Back To The Vortex: Editor On The RadioBookmark and Share

Sunday, 18 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Greetings from your editor... BBC Radio listeners (if you're so inclined) can tune into the following radio programs over the next two days to hear about the Back to the Vortex book, my unofficial and unauthorized guide to the first season of the new Doctor Who series, as I'll be doing interviews with local BBC Radio stations for the next two days on the book from the London studios. The schedule is as follows (all times are half-hours and the interviews will appear at some point during the period):
    Monday, 19 September
  • 10.30-11am: BBC Radio Bristol, with Richard Lewis
  • 11.30am-12pm: BBC Radio Oxford, with Danny Cox
  • 12pm-12.30pm: BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester

    Tuesday, 20 September
  • 9:30-10am: The Tony and Julie Show, BBC Radio Leicester
  • 10am-10:30am: BBC Radio Northampton, with Bernie Keith
  • 11am-11.30am: BBC Radio Kent, with Julie Maddocks
  • 2.10-2.30pm: BBC Radio Swindon/Wiltshire with Mark Seaman
  • 3.30-4pm: BBC Radio Midlands with Danny Kelly

Shockeye's KitchenBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Shockeye's Kitchen has launched its 16th Course, a 36-page fanzine available online as a free downloadable PDF (in high, medium or low resolution) from their website. The issue is billed as "a high-calorie celebration of Series One, with a meaty analysis of the series as a whole and a buffet comprising reviews of every episode." The editors add that "Shockeye would love to have you for dinner." (Thanks to Simon Kinnear)

Redesign the Cybermen!Bookmark and Share

Friday, 16 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
SFX Magazine ran a competition last year for fans to redesign the Daleks "and were deluged with retooled pepperpots." Says the magazine's official website, "We're not above recycling an old idea that worked, so we've decided to do the same for the returning villains of Who season two: the Cybermen. What do you reckon the silver giants from Telos should look like when they stride across our screens once more? We reckon you'll want to bin the moon boots and cricket gloves, but how far would you go? Should they have fleshy bits showing? Must they retain those ear-like helmet handles? Where do you stand on the whole "shiny chrome or matt effect?" question?" Instructions on how to submit a design are at the website.

News ClipsBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The South Wales Evening Post today reported that the BBC Wales film crew will descend on the Gower coast in Swansea this weekend for new series filming. It is also said that the filming will be for episode 1 of the new series, although it is not confirmed if David Tennant or Billie Piper will be present, they also say that the actual location is a secret and do not want this info to get out to the general public.

Sylvester McCoy will be appearing at the Hollywood Cinema on 2nd October for an interview, which will then be followed by showings of Battlefield and Remembrance of the Daleks, all as part of the Yarmouth Film Festival; more details atEDP24.

Annette Badland, better known to Season One fans as Margaret Blaine, is currently appearing in Radio Four's "The Archers" as the ever-so-slightly machiavellian Hazel Woolley. A long-running but irregular character (played in past appearances by Hilary Armstrong, Jan Cox and Hilary Newcombe), Hazel seems set to feature for some time, as she vies against her increasingly senile father's wife for control over his businesses. Nno incidents yet of suspicious farting or oddly placed zips, though, so Ambridge may yet prove safe.

John Barrowman and Richard Wilson will be appearing in Cinderella over Christmas at the New Wimbledon Theatre from 9th December; they're currently doing auditions for it for children, details at IC South London (and theatre info at The Ambassadors).

Paul Abbott, recently revealed to have been the fifth potential writer for the first season of "Doctor Who" this past year, is quoted by The Guardian and The Times as saying that "too much television drama is under-ambitious, predictable and needlessly boring" but that producer Russell T Davies' series "Second Coming" was "a television masterpiece. It grappled with the most colossal subject matter in the return of a Messiah to earth. Not in a Robert Powell way. Modern earth. Manchester, actually. And mainly the scruffy end."

In a feature on the Brighton Pier Doctor Who exhibition in the latest DWM, it is said that there is uncertainty about the exhibition's future after its seasonal closure in November. Vicki Whitmore of Brighton Pier says that there will be other exhibitions in the dome but if there were another Who exhibition available, "we would obviously consider taking it back on". Lorne Martin, of Experience Design, says that they are "looking at other ventures in other areas, whereby the exhibitions can grow [...] The fact that the show is already signed up for Series Three [means that] we can go and talk to more venues about making an even more thrilling experience."

