Entries from July 2016
July 25th, 2016
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Joss Whedon has admitted that penning an episode of Doctor Who would be a “daunting” process because of the show’s extensive mythology.

The writer – who is best known for his work on Toy Story, The Avengers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the latter of which he also created – told fans during a San Diego Comic Con Nerd HQ panel that committing to over half a century’s worth of research would be a massive undertaking. “I’ve seen a few episodes, but let’s get real,” he said. “But it would be great to follow in the footsteps of Steven Moffat and the guys.”

He wasn’t completely against the idea of adding the world’s longest running sci-fi series to his reputable résumé, though, as he then teased: “Ask me again when the Doctor is a she.”

Would you like Joss to write a Doctor Who episode? Who else would be your dream writers?

July 25th, 2016
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

The latest Doctor Who Magazine is about to materialise and they’re taking a trip into the future to introduce us to our brand new TARDIS team!

Although Series 10 won’t actually hit our screens until 2017 (as if you need reminding!), it’s business as usual for the cast and crew who are working their little socks off in Cardiff – and, this week, Spain – to bring the Twelfth Doctor’s third string of adventures to life. They will introduce new companion Bill, as played by Pearl Mackie, and welcome back Matt Lucas’ Nardole from The Husbands of River Song.

Inside DWM #502, outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat and casting director Andy Pryor discuss what fans can expect from this exciting new dynamic, plus there’s the usual array of in-depth features, competitions, comics and more. In addition, the issue – which is on sale this Thursday (28th July), priced £5.99 – comes with 3 free posters and 4 art cards.

Browse the latest Doctor Who products on sale now in our merchandise section…

July 25th, 2016
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

As production on the brand new series continues, the Doctor Who cast and crew have temporarily bid adieu to sunny Cardiff to set up base in Spain instead.

Filming is this week taking place in Valencia where scenes are being shot for the second episode of Series 10, which has been written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce. Take a look at the picture below to see the Twelfth Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi, and his companion Bill, played by Pearl Mackie, getting with the times as they pose for a selfie outside the City of Arts and Science Museum. Say cheese!

Above – Pearl Mackie and Peter Capaldi on location in Spain for Series 10 of Doctor Who.

New adventures. New companion. Same Doctor! Read the latest Series 10 news…

July 24th, 2016
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

John Barrowman has suggested that he is currently in talks to step back into the shoes of Captain Jack Harkness in a new TV series of Torchwood.

The Doctor Who spin off – which has been “in limbo” since its fourth series, Miracle Day, was aired to mixed reviews back in 2011 – currently survives in the form of its ongoing comic and audio adventures, which its leading star urges are “like a Kickstarter” to ensuring its televisual comeback. “If you buy the comics, you will be showing your support,” he said at San Diego Comic Con this weekend.

Never one to shy away from a cryptic tease or two (this is Barrowman we’re talking about, after all!), the actor also revealed that he had “a phone conversation on Monday” to discuss bringing it back to the small screen, something which his co-star Eve Myles has also continously expressed an interest in. Back in 2013, the Gwen Cooper actress affirmed that she keeps her “fingers crossed” for a fifth series. Do you agree? Cast your votes…

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2015 is when everything changes – and Big Finish is ready! Click here for more…

July 24th, 2016
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

David Tennant recently reprised his role as the Tenth Doctor for a brief appearance in an upcoming episode of Family Guy.

The hit animated sitcom will return to Fox for its 15th season this autumn and it’s set to feature an extra special cameo that Doctor Who fans won’t want to miss. And if you blink, you probably will!

Still, it’s a humorous little reference to TV’s favourite Time Lord, which you can check out at the 1 minute mark in the video below (which contains adult content… obviously!).

July 16th, 2016
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Ralf Little has been revealed as the latest guest star who will be lending his acting services to Series 10 of Doctor Who.

As the Guardian reports, the actor – who is best known for his comedic roles in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and The Royle Family – will be playing a currently undisclosed character and began filming yesterday (Friday) at the show’s Roath Lock studios in Cardiff.

Production on the latest series – Peter Capaldi’s third as the Doctor – commenced last month.

Are you excited to see Ralf appear in Doctor Who? Do you think he’ll be a friend or a foe…?

