Rosa - Official RatingsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Rosa: Rosa Parks (Vinette Robinson), Krasko (Josh Bowman) (Credit: BBC Studios (Coco Van Oppens))Doctor Who: Rosa had an official rating of 8.37 million viewers, according to figures released by the Broadcasting Research Audience Board, BARB.

8.09 million watched the episode on a conventional TV set. However the BARB 4-Screen Dashboard shows that an additional 145,00 watched on their PC, 71,000 watched on a Tablet device and 63,000 watched on a smartphone These figures make Doctor Who the 4th most watched programme of the week ending 21st October.

The episode had an appreciation index score of 83

Top for the week was Saturday’s edition of Strictly Come Dancing with 11.49 million watching.




Doctor Who: The 8th of MarchBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The 8th of March (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish is to produce an audio adventure in celebration of all the strong female characters from the Doctor Who universe.

The 8th of March launches on International Women’s Day 2019 with a female lead cast, along with female writers, producer and director.

Starring Ace (Sophie Aldred) and Professor Bernice Summerfield (Lisa Bowerman), Professor River Song (Alex Kingston) and Leela (Louise Jameson), UNIT-team Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) and, in a Big Finish first together, Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and her wife Jenny (Catrin Stewart). This box set celebrates these powerful, multifaceted characters in stories very unique to the Doctor Who universe.

Four adventures set on the 8th of March will see some of the strongest women in the universe working together…
  1. The Big Blue Book by Lizzie Hopley (starring Ace and Bernice Summerfield)
  2. Inside Every Warrior by Gemma Langford (starring the Paternoster Gang)
  3. Emancipation by Lisa McMullin (starring River Song and Leela)
  4. Narcissus by Sarah Grochala (starring Kate Stewart, Osgood and… the other Osgood!)
Big Finish Productions was formed 20 years ago in 1998 with its first release being a tale from one of the Doctor’s companions, Bernice Summerfield, and it continues to this day to create new empowering female heroes in their own series. The 8th of March is not only a celebration of many great female characters (including the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker), but a reminder that one of the great virtues of Big Finish is that it is able to explore and add to the mythology of characters that we have more to learn from.

Director Helen Goldwyn told us more about this new audio project
It seems very timely to celebrate some of the women of Doctor Who, especially as the female characters in the series have evolved over the years to reflect how women's roles have changed in society too; from assistants and inferiors to equals and adversaries!

And what's it been like, working with all these wonderful, legendary Doctor Who actors (not to mention all the fantastic guest actors too)? Well it could only ever be a delight and a privilege really, couldn't it? How fantastic to be part of a series that not only brings the women of Doctor Who to the forefront, but which also celebrates Big Finish's commitment to represent and nurture female creatives like myself who have, for so long, been in the minority. This production brings us another step forward and I'm proud to be part of that.
Producer Emma Haigh told us about uniting these creatives together.
It’s been a real thrill to be part of this exciting project which once again shows off the creativity of Big Finish. It’s a privilege to work with these iconic actresses and our incredibly talented director and writers. The different combination of characters from across the series and years’ work brilliantly and has been quite inspiring.
From the worlds of Doctor Who, The 8th of March is available for pre-order now ahead of its release on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2019, at £25 on CD or £20 on download from www.bigfinish.com and it will remain at this price until general release when it will be available for £30 on CD or £25 on download.




Lucy Wilson updateBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 October 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the latest The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel, The Midnight People, is now available for pre-order:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Midnight People (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Midnight People
Written by John Peel

Monknash was once home to a band of smugglers, but it is now dull and boring. Except to Greg Morton, who’s absolutely terrified something unimaginable has happened to everyone in the village.

He telephones his friend, Hobo, to ask for help. When Hobo and Lucy arrive, they discover that something odd is definitely going on – but what? People seem joyless and dull, showing no emotions at all.

Even Greg, who now insists that he was joking, seems very different. Why are people walking toward the cliffs at the stroke of midnight? Who is the lady in the wheelchair? What are the villagers trying to protect What are the villagers trying to protect in the caves? And why can't the local policeman see anything strange?

Can Lucy and Hobo take on an entire village by themselves?

