Now We Are Six HundredBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 May 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Books have announced a new hardback book for the summer to tie in with National Poetry Day:

Now We Are Six Hundred (Credit: BBC Books)BBC Books Publishing Director Albert DePetrillo has acquired Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred, the very first collection of Time Lord verse. BBC Books have world rights, with North American rights sold to HarperCollins.

A gentle and humorous riff on the classic Now We Are Six, this is a collection of charming, funny and whimsical poems that celebrate the joys, sorrows and wonders of Time Lord life. Written by author James Goss, the book features illustrations by former Doctor Who Executive Producer Russell T Davies – his first role as an illustrator, using the comic artist skills he developed in his youth.

Albert DePetrillo says:
This is a book I’ve long wanted to publish, and James and Russell have realised the idea brilliantly, well beyond anything I’d hoped. It’s something very special, a unique gift for every Doctor Who fan. For full effect, please be sure to read these poems aloud to your friends, preferably more than once.
James Goss says:
BBC Books have carefully baited an irresistible trap to lure people into reading poetry. Russell's beautiful illustrations make this the most charming Doctor Who book there's ever been (and I'm including that magical first Doctor Who book you discovered as a child). The poems have been a delight to work on. Who could resist retelling the fiendish Daleks’ Masterplan in verse, or finding bizarre and ludicrous rhymes for monster names?
Russell T Davies says:
I’ve been drawing for Doctor Who long before I was writing it, so it was like time-travel for me, voyaging back to that young scribbler who used to cover his school desk with Daleks!

Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred will be published in hardback on 14th September, two weeks before National Poetry Day on 28th September.




Doctor Who: Time Vortex 360Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have announced a new game that can be played on mobile devices:

Doctor Who: Time Vortex 360 (Credit: BBC)New BBC 360° mobile game lets Doctor Who fans pilot the TARDIS through the vortex

Doctor Who fans can pilot the TARDIS on its most exhilarating journey yet as it careers through the depths of the space time vortex in the BBC’s first ever 360 arcade game, Doctor Who Time Vortex 360.

Fans simply need to visit bbc.in/dw360 using their smartphone or tablet and by physically moving their mobile device through 360 degrees, they will be able to fly the TARDIS within an increasingly turbulent time vortex.

As they speed through time, players will tackle hazards and obstacles emerging from the future ahead of them, but in a unique and literal twist will sometimes need to physically turn themselves to look backwards in time in order to evade threats emerging from the past.

Jo Pearce, creative director, BBC Digital Drama, said:
The beauty of this game is that you can use your mobile phone to fly the TARDIS wherever you are. Digital innovation is at the very heart of Doctor Who – this 360 degree game allows people to navigate the TARDIS through time and space like never before.

We’ve seen a lot of innovation recently in the 360 and virtual reality space, but the majority has focused on ‘experiential’ video-based experiences. This game, however, brings together the worlds of casual, arcade-style gaming and 360/VR to create a fun Doctor Who experience that people can easily pick up and play, wherever they are.

The game is an endless runner, which gets more and more difficult the longer people play, taking them on a visually intense journey through the iconic vortex from the show's opening credits. Using the device's accelerometer, the game is controlled by physically moving around, even giving the player the ability to turn around and travel backwards in time.

Designed as a mobile-first experience for the BBC by Goodboy Digital, the game combines cutting edge HTML5 and WebGL using PixiJS v5.0 to create a breath-taking journey that works on a wide range of hardware.

The game is available to play on BBC Taster, where fans can rate the game and provide feedback.





Doctor Who Series 10: Blu-ray/DVD releasesBookmark and Share

Friday, 5 May 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide have released details on the forthcoming DVD/Blu-ray sets for the current series of Doctor Who:

Doctor Who Series 10: Part 1 on DVD/Bluray (Credit: BBC Worldwide) Doctor Who Series 10: Part 2 on DVD/Bluray (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
Series 10 artcards (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
Series 10, Peter Capaldi’s final series as the Doctor, will be available to buy in two parts on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as a complete version releasing later this year. Both Parts 1 and 2 are now available for pre-order from Amazon, iTunes and HMV.

Released on the 29th May, Part 1 will cover episodes 1-6 of the Doctor’s latest adventures. The Doctor is keen to show his new friend, Bill Potts, the wonders of the universe, but loveable android Nardole reminds him of an oath he has taken to guard the contents of a mysterious vault.

Part 2, released on 17th July, features episodes 7-12 in which the Doctor’s travels bring him face-to-face with Ice Warriors and Cybermen. His adventures draw to a terrifying conclusion as a long lost face from the past returns.

