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.




German DVD release of An Unearthly ChildBookmark and Share

Friday, 20 January 2017 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
German release An Unearthly Child (Credit: WVG / Polyband) German company Polyband is going to release An Unearthly Child on DVD. It will be Volume 1 of a new range called The Classic Episodes and be released on 28th April 2017. 

The DVD will be identical to the UK version that was part of The Beginning boxed set, adding German subtitles to the features. Since the early serials have never been broadcast in Germany there is no German dubbing available for this story.

Polyband promotes the release with the following statement:



German: Ein nebeliger Abend, ein Polizist geht Streife in seinem Revier ... ein verlassener Schrottplatz ... und eine Polizei-Box, die geheimnisvoll surrt und brummt. Diese Bilder sind heute Kult. Sie sind die Anfänge einer Serie, die nun schon seit mehr als 50 Jahren produziert wird und Generationen von Zuschauern prägen sollte: DOCTOR WHO - AN UNEARTHLY CHILD ist der erste, aus 4 Teilen bestehende Handlungsbogen der Serie DOCTOR WHO und eröffnet die 1. Staffel. Die vier Folgen wurden erstmals zwischen dem 23. November und 14. Dezember 1963 ausgestrahlt. Mit brillantem Erzähltempo und erstaunlicher Überzeugungskraft lädt AN UNEARTHLY CHILD behutsam in die Welt von  DOCTOR WHO ein. Bereits wenige Minuten nachdem man die sichere Umgebung der Coal Hill Schule verlassen hat, befindet man sich mit dem ersten Doktor (William Hartnell) sowie seiner Enkelin Susan (Carole Ann Ford) inmitten der ersten Reise durch Zeit und Raum mithilfe einer blauen Polizei-Box, der legendären TARDIS.

English: A foggy evening, a poilce officer walks around in his area... a junkyard... and a Police Box that makes strange mysterious noises. These pictures are cult today. They are the beginning of a TV show which is in production for over 50 years now and has impressed many generations of viewers: DOCTOR WHO - AN UNEARTHLY CHILD is the first four part serial of DOCTOR WHO and is the opening to the very first season. These four episodes were first broadcast between 23rd November and 14th December 1963. Featuring a brilliant pace and impressive imagination AN UNEARTHLY CHILD introduces you well to the world of DOCTOR WHO. After only minutes of leaving the safe environment of Coal Hill School you find yourself with the first Doctor (William Hartnell) and his grandchild Susan (Carole Ann Ford) travelling through space and time with the blue Police Box, the famous TARDIS.





The Return of Doctor Mysterio: UK Blu-ray/DVD detailsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide have released details on the forthcoming Blu-ray/DVD release of this year's Christmas Special, The Return of Doctor Mysterio, in the United Kingdom:

The Return of Doctor Mysterio (Blu-ray) (Credit: BBC Worldwide) The Return of Doctor Mysterio (DVD) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
This Christmas sees Peter Capaldi return as The Doctor, alongside Matt Lucas who returns as Nardole with a stellar cast including Charity Wakefield, and Justin Chatwin. Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio, will be on DVD and Blu-ray from 23rd January 2017.

In this epic Christmas Special, The Doctor joins forces with a masked Superhero for a fantastic New York adventure.

With brain-swapping aliens poised to attack, the Doctor and Nardole link up with an investigative reporter and a mysterious figure known only as The Ghost.

The 60 minute Doctor Who Christmas Special is written by Steven Moffat, Executive Produced by Brian Minchin, Produced by Peter Bennett and Directed by Ed Bazalgette (Poldark).

Bonus material for the DVD & Blu-ray includes two features:
  • The Doctor: A New Kind of Hero
    The Doctor has no superpowers, but he can stand proudly alongside the greatest superheroes ever known. In this special program, we’ll ask what it is about the Doctor that makes him so heroic.
  • Doctor Who Extra: The Return of Doctor Mysterio
    Join stars Peter Capaldi and Matt Lucas, showrunner Steven Moffat, and many more for this very special inside look at the making of The Return of Doctor Mysterio.

The Return of Doctor Mysterio is available to pre-order on DVD or Blu-ray from our Amazon Shop, and there is still time to win a copy in our Predict The Ratings competition!




