Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Peter Capaldi surprises guests at BBC Worldwide Showcase event

Peter Capaldi and Graham Norton at BBC Worldwide Showcase 2014

Hundreds of international TV buyers were dazzled by a surprise appearance from the new Doctor Peter Capaldi at BBC Worldwide’s annual Showcase event in Liverpool.

Graham Norton interviews Peter Capaldi at BBC Worldwide Showcase 2014Capaldi, who has started filming the new series of Doctor Who, emerged from the iconic TARDIS to the delight of the audience and chatted briefly with Graham Norton.

Afterwards he commented: “As a lifetime follower of the show, I'm delighted to see its global success. And I'm looking forward to sharing with the world the very exciting journey the new series is taking us on”.

Earlier today it was announced that former The History Boys star Samuel Anderson would be joining Doctor Who as a recurring character for Series 8.

 Peter Capaldi's attendance was part of an evening celebrating the best of British TV talent, with appearances including Sir David Attenborough, the presenters of Top Gear, Bollywood dancing from India’s smash hit version of Strictly Come Dancing and a special pre-recorded piece from Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch.

Peter Capaldi at BBC Worldwide Showcase 2014 

Lego Who?

(Image mock-up)

A new post from LEGO suggests the licencing problems holding back Doctor Who LEGO sets are no more...

Two of the pillars of geekdom, both with foundations going back decades, are Doctor Who and LEGO. Yet they've never met, with the BBC giving the rights to make Doctor Who LEGO-like items to Character Options, who has, over the years, put together a very healthy smattering of choices. They have had plenty of our cash, certainly.

LEGO has, for some time, run a scheme whereby users can submit potential projects for future LEGO sets. LEGO CUUSOO is the name of said scheme, and users get to vote on potential projects. That's how the likes of the Back To The Future DeLorean came to pass, for example.

However, in the past, when users have submitted Doctor Who-themed projects to LEGO CUUSOO, they've not got past the drawing board, due to licencing issues. Now though there's been an update to the License Conflicts And Resolutions section of LEGO CUUSOO's help page, and this is the exact text:

If your project was previously turned down, archived, or deleted due to a licensing conflict that is now resolved, you may re-submit it as a new project. Supporters from past projects cannot be applied to a future project.

Resolved Past Licensing Conflicts
We now welcome projects based on the following licenses that used to have conflicts:
 Doctor Who - February 2014

Now we're not ones for speculation, but that suggests very much to us that the barriers preventing Doctor Who and LEGO from joining forces have been taken down. This hasn't been confirmed, and we will update this story with any official word from LEGO, the BBC or Character Options when we get it. But the LEGO post, we'd suggest, is fairly specific. This hints broadly that Doctor Who LEGO may be on the way.

Karen Gillan -American comedy beckons Who companion Karen Gillan has been cast in a US sitcom pilot called Selfie. It is inspired by My Fair Lady, and centres around egotistical social media junkie Eliza Dooley (Gillan), who is more concerned with 'likes' rather than being liked. After a video of her humiliating public break-up goes viral, she employs a marketing expert to help restore her image.

Karen shaved her hair for her role as Nebula in Marvel's Guardian's Of The Galaxy which will hit cinemas on 1st August 2014. of the Galaxy sees brash adventurer Peter Quill the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits – Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer.

But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. 

Karen Gillan as Nebula

Monday, 24 February 2014

Say Hello to Danny Pink - Recuring character for Series 34

Samuel AndersonSamuel Anderson (The History Boys, Gavin & Stacey, Emmerdale) is set to join the cast of Doctor Who as a recurring character in series 8, which will also introduce Peter Capaldi as the Doctor to millions of viewers for the first time.  Anderson will play Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School where companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) also teaches.

 On joining the show Samuel Anderson said: ‘I was so excited to join Doctor Who I wanted to jump and click my heels, but I was scared I might not come down before filming started! It’s a quintessential part of British culture and I can’t believe I’m part of it. It’s an honour to be able to work alongside Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman and I can’t wait to show people how my character becomes involved with such a fantastic duo!’

