Planet 55 statement regarding Doctor Who animationsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 7 August 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Animation studio Planet 55 have issued the following statement regarding their involvement with creating animated episodes of Doctor Who:

Planet 55 Studios (Credit: Planet 55 Studios)There have been many queries about Planet 55 Studios's work on Doctor Who and whether we are doing any more.

To date, Planet 55 Studios has completed work on three Doctor Who animated reconstructions for BBC Worldwide's DVD range: The Reign of Terror, The Tenth Planet and most recently The Moonbase. We really enjoyed creating those but they are the only Doctor Who stories Planet 55 Studios have worked on and there are no plans to work on any more.

At the moment the company is focused on animation projects completely unconnected to Doctor Who.

The release comes as the status of the last expected classic series DVD, The Underwater Menace, remains uncertain.





Planet 55 may leave AustraliaBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 - Posted By Vitas Varnas
The Australian animation company behind the re-creation of Doctor Who stories has told the Australian parliament it may need to relocate to the UK due to difficulties accessing broadband in the country.

Planet 55 Studios, which has animated some of the recent Doctor Who missing stories including The Reign of Terror and The Tenth Planet, told the Senate Select Committee for the National Broadband Network that the lack of bandwidth to the company's headquarters on the Central Coast of New South Wales was seriously frustrating the work of the company.

The organisation needs to move about 30 gigabytes of data per day. Austen Atkinson, the studio's head, told the committee the company had installed fibre to its premises and was paying AU$1,600 per month for a 50Mbps down, 50Mbps up link.
We could do with eight times that but we simply cannot get it. So we installed a line at AU$1,600 a month. We would love to install multiple ones but we cannot because there is not enough bandwidth. I will use any technology that works to get this out. At the moment it is called 'post'. That is what we are having to do. It slows down our productivity massively and costs us serious money. It would add about AU$1 million to transfer, which we could easily have spent on talent here. We could have trained more talent and spent it on animators, which I would much rather have done.
Mr Atkinson said the company was taking on more work for the BBC and so it was considering relocating to Cardiff in the United Kingdom.
The fact is that it is very attractive to look at in the UK at the moment, because the economy is booming again now; it is growing in my sector tremendously. As a result of Doctor Who's success and so forth, there is a huge culture in Cardiff.
Source: ZD Net




The Moonbase: animation creditsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Moonbase - R2 Cover (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Pup Ltd, the company responsible for the classic Doctor Who range of DVDs over the last few years, have reported that several of the lead creatives involved with the production of the animated episodes of the recently released The Moonbase were absent from the credits due to a technical error.

Executive producer Dan Hall has confirmed the following:
As the Executive Producer of the commissioning company I should like to confirm that the following should have recieved credits as Animators on the project:

Chris W Chapman
Crystal Chappell
Sarah Harper
Hayley Parker
Derek Moore
Thomas Barkel
Charlotte Barkel
David Donnelly
Tim Proust
Joshua Wolski
James Marsh

Their involvement was of an important creative level, and was crucial in producing what was both a creative and commercial success for the Classic Doctor Who DVD range.

The Moonbase is available now from our Region 1 and Region 2 Amazon shops.

(with thanks to Dan Hall/Pup Ltd)




Moonbase animation clipBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 - Reported by Josiah Rowe
BBC Worldwide's doctorwho.tv site has released an exclusive clip from the forthcoming DVD of the 1967 Patrick Troughton serial The Moonbase. Episodes two and four of this story remain in the BBC archives; episodes one and three have been animated to the original soundtrack for this DVD release. The clip, from the animated episode three, shows Cybermen marching across the surface of the Moon in preparation for their attack on the eponymous moonbase.


The Moonbase DVD will be released on January 20 in Region 2 (Europe, Japan, Middle East, South Africa), on January 22 in Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, South and Central America) and February 11 in Region 1 (US and Canada).




First Doctor regenerates in animationBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 6 March 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Tenth Planet - Episode 4 Animation. Credit: BBC WorldwideBBC Worldwide have released a new clip from the forthcoming animation for episode for of The Tenth Planet, which features the original change of lead actor from William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton:

Talking about the sequence, lead animator Chris Chapman said:
We knew that we had to throw everything at this scene and in fact the whole story is historic, with the first appearance of the Cybermen, so we really worked very hard on it. It was a real pleasure. It has definitely made me a fan of Doctor Who.



