The War Master Returns for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 July 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The War Master: The Master of Callous (Credit: Big Finish)Sir Derek Jacobi is reprising his role as the Master, in an on-going four series special from Big Finish Productions.

After appearing originally in just one television episode of Doctor Who: Utopia back in 2007 alongside David Tennant, Freema Agyeman and John Barrowman, in a few fleeting minutes Derek Jacobi’s incarnation of the Doctor’s arch nemesis made an unforgettable impression on viewers.

Big Finish were delighted to bring Derek Jacobi back as the Master for a set of four adventures last year in the critically acclaimed The War Master: Only the Good, and are now overjoyed to confirm that he’ll return for another three series.

The second series, The War Master: The Master of Callous sees the Master in a brand new four-part adventures, furthering his exploits in the Time War.

On the mining colony Callous, Elliot King struggles to meet the demands of its governor, Teremon. The odds are stacked against him, and his options are running low. The world that once promised dreams now offers only despair.

A wild Ood stalks the forests, carrying an antiquated phone. The caller promises much – he claims he can change the world – but he always speaks a devastating truth. He is the Master and the Ood will obey him... but to what end?
  1. Call for the Dead by James Goss
  2. The Glittering Prize by James Goss
  3. The Persistence of Dreams by Guy Adams
  4. Sins of the Father by Guy Adams
Nicholas Briggs, executive producer and script editor of the series, told us more on this new arc of stories:
As we travel further with the Master through the Time War, there are epic implications as well as very personal stories. There’s a distinctly dark and mystical feel to some of the episodes, but ultimately we discover that the Master laid some truly dastardly plans before it all started, and that his warped ambition knows no bounds.

It’s been such a pleasure script editing this series. Working closely with producer Scott Handcock, my aim has been to create a balance of the epic and the deeply personal.
Scott Handcock, producer and director of The War Master series:
Even before we finished recording The War Master: Only The Good, Derek had told us how much he wanted to come back, and another series of brand-new adventures for the War Master got an instant green light!

We’ve some really exciting stories in store over the next three box sets, kicking off with The Master of Callous by James Goss and Guy Adams, which also features the return of the subservient Ood. It’s a grand four part masterplan, and I can’t wait for people to hear it come December!
Executive Producer, Jason Haigh-Ellery, adds
Derek Jacobi was amazing in the first series of The War Master,” says “His Master appears at first to be a supportive and friendly Time Lord who wants to help those around him – but there is an underlying malevolent desire for carnage. Derek’s Master’s ruthless desire to win his own game at all costs makes this the Hannibal Lecter regeneration (a part Derek auditioned for) and is truly terrifying.


The War Master: The Master of Callous kicks off the next set of adventures in December 2018.

Series three, The War Master: Rage of the Time Lords will follow in July 2019 written by Tim Foley and David Llewellyn, and series four, The War Master: Anti-Genesis written by Nicholas Briggs and Alan Barnes will complete the saga in December 2019.

All four series can be pre-ordered individually for £20 on download or £23 on CD, or you can save money in a specially-priced War Master bundle with all four series at £80 on download or £90 on CD. If you’ve previously purchased The War Master: Only the Good, you can get series 2–4 at £60 on CD or £68 on download.




From the Archive: DW Season 12 Blu-ray Set EditionBookmark and Share

Monday, 2 July 2018 - Reported by Marcus
From the Archive Episode 9: DW Season 12 Blu-ray Set EditionThe latest edition of the podcast From the Archive: A British Television, produced in association with Kaleidoscope, the nonprofit organisation that recovers and stores classic television programmes, focuses on the new Doctor Who Season 12 Blu-ray set.

Doctor Who has an established history of DVD sets full of extras and documentaries about the series’ past. Now, as classic Doctor Who enters the realm of Blu-ray sets by season, how do they top themselves?

In this episode of From the Archive: A British Television Podcast, Greg Bakun takes a look at how the team led by Russell Minton decided to evolve the range to not only make it more appealing to fans but unleash the floodgates of archive material never made available to the public before now.

