Monday, 23 October 2017

Series 11 format to change... slightly

Tucked away in the press release for the announcement of the new companions was one line that confirmed some very important news.

The press release confirmed that the next series of Doctor Who will be broadcast in Autumn 2018 and will be made up of ten fifty minute episodes in, with the first episode being a one hour 'feature length' episode.

Doctor Who has had numerous format changes over the years. Starting off as multi-part 25 minute episodes, Season 22 briefly changed to 45 minute episodes, which was later adopted as the general format for post-2005 Doctor Who, with a number of 60 minute specials at Christmas and series launches. 

So essentially, we get 5 minutes more per episode, but we lose a couple of episodes along the way. It's not certain whether this includes Christmas specials or not. 

While we may have a long wait, we've still got a lot to look forward to with Capaldi's final appearance in Twice Upon A Time and Jodie's costume will no doubt be revealed before the start of the series. 

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Doctor Who Series 11 cast announced

The wait is over, BBC has officially announced the new cast to join Whittaker in the TARDIS for series 11.  The tweet announcing the cast has thousands of likes from fans all over the world since it's been posted Sunday evening.

The new cast consists of Yasmin, played by Mandip Gill; Ryan, played by Tosin Cole; and Graham, played by Bradley Walsh.

Bradley Walsh, known for his work on Law & Order: UK and Coronation Street, has been rumoured to join the 13th Doctor as a companion for some time now. Finally those rumours have been confirmed. The actor is not new to the Whoniverse, however, having previously appeared on The Sarah Jane Adventures. Walsh also recalls watching the first Doctor's journey through time. He claimed that though the show often scared him as a young man he still kept watching from behind his sofa. We don't know much about his new character in series 11, aside from the character's name, but fans are excited to see what this new companion will bring and how he will interact with the show's first ever female regeneration of the Doctor.

Actor Tosin Cole, who has been cast as Ryan, played Lieutenant Bastian in the 2015 hit film Star War: Episode VII. We shall see if his space travel experience helps him any in this new role. Fans may also recognise the actor from his work on EastEnders. Cole seems eager to take on the role and grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a legendary program.

Playing Yasmin is actress Mandip Gill, who has only started appearing on television since 2012. The actress has played a role on the popular television series Doctors, but she is about to meet a whole other kind of Doctor when she joins the team for series 11 of Doctor Who. The actress was recently quoted as saying "This show is worlds away from the work I’ve done previously and that’s the part that excites me the most".

Radio Times quoted new show runner Chris Chibnall as stating:
“The new Doctor is going to need new friends. We’re thrilled to welcome Mandip, Tosin and Bradley to the Doctor Who family. They’re three of Britain’s brightest talents and we can’t wait to see them dive into brand new adventures with Jodie’s Doctor. Alongside them, we’re delighted that Sharon D Clarke is also joining the show.”
Bradley Walsh added: 
"I remember watching William Hartnell as the first Doctor. Black and white made it very scary for a youngster like myself. I was petrified but even though I’d watch most of it from behind the sofa through my fingers, I became a fan. I then queued up for ages to get into the Carlton picture house in Watford to watch the great Peter Cushing appear as the Doctor in a full length feature film made in glorious colour. Am I thrilled to be part of this whole ground breaking new dawn for the Doctor?? Oh yes!"
Mandip Gill was also chuffed to be joining the TARDIS team:
"I am over the moon to be joining the Doctor Who family. This is an iconic show with an amazing fanbase and I look forward to everything that brings. Certain roles seem unattainable and this is one of those, so much so I didn't believe it to be true for the first few weeks. To be working alongside the likes of Jodie, Bradley and my old friend Tosin is thrilling. This show is worlds away from the work I've done previously and that's the part that excites me the most."
Tosin Cole also shared his thoughts:
"I'm grateful and excited to be a part of this journey with the team. I'm looking forward to jumping in this Doctor Who universe."
Matt Strevens, Executive Producer, BBC Studios said of the casting:
"I am thrilled to welcome Bradley, Mandip and Tosin to the new Who family. Working with three such talented actors is going to be a lot of fun. The Doctor is in fine company."
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama added: 
"The casting of Mandip, Tosin and Bradley is a mark of the new creative ambition Chris is bringing to Doctor Who. He's already made history with the casting of Jodie. These three new characters complete a new and utterly unmissable team aboard the Tardis."
The TARDIS is going to be pretty full when Whittaker takes over. Hopefully this larger team dynamic and a mix of male and female characters travelling with the Doctor will meet with the approval of the fans of the long running program. All we can do for now is welcome them aboard the TARDIS, and wish them luck!

