Election News

Doctor Who has become an issue in the British General Election with the Independent reporting that the leader of the UK Independence party is calling on the BBC to stop making popular entertainment programming.

Nigel Farage told a public meeting in Rochester that the BBC should be "cut back to the bone". He said the licence fee should be cut to a third of its current value and the Corporation should be "purely a public service broadcaster with an international reach. Examples of public service broadcasting include local news coverage, arts programmes and religious broadcasts, but does not include programmes such as Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear.

Meanwhile the Mirror, a Labour supporting paper, is reporting that Doctor Who is better under Labour governments. The paper reckons that episodes shown when the Conservatives are in power, score lower appreciation figures on IMDB than episodes shown when Labour are in charge.

The series was created in 1963 under a Tory Government, and returned in 2005 under a Labour administration.

The 50 Year Diary – Day 841 – Robots of Sherwood

Will Brooks’ 50 Year Diary - watching Doctor Who one episode a day from the very start...

Day 841: Robots of Sherwood

Dear diary,

It’s strange, watching this one today, because I’ve never seen this episode in its broadcast form. The preview copy that Doctor Who Online received to review last year arrived before the decision to edit events from the end of the episode in which the Sheriff gets beheaded. There was a lot of complaints around when the announcement of the cut was made, but it’s perhaps notable that watching today, I couldn’t even tell you exactly where the minute or so was removed from. I mean, I know generally where it was, but I couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment, and the loss of it didn’t impact my enjoyment of the story at all. The only slight issue it causes is that there’s later mention of the Sheriff having an engine for a body, which feels somewhat odd now we’ve lost the reveal that he himself is a robot, but even that isn’t the end of the world!

Oh, but I rather love this episode. As much as I’ve enjoyed the Twelfth Doctor being so rude and dismissive (what people on the internet insist on calling ‘dark’) over the last couple of episodes, this is the first story of his era to really capture the right balance of this incarnation’s personality. He is still incredibly rude at times, and arrogant, and short tempered, and stubborn, and all of those things… but he does it with a real twinkle in the eye that can’t help but evoke the Doctor Billy Hartnell was playing before the end of his time. The man Peter Capaldi plays in this episode is far closer to the Doctor that I’ve known and loved from all his previous selves than he’s been allowed to explore so far.

And it means that I’m really enjoying the company of the Doctor in this one, and frequently finding myself laughing at more-or-less everything he says. There was a huge guffaw (and that really is the only word) when he counters Clara’s suggestion that they visit Robin Hood in exactly the way she’d predicted, much smiling as the Doctor and Robin then proceed to bicker and argue their way through the next half an hour, and I couldn’t even help but laugh at how angry the Doctor’s face gets when the button is cut from his coat. Those eyebrows really could cut you in half from twenty paces.

The episode is further strengthened by the simply gorgeous direction. Paul Murphy makes his Doctor Who debut here (though he’ll be back again shortly for The Caretaker), and he chooses to do some really lovely work with the programme, giving us a palette that I don’t think we’ve ever really seen before. The Doctor comments that everything is ‘too green’ and ‘too sunny’ ,and that comes across beautifully on screen - this really is Doctor Who shot as though it were part of the Robin Hood legend, and there’s not a lot else you’d want. I’m also particularly keen on the way that Murphy shoots the TARDIS scenes - finding a new way of approaching a set in danger of becoming familiar. More from this director in the next series, please!

In many ways, this episode reminds me of The Shakespeare Code - probably the historical that has appealed most to me from the 21st century run of Who. It’s got that same vivid sense of colour that presents history as bold and exciting, and a central historical guest star who’s a little bit cocksure, but completely endearing at the same time. I have a feeling that Robot of Sherwood is likely to become the episode I watch when I really want to experience this era at its best…

 

New Monster Revealed For Series 9 Of Doctor Who

BBC Worldwide have unveiled a new promo picture [pictured-right] featuring our first glimpse at a new monster for Series 9 of Doctor Who.

Very little is known so far as to the monster's identity, but it will feature as part of the third block of filming. Accompanying the image was the following text:

"What’s that in the shadows? New monster about to meet Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in Doctor Who Series 9"

+  Series 9 of Doctor Who airs Late August / Early September 2015

[Source: BBC Worldwide]

Whovian Companions – New, FREE Doctor Who Dating Site!

