BAFTA Cymru Triumph For Gunpowder Plot GameBookmark and Share

Sunday, 30 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The Doctor Who Adventure Game The Gunpowder Plot triumphed at this evening's BAFTA Cymru Awards.

It won the Digital Creativity And Games prize, with the combined effort of the BBC Wales Interactive Team, Sumo Digital, and Revolution Software beating Becoming Human and Coridor 5.

However, both Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures lost out in all the categories for which they had been nominated.

The Impossible Astronaut, which opened Series 6 of Doctor Who, was beaten to the Television Drama title by Shirley, the BBC Two production directed by Colin Teague and with music by Ben Foster that charted the rise to fame of Shirley Bassey, and the Series 6 finale The Wedding of River Song, which was up for a gong in the Sound category, was trumped by the Matthew Rhys film Patagonia. Meanwhile, The Curse of Clyde Langer, from the fifth and final series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, saw the Children's Programme title go to S4C's Dim Byd.

Also missing out were Eve Myles for Actress in Baker Boys and Helen Raynor, who was co-nominated (with Gary Owen) for the Writer prize, again for Baker Boys. Those categories went to, respectively, Sharon Morgan for the film Resistance and Eddie Butler for Lions '71.

Tonight's ceremony was hosted by Alex Jones at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff.




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Sunday, 30 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Karen Gillan has moved back to Scotland and back home with her parents: "It's a really funny thought having all these crazy experiences on Doctor Who, then always seeming to end up back in my old childhood bedroom, with my childhood posters. I've got a Muse one, from when I was like an angsty teen. And I've got a Daniel O'Donnell calendar, which I thought would be really funny when I was younger, from 2004 or something. I lie there and I am like, has all that just really happened? Or did I just imagine it?" [Daily Record, 24 Sep 2012]

Arthur Darvill, currently appearing in Our Boys at The Duchess Theatre in London, recalls his first theatre appearance: "I was confronted with 1,000 people. I thought, 'Oh my God, what am I doing?' I've been so nervous during shows that I've walked offstage at the end and immediately forgotten everything that I've just done. You hear stories about stage fright, but if you know that someone's experienced it, you don't mention it – just in case. You never know what can set it off. It is a terrifying thing walking out for the first time, but it's funny how quickly that fades. Later, you start to crave that fear." [Guardian, 21 Sep 2012]

Colin Baker is to appear as Nurse Nellie in this year's Sleeping Beauty pantomime at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre: "Nurse Nellie is a dame, and dames do what dames do which is to be 'mumsy', and inept, and funny, and hopefully create a few laughs along the way. I did dame three or four times before they asked me to do villain again, which I've been doing for the last six or seven years. I've been asking Martin Dodd (of UK Productions) if I can do dame again, and he said how do you fancy doing it in Bournemouth? I said, yes please!" He also commented on how much he likes the current Doctor: "I love Matt Smith. When I heard they were casting a 12-year-old I got very depressed as I like my old Doctors. He may only be 12, but inside there is a 900-year-old Time Lord and I absolutely believe it. I think he's fantastic and I love watching it." [What's On Stage, 24 Sep 2012]

Former actor Michael Cashman received the Lifetime Achievement honour at the European Diversity Awards 2012, held at The Savoy in London. Cashman, now a Labour MEP for the West Midlands and the party's human-rights spokesman in the European Parliament, said he was "very happy and humbled" to accept it.

Hugh Bonneville is to play the title role of Mr Stink in a BBC One adaptation of the children's novel by David Walliams. The one-hour family comedy, adapted by Walliams and Simon Nye, begins filming in October and is set to be transmitted later this year. Bonneville said: "I'm delighted to be adding my own whiff to the odour that emanates from David Walliams... and his very funny, touching, and thought-provoking story." Walliams, who will play the Prime Minister in it, added: "I am thrilled that Hugh is playing Mr Stink. He is one of the most popular and talented actors around, and is the perfect person to bring out the character's humour and sadness." [BBC Media Centre, 21 Sep 2012]

