The Snowmen Promotional Image ReleasedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The BBC today released a special promotional image for the forthcoming Christmas episode The Snowmen. As with episodes earlier this year, it has been done in the style of a film poster to reflect what showrunner Steven Moffat has called Series 7's "blockbuster" approach of "big movie-style stories".

A similar poster was released by BBC America.

In addition, the BBC has released a screengrab featuring the subject of the episode's title.

The BBC is yet to confirm when on Christmas Day The Snowmen will air in the UK. It will be shown in the USA and Canada at 9pm ET on Christmas Day by, respectively, BBC America and SPACE, while ABC1 will be broadcasting it in Australia on Boxing Day (known as Proclamation Day in South Australia) at 7.30pm.

Dinah Sheridan (1920-2012)Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 25 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Dinah SheridanThe actress Dinah Sheridan died today - 29 years to the day she was seen by TV viewers in the UK as the Time Lady Chancellor Flavia in the 20th-anniversary story The Five Doctors.

Sheridan, who was 92, made her film debut aged just 15 but put her acting career on hold to become an ambulance driver when the Second World War broke out. She appeared in a few films during the war but her career started to take off after the war ended, and in 1953 she achieved real success with Genevieve, a comedy about a veteran car rally and notable for Doctor Who fans for the presence of genuine police boxes in shot!

Marriage and health problems subsequently saw Sheridan retire from acting for a number of years but she made a triumphant return on the big screen in 1970 with The Railway Children, co-starring Bernard Cribbins. Among her many TV roles, she appeared with Nigel Havers in Don't Wait Up (which also featured Jane How, Simon Williams, Timothy Bateson, Milton Johns, and Wanda Ventham) as well as Keith Barron and Angus Lennie in All Night Long - both BBC TV sitcoms.

Married four times, Sheridan had three children with her first husband, Jimmy Hanley. Their first child, a daughter, tragically died just three days after she was born in 1944. Their other two children were Jeremy Hanley, who for a time was chairman of the Conservative party, and the actress and presenter Jenny Hanley.

Sheridan died peacefully at home in Northwood, Middlesex, surrounded by her family, said her agent.

Symphonic Spectacular Run Extended AgainBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
More performances have been added to next month's Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular for a second time.

The event at Sydney Opera House will feature music composed by Murray Gold, performed by The Metropolitan Orchestra, conducted by Ben Foster.

Originally planned to be held on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th December only, two shows were added for Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th December. Now three extra performances have been slotted on for the following two days: matinee and evening concerts on Thursday 20th December and an evening one on Friday 21st December.

The musical celebration of Doctor Who will be presented by Alex Kingston and Mark Williams, with various monsters from the series poised to overrun the concert venue too.

To book, go to the Sydney Opera House website. (NB: Both of the Saturday performances are now sold out and there is currently limited availability for the Sunday matinee.)
With Thanks To Dallas Jones

An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV LegendBookmark and Share

Friday, 23 November 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
One Year Before

The fifth in our occasional series marking the 50th anniversary of events leading to the creation of a true TV legend.

The story so far. In the summer of 1962, the BBC commissioned a report into identifying specific science-fiction stories suitable for adapting for television.

The report started events that would lead to the transmission of the first episode of Doctor Who on Saturday 23rd November 1963, exactly 49 years ago today. Today we examine the TV schedule of 50 years ago.

Exactly one year before Doctor Who started, the BBC was showing Captain Pugwash, the John Ryan cartoon series following the adventures of Captain Horatio Pugwash as he sailed the high seas in The Black Pig, assisted by trusty cabin boy Tom, and pirates Willy, Barnabas and Master Mate. The character had first been seen in the comic The Eagle in 1950, before appearing as a strip in Radio Times. He came to television in 1957, with the voices provided by Peter Hawkins.

Other highlights of the day included a Sid James comedy, the latest in the American series Dr Kildare, starring Richard Chamberlain, and a look at the work of the French actress, singer, screenwriter and director Jeanne Moreau, who had recently been seen in the film Jules and Jim.

Saturday evening saw The Lone Ranger being transmitted in what would become the Doctor Who slot. The episode shown was the final one in the fourth series of the American show. Starring Clayton Moore, it first aired in the States in 1957.

Home-grown entertainment came in the form of Mr Pastry's Pet Shop. Mr Pastry was a bumbling old man with a walrus moustache, who had adventures, partly slapstick, partly comic-dance, with two young friends. He was played by Richard Hearne, who would later be considered for the role of the Fourth Doctor.

Later in the evening, viewers could see the police drama Dixon of Dock Green and highlights from Bertram Mills Circus. Another American series, the Western Laramie, provided the main drama of the evening, with the 1946 psychological thriller The Spiral Staircase taking viewers up to the late news.

The late evening saw the debut of a new satirical series, That Was The Week That Was. Devised, produced and directed by Ned Sherrin and presented by David Frost, the programme - whose theme music was composed by Ron Grainer - would go on to be one of the most influential BBC series of the early Sixties, redefining the relationship between television and the political world. It was also a show that had a particular date with television history ahead of it a year later, when possibly its most famous edition - a shortened, non-satirical tribute to the assassinated US President John F Kennedy - was broadcast on the night of Saturday 23rd November 1963.

On consecutive Thursdays between 8th November and 29th November 1962, the sci-fi serial The Monsters was broadcast by the BBC. Based on a Panorama documentary concerning the Loch Ness Monster, the drama - written by Evelyn Frazer and Vincent Tilsley - centred on a zoologist on honeymoon searching for a similar creature and stumbling upon a bigger mystery to do with humanity's survival. The four 45-to-50-minute episodes were directed by Mervyn Pinfield and the cast included Philip Madoc, Clifford Cox, George Pravda, Clive Morton, Clifford Earl, and Norman Mitchell. The music was by Humphrey Searle, and Bernard Wilkie was one half of the team behind the special effects.

BBC TV's schedule for 23rd and 24th November 1962:

BBC: FRIDAY 23rd November 1962

  • 9.40am - 11.55am: Schools Programming
  • 1pm (Welsh transmitters): Newyddion (Welsh-language news programme)
  • 1.05pm - Heddiw
  • 1.25pm - News
  • 1.30pm - Let's Imagine: Living Under the Sea
  • 2.05pm - Pioneers of Social Change: Number 9 - Lloyd George
  • 2.25pm - Interval
  • 2.30pm - Watch With Mother
  • Closedown...
  • 5pm - Tales of the Riverbank
  • 5.10pm - Captain Pugwash
  • 5.25pm - What's New?
  • 5.50pm - News
  • 6pm - View
  • 6.50pm - Tonight
  • Trevor Philpott reports from Belgium on the problem of language. Part of the country speaks Flemish, the other French, leading to deep divisions, culminating in riots. The Government's solution is a language frontier. Plus, if you're looking for a change of menu this weekend, then maybe Louise Davies has an idea for you. Paella.
  • 7.29pm - Headline News
  • 7.30pm - Adventure: First Look at Africa
  • Series of films taken by world travellers & explorers. The story of an expedition into the regions of Uganda, virtually unknown to man, by a party of English & African students. Narrated by David Parry.
  • 8pm - Dr Kildare
  • 8.50pm - Citizen James: The Jury
  • Comedy series starring Sid James, featuring Sydney Tafler, Walter Hudd and Derek Nimmo.
  • 9.15pm - News
  • Including reports on four British engineers killed in the Hungarian airliner crash in Paris and the murder of George Brinham, a member of the Labour National Executive who was killed in his flat by a 16-year-old boy.
  • 9.25pm - Wednesday's Child, play
  • 10.30pm - Film Profile: Jeanne Moreau
  • Derek Prouse talks to French actress Jeanne Moreau about her career.
  • 11pm - News
  • 11.10pm - Weather: Road Works Report

BBC: SATURDAY 24th November 1962

  • 12.10pm (Welsh transmitters) - Telewele
  • 12.35pm - Newyddion
  • 12.40pm - Public Service announcements
  • 12.45pm - Grandstand
  • including racing from Newbury, Ice skating, Championship Snooker from Birmingham, Rugby League: Hull v Wigan and Sports Results and News Service
  • 5pm - The Lone Ranger: One Nation Indivisible
  • Two brothers working their way west after they lose their farm because of the war encounter the Lone Ranger and learn about what a future can be if they can let go of the past
  • 5.25pm - Mr Pastry's Pet Shop: 2, A Very Dark Horse
  • 5.50pm - News
  • 5.53pm - Today's Sport
  • 6pm - Juke Box Jury
  • 6.30pm Dixon of Dock Green: A Home of One's Own.
    Police drama starring Jack Warner
  • 7.15pm - Bertram Mills Circus
  • 8pm - Laramie
  • 8.45pm - Film: The Spiral Staircase
  • A serial killer is targeting women with 'afflictions'; one night during a thunderstorm, mute Helen feels menaced. Starring Dorothy McGuire, George Brent and Ethel Barrymore.
  • 10.05pm - News, Weather
  • In America, enquiries have begun into the crash of the United Airlines Viscount in Maryland and seven-year-old Carl Connor, who was partially blind and deaf, was reunited with his grandmother after spending a night on Dartmoor. In Perth, the British Empire and Commonwealth Games were opened by the Duke of Edinburgh.
  • 10.15pm - Saturday Sport
  • In the FA Cup there were no shocks, with Hinckley scoring two goals against Queen's Park Rangers' seven.
  • 10.50pm - That Was The Week That Was
  • New topical satire programme presented by David Frost - with Kenneth Cope, David Kernan, Roy Kinnear, Millicent Martin, Lance Percival, and Willie Rushton.

