New Target NovalisationsBookmark and Share

Friday, 23 February 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC has announced the first Target novelisations of episodes from the revived post-2005 series of Doctor Who.

Both former showrunners, Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat, will be writing novelisations of their own episodes to be published by BBC Books, under the Target imprint, to be published on the 5th April 2018.

The series will also see the first Target novelisation of a Douglas Adams story.

In the 1970's and 1980's Target books were published for most Doctor Who stories, and were the only way most fans of the series could relive the television adventures. Many came to the series through the novelisations, often written by the original script writer.

Rose (Credit: BBC Books)ROSE
RUSSELL T DAVIES


In a lair somewhere beneath central London, a malevolent alien intelligence is plotting the end of humanity. Shop window dummies that can move – and kill – are taking up key positions, ready to strike. Rose Tyler, an ordinary Londoner, is working her shift in a department store, unaware that this is the most important day of her life. She’s about to meet the only man who understands the true nature of the threat facing Earth, a stranger who will open her eyes to all the wonder and terror of the universe – a traveller in time and space known as the Doctor.



Russell T Davies is one of the UK's foremost writers of television drama, creating ground breaking shows such as Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, Casanova, Cucumber, The Second Coming, and in 2018, A Very English Scandal for BBC One.

He was Head Writer and Executive Producer of Doctor Who when it returned to the BBC in 2005 and has written many of the new series' most memorable episodes. He was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to drama. He divides his time between Cardiff and Manchester.
The Day of the Doctor (Credit: BBC Books)THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR
STEVEN MOFFAT


The Tenth Doctor is hunting shape-shifting Zygons in Elizabethan England. The Eleventh is investigating a rift in space-time in the present day. And one other – the man they used to be but never speak of – is fighting the Daleks in the darkest days of the Time War. Driven by demons and despair, this battle-scarred Doctor is set to take a devastating decision that will threaten the survival of the entire universe … a decision that not even a Time Lord can take alone.

On this day, the Doctor’s different incarnations will come together to save the Earth … to save the universe … and to save his soul.



Steven Moffat is best known for Press Gang, Coupling, Steven Spielberg’s movie Tintin, and for the last few years being lead writer and executive producer on Doctor Who and for cocreating, co-writing (with Mark Gatiss) and executive producing Sherlock. He has 5 BAFTAs, 2 Emmys and in 2015 was awarded an OBE for services to drama.
The Christmas Invasion (Credit: BBC Books)THE CHRISTMAS INVASION
JENNY T COLGAN


When a British space probe is intercepted by a sinister alien vessel on the eve of Christmas, it marks the beginning of an audacious invasion of the Earth by the Sycorax – horrifying marauders from beyond the stars. Within hours, a third of humanity stands on the brink of death with not a single shot fired.

Our planet needs a champion – but the Doctor is not fit for service. He’s just regenerated, delirious in a new body and a dressing gown. Forced into his battered shoes is his friend, Rose Tyler, a girl from a London council estate. Will she save the world from this nightmare before Christmas – or see it destroyed?



Jenny T Colgan has written 16 bestselling novels as Jenny Colgan, which have sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide, been translated into 25 languages, and won both the Melissa Nathan Award and Romantic Novel of the Year 2013. Aged 11, she won a national fan competition to meet the Doctor and was mistaken for a boy by Peter Davison
TWICE UPON A TIME
PAUL CORNELL


Still reeling from his encounter with the Cybermen, the First Doctor stumbles through the bitter Antarctic wind, resisting the approaching regeneration with all his strength. But as he fights his way through the snowdrifts, he comes across the familiar shape of a blue police box, and a mysterious figure who introduces himself as the Doctor …

Thrown together at their most vulnerable moments, the two Doctors must discover why the snowflakes are suspended in the sky, why a First World War Captain has been lifted from his time stream moments before his death, and who is the mysterious Glass Woman who knows their true name. The Doctor is reunited with Bill, but is she all she seems? And can he hold out against the coming regeneration?



