Thursday, 27 July 2017

Doctor Who: Mark Gatiss on unmade Tenth Doctor episode

Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss has revealed details of one of his scripts for David Tennant's Tenth Doctor which never made it to screen.

The Suicide Exhibition was originally intended to air as part of the show's fourth series in 2008, but was eventually turned down in favour of The Fires of Pompeii. It was later proposed as one of the specials which saw Tennant round off his time as the Doctor in 2009, but ultimately went unmade.

Speaking in the latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine - out today - Gatiss discussed the idea behind his script, an 'Indiana Jones' story involving Nazis and the British Museum:
“The title came from this thing I was reading about how, in the First World War, they were evacuating stuff from museums to various Welsh museums. All this precious stuff, they hid in places like salt mines. But what they had in both World Wars was this amazing thing called the Suicide Exhibition. People still needed stuff to see, for spiritual succour. So if they had 300,000 Anglo Saxon pots, they just put some of them out that they could afford to lose! If a bomb fell, it wouldn’t matter, because they had loads of them."
With initial drafts of the episode set during World War One, Gatiss described the evolution the script went through following feedback from then-showrunner Russell T Davies:
"After the first draft, Russell said, ‘Let’s make it the Nazis and do the full Indiana Jones on it.’ The whole museum was a puzzle box of sliding doors and traps and stuff."
Despite the episode being 'on the verge of production' and Gatiss having 'put a lot of work into it', the writer doesn't harbour any hope that his unmade episode will ever get made:
"I would’ve liked to have done it, but it was not to be!"
The Suicide Exhibition may never have made it to air, but Gatiss has nevertheless contributed several episodes to Doctor Who since its 2005 revival, with the most recent being the Series 10 Ice Warrior adventure The Empress of Mars. Gatiss has also appeared in the show itself on multiple occasions, and will be returning once again at Christmas to guest star in this year's festive special Twice Upon A Time alongside Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor and David Bradley as the First Doctor.

Issue 515 of Doctor Who Magazine is on sale from today, Thursday 27th July, priced at £5.99.

[Source: Doctor Who]
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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Suzanne Says… Once Upon A Fan

Once a Whovian always a Whovian? I’m really tempted to agree with that statement, mostly because being a Whovian requires a lot of time investment (and yes, let’s say it: quite a financial investment as well).

Aren’t the fans from the early hour lucky? Not only did they watch Doctor Who when it was originally aired, including all the missing episodes, but they also witnessed the growth of a phenomenon.

I consider myself a “young” fan, because it’s only been a decade since I discovered Doctor Who, but even back then, I felt overwhelmed when I saw everything I had missed. I had 40 years of episodes to catch up with, not to mention all the books (Target Novels, Virgin…) to read and the audiobooks to listen to. People don’t realise how a fan’s life can be stressful sometimes.

A freshly converted Whovian in 2017 would have 50 years of show to discover and that is quite something. It requires some organisation to decide where to start. The obvious choice would be to start from 1963 like I did, and walk through the series until today. This is a nice journey since it allows seeing the evolution of the show and the Doctor. To think that children grew up with Doctor Who.

The beauty about Whovians is that their age ranges from “mature” to “pre teenager” (there are even some younger fans around). The phenomenon is quite intergenerational. Children from 1963 are now grownups who had kids on their own and even have grandkids. It’s not a coincidence that one of the first questions a Whovian asks to another one is:
Who is YOUR Doctor?
A neophyte could easily misunderstand this question as “who is your favourite Doctor?” when it’s a way to know to which generation you belong to. Like Railwaymen, Whovians have their own vocabulary. Only a Whovian can understand what “Blue TARDIS” means for instance!

The intergenerational aspect is quite important in the Whovian community as many “young” Whovians rely on “older” Whovians’” experience to advise them on where to start when it comes to step into the extensive whoniverse. I still remember when I first decided to listen to Big Finish audiobooks a year ago. I had this extensive catalogue at my disposal and I couldn’t decide which episode to pick first, so I asked an “older” Whovian for advice and he helped me take the first step into that universe.

With a community as extensive as the Whoniverse, Whovians have helped spread the phenomenon and it’s not surprising that words such as “Dalek” or “Tardis” would find their way into the English Dictionary.

Fans have a real influence on a show’s future. First, they saved Doctor Who, thanks to their involvement in the Whoniverse. Think for instance about Mark Gatiss who was very active as a fan of the show before he actually ended up working for it; and what about Peter Capaldi who was an enthusiastic Whovian himself. There are many examples of fans who used their creative skills to keep Doctor Who alive. It’s only fair that they would be the primary target of any commercial/advertisement campaign. Let’s just remember how the announcement for the coming 13th Doctor has been orchestrated. Teasing has become the keyword when it comes to attract fans’ attention. And it works. Becoming a fan is now a much less innocent process than it was decades ago. Now, we are driven to become fans. It’s subtle, but it’s there. It’s an evolution of sorts. Oh, and let’s also remember what I wrote last week about internet and social media’s influence. It goes both ways: Whovians can more easily connect with others and share information about their favourite show, but it is also used as a commercial/advertisement tool.

