Saturday, 6 February 2016

Doctor Who Magazine 496 Details

Details have been released for the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, which is out now, featuring John Hurt's War Doctor as the cover story:

Issue 496 of Doctor Who Magazine exclusively interviews Sir John Hurt, who played the mysterious incarnation of the Doctor in 2013's 50th Anniversary Special The Day of the Doctor – and asks him about his return in his brand new Doctor Who audio series.

What was John’s first reaction when he was offered the part of the Doctor’s secret incarnation?
Well, I said, ‘Doctor Who? I don’t think that’s really my sort of stuff.’ But my wife was listening, and when she heard that it was the 50th anniversary, she said, ‘You’ve got to be f***ing joking! You’re doing it! So I’ve really for her to thank. I’m really pleased I did it, because it opened up a whole new era for me. A whole new era.
On returning to the role for Big Finish's audio adventures, Hurt explains:
I was often asked, ‘Are you going to do anymore? And I said, ‘Well, I don’t think so. I’m not ruling it out, but unless somebody comes up with a real stonker of an idea that would involve him again… But the thing is that you can’t plan careers. You think, ‘That’s the way to play it’, but it’s not necessarily the case at all. If you follow your nose, that’s often the way to play it. And that’s exactly how I feel about this. I mean, I really have enjoyed every second of it. I mean it.

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat answers readers questions about some of the show's most recent episodes...

The writers of the exciting new audio series chat about writing for the Doctor's most dangerous incarnation.

Doctor Who Magazine pays tribute to the late Doctor Who writer and script editor, who died in 2015, with contributions from his colleagues and previously unpublished quotes from interviews conducted in 1990 and 2008.

Following the recent success of Lego Dimensions and Doctor Who Legacy, we uncover three decades’ worth of Doctor Who videogame projects.

The Time Team continue their quest to watch every episode of Doctor Who in order with Matt Smith’s second story, The Beast Below.

This issue’s Fact of Fiction delves into the world of King John and Magna Carta in the 1983 Fifth Doctor story The King’s Demons.

The Doctor meets his old friend Harry Houdini and encounters some trouble at the theatre in a brand-new comic strip adventure, Theatre of Mind, written and illustrated by Roger Langridge.

Jacqueline Rayner wonders if it’s possible to enjoy Star Wars: The Force Awakens without feeling like you’re cheating on Doctor Who, in her regular column, Relative Dimensions.

DWM previews all the latest Doctor Who CD and book releases. 

PLUS! All the latest official news, reviews, competitions and The DWM Crossword. 

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Friday, 5 February 2016

Moffat Reveals Extra Episode For Series 10

Amidst all the rumours surrounding the upcoming series of Doctor Who, there has been much speculation on how many episodes we will be getting in Series 10, with many fans worrying that we would get less than usual. In fact, after a recent interview it would appear that the situation is quite the opposite, with Moffat seemingly letting on that there will be an extra episode!

In a recent interview with Daily Record about his newly acquired OBE, Moffat casually revealed:
"Ahead of me this year, I've got fourteen Doctor Who episodes and three Sherlock films."
It seems unlikely that this is just a mere slip of the tongue, as Moffat previously told Digital Spy:
"I know that what I've signed on to do is 13 more episodes of Doctor Who - including a Christmas special. I'm trying to argue for slightly more than that, but we'll see."
With Moffat's departure from the show, it would be fitting for him to leave us with an extra surprise. There has been no mention of whether this is an extra episode or a one-off special, but as ever, only time will tell.

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Doctor Who's Steven Moffat Recieves OBE

Doctor Who executive producer and lead writer Steven Moffat has received his OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to drama.

The award, which was initially announced in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours list, was presented to the writer by the Prince of Wales during yesterday's investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Talking afterwards to the Scottish Daily Record, Moffat spoke about receiving the honour:
"It was very thrilling and formal and slightly, slightly, just very slightly, like being back at school. But nicer because everyone got a prize.

"Talking to other people before I came in, I kind of feel everyone's here for a better reason than me. I've got not one, but two dream jobs so to get this lovely thing for already indulging myself in public, seems like an excess of good fortune."
Moffat also commented on what the future holds following the recent announcement that next year's series of Doctor Who will be his last before new showrunner Chris Chibnall takes over:
"I'm quite excited to do something that's not Doctor Who.

"Ahead of me this year I have 14 Doctor Who and 3 Sherlock films, so the last thing I'm doing is contemplating work beyond that. But the day's coming when I'll have to."
Watch the full interview with Steven Moffat in the video below:

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Friday, 22 January 2016

Steven Moffat to Leave Doctor Who After Series 10 in Spring 2017 & Chris Chibnall to Become New Showrunner

There had been plenty of uncertainty about how much Doctor Who there would be in 2016, and plenty of uncertainty about Steven Moffat's future as showrunner. In one huge announcement, just about everything has been cleared up.