Both Parts will also include six, exclusive art-cards, which are themed to each episode.

Bonus material for both Parts 1 and 2 will include an Inside Look feature for each of the twelve episodes. The episodic features will include behind the scenes footage; cast interviews and the inside story.


Full details of bonus material for the Complete Series DVD & BD will be announced in due course and will include the Binaural Sound edition of episode 4, Knock, Knock. Binaural Sound gives an immersive spatial sound experience for headphone listeners.




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.




BBC Worldwide and Skype to launch Doctor Who BotBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 3 May 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who Bot (Credit: BBC Worldwide / Skype)BBC Worldwide and Skype have today announced the launch of the first ever Doctor Who Bot. The Doctor will open the TARDIS doors and invite players to help him save the Universe in an exciting interactive digital experience titled The Saviour of Time. The brand new bot uses the latest technology to deliver a unique experience between the Doctor and the player.

In a world first, users get the thrilling opportunity to be the Doctor's companion as the bot immerses them in a specially-written six-part Doctor Who adventure. Players will experience the Doctor communicating with them directly and setting them challenges that can only be solved by the best companions.

Launching across multiple territories today, 3rd May, the bot includes challenges, logic puzzles, and quizzes, revolving around the search for a mysterious artefact known as the Key To Time. Scattered throughout time and space, users must locate all six segments of the Key and restore it, in order to save the Universe.

Following the launch today, a new Chapter will be released every Sunday at 6 PM (BST), shortly after episodes of Doctor Who series 10 air on BBC One, BBC AMERICA (USA), Space (Canada), ABC (Australia) and in other key international markets.

Jaclyn Lee-Joe, Chief Marketing Officer at BBC Worldwide said:
It’s hugely exciting to be launching a Doctor Who Bot on Skype - which gives us the opportunity to deliver a new form of digital story-telling with our cutting-edge brand. Through this new innovation we get to experience first-hand how bots can help deliver digital first content, and immerse audiences, old and new, in the Doctor Who universe like never before.

Steven Abrahams, Group Product Manager, Studios and Strategic Partnerships for Skype said:
Our goal is for everyone in the world to experience the best Skype has to offer and the Doctor Who bot with BBC Worldwide brings a range of new features and functionality. We’re excited to see the bot bring users and fans one step closer to meeting the iconic Doctor.

The bot will feature exclusive voice-over from Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, and is creatively developed by writing talent Joseph Lidster (The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood).

The Doctor Who Bot builds upon existing relationships between BBC Worldwide and Skype, working together to uncover exciting new ways to reach audiences. In 2015 Skype launched the shareable, movie and TV clips initiative, Skype Mojis – featuring exhilarating short-form content from Top Gear, Doctor Who, and Sherlock.

To add the Doctor Who Bot manually, users need to search for “Doctor Who Bot” in the Skype Bot Directory, read the bot’s profile and terms, and then click “Add to Contacts”. To see new updates as they begin to roll out, users need to be on the latest Skype app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or Web.


The Doctor Who Bot will be available from the Skype Bot directory in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Portugal, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil.


Click here to add the Doctor Who bot to Skype and start saving the universe! Visit the Skype blog for more information on the bot and click here for a step-to-step guide on how to use the bot.




South Bank Doctor Who PromotionBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released a number of images with Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie taken at London's South Bank to promote the return of the series this Saturday. The artwork by 3D Joe & Max has featured on several news programmes over the course of the day, including the BBC's Breakfast and London News where lead writer Steven Moffat has also been on hand to chat about what's in store in the coming weeks.

"To celebrate the new series of Doctor Who Peter Capaldi (The Doctor) and Pearl Mackie (Bill) pose in front of the TARDIS by the River Thames in London, alongside a fantastic 3D pavement painting of a vast, deep and magnificent alien landscape"

Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie at the South Bank promoting Series 10 (12 Apr 2017) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide/3D Joe & Max/Guy Levy) Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie at the South Bank promoting Series 10 (12 Apr 2017) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide/3D Joe & Max/Guy Levy) Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie at the South Bank promoting Series 10 (12 Apr 2017) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide/3D Joe & Max/Guy Levy)


The couple are also appearing on a number of shows to promote the premiere, with television appearances by Pearl Mackie on tonight's edition of The One Show and Peter Capaldi on Friday's The Graham Norton Show, both on BBC One, and in radio interviews with Pearl on BBC Radio 1xtra's Ace and BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright in the Afternoon tomorrow, plus Peter on BBC Radio 6's Shaun Keaveny tomorrow morning. Readers can find these and further appearances via This Week in Doctor Who




Doctor Who: BBC Press PackBookmark and Share

Saturday, 8 April 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released interviews with Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas and Steven Moffat as part of the press pack for the new series of Doctor Who, starting next Saturday on BBC One.

