Editors Notes

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Saturday, 17 June 2017

The trailers for Episode 11: World Enough and Time


Friendship drives the Doctor into the rashest decision of his life.

Trapped on a giant spaceship, caught in the event horizon of a black hole, he witnesses the death of someone he is pledged to protect. Is there any way he can redeem his mistake?

Are events already out of control? For once, time is the Time Lord’s enemy...






How does the TARDIS translation system work in Doctor Who?

This week’s Scottish-flavoured episode of Doctor Who The Eaters of Light takes an unexpected dive into the intricacies of a little-explained part of Doctor Who lore, with companion Bill (Pearl Mackie) discovering that she can communicate with Latin-speaking Romans thanks to the translation circuit in the Doctor’s TARDIS.

Described by the Ninth Doctor as a "gift of the Tardis, a telepathic field that gets inside your brain — translates” in 2005 episode The End of the World, the translation circuit has existed in the series for years as a handy shortcut for explaining why all aliens and historical peoples visited by the TARDIS team appear to speak in English. As Bill notes in this week’s episode, it even lip-syncs (the first time in the series this has been acknowledged), matching people’s mouth movements to the English equivalent of whatever they’re saying in their own language.

But over the years the translation circuit has been referenced and explained in various different ways. The first mention came in 1976 episode The Masque of Mandragora, when Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor described the translation to companion Sarah-Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) as a “gift of the Time Lord” that he allowed her to share.

In more recent years, however, it’s been retconned as a circuit closely linked to both the TARDIS's telepathic field and the Doctor, with Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) no longer able to understand alien languages when the Doctor was recovering from his regeneration in 2005’s The Christmas Invasion.



But it’s never been clear exactly how the circuit works. Over the years some dialogue has remained untranslated (for example when the Second Doctor meets German and French soldiers in The War Games or the Tenth Doctor met Judoon police in 2008) as well as plenty of signs and posters, though in 2011 episode A Good Man Goes to War it was suggested there was a “lag” in the system when it came to the written word. 

There have also been some languages that the TARDIS doesn’t translate, including an old Aborigine dialect in Fifth Doctor story Four to Doomsday, a complex alien language in 1980’s The Leisure Hive and incredibly ancient languages like the words of the Minotaur in 2012’s The God Complex and the language of the Beast in 2006’s The Impossible Planet. Judoonese, by contrast, is apparently too simplistic to be translated, which could also be the explanation behind why the speech of some more bestial aliens – as well as human infants and real-life animals – is left unclear to the audience.

The Doctor himself has been shown to be able to bypass the system to speak words in different languages (for example the Tenth Doctor’s catchphrase of Allons-y, the French for ‘let’s go’) due to his superior control over the system, while normal users have a slightly different response. For example, when Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) tried to speak Latin while the TARDIS was translating her words into that language, it was filtered back into her own tongue which was perceived as Celtic by the Romans.

Elsewhere, it’s also a little unclear exactly who the translation applies to in any given scene. In the same Christmas episode mentioned above, when the Doctor wakes up (see video below) Rose, the Sycorax invaders and the Earth government are all suddenly able to understand each other despite the Doctor not being aware of the situation or even who is standing outside his TARDIS, suggesting the translation is a rather passive process and not dictated by who’s actually been in the Tardis or been “given” the ability by the Doctor.

This week’s episode The Eaters of Light muddies the waters even further, with Roman soldiers and native Picts discovering that they can now understand and speak each other’s languages thanks to the presence of the Doctor, despite never having been part of the TARDIS’ telepathic field and not being anywhere near it at the time of the discovery.

So what’s the answer for all these inconsistencies and confusing moments? Well, one could be that this is a conceit for a children’s television programme that we should be taking less seriously, but an in-universe explanation often suggested by fans is that the Doctor’s old, out-of-date and battered Tardis has a slightly faulty translation system, occasionally not functioning or functioning sporadically depending on the situation and the complexity of the language it’s faced with.

It has also been suggested that the Doctor has an affinity for language beyond the translation field itself, which could explain why he’s able to communicate so easily with babies and horses while his companions (and by extension, the viewers) are unable to understand those particular languages.

For our part, we’d like to think the inconsistency is a little like the reasoning behind the Tardis’s faulty targeting system, which flings the Doctor all over space and time based on where the time machine thinks he needs to be rather than where he necessarily wants to be. Maybe in this week's episode the TARDIS thought a little communication could save the day, and perhaps at other times it sees the value of keeping other languages unclear – even if it is just to make the Doctor’s adventures that bit more challenging and dramatic.

