Doctor Who tops Twitter trendsBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 December 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Twice Upon a Time: The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide (Simon Ridgway))Doctor Who has topped the worldwide trends on Twitter this evening, reaching the number one spot within minutes after Peter Capaldi's finale aired on BBC Television.

At 7:00pm, the hashtag #DoctorWho proved most popular topic, with "Jodie" and "Capaldi" in third and fourth places respectively - only the topic "Happy Christmas" split the subjects in second place. Outgoing show writer "Steven Moffat" also featured in fourteenth place.

Overnight viewing figures for the episode should be available tomorrow morning.

Twice Upon A Time - Media PackBookmark and Share

Monday, 18 December 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Twice Upon A TimeWith just one week to go until the world gets to see the final moments of the Twelfth Doctor in Twice Upon A Time, the BBC has released a wealth of promotional material, including interviews with the main cast.

The final chapter of the Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor’s journey sees the Time Lord team up with his former self, the first ever Doctor (David Bradley and a returning Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), for one last adventure.

Two Doctors stranded in an arctic snowscape, refusing to face regeneration.

Enchanted Glass People, stealing their victims from frozen time.

And a World War One Captain destined to die on the battlefield, but taken from the trenches to play his part in the Doctor's story.

An uplifting new tale about the power of hope in humanity’s darkest hours, Twice Upon A Time marks the end of an era. But as the Doctor must face his past to decide his future, his journey is only just beginning...

Twice Upon A Time is written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay, and executive produced by Brian Minchin. The 60-minute special guest stars Mark Gatiss as The Captain and Nikki Amuka-Bird as the voice of the glass woman, and will see Peter Capaldi’s Doctor regenerate into the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker).
A message from Peter Capaldi

Doctor Who has taken me on an amazing journey. Now that it’s coming to an end, I wish the Doctor all the very best for the future, and the past, and everything in-between. Time I was off.
Peter Capaldi On Filming His Regeneration Episode

An interview with David Bradley

Twice Upon a Time: The First Doctor (David Bradley) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide (Simon Ridgway))How did you get the call?

Well it all started with An Adventure in Space and Time (the 2013 biopic about the start of Doctor Who) a few years ago. Mark Gatiss who wrote that tapped me on the shoulder one day at an event in London and asked me to play Hartnell in that, and I was absolutely thrilled. I said yes even before I’d seen a script! Doing that was a great experience but most of it was getting under the skin of this amazing actor and quite complicated man which Mark’s script captured beautifully I thought.

After that wrapped I thought “Well, I’ve done it now. That’s my Doctor Who adventure over” I’d sort of been the Doctor, but I couldn’t join the pantheon or lay any claim to being 'a Doctor Who'. And I never thought for a moment there was any reason for the First Doctor to come back to the main series - but it turns out there really was, because what a great story we’ve got in store for you! And the fact that it’s not only Steven’s last gig but Peter’s last performance as the Doctor, combined with the fact it’s the Christmas episode, means that it doesn’t get any better really.

What’s it like playing the First Doctor?

From my previous role as Hartnell playing the Doctor I was already familiar with that way he would look at someone uneasily - his head tilted back and to one side - with the “Do I believe you or not?” quizzical, searching look that he gives people across his face. And of course his authoritative pose with his hands on his lapels, which makes him feel in charge of things. Though of course sometimes he doesn’t, because he’s a mixture of authority and vulnerability. And together with the humour, that’s where the humanity lies. He’s got so many different aspects to his personality.

Were there any sets or locations that you particularly enjoyed working on?

Oh just all of it! Visually, I cannot wait to see the finished episode. Every set was so well crafted with real detail, so many playgrounds for the First Doctor to explore. It’s as big in scale and production values as anything I’ve ever done before.

How would you describe the tone of this episode?

I think the message is that if there’s life, there’s hope - just keep going!

How did it feel to be part of Peter Capaldi’s final episode at the Doctor?

I really did realise that this particular episode was a big event. Not that there was any pressure on the studio floor, but it was clear that it’s going to be a celebration of all the great work Peter has done over the last three years, and that Steven had done over the last decade or so, meaning it felt special in the sense. As well as being special because it’s this year’s big Christmas episode too!

How does the First Doctor look at the Twelfth Doctor?

