The Tenth Doctor and Rose Back Together for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Monday, 15 May 2017 - Reported by Marcus
David Tennant And Billie Piper are reprising their roles of the Tenth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler in three Doctor Who audio dramas from Big Finish Productions in arrangement with BBC Worldwide.

David Tennant’s Doctor, portrayed on screen from December 2005 until December 2009, returned in the 50th Anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, with Matt Smith and Sir John Hurt in 2013, and on audio for Big Finish with Catherine Tate in 2016.

Billie Piper portrayed the Doctor’s much-loved companion Rose in 2005 and 2006, returning for a number of stories in 2008. She also appeared as The Moment – which had taken Rose’s form – in The Day of the Doctor. These new stories will be Billie’s eagerly awaited debut for Big Finish.

Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery says:
Getting David and Billie back together was definitely on my bucket list – two wonderful actors who created an era of Doctor Who which is so fondly remembered and brought a different aspect of the relationship between the Doctor and his companion to the fore – love, both platonic and unrequited. It’s great to have the Tenth Doctor and Rose back again!
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2, will be released in November 2017. It is comprised of three hour-long full cast audio adventures.

The set opens with Attack of the Zaross by John Dorney, in which an alien invasion of Earth isn’t quite what it appears to be – Camille Coduri guest stars as Jackie Tyler.

In the second adventure, Sword of the Chevalier by Guy Adams, the Doctor and Rose arrive in Slough in 1791 and encounter Chevalier D’Eon, an enigmatic ex-spy who has lived his life as a woman. Together they must fend off alien slavers, who have come to Earth to abduct valuable humans.

Finally, in Cold Vengeance by Matt Fitton, the TARDIS arrives on Coldstar, a vast frozen food asteroid in deep space. But there is something sinister defrosting in the network of storage units… the Doctor’s old enemies the Ice Warriors! Nicholas Briggs plays Ice Lord Hasskor and Warrior Slaan.

Nicholas Briggs, who is the Voice of the Daleks on TV and for Big Finish, said
It was such a special time for me, working with Billie and David on the TV show, and it is such an honour to revisit it with them on audio.
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2 is produced by David Richardson who said
We were thrilled by the response to the first volume. David Tennant and Catherine Tate were on fantastic form, and it’s so exciting to reunite David with Billie Piper, playing the Doctor and Rose together again after nine years! Their time in the series transformed Doctor Who into a prime-time and international hit, and we’ve worked very hard to live up to the incredible standards of Russell T Davies.
Special Preview of the Tenth Doctor and Rose

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2 will be available in both a Limited Edition Deluxe box set, and as three individual vanilla releases.

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 1, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, is currently available on CD and download. For the next 24 hours it will be available at half price from the Big Finish website.




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Billie Piper is to star at the National Theatre in London in a new play about press intrusion and phone hacking.

The play Great Britain, written by Richard Bean and directed by Nicholas Hytner, opens on 30th June, with Piper playing the ambitious young news editor of a tabloid newspaper. The opening was delayed on legal advice due to an ongoing court case which has now been concluded. It will run on London's South Bank until 23rd August.

The play also features Robert Glenister.

A new trailer for the upcoming ABC sitcom Selfie, starring Karen Gillan, has been released.

Selfie sees Gillan play a vain, social media-obsessed airhead, Eliza Dooley, forced to learn humility from a marketing consultant. The show is described as a modern update to My Fair Lady.


Selfie will debut in the US on ABC later this year on Tuesdays at 8pm.

ITV have released a trailer for the new series Chasing Shadows, which stars Alex Kingston and Noel Clarke.

Kingston playes Ruth Hattersley in the drama, who is described as "maternal, but not mumsy", while Clarke plays DI Prior. The show also stars Reece Shearsmith, who played Patrick Troughton in An Adventure In Space And Time.




Sophie Okonedo, who played Liz 10 in The Beast Below, has won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Ruth in the play A Raisin in the Sun.

Dolore Whiteman, who played Aunt Vanessa in the Doctor Who story Logopolis, has died at her home in Australia. Whiteman was the mother of Tracey Wilson and Jodie Wilson who both appeared as the vocalist backing singers in Delta and the Bannermen.
(with thanks to Stephen Griffiths)




Moments in Time: The Trip of a LifetimeBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Moments in TimeAs one of the highest rated shows on television today, and with four (or five!) new Doctors under its belt, it's perhaps hard to imagine a time when Doctor Who was simply one of the thousands of series that had once flourished but ultimately been consigned to the great script book in the sky. But in the mid 2000s this was how the series was regarded by many, and the brave effort by the BBC to bring it back exactly nine years ago was very much a gamble - how would the 'old-school' fans receive it, and what would a 'modern' audience make of a time-traveller in a police box?

Of course, Doctor Who did have an advantage in that it was a show that was still remembered outside of its core fan base, the general public at large were aware of "Dr Who", his iconic TARDIS, and the Daleks. This helped to lend a sense of curiosity at what the new face behind the show, celebrated writer Russell T Davies, would do with the Doctor, who would be played by an established television and film actor in the form of Christopher Eccleston, not to mention the inclusion of the press-attraction of former teenage pop-star turned actress Billie Piper.

Doctor Who teaser, 1st January 2005. Image: BBCA teaser trailer on New Year's Day 2005 formally introduced the return to the general public, but it wasn't until March when the promotional gears were turned up to maximum with a host of trailers ("Do you want to come with me?") and programmes to build up interest in a way not witnessed again until the 50th Anniversary last year.

