REVIEW: LEGO Ideas: ‘Doctor Who’ Set [#21304]

For years we have been campaigning (and pleading) to LEGO to make some Doctor Who sets. The greatest toy company in the world, coupled with one of the most-popular Science Fiction TV series in the world - it's a no-brainer! When we found out that Andrew Clark's Doctor Who set had achieved the 10,000+ votes needed on the LEGO Ideas site, we were keeping our fingers crossed that it would be picked for production. Thankfully it was, and what a set it is!

We were lucky enough to be sent one of the very first sets to review from LEGO, and when the box arrived, it was smaller than we expected. Without wanting to throw in a well-known Doctor Who phrase, however, the set literally is bigger on the inside. There are only 623 pieces, but due to the fact they are smaller in size, and the fact there are lots of sections to build, you get great value for money - both in time (taken to build), and for what you get with the finished build itself. 

We clocked the build time at around 2 Hours approx, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable 2 hours at that! Building the TARDIS console room from the ground up was immensely satisfying as you see the familiar set take form. The time rotor was a particular favourite section to put together, and clicking it into place will appease the bubble-wrap fans amongst you. With two main build sections - THE TARDIS exterior and the TARDIS interior - you will similarly like the way one simply connects to the other, giving the impression that The Doctor has just walked into the TARDIS from the outside.

There are some fantastic little details on the build, from the various buttons and screens that form the TARDIS console, to the back panelling of the TARDIS and the Police Box signs that adorn the top of the TARDIS exterior. The exterior can be detached and once the hinged Police Box signs are swivelled down, you can place the TARDIS roof on. You then lift up the hinges and remove the roof to open the Police Box. Inside, you get a cool effect of the interior of the doors, a plinth to stand The Doctor or Clara on, and a neat little roundel effect, either side of the hinged, pull-out sections.

As for the mini-figures, you get The 12th Doctor, The 11th Doctor, Clara, 2 x Daleks and a Weeping Angel. There's a feeling that this set is based on the events at the end of 'The Time Of The Doctor', as the 12th Doctor (complete with Sonic Screwdriver) is wearing 11's purple frock coat, Clara is also wearing the exact outfit she wore in the episode. The 11th Doctor is wearing his brown tweed suit, and comes with a Fez and Sonic Screwdriver accessories.

The Daleks are constructed a little differently to what we expected them to look like in LEGO form, but this is no bad thing. For a scaled-down version, they look fantastic, and LEGO have gone all out by creating custom art for the Dalek dome. A little bonus is that you can actually swivel the Dalek's head 360°. Finally, you also get a Weeping Angel - complete with wings! There are two faces, so, dependant on your mood you an choose between 'serene' and 'screaming'.

Tying everything together is the impressive 127-page build manual. It's full of easy-to-follow instructions, as one would expect from LEGO, but, ever so coolly, there are neat little Doctor Who facts randomly printed along the way. There is also a brief guide to the character featured in the set, as well as a short bio on Andrew Clark and his process with LEGO Ideas. There are also some short bios on LEGO Product Designer, Samuel Johnson (Paul McGann's nephew) and LEGO Graphic Designer; Adam Corbally.

We forsee this set being a huge success, and we can only hope that it will pave the wave for future LEGO Doctor Who releases. 

[With thanks to LEGO

Check out DWO's exclusive unboxing & product spotlight of the set in the video, below:

  +  Fans can PREORDER the set shortly from the LEGO Shop, priced £49.99

[Source: DWO]

Moments in Time – Goodbye Verity

Moments in TimeIt was on Saturday 9th October 1965, fifty years ago today, that the last ever Doctor Who to be produced by the series first producer, Verity Lambert, was broadcast.

Verity Lambert had decided to move on from the series at the end of the second year of recording. She had been with the series since June 1963, when BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman recruited her to produce his new science fiction series.

As the BBC's youngest, and sole female drama producer, she had faced many battles within the Corporation and had steered the programme from its very uncertain beginnings to a point where it was attracting audiences of up to 13 million viewers to BBC One in the early evening.