I think he views the Twelfth as junior to him and his Doctorship! He thinks this new man claiming to be the Doctor has a lot to learn - he quizzes and questions him a lot on the decisions he makes and why he throws himself into certain situations. I think the First Doctor really wonders if the Twelfth has got the experience and the nous to carry him through his adventures and dangerous situations. But across he soon comes to realise that the Twelfth Doctor is himself as well, so he’s got to acknowledge that this figure who stands before him is who he becomes in the future. Which leads to a whole set of other questions, of course.

Can you explain the enduring appeal of Doctor Who?

I think it’s the fact that it takes place in so many different eras and places - the possible stories are limitless! The TARDIS can go anywhere - it can go back to ancient Rome, it can go to a World War One battlefield as it does in this episode, it and go a million years into the future at the other side of the galaxy. And of course the idea of time travel is such a fascinating and appealing one. Even now scientists are arguing if time travel is even possible. So many want it to be true.

An interview with Mark Gatiss

Twice Upon a Time: The Captain (Mark Gatiss) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide (Simon Ridgway))What have we got to look forward to in this episode?

This is not just a Christmas special, it’s also the end of Steven Moffat’s era and the end of Peter Capaldi’s era. It’s got two Doctors interacting, two TARDISes, Bill is back, and there’s a very interesting new threat. Plus there’s lots of snow, lots of laughs and lots of tears and - not only that - we get to meet the Thirteenth Doctor. Lucky for some!

How did you get the casting call?

It happened very touchingly a couple of months ago. We were at a script meeting for the series ten episode I’d written, Empress of Mars, when Steven took me aside and said “I know you get booked up quickly so will you keep June and July free?” I said yes straight away, and then asked why! He said “I’m writing a part you’d be perfect for in Peter’s last story, and I want you to be there when I go”. Which is a Doctorish line in itself and made me well up.

It’s my privilege and pleasure to be involved. It was honestly one of the happiest jobs I’ve ever had. It’s been utterly delightful with Peter, Pearl and David. Though dealing with epic themes it’s actually quite a contained, intimate story on one level - in some ways a chamber piece. We’ve had a really good laugh. It’s been delightful.

You’ve been involved with Doctor Who since it came back in 2005. What was it like to finally get to travel with the doctor?

It was heaven - I got to do it all! At one point I even come through the TARDIS doors and say in amazement “it’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside!”. All these things I’ve always wanted to do! I did have to ask myself how I would cope with experiencing that, and actually I made sure that my character didn’t get used to it too quickly. I wanted to make sure you get a sense - which is in the script - of The Captain being overwhelmed by it all and really shocked, rather than just taking it in his stride. But at the same time he is a soldier, so he reacts to certain other situations in quite a straight forward way.

Were there any sets or locations that you particularly enjoyed working on?

I play a Captain from the First World War so there is a trench and battlefield element, which we filmed on location across a number of fields. We had one hundred extras playing German, French and British soldiers and it was really very moving to be part of. Something about the sheer amount of people in these splendid uniforms. The weather was quite drizzly, but it suited the story and it got very muddy, which of course it really would have been. There was an incredible moment when all these extras swarmed over the battlefield - at which point everyone on set was tearing up. It was moving and extraordinary to be a part of.

How would you describe the tone of this episode?

It’s a very funny and very lovely story. It’s perfect for Christmas as - for me at least - I feel that Christmas is always a mixture of happy and sad. It’s Peter’s last story and it’s obviously infused with that, but it’s a story that takes place out of time, where he has one last adventure before he goes and regenerates into the Thirteenth Doctor. And I suppose it’s about that - it’s about letting go.

The Twelfth Doctor’s encounter with the First Doctor is the central part of the story, with all the lessons that he learns from that.

How did you feel to be part of Peter’s final episode?

I know that Peter really just wanted to enjoy his last adventure. I’m sure that as he got to the last few days the sense of finality will have sunk in - you know, “that’s the last time on location, that’s the last time I’ll run down a corridor, that’s the last time I fight a monster…” etcetera, but it was a really joyous shoot to be a part of. With my old Doctor Who fan head on - Worzel Gummage style - to be a part of any Doctor’s final adventure was incredible, but particularly for Peter who I think has been magnificent. It’s the end of so many eras and you couldn’t help but feel that. It was a real pleasure.

Why should we tune in to Twice Upon A Time?

There’s always something magical about being on Christmas Day, and I think Doctor Who itself has a magic to it. Somewhere deep in its bones there’s something brilliant about this show, and the combination of the two things gives you that shiver. It’s a wonderful thing to be there as a Christmas Day treat. This episode, as it’s the end of an era, has that. Christmas is an interesting time too. There’s something special about it, something in the frosty air that always feels like it’s a good time for ghost stories or stories of enchantment; it’s happy but bittersweet. That’s what this ep has in spades.

