Tuesday, 20 February 2018

New Doctor Who logo revealed!

With a new showrunner and a new Doctor, there will be a whole different feel to the show when it returns for Series 11. Part of this now includes a brand new logo for the show.

Following lots of online speculation and fan creations, the BBC have finally revealed the new logo that will accompany the Thirteenth Doctor in Series 11. And here it is...

The reveal came in the form of a video, which you can watch here:

As you may have heard, the clip features snippets of what sounds like the familiar theme tune. Could this be a hint at what the new theme will sound like? Only time will tell.

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Doctor Who 2018 World Cup - The Specials, Part 2 (2011-17) - Qualifying Round

Welcome back to the Doctor Who 2018 World Cup! Voting is continuing on the first Specials qualifier, which you can cast your ballots in here, but now it's time for the final qualifying round, for the second half of the Specials.

The second Specials encompass the Christmas Specials from The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe through to Twice Upon a Time, as well as the 50th anniversary special (and the 2014 World Cup champion) The Day of the Doctor. You can vote below for your two favourite stories, and the top three will progress to the group stages:

The poll will be open until Sunday 25th February. The qualifying rounds will wrap up then, so the World Cup will continue next week with the next stage of the competition - the group stages, where the remaining 36 episodes will battle it out for a place in the knockout rounds. See you then!
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Monday, 19 February 2018

Doctor Who 2018 World Cup - The Specials, Part 1 (2005-10) - Qualifying Round

Welcome back to the Doctor Who 2018 World Cup! Voting has now finished on the qualifiers for Series 9 and 10, so all but eight of the spots for the group stages have been secured. Now it's time to continue the qualifiers with the first of the final two rounds, which encompass the Specials.

The first Specials qualifier takes in the Christmas Specials from The Christmas Invasion through to A Christmas Carol, along with David Tennant's final episodes from 2009 and 2010. You can vote below for your two favourite episodes, and the top three will progress to the group stages:

The poll will be open until Sunday 25th February. The World Cup will continue tomorrow with the final qualifying round, which takes in the second half of the Specials. See you there!
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Composer Murray Gold confirms Doctor Who exit

Doctor Who composer Murray Gold has announced that he is leaving the show after thirteen years.

Gold, who has been the sole composer on Doctor Who since its 2005 return, confirmed rumours of his departure whilst speaking at the Gallifrey One convention in Los Angeles over the weekend.

Gold's time on Doctor Who saw him reimagine Ron Grainer's iconic theme several times over as well as create a broad range of incidental orchestral themes and cues, earning him two BAFTA nominations. The composer's music for the show has also featured at three dedicated Doctor Who Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, and has toured nationally in a series of Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular live concerts both in Australia/New Zealand and in the UK.

Murray Gold's scores for Doctor Who have also enjoyed regular soundtrack releases since 2006. The music for the show's ninth series was recently confirmed for release as a four-disc set, whilst an announcement regarding an album for Gold's final series - the show's tenth - is still pending.

The BBC has not yet confirmed who Murray Gold's successor might be, although one composer who has taken himself out of the running is Ólafur Arnalds, who has already worked with new Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall on Broadchurch:

Gold's departure marks the latest in a series of significant personnel changes for Doctor Who's eleventh series, which will mark the debut of the show's first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, and a brand-new team of companions played by Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh. New faces behind the camera include Sam Hoyle and Matt Strevens as co-executive producers following the departure of Brian Minchin, whilst writers such as Mark Gatiss, Sarah Dollard and Jamie Mathieson have confirmed that they will not be contributing scripts to the new series.

The eleventh series of Doctor Who is currently filming ahead of its transmission later this year.

[Source: Twitter]
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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Doctor Who 2018 World Cup - Series 10 (2017) - Qualifying Round

Welcome back to the Doctor Who 2018 World Cup! Voting is continuing on the qualifier for Series 9, which you can cast your ballots in here, but now it's time for the Series 10 qualifier.