The BBC faced competition for viewers from its commercial rival, ITV, which had been launched under the auspices of the now-defunct Independent Television Authority (created by The Television Act of 1954) to break the corporation's TV monopoly.

The first ITV station to launch was Associated-Rediffusion on 22nd September 1955, serving the London area. By 14th September 1962, with the start of WWN (the transmission name of Teledu Cymru for Wales West and North), the UK and Channel Islands were covered by the regional ITV network, with separate franchises for weekdays and weekends.

Each service sought to reflect its regional identity by having its own programmes in opt-out slots, as well as what it thought viewers would like to see from programmes made outside the region (eg, on Friday 23rd November between 5.25pm and 5.55pm, viewers in the Southern and Associated-Rediffusion areas were watching the antics of Yogi Bear while their counterparts in the Midlands were enjoying the exploits of Supercar on ATV, those in south Wales and the west of England were being entertained on TWW by The Adventures of Robin Hood (co-starring John Arnatt), people in the Anglia region had Mr Ed, Granada was showing The Terrific Adventures of the Terrible Ten, while Westward was airing National Velvet, etc), so to give a full picture of what was being aired when on ITV across the network on each day would result in a list far too long and - at times - irrelevant for the purposes of this feature.

Instead, here, as far as research allows, is what would have been seen by viewers tuning into their ITV channel on both days:

ITV: FRIDAY 23rd November 1962

  • 12.45pm - 2.35pm: Very few ITV stations broadcasting, but ATV had Thought For The Day at 12.45pm, followed by Lunch Box between 12.47pm and 1.25pm, while Anglia began at 1.35pm by covering the Central Norfolk by-election, and both Granada and TWW started schools broadcasting at 1pm
  • 2.35pm - 3.41pm: For Schools
  • 4.45pm - Small Time (Willum's Tea Party) Some ITV stations only
  • 5pm - Street of Adventure, presented by Hugh Moran
  • 5.25pm - Opt-outs (see above)
  • 5.55pm - News
  • 6.05pm - Regional News
  • 6.10pm - 7pm: Opt-outs (including, at different times, Day By Day, Out Of Town, Close-Up, Top O' The Shop, Midland Profile, Arena, People And Places, The Jim Backus Show, and Westward Diary)
  • 7pm - Take Your Pick, presented by Michael Miles
  • 7.30pm - Emergency Ward 10
  • 8pm - 9pm: Opt-outs (including, at different times, I'm Dickens . . . He's Fenster, starring Marty Ingles and John Astin, Bonanza, The Dave King Show, Comedy Hour, and Police Five)
  • 9pm - News
  • 9.15pm - Television Playhouse: The Road To Anywhere, with Sam Kydd and Betty Baskcomb
  • 10.15pm - midnight: Opt-outs (including, at different times, The Verdict Is Yours: Regina vs Hoskins, The Sword In The Web - The Munition Factory, Adventures In Paradise, Now You're Talking, White Hunter, Tightrope, and The Unsleeping Sword)

Some stations had closed before midnight after the weather forecast or the epilogue, but shortly after midnight, following the weather forecast on Southern, the ITV network had closed down for the day.

ITV: SATURDAY 24th November 1962

  • 1.15pm - News
  • 1.20pm - 5pm: Sport and results
  • 5pm - 5.15pm: Opt-outs (including It's A Model World, introduced by Charles Oates, Bugs Bunny, The Wizard of Oz, and Meet Foo Foo)
  • 5.15pm - City Beneath The Sea (Episode 2 - Escape To Aegiria)
  • 5.45pm - News
  • 5.50pm - Thank Your Lucky Stars, introduced by Brian Matthew (except Anglia, which had the weather followed by The Flintstones and Popeye)
  • 6.30pm - 8.25pm: Opt-outs (including Cheyenne, Bonanza, Man of the World, and Surfside)
  • 8.25pm - Bruce's Show, hosted by Bruce Forsyth, starring Frank Ifield and Bill Howes
  • 9pm - News
  • 9.10pm - 10.05pm: Opt-outs (including 87th Precinct, Ben Casey, and Hawaiian Eye)
  • 10.05pm - The Avengers, starring Patrick Macnee in The Sell-Out, with Frank Gatliff and Arthur Hewlett. (The series had been created by Sydney Newman.)
  • 11pm - 11.50pm: Opt-outs (including, at different times, On The Braden Beat, ABC At Large, Broadway Goes Latin, Hennesey, and The Sword In The Web)
  • 11.50pm: News and, on most stations, weather (all but TWW, which showed The Sword In The Web at 11.05pm, followed by the weather)
  • 11.55pm - Epilogue (only some stations; weather forecast on Southern; Faith For Life on Westward)