An interview with Pearl Mackie

Twice Upon a Time: Bill (Pearl Mackie), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide (Simon Ridgway))What have we got to look forward to in this episode?

There’s so much! We’ve got not one but two TARDISes, and we travel in both of them which is pretty exciting. We’ve also got three Doctors - that’s pretty amazing. Obviously we’ve got the current Doctor who we all know and love, but we’ve also got the First Doctor played by David Bradley - who is phenomenal. The current Doctor, who’s dying but refusing to regenerate at the start of the story, meets him as a way of dealing with his current struggles. The interaction between those two is great - really funny, but also surprising and very moving in places. And of course there’s also the regeneration, when the Twelfth Doctor becomes the Thirteenth Doctor!

Were you excited to get the call asking you back?

Very much so - it was a total honour to be asked back and it’s even more exciting that it’s for a Christmas special! Bill is 100% back with the full Bill energy, but she’s not quite all she seems...

What else can you tell us about the episode?

We also have a new monster - a lady who’s made of glass, but you’ll have to tune in to find out what she’s up to. We’ve also got some old foes returning, to make Christmas even more exciting!

Were there any sets or locations that you particularly enjoyed working on?

It was very exciting to be on the set of the first Doctor’s TARDIS. It wasn’t something I was that familiar with, but great to get acclimatised on. And apparently there were lots of props that were actually used in the original TARDIS that were used in our set too, so it really does look and feel like the real deal from the first series of Doctor Who over fifty years ago. Some of the ice sets were really cool too, plus the huge battlefield which features during some key moments of the episode.

Why should we watch?

One of the amazing things about Doctor Who is that it’s sci-fi, but it has that humanity to it. It has human relationships and interactions, with the added excitement of the monsters, the amazing sets and the wonders of exploring all of time and space. This episode has all of that in a really big accessible adventure for all ages - plus the regeneration!

An interview with Steven Moffat

Steven MoffatWhat does Twice Upon A Time have in store for us?

There are some new eerie creatures of glass haunting the Doctor and his friends throughout this story - but what their purpose and what their plan is, and what their time traveling machinations are, is going to be a big surprise to the Doctor.

Were there any sets or locations that you particularly enjoyed working on?

There’s a real range of spaces that we visit across the special. We have the inside of a giant stone spaceship full of creepy glass creatures. We’re in the first Doctor’s TARDIS - recreated and brought back from the 1960s to stand proud in the Welsh studios. We’re on a First World War battlefield. And at long last we go to a location that I mentioned in my very first episode of Doctor Who back in 2005, as we visit the ruins of Villengard.

How would you describe the tone of this episode?

This episode is somewhere between a coda and drumroll. It’s a coda to the time of the Twelfth Doctor played by Peter Capaldi, and a drumroll to usher in the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker. Approaching it, one issue I had was that The Doctor Falls (this year’s series finale) was the end of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. That episode saw the Twelfth Doctor stating what he stands for and standing on the hill on which he was prepared to die.

That was the end of his story. But - as often happens in stories and real life - it didn’t end there. He kept going, he started to regenerate, so at Christmas what we’re going to see is a man weary and tired and, having made his point and having made his stand and given his life for something that matters, he has to learn just how to carry on after that. But of course this being Doctor Who and Christmas it’s much warmer and hopeful than that, so in perfect timing walking towards him out of the snow he meets earliest incarnation. The William Hartnell version of the Doctor - played now by David Bradley in an astonishing performance - and the two of them are about to regenerate. Tonally it’s about saying “to hell with dying, let’s get on with living”. And what’s more Christmassy that that? It’s the turn of the year, a time for new beginnings, it’s the time when we start climbing back towards the light.

How does the First Doctor look at the Twelfth Doctor?

Well the Doctor never gets on with himself. Arguably he doesn’t get on with himself when it’s just him alone - we had the whole plot of Heaven Sent (in series nine) about that - so he doesn’t get on with himself even when it’s just him. But here I think we have perhaps one of the most interesting instances of the Doctors meeting, because the First Doctor as we know from the show is quite different from the Doctor we know now.