The Midnight People is written by John Peel, who wrote the novel in a style reminiscent of the HTV series Children of the Stones but with a modern twist. John said:
Lucy and Hobo are lovely characters to write for. They aren't superheroes, they're just youngsters who rely on their wits and their courage, and have to fight off fears of insecurity. Are they seeing more than is there? And, if not, can two teens save the world – again? Plus, of course, I’ve introduced another of my odd aliens.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:
John has written two Lethbridge-Stewart books for us, The Grandfather Infestation and The Life of Evans, both of which have been very popular. I always wanted him to tackle a Lucy Wilson story. He’s very adept at focusing on character and I wanted something that was dark and moody, and John, as I expected, did not disappoint.

The book is available for pre-order from Candy Jar Books.


Shaun adds:
It seems that people are really embracing Lucy and Hobo. We will be launching Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch at the Turn Left Doctor Who Convention in Cardiff on 1st December in Cardiff. Chris will there talking about the book, as well as Simon A Forward, Alyson Leeds, Andy Frankham-Allen and myself.

Turn Left also features Louise Jameson, Matthew Waterhouse, film actress Sarah Douglas, illustrator and painter Chris Achilléos, former Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel, and music composer Mark Ayres.
Curse of the Mirror Clowns was originally released as a fan exclusive in May, but will be on general release from the 29th November.


Lucy and her family have been featured in two recent Lethbridge-Stewart short stories: Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton (The HAVOC Files 3) and The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho (The HAVOC Files 4). Added to this, she and her family will also make an appearance in the upcoming short story collection Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage.


In addition, the children at St Leonard’s Academy, Hastings have been busy writing their own Lucy Wilson stories, which can be downloaded for free via our website.




Derrick Sherwin 1936 - 2018Bookmark and Share

Monday, 29 October 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Former Doctor Who producer Derrick Sherwin, the man responsible for creating UNIT, has died at the age of 82.

Derrick Sherwin worked on Doctor Who in many capacities, writing scripts, producing the series for the transition between the second and third Doctor, and even appearing in one scene, playing a Car Park Attendant in the 1970 story Spearhead from Space. His most lasting legacy was creating the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce or UNIT for the 1968 story The Invasion. UNIT, helmed by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, was an essential component for the Third Doctor's tenure, with its influence reaching as far as the Twelfth Doctor.

Sherwin was born in 1936 in the Buckinghamshire town of High Wycombe, just west of London. His early work was in the theatre, but he quickly moved into television appearing in the 1958 show Duty Bound. Over the next ten years, he had a steady series of small roles appearing in dramas such as Here Lies Miss Sabry, The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre, United! and Armchair Theatre.

His first contact with Doctor Who came when he joined as Assistant Script Editor to help the incumbent Peter Bryant who was preparing to take over as producer. It was a baptism of fire as he was immediately charged with rescuing a number of scripts which were not ready for production. He told Doctor Who Magazine.
It was just before Christmas, and I was landed with a great pile of scripts that had to go into production immediately after the holiday break. The director had sent them back and said he wouldn’t do them. Pat Troughton had thrown a wobbly – they really were appalling! That set the pattern for the first three months. It was a real baptism of fire.
He took over as Script Editor for the 1968 story The Dominators and later that year had the chance to write his own story from scratch. The result was The Invasion, the Cybermen story that set up the pattern for the series for much of the next five years. Sherwin felt the series had become too fantastical, with different monsters every week. He wanted to give the series a more grounded approach and saw as his inspiration the 1950's Quatermass stories. To help achieve that he took a character created for the story The Web of Fear, Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, promoted him to Brigadier, and created UNIT around him.
I sat down and wrote a couple of pages about this special task force, specifically with members from all nations, which had been set up to investigate funny things happening in space or the possibility of UFO’s or whatever. It was basically an army intelligence unit with special powers and, on some occasions, special weapons.
Sherwin took over of producer for the last Patrick Troughton story, The War Games and was responsible for casting the third Doctor Jon Pertwee and overseeing the series move from Black and White to Colour. He left the series after Spearhead in Space

He moved onto produce the series Paul Temple and later The Man Outside and Perils of Pendragon

In the 1980's, when Doctor Who was under threat of cancellation from the BBC he offered to buy the franchise from the BBC and produce it independently.
I wrote to Michael Grade and said ‘Look, obviously the BBC can’t afford to do this and doesn’t know where to go with it, so I will take it off your hands, produce it independently, finance it independently, and sell it back to you as a package’. He turned me down, saying that he’d got plans for the series. Then, when Grade left, I wrote to Peter Cregeen about it. So I offered to buy ‘Doctor Who’ out twice!
Derrick Sherwin died on the 17th October after a long illness.




