Global Fans Unite for The Seven Doctors Audio

During the worldwide lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Doctor Who fans from across the globe sought to support each other through friendship and collaboration. In the spirit of sharing the Doctor Who Club of Australia offered digital copies of its various fan publications to members of the US based Guardians of Gallifrey, just as the Guardians themselves shared their own publications with members of the DWCA. In the aftermath of this mutual appreciation, a further collaboration was instigated – the dramatic recording of readings of fan fiction stories from the pages of the Guardians of Gallifrey publication Tales from the Matrix, bringing the tales to new life through audio productions. And the first of these has just been released!

Read by the author, US based David W. Dietz III, who just happens to be an actor, stage-screen writer, filmmaker and audiobook producer/narrator, with editing and sound production from Australian based musician and audio engineer Roger Reynolds, the tale sees all seven of the classic era Doctors face off against the triple threat of the Master, Omega and the Daleks! Make sure you check it out on the DR Productions podcast website, where you will also find some of their earlier productions, including dramatic readings of Fourth Doctor story Wertham, and Ninth Doctor stories Extinction Day and The Blue Tree, along with the full cast audio productions Nexus and Rainbow Serpent.

You can check them all out at the DR Productions podcast site.

Russell T Davies lost classic

Back when he was just a lowly fan, before he became the architect of Doctor Who’s resurrection, Russell T Davies decided to try his hand at writing a Doctor Who script. Envisaged as a two part story for Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor and Bonnie Langford’s Mel, Davies wrote the entire first episode along with a full synopsis of the second. Then he put it on his shelf and promptly forgot about it… until now! Unearthed during a Lockdown related clean up, the script has now been completed in collaboration with Scott Handcock. The resulting story, Mind of the Hodiac, will see release as a collectors edition CD box-set from Big Finish! Just going to show all those fans with forgotten scripts on their shelves – hang on long enough and maybe they will see the light of day! Davies himself described it as: “a galaxy-spanning adventure, as the mysterious Hodiac begins a deadly hunt, putting an ordinary Earth family in terrible danger. There are psychic powers, Tungsten Warriors and a vital role for the Doctor’s coat…”

 

DWCA Western Sydney Tavern – on again 12 March

It’s back on 12 March 2021 – the next DWCA Western Sydney Tavern! You can meet up and hang out with organizer Dallas Jones and other Who fans from about 6.30pm at the Lone Pine Tavern, Rooty Hill, located at 15 Rooty Hill Road, Rooty Hill, NSW. The plan is for attendees to meet in the dining area, so look for a table with a TARDIS model. The Lone Pine Tavern is within a short distance of Rooty Hill Station for those people who want to come along via public transport and the venue has plenty of parking for those coming by car. The more the merrier!

Books and Magazines Galore

Without any new Who on our screens for some time, a variety of publishers are working overtime to ensure there is plenty of reading material available for fans in the interim. The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (562) features a focus on illustrators and their role in visualising the Doctor Who universe. For anyone who has seen The Dalek Book and The Dalek World publications from the 1960s, you’ll instantly recognise the ever so slightly wrong illustration of a Dalek, recreated for the DWM cover (complete with alien writing on the head, which was actually replicated from an image with an on set post-it note from the Director, stuck on during rehearsals just so he could tell the Daleks apart!). The article features contributions from such illustrators as Chris Achilléos, Colin Howard, Martin Geraghty, Stuart Crouch, Anthony Dry and Anthony Lamb. Plus there are a slew of other articles and features in the issue as well, including an interview with John Lloyd about an unmade script he wrote for the show that is soon to be released as a Big Finish audio.

Other publications from the makers of DWM include a new series titled Doctor Who Chronicles. The series will focus on pivotal years of the show’s history, with in depth analysis of the milestone moments of that year. The first to be released is 1965 – the year of Dalekmania! These follow issue 561 of DWM which focused on Target books (new and old) and  the recent reprint of The Dalek Chronicles comic book series.

New Target books are due out this month, including novelisations of such stories (reissued in the Target format if released before) as the Eighth Doctor TV Movie, Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks, The Pirate Planet, Dalek, The Crimson Horror and The Witchfinders. Plus BBC Books are bringing out The Ruby’s Curse – A River Song / Melody Malone Mystery, written by none other than Alex Kingston! And Candy Jar Books have announced the second novel in series eight of their Lethbridge-Stewart series, Fear Frequency written by George Ivanoff.

