new series projects
the future of doctor who
The Return of Shada: BBCi has revealed plans for its 40th anniversary of Doctor Who webcast: a remake by Big Finish Productions of the classic “lost” Doctor Who story Shada, written by the late Douglas Adams. “Shada” was originally abandoned due to an industrial strike, although it was eventually released on video with linking narration by Tom Baker. In this new version of “Shada”, the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) is reunited with old friends Romana (Lalla Ward) and K-9 (John Leeson) “in a quest to track down the most dangerous book in the universe.” The cast features such notables as James Fox (“A Passage to India,” “The Remains of the Day”) as Professor Chronotis, Andrew Sachs (best remembered as daffy waiter Manuel on “Fawlty Towers”) as Skagra, Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood in the “Harry Potter” films) as Chris Parsons, Hannah Gordon (presenter of UK Channel Four’s “Watercolor Challenge” and originally in the Doctor Who serial “The Highlanders”) as the voice of Skagra’s ship, Susannah Harker (“Ultraviolet”) as Clare Keightley, Melvyn Hayes (“Quatermass II,” “Ain’t Half Hot, Mum”) as college porter Wilkin, and Stuart Crossman in an unknown role. “This is a tremendously exciting project,” director Nicholas Pegg told BBCi. “We’ve really pulled out all the stops on this one. We’ve had a fantastic time in the studio and I hope people will agree that we’ve done justice to one of the greatest writers Doctor Who was ever blessed with.” Says Big Finish producer, Jason Haigh-Ellery, “This is a great opportunity to finally produce Doctor Who’s most famous lost script, and a fine tribute to Douglas Adams.” Lee Sullivan will produce animation for the new webcast and Gary Russell, on authority from the estate of Douglas Adams, has tailored the script to add some framing information and tie it into the story. BBCi senior producer James Goss stated, “Big Finish have come up with a neat way of fitting the new Shada into continuity without messing around with the original script too much. Without going into detail, there’s a short prelude set on Gallifrey, where the Doctor turns up to see Romana, explaining that they’ve got some unfinished business to attend to… involving a call for help from an old friend that they appear to have been somehow prevented from answering.” At right, a photo from BBCi with McGann, Ward and K-9. The recording was taped in early November, and is set for debut on BBCi next spring. (Thanks to BBCi, as well as everyone who wrote in to let us know about it and the report on Biggerstaff’s website)Timothy Spall: The BBC’s official site BBCi shot down the recent rumor that Timothy Spall would be the Doctor in a new made-for-TV movie next year (see below). “Unfortunately it’s all just another rumour,” says BBCi. “We’ve checked with all the high-ups and they’ve confirmed it’s bunkum. The oft-mentioned rights problems are still cited as the reason for the non-materialisation of the good Doctor.” This is very interesting in that the BBC’s site mentions rights issues as a problem… leading us to wonder exactly who owns the rights to televised Doctor Who now. (Indeed, earlier interviews with BBC chief Lorraine Heggessey indicated the very same thing!) The earlier report, from the UK gossip website Popbitch on October 15, said: “I suppose you all know that Tim Spall is in final talks to be the new Doctor Who? New TV movie scheduled 8.00pm BBC 1 on 23 Nov 2003, script ready-ish, pre-prod designs done, Elstree booked out for July 03, CGI being farmed, but production in-house.” The reference is to actor Timothy Spall, who was Oscar nominated for his role in Mike Leigh’s “Secrets and Lies” and has starred in numerous films including “Topsy-Turvy,” “Vanilla Sky” and “Chicken Run”. (You may remember him from his “Red Dwarf” appearance as the VR machine attendant in the episode “Back To Reality.”) Earlier reports also touted another actor, Alan Cumming, Scots actor (“GoldenEye,” “Eyes Wide Shut”).
Doctor Who Returning Soon?: Could Doctor Who be back next year? That’s the conflagration of rumors that have started after an interview with BBC1 chief Lorraine Heggessey, who spoke to Simon Mayo of Radio Five Live on Tuesday. “Doctor Who was a fantastic series,” said Heggessey, “and I think we should be looking at ways to reinvent it. … Discussions are going on at the moment, but they are in the very early stages. There is an awful lot to sort out, including copyright and so on, but, yes, it could be coming back. And tea-time on Saturdays would seem an appropriate place.” Many online and print media in the UK have picked up the story as a confirmation that the show is coming back, but of course reading Ms. Heggessey’s comments don’t specifically make note that the show will be back, only that it’s being considered. While this is more of the same we’ve come to expect since the cancellation, this is perhaps one of the brightest discussions about the show’s future, as it seems that those high-up at the BBC are indeed interested. We’ll bring you more detail as we get it. (Thanks to the over 40 emails we received this morning about the comments, and BBCi for some clarification.)
Buffy Creator on Who: At the recent San Diego ComiCon (perhaps the largest genre gathering in the world), “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer” creator/producer Joss Whedon shot down the rumors that his production company, Mutant Enemy, has any involvement in a new Doctor Who series. “”Like I need another series,” was the essential response of the man now behind “Buffy,” “Angel,” and “Firefly.” But he quickly went on to add that he likes “Doctor Who,” and he thinks someone should do it… just not someone as busy as he is. Rumors crept out of a Dreamwatch Magazine interview with producer David Fury, who had been commenting about a recent visit by a BBC employee (thought to have been “Death Comes to Time” producer Dan Freedman); the interview, which explained that it was Fury’s comments, was later taken completely out of context, creating rumors that Whedon would be producing a new show. (Thanks to “Shaft of Gigsville”)
Even More Film Rumor: The UK’s Sky entertainment channel announced on August 2 that a new Doctor Who movie was about to enter production for release in the summer of 2003, made by Dreamworks SKG (the film company owned by Stephen Spielberg, David Geffen & Jeffrey Katzenberg) and produced by Will Smith — who it claims has been a fan since he was a boy. We don’t believe it, but we pass along the report as another rumor… (Thanks to Craig Hinton for letting us know about Sky’s report)
Anthony Stewart Head: The rumors are flying… but as usual, media reports have gotten ahead of the truth. Following the interview in the recent Dreamwatch Magazine with David Fury (“Buffy, The Vampire Slayer”), as we reported a few days ago, several online news sources (such as the usually wildly inaccurate Ananova, plus Peoplenews and other sources) are now reporting that Anthony Stewart Head (Giles in “Buffy” and recently a guest star in the Big Finish Doctor Who “Excelis” trilogy) will be a new Doctor in a new series produced next year. Even the Daily Express paper has picked it up (as an ‘exclusive’)… But it’s not true. Producer Dan Freedman (“Death Comes to Time”) did visit the Buffy producers, and there was a bit of talk about procedure… but nothing came of it and Freedman has moved to other projects. A quote by Tony Head in the Dreamwatch interview was taken out of context by these news ‘sources’. Meanwhile, we continue to get tons of email this morning about it (it’s not true, folks) and the official BBC website BBCi even issued a statement about it this morning: “Whilst the Cult team quite like the idea of Tony Head as the Doctor in a show guided by members of America’s finest fantasy production team, the BBC aren’t currently making any such plans.”
David Fury, writer/producer on the hit series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” is interviewed in the new issue of Dreamwatch Magazine, where he states that he has been approached by the BBC to offer guidance on a possible Doctor Who revival. “The BBC, anxious to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary in 2003,” says the article, “has been looking at the best way to bring the Doctor back to TV – and this includes producing a product that fits into a modern format sellable to international broadcasters.” Fury notes that he “might actually be helping on a new Doctor Who series for the BBC.” Fury notes that a “representative of Doctor Who for the BBC” was recently in Los Angeles to observe; we know that it was Dan Freedman, producer of “Death Comes to Time” (who, it must be noted, has already decided to abandon further opportunities in the Doctor Who milieu). In the issue, Fury notes how he viewed the operation of the show and how it would apply to any further BBC production. This does not, however, mean that the show is indeed coming back; it appears to have been simply an observation. However, he does note, “The plan at the moment is to have something happen next year.” Only time will tell. (Thanks to Dreamwatch Magazine)
Dan Freedman, producer of the acclaimed BBCi webcasted “Death Comes to Time,” has stopped his proposal to bring back Doctor Who to the airwaves. “Er, well, the TV thing is really over now, for me anyway,” says Freedman. “I’ve kind of decided to drop out, given the strength of feeling amongst the majority of fans, and leave it to Gatiss, BF and co. I’m sure someone will do it eventually, so don’t give up hope! … Thanks a lot for the support, I really appreciate it! But don’t overestimate my importance here, I’m just not going to do any more DW, that doesn’t mean other people can’t, and they might have more success. It’s not as if it was on TV and I pulled out, it still wasn’t on and it still isn’t, so nothing drastic has happened! I’m happy to be able to do other programmes so I’m going to concentrate on that.” While Mr. Freedman’s comments are correct that in some locations there has been considerable debate on the subject, there are a wide variety of opinions in Doctor Who fandom (including at our own Forum) and we do regret his decision. Freedman’s forum and website can be reached at www.danfreedman.co.uk. (Thanks to Stephen Graves, Jon Blum)
new series projects
doctor who in print
Anniversary Book: 70’s team Terrance Dicks (script editor) and Barry Letts (producer) are reuniting to pen the BBC Books 40th anniversary release, an as-yet-untitled Third Doctor, Jo Grant & UNIT novel due out in November 2003.BBC Books – Bad News in US: At least one major US book chain will soon cease carrying the Doctor Who novels in the US. Due to the inability of BBC Books to license a new North American distributor, Borders Books (one of the two largest US bookstore chains) has now categorized the Doctor Who novels as “non-returnable markdowns”; this means that all the BBC Doctor Who books up to and including The Adventuress of Henrietta Street are now marked at 50% off and when they’re gone, they’re gone. (Thanks to Jonathan Dennis, Ian Rogers)
2003 Books: Justin Richards, range consultant for the BBC Books line, spoke recently to BBCi about the book range. Said Justin in response to a query about special plans for the 40th Anniversary of the show: “We’ve announced some of them, though I have to say some of what we’ve announced we want to do may not happen if some other exciting plans we have come to fruition. So the Big Dalek Book may be postponed – it overlaps with the Big Anniversary Book (lots of Daleks in that!), and we’ve got a couple of other things we want to do too. So we need to juggle to get everything in. The main delivery from BBC Books will be a massive, heavily illustrated and very lavish book that goes into the whole story of Doctor Who – the narrative side of things, telling the entire 40 year story right from the start in considerable detail. Of course there’s behind the scenes stuff as well and lots of new material. It’s an enormous project, but it’s looking really good so far.” Meanwhile, the first novel in a new ‘mini-series’ of books, Time Zero by Richards himself, is now in release; coincidentally it’s the book that reduces BBC Books’ output to one novel per month. However, there are major developments in the novel, including the introduction of a new character, nicknamed Trix, who will be prominently featured in forthcoming books in the Eighth Doctor range… not exactly a companion, per se, at least not yet, but someone who will have a major impact on the ongoing storylines involving the Doctor’s new archnemesis, Sabbath.
