Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Doctor Who Vs. Whitechapel

ITV1's excellent dark, crime drama series Whitechapel returned for a third run last night. Now extended to six episodes (three two-parters), and again written by Ben Court and Caroline Ip, the show's cast is still headed by Rupert Penry-Jones as DI Joe Chandler. Also reprising their regular roles are these NuWho guest stars - Phil Davis (DS Miles), Steve Pemberton (Edward Buchan), Claire Rushbrook (Dr Llewellyn), and Sam Stockman (DC Kent) - the latter was the Co-Pilot in The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe. Director of parts two and four is Richard Clark - he also helmed Gridlock, The Lazarus Experiment (both 2007), The Doctor's Wife, and Night Terrors (both 2011).
The recurring motif of Whitechapel - the recreation of historic East End crimes (again researched by Ripperologist, Buchan) - now centres on the famous Ratcliffe Highway Murders of 1811, and the Thames Torso mysteries of Victorian London. Previous series dramatised (with varying success) both a modern-day Jack the Ripper, and then new Kray twins.
Series 3 also features these nine other Doctor Who guest actors:
  • Christina Chong (Lizzie) played Lorna Bucket in A Good Man Goes to War
  • for Mona Hammond (Voodoo Lady) see my second Randall & Hopkirk blog
  • David Schneider (Salter) voiced Ernst Bratfisch for The Silver Turk (Big Finish, 2011)
  • Ben Smith (Wilke) was Luke in School Reunion
  • Nina Toussaint-White (Tish) was Mels in Let's Kill Hitler
  • for Paul Chequer (Merceron) see SherlockSeries 1
  • for Pip Torrens (Underwood) see The Flood blog
  • Holli Dempsey (Elsa) was Kelly in Closing Time
  • Victoria Alcock (Cindy) was Angela in Planet of the Dead

    Monday, 30 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #30

    "Legs! I've still got legs! Good. Arms, hands. Oh, fingers. Lots of fingers. Ears? Yes. Eyes: two. Nose.. eh, I've had worse. Chin.. blimey! Hair.. I'm a girl! No! No! I'm not a girl! And still not ginger! There's something else. Something.. important, I'm.. I'm.. 
    Ha ha! Crashing!

    - The Doctor, The End of Time, Part Two
    Written by Russell T Davies
    (this final scene penned by Steven Moffat)

    Friday, 27 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #29

    "What if I could control people's taste buds? What if I decided that no-one would take sugar? That would make a difference to those who sell the sugar and those that cut that cane...
    Now, if no-one had used sugar, your father wouldn't have have been a cane cutter...
    See? Every great decision creates ripples like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge and rebound off the banks in unforeseeable ways. The heavier the decision, the larger the waves, the more uncertain the consequences."

    - The Doctor, talking to John (Joseph Marcell)
      Remembrance of the Daleks, Part 2 (October 12th 1988)
    Written by Ben Aaronovitch

    Thursday, 26 January 2012

    Doctor Who Series 6 TV Awards

    The latest season of Doctor Who has triumphed again, this time at the annual National Television Awards. Last night in London, Matt Smith was voted Best Male Drama Performance as the Doctor, and Karen Gillan won the Female equivalent prize for Amy Pond. The programme itself narrowly missed out to Downton Abbey for the Best Drama honours.
    Doctor Who has traditionally performed well at the NTA's since the show's revival, and has now secured fourteen awards.
    This success follows the recent Virgin Media TV Awards, where NuWho topped FIVE catergories!
    The programme went head-to-head with Merlin, to narrowly win 'TV Show of the Year'.
    The 'TV Character of the Year' was Rory Williams (Arthur Darvil).
    The Doctor's 'death' in The Impossible Astronaut was voted the 'Most Explosive TV Moment of the Year'.
    And Gillan won two more prizes, for 'Hottest Female' and 'Best Actress'.

