Doctor Whooligan: 50th Anniversary News, Cold War, Ratings, The Moonbase To DVD, Barrowman On Scandal

The big news for this week continues to be the 50th Anniversary Special. Over a week of filming has happened now and there are some new and exciting bits and pieces going on for the event.

Cold War airs this week and sees the long overdue return of The Ice Warriors. By all accounts it appears to be an epic event.

DOCTOR WHO RATINGS

Although final ratings will be released next week it looks like The Rings of Akhaten had a solid showing with its initial ratings. The second story of the Season 7B had an overnight audience of 5.5 millions viewers which again placed it third in the day and first in its time slot. It logged an audience share of 28.8%. The Appreciation Index (AI) for the story was 84 (out of a possible 100). The AI Index measures of how much a panel audience of 5,000 enjoyed the program. The score

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The final figures for The Bells Of St. John were released. It had a final viewership of 8.4 million viewers in the UK. These final rating factor in  those who recorded Doctor Who and watched it within a week of its initial broadcast. The repeat showing BBC Three had an estimated audience of 390,000. Over one million people watched it via iPlayer. This totals were not included in the final tallies.

50TH ANNIVERSARY SECTION

Filming continues on the 50th Anniversary Special. The Tower of London has again been used as a location along with Gelligaer Common and  Trafalgar.  New BBC honcho Tony Hall has visited the set.

We do know that the story will feature Doctors 10 and 11 as well as Rose and Clara. John Hurt is a guest star and has been on location filming.

As far as plot points  go things are very hush-hush. Bust we do know from set reports that the anti-gravity motorcycle used in The Bells of St. John makes a return. The Zygons are in it as well. The Fourth Doctor’s scarf is also in the episode.

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Matt Smith was seen on location in London this week hanging form the bottom of the TARDIS.

There is a UNIT scientist named Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) who is a big fan of The Doctor.

UNIT RETURNS

Although there have been reports of Zygons in medieval England it looks like at least some of the Anniversary Special will be set in contemporary times.

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This is because of the BBC’s confirmation earlier this week that Jemma Redgrave is return as Kate Stewart, the Head of Scientific Research for UNIT. Redgrave was last seen in the early part of the season in The Power of Three.

Chatter from set observers indicate that Late Stewart will be carrying out \instructions given to her by the Queen.

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/articles/Reunited-Jemma-Redgrave-Returns-for-the-Anniversary-Special

ECCLESTON NOT IN 50TH

It is with great sadness that we report that Christopher Eccleston has decided not to participate in the 50th Anniversary Special. The BBC released a statement earlier this week confirming his noninvolvement.

There were rumors that Eccleston pulled out of the production on just before filming. However these reports were erroneous.

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From the BBC:

Chris met with Steven Moffat a couple of times to talk about Steven’s plans for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode. After careful thought, Chris decided not to be in the episode. He wishes the team all the best.

Although it seems unlikely the production team  could always use existing footage of him from archives for use in the special  Eccleston has not publicly stated why he has chosen to not be a part of the special.

The former Ninth Doctor will next be seen on the big screen in the blockbuster Thor 2: The Dark World as Lord Malekith

DOCTORS 6-8 NOT IN ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL

It still looks like the classic series Doctors will not be involved in the upcoming 50th Anniversary.

Speaking from Australia, where the trio were appearing for a convention, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann  again spoke of their non participation in the special on Channel 9’s Mornings. In addition to the Anniversary Special they talked about Daleks, the sonic screwdriver and the new series and much more.

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Watch their appearance here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EPsL2xWeHD8 

COLD WAR

If you ever wondered what would happen if an Ice Warrior ran amok on a Soviet Submarine during the height of the Cold War then please watch this week. Oh yeah the right honorable David Warner and Liam Cunningham are guest stars.

The BBC has released images from this week’s story.

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Doctor Who - Series 7B

The episode features a reference to The Krotons.

It’s definitely set in the 1980s and it drips of ’80s music culture.

Warner stars as Professor Grisenko.

It is very wet.

Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman filmed a short intro video for the episode.

See it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nypiDwflUyw&feature=player_embedded

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Mark Gatiss spoke with Doctor Who Magazine about seeing the Ice Warriors again in the near future.

I don’t want to give a politician’s ‘wait and see’ answer, but I’d love to do more with them. Now they’re back in Cold War. Mars is under-explored in Doctor Who. I want to see the class system, the Phobos Heresy, the Olympian caste, all the things that we’re hinting at in Cold War. I want to see Martian society. Whether it’s 5,000 years ago or 15,000 years in the future, it’s a whole new world to explore. 

JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE TARDIS

The BBC has released a synopsis for Steve Thompson’s Journey To The Center Of the TARDIS.

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A spaceship salvage team drags the TARDIS on board, sending its systems into meltdown. As the Doctor marshals the motley salvage crew outside, he realises Clara is still trapped within his malfunctioning ship, pursued by a dangerous group of ossified monsters. He has just 30 minutes to find Clara and save his TARDIS before it self-destructs.

Ashley Walters is guesting as  one of the Van Baalens  who are a nefarious gang of  intergalactic salvagers.

Steven Moffat has promised great visuals for this story.

THE MOONBASE ON DVD

It the rumors are true that Season Four’s The Moonbase (which aired in February and March of 1967) would be the earliest Second Doctor story released on DVD.

Although BBC Worldwide has not officially announced that Patrick Troughton’s The Moonbase is coming to DVD all signs seem to point to the fact that it will be.  It was listed for release by Amazon UK and  Sound Designer Brian Hogsdon has intimated that he has recorded an audio commentary for the episode.

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Synopsis

The TARDIS arrives in 2070 AD on the Moon, where a weather control station under the command of a man named Hobson is in the grip of a plague epidemic – in reality the result of an alien poison planted by the Cybermen. Polly realizes that as the Cybermen’s chest units are made of plastic they must be vulnerable to attack by solvents. She and her friends manage to destroy all the Cybermen on the base with a ‘cocktail’ of such chemicals shot at them through fire extinguishers.

Because episodes one and three are missing from the BBC archives any DVD release would most likely involve animated reconstruction.
I would not be surprised if an official announcement the release of this DVD coincided with  Neil Gaiman’s forthcoming Cybermen story.

STRAX SPEAKS

Dan Starkey appeared at The Doctor Who Experience on April 3rd for A Monsters Day Out, a special children’s event celebrating the relaunching of Doctor Who Adventures magazine.

Starkey was on hand to answer questions from those in attendance. Here is a transcript with some of his Q&A session from the Doctor Who Experience website. During his Q&A he remained in character much t the delight to the kids on hand.

Damn_Moon..
Why are you so small?
Why am I so small? I am a fine example of a Sontaran! It sounds to me like you are shifting the question from why YOU are so small! That is an admirable diversionary tactic, and you would do well in battle, childling. Do you think about how you could tackle enemy forces in a full frontal attack with badger rockets and sticky tape? Tell me, when you entered this room did you locate the escape routes and check the ceiling for signs of an enemy attack? Hmmm. You would make a good Sontaran!
Why do all Sontarans look the same?
Well, lad, or whichever one you are… All Sontarans are created from clone batches and each batch can contain millions of fine, war-ready Sontaran warriors. SONTAR-HA! We are all identical and built for one thing – battle! I am sure you would agree that I happen to come from a particularly handsome clone batch. If you don’t agree, put up your hands and I’ll introduce you to my lasermonkeys very shortly.
How did you come back to life after dying at Demon’s Run? 
 
I could go into detail, but I should think that the superior technology I would have to reference would be too detailed and advanced for your tiny little weasel brain to comprehend. It might just turn your little brains into a goo that falls from your nose. Let’s just say that a very close friend of mine used a very special machine to bring me back from my admirable death. Dying during battle is one of the single greatest honours that a Sontaran can achieve. (Whisper to audience) I did not like it very much. Very sting-y!
Are you offended if someone calls you a potato head? 
Offended? Ha! Never. I’m from a Clone warrior race. I serve for the glory of Sontar. My feelings will not be hurt. I will not lay wounded on the ground or produce salted water from my eyeholes. The last time a human called me a potato head I simply walked away, quietly and peacefully… AFTER CRUSHING HIS WORTHLESS HUMAN FORM TO DUST.
Why do you now live on Earth? 
I now live a most satisfactory existence. I have been made most welcome by the kind and generous human scum I have encountered. I serve Madame Vastra of Paternoster Row – you may have heard of her. She’s a warrior, a detective, a fighter and a REPTILE! Along with her lad, Jenny, we work together to help the Doctor and save the world! It keeps me busy and I get to fight as many aliens as I wish. Wonderful.
 
