Posted in News, Ongoing Series, Torchwood

John Barrowman Suggests Steven Moffat is Blocking Torchwood Return, Praises Chris Chibnall

In a somewhat surprising update to yesterday’s story where John Barrowman suggested “certain egos” and “politics” were stopping the return of Torchwood to the screens, the Captain Jack actor has now firmly pointed the finger in Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat’s direction.

The character of Captain Jack debuted in Steven Moffat's 2005 episode The Empty Child
The character of Captain Jack debuted in Steven Moffat’s 2005 episode The Empty Child

Speaking in a video released on Twitter, Barrowman says:

“Without giving too much away I was on phone conversations with one of our executives/exec producers, telling me the obstacles we’d have to face in order to bring [Torchwood] back and i don’t like to see things as obstacles because my feeling is that it’s a good show, it deserves to come back and i’m being told it can’t come back until it’s got approval from certain people involved with Doctor Who and i don’t understand why one show has to have the approval of another in order for it to come back but that might change when somebody leaves, when somebody new and wonderful comes in.”

The emphasis placed on “somebody leaves” would seem to point the finger squarely at Steven Moffat. Moffat of course departing Doctor Who at the end of the forthcoming Series 10, being replaced by Broadchurch‘s Chris Chibnall.

Speaking previously to the Radio Times, Barrowman had said:

“I was told that there are some obstacles to overcome, and every time I tried to talk about a way around them, it was almost like there was another obstacle. And this is a personal thing for me, this is not anything that was discussed, but I find it really a little disheartening that a company like the BBC can’t just say ‘Put your egos aside, we’re gonna go forward with this.’”

John went on to state how much those involved would love to see another series, citing “politics” as the major obstacle in the way of a return:

“I travel all over the world, and I see the popularity of Torchwood, but when it comes down that it’s not being done because of people’s egos, I find that really difficult. There’s a lot of politics involved, and the people that are close to it, I think would love to see it done, but there’s just certain egos in the path that are just standing in the way. That’s all I’ll say… I think obstacles are things that you have to work through. And you know, if it is a never scenario, it doesn’t mean that I’m gonna stop trying, as will a lot of other people on my side.”

For those missing Torchwood, there are two series’ of audio adventures available from Big Finish, with a third planned for 2017. John Barrowman meanwhile will return to the role of Captain Jack, also in 2017, with The Lives of Captain Jack, also from Big Finish.

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Posted in 1st Doctor, Audio, Classic Series, Lists, Merchandise, News

Ranking Our Top Ten First Doctor Adventures From Big Finish

With the third series of Big Finish’s acclaimed Early Adventures range ready to launch later this month, we decided to celebrate some new/old adventures from the Big Finish team and take a look back, from amongst many excellent options, at our favourite audio adventures of William Hartnell’s First Doctor.

10: The Founding Fathers by Simon Guerrier

The TARDIS lands in Leicester Square in the summer of 1762. When the Doctor, Steven and Vicki find themselves locked out of the TARDIS, only one man can possibly help them. But the American, Benjamin Franklin, has problems of his own…

As big fans and proponents of the Doctor Who historical, any audios of that nature will automatically make the list and always evoke the era well as the Doctor and his companions get themselves into another problem in Earth’s history. Meeting Benjamin Franklin, the tale comes from the pen of Simon Guerrier, who has become something of a First Doctor specialist for Big Finish. Told at a leisurely pace, The Founding Fathers tells an intelligent and likeable tale, more in the vain of The Aztecs and other more “serious” historicals than say, The Romans. With some excellent material provided for Franklin and superb characterisation with the Doctor, The Founding Fathers is a worthy first entry on our list.

Note: Founding Fathers artwork is an unofficial piece by Si Hodges


9: The Library of Alexandria by Simon Guerrier

thelibraryofalexandriacover_image_largeThe port of Alexandria, 5th Century AD. The Doctor, Ian, Susan and Barbara have taken a break from their travels, and are enjoying a few weeks in the sunshine – and the chance to appreciate the magnificent Library of Alexandria. Ian also takes the chance to enjoy friendship with the philosopher Hypatia – but things here will not last forever. The time travellers know that the library will soon be lost to history. What they are about to discover is the terrifying reason why…

Keeping the historical and Simon Guerrier theme running, The Library of Alexandria takes the existing First Doctor historical and turns it on its head by adding sci-fi elements, the true to life era much preferring the “pure” historical. Despite historical sic-fi being a staple of Doctor Who in the modern era, it feels fresh here and the production is boosted by an excellent performances from William Russell, the elder statesman of Doctor Who. With a strong and intelligent script, as is now somewhat to be expected from Guerrier, The Library of Alexandria effectively mixes the educational historical with a big budget sci-fi spectacular feel.


