The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 30 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972It’s taken more than 47 years but Doctor Who fans finally have an annual for 1972 – with stars from the show among the contributors.

Manchester-based World Distributors began publishing the official Doctor Who annuals in autumn 1965, continuing until 1985, but elected not to bring one out in 1971. This left countless fans puzzled, disappointed – and with a niggling gap in their collections and on their bookshelves.

However, Mark Worgan – a long-time fan of the series and the annuals – was determined to do something about it and this star-studded, fan-produced, non-profit- making homage is the result.

He has published The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972, which transports readers TARDIS-like back to the very early 1970s when Jon Pertwee had just finished his second series in the title role and the show was mostly Earth-bound, with the Doctor assisting the military organisation UNIT as its scientific adviser.

A whole host of star names from the show signed up for the project, including Katy Manning, who played companion Jo Grant, John Levene (Sgt Benton) and Richard Franklin (Capt Yates) – the surviving members of what became affectionately known as “the UNIT family”.

They and the large number of Doctor Who fan writers and artists have been joined by visual effects wizard, model unit supervisor and author Mike Tucker plus renowned artist Alister Pearson and Wayne Howarth – the son of Walter Howarth, who was the main illustrator on some of the original annuals.

And this is a truly bumper edition. The official annual for 1971 offered 96 pages, while the 1973 annual had 80 pages, but this one comes in at a whopping 184 pages!

The project was launched in September 2017, with people working on it in their spare time for free, and the hardback annual is packed with stories, puzzles, features and emulating and evoking the style, tone and quirkiness of the 1970s annuals, which were allowed a freer rein as regards their relationship to the programme than those later in the run.

Mark said:
It’s been hard work for everybody but I’m beyond delighted to be bringing this out, especially as 2019 is the centenary year of Jon Pertwee’s birth. The annual means a great deal to me. I was particularly thrilled to get all the surviving UNIT family on board for the annual, and I’ve been knocked out by the enthusiasm and talent of the contributors.

In 1971, when the official annual would have been published, the Doctor had been forced into exile on Earth by his people, the Time Lords, but the series’ production team still managed to take the show away from the confines of this planet and I was keen to do the same in the annual. The challenge was laid down and the contributors rose to it in style, so we’ve got a great balance of adventures in space and time.

The official 1972 annual may well have been lost in the time vortex – like the Doctor himself has been known to – but we hope fans agree that our version makes up for it and is worth the long wait.

Well, what’s 47 years to a Time Lord anyway . . . ?
So, that’s 1972 taken care of. But what of the years 1987 to 1989 for which – once again – no official annuals were forthcoming despite the show still being made, before it was cancelled until its one-off return in 1996, which was its last outing of the classic era?

There’s been a terrific amount of interest in this project, including a great many calls to complete the run of annuals for the classic era, so I’m pleased to say that I’m now going to be turning my attention to an unofficial annual for 1987. After that, who knows?!
Contributors and proofreaders, as well as an administrator for the Facebook page, are now being sought for The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1987. Please contact Mark via doctorwhoannual@aol.co.uk if you're interested in taking part.

The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972 is published by Terraqueous Distributors and available from Lulu at the print-on-demand price of £39.20 plus shipping costs (NB: VAT is not payable on books).

None of the money paid by purchasers goes to the publisher or to any of the contributors. Visit the website to order the annual.




Doctor Who Nominated for Must-See MomentBookmark and Share

Friday, 29 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who has been nominated for a BAFTA award as the Must See moment on television in 2018.

The episode Rosa has been nominated for its portrayal of the moment in history when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The episode won plaudits when first shown last year.

The episode is competing against The Bodyguard, where Julia Montague was assassinated, Coronation Street and Gail’s monologue on the suicide of Aidan Connor, Killing Eve where Eve stabs Villanelle and the finale of Peter Kay’s Car Share.

The award will be presented at the Virgin Media BAFTAs on 1st May. It’s the only award voted for by the public, celebrating the massive television moments that got the whole country talking.

For more details and to vote view the Virgin Media website
Rosa Parks, the Doctor and her companions make sure historical moments remain

After paying her bus fare, the driver stops Rosa walking through the bus towards the ‘coloured’ section, telling her to use the rear door. As she’s leaving, Rosa momentarily sits in a ‘white’ seat to pick her purse. Once she’s disembarked, the bus pulls away before she’s able to re-enter.
Virgin Media's Must-See Moment Nominee: Doctor Who




Lethbridge-Stewart: The Brigadier and Lucy Wilson unitedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 March 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the fifth book in The Laughing Gnome series, which sees the worlds of Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries collide:

The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets
Written by Tim Gambrell
Cover by Steve Beckett

Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is still lost in time, cast through his own time stream by the mysterious Gnome.

Answers are presented to him when he meets the architect of his travels, and is told he has one adventure ahead of him. A chance to make sure his legacy is secure. He will be sent to 2018, and a meeting with his granddaughter, the protector of Ogmore-by-Sea, Lucy Wilson.

In 1937, young Ali Lethbridge-Stewart and his brother James find themselves face to face with smugglers, while in 2018 Lucy and Hobo are preparing for a trip to Cornwall.

What connects 1937 and 2018? The Brigadier and Lucy Wilson are about to find out, when they are cast back in time and join the Bledoe Cadets in solving the mystery at Redgate Smithy. The price will be high for at least one of the Cadets. But for the Brigadier and Lucy, it is a chance to understand what truly binds them together, what it is to be a Lethbridge-Stewart!