(Thanks to Steve Tribe, Chuck Foster, Paul Engelberg, Matt Kimpton, Paul Hayes and "facethemusic")

New Series UpdateBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Some additional news about the next series in this month's issue of Doctor Who Magazine. On Zoe Wanamaker's return as Cassandra, DWM notes that next year's appearance differs from The End of the World in that the actress has actually been on-set this time to voice her lines and "react spontaneously with David and Billie". Also in Episode 1, there will be "a new race of villains to contend with at the same time [as Cassandra]". An interview with the producers of Doctor Who Confidential reveals that the second series has extra filming days that allow "filming five backstage days an episode this year", which should enable more behind-the-scenes coverage than in the first series. Production on Confidential has also "started earlier this year [...] This time we've been [in Cardiff] since the start", including footage of David Tennant on Blue Peter for the monster competition, which may be reflected in a Confidential episode examining "the close relationship Doctor Who and Blue Peter have shared over the years".
Additionally, regarding the three new books announced for next year (see yesterday's story), range consultant/editor Justin Richards explains that the selection of authors was determined by "the [same] reasons as last time around û we're people with a track record of writing to spec and to schedule for the right market, and who have been signed off for all the confidential material." He also states that "we're still waiting for all sorts of decisions from all sorts of people" on the future of the past Doctors range of novels. "The Past Doctor books have a future, I'm sure, but exactly what we'll be doing, and when, I don't know. We're taking the time to make sure we get it right." In a separate interview elsewhere in the magazine, Richards also mentions that "we'll give [the Ninth Doctor] as rest in 2006, and by 2007 we'll have a better idea of whether he fits into the past Doctor range, or whether we do a new range of books which are branded as 'new series', but which are about an old Doctor." (The comments about the Ninth Doctor 'fitting in' seem to be referring to considerations of marketing and general readership perceptions and reception, rather than artistic/fan considerations.)

More on Tegan AudioBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The official Doctor Who website confirmed the story today, which we reported yesterday from the pages of the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, that Janet Fielding would at last reprise the role of Tegan Jovanka for an audio story to be released next year by Big Finish. "In fact, I'd all but given up asking," Big Finish producer Gary Russell is quoted as saying, with regard to his recent attempts to convince the actress to return to the role. "Then over a lovely dinner a few weeks back she volunteered. 'One,' she said. 'Just the one,' with a steely gaze that told me that it will, indeed, be just the one." Says producer Jason Haigh-Ellery, "I know Peter [Davison] is going to enjoy renewing their sparring partnership, and I hope the fans will get a kick out of hearing this older Tegan getting to say one or two things she probably wanted to get out of her system at the end of Resurrection of the Daleks," indicating that Peter Davison would join her for this audio and that it will take place after the character left the series' continuity. Not noted on the official website was the news that the Tegan story will have character/story links to "Dead Men Walking," an audio starring Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant as the Sixth Doctor and Peri, written by Joseph Lidster (who has also written the Tegan serial, "Summer in the City"); the story features the Cybermen and is due next year. The connection, along with "one or two characters", is Cybertechnology, with the Cybermen returning in Lidster's story, set in Baltimore in 1986, at the home of Peri's parents, "where the Doctor uncovers a sinister plot to reanimate cadavers at a funeral home". The report also notes that Mark Strickson returns for the November audio "Singularity" by James Swallow -- Strickson has not been in an audio for some time -- and that subscribers will receive an additional Sixth Doctor and Peri special CD called "Cryptobiosis" by year's end; the new single-disc story "came from the open-submissions pile" [in 2003], and is written by Elliot Thorpe.

Additional Series Box ExtrasBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
We've received several reports about additional extras for the Series One Boxed Set, due out this November containing all 13 episodes from series one of the new TV series starring Christopher Eccleston. According to the British Board of Film Classification, the "Doctor Who Confidential Cut Down" specials -- the BBC3 documentaries shortened by removing all references to the original series and focusing solely on the new -- will be included, though the BBFC only reports the first seven have been cleared; however, it was reported earlier that all thirteen plus one additional special, that of the "extra" Confidnetial episode being specially produced for the DVD, would be on the discs., meanwhile, is reporting additional extras including commentaries, "Billie PiperÆs Video Diary," "Making Doctor Who with Russell T Davies," "Waking The Dead (Mark Gatiss' video diary)," "Exclusive featurettes: Destroying the Lair; Mike TuckerÆs Mocks of Balloons; Designing Doctor Who,; Laying Ghosts û The Origins of The Unquiet Dead; Deconstructing Big Ben, The Adventures of Captain Jack"; "BBC Breakfast Interview with Christopher Eccleston" plus the Confidential specials, 5.1 surround sound, a collectors' booklet and subtitles. Additionally, the boxed set will feature a variety of pre- and post-broadcast trailers including the "Time Is Up" teasers, the "Saturdays at 7pm" series of trailers, the trailers aired in conjunction with "Strictly Come Dancing" and the "Countdown" trailer. Outpost Gallifrey has been told that there will be an official press release on the set's final contents later this month. (Thanks to Scott Handcock, Daniel Hirsch, Steve Tribe, Martin Hoscik, "TimNNell")

