Chris Chibnall Becomes A DoctorBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Incoming Doctor Who Showrunner Chris Chibnall has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Edge Hill University.

The award for, services to Literature, was made on Monday 17th July. In a video released by the University, Chibnall talked about how it felt to receive the award and his aspirations for Doctor Who.





Timeline to Series ElevenBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 1 February 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Chris ChibnallBBC Sources have indicated that next year's series of Doctor Who, the first with the thirteenth Doctor, will be broadcast in the Autumn of 2018.

New showrunner Chris Chibnall is currently still working on season three of his ITV crime drama Broadchurch , which is currently being edited and will premiere in the UK on 27 February.

Chibnall told RadioTimes.com that he has not yet been able to fully dedicate himself to Doctor Who. After finishing work on Broadchurch he intends to take a holiday before launching into Doctor Who.

Chibnall will lead the team searching for the new Doctor, although the choice will need to be agreed by the BBC director of content Charlotte Moore and head of drama and former Doctor Who Executive Producer Piers Wenger. It is expected that a new Doctor will not be announced before the Autumn, with the new Doctor making their debut at the end of the 2017 Christmas Special.

Sources told RadioTimes that the first Chibnall series will begin filming at the start of 2018 for transmission in the Autumn.

Series 10 of Doctor Who, the last full series starring Peter Capaldi. is currently in production and will begin transmission on 15th April.




Current CompetitionsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - Reported by Marcus
A roundup of competitions that readers may enter over the next couple of weeks:

BBC Audio: The Pirate Planet

Jon Culshaw reads the brand new novelisation of a classic Doctor Who adventure by Douglas Adams. The hugely powerful Key to Time has been split into six segments, all of which have been disguised and hidden throughout time and space. Now the even more powerful White Guardian wants the Doctor to find the pieces. With the first segment successfully retrieved, the Doctor, Romana and K9 trace the second segment of the Key to the planet Calufrax. But when they arrive at exactly the right point in space, they find themselves on exactly the wrong planet – Zanak. Ruled by the mysterious ‘Captain’, Zanak is a happy and prosperous planet. Mostly. If the mines run out of valuable minerals and gems then the Captain merely announces a New Golden Age and they fill up again. It’s an economic miracle – so obviously something’s very wrong...
The Pirate Planet (audiobook) (Credit: BBC Audio)To be in with a chance to win the audiobook courtesy of BBC Audio, simply answer the following question:
Name another pirate captain encountered by the Doctor in the television series.
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-pirateplanet@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Howdy!". The competition is open worldwide, closing date 12th February 2017. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

BBC Audio: The Lost Angel

Kerry Shale reads an exciting original story featuring the 12th Doctor, as played on TV by Peter Capaldi, in an adventure with the Weeping Angels. All Alex Yow wants is to become a photo-journalist and break her first story. All Brandon Yow wants is for his sister to keep out of trouble and come home. But that’s not going to happen, because Alex has taken a picture of a statue. A statue that can move. A statue that makes people disappear. A statue that is hunting them down. In upstate New York, the Doctor is chasing weird energies that should not exist. Teaming up with Alex and Brandon, he discovers a powerful force enslaved to another’s will. Who controls the lonely assassin that prowls the streets? What secrets are the residence of Rickman hiding? And will Alex and Brandon survive the night of the Weeping Angels?
The Lost Angel (Credit: BBC Audio)To be in with a chance to win the audiobook courtesy of BBC Audio, simply answer the following question:
What was an older name for the Weeping Angels?
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-lostangel@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "This is still our planet". The competition is open worldwide, closing date 12th February 2017. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

Audio Download: The Fourth Doctor Adventures: The Beast of Kravenos

A stunning new star act is wowing the audiences of the New Regency Theatre. The modern mechanical marvel of canny canine charisma - the automated dog that can answer any question - the incomparable - the unbeatable - K9! The Doctor and Romana have returned to Victorian London and been reunited with their old friends Professor George Litefoot and Henry Gordon Jago. However this is not merely a social visit. A terrifying crime spree is sweeping the capital, and the burglaries of 'The Knave' defy all logic. Something impossibly dangerous is taking place amid the fog. Only the time travellers and their friends can stop it... but can they be sure they're all on the same side?
The Fourth Doctor Adventures: The Beast f Kravenos (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:
What was the name of the theatre Jago owned when he first met the Doctor?
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-bf4d1@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Dash me optics!". The competition is open worldwide, closing date 12th February 2017. 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.