North America Distribution Woes: Says a note from BBC Worldwide Americas: “Since our last update at the end of Summer 2002, BBC Books have continued to press forward in efforts to find a new distribution relationship for the Doctor Who mass market novels in North America. We are looking to establish a strong relationship that works for all parties involved, and are taking the careful steps necessary to make this happen. We continue to understand the frustrations experienced by retailers and customers alike who are still waiting to receive the latest Doctor Who titles, and continue to thank them all for their continuing loyalty and support. We will be using this space to announce a new relationship once it is in place, and are pressing to do so as soon as possible!” This adds very little to the distribution problems ongoing in the US and Canada. Says an earlier release: “As many of you are aware, the distribution chain responsible for bringing the Doctor Who mass market novels into North America has been broken with the declaration of bankruptcy by and dissolution of General Distribution Services, the former distributor of these books. BBC Worldwide is acutely aware of the disruption this is causing in the supply of books to North American retailers and their customers, and has for many months been working towards a solution. We are extremely grateful for the patience and loyalty that both retailers and customers continue to exhibit for the Doctor Who publishing program. Having at last overcome the majority of hurdles we’ve faced in order to pursue new opportunities safely unhindered, we are optimistic about several interesting prospects and are looking to make a decision quickly. We are putting forth our best efforts in order to achieve the goal of finding a new North American partner for Doctor Who books by September 2002. In the meantime, we have made arrangements for a limited supply of the mass market titles from June and July 2002 to be available through BBC Worldwide America’s on-line retailer BBC America Shop. We would like to thank the many parties who have called to share ideas and encouragement as we work towards a new relationship for Doctor Who books in North America… just in time for the 40th Anniversary Year! As soon as we are in a position to announce a new relationship, we will be doing so in this space, so stay tuned.” The continuing woes plague North American fans. Original distributor General Publishing received bankruptcy protection on April 30.
Book Updates: We have received some tentative synopses of several upcoming Doctor Who novels; they contain some spoilers, so are being marked with spoiler-proofing. (Simply highlight the text below to reveal everything.) We’ve done some fact-checking with BBC Books to ensure that they are accurate. The book quick synopses (with the first few edited out as we’ve got the actual blurbs on the Releases page) are as follows:
BLUE BOX by Kate Orman: California 1981: Peri wants to visit her home, but the TARDIS, with its usual precision, has dropped her and the Doctor off on the right continent, but in the wrong place, in the right decade, but the wrong year. Determined anyway to enjoy the weird fashions of her native time, Peri wants to go clubbing. The Doctor takes her to a seedy looking joint, where aliens and supernaturals congregate. Stranded and alone, Peri finds herself drawn into the underground world of early phone and computer hacking. In 1981, the computer network may be relatively primitive, but the hackers are getting more sophisticated by the minute.
RECKLESS ENGINEERING by Nick Walters: The TARDIS once more touches down in 2003, this time in Bristol – but it’s immediately obvious that things are badly wrong: the city is in ruins, the population living in walled settlements, fearful of attacks from outlaws -and worse. Strangely, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s famous Suspension Bridge remains, and is under the control of the mysterious Jared Malahyde, who lives in a guarded estate with his serving-girl, Aboetta. Tragedy means that Aboetta has to leave Malahyde’s employ and return to her home settlement of Totterdown, which involves a dangerous journey across Bristol. Meanwhile in Totterdown a strange visitor arrives…
LOVING THE ALIEN by Mike Tucker & Robert Perry: The Doctor knows Ace is going to die. Knows very well, because although she is sitting in the TARDIS watching the TV news, she is also beside him as a corpse. And there is something very, very strange about the autopsy results. In London, 1959, the Doctor does all he can to prevent Aces tragic death, due to occur in a few hours. In the process he discovers further anomalies swarms of giant ants emerging from the ground being among the least of his worries. Against a background of international (and trans-dimensional) espionage, and quite possibly the end of the world as we know it, the Doctor struggles to save his companion from a fate which she seems more and more determined to bring upon herself.
THE LAST RESORT by Paul Leonard: Ancient Egypt in the time of King Cheops, or the plains of the Wild West should be well-known to the Doctor. But when these eras come equipped with five-star hotels and luxury theme parks, its a different matter. In the 1950s, the Good Time Travel Company has discovered time travel in a big way. It’s now time tourism, in fact. The franchise to beat all franchises, this is the biggest boom industry of the twentieth century, and theyre not going to let go of their profits easily. No matter what some Doctor guy has to say about the fragility of the time/space continuum.
The Blue Angel Files: Author Paul Magrs has put up deleted scenes from his novel The Blue Angel, published two years ago as part of BBC Books’ Eighth Doctor continuing series. You can find the information at www.phoenixcourt.org.uk. According to an essay on the book’s role in the continuing story arc, these scenes were excised as they too quickly emphasized an oncoming change to one of the companions (Compassion).
BBC Books Announces Reduction Plans: In a startling announcement to readers, BBC Books released plans in March 2002 to decrease its output of Doctor Who novels to one per month starting this September. In a joint statement by range editor Ben Dunn and commissioning editor Justin Richards, the two stated: “There is a lot of high quality Doctor Who merchandise around at the moment, and that’s set to increase with the fortieth anniversary. We have taken a deliberate decision not to risk over-saturating the market.” Publishing just one novel per month “makes room in the schedules – and the pockets – for some of the special, additional publishing projects we have coming up”. BBC Books also released information about several forthcoming book projects including The Ultimate Dalek Survival Guide for autumn 2002 (“this official guide promises to collect and reproduce every speck of information on Daleks, and the best ways to deal with them”), a hardcover ‘biography’ of the Daleks for early 2003, and a special November 2003 anniversary book, “the most lavish Doctor Who book ever published, exploring every aspect of the fictional worlds of Doctor Who and the people, places, monsters and technology he has encountered on his many travels through time and space.” In a brief chat with Justin Richards, we learned further details about the BBC Books product reduction starting this September. Richards shared the contents of the original statement he and editor Ben Dunn wrote with OG, only part of which was used by BBC Online. Notably, the following was stated but not included in the statement: “So for the time being, from September 2002, we’ll be publishing just one Doctor Who novel a month instead of two. That makes room in the schedules – and the pockets! – for some of the special, additional publishing projects we have coming up.” Says Richards, “you’ll notice the phrase ‘for the time being’ used to describe the one-per-month policy,” though if and when the possibility of returning to a two-per-month release schedule is at the moment unknown. We have also learned that the reduction will slightly alter the schedule, to 12 books per year instead of 11 (the long-standing December hiatus of publishing each year won’t be followed); and that Richards’ own Time Zero will kick off the new schedule in September, followed by Dale Smith’s Heritage in October, Simon Messingham’s The Infinity Race in November and Trevor Baxendale’s Fear of the Dark in December. No books previously announced here at OG will be canceled; they will only be postponed. (Thanks to Justin Richards)
big finish productions
doctor who on audio & more
Doctor Who Continues on Audio: Big Finish Productions is currently releasing monthly Doctor Who stories starring members of the series’ original cast. The BBC has renewed Big Finish’s current contract through 2005. Big Finish has also been granted the license to produce original short fiction (see below).Dalek War in Prep: The first of five days of studio recording for the forthcoming four-part sequel series Dalek Empire II: Dalek War took place on October 27, with four additional sessions scheduled for November. “In the first series,” says producer/writer Nicholas Briggs, “we recorded one episode at a time, simply because I was writing one episode at a time. For Dalek War, I’ve written the whole script before commencing recording, so I can split the studio sessions into character blocks rather than episode blocks, which makes for more efficient use of the actors’ time. Cast availability is a major factor.” Big Finish, and Nick, state that they are reluctant to release any info including casting, as the original four-part CD series Dalek Empire (which starred Sarah Mowat as Suz Mendes, Mark McDonnell as Alby Brook and “Blake’s 7” favorite Gareth Thomas as Kalendorf) ended on a cliffhanger. The new CD series starts in January.
Iris Returns: Iris Wildthyme, the character originally created in the BBC Books novels by Paul Magrs and played by Katy Manning (Jo Grant) in the two Big Finish serials “Excelis Dawns” and “The Plague Herds of Excelis,” retursn in November 2003 in “The Wormery”. Big Finish previously announced that a ‘regular’ story would appear alongside their 40th anniversary triple-CD story “Zagreus” and this would be the story referred to. The story is by Stephen Cole and Paul Magrs.
Spine Troubles: Big Finish’s newest drama …ish by Philip Pascoe is now in release, though not without a brief production blip: the number on the spine is incorrect (it should be 35, but like “Spare Parts” it’s listed as 34). BF will be issuing a reprint; for subscribers it will be issued with “The Rapture” but for everyone else, “send us a stamped addressed envelope (or self-addressed envelope and an IRC from overseas) and we’ll post one out to you. It’ll be a couple of weeks before this happens, so bear with us. … The address to use is: ‘…ish’ Cover Replacement, Big Finish Productions, PO Box 1127, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 3LW.”