8: The Rocket Men by John Dorney

dwcc602_therocketmen_1417_cover_large-1The TARDIS has landed on Platform Five, a floating city in the sky of the planet Jobis, and for a time the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki get the chance to enjoy this idyllic place. And then the Rocket Men arrive, led by the sadistic Ashman. When the only other option to certain death is suicide, Ian Chesterton takes the gamble of his life…

If one Big Finish adventure could be said to have an authentic feel outside of the Lost Stories range, The Rocket Men by John Dorney might be it. Wonderfully evocative of the era in both Doctor Who and science fiction in general, The Rocket Men boasts a strong script with a A+ in characterisation, particularly with our regulars, who are as close to our television heroes as we see in the range. Lisa Bowerman gives a masterclass in direction and any audio is always boosted by her work as one of Big Finish’s prize assets. Full of personal and literary romance, William Russell once again takes the audio to new heights as reading, direction and script come together magnificently to form a very strong entry in our top ten list.


7: The Guardian of the Solar System by Simon Guerrier

dwcc0501_theguardianofthesolarsystem_1417_cover_largeSpace Security Agent Sara Kingdom is dead, her ashes strewn on the planet Kembel. But, in an old house in Ely, Sara Kingdom lives on… Now joined in the house by her confidante Robert, Sara recalls her travels in the TARDIS with the Doctor – and a particular adventure when the ship appeared to land inside a giant clock, where old men are caught in its workings… And behind this nightmare is an old enemy: Mavic Chen, Guardian of the Solar System. Then and now, Sara’s past is catching up with her. The cogs have come full circle…

The third of four entries for Simon Guerrier on the list and the author once again show’s his mastery over the era with the final part of the Sara Kingdom trilogy which concludes events heard in Home Truths and The Drowned World, also by Guerrier. Jean Marsh once again gives a stellar performance as Sara, almost fifty years removed from her single story in the role, Jean being ably supported by Niall McGregor. With superb drama throughout, delivered once more from the direction of Lisa Bowerman, Guardians provides twists and turns aplenty. While The Guardian of the Solar System isn’t the strongest play in the trilogy, it acts a fine final segment, tying threads together successfully and concluding on a high note.


6: Home Truths by Simon Guerrier

dwcc0305_hometruths_1417_cover_largeThere’s a house across the waters at Ely where an old woman tells a strange story. About a kind of night constable called Sara Kingdom. And her friends, the Doctor and Steven. About a journey they made to a young couple’s home, and the nightmarish things that were found there. About the follies of youth and selfishness. And the terrible things even the most well-meaning of us can inflict on each other. Hear the old woman’s story. Then decide her fate.

We said in 2014:

“Sara Kingdom is something of a blank canvas for Big Finish, having only appeared in two episodes on-screen nearly 50 years ago and rarely featured in spin-off media since, the opportunity is there to craft a whole life story around the Space Security Service agent. Jean Marsh amazingly slips back into the role with ease, showing her immense talents as an actress, served well by what we might term First Doctor specialist Simon Guerrier. A unique and frightening idea, Home Truths is an atmospheric masterpiece that leaves the listener eager for more at it’s conclusion.”


5: The Time Museum by James Goss

the_time_museum_audio“This is The Chesterton Exhibition. A series of breathtakingly faithful tableaux, painstakingly detailed to the nth degree. Dedicated to the life of that most extraordinary time traveller, Ian Chesterton!”

Ian finds himself in a shrine to his own past, and on the run with a man named Pendolin. From Coal Hill School to Jobis Station, from Totter’s Yard to the Crusades, Ian’s history is unfolding. And a confrontation with a deadly enemy with a voracious appetite awaits…

We Said in 2014:

“The 50th anniversary came early in 2012 as we took a trip down (Ian’s) memory lane in a fantastically nostalgic walk through the early years of the show. Any fan of the Hartnell era or William Russell’s Ian Chesterton will adore The Time Museum, this being very much Ian’s play. William Russell is a truly magnificent reader of anything put in front of him and here he is in his element, given a brilliant script harking back to the golden era of the show, revisiting the popular topic of Ian’s relationship with Barbera. A misty eyed and affectionate tribute to one of the truly great eras in Doctor Who, essential for all fans of the show in the 1960s.”


