Doctor Who: The Collection - Season EighteenBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who: The Complete Eighteen Season (cover) (Credit: BBC)
Doctor Who: The Complete Eighteen Season (box contents) (Credit: BBC)
BBC Studios have announced the next Blu-ray release in their 'classic' season boxed sets will be Tom Baker's final year as the Doctor, the 1980/81 Season Eighteen.

As well as the seven stories from the season, the set will also include the Christmas spin-off special, K9 & Company.

As with the previous release of Season Twelve and the imminent release of Season Nineteen, this new collection will feature a host of new features to supplement the remastered high-definition upscaled episodes themselves:


The material has been remastered by Peter Crocker and Mark Ayres, with packaging/artwork by Lee Binding; the set will also feature a booklet by new series writer and content consultant Pete McTighe.

Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 18 is currently scheduled for the UK on 25th February 2019, though as with the previous volumes the date may change before its intended release.

You can pre-order the set from our Amazon Shop.





Downtime: Children of the New WorldBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the first of their standalone Lethbridge-Stewart novels to be released next year:

Downtime: Children of the New World (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Downtime: Children of the New World
Written by Andy Frankham-Allen
Cover by Adrian Salmon


Kate Lethbridge-Stewart joins her father, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, in a mission to save her son’s life!


For the last nine years Kate’s life has been a happy one. Other than a minor blip in 2003, she hasn’t had to worry about aliens bothering her or her son. Indeed, her biggest concern is Gordy’s first girlfriend. But it all changes when a face from her past appears, bringing with him a warning.

Gordy and his cousin Conall are kidnapped by a radical group calling themselves the Followers of Maitreya!

The Brigadier and Kate join forces with Douglas Cavendish and Anne Travers on a mission to save Gordy and Conall, which leads them to the ruins of Det-Sen Monastery in Tibet where deadly Yeti roam, and a prophecy is about to fulfilled!

What connects the Followers of Maitreya to a developing online school, Asteroid 4179 which is heading towards Earth, and the Brigadier’s family?

The novel is a sequel to the 1990s video film Downtime, and is published in co-ordination with producers Reeltime Pictures. The novel continues the story of a pre-UNIT Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and her son Gordon, set some nine years after the events in the original film and a little after its sequel, Dæmos Rising; it also serves to introduce Reeltime's forthcoming release in the series, Anomaly (in which Beverley Cressman reprises her role as Kate). As a Candy-Jar book, the story incorporates elements from their own Lethbridge-Stewart series, including the Brigadier's eldest son, Conall Wilson.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen, and author of the book, explains how it came to pass:
When I first heard of Reeltime’s forthcoming film, Anomaly, which would see Beverley returning to the role of Kate, I contacted Keith Barnfather. Initially it was simply to express my interest in Kate’s return, and how I’d be open to us working together to cross-pollinate our two ranges. Keith was very open to the idea, and before we knew it the conversation turned to prose and the idea of doing a sequel to Downtime. It took a while to work out when to set it, and after watching Dæmos Rising it became clear the book needed to be set after that film. The only proviso Keith gave me was that I needed to “set up” Anomaly.

All background details from Downtime will be treated the same way one treats background detail in a normal standalone novel; the reader will be told everything they need to know for the story to work. Of course, further insight can be gained by picking up Downtime, but it won’t be essential. Children of the New World is its own story. The basic idea came to me fairly quickly, but it wasn’t until I rewatched both films and had a chance to look through Marc Platt’s novelisation that the main plot point presented itself. I was determined to write a solid standalone tale, but one that was a logical continuation of Downtime, while at the same time bringing Kate and Gordy fully into the fold with the Brigadier’s extended family. The chance of having the Brigadier’s two grandsons together was too good to pass up, and that quickly became the crux of the plot.
Cover art is by popular Doctor Who artist Adrian Salmon, who said:
Great to be asked to draw a cover for the new look Lethbridge-Stewart range! Andy and I had a lot of fun with this cover; as soon as he told me what the book was like, I knew the kind of thing I wanted to do. He gave me an open brief to redesign the Yeti, to make it more of a simian creature, and less like the way they’re previous been depicted in Doctor Who. I wanted to incorporate silver into the design, initially as a kind of harness, before we settled on a fearsome face mask, to suggest the controlling intelligence and to make it clear these are not the Yeti fans have previously seen.

