Archive for ‘Classic Series’
November 3rd, 2014

Fifth Doctor Peter Davison will be the host of the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular when it arrives in the UK next year.

The actor, who played the Time Lord in the 1980s, will be the presenter for the duration of the tour, taking to the stage at all 6 of its nationwide venues to guide audiences on a thrilling adventure celebrating the music and monsters of Doctor Who.

In addition, due to popular demand, an additional matinee performance has been confirmed for Sunday 24th May 2015 at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

Peter has previously fronted the critically acclaimed Spectacular tours in Australia and New Zealand and will once again return down under for its forthcoming tour in early 2015.

“I’m very excited to be hosting the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular in the UK in 2015. Doctor Who fans are an extraordinary, wonderful bunch, who are very passionate about the series. The Symphonic Spectacular has already proved to be a monster hit down under with thousands of fans packing into arenas across the southern hemisphere and the UK’s first ever tour promises to be even bigger. I can’t believe that I will be taking the stage at some of the UK’s biggest arenas like Wembley’s SSE Arena and the First Direct Arena in Leeds. With Murray Gold’s amazing music performed live by the programme’s ‘house band’, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, I’m also looking forward to reuniting on stage with conductor Ben Foster.”

- Peter Davison

To find out more and to buy tickets, visit

October 28th, 2014

Peter Capaldi is featured on the cover of this week’s Radio Times as the new issues poses the question, “Is he a good Doctor?”.

With the finale of his debut series looming, famous fans, including Brian Cox, Marc Almond and Keeley Hawes, TV critics, children and former Doctor Tom Baker give their verdict on the twelfth incarnation of the iconic Time Lord. “He’s a wonderful choice to play the Doctor,” Tom Baker said. “He’s strange. An instant frisson. And what’s the word? Yes, got it! Alien, he’s an alien. I salute him.”

In addition, inside you can also test your Doctor Who knowledge in The Master Quiz and see how you compare next to former show runner Russell T Davies. The digital issue – available for iOS on Apple’s Newsstand – contains additional Doctor Who content including an exclusive Peter Capaldi photo gallery and a 30 page Monster supplement.

“Tiger, tiger, burning bright…” Click here to return to the forest in our discussion.

October 20th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

BAFTA Cymru has announced a programme of special Doctor Who cinema events which will begin with a world exclusive screening of the Series 8 finale.

In partnership with BBC Cymru Wales and Film Hub Wales, the events will form part of the BFI’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder season, giving fans the chance to experience an array of the show’s most iconic monsters by presenting classic episodes on the big screen at selected venues across Wales. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A panel with creative teams who have worked on the series.

The first stop will be a screening of Death in Water, the final episode of the latest series, which will be screened at an event in Cardiff a few days before its premiere on BBC One.

The full list of upcoming events, their venues and accompanying episodes can be found below. Tickets cost £12 (Concessions: £8) and can be purchased from the venue websites.

Doctor Who: Death in Heaven
Tuesday 4th November at 7pm
Reardon Smith Theatre, Cardiff
029 2030 4400

Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
Monday 1st December at 7pm
Theatr Ffwrnes, Llanelli
0845 2263510

Doctor Who: The Sontaran Stratagem & The Poison Sky
Tuesday 16th December at 7pm
Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Denbighshire
01745 850197

Doctor Who: The Unquiet Dead
Monday 12th January at 7pm
Monmouth Savoy Theatre, Monmouth
01600 772467

Doctor Who: Masque of Mandragora & The Prisoner
Saturday 17th January at 7pm
Theatr Harlech, Snowdonia
01766 780667

Doctor Who: The Five Doctors
Tuesday 27th January at 7pm
Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth
01970 623232

Will you be attending any of these special events? Let us know in the comments section…

October 1st, 2014

Fans of Sixth Doctor Colin Baker will be able to hear his voice in a new children’s comedy which is making its way to cinemas soon.

A Dozen Summers has been described as a film “about what it’s like to be 12 in the 21st century” with a story “to make children feel better about growing up and for adults to remember what it was like to be young”.

Written and directed by Kenton Hall, the film features a stellar young cast alongside Colin Baker as the Narrator.

Colin’s character “is happily going about his own business narrating a perfectly lovely and franchise-friendly children’s film” when two of its young stars question his right to be there.

Staring the Sixth Doctor Colin Baker as The Narrator, A Dozen Summers is a comedy – from writer/director Kenton Hall – for children of all ages (including adults who haven’t completely lost their way yet). It follows the lives of 12-year-old twins, Maisie and Daisy McCormack, who have just hijacked a children’s film in order to tell their own story.

Watch the trailer here and follow its latest developments via Twitter, @ADozenSummers.

September 27th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Former Doctor Who companion Katy Manning paid a visit to the show’s current home in Cardiff this week.

The actress, who travelled with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee as Jo Grant in the 70s, has been filming a guest role in Casualty which is made alongside Doctor Who at Roath Lock Studios.

