Category Archives: Doctor Who

It’s True: Power of The Daleks!

It’s Coming!

++AN-I-MATE!++ The Power of the Daleks celebrates 50th Anniversary with animated reconstruction

Doctor Who

BBC Worldwide has announced details of an animated version of classic Doctor Who story, The Power of the Daleks, starring Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor and featuring his most fearsome foes from Skaro.

This classic Dalek adventure, featuring Troughton’s debut as the Doctor, will be released later this year on BBC Store, exactly 50 years to the minute after it was first transmitted on BBC One (November 5), and then on DVD.

It’s one of the Doctor’s most celebrated adventures and yet no complete film recordings of The Power of the Daleks are known to have survived. The master negatives were destroyed in an archive purge in 1974.

But BBC Worldwide has announced that a brand new black and white animation based on the programme’s original audio recordings, surviving photographs and film clips will be released 50 years to the day after its only UK broadcast on BBC One.

Watch the trailer below:


The six-part adventure features the regeneration, or as it was then called ‘renewal’, of First Doctor William Hartnell into Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, as the Time Lord and his companions Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) do battle with the Daleks on the planet Vulcan.

The Power of the Daleks is being produced by the team behind the highly successful animation of lost Dad’s Army episode A Stripe For Frazer, first released on BBC Store in February this year. The producer and director is Charles Norton, with character designs from acclaimed comic book artists Martin Geraghty and Adrian Salmon. Charles says:

“The Power of the Daleks animation is the most ambitious Doctor Who archive restoration ever attempted and we’re all very honoured to be a part of such a an exciting project. Intelligent, suspenseful and magnificently staged, Power of the Daleks is one of the great lost classics of 1960s television and a superb example of the black and white era at its finest.”

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide says:

“Charles and his team are remarkably talented and passionate about Doctor Who and we are thrilled that fans will soon be able to enjoy this rather sinister but wonderful, classic story.”

The Power Of The Daleks will be released on BBC Store on Saturday, November 5 followed by the DVD on Monday, November 21, 2016.

Also, on November 5 there will be a special screening of episodes 1-3 from The Power of the Daleks at BFI Southbank, London which will include a Q&A with Anneke Wills, Charles Norton and Frazer Hines. Further information will be available from from Monday, September 19, 2016.

Fans in America note that The Power of the Daleks airs Saturday, November 12 on BBC AMERICA and will be available the following day to stream on and the BBC AMERICA app.

I could not find any US release of the DVD and the BBC store UK wouldn’t let me in. 😦

I’ll keep anyone out there posted.

Trekking Along

Ok, I may get in dangerous territory today.

I love Star Trek. I’m American. It’s hard not to know about it. It’s the American equivalent of Doctor Who.

While it hasn’t been on TV as much as Who has, this year is the 50th Anniversary of the American institution.

I love imagination. That’s why I’m into Science Fiction in the first place.

So naturally I am into Trek.

What brought this up was a Concert here a couple of nights ago, call “Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage” which was a concert in celebration of those 50 years.

True, it was only estimated to be about a 30 pieces band helped by audio recordings and not The BBC Orchestra of Wales that I have seen also but it was a great concert nonetheless augmented by visuals.

It was afterwards that the discussion really got started, and this blog’s genesis (star trek pun).

It was pointed out that the concert itself was “inspiring” and that Star Trek, in general, is more “inspiring” than Who.

And that got me thinking.

Yes, I think Trek is more “inspiring”. This may also be an American point-of-view in someways as I didn’t grow up with Doctor Who as a kid. I was 21.

But I am big fan of both. But I am a bigger fan of WHO.

WHO is ALL OVER my house. Trek isn’t.

Trek inspired me as a kid for the imagination. Not the Science.

I am not the one who thought, I want to be a Planetary Geologist when I grow up. I know several who did.

I didn’t look at the communicator and go “oh look, a flip lid Cell phone, how 00’s of you.”

I gravitated to the imagination of it all. The going where no man has gone before. To go out there and see what and who is out there.

That was my thrill. Still is.

But Doctor Who has an even broader canvas. Arguably, the broadest possible one. Not just where Man hasn’t gone. He isn’t a Man. But Anywhere in Time & Space in the whole of creation and even beyond it.

Now that’s a imagination stage like no other.

And the lead character is the same one from 52 1/2 ago!

No “Next Generation”, you get Next Regeneration. 🙂

The Borg…HAH! Doctor Who had The Cybermen in 1966 when Star Trek had just premiered!

