Black Archive #18: Marco PoloBookmark and Share

Saturday, 31 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Black Archive #18: Marco Polo (Credit: Obverse)The latest release from The Black Archive series of books looks at the 1964 Doctor Who story Marco Polo

Marco Polo was broadcast during an era of cultural change, reshaping television’s role as historian, and locating the reader, not the author, at the centre of interpretation. This is crucial given how the fourth serial recruits the viewer as a fellow traveller in Marco’s caravan.

The epic journey is staged through camera-treatments and mobility, adaptive and remedial interventions, public and book history, cultural assumptions and memories. Rather than the solitary authorial figure of Marco, this book celebrates the collaborators, copyists, studio personnel and fans, whose community storytelling is in the philosophical spirit of Doctor Who.

Dene October is editor of Doctor Who and History and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts, London. He is in the possibly unique position of having seen Marco Polo not once, but twice, on broadcast.

October investigates several threads while keeping to the rhythm of the travelogue, exploiting how the exhaustive televisual experience inverts the trope of time travel. His book is itself a wayfaring reflection on how we travel through media and memory in reconstructing this most famous and earliest of missing stories.
Marco Polo is all about writing. It’s what Tegana – the Mongol warlord secretly working against Kublai Khan – complains about, drawing his sword in frustration as Marco sits about writing his journal. What Tegana means is there’s too much talk and not enough sword fights (cue episode seven spoilers!). But his comment might equally be one about the serial itself, which has an unfair reputation for discursive storytelling. Except that’s not how I remember the serial at all … and I’ve been lucky enough to see it, not once but twice.

Writing Marco Polo for the Black Archive was an opportunity to put the record straight. Except that, just like Marco’s original narrative told for a thirteenth century audience, the fourth serial is lost, leaving us with a need to reconstruct it for new audiences. But that’s okay, because what is a black archive unless it is the opportunity to reflect on the empty space before us? In this sense, the Black Archive is, like a television screen, both immersive and reflective, one we sometimes catch sight of ourselves in. This is what I wanted to assert throughout this book, which explores many critical as well as personal themes, such as how camera treatments tell stories and facilitate virtual travel, how stories are told in adaptive and remedial frameworks, and as public history, and how fan-viewers become custodians of popular culture … fans like me, a writer reconstructing, like Marco, his travels from memory.
Black Archive #18: Marco Polo is released on 7th April 2018 and can be ordered from Obverse Books.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence + Free DownloadBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have released details about the history of the first book in their forthcoming spin-off series from Lethbridge-Stewart, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Independent publisher Candy Jar Books is tackling prejudice against differences and promoting diversity, self-confidence and acceptance for young people, in publishing their latest sci-fi adventure series for children.

The series begins with The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. The action-packed adventure story is set in the sleepy Welsh town of Ogmore-by-Sea and features the young, sharp-as-a-tack Lucy Wilson, a London-bred pre-teen with mixed-race parentage, and her perennial side-kick Hobo, a highly intelligent boy with alopecia.

The book is written by author Sue Hampton, who was diagnosed with the condition alopecia universalis in 1981 and has since become an ambassador for the charity Alopecia UK. With Sue’s first book, The Waterhouse Girl, inspired by her own experience of learning to live with the sometimes overwhelming condition, Sue feels that it’s incredibly important that young people who feel “different” are positively represented in mainstream fiction, in ways that don’t portray them as “other”.

She says:
Writing The Waterhouse Girl changed my life, and changed the way I saw my alopecia. I began to feel braver, because my character was dealing with alopecia better than I was. Since then I’ve wanted to write stories where the characters are not defined by their condition, because that’s not what defines me. In Avatars of the Intelligence, Hobo does have alopecia, yes, but he is also loyal, brave and intelligent – all the qualities that Lucy needs in a friend.
Through her work with Alopecia UK, Sue visits schools across the UK offering education and support to those in need, and this experience has taught her how big a difference having friends can make to somebody living with a condition like alopecia.

A representative for Alopecia UK says:
At this time it’s very difficult to say with any certainty just how many children are affected by alopecia, however it’s likely to be thousands rather than hundreds.

The Lucy Wilson series acts as a spin-off from Candy Jar’s existing science fiction range of Lethbridge-Stewart novels starring the character from the 1960s classic era of Doctor Who Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, created by Henry Lincoln and Mervyn Haisman and portrayed by Nicholas Courtney in the television series. New protagonist Lucy Wilson is the granddaughter of the Brigadier, and carries the formidable legacy of the Lethbridge-Stewart name along with her. Sue says:
Lucy is dauntless, loyal and whip-smart. She’s a modern girl with strong values and opinions, which means that she feels the injustices in the world even more strongly than most and always stands up for what’s right.
Avatars of the Intelligence deals with themes that affect many young people, such as feeling like an outsider and being bullied, in a way that Sue hopes will empower and inspire readers. Recent statistics from Childline show that as many as one in six young people experience anxiety-related problems, and in the top five concerns raised in counselling sessions over twelve months were low self esteem, feeling sad, low or lonely and bullying.

