Stepson gig plus DVD double bill with Moths announcedBookmark and Share

Monday, 14 April 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
The actor, writer and comedian Toby Hadoke is to give the last performance of My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver for the foreseeable future next month, he has announced.

The show, which is as highly acclaimed as its antecedent Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, will be staged on Monday 19th May at 7.30pm at Bollington Arts Centre, Wellington Road, Bollington, Cheshire, as part of the Bollington Festival.
My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver

Join Toby as he takes you on a heart-warming journey that begins with losing a partner, ends with gaining a stepson, and pays homage to the restorative powers of the Time Lord in between. Intimate knowledge of the TARDIS is not required to enjoy this bitter-sweet comedy of parenting through sci-fi evangelism.
Hadoke, who writes for Doctor Who Magazine and has been a moderator on classic Doctor Who DVDs, also said that work is under way on a DVD release of Moths and Stepson, both of which were filmed when he performed them as a double bill at the Garrick Theatre in the West End on 17th November last year. A release date is yet to be announced.
Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf

Get out from behind that sofa and get aboard Toby Hadoke's TARDIS on a trip through time – charting the rise, fall, and rise again of a television legend. This delightful show is a personal, satirical, and razor-sharp comic odyssey from child to man, through obsession, joy, and disappointment.




Arthur Darvill opens in OnceBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 March 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Arthur Darvill has taken over the role of Guy in the West End production of Once the Musical.

The actor, who played Rory Williams in Doctor Who, took over the role on Monday when the production celebrated its first birthday in London's Phoenix Theatre. Darvill previously played the role on Broadway and will stay with the London production until 10th May.

Once the Musical is based on the 2006 film of the same name, written by Enda Walsh. It includes many of the songs, including the Academy Award-winning Falling Slowly performed by Darvill in the play. It tells the story of an Irish busker and a Czech girl who meet through a shared love of music. The original production won 8 Tony Awards in 2012 and the London one has been nominated for six Olivier Awards.

Doctor Who News was invited to a special preview on Wednesday afternoon when Darvill and the company performed a number of songs from the musical.


For more information on the production visit the official website or the Once the Musical Facebook page.
Thanks to Dewynters




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Sunday, 16 February 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
Today sees a certain actor reaching a certain milestone and we couldn't let it go unrecognised, so here's wishing A VERY HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY to Christopher Eccleston - the man who was so fundamental in ensuring that Doctor Who was a success when it returned in 2005! To mark the special occasion, here are his first and last scenes as the Doctor.


Matt Smith is to appear at the Wizard World Louisville Comic Con on Saturday 29th March, which is being held at the Kentucky International Convention Center, 221 S 4th Street,
Louisville. He will be greeting fans, signing autographs, posing for photos and conducting an interactive question-and-answer session. [Wizard World]

The first photo of David Tennant in Gracepoint - the US remake of ITV drama Broadchurch in which he also starred - has been released and published by Entertainment Weekly. It shows Tennant, who plays Detective Emmett Carver, with Anna Gunn as his sidekick Detective Ellie Miller. The 10-episode series - written by Chris Chibnall who created the original show, and directed by James Strong who helmed five Broadchurch episodes - is being made by Fox and will air next season. [Entertainment Weekly, 14 Feb 2014]

Ben Wheatley - who is directing Peter Capaldi's first two episodes - has been talking about working with the actor. "With someone like Capaldi, he's a massive Who fan. He knows Who inside out. And everything he does is very, carefully planned and thought about. I remember when they first started talking to me about doing it, and I was very nervous for just those reasons. How do you shape this performance? But then when I heard who was going to do it - when they told me it was Capaldi, [I thought] that's not really a problem. He's so good. I was relieved, pretty much. It would have been a very different situation if it had been another kind of Matt Smith character. A guy who you don't know. Moulded from the start. But with Capaldi, you look at his career and you look at his performances they are all so brilliant, and all so different as well. It was a lucky break for me, I think that." He added: "It seems to me the episodes that we're doing now seem more like classic Who. We're going back to that style. But you'll have to wait and see." [io9, 3 Feb 2014]

Carey Mulligan will be playing the former lover of a character portrayed by Bill Nighy when she makes her West End debut in Skylight by Sir David Hare. The revival will be on at Wyndham's Theatre from Friday 6th June to Saturday 23rd August and will see Mulligan in the role of schoolteacher Kyra Hollis, while Nighy plays Tom Sergeant, as "the two attempt to rekindle their once-passionate relationship only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires." [BBC News, 14 Feb 2014]

