Crowdfunding campaign of the first Doctor Who convention in Germany launchedBookmark and Share

Monday, 12 January 2015 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
TimeLash Event 2015 A crowdfunding campain on indiegogo launched yesterday to fund the first ever Doctor Who convention held in Germany. At the same time the website to the event went online. The organisers previously only communicated via Facebook to the fans.

The event will take place in Kassel, on 24th to 25th October 2015. Guests announced so far are:
  • Catrin Stewart ("Jenny Flint")
  • Nicola Bryant ("Peri Brown")
  • Terry Molloy ("Davros")
  • Toby Hadoke (Actor, Comedian, Podcaster for Big Finish)
  • Jason Haigh-Ellery (Co-executive producer of Big Finish)
  • Terrance Dicks (Writer, Script-editor)
  • Andrew Cartmel (Writer, Script-editor)
Other guests include german dubbing-actors and -producers. According to the organisers of TimeLash, there are still more guests to be added to the line-up in the coming weeks.

Tickets are available on indiegogo. Since the launch of the campaign yesterday, the convention already achieved 40% of its goal and sold 112 weekend-tickets out of 500 available. The campaign on indiegogo runs for 60 days.

50 Years of Doctor Who in AustraliaBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Monday marks the 50th Anniversary of the first screening of Doctor Who in Australia.

Although New Zealand first saw the series in September 1964, the series didn't reach Australia until 1965. The series had been purchased from the BBC in March 1964 and initially planned for premiere in May. However the Australian Film Censorship Board (AFCB) classified the series' first thirteen episodes 'A', meaning they were only suitable for an adult audience, thus preventing the ABC from showing the series in the 6:30pm Sunday timeslot they'd intended to use.

The series was therefore first screened in Perth, capital of Western Australia, by ABC station, ABW-2 on Tuesday 12 January 1965.

It was the days before satellite links, so the 16mm film print of the story had to be flown around the country for broadcasts to the different states. Sydney was the second city to screen the series, three days later on January 15th along with various New South Wales Country stations and the Australian Capital Territory. This was followed by screenings on 22nd January for Brisbane and Toowoomba in Queensland. The series reached Victoria on 20th February when Melbourne and various Victorian country stations screened the series. On the 4th March it was back in Queensland in Townsville before flying South to Adelaide where it was screened on 15th March. On the 18th March it was transmitted from Rockhampton before crossing the Bass Strait for broadcast on 11th June to viewers in Hobart and Launceston.

Many ABC stations had not been opened by January 1965, 10 opened in 1965 and a further 14 in 1966. The staggered launch dates of the stations that opened after 1965 meant that viewers in the country were introduced to Doctor Who well into the run, and often part way through a story. Some areas did not even have an ABC transmitter, so missed out altogether.
Thanks to Antony Howe - Founder and 1st President, Australasian Doctor Who Fan Club, 1976 and Dallas Jones - 2nd President and currently Vice President of Doctor Who Club of Australia.

Last Christmas Chart PlacingBookmark and Share

Friday, 9 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus

Final figures now confirm that Doctor Who: Last Christmas finished as the 7th most watched programme on British Television for the Week.

The episode, which has 8.28 million watching, had a share of 31.6% of the total TV audience.

The Boxing Day repeat on BBC Three had a final audience of 0.48 million viewers, a share of 2% of the total audience. It had an AI of 84.

Last Christmas tops SPACEBookmark and Share

Thursday, 8 January 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Santa Claus (NICK FROST) (Credit: BBC / David Venni)SPACE have reported that the Christmas Special Last Christmas not only ranked as the channel's most popular show over Christmas, but also the highest ranked programme on the channel so far this broadcast year.
Space audiences skyrocketed this past December – the most-watched month in the channel’s history – making it the #1 entertainment specialty channel for the key A25-54 and A18-49 demos. Drawing in an average audience of 101,000 total viewers, December 2014 saw Space’s key A25-54 demo rise 37% and jump four spots to #1. A major contributor to Space’s record-breaking month is its signature series DOCTOR WHO and the premiere of the 2014 Christmas special LAST CHRISTMAS, which drew an average audience of 792,000 viewers, making it the top broadcast on Space this broadcast year-to-date.