    Monday, 23 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #28

    "You don't understand. No one who didn't live through those terrible years can understand. Towards the end of the twentieth century, a series of wars broke out. There were hundreds of years of nothing but destruction and killing. Nearly seven eighths of the world's population wiped out. The rest living in holes in the ground, starving, reduced to the level of animals.. there was no power on Earth to stop.. [the Daleks]"

    - The Controller, Day of the Daleks, Episode Four  (January 22nd 1972)
    Written by Louis Marks

    Thursday, 19 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #27

    "I travelled across the world. From the ruins of New York, to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe. And everywhere I went I saw people just like you, living as slaves! But if Martha Jones became a legend then that's wrong, because my name isn't important. There's someone else. The man who sent me out there, the man who told me to walk the Earth. And his name is the Doctor. He has saved your lives so many times and you never even knew he was there. He never stops. He never stays. He never asks to be thanked. But I've seen him, I know him.. I love him.. And I know what he can do."

    - Martha Jones, Last of the Time Lords (June 30th 2007)
    Written by Russell T Davies

    Coming Soon: Ripper Street

    H Division's actual CID officers, pictured in 1889

    Last September, BBC One commissioned a new, eight-part period drama called Ripper Street. Created by Richard Warlow (a writer on Waking the Dead), the series "is set in the East End of London in 1889, during the aftermath of the" Whitechapel Murders. The original press release states that "the action centres around the notorious H Division - the police precinct from hell - which is charged with keeping order in the chaotic streets." Produced by Tiger Aspect, the series "explores the lives of characters trying to recover from the Ripper's legacy, from crimes that have not only irretrievably altered their lives, but the very fabric of their city. At the drama's heart our detectives try to bring a little light into the dark world they inhabit."
      Just last week it was announced that Spooks actor (and husband of Keeley Hawes), Matthew Macfadyen will head the cast of Ripper Street, and the programme begins production soon for transmission later this year.

    From it's inception in1829, the Metropolitan Police was divided into seventeen districts for administrative purposes, and each was identified by a letter. In 1888, H Division covered Whitechapel, and it's jurisdiction included three Ripper murder sites: Hanbury Street (Annie Chapman), Berner Street (Elizabeth Stride), and Miller's Court (Mary Kelly). The four police stations within the district where at Leman Street (the divisional HQ), Commercial Street (the area CID office), Arbour Square, and King David Lane.
    The officer in charge of detectives on the ground during the Whitechapel Murders, was Inspector Frederick Abberline (1843-1929) - he had worked in H Division from 1873-1887. Since 1965, H Division has covered Tower Hamlets.

    Tuesday, 17 January 2012

    Doctor Who: Journey Into Time

    Just a month after the news of the discovery of two missing episodes of Doctor Who, we now learn that a long-lost script for a proposed radio series has been unearthed in the BBC archives. 
    After the release of the feature film, Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD in 1966, two independent production companies, Stanmark and Watermill, planned to record a fifty-two part radio series starring Peter Cushing as Dr. Who. A pilot entitled Journey Into Time, written by Malcolm Hulke, was produced, but a full series was ruled out when the BBC rejected the adventure - set during the American Revolution - as "extremely feeble." The 23-minute pilot episode was never broadcast, and remains lost, but fanzine, Nothing at the End of the Lane has presented the full script in it's latest issue. Hulke went on to pen eight Doctor Who stories for TV, and he adapted seven Target novelisations.
    It's possible that a radio spin-off was considered when a third Dalek film - based on the TV serial The Chase - was abandoned, and Cushing was keen to continue in the role. 
    Interestingly, Cushing once stated in an interview that he believed his version of the Doctor was in fact canonical. Long before the concept of 'Unbound' Time Lords, he theorised that 'Dr. Who' was actually a future incarnation kidnapped by the Celestial Toymaker, who had "wiped his memory and made him relive some of his earlier adventures." Furthermore, we know that the First Doctor had indeed escaped the Toymaker before their televised encounter.

