Big Finish main range during 2017Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 December 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Big Finish have announced details for their main range of Doctor Who adventures over the course of next year.

January sees a new trilogy featuring the fifth Doctor and companions, which as well as Tegan and Nyssa will also see them joined with Adric, as played by Matthew Waterhouse. Having first returned to the Doctor Who fold in 2014's Fifth Doctor Box Set, the character now arrives in the main range, with Matthew commenting:
I took a long time to get around to the idea of doing the audios – and now I just absolutely love it, I think the character's beautifully written. Everything we're doing at Big Finish is stuff that's already in the character, in the stories, they're just being extended a bit. Having said I don't want to do them, now I think “when's next week's one going to arrive?”. This is proper Doctor Who, they're really carefully written, they're witty and funny, they're highly inventive.
Range editor Alan Barnes said:
It's been great to at last bring Adric into the monthly range – well, before his tragic death, at least! Andrew Smith wrote the character's introductory story on TV, so I was determined to get Andrew to write his re-introduction. Andrew's The Star Men, full of far-out cosmic science, is the first story of the trilogy, in which an astronomical base at the fringes of Earth's galaxy finds itself on the frontline of a war with an unimaginably alien force...
Matthew added:
Adric's quite heroic in this, and a young woman finds him rather hot because she's a bit brainy like he is: there's some genuine, character work going on with a great concept and there's some really nice moments between him and a young woman called Autumn (played by Sophie Wu).
The characters continue their journeys over the next two months, with Alan adding:
Phil Mulryne's The Contingency Club comes next, in which the TARDIS lands inside the most exclusive gentlemen's club in all of Victorian London – a club where all the waiters are identical clones! The final instalment of the trilogy is Zaltys by Matthew J Elliott, which brings the TARDIS to a world just hours from catastrophe, while Tegan is stranded in space... where she comes face to face with a very particular sort of horror, one she thought existed only in nightmares...
Additional cast members include Sue Holderness (Only Fools And Horses) in The Star Men, Philip Jackson (Inspector Japp in ITV's Poirot) and Clive Merrison (The Tomb of the Cybermen, Paradise Towers) in The Contingency Club, and Rebecca Root (Boy Meets Girl), Niamh Cusack (Heartbeat), Philip Franks (The Darling Buds of May, Heartbeat) and Carol Sloman – daughter of Doctor Who writer Robert Sloman - in Zaltys. The trilogy has covers from designer Tom Webster.

The Star Men (Credit: Big Finish) The Contingency Club (Credit: Big Finish) Zaltys (Credit: Big Finish)

April sees a change in style for the regular range, as Big Finish embarks on the first of three special two-disc collections of two stories. The first stars Peter Davison as the fifth Doctor in Alien Heart by Steve Cole, and Dalek Soul by Guy Adams. This is followed in May by Colin Baker's sixth Doctor starring in Vortex Ice by Jonathan Morris, and Cortex Fire by Ian Potter, and then in June Sylvester McCoy brings the trilogy to a close with Shadow Planet by AK Benedict and World Apart by Scott Handcock.

Alan commmented:
The double-bills in April to June came about because, er... well, we all quite liked the idea of double-bills, really! Each consists of two two-part adventures, each by a different author, one on each of the two discs; each, hopefully, has a very different style and tone to its companion piece – there should be a nice contrast between the two. Alien Heart is about a species of weird spider-like monsters linked to the systematic destruction of planets, and Dalek Soul is a particularly bleak piece set on the Dalek-occupied world of Mojoxalli.

May features Lisa Greenwood as Flip – hurrah! – reunited with the sixth Doctor, in two adventures set before her (apparent) exit in Scavenger. Vortex Ice is a brain-scrambling conundrum of a story set in a diamond mine; then Cortex Fire, like its title sort-of suggests, is about an epidemic of spontaneous human combustion on a distant planet. Finally, in June, there's the return of the seventh Doctor and Ace in Shadow Planet/World Apart. The first has them at a far-out therapy centre, getting some very alternative medicine; then the second the TARDIS travellers are found marooned somewhere very inhospitable indeed...

Looking a little further into 2017, July sees the award-winning John Dorney back writing for the main range with The High Price of Parking starring the seventh Doctor, Mel and Ace. August's title has yet to be confirmed, but September will see two releases, with Matthew J Elliott's The Silurian Candidate for the seventh Doctor and Eddie Robson's Time in Office featuring the fifth Doctor, Tegan and another Doctor's one-time companion. The end of the year sees a full trilogy of adventures featuring the sixth Doctor, Constance and Flip, following on from this month's release, Quicksilver.


The main range can be bought individually, or subscribed to in both six- and 12-episode runs, at money-saving prices as well as special exclusives such as PDF scripts, extended extras and up to four Doctor Who - Subscriber Short Trips a year. Full details can be found via the Big Finish website.





Big Finish: regular range during 2016Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 February 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Big Finish have released details on what to expect in their regular monthly range of adventures for the Doctor.

The first quarter of the year features the fifth Doctor and companions, with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton reprising their roles as they encounter Rembrandt, a mysterious apparently abandoned spaceship, and a bad time in Manchester's history:

Waters of Amsterdam (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Peter Davison as the Doctor, with Janet Fielding as Tegan and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa
Written by Jonathan Morris, directed by Jamie Anderson
Released January 2016 [order]

Reunited with the Doctor and Nyssa, Tegan joins them on a trip to Amsterdam's Rijkmuseum to see a new exhibition of the work of Rembrandt van Rijn, featuring his drawings of “Vessels of the Stars”. The Doctor is astonished to discover that they are designs for spaceships that would actually work, and decides to pop back to the Dutch Golden Age for a quiet word with Rembrandt – but the world-weary artist is no mood to help.

