Big Finish: Energy of the Daleks - On VinylBookmark and Share

Friday, 4 May 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Energy of the Daleks (Credit: Big Finish)Energy of the Daleks (Credit: Big Finish)In an exclusive deal with Sainsbury's supermarket, Doctor Who: Energy of the Daleks, produced by Big Finish Productions, will be available for the first time on vinyl record.

From the 25th May, Sainsbury’s will be stocking a strictly limited pressing of ‘Energy Of the Daleks’ on blue 180GM Heavyweight Vinyl. This will be available in participating stores only, limited to 1,500 units.

A spokesperson from Sainsbury's said
We’re really excited to be stocking something as iconic as the Doctor in our stores, so to have “Energy of The Daleks” on a limited run on blue vinyl is a massive treat for us.
The Daleks take on Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor in this Doctor Who full-cast audio drama from 2012, which takes place between The Talons of Weng-Chiang and Horror of Fang Rock, both broadcast on BBC One in 1977.

The Fourth Doctor Tom Baker and his companion Leela, played by Louise Jameson, find themselves in the middle of London at the time of a new energy crisis. The GlobeSphere Corporation seems to have all the answers – but several thousand protesters beg to differ.

The Doctor has detected a mysterious energy reading. Could it be that the most evil creatures in the universe have returned to claim ultimate victory once and for all?

For Baker, Energy of the Daleks was the first time since 1979's Destiny of the Daleks that he'd gone hat-brim to eyestalk with the Daleks - but for Jameson, it's a first. This is Leela's opening encounter with the Daleks, and she's not going to find it a pleasant experience. And speaking of unpleasant experiences, she's not quite ready for the 21st century either. But then, is the 21st century ready for Leela?

Executive Producer and Director of Energy of the Daleks, Nicholas Briggs said
We’ve been delighted by the response to our ongoing range of Fourth Doctor stories. We have such an exciting and rewarding time making them, and we’re just thrilled that'll we'll be reaching a brand new audience for vinyl through our friends at Sainsbury's.
Guest stars include: Mark Benton (TV Doctor Who story Rose, Waterloo Road, Land Girls, The Street, Northern Lights, Strictly Come Dancing), Alex Lowe (The Late Edition, The Thick of It, Lead Balloon and Peep Show), TV Sontaran Dan Starkey, giving life to both Kevin Winston and a Roboman and Nicholas Briggs as The Daleks.

Series one to seven, which star Tom Baker are available to buy now from the Big Finish website.




River Song versus the Masters for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Thursday, 3 May 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Derek Jacobi and Alex Kingston
Michelle Gomez
Eric Roberts
River Song will be facing the Masters for Big Finish in the fifth series of The Diary of River Song, released January 2019.

The series will see Michelle Gomez return as Missy and Eric Roberts reprise his portrayal of the Master after a 22 year hiatus. They will join Geoffrey Beevers, who first played the Master in Doctor Who TV episode The Keeper of Traken in 1981 and Derek Jacobi, who played the Master in 2008 episode Utopia and continues at Big Finish

Over the course of four audio series made in arrangement with BBC Studios, River Song, played by Alex Kingston has shone alongside several incarnations of the Doctor, including Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, Peter Davison and upcoming in August, Tom Baker.

Now, in January 2019, River Song will face off against four regenerations of The Master, the mortal enemy of the Doctor, in the fifth series of adventures.
  • The Bekdel Test by Jonathan Morris
  • Animal Instinct by Roy Gill
  • The Lifeboat and the Deathboat by Eddie Robson
  • Concealed Weapon by Scott Handcock
David Richardson, producer, tells all.
It’s a medley of Masters! In previous box sets River has been travelling back through the Doctor’s incarnations. This time around she is meeting some of the Masters – and we have some amazing firsts in this box set! Yes, it’s the first time Eric Roberts has returned to the role since the TV movie in 1996, and the first appearance of Michelle Gomez as Missy in a Big Finish production. With Derek Jacobi as the War Master and Geoffrey Beevers as the decayed Master, it’s an unmissable line-up!
Nicholas Briggs, executive producer
This is something we’ve been so incredibly excited about for so long. It’s been thrilling enough for us to work with Alex for all the River releases, but to put her against the Doctor’s former best friend turned archenemy is not a little mind-blowing. Fantastic that we’re getting an opportunity to work with Michelle again, after her first appearance (at Big Finish) with Sylvester McCoy back in 2007! But somehow strangely incredible that Eric Roberts is back from the 1996 TV movie. It’s frankly ‘clash of the icons’ in a really mind-blowing box set.
Jason Haigh-Ellery, executive producer, talks more about bringing these actors to audio
Working with Eric was a complete joy. Firstly, he is such a nice man and so easy to communicate with. Secondly, he likes to work and he likes to work fast. Scenes whizz by and we are all enjoying yourselves so much that you forget you are directing an Oscar nominee with over 450 movies under his belt (which should be intimidating – but isn’t). He’s very down to earth – no ego or vanity involved. I hope we work together again soon!

Having Michelle Gomez return to Big Finish is wonderful – a lovely lady, who was magnificent as Missy in the past couple of seasons of Doctor Who. I can’t wait for everyone to hear her and Alex Kingston together!
The Diary of River Song: Series 5 is available for pre-order now at £23 on CD or £20 on download.

