Monthly Archives: February 2014

Samuel Anderson Joins Series 8 as Danny Pink

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The BBC has announced that former Emmerdale star Samuel Anderson will join Doctor Who in Series 8 as a recurring character. Details on the role are scant with the only confirmation being that Anderson will play Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School.  In the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor, companion Clara Oswald was also shown to be a teacher at the school which started it all off for Who in 1963.

Whether Anderson will be a companion is unclear. Which of the Doctor’s male companions would you most like Danny Pink to be modelled on?  Vote in the Doctor Who Mind Robber’s Poll and share your thoughts in our comments section. We’ve excluded UNIT characters, Kamelion and K-9 from the Poll, however please feel free to discuss them in the comments.

Vivien Fleming

Interview with Doctor Who’s Peter Davison on Channel 10 Australia

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A real treat for all Doctor Who fans as Doctor number 5, Peter Davison, arrives via TARDIS and reveals new secrets about his time on the long-running show. During the interview, he also reveals a fascinating fact about the 50th anniversary special that will delight many fans of the classic series.

Studio 10 | 8:30am on TEN

Doctor Who Magazine iPhone and iPad App a Welcome Addition for Non-UK Based Fans

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The recent launch by Apple of an iPhone and iPad app for the Doctor Who Magazine is sure to be welcomed by fans of the 50 year old television programme, particularly those outside of the United Kingdom.  Sales of the print version of the 34 year old publication hit an all time high in the second half of 2013. The Audit Bureau of Circulations (UK) certified DWM’s circulation at 36,151, an increase of 26% over the previous twelve months. This figure is all the more exceptional when compared to the overall consumer magazine market in the UK which dropped 6.3% during the same period.  The press release on this outstanding achievement can be read here.

Whilst these increasing circulations figures evidence an expanding market for Doctor Who in the UK, fans outside of Britain have long experienced difficulties in obtaining the magazine in an efficient and cost effective manner. In Australia, for example, DWM is not stocked in newsagencies and can only be purchased by costly (and sometimes dodgy) annual subscriptions or as a “one-off” from a multitude of eBay sellers.  The current edition, number 470, will set an Australian fan back at least $28.00 and take more than a fortnight to arrive from the UK.  Special editions are even more expensive.  The 50th Anniversary edition (467) cost me $45.00!

Apple DWM Screen

Imagine my delight when I discovered the Apple DWM app. Currently available for sale are all issues from February 2013 (456) to date, together with Special Editions 34, 35 and 36 which feature the missing episodes of the First and Second Doctors.  Issues 466 to 470 are currently retailing for $6.49; issues 456 to 465 for $4.49, and Special Editions 34, 35 and 36 for $8.49.  A 12 month subscription is available for less than $45.00.

The November 2013 (465) edition of DWM featuring exclusive interviews with Doctors  4-8 is available for purchase and download

The November 2013 (465) edition of DWM featuring exclusive interviews with Doctors 4-8 is available for purchase and download

The Apple DWM app is a direct scan from the print version and has not been formatted specifically for iPhones and iPads. One page is presented per screen, or two pages if the device is rotated 90 degrees. On a standard iPad Air this generally permits the text to be read, although use of the zoom function conveniently increases text size for less eye strain.  The comic script reproduces well and can in most instances be read without zooming.  Reading DWM on an iPhone 5 is impossible without repetitive zooming and scrolling. Except for the Contents page and cover the app is not interactive so completing the crossword online is impossible. Automatically accessing articles from the Contents page and cover is a nice addition.  A useful help screen provides instructions for navigating the digital edition.  Let’s hope that a fully interactive tablet specific app is soon introduced, together with an Android version for non-Apple users.

Pages 6 and 7 of the current edition of DWM (470) showing scan when the iPad is held sideways

Pages 6 and 7 of the current edition of DWM (470) showing scan when the iPad is held sideways

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2014.

