Thursday, 16 August 2018

Big Finish Review: Planet of the Ogrons

Review by WhoGirlReviews

Written by Guy Adams and released in July 2018, Planet of the Ogrons is the second story in the second series of The Eighth Doctor: The Time War and sees the Doctor and Bliss teaming up with the most unlikely of allies…the Twelve.

Planet of the Ogrons easily has one of the weirdest episode opening sequences I’ve heard in a while and this is me counting Amy popping up inside the Pandorica at the start of The Big Bang. On Gallifrey, the TARDIS arrives and an Ogron steps out introducing themselves as the Doctor. Oh okay, so we have ourselves a little Time Lord/Ogron body swap episode – let’s go on a rescue mission?


It’s so much better and more complicated than that.

Moving on, I must confess I didn't expect to enjoy a story featuring the laziest and most boring villain in Doctor Who as much as I did. This feels like Judoon in Chains all over again. The plot is interesting, the twists are great and the Twelve...

Ok let's get this out of the way – I hated the news that Big Finish was not only going to regenerate Mark Bonnar but turn yet another prominent male time Lord female. Worse they chose to make the Eleven into Mother Mae-Eye. The Eleven is ruthless, cold-blooded, crazy murderer, not your favourite Granny. I went into this story – no this series knowing I was going to hate Mother May-Eye. And as much as it pains me to say it, the Twelve quickly grew on me. Julie McKenzie’s performance is spot on and her execution of the multiple aspects of the character’s countless regenerations feels just as strong as Mark Bonnar. Though I will also confess that the Twelve does feel closer to an anti-hero but because Mackenzie isn’t surplus to the story or worse wasted, this ends up not being a criticism.

Bliss is still struggling to the cast a shadow though here, but this time it's more down to the narrative, the twists and the vastly more entertaining characters filling out the story.

Without going into the spoilers about Doctor Ogron (as he’s been dubbed) I really enjoyed the back and forth Eight had with this paradoxical creature in his life. He never believes for a second that the two can somehow be connected, but enjoys taking the credit for Doctor Ogron’s deeds when it suits him. Likewise, Doctor Ogron is a very enjoyable character and shares more chemistry with Eight than Bliss does…which puts even more shame on the companion. Or is that the writers?

Lastly, I will please ask everyone who’s already heard this story not to spoil what happens at the very end of the episode. You know what it is; you know it’s good let’s not ruin it for our fellow fans.
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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

New Funko figures available this September

Whovians love their collectible merchandise and among some of the most popular Doctor Who merchandise to collect and get signed at conventions are Funko Pop figures. How can we say no to those adorable chubby faces?

We got a look at the new thirteenth Doctor pop figure at SDCC's Funko booth in her full costume, along with plenty of other exciting merchandise. However, this new figure of the thirteenth Doctor is sans her coat. It looks like fans will have to make a little more room on their shelf if they want both versions.

Aside from a new figure of the Doctor, Funko is also releasing a lovely figure of Missy in her iconic purple dress, and the series 9 TARDIS covered in Rigsy's beautiful artwork for Clara as seen in the Face the Raven episode.

These figures will be available for purchase in September.

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Classic Doctor Who comics adapted into Big Finish audios

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Big Finish have announced two special audio dramas that may just sound a little familiar.

The first box set is based on a number of New Adventure novels from the 1990s.  Although Big Finish has previously produced adaptations of New Adventure novels, these new stories are the first original releases featuring characters from the novels.

Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor – The New Adventures, Volume 1 includes four stories:
  • The Trial of a Time Machine by Andy Lane
  • Vanguard by Steve Jordan
  • The Jabari Countdown by Alan Flanagan
  • The Dread of Night by Tim Foley
Sylvester McCoy will reprise his role as the Seventh Doctor, alongside his companions from the New Adventures novels Roz Forrester and Chris Cwej (played by Yasmin Bannerman and Travis Oliver respectively).

Producer and director Scott Handcock said of the release:
"As a fan who grew up in the era of the New Adventures novels, I was thrilled when [Big Finish line producer] David Richardson offered me the opportunity to tackle a new box set featuring the Seventh Doctor, Roz Forrester and Chris Cwej.

"The feedback to the novel adaptations was fantastic, and getting the chance to tell completely new stories with this TARDIS team has been a joy!"
Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor – The New Adventures, Volume 1 will be released in November 2018, available from the Big Finish website on CD for £23 or on download at £20.
The second release comprises of two new adventures adapted from Fourth Doctor comic strips that were originally published in Doctor Who Weekly (now Doctor Who Magazine).

Doctor Who and the Iron Legion (1979) and Doctor Who and the Star Beast (1980) were originally written by Pat Mills and have been adapted by Alan Barnes for audio.

