People RoundupBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 January 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Though voted the most stylish man in September, Matt Smith didn't quite make the grade for being the best-dressed in the latest poll results from GQ readers; the actor came in at third place, behind footballer Mario Balotelli and rapper Tinie Tempah. [GQ, 30 Jan 2012]

David Tennant was named best actor at the inaugural BBC Audio Drama Awards, which he also hosted. He won the honour for his portrayal of Franz Kafka in the Radio 3 play Kafka: The Musical, which was written and scored by Murray Gold. Also at the event, Stephen Wyatt won the Tinniswood Award for the Radio 4 Afternoon Play Gerontius. Despite being nominated for the best actress award for the role of Margaret Rutherford in the Radio 4 play A Monstrous Vitality, June Whitfield lost out to Rosie Cavaliero. [BBC News, 29 Jan 2012]

Sophie Aldred has joined the ranks of the Twitterati! In her first tweet she joked: "With my arm twisted behind my back, I have been forced to sign up to Twitter by @notdangle, @scott_handcock, and @robbfrank at @bigfinish." People can follow her here.

Meanwhile, Tree Fu Tom - a new CBeebies animated fantasy action adventure series featuring the voices of Tennant and Aldred - will receive its premiere at the BBC Children's Television 10th Anniversary event at the Salford MediaCityUK Studios on 18th February. [TennantNews, 27 Jan 2012]

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are scheduled to appear at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival in August, presenting a Sherlock Masterclass alongside the show's producer Sue Vertue. (Vertue is married to Moffat - they first met at the 1996 Television Festival!)





Doctor Who Experience: February activitiesBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Doctor Who Experience is to host a number of special activities in the run up to its closure in London next month:
  • Saturday 11th February: Doctor Who choreographer Ailsa Berk will be running one of her semi-regular monster lessons, where visitors will be able to learn how to move like a monster, such as a Judoon Trooper or a Cyberman.
  • Monday 13th February: Millennium FX demonstrate their sculpture techniques, illustrating the design of some of the show's iconic characters.
  • Wednesday 15th February: the Cybermen and the Ood will be at the Experience to terrify all those who dare enter!
  • Thursday 16th February: the Doctor Who make-up team will be on hand to transform visitors into a Silurian, Cyberman, Clockwork Droid or Weeping Angel.
  • Friday 17th February: Millennium FX present drawing demonstrations behind some of the show's iconic characters.
  • Sunday 19th February: another chance to move like a monster with Ailsa Berk.
The Experience finally comes to a close on Wednesday 22nd February, "where fans get the chance to bid a final farewell to the Doctor and some of the most recent monsters from the series," before re-opening in Cardiff Bay later in the year.


Update: Last Minute are offering a number of two-for-one deals to the exhibition: visit their website for more details.




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Arthur Darvill stars in a new three-part radio dramatisation of Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift. The Radio 4 series, which will feature all four of Gulliver's voyages, starts on Sunday 5th February at 3pm. Also appearing in the adaptation are Matthew Gravelle, Richard Nichols, Claire Cage, and Ewan Bailey.

Eve Myles is returning to the stage in the play All New People, by and co-starring Zach Braff. It will be at the Manchester Opera House from 8th to 11th February, the King's Theatre, Glasgow, from 14th to 18th February, and the Duke of York's Theatre, London, from 22nd February to 28th April. Meanwhile, in an interview with Cultbox, she told of her hopes that Torchwood will be back in some form or another. "Nothing's going to happen in 2012, I know that much for sure. But who knows what will happen in 2013? Maybe a movie, to kinda draw a line under it. We've got such an outstanding loyal fan base. They deserve Torchwood to go ahead with something else to draw a line under it, for the fans to have a bit of closure," she said. Myles's previous stage appearance was some six and a half years ago at the National in Henry IV with Michael Gambon.

John Barrowman is a guest on the final edition of the current series of Channel 4's topical entertainment show Chris Moyles' Quiz Night on Friday 3rd February. It airs at 10.30pm - half an hour after the end of the episode of the BBC One series Hustle in which he also appears, as previously reported by this site.