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, added: ‘For the fourth time in Doctor Who history, Coal Hill School is coming to the aid of the TARDIS. In 1963 teachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright accompanied the First Doctor. These days it’s the turn of Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald. And very soon now, Sam Anderson as Danny Pink will be entering the world of the Doctor. But how and why? Answers are coming later this year in Peter Capaldi’s first series of Doctor Who!’ 

Filming recently began on episode 4 of the new series which will co-star Robert Goodman (Gangs of New York, Game of Thrones) and episode 5, co-starring Jonathan Bailey (Broadchurch, Groove High), and Pippa Bennett-Warner (The Smoke, Death in Paradise).

Danny Pink (play by Samuel Anderson), a new recurring character in Doctor Who Series 8 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Matt Smith sends video to dying 4-year-old fan: Watch

Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith has sent a heart-warming video to a four-year-old boy with an inoperable brain tumour, telling him: ‘I’m thinking of you, mate’.
 Jack Robinson, of Denmead, near Portsmouth, Hampshire - who is a huge fan of the science-fiction TV show - was shown the clip, which includes 31-year-old Smith singing the Doctor Who theme tune.

The actor played the famous Doctor in the series for three years. In the video - filmed in Austin, Texas - Smith slowly focuses the camera on himself before singing the show’s theme tune
According to the Portsmouth News, Jack has an inoperable brain tumor. Ever since he was diagnosed, his family has been doing whatever they can to make his dreams come true. That's where Smith comes in, as Jack is a huge "Doctor Who" fan. word about Jack got out, it was English singer-songwriter Gary Barlow who alerted the child's dad, Terry Robinson, about the video. He's not sure how the story got to Smith, but he's grateful. "His eyes just lit up and he was so delighted," Robinson says of his son. "It has made his day."

In the video, which Smith filmed himself in Texas, the former Doctor sings his own version of the "Doctor Who" theme song and promises to try and see him when he returns to England. This video just cements how Smith is pretty much the coolest guy on the planet.

Remembering Nicholas Courtney (16 December 1929 – 22 February 2011)

Today, 22nd February 2014 is the third anniversary of the death of Nicholas Courtney who passed away in 2011. Courtney is best remembered for his role as Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in Doctor Who as head of U.N.I.T. (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce now known as UNified Intelligence Taskforce) 


William Nicholas Stone Courtney (16 December 1929 – 22 February 2011). Courtney was born in Cairo, Egypt, the son of a British diplomat, and was educated in France, Kenya and Egypt. On his mother's side Courtney was descended from the New Zealand Politician John Cuff. He did his national service in the British Army, leaving after 18 months as a private, not wanting to pursue a military career. He next joined the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, and after two years began doing repertory theatre in Northampton. From there he moved to London in 1961.

 According to his official Web site, he died following a long illnes at the age of 81.

His first television work was in the 1957 series Escape. Prior to Doctor Who, Courtney made guest appearances in several cult television series, including The Avengers (1962, 1967), The Champions (1968) and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969) and as a racing driver in Riviera Police (1965).

BretvyonDirector Douglas Camfield originally considered Courtney for the role of Richard the Lionheart in The Crusade (1965), a role that ultimately went to Julian Glover. Though Camfield made sure to keep Courtney in mind for future casting. Courtney would make his first appearance in the series, when Camfield cast him in the 1965 serial The Daleks' Master Plan, where he played Space Security Agent Bret Vyon opposite William Hartnell as the Doctor.

-00005We first met the Brig when he was a mere Colonel during Patrick Troughton's tenure as the Second Doctor (1966-1969) in The Web Of Fear

Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart was the second commander of the British Army forces opposing the Great Intelligence's assault on London. He replaced the deceased Colonel Pemberton. He was the sole survivor of a Robot Yeti assault at Holborn before heading down to the London Underground to take command. It was at this time that Lethbridge-Stewart first met the Doctor, in his second incarnation. Lethbridge-Stewart showed a quick, decisive manner and a ready acceptance of events, even believing the story about the TARDIS from the start.

