt Smith, Jessica Hynes, Richard Briers, and David Walliams will be providing narration for a second series of the Disney Junior UK show A Poem Is . . . There will be 12 five-minute instalments featuring animation from the Disney vaults. [C21Media, 25 April 2012]

Former BBC1 Controller Michael Grade - arguably the nemesis of Doctor Who in the 1980s - meets Steven Moffat in the next instalment of Grade's Radio 2 series On The Box, in which he gives the inside story of the British TV industry from his unique viewpoint. Also taking part (although not necessarily because of their involvement with Doctor Who) are Maureen Lipman, Pauline Collins, Mal Young, June Brown, and Jane Tranter who, as Controller of Drama Commissioning at the BBC, oversaw the revival of Doctor Who. Dishing The Dirt will be broadcast on Monday 30th April at 10pm and will be available afterwards on the iPlayer.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jane Espenson has been talking about her role on the fairy-tale drama series Once Upon A Time, which airs in the UK on Channel 5, as well as her other projects. She also talks about her involvement with Torchwood, saying: "I was very proud of what we did. I thought it turned out amazingly well. I don't think you can ever beat Children of Earth, the previous season, which was an absolute masterwork. But, I thought we did very well. I thought we did things with that show that are not normally seen on American television." [The Hollywood Reporter, 22 April 2012]

Anna Maxwell-Martin and Julie Graham have been signed up to star in ITV1's newly-commissioned period thriller The Bletchley Circle. They will play code-breakers Susan and Jean in the three-part murder-mystery drama, which starts filming on location in London at the end of April. [ITV Press Centre, 23 April 2012]

Richard Wilson is to narrate his "untrue celebrity autobiography" on Radio 4 next month. The four-part "radiography" will feature dramatised scenes with star names including David Tennant and Arabella Weir. Believe It! starts on Wednesday 9th May at 11.30am. [The Independent, 24 April 2012]

FILTER: - Steven Moffat - People - UK - Karen Gillan - Matt Smith - David Tennant - John Barrowman

An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV LegendBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - By Marcus, Chuck Foster, and John Bowman
The Survey Group's Report on Science Fiction

The second in an occasional series marking the 50th anniversary of events leading to the creation of a true TV legend.
By Marcus, Chuck Foster, and John Bowman
Last time we saw how BBC Head of Script Department Donald Wilson commissioned a report into the use of science fiction in television drama.

The report was compiled by two script editors for drama, Donald Bull and Alice Frick. Two copies of the report were sent to Wilson on 25th April 1962 - exactly 50 years ago today.

Running to three and a half pages, the typewritten report was split into two sections. The first half set out the terms of the survey and the current state of science fiction, with the second half giving a series of conclusions reached by the writers.
Alice Frick
In compiling the report the authors had consulted previous studies of the genre by writers such as Brian Aldiss, Kingsley Amis, and Edmund Crispin. In addition, Frick, pictured right, had a meeting with Aldiss, the English author well-known for both general fiction and science fiction. His 1961 novel Hothouse, which was composed of five novelettes set in a far future Earth where the planet has stopped rotating, was to win the Hugo Award for short fiction in 1962. Aldiss was then editor of Penguin science fiction in Oxford.

Previous science fiction television dramas were also studied. Of note were The Quatermass Experiment, the Nigel Kneale series made in 1953, and A for Andromeda, the 1961 series written by acclaimed cosmologist Fred Hoyle and starring Julie Christie. It noted that both series concerned a group threat to Earth from an alien presence in which the whole of mankind was threatened.

The report stated that more people watched The Quatermass Experiment and A for Andromeda than liked them, adding that people weren't all that mad about sci-fi but that it was compulsive when properly presented and that the genre did not appeal much to women or older people. It advised caution, saying great care and judgment would be needed "in shaping SF for a mass audience. It isn’t an automatic winner." The report also warned that science fiction "so far has not shown itself capable of supporting a large population."

Bull and Frick said "the vast bulk of SF writing is by nature unsuitable for translation to TV", adding: "SF TV must be rooted in the contemporary scene, and like any other kind of drama deal with human beings in a situation that evokes identification and sympathy."