The DVD is due to be released in late 2013.





The Reign of Terror: related animationsBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 January 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide have released a number of videos to tie in with The Reign of Terror coming out on DVD next Monday.

In Animating the Doctor, lead animator Chris Chapman from Planet 55 Studios demonstrates the process of bringing the First Doctor to animated life in his attire as a regional officer from the Provinces. Travelling with the Doctor is a creation by the company of the First Doctor within the TARDIS as he prepares to undertake his travels. Finally, A glimpse inside the First Doctor's TARDIS presents a brief colour animation of the console room as it was imagined during the first season of the show.





The Snowmen: publicity coverageBookmark and Share

Monday, 24 December 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster



Jenna-Louise Coleman was a guest on BBC Breakfast this morning, chatting about her impending arrival as Clara in tomorrow's The Snowmen, and how this relates to her previous appearance back in September, in Asylum of the Daleks:
The Clara you will meet in the Christmas Special is living in Victorian London, working in a pub, also living a bit of a double life as a governess looking after some children ...

We've already met Oswin in Asylym of the Daleks ... Basically it's what been referred to as "a soft mystery", and if anybody's hoping to get any answers ... it's something that will be ongoing for quite a while and in true Steven Moffat style you won't really get any answers in the Christmas Special, it will just raise more questions, and get more and more complicated and fascinating.
In a pre-recorded interview with entertainment correspondent Liza Mzimba, she said:
It's a mystery. I've met the Doctor once before, which he doesn't quite know yet, and it all begins to piece together and I keep popping up ...

Talking about the interaction between her character and the Doctor, she said:
It's been a really interesting process for me and for Matt how a new companion will change the Doctor and vice-versa, and trying to find our dynamic and how we're going to move forward with the show. It's been really interesting, like Matt said, the kind of days where he would be discovering things and finding ways in which the Doctor is changing and is different with his new companion.
Matt Smith mentioned the relationship between the two to Lizo:
They're figuring each other out, and it's just wonderful to see it at the start, because it reinvogorates the show. You see these two people meeting, and sussing each other out - so it's about learning how they get on together, and seeing them size each other up.

I think there's always a bit of sexual tension between the Doctor and the companion ... so I hope so!
Matt Smith was interviewed in The Independent, where he also commented on the new relationship:
The Doctor under Amy and Rory eventually became like their pet, he was just this sort of strange pet that could talk, that would sweep in every now and then. He's meeting someone new because he presents himself in a hew light and she forces him to be a different version of himself slightly.

As always with Doctor Who, the essence and heartbeat of the show is the same – old alien, hot chick travel through the universe and get into capers. That will always be the heartbeat of the show and it's whether it’s more flirtatious, whether there's more attraction, whether there's more zing, you'll have to wait and find out. I’m sure we'll cover all that territory.
He also explained a little more about the Doctor's grief at the start of the episode:
There's a great deal of time that's passed in cunning story terms. It's great because you kind of go: "500 years later..." but the burden of that loss will always be with him. Like the burden of losing Rose Tyler or whoever it is – is always with him to some extent. But I think particularly for my Doctor it is. Amy and Rory were so significant. But what I would say as well is I always think it's important for the show for that grieving to have its place but move on. I felt it affected Martha's journey quite a lot that he was always talking about Rose, which is completely understandable, because the Tenth Doctor and Rose had such a wonderful connection but the show has to propel forward back into adventure mode.

Videos

Lizo Mzimba's preview of The Snowmen is available to watch on the BBC News website. The BBC have also released an interview with Matt and Jenna as part of their Adventure Calendar.





People RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 18 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Matt Smith is to feature on Top Gear as the "star in the reasonably priced car" - recorded last Wednesday, his attempt will appear in the episode due to be broadcast at 8:00pm, 26th February on BBC2/BBCHD. Both of his predecessors have attempted this in the past, with Christopher Eccleston in 2005 (completed in 1:53:4) and David Tennant in 2007 (1:48:8, watch here).