Our friends over at Whovian Companions have launched a brand new dating site for Doctor Who fans in the UK.

Whovian Companions is a FREE dating site with no monthly subscription. You can display your favourite Doctor or Companion on your profile, allowing you to break the ice when meeting a new Whovian on the site.

The company is even backed by the Virgin StartUP campaign and with over 400,000+ single Doctor Who fans in the UK, they believe they can find your perfect match!

+  Check out Whovian Companions at: www.whoviancompanions.co.uk.

[Source: Whovian Companions]

Doctor Who Adventures 1

Doctor Who Adventures 1 (Credit: Panini) Panini, the publishers of Doctor Who Magazine, who acquired the licence for Doctor Who Adventures magazine, will release their first issue this Thursday, 23rd April 2015.

"Doctor Who Adventures has changed its look and is now ageing up in profile to appeal to readers of all ages from 5 - 1005!"

Inside the new issue:
  • Empire’s Fall
    A 9 page strip story with art by Russ Leach, script by Jason Quinn and colours by Panini veteran John Burns.
  • UNIT Alien Archives
    Readers will be able to access UNIT’s top secret alien archives to find out all about the deadly Skovox Blitzer as seen in last season’s The Caretaker.
  • World Of Science
    Readers will then be able to join the Doctor as he experiments with science. After reading this issue, you need never fear a blackout again, especially if you happen to have a bag of fruit, some alligator clips and an LED light bulb in your pockets.
  • Strax’s Guide To The Galaxy
    Everyone’s favourite Sontaran will be showing you some of the best and worst places in the universe as he takes you to the moon, Mars, Alfa Metraxis and Sontar!
  • Twisted Conundrums
    While the Doctor and Clara are busy saving planet Earth, you can help them by completing a series of fiendish puzzles and activities.
  • The Paternoster Gang Investigates
    Then it’s off back to the 19th Century to join Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax as they investigate the singular case of the Blue Men of the Minch in this three-page story.

"With games, posters, puzzles and makes, Doctor Who Adventures will take you to incredible new worlds and introduce you to some of the most wonderful beings in the universe!"

Issue 1 comes with Free 3D glasses, notepad and stickers!
On sale 23rd April 2015, price £3.99

Doctor Who Series 9 monster revealed

Block 3 "monster" (Picture: BBC)

What’s that in the shadows?
New monster about to meet Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in Doctor Who Series 9

The BBC have released an image of a new monster from Block 3 on filming of Doctor Who Series 9 - click on the image above for a bigger version. Block 3 consists of the episodes The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived which are currently filming.

Starring Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and David Schofield (Merlin), the episodes are written by Jamie Mathieson with Steven Moffat and Catherine Tregenna respectively. Both episodes are directed by Ed Bazalgette (Poldark). 


The period adventures, possibly with a Viking theme,  also star comedian and actor Rufus Hound, who recently appeared in the Russell T Davies series Cucumber, Tom Stourton (Horrible Histories), Ariyon Bakare, Simon Lipkin, Ian Conningham, Murray McArthur, Barnaby Kay, John Voce, and Struan Rodger (who voiced of the Face of Boe in 2006 and 2007).

Doctor Who returns to television screens in the autumn.



Thanks to BBC

Doctor Who Adventures 100% Regenerated

Popular magazine Doctor Who Adventures has regenerated with a new publisher. Panini, publishers of Doctor Who Magazine, have now acquired the licence for Doctor Who Adventures and their first issue goes on sale April 23.

Check out the details below and artwork for a bigger version.

Doctor Who Adventures has changed its look and is now ageing up in profile to appeal to readers of all ages from 5 - 1005!

Doctor Who Adventures #1 kicks off with Empire’s Fall, a 9 page strip story with art by Russ Leach, script by Jason Quinn and colours by Panini veteran John Burns.

UNIT ALIEN ARCHIVES
Readers will be able to access UNIT’s top secret alien archives to find out all about the deadly Skovox Blitzer as seen in last season’s The Caretaker.

WORLD OF SCIENCE
Readers will then be able to join the Doctor as he experiments with science. After reading this issue, you need never fear a blackout again, especially if you happen to have a bag of fruit, some alligator clips and an LED light bulb in your pockets.