Lucy Wilson: Avatars of the Intelligence is a celebration of characters who boldly refuse to become victims of their circumstances. Despite the fact that both Hobo and Lucy are initially viewed as outsiders, they find courage and friendship in each other and, together, take on an unseen evil force tormenting their school – the Great Intelligence.

Themes of self-acceptance and confidence are further reflected in the cover artwork, created by Beano artist Steve Beckett. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, says:
We felt that it was really important that we didn’t have Hobo hidden in any way on the cover – no hats or hoods. This is a character who is totally unashamed, and we felt it wouldn’t be right to present him otherwise. We want this to inspire other children who might feel like they’re different, if they feel lonely or left out, that it’s our differences that make us who we are.
The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence is now available to order.

Firstly, I’m delighted that so many of you enjoyed Avatars of the Intelligence very much.

“This is one of the only books I have been interested in for a while. I used to hate reading but ever since I read this book I have loved reading.” “I don’t think it could be any better.” Most of all I’m happy that you like my characters. People said some positive and perceptive things about Lucy – “I love Lucy’s character because she is strong-willed and determined (although a bit stubborn)” – but on the whole Hobo seems to be the favourite. “Hobo is a unique and original character who teaches us loads about alopecia and people who might not look like other people but are still really interesting and do good things.” “I particularly like Hobo. He is a character that shows how you can face bullies with a smile. Instead of shying away from comments about his alopecia he faces them head-on which makes him a really strong character in the book.”

A lot of you are interested in alopecia and the way I used my own experience of hair loss. “I really like how Sue takes something that happened in her life and turns it into something great.” I never thought of it that way when I was writing it but I’m happy for anyone to see the book in that light. Here, having already written two novels in which alopecia is the story, I wanted to introduce a clever, funny and individual character who just happens to have no hair. I also wanted to show that alopecia has made him stronger, kinder and wiser. As Ambassador for Alopecia UK I’ve met many young people with alopecia and that’s what it seems to do. Like all challenges it teaches people a lot about themselves and being human. “The book demonstrates how outcasts face challenges. Hobo is an extremely interesting character because he doesn’t fit into society’s expectations.”

A few people said the book starts slowly. The beginning of a novel is always the hardest part because there’s a lot to establish, especially in the kind of book that’s driven by character. It takes a while to get to know characters well enough to care, and it’s REALLY important to me that readers do care about mine. The first mysterious, creepy action is on page 13 but there are lots of sci-fi references before that to hint at what’s to come, and the emotional action starts on page one.

Two of you added that it’s a bit confusing at first with various characters named in the first few pages. That’s because, in this book which begins a series, we start with Lucy, but being a Lethbridge-Stewart she’s really the next in line: it’s in her blood. So unusually, I was handed a central character with a family tree, ready-made. I gave Lucy a personality, interests, strengths and weaknesses, but the Lethbridge-Stewart legacy is already established. There are many novels and short story collections published by Candy Jar about her grandfather, who even has a Wikipedia page! For the fans of that legacy, I had to acknowledge her family from the start; they’ll know at once who Conall is, and Nick, and all the family members. The book is meant to appeal to existing Whovians and fans of Lethbridge-Stewart, and some of its biggest fans so far are adult, like the guys who praised my book on a podcast for Doctor Who fans. But it’s also meant to appeal to readers from Y6 up, some of whom will come to it completely fresh, with none of this background. As a reader I’m always happy to wonder and deduce for a few pages before a relationship structure firms up, and by the end of chapter one those characters should all be clear. Using close third person means that I follow Lucy’s thoughts and perspective so people can’t be identified with labels, because she would think of Conall and Dean by name, not as her eldest, gay brother and his husband. I’ve written it so that readers can work all that out pretty quickly.

The colourful cover, which is the work of a Beano artist called Steve Beckett, really does appeal to Y5/6 readers – you should see them drawn to it in primary schools when I visit – and I hear that they enjoy the story, while teenage and adult readers will be more aware of the emotional dynamics and issues of diversity that some of you mentioned. I’ve been contacted by a father and daughter and a father and son who reported that both generations thought it was great. I came across a division into hard’ and ‘soft’ science fiction, and this book is definitely soft in the sense that it’s driven by character and its ‘science’ (in this author’s head, at any rate) is psychology rather than physics. I’d say this generally applies to Doctor Who, too, but some fans might like to challenge me on that.

You may have noticed that there’s plenty of imagery. It’s a playfulness with words and can give energy to a story, be fun or funny, crank up the excitement – sometimes in a horrifying way – and create an atmosphere. Sci-fi has its own vocabulary, of course, and like the action the language can be highly dramatic. It’s my thirty-first book but my first venture into this genre.