[Sources: Radio Times , Twitter ]
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Friday, 20 October 2017

Matt Lucas discusses possible Nardole return

Love him or hate him, Nardole made a big impact on the show last series and brought a lot of fun to Capaldi's final series. Matt Lucas, who played Nardole, recently discussed the character and his time on the show in a number of interviews.

In an interview for Doctor Who Magazine #518 - now available by the way - Lucas talked about the struggle of filming over nine months whilst simultaneously writing his autobiography, but clearly it was worth it:
"And you only get half an hour for lunch! You start work at 7.30 – and that’s already in costume and make-up. That’s 7.30, on set, rehearsing.

But every day I thought I was so lucky that someone’s paying me to write about my life.

And also, I’m the luckiest man in the world to be an assistant in Doctor Who. So, to be honest with you, even though I was tired, I was never fed up.

I never even made it to the Doctor Who Experience, to my great disappointment.

When I first signed up to do [the 2017 series of] Doctor Who, I originally thought I was just doing another three episodes. Then it kind of grew and grew and grew, until I ended up doing every one.

When I did the book deal, I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll probably have a little bit of spare time on my hands,’ because Nardole is just in it a bit here and there. But I actually ended up being in it far more than I anticipated.

So consequently, my life was: learning lines, saying lines, writing book. Those three things. I’d get up at six in the morning, go to the set, and then I’d get back at 7.30 in the evening. I’d learn my lines, write for a couple more hours, and then go straight to bed."
He also compared the difference between filming a Christmas Special and a regular episode:
"When you’re making the Christmas Special you muck about more!

I mean, you muck about more on camera. I don’t mean off camera. Off camera you just do the same.

Also they’re longer, so there’s more time for a bit of comedy business."
Elsewhere, Lucas revealed in an interview with Den of Geek that his relationship with the show might not be over:
"I’m really glad I did it. No regrets at all, only gratitude. I’m not sure my relationship with the show is over, either. But I can’t really go into great detail about that. It remains a big part of my life, let’s put it that way!"
He also spoke about the unique nature of the Doctor Who fandom:
"There’s something about the Doctor Who fandom… if you watch Doctor Who, you’re a member of the club, if you’re in the show, you’re a member of the club.

We’re all members of the club! It’s an odd group. I don’t think there’s the hierarchy that would often exist: ‘I’m in the show, you watch it’. That doesn’t exist in the Whoniverse. If you watch it, you’re in!"
The Doctor Who 'club' is proud to have Matt Lucas in it and we look forward to potentially seeing more of Nardole in the future.

Matt Lucas's autobiography Little Me: My Life From A-Z is currently available on Amazon and all good book stores.

[sources: BBC and Den of Geek]
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What do fans want to see in Doctor Who series 11?

3,500 fans spoke out about what they want to see in series 11 of Doctor Who in a recent Radio Times poll. Will we see a return of Captain Jack Harkness? Will the 13th incarnation of the Doctor have a male companion? These fans certainly hope so.

Radio Times asked fans if they thought the new Doctor should have a new sonic screwdriver designed for them and a TARDIS makeover.  The fans were overwhelmingly for both of these ideas with 79 percent in favour of a new look for the TARDIS and 68 percent for a new sonic.  It looks like the TARDIS redesign takes priority for these fans.  Each redesign is usually based on the personality of the Doctor who is piloting the TARDIS at that time.  The design really speaks volumes about the Doctor it is designed for.  Since we don't really know anything about number 13 yet, it's hard to say what her version of the TARDIS would look like.  Who knows, maybe we'll get a little more insight during the Christmas special.

Series 10 of Doctor Who had a lot of new monsters introduced which had fans divided between those who liked the new additions to the Whoniverse and those who did not. When Radio Times asked fans if they would prefer new monsters in series 11 or if they preferred the classics it was an almost even split between the two options with 51 percent wanting new villains and 48 percent hoping for classics like the Daleks and Cybermen.