Bakun talks to Russell Minton about his vision for these sets, Richard Bignell about the research and work that went into providing the loads of archive material to this set that has never been available to fans before now, Ed Stradling about updating old documentaries and making new ones for this set, and Derek Handley who not only talks about the work that goes into the photo galleries but also the BBC Photographic Library and his work tracking down photos we have not seen before for the sets.

The podcast also includes Stephen Cranford who was a close friend to Graham Strong who recently passed away. Graham gave fans the gift of crystal clear audio recordings to many missing Doctor Who episodes and the podcast pays tribute to his legacy and finds out more about who Graham was.

The Podcast can be found here.

Feedback or questions on the podcast or general inquiries can be sent to feedback@fromthearchive.co.uk.





Class Returns in Audio for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Thursday, 31 May 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Class (Credit: Big Finish)The Doctor Who spin-off Class, created by Young Adult author Patrick Ness is returning in six new audio plays from Big Finish Productions.

The series, released in August 2018, will feature six new adventures from the world of Coal Hill Academy.

Class was created by the BBC to appeal to the young adult market and initially released in the UK on the BBC Three online platform. However the series struggled to make an impact and when it was later screened on BBC One, it failed to find an audience, getting viewing figures around a third of the timeslot average. After one season the series was cancelled by the BBC.

Big Finish is now reviving the series on audio with six new adventures made in arrangement with BBC Studios.

Set during the television series, the new version features the original cast. Greg Austin plays Charlie Smith, Fady Elsayed plays Ram Singh, Sophie Hopkins plays April MacLean, Vivian Oparah plays Tanya Adeola, Jordan Renzo plays Matteusz Andrzejewski and Katherine Kelly plays Miss Andrea Quill.
Spread over two volumes, the six new adventures find the students of Coal Hill Academy reunited and crossing paths with characters from the Doctor Who universe.
  • 1.1 Gifted by Roy Gill
  • 1.2 Life Experience by Jenny T Colgan
  • 1.3 Tell Me You Love Me by Scott Handcock
  • 2.1 Everyone Loves Reagan by Tim Foley
  • 2.2 Now You Know… by Tim Leng
  • 2.3 In Remembrance by Guy Adams


Jordan Renzo (Matteusz Andrzejewski), Greg Austin (Charlie Smith) (Credit: Big Finish)Sophie Aldred, Greg Austin. Katherine Kelly (Credit: Big Finish)Vivian Oparah (Tanya Adeola), Fady Elsayed (Ram Singh), Sophie Hopkins (April MacLean) (Credit: Big Finish)Sophie Hopkins (April MacLean), Vivian Oparah (Tanya Adeola), Taj Atwal (Reagan Harper), Fady Elsayed (Ram Singh) (Credit: Big Finish)


The series will also see Seventh Doctor companion Ace, played by Sophie Aldred, return to Coal Hill in an adventure following up her previous skirmish with the Daleks in the Doctor Who television episode, Remembrance of the Daleks.

Director and Producer Scott Handcock says
It’s a real thrill having brought Torchwood back on audio, to do the same all over again with another slice of the Doctor Who universe, and to play in a world created by Patrick Ness. The characters and their relationships are key to the success of a series like Class, and the intimacy of the audio medium allows us to bring that to the fore.

We’ve had a great deal of fun reuniting the original cast for the audio series, telling brand-new stories set within the TV run, whilst tackling a host of alien menaces. Of course I couldn’t resist linking up to the Doctor Who universe, and bringing Ace and the Daleks into the world of Class has been an absolute treat. And for full authenticity, we’re lucky to have series composer Blair Mowat return to the world of Class as well.
Nicholas Briggs, executive producer says
Big Finish has a strong tradition of venturing into all areas of the Doctor Who universe, so it’s great that we’re invading Coal Hill Academy too. We’ve had so many requests from listeners about us producing audio drama based on Class, so this is something we’ve been keen to do for some time. For me, personally, it’s going to be great to bring some good, old fashioned exterminating to the format!
Class is available for pre-order now at £23 on CD or £18 on download from the Big Finish site and will remain at this price until general release when it will be available for £25 on CD or £20 on download.