The adventures see the Fourth Doctor encounter the Iron Legion - an army of robotic Roman legionnaires - and the infamous Beep the Meep. There's also a cameo from veteran newsreader Angela Rippon!

Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs said of the releases: 
"These Fourth Doctor comic strip adaptations have a whole different feel to them. It’s like they’re from a parallel universe vision of Doctor Who. Tom Baker spotted it straight away, emailing me the moment he’d read The Iron Legion, commenting that this was ‘a bit DIFFERENT’ – actually typing ‘different’ in capitals! But he rose manfully to the challenge and entered into the spirit of it all wonderfully. And that spirit is that they are, essentially, wackier.

"There’s a feeling of ‘we could do anything because there are no budget restrictions’ in the original comic strips, and our adaptor, Alan Barnes, has captured this perfectly. Crazy characters, extravagant action sequences. And Alistair Lock has done a superb job with his sound design and music.

"The Star Beast has a slightly different feel. The alien monster craziness is contrasted sharply with a dash of kitchen sink drama and a touch of Grange Hill, which predated the TV series exploring more domestic settings. It’s interesting how the brilliant comics writer of these strips, Pat Mills, kind of anticipated this. Alan has a great love for Pat’s work, and he was absolutely the right fit to adapt these beautiful, bonkers adventures of an extra-eccentric Fourth Doctor."
Doctor Who: The Comic Strip Adaptations - Volume 1 will be available on the Big Finish website in June 2019 as a five-disc CD box set for £23 or on download at £20.

You can also get both box sets as a pre-order bundle, at £46 on CD or £40 on download.

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Exclusive Series 11 crew shirts are popular on Twitter

As series 11 wrapped fans were excited to see the cast and crew posting about it on Twitter. But fans were also interested in something else in these photos... The shirts.

The crew of Doctor Who series 11 got exclusive short sleeve shirts to wear that identified them as part of the crew. These navy blue tops featured the new Doctor Who logo as well as a rainbow stripe as seen worn by the new thirteenth Doctor played by Jodie Whittaker. The words 'Cast & Crew 2018' are displayed next to a rainbow TARDIS.

With such a positive response from fans it makes one wonder if we'll be seeing any of these shirts up for auction on eBay any time soon. For now we can just watch in envy as we see more and more photos being released of the exclusive shirts being worn proudly by those involved in the series 11 filming.

For now any fans wanting to sport a stylish rainbow stripe shirt will have to settle for something a little less exclusive like the Magnoli Clothiers Rainbow T-Shirt modelled after the thirteenth Doctor's costume. Though more official shirts are bound to become available following the series 11 premiere this Autumn. Just don't expect to see the cast and crew version available in the BBC shop.

Source: Twitter
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Big Finish Review: The Lords of Terror

Review by WhoGirlReviews

Written by Jonathan Morris and released in July 2018, The Lords of Terror is the first story in the second series of The Eighth Doctor: The Time War and sees the Doctor taking Bliss back to her home world to reunite with her family.

A much stronger opener than series 1, The Lords of Terror really kicks it into high gear with a story that paints the Time Lords in perhaps the worst light ever. Seriously, if you thought the Daleks were ruthless, check out our Gallifreyan brothers. Not only is this a fantastic idea, but it expands upon the mythos in a very different way about the Time Lords being just as ruthless as the Daleks. Now we’ve had underhanded Time Lord schemes in the past, but most of those incidents haven’t dared stoop to this level of vile.

Paul McGann is just amazing. The material he is given here and his reaction to what’s going on is absolutely breath taking. This is the Doctor of War, the REAL Doctor of War, the Doctor who cannot do anything else but hide his head in shame and fight tooth and claw to put right what others set wrong. There are a handful of scenes that cast this incarnation in the best light.

This is backed up with some brilliant performances from the supporting cast. Shout out goes to Simon Slater who plays Carvil, a Time Lord that acts as a kind of foil to the Doctor; and Nikki Amuka-Bird who plays Tamasan, who viewers will recognise (or maybe not recognise) from last season as one of Ollistra’s minions.

I’m still not sold on Bliss. As a character she still feels very generic, but I admire the fact that Big Finish took one of my main complaints about her and chose to try and set them to rest in the very first episode of the new series. Setting the episode so close to home, both literally and figuratively, it gives Bliss that human quality which I did notice, but even after the dust settled, I feel as though she has a long way to go before she can be considered one of the great companions. I am digging the whole tension building between her and the Doctor and her being unable to avoid casting blame on him for the actions of his people, even though she knows he is a good person. It’ll be interesting to see where the next couple of episodes take us, but for now, slap on that score.