Other key December audience boosters were Space’s Magical Merry Marathon which featured HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN on December 27 and HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS on December 28, pulling in 510,000 and 746,000 viewers, respectively. On December 28, Space’s exclusive series THE LIBRARIANS, currently airing at Sundays at 8 p.m. ET, pulled in a series-high 675,000 viewers, making it the #2 entertainment specialty program. THE HUNGER GAMES, which aired as part of Space’s Super Team Marathon, delivered an average audience of 526,000 viewers December 29.

Doctor Who Magazine 482Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 January 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who Magazine Issue 482 (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine is published this week, and features an interview with Jenna Coleman, during which she discusses the loves and lives of Clara Oswald:
DWM asks Jenna if the Doctor and Clara can finally move on in their relationship – and after the sacrifice of Danny Pink, can things ever be the same again? "I think so," Jenna says. "But they are a bit addicted to each other, and to the dynamic that they share. It's getting so that one can't go without the other, and I think that's definitely what Clara's realised. In a way that's quite dangerous now, because she realises that there is no going back for her..."

Also inside this issue:

  • Rachel Talalay, director of the 2014 series finale two-part finale, reveals the secrets of how Death in Heaven was brought to the screen.
  • Peter Purves, who starred as companion Steven Taylor in the 1960s, talks in-depth about his time on Doctor Who.
  • Discover fascinating new facts about the acclaimed seventh Doctor story The Greatest Show in Galaxy in The Fact of Fiction.
  • Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat answers readers’ questions – including the knotty problem of the Doctor's many wives! – in his exclusive column.
  • Writer David Fisher, who wrote three memorable stories for the fourth Doctor in the 1970s, revisits his work.
  • The Doctor and Clara face Sontarans and Nazis as The Instruments of War continues, a brand-new comic strip written and illustrated by Mike Collins.
  • Sarah Jane and the Brigadier are reunited, as the Time Team watch The Sarah Jane Adventures: Enemy of the Bane.
  • Jaqueline Rayner wonders how the Doctor's companions would get on in the Cubs in Relative Dimensions.
  • Last Christmas is put under the spotlight in The DWM Review.
  • The Watcher considers the many surprising ways that Doctor Who stories can change from script to screen in Wotcha!.
  • The Watcher gives the answers to his Fiendishly Festive Christmas Quiz! How well did you do?
  • Have your say on Peter Capaldi’s first series as the Doctor in the DWM Season Survey.
Plus the DWM Crossword, prize-winning competitions, and much more!

Last Christmas - Chart Position and iPlayer RequestsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who finished Christmas Day as the Sixth most watched programme on British television for the day.

Final figures, which include those who record the programme and watch within seven days, give Last Christmas a final rating of 8.28 million viewers. The rating is down from the 11.14 million achieved the previous year when The Time of the Doctor saw the departure of the Eleventh Doctor. Ratings across the board are down with no programme reaching ten million viewers in the whole Christmas week. Top of the list was Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special which had 9.7 million watching, down from 11.52 million last year.

The final figures don't include those watching on iPlayer where Doctor Who had 1.06 million requests during Christmas week. Overall it was the 9th most requested programme, losing the title of Most requested programme over Christmas, a title it has held since the iPlayer was introduced. Top Gear topped the list this year, airing the controversial episodes filmed in Patagonia.

Victoria Jaye, Head of TV Content for BBC iPlayer has posted a blog praising the success of the iPlayer
BBC iPlayer usage over Christmas was up year on year. December saw a record-breaking 227 million requests, (excluding Sky and Virgin Cable), which is up 25% on December 2013. And since its launch, there’s been a staggering 30 million downloads of the BBC iPlayer app. Christmas week was a record-breaking week, with 54.5m requests and New Year’s Day was the best day on record, with 5.2 million unique browsers
Doctor Who's finished between 6th and 8th for the week. Final figures will be confirmed later in the week when full ITV HD and +1 figures are released.

