News Day

The BBC has revealed the title of the first episode of the next series of Doctor Who will be The Magician’s Apprentice.

The name was revealed by showrunner Steven Moffat at the press screening of Last Christmas held at the BFI in London last night.

The series, the thirty-fifth in the show’s history, and the ninth since the series returned in 2005, begins filming in early January.

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Doctor Who Magazine: The 2015 Yearbook is out on Thursday 18 December, priced £5.99.

DWM Yearbook 2015

  • Features on every episode in Peter Capaldi’s first series.
  • We speak to the team that accompanied Capaldi and Jenna Coleman on the Doctor Who World Tour.
  • Fourth Doctor Tom Baker discusses his return to television and audio Doctor Who.
  • Eighth Doctor Paul McGann reveals what he thinks about Capaldi’s Doctor.
  • Orchestrator and conductor Ben Foster previews the 2015 Symphonic Spectacular.
  • Inside the new ‘making of’ show, Doctor Who Extra.
  • Behind the scenes at the new Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.
  • Interviews with some of the key players behind recent books, soundtracks, audio dramas, DVDs, Blu-rays and action figures.
  • Highlights from the year’s newspaper and magazine reviews of Doctor Who.
  • A round up of Doctor Who’s awards and honours from the last 12 months.
  • Detailed tributes to the Doctor Who luminaries who passed away in 2014.

…and much more!

“This is the Doctor Who Magazine almanac,” says editor Marcus Hearn, summing up the new publication. “We’ve taken a fresh look at every episode from Peter Capaldi’s first series, but we’ve also explored many other corners of the Doctor Who universe. For many fans, the television series is just part of a world that includes DVDs, Blu-rays, books, soundtrack albums, audio dramas and action figures. We’ve tried to reflect the last 12 months in all those different areas.”

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Gaiman Capaldi

Ever since his debut with The Doctor’s Wife back in 2011, each new series of Doctor Who has been preceded by the question of whether sci-fi and fantasy writer Neil Gaiman will be writing an episode. Well, for series 9 that question is answered – and it isn’t good news. 

Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Gaiman confirms that, “I’m not writing for series 9 right now, just because of ridiculous work commitments I’m trying to get out from under. I am determined to write for Peter Capaldi. As long as Peter is Doctor Who, I will write for him. And every time I’m in the UK, I go and see the Doctor Who people. I go see [producer] Brian Minchin and Steven Moffat, and none of us are going to let me go off the boil.”

Gaiman, who last wrote for the show with 2013’s Nightmare in Silver, says that the problem with writing for Doctor Who at the moment isn’t just because of his own workload, but because a Doctor Who script is a long, hard task.

“The problem for Doctor Who for me is it’s an enormous time commitment,” he says, “partly because you’re reinventing an entire world with every episode. And you’re trying something thats never been done before with every episode. Then you write it, then you give in a script, then they tell you how much it would actually cost to shoot your script as written. Then you write a different script, then they tell you how much that script would cost, but they tell you you’re in the right direction. Then it’s the third script…”

“How Steven Mofatt does it and Sherlock, and retains his sanity, I do not know. I just look at him and I am in awe. Here’s me going, ‘Look at me! I am so proud of myself! Every two or three years I do an ep of Doctor Who!'”

Speaking earlier this year, Gaiman revealed his plans for what sort of episode he would like to do with Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. 

“I haven’t done an episode set on Earth yet,” he said, “and I haven’t created a new monster. So there are boxes left to tick. And there’s part of me that feels… I haven’t scared anybody yet. I’d love to do something that sends adults behind the sofa too and makes them wee.” (Radio Times)

 

The Colonel Returns in 2015

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Nicholas Courtney’s Birthday recently passed.
So…Squee!!!

Yes, you read that headline right! Forget CyberBrig, the legendary Lethbridge-Stewart is back in a new series of novels set after The Web of Fear, written by authors Andy Frankham-Allen, Lance Parkin, David A McIntee and Nick Walters.

There are simply not enough exclamation marks to follow that sentence. So,take a moment, compose yourself, and find out more…

Available from People’s Book Prize winning publisher, Candy Jar Books, Lethbridge-Stewart is a new series of novels revealing the untold story of Colonel Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart set shortly after the 1968 serial, The Web of Fear.

 

These books are fully licensed by the Executor of the Haisman Literary Estate, Mervyn Haisman’s granddaughter Hannah Haisman, and endorsed by Henry Lincoln. So you have good reason to be excited, Kasterborite!