By Huw Fullerton for Radio Times

Friday, 16 June 2017

Being in charge of Doctor Who is a “poisoned chalice” says Mark Gatiss

The veteran Who writer says he wouldn’t relish the prospect of taking over from his friend Steven Moffat

To Doctor Who fans looking in from the outside, it probably seems as if taking charge of the show would be the best job on the planet. So they may have been surprised to learn recently that Chris Chibnall -– who becomes boss of the iconic BBC sci-fi series when Steven Moffat departs this Christmas – initially had his doubts about the role.

But regular series writer Mark Gatiss has now revealed his own misgivings about taking the top job, telling students of Oxford University that he sees it as something of a mixed blessing.

“To be honest, the job of showrunning Doctor Who I think is probably the hardest job in television,” Gatiss said when asked by an audience member at the Oxford Union debating society what he would have done to the series if he’d taken over from Moffat. “I’ve seen it up close.

“Steven was only 19 when he started,” Gatiss joked, “it’s taken a terrible toll on him.”

More seriously, Gatiss went on to explain that while he hadn’t been asked to fill Moffat’s shoes it wasn’t a job he thought he would suit anyway, detailing the immense pressure he’d seen his Sherlock co-creator under for the last few years.

“Honestly, it has an obvious huge appeal, but equally it’s just so completely all-consuming,” he said. “I act and I write and I couldn’t do both. I couldn’t do it if I did that.



“I wasn’t offered it. But it’s a sort of a… it’s such a poisoned chalice. It’s like the England managership, I imagine, knowing nothing about football. There’s so much expectation, such a weight of expectation, millions of people who think they can do it better than you.

“It’s a sort of relief not to be asked, to be honest. But if I had been in charge, I would have cancelled it immediately. Just out of spite! No, I don’t know. I would never have any huge plans.”

Still, Gatiss is excited about Chibnall’s new run on the series, explaining that he believes change and renewal have become built in to the 54-year-old series over the decades.

“I think it’s a thrilling notion to cast the Doctor and all those things that come with it, and I wish Chris all the luck in the world. It’s a very exciting time,” he said.

“It’s also difficult – you say goodbye to something, it’s always the end of a chapter. I’m very sad [current Doctor] Peter [Capaldi] is going, I’m sure Steven will find it a terrible wrench, how can you not after all these years? But equally, the freshness and the renewal, the regeneration if you will, is exactly what’s made the show what it is.

“And weirdly, I think if [First Doctor] William Hartnell had been well enough Doctor Who might have run for five years and then come off, which is a strange thought isn’t it? That actually maybe somehow in its DNA there is this perpetual renewal.

“I’m very excited about watching it without knowing anything at all.”

By Huw Fullerton for the Radio Times

Derek Jacobi returns as the War Master for Big Finish

Peoples of the universe, please attend carefully… Sir Derek Jacobi is reprising his iconic role as the War Master for Big Finish Productions!

Today Big Finish announces the return of Sir Derek Jacobi as the Master, ten years to the day after his first appearance in the Doctor Who episode, Utopia.

“His incarnation is very much the ‘Hannibal Lecter’ of Time Lords - intelligent, charming, but thoroughly ruthless - we had a lot of fun in studio bringing the War Master back to life,” explains producer and director Scott Handcock, “It’s been a gift of a project, and we can’t wait for listeners to hear it!”

“I didn’t expect to come back to it all these years later,” says Sir Derek, “but I was thrilled to be remembered. The plots in all these episodes have been very good indeed, very interesting, very dramatic, and beautifully written. The whole process has been a delight!”

Doctor Who: The War Master follows the exploits of the Doctor’s arch-enemy during the course of the devastating Time War, featuring four stories from acclaimed Doctor Who writers Nicholas Briggs (also script editor of the series), James Goss and Guy Adams, as well as new writing talent from Janine H Jones.

  • 1. Beneath the Viscoid by Nicholas Briggs
On the ocean planet Gardezza, deep beneath the Viscoid, a mysterious capsule is recovered from the Time War, and an equally mysterious stranger found within. The Doctor’s reputation precedes him, even here… but can he be trusted?

  • 2. The Good Master by Janine H Jones
The Time War rages around Arcking - a planet serving as a sanctuary for the sick and injured. But Arcking is protected by a mysterious, powerful force: a force the Master will stop at nothing to harness… even if time itself is against him.

