Doctor Whooligan: Season Seven Filming In Cardiff, Katy Manning Interviewed, John Simm On The Master, Tales From Television Centre, Barrowman Lobbies For Return to Doctor Who

Filming for Season Seven is full throttle as work on Episode Five continues. As filming continues there is a lot of speculation and guess-work coming out of Cardiff as to what exactly is going on. Once again the production team has kept a pretty tight lid on what they are doing which of course only fuels the fire of fans eager to see more new Doctor Who.

Also, Torchwoood may be off the air, but many of these involved in the show have been very busy of late. It seems that these characters still live on in so many ways in the hearts and minds of the Torchwoodiverse.


Fandom is abuzz about a IMDB listing for  Doctor Who. In an attempt to restore sanity to the universe I am breaking it down for you.

IF you believe IMDB then one of this season’s episodes listed on the sire grabs your attention. According to IMDB the Chris Chibnal story (Episode Four) is called ‘Dinosaurs n Space.’ This undoubtedly is a bogus title but what is interesting it the sites lists John Simm  and Norman Lovett as guest stars.

Although the listing does correctly name Brian Williams as guest star, he is in Episode Two as far as we know. So there is a lot of very circumstantial but interesting stuff to think about. We will not need to wait long however, Chibnal’s story is scheduled for the next block of filming.

Robert Graves is also listed a s guest star as a character named Riddell. This most likely could be true.

Again, Norman Lovett is listed as playing a Young Davros. This is the first I have heard of this and no comment has been named from Lovett who is known and loved as one of Britain’s best stand up comics and the first Holly on Red Dwarf. Speaking for myself, I totally want to see this.

Julian Bleach is also listed as returning as Davros. He’s played him before so this not entirely not impossible. Nothing though has been confirmed about this. We know there are loads of Daleks in Episode One so having Davros around is not improbable. Bleach was great as Davros before despite a really awful script.

See the monkey business here:

It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out as the season develops. Even if some of this information is true, Team Moffat will deny, deny, deny in order to keep the plot, story and season details a s secret as possible.


John Simm has weighed in o the IMDB issue himself. Simm commented on his nonreturn to Doctor Who on Monday via Twitter.

In reply to many, regardless of what it says on imdb, No I’m not returning to Dr Who. Got absolutely no plans to do so#hopethatclearsitup

This could all be smoke and mirrors but it appears that Simm is not in at least the first part of the season.


Riann Steele has been cast in Episode Two as the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. There has been a rumored Egyptian-themed story in the works for sometime now and it looks as if it is finally happening. She was seen briefly in the season preview trailer.

Filming continues in Cardiff this week on Episode Five. There was weekend night location filming at the Galmorgan Building. Filming was done last week at Coedarhydyglyn and the Llanelli District Cemetery in Newport.

There also has been some filming on closed sets this week in Cardiff.

Alex Kingston is indeed on set for filming for Episode Five but she may also be involved in Episode One in some way.

River may be posing as ‘Melody Malone’ in Episode Five.

Mike McShane (Whose Line Is It Anyway) is a guest star for Episode Five.


Several Classic Doctor Who cast members and guest stars are among those features in Tales From Television Centre,  a BBC4 documentary airing next month in the UK that chronicles this cathedral of  British television.This documentary about the BBC Television Centre is produced and directed by former Doctor Who Magazine writer Richard Marson.

This hallowed ground was sold by the BBC who is moving its television operations to other sites throughout the UK. Beginning in 1960 the Television Centre was the hub for BBC programming, including  Doctor Who which filmed most of its classic series episodes here. It was also a site for filming in the black and white Hartnell and Troughton eras between 1964-1969.

Almost anyone who is famous in British television worked there over the last fifty years. Tales From Television Centre features interviews with Peter Davison, Katy Manning, Louise Jameson, Janet Fielding, directors Waris Hussein and Graeme Harper along with the infamous Brian Blessed.


The Reign of Terror was the finale of Season One in 1964 . Over forty years later the story is still regarded by fans and critics as a classic episode of Doctor Who’s early years.

Although The Reign of Terror is incomplete in the BBC archives (episodes four and five are missing) it is still coming to DVD later this year with animation being used to round out the missing episodes. The audio for this story survives completely intact. It has been released on VHS with Carole Ann Ford linking the missing episodes. Ian Marter wrote the Target Books novelization in 1987.

This is an important story for several reasons. First, The Reign Of Terror laid the groundwork for the subsequent historical stories that followed. There were other historical adventures before it, but this story was the one that set the bar for any future historical based epics that followed. Second, it capped off the first season of Doctor Who on a high note with over six million viewers watching its six episodes. Third, it firmly established William Hartnell as The Doctor while allowing Jacqueline Hill and William Russell to expand on their characters.  Sadly, upon reflection, Carole Ann Ford could have been better written for and developed as the season went on. The writers could never really decide how mature she was which hindered her character development. However I still think she was a joy to watch onscreen. She has some great scenes with Hill and Russell in this story.

Despite a slower pace and a distinct lack of aliens and spaceships this story is a study in the sublime. Hartnell’s performance is great and he seems settled in with where he wants to go with the role.  He even flies solo with his own little starring bit in the story that is great to see.

On the surface not much happens with action.  This is a character piece filled with drama and historical tension designed to close out the season with some character development.  Dennis Spooner’s script is pretty simple on the surface, The TARDIS materializes near far Paris in 1794 amidst the bloody turbulence of the French Revolution. Through a series of misadventures and underhanded shenanigans The Doctor, Ian, Susan and Barbara become involved putting them on a collision course with the guillotine. Things get even worse when they run into a British spy named James Stirling.

This is an example of historical Doctor Who, like The Aztecs before it, where the characters are tiptoeing around  fixed points in time, a theme which resounds in the new series.

But like many Dennis Spooner stories it takes methodical steps and plays out slowly to emphasize character development. However as the crew gets deeper into it they face a very real and sinister danger in the  of Robespierre’s Reign Of Terror. This was indeed a very real and terrifying threat that was just as scary as getting zapped by any alien. This was a whole new type of danger, one that stemmed from historical circumstances.

As seen much clearer with The Reign of Terror, the Hartnell historical stories always had a battle going on between preserving history versus personal survival for the companions in them that worked on very primal levels. Nonetheless in this instance the original TARDIS crew emerged relatively unscathed from a rocky first season with their feet on the ground and with no real damage to time. They just can’t get home.

The Reign Of Terror was also a refreshing change in a season with Daleks, Voords and Sensorites. Although The Doctor was still bent on returning Ian and Barbara to their right time you could tell he was thawing somewhat on the idea of having companions travel with him. As the first season drew to a close there was a dynamic at root in the show with the core cast that would shape how these traveling partners were depicted in future episodes.

Carol Ann Ford and William Russell recently recorded their audio commentaries for the DVD release of  The Reign of Terror. No release date has been announced for the DVD but animators have been working their butts off trying to restore this episode for that release. It will be great to see the result of their labors.


The Sixth Doctor paid a house call this week to Channel Four’s Get Your House In Order.  The program features Colin Baker helping a hardcore Doctor Who collector named Barry Phillips declutter his homestead by selling off his collection of Who related memorabilia at a convention.

More info on the show here:


Jo Grant remains one of the most popular companions of both the classic and new series of Doctor Who. From 1971-73 she traveled in time and space with Jon Pertwee, delighting fans with many memorable performances that are still fondly remembered today.

Katy Manning, the actress who played her, gave The Radio Times a provocative interview this week. In the interviewed she talked candidly about the new series, working with Jon Pertwee and provided many interesting details about her life.

Interestingly enough in a 2010 Radio Times interview Matt Smith described working with Katy.

Working with Katy Manning has been wonderful. She’s a lovely person. Mad as a box of fish but totally dynamite!

Manning likewise said some very nice things about Matt Smith.

It’s an education to watch (Matt’s) beautifully realized physicality as the Doctor. I said to him, ‘Jon Pertwee would be very proud of what you’re doing with this character.

Read her latest interview here:—doctor-who-companion-katy-manning-interviewed

Manning can be followed on Twitter via  @ManningOfficial


Those who are still pining for Ianto Jones will be glad to know that the actor who played him, Gareth Lloyd, has a new gig. The actor starred as Dr. Robert Cameron in an indie film called Casimer Effect.

The film is in post production and its creators, Gabriel Strange and Lydia Wood are looking for backers to take it the next step with some help from fans. The film can best be described as a  science fiction drama/romance story set in a temporal paradox of the past, present and future.

Gareth’s band, Blue Gillespie is even helping out with the soundtrack for the film.

Strange and Wood hope to get the film on the festival circuit once it is completed. If you want to help them out or learn more about the film visit its official website,


John Barrowman was the main media guest at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) in Chicago, Illinois lat weekend.  There he lobbied hard for fans to help him return to Doctor Who for the 50th Anniversary season.

While speaking to MTV Geek he addressed his desire to return to Doctor Who.

I think it would be a shame if Captain Jack wasn’t involved in the 50th anniversary, because he was such a big figure and a big presence within the show itself and also within Torchwood,

He went on to add, It’s not up to me, it’s up to the executives and it’s also kind of up to the fans, because if they want it all they have to do is get on those keyboards and start writing...You have been known to change things.

I’ve spoken to Russell [T Davies] about it, he thinks it would be a great idea for Jack to meet Matt’s Doctor, I think it would be a great idea, Matt and I actually had a conversation at the BBC once, sitting round a table, thought it would be a great idea, Steven [Moffat] thought it would be a great idea, so again it’s one of those things. Great ideas sometimes never happen, they sometimes do, but you know I guess you just have to watch this space.” 

As of now there has been no official word that Captain Jack will return in the new season of Doctor Who.


Miracle Day writer Jane Espenson defended Torchwood: Miracle Day in an interview posted by Digital Spy earlier this week.

In addition to her career with Torchwood, Espenson has had a massively successful career in television, having a hand in many series including, Once Upon A Time, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Caprica and  Star Trek The Next Generation.

Read the interview here:

Despite her busy schedule with Once Upon A Time, Jane Esponson is appearing at Dragoncon 2012 where she will undoubtedly talk Torchwood some more. More information here:

Well that’s a wrap for this week. Next time there’s be some convention news, more filming news and some audio news as well!




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