New adventures. New companion. Same Doctor! Read the latest Series 10 news…

July 14th, 2016

The unique 2004 Doctor Who spin off Dæmos Rising is being re-released on DVD later this month, on which it will be presented in all its digitally remastered 16:9 Widescreen glory for the very first time.

A continuation of the Third Doctor adventure The Dæmons, the film also serves as a direct sequel to 1995’s Downtime as it reintroduces viewers to Cavendish who is approached by the Brigadier’s daughter, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, to help aid UNIT’s battle against the resurgent Dæmons, as seen in the aforementioned 1971 serial of the same name.

Dæmos Rising, written by David J. Howe and directed by Keith Barnfather, will be released on Monday 18th July 2016 with special features on the 2-disc set including exclusive insights into the making of what Sci-Fi-Online have billed as an “impressive production”.

To further celebrate its arrival, its distributors Koch Media have compiled a list of the Top 10 Doctor Who Movies That Don’t Feature the Doctor, which you can check out below.

Show list »

Wartime (1987)
This is the first unofficial spin-off from Doctor Who, directed by Keith Barnfather and starring John Levene reprising his role as John Benton, who was first introduced into the Whoniverse way back in 1968 during the time of the 2nd Doctor.

The short film follows Bentonas he is transporting a shipment of radioactive material to UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) H.Q. just outside Bolton. But the journey somehow takes Benton into his own past where he confronts the ghosts of his mother, father and younger brother Chris, killed in a fall from a high wall when they were boys and whose death he feels guilty about. Benton must fight his way out of the nightmare world where past and present are one and back to reality where an armed and dangerous criminal is intent on hijacking the shipment.

The 30-minute film was a directorial debut for Barnfather, who would go on to direct four other well loved Doctor Who spin-offs. A notable difference between Wartime and the additional spin-offs that followed is that it was the only production to air while the original Doctor Who series was still being broadcast. It’s an emotional tale and fans of the John Pertwee era of Doctor Who will love this exploration of the veteran characters past.

Downtime (1995)
The second TV spin-off shows the return of long-time associate of the mysterious time traveller the Doctor, Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, as he faces the toughest battle of his military career when he is embroiled in a plot unwittingly set in motion by university chancellor Victoria Waterfield, herself a former companion of the Doctor, to take over the Earth by an evil alien entity called the Great Intelligence, aided by its ferocious robot Yeti cohorts. Can the Brigadier defeat this menace to the Earth without the Doctor’s help?

The film was co-directed by Keith Barnfather and Christopher Barry, who directed 43 episodes of the original Doctor Who series from season 1 to 17 (1963-1979). The film also features iconic companions of the Doctor; Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Sarah Jane Smith (Nicholas Courtney and Elisabeth Sladen respectively) who take centre stage for this instalment. It’s an absolute must see for fans of the classic series.

Mindgame (1997)
The third spin-off directed by Keith Barnfather and the first not to feature a character from the series itself. However it does bring back a couple of fan favourite alien species from the Doctor Who Universe. The plot follows a human, a sontaran and a draconian are ‘transmatted’ into an inter-dimensional prison situated on an asteroid. They have been transported there by a wolf-like alien, who has trapped them all in the cell where they must fight each other so he can judge which species his people should join forces with to conquer the galaxy.

This short film was commended for its character driven story, use of special effects and acting from Sophie Aldred (the human) and Miles Richardson (the Draconian). Although die-hard fans of the show might be disappointed not to see any familiar faces they will enjoy how the memorable aliens and expert levels of costume and set design create an authentic Doctor Who experience.

Mindgame Trilogy (1999)
This 30-minute film acts as a sequel to MIndgame and continues the stories of the three prisoners from the preceding film. However, in this film the story follows human, the draconian and the sontaran separately in three different short narratives: Battlefield, Prisoner 451 and Scout Ship.

The first segment (Battlefield) carries on the story of the sontaran, Field-Major Sarg, who is trapped, wounded and alone on a battle-scarred planet, he is forced to accept that he may die. But at least it will be a glorious death – or so he hopes. The second story (Prisoner 451) centre’s around the draconian, who has found himself locked up in prison again. While he sits in his cell, he thinks about his previous experiences and how may be going to face certain death. The third and final instalment of the feature (Scout Ship) focuses on the human who’s dying ship has caused her to become lost in space. She decides to put the only functioning piece of equipment to good use and records her final moments on the ships camera.

