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.
David Bradley to return in new Big Finish audios next January
Big Finish have announced that David Bradley will be reprising the role of the First Doctor in a new series of Audio plays.
Bradley will star as the First Doctor in this year’s BBC One Doctor Who Christmas Special alongside Peter Capaldi. Now Big Finish Productions, in arrangement with BBC Worldwide, are giving this reimagined First Doctor another chance to explore the cosmos.
Joining David Bradley are his co-stars from the Mark Gatiss Docu-drama on the origins of Doctor Who, An Adventure in Space and Time. Jamie Glover (Elizabeth, Waterloo Road, Holby City) plays Ian Chesterton, Jemma Powell (Alice in Wonderland, Angel, Foyle’s War) plays Barbara Wright, and Claudia Grant (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) plays Susan – the Doctor’s granddaughter and the original ‘Unearthly Child’.
Script editor and writer Matt Fitton said
The adventures of the First Doctor are all about discovery, finding out what this infinite universe contains, and also who our fellow travelers are. As we journey with Ian, Barbara, Susan and the mysterious Doctor, we come to see what they are capable of when confronted with the strange, the unjust and the dangerous.
Executive producer Nicholas Briggs added
Having worked with David twice now on TV, it’s great to be working with him again. Matt and his team of writers have come up with such a beautifully authentic set of scripts. We forget how different Doctor Who was, back in those early days – and here it all is, painstakingly recreated. I find that rather thrilling.
What's fascinating about the cast and their performances is that they're not impersonating William Hartnell and his TARDIS crew. They're playing those parts as written in the scripts. No one can replace the brilliance of those original performances. What we're presenting here is a kind of reinvention of that era, completely in the spirit of the original. They are new but entirely faithful interpretations of these characters.
Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery said
I’ve always been a great admirer of David Bradley’s work and thought that he was an excellent choice to play William Hartnell in An Adventure in Space and Time. After his brilliant performance, we immediately thought about bringing David in to play the First Doctor for Big Finish – it took us a while – but we got there in the end! I’m so looking forward to seeing David in the Christmas Special and then listening to his further adventures with us.
This series of adventures pays homage to the beginning years of Doctor Who, and each of the four episodes in each story will be given an individual title. Two of the four stories are historical, focusing on tales from Earth’s history pre-1963. Back in its first few years, Doctor Who was intended to be an educational programme using time travel as a means to explore scientific ideas and famous moments in history, while still captivating the minds and imaginations of generations to come.
Not only will the Doctor be exploring our history, but he will also encounter strange new life forms – the Dalmari and the Ashtallans.
And in a Big Finish exclusive, the First Doctor will encounter his greatest foe, the first incarnation of fellow Time Lord, the Master, played by James Dreyfus.
Available in December, the stories in The First Doctor Adventures - Volume 1 consist of:
And to follow in July 2018, Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 2:
Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 1 is available for pre-order now at £23 on CD or £20 on download from Big Finish and will remain at this price until general release when it will be available for £35 on CD or £30 on download.
Steven Moffat teases dark Christmas special
It was always fair to assume that the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special wouldn’t be the most merry of festive episodes, with the upcoming Twice Upon a Time set to feature the “death” of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor (before regenerating into Jodie Whittaker’s new incarnation) and the end of a seven-year era in Doctor Who history.
However, it’s now emerged that the episode could be even darker than we expected, with the episode’s writer Steven Moffat (who departs as showrunner alongside Capaldi this December) hinting that there could be some nasty times ahead for the Time Lord.
Speaking at a panel at the London Screenwriters’ Festival, Moffat was asked how he and Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss (also present with producer Sue Vertue) balanced the Baker Street sleuth’s selfish tendencies with his essentially good nature – and his answer included a fascinating Doctor Who tidbit for attentive fans.
“Why would Superman be good? Because kindness stops you being lonely, would be the answer,” Moffat said. “That’s what that’s about, for Sherlock Holmes.
“He’s good because for all he protests about it, there are people he cares about.
“So, kindness is what makes a unit of us. So if you are sane and rational, kindness is by far the best path. There isn’t anything rational about being vile and awful and evil. It’s not actually a good strategy.”
He then added cryptically: “Prepare for that to be contradicted on Doctor Who on Christmas Day…”
Now, we’re not sure whether the “vile and awful and evil” comment refers to some dark, utilitarian idea enacted by the Doctor in the episode, the successful evil plans of his enemies or even his own ruthless nature when it comes to telling the story of such a crucial episode.
