David Fisher 1929-2018Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 11 January 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The writer David Fisher has died at the age of 88.

David Fisher wrote four Doctor Who stories, all starring the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. 

His first contribution to the series came in 1978 when he wrote two stories in the Key to Time season. The first, The Stones of Blood, was a Hammeresque story featuring blood eating rocks. It won praise for its depiction of strong female characters including Professor Rumford played by Beatrix Lehmann.

He wrote the following story The Androids of Tara, a story inspired by the Anthony Hope novel The Prisoner of Zenda.

In 1979 he returned to the series with the story The Creature from the Pit. He was also working on a story for this series called A Gamble with Time, but for personal reasons had to relinquish the story and hand it on to Script editor Douglas Adams to finish what became the widely acclaimed story City of Death.

His final contribution was for the season eighteen opener The Leisure Hive.

David Fisher's other work for television has included writing for Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense, Hammer House of Horror, The Mackinnons, General Hospital, Crown Court, Sutherland's Law, The Lotus Eaters, Crime of Passion, The Troubleshooters, Dixon of Dock Green, This Man Craig and Orlando.

David Fisher was born 13th April 1929. He died on the 10th January 2018.




The Unofficial Doctor Who 1972 AnnualBookmark and Share

Saturday, 30 December 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The 1972 Doctor Who Fannual (Credit: Mark Worgan)A new fan produced publication, wrtten in tribute to the Doctor Who Annuals of the 1970's, is looking for contributers.

'Somewhere in the multiverse, its always 1972'

The unofficial Doctor Who 1972 annual is a fan-produced homage to those old Dr Who annuals originally produced by 'World Distributors'.

Before there was VHS, before there were DVDs. Fans would eagerly await the yearly arrival of the Doctor's new adventures, in many ways very different to those that played out on screen. However, for the Xmas of 1971, no such adventures arrived.

The unofficial 1972 annual is entirely fan-produced, and will almost definitely be loss-profit making. But don't worry, the only investment we want is your time and talent. Although the annual is well underway, including a contribution from Ian Levene, we still need more contributions.

We need stories that feature the 3rd Doctor, his new assistant Miss Josephine Grant, and U.N.I.T. We are looking for stories that don't necessarily have to be too serious. In fact the more fun the better. We want the 1972 annual to be humorous (but family friendly) and maybe just a little bit daft, but always fun.

If you want to be a part of something special, please email: doctorwhoannual@aol.co.uk

Also check out the facebook page
The unofficial 1972 annual will be released in 2018




New Filmic Look for Series ElevenBookmark and Share

Friday, 1 December 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor (Credit: BBC/Steve Schofield)
Broadcast Magazine reports that the upcoming series of Doctor Who is being shot with different cameras to give the series a new filmic look.

Tha magazine reports that the production house Films at 59 has supplied BBC Studios in Cardiff with Cooke anamorphic Prime lenses and Angenieux Optimo anamorphic zooms that will be used with Arri Alexa XT and Alex Mini cameras. The intention is to bring an increased cinematic look to the show which went into production at the end of October.

Films at 59 hire client manager Dave Wride told Broadcast
The BBC have made a monumental leap here to enhance the look of Doctor Who and I’m sure the fans will not be disappointed with the distinctly cinematic results that this lens and camera combo will afford them.
The lens change is one of a number of changes being made by the new production team led by Executive Producers Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens, in what is expected to be a major reboot for the series. Earlier this month The Mirror reported that Composer Murray Gold is also to leave after this year's Christmas Special, but this has not been confirmed by the BBC.

One person definitly departing is Edward Russell, who has been Brand Manager on Doctor Who since it returned in 2005. Russell announced his departure on twitter
I’ve been planning my departure since the summer & agreed to stay on to see out Peter Capaldi’s era. I’ll be here until the end of the year. The role ends with my departure but I’m sure the work will continue. What an amazing 12 years!
The last episode produced by the incumbent Production team is this year Christmas Special Twice Upon a Time which will see Peter Capaldi regenerate into thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker.




First Director for Series 11Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 October 2017 - Reported by Marcus

Jamie Childs is the first Director confirmed to be working on Series 11 of Doctor Who.

Childs was responsible for directing the 13th Doctor reveal, which introduced Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.

