Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Radio Times TV Review of 2014

That venerable publishing colossus, Christmas perennial, and loyal Doctor Who supporter, the Radio Times, has revealed the results of their annual survey. Their top forty shows of the year (headed by Happy Valley) have again been selected by the magazine's critics, and Peter Capaldi's first season has been placed at a respectable number nine (up from twenty-two last year). Rwriter Huw Fullerton comments:

9) Doctor Who BBC1 

"After eight years of young, romantic Doctors, Capaldi’s more hostile, older Time Lord was a hard sell. Twelve (mostly) great episodes later, it’s hard to imagine anyone else at the helm of the Tardis. Bank heists, Cybermen attacks and creepy monsters were no match for Capaldi and his attack eyebrows, and it feels like we’re still learning the true nature of this newly mysterious Doctor. But Capaldi wasn't the only draw this year. Jenna Coleman’s Clara has finally been allowed the personality she was denied in previous series and showed new depths to the role of companion. Here’s hoping she stays past Christmas".

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Doctor Who Vs. Coronation Street, Part 9: 1983-1989

The Street's longest-serving producer,
Bill Podmore, stood down in late 1982,
just as the new edgy, soap opera
Brookside launched on the fledgling Channel 4. Although the rival show never matched Corrie in popularity or ratings, the Liverpool-based series did make the Street appear dated again.
Mervyn Watson's producership would result in much behind-the-scenes turmoil, but the Deirdre Barlow and Mike Baldwin affair storyline proved to be the most successful to date. 
By 1985, many of the programme's core cast had left, including all of the original cast (bar William Roache), then the BBC launched its own flagship serial drama, the twice-weekly EastEnders. Despite retaining its audience, Corrie was accused of being old fashioned yet again, and another new producer, John Temple, oversaw a makeover.
The return of Podmore for a third and final stint as producer in 1987 led to even more changes, and the most significant additions to the show came in 1989 with the introduction of a third episode then an omnibus edition. As the decade ended, Corrie was back at its peak with viewers and critics alike.
These seven years on the Street featured another twenty-one Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
  • Micheal Bilton (Pearson) played Charles de Teligny in The Massacre, Collins in Pyramids of Mars, and a Time Lord in The Deadly Assassin
  • Michael Goldie (Statham) was Jack Craddock in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, and Elton Laleham in The Wheel in Space 
  • Sam Kelly (Challis) voiced Eugene Tacitus for The Holy Terror (BF, 2000), and Acheron in Return to the Web Planet (BF, 2007)
  • David Brierly (Harold in episode 2359) provided the voice of K9 for The Creature from the PitNightmare of Eden and The Horns of Nimon
  • Cory Pulman (Mandy) was Kathleen Dudman in The Curse of Fenric
  • Ron Donachie (Schofield) was a Steward in Tooth and Claw
  • Nigel Gregory (Mills) was Sergeant Vince Wilson in K9 and Company
  • David Ashton (Birchall) was Kendron in Timelash
  • Big Finish artist Susan Brown (Connie here; and Maureen, 2006) voiced Mary for 100: Bedtime Story (2007), Alice Withers for The Eternal Summer, Maud for Castle of Fear, both Mrs Withers and Mrs Sowerby for Plague of the Daleks (all 2009), Margaret for Deimos and The Resurrection of Mars, Eleanor Harvey for Return of the Krotons, Chief Engineer and Chanel for The Song of the Megaptera, Babs for Prison in Space (all 2010), and Kastrella for the forthcoming release Death Match - she also played Bridget Spears in Torchwood: Children of Earth
  • director (of episodes 2761 and 2785) Gerald Blake also helmed The Abominable Snowmen and The Invasion of Time
  • Sarah Lancashire (Wendy here; and Raquel Woolstenhulme Watts, 1991-96) was Miss Foster (pictured) in Partners in Crime
  • Simon Rouse (Farrell here; Woodson, 2013) was Hindle in Kinda
  • Kenneth Waller (Watts) was Hedges in (part 2 of) The Invisible Enemy
  • Mona Hammond (Mrs. Armitage) was Rita-Anne in Rise of the Cybermen
  • Rob Dixon (Roscoe) voiced Reggie Mead for Project: Twilight (BF, 2001) and Sergeant Wood for No Man's Land (BF, 2006)
  • Jenny Funnell (WPC Morgan) voiced Veronica Buchman for Wirrn Isle (BF, 2012), and Reaver for The King of Sontar (BF, 2014)
  • Michael Sheard (Dabner) is another prolific guest actor with seven roles over 35 years - he was Rhos in The Ark: The Plague, Dr. Roland Summers in The Mind of Evil, Laurence Scarman in Pyramids of Mars, Lowe in The Invisible Enemy, Mergrave (also serial 5Z), the Headmaster in Remembrance of the Daleks, and he voiced Orsino for The Stones of Venice (BF, 2001)
  • Julia Deakin (Secretary here; Brenda, 2003) voiced Harriet Griffin for Terror Firma (BF, 2005)
  • Eric Potts (Dearing here; Saxton, 1996; Council Official, 1998; and Diggory Compton, 2005/06) was Oliver Charles in Aliens of London
  • Rod Arthur (Foreman here; Blood Donor, 1991) was Mr. Parsons in School Reunion
  • Ling Tai (Student) was an uncredited Tourist in The Leisure Hive (1), a Seabase Crewmember in Warriors of the Deep, then Shou Yuing in Battlefield

