Sir Terry Wogan 1938 - 2016Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 31 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Television and radio host Sir Terry Wogan has died at the age of 77.

Terry Wogan was for many years the face and voice of the BBC. The success of his his Radio Two morning show led to a television contract and for most of the 1980's he presented a live interview show on BBC One three times a week.

Over the years he interviewed many of the stars of Doctor Who, including Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison and Colin Baker.

For over thirty years he hosted the annual charity telethon, Children In Need, which featured many elements based on Doctor Who, including the 1993 Doctor Who/EastEnders mashup Dimensions in Time, the 2007 meeting between the Fifth and Tenth Doctor, Time Crash, and the entire 20th Anniversary story The Five Doctors.

In 1985 twenty stars of the series, past and present appeared on the show to present a donation to the charity raised by proceeds of the BBC exhibition in Blackpool.





Peter Capaldi Visits Refugee Camps in JordanBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Peter Capaldi meets Syrian Refugees in Jordon (Credit: UNHCR/Jordi Matas)Peter Capaldi has made his first journey with the UN Refugee Agency, to witness some of the front-line work the charity is doing in the middle east.

The UNHCR, a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees, is currently helping some of the 630,000 Syrian refugees living in Jordan. The charity took the actor to meet some of the people displaced by the conflict in Syria and to see some of the work being done to support them.

A short film of the actor's experience in the region has been released, along with pictures from the visit. More content from the trip will be released over the next few weeks, including a virtual reality experience.

Updates from the trip can be seen on the Peter Capaldi UNHCR page.

The UNHCR told Doctor Who News how delighted they were to have the support of the Twelfth Doctor.
We’re thrilled to have Peter support our work and to have his interest in learning more about the situation facing families across the word who have been forced to flee their homes because of war and conflict. We’d love you to take this journey with Peter and with us over the coming weeks, and beyond.





New Tenth and Eleventh Doctor ComicsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
This week sees two brand new comics from The Tenth Doctor and his continuing adventures with Neanderthals and the Eleventh Doctor who needs to break out of prison...quickly.

DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR #2.5

Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Colorist: Arianna Florean
Letterer: Comicraft
Cover A: Elena Casagrande & Arianna Florean / Cover B: Photo cover by Will Brooks / Cover C: Josh Cassaro & Luis Guerrero

The Doctor and Gabby are still caught between two factions as modern humanity is born. Neanderthals and Cro Magnons clash, and their actions will shape the direction taken by humankind in the millennia to come! Plus: Cindy discovers an alarming secret back in NYC... and in deep space, Anubis grows impatient!
DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)


DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.5

Writers: Si Spurrier & Rob Williams
Artist: Warren Pleece
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Comicraft
Cover A: Joshua Cassara / Cover B: Photo cover by Will Brooks

Time to take the fight back to those who have accused the Doctor of horrible war crimes! The TARDIS team needs to break into a remote prison to get the tech that will allow them to pull off an incredible heist... Sounds like they'll need some expert help!
DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #2.5 (Credit: Titan)


Both comics are on sale Wednesday 27th January 2016.




Germany News UpdateBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 January 2016 - Reported by Pascal Salzmann
There have been new developments for Doctor Who fans in Germany recently.
  • German free-to-air digital channel Einsfestival, part of the ARD group of channels, will start broadcasting Doctor Who on 29th February. The channel will begin with Series 5, airing two episodes each day from Monday to Wednesday, with one additional episode on Thursday. The broadcast time will be 8.15 pm, which is the standart prime time for German channels. Series 6 and 7 will air Wednesdays in March.

    The last time Doctor Who aired on a free-to-air channel was in 2008 when commercial channel Pro 7 aired Series 1 and 2 on Sunday afternoons but then cancelled the show because of poor ratings. The show later found its home on the payed-for-channel FOX Germany, which currently airs Series 9. For detailed listings of Germany's and other international broadcasts, visit our This Week in Doctor Who section.

  • After the success of the first German unofficial Doctor Who convention TimeLash last October, the organisers announced that there will be a second event on 15th - 16th October 2016, once again in Kassel, Germany. Tickets went on sale early January on the TimeLash Homepage.

    Guests announced so far are Sophie Aldred, Frazer Hines, comedian Toby Hadoke, New Series producer Phil Collinson, writers Robert Shearman, Gareth Roberts and Peter Harness. More guests from the classic and new series are to be announced in the coming weeks.

    Today the TimeLash YouTube channel put up a trailer for TimeLash II, featuring clips from the first event.





Steven Moffat to Step Down as ShowrunnerBookmark and Share

Friday, 22 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
The BBC has confirmed that Doctor Who Showrunner Steven Moffat, is to leave the programme after Series 10.

