We are less than two weeks away from new Doctor Who! If that doesn’t take the chill out of your winter then there is nothing can do for you! Once again the 2012 Christmas Special dominates the week’s headlines.
THE SNOWMEN PRESS
BBC America has sent out a nifty Press Pack ahead of The Snowmen. It also included the previously published synopsis of the story.
The network will air The Snowmen on Tuesday, December 25, 9:00pm ET.
Christmas Eve 1892 and the falling snow is the stuff of fairy-tales. When the fairy-tale becomes a nightmare and a chilling menace threatens Earth, an unorthodox young governess, Clara, calls on the Doctor for help. But the Doctor is in mourning, reclusive and determined not to engage in the problems of the universe. As old friends return, will the Doctor really abandon humankind or will he fight to save the world – and Christmas – from the icy clutches of this mysterious menace?
STEVEN MOFFAT ON 2012 CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
The Christmas episode is Doctor Who epitomized and this year we’re going for even more epic. The Doctor, when we meet him, isn’t in a good place. A bit like when we first encountered William Hartnell as the Doctor in 1963 – or indeed Christopher Eccleston in 2005 – this a cold and withdrawn Time Lord, wanting no part of the world around him. It’s going to take a lot of Christmas spirit to get him back out those TARDIS doors.
Moffat also commented on the differences from writing the Christmas special as opposed to a regular story.
You’re very aware of the time of year, and the noisy, sugared-up, slightly tipsy household. Sometimes we play along with something a bit frothier. Though this year, we might just give them a fright!
Last time we saw the Doctor he said goodbye to the Ponds, will we see a different side to the Doctor in this episode?The Doctor is almost defined by his friendships. When they end, and the TARDIS is silent again, he’s a very different man. He’s lost a lot of people in the time we’ve known him, and this Christmas he’s decided he’s finally had enough…
MATT SMITH ON THE SNOWMEN
Matt Smith described what to expect from the episode:
Lots of snow and a rather good villain, The Snowmen. Set in a Victorian snow covered England the episode opens with the Doctor feeling more ‘bah humbug’ than festive, as he struggles to get over the loss of his companions the Ponds.
He is slightly removed and not at his best…You get to see a different side to himHe also discussed his new companion, Clara.She is very different to Amy Pond. That is the great thing about this show…reinvention, it keeps me as an actor on my toes!
JENNA-LOUISE COLEMAN ON THE SNOWMEN
Jenna-Louise provided a bit of insight into Clara.
She is from the Victorian era and a mysterious one, Very down to earth, but feisty and curious too with numerous jobs.Jenna detailed her meeting The Doctor.He has the answers to her questions. She isn’t intimidated by the Doctor, instead she finds him amazing and ridiculous. But she is on her own mission and lives by her own means, she is very resourceful.
She discussed taking on the role of Clara:
Every day is really surprising. For the last two years I have mainly been doing period dramas, so to be thrown into this world with loads of CGI is very different. Whole new sets are built-in the space of a couple of weeks. For this episode we had snow machines and it does make you feel like a big kid!
RICHARD E. GRANT ON THE SNOWMEN
Having previously played the Doctor in the 2003 online animated series Scream of the Shalka and during a Comic Relief spoof some years ago, Richard E Grant returns to Doctor Who, but this time as the villainous Doctor Simeon.
I have been told that on pain of death I am not allowed to reveal anything about my role in the Christmas Special, explains Richard, other than that this character has never been in Doctor Who before….I have had two ‘brushes’ with the Who phenomenon before, playing the Doctor in the cartoon digital version and the Comic Relief spoof some years ago, before the franchise was re-booted with Christopher Eccleston.
TOBY JONES IS A WINNER!
Earlier this week Toby Jones (The Dream Lord in Amy’s Choice) was named Best Actor for the 2012 Moët British Independent Film Awards. Jones played Gilderoy in Berberian Sound Studio, a horror film that centers around Jones as a tortured 1970s sound engineer for Italian horror films.
Also a winner was Doctor Who alum Olivia Colman who won out in the Best Supporting Actress category for her work as Queen Elizabeth in Hyde Park On Hudson.
Sir Michael Gambom (who was a guest star in the 2010 Christmas Special, A Christmas Carol) was given the prestigious Richard Harris Award for his contribution to British film.
In an interview with Shortlist.com Jones expressed an interest in returning to Doctor Who. In the interview he intimated why he chose to appear in the series. He commented, Yes. I did it because my kids like watching Doctor Who.
SEASON SEVEN NEWS
The BBC has announced that Season Seven will resume in April of 2012.
