An Adventure in Space and Time updateBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 February 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Into the last couple of days of filming, with Matt Strevens commenting: "The penultimate day and a very busy one. Lots of v exciting stuff to shoot. Been saying goodbye to our lovely cast as we wrap them out.". The producer reported earlier in the week about new creatures, and today seems to be centre around events during The Web Planet, with Thom Hutchingson tweeting: "Today I've mostly been menacing Wimbledon Studios dressed as a winged insectoid alien. My TV debut!". As a follow-up to this, Mammoth Screen apologised to actor Sam Hoare: "So sorry if you were stalked by a giant bee creature today."

Hoare, who played opposite Matt Smith in Bert and Dickie last year, has been confirmed by his agent as playing "Douglas". Other cast members involved today include David William Bryan, who said: "Ready for a long Dr.Who day!" and afterwards commented on his experience meeting another creature seen previously: "Just had a fight with this little fella...... And lost"

DWM were also present at today's filming, with editor Tom Spilsbury commenting: "Today, I had an amazing and unforgettable adventure in space and time. Thank you, Mark Gariss!" As usual, activities at the set drew attention from other parts of the studios, with Chris Presswell commenting: "Have just had a meeting in the same studio complex as where An Adventure in Space and Time is being filmed. 60s costumes galore. Awesome."

Tomorrow is the final scheduled day of principal photography, and tweets today indicate that it may well include another iconic recreation, this time for the TARDIS (de)materialisation! Natasha O'Keeffe asked Matt Strevens: "if there's an old scabby piano on any of your shoot days as part of set, that piano is from my parents/childhood home!". To which he replied: " I think there is tomorrow. What, why, how?"




The Ice Warriors: missing episodes animatedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 February 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Ice Warriors - animated (Credit: BBC Worldwide/Qurios)BBC Worldwide have finally confirmed that August's DVD release of Second Doctor adventure The Ice Warriors will indeed include animated versions of the missing episodes two and three, as well as the previously announced 'telesnap' version of the episodes that originally appeared on the 1998 VHS release.

Unlike January's The Reign of Terror, animation for these episodes has been created by Qurios, an award-winning animation and visual effects production studio based in London and Newcastle, and who have previously worked on the range providing titles for the Who Peter features.

DVD range producer Dan Hall said:
We’ve been discussing the various ways Qurios could reconstruct these episodes for over three years, so it's really, really satisfying to finally see them animated. Qurios have a great track record in excellent and innovative animations.

Doctor Who has had many different visual styles thanks to changing directors, designers and production methods. We wanted to mirror this in our choice of animation partners.
A preview of a "work in progress" clip from the episodes has been published on YouTube, featuring the scene in episode two where the Doctor tries to convince Leader Clent that humans are better than machines:



The DVD is currently scheduled to be released on 26th August.





Symphonic Spectacular Held At ShowcaseBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
A Doctor Who Showcase Symphonic Spectacular was held in Liverpool last night to pay tribute to the programme.

Hosted by Mark Williams, it took place at the BBC Worldwide Showcase - being attended by some 700 TV buyers from around the world - and saw Ben Foster lead the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as well as the Sense of Sound choir through compositions by Murray Gold, with Elin Manahan Thomas and Daniel Keating-Roberts providing solos.

Earlier this week, Steve Macallister, the president and managing director of sales and distribution at BBC Worldwide, had said that Doctor Who would feature as one of two themed evenings at the showcase.

The programme was as follows:
  • The Madman With A Box
  • I Am The Doctor
  • Brianosaurus
  • Abigail's Song
  • Battle In The Skies
  • The Majestic Tale Of A Madman In A Box
  • Liz, Lizards, Vampires & Vincent
  • This Is Gallifrey/Vale Decem
  • The Final Chapter Of Amelia Pond
  • Doctor Who Theme
Scenes from The Angels Take Manhattan provided a suitable backdrop for the penultimate piece.

As has been the case with previous musical outings, various monsters put in an appearance too, including Daleks, Ood, Cybermen, Silurians, the Silence, and Saturnynians (from The Vampires of Venice). The Symphonic Spectacular also featured a compilation of the Doctor's regenerations.

More pictures from the event can be seen on BBC America's Anglophenia site.




A multilingual DoctorBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide have released a demonstration of how Doctor Who is broadcast in other languages from around the world as part of the promotion of the show at this year's BBC Worldwide Showcase, currently taking place in Liverpool.

The video shows a clip from The Wedding of River Song in English, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German and Italian.