The report concluded that there was just a small group of works and writers that would be suitable for adaptation for television. John Wyndham was noted as the chief exponent of the Threat and Disaster story, although it was pointed out that his books had been studied by the department in the past, with only The Midwich Cuckoos being suitable for TV, a book which was not available as the rights belonged to a film company.

Arthur Clarke and C S Lewis were also mentioned, with Lewis being dismissed as clumsy and old-fashioned. Clarke was more promising and described as a modest writer, with a decent feeling for his characters, able to concoct a good story, and a master of the ironmongery department. Charles Eric Maine was thought too much a fantasist, obsessed with time-travel and fourth dimensions. Hoyle was considered exciting and well-related to the present day, with the potential to achieve great success.

Bull and Frick said that they couldn't recommend any existing SF stories for TV adaptation, although Clarke and Wyndham might be valuable as future collaborators. They were also adamant that it should be written by TV dramatists and not SF writers.

Two days later - on 27th April 1962 - a copy of the report was sent to Eric Maschwitz, Assistant and Adviser to the Controller of Programmes, who had suggested to Wilson the previous month that the Survey Group look into the literary merits of science fiction for short, single adaptations.

Next EpisodeThanks and No Thanks

Survey Group Report on Science Fiction:

1. We have been asked to survey the field of published science fiction, in its relevance to BBC Television Drama.

2. In the time allotted, we have not been able to make more than a sample dip, but we have been greatly helped by studies of the field made by Brian Aldiss, Kingsley Amis, and Edmund Crispin, which give a very good idea of the range, quality and preoccupations of current SF writing. We have read some useful anthologies, representative of the best SF practitioners and these, with some extensive previous reading, have sufficed to give us a fair view of the subject. Alice Frick has met and spoken with Brian Aldiss, who promises to make some suggestions for further reading. It remains to be seen whether this further research will qualify our present tentative conclusions.

3. Several facts stand out a mile. The first is that SF is overwhelmingly American in bulk. This presumably means that, if we are looking for writers only, our field is exceptionally narrow, boiling down to a handful of British writers.

4. SF is largely a short story medium. Inherently, SF ideas are short-winded. The interest invariably lies in the activating idea and not in character drama. Amis has coined the phrase "idea as hero" which sums it up. The ideas are often fascinating, but so bizarre as to sustain conviction only with difficulty over any extended treatment.

5. These remarks apply largely to the novels too. Characterisation is equally spare. People are representative, not individual. The ideas are usually nearer to Earth - in every sense - and nearer to the contemporary human situation. They are thus capable of fuller treatment in depth. By and large the differences between the short stories and the novels are also the differences between the American and British schools of SF. This again helps to limit our field of useful study.

6. SF writing falls into fairly well-defined genres. At one end is the simple adventure/thriller, with all the terms appropriately translated. Any adult interest here lies in the originality of invention and vitality of writing. On a more adult level this merges into a genre that takes delight in imaginative invention, in pursuing notions to the farthest reaches of speculation. The subtlest exponents here are a group of American writers headed by Ray Bradbury, Kathleen Maclean, Isaac Asimov. In a perhaps crude but often exciting way the apparatus is used to comment on the Big Things - the relation of consciousness to cosmos, the nature of religious belief, and like matters. The American writer Edward Blish, in "A Case of Conscience", is surpassing here. More pretentiously, far less ably, the novels of C.S. Lewis likewise use the apparatus of SF in the service of metaphysical ideas. Then comes the large field of what might be called the Threat to Mankind, and Cosmic Disaster.

Most of the novels, and most of the British work find their themes here. This is the broad mid-section of SF writing, that best known to the public and more or lees identified with SF as such. The best practitioner is John Wyndham. Exploiting instinctive psychic fears, the literature of Threat and Disaster has the most compulsive pull and probably indicates the most likely vein for TV exploitation. All "Quatermass" and "Andromeda" fall squarely into this genre. Finally, there is a small lively genre of satire, comic or horrific, extrapolating current social trends and techniques. Again, the practitioners are largely American.