Meanwhile, strange forces are swirling in the canals, creatures from ancient myth, the watery, goblin-like Nix. What is their connection to the mysterious Countess Mach-Teldak – and to the events of Tegan’s life during her year away from the Doctor?
Aquitaine (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Peter Davison as the Doctor, with Janet Fielding as Tegan and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa
Written by Simon Barnard & Paul Morris, directed by Ken Bentley
Released February 2016 [order]

Today should be much like every other day for Hargreaves, the computer consciousness that co-ordinates daily life aboard the spaceship Aquitaine, stationed on the outer fringes of a black hole. Water the plants, run the diagnostics, cook the Captain’s breakfast; then tidy the plates away, rotate the ship, clean the windows of the observation deck. When at last the day’s work is done, Hargreaves will dim the lights in the sleeping quarters. But no-one will sleep aboard the Aquitaine tonight. Because the Aquitaine’s crew is missing.

But today will be different. Today, a space/time ship called the TARDIS will materialise in the botanical section, bringing the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan aboard the Aquitaine. Together, they’ll seek to discover the truth of what happened to Hargreaves’ crew...

... if only the ghosts will let them.

The Peterloo Massacre (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Peter Davison as the Doctor, with Janet Fielding as Tegan and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa
Written by Paul Magrs, directed by Jamie Anderson
Released March 2016 [pre-order]

"They say there’ll be thousands pouring into Manchester tomorrow. From all over the county, north and south. It’ll be a piece of history. People will remember this!"

Lost in the smog of the Industrial Revolution, the TARDIS crashes four miles south of Manchester, in the grounds of Hurley Hall – a grand mansion belonging to a local factory owner, a proudly self-made man. But while Hurley dreams of growing richer still on the wealth of secret knowledge locked up in the Doctor’s time and space machine, his servants hope only for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. His young maid Cathy, for instance, whom Nyssa learns is looking forward to joining the working people’s march to St Peter’s Field, in the heart of the city. There’ll be speeches and banners and music. It’ll be like one big jamboree…

Or so she thinks. For the city’s establishment have called in their own private militia, to control the crowd. One of the darkest days in Manchester’s history is about to unfold – and the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan are right in the thick of it.

The second quarter provides a new encounter with the Masters ... with the fifth Doctor encountering an earlier incarnation (Geoffrey Beevers) in April, followed by the sixth Doctor embroiled with the recent (Alex Macqueen) in May, before the seventh Doctor finds himself recruited by both in June!

And You Will Obey Me (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Peter Davison as the Doctor, with Geoffrey Beevers as the Master
Written by Alan Barnes, directed by Jamie Anderson
Released April 2016 [pre-order]

The Master: wanted for crimes without number, across five galaxies.

The Master: escaped his pursuers. Last known location: rural Hexford, England, Earth.

The Master: dead and buried in an unmourned grave, in a lonely churchyard.

Apparently.
Vampire Of The Mind (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Colin Baker as the Doctor, with Alex Macqueen as the Master
Written by Justin Richards, directed by Jamie Anderson
Released May 2016 [pre-order]

Somewhere off the South Coast of England, there’s a lonely island. On that island stands a solitary castle, long since abandoned – haunted, they say. But the truth is, that castle houses something far worse than mere ghosts.

The castle is what lies at the end of a trail followed by the Doctor in search of several missing scientists – all of them connected to the top secret Dominus Institute and its elusive CEO, Sir Andrew Gobernar…

But the Doctor will soon discover that he’s the one being haunted, by a ghost from his past… or perhaps, his future.
The Two Masters (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, with Geoffrey Beevers and Alex Macqueen as the Master
Written by John Dorney, directed by Jamie Anderson
Released June 2016 [pre-order]

The future is dying. All over the universe, gaps are beginning to appear. From the space lanes terrorised by the rag-tag remnants of the once-mighty Rocket Men, to the empire of the Gorlans, stricken by a terrible civil war. Gaps in space/time, portents of the end of everything.

Only three beings might prevent it. The Doctor, a renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. The Master, another renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. And another Master, yet another renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey.

One Doctor. Two Masters. What could possibly go wrong?

The summer sees Sylvester McCoy reunited with Bonnie Langford and Sophie Aldred as the seventh Doctor, Mel and Ace embark on a new trilogy of adventures, A Life of Crime, Fiesta of the Damned and Maker of Demons. Then as autumn and winter descends, the fifth Doctor returns in an anthology The Memory Bank and Other Stories, whilst Colin Baker and Miranda Raison return as the Doctor and Constance for a trilogy to round off the year, Order, Absolute Power and Quicksilver.




Sylvester Checks into The Real Marigold HotelBookmark and Share

Thursday, 7 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
The Real Marigold Hotel (Credit: BBC/Vinod Singh/Twofour)Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy is to star in a new BBC Two travel documentary series, The Real Marigold Hotel, which takes the cast on the journey of a lifetime.

The series, inspired by but otherwise unrelated to the blockbuster film, documents the authentic experience of eight famous senior citizens as they head to India on an experimental adventure.

