Doctor Who: Five Doctors Together …

This weekend saw the biggest collection of living Doctors for many a year as the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth all gathered at Collectormania 18 in Milton Keynes.

The event, organised by Showmasters, took place at the Don’s stadium and saw Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann all meeting fans and signing autographs.

(Picture: Copyright Elspeth Renfrew)

Dr Who: Matt Smith to bear Olympic Torch !!!

Matt Smith will be carrying the Olympic Torch this weekend when it reaches Cardiff in the latest leg of its 70 day trip around the United Kingdom.

Smith will bear the torch early on Saturday morning, at the start of its journey from Cardiff, the capital of Wales and home of Doctor Who, to Swansea a few miles along the coast. The day will see the torch visit the communities of Barry, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda and Bridgend.

Smith told the official BBC twitter feed

To carry the Torch is an honour, one I thought I’d never get, I’m very excited!

The journey can be followed live via the BBC News website, starting from around 6.25am (0525 GMT). The route begins in Cardiff Bay and goes through Bute Place and James Street on its way towards Penarth.

The Olympic Torch featured in the 2006 Doctor Who story Fear Her, where the Tenth Doctor carried the torch on the last part of its journey towards the Olympic Stadium, as well as in the mini episode Good as Gold, shown on Blue Peter yesterday.

New Doctor Who on Thursday

Thursday sees a brand new mini Doctor Who adventure come to BBC Television, when the results of this years Script to Screen Competition are broadcast as part of the children’s programme Blue Peter.

The 2012 competition was launched in January and was open to UK pupils aged 9-11 who were asked to collaborate on a script that takes the Time Lord on a new quest travelling through space and time.

The lucky winners were invited to the Doctor Who set in Cardiff to see their mini-episode being recorded and the results can be seen on Thursdays Blue Peter, broadcast at 5.45pm on the CBBCchannel. The programme is repeated on Friday at 4.30pm on BBC One.

Doctor Who: Australian Events

Doctor Who Night 2012 – The Final Game

The ABC Shop Rosny Park at Eastlands shopping centre in Tasmania, Australia is to host its fourth Doctor Who night on April 14th 2012.

The event will include a theatrical play (entitled “The Final Game” based on a classic Doctor and an even more classic villain), a quiz, giveaways, specials and prizes. Daleks will be in attendance, as will K-9 and the TARDIS.

Food outlets such as Gloria Jeans, Wendys and Kebab Empire will be open and Doctor Who shaped donuts will be available from Donut King!

The night runs between 7 and 9pm on April 14th and is free attendance for all!


Doctor Who is about to face his greatest challenge: his number one fan.

Rob Lloyd (The Hounds, The Mutant Way, A Study in Scarlet (A Studyof…) and Fan Number One) is putting the Doctor on trial.*

Not just for Doctor Who fans, it’s a show about obsession and it’s many faces. What have you been obsessed with – a celebrity, a football team, a TV show? For Rob, it’s Doctor Who all the way.

After sell out shows for the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals and a full house for Armageddon Expo 2011, Rob Lloyd will be bringing ‘WHO, ME’ back to Melbourne for this years Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Investigating whether Doctor Who (the television show) is guilty of inciting in him a debilitating obsession, or whether it has shaped him into a well-rounded, mentally-sound member of society.

Built up through improvisation and storytelling techniques, this one-man show is a personal and fitting tribute to a television icon.

The event takes place at St Ali Cafe, Yarra Place from April 10th-21st at 8pm.Tickets available from the Festival Website

Doctor Who Will Be Filming In NEW YORK !!!

Doctor Who will return to America to shoot the final story featuring the Ponds, as Amy and Rory depart the series in an epic battle with the Weeping Angels shot in New York.

Executive Producer Caroline Skinner confirmed the news at the Doctor Who Convention taking place in Cardiff this weekend, were fans were given an exclusive premier of Series Seven, with a showing of the first trailer featuring footage from the upcoming series. The trailer will be availble on the BBC Website from 9am Monday.

