Look Who’s Talking… about Ice Warriors!

In celebration of Doctor Who’s 55th anniversary, the DWCA is delighted to announce that our final day event of 2018 will feature a special guest – actress Louise Pajo, who starred in Second Doctor serial The Seeds of Death almost 50 years ago!

Graduating from RADA in the mid-60s, Louise Pajo appeared in classic UK shows such as The Avengers and UFO in addition to Doctor Who. In The Seeds of Death she played Gia Kelly, manager of T-Mat Earth Control, who found herself facing the fearsome Ice Warriors in their second TV appearance.

After emigrating to Australia, Louise appeared in top Aussie shows of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, including Prisoner: Cell Block H, The Flying Doctors, A Country Practice, Cop Shop and Carson’s Law. We look forward to talking to her about her experiences making television in different decades and countries!

There will also be trivia on the day as we hold a Doctor Who edition of The Chase, the quiz show hosted in the UK by none other than Bradley Walsh (Thirteenth Doctor companion Graham O’Brien). Participants will be invited to correctly anwer a series of questions while facing off against a rival “chaser” – and we are very pleased to announce that our chaser on the day will be comedian and Whovians researcher, Pat Magee.

Finally, get excited for our anniversary auction, giving you the chance to pick up rare, out-of-print and signed merchandise including books, audio dramas, DVD box sets, prints and more. If you have something you’d like us to auction off on your behalf, get in touch with us at events@doctorwhoaustralia.org – we’d be happy to consider it.

We hope you join us as we see out 2018 in style!

Let’s get creative – DWCA Publishing seeking submissions

It’s an exciting and tumultuous time to be a Doctor Who fan, with a new season launching and Jodie Whittaker’s journey just beginning. If you feel inspired by everything going on, why not get creative and send a submission to DWCA Publishing?

We are always on the lookout for fan art, comics, articles, stories and reviews to be included in our flagship magazine, Data Extract (DE), as well as our yearbook, Zerinza. And there are rewards aplenty for those whose work is selected!

Contributors who write an article or story, or provide art pages for an issue of DE, will be provided with a physical contributor copy (please note this does not include letters or reviews). Should the contributor be a club member, this means an additional issue will be added to their membership end date. All contributing members will also go into the running to win a special prize each issue, with the winner to be selected by the editorial team.

Contributors to Zerinza will meanwhile be provided with an electronic contributor copy, as this is primarily an electronic publication.

So if you have something you want to share, please send it through to us at publications@doctorwhoaustralia.org. Come on Whovians – let’s get creative and have some fun!

Say Her Name: We Meet Thirteenth Doctor Writer Juno Dawson

Australian readers will soon be able to experience the exploits of the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends in written form, with the release this month of three new novels from BBC Books: The Good Doctor, Molten Heart and Combat Magicks.

The first of these, The Good Doctor, was conceived by award-winning author Juno Dawson, who has made her name as a writer of edgy YA fiction and was named a “Queen of Teen” in 2014. Dawson came to Sydney a few months ago as part of a tour promoting her latest book, and during the Q&A session we were lucky enough to hear a few anecdotes about how she came to be involved in the Whoniverse.

Dawson’s big break came about in one of the most unexpected places – at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. She was attending the event with a friend, who just happened to know James Goss – a long-time writer and producer for Doctor Who, these days kept busy with regular work at Big Finish Productions. At the time, Goss was looking for writers for Big Finish’s new Torchwood audio drama range, being developed with Russell T Davies and set to take place after Miracle Day. Before she knew it, Dawson was sent an offer to write for the series: an opportunity too good to miss.

The series eventually came to be known as Aliens Among Us and saw Torchwood return to its home in Cardiff with the introduction of several new team members – including the alien Orr, a gender-neutral, genetically engineered sexual psychomorph who changes their appearance based on the desire of whoever is in their company. Created by Davies, Orr’s introductory episode was written by Dawson – a writer who could relate to Orr on some level given her own identity as a transgender woman.

While Dawson was initially recruited to work on Aliens Among Us, production on the series was somewhat delayed, particularly due to the limited availability of stars John Barrowman and Eve Myles. In the meantime she was commissioned to write another story, this time for the Torchwood single-disc range. This was The Dollhouse, part of the “expanded” Torchwood universe which sees the organisation pop up in times and places other than 21st century Cardiff. In the case of The Dollhouse, the setting is 1970s Los Angeles and the heroes are three brave and beautiful young women. The result is a fun and clever homage to Charlie’s Angels with a very Torchwood twist.