Doctor Who makes shortlist in National TV AwardsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 6 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who has been nominated for Best Drama in the final round of the 2015 National Television Awards.

The show is up against its fellow Cardiff produced rival Sherlock as well as period stalwart Downton Abbey and the Cilla Black bio-pic Cilla.

The star of Cilla, former Big Finish actress Sheridan Smith has been nominated for Best Drama Performance, however no actors from Doctor Who made the shortlist this year.

Votes can be cast by the public until midday on Wednesday 21st January via this link. The awards ceremony will take place at the 02 in London later the same day, being broadcast live on ITV from 7.30pm.

Doctor Who won the award for Best Drama in 2014, regaining a title it held from 2005-2010.

BBC America RatingsBookmark and Share

Monday, 5 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus

BBC America have revealed that Doctor Who had its highest rated season ever on the channel, finishing with the Christmas Special which delivered over 2.3 million total Viewers and was the  number 1 non-sports telecast in all of cable during the time period among Adults 25-54 in Live+3.

The special, Last Christmas, had a total of 2.616 million Viewers in Live+3 when combining the 9:00pm premiere with the 11:45pm and 2:30am replays. The Twelfth Doctor’s first Christmas special more than doubled the viewership of the Eleventh Doctor’s first Christmas special, A Christmas Carol in 2010.

BBC AMERICA was the #1 network on Twitter and Tumblr and Doctor Who: Last Christmas was the #1 show on both platforms in all of television in Primetime (excluding sports) on December 25. Doctor Who is pacing as one of Twitter’s top 10 most-tweeted original dramas in all of cable for 2014.

Peter Capaldi’s first season as the Doctor, with co-star Jenna Coleman as Clara, delivered BBC AMERICA its highest rated season ever with an average of 2.035 million Total Viewers in Live+3.

Doctor Who: Last Christmas arrives on Blu-ray and DVD in the US on February 17, 2015 and Doctor Who: The Complete Eighth Series is available now.

Fiona Cumming 1937-2015Bookmark and Share

Monday, 5 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who director Fiona Cumming has died at the age of 77

Fiona Cumming had a long and illustrious career, working on over 34 episodes of the original Doctor Who series.

She began as an actress, working at the Royal Scottish Academy before going on to a variety of theatre and television work, including a spell at Border Television in the dual role of announcer and features interviewer. She appeared in Dr. Finlay's Casebook and Suspense.

Deciding that she would prefer production work, in 1964 gained a post as an assistant floor manager at the BBC. She first worked on Doctor Who on the season three story The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve.

By 1966 she had won promotion to the role of Production Assistant and in this capacity she worked on the second Doctor story The Highlanders, Patrick Troughton's second story and the one which saw the introduction of the character Jamie. She worked alongside the second Doctor again in 1969 on The Seeds of Death. In 1972 she worked with Jon Pertwee on the story The Mutants.

In 1974 she become a BBC Staff Director and in the 1980's she was asked to direct four stories featuring the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. She directed his first story Castrovalva as well as the Mara sequel Snakedance, Enlightenment and the story which saw the introduction of Peri and the departure of Turlough, Planet of Fire. In 1988 she made an uncredited cameo appearance as a tourist at Windsor Castle in the 25th anniversary story Silver Nemesis.

Other productions on which she worked included two episodes of Blakes 7, Sarcophagus and Rumours of Death, as well as Emmerdale, The Walls of Jericho, God's Wonderful Railway, The Omega Factor, Play for Today, Angels, Jackanory Playhouse, Z Cars and the ill fated Eldorado.

After leaving the BBC she remained active as a freelance director while also pursuing a number of other projects, including some with John Nathan-Turner in their Teynham Productions organisation.

Fiona Cumming died on the 1st January.
With thanks to Margot Hayhoe

Big Finish: Destiny of the Doctors offerBookmark and Share

Monday, 5 January 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Big Finish range of special offers over Christmas is reaching its end, and for the twelfth day they have the complete 50th Anniversary audio anthology Destiny of the Doctor available for download for the next couple of days at the discounted price of £2.99 each or £30 for the set.

