Who's Down UnderBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 - Repported by Connor Johnston
Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor) and Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) are both heading down under for a special tour around the country next March. The Hub Productions' Whoniverse: The Doctor is in event will see them live on stage talking about the phenomenon of Doctor Who and their lives as the Doctor and his companion. There will also be merchandise as well as rare collectibles available to purchase from dealers. Limited autographs and professional photographs will be available with the guests. The tour dates are as follows:

>>> SYDNEY MARCH 1st 2014
>>> PERTH MARCH 2nd 2014
>>> ADELAIDE MARCH 8th 2014
>>> MELBOURNE MARCH 9th 2014


Additional guests as well as venues and ticket info will be announced mid-January from the Hub's website.


Other Australian appearances include Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), who will be touring with Oz Comic-Con in Adelaide and Perth throughout March and April 2014. Tickets can be purchased from the Official Oz Comic-Con site.

Also travelling to Australia and New Zealand is Fifth Doctor Peter Davison to host the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular.




Media CatchupBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 December 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
During the run-up to the Christmas Day broadcast of The Time of The Doctor, a number of interviews were conducted with Orla Brady and Jenna Coleman on radio and television, and are still available for catch-up. In addition, there were a number of other programmes related to Doctor Who, which are summarised below.

BBC iPlayer radio programmes are normally available to listen to worldwide; however television programmes are restricted to the United Kingdom only.

Interviews

Loose Ends, BBC Radio 4 Extra, 21 Dec 2013 at 6:15pm
Clive Anderson takes off in the Tardis with actress Orla Brady, who's starring in the Christmas episode of Doctor Who. Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars - and amongst them, the Doctor. 'Doctor Who - The Time Of The Doctor' is on Christmas Day at 19.30 on BBC One.

Starts at 14:22; available worldwide until 31 Dec at ~5:00am.
Breakfast, BBC One, 23 Dec 2013 at ~8:40am

Jenna Coleman chats about The Time of The Doctor and Death Comes To Pemberley.

A clip is available from the BBC News website.
Richard Bacon, BBC Radio 5 Live, 23 Dec 2013 at 2:00pm

Colin Paterson presenting. Mistresses star Orla Brady gives Colin Paterson a sneak preview of her role as Tasha Lem in the Christmas Day episode of Doctor Who.

Starts at 19:57; available worldwide until 30 Dec at ~4:00pm, or via the Daily Bacon podcast until 17 Jan.
Richard Bacon, BBC Radio 5 Live, 24 Dec 2013 at 2:00pm

Colin Paterson presenting. Jenna Coleman is a familiar presence on our screens over Christmas, with starring roles in both Doctor Who - as the Doctor's companion Clara Oswald - and Death Comes to Pemberley, adapted from the PD James novel. She explains why it's such a wrench to be saying farewell to her co-star Matt Smith, as she looks forward to working with the newest Doctor in the persona of Peter Capaldi.

Starts at 1:16:50; available worldwide until 31 Dec at ~4:00pm, or via the Daily Bacon podcast until 18 Jan.
Front Row, BBC Radio 4, 24 Dec 2013 at 7:15pm

David Tennant talks about his roles in the two most highly anticipated television events of 2013 - the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special and the final episode of Broadchurch. He discusses which accent he decided on for his roles in The Escape Artist, the Politician's Husband and to play Shakespeare's Richard II on stage.

Starts at 1:20; available worldwide, plus an extended interview.

Also on the Radio

The TARDIS in Teesside, BBC Radio Tees, 26 Dec 2013 at Midday

For over fifty years now, Doctor Who has inspired, influenced and delighted generations of fans around the world. A lifelong devotee himself, BBC Tees presenter Bob Fischer set out to investigate how the show has shaped the lives of fans in the BBC Tees area… from the grizzled veterans who watched the first episode back in 1963 (the day after The Beatles played at the Globe Theatre in Stockton), to 2013’s generation of school-age fans, tentatively awaiting Peter Capaldi’s debut.

He also looks at literal examples of the TARDIS arriving on Teesside, remembering the official BBC exhibition that materialised in Middlesbrough Town Hall in 1973, Tom Baker’s visit to the Binns department store in 1976, and the arrival of the legendary Dimensions convention in Stockton’s Swallow Hotel in 2002. On the way, he uncovers terrifying tales of Daleks in the playground, Cybermen in the school corridors, and… erm, Weetabix down the toilet. And also meets Teesside actor Mark Benton, who took time out of his busy schedule to share his memories of appearing alongside Christopher Eccleston in show’s triumphant 21st century reinvention.

