Doctor Who Magazine - 2022 YearbookBookmark and Share

Friday, 31 December 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine Special 59 The 2022 Yearbook (Credit: Panini)

The latest Doctor Who Magazine Special, the 2022 Yearbook is now on sale.

Series 13 of Doctor Who unfolded in a serialised format that took the programme back to its roots, while presenting the most spectacular visual effects in the show’s history.

Compiled with unparalleled access to the production of Flux, this Special Edition is packed full of all-new content, including exclusive contributions from the cast and crew members behind a landmark series of Doctor Who.

Highlights include:

  • Exclusive interviews with Segun Akinola (composer), Nadia Albina (Diane), Paul Broughton (Neville Lewis), Danny Marie Elias (prosthetics designer), Craige Els (Karvanista), Mandip Gill (Yaz), Sue Jenkins (Eileen Lewis), Steve Oram (Williamson), Craig Parkinson (the Grand Serpent), Sara Powell (Mary Seacole), Claire Pritchard-Jones (make-up designer), Jonathan Watson (Sontarans) and Jodie Whittaker (the Doctor).
  • An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the opening sequence of Flux including exclusive contributions from Jodie Whittaker, Chris Chibnall (showrunner) and Jamie Magnus Stone (director).
  • Analyses of every episode of Flux.
  • A diary of the most significant events of 2021, both on-screen and off.
  • Ten pages of tributes to the Doctor Who luminaries who passed away during 2021.

 

DWM Special Edition 59: The 2022 Yearbook is on sale from Thursday 30 December at WH Smith, selected supermarkets and online from panini.co.uk priced £6.99.

A digital edition is also available, priced £5.99 from pocketmags.com





Eve of the Daleks publicityBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 December 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Eve of the Daleks poster (portrait clean) (Credit: BBC/James Pardon)

This year's festive special, Eve of the Daleks, will premiere on BBC One at 7:00pm on New Year's Day.

 

The BBC's guide to the Christmas line-up reports:

The Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and friends will kick-start 2022 with an action-packed spectacular episode set to air on BBC One on New Year’s Day. The festive special will feature guest stars Aisling Bea (This Way Up, Living With Yourself, Quiz), Adjani Salmon (Dreaming Whilst Black, Enterprice) and Pauline McLynn (Father Ted, Shameless).

Sarah (Aisling Bea) owns and runs ELF storage, and Nick (Adjani Salmon) is a customer who visits his unit every year on New Year’s Eve. This year, however, their night turns out to be a little different than planned…

The festive episode is the first of three Doctor Who Specials airing in 2022. The second Special airs in Spring and Jodie’s final feature-length Special (in where the Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate), will transmit in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

Doctor Who is a BBC Studios production for BBC One and a BBC America co-production. BBC Studios are the international distributors for Doctor Who.

Speaking about festive treats in general, the BBC's Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore said:

Christmas 2021 is a time to reunite with friends and family once more, and this year’s line-up of must-see shows will bring everyone together to share the festive season on the BBC. There’s a stocking full of special programmes to enthral and enchant featuring your favourite stars and characters, whatever your mood. The BBC is the place to be entertained this Christmas and New Year.

 

Focussing on the show itself, the BBC have released a number of interviews with the cast and crew:

Interview with Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor)

What can audiences expect from Eve Of The Daleks?

I think the festive special is a wonderful high octane contained story, so if you haven’t seen the series, including the Flux, you can start this episode and be taken on a rollercoaster through a scenario where the Doctor, Yaz and Dan are stuck in a time loop. Not only are they stuck in a time loop, they’re being pursued by the Doctor’s biggest enemy, which is the Daleks. For the Doctor it is her worst scenario.

This is all set on New Year’s Eve and we’ve two fantastic guest stars, Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon who are not only hilarious but also wonderful actors that provide so much energy and brilliant chemistry. Audiences can expect lots of comedy, lots of fun, high stakes, huge amounts of jeopardy and an energised rollercoaster ride.

Can you introduce us to Sarah and Nick? How was it working with Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon?

In the New Year’s Day special we were really lucky to work with Adjani Salmon and Aisling Bea. I had met Aisling before - and had never met Adjani - so I knew how lovely Aisling was going to be and how hilarious she is! My first introduction to Adjani was when we did the read through on Zoom and he was absolutely hilarious and I couldn’t wait for his energy and Aisling’s energy, they’re so different and they complement each other so well. Because they’re both from a world of comedy which I’m not from or Mandip’s not from (but obviously John is!) it was like comedy gold dust just being on set with them, they were making us laugh the whole time. What they brought to the characters and what they brought to the episode was really fun, a lot of high energy, a lot of farce, high stakes in this very groundhog, Russian Doll environment.

What was it like filming this time loop story from an actor’s perspective?

From the actor’s perspective, filming a repetitive moment or the replaying of the same moment in time – the Groundhog Day sequences where we exit the TARDIS and you realise that time is playing a loop - it’s actually really fun to shoot because you end up shooting really quick. So because you set it up, you’re covering so many moments that it’s only slightly different. It’s a little bit tricky sometimes because it all does turn into one in your head and then you’ll turn a corner and realise you’re shooting a different moment and it’s unexpected.

I have to say being on set the episode feels like it’s going at a million miles an hour even though you’re hitting the same moment every time, so I found that fascinating. It was brilliant because it’s contained, it’s in one location, there’s a real brilliant use of comedy with the Daleks as well which was really interesting to do. But also there was just five of us the entire time and that was so much fun.

What was it like filming the scenes where you’re exterminated?

When I read this episode for the first time and in one of the opening moments get exterminated I genuinely thought, “Somebody has decided to write me out a bit sooner than I thought!” It’s brilliant to play because the first time, for the Doctor, it’s as if you’re grasping at those seconds and that realisation that it could be your last moment. And for you to be killed by a Dalek would be so horrendous! But then once you realise you’re in this time loop the anticipation of the pain and the fun that can be had with that... it’s the first time in my career I’ve died so many times in an episode, there’s always a first!