The three principal names appeared on a variety of news and magazine programmes in the lead-up to the premiere: Christopher Eccleston was a guest on the ever Who-friendly Blue Peter on the 21st March, and then came face-to-face with 'himself' on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on the 25th; Billie Piper appeared on Parkinson on the 19th; and Russell "TV" Davies appeared on the Breakfast couch on the 11th, on BBC2 Wales's On Show on the 17th, and with Phil and Fern on This Morning on the 23rd. The press preview on the 8th March was covered widely in the media, and led to recorded interviews with the stars popping up on Breakfast and GMTV during that week. Special programmes during the period included: Matthew Sweet looking forward with a little trepidation on how the show's return would fit in culturally on The Culture Show on the 17th; Ian Rankin, Bonnie Greer and Professor John Carey discussing the series' merits on Newsnight Review on the 18th; and BBC Radio 2 presenting Project: Who? on the 22nd. Doctor Who wasn't the only programme on the way - Doctor Who Confidential was also to premiere at the weekend on BBC Three, and executive producer Mark Cossey chatted to Rufus Hound on the channel's Destination Three about what to expect from the behind-the-scenes series.

BBC Wales Today coverage of Doctor Who Preview, 8 Mar 2005. Image: BBCBillie Piper interview on BBC Breakfast, 9 Mar 2005. Image: BBCChristopher Eccleston interview on BBC Breakfast, 9 Mar 2005. Image: BBCDoctor Who coverage on Newsnight, 9th March 2005. Image: BBCRussell T Davies on BBC Breakfast, 11th March 2005. Image: BBCChristopher Eccleston on GMTV, 11th March 2005. Image: BBCMatthew Sweet on The Culture Show, 17th March 2005. Image: BBCRussell T Davies on On Show, 17th March 2005. Image: BBCNewsnight Review, 18th March 2005. Image: BBCBillie Piper on Parkinson, 19th March 2005. Image: BBCChristopher Eccleston on Blue Peter, 21st March 2005. Image: BBCProject: Who?, 22nd March 2005. Image: BBCPhilip Schofield and Fern Britton on This Morning, 23rd March 2005. Image: ITVRussell T Davies on This Morning, 23rd March 2005. Image: ITVChristopher Eccleston on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, 25th Match 2005. Image: BBCMark Cossey on Destination Three, 26th March 2005. Image: BBCThe Trip of a Lifetime Trailer, 26th March 2005. Image: BBCDoctor Who ident, 26th March 2005. Image: BBCThe Trip of a Lifetime Trailer, 26th March 2005. Image: BBCDoctor Who ident, 26th March 2005. Image: BBC

Then, suddenly, it's the 26th March. As the early evening inexorably approaches, appetites are whetted with a special preview (and countdown) in A New Dimension, an excruciating wait through Graham Norton's Strictly Dance Fever ... and then, at 7:00pm, the BBC One "Tap Dogs" ident commences, with the announcement fans have been waiting over fifteen years for:
"Tap Dogs" ident, introducing a new series of Doctor Who! (Credit: BBC)Well now, BBC One hurtles through space and time.
Come with us for the trip of a lifetime!
Aliens, you have been warned ...
Christopher Eccleston is the new ... Doctor Who!


45 minutes later and an unprecedented ten million viewers - and 43.2% of the audience - have watched Rose run to the TARDIS and off into adventures with the Doctor; the final figure rose to 10.81m (44.8%) and achieved seventh place in the TV charts, only beaten by the soap juggernauts Coronation Street and EastEnders. A week later, a further series has been commissioned (not to mention a new Doctor on the cards!), and the longevity of a modern Doctor Who is assured ...





People RoundupBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 4 February 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
The BBC has taken to Twitter to warn people to avoid tweets claiming to be from either Peter Capaldi or Jenna Coleman, as neither actor has a Twitter account. In a tweet sent out from the official Doctor Who account last week, it said:

Meanwhile, Coleman has been talking about her life in travel, including her earliest holiday memory (Cornwall) and her favourite destination in Britain (Derbyshire). She says her best holiday was in The Maldives. "I went after finishing series seven of Doctor Who. I had to pinch myself because it was so picturesque. Especially because I'd gone in January, from grey London skies and concrete to all this colour and sea. It took about five days to settle in. We arrived by seaplane and barely saw anyone else the whole time. We did a catamaran trip where the hotel took us out with a picnic and snorkelling gear to a strip of sand in the middle of the ocean and left us there. You couldn't see anything else except the horizon and water. We were totally stranded." Her worst travel experience was "Christmas Eve at London Euston railway station, trying to get home to Blackpool. Everybody turns into animals. Humans stop being humans." [The Independent, 1 Feb 2014]

Tomorrow's episode of ITV drama Midsomer Murders sees an End of Time reunion of sorts take place, with Bernard Cribbins, Jacqueline King and June Whitfield among the guest cast caught up in the goings-on of The Flying Club, when an airfield owner is murdered. Cribbins plays veteran mechanic Duggie Wingate, Whitfield portrays Molly Darnley, a former Air Transport Auxiliary member with a dark secret, and King is Laura Wilding - the mother of resident pathologist Kate. Chatting about the episode last week, Cribbins said that Whitfield's character would be a love interest for Wingate. The two-hour episode airs from 8pm. [ITV Press Centre]

Paul McGann and Sophie Aldred will be among the star guests at sci-fi convention The SF Ball in Bournemouth later this week. The event takes place from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th February and Aldred, who filmed a number of her Doctor Who stories in the county, spoke of her fond memories of the place. "It was always a delight. I love Dorset and it was great to be filming there," she said, adding: "I remember having a barbecue on the sand at Lulworth Cove. Somebody had managed to wire up lights on an extension cable. We had a disco. Then we would go for walks off along Durdle Door. I remember watching shooting stars one night. It was wonderful." Aldred also said how much she enjoyed meeting the show's fans. "They are incredibly bright people. Doctor Who attracts really brilliant, brainy people," she said. (NB: McGann will only be at the event on the Friday and Saturday.) [Dorset Echo, 3 Feb 2014]

Sylvester McCoy and Karen Gillan join the guests taking part in the Sci-Fi Expo in Irving, Texas, at the weekend. Organised by Dallas Comic Con, the event will be held at the Irving Convention Center on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th February, with Gillan there on Saturday only. [TheForce.net, 30 Jan 2014]

