FAREWELL MARY TAMM
Mary Tamm has died at the age of 62 after an eighteen month battle with cancer. Ms. Tamm portrayed the first Romana in Season 16 of Doctor Who and later reprised the role for Big Finish. On and off the screen Mary Tamm put the ‘lady’ in Time Lady. Always elegant and gracious she was a terrific guest at conventions.
As the companion for the Key to Time season she brought a sense of grace, glamor, wit and charm to the role. Her Romana could stand on equal footing with the Doctor and bring him down a few notches when necessary. In fact the tumultuous relationship between Romana and the 4th Doctor was one of the best things about that season. Sadly, she left the show after one season because she wanted to deepen the character but felt that Romana had run her course and developed as much as she could. She was replaced by Lalla Ward but sadly no regeneration scene took place.
Tamm made Romana a very strong character that was a departure from other companions. She was intelligent and aloof and loved getting under The Doctor’s skin. Coming in as the new companion is not always easy yet somehow Mary Tamm made it look effortless.
I loved her in The Ribos Operation. It was a story filled with crisp dialogue, great pacing and the forced relationship between The Doctor and Romana started right off the bat and never relented for the six stories they appeared onscreen together. She also was magnificent in The Pirate Planet and The Stones of Blood, where she had some of the best lines in the story. She pulled double duty in The Androids Of Tara playing both Romana and Princess Strella.
Mary Tamm also was in a the enviable position of using the amazing clothes they gave her to accentuate her character. In every one of her stories she made a fashion statement with a bold and daring wardrobe. At the time she was one of the best dressed companions the series. Her costumes helped underscore her individually and punctuated the extremely different personal style Romana had from her fellow Time Lord, The Doctor.
A classically trained actress, Tamm was born in Yorkshire and graduated from RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). In addition to her work on Doctor Who she costarred in The Odessa File. She also appeared in Doctors, Brookside, The Hello Goodbye Man, The Assassination Run, Treachery Game and Coronation Street.
Tamm returned to traveling in time and space with Tom Baker for his second season of Big Finish audios as part of The Fourth Doctor Adventure. These seven stories are slated for release beginning in January of 2013. In 2009 she wrote her memoir, First Generation. She had plans for releasing a follow-up book called Second Generation.
Tom Baker commented on her passing.
She was a darling companion and wonderfully witty and kind. I’m so sorry to hear of her death.
Steven Moffat also praised her.
I remember Mary Tamm’s first appearance so vividly – the ice Queen on the TARDIS. The Time Lady who thought the Doctor was HER companion. Perfectly brought to life by Mary, with such style and wit, you always thought she could have kicked the Doctor out of the time machine and got on with the adventure herself. A generation of little girls threw away the idea of being an assistant, and decided to fly the TARDIS for themselves.
Big Finish paid tribute to Mary Tamm: http://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/mary-tamm-1950-2012
Here is her obit from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-1899537
Here is her obit from The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2012/jul/26/doctor-who-mary-tamm-dies?newsfeed=true
GUESS WHO IS ON THE COVER OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
I’ve been a Whovian for over thirty years and I never expected I would see this. The Doctor on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. The show has truly become a worldwide phenomenon, a far cry from what it was all those years ago when it was relegated to late nights on many PBS stations.
Although I must say I am not thrilled with labeling the program a ‘cult’ show. This is in large part because both old and new fans have been incredibly loyal, intelligent and patient. Fans of the show are pretty diverse and come from a wide range of backgrounds and social types. Nonetheless, seeing The Doctor on the cover is pretty great.
The current issue asks if the time has finally arrived for the show to make it big in America. I say, where have they been hiding? I did like how they previewed the new season and mentioned how it has rubbed off on many American shows (The Simpsons, Community, Criminal Minds, The Late Late Show, Supernatural and Grey’s Anatomy).
In general it’s not a bad article. It misses the mark in a few places but overall it lightly explores the development of the increasing popularity of Doctor Who.
