Friday, 28 November 2014

EXCLUSIVE Interview with Wendy Padbury

Following our coverage of the MCM Birmingham Comic Con, we bring you an exclusive interview with Wendy Padbury, who played Zoe opposite Patrick Troughton's Doctor.

Tomorrow we'll be finding out what fans at the comic con thought of Missy, Series 8 and Peter Capaldi. Don't miss it.
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Want to Guest Write for The Gallifrey Times?

Series 8 finished a couple of weeks ago - and we're planning a feature on our favourite episodes of Peter Capaldi's first series. The twist? You (yes, even you) can get involved.

The Gallifrey Times is looking for readers to send in a short feature on your favourite episode of the series and why you enjoyed them, for inclusion in a 12-part feature.

Here's the conditions for the feature:

  • Anything between 50-200 words - we want to include multiple people per post.
  • Please include your name in the email - while you can use a pen name if you wish, it should be reasonable (so 'The Doctor' might be pushing it a tad).
  • If demand is huge, we may have to close applications earlier than expected - keep an eye on our Twitter @GallifreyTimes to stay updated.
  • We should be able to include everybody who applies, barring massive demand and provided the feature is written in good English.
If you want to get involved, please send your short feature to [email protected] with a subject line of 'TGT Feature'. Applications are currently set to close this time next week, though this is subject to change.

Happy writing!
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Doctor Who: Series 8 - All Live +7 Viewing Figures

We've seen the first four Live +7 viewing figures for Series 8 - but now Live +7 ratings for the whole series have been released. Live +7 counts all viewings on all platforms (including repeats and iPlayer) the week after broadcast. All Live +7 figures are close to or over a million above the consolidated viewing figures, and close to or over three million above the overnight ratings:

Note: Figures in brackets are the increase on the initial overnight ratings:

  1. Deep Breath - Live +7 of 10.76 million (+3.96 million)
  2. Into the Dalek - Live +7 of 8.26 million (+3.06 million)
  3. Robot of Sherwood - Live +7 of 8.25 million (+3.03 million)
  4. Listen - Live +7 of 7.80 million (+ 2.99 million)
  5. Time Heist - Live +7 of 7.96 million (+3.04 million)
  6. The Caretaker - Live +7 of 7.76 million (+2.87 mllion)
  7. Kill the Moon - Live +7 of 7.83 million (+3.01 million)
  8. Mummy on the Orient Express - Live +7 of 8.09 million (+3.01 million)
  9. Flatline - Live +7 of 7.85 million (+3.25 million)
  10. In the Forest of the Night - Live +7 of 7.79 million (+2.76 million)
  11. Dark Water - Live +7 of 8.52 million (+3.25 million)
  12. Death in Heaven - Live +7 of 8.81 million (+3.36 million)
The average Live +7 figure for the series was 8.3 million - this can't be compared to the other average viewing audiences for other series, as those are likely calculated from just the consolidated figures. 

[Source: Doctor Who News]
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RUMOUR - Doctor Who: Jenna Coleman Rumoured To Be Staying for Series 9

According to the Daily Mail, Jenna Coleman has reversed her decision to leave during this years Christmas special, Last Christmas.

Coleman was rumoured to be leaving the series earlier this year although nobody on the production team were willing to comment.

An unnamed source reportedly told the Daily Mirror:

When it came to Clara they had to tear the scripts up and start again. In the original draft of the script, she became an old woman who then died with the Doctor at her side. But after they were rewritten, she will now be seen returning to the Tardis, hand in hand with the Doctor.
Supposedly Clara will now be a mainstay in the TARDIS until at least half way through Series 9, after Coleman enjoyed her time on set with co-star Peter Capaldi.

Clara will, of course, return on Christmas day in Last Christmas in the provisional time slot of 6:15pm.

[Source: Mail Online]
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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Red Dwarf Cast on Doctor Who Crossover

As well as Doctor Who stars at the Birmingham comic con, there were also other guests, including several cast members from the hit BBC/Dave sitcom Red Dwarf. Some sort of crossover between the two shows has been flirted around before, so I couldn't help but take the opportunity to speak to the cast and ask them directly.