Doctor who has the Guinness Book of World Records for most Successful TV show.:)

Nov 25, 2013 – Guinness World Records can today confirm that the special 50 th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who which was broadcast globally on Saturday has set a new world for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama after the episode was shown in 94 countries across six continents.

So, while Star Trek has inspired Science around the world. Doctor Who inspires even more Imagination.

And we need both.

So I am a fan of both. The Apple and the Custard. 🙂

The New Companion Announced

It can finally be revealed. After months of speculation.

The New companion has been announced.

The show is going to one of it’s old roots and rebooting a character that wasn’t well served back in the day because of the technology involved.


As you may recall Kamelion was a shape changing robot in the late Davison stories but because of the technology at the time he made his first appearance in “King’s Demon’s” and then largely got chucked in the bin until his last story, and death, “Planet of Fire”.

But with CGI now it can be so much better in 2016 plus you can have a guest actor in every week to play the part and you don’t have to have a permanent companion.

“We can do so much more with the concept now than 30 years ago.” said Doctor Who’s Special Effects Supervisor, Danny Hargreaves.

Plus it would also add the first non-human companion in the new era of the show.

Seeing as Peter may or may not stay on after the Chibnall change it could be used as a nice bridge companion that Chibnall could dump or not, and if Peter Capaldi leaves with Steven then you can have a new Doctor and a New Companion without any carryover. Or you can just fix Kamelion in one guise and you have a new Companion for the new Doctor while having some continuity.

Steven Moffatt was quoted as saying it was another bold way to make a statement about the companion’s role and to do something innovative to keep the audience watching it brings something fresh to the show.

Co-star Peter Capaldi said: “I can’t wait to start working with the new Kamelion . It was vital to see someone very different in the role and Steven has just the ticket.”

“This way we can have good actors rotating in to play Kamelion and we don’t have to stick with just one actor or actress and we can have a variety. Kamelion can be programmed to be different and have different things happen to it each week so it keeps it fresh and interesting for an audience.” said showrunner Steven Moffat.

In my opinion, kind of like have K-9 without all the rights issues and Frobisher without the CGI costs.It has a lot of potential, especially in this vastly different technological age.

Good for you Steven. You made a good choice.


Sad News

I somehow missed this story. My sincerest condolences.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of David Tennant’s father, The Very Rev Dr Sandy McDonald.

Born: November 5, 1937
Died: March 17, 2016

Sandy, who was a former Moderator of the Church Of Scotland, passed aged 78, after a long battle with lung disease at the Erskine Care Home for ex-servicemen in Bishopton.

McDonald had been a regular on television in the 1980s, co-presenting the religious-affairs programme That’s The Spirit! In 2006 he appeared alongside his son David in Ready Steady Cook, and two years later he had a cameo role in Doctor Who. “I think they must have been short of someone,” he said. “They very kindly invited me to play the part of a footman.”  When Tennant received a National Television Award in 2015 he dedicated it to his father –“an inspiration and a role model.”

Born in Bishopbriggs, Glasgow, to Jessie Helen Low and Alexander M. McDonald, Sandy worked in the timber industry as a trainee manager from 1952-1958. During that time he took a break for two years when he was called up to do national service with the Royal Air Force. Whilst there his duties included operating the ground radar for the 617 Dambusters. After that he continued his wor in the timber trade from 1958 until 1962 when he responded to God’s call and decided to train for the ministry, studying theology at the University of Glasgow and at Trinity College in Dublin. He graduated later with a BA from the Open University, which subsequently granted him a Doctorate, in honour of his work as Moderator of the General Assembly.

Sandy served as an assistant minister at Merrylea Parish Church in Newlands, Glasgow, before being called as minister to St David’s in Bathgate, in 1968. As chaplain to the town’s British Leyland plant, he spoke out for workers during a period of industrial action.

In 1974 he became minister of St Mark’s Oldhall Parish Church, Ralston in Renfrewshire, Paisley, where he helped found a young ministers’ fraternal group that still meets today as part of the Presbytery of Paisley. He served as President of the Glasgow and Paisley Battalions of the Boys Brigade. He had a BB badge on every jacket he owned.

One of his passions was for the Church’s Summer Mission, which every year took hundreds of young people to the seaside.

