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Doctor Who – Nicola Coughlan join Ncuti Gatwa in 2024 Xmas Special

Blogtor Who - Mon, 11/13/2023 - 18:33

The Doctor Who creative team has been quickly announcing new guest stars and cast members who will be joining the Fifteenth Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa.  The latest guest star, Nicola Coughlan, will be joining the cast in the Christmas 2004 special.   N

The Galway-born (not Gallifrey-born) actress has had a history of portraying unique and memorable characters.  In addition to Clare Devlin in  Derry Girls and the  Bridgerton, and of course, she was on of the Barbies alongside Ncuti Gatwa in this year’s summer hit, Barbie.

Nicola Coughlan is thrilled with the role.  “I’m excited to join the Whoniverse under the leadership of the inimitable Russell T Davies. I’ve been a fan of Ncuti Gatwa for some time, and sharing the screen with him as the Doctor has been an absolute joy”.

She has the support of Showrunner Russell T Davies.  “This has been the most brilliant shoot, with Nicola lighting up the set and bringing joy.  From Derry, via Bridgerton, to the TARDIS, it’s the trip of a lifetime.”

Doctor Who returns in November 2023 with three special episodes with David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor to coincide with the 60th anniversary. Ncuti Gatwa’s first episode as the Fifteenth Doctor will air over the festive period.

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Two New Books Celebrate UNIT’s Doctor Who Legacy

Blogtor Who - Sat, 11/11/2023 - 22:30
UNIT: A Legacy in Doctor Who and Down in the London Underground are coming soon from Candy Jar Books

“We deal with the odd… the unexplained. Anything on Earth… or beyond.” Candy Jar Books have announced details of its second and third books celebrating 60 Years of Doctor Who. UNIT: A Legacy in Doctor Who looks at the long history of UNIT and how its creation continues to impact the TV show, and beyond, right up to the present day. Meanwhile, Down in the London Underground reimagines events surrounding the Brigadier’s very first appearance as a children’s picture book.


UNIT: A Legacy in Doctor Who. Cover by Martin Baines (c) Candy Jar Books New non-fiction book UNIT: A Legacy in Doctor Who looks at one of the Whoniverse’s greatest creations

UNIT: A Legacy in Doctor Who explores the rich history of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce – and later Unified Intelligence Taskforce – from its inception under producer and writer Derrick Sherwin, through the UNIT family days of Jon Pertwee’s Doctor, all the way to the Kate and Osgood era of recent years. UNIT has featured in numerous other media like Reeltime Productions and Big Finish audio. And not least of all, of course, the Lethbridge-Stewart range from Candy Jar Books. The legacy of UNIT, and its importance to Doctor Who, extends beyond its television appearances.

UNIT is as much a part of the tapestry of Doctor Who as the Doctor, the TARDIS, or the Daleks. The organisation has been part of the show since the Cybermen first marched down the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in 1968’s The Invasion, and continue to be one of the Doctor’s closest allies in the battle to save humanity from the galaxy’s greatest threats.

Author, Baz Greenland, believes that the UNIT stories really get to heart of what makes good Doctor Who. He says: “I’ve had the honour to write stories in the Lethbridge-Stewart and Lucy Wilson ranges, but this was something quite special. I’m a huge fan of the Jon Pertwee era and UNIT is a key ingredient in that. Jon Pertwee, Roger Delgado, Nicholas Courtney, Caroline John, Katy Manning, Elisabeth Sladen, Richard Franklin and John Levene all bring such warmth and energy to the show and feature in some absolutely terrific episodes – not just Pertwee’s; The Invasion, Terror of the Zygons and Battlefield are all classics in my eye and UNIT are at the heart of that.”


Author Baz Greenland also explores the real life people who brought UNIT to life

Greenland continues: “It was quite a daunting task to delve into the mythos and creation of UNIT, but it’s been such a treat too. As a big Doctor Who fan, I feel I’ve learned more about the stories, the characters, and the actors that played them and I hope readers of the book will find something new too, that will only strengthen an appreciate for the Brig and UNIT – from 1968, all the way to the modern era as we head into the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who!”