Firstly, I asked Hattie Hayridge, who played the ship's computer, Holly, from Series 3 to Series 7. Although she has not been in Red Dwarf since Series 7, she said that she would like to take part were there to be a crossover requiring Holly. She also revealed that Mark Gatiss is her neighbour, so she would hope he would get her a part in a Doctor Who crossover.

Chris Barrie, who plays Arnold Rimmer, though it was not very likely to happen. He explained that there is a 'bridge' between the Red Dwarf and the BBC, who often shunned shows like Red Dwarf saying sci-fi didn't work. But he said that were it put to him, he would happily join in. His final words on the matter were:
"Stranger things have happened... and all the other clich├ęs."
Next was Robert Llewellyn, who plays Kryten. He was quite certain that it wouldn't happen. He agreed with Barrie that the BBC had shunned Red Dwarf and would never admit how popular it was. He did say that were it to happen, he would love to join in.
"I think even just a brief thing where Kryten walks into the TARDIS and says 'Oh, wrong destination sirs'. I think that would be great."
Llewellyn also added that he has previously had lunch with former showrunner Russell T Davies and Doug [possibly meaning Red Dwarf writer Doug Naylor] so the crossover idea has been discussed before, but never amounting to anything.

Finally, I put the question to Danny John-Jules, who plays Cat. He was rather passionate about the topic, even challenging Peter Capaldi to appearing in the sitcom, as you can hear in the clip below:

In summary, it seems highly unlikely that we will see the Red Dwarf crew board the TARDIS any time soon, but if there were a Children In Need skit perhaps, they would be happy to take part.

Tomorrow we'll be bringing you an exclusive interview with Wendy Padbury.
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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Catherine Tate: Donna Unlikely To Return To Doctor Who

Former Doctor Who companion Catherine Tate does not foresee a return for her character Donna Noble in the future. 

The actress made the comments earlier today as part of a webchat with The Guardian to mark her latest role in Stephen Sondheim musical Assassins.

When asked about a potential return for Donna, she said:
Unfortunately I think Donna's storyline would prevent her from coming back, because any memory of the Doctor, of her time travelling with him, and the adventures she embarked on, would kill her. So I can't see a storyline being able to bring her back.
She did however reveal that she is very keen to reunite with former Doctor Who co-star David Tennant, following post-Who appearances together on stage in Much Ado About Nothing as well as Tate's television sketch show:
Yes, working with David is the best. We get on so well and it's just always so much fun. I don't know how to describe it - it's just that something clicked when we first started working together from day one on The Runaway Bride and hopefully will continue to. We're looking for future projects together.
Tate also shared her thoughts on the latest actor to take on the role of the Doctor, Peter Capaldi:
I think Peter is wonderful in the role, and I'm really enjoying the 8th season. He's a fantastic actor, and his wit and intelligence shines. 
Assassins will run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London until 7th March 2015, with Tate's last performance scheduled for 8th February 2015.

[Source: The Guardian]
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EXCLUSIVE Interview With Lalla Ward

Whilst at the MCM Birmingham Comic Con, I spoke to Lalla Ward, who played Romana opposite the Fourth Doctor, about the character, her work with Big Finish and her views on the series.

I’m here with Lalla Ward who played Romana in Doctor Who.
I did, hello, how nice to be here with you

Are you enjoying the convention?
Well I am. The thing is I haven’t seen much of it because I sit at my desk and get to meet very nice people who come for photographs, but I haven’t yet had a chance to wander round, which I’ll hope to do later.

Have you seen any of the latest series?
No I haven’t. I keep being asked that and I absolutely love Peter Capaldi, I think he’s the most wonderful actor, so I really should watch them. I tend not to watch very much television at the moment, I don’t know why. I suppose there’s so much else going on you know, and I haven’t had a chance. I watched a tiny bit of the very first one, but I need to look at it properly because it’s obviously extremely good.

Now recently, a few of the old companions have been coming back. Would you ever consider coming back?
Never say never. *laughs* I don’t know. I’d wait to see if I was asked and in what context. Yeah, I would never say never.