If you miss her then, Gillan will be on the Wizard World Comic Con Tour later this year, appearing at Philadelphia Comic Con from Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd June, Chicago Comic Con from Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th August, and Austin Comic Con from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th October. [Wizard World]

Staying with the Stateside theme, Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall has spoken about David Tennant's American accent in Gracepoint - the US remake of the ITV crime drama. Tennant played Det Insp Alec Hardy in the British original and is portraying Det Emmett Carver in the US version, and Chibnall said of the actor's accent: "I've heard it's fantastic." [Radio Times, 30 Jan 2014]

Meanwhile, Broadchurch co-star Olivia Colman has been talking of the agonies of keeping a tight lid on the plot of the second series after enduring similar tongue-holding for the first one. "Now it’s all starting again, it's awful - there's no end to the secret keeping."
[Radio Times, 30 Jan 2014]

Colin Baker had a jovial dig at the BBC over the gender of the Doctor, saying: "There should [be a female Doctor]. It won't happen because they are too timid but there should be. First female Doctor? I will have a sex change and do it. I am in touch with my feminine side." [Radio Times, 29 Jan 2014]

Brian Cox is to return as Broughty Ferry burger-seller and failed politican Bob Servant for a second - shorter - TV series of the comedy Bob Servant Independent. Filming begins in May, with Bob and his long-suffering campaign manager Frank (played by Jonathan Watson) left to pick up their lives after a by-election disaster. Cox joked: "Doing Bob Servant was the worst experience of my long career, working with no-hoper talents like [series writer] Neil Forsyth and the rest of them. But these things are sent to try us and occasionally we must fly the flag for the afflicted. One has to be generous at my great age so I am happy to endorse the new series of Bob Servant. For no-hopers they're awffy nice people. I remember when I used to make movies!" The show follows in the footsteps of the Bob Servant books and radio series, with last year's TV series comprising six episodes. The second series, consisting of three episodes, will air later this year on BBC Four and BBC Two Scotland. [BBC Media Centre, 3 Feb 2014]

Following the announcement of the opening of a musical version of Back To The Future in the West End next year, speculation has been rife over who will land the plum role of Marty McFly, with Arthur Darvill being given odds of 16/1 by Paddy Power. [The Independent, 2 Feb 2014]

Billie Piper caused a stir at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin last week when she dropped by to give her support to friend Ben Power on the opening night of his play A Tender Thing. The actress is filming forthcoming psychosexual horror TV series Penny Dreadful in the area, playing Irish immigrant Brona Croft. The programme - also starring Timothy Dalton - is due to start airing on Showtime in May. [Irish Independent, 1 Feb 2014]

Alex Kingston reprises the role of Dinah Lance in an episode of Arrow, the series based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow. Entitled Heir To The Demon, the episode - which also features a character called Nyssa! - is due to air on The CW tomorrow at 8pm ET. A preview clip including Kingston is available to watch below:


And Kingston is being reunited with Sir Kenneth Branagh for a radio production of Antony and Cleopatra. The duo - who are playing the eponymous roles - starred together in Macbeth last year at Manchester International Festival, and Branagh said he was "excited to be reunited with Alex Kingston after our hugely rewarding partnership in Macbeth on stage. To play another pair of Shakespeare's great couples is a privilege." It is due to air on Radio 3 on Sunday 20th April. [The Stage, 29 Jan 2014]

Jessica Raine will be appearing as new recruit Det Con Georgia Trotman in the second series of BBC Two's police corruption drama Line of Duty, which starts on Wednesday 12th February at 9pm. She said that what worried her most was her style of running. "What I was most concerned about was not running like a girl in a police vest. I practised that a few times," she said, adding that having watched playbacks she reckoned she did OK. [Radio Times, 30 Jan 2014]

Meanwhile, Raine and David Walliams were among those pictured at the Radio Times Cover Party. [Radio Times, 29 Jan 2014]

Robert Webb is to replace Stephen Mangan as Bertie Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at The Duke of York's Theatre in London from Monday 7th April. [The Stage, 3 Feb 2014]




Who's Down UnderBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 - Repported by Connor Johnston
Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor) and Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) are both heading down under for a special tour around the country next March. The Hub Productions' Whoniverse: The Doctor is in event will see them live on stage talking about the phenomenon of Doctor Who and their lives as the Doctor and his companion. There will also be merchandise as well as rare collectibles available to purchase from dealers. Limited autographs and professional photographs will be available with the guests. The tour dates are as follows:

>>> SYDNEY MARCH 1st 2014
>>> PERTH MARCH 2nd 2014
>>> ADELAIDE MARCH 8th 2014
>>> MELBOURNE MARCH 9th 2014


Additional guests as well as venues and ticket info will be announced mid-January from the Hub's website.


Other Australian appearances include Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), who will be touring with Oz Comic-Con in Adelaide and Perth throughout March and April 2014. Tickets can be purchased from the Official Oz Comic-Con site.

Also travelling to Australia and New Zealand is Fifth Doctor Peter Davison to host the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular.




The Day of the Doctor: next wave of publicity imagesBookmark and Share

Monday, 18 November 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC and BBC America have released a number of new publicity images to promote the forthcoming The Day of The Doctor; this batch includes images of Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as the Doctor, with Jenna Coleman as Clara, Billie Piper as Rose, and Ingrid Oliver as Osgood.





Tennant and Piper top Radio Times pollBookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 November 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Radio Times, featuring the two poll winners together! (15-21 Apr 2006) (Credit: Radio Times)The Radio Times has revealed that David Tennant received more votes than any other Doctor combined, achieving a 56% share in their 50th Anniversary poll. The current incumbent of the TARDIS, Matt Smith came in second with 16%, whilst perennial classic favourite Tom Baker took the bronze with 10% of the votes.

Meanwhile, the poll for the Doctor's favourite sidekick revealed that the Tenth Doctor's companion Rose Tyler, as played by Billie Piper, also came out on top with a quarter of voters considering her the best. A much closer competition to those of the Doctor, his (first) best friend Sarah Jane Smith (aka Elisabeth Sladen) achieved 15% of the share to take second place, with bronze this time going to another 21st Century TARDIS occupant, Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), who received 12% of the votes.