Blu-ray: The Power of the Daleks

The Power of The Daleks (blu-ray steelbook) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
Animated restoration of all six episodes from the 1966 serial of the BBC sci-fi show starring Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor. The Doctor has regenerated into a new, younger self and while his companions come to terms with this sudden change, they make a terrible discovery at the human colony on the planet Vulcan. What the colonists had thought mere machines reveal their sinister intentions.
To be in with a chance to win the blu-ray, simply answer the following question:
Name the first story to be released that had its missing episodes replaced by animation.
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-powerbluray@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Absolute Power!". The competition is open to UK readers only, closing date 12th February 2017. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

Blu-ray: Class

Class (blu-ray) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
"Time has looked at your faces now. And time never forgets..." It's a new term at Coal Hill Academy, and students are preparing for their Autumn Prom. But when the school comes under attack from deadly monsters, four alienated students must form an unlikely alliance to defeat them. Like all teenagers, these four students have hidden secrets and desires. They are facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow - and possibly the end of existence. And this incursion is only the beginning... Charlie, April, Ram and Tanya, under the watchful eye of Physics teacher Miss Quill, are now charged with a great responsibility by the mysterious alien known as The Doctor: protect Coal Hill and guard against the creatures of nightmare that want nothing more than to find a way through to Earth and take it for their own.
To be in with a chance to win the blu-ray (or DVD if preferred), simply answer the following question:
Where is the location of another well-known "rift" in the United Kingdom?
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-classbluray@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Here, miss!". The competition is open to UK readers only, closing date 12th February 2017. Only one entry per household will be accepted.




Share The OrangeBookmark and Share

Sunday, 7 February 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston fronts the latest campaign from Alzheimer’s Research UK #sharetheorange.

The project features stop motion animation from award winning studio Aardman, to demonstrate how the diseases that cause dementia, most commonly Alzheimer’s, physically attack the brain. Through damage caused by the disease, the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s can weigh around 140 grams less than a healthy brain – about the weight of an orange.

Eccleston, whose father Ronnie died with vascular dementia following a 14-year battle with the disease, said
We have to think differently about dementia. We have to stop believing dementia is an inevitability; something that simply happens to us all as we grow older. If we don’t, we’re never going to truly fight it.

Dementia is caused by diseases and diseases can be beaten. We’ve tamed diseases like cancer and heart disease and a diagnosis of either is no longer a certain death sentence. People with dementia deserve this same hope. This film aims to show that dementia is caused by physical processes that scientists can put a stop to.

While scientists fight dementia in the lab, by sharing the film anyone can fight the misunderstanding and fatalism that surrounds dementia in our society.




Doctor Who - The Ten Christmas SpecialsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 1 October 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide have announced a new boxed set of Doctor Who adventures, this time featuring the Christmas Specials that have aired so far...

Doctor Who: The Ten Christmas Specials (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Doctor Who! Doctor Who - The Ten Christmas Specials marks the tenth anniversary of the Timelord’s return and this special limited edition boxset contains all ten Christmas Specials, plus a set of five graphically illustrated Christmas Cards, an exclusive bonus feature fronted by Rufus Hound which features personal reflections from Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat and a souvenir booklet.

In this action-packed box-set, featuring Christmas specials starring Tenth Doctor David Tennant, Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith and Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, the Doctor must save the world from an array of monsters including Killer Santas, The Sycorax, Rachnoss, The Wooden King & Queen and The Dream Crabs.

The set is out in the United Kingdom on DVD and Blu-Ray from 19th October.




Eccleston talks WhoBookmark and Share

Saturday, 18 April 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Christopher Eccleston has been talking about his time on Doctor Who in a rare interview on BBC Radio 4.

Eccleston was appearing on the Saturday evening discussion programme Loose Ends, primarily to promote his role in Safe House, a four-part drama on ITV from 20 April.