Make-up designer Neill Gorton explains what led him to take up the career of creating prosthetics: "We used to do family trips to Blackpool where they had a Doctor Who exhibition. Now, when, as a kid, I saw Davros on the TV, I remember thinking, 'Where did they get this incredibly ugly old man?' Then, at the exhibition, they had a Davros mask on display. That was when it dawned on me... it was a mask! Then it sank in that someone had to make it, and that is my earliest recollection of wanting to do what I do." [Scotsman, 27 Sep 2012]

With the imminent return of cult sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf to our TV screens, two of its stars have spoken of their wish for a Doctor Who crossover. Craig Charles, aka Dave Lister, said: "I think it'd be great if, for one scene, we could be beaming somewhere and suddenly we'd be on the Tardis with the Doctor. Then we could shake our heads, say 'nah', and just beam back out again." Fellow Dwarfer Danny John-Jules, who plays The Cat, added: "I think Doug Naylor should write in one of the old Doctors. Sylvester McCoy or someone. And then we could have an episode with one of those guys in it. It would be funny." [Radio Times, 25 Sep 2012]

Imelda Staunton and Tim Pigott-Smith are up for gongs in this year's Theatre Awards UK. Staunton is nominated for Best Performance In A Musical (Sweeney Todd) and Pigott-Smith is in the running for Best Performance In A Play (King Lear). The awards ceremony takes place on Sunday 28th October at the Guildhall in London. [The Stage, 27 Sep 2012]

(Compiled by John Bowman and Chuck Foster)




DVD 2013 Discussion at ReconBookmark and Share

Sunday, 30 September 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Speaking at the Recon event today, DVD producer Dan Hall outlined some of BBC Worldwide's plans for releases during the course of next year.

With the exception of one boxed set (believed to be the Legacy set of Shada and More Than Thirty Years In The TARDIS due to come out after The Claws of Axos SE) all releases next year will be individual stories. New titles include Terror of the Zygons, The Mind of Evil and The Reign Of Terror, and there will also be (at least) four Re-Visitations (one of which is the previously announced Inferno).

The recently recovered episode Air Lock from Galaxy 4 is still in the process of being restored, but is hoped to be released alongside another title next year; the status of The Underwater Menace's episode two was not clarified, however.

During a discussion over the animation of The Reign of Terror (episode four being shown at the event), he explained that it was unlikely that more than two episodes could be animated within allocated budgets - though intimated, there were no formal announcements of further forthcoming animated episodes at present.

There was also clarification over the forthcoming Shada release, which will not be a complete version of the story. Hall explained that he felt his role was not to 'create' new (i.e. original) material and this was a decision that would need to be made by the BBC rather than BBC Worldwide - he also thought that such a project couldn't be undertaken to the required BBC quality guidelines within the budgets available to the DVD range. From a personal perspective he believed that editorially it should also remain unfinished, reflecting the series production.


The range is expected to have a story released every three weeks during 2013 leading up to the 50th Anniversary. The first DVDs of this "full schedule" will be announced in the next edition of Doctor Who Magazine.




The Finished Product: Issue 11Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 30 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The latest edition of The Finished Product - the unofficial companion to the Big Finish audio adventures - is available now.

Issue 11 covers the second season of adventures featuring the Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller.

It has all-new, exclusive interviews with the cast and crew, including executive producer Nicholas Briggs on remixing the theme, writers Pat Mills, Jonathan Morris, Jonathan Clements, Marc Platt, Eddie Robson, and Paul Magrs, as well as guest actors Harry Potter star Sean Biggerstaff and Colin Spaull, plus composer Timothy Sutton on writing the song Falling Star.

It also features previously-unseen and exclusive cover sketches by Grant Kempster.
 

To order the magazine, contact editor Kenny Smith via thefinishedproduct@hotmail.co.uk




The Angels Take Manhattan - UK Overnight RatingsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 30 September 2012 - Reported by Marcus
The Angels Take Manhattan had an overnight audience of 5.9 million viewers, a share of 26.9% of the total TV audience.

The audience increased throughout the episode, as more viewers joined to witness the departure of 'The Ponds', peaking at 6.4 million for the last five minutes.

Doctor Who was the highest rated programme on BBC One for the day, with the other drama of the evening, Casualty, getting 3.7 million viewers.

Highest programme of the day was The X Factor which had 8.7 million watching. Against Doctor Who, ITV 1's Red or Black? had 3.5 million viewers.

