Category Archives: Doctor Who

Doctor Who | BFI, London’s South Bank / Screening of ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ (article by Patrick Mulkern)—new-title-sequences-matt-smith-on-twitter-and-a-big-surprise

It was a starry, saucy night at the BFI on London’s South Bank.

To whoops from the audience, on a high from the episode we’d just witnessed (all Doctor Who deserves to be seen on a big screen!), Steven Moffat and fellow executive producer Caroline Skinner took to the stage together with all three stars of Doctor Who. Matt Smith was suave and saturnine in black suit, red tie and stripey socks; Karen Gillan, radiant in a glittery, peach strappy top, floral miniskirt and black tights; and Arthur Darvill looking cool with dishevelled hair, tufty beard, black shirt and jeans torn at the knee.

Ex-Blue Peter man and Radio 5 Live host Richard Bacon fielded a lively panel with many questions coming, refreshingly, from the programme’s younger fans (and I mean children).

But Moffat led the way with his Big Surprise: “This room froze in a strange way when…” something strange and unexpected happened on screen. “I know it’s a big ask, and I know it might make you feel a bit silly – not as silly as I feel right now – but I know it will be a better show for keeping that one piece of information back. Please. Just. DON’T!” Everyone in the room clapped. So that’s that sorted, Steven.

He confirmed that there’ll be five new episodes this autumn, the Christmas special is being filmed now (“It’s a heatwave so we must be filming Christmas!”), with eight new episodes next spring. Did he mind the way this seventh series was being split up, asked Bacon. Not at all, said Moffat. “It means more first nights! And if we get more Radio Times covers, that’s useful.” We’ll do our best, Mr Moffat.

Bacon cheekily, and relentlessly, quizzed Moffat about his plans for a “multiple Doctor episode” for the 50th anniversary, claiming the exec had recently been spotted dining out with David Tennant. Had he been schmoozing Christopher Eccleston and Sylvester McCoy, too? “Are you asking if I’ve eaten in the presence of any previous Doctors? Would you like me to give you a list?” joked Moffat. “I’ve had Sunday lunch many times with Peter Davison!”

Caroline Skinner, who joined the series last year, intimated that there’s nothing “pinned down” for the anniversary but they have “huge ideas for live events” and that 2013 “will be the biggest year for Doctor Who across the board”. And she knows her Doctor Who: “My dad was massively into all sci-fi/fantasy stuff, so I sat down and watched a lot of the early episodes with him when I was far, far too young and far too scared.”

Matt Smith confirmed that he’s signed to play the Time Lord until 2014 and that this has always been the case. “I was always going to be around. It’s going to be exciting next year.” He also revealed he never looks at online forums: “That was the first thing Steven said to me. Never, ever to go on the internet… So, BBC Sport website, and that’s kind of it really.”

Naughty Bacon also asked, “Did you and Karen ever come close to, um, like, having a thing?” “Absolutely not!” huffed Matt, once the laughter died down. “That was another conversation with Steven… No, we’re professionals!” “This is so embarrassing,” laughed Karen, blushing.

An audience member wanted to know why Matt is the only panellist yet to be seduced by Twitter. “It’s just not my cuppa tea. I don’t see it happening any time soon,” he said. “I figure who cares what I’m doing?” Only millions, possibly..? And then Moffat revealed that in episode four, The Power of Three, “the Doctor just says the word ‘Twitter!’ – into which Matt puts his entire disgust. It’s rather magnificent.”

Significantly, these five adventures build up to the departure of Amy and Rory, and Matt is already missing his co-stars. “This Dalek episode is about marking what brilliant companions these two are, and they’re both spellbinding in it, and they get better throughout the five. In the last episode it’s heart-wrenching to see them go.”

Arthur Darvill said their final scenes are “emotion-led” and that for ages “Karen wouldn’t read the script. I’d read it and really wanted someone to talk to.” “I didn’t want to make it real,” Gillan explained. “I’m going to miss these guys. We’re good friends now. I’m also gonna miss just running down corridors away from monsters, because that’s the most fun, and now I’m going to do TV shows where I’m just talking at people.”