Paul Cornell has written some of Doctor Who's best-loved TV episodes, books and comics. He’s also worked on many other TV shows. His other comics projects include his creator-owned series Saucer State and This Damned Band, and runs on Action Comics, Batman and Robin and Wolverine. He's also the author of the Lychford series of fantasy novellas and the Shadow Police novels. He’s won the British Science Fiction Association Award for his short fiction and the Eagle Award for his comics
CITY OF DEATH
JAMES GOSS


Visiting Paris in 1979, the Doctor and Romana’s hopes for a holiday are soon shattered by armed thugs, a suave and dangerous Count, a plot to steal the Mona Lisa and a world-threatening experiment with time.

Teaming up with a British detective, the Time Lords discover that a ruthless alien plot hatched in Earth’s pre-history has reached its final stage. If Scaroth, last of the Jagaroth, cannot be stopped then the human race is history, along with all life on Earth …



James Goss has adapted three Doctor Who stories by Douglas Adams for BBC Books (City of Death, The Pirate Planet, and The Krikkitmen) and has also written several original Doctor Who and Torchwood books. His novel #Haterz is in development as a motion picture. He's also written for the stage and the radio.




Bid for Lunch with Russell T DaviesBookmark and Share

Monday, 4 December 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Gaydio, the UK’s LGBT radio station, is offering the chance to have lunch with former Doctor Who Show Runner Russell T Davies.

The oppotunity is being offered in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust #SeeRed appeal for World AIDS Day.

The winner has the chance to meet Davies at a central Manchester Restaurant for lunch. They will get an hour with the screenwriter and television producer whose works also include Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, The Second Coming, Casanova, and the trilogy Cucumber, Tofu and Banana.

The location for this will be Australasia in Manchester and includes your meal on a mutually agreed date before the end of March 2018 Full details including Terms and Conditions via the auction website.




Russell T Davies Given Lifetime Achievement AwardBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 August 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Former Doctor Who Showrunner Russell T Davies has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

The writer, whose hits include Queer As Folk, Casanova and Cucumber as well as being the man who brought Doctor Who back to BBC One, used his speech to defend the BBC which he said was being treated with contempt by the current UK Government.
We actually have a government which is warding off the BBC with one hand while xxxxing off Rupert Murdoch with the other.
Davies went on to say how important it was to tell the young people watching that working in Television was great fun and that it was a brilliant industry.
I have worked with Daleks, Casanova, I’ve worked with gays, I’ve worked with Penelope Wilton, I worked on children’s programmes, I’ve worked in documentary, I worked on a quiz show with Terry Wogan, I worked with Jesus, I worked in Cardiff, Manchester, at Granada, I’ve worked with all sorts of shows, I’ve worked with David Tennant, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, I’m so lucky.

I’ve been a presenter on Playschool, I’ve actually been to Norway with Keith Chegwin, I love my job and I hope you all grow up and get in the industry and love the job too.
At the TV festival, BBC One was named channel of the year.




Now We Are Six HundredBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 May 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Books have announced a new hardback book for the summer to tie in with National Poetry Day:

Now We Are Six Hundred (Credit: BBC Books)BBC Books Publishing Director Albert DePetrillo has acquired Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred, the very first collection of Time Lord verse. BBC Books have world rights, with North American rights sold to HarperCollins.

A gentle and humorous riff on the classic Now We Are Six, this is a collection of charming, funny and whimsical poems that celebrate the joys, sorrows and wonders of Time Lord life. Written by author James Goss, the book features illustrations by former Doctor Who Executive Producer Russell T Davies – his first role as an illustrator, using the comic artist skills he developed in his youth.

Albert DePetrillo says:
This is a book I’ve long wanted to publish, and James and Russell have realised the idea brilliantly, well beyond anything I’d hoped. It’s something very special, a unique gift for every Doctor Who fan. For full effect, please be sure to read these poems aloud to your friends, preferably more than once.
James Goss says:
BBC Books have carefully baited an irresistible trap to lure people into reading poetry. Russell's beautiful illustrations make this the most charming Doctor Who book there's ever been (and I'm including that magical first Doctor Who book you discovered as a child). The poems have been a delight to work on. Who could resist retelling the fiendish Daleks’ Masterplan in verse, or finding bizarre and ludicrous rhymes for monster names?
Russell T Davies says:
I’ve been drawing for Doctor Who long before I was writing it, so it was like time-travel for me, voyaging back to that young scribbler who used to cover his school desk with Daleks!

Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred will be published in hardback on 14th September, two weeks before National Poetry Day on 28th September.




Russell T Davies defends the BBCBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 September 2015 - Reported by Marcus
Russell T Davis with Alison Graham at the Radio Times Festival (Credit: Maggie Gibbons) Russell T Davies has made a strong defence of the BBC and the licence fee and the values it stands for, but warned the battle may already be lost.

Speaking at the Radio Times Festival, he urged people to consider the alternatives to the compulsory licence fee, such as a subscription model and to look at the schedules of current subscriber services such as the American premium cable network HBO and see what subscribers get for their money. He said: "couple of high class dramas. No news. No soaps.no weather, no radio stations. Google their schedules and see if that is what you want?"

Davies was being interviewed by Alison Graham for the first ever Radio Times Festival, which is being held at Hampton Court in West London. He said his favourite memory of working on Doctor Who was the laughter he had. "It was hard work but we did have fun". He revealed he most enjoyed writing dialogue for Daleks. "They are so clever. I love them".

He also spoke of how proud he was of Doctor Who. "It's indestructible. Imagine if they tried to cancel it now. There would be riots in the streets".

Speaking on writing for the Doctor: "you get the secret of writing for the Doctor when you realise he is much cleverer than you are. Then it falls into place".

He talked about how he started in the industry and advised aspiring writers to just write. "get all the experience you can, not necessarily on your pet project but say for your local youth theatre".

He talked about his current project, a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for the BBC. "It's something I've always wanted to do, he told the audience. It has a fantastic cast, and the whole play finishes with a joyous dance choreographed by Arlene Phillips. It's going to be on Saturday night in prime time. Only the BBC would do that".

Davies finished the session by talking to fans and signing autographs.

(Maggie Gibbons for the photo)




Russell T Davies returns to BBC with ShakespeareBookmark and Share

Friday, 28 August 2015 - Reported by Harry Ward
Russell T Davies, Executive Producer Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC One, announced at the Edinburgh Television Festival on Wednesday that former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies is to adapt William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for BBC One, with the help of the Doctor Who production team. Davies was spotted in Cardiff with David Tennant earlier this month which led to speculation amongst fans as to what the pair were doing in the city. The cast for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is still to be announced.

The feature will be directed by David Kerr, produced by Nikki Wilson and executive produced by Russell T Davies, Faith Penhale and Brian Minchin.

Russell T Davies says:
I’ve wanted to make this for the BBC for my entire adult life - and only the BBC can put on a play like this, for all the family, smack-bang in the heart of primetime. With a riot of prosthetics, CGI, magic and action, it needs the brilliant Doctor Who team in Cardiff to bring it to life.
For one night only, BBC One becomes the Globe, with a bold and accessible 90-minute adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Adapted by Russell T Davies (Doctor Who, Cucumber), it is a truthful version of the play - the original play, the original words, the original Shakespeare. Warm and funny, it will have as much attitude and invention as any theatrical interpretation.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a much-loved comedy by William Shakespeare, set in the tyrannical court of Athens and the magical forest around the city. The single drama will be for everyone: children, who can laugh at Bottom and his Mechanicals and marvel at the fairies’ awesome powers; for adults, who know those broken hearts and star-crossed lovers all too well; for whole families, united in front of the television to enjoy the play’s dazzling world of danger, jokes, scares, poetry, thrills and fun.
The BBC Cymru Wales production will be filming in Roath Lock, Cardiff for transmission in 2016 as part of BBC’s Shakespeare Season.




Damaged Goods to be adapted for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 July 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Big Finish Productions has announced it is to dramatise the Russell T Davies Doctor Who novel, Damaged Goods.

The Virgin book was originally published in 1996 as part of the New Adventures range of Doctor Who books. It was the first published Doctor Who story from Davies, who would go on to lead the team who revived Doctor Who in 2005.

The book is being adapted as a two-hour full cast audio written by Jonathan Morris, and to be released in August 2015.

Davies, who is a fan of Big Finish, expressed his pleasure that the story is being revisited
I’ve always been a huge fan of Big Finish, since long before I took the big chair on Doctor Who. So when they asked if they could adapt Damaged Goods… well, to be honest, I asked them what took so long!

Jonny has done the most brilliant job, adapting the novel - there’s lots of fascinating new stuff, while staying very true and faithful to the original story.
The story stars Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, accompanied in his travels by companions Chris Cwej and Roz Forrester.

