Archive for ‘Classic Series’
Colin Baker has recently released a collection of his weekly columns that were originally published in his local newspaper, the Bucks Free Press.
The Sixth Doctor actor has been contributing to the paper for the past 21 years and this compilation brings together his articles from 2011 to 2016, covering national and international affairs as well as more parochial issues such as local parking and school plays. Described as “the perfect book when you need a realistic view of life”, Colin’s unique wisdom will resonate with all, whether old, grumpy or otherwise.
Published by FBS Publishing, with illustrations and cover artwork by Owen Claxton, the aptly titled Sixth Sense is available now from Amazon and other online sellers, RRP £9.99.
The next four titles in the Doctor Who Mr Men range were revealed at a special launch event at the Doctor Who Experience this weekend.
Dr. Second, Dr. Seventh, Dr. Eighth and Dr. Ninth will be published this August, joining the previously announced Dr. First, Dr. Fourth, Dr. Eleventh and Dr. Twelfth which are all released today (Monday 25th April), RRP £4.99 each.
In addition, an official tie-in online shop has been launched featuring Doctor Who/Mr Men mugs, t-shirts and more.
WhovianNet’s currently giving away the first four books in our Smile discussion »
Browse the latest Doctor Who products on sale now in our merchandise section…
Doctor Who returns for a brand new series tomorrow night in an episode simply titled The Pilot.
All will become clear when you see it for yourself, but the title is also an allusion to the fact that the Series 10 premiere has been billed (Bill – see what we did there?!) as the perfect starting point for new viewers.
It did get us a-thinkin’ about the actual Doctor Who pilot, though, which we decided to revisit ahead of the show’s latest televisual return.
It’s the one that started it all, as it were, although it was never actually aired as part of the series itself. This pilot version was filmed as a studio rehearsal in September 1963 and the episode was reshot and developed into the first serial, An Unearthly Child, before it went to air in November. The rest, as they say, is history. Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?
1. The Now Iconic Opening Scene
While this opening scene is pretty underwhelming when you compare it to today’s TV standards, it’s simplicity is what makes it so brilliantly, quintessentially Who.
There were some alterations made to the set for the actual first episode, but the premise remained the same. A policeman stumbles into 76 Totter’s Lane where a seemingly ordinary police box is hidden away in the shadows. It was the beginning of the world’s greatest sci-fi series and it all started out as a mild curiosity in a junkyard. The theme tune playing in the background is just the icing on the cake.
2. Susan’s Sass
While it’s often claimed that the purpose of Doctor Who companions back in the day was to look pretty, there is much to be said about the initial characterisation of the show’s first ever leading lady, Carole Ann Ford.
Introduced as an enigmatic pupil with knowledge way beyond her years, Susan Foreman caught the eye of two particularly suspicious teachers, Barbara and Ian, who were so intrigued by her otherworldly presence that they actually followed her home to find out what she was hiding. And aren’t they just glad that they did?
Susan’s sass levels are on point. She’s definitely her grandfather’s granddaughter…
3. The Doctor’s Understated Entrance
These days, the Doctor is partial to arriving on the back of a tank whilst playing the electric guitar, so it’s hard to believe that there was ever a time he was able to enter a room without all of the accompanying fanfare. To be fair, though, he’s earned it.
This was exactly the case in the pilot, in which William Hartnell’s inceptive incarnation of the now legendary Time Lord made his on screen debut with a cough rather than an explosion. Oh, how times change.
It’s also a whole 14 minutes until he actually appears, with the story being told through the eyes of his imminent companions, which only adds to the mystery of who the hell the show is even supposed to be about. 54 year later and we’re still not 100% sure.
4. The First Time We See Inside The TARDIS
Shock horror! Turns out, it isn’t just an ordinary police box after all. And guess what else? It’s bigger on the inside! Although, arguably, not as big as it is these days.
Barbara and Ian got more than they bargained for when they stepped through those doors, although their assumption that it was all simply an illusion is considerably tame compared to some of the reactions that have followed over the years. Just wait until you see Bill’s…
5. The Melodramatic Final Scene
Suffice to say, it all gets very heated when the Doctor threatens to keep Barbara and Ian prisoner to prevent his secrets from being exposed.
This melodrama was to become a staple of Classic Who, and some would argue that it’s carried itself over into the modern adventures, too. Admit it, though, you wouldn’t have it any other way.
What do you love about the pilot? Get nostalgic and let us know in the comments!
US fans can now stream the entire Classic Series (yes, all 26 seasons of it!) on the BBC’s new subscription service BritBox.
As Variety reports, the service – launched earlier this month – provides the biggest collection of British TV ever for $6.99 a month, including every existing Doctor Who serial which aired during its original run from 1963 to 1989. Audios of the lost episodes are also available to complete what has been billed as the “most comprehensive catalogue” of the Time Lord’s adventures. And it all begins as a mild curiosity in a junkyard. You’d better get started!
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...
WhovianNet recently caught up with Paul McGann to talk about his new play, Gabriel.
As previously reported, the Eighth Doctor actor is about to embark on a UK tour of the production, which tells the story of a family held captive in Nazi occupied Guernsey in 1943 who encounter a terrifying German officer, Von Pfunz.