The Diary of River Song: Series 5 can also be purchased as a bundle with The Diary of River Song: Series 4, to be released in August 2018, at the price of £45 on CD and £40 on download (all CD purchases from the Big Finish website unlock a download exclusive from the Big Finish website and app).




Big Finish - Sixth Doctor Meets the 80s CybermenBookmark and Share

Thursday, 3 May 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The Hour of the Cybermen (Credit: Big Finish)Exclusive

Doctor Who News can today reveal that Big Finish are bringing back the 1980s Cybermen in Hour of the Cybermen, a Sixth Doctor tale out this July.

The story, written by Andrew Smith, and starring Colin Baker, sees the return of two 1980s Doctor Who television actors reprising their roles as Cybermen, with David Banks as the Cyber Leader and Mark Hardy as the Cyber Lieutenant.

Answering a call from UNIT, the Doctor arrives in London to find the streets deserted, apart from looters in possession of a valuable commodity – water.

Britain is suffering an extreme and bizarre drought. The cause is suspected to be extra-terrestrial.

The discovery of a signal being transmitted into space, and of a spacecraft whose crew are desiccated corpses, provides a possible answer. But the true enemy is an old foe of the Doctor’s.

The Cybermen have been patient, setting their plans in place over a number of years. As the final stage is implemented, in the darkest hour, the Doctor must identify who among his allies he can trust.
Also in the cast are Frog Stone as Riva, Blake Harrison as Daniel Hopkins, Wayne Forester as Captain Reaver and Russ Bain as Lewis Price.

The release will reveal what has happened to the new UNIT team since the events of the Fifth Doctor and The Helliax Rift and whether they trust this latest regeneration.

You can pre-order Hour of the Cybermen now at £14.99 on CD or £12.99 on download. All CD purchases unlock a download option via the Big Finish app and the Big Finish website.

You can save money by getting a subscription to the Doctor Who Main Range. When you subscribe you'll get 30% off the price, free specially recorded Short Trips stories, PDFs of the scripts, and extended downloadable extras. You can subscribe for either 6 or 12 releases.



Out this month in the Doctor Who Main Range, the Sixth Doctor has a new companion, Mathew Sharpe – space pilot in The Lure of the Nomad.

The Lure of the Nomad (Credit: Big Finish)
For thousands of years, it has drifted through space, unimpeded, forgotten, seemingly lifeless. Now, finally, it has been discovered.

Responding to a distress call from the mysterious hulk, the Doctor and his companion, space pilot Mathew Sharpe, walk into a desperate situation. The multi-tentacled semibionic Makara were tasked with renovating the abandoned craft, but now they’ve begun murdering their employers.

The Doctor soon realises that the Makara have been programmed to kill, but by whom, and for what reason? Finding out the truth will mean uncovering a secret that threatens the entire universe.
And next month, the Sixth Doctor visits the Industrial Revolution in Iron Bright.
Iron Bright (Credit: Big Finish)
It's London, 1828, and the father-and-son team of Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, are masterminding a dangerous project – the digging of the Thames Tunnel. There's just one problem...

The Brunels' tunnel is haunted. Every night, a spectral blue lady walks the excavation.

Now, the 22-year-old Isambard, eager to step out of his famous father's shadow, finds himself dealing with not only the supposed supernatural, but a second unexpected guest – a colourful trespasser who calls himself 'the Doctor'.

Isambard would like to know a great deal more about this strange man and his mysterious blue box...
Thanks to Big Finish




Germany: Silver Nemesis Extended, German-language Big Finish audios and moreBookmark and Share

Monday, 6 November 2017 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
Siebter Doctor Collector's Edition (Credit: Pandastorm Pictures)Many new products have been announced in Germany  recently.

  • German DVD distributer Pandastorm Pictures announced at the Doctor Who convention TimeLash III on the last weekend of October a limited boxed set featuring all of the 7th Doctor stories, including new bonus features and the never-before-on-DVD released and newly remastered Silver Nemesis Extended edition. This longer cut of the Season 25 story has previously only been released on VHS in the UK.
    The set will be called Siebter Doktor - Special Collector's Edition and presented in a valuable hardcover book in coffee table format. The set is limited to 1,000 copies, each with an impressed number. Script editor Andrew Cartmel has written over 52 pages of production notes on each story, which can be found in the English language as well as in a German translation. The 17 region-free DVD's contain all adventures in English and German audio as well as English and German subtitles and over 24 hours of bonus material. Anther new bonus feature will be the BBC America special Doctor Who Revisited – The Seventh Doctor and an exclusive new interview with Andrew Cartmel. Product shipment is scheduled for the second week of December. This boxed set can only be ordered from Pandastorm's own shop.

  • German books and audio publisher Bastei Luebbe also announced a new project at the convention. In cooperation with Big Finish they are going to release German translations of Doctor Who audio plays, with the German dubbing actors known from TV also speaking the parts on audio. The first batch of releases will be the 10th Doctor adventures featuring Donna Noble as the companion. 27th April 2018 will see the release of Die Zeitdiebe by Jenny Colgan, Technophobie by Matt Fitton and Eiskalte Rache by Matt Fitton. All stories will be released on CD and Download. You can pre-order on the publisher's website.