River Song versus the Masters for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Thursday, 3 May 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Derek Jacobi and Alex Kingston
Michelle Gomez
Eric Roberts
River Song will be facing the Masters for Big Finish in the fifth series of The Diary of River Song, released January 2019.

The series will see Michelle Gomez return as Missy and Eric Roberts reprise his portrayal of the Master after a 22 year hiatus. They will join Geoffrey Beevers, who first played the Master in Doctor Who TV episode The Keeper of Traken in 1981 and Derek Jacobi, who played the Master in 2008 episode Utopia and continues at Big Finish

Over the course of four audio series made in arrangement with BBC Studios, River Song, played by Alex Kingston has shone alongside several incarnations of the Doctor, including Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, Peter Davison and upcoming in August, Tom Baker.

Now, in January 2019, River Song will face off against four regenerations of The Master, the mortal enemy of the Doctor, in the fifth series of adventures.
  • The Bekdel Test by Jonathan Morris
  • Animal Instinct by Roy Gill
  • The Lifeboat and the Deathboat by Eddie Robson
  • Concealed Weapon by Scott Handcock
David Richardson, producer, tells all.
It’s a medley of Masters! In previous box sets River has been travelling back through the Doctor’s incarnations. This time around she is meeting some of the Masters – and we have some amazing firsts in this box set! Yes, it’s the first time Eric Roberts has returned to the role since the TV movie in 1996, and the first appearance of Michelle Gomez as Missy in a Big Finish production. With Derek Jacobi as the War Master and Geoffrey Beevers as the decayed Master, it’s an unmissable line-up!
Nicholas Briggs, executive producer
This is something we’ve been so incredibly excited about for so long. It’s been thrilling enough for us to work with Alex for all the River releases, but to put her against the Doctor’s former best friend turned archenemy is not a little mind-blowing. Fantastic that we’re getting an opportunity to work with Michelle again, after her first appearance (at Big Finish) with Sylvester McCoy back in 2007! But somehow strangely incredible that Eric Roberts is back from the 1996 TV movie. It’s frankly ‘clash of the icons’ in a really mind-blowing box set.
Jason Haigh-Ellery, executive producer, talks more about bringing these actors to audio
Working with Eric was a complete joy. Firstly, he is such a nice man and so easy to communicate with. Secondly, he likes to work and he likes to work fast. Scenes whizz by and we are all enjoying yourselves so much that you forget you are directing an Oscar nominee with over 450 movies under his belt (which should be intimidating – but isn’t). He’s very down to earth – no ego or vanity involved. I hope we work together again soon!

Having Michelle Gomez return to Big Finish is wonderful – a lovely lady, who was magnificent as Missy in the past couple of seasons of Doctor Who. I can’t wait for everyone to hear her and Alex Kingston together!
The Diary of River Song: Series 5 is available for pre-order now at £23 on CD or £20 on download.

The Diary of River Song: Series 5 can also be purchased as a bundle with The Diary of River Song: Series 4, to be released in August 2018, at the price of £45 on CD and £40 on download (all CD purchases from the Big Finish website unlock a download exclusive from the Big Finish website and app).




Competition RoundupBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 November 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A roundup of competitions now open for entry - all competitions are open worldwide with a closing date of Sunday 3rd December 2017.