Featuring a retro cover by 100 Objects of Dr Who artist Martin Baines, the book features exclusive interviews with writers and actors John Levene and Sophie Aldred, and explores the development of UNIT, its importance in the Doctor Who mythos and the actors that brought these iconic characters to life – from Nicholas Courtney’s stalwart Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart to Jemma Redgrave’s courageous Kate Stewart.


Down in the London Underground. Cover by Martin Baines (c) Candy Jar Books Down in the London Underground goes back where it all began… as you’ve never seen it before

Candy Jar’s other release propels the reader right back to the Brig’s first appearance in Doctor Who. Written by popular Lethbridge-Stewart, Lucy Wilson and children’s author George Ivanofff, Down in the London Underground takes a sidestep look at the Brig’s first story, The Web of Fear.

George explains: “The idea struck me when I was browsing a copy of Darth Vader and Son, a Star Wars picture book. And I suddenly thought… Candy Jar could do something like this with the Doctor Who characters and creatures they have the rights to use. So, I wrote a pitch. And Shaun jumped at the chance. The book does not feature the Brig, but instead focuses on the Army as it battles the Yeti in the London Underground.”


Despite its colourful appearance, this is still a story with a dark side

Although aimed at young people, this picture book tries not to dodge the realities shown in The Web of Fear. Head of Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, says: “I am a big fan of the Doctor Who/Mr Men books by Adam Hargreaves and felt that this would be a great way to celebrate Doctor Who’s 60th birthday. This book, however, has a slightly darker side. Death is always present in Doctor Who, and just like Grimms’ Fairy Tales, this story attempts to be a true reflection of the world in which it is set. The Yeti are here to invade, and they take no prisoners.”

Down in the London Underground has been also been illustrated by Martin Baines. Martin says: “I’ve always loved illustrating the Yeti, but this assignment was slightly different. I thought it was very important for my cartoon-like artwork to offset the dark nature of the book. I added a few touches of my own and I hope children and adults will enjoy this chilling adventure.”



UNIT: A Legacy in Doctor Who and Down in the London Underground are available to pre-order now from Candy Jar Books

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Big Finish – Sir Derek Jacobi Returns for his Tenth Series in The War Master: Rogue Encounters

Blogtor Who - Thu, 11/09/2023 - 09:47
The Master Returns!

Throughout his many lives, the Master has visited myriad places and planets. Some he has spared, others he has destroyed… but all have felt his presence, however fleeting.

  •  In the Time War, he helps a soldier save their world from Dalek assault…
  •  On Earth, he helps a young woman discover the truth about her boyfriend’s abduction…
  • At the Sublime Porte, he helps himself to a source of incredible power…

And as the universe itself ends, a lonely old man tries to help in any way he can. But the Master is always waiting.

Scott Haran (Andrew), Shai Matheson (Sheriff Wilson), Agness Nyama (Agent Mercer) and Loreece Harrison (Alison) – Big Finish New Release Out Today

The War Master returns in his ten Master box set out today – The War Master: Rogue Encounters.    The box set stars Sir Derek Jacobi and features the late Murray Melvinas Torchwood’s Bilis Manger. Completing the full cast audio are Samuel Barnett, Nathanial Curtis, Damian Lynch, Ayesha Antoine and Nicholas Briggs as the Daleks.

Scott Handcock, now television Doctor Who’s script editor, produced and directed the series. He adds his thoughts about the four new episodes.

The first episode, Runtime, is written by Tim Foley. Scott Handcock adds, “It’s always good to have the Master fighting the Daleks – we’ve not had that much of it in The War Master, and this is very much kicking off our series of one-off adventures.” 

In Manhunt by Rochana Patel, Hancock comments on the lack of alien abduction stories. “Doctor Who hasn’t made that many alien abduction stories in the traditional sense, so it was nice to tackle it here.”