Jonathan Morris spoke of his excitment at being asked to adapt the novel
It was genuinely thrilling to be asked to adapt Damaged Goods. An honour, and a great responsibility to do justice to Russell’s extraordinary novel and to not disappoint fans of the New Adventures. I pulled out all the stops to capture the spirit of the novel, the character and Russell’s voice, and the end result is undoubtedly the best Big Finish script I’ve worked on.
Big Finish Productions have just celebrated the 15th Anniversary of their first release, Doctor Who: The Sirens of Time. The anniversary is being marked with a series of offers and tributes on the Big Finish website.




Doctor Who tops poll of greatest sci-fi, horror and fantasy momentsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
The Doctor's farewell to Rose in Doomsday has been voted the greatest moment in sci-fi, horror and fantasy by readers of the magazine SFX, it was revealed today.

To mark the publication of issue 250 of the monthly magazine, readers were asked to vote for a definitive list of the 250 greatest moments of sci-fi, horror and fantasy in genres covering cinema, television, books, comics and video games. A total of 96,300 votes was cast and Doctor Who came top with that emotional scene set in Bad Wolf Bay. Originally broadcast on 8th July 2006, the concluding part of the two-episode story that ended Series Two was written by Russell T Davies - who was the showrunner at the time - and directed by Graeme Harper.

In a statement, SFX said:
Revisionists would have you believe that Who was always a show with emotional impact, but barring a couple of companion departures, that didn't really become true until the advent of Russell T Davies.

His most heart-destroyingly tragic contribution was this scene, in which a holographic projection of the Doctor talks to a tearful Rose on a Norwegian beach, with the signal cutting out just before the slowcoach can declare, "I love you". It's a moment everyone can identify with because, as Davies put it, "There's an echo of every loss you've ever had."

We've all had to bid farewell to someone we care about - even if it wasn't forced upon us by the threat of universal destruction - and this eye-moistening moment perfectly encapsulates the agony of break-up.

David Tennant told SFX:
I remember worrying on the day we shot this scene that as I was actually a projection from inside the Tardis my hair shouldn't be blowing in the wind.

That seemed terribly important at the time, and although we didn't find a solution to it, it bothered me for weeks. Then I saw the finished scene and of course all that matters is the end of the Doctor and Rose's story. Russell had weaved some glorious magic for two seasons and it all came together so perfectly in this scene that people still talk to me about it with misty eyes all these years later (and I suspect they always will.)

Murray Gold created some heart-stopping music that accentuates the misery and Billie [Piper] is just breathtakingly good. I feel very lucky to be standing on that beach, with my hair flying around, in amongst all these brilliant elements. Whatever else I do and wherever else I end up, this will be a moment I will be forever proud to look back on. Thanks for having us at number one.
SFX recruited some of the biggest names in the world of sci-fi to share their favourite moments, with Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Anthony Head among those agreeing that John Hurt's chest-burst scene in the 1979 film Alien was their greatest.

He said:
The first thing that comes to mind is Alien, the great exploding John Hurt moment! You didn't hear until afterwards how they filmed it, and it was one of those moments of reality really hitting a group of actors. You believed it. So full on. It was a perfectly-formed science fiction film, and it's always stuck with me. I was very scared.
The Top 10 greatest moments in sci-fi, horror and fantasy as voted for by SFX readers are as follows:

  • 1: Doctor Who - The Doctor and Rose say farewell at Bad Wolf Bay in Doomsday
  • 2: Avengers Assemble - The Hulk destroys Loki
  • 3: Alien - The chest-burst scene
  • 4: Firefly - Mal Reynolds kicks a bad guy into Serenity's engine intake (The Train Job)
  • 5: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - Luke discovers that Darth Vader is his father
  • 6: Blade Runner - Roy Batty's "Tears in rain" monologue
  • 7: Game of Thrones - "The Lannisters send their regards" (The Red Wedding)
  • 8: The Matrix - Neo dodges bullets in the bullet-time scene
  • 9: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (novel) - Dumbledore's death
  • 10: Back To The Future - "Where we're going, we don't need roads."

The full list is printed in issue 250 of SFX, which is on sale as of today and also features contributions from Davies and current showrunner Steven Moffat.