TV Series UpdateBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Issue 361 of Doctor Who Magazine, now on sale, confirms some TV series-related information:
Director Euros Lyn will work on two additional episodes, bringing his second series total up to four episodes, as the director of Block Four.
Zoe Wanamaker is indeed reprising her role as Cassandra in the first episode, still rumored to be titled "New Earth". She is joined by Michael Fitzgerald as Duke, Lucy Robinson as Clovis, Dona Croll as the Matron, Adjoa Andoh as the Sister, Anna Hope as the Novice, and Sean Gallagher as Chip. Additional casting updates: "The Christmas Invasion" will star Penelope Wilton as Harriet Jones, Adam Garcia as Alex Klein, Daniel Evans as Danny Llewellyn, Anita Briem as Sally, Chu Omambala as Major Blake, and Sean Glider. "School Reunion" features Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, John Leeson as K9, Anthony Stewart Head as Mr. Finch, Eugene Washington as Mr Wagner, Joe Pickley as Kenny, Lucinda Dryzek as Melissa, Heather Cameron as Nina, Benjamin Smith as Luke, Clem Tibber Milo, Rod Arthur and Caroline Berry.
The issue confirms that Head will not play the Master, which Outpost Gallifrey reported some time ago (and contrary to reports on some other websites.)
Three new Doctor Who books will be released in the spring of 2006 featuring the Tenth Doctor as played by David Tennant. The novels include "The Genesis Casket" by Justin Richards, "The Ultimate Prophet" by Jacqueline Rayner and "Feast of the Drowned" by Stephen Cole. (Thanks to Nathan Baron and DWM)

Tegan Jovanka ReturnsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
In a stunning reversal from earlier news from the actress herself, the newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine confirms that Big Finish has signed Janet Fielding to reprise her role of air stewardess Tegan Jovanka for an audio play to be released in the summer of 2006. Entitled "Summer in the City" and set in her home town of Brisbane, the story will feature the former companion (who joined "Doctor Who" in Tom Baker's final story "Logopolis" and lasted throughout much of Peter Davison's tenure) but it's unclear as to whether she'll be joined by any of her Doctor Who castmates such as Davison. More details soon.

Eagle Flies AgainBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Eagle Flies Again, a fanzine dedicated to British comic books, has just published a Science-Fiction special. The publication is edited by DWAS Coordinator Ian Wheeler and designed by former Doctor Who Magazine editor John Freeman. The special issue includes unpublished art by John Ridgway and Brian Williamson featuring the Ninth Doctor and Rose, a history of science-fiction comic strips, an article on Captain Scarlet in comics and views on science-fiction comics from Doctor Who related names such as Bryan Hitch, Pat Mills and Dez Skinn. The magazine can be ordered at the website. (Thanks to Ian Wheeler)

Hellraiser Who?Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Actor Doug Bradley, best known to horror fans as Pinhead in the "Hellraiser" horror films, has confirmed that he will be guest starring in next year's Big Finish audio Pier Pressure by Robert Ross, due out in February 2006. "I'm going to be in Doctor Who," Bradley told fans. "Whoa... back. Not the TV. I've been sent a script by a small audio production company called Big Finish. They make sci-fi dramas including 'feature-length' Doctor Whos - fully licensed by BBC Worldwide. I heard one a while ago with Peter Davison and was very, very impressed by it. The piece is called Pier Pressure, written by Robert Ross (No relation to Oscar's friend as far as I'm aware), and I will be playing the villain opposite Colin Baker's Doctor. My character is Talbot, a clapped-out end-of-pier fortune teller who has become a conduit for an invading alien evil.........The action takes place in Brighton, England in the 1930s and also features Max Miller." (Thanks to Marcel Hellemons at Bradley's official website and Mark Adams at The Hellbound Web)