Bonnie Langford is returning to play the Lady of the Lake in the hit West End musical Spamalot, which is at the Playhouse Theatre. She will be appearing in it from Monday 24th February. [The Stage, 10 Feb 2014]

The fifth series of ITV period drama Downton Abbey will see Richard E Grant joining the cast as Simon Bricker - a guest of the Granthams. The eight-part series will also see the return of Hugh Bonneville, Penelope Wilton, Samantha Bond and Raquel Cassidy. [ITV Press Centre, 14 Feb 2014]

Michael Gambon will be among those taking part in the HighTide Festival in Halesworth, Suffolk. Among the theatre festival's events are world premieres of plays, readings and music, and Gambon will be taking part in the Face To Face series, when he will be interviewed by the theatre critic Michael Billington on Saturday 19th April. The festival - which takes place from Thursday 10th to Saturday 19th April - will also see the world premiere of Peddling, a play written and performed by Patrick Troughton's grandson Harry Melling, which will then transfer to New York.

Alex Kingston, Noel Clarke and Reece Shearsmith are to star in the ITV drama Chasing Shadows. The four-part production, which focuses on the work of a missing persons field unit charged with tracking down serial killers who prey on impressionable and vulnerable people, is due to start filming in the south-east of England soon for eight weeks. Shearsmith will play Det Sgt Sean Stone, with Kingston portraying his partner, Ruth Hattersley, while Clarke will take the role of Det Insp Prior. [ITV Press Centre, 11 Feb 2014]

Actress and model Lily Cole has been cast as Helen of Troy in The Last Days of Troy - an adaptation by Simon Armitage of The Iliad - which will receive its world premiere at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester from Thursday 8th May to Saturday 7th June, before transferring to The Globe in London from Tuesday 10th to Saturday 28th June. [The Stage, 12 Feb 2014]

A forthcoming show featuring Louise Jameson that is for children who have learning difficulties needs actors and costumes after some cast members had to leave the production. The Unexpected Heroes is being put on at Sandhurst School in Berkshire on Tuesday 25th, Wednesday 26th and Friday 28th February, and producer Jonathan Turner said: "We are facing great difficulties as some cast members had to drop out due to unforeseen circumstances, so we are appealing for help with costumes and sets." Jameson is voicing a magic mirror in the show. Turner can be contacted on jonathanturner560@gmail.com [Local Berkshire, 14 Feb 2014]

Oft-rumoured to have been considered to play the Doctor, Paterson Joseph has told in an interview of his audition to take over from David Tennant. "I was in South Africa at the time, and I think if I'd been in England I probably would have suffered some sort of trauma. But I'll be very honest with you. I was overjoyed. Not that I thought I had been considered, because I hadn't been - they hadn't approached my agent at that point - but I was overjoyed." He added that after the audition "I came back and I think I pretty much knew that I hadn't got it and weirdly wasn't disappointed." [The Independent, 8 Feb 2014]

With his new TV entertainment show Superstar Dogs due to start on Channel 4 tomorrow at 5.30pm, John Barrowman has been talking about the programme and how his own dogs - Captain Jack, a Jack Russell terrier named after his Doctor Who/Torchwood character, and cocker spaniel Harris - would get on in the challenges. "Captain Jack knows how to dive underwater and swim down to retrieve a bone but I don't think he'd be good at fetching any balls because he'd burst them. And I'd probably have to train him a bit for the Dogstacle course. Harris would refuse to do anything!" [What's On TV]

An inquest into the death of former director Christopher Barry is to be held on Thursday 5th June. The 88-year-old died on Friday 7th February after falling down an escalator at a shopping centre in Banbury, near his home, earlier that day. He was taken to hospital but while there he suddenly stopped breathing and doctors couldn't revive him. [The Telegraph, 15 Feb 2014]

Lalla Ward and her husband Richard Dawkins will be sharing their memories of writer and former Doctor Who script editor Douglas Adams, as well as celebrating his life, at Highgate Cemetery, where Adams is buried. The sold-out event - entitled A Conversation At The End Of The Universe - takes place on Tuesday 11th March, which would have been Adams's 62nd birthday. Ward and Dawkins were introduced to each other by Adams at his 40th birthday party in 1992 and they married later that year. [Highgate Cemetery website]