UPDATE - 8.20PM: Since the result was announced, the BBC has uploaded the scene to its official Doctor Who YouTube channel. Watch it below:





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 Who Anniversary Celebrated At BAFTA CymruBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 September 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Doctor Who failed to win either of the categories for which it was nominated at the BAFTA Cymru Awards tonight - but the programme's 50th anniversary was marked with a clips montage and a number of people with connections to the show and its spin-offs still walked away with gongs.

It had been put forward for Sound and Editing honours but lost out to, respectively, The Gospel Of Us and Stella.

However, the event - held at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff - saw Julie Gardner presented by Russell T Davies with the TLWS Sian Phillips Award, which recognises a significant contribution made by a Welshman or woman in a network television programme or major feature film. Gardner worked as an executive producer on Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Torchwood.

Michael Sheen was named best actor for The Gospel Of Us, Sara Lloyd-Gregory carried away the award for best actress for Alys, and Ruth Jones made up for losing out in the actress stakes for Stella by being named best writer for the same series.

Arwel Wyn Jones won for production design on Sherlock - having also been nominated for Wizards vs Aliens - but Ray Holman, who had been nominated for costume design on Wizards vs Aliens, lost out to Chrissie Pegg for The Machine. Brian Minchin, who had been cited in the Children's Programme (Including Animation) category for Wizards vs Aliens, saw the prize go to Nia Ceidiog for Dwylo'r Enfys. However, Huw Edwards took best presenter for The Story Of Wales.




Details announced of Splendid Chaps: "Ten/Sex"Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 September 2013 - Reported by Adam Kirk
.As previously reportedSplendid Chaps is a year-long performance/podcast project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who hosted by comedian Ben McKenzie (Dungeon CrawlMelbourne Museum Comedy Tour) and writer John Richards (ABC1 sitcom OutlandBoxcutters podcast).

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

Tickets are now on sale for their Tenth Doctor show! Their tenth major episode brings the Splendid Chaps to many people’s first (and favourite) Doctor, David Tennant. Phenomenally popular, and quickly establishing his own fanbase independent of the show, Tennant stayed in the role over five years, all the way to the end of Russell T Davies time as showrunner, cementing the programme's success and becoming "the" Doctor for a whole generation of viewers.

Seemingly a big part of Tennant’s success was his sex appeal – something foreign to many fans of the classic series. The Doctor of the Old Time (and most of his friends) seemed uninterested in sex, save for the occasional bit of flirting, but in the new series he clearly romances Rose, spurns Martha, fends off Amy and perves on Clara; he’s snogged every female companion, and “danced” with or married a slew of historical figures. Then there’s future pansexual Captain Jack; Amy and Rory, who spend their honeymoon in costume and their wedding night in the TARDIS; and the love affair that lasts lifetimes between the Doctor and Professor River Song. Is this weird? Is it awesome? What does modern Doctor Who say about sex, relationships and sexuality, and did the classic series have anything to say about them?

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by writer, broadcaster and critic Richard Watts (artsHub, RRR’s SmartArts) and erotica writer and burlesque performer Aimee Nichols. Plus music from Melbourne geek rock band Blue Turtle Shell, giveaways from their lovely sponsors, and all the usual tomfoolery! (But no hanky panky.)

Space: The Gasometer Hotel, 484 Smith Street, Collingwood (corner of Alexandra Parade)
Time: Sunday 13 October; recording starts 5 PM
Accessibility: Splendid Chaps regret that this venue is not wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: $15 (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via trybooking.com or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23 October 2013.

With thanks to John Richards





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With thanks to John Richards





Doctor Who Magazine 463Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 24 July 2013 - Reported by Marcus
The latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine, released Thursday, looks back ten years to the time when it had just been announced that Doctor Who was to return, and asks was the series nearly stopped before it could begin?