Following on from The Laughing Gnome: Rise of the Dominator, books five and six sees the Brigadier team-up with his granddaughter, Lucy Wilson, in an adventure through time! The two-book special, Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets and The Brigadier & The Bledoe Cadets, finally solves a mystery that has been two years in the making, since 2017 and the novels Night of the Intelligence and Avatars of the Intelligence (the very first Lucy Wilson Mystery - how did Lucy and Hobo end up in 1937 to have a picture taken with young Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and his brother James?

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen set the scene:
Ever since The Lucy Wilson Mysteries was devised, Shaun (Russell) and I had in a mind an adventure that would see Lucy team up with the Bledoe Cadets. We knew there was much fun to be had in having a mixed-race teenage girl interacting with children from 1937. We sowed the seeds in the very first novel in The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range by having her see a photograph of herself and her grandfather as a child, this was built upon in my own novel, Night of the Intelligence, in which it is revealed that James has memories of Lucy and Hobo. So, it’s been a lot of fun exploring those plot points and finally revealing the truth behind them.

The author for that exciting story is first-time novelist Tim Gambrell, who originally won a competition to have a character named after him, and later wrote a short story for The HAVOC Files 3: that story, The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen, led him to being considered for Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets:
After my short story was published, I pitched another story idea which Andy asked me to develop into a novel proposal. I very much felt, from that point on, that Andy was keeping me on his reserve bench, waiting for the right position to ‘play’ me in. The creative process has been pretty fluid ever since the first writers’ meeting in Cardiff, with a strong sense of collaboration and mutual support between Andy and all of the writers. That’s certainly been appreciated by me, with this being my first published novel. Each of our slots came with a character to focus on, but otherwise we were pretty free to tell the sort of story we wanted to tell. However, my slot came with a shopping list. I was given the title, Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets, so I knew from the start it would be a cross-franchise book. Some of the book needed to take place in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of Lethbridge-Stewart. Added to that, the story would have to feature time travel so that Lucy, Hobo and the Bledoe Cadets could meet. And it couldn’t contradict anything already established regarding the Bledoe Cadets and alien encounters. Finally, it had to be set before the events of 1938 in The Forgotten Son, so that Sir Alistair could spend time with his brother James. That might sound like a whole lot of limitations, but I found it really liberating. It focuses the mind, being given restrictions like that.

Andy continued:
From the moment I first read that short story, I knew Tim would get it right. He has a great handle on the Bledoe Cadets, who I created for my novel, The Forgotten Son, and I’m rather protective of them. But Tim ‘got’ them. Of course, the only risk was trusting a first-time novelist with this story. I’m happy to say, it’s a risk that paid off!

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell said:
Once the story was decided, Andy and I bounced back and forth the idea of having the story told from both the Brigadier’s point of view, and Lucy’s. Telling the adventure for the more mature readers in the Lethbridge-Stewart range, and then retelling it for a younger reader as part of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. We had hoped to release both books simultaneously, but the logistics didn’t make that feasible, especially as, for Tim, it would essentially mean writing two novels at the same time! So, it was decided that Tim would write the Lethbridge-Stewart version first, and then we would sit down to discuss how to approach The Lucy Wilson Mysteries version. Lucy’s own perspective brings with it some unique things, not least a different opening before the Brigadier turns up. Although it’s essentially the same story, both books can be read independently, however reading both version will provide a more fuller take on the story.

The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets will be released in late April, with The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Brigadier & The Bledoe Cadets due out in the summer. Both books are now available for pre-order from the Candy Jar website.

The Laughing Gnome series will conclude in May with book six, On His Majesty’s National Service, by David A McIntee.



Candy Jar Books are also involved in an inspiring book event at The Comic Guru (which has recently relocated to St David's Arcade, Cardiff). The comic shop is celebrating the role of women in film, TV and comics on Saturday 30th March between 11:00am and 4:30pm.

STRONG FEMALE VOICES AT THE COMIC GURU: MEET THE AUTHORS!

As we approach the end of this turbulent decade strong female characters have begun to take centre stage across all film, comics and TV drama, most especially sci-fi. Both DC and Marvel have had enormous successes with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel respectively.

One such organisation to embrace this change is the Comic Guru, now located in the Queen Street arcade. And to celebrate this, the Comic Guru is partnering with another staple of Cardiff’s sci-fi scene, award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books.

To coincide with the recent release of Captain Marvel, the first woman-led instalment in Marvel’s cinematic universe, the Comic Guru is hosting its first collaborative event with Candy Jar, an author meet and greet showcasing just a few of Candy Jar’s strong female authors. Fans will get a chance to meet Alyson Leeds, an author from the Doctor Who spin-off Lethbridge-Stewart series, as well as children’s sci-fi authors Cherry Cobb and Michelle Briscombe.

Owner of the Comic Guru, Kristian Barry, says: “Both the DC and Marvel comic and film franchises have been at the catalyst of change. They have always embraced diversity and championed equal rights. Captain Marvel shows that women can be superheroes too. At the Comic Guru we want to celebrate this, and with Mother’s Day coming up we thought it was an ideal opportunity.”

Candy Jar’s range of titles spans everything from children’s fiction to war memoirs. It is perhaps best known, however, for its Lethbridge-Stewart series, a fully licensed collection of novels about the adventures of the classic Doctor Who character Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. As one of the only non-BBC official Doctor Who products out there, the series has attracted an international readership, and it is currently in its sixth series.

Alyson Leeds, whose debut novel entitled Fear of the Web is based on old Doctor Who story, The Web of Fear, states: “The one thing I always disliked about The Web of Fear was how male dominated the storyline was, and being a part of the Lethbridge-Stewart series has given me a chance to make sure the females are given their platform to speak.”