Ultimately he’s the same person - he has the same set of impulses and ideals - but he hasn’t yet become at home with what he’s becoming. If you look at the original William Hartnell series, the Doctor’s starting to fight the good fight, but he’ll arrive in a spot of trouble and generally speaking he’ll only help others out because he needs to get back to the TARDIS. So often there’d be a plot contrivance to stop William Hartnell’s Doctor getting back to his TARDIS and flying out of danger. Slowly that started changing as the Doctor developed as a character. He’d start saying “No I can’t leave yet - not because I can’t get to the TARDIS, but because these people are still in trouble and this evil is still in control. I have to help these people.”

Without noticing it, or it ever being his plan or his intent, he’s starting to engage with the universe and he’d be horrified to think that he’s starting to become its protector. Now, at the end of that lifetime when the First Doctor is facing his end, he doesn’t yet realise that’s what he already is. He’s already the man who rides to the rescue, the saviour of the oppressed, but he doesn’t own up to that. Now he meets the Twelfth doctor, and the Twelfth doctor has been doing this for so long. He’s used to the idea that he’s already Earth’s protector - an idea that completely bewilders his younger - except kind of older self. The thing to focus on this time, alongside the flourishes that distinguish the two doctors - it that they are at very different moments in their lives. The First Doctor is not quite yet the hero we are used to.

How did you feel to be writing your final episode of Doctor Who?

The truth about writing anything is that it’s always difficult. You can change the reason why it’s difficult, but the fact is it’s just always difficult! Throughout writing this I wanted to feel more about the fact it’s the last one I’ll ever write, and I wanted to feel more about it’s the last one Peter will ever play, but the truth is that the technicality and the difficulty and the demands on your creativity - all that overwhelms you to the point where you’re just trying to write a great Doctor Who story! That’s enough to contend with - you can’t have the real life drama of two old Scotsmen making their way to the door.

Once we got into shooting it, however, and especially when we approached filming Peter’s last moments as the Doctor which were done at the end of the shoot, we did talk more about how exactly he should meet his end. We were both very pleased with that final section of the script already, but as we went through piece by piece we thought there were ways to improve it so I’d be banging out new pages each night for us to discuss on set each day. That was so enjoyable and exciting to do - to really feel that we were getting his send off right - that in a way it took whatever emotions we were both having about leaving and put them on screen where they belong. By the time we got to that part of filming I think Peter and I were probably the least emotional on set because we’d put it all in the show!

The episode premieres in the UK on BBC One on Christmas Day at 5.30pm, followed by transmission around the world. Full details here

Peter Capaldi Book Cover for AuctionBookmark and Share

Friday, 1 December 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The Metamorphosis - Cover by Peter Capaldi (Credit: House of Illustration)
Peter Capaldi has designed a new, original jacket for a first edition of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka to raise money for House of Illustration – the world’s only public gallery solely dedicated to illustration and graphic arts.

The auction, at Sotheby’s London, on 11 December 2017 - 12 December 2017, will offer a collection of 33 first editions of classic books, each with an original dust-jacket, created and donated by leading artists and designers to benefit House of Illustration.

Each artist selected a book they felt a strong connection to and then created a new dust-jacket or artwork in response to it. The re-worked classics include Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers and George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Peter Capaldi chose to illustrate The Metamorphosis, the novella written by Franz Kafka which was first published in 1915.
I chose to illustrate the cover of The Metamorphosis because I find the story so powerful, the imagery unforgettable, and the sadness at its heart completely human
The book is expected to raise up to £2000 for the charity which works with schools across London on projects with young people to inspire creativity and enable them to communicate visually, overcoming barriers such as language, literacy levels and special educational needs.

Ahead of the sale, all works will be on display at Sotheby’s London (34-35 New Bond Street) from 8-11 December 2017. In total, thirty-one artists have donated to the sale.

For more information visit Sothebys Website.

Access All Areas - Doctor Who SpecialBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 November 2017 - Reported by Marcus
As the Twelfth Doctor approaches his final story, BBC Radio Two is to broadcast a two hour special documentary looking behind the scenes of Doctor Who.

Broadcast on Thursday 21 December at 8pm, the programme sees Jo Whiley gain exclusive access to the Doctor Who team. She catches up with the stars of the series on the set - including Pearl Mackie, David Bradley, Exec Producer Steven Moffat, and the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi. She also hears from outgoing companion Matt Lucas, and digs into the BBC Doctor Who archive.

There will be stories from behind the scenes, including how Lucas approaches being recognised by fans; the radical ways in which Mackie's life has changed; Pele’s reaction to signing a Brazil shirt for the Doctor and how Doctor Who has always been with Peter Capaldi - from dressing up as a Dalek as a child to karaoke singalongs to The Killers (all in the name of getting into character).