Peter Capaldi reveals Jodie Whittaker is his favourite doctor
Any Doctor Who fan worth the name has a pick for their favourite Doctor, with different incarnations of the Time Lord adventurer inspiring fierce loyalty in Whovians depending on their age, personality or (probably) fashion sense.
So it’s no surprise to learn that current series star Peter Capaldi has his own pick for the Doctor to beat all Doctors – even if his particular favourite might be a little unusual given that few have seen her onscreen at all…
“Jodie Whittaker!” Capaldi said when asked about his favourite Doctor at Portland’s Rose City Comic-Con, with his selection of the upcoming first female Doctor (taking over the Tardis keys from this December’s Christmas Special Twice Upon a Time) drawing cheers from the crowd – even as Capaldi admitted he hadn’t actually seen Thirteen in action yet (unlike departing showrunner Steven Moffat). We’re guessing he just has a good feeling about her.
Still, when Whittaker does take over Capaldi made it clear that she’ll be taking on a role and a half, with the Scottish actor waxing lyrical about the joys of being a part of the BBC sci-fi series later in the panel.
“It’s just an amazing experience, because all the time you are the Doctor you are the centre of all this attention, this warmth and so to have that in your life is extraordinary,” Capaldi told the crowd.
“I feel it’s just a very, very special privilege and position to be in. It’s life-changing. It’s wonderful to be the Doctor. You are Doctor Who – for a while.”
Companion Pearl Mackie (who returns as Bill Potts this Christmas and joined Capaldi onstage) added: “It’s so amazing.
“And I think one of the best parts of it is that every episode is kind of a different genre, while still having monsters and things like that. It’s just wonderful.
“One day you’re on a different planet fighting emoji robots, the next day you’re in a full Victorian period costume on ice.
“It’s insane. Every day was so different, and so new. It’s basically the best show on TV.”
RTD hid secret references to Jodie in his new book
When Jodie Whittaker was revealed as the incoming Thirteenth Doctor over the summer Doctor Who fans were gobsmacked, with many surprised that the BBC had been brave enough to cast the first female incarnation of the Time Lord andmanage keep the whole thing secret for so long.
However, there was one mega-fan who wasn’t quite so shocked about the announcement – former series boss Russell T Davies, who revived and ran the sci-fi series from 2005 to 2010 and had a bit of an inside track about the Tardis’ new owner (or at least her gender).
“Let’s just say I’m friends with all these people, with [current showrunner Steven Moffat] and with [new boss Chris Chibnall],” Davies told RadioTimes.com. “And we’ve been friends for years. So I knew what was in the air. I knew kind of.”
And so when Davies was contacted by BBC books to illustrate a new volume of Doctor Who poetry by novelist James Goss (called Now We Are Six Hundred and loosely based on verse by Winnie-the-Pooh author AA Milne), he couldn’t resist slipping in a few references to the series’ exciting future – even if he wasn’t sure of the specifics at the time.
“There’s a poem called Contents, which I thought ‘Well I’ll draw a trunk, and in that trunk there’s something representing every single Doctor,” Davies recalled.
“And that was tough, and that was me sitting there scratching my head for a long time on some of them. And I got there! And there’s also a handbag in there, you’ll be glad to see.”
And Davies didn’t stop there, also showing Peter Capaldi’s current Doctor looking significantly towards a female mannequin inside the Tardis (pictured, above) in one illustration, while another drawing appears to actually feature Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor in action – albeit in disguise.
“There’s a whole poem about an unnamed Doctor…. where is it?” Davies said, looking to his notes. “Oh yes, The Death List.
“Which has the kind of masked, unknown secret Doctor running around. On page 23, if you look at the swirl of those clothes she’s wearing women’s stilettos and the numbers 1 and 3 are hidden in the folds of those clothes.”
And if you can look closely the illustration in question below, you can see he’s right – so in a way, this is one of our first looks at a female Doctor in action.
“That’s a female Doctor running around!” Davies said.
“Well, I suppose anyone could wear high-heels, but there’s a curve there you wouldn’t get on a male figure.”
And even if his hunch about the female Doctor turned out to be wrong, Davies says he had a plan.
“I kind of knew anything could happen, so there was time with the publishing of it to have removed any of those,” he told us. “But actually they’re all quite speculative.
“Even if we hadn’t gone with Jodie Whittaker, that photograph of Peter Capaldi looking at the female mannequin represents that time when everyone’s saying there could be a female Doctor anyway.
“The illustration still stands, even if they’d gone and cast [Coronation Street star] William Roache as the Doctor. You could still have got away with that drawing.”