Peter Capaldi's final series as the Doctor saw the introduction, death and rebirth of Bill Potts, the return of both the Mondasian Cyberman and two Masters side by side. You can vote below for your two favourite stories, and the top three will progress to the group stages:

The poll will be open until Sunday 18th February. The World Cup will continue next week with the final two qualifying rounds, for the Specials - see you there!
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The Complete Dr Men Review

Warning: This review contains spoilers for the stories in these books. If you've not read them yet and don't want to know what happens, I suggest you go read them first.

With the latest releases completing the line up in the Doctor Who Mr Men mashup, we've decided to do a review of all thirteen books. So, let's get started...

Dr First

The First Doctor seems like a perfect choice for a Mr Men character, with his grumpy but friendly persona. As such, he translates perfectly in the book. His dialogue and actions very much resembles the Hartnell performance we know and love, with a dislike for being called 'Doc' and a curious nature.

The first Doctor looks great, with a saturated body colour (hinting at the black and white version of his era) and the iconic hair, as well as the monacle and walking stick accessories. Hargreaves has also captured Susan's likeness very well and managed to make the Cybermen just friendly enough for kids, whilst also maintaining the menacing look. The TARDIS interior is also beautifully illustrated.
We see the Doctor travel to Earth with Susan to fix the TARDIS, only to be faced with Cybermen and hippies. The story itself is a fun little romp, with a few surprises and some British culture thrown in as well.

Dr Second

The Second book in the series features a great take on the Second Doctor. Again, Hargreaves has got the look and personality of the Doctor spot on, with the iconic hairdo and bow tie. He also has some great dialogue, with fancy words and a bit of a short temper when it comes to mocking his TARDIS. We also get his catchphrase "Oh my giddy aunt" no less than three times, which does start to feel a little forced.

Jamie and Victoria are also well realised, although Jamie seems to have become more of a stereotypical Scotsman.
The story sees the trio explore a museum, before Jamie and Zoe are kidnapped by a group of Yeti. The Yeti aren't quite as faithful to the originals, with a more generic 'teddy bear' look. The plot itself is exciting and, being set in a museum, features some interesting visuals.

Dr Third

The third installment is where the accurate likeness falters a little. Whilst the Third Doctor did occasionally wear a bow tie, he's not particularly known for them in the same way the Second or Eleventh Doctors were. The monocle is a baffling addition, as I've never seen the Third Doctor wearing one and after quite a bit of research I only found one photo with him wearing one. I'm also not entirely sure what he's meant to be holding on the cover. If it's his sonic screwdriver, it's a poor effort. However, the character is still recognisable, thanks to the tufts of white hair, giant conk and general air of grandeur.

The story follows the Doctor driving Bessie back to UNIT HQ in a hurry to complete an important mission. On the way he picks up a few old friends - Mike Yates, Liz Shaw and Jo Grant - and has an encounter with the Ice Warriors. It's a fun little story that has you wondering what the Doctor's mission could be, and the payoff is sure to bring a smile.
Mike Yates and Liz Shaw are splendidly illustrated and instantly recognisable - Jo Grant less so. The Ice Warriors are quite detailed for Mr Men characters, but they look great. Sadly they don't have any dialogue, so we don't get their trademark hissing.

Dr Fourth

If ever there was a Doctor that suited the Mr Men style and humour, it was always going to be the much loved Fourth Doctor. His image is captured perfectly, with the curly locks and multicoloured scarf. My only quibble is with the green hat, rather than his usual brown Fedora. The orange is a good choice for his body, as it reflects his vibrant and energetic personality. Sarah Jane is also brilliantly realised.

The story sees the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith trying to fend off a group of Daleks. Pairing this Doctor with the show's most famous villains seems like a good way to entice potential fans who may be aware of Tom Baker's Doctor and the Daleks.

