Parsons' HonorBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Actor Nicholas Parsons, among whose many roles is that of Reverend Wainwright in "The Curse of Fenric," has been awarded the designation of OBE (Order of the British Empire) for the year 2004, according to the Fanderson site. The comedy actor and presenter was given the honor in recognition of his contributions to British television and radio over the last 50 years, including "Just a Minute," "Sale of the Century," "Carry On Regardless" and "Cluedo". The OBE was created in 1917 by George V and is bestowed by the Queen every year. This is, rather coincidentally, the third story about a member of the "Curse of Fenric" supporting cast in as many weeks, though this is by far the happiest one (as we previously reported the deaths of co-stars Alfred Lynch and Dinsdale Landen). (Thanks to Rich Kirkpatrick and Fanderson)




Story of Who Ratings and RecapBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The Story of Doctor Who aired on BBC One on December 30, as we previously reported. The hour-long documentary focused on the seven Doctors during the long-running series, but omitted Paul McGann and the 1996 TV movie. (Response from the BBC has been that the film was "an American production" and got low ratings, despite the fact it did far better than most of the series.) 4.4 million viewers tuned in (a 20% share), although the ratings peaked toward the very end.




Dinsdale LandenBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Dinsdale Landen, who played Dr. Judson in "The Curse of Fenric" and was a veteran of British stage, TV and film, died this weekend from cancer at his home in Norfolk. His TV roles, besides Doctor Who, included "All Creatures Great and Small," "The Avengers" and "Lovejoy"; he also claimed a huge repetoire on the stage, where he was nominated for a prestigious Olivier Award for his role in the West End play "Alphabetical Order". He was 71. Read the BBC news article about his passing here. (Thanks to Steve Freestone, Paul Hayes)




Reminder: The Story of Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
A reminder to our UK readers: The Story of Doctor Who, the 40th anniversary documentary, airs tomorrow, Tuesday, December 30 from 6:30-7:30pm on BBC1. Here's the listing from the official BBC1 site (with thanks to Gareth Jelley):

The Story of Doctor Who
Tue 30 Dec, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm 60mins

Be prepared to disappear behind the sofa once more.

The much loved and longest running TV sci-fi series, Doctor Who, is fondly remembered. All its unique components appear in abundance, rubber monsters, spooky music, terrifying villains, planets in peril plus behind the scenes gossip and of course the Doctors.

40 years after the cosmic hobo first landed on BBC television in his time travelling TARDIS, The Story Of Doctor Who interviews the main names associated with the series including all the surviving TV Doctors - Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. The programme tells the tale of this unique British phenomenon from the viewpoint of those who were at the scary end.




Alfred LynchBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Alfred Lynch (Commander Millington in "The Curse of Fenric") passed away due to cancer December 16; read the obithere. (Thanks to Bill Spiby, Matthew Kilburn)




Davies in WelshBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The Welsh-language magazine "Golwg" interviewed Russell Davies on December 18. Discussing the popularity of the show around the time Tom Baker played the part, "We can do that again!" he says. "It's a lovely old programme but it will be updated. ... I've been a fan of it since I was a very little thing. But over the years it has acquired something of a terrible old name for being a cult, minority. When I was little, everyone used to watch it." A lot of the research work has already been done, says Davies, and he will be starting to write the new series in January. "It will be very traditional, the same old Time Lord, the same old Tardis, the same old adventures in space and time. I'm using the best things it has, and giving them a kick up the backside!" The article also discusses much of the same thing we've heard before: the ideas for the new show and so forth (though we add that this is Davies' words translated from English to Welsh for the magazine, and then back into English for this report.) (Thanks to "Howard Hughes")




Davies Speaks AgainBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Russell Davies spoke last week to BBCi about the current state of affairs on the new series. When he heard about it, he "was delighted. To be absolutely honest, I was busy - making Mine All Mine, to be seen on ITV, February 2004 - and I presumed the phone call was about a vague, tentative chat with the BBC. So I ignored it! (You can waste your whole life in TV just chatting about projects, so I refuse chat-meetings.) It took me a couple of weeks to realise that this wasn't chat, this was real, and mine." He says the best piece of advice he's gotten is "from the country's finest writer, Paul Abbott. He always says, 'The only way to work, is to work.' We can all sit and dream and hope and despair, but the only way to solve any problem is to sit there and write. It's not magic." To read the interview, visit the BBCi site.