The Lucy Wilson Collection (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar has produced a 95-page free ebook The Lucy Wilson Collection. This contains The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho, Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton, an extract of Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton, an extract of Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch, and a non-fiction chapter about the Brigadier written by Andy Frankham-Allen.

The e-book is available to download via our website.





Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story CollectionBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce an exciting new collection of stories featuring Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection comes off the back of the publisher’s mission to find new writing talent in south Wales and beyond.

In August 2017 Candy Jar offered aspiring writers and fans of the Lethbridge-Stewart series the opportunity to pen their own chapter in the Lethbridge-Stewart universe.

The results are in, and Candy Jar has collected the best and brightest writers in this short story anthology. Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, says:
With The Havoc Files coming to an end, and the Brig celebrating his fiftieth anniversary this year, I am very excited to be presenting a new take on this iconic character. We’ve had such high quality stories and we feel the fans will enjoy taking an alternative journey alongside the Haisman characters.

The book features eight exclusive short stories featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life. This is a chance for fans to see the Brigadier like never seen him before!

The eight stories are:
  • Shadows in the Glen by Richard Brewer
  • The Friendship Paradox by Thomas Firth
  • Special Responsibility by Gary Tinnams
  • Soldier in Time by Martin Gregory
  • The Man with the Red Case by Matthew Ball
  • The Brigadier Rides Again by Ross Hastings
  • In Machina Exspiravit by Anthony Robertson
  • Burning Daylight by Paul Chase


The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as Jonathan Macho and Gareth Madgwick, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee.

Lauren Thomas, publishing co-ordinator at Candy Jar Books, says:
It’s been a real eye-opener to witness the abundance of creativity and passion held for the Brigadier by Doctor Who fans. We always knew that the submissions wouldn’t disappoint, but we’ve truly been delighted by the quality of writing.

Range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, says:
As we move into our planned second phase for the Brig, we feel it’s time to explore all aspects of his life across the decades. This new approach will be seen first in Lineage (available to pre-order here) and will be followed by our six anniversary novels (due to be released later this year). As an alternative take on the character The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection fits perfectly within this new mindset.

Candy Jar will announce the top story in this collection later in the spring, and will reveal which author will get to work with Andy Frankham-Allen, Lethbridge-Stewart range editor and author of The Forgotten Son, Beast of Fang Rock and Night of the Intelligence, on a new Lethbridge-Stewart novel.

Andy continues:
It takes something special to get into the mind of the Brigadier and I’m anticipating great things from all of these talented new writers. You never know we may be launching a new Chris Chibnall or Terrance Dicks at the beginning of their career.

£1.50 from each book will be donated the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Shaun, who received chemotherapy treatment at the centre, says:
In 2015 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, just as we were launching the first Lethbridge-Stewart series. As you can imagine, undergoing six months of treatment was physically and emotionally draining. If it wasn’t for the support of the centre I wouldn’t have got through this difficult time. This is my way of giving something back.

As well as many other stories, the book features young Alistair in World War Two, the 1970s Brig in action, and retired Alistair as he discovers the real nightmare of commuting. Customers are advised that this book will be a limited edition release, only available to purchase directly from Candy Jar Books for £8.99 and with limited copies available.

The short story collection is in part a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Brigadier, and comes alongside Candy Jar releasing another limited edition release, Lineage:

The Lethbridge-Stewart name carries with it stories of integrity, honour and courage. But was it always so? From its earliest origins with the Clan Stewart in Scotland, and the Lethbridges in Devon, England, the name has a storied past. Historical figures, history makers, military heroes… Lineage presents seven brand new tales from some of the most popular authors previously published in The HAVOC Files collection.




A Second Target for TommyBookmark and Share

Friday, 23 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
A Second Target for Tommy (Credit: Nigel Parkinson / Obverse Books)
The Charity Book A Second Target for Tommy is now available as an ebook (Kindle and Epub) for £9.99

The book, a sequel to A Target for Tommy, published in 2016, has been created by the writing community in aid of writer Tommy Donbavand, who having overcome throat cancer, now has been diagnosed with a tumour in his lung. As a result, he continues to be unable to do the school visits which generated much of the income he needs to support his family.