Arachnids In The UK - Overnight Viewing FiguresBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 October 2018 - Reported by Marcus
 Arachnids In The UK: Ryan (Tosin Cole), Graham (Bradley Walsh), Jade (Tanya Fear), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall))
Doctor Who: Arachnids In The UK was watched by 6.43 million viewers, a share of 29.3% of the total TV audience, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The figure is slightly up on the previous weeks rating. Doctor Who was second for the eveining with Strictly Come Dancing - The Results taking top place for the day, and the week, with 9.14 million watching. The BBC Drama The Little Drummer Girl had 5.19 million watching.

ITV peaked with The X Factor Results with 4.2 million viewers. Against Doctor Who, The Chase: Celebrity Special had 3.83 million watching.

Doctor Who is currently the third highest rated programme for the week, behind the two editions of Strictly Come Dancing. Coronation Street is fourth with 6.41 million. Channel 4's The Great British Bake Off had 6.06 million viewers and is 6th for the week.

Official 7-Day figures will be released by BARB next Monday




Arachnids In The UK - This WeekendBookmark and Share

Friday, 26 October 2018 - Reported by Marcus
A number of new publicity images to promote this week's episode of Doctor Who, Arachnids In The UK
Arachnids In The UK

Writer: Chris Chibnall
Director: Sallie Aprahamian

Something’s happening with the spiders in this city.

The Doctor, Yaz, Graham and Ryan find their way back to Yorkshire – and Yaz’s family – only to find something is stirring amidst the eight-legged arachnid population of Sheffield.
 Arachnids In The UK: The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) Arachnids In The UK: Yaz (Mandip Gill), Najia (Shobna Gulati) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) Arachnids In The UK: Yaz (Mandip Gill) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) Arachnids In The UK: Frankie (Jaleh Alp) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) Arachnids In The UK: Kevin (William Meredith), Robertson (Chris Noth) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) Arachnids In The UK: Robertson (Chris Noth) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) Arachnids In The UK: The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) (Credit: BBC Studios (Simon Ridgeway)) Arachnids In The UK: Sonya (Bhavnisha Parmar), Yaz (Mandip Gill), Najia (Shobna Gulati), Hakim (Ravin J Ganatra) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) Arachnids In The UK: Ryan (Tosin Cole), Graham (Bradley Walsh), Jade (Tanya Fear), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) Arachnids In The UK: The Tardis, Graham (Bradley Walsh) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) Arachnids In The UK: Jade (Tanya Fear), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Ryan (Tosin Cole), Graham (Bradley Walsh) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) Arachnids In The UK: Ryan (Tosin Cole), Graham (Bradley Walsh) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall))


Episode 4 Trailer | Arachnids In The UK | Doctor Who
FIRST LOOK: Episode 4 | Arachnids In The UK

This episode will debut on BBC One at 7.00pm.

Main Broadcast Details
United KingdomBBC OneSunday 28th October7.00pm BST
United States of AmericaBBC AmericaSunday 28th October8.00pm EDT
CanadaSPACESunday 28th October8.00pm EDT
AustraliaABCMonday 29th October6.00pm AEST

Full listings here




Doctor Who - Live Escape Game - Worlds CollideBookmark and Share

Thursday, 25 October 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Worlds Collide (Credit: Escape Hunt / BBC Studios)BBC Studios and Escape Hunt have today revealed the official name of the forthcoming Doctor Who – The Live Escape Game, will be called Worlds Collide.