Of course she couldn’t leave South Wales without a visit to the iconic blue box, where Peter Capaldi took a break from filming this year’s Christmas Special to familiarise her with her old home, which she says “always smells the same”.

Katy treated her Twitter followers to this brilliant photo of her and Peter recreating a classic shot from her own stint in the show. “I was completely lost in the moment,” she tweeted.

September 26th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Louise Jameson, who played the Fourth Doctor’s companion Leela, has revealed she would love the opportunity to revisit the character on screen.

The actress appeared in the series in the 1970s and told Nottingham Post “it would be nice” to see how she’s getting on. “I think she’d have loads of children,” she predicted. “I doubt she would have lasted long with that Time Lord guard she stayed with.”

She also discussed her relationship with Tom Baker.

“Tom was very difficult to work with back then, but now he’s an absolute dream,” she said. “He’s very apologetic about how he was. I would consider him to be one of my best friends. I wish I could have time travelled in the 70s and seen how our relationship would develop!”

Louise is currently appearing in Time And The Conways at the Nottingham Playhouse.

September 5th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

This week has seen the release of The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller, a new and original e-book by bestselling author Joanne Harris.

In the short story, which forms part of the ongoing Time Trips series, the Third Doctor finds himself in an isolated time paradox which is being ruled by an unknown psychic force.

We recently caught up with Joanne who gave us an exclusive insight into the creation of her very own Doctor Who adventure.

Q. Hi there, Joanne! So, how did your involvement with the Time Trips range come about, and were you already a fan of the series?
A. I was already a Doctor Who fan and I was approached by the BBC to write for the Time Trips series. It was at the same time a terrific challenge and a childhood dream come true…

Q. In your story, the Third Doctor finds himself in an isolated time paradox ruled by an unknown psychic force. Without giving too much away, what was the inspiration behind this?
A. I’ve been fascinated by the idea of psychic control since I first read Jerome Bixby as a young child. Rather than write about alien intelligence in this story, I wanted to look at the power and potential of the human mind and its subconscious imagery.

Q. And how did you approach the story at the beginning of the writing process, in terms of your research into the life and times of the Third Doctor?
A. I took the opportunity to re-watch a number of Third Doctor adventures. I had a pretty good idea of when I wanted to set my story, but I needed to be sure it would fit. Thought processes, memories, artefacts, references to previous adventures, clothing… I needed to be certain of all those things before climbing inside the Doctor’s mind.

Q. Of course, the Third Doctor was well known for being suave yet authoritative. How easy was it to convey his personal and mannerisms on page?
A. Surprisingly easy, actually. The Third Doctor was “my” Doctor as a child, and I found I remembered him in quite vivid detail. To me, he’s the eccentric uncle who taught me Venusian karate, gave me my taste for velvet jackets and made me want to visit the stars. I’m still very fond of him so I’m glad to have had the chance to bring him back to life in this way.

Q. If you hadn’t written for the Third Doctor, which other classic incarnation would you have liked to have revisited and why?
A. I’m very fond of the Fourth Doctor, although when he first took over from Jon Pertwee, I was more than a little hostile. Then I was drawn in by Tom Baker’s personality, which was so different to the Doctor’s previous incarnation. I’d like to write him a story too, just to redress the balance…

Q. What did you set out to achieve with your story?
A. My intention was to write something that would at the same time fit with the Doctor Who of the Pertwee years – the Seventies episodes had a unique vibe, which I wanted to try and recapture – and explore some part of the Doctor that had never been explored. In this case, it’s his changing attitude to mortality – his own, and that of others – and it makes for a quite contemplative story and quite a wistful, nostalgic mood.

Q. Finally have you got any upcoming projects you can tell us a little about?
A. I’m working on a book of new fairytales, to be illustrated by Charles Vess. As to the rest, just watch this space!

A huge thanks to Joanne for answering our questions. Don’t forget to download your copy of The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller which is out now priced £1.99.

September 3rd, 2014

International bestselling author Joanne Harris (Sleep, Pale Sister, Chocolat) has written a new Doctor Who short story for the ongoing Time Trips digital range.

In The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller, the Third Doctor finds himself in an isolated time paradox which is being ruled by an unknown psychic force. Populated by people without names, anyone who disobeys the rules is swept up into the Gyre, but can the Doctor persuade whatever controls it to free the Village before it’s too late?

“I remember watching Doctor Who from an early age from a cushion fort behind the sofa,” Joanne said. “Even then, with its cardboard sets, it was both compulsive and terrifying. By the time I was eight or nine, even the sound of the Doctor Who theme music was enough to bring on a Pavlovian thrill of terror and anticipation. ‘My’ Doctor was Jon Pertwee, and I remember feeling a fierce resistance when he was replaced by Tom Baker – though Tom Baker won me round eventually! When the series was revived, I was thrilled to watch its transition into the 21st century – just as I’m thrilled now to be contributing to this series.”

