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.

 

Doctor Who stars past and present in Saturn orbit

Doctor Who is set to have one of its most successful Saturn Awards campaigns ever, with three nominations for this year’s titles.

Doctor Who Series 11 has been nominated for best science fiction television show, while Jodie Whittaker received a nod for best actress and Tosin Cole for best younger actor.

Run by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, the Saturn Awards are now in their 45th year.

The awards honour the hard work and achievements of the people who create and participate in science fiction entertainment. In recent years, they have added television and home entertainment categories and this year Who has dominated.

Doctor Who has now received 20 nominations with three wins so far – winning best single genre television presentation in 1996 for the Paul McGann Doctor Who telemovie, best international series in 2008 (the only time it was awarded) and Best Television Presentation for The Husbands Of River Song in 2016.

Despite nominations for McGann, David Tennant, Bernard Cribbins, Alex Kingston and Jenna Coleman, the show has never won a Saturn acting award. Former Doctor Who star Karen Gillan is also nominated in the best-supporting actress in a film for her role in Avengers: Endgame. Both Cole and Whittaker face stiff opposition in their categories – particularly from Game of Thrones stars, with former Doctor Who semi-regular Maisie Williams also nominated in the younger actor category.

The winners of the 45th Saturn Awards will be announced on Friday 13 September, and be available to watch via livestream for the first time in the event’s history.

Series 12 to feature French Resistance heroine

An eagle-eyed Whovian on Twitter has discovered that Belgian actress Aurora Marion will guest star in Series 12 of Doctor Who – in a role of historical significance.

Twitter user @Ruther2 discovered that Marion’s online CV listed her as playing a “guest role” in an episode of Doctor Who directed by Lee Haven Jones, who has confirmed in interviews that he is indeed working on the upcoming series.

In a post from Marion’s Instagram account, which has since been deleted, she is shown in period hair and costume. The post was made from Cardiff Bay, which was dressed as Nazi-occupied Paris as part of Block 2 of filming for Series 12.

A later post featured a tag which revealed that the name of Marion’s character is Noor Inayat Khan – a real-life World War II wireless operator who was posthumously awarded the George Cross for her service in the Special Operations Executive.

Inayat Khan was a British Women’s Auxiliary Air Force service member of Indian and American descent trained for wireless operation and fluent in French. As an SOE agent she became the first female wireless operator to be sent from Britain into occupied France to aid the French Resistance during World War II. She was Britain’s first Muslim war heroine.

 

Birthday celebrations for Big Finish

FANS will be treated to a 20-hour weekend livestream marathon of Doctor Who audio dramas on YouTube from July 20-21.

The event, presented by BBC Studios and Big Finish Productions, will celebrate 20 years of Who on audio.

The Big Finish work of David Tennant, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann and David Bradley will be featured on the official YouTube channel of Doctor Who.

As well as more than 20 episodes of Doctor Who episodes, there will be video appearances from plenty of the Doctor’s friends, past and present.

The stories will be livestreamed on YouTube with fans able to join in the conversation via live chat.

The first production was Doctor Who: The Sirens of Time starring Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy in 1999 after Big Finish Productions was granted a licence to create adventures in the audio format.

Big Finish Creative Director and executive producer Nicholas Briggs said since then the company had brought out more than 850 titles from Doctor Who and its various spinoffs and now produced and distributed more than 300 hours of audio drama each year.

“Has it been 20 years already?” he said.

“But we’ve only just got started! Honestly, it has been an absolute delight to have worked alongside the Doctor these past two decades. I started my life as a fan, in the days before on demand and downloads, recording the soundtracks of Doctor Who episodes on audio tape.

“And now it’s my job to place every incarnation of the Time Lord (give or take) in peril in so many exciting audio adventures. I have to pinch myself. I’d like to thank everyone, from the cast in front of the mic, to the writers, directors, sound designers and more behind it, for making it such an amazing journey. Here’s to the future! (Or is it the past?)”

Also premiering during the event is the first episode of Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time – a special anniversary box set release celebrating 20 years of Doctor Who at Big Finish. This first episode stars Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, Alex Kingston as Professor River Song and Lisa Bowerman as Professor Bernice Summerfield. But does the Doctor have room for two time-travelling archaeologists in his life?

Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time will be available from the DWCA Shop in September and check out the Shop’s back catalogue for a wide variety of Big Finish adventures: http://dwca.org.au/products-page/.

New faces for The Faceless Ones

ONE of the missing Patrick Troughton Doctor Who stories is set for release as an animation, according to BBC Studios.

The release of The Faceless Ones, the final story to feature Michael Craze as Ben and Anneke Wills as Polly, follows the success of animated versions of The Power of The Daleks, Shada and The Macra Terror. It will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and as an exclusive Steelbook next year, and expected to be available from the DWCA Shop.

The Faceless Ones, first broadcast in six weekly parts from April to May 1967, is the mostly missing eighth serial of the fourth season in Doctor Who. Starring Troughton, the story involves the race of identity-stealing aliens known as the Chameleons.

Only two of the six original episodes survive in the BBC film archives with only snippets of footage and still images existing from the other four.

However, off-air recordings still exist, making the animation of the complete serial possible.

The six new animated episodes will be made in full colour and high definition. The 2020 DVD and Blu-ray release will also feature surviving archive material from the 1967 production.

Judoon platoon returning soon

No! Sho! Blo! The Judoon are set to charge back into Doctor Who when Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor returns next year.

The BBC announced this week that more than twelve years after they first stampeded onto screens to terrorise the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones on the moon in 2007’s Smith and Jones, the rhino-headed intergalactic police are returning.

Showrunner Chris Chibnall said they would return for the series, currently being filmed in Gloucester.

“No! Sho! Blo! The Judoon are storming back into Doctor Who in full force, and the streets of Gloucester aren’t safe,” Chibnall explained.

“If anyone has anything to hide, confess now.

“The Judoon are taking no prisoners, and will stop at nothing to fulfil their mission! The whole team on Doctor Who are delighted and scared in equal measure to welcome them back: One of many treats we’ve got in store for viewers next series.

“And we’re over the moon (with Judoon), to be welcoming the wondrous Neil Stuke as guest star. We can’t wait to show you what happens when his path crosses with the Thirteenth Doctor.”

Stuke has an established career on stage, television and films and is a two-time Bafta nominee, whose recent credits include Doctor Foster, Silk and Silent Witness.

According to the BBC, the eleventh series of Doctor Who was the biggest series of the show in over a decade with an average audience of 8.6m viewers in the 28 days following broadcast, across all available devices.

The twelfth series of Doctor Who is currently in production.