There are a number of non-fiction books hitting the shelves as well, including a book from Fantom Publishing that looks at the life of Doctor Who Director Douglas Camfield, simply titled Directed by Douglas Camfield. Also, the long out of print behind-the-scenes book Script Doctor by classic series showrunner Andrew Cartmel has not only been reissued but also updated, with a new introduction by Steven Moffat, delivering the ultimate inside look at Doctor Who from 1986 to 1989.

So there are plenty of great books for fans to dive into while we are all awaiting new episodes, animated reconstructions and those beautiful Blu-Ray box sets!

The Doctor Returns on Blu-Ray

The expanding range of Doctor Who – The Collection on Blu-Ray continues in 2021 with more releases from the classic era of Doctor Who. Jon Pertwee is back in the Season 8 collection, as is Sylvester McCoy in Season 24. From Autons to Tetraps, these collections highlight two very different eras of the show and continue to bring fans unrelentingly comprehensive editions with a slew of old and new material available for the first time in one complete package. Plus the tradition of creating new short films to advertise the releases has seen more classic era actors reprise their roles and reunite.

The Season 8 release contains an eight-disc box set with such special features as Behind the Sofa with Katy Manning, Stewart Bevan, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Sacha Dhawan and Anjli Mohindra, A Devils Weekend featuring Katy Manning and John Levene on a personal trip back to Aldbourne where The Daemons was filmed, The Direct Route with directors Michael Briant, Graeme Harper and Tim Combe on road trip to filming locations, a feature on Terrance Dicks, an extended version of the first episode of The Claws of Axos, a 90 minute version of The Daemons, studio footage and 5.1 surround sound options for Terror of the Autons and The Daemons.

The Season 24 release contains extended versions, 5.1 surround sound and isolated score options on all stories, previously unseen material, Behind the Sofa with Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford, Sophie Aldred, Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Colin Baker and Michael Jayston and The Doctor’s Table featuring Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford, Sophie Aldred and Clive Merrison discussing the making of the season.

There are no announcements yet about First and Second Doctor full season releases of The Collection on Blu-Ray, but the Radio Times has confirmed that the next two animated productions due for release in 2021 are Evil of the Daleks and The Abominable Snowmen. The completion of these would leave four episodes of The Smugglers, four episodes of The Highlanders and two episodes of The Underwater Menace remaining to animate to complete Season Four (the transition from William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton). Season Five would still require one episode from The Web of Fear and four from The Wheel in Space (or at least three and a half, since animation was completed for the first part of Episode One of Wheel back in 2018). Then there is always the hope that Patrick Troughton’s final season could be completed with the animation of six episode story The Space Pirates for a Season Six release. No matter which gets completed first, the future certainly looks bright for Doctor Who fans to be able to find new life in the timeless classics of yesteryear.

Data Extract Turns Forty

Looking back from here and now 1980 seems like another world. The Rubik’s Cube was launched, the Voyager 1 probe investigated Janus – a moon of Saturn, Pac-Man was released in video arcades, The Empire Strikes Back was released in theatres, Tom Baker resigned from the role of the Doctor, and Data Extract launched its first issue! “This will be my first and probably last editorial.” Not exactly the words you’d expect to launch a publication that would still be going strong 40 years later, but that’s exactly how editor Dallas Jones chose to launch the first issue of Data Extract four decades ago.

Of course, it wasn’t actually called Data Extract at the time, it went out under the title of the Australasian Doctor Who Newsletter! It wasn’t until issue 23 in July-August 1983 that the titled changed to Data Extract following a competition for readers to come up with a catchy name. “I wish to thank all those people who sent in suggestions for the newsletter’s new name,” editor Dallas Jones wrote. “The response was very heartening. The winner is Kevin Smedley of Sunbury who sent in a beautifully designed logo. His choice was Australasian Who’s Who. Kevin will receive a lifetime subscription to the newsletter. Unfortunately Kevin’s choice will not be used as your editor has come up with a name himself… Data Extract.” And so the legend was born… hopefully Kevin is still reading!

