Who News

Last Alteration: Monday 26 September 2022

This page aims to relect on the continuing evolution of Doctor Who through the book and audio series, new project development, and other related news.

We won't try to clutter the pages with too much information, but will direct you to other resources on the Net with full details where applicable. There is now also a general WHO-Link section that provides links to the many external webpages relating to Doctor Who!

 Verity Lambert (23rd November 2007)
It is with deep sadness we report on the death of Verity Lambert last night, on the eve of Doctor Who's 44th Anniversary and just a few days shy of her 72nd birthday.

Verity Lambert was the first producer of Doctor Who, and will be remembered for bringing us a television series which is as popular today as it was back in 1963 when it started. Awarded an OBE in 2002, she was also due to receive the Working Title Film lifetime achievement award on 7th December.

BBC Fiction contrioller and current series executive producer Jane Tranter: "Verity was a total one-off. She was a magnificently, madly, inspirationally talented drama producer. During her long and brilliant career there was no form of drama that was beyond her reach and that she didn't excel at. From the early episodes of Doctor Who to the still to be transmitted comedy drama Love Soup, via Widows, Minder, gbh, Eldorado and Jonathan Creek (to name but the tiniest handful of credits) - Verity was a phenomon. She made the television drama genre utterly her own. She was deaf to the notion of compromise and there wasn't an actor, writer, director or television executive she worked with who didn't regard her with admiration, respect and awe. She will be hugely missed but her legacy lives on in the dramas she made, and in the generations of eager young programme-makers she has inspired."

And from Russell T Davies: "There are a hundred people in Cardiff working on Doctor Who and millions of viewers, in particular many children, who love the programme that Verity helped create. This is her legacy and we will never forget that."

The UK digital channel UKTV Drama will be running a Doctor Who weekend on the 14th-15th July, and as part of the proceedings will feature a vote for your favourite Doctor.

You will be able to vote from their website between the 29th June and 13th July.

 UKTV Gold Repeats are back! (4th November 2006)
Without much fanfare UKTV Gold are showing the 20th Century series of Doctor Who once more! On a positive note this run seems to be daily, though more oddly the order so far is:
  • Sat, 6:20am: Colony in Space
  • Sun, 7:00am: Spearhead from Space
  • Mon, 6:30am: Carnival of Monsters
  • Tue, 6:25am: The Claws of Axos
  • Wed, 6:25am: The Curse of Peladon
  • Thu, 6:25am: The Three Doctors
  • Fri, 6:30am: The Time Warrior
  • Sat, 6:00am: The Daemons
  • Sun, 6:00am: The Time Monster
  • Mon, 6:25am: Terror of the Autons
... plus their schedule also shows another showing of The Time Warrior on Saturday 18th. It'll be interesting to see what comes up next!!!

 UK Gold premieres (14th October 2006)
UKTV Gold appear to have (finally) bought the rights to show the TV Movie as it's on tomorrow morning at 7.15am with a repeat very late tomorrow night/early monday morning at 3.50am and a final showing on Monday 23rd at 3.20pm. Also on Monday 23rd Series 2 finally comes to UKTV Gold (having finished it's current run on BBC THREE on wednesday 18th) with a daily repeat run starting with New Earth at 7pm.
submitted by Richard

 The Return of the Master (11th October 2006)
The Restoration Team website have details on the Return of the Master boxed set, featuring Anthony Ainley's debut in the role of the Doctor's arch-enemy.

Special features for the stories include:
  • The Keeper of Traken: commentary from Anthony Ainley, Matthew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton and Johnny Byrne (writer); a making-of documentary Being Nice To Each Other; recollections from Geoffrey Beevers, Christopher Bidmead and John Black on bringing the Master back; Sarah Sutton appearing on Swap Shop.
  • Logopolis: commentary from Tom Baker, Janet Fielding and Christopher Bidmead (writer); a documentary on the regeration, A New Body At Last; Nationwide interviews with Tom Baker and Peter Davison, plus the latter on Pebble Mill; other news items from the period.
  • Castrovalva: commentary from Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Christopher Bidmead (writer) and Fiona Cumming (director); interviews with Peter Davison and Fiona Cumming on making the show; a larger crew in The Crowded TARDIS; Peter Davison on Swap Shop and Blue Peter; two deleted scenes.
All disks retain the usual production notes and photo galleries, plus isolated music on all three disks - Castrovalva also has a new remix of Peter Howell's theme in 5.1 as well as stereo. The disks also contain various PDF files of Radio Times listings and the 1982 Doctor Who Annual.

 The Sontaran Experiment DVD (4th September 2006)
The DVD of The Sontaran Experiment has been announced as due to be released on the 9th October. This is the first of the "lightweight" DVDs with fewer extras in comparison with the normal releases such as The Mark Of The Rani.