7. We thought it valuable to try and discover wherein might lie the essential appeal of SF to TV audiences. So far we have little to go on except "Quatermass", "Andromeda" and a couple of shows Giles Cooper did for commercial TV. These all belong to the Threat and Disaster school, the type of plot in which the whole of mankind is threatened, usually from an "alien" source. There the threat originates on earth (mad scientists and all that jazz) it is still cosmic in its reach. This cosmic quality seems inherent in SF; without it, it would be trivial. Apart from the instinctive pull of such themes, the obvious appeal of these TV SF essays lies in the ironmongery - the apparatus, the magic - and in the excitement of the unexpected. "Andromeda", which otherwise seemed to set itself out to repel, drew its total appeal from exploiting this facet, we consider. It is interesting to note that with "Andromeda", and even with "Quatermass" more people watched it than liked it. People aren't all that mad about SF, but it is compulsive, when properly presented. Audiences - we think - are as yet not interested in the mere exploitation of ideas - the "idea as hero" aspect of SF. They must have something to latch on to. The apparatus must be attached to the current human situation, and identification must be offered with recognisable human beings.

8. As a rider to the above, it is significant that SF is not itself a wildly popular branch of fiction - nothing like, for example, detective and thriller fiction. It doesn't appeal much to women and largely finds its public in the technically minded younger groups. SF is a most fruitful and exciting area of exploration - but so far has not shown itself capable of supporting a large population.

9. This points to the need to use great care and judgement in shaping SF for a mass audience. It isn't an automatic winner.

No doubt future audiences will get the taste and hang of SF as exciting in itself, and an entertaining way of probing speculative ideas, and the brilliant imaginings of a writer like Isaac Asimov will find a receptive place. But for the present we conclude that SF TV must be rooted in the contemporary scene, and like any other kind of drama deal with human beings in a situation that evokes identification end sympathy. Once again, our field is therefore sharply narrowed.


10. We must admit to having started this study with a profound prejudice - that television science fiction drama must be written not by SF writers, but by TV dramatists. We think it is not necessary to elaborate our reasons for this - it's a different job and calls for different skills. Further, the public/ audience is different, so it wants a different kind of story (until perhaps it can be trained to accept something quite new). There is a wide gulf between SF as it exists, and the present tastes and needs of the TV audience, and this can only be bridged by writers deeply immersed in the TV discipline.

11. Only a very cursory examination has sufficed to show that the vast bulk of SF writing is by nature unsuitable for translation to TV. In its major manifestation, the imaginative short story with philosophic overtones, it is too remote, projected too far away from common humanity in the here-and-now, to evoke interest in the common audience. Satiric fantasies are presumably out. As far as the writers themselves are concerned, nearly all of them are American, and so not available to us even if we wanted them.

We are left with a small group of works, and writers, mainly novels written by British novelists. With the exception of Arthur Clarke and C.S. Lewis, they represent the Threat and Disaster school, which as we have said, is the genre of SF most acceptable to a broad audience. John Wyndham is the chief exponent. Wyndham's books were studied in the Department on an earlier occasion, and we decided that with one exception they offered us nothing directly usable on TV. The exception was "The Midwich Cuckoos", which of course was snapped up for a film. This is indeed the likely fate of any SF novel that could also serve us for TV.

12. Two exceptions to "Threat and Disaster" are Arthur Clarke and C.S. Lewis. The latter we think is clumsy and old-fashioned in his use of the SF apparatus, there is a sense of condescension in his tone, and his special religious preoccupations are boring and platitudinous. Clarke is a modest writer, with a decent feeling for his characters, able to concoct a good story, and a master of the ironmongery department. Charles Eric Maine, who again can tell an interesting story without having to wipe out the human race in the process, is too much a fantasist: he is obsessed with the Time theme, time-travel, fourth dimensions and so on - and we consider this indigestible stuff for the audience. There is scarcely need to mention Fred Hoyle; we consider his ideas exciting, well related to the present day, and only need proper adaptation to TV to achieve great success. We consider "Andromeda" both a warning and an example.

13. It is of course not possible to say what sort of hand Clarke, say, or Wyndham, or any other practitioner would make of writing directly for TV. Perhaps their best role at present would be as collaborators, in the way we are using Hoyle. They are obviously full of specialised know-how, but only a trained TV writer could make proper use of it.