4: Domain of the Voord by Andrew Smith

001_domain_of_the_voord_cover_largeThe Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara land on the planet Hydra, where Admiral Jonas Kaan leads a vast flotilla of ships trying to elude the vicious race that has invaded and occupied their world. But his ships are being picked off one by one, vessels and crews dragged underwater by an unseen foe. The time travellers find themselves pitched into battle against the Voord, the ruthless enemy they last encountered on the planet Marinus. As they take the fight to the very heart of the territory now controlled by the Voord the stakes get higher. First they lose the TARDIS… then they lose that which they hold most dear. And that’s only the start of their troubles. In the capital, Predora City, they will learn the truth of what it means to be a Voord. And that truth is horrifying.

We said in 2014:

“Andrew Smith has seemingly effortlessly recreated the world of 1960s Doctor Who, yet left his own mark as he delves into the backstory of Terry Nation’s lesser creation, imbuing them with a fascistic streak and delving into the races hierarchy and assimilation of other beings into an expansionist empire. Smith, alongside director Ken Bentley, has crafted a dark and meaningful play that is full of atmosphere and nods to the past. Domain of the Voord however is more than a nostalgia piece, looking backward yet finding new ground and avenues to explore on familiar territory. Should The Early Adventures continue in this vein, we are in for a treat indeed. Domain of the Voord is one of the Big Finish highlights of the year.”


3: The Masters of Luxor by Anthony Coburn, adapted by Nigel Robinson

dwls0307_themastersofluxor_1417_cover_largeThe TARDIS is drawn to a mysterious signal emanating from a seemingly dead world. Trapped within a crystalline structure, the Doctor and his friends inadvertently wake a vast army of robots that have lain dormant for many, many years. Waiting… for the Masters of Luxor. The Perfect One wants to become more than just a mockery of a man, and will stop at nothing to achieve it. But will the cost prove too great? The travellers are about to uncover a horrifying tragedy. A tragedy that threatens to engulf them all.

Possibly the most well-known “lost story” of Doctor Who‘s entire run, Anthony Coburn’s The Masters of Luxor couldn’t be more different from the author’s only televised story, An Unearthly Child. While the tale does have some inherent weaknesses, perhaps being overlong and unnecessarily padded in places, the script is highly intelligent and thought-provoking, the complex story certainly on a par with Terry Nation’s The Daleks which ultimately replaced it in the first season. A divisive script, with many fans finding it boring compared to Nation’s serial, love for The Masters of Luxor perhaps depends on individual taste. With evocative sound design however and sparkling performances from William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, to us, The Masters of Luxor is something of an underrated gem.


2: Farewell, Great Macedon by Moris Farhi, adapted by Nigel Robinson

The TARDIS materialises in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, in the year 323 BC. The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan meet Alexander the Great – but their excitement is tempered by the realization that these are the final days of Alexander’s life. As the travellers become embroiled in the tragic events, the inevitability of history unfolds around them. But can they – and should they – change it?

If there was one “lost story” that deserved to put into production, it was surely Farewell, Great Macedon, a story that could proudly have stood alongside Marco Polo during the series’ first season. A sweeping historical epic, like Marco Polo, the story takes place across months of the TARDIS traveller’s time and spans a vast distance, taking in historic locales with a painted vivid imagery. The source material, of course, puts our regulars in such authentic situations that it’s almost easy to forget you’re not listening to a genuine first season story and the performances of William Russell and Carole Ann Ford are more than equal to the task set. Comprising part of the First Doctor Box Set alongside the equally wonderful Fragile Yellow Arc of FragranceFarewell, Great Macedon is the best unproduced script from Doctor Who‘s long history and equally one of the best entries in Big Finish’s Doctor Who canon.


1: The Flames of Cadiz by Marc Platt

flames_of_cadiz_coverThe TARDIS materializes in Spain in the late sixteenth century. The country is at war with England – and the travellers find themselves on the wrong side of the battle lines. When Ian and his new friend Esteban are captured by the Inquisition, the Doctor, Susan and Barbara plan to rescue them. But these are dark days in human history. And heretics face certain death…

We said in 2014:

“The early historicals have often been heralded by fans as some of the true (and many lost) classics of the original series. Big Finish have provided many a resumption, The Glorious Revolution being a prime example, but none have truly evoked the era better than The Flames of Cadiz, our number one choice as the best Big Finish Companion Chronicle.