It will feature:
  • A commentary with Elisabeth Sladen, Bob Baker and Philip Hinchcliffe
  • A brief history of the Sontaran race in Built for War, a documentary featuring actors and production personnel who worked on the stories, including Elisabeth Sladen, stuntman Stuart Fell, writer Bob Baker.
  • Photo Gallery
  • Production notes
  • Subtitles
The DVD will market at a cheaper price than the usual DVDs, with an RRP of £12.99 (though of course you can find it cheaper elsewhere on the Internet!).

BBC Announcement of the DVD
Restoration Team article on producing the DVD

 The Mark of the Rani DVD (24th May 2006)
As mentioned last week the next story after The Hand of Fear to be released on DVD will be the sixth Doctor adventure The Mark of the Rani; the single disk is expected to be released on 4th September.

Features on this release include a commentary by Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Kate O'Mara; deleted and extended scenes from the story; isolated music score, plus alternative score for episode one by composer John Lewis; a 40 minute documentary on the making of the story called Lords and Luddites; a location feature on Blist's Hill Victorian museum where much of the story was filmed; a Blue Peter feature on Ironbridge Gorge; a Saturday Superstore appearance by Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant (with Anthony Ainley on the phone!); PDFs of the Radio Times listing, and the 1985 annual; and the usual production notes and gallery.

The BBFC now have listed episode one of first Doctor story The Chase, cleared with no cuts required. Sci-Fi Online suggests that this will be for a Christmas-time release. However, Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team reported that this was actually down to confusion within BBC Worldwide during the original planning for episodes in the Sun giveaway, before it was realised that the rights issues over the Beatles clip would make this too difficult and Day of Armageddon substituted in its place.

The BBFC also shows other single episodes recently classified and listed for 2Entertain, including episode one of Spearhead from Space, Vengeance on Varos, and The Robots of Death - this might simply be a reassignment to the company from BBC Worldwide.

Sci-Fi Online also reports that there will be a Cybermen boxed set for the beginning of next year, containing The Invasion and Revenge of the Cybermen.

This follows on from the news last week about the expected releases of The Hand of Fear and The Mark of the Rani later this year. We've also heard that another future release might be the two-part The Sontaran Experiment, which could be a "vanilla" disk at a cheaper RRP than the usual releases (~£9.99).

 The Hand of Fear on DVD (17th May 2006)
The Season 14 story The Hand of Fear has now been announced as the story to follow Inferno on DVD. Being the final story to feature the character of Sarah Jane Smith, it isn't too surprising to see the main special feature of the release to be about her: Changing Times is a fifty minute documentary following the relationship between the Doctor and his "best friend".

Other features include a commentary from the lead actors Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen, plus Judith Paris (Eldrad), Bob Baker (co-writer), and Philip Hinchcliffe (producer); the appearance of Tom and Lis on the first edition of Swap Shop from October 1976; PDFs of the 1977 Doctor Who annual, and Radio Times listings for the story; and the usual gallery etc.

The next DVD release after this is expected to be The Mark of the Rani.

 Broadcast Overload! (31st March 2006)
If you'd have felt starved of Doctor Who in recent weeks, then the lead up to the new series broadcast would be enough to cause an overload, with consecutive days of Who from tomorrow up to Good Friday!
  • 1st April, UKTV Gold: The Mutants
  • 2nd April, UKTV Gold: The Time Monster
  • 3rd April, BBC4: The Green Death part 1 (1+2)
  • 4th April, BBC4: The Green Death part 2 (3+4)
  • 5th April, BBC4: The Green Death part 3 (5+6)
  • 6th April, BBC3: Rose, The End of the World
  • 7th April, BBC3: The Unquiet Dead, Aliens of London
  • 8th April, UKTV Gold: The Three Doctors
  • 8th April, UKTV Gold: Rose, The End of the World, The Unquiet Dead, Aliens of London, World War Three, Dalek, The Long Game, Father's Day
  • 8th April, BBC3: World War Three
  • 9th April, UKTV Gold: Carnival of Monsters
  • 9th April, UKTV Gold: The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances, Boom Town, Bad Wolf, The Parting of the Ways
  • 9th April, BBC3: Doctor Who Night, including The Christmas Invasion, a special Doctor Who Confidential, and a repeat of The Story of Doctor Who
  • 10th April, BBC3: Dalek, The Long Game
  • 11th April, BBC3: Father's Day, The Empty Child
  • 12th April, BBC3: The Doctor Dances, Boom Town
  • 13th April, BBC3: Bad Wolf, The Parting of the Ways
  • 15th April, UKTV Gold: Frontier in Space

  • 15th April, BBC1: New Earth !!!
(My money's on something on the Jonathan Ross show on Good Friday, too!)

 The Science of Doctor Who (22nd March 2006)
The new edition of the BBC science magazine Focus contains a large feature on new book The Science of Doctor Who, written by magazine editor Paul Parsons. The book will also be available free to new subscribers to the magazine. Details can be found for the current issue on the magazine website.

Meanwhile, the Independent this morning reports on how the BBC has defended the decision to publish the article, even though it is effectively advertising a product which is not an official BBC publication in a BBC magazine.

Update Thurs: The BBC have reported that investigations into the publication as to whether it "breached editorial guidelines" continue.