  • 3. The Sky Man by James Goss
When his new companion decides to save a planet, the Master indulges this most futile of requests. Materialising on a primitive, agrarian world, both the strangers quickly find their place in it… until fallout from the War invades their happy paradise.
  • 4. The Heavenly Paradigm by Guy Adams
With his plans approaching fruition, the Master travels to Stamford Bridge in the 1970s: a location he believes might hold the key to his success. But what terrible secret lurks under the stairs of No. 24 Marigold Lane? And what sacrifices will the Master make in the name of ultimate victory?




The War Master will be returning to bring destruction to the Universe in December this year, and is available to pre-order from the Big Finish website for £23 on CD or £20 as an download


Via Big Finish

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Delia Derbyshire's blue plaque unveiled for BBC Music Day



For BBC Music Day on Thursday 15 June 2017, all 40 BBC Local Radio stations and Asian Network in England have teamed up with the British Plaque Trust to unveil 47 historic Blue Plaques celebrating iconic musicians and venues.

Those honoured with a Blue Plaque includes Delia Derbyshire, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop pioneer who realised Ron Grainer's Doctor Who theme and influenced the course of electronic music.



Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant, Peri did the honours.

The plaque can be seen at 104, Cedars Avenue, Coventry, the home of Delia Derbyshire (1937-2001)
 

Via BBC Music

The Eaters of Light - Introductions


The Introductions for The Eaters Of Light, written by Rona Munro and directed by Charles Palmer.

A long time ago, the ninth legion of the Roman army vanished into the mists of Scotland. Bill has a theory about what happened, and the Doctor has a time machine.

But when they arrive in ancient Aberdeenshire, what they find is a far greater threat than any army. In a cairn, on a hillside, is a doorway leading to the end of the world…



Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Which episode will the Master be returning in?


John Simm was announced to be returning to his iconic role as The Master in Doctor Who months ago, but now the exact date and details have been revealed.

The BBC have confirmed that the renegade Time Lord's shock return will officially happen in the tenth series' June 24 episode, called World Enough and Time.

The character was last seen on the sci-fi drama in 2009 when David Tennant held the coveted role in its tenth incarnation. The Master then departed from the show with a bang after helping Tennant's lead battle to save Earth from the Time Lord invasion in the episode The End of Time.

The news comes as something of a surprise to fans who have watched the character's female reincarnation Missy (played by Michelle Gomez) alongside Peter Capaldi this season.

But viewers can expect that Simm's story-line will continue on into the finale, which is titled 'The Doctor Falls'. The finale will also feature the Cybermen from the classic 1960s episodes.

Via The Express by Roxanne Hughes

Doctor Who Experience closing date confirmed

The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff will have one last complete summer before closing, BBC Worldwide has confirmed.

The Doctor Who Experience is to mark the attraction’s closure with a whole summer jam-packed with tours and activities. After a successful, five-year tenure in Cardiff, visitors are invited to join a number of special events before the venue closes its doors on 9th September.

The summer holidays mark the return of the Filming Location Walking Tours. This final season of tours, starting from the 8th July, are a 75 minute walk in and around Cardiff Bay and feature sites from Series 10 and memorable locations from previous series.

Series 10 content will also be added into the Experience, with the finished exhibition being unveiled on the 8th July. This will include props, costumes and sets from Series 10, that will join the Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie costumes which are already part of the exhibition.

Earlier this year BBC Worldwide announced that the Yeti from The Web of Fear, during Patrick Troughton’s incarnation as the Doctor, was voted by fans as the Doctor Who monster they’d most like to see restored as part of the ongoing Restoration Project. So to celebrate, Model Unit expert, Mike Tucker will also be on hand on the 8th July to reveal the final, renovated monster in all its glory to visitors.

On 22nd July, the Experience will host its final Monster Event, with the Cybermen at its theme. The day will include workshops and question and answer sessions with monster-makers, Millennium FX; a chance for fans to be converted into Cybermen; as well as live Mondasian Cybermen roaming the Experience floor.

The day will be completed with a viewing of the final two-part episode, first screened on BBC One on 24th June & 1st July, screened in the Experience’s exhibition area.



Later in the holidays, on the 5th August, fans can look forward to the biggest Doctor Who Experience Cosplay Celebration yet. Fans will be invited and encouraged to visit dressed as their favourite Doctor Who character or monster.