We’ve already commented on the undiminished quality of William Russell with Big Finish (or his Target readings). That he created the role of Ian over 50 years ago now is astounding considering how effortless his performances are in the role even today, yet in Flames of Cadiz he seems to absolutely relish the wonderfully evocative script by Marc Platt, ably joined by Carole Ann-Ford as Susan to authentically recreate an era in which Flames could easily have been broadcast.

This is vintage Hartnell.

Preferring to show history for what it is – brutal and violent, this is a far cry however from The Romans or other lighter historical, here the threat is all too real, bringing home some realities for a TARDIS crew who are enjoying the wonderful spirit of adventure a little too much. In lesser hands the brutality of the Spanish Inquisition could have been played for Pythonesque laughs, not so here as Platt shows that humanity rarely learns from its past, providing us with a strong message on intolerance. There are strong shades of The Massacre here alongside The Aztecs and even Marco Polo, perfectly recreating its desired era.

Marc Platts finest contribution to Big Finish since Spare Parts.”

All the above titles are available now from BigFinish.com, click on each individual title for more information. The Flames of Cadiz can also be purchased via the Amazon link below.

Posted in News, Ongoing Series

Everything We Know About New Doctor Who Spin-Off Class

Synopsis

“What if your planet was massacred and you were the sole survivor? What if a legendary figure out of space and time found you a place to hide? But what if the things that want to kill you have tracked you down? And worst of all, what if you haven’t studied for your A-Levels…? Coal Hill School has been a part of the Doctor Who universe since the very beginning, but that has come at a price. All the time travelling over the years has caused the very walls of space and time to become thin. There’s something pressing in on the other side, something waiting for its chance to kill everyone and everything, to bring us all into Shadow.”

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Produced by BBC Wales, Class features the sixth form pupils of Coal Hill School in Shoreditch and their adventures as incredible dangers break through the walls of time and space. With darkness coming, London is unprotected.

Described as having all the action, heart and adrenalin of the best YA fiction such as Buffy and The Hunger Games, this will be Coal Hill School like you’ve never seen it before.

Filming for the series commenced in April of this year and wrapped in September.

Writer Patrick Ness says:

“I can’t wait for people to meet the heroes of Class, to meet the all-new villains and aliens, to remember that the horrors of the darkest corners of existence are just about on par with having to pass your A-Levels.”

Ness also says that the best Young Adult fiction should be aimed at teenagers but also reach beyond it’s boundaries:

“That’s who it should be for first, but the best YA reaches beyond that. The best of anything reaches beyond its boundaries… The idea is to take everything that I love about YA, which is the great breadth of it and the great depth of it and its fearlessness… and the way that it takes teenage characters seriously as complex human beings, and just put that on television in the Doctor Who universe and that sounded very, very exciting to me.”

Cast and Crew

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Greg Austin as Charlie
Fady Elsayed
Sophie Hopkins as April
Vivian Oparah
Katherine Kelly as Miss Quill
Nigel Betts as Season 8’s Mr. Armitage
Paul Marc Davis
Anna Shaffer as Rachel
Cyril Nri as Chair

With a special guest performance by Peter Capaldi as The Doctor

“The main thing I just wanted to say, guys, is how excited I am to get started and how nervous I am to do it justice. I just really hope I can do justice to the whole ‘Doctor Who’ universe and especially to you guys.” – Gregory Austin

Written by: Patrick Ness
Produced by: Derek Ritchie
Executive Producers: Patrick Ness, Brian Minchin, Steven Moffat.
Directors: Ed Bazalgette, Philippa Lansdale, Wayne Yip, Julian Holmes (finale).

“‘Class’ is dark and sexy and right now. I’ve always wondered if there could be a British ‘Buffy’ — it’s taken the brilliant Patrick Ness to figure out how to make it happen.” – Steven Moffat

Episodes

The series will consist of eight 45 minute episodes, commencing with The Prom this October.