What makes the Daleks so frightening?

What makes a Dalek so frightening is no matter how many times you think you’ve defeated them they always come back. And it’s that never-ending game of tennis, terrifying tennis.

How has the Doctor and Yaz’s relationship developed since they first met each other?

I think what’s been great is the amount of time that’s played out, I think obviously (our) first season was in real time... but with season twelve and season thirteen what happens is we have these elongated gaps between seasons and the time spent away, like the months that the Doctor’s in prison. In this season, there’s the time where Yaz has absolutely no idea if she’s going to see the Doctor again.

So the Doctor has given Yaz a hologram of information and Yaz continually plays it as her one connection to the Doctor when they’re parted in time. I think what’s brilliant is that these two, have had out of everyone - for my Doctor - the most amount of time together. And so it grows from Yaz’s perspective from somebody who is finding her feet to leading and confidence. What the Doctor loves is seeing Yaz’s independence and confidence grow, but she never falters in always being there for the Doctor and vice versa as well.

Interview with Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan)

What can audiences expect from the New Year’s Day special?

The New Year’s special is a standalone episode so it’s a really easy access point for anyone that perhaps didn’t watch the series or has never watched Doctor Who. It’s full of adventure, there’s a lot at stake, particularly for the Doctor but it’s also the funniest episode we’ve done. There’s lots of humour, there’s lots of warmth, romance, and then there’s this really cool storyline in which the gang are stuck in a time loop against the Daleks and unless they break the time loop it’s not going to look good for them.

It’s a really nice, essentially easy watch but not because there is a lot at stake but at the same time, having come off the back of Flux which has been quite an intense series, it’s a little bit different for people.

We’ve got Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon joining the cast for this one. What it was like working with them and can you tell us anything about their characters?

For this episode we worked with Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon. We had a really good time. Essentially it was just me, Jodie, John, Aisling and Adjani together for a couple of weeks in the same set as it’s we’re stuck in a time loop. We just had such fun. There was a time where Jodie, Aisling and I really convinced ourselves that it would be a good idea to do a music video because there was a big silver gate and it reminded us of Girls Aloud’s ‘Sound of the Underground’.

We practiced it, then we had to go to set, then we practiced it again and in my head I really thought Adjani was actually our tour manager. John kept going in and out and I think we said he could be the director but really we knew we didn’t need direction! In my head we were really going to do this music video and then it didn’t happen. Aisling was a bit like the director, she gave us our lines. I was like, “Can I be Kimberley because she’s really northern?” and she let me do that bit which was really nice of her!

How are the central trio managing off the back of Flux?

The trio have been through a lot, and they’ve been separated for quite a long time. Weirdly we sort of forget about the emotional turmoil that we’ve all been through, to some degree. What happens in this world is you get thrown into another challenge and adventure, you meet new people, and you dust yourself off and you’re back in it again.

There’s no time to sort of reflect on everything that has gone on. However, we do, I’ve been on a really long journey with Dan in which he’s seen things and emotions, a side to me he probably wouldn’t have seen if we hadn’t been separated from the Doctor. He starts to question my actions, he makes me think about my actions and my feelings so we do remember to a degree what we’ve been through and what happened when we were separated so we do touch upon that, we don’t just forget about the distance and the years that we spent apart. At the same time, they are just thrown into a new adventure and they don’t have time to think about the gravitas of the Flux at that point.

How was it working with the Daleks this time around and what makes them so fun as a villain?

The Daleks have been around quite a few times since I’ve been in Doctor Who but every time you become more familiar with them. In the beginning I didn’t really speak to the actors and questioned whether there was anyone in there, but we’ve become so familiar with the actors playing the Daleks that we have chats in between scenes. John was like, “Can I get in?” and I was like, “He’s so brave, I’ve been here for years, and I’ve not asked to get in, but I wish I was more that person!”

They’re just brilliant aren’t they? They don’t look like the scariest of creatures but they are so dangerous, so I can only assume that’s why people like them. Every time they come in they create chaos and turmoil, sometimes we beat them and sometimes we haven’t. I’m not saying audience want us to be exterminated, perhaps they do, but I just think that’s what you tune in for, the trepidation and you know when these things come something is about to go down.

Were there any other stand out moments from filming this special in particular?

It was really fun to be working with Aisling and Adjani. They’re very funny people. It was just us five in this wet tunnel and we get on so well with the crew but you’re in a storage unit, there’s only so much space and they’ve got shelves up. Aisling created these characters from my life and played them for me, just for me, it was like having a one woman show every time we cut camera.

We’d be acting, then we’d cut and I’d turn around to Aisling every time we cut and ask “what else have you got for me then?” and she’d turn it on, start doing this performance, I’d be laughing my head off thinking “how has she thought of this, where has this come from, how does she have so much energy?” And then at action we’d go again and then at cut I’d basically look for her to entertain me the whole time!

This episode is all about time loops. If you could go back in time and relive any one event in your life, what would it be?

That’s a very deep question. I’m thinking “could I go back and do something better?” The answer is probably no. We went to Canada as a family when I was 7 or 8 and you have those performances where someone gets up and starts performing and I for some reason said I’d be Elvis Presley, and I absolutely loved it. I was in my element and my family thought it was the best thing that ever happened. They were cheering me on. There was no other audience, just my family, and I remember thinking “I am absolutely brilliant!” For me if I could go back and relive that moment, those are the moments where I probably realised I loved performing. I had a guitar and everything. Very random because I definitely wasn’t listening to his music.

What would Yaz’s New Year’s resolution be at this point in the story?