Eccleston was interviewed by Emma Freud in a wide ranging talk about his career. When asked about Doctor Who, he told Freud how he had put himself forward for the role.
I approached Russell T Davies and said I know you are going to do this and I think you should think about me.... I wanted to do something for children, I wanted to learn a lighter way of being.
Freud asked him if he felt he had succeeded.
I think I over pitched the comedy. If I had my time again I would do the comedy very differently. But I think, where I possibly succeeded was in the tortured stuff.
So why did he leave?
What's interesting in this country is that wherever a story like this emerges they concentrate on the negative. I dont think it's important why I left, I think it's important that I did it in the first place.
Freud pushed the point saying it was a big shock to fans when he left, and he had been so successful in the role he could still be playing it now.
Well I'm still there in spirit....... Myself and three individuals at the very top of the pyramid clashed, so off I went. But they are are not here to say their side of it, so I'm not going to go into details.
The full programme can be heard worldwide on the BBC iPlayer for the next four weeks.




Doctor UpdateBookmark and Share

Monday, 13 April 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Gypsy Recording
Peter Davison, who celebrates his 64th birthday today, is currently appearing in London's West End in the revival of the Musical Gypsy.

Davison plays Herbie in the show, which is based upon the memoirs of the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, and which is currently previewing at London's Savoy Theatre. The cast is led by BAFTA award winning actress Imelda Staunton who was asked to take on the role of Rose by the play's lyricist Stephen Sondheim, after he saw Staunton's performance as Mrs Lovett in the 2012 production of Sweeney Todd.

The show's cast album, featuring Davison, is released on 27th April.

Davison will take time off from the show to host Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular’s UK tour this May.

NB The first London production of Gypsy in 1973, starring Angela Lansbury, featured a 9 year old Bonnie Langford in the role of Baby June.

Fortitude, the psychological thriller television series starring Christopher Eccleston, has been renewed for a second 10-part series.

The series, which also stars Michael Gambon airs in the UK on Sky Atlantic, where the first episode was watched by more than 2.5m people and is the channels most successful original commission.




Ten Years on - The Trip of a LifetimeBookmark and Share

Thursday, 26 March 2015 - Reported by Marcus
It was ten years ago today, on the 26th March 2005, that Doctor Who was reborn, in a new century, with a new Doctor, for a new generation.

In 2005 the series had been absent from British television screens for most of the previous fifteen years. "Rested" in 1989, the series was a nostalgic memory to a generation who grew up in the 60's, 70's and 80's. To some it was remembered with derision, talk of shaky sets and implausible monsters was apparent when the series was mentioned. But to others it was remembered with great affection, engendering warm feelings of affection with memories of winter evenings spent in the company of childhood friends.

When the series was dropped from the schedules it had very few friends at the top of the BBC. The series was considered past it, had run its course, and was yesterday's news. Very few thought it would ever return. In 1996 an attempt was made to relaunch the series in America. The 90 minute TV movie made by Fox was reasonably well received, but not successful enough for the producers to commission further episodes. To many this was the final nail in the coffin. The series was dead, it would not return.

But things change and the TV landscape in 2003 was now a very different beast. The team at the top had changed and a new generation had taken over. TV was now being run by the people who had grown up with the first few Doctors. Those who remembered how exciting Saturday evening could be, when the good Doctor would battle enemies on a weekly basis, sandwiched between episodes of Basil Brush and The Generation Game. BBC One was now being run by Lorraine Heggessey, a self confessed fan of the series who had stated publically that she wanted the show back on her network. Many doubted it would happen, but on Friday 26th September 2003 it was confirmed. Doctor Who would return.

The man entrusted with the regeneration was Russell T Davies, whose was previously best known for the seminal Channel 4 series Queer as Folk, about gay life in Manchester. He was joined as Executive producer by Julie Gardner, who had just returned to the BBC to produce the David Tennant series Casanova, following a spell working with Davies at London Weekend Television. Also on the team was Mal Young, who was best known for producing the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside. Meanwhile Linda Green producer Phil Collinson was recruited to produce the series.