The news was released on the webside of Jamie Childs' agent, Independent Talent, which confirms the director will be working on the first production block of the next series. It has not yet been confired which episodes will be shot during this production block.

Childs won aclaim for his work shooting comercials wining a number of awards, including a Promax for his piece for Tuborg Brewery.

He has recently directed two episodes of Vera, the HTV crime drama series based on novels of by crime writer Ann Cleeves, and two episodes of Stan Lee's Lucky Man for Sky 1. He worked as Second Unit Director for Series 1 of Poldark

Pre-production work on series 11 began last week for transmission in Autumn 2018.




The Doctor Who ProjectBookmark and Share

Thursday, 5 October 2017 - Reported by Marcus

The latest season of adventures from the long-running fan-written fiction series, The Doctor Who Project (TDWP), is currently in production.

The unofficial series features the Tenth Doctor and companion Hannah Redfoot as they travel through all of time and space in seven new adventures.

Season 41 begins with The Throne of Peladon by James P. Quick, the first part of a two-part adventure which sees the Doctor and Hannah return to Peladon in the year 4,100, where political machinations could once again rip the planet apart. Then, they encounter a boy soprano with a voice of gold who never grows old, land on a planet where the ghost of the Great One returns, confront an alien scientist bent on changing time, and the Doctor falls ill to a mysterious disease.

Writers for the rest of the season include Hamish Crawford, Ian Manning, J.E. Remy, Matthew James (Ghost Ship, The Snow Maiden), Richard Hoover (Where There’s Thunder), and Nick Krohn. Season 41 continues with The Secret of Peladon (Sep 30), Palimpsest (Oct 7), Web of Insanity (Oct 14), Dolce Music Della Morte (Oct 21), Rights and Responsibilities (Oct 28) and Moondust (Nov 4).

Stories are available free to readers in PDF format.

For more information visit The Doctor Who Project website.




The Doctor's Affect and The Doctor's Effects now available for online purchaseBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 September 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Doctor's Effect (Credit: Simon Meade/Steve Cambden)The Doctor's Effects (Credit: Simon Meade/Steve Cambden)
Two unofficial books about the visual effects work of twentieth century Doctor Who, previously only available to a mainly UK fanbase and via various offline avenues, have now been made available to purchase worldwide online.

The books were written by Steve Cambden, who worked on the show as one of K9's operators. The first, The Doctor's Affect (1999), chronicles how he achieved his dream as a teenager to work on the series, with in-depth accounts of the recording of Destiny of the Daleks, Nightmare of Eden, The Horns of Nimon, Shada, Meglos, Full Circle and State of Decay, plus exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs and a comprehensive account of K9’s creation.

The second, The Doctor’s Effects, features interviews with many of the visual effects and design legends who worked on Doctor Who throughout the 'classic era', covering over a hundred productions including stories such as The Daleks, The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Sea Devils, Genesis of the Daleks, Terror of the Zygons, The Awakening and The Trial of a Timelord. The book includes many previously unseen photographs and includes interviews with Bernard Wilkie, Jack Kine, John Friedlander, Ian Scoones, Mat Irvine and Ray Cusick.


Behind te scenes on Destiny of the Daleks (Credit: Simon Meade/Steve Cambden)The online initiative has been organised by Steve's long-term friend Simon Meade, of The Ark in Space Facebook group and Twitter feed:
Having been a friend of Steve’s for nearly 50 years, and gone through many of those wonderful 70’s Doctor Who fan moments with him, such as meeting actors and production crew, visiting the Longleat and Blackpool exhibitions, and attending the very first DWAS convention in 1977, I’m delighted to see that his two books can now be read by a worldwide audience!

On his Sevenzero.net website, Alex Storer has, for several years now, kindly been sharing information about Steve and his books, and over the coming weeks we’ll be updating the site with more information and readers comments.

Both books are informative and enjoyable reading for Doctor Who fans, especially if you adored the classic years, when so many talented and creative men and people, working with miniscule budgets and often ridiculous time constraints, made television magic that enthralled and captivated so many young hearts and minds.

Full details about the books - which will be personally signed - and how to purchase them can be found via the sevenzero.net website.


Competition

To be in with a chance to win the two books, signed by the author, simply answer the following question:
Name the visual effects assistant who introduced Steve to the world of Doctor Who production.
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-effects@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Affirmative!". The competition is open worldwide, closing date 8th October 2017. Only one entry per household will be accepted.