I think Yaz’s New Year’s resolution at this point should be to talk about her emotions a little bit more with people in the TARDIS and people back in Sheffield. She’s a very emotionally intelligent character and she always bangs on to the Doctor to talk about what she went through and open up but all the while she’s been hiding this turmoil she went through when she was younger. She’s got mixed emotions and is toying with things at the time of this episode and yet really when someone confronts her, she doesn’t answer so I think I’d say to Yaz to take her own advice.

What will your own resolution be, do you believe in them?

I think resolutions are brilliant. It doesn’t matter if you don’t stick to them. Also, I tend to make resolutions throughout the year. I think it’s really nice to give yourself a goal because prior to me giving myself goals, I used to say I have no willpower and I have to eat all the cakes and cookies I see! I’m going to make a resolution I think, I don’t know what it is but it’s definitely going to be along the lines of exercise or something. Make time to move, even if it’s just to walk. I’m always too busy but this year I’m actually going to do it as a New Year’s resolution and see how long it goes.

Interview with John Bishop (Dan Lewis)

What can audiences expect from the New Year's Day special, what kind of adventure do the trio go on?

It’s like a time loop, in the time loop it finds us in Manchester on New Year’s Eve where the Daleks are about to take out the Doctor forever. The problem that we face is that every time there’s a potential to interrupt them we get caught by them and get exterminated and have to start again. And that’s the maddest of all experiences because obviously (after) extermination by a Dalek, there’s no going back.

So to have actually been one of the few characters ever to have survived the Dalek extermination in fact I think, ever, is a bit of an honour. It’s also a bit of an odd thing because how do you die? There are different ways of dying but when a Dalek exterminates you, you sort of freeze. I kept on trying to make it better every time!

We’ve heard this is a very fun special, with a comedy element in there too?

The relationship between Aisling (Bea) and Adjani (Salmon) is great - there are some ad libs they dropped in which Chris kept in as they are great comic actors and both very funny. It’s fast-paced, because it’s a loop the narrative keeps changing so it’s a fast pace, it’s got to start and restart itself a lot throughout the episode.

It’s contained because of where’s it’s taking place in a warehouse in Manchester and it’s fun! Anything to do with something as iconic as the Daleks is bound to be fun but this is a massive step up, from my point of view as anyone who gets a part in Doctor Who hopes there may be a scene with the Daleks. You don’t always expect to get this interaction with them, it’s brilliant!

How was it working with Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon?

Aisling I know from stand-up, I’ve known her for a long time and we’ve gigged together but we’ve never acted together and Adjani none of us knew (beforehand) I don’t think. It was just easy, and it felt very comfortable straight away. There was a sense of claustrophobia a little bit because we’re in this warehouse, but it was all filmed in a bunker, people were saying was a nuclear bunker – it felt like one even if it wasn’t one! There was no room not to get on with each other because we were literally underground for a few weeks filming it.

Did you have any standout memories from being on set?

Aisling (Bea) can flip her voices and characters and all that so there was loads of messing about and having a laugh. Obviously the Daleks themselves, they stay on set and when the actors (playing them) aren’t in the Dalek you just find yourself sat having a cup of tea leaning against a Dalek, talking with Adjani about football! It was just bizarre.

This episode is all about time loops, if you were stuck in a time loop yourself and had to repeat a big moment what would you do again?

I’ve had loads of fantastic moments throughout my life and career. It sounds naff but the last proper holiday we went on before lockdown was in the Maldives and there’s been many a time over the last couple of years I thought “I’d do that again!” So if I could get stuck in a time loop I wouldn’t mind being in a nice hotel in the Maldives!

Where do we find Dan in this special?

He’s comfortable with the Doctor and Mandip and he’s a comfortable time traveller. It’s still clear that he has a hankering to go home at some stage in his life. He’s definitely enjoying it and has got confidence to contribute to what is going on. He takes the responsibility at certain times in the episode to be the person who makes a difference whereas prior to this he wasn’t ready to do that, he wasn’t able to.

If he had a New Year’s resolution at this point, what do you think it would be?

I think to be more proactive and take charge - I think there’s a point in this episode where he decides to take on the Dalek and delay them.

Are you a fan of New Year’s Day? Do you have any New Year’s Day traditions?

We started going away for New Year and we go to a hotel with friends and our New Year’s Day tradition is to get up and walk to the pub through some fields and then walk back, regardless of the weather and the sore heads from the night before!

Interview with Adjani Salmon (Nick)

What can audiences expect from Eve Of The Daleks?

It’s about a shy and lovestruck character who is trying to build up the courage to profess his feelings for Sarah (Aisling Bea), and that gets interrupted by Daleks! They end up in a time loop where he has to do so before time runs out!

How was it working with Jodie, John and Mandip? Did you and Aisling immediately slot into the dynamic?

It felt like we were welcomed into a family. It felt like I was invited to someone’s family barbecue - everyone is welcoming and offering food and wants to show you what’s happening! Immediately before I even met Jodie and the rest of the cast, Jodie reached out and asked for my number to say she was glad I was coming on the show so before I even met her I was already welcomed by her. It was good fun and we had loads of great chats!

We heard there was a music video being created on set?

Yes - Aisling, Mandip and Jodie decided they were the new Girls Aloud and I was the cameraman!

This episode is all about time loops, if you had to repeat any day from your own life on a loop what would it be?

There was a time I went to a friend’s birthday at Dunn’s River Falls – which is a waterfall that falls into the sea. It was waterfalls, beach, rum, music and friends – that would be the day.

What would Nick’s New Year’s resolution be?

After all that he’s been through I think his New Year’s resolution would be to be brave to pursue whatever he wants.

How was it working with the Daleks?