Once it was known the series was returning, speculation began on just who would play the enigmatic Time Lord. Paul McGann was a tipped contender, having played the Doctor in the 1996 TV Movie, while William Hill made Alan Davies the 8-to-1 favourite to win the role. Richard E. Grant was an option as was Sean Pertwee, son of the late third Doctor. The Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker announced to BBC London News that Eddie Izzard had won the role. According to the Telegraph Bill Nighy was the choice of Davies and had been offered the role, while the Daily Mirror said it was EastEnders actor Shane Richie. Colin Baker weighed in to recommend a female Doctor in the form of Dawn French.

On Friday 19 March 2004 it was announced that acclaimed actor Christopher Eccleston would take on the role, with Davies telling the press:
We considered many great actors for this wonderful part, but Christopher was our first choice. This man can give the Doctor a wisdom, wit and emotional range as far-reaching as the Doctor's travels in time and space. His casting raises the bar for all of us. It's going to be a magnificent, epic, entertaining journey, and I can't wait to start.
Two months later Eccleston was joined by Billie Piper who was cast as Rose Tyler. Piper was best known as the youngest artist ever to debut at number one in the UK singles chart. Over the next few months more respected actors joined the cast, Noel Clark would play Micky, Camille Coduri would play Rose's mother while even song and dance man John Barrowman was rumoured to have signed up.

Old monsters would also be returning, with a very public battle taking place over the use of the Daleks in the new series. An agreement was finally reached in August with the Terry Nation estate to allow the infamous pepper pots to meet the new Doctor.

The series launched on BBC One, in ablaze of publicity, on Saturday 26th March. Viewers were warmed up with a preview at 5.25pm when Doctor Who: A New Dimension gave a taste of the series. After Strictly Dance Fever with Graham Norton, the British public finally got to meet the new Doctor at 7pm, when Doctor Who: Rose was screened. A technical error a few minutes into the programme caused audio of Norton to be overlaid on the episode, much to the distress of the production team.

No one knew if it would succeed. There were many who thought it would fail. But succeed it did. Rose achieved 10.81 million viewers, the seventh most watched programme of the week. A new generation took the Doctor to their hearts and in the intervening years the series has grown into one of the BBC's most valuable assets.

Over the past ten years we have travelled with five new Doctors and enjoyed 97 stories across 117 episodes. The series is now made in specially built studios on Cardiff Bay. We have been to concerts, read books, enjoyed quiz shows and visited exhibitions based on the series. The reborn series celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2013, with a massive convention in London, and a record breaking simultaneous transmission of the special anniversary episode was watched by millions around the world.

Series 9 is currently being filmed in Cardiff, the 35th since the series began.

The trip is not over, the adventure goes on...





Moments in Time: meet the (mini) Doctor!Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Ten years ago tonight, Christopher Eccleston undertook his only major inteview to promote the forthcoming new series of Doctor Who on The Jonathan Ross Show. The programme saw him reflect on being a fan of the original run, and how he came to be involved in this new, fresh production under the helm of Russell T Davies, and included an extensive trailer highlighting what was to come over the next few weeks.

However, our Moment in Time recalls Eccleston's surprise as, when discussing forthcoming merchandise to tie in with the show, Ross produces the prototype of a toy expected out for Christmas, and he comes comes face-to-face with a 10" version of himself as the Doctor ...

Christopher Eccleston on the Jonathan Ross Show, 25th March 2005 (Credit: BBC) Christopher Eccleston on the Jonathan Ross Show, 25th March 2005 (Credit: BBC) Christopher Eccleston on the Jonathan Ross Show, 25th March 2005 (Credit: BBC)





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 ...





Doctor RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 22 March 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Christopher Eccleston has recorded an audio version of a short story by award-winning author Patrick Ness in aid of Read for RNIB Day.

The story, Now That You've Died, takes readers and listeners on an exhilarating journey into the afterlife. It was written by Ness especially for the Royal National Institute of Blind People, the leading UK charity helping blind and partially sighted people.

The story can be heard for free here. In return, listeners are asked to consider making a donation to RNIB to help make reading more accessible to blind and partially sighted people.