With Sunday's ratings still to come, Doctor Who is at 19th place for the week. Final consolidated figures, which will be available next week, should see this position rise.




The Angels Take Manhattan: Press ReactionBookmark and Share

Sunday, 30 September 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A roundup of selected quotes from the media for the premiere of The Angels Take Manhattan last night - links to the full review can be found via the author's name. You can also read our own review here.

Please note that as these are reviews, spoilers may be present within the text!


Radio Times

That was so damned good. I laughed. I cried. I was on the edge of my seat. I jumped out of my skin. That to me is perfect entertainment. Every piece of my emotional machinery was fully engaged. I'm now going to have to have a lie down and take a valium because I don't think I can actually get through the rest of the day!

(Katy Manning)

Guardian

Amy and Rory left the only way they really could. The Weeping Angels felt like they were created for this very scene: Amy and Rory zapped back in time to live out their long, happy lives without the Doctor. Since the Tardis crashlanded into her back garden, Amy's story had been one about growing up. At the start, she chose a life of adventure with her Raggedy Man over the prospect of normality with Rory. But now, faced with that decision again, there was no contest.

This was a fitting end to a golden era, and bravo to Steven Moffat for telling such an involving, emotional story with such style. That last scene, as the Doctor darted through the streets of New York – grabbing at the final page as it flapped in the wind, speeding toward the ending he'd refused to accept was coming! Here ended Doctor Who's ultimate fairytale in the way it had begun – in the pages of a storybook.

(Dan Martin)

Telegraph

The Angels Take Manhattan brought this mini-run of the series to a close with easily the best episode of the five: a powerful, taut, compelling, filmic, emotionally punchy affair which re-established the Angels as one of the standout monsters of the series and gave Amy Pond a fine send off.

(Gavin Fuller)

Independent

The Angels take Manhattan was a wonderful swansong to the duo, it drew on the film noir genre and combined it with fantasy and horror. Added to this, the cinematography was superb and everything looked very stylish. The Weeping Angels haven’t been this scary since Blink and there was a real sense of danger. On top of this the introduction of the baby cherubim Angels was a devilish little touch that added to the fear factor, not to mention the Statue of Liberty becoming a gigantic Angel. The only flaw was the rule that time cannot be changed if one knows what is going to happen. After watching the last series though it is probably best not to question the timey wimey side of things and just accept it and enjoy the adventure.

What a momentous end to this half of the series, apart from the Christmas special there is no more Doctor Who in 2012. The cyclical ending to this episode takes viewers right back to the start, back to a young Amelia Pond with a suitcase in her back garden waiting for her raggedy man. This image alone inspires a compelling urge to return to The Eleventh Hour and re-live the Ponds’ adventures from the beginning.

(Neela Debnath)

The Mirror

It was shocks and tension all the way, and anyone who wasn't riveted probably wasn't paying attention. Doctor Who now demands attention, and it's simultaneously a wonderful and a rather sorry thing that one of the most challenging dramas on TV at the moment is ostensibly aimed at kids. But heck, why let them have all the fun?

In The Angels Take Manhattan, it's the heroines who often take the lead, dramatically and emotionally, with River's anger that the Doctor would waste his regeneration energy on her, and Amy's truly heartbreaking decision that mutual suicide is preferable to a life without the man she so completely and utterly loves. Beautiful yet terrible, believable without ever being mawkish, it was a true statement of love between two characters who - let's face it - we've all come to love just a bit over the last two and a half years of Who.

(Jon Cooper)

SFX

The episode also had a great noir feel, which director Nick Hurran captured perfectly. Even a simple scene such as River and Rory being driven around 1930s New York in the back of a car looked stunning. Hurran also excelled in the creepy scenes; Rory being menaced by the baby angels in the basement was strong stuff, with some excellent sound design (that freaky giggling).

Thank God the departure of Amy and Rory was delivered with such gutwrenching emotion, because the dramatic clout of their bittersweet exit from the show distracted you from the fact that this was a bit of a multi-“Huh?!” episode. On one level it’s a glorious, daring, gutsy, high-concept and hugely entertaining slice of Who, with individual moments of the show at its best: creepy, funny and visually arresting. On another level, it’s downright baffling…

(Dave Golder)

Digital Spy

Wrapping up a three-year character arc and writing out two much-loved actors at the same time is no easy task, and for the most part Steven Moffat pulls it off with style. And beyond script and performance, 'Angels' also boasts superb production design, another in a long series of enthralling Murray Gold musical scores and dynamic direction from Nick Hurran, who also handled the excellent 'Asylum of the Daleks'.