 Merchandise for Spring 2006 (19th February 2006)
BBC Worldwide have announced a whole range of merchandise for this Spring, covering books, audiobooks, and toys. Following The success of BBC Books new range of Doctor Who novels in 2005, three new novels have been launched for Spring 2006. All three books will be published on 13th April, priced £6.99.
The Resurrection Casket by Justin Richards

The Doctor and Rose find themselves in Starfall, a world of gloomy shadows where modern technology refuses to work. The resurrection casket is the said to be the key to eternal life. But does is really exist?

The Doctor and Rose intend to find out. There is also the mystery of the lost treasure of adventurer and bandit Hamlek Glint, to solve. Marooned in Starfall because the TARDIS has broken down, and with new enemies will they be able to find the answers before it is too late?

The Feast of the Drowned by Stephen Cole

When a naval cruiser sinks in mysterious circumstances in the North Sea, everyone on board is drowned. The brother of Rose's friend Keisha was amongst the dead, yet he appears to them as a ghost . begging them to save him from the feast of the drowned.

The dead crew are haunting loved ones all over London and the Doctor and Rose are drawn into a chilling mystery to find out what sank the ship and why? When the wreckage was towed up the Thames, what sinister forces came with it?

With the rivers dark waters hiding a dark secret can Rose and The Doctor do something before the feast reaches it's conclusion?

The Stone Rose by Jacqueline Rayner

When Mickey finds a statue of Rose in a museum that is 2000 years old, The Doctor realises that this means that the TARDIS will be taking them to Ancient Rome. When they arrive Rose befriends a girl who can predict the future with astonishing accuracy and The Doctor stumbles across the terrible truth behind the statue of Rose.
All three novels feature the Doctor and Rose as played by David Tennant and Billie Piper.
Doctor Who: Aliens and Enemies
Published 18 May 2006
Picking up where Monsters and Villains left off, this is a fully illustrated guide to the Doctors evil foes from the latest series, such as the Sycorax as well as his enemies from the 2005 series plus the Gelth and Reapers.

Including classic baddies, the Voc Robots, the Cyberman, the Zarbi and Sutekh this is the ultimate guide to the Aliens that proved the Doctors adversaries.

Featuring images, facts and figures about each baddie, there is also a synopsis of the episodes that feature them. There is behind the scenes insights into how the monsters are created and how the special effects are used to bring them alive.
The Quick Reads initiative is being launched on World Book day. With over 12 million adults with the reading age of 13 years old this series of books aims to turn reluctant readers into 12 million avid readers. Doctor Who - I am a Dalek is being launched as part of the Quick Reads initiative on 11 May 2006 £2.99.
I am a Dalek by Gareth Roberts

The Doctor and Rose are planning to spend some time playing golf on the Moon, but the TARDIS has it's own mind and lands them in a quiet village on the south coast of England where nothing ever happens.

But an archaeological dig has turned up a Roman mosaic from almost 2000 years ago, depicting mythical scenes and a Dalek. Strange things are afoot in the village when a young woman is killed by a bus, and then comes back to life.

As chaos breaks loose the Doctor and Rose find that they must use all their cunning against yet another alien enemy who are intent on destroying humanity.
The Resurrection Casket, The Stone Rose, and The Feast of the Drowned

Fresh from his Christmas regeneration, the tenth Doctor himself David Tennant narrates three new Doctor Who novels for BBC Audiobooks.

These abridged readings feature the escapades of the Doctor and Rose as they take the TARDIS on adventures not seen on TV.

In a special 'bonus' feature, the Doctor reveals all in an exclusive question and answer session with his fans.

The audiobooks are released on 3 July 2006 priced £9.99.
Doctor Who: The Dalek Conquests

In an exclusive BBC Audiobooks presentation, Nick Briggs . the voice of the Daleks in the BBC One series . brings you everything you wanted to know about them, but were too afraid to ask.

Packed with extracts from their many TV appearances, The Dalek Conquests covers every encounter the Doctor has had with his nemeses, from their very first meeting on Skaro to their battle at the end of the 2005 series. It also discovers where the Daleks come from, why they are bent on universal domination, and who was behind their original creation.

Doctor Who: The Dalek Conquests is released on 1 May 2006 priced £13.99
Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen.

Patrick Troughton stars in this digitally remastered soundtrack of a classic TV story , in which the dreaded Cybermen are released from their ice tombs on the planet Telos.

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria encounter a party of Earth archaeologists who are intent on uncovering the mythical 'Tomb of the Cybermen'. Only the Doctor seems aware of the folly of this venture, but suddenly it's too late - the tomb is open, and the Cybermen are coming back to life...

Trapped in a confined place with the Cyber Controller and his acolytes, can the humans avoid being turned into Cyber fodder? What's more, can the Cyber menace be made dormant before it spreads out to the galaxy once again?

The Cybermen return to Doctor Who in the latest TV series.

Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen is released on 1 May 2006 priced £13.99
February - Radio controlled toys

The new 5" radio controlled Dalek is set to be just as popular as the 12" debut model launched last year . Like its predecessor, it features 360-degree travel, flashing lights and utters the words: "Seek, locate, exterminate!"