The RNIB Day campaign manager, Becca McRow, said:
Now That You've Died is another fine example of Patrick's finesse for storytelling which is both captivating yet challenging to the reader and we're honoured that he wrote it in support of Read for RNIB Day.

Christopher Eccleston brings the story to life superbly and we're delighted that we can now open up this fantastic audio version of the story to members of the public. We ask for a donation in return to help RNIB continue its vital work in making reading more accessible for blind and partially sighted people.


David Tennant is lending his voice to the upcoming Xbox One game Kinect Sports Rivals as the narrator.

The game is produced by British video game developer Rare. A video has been released which includes a behind-the-scenes interview with Tennant as well as footage of the recording sessions.


Tom Baker has said he's thrilled that the classic Doctor Who series is to be screened in the UK on the Horror Channel, as reported here.
Horror is my very favourite genre, so I am thrilled the classic Doctor Who series have been picked up by the Horror Channel. There was clearly a darker edge to my storylines, which I think brought a new dimension to the series. I remember hearing of the series scaring children – I wonder how the audience will react to the series today, all grown up.
The Horror Channel has completed a deal with BBC Worldwide to broadcast 30 stories from the classic series, which ran from 1963 to 1989, featuring the first seven Doctors, starting with William Hartnell and concluding with Sylvester McCoy.
Sylvester McCoy, will be making an appearance at FantasyCon this July. The Con will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tickets are now on sale.




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 25 January 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
Christopher Eccleston is to portray an English scientist in the Sky Atlantic crime drama Fortitude - a 12-episode series centring on a murder in the eponymous Arctic Circle town where there has been no violent crime beforehand. Joining him for the show - to be shot in Iceland and the UK and shown later this year - are Michael Gambon as a wildlife photographer who is terminally ill and Jessica Raine playing the wife of the town's main search-and-rescue pilot. [Radio Times, 24 Jan 2014]

John Barrowman is to present the new Channel 4 daytime series Superstar Dogs in the run-up to Crufts. It will see dogs and their owners competing in a number of challenges, with the eventual winner being crowned at the dog show in March. He said: "I have a passion for animals, dogs in particular, so I am hugely excited to be part of a sporting event for dogs and their owners that encourages teamwork, competitive spirit and a large dose of fun and laughter! Having dogs myself, I know the determination, love and commitment you need to train them - it's not easy!" Recording is taking place at MediaCity, Salford Quays from Tuesday 28th to Thursday 30th January, with tickets currently available from Applause Store. (NB: Minimum age is 16.) [Channel 4, 15 Jan 2014]

The BBC One daytime drama Father Brown - starring Mark Williams as the eponymous crime-solving priest - has been recommissioned for a third series. Made by BBC Birmingham Drama Village, it is based on the G K Chesterton stories. The new run of 15 45-minute episodes will begin shooting in and around the Cotswolds later this year. Damian Kavanagh, the controller of BBC Daytime, said: "I'm extremely proud that Father Brown has become an appointment-to-view programme on BBC One afternoons. The production team and Mark Williams have done a fantastic job bringing Father Brown to life and I'm delighted that our viewers share my enthusiasm for the series." [BBC Media Centre, 22 Jan 2014]

Richard Wilson is to appear in the one-man play Krapp's Last Tape, by Samuel Beckett, from Wednesday 25th June to Saturday 19th July at The Crucible in Sheffield, where he is an associate director for Sheffield Theatres at its studio space there. [The Stage, 20 Jan 2014]

The actor Bill Nighy has been shortlisted for one of the British Animation Awards. He has been nominated for his voice work on the 10-minute drama The Hungry Corpse, whose senior executive producer Rankin took the official portrait of Peter Capaldi for his unveiling as the new Doctor. The ceremony will be held at the BFI Southbank on Friday 7th March. [BBC News, 22 Jan 2014]