Alex Kingston talks about the period setting on Upstairs, Downstairs (returning to BBC1 tomorrow evening at 9:30pm): "Oh yes, setting this series just before the Second World War is clever. In 2012, our world is changing radically and that is reflected in Upstairs Downstairs, too. These characters are on the verge of something, they don’t know what is going to happen and people will identify with their fears. This is the beginning of the modern world and here is a society just clinging onto what they know, but it is going to change irrevocably." [What's on TV, 16 Feb 2012]

Sylvester McCoy will be playing the lead role as Mr Peters in Plume by the Tron Theatre Company in Glasgow; it runs from 1st-17th March. The actor will also be a guest on Janice Forsyth's show on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday. [JaniceForsyth, 16 Feb 2012]

The CBeebies animated series Tree Fu Tom, featuring the vocal talents of Sophie Aldred and David Tennant, starts on Monday 5th March. [BBC Media Centre]

Cosima Shaw (Steffi Ehrlich, The Waters of Mars) plays Emma, Colin McFarlane (Alien Voices, Voyage of the Damned) Terrence, and Miranda Raison (Tallulah, Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks) Kate in the new three-episode series of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, based on the books by Douglas Adams. The transmission date and time are yet to be confirmed, but it is currently due to start on BBC Four during the week beginning Saturday 3rd March. [BBC Media Centre]

The theatrical version of The King's Speech, featuring Ian McNeice as Winston Churchill and which premiered in Guildford earlier this month, is to transfer to Wyndham's Theatre on Thursday 22nd March for a four-month West End run, following its provincial tour. [BBC News, 17 Feb 2012]

John Simm is appearing on stage as Jerry in Betrayal by Harold Pinter at The Crucible in Sheffield from Thursday 17th May to Saturday 9th June. [@john_simm]

Just opened in the West End - appropriately enough at the Noel Coward Theatre - is Hay Fever, Coward's classic comedy of bad manners, with Lindsay Duncan (Adelaide Brooke in The Waters of Mars) leading a cast that also includes Kevin McNally (Hugo Lang in The Twin Dilemma), Olivia Colman (Mother, The Eleventh Hour),and Sam Callis (Security Guard, Bad Wolf). It is on until Saturday 2nd June. [Broadwayworld.com, 17 Feb 2012]

Brian Cox (Voice of Elder Ood, The End of Time: Part One) and Ron Donachie (Steward, Tooth and Claw) are to star in a new three-part TV comedy called Bob Servant Independent. Set in Dundee and airing on BBC Four later this year, the show's origins lie in the hit BBC Radio Scotland comedy The Bob Servant Emails and the best-selling Bob Servant books, and will see the title character, played by Cox, bid to become the MP for Broughty Ferry. [BBC Media Centre, 16 Feb 2012]

Ronnie Corbett has received his CBE from the Queen at an investiture at Buckingham Palace. As reported previously, the comedian, who played Ambassador "Rani" Ranius in the 2009 Sarah Jane Adventures special for Comic Relief, was recognised in this year's New Year Honours list for services to entertainment and charity. [BBC News, 16 Feb 2012]

The latest Doctor Who crewmember that can be followed on Twitter is James Strong (@jimmystrong); the David Tennant-era director's work has most recently been seen on screen in Law and Order UK and Downton Abbey, and the film United (which also featured Tennant).

In Memoriam

Fight choreographer and fencing Olympian Bob Anderson has died aged 89. He had just one role in Doctor Who - that of Fighting Guard in episode 4 of The Enemy of the World - but achieved great acclaim in the film industry, working with - among others - Errol Flynn and coaching Charlie Sheen and Johnny Depp. Most notably, perhaps, he played Darth Vader in fight scenes in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, standing in for Dave Prowse. [The Stage, 14 Feb 2012]




Bernice Summerfield: Animated AdventureBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Big Finish have announced that an online adventure featuring Bernice Summerfield will be available from September.