14. Our conclusion therefore is that we cannot recommend any existing SF stories for TV adaptation, and that Arthur Clarke and John Wyndham might be valuable as collaborators. As a rider, we are morally certain that TV writers themselves will answer the challenge and fill the need.

Addenda to Joint Report

I met Brian Aldiss, editor of Penguin Science Fiction (editing another volume now) in Oxford. He is very knowledgeable and has a large reference library of SF. I believe he is the Honorary Secretary of the British Science Fiction Association, and he told me of the conference mentioned by Duncan Ross. He has been engaged by Monica Sims for the "Let's Imagine Worlds in Space" programme. He will call me sometime soon and come to London, at which time he could meet someone regarding SF for television. He would be a valuable consultant - not a crank - with definite ideas about what could be achieved visually.

There are several sources of short stories which might be considered for a series of single-shot adaptations of the kind mentioned in Eric Maschwitz's memo, Perhaps the best would be the Faber (several volumes of which we have read only one) and Penguin Anthologies of Science Fiction. These seem to be the best quality short stories available.

SOURCES: BBC Archive; The Handbook (Howe, Walker, Stammers; 2005)

FILTER: - The Story of Doctor Who

BAFTAs RoundupBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
baftaThe Mill is up for an honour at this year's BAFTA Television Craft Awards for its work on Doctor Who.

It has been shortlisted in the Visual Effects category against BlueBolt (for BBC One's Great Expectations), Philip Dobree, Sophie Orde, and Dan Upton (Inside The Human Body, BBC One), and Burrell Durrant Hifle (Wonders Of The Universe, BBC Two).

Meanwhile, Steven Moffat's other major show, Sherlock, is nominated in three separate categories at the awards, which are held to recognise behind-the-scenes professionals in TV production - Editing: Fiction (Charlie Phillips, for A Scandal In Belgravia); Sound: Fiction (John Mooney, Jeremy Child, Howard Bargroff, and Doug Sinclair, for A Scandal In Belgravia); and Writer (Steven Moffat, for A Scandal In Belgravia).

Doctor Who has failed to make the shortlist in this year's BAFTA TV Awards, but a number of people connected to the show have been nominated for other programmes, and Sherlock features in the nominations line-up as well.

John Simm vies against Sherlock title actor Benedict Cumberbatch for the Leading Actor prize for Exile, while Sherlock's Andrew Scott (Moriarty) and Martin Freeman (Watson) are pitted against each other for Supporting Actor.

Olivia Colman is nominated in the Female Performance in a Comedy Programme category for Twenty Twelve, as is Tamsin Greig for Friday Night Dinner. Ruth Jones, who played Nikki Bevan in the Torchwood episode Adrift, is also nominated for Stella.

Hugh Bonneville is shortlisted for Male Performance in a Comedy Programme for Twenty Twelve, and The Fades, which was produced by Caroline Skinner and had Farren Blackburn directing some of its episodes, is nominated for Drama Series, as is Scott and Bailey, which co-stars Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones.

Coronation Street, which is produced by Phil Collinson, is nominated for Soap And Continuing Drama, and The Cricklewood Greats, which was created, presented, directed, and co-written by Peter Capaldi, is up for Comedy Programme. Rev, which co-starred Olivia Colman, is nominated in the Situation Comedy category.

Sherlock is also one of the nominees in the BAFTA YouTube Audience Award, which is voted for by the public. It was similarly nominated last year but lost out to The Only Way Is Essex. This time it faces competition from Frozen Planet, Fresh Meat, Celebrity Juice, The Great British Bake-Off, and Educating Essex. Voting is open until 5pm on Thursday 24th May.

The Television Craft Awards will be held on Sunday 13th May at The Brewery in London, while the TV Awards, including the YouTube Audience Award, will be presented on Sunday 27th May at the Royal Festival Hall in the capital.

FILTER: - Steven Moffat - Special Events - UK - Awards/Nominations - Caroline Skinner

The Collectable Art Company: ‘Seventh Doctor’ costume designBookmark and Share

Friday, 20 April 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Collectable Art Company has announced the release of the second in their range of Limited Edition Fine Art prints of the original Doctor Who costume designs.