The actors (in the Daleks) are so great – I didn’t even know actors were in there! There are so many things that you don’t know about Doctor Who until you’re doing it. Nick (Briggs) who actually speaks, speaks live and you hear him live as well. The first take we did I think was when the Daleks come and I react to them and when he spoke I couldn’t believe it – that was a real reaction!

Do you have any New Year’s Day traditions?

New Year’s Eve is normally partying with friends and family. The day is very much about reflecting on the past year and setting goals that you want to achieve throughout the year.

What was your biggest surprise filming Doctor Who, apart from actors being inside the Daleks?

One thing I took away is how much easier it is when you have a solid team. The entire Doctor Who clique is like a family and a unit. It feels like a family working together and when we were in high pressure environment it was still this synergy of everyone working and moving and getting it done. As a filmmaker I’m watching it thinking “I want this energy when I’m on set!”

Interview with Chris Chibnall (Showrunner)

Can you give us an overview of the New Year’s Day special?

In the New Year’s Day special we are in a storage facility in Manchester and ten minutes to midnight on New Year’s Eve and it’s a time travel loop romantic comedy with Daleks, Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon. The Doctor lands the TARDIS in a place she’s not expecting to land in order to reset it from the damage done to it in the Flux in the previous series. She has to face continuously escaping Daleks in a time loop and save the lives of the two people who are there on New Year’s Eve.

How complicated was it to write a time loop story?

It was incredibly complicated - I have the grid on my whiteboard at home! But that was the challenge of it, that was the delight of it and we hadn’t really done an episode like this. The idea of doing a romantic comedy with Daleks as the obstacle felt nice, the idea of doing a time loop romantic comedy felt really nice. It takes a lot of work but also the delight of the decreasing amount of time across each time loop, so each time loop was separately plotted…it took a lot of work and it was really rewarding.

How did Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon come to be involved?

It was written for Aisling to be honest. I talked to her very early on, we’d wanted her in the show, we thought about this story and I spoke to her and said “this is what we’re thinking of doing and would you be up for it?” She was great, she was really super positive and amazing as she is, and she agreed to do it! And with Adjani, Rebecca Roughan, one of our script editors had seen his work on Dreaming Whilst Black - his show that he’d done on both YouTube and a now as a BBC Three pilot – and went “he’s a star!” He is a star as Aisling is a star, so we roped him in as well and they are a brilliant double act and we are really lucky to have them in what is ostensibly a two hander.

What’s the relationship between Jodie, John, Mandip and the guest stars?

They seem to get on brilliantly. I think the great thing is Jodie, Mandip and John just create this incredible welcoming atmosphere. John was on the receiving end of it in episode one, where he was welcomed into the family and studios in Roath Lock and on location. He becomes part of the family very quickly and then he’s welcoming in new people as guest artists come in across the series and the specials. I think the delight of working on this show is people who come in for an episode or a couple of episodes, they just become a very tight knit team. Obviously with the episode where you’re in a time loop and you’re doing scenes in the same spaces with the same characters again and again I think they had a proper great time with it.

What’s different about the Daleks in the special?

These are execution Daleks they’ve got slightly different weapons and have very much come with a very clear purpose for this. They are not trying to destroy the world they are trying to destroy the Doctor in payment for what has been done to the Daleks at the end of the previous series.

Interview with Annetta Laufer (Director)

Can you tell us a bit about how you came on board for this project, and what attracted you to the job?

I got contacted by the producer of our episode Sheena Bucktowonsing who had seen some of my work online - in particular a Sci Fi short film I directed called Afro Punk Girl. She emailed me and asked if I was interested in meeting her and later Chris (Chibnall), and it went from there. The reason I decided to join Doctor Who was because I knew such a genre bending, epic story telling format was going to be a huge and fun challenge for me to embark on. Plus I was going to work with the first female Doctor in the history of Doctor Who! That’s pretty awesome!

What were the biggest challenges filming Eve Of The Daleks?

From a practical point of view - it was time, time, time. We had a lot to shoot in a short space of time while also making sure it looked cinematic and exciting. The locations were also a challenge - especially the narrow corridors. Moving around with cast and crew and equipment, and Daleks and abide by all the strict COVID-19 rules in place, made it very challenging.

But we luckily had a fantastic crew who were fast and extremely efficient so we always managed to get it done. From a story point of view - the challenge was keeping track of which time loop we were in, as we were shooting out of sequence and so some time loops could appear very similar. We also had to keep track of what the ‘story time’ was on the clock as each loop lost one minute.

What was the atmosphere like on set? You had a few comics in this cast – there must have been lots of laughs?

The atmosphere was amazing. We laughed A LOT! But also everyone worked really hard and were incredibly focused. So we actually got so much work done. Everyone was such a joy to work with.

Have you always been a Doctor Who fan, and if so what are some of your own favourite episodes or specials from previous series?

I was never really a big Doctor Who fan when I was a kid. I remember it being on TV but I wasn’t much into Sci Fi at the time. It is only when the reboot started that I took more notice. Some of my favourite specials from previous years include The Runaway Bride, Voyage of the Damned and The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe. I also really enjoyed Resolution and Spyfall Part 1 with our 13th Doctor.

Were you involved in any of the casting?

Chris had suggested Aisling Bea which I thought was a great idea. I knew Adjani from his web series Dreaming Whilst Black so when his name was put name forward I was excited, as was Chris.

Will you be watching it yourself on New Year’s Day? What do you hope audiences take away from this episode?

I will be watching it with my family on New Year’s Day which will be a lot of fun. What I want the audience to take away with them is a feeling of happiness and a warm glow inside. After all the heavy months we have been through, I think everyone deserves a bit of magic and cheer. So what could be better than watching a Rom Com with Daleks!

