Lockdown film makes a virtual debut in Sydney

Roger Christopher Stevens’ LOCKDOWN: THE DOCTOR WHO FANS’ SURVIVAL GUIDE, is set to screen as part of this year’s Sydney Science Fiction Festival virtual event from November 4.

The UK production from Reeltime Pictures as part of their CultTV series was created during the 2020 Covid19 out break.

A call went out to fans of Doctor Who to film personal videos of how they were coping with domestic lockdown for months on end. Shot on mobile phones, laptops, tablets and video cameras, the finished work is an inspiring tale of the indomitable human spirit, wrapped in unique stories that are funny, sad and unforgettable.

For producer Keith Barnfather, the selection acknowledges the effort made by his on-camera talent.

“It really does give recognition from a major festival to all the hard work put in by fans to make the production happen,” he said.

“I’m absolutely delighted that Lockdown: The Doctor Who Fans’ Survival Guide has been selected for the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival.”

Australian director Sarah Stephenson’s ATTACK OF THE CAT PEOPLE is a shoestring-budgeted mini-feature that pays homage to the Universal Studios’ black-&-white horror classics of the genre’s heyday.  The long-in-gestation project will go straight from it’s November 5 premiere at the Redlands Sporting Club in the Queensland suburb of Wellington Point onto the virtual festival platform, where it will be available Australia-wide.

“I’ve always had a strong connection to those old films, with storylines that draw you in and allow your imagination to do the rest,” says Stephenson, “I’m so excited that Attack of The Cat People will find a national audience via the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival’s virtual event. The last time I was this happy was the first day of shooting!”

“It is in the programming of titles like Attack of the Cat People and Lockdown that the new virtual festival format reveals its valuable point-of-difference,” Festival Director Simon Foster said.

“To be able to get these types of micro-budgeted, heart-&-soul films out to a national audience and support the creative fan culture that helps events like our festival survive is a true thrill. That potentially 100s of Aussie eyeballs will see them via our festival is an honour.

Tickets for the full line-up of the 2021 SSFFF VIRTUAL FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE will screen November 4-25, co-presented by the US streaming service Xerb, will go on sale soon.

The 2021 SYDNEY SCIENCE FICTION FILM FESTIVAL will screen November 11-14 at the Actors Centre Australia, Leichhardt.

 

Whittaker and Chibnall leave the Tardis

Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker to leave Doctor Who in a trio of Specials, culminating in an epic blockbuster Special to air in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.

Having been in charge of the TARDIS since filming for the Thirteenth Doctor began in 2017, Showrunner Chris Chibnall and the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, have confirmed they will be moving on from the most famous police box on Earth – and the universe.

With a six-part Event Serial announced for the autumn, and two Specials already planned for 2022, BBC One has now asked for an additional final feature length adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor, to form a trio of Specials for 2022, before the Doctor regenerates once more.

After taking the helm of the show, Chris Chibnall made the groundbreaking decision to cast Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor. He also brought in ‘the fam’ of Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham), and cast the acclaimed Sacha Dhawan as the latest incarnation of The Master, plus Jo Martin as the mysterious Fugitive Doctor, adding new characters, layers and twists to the mythology of the show.

Episodes such as ‘Rosa’, ‘Demons of the Punjab’ and ‘Spyfall’ have thrilled audiences across the globe garnering critical acclaim and award recognition, including two BAFTA Must See Moment nominations, along with multiple National Television Award, BAFTA Cymru, TV Choice, Screen Nation, Hugo, Saturn.  and Critics Choice nominations. Under Chris’ tenure, the series has been awarded the Visionary Awards TV Show of the Year, the Canadian Rockie Award from the BANFF Television Festival for best sci-fi and genre series, while Mandip Gill and Vinay Patel were recognised with wins from the Eastern Eye  Awards. The 2020 series won Best Science Fiction Show voted for by readers at Radio Times.com, beating out competition from The Mandalorian, Lucifer and The Boys, as well as winning both Best Moment and Most Incredible Twist from the Digital Spy Reader Awards 2020, for ‘Fugitive Of The Judoon’ and ‘Ascension Of The Cybermen’.  In 2019, the entire current cast and crew were awarded Honorary Doctorates by Sheffield Hallam University for their work on the show.

As the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker stepped aboard the TARDIS to begin filming in 2017. As the first woman to play the iconic role, Jodie has thrilled audiences with her portrayal of the Time Lord, winning the hearts of Doctor Who fans across the globe. Jodie’s multi-layered, warm, funny and inspiring depiction of the Doctor not only created a first in Doctor Who history, but in 2020, Jodie was voted 2nd Most Popular Doctor of all time, coming within a whisker of her friend David Tennant, in a poll of more than 50,000 fans for Radio Times.

Chris Chibnall says “Jodie and I made a “three series and out” pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the TARDIS keys.