Asked how they felt about leaving the series Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill said they felt the time was right and that Amy and Rory’s story had run its course. Darvill said ‘we’ve had the most incredible time and it will be really sad when we leave. We had the read through for our final episode last night and it is going to be an amazing piece of Television.’ Karen Gillan said she was so pleased with the way she was leaving. ‘I just hope I can deliver it well.’

Matt Smith said he would miss two of his closest friends, and that they had developed an incredible creative relationship. But all good things come to an end. ‘The thing about Doctor Who is that it is in constant change so we embrace the future and look forward to Jenna.’

Asked how they felt about attending the convention, all the stars agreed said it was amazing to meet the fans and to see the reaction. ‘When making the series you forget how much people love it. We just try to make it the best it can be and its brilliant to see the reactions.’

The production team were tight lipped about plans for Series Seven and the show’s 50th Anniversary next year. Steven Moffat gave the headlines already known. ‘Amy and Rory leaving, tragedy, heartbreak and a Western, what more do you want out of Television. Come on Downton take that on!’

The Doctor Who Convention continues on Sunday although all tickets are sold out. A full Convention Report will follow later.

Doctor Who: Official Convention Sold Out in Cardiff This Weekend ….

This weekend Cardiff plays host to thousands of Doctor Who fans as BBC Worldwide host the first official convention since the return of the series in 2005.

The event has now completely sold out for both days so fans should not travel to Cardiff unless they already have a ticket as no tickets will be available at the door.

A number of extra events have now been added to the schedule including talks from the Doctor Who Restoration team on their work on the DVD releases and the processes undergone to restore old and damaged episodes of Doctor Who to their former glory. There will be a chance to see exclusive trailers for previously lost episodes – Air Lock and The Underwater Menace.

Fans will also get a chance to try out the new Doctor Who Game The Eternity Clockin its first public appearance.

Doctor Who Concert in Cardiff

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales is performing the music of Murray Gold, at two concerts taking place in Cardiff next Monday evening, 12th March.

The Orchestra, conducted by Ben Foster, will performing a live soundtrack to a special screening of last year’s Christmas Special, The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe.

The concerts, which take place at 6pm and 7.45pm, are free to attend and will take place at the 350 seater BBC Hoddinott Hall, part of the Wales Millennium Centre based in Cardiff Bay.

Tickets can be booked through the BBC National Orchestra of Wales Audience Line on 03700 10 10 51.

A Doctor Who Do-It-Yourself: Restoring a TARDIS

Gallifrey One’s Network 23, which was held last month in Los Angeles saw not only the cast of the TV Movie reunited with each other, but also reunited with the TARDIS console used in the 1996 Doctor Who story.

The console is owned by Paul Salamoff, a Doctor Who fan and veteran of the film industry who has worked as a Writer, Producer, Film Executive, Comic Book Creator, Author, and originally as a Special F/X Make-Up Artist.

Salamoff obtained the TARDIS console in 2006 after being put in contact with the owner of the Vancouver prop company that had originally built it for the movie. At the time the owner was keen to get rid of the prop, which was taking up to much space in his shop, so sold it to Salamoff for a knock-down price.Although the console was in pretty decent shape with all the lights working, the Time-Rotor was gone and some of the switches were missing including the large hand crank. All the feet on the base were broken at the ankles and had been quickly hot glued back together.

It was the announcement that the 23rd annual Gallifrey One convention, would see a reunion of the entire main cast and producer behind the 1996 Movie, that provided the inspiration for Salamoff and two friends, Brian Uiga and Bob Mitsch, to attempt a full restoration of the console. The three were well suited to take on the task. Salamoff himself has worked on Special FX on over forty films, ten television series, and numerous commercials. Brian Uiga has been building gadgets and props since 1996, when he first saw the TV Movie and fell in love with the show. He has worked with Salamoff to provide parts for a complete TARDIS toolkit. Bob Mitsch is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in English and Screen writing, his hobbies include writing, films and has created many costumes based on the series.