The Daleks are quite simplified and a lot more flexible than usual, giving them more of a sympathetic look. One Dalek - quite humorously called Dale - is even quite, dare I say it... cute.
Overall this is one of the better stories, with plenty of laughs and recognisable elements from the show. We even get to hear Dr Fourth ask a pigeon if he'd like a jelly baby.

Dr Fifth

While Dr Fifth was one of the latest books to be released, there is no sense that any care had been lost on it. If anything, it's jam packed with things to make any Whovian excited.

The story sees the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric visit an Earth supermarket to buy food (which, let's face it, probably happened between the TV episodes) only to be trapped by the Master. Not only does the story have a brilliant Master in disguise as an old lady, but we're also treated to a cameo from an Earthshock Cyberman.
Dr Fifth is just as charming as his on screen counterpart, with a colour palette that echoes his cricket clothing without having to show it. Nyssa and Tegan are fairly decent recreations, but Adric has to be my favourite character out of the whole series. I'm not especially a fan of Adric, but his Mr Men character just looks perfect! He's smaller than the others, reflecting his youthfulness, and his outfit colours, star badge and hairstyle all make him instantly recognisable. His attitude towards his fellow companions and occasional naivety is translated well in the story.

Dr Sixth

The sixth book in the series, the halfway point, and once again Roger Hargreaves' talent for recreating the Doctors shines again. Dr Sixth's garish colours mimic his infamous outfit, while his feisty temper and love of fancy words is captured perfectly.

The story sees the Doctor and Peri land on a strange blue planet, only to be attacked by the locals who are under the spell of the Rani. This story differs from the others in that it effectively has a new villain (or rather sub-villain) with the blue people, which is a brave choice, but it works okay and leaves more room in the spotlight for the Rani.
Peri and the Rani are both depicted brilliantly in this book. It's weird to think that a triangular body, dark hair and boots can somehow make the character look so much like Peri.

Dr Seventh

If the question mark umbrella and panama hat didn't give it away, the giant smile on Dr Seventh's face while he's performing a magic trick really emanate's Sylvester McCoy's inimitable style.

The story sees the Doctor and Ace off to visit a friend in the woods, but instead being pestered by the Cheetah People and the Master. It does seem like the Master is being overused a little in this story, given that the Cheetah People make an interesting (and visually exciting) enemy.
Other than her hair and backpack, the illustrated version of Ace is not a great interpretation. She could have perhaps done with a few badges or a different colour scheme to get the personality of the character across a bit better. Even her nitro 9 looks more like a stick of dynamite with '9' painted on it, although I guess this is to make it more obvious to younger readers unfamiliar with the show that it's an explosive. And she does still call the Doctor 'professor', so there are a few nice touches for the fans.

Dr Eighth

Despite being one of the lesser known Doctors (due to his small screen time) the Eighth Doctor's story excels in giving him not only an exciting story, but one with a great moral message in.

The first part of the story sees the Doctor saving a bunch of humans from an exploding spaceship, while the second half sees him teach the Silurians and Sea Devils to share. I really like that they made this an educational story for younger readers and if anything it makes me wish the other books had more messages like this.
While the Eighth Doctor doesn't have a great deal of recognisable features or accessories, his illustrated character is a good interpretation. The Silurians and Sea Devils are also beautifully recreated.

Dr Ninth

We're now into the modern Doctors and, once again, a Doctor that is quite difficult to translate with just hair and shoes, though Hargreaves does a decent job of it.

The story sees the Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack facing off against Auton shop window dummies. This book is full of nice little moments, from the Doctor admiring a mannequin wearing a long multicoloured scarf to the trio beheading the Autons with lettuces.
This book is probably the silliest of the bunch, but it's a fun, childish humour that makes a familiar story engaging for readers.

Dr Tenth

This Doctor's appearance is quite different from his predecessors, with a triangular body instead of a rounded body, but it feels right for the character and helps to make him recognisable, along with his spiky hair, trainers, and shirt collar and tie combo.