  • Bastei Luebbe will also release four new novels. Scheduled for next year are:
    • Eleventh Doctor story Totenwinter (Dead of Winter) by James Goss (26th January 2018)
    • Eleventh Doctor story Der weinende Engel (Touched by an Angel) by Jonathan Morris (29th March 2018
    • Eleventh Doctor story Dunkle Gezeiten (The Coming of the Terraphiles) by Michael Moorcock (25th May 2018)
    • Third Doctor story Der Neunte Schlüssel (The Last of the Gadarene) by Mark Gatiss (27th July 2018)
    All novels will also be available in audio book format.





River Song to Meet Fourth DoctorBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 October 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Tom Baker & Alex Kingston (Credit: Big Finish)River Song as played by Alex Kingston, is to meet the Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker, in a new set of audio adventures released by Big Finish.

Series Four of The Diary of River Song, to be released in August 2018, will see the archaeologist encounter Doctor Number Four, in a set of new adventures alongside the longest serving Doctor.

Meanwhile Series Three of the Diary of River Song will released in January 2018, and will feature the Fifth Doctor, as played by Peter Davison, battling against the most evil midwife in Doctor Who history, Madame Kovarian, played by Frances Barber.

This box set will contain four hour-long adventures where the Doctor’s wife, archaeologist, crack shot with an intoxicating kiss and time traveler will have to face the demons of her past, present, and future.
The Diary of River Song - Series Three

When River Song goes shopping for a whole load of unclaimed loyalty points, she uncovers secrets linked to her tangled past.

The Doctor arrives, and the mystery deepens. He is already exploring the universe with another companion – someone River knows nothing about.

Madame Kovarian has been busy, and this time she will not accept failure…
A fifth series is planned for release in January 2019




David Bradley to Play First Doctor for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Friday, 15 September 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The First Doctor Adventures (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish have announced that David Bradley will be reprising the role of the First Doctor in a new series of Audio plays.

Bradley will star as the First Doctor in this year’s BBC One Doctor Who Christmas Special alongside Peter Capaldi. Now Big Finish Productions, in arrangement with BBC Worldwide, are giving this reimagined First Doctor another chance to explore the cosmos.

Joining David Bradley are his co-stars from the Mark Gatiss Docu-drama on the origins of Doctor Who, An Adventure in Space and Time. Jamie Glover (Elizabeth, Waterloo Road, Holby City) plays Ian Chesterton, Jemma Powell (Alice in Wonderland, Angel, Foyle’s War) plays Barbara Wright, and Claudia Grant (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) plays Susan – the Doctor’s granddaughter and the original ‘Unearthly Child’.

Script editor and writer Matt Fitton said
The adventures of the First Doctor are all about discovery, finding out what this infinite universe contains, and also who our fellow travelers are. As we journey with Ian, Barbara, Susan and the mysterious Doctor, we come to see what they are capable of when confronted with the strange, the unjust and the dangerous.
Executive producer Nicholas Briggs added
Having worked with David twice now on TV, it’s great to be working with him again. Matt and his team of writers have come up with such a beautifully authentic set of scripts. We forget how different Doctor Who was, back in those early days – and here it all is, painstakingly recreated. I find that rather thrilling.

What's fascinating about the cast and their performances is that they're not impersonating William Hartnell and his TARDIS crew. They're playing those parts as written in the scripts. No one can replace the brilliance of those original performances. What we're presenting here is a kind of reinvention of that era, completely in the spirit of the original. They are new but entirely faithful interpretations of these characters.
Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery said
I’ve always been a great admirer of David Bradley’s work and thought that he was an excellent choice to play William Hartnell in An Adventure in Space and Time. After his brilliant performance, we immediately thought about bringing David in to play the First Doctor for Big Finish – it took us a while – but we got there in the end! I’m so looking forward to seeing David in the Christmas Special and then listening to his further adventures with us.
This series of adventures pays homage to the beginning years of Doctor Who, and each of the four episodes in each story will be given an individual title. Two of the four stories are historical, focusing on tales from Earth’s history pre-1963. Back in its first few years, Doctor Who was intended to be an educational programme using time travel as a means to explore scientific ideas and famous moments in history, while still captivating the minds and imaginations of generations to come.

Not only will the Doctor be exploring our history, but he will also encounter strange new life forms – the Dalmari and the Ashtallans.

And in a Big Finish exclusive, the First Doctor will encounter his greatest foe, the first incarnation of fellow Time Lord, the Master, played by James Dreyfus.

Available in December, the stories in The First Doctor Adventures - Volume 1 consist of:
  • 1.1 The Destination Wars by Matt Fitton
  • 1.2 The Great White Hurricane by Guy Adams
And to follow in July 2018, Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 2:
  • 2.1 The Invention of Death by John Dorney
  • 2.2 The Barbarians and the Samurai by Andrew Smith
Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 1 is available for pre-order now at £23 on CD or £20 on download from Big Finish and will remain at this price until general release when it will be available for £35 on CD or £30 on download.




Derek Jacobi returns as the Master for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 June 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The War Master (Credit: Big Finish)Sir Derek Jacobi will be reprising his role as the Master in new set of Audio Doctor Who adventures from Big Finish Productions.