Why are you a nurse?
This was a little something that the Doctor set up for me. I serve a penance to restore the honour of my clone batch – and he chose the greatest and most humiliating punishment one of my kind could endure – to help the sick and the weak and the feeble. Or humans, as I believe they are often referred to. Not only am I a brave and fearless warrior but I can cure your measles! Now everybody say ‘ahhhhh’. Now everybody day ‘Sontar-ha!’. Excellent.
How old are you?
That’s a very personal question. I am

an old, old, Sontaran. Older than you younglings can even imagine. It’s beyond the realms of your limited understandings. I have just turned twelve years old. Pretty impressive, I’m sure you’d agree. We’re bred for war, so not many of us survive long. Our short lives are filled with the glory of battle and we will fight with everything we have.

Why do you wear a smart suit now?
Urgh, yes… the suit. A little something that Madame Vastra thinks will help make me fit in to society. This coming from a lizard in a dress. This is a very typical outfit for the common butler and footman in a Victorian London household. My duties include pouring fresh blood, obliterating intruders, invaders and ne’er-do-wells, controlling the horses, making sure the memory worm is locked up safe, announcing guests, making sure the memory worm is locked up safe and… making sure the memory worm is locked up safe. On an unrelated note, has anyone seen the memory worm? I can’t seem to remember where I left it.
What would you do if other Sontarans tried to invade Earth?
Well, lad… boy… thing… it would be very tricky to say. I do love a good invasion. There’s nothing like smashing a Sontaran Pod through the atmosphere and destroying the inhabitants of a puny world in a bloodthirsty battle that lasts for months and months. But, you don’t want to see the Doctor angry. Or Madame Vastra. Or Jenny. I suppose, for now, I’ll keep on defending the universe and saving your lives. But if you do hear of any good battles, you must let me know.

More: http://www.doctorwhoexperience.com/news.php

BARROWMAN ON SCANDAL

John Barrowman has been on set filming scenes in an upcoming episode of the ABC series, Scandal. Barrowman’s appearance on the show reunites him with his Gilded Lilys co-star Shonda Rhimes. His guest starring episode airs on May 9th.

19 - John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness(2)_Photo by Frank Ockenfels3_Courtesy of Starz

Gilded Lilys was filmed as a pilot but was not picked up as a full series. Rhimes and Barrowman enjoyed the experience and remained great friends after working together.

More: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/scandal-books-john-barrowman-435723

THE ROOTS OF EVIL

Puffin Books series of ebooks commemorating fifty years of Doctor Who continues with a Fourth Doctor adventure n space and time entitled, The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve. Reeve is the author of Goblins and Here Lies Arthur.

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Synopsis

When the Fourth Doctor takes Leela to visit an immense tree space station known as the Heligan Structure, little do they know that the tree has been asleep for centuries, dreaming of vengeance against a man in a blue box… As the tree awakes, the Time Lord and his companion soon discover why they are such unwelcome guests.

Reeve’s ebook will be available from April 23 from Amazon and iTunes. His debut novel, Mortal Engines, was the winner of  the 2002 Nestlé Smarties Gold Award and was shortlisted for both the Branford Boase Award and the Whitbread Children’s Book Award.

Next time…Hide, audio news, Time Gate 2013 and more on the anniversary special!

 

Comments

  1. avatarderekbd says

    A slight error on your report of the dvd for the Moonbase: you say “It was listed for release by Amazon UK.”
    The dvd is actually listed at Amazon.COM but not on AmazonUK (yet.)

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