As General Secretary of the Church of Scotland’s Board of Ministry, from 1988 until his retirement in 2002, he was an advocate for ministers. During his tenure ministers’ stipends were raised, benefits were improved and ministers were encouraged to see themselves as uniquely qualified professionals.

A natural media personality, Sandy co-presented STV’s religious magazine programme ‘That’s the Spirit’ during the 1980s, and was a guest on other religious shows.

Many fans of David will know of Sandy from his on screen appearances alongside his son on shows such as Ready Steady Cook and Who Do You Think You Are? He also made a guest starring role on The Unicorn And The Wasp, an episode of Doctor Who.

In early 2015 Sandy disclosed he was fighting the degenerative lung disease pulmonary fibrosis. He spoke out for the “right to die,” despite the Church’s official position against the proposal.

Also that year he appeared on a tribute video at the National Television Awards to praise David as he collected his Special Recognition Award. David subsequently dedicated the award to his father saying he was ‘an inspiration and role model’.

Sandy was married to his late wife Helen for over 40 years before her passing in 2007. He leaves behind three children, Karen, Blair and David and nine grandchildren.

11 years ago today

The Return of a TV Legend happened 11 years ago today.

So it’s sorta the Doctor’s Other Anniversary. The anniversary of re-birth.

“Rose” was broadcast, complete with Graham Norton bleed-over to a public ( that hadn’t seen the show since the 1996 TV Movie and hadn’t been a regular BBC show since Dec 6,1989. (The BBC would make Graham infamous again in 2010 with a promo crawl at the end of an episode).

It started with “A New Dimension” before the appointed hour. A very Fan-y made history of the TV show. To remind those people and kids that this show was on before. 🙂

Narrated by future 10th Doctor David Tennant.

Ah, years of BBC bootlegs was born. 🙂

You know, with dial up at the time it took 24 hours to download the episode… 🙂

The excitement I felt was off the charts. Though as I have relayed before I was the recipient of a friend’s bootleg 3 weeks before the broadcast so by the premiere night I had already seen it and was not very impressed. The 2nd viewing was much better. Expectations were probably too high that night in early March 2005.

It will be around another year before Series 10 but we wait patiently.

So break out that copy of “Rose” and relive 11 years ago when The Doctor and his TARDIS appeared again.


Now that’s Scary

Over the years, David Tenant’s Doctor Who has fought numerous villains, from Cybermen to Daleks, but he never took on a threat quite like his next opponent: internet trolls.

In a new novel by Jenny T Colgan, the Tenth Doctor will be faced by hundreds of internet lurkers, the story revolving around aliens feeding off of their web-based hatred. 

Titled In The Blood, it will be the first novel to feature this iteration of the Doctor since 2009. He will, as you may have suspected, be accompanied by Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate in the show.

“I wanted to write an exciting Earth-set adventure for the Tenth Doctor and Donna, and I thought, what would strike you, if you’d just arrived here, at this point in our history?” Colgan told Radio Times. “You’d probably be a bit amazed at how much pointless bile people send over the internet – this amazing tool we have, this amazing source of infinite knowledge and so on, getting used for so much abuse. It’s really mind-boggling.

“The thing is, I’m a Doctor Who fan, obviously, and 99.999% of fandom is absolutely lovely – I can’t stress that enough – but a tiny proportion are quite aggressive, and that’s puzzling to me, because it’s the antithesis of everything the Doctor stands for. So the book is looking at modern rage, how pent up people can get. It’s pent up anger that the virus feeds on, all that frustration with nowhere to go.

“When the trolls first start to die, people are not that concerned – people who’ve been bullied so much they’ve had to change schools aren’t that sympathetic. But of course the Doctor doesn’t see it like that at all. A life is a life to him.”

Sounds quite bizarre really. Still, not the weirdest Doctor Who story. In The Blood will be published by BBC books on the 12 May.

Synopsis: All over the world, people are ‘ghosting’ each other on social media. Dropping their friends, giving vent to their hatred, and everywhere behaving with incredible cruelty. Even Donna has found that her friend Hettie, with her seemingly perfect life and fancy house, has unfriended her. And now, all over the world, internet trolls are dying…

As more and more people give in to this wave of bitterness and aggression, it’s clear this is no simple case of modern living. This is unkindness as a plague.

From the streets of London to the web cafes of South Korea and the deepest darkest forests of Rio, can the Doctor and Donna find the cause of this unhappiness before it’s too late?

An original novel featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna, as played by David Tennant and Catherine Tate.