Against the odds she had created a series which would run and run and, 50 years later, is one of the biggest global brands the BBC possesses.

Sydney Newman had no doubt where the success of the series lay, as he told Doctor Who Magazine in 1993
I think the best thing I ever did on that was to find Verity Lambert. I remembered Verity as being bright and, to use the phrase, full of piss and vinegar! She was gutsy and she used to fight and argue with me
Lambert's final story, Mission to the Unknown is unique in the history of Doctor Who in that it features neither The Doctor, or any of his current companions, who at the time were Steven and Vicki.

The idea for the story was conceived early in 1965 when Terry Nation had been discussing ideas with the production team for the third production block of the series. Such was the success of the Daleks than another story involving them would be needed. A six part story, later to be expanded to twelve episodes, was commissioned from their creator along with a special 'trailer' episode for the story that would feature none of the regular cast and would be known as Dalek Cutaway.

The extra episode was to be scheduled at the end of the second year of recording. The absence of the regular cast would allow them all to have an extra week's holiday in the gap between the recording blocks for season two and three. Despite missing from the episode, William Hartnell would still be credited as his contract specified he would be credited for all episodes, a stipulation that did not apply to his companions Peter Purves and Maureen O'Brien.

Verity Lambert had effectively left the series by the time Mission to the Unknown was recorded, but her official contract with the series ended with the recording of the episode, in Television Centre Studio 3, on Friday 18th August. Her successor would be John Wiles, a BBC staff writer who had recently been promoted to producer. Script Editor Dennis Spooner was also moving on from the series, where he was replaced by Donald Tosh.

To help ease the transition, Lambert and Spooner wrote a document headed The History of Doctor Who, giving an introduction to the series. They were very keen to keep the internal history of the show intact and avoid conflicts in the story arc.
You will find listed below a thumbnail sketch of the serials transmitted and/or commissioned for Doctor Who. I think it is a point to bear in mind that any stories that are commissioned and are set in the future will have to be checked from their date point of view.... The Dalek serials have also to be watched with this in mind, as in the first Dalek serial (Serial B) Doctor Who did in fact wipe out the Dalek race. With a time machine at his disposal this is not as disastrous as it sounds, as he can go back to any point in their history; but one has to be careful in Serial B, K, R and in the Dalek story to come that they are true to the Dalek history calendar.

Another further note is that most writers call Doctor Who 'Doctor Who'. In fact he does not admit to this name, just the 'Doctor' part, and is never referred to as 'Doctor Who'. This is just the title of the show. Doctor Who comes from a planet that we have never named. Various references to it have been made in the scripts as the show has gone along, but I personally have not gone back looking for them all.
When Lambert left Doctor Who she was offered the producer role on a new BBC series Adam Adamant Lives! , as well as launching a new soap opera The Newcomers. Other productions for the BBC included a season of the crime drama Detective and a 26-part series of adaptations of the stories of William Somerset Maugham.

She left the BBC in 1969 to join London Weekend Television, where she produced Budgie and Between the Wars, before returning to the BBC to produce Shoulder to Shoulder, a series of six 75-minute plays about the suffragette movement of the early 20th century. In the 1970's she became Head of Drama at Thames Television, and was responsible for overseeing the work of Euston Films, Thames' subsidiary film production company, where she enjoyed the most sustained period of critical and popular success of her career. Her work included The Naked Civil Servant, with John Hurt, Rock Follies, Rumpole of the Bailey, The Sweeney, and Edward and Mrs Simpson. In 1979 she transferred to Euston films full time overseeing productions such as Quatermass, Minder and Widows.

In 1985 she established her own independent production company, Cinema Verity, producing the feature film A Cry in the Dark and the Channel 4 commissioned drama G.B.H. A less successful Cinema Verity production, was the soap opera Eldorado which was cancelled after a year. In the early 1990s, Lambert attempted to win the rights to produce Doctor Who independently for the BBC; however, this effort was unsuccessful because the Corporation was already in negotiations with producer Philip Segal in the United States.