Available worldwide until 2 Jan 2014 at ~2:00pm; repeated on 31 Dec 2013 at 3:00pm
Norfolk's Doctor Who Stories, BBC Radio Norfolk, 26 Dec 2013 at 6:00pm (revised repeat)

Marking 50 years of Doctor Who, Paul Hayes explores a variety of Norfolk people's links to the programme or their reasons for loving the show. Featuring interviews with Brian Hodgson, creator of the TARDIS sounds and the Dalek voices back in 1963; Davros actor Terry Molloy; scriptwriter David Fisher; Doctor Who Mastermind winner Karen Davies; designer Spencer Chapman (who worked on 1964's The Dalek Invasion of Earth, pictured above); Cyberman actor Graham Cole; former child actress Barbara Harper; university lecturer Keith Johnston, and a variety of Norfolk-based fans of the series with stories to tell about just why they love the show, and what Doctor Who means to them.

Available worldwide until 2 Jan 2014 at ~7:00pm
Who is the Doctor?, BBC Radio 2, 26 Dec 2013 at 10:00pm (repeat)

On Saturday November 23rd 1963, BBC TV broadcast the very first episode of Doctor Who. Fifty years later, the series is the most successful drama on television. In this special documentary, Radio 2 examines the reasons for its longevity and popularity. Featuring new interviews with the cast and crew of the series, the programme looks at the lasting appeal of Doctor Who and asks how much of its continued success can be attributed to its basic formula. With archive clips, and the music of Doctor Who composer Murray Gold, Who Is The Doctor? includes interviews with: Doctors; Sylvester McCoy, David Tennant, Christopher Eccleston and Matt Smith, companions; Louise Jameson, Billie Piper, Jenna Coleman and the late Elisabeth Sladen, and show-runners Russell T Davies, Philip Hinchcliffe and Steven Moffat. The programme also considers the character of the Time Lord, across all of his regenerations, and it revisits the origins of the series with Waris Hussein, director of the debut Doctor Who story An Unearthly Child. Who Is The Doctor? also examines how the franchise survived when the show was off TV, considers the impact of the revival in 2005 and assesses the value of the series to the BBC. Other contributors include, TV executives Jane Tranter, Lorraine Heggessey, Faith Penhale and Julie Gardner, historian Dick Fiddy, composers Murray Gold and Mark Ayres, conductor Ben Foster, writers Terrance Dicks, Mark Gatiss, Justin Richards and Gary Russell, journalist Tom Spilsbury, production designer Michael Pickwoad, and actor Nicholas Briggs. Presented by Russell Tovey Written and produced by Malcolm Prince.

Available worldwide until 2 Jan 2014 at ~11:00pm
Time Travelling Scots, BBC Radio Scotland, 27 Dec 2013 at 6:32am (repeat)

A Tale of Two Jamies: Diana Gabaldon is a romance writer with a legion of admiring fans. Her hero, Jamie Fraser, is a swashbuckling Scot who has captured her readers' hearts. Actor Frazer Hines is a former Doctor Who assistant. His character, Jamie McCrimmon, played an unlikely part in inspiring Gabaldon to write her bestselling Outlander novels. Frazer meets Diana and her fans to learn more about the phenomenon he unwittinginly helped create, exploring Scottish history, time travel and the meaning of true love along the way.

Available worldwide until 3 Jan 2014 at ~7:00am
Doctor Who Anniversary Special, BBC Radio Kent, 30 Dec 2013 at 6:00pm (coming soon)

Doctor Who Anniversary Special: We celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first ever episode of Doctor Who, written by a man from Herne Bay in Kent.

Available after broadcast until 6 Jan 2014 at ~7:00pm

Also on Television

You can find out about further broadcasts, etc. via This Week in Doctor Who.




Eleventh Doctor Bids Farewell to IDWBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 December 2013 - Reported by Adam Throne
Amidst the anticipation and build up leading to The Time of the Doctor this week, San Diego-based comic book publisher IDW quietly bid farewell to the Eleventh Doctor in its 2013 Special, released Christmas Eve.

The Doctor Who 2013 Special, titled The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who, features the Eleventh Doctor slipping into a universe not unlike our own -- a universe where the Doctor exists as a television show and is played by an actor named Matt Smith -- and where a threat from the Doctor's own universe threatens the existence of this one.

The 2013 Special is written by long time Doctor Who television, novel, and comics scribe Paul Cornell with art by Jimmy Broxton. It features several nods to recent changes in the production status of the television series, and a theme that longtime Cornell readers will find familiar.