The Best Month of My Life

How long does it take to watch every episode of Doctor Who?

How long does it take to watch every episode of Doctor Who?

By Radio Times staff

Are you a Doctor Who fan? We mean a real Doctor Who fan… a dyed-in-the-Tardis-seen-ever-episode-that’s-ever-been-made Doctor Who fan?

Yes? Well congratulations, it turns out you’ve essentially spent a full calendar month watching your favourite show from start to finish (and that’s if you only watch every episode once!)

Indeed, those of you who have watched all the episodes of Classic Who from Hartnell through to McGann, and then sat down to the nine series of new Who screened from 2005 to 2015 have enjoyed a whopping 28 days 7 hours and 50 minutes of Doctor Who, according to That’s like spending all of February awake with Doctor Who on the TV.

The 26 series (and specials) of classic Who are the biggest part of the viewathon, taking 21 days 22 hours and 30 minutes to get through.  But even those of you who are only fans of the modern show since Christopher Eccleston brought it back under Russell T Davies have still spent 6 days, 9 hours and 20 minutes (or just under a week without sleep) keeping up with adventures in space and time.

The ‘good news’ is that the total time won’t be going up for a while with no series of the show slated for 2016, so plenty of time to slip a quick month of Doctor Who in to remind yourself just what you’re missing.

The A-Word

A young Doctor Who fan with Asperger interviews Christopher Eccleston about autism drama The A-Word

By Paul Jones   (Radio Times)


Gerard Groves is a talented young filmmaker. He describes himself as being on the autistic spectrum. And he is a huge Doctor Who fan, whose love of the show began with Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston.

So landing an exclusive interview with Eccleston about The A-Word, his new BBC1 drama about autism, and then editing a film about it must have ticked a lot of boxes for Gerard…

Gerard’s early obsession with Doctor Who will be recognisable to many fans, and it’s also what sparked his interest in filmmaking.

“I was watching Doctor Who back in 2005 when Christopher Eccleston started and it was his portrayal of the Doctor that really got me into it,” says Gerard, now 19. “It was halfway into series one when I started making these films and when my whole childhood started revolving around his portrayal of this one character on TV.

“Back in the day, I did all kinds of different films… I did a series of films as a kid called Cat Who. Basically, due to my lack of available friends who wanted to be in a film on the internet – this was back when it was ‘what the hell’s YouTube, this weird thing? We don’t want to be on the internet’ – I ended up roping my cats in to being the companions to my Doctor Who, so I filmed these cats and added the voices in later.”

“After spending a year obsessing about that one thing, especially as a 7/8 year old, I think it kind of gets burnt into your brain, and into you as a person, and it holds that very special place for you, almost like how a parent or a granddad or someone close to you would. It’s funny how TV can do that.”

Gerard is not alone. Doctor Who is now a global phenomenon and there are millions of fans of all types, shapes and sizes around the world. But Gerard says that in his experience the show holds a special appeal for those, like him, on the autistic spectrum.

“Doctor Who’s got a big audience – but especially an audience of people on the autistic spectrum,” he says. “I don’t know what it is about Doctor Who exactly but I was volunteering at the Doctor Who Festival a few months ago and what I noticed there was that there was a huge, huge autistic spectrum fanbase. And since Christopher Eccleston is not only a big name in [The A-Word] but also a big name in the Doctor Who world, so I thought he’d be a really good person to talk to; it kind of ties it all together.”

Eccleston doesn’t do a huge number of interviews (in fact, Gerard’s was the only one he did for The A-Word aside from the official BBC Q&A) and he doesn’t necessarily have a reputation as being particularly forthcoming. So what was he like?

Let’s just say Doctor Who fans scared of having their illusions shattered needn’t worry…

“He was absolutely lovely. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to,” says Gerard.

“You often hear the phrase ‘don’t meet your heroes’ but it couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was scared going up to interview him as you see in the film… but he was so lovely and so warm. He was happy to talk about his role and he was happy to talk about my experiences [as someone on the autistic spectrum] and he reacted to it, you could tell he listened – in his eyes and in the way he spoke and in his reactions.

“He’s just a very genuinely nice man. I think he’s caring and I think his work means a lot to him; that when he hears how his work’s impacted someone it means a lot to him. He’s always thinking about his work but I think what that boils down to is thinking about people, and how people work. And I suppose when you’ve got someone whose job is people, and taking on those roles, you’re going to get someone who’s really nice and a people person.”