 

 

Other territories that have confirmed broadcast at the time of writing include the USA (BBC America, with a simulcast broadcast at 2pm EST), Australia (ABC, with the episode available on iView shortly after UK broadcast), Canada (CTV SciFi), New Zealand (TV2) and Turkey (BBC Prime); full broadcast details can be found via This Week in Doctor Who.





The Artwork of Jeff Cummins and Colin HowardBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 December 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Following on from the release of the artwork of Chris Achilléos in Kklak! at the end of 2020Candy Jar Books have announced two new volumes to be released next year, featuring fellow artists Jeff Cummins and Colin Howard. Both books are available to pre-order in paperback or limited edition hardback exclusively from the Candy Jar Books website.

 


 

The Invisible Artist (Credit: Candy Jar Books)


The Invisible Artist - sample images (Credit: Candy Jar Books)
Jeff Cummins has been a prolific artist on many book covers, album covers, and posters since 1976. He is well-known for his work on the Target novelisations of the 1970s/1980s, most notably The Face of Evil, The Three Doctors and Horror of Fang Rock, as well as cover art for several of the New Adventures of the 1990s, including the seminal Dimension Riders and Conundrum. His cover work for Doctor Who helped redefine the look of Target books, expanding the canvas begun by Chris Achilléos.

 

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell said:

After the success of Kklak! it was an obvious thing to do more collections of popular Doctor Who artists. Jeff Cummins was the second one on my list, since, although popular, his Doctor Who work is only a small part of his portfolio. Which makes for an interesting book; Doctor Who fans love to discover further works of their favourite artists. So why not have it all in one book?

Born, educated and art-schooled in Flintshire, North Wales, Jeff Cummins moved to London in 1974 and while working a graphic designer there, he freelanced and painted posters for Bruce Lee, covers for Kung Fu Monthly, Doctor Who and The Six Million Dollar Man for TV Sci-Fi MagazineHowever, with many recognising his work but unaware he was the artist, he often thought of himself invisible, hence this volume entitled The Invisible Artist!

Jeff said:

I’ve been scribbling for as long as I can remember. Any blank surface was fair game; bedroom walls, the backs of family photographs, whatever I could lay my pencil or ballpoint on. My appetite to draw was voracious! I kind of stood out at school, but not for any academic achievement. I would be given any number of art projects by teachers and pupils alike.

A long-time fan of the Target range, in particular the work Jeff did, the book is edited by Andy Frankham-Allen,
who said:

It was a fascinating project to be given. I was always aware of the work Jeff did on his Doctor Who covers, both for Target and Virgin, and his work for Horror of Fang Rock and The Dimension Riders have always been among my favourite pieces of Doctor Who art. I, rather foolishly, expected this book to be highly focused on his Doctor Who work, so imagine my surprise when I discovered how much else he had done. As it turns out, I knew a fair bit of his art, even owned some on albums and singles, but I never knew it was Jeff who had painted them. I guess it’s not without reason he often calls himself the Invisible Artist. My biggest surprise was that he did the poster for Back to the Future, one my favourite movies of all time, the cover art for the Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson single Say, Say, Say. The book is a powerhouse of surprises!

Jeff added:

My Target experience overall was happy, intense, but satisfying. Although I only ever see faults in my work, the generous feedback I’ve received over the years is very humbling. I’m very proud of my association with Doctor Who and my small contribution to its history.

As well as his Doctor Who work, the book also discusses The Beatles, of Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda, how Jeff was involved in the marketing of the blockbuster film Back to the Future, painting such artists of Eric Clapton, Ozo, Blondie, David Essex… and so many more. If a pop/rock artist was popular in the late’70s/early-80s, the chances are you’ll find them in The Invisible Artist.

 


 

Timeslides (Credit: Candy Jar Books)




Timeslides - sample images (Credit: Candy Jar Books)
While most fans will know Colin Howard best for illustrating some thirty VHS covers in the 1990s, his Doctor Who portfolio further includes a vast amount of highly-detailed paintings for Doctor Who Magazine, the BBC Books ranges, private commissions, the Lethbridge-Stewart novels, calendars, posters, Doctor Who Classic Comics, and the recent DVD and Blu-ray range of animations for missing episodes like The Macra Terror, Shada, and The Evil of the DaleksTimeslides explores this incredible body of work, with each piece accompanied by a fascinating commentary from Colin.

 

Shaun Russell enthused:

One of the great things about Timeslides is that Colin’s still has a huge number of sketches he made before setting out to work on each piece. That was particularly exciting because it gives you that extra glimpse behind the scenes, sits you right at his desk, so it was immediately obvious that we’d include as many of those preliminary drawings as we could.

Colin Howard said:

I was really keen to open up my portfolio and see what fell out. We had a few disasters – I'd saved much of my original art and accompanying sketches, as well as the final products they were used on, but some of that was lost thanks to a leak in the roof!

Fortunately, the main victims were the replaceable bits: we managed to salvage all the originals, and we've worked hard to reproduce them in a high-quality that even the BBC struggled to print back in the day.

Timeslides (which takes its name from an episode of Colin's beloved Red Dwarf) is edited by Philip Bates, author of 100 Objects of Doctor Who. He said:

When Shaun told me Candy Jar would be working with Colin on a book of his Doctor Who art, I cleared a space on my bookshelf next to Kklak! I was eager to get my hands on a copy. Little did I realise that Shaun was actually asking me to edit it.

I grew up in the so-called ‘Wilderness Years’, and those gorgeous VHS covers were my introduction to Doctor Who in other mediums, probably before I was aware of the Target novels properly. So the videos hold a special place in my heart, and I know that’s true for so many other fans too. Naturally, I was super excited at the idea of getting to know Colin, let alone riffle through his archive – much of which many Doctor Who fans have never seen before. It’s an absolute privilege.