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Doctor Who Vs. X: The Unknown

Released in 1956, this British feature was another Hammer Film production which marked the company's transition from a maker of B-movies to purely science fiction and horror fare. 
X: The Unknown was intended as a direct sequel to The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), but writer Nigel Kneale refused permission to use his character here. American Oscar winning actor Dean Jagger was then cast as nuclear scientist, Dr. Adam Royston, a role clearly influenced by Professor Quatermass.
Shown on BBC Two on Sunday, the film starred child actor Frazer Hines (pictured as Ian Osborn) and seven other future Doctor Who cast connections:
  • William Lucas (Elliott) played Range in Frontios
  • John Harvey (Major Cartwright) was Professor Brett in The War Machines, and Officia in The Macra Terror
  • Kenneth Cope (Sapper) was Packard in Warriors' Gate
  • Edwin Richfield (Burnt Soldier) was Captain Hart in The Sea Devils, and Mestor in The Twin Dilemma
  • Neil Hallett (Unwin) was Maylin Renis in Timelash
  • Brian Peck (First Soldier) was Dervish in The Space Pirates
  • Neil Wilson (Russell) was Seeley in Spearhead from Space

Friday, 15 August 2014

Doctor Who Vs. Blood On Satan's Claw

Short-lived British film company Tigon Films was founded to compete with the Hammer and Amicus features of the Sixties. This low-budget production was released in 1970. Here, a village set in 17th century England is taken over by demonic possession.
In his 2010 documentary, A History of HorrorMark Gatiss referred to a sub-genre he called 'folk horror' that included Blood on Satan's Claw and the iconic film, The Wicker Man (1973).
Shown on the Horror channel last night, this B-movie featured Wendy Padbury (pictured as Cathy Vespers), Anthony Ainley (Reverand Fallowfield), Roberta Tovey (Coven Member), and nine other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
  • Simon Williams (Edmonton) played Group Captain 'Chunky' Ian Gilmore in Remembrance of the Daleks, a role he reprised for Big Finish's spin-off audio series, Counter Measures and 1963: The Assassination Games - he also voiced Paul Addison and Shara for Nekromanteia (2003), and the Guardian for The Guardians of Prophecy (2012)
  • Barry Andrews (Gower) was Stott in Nightmare of Eden
  • Godfrey James (Blake) was Tarn in Underworld
  • Eric Mason, Geoffrey Hughes, Anna Wing and Andrew McCulloch (Villagers) were Smedley in The Sea Devils, and Green in The Mind of Evil; Mr. Popplewick in The Ultimate Foe; and Anatta in Kinda (part 1) respectively - the latter went on to co-write Meglos
  • Harry Fielder (Militiaman), a veteran of fifteen 'classic' era 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 
  • cinematographer Dick Bush was film cameraman on The Romans