Destiny of the Doctor - full range (Credit: AudioGo / Big Finish)

You can find full details about the offer from the Big Finish website.

Moments in Time: The Lion rediscoveredBookmark and Share

Saturday, 3 January 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
It was sixteen years ago that two fans in New Zealand were to discover that an episode of Doctor Who held by a local collector was to be an episode absent from the BBC Archives for over twenty years...

Originally recorded on the 5th March 1965 and broadcast on BBC1 a few weeks later on Saturday 27th, episode one of The Crusade, The Lion was wiped alongside a number of other first Doctor episodes as part of the standard videotape recycling practice by BBC Engineering on the 31st January 1969, as the story itself had been copied to film by BBC Enterprises for worldwide distribution and so was considered redundant. The story was to be seen in a number of countries over the course of a decade, but by the late 1970s it had been presumed that all copies distributed for broadcast had been returned and subsequently destroyed, though 'fortunately' a copy of episode three, The Wheel of Fortune, had survived in the BBC Film Library.

One of those copies had made its way to the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation during 1967, but the story wasn't broadcast in the end owing to it falling foul of censorship issues. As part of the agreement with BBC Enterprises once the rights to air had expired prints were either forwarded to another broadcaster or destroyed; however, The Lion slipped through the net, and when ultimately sent to a rubbish tip in 1974 as part of a clearance at NZBC it was amongst a number of films intercepted by a private collector.

Fast-forward to 1998 and the print caught the eye of film collector Bruce Grenville at a collectors convention - he was unaware that the episode had been "missing" for decades at that point, and decided to purchase it simply because he liked Doctor Who. It was shown by him on a number of occasions in the coming months to friends, eventually seen by Cornelius Stone who then mentioned it in conversation with fellow fan Neil Lambess - who realised that the episode in question might well be one missing from the BBC Archives, though it might well have simply been the existing The Wheel of Fortune instead.

Neil recollects the moment when he contacted Bruce for the first time:
For me the moment has to be when I was taking to Bruce on a call box telephone and he told me that what he actually had was the first episode of a Doctor Who serial called The Lion. That was the moment when I knew that it wasn’t a hoax. I paused a few seconds and then told Bruce, "actually what you have there is the first episode of a serial called The Crusade and until just now it wasn’t believed to exist anymore!" The feeling was and still is indescribable, but at the time I was thinking how staggeringly appropriate it was that I had found out inside a public call box!
Arrangements were made for him and fellow fan Paul Scoones to visit Bruce to see the episode in question, and on the 3rd January 1999 they sat down to watch ...

The Lion - title caption (Credit: BBC)

Paul successfully negotiated the loan of the film print, and it was formally returned to to Steve Roberts at the BBC on the 11th January 1999 for copying, whereupon a digital 'master' was taken. The recovery was celebrated on BBC1 in the United Kingdom on 10th February in the National Lottery show Amazing Luck Stories, and after restoration work was undertaken to clean the episode up it was released on VHS in October. In 2004 the episode saw further restoration work carried out for its release as part of the Lost in Time DVD collection of 'orphan' episodes in November 2004.

Bruce says:
I was delighted that my random celluloid film turned out to be a lost episode, and glad that the BBC was able to restore the film and release it on video & DVD. But really, ALL DW fans are hoping for all the other lost episodes to be re-discovered and appreciated. I continue to talk about this whenever anyone asks me about DW, and urge others to do so too!
Summing up their experience of confirming the discovery, Paul says:
I remember a moment soon after Neil and I had returned to from visiting Bruce Grenville to verify that The Lion existed. We were both giddy with excitement at the importance of our discovery. I said to Neil that one thing we could be sure of is that that by finding a missing episode we’d secured a place for ourselves in the history of Doctor Who. Sure enough, here we are sixteen years later, still talking about that glorious find back in January 1999. I remain immensely proud of my role in helping find The Lion and arranging its return to the BBC all those years ago.

You can read how The Crusade was distributed around the world via BroaDWCast, and the full story of The Lion's recovery via the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club.