There will be two editions of Downtime: Children of the New World, a standard paperback limited to 500 copies, and and limited hardback edition of 50 copies. Both are avaialable for pre-order from the Candy Jar website. Please note that this novel isn't part of any subscription offer.




Andrew Burt 1945 - 2018Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 - Reported by Marcus

The actor Andrew Burt has died at the age of 73

Andrew Burt played Valgard, one of the Vanir, in the 1983 fifth Doctor story Terminus.

Born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, he trained at Rose Bruford College of Drama.

He was a regular on television throughout the 1970's, 80's and 90's. One of his first TV roles was in 1972, playing Jack Sugden in the new TV soap Emmerdale Farm. He played Captain FitzRoy in the TV drama The Voyage of Charles Darwin.

In 1979 he took the title role in The Legend of King Arthur alongside former Doctor Who companion Maureen O'Brien playing Morgan le Fay. Another folk hero came his way when he starred in Gulliver in Lilliput alongside Elisabeth Sladen. He played Ven Jarvik in a 1980 episode of Blake's 7.

Regular roles in Mystery!: Campion, Angels, Bergerac, The Bill and Oscar Charlie followed. He was the voice of Radio Norwich for both series of I'm Alan Partridge, appearing in one episode as Alan's old Headmaster.

In recent years Burt worked as a counsellor for people with stress-related illnesses.




First New Year's Day imageBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released the first promotional image for the New Year's Day adventure for the Doctor:

Doctor Who - New Year's Day 2019 promo (Credit: BBC/Chris Hill)




Kerblam! - Official RatingsBookmark and Share

Monday, 26 November 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Kerblam! (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall))
Doctor Who: Kerblam! had an official rating of 7.46 million viewers, according to figures released by the Broadcasting Research Audience Board, BARB.

7.23 million watched the episode on a conventional TV set. However the BARB 4-Screen Dashboard shows that an additional 120,000 watched on their PC, 61,000 watched on a Tablet device and 52,000 watched on a smartphone These figures make Doctor Who the 9th most watched programme of the week ending 18th November.

Top for the week was Sundays edition of I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here getting 14.17 million watching.

Kerblam! had an Appreciation Index score of 81, again scoring higher with female viewers.




Billie Piper Back As Rose Tyler for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Monday, 26 November 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The Dimension Cannon (Credit: Big Finish)Rose Tyler, as played by Billie Piper, is returning for a new Doctor Who audio spin-off, and she’s bringing along her family and friends.

Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon,is a new audio series made by Big Finish Productions in association with BBC Studios. It follows Rose’s journey through dying parallel worlds and also stars Camille Coduri as Rose’s mum Jackie, Shaun Dingwall as her dad Pete, Mark Benton as alien investigator Clive Finch and Elli Garnett as Caroline Finch.

Producer David Richardson tells how the series came about.
I approached Russell T Davies with the idea of Big Finish making a Rose Tyler spin-off. He was very enthusiastic - as always - and suggested we followed Rose’s journey that ultimately leads to her finding the Doctor in The Stolen Earth. I found the pro-posal irresistible, and instantly script editor Matt Fitton and I were throwing around ideas. There is a whole multiverse of possibilities. Russell suggested including Jackie and Pete, and embraced my idea of including a parallel universe version of Clive - who of course was killed off in the TV series (in the 2005 episode Rose).

Russell guided us gently through the development - steering us towards ideas that worked brilliant-ly, ensuring things that needed improvement were fixed, and also throwing out the ideas that didn’t work. I’m absolutely delighted with what we have - a family drama about the end of worlds. It’s about love and loss and things that might have been - and our brilliant cast have embraced the emo-tional scripts.

What we have is different from previous iterations. It’s rather dark (though never short on wit and charm) but it’s not really about villains. It focuses on the fight to survive against the odds, and on the power of family and love.
The four episodes follow Rose’s mission to seek out the Doctor, the only person who can save the doomed multi-verse.
  1. The Endless Night by Jonathan Morris
  2. The Flood by Lisa McMullin
  3. Ghost Machines by AK Benedict
  4. The Last Party on Earth by Matt Fitton
Billie Piper / Camile Coduri (Credit: Big Finish)The series has its own distinct tone. Focusing on the era of Russell T Davies, there are no alien threats or villains to defeat. Instead these amazing stories capture and showcase the beautifully rich human characters of Doctor Who.