Among those paying their respects to Roger Lloyd Pack at his funeral at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden, on Thursday were fellow Only Fools And Horses stars John Challis and Tessa Peake-Jones, plus the actor Nigel Havers. Daughter Emily Lloyd gave a reading of Kahlil Gibran's poem On Death and said afterwards that Lloyd Pack's last words to his family were "I'm fine." [The Mirror, 14 Feb 2014]

In Memoriam

The actress Lisa Daniely - who played Madeleine Issigri in The Space Pirates - has died at the age of 84. She made her film debut in 1951 as the eponymous Lilli Marlene, starring in the sequel, The Wedding of Lilli Marlene, two years later as well. Among her other roles, she also appeared in ITV's 1958-59 version of The Invisible Man as Diane Brady Wilson - the title character's widowed sister - with Deborah Watling playing her daughter. Other TV appearances included The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Van der Valk, The Protectors, Strange Report, Danger Man and The Saint. [The Stage, 12 Feb 2014]




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 4 February 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
The BBC has taken to Twitter to warn people to avoid tweets claiming to be from either Peter Capaldi or Jenna Coleman, as neither actor has a Twitter account. In a tweet sent out from the official Doctor Who account last week, it said:

Meanwhile, Coleman has been talking about her life in travel, including her earliest holiday memory (Cornwall) and her favourite destination in Britain (Derbyshire). She says her best holiday was in The Maldives. "I went after finishing series seven of Doctor Who. I had to pinch myself because it was so picturesque. Especially because I'd gone in January, from grey London skies and concrete to all this colour and sea. It took about five days to settle in. We arrived by seaplane and barely saw anyone else the whole time. We did a catamaran trip where the hotel took us out with a picnic and snorkelling gear to a strip of sand in the middle of the ocean and left us there. You couldn't see anything else except the horizon and water. We were totally stranded." Her worst travel experience was "Christmas Eve at London Euston railway station, trying to get home to Blackpool. Everybody turns into animals. Humans stop being humans." [The Independent, 1 Feb 2014]

Tomorrow's episode of ITV drama Midsomer Murders sees an End of Time reunion of sorts take place, with Bernard Cribbins, Jacqueline King and June Whitfield among the guest cast caught up in the goings-on of The Flying Club, when an airfield owner is murdered. Cribbins plays veteran mechanic Duggie Wingate, Whitfield portrays Molly Darnley, a former Air Transport Auxiliary member with a dark secret, and King is Laura Wilding - the mother of resident pathologist Kate. Chatting about the episode last week, Cribbins said that Whitfield's character would be a love interest for Wingate. The two-hour episode airs from 8pm. [ITV Press Centre]

Paul McGann and Sophie Aldred will be among the star guests at sci-fi convention The SF Ball in Bournemouth later this week. The event takes place from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th February and Aldred, who filmed a number of her Doctor Who stories in the county, spoke of her fond memories of the place. "It was always a delight. I love Dorset and it was great to be filming there," she said, adding: "I remember having a barbecue on the sand at Lulworth Cove. Somebody had managed to wire up lights on an extension cable. We had a disco. Then we would go for walks off along Durdle Door. I remember watching shooting stars one night. It was wonderful." Aldred also said how much she enjoyed meeting the show's fans. "They are incredibly bright people. Doctor Who attracts really brilliant, brainy people," she said. (NB: McGann will only be at the event on the Friday and Saturday.) [Dorset Echo, 3 Feb 2014]

Sylvester McCoy and Karen Gillan join the guests taking part in the Sci-Fi Expo in Irving, Texas, at the weekend. Organised by Dallas Comic Con, the event will be held at the Irving Convention Center on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th February, with Gillan there on Saturday only. [TheForce.net, 30 Jan 2014]

If you miss her then, Gillan will be on the Wizard World Comic Con Tour later this year, appearing at Philadelphia Comic Con from Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd June, Chicago Comic Con from Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th August, and Austin Comic Con from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th October. [Wizard World]

Staying with the Stateside theme, Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall has spoken about David Tennant's American accent in Gracepoint - the US remake of the ITV crime drama. Tennant played Det Insp Alec Hardy in the British original and is portraying Det Emmett Carver in the US version, and Chibnall said of the actor's accent: "I've heard it's fantastic." [Radio Times, 30 Jan 2014]