Paul chatted to us exclusively about the show, his character and, of course, the conversation inevitably turns to Doctor Who. Well, it would’ve been rude not to!
Q. Hi, Paul! So, without giving too much away, what can you tell us about Gabriel?
A. Its story takes place over four days in 1943 on German occupied Guernsey. A mother, Jeanne, tries to shield both herself and her family from the dangerous attentions of a newly arrived German officer.
Q. And what can you tell us about your character, Commander Von Pfunz?
A. Some recent experience in Poland has affected him deeply and made his behaviour unpredictable. Awkwardly,he takes an instant shine to Jeanne who doesn’t know how best to fend him off without provoking the worst and putting herself and her family in danger.
Q. What was it about the play and your character that attracted you to the project?
A. It’s the first one I’d read set in the wartime Channel Islands. I suspect it captures some of the febrile atmosphere and peculiar traumas the islanders must have experienced. My character, Von Pfunz, like most good ones, is a bit cracked.
Q. What do you think it is about this particular era of history that continues to enthral audiences of all ages across various platforms?
A. Perhaps it’s something to do with it being in living memory, so not quite over. Or how it shapes national myths. There’s a British one where we alone in Europe resist the German invader. In fact, as described in Gabriel, British territory was taken and held for five years.
Q. Stories set during the War have a universal appeal, but would you say Gabriel is aimed at any audience in particular?
A. No, I think it’ll appeal to pretty much everyone. It’s a proper thriller!
Q. Does taking a production on tour present any new challenges, advantages or disadvantages?
A. I’m not really the right person to ask, as I’ve never toured before. I’ll soon find out, though!
Q. What are the main differences between performing on stage and in front of a camera?
A. On stage you’re sort of visible head to foot so you really have to give it all you’ve got, whereas on camera it’s just picking the right face to pull. I really ought to write a book.
Q. The Doctor Who Movie turned twenty years old last year. Does it feel that long ago, or does it feel like no time has passed at all?
A. Oh, it feels like twenty years. The blink of an eye.
Q. Did you ever think that your association with the series would still be growing so strong over two decades later?
A. Certainly not before the series came back in 2005. After that it took on a life of its own.
Q. Big Finish aside, what was it like to reprise the role on screen for the 50th anniversary, and would you be interested in starring in a full-length multi-Doctor TV episode?
A. It was one of the happiest jobs. A guaranteed hit, and working with people who loved it and who knew what they were doing. What’s not to like? And yes, of course I’d be interested in a multi-Doctor episode, for the same reasons.
Q. Who would you pick as Peter Capaldi’s successor?
A. I’m not sure. But whoever it is, I’d hope he or she cherished it like Peter has.
Q. Finally, have you got any other projects coming up that you can tell us about?
A. A film short, Perplexed Music, which my brother Mark and me want to shoot in England in the Summer. He’ll direct and I’ll act. He’s also written the story, based on a Cristina Rossetti poem. As you do.
Gabriel is touring in UK theatres from Tuesday 28th March. Read more about the play, find your nearest venue and buy tickets here. Thanks to Paul for his time!
If you haven’t got that Friday Feeling yet, this awesome artwork of the Thirteen Doctors – sent in to us by @RossHitchin on Twitter – should do the trick. Gotta paint ‘em all…
Red Nose Day is back this month and so is their auction, which is offering a once in a lifetime opportunity for Doctor Who fans.
Seriously, it’s the stuff that Whovian dreams are made of.
In the not too distant future, seven Doctors – Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi – will be sitting down for a full English breakfast at The Wolseley in London, and there are four unreserved seats up for grabs…
Two of them will be claimed by the highest bidders, while the other two will be picked at random from a prize draw of ticket holders, for those of us who don’t have a spare £10,000 (and then some!) lying around. A single ticket can be purchased now for £5, with multiple packages on offer to increase your odds. All of the money will go towards Comic Relief and its associated charities to help people who are living difficult lives across the UK and Africa.
Good luck to those who will be bidding, and may the odds be forever in your favour if you’ll be entering the raffle. Red Nose Day is on Friday 24th March. Find out more about it, here.
Fridays on WhovianNet shall hereby be known as Fan Art Fridays (because why the hell not?) and kicking off the festivities is this brilliant painting of the Second Doctor which was sent in by @WHO37podcast on Twitter…
Writer and director Dan Freeman has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help support his new play.
The premise of the production – entitled A Joke - is that an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a joke, and the production is reaching out to Doctor Who fans as it will star Seventh Doctor actor Sylvester McCoy.
They hope to launch the play at this year’s Edinburgh Festival by reaching their target of £7,000 by Monday 20th March 2017. Every little helps!
Matthew Waterhouse – who played the Doctor’s companion Adric in the 80s – will be appearing on stage in Flanaganza in London next week.
The production, taking place at Slam in King’s Cross from 19th-21st March (Sunday-Tuesday), is billed as “a fab night of shorts written by Alan Flanagan”, a writer whose previous credits include the Dark Shadows audio range for Big Finish.
If you’re in the mood for an evening of sci-fi, comedy, drama and more, tickets cost £10 and are on sale here.
Thanks to Alan for the news!