“I want to show the world new stuff. I want to have new things that maybe we haven’t seen before. That’s my goal. That’s what I’m aiming for — shock you with something new. Something like the Weeping Angels, which I think are great, are brand new. Steven Moffat invented them a couple seasons ago. There’s not going to be any weeping angels on ‘Class,’ but I’m just saying that they’re something new to the ‘Doctor Who’ universe that are just awesome, and I would like to do that.” – Patrick Ness

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Merchandise

Three tie-in novels will be published on October 27,

  • The Stone House by A.K. Benedict
  • Joyride by Guy Adams
  • What She Does Next Will Astound You by James Goss

Albert DePetrillo, Senior Editorial Director at BBC Books says:

“Patrick Ness is simply one of the finest writers working today – in any genre – and his new television series has all the hallmarks of his dazzling fiction. Class is a hugely exciting new brand for the BBC list, and we’re delighted to be working with Patrick and the production team at BBC Wales on these official tie-ins.”

Airdates

https://twitter.com/Patrick_Ness/status/649838025648771073?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Class will air first on BBC3 before airing on BBC1, the series debuting this October. BBC America will also air the series, with no confirmation on a timeframe.

Posted in News, Ongoing Series, Torchwood

John Barrowman Blames “Egos” For No Torchwood Return

Captain Jack Harkness actor John Barrowman has blamed “certain egos” for there being no new series of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood.

Torchwood last aired in 2011
Torchwood last aired in 2011

Last airing in 2011 with Miracle Day, Torchwood has failed to re-materialise on screen, a fact that Barrowman puts down to unnamed egos and being told there are “obstacles” to overcome in a new interview with the Radio Times.

“I was told that there are some obstacles to overcome, and every time I tried to talk about a way around them, it was almost like there was another obstacle. And this is a personal thing for me, this is not anything that was discussed, but I find it really a little disheartening that a company like the BBC can’t just say ‘Put your egos aside, we’re gonna go forward with this.’”

John went on to state how much those involved would love to see another series, citing “politics” as the major obstacle in the way of a return:

“I travel all over the world, and I see the popularity of Torchwood, but when it comes down that it’s not being done because of people’s egos, I find that really difficult. There’s a lot of politics involved, and the people that are close to it, I think would love to see it done, but there’s just certain egos in the path that are just standing in the way. That’s all I’ll say… I think obstacles are things that you have to work through. And you know, if it is a never scenario, it doesn’t mean that I’m gonna stop trying, as will a lot of other people on my side.”

For those missing Torchwood, there are two series’ of audio adventures available from Big Finish, with a third planned for 2017. John Barrowman meanwhile will return to the role of Captain Jack, also in 2017, with The Lives of Captain Jack, also from Big Finish.

Posted in Audio, Big Finish, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

Captain Jack Returns to Big Finish in 2017 With The Lives of Captain Jack

John Barrowman will return to the role of Captain Jack Harkness in 2017 with a new box set of audio adventures from Big Finish – The Lives of Captain Jack.

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Joined by Camille Codouri as Jackie Tyler and Russell Tovey as Alonso Frame, the set comes from the pens of James Goss and Guy Adams.

Speaking to BigFinish.com, Goss says the mini-series will feature snippets from the Captain’s long existence:

“The Lives Of Captain Jack features just four adventures from his incredibly long existence. It takes us from the year 200,101; to the Powell Estate; to the Time Agency and to an enchanted evening with Jack and Alonso Frame. John was an utter delight throughout, and the day with him and Camille may have been one of the happiest in my life.”

Synopses

1. The Year After I Died by Guy Adams

Set in the year 200,101, on an Earth ravaged by the Daleks, Jack struggles to save humanity from its oldest enemy.

2. Wednesdays For Beginners by James Goss

Jack and Jackie Tyler must unite to rescue the Powell Estate from a force whose name Jackie can never say.

3. One Enchanted Evening by James Goss

Captain Jack and Alonso Frame have only just met. But why did the Doctor want them to be together?

4. Month 25 by Guy Adams

He’s the young star of the Time Agency, and his whole life is about to fall apart. But that’s not going to stop him winning.

The Lives of Captain Jack is available to preorder now from BigFinish.com and will be released in June of 2017.

Posted in News, Ongoing Series

Christopher Eccleston Says He Regrets Not Doing More Doctor Who, Reasons for Leaving

Ninth Doctor actor Christopher Eccleston has given a new interview, stating his regrets at not staying in the role of the Doctor longer and speaking again on the reasoning behind his departure.

Speaking with Raf Epstein on 774 ABC Melbourne’s Drive, Eccleston says the first series of the returning show was both “badly organised and certainly badly produced,” and had it been acknowledged at the time, things would have “turned out differently”.

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However, Christopher regrets not staying in the role longer.