Meanwhile, Broadchurch co-star Olivia Colman has been talking of the agonies of keeping a tight lid on the plot of the second series after enduring similar tongue-holding for the first one. "Now it’s all starting again, it's awful - there's no end to the secret keeping."
[Radio Times, 30 Jan 2014]

Colin Baker had a jovial dig at the BBC over the gender of the Doctor, saying: "There should [be a female Doctor]. It won't happen because they are too timid but there should be. First female Doctor? I will have a sex change and do it. I am in touch with my feminine side." [Radio Times, 29 Jan 2014]

Brian Cox is to return as Broughty Ferry burger-seller and failed politican Bob Servant for a second - shorter - TV series of the comedy Bob Servant Independent. Filming begins in May, with Bob and his long-suffering campaign manager Frank (played by Jonathan Watson) left to pick up their lives after a by-election disaster. Cox joked: "Doing Bob Servant was the worst experience of my long career, working with no-hoper talents like [series writer] Neil Forsyth and the rest of them. But these things are sent to try us and occasionally we must fly the flag for the afflicted. One has to be generous at my great age so I am happy to endorse the new series of Bob Servant. For no-hopers they're awffy nice people. I remember when I used to make movies!" The show follows in the footsteps of the Bob Servant books and radio series, with last year's TV series comprising six episodes. The second series, consisting of three episodes, will air later this year on BBC Four and BBC Two Scotland. [BBC Media Centre, 3 Feb 2014]

Following the announcement of the opening of a musical version of Back To The Future in the West End next year, speculation has been rife over who will land the plum role of Marty McFly, with Arthur Darvill being given odds of 16/1 by Paddy Power. [The Independent, 2 Feb 2014]

Billie Piper caused a stir at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin last week when she dropped by to give her support to friend Ben Power on the opening night of his play A Tender Thing. The actress is filming forthcoming psychosexual horror TV series Penny Dreadful in the area, playing Irish immigrant Brona Croft. The programme - also starring Timothy Dalton - is due to start airing on Showtime in May. [Irish Independent, 1 Feb 2014]

Alex Kingston reprises the role of Dinah Lance in an episode of Arrow, the series based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow. Entitled Heir To The Demon, the episode - which also features a character called Nyssa! - is due to air on The CW tomorrow at 8pm ET. A preview clip including Kingston is available to watch below:


And Kingston is being reunited with Sir Kenneth Branagh for a radio production of Antony and Cleopatra. The duo - who are playing the eponymous roles - starred together in Macbeth last year at Manchester International Festival, and Branagh said he was "excited to be reunited with Alex Kingston after our hugely rewarding partnership in Macbeth on stage. To play another pair of Shakespeare's great couples is a privilege." It is due to air on Radio 3 on Sunday 20th April. [The Stage, 29 Jan 2014]

Jessica Raine will be appearing as new recruit Det Con Georgia Trotman in the second series of BBC Two's police corruption drama Line of Duty, which starts on Wednesday 12th February at 9pm. She said that what worried her most was her style of running. "What I was most concerned about was not running like a girl in a police vest. I practised that a few times," she said, adding that having watched playbacks she reckoned she did OK. [Radio Times, 30 Jan 2014]

Meanwhile, Raine and David Walliams were among those pictured at the Radio Times Cover Party. [Radio Times, 29 Jan 2014]

Robert Webb is to replace Stephen Mangan as Bertie Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at The Duke of York's Theatre in London from Monday 7th April. [The Stage, 3 Feb 2014]




People RoundupBookmark and Share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


In Memoriam

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




Hadoke adds dates to Stepson tourBookmark and Share

Thursday, 31 October 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Comedian Toby Hadoke has added a number of dates to his tour of My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver.

The actor and writer, who is a moderator on classic Doctor Who DVD releases and is a contributor to Doctor Who Magazine, will be performing the show as follows:
My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver

Join Toby as he takes you on a heart-warming journey that begins with losing a partner, ends with gaining a stepson, and pays homage to the restorative powers of the Time Lord in between. Intimate knowledge of the TARDIS is not required to enjoy this bitter-sweet comedy of parenting through sci-fi evangelism.
Stepson is a follow-up to Hadoke's acclaimed one-man show Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf.