SEASON SEVEN NEWS (SPOILERS)
As details emerge about Season Seven it has become clearer that the new series will be heart wrenching, intense and powerfully emotional. It looks like there will be plenty of tears, broken hearts and sadness woven into a season filled with mystery, nostalgia and adventure.
Location filming was done this week at the Tonyrefail School and Cardiff Bay. Pickup filming was also done for Cubed (Episode Four).
There will be no full series in 2014 but we will get some specials in 2013 (More on this below and as more details emerge) .
Guest Star David Bradley recently revealed that he is playing a space pirate character named Solomon in this season’s Dinosaurs In Space.
Read more this way: http://www.sfx.co.uk/2012/07/27/david-bradley-talks-about-his-doctor-who-role/
Murray Gold has begun to score the early episodes of the season.
A great deal of the second half of the season remains a work in progress with scripts being written and edited.
DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE PREVIEWS S7 (SPOILERS)
The current issue (DWM #450, out now in the UK) features an interview with Steven Moffat in which he discloses a lot of information about the upcoming season.
Here are some teasers from the interview.
Steven Moffat is writing Episode Six. He also is writing the season finale.
Saul Metzstein is directing the 2012 Christmas Special and Episode Ten.
A fifth draft of The Christmas Special script has just been turned in.
The first two episodes are basically done but need post production work.
Music still needs to be added to Episode Two.
RIVER SONG IN SEASON SEVEN
It seems likely that her appearances will be in stand alone stories.
Steven Moffat recently spoke with i09 at Comic Con about River Song’s development and her appearance in the upcoming season.
There’s also just having River turn up and have fun on an adventure, which is fun too. She’s one of the people who can draw the Doctor into a mad adventure very, very quickly and very, very easily. That’s a different way of doing it. Sometimes you’ll just see her phoning the Doctor up and saying ‘Let’s go see that.’ There’s part of the relationship too, which is big bona-fide adventure.
The article also has some great interviews with Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill.
It can be read here: http://io9.com/5927137/whats-next-on-doctor-who-heartbreak-and-huge-revelations
TARDIS HEARD AT OLYMPICS
The TARDIS dematerialization sound was heard loudly by over one billion people during the Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies on Friday.
During a Danny Boyle spectacle about British music of the last five decades the TARDIS was heard during a bridge that musically spanned from the 1970s to the 1980s.
Sadly David Tennant did not carry or light the Olympic torch.
DOCTOR WHO 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Let’s face it, planning what to do for the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who is a thankless task. Even though Steven Moffat has promised to deliver big for the anniversary, he wisely has not discussed his plans publicly.
With that in mind there is a lot of chatter going on in fandom about this historical event. Recently, there have been murmurs that a documentary spanning the five decades of the program is planned. There also has been talk of other themed documentaries being made that could tie into the anniversary.
This little bit of interesting was recently posted on a BBC Careers site:
If this is true then it appears that we could see several 50th anniversary themed stories and maybe some specials following the next season over a multi Doc story. This makes sense since writing a multiple Doctor story, although fun for fans, is a real nightmare. By having several stories it would allow time for things to develop with the program while still feeding our nostalgic yearning for the 50th.
With regards to returning Doctors. Matt Smith will be in the role for the anniversary and David Tennant has said he would be open to returning to the TARDIS. Christopher Eccleston has already said he would not return. Colin Baker and Paul McGann have both been on record as saying they have not been contacted about returning. Interestingly enough, Tom Baker has been rumored to be returning, however there has been no confirmation from the BBC or the production team about this.
So what then? I think what fans are more likely to see is a story with one or two other Doctors and maybe separate adventures where other characters could return. There also could be no multi Doctor stories for the 50th but instead have a series of special episodes that delve deeply into who he is and why he left Gallifrey.
To mark the occasion, making a special like The Five Doctors would be tricky. Writing a script for several Doctors would be a prodigious endeavor and giving them all a lot of thought out screen time could also pose problems. Also, employing high-end effects to digitally insert previous Doctors into a story would not be cost-effective.