Handcock loved working with the late Murray Melvin on James Goss’s The Sublimed Porte, the third episode in the boxset. “Bilis is wonderfully charming and unknowable – but there’s a sinister malignancy at the heart of him, something that no one can understand. That makes him utterly terrifying, and the fact he can turn on a sixpence is really eerie, sinister and disturbing.”

Murray Melvin (Bilis Manger) archive pic

Handcock wrote the final story, Alone, and worked with Sir Derek Jacobi on where he wanted to take the role. Jacobi “expressed an interest in playing someone a little more vulnerable, and we’ve had a few stories where the Master is on the back foot. Because the Master is the Master, however, he’s responding, it’s not quite the same thing, so the idea of bringing back Professor Yana was borne out of Derek’s desire to do something a little more human.”   

The result is the special boxset that can be purchased at 

Sir Derek Jacobi © Tony Whitmore (archive pic)


Purchase at Big Finish – 
Duration: 304 minutes.
Released: 09 November 2023, exclusively from the Big Finish website.

Director: Scott Handcock
Writers: Tim Foley, Rochana Patel, James Goss, Scott Handcock
Script Editors: Alfie Shaw, Scott Handcock
Producer: Scott Handcock
Senior Producer: David Richardson
Executive Producers: Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery

Runtime by Tim Foley

When the Daleks threaten to alter the course of history, the Master has no choice but to save a world – and he only has an hour to do it.

Manhunt by Rochana Patel

After her boyfriend disappears on an American road trip, Alison Walker instantly becomes the prime suspect. But are the abductors from further afield than Earth?

The Sublime Porte by James Goss

Hijacking an archaeological dig, the Master excavates the mythical Sublime Porte. But he also unleashes a far more ancient force with it — and its name is Bilis Manger.

 Alone by Scott Handcock

As the human race dwindles against the encroaching night, one man strives to find a solution to their plight. But can Professor Yana save the future when a dark past threatens his present?

Big Finish listeners can save money by purchasing Rogue Encounters along with the Solitary Confinement (available now) and Future Phantoms (due for release in December 2024) box sets, together in a bundle for just £72 (collector’s edition CD box set + download) or £58 (download only).

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Doctor Who Magazine 597 Previews the 60th Specials!

Blogtor Who - Wed, 11/08/2023 - 23:00
Doctor Who is back on TV! DWM previews the upcoming 60th Anniversary specials

It’s almost time! This month sees the return of Doctor Who as the 60th Anniversary celebrations near their climax. And Doctor Who Magazine is ready with previews of the first two specials. There’s also coverage of the new colourized Daleks feature length edit and the Tales of the TARDIS.

Coverage of the 60th Anniversary includes

  • Preview: The Star BeastWhy does the Doctor have this face? What’s in Donna Noble’s shed? And what will happen when the two old friends meet again?
  • Preview: Wild Blue YonderBrace yourself for one of the show’s most mysterious episodes ever!
  • Letter from the Showrunner – Russell T Davies on the Great Seismic Shifts in Doctor Who.
  • Catherine Tate – The actor talks to DWM about Donna Noble’s unfinished business
  • The Star Beast set report – an extensive set report from the recording of The Star Beast, with contributions from cast and crew.
  • Neil Patrick Harris is the Toymaker – the return of one of the Doctor’s oldest and most powerful enemies
  • The Daleks… in Colour! – the original Dalek serial returns in a whole new form on the 23rd of November and DWM has all the details
  • Tales of the TARDISclassic Doctors and companions return for new Whoniverse minisodes
  • Liberation of the Daleks Part 14 – the climax of the Fourteenth Doctor’s first adventure is finally here!
  • Gallifrey Guardian – all the latest official news about the special… and beyond!
  • 60th Anniversary Posters! – Two giant posters for your wall!