Win tickets to see Every Episode of Doctor Who Ever!Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 3 September 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Every Episode of Doctor Who Ever - Live on Stage (Credit: Pat Magee)This month sees the stage production Every Episode of Doctor Who Ever performed at the Sydney Fringe, and Doctor Who News is able to offer two double passes to any of the performances courtesy of the Factory Theatre and Pat Magee. In order to win one of the pairs please answer the following question:
In which story is the exact phrase "bigger on the inside" first used?
Send your answer to comp-theatre@doctorwhonews.net with the subject line "Are you doing Dimensions in Time?", along with the names for the two tickets and the performances that you are able to make, plus where you saw the competition (e.g. the news website or on Facebook). The competition is open to anybody who is able to confirm that they can make the performances requested.

Closing date is Wednesday 11th September.

Performances of Every Episode of Doctor Who Ever take place at The Factory Theatre, Sydney, Australia on the evenings of the 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th September.

(with thanks to Pat Magee)




Hadoke To Perform One-Nighter Double Bill Of Stage ShowsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Toby Hadoke is to perform both his critically-acclaimed solo Doctor Who stage shows as a double bill in the West End for one night.

The actor, writer, comedian, and Sony Gold Award nominee - who also moderates commentaries on Doctor Who DVD releases as well as being a columnist for Doctor Who Magazine - will be bringing Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf and its sequel My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver together for the first - and possibly only - time to the Garrick Theatre in Charing Cross Road on Sunday 17th November at 7pm.

Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf

Get out from behind that sofa and get aboard Toby Hadoke's TARDIS on a trip through time – charting the rise, fall, and rise again of a television legend. This delightful show is a personal, satirical, and razor-sharp comic odyssey from child to man, through obsession, joy, and disappointment.
My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver

Join Toby as he takes you on a heart-warming journey that begins with losing a partner, ends with gaining a stepson, and pays homage to the restorative powers of the Time Lord in between. Intimate knowledge of the TARDIS is not required to enjoy this bitter-sweet comedy of parenting through sci-fi evangelism.
Tickets for the double bill, which is taking place to mark the programme's 50th anniversary, went on sale this morning and can be booked via this link or by phoning 0844 482 9673 (please check with your phone service provider for call charges).

Meanwhile, My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver is being taken on tour again later this year, with the dates listed on Hadoke's website.




Every Episode of Doctor Who Ever - Live on StageBookmark and Share

Monday, 8 July 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Fuse Box in Sydney, Australia is to play host to a new Doctor Who inspired stage production this coming September, as part of the 2013 Sydney Fringe.

Every Episode of Doctor Who Ever - Live on Stage (Credit: Pat Magee)Every Episode of Doctor Who Ever - Live on Stage

This September, three and a half comedians are going to definitely perform all 798 episodes of the world's longest running SF series.

Live on stage.

In an hour.
(This is, of course, impossible)

Join lifelong Who fan Pat Magee (Project 52, Pat & Carlo, Full Body Contact No Love Tennis) and his friends Rubee Sookee (The Bear Pack vs Cubs, FBCNLT), Ciaran Magee (Arts Revue 2012, Project 52, Pat's brother) and Nicholas "Amy" Pond (Charley's Aunt, Great Expectations, not Pat's brother) as they pay tribute to the greatest television show of all time and answer the first question, the oldest question, the question that must never be answered: "are you doing Dimensions in Time?"
(No. We're not.)

Performances take place at 9:30pm on Wednesday 11th and 18th September, and Thursday 12th and 19th September. More details can be found via the Sydney Fringe website.

(with thanks to Pat Magee, Dallas Jones)




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 January 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
David Tennant in Richard II. Photo: RSCDavid Tennant is to return to the Royal Shakespeare Company in October; the actor will play the title role in Richard II at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon in a production helmed by his former Hamlet director, Gregory Doran, and will be joined by another Hamlet compatriot Oliver Ford Davies. An interview with Tennant on the role can be watched via the RSC. Priority Booking opens on 11th February for the five week production which runs from 10th October to 16th November, with public tickets available from the 18th March.

The BBC have released the warm-up video for Matt Smith's appearance on Top Gear as the Star in a reasonably priced car last year, during which he engages in a rendition of Singing In The Rain!