Plus, Radio 2 listeners will find out which member of the team has a penchant for Chas and Dave

BBC Radio 2 can be heard worldwide via the BBC Radio iPlayer.

Children in Need 2017Bookmark and Share

Friday, 10 November 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
This year's annual fundraising evening Children in Need will take place from 7:30pm on Friday 17th November, and as in previous years will include a preview of the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special. The preview is currently scheduled to be shown during the first half hour.

Children in Need 2017 - Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie and David Bradley (Credit: BBC/Simon Ridgway)
Children in Need 2017 - Peter Capaldi (Credit: BBC/Simon Ridgway) Children in Need 2017 - Peter Capaldi (Credit: BBC/Simon Ridgway)
Children in Need 2017 - Pearl Mackie (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston) Children in Need 2017 - Pearl Mackie (Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Donate here!

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

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

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

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

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

Signed Christmas Script Up For AuctionBookmark and Share

Friday, 13 October 2017 - Reported by Marcus

The shooting script for Peter Capaldi's last episode as The Doctor is being sold at a charity auction.

The script for Twice Upon A Time is being auctioned to raise money for Star Trek legend William Shatner's Hollywood Charity Horse Show, a charity set up by the star to raise money to support a number of charities dedicated to helping those in need.

The script is signed by the two Doctor's in the story, Peter Capaldi and David Bradley, as well as other members of the team, and has been donated by Mark Gatiss, who is playing The Captain in the story.

Online bidding in the silent auction begins next Sunday, October 15th

The winner of the auction will not be sent the script until after transmission of the episode this coming Christmas.

A full list of charities supported can be found here.

Twice Upon A Time - SynopsisBookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 September 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Twice Upon a Time: Mark Gatiss, Peter Capaldi, David Bradley (Credit: BBC)BBC Worldwide has issued the press synopsis for the Doctor Who Christmas Episode Twice Upon A Time.

The episode will be the last story to star Peter Capaldi as The Doctor and will feature David Bradley in the role of the First Doctor.

Pearl Mackie returns as Bill Potts, alongside Lily Travers and Jared Garfield who recreate the first Doctor's companions Polly and Ben. Mark Gatiss also joins the cast as The Captain

Two Doctors stranded in a forbidding snowscape, refusing to face regeneration. And a British army captain seemingly destined to die in the First World War, but taken from the trenches to play his part in the Doctor’s story. This is the magical last chapter in the Twelfth Doctor’s epic adventure. He must face his past to decide his future. And the Doctor will realise the resilience of humanity, discovering hope in his darkest frozen moment. It’s the end of an era. But the Doctor’s journey is only just beginning.
The information was released by the BBC Shop in the United States who have posted details of the DVD release of the story.

Peter Capaldi signed script up for auctionBookmark and Share

Saturday, 26 August 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Doctor Who Appreciation Society have launched an auction on behalf of Syrian Refugees in North London, a charity run from Muswell Hill Methodist Church and supported by the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi and his wife Elaine. A number of items are up for auction, including the original readthrough script for the episode Listen, signed and illustrated by the actor.

DWAS: Peter Capaldi charity auction (Credit: DWAS)

The auction ends just after 5pm on the 4th September - visit the DWAS website for full details.

Christmas Details Announced at SDCCBookmark and Share

Sunday, 23 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
This news item contains official information released by the BBC at the Doctor Who panel at San Diego Comic Con. some readers may consider the information spoilers.

Twice Upon a Time: Mark Gatiss, Peter Capaldi, David Bradley (Credit: BBC)

The BBC has announced that Peter Capaldi’s final episode of Doctor Who, to be broadcast this Christmas will be called

Twice Upon a Time

Twice Upon a Time: Pearl Mackie (Credit: BBC)The episode will also feature Pearl Mackie returning as Bill Potts. Viewers will have to wait until Christmas to discover exactly how Bill, who will appear throughout the episode, makes her return.

It was also revealed that Mark Gatiss will co-star in the episode in a guest role, playing a World War One soldier - known so far only as ‘The Captain'

As previously revealed in the closing moments of the 2017 series finale, the special will feature Peter Capaldi’s current Doctor team up with the First Doctor, played by David Bradley.

Peter Capaldi's Salary RevealedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Peter Capaldi was paid between £200,000 and £250,000 for his work on Doctor Who in the previous financial year, according to figures published by the BBC today.