One of the posters with Doctor Who Magazine 597 (c) BBC Studios Also this issue:
  • 60th Anniversary Poll Results – Which story will be named the greatest of all time?
  • 60 Objects, 60 Years –  DWM’s run through the items that have defined six decades of Who reaches 2018-2022
  • Production Diary – script editor Scott Handcock files his latest report on the making of Ncuti Gatwa’s second series, direct from Doctor Who’s HQ
  • The Fact of Fiction – A deeper look at Peter Capaldi’s one hander tour de force: Heaven Sent
  • Other Worlds – the essential guide to new stories in Doctor Who’s expanded universe.
  • Plus – reviews, reviews, prize-winning competitions, Time and Space Visualiser and more.


Doctor Who Magazine 597 (c) Panini Doctor Who Magazine 597

DWM Issue 597 is on sale Thursday the 9th of November from the online Panini store, WH Smith and other retailers priced £7.99 (UK). Also available as a digital edition from Pocketmags. You can also save with a subscription, as well as receiving exclusive, text-free covers.

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SIGNET: A New Series of Novels Set in Doctor Who Universe

Blogtor Who - Wed, 11/08/2023 - 15:21

Arcbeatle Press has launched a new series of novels set in the Doctor Who Universe – SIGNET.

The series follows SIGNET, a privately funded independent organisation that fights alien invasion and investigates the supernatural.   The first in the series, SIGNET: Night of the Yssgaroth, written by James Hornby,  introduces the SIGNET team while they battle the Yssgaroth,  an ancient enemy first seen in the 1993 novel Doctor Who: The Pit featuring the 7th Doctor and Bernice.

SIGNET: Night of the Yssgaroth

“Xana is a fugitive on the run. Desperation takes her to Earth, the galaxy’s fabled sanctuary. But when a primordial entity begins to emerge, nowhere is safe. She crosses paths with SIGNET, a freelance organisation offering refuge to aliens and humans under threat. To survive, she must place her trust in SIGNET, but for Xana, trust has never come easy. Can she learn to overcome the trauma of her past, or will the Yssgaroth take them all?”

James Hornby both created the series and manages the range.   He wanted to create a series with heart.  “Most organisations we’ve seen in this world combat threats to humanity with prejudice. But are they always in the right? SIGNET looks out for the little guy, whether that be someone under the threat of invasion or a stranded alien looking for a home.”

For a full interview with James Horby, see the Arcbeatie website.

SIGNET: Night of the Yssgaroth is available now in paperback form and Kindle on Amazon.

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Forbidden Planet’s 14th and 15th Doctor Who Merch Arrives!

Blogtor Who - Tue, 11/07/2023 - 14:00
Forbidden Planet celebrates the new Doctors with a whole range of exclusive merchandise

Since last year Forbidden Planet have been marking Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary with a massive range of merchandise dedicated to every single Doctor. This month they come right up to date with t-shirts, sweaters, mugs, prints and more dedicated the current TARDIS team of the Fourteenth of Donna. More than that, they even have a full set for the incoming team of the Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby Sunday.

Most of the designs used the key portrait art of the four characters as seen elsewhere. There’s also a comic book style illustration of the Doctor and Donna, and items featuring the TARDIS, the Doctor Who diamond logo, and the Meep and Wrarth from The Star Beast.