Joining the 72 year old McCoy will be actor Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, comedian Roy Walker, chef Rosemary Shrager, darts champion Bobby George, singer Patti Boulaye and former news reader Jan Leeming for three weeks to see if they would consider spending their golden years retiring to the other side of the world.

Four thousand miles from home, the group will land in colourful Jaipur, capital of the state of Rajasthan in Northern India, to test whether they can set up a better, more rewarding retirement here than in the UK.

In the scorching heat, the group will take over a haveli - an Indian private mansion - and from the moment they arrive they will have to work out how to set up home together: from who’ll cook and clean and whether they will hire staff, to how they will get around and spend their time.

Their unforgettable Indian adventure will see the group fully embrace Indian culture, from the surprises of the capital’s largest slum to meeting Jaipur’s Royal family at the opulent Rambagh Palace. As they settle into local life, members of the group will take to yoga and learn some Hindi, experience shopping in the hectic streets, hunt for potential properties and take advantage of the medical care. We’ll see them visit the Ganesh Chaturti festival, ride elephants, make a trip to one of the holiest Hindu cities in India, Varanasi, and also test out long-distance travel by embarking on a 150-mile trip to the jewel in India’s crown, the Taj Mahal.

From the environment to the food, the transport to the customs, moving away from the UK is guaranteed to be a culture shock for our cast - as they leave routines and loved ones behind to adapt to living together and to a completely new way of life.

The series is set to air late-January 2016

Interview with Sylvester McCoy

Young at heart, Scottish actor Sylvester is most famous as Doctor Who and recently appeared in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. A real people person, he wants to find out how the elderly are treated in India, and is set on visiting slums and understanding how the poor can seem so happy when living in what, by western standards, is such squalor.

What was the highlight of your stay?
Watching a young gypsy man, Danesh, enthusiastically teaching his joyful class of slum children how to read and write English, in his spare bedroom.

Tell us about some of the people you met
I dined with kings, drank cocktails with Maharajas, but best of all was dancing with puppeteers in the slums of Jaipur.

What was your role in the group?
To raise a smile, and play the spoons!

The Real Marigold Hotel (Credit: BBC/Vinod Singh/Twofour)The Real Marigold Hotel (Credit: BBC/Vinod Singh/Twofour)The Real Marigold Hotel (Credit: BBC/Vinod Singh/Twofour)




BBC Audio: September releasesBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 2 September 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
This month sees two classic Target novelisations released as audio books: the sixth/second Doctor adventure The Two Doctors by Robert Holmes, originally published in December 1985 and read here by the sixth Doctor himself, Colin Baker; and The Curse of Fenric by Ian Briggs, featuring the seventh Doctor and originally published in November 1990, here read by "Davros" actor Terry Molloy (this latter release having been brought forward in the schedule from November, swapping places with Royal Blood).

Further audio books based on novelisations will continue into the next year. December sees the first historic pairing of Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 in Terence Dudley's K-9 And Company, whilst in the new year the fourth Doctor encounters an ancient Time Lord menace in Doctor Who and the State of Decay (by Terrance Dicks). February then jumps a time track back to the first Doctor's visit to The Space Museum (by Glyn Jones), followed in March by an exploration of one the seven wonders of the universe by the third Doctor in Death to the Daleks (also by Terrance Dicks). In April its 'friends reunited' as the second Doctor and the Brigadier face the Cybermen in The Invasion (by Ian Marter), and then in May the fifth Doctor becomes one of "The King's Demons" and confronts an old adversary in 13th Century England (also by Terence Dudley). Note: schedules for these and other BBC Audio releases are subject to change.

The Two Doctors (Credit: BBC Audio)The Two Doctors
Written by Robert Holmes, read by Colin Baker
Released 3rd September 2015 [order]

Colin Baker reads this exciting classic novelisation of a Sixth Doctor TV adventure

Disturbed by the time travel experiments being conducted on Space Station J7, the Time Lords send the second Doctor and Jamie to investigate. Arriving on the station in deep space, they are attacked by a shock force of Sontarans, and the Doctor is left for dead.

Across the gulfs of Time and Space, the Sixth Doctor discovers that his former incarnation is very much alive. Together with Peri and Jamie he must rescue his other self before the plans of scientist Dastari, and the ruthless augmented Androgum Chessene, reach their deadly and shocking conclusion...

Colin Baker, who played Sixth Doctor in the BBC TV series, reads Robert Holmes' complete and unabridged novelisation, first published by Target Books in 1985.

Competition

To be in with a chance to win a copy of the audio book The Two Doctors courtesy of BBC Audio, answer the following question:
What race does Jamie first mis-identify Chessene as, before the (sixth) Doctor corrects him?
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-twodoctorscd@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Yes, Jamie, it is a big one...". The competition is open world-wide, closing date: 27th September 2015. Only one entry per household will be accepted.
The Curse Of Fenric (Credit: BBC Audio)The Curse of Fenric
Written by Ian Briggs, read by Terry Molley
Released 3rd September 2015 [order]

Terry Molloy reads this exciting classic novelisation of a Seventh Doctor TV adventure

At a North Yorkshire naval base in 1943, Dr Judson is using his ULTIMA code-breaking machine to decipher the runic inscriptions in the crypt of the nearby church.