Billie Piper shared her excitment at returning to the role.
I love how normal Rose is, and yet really extraordinary. She lived a normal av-erage life but she is incredibly curious and has an enormous capacity for love and empathy and is really spirited. She is extraordinary.

That’s the great thing about Doctor Who. It challenges new-thinking. It’s progressive and it can be political in amongst these human emotions and relationships. I think that’s its greatest appeal.
From the worlds of Doctor Who, Rose Tyler – The Dimension Cannon will be released in September 2019, available for pre-order now on CD at £25 on CD and £20 on download.




The Witchfinders - Overnight Viewing FiguresBookmark and Share

Monday, 26 November 2018 - Reported by Marcus
 The Witchfinders: Yaz (Mandip Gill), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Willa Twiston (Tilly Steele) (Credit: BBC Studios (Sophie Mutevelian ))
Doctor Who: The Witchfinders was watched by 5.66 million viewers, a share of 27.9% of the total TV audience, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The rating makes Doctor Who the fourth highest rated programme for Sunday and the 19th for the week ending 18th November.

Highest for the day was ITV’s celebrity show, I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here which had 9.73 million watching. Strictly Come Dancing - Results Show had 8.86 million viewers, while Dynasties, the David Attenborough series had 6.79 million. The BBC Drama The Little Drummer Girl had 2.29 million.

The week was dominated by I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, which took seven out of the top ten places for the week, each episode getting over 8 million watching. Strictly Come Dancing still took top position for the Saturday show getting 9.98 million viewers.

Coronation Street and Emmerdale pushed The Doctor down to 19th place on the overnight figures.

Final figures should be available next Monday.




George A Cooper 1926 - 2018Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 25 November 2018 - Reported by Marcus
The actor George A Cooper has died at the age of 93.

George A Cooper was known to a whole generation of children for playing the caretaker, Mr Grifiths, in the children's drama Grange Hill, appearing in 103 episodes between 1985 and 1992. He appeared in Doctor Who in 1966, playing Cherub in the First Doctor story The Smugglers.

George Alphonsus Cooper was born in Leeds in 1925. After training as an electrical engineer and architect he was called up for National Service, working for the Royal Artillery in India. During that period he became interested in performing and on his discharge joined Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop in Manchester. To avoid confusion with American actor George Cooper he used his middle initial in his stage name.

His first appearance on television was in 1946. Over the next fifty years, he was a regular on the screen developing a career out of portraying slightly bumbling authoritarian characters. In 1964 he won a recurring role in ITV's Coronation Street playing businessman Willie Piggott who famously tried to bribe Ken Barlow to give his son Brian a pass on his tech exam.

He had regular roles in Z-Cars and Dixon of Dock Green. In 1960 he appeared in the West End play Billy Liar playing the father of the title character, later reprising the role in the 1973 television series. He appeared in comedies such as Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Sykes and Mind Your Language.

In 1985 he took on the role of no-nonsense caretaker Eric Griffiths in the incredibly successful children's drama Grange Hill, playing the role for seven years and earning a place in the hearts of a generation of children.

His last TV appearance was in a 1995 episode of Casualty.

George A Cooper died at a nursing home in Hampshire last Friday. He is survived by his son Adam.




Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns book launchBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse Of The Mirror Clowns (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announce the official release of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel Curse of the Mirror Clowns, which will be celebrated with a book launch on Saturday the 24th November from 11 until 3 o’clock at Heroes, Aliens and Monsters Comics in Tonypandy, featuring the book's author, Chris Lynch alongside Kangazang illustrator and author Terry Cooper.

Chris says of Curse of the Mirror Clowns:
Did you ever think you saw something, just out of the corner of your eye? It happens to me all the time and it freaks me out quite a bit. So, when I got the chance to add my own monster to the Lucy Wilson universe, I knew it had to be a monster that you couldn't always see. I also wanted it to be a clown because, if there's something that freaks me out more than things I can't see then it's something I can see – clowns. Of course, that's not all I added – there are plenty of other surprises in there that I hope people will really enjoy. It's been great fun adding my own strange and spooky elements to Lucy's world and I hope to back very, very soon.

