Archive for ‘Classic Series’
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.’

June 29th, 2014

This month you’ve been voting for the ultimate original Big Finish companion and we’re very excited to reveal that the all important results are now in.

Fans of Mr Thomas Hector Schofield can unite and rejoice as your votes – 31.3% – have honoured him as the #1 TARDIS alumni of the tie-in audio adventures. Hector (Hex for short) first encountered the Seventh Doctor and Ace in 2021. They had been investigating alien activity at the hopsital he was working at as a staff nurse. And the rest is history!

The man himself, Philip Olivier, has told WhovianNet he was “thrilled” when he found out Hex had been awarded this coveted title. “I love my work for Big Finish and touched that the public love what I am doing,” he said. “My smile is right across my face so thank you to Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred and all the talented actors who are involved. But, most importantly thank you to the people who have voted. I love you all. Long live Hex!”

A big thanks to Phil and everyone who voted. Our Hex celebrations will continue shortly!

June 11th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

We’re all familiar with the Doctor’s screen companions but in the Big Finish audio adventures, they are just the tip of the timey-wimey iceberg.

Our beloved Time Lord has been joined by a TARDIS load of original characters throughout his audio escapades, so we’re on a mission to find out which of them is your favourite. But, as always, we need YOUR help to do it!

So, who is the greatest Big Finish companion of them all?

Cast your vote in the poll and then join the discussion on Twitter using #BestOfBigFinish!

Sorry, this poll is now closed. Thanks to everyone who voted!

The results will be revealed later in the week. Leave your predictions in the comments…

June 8th, 2014

Please join us as we raise our glasses to wish Colin Baker a very happy birthday today.

The actor, who of course played the Sixth Doctor from 1984 to 1986, is 71, and we hope he enjoys his celebrations!

The Sixth Doctor is known for being unpredictable, but his portentous personality was brilliantly contrasted by that coat which we’ve been told is “fashionable” in some parts of deep space. Yeah, very deep space!

Leave your messages for Colin below – what are YOUR favourite Sixth Doctor moments?

May 28th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

The latest Doctor Who Magazine will go on sale tomorrow (Thursday) and it is a bumper issue celebrating the first five decades of the Doctor’s televisual TARDIS escapades!

Inside this month’s installment, the Top 10 stories from each decade, as voted for by the DWM readers, are confirmed as the Doctor’s 241 adventures to date are placed on the most comprehensive chart yet. But which will come out on top?

It also includes the latest news, reviews and much more.

Plus, this celebratory issue comes with a special gatefold cover featuring a menagerie of the monsters who have given us countless frights and delights over the past 50 years. It can be added to your prized collections when it’s published on 29th May, priced at £4.99.

Above – The gatefold cover for DWM #474 celebrates 50 years of the Doctor’s enemies.

See the latest Doctor Who products on sale now via our merchandise section!

May 20th, 2014

WhovianNet recently caught up with the team behind Doctor Who Legacy to discover more about the app’s past, present and future!

If you didn’t know already, the popular RPG has been taking the Whoniverse by storm since its launch last November.

The free to play game allows players to build up an army of allies to face off with the Doctor’s most notorious foes – you can check out our Q&A with its developers below!

Keep ‘em peeled as we will be giving away some exclusive codes for the game shortly…

Q. Hi there! So, how did the idea for the Doctor Who Legacy game originally come about?
Lee and I have been playing puzzle games for years and in fact worked on a game called Puzzle Kingdoms with Steve Fawkner, a wonderful friend of ours who created Puzzle Quest, some years back. It was a genre we really have wanted to revisit for some time now. When we decided to make our first jump into mobile, we knew we wanted it to be with a beloved property – beloved by us and beloved by a core audience of fans. Doctor Who was our first and only choice and we felt that the puzzle mechanic was the perfect way to extrapolate conflict, both mental and physical, into a game which would be accessible by an audience as wide and diverse as the 75 million people who watch Doctor Who.

