Sunday, 18 March 2018

What do fans at Comic Con think of the new logo?

Yesterday, I went to the MCM Comic Con in Birmingham to speak to the fans about Series 11 and all the exciting things that are happening. 

In the first video, we get their opinions on the new logo:

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Jodie Whittaker talks fans, acting and social media with The Sunday Times

Today's Sunday Times features an exclusive interview with Jodie Whittaker, the Thirteenth (and now current!) Doctor. Here are some of the highlights from the interview.

Starting off the interview, Whittaker immediately spoke about the attention she's started receiving from fans and how she copes with it:
"People have been absolutely lovely so far. The other week in Cardiff I could see this little lad plucking up the courage to talk to me so I made it easier, ‘You all right, mate?’ So, I know it made his morning. I’m actually fine with that. People are lovely, but I am very private, which is possible as long as you stick to certain things. I still get on the Tube, but I might start wearing a hat."
She's also notes how grateful she is for the opportunity and how taking the lead role in the show will undoubtedly affect her life:
"I think I have been really lucky. Doctor Who definitely puts me on a level where if I go into a meeting I probably don’t have to say what I have been doing for the past few months."
Whittaker revealed that David Tennant's Tenth Doctor was her favourite Doctor, mainly because she knows him from working together. However, she admits that she wasn't really a big fan of the show before she took the role, saying:
"It’s wonderful and I absolutely love it. As a family we didn’t watch it except at other people’s houses. But I was much more aware of it when it came back with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant [who co-starred with Whittaker in Broadchurch] and Matt Smith."
This didn't stop her in the audition though:
"I went to the audition excited, but I always walk into the room with an attitude of ‘I sound like this, I look like this, but, believe me, I can do it’."
Talking about how she feels being the Doctor, she also reiterated her message to the fans:
"It feels completely overwhelming; as an actor, as a woman, as a feminist, as a human, as someone who wants to continually challenge themselves and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender because this is a really exciting time and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one."
The interview also looks at Whittaker's younger days and how she started out in acting:
"I was brought up in a household where you were celebrated for what you could do and you were never shamed for the things you struggled with. There was no part of my upbringing that suggested I needed to focus and get a proper job. There was no telling me what I wanted to do was ridiculous or unrealistic."
Finally, she revealed why she is steering clear of social media these days:
"I don’t want to know what people think about me. Sometimes when I am really passionate I would love to throw my voice, but perhaps I am too argumentative and would say something immediately offensive."
The full interview is available to read in today's copy of the Sunday Times or on the Times website here.

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Thursday, 15 March 2018

Lady Christina returns to Doctor Who in new Big Finish adventures

A new set of audio dramas from Big Finish Productions made in arrangement with BBC Worldwide will see Michelle Ryan (Eastenders, Merlin) reprise her role as Lady Christina de Souza.

Lady Christina, out this autumn, will star Ryan in four brand-new adventures set after her character's on-screen appearance in the 2009 Doctor Who special Planet of the Dead, co-written by Gareth Roberts and former showrunner Russell T Davies.

With Lady Christina making her escape at the end of the special on a flying double-decker bus, the four new stories will discover what happened next, as the thrill-seeker encounters not only the Slitheen but also the formidable Donna Noble (Jacqueline King):

1. It Takes a Thief by John Dorney
2. Skin Deep by James Goss
3. Portrait of a Lady by Tim Dawson
4. Death on the Mile by Donald McLeary

Ryan says of her Doctor Who return:
“Being asked to revisit the role of Lady Christina was a very easy decision. Adventure, a sunny climate and mind-boggling scenarios are included in the scripts, everything I remember of my Doctor Who experience. Alas no David Tennant, but there’s a host of new characters to help along the way.

"I love that we get to see a little more of her heart in the stories, that she does care about the greater good whilst also satisfying her curiosity for life.”
Also joining Ryan for the new set of audio adventures is Warren Brown (Luther, Strike Back), who is reprising his role as Sam Bishop from Big Finish's own UNIT series as is Tracy Wiles as Jacqui McGee.

Senior producer David Richardson says of the new series:
“Lady Christina de Souza was a standout guest character in Doctor Who. When she disappeared off in her flying bus, I wanted to know what happened next – and as it turns out, so did Russell T Davies! Russell very generously embraced the idea of us giving Lady Christina her own audio spin-off, and Michelle Ryan was delighted about the prospect of returning."
Lady Christina is out in September 2018 and is available to pre-order now from Big Finish, either individually or as part of a bundle with the forthcoming Jenny: The Doctor's Daughter, featuring Georgia Tennant in her own return to the Doctor Who universe.