As recently reported, episodes of the show will be available to watch in the Middle East via Al Jazeera's JCC channel, and in Poland, South Africa, Burma and Indonesia via BBC Entertainment.




Series 6 Double Bill Down UnderBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
A special screening of the opening two episodes of Series 6 is to take place across Australia and New Zealand on Thursday 14th March, the BBC has announced.

In a world-first multiple cinema screening for Doctor Who, The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon will be shown at selected Event Cinemas, Greater Union and Birch, Carroll & Coyle Cinemas, and Village Cinemas across the two countries, starting at 7pm on the day.

There will also be a "best-dressed" prize at each cinema for the Doctor Who fan with the most impressive costume, from Time Lords to monsters.

Sharon Wilson
, BBC Worldwide Australasia's head of marketing for global brands, said:
We're building on the concept of "event television" by creating simultaneous Doctor Who experiences on big screens across Australia and New Zealand for the first time. It's an opportunity for fans to enjoy the programmes and participate in the whole experience in a way that they've not been able to before. We hope this will be the start of more BBC Worldwide cinema events with our partners Event Cinemas and Village Cinemas.
The screening has been arranged as part of the celebrations for the show's 50th-anniversary year.

Written by Steven Moffat and directed by Toby Haynes, the 90-minute two-parter stars Matt Smith as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams, Alex Kingston as River Song, and Mark Sheppard as Canton Everett Delaware III.

In The Impossible Astronaut, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory receive a secret summons that leads them to the Oval Office in 1969. Enlisting the help of a former FBI agent and the irrepressible River Song, the Doctor promises to assist President Nixon in saving a terrified little girl from a mysterious Space Man. In Day of the Moon, the Doctor is locked in the perfect prison, while Amy, Rory, and River Song are being hunted down by the FBI. But with the help of the president and Neil Armstrong, the Doctor is able to mount a rebellion against an alien invasion dating back to the very beginnings of human civilisation.

Tickets for the high-definition big-screen showings can be bought online at Event Cinemas or Village Cinemas (booking fees may apply) or at the box offices of the cinemas involved. The websites list the cinemas taking part in this special event.

UKTV, which is wholly owned by BBC Worldwide Australasia, is the media partner for this screening, which has been devised by BBC Worldwide Australasia.




Details announced of Splendid Chaps "Three/Family"Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 - Reported by Adam Kirk
As previously reportedSplendid Chaps is a year-long performance/podcast project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who hosted by comedian Ben McKenzie (Dungeon CrawlMelbourne Museum Comedy Tour) and writer John Richards (ABC1 sitcom OutlandBoxcutters podcast).

Described by its creators as part intellectual panel discussion, part nerdy Tonight Show, Splendid Chaps is a combination of analysis, enthusiasm and irreverence. The first episode went to number 1 on the iTunes TV & Film Podcast chart in Australia, and to number 4 in the UK.  The podcasts to the first two episodes are now available at www.splendidchaps.com or at  iTunes.

Tickets are now on sale for their March show, in which the Splendid Chaps TARDIS will be visiting Adelaide. They'll be discussing the frill-fronted velveteen Time Lord Jon Pertwee, and looking at the notion of Family in Doctor Who - why are there so few families in the early years of the show? What’s with all the distant aunts? How did it change the show when companions’ families started to appear after Rose?

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by New York Times best-selling author Sean Williams plus other guests poached from the Adelaide Fringe Festival as Splendid Chaps makes the exciting move into colour and corduroy.

Splendid Chaps: A Year Of Doctor Who: "Three/Family"
Space: The Tuxedo Cat – The Yellow Room, 199-200 North Terrace, Adelaide.
Time: Sunday, March 10; show starts 2 PM (note that as we will be recording, latecomers will not be admitted until interval).
Tickets: All tickets $15 (plus booking fee where applicable).
Bookings: trybooking.com, tickets also sold at the door (subject to availability).
Podcast: not yet available; released 23 March 2013.
Accessibility: This venue is wheelchair accessible.
(with thanks to John Richards)





Vote Dalek!Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Professional Publishers Association are celebrating their centenary this year, and as part of this ten covers are to compete to become Cover of the Century, one of which is the Radio Times issue covering the week 30th April to May 6th May 2005 - otherwise known as Vote Dalek!

The magazine is up against covers from the Beano, Cosmpolitan, Empire, Harpers, MacUser, NewScientist, Time Out, Vogue and Woman's Weekly, all of which were chosen by a panel of experts as being the most iconic over the century.