The first series consists of The Forgotten Son by Andy Frankham-Allen (an occasional contributor in these parts), Horror of Det-Sen by Lance Parkin, The Schizoid Earth by David A McIntee and Mutually Assured Domination by Nick Walters.

Created by authors Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln for the six-part Doctor Who serial, The Web of Fear, Lethbridge-Stewart was intended as a one-off character and it was over a year later when he was brought back to Doctor Who, promoted to Brigadier and the head of UNIT. Forty-six years on and the Brigadier has become one of the most iconic characters in Doctor Who, having appeared with ten different Doctors in countless TV episodes, books, audio dramas and comic strips! The character’s death was acknowledged in the 2012 Doctor Who series starring Matt Smith, and was resurrected briefly in the 2014 series finale starring Peter Capaldi. On TV the character’s story is over, but there is so much more to tell.

Andy Frankham-Allen has been a Doctor Who fan since his childhood and serves as line editor for the series, as well as penning the opening novel. Andy is the former line editor of Untreed Reads Publishing’s series Space: 1889 & Beyond, and has penned several Doctor Who Short Trip stories for Big Finish and Candy Jar’s very own celebration of Doctor Who, Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants. He said: “It’s an insane privilege and responsibility to put this series together, to reveal the real story behind such a legend of Doctor Who.”

cjbooks-colonel-ls1-forgottenson

Lance Parkin has written over twenty books and audio dramas for Doctor Who since 1996, including the 35th Anniversary novel, The Infinity Doctors, and the 2008 Tenth Doctor novel, The Eyeless. He also worked on British soap Emmerdale and wrote Magic Words, the definitive biography of Alan Moore. Lance said: “Lethbridge-Stewart was always a steady presence in the Doctor’s life. Even in The Web of Fear, he instinctively trusted the Doctor from almost the moment he met him. I wrote for the character in The Dying Days, and that was the version of the Brigadier we all think of now, I think, an old soldier, semi-retired, seen it all. It’s been interesting writing for a younger, hungrier Lethbridge-Stewart – not even a Brigadier at this point in his life. It’s also been nice writing a story that’s set in the aftermath of The Web of Fear, with Lethbridge-Stewart only just starting to realise that the Earth’s facing a whole new type of enemy.”

David A McIntee has written novels for Star Trek, Final Destination and Space: 1999 and over fifteen books and audio dramas for Doctor Who since 1993, including the Brigadier-centric novel, The Face of the Enemy. David said: “To be honest it (the series) is something I’m amazed hasn’t been done before – it’s just such a natural and obvious thing. The form it’s taking is also cool because it has the flexibility to move between styles and genres – thriller, SF, horror, etc – while maintaining a definite identity. As for the Brig himself, he’s one of those characters where the casting was so perfect that it just made the character so memorable, and who (usually) feels so right.”

Colonel Lethbridge Stewart in The Web of Fear

Nick Walters has written five novels for Doctor Who since 1998. Nick said: “After the Doctor himself the Brigadier is the best-loved character in Doctor Who. I met Nick Courtney a number of times and he really is a splendid fellow. He brought a real humanity and vulnerability to the role without compromising the essential toughness of the character. Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart is the chap you’d want on your side in a fight – any fight – and it is a real privilege to be exploring what made him into the character we came to know and love.”

Simon Williams, the man behind the cover art, is a former artist for Marvel UK having drawn for The Transformers, The Hulk, Spider-Man and Death’s Head. Simon said: “I’ve always been a big fan of Doctor Who and the Brigadier and having the opportunity to draw this iconic character is a huge privilege.”

Hannah Haisman said: “This project has been a long-time coming. I had to be certain that I was entrusting my grandfather’s legacy to a publisher and authors who would respect what he created. Candy Jar and Andy have assembled a team that are sympathetic to the Brigadier, and these are very exciting times that we can all be proud of.”

Lethbridge-Stewart will be launched on 22nd February 2015, the fourth anniversary of Nicholas Courtney’s death, the actor behind the Brigadier. The first series of novels will be released one book per quarter throughout 2015.

Frankly, dear reader, we cannot wait. You probably can’t either, and you can head to the Candy Jar Books online store right now to purchase your copy of Andy Frankham-Allen’s opener, or even the whole series. The books are available individualy or as part of a bundle, with the first option to get all four for £35 before general release, and the second to pre-order Lethbridge-Stewart: The Forgotten Son and get Andy Frankham-Allen’s Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants for just £6 straight away.