And how was it for Eccleston? “You got me then,” he tells Gerard at the end of the emotional interview. “You got me crying…”

Watch Gerard’s exclusive interview with Christopher below and see for yourselves.

But as someone on the autistic spectrum, what did Gerard think of Eccleston’s new drama, penned by Peter Bowker, which follows a family who discover that their child is autistic? Having seen the first two episodes, Gerard says that at times “it was like staring into a mirror”.

“Watching it was a really bizarre thing. I had goosebumps all up my arms. It was like staring into a mirror or watching a biopic of my life. Some of the moments in it that the family have were just so representative… I was thinking ‘I can relate to a lot of those moments from my childhood’ and ‘this is maybe what my mum was going through’, that kind of thing.

“It was really nice to see it all being represented in such a positive and real way. I think it’s very easy to fall into those pitfalls of doing something negative and dreary and showing someone that’s in distress, and a family being stressed out. But that almost becomes voyeuristic and a very negative way of doing something. I think it’s better to show the fun moments too, and that’s what I really loved about the show.

“All the characters could have their own spin-offs – that’s how you know a show’s really good, they’ve all got those dimensions to them. And each of them have their own funny moment. I was sat through this show with goosebumps, with some moments very close to the bone but then others where I was really laughing.”

The A-Word starts on Tuesday 22nd March at 9pm on BBC1

Katy Part 2

  • Where


Doctor Who actress Katy Manning answers YOUR questions ahead of St George’s Hall show

And despite what you may have heard – she wasn’t Liza Minelli’s bridesmaid..!

Katy Manning as she appeared in The Sarah Jane Adventures on CBBC in 2010
Katy Manning as she appeared in The Sarah Jane Adventures on CBBC in 2010

AHEAD of Katy Manning’s appearance at St George’s Hall tomorrow evening, the former Doctor Who actress kindly agreed to answer questions from readers.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, due to the sci-fi series’ universal appeal, questions came in from around the world.

Katy, who played Jo Grant alongside Jon Pertwee’s Doctor from 1971 to 1973, will be sharing more stories from her life and career in the hall’s Concert Room tomorrow evening at 7.30pm. The recollections below are the perfect taster for what to expect. Thanks again to everyone who submitted a question – we’re just sorry we couldn’t include them all.

Kate Hughes from Birkenhead asks: “Liverpool is a very musical city. Have you ever sung professionally?

Katy says: “If I sang to you in my real voice I would sound like Janis Joplin on a bottle of Brasso but I do so many different voices that I have sung as little kids and little animals.

“I once sang for an animated series as a six-year-old child. My character was the grandson and my boyfriend was doing the voice of the grandfather!

“The thing is, I know so many great singers that I realise it’s important to stick to what I can do. I wrote a play called Not a Well Woman, it’s a one-woman show which involved me doing 26 different voices, there is some singing in that. They’re all talking to each other and I’m switching from a Greek accent to an African accent and every other accent you can think of.

“I had to write a rap for it so I wrote the filthiest one you could think of and performed it as a gangster rapper – but as I said, I know so many great singers, my partner is a very respected singer, so I choose to listen instead.”

Liam Leaves from Portmsouth asks: “Excluding Jon Pertwee, what is your favourite costume of any of the Doctors – and why?”

Katy says: “I very much like what Peter Capaldi wears. It has that very tiny tinge of what Jon wore.

“I had my picture taken with him and he was very keen to get the pose right, the pointing finger that Jon used to do and he asked me how he always got that hint of red lining to show so I did what I always used to do back in the day, I put my arm around him and pulled the jacket back slightly so it was always on show.

“Also if you watch The Green Death (Katy’s final story as a regular in the series, broadcast in 1973), you will see that Jo is wearing cricket trousers at one point – so I did that in Doctor Who before Peter Davison did!

“I would say though that all the costumes have been exactly right for each actor playing the part.”

Katy Manning as Jo Grant in Doctor Who in 1970
Katy Manning as Jo Grant in Doctor Who in 1970

Tyson Ferland from San Franciso asks: “It was fantastic to see you in the Sarah Jane Adventures (the CBBC Doctor Who spin-off starring the late Mossley Hill actress Elisabeth Sladen). Would you be interested in returning to the character of Jo Grant again in Doctor Who or another spinoff?”