Michelle Briscombe’s novel, The House on March Lane, contains two brave female protagonists, one from the modern day and the other from the Victorian era. Both characters are free thinkers and despite being separated by one hundred years they become unlikely friends.

Cherry Cobb, author of Will’s War, a book about a boy who time travels back to World War Two London, focuses mainly on male characters. Cherry says: ”My dad was eleven when he was evacuated from Plymouth. He often used to tell me stories about how they lived and I think this is why it felt more natural to me to write about the experience of a boy. Although Will’s War has a lot of male characters, I did not aim it at boys, but as something to be enjoyed by everyone.”

Shaun Russell continues: “We’re proud of the stand sci-fi has been taking recently. We’ve tried to make our statement with our authors, as well as our Lethbridge-Stewart spinoff, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. Sci-fi is for everyone, boys and girls, and this event has something for the whole family. Not to mention, as it takes place the day before Mother’s Day, it might be just be the perfect opportunity to pick up a last minute gift.”

Publishing Co-ordinator, Keren Williams, elaborates: “Alongside author meet and greets, there will be a chance to get your hands on some free books, and if you are interested in becoming an author yourself, Candy Jar’s team will be available to chat throughout the day.”

And just for balance, Terry Cooper, author of the sci-fi comedy Kangazang! Small Cosmos, and director of the Welsh independent film, Offworld, will also be signing at the Comic Guru. He says: “I have two daughters myself and do recognise the importance of strong role models for girls. Despite my book being a laddish adventure story, it is the female character that ultimately saves the day. Equally in Offworld it is the female spaceship Captain that takes centre stage in my story.”

Kristian Barry continues: “I’m really looking forward to welcoming this group of talented authors into my shop, it is sure to be a stupendous start to many more Comic Guru events.”




A Medley of MastersBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Ravenous 4 (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish Audio Productions have announced the finale of the latest series of Eighth Doctor adventures, and with it comes the ultimate battle. The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) and his companions face off against several iterations of the Master.

Michelle Gomez, Derek Jacobi, Geoffrey Beevers and Eric Roberts all return to the role of the Master/Missy for the finale of the collected Eighth Doctor range, Ravenous, being released in October 2019.

Mark Bonnar,  Paul McGann, Hattie Morahan (Credit: Big Finish)Paul McGann and Eric Roberts will be facing off against each other for the first time since the Doctor Who television movie was released in 1996 – 23 years ago. Nicola Walker and Derek Jacobi are also being reunited for Ravenous 4 having appeared together as daughter and father in the popular BBC One costume drama, Last Tango in Halifax.

The Eighth Doctor team – Paul McGann (the Doctor), Nicola Walker (Liv Chenka) and Hattie Morahan (Helen Sinclair) – is joined by Mark Bonnar playing the deranged murderous Time Lord, the Eleven, who retains the personalities of his previous regenerations. But against more than one Master, the Doctor will need all the help he can get.

Three stories will see Ravenous come to an epic conclusion.

The past, the present, and the future conspire against the Doctor as he fights to defeat the only creature ever to strike fear into the hearts of a Time Lord.

  • 4.1 Whisper by Matt Fitton
  • 4.2 Planet of Dust by Matt Fitton
  • 4.3 and 4.4 Day of the Master by John Dorney
The writer of the finale, John Dorney, tells us more
Day of the Master was possibly the most exciting and yet terrifying brief I’ve ever had. Finishing off the Ravenous arc was a big enough responsibility on its own... but throw in wanting to give great material to Sir Derek Jacobi... and Michelle Gomez... and that’s before we even get to the heart-stoppingly fantastic prospect of bringing Eric Roberts’ Master back face to face with the Doctor again for the first time in over twenty years.

Well, you can see why it might be intimidating! But honestly, it was one of the best times I’ve ever had writing a Doctor Who story. I really hope the audience enjoy it as much as I did!
Ravenous 4 (Credit: Big Finish)Producer, David Richardson tells us more about approaching the end of this epic four-part series
We’ve tried to do something a bit different with Ravenous. Coming out of Doom Coalition, we wanted to go a bit darker, a bit scarier – to mark the saga with a shift in tone. With all four box sets now recorded, I feel a sense of relief – it’s been such a huge logistical challenge! Ravenous 4 alone required six studio days in cities as far apart as Los Angeles, New York and London! But we did it. We told that whole, big story and we’ve brought back three Masters and Missy in a breathtaking finale.

It was a real thrill to bring Geoffrey Beevers into our Eighth Doctor Adventures, doing what he does best in Planet of Dust - subjugating an alien world, and then setting about a chain of events that will drive our Ravenous story forward.

I’m really proud of it – and yet I don’t really have much time to stop and think about it because we’re already onto the next chapter for the Eighth Doctor! And life is going to be very different for him and his companions
Plus director Ken Bentley
This seems to have been a box set for reunions. It’s going to be fascinating to hear what listeners think of the Eighth Doctor reuniting with Roberts’ Master. I’m sure those shockwaves will ripple through time. But it was a genuine delight to have Nicola Walker reunite with Derek Jacobi. The green room was filled with laughter that day.
Doctor Who Ravenous 4 is available for pre-order now ahead of its release in October 2019. And Ravenous 3, being released in April, is also available for pre-order. Both these titles are priced at £23 on CD or £20 on download each.

Previous releases, Doctor Who Ravenous 1 and 2 are both available at £35 on CD or £30 on download. All four volumes of Ravenous are available in a bundle (each available on their release), priced at £90 on CD or £80 on download.




