50 years ago and a week and a half or so from now, Patrick Troughton took the now iconic British sci-fi show Dr. Who into the first regeneration story and it was a doozy. Aired once and lost in a fire (I think), The Power of the Daleks has been reconstructed as a animation based on still photos and a full audio recording. See it on Nov. 19th or at a theater near you.
On the cusp of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary, rumors have been swirling for months that at least 90 of the 106 missing Doctor Who episodes have been recovered. Today, a Sunday tabloid in the UK ran the same rumor. A report in the Radio Times seems to confirm it. [more inside]
Something is coming. Not Winter (well, yes, that), but the new half-series of Doctor Who. Here's the prequel to this weekend's episode: The Bells of St Johns. And here's what you really want: Madame Vastra, Jenny 'n' Strax The Sontaran in: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To London, Boy. [more inside]
Earthflight is a BBC nature documentary narrated by David Tennant that takes a breathtaking flight on the wings of birds across six continents and experiences some of the world's greatest natural spectacles from a bird's-eye view. There are some full episodes up on YouTube (including South America, Africa, and the Making Of), but in particular these two clips caught my eye: Feral Cat Hunting and Peregrine Falcon Hunting.
The BBC have released a narrated storyboard of an unfilmed Doctor Who scene that would have been a postscript to 'Angels In Manhattan' (SLYT)
Radiophonics Workshop Founder Daphne Oram's Oramics Synthesizer "So there Dr. Mick Grierson was, wandering around a French barn, minding his own business when all of a sudden he happened upon an antique: one of the earliest modern synthesizers." [more inside]
British manned space flights; an insidious threat from outer space; a man mutating into an evil alien, his human consciousness being eaten away; and a scientist - utterly anti-Establishment, courageous and cerebral - the only man who can fight it. No, not Doctor Who, but his highly distinguished predecessor, Prof Bernard Quatermass. A decade before Doctor Who first aired, the The Quartermass Experiment was the first science-fiction TV serial produced for adults, and a live-to-viewers BBC production, to boot. The show ran for six episodes in 1953, of which only the first two episodes are known survive. The short sci-fi series spun off three original sequels and a radio drama-documentary, along with movie re-makes of the first three series by Hammer Films. BBC brought back live TV with a 2005 adaptation of the original 1953 series. You can watch the various series on online (in parts on Daily Motion), thanks to fans of The British Rocket Group. [more inside]
You know when grown-ups tell you everything's going to be fine, but you really think they're lying to make you feel better?
How Dangerous You Make People: A Boldly Violent New Side to the Doctor discusses who, or what the Doctor (who?) is becoming. [more inside]
Every Dr Who Opening Theme Every Dr Who Theme from 1963 to the present. [SLYT]
"My exact words were: I’d like to overthrow the government. I was a young firebrand and I wanted to answer honestly. I was very angry about the social injustice in Britain under Thatcher and I’m delighted that came into the show." - former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel on the shows 80s political stance. Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight. Meanwhile former Doctor David Tennant gives his veiws on the Master-like characteristics of Tory leader David Cameron.
The Doctor is set to regenerate once again as David Tennant calls time on Doctor Who. "When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won’t be with me" Tennant, widely acknowledged as one of the most popular actors ever to play the Doctor, said. "Now don’t make me cry. The 2009 shows will be my last playing the doctor.” [more inside]
The Russell T. Davis papers – As he prepares to leave the role of Doctor Who show runner (previously) he’s releasing a book of email exchanges with Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook about his time on the longstanding British SF series, revealing the younger face of Who he’s like to see, and plans for a Doctor Who/Harry Potter crossover which never materialized.
A recently uncovered musical experiment by Delia Derbyshire predicted the sound of modern dance music three decades before it became fashionable. [more inside]
As of 2010 Steven Moffat will be replacing Russell T. Davies as lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who. In 2005 Davies revived the series, which had been dormant (bar the odd US co-production or audiodrama) since 1989, for BBC Wales. It won awards and was successful enough to spawn the spin-offs Sarah Jane Adventures and the popular-in-America Torchwood. He is replaced by Moffat, one of the regular writers on the show, whose highly acclaimed episodes have won a number of awards and nominations. "I applied before but I got knocked back 'cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven. Anyway, I'm glad the BBC has finally seen the light and it's a huge honour to be following Russell into the best - and the toughest - job in television. I say toughest 'cos Russell's at my window right now, pointing and laughing."
Dr Who - a guide to the totality of the Dr. Who universe online. Like the TARDIS itself, this post contains much [more inside]. via
Create Digital Music has two pieces on the making of Doctor Who's theme song. The second is an introduction to Delia Derbyshire, who is considered to be the "woman behind the men" behind the notability of the song. She pioneered techniques of synthesizing sounds, sampling and looping in the sixties. One WFMU blogger waxes on about Delia, who "was an inspiring collaborator" working behind the scenes of the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop. BBC Four produced a documentary about the workshop called Alchemists of Sound which aired in 2005, ten years after the workshop closed due to budget cuts.
BBC Open News Archive Eighty iconic news reports available in a variety of formats. Here is the full directory. For another example of the cool things Auntie as been offering lately, see the downloadable mp3 commentary for the Christmas episode of Doctor Who.
The new Doctor Who series has been airing on BBC Television for three weeks now. And it is "good TV" Most all of the reviews are startlingly positive, far more than I've seen for a television series in a long, long time. What is most striking is that many of the commentaries about the "New Who" state that it is just plain ole' good television that combines something intelligent, something scary, something mysterious and something balls-out fun. In our world of reality television, what other series would you classify as being "good tv"? What makes for "good TV"? (Link goes to a fan site that has re-printed and linked to numerous reviews)
Dr. Who Returns to the BBC on Saturday, 26 March at 7pm on BBC One. To those of us of a certain age, this is good news. Russell T Davies, creator of "Queer As Folk", is the writer and executive producer. North American fans with access to the CBC won't have to wait long to see the new series. It starts Tuesday 5 April at 8pm.