'River Song' is to meet 'Captain Jack' as Alex Kingston is to be a guest star on CW series Arrow, which also features John Barrowman as a guest character. The actress is to play Dinah Lance, the separated wife of police sergeant Quentin Lance and mother of Laurel. [Entertainment Weekly, 22 Jan 2013]

Bernard Cribbins spoke about the way children's television has developed over the years: "It's all very fast and noisy now I think. You think of the gentleness of Jackanory, somebody would walk onto the set, sit down and say 'hello I'm going to tell you about Ratty and Mole and the Wind in the Willows' and off you went. Nice and gentle, and the only thing you saw, apart from the guy or lady talking to you, was a few captions and illustrations, which were stills. That was how it used to be. Pure, simple storytelling. Now there seems to be - sometimes, not always - a tendency to use every single opportunity to put in CGI and animation and a lot of it is, I think, gratuitous when the story is actually doing the work for you." [BBC News, 19 Jan 2013]

Talking about her role as Larissa Loughton in The Carrie Diaries - and more importantly her fashion sense - Freema Agyeman said: "I always look forward to my costume fittings because I walk in and I can instantly tell which rail is mine, because they have the brightest shiniest outfits that make me smile because they are so outrageous and so wacky but beautifully put together. I think they look like pieces of art." [Celebuzz, 23 Jan 2013]

Brian Cox has been re-elected as the University of Dundee's rector, serving students' interests. He said: "It is such a privilege and honour to be allowed to serve the students of Dundee for another three years. I hope to reciprocate in my heart the tremendous trust you have given me." [BBC News, 18 Jan 2013]

Adam Woodyatt spoke about his interest in appearing in Doctor Who: "I want to be an alien, heavily made up so people wouldn't be able to tell it was me. I think everyone of my generation would like to do Doctor Who because we all have something significant from the show that we remember from childhood. For me it was Jon Pertwee, the Brigadier and these giant maggoty slug things. I have this memory of watching it when I was off school ill. So it must have been repeated in the daytime. Or maybe it was the school holidays. I do like the new series as well, though - I enjoyed the Christmas special and I think Matt Smith is brilliant." [Radio Times via RTE, 18 Jan 2013]

Neil Gaiman, a patron of the Bookend Trust (a Tasmanian education charity) visited Dunalley Primary School, which was unfortunately destroyed during recent wildfires that rampaged across the island. Niall Doran, director of the Trust, told us:
Neil Gaiman and Polly Adams with the pre-release copy of Chu's Day donated to the school by Bloomsbury.Neil took part in a fundraising concert on Monday night, but he, Bookend and his publishers (Hachette Australia and Bloomsbury) also arranged for a special donation to the new school library consisting of a full set of Neil's children's books and a wider selection of the publishers' other children's titles. In addition, they have also kindly provided a selection of Neil's adult books and titles from other authors that can be distributed to the wider community and/or used for fundraising.

Neil visited the school site for a tour of the damage and the reconstruction. Also there to show their support were Polly Adams (daughter of the late, great Douglas Adams) and the 2012 & 2013 Tasmanians of the Year: Robert Pennicott and Andrew Hughes. The Bookend Trust chartered a seaplane from Tasmanian Air Adventures in order to be able to get Neil back to Hobart in time for media interviews and sound-checks before the MONA fundraising concert for the bushfires. Neil spoke on Australian national radio to publicise the visit and the concert, and also talked about his upcoming Cyberman episode.

Photos of the visit can be seen at the Bookend Trust Facebook site.




People RoundupBookmark and Share

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




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 9 January 2013 - (compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman)
David Tennant and wife Georgia Moffett are expecting their second child together, it was revealed on The Jonathan Ross Show last Saturday (5th).

During the show, the actor also talked about how he is still recognised as the Doctor in spite of four years away from the role: "It does carry on, yeah, because people are enthusiastic about it, it's one of those shows that people love. It becomes part of what you do, it's not a difficult thing to deal with.".

Talking about filming Spies of Warsaw - which is on tonight at 9:00pm on BBC4 - he commented on how wide-reaching his recognition is: "I didn't realise Doctor Who plays in Poland – but it obviously does. I've had a few fans coming up, wanting to say hello, or get a photograph or a signature. It doesn't happen quite on the scale that it happens at home – but then I don't think I've been to a country yet where I haven’t met someone who's a Doctor Who fan ... except maybe Uganda!" [Mail, 6 Jan 2013]

Burn Gorman - who appears with Tennant in Spies of Warsaw - has joined the cast of Revenge. He will play a recurring character named Trask, a member of the American Initiative. [Hollywood Reporter, 7 Jan 2013]

Tamsin Greig and Catrin Stewart will be on stage in Longing at the Hampstead Theatre in London. Adapted by William Boyd from two Anton Chekhov short stories, the play will run from Thursday 28th February to Saturday 6th April. The venue is currently staging Old Money, with Maureen Lipman and Tracy-Ann Oberman, ending on 12th January, which will be followed by Di And Viv And Rose, with Anna Maxwell-Martin and Tamzin Outhwaite (17th January to 23rd February).