Terry Cooper, often found impersonating Captain Jack Sparrow all over South Wales, is author of the science fiction trilogy Kangazang!, the third installment of which was recently launched at Cardiff Film and ComicCon; he will be signing copies of the book and CD (voiced by Sixth Doctor Colin Baker).

Head of publishing Shaun Russell states that:
There will be a range of books for sale on the day, but we also wanted to provide fans with a chance to ask the authors any questions they may have. Whether they’re about the writing process, the worlds they have created or what their favourite colour is!





Lucy Wilson Mysteries:Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster




Tom Baker's Scratchman to be released in JanuaryBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Books have announced the publication of a very special novelisation for January next year:
Scratchman, by Tom Baker (BBC Books) (Credit: BBC Books)Scratchman
Written by Tom Baker
Published by BBC Books on 24th January 2019


What are you afraid of?

The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at a remote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures – hideous scarecrows, preying on the local population. The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But it doesn’t go to plan – the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchman is coming for them.

With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance, the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claims to be the Devil.

Scratchman wants to know what the Doctor is most afraid of. And the Doctor’s worst nightmares are coming out to play...


A story so epic it was originally intended for the big screen, Scratchman is a gripping, white-knuckle thriller almost forty years in the making.

Tom Baker (BBC Books) (Credit: BBC Books)The novelisation is based on the script for an idea by Tom Baker and Ian Marter to take Doctor Who to the big screen, with them reprising their roles of the Doctor and Harry alongside Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah. Despite their enthusiasm for the project, a lack of funds to produce the project eventually led to it being abandoned.

The script itself was thought lost until a copy was discovered in 2006 at the British Film Institute where it had been donated to by former Doctor Who producer John Nathan Turner before his death in 2002. It has been adapted by James Goss, who has previously novelised fourth Doctor adventures penned by Douglas Adams for BBC Books.

Speaking about the project, Tom said:
I love the improbability of Doctor Who. Reason plays no part at all. As in religion, the overriding thing is faith. It may be improbable, but just believe in it and it’ll all come right.

When I was approached about the book, I thought, ‘Why not?’ I’m always on the lookout for a novelty. I’m very enthusiastic as I get close to darkness.


The novelisation will also be released as an audiobook by BBC Audio on the same day, read by Tom himself.




The Witchfinders - This WeekendBookmark and Share

Friday, 23 November 2018 - Reported by Marcus
A number of new publicity images to promote this week's episode of Doctor Who, The Witchfinders
The Witchfinders

Writer: Joy Wilkinson
Director: Sallie Aprahamian

The Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz arrive in 17th century Lancashire and become embroiled in a witch trial, run by the local landowner.

As fear stalks the land, the arrival of King James I only serves to intensify the witch hunt. But is there something even more dangerous at work? Can the Doctor and friends keep the people of Bilehurst Cragg safe from all the forces that are massing in the land?
 The Witchfinders: Yaz (Mandip Gill), Graham (Bradley Walsh), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) The Witchfinders: King James (Alan Cumming) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) The Witchfinders: Willa Twiston (Tilly Steele) (Credit: BBC Studios (Ben Blackall)) The Witchfinders: The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Yaz (Mandip Gill), Willa Twiston (Tilly Steele) (Credit: BBC Studios (Sophie Mutevelian )) The Witchfinders: Becka (Siobhan Finneran) (Credit: BBC Studios (Sophie Mutevelian )) The Witchfinders: Yaz (Mandip Gill), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Willa Twiston (Tilly Steele) (Credit: BBC Studios (Sophie Mutevelian )) The Witchfinders: The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) (Credit: BBC Studios (Adrian Rogers)) The Witchfinders: Ryan (Tosin Cole) (Credit: BBC Studios (Adrian Rogers)) The Witchfinders: Alfonso (Stavros Demetraki) (Credit: BBC Studios (Adrian Rogers)) The Witchfinders: King James (Alan Cumming), Ryan (Tosin Cole) (Credit: BBC Studios (Adrian Rogers))


Episode 8 Trailer | The Witchfinders | Doctor Who

This episode will debut on BBC One at 6.30pm.