The officially licensed print features the 1987 costume designed by Ken Trew for the Seventh Doctor. As with the first release of the Sixth Doctor's costume in February, the print comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and the print will be signed by both the designer and the wearer himself, Sylvester McCoy.

The print also comes with a 28 page booklet containing an introduction by McCoy, an in-depth interview with Trew describing the production process, plus never before seen preliminary designs and detailed photographs of the original costume.

Grahame Flynn, Managing Director of The Collectable Art Company said:
Having released Pat Godfrey’s design for the Sixth Doctor in March I am pleased to follow it up with the original design for Sylvester McCoy’s costume by Ken Trew. Ken has had a long association with Doctor Who, having first worked on the William Hartnell story The Myth Makers as a Costume Assistant. He has designed some major characters for the series including The Master as played by Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley.

The prints are reproduced using a museum-quality process utilising colourfast inks and acid-free paper. These prints are of the highest quality and I'm sure that they will be treasured by the most discerning of collectors.

We are delighted to be working with Ken Trew and Sylvester McCoy on this project.

The prints are available for pre-order now and will be dispatched shortly after Sylvester McCoy returns to the United Kingdom after filming The Hobbit in New Zealand.

The print is limited to 750 worldwide, and is available for pre-order from the company's website.

The first design print released, for the Sixth Doctor's costume as designed by Pat Godfrey, is still available to order. Grahame Flynn updated us on distribution, saying:
Colin invited me to meet him at a recording studio in Somerset to sign the first batch of prints. He was also reunited with his original costume! We have sent out all those prints that were pre-ordered and are pleased to advise collectors that we now have a quantity of prints signed by Colin Baker and Pat Godfrey in stock and available for immediate dispatch.
Colin also posed in costume with the design of his coat, as seen here.

FILTER: - Merchandise - Sylvester McCoy

DWM Companion: The Eleventh Doctor (Vol 5)Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 April 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Details for the fifth Doctor Who Companion volume covering the adventures of the Eleventh Doctor have been released by Doctor Who Magazine. This edition features the final episodes of the 2011 series and the Christmas Special, The God Complex to The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, plus The Doctor Who Experience and Crash of the Elysium.

The magazine is published today, 19th April 2012.

The Doctor Who Companion
The Eleventh Doctor
Volume Five

Your complete guide to the award-winning BBC One series!
Written and researched by Andrew Pixley.

The 2011 season of Doctor Who began in the most dramatic way possible – by killing off the Doctor in the first episode! Unaware of his ultimate fate, the Doctor (Matt Smith) was reunited with his friends, newlyweds Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory Pond (Arthur Darvill) and together they embarked on an incredible series of adventures in time and space. Their journey took them from a mysterious space prison to an alternative Earth where past, present and future were one, and saw encounters with River Song, Madame Kovarian, the Cybermen, the Silence, Winston Churchill... and even a Minotaur!

Now, DWM takes you behind the scenes of these astonishing episodes with an in-depth episode guide – including original storylines, deleted scenes, media appearances, ratings information and hundreds of facts about the day-to-day life of the making of Doctor Who – all illustrated with gorgeous, never-before-seen photographs.

This collectors’ edition examines The God Complex, Closing Time, The Wedding of River Song and The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, as well as the interactive attractions, The Doctor Who Experience and Crash of the Elysium.

This is your essential guide to the worlds of Doctor Who.
Get ready to discover a wealth of information – and remember, silence will fall...

FILTER: - Merchandise - Magazines - DWM

Big Finish: April Releases / Five-Day SaleBookmark and Share

Thursday, 19 April 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Big Finish have announced the release of three new stories in their ongoing series of adventures for the Doctor: Energy of the Daleks - the fourth story in the audio series starring Tom Baker and Louise Jameson - sees the Doctor pitted against a familiar foe, one Leela is about to meet for the first time; The Emerald Tiger sees the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Turlough together again for a new 'mini-season', kicking off with a visit to Calcutta; and William Russell reprises his role as Ian Chesteron for the latest Companion Chronicle, The Wanderer, as the original TARDIS crew journeys to 19th Century Siberia ...

