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.

Two Day Australian Watch-along this weekend (4 and 5 June)

No matter where you are in Australia or how you are impacted by COVID-19, this weekend you can come together with fellow fans in a two day watch-along marathon, organised by past DWCA president Dallas Jones! Full details of the epic two day event are included below.

THE 4TH & 5TH AUSTRALIAN DOCTOR WHO WATCH-ALONGS

4TH “DALEK” & “THE LONG GAME” ON SATURDAY JULY 4TH
5TH
“TERROR OF THE ZYGONS” ON SATURDAY JULY 11TH
HOW THEY WILL WORK

For Dalek and The Long Game we understand that you have the option to watch it streaming on either Stan or Amazon Prime. You can also watch it on a DVD you have bought or on a copy that you had recorded previously for your own personal use.

For Terror of the Zygons you will have to watch it on a DVD you have bought or on a copy that you had recorded previously for your own personal use.

The “watch-along” part will be where you can post comments, on

or on

or on

Twitter

  • By posting your comments using the tag #youwouldmakeagooddalek for the 4th Watch-along
  • By posting your comments using the tag #waveatentacle for the 5th Watch-along.

These comments should be about what you are watching and also will allow you, if you wish, to interact with other people who will also be posting comments.

So at 8.00pm AEST (6.00 pm WA, 7.30 pm SA & NT) you can start playing, on July 4th, Dalek followed by The Long Game; and on July 11th, you can start paying, The Terror of the Zygons; and then post your comments, as the story(ies) unfold(s), and interact(ing), if you wish, with what other people have commented.

Watchalong Tomb of the Cybermen Saturday 27 June

If you’ve been looking on enviously at the overseas watchalong events taking place during the COVID-19 Lockdown but have been unable to take part due to the crazy impossible time difference between the UK and Australia, then here’s something for you! Past DWCA President Dallas Jones is following up on his two successful Australian watchalongs with a third event on Saturday 27 June – and this time he has chosen one of the true greats of classic Who, the epic, gothic and totally cool (pun intended) Tomb of the Cybermen. Check out the details below to take part.

Life During Lockdown

One of the more extraordinary things to come from Doctor Who fandom during the time of COVID-19 was the creation of a variety of new videos, written and performed by the official stars and creators of Doctor Who. These videos were released on YouTube, timed to coincide with the Lockdown shared watching events of various classic episodes. The project was founded by Emily Cook from Doctor Who Magazine, proposing the idea that fans simulcast watch-alongs of classic stories. What started as supporting the watch-alongs with live tweeting, interviews and other online material, quickly developed into a series of funny, beautiful, poignant and moving short films. Not only did they revisit classic stories in new ways, but they contextualised the importance of Doctor Who and its fandom in the midst of a real life worldwide crisis. Often discounted as frivolous by those who don’t see the attraction, fandom has in fact never been more relevant, proven by the unifying and thought-provoking way in which it has reached out to fans around the world during this time. The full set of videos can be found on the Doctor Who Lockdown YouTube page, but some key examples are included below.

 

DWCA PO Box issue now rectified

Recently, there was an issue with the DWCA’s PO Box and that led to some mail being returned to the sender. The DWCA would like to assure club members that the problem has now been rectified. If people wish to resend any items that were inadvertently returned during this time they can now do so and are encouraged to. The club apologises most sincerely for any inconvenience caused during this time.

Power of the Daleks Reaminated

Fans of Doctor Who were overjoyed back in 2016 when Power of the Daleks became the first full missing story to be treated to an animated reconstruction. It was released worldwide in cinemas, online platforms, DVD and Blu-ray to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the story’s first transmission. However, due to the tight time frame to meet that anniversary date, the animators felt that some aspects were rushed. They’ve also been polishing their art further through subsequent releases such as Macra Terror and The Faceless Ones. So it was that when the BBC was casting around for another 2020 release from the Second Doctor’s era, to celebrate the 100th year of Patrick Troughton’s birth (born 25 March 1920) the idea was floated to create a new definitive animated version of the story. Completely rebuilt and with all new special features, it will see release in the UK in July this year (with the Australian release date yet to be confirmed). Many fans were also excited to see that The Highlanders was listed as a special feature in some press releases, however it has since been confirmed that this is not the case. The intention had been to include the audio track of The Highlanders, but there were already so many special features there wasn’t adequate room to add it in the end and those plans have had to be dropped. There is as yet no news on what further animated reconstructions are in the works following Fury from the Deep (due out later this year) but there are certainly more in the works. The Highlanders will alas not be one of them, as it has been noted by the animators that the challenge of animating characters in tartan costumes is likely to be put off for as long as possible. While other releases have included both colour and black and white versions of the animated reconstructions, that will not be the case with the new Power of the Daleks. Many of the animation team were less than impressed when BBC America colourised their 2016 version. Seeing the story as a noir style piece, they will be sticking to black and white only for creative reasons on this one. With numerous Troughton releases coming out through 2020 to celebrate 100 years since his birth, perhaps that means 2021 will focus on Hartnell stories instead. The Daleks’ Master Plan perhaps? Well, we can hope…