Sylvester McCoy lends his vocal talents to a new release from The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing; the actor has provided a spoken introduction to the album This May Be The Reason Why The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Cannot Be Killed by Conventional Weapons, setting the tone for "the parallel Victorian past imagined on the eleven tracks". [Alison Bateman/Work Hard PR]

Nicolas Winding Refn, director of the movie Drive, commented: I would have loved to direct Doctor Who but they didn’t want me — they turned me down last year. Maybe if they revive Blake’s 7 I could do that. I love it. It’s great. That could be fun to update. [Shortlist, 27 Jan 2012]

Russell T Davies (writing the new children's series Aliens vs Wizards) comments on television output for children: "I am passionate about children's television, but it is, as ever, an endangered species, under threat. The most shocking thing I have seen is that, apparently unnoticed, five years ago ITV dropped children's programmes. There is now the complete absence of children's programmes made by ITV on CITV. It is amazing to me, when I contrast it with all those people who were furious about cuts to BBC local radio, and they were immediately reversed. I am also amazed that people don't recognise the talent, genius, of children's writers, for example, Andrew Davenport. The creator behind Teletubbies and In the Night Garden is up there, in my opinion, with Tom Stoppard, Samuel Beckett, but no one puts him there. It's the same with Jacqueline Wilson, whose books have led to the wonderful Tracy Beaker dramas." [Guardian, 28 Jan 2012]

Writer Rob Shearman will be interviewed at the Writers and Readers Week in Wellington, New Zealand on 12th March, which forms part of the International Arts Festival. Organiser Anne Chamberlain said: "He wrote the Dr Who episode that re-introduced the Daleks. So, we're screening that episode and then we're going to have Robert talk. That will draw a completely different audience, I suspect, to the usual Writers and Readers audience." [Stuff, 26 Jan 2012]

Mark Sheppard (Canton, The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon) is due to present the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular in Melbourne, Australia next weekend; speaking on the music, the actor said: "I've been connected with several shows that have had fabulous incidental music as well as score, and it's such an important part of the package as a whole. You watch a show like Doctor Who without music and there's a big difference. And what's amazing is when you isolate the music and hear it performed, it's even grander. It adds another dimension." [Herald Sun, 30 Jan 2012]

A trailer for the new David Tennant film The Decoy Bride has now been released; the film goes on release from 9th March. [IFC Films]





Official Convention: Tour the TARDIS!Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Ticket holders for the Official Doctor Who Convention are to be given the opportunity to visit the existing TARDIS set at its (current) home at Upper Boat Studios:
An exclusive opportunity has arisen for Doctor Who Convention attendees to visit the TARDIS set at the BBC Wales studios, home of the Eleventh Doctor’s TARDIS.

On the tour, visitors will step into the Eleventh Doctor’s TARDIS and explore the set where some of the show’s iconic scenes have been shot. Members of the behind-the-scenes team will be on hand to explain the inner workings of the TARDIS, talk about the set and answer questions from fans.

Due to the earthly limitations of time and space, places on this free tour are limited so fans will need to book soon to be sure of a chance to visit.
There are six tours, running on Monday 26th March, the day after the convention weekend, and will be limited to sixty places per tour. The studio visit lasts for around an hour.

For more details visit the convention website.





Big Finish: Love and WarBookmark and Share

Sunday, 29 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
This weekend sees recording begin on a special adventure for the Seventh Doctor and Ace, as played by Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred; the two are joined by Lisa Bowerman, who reprises her character Professor Bernice Summerfield in her first ever adventure, Love and War!

Originally written as a novel by Paul Cornell in 1992 as part of Virgin's New Adventures range, this adaptation is by Jacqueline Rayner and is being recorded to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the character, whose own association with Big Finish can be traced back to their premier release in 1998 of Oh No It Isn't! (also by Cornell).

Love and War is due to be released on its anniversary in October.

(with thanks to David Richardson)




BSFA 2011 SF Awards NominationsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The British Science Fiction Association have announced the shortlist for their 2011 Awards, with voting now open for members.
  • The Best Non Fiction award nominations include The Unsilent Library: Adventures in new Doctor Who, a collection of essays that "examine the storytelling style and techniques of the first five years of the New Doctor Who, and explore how its writers have updated a series with a history stretching back five decades to stand in the forefront of contemporary science fiction drama."
  • Regular Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell has also been nominated in the Best Short Fiction category for The Copenhagen Interpretation, published in Asimov's in July.
The winners will be revealed at the Award Ceremony, taking place at the 2012 Eastercon at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow, between the 6th-9th April.