The BBC has been instructed by government to publish the salaries of all on screen staff members who earn more than £150,000 each year, as part of the 2016 charter renewal.

The BBC has 96 staff members who fit into this category with Radio 2 and Top Gear presenter Chris Evans topping the chart with a salary of over 2 million pounds.

The highest paid actor is Derek Thompson from Casualty who earned between £350,000 and £400,000 in the year. The list only includes those working directly for the BBC and not those working on independent productions comissioned by the corporation, such as Sherlock.

The figure just reflects the amount of licence fee money paid to the actor and does not include any money paid by the commercial company BBC Worldwide for any other work undertaken.

Doctor Who in Germany - A TimelineBookmark and Share

Thursday, 6 July 2017 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
Doctor Who in Germany (Credit: Pascal Salzmann)
Last weekend over 50,000 people attended the Comic Con Germany in Stuttgart. One of the stars invited was Torchwood’s John Barrowman, so a surprising number of attendees cosplayed characters from Doctor Who or Torchwood. But Germany’s obsession with the Doctor is fairly new and for a long time the show has been struggling to get any recognition even among Science Fiction fans.

Here is a timeline of Doctor Who in Germany:

The 60’s – Missed opportunities

It was in 1965 that the BBC offered a German channel a selection of William Hartnell stories. An offer which was never taken up. In 1968 the German public channel ZDF received an audition print of The Ice Warriors. A jury should decide if the serial was worth airing on German television. The protocol reads (translated to English):

Dr. Who and the Ice Warriors, Utopian series
Result: rejected.
A new ice age has gripped Earth. A motley crew of scientists fights a losing battle to overcome the problems. The now moving glaciers release beings from other planets stranded with their spaceship on Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Scenery and costumes of the films are as naive as the scripts are obscure.
The rejection was unanimous.

If ZDF had picked up this serial and even more stories from the 60’s, many lost episodes would likely still exist, since German TV back then was already archiving most of their shows for repeat purposes.

The 70’s – Doctor Who wasteland

During the 70’s Doctor Who was nowhere to be seen on German television. Although there was one curious sidestep in print. The German erotic magazine Plaisir published the famous “nude Katy Manning and the Dalek” photo on its cover, with a feature inside. This magazine is a rarity now and it is not known if the TV show was explained to the readers of the magazine, who most likely had never heard of Doctor Who.

The 80’s – Doctor Who makes its debut in print and on German TV

In 1980 the German young adult books publisher Schneider released two Target novelisations, “Der Planet der Daleks” (Planet of the Daleks) and “Kampf um die Erde” (translates to “Fight for Earth”, better known as The Dalek Invasion of Earth). Both novels were heavily edited.

It was not a German TV channel that debuted Doctor Who in (West-)Germany. Instead the English language European Super Channel showed a few Tom Baker stories in the mid-80’s. Not many Germans would have watched them, though.

The Seventh Doctor, as played by Sylvester McCoy
Finally in 1989 the commercial TV channel RTL Plus made a deal with BBC Enterprises to broadcast the Sylvester McCoy episodes of Doctor Who. The show was dubbed into German, with the actor Michael Schwarzmaier providing the voice for the Doctor and Carin Tietze the voice for Ace.

The series started on Wednesday, 22nd November 1989 at 1.05pm with the first episode of “Terror auf Lakertia” (Time and the Rani). Before that there was a short introduction to the program with producer John Nathan-Turner and Sylvester McCoy summarising the history of the show for German audiences. Episode 2 aired on Sunday afternoon, with each subsequent episode airing on the same day.

Interestingly RTL Plus broadcasted the serials in production order, not in the same order as it had been transmitted in the UK. The last serial therefore was “Das Hause der Tausend Schrecken” (translates to “The house of a thousand horrors”, better known as Ghost Light), instead of “Der Tod auf leisen Sohlen” (“Death on silent feet” or Survival).

Doctor Who Magazine reported in September 1990 that the Sylvester McCoy run attracted around 2 million viewers and that RTL Plus was looking into buying Jon Pertwee serials in colour, although this never seemed to have gone any further than negotiations.

With no new episodes after Series 26 it appeared Doctor Who’s broadcast in Germany ended just a little while after it began.

The 90’s – Certainly no years of wilderness in Germany

Shortly after the RTL Plus broadcast, German books publisher Goldmann released six Target novels translated to German.