Doctor Who's final episode 'til the festive season is easily the equal of that hugely impressive opener. Is it perfect? Perhaps not - but it did leave us feeling both moved and almost entirely satisfied.

(Morgan Jeffery)

Den of Geek

Steven Moffat’s script gave both Gillan and Arthur Darvill an awful lot of work to do. Confronted with their potential separation, there was humour, action and emotion, and the performances from Gillan and Darvill were both up to the job. We’ve said before that we’re particularly going to miss Arthur Darvill. His performance as Rory has evolved and impressed more and more as the episodes have rolled on.

Matt Smith, though, was also in tip top form, and the foreboding warning that his Doctor should never travel alone came through loud and clear here. It felt like quite a few things were being established for him to consider in the next run of episodes, and it'll be interesting to see how those threads develop. For now, not for the first time nor the last, The Doctor was faced with losing dear friends and companions (and just how special Amy was to him was explored in The Power Of Three), and Smith sold the heartbreak and loneliness of this tremendously well.

(Simon Brew)

Entertainment Weekly

The departure of the Ponds, and the manner in which they left, is bound to provoke mixed feelings. Many fans will obviously feel bereft while some may believe Moffat has played the “Someone’s-going-to-die!” card once too often, even if he was once again technically correct in doing so. Although I am certainly not among them, there are a few Who followers who have never warmed to Gillan’s spiky sidekick and will be looking forward to an Amy-free TARDIS. But there is no doubt that, as companions, the Ponds played a bigger-than-most role in the life of the Time Lord — or this particular incarnation of it anyway. While the convoluted familial interweaving of Amy, Rory, the Doctor, and River Song may have caused head scratching at times, they were a family — the first, really, to inhabit that famous blue box — and Gillan and Darvill’s exit leaves a sizable hole even in a structure which is, yes, much bigger on the inside. When your writer spoke to Grey’s Anatomy creator and Who fanatic Shonda Rhimes earlier this year, she suggested that, since Amy’s arrival, the show has essentially been told from her point of view. That’s a debatable point, albeit one that seemed to be reinforced this episode by the way Amy was allowed to have the last word when it came to the end of her relationship with the “Raggedy Man.” Regardless, Jenna-Louise Coleman, who will play the Doctor’s new assistant when the show returns with this year’s Christmas special, has big shoes to fill — and four of them.

(Clark Collis)

TV.com

For me, this was an extremely touching episode that really highlighted the best parts of Amy's character—her feistiness, her sense of adventure, and her love for Rory. There were great performances all around, but I especially liked hers. I loved that she didn't struggle with her decision to choose Rory over the Doctor—she made her mind up and that was it. Her end wasn't a result of the Doctor's negligence, a quirk of time travel, or her weariness of leading a double life; her end came because she had to choose, and she chose her marriage.

My only complaint about the episode, outside of a few nit-picky time-travel/storyline issues mentioned below, was that the plot was barely affected by the Doctor. He seemed powerless to fix the problems that came up, from River's arm to Rory escaping the Angels, but perhaps that was for the best. It was Amy's story, and it came to a satisfying close for me. Sometimes it's not about the complexities of endless time travel—sometimes it's just about a girl faced with two men she loves and a choice to make.

(Emily V Gordon)

Zap2It

As an episode of "Doctor Who," "The Angels Take Manhattan" benefited from excellent on-location use of New York City and a clever film noir style that sprang from a book River Song was writing under the nom de plume Melody Malone. But that was just the window dressing. The main event of "The Angels Take Manhattan" was Amy and Rory's goodbye, which was pulled off with suspense, humor and maximum emotional impact.