They’ve also recently brought the Master back with different people playing the role. Would you be happy if someone else took over the role?
Of the Master? I don’t care if they take over the Master. I wouldn’t be happy if somebody else took over the role of Romana. I would be sad. One made it one’s own and the things that are happening now are piggy backing on that original way of doing things and I think the people who do the new things kind of owe it to the characters who were in it originally to stick with it. If they want to make new characters that’s absolutely fine, but I don’t really see why they should be me.

You’ve still been playing Romana in the Big Finish audio dramas. Do you enjoy doing those?
Yes. I love doing them. I love working for Big Finish. I love the whole atmosphere in the studio. I love the fact that I get to work with people in the programme who I never worked with previously. It’s lovely to suddenly find oneself doing a series with Colin Baker or somebody who I would never normally have had the chance to work with.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m doing another Big Finish next week in fact. And I’m hopeful - but I’m not positive - I’m hopeful that they do some more Gallifrey ones with Louise and me, which would be nice because I adore working with Louise. She’s another, I mean Louise and I never crossed paths in the original series but we love working together - at least I do and I think I can speak for her. *laughs* I think we both get on together. That would be fun.

Having played a companion quite early on, do you think that your companions have influenced any of the later ones?
I think you’d have to ask them. Whenever you come into a long running series there has to be some sort of influence from all that’s gone before if only to say ‘I’m not going to do it that way I’m going to be totally different’. I mean that’s an influence of a kind. I wouldn’t have thought much but I would have thought they would’ve noticed. I don’t know.

And with the show going for so long, does it surprise you that it’s become so big?
I think it surprises all of us that it’s had such a long life and that it’s sort of managed to grow up with the universe. The technology has changed so much since I was in it and yet it’s managed to go on moving with the times and I think that’s a huge thing in its favour and to the credit of the people who do it that they’ve never got stuck, that it’s moved on and that it’s gone along with whatever era it’s in. Like some of the characters in it, they’ve sort of metamorphosed into a new ear.

I notice you’ve also got a book.
Yes, well they’ve done this - I think rather wonderful - book of pictures specifically about me. They do it about lots of people but this one’s about me. It’s got a lovely introduction by dear June Hudson who did a lot of my costumes. There are a lot of her drawings in it. It’s fantastically good value. I mean I wouldn’t buy a photograph of me when you could have a whole book for the same price. And the money for it is going to aid Danville Hall, which is a residential care home for old actors - members of the acting profession - and I chair the trustees there so it’s a cause dear to my heart and we all need more money and ever penny of the profits is going to Danville Hall. 
(see below for details on how to buy the book)

Thank you very much for your time it was very nice to meet you.
Not at all. Thank you so much for talking to me. Thank you every one. Bye.

Time Capsule: Lalla Ward is available to buy here from for £10.99.
We will be reviewing the book later this week. Tomorrow we'll be revealing what the guys from Red Dwarf think about a Doctor Who/Red Dwarf crossover.
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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

EXCLUSIVE Interview with Ian McNeice

On Sunday 16th November at MCM Birmingham Comic Con we caught up with Ian McNeice, who played Winston Churchill. I spoke to him about the character and his work on Doctor Who, both screen and audio.

Tomorrow we will have an exclusive interview with Lalla Ward, who played Romana opposite the Fourth Doctor.
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Doctor Who: Last Christmas - BBC Synopsis

The BBC Media Centre have released their Christmas highlights for this year - and included is the first synopsis for this year's Christmas Special, revealed today to be titled Last Christmas:
The Doctor and Clara face their Last Christmas. Trapped on an Arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call? Santa Claus!
Last Christmas should air on Christmas Day on BBC One, with the time to be confirmed next week.

[Source: BBC]

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Title & Promo Image Released For 2014 Doctor Who Christmas Special

The BBC has announced that the 2014 Doctor Who Christmas Special will be titled Last Christmas. They have also released two brand new promotional images which you can see below!