Bedford Who Charity Con 5Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Bedford Who Charity Con 5, due Saturday 13th April is offering 10% off tickets for readers of Doctor Who News.

Now in their fifth year, Bedford Who Charity Cons have established a reputation for being friendly, informal, relaxed and welcoming. and huge fun Colin Baker said last year’s was “The best one day event I’ve ever done”.

Bedford Who Charity Con 5 is taking place on Saturday 13th April at the University Theatre, Bedford MK41 9EA. The event starts at 10am and finishes at 5.30pm. Bedford itself is about 50 miles north of London and transport links by road and rail are very good.

This year’s guests are Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Janet Fielding, Carole Ann Ford, Louise Jameson, Michael Jayston, and Mike Tucker.

Bedford Who Charity Con 5 is a traditional style convention, with panel interviews, signings, photo sessions and the opportunity to meet the guests and have your photo taken with them. (No charges for group photos with the actors, though the organisers ask for a donation to the charity bucket.) The actors are also going to take part in some Doctor Who related sketches. Everything made by the event, once costs are paid, goes to Bedford Foodbank; each month, they provide emergency food to some 600 adults and children in the local area.

Full details of ticket prices are on the convention’s website and Facebook page

To take up the offer of 10% off your tickets, please email the organiser Simon Danes on info@bedfordwhocharitycon.co.uk and say that you read about the convention on Doctor Who News.




Doctor Who Charity AnthologyBookmark and Share

Friday, 22 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Myth Makers: Retrospective (Credit: Pseudoscope Publishing)Myth Makers: Retrospective (Credit: Pseudoscope Publishing)Myth Makers: Retrospective is an unauthorized, unofficial Doctor Who short-story anthology e-book/PDF for charity from Pseudoscope Publishing.

It features highlight stories and artwork from the award-winning Myth Makers fanzine, originally published between 1991-2013 by the Doctor Who Information Network fan club. The anthology is available until March 31, 2019.

All sales proceeds are donated to CODE, Canada’s leading international development agency uniquely focused on advancing literacy and education.

Featuring stories by Lance Parkin, Andy Lane, Kelly Hale, Dale Smith, Erin Bow, James Bow, Graeme Burk and more. Cover art by Iain Robertson. Newly commissioned illustrations by Carolyn Edwards, Geraint Ford, Andy Walker and Bret M. Herholz.

Each order contains both volumes plus free bonus PDF: Myth Makers Presents: In Tua Nua (In The New Land), a Seventh Doctor and Benny New Adventures-era novel by James Bow and Joseph Keeping originally published in 1996, plentifully illustrated by Pat Degan and Martin Proctor, edited by James Bow.

No profits have been or will be derived from these books. No attempt has been made to supersede the copyrights held by the BBC or any other persons or organizations. Reproduction of the text of these books for resale or distribution is prohibited.

Full Details




Doctor Who Training OpportunityBookmark and Share

Thursday, 21 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
It's My ShoutAn organisation dedicated to developing new talent in the TV and Film industry is offering work placements working on the next series of Doctor Who.

Since 2002 It’s My Shout Ltd has been specialising in finding and developing new talent for the film industry, producing short films for their broadcast partners, BBC and S4C

This year they are offering 5 training opportunities on Doctor Who for motivated and ambitious newcomers who are passionate about Drama. This is a paid opportunity and is open for applications from people of all backgrounds.

The project is seeking to address the under-representation of diverse talent within BBC Drama so is actively encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds, disability and lower Socio-Economic backgrounds to apply.

Successful candidates will gain hands-on practical experience within a fast paced, vibrant and challenging production environment. They will gain TV production skills which will hopefully allow the, to develop a career in the television industry.

The ideal candidate will have a passion for Drama and ambition to pursue a career in Drama TV production. The will have a strong work ethic, and a willingness to work in a fast-paced environment. They will be an enthusiastic and collaborative team player.

This opportunity is not open to people in full-time education.

You will need to be fully available for 11 weeks from 29th April to 12th July.

You will know whether you have been selected for an interview by 5th April 2019 and if successful, will need to be available for interviews on the week of 8h April 2019.

This is a brief description of the roles available.

Junior Graphic Designer:
The role requires a person who is organized and passionate with an artistic flair and must be proficient with graphic packages such as Photoshop and Illustrator and who can work to tight deadlines. During the scheme there is also an opportunity for the candidate to learn and understand some of the art department processes to include sourcing props, understanding a plan and set dressing when necessary for filming.
Costume:
The role requires a person who is enthusiastic and hardworking with a willingness to learn and work within a team whilst answering to the Costume Supervisor and Designer. During the scheme the candidate will learn and understand some of the production processes to include maintaining, altering and cleaning costumes, dressing actors, script breakdown, continuity, production scheduling, set etiquette.
Carpenter:
The role requires someone with a keen interest in carpentry who is hardworking, ambitious and is eager to develop new skills. You will need to have experience of working as a Carpenter – a carpentry qualification would be beneficial. You will need to have excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to interact with fellow crew.
Floor Runner:
The role requires a person who is enthusiastic, passionate and hard-working. Previous experience is not essential but a willingness to learn and a resolve to work hard is a must. A sense of humour us vital, as is the ability to interact with fellow cast and crew. During the scheme the candidate will learn and understand set etiquette, provide hospitality for cast and crew, support the AD team on the floor and assist the production with a large variety of requests.
TV Electrician:
This is a rare opportunity for a qualified electrician (apprenticeship - AM2/relevant qualification, 17th Edition and IEE wiring regulations, Inspection and Testing, City & Guilds parts 2 and 3, City and Guilds 2356 Electrotechnical Services NVQ (or equivalent) to receive additional concise training in all aspects of television electrical and lighting practices. The successful candidate will be hardworking, ambitious and eager to develop new skills. You will need to have excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to interact with fellow crew.
If you are interested send your CV (in PDF format) with your name and the role that you are interested in with a short paragraph about why you think you are the perfect candidate for this opportunity to DoctorWho.Scheme@bbc.co.uk by Sunday 31st March 2019.

