As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 6 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 12 Dec 2012

In Memoriam 2022Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 31 December 2022 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Toby Hadoke has published his annual memoriam of those who have delighted us both in front of and behind the scenes of Doctor Who and its extended worlds, who sadly passed away in 2022.

 

Doctor Who In Memoriam 2022
Remembering those whom we lost from the worlds of Doctor Who this year. Includes a small number from before 2022 whose deaths only came to light this year.





FILTER: - Doctor Who Obituaries

Vworp Vworp! Issue 5Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 December 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Vworp Vworp 5 - Cover A

The acclaimed Doctor Who comics and artwork fanzine Vworp Vworp! returns with its fifth issue in January 2023. 

The 148-page issue kicks off with an in-depth series of articles and script reviews focusing on the many Doctor Who animation projects that have, for a variety of reasons, been abandoned over the years.

The Canadian company Nelvana might be the best known, but as researcher Richard Bignell has uncovered for Vworp Vworp!, through a wealth of interviews, documentation, scripts and design drawings, there’s so much more to learn, including the real reason it was aborted. But what of Ruby-Spears, the company behind Scooby-Doo? Interest from a Japanese anime studio? Terry Nation’s Daleks? The BBC itself, in 2001? And who can forget Karen McCoy and her Doctor Who: The Animated Series?

Elsewhere in the issue:

  • Interviews with artist JOHN RIDGWAY and writer/artist STEVE PARKHOUSE, as we go behind the scenes of their magnum opus, the Voyager saga.
  • PHIL BEVAN remembered, with personal recollections of his brother Kit and those he worked with, offering a unique insight into this much-loved artist, who illuminated the vibrant fanzine scene in the 80s and 90s.
  • Packaging beauty! Graphic and packaging designer ANDREW PREWETT, who designed the beloved Doctor Who Sound Effects LP, reveals unused designs for a number of Doctor Who DVD boxsets.
  • ABSOLUTE DAAK: A REVENGER’S TRAGEDY – The Dalek Killer deconstructed by Alan Stevens ahead of his return in our comic strip, Paper Tiger.
  • New features on TERRY NATION and DAVID WHITAKER’s work on the TV Century 21 DALEKS strip and the stage play THE CURSE OF THE DALEKS.

    Also, issue 5 includes several brand new comic strips and fiction:
  • The truly epic 22-page THE IRON EMPIRE, written by Lance Parkin and drawn by Steve Andrew. What happened to the Empire during the reign of Emperor Vesuvius? Find out in this much anticipated sequel to the Mills/Wagner great that launched Doctor Who Weekly.
  • Ever pondered the fate of the Thals in the TV Century 21 Dalek strips? Find out in YEAR ZERO, a new instalment in the adventures of outer space robot people, imagined by Alan Stevens, Matthew Kilburn and artist Andy Walker.
  • Abslom Daak gets a bittersweet coda in PAPER TIGER, written by Alan Stevens with crisp black and white art by the legendary John Ridgway.
  • We’re also treated to three thrilling pages of DALEK KILLERS! – an intriguing reboot (of sorts) pitched to Titan by Richard Starkings and Lee Sullivan.
  • Thrill to Sam Gingell's debut strip NEWTON'S SLEEP, a thought-provoking examination of the Cybermen as a reaction to societal decay and decadence. Sam crashed onto the scene in 2022 and we're sure this won't be the last we see of him.
  • Sixties script editor Donald Tosh’s final piece of fiction, JOURNEY TO NOWHEN, a whimsical tale of competing realities and the power of nostalgia.
  • Finally, we take a visit back to the scene of one of the Doctor’s lesser-discussed small-screen adventures in Graham Kibble-White’s ENCOUNTER AT CRINKLEY BOTTOM!

Vworp Vworp 5Plus, an exciting FREE GIFT this issue:

DOCTOR WHO: ROWEN – a full-cast audio adaptation of the 1992 initial script for the cancelled Nelvana series. Presented on CD, directed and adapted by Sean Mason and introducing ARTHUR BOSTROM as the Nelvana Doctor, this brand new drama is intended to give an authentic taste of what this new era might have been like.