BBC Worldwide: Shada [order from Amazon UK

"Delicate matter, slightly. It's about a book..." Chris Parsons is happily engrossed in studying post-graduate physics at Cambridge, when one day he finds an old book, sitting on a dusty shelf in an ageing professor's library. Written in a language nobody can read and made of a paper that can't be torn, this is no ordinary book. And when it enters his life, everything changes for young Chris Parsons. Soon finding himself aboard an invisible space-ship, chased by monsters made of molten rock; aboard an alien prison on a distant planet and attacked by a horde of mind-control zombies. Chris also meets a strange man with a very long scarf who claims he can travel through time and space... in a police box. It's going to be a busy day for Chris Parsons. An abandoned Doctor Who classic is brought to life. Starring Tom Baker and written by Douglas Adams, this is “Shada” for a modern audience, with footage upscaled to high definition, and incomplete footage now completed using high-quality animation.
Shada (Credit: BBC Worldwide)To be in with a chance to win the story on Blu Ray, simply answer the following question:
This release isn't the first time Shada has been animated, but what was the main difference between the original and the 2003 online version of the story?
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-shada@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "It's just a Gallifreyan Nursery Book". Open to readers within the United Kingdom. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

BBC Audio: The Five Doctors [order from Amazon UK

Jon Culshaw reads this classic novelisation of Doctor Who's special 20th Anniversary TV adventure, featuring the Doctor in each of his first five incarnations. Each one has been removed from his time-stream and - with one unfortunate exception - brought to the Death Zone on Gallifrey. There they, along with an array of their loyal former companions, encounter numerous deadly obstacles including Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti, the Master and a fiendish set of puzzles. Who is the ultimate enemy they must all unite to defeat? Based on Terrance Dicks's epic TV adventure, first broadcast in 1983, The Five Doctors offered readers a chance to turn the clock back and meet some old friends – and some old enemies.
Doctor Who: The Five Doctors (Credit: BBC Audio)To be in with a chance to win the audiobook courtesy of BBC Audio, simply answer the following question:
What was unusual about the publication date of the original Target novelisation of The Five Doctors?
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-fivedoctors@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Above, Between, Below". Open to readers worldwide. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

BBC Audio: The Classic TV Adventures Collection Two [order from Amazon UK

Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davison star as the Doctor in these narrated full-cast TV soundtracks of classic Doctor Who TV serials. Each one is enhanced with linking narration by a member of the original cast, including Frazer Hines, Caroline John, Richard Franklin, Louise Jameson, Lalla Ward and Janet Fielding. The six stories included in this volume are The Krotons, The Ambassadors of Death, The Mind of Evil, Horror of Fang Rock, City of Death and Warriors of the Deep, and they feature encounters with crystalline monsters, lost aliens, an alien mind parasite, a Rutan scout, Scaroth of the Jagaroth, and the combined might of the Silurians and the Sea Devils.
Doctor Who: Classic TV Adventures - Collection Two (Credit: BBC Audio)To be in with a chance to win the audiobook courtesy of BBC Audio, simply answer the following question:
Which of these stories has yet to be scheduled for release as an audiobook (book adaptation)?
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 "Sound Invasions". Only one entry per household will be accepted.

Galaxy 4: Return to Devil's End Signed Print [order from Galaxy 4

Personally signed by RICHARD FRANKLIN and JOHN LEVENE with facsimile printed signatures of JON PERTWEE and NICHOLAS COURTNEY. This image taken during the RETURN TO DEVIL'S END video shoot in Aldbourne has never before been released. A4.
Return To Devil's End print (Credit: Galaxy 4)To be in with a chance to win one of the prints courtesy of Galaxy 4, simply answer the following question:
Which real-life village represented Devil's End during filming for The Daemons?
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-galaxy4@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Fancy a dance, Brigadier?". Open to readers worldwide. Only one entry per household will be accepted.




Germany: Silver Nemesis Extended, German-language Big Finish audios and moreBookmark and Share

Monday, 6 November 2017 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
Siebter Doctor Collector's Edition (Credit: Pandastorm Pictures)Many new products have been announced in Germany  recently.