The Lion, BBC1, 27 March 1965 (Article) (Credit: Radio Times)
Article about The Lion, published in the 27 March - 2 April 1965 edition of the Radio Times

With thanks and acknowledgement to: Bruce Grenville, Paul Scoones, Neil Lambess, BroaDWcast, NZDWFC, The Restoration Team, Radio Times, Wiped! (Richard Molesworth/Telos)

Doctor Who achieves 88.8% timeshift in the USABookmark and Share

Saturday, 3 January 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
TiVo (Credit: TiVo)Digital television provider TiVo have released details of their analysis of how their customers have accessed programmes last year, revealing that Doctor Who was the fifth most-watched post-broadcast cable-orginated programme via their service. The show on BBC America was watched by an additional 88.8% viewers since its broadcast; the channel's Orphan Black came top with 91.2% viewers watching via timeshift, followed by Showtime's Nurse Jackie achieving 90.5%, Sundance's Rectify at 89.8%, and IFC's Portlandia at 89.4%.

The report is based upon the habits of some 350,000 customers between January and November 2014, examining how television programmes were received and how advertising campaigns fared with viewers.

Last Christmas - Official RatingsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 3 January 2015 - Reported by Marcus
8.28 million watched the UK transmission of Last Christmas according to consolidated figures available today, which include those recording the programme and watching within one week of transmission.

The final chart position should be available next week.

Bernard Kay 1928-2014Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 1 January 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Bernard Kay (Credit: Chuck Foster)The actor Bernard Kay has died, aged 86.

Born in Bolton, Kay began his working life as a reporter on Bolton Evening News, and a stringer for The Manchester Guardian. He was conscripted in 1946 and started acting in the army. Gaining a scholarship to study at the Old Vic Theatre School, he became a professional in 1950 as a member of the company which reopened the Old Vic after the Second World War. In 1952, for the Nottingham Rep, he learned, rehearsed, and played Macbeth in less than 24 hours. In 1984, he played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice during a British Council tour of Asia, ending in Baghdad, in the middle of the Iraq/Iran war. Other theatre includes An Inspector Calls (Garrick Theatre), Macbeth (Nottingham Playhouse), Titus Andronicus (European Tour), A Man for all Seasons (International Tour), The Merchant of Venice (International Tour), Galileo (Young Vic), Death of a Salesman (Lyric Theatre, Belfast) and Halpern and Johnson (New End Theatre). He twice appeared at the Finborough Theatre, London - in 2006 in After Haggerty and in 2010 in Dream of the Dog.

Over the course of his career he appeared in a large number of TV productions, including South Riding, Dick Barton Special Agent, Emmerdale Farm, The Avengers, The Champions, The Cellar and The Almond Tree, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (1967), Clayhanger, A Very British Coup, Century Falls, Casualty, Casualty 1909, Doctors, Coronation Street and Foyle's War. He also appeared in the very first episode of Z Cars.

He portrayed Captain Stanley Lord of the SS Californian in the BBC dramatisation Trial by Inquiry: Titanic in 1967; and he played the bandit leader Cordova in Zorro television episode Alejandro Rides Again in 1991 which was filmed in Madrid, Spain. Kay also gave a sympathetic performance as Korporal Hartwig in an early episode of Colditz.

His film career kicked off with Carry on Sergeant, during which he encountered the indomitable star, William Hartnell. They would work together again in Doctor Who, with Kay appearing in two of the first Doctor's stories, as Tyler in the second Dalek adventure The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964), and as Saladin a few months later in The Crusade; he later worked alongside Patrick Troughton in The Faceless Ones (1967) and Jon Pertwee in Colony In Space (1971). In 2006, he also guest-starred in the Doctor Who audio adventure Night Thoughts alongide seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy.

Other film roles included They Came From Beyond Space, The Shuttered Room, Witchfinder General, The Hunting Party, Sweeney!, Sinbad and the Eye of The Tiger, and most recently as the Reverend Swan on Psychosis. His most famous film appearance is perhaps his appearance as a Bolshevik leader in Doctor Zhivago in 1965.

(Bernard Kay, 23rd February 1928 - 29 December 2014)