Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mummy on the Orient Express cast list

The BBC has released the cast list for Doctor Who Series 8, Episode 8 - Mummy on the Orient Express, check it out below.
Gus - John Sessions
Perkins - Frank Skinner (pictured, left)
Captain Quell - David Bamber
Maisie - Daisy Beaumont
Mrs Pitt - Janet Henfrey
Prof Moorhouse - Christopher Villiers
Singer - Foxes
Foretold - Jamie Hill
Fact fans will note that Janet Henfrey played Miss Hardaker in The Curse of Fenric whilst Christopher Villiers played Hugh Fitzwilliam in The King's Demons and Frank Skinner starred in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot as a Dalek operator.

Mummy on the Orient Express airs Oct 11 on BBC One at 8.35pm. For more info, pics and clips on the story, click HERE.

EPISODE PREVIEW: Kill The Moon [Spoiler~free]

By Peter Harness

Stars Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Ellis George

Airs Oct 4

Crikey. Now here's an episode that is most definitely going to get people talking - for a number of reasons, all fascinating. However, as this is a spoiler~free preview, I won't be mentioning them, specifically.

New-to-Who writer Peter Harness has come up trumps in a very exciting and fresh fashion with his first, and most definitely not his last, story for the Time Lord. Whilst on the surface it may evoke The Impossible Planet and The Waters of Mars (due to the space station setting and, of course, those spacesuits) in look, Kill The Moon also evokes the latter in terms of The Doctor and his role in history and future.

But before we get to that particular conundrum, there's the small question of HUGE FLIPPIN' SPIDERS! ARGH!

Let's start from the start, though. After a pre-titles sequence which bangs us right in the middle of the action, we then go back a little to find Coal Hill School pupil Courtney pining [Oh dear - Ed.] for the TARDIS and adventures. Mischievously, The Doctor makes her the first woman on the Moon as the gang travel to 2049 but they also discover an Earth team there, determined to blow up the Moon.

Why? The Moon has been naughty. It has been causing all sorts of natural disasters on Earth due to... well, that would be saying. A previous expedition managed to send back some screams before disappearing (yes, that is pretty creepy) and it's taken us humans ten years to send some help. Well, I say "help", these astronauts aren't quite the caliber that NASA used to send.

Don't worry, though, as they starting getting picked off by those HUGE FLIPPIN' SPIDERS! ARGH! pretty quickly. It's been a long time since Doctor Who has actually made my skin crawl. The scenes involving the little bastards, as I now call them, are astoundingly impressive and I would wager that more than a sofa will be needed to save the eyes and memories of the audience.

Director, and another new-to-Who chap, Paul Wilmshurst has adeptly shot these scenes to evoke the best (ie. scariest) reaction from the viewers. They are truly suspenseful and horror-packed; much more so than any story in many years. Both the design and realisation of the creatures are creepy and unsettling, and well utilised - I suspect a new generation of arachnophobics being created...

Elsewhere the CG work on the Moon is top notch (the moonbase, for example) whilst the location filming in Lanzarote has paid off immensely. The scenes on the Moon's surface are beautiful, incredibly cinematic and aid the feel of the story superbly.

Also impressing greatly is actress Ellis George, who plays the aforementioned Courtney. Here, she gets some great stuff to get her teeth into from writer Peter Harness - from a fun and exciting opening to the incredible drama and dilemma faced later on. George was tremendous last week in The Caretaker and has now firmly marked her place in Who.

Hermione Norris, who plays the doomed captain (well, she's in charge at any rate) of the expedition clocks in a very low-key performance. the suicidal nature of their gambit is portrayed in almost every word she speaks, softly and with some bitterness and almost detachment at times.

There are some pretty big questions raised here - why is the Moon causing so much havoc, what's the matter with it? This mystery hangs heavy but when the solution comes - and one that is bonkers, brave and bewilderingly good - then Kill The Moon begins to ask different questions. Huge questions about life and the future (and its stability) which, again, I shan't spoil but will linger on the mind of the viewer; just as much as as the  HUGE FLIPPIN' SPIDERS! ARGH! will, and those beautiful shots of the Moon and more.

Not only that, writer Harness leaves the pairing of The Doctor and Clara in such a predicament that you'll be wondering just what's in store for them both and how they can continue together. Capaldi and Coleman are on top form, fully giving life to the script and its emotions.