    Sunday, 15 January 2012

    The Origins of Sarah Jane Smith

    The latest DWM (issue 443) reviews the new Invasion of the Dinosaurs DVD release. The production notes for part five contains the "biggest bombshell in the history of Doctor Who facts, providing us with the ultimate Holy Grail.. the name of the actress originally cast as Sarah Jane Smith!" However, reviewer Neil Harris doesn't identify the actress ultimately replaced by Elizabeth Sladen.
    The Radio Times has the honour of naming this enigmatic woman after almost forty years. Their website last week revealed that April Walker, a veteran of 1970's comedy shows, was cast by Barry Letts, and she actually worked on The Time Warrior rehearsals. William Gallagher writes: "..allegedly the pairing of [Jon] Pertwee's Doctor and Walker's Sarah Jane didn't work: she was a tall and more obviously strong character, along the lines of.. Liz Shaw. It's believed that Pertwee was unhappy with the decision but.. Letts recast the role. Walker was reportedly paid for.. the rest of that series.. [and] Sladen always refused" to name her predecessor.
    The brilliant mocked-up Frank Bellamy-style Radio Times cover above was produced by artists Jason Fletcher and Westley Smith for the third issue of Richard Bignell's respected fanzine, Nothing at the End of the Lane. You can find more Doctor Who inspired artwork at deviantart.com, and read Walker's IMDB profile.

    April Walker is seen here in The Two Ronnies (1973)

    Saturday, 14 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #26

    "I have a message and a question. A message from the Doctor and a question from me. Where is my wife? 
    Oh, don't give me those blank looks. The Twelfth Cyber Legion monitors this entire quadrant. You hear everything. So tell me what I need to know, you tell me now, and I'll be on my way.
    ..Would you like me to repeat the question?"

    - Rory Williams, A Good Man Goes to War (June 4th 2011)
    Written by Steven Moffat

    Defending Love & Monsters, Again!

    In the current issue of DWM (443), writer Jonathan Morris examines Love & Monsters for it's regular The Fact of Fiction feature.
    The article counters a recent NuWho news story: "Last November, in an interview with the Daily Express, Peter Kay said that his only real regret in his career was his appearance in Doctor Who." Comedy actor Kay added however that he "loved making it.. but when I saw it, I thought, Oh my God, I'm a big green lizard running around Cardiff. Is that it?" He also said that although "it's nice to have been in [the programme, but Love & Monsters].. is regarded by fans as the worst episode ever."
    But Kay is mistaken, and I must concur with Morris - the serial must be defended. In the magazine's Season Survey for 2006, Fear Her was voted the least popular adventure, and their Mighty 200 poll of 2009 ranked Love & Monsters at 153rd - Fear Her polled 192nd!
    Despite it's 'marmite' reputation, this Russell T Davies story has much to commend it, and my support for Love & Monsters began in earnest last June - see my first post here, for it's many merits.

    Friday, 13 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #25

    "You were thirteen. You climbed over the wall for a dare.
    ..Remind me what it was that you sensed when you entered this deserted house. An aura of intense evil?
    ..I can't stand burnt toast. I loathe bus stations. Terrible places. Full of lost luggage and lost souls.
    ..And then there's unrequited love. And tyranny. And cruelty.
    ..We all have a universe of our own terrors to face."

    - The Doctor, Ghost Light, Part 1 (October 4th 1989)
    Written by Marc Platt

    Thursday, 12 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #24

    "Did you never think, all of those years standing beside me, to ask about the watch? Never? ..that you could set me free?
    And you, with your "chan" and your "tho" driving me insane!
    The Professor was an invention, so perfect a disguise that I forgot who I am.
    I am.. the Master!"

    - Professor Yana, Utopia (June 16th 2007)
    Written by Russell T Davies

    Wednesday, 11 January 2012

    Doctor Who Series 7 News

    Production commences next month on the thirty-fourth season of Doctor Who, and rumours concerning the return of 'classic' era monsters have surfaced online again.
    After being afforded only a cameo role last year, the Daleks may well feature in the 2012 run, but I hope that Mr Moffat prolongs their 'rest' until the Anniversary.
    A more welcome prospect would be the supposed return of the Great Intelligence and it's cohorts, the Yeti. These robots were first linked with NuWho when Peter McKinstry's concept art (for the DVD Files partwork) was released in 2010. Excluding a brief appearance in The Five Doctors, the Yeti were last seen in The Web of Fear way back in 1968, and they are surely due a rematch with the Doctor.
    Personally, I'd love to see a Genesis of the Cybermen-type adventure too, showcasing the (non-Cybus) Mondasian variant. I think that Cyber stories work best when injected with body-horror.