Energy of the Daleks
By Nicholas Briggs (order)

The Doctor and Leela find themselves in the middle of London at the time of a new energy crisis. The GlobeSphere Corporation seems to have all the answers – but several thousand protestors beg to differ.

What is the connection between the National Gallery and a base on the Moon? Has radical thinker Damien Stephens simply sold out, or does he have a more sinister agenda?

The Doctor has detected a mysterious energy reading. Could it be that the most evil creatures in the universe have returned to claim ultimate victory once and for all?
The Emerald Tiger
By Barnaby Edwards (order)

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night

Calcutta, 1926. The Doctor and his companions join an expedition to locate the fabled emerald tiger – a legendary marvel shrouded in myth and mystery. They must journey to an unexplored lost world filled with wonder and wickedness.

But at the centre of this terra incognita, something is stirring. Something with emerald eyes, diamond-sharp claws and a heart of darkness.
The Wanderer
By Richard Dinnick (order)

Siberia at the end of the 19th Century, and the TARDIS arrives just as a shooting star hurtles to the ground.

With it comes an illness that affects the Doctor and Susan, and knowledge that must not fall into the wrong hands.

With his friends either dying or lost, Ian Chesterton must save the future and win the ultimate prize – a way home to 1963...
All three stories are available on CD, and for download from the Big Finish website.

Big Finish will also be running a special five-day promotion on a number of their early Doctor Who adventures, with ten titles available on each consecutive day. Each story will be available to buy for £5.00 on either CD or via download from their website.
  • 23rd April - The Sirens of Time, Phantasmagoria, Whispers of Terror, The Land of the Dead, The Fearmonger, The Marian Conspiracy, The Genocide Machine, Red Dawn, The Spectre of Lanyon Moor, Winter for the Adept
  • 24th April –The Apocalypse Element, The Fires of Vulcan, The Shadow of the Scourge, The Holy
    Terror, The Mutant Phase, Storm Warning, Sword of Orion, The Stones of Venice, Minuet in Hell, Loups-Garoux.
  • 25th April - Dust Breeding, Bloodtide, Project: Twilight, The Eye of the Scorpion, Colditz, Primeval, The One Doctor, Invaders from Mars, The Chimes of Midnight, Seasons of Fear
  • 26th April - Embrace the Darkness, The Time of the Daleks, Neverland, Spare Parts, ...Ish, The Rapture, The Sandman, The Church and the Crown, Bang-Bang-A-Boom!, Jubilee
  • 27th April - Nekromanteia, The Dark Flame, The Pirates, Creatures of Beauty, Project: Lazarus, Flip-Flop, Omega, Davros, Master, Zagreus

FILTER: - Merchandise - Audio - Big Finish

Tales of Television CentreBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 - By John Bowman and Marcus
By John Bowman and Marcus
A documentary telling the story of BBC Television Centre is to be aired next month with contributions from many people associated with Doctor Who.

Tales of Television Centre has been produced and directed by Richard Marson, who is a former editor of Blue Peter and who wrote for Doctor Who Monthly/Magazine between 1983 and 1988.

BBC Television Centre has been the main studio complex of BBC Television since it opened in 1960. In 2007, the BBC announced its intention to sell the site by the end of 2013 and to relocate its operations to various centres around the UK. BBC Radio Five, BBC Children, and BBC Sport have already relocated to Salford Quays, BBC Drama is based in Cardiff, and BBC News will move into a new state-of-the-art building in central London over the next year.

In its early years, Doctor Who was excluded from the new modern facilities at Television Centre (TVC), with the studios only available for occasional recordings. Doctor Who usually had to make do with limited facilities in the nearby Lime Grove or Riverside studios. From 1964 to 1969, around 56 black-and-white episodes were recorded at TVC, the first being episode two of The Aztecs, The Warriors of Death, which went before the cameras in Studio 3 on 8th May 1964.

Once the series moved into colour, TVC was the almost-exclusive home of Doctor Who. Except for one short foray up to Birmingham to record Horror of Fang Rock, every studio-filmed Doctor Who story from Doctor Who And The Silurians onwards was recorded at TVC during the classic era.