Details, images and competition with thanks to Simon Meade




Data Extract: the first 100 issuesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 17 August 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Data Extract: Issues 1 - 100 (Credit: The Doctor Who Club of Australia)The Doctor Who Club of Australia (DWCA) have announced the first 100 issues of the club fanzine, Data Extract, will be released as a collected volume:

In 1980 a publishing legend was born with the release of the first newsletter for the Doctor Who Club of Australia. Subsequently editor Dallas Jones named it Data Extract and under his stewardship the publication grew from a two page newsletter into a fully-fledged fanzine, with articles, interviews, art and more besides.

Now for the first time since their original releases, the first 100 issues of this Doctor Who fanzine have been reprinted and collected in one hardcover volume. Relive the heady days of the past from Tom Baker’s departure to the end of the classic era and into the Wilderness Years. It’s all here, presented exactly as it was.

This collection features interviews with Jon Pertwee, Sylvester McCoy, John Freeman and Jeremy Bentham. Experience Doctor Who history through the eyes of Australian fandom with the first 100 issues of Data Extract, Down Under’s premiere fanzine and the flagship publication of the DWCA.

The Doctor Who Fanzine Collection: Data Extract Issues 1 to 100 is available to purchase through Lulu.

(with thanks to Dallas Jones)




Whotopia - Issue 31Bookmark and Share

Friday, 28 July 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Whotopia - Issue 31The latest issue of the fan magazine Whotopia has been released and looks at the legacy of writer and Script Editor Robert Holmes

The Magazine is available in both a free-to-download PDF and can be purchased in hardcopy.

  • POINT / COUNTERPOINT: THE CASE FOR ROBERT HOLMES    Join Michael S. Collins & Jon Arnold as they ponder the works of the late great Robert Holmes
  • ROBERT HOLMES: THE EARLY YEARS  Bob Furnell picks up his biographer's lens and takes a look at Robert Holmes early career
  • COLUMN: WHOLIFE HOLMESLIFE Grant Bull takes a unique look at Holmes' life and works
  • HOLMES WHO REVIEWED Our panel review every story written by Robert Holmes
  • NOVELIZING THE SCRIPT: THE TWO DOCTORS Matthew Kresal focuses on Holmes novelization of his sixth Doctor script
  • COLUMN: TARGET TRAWL Nick Mellish continues his journey reading every single Target novel
  • SICK SOCIETY: HOW THE DYSTOPIAN NARRATIVE INFLUENCED DOCTOR WHO Steve Traves opens the lid on one of the series' most enduring themes
  • COLUMN: THE DOCTOR WHO SCHOLAR: FILE UNDER POLITICS This issue Jeremy discusses how the Doctor's travels have touched upon the cultural events of their time
  • BERNICE SUMMERFIELD UNBOUND Matthew Kresal examines the Big Finish audio boxset
  • WHO YOU BUILD Steve Traves explores more full-scale Doctor Who model making
  • THE BLACK ARCHIVES REVIEWED This issue Andrew Screen takes a look at Dark Water/Death In Heaven and Ghost Light
  • THE TENTH DOCTOR ADVENTURES Jessica Chaleff takles this new series of audio adventures from Big Finish
  • MASTER WHO PART 4: ERIC ROBERTS Dan Tessier details Eric Roberts version of ‘The Master’
  • COLUMN: THE FANZINE CORNER Bob Furnell returns with a special one-off edition of this popular column
  • THE AUDIO ARCHIVES: RETURN OF THE KROTONS Andrew Screen considers this audio sequel to Holmes' first ever 'Who' script
  • COLUMN: THE CURATE’S EGG Richard Michaels defends three of Holmes' bug-eyed monster creations




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.




Patrick Ness Calls Time on ClassBookmark and Share

Sunday, 4 June 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Patrick Ness writer and creator of the Doctor Who Spin-off Class, has confirmed he will not be writing any more episodes of the series.

The BBC has not officially commented on the future of the series, which was released on the BBC Three online channel last Autumn and shown on BBC America in the last couple of months. However, with the series creator now withdrawing from the drama it looks increasingly unlikely that a second series will be made.

Ness confirmed his withdrawal from any new series on Twitter saying
I decided a while back that, with unbelievable regret, I won't be writing anymore Class, even if a season 2 moves ahead. It has been the MOST amazing experience. I loved it, and I am so proud of the show and what we made. My heart just bursts with happy.