The next two issues of Data Extract will feature a plethora of features celebrating this 40 year milestone, including recollections from past editors and articles about the history of the publication. The very next issue (247 due for release next week) looks at Christopher Eccleston’s return to the role of the Doctor, interviews Thomas Crawford on his Satellite 5 fan productions and goes behind the scenes with Brand Manager Edward Russell on recreating the Beatles Abbey Road cover with Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and two Daleks. We also take part in a Whovian wedding, count down the best honeymoon locations in the Whoniverse, hunt for Campsie’s missing TARDIS library, discuss the conspiracy of The Curator with the Boffin, check out the Lockdown Season with UK correspondent Bel Bailey-Melouney, discover the origins of the Doctor’s dark side in War of the Valeyard and launch the first part of the Jason Towers comic ‘Old Sixie versus the Bridge of Doom’, telling the true tale of how the DWCA forced Colin Baker to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. All that and much, much more, so if you aren’t a current member of the DWCA make sure you subscribe today at http://dwca.org.au/products-page/membership/ to get yourself a copy and find out why after 40 years of publication, the fun is only just beginning!

 

 

 

Fury from the Deep returns

The long lost classic Fury from the Deep is set to return with a three disc Blu-ray release containing all new animation set to the original audio track. The set will contain the surviving clips from the original 1968 production as well as full colour and black and white versions of the animated story. Three of the original cast members, Frazer Hines, June Murphy and Brian Cullingford, revisit the filming locations with production assistant Michael Briant, assistant floor manager Margot Hayhoe and helicopter pilot Mike Smith in a special feature about the making of the show. There are also archive interviews, audio commentaries and more. The set is due for release in the UK on 14 September but there is no date available yet for the Australian release. The DWCA Shop will obtain copies as soon as possible and we will spread the news when the release date is known. The updated animated version of Power of the Daleks has just been released in Australia and is currently available along with Jodie Whittaker’s Series 12.

Eccleston Returns

While the short-lived tenure of Christopher Eccleston’s much loved Ninth Doctor has been revisited in comics, audios and even on the small screen through cameos in The Name of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor, the man himself has thus far resisted the invitation to return to the role. Until now! “After 15 years it will be exciting to revisit the Ninth Doctor’s world, bringing back to life a character I love playing,” Eccleston commented as the news broke that Big Finish would be releasing twelve full-cast audio adventures across four audio box-sets. The first box-set is due to be released in May 2021, but Big Finish are keeping details about the content quiet for the time being. Whatever the stories contain, it will be exciting to hear this much loved character brought to life once again by the man himself!

Celebrating 40 Years of Data Extract

DWCA Publishing is back in action, following some unfortunate COVID-19 delays, with Data Extract #246 shipping next week. This latest release kicks off the celebrations for the publication’s 40th anniversary. It was November 1980 when a two-page newsletter was sent to Australian fans, leading with the shocking headline “Tom Baker Quits!”. Not even called Data Extract yet, headlined instead simply as the Australasian Doctor Who Newsletter, none could have known it would still be going strong four decades later. In fact, creator Dallas Jones started the premier editorial with the words: “This will be my first and probably last editorial”. Far from prophetic, the journey from 1980 to 2020 has seen the publication grow into a fully-fledged magazine and become the flagship publication for the DWCA.

This latest issue starts the countdown to #249, which will coincide with the release of the first issue 40 years earlier. Over the next four issues there will be various features and articles to celebrate, including a four-part series kicking off in #246 that counts down the publication history decade by decade. Artist Jason Towers will also be providing a full-colour serialised comic telling the true story of what happened to Colin Baker when the club forced him to climb the Harbour Bridge during his Whovention visit. Issue #246 has interviews with Whovians host Rove McManus and Doctor Who comic artist Stewart McKenny, followed by future issues featuring Doctor Who Brand Manager Edward Russell, a behind the scenes look at the Lockdown Season, news, reviews and the latest releases. Plus, the next four issues are running a new four-part serialised fiction piece titled War of the Valeyard. Ever wondered where the Valeyard came from or what he did during the Time War? Well, wonder no more as shocking answers are revealed about everyone’s favourite dark-side amalgamation. Plus, we road-test the strangest fan conspiracy theories with the Boffin in Theoretically Speaking, report on the latest local fan news with Regional Transmissions and dredge the lake of public opinion for new points of discussion and digression in the Junkyard.