The esteemed actor first appeared in Doctor Who ten years ago today when he brought back to life the character of The Master in the Doctor Who episode, Utopia. Sir Derek is now returning to the character in four brand new adventures, made by arrangement with BBC Worldwide, to be released in December.

Producer and Director Scott Handcock talked about the return
His incarnation is very much the ‘Hannibal Lecter’ of Time Lords – intelligent, charming, but thoroughly ruthless – we had a lot of fun in studio bringing the War Master back to life. It’s been a gift of a project, and we can’t wait for listeners to hear it!
Sir Derek said he was delighted to be playing the role once more
I didn’t expect to come back to it all these years later, but I was thrilled to be remembered. The plots in all these episodes have been very good indeed, very interesting, very dramatic, and beautifully written. The whole process has been a delight!
Doctor Who: The War Master Volume One follows the exploits of the Doctor’s arch-enemy during the course of the devastating Time War, featuring stories from acclaimed Doctor Who writers James Goss, Guy Adams and Nicholas Briggs – as well as new writing talent from Janine H Jones.

Guy Adams, who has written the final part of the story said
Once I got over the idea that giving my words to Sir Derek was rather like filling the Holy Grail with Special Brew, I allowed myself a brief cry of joy! Writing for villains is always a pleasure because a writer is roughly ninety percent more ‘stares at cat and awaits inspiration’ than ‘boils planet alive for fun’.
While Big Finish Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs added
I was lucky enough to have directed Sir Derek fourteen years ago in Deadline, so I was delighted to be able to work with him once again. The thrill for me has been just how fascinating and exhilarating it is to write a series when the leading character is a bad guy. Writing my own script and working on the others with Scott has been such a rewarding challenge. I’m really keen to do it again, and further explore exactly what the Master did get up to in the Time War.
James Goss has written part three of the series
What was exciting about this was that normally the Master loses. He puts in the hours, he works through all these elaborate plans and yet it all goes wrong. It’s not fair! It’s brilliant that Big Finish have finally awarded him for all that hard work. And, even better, it’s the most intriguing, exciting barely-glimpsed actor to have ever played the Master. What did Sir Derek do in the Time War? It’s thrilling to have helped find out.
The four stories announced are
  • 1. Beneath the Viscoid by Nicholas Briggs
  • On the ocean planet Gardezza, deep beneath the Viscoid, a mysterious capsule is recovered from the Time War, and an equally mysterious stranger found within. The Doctor’s reputation precedes him, even here… but can he be trusted?
  • 2. The Good Master by Janine H Jones
  • The Time War rages around Arcking - a planet serving as a sanctuary for the sick and injured. But Arcking is protected by a mysterious, powerful force: a force the Master will stop at nothing to harness… even if time itself is against him.
  • 3. The Sky Man by James Goss
  • When his new companion decides to save a planet, the Master indulges this most futile of requests. Materialising on a primitive, agrarian world, both the strangers quickly find their place in it… until fallout from the War invades their happy paradise.
  • 4. The Heavenly Paradigm by Guy Adams
  • With his plans approaching fruition, the Master travels to Stamford Bridge in the 1970s: a location he believes might hold the key to his success. But what terrible secret lurks under the stairs of No. 24 Marigold Lane? And what sacrifices will the Master make in the name of ultimate victory?




The War Master Volume One is available for pre-order from bigfinish.com on CD (box set) £23 and download £20. It is also available for pre-order in a bundle with upcoming releases Gallifrey: Time War and Tales of New Earth on CDs £63 and download £54.

Full details on the Big Finish website.


Scott Handcock, Derek Jacobi, Nicholas Briggs (Credit: Big Finish) Sir Derek Jacobi (Credit: Big Finish)




The Tenth Doctor and Rose Back Together for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Monday, 15 May 2017 - Reported by Marcus
David Tennant And Billie Piper are reprising their roles of the Tenth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler in three Doctor Who audio dramas from Big Finish Productions in arrangement with BBC Worldwide.

David Tennant’s Doctor, portrayed on screen from December 2005 until December 2009, returned in the 50th Anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, with Matt Smith and Sir John Hurt in 2013, and on audio for Big Finish with Catherine Tate in 2016.

Billie Piper portrayed the Doctor’s much-loved companion Rose in 2005 and 2006, returning for a number of stories in 2008. She also appeared as The Moment – which had taken Rose’s form – in The Day of the Doctor. These new stories will be Billie’s eagerly awaited debut for Big Finish.

Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery says:
Getting David and Billie back together was definitely on my bucket list – two wonderful actors who created an era of Doctor Who which is so fondly remembered and brought a different aspect of the relationship between the Doctor and his companion to the fore – love, both platonic and unrequited. It’s great to have the Tenth Doctor and Rose back again!
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2, will be released in November 2017. It is comprised of three hour-long full cast audio adventures.

The set opens with Attack of the Zaross by John Dorney, in which an alien invasion of Earth isn’t quite what it appears to be – Camille Coduri guest stars as Jackie Tyler.

In the second adventure, Sword of the Chevalier by Guy Adams, the Doctor and Rose arrive in Slough in 1791 and encounter Chevalier D’Eon, an enigmatic ex-spy who has lived his life as a woman. Together they must fend off alien slavers, who have come to Earth to abduct valuable humans.