1 Die Invasion the Daleks (Doctor Who and the Daleks)
2 Das Komplott der Daleks (The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
3 Der Planet der Daleks (Planet of the Daleks)
4 Tod den Daleks (Death to the Daleks)
5 Der Schöpfer der Daleks (Destiny of the Daleks)
6 Das Kind von den Sternen (An Unearthly Child)

The first book included a chapter on the history of Doctor Who on TV and print. Bizarrely the book cover of The Daleks featured Tom Baker and the cover of Destiny of the Daleks featured William Hartnell. The novelizations of Daleks Invasion of Earth and Planet of the Daleks featured a different translation than the one in the Schneider books from the 80’s and were also unedited this time.

In 1991 comics publisher Condor released the popular DWM comic strips featuring the sixth Doctor and Frobisher in three parts.

RTL Plus repeated Seasons 24 to 26 in 1993, on Fridays and Saturdays shortly after midnight. This time the serials were edited together as long omnibus editions.

Viewers then had to wait until 1995 for new material. Commercial TV channel VOX bought all Colin Baker stories and dubbed them into German. The Doctor was again voiced by Michael Schwarzmaier. VOX also bought the anniversary special “Die Fünf Doktoren” (The Five Doctors) which was the first story to be transmitted. The 90 minute feature was edited into a three-parter with many scenes missing. Again Michael Schwarzmaier dubbed every incarnation of the Doctor, giving each one a unique voice.

After “Die Fünf Doktoren” aired, VOX transmitted every available Colin Baker episode Monday to Friday in the early morning. Strangely, they started with the last serial “Das Urteil” (Trial of a Time Lord) and worked their way backwards until “Zweimal Einstein” (The Twin Dilemma). VOX repeated the run immediately after (again backwards), but after that it would take more than a decade until Doctor Who returned to TV screens in Germany.

More and more genre magazines started to appear in the mid 90’s, so it was only a matter of time until they would run articles on that “curious british cult TV show”. Space View, a magazine comparable to the UK's SFX, ran a two part article about Doctor Who. Other magazines started to feature more and more news on the show, especially in the wake of the new TV movie featuring Paul McGann.

The TV Movie arrived in Germany in 1997 as a VHS, at first to rent, later on the shelves to buy. It was dubbed to German but hasn’t been transmitted on TV to this day.

The 90’s also saw the first kind of “fandom” appear in Germany. In 1995 the fan club Worshippers of Xoanon was formed which later published a quarterly fanzine called Time Scoop. The club started out with only a handful of people, meeting up regularly to watch the latest imported VHS or sharing their New Adventures novels collection and talking about convention appearances in the UK they were lucky to attend. For the first few years the club had around 10 to 20 members, but since then grew immensely.

2000 – today: Doctor Who takes a while but finally arrives

Some members of the fan club started the first podcast called Whocast in 2006, discussing Big Finish releases, reviewing stories and bringing news about the new TV show. The Whocast became pretty popular after a while and still runs to this day. It was the second podcast about Doctor Who worldwide.

When Doctor Who returned to British TV screens in 2005 the few German fans existing had to wait a while longer for its return. Commercial channel Pro7 finally bought Series 1 and 2 in 2008, dubbed them and aired the episodes every Saturday afternoon. The ratings were disappointing though, so they cancelled the show after the transmission of “Der Dritte Weltkrieg” (World War Three), only to continue with Dalek a few weeks later at a different timeslot. After the Series 2 finale, Pro7 announced they were not interested in purchasing further episodes of Doctor Who. Would German viewers now never get to know who the mysterious bride in the TARDIS would be?

One year later, in 2009, another channel picked up a show belonging to the Doctor Who universe. RTL 2 aired the first episode of Torchwood on 11th March 2009. Although most viewers will have never heard of Doctor Who, its spin-off quickly developed into a success for the channel, leading them later into buying Series 3 and 4. Doctor Who fans were hopeful that RTL 2 might give Doctor Who another chance but that scenario never happened.

Fans still had to wait until 2012 to see new episodes of Doctor Who. FOX Germany, a subscription channel, bought the license for Doctor Who and started to broadcast from Series 5 onwards. Although fans were a bit disappointed Series 3 and 4, as well as the Specials, were never shown, the Series 5 broadcast was a huge success for FOX. Quickly they started to transmit Series 6 and after that dubbed the “missing stories” of the David Tennant era. Fans finally got to know about the mysterious bride.

German Mediabook DVD cover to "Caves of Androzani" (Credit: Pandastorm Pictures)
In 2013, around the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the show seemed to be everywhere in the media. The German press didn’t ignore it anymore, the cinema showings of the anniversary special sold out in many cities and the internet, facebook, tumblR and co helped to build the fandom.