The complete list includes:
  • First to Fourteenth Doctors t-shirt (unisex)
  • First to Fourteenth Doctors art print
  • First to Fourteenth Doctors mug
  • Fourteenth Doctor t-shirt (unisex and women’s fits)
  • Fourteenth Doctor sweatshirt
  • Fourteenth Doctor art print
  • Fourteenth Doctor coaster
  • Fourteenth Doctor and Donna long-sleeve t-shirt
  • Fourteenth Doctor and Donna mug
  • Fourteenth Doctor and Donna art print
  • Fourteenth Doctor, Donna and the TARDIS t-shirt (unisex and women’s fits)
  • Fourteenth Doctor, Donna and the TARDIS sweater
  • Fourteenth Doctor and the TARDIS art print
  • Fifteenth Doctor t-shirt (unisex and women’s fits)
  • Fifteenth Doctor sweater
  • Fifteenth Doctor art print
  • Fifteenth Doctor coaster
  • Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby mug
  • Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby art print
  • Donna Noble t-shirt (unisex and women’s fits)
  • Donna Noble sweatshirt
  • Donna Noble art print
  • Donna Noble coaster
  • Ruby Sunday t-shirt (unisex and women’s fits)
  • Ruby Sunday sweater
  • Ruby Sunday art print
  • Ruby Sunday coaster
  • TARDIS long-sleeve t-shirt
  • Pocket TARDIS long-sleeve t-shirt
  • Doctor Who logo long-sleeve t-shirt
  • Doctor Who logo hoodie (with TARDIS back print)
  • Doctor Who logo tote bag
  • Meep t-shirt (unisex and women’s fits)
  • Meep sweater
  • Meep in your pocket t-shirt (unisex and women’s fits)
  • Meep pin badge
  • Wrarth t-shirt (unisex)

The full list is available from Forbidden Planet now.


Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials,25-11-2023, The Star Beast, Special 1,The Doctor (DAVID TENNANT), Donna Noble (CATHERINE TATE) Rose (Yasmin Finney),BBC STUDIOS 2023 ,Zoe McConnell and Alistair Heap Doctor Who returns on the 25th of November with The Star Beast on BBC One in the UK and Ireland, and Disney+ worldwide



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Video of the Day – Sky News, 2023

Blogtor Who - Tue, 11/07/2023 - 04:00

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Doctor Who on Christmas Day is Back as Disney+ Announces their Festive Season Programmes

Blogtor Who - Mon, 11/06/2023 - 17:44
Doctor Who is back where it belongs on Christmas Day!

The official X (formerly Twitter) account for @DisneyPlus has announced that our favourite Christmas event returns on 25th December.

The episode called “The Church on Ruby Road” will feature the Fifteenth Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa (pronounced SHOO-tee GAT-wah) and his companion, Ruby Sunday portrayed Millie Gibson.

The streaming channel owns the distribution rights for Doctor Who across all countries and territories, with the exception of the UK, where BBC retains the rights.   No word as yet on the time the Christmas Special will air on BBC One, but Blogtor is sure that we will see the return of the Christmas Idents.

Ncuti Gatwa takes hold of the TARDIS controls later this year. Console room render (c) Lewis Thompson

But we have a lot of Doctor Who to view before Christmas day.  There is the Colourisation and recut version of the First Doctor’s Dalek episodes on the 23 November followed by the first of three-anniversary specials, Star Beast. 

Doctor Who is back and bigger than ever! Doctor Who – 60th Anniversary – @BBC

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Children in Need: New Doctor Who Minisode

Blogtor Who - Mon, 11/06/2023 - 07:00
Children in Need and Doctor Who join forces once again this month as the Fourteenth Doctor stars in a special minisode

This year’s Children in Need will feature a special-one-off Doctor Who scene starring  David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor. Fans will also be able to catch a glimpse behind the scenes of making the scene. An exclusive episode of Doctor Who: Unleashed, the new documentary sister show, which will be available on BBC iPlayer after the new minisode airs. The action takes place as part of the legendary annual Children in Need telethon. This year it takes place on Friday the 17th of November.

Apart from that, we know little about the contents of the scene. In the past some of these special scenes took the form of fun sketches not to be taken too seriously. In 2016 for instance, the Twelfth Doctor featured in a scene where he took a phone call from Newt Scamander about where to find Children in Need mascot Pudsey. But other times they’ve been genuine little slices of in-continuity Doctor Who. The 2005 telethon featured Pudsey Cutaway (later renamed Born Again) while slotted neatly between Parting of the Ways and Christmas Invasion to show us the Tenth Doctor’s first moments. While 2007’s Time Crash brought the Tenth and Fifth Doctors face to face. Together they prevented an explosion blowing a hole in the universe the size of… Belgium.