In the first part of a look back at how and why Doctor Who was recommissioned back in 2003, the magazine talks to the people who ensured its successful comeback, including the then BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning Jane Tranter, writer Russell T Davies and BBC Wales' Head of Drama Julie Gardner who tells the magazine:
When Michael Grade arrived back at the BBC as Chairman, Mark Thompson was back as Director General. Michael Grade didn't like Doctor Who at all. Mark Thompson actually asked me if we could stop. I said, no, we couldn't!
Also in this issue.
  • Doctor Who’s showrunner and head writer Steven Moffat presents the three pieces that he wrote for the actors that have auditioned for the role of the Twelfth Doctor.
  • Doctor Who author Bob Baker looks back on his career in an interview and speaks of his most famous contribution to the Doctor Who universe: K9, the Doctor’s robotic dog.
  • As we await the announcement of the new star of Doctor Who, journalist Claire Budd and novelist Una McCormack go head-to-head to debate the burning question: Is it time for the Doctor to become a woman?
  • Arriving in the far future, the Fourth Doctor, Harry and Sarah discover that the last survivors of mankind are about to face the deadly, parasitic Wirrn! The Fact of Fiction looks back to one of Doctor Who's all-time great adventures – The Ark In Space – and reveals some surprising new facts
  • It’s 2010, and the dawn of a new era as Matt Smith makes his début as the Eleventh Doctor. The show may have a new leading man and a new style, but it’s still Doctor Who in the latest instalment of the ongoing cruise through Doctor Who history in Countdown to 50.
  • The Time Team take a trip to pre-war England as Chris, Emma, Michael and Will settle down to watch the two-part Tenth Doctor story Human Nature/ The Family of Blood and find that the formidable Family of Blood and their sinister Scarecrow servants are following the Doctor’s trail.
  • Clara’s lunch date with the legendary pilot Amy Johnson has been rudely interrupted by two identical copies of themselves… made from sand! Meanwhile, the Doctor is having trouble with his own doppelganger, and the real enemy is about to make its entrance. The latest comic strip adventure A Wing and a Prayer – written by Scott Gray with art by Mike Collins – continues.
  • Change is an essential part of Doctor Who and has allowed the series to constantly reinvent and reinvigorate itself for 50 years. And, as Jacqueline Rayner tells in this issue’s Relative Dimensions, this means that the series can be a useful tool when teaching children that nothing lasts forever
  • Jon Pertwee is the Doctor, as former Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel reviews the new Blu-ray release of the Third Doctor's classic 1970 début adventure Spearhead From Space
  • The Watcher takes a look at Doctor Who episode titles in A History of Doctor Who in 100 Objects, and discovers that the names of colours have become a recent trend
Plus all the latest official news, TV and merchandise reviews, previews, competitions and a prize-winning crossword.




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Friday, 18 January 2013 - Written by Chuck Foster and John Bowman
Matt Smith is to make his directorial debut on an episode of Playhouse Presents... on Sky Arts. The episode is entitled Cargese and is described as "a unique piece of poetic realism which mines the tragic seam of adolescent love and loss.". Talking about his new challenge, Smith said: "Sky Arts offers creative opportunities that many other channels don't. To collaborate with (writer) Simon Stephens in this capacity was a thrilling and rare opportunity and one we both were keen to embrace." The episode airs on Thursday 25th April. [Sky Arts]

Marc Warren has also written and directed for the series with Hey Diddly Dee, which will feature Kylie Minogue in a starring role. Warren said: "Writing and directing for Playhouse Presents... has been one of the most magical experiences of my career. To give myself the best chance I called in every favour to surround myself with a dream cast and an incredible crew. And then by some miracle, Kylie appeared, and the fate of our film was sealed." As for Minogue, she said: "When the script was sent to me, I read it and knew instinctively I wanted to be part of this project. In Hey Diddly Dee, Marc has created a beautiful and quirky story." The episode launches the season on Thursday 14th March.

Other names to feature in Playhouse Presents... this year include Frances Barber, David Harewood, Suranne Jones and Reggie Yates.

As reported last year, a new series starring Bernard Cribbins with Freema Agyeman is to feature on CBeebies. Old Jack's Boat starts its 25-episode daily weekday run on Monday 21st January at 5.40pm, and sees Cribbins as the retired, story-telling fisherman of the title, with Agyeman featuring as café-owning character Shelly Periwinkle. The story to be broadcast on Friday 25th January is written by Russell T Davies and involves the Moon. "Sitting watching Bernard Cribbins reading out some lines that you've written, I can't tell you how good it was, it was a joy," said Davies. [BBC News, 15 Jan 2013]

Agyeman also made her US debut in The Carrie Diaries this week. The Sex And The City prequel series is airing on Mondays on The CW Channel and she plays Larissa Loughlin, a style editor at Interview magazine who also acts as a mentor to the eponymous young Carrie Bradshaw.

