Monday, 1 September 2014

DEEP BREATH REVIEW


It is always with a sense of trepidation that I await the arrival of a new series of Doctor Who. I cannot say I’m the biggest supporter of Steven Moffat’s vision of Who, and I tire of his apparent lack of direction as producer. But this time I was feeling a little more hopeful since a new Doctor was on the horizon, a Doctor played by an older gentleman once more. Not to say anything against either David Tennant or Matt Smith, since I have liked both of them in various different ways, but after last year’s output and eight years of young men in the role, it’s about time we had someone older play the part to shift the dynamics of the show and broaden the canvas once more.

Peter Capaldi does this in spades. There is much to like in Deep Breath, and there is a much to dislike. Unfortunately, for me, the dislike outweighs the like. Peter Capaldi is in the latter category – he is like a (deep) breath of fresh hair. From the moment he steps out of the TARDIS his presence dominates every scene, be it talking to a tramp or talking to a dinosaur, Capaldi excels. He brings a darker edge to the character, an anger that is mixed with a unique brand of charm. I can see him fast becoming one of my favourite Doctors.

Alas, that’s pretty much the best I can say about Deep Breath. The story itself was obvious, hampered by an over reliance on familiar elements in a misguided attempt to put viewers who came to the show since 2005 at ease. Capaldi, like Smith and Tennant, deserved an introductory story that was not bogged down in continuity, but one that simply relied on wiping the slate clean and setting up the new Doctor. Moffat proved he could do that with The Eleventh Hour, so why he decided to play it so safe with Capaldi is beyond me. Let the audience be unsure for a while, let them have their doubts, and let Capaldi win them over on his own merits. There was also too much attention drawn on the Doctor now looking old, even though Capaldi is no older than William Hartnell when he originated the role in 1963. It’s almost insulting the amount of references made to the Doctor’s (and by extension Capaldi) physical age. Certainly fifty-one years ago it may have seemed old, but this is 2014 and fifty-six is not that old at all. Beyond the age, there are the usual examples of Moffat contradicting previous episodes, something he’s done for the previous three episodes (all of which were written by Moffat himself), not least in the characterisation of Clara, a companion who seems to have no consistency in the way she is written. We are also once more treated to another appearance by the Paternoster Gang, who were fun as a one-off, but with each appearance their credibility is being stretched. Are we honestly supposed to accept that both Strax and Vastra are merely regarded as people with disfigurations in the 19th Century? Even in contemporary times that would be a stretch, since they are quite obviously not human, but over a hundred years ago? Fortunately, Strax continues to be a brilliantly comic character and lifts every scene he is in, it’s just such a shame that they continue to make a joke of the inter-species relationship between Jenny and Vastra (the latter of whom eats people!).

One other thing I did love, and that’s the new title sequence and theme tune. I love the departure from the time tunnel effect in the title sequence, love the clock motif, and the new arrangement of the theme perfectly fits it. Top marks there.

Having watched this episode in the cinema, I at least have a positive experience to remember. It’s always fun to watch Doctor Who with over a hundred other fans (not that I do so regularly, of course), as there is a lot of laughs to be had by all the in-jokes within the script. And there were plenty of those in Deep Breath. Alas, jokes and spectacle are not enough to hide what is at best a very mediocre script full of the most absurd instances of ‘suspension of belief’ ever witnessed in Who.

Still. Peter Capaldi is pretty damn good, and will become an amazing Doctor once he finds his hook.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

NEW TRAILER FOR INTO THE DALEK!

With the excitement for Deep Breath reaching an all-time high, it's no surprise that fans are already thinking ahead and wondering what's next to challenge the good Doctor. Luckily, the show has kept its tradition of including a brief anticipatory trailer of next week's episode, entitled 'Into the Dalek' which you can watch in all its glory below.


Friday, 8 August 2014


The 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi, greeted heaving crowds yesterday as thousands of Who fans flocked to Cardiff ahead of the world premiere of the show’s new series. With head writer Steven Moffat and companion Jenna Coleman, not to mention several Daleks and Cybermen, also in attendance, fans lined the red carpet for a chance to meet the stars.

A few lucky ticket-holders even had the chance to join the cast and crew for a screening of the feature-length opening episode, entitled Deep Breath.

The first step of a world tour taking in South Korea, Australia, the US, Mexico and Brazil, the event ratcheted up anticipation ahead of the new series, which will start on the 23rd of August on BBC One.

Capaldi, described by Moffat as a “brand new, slightly shocking, extremely funny charismatic doctor” was as delighted with the occasion as the assembled crowds: "After eight months solid filming deep in the world of monsters, Jenna and I are thrilled to be heading for the Planet of Fans," he said after the tour was announced. 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014



© BBC 2014

Reports suggest that a number of scripts from the upcoming eighth series of Doctor Who have been leaked online.

With anticipation for the series escalating with each day, the BBC have now asked fans not to share the material released. The mishap occurred as a result of being sent to the BBC Worldwide office in Miami, where they were intended to be translated for the Latin America market.

In an interview with Radio Times, BBC Worldwide spoke of the scripts being compromised: 

"We would like to make a plea to anyone who might have any of this material and spoilers associated with it not to share it with a wider audience so that everyone can enjoy the show as it should be seen when it launches. We know only too well that Doctor Who fans are the best in the world and we thank them for their help with this and their continued loyalty."

By being uploaded from the BBC Worldwide site in Miami, many other scripts have also been leaked including Top Gear and Call the Midwife, which became accessible to anyone with an internet link.