Meanwhile, Commander Millington is obsessed with his research into the toxic bombs that he insists will hasten the end of World War Two. When a squad of the Russian Red Army lands on the nearby coast, with instructions to steal the ULTIMA machine, they are unaware that Millington had turned it into a devastating secret weapon.

Into this scenario materialises the Doctor and Ace. Ace isn't impressed with the security arrangements or the fashions - but the Doctor had graver matters on his mind. Beneath the waters at Maidens Point, an ancient evil stirs. The Doctor uncovers mysteries concealed within villainous plots - but what connects them all to a thousand-year curse?

Terry Molloy, who played Davros in Doctor Who, reads Ian Briggs' complete and unabridged novelisation, first published by Target Books in 1990.

Competition

To be in with a chance to win a copy of the audio book The Curse Of Fenric courtesy of BBC Audio, answer the following question:
What is the trigger word to release the toxin hidden inside the ULTIMA machine?
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-fenriccd@doctorwhonews.net with the subject "Flip Flops are ace!". The competition is open world-wide, closing date: 27th September 2015. Only one entry per household will be accepted.




DVD cover for German Season 25 boxed set revealedBookmark and Share

Friday, 5 December 2014 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
German DVD distributer Pandastorm Pictures released a picture of the cover of the Season 25 boxed set, titled Siebter Doctor Volume 2, as well as a promotional picture on their Facebook page.

The 5 discs set will contain all the content of the UK releases, including the extras, and will include the German dub and the original English version. It will be released in Germany on 27th February 2015.

Volume 1, containing all episodes of Season 24, was just released a week ago. It can be ordered from  Amazon Germany. More season sets of the Classic Series are planned to come out in 2015.


Season 25 DVD Boxed Set Germany (Credit: wvg) DVD backcover (Credit: Pandastorm)





Merchandise RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 25 October 2014 - Reported by Harry Ward
The siege mode TARDIS from Flatline is to be released by official Doctor Who prop makers Rubbertoe Replicas.

TARDIS Siege Mode Cube

The Tardis in 'siege mode' been one of our favourite prop makes of the recent series of Doctor Who. The Tardis has shrunk and is in trouble; it's just about to be flattened by a train! The Doctor pulls an emergency lever to transform the Tardis into its rawest form, no way in, no way out.
It's a beautiful prop to look at, and fits in so well with the Rubbertoe range that when we had the design we knew it was meant to be! We hope you enjoy owning it as much we enjoyed making it.

As with all Rubbertoe Replicas, the Tardis Cube is made using the same techniques and materials as the original prop. To see a detailed account of how we made the original, with step by step pictures of the prop's construction, click here.

The cube comes packed in its own Doctor Who themed gift box.


Available to order now from Rubbertoe Replicas

The Seventh Doctor's Umbrella

Most people think umbrellas are for shielding them from the elements, such as rain or sun or snow. Yet an umbrella can just as easily save you from a fate such as slipping off a sheer ice cliff. A more mundane, yet handy tool is the umbrella when used to measure objects.

You can do both of these tasks (although I wouldn’t suggest you try the former) with your new Seventh Doctor’s Umbrella, AbbyShot’s latest addition to their officially licensed Doctor Who Collection.

Precise measurements were taken and various elements were put together to get the most representative version of this umbrella. It’s made of metal, with solid fiber glass ribs, customized iconic handle with matching tip and black polyester fabric, all of which give it strength while still keeping one dry and passersby safe.

More than just a hat stand decoration, the Seventh Doctor’s Umbrella will be a great addition to any household!


Available to pre-order now from BBC Shop and AbbyShot

Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol Vinyl

Here on vinyl for the first time is Murray Gold’s immaculately crafted original soundtrack to the 2010 Doctor Who Christmas Special. Featuring opera diva Katherine Jenkins as Abigail Pettigrew, Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor, and Michael Gambon as Kazran Sardick, A Christmas Carol was the third most watched programme on December 25th 2010. Katherine Jenkins’ special appearance was crowned with her performance of Abigail’s Song (Silence Is All You Know) on Side B, Track 14.


Available to pre-order now from Amazon UK and Silva Screen





Germany: Complete Season 24 DVD boxed set in NovemberBookmark and Share

Saturday, 6 September 2014 - Written by Pascal Salzmann
German DVD distributor Pandastorm have announced the release of the DVD boxed set Siebter Doctor Volume 1 (Seventh Doctor Volume 1).

The set contains the complete Season 24, featuring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, and includes all special features that were present on the single story DVD releases in the UK. According to the website of Pandastorm's distribution partner wvg the discs will run for approximately 350 minutes plus 328 minutes of bonus features. Audio and subtitles will be in English and German.

The description for the DVDs reads as follows:

Complete Season 24 (German DVD Release)Die erfolgreiche Sci-Fi-Kultserie öffnet die Tore zu ihrer Vergangenheit. Die Abenteuer des siebten Doctors erstmalig in Deutschland auf DVD. Mit über 5 Std. Bonusmaterial und Booklet. Sylvester McCoy's (Radagast aus „Der Hobbit“ Trilogie) erste Staffel in der Rolle des siebten Doctors ist ein schriller, bunter und witziger Trip durchs All. Dabei begegnet er einer gefährlichen Widersacherin: Die Rani. Diese hat sich mit einem Volk menschengroßer Fledermauswesen verbündet, um die Macht über das Universum zu übernehmen. Auf einem Eisplaneten muss er zudem gegen den skrupellosen Schatzjäger Sabalom Glitz und den Sklavenhalter Kane kämpfen, der mit einer einzigen Berührung seine Gegner zu Eis gefrieren lassen kann. Und trifft schließlich auf die junge Ausreißerin Ace, die den Doctor fortan auf seinen Reisen begleitet und sich als einer der beliebtesten Companions der Seriengeschichte entpuppen soll.