Pyramids Confirmed ExtrasBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The British Board of Film Classification website lists over 94 minutes of confirmed extras for the forthcoming DVD release of Pyramids of Mars. While this has already been reported, the following is actually the official list itself from the BBFC site:

00:06:42:18 | OH MUMMY - SUTEKH'S STORY
00:07:50:12 | NOW AND THEN - THE LOCATIONS OF PYRAMIDS OF MARS
00:10:45:00 | PYRAMIDS OF MARS - THE GALLERY
00:02:24:23 | EASTER EGG
00:02:55:04 | DELETED SCENES
00:22:07:01 | OSIRIAN GOTHIC
00:41:56:15 | SERIAL THRILLERS




Companion RumorsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The Sci-Fi Online website (which has frequently had good inside news in the past) features a story this morning about possible actresses to play the new companion, who has tentatively been named Rose Tyler. Says the site: "The first name to be pulled from the hat of unnecessary conjecture is Rachael Stirling, daughter of Diana Rigg, who cemented her reputation in the BBC landmark drama Tipping the Velvet. Like so many of the names being batted around for the Doctor this is almost certainly nothing more than groundless gossip fuelled by grapevine ardour although the talented young actress could easily fulfil producer Russell DaviesÆ casting brief of æstrong and independentÆ so who knows?" (Thanks to Helena Gammble)




Shalka UpdateBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
BBCi's webcast animated serial The Scream of the Shalka, starring Richard E. Grant, Sophie Okonedo and Derek Jacobi, concluded last week, with episode six uploaded to the BBCi website. The serial will be available on BBCi for at least the next couple of months, pending a release on DVD. According to James Goss, BBCi producer, posting on the Outpost Gallifrey forum, BBC Worldwide has indeed licensed the rights to release "Shalka" on DVD from BBCi: "We're rather puzzled by the number of people who are querying the DVD release. We've not said much about it, 'cos we didn't think much needed to be said." Of course, Goss does point out that whether Worldwide does something or not with the material is up to them, but it looks very likely for DVD release. Meanwhile, "Scream of the Shalka" will be broadcast on the BBC's new interactive TV service starting on December 30 beginning at 7:30pm; viewers on the Sky Digital platform "will only have to press their red button" to watch the story. The schedule for the show is as follows:
  • Episode One: 30 December, 7.30pm - Midnight
  • Episode Two: 31 December, 7.30pm - Midnight
  • Episode Three: 1 January, 7.30pm - Midnight
  • Episode Four: 2 January, 7.30pm - Midnight
  • Episode Five: 3 January, 7.30pm - Midnight
  • Episode Six: 4 January, 7.30pm - Midnight
Says Goss, "This will be an enhanced version of the webcast... All the animation is 25 frames per second, with various lovely features that are slightly tricky to explain (um, for instance, when the house explodes in episode two, there's a lovely rippling 'whoomph' effect). Soundwise, this is also going to be a stronger experience than on the web - one thing that will have been largely lost through the compression used for the webcast are the various subsonic sounds used whenever the Shalka approach in the early episodes - a lovely, chest-rattling vibration." As of this time, this presentation will NOT be available on Freeview or Digital Cable. Make sure you check it out! (Thanks to BBCi, James Goss)




Daemos RisingBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Release of Daemos Rising, the sequel film to the DW story "The Daemons" from Reeltime Pictures, has been delayed to February 2004.




Telos 2004Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 23 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Telos Publishing has announced some of its 2004 offerings. The final two books in their Doctor Who novellas range, already previously announced, include Blood and Hope by Iain McLaughlin (February) and The Dalek Factor by Simon Clark (March). Also in release will be two books in their "Time Hunter" series, spun-off from the Doctor Who novella "Cabinet of Light": The Tunnel at the End of the Light by Stefan Petrucha (March) and The Clockwork Womanby Claire Bott (June). Meanwhile, their latest Doctor Who novella, Companion Piece by Mike Tucker, as well as the paperback versions of their books Ghost Ship by Keith Topping and Foreign Devils by Andrew Cartmel, are now in release. More details can be found on Telos' website. (Thanks to Telos Publishing)




RevolverBookmark and Share

Sunday, 14 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
The Daleks will feature in a BBC comedy series called Revolver in January, a show that features actors in surreal situations. Actors taking part include Rodney Bewes ("Resurrection of the Daleks"), Honor Blackman ("Terror of the Vervoids") and actress Julie Goodyear, who plays a nosey neighbour who watches over the garden fence as Daleks attack the children next door. You can read more about it at an article today on BBC News by clicking here. (Thanks to Mark Murphy, Mark Oliver)




Head on WhoBookmark and Share

Sunday, 14 December 2003 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Friday's Daily Express (UK) features an interview with Anthony Stewart Head, who makes note of the recent attention pegging him as a possible new Doctor. "I suppose I might be consider because of my sci-fi status," Head says. "If I did get the part I'd like to take him back to the kind of character that was played by Patrick Troughton. He was the best. He had whimsy but he had a dark side, too, and I think that the subsequent Dr Who's, there was too much emphasis on whimsy." The article makes note that he was picked the favorite successor by Radio Times. (Thanks to Mike Pitt)