STRAX’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
Everyone’s favourite Sontaran will be showing you some of the best and worst places in the universe as he takes you to the moon, Mars, Alfa Metraxis and Sontar!

TWISTED CONUNDRUMS
While the Doctor and Clara are busy saving planet Earth, you can help them by completing a series of fiendish puzzles and activities.

THE PATERNOSTER GANG INVESTIGATES
Then it’s off back to the 19th Century to join Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax as they investigate the singular case of the Blue Men of the Minch in this three-page story.

With games, posters, puzzles and makes, Doctor Who Adventures will take you to incredible new worlds and introduce you to some of the most wonderful beings in the universe! Issue 1 comes with Free 3D glasses, notepad and stickers!

Doctor Who Adventures #1 is on sale April 23, priced £3.99

Tennant to host Shakespeare Celebration

David Tennant has been signed up to host a celebration of William Shakespeare to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death.

The special event will broadcast live, on BBC Two next April, from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. It will feature a variety bill inspired by Shakespeare and performed by major international talent. It will celebrate Shakespeare's enduring influence on all the performing art forms from opera to jazz, from ballet to musicals.

Tennant joined the RSC in 1996 playing Touchstone in As You Like It. He went on to play the leading role in Romeo and Juliet, and Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors, for which he received a nomination in the 2000 Ian Charleson awards for Best Classical Actor under 30. He returned to the RSC to play Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost and a much acclaimed Hamlet in 2008. In Winter 2012 he played the title role in Richard II.

Tony Hall, Director-General BBC, said:
Our ambition is to get more people excited about Shakespeare than ever before – through drama, great performance, documentary; festivals and social media too. We’re partnering with talent right across the country and delighted to be working with the RSC. 2016 is going to be the biggest celebration of Shakespeare we’ve ever put on - for everyone.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Schizoid Earth

Candy Jar Books have released the cover and details for their next book in the Lethbridge-Stewart saga:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Schizoid Earth (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lethbridge-Stewart: The Schizoid Earth
Written by David A McIntee
Released in June


Lethbridge-Stewart was supposed to be in the mountains of the east. Things didn't quite go according to plan.

On the eve of war, something appeared in the sky; a presence that blotted out the moon. Now it has returned, and no battle plan can survive first contact with this enemy.

Plagued by nightmares of being trapped in a past that never happened, Lethbridge-Stewart must unravel the mystery of a man ten years out of his time; a man who cannot possibly still exist.

Why do the ghosts of fallen soldiers still fight long-forgotten battles against living men? What is the secret of the rural English town of Deepdene? Lethbridge-Stewart has good reason to doubt his own sanity, but is he suffering illness or injury, or is something more sinister going on?

Author David A McIntee (who also wrote the Brigadier-centric BBC Book The Face Of The Enemy) said:
To be honest it (the series) is something I'm amazed hasn't been done before – it’s just such a natural and obvious thing. The form it's taking is also cool because it has the flexibility to move between styles and genres – thriller, SF, horror, etc – while maintaining a definite identity. As for the Brig himself, he's one of those characters where the casting was so perfect that it just made the character so memorable, and who (usually) feels so right.

Cover art is by Cosgrove Hall's background artist, Nathan Hudson, and the book also features an exclusive foreword written by Amanda Haisman, daughter of Lethbridge-Stewart creator Mervyn Haisman, in which she publically talks about her father and the legend he created for Doctor Who.

The book is available to pre-order from Candy Jar Books.



Coming up later in the year are Beast of Fang Rock by Andy Frankham-Allen and Terrance Dicks, and Mutually Assured Domination by Nick Walters.

Frankham-Allen, who wrote the series opener The Forgotten Son, said:
There’s been such a warm reception to the first book I must thank everybody for all their kind words. My next book is a dream come true. It’s an idea I’ve had rattling around in my head since 1998, so it’s great privilege to be able to make it a reality, and even more so due to Terrance Dicks’ involvement with it.
Walters said:
After the Doctor himself the Brigadier is the best-loved character in Doctor Who. I met Nick Courtney a number of times and he really is a splendid fellow. He brought a real humanity and vulnerability to the role without compromising the essential toughness of the character. Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart is the chap you'd want on your side in a fight – any fight – and it is a real privilege to be exploring what made him into the character we came to know and love.