The 5" Doctor Who action figure appears again in a double pack that comprises radio controlled K-9 with authentic speech and sound effects. On command, K-9 can turn a full 360 degrees, his eyes light up and he also has a button-activated gun.

The 5" range are priced £16.99.
March - TARDIS Playset

The TARDIS Electronic Playset features authentic light and sound effects and its console is a faithful reproduction of the one seen on screen. Its motorised 'time column' rises and falls (with lights) when the TARDIS is in 'flight' and it has 'lift out' access panels in the floor to reveal the mechanisms and circuitry hidden in the floor. Price £39.99.
April - Five-inch Action figures

See the characters come to life with the new range of 5" action figures. The Doctor is dressed in his new signature outfit with long overcoat and Sonic Screwdriver accessory, while Rose Tyler is teamed with canine hero, K-9. Evil intergalactic warlord, the Sycorax Warrior comes complete with two imposing weapons.

The Cassandra action figure shows Lady Cassandra O'Brien, the last human, stretched out on her moving frame. Blue-skinned Moxx of Balhoon is featured on his travelling base while Slitheen stands tall with full joint articulation and extendable claws.

Each priced £6.99.
May - Twelve-inch Action figures

The twelve-inch action figure range features the new, more deadly breed of Cybermen, as well as the Doctor himself, suited exactly as seen on the screen. Every detail in his pinstripe suit, plimsolls and overcoat has been incorporated into the figure to reflect, down to the very last pinstripe, the Doctor's classic look. Both priced £16.99.
July - Cyberman novelty range

The Cyberman Voice Changer Helmet is a must for anyone daring to deceive the Cybermen as they carry out their mission to convert humanity to their own deadly kind. It will change your voice into true Cyberman speak, leaving your real identity undetected. Price £29.99.

For added protection, the Cyberman Room Guard will help you ward off intruders attempting to trespass on forbidden territory. Price £29.99.

 Dalek I Love You (9th February 2006)
BBC's drama and comedy station BBC7 will be broadcasting a new drama this coming Saturday, 11th February.
Dalek I Love You, 6:00pm and Midnight
A young Dr Who obsessive gets more than he bargains for when he meets his very own Dr Who Girl. But is she real or imagined?
The short play is written by Colin Sharpe, and stars Charlie Hardwick, David Raynor and Fiona Clarke.

A vacancy recently appeared on the BBC Jobs website indicating that an editor would be needed for a new publication:
"We are looking for a Doctor Who expert with first class editorial skills to work on this exciting new magazine for pre-teen boys. Not only will you have an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Who, you'll have first-hand experience of writing and commissioning for pre-teen boys."
However, as of this morning the vacancy had been removed!

 National Space Centre Exhibition (22nd November 2005)
Doctor Who Up Close at the National Space Centre

Following a very successful summer on Brighton Pier, the BBC Doctor Who Exhibition will be bringing core parts of this exhibition to the National Space Centre for the Christmas period.

The new John Eggleston Suite will be transformed into "Doctor Who Up Close" from 22 November 2005 - 8 January 2006.

The exhibition starts with a quick catch up on the series from its very beginnings back in 1963, leading visitors to the main Doctor Who experience, featuring an unrivalled array of material from the new series including the iconic TARDIS.

Visitors will be able to see and interact with Daleks, the Moxx of Balhoon, Slitheen, Autons, Jabe, many of Platform One's guest list and not forgetting a certain Pig.

From January 2006, the National Space Centre are also hoping to include brand new exhibits from the Christmas special, once this much awaiting episode has been seen on TV.

Malika Andress, Communications Manager at the National Space Centre, said "This is a huge event in our calendar and we are really excited to be hosting the exhibition at such a fantastic time for the TV series. I have been a Doctor Who fan for many years. I am sure this exhibition will be have something that every member of the family will know and love."

The Doctor Who exhibition is created and managed by Experience Design under licence from BBC Worldwide.
The National Space Centre
thanks to Ian Wheeler

 Big Finish Update (2nd November 2005)
The Big Finish website has been updated with trailers for several forthcoming Doctor Who releases; December's Eighth Doctor release "Other Lives", the subscribers only Sixth Doctor and Peri release "Cryptiobiosis", and January's Sixth Doctor and Evelyn release "Pier Pressure". There is also a Donnie Darko-esque cover image for There is also a cover for February's Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex release "Night Thoughts", which features a Donnie Darko-esque image of a toy rabbit holding the earring which Flower Child gave to Ace in the TV story "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy". Written by Edward Young, this is a reincarnation of a script which was originally commissioned for the 27th television season prior to cancellation in 1989.

Meanwhile, in response to concerns over continual delays to the Professor Bernice Summerfield audio and book range the site confirms that measures are being taken to address these issues. One of the main problems has been the heavy workload of Doctor Who and Benny audio producer Gary Russell. This is recognised to have caused delays to a number of releases in several Big Finish ranges. As a result the Benny releases are now being overseen by Simon Guerrier. It is planned that the remaining Benny audio releases of season 6 - "The Goddess Quandary" and "The Crystal Cantus", the novella collection "Parallel Lives" and the short story collection "Something Changed" will all be released early in 2006.

