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.

Exclusive cover art aids fire fighters

The new Doctor Who: The Thirteeth Doctor comic has a new-look for a good cause.

Brisbane Comic store Comics Etc have asked well-known local artist Stewart McKenny to put his spin on the issue – producing an exclusive variant cover for their store.

Limited to 500 copies world-wide the comic will support the NSW RFS as they battle with battle the on-going bushfire crisis.

It is the second time comic store owner James Jagic has arranged for McKenny to produce a variant cover. Last year McKenny supplied an alternate image for the landmark #1000 issue of Detective Comics – the longest running, continuing published comic book in the US.

The new collaboration is available only through Comics Etc, in Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, and features David Tennant with a trio of Weeping Angels. The comic is a cross-over with current Doctor Jodie Whittaker (who features on the main cover) and Tennant.

For Mckenny, one of Australia’s most prolifically published comic book artists and illustrators and a darling of the Supanova Popculture Conventions artists, it’s a bit of a dream come true.

“I can’t tell you how excited I was to be asked to draw this cover – I’ve been a huge fan of Doctor Who ever since I was a kid, and the opportunity to create official Doctor Who artwork is something I have always wanted,” he gushed.

“Tom Baker was my first Doctor, and I’ve been an avid fan of the show ever since.

 

“We’re also hoping that the money donated as a result of the sales of this comic will, in some way, make a difference, and bring some hope to our country during this desperate time – after all, what is Doctor Who if not a symbol of hope?”

 

Comics Etc. is the last remaining comic book store in the Brisbane city centre, and has always been a major supporter of the local arts community.

 

Stewart McKenny has worked for major publishers both in Australia and in the US, including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, IDW and Titan Publishing. His credits include artwork for Star Wars: Clones Wars Adventures and Batman: The Brave & The Bold. He has also worked on DC Super FriendsCaptain AmericaMy Little Pony and Star Wars Tales.

 

 

 

 

Whovians Rove back to ABC

And they’re baaaack – Whovian’s returns to the ABC on January 9.

Host Rove McManus made the announcement on his Twitter earlier this week.

“We can confirm times for the return of #WhoviansAU *deep breath*,” he said

“Join us at 8:55pm on Thursday 9 January because ep 2 of #DoctorWho drops on iview Monday 6 January at approx. 7am (AEDT) and airs at 8pm on Thursday 9 January on @ABCTV””

Rove and his team of super fans are also back, with Whovians, the show that asks the what, where and why of Who.

Airing Thursday nights after the ABC’s broadcast of Doctor Who, Rove will be joined again by Tegan Higginbotham, Steven O’Donnell, Justin Hamilton and guests.

Filmed in front of a live studio audience, the 12th series of Doctor Who offers a galaxy of things for Rove and the panel to dissect, delve into and celebrate.

Whovians returns to Australian screens in 2020

Doctor Who fans in Australia now have twice as many reasons to rejoice as 2020 dawns – a new season with Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor launches on New Year’s Day, followed soon after on the 9th of January by an all new season of fan show Whovians! Host Rove McManus shared the news with a new video, promising more fun to keep the Doctor Who love rolling for as long as possible.

Since its launch in 2017 Whovians has seen the arrival of Bill Potts, the departure of Peter Capaldi and the advent of the first female Doctor, all with commentary landing firmly on the side of fun and laughter as Rove McManus and his team of “super fans” find new ways to look at a show that truly is bigger on the inside.  The show’s head researcher, actor and comedian Patrick Magee, reflected on the show’s humble beginnings, recalling: “We had our first rehearsal, we watched Hell Bent, and we realised that everyone in it was really on board, everyone had a different role to play. So you had Bajo, who was just very strangely excited by weird things; Tegan was really good at getting jokes that would appeal to non-Doctor Who fans, which was really important; Adam was great with his theories and stuff; and Rove was great at keeping them all together. So originally I liked the idea – I thought it would be a fantastic thing for me to do, and I was really excited to be part of it – but I wasn’t sure how well it would go. And then the first episode went out, and it just went gangbusters. We were trending on Twitter, it was great.”