Katy says: “Being on Sarah Jane was an extraordinary thing to do and I loved Elisabeth, she was absolutely extraordinary and we were very good friends.

“She was the quintessential Doctor Who girl and she lived it to the full and she always had the greatest love and respect for it. The way Russell T Davies (the man behind the revival of Doctor Who in 2005 and the creator of The Sarah Jane Adventures) brought me back, I was absolutely gobsmacked, I never thought that would happen.

“As for coming back now, I think Jo would be in the old person’s home today, so possibly not!”

Amanda Telfer from Glasgow asks: “If you had the chance to travel with any of the new series Doctors – who would you choose and why?”

Katy says: “Well, I travelled with Matt Smith in the Sarah Jane Adventures and that was really good so I will have to give Matt a mention but trulyl, the answer is that I have loved them all.

“They are all absolutely wonderful actors who have each given their own take on this absolutely wonderful character. And it is one character, it is all one person so I am not going to pick and choose. I’ve worked with William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton (in The Three Doctors, the show’s 10th anniversary story in 1973) and on audio (a series of CDs telling new Doctor Who adventures and featuring former actors from the series have been released regularly since 1999) I’ve worked with Colin Baker, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy – and today I was recording with Tom Baker, so I’m a bit of a Doctor groupie really!”

James Simmonds from Mossley Hill asks: “When you were living in Australia, were you ever tempted to appear in any of the Aussie shows that we get in the UK, such as Neighbours or Home and Away?”

Katy says: “I was asked to appear in one of them once, it was Home and Away – but I couldn’t do it as I was working on something else.

“But my partner in Australia, he was the very first person to sing the theme tune to Neighbours [Katy treats us to a quick, beautiful burst of the song at this point]. His name is Barry Crocker and he was the first man to sing it. That was my Bazza!

“I have to be honest, these aren’t shows that I’ve followed much myself as I have travelled around so often. My life is stored in plastic bags all over the place, I’m really a bag lady!”

Kerryn Smith from Wavertree asks: “I understand you were a bridesmaid at Liza Minelli’s wedding to David Gest. What are your memories of the day?”

Katy says: “I wasn’t! That’s wrong. I went to school with Liza and grew up with her and she is one of 12 godparents to my children. That meant I also grew up around Judy (Garland, Minelli’s mother) so I have always been surrounded by absolutely love music. It’s when you are around singers like that that you know to stick to what you do best.

“I couldn’t make it to the wedding as I was working so I sent her an email. I said. ‘I can’t make this one, see you at the next one!’ I don’t think it went down too well with David!

“But as I said, Liza was godmother at my children’s Christening and she ended up organising the whole thing. I thought you just took the kids down to the library and had them stamped but she said, ‘No, Manning, you have a party!’ and she arranged it all. All sorts of people were turning up, Lionel Blair was there, Derek Nimmo, they had to stop me answering the door in the end so I could enjoy my own party.”


Katy Manning, who played Jo Grant on Doctor Who, has finally begun to open up to fans about her fascinating life, both in print and in person.

Jamie McLoughlin of the Liverpool Echo recently requested reader questions for an interview that was conducted this week with Katy Manning, who played UNIT employee and Third Doctor’s companion Jo Grant on Doctor Who, as well as appearing on The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Regarding which of the Doctor’s outfits that Manning likes best aside from the Third Doctor’s, she said that she likes the Twelfth Doctor’s because it is reminiscent of the Third’s, but that each Doctor’s wardrobe suited them “exactly right.” She discussed how she enjoyed the time that she had her picture taken with, and gave posing pointers to, Peter Capaldi.

A reader asked if Manning would ever consider reprising the role of Jo Grant, either on Doctor Who or a spin-off, and invoked her guest appearance on The Sarah Jane Adventures. She replied that while being on TSJA “was an extraordinary” experience, she feels that the character is probably too old now.

She refused to choose just one Doctor from the revival of the show with whom to travel, citing the greatness of all of the actors who have depicted the single individual. Also, she has enjoyed the opportunity to work both on screen and the audio adventures with many of the actors who have played the role.

Liverpool Echo:

“People tell me I should have been doing these shows for years”

Doctor Who actress Katy Manning is in conversation at St George's Hall on Saturday
Doctor Who actress Katy Manning is in conversation at St George’s Hall on Saturday

IF your sole knowledge of Katy Manning’s life and career is based on her Wikipedia page – she’s got news for you.

