Hornets' News – BBC Press ReleaseBookmark and Share

Thursday, 30 July 2009 - Reported by Marcus

The BBC has released more details on the return of Tom Baker to the role of the fourth Doctor after twenty eight years.

Baker reprises his role in a new five part audio adventure for BBC Audiobooks.

Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest, is written by Paul Magrs and also stars Richard Franklin as Mike Yates, Susan Jameson as Mrs Wibbsey, Rula Lenska as the Hornet Queen and Stephen Thorne.

The first story, The Stuff of Nightmares, will be available to buy from 3rd September 2009 with the remaining four stories following in subsequent months.


  • The Dead Shoes – 8th October
  • The Circus of Doom – 5th November
  • A Sting in the Tale – 3rd December
  • Hive of Horror – 3rd December
As well as being available on CD, the series will be available for download from audible.co.uk

Writer Paul Magrs said,
'This is the first adventure with the Tom Baker Doctor since Logopolis. And it feels fantastic to write for him. I would say he's a brilliant mixture of everything the Fourth Doctor ever was. He's dark and sombre at times; other times he's gleefully macabre and mischievous.'
To support the series a dedicated webpage will launch on 10th August. The page will contain exclusive content and material such as a Q&A with Tom Baker, photographs from the recordings, audio clips and a poll on Tom’s best moments as the Doctor.

Doctor Who: Hornet's Nest – The Stuff of Nightmares

Responding to an advert apparently worded for him alone, Captain Mike Yates (retired) is reunited with a ghost from the past. But why has the Doctor, that mysterious traveller in Time and Space, sent for his former UNIT acquaintance?

Trapped by a horde of vicious creatures in an apparently innocuous English country cottage, the two old friends are on the brink of an enormous adventure.

As the Doctor relates his recent escapades, it becomes clear to Mike that they – and the Earth at large – are facing an enemy of unimaginable power and horrific intent. The nightmare is only just beginning.






Michael Summerton (1943-2009)Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 30 July 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The actor/agent Michael Summerton died on the 16th June 2009, aged 65.

Summerton started out in the theatre and then moved to television with a role in the BBC Soap Compact; he then went on to play one of the very first Daleks to appear in Doctor Who.

In later life he became an agent, running his own company Michael Summerton Management Ltd which specialises in choreography and dancing, and was notable is being the agent for Arlene Phillips and Bruno Tonioli, both featuring as judges in the popular BBC series Strictly Come Dancing.

From The Telegraph Obituary:
His agent told him he would not need to learn any lines for the casting, and when he arrived at the BBC workshops he was asked to strip down to his underpants and sit in what appeared to be a tub on castors. Summerton (who was one of the four original Daleks) was instructed in how to move this apparatus about, the director saying: "We want to test this prototype for manoeuvrability. We want you to move forwards, backwards, sideways. Quickly, slowly." Presently the director lowered a lid over him with a plunger sticking out of it. Summerton found himself in total darkness. He would later relate: "When the lid went on I knew my career as an actor was over."




Dalek War – DVD ExtrasBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 28 July 2009 - Reported by Marcus
The British Board of Film Classification has cleared the extras for the forthcoming release of The Dalek War box set, comprising of the Third Doctor stories Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks.
Items include
  • The Space War – remembering Frontier in Space
  • The Rumble in the Jungle – remembering Planet of the Daleks
  • Stripped for Action – The story of the Daleks in Doctor Who Comic
  • Stripped for Action – The story of the Third Doctor in Doctor Who Comic
  • The Perfect Scenario – The End of Dreams
  • The Perfect Scenario – Lost Frontiers
  • Roger Delgado – The Master
  • Blue Peter
  • Multi Colourisation
  • Photo Gallery
  • Easter Egg
No official release date has been given for this set, but it is expected to be released on four discs towards the end of the year. The Doctor Who Restoration Team has an article about the preparation of the stories for DVD release.