The most successful Sci-Fi cult series opens the doors to its past. The adventures if the seventh Doctor on DVD for the first time. Featuring over 5 hours of bonus material and a booklet. Sylvester McCoy's (Radagast from "The Hobbit" trilogy) first season in the role of the seventh Doctor is a jarring, colourful and funny trip through the galaxy. On it he meets a dangerous enemy: the Rani. The Rani has an alliance with a race of huge bat-like creatures in her plan to rule the universe. On an Iceplanet he fights against the ruthless treasure hunter Sabalom Glitz and the slave trader Kane, who is able to freeze someone to ice with a single touch. And finally he meets the young runaway Ace, who is going to travel with the Doctor and who is seen as one of the most popular companions in the history of the show.

The DVD boxed set will be released on 28th November 2014 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon Germany.





DWM remembers the Seventh Doctor's eraBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine harks back to the Seventh Doctor's era as former script editor Andrew Cartmel examines how the series was reinvented for a new generation.

In issue 473, published tomorrow, Cartmel catches up with the writers that he employed, with Stephen Wyatt, Malcolm Kohll and Ian Briggs revealing what it was like to write for the show and discussing how they feel their stories paved the way for the modern reinvention of the programme. Briggs says:
I think it's fantastic. Russell T Davies' approach was a vivid reimagining, taking the basic principles and doing them in a way TV is now made instead of just continuing from the 1980s... That's the great achievement of Russell T Davies – and Steven Moffat, since he took over. Stylistically in both senses, technical style and storytelling style, the show is bang up to date.
Also in the new edition:
  • Producer Marcus Wilson looks back at his work on Doctor Who, including The Time of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor
  • Showrunner Steven Moffat answers readers' questions
  • DWM pays tribute to the life and times of the late Christopher Barry, one of Doctor Who's most prolific directors
  • Clive Doig talks to Toby Hadoke about working on the earliest episodes of Doctor Who
  • The Fact of Fiction takes a detailed look at the 1969 Ice Warriors adventure The Seeds of Death
  • The Doctor and Clara's latest comic-strip adventure - The Blood of Azrael - continues
  • The Time Team watch the Tenth Doctor meet an old friend - and some even older enemies - in The Sontaran Stratagem and The Poison Sky
  • Jacqueline Rayner sees Doctor Who's special effects in a whole new light in Relative Dimensions
  • The Watcher exposes the remarkable relationship between Doctor Who and the Eurovision Song Contest in Wotcha!
  • Reviews of the latest DVDs, CDs and books
  • Competitions, puzzles and more




Horror Channel 'Who on Horror' Full Spring ScheduleBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 - Reported by Melad Moshiri
Horror Channel - Classic Doctors Logo (Credit: Horror Channel)
Horror Channel's Who on Horror schedule in the UK has been released with classic Doctor Who episodes airing from Good Friday. The run will commence with the very first episode of Who in its original four parts on the Friday at 7pm before the Who on Horror themed weekend featuring stories from each of the first seven Doctors begins.

11am - An Unearthly Child (Four Parts, Repeat)
From the misty November nights of London 1963 to the arid caves of Earth 100,000 BC, this is our very first encounter with the mysterious time traveller (William Hartnell), who kidnaps teachers Ian (William Russell) and Barbara (Jacqueline Hill), and, along with his granddaughter Susan (Carole Ann Ford), travels back in the distant past to confront caveman as they discover the power of fire.

1:20pm - The Mind Robber (Four Parts)
Trapped in a world outside of space and time, the second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) along with his companions, Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Zoe (Wendy Padbury), find themselves facing a world of fiction inhabited by unicorns, Medusa, and Gulliver. They seem to be writing their own story but will the mysterious storytelling Master of the realm allow them a happy ending?

3:45pm - Terror of the Autons (Four Parts)
If the 70s was an age of plastic then what would happen if it turned against us? The Doctor (Jon Pertwee), now exiled to Earth in his third incarnation, confronts killer dolls, deadly daffodils, telephone cables that strangle and inflatable chairs that suffocate. A second appearance for the returning enemy the Autons, this also introduces new assistant Jo Grant (Katy Manning) and rogue Time Lord, The Master (Roger Delgado). It also finds a new nemesis in Mary Whitehouse.

6pm - The Brain of Morbius (Parts One and Two)
Our jellybaby-loving Time Lord ventures into Frankenstein territory as The fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) arrive on the stormy planet of Karn where they find themselves caught between the immortal Sisterhood, who are guardians of the precious elixir of life and the fanatical surgeon, Solon, who’s trying to create new life from dead aliens to house the brain of criminal Time Lord, Morbius.
11am - The Brain of Morbius (Parts Three and Four)
Continuation from Saturday night, the last two episodes of this ‘Frankenstein’ story as The Doctor (Tom Baker) and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) find themselves caught between the immortal Sisterhood and the fanatical surgeon, Solon, who’s trying to create new life from dead aliens to house the brain of criminal Time Lord, Morbius.