“There’s always regret when you play a role like that because what you do is you… i watched it back and i thought ok, next time don’t do this – do that, you know, calibrate the performance. It was kind of tragic for me, that I didn’t play him for longer. He’s a beautiful character and I have a great deal of professional pride and had I done a second season, there would have been a marked improvement in my performance. I was learning new skills, in terms of playing light comedy. I was not known for light comedy and, again, production did not allow for that.”

Eccleston was also critical of the choice of directors for the series:

“It’s very important on a first series that you make a very informed and intelligent choice, even if it means breaking the budget, about getting the first director who is going to set the tone for the season, for the way the actors relate and that did not happen. Disaster.”

For the full interview, where Christopher talks on his recent performance in The A Word, the debt Doctor Who owes of Russell T. Davies and the requirements for actors playing the Doctor, you can listen to the full interview via Soundcloud below.

http://soundcloud.com/774-abc-melbourne/christopher-eccleston-on-drive-with-raf-epstein

https://soundcloud.com/774-abc-melbourne/christopher-eccleston-on-drive-with-raf-epstein

Posted in Comics, Merchandise, News, Ongoing Series

Supremacy of the Cybermen #3 Released This Coming Week

Titan’s Supremacy of the Cybermen mini-series continues this week with the release of the third instalment, featuring David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor on the cover.

Exiled from Gallifrey at the very end of Time, Rassilon, fallen leader of the Time Lords, has been captured by the last of the Cybermen. Now the Cybermen have access to time travel. With it, every defeat is now a victory. Every foe is now dead — or Cyberised.

Synopsis

Witness the birth of the new Cybermen invasion, as the history of this aggressive Cyberiad is at last revealed! The Tenth Doctor takes a titanic machine into combat. The Twelfth Doctor finds an unlikely ally. The Ninth Doctor loses one of his own. And the Eleventh Doctor discovers something impossible!

Written by: George Mann & Cavan Scott

Art by: Alessandro Vitti, Ivan Rodriguez, Tazio Bettin

Covers

Preview

preview

Made to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Cybermen’s debut in The Tenth Planet, the mini-series forms a four-way crossover between Titan’s Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor ranges and is available now from ForbiddenPlanet.com. The collected edition can be ordered via the Amazon link below.

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Posted in News, Ongoing Series, Previews, Spoilers & Gossip

Spoilers: Everything We Know About Doctor Who Series 10 So Far, Filming Update

With filming for Series 10 well underway, we take a look at what we already know about the forthcoming series, including casting and writing updates and new rumours and spoilers from the set.

Cast and Crew

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Peter Capaldi will remain as the Doctor for at least one more series according to Steven Moffat, indicating he will remain in the role throughout the remainder of Steven’s tenure as Show-runner. Pearl Mackie’s character of Bill meanwhile is described as an “irreverent” and “cheeky” contrast to Capaldi’s serious Doctor.

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining the Doctor Who family. Reading the script at the audition I thought Bill was wicked. Fantastically written, cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in – I can’t wait to bring her to life, and to see how she develops through the series.” – Pearl Mackie

The first episode of the series is written by Steven Moffat, with the second episode coming from the pen of Frank Cottrell-Boyce, writer of In The Forest of the Night. Mark Gatiss, Sarah Dollard (episode 3) and Doctor Who newcomer Mike Barlett (episode 4) will also contribute, with Moffat also penning the final three episodes of the Series before signing off with the 2017 Christmas Special. In 2015 Gatiss stated he might potentially write a sequel to Sleep No More.

Beyond the main cast, Matt Lucas will return to the role of Nardole from last year’s Husbands of River Song as a regular and Peter Capaldi let slip earlier this year that he’d filmed a new scene with Jenna Coleman. Michelle Gomez has also confirmed a return as Missy and Poirot actor David Suchet will play “The Landlord” in episode 4 of the series.

“Enjoying playing the Landlord in ‘Doctor Who‘ SO MUCH… Yes it is now official!! I am acting the part of The Landlord in DOCTOR WHO. Always wanted to be in an episode.” – David Suchet

Others cast include Mina Anwar, Ralf Little and Kaizer Akhtar alongside Tate Pitchie-Cooper as the young Landlord.

Episodes

Series 10 will consist of 12 episodes, plus two Christmas specials bookending the series in 2016 and 2017. The opening episode of the series is entitled A Star in Her Eye. Unlike last series, most episodes will be single stand-alone adventures. Steven Moffat has stated that the scene released below may not be included in the series, so it can’t be taken as indication that the Daleks will return during Series 10.