Order Vworp Vworp! issue 5, price £10.99, from vworpvworp.co.uk now. Pre-orders open on New Year’s Day with shipping scheduled for early February 2023.





FILTER: - Fan Production

New Trailer ReleasedBookmark and Share

Sunday, 25 December 2022 - Reported by Marcus

There may be no Doctor Who festive story this year. but the BBC has released a trailer looking forward to the 60th Anniversary specials out next November. 

 

 

Teaser Trailer | 60th Anniversary Specials





FILTER: - 60th Anniversary - Fourteenth Doctor

The Look of the Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby SundayBookmark and Share

Saturday, 17 December 2022 - Reported by Marcus
The Doctor (NCUTI GATWA) (Credit: BBC/Bad Wolf)The Doctor (NCUTI GATWA), Ruby Sunday (MILLIE GIBSON) (Credit: BBC/Bad Wolf)

The BBC has released the first images of the Fifteenth Doctor and his companion Ruby Sunday in costume. 

The new Doctor, played by Ncuti Gatwa, will take control of the TARDIS next Christmas following three specials starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor. 

The pictures show Gatwa in his new outfit as The Doctor. He is currently filming series fourteen at the Bad Wolf studios in Wales. He is joined by new companion Ruby Sunday played by Millie Gibson.

 

A video has also been released on YouTube Shorts





FILTER: - Fifteenth Doctor

Chris Boucher 1943 - 2022Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 December 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Chris Boucher

The writer Chris Boucher has died at the age of 79.

Chris Boucher contributed three stories to Doctor Who, all of which were transmitted in 1977 and starred the Fourth Doctor played by Tom Baker.

His first contribution was the story which saw the introduction of a new companion Leela played by Louise Jameson. The Face of Evil.  Leela was conceived as an intelligent but uneducated savage who would be educated by the Doctor. 

This story was followed by one of the most acclaimed stories in Doctor Who's cannon, The Robots of Death a 'whodunnit' set on a futuristic mining machine. Later in the year, his final story was Image of the Fendhal

Although Chris Boucher never wrote for Doctor Who again his contribution to British Television is impressive. Immediately after Doctor Who he became the Script Editor for the BBC's new science fiction series Blake's 7. It was a role he was recommended for by the Doctor Who script editor Robert Holmes. 

Boucher served as Script editor for the entire run of Blake's 7 and also wrote several stories including the dramatic final story which saw the deaths of all the main characters. 

He was the Script Editor for the second series of the detective series Shoestring show in 1980 before he moved on to the police series Juliet Bravo. Staying with police series he script edited the series set on the island of Jersey, Bergerac from 1983 until 1987.

In 1987 he created his own series combining his knowledge of both Police series and Science Fiction with Star Cops, seen by some as a replacement for Doctor Who. Nine episodes were made with a tenth being canceled due to industrial relations problems. 

Other work included episodes of The Bill for Thames Television and the Jim Davidson comedy Home James. He also wrote a number of Doctor Who books featuring the character of Leela. 

The death of Chris Boucher means that no writers for Doctor Who from the 1960s or 1970s now survive. 





FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Shirley Coward 1934 -2022Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 10 December 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Shirley Coward (Credit: BBC)

Shirley Coward, the woman responsible for creating the first regeneration effect in Doctor Who, has died at the age of 88.

Shirley Coward was a Vision Mixer for BBC Television for over 30 years. She worked for the Corporation in the days when most programmes were either transmitted live or recorded 'as live'. 

At the time, the role of the Vision Mixer was vital as they were the person who operated the Vision Mixing desk, the piece of equipment which controlled which camera or video source was fed to the recording machine or transmitter. It's a role that has almost disappeared in TV drama but is still vital in live television programmes, such as Strictly Come Dancing and News programmes. 

