We're back again every Friday to take a look at some of the key pieces of news that were released in the worlds of doctor who and it's spin off shows in the last seven days, and key videos from the account.
Pearl and Freema meet
Last month, RadioTimes.com was lucky enough to speak to two Doctor Who companions in one day and quickly realised that Freema Agyeman, who travelled with the Tenth Doctor as Martha Jones, and Pearl Mackie, who plays the departing Bill Potts, have never met.
Well, until now.
You see, this week the universe intervened and, due to what Agyeman called a “timey-wimey” coincidence, decided to put them on the same plane together.
Freema Agyeman ✔@FreemaOfficialComing back from the @sense8 read & @Pearlie_mack coming back from #GermanComicConBerlin & we randomly bump into each on the Timeywimey.
Agyeman had been coming back from the initial read-through for the conclusion to her latest sci-fi series Sense8 in Berlin and Mackie was returning from the German Comic Con, where she’d been meeting fans in her capacity as incumbent Doctor Who companion.
And as you would expect, the pair seem to have got on pretty well.
But what about Martha and Bill, fans asked – could the companions meet up on screen?
Well both Agyeman and Mackie told us they’d “never say never” when it comes to a return to Doctor Who so perhaps – just like Freema and Pearl’s – Martha and Bill’s first meeting is just a matter of time…
Who is Mark Gatiss playing in Twice Upon a Time
It’s fair to say that Doctor Who fans have plenty of big questions about the upcoming Christmas special Twice Upon a Time.
Questions like: ‘How will Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor regenerate? What will new Doctor Jodie Whittaker be like in action? How will the return of Pearl Mackie’s companion Bill be explained? And why is the First Doctor back anyway?’
But equally intriguing is what you might call a second-tier mystery: who is the character played by longtime series writer (and sometimes actor) Mark Gatiss, a First World War soldier described only as “The Captain” who appears to be trapped in a single moment of time in the special’s previously-released trailer.
So far, nothing else has been revealed about his identity, leading some fans to question whether he could be a younger version of classic series ally the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtenay) or even some sort of Time Lord himself (the definite article name is certainly bang on).
But now, a few Whovians think they may have cracked who Gatiss is supposed to be portraying – and if they’re right, it’s a character with incredibly specific ties to the origins of Doctor Who.
You see, a little while ago some historically-minded fans noted one of Gatiss’ lines in the trailer – “These Police Boxes, they’re ever so good, aren’t they?” – and it set their minds a-whirring back to another First World War soldier with an eye for square, blue constructions.
His name was Gilbert MacKenzie-Trench, a surveyor and architect working for the Metropolitan police, known for designing police stations, residential buildings and other constructions throughout the 20th century, and who fought in the First World War in his late 20s and early 30s. As you can see in this colourised picture (restored by Petra Caroline), he even looked a little like Gatiss does in the official images (and footage) released from Twice Upon a Time thus far. Note the similar left parting in particular…
‘But what does any of that have to do with Doctor Who?’ you may rightfully be asking. Well, among all his achievements MacKenzie-Trench is probably best known for one of his smaller designs – the blue Police Box, adopted from 1929 (other less official versions had existed before this) and spreading across the UK over the following decades.
And of course, the blue Police Box that he designed later became famous worldwide when it was adopted as the outer appearance of the Doctor’s Tardis, with the character’s time-travel capsule becoming stuck in that camouflage form after visiting the 1960s.
Just think about it. The historical MacKenzie-Trench becoming inspired to create the real police boxes after encountering the Tardis would be a VERY Doctor Who idea (rather like Agatha Christie getting her ideas from the Tenth Doctor and Donna in The Unicorn and the Wasp), and yet another way for departing showrunner and episode writer Steven Moffat to pay tribute to Doctor Who’s history in his last hurrah.
And given that the little we’ve glimpsed of Gatiss’s character sees him expressing admiration for the police boxes of both Time Lords (notably, he seems most enamoured with the more 1960s version piloted by David Bradley’s First Doctor), it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to imagine that Doctor Who is pilfering from real history to create a neat little circularity to the series’ origins.
Then again, it could be that we’re wrong and we’ve spent a whole morning researching the history of police boxes in the UK for no reason. Either way, we’re pretty happy with how we’ve spent our time.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Christmas Day
TUAT comes to US Cinemas
Don’t mean to pressure you Whovians, but you should definitely cut your family festivities short this year and travel to a US Who cinema screening. The upcoming Christmas special will be shown in American theatres on 27th December, alongside some bonus features.
These include a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the special, and a retrospective of lead Peter Capaldi and showrunner Steven Moffat, both of whom are leaving the sci-fi series this year.
The pieces will be shown after the special itself, Twice Upon a Time, which – as you definitely know by now – will feature Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor coming face-to-face with David Bradley’s First Doctor. Plus, former companion Bill (Pearl Mackie) will make an appearance, as will Mark Gatiss, playing “The Captain” (a mysterious character we have a few thoughts about).
Tickets for the US screenings are available here.
If, when and how these bonus features will be available to UK audiences remains to be seen. RadioTimes.com has contacted the BBC and is awaiting a response, so we’ll let you know as soon as we do.