The Corporation confirmed the news on the official Doctor Who Twitter feed, announcing that writer Chris Chibnall will take over in 2017.

Steven Moffat has been the guiding force behind Doctor Who since 2010, casting both Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi in the role of the Doctor. Series Ten will be his sixth series in charge, and the 36th in the show's long history. The 12 part swan song for the producer will be screened in the spring of 2017 meaning that only the 2016 Christmas special, and the new spin off series Class, will be screened this year.

BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore explained the reasons for moving the series back to the spring.
I have decided to schedule Steven’s big finale series in Spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel. 2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017 - I promise it will be worth the wait!
The new showrunner, taking over for Series 11, will be Chris Chibnall, best known for his work on Broadchurch. Chibnall has written six episodes of Doctor Who, as well as many episodes of Torchwood, where he was Co-Producer.

Moffat talked about his feelings on leaving the show
Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him. It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.
Charlotte Moore paid tribute to the outgoing showrunner
I want to thank Steven Moffat for everything he has given Doctor Who – I’ve loved working with him, he is an absolute genius and has brought fans all over the world such joy,” she added. “I will be very sad to see him leave the show but I can’t wait to see what he will deliver in his last ever series next year with a brand new companion.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Chris Chibnall, a wonderfully talented writer who I know will bring something very special to the hit series.
Like his two predecessors Chris Chibnall is a life long fan of the series, even appearing on a BBC One discussion programme about the series in 1986. He talked about his love of the show
Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC programme: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world. So it's a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was four years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore. Steven’s achieved the impossible by continually expanding Doctor Who's creative ambition, while growing its global popularity. He’s been a dazzling and daring showrunner, and hearing his plans and stories for 2017, it’s clear he’ll be going out with a bang. Just to make my life difficult.
Polly Hill, BBC controller of drama commissioning, added:
Like Charlotte I would like to thank Steven for his brilliance, which has made Doctor Who a global hit under his tenure. Chris Chibnall is the perfect successor to take over the reins of this incredible show, so I am delighted that his love for Doctor Who has made it impossible for him to resist ! Chris is an incredible writer and his vision and passion for Doctor Who gives it an exciting future and promises to be a real treat for Doctor Who fans across the world.




Digitizing the Doctor Who Pinball TableBookmark and Share

Friday, 22 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
A kickstarter project has been launched to help recreate the 1990's Doctor Who Pinball Table in digital form.

FarSight Studios are looking to add the famous 1992 Doctor Who Pinball Table to their successful Pinball Arcade game for Consoles and Mobile devices.

The independent developer has over 25 years of experience, developing video games on consoles, phones and tablets. For the last ten years, the company has been developing modern videogame recreations of classic pinball tables. The Pinball Arcade is currently available on a wide variety of platforms: the iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Ouya, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Play Station 4, PS Vita and Steam for PC and Mac, with the Nintendo Wii U version being released very soon.

The Doctor Who pinball table was originally released by Williams/Bally in 1992. It is considered one of the best designed licensed tables in pinball history. The gameplay is based around the various seven incarnations of the Doctor and each Doctor affects the rules of the playfield differently. The player must "collect" all Doctors throughout the game. After collecting a Doctor, rule changes are applied.

The Kickstarter project will allow the developers to secure the licences for the Doctor Who game, a cost of $72,000 or around £50,000. The development costs will then be met by FarSight Studios.
The process of digitizing these tables is very complex. We first acquire the actual physical pinball table we want to digitize. We want our videogame version to play exactly the same as the table played when it was new. We strip the table down to the bare wood playfield and take high-resolution digital photographs of every part. We use these to create three-dimensional computer models of each of the components on the playfield. When the modeling is complete we export the data into our graphics engine, which displays the table on each of our target platforms.
Previous projects have raised money to recreate games based on The Addams Family, Twilight Zone, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Terminator 2: Judgement Day

For full details see the projects Kickstarter page.




BBC Shakespeare FestivalBookmark and Share

Thursday, 21 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Tony Hall with RSC Artistic Director, Greg Doran & David Tennant (Credit: BBC/Guy Levy)David Tennant has joined BBC Director General Tony Hall and RSC Artistic Director, Greg Doran for the launch of the 2016 Shakespeare Festival, marking 400 years since the death of the playwright.

The month long season begins on Shakespeare's birthday, 23rd April, when Tennant will host a special celebration of Shakespeare's words and his enduring influence on all performance art forms - from opera to jazz, dance to musicals. The BBC Two programme will include appearances from Dame Judi Dench, ENO, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Ian Bostridge, Joseph Fiennes and Akala.