The Doctor, as played by Peter Capaldi (Credit: BBC/Des Willie)What is it like working with Pearl?

It was great meeting Pearl - she brought a whole new vigour and excitement to the role of The Doctor’s companion. She’s not that different to older companions in the sense that she’s a character that doesn’t know anything about the Doctor’s life or about the TARDIS or about Daleks or anything like that so she has to be introduced completely to what goes on in his existence and that’s been a good way of rebooting the show. It allows people who aren’t experienced in Doctor Who to experience it for the first time.

Is it great to be back and saying all the iconic lines once more?

I think there’s loads of classic lines that are fun to say and I love saying “Time and Relative Dimensions in Space” and “Bigger on the inside” and “They come from Skaro and will exterminate you”. I think you’re never too old to enjoy saying "TARDIS" although it’s better to say: “This is my TARDIS!” I think they’re part of the fabric of the country - they’re in British popular culture which is nice but they will go on and on.

What have we got to look forward to in series 10?

The show is down to the basic elements which are these fairly innocent but independent companions travelling with this mysterious creature from outer space who can travel in space and time and take them to the most amazing corners of the universe where they meet terrible monsters who try to kill them. That’s at its very simplest level but obviously it’s more complex and there’s more to it than that but that’s pretty much what we do every week. Some seasons have been less like that but this season very much follows that model of delivering every week – the mysterious creature takes the companions to an exotic and dangerous place.

What do you need to be a good companion?

Well the companion (and Bill is a very good example of it) is sort of their own person. They tend to be characters who are fully formed and independent so I think to be a companion in Doctor Who you have to be your own person. It doesn’t really work if the companion is just an adjunct to The Doctor. There’s always got to be an element of conflict there, I think. Whether it be just: “Why didn’t you tell us you were taking us to this planet of flesh eating monsters?” or whatever - it always needs a little bit of grist in it.

Who is Bill Potts?

Bill comes in very much as a regular human being from the real world to whom all of this stuff is extraordinary. She knows nothing about it. But she’s a very clever, bright, funny girl. I think The Doctor is very taken with her as she’s one of those people who life hasn’t been great to and she didn’t deserve life not to be kind to her. She has enormous potential and I think the Doctor wants to help her reach that potential.

Can you describe the relationship between Bill and The Doctor?

I think initially he takes her under his wing in order to teach her - to literally improve her mind, but in quite a terrestrial way. Through that she becomes involved in his extra-terrestrial adventures and the expansion of her mind becomes quite extraordinary. It’s a kind of teacher-pupil relationship but it becomes more complex than that and I think ultimately The Doctor has to undergo some dramas by himself so I think he becomes slightly worried that he’s swept someone else up into his adventures without quite preparing them.

Tell us about Episode One

We will meet The Doctor’s new companion Bill - see her in the world she’s used to living in and then plucked out by The Doctor and taken on adventures. We’ll meet some old enemies along the way and some new ones including a new and strange monster and we get to see Nardole played by Matt Lucas who will be joining us on our travels.

Are you excited for Matt Lucas’ return in Series 10?

Matt plays quite a crucial part in the show this season. He’s not there all the time but he is there a lot of the time - I don’t want to give anything away really. He’s very funny - a great presence to have on set and very talented and has a strange alien quality about him with his pale skin and clear eyes.
Bill, as played by Pearl Mackie (Credit: BBC/Des Willie)What have we got to look forward to in series 10?

There’s a lot of excitement in store - new and exciting adventures, new monsters and some old monsters coming back. We’ve got a team that see the Doctor through new eyes. I think with series 10 it’s a great place to start if you’ve never watched Doctor Who because Bill is so new to the world of Doctor Who - you kind of see everything through her eyes. So as she learns about it, you can learn about it too which I think is very exciting. We’ve got some danger in there too - there are some pretty hairy moments but we’ve got some humour as well. I hope you enjoy it!

What is it like working with Peter?

The first time I met Peter was at the recall for this job in the hotel. I met Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin and Andy Pryor (casting director). Obviously I was reading with Peter. It was mental - obviously I was sworn to secrecy so I couldn’t tell anyone what I was doing or where I was going so I turned up to the hotel in a baggy T-Shirt, a pair of jeans and a pair of bright yellow trainers. We read the first scene (Peter and I) and we read it sitting down. It’s one of the first scenes in the first episode. For the next scene he said shall we stand up as we were going into the TARDIS. So I said "OK" but I’ve been taught for camera auditions you sit down and move your face as little as possible so standing up was new for me. But obviously it was in the TARDIS so Peter was running around pressing buttons and pulling levers that aren’t there and I didn’t know what was going on. But luckily Bill’s supposed to be doing that in the scene anyway so that worked in my favour!