Tim Glanfield, Editor for RadioTimes.com Editor, said:
Not even parallel dimensions can keep the Doctor and Rose apart. It’s clear from the results of our poll that they define a golden era of Doctor Who and helped introduce a whole new generation to the show – how fitting that they’ll be reunited next week for the 50th anniversary special.


The complete results are below:
Best DoctorBest Companion
56.1%David Tennant25.09%Rose Tyler (Billie Piper)
15.93%Matt Smith15.42%Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen)
10.05%Tom Baker12.32%Donna Noble (Catherine Tate)
6.59%Christopher Eccleston9.09%River Song (Alex Kingston)
2.86%Patrick Troughton4.79%Amy Pond (Karen Gillan)
2.38%Jon Pertwee4.1%Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines)
1.59%Peter Davison3.49%Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)
1.36%Sylvester McCoy3.09%Ace (Sophie Aldred)
1.35%Paul McGann2.65%Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman)
0.9%William Hartnell2.54%Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman)
0.88%Colin Baker2.39%Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart (Nicholas Courtney)
15.03%(Others)

There were a total of 21,384 valid votes cast in the two polls on the Radio Times website during October and November 2013.

Radio Times DiscoverTV

50th Anniversary Radio Times cover featuring The First Doctor, as revealed by DiscoverTV and RadioTimes.comRadio Times DiscoverTV is a new app designed to provide recommendations to daily television and radio, enabling users to discover new favourite programmes be they on TV, catch-up, or on-demand. The app is free to download and provides a 14 days customisable schedule for TV and radio listings, by provider and location, with basic programme information. A premium service with enhanced features is also available, with a 30 day free trial included.

As part of the launch, the app will be used to promote the twelve collectible Doctor Who Radio Times covers out next Tuesday to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. Three of the covers will be revealed within the app on Saturday, Sunday and Monday leading to all twelve being made available this coming Tuesday - the publication day of the print magazine itself.

The app is currently only available to iPad users (optimised for iOS7), with the intention to roll out to other platforms in due course.

(with thanks to RadioTimes.com




The Day of The Doctor: new publicity imagesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 14 November 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released a number of new publicity photos to promote the forthcoming 50th Anniversary adventure The Day of the Doctor. Images feature Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as the Doctor, with Jenna Coleman as Clara and Billie Piper as Rose, and featuring Joanna Page as Elizabeth and Jemma Redgrave as Kate.


The Day of The Doctor Publicity Images. Credit: BBC

In Profile: The Eleventh Doctor. Credit: BBCIn Profile: The Eleventh Doctor. Credit: BBCIn Profile: The Eleventh Doctor. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Clara. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Clara. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Elizabeth. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Elizabeth. Credit: BBCIn Profile: The War Doctor. Credit: BBCIn Profile: The War Doctor. Credit: BBCIn Profile: The War Doctor. Credit: BBCIn Profile: The Tenth Doctor. Credit: BBCIn Profile: The Tenth Doctor. Credit: BBCIn Profile: The Tenth Doctor. Credit: BBCIn Profile: The Tenth Doctor. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Zygon. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Zygon. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Zygon. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Kate. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Kate. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Rose. Credit: BBCIn Profile: Rose. Credit: BBC

The Night of The Doctor

Some publicity images are also available for the minisode, The Night of The Doctor. (Note: these images are currently hidden by default for those who have yet to see the episode and its revelations.)





People RoundupBookmark and Share

Friday, 4 October 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
David Tennant is to 'regenerate' into an American version of his character Detective Inspector Alec Hardy in a US adaptation of the successful drama Broadchurch to be made by Fox. Writer Chris Chibnall is also involved, saying: "I'm very, very fascinated to see this story in a different landscape with an acting ensemble that's just as strong but taken from really great American actors. The DNA of the original is absolutely intact and filtered through a new prism, so it should still feel just as vibrant, and interesting, and strange, and unique, and beautiful, but just in a different setting — and then it's exploring the dramatic opportunities that that offers up. We're not gonna do the terrible version. We're gonna do a great version." [Entertainment Weekly, 2 Oct 2013]

Co-star Arthur Darvill has confirmed that he would be back in the second series of the UK version: "I'm meant to be doing the next series. I actually don't know whether that's an episode or a whole series, I'm in touch with the production company and my agent, [but] it's quite nice not knowing because I really can't give anything away. I'd quite like to find out soon so I can plan my life!" [Mirror, 18 Sep 2013]

Paul McGann is to provide the face of a new website to pay tribute to people from Merseyside who fought in the First World War. The actor said: "The First World War has only just ceased to be within living memory, the last trench soldiers have just died. I was privileged enough to know them for the last 20 years of their lives. It’s in my own family and that’s what this website is about – it’s a living history. This is to me what makes it so potent." Merseyside Experience of War, 1914-1918 is a project undertaken by Liverpool John Moores University and will be officially launched in November. [Liverpool Echo, 3 Oct 2013]

A poster featuring Christopher Eccleston as Malekith the Accursed from the forthcoming film Thor: The Dark World has been revealed. [Entertainment Weekly, 26 Sep 2013]

Steven Moffat is to appear at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on 12th October. Sherlock, The Doctor and Me is being hosted by the Radio Times, with behind-the-scenes discussion of his two successful BBC One shows. [Radio Times, 3 Oct 2013]

John Barrowman is to host a new quiz show for BBC One called Pressure Pad which will be broadcast from November; the actor said: "I am thrilled to be hosting this new innovative quiz show for BBC One and look forward to seeing whether contestants can take the heat on the Pressure Pad, and join in having fun with me." [BBC Media Centre, 2 Oct 2013]

The actor is also looking to buy a home in Scotland: "With whatever filming I'm doing in Scotland, it’s better to have my own house rather than a hotel. It’s nice to have somewhere to have parties by the sea. I want a house on the water. If anyone knows of a modern building with at least five bedrooms, we’ll keep it as our Scottish base. I know exactly what I’m looking for. I’ve been looking at the west coast and I’m not averse to it being on a loch or near a big town for when we want to go to the cinema or eat in restaurants. It also needs a two to three car garage because I have 10 cars." Barrowman has become a regular attraction for Glasgow during the Winter pantomime season alongside The Krankies, this year's presentation being Dick McWhittington. [Daily Record, 20 Sep 2013]

Karen Gillan has wrapped filming for the forthcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy - a film in which she shaved her hair to much media interest. The actress has this week been promoting Not Another Happy Ending, her film which is due to be released in cinemas on 11th October. Interviews can be found via the Irish Independent. The official trailer can be watched on YouTube.