New Guinness World RecordBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 28 July 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Doctor Who has been awarded its second Guinness World Record, for Most successful sci-fi series. The award is based upon the show's perfomance in ratings, DVD and book sales, and downloading popularity.

The award was presented to Russell T. Davies by Guinness editor-in-chief Craig Glenday at the San-Diego ComicCon on Sunday. Glenday said: "It's the longest-running sci-fi show on TV. But that's not quite enough, it's too good a show to have a longest-running record. Based on things like CD sales, downloads, illegal downloads, we've realised that Doctor Who is the most successful sci-fi show on TV full stop."


The show's first record entry is for Longest running sci-fi series.

Reported by: Digital Spy, CBC, IF Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Guardian
France: Tele7, Tout le Cine, Allocine




Harry Towb 1925–2009Bookmark and Share

Monday, 27 July 2009 - Reported by Marcus

The actor Harry Towb has died at the age of 83.

Towb had a long and distinguished career in British film and television appearing in many classic programmes during a career lasting nearly sixty years.

Towb had two roles in Doctor Who. He first appeared as Osgood alongside Patrick Troughton in the 1969 story The Seeds of Death. He later appeared alongside Jon Pertwee in the 1971 story Terror of the Autons where, in one of the most memorable scenes of the classic series, he was eaten by a plastic chair.

More from BBC News




John Simm returns as the MasterBookmark and Share

Monday, 27 July 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster

Photo courtesy Alun Vega
The official BBC Doctor Who site has confirmed that actor John Simm will be reprising his role as The Master in the forthcoming Christmas specials. Though no other details have been confirmed the site reports that they will publish an interview with Simm later in the year.

The announcement follows a special preview shown at the San Diego Comic Con, during which the character appeared with other known cast members for the episodes (Bernard Cribbens, Catherine Tate). It also confirms reports of the actor seen on location during filming for the episodes back in March/April this year.

No name has been given for the episodes so far, though Den of Geek have suggested that it might be called "The End of Time".

Update: a new BBC website article reports that as well as John Simm, Alexandra Moen will also be reprising her role as Lucy Saxon, the Master's wife from his previous appearance.




Waters of Mars – new trailer onlineBookmark and Share

Monday, 27 July 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The official BBC Doctor Who website has put online, for UK users only, the new trailer for the next special episode starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. The Waters of Mars is due to be broadcast in the UK this autumn, and the new trailer was shown to an enthusiastic audience at the ComicCon convention in the United States yesterday.





ComicCon panel report at Digital SpyBookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 July 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The UK media website Digital Spy has published a summary of today's Doctor Who discussion panel at the ComicCon event in San Diego, which featured Russell T Davies, David Tennant, Julie Gardner and Euros Lyn discussing their time working on the programme, taking questions from the audience and previewing the forthcoming special episodes.

Among the topics raised was the possibility of a Doctor Who feature film, which the panel stated is not a project on which any of them are currently working. The panel also featured a presentation from Guinness World Records, declaring Doctor Who to be "the most successful sci-fi show on TV full stop".





Torchwood Series 4 confirmed?Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 July 2009 - Reported by Josiah Rowe

The comics news site ComicMix is reporting that an unnamed BBC America executive at ComicCon has confirmed that the BBC has ordered a fourth series of Torchwood. There is as yet no independent confirmation of this; however, a Torchwood panel is scheduled at ComicCon tomorrow, with star John Barrowman, writer/executive producer producer/show creator Russell T Davies, executive producer Julie Gardner and director Euros Lyn. Presumably, if the report from ComicMix is correct, the news will be confirmed at this panel.


(Thanks to poster "InigoMontoya" from Gallifrey Base.)




ComicCon report at io9Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 July 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The science-fiction website io9 has posted a report of the roundtable discussion Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner, Euros Lyn and David Tennant took part in on Saturday at the San Diego ComicCon event in the United States. There to promote the forthcoming specials that will see out Tennant's time as the Tenth Doctor, the group discussed the future of Doctor Who with journalists, and io9's full report contains some casting spoilers for the forthcoming two-part finale to Tennant's time in the TARDIS.