The book contains, for the first time ever, the script of a crucial scene from an early draft of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Special, Day of the Doctor, featuring the Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, and kindly provided by outgoing Who showrunner, Steven Moffat.
Full List Of Writers And Stories

Eye Of Orion? – Jay Eales
The Hangover Of Injustice – Andrew Lawston
The Caterpillar Room – Kate Orman
3am Eternal – Paul Castle
Nipping Out For Some Bits – Ian Potter
The Misadventure Of Mark Thorne – Andy Frankham-Allen
Wherever And Whenever – Cody Schell
From Skaro With Love! – Nick Campbell
Seasons Of War – Horde Of Travesties Prologue: The Man In The Tree – Declan May
Why Though? – Ira Lightman
The Runaway Hi-fi – Paul Magrs
Eyebrows And Fish – Matt Bright
The Xanthous Knight – Blair Bidmead
Repeat Prescription – Eddie Robson
Doctor Who: The Special – Steven Moffat
The Watcher – Nick Wallace
Collateral Damage – Matt Barber
The Envelope Please – Jonathan Dennis
The Thief Of Joy – Jon Arnold
Doctor Who And The Exile From Hell – Simon Bucher-Jones
When Iris Met Billy – Stuart Douglas
The Same Old Road – Ian Potter
Walk A Mile In My Shoes – Jay Eales
Fair – Ned Netherwood
Order from Obverse Books




Eccleston talks About Doctor WhoBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Christopher Eccleston (Credit: Getty Images)Christopher Eccleston has been talking to the media about his time on Doctor Who, explaining some of the circumstances of his departure.

The actor has told Radio Times how difficult he found making the series, revealing that there was a breakdown of trust between the show's producers, including Russell T Davies, and himself as early as the first period of filming.
My relationship with my three immediate superiors, the showrunner, the producer, and co-producer, broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered. They lost trust in me and I lost faith trust and belief in them.
Eccleston left the series at the end of the first year, with his departure announced shortly after the first episode aired, but the circumstances of his departure have always been a subject of much speculation. Until now neither the actor or the production team have given their take on the issues involved.

Eccleston admitted some of the problems may have been caused by his taking on a role very different to any he hat attempted before.
Some of my anger about the situation came from my own insecurity. They employed somebody who was not a natural light comedian.

I think that if you're setting up a huge series like that the director has to be impeccable in setting the tone. Billie [Piper], who we know was and is brilliant, was very, very nervous and very, very inexperienced. So, you had that, and then you had me. Very, very experienced, possibly the most experienced on it, but out of my comfort zone.
When Eccleston left the series the BBC put out a statement saying the actor had left after fearing becoming typecast, a statement later retracted with an apology from the Corporation to the actor for not consulting him prior to issuing the statement.

Eccleston himself has never talked about his departure until now, saying he wanted to concentrate on the fact he had played the part rather than on his reasons for leaving.
When I left, I gave my word to [then-showrunner] Russell T Davies that I wouldn’t do anything to damage the show. But they did things to damage me. I didn’t criticise anybody. I didn't issue a statement.
He told the Guardian last week that the BBC had tried to damage his career.
I gave them a hit show and I left with dignity and then they put me on a blacklist. I was carrying my own insecurities as it was something I had never done before and then I was abandoned, vilified in the tabloid press and blacklisted. I was told by my agent at the time: ‘The BBC regime is against you. You’re going to have to get out of the country and wait for regime change. So I went away to America and I kept on working because that’s what my parents instilled in me. My dad always said to me: ‘I don’t care what you do – sweeping the floor or whatever you’re doing – just do the best job you can.’ I know it’s cliched and northern and all that bollocks, but it applies
Eccleston said that his relationship with Russell T Davies, who he previously worked with on the 2003 series The Second Coming, had been destroyed by the experiences on Doctor Who saying that he “never will have” a working relationship with the screenwriter again.

Eccleston was speaking ahead of the release of his new series, the BBC One drama Come Home.




The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Out Today, the Twelfth Doctor's final Year Three adventure in Doctor Who The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13

D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13

Writer: Richard Dinnick
Artist: Pasquale Qualano
Cover A: ​Blair Shedd ​Cover B: ​Photo - Will Brooks ​Cover C: Simon Myers

The conclusion of Year Three!

The weeping angels descend on the Doctor, but his companions, old and new, have a few tricks up their sleeves to help him out!
D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Cover A (Credit: Titan )D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Cover B (Credit: Titan )D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Cover C (Credit: Titan )D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Page 1 (Credit: Titan )D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Page 2 (Credit: Titan )D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Page 3 (Credit: Titan )D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Page 4 (Credit: Titan )D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Page 5 (Credit: Titan )





Doctor Who: Series Three SteelbookBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Worldwide have announced that Series Three of the revived series of Doctor Who will be the latest to receive the blu-ray Steelbook treatment, with the release due on 7th May. The three-disc set features HD-upscaled episodes of the series plus the extras originally released with the 2007 DVD collection.

Doctor Who - Series 3 Steelbook - Back Cover (blu-ray) (Credit: BBC Worldwide) Doctor Who - Series 3 Steelbook - Cover (blu-ray) (Credit: BBC Worldwide) Doctor Who - Series 3 Steelbook - Front Cover (blu-ray) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)




Ken Dodd 1927-2018Bookmark and Share

Monday, 12 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Ken Dodd / Sylvester McCoy (Credit: BBC )The comedian, singer and actor Ken Dodd has died at the age of 90.