(Geoff Berkshire)

Assignment X

Although it’s nice to know Amy and Rory live a happy life together, even that revelation feels misjudged at the end by leaving it off camera. We only have Amy’s voice over to tell us rather than provide one single shot of the two of them reunited in the past and at long last freed from the Doctor’s meddling (which is definitely how it felt in the last several stories – remember when traveling with the Doctor was supposed to be exciting and make you into a better person?). Even in trying to provide some sort of conclusion to one of the series’ most convoluted stories, this episode manages to miss the little touches that would have made it better. For my part, I’d just like to move on now.

(Arnold T Blumberg)

Huffington Post

I wish I had liked "Angels" more than I did, but there was a lot of throat-clearing before we got to the meat of the story: We met a couple of characters (the rich guy and the hard-boiled detective) who didn't matter in the end, and River simply took up too much space, plotwise and emotionally. She got in the way. And normally, I love film noir, but the big and operatic tone the director was clearly going for clashed with the mood of film noir, which is all about bittersweet cynicism. The scene in Central Park was fun, but it felt like it was from a different episode. "Angels" simply didn't cohere.

Part of the reason the episode didn't fully work for me was because I dislike the kind of timey-wimey machinations on display here. It's just a personal dislike; I'm willing to concede that others may not share it (and yes, I get that this kind of thing is somewhat baked into the premise). The detective novel, the Angels, the apartment building, the clues -- I more or less understand how all that worked, but the episode featured yet another Moffat-style house-of-mirrors plot that buried the emotional beats in time math. Trying to figure out how it all worked and what it all meant stopped me from being able to fully bask in the Ponds' exit.

(Maureen Ryan)

Unreality TV

Overall a well-produced episode with some fine performances, attention to period detail and excellent use of the terrifying weeping angels. It’s a shame then that all of this is somewhat eclipsed by the fact that this will always be seen as Amy and Rory’s last episode and in that respect I feel that more time should’ve been allocated to this exit. It seemed to me to be very sudden and after all the build-up I was thinking we would get something more spectacular than what we ultimately did. Instead this was a very low-key send-off with a couple of nice touches though I thought I’d feel a lot more emotional than I actually did. I will miss the Ponds as Amy and Rory had a great chemistry with The Doctor and will always be associated with this incarnation of the character so now we’ll have to wait till Christmas to see if the new assistant can successfully replace them.

(Matt D)




Australian ratings for The Power of ThreeBookmark and Share

Sunday, 30 September 2012 - Reported by Adam Kirk

The Power of Three has averaged 565,000 viewers in the five major Australian capital cities. It was the top-rating ABC drama of the day and the thirteenth highest rating programme of the day overall. These figures do not include regional and rural viewers, time-shifted viewers and iView downloads.





The Last Days of the PondsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 29 September 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Angels Take Manhattan - BBC LogoThe BBC have now released The Last Day of the Ponds, a twelve-minute programme taking an emotional look at Amy and Rory’s time on Doctor Who. The confidentialette features Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill sharing their memories of working on the series, and their feelings over filming their final farewell scenes together.

There is also a video with the production team discussing the making of the episode, plus a collection of images covering production artwork and behind-the-scenes shots.





Power Of The Daleks Fan Film: Final Trailer ReleasedBookmark and Share

Saturday, 29 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
A teaser trailer for the third and final instalment of the fan film Power of the Daleks has been released online.

The reimagining of the Second Doctor's debut adventure stars Nick Scovell as the Doctor and also features Nicholas Briggs, Lisa Bowerman, and Barnaby Edwards. Scovell has directed the fan film, having adapted the original script by David Whitaker.


The third part will go online in full on Saturday 6th October at 7pm.

A screening of the entire film in HD will take place at the Riverside Reflections convention being held by the DWAS in London on Sunday 21st October, where the story's original director, Christopher Barry, and actress Anneke Wills, who played companion Polly in the TV version, will be among the guests.

The film has been made by the people behind the acclaimed Portsmouth stage productions of The Web of Fear, Fury From The Deep, The Evil of the Daleks, and The Dalek Masterplan (the latter having been renamed from the original).




Talking AngelsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 29 September 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Angels Take Manhattan - BBC LogoTonight sees a special online tribute to the departure of Amy and Rory in the form of The Last Days of the Ponds, a twelve-minute retrospective of the couple's time with the Doctor.

In the meantime, the BBC and BBC America have presented a number of videos available featuring the cast and crew of the episode, as well as trailers and clips to whet your appetite for this evening!