Kill The Moon is very sci-fi, very horror and very personal - for me, already a modern day classic. And the best Doctor Who in years.

For more news, clips and pics from the episode - click HERE. Kill The Moon airs at 8.30pm on Oct 4 on BBC One.

Thanks to BBC

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Doctor Who on Minecraft

As announced last month, Doctor Who is coming to Minecraft on Xbox. The packs will launch this Friday (Oct 3) and cost just £1.99 - check out the details below and click on the images for bigger versions.

From Oct 3, Minecraft players will have access to a range of Doctor Who assets which will allow them to change their avatar to resemble their favourite characters from the show. The first pack – priced at just £1.99 – will include a character inspired by the Twelfth Doctor as well as five other Doctors, each of their on-screen companions and some of the Doctor’s most well known adversaries including his arch-nemeses, the Daleks.

More packs will be released as time goes on, introducing many of the most recognisable characters from the past 50 years of Doctor Who. Each skin pack will feature at least six Doctors and will be released regularly following the broadcast of the first episode.

Thanks to BBC Worldwide

Doctor Who comics at NYCC

Titan Comics have announced some exclusives, panels and signings at this year's New York Comic Con (NYCC), which takes place Oct 9-12. Check out the details below and click on the images for the exclusive NYCC editions of the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor #1 comics.

Date: Thursday, October 9 / Time: 2PM / Room: 1A10
Join a host of Creators from the new Doctor Who Comics who'll reveal exclusive secrets from the brand-new Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor storylines and show never-before-seen art!

Panel Guests: Writer Nick Abadzis (Tenth Doctor Comic), Artist Elena Casagrande (Tenth Doctor Comic), Writer Al Ewing (Eleventh Doctor Comic), Artist Simon Fraser (Eleventh Doctor Comic),Cover Artist Alice X. Zhang (Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor Comic), Andrew James (Doctor Who Comics Editor). Host: Steve White, Senior Editor, Titan Comics

Time: 3.30pm – 4.30PM / Location: Titan Booth #2142
Signing: Writer Nick Abadzis (Tenth Doctor Comic), Artist Elena Casagrande (Tenth Doctor Comic), Colorist Ariana Floren (Tenth Doctor Comic), Writer Al Ewing (Eleventh Doctor Comic),Artist Simon Fraser (Eleventh Doctor Comic) and Cover Artist Alice X. Zhang (Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor Comic).

Time: 12PM – 1PM / Location: Titan Booth #2142
Signing: Writer Nick Abadzis, Artist Elena Casagrande, Colorist Ariana Floren and Cover Artist Alice X. Zhang.

Time: 3.30PM – 4.30PM / Location: Titan Booth #2142
Signing: Writer Al Ewing, Artist Simon Fraser and Cover Artist Alice X. Zhang.

Time: 12.30PM – 1.30PM / Location: Titan Booth #2142
Signing: Writer Al Ewing, Artist Simon Fraser and Cover Artist Alice X. Zhang.

Time: 3.30PM – 4.30PM / Location: Titan Booth #2142
Signing: Writer Nick Abadzis, Artist Elena Casagrande, Colorist Ariana Floren and Cover Artist Alice X. Zhang.

Thanks to Titan Comics

Kill The Moon promo pics

The BBC have released promotional pictures for this week's Doctor Who episode, Kill The Moon - click on the images included here for bigger versions. Featured in the pics are Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Ellis George (Courtney), Hermoine Norris (Lundvik) and Tony Osaba (Duke). For more news, clips and pics from the episode - click HERE.

Thanks to BBC Pictures

AUDIO REVIEW: Philip Hinchcliffe Presents box set

Philip Hinchcliffe Presents
Written by Philip Hinchcliffe, adapted by Marc Platt

Starring Tom Baker and Louise Jameson

Out Now

The Ghosts of Gralstead
Big Finish reunite Baker, Jamieson and Hinchcliffe the midst of Victorian melodrama, bidding to recapture Doctor Who’s 1970s gothic horror glory years, with Marc Platt bravely taking up the place in the quartet previously occupied by Robert Holmes.

To a greater extent, The Ghosts of Gralstead succeeds in this endeavour. Having apparently rediscovered his joy for the role, Tom Baker commands attention as The Doctor, very much the definite article once more. Louise Jameson is, however, every bit his equal, with the two performing as an evenly-matched team. It’s heartening to know that the passage of time has been kind to their working relationship.