Billie Piper will be appearing as Brona Croft in the new series from Showtime called Penny Dreadful. The series, from Skyfall director Sam Mendes is described as a "psychosexual horror" series which brings to life characters from Victorian literature alongside orginal creations, with Piper's character an Irish immigrant with a shady past. [Comic Book Resources, 19 Sep 2013]

The actress will also appear in Foxtrot, a play to be broadcast on Sky's Arts Channel as part of their Playhouse Presents series. She appears alongside Ben Whishaw and Lindsay Duncan. [Radio Times, 17 Sep 2013]

David Tennant's Winter turn in the RSC will be as the title role of Richard II; his performance will also be screened live in cinemas around the United Kingdom on 13th November as part of the National Theatre Live season. In addition, the Manchester International Festival's production of Macbeth starring Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston will be screened at venues around the United States as part of the National Theatre Live's Encore programme. [Manchester International Festival, 3 Oct 2013] [Shields Gazette, 26 Sep 2013]

An Evening with Kate O'Mara takes place on 19th October at The Misty Moon Gallery in London; speaking about whether she'd ever reprise her role as the Rani in the new series, the actress said: "I have white hair now, but a lot of it, and I'm still very glamorous and so I won't disappoint, I hope! I'll still be wearing the tight leather trousers and high-heel boots, regardless of what age! That's what the fans are expecting, so that's what you've got to give them. If you put a much older woman in Doctor Who, they can identify with it. I think it's quite an interesting concept and if you remember things like Grimm's Fairytales, the older woman is often the villainess, often the terrifying figure - why I do not know, but often she is. I think it's an idea to be exploited." [Digital Spy, 4 Oct 2013]




Details announced of Splendid Chaps: "Nine/Women"Bookmark and Share

Monday, 12 August 2013 - Reported by Adam Kirk
.As previously reported, Splendid Chaps is a year-long performance/podcast project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who hosted by comedian Ben McKenzie (Dungeon Crawl, Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour) and writer John Richards (ABC1 sitcom Outland, Boxcutters podcast).

Described by its creators as part intellectual panel discussion, part nerdy Tonight Show, Splendid Chaps is a combination of analysis, enthusiasm and irreverence. The first episode went to number 1 on the iTunes TV & Film Podcast chart in Australia, and to number 4 in the UK. The podcasts to previous episodes are now available at www.splendidchaps.com or at iTunes.

Tickets are now on sale for their Ninth Doctor show! Their ninth major episode brings the Splendid Chaps finally to new Who, that time when the seemingly impossible happened and the show returned! Russell T Davies reinvented the Doctor by casting renowned TV and film actor Christopher Eccleston, famous for serious roles in dramas like Cracker, Our Friends in the North and Elizabeth. His simultaneously light-hearted and tortured portrayal of a man who has lost everything won over old and new fans alike, though the revelation after the smash success of the first episode that he would only be staying for one year took fans and media by surprise. Despite his short stay in the role, Eccleston defined the new era of Doctor Who and laid the groundwork for the format that persisted ever since.

Just as important to new Who was new companion Rose Tyler, played by pop star turned actor Billie Piper. For some she was a revelation compared to the “scream queens” of the past; but is this a fair assessment? Splendid Chaps take as their theme women in Doctor Who: was having a proactive and near equal status companion for the Doctor really such a radical idea? Has Doctor Who been as terribly sexist as has often been claimed? Are the women in the show as varied and multifaceted as the men? And is the modern series really better in its portrayal of women than the old?

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by a panel including feminist organiser and writer Karen Pickering (Cherchez la Femme), author and podcaster Tansy Rayner Roberts (Galactic Suburbia, Verity!) and more, plus a musical performance, giveaways and excellence!

Space: The Gasometer Hotel, 484 Smith Street, Collingwood (corner of Alexandra Parade)
Time: Sunday 15 September; recording starts 5 PM
Accessibility: Splendid Chaps regret that this venue is not wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: $15 (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via trybooking.com or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23 September 2013.

With thanks to John Richards





David Tennant And John Hurt to star in 50th AnniversaryBookmark and Share

Saturday, 30 March 2013 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC have now confirmed that the Tenth Doctor David Tennant will star in the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who.

The news leaked earlier today thanks to a mistake in the distribution of Doctor Who Magazine, which saw subscribers receive their issues 5 days early, forcing the BBC to issue a hurried press release. Tennant will join current stars Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman in the special episode.

Also joining the cast will be the Ninth and Tenth Doctor's companion Billie Piper.

Tennant played The Doctor from 2005-2010, appearing in 47 episodes of the series, while Piper played Rose Tyler for the 2005 and 2006 seasons, along with cameos in later episodes.

DWM also reports that international film star John Hurt will join the cast for the special episode, which begins filming next week.

John Hurt is one of the UK's most respected actors appearing in films such as The Elephant Man, where he played John Merrick, Nineteen Eighty-Four where he played Winston Smith and Scandal where he played Stephen Ward. On Television he is best known for playing Caligula in the renowned I, Claudius and Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant. His distinctive voice has been used in many productions such as Watership Down and the animated The Lord of the Rings.

He has received two Academy Award nominations, a Golden Globe Award, and four BAFTA Awards.