An adaptation of Tom Baker's novel The Boy Who Kicked Pigs will be performed at Jacksons Lane in north London by theatre company Kill The Beast between 5th and 16th March. The actor said: "I wondered how a small theatre company could stage my story - which has a cast of hundreds, and includes a motorway pile-up with coachloads of people. I also wondered how they would manage to make my tale of evil horror funny, as I intended it to be." [EntertainmentWise, 8 Jan 2013]

Fenella Woolgar and David Troughton are up for honours in this year's BBC Audio Drama Awards. Woolgar is nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of Rosemary Kennedy in BBC Radio 4's An American Rose, while Troughton is in the running for Best Supporting Actor as the Earl of Leicester in BBC Radio 3's Singles and Doublets. In addition, The Minister of Chance, by Dan Freeman, which stars Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Paul Darrow, and Tamsin Greig, is nominated for the title of Best Online-Only Audio Drama, while Kafka The Musical, which aired on BBC Radio 3 and is by Murray Gold, has been shortlisted for the Tinniswood Radio Drama Award 2012 for Best Radio Drama Script. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday 27th January at BBC Broadcasting House in central London. [BBC Media Centre, 8 Jan 2012]

In Memoriam

The latest edition of BBC publication Prospero (page 15) has revealed that former Doctor Who crew member Marion McDougall died last March. Her first involvement with the series was as an assistant floor manager on The War Games, and she went on to be a production assistant on a number of stories between 1971 and 1977. Other BBC productions that she worked on included The Mayor of Casterbridge, Prince Regent, Mackenzie, Smiley's People, Mansfield Park, Blott On The Landscape, and Fortunes of War.
(With thanks to Garret Jackson)
(compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman)




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 29 December 2012 - (compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman)
David Tennant made one of his regular guest appearances on the Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio on 21st December, again starring in the show's festive performance - this time as the Virgin Mary in their Nativity, Dude, Where's My Donkey? The play was recorded and can be watched in three parts: One; Two; Three.

The actor also made the news for his novel way of deterring foxes from his back garden. [Standard, 21 Dec 2012]

Steven Moffat talked about his rituals over Christmas (as well as watching Doctor Who of course!). For example, on the subject of the inevitable requirements to put things together: "Sue will tell me to assemble something. Maybe just put batteries into some toys. And I'll sit on the floor with a screwdriver, and do my Daddy thing. Slowly, by degrees, it becomes a compulsion. I find more and more things to assemble. And then I need more and more! I'm rummaging in the bins, trying to find the instruction manuals among all the scarves and Sue's new jewellery. They start calling me for Christmas lunch, but "No!" I cry. "Just one more thing. I need to assemble just one more thing!" Then I'm breaking into the boys’ Lego kits and putting them together like a crazed junkie, destroying weeks of fun at a stroke. Somehow, though, before I can make it to Ikea to demand flatpacks at gunpoint, Sue will manage to get me to the dinner table to eat with the family." [Standard, 21 Dec 2012]

The recent series of Pointless Celebrities in the lead-up to Christmas - hosted as always by Alexander Armstrong - saw a number of Doctor Who-related actors and actresses taking part in the quiz. Nicholas Parsons appeared in episode eight, though he and partner Rick Wakeman were unable to win through to the final. However, former companion actress Bonnie Langford did reach the final with partner Todd Carty, though they were unable to find the pointless answer they needed to win the prize money for their charities. Likewise, the final episode of the series saw the pairing of two stalwart character actors Derek Martin and Graham Cole also make it to the final but fail to be pointless!

BBC Radio One DJ Reggie Yates presented his last edition of The Official Chart on 23rd December. He has been at the BBC for some ten years, and presented the chart show on Sunday evenings for the last five. Future projects include a new documentary series for BBC Three.