2006 will see the Benny ranges relaunched under the banner of the Big Finish New Worlds Imprint which already includes some spin off titles as well as several original audio dramas and books. Season 7 will see six new audio releases and three new books. Forthcoming releases will include audio dramas from Jim Mortimore, Daniel O'Mahoney, and Dave Stone and a stand-alone novel by Ben Aaronovitch.
compiled by Richard

 Doctor Who for the Sony PSP (5th October 2005)
The new series of Doctor Who is to be released in yet another format, this time as UMD disks that are suitable for the new Sony portable playstation. The releases commence with the second volume (Aliens of London, World War Three and Dalek) on 17th October, and will retail at £17.99; the other three volumes will be released by 2Entertain (the music to movies company jointly owned by BBC Worldwide and Woolworths) in the run-up to Christmas!

News articles: BBC Cult, The Register.

 Big Finish Updates (4th October 2005)
The Big Finish website has been updated with covers for several forthcoming releases: November's Fifth Doctor and Turlough release "Singularity", December's Sixth Doctor and Peri subscriber exclusive "Cryptobiosis", and "Fear", the second part of the "Cyberman" series.

There is also an online audio trailer for forthcoming spin off release "Wildthyme on Top" starring Katy Manning as transtemporal adventuress Iris Wildthyme alongside Ortis Deley and David Benson as her companions Tom and Panda.

The site has also recently revealed a number of forthcoming titles for the Doctor Who range (which will run until at least September 2008). Of particular note are Joe Lidster's double bill of Cybermen stories "Dead Men Walking" featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri and "Summer in the City" featuring the Fifth Doctor and the eagerly awaited return of Janet Fielding as Tegan, Circular Time, another Fifth Doctor story by Paul Cornell and Mike Maddox, Friends and Enemies by Adrian Rigelsford, currently believed to be the first Big Finish audio to feature the Sontarans, and Alone Again, a Seventh Doctor tale by Marc Platt.

Elsewhere it has been reported that January's Sixth Doctor release "Pier Pressure" will feature appearances by Veteran actor and comedian Roy Hudd and actor Doug Bradley, best known for playing Pinhead in the Hellraiser film series.
compiled by Richard

 Doctor Who Jigsaws (28th September 2005)
Two jigsaw puzzles are due to be released by manufacturer Ravensburger, as shown below; click on the image for a larger version:

Covers thanks to Eye of Horus

The online animated adventure which featured the short-lived "ninth" Doctor Richard E Grant saw its episodes receive a rating by BBFC on 20th September; episodes one, two and three have been classified as a U, whilst four, five and six are rated PG.

No official announcement on the story coming out on DVD as yet, but the overall PG classification does indicate that it is being considered!

Running times are listed as 14m35s, 10m13s, 12m11s, 14m35s, 12m39s, and 14m35s respectively.

 Big Finish adventures released (26th September 2005)
Big Finish have announced that their three latest audio adventures have now been released and are on their way to subscribers.

The first part of the four-part 'Cyberman' mini-series has now been released. Check out the new Cyberman micro-site for new audio trailers as well as behind-the-scenes information on the making of the series. You can also watch a fantastic new CGI video trailer. All pre-orders have now been sent out.

Starring Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, with Sophie Aldred Philip Olivier has now been released. All pre- orders and subscriptions have been sent out.

Colin Baker stars in Thicker than Water with both Bonnie Langford and Maggie Stables. The play has now been released and all pre-orders and subscriptions have been sent.

The remote-controlled Dalek based upon the new series is now due to be released on the 22nd October 2005.

 Big Finish Update (19th September 2005)
An update from Big Finish on updates to their website.
After declining frequent invitations to reprise her role as Fifth Doctor companion, Tegan, Janet Fielding has had a change of heart and has agreed to play Tegan in next year's Summer in the City by Joseph Lidster. Prior to that, Mark Strickson, after a four year absence, will once again play Turlough, in November's Singularity.

A new teaser trailer for Cyberman is now available and you can listen to it with Windows Media Player. Scorpius, the first part of Cyberman, is released later this month.

The first two Iris Wildthyme audio dramas - Wildthyme at Large and The Devil in Ms Wildthyme have been recorded. Details of cast and crew have now been added to the site.

A new online audio trailer for the forthcoming Live 34, starring Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Philip Olivier has just been added to the site.

The three new hardback novels have entered the top ten in the chart for hardback fiction this week:
  1. Human Traces, by Sebastian Faulks
  2. Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse
  3. Lord of the Silver Bow, by David Gemmell
  4. On Beauty, by Zadie Smith>
  5. Shalimar the Clown, by Salman Rushdie
  6. Doctor Who: The Stealers of Dreams, by Steve Lyons
  7. Doctor Who: Only Human, by Gareth Roberts
  8. Doctor Who: The Deviant Strain, by Justin Richards
  9. Stories We Could Tell, by Tony Parsons
  10. Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, by Alexander McCall Smith
The next few weeks will tell whether or not the three books will follow in the footsteps of the previous three and maintain their position in the chart!