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Doctor Who Vs. Marple: Series 4

Julia McKenzie made her TV debut as Jane Marple in the fourth season of ITV1's Agatha Christie mysteries, succeeding Geraldine McEwan in the title role.
McKenzie had voiced Rachel for No More Lies (2007) and Florence for The Auntie Matter (2013), both from Big Finish.
The original versions of both Murder Is Easy (part two) and Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (four) didn't actually feature Miss Marple.
 The serials (which first aired in America in July 2009) began a repeat run on ITV3 today, and included a total of thirty-nine Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

A Pocket Full of Rye (Published 1953/ UK TX: September 6 2009)
  • director Charles Palmer (son of veteran actor Geoffrey Palmer and husband of actress Claire Skinner) also helmed Smith and Jones, The Shakespeare Code, Human Nature and Family of Blood - film editor Matthew Tabern edited the same stories too
  • Rupert Graves (Lance Fortescue) played John Riddell in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
  • Liz White (Jennifer) was Alice in The Snowmen
  • Kenneth Cranham (Rex Fortescue) voiced Tom Cardwell for Blood of the Daleks (BF, 2007)
  • Ralf Little (Sergeant Pickford) voiced Guy Fawkes for The Gunpowder Plot 
  • Lucy Cohu (Pat) was Alice Carter in Torchwood: Children of Earth
  • Chris Larkin (Wright) was Lynley in The Shakespeare Code (he is the son of actress Patricia Quinn, who was Belazs in Dragonfire)
  • Paul Brooke (Billingsley) voiced Toby for Year of the Pig (BF, 2006)
  • Rachel Atkins (Sister) voiced Queen Aethelfrid for The Lady of Mercia (BF, 2013)
  • Greg Bennett (Constable) was both a Sycorax Warrior and a UNIT Soldier in The Christmas Invasion, and an uncredited Guest in The Lazarus Experiment
  • Sean Clayton was also the second assistant director on Dalek and Father's Day
  • Nigel Squibbs was sound mixer on An Adventure in Space and Time too
  • Tom Lucy was also the stunt co-ordinator on sixteen adventures, from Smith and Jones to The Next Doctor
  • series gaffer Gavin Walters was an electrician on Love & Monsters
    Murder Is Easy (Published 1939/ UK TX: September 13 2009)
    • director Hettie Macdonald helmed Blink too
    • Stephen Churchett (Coroner) was Bill in Attack of the Cybermen, and provided the screenplay here
    • Jemma Redgrave (Jessie) played Kate Lethbridge Stewart (pictured left) in The Power of Three, The Day of the Doctor and the forthcoming Series 8 finale 
    • Steve Pemberton (Wake) was Strackman Lux in Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead
    • Shirley Henderson (Henori) was Ursula Blake in Love & Monsters
    • Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch (Fitzwilliam) voiced Howard Carter for Forty Five: False Gods (BF, 2008)
    • Russell Tovey (PC Reed) was Midshipman Alonso Frame in Voyage of the Damned, and briefly in The End of Time, Part 2
    • Tim Brooke-Taylor (Dr Humbleby) voiced Mims for The Zygon Who Fell to Earth (BF, 2008)
    • David Haig (Horton) was Pangol in The Leisure Hive 
    • Sylvia Sims (Lavinia) was Mrs Pritchard in Ghost Light
    They Do It With Mirrors (Published 1952/ UK TX: January 1 2010)
    • Penelope Wilton (Carrie) first played Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North, in Aliens of London and World War Three, became Prime Minister in The Christmas Invasion, then returned in The Stolen Earth
    • Brian Cox (Serrocold) voiced the Ood Elder in The End of Time, and portrayed Sydney Newman in An Adventure in Space and Time
    • Sarah Smart (Mildred) was Jennifer Lucas in The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People, and voiced Laura Corbett for Big Finish's The Crooked Man (BF, 2014)
    • Alexei Sayle (Dr. Maverick) was the DJ in Revelation of the Daleks
    • Nigel Terry (Gulbrandsen) was General Cobb in The Doctor's Daughter
    • Mick Pantaleo was also the first assistant director on A Christmas CarolThe Doctor's Wife and Night Terrors
    Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (Published 1934/ UK TX: June 15 2011)
    • Georgia Moffett [aka. Mrs David Tennant] (Frankie) played Jenny in The Doctor's Daughter, then voiced Tanya Webster [opposite her real father, Peter Davison] for Red Dawn (BF, 2000), Cassie Rice for Dreamland, Alice Ciprion for City of Spires (BF, 2010), and Engineer Tallow for the upcoming release, Dark Eyes 3: Rule of the Eminence
    • Sean Biggerstaff (Attfield) voiced Chris Parsons for the Shada webcast, Snabb for The Skull of Sobek, the Ruhk for Time Reef (both BF, 2008), and Ross Nicholson for the forthcoming release, Masters of Earth
    • Samantha Bond (Sylvia) was Mrs Wormwood in both The Sarah Jane Adventures pilot, Invasion of the Bane and Enemy of the Bane, and voiced Mother Baroque for The Scapegoat (BF, 2009)
    • Richard Briers (Wilson) was the Chief Caretaker in Paradise Towers
    • Mark Williams (Evans) was Rory's dad, Brian Williams in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and The Power of Three 
    • Helen Lederer (Marjorie) voiced Patricia Ryder for Death in Blackpool (BF, 2009)
    • Basher Savage (Young George) voiced Yanikov for Earth Aid (BF, 2011)
    • Siwan Morris (Florrie) was Maebh's Mum in the forthcoming story, In The Forest of the Night