I think that we can all agree that Doctor Who is not just a TV show but that he is also a societal trend which makes it fascinating on a sociological level. After all, we are dealing with a science fiction program here, and science fiction is often considered a lesser genre (both in literature and in television). And yet, you won’t be called a “geek” if you say that you love Doctor Who. No, you will be called a Whovian, a more positive and fashionable title. And as I write these lines, I wonder. Is there such a title for Marvel fans? Am I a “Marvelian”? Or just “Marvellous”? It’s no coincidence that I would compare Doctor Who and Marvel’s universe since there are quite some similarities in the way both BBC and the Marvel company deals with their fanbase. There are similarities in both universes too, but that’s a different story for another day.
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Sunday, 23 July 2017

First look at the Christmas Special - Twice Upon A Time

Warning: The following contains huge spoilers for the Christmas special, so if you don't want to know a thing, look away now.

Following its premiere at San Diego Comic-Con, the BBC have released an exclusive teaser trailer for the upcoming Christmas Special featuring Peter Capaldi and David Bradley as the Twelfth and First Doctors, respectively.

We now know that the special will be called Twice Upon A Time and feature a return for Bill and a character called The Captain played by Mark Gatiss.

You can watch the clip here:

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Mark Gatiss to appear in Doctor Who Christmas special

Writer and actor Mark Gatiss has revealed that he will be making an appearance in this year's Doctor Who Christmas special.

The news was announced as part of a Facebook Live interview with Empire Magazine during this week's San Diego Comic-Con (around 11:30 in the video below):

Although vague on the details of his role, Gatiss described it as a 'privilege, an honour and a thrill', with Peter Capaldi adding that Gatiss' character had 'a resonant echo in the whole Doctor Who story'.

Gatiss' latest role marks his fourth appearance in Doctor Who, having already played Professor Richard Lazarus in 2007's The Lazarus Experiment, a WWII pilot with the call sign 'Danny Boy' in 2010/2011 episodes Victory of the Daleks and A Good Man Goes To War, and Gantok in 2011's The Wedding of River Song.

In addition to his acting roles, Gatiss has written nine episodes for the show since its revival in 2005, with his most recent contribution being Series 10's The Empress of Mars. Gatiss also wrote the 2013 50th anniversary docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time, which saw David Bradley star as the First Doctor's original portrayer, William Hartnell, prior to his new role in this year's Christmas special as the First Doctor himself.

Later today, BBC America's Doctor Who panel at San Diego Comic-Con will see Gatiss appear alongside Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas, Michelle Gomez and showrunner Steven Moffat. The stars and writers of the show will reflect on the most recent series as well as offer an exclusive preview of this year's Christmas special.

[Source: Blogtor Who]
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Friday, 21 July 2017

Steven Moffat discusses his greatest Doctor Who regret

Head writer Steven Moffat has always been prone to self-deprecation, and in that vein, he has revealed his greatest regret as showrunner in an interview with BBC America.

Moffat identified that regret as the final scene of 2010's Flesh and Stone, stating:
There's one mistake that rankles me to this day because it's just wrong. There's a scene at the end of a season 5 episode called 'Flesh and Stone' where Amy comes on to the Doctor and it's a very good idea for a series because she's been through this traumatic experience and she doesn't quite know who or what the Doctor is or what his interest is in her.  
There's a brilliant scene to be written there and I entirely avoided writing it. I played it for laughs and it's so wrong."
Do you agree with Moffat's self-assessment? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

[Source: Digital Spy]
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Deborah Watling dies aged 69

We are sad to report that Deborah Watling, who played companion Victoria, has died aged 69 following a short battle with cancer.

Watling made her name as a child actress, appearing as a regular character in ITV's The Invisible Man series. She then went on to appear in several TV and film roles, but it's for her portrayal as the Second Doctor's companion, Victoria Waterfield, that we will remember her.

The character travelled with the Doctor from Season 4 and Season 5, though sadly, most of her episodes are now missing, with only Tomb of the Cybermen and The Enemy of the World available in their entirety. Despite this, Watling has regularly been part of the Doctor Who community, appearing in Dimensions in Time and The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, as well as appearing at conventions and Doctor Who related events.

Deborah Watling was diagnosed with lung cancer just six weeks ago. She will be missed and our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.
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Doctor Who Experience to host special Cybermen event

Tomorrow, Saturday 22nd July, will see the Doctor Who Experience host a special event exploring the world of one of the Doctor's oldest foes, the Cybermen.