Not the first time this has happened for Who, the series was also leaked back in 2005 with the first episode of the relaunched series, as well as the finale of the 2013 series.

The eighth series is set to premiere globally from August 23rd.

NEW WHO TRAILER!




A brief yet exciting trailer has been released in anticipation of Doctor Who's upcoming eight series.

Whilst very little is shown, we are given glimpses of the Doctor in the Tardis in a rather interesting 'x-ray' vision, showing both his hearts in all their glory.

Yet the real intrigue comes from the voiceover: "I see into your soul Doctor. I see beauty, divinity, hatred."

Sounds an awful lot like Davros. Looks like they're bringing out the big guns this time.

Monday, 23 June 2014

SEQUEL FOR THE REBOOT!


© Chris Williamson 2014

It comes as a shock to some, but not to others – a sequel to The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot seems to be officially underway.

Coming from the mouth of one of it's own stars, Paul McGann claims that the sequel, currently untitled, has now entered production. McGann was speaking at an event for Cambridge Union Society when he told the news.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

THE FIVE(ISH) DOCTORS REBOOT COMING TO DVD!

© 2013 BBC

Colin Baker has announced that The Five(ish) Doctor's Reboot will receive an official release on DVD.

The 50th anniversary 'alternative' special follows the humorous tale of 'classic' Doctor's Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Peter Davison (who also wrote and directed the special) as they attempt to find a place in the official 50th Anniversary adventure, The Day of the Doctor.

A welcome treat to the fans, this special provided a much more comically-driven look at Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary. 

No official release date has yet been announced.

Friday, 30 May 2014

FOXES TO APPEAR ON THE SHOW


© Sign of the Times 2013

Singer-Songwriter Louisa Rose-Allen, better known as 'Foxes', will be appearing in an upcoming episode of Doctor Who.

For the latest series, the artist will also be performing a song, the title of which is unknown at this point.

Of her appearance, she says: "I can't believe I'm actually going to be in an episode of Doctor Who! Especially as it all came about from a chance meeting. I was playing a gig and got chatting to the show's production team who'd been watching my performance. I was telling them how much I loved Doctor Who and next thing they invited me to be on it. I couldn't think of a better place to make my acting debut than on one of the UK's most iconic shows!"

Steven Moffat also stated: "We are completely thrilled that the amazingly talented Foxes is joining us on board... well, you'll see. Let's just say, the Doctor is finally catching up on his phone calls."

Thursday, 24 April 2014

NO MORE MUSKETEERS FOR CAPALDI


© BBC 2014

With series 8 edging closer and closer, it’s no surprise that Peter Capaldi’s presence in Doctor Who might affect some of his other work. It’s been confirmed that as a result of his role as the latest incarnation, the Scottish actor will not be appearing in the second series of the popular Musketeers.

Whilst it’s unclear how his portrayal of the villainous Cardinal will actually exit the show, it does invite certain questions: How does this affect Doctor Who? Does this mean he might be staying longer than originally thought? Only time will tell.

Monday, 31 March 2014

SAD NEWS

We are very sad to hear that Kate O’Mara and Derek Martinus died yesterday.

O’Mara passed away yesterday at the age of 74 in a Sussex nursing home after a short illness. Her agent praised her "energy and vitality" and her "love for theatre and acting".

She had an extensive career in television and theatre, but was best known for her role in the US Eighties soap opera Dynasty as Cassandra “Caress” Morrell.

Aside from Cassandra Morrell, her most famous television appearance was as the renegade Time Lady The Rani in Doctor Who. O’Mara appeared alongside Colin Baker who tweeted: "Oh my goodness. Kate O'Mara is no longer with us. Sad sad news. A delightful, committed and talented lady and actress. We are the poorer."

She had been married to actors Richard Willis and Jeremy Young and her sister, actress Belinda Carroll survives her. Her son Dickon died last year.

Derek Martinus, director, died at the age of 82 yesterday from complications related to the Alzheimer’s he had suffered from for years.
Martinus is best known for directing several iconic episodes of Doctor Who

He worked on episodes starring the first three Doctors between 1965 and 1970. One of the key episodes that Martinus directed was the first colour episode of the series. Martinus started his career in the theatre, and went on to work on TV series such as United, Z-cars, The Doctors, Angels, Blake's 7 and Penmarric, as well as Doctor Who.

His daughter Charlotta Martinus told the BBC that "He was a legend, just an absolute legend... He taught me how to love, live and laugh, he was just such an amazing man."

Martinus is survived by his wife of 50 years, Eivor, two daughters and three grandchildren.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

FANS TO SEE THEATRICAL INTROS ONCE AGAIN

If you were one of the lucky ones to watch The Day of the Doctor in cinemas, then you’ll have the chance to watch the hilarious introductions that came along with it, courtesy of the British Board of Film Classification as they clear the 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition DVD release.


© BBC 2013


The scenes included will be 3’14” and 3’57” overall, which many people will remember as featuring the quirky introduction by 10th. 11th and Strax.

On top of this, the BBFC have also cleared other productions that were produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary, including Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide and The Science of Doctor Who as presented by renowned physicist Professor Brian Cox.


Whilst no release date has been announced for the Collector’s Edition, we’ll no doubt be rushing out to get our own copy too.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

FILMING IN QUEEN STREET

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman were filming in Queen Street, Cardiff today despite the heavy rain. Capaldi was sporting his new costume, with Jenna still wearing her outfit from The Time of the Doctor.