On Saturday 24th November 1962, The Times ran a feature in its Notes On Broadcasting section, headlined Viewers Begin To Make Themselves Felt, in which its "Special Correspondent" said that "by general consent" the current season's television had "been one of the most disastrous in terms of quality since the Independent Television Authority came into operation."

Reference was made to The Pilkington Committee report on broadcasting, published in June 1962 at a cost of £45,450. Among a number of things, the inquiry had criticised ITV's "triviality" and backed T S Eliot's evidence statement to the committee that "Those who aim to give the public what the public wants begin by underestimating the public taste; they end by debauching it".

The author of the feature bemoaned the fact that "after the summer doldrums, the unveiling of the autumn schedule with a blare of publicity trumpets brought only weaker and worse." They noted that the best of the American shows had been replaced by "feeble American derivatives or even feebler British substitutes", citing 87th Precinct, which took over from Naked City on ITV, as an example. Withering criticism was also levelled at The Saint and Ghost Squad, both of which were labelled "ineffectual".

On the positive side, it was noted that viewers' response had been so bad that the ITV companies were being forced to rethink things, an example being Associated-Rediffusion's sitcom It's A Living, starring Jimmy Jewel and Ben Warriss, being deemed so bad it was unceremoniously dumped after four episodes when it should have enjoyed a 13-week run. There was also reportedly such a negative reaction to ATV's Ghost Squad "that it suddenly disappeared for a week or two and re-emerged with some bland recasting . . . and a much livelier approach to scripting and direction."

Similarly, the Granada sitcom Bulldog Breed (starring Peter Butterworth and Geoffrey Palmer) disappeared from the schedules after six weeks, one week before it was supposed to end, while another Granada series, The Verdict Is Yours, which dramatised real trials, had started with a Monday evening peak-time slot but got ignominiously bumped by Rawhide to post-10pm on Fridays.

However, the BBC wasn't "in any position to congratulate itself", said the writer, noting that the corporation was relying on "tried and true favourites" for major audience pulling power but that these were starting to become "increasingly faded and routine", with Z-Cars and Maigret both being singled out as guilty parties.

What this all meant, believed the writer, was not necessarily that bad TV was driving out good but that TV companies were beginning to adopt "a far less cavalier attitude to viewers' wishes" than had previously been the case, since in the past unpopular programmes had been allowed to "limp along" and stay the course but now "programmes which have gone are precisely those which the higher-browed critics would agree were not worth preserving."

Next EpisodeA Newman at the BBC
Marcus, John Bowman, Paul Hayes, and Chuck Foster
SOURCES: The Times; Evening News (Portsmouth)

Epilogue: the television of today

The two-channel television viewers of 1962 would be overwhelmed at the multitude of ways to watch a multitude of programmes across a multitude of channels that exist half a century later; but, perhaps, they would be less surprised at the mix of shows that are still broadcast on the main two channels from their time: 1962 had Doctor Kildare, 2012 has Casualty, likewise Dixon of Dock Green/Midsomer Murders, That Was The Week That Was/Have I Got News For You, and - well into his fifth decade on television - all-round performer Bruce Forsyth still occupies a prime-time Saturday evening slot! (Two other long-lived shows of note are Coronation Street which commenced in 1960, and The Sky At Night which launched in 1957 and is still presented by Sir Patrick Moore.)