The BBC have officially confirmed that Steven Moffat will be stepping down as showrunner next year, to be replaced by Chris Chibnall, who has penned several episodes as well as popular David Tennant drama Broadchurch. As expected by many, there won't be a full series this year, with just a Christmas Special tiding us over til Series 10, Moffat's final series, airs in spring 2017.

Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, stated:
“I have decided to schedule Steven’s big finale series in Spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel.   2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017 - I promise it will be worth the wait!
Steven Moffat stated:
“Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him. It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.”
Chris Chibnall provided his comments on taking over the job:
"Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC programme: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world.  So it's a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was four years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore.  Steven’s achieved the impossible by continually expanding Doctor Who's creative ambition, while growing its global popularity. He’s been a dazzling and daring showrunner, and hearing his plans and stories for 2017, it’s clear he’ll be going out with a bang. Just to make my life difficult."
So, finally, the future of Doctor Who is clear - one festival instalment this year, followed by what should be a permanent move to spring with Moffat's final series in 2017, with Chibnall taking over from Series 11 in 2018.

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Doctor Who: Best of Twelve - Quarter-Finals

Welcome back to the Best of Twelve tournament! Last week's Series 9 qualifier saw Heaven Sent, Hell Bent, The Zygon Inversion & The Witch's Familiar make it through to join our Series 8 quarter-finalists.

This week, the knockout rounds begin with the quarter-finals. We've randomly drawn the eight most popular episodes against each other for four head-to-head polls - the most voted from each poll will progress to next week's semi-finals.

Quarter-Final 1

Quarter-Final 2

Quarter-Final 3

Quarter-Final 4

Voting closes on Saturday 23rd January, so get your votes in before then! Next Sunday, we'll have the semi finals, where the final 4 stories will go head-to-head for a place in the final.
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Doctor Who Series 9 Wins Best Reviewed Series of 2015

The past year has been a fruitful one for Doctor Who, not least because the recently concluded Series 9, which officially ended with the Christmas Special The Husbands of River Song, has been generally regarded as an unmitigated success. The Twelfth Doctor has truly arrived and cemented his place as a classic Doctor following an acclaimed but equally divisive debut series in 2014.

That is not to say every episode this year wowed the audience (looking at you Sleep No More) yet Series 9 ends its run reaping the praise of critics the world over to the extent that Rotten Tomatoes, the well known review aggregate website, has proclaimed Series 9 of Doctor Who the Best Reviewed TV Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror program of 2015, beating the likes of Game of Thrones Season 5 and the debut season of Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix.

Series 9 picks up the award by virtue of having each episode be awarded a Fresh rating on the site, requiring an overall average score of 60%
or higher from all reviews submitted.

Source: Doctor Who News
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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Doctor Who: Steven Moffat Explains The Mysteries Of Heaven Sent

Heaven Sent is the penultimate episode of Series 9 that had fans buzzing, one way or another, for a long time. With the Doctor trapped inside his confession dial, a creation of the Time Lords, he states:

'It's a killer puzzle box designed to scare me to death, and I'm trapped inside it.'

The Doctor is ultimately triumphant in breaking out of the trap (after a mere four billion years or so) but many fans are still stuck on some of the finer details of the journey, and in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Heaven Sent writer (and Doctor Who Showrunner) Steven Moffat was able to shed some light on some of the trickier unanswered questions.

Firstly - and maybe the key question that fans wanted answering - is the question of 'Room 12'. Most other areas and rooms in the castle (the gigantic puzzle box) reset themselves after a relatively short period of time so that the Doctor, trapped in a closed time-loop, finds them as if for the first time, each time. Room 12 is the final challenge for the Doctor and where he is being 'lured' towards in every cycle portrayed in the episode. Within this room is one final barrier to freedom, a 20 foot 'harder than diamond' wall which the Doctor punches his way through over the centuries getting that little bit further every time he finds the room. But why doesn't Room 12 also reset? Shouldn't he find the 20 foot barrier intact each time? Moffat explains:
It's not a room in the castle, it's the outer wall of the confession dial. The clue is that it's 20 foot of harder-than-diamond. Why bother making it so hard if a resetting stone wall would do?
It makes sense that the Doctor was always destined to break out of his prison, but as the Doctor says, he does it 'the long way round'. In the final episode Hell Bent we come to understand the Doctor could have freed himself at anytime simply by providing information about 'The Hybrid'.