More Details on the Facebook Page




Katarina Returns for Big FinishBookmark and Share

Monday, 18 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Ajjaz Awad as Katarina (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish Productions are bringing back the First Doctor's Companion Katarina for a new set of Audio adventures

As well as the return of the companion, originally played in 1965 by the late Adrienne Hill, the Early Adventures stories this year will see classic Doctors colliding, quite literally.

Doctor Who – The Early Adventures, Series Six, will help celebrate 20 years of Doctor Who on audio, in association with BBC Studios.

Daughter of the Gods by David K Barnes is the first adventure in Series Six of Doctor Who – The Early Adventures to be released this year. This adventure will see the First Doctor and Second Doctor meeting, on a mission to alter the course of time forever.
When Zoe reattaches an old piece of equipment to the TARDIS console, she, Jamie and the Doctor are very lucky to avoid a collision. But the place they find themselves in may be even more dangerous - because there they encounter another Doctor, a space pilot called Steven... and a young woman called Katarina who really shouldn’t be there.
In Daughter of the Gods, Frazer Hines as the Second Doctor and Jamie, and Wendy Padbury as Zoe are reunited, continuing to travel the cosmos. But then they bump into someone they should really avoid.

Cast and crew of Daughter of the Gods (Credit: Big Finish)Peter Purves returns as Steven Taylor and takes on the mantle of the First Doctor. Plus, joining him, in a Big Finish first, is Ajjaz Awad (Stones, Holby City), playing the lost companion Katarina.

Many may not recognise Katarina, as unfortunately, only one of the episodes which she starred in still exists, the rest having being lost to time over the last 50 years. However, the Trojan handmaiden Katarina makes a re-appearance, to celebrate Doctor Who on audio’s 20th anniversary.

David K Barnes tells us more about this unlikely resurrection, and how to write a story where Time Lords collide
From the beginning, I had so many exciting elements to play with. Contrasting the fun and frolics of the Troughton years with the darker days of the late Hartnell era was something I wanted to get my teeth into, with the Daleks providing their customary threat.

However, I always knew what the core of my story should be. What could possibly bring the two Doctors into conflict, on the opposite sides of a dilemma?

It could only be the fate of Katarina.
Big Finish Listeners may recognise David K Barnes from his other recent work in the Doctor Who Early Adventures range. Barnes wrote last year’s very popular story, The Dalek Occupation of Winter.

The Second Doctor crew and the Master (Credit: Big Finish)Also to be announced is the second story in Doctor Who - The Early Adventures Series Six. The Home Guard by Simon Guerrier features the Second Doctor and Jamie (both played by Frazer Hines) journeying together with Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben Jackson (Elliott Chapman) – but things are not all as they seem
It’s the middle of the Second World War and Ben Jackson has returned to visit his married friends Polly and Jamie in their quiet English village. But they can’t quite shake the feeling that something’s not right.
For the first time in Big Finish and Doctor Who history, the Second Doctor and his companions will be encountering the Master… Reprising his role as the first incarnation of the Master is James Dreyfus, who listeners will recognise from the December 2017 release, The First Doctor Adventures Volume One. He’s back, and more malevolent than ever.

Simon Guerrier told us more about this story
I found out that when the first episode of Dad’s Army went out in 1968, James Beck (playing dodgy dealer Walker) invited a good friend round to watch it, and that good friend was Doctor Who story editor and writer David Whitaker. It was roughly around the time Whitaker was working on The Enemy of the World and The Wheel in Space, and so I started to think about how you’d do a Dad’s Army kind of Doctor Who story with that kind of baroque, complicated plotting.
These two adventures in the sixth series of Doctor Who – The Early Adventures will be released in November 2019, priced at £14.99 on CD or £10.99 on download individually. They are also available to purchase together in a bundle, priced at £26 on CD or £20 on download.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files: The Laughing GnomeBookmark and Share

Sunday, 17 March 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced a brand new limited edition anthology of short stories set within The Laughing Gnome series:

The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome
Cover by Colin Howard

Sir Alistair, Dame Anne and Brigadier Bishop have been astral projected throughout the Brigadier's timeline by the mysterious entity known only as the Laughing Gnome. Thirteen jumps, thirty-nine different adventures.

Explore eight new encounters through time in the brand new anthology, including Sir Alistair finding himself in the body of his uncle, Matthew Lethbridge-Stewart, in the 1930s; uncovering a Silurian relic in the 1980s; and an encounter in Africa with his eldest son, Mariama Lethbridge-Stewart, in 1963! And Dame Anne encounters the Borad in 1930s Scotland, in a new story by the creator of the BBC smash, Land Girls, Roland Moore!

Featuring stories written by some of the most popular Lethbridge-Stewart authors, including Harry Draper (Lineage, Short Trips: The Last Day at Work), Sarah Groenewegen (The Daughters of Earth), James Middleditch (Piece of Mind), and John Peel (The Life of Evans, Doctor Who: The Daleks’ Masterplan).