Source: Independent

 New Trading Cards from Strictly Ink (16th September 2005)
Strictly Ink have announced a new set of their regular Who-based trading cards, a limited edition 15 card set entitled the Mega Doctor Who Trilogy. The three sets, Doctors, Companions, Monsters, will be released in October, but are available to pre-order from their website, priced £8.99.

You can of course still order their previous collections from the website!

 Web Planet Delayed (13th September 2005)
The next DVD to be released, The Web Planet has been delayed, owing to a printing error on the cover. The DVD is now expected to be released on 3rd October.

BBC Cult also report on the special features to include commentary by William Russell, Martin Jarvis, Verity Lambert (producer), and Richard Martin (director), a featurette on the making of the story, and William Russell reading a story from the very first Doctor Who Annual, "Lair of the Zarbi Supremo" (also included as a PDF for PC users).

(You can also read more about production of The Web Planet with Verity Lambert in the latest Celestial Toyroom).

Yesterday's edition of Sunday Past Times on BBC2 happened to show some clips from Out of the Unknown and Doctor Who - specifically scenes from missing story The Power of the Daleks. Some clips from this story already exist, but investigation by Paul Vanezis of the Restoration Team discovered that these were clips that weren't currently in the known items in the archive! The items themselves hail from film inserts which also have a voiceover from Tomorrow's World overlaid on the sequences.

For more details on the find, see the team's discussion forum.

 Merchandise News (7th September 2005)
Today's Western Mail explores the wealth of new merchandise that has recently been released in celebration of Doctor Who, including the remote controlled Daleks, sonic screwdriver, and talking TARDIS moneyboxes! The article also talks to sci-fi stockist Galaxy Four, and to John Campbell from the Timeless local group.

Meanwhile, toy stockists Toys R Us have reported that, as well as stocking the remote controlled Daleks later this month, they will have an exclusive Emperor Dalek! These will be available to order from their website. (with thanks to Eye of Horus)

See also other recent toy-related articles from The Sun and the Birmingham Post.

After polling readers (and online!) during the course of July, yesterday saw the final ceremony for the TV Quick and TV Choice awards for television drama and soaps; Doctor Who had been up in a number of nominations in various guises, and resulted in Christopher Eccleston winning the Best Actor award.

Links: The Mirror, BBC Cult, RTE, Yahoo.

The first part of the new Big Finish spin-off series Cyberman is now available to order; Scorpius is available in September and costs £10.99 in the UK.

The series (obviously!) features the return of one of the Doctor's oldest and frightening adversaries, and consists of four parts to be released in successive months this year, Scorpius, Fear, Conversion, and Telos. As well as the individual price, the complete set can be bought for £35.00 in the UK.

Transmission Transcript and Teaser Trailer (Media Player)

Update 2nd September: a further article on making Scorpius is available at the BBC Cult site.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival this weekend, Lorraine Heggessey's successor, new BBC1 Controller Peter Fincham, announced his ambition to turn the channel into a station that would bring families back around the television set, highlighting Doctor Who as an example of a programme that could draw in new, younger audiences. BBC1 was named as the best terrestrial channel of the year in a ceremony at the festival on Saturday evening.

Links: The Scotsman; also The Stage (July story).

 Vote for favourite show (25th August 2005)
CBBC are running their regular favourite shows poll, and as of writing Doctor Who is in the lead with 17.18% of the 1624 votes cast! Last week's winner The Simpsons is in second place with 14.90%, new series Lost in third place with 11.70%, and fourth place has Big Brother with 11.33%!

A BBC press announcement on the release of the third volume of their collection of Doctor Who-related items from the radio, due out on the 5th September.
Doctor Who At The BBC - Volume 3
Date: 24.08.05

The third Volume in this successful series from BBC Audio, featuring exclusive and rare archive material.

Elisabeth Sladen presents another instalment of these hugely successful audio spin-offs featuring an eclectic mix of interviews, features, clips and behind-the-scenes extracts from the past and present worlds of Doctor Who.

Researchers have combed the avenues of Time and Space, and the basements of Broadcasting House for this compilation of spin-off moments from the much-loved TV and radio series.

In an exclusive coup, this third volume features a rarely heard, ten minute mini-drama starring Jon Pertwee and Elisabeth Sladen. Specially recorded for Glorious Goodwood in 1974, it has never been broadcast and features a host of familiar enemies - including the Daleks!

Elsewhere on this two-disc volume, the radio programme Wavelength meets the cast and production team of The Two Doctors; Nationwide investigates the work of the Radiophonic Workshop in 1983; and a group of schoolchildren give their views on the series in Take Two from 1984.

The Grumbleweeds enjoy their own exciting adventure in Dr Nobbut-Just; 'Ann Robinson' menaces the Doctor in Dead Ringers; and Jane Asher plays the Doctor's granddaughter in Whatever Happened to...Susan Foreman?