Next Moffat has fun explaining the question of the Doctor's clothes - after crawling out of the lake filled with skulls of his previous selves, why does he find a new set of his clothes waiting for him dried by the fire of the next room he finds? Might there have been a moment in the time loop where the Doctor completes the circle naked? Moffat laughs off the idea:
Naked Doctor Who? It’s AGAINST THE LAW, I tell you, Showrunners have been executed for less. No, of course there wasn’t – I sort of wrote that moment to force you to think that the first time round the castle (the first of many times) wasn’t the same as the version we saw
Moffat says that in his own mind the Doctor originally finds there a set of ordinary clothes, not his own, and it would seem having changed into them, alters the nature of the loop:
Next time round, the Doctor finds his own clothes drying for him. The loop is complete – the end now triggers the beginning and that makes it permanent
Moffat goes on to explain some of the other mysteries in the episode such as the random clues the Doctor seems to discover have actually been left there through his previous efforts in the search for Room 12 in the hope they will avoid being reset. A great example of this is the Doctor painfully drawing out the one word clue 'Bird' in dying moments, (maybe to inspire his next self in the cycle to remember the legend he later quotes whilst punching through the wall, in which a bird is a key factor). Moffat continues:
The first time round the castle, the Doctor is there for many years, because there is no clue leading him to room 12. He’s ancient by the time he understands that room 12 is important.

After a few thousand years of this, he realises he’s going too slowly. He needs to get the next version of himself into room 12 faster.

The loop shrinks, the Doctor is younger as he punches the wall, and the Time Lords tremble as the storm grows closer.
And the answer to one last mystery, who painted the ancient portrait of Clara we see early on in the episode? Well of course it was the Doctor himself who Moffat says was being 'Soppy'. Let's not get too worried by where he finds the various paints, personally I think the stash of soup the Doctor has apparently sourced must come in a whole bunch of varieties and colours, right?.

[Source: DWM]

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Saturday, 9 January 2016

Doctor Who: Best of Twelve - Series 9 Qualifying Round

We're two years into the Twelfth Doctor's era now, and we've seen 26 episodes starring Peter Capaldi's incarnation since he first appeared on Christmas Day 2013. So, to kick off 2016, we're running a mini-tournament throughout January to find out your favourite Twelfth Doctor episode so far!

Last week's Series 8 qualifier went down to the wire, with the four winners eventually emerging as Mummy on the Orient Express, Listen, Last Christmas and Dark Water. This week, we're wrapping up the qualifying rounds with the Series 9 qualifier, where you can vote for your favourite episodes of 2015 to join those four Series 8 episodes in next week's quarter-finals. Out of the 13 episodes, just four will progress.

You can vote for your favourite two episodes of 2015 in the poll below, and the four most popular episodes will make it through:

Voting closes on Friday 15th January, so make sure to get your votes in before then! Make sure to come back next Saturday for the quarter-finals, where the eight remaining episodes will go head-to-head.
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Friday, 8 January 2016

Class: BBC America Co-Producing & Broadcasting the Spin-Off

Since it was announced last year, there's been little news about the new spin-off to be set in Coal Hill, Class - but it's been revealed today that BBC America will be heavily involved with the spin-off.

The US cable channel confirmed today at the TCAs that they have picked up the spin-off to air in autumn 2016, likely to be near-concurrent with the UK broadcast on BBC Three. BBC America also revealed that they will be co-producing the spin-off, which is being scripted by novelist Patrick Ness.

The first season of Class airs this autumn on BBC Three in the UK and BBC America in the US, consisting of eight hour-long episodes.

[Source: Doctor Who News]
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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Doctor Who Shortlisted For National Television Awards

Doctor Who has been named as a contender for the National Television Awards in the Drama category. The show will face tough competition from the likes of the heavily acclaimed Downton Abbey, and Broadchurch, which has entered it's third series and stars David Tennant - fondly known to Doctor Who fans as the Tenth Doctor.

The last ten years has seen the Drama award dominated by Doctor Who and Downton Abbey with the exception of 2009 (when no NTA ceremony took place) and 2011 when Waterloo Road was crowned winner. 2014 is the most recent year in which Doctor Who claimed the prize.

David Tennant has also been shortlisted for the Drama Performance award acknowledging his lead role as Alec Hardy in the detective drama Broadchurch. Tennant won the same award playing the Doctor in Doctor Who between 2007 and 2010. He was also given a Special Recognition award by the NTA in 2015 in an emotional presentation.

To vote for any of the finalists involved in the 2016 National Television Awards, visit the NTA website. Votes can be cast until 12.00 noon of the 20th January with the ceremony itself being broadcast on the same date at 7.30 p.m on ITV1.

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Christmas: The Husbands of River Song