Actor, comedian and panellist Adam Richard shared the joys and horrors of getting to see the latest episodes before anyone else, recalling: “We would get a copy of the episode usually about a week, a week and a half before. That became less and less as we went on. Like, the copy of the final Season 10 episode that we saw had no effects in it. There were just very disgruntled-looking stagehands holding green screens, while Bill the Cyberman is crying over the Doctor’s body and a car goes by in the background. That makes it very hard to get emotionally involved. Also, the music wasn’t finished yet, so they just had music from The Dark Knight. And the final scene, which obviously was from the Christmas special, had only been delivered the day before. So there was a person standing next to a snow machine in the shot.”

The real joy of Whovians though comes from watching a group of friends nerding out over a shared love. As Adam Richard himself remembered of past seasons: “We’d always kind of geeked out. Back then, Rove was way into wrestling. We’d go out to lunch, and we’d be in a food court somewhere, and he would just rip open these wrestling toy packets and start making them fight. He’s always been deeply, deeply nerdy. He doesn’t care about the sanctity of the packaging – he likes to play with the toys, rather than keep them in there. And before this even came up, he’d started listening to the Big Finish audios, which I’m obsessed with. So we’ve always had fairly nerdy conversations about all sorts of stuff.”

Here’s to more geeking out and irreverent commentary on all things Whoniverse related when Whovians returns in 2020!

Whovians returns 09.01.20

Rove McManus and his team of super fans are also back, with Whovians, the show that asks the what, where and why of Who.

Posted by ABC COMEDY on Thursday, 5 December 2019

Troughton’s deep fury animated

Fury From The Deep is the latest missing Patrick Troughton story to receive the animated treatment and will be released next year.

BBC Studios made the announcement on the Animations Panel at the London Comic Con at the weekend and a teaser has since gone up on the Doctor Who YouTube Channel.

All six missing episodes of Fury from the Deep, the penultimate adventure from season five, will be animated in high definition in both colour and black and white. The release will also include the surviving clips from the serial, a new Making-Of, and other features still to be announced.

The story will be released on DVD and Blu-ray (including as a steelbook edition) next year and follows on from The Faceless Ones announced earlier this year, which will also be released in 2020.

 

Supa time for Turlough

This year’s Adelaide and Brisbane Supanova Pop culture conventions are set to have a little flavor of Who to them with the announcement that Mark Strickson is coming for both events.

Strickson, who played Fifth Doctor companion Vislor Turlough in the 80s, is set to join Eleventh Doctor companion Canton Delaware (Mark Sheppard- who told the DWCA this week that two episodes and travelling in the TARDIS makes him a companion).

The duo joins the likes of pop culture icons John Travolta and Jason Isaacs for the conventions to be held at the Adelaide Showground November 2-3 and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, November 8-10.

 

‘Mission to the Unknown’ remake gets premiere on YouTube

Unique in so many ways, this episode of Doctor Who has been missing from the BBC archives for years, with fans trying very hard to plug the gap. The DWCA tried to reconstruct it as text in their Zerinza special back in 1980, when Rosemary Howe novelised it as part of her adaptation of The Daleks’ Masterplan. In 1989 John Peel crafted an official Target novelisation, incorporating it into his two novel adaptation of The Daleks’ Masterplan.

In 2000 the amateur video production company Loose Cannon created their own reconstruction of the episode using the audio soundtrack along with available images. The Loose Cannon reconstruction was also supplemented by a specially filmed introduction by the original production’s lead actor Edward de Souza, along with an interview with him and reunited cast members Jeremy Young and Barry Jackson. In 2003 they even returned to this territory by creating a reconstruction (or rather construction) of a touted but never made classic, Terry Nation’s The Destroyers. Based on Nation’s pitch for a Dalek spin-off show, which was proposed following Mission to the Unknown, the Loose Cannon featurette and mini-construction were both narrated by Edward de Souza.

Then in 2010 animator David Busch, production manager for Adult Swim’s Metalocalpse and producer on Marvel’s Black Panther cartoon series, amongst other things, was commissioned by fan Ian Levine to produce an animated reconstruction of the episode. “From start to finish, the project took about eight months to complete and deliver,” Busch stated. “It was produced and composed in 16×9 widescreen HD, although since Ian preferred to see it in the 4×3 ratio that the original episode would have been made in, the version I sent to him was cropped on either side… I am very proud of the finished episode, and I cannot give enough praise to the team of artists who worked on it with me.”

