Friday, August 31, 2012

Karen Gillan on The One Show

Amy Pond actress Karen Gillan was a guest on The One Show earlier this evening - watch her full interview and clips from Asylum of the Daleks in the player above. Also included is a fun piece with the voice of the Daleks, Nick Briggs.

A Town Called Mercy synopsis & promo pics
Series 7 Movie Posters!
Dinosaurs On A Spaceship synopsis & promo pics
Series 7 news!
Asylum of the Daleks round~up

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Asylum of the Daleks round~up

In case you were unaware, Doctor Who returns to television screens in the UK and North America on Saturday with the first episode of Series 7, Asylum of the Daleks. Collected here is a round~up of all the news regarding the story.

Also included here are some more promotional pictures from Asylum of the Daleks - click on them for bigger versions. And don't forget to come back straight after it airs to listen to/download the audio commentary!

REVIEW: Asylum of the Daleks [Spoiler~free]
Audio commentary
Asylum of the Daleks - 10 Teasers!
10 Quotes from Asylum of the Daleks 
Asylum of the Daleks even more promo pics
What Did YOU Think?
Karen Gillan on The One Show (inc. 2 clips)

Asylum of the Daleks more promo pics
Asylum of the Daleks trailer
Asylum of the Daleks promo pics
First promo pics
Asylum of the Daleks BFI Premiere 
Steven Moffat: The Return of the Daleks 
Asylum of the Daleks New York premiere

A Town Called Mercy synopsis & promo pics
Series 7 Movie Posters!
50th Anniversary jigsaw from Ravensburger
Dinosaurs On A Spaceship synopsis & promo pics
Series 7 news!

Blogtor Who audio commentaries

As Doctor Who returns to our screens this weekend, the Blogtor Who audio commentaries also make a comeback. As soon as Asylum of the Daleks airs you'll be be able to come back here and listen to our audio commentary for the episode. Or, you can subscribe on iTunes and have it download directly to your 'puter - find them on iTunes HERE.

Check out our special Doctor Who Series 7 preview podcast in the player above. You can find all the Blogtor Who audio commentaries from Series 1, 2 and 6, along with Torchwood: Miracle Day, Sherlock and a few other surprises, HERE.


Audio review round~up

Horror Of Fang Rock
BBC Television Soundtrack
Starring Tom Baker and Louise Jameson

Download available Sep 1
CD available Sep 6

Review by Tom Buxton

It seems a fair claim to say that few fans of Doctor Who would call Horror Of Fang Rock their all-time favourite story. To its credit, however, it did end up at No. 26 in DWM’s Top 200 back in 2009 - which isn’t too shabby. Indeed, what with some younger fans still scratching up on their knowledge of the "classic era" of the programme, it’s unlikely that they are going to use the single televised Rutan story as a point of reference to the greats. That said, for its time Horror was classic Who through and through, with Terrence Dicks doing a marvellous job of gradually ramping up the tension surrounding his mysterious antagonist over the course of the four episodes, a sense of tension not lost in the compelling television soundtrack.

The honours of narration here are given to Louise Jameson, who clearly revels in the memory of playing Leela for the story as she provides a detailed and vivid depiction of the narrative events which she herself was a part of back in 1977. Right from the moment we hear Jameson slowly, subtly describe the ‘purple sphere’ glimpsed by the viewer as it circles the lighthouse in the story’s opening, it’s immensely clear that she shares the respect held for Horror in this crystal-clear reproduction of the original soundtrack. From the ragtag band of seamen to the fabled enemy of the Sontarans that weaves its way under the characters’ skins as the two-hour running time progresses, there’s hardly a single element of the story that doesn’t provide a near-perfect representation of late ‘70s Who here.

Rounded off by a sublime interview segment with Jameson on her time as Leela, this latest TV soundtrack package boasts plenty of value for newcomers and fans alike. Horror Of Fang Rock has its weaknesses, yet Louise Jameson’s wonderful narration here makes up for just about all of them in strong measure.