12:10pm - The Caves of Androzani (Four Parts)
Frequently voted by fans as the best story of the whole classic series, this also marks the end of Peter Davison’s time as he regenerates into Colin Baker. A real actioner which finds the Fifth Doctor and Peri (Nicola Bryant) caught up in a war between a corrupt corporation, smugglers and masked outlaw Sharaz Jek , all fighting for control of spectrox, an invaluable but toxic substance mined on Androzani Minor that when refined, can slow ageing.

2:30pm - Attack of the Cybermen (Four Parts)
Travelling from their own future, the Cybermen stalk London in 1985 to perfect a plan for Halley’s Comet to crash into the Earth, saving their own planet Mondas from destruction. The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) and Peri colourfully attempt to thwart their plans, save the cold-thriving Cryons, natives of Cyber-controlled Telos and maybe finally fix the TARDIS’s chameleon circuits.

4:50pm - Remembrance of the Daleks (Four Parts)
It’s back to November 1963 as the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) returns with Ace (Sophie Aldred) to Coal Hill School, He’s determined to complete unfinished business but if he hadn’t forgotten the Hand of Omega, then it’s inevitable the Daleks would remember too and they’re determined to outwit their greatest enemy and proved that they can climb stairs.

After the special weekend, episodes settle into a weekday showing from Monday after, with a story each from the First, Second and Third Doctor for the rest of April.

Monday 21st April

10am - The Daleks (Parts One and Two)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Having survived their first adventure together, the TARDIS team land on Skaro, a planet devastated by nuclear war. Is anyone left alive? Contaminated by radioactive poisoning, they encounter the pacifist race of Thals and a number of hidden perils, but the greatest threat waits in the impressive citadel. They’re set to come face to eye-stalk for the first time with those exterminating pepperpots, the Daleks. A legend is born and our Saturday nights will never be the same again.
Tuesday 22nd April

10am - The Daleks (Parts Three and Four)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Continuation of adventure in which the TARDIS team come face-to-face with the Daleks for the first time.
Wednesday 23rd April

10am - The Daleks - (Parts Five and Six)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Continuation of adventure in which the TARDIS team come face-to-face with the Daleks for the first time.
Thursday 24th April

10am - The Daleks (Part Seven)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Finale to adventure in which the TARDIS team come face-to-face with the Daleks for the first time.

10:35am - The Seeds of Death (Part One)
Repeated at 3:45pm and 7:50pm
Earth in the 21st Century and instantaneous travel is now possible thanks to the T-Mat based on the Moon. However, when the Doctor arrives with Jamie and Zoe, the machine has broken down and strange alien seeds have been discovered which explode with a lethal fungus threatening to wipe out life. It’s all part of the plan to take over the planet by the Martian reptilian race, the Ice Warriors.
Friday 25th April

10am - The Seeds of Death - (Parts Two and Three)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Continuation of adventure where the Ice Warriors are threatening to wipe out life with a lethal fungus.
Monday 28th April

10am - The Seeds of Death - (Parts Four and Five)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Continuation of adventure where the Ice Warriors are threatening to wipe out life with a lethal fungus.
Tuesday 29th April

10am - The Seeds of Death (Part Six)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Finale to adventure where the Ice Warriors are threatening to wipe out life with a lethal fungus.
10:35am - The Daemons (Part One)
Repeated at 3:45pm and 8:45pm
Excavations at an ancient burial mound unleash an ancient evil. There’s darker magic at work in the quiet village of Devil’s End, and the new vicar seems to have a Master plan under his cassock as rogue Time Lord joins forces with Azal, last of the star-spanning Daemons. With the help of UNIT and Jo Grant, The Doctor fights to stop May Day from becoming the last day for mankind.
Wednesday 30th April

10am - The Daemons - (Parts Two and Three)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Continuation of adventure where The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) fights to stop May Day becoming the last day for mankind.
Thursday 1st May

10am - The Daemons - (Parts Four and Five)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Continuation of adventure where The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) fights to stop May Day becoming the last day for mankind.
Friday 2nd May

10am - The Sea Devils - (Parts One and Two)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
The Doctor pays the Master a visit in an island prison around which a number of ships have mysteriously sunk. While the Doctor and Jo are trapped on the fort by a Sea Devil, the Master steals some electronic components.
Monday 5th May

10am - The Sea Devils - (Parts Three and Four)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Trenchard holds the Doctor captive while the Master attempts to make contact with the Sea Devils. After the Sea Devils attack the island prison and rescue the Master, the Doctor must venture underwater in pursuit.
Tuesday 6th May

10am - The Sea Devils - (Parts Five and Six)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
While the Doctor tries to make peace with the Sea Devils in the their underwater colony, the navy launch an attack on the base! When the Sea Devils take over the naval base, the Doctor is forced to work with the Master to revive the creatures' colony.
Wednesday 7th May

10am - The Three Doctors - (Parts One and Two)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
Three incarnations of the Doctor join forces to face the evil Omega in a universe of antimatter. The Third Doctor and Jo find themselves on an artificial world inside a black hole.
Thursday 7th May

10am - The Three Doctors - (Parts Three and Four)
Repeated at 3:10pm and 7:50pm
The Time Lord Omega reveals himself to the third Doctor along with his plan for vengeance. The Doctors discover a secret about Omega that gives them an advantage in ending his deadly plot.

The full and future schedule can be found via This Week in Doctor Who.

Idents and commercials have been created depicting the cell animation advertised while billboards and posters promoting the campaign have been seen in London.