Stay tuned for more Time War reviews and don’t forget to let me know what you thought of the episode.
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New Christmas stories for Doctor Who‘s monsters

Every Whovian loves Christmas. Because no matter if you celebrate it or not, there is always a festive special to look forward to each year. Even in 2016, a year when no season of Doctor Who had aired, fans were provided with a Christmas episode.

This year, we will get a new short stories collection from BBC Books to add to that Christmas spirit. Twelve Angels Weeping, written by chrildren's author Dave Rudden, will include 12 new stories featuring some of the Doctor‘s most famous enemies. The Cybermen, Weeping Angels and Daleks are all said to have an appearance, as well as some of the friendlier aliens – like the Ood.

The book was described as ”perfect for sharing as the wintry nights start drawing in” in an official release. Readers can follow along as these frightening monsters face some peculiarly Christmas-themed experiences, making the book a great choice for a gift this holiday season.

The official summary says:
Playing on the well-known countdown style of the Twelve Days of Christmas, each self-contained story focuses on a different nemesis in new and imaginative ways, from dark plots to daring heists to the tragedy lurking behind every Cyber-mask.
Perfect for sharing as the wintry nights start drawing in, Twelve Angels Weeping promises to frighten and delight both old and new fans of The Doctor.
The writer, Dave Rudden, said that Doctor Who was the show that inspired him to be a writer, both inspiring and terrifying him in equal measure.
“To be handed the most exciting and twisted pantheon of monsters in fiction is an honour and a challenge, and I'm so excited to share my vision of these villains with fans and new readers alike.” - Dave Rudden
The book will be available for purchase on October 11th. It will cost fans 17.99 USD/₤12.99 GBP for hardcover or 12.99 USD/₤8.99 GBP for digital download. An audio version will also be available at the time of publishing.
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Sunday, 12 August 2018

The BBC takes legal action to investigate leaked footage incident

For those that missed it, a clip from Series 11 showing Jodie Whittaker in action as the Thirteenth Doctor was recently leaked online. It has since been taken down, but the BBC are still not happy.

As we know, Chris Chibnall in particular is very strict on his 'no spoilers' rule, hoping fans will be able to enjoy the show with all the intended surprises intact. Following the leaking of the footage in June, the BBC are taking serious action, taking the matter to the US courts.

According to new court documents, it seems that the BBC has still yet to identify the source of the leaked footage. Last month, they obtained a DMCA subpoena from a California federal court, ordering the forum tool Tapatalk to identify the source of an infringing post.

However, the BBC have now turned to Microsoft to help with the issue.  According to the BBC, a user shared a copy of the leaked file via Microsoft’s OneDrive, with the file titled ‘IMG_ l563.TRIM.MOV’. It is thought that the footage was stolen from the studio.

The BBC explained:

"The infringing material includes, without limitation, an unauthorized copy of copyrighted video content from Season 11, Episode 1 of Doctor Who, for which BBC Worldwide Limited t/a BBC Studios (Distribution) is the exclusive licensee."

At a federal court in Washington, the BBC requested a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) subpoena targeted at a OneDrive user who shared the footage online. The subpoena asks Microsoft to share any relevant information that can help to identify the account holder.

This includes “any name, account name, address, telephone number, email address, birth date, profile photo, device information, browser information, location information, information from others (e.g., Facebook or Google+) and time posted.”

Another leak that both surprised fans and upset those working on the show was a photo of the new TARDIS interior that was shared on social media, which sadly received quite a few negative comments from fans.

Arwel Wyn Jones, the Production Designer for Series 11 who designed the new interior, took to Twitter to express his feelings about the leak:
He also later confirmed that the photo was leaked not by a visitor to the set, but by somebody he knew.

[source 1, Source 2]
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Our stance on spoilers

Here at The Gallifrey Times, we are committed to bringing you high quality and reliable content from the world of Doctor Who, including the latest news.

Sadly, we have noticed that recently in the media and online, there has been an influx of leaks related to Series 11 of Doctor Who. Not only is this unfair on the cast and production teams who put so much hard work into the show, it can also be unfair to fans who do not want to see such spoilers ahead of the new series.

We have always been a spoiler-free outlet, and we would like to remind all of our readers and followers that we will be staying spoiler-free. We do not want to ruin Doctor Who for you, or those involved in making it.

Any posts with potential spoilers will have a warning at the start of the post to alert those trying to avoid any kind of spoilers for the new series.

We hope you understand our position on this and if you do have any questions then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Your team at The Gallifrey Times
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Saturday, 11 August 2018

Neil Gaiman hopes to write for 13th Doctor

Acclaimed fantasy writer Neil Gaiman is no stranger to the world of Doctor Who. His previous stories, The Doctor's Wife and Nightmare in Silver during the 11th Doctor's era, were generally well received by critics and fans and there has been a long held desire for Gaiman to return to writing for Doctor Who and apply his signature fantasy flair once again.