Following a Camera script written the director, it was the Vision Mixer that set much of the pace of the programme, a job that demanded absolute accuracy. Many mistakes made in live television recordings could be glossed over but it was difficult to hide a cut to the wrong camera.  

Shirley Coward worked on many productions for the BBC including many episodes of Doctor Who, and in October 1966 she found herself rostered to work in the BBC studios at Riverside on the final episode of the first Doctor's final story The Tenth Planet

At the end of the story, William Hartnell collapsed before regenerating into Patrick Troughton.  No clear plan had been made as to how to achieve this transformation, with one thought being that Hartnell could just cover his face with a cloak before it was removed to reveal Troughton's face. 

Coward suggested to Director Derek Martinus, that they could take advantage of a fault on the second bank of her vision mixing desk, which was causing the incoming image to break up. By using this distorted effect, and mixing between banks of the Vision Mixer,  Coward could produce a much more spectacular regeneration effect.

In an interview for the BBC DVD release of The Tenth Planet Shirley Coward explained how the effect was achieved. 

It was my job to do the mixes so we had a fluent transition face from William Hartnell's face into Patrick Troughton's. The first I knew about it was when I arrived in the studio, but nobody was exactly sure how they were going to do it. 

They knew roughly what they wanted, they wanted one face to come through the other. It was a matter of the studio engineers and cameramen all trying out things. We discovered that the actors cheekbones matched, which helped us enormously.

We had William Hartnell on one camera and Patrick Troughton on another and through the B bank of the Vision Mixing desk, which was breaking up,  we could make Patrick's face break up and William's face break up

 I started with William Hartnell's face, absolutely straight on the A bank, then slowly mixed to the B bank where I had his face, exactly the same shot, breaking up. I then mixed on the B bank to Patrick's face breaking up and then mixed slowly back to the A bank where I had Patrick's face absolutely straight. 

Shirley Coward worked on at least 44 episodes of Doctor Who. As the woman who created the first regeneration, it was fitting she Vision Mixed the 25th-anniversary story, The Five Doctors, which saw the return of the First Doctor, albeit played by a different actor. 

Other productions she worked on include Bomber Harris, EastEnders, The River,  All Creatures Great and Small , Talking Heads, In Sickness and in Health, Three Up Two Down, Galloping Galaxies!, Dear John, )Tenko, Juliet Bravo, Titus Andronicus, Only Fools and Horses, Last of the Summer Wine, By the Sword Divided, The Two Ronnies, Rentaghost, Ever Decreasing Circles,  Aladdin and the Forty Thieve, Don't Wait Up, Just Good Friends, Butterflies, Dombey & Son, Yes Minister, Terry and June, To the Manor Born, To Serve Them All My Days, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, The Enigma Files, Blake's 7, Secret Army, Rings on Their Fingers, Pennies from Heaven, Survivors, Blue Peter, The Tragedy of King Richard II, The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The Canterbury Tales

First Doctor Regenerates | William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton





FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 585Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 8 December 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 585 (Credit: Panini)

The latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine is now available.

The adventures of the Fourteenth Doctor, as played by David Tennant on TV, continue in Doctor Who Magazine issue 585. Part Two of the epic new comic-strip adventure Liberation of the Daleks, written by Alan Barnes and illustrated by Lee Sullivan, sees the Doctor’s greatest enemies invade the pitch during the 1966 World Cup Final…

Other highlights of the new issue include:

  • A giant double-sided poster!

  • Letter from the Showrunner – Russell T Davies presents his Christmas Countdown, packed full of teasers for the stories to come.

  • Production Diary – script editor Scott Handcock provides exclusive updates about forthcoming episodes, direct from Doctor Who’s HQ.

  • Gallifrey Guardian – all the latest official news, including an exclusive chat with Millie Gibson about her casting as companion Ruby Sunday.

  • Meet the New Team – Doctor Who crew members tell us what they’re looking forward to in the 2023 Specials and beyond.