Germany NewsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
TV Movie German Blu-Ray Collector's Edition (Credit: http://wvg.com/ceemes/article/show/214836) There have been a few recent developments on the German market that are of interest.

  • Pandastorm Pictures are going to release the TV Movie on DVD and Blu-Ray early 2017. There will be three different editions. First of all on 17th February there will be a limited "Collecter's Edition Mediabook", which will contain two DVD's and one Blu-Ray. The regular editions of the DVD (2 discs) and Blu-Ray (one disc) will be released on 31st March 2017 and feature a different cover. All three editions will contain the German and English language soundtracks, as well as all bonus features of the UK releases. Also included will be exclusive material for the German market. Details to follow.
  • German books publisher Cross Cult are going to release the novelisation of The Pirate Planet ("Der Piratenplanet") by James Goss on 27th February 2017. This will be Cross Cult's last confirmed Doctor Who novel.
    One of Germany's biggest publishers, Bastei Lübbe, will take up the reign and release the novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks ("Die Hand des Omega") on 21st July 2017. It will also be available in the audio book format.
  • Adding to their German editions of the popular Titan Doctor Who comic books, Panini Comics Germany just released the first volume of the IDW story Prisoners of Time ("Gefangene der Zeit"). There was also a limited to 200 copies variant cover, drawn by popular 80's/90's comic book artist John Ridgway, only available on the German Doctor Who convention TimeLash II last October. Volume 2 will be released on 28th February 2017.
  • Germany's only Doctor Who convention TimeLash will take place for a third time on 28th to 29th October 2017 in Kassel. Guests announced so far are Daphne Ashbrook (Grace Holloway) , Philip Hinchliffe (70's producer and writer) and Annette Badland (Margaret Slitheen). More guest announcements to follow on the official TimeLash Facebook page in the coming weeks. Tickets will be available in early January on the TimeLash Homepage.





Competition roundupBookmark and Share

Friday, 18 November 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A roundup of competitions from Doctor Who News that readers may enter:

DVD: The Power of the Daleks

Patrick Troughton's first full adventure as the Doctor comes to DVD:
The Power of the Daleks (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
Animated restoration of all six episodes from the 1966 serial of the BBC sci-fi show starring Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor. The Doctor has regenerated into a new, younger self and while his companions come to terms with this sudden change, they make a terrible discovery at the human colony on the planet Vulcan. What the colonists had thought mere machines reveal their sinister intentions.
To be in with a chance to win the DVD, simply answer the following question:
Which modern series adventure is reported to have been inspired by elements of The Power of the Daleks?
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-powerdvd@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Absolute Power!". The competition is open to UK readers only, closing date 4th December 2016. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

DVD: Mindgame Saga

The re-release of the spin-offs featuring Sophie Aldred, Miles Richardson, Toby Aspin, Bryan Robson and John Wadmore
Mindgame Saga (Credit: Koch Media)
MINDGAME A Human … a Draconian … a Sontaran … trapped in a prison cell. Who will survive when they are forced to fight for their lives? MINDGAME TRILOGY - Having escaped their fate in MINDGAME, the three warriors return to their respective timelines … a battlefield, a prison cell and a dying spaceship. Far more deadly situations than the one they just escaped from! Will any of them survive?
To be in with a chance to win the DVD courtesy of Koch Media, simply answer the following question:
Name the character played by Miles Richardson in previous Doctor Who spin-offs recently released by Koch Media.
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-mindgame@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Survival of the fittest". The competition is open to UK readers only, closing date 4th December 2016. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

Audio Download: The Third Doctor Adventures: Volume 2

A new set of adventures with the third Doctor!
The Doctor and Jo arrive on the dying planet Ephros, where Galactux Power Inc is exploiting the world's remaining resources. But something is stirring beneath the surface... The Doctor and Jo then journey to Bramfield New Town when the husband of Jo’s cousin vanishes mysteriously. As magpies circle overheard, the Doctor discovers a terrifying alien plot...
The Third Doctor Adventures: Volume 2 (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 the third Doctor television story which also features Bernard Holley.
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-bf3d2@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Not now, Jo!". The competition is open worldwide, closing date 4th December 2016. 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.

It is also still possible to enter competitions to win BBC Audio releases Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks and Tales from the TARDIS, open worldwide with the same closing date of 4th December - more details here.