The issue features 40 color pages of original story/art and an additional eight color pages featuring every cover of the IDW Doctor Who comic series -- from its starting miniseries "Agent Provocateur" in 2008 up to and including the last issue of IDW's 50th anniversary series, "Prisoners of Time."

The 2013 Special is the final Doctor Who issue by IDW under its license with the BBC. Of this closing chapter of the Doctor in IDW's comics, Chris Ryall, IDW's Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief, writes,
...thank you [readers] and retailers on both shores for trusting this American upstart to handle your beloved 50-year-old Time Lord; thanks to the BBC for giving us this shot in the first place, and a final note of gratitude to all the creators who made for such companions along the way.
The Doctor Who 2013 Special retails for $7.99 and is available at comic stores now.




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 December 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Doctors


John Hurt as The Doctor in The Day of The DoctorJohn Hurt has been voted joint first in the annual Beard of the Year Awards, alongside choirmaster Gareth Malone and England rugby player Geoff Parling. The trio came top of the poll from the Beard Liberation Front, which attracted over 10000 votes. [Telegraph, 28 Dec 2013]

David Tennant commented that he currently doesn't know whether he'll be involved in the second series of Chris Chibnall's Broadchurch: "We don’t know where the characters are going. We don’t know the story he is telling. Some people say they know they are in it. I am not sure they do, though. I think some might get a shock. I was dying of a heart attack, so I don’t know how able Alec Hardy will be to do any more crimefighting, so we will have to see." [Radio 4, via Mirror, 28 Dec 2013]

Speaking of which, a Radio Times poll saw critics name Tennant's show the best TV show of 2013. Tim Glandfield, RadiotTimes.com editor, said: "The death of event TV has been greatly exaggerated. Broadchurch drew the nation into a collective hysteria every Monday night for eight weeks, as who killed Danny Latimer became the talking point in the press, pubs, front rooms and factories up and down the country. A brilliant piece of homegrown drama with an exquisite cast of actors, Broadchurch is a fantastic example of British TV at its very best.". [Radio Times, 27 Dec 2013]

Peter Capaldi has been put forward as a candidate for the position of Rector at the University of Glasgow, though the actor himself has yet to agree to run for election. A petition was started by politics student Fiona Duncan, who said: "I’m trying to show that there is a demand from the student body for him to stand before contacting him. It would be great to have someone from the arts representing Glasgow students." [Times Higher Education, 25 Dec 2013]

Peter Cushing is considered the number one thespian from Kent, according to a county news source. Correspondent Chris Britcher observed: "He lived for much of his life in Whitstable, moving there in 1959, in a seafront home he shared with his wife. A popular figure about the town, he would love to sit and paint the view along the beach. Cushing’s View today marks the spot he so adored, while the town’s museum has a permanent section devoted to him.". The "alternative" Doctor is not alone, however, with Tom Baker also listed at number eight: "He remains, for a whole generation, their favourite Doctor Who – and is destined to be synonymous with the character at the very height of its fame. Mr Baker lived for many years in Boughton Monchelsea, near Maidstone, and now resides in Tunbridge Wells. He is a familiar sight in and around the town." [Kent News, 24 Dec 2013]

Writers


Neil Gaiman has been named the winner of the 2013 Book of the Year Award, with his book The Ocean At The End Of The Lane winning the public vote in the National Book Awards. The writer commented: "I've never written a book before that was so close to my own heart: a story about memory and magic and the fear and danger of being a child. I wasn't sure that anyone else would like it. "I'm amazed and thrilled that so many other people have read it, loved it, and made their friends read it too." [Radio Times, 28 Dec 2013]

A new publication in the Time Trips series of e-books, The Death Pit is now out, and its setting of Arbroath in Scotland has attracted local interest. Dundee-born author Alison Kennedy said: "I know Arbroath a bit. I lived there for a few months and in Carnoustie for about a year. It just seemed a suitable place. I wanted it to be in a small town." Writing for the fourth Doctor, she said: "I was a fan of the series as a child, and I am now. When it’s at its best it hasn’t changed - it’s very resilient. It was a very happy editorial experience." [Evening Telegraph, The Courier, 28 Dec 2013]




The Time of the Doctor wins BBC America and Twitter recordsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 December 2013 - Reported by Melad Moshiri
Christmas Special 2013 - Promotional Image (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)The Time of the Doctor Christmas special has been named the most watched programme in BBC America's history.

The 800th episode in the show's run attracted 2.47 million viewers overnight, the highest ever audience achieved on the channel, beating The Day of the Doctor's record of 2.4 million viewers.