Darvill admitted that Doctor Who “will never leave us. There’s a huge network of people who’ve been involved in the show. It will follow us for the rest of our lives.”

At the glittering after-show bash, I congratulated Steven Moffat on a spectacular episode and he told me he hopes each episode will come across like a mini-blockbuster. He confirmed there’ll be a different look to each title sequence and logo across the next five episodes: “Daleky, dinosaurs, cowboy-western…”

In a packed room I spotted Nicola Bryant, who played 1980s companion Peri, lending some glamour and having her photo taken with Karen and Arthur. I met Doctor Who’s casting agent Andy Pryor who said to expect some further major guest-star coups imminently. I bumped into actor Nicholas Briggs again after many years. He does all the Dalek voices (and there are so many in Asylum!) and proved yet again he’s an authority on all things Dalek.

Mark Gatiss spoke excitedly about his forthcoming drama on the early days of Doctor Who, which has a particular focus on its complex original star, William Hartnell. “I’ve been thinking about it for nearly 12 years, ever since reading his granddaughter Jessica Carney’s wonderful biography [Who’s There?].” It’s too early to go into detail about the project, but it’s clear it will feature many key personnel and re-create special moments from the programme’s 1963 inception.

I met writer Chris Chibnall for the first time, and we found ourselves chatting about 1980s Who, which RT is now covering in our Doctor Who Story Guide. It’s an era he loves and is currently exposing his kids to. He’s holding back the pleasures of the 1982 Peter Davison classic, Earthshock. He promises his two coming episodes, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and The Power of Three, are very different stories. One is finished, the other is still having final edits. Expect a full interview with Chris on very soon.

Caroline Skinner, who joined Who hot from BBC3’s award-winning but dropped series The Fades, is always interesting and I’d like to speak to her in greater depth about the influence she’s having on the new series. Without realising (as no one introduced us), I was standing right next to Asylum director Nick Hurran; I’d really wanted to congratulate this man. Better luck next time.

I expect the party went on into the night, but I had to catch a tube train and put on my reporter’s cap for RT.

New Doctor Who Series 7 Trailer

I don’t own the rights to the video.

Doctor Who | Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay

The ‘Doctor Who Experience’ opened at its new permanent home in Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, on Friday (20.07.12) attracting thousands of visitors.

Daleks, Silence and Cybermen invaded Cardiff Bay on Friday (20.07.12) at the opening of the ‘Doctor Who Experience’.

The monsters frightened children and wowed adults alike as the attraction arrived in Porth Teigr, Wales, following its one-year stay at London’s Olympia Two.

Thousands of fans were present for the launch with many children dressed as the Eleventh Doctor – played by Matt Smith – and some as companion Amy Pond and even Daleks.

One young fan in a bow tie, tweed jacket and fez hat just like the Time Lord was chosen to cut a red ribbon to officially open the Experience.

Philip Murphy, Managing Director of BBC Worldwide Live Events, said: “The atmosphere was electric, both visitors and staff were thrilled to be at the launch of the ‘Doctor Who Experience’ as it opened in its new long-term home. The city itself is almost an extension of the Experience as so many places will be familiar to fans of the series, it’s the perfect setting for the Experience.”

Cardiff Council Leader Heather Joyce is thrilled the attraction is now based in the Welsh capital and believes it will become a pilgrimage for fans of the sci-fi series because so many scenes and adventures have been filmed in the city.

She said: “The ‘Doctor Who Experience’ is a … world-class attraction for the city and will provide a great opportunity for families to come to Cardiff Bay and experience something very special indeed. ‘Doctor Who’ is now synonymous with Cardiff and the council is very proud that it has been able to construct this building in Porth Teigr to house the ‘Doctor Who Experience’.”

The attraction features an interactive 3-D adventure which allows visitors to ‘step through’ a crack in time to become the Doctor’s companion, travel in the TARDIS and battle Daleks and Weeping Angels.

The exhibition features props and costumes from the show’s incredible 49-year history, including every Doctor’s outfit, the Silence spaceship’s control room from the last series and the wood creatures from the 2011 Christmas special ‘The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe’.