Issue #246 starts the celebrations with designer Alan Russell’s cover reinterpreting the classic cover art of Chris Hale from DE’s milestone 200th issue. Plus a look at the history of Doctor Who in electronic gaming from Gemma Styles, a dive into the psychology of the Master by Seth Lukas Hynes and Tim Darby’s Countdown!

Data Extract is published exclusively for DWCA club members, so the only way to ensure you get a copy is to become a card-carrying member and join/subscribe today!

That’s far from the end of the celebratory releases from DWCA Publishing this year though, with numerous new releases currently in the works, some highlights of which are included below…

The Adventures of Eleanor Chaplette

The Eleanor saga continues from the pages of Data Extract (as collected in Zerinza Volume 4) in a series of new novels, the first of which is Trash Island by Dom Kelly. Twenty years after the attempted darkness invasion of Atlantis, Eleanor is still saving people from across time and space. While rescuing the doomed Chinese sailors of the Whitebelly however, she comes across something unexpected, an island of refuse displaced in time and space and laced with human skeletons. The search for answers will lead her across the stars and over acidic oceans to the corporate island of Polystrata and a world with no future!

Who’s Your Own Adventure

This is no ordinary book! Within these pages you must make the decisions that guide the story. You might choose to turn left and end up saving the world or instead turn right and create an alternate reality where everything falls apart – the choices will be yours! The Choose Your Own Adventure format of multiple-choice narrative is blended with the history of Doctor Who in this new series of books, that allow you to step into the real life history of your favourite show and experience it as never before. The first book delves into the little-known history of the Australian protest to stop the national broadcaster from dropping Doctor Who from its schedule. The protest ensured the show continued in Australia and was the event that formed the Doctor Who Club of Australia. Or did it? Every choice you make as reader will have a consequence and the very future of Doctor Who itself may be changed forever if you stray too far down the wrong path!

Zerinza Volume 5

With its usual eclectic mix of articles, interviews and fiction, the next volume of Zerinza will continue to deliver exciting long-form written pieces on Doctor Who.

Digital Comics

The DWCA will also be releasing another digital comic, following in the tradition of past comic specials Liberation from the Daleks, Wrath of the Cyber-Spider and Pyramids of Mars. The next comic special will feature Doctor Who stories alongside true tales of fandom, all brought to life in comic book format with stunning art from Australia’s best Whovian artists.

DWCA Publications are produced for club members, so the best way to ensure you get a copy is to join the club today!

Big Finish Return!

And They’re Back!

Shut down at the height of the pandemic in the UK, Big Finish have returned to shipping collector’s edition CDs and box sets to clear the backlog of orders. Big Finish warehouse staff returned to work on June 8 – with the company taking steps to protect workers including providing safety equipment and a regular schedule of deep cleaning. Big Finish company chairman Jason Haigh-Ellery thanked customers for their patience.

“Our listeners have been extremely patient over the past three months, while our warehouse staff have been furloughed, and as we operated a digital-first release schedule,” he said. “I would like to thank all our customers for their understanding during this time; we really couldn’t have done it without you. We are now delighted to be in a position to begin shipping the orders for physical products we have taken since 24 March. The team has put procedures in place to ensure the continued safety of our staff. However, we naturally have a lot of pending orders to work through, and our warehouse is not yet back to full capacity, so we ask that customers continue to bear with us as we start to clear the backlog. To make it fair for everyone, outstanding orders for collector’s edition CDs and box sets will be fulfilled on a ‘per month’ basis; so, orders placed in April will be batched up and mailed out first, followed by those placed in May and June. Please note we are still awaiting the delivery of some stock from our pressing plant and we cannot guarantee the status of local mail or postal services. We expect there to be continued delays, particularly for overseas customers.”

The DWCA Shop will be stocking all the latest releases as they become available. Make sure you check out the shop section of this website regularly to keep up with the latest Big Finish releases as they arrive from the UK.