Power of the Daleks - ReleasedBookmark and Share

Saturday, 5 November 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Episode One of the animated Power of the Daleks has been released on the BBC Store, exactly 50 years after it was first seen in the UK.

Viewers in the UK can download the episode for £1.89SD or £2.49HD or buy a season pass which gives access to all six episodes for £9.99SD and 12.99HD. Episodes are being released on a daily basis, although some BBC Store users have reported they already have access to all six.

The first three minutes of the episode were live streamed on the Periscope service earlier today. Viewers who missed it can unlock the video by going to the BBC Store twitter account



The first three episodes of the story were premiered at the National Film Theatre in London on Saturday afternoon, although disappointingly in mono rather than the remixed 5.1 sound so lovingly created by Mark Ayres. A packed audience included many who worked on the animation as well as members of the original production team from 1966, including designer Derek Dodd, actress Anneke Wills and runner and future Doctor Who director Graeme Harper, who at the time he worked on Power of the Daleks was just three weeks into his BBC Career.

Actor Frazer Hines, superfan and comedian Frank Skinner and current showrunner Steven Moffat all shared their memories of working with and watching Patrick Troughton.

Also in the audience was Grahame Strong, the man who made the recreation possible, by recording the sound from his TV on his domestic tape recorder as the story was being broadcast, thereby preserving the soundtrack when the rest of the episode was destroyed.

Some of the process of the animation was explained by project Director Charles Norton. The team had roughly 6 months to complete all six episodes, an incredibly tight framework, with the final episodes only completed last Wednesday. He decided to make the story in 16:9 rather than the original 4:3 as most people now watch on widescreen TV's and if it had been made in 4:3 most would be watching the animation stretched to fit the screen.

Norton said he had fought hard for the animation to be made in Black and White as he felt it enhanced the story and gave a far more accurate rendition of the original product, something accepted by BBC Worldwide. The idea to colour the episodes came later from BBC America and is being done in Canada by a completely separate team. As far as BBC Worldwide is concerned the definitive edition for the UK market is the Black and White edition.

Those who do wish to see the Colour version can download it from the BBC Store at the end of the year, or buy the Blu-Ray in February, which will contain both versions.

In the USA the story will be screened weekly on BBC America starting on November 19. This is in addition to a number of movie theatre screenings on November 14. BBC America will make the colour version available exclusively on their digital platforms towards the end of November. and from January 24, 2017 both versions of the story will be available on DVD.

The story will also be screened at selected theatres in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.




Power of the Daleks in ColourBookmark and Share

Thursday, 3 November 2016 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC have announced that a colour version of the animated story The Power of the Daleks is to be released at the end of the year.

The Black and White version is being released this weekend on BBC Store, with a DVD release coming on 21 November. It is now confirmed that a colour version will be released on BBC Store on 31st December followed by a Special Edition Bluray, containing both the Black and White and Colour versions, from 6th February 2017.

BBC America is screening the Black and White version weekly from November 19, and will make the colour version available exclusively on their digital platforms towards the end of November. From January 24, 2017 both versions of the story will be available on a Region 1 DVD, exclusively at Barnes & Noble.




The Power of the Daleks - Extra MaterialBookmark and Share

Friday, 28 October 2016 - Reported by Marcus
The Power of the Daleks (Credit: BBC Worldwide)BBC Worldwide has confirmed the additional material that will be included on the release of the animated version of The Power of the Daleks.

This highly anticipated adventure will be released on BBC Store on Saturday 5th November, exactly 50 years to the minute after it was first transmitted on BBC One at 5.50pm. The UK release of the DVD will follow on Monday 21st November. A wealth of extra material will be available with both the BBC Store and DVD releases.

Extra treats fans can look forward to include commentaries and surviving footage, together with a documentary feature which stars the original cast and crew. Other bonus features include a gallery of artwork from the animation, and original shooting script. There’s even a rare chance to hear the original Dalek recordings from the show.

Power of the Daleks is one of the Doctor’s most celebrated adventures and yet no complete film recordings of The Power of the Daleks are known to have survived. The master negatives were destroyed in an archive purge in 1974.