Monday, 27 January 2014

CAPALDI HARKS BACK TO THE PAST

The BBC have released an image of Peter Capaldi's costume. It reminds us of Pertwee. Strange really, as Matt Smith's original costume was very Troughton!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

WHO AND SMITH PICK UP NTAs!


Doctor Who fans rejoiced last night as the show was crowned 'Most Popular Drama' at the National Television Awards, alongside Matt Smith who won for 'Most Popular Drama Performance'.

The awards have been running since 1995, and broadcast by ITV, considered to be the most prominent UK awards ceremony to be voted by the general public.

Who's victory in 'Most Popular Drama' included other nominations such as Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and Broadchurch, whilst Matt Smith beat the likes of Maggie Smith, Martin Clunes and Miranda Hart - a category that is now shared by actors and actresses alike.

While Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat accepted the award for 'Most Popular Drama', Matt Smith was unable to attend the ceremony due to his currently-running performance in the musical adaptation of American Psycho. Making up for his absence, he still managed to send a rather eccentric thank you video, displayed at the ceremony itself:


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

BBC IPLAYER FIGURES!

It's official: Doctor Who's 50th anniversary special, 'Day of the Doctor' was the most watched programme on the Beeb's streaming service in the whole of 2013.

With a whopping 3.2 million people watching said episode, it's no surprise that there's no sign of the show's appeal slowing down while we wait for Capaldi's full debut appearance.

With that in mind, fans are already searching for the smallest of clues for how the next series might kick off. For the time being, here is a (very) short clip of the latest episode being filmed, featuring the Doctor himself - showing off his mechanical horse-riding skills through the very Victorian-looking streets of Cardiff. Enjoy!



Wednesday, 8 January 2014

SERIES 8 HAS NOW BEGUN FILMING!

Those of us lucky enough to be in Cardiff know full well that the show's eighth series and the first to feature Peter Capaldi has officially begun.

Filming has taken place at Roath Lock studios as well as various other locations around the city. Alongside this announcement, the BBC have also revealed the first official image of Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor as he is in the upcoming series:

© BBC 2013

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

TIME OF THE DOCTOR TRAILER


The BBC have released the first official trailer for the upcoming christmas special 'The Time of the Doctor'. Enjoy!

3

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

RATINGS OVERVIEW

With only twenty-one days until the final Matt Smith adventure, Radio Times has given us yet another Doctor Who cover. Wow, that's thirteen covers in a month (sort of)! Who would have thought it? Not me. Twenty years ago, when the series was celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, Doctor Who was dead. Even worse, the show was perceived as being shoddy and amateur, with its fans being treated with disdain by the press, especially the BBC. I still have nightmares about  Resistance is Useless and the 'Thoughts of an Anorak'. See below.


It still amazes me that Doctor Who is the most popular drama series in the world. How did this happen?

Onto the ratings...

This week the series was  the highest-rated programme on British television, with a final rating of 12.8 million viewers. It beat Strictly, I'm a Celebrity, Coronation Street and the rest. No bad for a fifty year old show!

If you want to read our review of The Day of the Doctor, The Night of the Doctor, An Adventure in Space and Time or The Light at the End click here.

Here's to the next fifty years... or as JNT used to say... stay tuned!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

THE TIME OF THE DOCTOR TRAILER & PROMOTIONAL IMAGE


Having featured after the credits of The Day of the Doctor, everybody's now talking about the trailer for the upcoming christmas special episode entitled The Time of the Doctor on December 25th. Does it tickle your fancy? Are you sad to see Matt Smith leave, or excited to see what Peter Capaldi will bring to the table? Sound off in the comments below!




© BBC 2013




Monday, 25 November 2013

THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR: RATINGS

The overnight ratings for Saturday night’s anniversary Doctor Who were 10.18 million, the show’s largest viewing figure since the Christmas episode A Christmas Carol, starring Matt Smith. It beat The X-Factor, whose ratings fell to 7.67 million, but was beaten to the number one spot by Strictly Come Dancing with 10.56 million.

Current reports say that the box office takings of the UK cinematic screening are around £1.7 million. The episode is number one on BBC iplayer, which is expected to boost ratings considerably when catch-up viewing figures are calculated in a week’s time.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

REVIEW: AN ADVENTURE IN SPACE AND TIME



As a man who has never really dabbled much in Doctor Who, I was somewhat unsure about how to feel about the madness surrounding the 50th anniversary episode. Was it to be something exclusively for the fans, or a possible invitation for newcomers such as myself to join the party? Or maybe even both? Either way, my knowledge of the programme was insufficient. I needed a way to feel educated about the universe of Doctor Who without necessarily watching through the hundreds of available episodes. Thankfully, An Adventure in Space and Time serves this purpose nicely.

The story chronicles the birth of the show and its various production troubles, from William Hartnell’s (David Bradley) ailing health and struggles as a typecast actor, to Verity Lambert’s (Jessica Raine) own trouble as one of the early female figures in British television. It becomes clear from the very first scene that this is not necessarily the smooth and obstacle-free ride that one might initially think.

With a keen sense of nostalgia, particular effort has been put into replicating both the context of 1960s Britain in all its gloomy-weather glory, and the harsh realities that come with working from within the BBC – a place not often associated with second chances. As a result, I was immediately drawn towards Hartnell, played with excellent cynicism and humanity by David Bradley. As an actor with very little direction in his career, Hartnell’s only desire was to steer clear of the authority figures he became so often associated with. Yet with the show’s aim to inform and educate as well as to thrill and terrify, the role was understandably irresistible.