  • German DVD distributer Pandastorm Pictures announced at the Doctor Who convention TimeLash III on the last weekend of October a limited boxed set featuring all of the 7th Doctor stories, including new bonus features and the never-before-on-DVD released and newly remastered Silver Nemesis Extended edition. This longer cut of the Season 25 story has previously only been released on VHS in the UK.
    The set will be called Siebter Doktor - Special Collector's Edition and presented in a valuable hardcover book in coffee table format. The set is limited to 1,000 copies, each with an impressed number. Script editor Andrew Cartmel has written over 52 pages of production notes on each story, which can be found in the English language as well as in a German translation. The 17 region-free DVD's contain all adventures in English and German audio as well as English and German subtitles and over 24 hours of bonus material. Anther new bonus feature will be the BBC America special Doctor Who Revisited – The Seventh Doctor and an exclusive new interview with Andrew Cartmel. Product shipment is scheduled for the second week of December. This boxed set can only be ordered from Pandastorm's own shop.

  • German books and audio publisher Bastei Luebbe also announced a new project at the convention. In cooperation with Big Finish they are going to release German translations of Doctor Who audio plays, with the German dubbing actors known from TV also speaking the parts on audio. The first batch of releases will be the 10th Doctor adventures featuring Donna Noble as the companion. 27th April 2018 will see the release of Die Zeitdiebe by Jenny Colgan, Technophobie by Matt Fitton and Eiskalte Rache by Matt Fitton. All stories will be released on CD and Download. You can pre-order on the publisher's website.

  • Bastei Luebbe will also release four new novels. Scheduled for next year are:
    • Eleventh Doctor story Totenwinter (Dead of Winter) by James Goss (26th January 2018)
    • Eleventh Doctor story Der weinende Engel (Touched by an Angel) by Jonathan Morris (29th March 2018
    • Eleventh Doctor story Dunkle Gezeiten (The Coming of the Terraphiles) by Michael Moorcock (25th May 2018)
    • Third Doctor story Der Neunte Schlüssel (The Last of the Gadarene) by Mark Gatiss (27th July 2018)
    All novels will also be available in audio book format.





Dead Woman Laughing Available on CDBookmark and Share

Monday, 11 September 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Dead Woman Laughing (Credit: Fantom)Fantom has announced the release of an audio version of Daphne Ashbrook's autobiography, read by the author.

The actress, who played Dr. Grace Holloway alongside Eight Doctor Paul McGann, first released her biography in 2012.

Witty, self-effacing and painfully honest; the themes of life, death and laughter come together as Daphne Ashbrook recounts her many on-and off-screen scrapes with mortality. Packed with rich anecdotes from her career in TV, stage and film, this refreshingly candid and conversational memoir spans a childhood in a theatrical family to pulling back the curtain of Hollywood, revealing the glamour and ridiculousness of a business mired in a struggle between art and profit.

Known for both her comic timing and deep emotional portrayals, Daphne has appeared in many TV and film roles including the 1996 Doctor Who movie, in which she played the role of Dr. Grace Holloway and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the titular character in Melora. Reflecting on her life and her career, Daphne discovers the surprising patterns and hilarious absurdities that accompany being a modern-day professional actor. The result is an amusing, informative and intimate memoir.
Co-produced by Spokenworld Audio, Dead Woman Laughing is now available unabridged over 5 CDs priced £15.99.




The Doctor Who Audio AnnualBookmark and Share

Saturday, 29 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The Doctor Who Audio Annual (Credit: BBC Worldwide)BBC Worldwide is to release The Doctor Who Audio Annual featuring audio versions of vintage tales first seen in the Doctor Who Annuals published in the 1960s through to the 1980s.

The Annual, out in December, features classic adventures, from the first six incarnations of The Doctor, read by stars of the show: Peter Purves (who played companion Steven), Anneke Wills (Polly), Geoffrey Beevers (The Master), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) and Nicola Bryant (Peri).
For two decades, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, every fan of the Doctor hoped to find The Doctor Who Annual in their Christmas stocking. Larger than life and twice as colourful, the stories within were exuberant — and often charmingly naive — in their take on ‘the children’s own programme which adults adore’.

