During the worldwide lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Doctor Who fans from across the globe sought to support each other through friendship and collaboration. In the spirit of sharing the Doctor Who Club of Australia offered digital copies of its various fan publications to members of the US based Guardians of Gallifrey, just as the Guardians themselves shared their own publications with members of the DWCA. In the aftermath of this mutual appreciation, a further collaboration was instigated – the dramatic recording of readings of fan fiction stories from the pages of the Guardians of Gallifrey publication Tales from the Matrix, bringing the tales to new life through audio productions. And the first of these has just been released!
Read by the author, US based David W. Dietz III, who just happens to be an actor, stage-screen writer, filmmaker and audiobook producer/narrator, with editing and sound production from Australian based musician and audio engineer Roger Reynolds, the tale sees all seven of the classic era Doctors face off against the triple threat of the Master, Omega and the Daleks! Make sure you check it out on the DR Productions podcast website, where you will also find some of their earlier productions, including dramatic readings of Fourth Doctor story Wertham, and Ninth Doctor stories Extinction Day and The Blue Tree, along with the full cast audio productions Nexus and Rainbow Serpent.
Back when he was just a lowly fan, before he became the architect of Doctor Who’s resurrection, Russell T Davies decided to try his hand at writing a Doctor Who script. Envisaged as a two part story for Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor and Bonnie Langford’s Mel, Davies wrote the entire first episode along with a full synopsis of the second. Then he put it on his shelf and promptly forgot about it… until now! Unearthed during a Lockdown related clean up, the script has now been completed in collaboration with Scott Handcock. The resulting story, Mind of the Hodiac, will see release as a collectors edition CD box-set from Big Finish! Just going to show all those fans with forgotten scripts on their shelves – hang on long enough and maybe they will see the light of day! Davies himself described it as: “a galaxy-spanning adventure, as the mysterious Hodiac begins a deadly hunt, putting an ordinary Earth family in terrible danger. There are psychic powers, Tungsten Warriors and a vital role for the Doctor’s coat…”
It’s back on 12 March 2021 – the next DWCA Western Sydney Tavern! You can meet up and hang out with organizer Dallas Jones and other Who fans from about 6.30pm at the Lone Pine Tavern, Rooty Hill, located at 15 Rooty Hill Road, Rooty Hill, NSW. The plan is for attendees to meet in the dining area, so look for a table with a TARDIS model. The Lone Pine Tavern is within a short distance of Rooty Hill Station for those people who want to come along via public transport and the venue has plenty of parking for those coming by car. The more the merrier!
Without any new Who on our screens for some time, a variety of publishers are working overtime to ensure there is plenty of reading material available for fans in the interim. The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (562) features a focus on illustrators and their role in visualising the Doctor Who universe. For anyone who has seen The Dalek Book and The Dalek World publications from the 1960s, you’ll instantly recognise the ever so slightly wrong illustration of a Dalek, recreated for the DWM cover (complete with alien writing on the head, which was actually replicated from an image with an on set post-it note from the Director, stuck on during rehearsals just so he could tell the Daleks apart!). The article features contributions from such illustrators as Chris Achilléos, Colin Howard, Martin Geraghty, Stuart Crouch, Anthony Dry and Anthony Lamb. Plus there are a slew of other articles and features in the issue as well, including an interview with John Lloyd about an unmade script he wrote for the show that is soon to be released as a Big Finish audio.
Other publications from the makers of DWM include a new series titled Doctor Who Chronicles. The series will focus on pivotal years of the show’s history, with in depth analysis of the milestone moments of that year. The first to be released is 1965 – the year of Dalekmania! These follow issue 561 of DWM which focused on Target books (new and old) and the recent reprint of The Dalek Chronicles comic book series.
New Target books are due out this month, including novelisations of such stories (reissued in the Target format if released before) as the Eighth Doctor TV Movie, Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks, The Pirate Planet, Dalek, The Crimson Horror and The Witchfinders. Plus BBC Books are bringing out The Ruby’s Curse – A River Song / Melody Malone Mystery, written by none other than Alex Kingston! And Candy Jar Books have announced the second novel in series eight of their Lethbridge-Stewart series, Fear Frequency written by George Ivanoff.
There are a number of non-fiction books hitting the shelves as well, including a book from Fantom Publishing that looks at the life of Doctor Who Director Douglas Camfield, simply titled Directed by Douglas Camfield. Also, the long out of print behind-the-scenes book Script Doctor by classic series showrunner Andrew Cartmel has not only been reissued but also updated, with a new introduction by Steven Moffat, delivering the ultimate inside look at Doctor Who from 1986 to 1989.
So there are plenty of great books for fans to dive into while we are all awaiting new episodes, animated reconstructions and those beautiful Blu-Ray box sets!
The expanding range of Doctor Who – The Collection on Blu-Ray continues in 2021 with more releases from the classic era of Doctor Who. Jon Pertwee is back in the Season 8 collection, as is Sylvester McCoy in Season 24. From Autons to Tetraps, these collections highlight two very different eras of the show and continue to bring fans unrelentingly comprehensive editions with a slew of old and new material available for the first time in one complete package. Plus the tradition of creating new short films to advertise the releases has seen more classic era actors reprise their roles and reunite.
The Season 8 release contains an eight-disc box set with such special features as Behind the Sofa with Katy Manning, Stewart Bevan, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Sacha Dhawan and Anjli Mohindra, A Devils Weekend featuring Katy Manning and John Levene on a personal trip back to Aldbourne where The Daemons was filmed, The Direct Route with directors Michael Briant, Graeme Harper and Tim Combe on road trip to filming locations, a feature on Terrance Dicks, an extended version of the first episode of The Claws of Axos, a 90 minute version of The Daemons, studio footage and 5.1 surround sound options for Terror of the Autons and The Daemons.
The Season 24 release contains extended versions, 5.1 surround sound and isolated score options on all stories, previously unseen material, Behind the Sofa with Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford, Sophie Aldred, Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Colin Baker and Michael Jayston and The Doctor’s Table featuring Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford, Sophie Aldred and Clive Merrison discussing the making of the season.
There are no announcements yet about First and Second Doctor full season releases of The Collection on Blu-Ray, but the Radio Times has confirmed that the next two animated productions due for release in 2021 are Evil of the Daleks and The Abominable Snowmen. The completion of these would leave four episodes of The Smugglers, four episodes of The Highlanders and two episodes of The Underwater Menace remaining to animate to complete Season Four (the transition from William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton). Season Five would still require one episode from The Web of Fear and four from The Wheel in Space (or at least three and a half, since animation was completed for the first part of Episode One of Wheel back in 2018). Then there is always the hope that Patrick Troughton’s final season could be completed with the animation of six episode story The Space Pirates for a Season Six release. No matter which gets completed first, the future certainly looks bright for Doctor Who fans to be able to find new life in the timeless classics of yesteryear.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.