    Monday, 9 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #23

    "Planet Earth. This is where I was born. And this is where I died. 
    The first nineteen years of my life, nothing happened. Nothing at all, not ever. And then I met a man called the Doctor. A man who could change his face. And he took me away from home in his magical machine. He showed me the whole of time and space. I thought it would never end... Well that's what I thought. But then came the Army of Ghosts. Then came Torchwood and the war. That's when it all ended. This is the story of how I died."

    - Rose Tyler, Army of Ghosts (July 1st 2006)
    Written by Russell T Davies

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #22

    "Funny thing is, this means you've always known how I was going to die. All the time we've been together, you knew I was coming here. The last time I saw you, the real you - the future you, I mean - you turned up on my doorstep, with a new haircut and a suit. You took me to Darillium to see the singing towers. Oh, what a night that was! The towers sang, and you cried. You wouldn't tell me why, but I suppose you knew it was time. My time. Time to come to the Library. You even gave me your screwdriver, that should've been a clue. There's nothing you can do.
    ...You'll see me again. You've got all of that to come. You and me, time and space. You watch us run!
    ...Hush now - spoilers!"

    - River Song, Forest of the Dead (June 1st 2008)
    Written by Steven Moffat

    Saturday, 7 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #21

    "There's someone coming. I don't know where he is, or what he's doing, but trust me, he's on his way..
    There's a man who will never let us down. And not even an army can get in the way..
    He's the last of his kind. He looks young but he's lived for hundreds and hundreds of years.
    And wherever they take you, Melody, however scared you are, I promise you, you'll never be alone..
    Because this man is your father.. He has a name but the people of our world know him better.. as the Last Centurion."

    - Amy Pond, A Good Man Goes to War (June 4th 2011)
    Written by Steven Moffat

    Friday, 6 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #20

    "All over the world fools are poised, ready to let death fly. Machines of death, Morgaine, screaming from above. Light brighter than the sun. Not a was between armies, nor a war between nations, but just death. Death gone mad! A child looks up into the sky, his eyes turn to cinders. No more tears, only ashes. Is this honour? Is this war? Are these the weapons you would use?"

    - The Doctor, Battlefield, Part 4 (September 27th 1989)
    Written by Ben Aaronovitch

    Thursday, 5 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #19

    "Come on! Fight back. I know you will.
    You hate me! You want to kill me. Well, go on! Kill me!
    You-are-my-enemy-and I am yours! You are everything I despise. The worst thing in all creation. I've defeated you. Time and time again... I sent you back into the Void. I saved the whole of reality from you. I am the Doctor, and you are the Daleks!"

    - The Doctor, Victory of the Daleks (April17th 2010)
    Written by Mark Gatiss

    Tuesday, 3 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #18

    "I've come to help, I'm the Doctor..
    Oh fantastic! Powerless..
    The great space dustbin. How does it feel?
    If you can't kill, then what are you good for, Dalek?
    What's the point of you? You're nothing..
    Your race is dead. You all burnt..
    Ten million ships on fire..
    I watched it happen. I made it happen..
    I had no choice..
    The end of the last great Time War. Everyone lost."

    - The Doctor, Dalek (April 30th 2005)
    Written by Robert Shearman

    Monday, 2 January 2012

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #17

    "She took my mind into her own head. But that's a Time Lord consciousness. All that knowledge, it was killing her. 
    I had to wipe her mind completely. Every trace of me, or the TARDIS, anything we did together, anywhere we went.. had to go.
    That version of Donna is dead.. if she remembers, just for a second, she'll burn up. You can never tell her. You can't mention me.. for the rest of her life.
    It'll just be a story. One of those Donna Noble stories where she missed it all again.
    I just want you to know there are worlds out there, safe in the sky, because of her. That there are people living in the light, and singing songs of Donna Noble, a thousand million light years away. They will never forget her.. while she can never remember. And for one moment.. one shining moment.. she was the most important woman in the whole wide universe."

    - The Doctor, Journey's End (July 5th 2008)
    Written by Russell T Davies