Stories include
  • The Sons of Grekk, in which the First Doctor is held prisoner in a brutal, otherworldly society. 
  • The King of Golden Death where the Second Doctor, Polly and Ben have materialised inside an Ancient Egyptian pyramid. 
  • Dark Intruders, with The Third Doctor, Jo and the Brigadier confronting a familiar adversary 
  • Conundrum with the Fourth Doctor, Adric and K9 experiencing warped physics in the corridors of the TARDIS. 
  • The Penalty, where a delirious Fifth Doctor finds old friends and adversaries ganging up on him 
  • The Real Hereward, where the Sixth Doctor and Peri plunge into a dangerous period of British history.
Also included are two vintage essays on the character of the Doctor: Who is Doctor Who? from 1966 and The Phoenix in the TARDIS from 1968.

The Annual can be pre-ordered from Amazon




Derek Jacobi returns as the Master for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Friday, 16 June 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The War Master (Credit: Big Finish)Sir Derek Jacobi will be reprising his role as the Master in new set of Audio Doctor Who adventures from Big Finish Productions.

The esteemed actor first appeared in Doctor Who ten years ago today when he brought back to life the character of The Master in the Doctor Who episode, Utopia. Sir Derek is now returning to the character in four brand new adventures, made by arrangement with BBC Worldwide, to be released in December.

Producer and Director Scott Handcock talked about the return
His incarnation is very much the ‘Hannibal Lecter’ of Time Lords – intelligent, charming, but thoroughly ruthless – we had a lot of fun in studio bringing the War Master back to life. It’s been a gift of a project, and we can’t wait for listeners to hear it!
Sir Derek said he was delighted to be playing the role once more
I didn’t expect to come back to it all these years later, but I was thrilled to be remembered. The plots in all these episodes have been very good indeed, very interesting, very dramatic, and beautifully written. The whole process has been a delight!
Doctor Who: The War Master Volume One follows the exploits of the Doctor’s arch-enemy during the course of the devastating Time War, featuring stories from acclaimed Doctor Who writers James Goss, Guy Adams and Nicholas Briggs – as well as new writing talent from Janine H Jones.

Guy Adams, who has written the final part of the story said
Once I got over the idea that giving my words to Sir Derek was rather like filling the Holy Grail with Special Brew, I allowed myself a brief cry of joy! Writing for villains is always a pleasure because a writer is roughly ninety percent more ‘stares at cat and awaits inspiration’ than ‘boils planet alive for fun’.
While Big Finish Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs added
I was lucky enough to have directed Sir Derek fourteen years ago in Deadline, so I was delighted to be able to work with him once again. The thrill for me has been just how fascinating and exhilarating it is to write a series when the leading character is a bad guy. Writing my own script and working on the others with Scott has been such a rewarding challenge. I’m really keen to do it again, and further explore exactly what the Master did get up to in the Time War.
James Goss has written part three of the series
What was exciting about this was that normally the Master loses. He puts in the hours, he works through all these elaborate plans and yet it all goes wrong. It’s not fair! It’s brilliant that Big Finish have finally awarded him for all that hard work. And, even better, it’s the most intriguing, exciting barely-glimpsed actor to have ever played the Master. What did Sir Derek do in the Time War? It’s thrilling to have helped find out.
The four stories announced are
  • 1. Beneath the Viscoid by Nicholas Briggs
  • On the ocean planet Gardezza, deep beneath the Viscoid, a mysterious capsule is recovered from the Time War, and an equally mysterious stranger found within. The Doctor’s reputation precedes him, even here… but can he be trusted?
  • 2. The Good Master by Janine H Jones
  • The Time War rages around Arcking - a planet serving as a sanctuary for the sick and injured. But Arcking is protected by a mysterious, powerful force: a force the Master will stop at nothing to harness… even if time itself is against him.
  • 3. The Sky Man by James Goss
  • When his new companion decides to save a planet, the Master indulges this most futile of requests. Materialising on a primitive, agrarian world, both the strangers quickly find their place in it… until fallout from the War invades their happy paradise.
  • 4. The Heavenly Paradigm by Guy Adams
  • With his plans approaching fruition, the Master travels to Stamford Bridge in the 1970s: a location he believes might hold the key to his success. But what terrible secret lurks under the stairs of No. 24 Marigold Lane? And what sacrifices will the Master make in the name of ultimate victory?