Finally, in Cold Vengeance by Matt Fitton, the TARDIS arrives on Coldstar, a vast frozen food asteroid in deep space. But there is something sinister defrosting in the network of storage units… the Doctor’s old enemies the Ice Warriors! Nicholas Briggs plays Ice Lord Hasskor and Warrior Slaan.

Nicholas Briggs, who is the Voice of the Daleks on TV and for Big Finish, said
It was such a special time for me, working with Billie and David on the TV show, and it is such an honour to revisit it with them on audio.
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2 is produced by David Richardson who said
We were thrilled by the response to the first volume. David Tennant and Catherine Tate were on fantastic form, and it’s so exciting to reunite David with Billie Piper, playing the Doctor and Rose together again after nine years! Their time in the series transformed Doctor Who into a prime-time and international hit, and we’ve worked very hard to live up to the incredible standards of Russell T Davies.
Special Preview of the Tenth Doctor and Rose

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2 will be available in both a Limited Edition Deluxe box set, and as three individual vanilla releases.

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 1, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, is currently available on CD and download. For the next 24 hours it will be available at half price from the Big Finish website.




New Audio Torchwood Series from Big FinishBookmark and Share

Sunday, 7 May 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Torchwood Series 5 (Credit: Big Finish) Big Finish has announced that Torchwood will be back for a brand new series of audio adventures with Torchwood: Aliens Among Us...

The new series, revealed at the DWAS convention The Capitol II, will follow the events of Miracle Day, and will see the Torchwood team reunited. Captain Jack, Gwen and Rhys will be joined by new characters co-created and overseen by series creator Russell T Davies.

In this series, Captain Jack and Gwen Cooper have restarted Torchwood in Cardiff, home of the original Torchwood Three. But it's in a very different Cardiff. Something terrible's happened to the city. With every day getting darker, will Torchwood need to adopt a whole new approach?

Producer of Torchwood Season 5, James Goss, talked about the new Torchwood team and Russell T Davies’ involvement.
Russell's been wonderfully involved in the continuation of Torchwood. We came up with some characters and ideas and he very kindly, very politely said 'Marvellous, but no. Howabout...?'. And that's what lead to Jack and Gwen being joined by Mr Colchester (Paul Clayton), Ng (Alexandria Riley), Tyler (Jonny Green) and the enigmatic Orr (Sam Béart). Who are they? What part do they have to play in the future of Torchwood? And can they save Cardiff from an invasion that's already been lost?

This is an ambitious series for Big Finish - an entire season of Torchwood! There are some great scripts by some new writers, but there are also some familiar old faces - of course Rhys and Andy are in it, but there'll be a few other surprises, including an appearance by someone who just has to be, has to be dead...
This new series of Torchwood will be released in three boxsets, the first being out in August. Torchwood Series 5.2 will follow in October and 5.3 will complete the season in the new year.




Knock Knock - Press ReactionBookmark and Share

Sunday, 7 May 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Knock Knock: Shireen (Mandeep Dhillon), Paul (Ben Presley), The Landlord (David Suchet), Bill (Pearl Mackie), Harry (Colin Ryan) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide (screen grab))Press reaction to this week's Doctor Who episode Knock Knock is mixed. While many reviewers disagree about the strength of the writing, most are agreed on the quality of the performances in the story.

The Telegraph thought the acting plaudits belonged to the main guest star. "David Suchet playing the Landlord was brilliant casting. Just menacing enough as he mysteriously appeared without warning, smiling evilly in corners. Grey-haired and brown-suited, Suchet even looked ghostly. Never before has a tuning fork seemed so sinister."

Radio Times relished the creepy nature of the episode, but was disappointed by the ending. "For the first 35 minutes or so of Knock Knock I’m enthralled. Unfortunately, it showed signs of collapsing like a soufflé during the denouement...... I’d have been far happier with an unhappy ending. And yet I’m dismayed that, as the house crumbles, Bill loses all her knick-knacks, including the treasured photos of her mum that the Doctor sourced for her only weeks ago.

Den of Geek takes the opposite view, preferring the last third of the story. "Appreciating that some aren’t happy when Doctor Who goes emotional in its story wrap-ups, the fact that David Suchet’s mysterious landlord is actually the son of the woman we assumed to be his daughter is a very well earned, impactful piece of storytelling. I like that it works as a twist, but mostly, that it works because it adds real tenderness to the story."

The Mirror felt the episode to be the weekest of the season so far, feeling the character of The landlord was confusing. "Rather than allowing the bad guy of the week to be wonderfully creepy, he gets a 180 in the last few minutes to try and make us sympathise with him. But again, you can’t go killer madman to poor boy trying to save his mother in 3 minutes flat. Frankly, if you bag an actor of such calibre you can't waste him on a character that chops and changes."

Games Radar felt the writing was disapointing after last week's triumph. "The flat story is elevated slightly by David Suchet’s masterful acting, and Bill coming out as bluntly as possible does provide an air-punch moment. But even those stand-outs can’t redeem the overall limp writing. "

Flickering Myth disagreed. "When Doctor Who aims to frighten you, it really knows where those dark corners are in your mind, where you keep those little things you don’t like in your own cozy home, and brings them into light for everyone to see and to watch you leap two foot off your sofa. In this latest episode of Series 10, written by Mike Bartlett, you’re seriously going to be considering screwing down that creaking floorboard outside your bathroom by the end of it."