Later in the month BBC One will screen a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, adapted by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies. The production, filmed at the Doctor Who studios in Cardiff, is described as funny, exciting and with as much attitude as any theatrical interpretation.
This will be a Midsummer Night’s Dream for everyone: children, who can laugh at Bottom and his Mechanicals and marvel at the fairies’ awesome powers; for adults, who know those broken hearts and star-crossed lovers all too well; and for whole families, united in front of the television to enjoy the play’s dazzling world of danger, jokes, scares, poetry, thrills and fun.
The cast includes includes Maxine Peake as Titania, Matt Lucas as Bottom, John Hannah as Theseus, Elaine Paige as Mistress Quince, Javone Prince as Snug, Nonso Anozie as Oberon, Hiran Abeysekera as Puck, Richard Wilson as Starveling and Bernard Cribbins as Snout.

Also as part of the season, BBC Two will screen the final part of The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses. The production concludes the cycle of Shakespeare’s History plays on BBC Two, and will include three new adaptations - Henry VI (in 2 parts) and Richard III. Stars include Hugh Bonneville, Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Sophie Okonedo and Tom Sturridge.

The Hollow Crown is a Neal Street co-production with Carnival/NBC Universal and Thirteen for BBC Two. In the US, the series will be transmitted on PBS by Great Performances, produced by Thirteen Productions LLC for WNET.




Rachel Talalay on why Doctor Who should win AwardsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Director Rachel Talalay has been talking about the series and how it is perceived by the TV Industry.

Talalay has written a blog inspired by the recent controversy over the Oscar nominations and their lack of diversity. In the article the director talks about award nominations, and how they are skewed to favour traditional type dramas.
Historically, the BAFTA voters have a love for “Bonnets and Bustles”...... Doctor Who seems like an obvious skip-over. Yeah, sure, Peter Capaldi is a great actor, but who cares about that kids’ show? And it’s sci-fi, not ‘real’ drama, and it’ll be around forever and we need to support new and fresh.
The director disputes the implication that Doctor Who's long history means it is not new and fresh.
Spend five minutes watching the incredible anti-war speech delivered by Peter Capaldi in The Zygon Inversion. Or a few more minutes watching Jenna Coleman’s emotional, powerful goodbye in Face the Raven. You don’t need to know these character’s history to appreciate the tremendous work here.
Rachel Talalay directed the final two episodes of both Series 8 and Series 9, including the one man episode Heaven Sent where Peter Capaldi performed solo for the majority of the story
It is an absolute acting tour-de-force, all-doctor-all-the-time, and it demands to be seen before the voters turn to the obvious dramas.
She also paid tribute to members of the production team
Credit Will Oswald’s extraordinary editing of billions of years of footage. And Stuart Biddlecombe’s stunning cinematography. All accomplished on a budget less than ¼ of an episode of Game of Thrones. These craftsmen-artists need recognition.
Finally the director paid tribute to the mastermind of the series
None of this would be possible without Steven Moffat’s immaculate, intricately plotted, remarkable script. He stated, both publicly and to the team, that this was one of the hardest things he has ever written. Love or hate the Moff, honour him for the attempt at different television and the sweat and toil for a show that could be what non-watchers assume it is: some old time-travel show with monsters.
Full Blog at racheltalalay.tumblr.com




Prisoners of Time - OmnibusBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Wednesday sees the publication of the omnibus edition of the Doctor Who Comic Strip Prisoners of Time.

Prisoners of Time was originally a 12-issue comic book series, produced by IDW to mark Doctor Who's 50th anniversary.

The 12 issues were released monthly during 2013, each issue featuring a different Doctor, leading to the final, multi-Doctor issue in December.

DOCTOR WHO: PRISONERS OF TIME OMNIBUS

WRITERS: Scott & David Tipton
ARTISTS: Simon Fraser, Lee Sullivan, Mike Collins, Gary Erskine, Philip Bond, John Ridgway, Kev Hopgood, Roger Langridge, David Messina, Giorgia Sposito, Elena Casagrande, Matthew Dow Smith, Kelly Yates

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who anew with an epic adventure featuring the Doctor's first eleven incarnations! Writers Scott & David Tipton are joined by some of the greatest artists of the Doctor's comic book past and present to tell a story that shakes the Doctor to his core!

DOCTOR WHO: PRISONERS OF TIME OMNIBUS (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: PRISONERS OF TIME OMNIBUS (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: PRISONERS OF TIME OMNIBUS (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: PRISONERS OF TIME OMNIBUS (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: PRISONERS OF TIME OMNIBUS (Credit: Titan)


Buy on Amazon.co.uk

Buy on Amazon.com




Series Nine Wins Golden Tomato AwardBookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Series Nine has been voted the Best Reviewed TV Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Series of 2015 on the review site Rotten Tomatoes.

The Annual Golden Tomato Awards are awarded to the series with the highest ratings, based on reviews submitted to the site. The 2015 Series scored an average rating of 4.5/5 and received a remarkable 100% positive rating from approved critics.