Professional Publishers Association Centenary Covers

Head of the PPA, Barry McIlheney said
Our centenary year provides us with a unique opportunity for the industry to celebrate not only the association but, more importantly, its members and the entire magazine publishing industry. The Cover of the Century is just one of the many activities the PPA will be carrying out in 2013 to mark this historic occasion.

We are looking forward to the next 100 years, and how the unique power of magazine brands will help shape the evolving media landscape at what is the most exciting time in our rich and vibrant history.

Voting is open daily to the public via the PAA website until the 30th September, with the winning cover announced on the Association's actual centenary on 21st November.


Radio Times (5-11 May 2005) - wraparoundThis isn't the first time the Radio Times cover has been up for an award - in 2008 it won the coveted title of Best Magazine Cover Of All Time in a poll that was also conducted by the PAA!

Circulation director at the time, Nicola Rowe said of its successback then:
We had many outstanding entries but Vote Dalek! captured the popular vote. It is sharply observed, funny, and to the point. It is, in its own way, a truly inspired reflection of the British sense of humour.




An Adventure in Space and Time enters final week of filmingBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 February 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
It's the last week of principal photography for An Adventure in Space and Time, with producer Matt Strevens commenting: "So the final week begins. It's flown by. Some big, moving scenes to come and perhaps a new creature or 2.". Doctor Who wouldn't be Doctor Who without corridors, but this time of the real kind as a couple of Dalek props are left "lurking" - as Matt observed: "These Daleks do like to gossip on a Monday morning."

Meanwhile, Waris met Waris as Sacha Dhawan caught up with original director Waris Hussein; the actor intimated that his time on filming was coming to an end, saying: "What a journey through space and time..loved every minute of it.x" Additional photos of the two together can be seen courtesy of the Radio Times, published when the initial casting was announced at the end of January.

Daleks at Wimbledon Studios (Credit: Matt Strevens, via Twitter) Sacha Dhawan with Waris Hussein (Credit: Sacha Dhawan, via Twitter)

Speaking of cast, last week Reece Shearsmith got to grips with becoming the Second Doctor: "Tried the hobo costume on the other day. Oh my giddy aunt ..."


Some additional members of the production team have been confirmed, with script editor Richard Cookson telling us: "I am indeed lucky enough to be working on An Adventure in Space and Time. Thanks for the congratulations! All I can really say is that it's a huge honour to be involved in the programme and to work with such a fantastic and talented cast and crew." Other confirmations include Pippa Suren as production coordinator, Catriona Scott as production secretary, and James Metcalf as a floor runner.




Al Jazeera Buys Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Monday, 25 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Al Jazeera has bought Series 5 to 7 of Doctor Who, it was announced today.

The episodes were snapped up at the BBC Worldwide Showcase 2013 event and will be shown on the satellite TV broadcaster's pan-Arabic children's channel JCC, which launched in 2005 and is based in Qatar.

The showcase is a four-day international TV market being held at ACC Liverpool. It started yesterday and is welcoming some 700 TV buyers from around the globe.

Paola Tonella, BBC Worldwide's sales and distribution territory manager for the Middle East and Africa, said:
Drama is topping the bill at this year's showcase and it's clear that BBC Worldwide's programming, with its quality scripts and first-class production values, are extremely attractive to global buyers.
Among the star names at yesterday's gala opening were Eve Myles and Mark Williams.

The showcase will also be hosting special events to both celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and to spotlight the natural-history documentary series Africa.

Steve Macallister, the president and managing director of sales and distribution at BBC Worldwide, said:
In another record-breaking year, we welcome our largest number of buyers to Liverpool - up by 10 per cent on last year - and we have two brilliant programme-themed evenings planned. Africa is certain to capture the imagination of our delegates, as it has the British public over the past few weeks. What a perfect opportunity to also celebrate the world's longest-running sci-fi series with Doctor Who in its 50th year.




Australian fans preview animated The Tenth PlanetBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 February 2013 - Reported by Adam Kirk

Australian fans attending Whovention: Gold this weekend were fortunate enough to see a world premiere preview of the animated fourth episode of the forthcoming The Tenth Planet DVD.

To rounds of very enthusiastic applause, a warm and appreciative crowd saw clips from the animated episode, during panels hosted by Dan Hall (Pup Ltd and commissioning editor of the Doctor Who DVD range) and Austen Atkinson of Australian based animation company Planet 55 Studios. During the panels a number of animated clips were shown, including the famous William Hartnell regeneration scene (see images below) and other behind the scenes material. Video from the animated episode will be available next week on doctorwho.tv.  Fans reacted very positively to the material, as well as to queries from Dan Hall as to whether more missing episodes should be subject to similar animation in the future. Mr Hall noted however that while the existing business model for BBC Worldwide DVD releases did not currently allow more than two episodes a release to be animated that future options for allowing the release of more animated material may become more feasible at some later stage.