What follows is an intense, but often fun series of events that follow Hartnell and Lambert as they both fight desperately to keep Doctor Who alive, regardless of whether it came from artistic integrity or something to pay the bills. Yet in a bizarre twist, I found the story’s finest moments were the ones that distanced themselves from Doctor Who. Such moments include Hartnell’s often adorable interaction with his granddaughter and wife, reminding us that he was still a human being, with familial concerns and constant reminders of his growing age in an industry that was constantly seeking to modernise itself.

Naturally, the references to the series itself are littered throughout the script. Some are impossible to miss, while others will no doubt be detected by only the most hardened of fans. But as the story reached its conclusion, I couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount that was being thrown at me. Of course, there exists five whole decades of history behind Doctor Who, and it would be a missed opportunity not to acknowledge it through various nods and winks, but at times, it felt just a little too much.
 
Regardless, this was easily outweighed by the positives. Every actor gave an outstanding performance, in particular Brian Cox’s dominating presence as the iconic Sydney Newman – a role he clearly had incredible fun playing. But at its very core, An Adventure in Space and Time was a very human story about a very otherworldly concept. It provided an informative but touching look at both a man desperately looking to push past his own ‘grumpy old man’ persona, as well as the now cemented position Doctor Who holds as a key part to our history and culture.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, 22 November 2013

DOCTOR WHO-GLE!


Just when we thought there couldn't possibly be any more surprises ready for tomorrow's broadcast, Google goes and puts their own spin on the madness.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary, the internet giant gave users the chance to go on their own mini adventure in the form of a cute little isometric platformer game.

Choose one of the 11 pixelated Doctors as you take on the Daleks and traverse dangerous terrain. But worry not, if you die, you simply regenerate into the next incarnation, a nice little touch for us fans.


Add caption

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

AN ADVENTURE IN SPACE AND YOUTUBE!


With the 50th anniversary rapidly approaching, it’s easy to forget some of the other fantastic material the BBC has on offer.

As a one-off special, An Adventure in Space and Time will demonstrate to fans exactly how the iconic television show got started. From its humble and unpredictable beginnings, through to its 50th anniversary celebration, it’s a must-see for both hardened veterans as well as newcomers to the series.

The BBC have since released a collection of trailers and clips, which can be seen below. Judging by the content we’ve seen, it looks like every effort has been put into replicating the look and feel of the show, in particular the uncanny performances by David Bradley and Brian Cox as William Hartnell and Sydney Newman respectively.

Check out the second clip to see Cox in action.










Monday, 18 November 2013

SO GOOD IT HURTS!

The BBC have released a new mini-episode in anticipation of the 50th anniversary. It’s got Paul McGann, John Hurt and, judging by online feedback, definitely seems to have united Who fans in an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to the upcoming episode.

Taking place in the middle of the infamous Time War, this 6 minute special explains the origins of John Hurt’s newly-titled ‘War Doctor’; a specialised regeneration offered by the Sisterhood of Karn.

With McGann making an unexpected but welcome appearance as the Time Lord, the episode neatly explains how his incarnation came to an end. Naturally, this raises questions about the claims of the other Doctors. Does this mean that we could see Christopher Eccleston once more? Only time will tell.

Watch the video below to see what all the fuss is about.

Monday, 4 November 2013

WHAT EVERY WHOVIAN HAS ALWAYS KNOWN!




Cybermen took the stage last night in celebration of Doctor Who being awarded 'Best British TV Show' at the Radio 1 Teen Awards.

As the evening was packed with some of the biggest names in the television and music industry, celebrities gathered along with fans who were treated to a night of epic proportions, as well as a pair of delighted Cybermen who were all too happy to accept the award on-stage.

The evening's aim was to honour the most popular television programmes of 2013, hosted by Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw. Votes for each winner were made by the general public, who were happy to name Doctor Who as their favourite show. An apprehensive-looking Taylor Swift presented the award.

The nominees for 'Best British TV Show' are as follows:
  • Coronation Street
  • Doctor Who
  • Geordie Shore
  • Phone Shop
  • Youngers
As well as celebrating the best in entertainment, a select few teenage heroes from around the UK were also given awards for bravery.


Sunday, 20 October 2013

FIRST 50TH TRAILER!


At last, fans are given the first official trailer for the upcoming special episode 'The Day Of The Doctor'.



With a strong sense of nostalgia, this exciting new video provides fans with the first glimpse of the episode...even if there isn't any direct footage.

Going on a step-by-step journey through each incarnation, viewers can also see the William Hartnell Doctor in colour for the first time.

Certainly raising the scale of the show, The Doctor himself fantastically describes the theme of the episode:

"I've been running all my lives. Through time and space. Every second of every minute of every day for over 900 years. I fought for peace in a universe at war. Now the time has come to face the choices I have made in the name of The Doctor. Our future depends on one single moment of one impossible day, the day I've been running from all my life. The Day of the Doctor."

...anyone excited?

Friday, 11 October 2013

LONG LOST EPISODES FINALLY COME HOME!


© BBC 2013

With much speculation surrounding the specificity of lost episodes, the BBC have finally announced the number and titles of those recovered after almost 50 years.

Of all the places in the world, the rare tapes that featured the Doctor’s second incarnation, Patrick Troughton, were found in Nigeria.

Having been tracked down by Director of Television International Enterprises Archives Phillip Morris and remastered to its original quality, fans are now thrilled to have the chance to watch episodes that until now have been unavailable.

Morris says: “My heart missed a beat as I wiped the dust off the cover and saw the words ‘Doctor Who’. And when I read the story code I realised I’d found something pretty special.”