What about bringing back characters from previous story lines? When Radio Times asked which former character the fans would want brought back 30 percent voted for the return of Captain Jack Harkness, played by actor John Barrowman. This is something fans have been asking for a lot since he left the show. The character was so popular he received a spin off show called Torchwood. It sounds like fans just can't get enough of the flirtatious Captain Jack. Another 11 percent of voters said they wanted to see a return of Susan Foreman and 10 percent claimed a preference for River Song.

As for the Doctor's future companions, 63 percent are hoping for a male companion.  There is also a 63 percent desire to see the Doctor have multiple companions joining her in the TARDIS for series 11. Series 10 had a TARDIS team of three with Nardole and Bill helping the Doctor out. The 11th Doctor also had a time with double companions travelling with Rory and Amy Pond.  This seems to be the preferred dynamic for slightly more than half of the fans polled.

Lastly 68 percent of fans said they are hoping for more travelling through time and space, with less time hanging around modern day Earth. Don't tell that to the Third Doctor!  But I am sure that whatever the writers decide for series 11, fans everywhere will be happy to have more episodes of Doctor Who to watch. For now all we can do is wait and speculate.

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William Russell to appear at Time Eddy III

William Russell, who played companion Ian Chesterton; Eric Roberts, who played the Master; Matthew Waterhouse, who played companion Adric; and Katy Manning, who played companion Jo Grant, are all appearing at this year's Time Eddy III convention in Wichita Kansas, USA.

Wichita's Time Eddy convention wanted to end its three year run with a bang and they certainly have not disappointed. Though Sylvester McCoy was intended as their original lead guest, his recent cancellation hasn't caused too hefty of a blow for the Kansas based Doctor Who convention. They still have several amazing Doctor Who actors booked, as well as composer Dominic Glynn and author Amy Shira Teital.

Actor William Russell, who turns 93 in November, had the pleasure of working along side of the legendary William Hartnell who played the beloved first incarnation of the Doctor. He has more recently played a minor role in An Adventure in Space and Time, the 2013 biological film based on the creation of the Doctor Who television series.

Russell is truly a rare treat for Doctor Who fans. This is especially the case for American fans, as the actor has only ever appeared at an American based convention once before. This may be these fan's only opportunity to nab the actor's autograph for their collections. Not to mention the amazing chance to hear stories told by one of the actors who has been with the show from the very beginning.

Fans from all over the United States and Canada are coming together for this year's gathering on Friday, Oct. 20th. Tickets are still available for purchase via the Time Eddy website here.

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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Pearl Mackie collects LGBT award for Doctor Who

Actress Pearl Mackie picked up an Ally Award at last night's PinkNews Awards in recognition of Doctor Who's 'groundbreaking' LGBT storylines.

Doctor Who has featured a variety of LGBT characters since its 2005 return, including omnisexual Torchwood lead Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) as well as married lesbian couple Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint.

The most recent series of Doctor Who saw the introduction of Mackie's Bill Potts, the show's first openly-gay regular companion. Bill's appearances in the show's tenth series were bookended by the exploration of her relationship with student turned alien pilot Heather (Stephanie Hyam).

Mackie told PinkNews:
“It’s lovely to be able to accept this Award on behalf of Doctor Who.

“Last year I never fathomed coming to any Awards ceremony, so I feel quite honoured to even have been invited, let alone for Doctor Who and the character of Bill. It’s testament to how well she was received and how well people responded to having an out lesbian on a mainstream TV show.

“It’s genuinely been amazingly positive, especially going around the world and meeting people. I met a couple of young girls who were BAME, and talked to me about how watching Bill on Doctor Who enabled them to come out and feel comfortable with their own sexuality. For me that’s a massive achievement.

“The thing that I liked most about Bill was that she wasn’t grappling with her sexuality, she didn’t need to come out, it wasn’t an issue! It was always just about, I’m gay and happy and this is who I am, this is who I like and this is who I’m in love with.”
Mackie collected the award along with Doctor Who executive producer Brian Minchin, who said of the accolade:
“I’m really proud for everyone involved in the show – all of the actors and all of the writers. And I’m proud of the BBC, because to put LGBT+ representation at the heart of the BBC1 schedule is no small thing!