The original episode itself was never screened in Australia, as the ABC deemed it too violent, and not without reason. It is a bleak tale of terror in the jungle, at the end of which the Daleks (without the Doctor there to challenge them) appear to have won. It has remained a long sought after treasure, lost in time but never forgotten, so it was only a matter of time before someone else found a way to bring it back to life. This latest incarnation is something quite unique though, as a team of students, graduates and staff from the University of Central Lancashire, led by Andrew Ireland, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Digital and Creative Industries there, remade the entire episode from scratch, utilising the same techniques that would have been used during the filming of the original story to recreate the episode as faithfully as possible.

The production caught the attention of a number of Doctor Who luminaries including actor Nicholas Briggs, who provided the Dalek voices for the production, as well as actors Peter Purves (who played classic companion Steven Taylor) and Edward de Souza, who dropped by the set during the filming of this new production. It also caught the attention of the BBC, who will be releasing the reconstruction through the official Doctor Who YouTube channel, exactly 54 years after it was first screened in the UK. Make sure you tune in at 5.50 pm (UK time) on 9 October to see it. “I hope audiences around the world can imagine that it’s tea time on the 9 October 1965 as they rather excitingly watch a black and white episode of Doctor Who premiere on their television sets, mobile phones and tablets,” stated Luke Spillane, Digital Publishing Manager for Doctor Who at BBC Studios. No doubt fans worldwide will all be doing exactly that!

Sound interesting? Check it out below!

Doctor Who: The Collection Australian Release Dates Announced with New Distributor Universal

It’s official – Doctor Who DVDs and Blu-rays have a new distributor and the dates for the upcoming full season Collection boxed sets have finally been announced for Australia!

The tale of bringing Doctor Who episodes to Australian collectors is a long and tangled one. Back in December 1984 Data Extract was first on the scene to break the news of Doctor Who videos arriving on Australian shores. “The rights to distribute the BBC video catalogue have recently been obtained by Polygram Music Video after stiff competition from Roadshow,” the story read. “The BBC video Revenge of the Cybermen will be available in record shops and video outlets from 1 December and will retail at $49.95 in both VHS and Beta formats” (all hail Betamax!). So it began! Before long Polygram was supplying ABC Shops (remember those? Sob!) with a steadily growing list of titles. Brain of Morbius was next, followed by Pyramids of Mars then Seeds of Death (confusing some consumers with a colour cover, even though the story was in black and white, leading to a warning sticker being added to explain!). Thankfully the videos started to get a bit more affordable too! “The cost of Revenge of the Cybermen has been cut to $39 .95,” Data Extract reported in September 1985, “as Polygram received a royalty break from the BBC”.

Robots of Death followed in 1986, with Terror of the Zygons and The Talons of Weng-Chiang in 1987. By the 1990s Polygram was even bringing missing episodes to Australia through titles like The Troughton Years, Cybermen – The Early Years and Daleks – The Early Years. In 1993 they teamed up with Hodder/Headline, BBC Enterprises and ABC Enterprises to run a major competition to commemorate the show’s 30th anniversary, with limited edition video tin sets amongst the prizes. In addition to Doctor Who they also distributed videos of other classic BBC science-fiction programs like Red Dwarf and Blake’s 7. It was something of a surprise then that in January 1996 it was announced that Polygram had sold the rights to the Doctor Who video range to Village Roadshow Home Video, the stiff competition that they had successfully outbid way back in 1984.