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller will be available to download from Thursday 4th September 2014, priced £1.99.

August 16th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

BBC America’s countdown to Series 8 begins tonight with the premiere of Doctor Who: The Ultimate Companion!

In their exclusive all-new special, Fifth Doctor Peter Davison takes fans on a journey through time to uncover what it takes to become a bona fide companion to the Doctor.

With exclusive contributions from the cast and crew, The Ultimate Companion is the perfect way to get a head start on a new era and it airs tonight (Saturday) at 9/8c. Click here to watch the trailer.

Series 8 premieres with Deep Breath on BBC America on Saturday 23rd August at 8/7c.

July 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

They should really name it, ‘The Lark in Space.’

Because, bubble wrap.

It’s so hard to do just one. But hey.

Anyway, the first part of TAIS starts off simply enough… it’s like Dead Space, only with short-haired virgo Barbie and more of Sarah Jane’s butt. Also, Ken is a Navy Doctor who works for the Navy, in the Navy. As a Navy Doctor. Wirrn the Navy now. Navies are…

On to the overview:

Harry Sullivan the Navy Doctor presses button, screws up TARDIS. TARDIS lands in darkened space station. Sarah gets kidnapped by cryostasis bed. The Doctor rewires the oxygen unit, and Harry wakes up the station’s residents, a really helpful bunch of post-human elitists. The Doctor then has a psychic commune with a giant Eric Carle model, and teaches the resultant alien race the meaning of Wirrn trouble now.

The Wirrn, the insectoid, hive-like alien race in question, did a lot for Whovian Kind in this episode. They gave us the joy of green slime and bubble wrap. They crawled on their backs through all those white corridors… stalking everyone, blocking exits, glaring those beady eyes and chasing the Doctor and crew around the station while Vira, the station’s chief Medical Technician and resident Eve, stood around staring and posing threateningly with her cryo-reversal doohickey while her boyfriend the captain got transformed into a pre-chrysalitic version of the main villain. Who then wiggled his goodbye after transforming into a full-fledged bug, proving that love really does continue after death. And bubble wrap.

Did I mention bubble wrap?

This entire episode is one of the elemental reasons Don’t Touch Anything made it into the Doctor’s list of rules.

Why did Harry have to touch the TARDIS’ helmic regulator? Why, Harry? Why? Stop doing that. Just. Stop.

I love this episode. Except for Harry’s annoying nonsensical attitude.  Nothing wrong with Marter, but Harry was a plot device, albeit an amusing one, and once Tom Baker relieved the fears that an older actor could not do more physical actions sequences, he was written out. I miss him, frankly.

Sarah Jane, though, came off as slightly out of character and whine-y, especially during the scenes involving the cryo chambers and anything having to do with her being separated from the imminently more useful menfolk.

‘Sarah Jane: [hisses back] How do you think I’m doing, twit?’
‘Sarah Jane: [panicking] Oh, Doctor, I can’t move!’
‘Sarah Jane: No, I’m stuck!’
‘Sarah Jane: I’m jammed. I can’t move forward or back. [half sobs]’
‘Sarah Jane: Ow!’

Compare with some of Harry’s dialogue… quite scary, really, his dialogue:

‘Harry Sullivan: I said I was sorry!’
‘Harry Sullivan: I’m only trying to open the door!’
‘Harry: Gremlins can get into everything, old girl. First law of the sea.’
‘Harry: There you are, what’d I tell you? The Doctor’s a first class boffin!’
‘Harry Sullivan: How are you doing, old girl?’
‘Harry Sullivan: [affronted] Sorry, I thought you were stuck.’

At least the character of Harry has some self-awareness and utility here, if only as comic relief. But Sarah just… gets kidnapped, stands uselessly in corners, and generally complains like a nag on the sauce.

And speaking of on the sauce, there is an excellent scene with the Doctor and Sarah where he does his telepath thing on a piece of Wirrn and acts slightly plastered. Not the intention of the scene, but nonetheless a tasty little tidbit in this bento box treat.

The Doctor is in fine form on board the station, wondering about and rifling through panels like it’s his own private nest egg and he’s come to collect. And when he meets the queen of the Wirrn down in the engine room? There are some genuinely intense chase scenes in this ep, buttering the bread quite nicely.

Finishing up here, it is evident to this reviewer that The Ark in Space provides great character interaction, a touch of hash, and as always, that little dash of playfulness that winks out of every Doctor’s eye, all things that are sure to entice late-come fans with that classic appeal.

But the important thing here is always, did the episode do its job… which is to say, did the episode manage to invigorate the fanbase, ingratiate new fans to come into the blue box, and appeal to that little kid in all of us who just wants to say… Wirrn this together?

I can only speak for myself, and for myself, I posit a resounding ‘yes.’

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