Since the production is entering a new era and since it was easier to build a new interior at their new studio in Cardiff, the production team has created a new TARDIS interior. This makes sense when you think about since The Doctor, weighed down with the loss of The Ponds and having a lot of free time, would probably tinker with his TARDIS. We will see this new set in The Snowmen and even more of the TARDIS in Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS.The new interior set was designed by Michael Pickwoad. You can read more about it in the current issue of Doctor Who Magazine.
Sir Ian McKellan is the voice of The Snowmen.As previously theorized in this column, the villain of the Chrismtas Special most likely will be The Great Intelligence, whom fans saw debut in the Troughton era in The Abominable Snowmen. The Yeti have been rumored to be returning for a while now and this could be a great way to bring them back.
Steven Moffat gave a smattering of hints about what lies ahead in an interview with SFX Magazine. Again he is quite coy.
You can read about it here: http://www.sfx.co.uk/2012/12/12/steven-moffat-teases-next-years-doctor-who/
We will see a young version of Doctor Simeon in the The Snowmen.
There will be a new title sequence and opening credits in The Snowmen. They are said to be a throwback to the classic series.
Since Richard E. Grant is in The Snowman and possibly Episode Thirteen it makes sense to think those two stories are connected.The season could also be told in nonlinear time which means that the events of A Good Man Goes To War could connect to stories in the second half of the season.
Also since Strax, Jenny and Vastra appear in the season finale it is likely that most of the filming for the season is in the can. A great deal of filming for Episode Thirteen was shot concurrently while the actors were filming parts of other episodes.
Saul Metzstein has been confirmed as the director for Episode Thirteen.
Episode Thirteen will lead into the 50th anniversary.
There is a rumor that a @nd doctor double was seen on set wearing a fur coat similar to the one he wore in The Abominable Snowmen.
Doctor Who Magazine had a description of the episode from Steven Moffat. One that will thrill you a bit, and worry you more. Yes, I think you’ll be just a bit worried where we might be going with this one. I’d say more, but then you’d be less worried, and frankly, what’s the point in that?Michael Jenn (Merlin, The Hour, Casualty) has been cast as a guest star in Episode Twelve.Episode Seven, penned by Neil Cross, is set on an orange planet.
The Last Cybermen features a very disturbing new aspect of The Cybermen.
The Fiftieth Anniversary Special will be filmed in April of 2013.
DESTINY OF THE DOCTOR
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who Big Finish and AudioGo are joining forces for a year-long series of epic adventures in time and space. As previously reported they are creating an audio adventure range featuring a new adventure with a different Doctor each month.
First up is Nigel Robinson’s First Doctor story Hunters of Earth which serves as a prequel to An Unearthly Child. Carole Ann Ford and Tam Williams star in the production.
Shoreditch, London, 1963. The Beatles have beaten John Smith and the Common Men to No. 1 and satellites are being launched in outer space. Back down on Earth, strange goings-on are occurring: The normally placid teenagers of Coal Hill are running riot and a master thief is stealing highly specialised equipment. Schoolgirl Susan Foreman just wants an easy life for herself and her grandfather, the mysterious Doctor. She wants to be liked and accepted by Cedric and all the other pupils at Coal Hill School. But there’s trouble in the streets and bombsites around Totter’s Lane. The teenagers are becoming dangerous…. Their mission: to hunt down anyone different, or alien…. Susan’s quiet life is about to spiral out of control. Having inadvertently started drawing attention to herself she finds herself drawn into a desperate situation. Suddenly, the chase is on and she and her grandfather are now the hunted…
Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton have reunited for a new Big Finish production entitled 1000 Nights. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor Alexander Siddig guest stars as The Sultan in a story written by Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie, Jonathan Barnes and Catherine Harvey. Barnaby Edwards directs.
A long time ago, two travellers came from far away…In the perfumed palace of an omnipotent Sultan, a girl must tell stories to keep the man she cares about from a cruel and horrible death. She spins tales of distant lands she has visited with a mysterious traveller, of fabulous creatures and fantastic adventures – and of a blue box that can travel in time and space.
Meanwhile, in the dungeons below the throne room, there lurks a secret which will bring down the kingdom – perhaps even the universe.
Can the Doctor and Nyssa escape from this never-ending story before the final chapter spells their end?
TALONS OF WENG-CHIANG AUDIO
AudioGo is continuing its series of classic Doctor Who audio books with Terrance Dick’s Fourth Doctor romp, The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
This Season Fourteen finale, set in Eighteenth century London is read by Christopher Benjamin who played Henry Gordon Jago in the story way back in 1977. Benjamin reprised his role for several Big Finish audios.