 Of course, 1996 was also the year of the Paul McGann telemovie, which may have been a motivating factor in the changing of distributors. Things weren’t off to a flying start though, as Data Extract reported in July that year that CIC Video, a partner of Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures, would be distributing the telemovie following “some extreme prompting from BBC Worldwide”. Soon after that though Roadshow was underway with the classic video range, but already a format change was on the horizon…

Betamax had long since been abandoned, but LaserDiscs enjoyed a limited run with a few Doctor Who titles between 1983 and 1997. The big change in the home market though came with the arrival of DVD, with Data Extract reporting in May 1999 that: “BBC Worldwide is planning a Fall 1999 release of a line of DVDs including The Five Doctors which will be in Dolby Digital 5.1. Roadshow are also looking at releasing Doctor Who on DVD. This will only happen if they are convinced there is enough support for it”. Initially at least they weren’t convinced there was a market, passing on The Five Doctors to wait and see how sales performed in the UK (leading instead with Red Dwarf on DVD in Australia in November 1999). Meanwhile videos were still doing good business for them and they delivered the arrival of Steven Moffat with Curse of Fatal Death on VHS. In November 1999 it was officially announced: “indications from Roadshow are that Doctor Who is just not mainstream enough to warrant release in DVD format. According to sources the show is deemed as too ‘niche’ and simply will not sell the volume they are after”. That didn’t last too long though, as by July 2000 it was finally announced that Village Roadshow would be releasing The Five Doctors on DVD that October, retailing at $34.95. And they never looked back!

Of course by 2018 Blu-rays were the flavour of the day as the DVD market waned and fans hungrily hunted down the limited editions (no, really, this time they actually were limited and vanished off retailer shelves in the blink of an eye) boxed sets covering full seasons of the classic era. Roadshow saw the sell-out releases of three Doctor Who: The Collection boxed sets, covering seasons 12, 18 and 19. But just as upcoming releases for Seasons 10, 23 and 26 had fans salivating over the BBC online trailers, everything went quiet in Australia and Roadshow stopped bringing out new titles… But then at the end of August 2019 it was announced that BBC Studios had signed a multi-year deal with Universal Pictures to distribute the Doctor Who range throughout Australia and New Zealand. “We were impressed by Universal Pictures’ experience and creative flair,” Jon Penn, Managing Director of BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand stated. He went on to assure: “their expertise will bring fresh energy and focus to the delivery of physical formats through retailers to our customers”. 

Of course, Polygram, Australia’s first distributor of the range back when videos (yes, even the mighty Betamax, may it Rest in Peace) first arrived on our shores, had gone through a few changes itself since the 1980s. In May 1998 it was sold to Seagram, then was merged into Universal Music Group and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. Then, when Seagram faced financial difficulties, it was sold to Vivendi and became part of the company known as Universal Studios, just as Seagram itself ceased to exist. So, in many ways, the rambling tale of Doctor Who home entertainment has now come full circle as Universal take on distribution, just in time for the classic series to reach all new audiences through the upcoming Blu-ray releases.

 

Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 10 will finally be released on Blu-ray in Australia on 13 November 2019. It will be followed soon after by Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 23 on 4 December 2019, with Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 26 due out in early 2020. Universal also plan to rerelease both new series and classic series DVDs for the Australian market, with more dates and details to be announced soon.

To pre-order any of the above sets, email shop@doctorwhoaustralia.org.

Writing chance for a dream come true

Imagine combining a love of Doctor Who and writing – it’s a dream that comes true for many fans but one that often feels totally out of reach -until now.

Big Finish is looking for a new voice to join their stable and write an adventure for the next Bernice Summerfield and Unbound Doctor box set.

Writers/fans from all around the world have until 23.59 UK time on September 20 to enter the competition.

Writers are being asked to send a single page synopsis and a 3,000-word sample of the script with the Benny team putting together an asset pack containing advice, storyline samples and a template as well as the full list of terms and conditions for anyone hoping to pitch.

Created by author and screenwriter Paul Cornell (Family of Blood, Father’s Day) for the 1992 novel Love and War Bernice Surprise Summerfield is a 30-year-old archaeologist when she first meets the Seventh Doctor. Described as the Doctor’s longest service companion she has appeared in numerous novels and Big Finish productions including her own spin-off series’.

All entries must be submitted electronically either as Word-compatible documents or PDF pages and sent to benny@bigfinish.com.

Select Bernice Summerfield audio adventures are available from the DWCA Shop.

For further information, as well as the asset pack and terms and conditions head to https://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/write-a-benny-adventure.