Forthcoming Story News:
- Issue 326 of Doctor Who Magazine reveals that Big Finish is planning a new subscriber-only CD for release sometime during this year, featuring some “old enemies” (yet to be revealed). This would be the second release given exclusively to subscribers (following last year’s “The Maltese Penguin,” although that eventually made its way to sale.) Additionally, the issue reveals that the forthcoming Music from the Seventh Doctor Audio Adventures features the scores of the Big Finish stories “Dust Breeding,” “The Rapture” and “Bang-Bang-A-Boom!” (Thanks to Damon Querry and DWM)
- Geoffrey Beevers and Terry Molloy have been confirmed as returning to their roles as the Master and Davros in the forthcoming BF stories, well, “Master” and “Davros,” due out in the autumn of 2003.
- May 2003 sees the release of Creatures of Beauty by Nicholas Briggs, with the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa, about “a race of aliens who have an unhealthy obsession with physical appearance” and matters of perspective.
- Cavan Scott and Mark Wright return for June 2003 with Project: Lazarus (called “Project: Enigma” in DWM but corrected on the BF page), a sequel to their earlier “Project: Twilight”; the story features both the Sixth and Seventh Doctors (paired in a “very interesting way”) along with Evelyn Smythe, and the return of Nimrod, the villain from the earlier story.
- July 2003 is the release date for the already-announced “Flip Flop” by Jonathan Morris with the Seventh Doctor and Mel.
- August 2003 sees the release of Omega by Nev Fountain (script editor of “Death Comes to Time”), featuring Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, who faces off against the mad scientist shortly after the events of “Arc of Infinity”. (Since Ian Collier recently played a role in the “Excelis” trilogy, we’re willing to bet he reprises the role for this story!)
- September 2003 features Davros by Lance Parkin (“Primeval”), featuring Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor, who faces the evil creator (sans his Daleks) as he tries to claim a place in the galactic pantheon of respected scientists. No word as to who will be playing the role of the renegade Kaled scientist.
- October’s Master by Joseph Lidster (“The Rapture”) stars Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, who finds that on an alien planet, “a magnificent and benign surgeon is everybody’s hero; however, the Doctor suspects the worst because he alone recognises the man as his arch-foe, the Master. But what is the Master doing? Has he reformed? Is he making up for past errors? Or is it the Doctor who has finally misjudged his former school peer?” (Casting, again, hasn’t been announced, but we’d bet on Geoffrey Beevers!)
- BF’s salute to the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who, due in November 2003, will be called Zagreus. “It’s not going to be called The Four Doctors, The Five Doctors, The Three Doctors, The Infinity Doctors…” said Gary to BBCi. “It won’t have the word “Doctor” in the title. It’s going to be called Zagreus but of course that could change between now and November. But I want to make sure that we do something in that special that kicks the Eighth Doctor into another run. … Everything around that 40th anniversary has got to be used to progress Doctor Who – not stop it dead in its tracks.” It’s written by Alan Barnes and Gary Russell and is planned to bring all three of these Doctors, plus Paul McGann and several companion actors, together for a three-CD set; it will continue on where “Neverland” left off.
doctor who audios
additional journeys in sound
Real Time Goes Offline: Monday, December 16 was the farewell date, albeit temporarily, for Real Time, the Big Finish-produced webcast for BBCi starring Colin Baker and Maggie Stables. “As part of BBCi’s contract with Big Finish,” says the BBCi site, “we don’t have the rights to stream the webcast for six months after the CD release. So, from Monday, that’ll be the last you see of the Sixth Doctor and the Cybermen until mid June.” The CD of “Real Time” is out this month from Big Finish. The site also notes that “Death Comes to Time,” which is currently available in most online shopping sites on CD from the BBC Radio Collection due for permanent removal from the site on February 14, nevertheless it still makes my random but unique list of cool stuff to buy online. (Thanks to BBCi.)Master Plan Rules: BBC Audiobooks recently won 18 awards given by the Spoken Word Publishing Association, judged by “a panel of independent experts, including journalists, producers, writers and retailers.” Besides the fact that the company was named Publisher of the Year, the CD audio release of The Daleks’ Master Plan won a bronze award with the title “Best TV and Film Adaptation” in the awards. Congratulations to all involved! (Thanks to Mark Ayres)
Doctor Who on BBC7: New digital radio station BBC7, which launched December 15, will soon bring Doctor Who back to the airwaves! BBC7 “will become a new home of radio comedy and drama, as well as a daily two-hour children’s slot,” according to a news report on Ananova. “The new station is an off-shoot of Radio 4 but will importantly not be carrying news. It will feature broadcasts of classic hits from the archives such as Hancock, The Goons and Round The Horne as well as Radio 4 hits and stand-up from comics like Greg Proops and Jo Brand. It will also include shows which went on to become TV hits such as Goodness Gracious Me, Room 101 and The League Of Gentlemen. The 7th Dimension slot will mark the return of Doctor Who for the millions who missed the adventures of the Time lord. The show disappeared from TV screens more than a decade ago and there has often been talk of resuscitating the classic show. A one-off film was made starring Paul McGann in 1996.” The station will broadcast 18 hours each day, starting at 7:00am. Likely to launch the Who broadcasts are the Jon Pertwee radio dramas “The Paradise of Death” and “The Ghosts of N-Space,” with other programs to be announced later. (Thanks to Clive Gomme, Iain Hepburn, Kieran Seymour)
The Space Pirates: The BBC’s official website has confirmed that Patrick Troughton’s penultimate serial, The Space Pirates, missing from the video archives except for episode 2, will be released in February 2003 on audio CD by the BBC Radio Collection, narrated by Frazer Hines. (OG previously reported this some time ago as the CD had appeared on Amazon for purchase, but this is an official confirmation.)
The Minister of Chance: Dan Freedman, producer of the successful BBCi webcast serial “Death Comes to Time,” is currently doing some work on a possible sequel story, The Minister of Chance. Though nothing has yet been set in stone — indeed, BBCi has already confirmed the next story will be produced by Big Finish (after the second webcast, “Real Time”) — there is some new illustration by artist Lee Sullivan featuring the Minister and a new character (yet unidentified) on Freedman’s website at www.danfreedman.co.uk/min.htm. More details when available. (Thanks to Stephen Graves)
the doctor who novellas
Doctor Who Novellas: Telos Publishing, owned by David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker (“The Handbooks”), has launched a new range of Doctor Who hardcover novellas officially sanctioned by the BBC.No Reprints: Update 9 Jan 2200 GMT: Telos Publishing has issued a press release stating, in effect, that its hardcover Doctor Who novellas will not see reprint when supplies run out, due to the loss of their license. Says the press release: “Following a recent large order from our North American distributors, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, the standard editions of the Doctor Who Novellas ‘Ghost Ship’ and ‘Foreign Devils,’ the deluxe edition of ‘Ghost Ship’ and our anthology ‘Urban Gothic,’ featuring award winning short fiction, are all very nearly sold out, and some will sell out as soon as we fill the orders we have received. If any customers wish to order these titles from Telos direct, or to place subscriptions which include these titles, with us for the Doctor Who Novellas range, then if you do so before this coming weekend (11/12 January), we should be able to supply your needs. After that, we are afraid that when the editions sell out, they will be no longer available from Telos for individual or subscription order. With the American sales now coming in thick and fast, we expect to start to sell out of other titles in the Doctor Who range soon as well. We had originally intended to ensure that the standard hardback editions of all the Doctor Who Novellas remained continuously available, but sadly the impending loss of our BBC licence in March 2004 means that it is not cost effective for us to put in hand reprints at this stage.” Meanwhile, according to a post from author Louise Cooper on her mailing list, Cooper stated that Rip Tide, the delayed sixth Telos novella originally due in January, would be out in February, but as publisher David Howe said, “We’re hoping to have copies mid-February but this still depends on getting two further BBC approvals for it, and the printers being able to turn them around in time.” (Thanks to David Howe, Roger Anderson, Stephen Mills)
Telos Loses License: Telos Publishing has announced that it will lose its license to publish the novellas in early 2004. Says their press release:
Telos Distributor: Telos has announced that it has secured a new distributor for the US & Canada, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, a Toronto-based company. Telos was affected by the bankruptcy of General Distribution, which also worked with the BBC Doctor Who novels (a situation that has yet to be resolved). Meanwhile, Telos has also announced that its forthcoming fifth novella, Foreign Devils, will feature a bonus short story, “The Whistling Room” by William Hope Hodgson, a story from 1910 that features the character of Carnacki, the ghost hunter who is featured in the novella. Telos will be doing a signing at the Borders Books in Market Square, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey on November 16 with publishers David Howe and Stephen James Walker and Telos authors Andrew Cartmel and Keith Topping, among others. (Thanks to David Howe)
Telos: BFA Nominated!: Telos was recently nominated as a finalist in the “Best Small Press” category of the British Fantasy Awards, a prestigious fantasy genre honor. The awards will be presented at Fantasycon 2002 in London on September 21; for more information visit www.britishfantasysociety.org.uk. (Thanks to David Howe and Sadron Lampert)
video and dvd
doctor who at home
Current Regional Status Reports:United Kingdom
- Issue 326 of “Doctor Who Magazine” featuers a reader’s poll to choose one of 2004’s Doctor Who DVD releases from BBC Video. The selections are limited to those that can fit one one disc (no boxed sets or long stories)
- On the DVD front, The Three Doctors with Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell has been delayed until later in the year. The Seeds of Death starring Patrick Troughton will see release on DVD on February 17. For VHS releases, the Jon Pertwee serial The Mutants will be released on February 17, and the Tom Baker serial Meglos on March 14.