    Monday, 30 June 2014

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #9


    The Doctor: "If someone who knew the future, pointed out a child to you and told you that that child would grow up totally evil, to be a ruthless dictator who would destroy millions of lives... could you then kill that child?"
    Sarah Jane: "We're talking about the Daleks. The most evil creatures ever invented. You must destroy them. You must complete your mission for the Time Lords!"
    The Doctor : "Do I have the right? Simply touch one wire against the other and that's it. The Daleks cease to exist. Hundreds of millions of people, thousands of generations can live without fear... in peace, and never even know the word 'Dalek'."
    Sarah Jane: "Then why wait? If it was a disease or some sort of bacteria you were destroying, you wouldn't hesitate."
    The Doctor : "But if I...wipe out a whole intelligent life form, then I become like them. I'd be no better than the Daleks."

    Genesis of the Daleks, Part 6 
    (April 12th 1975)
    Written by Terry Nation

    Thursday, 26 June 2014

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #8


    "My dear Steven, history sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand. Why should we? After all, we’re too small to realize its final pattern. Therefore don’t try and judge it from where you stand. I was right to do as I did. Yes, that I firmly believe.
    Steven… Even after all this time, he cannot understand. I dare not change the course of history. Well, at least I taught him to take some precautions; he did remember to look at the scanner before he opened the doors. And now, they’re all gone. All gone. None of them could understand. Not even my little Susan. Or Vicki. And as for Barbara and…Chesterton - they were all too impatient to get back to their own time. And now, Steven. Perhaps I should go home. Back to my own planet. But I can’t… I can’t…"

    - The Doctor, The Massacre, Episode 4: Bell of Doom
    (February 26 1966)
    Written by Donald Tosh & John Lucarotti