It was however beaten by showings of The Big Bang Theory (3.96m) and Duck Dynasty (2.69m), all broadcast in a 9:00pm slot on cable.

The Farewell to Matt Smith special, broadcast before the incumbent's final adventure however, drew in a respectable audience of 1.54 million.

In the UK, Time was the second most watched on Christmas Day while becoming the eighth highest rated show of the day in Australia.

On Twitter, 183,550 tweets were generated, becoming the most tweeted show of the day on the social network and beating previous Christmas special The Snowmen's 64,049 total. Peter Capaldi's entrance, meanwhile, brought in 18,844 tweets.

Figures thanks to: TV By the Numbers, Radio Times




Moments in Time: The SurvivorsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 December 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Moments in TimeIn the second of our features on special moments in Doctor Who we head back to 1963, and a familiar menace is about to be revealed in all its glory ...

Last weekend saw the celebration of the first appearance of a Dalek at the end of The Dead Planet; however, as much as a "sucker arm" menacing Barbara would set the audience up in anticipation, it did little to prepare them for the full 'horror' to come!

The appearance of the Dalek was originally devised by Raymond Cusick based on the descriptions given by writer Terry Nation, with history attributing their appearance to being inspired by a visit to the Georgian National Ballet - the long-flowing skirts of the dancers giving the impression of them gliding across the stage. Once the design was settled, the physical props were then realised by Shawcraft (Engineering) Ltd, a look that has served them with minimal modification since.

Little did the production team know that what they were about to introduce would become one of the most memorable icons in British culture, with a National Trust survey in 2008 indicating that nine out of ten children were able to identify them! Their immediate success has led to spin-off films, stage plays, and almost their own series, not to mention the multitude of appearances in Doctor Who itself - culminating in their integral part in "the fall of the Eleventh" just this week in The Time of The Doctor!

However, for today's Moment in Time we look back to this very time fifty years ago, to when the Doctor and the viewing public would first encounter the most enduring foe in Doctor Who ...

The DaleksThe Doctor, Ian and Susan have made their way into the city, and have just discovered instruments reporting that the planet is radioactive, explaining why the travellers have been feeling tired and ill. However, they cannot leave until they find Barbara, but as they emerge from the room back into the corridor they find themselves confronted by strange, menacing metallic creatures... the Daleks!

(watch the clip via the BBC Doctor Who website - requires Realplayer)




Time of the Doctor - AI scoreBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 December 2013 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who The Time of the Doctor achieved an Appreciation Index score of 83

The Appreciation Index is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the episode. The score of 83 puts the programme in the good category, even though it is one of the lowest scores of the Matt Smith era.

Highest scorers of the day included Call the Midwife and Mrs Brown's Boys, both of which scored 87.

The BBC Three repeat had an audience of 0.35 million viewers, a share of 1.5% of the total TV audience. The repeat had an AI score of 84.




Overnight Australian ratings for The Time of the DoctorBookmark and Share

Friday, 27 December 2013 - Reported by Adam Kirk
The Time of the Doctor averaged 686,000 viewers in the five major Australian capital cities. It won its timeslot (beating the T20 Big Bash Cricket), was the highest rating drama of the day and the eighth highest rating program of the day overall. These ratings do not include regional or time-shifted viewers.
Media Links: TV Tonight




The Time of the Doctor: press reaction (international)Bookmark and Share

Friday, 27 December 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Here are a selection of excerpts from reviews published by the international press as The Time of The Doctor made its way around the world yesterday.

The most powerful moments in The Time Of The Doctor didn't involve a stand-off against intergalactic bullies and mad despots - they involved the Doctor reflecting on his time, and slowly giving in to the ravages of age. In this vein, Smith managed to wring genuine emotion out of his final on-screen appearance, but also nailed the quieter moments: the shutdown of a disembodied cyber-head is also the loss of a trusted friend.

(It) is a celebration of the recent past, and a dedication to the Eleventh Doctor, and his time in the Tardis. Time marches on for everybody, even Doctor Who, and everything eventually ends. While there is comfort in the fact that the story goes on, the Eleventh Doctor's time is over. It might have been silly sometimes, and the time-travel shenanigans often got overly complicated, but it was another fine chapter in the lives and times of Doctor Who. The next one is about to begin, but there is plenty of fun and emotion in the Eleventh's chapter that is worth celebrating.

Robert Smith, New Zealand Herald
I shed a tear in the knowledge that possibly the best Doctor the show has seen in its half century is no more. Smith had the ability to persuade his audience that he was, indeed, a millennium old man in a very young man's body. Well, on Boxing Day night on Prime, he discarded that body like a favourite suit too worn and raggedy to patch anymore. RIP 11. We are already missing you.