Karen Gillan has published a photo of her and co-star Brenton Thwaites during filming for her upcoming movie Oculus. [Karen Gillan via Twitter, 23 Dec 2012]

Louise Jameson goes on tour in January and February with the adult-themed play My Gay Best Friend. She will be appearing at The Lass O'Gowrie in Manchester on Saturday 5th January, Hull Truck Theatre on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th January, The Old Town Hall in Hemel Hempstead on Tuesday 12th February, Harrow Arts Centre on Wednesday 13th February, and The Under Ground Theatre in Eastbourne on Thursday 14th February. Jameson will also be appearing in Pulling Faces at The Berry Theatre in Hedge End on Friday 8th February. Again, this production has adult themes. [louisejameson.com]

(compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman)
(with thanks to Kenny Davidson)

New Year Honours List

Michael Cashman has been made a CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire - for public and political service. The former actor played Bilton in Time-Flight but became more widely known as an actor for his role as Colin Russell in EastEnders. He is now a Labour MEP for the West Midlands and was a co-founder of Stonewall.

As an aside, the singer-songwriter Kate Bush has also been made a CBE, with her honour being given for services to music - for many years a fan myth persisted that she had written both Kinda and Snakedance under the pseudonym of Christopher Bailey - something the real Bailey found quite amusing!




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 5 December 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Neil Gaiman will be in Tasmania next month as part of the music-and-arts-centred Mona Foma Festival. An Evening With Neil Gaiman is to be held at the Theatre Royal in Hobart on Sunday 20th January. (NB: Although the event is described as being suitable for all ages, explicit language is used in the theatre's web page about the show.)

In addition, Gaiman's urban fantasy TV series Neverwhere, which aired on BBC Two in 1996 and had an accompanying novelisation, is currently being made for BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra. Adapted by Dirk Maggs, who is also co-directing it, and with a cast that includes Christopher Lee, Bernard Cribbins, Anthony Head, Yasmin Paige, David Harewood, Sophie Okonedo, Don Gilet, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Andrew Sachs, the six-parter is scheduled to be broadcast during the early part of 2013. [neilgaiman.com, 28 Nov 2012]

Sheila Hancock and Lee Evans are to star in a new comedy at Wyndham's Theatre in London next year. Barking In Essex tells the tale of a gangster fresh out of jail and returning to his dysfunctional family to retrieve more than £3.5m. It has been written by Clive Exton and will be directed by Harry Burton, with Evans playing the "dim-witted idiot of the criminal underbelly" Darnley and Hancock playing Emmie, described as Darnley's "Rottweiler mother". The production previews from Friday 6th September, opening on Monday 16th September. [BBC News, 30 Nov 2012]

A new play by David Haig that was due to open at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh next May before transferring to Chichester Festival Theatre has run into casting problems. Pressure, which is about the meteorologist Captain James Stagg, who had the task of predicting the weather ahead of the D-Day landings in the Second World War, has been postponed until spring 2014 while the search to find "the right person" to play Stagg continues. [The Stage, 30 Nov 2012]

Jessica Hynes and Olivia Colman have both been nominated as Best TV Comedy Actress in this year's British Comedy Awards. Colman has, in fact, been nominated twice - firstly for Rev and secondly for Twenty Twelve, with Hynes's nomination also being for Twenty Twelve. The spoof "mockumentary" about this year's London Olympics, which had a voiceover commentary by David Tennant, is itself up for Best Sitcom against, among others, The Thick Of It, which starred Peter Capaldi, and both Capaldi and Hugh Bonneville are vying for the title of Best TV Comedy Actor for their roles in those two respective shows. Meanwhile, David Mitchell is in the running for Best Male Television Comic and he is also among the nominees for the publicly-voted King and Queen of Comedy. The ceremony will be shown live on Channel 4 on Wednesday 12th December. [BBC News, 2 Dec 2012]

Tamsin Greig and Anne Reid will be among the guest stars appearing in a new darkly comic anthology that has just started filming for BBC Two. Written by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, the six-part series, which has the working title of Inside No 9, will take a look at what goes on behind closed doors at six very different residences sharing the number 9. [BBC Media Centre, 3 Dec 2012]

Sheridan Smith - companion Lucie Miller to the Eighth Doctor in the Big Finish audio dramas - is to return as mystery-solver Jonathan Creek's sidekick Joey Ross in a new episode of the BBC One crime-comedy-drama. Filming on The Clue of the Savant's Thumb, written by David Renwick, starts later this month, with the 90-minute Jonathan Creek special due to air next Easter. [BBC Media Centre, 5 Dec 2012]