What makes Doctor Who unique?

Well it’s been running for such a long time I think is one of Doctor Who’s unique selling points. One of the ways it succeeds in doing that is the whole regeneration of the Doctor and then bringing in new companions along the way. It’s a character you’re familiar with but then there are different interpretations of the character so it allows people to relate to the Doctor in different ways and relate to the different companions and everyone’s got their favourite ones - either the one they grew up with or the one they watched when they were older or that kind of thing. I think in a way what makes Doctor Who so different to all other shows is that it can be completely personal and everyone has their own personal relationship to it. I think that’s why it’s so successful and lasted so long.

Did you have an idea of the global impact of Doctor Who?

I had some idea that it was a big show. I didn’t know how many countries it was big in before I got the job. I knew it was shown in America, I didn’t know it was one of the widely watched shows on Christmas day in America. It’s massive and has such a massive global following. Even from Twitter I get messages from fans in languages I don’t even understand which is great but I wish I knew what they were saying! Going to New York was incredible; I’d never been to New York before. Going to Comic Con was amazing - there were people dressed up as me already. It’s super cool - I think the fans on this show are so dedicated to it, it’s amazing, I’ve had such a welcome so far. People dressing up as me and I haven’t even been on screen yet!

Who is Bill Potts?

Bill is cool - she’s quite young, doesn’t really know much about the world. She’s very real - she’s not had a very easy upbringing and whilst she doesn’t really let that affect her day-to-day life, it’s there under the surface - she can be quite defensive. She’s fun, she’s excited, she’s a bit geeky - she quite likes sci-fi stuff, she’s into space and that type of thing so when she does go on adventures with The Doctor and discovers aliens are real and that kind of stuff it blows her mind which is really cool.

Can you describe the relationship between Bill and The Doctor?

It’s quite interesting at the beginning - their relationship is very much tutor/student. It has an Educating Rita vibe about it at the beginning when they first meet each other. There’s a definite fascination for Bill in terms of the Doctor - she’s really interested in the way his mind works - he’s supposed to be doing a lecture on science and ends up talking about poetry and he says they’re the same thing. Clearly his mind works in a different way to anyone else she’s ever met which I think is really fascinating for her. One thing he likes about her is that she’s not scared about all the things she doesn’t know - she always wants to know more - she’s keen to get involved which is one of the things that draws him towards her.

Are you excited for Matt Lucas’ return in Series 10?

Matt’s brilliant - he’s a great guy to have around. He’s always upbeat - we both really like musicals so we spent a lot of episode one singing various musical theatre tunes at each other.

How do you deal with the physical side of working on Doctor Who?

I think yesterday I walked about 3km! I’ve done a lot of running - not as much as I thought, actually, but we haven’t filmed the whole series yet so there may be a lot more to come. But it’s cool I like the physical element of the role - I did quite a physical show before this so I think it stood me in good stead for running away from monsters.

How does Bill learn to deal with all the extraordinary things she sees when she’s with The Doctor on his adventures?

I think she jumps in and is happy to get involved. She asked a lot of questions - she’s very inquisitive and she’s very smart so she calls The Doctor out on a lot of things that he hasn’t necessarily had to answer for a while so I think that’s the way she navigates through things - by asking him what’s going on an assessing his answers and she says things how she sees them. She has an open and honest nature which is how I think she gets through.
Nardole, as played by Matt Lucas (Credit: BBC/Des Willie)Has Nardole changed now he's a regular traveller in this series with The Doctor? If so how?

I feel he has. He’s more textured, more three-dimensional. You couldn’t go through a whole series with him being as cartoonish as he was in The Husbands Of River Song. That episode was played for laughs because it was a Christmas Special. We get to learn more about him and why he’s there. He has a purpose.

What's his relationship like with The Doctor now?

They bicker. He works for The Doctor, but he’s never afraid to take him on either. He’s not shy in saying when he disagrees with something, and sometimes he’s just grumpy because he hasn’t had enough sleep. He definitely prefers the quieter life.

How does he feel when Bill joins them in the TARDIS this series?

As far as Nardole is concerned, the less drama, the better. So when a human comes on board he’s not exactly delighted. He doesn’t look up to humans either. He thinks they’re of little consequence (he’s right). I think Nardole wants to stay focused on the task he’s been given and doesn’t appreciate the distraction for The Doctor that Bill provides.