The story has the Doctor's peaceful holiday being interrupted by a Sontaran. This story feels quite repetitive, with the Doctor repeatedly trying to prove to the Sontaran that he is not his enemy, but we do get a nice cameo from an Ogron and some fun antics with the Sontarans.
It's also quite odd this Doctor does not have a companion. Although he was alone during the specials, the Tenth Doctor had a number of companions that could have been used here. Even though Rose and Captain Jack are used for Dr Ninth, there's still Martha and Donna, or even Wilf at a push. I mean come on, who doesn't want to see a Mr Men version of Wilf?!

Dr Eleventh

The trademark quiff and bow tie is all you really need to recreate the Eleventh Doctor, which is why Hargreaves' illustration works so well.

River looks great as a Mr Men (or Little Miss?) character, although her trademark 'sweetie' is overused just a little.
The story sees the Doctor and River trying to find the Doctor's fez, a tale that seems perfect for this Doctor. Along the way we encounter some funky looking Zygons, more Silurians and some not-very-scary Weeping Angels. It's a fun story, with lots of treats for fans and some visually stunning moments.

Dr Twelfth

The final story in the book (though one of the first to be written) features a spot on representation of the Twelfth Doctor, with his long face and wild grey hair. Missy is also faithfully recreated, with her purple palette and trademark hat.

The story follows the Doctor chasing Missy across time, trying to stop her committing crimes and stealing objects. The weird thing is, we purposely don't know why she was committing the crimes. She tries to explain at the end, but the Doctor just flies off in the TARDIS. I personally love this, as it's a great nod to the Master's constant need to explain his plans, but I do fear some kids may be confused and left unfulfilled after reading the story.
Again we have a bit of culture in this book, with various eras and landmarks including the Egyptian pyramids and the tower of London. This also means there's more time travel involved, which is reflective of the Twelfth Doctor's era.


Roger Hargreaves manages to combine both the humour and innocence of the Mr Men style with the wonder and eccentricity of the Doctor Who world, capturing each Doctor's personality perfectly.

Whilst the stories may not always be factually accurate, they are faithful enough to give non-fans an introduction to the series, with plenty of in-jokes and visual treats for fans.

I would highly recommend these books, both as an enjoyable read for younger kids and a nostalgic bit of fun for grown up kids (or 'adults' as they're sometimes called).

And who knows, maybe we might be revisiting the Mr Men world soon with the Thirteenth Doctor.
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Series 11 of Doctor Who May Feature a Civil Rights Activist

Everyone is wondering what to expect in series 11 of Doctor Who with its brand new cast and crew. Some eagle eyed fans may have found a few hints into at least one of the upcoming episodes.

Last month photos from the set of Doctor Who featured a bus that resembled that from the story of famous American civil rights activist Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat in the front of a bus to a Caucasian man during the mid 1950s.

This had fans speculating but recent information in the form of Spotlight actor screenshots show certain actors playing roles in Doctor Who series 11 related to the Rosa Parks event. These screen shots were shared via Twitter.

The Spotlight profiles for both of the above actors (David Rubin & Aki Omoshaybi) no longer have these details listed and it can not be confirmed that these images are legitimate. However, if these pictures are truly genuine, these actors could be playing Raymond Parks (Rosa Parks' husband) and Fred David Gray (Rosa Parks' lawyer). It would certainly help to validate the speculation about the bus seen during filming.

David Rubin is a versed theatre actor. Theatre seeming to be a favourite place for plucking actors for Doctor Who. So perhaps there could be some real legitimacy for this claim. Only time can tell, as I doubt the actors will be allowed to discuss the matter if they are planning on playing these roles. BBC has declined commenting on the matter. This is probably a good thing. We all know Chibnall is trying to be more secretive this time around.

The idea that historic content such as this may be implemented in the new series of Doctor Who leads one to wonder if this series is going to be more time than space. With the temporary loss of the TARDIS, it is very possible that we will be seeing a lot more Earth related content this year.