It has been 5 long years now since Gaiman's last contribution in 2013, but the author has himself come forward to clarify his stance on the awaited return. In an exclusive interview with Digital Spy, Gaiman noted on Doctor Who's influence in his work and the potential to write for Jodie Whittaker's debut series:
"If you examine my DNA and you go in deep enough, with a good enough microscope, you're gonna see a TARDIS, with a little light blinking on the top!

"I was so frustrated over the last four years because I didn't get to write for Peter Capaldi. I even had a planned episode and did not get to do it, because I've been making Good Omens and that's been my life.

"So the idea of writing for Jodie, or for her successor, whoever she / he / they happen to be, is... yeah, it's Doctor Who! You can't say no."
Whilst the writing team for Series 11 is reportedly going to consist of entirely new authors to the Doctor Who canon, the door is certainly open for Gaiman to make his return in the near future, with the only barrier being his own time commitments with Good Omens.

Source: Digital Spy
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Friday, 10 August 2018

Bandai Namco soft launches Doctor Who: Battle of Time

Bandai Namco has released a brand new collectible card game app for Doctor Who fans but it might not be available in your country just yet.

Bandai Namco Entertainment is known for making high quality games of various genres and released on a full range of platforms from console to PC. However, their new collectible card game Doctor Who: Battle of Time will be coming to fans in the form of an app. (Available on both iPhone and Android)

A soft launch is when a company releases a new product or service to a restricted audience prior to a full launch. This is generally to gauge the audience's reaction and collect data to determine whether releasing on a larger scale will be profitable. This looks to be a pretty typical soft launch. Many apps planned for a UK or US audience release will do a soft launch in other English speaking countries first.
Doctor Who: Battle of Time is a time-travelling adventure experienced through a card-collectible game.

Something is ripping the cosmos apart, sending whole galaxies into oblivion. But what? Daleks and Cybermen are working together, Silurians have toppled humanity to create a new empire and old friends and foes are joining forces as the universe faces its greatest ever peril. Only you, the Doctor’s new companion, can prevent armageddon and avert the events foretold in a chilling prophecy! Think you’re up to the job?
Different Doctors will guide you as you become central to an adventure that weaves over 50 years of Doctor Who history into one ground-breaking story. Ever wanted to fight alongside Sarah Jane Smith, Amy Pond, River Song, K-9, Benton, Captain Jack and many other of the Time Lord’s allies? Good! Because now you’ve no choice! From the foggy streets of Sherlock Holmes’ London – where you’ll meet the Great Detective – to back where it all began… You are the hero, trusted to build unique and powerful decks of cards to strategically win challenging battles, and unravel the epic story that involves new adventures and some classics revisited – with a few deadly twists!
This game is your best chance to collect special edition cards, assemble your dream team and summon companions to attack and defend you against villains determined to destroy Earth. It’s guaranteed to be dangerous, unpredictable, but FANTASTIC!
Currently this app is only available in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Thailand. As this is still a soft launch the game will be available in more countries once it advances to full launch.
* Brand new story scripted by a Doctor Who writer and developed in conjunction with the producers of the BBC TV series
* Work with (and against!) the Time Agency, UNIT, The Cult of Skaro and a secret double agent!

* Over 200 cards with your favorite characters from the show
* Cards with special rarities, abilities and powers to learn and master
* Handy upgrades to spur your advantages

* Pick the most powerful cards to assemble decks with unique traits for each faction
* Deal damage, restore health and replenish the TARDIS energy over time
* Worthy reward-boxes full of wondrous new cards!

* The TARDIS phone is bound to ring off the hook – and you’ll need to answer it
* Three times a day you will be called into action to face intense battle!

* Stats to power up your odds: wisdom, strength and dexterity can all be built up on your path to victory
* Infiltrate and explore each faction’s story and play a critical part in saving all of time and space
Work out your own tactics and embark on this thrilling adventure. Allons-y!
The app features a variety of characters from the whoniverse including Sarah Jane Smith, Amy Pond, River Song, Captain Jack and everyone's favourite robot pup K-9.

The game is free but does feature in app purchases. Currently the app is only available in the English language. It is unclear if this will change when the full launch takes place. No announcements have been made to indicate a date scheduled for the full launch.

Some of the gameplay from this app can be seen in the video below.

Age Rating Rated 9+ for the following:
  • Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
  • Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Price Free
In-App Purchases
  • Starter Pack$7.99
  • Envelope of Diamonds$7.99
  • Hand of Diamonds$2.99
  • Sack of Diamonds$14.99
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