Diabolical horrors await the Doctor and Leela as the TARDIS lands in Victorian London. Giant rats scamper through the swirling fog as Chinese Tong hatchet men attack and women mysteriously disappear… Then out of the gloomy miasma a man’s death cry is heard…
The hideously deformed Magnus Greel, conducting a desperate search for the lost Time Cabinet, is the instigator of all this evil. Posing as the Chinese god, Weng-Chiang, Greel uses the crafty Chang, and the midget manikin Mr Sin, to achieve his terrifying objectives. The Doctor must use all his skill, energy and intelligence to escape the talons of Weng-Chiang.
The Talons of Weng-Chiang is relead in the UK on January 1st of 2013.
MCCOY ON THE HOBBIT
Sylvester McCoy is basking in the limelight thanks to his role as Radagast in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. McCoy was interview by The Los Angeles Times.
During the interview McCoy discussed the resurgence of Doctor Who and admitted he watched the new series.Well, it’s terrific. It’s absolutely joyful that it’s come back. I knew they were wrong when they took it off, and lots of others said it would never come back. But I knew, because having gone ’round the world and met fans, the bubble kept bubbling, the fan clubs kept going, and people wouldn’t give up. And fans then started to make their own versions of “Doctor Who,” and they’ve slowly developed. One of them is called Big Finish and they do the audio Doctor Whos.
They kept it alive, and then you know, suddenly someone with a bit of an imagination came along and said, “Yes, I’ve been listening to these ‘Doctor Whos,’ and they work. We should have these back on television.”
CRIBBINS RAISES MONEY FOR CHARITY
Bernard Cribbins is helping seniors get through the trying times of winter. Interviewed while visiting Camberly the actor spoke about his involvement with the Community Foundation for Surrey’s Surviving Winter campaign.
I am 100 per cent behind the campaign and delighted to be supporting it. I am going to donate my winter fuel allowance to support others in Surrey that need additional help during the winter. I encourage others who don’t need their allowance to do the same.This foundation raises monies for community and volunteer groups that support older people in the county areas to reduce isolation and vulnerability.
2013 DVD NEWS
Next year is shaping up to be a banner year for DVD releases. Fans will finally see Tom Baker’s Terror Of The Zygons and Jon Pertwee’s Mind of Evil released along with several Special Edition titles, including The Ark In Space, The Visitation, The Aztecs and Inferno. Releases of The Reign Of Terror and Shada have already been announced.
While there has been no official confirmation it is believed that if all goes well with several incomplete episodes could be released with linking animation and audio. An example of this would be the forthcoming Reign Of Terror DVD or other stories who have at least two misses episodes. This would aid in releasing several classic era stories including The Moonbase, The Underwater Menace, The Ice Warriors, the Crusade, and The Tenth Planet. Frazer Hines is believed to have already recorded an audio commentary track for The Ice Warriors.
THE ARK IN SPACE SPECIAL EDITION DVD
This story from Tom Baker’s first season is getting a makeover that includes a better picture and audio along with a new making of the episode feature. This two disc set is coming out on February in the UK and march in North America.
Originally airing in January and February of 1975, it was redited and rescreened in August of that year. This ‘Omnibus’ edition is included in this release. Also included is the original audio commentary from Phillip Hinchcliffe, Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen along with CGI model footage.
The TARDIS lands on a wheel-like space station orbiting the earth in the distant future. It’s seemingly deserted, but the Doctor, Sarah and Harry soon discover that they are not alone. Thousands of humans – the only survivors of the human race – are in cryogenic sleep, and while they’ve slept their Ark has been invaded. A parasitic insect race – the Wirrn – have taken control..and threaten the very future of mankind!
DEVIL IN THE SMOKE
There will be an E Book version of a new Eleventh Doctor adventure called Devil In The Smoke. The story is designed as a prequel to the events in The Snowmen.
This second Doctor Who E Book is scheduled for digital release on December 18th. Writer Justin Richards has carefully crafted a new adventure for The Great Detective and his friends.
Madame Vastra, the fabled Lizard Woman of Paternoter Row, knew death in many shapes and forms. But perhaps one of the most bizarre of these was death by snow…
On a cold day in December, two young boys, tired of sweeping snow from the workhouse yard, decide to build a snowman – and are confronted with a strange and grisly mystery. In horrified fascination, they watch as their snowman begins to bleed…
The search for answers to this impossible event will plunge Harry into the most hazardous – and exhilarating – adventure of his life. He will encounter a hideous troll. He will dine with a mysterious parlour maid. And he will help The Great Detective, Madame Vastra, save the world from the terrifying Devil in the Smoke.
THE DOCTOR WHO ULTIMATE LIST OF LISTS
BBC America has created a new Doctor Who themed special for their Brit List Series called The Doctor Who Ultimate List of Lists. Airing on BBC America on December 21st this special will feature Asha Leo and John Barrowman ticking off Doctor Who themed lists taken from feedback gathered from their Anglophenia blog.
Next time…More 2013 DVD news, more audio news and Christmas!