Clara Who

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Steven Moffat has explained playing around with the concept of Clara as the Doctor in Series 8.

Speaking to Nerdist he said: “The thing about Clara is she thinks the show is called Clara. She really does. She has no idea she’s number two in the credits, which is why we did that joke in “Death in Heaven.” She’s got a high opinion of herself, not in a conceited way, but in a correct way. She knows she’s extremely clever and capable, and she doesn’t feel like she particularly fits in the world that she lives in. She’s a bit more like the Doctor in the first place. She’s not really very good at living a normal life. The other companions, like most people, like you and me, can be quite good at living normal lives. I’m very happy living my normal life, I’m sure you are too. Going to the shops seems fine for an adventure, but Clara’s not like that.

He continued: “When I first wrote Clara, I thought, “Oh, this is fun. If the Doctor were a young woman living in contemporary Britain, it’d be a bit like her.” Clever and presentable and funny but also thinking when is something interesting going to happen? The interesting thing between the Doctor and Clara is she can sort of play the same game he does. She can absolutely do that, she’s terribly clever, she’s got a wayward ego. Her botched love affair with Danny is heartbreakingly proof of that. He’s a lovely man with a traumatic secret, and she just screws it up because she doesn’t really give it enough attention. It’s just a little bit less exciting than running off in the blue box. You have to be a bit of a loony to think that way. I think for the first time, the Doctor’s traveling with someone who’s a bit of a loony like him, and that’s quite fun.”

Moffat also spoke about their final scene in Death in Heaven and if he viewed it as a sad goodbye.

“It wasn’t so much the sadness, it’s that both the Doctor and Clara are people who think they know better. That’s what they are. The Doctor always thinks he knows better; Clara always thinks she knows better. So what they do at the end is a perfect summation of their relationship. They lie and endure pain and loneliness in order to protect the other because they think they know better. Amy would never have done that; she’d have told him what happened. But, people who are more controlling than that think they know what’s good for everybody else aren’t like that.

“So, Clara’s not the Doctor; she’s not the same person as the Doctor, but – the traditional thing is to say the hero and the archenemy are mirrors of each other. Are they? Are they though? Not really. I think it’s more likely that friends are mirrors of each other. If you watch any close friendship, the extent to which they start to duplicate each other is quite interesting, even with Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes. While they’re different people, they have similar appetites. So, yeah, it was the perfect way to say goodbye in that episode; each one doesn’t think the other can cope with the truth.”

 

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Some ‘splainin’ to do

When not writing to Santa, Terry Wogan or indeed Graham Cole (Did you get my Melkur drawing? Please say yes!) Doctor Who fans also tease answers, ease worries or indeed, send comically oversized pictures of Traken’s finest rendered in blue crayon (I ate the brown one), to Steven Moffat – who once again has been debunking fan theories left, right and centre in this month’s issue of DWM.

First up, the fate of Ingrid Osgood who, after making her debut in the 50th Anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor, was briefly replaced by a shapeshifting Zygon.

Osgood then met her maker at the hands of Missy during Doctor Who Series 8 finale Death in Heaven.

 

Answering a fans suggestion that the real Osgood is still in fact alive, Moffat told DWM: “Nah. If it had been a Zygon, she wouldn’t have been killed so easily… Dead, I’m afraid.”

Which, even for someone who liked Osgood, feels like the right decision. Of course it could all be a cunning ruse but in terms of story, where Osgood added little to the admittedly meandering masterplan, she had to be off – even if it was quite a shock.

Moffat then got his debunk on again; turning his attention to the Orson Pink conundrum following the death of Danny Pink in Death in Heaven.

Here things are a little more oblique. Addressing fans concerns, Moffat commented: “I can think of several explanations, but the obvious one is that Orson comes from another branch of the family.”

He explained: “[Orson] knows about Danny’s heroic sacrifice, because Clara got in touch with the Pink family after the events of ‘Death in Heaven’ (because you would, wouldn’t you?), and told them what he did, and why. And she gave them the little soldier, as a keepsake of a great man and a great soldier – and because she knows the toy soldier has to remain in the Pink family line.”

“Now all that strikes me as pretty inevitable – that’s what would have happened – but I’m not saying it’s right. Nothing is actual till it’s in the show. Knowing how the season would end, we were careful, in ‘Listen’, never to define exactly what the connection was.”

Of course it doesn’t explain why Orson makes a reference to his grandparents being ‘time travellers’ unless it’s an honorary title given to Clara and the fabled Doctor – it’s not like that idea hasn’t been used before. Although, you can almost imagine this creating more questions than answers in the, by now, rather confused Pink household.