[Source: BBC]
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Monday, 24 November 2014

The Gallifrey Times At Birmingham MCM Comic Con 2014

This weekend, The Gallifrey Times attended the MCM Comic Con 2014 at the NEC in Birmingham. We had an enjoyable day, getting to interview some of the classic companions and speaking to the fans about Series 8.

Over the next week or so, we'll be sharing with you exclusive interviews with Ian McNeice, Wendy Padbury, Anneke Wills and Lalla Ward. We'll also be sharing fan opinions on Missy, Series 8 and Peter Capaldi's Doctor, as well as an article on whether the Red Dwarf crew would consider a potential crossover and a review of the new Time Capsule book on Lalla Ward.

If you can't wait to see all this, here's a quick preview of what we got up to and what's to come:

We'll be kicking things off tomorrow with our exclusive interview with Winston Churchill himself, Ian McNeice.

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Doctor Who: Catherine Tregenna to Write a Series 9 Episode

According to her online CV, Catherine Tregenna is set to write a Doctor Who episode for it's ninth series.

Doctor Who has been criticised recently for not having any female writers on the show and this will be the first time a woman has penned an episode since 2008.

Tregenna is no stranger to the world of Doctor Who however, she has already written four Torchwood episodes: Out of Time, Captain Jack Harkness, Meat and Adam.

[Source: Doctor Who TV]
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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Happy 51st Birthday, Doctor Who!

One year ago today, the Doctor was sent on a new path to find Gallifrey in the amazing 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor - and fifty years before that, the doors of the TARDIS opened for the first time with An Unearthly Child on Saturday 23rd November 1963.

It's been fifty-one years to the day (and minute, should you be reading this exactly at the time of posting) now since the longest running science fiction series ever began at 5.16pm - and since then we've had 34 series, 812 episodes and 13 Doctors (yes, we're counting John Hurt) - the latest of which, of course, has just finished his first ever run as the Doctor.

Of course, however, Doctor Who isn't showing signs of slowing - the ninth series since 2005 begins filming in January, and in just over a month we'll be seeing the tenth consecutive Christmas Special on BBC One.

Happy 51st birthday, Doctor Who! You look young for your age.
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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Doctor Who: The Christmas Cup - Elimination Round

Hello, and welcome to the Doctor Who Christmas Cup - a festive mini-tournament where we pit all the Christmas Specials head-to-head in a series of knockout polls to find out your favourite Christmas Special!

But before the knockout rounds, one story must leave - only eight can make it to the quarter finals, so one Christmas Special will have to be knocked out before the competition can begin. We're starting off the Christmas Cup this week with the elimination round, where you'll vote for your favourite stories to make it to the knockout rounds beginning next week.

You can vote for your two favourite Specials in the poll below, and the Special with the least votes will be knocked out:

The poll will be open until Friday 28th November - so get your votes in before then! We'll have the full results up on our Christmas Cup page on Friday - and come back next Saturday for the beginning of the knockout rounds, as the eight remaining Specials go head to head in the quarter-finals.
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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2014: Santa Is A 'Christmas Hero'

Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat has shed some light on how the character of Santa Claus will be portrayed in this year's Christmas special.

The comments were made during a Q&A session as part of the Series 8 DVD launch earlier this week, where Moffat said:
“Santa could never be evil, for heaven’s sake! Santa is both real and a Christmas hero. 

“No no, don’t worry any parents who were worried about that. Santa is presented, as he is in real life, as a great Christmas hero.”
He then went on to talk about the casting of Nick Frost in the role, claiming:
“He actually is the real Santa. He’s been faking it up until now. For the first time he’s allowing the natural colour of his beard to show through.

“You could figure it out, you know, Nick Frost, Nicholas Frost – you see?”
Viewers caught a first glimpse of Frost's Santa at the end of the Series 8 finale Death in Heaven, whilst a special preview clip featuring the character alongside the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) aired last week as part of the BBC's Children in Need appeal night.

This year's Doctor Who Christmas special will air on Christmas Day on BBC One - watch the teaser trailer here!

[Source: Doctor Who TV]
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Christmas Special: Last Christmas