Ken Dodd is best known for his sixty-year-long career as a music hall style entertainer but made a few forays into drama, one memorable appearance playing the Tollmaster in the 1987 Seventh Doctor story Delta and the Bannermen.

Kenneth Arthur Dodd was born on 8 November 1927 in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash, the son of a coal merchant. His first job was as a door to door salesman, traipsing around the suburbs of Liverpool selling pots and pans to housewives.

The stage beckoned and after a long stint as an amateur, he turned professional in 1954, appearing in Nottingham as Professor Yaffle Chucklebutty, Operatic Tenor and Sausage Knotter. Within four years he was topping the bill in the home of variety, Blackpool.

After a decade of touring the northern clubs, he ventured south making his London debut at the London Palladium in 1965, when he topped the bill in an extraordinarily successful 42-week run.

His first successful single came in 1960, Love Is Like A Violin. In all, he had 19 UK Top 40 hits including the song Tears, which topped the UK charts for five weeks in 1965 and remains one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all time. For the next two decades, he was a regular on Television and Radio as well as continuing with a punishing schedule of stage appearances.

In 1989 came the court case which may have ended his career. He was accused by the Inland Revenue of tax evasion and committed for trial at Liverpool Crown Court. Details of his eccentricity emerged with tales of £336,000 hidden around his house. It emerged that he had 20 bank accounts in Jersey and the Isle of Man, and made regular 'cash and carry' flights to deposit money in them which was not declared to the Inland Revenue.

He was acquitted by the Jury swayed by the arguments of his defense counsel George Carman QC, who remarked: Some accountants are comedians but comedians are never accountants. He was however faced with a reported £2m bill for legal fees and tax he had previously promised to pay.

From that point, the Inland Revenue became a feature of his act as did his reputation for never being able to leave the stage. Some of you are optimists, he'd tell his audience at the start of a show, you've booked your taxis for half-past 12.

He was still touring well into his eighties and in 2016 was awarded a knighthood by the Queen for services to entertainment.

Ken Dodd married his partner of 40 years, Anne Jones, two days before he died in the same house in which he was born.




New WhoTalk CommenteriesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
WhoTalk - Survival (Credit: Fantom Publishing)The Monster Era -Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines, Toby Hadoke (Credit: Fantom Publishing) Fantom Publishing is releasing two new Commentaries in their WhoTalk series.

The series beings cast a crew together to provide an alternative commentary to the officially released Doctor Who stories.

The first two, of what is promised to be a bumper year of releases, come from either end of the original series.

Producer Paul W T Ballard explains
There were a few ‘orphan’ missing episodes without commentaries that we made it our mission to cover with this range. So we bring together a collection from the Patrick Troughton golden ‘Monster Era‘ of the show, which covers a number of key stories, including The Faceless Ones and The Evil of the Daleks.

It’s with a heavy heart that we also include our last commentary recording with our dear friend Deborah Watling, who is joined by missing episode hunter Phil Morris to watch the concluding installment of The Web of Fear. There is also a bonus interview where she recalls her favourite, and sadly still missing, story Fury from the Deep.

All in all, it’s quite a packed release, and the special edition version contains even more material, including Frazer Hines’s commentary for The Abominable Snowmen, and George Layton’s first viewing of The Space Pirates!
The second release this month is the serial which ended the show’s twenty-six year run on television.
Survival is one of my favourite serials, and we have had a few reunions of the cast at our conventions over the years. So it was a no-brainer to take advantage of the exciting options available and get the gang together to watch Survival for Who Talk.
There are two complete commentaries for the story included on the release.
We were thrilled to be joined by author Rona Munro, who hasn’t been interviewed a lot about the series. We were delighted to introduce to Sophie Aldred for the first time, more than a quarter of a century after the show was actually made!
These CDs are very limited, and exclusively available via whotalk.co.uk

Both sets are now available, you can purchase directly direct from Who Talk at a discounted price of £10.99 each (RRP £12.99) or via download priced £9.99. The special edition bundle will be available exclusively via the website priced £39.99.

Please note: These commentaries contain no BBC copyrighted elements and do not feature any audio from the episodes themselves.




Doctor Who Audio Recordings ArchivedBookmark and Share

Friday, 9 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Mark Ayres and Graham Strong (Credit: Stephen Cranford)Graham Strong, the man responsible for the survival of many high-quality audio recordings, from missing Doctor Who episodes, has donated his collection to Mark Ayres of the Doctor Who Restoration Team, in order to be properly archived.

Strong started recording the audio from the series when he was just 14, using a domestic reel to reel, quarter-inch, tape recorder, the only way of preserving audio recordings at the time. The first recordings were made via a basic crystal microphone, hanging over the television speaker with a plant pot placed on the top of the T.V. to keep the microphone in place.