It is expected that the special episode will be transmitted on Saturday 23rd November, 50 years to the day since the launch of Doctor Who.




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Friday, 29 March 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Talking about fandom in the US, Matt Smith said: "We didn’t realise how big it was until we filmed in New York, but the fans have been so supportive. The British are a lot more reserved, and the North Americans have a lot more enthusiasm. I love it when people dress up as the Doctor. I like all that — that is the spirit of the place and there is a freedom to be enthusiastic there, which is hugely enjoyable. That is what’s great about working in science fiction shows." [New York Daily News, 23 Mar 2013]

And his thoughts on now being immortalised on a new stamp from the Royal Mail? "It’s a great privilege that the nation will be licking the backs of our heads. It’s an amazing thing – I’m really proud to be part of it. It’s cool. it’s something that I can show my grandkids." [SFX, 25 Mar 2013]

He also has an eye on being in the Bond franchise: "I'm not handsome enough to be James Bond. Maybe a villain though. Start campaigning now. I'd edge on the camp dangerous side I think. Javier Bardem was amazing. I thought Skyfall was a sumptuous film." Jenna-Louise Coleman also commented: "I’d love to be a Bond girl — I did have my moment on the back of a motorbike. But then we’ve got the goggles and the hat, so it was Doctor Who’s take on James Bond." [The Sun 19 Mar 2013, 22 Mar 2013]

Outside of Who, Jenna-Louise chats about what she'd like to tackle, drame-wise: "What I would really like to do is an adaptation. I like period drama because everyone is so restrained, but they have all these emotions raging underneath." [Evening Standard, 22 Feb 2013]

David Tennant has said that he isn't a fan of social media: "Twitter! It’s like being stalked by committee! Come and say hello if you want, but not for the sake of twittering about it." [Time Out via Radio Times, 27 Feb 2013]

Jenna-Louise similarly talks about avoiding the online community: "I don't really get online very much, I try to stay away. It's just ... that feeling of accessibility, you know? I like to go about my business and go to work and not have too much of a consciousness of what I'm doing. I just don't think it's for me, really. It's just not my cup of tea." [Mashable, 27 Mar 2013]

On the other hand, Billie Piper has embraced it, having arrived on Twitter as @BilliePiper - including a photo to prove it!

Peter Davison talks about watching Doctor Who with his children: "I do watch the new series, yes, because my children watch it and I love watching it. I've got to that age now. Douglas Adams who was a script editor on Doctor Who once said to me: "the trick about Doctor Who is making it simple enough for the adults to understand and complicated enough to hold the children’s attention". And I think I'm now getting to that point where I think I've moved into the older bracket, obviously I have, but in brain as well because I do find myself turning to my children saying: "what’s going on? What? Can you explain that?" They go: "oh, dad, what’s happened is this..." So, I'm now in that bracket which has to be simple for dad to understand." [Independent, 3 Mar 2013]

Colin Baker is to appear at Sci-fi By The Sea, a convention to be held at Herne Bay Football Club on the 16th June 16. Organiser Gerald McCarthy said: "People are very excited to have a proper Doctor Who coming down. Sometimes these announcements have a knock on effect for other guests, who ask who else is coming down before they attend. We already have two tardis’, seven or eight Daleks and some Cybermen coming along, so Colin tops it off for us on that front." [Kent Online, 14 Mar 2013]

On tour promoting their latest book, The Bone Quill, John and Carole Barrowman discuss their future plans for Hollow Earth: "We worked out some key plot things and some new things we hadn’t originally planned.. When we first planned [the series], we had three major evolutionary things we wanted to happen, [one] in each book, based on Matt’s and Em’s ability. We fleshed out the little details as we went along. One of the things we’ve had a lot of fun in doing, particularly with the first book, is seeding a lot of things that we hope to pull out as we go along. We planted little Easter eggs, or symbols, to discover. The twins live on Raphael Terrace. There are all sorts of allusions to art in ways that kids may not pick up until they get a little older. Matt and Em’s last name is Calder, not only a Scottish last name but also a famous artist’s last name. The idea of duality is in there. We’ve actually had a lot of fun playing the puzzle makers for all of that." [Popmatters, 29 Mar 2013]

The book was launched at St Katherine's School, Ham Green, which was chosen as the venue through librarian Lucy Edwards’ working relationship with Waterstone's. The siblings had an audience of 300 year eight pupils were there for their visit along with students from various reading groups. [Weston Mercury, 13 Mar 2013]

Writer Neil Cross explains what makes a good monster: "There's two kinds of good monsters. The monster to whom your existence means nothing. That's something like the Daleks. It's something so alien that it's inhumane in every sense. Then there's the monsters that look like us, but there's something wrong, like Hannibal Lecter. The attributes that we think are best in ourselves - love, conscience, compassion - are all stripped away. They're the people who kill puppies." [The Wellingtonian, 8 Mar 2013]

Writer Mark Ravenhill explained about potentially writing for Doctor Who: "I did once go and see Russell T Davies and he said he thought I was far too adult for Doctor Who. But he was creating Torchwood and so he said to go away and come up with some ideas. I had very few clues what it was about, so it was like throwing darts at a dartboard in the dark. That was the closest I ever came. Although I love Doctor Who - maybe I'm not the right person to write it." [BBC News, 24 Feb 2013]

When asked whether the perceived imbalance between male and female writers on Doctor Who would be addressed, producer Marcus Wilson said: "Due to schedules and other projects, both male and female writers whom we have wanted to join the team simply haven't been able to. For us it's about who can write good Doctor Who stories, regardless of gender." [Guardian, 27 Mar 2013]

Paul McCartney has revealed how he had asked Delia Derbyshire to remake Yesterday, though it never went any further: "We went round to visit her, we even went into the hut at the bottom of her garden. It was full of tape machines and funny instruments. My plan in meeting her was to do an electronic backing for my song Yesterday. We'd already recorded it with a string quartet, but I wanted to give the arrangement electronic backing. The Radiophonic Workshop, I loved all that, it fascinated me, and still does." [Q Magazine via Guardian, 22 Mar 2013]