Doctor Who will return this Christmas on BBC1
The War Master cast details released
Today we reveal the cast for the new War Master release – out over Christmas to terrify you as we head into 2018…
He’s back! Derek Jacobi is set to resume the role of the War Master at Big Finish, and the universe isn’t ready for the destruction he’ll cause.
Today we look at the cast list of this exciting release and see what’s coming up in a universe that’s set to implode.
No one could forget Derek Jacobi’s turn as the Master ten years ago. Even though he only starred in one episode of Doctor Who on television, his portrayal in Utopia still strikes fear into viewers, and Big Finish were delighted with the opportunity to continue his adventures on audio.
As listeners may have guessed from the artwork, Derek Jacobi will be facing the Daleks – voiced by Nicholas Briggs – during these four new adventures. Also joining the cast is Jacqueline King, who Doctor Who fans will remember as Sylvia Noble from the fourth series of Doctor Who, as well as Nerys Hughes, who plays the mother to Rhys Williams from Torchwood.
Big Finishers will also recognise Mark Elstob who is Number 6 in The Prisoner. Mark also appears in the upcoming Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 2, The Sword of the Chevalier.
And we have some homegrown Doctor Who Big Finish talent in the ranks with Jacob Dudman, narrator of the upcoming Tenth and Eleventh Doctor Chronicles, and Rachel Atkins who stars as the villainous Ro-Jedda in Torchwood Series 5 – Aliens Among Us.
We are also introducing a companion for the War Master. Cole will be played by Jonny Green, who Big Finish fans may recognise as Tyler Steele from Torchwood Series 5 – Aliens Among Us.
The full cast are: Derek Jacobi (The Master), Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks), Jacqueline King (Nius), Deirdre Mullins (Osen), Mark Elstob (Glortz), Rachel Atkins (Major Desra), Hannah Barker (Phila), Jonny Green (Cole Jarnish), Jacob Dudman (Arcking 12 Computer), Emily Barber (Elidh), Robert Daws (Anvar), Nerys Hughes (Mrs Wilson) andJonathan Bailey (Marigold Lane Computer). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Make sure you order this production before its release in December. Available for pre-order now at £23 on CD or £20 on download.
Or save money with a bundle, get The War Master along with Gallifrey: Time War and upcoming release Tales From New Earth for £63 on CD or £54 on download.
And for fans of the Time War saga, don’t forget that we plunge head first into the Time Warwith the Eighth Doctor played by Paul McGann and new companion Bliss played by Rakhee Thakrar, coming out later this month.
You can also hear the effect of the Time War on the wider universe in Doctor Who Short Trips. Two Time War Short Trips have now been released: A Heart on Both Sides is read by Sarah Sutton (Nyssa, Fifth Doctor companion), and All Hands on Deck read by Carole Ann Ford (Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter). At £2.99 a download each, make sure you pick up these stellar Time War additional stories.
Keep an eye on the Big Finish website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information on the Time War.
Lethbridge Stewart celebrate 50 years of radio 1
Candy Jar have announced '48 Crash, a Lethbridge-Stewart short story to tie in with the Radio One's 50th Annversary weekend:
In tribute to the 50th anniversary of BBC Radio 1, Candy Jar Books has announced a Kindle-only short story, ’48 Crash by Mark Carton.
This weekend sees the BBC celebrate with a three-day “vintage” digital radio station, Radio 1 Vintage, with 50 one-hour themed shows compiled from Radio 1 archive material, featuring DJs from across its entire history. To coincide, the story ’48 Crash will be available to buy from Amazon Kindle over the same period.
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, said:
Having grown up listening to BBC Radio, I’ve been waiting to hear what they had planned for the 50th anniversary of Radio 1. It seemed like a fantastic opportunity to celebrate a British institution that has had such an impact over the years. When Mark suggested that he’d like to write a short story to mark the event, I thought that combining his core idea with the Lethbridge-Stewart range was a no-brainer.
This celebratory release aligns with our Kindle release of the individual short stories featured in our limited edition HAVOC Files one through three. Each short story will now be available to download from Amazon Kindle individually for £1.29. Customers who previously missed the PDF e-books will be able to read each story in isolation without having to commit to the whole load. This is something we’ve been asked for many times. You ask, we do!
Mark Carton has been an avid follower of the Lethbridge-Stewart range, and is the author of Candy Jar children’s novel The League of the Red-Nosed Gentlemen
. He says:
The Brig is an iconic part of Doctor Who history, which itself, of course, an iconic part of the BBC’s story too. In tribute to Radio 1’s Birthday, we thought it would be fitting if he returned to the fold, so to speak, to help out Auntie once again! It’s an action-packed tale, and a little irreverent, which we thought was befitting of Radio 1’s ethos. Lethbridge-Stewart must solve a mystery encoded in some of the popular hits of Radio 1’s early days. When the music’s over, does he succeed? I’ll leave that to the readers to find out!
A free PDF version of ’48 Crash will also be available to customers who purchase The Flaming Soldier from the Candy Jar website.
Source/Doctor Who News
Video of the week
WatchMojo are back with another doctor who related top 10 countdown as they discuss ten surprising roles by doctor who actors.
That's it for today and I hope you've enjoyed another round up! Join us for yet another next week on Friday 13th October.
Hello. I'm Lewis Moon. This is the blog with all the doctor who news as well as MLMA updates.
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