Broadcast Date

Peter Capaldi let slip earlier this week that the show would air in April of 2017.

https://twitter.com/CreativeCatFX/status/772950195512500229

Filming

#BehindTheScenes on series 10. All hands on deck on board the TARDIS! #DoctorWho #DrWho #whovian #fandom

A post shared by Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) on

Kicking off filming on June 20 with block one, directed by Lawrence Gough, early location work featured fake snow opposite City Hall and at the University of Cardiff, doubling for Bristol. Seen carrying presents through the snow, Pearl Mackie set tongues wagging on being in this year’s Christmas Special, but officially her debut is in the first episode of Series 10, with those on set equally saying that is what was being filmed. This years special comprises block 3 of filming. Could the opening episode of the series continue on from the Christmas special?

Matt Lucas was also seen at Cathays Park campus, photographed on set with Pearl Mackie. There is somewhat divided information on just when the character returns, but it’s expected to be in this year’s Christmas special with Nardole leaving with the Doctor in the TARDIS. Matt is said to be a regular in the forthcoming series, but whether as a regular companion or a regularly returning character (along the lines of Ashildur) are unknown.

“I’m chuffed to bits that Nardole is returning to the TARDIS for some more adventures. I loved acting with Peter [Capaldi] and I’m excited to work with Pearl.” – Matt Lucas

“Delighted and slightly amazed to be welcoming Matt Lucas back on to the TARDIS – and this time it’s not just for Christmas, he’s sticking around. One of the greatest comedy talents on planet Earth is being unleashed on all of time and space.” – Steven Moffat

Foreign shores welcomed the Doctor and Bill in July as the show headed to Valencia in Spain for the Frank Cotrill-Boyce penned second episode, filming at the City of Arts and Science Museum.

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Early August, at the start of the second filming block as directed by Bill Anderson, we saw our first glimpses of what appears to be a Victorian set episode, photos showing classic Victorian snowy scenes from filming at Enterprise House in Cardiff.

Descending on Fields Park Avenue in Newport last month, Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie were filming at Fields House, previously having been used in the Series 3 episode Blink.

The crew also were seen filming with fake snow at Kings Weston House in Bristol and as part of Series 10, rather than the 2016 Christmas Special. With a horse-drawn carriage making up part of the scene, it seems likely to have been more from the Victorian set episode above.

Filming for Series 10 is expected to conclude in March 2017 with the series returning to BBC One and BBC America in April. Doctor Who will return to our screens this Christmas however with the annual Christmas Special on Christmas Day.

Posted in 1st Doctor, 2nd Doctor, Classic Series, News, Opinion

DWW Readers Sound Off on Remaking Missing Doctor Who Classics

Following the immensely positive reaction to BBC Four’s remaking of the lost 1957 Hancock’s Half Hour episode The New Neighbour, which stars Kevin McNally as the Lad Himself, we asked our followers whether they’d ever consider accepting similar remakes of the missing episodes from Doctor Who‘s history.

Stone me!
Stone me!

The reaction was generally positive from fans, with many saying the approach is something they’d be keen to see.

Many readers were keen to see David Bradley, star of 2013’s An Adventure in Space and Time, return to the fold as the First Doctor in particular.

Other’s however weren’t so positive, preferring animation or extra money for the Ongoing Series.

For our own take, we’d love to see remakes of the lost classics but would hope they would remain faithful to the original episodes in terms of both script and set design, should they ever happen. The recent success of the Star Trek franchise, where iconic characters such as William Shatner’s Captain Kirk and Leonard Nimoy’s Mr Spock have been recast has shown appetite is there, but for us they maybe shy too far away from the original source material, the BBC’s recent Lost Sitcoms being far closer to what we’d like to see.

But if it came to having a choice between animation or remakes, it’d be a much more difficult choice to make… why not let us know your thoughts on social media or via the comments?

Posted in 2nd Doctor, Classic Series, Features, News

Whatever Happened to The Power of the Daleks?

Fifty Years since its initial broadcast, The Power of the Daleks will finally be seen again, in newly animated form, when the BBC release all six episodes this coming November.

But what happened to the original film recordings?

The master tapes of the complete serial were erased at Villiers House in 1974 (even though they weren’t “officially” junked), while the additional 35mm film negative of Episode 6 was junked by the BBC Brentford film library some time prior to 1970. Due to an error on the library film card, there has been long speculation that the Brentford record indicates that Power of the Daleks 6 was not “officially” junked and the film can remains missing, indicating the episode made its way onto the black market. This is not the case however and the error is a mere double entry, the film being junked that year.