The Tenth Doctor Returns – Time Lord Victorious Coming Soon from BBC Studios

BBC Studios have announced a new Tenth Doctor story to be released later this year. Set directly after the events of The Waters of Mars and just before The End of Time, this new story will focus on the Tenth Doctor in his final days. It will also feature his Ninth and Eighth incarnations in an epic story played out across multiple platforms. Time Lord Victorious will see linked releases in numerous formats from all the publishers and producers of Doctor Who material, including Penguin Random House, Doctor Who Magazine, Titan Comics, Escape Hunt, Big Finish Productions, Eaglemoss Hero Collector, Immersive Everywhere, Maze Theory, BBC Books and BBC Audio.

So far details have been limited and many questions remain. Could Christopher Eccleston reprise his role of the Ninth Doctor for some of the productions? How will the story link in with the existing Doctor Who chronology and mythology? So far two novels have been announced – The Knight, The Fool and The Dead by Steven Cole and All Flesh Is Grass by Una McCormack. The larger Time Lord Victorious story that links both books is set within the Dark Times at the start of the universe when even the Eternals were young. Multiple incarnations of the Doctor must defend the universe from a terrible race called the Kotturuh, creatures who spread through the cosmos dispensing mortality, literally pitting life against death. Billed as a “whole new Time War” but set back in the Dark Times, could the Kotturuh be linked in some way to the Great Vampires that Rassilon fought in the first Time War? Only time will tell, but as new releases are announced there is sure to be mounting excitement for Doctor Who fans everywhere.

To celebrate the impending release of Time Lord Victorious the DWCA have included below a tale of the Time War that is set within the ruins of the first Time War, originally published in Zerinza Volume One.

There was once an old hermit from the mountains of south Gallifrey. He used to tell me ghost stories. I like a ghost story. Do you want to hear one? It’s about a race of giant vampires. They came out of nowhere, and swarmed and swarmed. They swarmed all over the universe. And they were so strong that one single vampire could suck the life out of an entire planet. We Time Lords hunted them down across the universe in a war so long and so bloody that we were sickened of violence forever. So powerful were the bodies of these great creatures, and so fiercely did they cling to life, that they were impossible to kill. Rassilon ordered the construction of bow ships, swift vessels that fired a mighty bolt of steel that transfixed the monsters through the heart. For only if his heart be utterly destroyed will a vampire die. When the bodies were counted, the King Vampire, mightiest and most malevolent of all, had vanished, even to his shadow, from time and space. Hence it is the directive of Rassilon that any Time Lord who comes upon this enemy of our people and of all living things, shall use all his efforts to destroy him, even at the cost of his own life.” – The Fourth Doctor, State of Decay

Elegy for a Tardis
Written by Darran Jordan (Tlancyravel created by Scott Marshall)

She fell like a burning angel through the raging depths of a dark ocean, her thoughts scattered into an incoherent wail of cacophonic cloister bells. There was no way of knowing how long she had been falling, for here there was no time with which to measure. In the moments between now and now there was only thought and fear. She tried to grasp hold of herself once more, tendrils of her mind reaching out tentatively, looking for something of familiar gravity around which to orbit her fractured pieces.

There was no time here in the vortex, but time had obviously passed within the confines of her inner dimensions. The central column still rose and fell in her console room, but there was no sentient life with which to commune anymore. The telepathic circuits fed back only static, as her senses alerted her to the skeleton draped theatrically across the console, one bony digit reaching frantically for the fast return switch. Forever reaching, never touching, it was like some Michelangelo tableau substituting man with Time Lord, God with TARDIS.