  • All I Want For Christmas is Who – seasonal highlights from the past are recalled, including festive memories from Nadia Albina, Sophie Aldred, Nicholas Briggs, Nicola Bryant, Peter Davison, Barnaby Edwards, Philip Hinchcliffe, Louise Jameson, John Leeson, Katy Manning, Peter Purves, Dan Starkey, Mark Strickson and Matthew Waterhouse.

  • Talk of the Town – in his first-ever interview for DWM, actor Cy Town talks candidly about being a Dalek operator and shares previously unpublished pictures from his photo albums.

  • Brushed by Greatness – acclaimed artists Colin Howard and Andrew Skilleter, and Kit Bevan (brother of the late Phil Bevan), discuss new books showcasing some of best Doctor Who illustrations from the pre-digital era.

  • The Watchers – fans who were lucky enough to be granted studio visits in the 1970s and early 80s recall the thrill of watching Doctor Who being made.

  • Christmas in Another Dimension – what if Doctor Who had enjoyed Christmas Specials during its first 26 years? DWM imagines what could have been…

  • The DWM Christmas Quiz – the traditional seasonal challenge! 

  • Other Worlds – the essential guide to forthcoming stories in the expanded Doctor Who universe.

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

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 585 is on sale Thursday 8 December from panini.co.uk and WH Smith priced £7.99 (UK).

Also available as a digital edition from pocketmags.com priced £6.99.

 




FILTER: - DWM - Fourteenth Doctor

Whotopia: Issue 41Bookmark and Share

Monday, 5 December 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Whotopia (Credit: Jon Huff / Robert Carpenter)

The latest issue of the fan magazine Whotopia is now available

 

Whotopia Issue 41 Includes:

 

  • UNRAVELLING A CLASSIC: THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION
    Ian McLachlan examines the Hartnell-era story, "The Edge of Destruction"
  • POWER OF THE DOCTOR REVIEWED
  • Daniel Tessier reviews Jodie Whittaker’s swan song finale
  • KEEPING THE EIGHTH: A HISTORY OF THE EIGHTH DOCTOR NOVELS 
  • Reecy Pontiff delves into the history of the BBC Eighth Doctor novels
  • OH BRILLIANT! OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE THIRTEENTH DOCTOR ERA
  • Tony J Fyler discovers there is much more to the Thirteenth Doctor's era
  • THE WHITTAKER YEARS: JUST THE GOOD BITS
  • The best bits of the Thirteenth Doctor's era as picked by Greg Maughan
  • ON CHARACTER: KATE LETHBRIDGE-STEWART
  • Aidan C Matear gets to know the character of Kate Lethbridge-Stewart
  • TEMPORAL LOGBOOK 3 EDITOR JAMES SILVESTER INTERVIEWED
  • Bob Furnell sits down with "Temporal Logbook 3's" editor James Silvester to talk about the recently released short-story collection
  • COLUMN: THE VAULT
  • Jez Strickley continues his look into the metaphysical worlds of Time Lords and TARDISes in search of all things curious, puzzling and perplexing.
  • WHAT THE FANS THINK: TORCHWOOD: GREEKS BEARING GIFTS
  • Aidan C Matear reviews this episode from Torchwood's first season
  • WHO YOU BUILD #9
  • Dave Etches returns for another installment of prop construction
  • WHO WERE THE FAMILY OF BLOOD?
  • Aidan C Matear examines who exactly were the Family of Blood
  • WHAT THE FANS THINK: THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES: THE MAD WOMAN IN THE ATTIC
  • Stacey Smith reviews this unique story from 'The Sarah Jane Adventures
  • THE CYBERMEN: DESTINY PART 5
  • Another new installment of our ongoing strip by John Swogger

 

WHOTOPIA ISSUE 41 | 56 PAGES

Available free in downloadable PDF format

 

TO DOWNLOAD A COPY VISIT whotopia.ca





FILTER: - Fan Production