Murray Gold recently appeared at the Scoring Drama Masterclass at London’s BFI, where he discussed strategies for composing drama music, including reading the script: "You need to love drama to score drama and show that you love it. First time I get a script, I read it. Which some composers don’t do. But reading the script helps you work out where ‘the kick’ is. This job is also a lot more interesting when you’re writing for a show you actually like." [M Magazine, 21 Mar 2013]

Being a former footballer, Matt Smith continues to take a keen interest, and shared his thoughts on recent developments at Blackburn Rovers: "It's an absolute farce, a joke, it's being run by complete numpties. Great players, great team, great club and those berks have ruined it. They talk about getting rid of Allardyce because of the long ball - what the hell was that against Millwall? It was a woeful performance against Millwall. It's the first time I've been embarrassed at the way the team played." [BBC News, 16 Mar 2013]

Now firmly established on ITV, David Tennant commented on how the Broadchurch story unfolded where the actors didn't know how it would develop: "When you're playing those initial interviews with characters and you genuinely don't know what the truth is, you can't load those scenes with 'actorly' tricks. You have to play it for what it is, which can only make it more real. You can be as exasperated about the mystery of the characters as the audience will be. It's great to be part of something where all the characters have powerful stories to tell. There's the whodunit aspect but there are other stories going on and such wonderful people portraying those parts." [Belfast Telegraph, 22 Feb 2013]

Co-star Arthur Darvill explained how he became involved with Broadchurch: "Chris Chibnall came up to me while I was filming one of his episodes in Cardiff and said, "I've written you a part in a new TV series, will you do it?" I thought, "I can't say no to that, that's amazing!". We chatted about it, we discussed where the character would go, and I just found what he was trying to do really interesting, so I jumped at the chance. That's the first time somebody's ever written anything for me; it was very humbling. It's quite an honour," he added." [Belfast Telegraph, 1 Mar 2013]

Karen Gillan is to join American comedy series NTSF:SD:SUV for its third series, appearing as Daisy, described as the team's "Q" expert. The series is due to be broadcast in from July. [Radio Times, 22 Mar 2013]

David Warner and Lisa Bowerman can be seen in The Wizard, a short film written by Simon Guerrier for Hat Trick and Bad Teeth's Short and Funnies short comedy film competition.




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Friday, 21 December 2012 - (roundup compiled by John Bowman and Chuck Foster)
Toby Jones stars as Alfred Hitchock in a BBC Two drama about his relationship with the model and actress Tippi Hedren. The Girl, which airs on Wednesday 26th December at 9pm, also features Imelda Staunton as Hitchcock's wife, Alma, and Penelope Wilton as Peggy Robertson, who was his production assistant.

Peter Capaldi triumphed at the British Comedy Awards, winning the Best TV Comedy Actor gong for the role of Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It. Among the other nominees he beat to the title was Hugh Bonneville. [BBC News, 13 Dec 2012]

Steven Moffat's first TV work, the teen drama Press Gang, will be one of the shows feted when ITV celebrates 30 years of children's television on the commercial channel. A one-hour documentary marking the 30th anniversary of Children's ITV - which was launched on 3rd January 1983 - will be shown on ITV1 on Saturday 29th December at 6.30pm, and between 9.25am and 6pm on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th January CITV (which started on 11th March 2006) will be showing a selection of its iconic shows, including the first and last episodes of Press Gang. Two episodes of Children's Ward - which was produced by Russell T Davies, who also wrote for it - are to be shown as well, as is an episode of Button Moon, whose theme music was co-composed by Peter Davison. [Radio Times, 18 Dec 2012]

Yasmin Paige returns as Beth Mitchell when the second series of BBC Three comedy Pramface begins its run of six episodes on Tuesday 8th January at 10pm.

The two-part BBC Four drama Spies of Warsaw - starring David Tennant - starts on Wednesday 9th January at 9pm. Set in 1937, it features Tennant as Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, the French military attaché in Warsaw. With Hitler's shadow looming over mainland Europe, Mercier is grossly suspicious of the German military's intentions, but must juggle his formal duties at stifling diplomatic functions with the often death-defying realities of espionage. The drama also stars Burn Gorman as French bureaucrat Jourdain.

The Symphonic Spectacular in Sydney, Australia was hosted by Alex Kingston and Mark Williams, who were interviewed beforehand by local Breakfast show Today; the Sydney Opera House itself has provided a behind-the-scenes video featuring the presenters and composer Murray Gold. Meanwhile, Dudley Simpson was a special guest at the show on Wednesday - the classic series composer met up with his modern series counterpart Gold and conductor Ben Foster, and was also presented with a print of all eleven Doctors, celebrating his contribution to over 250 episodes of the series. [Dallas Jones/Doctor Who Club of Australia, 21 Dec 2012]

A variety of Who names have been nominated in the 2013 WhatsOnStage Awards: Billie Piper is up for The DIGITAL THEATRE Best Actress in a Play for The Effect; her husband Laurence Fox, alongside Arthur Darvill, Cian Barry, Jolyon Coy, Matthew Lewis and Lewis Reeves, are nominated for both the Best Play Revival and The IMAIL Best Ensemble Performance awards for Our Boys; Best Supporting Actress in a Play - Fenella Woolgar (Hedda Gabler) and Helen McCrory (The Last of the Haussmans); Best Supporting Actor in a Play - Adrian Scarborough (Hedda Gabler), Mark Gatiss (The Recruiting Officer) and Tim McInnerny (Scenes from an Execution); The STAR Best Actress in a Musical - Imelda Staunton (Sweeney Todd); The JO HUTCHISON INTERNATIONAL Best Solo Performance - Simon Callow (A Christmas Carol). Voting remains open until Thursday 31st January 2013.

While on the subject of award nominations, the writer Robert Shearman is in the running for the Short Story Collection Of The Year title in the This Is Horror Awards 2012 for his anthology Remember Why You Fear Me. Voting is open until 12.01am GMT on Friday 4th January 2013.