    Wednesday, 25 June 2014

    Doctor Who Tops SFX Poll


    The farewell between the Doctor and Rose Tyler at Bad Wolf Bay has been named the greatest sci-fi/fantasy scene of all time. The scene, from the climax of Doomsday (first shown in July 2006), was voted top of SFX magazine's poll by over 96,000 readers to mark their 250th issue.
    David Tennant told SFX that "Russell [T Davies] had weaved some glorious magic for two seasons and it all came together so perfectly in this scene that people still talk to me about it.. they always will. Murray Gold created some heart stopping music that accentuates the misery and Billie Piper is just breathtakingly good. Whatever else I do.. this will be a moment I will be forever proud to look back on."
    Doctor Who saw off competition from Hollywood blockbusters (Alien, Back to the Future, Star Wars), Game of Thrones, and the Harry Potter books.

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #7

    You know when, sometimes you meet someone so beautiful, and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later, they’re as dull as a brick? Then there’s other people, and you meet them and you think, ‘Not bad; they’re okay.’ And then you get to know them, and their face sort of becomes them, like their personality is written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful. Rory’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever met.

    - Amy Pond, The Girl Who Waited
    (September 10 2011)
    Written by Tom MacRae

    Thursday, 19 June 2014

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #6


    "Do you know, like we were saying, about the Earth revolving? It's like when you were a kid, the first time they tell you that the world's turning and you just can't quite believe it because it looks like it's standing still. I can feel it. The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty seven thousand miles an hour, and I can feel it. We're travelling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go... that's who I am. Now forget me, Rose Tyler. Go home."

    - The Doctor, Rose (March 26 2005)
    Written by Russell T Davies

    Sunday, 11 May 2014

    Doctor Who Vs. Agatha Christie, Part 2

    BBC2 first transmitted Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures in September 2004. This feature-length biopic - told in flashback from Agatha's point of view - documented
    her famous disappearance of 1926. Here, her psychiatrist concluded that the novelist (portrayed by Olivia Williams) had been in a fugue state at the time, and her amnesia was genuine (see Part 1).
    The programme was repeated on BBC4 in 2008, and featured these seven Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
    • Anna Massey (Older Agatha) voiced Miss Pollard for The Girl Who Never Was (Big Finish, 2007)
    • Raymond Coulthard (Archie Christie) voiced Loki, Edgar and Hawks for Cobwebs (BF, 2010), and Ralph for the upcoming release, Suburban Hell
    • Anthony O'Donnell (Kenward and Hercule Poirot) played Commander Kaagh in The Sarah Jane Adventures: Enemy of the Bane and The Last Sontaran
    • actor and writer Mark Gatiss (Kenyon) and Bertie Carvel (Max Mallowan) both appeared in The Lazarus Experiment, as Dr. Richard Lazarus and the 'Mysterious Man' respectively
    • Olivia Darnley (Nurse) made a cameo appearance in The Five(ish) Doctors
    • Mick Pantaleo was also the first assistant director on A Christmas CarolThe Doctor's Wife and Night Terrors
    Sky Arts' recent documentary, Agatha Christie Vs. Hercule Poirot, also examined
    the writer's disappearance in the context of the reception to her latest novel,
    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
    Gareth Roberts' series four story, The Unicorn and the Wasp (2008) depicts the events (albeit fictional) leading up to Agatha's disappearance. By the end of the episode, the action has moved from the atypical Christie 'whodunnit' setting - the English country house - to Silent Pool, where the novelist's car was actually found abandoned. Here, Agatha (now played by Fenella Woolgar, pictured) is briefly possessed by the alien firestone, and falls unconscious. The Doctor now realises that this incident caused her memory loss, and takes the writer to Harrogate ten days later (ie. the day before she was discovered). In the TARDIS, the Doctor shows Donna a copy of Death in the Clouds (1935), a book in which a wasp sting is an apparent cause of death - so Agatha's amnesia was not complete, she remembered the Vespiform. Even by the year 5 billion, Christie is still the best selling author of all time.