This second instalment varies a lot to the original – as a good sequel should – and takes a more in depth look at the characters than in its predecessor, creating more of connection between them and the audience and opting for a darker tone. Like the original, the film was praised for its set design and special effects.

Zygon: When Being You Just Isn’t Enough (2008)
Out of all the films on this list, none faced a harder production than Zygon. Originally beginning filming back in 2003, it was almost scrapped by its director, Bill Baggs. After several years, script changes and an extra day of shooting, it was eventually amended and released in 2008. The plot follows engineer, Mike Kirkwood, who is frequently troubled by his recurring dreams that he is a shapeshifting Zygon monster. He confides in psychiatrist, Lauren, who tries to help him discover what these dreams mean but it is not too long before she finds herself in serious danger…

Probably the least referential to the source material that steamed it, the only major link between the Doctor Who series and this film are presence of the titular space creature Zygons. That being said it is still an interesting addition to the Whoniverse and has been closer compared the spin-off series Torchwood, due to its more adult and violent content. It is also one of the two Doctor Who spin-offs to receive and 18 certificate rating, the other being Ghosts of Winterborne (although that has since been released as a 12 certificate).

PROBE: The Zero Imperative (1994)
The first in the ongoing P.R.O.B.E series which follows the Preternatural Research Bureau, a government organisation which investigates supernatural activities. The film follows former UNIT officer and companion to the third Doctor, Liz Shaw, and her assistant, Bayliss, investigating a series of bizarre murders committed near a soon-to-be-closed psychiatric hospital. When the hospital is unexpectedly reprieved by rich Industrialist, Peter Russell, events seem to move out of Liz’s control. Is the director of the clinic and his predecessor harbouring the killer? What is the centuries-old horror hidden in the grounds? And what exactly is the secret of Room Zero?

This spin-off gives a lot for Doctor Who fans to enjoy; namely the inclusion of previous Doctors John Pertwee (Third Doctor), Colin Baker (Sixth Doctor) and Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor). Not only this but each actor also plays a Doctor at the aforementioned hospital, although you may be disappointed to hear that none of these Doctors are time lords but instead appear as duplicitous medical practitioners!

Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans (1994)
In the desolate vacuum of space, the Tiger Moth, a space yacht under the command of no-nonsense Captain Lisa Deranne, is on a cruise taking some rich misfits on a voyage through space. During their travels a shape-changing alien, known as a Rutan, manages to get on board the ship to escape its rival alien pursuers, the Sontarans, who have been at war since the dawn of time. Soon after the Sontarans take control of the ship and begin to look for the creature. The Rutan disguises itself as one of the crew members and begins killing Sontarans and Humans alike. The Sontarans soon decide to destroy all life on the Tiger Moth prompting Captain Deranne to track down the murderous Rutan before her ship and everyone on it is destroyed.

Like many of the films on this list, the thing that closest connects the film to the Doctor Who series are the alien species within in it. Especially the Sontarans, who are somewhat of a fan favourite. Incidentally, this film marks the first time the notorious warring species appeared onscreen together. Although, the copyright to the Sontarans was acquired but not the rights to their appearance, so they were redesigned for this story. That being said it is still a fun addition to the Whoniverse and is a must see for Sontaran fans.

Auton (1997)
This next title was created as a sequel to the Season 7 storyline of the third Doctor “Spearhead from Space”, which featured the first appearance of titular Auton species as well as the Nestene Consciousness they expanded from. At a top secret UNIT facility known only as “The Warehouse”, Dr Sally Arnold has been studying a Nestene energy unit with no results. She subjects the artefact to cosmic signals from UNIT’s most powerful deep space scanning satellite, causing a violent energy release that kills her assistant, Janice. In response, a containment team was dispatched to the warehouse, led by a psychic UNIT operative Lockwood, who has the ability to access all information from any computer mainframe in the world with his mind. They soon learn that the Nestene energy unity has taken on a mobile form and they must do whatever they can to stop it.

The film regularly references the original series, especially the story it serves as a sequel for, including using The Doctor’s UHF transmitter used to combat the Autons in the television show. However, due to copyright reasons, the film refers to the device as “Dr. John Smiths UHF transmitter” but we know who they’re talking about. Nicholas Courtney, aka The Brigadier, was also slated to be the central character of the film but had to drop out at the last minute due to health issues and the character of Lockwood was created to replace the Brigadier.