Specifically, the stories within the found tapes include episodes 1,2,4,5 and 6 of the story ‘The Enemy of the World’ and episodes 2,4,5 and 6 of ‘The Web of Fear’. Much of the still-missing episodes will be restored using salvaged images and audio tapes.

The retrieved episodes had the Troughton incarnation face off against ‘Ramon Salamander’ with companions Jamie McGrimmon (Frazer Hines) and Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling), as well as the debut appearance of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney).

They are now available to purchase from iTunes at £1.89 separately together for £9.99.

Click here to watch the BBC trailer.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

MORE MISSING EPISODES!

In further celebration of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, previously lost episodes of the William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton era have now been rediscovered.

© BBC 2013
Whilst the official number is unspecified, these episodes have now been returned back to the BBC after weeks of speculation.

A press conference is also expected to be held later on this week that will report in full on the findings and inform fans on how they can gain access to the episodes.

Some of the Patrick Troughton episodes, of which haven’t been seen since the 1960s, were originally planned to be available for download from iTunes today, but reports confirm that the mentioned press conference later on this week will announce the postponed dates for the episodes’ availability instead.

© BBC 2013
The total count for lost episodes of Doctor Who during the 1960s is officially 106 out of the 253 that were produced. Their ‘extermination’ came as a result of archive policies during the 1960s and 1970s, but due to further changes, have recently become available once again.

The Radio Times claims: “They are believed to originate from a haul discovered in Africa and have been digitally remastered for sale, although exact details remain sketchy.”


More updates available soon.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

50 'TIL 50TH!



Today marks a mere 50 days before audiences are finally treated to the broadcast of The Day of the Doctor, the 50th anniversary special episode of Doctor Who to be shown on November 23rd.

Alongside this countdown, BBC Worldwide have recently announced that the episode will be broadcast in over 75 countries. Such places include USA, Canada, Australia and various areas of Europe to name a few.

But in case you thought your T.V at home was the only way you could catch the episode, over 200 cinemas around the UK are simultaneously showing a live screening in 3D.

Tim Davie, chief executive of BBC Worldwide, said: “In its 50th anniversary year, we wanted to create a truly international event for Doctor Who fans in as many countries as possible and the simultaneous broadcast and cinema screening of the special across so many countries will make for a fitting birthday tribute to our Time Lord.”

So even though the show is so closely tied with British culture, it’s no wonder that other countries will be able to experience this momentous occasion.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

COWBRIDGE GOES WHO

 
Fans of Doctor Who can meet two leading authorities on the BBC TV show at an event hosted by the Cowbridge Book Festival on 25th September. Alastair Reynolds, author of the BBC’s Doctor Who: Harvest of Time and Andy Frankham-Allen, author of Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants and will both be there to discuss writing, the long running popular sci-fi series and sign copies of their books.
 
Alastair Reynolds is one of the world’s most renowned science fiction writers. Having won the British Science Fiction Award for his book Chasm City in 2001, the Doctor Who legacy was in more than capable hands when he turned his pen to Doctor Who. Harvest of Time transports readers back to the Jon Pertwee era, with UNIT, Jo, the Brigadier and the Master in full attendance. The story centres on the Sild as they escape confinement and threaten to rewrite history.
 
Andy Frankham-Allen has been a Doctor Who fan since his childhood and has relished the opportunity to write Companions in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the series. The book follows the narrative of the series as seen through the eyes of the Doctor’s ever-faithful companions and features a foreword by Gary Russell.
 
Both authors will be discussing the show with the Comic Guru’s Kristian Barry. There will also be a charity raffle, where attendees will be able to win merchandise covering each Doctor (supplied by Candy Jar Books & The Comic Guru). These include signed Katy Manning and Deborah Watling photos, a copy of the Paul McGann TV Movie, Big Finish audios and comics, as well as signed copies of Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants. Tickets are available from www.cowbridgebookfestival.co.uk
 
The Cowbridge Book Festival hosts a number of literary events across the year raising money for Noah’s Arc and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

A WHO-HEAVY NOVEMBER AHEAD!

Just when you thought the 50th anniversary episode ‘The Day of the Doctor’ was enough in itself to get you excited, the BBC have announced an entire range of programmes to celebrate the show’s golden years.



For a start, ‘The Day of the Doctor’ will be as fans assumed it – a feature length episode lasting a tasty 75 minutes. But the man of the hour, Matt Smith, appears every bit as excited as the fans. He says: “The Day of the Doctor is nearly here! Hope you all enjoy. There’s lots more coming your way, as the countdown to the 50th begins now.”

With the BBC already in full swing preparing for the occasion, an assortment of separate programmes is to be spread out across each channel, showcasing various aspects of the show’s past, present and future.

BBC Two will kick off the celebration with an hour long show hosted by Dr Brian Cox discussing the level of reality applied to Doctor Who. Is time-travel possible? Do aliens exist? How would TARDIS work in our world? For fans of any kind of science-fiction, this is an absolute must.



Continuing the festivity, BBC Two will also present ‘Me, You, and Doctor Who’ – an hour-long special of lifelong fan Matthew Sweet exploring the show’s historical significance and its place within the sci-fi genre. The show's position as a major force in British popular culture definitely doesn't seem to be waning then.

One of the more intriguing programmes however, is the dramatisation of the making of the programme itself, titled ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’. Written by Mark Gatiss and starring David Bradley, Brian Cox, Jessica Raine and Sacha Dhawan, it will tell the story of Sydney Newman and the rest of the crew as they take on the first steps towards the creation of Doctor Who.