    Monday, 21 April 2014

    Doctor Who Vs. Blood On Satan's Claw

    Short-lived British film company Tigon Films was founded to compete with the Hammer and Amicus features of the Sixties. This low-budget production was released in 1970. Here, a village set in 17th century England is taken over by demonic possession.
    In his 2010 documentary, A History of HorrorMark Gatiss referred to a sub-genre he called 'folk horror' that included Blood on Satan's Claw and the iconic film, The Wicker Man (1973).
    Shown on the Horror channel early this morning, this B-movie featured Wendy Padbury (pictured as Cathy Vespers), Anthony Ainley (Reverand Fallowfield), Roberta Tovey (Coven Member), and nine other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:
    • Simon Williams (Edmonton) played Group Captain 'Chunky' Ian Gilmore in Remembrance of the Daleks, a role he reprised for Big Finish's spin-off audio series, Counter Measures and the upcoming release, 1963: The Assassination Games - he also voiced Paul Addison and Shara for Nekromanteia (2003), and the Guardian for The Guardians of Prophecy (2012)
    • Barry Andrews (Gower) was Stott in Nightmare of Eden
    • Godfrey James (Blake) was Tarn in Underworld
    • Eric Mason, Geoffrey Hughes, Anna Wing and Andrew McCulloch (Villagers) were Smedley in The Sea Devils, and Green in The Mind of Evil; Mr. Popplewick in The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe; and Anatta in Kinda (part 1), respectively - the latter went on to co-write Meglos
    • Harry Fielder (Militiaman), a veteran of fifteen 'classic' era 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 
    • cinematographer Dick Bush was film cameraman on The Romans

    Saturday, 19 April 2014

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #5

    "Homo sapiens! What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since
    they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine, and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to out-sit eternity. They're indomitable!"

    - The Doctor, The Ark in Space, Part 1 (January 25 1975)
    Written by Robert Holmes

    Wednesday, 2 April 2014

    Doctor Who Vs. Sea of Souls, Series 3

    Glaswegian actors Bill Paterson, Dawn Steele and Iain Robertson all returned for the third, penultimate run of this supernatural drama, set at Scotland's fictional Clyde University parapsychology department.
    First shown on BBC One in the winter of 2006, this six-part season featured Paul McGann (as Christopher Chambers in the final mystery) and nineteen other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

    Insiders (UK TX: January 7)
    • Brian McCardie (Beale) voiced           for Big Finish's Masters of Earth
    • Gary Hoptrough was a stuntman on The Runaway Bride and Let's Kill Hitler too
    Oracle (UK TX: January 14)
    • Jeff Rawle (Norman) was Plantagenet in Frontios, Lionel Harding in The Sarah Jane Adventures: Mona Lisa's Revenge, and depicted Mervyn Pinfield in An Adventure in Space and Time
    Sleeper (UK TX: January 21)
    • for Stephen Garwood (producer), Jonathan Farmer (assistant director), Barbara Southcott (make-up designer), Pam Mullins (make-up artist), Edmund Butt (composer), Toby Wood (music engineer), Scott Napier (electrician), Sheila Johnston (script supervisor), and Ray Holman (costume designer) see Series 2
    The Newsroom (UK TX: January 28)
    • Ronald Pickup (Galt) made his TV debut as the Physician in The Reign of Terror: The Tyrant of France, and voiced Kestorian for Time Works (BF, 2006), and Elder Bones for Spaceport Fear (BF, 2013)
    • Sheila Reid (Aggie) was Etta in Vengeance on Varos, Clara's Gran in The Time of the Doctor, and voiced
    Succubus (UK TX: February 4)
    • Emma Campbell-Jones (Sarah) was Dr. Kent in The Wedding of River Song, and Cass in The Night of the Doctor
    • Lucy Griffiths (Rebecca) voiced Mabel for The Auntie Matter (2013)
    • Dave Humphries was also the foley recordist on The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances, Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways
    Rebound (UK TX: February 11)
    • Rob Hunt was also a stuntman on The Runaway Bride and The Day of the Doctor
    • Peter Kersey was a SFX technician on the Doctor Who TV Movie too