The adventure begins with The Doctor continuing in his attempts to “educate the savage” in the ways of civilised society. But Leela treads her own path, frequently disobeying the Time Lord's instructions when she considers it necessary for his own good. It’s not long before the duo become involved in a convoluted set of circumstances, surrounding a mysterious, alien artefact with the power to resurrect from the dead, and a long-running feud over its ownership.

As a six-parter there’s plenty of time for leisurely story development and it’s a pleasure to spend that time in the company of a TARDIS team who clearly enjoy each other’s company. The nature of the story, Victoriana with a liberal dose of the Grand Guignol, allows plenty of room for some of the broader performances within. It’s a story populated with several memorable characters, which may be just as well given the length of the story, and some of the detours along the way.

The cast provide strong performances throughout, with Carolyn Seymour vamping it up in fine style as the evil Mordrega and Martin Hutson and Gethin Anthony performing well as the feuding brothers, Cedric and Edward Scrivener. Ivanno Jeremiah provides a creditable love interest for Leela, as Abasi; kindred hunting spirits.

This is an adventure which doesn’t skimp on grotesquery and at times may not be for the faint of heart or queasy of stomach. At its heart, after all, is an alien being who adheres to a particularly unpleasant dietary plan as a means of gaining sustenance.

It seems churlish to criticise the story on the basis of its duration: a longer running time allows for more gradual development. However I did wonder whether there might have been one sub-plot too many here, and that the story would have been no less entertaining with a bit of a trim.

The Devil’s Armada
Doctor Who finally gets the chance to meet Scratchman…apparently. Aiming for another dose of Victoriana but missing and arriving instead at the height of Gloriana, the Doctor and Leela land in an Elizabethan England cast in the shadow of an imminent Spanish invasion. Religious fervour runs high, with perilous consequences for those accused of following the wrong religion, or being identified with witchcraft.

The Doctor and Leela make an immediate impact, helping an escapee priest and preventing the drowning of a suspected witch. It soon becomes apparent that there’s far more to the increased hysteria than religious zealotry, as first Leela and then The Doctor become aware of barely glimpsed, wickedly cackling sinister imps exerting a sinister influence. This mostly invisible army of creatures are led by the devil-like Old One, hell-bent on world domination.

Another strongly-cast adventure sees Baker and Jameson raising their game, with particular mention to Jamie Newall as the fanatical William Redcliffe, and Philip Bretherton as Vituperon (the Old One). Tom Baker’s Doctor is never better than when reacting against those in authority or power, and the Doctor’s encounters with the evil Vituperon are a particular treat.

As part of the collection, this feels like the better-paced of the adventures on offer. The ending did feel slightly rushed though, with a TARDIS-sized slab of technobabble to save the day.

Jameson, Baker and Hinchcliffe
This Big Finish release provides the listener with a welcome rediscovery of the alchemy that powered Doctor Who to prominence in the Hinchcliffe years. It’s clear that Philip Hinchcliffe knew what he was doing back then (at a remarkably young age), and Baker and Jameson are on top form throughout. There’s also a generous slice of extra material, in the form of contributions from the cast on these adventures and Doctor Who in general. The real treat though is to hear from Tom Baker, Louise Jameson and Philip Hinchcliffe, discussing in detail their work on these new adventures, and reminiscing about working together on the programme all those years ago.

Overall another splendid contribution from Big Finish to the worlds of Doctor Who.

Thanks to Big Finish

Monday, September 29, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Kill The Moon - Next Time

In the player above, you can watch the Next Time trailer for next week's Doctor Who episode, Kill The Moon. For more news, clips and pics from the episode - click HERE.

The Caretaker audio commentary
This commentary includes EXCLUSIVE comments from writer Gareth Roberts!

Included for your listening pleasure is the Blogtor Who audio commentary for Doctor Who Series 8, Episode 6, The Caretaker. Recorded by Cameron K McEwan and Alex Romeo, the commentary can be enjoyed whilst watching the story - though, that's not essential. You can download the audio commentary directly HERE, subscribe on iTunes HERE or use the player below. And it's FREE!

The Caretaker - What Did YOU Think?

The sixth episode of Doctor Who Series 8, The Caretaker, has aired, but what did you think? Please leave your comments in the section below and, obviously, if you haven't seen it best not to read. Check out the What Did You Think? for Time Heist HERE.