Also featured on the panels were Planet 55 Studios animators Colin Bennett, Josh Campbell & Chris Chapman who discussed the painstaking hours of work required to recreate the missing episode of The Tenth Planet as well as the two animated episodes from the newly restored Reign of Terror DVD. Austen Atkinson confirmed that work on the animated Tenth Planet episode was likely to be completed in the next month with the DVD release due in the second half of 2013. Dan Hall also confirmed that an announcement on whether the missing episodes of the forthcoming The Ice Warriors DVD would be similarly animated will be announced in the near future, also on doctorwho.tv.


Other highlights of Whovention: Gold (organised by the Doctor Who Club of Australia) included Louise Jameson describing her complex relationship with Tom Baker; Camille Coduri recalling her shock of first learning about Christopher Eccleston's departure as the Ninth Doctor via the media and original series composer Dudley Simpson announcing that there will be orchestral concerts of some of his Doctor Who scores in the United Kingdom in the near future. Rob Lloyd also performed his popular stage show “Who, Me” in Sydney for the first time for a one-off performance on the Saturday night.

Podcasts recorded at Whovention: Gold, including an interview with Dan Hall, are also now available at the Preachrs Podcast website or iTunes.

With thanks to Austen Atkinson for The Tenth Planet animation images.




Raymond Cusick 1928-2013Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 23 February 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Raymond Cusick - the designer of the Daleks - has died at the age of 84, his family have reported.

Born in London, Cusick first planned to be a civil engineer, but then after a stint in the army he planned to instead take up teaching. Having taught art, he then took an interest in design and joined Granada Television. This then led to a move to the BBC as a staff designer, which included being assigned to the fledgling Doctor Who. Here, he was to come up with the design of the Daleks, which arguably - alongside the TARDIS interior - is one of the key elements that made Doctor Who the success it was to become.

Talking to Doctor Who Magazine about his original design, Cusick said:
I spent the whole of one Sunday doing rough sketches of what I thought it should look like. I wanted to make sure it wasn't obvious how they worked, at the same time keeping them relatively simple. I didn't want either man shape or man height, so first of all I figured out that the operator would have to be inside the shell. Bearing in mind how long he'd have to be there, I thought it would be an idea to have him sitting, pushing himself along with his feet. A small actor in a sitting position would be only 4'6" high, which killed two problems with one stone.

However, as a staff designer he was never to receive royalties for his iconic realisation of Terry Nation's creations, and his enduring contribution took many years to be properly acknowledged.

As well as The Daleks, he would continue to work on the show during its first couple of years, designing more of the TARDIS in The Edge of Destruction, the futuristic/rugged worlds seen in The Keys of Marinus, The Sensorites, The Rescue and The Chase, the 'giant' items experienced during Planet of Giants, and even delving into history with The Romans; Cusick's last assignment was sharing the design load alongside Barry Newbery for the epic twelve-parter, The Daleks' Master Plan.

Outside of Doctor Who, he worked on a variety of BBC shows including Out of The Unknown, Dr Finlay's Casebook, The Pallisers, The Duchess of Duke Street, Rentaghost, When The Boat Comes In and Play For Today.

Upon his retirement he devoted a lot of time to his hobby, writing about the battles of the Napoleonic era. Retaining his interest over his creations, he was to be reunited with their modern equivalent during Doctor Who Confidential; he also recorded commentaries and appeared in features for the BBC DVD range.

Cusick had been suffering from a short illness. He leaves two daughters and seven grandchildren.
(Raymond P Cusick 1928 - 21 Feb 2013)


Tributes to the designer have included: current voice of the Daleks Nicholas Briggs(Twitter): "I'm very sad indeed to learn that Ray Cusick, the brilliant designer of the Daleks, has passed away."; original voice of the Daleks David Graham(BBC): "I never met him personally, but he was responsible for one of the iconic designs of television sci-fi."; Dalek operator Barnaby Edwards(Twitter): "So sad to hear that Ray Cusick, the designer of the Daleks, has died. Without him, there'd probably be no Doctor Who."; Davros actor Terry Molloy(Twitter): "So very sad to hear of the death of Ray Cusick... The true Creator of the Daleks!"; and from An Adventure in Space and Time writer Mark Gatiss(Twitter): "Farewell to the great Ray Cusick. His passing is especially sad in this anniversary year but his creation remains immortal. Daleks forever!"