“We’re saying it’s part of everyone’s lives and should be right at the heart of our dramas and Saturday night TV.”
Minchin also commented on the show's long-standing LGBT inclusiveness, saying:
“I think it’s naturally part of Doctor Who as a show now.

Doctor Who is really unique – the lead character is kind of asexual, and he’s always drawn people from all walks of life.

“So much of TV has a guy as the lead and he’s got a gun and is trying to shag all the women. Doctor Who’s never been like that. I think that counts for something."
Pearl Mackie is due to bow out of Doctor Who at Christmas as part of this year's festive special, Twice Upon A Time. The episode will also see the show bid farewell to Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi and welcome successor Jodie Whittaker as the first female incarnation of the Time Lord. 

[Source: PinkNews]
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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

David Tennant: Doctor Who is 'always a very fond thing to return to'

David Tennant has been looking back on his time with Doctor Who as part of an exclusive interview in this month's edition of Doctor Who Magazine.

The actor played the Tenth Doctor between 2005-2010, before returning for a special appearance alongside fellow Doctors Matt Smith and John Hurt in 2013's 50th anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor.

On his feelings towards the show today, Tennant says:
“I always feel fond towards it. I always feel like it’s a happy place to be. Obviously a day like this brings it all back a little more keenly, but it’s always a very fond thing to return to, the world of Doctor Who. It’s always very welcoming, and friendly, and familiar. I suppose I don’t feel detached enough from it to feel sentimental, really. Maybe if I’d been completely banished from it for ten years...?

"But of course it never quite goes away, does it? There’s no escaping it, nor would I want to, really.

"Because Doctor Who sort of runs through my life like a stick of rock. It’s sort of always bubbling under, and you know it always will.”
Tennant also reflects on one of his lines in the anniversary special - 'never cruel or cowardly' - describing it as a 'mission statement' for the Doctor:
“We can all have mottos that we live by; it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re entirely faithful to them. It can be who you aspire to be. It doesn’t mean you can’t be inconsistent sometimes. That’s what makes any character and any person interesting – their inconsistencies, the little flaws in the weft of their character.

I don’t know if the Doctor always needs to be consistent to that, but I think broadly speaking he is. At least, he tries.”
Tennant was speaking to the magazine ahead of next month's release of a brand new set of audio adventures from Big Finish. The new audios will also see the return of Billie Piper, who says of reprising her role as companion Rose Tyler:
“It’s like when you hang out with an old friend who you haven’t seen for years, and then loads of stuff has happened between you, but it’s sort of just like you’re immediately there again. I love it.”

As well as the usual news, previews, reviews and competitions, this month's issue of Doctor Who Magazine also features:
  • Sylvester McCoy Interview: The second part of our interview with Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy reflects back on Doctor Who's 50th anniversary and looks forward to the show’s future.
  • Matt Lucas Interview: DWM chats to Matt Lucas about his new autobiography Little Me: My Life from A-Z which he wrote while playing Nardole in the latest series of Doctor Who.
  • Camille Coduri Interview: Camille Coduri’s Jackie Tyler joins the Doctor and Rose for The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Volume Two.
  • White Witch of Devil's End: We find out how a project to make a DVD sequel to the classic 1971 TV story The Dæmons came about.
  • TARDIS Shed Of The Year: DWM meets Paul Foden, the man who recently appeared on Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces: Shed of the Year with his TARDIS-replica shed.
  • MatildusThere’s a brand-new comic strip adventure for the Doctor and Bill in Matildus; a one-parter written and illustrated by Scott Gray.
  • The Time Team: The Time Team continues its mission to watch every episode of Doctor Who with 2012’s The Rebel Flesh.

Doctor Who Magazine #518 will be on sale from tomorrow - Thursday 19th October - priced £5.99.

[Source: Doctor Who/DWM]
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Suzanne says… this might be emotional blackmail

With some classic episodes lost or missing, Doctor Who has become some sort of a television legend. Not every show has its own Indiana Jones travelling the world looking for tapes of the missing episodes! Reconstruction works based on audio and stills also gave a scent of “lost treasure” to Doctor Who.