Despite Moffat’s insistence on its obviousness, it still doesn’t rule out the idea that Clara was pregnant during the events of Death in Heaven and, at some point after, she met with the Pink household and handed them the toy solider… along with a lot of outlandish explanations that, despite being necessary aren’t the most compelling thing to dramatise considering the audience would know this information already.

Perhaps, and this is way out there, this is one way the story was altered to accommodate Jenna Coleman’s delayed exit. After all, once she has handed the solider over; her story is effectively over. By not explicitly airing a conclusion, could her exit revolve around the birth of the next Mr Pink (No, not the one who doesn’t tip. The other one. The cyber one). (Kasterborous)

When speaking with Digital Spy, Peter Capaldi hinted that there may be more mysteries to uncover with his Doctor:

“I think it would be wrong to say ‘we’ve arrived’ – and that’s certainly not how I feel,” he explained. “I don’t think Steven [Moffat] or anyone else feels like that – I think that would be lazy and foolish. I think you have to keep moving – if he’s regenerated, he’s learning about himself and how he responds to the universe, so I think he probably will be different again when he comes back.”

I for one am hoping that and new changes will be subtle in nature. After all, Series 8 was a tremendous change in pace.

Whosical

After yesterday’s rant….how about a Musical!

Why not Doctor Who’s format is fluid…

Mauve Alert!

**Political Alert**

Mauve alert is the universally recognized color for danger, signifying the highest level of danger, as acknowledged by most species in the universe. :)

The Politically Correct and the hypersensitive be aware I will offend you today. Oh, Ye “enlightened” masses. :)

Because yet again, the topic has arisen and my rant overfloweth. I hate Political Correctness with a foam-at-the-mouth passion.  I hate Orwellian manipulation of language and thought.

This headline from The Daily Beast set me off.

Doctor Who: It’s Time For a Black, Asian, or Woman Doctor

My immediate response to that was “yeah, anything but an oppressive, evil, white male“!!!

God Forbid! (oops! sorry, I forgot Christians are also evil, sorry!) a character should be what a character should be without the political influences of the Politically Correct crowd.

Does this mean I think no woman could play this part, No.

I’m saying No Woman, minority or other Politically Correct class or group should play it just for the sake of it and with the the way The Politically Correct work it wouldn’t be any other way.

They’d do it just to do it. Then celebrate their own narcissistic magnificence later.

The First Black President. Hey, let’s do it just to end racism in America. Yeah, that worked out well, didn’t it. You got a Divide & Conquer Liberal who makes it even worse. But hey, you accomplished your goal.

So next up, The First Female President, Hillary Clinton.

Does it matter she’s a train wreck?

No.

She’s the Politically Correct Choice. Hurrah!

So is “anything but a white male” for The Doctor. The Politically Correct “right” choice.

And I don’t want to see the show that literally saved my life (see my earliest blog for the details) go down like that in a flashy show of “look at me” Political Correctness.

Can’t the Politically Correct just leave well enough alone.

Oh, hell no. They are the righteous. They have a cause to change the world “for the better” and to make everyone “the same”. Only they do the exact opposite. But since the have “good intentions” and they “feel good” about their oppression of thought and people that is approved by them it will never dawn on them how RE-gressive they can be.

And I don’t want that for my show.

Yep, that’s MY selfish need. You betcha!

Steven Moffat, the showrunner, said last year that he “didn’t feel enough people wanted” a woman doctor when he was casting Capaldi. He appeared to backtrack this week at a women in television awards ceremony when he suggested that the doctor could eventually be regenerated as a woman.

Gee, that couldn’t be pressure from the Politically Correct Thought Police now could it? :)

To do it, just to do, so THEY will get off your back!

What’s really interesting about this article is that after the headline and a little lip service to it the article really isn’t even about it, it’s about Peter Capaldi, the actor.

Funny that. :)

So why do it?

To grab attention. To be “bold”.

To be Politically Correct.

I say thee nay.

Let’s be “traditional”. That’s not a dirty, evil word, you know. Let it mean something and not trash it for the Politically Correct meme of the day.

I know we just need to find a Transgendered Lesbian Man who is not White and an Atheist Vegan and we’ll strike Politically Correct Gold!

HURRAH!

Long Winter’s Nap

Two weeks from today will begin the long, dry, Doctor Who winter of no new episodes.