But we should be filming right now. With the new cycles of Who, we'd pretty much need to be to be on the air before even 2019. But we're not. And that's just TV and how it goes! Not even the littlest bit bitter.

What an amazing experience. Huge thank yous to BBC Three and BBC America for their love and enthusiasm for Class. BBC America in particular absolutely loves the show.
Class was created to appeal to the young adult market and initially released in the UK on an online platform. The project was part of the BBC's initiative to serve young adult consumers by focusing on online content, a decision that led to the closure of the BBC Three Broadcast channel.

It was hoped that high-quality original content would drive young viewers to the online station, which has struggled to make an impact in the market. However, the decision meant that Class was initially only seen by a fraction of the audience it would have received on a broadcast channel.

The series was later screened on BBC One, but as a late night double bill, where it struggled to find an audience, getting viewing figures around a third of the timeslot average.

Ness, on his Twitter feed, said he was baffled by the scheduling decisions of BBC1, given the show had been critically-acclaimed, but reiterated he was grateful for the chance to make it. He talked about some of his plans for Series Two, which will not now be realised.
If I had got a 2nd season, Weeping Angel civil war & Planet, Quill has a dangerous son, Charlie & Matteusz shirtless wood chopping. So, yeah, I'm really sad, saddest in my whole career, but it's the right choice.
Ness also paid tribute to the fans of the series and the cast
What a lucky man I've been to have been able to make a show I'm so proud of and work with wonderful people. Never even dreamed it. So thank you to everyone who watched and loved it and argued about it and watched it again. You made my heart swell. And I think, truly, that my cast are going to be smashing it for years to come. Pxxxx




Rachel Talalay Directing Christmas EpisodeBookmark and Share

Sunday, 28 May 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has confirmed that Rachel Talalay will be directing the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas episode, the last one before new showrunner Chris Chibnall takes over the series

Talaley has directed the final two episodes of both series 8 and 9 of Doctor Who, including the highly acclaimed Heaven Sent, as well as directing the upcoming finale to the current series.

Moffat confirmed her involvement while speaking at the first ever US Sherlock convention.
Making big-budget spectaculars on no money at all is what we need, and Rachel’s got such a deep background, and such great ability at that! We’re just finishing up on the finale episodes, and planning the Christmas one, which she’s also directing — which is my very last one.
The Christmas episode will also be the last one featuring current Doctor Peter Capaldi.

On Twitter Talalay said how pleased she was to be working on the series again.
Yes, thrilled to be doing #DoctorWho Xmas episode (and what a script!). Very sad it's our last.




Knock Knock - IntroductionsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 6 May 2017 - Reported by Marcus

Knock Knock: Known Broadcast Details
United KingdomBBC OneSat 6 May 20177:20pm BST
Middle EastBBC FirstSat 6 May 20179:20pm AST(Sat 7:20pm BST)
United States of AmericaBBC AmericaSat 6 May 20179:00pm EDT(Sun 2:00am BST)
CanadaSPACESat 6 May 20179:00pm EDT(Sun 2:00am BST)
FinlandYLE2Sun 7 May 201711:00am EEST(Sun 9:00am BST)
AustraliaABCSun 7 May 20177:40pm AEST(Sun 10:40am BST, also on ABC ME)
BrazilSyFySun 7 May 20178:00pm BRT(Sun 11:00pm BST)
Latin AmericaSyFySun 7 May 201711:00pm CDT(Mon 4:00am BST)
New ZealandPRIMESun 7 May 20177:30pm NZST(Mon 8:30am BST)

A special 3D sound mix of this week’s episode makes it feel as if you’re part of the action, according to a group of Welsh students.

Speaking at an exclusive screening of the binaural audio edition of episode four, Knock Knock, the students called it a great experience, saying the enhanced version sounds as if at any minute the monsters could be coming after you.

The enhanced binaural audio episode will be available on BBC iPlayer immediately after the adventure premieres on BBC One and BBC One HD from 8.10pm on Saturday, 6 May. Viewers can find it by searching Doctor Who Enhanced on BBC iPlayer or visiting: www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwhoenhanced

The binaural edition creates a 3D surround soundscape for anyone wearing headphones, placing the audience at the heart of the action while the bumps, scrapes, shrieks and screams echo around them as if they were actually there. To create the enhanced version, the team used new software developed by BBC Research & Development to artificially mimic the subtle effect the shape of the viewer’s head and ears have on what they hear. This lets sound engineers give the impression of specific sounds like the creaks and groans of the old house in Knock Knock being in front, behind, or all around viewers.