These big, epic tales could then be bolstered by some BBC specials that feature interviews with cast members from both the classic and new versions of Doctor Who. This would allow a wider opportunity to get more people involved in the anniversary then a stand alone story.
The wild card in all of this is actually Steven Moffat since he may be the one person who could write a good multi-Doctor story and make it work. He also has enough ‘outside the box’ kind of ideas to make this anniversary something extraordinary.
I have faith. I know that Team Moffat is well aware of the weight on their shoulders to deliver something awesome. I also think they have a plan in place and are doing a lot of things behind the scenes to make the 50th a real event. As a producer and fan he totally gets what fans want to see.
There also will be a lot of other things going on around the anniversary. There will be books, fan videos, audios, DVDS, conventions galore and lots of merchandise.
The Royal Mail announced this week that it is released a set of Doctor Who themed commemorative stamps in January of 2013.
THE GREATEST SHOW IN THE GALAXY ON DVD
\The Greatest Show In The Galaxy is one of Sylvester McCoy’s finest moments. In it he beautifully meshes his comedic chops with a spirit of mystery that has carried over into the new series. The final story of Season 25, it aired over the holiday season of 1988-89. it features great guest star appearances by TP McKenna, Jessica Martin and Christopher Guard.
Here is a synopsis for the episode:
Although Ace hates clowns, the Doctor decides to take his companion to the Psychic Circus on the planet Segonax. There they find a group of scared performers who live in fear of the sinister and creepy Chief Clown. But what is so dangerous about this particular circus, why is there such a small audience and will Ace be able to overcome her fear before it’s too late?
Audio commentary from Sophie Aldred (Ace), Jessica Martin (Mags) and Christopher Guard (Bellboy), writer Stephen Wyatt, script editor Andrew Cartmel and composer Mark Ayres. The commentary is moderated by Toby Hadoke.
The Show Must Go On-A documentary about the making of the story.
Deleted and Extended Scenes
Radio Times Listings
Production Information Subtitles
Coming Soon Trailer Model Effects-Clips of unused model effects are shown. These were originally intended for this story.
The Psychic Circus: A Mark Ayres produced music video for a song by Christopher Guard with vocals from Christopher Guard, Jessica Martin and the late TP McKenna.
Remembrance Demo-Mark Ayres has gone back and rescored two scenes from Remembrance of the Daleks.
Tomorrow’s Times: The Seventh Doctor- This on-going documentary series examines media coverage of the Sylvester McCoy era. Presented by former companion Anneke Wills.
Victoria Wood-A Doctor Who theme sketch from Victoria Wood.
BBC AMERICA ANNOUNCES NEW DOCTOR WHO SPECIALS
A new round of four specially produced Doctor Who specials are coming our way from BBC America. It begins on August 4th with The Science of Doctor Who which examines how real life science is used in the program.
The Hollow Earth, a novel from John and Carole Barrowman, is making its way to the small screen. Zodiak Kids UK have snatched up the rights to their novel and are planning to adapt it for television via The Foundation, their in house production company. The Hollow Earth will be available in the US this October.
Hollow Earth centers around Matt and Emily Calder, twelve-year-old twins who literally make their art come to life. More this way: http://www.animationmagazine.net/tv/zodiak-kids-to-develop-barrowmans-hollow-earth/
RIP: COLIN LAVERS
Colin Lavers, the costume designer responsible for the Fifth Doctor’s costume has died. Lavers was tabbed the production team to design the costume for Peter Davison when he took over the role of The Doctor in 1982.
Lavers previous work in Doctor Who includes costume designs for The Power of Kroll, Four To Doomsday and The King’s Demons.
In 1983 he did design work for The Five Doctors where he created a look and style for many characters who had previously only been seen on television in black and white. His other credits include costuming for Eastenders, Miss Marple, As Time Goes By, Last Of The Summer Wine, Only Fools And Horses A Royal Scandal and Judge John Deed.
Next time: Big Finish news, DVD updates and more on Season Seven.