David Tennant and Peter Davison in Time Crash, one of the most celebrated Doctor Who collaborations with Children in Need c) BBC Studios Children in Need works tirelessly to support the UK’s most vulnerable children

Earlier this year Red Nose Day definitely took the former tact, with host Lenny Henry regenerating into David Tennant. (And, yes, that’s at least the fourth time someone’s regenerated into Tennant.) But Blogtor can’t help but suspect we’ll get something more like Born Again this time. Though where exactly it will fit in this Doctor’s mayfly reign is something we won’t know until the night.

BBC Children in Need has been helping children and young people in every corner of the UK be the best they can be for more than half a century. They believe that every child should have the chance to thrive and be the best they can be. They’re committed to being there for children across the UK when they need help the most. Together with the BBC and their partners, they inspire people throughout the country to support this work.

You can support the worth of Children in Need in several ways. You can make a purchase through the online shop. Products even include the charity’s Pudsey mascot dressed as either the Fourth or Eleventh Doctors. You can also donate directly to the charity, or take part in the many fundraising events across the UK this month.



Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials,25-11-2023, The Star Beast, Special 1,The Doctor (DAVID TENNANT), Donna Noble (CATHERINE TATE) Rose (Yasmin Finney),BBC STUDIOS 2023 ,Zoe McConnell and Alistair Heap Doctor Who returns on the 25th of November with The Star Beast on BBC One in the UK and Ireland, and Disney+ worldwide


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REVIEW: Doctor Who: Tales of the TARDIS

Blogtor Who - Sun, 11/05/2023 - 20:00
Tales of the TARDIS launches the Whoniverse by bringing back some of Doctor Who’s most loved Doctors and companions for six nostalgia heavy scenes

Russell T Davies promised that the 60th Anniversary celebrations would contain lots of surprises and so far he hasn’t disappointed. Though possibly the manner in which they casually revealed six new Doctor Who minisodes, Tales of the TARDIS, just days before they dropped on iPlayer is the biggest yet. They’re exclusive to iPlayer, and therefore the United Kingdom. And they’re a vital part of the plan to get British fans to check out the new Whoniverse iPlayer channel. It’s a gateway to almost every episode of Doctor Who from 1963 to the present day, as well as all the spin-offs like Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures. With lots of other content besides, it’s the most ambitious ever project in the show’s online life.


The Doctor (Peter Davison) and Tegan (Janet Fielding) reunite as Tales of the Tardis: Earthshock kicks off the Whoniverse,,BBC Studios 2023,Alistair Heap New outings for the Fifth Doctor and Tegan, and the Seventh Doctor and Ace, are sweet but come too soon after Power of the Doctor to be truly effective

As it turns out, more than anything else they’ve designed Tales of the TARDIS to encourage fans old and new to check out some of those classic episodes. Each short narrative wraps itself around a new omnibus edit of an existing serial. Essentially they serve as an in-character introductions to the stories. Pairs of former travellers in the TARDIS find themselves summoned to the ‘Memory TARDIS.’

There they catch up, hug it out, and then launch into their memories of past adventures. It’s a rigid format that doesn’t leave a lot of room in each six minute minisode for anything much deeper. In the cases of Earthshock (pairing the Fifth Doctor and Tegan) and The Curse of Fenric (the Seventh Doctor and Ace) they also suffer from comparison to recent, better, variations of the same idea. Even so, they’re still full of sweet moments. Tegan wears the Doctor’s panama hat and Ace does her best Scottish accent for an imprrRRrresion of McCoy. But combinations we hadn’t seen before might have better represented these eras. How emotional would it have been, for instance, to see Peter Davison’s Doctor confronted by Matthew Waterhouse as the memory of the man Adric would have grown up to be?