Brian Minchin, executive producer, Doctor Who, said:
Mike Bartlett’s episode 'Knock Knock' is perfect for 3D sound as it’s set in a creepy house where creaks might kill you! What you can hear, and where it comes from is extremely important. The binaural audio edition enhances the fun and the scares throughout Knock Knock.
Catherine Robinson, audio supervisor at BBC Wales, said:
The software BBC R&D have created enables us to completely immerse viewers in this extremely atmospheric episode. People will be able to hear the surround sound mix the way our engineers hear it in the studio, without the need for acres of cables, speakers and stands in their lounge. And as they can watch with a normal pair of headphones, they can experience the 3D audio wherever they want to watch this episode




Knock Knock - Binaural EditionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 2 May 2017 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC has confirmed that this week's episode of Doctor Who, Knock Knock, will be available on the BBC iPlayer in special binaural edition, available immediately after the episode has broadcast on BBC One.

Binaural is a method of sound reproduction that is intended to replicate the way the human brain understands sound to give the listener as natural an experience as possible. Rather than using a series of speakers to reproduce a soundscape, the Binaural process records sound using two microphones separated by the width of a human head. When listening to the replay through headphones, the effect is to replicate the sound going into each ear giving the listener the effect of actually being in the room where the sound was recorded.

The binaural edition of Knock Knock will be available on BBC iPlayer from 8.10pm on Saturday, 6 May.

The binaural process can be heard on the preview clip on the official BBC Doctor Who page. To experience it you need to listen to the clip on headphones.




Whotopia - 30Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 December 2016 - Reported by Marcus
WHOTOPIA ISSUE 30The latest issue of the fan magazine Whotopia has been released and is now available to download from the Whotopia website

In this issue
  • IN CONVERSATION WITH PETER DAVISON
  • Roger Crow chats with Fifth Doctor Peter Davison on the set of his new movie
  • THE DOCTOR IS NOT MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD
  • Jessica Chaleff explains quite to the contrary that the Doctor isn’t as old as you think
  • THE STORIES THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: THE MCCOY ERA
  • Bob Furnell examines the unmade stories from Sylvester McCoy’s era
  • OMEGA: THE LOST TIME LORD
  • Steve Traves considers one of the series’ more enigmatic villains
  • UNDERAPPRECIATED MONSTERS & VILLIANS IN DOCTOR WHO
  • Jessica Chaleff points the spotlight at a sample of less-looked-for antagonists
  • AN EVENING WITH MATTHEW WATERHOUSE
  • Paula Hammond reports on this special event with Matthew Waterhouse
  • COLUMN: TARGET TRAWL
  • Nick Mellish continues his journey reading every single Target novel
  • COLUMN: THE DOCTOR WHO SCHOLAR
  • This issue Jeremy examines Doctor Who as transmedia
  • WHO YOU BUILD
  • Steve Traves explores more full-scale Doctor Who model making
  • THE BLACK ARCHIVES: THE MASSACRE REVIEWED
  • Andrew Screen reviews one of the Black Archive books
  • WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT…?
  • Whotopia interviews authors Will Hadcroft and Ian Wheeler
  • COLUMN: THE AUDIO ARCHIVES
  • Andrew Screen continues his look at the works of Big Finish
  • MASTER WHO PART 3: ANTHONY AINLEY
  • Dan Tessier details Anthony Ainley’s version of ‘The Master’
  • POLARITY DAY: REMEMBERING JON PERTWEE
  • Paula Hammond attends this special DWAS event celebrating third Doctor Jon Pertwee
  • CLASS REVIEWED
  • Jon Arnold turns his critical eye on the first few episodes of the latest Who spinoff
  • THE BLACK ARCHIVES VOLUME 1-3
  • Andrew Screen takes a look at the series of books from Obverse Books
  • COLUMN: THE CURATE’S EGG
  • With the end of an era looming, Richard Michaels fires off a defence of Steven Moffat
The magazine can be downloaded for free from whotopia.ca.