The Highlanders
By Gerry Davis

Audiobook read by Anneke Wills

Download available Sep 1
CD available Sep 6

Review by Douglas Barrie

Every story has a beginning, and for Doctor Who fans Jamie McCrimmon’s story begins here at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.  The Highlanders was the fourth serial of the fourth season way back in 1966/67 (with episodes airing on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve).  Older readers/viewers/listeners (delete as appropriate) will remember Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor alongside companions Ben, played by Michael Craze. and Polly, played by Anneke Wilks - who reads this novelisation written by Gerry Davis.

With a total running time of three and a half hours you won’t feel bogged down by having a lot of material to listen to. Wilks does try her hardest to make it an enjoyable listen, and some moments are reminiscent of a school teacher reading to a class full of children. 

Having only been in the show a short while (and working with two Doctors) Wilks’ imitation of Troughton is actually very good; even when he’s pretending to be a German.  Her Scottish accent though is a bit iffy at the beginning of the reading, but you get used to it.

And I know he isn’t actually Scottish (spoilers) but at times I did think it would have been better read by Frazer Hines, Jamie himself, seeing as it’s his story and it was the first in what became a long adventure in the TARDIS - the longest actually of any companion so far.

Story wise it isn’t the most enthralling tale, but it’s not all bad.  There are similarities even with modern Who, such as one of the Scots soldiers labeling the Doctor and his two companions as “English” (I think back to Christopher “Lots of planets have a North” Eccleston) and Troughton’s tendency to adopt disguises, much like Matt “Insert~hat~of~the~day is cool” Smith.

A small peeve of mine was the sudden changes mid-chapter, and they usually involved the solicitors for some reason.  But that’s the book, it would maybe have fitted in better in the TV serial if there was more than just fragments still in existence.

Because of this, the audiobook gains a little bit of value.  It won’t be top of many "must-have" lists but still an important piece in Who-lore - especially for one of the Doctor’s most loyal companions.

Thanks to AudioGo


A Town Called Mercy synopsis & promo pics

The BBC have released the synopsis for Doctor Who Series 7, Episode 3, A Town Called Mercy - check it out below. Click on the pics for bigger versions.
The Doctor gets a Stetson (and a gun!), and finds himself the reluctant Sheriff of a Western town under siege by a relentless cyborg, who goes by the name of the Gunslinger.

But who is he and what does he want? The answer seems to lie with the mysterious Kahler-Jex, an alien doctor (yes another one!) whose initial appearance is hiding a dark secret.

Written by Toby Whithouse and directed by Saul Metzstein, this episode stars Andrew Brooke (the Gunslinger), Ben Browder (Isaac) and Adrian Scarborough (Kahler Jex).

A Town Called Mercy airs in the UK (7.35pm) and North America on Sept 15th, in Australia on Sept 22nd and in New Zealand on Sept 27th. New promo pictures from Dinosaurs On A Spaceship will be released on Tuesday at 00.01 whilst you can read Blogtor's spoiler~free review on Sunday.


Series 7 Movie Posters!

The BBC have released movie poster style promotional images for the Doctor Who Series 7 episodes, Dinosaurs On A Spaceship, A Town Called Mercy, The Power Of Three and The Angels Take Manhattan. Click on the pics for bigger versions.

Thanks to BBC Pictures

50th Anniversary jigsaw from Ravensburger

Tee offer

Our chums over at RIPT Apparel have got another great Doctor Who t~shirt for sale - for 24 hours only! Titled Space Time Impresionism, the design is available worldwide for $10 - visit the site HERE! It's also available in kids sizes, a fleece hoody AND a onesie!

PLEASE NOTE: This tee is no longer available


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Big Finish audio review round~up

Every month Big Finish lavish us with a number of new (and old) Doctor Who audio adventures. Collected here are three reviews of the latest releases featuring a "missing" First Doctor story, a companions chronicle and a Seventh Doctor tale.