Her work continued into the 21st Centurary, producing Jonathan Creek and The Cazalets for the BBC. Her last production was the comedy-drama, Love Soup.

Verity Lambert died on the 22 November 2007, the day before Doctor Who's 44th Birthday. A blue heritage plaque in her honour was unveiled by the Doctor Who Appreciation Society and the Riverside Trust, at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London in 2014.
SOURCES: The Handbook: The First Doctor – The William Hartnell Years: 1963-1966, David J Howe, Mark Stammers, Stephen James Walker (Doctor Who Books, 1994);Doctor Who Magazine (1993)

Special Screening of The Magician’s Apprentice at Lucca Comic and Games Festival, Italy

Lucca Comics and Games (Credit: Lucca Comics and Games)The premiere of Series Nine, The Magician's Apprentice, is to receive a special showing in Italy on Friday 30th October as part of the Lucca Comic and Games Festival. The showing takes place at 6:30pm at Cinema Astraat, and will be introduced by its writer, Steven Moffat.

The series' lead writer is at the event for the weekend, and will feature in a Q&A alongside fellow writer Jamie Mathieson in the San Romano auditorium at 9:00pm on Saturday, which will be hosted by comic writer Gabriella Cordone Lisiero. Fans will have the opportunity to ask questions about the writing process and how a Doctor Who script is turned from words on a page to the series seen on screen.

Tickets for both events are available on the festival website website (English version of the site here).

The series, dubbed into Italian, is expected to be shown in the country within the next few months on RAI4; full details will be available via the This Week in Doctor Who website and on Facebook once known.

Doctor Who Adventures issue 7

Doctor Who Adventures issue 7Doctor Who Adventures issue 7The latest issue of Doctor Who Adventures is released on Thursday 8th October.
It’s October and Something Wicked This Way Comes… in the form of the wickedest magazine in the universe – issue 7 of Doctor Who Adventures. So prepare for a Halloween like no other with a huge celebration of monster mayhem!
  • When the Doctor comes to visit Clara, he finds the whole school fast asleep. Either Clara’s class is the most boring experience in the universe or the planet is under attack from a Somnosian Invasion Force. Comic strip action from Jason Quinn, Russ Leach and John Burns!
  • Get the low-down on Davros, dark lord of Skaro and creator of the Daleks!
  • Missy has kicked Clara out of the craft studio and shows you how to make an all-purpose gadget of evil. You may not be able to stop the planes with it but you’ll have somewhere cool to store your pencils!
  • Hack into the UNIT Alien Archives to find out more about the mysterious Shadow Proclamation
  • This month, Strax gives you a lesson on some of the various alien threats the Doctor has faced over the years, including the Abzorbalovians, the Balhoonians and the Carrionites. THE HUNT FOR DAVROS A cool game for two, you are racing across Skaro and have to get to Davros before your opponent!
  • Rik Hoskin brings you the chilling story of the Misery Diary that reduces Strax and Jenny to tears. Can Madame Vastra break its uncanny spell?
Doctor Who Adventures #7 – Get ready for the freakiest Halloween ever!
Issue 7 comes with a double-sided poster and your own Psychic Paper, wallet and sonic screwdriver.

Magician’s Apprentice – Online Viewing

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor in The Magician's Apprentice (Credit: BBC/Simon Ridgway)Barb has released figures estimating the number of viewers who watched Doctor Who online.

This year, the Broadcaster's Audience Research Board is, for the first time, issuing a report on the online viewing habits of the UK audience. The Beta report is based on the same technology that measures conventional TV viewing as well as incorporating data received from broadcasters via their viewing platforms. The data does not yet include those watching on Android devices.

The report ending 27th September indicates that Doctor Who: The Magician's Apprentice was streamed 373,826 in the eight days following transmission. It currently stands as the 6th most streamed programme in the previous 28 days, behind five episodes of The Great British Bake Off and one episode of Doctor Foster.

The Doctor Who New Series Prologue is currently the 12th most watched streamed programme over the period.

In the two days it was available The Witch's Familiar was streamed 202,949 times.