CBBC will be making their own contribution through 12 Again – bringing an array of ‘super-fans’ together including Chris Johnson, Jon Culshaw, Tommy Knight, Warwick Davies, Neve Mcintosh, Dan Starkey, Louise Jameson and the 7th Doctor himself, Sylvester McCoy. The programme's aim will be to explore the childhood memories of growing up with Who on the screen. How has it helped us shape our own thoughts on space, time and extraterrestrial light? Definitely one for the family.




BBC Three will also make their own contribution with Doctor Who: Monsters and Villains, a countdown of the country’s favourite Who monster.

Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, says “Doctor Who is a titan of British television and I’m incredibly proud to have it on the BBC. It’s an astonishing achievement for a drama to reach its 50th anniversary. I’d like to thank every person – on both sides of the camera – who has been involved with its creative journey over so many years.”

With all this on offer, any Who fan will be hard-pressed to find something that quenches their thirst. With entertainment coming from all angles, 2013 will definitely be a year to remember for us Who-fans.




Wednesday, 11 September 2013

FIRST POSTER FOR DAY OF THE DOCTOR!

Now that we find ourselves closer to the 50th anniversary spectacular coming later this year, it comes as no surprise that any news Who-related is met with more excitement than ever. If you ever thought that the BBC were being too secretive in their talk of the programme, fear not, for they have answered. Find below the first of many posters to be released to celebrate the Doctor Who spectacular..


©BBC 2013

Certainly has the 'block-buster movie' feel about it.

Most notable element to this poster, is the announcement of the episode's title, 'Day of the Doctor'. However, attention should also be brought to the portion taken up by John Hurt's character - surrounded by an explosions of Daleks and repeated prints of the words 'Bad Wolf' - certainly makes you wonder what kind of connection the episode will have with the show's previous storylines. Now that we've caught the first visual tease of the episode, it's seems a safe thing to say that Matt Smith is certainly going to have a memorable exit episode. But more importantly, what do you think? Sound off in the comments below!

Friday, 6 September 2013

WHO COMES TO COMIC-CON!

If you were lucky enough to be in Cardiff over the weekend, chances are you may have noticed a slight increase in excitement coming from the Motorpoint Arena. Thanks to some dedicated fans, a few kind celebrities and the occasional Dalek, what you stumbled upon was none other than Cardiff Comic-Con 2013.

With a crowd of fans stretching all the way around the building as their favourite hero/villain/Doctor, enthusiasm was at a high from the very beginning. Within seconds, any passer-by would see Spiderman, Doctor Who and Darth Vader  in casual chatter and ready to enjoy the day - a day that was undeniably a success.

Yet even with its ridiculously diverse fanbase, Who still managed to have its own place in the hall, with celebrities and fans alike sharing their passion for the show in their own special way.

Attending stars from Who included Colin Baker, Frazer Hines, Kai Owen, Anthony Head, John Leeson, Mat Irvine and Laurie Goode, all of which were heavily involved in talking to the fans on a one-to-one basis.

Who was also the subject of many cosplayers, dressing as their favourite characters including the uncanny Matt Smith incarnation (found below) and a surprisingly original TARDIS-inspired gown.

The showdown we all want to see.
Candy Jar Books' own Terry Cooper also made his own appearance as everyone's favourite pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow. Having spent Sunday entirely in-character for 10 hours straight, he's certainly a performer worth admiring! Check out his official Facebook page here.

In hindsight, the two-day event was a wonderful way for fans to meet their heroes, as well as to celebrate an ever-growing source of imagination. After all, where else would we see Cybermen dancing with the Doctor if not our television screens?

Friday, 30 August 2013

ANDY FRANKHAM-ALLEN PLEDGES SUPPORT 'FOR LUCA'

Cardiff-based Doctor Who author, Andy Frankham-Allen has pledged his support for meningitis survivor Luca Williams.
 
In January 2012, three-year-old Luca was diagnosed with Meningococcal Septicaemia, a disease that ravaged his body within a couple of hours. With less than a 3% chance of survival, the little fighter pulled through – but at a cost. He lost both his legs from beneath the knee, and much muscle and skin from beneath his hips.
 
His family began the For Luca campaign – designed to both raise awareness and money to provide Luca with the best possible prosthetic legs for his future. It began with ‘Raising Your Hand’; simple and easy for everyone to support, you simply had to write ‘For Luca’ on your hand and raise it high. 
 
Stars including F1 hero Lewis Hamilton, Kiss legend Gene Simmons and former Guns and Roses bassist Duff McKagan have all offered their support.
 
It was during the ‘Raising Your Hand’ campaign that Andy Frankham-Allen became aware of Luca at the ‘Avengers Assemble’ red-carpet event in April 2012. Andy Frankham-Allen says: “Luca is an amazing boy; funny, intelligent, and an inspiration to us all. The devotion his family show to him is quite incredible, and it’s great to be able to support him in this way.”
 
In conjunction with Luca’s family and Waterstones, Cardiff-based Candy Jar Books arranged for a signing of Andy’s new book ‘Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants’, during which he gave out the blue ‘For Luca’ wristbands.
 
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books – who also had meningitis as a child – feels that Welsh business should get behind Luca’s cause. He said: “Meningitis is a devastating condition for many people and their families. When I first heard of Luca’s campaign I felt compelled to get involved and offer any help I could.”
 
At the Waterstones’ signing, Candy Jar presented with a copy of Andy’s book and an exclusively drawn portrait of Luca by Cardiff-artist Jack Adams. Sian Williams, Luca's mum, said: "We are extremely grateful for the support Andy has given us through the launch of his new and exciting book."