Courtney became a fan favourite  during Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor era (1970 -1974), when he starred in 101 episodes, and by now, he had been promoted to Brigadier. found the Doctor's help to have been invaluable, the Brigadier set out to recruit a full-time scientific advisor to UNIT. He approached Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, who was initially skeptical of both the offer and the idea of aliens. During this time, the Brig met the Doctor again, this time a patient in the local hospital. The Doctor had a forced regeneration thrust upon him by the Time Lords and exiled to 20th century Earth. The Brigadier took on the new Doctor as UNIT's scientific advisor, with Liz Shaw as his assistant (Spearhead From Space). Following his retirement from U.N.I.T, he took on the post as an A-level maths teacher at Brendon Public School. In 1977, the Brigadier saw and touched hands with his own future self from 1983. The time differential shorted out, causing an energy discharge. The Brigadier fell unconscious and spent the next six years in a state of partial amnesia, having forgotten ever meeting the Doctor. In 1983, when his pupils included the humanoid alien Vislor Turlough, the Brigadier encountered the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison), whom he did not recognise, and met his past self from 1977. Thus completed the temporal paradox. (Mawdryn Undead). the 1990s, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewert chose to  come out of retirement, albet briefly; to assist  Brigadier Winifred Bambera and UNIT battle an invasion from a parallel universe led by the sorceress Morgaine. Once again, he met the Doctor, now in his seventh incarnation (Sylvester McCoy). Together they defeated Morgaine. Lethbridge-Stewart distinguished himself during these events, singlehandedly taking on the Destroyer and dispatching him, armed only with a revolver loaded with silver bullets. (Battlefield)

 Lethbridge-Stewart died sometime before 2020.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Dark Eyes 2

Paul McGann's back in the sequel to the award winning box set Dark Eyes! This boxset sees the Eighth Doctor with companions Liv Chenka and Molly O'Sullivan pitted against the Master, the Daleks, and two Big Finish original villains. If that doesn't persuade you, Big Finish is keeping the preorder discount through to the end of March!


When the Doctor defeated the Dalek Time Controller and its Time Lord ally, the timelines shifted and events changed... but the danger is far from over. And new threats to the continued safety of the universe are emerging.

Molly O'Sullivan carried on with her life as a nursing assistant in World War One. She probably thought she would never see the Doctor in his 'Tardy-box' again...

From the Dalek occupied planet Nixyce VII through Earth's history and to the very edge of the universe, the Doctor's footprints across eternity are being tracked by foes old and new. But when did it all begin and when will it end? Living his life through the complexities of time travel, the Doctor can never be quite sure if he's experiencing his life in the most helpful order. The only certainty appears to be the advance of the powers of evil and the oncoming threat of a fight to the death against forces that would destroy everything the Doctor holds dear.


Paul McGann (The Doctor), Ruth Bradley (Molly O'Sullivan), Nicola Walker (Liv Chenka), Alex Macqueen (The Master), David Sibley (The Eminence), Natalie Burt (Dr Sally Armstrong), Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks), Chris Porter (Carna), David Dobson (Kavel), John Dorney (Aldin/Roboman), Ian Brooker (Dr Herbert Goring/Viyran), Adrian Mackinder (Master Zachrey/Captain Dal Brock), Brian Shelley ('Cousin' Tommy/Harrison/Roboman/Future Viyran), Andrew Knott (Sean Casey), Joseph Radcliffe (Young David Walker), David Shaw-Parker (Old David Walker), Jo Castleton (Sciencetech Vi Kruger), Ian Hallard (Comtech Bron Kell), Jacqueline King (Mrs Gantry/Computer), Frank Skinner (Soldier)
You can buy the boxset here. It costs £20.00 on CD, or £20 on download.
I'm just waiting now for my copy to pop through the letter box 

Twelfth Doctor to face his arch nemeses the Daleks

Serious stuff: The pair were seen strolling down the street as they got to work on yet another adventure in the sci-fi seriesPeter Capaldi will face the Daleks in Series 8, according to a recent report from The Daily Star.