From September 2018 to May 2019, the Lethbridge-Stewart range has been releasing The Laughing Gnome sequence of novels, which sees the Brigadier, Anne Travers and Bill Bishop astral projected throughout the Brigadier’s timeline. The six-book series covers the major points in the sequence, but not all the astral jumps through time. The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome explores a further eight adventures in the sequence.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explains further:
Between Fear of the Web and Rise of the Dominator there are twelve further jumps; that’s twelve time periods in which our heroes find themselves. Three times twelve, in fact, as each of our heroes have an adventure in any given time period. Some of these jumps have been mentioned in the sequence of novels, but by the time of Rise of the Dominator only one of these adventures has been chronicled (the third novel in the sequence, The Danger Men, shows Bill Bishop’s adventure in 1999). This anthology chronicles a further eight adventures covering 1929, 1963, 1986, 1955, 1993 and more!

Among the eight authors selected for The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome anthology are popular Lethbridge-Stewart writers John Peel, Sarah Groenewegen, Harry Draper and Shaun Collins, as well as acclaimed Australian author George Ivanoff. A full list of authors and story titles will appear on the Candy Jar website in due course.

The cover is by Doctor Who and Lethbridge-Stewart artist Colin Howard.
Finally, The Laughing Gnome gave me an opportunity to paint Nicholas Courtney’s likeness ‘undisguised’ on the cover of a Lethbridge-Stewart book, after a hiatus from the covers, due to working on the BBC Animations for Shada and The Macra Terror over the past couple of years. For this cover I utilised screen-grabs from of both the Brig and Anne Travers, which I then sketched digitally into position. From there I painted them digitally, using my usual technique, whereby I start with mid-skin tones, then add shadowed areas, down to almost black, then return to adding the lighter areas on the portrait up to white to give a nice realistic feel. In the detail areas I tend to zoom-in to a minimum of 250-300 pixels per square inch to ensure a realistic finish to my painting and to achieve the finer detail. I decided to go with a classic military green for the Brigadier’s uniform rather than the awful washed-out khaki/ochre of season seven.

With Anne, I used the same technique, although, when you get a nice likeness/screen grab, it often means that you have areas of the head cropped out of screen-shot, so I looked for other scenes where the rest of her hairstyle can be ascertained; in this case a small 1960s beehive, which she had in the latter episodes of The Web of Fear, although I did exaggerate it slightly to mimic a Gnomes hat. I also did a little bit of a search online to get eye/hair colour, etc, and incorporate those into the artwork. Each Portrait is around one-two days’ work, plus background, so in the end it takes around a week to paint each cover.

One of the things I have always enjoyed with some of the art jobs I’ve had in my career is when I get to create something from the author’s descriptions in the text, and with the Laughing Gnome a nice detailed description was available from Simon a Forward’s Scary Monsters. So I did a few slight alterations from my initial sketch, and ended up with the ‘cheery/sinister fellow’ featured on the final art, complete with a weathered look of an old Ornament with moss/lichen decorating his visage. This is probably the part of doing these books I enjoy the most, when your creative side is challenged, and you get to design your own creature from a brief, and you aren’t just copying a design or just adding effects/filters to a photograph. Like most of the other covers out there these days.

The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome will be a limited edition release, available to pre-order now exclusively through the Candy Jar website.

Note: The HAVOC Files: The Laughing Gnome is not included in any subscription or multi-book deal.







Lethbridge-Stewart: The Brigadier DeclassifiedBookmark and Share

Sunday, 10 March 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the forthcoming release of their celebratory non-fiction book about the Brigadier:

The Brigadier: Unclassified (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Brigadier: Declassified
Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen
Cover by Richard Young

Celebrating one of Doctor Who’s most legendary characters, The Brigadier: Declassified is a collection of articles and essays covering the Brigadier’s storied career.

From 1968 to 1975, Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart was a regular feature on Doctor Who. He returned to the show several times through the 1980s and later in the spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures. But his appearances were not limited to the television; he has appeared in comics, novels, audio dramas and even a straight-to-video film!

Join us as we take a look at Nicholas Courtney’s life in Thirteen Objects, explore the concept of parallel worlds with Peter Grehan, refresh your knowledge of Big Finish and the Lethbridge-Stewart range books, learn about the work that goes into bringing the Brigadier to life with artists Adrian Salmon and Colin Howard… and much more!

Also features reviews of every televisual appearance by the Brigadier with Simon A Forward and Glenn Bartlett, and an exclusive interview with the Brigadier’s right-hand man, John Levene!

With a foreword by Terry Molloy.

Looking at the many lives of Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart from his TV years through to his appearances in audio dramas and prose, the book was originally planned for 2018 under the name The Brigadier: 50 Years of Lethbridge-Stewart.

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, explains the background of the book:
The plan was to release a book about the Brigadier in all his many iterations, but sadly due to some behind-the-scenes issues the book had to be delayed. We lost our original editor. I asked Andy (Frankham-Allen) to take over, which meant trying to fit it into his busy schedule. Andy also had to start more or less from scratch, which meant seeking out new contributors.
Editor Andy Frankham-Allen continues:
It’s been enjoyable process, although somewhat long-winded. I wanted to get as much variety as possible, with articles looking at not only the Brigadier’s television adventures, but also his other media appearances, including his time with Big Finish and our very own Lethbridge-Stewart range of novels. The result is, I hope, a nice mixed bag, which a little something to interest every fan of the Brigadier. I am pleased to say that the book is nearly finished and should be released very soon.

The Brigadier: Declassified is now available for pre-order directly from Candy Jar Books.




Jodie Whittaker Offered the Freedom of the City of LondonBookmark and Share

Friday, 8 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Jodie WhittakerJodie Whittaker is one of more than 100 women who will receive the Freedom of the City of London to commemorate the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918.

The Court of Common Council, the City of London Corporation’s top decision-making body, has today set the final seal of approval upon the Freedoms, paving the way for ceremonies to take place at Guildhall over the coming months.

Last year, the City Corporation agreed to mark 100 years of female suffrage with the award of the Freedom by inviting members of the Court of Common Council and colleagues in their City of London Wards to nominate candidates.

The nominees are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, but all of them have a connection to the City. Jodie Whittaker trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, based in the City Of London.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said:
Many congratulations to everyone who accepted the City’s invitation to receive the Freedom of the City of London, among them, a restaurateur, actor, florist, ecologist, beauty salon owner, town planner, and the Bishop of London.

My colleagues shared my enthusiasm to invite women from as many walks of life as possible, and I am very encouraged that we have exceeded our target of 100 women, and that we are announcing the news ahead of International Women’s Day.

I hope that our new Freemen enjoy attending their ceremonies at Guildhall and will take pride in their Freedom, which is one of our most historic and celebrated traditions.
The Freedom of the City of London is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade; and today, people are nominated for, or apply for, the Freedom, because it offers them a link with the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions.

The Freedom is also offered to individuals by the City of London Corporation to help celebrate a significant achievement or to pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to London life or public life.




Big Finish celebrates International Women's DayBookmark and Share

Friday, 8 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The 8th of March (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish celebrates International Women's Day today, with the release of Doctor Who: The 8th of March.

In celebration of all the strong female characters from the Doctor Who universe, a female lead cast, along with female writers, producer and director, has come together for a Doctor Who audio box set like no other.

The 8th of March explores some of the amazing female characters of more than 50 years of the BBC Studios television show.

The 8th of March -  Alex Kingston/Louise Jameson (Credit: Big Finish)Starring Ace (Sophie Aldred) and Professor Bernice Summerfield (Lisa Bowerman), Professor River Song (Alex Kingston) and Leela (Louise Jameson), UNIT-team Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) and, in a Big Finish first together, Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and her wife Jenny (Catrin Stewart). This box set celebrates these powerful, multifaceted characters in stories very unique to the Doctor Who universe.

Big Finish Productions was formed 20 years ago in 1998 with its first release being a tale from one of the Doctor’s companions, Bernice Summerfield, and it continues to this day to create new empowering female heroes in their own series. The 8th of March is not only a celebration of many great female characters (including the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker), but a reminder that one of the great virtues of Big Finish is that it is able to explore and add to the mythology of characters that we have more to learn from.





The Macra Terror Cover Art and ExtrasBookmark and Share

Monday, 4 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The Macra Terror (Credit: BBC Studios)The cover art and special features of the animated version of the missing Doctor Who adventure The Macra Terror, releasing on DVD, Blu-ray, special edition Steelbook and digital download on 25th March 2019, have been revealed.

Originally broadcast in four weekly parts from 11th March to 1st April 1967, and starring Patrick Troughton, Anneke Wills, Michael Craze and Frazer Hines, no full episodes of this serial are known to have survived on film. Fortunately for fans, a complete audio recording of all four parts still exists. Now, 52 years later, the four episodes will be brought back to life through the power of animation, available on disc and digital download, in both colour and black and white, from 25th March 2019.

Anneke Wills says,
Back in 1967 “There's no such thing as Macra!” was the cry; and for many years after there was no such thing as “The Macra Terror”. Now, thanks to the magic of animation, we can see the story come to life again. I can't wait to see this adventure and how gratifying to have a little more of Ben and Polly’s time with the Doctor available to be seen by new generations.
The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and his companions arrive on a human colony in the far flung future. The colony appears to be a giant recreational complex - a holiday camp for rest and relaxation. Everyone looks happy and carefree but all is not as it seems. The colony has been infiltrated and brainwashed by a race of giant parasitic crab creatures called the Macra.

The Macra have only returned once since, 40 years later, coming face to face with the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) in the 2007 episode Gridlock.