David Morrissey isn't averse to a return to Doctor Who, should he be asked. "I would absolutely love to do it again. I had such a ball doing it," he said. "Mark Gatiss says, you know, there's nothing more blissful for him to write than 'Interior TARDIS: Day' or whatever on the top of one of his scripts, it's living the dream. And for me, when I went down and worked on it, I thought 'This is great', it's a really well-run show, people take it very seriously but you have fun on it. And l loved that character, I really loved Jackson Lake, I thought he was a really interesting man, he was in some sort of trauma himself and the Doctor liberates him from that..." [Den of Geek, 17 Jan 2013]

A play starring Billie Piper and Tom Goodman-Hill has won a gong in the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards. The Effect, by Lucy Prebble, was named Best Play. Billed as a clinical romance, it is at the National Theatre until Saturday 23rd February, although all performances are sold out except for day tickets and possible returns. [BBC News, 15 Jan 2013]

Mark Williams - currently starring as the eponymous crime-solving priest Father Brown in the BBC One daytime drama - has spoken of his fondness for GK Chesterton's clerical detective. "He has a huge appetite for the detail of life and for humanity, and he cares very much about people's souls. That's the most interesting thing about him as a sleuth: it's not him solving a conundrum or a crossword, he's dealing with what he sees as people's eternal damnation. And when he works it out, the sky turns black and is full of harpies; he's desperately committed to his morality." [Radio Times, 13 Jan 2013]

Olivia Colman joins Tim Pigott-Smith and Shaun Dingwall in the cast of the ITV drama The Suspicions of Mr Whicher II: The Murder In Angel Lane. She will play Susan Spencer, who employs Whicher as a private inquiry agent to investigate the murder of her niece. Pigott-Smith reprises his role as Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Richard Mayne, while Dingwall will play Inspector George Lock. The two-hour story is being filmed in Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, and central London over the next four weeks. [ITV Press Centre, 11 Jan 2013]

James Moran talks about the temptations of writing darker stories: "It's when people decide to make something dark for the sake of it, and then work out the story and force it, that never ends well. Children of Earth was just a story idea that gradually turned dark all by itself, so I think it worked. But I've certainly seen it hurt other shows and movies, where they decide to make it grim just to be edgy, without it flowing naturally from the story. And sometimes, blimey, you just want to have a laugh when you sit down for a bit of telly in the evening" [Den of Geek, 10 Jan 2013]

Amy Manson has been short-listed for the title role in the new series of Wonder Woman that goes into production this year for the CW Network. [STV, 16 Jan 2013]

Mark Benton is to star in an advertising campaign for electronic cigarettes that could prove to be a landmark case, as there is currently a ban in the UK on promoting tobacco-related products. [Radio Times, 15 Jan 2013]

After the campaign last year, David Tennant, Sir Richard Branson and Usain Bolt are back to promote Virgin Media in a second series of adverts for the cable broadcaster's TiVo service.

Karen Gillan was a victim of hacking earlier in the week on Twitter when she apparently became a heavy promoter of weight-loss pills! The actress has since regained control of her account.

BBC Books authors Gary Russell, Jacqueline Rayner and Steve Cole are to be guests for Dr Who: Past, Present and Future, an event in Chelmsford on Sunday 24th March that forms part of the Essex Book Festival. [Essex Book Festival]

Eoin Colfer was revealed last week as the author of the first Puffin book for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. The author said: "When I was asked to write one of the 11 e-shorts for the Doctor's 50th anniversary it was like being whisked away by my own Tardis back to the 1970s when Kevin, my brother Paul and I were three science-fictioneers immersing ourselves in the lore of Doctor Who in the sunny south-east of Ireland. I chose the First Doctor because I always imagined him to be a crank who was jaded by the Universe's cruelty rather than amazed by its wonders. There was no naivety about him whatsoever. He had seen far more in his life than he ever wanted to, and his fight against evil‑doers was dogged and not punctuated by repartee. The First Doctor's companion was his granddaughter Susan and her love for her granddad was perhaps the purest thing in his world, and something he was prepared to protect fiercely." [Guardian, 12 Jan 2013]

Colfer also discusses the e-book in a video released by BBC Worldwide as part of the promotion for A Big Hand For The Doctor.


Written by Chuck Foster and John Bowman