Sunday, 29 July 2012

Doctor Who Vs. Dr. Who and the Daleks


The first Dalek movie of 1965 was shown on Channel 5 today. AARU productions was formed by another film-maker, Amicus, to create a cinematic version of the BBC's Doctor Who Dr. Who and the Daleks was the result.
Based on the seven-part TV serial The Daleks (aka. The Mutants), this rendition was the programme's first ever spin-off. The film was also the first Doctor Who adventure made in colour (only used on the TV series from 1970) and widescreen (introduced with the 2005 revival).
Dr Who and the Daleks was scripted by (TV writers) Terry Nation, David Whitaker, (the producers) Max Rosenborg, and Milton Subotsky, and directed by Gordon Flemyng.
The cast was headed by horror film legend, Peter Cushing, as human inventor 'Dr. Who'. Jennie Linden and Roberta Tovey played his granddaughters, Barbara and Susan, whilst Carry On star, Roy Castle, was the hapless Ian Chesterton. Further connections to the TV show are as follows:
  • Cushing starred opposite three future Doctors: with Patrick Troughton in Hamlet (1948), The Black Knight (1954), The Gorgon (1964)and Frankenstein (1974), then with Jon Pertwee in The House that Dripped Blood, and Richard Hurndall, in I, Monster (both 1971)
  • Tovey had an uncredited role in The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971) which also featured Wendy Padbury and Anthony Ainley - In Runaway Railway (1965) she starred opposite Pertwee - Her father, George Tovey, played the Poacher in Pyramids of Mars
  • Geoffrey Toone (Temmosus here), was Hepesh in The Curse of Peladon
  • Bruce Wells (Thal) was a Cyberman in The Tenth Planet, an uncredited Alien in The War Games, and an Ogron in both Day of the Daleks and Frontier in Space
  • Gary Wyler (Thal) was a Soldier in The Aztecs
  • The four Dalek operators were: Robert Jewell, who was also a Dalek in 8 TV serials, a Clown in The Feast of Steven, a Zarbi in The Web Planet, and a Macra operator
  • Bruce Castagnoli was an Egyptian Warrior in Golden Death
  • Gerald Taylor, also a Dalek in 7 stories, Damon's Assistant in The Underwater Menace, Baker's Man in The Daemons, Vega Nexos in The Monster of Peladon, as well as a Zarbi, and a War Machine operator
  • Kevin Manser, also a Dalek in 6 stories, and a Zarbi
  • Dalek voices were provided by: David Graham, who also voiced Skaro's finest in 5 TV serials, and was Charlie in The Gunfighters, and Kerensky in City of Death
  • Peter Hawkins also voiced the Daleks in 7 stories, and voiced the Cybermen in 4 adventures

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Tribute to Mary Tamm (1950-2012)


It was reported this morning by her agent, that Mary Tamm had died after a long battle with cancer. The actress best known for her portrayal as the first incarnation of Romana in season sixteen of Doctor Who, was 62. Tributes have been led by Fourth Doctor actor Tom Baker, who said: "She was a darling companion and wonderfully witty and kind" whilst a "shell-shocked" Colin Baker wrote on twitter that she was "a funny, caring, talented, lovely and down-to-earth lady." Steven Moffat said that Tamm was "the ice queen on the TARDIS.. who thought the Doctor was her companion" and she has been remembered by other former time travellers Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines, Nichola Bryant, and Lousie Jameson.
Tamm was born in Bradford in 1950 to Estonian immigrant parents, and after graduating at RADA, she began her career at the Birmingham Repetory Theatre with Derek Jacobi, Joan Sims, and Ronnie Barker. She moved to London in 1972, and made her television debut in ATV's Hunter's Walk. Further TV roles in Coronation Street, and Return of the Saint followed. Then after film roles in The Odessa File, and The Likely Lads, Tamm was cast as the Time Lady, Romana - short for Romanadvoratrelundar. 
Tamm was not initially interested in playing a Doctor Who companion, but producer Graham Williams assured her that Romana was not intended as another "damsel in distress" - she was a 'Time Lady' who was as capable as the Doctor. However, Tamm left the programme after only one season because she felt that her character had in fact reverted to the traditional assistant function, and a proper transition to her successor, Lalla Ward was never planned.
Tamm later made guest appearances in The Bill, Jonathan Creek, Doctors, EastEnders, and had a regular role as Penny Crosbie in Brookside.
Romana featured in all six stories of the 'Key to Time' season, broadcast from September 1978 to February 1979, but Tamm returned to the role for Big Finish's Gallifrey audio drama series in 2005. Her latest recording as the Time Lady, was in Tales from the Vault, released last July, and a new, 7-part season of Fouth Doctor adventures featuring Tamm's Romana will be issued next year.
Mary Tamm is survived by her husband Marcus Ringrose, her daughter Lauren, and grandson Max.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Great Doctor Who Quotes #39