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Studios says,
After the success of Shada, we were very excited by the possibility of further animations. We are therefore delighted to be able to bring fans these missing episodes in a completely new form.
Special features for the DVD and Blu-ray release include:
  • Audio Commentary: Toby Hadoke presents an audio commentary track on all four episodes of ‘The Macra Terror’, featuring cast and crew from the original 1967 production - Frazer Hines (Jamie), Terence Lodge (Medok), Anthony Gardner (Alvis), Maureen Lane (Majorette) and director, John Davies. Commentary produced by John Kelly and recorded in London on 4th January 2019.
  • Episode Reconstructions: Surviving film frames, fragments of existing footage and set photographs are brought together with the original unedited audio to reconstruct a presentation of the original now lost live-action production of ‘The Macra Terror’, as seen by viewers of BBC 1 in 1967. Produced by Derek Handley. Available to watch with or without an optional narration track read by Anneke Wills.
  • Bonus Mini-Episode: A ten-minute animated short, built around an otherwise lost Doctor Who episode from 1968 starring Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines. Directed by AnneMarie Walsh.
  • Animation Test: Prior to the project being formally commissioned, this short animation test (of a scene from episode 3 of ‘The Macra Terror’) was produced in March 2018, to investigate the feasibility of mounting the production in full.
  • Animatics: A selection of scenes showing how the new animated production of ‘The Macra Terror’ went from initial storyboards to final animation. Storyboard art by Adrian Salmon.
  • Animation Gallery: A gallery of artwork from the development, pre-production and animation of the new animated version of ‘The Macra Terror’, including character art from Martin Geraghty and background paintings from Graham Bleathman, Colin Howard and Lydia Butz.
  • Teaser Trailer: A short teaser trailer animated by Rob Ritchie, produced to promote the announcement of a new production of ‘The Macra Terror’ in December 2018.
  • Alternative Black and White presentation: The full four-part animation is also available to view in an alternative black and white format on disc 2.
  • 1992 Audio Presentation: In 1992, the BBC Audio Collection released ‘The Macra Terror’ on audio cassette, in a special release narrated by Colin Baker. It was the first time that the story had been made commercially available by the BBC and that audio-only release is included here in full. Surviving Footage: Less than two minutes of original footage still exist from the 1967 production of ‘The Macra Terror’. These film fragments have been painstakingly restored and digitally remastered for this release, with considerable improvements made to the overall picture quality and resolution of this unique footage. Film restoration by Peter Crocker.
  • Behind the scenes film: In 1967, during pre-production of ‘The Macra Terror’, film cameras visited the visual effects workshop in Uxbridge where work was underway on construction of the Macra props. Special effects props and models from other Doctor Who stories can also be seen in the workshop, including parts of a Cyberman from ‘The Tenth Planet’ (1966) and an aeroplane from ‘The Faceless Ones’ (1967). This footage is accompanied by a new audio commentary track from Doctor Who visual effects designer and BBC visual effects historian, Mike Tucker, explaining some of the effects techniques and props featured in the film.
  • Censored Scene: A reconstruction of a scene from episode 2 of ‘The Macra Terror’ that was heavily re-edited by censors for the episode’s Australian television transmission in November 1967.
  • Title sequences: ‘The Macra Terror’ saw the debut of a new title sequence for Doctor Who - the first time the programme had made such a change. The title sequence is presented here in full, remastered in HD and in a number of alternative versions.
  • Photo gallery: A collection of 36 photographs taken during the production of ‘The Macra Terror’ in 1967, featuring original design department set photographs and Radio Times publicity images. All presented in HD.
  • Production Paperwork: A full set of original camera scripts, studio schedules, floor plans and other materials are available to view by accessing disc 2 via your computer’s DVD or Blu Ray ROM drive.
Additional extras exclusive to Steelbook:
  • Gridlock: The Macra returned to Doctor Who in 2007, in this episode starring David Tennant and written by Russell T. Davies
  • Audio commentary: Julie Gardner, Travis Oliver and Marie Jones discuss the making of 'Gridlock' in this audio commentary track from 2007.
  • Doctor Who Confidential – Are we there yet?: A documentary looking at the making of the 2007 story, 'Gridlock'.
The Macra Terror (Credit: BBC Studios)The Macra Terror (Credit: BBC Studios)The Macra Terror (Credit: BBC Studios)




Who Talk - March ReleasesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 3 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
This month's Who Talk releases feature the legendary Daleks and the reptilian Ice Warriors.

Mars Attacks (Credit: Fantom Films)First up is a new selection of commentaries for stories featuring the Ice Warriors, in the form of Mars Attacks!

Producer Paul W.T. Ballard explains
I literally couldn’t resist the title, even though I’m sure a lot of people will groan. This is the first time we have released a new series commentary track, and we were thrilled to be joined by Adele Lynch and Richard Ashton, who are the most recent Ice Warriors, to have a look at the Peter Capaldi episode The Empress of Mars, little over a year after it was first broadcast.

Such is the way of recording these things, as Adele and Richard were leaving the studio, Wendy Gifford was coming in, and we shot back fifty years to look at the very first appearance of the Martian invaders!
Rounding off the set are commentaries for episodes two and five of The Seeds of Death, with guest star Louise Pajo.

Louise was over on a rare visit from Down Under, so we took the opportunity to grab her for a commentary track. She isn’t featured on any of the BBC releases, and is a very outspoken commentator… especially when it comes to Miss Kelly’s ‘three balls’…!”
Mars Attacks! is moderated by Toby Hadoke, and features Wendy Gifford, Louise Pajo, Adele Lynch and Richard Ashton.

Resurrection (Credit: Fantom Films)The second release this month comes in the form of 1980’s Dalek blockbuster Resurrection of the Daleks.

I think Resurrection is one of those stories which has such a vast and dynamic cast, that there was plenty of scope to invite people who hadn’t spoken about it before. Amongst those joining us are Sneh Gupta, who fitted us in on a quick UK trip, and Rula Lenska, who had some choice words to say about her outfit… but I won’t spoil it. I also won’t reveal which contributor wore their Dalek socks especially for the recording!
Mark Strickson makes his Who Talk debut on the special edition of Resurrection.

As is a seemingly a theme with these two releases, Mark was working in the UK and we obviously made him sit through a variety of his episodes on his day off. For this release we get to hear his thoughts on Resurrection and Frontios, and discover which guest star he snuck into the TOTP studio to have a dance to Karma Chameleon with!
Resurrection is moderated by Toby Hadoke, and features Rula Lenska, Jim Findley, Sneh Gupta, William Sleigh, Brian Miller, Roger Davenport, Mike Mungarvan and Eric Saward, and the special edition also features Mark Strickson.

Please note: these commentaries contain no BBC copyrighted elements and do not feature audio from the episodes themselves - these are designed to be played alongside the official DVD releases.