The six 25 minute episodes feature the regeneration, or as it was then called ‘renewal’, of First Doctor William Hartnell into Second Doctor Patrick Troughton, as the Time Lord and his companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) do battle with the Daleks on the planet Vulcan.

Animator Charles Norton says:
It’s been wonderful to have been able to track down so much rare and previously unreleased material and I hope that fans enjoy the excellent package we’ve been able to assemble.
Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks will be priced at £9.99 SD and £12.99 HD from bbcstore.com from 5th November where each episode will air on consecutive days.

The DVD will be released in the UK on 21st November priced at £20.42

A full list of extras is here, and will be available on BBC Store from 14th November and on the DVD on the 21st;
  • Alternate soundtracks – DVD only
  • The option to listen to the story with a series of completely new digital re-masters of the original soundtrack – a stereo mix; a 5.1 surround sound mix and version of the original 1966 mono sound mix.
  • Animation Test Footage
  • A compilation of animation tests, created during the production of the new animated series.
  • Audio Commentaries on all 6 episodes – DVD only
  • Members of the original cast and crew are joined by members of the new animation unit to discuss the production of the story and its new animated reconstruction. Moderated by Toby Hadoke. Includes archive audio.
  • Booklet with Production Notes – DVD only
  • An extensively researched set of production notes, written by the noted television historian Andrew Pixley, covering the behind the scenes story of how the original production was made.
  • Original Camera Scripts – DVD only
  • Selected items of original production paperwork and a complete set of original camera scripts
  • Original Title Sequence - new restoration
  • An unedited presentation of the full original 'Doctor Who' title sequence, prepared using an all new HD re-master of the original film elements.
  • The Power of the Daleks Animation and Photo Gallery
  • An extended gallery of images, featuring production photographs from the original 1966 series and artwork from the latest animated production, accompanied by incidental music from the story, which has been digitally re-mastered from the original music production tapes.
  • The Power of the Daleks Surviving Footage & Original Trailer – BBC Store/EST only
  • A compilation of short film fragments and clips from the original 1966 BBC television production - the only surviving footage to remain of the show's original BBC1 run.
  • Original Dalek Voice Session Recording (1966) DVD only
  • Rare and previously unreleased sections from the studio recordings that were made at Maida Vale Studios in 1966 for the Dalek voices.
  • Servants and Masters - The Making of The Power of the Daleks
  • A specially prepared documentary directed by John Kelly and featuring interviews with members of the original 1966 cast and crew.
  • Telesnap reconstruction.
  • Around 400 individual still frames of film exist from the original 1966 television production of The Power of the Daleks. These images were kept in the programme's production files by the BBC Written Archive Centre. These images are here combined with the programme's soundtrack to present a photographic reconstruction of the original programme.
The Power of the Daleks (Credit: BBC Worldwide)The Power of the Daleks (Credit: BBC Worldwide)The Power of the Daleks (Credit: BBC Worldwide)




Mindgame SagaBookmark and Share

Thursday, 20 October 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Koch Media are to re-release the spin-off features produced by Reeltime Pictures, Mindgame and Mindgame Trilogy, on DVD on 14th November 2016.

Mindgame Saga (Credit: Koch Media)Mindgame Saga

Mindgame
Written by Terrance Dicks
Starring Sophie Aldred, Miles Richardson, Toby Aspin and Bryan Robson

The classic prison cell drama. Three warriors are forced to fight by an evil alien intent on testing the combat skills of creatures from our dimension. Can they trick him and escape back to their own timelines?


Mindgame Trilogy
Written by Terrance Dicks, Miles Richardson and Roger Stevens
Starring Sophie Aldred, Miles Richardson and John Wadmore

Continuing the individual stories of the three warriors.
BATTLEFIELD: Field-Major Sarg is in trouble. Trapped, wounded and alone on a battle-scarred planet, he is forced to accept he may die … but at least it will be a glorious death – or so he hopes.
PRISONER 451: To be or not to be, that is the question! On trial for subversion, Commander of Brigade Merc faces the ultimate penalty.
SCOUT SHIP: A dying ship drifting in space. The human mercenary pilot faced with certain death. Time may be relative… but it still runs out!