Q. And for anyone who hasn’t yet played it, how would you sell Doctor Who Legacy n a nutshell?
Doctor Who Legacy is a free to play mobile game which lets you select your favorite Doctor and companions. It pits them against the most notorious enemies in the Doctor Who universe through a family friendly, accessible puzzle game.

Q. How closely do you work with the BBC in terms of the new characters and content that you launch?
Lee: We work very closely with the BBC at all times. When you’re working in someone else’s world, your choices are either full transparency at all times, or you’re hiding something which could come back to bite you later. From the very start we worked closely with the BBC – episode choices, art style, look and feel, characters, gameplay, everything was discussed with the BBC. This very close collaboration continued post launch and, if anything, has just become closer. We talk to our producer at the BBC, Peter Hickman, on an almost daily basis, keeping him up to date with all plans we have on the table, and anything we’re discussing internally. This game wouldn’t be the game it is – not even remotely – without the amazing support we’ve had from Peter, the BBC and the Doctor Who brand team.

Q.  Has Legacy in its current form changed much from its original pitch?
Lee: The game has changed very little since the original pitch. There were some unknowns when we first pitched which we nailed down in pre-production (such as – how long is a season? How many seasons do we launch with? How many/which characters can we use?), but the core of the game is 99% the same, and our core goals – an accessible, fair, free to play game for all ages, by fans for fans – haven’t changed at all.

Susan: One of the most important pillars of design for us has been embracing and empowering our fan community to influence the game. We regularly engage our fans regarding characters, abilities, favorite episodes, etc. And our fans have influenced the form of the game for the better. Through their feedback, they have helped us to refine and enhance the game in wonderful ways.

Q. When did initial development on the game begin?
Lee: Early development, just Susan and I discussing what we may want to make next, started in January 2013. In early March we had our first meetings with BBCW, and by May we and our partners at Seed were hard at work on the game. During June/July/August, the tech guys built the core engine, editor, server side components and so on, while the design and art teams were nailing down the art style, look and feel, story, music, SFX, and other things we had to do. We laid out Season 7 during September/early October, then season 6 in late October and up through launch in late November.

Q. It has proven to be extremely popular amongst fans. Are you happy with the response it’s had so far?
Susan: Yes, very much so. We’ve been making games for over 15 years and have never been able to have a relationship this close and immediate with our fans. It’s incredibly intense and fun. It’s been particularly rewarding to see how quickly our players have picked up on the subtle things that we wondered if anyone would notice or care about, such as the choice of name for an ability, enemy ability decisions, even decisions made in writing the ally bios. Our most avid fans don’t miss a thing!

Q. What would you say is the most original feature that Doctor Who Legacy offers to its players?
I think the scale is utterly unique in gaming. Attempting to make a game in someone else’s universe is nothing new, however trying to build an infinitely extendable platform where you can potentially create gameplay around 50 years of shows, hundreds of characters, hundreds of enemies, and running it as a live service hand in hand with the community is very unique and, when you add the Doctor, something I doubt you’ll see ever again.

Q. Finally, what new features and content can Legacy players look forward to over the coming months?
Lee: We have a few big things we’re working on right now. The Facebook version is nearly complete and we’re frantically trying to get that live as soon as possible. Dual color characters are a big thing which is coming, along with an increase in level cap. Also imminent is a revamp of the user interface. And we’re about to add a big fan favorite classic ally, Ace!

A huge thanks to Lee and Susan for answering our questions! Begin your Legacy HERE.

May 4th, 2014

The latest issue of DWM is on sale now and inside they raise their Doctor Who-themed glass to our beloved Time Lord’s seventh incarnation.

Series script editor Andrew Cartmel, who oversaw Sylvestor McCoy’s era, catches up with the writers he employed in the late 1980’s to discuss how their stories helped pave the way for the show’s modern reinvention in 2005.

It also includes the latest news, previews and reviews.

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 473 is on sale now priced £4.99. Miss it and you’ll miss out…

See the latest Doctor Who products on sale now via our merchandise section!

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