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

BFI AND ECCLESTON PAY HOMAGE TO NINTH DOCTOR!

To coincide with Doctor Who's 50th anniversary, the BFI have spent the last year acknowledging each Doctor with their own public event. Evenings have been filled with screenings, panel discussions and retrospective presentations, with last night's event in London showcasing the Ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston.

Image © BBC

Attendees included director Joe Ahearne, producer Phil Collinson and actor Bruno Langley - all of whom contributed in their own way to the programme back in 2005.

Screenings of Eccleston's final two episodes Bad Wolf and Parting of the Ways were among the evening's main attractions, providing a suitably nostalgic view on the show's progress since it's revival.


Eccleston himself however, was unable to attend. To make up for his absence, he issued a personal statement that was read out by BFI host Justin Johnson.

"I love the BFI. I love the Doctor and hope you enjoy this presentation. Joe Ahearne directed five of the 13 episodes of the first series. He understood the tone the show needed completely - strong, bold, pacy visuals coupled with wit, warmth and a twinkle in the performances, missus.

If Joe agrees to direct the 100th anniversary special. I will bring my sonic and a stair-lift and - providing the Daleks don't bring theirs - I, the Ninth Doctor, vow to save the universe and all you apes in it."

Even with it's actor absent, celebrations for the Ninth Doctor were in high spirits.

The next in line to be honoured of course, is David Tennant as the Tenth incarnation. With Tennant himself scheduled for attendance, the celebration seems to get bigger every time.

The event is planned for 29th September.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

TAKE A TARDIS TOUR!

Ever wondered what it would be like to take a tour inside the TARDIS?

Google Maps now gives you the opportunity to look inside the Earl's Court Police Box. It reveals the console room in all its glory and is an absolute must for anybody who’s long been wondering where the TARDIS toilet is. Click here to see for yourself.

Monday, 5 August 2013

NEW DOCTOR ANNOUNCED!

In a special BBC broadcast revealing the latest actor to take on the role, Peter Capaldi has been officially announced as the 12th incarnation of the Doctor. 




At 55, the Glasgow-born actor’s age now equals that of William Hartnell. Capaldi is no stranger to television however, with his best-known role being Malcolm Tucker, the eccentric spin-doctor with a temper from the popular series The Thick of It. Other television credits include Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, The Vicar of Dibley and four-part series The Devil's Whore.
Interestingly, Capaldi's career already has ties with the Whoniverse, with previous roles such as Caecilius from the 2008 episode 'The Fires of Pompeii' and civil servant John Frobisher from Torchwood: Children of Earth proving this. His appearance in World War Z as the curiously titled 'W.H.O Doctor' continues to show that more people are taking notice of the actor's work.



As an actor, Capaldi's distinctive 'angry Scot' delivery suggests that Whovians will be treated to a sterner, wiser version of the Doctor, potentially boasting quite a temper. If this is the case, then it could give the programme a fresh new face distinct from the current actor, Matt Smith.

When discussing getting the part, Capaldi commented: "It's so wonderful not to keep this secret any longer, but it's been so fantastic... Being asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can't wait to get started".
 
Claiming to be a life-long fan of Doctor Who, Capaldi stated his preparation for the role consisted of revising scripts from previous Doctor Who episodes, before writer and executive producer Steven Moffat had provided him with new material for his own incarnation.
However, even with all this exposure and attention, fans have not forgotten the man still currently in charge of the role. In a pre-recorded message, the current Doctor, Matt Smith, spoke to Capaldi: "I wish my successor all the best and say good lucky and good on you for getting it, because I know he's both a huge fans of the show and a really nice guy".
 
Whilst the shoes are certainly big to fill, the popular opinion definitely seems to be that the iconic role is in safe hands.

Friday, 2 August 2013

NEXT DOCTOR TO BE REVEALED THIS SUNDAY!

Well, the wait will soon be over. The BBC has announced that they will be revealing the identity of the actor to play the Twelfth Doctor this Sunday. 'Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor' will be broadcast on BBC One at 7pm and will also be simulcast live on BBC America.

The half hour show will include live special guests, Doctors old and new, as well as companions and celebrity fans.

Steven Moffat says: “The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who’s taking over the TARDIS. For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking twelve.”

Here's the trailer:

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

YOUR CHANCE TO MEET ANDY!

Copyright Candy Jar
 
Fans of Doctor Who can meet Andy Frankham-Allen, author of Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants on August 10th at The Comic Guru, Cardiff.

The book, which is currently number 11 in guides and reviews on Amazon, has received some great reviews. These include:

Companions ... really motivates us to catch up on some of the non-television adventures we have missed!" (Cult Box)

“A firmly engaging and enjoyable read for fans of the show.” (Starburst)

The Comic Guru's address is: 13 Wood Street Cardiff CF10 1ER
 
For more information contact hayley@candyjarbooks.co.uk or theguru@thecomicguru.co.uk

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

WHO'S WHO?

Image © BBC
Amidst all the excitement surrounding the royal baby let’s not get distracted from what’s really important; who’ll be the new Who? According to RadioTimes.com we could know by next month; the BBC is, apparently, seriously considering revealing the identity of the new Doctor on a Doctor Who Confidential special, as done with the introduction of Matt Smith in 2010.