Following The Daleks' Master Plan, episode 7, Strong, a keen electronics student, managed to wire the audio input into the Tape recorder, directly to the audio output of the Television set. A highly dangerous procedure that breaks every rule of electrical safety but one that resulted in recordings that were crystal clear.

In fact, the surviving recordings are so clear that they often exceed the quality available on the surviving film prints of the episodes, and as a result, a number of DVD's of early episodes contain audio taken from Strong's recordings rather than the film print.

Strong was one of a small number of early fans who recorded audio from the now missing stories. However, he is believed to be the only one to record directly from the Television, resulting in the superior quality of his recordings.

Doctor Who Recordings (Credit: Stephen Cranford)Doctor Who Recordings (Credit: Stephen Cranford)Doctor Who Recordings (Credit: Stephen Cranford)Doctor Who Recordings (Credit: Stephen Cranford)
With Thanks to Stephen Cranford




Dorka Nieradzik 1949 - 2018Bookmark and Share

Friday, 9 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Makeup Designer Dorka Nieradzik has died at the age of 68.

Dorka Nieradzik worked on thirty episodes of Doctor Who, covering nine stories between 1980 and 1988.

Her first story was as Makeup Artist on the Fourth Doctor story The Leisure Hive. One of her first tasks was to age the leading actor, Tom Baker, using a mixture of makeup, prosthetics, and hairpieces. She then covered the final Fourth story, Logopolis, designing the Watcher, the ghostly apparition that helped the Doctor regenerate.

For the Fifth Doctor, she worked on the stories Four To Doomsday and Time-Flight, turning renowned actor Stratford Johns into a large frog-like creature as well as disguising Anthony Ainley's Master as the alien Kalid.

She designed the Makeup for three Sixth Doctor stories, Vengeance on Varos, Revelation of the Daleks and Mindwarp, presiding over the demise of the companion Peri, before working on two Seventh Doctor stories, The Happiness Patrol and Silver Nemesis.

Dorka Nieradzik was born on March 5, 1949 in Tarnowskie Góry, Silesia, Poland as Dorka Dorota Malgorzata Nieradzik, moving to Scotland, the home of her mother, at an early age. She began her career in the theatre working as a wardrobe assistant before winning a place as a BBC Makeup training course.

At the BBC she worked on most genres of programme, with credits as diverse as Last of the Summer Wine and Top of the Pops, EastEnders and Only Fools and Horses...., Yes Minister and the Dennis Potter drama's Cold Lazarus and Karaoke.

She later worked on the feature films Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Duplicity, The Boys Are Back and Shoot 'Em Up as the personal stylist for the actor Clive Owen.

She won a Bafta award in 1995 for Makeup on Cold Comfort Farm and in 2000 was honoured her with a special BAFTA award for her contribution to the industry. In 2004 she was made MBE for services to drama.

Dorka Nieradzik died on 12 February 2018. She is survived by her father, her sister Anushia, and brother, David,




Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 523Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 8 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine; Issue 523 (Credit: Panini)Doctor Who Magazine Issue 523 has an exclusive interview with new Doctor Who Executive Producer Matt Strevens

Strevens, who also produced the 2013 docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, is working alongside new Showrunner Chris Chibnall to bring the 2018 series of Doctor Who to our screens.
You get to ask for a new TARDIS and cast a new Doctor – the childhood me could never have imagined it.
Also in this issue...
  • CHRIS CHIBNALL
  • Doctor Who’s showrunner discusses the new logo and remembers his years as a teenage fan.
  • MICHELLE GOMEZ
  • Michelle reflects on her time playing Missy in this exclusive interview.
  • OUT OF THE TARDIS
  • Dan ‘Strax’ Starkey answers randomly selected questions from the TARDIS tin.
  • DAVID FISHER
  • A tribute to the late writer, whose stories include The Stones of Blood, The Leisure Hive and the original version of City of Death.
  • DOCTOR WHO LOGOS
  • New insights and previously unseen images from the designers who created one of Doctor Who’s best-known logos.
  • JACOB DUDMAN
  • An interview with the actor and YouTube star, acclaimed for his uncanny Doctor Who impressions.
  • DALEKS IN MILWAUKEE
  • The inside story of a unique record-breaking attempt.
  • RICHARD DeDOMENICI
  • How and why did this performance artist recreate the 1973 story Frontier in Space in its original location?
  • COSPLAY
  • Christel Dee’s guide to making your own Time Lord collar.
  • THE FACT OF FICTION
  • Exploring the 2011 story The Doctor’s Wife.
  • THE PHANTOM PIPER
  • The final instalment of this comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill, written by Scott Gray and illustrated by Martin Geraghty.
PLUS...