    Sunday, 9 March 2014

    Doctor Who Vs. I, Monster

    Shown on the Horror channel today, this Amicus feature starred genre legends Christopher Lee (born 1922) and Peter Cushing (as Dr. Marlowe and Frederick Utterson).
    I, Monster was writer (and co-producer) Milton Subotsky's take on the classic gothic novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, first published in 1886. This version is considered very faithful to Stevenson's book, but is set in Edwardian London.
    Released by British Lion in 1971, the film featured six other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:


    • Richard Hurndall (Lanyon) played the First Doctor (pictured) in The Five Doctors
    • Susan Jameson (Diane) voiced Mrs. Moynihan for The Spectre of Lanyon Moor (Big Finish, 2000), then the recurring character of Mrs. Wibsey for the Hornets' Nest (2009), Demon Quest (2010), and Serpent Crest (2011) series from AudioGo (she had been cast as Morgan for Colony in Space but was replaced by Tony Caunter)
    • Ian McCulloch (Man) was Nilson in Warriors of the Deep
    • Aimée Delamain (Landlady) was Dona Arana in (the first part of) The Two Doctors
    • fellow producer Max Rosenberg and Buster Ambler (sound mixer) both worked on the two Dalek films

    Monday, 24 February 2014

    New Doctor Who Companion Announced

    The BBC today named the actor cast as the new male companion to join Doctor Who later this year. Samuel Anderson will play Danny Pink (pictured), a colleague of Clara at Coal Hill School. Anderson and Jenna Coleman worked together before on Emmerdale.
    On joining the programme, Anderson said "I was so excited to join Doctor Who.. it's a quintessential part of British culture and I can't believe I'm part of it. It's an honour to work alongside Peter Capaldi and Jenna and I can't wait to show people how my character becomes involved with such a fantastic duo!"

    Tuesday, 4 February 2014

    Doctor Who Vs. The Beast Must Die

    This low-budget British B-movie was shown on the Horror channel yesterday. In fact, the production - released in 1974 - was so cheap that an Alsatian doubled for the werewolf! Peter Cushing led the cast here (pictured as Dr Lundgren) in another Amicus horror feature, again co-produced by the Dalek film makers, Max Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky.
    Eight other co-stars with Doctor Who connections here are:
    • Michael Gambon (Jarmokowski) portrayed both Elliot and Kazran Sardick in A Christmas Carol
    • Anton Diffring (Pavel) was De Flores in Silver Nemesis
    • Tom Chadbon (Foote) played Duggan in City of Death, Merdeen in The Mysterious Planet, and voiced Gordon for No More Lies (Big Finish, 2007)
    • Sam Mansary (Butler) was a Delegate in Mission to the Unknown, a Journalist in The War Machines, and a Diplomat in Day of the Daleks
    • Andrew Lodge (Pilot) was an Assistant in The Savages
    • Carl Bohen (Hunter) was a Tharil in Warriors' Gate
    • Valentine Dyall (the Break voice) was the Black Guardian from The Armageddon Factor to Enlightenment, and voiced Slarn for Slipback (Radio 4, 1985)
    • Bill Mitchell (Narrator) was a Newcaster in Frontier in Space, and voiced Zor for The Pescatons (Argo, 1976)
    • Ted Samuels had also worked on SFX for both Dalek films

    Saturday, 18 January 2014

    Great Doctor Who Quotes #4

    "Believe me child, your future lies with David and not with a silly old duffer like me... One day I shall come back. Yes. I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine."
    - The Doctor, The Dalek Invasion of Earth: Flashpoint 
    (Boxing Day 1964)
    Written by Terry Nation
    (this speech also formed the pre-credit sequence to The Five Doctors, and featured in An Adventure in Space and Time)