Clyde (Daniel Anthony) and Jo (Katy Manning) in Tales of the Tardis: The Three Doctors),BBC Studios 2023,Alistair Heap Katy Manning is still a force of nature as Jo, teaming up with Sarah Jane Adventures’ Clyde for the Whoniverse’s most fun and surprisingly heartfelt new Tale

Surprisingly, by far the most satisfying of these Tales is the most seemingly random. The Three Doctors is introduced by Jo Jones and Clyde Langer. The two had previously met during the Death of the Doctor storyline on The Sarah Jane Adventures. Even so, reuniting them to introduce Doctor Who’s tenth anniversary adventure appears at first glance an unlikely choice. But it works incredibly well. That’s in part because it is one person who was there relating it to someone who wasn’t. It’s in contrast to the other Tales where two people rehash their shared experiences and things they both already know.

It’s also one of the only ones to really push forward its characters’ personal stories. Jo grapples with being a widow who’s outlived the love of her life, and helps Clyde with his quarter life crisis, offering good advice on grabbing love while you can. Squint a little and it even feeds neatly into Big Finish’s recent outings for the characters.

But above everything else, it works because Katy Manning is a barely diminished force of nature. A whirlwind of energy she pivots from knockabout comedy to heartfelt emotionality with grace and speed. Meanwhile, Daniel Anthony, apart from not having aged a day, hasn’t lost a step in playing Clyde. He’s still expertly portrays the regular guy able to point out how weird this life actually is.


Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Zoe (Wendy Padbury) recover their memories of the Whoniverse in Tales of the Tardis: The Mind Robber,BBC Studios 2023,Alistair Heap Tales for Time Meddler and Mind Robber see the casts slip almost effortless back into character in some cases half a century on from their last appearances

The Time Meddler and The Mind Robber, provide reunions for Vicki and Steven, and Jamie and Zoe, respectively. They’re also both pretty delightful. There’s something magical about how quickly these veterans of 1960s Doctor Who snap back into place. Steven and Vicki have only just acknowledged how old and grown up they are now, before Vicki is instantly looking for mischief and pooh poohing the fretting Steven as a ‘spoil sport.’

Considering O’Brien effectively retired from acting decades ago, she’s a bit of a revelation here. If she had a mind to it, she’d be primed for a fine line in impish older lady detectives.

Wendy Padbury as Zoe is another who easily slips back into her old performance. The bobbed hair may now be white, and she may have acquired a gown in place of her catsuit (if no less sparkly.) But every atom in all the old energy and enthusiasm is here. In contrast, Frazer Hines takes the opposite, but equally satisfying, tact. Sinking gratefully into his armchair, this is a Highlander who has led a long, tough life. He’s collected regrets over the decades and is now facing the discovery of yet more he’s forgotten.

After all, with shades of what happened much later with Donna Noble, both Jamie and Zoe had their memories erased by the Time Lords on leaving the Doctor. And it’s their contrasting responses to getting their memories back that powers their dynamic. Jamie is fearful they’ll lose them again if they step outside the TARDIS. Zoe is confident and optimistic that they’re back for good. Neither able to know for sure. It makes for one of the Tales’ most touching scenes.


As the Whoniverse dawns, Peri (Nicola Bryant), the ‘warrior Queen’ returns in Tales of the Tardis,,Vengeance on Varos,,BBC Studios 2023,Maxine Howells The Sixth Doctor and Peri’s reunion is probably the least successful Tale, saddled with the legacy of one of Who’s most unconvincing companion departures

Bringing up the rear, Vengeance on Varos provides the weakest of these Tales of the TARDIS. Nothing about it quite works. Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant are really only barely in character and dressed in what looks distinctly like their own clothes. While the script tries to see how many times you can say the phrase “warrior queen” in six minutes. Mostly, the fault for this lies back in 1986, and Peri having one of the most implausible and unsatisfying companion departures of all. There have been attempts in various media to retcon it, expand on it, and undo it over the years since. But as far as this Tale goes, it feels like nobody at any level really believes in it, even as they do their best to paint it as a happy ending for the character.