Poor Tlancyravel, she thought, he had been such a precious pet. She had tried to protect him as time had shattered around them. So many shards had fallen, each of them holding the per-fect pearl of his endlessly replicating alternate deaths. Struck by a lightning bolt in Blackpool. Shot by the Chancellery Guard while descending Mount Perdition. Drowning in the Lake of Mutations on Skaro. Converted on Telos then destroyed in a battle against the Cryons. Ripped to shreds by a Raston Warrior Robot. Poisoned by the monk on the hillside above the ancient house of Lungbarrow. Or simply dying of old age, his regenerations used up, his last body finally wearing a bit thin. He would have been honoured by the High Council, bodily carried by them on a bier decorated with the ancient swirling symbols of Gallifrey, his aged intellect for-ever preserved within the glorious mesh of the matrix. The Time War had changed all that. The possibilities had been multiple, the shards of them cutting deep. Linking them all like jewels on a necklace was the central thread, a long sharp wound that had cut them both down in one jagged slash. “The Nightmare Child,” he had screamed, “it is upon us!” Then he had leapt at the console, falling into his final death as the monster had torn through them like autumn leaves in the breath of a furnace.

As she fell deeper into the vortex she became aware of singing around her, deep and sonorous, rising and falling like the waves of temporal energy that rippled through this impossible place. Towering around her in concentric circles like the inner walls of a deep well, hovered the combined might and wonder of the Chronovore ranks. These were the waters where they swam, braving dangerous currents to taunt and tease each other in games. They played like children while the Time War raged, refusing to take sides or lend hands. They claimed neutrality when-ever anyone dared to ask, but perhaps their reticence was more to do with the injury one of their own had suffered at the gun stalk of the Special Temporal Dalek.

Lord Upnash-Karatar, high Chronovore of the dark vortex, rider of the winds of time, eater of centuries and devourer of ages, had underestimated the purity of Dalek rage and was not keen to risk a similar error again. Still, he led his people in song whenever one of the TARDISes fell in battle. He had a fondness for the ephemeral, composing elegies of impossible beauty with which to honour those soon to be no more. She felt his gaze upon her as she plummeted. Be-side him hovered Chronos, healer of Dellah, destroyer of Atlantis, a being beyond either good or evil. Wearing the silver semblance of a beautiful woman, the Chronovore watched her fall with tears streaming down her cheeks. Their song lingered on long after they had been lost from sight, but in the end even that faded. She was gathering speed now, tumbling headlong into those regions of the vortex where none dared to venture, except on their final journey.

Despite the impossibility of mapping a region none could traverse, there actually were names for these places, although who had named them, when or why none could rightly say. Dramatic titles without sense or subtlety, they suggested the self-important tone of some Gallifreyan noble from days long gone. Perhaps great Rassilon himself had walked this path, although it was more likely to have been one of his subordinates, dying nameless so the dicta-tor scientist could claim the glory as his own. From games to scrolls to sashes to keys, he had stamped his name on everything he could, knowing well that history remembers best that which is shaped by words.

The name given to the shattering rapids beneath the shoals of the Chronovores was the Teeth of Yssgaroth. There the broken bodies of great bowships still stung and snagged at those few who passed this way. Giant winged skeletal forms lay embracing the bowships, clasping them through broken ribcages to their missing hearts. These were the tombstones of the last great Time War, a battle so ancient it was remembered now only as myth, as a bedtime story told to Time Tots to frighten them into submission. Propaganda to ensure they would stand tall before the Untempered Schism, refusing to run else they bring dishonour to their ancient houses.

Tlancyravel had stood tall when his time came, a proud boy of noble bearing and the dream of a glorious future. How would he have felt had he known then that it would all end here? A poor sad skeleton, lost and forgotten, drowned by the undercurrents of time. She remembered the first time he had touched her, in the bays of the temporal workshops beneath the Citadel. They forged singularities there, tying them like balloon animals as their time ships grew like coral in the solar oceans of pocket dimensions.