The Masters of Luxor
By Anthony Coburn
Adapted by Nigel Robinson

Starring William Russell and Carole Anne Ford
Available now

Review by Daren Thomas Curley

If you take Death to the Daleks, with a Dead Planet setting, add a slice of The Robots of Death and nods to the Cybermen origins, mix with an air of Mary Shelley and a pinch of Pinoccchio... Shake well, then serve with a garnish of post WWII paranoia, themes of genetic engineering and we have The Masters of Luxor

When a mysterious signal drains the TARDIS of power and forces it down to a seemingly dead world, our intrepid crew find a banquet awaiting them and an army of dormant robots who claim them as the new Masters of Luxor. Things takes a more sinister turn when they discover the motives of the robot's 'perfect one' who is searching to discover what it is to be human.

On the whole this is very successful at re-creating the tone of the era. Told in part narration, part performance with William Russell and Carole Anne Ford alongside a superb turn from Joe Kloska, it does make for a curious listen. Taking the narration in turns can have the feeling of two over~exuberant children’s theatre group actors reading to a primary school class. But kudos to the actors for both for doing their damndest with what they have. The narration itself is too functional, simplistic and cumbersome. It’s unable to really flesh out the story or add any significant intrigue or tension.

Characterisation is strong and the TARDIS crew are instantly recognisable. Their treatment is a little inconsistent and they jump between being naive, curious or even stupid, before proceeding to make giant leaps in logic in order to work out what is going on. However a special mention goes to William Russell. He utterly nails both the idea of Hartnell’s Doctor and recreates Ian in a completely three-dimensional way. Carole Ann uses the same familiar innocent tone of Susan from the early sixties, but being on equal covering duties for narration and Barbara, sometimes the subtle differences can be lost.

It’s very much a game of two halves. At first, the story is too light, stretched and takes too long to kick off. It also has an annoying habit of being too expositional. But the later episodes ramp up the tension with some nice twists and it acts almost like a Frankenstein sequel, which forces creator to face up to their actions and the monster that has been created. It manages to hold a mirror up to the world and society of the time and has some really big philosophical questions at its heart which offer a lot of food for thought long after that police box has vworped off into the sunset.

In conclusion, it's both rather evocative of that era, offers some nice ideas, but the pacing and execution still leaves a lot to be desired. It certainly makes the best of what it has by offering the most truthful version it can. But, for me, it’s the choice to present the story as some weird extended audiobook results in it to be neither one thing nor the other. It should just keep one clear voice as narrator, rather than continual jumping between the two and I can’t help feeling a re-worked purer script/drama adaptation may well have done more justice to the narrative. As a result, I worry it ends up as little more than a curiosity piece for a fan, rather than a must have.


Black and White
By Matt Fitton

Starring Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred
Available now

Review by Emrys Matthews

The recent Big Finish Seventh Doctor story~arc certainly takes a leaf out of current showrunner Steven Moffat’s book in its bold complexity. The arc started back in the 2009 audio drama The Angel of Scutari where the TARDIS’ outer shell was blown off leaving it white. It has remained so since, except in the Seventh Doctor’s lone-adventures where it has appeared black. After three years we’re finally getting some answers as the arc reaches its climax.

After surviving the events of the Doctor-lite audio drama Protect and Survive, Ace and Hex find themselves not so alone in the TARDIS. From the get~go we learn that the Doctor has contemporaneously been travelling at the same time with both Ace and Hex and two new recruits Lysandra and Sally. The main story actually centres on the four companions getting up to their necks in the story of Beowulf. The clues and revelations keeping coming and pile up at the end in a very exciting cliffhanger with all the pawns positioned in such a way that can only herald a showdown with one of the Doctor’s oldest foes.

Writer Matt Fitton has done an excellent job broadening the original Beowulf poem by taking its elements and characters and using them to create a wonderfully inventive historical/sci~fi version of how the story really happened that reminds one of the likes of The Time Meddler and The Myth Makers. The narrative also cleverly discusses the way stories are formed and how they develop and change through time and telling. The assembled cast is first rate; the regulars are on particularly good form and the guests are also top notch.

Black and White neatly brings together all the strands of the numerous plot arcs reaching their various climaxes whilst also managing to work successfully as an exciting and emotional standalone adventure. With an audio series released monthly, that runs over such a long time, that doesn’t always run sequentially it is perhaps a little presumptuous to expect the listener to keep track of a story that spans a three year period. For those that have it’s a worthy payoff and for those that have not been as dedicated in their patronage, Black and White certainly still merits a listen.

The Companion Chronicles:
The Uncertainty Principle
By Simon Guerrier

Starring Wendy Padbury
Available now

Review by Richard Orr

The Uncertainty Principle, written by the brilliant Simon Guerrier, is the third in arc of four but having not heard the first two audios myself as yet; the story is strong enough to let it stand alone.

As the story begins, Zoe Heriot (played by original actress Wendy Padbury) is still being held prisoner by the mysterious "Company" who are attempting to remove the Time Lords conditioning of her memories. Their efforts are not in vain as Zoe starts to recall different episodes from her past. Journeying back to a cold wet rainy day at the graveside of a young woman named Meg, who was involved in experiments that have resulted in alien creatures creeping into our reality, The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe begin a life~threatening adventure.

Wendy Padbury narrates the story marvellously and takes on the roles of Jamie and the Second Doctor with fantastic results (her Patrick Troughton is spot on).  Real~life daughter Charlie once again plays the role of Zoe’s inquisitor Jen. Charlie manages to be both sinister in her quizzing as Jen while also offering a helpful side to her character and it will be interesting to see how this develops in the final instalment. Both are directed by Big Finish stalwart Lisa Bowerman who makes this a spooky, dark and atmospheric tale.

The behind~the~scenes interviews provide a comical insight into Wendy and Charlie’s mother daughter relationship, “It’s always nice to be officially cast in a role whereby I can technically backchat my mother!”, while also being informative on both the story and where the characters are headed.

I will admit that I am a relative newcomer to the Big Finish audios but stories as strong as this will ensure that I continue to support the company and I will be going back and listening to the first two stories in this arc and eagerly await its forthcoming conclusion.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Doctor Who Magazine 451

 The new series of Doctor Who is previewed in the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, out later this week. Check out the details below and click on the covers (there's three this month!) for bigger versions.

Doctor Who Magazine issue 451, published on Thursday 30 August, features exclusive previews of the new series of Doctor Who – and the show’s executive producer, Steven Moffat, teases the ultimate fate of the Ponds:

“As you’ll be able to tell from the end of Episode 5, I’ve had the very last moment of Amy Pond in my head for quite some time…” The new issue of DWM previews three episodes of the new series, going behind the scenes to talk to cast and crew…

ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS – DWM takes over the Asylum for Doctor Who's most ambitious episode yet. Matt Smith shares his thoughts on the Doctor’s arch enemies, Steven Moffat on the challenges of keeping the Daleks fresh and how Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill feel about the beginning of the end for Amy and Rory.

DINOSAURS ON A SPACESHIP – it’s an episode of Doctor Who packed to the rafters with dinosaurs. On a spaceship! Writer Chris Chibnall reveals how his script lived up to that title, and what challenges did the FX team face on bringing so many dinosaurs to life?

A TOWN CALLED MERCY – guest stars Adrian Scarborough and Ben Browder on how thrilled they were to join Doctor Who for an adventure into the Wild West, how the crew enjoyed their time on location in sunny Spain, and what writer Toby Whithouse thought of being out of his comfort zone.


THE USUAL SUSPECTS – the writers of the new series are given the once over by Doctor Who’s executive producer, Steven Moffat (including himself!) in a curtain-raising Production Notes.

GUILTY AS CHARGED? – John Nathan-Turner was Doctor Who’s most colourful and controversial producer, guiding the show to dizzying heights, but perhaps a few lows too. Luminaries and experts from Doctor Who past and present assemble for the first in a two-part feature to assess the work of the series’ longest-serving producer in The Trial of John Nathan-Turner.