BBC1: FRIDAY 23rd November 2012

  • 6.00am - Breakfast
  • 9.15am - Neighbourhood Blues
  • 10.00am - Homes Under The Hammer
  • 11.00am - Watchdog Daily
  • 11.45am - Cash in the Attic
  • 12.15pm - Bargain Hunt
  • 1.00pm - BBC News
  • 1.30pm - Regional News programmes
  • 1.45pm - Doctors
  • 2.15pm - Escape to the Country
  • 3.00pm - BBC News
  • 3.05-5:15pm CBBC
  • 5.15pm - Pointless
  • 6.00pm - BBC News
  • 6.30pm - Regional News programmes
  • 7.00pm - The One Show
  • 7.30pm - Nigel Slater's Dish of the Day
  • 8.00pm - EastEnders
  • 8.30pm - Outnumbered
  • 9.00pm - Have I Got News For You
  • 9.30pm - Me and Mrs Jones
  • 10.00pm - BBC News
  • 10.35pm - The Graham Norton Show
  • 11.20pm - The National Lottery Draws
  • 11.30pm - Live at the Apollo
  • Midnight - EastEnders (omnibus)

ITV1: FRIDAY 23rd November 2012

  • 6.00am - Daybreak
  • 8.30am - Lorraine
  • 9.25am - The Jeremy Kyle Show
  • 10.30am - This Morning
  • 12.30pm - Loose Women
  • 1.30pm - ITV News
  • 2.00pm - Crime Stories
  • 3.00pm - Dickinson's Real Deal
  • 4.00pm - Midsomer Murders
  • 5.00pm - The Chase
  • 6.00pm - Regional news programmes
  • 6.30pm - ITV News
  • 7.00pm - Emmerdale
  • 7.30pm - Coronation Street
  • 8.00pm - Island Hospital
  • 8.30pm - Coronation Street
  • 9.00pm - I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here
  • 10.30pm - ITV News
  • 11.10pm - Accepted

BBC1: SATURDAY 24th November 2012

  • 6.00am - Breakfast
  • 10.00am - Saturday Kitchen Live
  • 11.30am - Baking Made Easy
  • Midday - BBC News
  • 12.15pm - Football Focus
  • 1.00pm - Bargain Hunt
  • 2.00pm - Escape to the Country
  • 3.00pm - Formula One Live: Brazilian Grand Prix - Qualifying
  • 5.30pm - BBC News
  • 5.50pm - Pointless Celebrities
  • 6.40pm - Strictly Come Dancing
  • 8.00pm - Merlin
  • 8.45pm - National Lottery Draws
  • 8.55pm - Casualty
  • 9.45pm - Live at the Apollo
  • 10.15pm - BBC News
  • 10.30pm - Match of the Day
  • 11.50pm - The Football League Show

ITV1: SATURDAY 24th November 2012

  • 6.00am-9.25am - CITV
  • 9.25am - News
  • 9.30am - The Jeremy Kyle Show USA
  • 11.15am - Murder, She Wrote
  • 12.20pm - All Star Family Fortunes
  • 1.05pm - ITV News
  • 1.10pm - Holiday Home Sweet Home
  • 3.10pm - The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
  • 5.20pm - Regional News programmes
  • 5.30pm - ITV News
  • 5.45pm - The Golden Rules of TV
  • 6.15pm - New You've Been Framed
  • 6.45pm - Take Me Out
  • 8.00pm - The X Factor
  • 9.45pm - I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here
  • 10.45pm - ITV News
  • 11.00pm - Paul McCartney - Live Kisses
  • Midnight - The Cube

Children in Need: Auction resultsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Pudsy WhoAs reported last week, a few Doctor Who-related items were donated for auction on behalf of Children in Need; all items have now completed off, raising the following for the charity:

It is still possible to donate to the charity via the BBC website:
Donate here!

SPACE confirms The Snowmen for Christmas DayBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Canadian channel SPACE have confirmed that, like BBC America in the United States, they will be broadcasting the Christmas Special The Snowmen on Christmas Day at 9:00pm ET.

Tuesday, Dec.25 – Wednesday, Dec. 26 : DOCTOR WHO MARATHON

Holy sonic screwdrivers! On Christmas Day, viewers get to relive Season 7 of DOCTOR WHO, followed by SPACE’s favourite time-traveling tradition – the premiere of the 2012 DOCTOR WHO Christmas special, The Snowmen. This year’s holiday escapade introduces a new companion, a new look for the Doctor, and a new monster.

Starring Matt Smith as the Doctor, and introducing Jenna-Louise Coleman as his new companion Clara, The Snowmen follows their adventures as they embark on a mission to save Christmas from the villainous Doctor Simeon (Richard E Grant, The Iron Lady, Dracula) and his army of icy snowmen. Then, the marathon to end all marathons continues with a TARDIS full of Time Lord-themed holiday specials.

4 p.m. ET – DOCTOR WHO Season 7 Marathon
9 p.m. ET – THE SNOWMEN *SPACE Premiere*

Australian broadcaster ABC announced at the weekend that they would be showing it locally on Boxing Day at 7:30pm; the BBC have yet to confirm time of broadcast in the UK, though in previous years it has been scheduled between 6:00-7:00pm.