Apparently debunked by the group is the idea that a Doctor Who feature film is to be announced at the ComicCon event.





North American DVD ReleaseBookmark and Share

Friday, 24 July 2009 - Reported by Marcus
The website tvshowsondvd.com has revealed that The War Games and The Black Guardian Trilogy will be released in North America on November 3rd.
Thanks to Ryan Franks






News from DWMBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 - Reported by Marcus

Issue 411 of Doctor Who Magazine reveals that K9 veteran, John Leeson, will once more voice the robot dog in the upcoming series of adventures produced in Australia. Not only will Leeson voice the original character in the opening episode, he will also voice the redesigned model throughout the 26-episode series. The programme is due for transmission in Australia in the spring of 2010.

The magazine features more details of the return of Tom Baker to the role of the Doctor, as the veteran actor gives a rare interview explaining his decision to return to the character after nearly thirty years. Baker has recorded a series of five audio plays, under the banner Hornets' Nest, for BBC Audio. He plays the Fourth Doctor, alongside Richard Franklin who returns to the character of Captain Mike Yates, a character he first played in the television series in the early '70s. The first story will be available as a CD or download from 3rd September.

DWM is out now across the United Kingdom.




Torchwood – UK Final Viewing FiguresBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 - Reported by Marcus
Final figures released by BARB put all five episodes of Torchwood – Children of Earth in the top twenty programmes of the week.

The figures include those who record the programme and watch it within one week. The highest charting episode was Day Four, which, with 6.76 million watching, was the 11th most watched programme of the week. If figures for the HD showing were included in the BBC1 figures, then Torchwood would have had a top ten place, with episode four beating Emmerdale. All five episodes achieved over 6 million viewers.

The series dominated the chart for the BBC HD channel with the five episodes of Torchwood taking the top eight places. Not only did the original five showings take the top five places, but the midnight repeats took places 6, 7 and 8.

The BBC Three repeats also fared well with all five episodes appearing in the top ten programmes for the week. All episodes had a final rating over double that of the initial overnight figure.

Top Programmes week ending 12 July 2009

1 CORONATION STREET (MON 2028) – 9.52 – ITV1
2 CORONATION STREET (MON 1932) – 9.41 – ITV1
3 CORONATION STREET (WED 1929) – 8.94 – ITV1
4 EASTENDERS (MON 1959) – 8.85 – BBC1
5 CORONATION STREET (FRI 1932) – 8.37 – ITV1
6 CORONATION STREET (FRI 2028) – 8.11 – ITV1
7 EASTENDERS (FRI 2000) – 7.88 – BBC1
8 EASTENDERS (THU 1928) – 7.66 – BBC1
9 TOP GEAR (SUN 2001) – 6.80 – BBC2
10 EMMERDALE (MON 1901) – 6.77 – ITV1
11 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (THU 2059) – 6.76 – BBC1
12 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (FRI 2100) – 6.58 – BBC1
13 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (MON 2100) – 6.47 – BBC1
14 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (WED 2100) – 6.40 – BBC1

15 CASUALTY (SAT 2051) – 6.32 – BBC1
16 EMMERDALE (WED 1859) – 6.17 – ITV1
17 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (TUE 2100) – 6.14 –BBC1
18 EMMERDALE (THU 1902) – 6.05 – ITV1
19 EMMERDALE (FRI 1901) – 5.90 – ITV1
20 CELEBRITY MASTERCHEF (THU 2000) – 5.60 – BBC1
Source BARB
Top BBC HD Programmes week ending 12 July 2009

1 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Wed 21:00) 160
2 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Fri 21:01) 151
3 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Mon 21:01) 129
4 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Thu 21:00) 127
5 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Tue 21:02) 112
6 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Wed 24:04) 78
7 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Fri 24:08) 63
8 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Thu 24:01) 61