To celebrate the news, visitors to London’s Comic-Con, being held this weekend, will be able to test themselves against the clock with a world first taster experience of the new game on the official BBC Studios stand at ExCeL London. The ‘Worlds Collide Escape Cube’ is designed as a fun prequel to the escape room game launching later this year.

Fans can also enter an Escape Hunt competition to become one of the first in the UK to experience the full game at their nearest venue with up to five friends. To enter, fans must simply like a picture of the ‘Worlds Collide Escape Cube’ taster experience at Comic-Con on Escape Hunt UK’s Facebook page (T&Cs apply).

Richard Harpham, CEO Escape Hunt PLC, says
At Escape Hunt, we’re incredibly excited to be working with BBC Studios to create Doctor Who – The Live Escape Game. Comic Con is one of the biggest events in the Doctor Who calendar and with the series having such a dedicated fan base from all over the UK, being able to give these fans the first taster experience of Worlds Collide is a huge opportunity. We just hope they have as much fun trying to crack it as we’ve had creating it.
Doctor Who – The Live Escape Game will open in Escape Hunt venues around the country from early 2019. To register for news about tickets visit escapehunt.com

To enter the prize draw for the chance to win a free game in the Worlds Collide room, participants must simply like a picture of the ‘Worlds Collide Escape Cube’ at Comic-Con on the Escape Hunt UK Facebook page between the 26th October and 5th November. The winner will be notified on the 6th November. Full T&Cs here.




The Ghost Monument - Official RatingsBookmark and Share

Monday, 22 October 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The Ghost Monument: The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Ilin (Art Malik) (Credit: BBC Studios (Coco Van Opens))Doctor Who: The Ghost Monument had an official rating of 9.00 million viewers, according to figures released by the Broadcasting Research Audience Board, BARB.

8.67 million watched the episode on a conventional TV set. However the BARB 4-Screen Dashboard shows that an additional 184,000 watched on their PC, 83,000 watched on a Tablet device and 64,000 watched on a smartphone These figures make Doctor Who the 4th most watched programme of the week ending 14th October.

Top for the week were the two editions of Strictly Come Dancing, with the Saturday show getting 12.03 million watching. Channel 4 had a rare entry into the top ten at number 3 with The Great British Bake Off getting 9.22 million viewers.

On ITV Coronation Street managed to get 8.0 million watching and was fifth in the weekly chart.

The Ghost Monument had an Appreciation Index score of 82, scoring higher with women than men and higher with those aged under 35.




New UNIT Stories From Big FinishBookmark and Share

Monday, 22 October 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Tim Treloar, Jon Culshaw,  Katy Manning, John Levene (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish Productions are to release a new set of audio adventures featuring some iconic characters from the days of UNIT.

When Tim Treloar and Katy Manning return as the Third Doctor and Jo Grant in The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five, they’ll be joining forces with three other characters from 1970s Doctor Who, The Brigadier, Benton and Liz Shaw.

In this new audio box set, made in association with BBC Studios, Jon Culshaw will take on the role of UNIT commanding officer Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, a character appearing under licence from the Haisman Literary Estate.

After an extensive casting process, senior producer David Richardson and executive producer Nick Briggs finally remembered a conversation they’d had with Jon, when he told them the thing he’d most like to do for Big Finish would be to play the Brigadier. Briggs explains.
After checking his rendition of the character in the BBC Audiobook of The Five Doctors, we just gave him the job!. ‘It was a very tricky thing casting someone to do justice to Nicholas Courtney’s brilliant, original performance. Jon has done this with honour and love for what the splendid Mr Courtney did all those years ago.
The Haisman Estate told us about bringing back the Brigadier for the Third Doctor Adventures
We thrilled at the choice Big Finish have made. We've always admired Culshaw's voice work, and in particular enjoyed his rendition of the Brigadier in The Five Doctors audiobook. We look forward to hearing the Brigadier returning to Big Finish in such a substantial way!
Returning alongside the Brigadier is Liz Shaw, the first companion of the Third Doctor. She will be portrayed by Daisy Ashford, the daughter of the original Liz Shaw actress, Caroline John (who played the role on TV and returned to the role for several Companion Chronicles at Big Finish).