And speaking of Peter Capaldi, the actor Jason Flemyng - who will be guest-starring as baddie Vadim opposite Capaldi's Cardinal Richelieu in the BBC One drama The Musketeers tomorrow - reckons he will be "amazing" as the Doctor. Flemyng - the son of Gordon Flemyng who directed the two Dalek films in the 1960s - has a pedigree of appearing with forthcoming Doctors. Capaldi was filming The Musketeers when he got the role, and Flemyng said: "One minute I was working with Peter playing the Cardinal and the next, I was working with Doctor Who. That was quite surprising when he got the Doctor Who gig while we were in the middle of it. When I did The Quatermass Experiment, David Tennant came in one morning and was Doctor Who as well so it seems to be something strange, like I'm a lucky (charm). Always the bridesmaid, never the bride." He said Capaldi would "smash it. He's going to be amazing. He's so talented." Flemyng was less favourably disposed towards the Daleks, though. "Until they stop the Daleks flying and put them back in the spaceship, which is where they're meant to land, then I shall be keeping away from Doctor Who. It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Much as I love the show, suddenly the Daleks start flying and I thought, 'That's silly,'" he said. [Wales Online, 25 Jan 2014]

A poster and trailer for the forthcoming horror film Oculus starring Karen Gillan have been released. The film, which sees Gillan portray the character Kaylie Russell, who is trying to clear her twin brother of murdering their parents by proving it was supernatural forces in a mirror at their childhood home, opens in America on Friday 11th April but has yet to receive a release date for the UK. (NB: The trailer has been approved for appropriate audiences by the Motion Picture Association of America.)


In Memoriam

The actor Jerome Willis, who played the memorable villain Stevens in The Green Death, has died aged 85. He notched up well over 100 screen credits during his career, including the leading role of Matthew Peele in ITV drama The Sandbaggers and as Oliver Cromwell in the BBC drama Woodstock. Other notable series Willis appeared in included Z-Cars, Within These Walls, Freewheelers, The Avengers, Danger Man, Adam Adamant Lives!, Callan, Doomwatch, The Caesars, Poirot, and sci-fi drama Space Precinct. An accomplished stage actor, he was a member of the RSC in the 20th and 21st centuries, and in 2002 penned a piece for The Guardian describing the differences he encountered between then and the 1950s. Films that he appeared in included Siege of the Saxons and Winstanley. The DVD of The Green Death - first released in 2004 as a one-disc version and, since last August, also available as a two-disc special edition - saw Willis reprise the role of Stevens in the spoof documentary Global Conspiracy?, which was included as one of the extras. An announcement of his death was published in The Guardian on 17th January that read as follows:
WILLIS, Jerome Barry (23 Oct 1928), died peacefully on 11 January 2014. Loved and missed by his darling wife Dilys, daughters Sarah, Megan, Grania and Kate, sisters Nuala and Fiona, and his six adored granddaughters. Funeral private. A memorial service will be held at a later date.




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]




The Ninth Doctor on UKTVBookmark and Share

Friday, 30 August 2013 - Reported by Paul Scoones

UKTV

September sees the broadcast of ten episodes featuring Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor on Australian and New Zealand television. These screenings are part of the 50th Anniversary season of Doctor Who on the UKTV Australia and UKTV New Zealand channels.

Each Sunday afternoon during September will see a block of two episodes screened from the 2005 series.

The schedule for the month in both countries is as follows:

1 September
Rose - AU: 4:30pm; NZ: 4:50pm (NZ repeat 2 Sep, 4:30am)
The End of the World - AU: 5:30pm; NZ: 5:40pm

8 September
Aliens of London - AU: 4:30pm; NZ: 3:00pm
World War Three - AU: 5:30pm; NZ: 4:00pm (NZ repeat 9 Sep, 4:35am)

15 September
Dalek - AU: 4:30pm; NZ: 4:45pm
The Long Game - AU: 5:30pm; NZ: 5:40pm (NZ repeat 16 Sep, 4:30am)

22 September
The Empty Child - AU: 4:30pm; NZ: 4:50pm
The Doctor Dances - AU: 5:30pm; NZ: 5:40pm (NZ repeat 23 Sep, 4:35am)

29 September
Bad Wolf - AU: 4:30pm; NZ: 3:50pm
The Parting of the Ways - AU: 5:30pm; NZ: 4:45pm (NZ repeat 30 Sep, 4:45am)

The line-up includes all but three of the entire run of Ninth Doctor episodes. The omissions are The Unquiet Dead, Father’s Day and Boom Town.