What's the dynamic like between the three?

As the series goes on, I think Bill and Nardole find they have more in common and challenge The Doctor more. Nardole grows to appreciate Bill and what she brings to the TARDIS. The Doctor has grown weary of Nardole but as the series goes on, I think he comes to appreciate what he has to offer.

What were your filming highlights this series? Were there any funny or bizarre moments on set?

Michelle Gomez makes me howl with laughter. Pearl can do any accent. Peter is a font of knowledge. And the crew are the best I’ve ever worked with. We’ve been together for ten months and we laugh a lot now. I think I drive everyone mad.

My silliest moment was in the TARDIS, in a scene with Peter and Pearl. I was in my own world and hadn’t realised that the camera was turning. Peter and Pearl are acting away and I’m just reclining on the dashboard, playing about with buttons and then I start just chatting with Pearl about what I was up to at the weekend. Meanwhile everyone else is cracking up.

Who are your favourite enemies/villains from this coming series? What was it like to film opposite them?

Not saying. My lips are sealed. Okay then Mondasian Cybermen.

Do you prefer going back in time or the futuristic adventures?

Most of my adventures have been in the future. I enjoyed episode ten when we went back to second century Aberdeen, though the Brecon Beacons in November is probably the coldest place I’ve ever filmed.
Steven Moffat on The Doctors Revisited: The Fifth Doctor (Credit: BBC America/Midnight Oil)What have we got to look forward to in series 10?

Series 10, sort of, begins the show again. The first episode is called, quite mischievously, The Pilot - it introduces everything you need to know about Doctor Who and tips you into the universe. It takes our characters; The Doctor and Nardole (who we already know) and Bill (who we’re about to meet) and throws them into the Universe. They’re not equipped to deal with it, they’re not armed or wearing armour - they’re just flung into that universe and told to deal with it. They become heroes because they hit those moments where there is no alternative - being a hero is about the time you need to become a hero. It becomes the purest, most innocent version of Doctor Who in a way. It is a brand new person, Bill - walking into the TARDIS - where will the TARDIS take us - open the doors - walk out and there’s a monster - fight it. It is storybook simple. Of course that story complicates as it goes on because The Doctor is a much more complicated man than he first seems. But it’s Doctor Who at its purest I would say. Everything you need to know about Doctor Who is explained in that first episode - the cloaking device, the chameleon circuit, the bigger on the inside - all of that is there and you even get to see the Daleks. The idea was just to introduce Doctor Who properly - the story starts here. You need to know nothing before this point.

Knowing that this was your last series - how did you go about planning series 10? Were there any themes and ideas that you absolutely wanted to get in?

The fact that this was my last series had to be removed from the mix. The fact that this is Peter’s last series matters to the show - the fact that it’s mine doesn’t matter. I didn’t approach it all with regards to what I wanted to do with Doctor Who. More than anything what I wanted to do was begin again and if I had any sentimentality about leaving then it would be that - leave like it’s all just beginning. I wanted to move forward - Doctor Who is never more Doctor Who then when it exists in the moment - right now - and that’s the sort of hero The Doctor is. He’s a hero in a moment. He’s not a hero when he’s wandering around the universe, he’s not looking to be amazing or to save people, he’s wanting to go and look at steam engines or go to a library or go and have lunch with Marie Antoinette or something. But the moment arrives and the Doctor always rises to the moment - there is a time that he is a hero and that’s the important thing - when the moment comes he steps up to the plate. Not until then.

What new and returning monsters do we have to look forward to?

By nature I’m just excited about all new monsters but we’ve got some wonderful stuff! We’ve got a serpent that lives under the Thames in the shape of the Thames which, now that you realise it, the EastEnders title sequence has always clearly been about a giant snake.

We’ve got the emojibots which are small, cute and communicate by emojis and turn you into skeletons so that’s brilliant. We’ve got the most shiver-making creatures in Mike Bartlett’s episode - not going to tell you what they are because the show teases you a bit about what’s going on but I guarantee there are moments that will make you go “URGH!” as I’ve been looking at some of the effects for episode four and you think “Oh my god are we putting that on television?!” It’s really properly gross and magnificent. We’ve got a new enemy, which I won’t talk too much about but we call them The Monks though that’s not really their name. We’ve got a fabulous Scottish creature care of Rona Munro - The Eater of Light. The Ice Warriors are back with a new wrinkle and of course Missy is there - always with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor - he’s up against Missy, tested and teased and entranced by his oldest friend and wickedest enemy.

How important is Peter’s input when casting the companion?