Expert prosthetic artists Millennium FX will be on hand throughout the day, running workshops and talking about the creation of the Cybermen seen in Doctor Who. Fans who pre-purchased the special Cyber upgrade ahead of the event will also experience being converted into Cybermen courtesy of Millennium FX.

Special screenings will also be held throughout the day of the Doctor Who Series 10 two-part finale. World Enough and Time and The Doctor Falls see a host of Cybermen face off against Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor, and feature the return of the Mondasian Cybermen after over 50 years.

Other activities during Saturday's event include a green screen photo opportunity featuring the Cybermen and the Experience's very first Facebook Live hosted by Doctor Who: The Fan Show's Luke Spillane, whilst fans are advised to keep their wits about them as some of the Cybermen come to life...

The timetable for the day is as follows (subject to change):

11.30am - 12pm: Millennium FX workshop and Q&A
12pm - 12.45pm: Series 10 Ep 11 screening
12pm - 12.20pm: Facebook Live with Luke Spillane
1pm - 1.30pm: Millennium FX workshop talk and Q&A
1.30pm - 2.30pm: Series 10 Ep 12 screening
2.45pm - 3.15pm: Millennium FX workshop talk and Q&A
3.15pm - 5.30pm: Series 10 Eps 11 & 12 repeat screening

To allow visitors to make the most of their day, the Experience will be allowing re-admission into the Cybermen event provided that attendees keep hold of their tickets throughout the day.

Although tickets will be available on the day, visitors to tomorrow's event are advised to book in advance to avoid disappointment through the Experience's official site. The Millennium FX Cyber conversions were on sale in advance of the event and have now sold out.

Tomorrow's special Cyberman day is part of the Doctor Who Experience's final summer programme of events before the Cardiff attraction closes on 9th September 2017. More news on the rest of the Experience's events, as well as ticket booking and information, is available at

[Source: Doctor Who]
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Doctor Who magazine issue 515 cover & details

Doctor Who Magazine have revealed their cover for issue 515, featuring every one of the Doctors featured in Steven Moffat's era, including the Curator played by Tom Baker, John Hurt's War Doctor and the First Doctor, played by David Bradley in the upcoming Christmas Special.

Inside, there's a tribute to Steven Moffat's tenure as showrunner, and his final production notes on the era. As the editor has pointed out on Twitter, there's no reference to Jodie Whittaker's new Doctor on the cover as is customary because the issue was sent to the printers before the reveal.

Here's an excerpt from the Moffat interview to whet your appetite:
With his last episode due to air at Christmas, we asked Doctor Who‘s head writer and showrunner Steven Moffat if he ever thought, back in 2004, when he wrote The Empty Child, that he’d still be writing for the series in 2017?

“No, God, no!” he exclaims. “God, no! I also didn’t think I’d do the showrunning job for more than three years, and I’m here after six series. Yes, I’ve been writing Doctor Who stories since 2004. That’s a hell of a long time. When I wrote The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, I wondered if I’d ever write another Doctor Who story. I was very keen to, I really wanted to. I remember asking, ‘Would you have me back next year…?’”

So what’s next for Steven after he finishes with the Doctor? He’s staying tight-lipped.

“I’m looking forward to the idea of not having to automatically say no to everything else! Whether that’s writing jobs, or weekends away. I can write different things. I’m looking forward to that, hugely. But I am so glad it happened. I’d have been miserable if I’d never got to write Doctor Who! It’s been amazing. Of course it’s been amazing.”
Also inside the issue:
  • Production Notes - Steven Moffat writes his final column for DWM, and his last-ever Doctor Who words!
  • The Top 20! - A look back at 20 amazing things about the Steven Moffat era of Doctor Who – plus tributes from Russell T Davies, Chris Chibnall, Mark Gatiss and many others…
  • The Empire of Mark Gatiss - The concluding part of our all-encompassing interview with actor/writer Mark Gatiss!
  • The Parliament of Fear - There’s a brand-new adventure for the Doctor and Bill Potts in Part 1 of a new comic strip story, written by Scott Gray, with art by Staz Johnson.
  • Rise and Fall - Reviews of the 2017 series, and the season finale World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls.
  • Turned Up To Eleven - The Fact of Fiction examines the Eleventh Doctor’s d├ębut adventure, 2010’s The Eleventh Hour!
  • Reviews - The latest DVD and audio releases are put under the microscope.
  • Coming Soon - Previews of all the latest Doctor Who CD and book releases.
Issue 515 of Doctor Who Magazine will be out next Thursday (29th July), and will be priced £5.99.

