As we dig deeper into autumn it is an exciting time for Whovians. Halloween is coming and Hurricane Who and Chicago TARDIS are almost upon us. Christmas is right around the corner too.
All of this means that it is definitely a great season for meeting fellow fans, cosplay and scoring cool merchandise.
It’s also a very busy time for those involved in Doctor Who as filming continues.
Happy 30th Birthday Matt Smith! Smith received a surprise during a break in filming on Thursday when he received a TARDIS cake from the cast and crew.
SEASON SEVEN NEWS (SPOILERS)
Season Seven filming is ongoing with filming this week in Barry, Cardiff and Newport. The Barry Pump House was used for possible pickup filming for Episode Eleven.
Episode Seven is bringing back the horror elements of previous seasons by introducing some nasty new aliens which use wi-fi to manipulate human minds while also controlling individuals perception by projecting images into their victim’s subconscious..
The switching on and off of lights seen in Eps 1-5 will be prominent in Episode Seven and possibly through the entire season.
Graham Turner is playing a character called Amos in the Christmas Special.
Oswin is again seen wearing red in the Christmas Special.
CHILDREN IN NEED 2012
Matt Smith is participating in the 2012 Children In Need Special on November 16th. Smith will partake in a prequel to this year’s Christmas Special. A new trailer will also be shown on that day.
TV GUIDE UPDATE
Doctor Who is currently winning the TV Guide Fan Favorite cover poll. The poll is being conducted via their Facebook page with winning show scoring a cover for TV Guide as a prize.
You can cast your vote here: https://www.facebook.com/TVGuideMagazine/app_324283987669727
EPISODE TEN GETS A TITLE
Episode Ten is rumored to be titled Journey To The Centre of The TARDIS. The story is a TARDIS focused episode with much more detail of the ship being provided. Guest star Ashley Walters recently discussed the episode.
Radio Times Link:
MATT SMITH ON JLC
Matt Smith has given his new costar Jenna-Louise Coleman some very high marks. Speaking at Cardiff’s Doctor Who Experience he admitted that Jenna-Louise is bringing a ‘whole new dynamic’ to the program.
RETURN OF THE MASTER?
While attending the Cheltenham Literature Festival, John Simm again commented on how much he would love to return to Doctor Who as The Master.
I’d love the opportunity to play him differently. I’d love to have another take on him, to be a bit quieter..I started annoying myself after a while. Russell T Davies had a specific idea of what he wanted him to be like. So I just had to do exactly what he wanted me to, and he wanted a giggling lunatic…There’s a new writer now and I’m sure his take on him would be different so I’d be interested to have a look at it. I’d like to take the Master to a very, very dark place.
Simm later downplayed his remarks on Twitter. The Master thing is honestly a non story. I was answering a specific question at a Q+A. It’s been taken out of context.
Still it would be hard to imagine any 50th Anniversary celebration without him being included.
Radio Times link:
MATT SMITH ON LOCATION FILMING
Bang Showbiz interviewed Matt Smith recently and got the actor to divulge where he would like to film the show next.
I was really pleased to go to New York, for me it’s all about going to actual locations. I’d quite like to go back to America. I also think you could make quite a fun episode in Iceland or South America, or you could go to Peru. I’d like to film something in those places. The Pyramids would be fun, too, but I’d rather go to Peru.
Smith has also said that he would like to film in New Zealand and Australia.
RTD NOT RETURNING ANYTIME SOON
Don’t expect to see former writer/producer Russell T. Davies contributing to any episodes of Doctor Who in the near future. With the lineup announced for the rest of Season Seven it appears RTD is not contributing to the 50th anniversary.
Davis was interviewed about a possible return to Doctor Who by What’s On TV where he mainly discussed his new series Wizards VS. Aliens.
I think I’d be like the ghost at the feast, what would I do – turn up and make the tea? I have asked current boss Steven Moffat not to tell me what they are planning.
BBC Worldwide recently announced information about forthcoming classic series Doctor Who DVD releases for 2013.
The Legacy Box Set is due in the UK on January 7th. The release includes the newly restored Shada along with the special More Than Thirty Years In The TARDIS.
William Hartnell’s The Reign Of Terror is out in Britain on January 28th and includes animation for Episodes Four and Five which are missing from the BBC archives. This historical story was the final episode of Season One.
The Ark In Space is being redone with a Special Edition DVD. A UK release is slated for next February.
Terror of The Zygons is finally coming to DVD next June. It will mark the completion of the Fourth Doctor stories on DVD.
Jon Pertwee fans will be treated to Special Edition release of Inferno and Mind of Evil is being restored for release later in 2013. The Claws of Axos Special Edition is out in the UK now and comes out on November 13th in North America.
Patrick Troughton’s The Ice Warriors is also to be rumored to be released with animated episodes linking existing episodes in the BBC Archives. However no confirmation has been given.
CITY OF DEATH AUDIO
Details have emerged on the AudioGo winter release for 1979’s City of Death. The episode was written by Douglas Adams under the pseudonym of David Agnew. Lalla Ward (Romana) narrates the adventure. She also is interviewed about her time on Doctor Who.
Plot Synopsis from AudioGo
Whilst sightseeing in Paris, 1979, the Doctor and Romana notice a series of unexplained temporal disturbances – ‘like a crack in time,’ as the Doctor puts it. They discover that Count Scarlioni, has knowledge of advanced technology that far exceeds that of normal 20th century Parisians. Not only that, the Count is forcing a genius professor to undertake time experiments. The question is, why? As the time travellers become involved in an audacious plan to steal the Mona Lisa it becomes evident sinister forces are afoot… What lies behind the Count’s suave persona and what are his plans, not only for Paris, but the entire world? The Doctor and his friends must find the answers before time runs out.
MARY TAMM’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY TO BE RELEASED
Second Generation, the second volume of the late Mary Tamm’s autobiography is being published by Fantom Press next year in paperback and hardback formats.
More info this way: http://www.fantomfilms.co.uk/books/mary_tamm_second.htm
Second Generation features Tamm reflecting on her time on Doctor Who and will also include reflections by friends about her life and career.
IDW TO RELEASE SPECIAL COMICS FOR 50TH ANNIVERSARY!
Are you ready for some comic book awesomeness? IDW Publishing are celebrating five decades of Doctor Who with a new series, The Prisoners of Time, which will feature new adventures from all eleven Doctors beginning in January of 2013.
Each Doctor will get an issue devoted to him along with an essay about that Doctor penned by a guest celebrity writer.
Here is a press release from IDW.
November 23, 1963: A day that changed the world forever. That day saw the broadcast debut of Doctor Who, which was to become the longest-running science-fiction series on television. And now 50 years later, we pay tribute to one of the greatest pop-culture heroes of all time with this special series, which tells an epic adventure featuring all 11 incarnations of the intrepid traveller through time and space known simply as… the Doctor.
The first issue features two covers featuring William Hartnell as the first Doctor. Prisoners of Time is written by Scott and David Tipton with artwork from Simon Fraser and coloring by Francesco Francavilla.
PLANET OF GIANTS DVD
Planet of Giants has led an interesting life. It was originally supposed to be the very first Doctor Who adventure but found itself instead placed as the opener of Season Two in 1964. It also aired in from October 31s to November 14th in a truncated format of three episodes instead of the four episodes originally written by Louis Marks.
Although the episode at times feels like a classic Sci-fi B movie it is an ambitious story that really uses some innovative use of effects, music and camera angles. It also really tried to offer viewers something different then ‘the alien of the week.’
William Hartnell is in top form and Carole Ann Ford actually has a bigger part in this story then in some others before it. William Russell and Jacqueline Hill are solid in more subdued performances as Ian and Barbara.
After the TARDIS doors open in flight things get wonky for the First Doctor, Susan, Barbara and Ian who finally return to the 1960s they left behind. The problem is though is that they have all been shrunken to an ant-like one inch tall.
Here is a plot synopsis of the plot.
When the diminutive time travellers stumble upon a murder and a deadly new insecticide things get really interesting….
Bringing the story to DVD was a challenge on several levels. It is the only classic era release where none of the guest cast is living. It also presented a challenge in formatting since it was shortened from its intended length by then BBC head of Drama Sydney Newman.
The story remained in that format for almost five decades until uberfan Ian Levine decided to step in and spearhead a reconstruction of Planet of Giants into its intended four episode format. In order to do this guest impersonators and voice actors were brought in with Carole Ann Ford and William Russell to voice over the reconstruction bits where audio was necessary.
With regard to the latter, the results are a bit mixed. In general it is pretty amazing and restores the original vision Marks had for the story. However there is a lot of reuse of stock footage which gets over repetitive. John Guilor is amazing as The First Doctor. The entire reconstruction works because his impersonation is spot on.
Planet Of Giants has often been slagged off for its slow pacing. This criticism is a tad unfair as the story really attempts to push the envelope of creativity and needs a certain amount of leeway to breathe. The expanded episodes three and four allow more character development while also filling out the drama rather nicely. While it doesn’t provide much fast paced action onscreen it does a great job as an unfolding mystery story laced with an environmental message. One overlooked aspect of the story is that it illustrates just how much effort William Hartnell invested in both the show and his character.
I was not expecting the audio commentary (featuring vision mixer Clive Doig, sounds creator Brian Hodgson, makeup supervisor Sonia Markham and floor assistant David Tilley) to be so interesting but it really did shed light on how Doctor Who was made in the 1960s. This was a very engaging audio commentary.
In general, the extra features, though not as deep as recent releases, are quite nice. Two features use archival material from 2003’s The Story of Doctor Who. Both of them work as an addition to the DVD.
Suddenly Susan features an interview with Carole Ann Ford in which she tackles a broad range of topics over fifteen minutes. From her displeasure with a lack character development to working with William Hartnell and of course comments on the Daleks. Ford is engaging interesting and insightful as she looks back at her time on the show. This candid interview also gives fans a chance to get to know who she is offscreen.
The Lambert Tapes gives viewers a glimpse into the origins of the show. As she recalls, getting the show up and running was really difficult. She also had some great stories about making the show under challenging circumstances. Lambert, who died in 2007, reflects on her relationship with Hartnell, the origins of the show and offers up hope for a then ‘new’ reboot of the series being relaunched. She also gave some opinions on how the classic series evolved after her departure. Lambert’s interview really illustrates what a miracle it was getting Doctor Who on the air and sustaining it. Another installment of The Lambert Tapes can be found on the forthcoming Shada DVD.
Rediscovering The Urge To Live examines how the DVD production team pulled off the miraculous and revived elements of the story that have been dormant since 1964. Ian Levine explains why he wanted to reconstruct the story and William Russell and Carole Ann Ford discuss making the episode while giving a nod to the creative team that brought them back together for this project. This is a terrific behind the scenes featurette.
The DVD also has some really fun PDF content including prop design plans for the story along with Radio Times listings. The production notes subtitles are as usual quite informative.
Overall this is an enjoyable release of a somewhat forgotten story that has been better served with the reconstruction which revitalized its plot, pacing and development. It also serves as good viewing for those who are looking to discover the Hartnell era without a lot of backstory or complexity.
Here is more info on this story from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/episodeguide/planetofgiants/
UNIT ON FACEBOOK
The Universal Network of Iowan Timelords UNIT) is now on Facebook.
From their FB page:
UNIT is a group of Iowans (in body or heart) that have come to recognize and at times celebrate the fact that the enjoy
You do not need to be from Iowa to join the group but you do need to be ready to have some fun!
Next time..Filming News, Vengeance On Varos, Chicago TARDIS and much more!