According to the same source, the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who will feature one of the pre-Eccleston Doctors, either Paul McGann, Colin Baker, Sylvestor McCoy, Peter Davison or Tom Baker. With David Tennant returning for the highly anticipated episode, that’ll make three Doctors on call - four if you count John Hurt. Having some back-up, however, might be a sane move when facing both the Zygons and the Daleks.

Monday, 22 July 2013

SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2013: THE DOCTOR IS IN THE HOUSE!

© SDCC
Amongst the constant ramblings of the latest Marvel movie, or the somewhat peculiar appearance from Metallica, it comes as no surprise that the Doctor Who panel still managed to wow audiences with its presence in anticipation of the programme’s 50th anniversary.

To discuss the upcoming special, Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman and series show-runner Stephen Moffat made a very welcome appearance in front of over 6,000 onlookers. Once their favourite Time lord took his seat, fans were treated to a short teaser trailer, hinting at some of the episode’s content. Judging by the audience's reaction, this will definitely be worth the wait.

Matt Smith, the man behind the icon for the past three years, also spoke a little on his upcoming departure. He said “I’m proud and grateful to be a part of it…I just wanted to say, thank you, for all your support”.

Amongst the panel discussions and teaser videos, fans were celebrating Doctor Who just as much, if not more, than the actors themselves. With the area teeming with cosplay enthusiasts resembling various Whovian characters (and certain box-shaped time machines) a sense of genuine love for the programme ran throughout the building. This was allegedly too much fun for Matt Smith to just sit and watch, who instead opted to don a Bart Simpson mask to walk amongst his admirers!

As one of the major appearances on the final day of San Diego Comic-Con 2013, Doctor Who certainly made an impact, but more importantly, gets us even more excited for the end of the year when we can all see the 50th anniversary special!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

DALEKS INVADE MAIZE MAZE IN YORK!

Source: cnet.com.au

To celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who, York Maze has constructed an image of the world's biggest Dalek 300m (1000ft) long, and features the faces of first Doctor William Hartnell and current Doctor Matt Smith.

The Maize Maze is set in 18 acres and cut out of over 1 million living maze plants. Sixth Doctor Colin Baker attended the opening, and had to battle it out with a couple of pesky Daleks in the process! (see video below)


York Maze is open to the public from 13 July - 2 September 2013.

Monday, 15 July 2013

CYBERMEN IN THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL!

There would have to be an excellent reason to be sat in the Royal Albert Hall on the hottest day of the year and the Doctor Who Proms definitely counts as one. The concert, which saw Ben Foster conducting the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with the London Philharmonic Choir, included a mix of music from recent and classic Doctor Who episodes, and will be screened around the same time as the 50th Anniversary special this November.

Matt Smith and Jenna Louise-Coleman made an appearance along with Cybermen and Weeping Angels. Smith told an excited crowd: ‘One of the great joys of playing this extraordinary, legendary Time Lord is the support and knowledge and love and brilliance of the fans - you really make the show what it is.’

He wasn’t the only Doctor in the house though, as Peter Davison appeared – to a rapturous welcome – to introduce a medley of music from the show’s classic era, including the pioneering work of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Looking out at the thousands of fans, he said, ‘What amazing memories you all have. Even though most of you weren't even born.’

Joining him onstage was Carole Ann Ford, who played the Doctor’s first screen companion in 1963. ‘Who'd have thought this celebration would be happening 50 years on?’ said the actress, now 73 years old. ‘It's amazing.’ 

The Prom was brought to an end by the world premiere of a birthday anthem called Song for Fifty, written by Murray Gold, who has been the show’s musical director since 2005.
 


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

TEGAN IS BEST COMPANION EVER!


Not Just a Mouth On Legs
 
Candy Jar Books, the publisher of Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants, has announced the results of its most popular TV companion poll. The fans were asked ‘Who is the best Doctor Who companion?’ and the result is actually quite unexpected, as the overall winner is not Rose Tyler, Donna Noble or even Sarah Jane Smith, but the 1980s companion, Tegan Jovanka.
 
Andy Frankham-Allen, writer of Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants, is shocked and pleased by the result. He said: “I would have expected either Sarah or Rose to win, but it's pleasing to see a companion who's only been obliquely referenced twice since 2005 win. Seems there's still a lot of love for the '80s and Janet Fielding's mouthy Tegan!”

Janet Fielding, who played Tegan Jovanka, will be appearing at Project Motor Mouth 2 in Windsor on 3rd August in aid of Project Motor House. She will be joined by many former companions including Carole Ann Ford, Katy Manning and Sophie Aldred. On learning the news of her win, she said: “Are you sure you mean me? Tegan? The Mouth on Legs? That's fantastic. And rather unexpected.”
 
Donna Noble is the most popular modern day companion, closely followed by Rose Tyler and River Song.
 
The results are as follows:
 
  1. Tegan Jovanka
  2. Sarah Jane Smith
  3. Donna Noble
  4. Rose Tyler
  5. Ace     
  6. Romana / Jamie McCrimmon
  7. Nyssa     
  8. River Song
  9. Amy Pond
  10. Leela     
 
Available from the People’s Book Prize winning publisher, Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants is an essential guide and sometimes tongue-in-cheek look at all Doctor Who companions. It is covers the characters to have featured in the comics, books, audio adventures and spin-offs.
 
Gary Russell, former Doctor Who Magazine editor, Big Finish producer, BBC script editor and Doctor Who novelist, has provided the book’s foreword. Gary said: “Of course there have been books about companions before – but few of them go into this amount of detail, display this amount of in-depth knowledge and above all, this amount of love. As a celebration of everything that makes the Doctor’s (and therefore our) best friends unique and special, this book is essential.”