The DVD also includes a second disc with special features:
  • Mindgame Saga Retrospective (NEW)
  • Making of Mindgame
  • Making of Mindgame Trilogy
  • Mindgame & Mindgame Trilogy Slideshows
  • Mindgame script (including missing scenes)






The Power of the Daleks: 50th Anniversary animationBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 September 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide and BBC America have officially announced the first full story featuring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, The Power of the Daleks is to be released as a new animated version on the 50th anniversary of its first broadcast.

The Power of the Daleks (animated) - The Daleks (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
The Power of the Daleks (animated) - The Doctor (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
It's one of the Doctor’s most celebrated adventures and yet no complete film recordings of The Power of the Daleks are known to have survived. The master negatives were destroyed in an archive purge in 1974.

BBC Worldwide and BBC America have announced that a brand new black and white animation based on audio recordings of the programme using the original cast, surviving photographs and film clips will be released via the BBC Store 50 years to the minute after its only UK broadcast on BBC One, with its television premiere on BBC America taking place a week later.

The six half hour episodes feature the regeneration, or as it was then called ‘renewal’, of First Doctor William Hartnell into Second Doctor Patrick Troughton, as the Time Lord and his companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) do battle with the Daleks on the planet Vulcan.

Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks was a joint commission by both BBC Worldwide and BBC America, and is produced by the team behind the highly successful animation of lost Dad’s Army episode A Stripe For Frazer - first released on the UK's BBC Store in February this year. The producer and director is Charles Norton, with character designs from acclaimed comic book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon.

Charles Norton says:
The Power of the Daleks animation is the most ambitious Doctor Who archive restoration ever attempted and we’re all very honoured to be a part of such a an exciting project. Intelligent, suspenseful and magnificently staged, Power of the Daleks is one of the great lost classics of 1960s television and a superb example of the black and white era at its finest.

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide says:
Charles and his team are remarkably talented and passionate about Doctor Who and we are thrilled that fans will soon be able to enjoy this rather sinister but wonderful, classic story.

Doctor Who: The Power Of The Daleks will initially be exclusively released on BBC Store, with episode one available from Saturday 5th November at 5:50pm, and the others released on consecutive days thereafter. It will then be shown on BBC America on the 12th November.

The story will become available to stream from BBC America's website and via their app from the 13rth November, and more widely in the United Kingdom from the 14th November, plus the story will be released on DVD in the United Kingdom on the 21st November (no other regions have been announced at present). UK readers can register their interest in the digital download at the BBC Store.



In addition to the story's release on the 5th November, there will be a special screening of the first three episodes at the BFI in London, which will include a Q&A with Anneke Wills, Charles Norton and Frazer Hines. Further information will be available from the BFI website from Monday 19th September.




Remembrance of the Daleks Gets Who Talk CommentaryBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 August 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Remembrance of the Daleks (Credit: Fantom)Fantom Publishing have comissioned four new editions of Who Talk, the series of independent commentaries for Doctor Who episodes.

The company has previously released commenteries for the recovered second Doctor stories The Enemy of the World and The Web Of Fear, as well as the third Doctor story The Dæmons and several ophaned First Doctor episodes

The first of the new commisions is the Seventh Doctor Story Remembrance of the Daleks.

Producer Paul W T Ballard explained the choice
Thanks to the strength of the first four releases and the ongoing support we receive from fans, we are thrilled to announce that we have commissioned a further four projects, the first of which is the classic Dalek tale from the twenty-fifth anniversary year.

Remembrance of the Daleks was always the top of my list, as it is not only a strong evocative story from this era of Doctor Who, but the original release gave us scope to go back and talk to those not originally featured on the commentary track.
Joining moderator Toby Hadoke for this release is Pamela Salem (Rachel), Simon Williams (Gilmore), Karen Gledhill (Allison), Andrew Cartmel (Script Editor), and Andrew Morgan (Director).

Remembrance of the Daleks opened Doctor Who's 25th-anniversary series in 1988. The release consists of six new commentaries, including alternative tracks for episodes one and three. Both the CD and download editions are now available priced £10.99 and £9.99 respectively, ahead of the trade release next month.

Remembrance of the Daleks (Credit: Fantom)

Please note: these commentaries contain no BBC copyrighted elements and do not feature audio from the episodes themselves - these are designed to be played alongside the official DVD releases.