Peter’s input is massively important. They are going to be a working unit for months - they are going to see more of each other than they see of their significant others when they’re playing these parts so you’re practically marrying them. Professionally and personally it’s important that they work together in ways that are interesting on screen and off screen. You’re casting a friendship. Also Peter’s input is massively helpful because he plays The Doctor - he knows where that show is - he knows it better than anyone else other than actors who have also played The Doctor. He knows what it takes to be in that show and the sort of person who has the grit to get on with it and the inventiveness to play with it. So we listen very carefully to what Peter has to say about that.

What struck you about Pearl Mackie in her audition? What do you think she has brought to the role?


Absolute vitality and edginess is what came through the door with Pearl Mackie. A completely different voice for the show compared to Jenna’s voice. You sort of wanted to know straight away what she would make of The Doctor, what she’d think about him and in a way what she’d turn him into because The Doctor’s quite responsive, he’s quite responsive to the people around him - I think he just broods in the TARDIS on his own when he’s got no one to impress. So when someone moves in and inflects his life it’s about: how does he make her laugh? How does he impress her? How does he live up to her dream of him? He’s very, very responsive. I don’t think any of his various friends have realised how responsive he is to them, how much of the way he lives and the way he fights is about them. Pearl (Bill) is now what he cares about. So with Pearl’s style, her edginess, her modernity - you’ve got to ask what is the hatchet-faced, eyebrow ferocious Doctor going to turn into when he’s face-to-face with that quizzical smile?

Who is Bill Potts?

I started in a very simple way with Bill. I wanted her to be somebody who asked a different bunch of questions of the Doctor. An odd thing about Doctor Who is that most of the characters in Doctor Who, who meet The Doctor and encounter alien invasions and alien planets don’t seem to have watched any movies. They seem to be surprised at what a time machine is or what an alien is… except if you lived in this world you’d know - you’d have seen it in movies all the time. So she has a different bunch of questions - what are the questions that a real person flung into The Doctor’s life would ask? So I’ve set this challenge to all the writers - what is she going to ask him? The moment you open that up it starts to defines her where is the toilet on the TARDIS - that’s a really reasonable question. Why is the TARDIS, apparently called the TARDIS if that’s the spelling and those initials could only work in English? How can he claim to be from another planet if that’s the case? The very first thing was a knowingness and an irreverence - a knowingness about the genre that she’s part of in a way (or that The Doctor is part of) and an irreverence in the sense of “I’m not going to stand back and let you get away with saying your name is The Doctor” - what does that mean? That was a way in and particularly when we put that idea together with Pearl Mackie it just became a different sort of person. The moment you know you’ve got a character is the moment you can’t define them very easily - you define them as a character at the beginning but as they develop there’s something else.

Can you describe the relationship between Bill and The Doctor?

A good, strong student-teacher relationship IS a friendship it’s just a particular kind of friendship where one knows a lot more than the other and one is more energetic and enthused than the other. I think the student-teacher model is a good model of what The Doctor and companion relationship is - he’s the man that understand the universe - she’s the one that feels it. He’s become inured to all the wonder and reconnects with that through Bill’s eyes and Bill doesn’t get to see the universe at all unless The Doctor opens up his blue doors so they provide a nourishment for each other. They are both friends and he is her professor.

Are you excited for Matt Lucas’ return in Series 10?

I’ve been thinking for a while with Peter’s Doctor that he should have a butler, a valet, an assistant. He would want somebody to fetch and carry and do complicated tasks for him - he’d want a little expert on hand and I was already thinking about that and had quite a different idea of who that was going to be. And then absolutely coincidentally Matt Lucas who had been in The Husbands Of River Song in a tiny little role said he had really enjoyed it and would like to come back if we ever wanted him. So I pondered this for a few days and said to Brian (Executive Producer) that it would be mad to not make something out of this he’s such a popular actor. He’s so brilliant and charming and he’s already in place albeit decapitated… so we brought him back. He is The Doctor’s go-to guy. He’s not quite, as we have seen in The Return Of Doctor Mysterio the bumbling oaf he likes people to think he is - he’s slyer, more devious, more useful and he has a very shady past.




Pearl Mackie introduces Bill PottsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 1 April 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC News have released a short video interview with Pearl Mackie, during which she introduces her character of Bill Potts for the new series of Doctor Who which starts in a fortnight's time.





BBC Books: Myths & LegendsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 30 March 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Books have released details about a new hardback book due to be published on 29th June 2017:

Myths & Legends (Credit: BBC Books)Myths & Legends
Written by Richard Dinnick
Published by BBC Books 29th June 2017 (pre-order)


The very first book of illustrated Time Lord mythology – epic tales from the Whoniverse.