But Is It Cricket?Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Yesterday, England could beat Australia in a series for the first time in 18 years. BBC Radio 5 Live's coverage presenter Simon Mayo announced that "The entire crew of Doctor Who, including the director and the Scottish Doctor, are refusing to come to the set while they watch the cricket," followed by some gags from former England cricketer Mike "Thirty Years in the TARDIS" Gatting about wishing they could nip forward a few hours and come back and tell them the score. Meanwhile, as one of our correspondents notes, "I have just returned from watching the victorious Ashes cricket teams on their parade through London to Trafalgar Square. The ... team in the second open top bus was holding aloft a Dalek with the words 'Aussies exterminated' pasted across it." Wicket-keeper Geraint Jones held up the giant inflatable Dalek. Stephen Fry was also one of the commentators on the event. There are also stories at the Sydney Morning Herald and the Sun (not yet available online) and a photo (#17) at CricInfo. (Thanks to Andrew Farmer, Paul Hayes, Ian Golden, Nick Kirby, Kelvin Green, Ben Rawson-Jones, Adam Kirk, Gareth Kingston; photo by Tina Engstrom)

Doctor Who Magazine 361Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Issue 361 of Doctor Who Magazine is due out this week; the following is the press blurb for the issue. Also, several people have let us know that Panini now allows overseas subscriptions through their website. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the cover. (Thanks to Tom Spilsbury/DWM)
DWM gets down with the kids in the latest issue of the magazine...

"Doctor Who was completely different to what I expected! I thought it would be really boring and un-modern (if you get what I mean). I also thought that it'd be stupid - not scary at all - oh, and old fashioned. But I was wrong. "These are the words I use to describe it now, after I'vge seen it: Spooky; Freaky; Weird; Cool; Amazing; Scary (especially for my little brother); Bright; Funny-ish; and lots more - but I've forgotten them... Wow!" Taslima (Age 12)

DWM visits Patcham High School in Sussex to find out what the kids thought of the new series of Doctor Who. Did they take to the Ninth Doctor and Rose? Did they find the Daleks scary? And what about that oh-so-cute Space Pig?

Also in this issue - Doctor Who production designer Edward Thomas takes an episode-by-episode look at the last series; a peek at how the new Doctor Who exhibition on Brighton Pier was created; and a chat with authors Justin Richards, Gareth Roberts and Steve Lyons about their latest Doctor Who novels published by BBC Books. Meanwhile, in the third part of The Cruel Sea, the new comic strip adventure written by TV writer Robert Shearman, things take a turn for the surreal. Just what is real and what is imaginary?

Plus there's a chat with the Doctor Who: Confidential producers; a sneak preview of BBC Audio's Doctor Who At the BBC - Volume 3; and for one issue only, script editor Helen Raynor takes over Production Notes.

Packed with all the latest news exclusives in Gallifrey Guardian, more Who-watching from The Time Team, and all the latest previews and reviews, Doctor Who Magazine 361 goes on sale on Thursday 15 September, priced ú3.99.

Web Planet Update, Plus More Release DatesBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 September 2005 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The delay to the DVD release of The Web Planet, which we reported early this week, appears to have been caused by classification confusion on the cover, which shows a PG rating next to the defintion 'Suitable for all', which should apply only to 'U' rated shows. Although some copies do seem to have been released, the official release date has been pushed back another couple of weeks while, presumably, the covers are reprinted with the correct BBFC details.
According to the BBC Shop, the following are the actual release dates for forthcoming BBC items besides "Web Planet": "World Game" by Terrance Dicks (BBC Books) is due out Thursday, October 6; "The Legend continues" by Justin Richards and "The Shooting Scripts" on Thursday, October 13; BBC Audio's "Travels in Time and Space" on Monday, November 7; and the DVD "The Complete First Series" on Monday, November 21. Also, it now appears that BBC Books will release two Doctor Who novels on the same day: Simon Guerrier's "The Time Travellers" and Andrew Cartmel's "Atom Bomb Blues" are now both scheduled for release on Thursday November 10.
In addition, and in common with other online retailers, the BBC Shop now lists the initial toys from Character Options as being release on Monday 17 October, with the interactive board game due out on 29 September. Also,
Penguin Books' website is now listing three of the next batch of BBC Children's Books for release in October, and includes what may be a rough version of the cover for the quiz book here. (Thanks to Steve Tribe)