“None of it is true!” she told the Echo from her London home. “They’ve got my wrong age, my wrong date of birth and apparently, I’ve been married five times. I have never been married to any of my partners, it’s news to them when they see it on the page.

“And another one is Google. There’s a photo on there that says it’s me – and it’s Nanette Newman! I have never had dark hair!

“I loathe things that claim to give you information. You can only trust it if you put it up there yourself.”

Which makes Saturday’s event at St George’s Hall an opportunity for the former Doctor Who actress to set some of the records straight. An Evening With Katy Manning is a chance to hear recollections and anecdotes from a life just as fascinating as her varied career, taking in homes on three continents, raising twins and having a Hollywood legend organise their Christening.

But she had to be persuaded to do it in the first place. Seriously persuaded.

Katy, who played Jo Grant, the companion to Jon Pertwee’s Doctor from 1971 to 1973, explained: “They asked me to do it, to have an evening like this and I told my agent ‘no’, that’s not my thing.

“I do talks at Doctor Who conventions and I sort of go into manic overdrive. When I talk, I freefall and I’ll leap on a new subject like a seagull on a hot piece of fat. Also, I live very much in the ‘now’ and not the past so all I could think of was, ‘why would they want me?’. Then my agent said, you have had an extraordinarily interesting life, you have a plethora of stories. So for some reason, I said yes. I’ll do it. It’s not my comfort zone, I don’t really do ‘me’.

“But I adore people, I get very excited and the energy becomes quite manic and I just go with the flow. People tell me I should have been doing shows like this for years but I’ve told them, I’m just doing it in Liverpool and I’m never doing it again.”

Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning on location in 1972 filming the Doctor Who serial The Time Monster
Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning on location in 1972 filming the Doctor Who serial The Time Monster

Merseyside has featured heavily in Katy’s life this week. Her chat with the ECHO came after a very long recording session with Tom Baker, the city-born fourth incarnation of the Time Lord but you’d have to scroll back a lot further to find the last time she visited the city for a professional engagement.

“I did a play in rep in Liverpool many years ago,” she remembered. “I’ve done a couple of Doctor Who conventions here too but the thing with conventions is that you arrive somewhere, then you do it, get up and go straight back out again so you never see the place you’re visiting.

“It’s a wonderful city and I’m very excited about coming here, the music in particular is my era.

“I did Educating Rita for three years too when I was in Australia. I did the Liverpudlian accent and I got a lot of good feedback about it. There are a lot of Liverpool people in Australia and they were coming up to me after the show, saying ‘we never knew you were from Liverpool’ and I’d tell them ‘I’m not, doing voices is part of my job’. It was lovely, I never got one negative word about my Scouse accent! I’ve never met Willy Russell but I think he writes wonderfully for women and I’ve directed Shirley Valentine as well.

“I’m not getting a lot of time in Liverpool this weekend as I’m working right up until Friday night when I leave for this, then I’m leaving again early on Sunday morning but that is my life really, working. I haven’t had a proper holiday since 1976 but I’ve lived overseas, lived in three different countries and people say to me how lovely it is that you’re going to these places but it’s work. I love working and I’m not a great holidayer.

“I have travelled back and forth on planes on my own with twins (Katy’s children) – and I have lots of stories about that, believe me.

“But where my children are concerned, that is where I feel blessed to have been part of such an extraordinary programme as Doctor Who. I say to them, I will always have something to leave you to remind you of me. They’re two plastic figurines of Jo Grant and a sheet of special stamps that I’m on where my head is bigger than the Queen’s!”

In advance of Saturday night, it’s important Katy keeps the powder dry where her anecdotes are concerned – but she did have one last appeal for the people of the city: “I hope people will come to see me and everyone’s going to get a big hug.

“I want it to be as intimate as possible and I may run into the audience and sit on a few laps.

“And if you want to know the real facts about me, go to my website!”

With that our talk was at an end but even though she had yet to leave London, the Mersey influence on Katy’s week continued unabated.

Later that evening, after the final whistle went on the Europa League leg at Old Trafford, she posted on her Twitter account: “Well done Liverpool ! You’re through ! Just seen football & now long day endeth & bed is beckoning ! Night night xxx”

If we’re thinking of making anyone an honorary Scouser…

To find out what links Katy to the Australian soap Neighbours, how she helped Peter Capaldi strike a pose and why she couldn’t make Liza Minelli’s wedding – click here to see the answers she gave to our readers’ questions.