In this unique glimpse inside the artist’s studio, Colin chats about his artistic inspirations and aspirations, which aspects of Doctor Who really capture his imagination, which works he’s especially proud of, his real-life adventures at a cheetah rehabilitation centre in South Africa, and much more.Philip explained how difficult it’s been narrowing down what actually made it into Timeslides: 

One of the main challenges has been deciding on the shortlist, such is the wealth of artwork in his collection. I thought I knew Colin’s portfolio well, but I was shocked to learn just how much more he’s done. The VHS covers were essential. But how do you decide which other masterpieces make the cut? I gravitate towards artworks with great stories behind them… but talking with Colin, it became clear that that’s true of all his paintings. I mean, he's got his very own ‘missing Doctor Who story’ – one of his pieces was lost in transit and has been MIA for over twenty-five years!

But I'm really happy with the final selection and I think fans will love it too. It feels representative of Col's overall artistic journey, and delivers what readers expect, but there are also some great little surprises along the way too.

Colin concluded:

I'm really excited to share the final book with fans. My work has never been collected together like this before, so Timeslides feels like a definitive guide.




Series 13 RatingsBookmark and Share

Monday, 13 December 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Episode 1 (Credit: James Pardon / BBC Studios)

The final episode of Series 13: Doctor Who Flux, The Vanquishers, had a seven-day rating of 4.61 million viewers.

 

The rating made Doctor Who the 6th most-watched programme on BBC Television for the week and the 26th most-watched on all British television.  The chart was dominated by ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get me out of here with 6 of the top ten places. The most-watched programme of the week was Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One. 

 

The rating gave Doctor Who an average rating of 5.15 million for the year 2021. This is the lowest annual rating since the programme returned in 2005. However, the series scored lower than 5 million in 1986, 1987 and 1989.

In terms of chart position, each episode appeared in the list of top 30 programmes of the week. 

With the conclusion of Series 13, Doctor Who has broadcast 868 episodes which, if you watched them back to back, would last 17 days, 20 hours and 40 minutes. 

 

Series 13 Ratings
TITLE Time Length  7 Day Rating AI Position
Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse  6:26 pm  49:55  5.81m  76   8th
Chapter Two: War of The Sontarans  6:16 pm  59:24  5.13m  77  13th
Chapter Three: Once, Upon Time  6:30 pm  49:03  4.70m  75  19th
Chapter Four: Village of the Angels  6:19 pm  56:35  4.57m  79  18th
Chapter Five: Survivors of the Flux  6:26 pm  50:34  4.83m  77  21st
Chapter Six: The Vanquishers  6:22 pm  59:16  4.64m  76  26th

some data has been updated by BARB following the initial release

 

The full list of Doctor Who Ratings since the launch in 1963 can be found on the Doctor Who Guide

 





The UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other StoriesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 12 December 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster

From early 2023, Candy Jar will begin publishing a series of novels covering the adventures of UNIT – featuring Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Benton, and other characters from the Doctor Who story The Invasion (all authorised by Kate Sherwin and Hannah Haisman). In advance of those novels comes the first short story anthology:
 

The UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories

Features stories by Tim Gambrell, Simon A Brett, Iain McLaughlin, Sharon Bidwell, James Middleditch, Baz Greenland, Sarah Groenewegen and Jonathan Macho

Cover by Martin Baines

 

Join Benton and the Brigadier in nine short stories looking at life in the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. Ever wondered what happened on Benton’s first official day in UNIT, or why he left to sell used cars? Ever wondered how Benton earned his sergeant stripes? Or what he got up to on his days off? How Does UNIT select new recruits? And what happens when the clean-up after an alien incursion goes wrong?

In Operation Wildcat and Other Stories, you’ll find these things out – and a lot more.

 

 

Compiled by Range Editor Tim Gambrell, it brings together nine adventures.Tim explained further:

Candy Jar has already set a standard for short story collections with The HAVOC Files books. The UNIT Files will continue in that vein. There are a lot of aspects – personal or otherwise – of life in UNIT that haven’t been covered on TV or within spin-off media published to date. That opens up a deep well of potential material that really suits the short story medium. I think we’ve pulled together a collection of pieces for this first UNIT Files that truly reflects that.

Everyone who was able to contribute seemed hugely fired-up by the opportunity and pitched some tremendous ideas. My story in The Benton Files book sparked an idea for a pair of linked situations within Benton’s career, so I’ve used those shorter ‘scenes’ to book-end the collection.

Among the authors contributing to Operation Wildcat and Other Stories are recent Lethbridge-Stewart writers James Middleditch (The Overseers), Jonathan Macho (The Serpent’s Tongue and The Two Brigadiers) and Baz Greenland (Bloodlines: Foreword to the Past), along with the return of popular author Iain McLaughlin (Mind of Stone) and long-standing Candy Jar stalwarts Sharon Bidwell and Sarah Groenewegen. In addition, Candy Jar welcomes new author Simon A Brett. Tim said:

I’ve enjoyed Simon’s work on other projects, and I was keen to introduce some new voices early on in the UNIT range. Simon had a basic concept inspired by a recent trip to the Shetlands Islands. I knew I needed to bottle that inspiration, and we quickly worked out a storyline together (along with a punning title). As expected, what Simon delivered was spot on.

The story that gives the collection its title, Operation Wildcat, is by Sarah Groenewegen. Of the opportunity to contribute to The UNIT Files, Sarah said:

I’ve loved writing for the Brigadier, and when the opportunity came to contribute a story involving more of the UNIT family I leapt at it. Sergeant Benton was, for me, the obvious choice to focus on as an ordinary squaddie facing extraordinary foes.

I grew up with the original UNIT stories, and later spent a fair proportion of my law enforcement career alongside serving and former special forces soldiers. Some of the tales they shared about their training made me wonder about the adventures prospective UNIT soldiers might face and what qualities the organisation would look for in new recruits.

The UNIT Files sees the return of author Iain McLaughlin, whose last book for Candy Jar was Mind of Stone (which is being re-released with a brand new story very soon). Iain explains about his return:

My dad was a staff sergeant, so I’ve always been hugely fond of the UNIT stories on TV. That also means that any time there’s a chance to do a UNIT or Brigadier story I’m happy to join up and do my duty.

My contribution, Shadow, is set early in Benton’s time with UNIT. He’s still learning how things work and the brass at UNIT are still getting to know him. I wanted to do a story that gave him a chance to show there was a lot more to him than just snapping to attention and saying ‘Sir’. He wouldn’t survive – and indeed thrive – in UNIT if he wasn’t resourceful and capable as well as brave. It let me have a bit of a delve into what Benton thought he was getting into in those early days.

Of contributor James Middleditch, Tim said:

I approached James just as he was completing work for Andy Frankham-Allen on The Overseers. He was very buoyed up from the experience and eager for the next challenge.

James explained:

Doctor Who, while rightfully focusing on the Doctor and his companions, leaves us some tantalising clues about what UNIT and its troops are up to in the background – including how personnel are managed, trained and promoted. Although he holds a number of positions across his various appearances, usually Benton is referred to as sergeant – it’s the rank he seems stuck with! At last, we can find out how he took on this mantle and what challenges he had to overcome.


Jonathan Macho first came to Candy Jar’s attention as a runner-up in the second South Wales Short Competition. He then went on to write the short story The Two Brigadiers, as well as the hugely creative Lucy Wilson book, The Serpent’s Tongue. He said:

When Tim kindly asked me to contribute to the first UNIT adventures at Candy Jar, my head flooded with bonkers ideas for the Brig and Benton. Where I ended up was Bong Joon Ho’s The Host in West Wales and the most fun I've had writing a story in a long time. I can't wait to see what my fellow writers have in store for the team too!

Baz Greenland’s first novel, Foreword to the Past, closed the Lethbridge-Stewart: Bloodlines series in 2020. He said

I was delighted to be asked to contribute to The UNIT Files and to have the opportunity to write for the Brigadier once again. Not only that, I got to write for one of my favourite characters from Doctor Who – Sergeant Benton – in a story that explores just how the members of UNIT are considered by their armed forces peers.

The cover for Operation Wildcat is by ever-popular Lethbridge-Stewart artist Martin Baines. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:

It’s always a pleasure working with Martin. His creativity is second-to-none and our readers seem to appreciate his style.

 

The UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories is a hardback anthology, similar to the recent Lethbridge-Stewart books Downtime: Child of the New World, Kiss of the Ice Maiden and the illustrated Beast of Fang Rock. It will come with a postcard of the cover art and an exclusive short paperback book: The Benton Files II, featuring two new Benton short stories by 
 

UNIT: The Benton Files II (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Benton Files II

Written by George Ivanoff and new author Kenton Hall

Cover by Richard Young

 

It’s all in the mind… Or is it?

Retired Sergeant Major John Benton recounts two more tales of his experiences serving under Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. In The Lady Jessica Affair, by George Ivanoff, Benton and the Brigadier take tea with an apparently harmless elderly lady at her stately home – and end up defending the world. In Kenton Hall’s Life Assurance, life has apparently thrown a different set of circumstances John Benton’s way. But will he be able to find a path back to his true calling?

 

On the cover, Shaun continued:

As always Richard has done us proud. His work just gets better and better.

 

The UNIT Files: Operation Wildcat and Other Stories will be available exclusively through the Candy Jar website - note, this is not included in any subscription or multi-book deal.





Big Finish Licence Extended to 2030Bookmark and Share

Friday, 10 December 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Credit: Big Finish

Big Finish Productions, in association with BBC Studios, has confirmed that its licence to make original Doctor Who and spin-off audio adventures has been extended until 31 March 2030.  

For more than two decades, Big Finish has been producing high-quality, full-cast audio drama featuring characters from the worlds of Doctor Who. The first, The Sirens of Time, was released in July 1999 and, since then, over a thousand new adventures have been released on collector’s edition CD, digital download or vinyl LP.   

This year, the company was awarded a Guinness World Record for the longest-running science fiction audio play series, in recognition of the achievements of its Doctor Who range. 2022 will see the release of a raft of new ‘classic era’ box sets (starring original series actors Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann) plus new adventures for the Ninth and Tenth Doctors (played by Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant respectively).  

Big Finish also produces the spin-off audio drama series Torchwood, Class, The Diary of River Song, Jenny – The Doctor’s Daughter, The War Doctor Begins, The War Master, UNIT, The Year of Martha Jones, Peladon, The Lone Centurion, The Robots, and The Lost Stories, plus a range of audio novels

Jan Paterson, Director of Books and Audio at BBC Studios, said:.  

Our partnership with Big Finish has been going for over 20 years. Over this time the team there has created the most extensive range of original Doctor Who audio dramas and readings, working with the original casts. This renewal of our long-term licence secures our partnership to allow Big Finish to create fantastic new adventures for the Doctors and their friends for many more years.

 Jason Haigh-Ellery, Big Finish Chairman and Co-Executive Producer, added:

We are very grateful to the BBC for once again placing their faith in Big Finish and extending our license into another decade – this time up to 2030. This allows us to really plan ahead and create long term story lines and character development not just for the Doctors and the companions but also for new series and elements that we can’t talk about yet! We are excited about the next decade and the adventures we are going to create in the TARDIS for us all to enjoy together.

 Nicholas Briggs, Big Finish Creative Director and Co-Executive Producer said:

This rather lovely licence extension from the BBC for us to continue making Doctor Who audio drama until 2030 takes me past my official retirement date — although I have no plans to retire from anything. I look forward to working with Big Finish’s great creative team and our colleagues at BBC Studios for many years to come!

