Sunday, August 30, 2009

The 100% Unofficial Doctor Who Location Tours


Readers with an excellent memory may remember that the staff here at Blogtor Towers took a trip down to Cardiff earlier this week. Now, apart from the many attractions that the Welsh city has to offer, Blogtor would like to recommend a special treat for any Doctor Who fans who plan to visit. Founded by fans, The 100% Unofficial Doctor Who Location Tours is the perfect way to experience Cardiff from a timey~wimey point of view and the dedicated team are there to take you to all the familiar locations used in the series, offering a unique insight into the making of the show. Visit the website HERE and, if you're interested in the many locations, visit The Locations Guide - full of amazing pictures from the outside shoots of Doctor Who (new and old), Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

REVIEW - Dalek War DVD Box Set

Release Date: Oct 5

RRP: £34.26

Duration: 300 mins (approx)

Stories included:
Frontier in Space
and
Planet of the Daleks


Extras:
Go HERE for the full list


Crikey, what a month for fans of the Daleks! Not only is there THE DALEK COLLECTION on DVD and a CD compilation of the soundtrack to the Dalek movies (review coming soon) but there's also this twelve episode double~story from the Jon Pertwee era. Although, it has to be said, the first tale, Frontier In Space, doesn't actually feature much of the little guys 'til the last moments of the last episode.


FRONTIER IN SPACE
I first caught this "space opera" (as some like to call it) when it was released on VHS back in the Nineties and immediately became one of my favourites from this era - there's just so much going on! There's the fantastic design (and performances) of The Draconians and The Ogrons juxtaposed against the simplistic 70s "future" design of the humans. And to top it all, there's The Master scheming and plotting (and it takes some time to find out just exactly what).


There's an incredible 'now' feeling to the proceedings on 26th Century Earth, with rolling news strips and broadcasts so favoured by the current production team - and there's a woman president! 'Our' world is pitted against that of the Draconia, a more elegant and regal bunch, for sure, who like to spout "My life at your command" at any opportunity. It's heavily political and mirrors many disturbances in real life since. Enter The Master....


ROGER DELGADO perfectly pitches his performance as a character, not that of the 'enemy' or a 'villain' and this only emphasises his cool menace. We then find out he responsible for the impending intergalactic war and so The Doctor and Jo Grant do their best to stop it (well, Jo wears nice outfits at least). The three make great viewing with the prison ship scenes proving to be the most entertaining, each actor clearly in tune with the other. But when it turns out that The Master's plan isn't running to order (or is it?), he has an ace up his sleeve....


Yup, The Daleks! In an incredible reveal (shades of it visible in 2006's Army of Ghosts cliffhanger), Skaro's finest turn up and start killing every one in sight. A cracking end to an incredibly interesting story that may have its shortcomings in the production department (the models, for example) and location shooting (70s London doubling for a future~scape), Frontier has a grand, epic scale that will keep you enthralled and intrigued for each episode - no mean feat for a six~parter.



PLANET OF THE DALEKS
Sadly, the six episodes that are Planet of the Daleks don't quite match their predecessor. Not only is the idea a retread of another story (their first outing from 1963), it fails to fill out the allotted time with far too much padding. Though it looks gorgeous, there's no meat to the tale - Dalek fans may be satiated but Who fans will be left wanting. Without wanting to use the word "romp", that's exactly what Planet is; an unabashed romp through the jungle with very thin characters. The Thals have changed somewhat since their more enigmatic debut and even the Daleks themselves are reduced to toys (literally) but thankfully the cast manage to keep up interest in the script.


It's not the most memorable of outings though you will remember some of the more risible elements of the story. At six episodes, Planet of the Daleks outstays it welcome and lessens the affect of The Master's grand plan and union with the little guys. The Master's hasty exit from the saga also jars, he literally exits stage left with The Ogrons. The Daleks get a lot of dialogue and that grates after a while (to be honest, they're not my favourite enemies) and one longs for Davros to pop up and have a proper conversation. Sadly, he wouldn't be around for a couple of years yet. A disappointing conclusion after the set~up of Frontier In Space. As a final note, the Restoration Team deserve a huge amount of credit (not to mention special cuddles) for their colourisation of Episode Three. If I hadn't known that the particular installment had been altered, I would have been none the wiser - a true testament to their talents.


EXTRAS
2|entertain certainly don't shirk from giving fans a full experience when it comes to the Special Features and the Dalek War set is no exception. The commentary for Frontier in Space is will moderated by Clayton Hickman who keeps the gang - consisting of Katy Manning, Terrance Dicks, Barry Letts - in tow, reminding them every now and again that they're meant to be discussing Doctor Who. Dicks is a riot using phrases like "splendid bit of cleavage" though I was curious to how he knows that Dr Who was watched by people in prisons. Sadly Mr Hickman isn't around on the second commentary so those involved - the gang are joined by actors Prentice Hancock and Tim "I'm Not Really A Dalek Person" Preece - tend to discuss their careers rather than Who. Also infuriating is Dicks banging out the Terry "Apparently Likes Champagne" Nation lunch story for a third time on this set - a bit more editing would have been appreciated there.


The documentaries included here are the usual brilliant fare though the production team have decided to shake things up with the inclusion of two docs entitled The Perfect Scenario. Fans with less than a sense of humour may want to steer clear as reverence is bundled out the window in favour of an hilarious look at the two stories. Highlights include: the phrase "selective now stretching"; a description of Frontier as "a bit boring" and "basically just padding"; and a face~off between the aforementioned Dicks and Janet Fielding discussing sexism in Doctor Who - an amazing juxtaposition (amazing if only for the fact that Fielding actually watched some "classic" Who). If anyone from the production team are reading this - more please! This style of feature is the perfect antidote to the sometimes over effusive and respectful (but still essential) documentaries.


Continuing the series, Stripped For Action returns with a look at The Daleks and one at Jon Pertwee - yet again, a fascinating study of Who in the world of comics. As I mentioned, episode three of Planet of the Daleks has been re~colourised and there's an accompanying feature that goes into detail on just how the Restoration Team managed to weave their magic - some may find it a bit dull but it went off the interest~o~meter for me. The whole process still seems like magic - well done boffins! There's another documentary on this set that deserves a mention and high praise, Roger Delgado: The Master. It's a superbly researched piece into the life of Delgado featuring some astonishing archival photographic, audio and visual materials with incredibly moving contributions from those who knew him, rendering the ending of this feature utterly heart~breaking.


Add to that an amusing two~part Who Dunnit from Blue Peter (two Daleks went missing!), two fantastic photo galleries, the always informative Subtitle Production Notes, PDF materials consisting of production plans and Radio Times listings and you've got yourself a set worth purchasing for the extras alone.

VERDICT: Essential purchase, order now!

For more pictures from this set, go HERE

Thanks to 2|entertain

Up Close Exhibition - Another Visit

Dr Who - TARDIS Exhibit

Long term readers of Blogtor Who may remember THIS post where I detailed my visit to DOCTOR WHO - UP CLOSE in Cardiff. Earlier this week I was back in the city (where I was also able to follow some of the filming of the new series first hand) and took another trip to the exhibition. Thankfully, I was most pleased to discover that it had been almost completely revamped since last year making the entry fee more than worth it. Lots of new props and costumes were on show and arranged in a much more pleasing fashion (by episode) - well done and a gold star to all involved. For more pictures of Up Close, please visit the galleries HERE and HERE.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Series - Churchill & The Daleks

Doctor Who Filming - "Churchill" Trailer

That's a pic taken earlier today in Cardiff on the 'set' of the new series of Doctor Who. In the picture you can see a trailer used for the actors involved, and this one belongs to a character called "Churchill". Yesterday, I also managed to spot some filming in Cardiff involving some WWII soldiers, a Dalek (no photos from me sadly) and the actor Bill Paterson. Rumour has it that is the much fabled Mark Gatiss "Daleks In A Museum" story. Click on the images for bigger versions.

Doctor Who Filming - "Churchill" Trailer

Friday, August 21, 2009

THE DALEK WAR - DVD Box Set

2|entertain have released details of a new DVD box set featuring the two classic Doctor Who stories, Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks. THE DALEK WAR BOX SET will be released on October 5th and have the following Special Features:

Commentary - With actor Katy Manning, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks, moderated by Clayton Hickman.

Perfect Scenario: Lost Frontier - In the far future, the remaining population of an oxygen-depleted planet Earth lies in enforced stasis in The Field of Dreams, their minds kept active through the work of scenariosmiths. Looking for ideas to help him re-connect to his captive audience, Zed, a young scenariosmith, turns to the world of Doctor Who for inspiration… Featuring interviews with actors Katy Manning, Janet Fielding, Vera Fusek and Michael Hawkins, producer Barry Letts, script editor Terrance Dicks, visual effects designers John Friedlander and Mat Irvine. With Rich Batsford, Mick Broster, Tony Broster, Henry Dunn and Paul Ewing, and the voices of Steve Broster, David Harley and Cathryn Miller.

The Space War - Cast and crew look back at the making of the story.

Roger Delgado: The Master - A biography of actor Roger Delgado, most famous for playing the Doctor's arch-nemesis The Master from his introduction in 1971 until his tragic death two years later. Featuring previously unseen photographs, rare excerpts from his many BBC TV appearances and interviews with those who knew and loved him.

Stripped for Action: The Third Doctor - The ongoing series looking at the Doctor's comic book adventures reaches his third incarnation.

Photo Galley, Coming Soon, Programme Subtitles, Subtitle Production Notes and PDF Materials

Since the mid-seventies, episode three of this story has only been available as a 16mm monochrome film recording, but for this DVD release it has been returned to full colour using a brand new process.

Commentary - With actors Katy Manning, Prentice Hancock and Tim Preece, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks.

Perfect Scenario: The End of Dreams - Continuing his search for inspiration, scenariosmith Zed resumes his studies of twentieth century television's Doctor Who. What he finds will have a profound effect on the lives of all of the remaining sleepers in The Field of Dreams… Featuring interviews with actors Katy Manning, Jane How, Janet Fielding, Bernard Horsfall and Tim Preece, producer Barry Letts, script editor Terrance Dicks. With Rich Batsford, Mick Broster, Tony Broster and Paul Ewing, and the voices of Steve Broster, David Harley and Cathryn Miller.

The Rumble in the Jungle - Cast and crew look back at the making of the story.

Multi-colourisation - A look at the colour restoration of episode three.

Stripped for Action: The Daleks - The ongoing series looking at the Doctor's comic book adventures focuses on his deadliest foes - the Daleks!

Blue Peter - Two items from the childrens' magazine programme, featuring an appeal for any information on the theft of two Daleks from the BBC and their subsequent return.

Photo Galley, Coming Soon, Programme Subtitles, Subtitle Production Notes and PDF Materials

Sleeve art can be seen HERE.

Read the full review HERE.

Thanks to 2|entertain.

THE DALEK COLLECTION DVD Box Set


2|entertain have released details of an upcoming new series DVD box set called THE DALEK COLLECTION. Specially packaged and featuring seven action-packed adventures from the new series plus an exclusive interview with David Tennant on this terrifying enemy, Doctor Who The Dalek Collection is released on 19th October, priced £15.65. Stories included are Dalek, Bad Wolf, Parting of the Ways, The Stolen Earth, Journey's End, Daleks in Manhattan and Evolution of the Daleks. Sleeve art can be seen HERE. Read a review of the set HERE.

In addition to this, a box set featuring Doctor Who Series 1 – 4 will be released on 26th October, priced £88.08. The next DVD releases after this will then be in Jan 2010.


Doctor Who: Dreamland - Press Release


The BBC have issued a Press Release regarding the details of DOCTOR WHO: DREAMLAND. Read all about it HERE.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Dreamland" - RTD Blog Introduction


Beginning today on the official site is a blog for the new Doctor Who animated story, DREAMLAND. It will be available later this year via the BBC's "Red Button" - a televisual interactive facility. Below is an introduction from Russell T Davies.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Doctor Who's Greatest Moments - Episode 1 Preview



That's a preview clip of the first in a three part series called DOCTOR WHO'S GREATEST MOMENTS that starts airing in the UK tomorrow night on BBC Three. The first episode looks at The Doctor himself as played by Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"The Black Guardian Trilogy" DVD Review


Hitting the 'streets' this week is a new Doctor Who DVD box set from 2|entertain. You can read a review of THE BLACK GUARDIAN TRILOGY over at Den of Geek HERE. Be warned, it contains opinions!

Monday, August 17, 2009

THE SIXTH DOCTOR - Regeneration Figure

DR WHO 'Action Figure' - Sixth Doctor [Regeneration]

That's the new action figure of THE SIXTH DOCTOR from CHARACTER OPTIONS. This is the REGENERATION version as seen in the story The Caves of Androzani. See more pictures of the set HERE.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

THE FOURTH DOCTOR - ADVENTURE SET

DR WHO - Fourth Doctor Adventure Set

That's the new action figure collection from CHARACTER OPTIONS entitled THE FOURTH DOCTOR ADVENTURE SET. It features:

A Mummy from Pyramids of Mars
with Canopic Jar & Flask

The Fourth Doctor
with changeable head & Sonic Screwdriver

A Dalek from Destiny of the Daleks
with Bombs

A VOC Robot from The Robots of Death
with Corpse Marker hand & Number stickers

See more pictures of the set HERE.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

DALEK COLLECTOR'S SET #2

DR WHO - Dalek Collector's Set No. 2

That's the new DALEK'S COLLECTOR'S SET #2 - a collection of three new Dalek figures from the 'Classic' Series. It includes:

Saucer Pilot Dalek from Dalek Invasion Of Earth

Emperor's Guard Dalek from Evil of the Daleks

Supreme Dalek from Day of the Daleks

You can see some more pictures of the set HERE.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

TOTAL TV GUIDE Cover, 15-21 Aug

Total TV Guide

The new issue of the UK listings magazine TOTAL TV GUIDE has a DOCTOR WHO cover promoting the new mini~series of Doctor Who Confidential which starts on Thursday, 20th August on BBC Three. The article features some info on the upcoming specials so if you are avoiding SPOILERS then you may want to look away... Click on the pics for BIGGER versions:

Total TV Guide

WARNING: SPOILERS within, click on the pics for BIGGER versions

Total TV GuideTotal TV Guide