Rare interview material includes Frank Bough's Nationwide encounter with fourth Doctor Tom Baker (plus Mary Tamm and Carole Ann Ford), Lalla Ward's appearance on Multi-coloured Swap Shop, and a mid-Eighties radio interview with Sarah Sutton.

There are also features on the brand new Doctor Who, including comments from Russell T Davies and Christopher Eccleston, and even the seal of approval from Michael Grade...
BBC Worldwide Press Releases

The BBC will be releasing episodes of Doctor Who and Red Dwarf for mobile phones from next month! The new technology, created by ROK Player, has designed new digital video chips which to go into the Multimedia Card slot of compatible phones in order to play television shows and films. The chips will initially be sold through Nokia and Choices outlets, and are expected to retail around the £17.99 mark.

The first Doctor Who release is the 20th Anniversary story The Five Doctors.

Links: ROK Player, BBC Press Release, BBC Cult Site, Reuters, The Times, Guardian, icWales, The Inquirer,` The Register, Yahoo News, WaveGuide, Manchester Evening News, WebPro News, Silicon, C21Media, VNUNet(includes WhatPC and Computing News), PC-ProWebPro NewsSoftpediaVOX Marketing, Cellular News, Phone Content, Telephony World, Digital Lifestyles, Net Imperative, Stuff (NZ), news.com.au, Electric News, Symbian, and DM Europe.

 September Who Books Signing (18th August 2005)
Monday 5th September will see London's Forbidden Planet hosting a signing session for the next three hardback Doctor Who novels, featuring all three authors of the books:
  • Only Human, by Gareth Roberts
  • The Deviant Strain, by Justin Richards
  • The Stealers of Dreams, by Steve Lyons
The event starts at 5:00pm.

 Merchandise Releases (9th August 2005)
A whole host of merchandise releases are mentioned on the official BBC site as they interview toymaster Alasdair Dewar from Character Options, the company behind many of the items coming out, including the sonic screwdriver and new Daleks.

Other recent merchandise links: Incidentally, at the time of writing the hardback novels are still proving very popular, with all three having yet again entered the hardback charts with The Monsters Inside (7), Winner Takes All (8), and The Clockwise Man (9).

Well as least as far as the SFX poll is concerned! The recent results show that Doctor Who was a clear winner, with the rest of the top ten taken up by: Red Dwarf, Hitchhikers, Blake's 7, The Prisoner, Sapphire and Steel, Quatermass, Ultraviolet, The Avengers, and Robin of Sherwood. (and how many of us don't have all of these in their video/dvd collection?!!).

Says SFX editor Dave Bradley: "(Doctor Who was) a great British institution which has entertained people for generations. There has always been great affection for Doctor Who. The recent series has just introduced a whole new generation to the concept and reignited our love for it."

Covered by: BBCi, The Sun, The Mirror, The Register, Female First, UTV, and the Liverpool Daily Post

The Eighth Doctor will soon be heard on digital radio, with channel BBC7 due to broadcast four Big Finish audio adventures starring Paul McGann with India Fisher as companion Charley Pollard. The series will consist of Storm Warning, Sword of Orion, The Stones of Venice and Invaders from Mars (Minuet in Hell won't appear in this run due to clearance problems).

The station will see the first adventure begin broadcast from Saturday 6th August at 6:30pm and 12:30am, and continue over each Saturday thereafter. However, the episodes as broadcast may differ from the original CD releases in a number of places to fit the standard BBC7 timeslot, and producer Gary Russell confirmed that the long-running episode three was re-edited accordingly at the Invasion convention yesterday. Ramsay the Vortisaur has seen a number of cuts made to it's appearance in the Sword and Venice episodes, and the final episodes in the run (Invaders parts three+four) see a new edit of the cliffhanger to rationalise their length.

  • BBC Press Office information on the broadcast.
  • BBC7

    Now, does this mean that these episodes should now be considered canon?!! Let us know what you think?

  • Blue Peter have launched a competition for their viewers (ie. under 16s!) to design a monster and, if it is the winner, see it in the new series! The monster needs to be a physical design that can be turned into a costume/mask to be worn by an actor. The winner also gets to visit the series being made!

    For more details visit the Blue Peter site.

     Revelation playback problems (12th July 2005)
    Reports are coming out that there have been problems with playback of the new Revelation of the Daleks DVD, which manifests itself on some players as a skip/repeat or stick around 8 minutes in (a scene with Natasha and Grigory in a corridor).

    Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team has suggested that a workaround is to go to the CGI Effect menu and toggling the new effects on and off again to see if that resolves the playback problem.

    The team would also like to know of any players that are exhibiting this problem; see their forum for more details.

    Over a month after they were published, all three hardback novels based on the ninth Doctor are still riding high in the Hardback Fiction charts, with the Indepdent placing their positions on 1st July at:
      3. Monsters Inside (Stephen Cole)
      4. Winner Takes All (Jacqueline Rayner)
      5. The Clockwise Man (Justin Richards)
    Last week saw Monsters Inside and Clockwise Man somewhat lower, at 6th and 7th places respectively, so there's been a marked change over the last week.