[Source: Big Finish]
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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Competition - Win a copy of Dr Tenth by Adam Hargreaves

With the lineup of the Dr Men books pretty much completed now, we're giving you a chance to win a copy of Dr Tenth.

All of the Doctors (apart from the War Doctor) have been covered in Adam Hargreaves' Doctor Who themed Mr Men books, but Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor will no doubt be added to the series after she makes her series debut in Series 11.

So, we'd like you to suggest a story for the future Dr Thirteen. It doesn't have to be a whole script, just a line or two about which alien she'd encounter and what would happen. For example "The Thirteenth Doctor would land on Mars and have to escape the Ice Warriors."
You can post your answer in the comments below or tweet us them @GallifreyTimes.

The deadline is Sunday 18th March, so you've got plenty of time to come up with something fun.

You can read our review of the twelve Dr Men books here.
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New Books Featuring the Thirteenth Doctor Available Soon

As fans eagerly await the premiere of series 11 and the brand new thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, the BBC has been signing book deals to bring the newest incarnation of the Doctor to your local book shop.

Shortly after the premiere of series 11 in October, a book featuring the thirteenth Doctor and her companions is set to release on the 1st of November. The book, written by award winning author David Solomons, will be the first of two that he has been contracted to write for BBC Children's Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Children's UK.
“We have watched the wonderful David Solomons take the middle-grade world by storm with his novels. They’re full of incredible characters, excitement and humour. These are also the things that make Doctor Who so very special and so we are delighted to have David bring the Thirteenth Doctor to the page for young people in 2018.” - Ruth Knowles, publisher at PRH Children’s
Solomons is a British/American accounting scholar who has written multiple books on the subject of accounting. However, he has also worked in the children's fiction genre, writing books such as My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord and My Evil Twin is a Supervillain. He has won several awards for his writing in this genre, including the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the British Book Industry Awards Children's Book of the Year in 2016. In 2018 he was awarded the Laugh Out Loud Award.

His first book in the Doctor Who series will be The Secret in Vault 13: A Doctor Who Story and follows the Doctor and her companions as they infiltrate a Galactic Seed Vault. The team will face an old enemy as they unveil a collection of plant specimens from all over the galaxy.
"The Doctor has never faced a challenge quite like this . . .
In the coldest spot in the universe is the Galactic Seed Vault. For generations it has existed to store and preserve examples of plant seeds from across the galaxy, ensuring that in the event of planetary catastrophe, the seeds will survive.
And at its heart lies a secret. Vault 13.
Unopened for millions of years, no one is sure what it contains. There are rumours of a great treasure, and a terrible weapon.
Now the Doctor and her companions are in a race with an ancient order known as the Gardeners of Tellus to unlock the vault. Whoever gains access first will discover the horrifying secret of the Genesis Seed." - Amazon
This 250 page story is currently available for pre-order for £3.99 on Kindle, £6.99 in paperback format or £12.99 as an audio CD.

The second book by Solomons is scheduled to be released in Autumn of 2019, the title of which has yet to be announced.
For those not willing to wait until after the series 11 premiere for a taste of Whittaker's Doctor, a number counting book is scheduled to be released on the 2nd of August. Doctor Who: One Doctor, Two hearts is an adorable and colourful Doctor Who themed book to help children learn to count by author and illustrator Adam Howling. Fans may recall Howling's handiwork in the popular T is for Tardis book released in Spring of 2017. If you are unfamiliar with T is for Tardis, check out our review.
Learn your 1, 2, 3 across the stars, with the help of the Doctor and friends!
One Doctor. Two Hearts. Three Knocks. Four Daleks . . . A Doctor Who counting book with a timey-wimey twist on every page! Featuring Doctors, companions and monsters both past and present, kids of all ages will love this Doctor Who numbers book.
In the wonderful style of T is for Tardis, this includes stunning original illustrations, in a retro style, on every page. - Amazon
Doctor Who: One Doctor, Two Hearts is also currently available for pre-order in either hardcover format for £7.99 or Kindle Edition for £3.99.

[Sources: AmazonBlogtor Who ,  TheBookSeller]

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Monday, 12 March 2018

Doctor Who 2018 World Cup: Quarter-Finals

Welcome back to the Doctor Who 2018 World Cup! We're down to just eight remaining stories now, which means it's time for the quarter-finals.

The winners of the round of 16 have been randomly sorted into four head-to-head matches. Today, voting begins on all of the quarter-finals. You can vote for your one favourite story from each below, and the most popular stories will progress to the semi-finals next week.