But while Torchwood is the only Doctor Who spin-off that Dawson has written for to date, she came very close to writing for another. She revealed during the event that she was actually commissioned to write for the (never-produced) second season of Class, the spin-off series set at Coal Hill Academy and originally broadcast in 2016. The first season was written entirely by creator Patrick Ness, who is himself a prominent YA author, and he was keen to get others like himself on board for the show’s second season – in spite of the fact that the BBC were pushing for more established screenwriters.

But Ness persisted, with Dawson and several other YA authors eventually commissioned prior to the broadcast of the show’s first season. Dawson even visited the set in preparation of writing her episode, noting with amusement that the show’s stars were several years older than their teenage counterparts. Unfortunately, the first season received mixed reviews and low viewing figures – something which Dawson attributes to the BBC’s decision to debut the show on the online channel BBC Three, before repeating it late at night on BBC One several months later. So while she still knows exactly what her episode was going to be about, the BBC’s decision to cancel the series means she sadly may never have the chance to write it.

So what of her new novel, The Good Doctor? Dawson was not able to share a great deal, with the event having taken place weeks before the series launch date was even announced. She did however reveal that she was able to view three minutes of Series 11 footage as part of her research process, leading her to describe the Thirteenth Doctor as “immediate”. She also admitted that, as the Doctor was the primary focus of the footage, characterising the other leads involved a bit of guesswork. The BBC clearly had a lot of faith in Dawson’s writing ability, and given all the stories she shared over the course of the event, we’re inclined to agree!

The Good Doctor is available now as an e-book. It will be released in Australia as an audiobook on 15 November and in hardback form on 19 November, alongside Molten Heart and Combat Magicks.

The Brigadier, Liz Shaw and Kamelion get new life at Big Finish

IMPRESSIONIST and comedian Jon Culshaw is one of two new additions to the Big Finish family, taking on one of the most famous roles in Who history.

Culshaw, who shot to fame in the shows Spitting Image and Dead Ringers, will take on the iconic role of UNIT commanding officer Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, originally portrayed by the late Nicholas Courtney.

Culshaw will feature in The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five, alongside Tim Treloar as the Doctor and the legendary Katy Manning reprising her role as Jo Grant.

After an extensive casting process, senior producer David Richardson and executive producer Nick Briggs finally remembered a conversation they’d had with Culshaw, when he told them the thing he’d most like to do for Big Finish would be to play the Brigadier.

“After checking his rendition of the character in the BBC audiobook of The Five Doctors, we just gave him the job!” Nick explained.

“It was a very tricky thing casting someone to do justice to Nicholas Courtney’s brilliant, original performance. Jon has done this with honour and love for what the splendid Mr Courtney did all those years ago.”

The job of recasting the Third Doctor’s first companion Liz Shaw was a little easier, with Daisy Ashford – daughter of the original Liz, Caroline John – following in her mother’s footsteps.

“I’m really excited and honoured to have been asked to play Liz, and to step into my Mum’s brilliant shoes!”

Also returning is the original Sergeant Benton, John Levene, who most recently appeared for Big Finish in UNIT: Assembled, available now from the DWCA Shop.

The first of the two new adventures, Primord by John Dorney, sees the Primords (from TV story Inferno) interrupt the Doctor and Liz Shaw’s reunion, and become one of the fiercest tests of UNIT and the Doctor to date. Then, in The Scream of Ghosts by Guy Adams, the population of a village are apparently being spirited away in the oddest of manners.

The chameleonic Culshaw will also be providing the voice for another of the Doctor’s friends – appropriately enough, the shape-shifting android Kamelion!

Briefly serving as a companion to the Fifth Doctor, and operated by computer technology on the studio floor, the screentime of the original Kamelion was sadly cut short by the tragic death of its operator, Mike Power. Now the character is being given a new chance at life on audio, starring in three upcoming adventures in Big Finish’s Doctor Who Main Range alongside Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough.

“He’s a very elegant soul, Kamelion,” said Jon. “A cross between C3PO and a suit of armour. He was sinister, and had a graceful presence about him, it was beautifully unnerving. A fascinating character.”

The new Third and Fifth Doctor adventures will be available through the DWCA Shop next year.

Series 11 Cinema Screening and Dinner for Sydneysiders

The first episode of Series 11, The Woman Who Fell to Earth, is premiering in Australia on Monday 8 October – and to celebrate, the DWCA’s Sydney local group is going to the movies!

The feature-length first episode sees Jodie Whittaker take control of the TARDIS as the Thirteenth Doctor, along with a new line-up of friends, including Bradley Walsh as Graham, Tosin Cole as Ryan and Mandip Gill as Yasmin. Cinema-goers have the chance to go behind the scenes of the eleventh series, with additional footage including exclusive interviews with Jodie, showrunner Chris Chibnall and the first episode’s director Jamie Childs.