PROBE: The Devil of Winterborne (1995)
The second film in the P.R.O.B.E series and features an appearance from the 5th Doctor, Peter Davidson, although he does not reprise his iconic role. Like this films predecessor, It follows Liz Shaw and the Preternatural Research Bureau on another investigation. They are sent to investigate the grisly murder of retired headmaster Mr. Whittaker and his dog. Liz Shaw is disturbed to find evidence of a satanic ritual near the scene of the crime. She soon discovers a web of deceit and corruption that extends back in time, threatening the current occupants of nearby Winterborne School. With P.R.O.B.E. under threat from within and the death toll mounting, Liz finds herself under increasing pressure from all sides to produce results. The Devil of Winterborne is at large and only Liz can stop him…

Fans of the series will be happy to hear that the film was written by Mark Gatiss (League of Gentlemen), who has not only written 8 episodes for Doctor Who (as well as starring in a few) but would go on to co-create the immensely popular television series Sherlock with Steven Moffat (who himself is the current head writer and executive producer for Doctor Who since 2009). Interestingly the film was the first of the Doctor Who franchise to show a same-sex relationship on screen (pre-dating the new series), as a physical relationship between Andrew and Christian is heavily implied.

Daemos Rising (2004)
This sequel centres around Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (daughter of the series regular, The Brigadier) as she responds to a message from ex-UNIT operative Douglas Cavendish, who at this point is broken by his experiences in Downtime and has hidden away in the countryside. Arriving at Cavendish’s retreat, she finds herself caught up in ancient rituals and a demonic power her father had once helped to overcome. Summoned from its resting place by a tyranny from the future, a Dæmon is set to return to Earth. Can Kate and the downtrodden Cavendish save the planet from destruction or future domination?

This film is not only a direct sequel to Downtime, but also to the Jon Pertwee Doctor Who story: The Daemons, where the Doctor and the Brigadier had to battle a Daemon and the Master. Whovians have a lot to look out for in this adventure, as the film does well to make many references to the series and earlier spin-off title. Some examples would be the mentioning of the UNIT warehouse depicted in 1997’s Auton, where alien technologies were stored and kept secret. This film was set in late 2003 and was originally aired in March 2004 and fans will happy to hear that the film has been remastered and released on DVD this July for the first time in 16:9 ratio with new extras.

July 14th, 2016
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Matt Strevens will serve as an executive producer on Doctor Who from Series 11 onwards, it has been confirmed.

Matt – whose previous producing credits include Misfits, The Bill and Cucumber, on which he collaborated with Russell T Davies – will be working alongside Chris Chibnall who will take over the reigns from Steven Moffat when he hands over his showrunning duties after Series 10 next year.

He is no stranger to the Whoniverse, having produced An Adventure in Space and Time back in 2013.

July 5th, 2016

Doctor Who and Peter Capadi have both made this year’s TV Choice Awards shortlist so it’s time for Whovians to unite to ensure that the best show in the galaxy takes home a double-whammy of trophies on the night!

Firstly, the series itself is up for Best Family Drama, which it last won back in 2013, while the Twelfth Doctor himself is in the running for Best Actor. They are both up against strong competition but if any fandom can work together to get their hero to victory, it’s ours. Voting will close at midnight this Friday, 8th July. You know what to do.

July 5th, 2016

We all know and love David Tennant as the Doctor but now he’s a real life one too, which just goes to further prove the Tumblr theory that there literally is nothing he can’t do. But you probably knew that already, right?

As BBC News reports, the actor – who helmed the TARDIS from 2005 to 2010 – was invited back to his old drama school in Glasgow today where he was given an honorary drama doctorate to commemorate his acclaimed career which spans award-winning performances on both the stage and screen. He said he was left ”rather humbled” by the accolade.

“It’s overwhelming but lovely to be back,” he continued. ”I don’t think I would’ve survived without my time here. It was an essential three years of practicing in a safe environment.”

Meanwhile, Steven Moffat has also been recognised for his contributions to the world of TV and film. Doctor Who’s outgoing showrunner was the recipient of his own honorary degree from the University of the West of Scotland, who described him as “a great role model”. A ma-WHO-ssive congratulations from us to them! That’s Doctor David and Steven to you…

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