- Louise Jameson let it slip in front of the main ballroom audience at Dimensions on Tyne 2002 that she had recorded, or would be recording, an audio commentary for a planned 2003 release of “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” on DVD. The UK magazine Ultimate DVD reported that “Talons” will be out in April on DVD. It should be noted, however, that this has not been confirmed by BBC Worldwide (and whatever the schedule is, it’s very possible that this could be an earlier date, if at all, given the switch of “The Three Doctors” to July.) (Thanks to Jonathan Jewsbury)
- At the Tenth Planet signing in the UK on September 29, Janet Fielding (Tegan), in a rare Doctor Who-related appearance, confirmed that she would soon be in-studio recording the commentary for Earthshock, which she said would be released on DVD some time during 2003. Fielding also mentioned that, according to her information, the hopes were to have Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Matthew Waterhouse all present for the commentary. (Thanks to Jon Frame, Zygon Curry)
- Warner Home Video has acknowledged problems with the UK DVD release of Dr Who & The Daleks, the first of the two films from the 1960’s starring Peter Cushing and Rebecca Tovey. Audio issues on the disc prompted an outcry from fandom, which in turn led to the announcement: “We acknowledge that there is a problem with the audio for Dr Who & the Daleks. Warner Home Video takes consumer’s concerns very seriously and quality is of paramount importance. WHV is happy to replace consumer’s faulty discs if they send the disc only (not all the packaging) and we will send a new disc out to them. The address for faulty DVDs should be sent to is: Steven Hill, Warner Home Video, Warner House, 98 Theobald’s Road, London, WC1X 8WB. Please ensure to include a return address for the replacement DVD.” Please note that this applies only to the UK versions, not the US/Canada or Australia/New Zealand editions. (Thanks to Julian Knott)US/Canada
- Planet of Giants with William Hartnell, and Underworld with Tom Baker are both due in May 2003. See the main news page for further details on later releases.
- American and Canadian viewers take note: “Region 0” materials coming out of the UK currently may not be viewable on your DVD players. Big Finish’s new release Big Finish Talks Back: Paul McGann is not coded for Region 2 (UK), but it’s still output in PAL (the television format used in the UK, Australia and elsewhere), not in NTSC (the format used in America and Canada). Most DVD players will not be able to play the disc, though most computer DVD drives will. The same goes for BBV’s The Airzone Solution; however, both BF and BBV are expected to release NTSC versions in the near future through their distributors. For more info on region coding, visit this link. (Thanks to Mark Askren)
- The controversial documentary The Doctors: 30 Years of Time Travel and Beyond has been released in the UK (despite protests from various people involved in its production, including producer Bill Baggs of BBV) as well as in the US and Canada. Included on the disc are interviews and home movie footage from some early Doctor Who stories. Also, while it’s not specifically Doctor Who, we understand that the first season of Blake’s 7 (Terry Nation’s four-year series, which has tied into much of Doctor Who fandom over the years), will be released in mid 204. Horizon, the Blake’s 7 fan site. For information on what’s included visit www.horizon.org.uk.Australia/New Zealand
- Resurrection Of The Daleks starring Peter Davison was available on DVD in Australia on February 3, 2003.
Gunfighters Songbook: Now’s your chance to sing along with Doctor Who. The forthcoming UK release of The Gunfighters on VHS (part of the “First Doctor Boxed Set”) features a special gatefolded insert on which is printed the lyrics of “The Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon,” the famous ditty sung by Lynda Baron as background music during the four-part Hartnell serial. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version. (Thanks to the Eye of Horus website for sending us the graphic!)
Katy Manning’s World Down Under: Reeltime Pictures’ newest documentary, Katy Manning’s World Down Under, is now available. The production is a video record of the Doctor Who Club of Australia’s “Real to Reel” event (in the same vein as Reeltime’s previous documentaries about other conventions). Says the release: “Attended the DWCA’s recent day event, Real to Reel? want a video record of the day (and perhaps catch a glimpse of yourself on the video in the process?). Did you miss out on attending and want to find out what you missed? This tape, from Reeltime Pictures, is a look into Katy Manning’s “home turf” – Australia, with footage from Real to Reel, and other interviews and footage with Katy. Also on the tape is the last ever interview with Robert Kitts, along with interviews with Keff McCulloch, Louise Pajo and Sue Willis.” For more information visit www.dwca.org.au/shop/. (Thanks to Dallas Jones, Greg Miller)
Tomb DVD Faulty: Doctor Who fans happy with BBC Video’s decision to release the series on DVD may as yet be foundered: BBC Video has released Tomb of the Cybermen with, apparently, a faulty audio track — a lack of audio sync through part of episode 1. It is suggested that those who wish to mention to the BBC that they are not interested in purchasing a disc released knowingly with a sync fault should write to BBC Video, Woodlands, 80 Wood Lane, London, W12 0TT.
DVD Release Notes: Information about forthcoming DVD releases as noted (see the Release Guide for info about included extras):
- The Talons of Weng-Chiang: BBC Worldwide’s Tradelink (the release service the BBC uses to issue information to vendors) has finally posted some news about the forthcoming release of The Talons of Weng-Chiang on DVD, with a stated release date of April 28. The information from BBC Worldwide is as follows (with thanks to Chuck Foster of the DWAS):
The inimitable Doctor Who and his assistant Leela are confronted by sinister and seemingly inexplicable occurrences in this gripping thriller set in the shadowy depths of nineteenth century London.
With the help of Professor Litefoot, the Doctor investigates the gruesome murder of a cabbie and the mysterious disappearances of young girls. Whilst being chased by giant rats and forced to pit his wits against an evil doll and a merciless illusionist, he comes face to face with his most deadly enemy to date: Magnus Greel – a fifty-first century war criminal posing as Weng Chiang, an ancient Chinese god.
Can the Doctor thwart his dastardly plans before Leela becomes his next victim….Two-disc set which includes the following special features: Commentary; Whose Doctor Who, a 1977 documentary from BBC2’s ‘The Lively Arts’ strand, looking back at the history of the programme and its psychological impact on the viewers, particularly children, introduced by Melvyn Bragg; Blue Peter Theatre; Behind the Scenes; Philip Hinchcliffe Interview; plus trails and continuity, 1 Easter Egg, photo gallery and production subtitles.
Though we emphasize that The Talons of Weng-Chiang is still unconfirmed for release on DVD in April (or May) by BBC Video — even though retailers have received some notice — the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has released details about this theoretical DVD’s extras on its website, including the hour-long documentary “Whose Doctor Who” and an additional hour of other material. (This information does classify the release, like “Seeds of Death,” as a two-disc set.)
DOCTOR WHO – THE TALONS OF WENG-CHIANG DVD EXTRAS 1
00:58:42:01 | WHOSE DOCTOR WHO
00:25:57:15 | BLUE PETER THEATRE
00:23:58:22 | BEHIND THE SCENES
00:11:28:08 | PHILIP HINCHCLIFFE INTERVIEW
DOCTOR WHO – THE TALONS OF WENG-CHIANG DVD EXTRAS 2
00:02:22:10 | TRAILS AND CONTINUITY
00:00:39:10 | EASTER EGG NO. 1
Meanwhile, there are rumors circulating that there will be only four Doctor Who DVDs released in 2004 in the UK. This is incorrect; it is based on information taken out of context in a post from a member of the Restoration Team, but was merely speculative on the consequences of further drop-off of DVD sales. At no time has information been issued from the BBC or otherwise that a decision has been made to reduce Doctor Who DVD output.
“The extra listed as ‘Blue Peter Theatre’ should be a compilation of the segments from Blue Peter,” says reader Jim Sangster, “where viewers were shown how to build their own Doctor Who puppet theatre… in the style of those old victorian ones where the ‘puppets’ (cardboard cutouts) were on a horizontal stick and they entered from the wings of a large box-theatre. At the time, the Radio Times published the black and white photos of the Doctor and Leela for kids to cut out, mount on thin card and stick to a straw or piece of thin dowling. They also (I think) included cut-outs of the sets the kids could make for their theatre.”
- The Three Doctors: Originally due in January 2003; delayed to July 2003. The RT’s Steve Roberts wrote an article about the process of doing ‘The Three Doctors’ on DVD which can be accessed by clicking here. A late addition to the forthcoming DVD release of The Three Doctors is a recently located high-quality audio copy of the BBC News obituary of William Hartnell, the first Doctor, loaned to the Doctor Who Restoration Team by fan Ronald McDevitt. The RT is currently locating photo stills of Hartnell to be used alongside the extra, which will likely be featured as an easter egg on the disc.
- Future DVD Releases: Commentaries have been recorded for the Jon Pertwee stories “Terror of the Autons” and “The Green Death.” However, none of these are being released in 2002.
doctor who actors and personalities
Sylvester McCoy was interviewed by Danny Baker on the UK’s BBC Radio London station on Friday January 17. He mentioned Doctor Who as well as the audition process. The interview clip is available for download at www.bbc.co.uk/london/insideldn/dannybaker/index.shtml. (Thanks to Mark Terry)Daphne Oram, the co-founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, passed away on January 6 aged 77. Although Oram didn’t work on Doctor Who directly, her work influenced it greatly; she “created an experimental early intelligent musical instrument called Oramics inspiring the modern electronic music industry of today,” according to the BBC’s internal magazine Ariel. “This charming, eccentric individual, who appeared at the college gate with her shopper trolley filled with oscilators, bits of electronic circuitry and a quarter inch tape machine, leaves behind a legacy of imaginative, alternative thinking as an inspiration to all composers from all musical genres. She very much wanted to remain until her dying day a ‘useful’ member of society. A true artist in the fullest sense of the word.” Certainly her work inspired those who came after, including Doctor Who composers Ron Grainer and Delia Derbyshire. (Thanks to Jim Sangster)
Cyril Shaps, a frequent guest star on many BBC programs with a lengthy film career, died January 1 in the UK. Among his roles were Rasputin The Mad Monk (1966), To Sir, With Love (1966), The Odessa File (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), The Spaceman And King Arthur (1979), Erik The Viking (1989), The Madness Of King George (1994), The End Of The Affair (1999), The Importance Of Being Earnest (2002) and the new film The Pianist (2003). He was in over 50 TV series including Quatermass II, The Persuaders!, QB VII, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, The Young Ones and Lovejoy, and portrayed the voice Professor Popkiss and Masterspy in Gerry Anderson’s Supercar. He also made four appearances in Doctor Who: as John Viner in Tomb of the Cybermen, Lennox in The Ambassadors of Death, Professor Clegg in Planet of the Spiders, and the Archimandrite in The Androids of Tara (pictured, above right). Shaps was best-known in the UK for his long-running regular role as Rabbi Levi in the ITV sitcom Never Mind The Quality, Feel The Width (from 1967 to 1971). Shaps was an actor for more than 50 years. He was 79. (Thanks to Daniel Hirsch, Lee Horton, plus Kenneth Parker for the detailed bio info)
BBC Wiltshire has posted an audio interview done live with Colin Baker, with questions posted by fans (we and the BBCi site previously reported their interest in being sent questions.) Click the BBC Wiltshire link to go to the page to listen to the interview, which is in RealAudio format.