Bonhams: Entertainment Media AuctionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Bonhams have now released the catalogue for their next Entertainment Media Auction, which once again contains a number of items related to Doctor Who and its spin-offs. The usual assortment of costumes and props are available to bid upon, which also includes costumes worn by John Barrowman and Elisabeth Sladen in their respective roles as Jack and Sarah. Other highlights include a TARDIS phone panel, SV7's costume from The Robots of Death, original paperwork from Planet of the Spiders, Revelation of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks, and Sarah's car from The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Lot No: 147 - Doctor Who: A 'Tardis' panel (1987)Lot No: 147 - Doctor Who: A 'Tardis' panel (1987)

In blue-painted wood with white lettering Police Telephone Free For Use Of Public Advice And Assistance Obtainable Immediately Officers And Cars Respond To Urgent Calls Pull To Open (29x36.5cm).

According to information from the vendor, this was supplied by the BBC to CAL, the company that animated the 'Doctor Who' title sequence for the 24th Series in 1987. Oliver Elms, the BBC graphics designer who story-boarded the sequence, sent the Tardis panel to CAL to be used as part of the design process. From the livery and typeface, this is a 1980s-style door sign.

Estimate: £400-500, €500-630, $640-800
Lot 143: Doctor Who - The Planet Of The Spiders: A group of original scriptsLot 143: Doctor Who - The Planet Of The Spiders: A group of original scripts

From March-May 1974, comprising rehearsal scripts for Episodes 1-5, and camera scripts for Episodes 3-6, with some annotations, together with a statement confirming provenance.

This story was the last to feature Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, ending with his transformation into Tom Baker. These scripts were obtained from a member of the Special Effects team.

Estimate: £1,200-1,500, €1,500-1,900, $1,900-2,400
Lot No: 144 -SV7 costume -  Doctor Who/Tom Baker: The Robots of Death, 1977Lot No: 144 - SV7 costume - Doctor Who/Tom Baker: The Robots of Death, 1977

An S.V.7 costume, comprising: a jacket, with quilted silver lamé sleeves, and plain cotton body, inscribed in black ink inside 'Miles Fothergill' ; a pair of three quarter length quilted silver lamé trousers, inscribed 'M.F.', together with a helmet, believed to be latter of coloured fibreglass, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Estimate: £2,000-3,000, €2,500-3,800, $3,200-4,800
Lot No: 151 - Torchwood, 2006 - 2011: Captain Jack Harkness costumeLot No: 151 - Torchwood, 2006 - 2011: Captain Jack Harkness costume

A full length RAF blue Great Coat, double breasted with domed gilt RAF-style buttons with raised wings and crown motif and Group Captain epaulettes, well worn with simulated bullet holes to each sleeve, labelled in the inside jacket pocket Angels, handwritten in blue ink John Barrowman, April '06, with attached BBC stocknumber

Estimate: £700-900, €880-1,100, $1,100-1,400
Lot 156: The Sarah Jane Adventures, Series 1 Pilot - Invasion of the Bane: complete Sarah Jane Smith 'Hero' costumeLot 156: The Sarah Jane Adventures, Series 1 Pilot- Invasion of the Bane: complete Sarah Jane Smith 'Hero' costume

Comprises: maroon coloured velvet 'Karen Millen' coat with beige coloured stitching; a black and brown stripe dress of cotton/ lycra mix; cerise pink 'Karen Millen' cardigan with grey coloured pearlised buttons; a pair of maroon coloured tights and a pair of flat 'Bally' black knee high 'pony skin' boots, each with BBC asset number and label attached, boots size 37 (6)

Estimate: £500-600, €630-750, $800-950
Lot No: 163 - The Sarah Jane Adventures, 2007 - 2011: Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith Sarah Jane's car - A 1991 Nissan Figaro Two-Door Targa CoupÃLot No: 163 - The Sarah Jane Adventures, 2007 - 2011: Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith Sarah Jane's car - A 1991 Nissan Figaro Two-Door Targa Coupé

This is the second registration to feature in the show, but remained Sarah Jane's vehicle until the series ended in 2011.

Estimate: £4,000-6,000, €5,000-7,500, $6,400-9,500

The auction takes place at the Knightsbridge auction room on 12th December 2012.