As well as Doctor Who, TVC was also home to some of the best-loved British television programmes of the past 50 years. Comedies such as Dad's Army, Are You Being Served? and Fawlty Towers were made there as well as dramas such as I, Claudius, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth R and every single Shakespeare play. Shows such as Morecambe and Wise, The Two Ronnies and Strictly Come Dancing were recorded alongside programmes such as Blue Peter and Top of the Pops, which saw the centre graced by such stars as The Beatles, Abba, and The Osmonds.

Tales of Television Centre will feature reminiscences from many former star names of Doctor Who, including Peter Davison, Katy Manning, Louise Jameson, Janet Fielding, Waris Hussein, June Hudson, Graeme Harper, Brian Blessed, and Sarah Greene. It will also feature Doctor Who-related moments from studio recordings.

Marson told Doctor Who News:
The documentary was commissioned last summer and I started working on it in September, with production concluding in April. We were lucky to have such a lengthy production period because there was a huge amount to do and a very small team of three!

We shot interviews with nearly 60 contributors, both stars and staff, although inevitably a handful didn't make the final cut or feature only briefly. This is no reflection on the quality of what they said, more that certain themes emerged and perhaps they had less to say on these subjects. Happily, the BBC have decided to archive everything we shot - both the interviews and the Steadicam and GVs, all of which were shot in glorious HD. Archive purists, like me, will be pleased that the 4:3 material is presented as such, with borders made from some of TVC's distinctive mosaics.

It was also important to remember that we were trying to tell the story of the building and what happened there, rather than too much specific detail about programmes as such. The other concern was to make it accessible to the many people who will have perhaps some sense of the place but not of the specifics. It couldn't be too 'in'.

One thing I was really determined to do was to let the contributors carry the narrative - in other words, to dispense with having a voiceover. I felt that these have become very hackneyed and sometimes the danger is that the voiceover is almost sneering at the archive material Come Dine With Me-style, and I didn't want that approach. We were lucky to be able to shoot the interviews over a long period of time, as this meant we could quote previous contributors so that we could get reactions and comparisons from others.

There are actually two versions of the programme - a post-watershed version and a pre-watershed version. The former has various adult words and anecdotes, whereas the latter has these replaced with some additional material and archive. Two for the price of one!

On the archive front, we were hugely helped by three key people who will be familiar to anyone who loves the superb Doctor Who DVD range. Andrew Martin at BBC Information and Archives put in a huge amount of work, as I was determined to use as many moments as possible from studio recordings and Christmas tapes, and to locate rare behind-the-scenes material. Jonathan Wood, who graded the programme, also helped locate material, as did Ralph Montagu. Inevitably, some material couldn't be cleared or was just too expensive, but by and large I am delighted with the richness and variety of the archive.

Inevitably, the commission was fuelled by the news that the BBC is planning to leave TVC altogether and, indeed, is in the process of doing so. Every week, another chunk seems to close down. It's poignant for anyone who worked there for a significant period of their career and so, inevitably, this raised a lot of comment and opinion from our interviewees. However, I did feel strongly that it would have been wrong to focus too much on this aspect. It is there but very much towards the end. The programme is a celebration, and the focus is entertainment rather than to raise questions about the whys and wherefores of the sale.

It was a huge labour of love - I myself spent the best part of two decades working at TVC and it was a real privilege to get the chance to say goodbye to it in my own way. I just hope that people really enjoy it and that it helps put their own memories of this eccentric and unique building - home to so much of the best in British TV - in perspective.
The 90-minute programme is to be broadcast on BBC Four on Thursday 17th May at 9pm, and a special preview screening, hosted by Marson and Greene, will take place at the BFI Southbank two days earlier on Tuesday 15th May at 6.10pm, with many contributors and former members of BBC staff present. Click here to book tickets.