For thousands of years, epic stories have been passed down from Time Lord to student, generation to generation. The truth of these tales was lost millennia ago, but the myths and legends themselves are timeless.

These are the most enduring of those tales. From the princess Manussa and her giant snake Mara, to the Vardon Horse of Xeriphin, these stories shed light on the universe around us and the beings from other worlds that we meet. Myths hold up a mirror to our past, present and future, explaining our culture, our history, our hopes and fears.

A collection of epic adventures from the Time Lords’ mist-covered past, Myths and Legends is a unforgettable gallery of heroes and villains, gods and monsters.





Doctor Who and the micro:bitBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 March 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who has been used as a subject for educational purposes a number of times over the years, and next week will see its latest contribution as part of the BBC Learning's micro:bit initiative with a Live Lession taking place from 11:00am on the 28th March:

BBC Live Sessions: Doctor Who and the micro:bit (Credit: BBC)The Time Lord, the TARDIS and the micro:bit

The BBC micro:bit will be put to the test at the controls of the TARDIS in this special Live Lesson in collaboration with the team behind Doctor Who.

This lesson is aimed at 11-13 year olds, and is devised around computational thinking skills. We'll be exploring search algorithms, different types of errors and the components that go into an algorithm, with guest experts from the fields of web search and computer gaming.

Using their BBC micro:bit, students will be challenged to solve a fictional disaster scenario while coming face to face with one of the Doctor’s deadliest foes.

The BBC micro:bit is a tiny computer processor designed to be used to teach coding concepts to children, with the BBC Live Lessons providing interactive participation in the classroom. Sessions are created for both primary and secondary schools, incorporating scientific, cultural and entertainment themes all with the aim to make learning to code fun.


Full details of the Doctor Who lesson can be found via the BBC's lesson website, and the live session will be available to review via the BBC iPlayer afterwards.





BBC Books: A Brief History of Time LordsBookmark and Share

Monday, 20 March 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Books have released details about a new hardback book due to be published on 18th May 2017:

A Brief History of Time Lords (Credit: BBC Books)A Brief History of Time Lords
Written by Steve Tribe
Illustrated by Richard Williams
Published by BBC Books 18th May 2017 (pre-order)


An illustrated ‘secret’ history of the oldest and most powerful civilisation in the universe - the Time Lords of Gallifrey.

The Time Lords are an immensely civilised, and immensely powerful, race. Yet we know very little about them, save that they can live forever (barring accidents) and possess the secrets of space and time travel. Their history has been shrouded in myth and mystery. Until now.

A Brief History of Time Lords unlocks the secrets of this ancient, legendary alien race - a civilisation that inflicted some of its most notorious renegades and criminals on the universe, but was also the benevolent power that rid the cosmos of its most fearsome enemies. Drawn from the ancient records of Gallifrey and from legends and stories handed down from generation to generation, this remarkable book reveals the Time Lords in all of their guises: pioneers and power-mad conspirators, time travellers and tyrants, creators and destroyers.

Be careful who you share it with.




Australian cinema outing for The PilotBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Pilot in Australian Cinemas (Credit: BBC Worldwide/Sharmill Films)BBC Worldwide ANZ and Sharmill Films have announced that they will be presenting a special event screening of the first episode of the new series, The Pilot over Easter Sunday and Monday.

The episode sees the introduction of new sidekick Bill, as played by Pearl Mackie: Louise Hill, Live Entertainment Executive for BBC Worldwide ANZ, said:
With Bill, the new companion, making her on-screen debut we’re happy to give audiences the chance to experience the new duo on the big-screen for the first time.
Natalie Miller AO, Sharmill Films Executive Director, added:
The introduction of a new companion is a time(lord)-honoured event in the Doctor Who universe, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with the BBC once again to present this very special cinema event to Australian fans.

Full details on the event can be found on the Sharmill Films website, including cinema venues and ticket information once available.


The Pilot will premiere in Australia on ABC iview immediately after the UK broadcast on 16th April, and will air simultaneously on ABC (in HD) and ABC ME at 7.40pm.







BBC Books: new 12th Doctor adventures for AprilBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 7 March 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Books have announced three new novels featuring the Doctor, Pearl and Nardole for 20th April 2017, tying into the new series which premieres the weekend before their publication.