The Blogs of Doom, season survey results, previews, book and audio reviews, news, prize-winning competitions and much more!

Doctor Who Magazine issue 523 is on sale now, price £5.99.
Doctor Who Magazine; Issue 523 (Credit: Panini)Doctor Who Magazine; Issue 523 (Credit: Panini)Doctor Who Magazine; Issue 523 (Credit: Panini)Doctor Who Magazine; Issue 523 (Credit: Panini)


Also out this week

The Essential Doctor Who: Science and Technology (Credit: Panini)THE ESSENTIAL DOCTOR WHO: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Panini’s lavish series of Doctor Who bookazines continues with Science and Technology.

Ever since the TARDIS was first revealed in 1963, Doctor Who has presented a bewildering array of alien technology and gadgetry. Human scientific knowledge can do nothing to explain the mysteries of the astonishing devices and phenomena that the Doctor takes for granted.

This the first publication devoted to the incredible ideas that the series has made its own. Highlights include a comprehensive guide to the sonic screwdriver, the secrets of the Time Lords and the weaponry of the Doctor’s most dangerous enemies.

Editor Marcus Hearn says
There have been a number of books and other studies looking at how conventional physics relates to Doctor Who. With this bookazine we’ve tried to do something different – this issue celebrates six decades of pseudo-science. It’s packed full of the numerous gadgets, weapons, vehicles and other devices that have been specially created for the series. We’ve never done anything quite like it!
The Essential Doctor Who: Science and Technology is on sale now, price £9.99.




Season 12 - Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Season 12 (Credit: BBC Worldwide)BBC Worldwide has announced that Tom Baker's first season as the Doctor will be released on Blu-Ray as Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12, on 11th June 2018 in the UK and on June 26, 2018 in the US..

For fans of Doctor Who and collectors of Classic Who seasons, the Blu-Ray has limited edition packaging with artwork by Lee Binding and has been restored and up-scaled to HD by Peter Crocker and Mark Ayres. The new release also has a wealth of new bonus content.

Russell Minton, Executive Producer at BBC Worldwide says
We are doing our very best at BBC Worldwide to restore and bring as many Classic Who titles out on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray, and this starts with being able to confirm one of my favourites, Tom Baker’s first season. We will also endeavour to include additional archive material and exciting newly-shot features where possible.
Season 12, Tom Baker’s first as the Doctor, features five stories over 20 episodes, including The Ark in Space and Genesis of the Daleks. The Doctor is accompanied in this season by Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) and was first broadcast between December 1974 and May 1975.

Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12 The new Blu-Ray release includes existing bonus material from the original DVDs as well as the brand new features below:
  • TOM BAKER IN CONVERSATION
  • A candid new one-hour interview with the Fourth Doctor.
  • BEHIND THE SOFA
  • Classic clips from Season 12, viewed by Tom Baker, Philip Hinchcliffe, Louise Jameson, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and Sadie Miller
  • NEW MAKING-OF DOCUMENTARIES
  • For The Sontaran Experiment and Revenge Of The Cybermen
  • IMMERSIVE 5.1 SURROUND SOUND MIXES
  • For The Ark In Space and Genesis Of The Daleks
  • OPTIONAL BRAND NEW UPDATED SPECIAL EFFECTS
  • For Revenge Of The Cybermen
  • GENESIS OF THE DALEKS - OMNIBUS MOVIE VERSION
  • Unseen since broadcast in 1975
  • THE TOM BAKER YEARS
  • The 1991 VHS release, on disc for the first time
  • PRODUCTION ARCHIVE MATERIAL
  • PDF files from the BBC Archives
Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12 will be released on Blu-Ray from Monday 11th June 2018.

Pre-order on Amazon.co.uk - Pre-order on Amazon.com




Lethbridge-Stewart: The Man From YesterdayBookmark and Share

Monday, 5 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
After fourteen novels, Candy Jar Books have announces the conclusion to their Lethbridge-Stewart ongoing storyline that began with The Forgotten Son:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Man From Yesterday (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Man From Yesterday
Written by Nick Walters
Cover by Paul Cooke


Gordon's alive?

The English Channel, May 1945. Leading his squadron of Hawker Typhoons back to base from a traumatic mission in the Baltic, Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart goes missing – one of the unsolved mysteries of the Second World War.

Cromer, 1970. Doctor Anne Travers and Lieutenant Bill Bishop are investigating a mysterious phenomenon after hearing reports of ‘pink lightning’ seen over the Norfolk coast, while strange elfin creatures are glimpsed by the locals. And in the Red Fort, his new base of operations deep below Norwich, General James Gore is making his plans.

Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart receives a phone call that will change his life. Could it be, after all this time, that his father has come back from yesterday?