Carter Matt also enjoyed the story. "What was so fascinating about this story was that the more we saw of it, the more apparent that it became that this was not a story about good and evil; it was a story in some ways about a sacrifice, and what a father was able to do for his daughter. "

AV Club appreciated the style of the story. "Rarely does Doctor Who embrace another genre as completely as the first 30 minutes of “Knock Knock” does. For the first two thirds of its running time, tonight’s episode is a horror movie, with all the customary trappings. There’s the spooky haunted house with the still spookier landlord. There’s a bunch of thinly sketched young people who are all possibly idiots. There are loud noises and eerie music and windows and doors shutting all by themselves. If anything, it’s all a bit old-fashioned, in the best possible way."

Ars Technica praised the effects in the episode. "The storyline is a bit horror-by-numbers as one by one Bill's pals are bumped off by the alien woodlice. The on-screen effect is pretty grim, if thoroughly gripping, and reminds me of the carnivorous scarabs in The Mummy."

Digital Spy also felt the effects were well realised. "The episode is admirably daring when it comes to its scares, throwing up some genuinely disturbing visuals, particularly the sight of a pained Pavel (Bart Suavek) half-eaten by the house, and of a screaming Harry (Colin Ryan) being eaten alive by the Dryads."

Screen Rant looked at the themes behind the current series. "Weighing the life of one against the lives of many has been a recurring theme during Capaldi’s tenure as the Doctor, and with ‘Knock Knock’ the series places the Time Lord in a more intimate situation, almost like it’s a test to see what he’ll do when faced with a group of twentysomethings trapped in what appears to be a haunted house"

Nerdist also picked up the horror in the story. "One of the show’s main goals since the beginning was to scare people senseless. Monstrous aliens are part and parcel of the show’s success, and that often sends people “behind the sofa.” This week’s “Knock Knock” fits right in that genre…for good and ill."

IGN returned to the relationship between The Doctor and his new companion. "I enjoyed “Knock Knock” from the get-go, particularly -- as usual -- due to the Doctor’s interactions with Bill, as we see her here slightly embarrassed by the weird old fella around her new friends. This is her granddad helping her move, she insists, but no, he says, he’s her dad. Can’t we at least say I’m the dad?"

Link to Doctor Who News Review




Competition RoundupBookmark and Share

Thursday, 4 May 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A roundup of competitions now open for entry - all competitions are open worldwide with a closing date of Sunday 14th May.

Event: win tickets to Missing Who [visit event website

Missing Who (Credit: Fantom Films)From the epic journeys of Marco Polo, through the sandswept landscape of Troy, the Dalek infested colony of Vulcan, to the weed controlled oil rigs of the North Sea; many of Doctor Who's greatest adventures no longer exist for us to watch. There are currently 97 missing episodes of Doctor Who; this day will look at these lost tales, and the stories of those returned to the archives, with the stars who appeared in the them, the crew who made them, the team who restored them, and the valiant work of those who have returned them. We shall also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the television debut of Deborah Watling as scream queen Victoria Waterfield, who first appeared in episode two of The Evil of the Daleks, broadcast on this day in 1967!
We are delighted to be able to offer readers a chance to win two tickets to the Missing Who convention, which takes place at Watersmeet, High Street, Rickmansworth, WD3 1EH, United Kingdom on Saturday 27th May 2017. The competition is open worldwide, but is only applicable to the tickets themselves - entrants must be able to make their own way to the venue.

To enter, simply send an email with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-fantom@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "I want them returned!". Only one entry per household will be accepted.

Audio Download: Philip Hinchcliffe Presents: The Helm Of Awe [pre-order from Amazon UK

Philip Hinchcliffe, acclaimed producer of Doctor Who (1975-77) returns to tell new stories for the Fourth Doctor and Leela. The TARDIS arrives on the remote Shetland isle of Bothness and the Doctor and Leela find themselves threatened by Vikings! Only all is not as it seems. The locals are celebrating the old Norse fire festival of Up Helly Aa, so there’s nothing to be worried about. Or is there? For, unknown to the islanders, the TARDIS crew are on the trail of an ancient artefact invested with mysterious powers that has recently been stolen and brought to this remote location. Somewhere on this island lurks something ancient, and evil, and alien. The Doctor and Leela will have to stop it. Only on this occasion time might not be on their side.
Philip Hinchcliffe Presents: The Helm Of Awe (Credit: Big Finish)To be in with a chance to win a digital download of the audio adventure courtesy of Big Finish, simply answer the following question:
Name a televised story that was based in Scotland.
Please send your answer along with your name and the email address you have registered with Big Finish, plus where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-php@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Hello!". Note: entrants must have an active registration with Big Finish in order to be eligible to receive the prize - new registrations can be easily created on the website for free and with no financial obligation. There is also a free Big Finish app for Apple and Android.