Diamond Dogs (Credit: BBC Books)Diamond Dogs
Written by Mike Tucker
Published by BBC Books on 20th April 2017 (available to pre-order)

For over fifteen years the crew of Kollo-Zarnista Mining Facility 27 has been extracting diamonds from deep within the atmosphere of Saturn, diamonds that help to fund the ever-expanding Human Empire. But when a mining operation goes wrong, a rescue mission must be launched to save a worker lost overboard, a worker who claims that he has seen something amongst the swirling clouds.

Something that can’t possibly exist.

When the Doctor and Bill arrive, they immediately find themselves caught between hostile miners, suspicious security guards and corrupt company officials as they face accusations of sabotage and diamond theft.

And below them, in the crushing atmosphere of the gas giant, something is starting to rise.

“Here on Saturn, it literally rains diamonds.”



Mike Tucker is an author specialising in books for children and young adults, and has written several original Doctor Who novels, a number of Merlin novelisations, and original fiction for other shared universes. He has also written numerous factual books relating to film and television, including a history of the BBC’s Visual Effects Department, where he used to work. Alongside his writing, Mike works as a Visual Effects Designer, and his company – The Model Unit - recently won a BAFTA Craft Award for its miniature effects work on the 50th anniversary Doctor Who episode The Day of the Doctor.
Plague City (Credit: BBC Books)Plague City
Written by Jonathan Morris
Published by BBC Books on 20th April 2017 (available to pre-order)

“We should leave. We definitely should leave. But... chatty ghosts!”

The year is 1645, and Edinburgh is in the grip of the worst plague in its history. Nobody knows who will be the next to succumb – nobody except the Night Doctor, a masked figure that stalks the streets, seeking out those who will not live to see another day.

But death is not the end. The Doctor, Bill and Nardole discover that the living are being haunted by the recently departed – by ghosts that do not know they are dead. And there are other creatures lurking in the shadows, slithering, creeping creatures filled with an insatiable hunger.

The Doctor and his friends must face the terrifying secret of the Street of Sorrows – that something which has lain dormant for two hundred million years is due to destroy the entire city...



Jonathan Morris is the writer of the official Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, has written three Doctor Who novels for BBC Books and numerous audio adventures for Big Finish Productions and BBC Radio 7. He has also written for the TV sketch shows Dead Ringers and Swinging.
The Shining Man (Credit: BBC Books)The Shining Man
Written by Cavan Scott
Published by BBC Books on 20th April 2017 (available to pre-order)


“Being scared is the least of your worries.”

The Shining Men are everywhere. You spot them out of the corner of your eye. Abnormally tall, with long lank hair, blank faces and blazing eyes. If they catch you, they’ll drag you away to who knows where. No one is safe. They’re on every street corner. Waiting. Watching. Shining bright.

Of course it’s a hoax. It has to be, right? It started as a joke, a prank for Halloween. Then it went viral. Idiots dressing up as monsters. Giving folk a scare. Silly masks and fright wigs. No one gets hurt. Because bogeymen aren’t real.

Until people start going missing and lights burn in the darkness. Burning like eyes. But help is on its way, in the form of a strange man called the Doctor and his friend, Bill.

The Doctor will keep us safe. The Doctor will stop the monsters. Unless the monsters stop the Doctor first...



Number One Bestseller Cavan Scott has written for such popular series as Star Wars, Vikings, Warhammer 40,000 and, of course, Doctor Who. He’s the writer of Titan Comic’s ongoing adventures of the Ninth Doctor and was one of the 2016 World Book Day authors.




US Cinema outing for series premiereBookmark and Share

Thursday, 2 March 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who in US Cinema (Credit: BBC Worldwide/Fathom Events)Fathom Events are planning to show this year's series premiere of Doctor Who in cinemas across the United States on the 17th and 19th April, including additional features:

Come together with fellow fans to celebrate the return of Doctor Who to the airwaves when the Doctor Who Season 10 Premiere returns to the big screen! Join Peter Capaldi (World War Z, In the Loop) as the Doctor, Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids, Alice in Wonderland) as Nardole, and Pearl Mackey (Svengali) as the new Companion, Bill, for two nights only including exclusive bonus features to be announced soon. The Doctor Who: Season 10 Premiere is written and executive produced by Steven Moffat, executive produced by Brian Minchin, produced by Peter Bennett, and directed by Lawrence Gough. The season was shot in Cardiff at BBC Wales Roath Lock Studios. Doctor Who is produced by BBC Studios Wales in co-production with BBC AMERICA.

Doctor Who Fans - We want you to have fun at these cinema events – but safety is paramount. Please note that attending in costume is fine, however masks, face-concealing make-up, fake weapons as well as any costumes that conceal what you are carrying, your natural body shape or face are strictly prohibited.

More details are expected shortly, with tickets going on sale via the Fathom website from the 10th March.