Posy Miller, who played the troubled Sister Jolene of the Mount Excelis Abbey in Big Finish’s audio “Excelis Dawns” with Peter Davison, Katy Manning and Anthony Stewart Head, died on December 24. Miller’s credits in the UK were primarily on stage, including work in plays such as “The Revenger’s Tragedy” and “Shopping Lists and Suicide Notes”. Our condolences to her family and friends. (Thanks to Jonathan Clarkson)
Blue Veils and Golden Sands: One of the pioneers of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the late Delia Derbyshire, one of the architects of the signature Doctor Who theme tune, was honored as the subject of a new play, Blue Veils and Golden Sands, broadcast on Monday, December 23 at 14:15 GMT (2:15pm) by UK Radio Four. Derbyshire, “one of the most colourful & interesting composers of electronic music, and at the forefront of its development,” passed away in 2001, and the play is about her work. The 45-minute radio play is written by Martyn Wade and stars Sophie Thompson as Delia, Peter Kember as himself, Stephen Critchlow as Anthony Newley, and Martin Hyder as Ron Grainer, with original music composed by Elizabeth Parker. (Thanks to Neil Fountain, Hendryk Korzeniowski, Chris Moore and Geoffrey Cotterill)
Tom Baker will be voicing the character of ZeeBadee in the new film “Magic Roundabout,” the remake of the BBC children’s show, which also stars “Curse of Fatal Death” Doctors Jim Broadbent and Joanna Lumley as well as Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Richard O’Brien, and Ray Winstone. The film will be made and released by Pathe Pictures. Information on the film can be found here
Journalist Dwight Whylie passed away recently in Bermuda. He played a small part as a voice-over announcer in part four of the Doctor Who serial “The War Machines,” a part for which he was selected from the BBC’s announcers pool. Whylie’s numerous journalistic accomplishments included a career as a radio newsreader at the CBC in Canada, major journalistic initiatives in Guyana, Jamaica and Bermuda, and as a member of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union’s Hall of Fame. (Thanks to Eric Briggs)
Paul McGann starred recently weekend as Princess Diana biographer Andrew Morton in “The Biographer: The Secret Life of Princess Di,” a made-for-television movie. The movie “examines the true story of how a relationship developed between Princess Diana and Andrew Morton and how he became her official biographer” and will, “told in Diana’s actual words, expose the incredible contradiction between the public image of the beloved Princess and the reality of her private life by revealing the actual events leading up to the publication of Andrew Morton’s best-selling book, Diana: Her True Story,” says the CBS website. The film also stars Faye Dunaway as a rival Royal reporter, Brian Cox as Morton’s publisher Michael O’Mara, Philip Madoc (of many Who stories), Francesca Hunt (Big Finish’s India Fisher’s older sister) and Hugh Bonneville. The film apparently was produced over a year ago but is seeing its debut now. There are currently no plans to show the film in the UK. At right: a photo of McGann as Morton in “The Biographer” (courtesy People Magazine Online). (Thanks to John Vitti, Steve Manfred)
Actress Katherine Schofield died August 6 of cancer. Schofield played Sabetha in the first season Doctor Who story “The Keys of Marinus.” She also appeared in such roles as Tegleva in “Nicholas and Alexandra” and Cecelia in “The Lion of Africa” as well as in the BBC classic serial “Nana” and the stage farce “Pyjama Tops” (indeed, Schofield’s primary work was done in the theatre in London.) She was 57. (Thanks to Chris Dunford-Kelk, Ian McLachlan and James McInness)
Carmen Silvera, star of the UK series ‘allo ‘allo, died on Saturday, August 2 after a long battle with lung cancer, which she was diagnosed with in April. A long-serving television and stage actress, Silvera was still touring up until last year, when she appeared in the comedy “You Only Live Twice”. Doctor Who fans will remember her from her appearances in “The Celestial Toymaker” (in which she played Clara, the Queen of Hearts and Mrs. Wiggs) and “Invasion of the Dinosaurs” (as Ruth). She was 80. (Thanks to Frank Xerri, Iain Keiller, Kevin Swain, Jason Shaw)
Nicola Bryant has assumed the role of Judge Mordin in Big Finish’s newest audio in their Judge Dredd series, “Judge Dredd – Trapped on Titan”, alongside Toby Longworth as Dredd. “It’s very exciting and it’s nice to play another American role that’s not the same as Peri,” says Nicola. For more info visit Big Finish.
Maurice Denham, a British star of radio and screen including a very successful radio series, “It’s That Man Again,” died at a nursing home in Northwood, northwest London. He made over 100 television and film appearances including the films “The Day of the Jackal” and “84 Charing Cross Road.” Doctor Who fans will remember him from his appearance as Professor Edgworth, aka the Time Lord Azmael, in the Colin Baker serial “The Twin Dilemma” and as the President in the BBC Radio drama “The Paradise of Death” with Jon Pertwee, Nick Courtney and Elisabeth Sladen. He was 92. (Photo at right courtesy BBC News; thanks also to Matthew Kilburn and Steve Manfred)
additional doctor who books
more in print
The Missing Stories… Novelised!: The five missing Doctor Who novelizations are now in print form, published through the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club. Target novelised all but five of the Doctor Who TV adventures: The Pirate Planet, City of Death, Shada, Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks were never published. It is now possible to own a complete set, as full-length novelisations of all five of these stories are now available. The books are A5 staple-bound, but styled to resemble the Target novels. They are closely based on the TV stories and, where available, the scripts have been referenced (The Pirate Planet and Resurrection of the Daleks both reinstate many script segments cut from the finished TV stories). The authors include Paul Scoones, Jon Preddle, David Lawrence and David Bishop (author of Amorality Tale and Who Killed Kennedy). The covers, which take as their inspiration the Target designs of their respective eras are by Alistair Hughes, whose artwork has appeared in Doctor Who Magazine, InVision and The Frame. The books, published by the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club, are completely non-profit – the only costs charged are to cover printing and postage. A set of five books is NZ$35.00 (around US$16 or UK£11), airmail postage inclusive, anywhere in the world. For further details, see www.doctorwho.org.nz.I, Who 3: An Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who Books & Audios by Lars Pearson has been delayed until April 2003 (from its late 2002 date). Meanwhile, Lawrence Miles’ Faction Paradox: The Book of the War, due this October from Mad Norwegian Press, will be increased slightly in price; there will also be three versions of hardcovers, including one signed by Lawrence Miles, a “remarked” hardcover signed by Lawrence Miles and artist Jim Calafiore with one-of-a-kind head sketch of a Faction Paradox character drawn by Calafiore, and a “full nine yards” cover with all of that plus more. For more info, visit www.madnorwegian.com. (Thanks to Lars Pearson)
The Doctor Who Chronicles: An episode-by-episode synopsis guide to the third season of Doctor Who, from Galaxy 4 to The War Machines, The Doctor Who Chronicles: Season 3 contains detailing extensive script deletions and amendments, original storyline ideas (including Terry Nation’s original draft scripts) and notes on the finished episodes. Also including a section covering the stories originally planned for inclusion in the season which, for one reason or another, were abandoned before production. Compiled for the DWAS by David Brunt and Andrew Pixley, orders for the book are being taken for the book, publishing in April. For more information write to DWAS Merchandise Service, Space Rocket Ltd, 39/40 High Street, Lewes BN7 2LU or visit https://dwas.drwho.org/contact/?rcpt=toyshop. (Thanks to David Brunt and Chuck Foster)
The Book of the War: Author Lawrence Miles’ popular creation in the BBC Doctor Who novel series, Faction Paradox, has now spun out to its own book. “The Book of the War,” edited by Miles, has been released through Mad Norwegian Press (published by Lars Pearson of “I, Who”). The book is intended to be a companion to the BBV audio series “The Faction Paradox Protocols” but is tailored for those readers who have yet to listen to the audios; as such, the cover illustration will be by Steve Johnson, who created the BBV audio covers. Says the press release, “Featuring contributions by a number of established Doctor Who authors (to be announced), Faction Paradox: The Book of the War is far more than a collection of short fiction; rather, it presents itself as an A-Z encyclopaedia of a universe under fire (in the vein of Miles’ recent fan favorite The Adventuress of Henrietta Street). It focuses on the first 50 years of the War in Heaven, the universe-rending conflict (first seen in Miles’ Alien Bodies) in which Faction Paradox and all its rival Houses are irrevocably involved; it covers the rise and fall of the Faction, the lost history of the Compassion project, the secret origins of the Celestis and perhaps even the nature of the Enemy itself!” The book has no specific release date as yet. (Thanks to Lars Pearson and Lawrence Miles)
stuff to buy
2003 Cineffigy Calendar: With only the Dalek-related calendar officially sanctioned by the BBC, the British company Cineffigy has released a 2003 calendar, the only one to feature actors from the Doctor Who series. Colin Baker provided his own copyrighted photos to the production of the calendar in Doctor Who garb (including the cover, at right), while the other months feature a variety of DW actors out of costume including Carole Ann Ford, Nicola Bryant, Mark Strickson, Sophie Aldred, Louise Jameson, Nick Courtney, Deborah Watling, Sylvester McCoy and Wendy Padbury. The black-and-white glossy calendar is being produced in a limited edition series of 1,000. Click on the cover illustration for a sampling of the contents of the calendar, including the photos of the actors. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Cineffigy Calendar 2003, c/o 13 Farm Road, Milton, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, BS22 8BA England. (Thanks to Ian Burgess)For the past six months, three officially licensed Doctor Who T-shirts have been produced for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and sold through their shops. The latest of these featuring a gold Dalek is now available online on the ABCs internet shop; click here to view and/or order the shirt. Also, the Doctor Who Fan Club of Australia has made available two specially-produced photos of Katy Manning (“Jo Grant”) with the option of personalized autographs; for full details go to www.dwca.org.au/shop/katymanning. (Thanks to Dallas Jones)
The Strictly ink company (www.strictlyink.com/) has issued information about Series Three of their Doctor Who: The Definitive Collection trading card series. Limited to a count of 4,000, the set will be released in June and feature a 120-card set with 22 different signed autographs (1-2 autograph cards per box), 120 all new full-bleed cards, 150 “Memories of Doctor Who” gold foil cards, a nine-card “Doctors” case topper set and an “ultra rare Peter Davison case topper autograph card”. Included autographers include Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Matthew Waterhouse, Janet Fielding, Peter Davison, Carole Ann Ford, William Russell, Peter Purves, Maureen O’Brien, Jean Marsh, Bonnie Langford, Kate O’Mara, Frazer Hines, Richard Franklin, Lynda Bellingham, Jacqueline Pearce, Paul Darrow, Mark Eden (“Marco Polo”), Ingrid Pitt (“The Time Monster”), designers John Friedlander and Barry Newbery. For details, click on the link or the graphic thumbnail.