Their report states:

Peter Capaldi will fulfill a lifelong dream of fighting the Daleks in his first series as the new Doctor. BBC bosses originally wanted the 2014 series of the Time Lord’s adventures to be “exterminator-free’’

The Daleks featured in both last November’s 50th Anniversary episode, 'The Day of the Doctor' and also the Christmas special, 'The Time of the Doctor'. So TV chiefs reckoned they should disappear for a while to allow the new Doc to tackle a new batch of monsters. But Capaldi, 55, who admits he is massive fan of the show, told producers it had been his childhood dream to fight the iconic pepper pot villains - and he has got his wish.

This report has not been officially confirmed by the BBC, though episode 2 of series 8 is a likely candidate for the Daleks to return. Writer Phil Ford recently gave the hint, “behind enemy lines.” He may have been referring to the Daleks.


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Eccleston's Milestone

Today, Sunday, 16th February former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston turned 50!

Born into a working class family in the Langworthy area of Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire, Eccleston is the youngest of three sons of Elsie and Ronnie Eccleston. His brothers, Alan and Keith, are twins, eight years his senior. The family lived in a small terraced house in Blodwell Street until the late 1960s, when they moved to Little Hulton. At the age of 19, he was inspired to enter the acting profession by television dramas such as Boys from the Blackstuff.

Eccleston is married and became a father to his first child, Albert, in February 2012. He is an atheist. He is a supporter of Manchester United, and was a regular marathon runner until 2000. In September 2007, as part of their £9.5m build scheme, Salford's Pendleton College named their new 260-seat theatre the "Eccleston Theatre". Eccleston is an avid charity worker, becoming a Mencap charity ambassador on 28 April 2005, and is also a supporter of the British Red Cross. made his film debut in the 1991 film Let Him Have It, based on the true story of Derek Bentley, who was wrongly convicted and hanged for the murder of a police officer in 1953. Bentley was an illiterate young adult with developmental disabilities who fell into a gang led by a younger teenager named Chris Craig (Paul Reynolds). The two become trapped by the police, who tell Chris to put down his gun. Bentley says, "Let him have it, Chris." Chris begins firing, killing one officer and wounding another. Because he is a minor (under 18), Chris is given a minor sentence, but Bentley, although he did not shoot anyone, is sentenced to death, on the basis that his statement to Chris was an instigation to begin shooting.

The film's end titles state that Bentley's sister, Iris, was still fighting for his pardon. The BBC reports that seven years after the film was made and after numerous unsuccessful campaigns to get Derek Bentley a full pardon, his conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal on 30 July 1998, one year after Iris' death. regular role in the television series Cracker (1993–94) brought him recognition in the UK and, after he told TV bosses of his desire to leave the series, they killed off his character in October 1994, making him a victim of the serial killer Albie Kinsella (Robert Carlyle). His final episode being based around the tragic events of the Hillsborough stadium in 1989. In 1996, he took the part of Trevor Hicks - a man who lost both of his daughters in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster - in the television drama film Hillsborough, penned by Jimmy McGovern. In real life, he was the best man to Trevor Hicks at his marriage in March 2009. 

Other tv roles include: Our Friends In The North, Boon, Poirot, Clocking Off, The Borrowers, Lucan  and of course as the Ninth Doctor in Doctor Who when the show returned in 2005 thanks to Russell T Davies. 

His film credits include: Shallow Grave, Elizabeth, The Others, 28 Days Later, and Malekith in the 2013 Thor 2: The Dark World

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Lis Sladen gone but not forgotten

Today, 2nd February would have been the 68th birthday of Elisabeth Sladen. Hard to believe it will be three years come 19th April since she lost her battle with the evil that is cancer.