Plus, returning to play Sergeant Benton is John Levene. John first played the part of Benton (who was then a corporal) in the Second Doctor TV adventure The Invasion. He returned to become a regular with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee (also appearing with later with Tom Baker), and has previously reprised Benton twice for Big Finish.

Daisy Ashford, Tim Treloar, Jon Culshaw, Katy Manning (Credit: Big Finish)Tim Treloar, who has portrayed the Third Doctor on audio since 2015, has been at the forefront of a new era of 70s audio Who treats. David Richardson, producer of The Third Doctor Adventures said
It’s been so rewarding to see how Doctor Who fans have embraced these new Third Doctor stories. We knew Tim’s performance (and it is a performance, not a mere impersonation) as the Third Doctor was extraordinary – and it’s clear that listeners feel the same way too.” The two adventures in The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five will require the Third Doctor, all his companions AND the full might of UNIT to save planet Earth.
In the first story, Primords (from the Doctor Who TV story Inferno) interrupt the Doctor and Liz Shaw’s reunion, and become one of the fiercest tests of UNIT and the Doctor to date. And in the second, 'ghostly' adventure, the population of a village are apparently being spirited away in the oddest of manners.

Katy Manning (who plays Jo Grant) told what it was like to bring back these beloved characters
It was a joy working with Jon Culshaw, and working with Tim has been so much fun, watching him become the Doctor more and more. But Jon came in and in an instant (and I won’t tell him how!) caught the Brigadier immediately!
Daisy Ashford says of coming to the Big Finish fold to play Liz Shaw:
I’m really excited and honoured to have been asked to play Liz, and to step into my Mum’s brilliant shoes!
Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five will be released in May 2019, available for pre-order now at £25 on CD and £20 on download.




Rosa - Press ReactionBookmark and Share

Monday, 22 October 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Rosa: Rosa Parks (Vinette Robinson) (Credit: BBC Studios (Coco Van Oppens))Press reaction to Doctor Who's Third episode of 2018, Rosa, is once more overwhelmingly positive, with most commentators praising the subject matter and the way it was handled.

Radio Times felt by tackling historical subjects the series was returning to its roots. "What’s pleasing is that there are no Clever Dick solutions. The time travellers work hard to keep time on track. Who’d have thought that getting a tweedy seamstress and a driver on the right bus at the right time would provide dramatic tension? And there’s a sharp beat when the Time Lord realises she and her team are part of history: “We have to not help her."

The Mirror considers the episode a very important one for the series. "It may surprise some for the series to tackle racism head-on rather than with veiled allegories, but with Chibnall promising to bring back the educational element of the series, the show has proved that the showrunner is keeping to that promise, and it is refreshing for the long-running show to offer some vital social commentary - not just on the past but also issues today."

The Independent singles out the lead actress for much praise. "As with her previous adventures, Whittaker’s Time Lord is the best thing about “Rosa”. The actor has finally started to tone down the overenthusiastic tics that threatened to bubble over early on. True, she is once again a gregarious human space-hopper, with a winning line in self-referential zingers – she half-jokes about being Banksy – however, a rumination on Jim Crow oppression calls for a restrained performance, and she delivers. "

The Telegraph disliked the episode thinking it stodgy "When allowed to riff on history rather than be confined by it, Doctor Who(BBC One, Sunday) can be a ludicrous romp (Let’s Kill Hitler) or deeply poignant (Vincent and the Doctor). Barring a couple of good gags about Elvis and Banksy, however, Chris Chibnall and Malorie Blackman’s episode felt overawed by the history it was depicting, short-changing some imaginative direction from Mark Tonderai and bearing a score weighed down by French horns straight from the gloopier end of The West Wing."

Den of Geek praised the actress taking on the difficult role of Rasa Parks. "Rosa is played by Vinette Robinson, who manages to embody Parks with apparent ease. Robinson exudes both a quiet strength and a weariness at the continued injustices thrown her way. There’s a fire in her when she meets the TARDIS team, as she tells them in no uncertain terms to leave Montgomery or face the consequences."

Digital Spy praised the way the episode tackled difficult issues. "Doctor Who manages to tackle her story without feeling glib, treating it with the respect and deference it deserves and resisting the urge to pit Parks against monsters from outer space."