 “Jodie’s magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She’s been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production.   I can’t imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I’m not going to!

 “For me, leading this exceptional team has been unrivalled creative fun, and one of the great joys of my career. I’m so proud of the people we’ve worked with and the stories we’ve told. To finish our time on the show with an additional Special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus. It’s great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story will be at the heart(s) of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.

 “I wish our successors – whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose – as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!”

 Jodie Whittaker adds “In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them. My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories. We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side, and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever.

 “I know change can be scary and none of us know what’s out there. That’s why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly.”

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama “Over the last four years Chris and Jodie have made Doctor Who history and their time on the show is indelibly marked on our memories. From Rosa Parks to Ascension of the Cybermen, Chris and Jodie have given Doctor Who some of its most life-affirming and tear-jerking moments to date and we are beyond excited to see what they have in store for us in the new series this Autumn. Jodie’s final adventure to mark the BBC’s Centenary in 2022 is set to be a Doctor Who Special to remember. I’d like to thank them both for their incredible work on the show.”

 

Grey Worm for Tardis Team

Game of Thrones star Jacob Anderson is set to make his debut on Doctor Who later this year, playing Vinder as the BBC unveil the new trailer at Comicon in the US

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As a recurring character throughout the series, Jacob’s new role will see him join forces with the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan Lewis (John Bishop) as the Doctor faces her biggest ever adventure battling evil across time and space.

Known to millions as Grey Worm in Game of Thrones, Jacob is a star of stage and screen and has appeared in many television series including Episodes, Broadchurch and Skins as well as roles in King Lear at the Young Vic and War Horse at the National Theatre.

Jacob is also a successful music artist who goes under the name Raleigh Ritchie.

“The Doctor has been a part of my life forever, from watching and rewatching the serials on VHS as a kid and being terrified, to unexpectedly finding my eyes watering when the Tenth Doctor said “I don’t want to go”, I always wanted to live in the Whoniverse,” he said.

“Not only has a lifelong dream of mine now been fulfilled, but to be playing a character as fun, adventurous and dynamic as Vinder is the cherry on top. This is very cool.”

Jacob’s role was announced at the Doctor Who San Diego Comic Con panel where Chris Chibnall, Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill and John Bishop teased what is in store for the Doctor as well as showing an exclusive trailer.

Doctor Who will return later this year.

Second edition of roleplaying game announced

Irish-based roleplaying game developers Cubicle 7 have announced the upcoming release of the Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game Second Edition.

The multi award winning team behind Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soulbound Roleplaying GameWarhammer 40,000 Wrath and Glory Roleplaying Game and the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition, announced the new edition on Monday.

Established in 2007 they have grown organically and now have relationships with some of the most-loved brands in fantasy and a team of more than 15.

In making the announcement, the team also shared the cover image designed by renowned digital artist Will Brooks, whose Doctor Who work has been used by Big Finish and Titan Comics.
A spokesman for Cubicle 7 said the award-winning Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game had regenerated into a new Second Edition that was now “faster, easier, and even more exciting”.

“This book presents all the rules and background you need to voyage across space and time with the Doctor, or as new characters experiencing brand new epic adventures.”

The Core rulebook includes: Complete character creation rules to allowing players to bring to life a new time travelling adventurer to explore space and time aboard the TARDIS. Players have the chance to be companions to the Doctor or even a new Time Lord, Time Agents or investigators or defenders of Earth.

The rules also include a complete revised set of rules for the game and advice for
Gamemasters old and new as well as an expansive look at the history of the Universe, detailing many of the aliens and creatures the Doctor has encountered over the years.

Find out exactly what is included in the core rulebook here: https://bit.ly/2TZJvdw.

Who knew we were trendy

It seems being a Doctor Who fan makes you a hot commodity.

Not only are “nerds” trendy and Geek is the new cool these days but it seems our members are in demand particularly if you are a putting together a television series.

In the space of just a few days the Doctor Who Club of Australia received two requests from production companies looking for people to take part in their programs.

And they were polar opposites with the first request coming from Endemol Shine – who were casting Beauty and The Beast and just a few days later the BBC approached us for interest in Mastermind.

“The timing was quite bizarre from Mastermind to Beauty and the Geek,” Casting Supervisor, Mike Searle from Endemol said.

“We produce quite a lot of shows at Endemol and the more and more shows we produce, the more and more and people that we cast the more we realise that it is actually up to us going to people who haven’t applied for these shows, which often give you the best cast,” he explained.

“We always have a list of name every single show – the same people apply – and often the people who don’t think they want to be on the show or don’t actively go out looking are the most natural and that’s what people want to see on the screen.

“When the first reaction by someone is “I don’t know about that – I’ve never thought about it – it’s a good thing because if they have thought about it probably for the wrong reason.”

So why did these two groups specifically reach out to the Doctor who club?