The War Master Volume One is available for pre-order from bigfinish.com on CD (box set) £23 and download £20. It is also available for pre-order in a bundle with upcoming releases Gallifrey: Time War and Tales of New Earth on CDs £63 and download £54.

Full details on the Big Finish website.


Scott Handcock, Derek Jacobi, Nicholas Briggs (Credit: Big Finish) Sir Derek Jacobi (Credit: Big Finish)




Who Talk: The Green DeathBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Who Talk: The Green Death (Credit: Fantom Audio)Fantom Audio have released the latest in their line of alternative Doctor Who commentaries, Who Talk, which this month focuses on the third Doctor tale The Green Death.

Producer Paul W.T. Ballard said:
This was an important story for us to revisit as we were able to bring a variety of new voices and combinations of guests to a much loved classic.

This is the first time Katy Manning and Stewart Bevan have been brought together to record a commentary for The Green Death, and the experience of hearing the life long friends discuss the series was magical.

Who Talk: The Green Death (Richard Franklin, Mitzi MciKenzie, John Levene and Toby Hadoke) (Credit: Fantom Audio)Katy and Stewart are joined for the commentary by UNIT regulars Richard Franklin and John Levene, plus Mitzi McKenzie (who played Nancy in the story) and director Michael E. Briant. The commentary is hosted by the stalwart Toby Hadoke.

In addition to the regular release, a special signed edition is also available, which as well as the commentary also includes a signature from a member of the cast, plus a free pack of four postcards featuring artwork from the Who Talk series.

Full details and how to order can be found at the Who Talk website.

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




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.




The Odd(s) DoctorBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Odds On Who (31 Jan 2017)It was inevitable that within moments of Peter Capaldi's announcement of his departure from Doctor Who fans and media would speculate on who would take over as lead actor on the show across social media - and commercial betting would begin!

This morning, William Hill currently place Ben Whishaw as favourite, at 6/1: the actor is probably best known worldwide as the character of Q in the Daniel Craig era of James Bond films, or for the younger audience as the voice of Paddington Bear in the 2014 film (and this year's sequel), and on recent television in London Spy . Next up is Richard Ayaode at 8/1, the quirky comic actor/director is best known in the UK for The IT Crowd, his travels around the world in Travel Man, and will be the host of the revived series of The Crystal Maze this year. Also at 8/1 is another name long-associated with Who-odds, Rory Kinnear (another modern James Bond stalwart as Bill Tanner), and Rupert Grint (or as most people know him, Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films!). The first actress on their list is Broadchurch's Olivia Colman at 20/1 - though ITV's Good Morning Britain reported that Miranda Hart was in fourth place at 8/1. The current list can be found via William Hill's special bet "To Replace Peter Capaldi as the next Doctor Who?".

Both Betfair and Paddy Power offer up Sherlock's Moriarty, Andrew Scott, as their joint favourite, alongside Ben Daniels (Law and Order UK, House of Cards, Star Wars: Rogue One), and Lara Pulver (Spooks, Sherlock).

During an item on the departure of Capaldi on BBC's Breakfast this morning, viewers' suggestions were read out, including names such as Hayley Attwell or Eddie Redmayne, Colin Salmon, David Harewood, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson, and Danny Dyer.


Anticipation will of course continue until the eventual new Doctor is announced by the BBC - how and when this might be is unknown at present (Capaldi's announcement in 2013 took place on a special live television programme!), but may be held off until the last series starring Capaldi has been broadcast - it will be on air between 15th April and 1st July (barring pre-emptions such as for the Eurovision Song Contest), with filming for the next series under the helm of new lead writer Chris Chibnall expected to commence not long afterwards.