Other highlights include the Ninth and Tenth Doctors’ TARDIS console room, a Zygon – who battled Fourth Doctor Tom Baker in 1975 – an Ice Warrior, Sontarans, Peg Dolls from the 2011 adventure ‘Night Terrors ‘ and a huge K1 Robot from 1975.

Tickets are available from

Doctor Who | Comic-Con 2012 Live Blog! from digitalspy + Matt tweets?

I will link you to their page, as it is their work and not mine!

I’ll leave you with these teasers…

“More Daleks than you’ve ever seen in one place,” Steven promises for the new season. “It’s ‘wow’. It’s lots and lots and lots of Daleks. It’s what we all see when we close our eyes in our TARDIS-wallpapered bedrooms.” He says there’s “absolutely everything” – comedy, a Western, tragedy – and stuff he’s just not going to reveal. “I don’t think we’ve had a bigger variety of episodes than the ones we’re about to show you,” he says. “It’s truly exciting.”

“What have been the cast’s craziest fan encounters? Matt says they were shooting in Wales once, and when they got in the car there was a lady there who told him he was “an exact replica of her pet hedgehog”. Then she kissed him! Karen reveals the same woman grabbed her and asked if she was Matt’s girlfriend! Arthur says the woman has pictures of Matt and hedgehogs on her wall. “Like that’s going to flatter me!” Matt jokes. “A hedgehog!”

Also, Matt took over @BBCAmerica just for a day? Yesterday we got our amazing Doctor replying to our Twitter questions and making silly remarks about badgers and… lost pants?! Here you have all of Matt’s tweets under @BBCAmerica… (apologies if these aren’t in the right order)

Good morning Twitter. Be bold. M x #MattTweets

P.S. Otters are cool. Me n Arthur went to Sea World yesterday!!!!! With the baby Moffats! – M x #MattTweets

With @karengillan2 & @rattyburvil on the @TVGuideMagazine yacht #MattTweets

P.S. Steven beat me at bowling. And Karen. It was humiliating. Deeply so… – M x #MattTweets

Best villain? – Pinky from Pinky and the Brain!!!!!! – M x #MattTweets

If you’re in love. Buy Carol Ann Duffy. “Rapture” for the one u love. My fave book of poems. – M x #MattTweets

When cooking scrambled eggs…. At the end, add Parmesan cheese. …. Blooming lovely – M x #MattTweets

Very tough call on the footballer. Best player I’ve ever seen? Zidane. Greatest of all time? Maradona!!!! – M z #MattTweets

Thanks for support at TV Guide Fan Faves panel! Who fans ROCK the house!!!!!!!! – M x #MattTweets

@GrantsAbs If I was in a badger filled room. I’d put on some Radiohead & watch Breaking Bad back-to-back w/ my badger friends. M #MattTweets

Who wants to come to the moon with me? I know a guy with a space boat? Lemme know. – M x #MattTweets

Tweeters. Twitter. WHO fans through out the land. Thanks for having me. Over and out. – M x x 😉 #MattTweets

Doctor Who | Matt Smith hints Series 7 will premiere in August

Speaking at the festival yesterday, the actor said that the first episode, Asylum Of The Daleks, would air within weeks, following the news that it is set to receive its first public screening at BFI Southbank on August 14.

The episode will also be screened during the Edinburgh International TV Festival, which takes place from August 23-25.

There is speculation that the episode could be shown on BBC One the day after it is shown in Edinburgh, following in the footsteps of series six opener Let’s Kill Hitler, which was also shown at the festival and premiered on TV the following day.

The BBC has yet to confirm a start date for the series.

The title of the first episode was recently confirmed by Daleks operator Nicholas Pegg, who broke the news on Twitter.

‘The title has been officially announced, so at last we can say it aloud: it was an absolute blast shooting Asylum of the Daleks! #DoctorWho’. he tweeted.

The forthcoming series will also see the Doctor’s companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) replaced with Jenna-Louise Coleman being introduced in one of the later episodes.
Read more:


Random | Dalek Crossword!