If you could place the new Doctor in the middle of any historic Earth event, what would it be? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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Monday, 12 February 2018

Doctor Who 2018 World Cup - Series 9 (2015) - Qualifying Round

Welcome back to the Doctor Who 2018 World Cup! Voting has now finished on the qualifiers for Series 7 and 8, so 24 of the spots for the group stages have now been secured. Now it's time to continue the qualifiers with Series 9.

Peter Capaldi's second series as the Doctor saw the death and (sort of) resurrection of Clara, the creation of the immortal Ashildr and the Doctor's long, painful return to Gallifrey. You can vote below for your two favourite stories, and the top three will progress to the group stages:

The poll will be open until Sunday 18th February. The World Cup will continue tomorrow with the Series 10 qualifying round as the Peter Capaldi era wraps up - see you there!
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Friday, 9 February 2018

Ninth Doctor version of Day of the Doctor script released for charity

Whilst the 50th Anniversary special, Day of the Doctor, paired up two NuWho Doctors and brought us a brand new War Doctor, fans were still disappointed not to see Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor. However, now we can find out what the episode would've been like had he have been in it.

Steven Moffat's original first draft for Day of the Doctor included the ninth Doctor, but when Eccleston declined, the story was written to focus on John Hurt's War Doctor.
"Christopher Eccleston said no, and that was awful, that was just awful. I was so depressed that day, because I'd written most of the script and he was in it. I didn't know what to do."
- Steven Moffat
But now, fans will get a chance to see an excerpt from the early draft, which will appear in A Second Target For Tommy, a collection of Doctor Who short stories published by Obverse Books, with all the proceeds going to writer Tommy Donbavand, who is currently battling cancer.

Donbavand wrote several stories for the Doctor Who Adventures magazine, as well as the Eleventh Doctor novel Shroud of Sorrow. He also wrote strips for the Beano, including The Bash Street Kids and Bananaman. until March 2016 when he was diagnosed with cancer, forcing him to stop writing and be hospitalised.

A Second Target For Tommy is a sequel the original A Target For Tommy, which was published in 2016 to raise money for Donbavand. As well as the exclusive script excerpt, the book features stories from over 20 writers.

A Second Target For Tommy is available to buy from Obverse Books, with an e-book of the first book, Target for Tommy, also still available to purchase.

For more on Tommy Donbavand, visit his blog Tommy vs Cancer.

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Thursday, 8 February 2018

Doctor Who nominated for British LGBT Award

Doctor Who has been nominated for a British LGBT Award for its portrayal of Twelfth Doctor companion Bill Potts, played by actress Pearl Mackie.

Bill's introduction to Doctor Who last year as the show's first openly gay regular companion has been nominated as one of the British LGBT Awards' top ten media moments of the past year.

Since its 2005 return Doctor Who has featured a range of diverse LGBT characters including pansexual Captain Jack Harkness and married same-sex couple Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint, and last year won a PinkNews Ally Award in recognition of its 'groundbreaking' LGBT storylines.

Mackie - who left Doctor Who as Bill during last year's Christmas special - commented on her character's sexuality when it was revealed ahead of her first appearance in the show itself, saying:
"It shouldn't be a big deal in the 21st Century. It's about time isn't it? That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show. It's important to say people are gay, people are black - there are also aliens in the world as well so watch out for them.

"I remember watching TV as a young mixed race girl not seeing many people who looked like me, so I think being able to visually recognise yourself on screen is important.

"[Being gay] is not the main thing that defines her character - it's something that's part of her and something that she's very happy and very comfortable with."
Other media moments to make the top ten include the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia, the return of Will and Grace after eleven years off-screen, and the portrayal of a same-sex relationship between two officers on Star Trek Discovery.

Voting for the British LGBT Awards is now open and closes on 23rd March, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony at Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, London, on 11th May.

[Source: British LGBT Awards]
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