The arrival of Doctor Who on the Horror Channel reflects the science-fiction, action and fantasy genres seen on the channel's available line-up, including Xena: Warrior Princess, Wonder Woman and The Twilight Zone.

Director of Programming Alina Florea commented on the latest signing in a press release:
Doctor Who is an iconic series and we are proud and excited to welcome this giant of British television to our channel. The line-up will include some of the most revered from seven classic Doctors – stories that terrified, thrilled and captured the imagination of children and adults through the decades. Doctor Who joins a long line of well-loved classic series we have endeavoured to showcase on Horror Channel over the last few years.
A special press launch took place yesterday at The Ivy in Leicester Square in the presence of the Fourth Doctor himself, Tom Baker. Doctor Who News was invited to the launch and a report of the day will be available soon.

UPDATE - 18th APRIL: Our report of the press launch, including pictures, can now be read here.




Seventh Doctor book to raise money for charityBookmark and Share

Sunday, 6 April 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
A book that takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the era of the Seventh Doctor is to be brought out in July 2014 by Miwk Publishing, with the authors' profits going to the Alzheimer's Society.

Wallowing In Our Own Weltschmerz is being written by Andy Davidson, Chris Orton, Andrew Orton, Steven Duckworth, Robert Hammond and Matthew West – a fanzine collection of writers known as "Auton" – with the cover designed by Andrew Orton.

Doctor Who is now in its 51st year and enjoying its 12th/13th/14th/latest of many actors to take on the lead role. Every era is different, each actor brings their own style to the role, each producer and script editor makes their mark and probably Sylvester McCoy's era is one of the most divisive among fandom. It's a dynamic three years blowing cobwebs off the memory of recent cancellation. The Doctor and the series develop over 47 episodes until finally, sadly, just as things are on the up, the show is cancelled again. The Auton guide to the stories behind the Seventh Doctor's era answers all the questions fans haven't been asking:
  • Cleaning Robots: What can you actually clean with a drill and a saw blade? We tried.
  • Who built the Rani's lair? How long did it take?
  • Harry's 70+ – How old is his wife if she's having twins in a few weeks?
  • Why is the Psychic Circus so-called?
  • Why do Rezzies eat Kangs when they've got a ready supply of teacakes, crumpets, muffin, basil and fresh cream?
  • Now that we have a "Special Weapons" Dalek, should we relabel all the other Daleks?
  • And how did Delta fit into Mel's dress?
We worry about these things so you don't have to. It's been a long time since Auton visited Doctor Who. Aided by the illustrations of Andy X Cable, it's time to get it out of our system.

Build high for happiness.
"Auton" dates back to 1989 and since then has produced "nineteen and a half" fanzines and two books.

(Editor's note: "Weltschmerz" is German for "world-weariness".)




Steven Moffat in praise of Remembrance of the DaleksBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
With the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of the Daleks on TV screens fast approaching, a video tribute by Doctor Who's current showrunner Steven Moffat to their last story during the classic era - Remembrance of the Daleks - was posted today by the BBC on the programme's official site.

In the piece, he says of the 1988 four-parter:
Terrific script, terrific, pacy, very modern, very of-its-time script, very, very well directed and with one of the best spaceship landings we've had in Doctor Who. Back in the day when they had no CGI, when they barely had post-production, a spaceship landing in a school playground . . . they did it superbly. Genius! And a superlative story.
Moffat's comments were recorded last year as part of a mini series in which he talked about the Daleks in general to publicise their return in Asylum of the Daleks and, in subsequent video posts, looked at what he considered to be the best and most significant Dalek adventures.





Week of Specials on Radio Four ExtraBookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 November 2013 - Reported by Marcus
Today BBC Radio Four Extra begins a week of celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who with a reading of the very first Doctor Who novelisation.

Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks was first published in 1964, adapted by the series' script editor David Whitaker from the first Dalek story written by Terry Nation. The story was republished by Target Books in 1973, kicking off the range which would introduce a generation of fans born in the sixties and seventies to the eras of the first and second Doctors.

The story, intended to work as a standalone, is told from the viewpoint of Ian Chesterton and has a very different meeting between the Doctor and his future companions than that of the television series.

The Audiogo recording is read by William Russell, who played Ian in the TV series. The broadcast begins at 1800 GMT on Saturday with the first two episodes. The full adaptation is broadcast between 0000 GMT and 0430 GMT on Sunday.