Representatives of the DWCA Sydney local group will be attending screenings at the following locations (all screenings commence at 6pm):

After the screenings, attendees of each screening are invited to join us for dinner at a local eatery, giving us all a chance to unwind and discuss the new episode – and of course the new Doctor!

We’d love you to join us for what will be a true milestone in Doctor Who history. All are welcome to attend – we hope to see you there!

DWCA Book Club December – The Day She Saved the Doctor

With the debut of the first female Doctor now mere days away, the DWCA Book Club is taking a look back at four significant women from the Doctor’s many lives, showcased in the short story anthology ‘The Day She Saved the Doctor’.

The Doctor’s companion: A person who explores time and space with the Doctor, fights enemies with the Doctor, and often has to save the Doctor’s life.

If it wasn’t for the companions, the Doctor probably wouldn’t have made it out of so many scrapes. To celebrate the formidable women who have travelled in the TARDIS, dive into four new adventures with the Doctor, starring Rose, Sarah Jane, Clara and Bill.

Written by Jenny Colgan, Jacqueline Rayner, Dorothy Koomson and Susan Calman, these stories are the perfect way to celebrate the Doctor’s fantastic female heroines, for fans of all ages.

Available from all good bookshops, The Day She Saved the Doctor will be discussed at the DWCA Book Club meeting on Friday 7 December. You can also comment on our Facebook page if you can’t make the event.

SEND US YOUR REVIEWS AND WIN A PRIZE!

Do you consider yourself something of an armchair critic? Send us a written review of the current Book Club text, and your words just may end up published in our club fanzine, Data Extract. What’s more, you will go into the running to win a $5 voucher to spend at the DWCA Shop!

Reviews should be sent to Dom Kelly at fsq@doctorwhoaustralia.org.

#RaiseYourHoods for Doctor Who!

Drawing inspiration from the Thirteenth Doctor’s outfit and reveal video, BBC Studios have launched a new campaign encouraging Doctor Who fans to get behind Jodie Whittaker as the role model we’ve all been waiting for!

#RaiseYourHoods recognises the Thirteenth Doctor’s hood as a symbol of strength, empowerment and solidarity. It doesn’t matter who you are, how you identify or where you come from – raising your hood makes you a supporter and creates an all-inclusive moment to celebrate everyone.

To support the campaign, simply take a selfie of you raising your hood for awesome people that you know and love. Then post your pic on the social media site of your choice, saying who you are raising your hood for and why they are awesome.

Finally, nominate a friend to take the challenge and add #RaiseYourHoods and #ItsAboutTime to support the cause. To link it back to Doctor Who, also include #ABCTV, #DoctorWho and tag @abctv.

Data Extract #240 released

Issue #240 of Data Extract, the official magazine of the Doctor Who Club of Australia, is on its way to members!

Along with all our regular features, the new issue features an interview with Jamie McCrimmon actor Frazer Hines, a look at the New Adventures novels, the latest instalment in the Eleventh Doctor and Eleanor serial, and the conclusion to Captain Jack’s meeting with the Third Doctor!

The new issue is available exclusively to DWCA members, so click here to sign up today. Select back issues of the magazine can also be purchased from the DWCA Shop.

Win a double pass to The Woman Who Fell to Earth

The first episode of Series 11, The Woman Who Fell to Earth, is coming to Australian cinemas on Monday 8 October – and thanks to our friends at BBC Studios and Sharmill Films, we have 10 double passes to give away!

For your chance to win a double pass to see the Thirteenth Doctor’s debut episode in cinemas, simply complete the form on our competition page.

Please note that the episode will be screening at a limited number of cinemas on 8 October, so please check the list of participating cinemas and their screening times before you enter.

Competition entries close on Friday 28 September at 6pm AEST. Good luck!

New trailer released, ABC start time confirmed

The BBC has released its most extensive trailer for Series 11 of Doctor Who yet, showcasing the Thirteenth Doctor in action in an array of sci-fi settings – with her new companions by her side.

The trailer comes just a couple of weeks after a specially shot “release date” trailer surfaced, which shows our hero standing in the middle of large dome while glass shatters around her – including the particularly high ceiling…

The ABC has meanwhile confirmed that the new series will air on its main channel from 5:55pm, starting on Monday 8 October, with Whovians at 7:30pm on ABC Comedy. Each episode will also be on iview immediately after it finishes airing in the UK.