DVD: MythMakers: Matthew Waterhouse [order from Galaxy 4

"Going from CASTROVALVA to FOUR TO DOOMSDAY to KINDA...those stories are all very distinctive, all very different to each other...and all really effective in different ways" MATTHEW WATERHOUSE is best known for playing the alien teenage mathematician ADRIC in two seasons of the original run of DOCTOR WHO, the youngest companion in the history of the series. In the years since, he has continued to work extensively as an actor in the theatre and in DOCTOR WHO and DARK SHADOWS for BIG FINISH. He is also the author of five books, including a bestseller about DOCTOR WHO and a collection of stories SUGAR. In this MYTH MAKERS, ROBERT DICK takes MATTHEW back to the locations used for the DOCTOR WHO story BLACK ORCHID and delves deep into this rich history, bringing out an evocative and candid interview about working on classic DOCTOR WHO
MythMakers: Matthew Waterhouse (Credit: Reeltime Productions)We are delighted to be able to offer readers a chance to win a signed copy of the DVD courtesy of Galaxy 4; simply answer the following question:
What was the name of Matthew Waterhouse's autobiography?
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-mw@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Was I right?". Only one entry per household will be accepted.

BBC Audio: Four To Doomsday [order from Amazon UK

Matthew Waterhouse narrates this novelisation of a classic 1982 TV serial featuring the Fifth Doctor, as played on TV by Peter Davison. When the TARDIS materialises on an alien spacecraft, the commander of the ship - the reptilian Monarch - invites the Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan to continue their journey to Earth in his company. Monarch's hospitality even extends to a generous offer to liberate the time travellers from the shortcomings of their bodies and replicate them as androids - so much more practical. Although Adric finds this proposal extremely attractive, the Doctor has good reason to be suspicious of Monarch's motives....
Doctor Who - Four To Doomsday (Credit: BBC Audio)To be in with a chance to win the audiobook courtesy of BBC Audio, simply answer the following question:
What was the name of the surveillance devices used by Monarch on his ship?
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-fourtodoomsday@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Flesh Time". Only one entry per household will be accepted.

BBC Audio: The Mind of Evil [order from Amazon UK

Richard Franklin narrates the exciting novelisation of a classic TV adventure featuring the Third Doctor, as played byJon Pertwee. Eminent scientist Emil Keller has developed a revolutionary new process for the treatment of hardened criminals. His invention, the Keller Machine, is being heralded as a major scientific breakthrough. But Professor Keller is in truth the Master, and the Keller Machine is much more than a mere machine. Soon the Doctor, Jo, the Brigadier and UNIT are involved in a bitter struggle with the Master, an alien mind parasite, and a diabolical scheme to plunge the world into a Third World War....
Doctor Who - The Mind Of Evil (Credit: BBC Audio)To be in with a chance to win the audiobook courtesy of BBC Audio, simply answer the following question:
Name the (credited) member of UNIT who only appears in this story and the following The Claws of Axos.
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-mindofevil@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Keller's fancy". Only one entry per household will be accepted.

BBC Audio: The Classic TV Adventures Collection One [order from Amazon UK

Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker star as the Doctor in these seven narrated full-cast TV soundtracks of classic Doctor Who TV serials. The stories are 'The Tomb of the Cybermen' (narrated by Frazer Hines); 'Doctor Who and the Silurians' (narrated by Caroline John); 'The Sea Devils' (narrated by Katy Manning); 'The Curse of Peladon' (narrated by Katy Manning); 'The Monster of Peladon' (narrated by Elisabeth Sladen); 'The Pirate Planet' (narrated by John Leeson); and 'Destiny of the Daleks' (narrated by Lalla Ward). Also includes bonus interviews with the narrators in which they each recall their time as the Doctor's companion in the BBC TV series.
Doctor Who: Classic TV Adventures - Collection One (Credit: BBC Audio)To be in with a chance to win the audiobook courtesy of BBC Audio, simply answer the following question:
Tomb of the Cybermen was originally narrated by somebody other than Frazer Hines - who was that person?
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-classictv@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Easy Listening". Only one entry per household will be accepted.

BBC Audio: The Lost Planet [order from Amazon UK

Nicola Bryant reads an exciting original story featuring the 12th Doctor, as played on TV by Peter Capaldi, and his companions Brandon and Alex.The TARDIS is under attack. Alien plants have taken root in its corridors, strange flowering tendrils that threaten to rip the Doctor’s ship apart. New companions Brandon and Alex venture into the heart of the TARDIS to discover the source of the infestation. Instead they find a secret door, and a forgotten world. The Doctor has unfinished business with the Arborites, living trees with long memories. Centuries ago he fought to prevent a galactic catastrophe - but now his past has come back to haunt him in ways he never thought possible. Can the Time Lord rescue his young friends before they are destroyed by his past mistakes, or will Hirolth rise to leave utter devastation in its wake?
The Lost Planet (Credit: BBC Audio)To be in with a chance to win the audiobook courtesy of BBC Audio, simply answer the following question:
Name another story which featured sentient trees.
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-lostplanet@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Haunted Memories". Only one entry per household will be accepted.




The Odd(s) DoctorBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Odds On Who (31 Jan 2017)It was inevitable that within moments of Peter Capaldi's announcement of his departure from Doctor Who fans and media would speculate on who would take over as lead actor on the show across social media - and commercial betting would begin!