9 THAT MITCHELL AND WEBB LOOK (Thu 22:33) 52
10 MICHAEL MCINTYRE'S COMEDY ROADSHOW (Sat 21:42) 51
Source BARB
Top BBC Three Programmes week ending 12 July 2009

1 EASTENDERS (Tue 22:01) 1,907
2 EASTENDERS (Thu 22:01) 953
3 EASTENDERS (Mon 22:01) 883
4 FAMILY GUY (Sun 22:00) 878
5 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Tue 23:48) 852
6 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Fri 24:17) 756
7 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Thu 23:47) 738
8 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Wed 24:18) 734
9 TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH (Mon 23:48) 717

10 EASTENDERS (Fri 22:02) 646
Source BARB


Meanwhile, in the United States, Multichannel News reports that the premiere episode of "Children of Earth" was watched by 1.4 million viewers on Monday, the highest ratings of any programme on BBC America.

(Thanks to poster "InigoMontoya" from Gallifrey Base.)




Eleventh Doctor Costume CommentsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The chairman of the Harris Tweed Authority has praised the new Doctor for his costume; Domhnall Martainn described the jacket choice as an important and sensible decision, and hoped young people would be inspired to choose clothes made from the traditional cloth:
"We think it'll take the image of Harris Tweed to a new level, when you think that there are millions of people who follow this programme. There's no way the Harris Tweed industry could have bought publicity like this. There's no doubt that young people watch this program. Anything that someone like Doctor Who uses, we hope it will set an example and that young people will go out and buy Harris Tweed clothes."
Esquire Magazine editor Jeremy Langford:
"The cross between rookie geography teacher and Hoxton clubkid works well: a bit of old-school time-traveller meets modern-day adventurer."
GQ Magazine contributor Andy Morris:
So it was with some delight that today I saw the first picture of the eleventh doctor, played by Matt Smith. The early signs are good - while he's not exactly going to keep John Galliano awake at night, he's very well put together. Preppy, with a neat bow tie, skinny jeans, fitted jacket and no-nonsense black boots, he looks like an Acne catalogue model. And that's a good thing. Dressed as such, he could be hanging around backstage at Pitti Uomo, chatting to some elderly Italian gent who is being snapped by Scott Schuman (AKA the Sartorialist). Smith's hair is still a concern but given my own increasingly leonine locks I probably shouldn't start that argument. Filming in Cardiff, he looks relaxed, happy and (kind of) handsome.
(full article)


However, not everyone has been pleased. Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman commented:
I hate this outfit because it commits the ultimate fashion crime: it is trying too hard. It is a patchwork of "Grazia told me this is very fashionable right now" looks, and that is just wrong. A Time Lord should not read Grazia. DM boots and all their lookalike cousins have, incredibly, been having what magazines insist on calling a "comeback" for some time, mainly on the basis that Agyness Deyn likes them. The shortened trousers are the signature style of the perennially trendy menswear designer, Thom Browne. Thanks to the joyless likes of Pharrell Williams, bow ties are very in now but, like, ironically (that sound you hear is the sound of style dying) and, yes, you can buy them at American Apparel. Of course you can.
(full article)
And Sara Nathan of the Sun:
NEW timelord Matt Smith films his first Doctor Who episodes - dressed like a geography teacher. It looked like the latest Doc had travelled back in time to the place fashion forgot.
(full article - warning contains guest star spoilers)
University of Westminster fashion course director Andrew Groves commented:
"Whilst David Tennant's Doctor was undoubtedly influenced by Britpop and Quadrophenia, this Doctor seems to be influenced by Indiana Jones' geekier nephew. It seems a curiously British idea to make the lead character in a prime time TV show look purposely and perversely less attractive than they actually are, I can't think of anyone that would look at this image and then decide they would want to stick it on their bedroom wall."



Additional costume reports and comments by: BBC Magazine, BBC News, The Age, Airlock Alpha, Digitial Spy, TV Squad, Herald