Smith is at his glorious best in this special, with plenty of reminders of why he might just be the best Doctor yet. Scrub that, he is the best yet and I'm going to miss his portrayal terribly.
Chris Gardner, Stuff
The episode is ripe with writer/producer Steven Moffat's leitmotifs: messages sent across space and time, gatherings of The Doctor's rivals, small towns and sheriff badges. And some of the show's classic tropes: broken technology, the TARDIS telephone and lots of lovely one-liners. The risk, of course, is that the episode is so laden with in-universe references and nods to past episodes, moments, characters and aliens than it becomes almost impossible to navigate for someone without even a cursory knowledge of Doctor Who lore.

This is a pensive finish, but not gut-wrenching in the way that Davies wrote previous Doctor David Tennant's farewell. This is gentler, with only a cameo from his beloved Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) who says goodbye to her "raggedy man". Even Smith's lovely scene with old-school Fourth Doctor Tim Baker in the anniversary special was richer, and more touching. (And tearful, for Baker-era fans anyway.)

But salvation comes in the form of a gift, once promised (but never delivered) by the Time Lords to The Master in the 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors: a new life cycle of twelve regenerations. Which means that Peter Capaldi's Doctor becomes not the Twelfth Doctor, as previously thought, but the First Doctor, beginning a new chapter of life for the universe's most beloved Time Lord. And the comfortable assurance that his hope, his strength and, best of all, his eccentric madness, remains a light which will never be extinguished.
Michael Idato, Sydney Morning Herald
Even though the date of Smith's leaving and the identity of his successor, Peter Capaldi, had been known for some time, watching the episode knowing it was Smith's last kept at least one American viewer anxious and sad, with a finger on the pause button for when things got too heavy. Possibly there are still viewers, avid viewers even, who have never quite cottoned to him — Tennant continues to cast a long shadow — but I have loved his work. Elegant and heartfelt, authoritative and playful, swashbuckling and intimate, alien and familiar, Smith's acting has accommodated and, as it were, humanized every oddball, paradoxical, high-concept, low-humor passage Moffat has thrown at him.
Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times
It was always going to be so when facing the long-standing question of regeneration limits. Precedent for more regenerations being granted had been established before, and Steven Moffat led just about enough crumbs to the key moment to deal with the issue, without dwelling too much on it. Job done, whether you like the way it was done or not.

The Time Of The Doctor, then, brought the curtain down on what has to be classed as a successful 50th anniversary year for Doctor Who, that's had its bumps, but also given us some absolute treats. The Time Of The Doctor in itself is unlikely to go down as one of the Who highlights of 2013 in truth. We quite enjoyed it, but it still felt a bit underwhelming. Still, Smith's performance as the Doctor is undoubtedly one of the year's highlights, and it's very clear that the show is going to miss him a lot. What's also clear is that there are further exciting times ahead.
Simon Brew, Den of Geek

Other reviews/comment: Orlando Sentinel, News.com.au, CNN, Hypable, HollywoodLife, The Mary Sue, Examiner, RTT News, The Epoch Times, EntertainmentWise, Twitch, Cinelinx, UInterview, Nerd Reactor, MStarz

Additional UK reviews: SFX, Digital Spy, Metro, International Business Times, MSN, Nottingham Post, Cherwell, Crave





12 Days of Big Finish-masBookmark and Share

Thursday, 26 December 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Big Finish are running a number of special offers over the twelve days of Christmas as part of the festive celebrations, selected from a many of their range of series.

Today's offering is the The Butcher of Brisbane, a Fifth Doctor tale that acts as a "prequel" to The Talons of Weng-Chiang, and is available to download from the Big Finish website at a special price for the next couple of days.

The Butcher of Brisbane (Credit: Big Finish)The Butcher of Brisbane
Starring Peter Davison as The Doctor, Janet Fielding as Tegan, Mark Strickson as Turlough, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, and Angus Wright as Magnus Greel

Adopting the alias of Weng-Chiang, the 51st century war criminal Magnus Greel will one day arrive in Victorian London by Time Cabinet – only to meet his doom, his plans undone by the Time Lord known as the Doctor.

The Doctor never believed he'd meet Greel again. But when a TARDIS trip to companion Tegan's home town goes wrong, the Doctor ends up in the younger Greel's heyday – in a world on the brink of all-out war.

With the Doctor at the mercy of Greel's alien associate Findecker and his army of mutations, Tegan is about to learn just why they called Greel 'The Butcher of Brisbane'...