Quarter-Final 1

Quarter-Final 2

Quarter-Final 3

Quarter-Final 4

The polls will be open for voting until Sunday 18th March. The semi-finals will begin next Monday - see you there!
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New Doctor Who Target audiobooks coming soon

New Doctor Who audiobooks based on the upcoming all-new Target novelisations from BBC Books are set to be released later this year.

The three new audiobooks, out in the summer, will be unabridged audio editions of new novelisations of three landmark episodes post-2005 - Ninth Doctor debut Rose, Tenth Doctor debut The Christmas Invasion, and the show's 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor.

Both Rose and The Christmas Invasion will be read by Camille Coduri, who appeared in both episodes as companion Rose Tyler's mother, Jackie. The voice of the Daleks, Nicholas Briggs, will take on reading duties for the third audiobook, The Day of the Doctor.

Below are the details for each forthcoming audiobook:


By Russell T Davies
Read by Camille Coduri 

Camille Coduri reads this brand new novelisation of the Ninth Doctor’s debut TV adventure.

“Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life!" 

In a lair somewhere beneath central London, a malevolent alien intelligence is plotting the end of humanity. Shop window dummies that can move – and kill – are taking up key positions, ready to strike. 

Rose Tyler, an ordinary Londoner, is working her shift in a department store, unaware that this is the most important day of her life. She’s about to meet the only man who understands the true nature of the threat facing Earth, a stranger who will open her eyes to all the wonder and terror of the universe – a traveller in time and space known as the Doctor.


By Jenny T Colgan
Read by Camille Coduri

Camille Coduri reads this brand new novelisation of the Tenth Doctor’s first adventure.

Earth is under attack by power-hungry aliens. This is no time for the Doctor to be out of action.

When a British space probe is intercepted by a sinister alien vessel on the eve of Christmas, it marks the beginning of an audacious invasion of the Earth by the Sycorax – horrifying marauders from beyond the stars. Within hours, a third of humanity stands on the brink of death with not a single shot fired.

Our planet needs a champion – but the Doctor is not fit for service. He’s just regenerated, delirious in a new body and a dressing gown. Forced into his battered shoes is his friend, Rose Tyler, a girl from a London council estate. Will she save the world from this nightmare before Christmas – or see it destroyed?


By Steven Moffat
Read by Nicholas Briggs

An unabridged reading of the brand new novelisation of the spectacular 50th anniversary TV episode.

When the entire universe is at stake, three different Doctors will unite to save it.

The Tenth Doctor is hunting shape-shifting Zygons in Elizabethan England. The Eleventh is investigating a rift in space-time in the present day. And one other – the man they used to be but never speak of – is fighting the Daleks in the darkest days of the Time War. Driven by demons and despair, this battle-scarred Doctor is set to take a devastating decision that will threaten the survival of the entire universe… a decision that not even a Time Lord can take alone.

On this day, the Doctor’s different incarnations will come together to save the Earth… to save the universe… and to save his soul.
All three audiobooks are now available to pre-order ahead of their release on Tuesday 19th June.

No details as yet have been released regarding audiobooks for the remaining two upcoming Target novelisations. Twice Upon a Time, last year's Christmas special and the Twelfth Doctor's swansong, has been adapted by Paul Cornell, whilst James Goss releases his second novelisation of the Fourth Doctor adventure City of Death, one of the few stories not to be adapted by Target during the original run of novelisations between 1973 and 1994. The latter, however, is already available as an unabridged audiobook of Goss' 2015 novelisation, read by Lalla Ward.

All five new Target novelisations will be published on Thursday 5th April, and are now available to pre-order. To mark the launch of the new novelisations, Forbidden Planet will be hosting a special signing event at its London Megastore on Friday 13th April. As well as cover artist Anthony Dry, all five authors of the new novelisations - Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Jenny T Colgan, Paul Cornell, and James Goss - will be present.

[Source: The Doctor Who Site/Forbidden Planet]
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Christopher Eccleston: Doctor Who exit 'almost destroyed' career

Christopher Eccleston has claimed in a new interview that the circumstances surrounding his departure from Doctor Who 'almost destroyed' his career.

Eccleston, who was speaking to The Guardian ahead of his upcoming RSC debut as Macbeth, criticised the way the BBC handled his decision to leave the show following the first series of its revival in 2005:
“What happened around Doctor Who almost destroyed my career. I gave them a hit show and I left with dignity and then they put me on a blacklist.

"I was carrying my own insecurities as it was something I had never done before and then I was abandoned, vilified in the tabloid press and blacklisted. I was told by my agent at the time: ‘The BBC regime is against you. You’re going to have to get out of the country and wait for regime change.’