TV Movie to be released on Blu-rayBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 2 August 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Paul McGann as the Doctor (publicity for The TV Movie) (Credit: BBC)BBC Worldwide have confirmed that the 1996 television movie starring Paul McGann will be released on Blu-ray in September. Further details will be available nearer the release date as the sleeve and extras are still being finalised, but according to Amazon UK's pre-order entry it will comprise of two discs.

The TV Movie celebrated its 20th anniversary in May this year.





Dæmos RisingBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 5 July 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Koch Media are to release the spin-off feature Dæmos Rising on DVD on the 18th July:

Daemos Rising (Credit: Koch Media)Dæmos Rising
Written by David J. Howe, directed by Keith Barnfather
Released 18th July 2016

Starring Beverley Cressman (Downtime) and Miles Richardson (Midsomer Murders) and narrated by Ian Richardson (House of Cards).

Dæmos Rising is the 2004 direct sequel to Downtime, but also to the Jon Pertwee era Doctor Who story The Dæmons. In the film, Cavendish is broken by his experiences in Downtime and hides away in a country cottage where he becomes absorbed by the occult. Kate Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT travels to see him after an appeal for help and together they battle the resurgent evil Daemons from the story of the same name.

Dæmos Rising is a unique British 2004 sci-fi movie from the Doctor Who universe (but unofficial) featuring treasured characters and talent from the franchise and only now released on DVD - it's a must see for fans of the Time Lord. Fully Digitally Remastered for 2016 including an additional 16:9 Widescreen version of the feature for the first time.

Special Features:
Retrospective (New): 13mins
Behind the Scenes: 20mins
Cast and Crew: 9mins
Creative Feature: 4mins
Guy Leopold Speaks!: 3mins
Kents Cavern: 4mins
Making Music: 4mins Slide Show


Competition: Win a copy of Dæmos Rising

There are three copies of the feature up for grabs courtesy of Koch Media; to be in with a chance to win simply answer the following question:
Beverley Cressman's character also appears in the modern series of Doctor Who, but who plays her?
Please send your answer along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to comp-daemos@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Power in Isolation". The competition is open to UK residents only, closing date 17th July 2016.


Koch Media have also produced a short guide to what they consider the top 10 of Doctor Who spin-offs:
Doctor Who is arguably the most popular British television show of all time. Spanning from it's creation back in 1963 to present day and consisting of over 800 episode, the series seems to be immortal (much like the Doctor himself) and has spread across countless viewing platforms. But what happens to the Doctor's companions when they go back to their ordinary lives? It would seemingly be hard settling back into normality after travelling around space and time with an immortal alien smarter than Einstein!

In order to celebrate the upcoming release of Daemos Rising we have compiled a list of the must-see unofficial Doctor Who spin-off titles...

Wartime (1987)

This is the first unofficial spin-off from Doctor Who, directed by Keith Barnfather and starring John Levene reprising his role as John Benton, who was first introduced into the Whoniverse way back in 1968 during the time of the 2nd Doctor.

The short film follows Bentonas he is transporting a shipment of radioactive material to UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) H.Q. just outside Bolton. But the journey somehow takes Benton into his own past where he confronts the ghosts of his mother, father and younger brother Chris, killed in a fall from a high wall when they were boys and whose death he feels guilty about. Benton must fight his way out of the nightmare world where past and present are one and back to reality where an armed and dangerous criminal is intent on hijacking the shipment.

The 30-minute film was a directorial debut for Barnfather, who would go on to direct four other well loved Doctor Who spin-offs. A notable difference between Wartime and the additional spin-offs that followed is that it was the only production to air while the original Doctor Who series was still being broadcast. It's an emotional tale and fans of the John Pertwee era of Doctor Who will love this exploration of the veteran characters past.

Downtime (1995)

The second TV spin-off shows the return of long-time associate of the mysterious time traveller the Doctor, Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, as he faces the toughest battle of his military career when he is embroiled in a plot unwittingly set in motion by university chancellor Victoria Waterfield, herself a former companion of the Doctor, to take over the Earth by an evil alien entity called the Great Intelligence, aided by its ferocious robot Yeti cohorts. Can the Brigadier defeat this menace to the Earth without the Doctor’s help?

