Archive for ‘Classic Series’
October 9th, 2016
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Steven Moffat has intriguingly confirmed that one of Series 10’s writers will be a blast from the past for Classic Series fans.

Speaking to press, including CBR, at the New York Comic Con over the weekend (where a first look preview of this year’s Christmas Special was debuted), the outgoing showrunner teased that a writer from the show’s original run will be back to contribute a script for Peter Capaldi’s third string of adventures, to air in 2017. “It will be the first time ever,” he said. “Deal with that!”

He also revealed an episode title (presumably Episode 4), The Haunted Hub, which has been written by Mike Bartlett. Steven explained: “It’s a brilliant script. He wrote Doctor Foster and put the next series on hold for a couple of weeks so he could write Doctor Who.”

So, which Classic Series writer would you like it to be, and what are your first reactions to ‘The Haunted Hub’ title? Discuss the latest developments in the comments section below…

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

October 2nd, 2016

Katy Manning and Sophie Alred need your help to raise money for a great cause.

The former Doctor Who companions are proud patrons of the Bedford Foodbank who are organising a fundraising event to help provide emergency food for over 500 local adults and children who are currently living in crisis. The Doctor Who themed Dalek Push will take place on Saturday 8th October 2016 when an army of the iconic adversaries will be pushed through the streets of Bedford. They hope to reach their target of £5,000 so please donate anything you can afford.

“Although Ace beat up a Dalek with a baseball bat rather than pushed one around the streets of Bedford, I am delighted to be part of this brilliant event,” Sophie Aldred said. “Bedford Foodbank is a brilliant organisation, making a real difference to people who really need support. Please donate and help the Daleks do something worthwhile for a change!”

Find out more about the organisation, and see where the money will go, on their website.

Thanks to Simon.

October 2nd, 2016

Prepare to be deleted when you pick up the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine as it takes a trip through time to uncover the evolution of the Cybermen.

The metal monsters are celebrating their 50th anniversary this month, having first appeared in the First Doctor’s regeneration serial The Tenth Planet back in October 1966. Half a century later, they’ve become one of the show’s most iconic adversaries, stomping their way into the 21st century in the Series 2 two-parter Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel. But what has contributed to their enduring appeal?

Also inside DWM #504, showrunner Steven Moffat answers more reader questions as the Doctor goes domestic in a brand new comic-strip, Moving In. All of that plus the usual news, reviews and more, so upgrade your magazine collection by picking it up today. It’s on sale now and comes with four (count ‘em!) collector’s covers to choose from. Delete!

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

September 7th, 2016

After a frenzy of speculation, it has today been confirmed that The Power of the Daleks restoration rumours are true!

The 1966 adventure - the first full story to feature Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor – currently only survives in the form of audio recordings and stills, however fans will soon be able to enjoy the serial in all its glory as the BBC will be releasing all six episodes as a black and white animation. It will be available to buy on the BBC Store at 5:50pm on Saturday 5th November 2016, exactly 50 years to the minute since its original BBC One transmission.

It will then materialise on DVD on Monday 21st November 2016. In addition, its arrival will be marked with a special screening at the BFI Southbank on 5th November, where the Second Doctor’s companions Anneke Wells and Frazer Hines will be participating in a Q&A alongside the animation’s director and producer, Charles Norton. Tickets go on sale soon.

The master negatives of the serial were destroyed in an archive purge back in 1974. Over 90 classic serials remain missing, however we all live in hope that they are still out there…

Thanks to

September 3rd, 2016

Autumn is just around the corner and there still isn’t a Doctor Who episode in sight (gap years really are the worst, aren’t they?), but luckily Doctor Who Magazine is on hand to keep our withdrawal symptoms at bay.

Their latest issue (it’s #503, for those of you who are keeping count) is on sale now and inside there’s an exclusive chat with its cover star Peter Davison who looks back on his tenure as the Fifth Doctor in his most revealing interview to date. Plus, Steven Moffat discusses Series 10, including the return of Nardole, and there’s the latest news, comics and more!

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

August 21st, 2016

To celebrate Sylvester McCoy’s birthday (the Seventh Doctor actor turned 73 yesterday), Lovarzi are offering 15% off all of their Doctor Who products.

Their collection includes officially licensed scarves, jumpers, umbrellas and much more and you can take advantage of the offer by using the code WHO15 during checkout. Simple enough, right?

Be quick, though, as the offer will end at midnight tonight (Sunday). Time and tide melts the snowman…

August 13th, 2016

Last week we brought you the exciting news that the Doctor Who TV Movie will be getting its long-awaited Blu-ray release this autumn, and now we can bring you its awesome artwork!

The feature-length adventure is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and now fans can enjoy Paul McGann’s debut outing as the Eighth Doctor in all its digitally-remastered glory, alongside a host of special features including exclusive interviews, commentaries, alternative takes and The Night of the Doctor.

The 2 disc set will be released on 19th September 2016, and can be pre-ordered online.

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

August 6th, 2016

The Doctor Who Movie is coming to Blu-ray for the first time this autumn, it has been confirmed.

The 1996 TV film – which reintroduced fans to the series after its 7 year hiatus – starred Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor alongside Daphne Ashbrook as Grace Holloway and Eric Roberts as the Master.

Released in its 20th anniversary year, the Blu-ray will feature a digitally remastered version of the film as well as special features including interviews and featurettes.

Doctor Who: The Movie will be available to buy on Blu-ray on 19th September 2016. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon and other online retailers. We’ll bring you the artwork soon!

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

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 3rd, 2016
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine is now on sale as Tom Baker steps into the spotlight to spill the beans Jelly Babies in what has been billed as his most revealing interview to date.

After celebrating 500 issues last month, the festivities continue in Issue #501 which is another collectable souvenir edition commemorating the most beloved Doctor of all time. Inside, the legendary man himself candidly discusses life, death and everything else in between and it’s available now priced at £5.99.

Issue #501 comes with four art cards, two Classic mini-posters, and a multi-Doctor poster.

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

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