"When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it'll never end. But however hard you try, you can't run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it. Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call...everybody lives."

- River Song, The Forest of the Dead (June 7th 2008)
Written by Steven Moffat

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Great Doctor Who Quotes #38


"Amy, listen to me. I can't save you. I can't do anything to stop this... I stole your childhood and now I've led you by the hand to your death. But the worst thing is, I knew this would happen. This is what always happens... I took you with me because I was vain, because I wanted to be adored... Look at you. Glorious Pond. The girl who waited for me... But I'm not a hero. I really am just a mad man with a box. And it's time we saw each other as we really are... Amy Williams, it's time to stop waiting."

- The Doctor, The God Complex (September 17th 2011)
Written by Toby Whithouse

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Doctor Who: Even More Series 7 News


Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Steven Moffat, and Caroline Skinner will all attend the Doctor Who panel at Comic Con later this month, where the forthcoming Series Seven will be previewed.
So how much do we actually know about the new season? Radio Times reported that the series - again split in half, either side of the Christmas special - will consist of "at least" fourteen episodes. Moffat stated in DWM that there will be no two-parters, and fellow producer Marcus Wilson said that two 'classic' era monsters will make a return appearance - the Ice Warriors are likely candidates.

The title of episode 1 is confirmed as Asylum of the Daleks, and will feature the Special Weapons Dalek, last seen in 1988. Written by Moffat, and directed by Nick Hurran, the season opener will launch at the BFI, then be screened later in Edinburgh, before a probable TV premiere in late August, or early September. Nick Briggs again provides the (many) Dalek voices. 
Episode 2 - Dinosaurs on a Spaceship? - is penned by Chris Chibnall, and helmed by Saul Metzstein. The cast includes Harry Potter film actors Mark Williams and David Bradley, Rupert Graves (Lestrade in Sherlock), and Riann Steele as Queen Nefertiti.
Written by Toby Whithouse and directed by Metzstein, part 3 stars Dominic Kemp, Adrian Scarborough, Ben Browder, Andrew Brooke, Garrick Hagon (Ky in The Mutants), Rob Cavazos, and Joanne McQuinn. Provisionally titled The Gunslinger or A Town Called Mercy, and set in the American Wild West, the story was filmed in  Spain.
The next installment - thought to be called Cubed - is also scripted by Chibnall, directed by Douglas Mackinnon, and sees the return of Williams as Rory's dad, Brian. Other guest stars are Jemma Redgrave (as Kate Stewart), Steven Berkoff, and Ruthie Henshall.
The Ponds leave the programme in the fifth adventure, which is set in New York - location filming took in Central Park - and features the Weeping Angels. Alex Kingston reprises her role as River Song here, opposite co-stars Mike McShane, Rob David, and Bentley Kalu.
New companion Jenna Louise Coleman, rumoured to be named Clara, debuts in this year's Christmas special, which is again written by Moffat.
The eight unplaced episodes for 2013 include Phantoms of the Hex (working title), from Luther creator and Spooks writer, Neil Cross. Dougray Scott (Matt Busby in David Tennant's United), and Jessica Raine head the cast, directed by another newcomer, Jamie Payne (Primeval, and Survivors).
NuWho veteran Mark Gatiss has contributed two scripts for next year. The first is helmed by Mackinnon, and stars David Warner (see my Titanic blog), Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones), Josh O'Connor, and James Norton. His second serial, rumoured to be called The Crimson Horror, features Dame Diana Rigg (Emma Peel in The Avengers), and her daughter Rachael Stirling. Catrin Stewart returns here as Jenny (from last year's A Good Man Goes to War), so her partner Madame Vastra (played by Neve McIntosh) can't be far away.