Regional RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster

United Kingdom

The Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra is presenting Best Of British: A New Year Family Concert on the 28th January at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall. One of the pieces to be performed is the Doctor Who theme tune, with Daleks expected to turn up for the event! [Belper News, 23 Jan 2012]

Peterlee resident Paul Bianco appeared on the ITV1 show Dickinson's Real Deal (broadcast 24th January), bringing along two original pieces of artwork from the 1964 (Lair of the Zarbi Supremo) and 1975 (The House That Jack Built) Doctor Who annuals. Originally bought for £18 some thirty years before, the model maker was persuaded to sell the items to auctioneer Janice Kehoe for £360, having been informed the evaluation had estimated them at £300. However, the items were eventually sold at auction by Janice herself for £500!

United States

A new sci-fi exhibition for the Experience Music Project's 2012 season in Seattle opens in June; Icons of Science Fiction will include items like Captain Kirk's command chair from Star Trek and an Imperial Dalek! EMP spokeswoman Anita Woo said: "I've been learning about this Dalek, everyone is so excited that Dr. Who is now on my Netflix queue." [Seattle Times, 19 Jan 2012]

Reporting from the Arisia sci-fi/gaming convention in Boston, Bob Chipman observed that some confusion existed amongst the 'civilians' at the hotel: "Yeah, Harry? I'll have those figures over in just a sec. Hey, while I've got you here, do you have any idea what a 'Dalek' is? Cause there's one here and I'm not sure how I should react to that." [The Escapist, 20 Jan 2012]




DVDs UpdateBookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 January 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The DVD releases of Nightmare of Eden, Dragonfire and The Happiness Patrol have been cleared by the British Board of Film Classification.

Extras for all three stories were also cleared, with the details as below.

Nightmare of Eden
will have the following extras:
THE DOCTOR'S STRANGE LOVE: NIGHTMARE OF EDEN (15:41:12)
THE NIGHTMARE OF TV CENTRE (13:22:03)
ASK ASPEL (11:01:05 )
GOING SOLO - BOB BAKER REMEMBERS NIGHTMARE OF EDEN (07:42:23)
PHOTO GALLERY (05:47:00)
Dragonfire's extras comprise:
FIRE AND ICE - THE MAKING OF DRAGONFIRE (35:04:23)
THE DOCTOR'S STRANGE LOVE - DRAGONFIRE (15:40:14)
THE BIG BANG THEORY (12:31:19)
DELETED AND EXTENDED SCENES (09:55:15)
PHOTO GALLERY (04:46:06)
while those for The Happiness Patrol are:
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (46:03:04)
HAPPINESS WILL PREVAIL (23:44:08)
DELETED AND EXTENDED SCENES (23:18:03)
PHOTO GALLERY (05:46:01)
Release dates for the DVDs have yet to be confirmed. A trailer for Dragonfire that was cleared on 18th January states that the story will form part of The Ace Box.

(with thanks to Dave Ashby)




Doctor Who Insider ceases publicationBookmark and Share

Friday, 27 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The North American magazine Doctor Who Insider has ceased publication, with Issue 9 being the last to be produced.

Kirsty Syson from Panini Email Customer Services said:
I am sorry to advise you that Dr Who Insider has ceased publication effective from Issue 9. Please be assured letters are on the way to our subscribers explaining this matter and offering either a refund or transfer to Dr Who magazine. Once again I apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment caused in this matter.
The magazine was launched by Panini last year to complement Doctor Who Magazine, focussing on Doctor Who in the USA and Canada in collaboration with BBC Worldwide and BBC America.

(with thanks to Darren Allen)




Awards for Smith and Gillan - Smith hints at future plansBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 - Reported by Marcus
NTAMatt Smith and Karen Gillan both triumphed at the National television Awards held Wednesday night at London's O2 Arena.

Matt Smith beat Torchwood star John Barrowman, Doc Martin and Snakedance star Martin Clunes and David Threlfall of Shameless, to win the award for Outstanding Drama Performance (Male) in the awards voted for by the British public. Both Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant have previously won the award for their performance of the Doctor.

Speaking after receiving his award Matt Smith gave some clue to the future telling Radio Times that he has one more year of Doctor Who left and then he was going to try his luck in Hollywood. Although he later told the BBC Entertainment News Team he has no plans to leave.

Karen Gillan won her award for Outstanding Drama Performance (Female) over Torchwood's Eve Myles, Suranne Jones from Scott & Bailey and who also stared in The Doctor's Wife last year, and Jaye Jacobs from Waterloo Road. She becomes the first Who companion since Billie Piper to win a National Television Award, both Freema Agyeman and Catherine Tate both received nominations.