Books for Anglophiles | ‘Growing Pains’, by Billie Piper

Growing PainsThis is an astonishingly candid insight into the world of Billie Piper. Famous since the age of 15 – first as the face of Smash Hits, then as a pop singer with  three No.1 hits in less than three years – Billie Piper has won over the critics and the British public for a second time by re-inventing herself as an actress in BBC productions of Much Ado About Nothing, The Canterbury Tales and, of course, Doctor Who.

And that’s just the professional Billie. In this book, for the first time, she talks honestly about her whirwind romance and marriage to Chris Evans, about her battles with anorexia and the dark side of teen fame. Moving, funny and honest, this is a page-turning read by one of the nation’s favourite stars.

Doctor Who | Jenna-Louise Coleman talks about being the new companion

I cannot remember for the life of me if I have already posted this, but there you go…

Doctor Who | Episode 1, Series 7 – ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ [Info from the Doctor Who Team]


Asylum of the Daleks.

The title of the new series’ opening episode has been revealed as Asylum of the Daleks.

We confirmed back in March that the Daleks would be returning to menace the universe and even posted a few sneaky photos smuggled from set! Since then, Steven Moffat (Doctor Who’s lead writer and Executive Producer) has confirmed that the adventure will feature every kind of Dalek ever faced by the Time Lord – including the legendary Special Weapons Dalek!

The title of the new story has already increased the excitement building around it. Could the ‘asylum’ be a place or is it some sort of protection? Or does the word take on a new and sinister meaning in this adventure? It’s too early to say but we’re having fun speculating! In the meantime, we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out the answer to the crucial question: What is the Asylum of the Daleks?

Executive Producer Caro Skinner wasn’t giving much away but she did tell us, ‘This is an epic Dalek adventure that kicks off the new series in explosive style! If you think you know all there is to know about the Daleks, think again…’


Here’s the Series 7 trailer!

British Celebrity Spotlight | John Barrowman

John Scot Barrowman (born March 11, 1967) is a Scottish–American actor, singer, dancer, musical theatre performer, writer and television personality. Born in Glasgow, he grew up in Illinois following his family’s emigration to the U.S. Encouraged by his high school teachers, Barrowman studied performing arts at the United States International University in San Diego before landing the role of Billy Crocker in Cole Porter’s Anything Goes in London’s West End.

Since his debut in professional theatre, Barrowman has played lead roles in various musicals both in the West End and on Broadway, including Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard and Matador. After appearing in Sam Mendes’ production of The Fix, he was nominated for the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical and, in the early 2000s, returned to the role of Billy Crocker in the revival of Anything Goes. His most recent West End credit was in the 2009 production of La Cage aux Folles.

Aside from his theatrical career, Barrowman has appeared in various films including the musical biopic De-Lovely (2004) and musical comedy The Producers (2005). Before venturing into British television, he featured in the American television dramas Titans and Central Park West but he is better known for his acting and presenting work for the BBC that includes his work for CBBC in its earlier years, his self-produced entertainment programme Tonight’s the Night, and his BAFTA Cymru-nominated role of Captain Jack Harkness, who appears in science fiction series Doctor Who and Torchwood. Barrowman has also had a number of guest roles in television programmes both in the US and the UK. He appeared as a contestant on the first series of celebrity ice skating show Dancing on Ice while his theatrical background allowed him to become a judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical talent shows How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, Any Dream Will Do and I’d Do Anything. In 2006, he was voted Stonewall’s Entertainer of the Year.

Barrowman is also featured on more than a dozen musical theatre recordings including cover tunes found on his 2007 album, Another Side, and 2008’s Music Music Music. Both albums accrued places on the UK Albums Chart, as did his self-titled John Barrowman (2010), which reached number 11, his highest chart placing to date. Furthermore, Barrowman has published two memoirs and autobiographies, Anything Goes (2008) and I Am What I Am (2009), with his sister Carole as co-author. The siblings also teamed up to write a novel, Hollow Earth (2012).