Saturday, 30 March 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: First Casting News

The BBC today confirmed reports -previewed in the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine - that David Tennant and Billie Piper will reprise their roles as the Doctor and Rose Tyler for November's anniversary special.
Despite many reported denials, the actors have long been rumoured to be making a return to the programme.
Tennant and Piper last appeared as the Tenth Doctor and Rose in The End of Time on New Year's Day, 2010.
The hour-long special - to be shown in 3D on TV and in cinemas - also stars yet another Harry Potter film actor, John Hurt (Alien, The Elephant Man, V for Vendetta, and Channel 4's new historical saga, Labyrinth), Ken Bones, Marshall Griffin, and newcomer Orlando James.
The celebratory story, scripted by showrunner Steven Moffat and directed by Nick Hurran, will commence production next week.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Doctor Who Vs. Bleak House (1985)

The BBC's second adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House for television was first broadcast in April and May, 1985.
The cast for this eight-part series was led by Denholm Elliott, and featured Gerald Flood (as the Coroner) and twenty-three other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
  • Dame Diana Rigg (Lady Dedlock) had found global fame as Emma Peel in The Avengers (1965-68), and Mrs. James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and played Winifred Gillyflower in The Crimson Horror opposite her daughter, Rachael Stirling
  • Sylvia Coleridge (Miss Flite) was Amelia Ducat in The Seeds of Doom
  • Sam Kelly (Snagsby) voiced Eugene Tacitus for The Holy Terror (Big Finish, 2000), and Acheron in Return to the Web Planet (2007)
  • TP McKenna (Skimpole) was Captain Cook in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 
  • Malcolm Terris (Chadband) and Graham Crowden (Chancellor) both appeared in The Horns of Nimon, as the Co-Pilot and Soldeed - the latter was also Etnin in The Dominators
  • Frank Windsor (Grindley) and Ian Hogg (Bucket) were both in Ghost Light, as Inspector Mackenzie and Josiah Samuel Smith respectively - the former was also in The King's Demons as Sir Ranulf Fitzwilliam
  • Comedy actress Kathy Burke (Guster) was a Lazar in Terminus
  • Arthur Hewlett (Waggoner) was Kalmar in State of Decay and Kimber in Terror of the Vervoids
  • Cathy Murphy (Maid) was Mum in The Christmas Invasion
  • George Sewell (Rouncewell) was Ratcliffe in Remembrance of the Daleks
  • James Snell (Barrister) was Harry in The Daemons
  • Donald Sumpter (Nemo) was Enrico Casali in The Wheel in Space, Commander Ridgeway in The Sea Devils, and Erasmus Darkening in The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Eternity Trap
  • Fiona Walker (Miss Barbary) was Kala in The Keys of Marinus, and Lady Peinforte in Silver Nemesis
  • Harry Fielder (Gent), a veteran of  fifteen 'classic' series appearances, was a Guard (in serials PP, ZZZ, 4L, 4P, 5A, 5F, 5Z), a Crewman (SS, 4T), a Vogan (4D), an Assassin (4Q), a Tigellan (5Q), and a Krarg in Shada 
  • Seymour Green (Parson) was Hargreaves in The Seeds of Doom, and the Chamberlain in The Twin Dilemma
  • Anne Reid (Mrs. Bagnet here; and Miss Rouncewell in the 2005 version) was Nurse Crane in The Curse of Fenric, and Florence Finnegan in Smith and Jones
  • Colin Jeavons (Vholes here; and Carstone in the 1959 version) was Damon in The Underwater Menace
  • Geoffrey Burgon was also the composer on Terror of the Zygons and The Seeds of Doom
  • cinematographer Kenneth MacMillan was a camera operator on Planet of Evil
  • Dave King was film editor on The Mutants too
  • Jeremy Silbertson was also production manager on The King's Demons and The Five Doctors
  • Mickey Edwards was VFX designer on Four to Doomsday too