Talking Cybermen!: Product Enterprises has released the new Talking Cyberman toy, in two styles, the Cyber Warrior and the Cyber Commander. At right is a visual on the Cyber Warrior, complete with Cybermat. In development now are a talking Davros and a Fourth Doctor figurine, both due out in early 2003. (Thanks to Product Enterprises and Tenth Planet)
Arnold T. Blumberg, co-author of Howe’s Transcendental Toybox contacted us to let us know the following regarding a rare find on Doctor Who greeting cards. “We have been fortunate to lay our hands on a supply of original DOCTOR WHO/Tom Baker greeting cards from 1979. These cards were produced by Denis Alan Print and all feature a full-color photograph of Tom Baker as the Doctor printed on good quality card stock. There are 17 designs in each set we have available: three with ‘Happy Birthday’ printed on the front; two ‘Get Well Soon’; three generic cards; and nine cards each with a different age (2-10) written on the TARDIS door in the photograph in chalk. On their original release there was a fourth generic card included, however this is missing from these sets. The majority, but not all, of the cards have envelopes, and are sealed in individual plastic bags. These are not in Near Mint condition, and some of the cards can be slightly marked, though most are fine… We only have 100 sets…” For more info on these rarities, visit www.tardis.tv
Two new special edition art prints are being released in mid May by The Stamp Centre in England. One features a tribute to “Robot” signed by Tom Baker and Nick Courtney and the other is a print of Richard Franklin as Captain Yates signed by Franklin. They, along with Louise Jameson, Sylvester McCoy and Telos Publishing author Tom Arden and artist Martin McKenna will be at The Strand in London on May 15 for the launch. More information is available at their website. (Thanks to Gallifrey 5)
Product Enterprises Gets Toy Licence: Product Enterprises, which previously had produced talking Daleks and other arcana, has been granted licence by the BBC to take over the production of toys, a licence which expired from DAPOL Ltd. at the end of 2001. Says the press release: “Product Enterprise are proud to announce they have been granted the Master Toy License by BBC Worldwide Ltd for the Dr Who brand. We are now able to develop a whole range of authentic, high quality Dr Who Toys that will include fully articulated, TALKING action figures of The Doctor, K9, Davros & Cyberman in scale with our Talking Dalek. A spectacular range to supersede the now retired Rolykins – the Dalek Roll-A-Matics! In the Autumn – a 12 inch Tall, FULLY Radio Controlled Dalek with lights & sound! We have just returned from the annual Toy Trade Shows where we premiered our new products to a fantastic response – Our web site will be updated shortly with photographs and pricing /release details. We look forward to releasing some of the greatest Dr Who toys ever seen!” (Thanks to Product Enterprises and Planet Who)
Dapol Loses its License: Dapol, the merchandise maker which has created Doctor Who products for 14 years, has announced that the BBC has not renewed its licence to continue production as of December 31, 2001. “We had thought that, after providing literally hundreds of thousands of pounds in royalty payments to the BBC and seemingly single-handedly preserving the brand-awareness over the period and recently committing to a whole new range of character figures for the next four years, our long-term future within the brand was assured. Regrettably, we were mistaken.” As of the end of 2001, all of Dapol’s production has ended, though they can still sell back stock. For more information visit www.dapol.co.uk/dapolpressrelease.html.
benny summerfield, bbv, magic bullet & more
Kaldor City: The fourth installment of the Kaldor City spinoff audio series is entitled Taren Capel and will be released on March 15 at the Star One convention in the UK. The series details further adventures in the environs postulated in the Doctor Who story “The Robots of Death,” with Russell Hunter reprising his role as Commander Uvanov and also starring Paul Darrow, Scott Fredericks, Tracy Russell and David Collings. Also reprising his role as Taren Capel in this story is actor David Bailie, who played the antagonist in the “Robots of Death” serial. At right is the cover illustration; for more information visit www.kaldorcity.com/taren.html. (Thanks to Fiona Moore)Benny Summerfield Update: Big Finish has revealed further plans for its 2003 range of products based on Bernice Summerfield, the former Doctor Who books companion that was spun off several years ago. In addition to three previously confirmed stories this year, all audio — February’s “The Mirror Effect” by Stewart Sheargold, “The Bellotron Incident” by Mike Tucker in April, and June’s “The Grel Escape” by Jacqueline Rayner — Big Finish has announced that August will see the release of The Poison Seas by David Bailey. “Bernice will receive a curiously worded summons to head back to The Braxiatel Collection. Is something wrong? Has something happened to her baby, Peter? Has Brax discovered some new amazing artefact? Have Adrian Wall and Jason Kane come to blows over the nappy-changing rota? Or have Ms Jones, the fearsome administrator and Mister Crofton the equally fearsome gardener arranged nuptials? Or is it something far more sinister, far further reaching than that? Has something that Benny thought was over and done with come back to haunt her? Or, as seems likely, has war finally come to her doorstep?” That’s followed in September by the second Bernice hardcover short story anthology, Life During Wartime edited by Benny creator Paul Cornell, “which apart from changing the direction of Big Finish’s audio and book range, will also act as an excellent jumping-on point for newcomers or old-hands who have fallen away.” Cornell will also pen the December 2003 audio release The Axis of Evil, for which some of the plot threads from “Life During Wartime” will be examined. (Thanks to Big Finish)
Miranda: Miranda, the new six part bimonthly comic book by Lance Parkin (“Father Time”) and illustrated by Allan Bednar, is due out from Comeuppance Comics in 2003. “Miranda” is a collection of the further adventures of the character originated in the BBC Books Eighth Doctor series’ novel “Father Time,” the Doctor’s surrogate daughter. Miranda is “a teenage girl from the 1980’s who discovers she is the Empress of the Universe, Commander-In Chief of the Galactic Fleets, Custodian of the Artefacts, Mistress of the Four Keys, Head of the Galactic Bank and Absolute Ruler of the Known and Unknown Suns and Planets. Not bad for a girl with no GCSEs.” Says Parkin, the new comic series should appeal to “Comics fans, BUFFY fans, STAR WARS fans, science fiction fans – comics fans will spot a couple of cute references to comics history in the first issue, though.” At right is the cover illustration for the first issue; more details (and a larger cover) are available at www.comeuppancecomics.co.uk. The first issue is out in January. OG hopes to bring you some sneak preview pages very shortly.
Faction Paradox: The Novels: The chronicles of Faction Paradox, the time-travelling cult and opponents of the Time Lords created by Lawrence Miles that were a staple of the BBC Books’ Doctor Who range for three years, are now spinning off into their own series of novels. Tentatively slated for a September 2003 debut, the series, published by Lars Pearson’s Mad Norwegian Press (“I, Who”), will publish quarterly in an oversized format (larger than a paperback) in both hardcover and soft. Miles will pen the first book and will co-edit the series; other Doctor Who writers will be penning future volumes. For more information, visit www.madnorwegian.com. In other Faction news, BBV is currently recording the audio sequel to their two Faction Paradox plays released last year; Miles has penned the sequel script, and the new recording is slated for release in early 2003. (Thanks to Lars Pearson, David Elms)
The Airzone Solution: BBV has released on DVD their film The Airzone Solution. The film stars Jon Pertwee, Colin Baker, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy and was released in 1993, written by Nicholas Briggs. The DVD version, in PAL format only (UK), features “Outtakes” with Michael Wisher, Sylvester McCoy, Nicholas Briggs and Peter Davison; deleted scenes; a “Behind the Scenes” documentary on the making of the story; an interview with Peter Davison; the original trailer and a new version; and a separate music feature. It is available at the BBV website. (Thanks to Bill Baggs)
Zygons – The Film: Filming recently commenced in late September on the first video project in over a year from BBV Productions. Entitled Zygon, the film features… you guessed it, those cantankerous villains from the Doctor Who tale “Terror of the Zygons”. The film will star Jo Castleton, Daniel Harcourt and Keith Drinkel and will be out in 2003. (Thanks to BBV)
Miranda: Comeuppance Comics, a new comic publishing outfit, will soon embark on a new project. Entitled Miranda, the comic series will be based on the adventures of Miranda, the Doctor’s “daughter” as seen in the BBC Eighth Doctor novel “Father Time” by Lance Parkin. Allan Bednar is the artist who will be rendering the comic illustrations, and Parkin will be involved in its writing. More details will be coming soon… and we will soon feature some exclusive illustrations from the comic series as a preview. A new website at www.comeuppancecomics.co.uk is now online, although there is very little on the page at this point. Details soon. (Thanks to Dave Whittam, Lance Parkin & Allan Bednar)
Paradox Comics: The Doctor Who universe is about to spin off again into a regular series of comic books, as reported to us by publisher Lars Pearson. Faction Paradox, created by Lawrence Miles and featured in the BBC Doctor Who Eighth Doctor novels, is at the center of this new comic venture. The following is the official press release: “Lawrence Miles’ FACTION PARADOX property — already a book line from Mad Norwegian Press and an audio series from BBV Productions — will soon evolve into an ongoing, bi-monthly, full color comic book series. Lars Pearson’s Mad Norwegian Press will handle the comic’s production.