Since obtaining the console, Salamoff had already built a replica of the Time-Rotor. Further restoration work included replacing all broken switches, adding lights to the Time-Rotor, bracing the legs, building and replace the hand crank, restoring functionality to the three clocks, wiring up a custom sound board & speaker which would activate music & Sound Effects by switch, wiring lights to a relay s panels would dim & flash in alternating fashion as seen in the TVM, rigging a motor on the middle main clock so it could spin forwards or backwards as seen in TVM and wiring up all of these functions so they can all be activated by remote control.

Some parts were had built from scratch while some were adapted from existing bits and bobs such as craft beads. Original footage from the movie was used to try to get as accurate a match as possible and the console was re-wired and re-painted.

The Console was given pride of place in a special presentation at Gallifrey One where convention members could have their photo taken with the console. A full six-part report on the complete restoration can be found at Bob Mitsch’s blog. 1 2 3 4 5 6

Full Gallifrey One review here.

Doctor Who: Awards for Smith and Gillan – Smith hints at future plans

NTAMatt Smith and Karen Gillan both triumphed at the National television Awards held Wednesday night at London’s O2 Arena.

Matt Smith beat Torchwood star John Barrowman, Doc Martin and Snakedance star Martin Clunes and David Threlfall of Shameless, to win the award for Outstanding Drama Performance (Male) in the awards voted for by the British public. Both Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant have previously won the award for their performance of the Doctor.

Speaking after receiving his award Matt Smith gave some clue to the future telling Radio Times that he has one more year of Doctor Who left and then he was going to try his luck in Hollywood. Although he later told the BBC Entertainment News Team he has no plans to leave.

Karen Gillan won her award for Outstanding Drama Performance (Female) over Torchwood’s Eve Myles, Suranne Jones from Scott & Bailey and who also stared in The Doctor’s Wife last year, and Jaye Jacobs from Waterloo Road. She becomes the first Who companion since Billie Piper to win a National Television Award, both Freema Agyeman and Catherine Tate both received nominations.

Doctor Who lost out in the main award for Most Popular Drama which was won by ITV’s Downton Abbey

Doctor Who: Who Was The first Sarah Jane

One of Doctor Who’s oldest mysteries has been revealed with the DVD release of Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

It has always been known that Elisabeth Sladen was not the first choice of actress to play the role of Sarah Jane Smith. For years the identity of the original actress has remained a close secret, known only to members of the production team.

However the production notes on the new DVD release, compiled by David Brunt, has revealed that the actress first selected to play the role was April Walker. Brunt discovered the name on a stray memo from the BBC files, informing the BBC Finance department to pay the actress when each of the eleventh season stories went into studio.

Walker had a similar pedigree to Sladen at the time Sarah Jane was cast, with small roles in a number of television series including Crossroads, Dad’s Army and The Onedin Line.

Walker was cast in 1973 as the Doctor’s assistant, by the then producer Barry Letts, who was looking for a replacement for Katy Manning, who had left the series at the end of the previous season. Contracts were signed but when Walker begun rehearsing with the cast it became apparent that there was a lack of chemistry between her and the leading man Jon Pertwee. In her autobiography Elisabeth Sladen, without naming the actress, explains how she felt Walker was to big for Pertwee to cope with. She felt that the Third Doctor worked best when protecting small women and that Walker was not right for working with Pertwee.

It is not unusual for actors to be replaced during production if the role is not working in some way. Sometimes the face just doesn’t fit and however good the actor is the production team realise that a replacement is necessary. Letts took the decision to recast the role and eventually selected Sladen, this time with approval from Pertwee. To take the decision to recast the role, was a very difficult one for Letts and one he would not discuss in public. Walker was paid in full for the Eleventh Season.

Following her brief encounter with the Doctor, Walker has gone on to have a long career with over 40 appearances listed on the Internet Movie Database. She is perhaps most well known for playing Jean in the 1975 episode of Fawlty Towers, The Wedding Party. She also had roles in Anna Karenina, The Two Ronnies, Wyatt’s Watchdogs and Minder.