So here’s the latest trailer for “The Last Christmas”

 

Christmas Cheer

It is traditional for young Doctor Who fans to hide behind the couch ­during scarier moments of the 51-year-old British time-travel show. But the way executive producer Steven Moffat tells it, there may be a few adults tempted to jump back there and join them when BBC America airs this year’s Christmas episode on Dec. 25 at 9 p.m. “It’s a scary one,” says Moffat, who wrote the special. “I keep defining it as Miracle on 34th Street meets Alien.”

The first part of that mash-up is personified by Hot Fuzz actor Nick Frost, who guest-stars as Father Christmas alongside Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and his companion, Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald. “We have the real Santa Claus,” says Capaldi. “It’s not a robot dressed up as Santa Claus or an alien creature—he’s the real deal.” Frost excitedly recalls the day he first stepped onto the set of the Doctor’s time-traveling spaceship, the TARDIS. “It was amazing,” he says. “You know sometimes if you’re driving a car too fast over a big hill you get a tingly feeling where your ovaries would be? I kind of had that feeling.”

As for the Alien half of the equation, Moffat promises the North Pole-set tale will feature “some good monsters. If the Doctor and Santa are going to join forces, you’ve got to give them a real menace to fight, haven’t you?”

There are rumors the Christmas show will also reveal that Coleman’s character is expecting the child of her sort-of-deceased boyfriend Danny Pink (long story!), and even that the episode is set to be the actress’ Doctor Who swan song. Coleman sounds convincingly surprised by the prospect that her character could be pregnant: “This is news to me.” She is more tight-lipped when asked about the possibility that Clara may soon be leaving the TARDIS for good. “I’m terribly sorry for being so annoying,” she says, “but Steven and the team are very keen for people to not know what’s going to happen, so it is genuinely a surprise.”

It was in last year’s Christmas ­episode that Matt Smith’s Doctor transformed into Capaldi’s 12th version of the Time Lord, who has the ability to physically regenerate. At 56, the ­Scottish actor is easily the oldest thesp to play the part since the show returned to screens in 2005 following a lengthy hiatus. While the decision to cast Capaldi was a risk, as even Moffat admits, the ­gamble seems to have paid off: In August, 2.6 million viewers watched the first episode of his debut season, a record for BBC America. “The scripts we had were so powerful and so good,” says Capaldi. “I’ve been very lucky.”

He adds that viewing the Christmas special was an annual tradition in his household long before he was cast in the role. “We watched it as a family, never thinking for a moment that one day it would be me!” says the actor. “Maybe I’ll hide behind the sofa, for a different reason.” A different reason? “I was never scared of Doctor Who,” says Capaldi. “I’m only scared of my performance.” (EW)

Geek Park

The London Paramount Entertainment Resort

The London Paramount Entertainment Resort, which is currently earmarked for an Easter 2020 opening date Photo: Paramount/BBC

A BBC theme park is to open in Britain with games and rides based on its most popular shows.

Doctor Who and Top Gear are among the brands that could be exploited.

The corporation’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has signed a landmark deal with London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), the company behind the multi-billion pound London Paramount Entertainment Resort in Kent which is scheduled to open in 2020.

BBC programmes and characters will feature prominently in the entertainment resort alongside Paramount properties.

Stephen Davies, Director of Live Events, BBC Worldwide, said: “We’re always looking for opportunities to extend fans’ enjoyment of their favourite shows and the idea behind this resort is a really exciting way of celebrating the very special place the BBC has in British culture.”

David Testa, Director of LRCH, said: “We are delighted to bring the world’s leading public service broadcaster on board this project.

“The BBC has played an instrumental role in shaping the British entertainment industry for nearly a century, creating some of the most iconic and cherished characters on TV and radio.

“It seems only right therefore that its programmes will be present at the new London Paramount Entertainment Resort, which will combine the glamour of Hollywood with the best of British culture.”

Also reported in a different source:

Paramount London, a proposed entertainment resort, will include a Star Trek-themed area when it opens on the Swanscombe Peninsula, east of London, in 2020. Spread across 800 acres, Paramount London will be the first of its kind in the UK and is expected to attract up to 15 million visitors a year, or 50,000 people a day. The Resort will offer more than 50 rides and attractions, each themed around the most famous films, television shows, games and other artistic works of Paramount and its partners. Attractions will include signature entertainment shows and cultural events, 12 major rides, water rides, family rides and adrenaline rides, as well as theaters, restaurants, hotels, business facilities and more. (Star Trek.com)

So Trekkers and Whovians will co-exist, wow! what a world. :)

 

 

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