Last Alteration: Tuesday 18 February 2020
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."
UKTV Drama: Who is the Greatest Doctor Who? (25th June 2007)
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:
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 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:
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 Chase for Christmas release? (22nd May 2006)
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!
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.
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 MidnightThe short play is written by Colin Sharpe, and stars Charlie Hardwick, David Raynor and Fiona Clarke.
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?
A new Doctor Who Magazine from the BBC? (5th December 2005)
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)
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:
Scream of the Shalka gets BBFC certificate (27th September 2005)
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.
New series remote-controlled Dalek release date (21st September 2005)
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.
The new Doctor Who books enter the charts (16th September 2005)
The three new hardback novels have entered the top ten in the chart for hardback fiction this week:
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).
Missing clips found ... in a programme broadcast yesterday! (12th September 2005)
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.
Christopher Eccleston wins Best Actor award (6th September 2005)
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.
Cybermen: Scopius available to order (30th August 2005)
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.
New BBC1 Controller to bring back family audiences (29th August 2005)
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%!
Doctor Who at the BBC Volume Three (25th August 2005)
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 on your Mobile Phone! (23rd August 2005)
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:
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:
Doctor Who is Number One Fantasy Programme (1st August 2005)
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 on the radio (24th July 2005)
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.
Now, does this mean that these episodes should now be considered canon?!! Let us know what you think?
Blue Peter Design A Monster Competition (20th July 2005)
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.
Who Books still dominate the charts! (1st July 2005)
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:
4. Winner Takes All (Jacqueline Rayner)
5. The Clockwise Man (Justin Richards)
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 Summer Sale and June Releases (21st June 2005)
Big Finish have launched their summer sale, which includes many deals including the following:
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:
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 (13th May 2005)
Doctor Who at the BBC clips plea (12th May 2005)
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).
Other News Resources
You can find other news items and features from the following sites: