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BBC - Doctor Who


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All the latest news and features from the world of Doctor Who.
Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

Casting Off… Extended interview with Doctor Who’s casting Director, Andy Pryor

Wed, 01/27/2016 - 10:23am

We recently included a brief interview with Doctor Who’s casting director, Andy Pryor, in our iWonder Guide to starring in Doctor Who, which you can see here. It generated a great response and we were asked if there was more to the Q&A, and could we publish it? Well, yes and yes! Here’s the complete interview with Andy talking about the casting process, Maisie Williams, choosing Doctors and much more…

Question: You’ve just received the script for the latest episode of Doctor Who, what’s your initial process in casting any new characters?

Andy Pryor: As soon as I’ve read a new script, I’ll talk the new roles through with the team, Steven Moffat, Brian Minchin and the Producer of that block (and also the Director, if they are on board at that point). Sometimes I’ll immediately have a few ideas (and often so will the team) that we’ll start discussing if it’s a question of casting someone with a little more “profile”. If it’s a bigger role like that I’ll then get a proper list together and check availabilities. We will then sit down with the list and talk it through and see if there’s anybody that we agree on offering.

This process is often very organic and sometimes at the end of that conversation we’ll have arrived at a very different conclusion than the one we started with. If the part doesn’t require a “big name!” then I will get ideas together and start auditions, bringing in a few really strong actors for each part. If the Director and Producer are available, we’ll audition them together and then show the results to Steven and Brian. More often than not, we’ll reach a consensus pretty quickly and then offer the role and start the process of contracting the actor.

Q: Maisie Williams was cast in the role of Ashildr/ Me in Series 9 of Doctor Who – how did that come about?

AP: Steven had talked about the character in general terms for a while before he wrote her, so we’d been mulling over possibilities for some time with a fairly open mind as to type/age etc. Once we had the first script then we started to focus our thinking and one day I wondered about Maisie Williams (having loved her performance and development throughout Game of Thrones). A short while later I was speaking to Brian and completely coincidentally, he had exactly the same thought that day, so we discussed it with Steven and decided to go for it. We were thrilled that worked out and it’s a great example of an idea coming together nicely!

Q: How do you approach casting the main roles in the series – the Doctor and the companion?

AP: As far as The Doctor goes, it’s been different each time. Way back in 2004, when the series came back, it was about finding someone thrilling and unexpected, who had the skill and presence to make the part their own. We’ve retained these principles with each new Doctor, so Chris Eccleston set a really great benchmark for us in Series 1. He was someone who was familiar to a BBC1 audience but in an unpredictable way. Then as David and Russell had worked together on Casanova and as has been well documented before, Russell always said that Casanova was a great audition for the role. Then when Steven took over on the show, it was established and had a momentum of its own, which allowed us to find someone who was brilliant, experienced but not yet overly familiar to the audience. For this particular casting, we weren’t consciously looking for someone younger. A lot was made of Matt’s youth at the time but the simple truth was that he gave the best audition and completely nailed it. Then when it came to number 12, we all agreed that it felt like just the right time for Peter. He came in and read, with me playing Clara and Steven’s cat walking into shot (we did it in Steven’s living room) and that was that. He was our new Doctor.

In casting the companion, it really very much depends on what sort of character Russell and Steven have wanted to write. Generally speaking it’s been a much more involved version of what we do in casting another major guest role – thinking laterally and creatively and usually trying people out with specially written scenes initially and then recalls with the incumbent Doctor. It’s different every time and in some ways the most rewarding of casting jobs, as it’s so crucial, so key to the show, yet there are so many possibilities we can explore.

Q: There are loads of actors out there – how do you keep up-to-date with who’s good, and who might be good for Doctor Who?

AP: Casting Directors spend a great deal of their time dealing with agents and staying up to date with who is new and how careers are developing. We also see a lot of theatre, television and film and stay abreast of as many people, new and established as we reasonably can. We work on many other projects, which has the benefit of meaning we meet a large volume of actors across the year and one job can often feed into another. For instance, I had cast Jenna Coleman in “Dancing on the Edge” for Stephen Poliakoff, in a relatively small part and loved her, so she was in my thoughts when it came to casting Clara.

Q: What’s your advice for anyone looking to get into acting, and what is the success rate like for ‘making it’?

AP: I can’t pretend it’s an easy career. The proportion of actors out of work at any given time vastly outweighs those that are working. Competition is fierce and much depends on luck. Actors face a lot of rejection, more so than most professionals. However, when it works out for you it can be a hugely rewarding career. The best advice I can give is for people to get as much experience as possible (whether that’s at school or college.) Drama school is a great route, as it offers the best opportunity to be showcased to agents and Casting Directors. Actors on the whole do really need an agent in order to hugely increase their chances of getting seen for auditions.

Categories: Doctor Who

The Truth is on the Wallpaper…

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 6:10am

We celebrated the return of Mulder and Scully with this picture, made from a photograph taken in Bellefleur, Oregon back in September, 1993. Big thanks to everyone who got in touch to say they loved the image and of course, we’re delighted to offer it as wallpaper!

Just click on the required format of the version you prefer and when it opens, right click to save the image or set it as your wallpaper.

I want to believe… 16x9 / 4x3

Categories: Doctor Who

Steven Moffat stands down and Chris Chibnall to take over

Fri, 01/22/2016 - 7:01pm

BBC announces Steven Moffat’s next series of Doctor Who will be his last and confirms Chris Chibnall as new Head Writer and Executive Producer.

After six incredible series at the helm, the multi-award winning Steven Moffat has decided to step down as the lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who.

Steven took over the reins on Series 5 in 2010 and during his tenure the show has become a truly global success. He has been responsible for introducing the Eleventh and the Twelfth Doctors in Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi; as well as two companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and iconic characters and monsters including River Song (Alex Kingston), Missy (Michelle Gomez), Rory (Arthur Darvill) and the terrifying Weeping Angels. Plus, the smash hit 50th Anniversary special in 2013 which saw fans around the world celebrate the world’s longest running sci-fi series with the Doctors, Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt battling the deadly Daleks in a feature length episode. Steven’s final series will air on BBC One in Spring 2017 and there will be a Christmas Special in 2016.

Steven Moffat says : “Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him. It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.”

Like Steven, Chris Chibnall is also a lifelong Doctor Who fan and a multi-award winning writer and executive producer. He has most recently achieved huge success with the triple BAFTA winning hit ITV series Broadchurch. His other credits include BAFTA nominated The Great Train Robbery, United, Law & Order: UK, Life on Mars and Torchwood. Chris Chibnall’s debut series will launch in 2018.

Chris Chibnall, new Head Writer and Executive Producer : "Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC programme: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world. So it's a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was four years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore. Steven’s achieved the impossible by continually expanding Doctor Who's creative ambition, while growing its global popularity. He’s been a dazzling and daring showrunner, and hearing his plans and stories for 2017, it’s clear he’ll be going out with a bang. Just to make my life difficult."

Charlotte Moore, Controller, BBC One says : “I want to thank Steven Moffat for everything he has given Doctor Who – I’ve loved working with him, he is an absolute genius and has brought fans all over the world such joy. I will be very sad to see him leave the show but I can’t wait to see what he will deliver in his last ever series next year with a brand new companion. I have decided to schedule Steven’s big finale series in Spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel. 2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017 - I promise it will be worth the wait! I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Chris Chibnall, a wonderfully talented writer who I know will bring something very special to the hit series.”

Polly Hill, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning says : “Like Charlotte I would like to thank Steven for his brilliance, which has made Doctor Who a global hit under his tenure. Chris Chibnall is the perfect successor to take over the reins of this incredible show, so I am delighted that his love for Doctor Who has made it impossible for him to resist! Chris is an incredible writer and his vision and passion for Doctor Who gives it an exciting future and promises to be a real treat for Doctor Who fans across the world.”

Categories: Doctor Who

Russell T Davies scoops Outstanding Contribution to Writing Award.

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 11:26am

Doctor Who’s former lead writer and exec producer, Russell T Davies, was presented with the prestigious ‘Outstanding Contribution to Writing Award’ at the annual Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards last night (18 January, 2016) in London.

Russell was showrunner on Doctor Who for five years, exec produced Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures and more recently has turned his attention to Shakespeare… His new, 90-minute adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be screened later this year. Commenting on his award, he said, ‘For me, this is the greatest of honours, coming from fellow writers, and I’m enormously grateful to the Writers’ Guild – for this, and for the work it does for writers everywhere.’

The award was presented by Paul Abbott (Shameless, State of Play) and recognises Russell’s extraordinary body of work for TV, including Wizards vs Aliens, Queer as Folk, Cucumber, Banana, The Second Coming, Casanova and of course, his Doctor Who related series which began back in 2005 with Rose

Categories: Doctor Who

Robert Banks Stewart (1931 - 2016)

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 11:18am

We’re sad to report the death of Robert Banks Stewart, whom many Doctor Who fans will remember fondly as the creator of the Zygons.

Aside from writing two Fourth Doctor adventures – Terror of the Zygons and The Seeds of Doom – he co-created the well-remembered Shoestring (1979–80) starring Trevor Eve as a detective on the edge, and created the enormously popular Jersey-based cop show, Bergerac (1981–89). He also scripted episodes of the most iconic series of the 60s and 70s including Danger Man, The Avengers, Callan and The Sweeney and served as a producer on huge hits such as Hannay, The Darling Buds of May and Lovejoy.

But Doctor Who fans will remember Robert for his two fantastic stories from the 70s. The first, Terror of the Zygons, introduced the shapeshifting Zygons, a popular foe who returned in the 50th anniversary special and more recently, in a series 9 two-parter.

His second adventure, The Seeds of Doom, is a cracking six-parter full of wit, energy, terrific dialogue and superb characters. The alien menace of the story – the Krynoids – only made a single television appearance but they remain one of the best-loved monsters from the show’s early years.

Robert Banks Stewart (1931 - 2016)

Categories: Doctor Who

Making Who

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 11:34am

In an ambitious, on-going project we’ve created 'Making Who' as a space where you can access videos, interviews, pics and more that show you the reality of television production. Some of the content is brand new and other items are cherry-picked from the best material we’ve released over the past year. We hope it’ll be interesting, helpful and stimulating and we’d love to hear from you about what you think of it and what else you’d like to see added to ‘Making Who’.

Let us know by emailing us at thedoctor@bbc.co.uk

In the meantime you’ll find videos that provide masterclasses in writing, visual fx, storyboarding, producing, acting and much more. In the weeks ahead we’ll be adding to ‘Making Who’ and hopefully running some live Twitter Q&As where you can engage with programme makers and get even more insider knowledge about how Doctor Who is created and the wider television industry.

Doctor Who has always inspired its audience to become engaged with the creative aspects of story-telling. Many well-known figures, such as Peter Capaldi and David Tennant, were drawn to the industry, in part, because of Doctor Who. We’re hoping to continue that fantastic tradition… Could you be a future Doctor? Or someone who writes his adventures, designs his worlds or produces the magic that is Doctor Who? If you’re nodding your head right now, well, we hope ‘Making Who’ helps you move closer to your goal.

Don’t forget to email us and tell us what you think and what you’d like to see! Contact us at thedoctor@bbc.co.uk and use the subject header, ‘Making Who’. Thanks!

Categories: Doctor Who

Weep No More… Vids to Beat the Blues!

Wed, 01/06/2016 - 3:00am

It’s January and the world has been over-run by post-Festive grumps! But fear not – the Doctor and his many friends are here battle those blues away! We’ve assembled six videos from 2015 that always make us smile… Hopefully they’ll help defeat the Invasion of the Blues!

We start with the moment Greg Davies was asked about working with snow in The Husbands of River Song… There’s a pun about Christmas rapping in there somewhere, but don’t worry - we’re not using it!

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You can guarantee laughs when Reece Shearsmith is in the mood for a giggle, even turning a question about costume and props into something funny… Here he is, making a spectacle of himself behind the scenes of Sleep No More…

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No collection of vids to help beat the January blues would be complete without this corker featuring Michelle Gomez… “So, do most people just answer normally?” Yes, but where’s the fun in that?

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Here’s Jenna being a great sport in a ‘dead funny’ blooper from Face the Raven!

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And here’s Rufus Hound quizzing Maisie Williams on location during the shoot for The Woman Who Laughed. Err, Lived.

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Finally, we’ve a smorgasbord of smiles as we cram some of the very best bits of our series 9 coverage into just 81 seconds…

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Need more cheering up? Well, BBC iPlayer users can still enjoy The Husbands of River Song online until 25 January! Happy New Year!

Categories: Doctor Who

Doctor Who and the National Television Awards

Tue, 01/05/2016 - 6:28am

Doctor Who has made the final short list for this year’s National Television Awards, competing in the Drama category. Winners are chosen by the public and you can vote for your favourite show by visiting the NTA website now!

This year the Doctor is facing stiff competition from Downton Abbey, Broadchurch and Casualty but your vote could hand victory to the Time Lord!

Voting opened earlier today (5 January, 2016) and closes at noon on Wednesday, 20 January. The awards ceremony will be broadcast live from the O2 London later that day at 7.30pm on ITV1.

Categories: Doctor Who

Arise, Sir Doctor...

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 8:22am

John Hurt, who so memorably played the War Doctor in 2013, has received a knighthood in the New Year Honours.

John Hurt first appeared in Doctor Who during the final, electrifying moments of The Name of the Doctor before making a cameo appearance in The Night of the Doctor. He later starred alongside Matt Smith and David Tennant in the show’s 50th anniversary special, the feature-length adventure, The Day of the Doctor. The veteran actor received his knighthood for services to drama after a career lasting more than five decades.

James Corden, who played Craig in The Lodger and Closing Time, is awarded an OBE for services to drama and said he was ‘thrilled, overwhelmed and honoured to be recognised in such a way’, adding ‘My mum is already fretting about what to wear!’

Meera Syal has also been recognised in the New Year Honours and becomes a CBE. Well-known to Doctor Who fans for playing Dr Nasreen Chaudhry in The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood, she’s recognised for services to drama and literature.

Congratulations to John Hurt, James Corden and Meera Syal!

Categories: Doctor Who

TARDIS: It’s the Stuff You Missed!

Mon, 12/21/2015 - 10:27am

If you’ve been busy with festive fun and last minute Christmas shopping, here are five things you may have missed from the past seven days…

The Screenings of River Song…

It was the world premiere that everyone was talking about (ahem) when the Christmas Special received two special screenings at the British Film Institute. Get the goss in our full report!

And presenting…

Alex Kingston and Matt Lucas swapped pressies and told tales of festive Doctor Who fun in this yuletide video treat!

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The Force Awakens got us thinking about Doctor Who / Star Wars links and from a certain Time Lord to the Dark Lord of the Sith, here’s our run down…

A ghost story for Christmas?

We released the first part of Haunted, an exclusive short story by Joseph Lidster.

Just a Swift one!

What does Rufus Hound want for Christmas? Here’s one idea…

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Categories: Doctor Who

May the Force be With Who…

Mon, 12/21/2015 - 9:59am

As The Force Awakens fever grips the cosmos we take a look at the elements that bind the galaxies of Doctor Who and Star Wars together…

Any Doctor Who fan watching A New Hope back in 1977 would have recognised a few familiar names on the credits… Most obviously, Darth Vader was played by David Prowse who appeared as the Minotaur in The Time Monster and Peter Cushing – Dr. Who in the two 1960s Dalek movies – materialised on the Death Star as Grand Moff Tarkin.

A little further down the credits, eagle-eyed viewers might have spotted Don Henderson as General Tagge and Garrick Hagon as Biggs Darklighter… Henderson later played the villainous Gavrok in Delta and the Bannermen whilst decades later, Hagon wound up in the Wild West as Abraham in A Town Called Mercy.

Dozens of actors have appeared in both Doctor Who and the Star Wars franchise, which incidentally, sounds like a novel we want to read! High-profile actors spanning both worlds include Jeremy Bulloch as fan fave Boba Fett (Hal in The Time Warrior and Tor in The Space Museum), Julian Glover as General Veers in The Empire Strikes Back (Scaroth in City of Death and Richard in The Crusade) and Warwick Davis who appeared in both Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens (Porridge in Nightmare in Silver).

The episode that aired before the original release of Star Wars: A New Hope (The Talons of Weng Chiang, episode 6) featured Deep Roy as the ‘pig-faced, pig-brained Peking Homunculus’, Mr Sin. He later starred in Return of the Jedi and in 2009 played Keenser, the alien sidekick of Montgomery Scott, in Star Trek. In that outing, Scotty was played by Simon Pegg who cameoed in The Force Awakens and played the Editor in The Long Game.

If we cast our net a little wider and trawl though Star Wars sister shows we find David Tennant as Huyang in The Clone Wars, long after he’d defeated a bunch of other clones in The Poison Sky…

Star Wars may be a mega-phenomenon but it wasn’t directly referenced in Doctor Who until the final adventure in its original run, when Darth Vader was mentioned during 1989’s Survival. The allusions hardly came thick and fast after that although the Doctor mentioned Star Wars in both Dreamland and the minisode, Meanwhile in the TARDIS.

And finally, we enjoyed the cheeky little tip of the hat in the last series… In Before the Flood we glimpse the business card of Albar Prentis and see it bears the line, ‘May the remorse be with you’. Now, what does that remind us of..?

Categories: Doctor Who

Me and Clara… What Next?

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 9:56am

One of the best things about Series 9 was seeing Me and Clara zooming through space in a stolen TARDIS, heading towards… Well, what? What could happen to the Doctor’s old friends, now they have a time machine and the whole universe to explore?

It’s easy to see Me’s story as being inextricably linked with the Doctor, but looking back over the adventures we’ve seen her experience, it’s clear that Clara Oswald has made an equally significant impact on her life. It was Clara who saved them both when Odin zapped them, along with the other ill-fated villagers, to his spaceship and without the Coal Hill teacher it’s unlikely Ashildr would have survived the terrifying encounter.

And when the Doctor wanted to leave the young Viking girl and her kinsfolk to the mercy of the Mire, it was Clara who persuaded him to stay… In fact that action led to the Time Lord adding alien tech to Ashildr and making her immortal.

In Face the Raven it was Clara who more or less commanded the Doctor not to take vengeance for her death… Her heart-felt plea may have been the factor that prevented a terrible reprisal against ‘Mayor Me’ and so again, Clara’s actions - and her compassion - have impacted on the life of an immortal…

And so although Me is much older and more experienced that Clara, it’s not a given that she’ll be in charge. Clara has saved her before and Me must recognise and respect that. Plus… she needs Clara!

In The Woman Who Lived, the Doctor told Me, ‘We need the mayflies. See, the mayflies, they know more than we do. They know how beautiful and precious life is because it's fleeting.’ Clara will give Me that perspective and help her enjoy all the fun stuff that goes with careering around the cosmos.

When the Doctor met Me in Hell Bent she had all the answers and appeared serene. At ease. Tranquil, almost. But is that really who Me is? Is that who she wants to be? This is the Viking who fought at Agincourt, became a daring highwayman on the roads of London and presided over a settlement of Cybermen, Silurians and other dangerous species…

But with Clara in the TARDIS, Me no longer knew all answers and now she was the one asking the questions, from the banal to the big one: ‘Where are we going?’ And Clara, the young woman from Blackpool, appeared the wiser and so much more alive!

So it’s a fair bet that these two travellers will go forward as equals. Me bringing knowledge and experience plus a sense of flare! And Clara will be there to remind her of the brilliance of it all. When she found out their TARDIS was stuck as a diner she immediately beamed with delight and declared, ‘Awesome!’ We can bet they’ll be many more awesome moments to come…

Categories: Doctor Who

The Husbands of River Song: The World Premiere

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 11:16am

The Husbands of River Song received its world premiere yesterday (16 December) at the British Film Institute in London.

There were two screenings of the Christmas Special, including an afternoon event where hundreds of delighted schoolchildren watched the adventure before anyone else! And appropriately enough, the TARDIS even landed in the BFI foyer, giving many visitors the perfect opportunity to grab a selfie with the world’s most iconic time machine!

The evening screening was followed by a Q&A with Peter Capaldi, Alex Kingston, Greg Davies and Steven Moffat, hosted by Jo Whiley. The panel was on top form, relishing the chance to answer a few mischievous questions from the audience. When someone reeled off all the actors that had played the Time Lord since 2005 and then asked Steven Moffat who his favourite Doctor was, the showrunner replied without missing a beat, ‘Doctor Who!’ And when Alex Kingston was quizzed as to whether she’d be the ‘new assistant’, she declared, ‘I’m NOT an assistant… I’m a wife!’

Alex also spoke about her character’s attitude in her latest adventure, revealing, ‘I don't think River has changed. She's absolutely her own person! But sometimes... She's just more naughty!’ Peter Capaldi wasn’t spared the harder questions and was put on the spot when a young fan wanted to know, ‘Who do you prefer, Clara or River?’ The slightest of pauses and a wry smile from Peter. ‘Clara is a very special friend...’ he reasoned, ‘But my wife is my wife!’

We’d love to bring you some of Greg Davies’ replies, which were as witty (and occasionally outrageous!) as you’d expect, but his comments contained spoilers... What would River say if we gave those away?

It was fantastic to see so many people come along, many just to get a glimpse of the stars and have their photo taken in front of the TARDIS. Massive thanks to everyone who popped in and said hello!

And the final word goes to Peter Capaldi who was asked which was his favourite adventure to date. ‘I don't like to pick favourite episodes as they all have remarkable things in them...’ he told the audience. ‘They're all amazing!’ Hear, hear! And merry Christmas!

The Husbands of River Song is on BBC One on Christmas Day at 5.15pm.

Categories: Doctor Who

TARDIS: It’s the Stuff You Missed!

Mon, 12/14/2015 - 12:00pm

The latest series has finished but the world of Doctor Who remains as busy as ever… Here are five things you may have missed from the past seven days…

Script Doctor

We released the scripts for Heaven Sent and Hell Bent along with some storyboards for the finale. So, now you can watch the episodes and join in with the shoutey bits if you want to, Sound of Music style!

Time Lord of the Dance

Strictly Come Dancing’s Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani wowed us with a Doctor Who-themed dance complete with TARDIS and cosplay… It didn’t get a ten from Len but you can check out their Charleston here!

Missy Madness

The Adventure Calendar continues to deliver all new content every day but this interview outtakes video is one of our favourite treats to date… Un-missy-ble!

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We added a load of seasonal elements to the Game Maker so now you can have festive fun with the Doctor and the Daleks and even create your own Christmas invasion! Give it a go!

Back to Black

We returned to Sleep No More and released this behind the scenes video featuring Bethany Black who played 474 in the episode. What do you think Bethany liked most about the adventure..?

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Categories: Doctor Who

The Doctor Who Game Maker has regenerated for Christmas!

Fri, 12/11/2015 - 7:55am

The Doctor Who Game Maker is now packed with festive elements that you can add to your new games… From Daleks in decs to a seasonal TARDIS, you can incorporate loads of Christmassy visuals to ensure yule make the perfect Who Game for Crimbo!

Instead of us describing the kind of thing you can now add, try this great little game so you can see for yourself… It’s called The TARDIS Quest and pits you, as the Doctor, against festive Daleks in a mission to collect presents…

Don’t forget, as well as letting you create games, the Game Maker can be used to simply play and enjoy them! Just visit the Arcade and spend some quality time battling iconic foes from across all of time and space!

Categories: Doctor Who

Anatomy of a Finale: Download the Scripts for Eps 11 and 12

Thu, 12/10/2015 - 8:00am

Heaven Sent and Hell Bent were two wildly different episodes. Both unique, bold and startling they combined to create a two-part adventure – a hybrid, you might say – that brought Series 9 to an unforgettable finale.

BBC iPlayer users can watch both episodes online but we’re also giving you the chance to download and print off the scripts for the stories… Written by Doctor Who’s BAFTA-winning show runner, Steven Moffat, they offer a fascinating insight into the construction of a major Doctor Who adventure. You can access the scripts for Heaven Sent and Hell Bent now!

In addition, we’re also releasing some previously unseen storyboards from Hell Bent, illustrating how the demands of the script evolve into the scenes that we see in the finished episode.

And if all that wasn’t enough, don’t forget we have loads of behind the scenes videos for Heaven Sent and Hell Bent plus fact files for both ep11 and ep12.

In short, there’s everything you could want to know about the finale without actually entering the Matrix!

Categories: Doctor Who

The Christmas Cards of River Song?

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 6:13am

As Christmas and the premiere of The Husbands of River Song approach, the 2015 Adventure Calendar presents a selection of Doctor Who themed cards which you can print out and send to your friends or collect for yourself.

To download as foldable cards in pdf format, select your preferred card and click on the text below the image… Then simply print off and get folding!

Carol singers will be criticised… The Husbands of River Song The Doctor presents… Our favourite Christmas Song!

Categories: Doctor Who

TARDIS: The Stuff You Missed

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 11:42am

It was the week of the finale, farewells and looking forward to Christmas, so here’s our journey through all of it… the short way round!

I can see Clara, now…

We said hello and goodbye to Clara who returned for the heart-breaking series 9 finale. We’re all going to miss Jenna Coleman but we caught up with her before she hopped into this weird American diner that seemed to appear out of nowhere, and she looked back over her time on Doctor Who, shared her funniest moment and revealed which was the toughest scene to shoot…

Advent of Adventure

We launched our annual countdown to Christmas and it’s already bursting at the seasonal seams with exclusive pics, videos and much more. There’s a new treat added every day so make a daily date with the Adventure Calendar!

Maisie Camaraderie

The return of Maisie Williams meant the return of her ever-popular #MaisieCam vids which show some lovely moments on set and location. Enjoy the vid below and find more right here!

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We celebrated series 9 with a look back over all twelve episodes... The arcs, the highlights, the bits that made us cheer and the moments that made us cry. They’re all covered as we raise a glass of lemonade to the Doctor’s latest adventures!

2015: A Spouse Odyssey

There’s always another adventure waiting for the Doctor and so moments after series 9 finished we were already looking forward to this year’s Christmas Special with this new trailer for The Husbands of River Song!

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Categories: Doctor Who

Celebrating Series 9!

Sat, 12/05/2015 - 4:05pm

Excitement for Peter Capaldi’s second series as the Doctor began building in earnest on 9 July, 2015 when we dropped this trailer… It seems like a lifetime ago, but do you remember watching this for the first time?

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It hinted at many of the things that were to come. A more relaxed, ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ Doctor complete with shades and guitar; the Time Lord and Clara plunging into big new adventures with an undisguised relish! And look! The hugs! The two time-travellers’ friendship now stronger than ever. When The Magician’s Apprentice aired on 19 September it was a joy to see all that confirmed…

The Time Lord who questioned whether he was a good man had evolved into a figure whose huge entrance was playing a guitar on top of a tank! Embracing Clara like he never wanted to let go and the two of them hurling themselves headlong into adventure!

The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witch’s Familiar was also crammed with great humour, often courtesy of Michelle Gomez as Missy. “Between us and him is everything the deadliest race in all of history can throw at us,’ she tells Clara at one point. ‘We, on the other hand, have a pointy stick…’

And Davros was back… Seen as both the malevolent monster defeated by the Doctor on so many occasions and as a terrified child, trapped on the battlefields of Skaro. Perhaps only Doctor Who could end an adventure with its hero holding the hand of his deadly enemy whilst leading him to safety and advocating mercy…

The second story – Under the Lake / Before the Flood - saw Clara more impetuous than ever and showed the Doctor’s real concern by her lust for adventure. He talked about his duty of care to his companion but when trapped on a base, surrounded by killer ghosts, there wasn’t much he could offer in terms of safety!

The adventure also introduced the terrifying Fisher King and a bunch of military personal working in the ‘haunted’ base. Many fans instantly took to the sharp, no-nonsense and courageous leader of the group, Cass (played by the brilliant Sophie Stone) whose ability to lip read (the character was deaf) proved pivotal in the story.

And from an underwater base in the future, the TARDIS next took us to a Viking village where we met Ashildr for the first time…

There was some glorious humour with the Doctor on top form as he and Clara arrived at the settlement (‘He hasn’t even got a yo-yo!’) but on a more serious level, his companion’s ability to replicate his moves was becoming more apparent. At one point she virtually talked a warrior race into backing down… Before young Ashildr’s aggression undid her good work!

And of course, when the Doctor fused Mire tech with Ashildr to make her ‘immortal’ he reflected she was a kind of hybrid. After Davros’ reference to the Hybrid, our interest was piqued…

The Woman Who Lived saw the return of Ashildr. At once a helter-skelter romp with highwaymen, chases and high-jinx on the scaffold, it was also a poignant look at why figures like the Doctor and Ashildr need mortals… ‘People like us,’ he tells her, ‘we go on too long. We forget what matters. The last thing we need is each other. We need the mayflies. See, the mayflies, they know more than we do. They know how beautiful and precious life is because it's fleeting.’

But at the end of The Woman Who Lived we glimpsed Ashildr keeping an eye on the Doctor and heard Clara tell him, ‘Don't worry, daft old man. I'm not going anywhere.’ Eek. We always worry when characters say that in the final line of an episode…

The Zygon Invasion / The Zygon Inversion saw the return of Kate, UNIT, Osgood and the Zygons! A dark thriller of a two-parter where things were seldom as they seemed, we saw the best and worst of humanity and aliens as the Doctor’s astonishing, impassioned plea against war saved the day… But there was also talk of Osgood being like a hybrid… The creature was clearly weighing heavily on the Doctor’s mind…

But the adventure also offered another reminder of how impossibly attached the Doctor had become to the Impossible Girl. ‘I let Clara Oswald get inside my head,’ he confided to Bonnie. ‘Trust me. She doesn't leave…’

Sleep No More was the kind of episode which reminds us that after over 50 years of adventures, Doctor Who can still do something completely new… Written by the brilliant Mark Gatiss this was a ‘found footage’ episode and although it contained many staples of a ‘base under siege’ story, it was fresh and original in the way the action unfolded and the chilling, masterful twist at the end had many people reaching for the corner of their eye, nervously…

And then… Then it was time to Face the Raven! It was a delight to see the return of Rigsy and an older version of Ashildr, now known as Mayor Me. And the actual basis of the story was terrific – that certain streets are hidden from view and are home to all the strange, strange creatures…

But, of course, Face the Raven will chiefly be remembered for this scene…

Clara’s transformation into someone who was so like the Doctor that she would, in a heartbeat, risk her life for someone else, had played out with tragic consequences and the Time Lord’s cold fury made the wait for Heaven Sent almost unbearable…

The penultimate episode of the series was another slice of brilliance with writer Steven Moffat, director Rachel Talalay and Peter Capaldi all at the top of their game and combining to create something very special. A virtual one-hander it traced the Doctor’s attempt to deal with the loss of Clara and as he punched his way through a wall 400 times harder than diamond, it became clear that her loss had made him unstoppable. Some Time Lord.

During the final scenes we witnessed him emerge into the glare of Gallifrey and give a message to a young lad on the sands. ‘Tell them, I know what they did, and I'm on my way. And if they ask you who I am, tell them, I came the long way round…’

Hell Bent rounded off the series in style… A battle with the Time Lords that was at once epic and personal with the Doctor defeating Rassilon without firing a single shot. And yet he was hell bent on rescuing Clara, of fulfilling his duty of care… This meant the Doctor going further than ever before, even shooting the General who, of course, regenerated. He managed to rescue Clara, plucking her from her timeline on the trap street after she had ‘faced the raven’.

And whatever the rights and wrongs of his actions, it meant she was ultimately free to continue her adventures. The Doctor fled Gallifrey – not for the first time - and for a period had become a traveller without the TARDIS, with no memory of who Clara was and no idea where he might find her…

In the end, Clara Oswald zoomed across the cosmos in a TARDIS with Ashildr, intent on new adventures as she travelled to Gallifrey… the long way round! And the Doctor, inevitably and movingly, was reunited with his time machine… As he gazed around his home and slipped his jacket back on, there was a sense of the Doctor being back. Sonic screwdriver in hand, piloting the TARDIS to brilliant new adventures across all of time and space!

The Doctor returns on Christmas Day in The Husbands of River Song!

Categories: Doctor Who

Why we’re hell bent on Hell Bent!

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 7:37am

A series finale is always something very special and this year’s offers a whole load of things to look forward to…

He’s back!

The Doctor has returned to his home planet… The long way round! He’s unsurprisingly angry at what he’s been put through and we can’t wait to see how and where he directs his fury…

Enemies!

We don’t know how they fit into the finale but any episode featuring Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels gets our vote. Just. Don’t. Blink…

Look who’s back!

We’re big fans of Ashildr so it’s great to see Maisie Williams back in the finale. It’s the one time that a ‘Me, Me, Me’ scenario is perfectly acceptable.

Lines to die for!

We love the exchange the Doctor has with the General in this trailer and reckon there’ll be some terrific back and forth in Hell Bent!

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Yes! Ken Bones is back as the General. He brings such gravitas and was so great in The Day of the Doctor that we’re intrigued to know how he’ll handle the Doctor’s return. And wait a minute… In the video above, is the Doctor striking him..? We want to know and make no bones about it… (Ouch. Sorry).

Enigmas

They don’t come much bigger than the Hybrid… Will Hell Bent solve the mystery of who or what the Hybrid is? Does the video below give us any hint? That is, that is text book enigmatic…

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...and judging by what Steven Moffat has to say about the episode, Hell Bent will be no exception.

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A running time of just under 65 minutes makes this a bumper bonanza of Doctor Who! So, with our hero back on his home planet, the stakes raised to the max and with old friends and enemies gathering on Gallifrey, the Doctor might be in the Constellation of Kasterborous but from 8pm, on Saturday we’ll be in front of the telly enjoying a finale to remember!

Categories: Doctor Who

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