The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace (Sophie Aldred) find themselves about the Memory TARDIS in the Whonivere’s Tales of the Tardis: The Curse of Fenric,),BBC Studios 2023,Alistair Heap As endearing as they are slight, the Tales of the TARDIS are a lovely bonus for iPlayer users, but not worth international fans getting upset about missing out on

Ultimately these little slices of Doctor Who swing for big emotions and inevitably sometimes hit and sometimes miss. It’s hard to say how effective an introduction they are for new viewers, each one instantly leaping into the deep end of the show’s lore. The budget may be cheap and cheerful. Certainly, the magpie console room set gives a distinct wobble whenever buttons are pressed. But that might be a good transition into the classic stories for fans used to modern VFX.

Few would call Tales of the TARDIS absolutely essential. Fans outside the UK definitely needn’t be that aggrieved about missing out. But for those who’ve already grown to love these characters, this is a lovely, and lovingly made, revisitation, all the sweeter for having been so unexpected.

All episodes of Tales of the TARDIS are now available on iPlayer’s Whoniverse channel


Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials,25-11-2023, The Star Beast, Special 1,The Doctor (DAVID TENNANT), Donna Noble (CATHERINE TATE) Rose (Yasmin Finney),BBC STUDIOS 2023 ,Zoe McConnell and Alistair Heap Doctor Who returns on the 25th of November with The Star Beast on BBC One in the UK and Ireland, and Disney+ worldwide

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Doctor Who 60th Target Books: Cover Reveal!

Blogtor Who - Sat, 11/04/2023 - 12:00
You’ll be able to read the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary novelisations just days after broadcast!

The BBC have unveiled the covers for the three Target Books adapting this year’s 60th Anniversary specials. The art comes once again from Anthony Dry and Stuart Crouch. In honour of the diamond anniversary, though, there’s a twist this time, with each one set against a dark blue starry background rather than the traditional beige. They mostly uses images now familiar from promotional photos and trailers. But they do add at least one new bit of information. Harking back to a tradition begun in The Runaway Bride, it looks like Wild Blue Yonder will feature the Doctor and Donna adding another madcap form of transport to their list.

Meanwhile, for the first time ever, each episode’s novelisation will be available as an eBook the Thursday after it airs.

  • The Star Beast: 30th of November
  • Wild Blue Yonder: 7th of December
  • The Giggle: 14th of December

Physical copies of the novelisations will be on bookshelves from the 11th of January 2024.


The physical copies of the 60th Anniversary books arrive on the 11th of January (c) BBC Books The three authors tackling the new novelisations have been responsible for some of the Doctor and Donna’s greatest adventures

Gary Russell has adapted The Star Beast. Russell is the author of no less than 20 novels set in the Doctor Who universe. These include novelisations of the 1996 TV Movie, and of four stories from The Sarah Jane Adventures. He also wrote Beautiful Chaos, featuring the Tenth Doctor, Donna and Wilf which many regard as a high point of the New Series Adventures novel range.

Mark Morris adapts Wild Blue Yonder, having previously written five Doctor Who novels, including Tenth Doctor and Donna book Ghosts of India. The Fourteenth Doctor’s final adventure, The Giggle, will be the twelfth Doctor Who novel by James Goss. He’s particularly celebrated for his Target Books novelisations of Douglas Adams’ TV stories City of Death and The Pirate Planet. The two have been some of most warmly received Targets of modern times. Meanwhile, among his countless scripts for Big Finish, he also wrote the Tenth Doctor Adventures Death and the Queen and No Place, starring David Tennant, Catherine Tate, and Bernard Cribbins.


Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials,The Star Beast, The Doctor (DAVID TENNANT), Donna Noble (CATHERINE TATE) Rose (Yasmin Finney),BBC STUDIOS 2023 ,Zoe McConnell and Alistair Heap Doctor Who returns on the 25th of November with The Star Beast on BBC One in the UK and Ireland, and Disney+ worldwide


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