Miles will personally handle the comic’s writing chores, with the comic’s creative team to include: artist Jim Calafiore (The Book of the War, Exiles, Aquaman), inker Peter Palmiotti (Aquaman), letterer Metaphorce Designs (www.metaphorcedesigns.com), colorist Paul Mounts (The Ultimates) and editor Lars Pearson (the I, Who series). The FACTION PARADOX comic concerns the survivors and after-effects of the “War in Heaven” as outlined in Miles’ “Doctor Who” novel Alien Bodies and the recently released Faction Paradox: The Book of the War (shipping now from Mad Norwegian Press). The FACTION PARADOX comic is fully compatible with The Book of the War and BBV Productions’ Faction Paradox Protocols audios, although you DO NOT need to read The Book of the War or listen to the audios to enjoy the comic book.”
Kaldor City: Magic Bullet Productions has released Hidden Persuaders, the third in their series of “Kaldor City” audios. The Kaldor City focuses on the characters and situations created in the BBC Doctor Who serial “The Robots of Death” created by Chris Boucher; this third installment is written by Jim Smith and Fiona Moore and stars Paul Darrow, Nicholas Courtney, Jasmine Breaks, David Collings, Scott Fredericks, and Russell Hunter as Commander Uvanov from “Robots”. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version. (Thanks to Fiona Moore)
Benny Summerfield: Big Finish’s Bernice Summerfield series, based on the exploits of the professor (the former Doctor Who companion in the New Adventures novel series from Virgin), will see ongoing life well into 2003, with an onslaught of Doctor Who nasties keeping her company. Coming soon on audio is The Mirror Effect by Stewart Sheargold in December, an as-yet-untitled story by Mike Tucker in March 2003 which features the Rutans (from the Doctor Who story “The Horror of Fang Rock” as well as several BBV productions), The Grel Escape by Jacqueline Rayner in July 2003 (featuring the return of the Grel, last seen & heard in the audio & novel “Oh No It Isn’t” by Paul Cornell, the first Benny adventure post-Doctor Who) and an as-yet-untitled story by David Bailey in October 2003 with Benny encountering the Sea Devils (from the Doctor Who stories “The Sea Devils” and “Warriors of the Deep”).
Soldiers of Love: MJTV is soon to release their tenth CD in their continuing series Soldiers of Love: Earth Quake; Nicholas Courtney also features in this story, which also stars Gareth Thomas (Blake in “Blake’s 7”) and South African actress Anna Karen. Says the press release: “The crew try to escape from the disasterous Galactovision Song Contest and destruction of Medicworld. However, nothing prepares them for the horrors occuring back on Earth…” For more information visit the Kaldor City and Soldiers of Love websites.
everything else in the world…
Peter & Colin On the Air: Interviews conducted at the convention with Peter Davison and Colin Baker by fan Charles Martin were highlighted on Sci Fi Overdrive, a talk radio program discussing SF and other topics which is part of the nationally syndicated Business Talk Radio program on US radio stations. The show airs 2:00am to 6:00am (Eastern time) on selected stations, and is also carried over the internet on BTR’s website. The interviews aired on Monday, March 3 during the early morning hours. For more details on the show, a list of stations carrying it, and links to ways you can listen to it on the radio, visit www.scifioverdrive.com. (Thanks to Joey Reynolds & Charles Martin)Deja Vu of the Doctors: Vortex Events have announced that a new play called Deja Vu of the Doctors will debut at the forthcoming Destiny 2003 convention. Says the press release: “In a time of crisis, when Gallifrey is threatened and the fabric of the universe is starting to fray at the edges, the Doctor is called upon to face his deadliest and most dangerous challenge to date… Who will survive? Who will die? Who will win? With a plot more fiendishly repetitive than a Terrance Dicks novel, with a joke quota more hit-and-miss than a ‘Carry On’ film, with a set of actors to outrival the twins from ‘The Twin Dilemma’, with a budget that probably would cover the cost of Jon Pertwee’s hairspray allowance (yes, that big!!), and with cameos from well-known monsters, squabbling Time Lords, and a huge green rubber tentacle.” Destiny 2003 is April 19-20 at the Northampton Moathouse; for more details click on the Vortex Events link in this story.
UK Gold Broadcasts: The Third Doctor returns on February 9 to the British channel UK Gold, which starts rescreenings with the first Jon Pertwee story “Spearhead from Space”. There were hopes that UK Gold would return to the start of the series, but instead are opting this time for only the colour package. According to Sue Cowley in a post on the Restoration Team forum, UK Gold were recently supplied with information needed to retrieve new (much clearer) masters from BBC Worldwide for some of the stories that remain somewhat deteriorated in their library, although no word if they will actually do so. The show will air in both late night and early morning weekend screenings. (Thanks to BBCi, Sue Cowley, Steve Trevor)
UK Fans: TV & Radio: UK fans take note: starting January 13 (Monday) at 6:00pm and midnight GMT, you can listen to The Paradise of Death, the radio drama starring Jon Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen and Nick Courtney, on BBC Radio 7. UK listeners can hear the station on digital radio or TV, while fans worldwide can tune in with RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. Radio 7 also airs Dead Ringers (which sometimes has Doctor Who themed sketches) and The Navy Lark, starring Jon Pertwee. Meanwhile, also on January 13, the 1996 Doctor Who movie, starring Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Daphne Ashbrook, Eric Roberts and Yee Jee Tso, airs at 8:00pm on the UK’s Sci-Fi Channel. (Thanks to the DWAS and Benjamin Elliott)
The Nightmare Fair: Fan producers Argolis Productions will soon release an unofficial charity audio adaptation of Graham Williams story The Nightmare Fair. The long-lost Doctor Who tale was to start the aborted 23rd season before it was canceled. Set in Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach, the story sees the Doctor meeting up with the Toymaker for the first time since William Hartnell’s The Celestial Toymaker. The story is based on the original script and features a cavalcade of fan producers and actors: the Federation’s Steve Hill and Jennifer Adams Kelley as the Sixth Doctor and Peri; Mark J. Thompson (MJTV’s Soldiers of Love, Actor Speaks) as the Toymaker; Stuart Robinson (The Unregenerate’s Fanz) as Kevin; Mark Donovan (Big Finish’s Doctor Who: The Sandman, Dust Breeding and Sarah Jane Smith) as the Toymaker’s assistant Stefan; Gareth Preston (Author of BBV’s Conduct Unbecoming) as Inspector Truscott; Thomas Himinez (Producer of Everlasting Films unofficial Doctor Who Audio Dramas) as the Technician; Floor Ten’s Howard Richardson as the Robot S.B.; and Nick Kirby, Mark Preston and Alison Taffs (MJTV’s Soldiers of Love) as Shardlow, Arcade Manager and Tyrone’s Mother. The story is narrated by Nigel Peever, star of BBV’s “The Barnacled Baby” and “In2Minds”, with music by Big Finish composer David Darlington (Excelis Trilogy, Sarah Jane Smith series) and the Federation’s Robert Warnock, and cover by Celestial Toyroom artist Ryan O’Neill. Proceeds from the release of The Nightmare Fair will benefit Sense, a charity for deafblind children that has been selected by former Doctor Who script editor & author Anthony Read, who will also be penning an introduction on the author. (Read and Williams worked together previously on the serial “The Invasion of Time”.) For more information on this fan project, visit www.argolis.co.uk. (Thanks to Robert Dunlop)
Brookside Meets Doctor Who: An unofficial crossover between two of Britain’s best loved series, Doctor Who and Brookside, will happen in the forthcoming “Short Trips 2: The Companions”. One of the stories, “Apocrypha Bipedium” by Ian Potter, features a recollection by Vicki to her past at Campus Manor; the full article from the Brookside fan site is available by clicking here. (Thanks to Stuart Manning, Damon Querry)
Levine Collection For Sale: Doctor Who fan & collector Ian Levine is currently making available several unique Doctor Who props and items, including: a Cyber Controller head (one of two made for the serial – fixed mouth); a Cyberman from “Tomb of the Cybermen” (Head only); a Cyberman from “Earthshock” (Head only); a TARDIS from “Curse of Peladon” (fell down mountainside); an original Sea-Devil head; two pieces of the Key to Time; the book from “Shada” (The Worshipful And Ancient Law Of Gallifrey); an original Ice Warrior claw (from “The Ice Warriors”); a Servo Robot (from “The Wheel in Space”); one of the fake Mona Lisa’s from “City of Death”; a black & white photographic background used for “Warriors’ Gate” episode 4; a shrunken Xeraphin from “Time-Flight”; a wall panel from “Full Circle”; and Bellal’s head from “Death to the Daleks” (latex has decayed). Interested parties can send enquiries to Paul Vanezis of the Doctor Who restoration team at email@example.com. (Thanks to Paul for letting us know!)