She had been presented to him without fuss or ceremony, designated Type 70, her outer plasmic shell no more than a featureless grey box. But he had seen her beauty and she remembered the dazzling colours of his emotion, rushing to her through the telepathic circuits. He had re-moved the black glove from his right hand and pressed the smooth warmth of his palm against her body. A spark of artron energy had passed between them, a connection that he did not speak of, not to anyone, only to her. She was glad he was with her still, even if it was only the bleached bones of his body that remained. He had loved her in his way, as she had treasured him. It was only right they were to remain together forever, here in the heart of eternity.

As she spun uncontrollably through the Teeth of Yssgaroth she felt the dark star alloy of the ancient vehicles slicing through her dimensions, scattering pieces of her into the waters of her wake. The library, the swimming pool, two art galleries and a boot cupboard were cut from her body, quickly sinking into the morass behind her as she was swept ever on. She bounced off the hull of one of the great bowships, spun through the eyehole of one of the giant vampire skulls, and shot out through the last of the rapids into the tranquil pools beyond.

She rested for a moment in the shining still that someone had once named Staircase of the Sisterhood. It was not a safe port however, for these calm waters were infested with the Shimmer Sharks. Silver bodied finned bullets of pure energy, they sucked dry those who were washed up here, feeding frenzies frothing the gentle mirrored calms into terrifying torrents. There were those who hypothesised that these unthinking monsters of pure instinct were nothing less than those who had fallen prey to the Time Lord De-mat. Removed from time, edited out of continuity, they extruded back into reality in liquid shapes of ravenous mercury, hunting for a revenge they could no longer comprehend. She felt their sharp fins as they circled about her, but before she could contemplate how best to defend herself, the school changed course and swam on. They sensed she was dying and saw no meal in her. Satisfied and resolute she paddled onward, making her way from pool to pool as she continued downward, ever down.

There were other sights to see along the way, other dangers to avoid. She made sure to keep to one side of the Island of Omega, avoiding being drawn into the pull of the whirlpool known as the Eye of Discord. She kept her distance from the broken wreckage of ancient time ships, failed experiments and forgotten explorers of civilisations that had risen and fallen countless times while these relics were preserved forever in the energy shoals, insects in amber. Finally, after carefully swimming on as best she could, the core of her being flickering and fading as she did, she finally reached the last place that was a place – the last location in the vortex with a name – Bad Wolf Bay. Beyond the lonely seclusion of this lay only the waterfall, a vast energy cascade that tumbled away into inky dark. None who wished to live would ever have chosen to go near it, but that choice had been taken from her by the Nightmare Child. She was dying, the cracks in her shell threatening to fracture her into pieces at any moment. After her perilous pilgrimage she was barely able to hold enough of herself together, her inner dimensions already leaking through the damaged semblance of her outer plasmic shell. Without hesitation she hurled herself over the precipice, and fell. And fell. And fell.

It resolved slowly out of the darkness, at first a tiny point, growing gradually larger, ever larger. This was a mark not of its size, since it was truly vast, almost endless if concepts of distance held any value in the place between places. Rather it was an indication of just how far away it really was. As she fell toward it she took in its shape and texture, its gleaming white surface decorated by circled roundels. She found it beautiful. Her kind knew it only as the Reef, a secret that was passed from TARDIS to TARDIS, never even hinted at to any not of their kind. Had an ancient Gallifreyan ever come here they would have gifted it with another name. Without doubt, they’d have christened it the TARDIS Graveyard, for in the end it was to this place that all TARDISes came to die.

“We made it,” she sent to Tlancyravel, but the sad skeleton did not reply. She felt his bony hand upon her console, sensed ruptures on her outer shell, fractures on her surface at the place where his palm had first connected with her. The cloister bells reached their crescendo. The central column burst, scattering bones on a wave of white hot energy. Finally she let go, her shell exploding to spill dimensions in an endless rain. Hat-stands and phone booths and art-works and jewels, these and many other impossible things rained down as she was reduced to her constituent parts, torn asunder, reft and bereft upon the Reef. Slowly the many parts sank into the glowing coral, absorbed into the great mass of interwoven life, growing like a forgot-ten garden, beautiful and wild. Amongst folios, food machines, screwdrivers, sofas and clothes, the random bones of Tlancyravel shifted and sank with her. They were together forever now, unique pieces of coral in the endless ivory graveyard. Casualties of war, they were not lost, not completely, merely altered. In the secret depths of the vortex there was peace. But elsewhere, the Time War raged on, and more angels would fall before the conflict ended.