Due to restrictions on sales of Dalek episodes placed by the Terry Nation estate between late 1966 and December of 1967 (Nation refusing permission to sell the Dalek stories while he was trying to sell his spin-off Dalek series in the United States), the likes of The Power of the Daleks saw relatively few international sales compared to stories around them. BBC Enterprise had two 16mm copies of the serial for foreign sales, the first of which was sent to Australia for July 1967 broadcast. The films were all returned to the BBC and junked on June 4, 1975. The second foreign-held copy has long been the source of much speculation, having been sent first to New Zealand for broadcast in August of 1969 and then sent on to Singapore in January of 1972 for broadcast in May of that year. The fate of the prints is unknown and Singapore says that it currently holds no material. The serials sent as part of the batch to RTS were The SavagesThe SmugglersThe Tenth Planet and The Power of the Daleks.

daleks-1
The newly animated Power of the Daleks is released this November.

Various clips from the landmark story still exist, taken from other programming, alongside 8mm footage filmed off-air by an Australian fan, which includes the first moments of the Second Doctor in the TARDIS.

Due to its key status as the first story to feature Patrick Troughton, its status as a classic of the era and of course it being a Dalek story, Power has long been one of the “holy grails” of missing episode hunting. The story has been subject to rumours and hoaxes ever since the 1980s, even though the Singapore prints are realistically the only hope of recovering the serial in its entirety, beyond the possibility of episodes marked for junking being purloined in London.

One of the earliest and most persistent rumours was that the serial was shown in its complete form in 1986 in Ghana, as reported in Doctor Who Bulletin #105 in September of 1992, when contacted over the matter the station claimed that the archive had burned down in 1989 (which was relayed in DWB #107). However, Ghana never bought the serial and there is no record of the Ghanian archives ever suffering such a fate.

In December of 1990 it was reported that a private collector was in possession of a poor quality copy of Episode 2 and episode hunter Bruce Campbell was in negotiation for the return of the episode. The return of the episode hinged, perhaps unbelievably today, on the collector receiving a copy of an extended Laserdisc edition of Aliens, a product only available at the time in the United States. Despite obtaining the Laserdisc, the Power episode never surfaced and the incident can only be put down as a hoax on the part of the collector.

Rumours later spread that a consortium of dealers bought a 35mm film print of Episode 1 for the princely sum of £15,500. No record exists of the episode in question having ever been on 35mm film, the BBC having recorded little of the show on the format and by 1994 further rumours spread of an oil-rig worker being in possession of Episode 2 of the serial, for which he’d paid £5000. A hoax in 2001 meanwhile said that Episode 3 had been located and sent to the BFI and the notorious Darren Gregory claimed at various points to be in possession of all or part of the serial.

All episodes of the serial are believed to have been destroyed
All episodes of the serial are believed to have been destroyed

The serial was the subject to a notorious earlier hoax in the 1990s when a collector in Australia attempted to defraud others out of material by using stills from surviving clips of the episode, the clips in question having featured in a 1974 edition of the education series Perspectives entitled C For Computer. The “Dalek production one” clip was later returned to the BBC.

The 2013 return of The Web of Fear and Enemy of the World brought a new level of speculation as all manner of rumours and hoaxes combined into the so-called “omnirumour” of which Power of the Daleks was often stated to have been recovered. That a recovered Power had a special screening for select individuals at the BBC was regularly speculated alongside insistence that the story would be the final release of the Doctor Who DVD range in 2016, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Patrick Troughton taking the role. Which we guess might somehow have actually come true! Of course these rumours were equally encased within tales of 97 episodes being recovered and regular DVD releases of material.

Yet others told tales of The Power of the Daleks being found “independently” of the main search alongside The Daleks Masterplan and yet in January of 2014 there seemed to be something more concrete as information surfaced that both Power and Evil had possibly been broadcast in Taiwan.

While rumours continue to persist to this day, the new animation from the BBC perhaps shows that the Beeb find little confidence in ever recovering the episodes and hold no information to the contrary. The excellent new production is the best that we could possibly hope for and the first chance most fans will get to see them in a broadcast medium. Here’s hoping for many more to come!

Power of the Daleks will be released digitally at 5:50pm on November 5 via the BBC store, with a DVD release following on November 21, preorders are available now via the Amazon link below.