Mastermind Casting AP Alisha Davies said it was all about size and finding people who were passionate about their favourite subject to appear in series three of the SBS program.

“We decided to contact the Doctor Who society as it has a large fanbase and we would love to have members of your society apply for the show,” she said.

“We found the Doctor Who society through Google search.

“We are looking for fun and vibrant contenders who passionate about their subject and have a good level of general knowledge.  So whether your subject is Picasso or Potter, Basketball or Brazil – we’d love to hear from you!

“Mastermind is returning for its third series, and it’s great- everyone has so much fun when they come to the studio to film.

“We are filming between January-March 2021, the air dates are unconfirmed right now, but will air sometime in 2021.

“We would love to hear from everyone from across Australia. We are hoping the borders will open soon and we can have contenders from all states and territories.”

Entry time for the Channel 9 series Beauty and the Geek is closing very soon and Mike is hoping that our members would either be interested or would know someone who would be.

“There is not one type of person we’re looking for – so the cast isn’t going to be made up of all of the same kids of people,” he said. “So we’re kind of focusing our research on reaching to various different groups, various different organisations that I guess still come under that  in quotations “geek sub-culture” and we Doctor Who aligned perfectly with that. We’d love to find someone who knows everything there is about Doctor Who that can come on and teach these beauties a thing or two about that.

“I guess the good thing about Beauty and the Geek is that it’s a fun show, family friendly and the content isn’t based upon the drama. There are shows out there on TV at the moment which kind of need people not to get on – they need that to feed the content where this show is a fun show – we don’t need any drama. It’s about both the Beauties and the Geeks coming away with something they didn’t have before. So we’re hoping the Beauties use their confidents and their charisma and charm to pass that on to some of the geeks and equally we’re wanting the Geeks to bring some of their knowledge and facts – because they look at the world in such different ways, we’re trying to make sure both groups come away with something from the experiments.”

The Geeks don’t have male – they were asking everyone to apply. He said the boundaries are thin between both sides and some people who apply might fall into both.

“We áre encouraging everyone to apply and then through the casting process that’s when we would decide what side will fall on,” he said.

“Eighteen will be the youngest and there’s not a hard cut off, it’s not a love show, but we’re hoping they will form connections so because of that we don’t want the age range to be too wide so I guess the sweet spot is above 18 to around the 30 mark but if they’re a little bit over 30 it’s still doable.

”We’re looking for the weird and wonderful – the quirky.”

For Beauty and the Geek – More details, and the opportunity to apply online if they’d prefer, at www.BATGcasting.com.au )

If you want to take part in Mastermind visit: https://go.mycastingnet.com/Apply/Show/Mastermind.

  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (have the right to live and work in Australia).
  • Are at least 18 years of age at the time of applying.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year – Happy New Who

Happy New Year – Happy New Who

The Christmas season may be over but we have a new season of Doctor Who to look forward to – starting tomorrow (ABC TV, Thursday, January 2, 7.30 pm (6.55 am IView).

We’ve all waited a year to see what Showrunner Chris Chibnall and his Doctor Jodie Whittaker can do in their second series together.

And they are back with what, if the cast list is any indication, is looking-like a blockbuster two-part episode “Spyfall”. Surprisingly this episode marks the debut of Stephen Fry in the Whoniverse and he will be in some pretty illustrious company with Sir Lenny Henry, Robert Glenister and Goran Visnjic popping up in this 12th season of the rebooted series.

Whittaker will once again be joined by Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and last season’s scene-stealer Bradley Walsh (Graham) and while Chibnall steered away from the more iconic “big bads” last time around expect a visit from the Judoon and Cybermen this series.H

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.

TV Legends for season opener

Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry are stepping into the world of Who with both slated to appear in the series opener of Doctor Who next year.

The two television legends will join Jodie Whittaker who is reprising her role as the Thirteenth Doctor.

But will they be friend or foe? That’s the big question but really Stephen Fry is just happy to be appearing in the iconic show.

“Short of being picked for a British space exploration programme and I readily concede that I’m past the age where I’d be considered (if I was ever the right age for such a posting) – then being in an episode of Doctor Who will certainly do as a very sweet second-place excitement,” Fry admitted.

It was a sentiment backed by Henry.

“It was absolutely brilliant to be welcomed into the fantastical world of Doctor Who,” he said.

“The nearest I have been to the TARDIS was when I played the Caribbean Doctor in the Lenny Henry Show , so as a life-long (hiding behind the sofa type) Doctor Who fan this is a very special moment for me.”

Showrunner Chris Chibnall promised a big opener for the long-awaited new series.

“Doctor Who is coming back with a bang – with two great British icons in major roles,” he said.

“One of the great joys of Doctor Who is getting to work with actors from your wish list. Stephen and Lenny are two of my absolute favourite actors – and to be able to bring them into Doctor Who, in one of our biggest ever stories to kick off the new series, is an absolute thrill.”

 

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.