The series beat Game of Thrones; Season 5 which came second. Marvel's Daredevil came third with Ash Vs Evil Dead and Hannibal taking fourth and fifth places respectivally.

Doctor Who Series 9 was also voted as fourth in the Best Returning TV Shows Category, with Fargo Season 2 taking top spot.




Robert Banks Stewart 1931-2016Bookmark and Share

Friday, 15 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
The writer and producer Robert Banks Stewart has died at the age of 84.

Robert Banks Stewart is best known to Doctor Who fans as the creator of the Zygons, but his body of work encompassed far more than the shape shifting body snatchers, creating some of the most loved series on British Television.

Born in Edinburgh, Banks Stewart started his profession life as a journalist, but his interests always lay in television scripts. In the 1950's he worked for both Pinewood Studios and Thames Television providing scripts for series such as Danger Man, The Human Jungle, Top Secret, The Sweeney and The Avengers. He wrote 5 episodes of Arthur of the Britons for HTV.

In 1975 he was asked to write for Doctor Who and came up Terror of the Zygons, as story that went on to be one of the most fondly remembered of the original series. The Zygons would return for the show's 50th Anniversary special in 2013, their success ensuring a full return in the most recent series of the show.

Due to the triumph of Zygon script he was asked to write the six part conclusion to the series, coming up with The Seeds of Doom, introducing the Krynoid and the deranged horticulturist Harrison Chase.

In 1979 he created the detective series Shoestring. Set in Bristol the series was a major success for the BBC, toping the ratings and running for two series. When leading actor Trevor Eve declined to stay with the show, Bank Stewart created another series, Bergerac, set this time on the island of Jersey and starring John Nettles as the eponymous detective and recovering alcoholic who liked to drive his vintage sports car while solving crimes. The series would run for 9 years and would feature Louise Jameson as Jim Bergerac's girlfriend Susan Young.

In the 1980's he became a producer, working on the first series of Lovejoy. In 1991 he produced and adapted, H. E. Bates' novel The Darling Buds of May for ITV, which gained one of the highest ratings for a new series in the history of British Television. Banks Stewart was instrumental in casting the unknown Catherine Zeta Jones in the role of Mariette.

Robert Banks Stewart died at home on Thursday after suffering from cancer. He is survived by three sons from his second marriage and a daughter from his first.




Sneak Peek - Eighth Doctor Comic #3Bookmark and Share

Monday, 11 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
This week sees Titan release issue three of the Eighth Doctor comic.

DOCTOR WHO: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR #3

Writer: George Mann
Artist: Emma Vieceli
Colorist: Hi-FI
Letterer: Comicraft
Cover A: Rachael Stott & Hi-FI / Cover B: Photo Cover by Will Brooks

Edinburgh, 1850. The Doctor and Josie Day visit a mysterious magic show, one which is replacing audience members with 'Silvered' duplicates, mirror dimension reflections who jealously watch their real-world counterparts! With the deadly doppelgangers causing chaos, can the Doctor and Josie escape the magician's grasp and avoid being Silvered themselves?

DOCTOR WHO: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR #3 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR #3 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR #3 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR #3 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR #3 (Credit: Titan)DOCTOR WHO: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR #3 (Credit: Titan)




Final Australian ratings for The Husbands of River SongBookmark and Share

Sunday, 10 January 2016 - Reported by Adam Kirk
Including time-shifted viewers, The Husbands of River Song averaged 761,000 consolidated viewers in the five major capital cities. With 186,000 extra viewers it was the highest time-shifted program of the day (the second highest time-shifted program only had 33,000 extra viewers) and the seventh highest rating program of the day overallThese ratings do not include iview or regional viewers.

Media Links: TV Tonight




Class to be a BBC America Co-ProductionBookmark and Share

Friday, 8 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
BBC AmericaBBC America have confirmed they will be co-producing the new Doctor Who Spin off series, Class.

The eight part series is written by American young adult writer Patrick Ness, best known for his award-winning book A Monster Calls.

The series will be set in Coal Hill school in contemporary London, and is executive produced by Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin, the team behind Doctor Who, and is due to be screened in Autumn 2016.

BBC America have also confirmed they have commissioned a new original scripted series based on the Dirk Gently books.

The series is an adaptation of former Doctor Who Script Editor Douglas Adams’ comic novels, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, and is set in the world of its hyperactive, absurdist, eponymous detective, Dirk Gently.

The books were inspired by the unfinished Doctor Who story Shada, intended for transmission in 1980 but never completed due to a BBC strike.

The channel have ordered eight one-hour episodes, scripted by Max Landis. The books were previously adapted for BBC Four, with Stephen Mangan in the title role and shown between 2010 and 2012.