Friday, 15 March 2013

Vintage 'Doctor Who' Scripts Discovered

The Radio Times website has reported that a collection of the earliest Doctor Who scripts has been unearthed in Kent by local prop maker and researcher, Jason Onion.
Six documents, hidden for fifty years, were loaned from Joan Coburn Moon - the widow of writer Anthony Coburn - and include two versions of the first episode, An Unearthly Child, an alternative draft of The Cave of Skulls, and the complete scripts for The Masters of Luxor. This 'lost story' was ultimately replaced by Terry Nation's The Daleks but was eventually dramatised last year by Big Finish.
Tom Cole writes: "You can see that the template for the Daleks came from [Coburn]... these episodes [see] a device to unlock TARDIS, which became the sonic screwdriver, and the science [of] regeneration" said Onion. “This find completes the genesis of [the show] from Coburn's imagination. The drafts explain the mystery of Doctor Who, his origins, his people and all the background.” 
Meanwhile, Rob Leigh of the Daily Mirror stated that Coburn was inspired by the sight of a real Police Box outside Televison Centre to devise the TARDIS exterior, and that the scripts provide the original names of the ship and the Doctor's planet. Susan (originally Suzanne) is also revealed as "a princess saved from another world" and Coburn is hailed as creator of "the cornerstones of Doctor Who that have been expanded on.. ever since".
Australian-born Coburn, a writer and producer at the BBC from the 1950's, lived in Herne Bay, and died in Canterbury in 1977, aged just 49.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Doctor Who Vs. Mayday

Produced by Kudos for BBC One, this thriller was broadcast last week over five consecutive nights. The drama told the story of murdered schoolgirl Hattie Sutton, who disappeared on her way to join her village's May Day celebration as the May Queen.
The cast, led by Peter Firth and Aiden Gillen, also featured thirteen Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
  • Sophie Okonedo (Fiona) played Queen 'Liz 10' in The Beast Below and The Pandorica Opens, and voiced Alison Cheney for Scream of the Shalka (2003)
  • Lesley Manville (Gail) was cast as William Hartnell's wife, Heather for An Adventure in Space and Time - pictured here with David Bradley
  • Adrian Rawlins (DS Mills) was Dr Ryder in Planet of the Ood
  • David Fynn (Spicer) was Marcellus in The Pandorica Opens
  • Kerry Godliman (Amelia) voiced Karen for both The Eight Truths and Worldwide Web (BF, 2009)
  • Caroline Berry (Jo) was a Dinner Lady in School Reunion
  • Big Finish artiste Tim Treloar (Searcher) voiced Lord Jack Corrigan for Destination: Nerva, Tyron for The Burning Prince, The Ancient One for Gods and Monsters, Van Cleef for Return of the Rocket Men, and the Lord President for the Dark Eyes saga (all 2012)
  • Frances Ashman (Teacher) was Christine in The Big Bang
  • Edmund Kente (Ken) was Mr Scoones in The Next Doctor
  • costume designer Lucinda Wright and her assistant Joanne Hayes both worked in those posts on all thirteen episodes of Series 1
  • Karl Probert was also art director on The Doctor's Wife, Night Terrors, and The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
  • Andy Piers Morris was the safety free-diver on The Vampires of Venice too
  • film editor David Barrett also edited the two-part Silurian adventure for Series 5

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Doctor Who Vs. Bleak House (1998)

The BBC dramatised Charles Dickens' epic novel, Bleak House for Radio 4 in 1998. This award winning five-part series last aired on Radio 7 in 2007 and 2008, and starred six Doctor Who guest actors:

  • Jean Marsh (Miss Flite) first appeared in the 'classic' series as Princess Joanna in The Crusade (1965), then as short-lived companion Sara Kingdom in nine episodes of The Daleks' Master Plan later that year, and finally as Morgaine in Battlefield (1989) - the role of space agent Kingdom was reprised by Big Finish for The Companion Chronicles releases, Home Truths (2008), The Drowned World (2009), The Guardian of the Solar System (2010), The Five Companions (2011), and The Anachronauts (2012), then for the 'lost' story The Daleks: The Destroyers (2010) - Marsh also voiced Maria for The Wishing Beast (2007)
  • Robert Portal (Carstone) voiced Marshal Ney for The Curse of Davros (BF, 2012) and Reggie for the recent The Auntie Matter
  • Charlie Hayes (pictured with her mother, 'classic' series actress Wendy Padbury) voiced Jade for Master (2003), Jenny for The Seven Keys to Doomsday (2008), Gatlin for Bernice Summerfield and the Criminal Code (2010), Jen for both of The Companion Chronicles releases, Memory Cheats (2011) and The Uncertainty Principle, Death for Love and War (2012), and Veltreena for the forthcoming Lords of the Red Planet 'lost' story - all from Big Finish
  • Ellie Haddington (Miss Hortense) was Professor Docherty in Last of the Time Lords
  • Michael Attwell (Krook) was Isbur in The Ice Warriors, and Bates in Attack of the Cybermen
  • Michael Fenton Stevens (Skimpole) voiced Mr Seyton (alias Shakespeare) for The Kingmaker (BF, 2006) and Brooks for The Raincloud Man (BF, 2008)