COLD FRONT – the Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive in Prague in the dying days of the Cold War. Revolution is on the horizon, but the Doctor senses something unreal in the air. What is the significance of the book The Sorrows of Prague, and why will Yuri Azarov and his terrifying companion stop at nothing to retrieve it? Part One of The Broken Man, the latest comic strip written by Scott Gray with art from Martin Geraghty.

IS THIS DEATH? – companions come and go, but should they ever die? Johnny Candon and Toby Hadoke weigh up the pros and cons of crash-landing to Earth in an out-of-control freighter, or heading off into the sunset to marry Brian Blessed in A Battle of Wits.

TAKE ART – DWM’s intrepid Time Team – Chris, Emma, Michael and Will – go for gold as the Doctor and Rose land in an ordinary housing estate where extraordinary things are happening as children are going missing, trapped in the drawings of Chloe Webber. Will the Doctor make it to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics as The Time Team views Fear Her?

COMING OF AGE ­– Doctor Who’s 21st year saw a season packed with exciting cliff-hangers, companion departures, a tour de force performance from the leading man, andarguably the finest Doctor Who story ever made. Countdown to 50 reaches 1984 and Series 21.

ALL IN THE MIND – mind-sucking alien parasites, prison riots, a nerve-gas missile and the Master at his most scheming – find out how the Third Doctor, Jo and UNIT fought The Mind of Evil in this month’s Fact of Fiction.

LIGHT MY FIRE – the Watcher warns of the pitfalls of predicting the near future as A History of Doctor Who in 100 Objects reaches number 22 – the Olympic Torch. Was the 2012 of Fear Her remotely like the real thing? Also stare into the eyes of The Six Faces of Delusion, flick through The Stockbridge English Dictionary and marvel at the Supporting Artist of the Month in Wotcha!

With a choice of THREE different covers, DWM 451 is on sale from Thursday 30 August, priced £4.50.


50th Anniversary jigsaw from Ravensburger

Ravensburger have announced the launch of a new collectors’ edition Doctor Who puzzle to celebrate the show's upcoming 50th Anniversary. It's a new 1000 piece collectors’ edition jigsaw puzzle, licensed by BBC Worldwide, and available in the Autumn of this year. Click on the image above for a bigger version.

The puzzle depicts some of show’s most infamous characters including the Doctor’s most fearsome enemies such as the Daleks, Weeping Angels and one of the most frightening ever The Silence. The designs show over 20 characters within a space setting, ensuring plenty of puzzling fun as fans assemble the scene!


Asylum of the Daleks New York premiere

BBC America have released images from the New York premiere of Asylum of the Daleks which took place at the weekend at the Ziegfeld Theatre - click on the pics for bigger versions! Present were Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and executive producer Caro Skinner along with host Chris Hardwick.

Asylum of the Daleks airs on BBC One, SPACE and BBC America on Sept 1 whilst it airs in Australia on ABC1 on Sept 8 and on Prime in New Zealand on Sept 13. Read Blogtor's spoiler~free review of the episode HERE.


Dinosaurs On A Spaceship synopsis

The BBC have released the synopsis for Doctor Who Series 7, Episode 2, Dinosaurs On A Spaceship - read it below. The story airs at 7.35pm, Sept 8 on BBC One whilst it also airs on the same day on SPACE and BBC America, click on the pictures included for bigger versions.

An unmanned spaceship hurtles towards certain destruction - unless the Doctor can save it, and its impossible cargo... of dinosaurs!

By his side a ragtag gang of adventurers, a big game hunter, an Egyptian Queen and a surprised member of the Pond family. But little does the Doctor know there is someone else on board who will stop at nothing to keep hold of his precious, prehistoric cargo. 

Dinosaurs On A Spaceship is written by Chris Chibnall, directed by Saul Metzstein and stars: Riann Stelle (Queen Nefertiti); Rupert Graves (Riddell); Mark Williams (Brian Williams); David Bradley (Solomon); and some other people... Blogtor's spoiler~free review will posted on Sunday, 00:01.