Around 2013 Panini Comics started to release the Titan comic books in Germany and books publisher Cross Cult began releasing Doctor Who novels. The relatively young DVD production company Pandastorm Pictures released boxed sets with Classic Who stories that were already dubbed to German. To this day they released all Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy stories, The Five Doctors and the TV Movie. As these DVD’s sold extremely well, they are now starting to dub stories that were never seen before on German television. The first release will be “Die Höhlen von Androzani” (The Caves of Androzani) and they just announced a second release, “Die Auferstehung der Daleks” (Resurrection of the Daleks). The fifth Doctor played by Peter Davison will once again be voiced by Michael Schwarzmaier.

In 2015 three fans founded the company TimeLash Event. They started a crowdfunding that ultimately made nearly twice as much money as they needed in order to do a Doctor Who convention, the first one ever in Germany. The con was held in October 2015 in Kassel and featured guests such as Paul McGann, Nicola Bryant, Nicholas Briggs, Terry Molloy, Terrance Dicks, Catrin Stewart, Andrew Cartmel and many more. Since then TimeLash has become a well-established annual Doctor Who convention, which usually sells out months before the date.

Not long after TimeLash the BBC sent Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman for a visit to Berlin, finally acknowledging the fandom in Germany.

After the success on the subscription-only channel FOX, Doctor Who could also be streamed at iTunes, Netflix, Amazon Prime, among others.

Recently the public channel ONE, belonging to the ARD-group, picked up the show and repeated all available episodes, most of them for the first time ever on a free-to-air channel. Reports recently came in that the viewing figures for the target audiences are better than anything else that channels broadcasts.

German fans still don’t know yet when they are going to see last year’s Christmas special and Series 10. It seems like both FOX and ONE try to get the license for airing the episodes first and these negotiations are still ongoing.

Doctor Who has truly arrived in Germany and made its impression. German pop culture is filled with references to the show and more and more actors appear on German conventions. Here's to a bright future.


The Doctors Will Return at ChristmasBookmark and Share

Sunday, 2 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
he Doctor (Peter Capaldi), The First Doctor (David Bradley) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide (Ray Burmiston))
The closing moments of the Doctor Who series ten finale confirmed press speculation that this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special will be a multi-Doctor adventure featuring the current Doctor played by Peter Capaldi and the First Doctor played by David Bradley.

The BBC has issued a picture showing the two actors together.

David Bradley played William Hartnell in the 2013 drama based on the creation of Doctor Who, An Adventure In Space And Time, were he played Hartnell creating the character of the original Doctor

Further casting and details for the Doctor Who Christmas special will be revealed in due course. The special will serve as Peter Capaldi's farewell to the series and will feature the debut of the next Doctor.

The Doctors: The Pat Troughton YearsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Koch Media have released the second in their collection of interviews from Reeltime Pictures with stars from Doctor Who, this time focussing on the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton's era.

The Doctors: The Pat Troughton Years (Credit: Koch Media)The Doctors: The Pat Troughton Years
Produced by Keith Barnfather (order from Amazon)

A new double-DVD release in the highly regarded series exploring the world of TV’s Doctor Who in what will build into a complete work on The Doctors.

This is the definitive set of interviews with the team of actors who brought the Patrick Troughton era of Doctor Who to life, offering a whole new insight into the making of the classic science fiction series.

  • Includes a special tribute to PATRICK TROUGHTON containing messages from a host of stars and production staff from DOCTOR WHO.
  • Presented by voice of the Daleks Nicholas Briggs.
  • Quality in-depth interviews with, Anneke Wills (Polly), Michael Craze (Ben), Frazer Hines (Jamie), Deborah Watling (Victoria) and Wendy Padbury (Zoe).
  • This 2 DISC special collectors edition is 5 hours of pure nostalgia, which will give you a whole new insight into the making of Doctor Who.
  • Includes special feature: Introduction by Nicholas Briggs & Producer Keith Barnfather.


To be in with a chance to win a copy of The Doctors: The Pat Troughton Years courtesy of Koch Media, simply answer the following question:
Which of the second Doctor's companions travelled with him for the longest time?
Please send your answers along with your name, address and where you heard about the competition (news site, news app, other website, etc.) to with the subject "Oh my word!". The competition is open to UK readers only, closing date 30th June 2017. Only one entry per household will be accepted.