All the above Doctor Who titles and more are available to own from the Big Finish website at www.bigfinish.com  

 

Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs (Big Finish)




Chris Achilléos 1947-2021Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 9 December 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Chris Achilleos (Credit: Candy Jar)

The artist Chris Achilléos has died at the age of 74

Chris Achilleos designed the covers for many Target novelisations of Doctor Who stories throughout the 1970s. His inspirational illustrations were for many fans of the era, their primary visual connection with Doctor Who.

His artwork had a seminal influence on the science fiction and fantasy genres, and throughout a career spanning five decades, he consistently remained one of the most respected and in-demand artists in his field.

Chris Achilleos (Credit: Candy Jar)The signature Achilléos style combined vivid colours, minute detailing, and an innovative blend of historical, psychedelic, and comic book influences. Although much of his work was produced on commission, to be miniaturised and serve as book covers, album covers, and film posters, Achilléos produced all his canvasses at largescale, which allowed him to showcase his rare technical skill, refined during his studies of Scientific and Technical Drawing.

Such was the ambition of his artwork that it earned the attention of George Lucas, who hired him as a conceptual artist for the visual-effects showpiece Willow; it was a position Achilléoshad previously held on the production of the cult classic Heavy Metal, starring John Candy and Harold Ramis.

It was, however, for his book covers that Achilléos was perhaps best known. His work has adorned hundreds of books, for authors such as Robert E Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Michael Moorcock.

His prolific work for the Target range of Doctor Who novelisations, meanwhile, left an indelible mark upon the show and its universe. In the worlds of Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, a guest at the opening of a 2016 exhibition of Achilléos’ Doctor Who artwork:

Chris Achilléos artwork perfectly captures the action-packed spirit of 1970s Doctor Who.

It’s like he invented it himself.”

Lavishly detailed, with psychedelic overtones and an unapologetically pulpy sensibility, Achilléos’ work both reproduced and reinterpreted the eccentric energy of the show’s classic era, defining a generation’s image of the Doctor and his adventures in the days before repeats or VHS recordings.

From the depths of outer space to the realms of fantasy, Achilléos’ subject matter was a far cry from his childhood in rural Cyprus, during the last days of British rule. He moved to England in his early teens, along with three siblings and a widowed mother. He spoke no English and described himself as an introvert who sought solace from prejudice in his art.

Lacking the money for art supplies, he produced his earliest sketches on the back of wallpaper and on paper donated by a local butcher. Having always fiercely maintained his rights over his work, retaining wherever possible the original canvasses, his professional pieces have become highly sought after, and adorn the walls of collectors the world over. Their abiding influence is evident in the work of the admirers he inspired.

He leaves behind a wife, two daughters and two grandsons.

Thanks to Candy Jar Books

 

Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Planet of the Daleks (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Space War (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Pyramids of Mars (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who The Three Doctors (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Ark in Space (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and theCave Monsters (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and theWeb of Fear (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Cybermen (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Zarbi (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Genisis of the Daleks (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Claws of Axon (Credit: Chris Achilléos)Doctor Who and the Curse of Peladon (Credit: Chris Achilléos)




Doctor Who Magazine Issue 572Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 8 December 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 572 (Credit: Panini)

Issue 572 of Doctor Who Magazine features an exclusive preview of this year's New Year Special., Eve of the Daleks. 

 

Highlights of the new issue include:

  • An exclusive preview of Eve of the Daleks, with contributions from Chris Chibnall, John Bishop, Mandip Gill and director Annetta Laufer.

  • Interviews with Series 13’s directors, Jamie Magnus Stone and Azhur Saleem.

  • An interview with Annabel Scholey, who played Claire in Flux. 

  • In the first installment of a two-part feature, costume designer Ray Holman discusses his creations for Series 13.

  • A behind-the-scenes look at what happened when a Doctor Who fan wrote to CBBC’s The Dengineers, to ask for his own TARDIS.

  • Collectivity meets fans whose passion for Doctor Who books and toys began with childhood Christmas presents.

  • The Fact of Fiction revisits the 2015 Christmas Special The Husbands of River Song.

  • It’s Behind You!, a brand-new comic strip adventure for the Doctor, Yaz and Dan.

  • Public Image analyses the ratings for Flux.

  • The Doctor Who Magazine Christmas Quiz.

  • Previews, reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, Time and Space Visualiser and more.

PLUS: a giant double-sided poster!

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 572 is on sale from panini.co.uk and WH Smith from Thursday 9 December

priced £6.99 (UK). Also available as a digital edition from pocketmags.com priced £5.99.

 




The Vanquishers - Appreciation IndexBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 8 December 2021 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Flux Chapter 6 - The Vanquishers: Swarm (Sam Spruell) (Credit: BBC Studios (Sam Taylor))

Flux: Chapter Six: The Vanquishers  achieved an Audience Appreciation Index score of 76.

The Appreciation Index or AI is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the programme. The score, out of a hundred, is compiled by a specially selected panel of around 5,000 people who go online and rate and comment on programmes.

With the last episode of the series now broadcast, this brings the series average to 76.7.





Ratings LatestBookmark and Share

Monday, 6 December 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Flux Chapter 6 - The Vanquishers:  (Credit: BBC Studios (Sam Taylor))

Doctor Who The Vanquishers was watched by 3.58 million viewers according to unofficial overnight figures. This is a slight drop from episode 5's 3.82 million

It was the day's fifth most-watched programme of the day.

The seven-day consolidated figure, which includes all those who watch the episode within one week. for Episode Five: Survivors of the Flux was 4.72 million. 

Doctor Who was the 9th most-watched programme on BBC Television for the week and the 25th most-watched on all British television for the week.