But as many have pointed out, it’s not enough. Fans want closure. They want the serials to be complete one way or another. When Power of the Daleks came out last year, it was very interesting to see classic and modern Whovian share a bond over an animated serial. Animation might very well be the solution to all those heartbroken Whovians, who dream to see their favourite TV show complete.

While an animated series might feel like a dream come true, let’s not forget that money rules our society. Animation works cost a lot of time and money and it seems clear to me that the BBC has no intention in pulling the resources to animate each and every missing episodes.

The way I see it, it’s all about “give to get”. Give us an animated series and we will happily buy not one but two versions so that you get money out of it. I still remember the marketing success of Power of the Daleks. Issuing two DVDs, one in black and white and then, a few months later, a colourised version, was as bold as it was insulting. This was clearly a way to get twice the money on one single serial! For once, I considered myself lucky to be colour-blind as I saved money on the colourised version…! Some forgiving Whovians claimed that it was a way to get funding for future animated episodes…

With the news of Shada being completed with animated sequences to fill in the gaps, who isn’t tempted to think that way too? Providing that Shada encounters the same success Power of the Daleks did then we might get another animated version of a missing serial.

As I’m writing those lines, this feels like emotional blackmail… “Buy the DVDs or we don’t give you closure.”

I would rather believe that Whovians infiltrated the Doctor Who department at the BBC and have the power to make animated versions happen. Sure thing, there would be commercial and financial expectations, but at least we would look up to those powerful Whovians and support them. Mind you, I would even buy the colourised version of Power of the Daleks if that was the case!

As romantic as this all sounds, let’s just be realistic and enjoy what we get. We are getting Shada and this is one happy news that we should cherish before thinking about what will come next.
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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Doctor Who Magazine issue 518 features David Tennant

David Tennant fans will be pleased to see he has been chosen as the featured actor gracing the cover of issue 518 of Doctor Who Magazine, available October 19th.

This issue of Doctor Who Magazine features exclusive interviews with actor David Tennant, who played the lovable tenth Doctor; Billie Piper, who played companion Rose Tyler; and Matt Lucas, who played comical companion Nardole.

Doctor Who Magazine is the Official magazine of the BBC television series.

Doctor Who Magazine can be purchased from most UK newsagents and from the iTunes store. Subscriptions can be obtained at Doctor Who Magazine's official website.
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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Signed script for Christmas special being auctioned off!

Peter Capaldi will bid us all farewell as the Doctor regenerates into his 13th incarnation played by Jodie Whittaker in this year's Christmas special. However, the script for this historic episode, complete with signatures from Capaldi, Moffat and others,  is going up for auction this Sunday compliments of the well known Whovian and former star of Star Trek, William Shatner.

The script was donated by Mark Gatiss, who will also be playing a role in the episode. Gatiss has added his signature to the cover of the script along side his fellow actors'. This would truly be a prize in any Whovian's collection. The proceeds for this auction will go towards charity.

The details for this auction item can be read below.
Peter Capaldi Final Doctor Who Shooting Script - Signed
From the long running British Science Fiction Series Doctor Who comes this amazing item: the last Peter Capaldi Doctor Who Script signed by Mr. Capaldi. Steven Moffat, Mark Gatis, Nick Briggs, David Bradley (portraying the first Doctor Who as noted), Pearl Mackie and Director Rachel Talalay A note on this auction: Due to the nature of the item and it's contents, the script is embargoed until after the episode airs on December 25, 2017. After the airing, the script will be shipped to us from the UK and will then be made available to the lucky high bidder.
Please Note: Your bids represent amounts for the items only. We use a third party shipper who will be in touch if you are the successful bidder to offer shipping at an additional cost. Again bids are for items only: not shipping.
 The auction was announced by Shatner via his Twitter feed on Thursday the 12th of October. However, don't think you can get this script before the special airs! To avoid spoilers and potential plot leaks the item will not be received by the winner until after Christmas.
The auction this Sunday starts at $50 and has an increase set at $10 increments. Shatner's Charity Horse actions have been running annually since 1990. The proceeds from these auctions go towards many charity organisations such as Ahead with Horses, a group that helps handicapped children and The Blind Children Center. So why not help out and bid on this amazing once in a lifetime collector's item?

You can see the listing and make your bid at the Silent Auction Pro website here.

[Sources: RadioTimes , SilentAuctionPro , Twitter]
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