Main Broadcast Details
United KingdomBBC OneSunday 25th November6.30pm BST
United States of AmericaBBC AmericaSunday 25th November8.00pm EDT
CanadaSPACESunday 25th November8.00pm EDT
AustraliaABCMonday 26th November6.00pm AEST

Full listings here




Mags returns with the Seventh Doctor for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Thursday, 22 November 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Jessica Martin / Sylvester McCoy (Credit: Big Finish)Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy is joined by Jessica Martin reprising her role of Mags for a new series of audio adventures from Big Finish.

In this trilogy of tales the punk werewolf circus performer, first seen in 1988’s Doctor Who story The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, joins the Seventh Doctor to embark on a positively gothic series of adventures. They’ll encounter werewolves, vampiric creatures and angry mobs of villagers, ticking every hammer-horror convention with a Doctor Who twist.

The Monsters of Gokroth by Matt Fitton will be released in April 2019. An Alien Werewolf in London by Alan Barnes will be released in May 2019, and The Moons of Vulpana by Emma Reeves will follow in June 2019.

Jessica Martin, actress, singer, impressionist and illustrator, who plays Mags, talked about returning to the role on audio:
It’s wonderful. I can’t quite believe it, I have to retrospectively thank John Nathan-Turner and Steven Wyatt who wrote The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, which spawned so many wonderful characters. It’s great to be back all these years later.

In today’s society we’re always talking about people who are outsiders, people who suffer with the darkness within… it’s something that everyone can relate to. The wonderful thing about these new stories is that they truly expand the character of Mags.
Jessica Martin has not only returned to the character for these audio adventures, but also has illustrated new comic adventures for Mags, in a new story from Titan Comics, Hill of Beans, written by Richard Dinnick.

Script-editor and writer of many of the Doctor Who audio adventures created by Big Finish, Alan Barnes, told us about bringing back Mags as a fully-fledged companion
When we first met Mags the werewolf in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, she was the travelling companion of another space adventurer, the Captain. She was such an engaging character that it seemed unfair that she didn't go off with the Doctor in the TARDIS at the end, which would have been so 'right', dramatically speaking. It would have opened up some really interesting story possibilities, too: how would it work, having someone who might turn into a savage beast as a companion?

So reuniting Mags with the Doctor was on my 'to do' list for years and years, and I was determined to make it happen before I stopped being script editor of the Main Range. And thankfully, the stars aligned!
Director, Samuel Clemens (making his directorial debut in these releases), tells us more about the stories
Each episode is very unique and shines a light on a different horror genre, from werewolves to monsters to vampires! They have all been very different and a real challenge but very exciting to record because the writing is so good.

Jessica stepped straight back into the role she made so memorable thirty years before. She is such great fun and brings a real ease and lightness to the role but underpins it with a darkness that lurks beneath.

Sylvester is always the consummate professional and incredibly fun to be around. He always has lovely little ideas that he slips into the role and his delivery is so unique, playful and beguiling. He always surprises you. Putting the Doctor and Mags back together has been very special and these three adventures explore some universally interesting themes, whilst being fun, dark and ultimately a thrilling ride to go on.
These three Doctor Who Main Range adventures will be available at £14.99 on CD or £12.99 on download on their release in April, May and June 2019, all available from bigfinish.com. All CD purchases unlock a download option via the Big Finish app and the Big Finish website.




William Hartnell Tribute DocumentaryBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Jessica Carney
The Doctor Who Appreciation Society, DWAS has released a half hour documentary showing the installation of a William Hartnell heritage plaque at Ealing Studios last month.

The video features interviews with family and friends of William Hartnell, and also includes the Carney family unveiling the plaque itself. Other videos and interviews from past DWAS events are also available.

The funds for the plaque were raised by DWAS members and other fans. It is still possible to support the fundraising.

Twenty mini-plaques were produced and three of these remain available. The last three have been signed by family, friends and colleagues of Hartnell who attended the unveiling. Each has a DWAS Certificate of Authenticity attached and the Society is now auctioning number 1 of 3 at their eBay site.

Also available to buy rather than bid on, are DWAS postcard sets and a limited reprint of Cosmic Masque issue 1, the original fan fiction magazine from 1977.

The DWAS Plaque fund raises the money needed for the plaque, installation and ceremony. Any surplus funds raised will be donated to a charity chosen by the Carney family.

William Hartnell Plaque Unveiling At Ealing Studios, October 2018