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, said:
We decided some time ago to wrap up the novels as a continuing storyline, although it’s not the end of the Lethbridge-Stewart range. They will merely continue in a different vein. We have one more standalone novel, The New Unusual, set just before The Man from Yesterday coming in late spring, and then in the summer we begin to release our special anniversary series of books (six new novels that dip into various points within Lethbridge-Stewart’s timeline).

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
It’s been great fun developing and guiding the ongoing story, with plots and themes continuing from The Forgotten Son through to The Man from Yesterday, but Shaun and I decided it’s time for something a little different. The Man from Yesterday is the perfect finale, taking the series full circle, wrapping up themes set up with that first novel, and bringing the whole thing into sharp focus with Lethbridge-Stewart’s family at the centre. Just as it began! And who better than Nick Walters, who was there at the beginning of the series, to wrap it all up for us? What’s also great about Nick’s return, is that he is the only author to pen a second novel in the series (other than me). Up to now each book has been written by a different author, which is, I feel, something we can all be proud of.

The Man from Yesterday sees the return of Lethbridge-Stewart’s missing father, Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Nick observed:
After Mutually Assured Domination, which was a knockabout, fun romp, it was great to write something with more depth. We’d been kicking about the idea of the Brigadier’s father returning for some time, but hadn’t found a suitable plot. The Man From Yesterday started life in early 2016 as something quite different, a tale of alien map-makers called The Cartographers of Oberos (after a potential sequel to The Turing Test, also bringing Gordon back, just didn’t click for us). This initial version had too much focus on the aliens, and once this was scaled back, the story really began to take shape. Especially when the title came to me out of the blue one afternoon. The idea of setting it (mostly) within the county of Norfolk was quite deliberate – firstly, there is, obviously, the Cromer connection, and, secondly, I thought it rather fun to have a story set in one small geographic location, for a change. It doesn’t mean the story is small – not by any means – it’s big in terms of themes and ideas, and of course that alien element still remains.

Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was created by Andy Frankham-Allen for The Forgotten Son in 2014, and has appeared in a couple of short stories since, but this is his first full-novel role. Talking about developing him further, Nick commented:
I was given free rein with Gordon and decided to imbue him with the core Lethbridge-Stewart values of integrity, bravery, duty, responsibility etc, but also introduce a slightly odd side to him (because of what’s happened to him). In appearance I struggled to visualise him until I put him in a suit and hey presto, Sean Connery in The Rock! I also gave him some action scenes to demonstrate that he’s still a badass despite his advanced years. He’s a man out of time, and there’s an element of that about him too, especially in one scene where he wanders the streets of Norwich. And despite the emotional heft of the story, I found him a fun character to write, and some of his scenes with his son are hilarious.

The book features a forward by Paul Leonard, author of the ever-popular Doctor Who novel, The Turing Test, among many others. Of Nick he said:
He’s achieved a writing career through sheer determination and hard work, keeping going through a third of a lifetime, learning as he went, earning very little, working till the small hours to get the stories finished on time. Perhaps as a result of his other [writing] work, he brings a clarity of style and depth of characterisation still too rare in genre fiction to his Who-related material, taking even occasional followers like myself into the world of the Doctor and making it a reality.

The cover is provided by Paul Cooke, who previously provided the artwork for the free short story, Eve of the Fomorians:
I've been a fan of the Lethbridge-Stewart books from the start. In fact I loved the first one that much I drew a fan art cover in the style of the old Target books, and cheekily asked Andy if there was any chance of doing one. Flash forward to September 2016, I had the opportunity to do a cover illo for a free digital story they sent out to subscribers. I had hoped to be able to contribute another, but when you have artists of the calibre of Adrian Salmon, Richard Young and Colin Howard working on them, I'd sort of given up hope. Then one day out of the blue, only weeks ago really, Andy asked me if I fancied doing one!

(The inspiration) was to be an image based on, and mirroring, the layout of the first book. One of the nice things I had to do was come up with a portrait of the Brig's dad, and a new race of aliens (who doesn't want to draw aliens?). Once Andy told me what he wanted from the cover, I set about doing some design sketches of the dad and the alien for both Andy and Nick Walters to approve – it's easier to get it wrong and change it at this stage than spending hours painting and then have to change it! Once the sketches had been approved, I then went to sketches of the cover, to get the placings correct. At this stage, I realised one of the suggestions to the cover didn't work within the layout (Cromer), so Andy suggested a replacement (the Hawker Typhoon plane) which was perfect. A few little revisions, and it was on to the painting. I work mostly digitally now, in a program called Manga Studio, so it was onto the computer and putting the time in to do the best job I could.


This edition of The Man from Yesterday is limited to 400 copies and is due out early March. All pre-orders of series five will receive a free digital short story called The Comrades by Brian Gallagher by the summer. It is available to pre-order from Candy Jar individually, part of the discounted UK/International bundle, or as part of the yearly subscription offer.

NB. the special anniversary series is covered by the annual subscription.