Doctor Who Missing Episodes – Steve Roberts Clarifies List Ripping Incident & Believes Marco Polo Found

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Last Weekend saw the annual Gallifrey One convention in Los Angeles, California celebrate its 25th Anniversary. Amongst the many panels at the three day event was one entitled “Sherlock Morris & the Case of the Missing Episodes” on Saturday afternoon. The five member panel comprised of Steve Roberts, Damian Shanahan, Greg Bakun, Steven Schapansky and Jon Preddle.

Twitter, social media and Doctor Who forums were set alight following Doctor Who Restoration Team member Steve Robert’s theatrically dramatic on-stage destruction of an omnirumour list.  Many assumed from this symbolic act of paper tearing that Roberts was debunking all rumours of the recovery of any of Doctor Who’s 97 currently missing episodes.  Thankfully Roberts has clarified his theatrics in an audio interview released yesterday by Radio Free Skaro.

Radio Free Skaro claims to be the “most popular, most prolific and charmingly irreverent  (but never irrelevant) Doctor Who Podcast around”.  The three Canadians, Warren Frey, Steven Schapansky and Chris Burgess, have produced 408 podcasts since August 2006. Yesterday’s podcast is entitled “The Case of the Missing Episodes” and includes interviews with Steve Roberts, and missing episodes experts Damian Shanahan (Australia) and Jon Preddle (New Zealand).

Radio Free Skaro

The interview with Steve Roberts is enlightening and clarifies the circumstances surrounding the Gallifrey One panel incident. Roberts told Radio Free Skaro’s Chris Burgess and Steven Schapansky (with whom he shared the stage for the panel) the following,  

(The omnirumour) is apparently now a list of the state of every apparently recovered missing episode and what stage of restoration they’re apparently at and when they will be released.  It’s a very interesting document full of internal logic errors  … I printed it out and went through some choice episodes … and ended up theatrically ripping the piece of paper and throwing it on the stage.  It was literally to get a good audience response which it did.

Roberts went on to state,

I absolutely believe that Phil (Morris) has found more Doctor Who.  And Phil is a very secretive guy and he won’t have told anyone what he’s got.  He hasn’t told us what he’s got.  He hasn’t told my team.  He hasn’t told Paul Vanezis … So if we don’t know, how do all these other people suddenly know in such detail the apparent state of these things?  It doesn’t make any sense to me.

Roberts further said that Marco Polo is the story most likely to be found because there were more copies sold than other serials.  He then stated,

It’s my opinion that Phil definitely has found Marco Polo.  I have no evidence whatsoever to back that up because I’ve not seen anything, He’s not told me that.  He’s not told any of my friends or colleagues that but I just think that he will have …He hasn’t come out and said “I’ve definitely got more Doctor Who” but in the statements he’s made he says “It’s a great time for Doctor Who fans.  Expect the unexpected”. He’s very positive … He’s definitely got more. He’s not leading anyone on because he’s not that sort of person.  He will give things back, I’m sure, when it suits his business, the BBC, whatever when the time is right.  I don’t know what his game plan is.  I’m sure he has one.

You can listen to Radio Free Skaro’s interview with Steve Roberts here.  Photos are courtesy of the Radio Free Skaro website, http://www.radiofreeskaro.com.  No copyright infringement is intended.

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2014.

The One Show on Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes

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An informative 8 minute video from the BBC’s The One Show on the recovery and release of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear in October 2013. The segment features the First Doctor’s companion Peter Purves and the hunt for missing episodes. Of particular interest is the interview with Graham Strong concerning his collection of audio tapes of missing episodes.

Six Seasons Down, 27 to Go!

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After a long 50th Anniversary induced break it’s back to the Doctor Who Mind Robber’s journey through all 800 episodes of Who. Today we farewell the Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, as Season Six concludes and we inch towards Jon Pertwee’s debut as the Third Doctor. Please join us as we explore Season Seven of Doctor Who and meet the Silurians and Autons for the first time.

Vivien Fleming