The film was co-directed by Keith Barnfather and Christopher Barry, who directed 43 episodes of the original Doctor Who series from season 1 to 17 (1963-1979). The film also features iconic companions of the Doctor; Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Sarah Jane Smith (Nicholas Courtney and Elisabeth Sladen respectively) who take centre stage for this instalment. It's an absolute must see for fans of the classic series.

Mindgame (1997)

The third spin-off directed by Keith Barnfather and the first not to feature a character from the series itself. However it does bring back a couple of fan favourite alien species from the Doctor Who Universe. The plot follows a human, a sontaran and a draconian are 'transmatted' into an inter-dimensional prison situated on an asteroid. They have been transported there by a wolf-like alien, who has trapped them all in the cell where they must fight each other so he can judge which species his people should join forces with to conquer the galaxy.

This short film was commended for its character driven story, use of special effects and acting from Sophie Aldred (the human) and Miles Richardson (the Draconian). Although die-hard fans of the show might be disappointed not to see any familiar faces they will enjoy how the memorable aliens and expert levels of costume and set design create an authentic Doctor Who experience.

Mindgame Trilogy (1999)

This 30-minute film acts as a sequel to MIndgame and continues the stories of the three prisoners from the preceding film. However, in this film the story follows human, the draconian and the sontaran separately in three different short narratives: Battlefield, Prisoner 451 and Scout Ship.

The first segment (Battlefield) carries on the story of the sontaran, Field-Major Sarg, who is trapped, wounded and alone on a battle-scarred planet, he is forced to accept that he may die. But at least it will be a glorious death – or so he hopes. The second story (Prisoner 451) centre’s around the draconian, who has found himself locked up in prison again. While he sits in his cell, he thinks about his previous experiences and how may be going to face certain death. The third and final instalment of the feature (Scout Ship) focuses on the human who’s dying ship has caused her to become lost in space. She decides to put the only functioning piece of equipment to good use and records her final moments on the ships camera.

This second instalment varies a lot to the original - as a good sequel should - and takes a more in depth look at the characters than in its predecessor, creating more of connection between them and the audience and opting for a darker tone. Like the original, the film was praised for its set design and special effects.

Zygon: When Being You Just Isn’t Enough (2008)

Out of all the films on this list, none faced a harder production than Zygon. Originally beginning filming back in 2003, it was almost scrapped by its director, Bill Baggs. After several years, script changes and an extra day of shooting, it was eventually amended and released in 2008. The plot follows engineer, Mike Kirkwood, who is frequently troubled by his recurring dreams that he is a shapeshifting Zygon monster. He confides in psychiatrist, Lauren, who tries to help him discover what these dreams mean but it is not too long before she finds herself in serious danger…

Probably the least referential to the source material that steamed it, the only major link between the Doctor Who series and this film are presence of the titular space creature Zygons. That being said it is still an interesting addition to the Whoniverse and has been closer compared the spin-off series Torchwood, due to its more adult and violent content. It is also one of the two Doctor Who spin-offs to receive and 18 certificate rating, the other being Ghosts of Winterborne (although that has since been released as a 12 certificate).

PROBE: The Zero Imperative (1994)
The first in the ongoing P.R.O.B.E series which follows the Preternatural Research Bureau, a government organisation which investigates supernatural activities. The film follows former UNIT officer and companion to the third Doctor, Liz Shaw, and her assistant, Bayliss, investigating a series of bizarre murders committed near a soon-to-be-closed psychiatric hospital. When the hospital is unexpectedly reprieved by rich Industrialist, Peter Russell, events seem to move out of Liz's control. Is the director of the clinic and his predecessor harbouring the killer? What is the centuries-old horror hidden in the grounds? And what exactly is the secret of Room Zero?

This spin-off gives a lot for Doctor Who fans to enjoy; namely the inclusion of previous Doctors John Pertwee (Third Doctor), Colin Baker (Sixth Doctor) and Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor). Not only this but each actor also plays a Doctor at the aforementioned hospital, although you may be disappointed to hear that none of these Doctors are time lords but instead appear as duplicitous medical practitioners!

Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans (1994)

In the desolate vacuum of space, the Tiger Moth, a space yacht under the command of no-nonsense Captain Lisa Deranne, is on a cruise taking some rich misfits on a voyage through space. During their travels a shape-changing alien, known as a Rutan, manages to get on board the ship to escape its rival alien pursuers, the Sontarans, who have been at war since the dawn of time. Soon after the Sontarans take control of the ship and begin to look for the creature. The Rutan disguises itself as one of the crew members and begins killing Sontarans and Humans alike. The Sontarans soon decide to destroy all life on the Tiger Moth prompting Captain Deranne to track down the murderous Rutan before her ship and everyone on it is destroyed.

Like many of the films on this list, the thing that closest connects the film to the Doctor Who series are the alien species within in it. Especially the Sontarans, who are somewhat of a fan favourite. Incidentally, this film marks the first time the notorious warring species appeared onscreen together. Although, the copyright to the Sontarans was acquired but not the rights to their appearance, so they were redesigned for this story. That being said it is still a fun addition to the Whoniverse and is a must see for Sontaran fans.

Auton (1997)

This next title was created as a sequel to the Season 7 storyline of the third Doctor “Spearhead from Space”, which featured the first appearance of titular Auton species as well as the Nestene Consciousness they expanded from. At a top secret UNIT facility known only as "The Warehouse", Dr Sally Arnold has been studying a Nestene energy unit with no results. She subjects the artefact to cosmic signals from UNIT's most powerful deep space scanning satellite, causing a violent energy release that kills her assistant, Janice. In response, a containment team was dispatched to the warehouse, led by a psychic UNIT operative Lockwood, who has the ability to access all information from any computer mainframe in the world with his mind. They soon learn that the Nestene energy unity has taken on a mobile form and they must do whatever they can to stop it.

The film regularly references the original series, especially the story it serves as a sequel for, including using The Doctor’s UHF transmitter used to combat the Autons in the television show. However, due to copyright reasons, the film refers to the device as “Dr. John Smiths UHF transmitter” but we know who they’re talking about. Nicholas Courtney, aka The Brigadier, was also slated to be the central character of the film but had to drop out at the last minute due to health issues and the character of Lockwood was created to replace the Brigadier.

PROBE: The Devil of Winterborne (1995)

The second film in the P.R.O.B.E series and features an appearance from the 5th Doctor, Peter Davidson, although he does not reprise his iconic role. Like this films predecessor, It follows Liz Shaw and the Preternatural Research Bureau on another investigation. They are sent to investigate the grisly murder of retired headmaster Mr. Whittaker and his dog. Liz Shaw is disturbed to find evidence of a satanic ritual near the scene of the crime. She soon discovers a web of deceit and corruption that extends back in time, threatening the current occupants of nearby Winterborne School. With P.R.O.B.E. under threat from within and the death toll mounting, Liz finds herself under increasing pressure from all sides to produce results. The Devil of Winterborne is at large and only Liz can stop him…

Fans of the series will be happy to hear that the film was written by Mark Gatiss (League of Gentlemen), who has not only written 8 episodes for Doctor Who (as well as starring in a few) but would go on to co-create the immensely popular television series Sherlock with Steven Moffat (who himself is the current head writer and executive producer for Doctor Who since 2009). Interestingly the film was the first of the Doctor Who franchise to show a same-sex relationship on screen (pre-dating the new series), as a physical relationship between Andrew and Christian is heavily implied.

Daemos Rising (2004)

This sequel centres around Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (daughter of the series regular, The Brigadier) as she responds to a message from ex-UNIT operative Douglas Cavendish, who at this point is broken by his experiences in Downtime and has hidden away in the countryside. Arriving at Cavendish's retreat, she finds herself caught up in ancient rituals and a demonic power her father had once helped to overcome. Summoned from its resting place by a tyranny from the future, a Dæmon is set to return to Earth. Can Kate and the downtrodden Cavendish save the planet from destruction or future domination?

This film is not only a direct sequel to Downtime, but also to the Jon Pertwee Doctor Who story: The Daemons, where the Doctor and the Brigadier had to battle a Daemon and the Master. Whovians have a lot to look out for in this adventure, as the film does well to make many references to the series and earlier spin-off title. Some examples would be the mentioning of the UNIT warehouse depicted in 1997's Auton, where alien technologies were stored and kept secret. This film was set in late 2003 and was originally aired in March 2004 and fans will happy to hear that the film has been remastered and released on DVD this July for the first time in 16:9 ratio with new extras.