The pre-watershed version will be shown whenever the documentary is scheduled before 9pm. A DVD release is, however, unlikely because of rights issues.
(With thanks to Richard Marson)

FILTER: - Special Events - Peter Davison - Broadcasting - BBC

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Eve Myles talks about the roles she would like: "I’d love to do Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? or Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - I do enjoy playing big, strong, feisty females. I am too old, but I would have loved to play Dorothy. (and on television) Sherlock – it is really hot. I also love Upstairs Downstairs. I am proud it gets made in Cardiff." [Radio Times, 11 Apr 2012]

Lesley Sharp commented on working with Russell T Davies: "I would go anywhere and do anything for Russell. We did some great work 10 years ago – the TV series Bob & Rose and The Second Coming. It's not true that he wanted me to be the first female Doctor Who, but I would if he asked, obviously." [Observer, 15 Apr 2012]

Matt Smith's sister Laura talks about her influence on his acting aspirations: "When I was 18 I landed a lead role in the West End production of Saturday Night Fever; Matt came to see the show 57 times and I knew he had to have more than a passing interest in performing so I persuaded him to pursue it." However, not all of her ideas came to pass: "I had a friend who worked on Footballers' Wives so I covered Matt in fake tan, gelled his hair, made him wear salmon pink trousers and sent him for an audition - he didn't get the part, which was probably a good thing... that kind of look definitely isn't him!" [Daily Mail, 14 Apr 2012]

John Barrowman spoke about the representation of gay characters on US television during his panel at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, held last weekend: "There's more gays and lesbians represented on American television than anywhere else in the world, and I think that's a fantastic thing. I just don’t think that they're always represented in the right way. I think that there's a diversity amongst [members of the community]. Everybody is different. We're got butch, we've got macho, we've got effeminate — you name it, we've got it. But it always seems that they're portrayed in the effeminate. So I was quite proud to be an action hero. I was quite proud to be an action man, a hero to young men and women, and also gay and lesbian women who could actually look myself and Scott. We are men. We just happen to like men ... If I had someone like Captain Jack when I was younger to look up to, I wouldn't have had to have hidden who I was for a long time, because I would have been proud to be who I was at the age of 8 and 9 when I knew that I was gay. I am exceptionally proud of it. Not every gay man or gay woman agrees with me on how I feel, but that's my opinion and you asked for it and I appreciate that you did ask, so there you go." [Comic Book Resources, 15 Apr 2012]

The actor also got to meet and get the autograph of author Anne Rice at the event! [Anne Rice Net on YouTube, 15 Apr 2012]

Script editor and long-term Doctor Who writer/producer Gary Russell will be appearing at Comic Guru in Wood Street, Cardiff, from midday to 5pm this coming Saturday, signing copies of much of his literary output over the years. The shop has also recorded an interview with Russell, which is being released via their YouTube channel; the first five are available now: 1 2 3 4 5

When joining Twitter, Karen Gillan discovered the hard way what fame can do as her co-star Arthur Darvill observed: "so Karen has NOT turned off her email notifications and her battery has died. Cue 50000 emails. Today just got so much better.«". The actress responded: "Someone could have told me to turn off my email notifications when I joined twitter today Arthur. Plus side? That many cyber friends.«"

Amidst all the Dalek-media-mania of the last fortnight, Dave Saunders (who possesses two originals from the Hartnell/Troughton era), said: "My uncle was a Dalek operator in the 1960s, and I took over in the 1980s. It was tremendous fun. I had to sit inside the Dalek on a wooden platform and operate it all with my feet and hands. The Dalek was on wheels and you would make it move by moving your feet, very much how you would make an office chair move. During rehearsals you had to follow dotted lines that were put on the studio floor and then remember the moves when they were taken away for the action scenes. You also had to wear a black hood so you could not be seen through the mesh of the Dalek’s head." [Shropshire Star, 12 Apr 2012]

(there are more Dalek tales, courtesy of The Sun, 12th April)

The recent Virgin Media adverts starring David Tennant alongside Richard Branson have been pulled from television - in a joint statement between the company and the BBC they said: "Virgin Media has listened to concerns raised by BBC Worldwide about perceived commercial endorsement by the BBC/a BBC brand relating to the recent Virgin Media advertisement. As a gesture of goodwill Virgin Media has agreed to withdraw transmission of the advertisement and BBC Worldwide is now satisfied that the issue has been addressed." [BBC News, 18 Apr 2012]

(Gary Russell signing/videos with thanks to Kristian Barry and Andy Frankham-Allen, Virgin Media update thanks to Chris Moore)

FILTER: - People - Arthur Darvill - Karen Gillan - Matt Smith - David Tennant - John Barrowman