Full list of auction items related to Doctor Who and its spin-offs

LotDescriptionEstimate (£)
118Daleks Invasion 2150AD poster500-700
143Planet of the Spiders original scripts1200-1500
144SV7 costume from The Robots of Death2000-3000
145Revelation of the Daleks autographed scripts for episodes 1,2500-600
146Remembrance of the Daleks autographed OB Schedule250-300
147Police Box panel400-500
148Foam shark model from A Christmas Carol1000-1500
150TW: scale corpse model from Countrycide200-300
151TW: Captain Jack Harkness coat700-900
152TW: Jack's safe door500-700
153TW: Jack's bedroom hatch door300-400
154TW: Martha Jones costume from Reset300-500
155TW: Gwen Cooper costume from Meat500-700
156SJA: Sarah's costume from Invasion of the Bane500-600
157SJA: two "Slab" costumes from Warriors of Kudlak250-300
158SJA: Eve's costume from The Mad Woman in the Attic200-250
159SJA: Androvax costume from Prisoner of the Judoon and The Vault of Secrets300-400
160SJA: Clyde Langer costumes (15)350-400
161SJA: Shansheeth costume from Death of the Doctor250-300
162SJA: two Mister Dread costumes from The Vault of Secrets250-300
163SJA: Sarah's car (1991 Nissan Figaro two-door Targa Coupe)4000-6000

Overnight Ratings for The Great DetectiveBookmark and Share

Sunday, 18 November 2012 - Reported by Marcus
The Great Detective, the prequel to the Doctor Who Christmas Episode, shown as part of the BBC's Children in Need programme, was watched by 6.3 million viewers, according to unofficial overnight viewing figures.

The trail for the upcoming episode, The Snowmen, which aired an hour later, was watched by 8.6 million viewers, out-rating Coronation Street on ITV1.

Series Six for Latin AmericaBookmark and Share

Sunday, 18 November 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide Sales and Distribution Latin America have announced that the sixth series of Doctor Who will be broadcast in the region via the exclusive DIRECTV Latin America channel OnDIRECTV.

Willard Tressel, OnDIRECTV's General Manager, said:
We value our ongoing partnership with BBC Worldwide, which allows us to offer a variety of high quality content on OnDIRECTV and OnDIRECTV HD to our subscribers in Latin America. Plus, after airing the recent series re-boot of Doctor Who, our subscribers have been urgently asking for more!

Helen Jurado, VP, Sales & Distribution, BBC Worldwide Latin America, said:
Doctor Who boasts a massive audience and fan following around the world and OnDIRECTV is the perfect home for this incredibly successful show. As one of the longest-running sci-fi programs in history, we are confident it will gain further traction with viewers and attract new legions of fans throughout Latin America as it approaches its 50th anniversary.

Boxing Day debut for The Snowmen in AustraliaBookmark and Share

Sunday, 18 November 2012 - Reported by Adam Kirk
The Snowmen, will make its Australian debut on Boxing Day, Wednesday 26 December 2012 at 7.30pm on ABC1.

The previous two Christmas specials, A Christmas Carol and The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, also debuted in Australia on Boxing Day.

Media Links: TV Tonight

The Snowmen: BBC America Press ReleaseBookmark and Share

Saturday, 17 November 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC America have published a press release for this year's Christmas Special, which will be broadcast on the channel on Christmas Day at 9:00pm ET/PT.


Announced today, the title of this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special is The Snowmen. A new companion, a new look for the Doctor, plus a new monster will all be introduced in this movie-scale episode. Starring Matt Smith as the Doctor and introducing Jenna-Louise Coleman as new companion Clara, The Snowmen follows their adventures as they embark on a mission to save Christmas from the villainous Doctor Simeon (Richard E Grant, The Iron Lady, Dracula) and his army of icy snowmen. This year’s Doctor Who Christmas special premieres Tuesday, December 25, 9:00pm ET/PT on BBC AMERICA.

A sneak peek was released earlier today, during the broadcast of the BBC Children in Need special, revealing a new costume for the Doctor. Additionally, a special prequel was released showing the impact of the loss of the Ponds, with old friends Vastra, Strax and Jenny trying to persuade the Doctor not to give up his adventures.

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, said: "The Doctor at Christmas is one of my favorite things - but this year it's different. He's lost Amy and Rory to the Weeping Angels, and he's not in a good place: in fact, he's Scrooge. He's withdrawn from the world and no longer cares what happens to it. So when all of humanity hangs in the balance, can anyone persuade a tired and heartbroken Doctor that it's time to return to the good fight. Enter Jenna-Louise Coleman..."

Matt Smith, who plays the Doctor, commented: "For this year’s Christmas special we have the wonderfully villainous Richard E Grant as Doctor Simeon. As well as lizards, Victorian assassins and deranged warriors from the future, who all return to convince the Doctor that he should board the TARDIS again and save the world. Add to that Jenna-Louise Coleman and so begins the Christmas Special 2012. I hope everyone enjoys it!"