[Source: DWM]

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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Kris Marshall denies companion rumours

You might recall Death in Paradise's Kris Marshall being the frontrunner for the role of the Thirteenth Doctor for months despite official denials, until he was finally eclipsed in the odds by Jodie Whittaker.

While Marshall didn't become the Doctor, tabloid rumours have abounded about a potential role for the actor as a companion to Whittaker's Doctor in Series 11, reflecting the likelihood of a male companion alongside a female Doctor.

That rumour has now been quashed, however, by Marshall's spokesperson who confirmed in a statement sent to Yahoo News that "there is no truth in rumours". This denial accompanies the BBC's own official rebuttal to the news, pointing out how casting for a companion for Series 11 has not begun yet.

With filming slated for a late autumn start, it's likely we'll have some official word on who will be joining the Thirteenth Doctor in about September or so.

[Source: Yahoo News]
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Exclusive Doctor Who merchandise for San Diego Comic-Con

This week's San Diego Comic-Con, as always, will see fans presented with the opportunity to purchase a large range of officially-licensed Doctor Who exclusive merchandise.

BBC America has revealed a selection of products which will either be exclusive to the event or which are not yet available elsewhere. These include a new range of Kawaii-themed products featuring artwork from Doctor Who illustrator Kelly Yates, who will also be signing his work at the BBC America booth (#4129) today from 1-2pm and on Saturday 22nd July from 1-2pm.

The guide below highlights exclusive and first to market merchandise from BBC America, which will be available at Booth #4129 during SDCC - click on images to enlarge:

BBC Shop Exclusives

Kawaii Mug ($15)
Charming mug showcasing all thirteen adorable anime incarnations (including the War Doctor) of everyone’s favorite Time Lord.

Kawaii Hoodie ($50)
Grey zip-up hoodie showcasing all thirteen adorable anime incarnations (including the War Doctor) of everyone’s favorite Time Lord. Available in sizes S-XXL.

Kawaii T-Shirt ($25)
Comfortable black t-shirt with anime incarnations of the five most recent versions of the Doctor. Available in sizes S-XXL.

TARDIS Tour T-Shirt ($25)
White Spacetime Tour tee that lays out the time machine’s pit stops everywhere from Malcassairo in 100 trillion AD to San Diego in 2017. Available in sizes S-XXL.

TARDIS Tour Travel Mug ($20)
Spacetime Tour travel mug that lays out the time machine’s pit stops everywhere from Malcassairo in 100 trillion AD to San Diego in 2017. Insulated to keep drinks cool or warm as you glide through the galaxy. Size: 16-oz.

BBC Shop First To Market

Rainbow TARDIS Hoodie ($50)
Cozy hoodie with TARDIS and rainbow trail. Available in sizes S-XXL.

Rainbow TARDIS Baseball Tee ($25)
Comfy rainbow TARDIS baseball tee. Available in sizes S-XXL.

Oversized Mug ($20)
Last year’s sell out and Entertainment Weekly’s Top 10 pick for Comic-Con 2016 merchandise is back featuring the TARDIS. Size: 64-oz.

Dalek & Gears Earrings and Necklace ($15/$20)
Elegant earrings and a nifty necklace that feature intricately interwoven Daleks and gears.

Pandorica TARDIS 4.5” ($15)
TARDIS Titan Vinyl in the style of the Van Gogh painting from 2010’s The Pandorica Opens. Measures (approx) 4.5 inches tall.

Eleventh Doctor Variant 4.5” ($15)
Eleventh Doctor Vinyl featuring the Time Lord’s outfit whilst working in a shop in 2011’s Closing Time. Measures (approx) 4.5 inches tall.

For even more Doctor Who official merchandise, check out the BBC Shop from BBC Worldwide Americas.

In other SDCC merchandising news, Rabbit Tanaka has announced that it will be launching its Doctor Who TARDIS Console Light - as seen on official YouTube series Doctor Who: The Fan Show - at the event.

The special shipment will be available at the FYE San Diego Comic-Con Pop-up Store, 165 Horton Plaza, Space #155, San Diego, CA 92101 between 20th-23rd July 2017. Following the event the product will also be available at FYE and ThinkGeek stores as well as through several online retailers.

Finally, Forbidden Planet has today offered fans who are unable to get to SDCC the opportunity to order the exclusive SDCC 2017 Doctor Who Funko Pop! Clara Figure online. The limited edition exclusive is currently in high demand and is unlikely to be made available again once it has sold out. The Clara figure can be preordered here.

Other Doctor Who events at SDCC include an exclusive comic, signings and panel from Titan Comics, as well as a BBC America panel featuring the stars of Doctor Who Series 10, which will be offering an exclusive preview of this year's Christmas special. 

Comic-Con International: San Diego 2017 runs from 20th-23rd July at the San Diego Convention Centre. More information on this year's event can be found at the official Comic-Con site.

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