Doctor Who lost out in the main award for Most Popular Drama which was won by ITV's Downton Abbey





People RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Russell T Davies and Phil Ford are bringing new action adventure drama Aliens Vs Wizards to children's TV this autumn. The series will comprise 12 episodes of 30 minutes each and centre on two 16-year-old schoolboys, Tom and Benny, and an alien race entitled the Nekross. Davies said: "Writing for children is the biggest challenge of all and I think CBBC stands right at the heart of broadcasting. So I'm delighted to launch this show, a true nationwide collaboration - a Salford commission from a BBC Wales team. We're joining genres too - the show's a wild, funny, thrilling and sometimes scary collision of magic and science fiction." The show will be produced for CBBC by BBC Cymru Wales with FremantleMedia Enterprises. The executive producers are Davies, Bethan Jones and Gina Cronk for the BBC and Bob Higgins and Sander Schwartz for FME. The producer is Brian Minchin, while Ford will co-produce. [BBC Media Centre, 23 Jan 2012], [BBC News, 23 Jan 2012]

It was back to school for new series writer Tom MacRae when he received a request to help children develop their creativity. He visited his alma mater near Daventry, Northamptonshire, after an invitation by two pupils at Weedon Bec Primary. MacRae revealed how, during an assembly while there as a child, he came up with the idea of a magnifying glass that could see through time - a concept he went on to use in The Girl Who Waited. MacRae, who also took some Doctor Who props with him to show the pupils, said: "I have used quite a few playground games and school daydreams in shows, particularly programmes that have a magic element to them. The Girl Who Waited has probably done more to boost my career than anything else I've done. I owe the huge boost it gave me to the idea I had when I was six years old." [BBC News, 23 Jan 2012]

Sheridan Smith, who played Eighth Doctor companion Lucie Miller for Big Finish, has won the Critics' Circle Best Actress award for her portrayal of Doris Skriczevinsky in the wartime drama Flare Path, by Terence Rattigan, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London - a role for which she previously received the 2011 Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress. [BBC News, 24 Jan 2012]

Arabella Weir (Billis in The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, as well as an alternative Doctor in the Big Finish audio adventure Exile) is among the star names taking part in this year's Let's Dance For Sport Relief, which starts on BBC One on Saturday 18th February. [BBC Media Centre, 25 Jan 2012]




Fan video roundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 - Reported by Harry Ward
This roundup contains four fan-made music videos that have recently been released.


DWFO #3: "Rose's Theme / Doomsday", socksofbalhoon, via YouTube

Doctor Who - A Mad Man With a Box, aphireRain42, via YouTube

Doctor Who and the Universal Vacation, kittridge, via YouTube

river song (original), allysmusic14, via YouTube




Doctor Who Wins 5 At The Virgin Media TV AwardsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 - Reported by Harry Ward
Doctor Who won in 5 categories at this year's Virgin Media TV Awards. The show itself won "TV Show of the Year" with 43.63% of the vote, beating off competition from Merlin. Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) won "TV Character of the Year" and the Doctor getting shot at Lake Silencio in The Impossible Astronaut won the "Most Explosive TV Moment of the Year". Karen Gillan won two awards; one for her acting talents ("Best Actress") and one for her good looks ("Hottest Female").

Doctor Who will be hoping for the same success tonight at The National TV Awards; which will be broadcast live on ITV1 from 7:30pm.




Miracle Day Premieres On ZtéléBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 January 2012 - Reported by Harry Ward
Torchwood: Miracle Day premiered on the Canadian French-language channel Ztélé on Monday. The series originally premiered in Canada on SPACE in July 2011.

Premiere dates:
Episode 2: Le transfert - 30 January, 9pm
Episode 3: Phicorp - 6 February, 9pm
Episode 4: Mort, c'est mort - 13 February, 9pm
Episode 5: Les modules - 20 February, 9pm
Episode 6: Les témoins - 27 February, 9pm
Episode 7: Péchés immortels - 5 March, 9pm
Episode 8: Le bout du tunnel - 12 March, 9pm
Episode 9: Le rendez-vous - 19 March, 9pm
Episode 10: La fin du miracle - 26 March, 9pm

You can view the full schedule including repeats at This Week in Doctor Who.

Ztélé are also showing Torchwood: Web of Lies - the animated web series companion to Miracle Day - on their website.