The broadcast kicks off a week of Doctor Who programming on the station. Radio Four Extra can be heard worldwide via the BBC Website.
  • Sunday - Protect and Survive - 1800 GMT & 0000 GMT
  • In this drama the Seventh Doctor (played by Sylvester McCoy) and his young companions Hex and Ace are plunged into the late '80s, where history has gone terrifyingly wrong, with the world trembling on the brink of a final terrible war.
  • Monday - Fanfare for the Common Men - 1800 GMT & 0000 GMT
  • A four-part drama featuring the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison). The Doctor's young companion Nyssa is unfamiliar with the Earth's musical heritage, but in a trip back to the '60s the Beatles are nowhere to be seen and their role has been taken by the Common Men.
  • Tuesday - A Thousand Tiny Wings - 1800 GMT & 0000 GMT
  • A full-cast audio drama in which the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) arrives in a remote homestead during the period of Kenyan independence in December 1963 and is reunited with an old acquaintance – an ex-Nazi called Klein.
  • Wednesday - Farewell Great Macedon - 1800 GMT & 0000 GMT
  • Based on an unproduced television script and brought to life through a combination of performance and narration. The original team of the First Doctor and companions Ian, Barbara and Susan step out from the TARDIS into the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and meet Alexander the Great.
  • Thursday - Human Resources - 1800 GMT & 0000 GMT
  • A full-cast drama featuring the Eighth Doctor (played by Paul McGann). The two-part story explains the on-going mystery of Lucie Miller (Sheridan Smith), paired off with the Doctor in a witness protection programme.
  • Friday - The Dalek Invasion of Earth - 1800 GMT & 0000 GMT
  • A reading by William Russell (Ian Chesterton in the original TV serial on which the story is based). This is one of the classic Doctor Who stories featuring the First Doctor and set in an occupied Britain.
  • Saturday - Doctor Who special – Who Made Who - 0900 GMT & 1600 GMT
  • Tracy-Ann Oberman is the guide on a journey back to a time before Time Lords. Interviewees include Doctor Who writers Charlie Higson and Al Hennen and William Hartnell's grand-daughter Jessica Carney. Featured programmes include The Reunion, which gathers the original 1963 cast, and Whatever Happened to . . . Susan Foreman? which tries to solve the mystery of the Doctor's original travelling companion, his grand-daughter.
  • Sunday - Lucie Miller - 0000 GMT
  • An Eighth Doctor adventure starring Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith and Graeme Garden.
  • Monday - To the Death - 0000 GMT
  • The Time Lord calls on friends, family and the Monk to help overthrow the Dalek occupation of Earth. This Eighth Doctor adventure stars Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith and Graeme Garden.




Big Finish: The Light at the End cast updateBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A pack shot has now been released for the forthcoming 50th Anniversary audio adventure The Light at the End from Big Finish. Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann unite as the Doctor(s), accompanied by Louise Jameson, Sarah Sutton, Nicola Bryant, Sophie Aldred and India Fisher as their companions. Geoffrey Beevers plays The Master, and there are also cameo appearances by Carole Ann Ford, William Russell, Maureen O’Brien, Peter Purves, Jean Marsh, Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Katy Manning, Mark Strickson and Janet Fielding.

The Light at The End (pack shot) (Credit: Big Finish)

The five disc box set, which includes deluxe packaging and a lavish booklet, comprises:
  • Discs 1 and 2 – The Light at the End
  • Disc 3 – The Making of the Light at the End, featuring interviews with the actors and production crew
  • Disc 4 – This is Big Finish, a look at the current Doctor Who audio output of the company, with interviews with the actors and producers.
  • Disc 5 – The Companion Chronicles: The Revenants – William Russell performs as Ian Chesterton in a First Doctor story originally released as a download with Doctor Who Magazine.

Producer David Richardson said:
The edits are in, the designs are done and this story has now gone off to reproduction. We’re hugely proud of it – an epic story in which all our Doctors get to shine… and spend some very interesting times in each others’ company! Nick Briggs has done himself proud with the script, and Jamie Robertson’s sound design and music are phenomenal. Get ready for a very special audio celebration of 50 years of Doctor Who...

The Light at the End is available for pre-order.





BFI: Seventh And Ninth Doctor Panels Plus Eighth Doctor GuestsBookmark and Share

Monday, 9 September 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Videos of the guest panels from the two most recent celebratory screenings by the BFI were released today.

The BFI is running a Doctor Who At 50 season throughout this year, curated by Justin Johnson and Dick Fiddy, and a six-minute excerpt from the question-and-answer session at the Seventh Doctor event, held on Saturday 27th July and which saw a big-screen showing of Remembrance of the Daleks, features Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, and Ben Aaronovitch in conversation with Johnson.


Meanwhile, the Ninth Doctor event - held on Saturday 24th August with Bad Wolf and The Parting of The Ways being screened - spawned a longer video, with Joe Ahearne, Phil Collinson, and Bruno Langley on the panel.


The next event, which will mark the Tenth Doctor's era, is to take place at the BFI on Sunday 29th September when the episodes The Stolen Earth and Journey's End will be shown and - as previously reported - David Tennant will be among the special guests. As with all the other events in the BFI season it has sold out, but returns are possible - keep checking here - as are stand-bys on the day.

Less than a week after that - and again as previously reported - Paul McGann will be the headline guest on Saturday 5th October at the sold-out event in honour of his time as the Eighth Doctor, with a screening of the TV Movie taking place. The full guest line-up, announced today, will be Daphne Ashbrook, Geoffrey Sax, Andrew Cartmel, Gary Russell, Nicholas Briggs, and Jason Haigh-Ellery. Cartmel, Briggs, Russell, and Haigh-Ellery will be forming a panel to talk about the years between the McGann movie and the show's return, while McGann, Ashbrook, and Sax will be the panel guests following the screening.

Yesterday, Ashbrook revealed on her website that she would be taking part, commenting:
I can't wait to see Paul McGann, Gary Russell, Jason Haigh Ellory [sic] and Andrew Cartmel. And Geoffrey Sax, whom I haven't seen since we shot the movie in 1996!
The event will be followed by a signing at the BFI Shop of advance copies of the BBC's 50th-anniversary book Doctor Who - The Vault, due out on Thursday 24th October, with author Marcus Hearn. Check here for returns for the Eighth Doctor event or try for stand-bys on the day.