"So I went away to America and I kept on working because that’s what my parents instilled in me. My dad always said to me: ‘I don’t care what you do – sweeping the floor or whatever you’re doing – just do the best job you can.’ I know it’s cliched and northern and all that bollocks, but it applies.”
Although Eccleston's most recent comments are in line with similar grievances he has previously aired about his time on Doctor Who, he has nevertheless been careful to stress that his dissatisfaction surrounding the show's production did not extend to the show itself, as in this interview from 2016:
"The man you have to thank [for Doctor Who's return] is Russell T Davies. He wrote it and I always feel that the showrunners and the writers are the people that deserve and who own the kudos.

"The first series of any show is always very difficult to sell to the audience and I'm very proud that through what was a really badly organised - and certainly badly produced first series... I'm very proud that I managed to find a way through the chaos they imposed and get us picked up.

"[The BBC] certainly didn't acknowledge it at the time and I wish they would've done because then things would've worked out very differently."
Eccleston, who has previously praised the performances of his successors - David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi - as being 'just brilliant', has also recently approved of Jodie Whittaker as the show's first female Doctor, saying the role had been played by 'too many skinny white men like me':
"She will be the best Doctor. I mean why did they have to wait so long? ...I absolutely loved playing the character and I'm so glad it's being reinvented."
Eccleston will star as Macbeth at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, from 13th March 2018.

The eleventh series of Doctor Who is currently filming and is set to air on the BBC this autumn.

[Source: Radio Times]
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Friday, 9 March 2018

Alan Cumming accidentally reveals he will be playing James I in Series 11

Alan Cumming, Star of TV and film, has announced that he will be in Doctor Who, but he wasn't actually supposed to tell people quite so soon.

Cumming revealed on the Homo Sapiens podcast - hosted by Will Young and Chris Sweeny - that he will be in Series 11 playing James I opposite Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor. He told the hosts:

"I’m about to go and do an episode of Doctor Who. I’m so excited! I’ve never been in it."
When questioned if he was playing a villain, Cumming explained he was playing "a nice baddie" and elaborated:
“I’m James I. So I’m kind of like, you know, a kind of dandy, foppy, coward who kind of comes alright in the end. And they said he might come back.”
So this is exciting news. One of the first big named casting reveals for Series 11. Chibnall and co have been incredibly secretive about any details for Series 11, so it seemed a bit surprising that this news came out. It turns out that's because he wasn't supposed to reveal it quite so soon.

The actor posted a tweet apologising:
"Whoops, the cat’s out of the bag! I’m in an episode of Doctor Who. I’d told the Homo Sapiens podcast that I was doing it before Doctor Who told me it was supposed to be a big secret, so… that’s good."

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Thursday, 8 March 2018

Doctor Who celebrates International Women's Day 2018

Doctor Who has marked International Women's Day 2018 with the release of a brand-new photo featuring the show's female cast and crew. 

In the centre of the special image from the show's official Twitter account are new Doctor Jodie Whittaker - the first official female incarnation of the Time Lord in Doctor Who's history - and Mandip Gill, who also joins the programme this year as new companion Yasmin.

The annual International Women's Day photo from the show is now becoming somewhat of a tradition, with images paying tribute to the show's female cast and crew also released in 2015 (below left) and 2017 (below right). With no series in 2016, the absence of a group shot from that year is due to the show not actively filming at that time.

In addition to the new image, today sees the launch of a new Doctor Who short story collection from Puffin exclusively penned by female writers. The Day She Saved The Doctor stars companions Rose Tyler, Clara Oswald, Sarah Jane Smith and Bill Potts in four brand-new adventures, with Doctor Who writing debuts from comedian Susan Calman and novelist Dorothy Koomson featuring alongside stories from established Doctor Who authors Jenny Colgan and Jacqueline Rayner.

An extract from the collection's Rose Tyler adventure, Rose and the Snow Window by Jenny Colgan, can be downloaded here or listened to below, as read by Rachael Stirling (The Crimson Horror's Ada):

Also out in time for International Women's Day is a short story collection featuring the never-seen-before exploits of the show's first female incarnation of the Master, Missy. The Missy Chronicles, published by BBC Books, includes contributions from Jacqueline Rayner, Cavan Scott, Paul Magrs, James Goss, Peter Anghelides and Richard Dinnick.

The eleventh series of Doctor Who, which will star Whittaker and Gill alongside new companions Tosin Cole (Ryan) and Bradley Walsh (Graham), is currently filming and is expected to air this autumn.

[Source: Twitter/Doctor Who]
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