Speaking more generally about hiding such references in his drawings, Davies said: “Well when you’ve got a book of Doctor Who poems, you kind of know that’s really for fans.
“I mean I hope everyone reads it because it’s lovely and the poems are beautiful, and I think you could be six years old and have fun with it. Nonetheless, you are kind of looking at a niche market here. It’s not like photos of Daleks that are gonna appeal to lots and lots of kids. It’s very fannish
The poetry book written by James Goss and illustrated by Davies
“So I felt very free to get very fannish in it. There was a really mad Dalek toy made by Doctor Who adventures comic recently, which is the most misshapen Dalek ever. It got a kind of a cult following, it was such a bad Dalek toy. People kind of love it, fans, in a very niche sense, fans love it.
“So I’ve drawn that, that crops up about two or three times that mad little Dalek, the Doctor Who adventures Dalek.
“So things like that are VERY specialist. But equally, then there’s Tom Baker with his scarf, and your mum and dad would know what that is.”
And soon enough, everyone and their mum will just as easily recognise the first female Doctor when she springs into action this Christmas – and her time hiding in the shadows will be a thing of the past.
Now We Are Six Hundred: A Collection of Time Lord Verse by James Goss and Russell T Davies is available for purchase in hardback from Thursday 14th September
Seventh doctor hat to be auctioned
Two treasures from classic Doctor Who are amongst 600 lots of movie memorabilia being sold in a London auction on Tuesday 26th September 2017
Sylvester McCoy’s signature hat from his spell as the seventh Doctor is up for sale alongside a Necros Dalek Model Miniature from Revelation of the Daleks, which starred Colin Baker. Both are estimated to sell for between £8,000 – £10,000.
These iconic pieces of television history will be sold alongside props and costumes from over 200 films and television shows, worth £2-£3 million, at Prop Store’s Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction.
A preview exhibition presenting over 300 auction lots will take place until 26th September at the BFI IMAX in Waterloo, London, where movie fans and collectors alike can see these incredible pieces of movie history up-close.
Stephen Lane, Prop Store CEO, commented on the upcoming auction
We’re very pleased to be able to offer two iconic lots from classic Doctor Who as part of our live auction. These great items and hundreds more will go under the hammer at Prop Store’s Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction on 26th September 2017 at London’s BFI IMAX proudly presented by ODEON.
The auction will be live-streamed online for fans to track the bidding on auction day. Registration and bidding is now open. Bids can be placed online, over the phone or in person.
The free exhibition is open to the public at the BFI IMAX, Waterloo, London, England SE1 8XR from 10:00am to 9:30pm, until 26th September 2017.
Prop Store’s Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction, in partnership with the BFI IMAX proudly presented by ODEON, will also take place at the BFI IMAX Waterloo on Tuesday 26th September 2017 from 12:00pm.
Source/Doctor Who News
Lethbridge Stewart: The Cruel Oil
Candy Jar Books has announces its latest pdf-only short story, The Cruel Oil by Harry Draper. This can be downloaded for free from the Candy Jar website.
Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen introduces the story:
The Cruel Oil is a result of our recent short story open submission window. It was a simple but intruiging pitch; When disaster occurs at a North Sea platform, and dead bodies preserved in tar from the spillage begin to disappear from their morgues, Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers discover just how cruel the oil of Earth can be... Upon reading the full outline I just knew it contained a ‘classic era’ feel, and would be better suited to Anne Travers and Bill Bishop. Which led me to another idea...
Twenty year old Harry Draper is one of the youngest authors to write for the Lethbridge-Stewart range. Originally from Bristol, he nows lives in Ormskirk, west Lancashire, and explains a little of his long-standing desire to write some Doctor Who related material:
Just over ten years ago, I read my first Doctor Who book in my local Waterstones. Naturally, having failed to grow up all this time later, I leapt at the opportunity to submit a pitch to the Lethbridge-Stewart short story opportunity. When Andy suggested the idea of depicting Anne Travers and Bill Bishop's first date, and Anne coming to terms with her father's death, I knew then we had a story worth telling. Now, at long last, it has materialised! And no one is safe from the Silhouettes. Here's to never quite growing up.
The Cruel Oil is set shortly before the novel The Dreamer’s Lament, released last month.
Source/Doctor Who News
Video of the week
The Doctor Who Experience sadly closed it's doors earlier this week and here's a look behind some of the best bits from the five year exhibition.
Hello. I'm Lewis Moon. This is the blog with all the doctor who news as well as MLMA updates.
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