In Memoriam:

The newsreader Kenneth Kendall has died at the age of 88. In 1955, he achieved the distinction of becoming the BBC's first in-vision newsreader, and 11 years later he made a cameo appearance in Doctor Who, playing himself as a newsreader in episode 4 of the story The War Machines. He also had a cameo as a newsreader in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. After leaving the world of news, Kendall moved to the Isle of Wight, where he ran an art gallery. [The Independent, 14 Dec 2012]

(roundup compiled by John Bowman and Chuck Foster)




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Friday, 5 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Doctor? Sadly no, it's roadie Neil Aspinall with the Beatles Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first sole credited single release by The Beatles - who would feature in Doctor Who in stock footage in The Executioners (episode 1 of The Chase) - and if he had a time machine Matt Smith would love to see the Fab Four: "I'd go see music - the Beatles at their height, or Woodstock, or Kurt Cobain live. I'd love to see Arcade Fire in a room somewhere. And Sinatra when he was with Dean Martin." [Bust Magazine via Yahoo, 2 Oct 2012] (DWN note: Perhaps Matt got his time trip after all, if this photo that was circulated earlier in the year is to be believed!)

Alex Kingston is to appear in the 10th season of NCIS as a "woman of questionable morals". The actress is to play a character named Miranda Pennebaker, and is described by series boss Gary Glasberg as someone who "deals in everything from high-end weapons sales to priceless gems. Her connections go all the way up the ladder of D.C. politics, and [Major Case Response Team leader Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro] Gibbs needs her for this very disturbing, emotional case." [TVLine, 3 Oct 2012]

Author and long-term fan A. L. Kennedy has expressed an interest to write for Doctor Who: "To go back to things that you are completely open to as a child, and which you allow to be very deeply part of who you are, as an artist, is to get back to that bit of yourself. And Doctor Who is very deeply there in my own work. Every crazy person, lots of the sense of humour, my viewpoint on what human beings are, absolutely. If I wasn’t going to be a writer I was going to be an anthropologist, because that was my thing: what are human beings?" The author will also be talking about Doctor Who when she appears at the Wigtown Book Festival on Sunday 7th October. [Scotsman, 1 Oct 2012]

A rare opportunity to see Sarah Sutton in one of her earliest TV roles is coming up. The BFI is screening the BBC's 1973 adaptation of Alice Through The Looking Glass, which stars Sutton as the eponymous heroine, at its Southbank venue in London on Saturday 17th November as part of its Beyond the Fourth Wall – Experiments in TV Drama season. Directed by James MacTaggart, who was keen to exploit the possibilities offered by the then-new technique of colour separation overlay, the 65-minute play was the BBC's official entry to the Prix Italia competition. Also appearing in it are Geoffrey Bayldon (White Knight), Bruce Purchase (Walrus), and Stephen Moore (Haigha). Tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday 9th October.

Mark Gatiss
will be at the BFI Southbank on Sunday 28th October for a question-and-answer session following a preview of his feature-length BBC Four documentary Horror Europa With Mark Gatiss, which explores European horror cinema and is a follow-up to his BBC Four series A History of Horror. Again, tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday 9th October. The 90-minute documentary will air on BBC Four towards the end of October.

Billie Piper is moving to Los Angeles with husband Laurence Fox after they both finish their current theatre stints, according to a newspaper interview with Fox, who is appearing with Arthur Darvill in Our Boys at The Duchess Theatre in London until Saturday 15th December. Piper is in The Effect at The Cottesloe, which opens on Tuesday 6th November and runs until Wednesday 23rd January 2013, meaning that for a few weeks their performances will overlap. However, Fox said the two of them didn't compete over their careers. "It's not competitive but I feel like I've got to raise my game a bit. She's really good so it would be nice if I was really good too," he said. [i, 3 Oct 2012]

Meanwhile, Matt Smith and David Tennant bumped into each other at the press night for Our Boys. Also there was Billie Piper to give her support to her husband. [Mail Online, 4 Oct 2012]

Comedian and TV presenter Frank Skinner has told of his failed bid to secure a role in the current series of Doctor Who. In an interview with Absolute Radio, he said: "I got my manager to phone up the Doctor Who people when I heard this series was being filmed. He never mentioned it again so I take it that he couldn't break it to me." [i, 3 Oct 2012]

Comic book writer and playwright Grant Morrison, who penned stories for Doctor Who Magazine in the 1980s, told the MorrisonCon audience in Las Vegas that despite his desire to write for the show and apparent initial interest by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss in him doing so, nothing more had been forthcoming. "Moffat had been getting a lot of tweets from people who were saying, 'You should have Grant write Doctor Who', and I'd really love to write Doctor Who," he said. He added that a friend who had worked with Moffat and Gatiss suggested it to the pair and told him the duo wanted to hear from him. "We tried it four or five times, and he never wrote back," said Morrison. [Comic Book Resources, 1 Oct 2012 - NB: Article contains strong language elsewhere.]

In a two-page feature in the new Radio Times, Steven Moffat describes how he struggled to find the proper ending for Amy and Rory. "How and why would they leave? And would they live or die? I wrote and rewrote. I had a completely different ending and threw it away. So many times over those mad few days, the fate of the Ponds changed. Alive, dead, alive, dead . . . Nothing felt right. Nothing felt inevitable." [Radio Times, 3 Oct 2012]

Sheridan Smith
- companion Lucie Miller to the Eighth Doctor in the Big Finish audio dramas - is the latest signing to BBC In-House Comedy's production of Mr Stink. As previously reported, the children's novel by David Walliams stars Hugh Bonneville as the eponymous tramp and has been adapted by Walliams and Simon Nye. Smith, who will play the overbearing mother of lonely 12-year-old Chloe who befriends Mr Stink, said: "David is such a brilliant writer, and the character just jumped off the page when I read it." [BBC Media Centre, 4 Oct 2012]
(Compiled by John Bowman and Chuck Foster)