In the Media: BBC News; Radio 5 live Interview with David Graham; ITV News; Radio Times; AFP; Guardian; Mirror; Independent.








The Seeds of Death on UKTVBookmark and Share

Saturday, 23 February 2013 - Reported by Paul Scoones
UKTVSunday 24th February sees the broadcast of the six-part 1969 Patrick Troughton story The Seeds of Death in Australia and New Zealand. The story is the eighth instalment in the 50th Anniversary season of classic Doctor Who stories on the UKTV channel.

It is scheduled in New Zealand at 3:10pm and in Australia at 3:30pm. New Zealand has an additional screening on Monday 25th February at 3:10am.


The Seeds of Death was first broadcast in Australia in 1970. New Zealanders had to wait until 1988 to see the story when it was first screened as part of TVNZ's Doctor Who 'Silver Jubilee' celebration marking the 25th anniversary in November of that year.

UKTV is showing a story every week throughout the year in the lead-up to the anniversary in November. The Seeds of Death concludes a month of Patrick Troughton adventures.

Next week UKTV shifts its focus to Jon Pertwee's Doctor and the colour era of the programme, beginning with Spearhead from Space on 3rd March.

Up-and-coming broadcasts from both 20th and 21st Century series of Doctor Who can be found via UKTV's Doctor Who sections for Australia and New Zealand.





An Adventure in Space and Time: Jackie Lane castBookmark and Share

Friday, 22 February 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Sophie HoltAnother early Doctor Who regular during the William Hartnell years has now been confirmed, with actress and dancer Sophie Holt to play Jackie Lane, aka Dodo.

Graduating from the Masters Performing Arts College in 2010, she has undertaken a number of theatrical roles, including productions for M&M Theatrical Productions, and also touring in Italy in Circus for the Smile Theatre Company. Breaking into television, as well as An Adventure in Space and Time, she has just played a supporting actress in the series premiere of this year's Poirot - Elephants Can Remember.

Holt joins Jamie Glover (William Russell/Ian), Jemma Powell (Jacqueline Hill/Barbara) and Claudia Grant (Carole Ann Ford/Susan) in portraying the actors who accompanied the First Doctor on his adventures. As previously reported, Peter Purves (Steven) has indicated that he would be represented in the drama, too, and that an actress playing Maureen O'Brien (Vicki) was believed to have been spotted during filming at BBC Television Centre.

Also joining the family of supporting actors is John Foreman, who plays a "passerby/interviewee".

Filming Update

"Dressing room boredom..." (Credit: Sacha Dhawan, via Twitter)As Friday evening arrives, producer Matt Strevens sums up: The end of week 3 filming. Only a week left. Where did it go? As Sydney Newman might say 'what a picture!'". The cast and crew have been huddled away in studio for the week, with Sacha Dhawan (Waris Hussein) summarising his wait between takes: "Dressing room boredom..."

Filming is expected to wrap next week.

One person with some free time next week will be Brian Cox (Sydney Newman); the actor is due to be a guest on Wednesday's edition of The Wright Stuff next week. The show is broadcast weekday mornings on Channel 5.




An Adventure in Space and Time: The Voice of the DaleksBookmark and Share

Thursday, 21 February 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Nicholas Briggs, on TwitterA new voice encounters the old as Nicholas Briggs confirmed last night that he had taken on the mantle of one of the original voices of the Daleks! Making the announcement on Twitter, the man who has voiced the Daleks since their return in 2005 commented: "Just did my Peter Hawkins cameo today. Beyond exciting..." He later added: "Well, you can never tell what will make the edit... But I had a costume and a wig and everything! :-)".

Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine back in 2006, the actor/voice artist/producer for Big Finish paid tribute to Hawkins: "All of us who've provided Dalek voices over the last 40 years owe him a massive debt. None of us have been as good as Peter, but he supplied our inspiration. He was truly the Emperor of the Daleks."
 

Filming Update

A number of classic series moments are being "captured" for the drama. As well as filming of Daleks across Westminster Bridge from The Dalek Invasion of Earth filmed last weekend, iconic moments from the pilot episode have also been recorded as photos released but subsequently removed had revealed, including recreations of the junkyard where the TARDIS is first encountered, and the interior itself (credited to Peter Brachacki, who we reported last night as being played by David Annen).

The look and feel of the 1963 studio environment has been provided by Golden Age Television Recreations, which reported on its site: "Dr Who- An Adventure In Space And Time. GA-TV is supplying all the 1960s vintage tv studio and gallery equipment for a movie-length drama from the BBC, about the early days of the Dr Who tv programme."