This morning, William Hill currently place Ben Whishaw as favourite, at 6/1: the actor is probably best known worldwide as the character of Q in the Daniel Craig era of James Bond films, or for the younger audience as the voice of Paddington Bear in the 2014 film (and this year's sequel), and on recent television in London Spy . Next up is Richard Ayaode at 8/1, the quirky comic actor/director is best known in the UK for The IT Crowd, his travels around the world in Travel Man, and will be the host of the revived series of The Crystal Maze this year. Also at 8/1 is another name long-associated with Who-odds, Rory Kinnear (another modern James Bond stalwart as Bill Tanner), and Rupert Grint (or as most people know him, Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films!). The first actress on their list is Broadchurch's Olivia Colman at 20/1 - though ITV's Good Morning Britain reported that Miranda Hart was in fourth place at 8/1. The current list can be found via William Hill's special bet "To Replace Peter Capaldi as the next Doctor Who?".

Both Betfair and Paddy Power offer up Sherlock's Moriarty, Andrew Scott, as their joint favourite, alongside Ben Daniels (Law and Order UK, House of Cards, Star Wars: Rogue One), and Lara Pulver (Spooks, Sherlock).

During an item on the departure of Capaldi on BBC's Breakfast this morning, viewers' suggestions were read out, including names such as Hayley Attwell or Eddie Redmayne, Colin Salmon, David Harewood, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson, and Danny Dyer.


Anticipation will of course continue until the eventual new Doctor is announced by the BBC - how and when this might be is unknown at present (Capaldi's announcement in 2013 took place on a special live television programme!), but may be held off until the last series starring Capaldi has been broadcast - it will be on air between 15th April and 1st July (barring pre-emptions such as for the Eurovision Song Contest), with filming for the next series under the helm of new lead writer Chris Chibnall expected to commence not long afterwards.

Update 1st Feb: the Radio Times has reported that filming for Series 11 would not commence until Spring 2018, so an announcement of a new Doctor might not occur until next year!





Class Ratings UpdateBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Class - Ep7 - The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did - Ballon (CHIKE OKONKWO), Miss Quill (KATHERINE KELLY) (Credit: BBC/Simon Ridgeway)Class Episode Seven, The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did had an audience of 0.76 million viewers for its debut on BBC One, according the unofficial overnight figures, a share of 8% of the total TV audience.

The rating was fractionally up on the overnight figures for last week's episode. The programme was outrated by by Newsnight on BBC Two, which had 0.79 million, but it beat Through the Keyhole on ITV which had 0.65 million.

The series concluded with Episode Eight, The Lost, which followed at 11.35pm and had an audience of 0.26 million, a share of 4.7%. This episode was beaten in its timeslot Hospital on BBC 2 with 0.33 million, and marginally by The Chase on ITV which also had 0.26 million.

Consolidated ratings are now available for episodes 3 and 4 of Class, shown on BBC One two weeks ago, which include details of those who recorded the programme and watched it within a week.

Episode 3, Nightvisiting, which was broadcast at 10.47pm, had a confirmed audience of 0.79 million viewers, a 7.5% share of the total TV audience. The channel average for the timeslot is of 1.85 million. The figure is actually lower than the initial overnight figure. This can happen as the overnight figures are just an estimate based on the scheduled timeslot. The final figures are the accepted official figure for the episode. The programme won the timeslot with BBC Two's Newsnight getting 0.69 million watching. An additional 0.29 million have accessed the episode on iPlayer since its release on BBC Three last October.

Episode 4, Co-Owner Of A Lonely Heart, followed immediately afterward, starting at 11.31pm, and had a consolidated audience of 0.34 million watching, a share 5.2% of the audience. The channel average for the timeslot is 0.82 million. Episode 4 increased its audience by 21% over the initial figure. Around 250,000 have accessed the episode on iPlayer.




Big Finish Win BBC Drama AwardBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 January 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Big Finish Win BBC Drama Award (Credit: David Richardson)
Big Finish Productions have won the award for the Best Online/non Broadcast drama in the 2017 BBC Radio Drama Awards.

The team won for Absent Friends, the first part of the Eighth Doctor series Doom Coalition 3, releaed in October 2016.

The awards, which have been running since 2012, celebrate the range, originality and quality of audio drama on air and online and recognise the creativity of actors, writers, producers, sound designers and others who work in the genre. Big Finish previously won the award in 2014 for another Eighth Doctor story Dark Eyes.

The winners were announced this evening, at a special ceremony hosted by Sir Lenny Henry and Director of BBC Radio and Music Bob Shennan in the Radio Theatre at BBC Broadcasting House, London.

Vincent and the Doctor actor Bill Nighy was presented with the Special Award for Services to Radio Drama by Amelia Bullmore, recognising his tremendous contribution to audio drama over his career. Memorable highlights span from playing Sam Gamgee in The Lord Of The Rings in the 1980s to his regular appearances now as the actor-turned-detective Charles Paris, with appearances also in Cigarettes And Chocolate by Anthony Minghella, Private Lives with Helena Bonham Carter along with untiring support for the genre in general.

Bob Shennan, BBC Director of Radio, said:
This impressive list of winners illustrates the range and uniqueness of audio drama in its ability to tell stories like no other medium, transporting listeners to the world of imagination. It’s evident the genre attracts high calibre talent and there’s a fantastic audio drama community right across the UK, producing world class content for the enjoyment of millions. I’m proud of the achievements of everyone nominated for these awards and I want to congratulate all of the winners.