Update 1st Feb: the Radio Times has reported that filming for Series 11 would not commence until Spring 2018, so an announcement of a new Doctor might not occur until next year!





Class Ratings UpdateBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Class - Ep7 - The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did - Ballon (CHIKE OKONKWO), Miss Quill (KATHERINE KELLY) (Credit: BBC/Simon Ridgeway)Class Episode Seven, The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did had an audience of 0.76 million viewers for its debut on BBC One, according the unofficial overnight figures, a share of 8% of the total TV audience.

The rating was fractionally up on the overnight figures for last week's episode. The programme was outrated by by Newsnight on BBC Two, which had 0.79 million, but it beat Through the Keyhole on ITV which had 0.65 million.

The series concluded with Episode Eight, The Lost, which followed at 11.35pm and had an audience of 0.26 million, a share of 4.7%. This episode was beaten in its timeslot Hospital on BBC 2 with 0.33 million, and marginally by The Chase on ITV which also had 0.26 million.

Consolidated ratings are now available for episodes 3 and 4 of Class, shown on BBC One two weeks ago, which include details of those who recorded the programme and watched it within a week.

Episode 3, Nightvisiting, which was broadcast at 10.47pm, had a confirmed audience of 0.79 million viewers, a 7.5% share of the total TV audience. The channel average for the timeslot is of 1.85 million. The figure is actually lower than the initial overnight figure. This can happen as the overnight figures are just an estimate based on the scheduled timeslot. The final figures are the accepted official figure for the episode. The programme won the timeslot with BBC Two's Newsnight getting 0.69 million watching. An additional 0.29 million have accessed the episode on iPlayer since its release on BBC Three last October.

Episode 4, Co-Owner Of A Lonely Heart, followed immediately afterward, starting at 11.31pm, and had a consolidated audience of 0.34 million watching, a share 5.2% of the audience. The channel average for the timeslot is 0.82 million. Episode 4 increased its audience by 21% over the initial figure. Around 250,000 have accessed the episode on iPlayer.




Fantom Publishing: Who Talk updateBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 December 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Who Talk: An Unearthly Child (Credit: Fantom Publishing)
Who Talk: Cyber60s (Credit: Fantom Publishing)
Fantom Publishing have released details on the next two releases in their Who Talk range of alternative audio commmentaries.

First up is the original television adventure, An Unearthly Child. Producer Paul W T Ballard explains:
"One of the first thoughts we had after the success of Web and Enemy, was to revisit the first Doctor Who story and complete the commentary for it. The original DVD release of An Unearthly Child covered only two out of four of the episodes, plus the pilot, whereas we have been able to introduce some new voices to the mix and complete all four instalments plus the pilot.

The commentary features William Russell (Ian Chesterton), Jeremy Young (Kal), Waris Hussein (Director), Brian Hodgson (Special Sound) and Clive Doig (Vision Mixer), and is moderated by the omnipresent Toby Hadoke.

The second release celebrates the Cyber 60s, with Paul saying:
Whilst we have an ongoing mission to cover episodes without any commentary at all, we are also having fun bringing new contributors to the fold to provide alternatives on some classic serials. I think Cyber60s is a fitting celebration of fifty years of one of Doctor Who's most popular monsters.

The set contains commentaries for the Patrick Troughton serials The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Wheel in Space and The Invasion. Moderated by both Paul and Toby, this release features Wendy Padbury (Zoe), Michael Kilgarriff (Cyber Controller), Sally Faulkner (Isobel), Sylvia James (Make-Up), Roger Bunce (Cameraman) and Marcia Wheeler (Assistant Floor Manager).


The company are also offering a special edition bundle featuring both commentaries: each set will be signed by an actor from each release as well as a both disc featuring additional commentaries on The Tenth Planet and The Moonbase. These CDs are very limited, and exclusively available via the Who Talk website.

Who Talk will return in 2017 with a full of schedule of alternative DVD Commentaries.