Bernice Summerfield or Benny, is a character originally created by author Paul Cornell as a new companion of the Seventh Doctor in Virgin Publishing's range of original full-length Doctor Who novels. Since 1998 Big Finish Productions have been producing officially licensed audio dramas starring the character.

The latest adventure, Dead and Buried, is a 10-minute CGI animated adventure that will be available to view absolutely free of charge. Lisa Bowerman is back playing Benny, who is returning to her roots as an archaeologist – although it isn’t long before she’s being pursued through the ruins of an alien world by a deadly adversary.

Dead and Buried is animated by Alex Mallinson, who has been working on the project for months and says
I’ve created animated trailers for Cyberman and Dalek Empire in the past but this is a much more complicated prospect. John Ainsworth and Eddie Robson have written a cracking yarn which is proving a joy and a challenge to animate. It’s taken weeks of patient construction, animation, rendering and compositing but it doesn’t truly spring to life until Matthew Cochrane’s evocative sound design is added. However it’s still proven more work than any of us imagined, which is why Benny Series 11 has been delayed a month. I hope this will make up for it!

There’s a glimpse of what’s to come in the teaser trailer, available at the Big Finish website.



The final animation will be available in September, completely free and will lead into the events of Bernice Summerfield 11.1 Resurrecting the Past.





Doctor Who - The Adventure Game - Part TwoBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 22 June 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: The Adventure GamesThe second instalment of Doctor Who: The Adventure Game, will be called Blood of the Cybermen and will be available to download in the UK from Saturday 26th June via the BBC Site.

The details were announced at a special press launch in Scotland where writer, Phil Ford, one of the Executive Producers, Charles Cecil and voice of the Cybermen and Daleks, Nick Briggs, answered questions from around the country.

Two script extracts are available from the official site.

Extract One

Extract Two

The first part of the Adventure was released earlier in the month and has been downloaded over half a million times.




Doctor Who: Adventure Game - Episode TwoBookmark and Share

Saturday, 19 June 2010 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: Adventure GamesDetails of the second instalment of Doctor Who: The Adventure Game will be released at a special event next Tuesday.

Lead writer and Executive Producer Steven Moffat will join Nicholas Briggs, voice of the Daleks and Cybermen, at a special Question and Answer event being held at Gavinburn Primary School in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. The duo will take Questions from pupils at the school at the event which takes place at 10am. Other schools in Scotland can participate via the Glow Scotland site.

A further Question and answer session with the Doctor Who team will take place in the afternoon and will be streamed on the BBC Website.

The second game in the series is set in the Arctic and features an army of Cybermen.




Dreamland for North AmericaBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 January 2010 - Reported by Marcus
DreamlandThe animated story Dreamland will be be released in North America on 4th May. The 45 minute story was originally made for the BBC's interactive service.

The story features the vocal talents of David Tennant, Georgia Moffett, David Warner, Stuart Milligan and Clark Peters and is set in the infamous alien hotspot Roswell. It is described by writer Phil Ford as 'Doctor Who meets a Fifties monster B-movie'.

Like the UK release, the DVD will be part of a two disc set and will feature the three documentaries looking back at the last five years of Doctor Who, Doctor Who's Greatest Moments, which were shown in the UK last summer.

More details and the cover can be seen at TVShowsonDVD

The DVD is released in the UK on 1st February.




Dreamland on the Red ButtonBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 16 December 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC Press Office have released information on the number of viewers that have used the red button facility on digital television, and revealed that the animated adventure Dreamland was watched by almost one million people.

John Denton, Managing Editor, BBC Red Button, said: "This year has proven that audiences love choice and enjoy the extra interactivity that the red button service can provide and we're pleased that, as UK television becomes fully digital, we've been able to take this incredible performance to even more viewers."

"Traditional" broadcasting ratings are reported here.




Dreamland RatingsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 6 December 2009 - Reported by Marcus
The animated adventure Dreamland was watched by an estimated 0.45 million viewers on BBC Two for its first television broadcast. The six episodes have been available for UK viewers to watch online, but this is the first time the complete programme has been available.

The audience share was 6.5% and the programme was the second highest-rated in its timeslot, getting double the audience of CITV.

The HD audience was below the threshold for accurate analaysis.