Doctor Who Is Tops: The character of Doctor Who has been named the greatest science fiction character of all time, according to a poll taken by British genre magazine SFX. Rounding out the top ten characters are Spike, Buffy and Willow from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” John Crichton and Aeryn Sun from “Farscape,” Han Solo and Darth Vader of the “Star Wars” saga, Angel from the Buffy spinoff “Angel” and Gandalf of “Lord of the Rings”. Said SFX editor Dave Golder to BBC News, “It just goes to prove that there is a certain magic to the character and the idea of the face-changing Doctor which strikes a chord with the public’s imagination.” The full article on BBC news can be read by clicking here. (Thanks to Damon Querry, Deejay)
Doctor Who Wins Awards: In late October, the Cult TV Festival held its annual Cult TV Awards in Southport. Doctor Who received two awards: “Hall of Fame Hero” for the character of the Brigadier — for which actor Nicholas Courtney (pictured) received the award in London the week prior to the event (and taped an acceptance presentation) — and “Hall of Fame Producer” for the late Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner for his long-time contribution to the genre. JNT’s partner and longtime colleague Gary Downie was on hand to pick up the award. (Thanks to Paul Jones)
Daleks on Display: Southhampton’s Millais Gallery recently featured an exhibition called U.N.I.T. by Roy Brown, with fullsize Daleks shown alongside an army of props loaned to the exhibition by Dalek builders and collectors from across the UK. A documentary, Making Dictators Who Can’t Climb Stairs, made with film-maker Julian Hoxter is screened within the show. The film features interviews with many of the contributing builders, exploring their fascination with Daleks, and why they commit so much time, money and energy to create these detailed and precise replicas. The film also takes up the exhibition’s broader intension of exploring the cultural and political meanings of this powerful icon of British science-fiction and 1960s design. The exhibition was on display until December 14. For more information visit http://millais.solent.ac.uk/current.html. (Thanks to Andy Futter)
Human Nature: BBCi has launched the second online release of a Virgin Publishing Doctor Who novel, Paul Cornell’s Human Nature. The prologue and first two chapters of the book are available online now, with additional chapters released one per week; also online are the prelude written by Cornell for Doctor Who Magazine and an introduction by the author. Illustrations are being supplied by artist Daryl Joyce. Click here to read the book. (Thanks to BBCi)
Popular With the Fashionable: From the “ridiculous to the sublime” department: the November 8 issue of the free UK newspaper Metro features an article entitled Celebrities Behind Closed Doors and stated: “Liz Hurley has been on a shopping expedition to Harrods buying DVDs including The League of Gentlemen and Dr Who. The actress told staff the Time Lord was a great favourite – ‘but only with Jon Pertwee’.” Oookkaaaayyyy… (Thanks to Richard Allison, Zygon Curry)
Daleks Invade Warner Brothers: The forthcoming film Looney Toons: Back in Action, coming soon from Warner Bros. Feature Animation, will feature numerous cameos including some well-known Doctor Who villains. Reports Dark Horizons from news on Fangoria’s website: “[D]etails on various cameos by well known movie monsters in the combination animation/live-action feature… The one and only Robby the Robot from ‘Forbidden Planet’ will make an appearance with ‘Tales from the Crypt’ producer Robert Parigi set to slip inside the construction for two weeks of filming. Various other creatures from 50’s and 60’s B-grade sci-fi also appear in a sequence set in ‘Area 52’ including some very well known critters such as Daleks from the ‘Doctor Who’ series, seed pods from the original 1956 version of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, the Metaluna Mutant from ‘This Island Earth’ and a seven-man puppeted giant triffid from the adaptation of ‘The Day of the Triffids’. On top of all that the one and only Roger Corman will put in an appearance, playing the director of a new “Batman” movie during a chase scene set on the Warners lot in Burbank.” (Thanks to Dark Horizons, plus Gareth Parker, Mike Vallas, David Patrick)
BBC’s Police Box Victory: After a six-year battle, the BBC has been awarded the copyright of the Metropolitan Police’s blue police telephone box, better known to fans as the TARDIS, according to wire reports from BBC News and the Daily Telegraph. Says the Telegraph article, “Lawyers at the Patent Office have decided that the image rights to the television timelord’s vehicle are now more closely associated with Dr Who and the BBC than the Met, who stopped using the boxes in the Sixties. The decision means that the corporation will now benefit from all merchandising or productions using the blue police box, which the doctor used for whizzing through time for 26 years. A spokesman for the Met said yesterday that the force’s receiver had objected to the BBC’s original application. ‘We’re disappointed but philosophical about the decision,’ he said. ‘The force has now gone on to either register as trademarks or make registry applications for a variety of recognised police items.’ Among the items that the force has now successfully registered the rights for are the traditional blue police station lamp, the name New Scotland Yard and the metal identity badge worn by officers.” Says the BBC News article, “the Met claimed it should be trade mark holder of the Tardis, believing it to be commonly known as the police telephone box. It said in 1953 there were 685 blue police telephone boxes in London, and that the boxes had a considerable reputation among the general public. … [A]rbitrator Shaun Sherlock remarked that even if the police had built up any reputation, it would have only been in the area of policing and law enforcement and would not have extended into the goods and services which the BBC had applied to use it for.” (Thanks to the many people who wrote in this morning to let us know!)
Energy Efficient Daleks: A campaign in England to encourage people to save energy is using a Dalek, reportedly one of the originals from the show, as an attention-getting device. From the following article at Leicester Mercury (with thanks to Laura Palmberg):
DALEK DELIVERING SOME FRIENDLY TIPS ON SAVING ENERGY
Shoppers were greeted by a full- sized Dalek, from the popular Dr Who TV series, in Leicester’s Town Hall Square. The 5ft tall metal alien, one of the original Daleks from the BBC series, was helping staff at the energy advice centre, Market Place South, to kick-start energy efficiency week.
Alison McCafferty, senior energy officer, said: “The idea is to make householders aware of energy efficiency in their own homes. The Dalek did cause a bit of a stir. “It is one of the original Daleks and we are hoping to have it for the rest of the week.”
Staff at the centre are spending this week promoting the message that saving energy can save pounds off household bills. Throughout the week there will be information and advice on grants and cash available to make homes more energy efficient. The campaign also hopes to tackle fuel poverty, where households spend more than 10 per cent of their income meeting heating costs. People on benefits can find out how they can access grants and information about making their homes more energy efficient and cut their energy bills. To find out more, visit the energy centre from 10am to 3pm from Tuesday to Saturday and 11am to 3pm on Monday or contact 0800 512012.
TARDIS in OED Again: The Oxford Shorter English Dictionary has come out again, and this time included in this popular edition is the word TARDIS. The word previously appeared in the much larger version, but this is the first mainstream book to include the Doctor Who title. Some of the other words to be included in the Oxford Shorter English Dictionary, due to their use in the vernacular, are Jedi, Klingon, Dilithium, Warp Drive, get real, text messaging and just war. (Thanks to Jonathan Baldwin, Ivan Philpot)
Dead Ringers: A CD and cassette of the third series of the award winning radio 4 comedy show Dead Ringers starring Jon Culshaw has been released. “As usual there is a sprinkling of Doctor Who based comedy sketches and phone calls, including ‘The Doctor’ ringing Claims Direct (an insurance claims company, recently defunct ) looking to get compensation for falling off a radio telescope and regenerating into Peter Davison.” Meanwhile, after a successful pilot in March 2002 on BBC-1, a six-part series of “Dead Ringers” has been commissioned for BBC-2 for broadcast in the six weeks up to Christmas. The production team promises “more Who-based comedy in this vein” in the TV series. For more information visit www.tomandnev.co.uk. (Thanks to Nev Fountain)
Missing Episode Clips: BBCi has now made available the series of missing episode clips recently discovered in New Zealand. 16mm clips from episodes 2, 4 and 5 of “The Web of Fear” and episode 5 of “The Wheel in Space” (as well as previously-existing footage from “The Ark”) — all originally censored clips like the Australia find of 1999 — were recently found in New Zealand by fan Graham Howard; the footage has been transferred to video for possible future inclusion on a BBC release; meanwhile the clips are available online now by clicking here.
Paul Scoones of the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club has announced that another batch of lost footage and clips from the Patrick Troughton serials “The Web of Fear” and “The Wheel in Space” has been found. Says the press release (originally posted on the Restoration Team forum and also sent to OG by Scoones):
LOST WEB OF FEAR CLIPS DISCOVERED IN NEW ZEALAND
Three years after the discovery of The Crusade Episode 1 in January 1999, a second ‘Doctor Who’ film find has been made in New Zealand. Just over a minute of lost Troughton era film clips have been unearthed, as part of a collection of over six minutes of 1960s ‘Doctor Who’, held by a film collector.
The 16mm film footage includes excerpts from The Ark, The Web of Fear and The Wheel in Space. The clips from these last two stories are of particular interest, as they feature brief segments from otherwise missing episodes. The majority of the scenes from missing episodes come from Episode 4 of The Web of Fear, but also included are scenes from Episodes 2 and 5, and Episode 5 of The Wheel in Space.
The Web of Fear footage contains segments featuring the Doctor, Jamie, Victoria, and Professor and Anne Travers. Other segments show the Yeti in confrontation with the army, including one in which Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is briefly visible. The footage from The Wheel in Space is a collection of cuts to a fight scene between crewman Flannigan and two Cyber-controlled colleagues.
The discovery was made by Wellington ‘Doctor Who’ fan Graham Howard whilst helping to catalogue a collection of film reels. The clips are censor cuts that were made to the episodes before transmission by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC). Unlike the Australian censor clips located in 1996, there does not appear to have been a statutory obligation in New Zealand to preserve the censored film clips. The footage was evidently discarded, before finding its way into private hands, along with edits from many other TV series from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The full story behind the discovery, including detailed descriptions of each of the ‘Doctor Who’ clips and off-screen photos, appears in issue 65 (May 2002) of TSV (Time Space Visualiser), the journal of the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club (www.doctorwho.org.nz).
We’ve learned that the durations of the clips are as follows: from “The Web of Fear”, 14 seconds from episode 2, 41 seconds from episode 4 and 2 seconds from episode 5; from “Wheel in Space,” 8 seconds from episode 5; and some footage from other episodes that already exist in their entirety. Some screen captures of the recently rediscovered film footage such as the thumbnail at right can now be found, along with further information, at the website of the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club. The footage may be included on a future video or DVD release. (Thanks to Paul Scoones, Graham Howard, David Howe and Steve Roberts)
The Oxford English Dictionary revised edition this year lists the word TARDIS (or, more accurately, Tardis):
Additionally there are annotations dating back to 1985, as well as a supplementary entry Tardis-like (adv), “the inner dimensions are at odds with the outer.”