    In general, Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess remained at the top of the charts, and second place fell to new entry Eleven On Top by Janet Evanovich.


    Big Finish have launched their summer sale, which includes many deals including the following:
    £40 Doctor Who Script Books vol 1-4, plus Dalek Empire the scripts
    £15 Doctor Who: The Inside Story, and Star Quest
    £20 The Maltese Penguin, Real Time and Shada
    £80 Dalek Empire, series 1-3
    £45 Doctor Who Unbound
    £18 Doctor Who: The Music
    £20 Doctor Who: Excelis
    There are also a host of other ranges, including the Sarah Jane Smith, Bernice Summerfield and Big Finish Talks Back releases, plus series like Earthsearch and The Tomorrow People.

    For full details and ordering see the Big Finish Summer Sale page.

    In other release news from Big Finish, the final play in their UNIT series, The Wasting, has now been released, and guest-stars new Doctor David Tennant alongside Nicholas Courtney. Pandora, the third title in the second Gallifrey series starring Lalla Ward and Louise Jameson is also now available.

    Also, the next Short Trips anthology, A Day in the Life is shortly to be published, and you can read a sample chapter, Making History by Trevor Baxendale (PDF).

     Doctor Who tops poll (17th June 2005)
    The Cult TV website's annual poll of the top science fiction programmes saw Doctor Who finally knock Star Trek off the top spot, a place the American franchise has held for nine years!

    Also reported by BBCi, Sky News, and Digital Spy.

     Tides of Time for Monday (updated Thursday) (10th June 2005)
    Red Route, the distributor for the next volume of Panini's "Collected Comics", The Tides of Time, has reported that it is due out on Monday 13th June.

    This volume contains the old DWM comic strips of the fifth Doctor written by Steve Parkhouse:
  • The Tides of Time (issues 61-67, artist Dave Gibbons)
  • Stars Fell on Stockbridge (issues 68-69, Dave Gibbons
  • The Stockbridge Horror (issues 70-75,
  • Lunar Lagoon (issues 76-77, Mick Austin)
  • 4-Dimensional Vistas (issues 78-83, Mick Austin)
  • The Moderator (issues 84,86-87, Steve Dillon)

    Monday: unfortunately, Red Route have now advised that the book did not arrive as expected, so delivery to shops is now expected to be towards the end of the week.

    Thursdau: the distributors have now received the book and it is being sent out over the next couple of days.

  • Doctor Who Reconstructed: The Power of the Daleks
    Date : 13.05.2005

    A groundbreaking release from BBC Audio which reconstructs a classic Doctor Who serial that no longer exists in the BBC Television archives.

    There are over one hundred episodes of Doctor Who missing from the BBC television archives.

    Of these episodes only two elements survive: off-air sound recordings and off-screen 'telesnaps' showing images from the lost film.

    This brand new and unique MP3-CD from BBC Audio has brought these two elements together for the very first time - presenting the telesnaps from this classic Doctor Who episode as a visual slide show of images over the original soundtrack, going some way to 'reconstructing' the original film episodes.

    Starring Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor, The Power of the Daleks sees the first ever Doctor Who regeneration, in which his companions Ben (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills) suspect that he is an impostor after his whole body apparently transforms before their very eyes.

    But when the TARDIS materialises on the planet Vulcan, they must unite and fight for their lives together - against the evil Daleks!

    MP3-CDs can be played on any compatible player. To view the visual elements, a PC or Mac home computer is required.

    Doctor Who Reconstructed: The Power of the Daleks (MP3-CD) will be published by BBC Audio on 20 June 2005 and will be available from all good retailers, online at www.bbcshop.com or by direct mail on: 0800 136 919.

    Doctor Who Reconstructed: The Power of the Daleks
    ISBN: 0563 50417 X
    Duration: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
    RRP: £19.99 (1 x MP3-CD)

    BBC Worldwide Press Releases

    The Rutherglen Reformer in Scotland mentions a plea that has gone out from Michael Stevens of the BBC Audio Books range. They are hunting for off-air recordings of interviews with Andrew Smith, who became the writer for Season 18's Full Circle, which they'd like to include on Volume Three of the Doctor Who at the BBC CD Collection. The items in question were an interview on the Jimmy Mack Show on BBC Radio Scotland on Friday 1st August, 1980, and from the Radio One programme Playground at around the same time, neither of which are in the BBC Archive.

     Daleks number 3 most favourite BBC Moment (25th February 2005)
    Today's Sun and Mirror report on the top BBCtv moments throughout its seventy-five years, with Doctor Who reaching third place with the first appearance of the Daleks in 1963.

    First place went to The Office (David Brent's disco dance), and in second was Blackadder Goes Forth (hospital scene from General Hospital).

  • Sun Report
  • Mirror Report
  • Hello Magazine

  • Other News Resources

    You can find other news items and features from the following sites: