Following a week of birthday celebrations it has been a very busy week for fans of Doctor Who. There’s lots of news about The Snowmen and the last bit of filming is continuing near Cardiff. Plus there is that birthday next year…
SEASON SEVEN NEWS AND RUMORS
Lots of filming this week in various locations. Location filming was done at Heath Park, Argoed Quarry, Cardiff Castle, Merthyr Mawr Warren, Usketh Power Station and on Beatty Street in Cardiff.
Robert Whitelock is guest starring in The Bell’s of St John. Whitelock has been seen in The Hour and Titanic Blood And Steel.
Annabelle Dowler (The Six Wives of Henry VIII) and Liz White (The Woman In Black, Life On Mars) are both guest starring in The Snowmen.
Oswin and The Doctor kiss in The Snowmen.
There are lots of hints and rumors that John Simm may return as The Master much sooner than anticipated, possibly in Episode 13.
The Series Seven, Part One DVD is out now in North America.
It looks like the events of Episode Thirteen lead into the 50th Anniversary plans.
John Barrowman has commented that he would love to return to Doctor Who. So far there is no confirmation that he will be involved. The Arrow guest star recently mentioned that he had yet to be asked about appearing on the show in the future.
With less than a month until the airing of this years Christmas special, The BBC and BBC America have released two new promotional images for The Snowmen.
It was recently announced by the BBC that The Snowmen would air on Boxing Day in Australia.
THE SNOWMEN SYNOPSIS
The BBC has released an official synopsis for this year’s Christmas Special.
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.
JENNA-LOUISE COLEMAN INTERVIEWED
Entertainment Weekly interviewed Jenna-Louise Coleman this week about becoming the new companion. During the interview she had commented on her first appearance in Asylum Of The Daleks. She was initially not written into the story.
It’s interesting actually…I think I can tell you this…that that was never the initial plan either, to have me be Oswin. That was part of a genius plan that Steven came up with half way through the audition process. That was already written but not written for what was to be the new companion. I was auditioning for the companion and then I got all these sides and I was like, “Who’s Oswin? They clearly don’t know what they want, they obviously don’t know what they’re looking for. They just want people to show them different things and see.” This is what I assumed when I was auditioning, not realizing that it’s basically Steven’s mad genius again.
TENNANT RETURNS TO PBS
David Tennant is returning to PBS this winter as part of the network’s Shakespeare Uncovered Series.
Here is the PBS press release about the six part series which will air on PBS in three installments of two episodes each. Check local listings for showtimes.
Join Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Trevor Nunn, Joely Richardson and David Tennant for the stories behind Shakespeare’s plays.
Six episodes combine history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis and the personal passion of its celebrated hosts, Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Trevor Nunn, Joely Richardson and David Tennant — to tell the story behind the stories of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. Each episode combines interviews with actors, directors and scholars, along with visits to key locations, clips from some of the most celebrated film and television adaptations, and illustrative excerpts from the plays specially staged for the series at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.
Shakespeare Uncovered begins on Friday January 25th and runs through February 8th. Doctor Who alum Sir Derek Jacobi is featured
in the February 1st episode. David Tennamt will present Hamlet on Februarary 8th.
In other David Tennant news….
David and Sophie Aldred can currently been seen in new episodes of Tree Fu Tom on CBeebies.
Tennant was interviewed by Digital Spy last week about his new film, Nativity 2 which is now out in UK cinemas.
MATT SMITH ON GRAHAM NORTON
Matt Smith is returning to The Graham Norton Show to discuss the 2012 Christmas Special. Smith will be joined by Dustin Hoffman, Billy Connolly and Jennifer Saunders.
Matt’s appearance on The Graham Norton Show will air on BBC1 at 10:35pm on Friday December 21st. No date has been confirmed but BBC America should also air this episode in the US as a lead in to their screening of The Snowmen.
CLAWS OF AXOS ON DVD
This 1971 episode was written by the team of Bob Baker and Dave Martin nas was one of four stories of the classic series to be directed by Michael Ferguson,. It features Jon Pertwee, Roger Delgado, the gang from UNIT and Katy Manning as Jo Grant.
Although not one of the strongest short forms of the Pertwee era it nonetheless does feature some really great interplay betwen Jon Pertwee and Roger Delgado. Sadly with aliens, UNIT and The Master lurking around Jo Grant has a bit of reduced role here. Nonetheles her scenes with Jon Pertwee are wonderfully charming. Paul Gist is terrific as Bill Filer an American agent sent to work with UNIT.
When a damaged spaceship containing beautiful humanoid creatures called Axons lands on Earth the Doctor Jo and UNIT are sent to investigate. In return for their help the Axons offer the gift of Axonite which would end world famine. It all appears too good to be true – so what secrets are the Axons hiding on board their ship? And why is the Doctor’s old enemy the Master involved?
Bringing this DVD to life (again) took a lot of work from the Doctor Who Restoration Team. Although the seond and third episodes were wiped by the BBC and subsequently revamped for the first DVD release of the story in 2005. Restoration technology has come a very long way since then which has enabled an even better restored version here. The picture is gorgeous and you really can notice the bright colors. Despite the somewhat unimpressive look of the Axons this cleaned up version is much better then it’s predecessors.
In addition to a completely restored picture and audio this Special Edition DVD also features the original audio commentary from the 2005 release. It is lively and features Katy Manning, Richard Franklin and the late Barry Letts. There is also the standard fare offered on these releases; a photo gallery, deleted and extended scenes Radio Times listings and production notes. To fill out the two-disc release some other features were added tp ones carreid over form the 2005 version.
Directing Who: Imported from the first DVD release this short feature has Director Michael Ferguson discussing directing the episode.
Studio Recording: Seventy three minutes of raw audio with ‘studio chatter, breaks and instruction from the set.
Now & Then: A look at the location filming for The Claws of Axos. Katy Manning (kind of) fondly remembers shotting in Dungeness.
Axon Stations: The mandatory behind the scenes look at the making of this Season Eight story. Surprisingly this was much more of a difficult shoot then people may think.
Living With Levene: Toby Hadoke takes one for the team and spends some quality time with enigmatic and charismatic John Levene (Sgt.Benton), one of the more colorful characters in the Whoniverse. Hadoke carefully and skillfully gets Levene to open up and once he does it is pure Axon gold. Hadoke gets the actor to unwind as he reflects, often controversially, about his time on Doctor Who.
While The Claws of Axos is not one of the finer moments of the 3rd Doctor it does remain a story worth checking out if for nothing else then to see the costuming and sets. The dynamics between Pertwee, Delgado, Katy Manning and Nick Courtney are also wonderful. While Episode One is very strong the middle episodes drag somewhat and things get muddled.
Overall this is an enjoyable DVD for newcomers and those who hav enot sen the story in awhile. The restoration work on it is incredible and the extra features are also pretty good. It’s a shame that a second commentary was not added as with previous special editions. However this is not a deal breaker since the original audio commentary is very informative. In fact you can tell that Manning, Franklin and Letts had a great time doing it.
While not a high water moment in the Pertwee era, The Claws of Axos was an ambitious endeavor to add some flavor to the Earth grounded 3rd Doctor.
In general, despite not having one of the best Pertwee erea scripts it remains an entertaining lark. Plus the new release of DVD really is a significant improvement in quality. The extra features are terrific.
Longtime British stage and screen actress Dinah Sheridan has passed away at the age of 92. Sheridan, who died on November 25th is most know to Doctor Who fans as Chancellor Flavia in The Five Doctors. Ironicaly she died almost three decades after that episode of Dcotor Who first aired.
She also starred in the 1970 film The Railway Children and 1953’s Genevieve.
Obit from The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/nov/25/dinah-sheridan-film-star-dies-92
ECCLESTON ON 50TH ANNIVERSARY
It is probably nothing but all of the ex (new series) Doctors are acting weird these days when asked about the upcoming anniversary. Eccleston who has stated in the last few months that he wished he had done more with his portrayal of The Doctor has talked about the show again.
Christopher Eccleston attended the opening of Hugh Laurie’s new film, The Oranges this week and was briefly chatted with by Red Carpet News. During the brief interview he discussed his career and returning to Doctor Who.
When asked about his participation in the 50th Anniversary he flippantly answered, If I Told You that I’d Hve to shoot you.
He also noted that he has seen Matt Smith on stage and thinks he is a good actor.
Eccleston will appear in the Thor: The Dark World as Malekith The Accursed.
KAREN GILLAN ON CRAIG FERGUSON
Karen Gillan appeared on The Late Late Show this Wednesday night. During the interview the actress mentioned she is going back to Scotland for the holidays and that she has moved to Los Angeles. She and Craig Ferguson also discussed wheatgrass and her recent filming in Alabama.
The highlight of the itnerview was her singing in Gaelic. Craig Ferguson described matt Smith as ‘a thin gentleman.’
See it all here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCxJxyZY5AA&feature=player_embedded#!
Next time….news, DVD reviews and more!