The BBC Cymru Wales produced series will return to BBC AMERICA on December 25 and an additional eight epic episodes will premiere in the spring.

Doctor Simeon (Richard E Grant). Photo: BBC Worldwide

The BBC have also published a press release for the Special, though unlike the United States the time of transmission has yet to be confirmed.

The Snowmen: new publicity photoBookmark and Share

Saturday, 17 November 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released a new promotional image for this year's Christmas Special, featuring Matt Smith as the Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara:

Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman in the Christmas Special. Photo: BBC

A photo of the Doctor in front of the TARDIS was released during the week as part of the publicity for Children in Need, and during this evening's charity show the special's first full trailer was broadcast, introducing Coleman's character and revealing the title as The Snowmen.

Christmas Special: title revealedBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 November 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Matt Smith and Jenna-Louse Coleman introduced on Children in Need. Photo: Press AssociationThe title of this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special has been revealed on Children in Need to be:

A trailer for the episode was broadcast tonight, which also introduced the Doctor's new friend-to-be, Clara (as played by Jenna-Louise Coleman). In addition, a special minisode was broadcast earlier in the evening to introduce the episode - The Great Detective featured the Doctor's old friends Vastra, Jenny and Strax in their attempts to coax him out of retirement ...

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Big Finish: Dark EyesBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 November 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Big Finish have released details about their new adventure for the Eighth Doctor, as played by Paul McGann:
The Eighth Doctor in new costume. Photo: Big Finish"We have a long history of adventures with the Eighth Doctor," says writer/director Nicholas Briggs, "and we'd just got to the end of four years' worth of adventures with Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller. So, I wanted to create a fresh start for Paul McGann and our listeners. It's a real jumping-on point where the Doctor is embroiled in a whole new, gigantic adventure. You can listen to this without ever having heard an Eighth Doctor audio drama before and understand every word and nuance. Of course, if you want to go back and find out what happened before, you can always do that too."

Dark Eyes introduces a new companion for the Eighth Doctor in the form of Molly O’Sullivan, played by Ruth Bradley, a volunteer nurse who he meets in France during the First World War. "I wanted there to be a new companion who had something different to offer," Nick continues. "Someone mentioned that there'd never been an Irish companion in the TARDIS and I was already thinking of making her someone who was involved in the First World War, so the two things came together to make something rather unique in the form of Molly O'Sullivan. She's a girl who's seen and experienced the most terrible, harrowing things, so she's no innocent and she's not really a willing participant in the Doctor's adventures. Also, she is the 'Dark Eyes' of the title, so the adventure is all about her relationship with the Doctor."

Dark Eyes also showcases a new costume for Paul McGann’s Doctor, which was designed and made by WETA Workshop. "That's something that Paul McGann worked out with an great Australian guy called William Geradts who organises conventions Down Under," Nick explains. "He and Paul got chatting about creating a new image for the Eighth Doctor and Bill got WETA to make it for him. Paul loved it and came to us, asking if we'd be prepared to use it. Since the Eighth Doctor had had so many adventures with us, and it seemed odd that he'd keep that Wild Bill Hickok costume on for so long, we thought it was high time for a change. Our Doctors show so much loyalty, continuing to work with us over the years, so we're always happy to incorporate their ideas and this was one we were very keen to embrace. We sent the images to the BBC, they approved them, so off we went! It's a brave new era with a great new look."

As mentioned above, McGann is joined by Ruth Bradley, who recently appeared in the mini-series Titanic (which also co-starred Jenna-Louise Coleman) and is known in sci-fi circles for her role as Emily Merchant in Primeval. Peter Egan plays Straxas: the actor is about to appear in Downton Abbey this Christmas, but is probably best known from Ever Decreasing Circles; for Big Finish he previously played Moloch in Protect and Survive. Toby Jones plays Kotris: the actor's Doctor Who credentials include playing the Doctor himself - aka the Dream Lord - in 2010's series episode Amy's Choice; other credits include playing Dobby in the Harry Potter films, and also appearing in Titanic alongside Bradley.

Dark Eyes (available to order)
by Nicholas Briggs
starring Paul McGann, Ruth Bradley and Peter Egan

'I really hoped it would be a wonderful view... to look back from the end of everything... to see how things finally turned out.'

The Doctor is looking for hope. But instead, he finds himself on a mission. The Time Lords have uncovered terrifying fragments of an insane plot to destroy the universe. And somehow, at the centre of that plot is one, random female in Earth’s history, Molly O’Sullivan.

Soon, the Doctor and Molly find themselves thrown headlong into a series of dangerous and terrifying adventures, with the dreaded Daleks never far behind them.