Fans should keep an eye on doctorwhoexperience.com for news of additional events and features in the final weeks of the Experience.

Ticket information is available here

Via Sci-fi Bulletin

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Chris Chibnall on becoming Doctor Who boss: "I resisted it for a very long time – the BBC really had to woo me”

For many sci-fi fans it is the greatest job in the galaxy but incoming Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall admits that he had to be “wooed” by the BBC before taking up the role.

The former Broadchurch writer tells the June issue of The Royal Television Society’s magazine Television: “I finally said yes because I love the show to my bones. I resisted it for a very long time, and [the BBC] really had to woo me."

In the interview by Mark Lawson, Chibnall also gives an indication of what promises to be an innovative approach to the show.

“What the BBC was after was risk and boldness,” he says, later adding: “I had ideas about what I wanted to do with it. When I went to them and said, ‘This is what I would do’, I actually expected them to say, ‘Ooh, let’s talk about that’, but they said: ‘Great!’”

The search for a new Doctor will be completed soon and the new Time Lord is likely to appear in an on-screen regeneration when Peter Capaldi leaves the role in the 2017 Christmas special.

Chibnall’s series is due to begin filming early next year with a likely broadcast in the autumn of 2018, according to BBC sources.

These quotes are from an article written by Mark Lawson which features in the June issue of RTS members magazine Television

Via Radio Times by Ben Dowell

New Doctor Who boss Chris Chibnall has some bold and innovative ideas for the show

It looks like new Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall is set to shake up the long-running sci-fi drama when he takes over at the end of the year.

In an interview with Television, the in-house magazine of the Royal Television Society, Chiball says that all options are on the table for the programme, including a whole-series storyline of the kind he pursued on three series of Broadchurch.

Asked if this approach were possible, he replied “yes”, adding that "what the BBC was after was risk and boldness” when they approached him for the job.

Admitting that he resisted accepting the role “for a very long time”, Chibnall said the BBC had agreed with his ideas for the show – somewhat to his surprise.

“I had ideas about what I wanted to do with it," he said. "When I went to them and said, ‘This is what I would do’, I actually expected them to say, ‘Ooh, let’s talk about that’, but they said: ‘Great!’”

Interviewer Mark Lawson writes in the same piece: “Chibnall’s general tone suggests that there may be a radical revamp of Doctor Who, which will please those who have suggested the show needs a kick up the Tardis.”

Chibnall’s friend and collaborator, the director James Strong is also quoted in the same piece as saying: “Well, my own completely personal view is that it does. It used to be – and I stress this is my personal opinion – at the heart of the schedule, an unmissable family show and, for some reason, it’s slipped a bit from the national consciousness.

“For me, when it goes towards story­lines that are a little bit more for the fans, I think you can lose that general appeal. I think Chris is going to offer a slightly different take on what the show should be.

“I know what a big fan of the show he is and I know how much he feels he has a vision for it," added Strong. “It’s a five-year project. That was a huge decision. He’s in his absolute prime and could have done whatever he wanted, writing-wise. It’s an absolutely wonderful result for Doctor Who. I think Chris, essentially, writes emotional thrillers, and that’s perfect for that show.”

Chibnall is currently involved in the search for a new Doctor, who is likely to appear in an on-screen regeneration when incumbent Time Lord Peter Capaldi leaves the role in the 2017 Christmas special.

Chibnall’s series is slated to begin filming early next year with a likely broadcast in the autumn of 2018, according to sources.

These quotes are from an article written by Mark Lawson which features in the June issue of RTS members magazine Television.

Via the Radio Times by Ben Dowell

The Finale Countdown - Doctor Who Concert and Live Q&A Panel with Pearl Mackie and Steven Moffat Announced

For the first time an audience will experience the premiere of a new Doctor Who episode set to its score performed live by the original orchestra.

Episode 11, World Enough and Time, will be shown on the big screen at Wales Millennium Centre, as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales performs Murray Gold's music, conducted by Alastair King.

This will be followed by an exclusive Q&A panel with Pearl Mackie who plays Bill Potts and Doctor Who’s lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat.

The evening will be hosted by Jason Mohammad (Final Score, Match of the Day, BBC Radio Wales, and presenter from several episodes of Doctor Who!), and promises monsters and surprises. Fans will be invited to submit questions for both Pearl and Steven through the BBC’s official Doctor Who website and social feeds.


For those unable to attend in person, audiences can still tune in to the live Q&A with Pearl and Steven straight after World Enough and Time airs on BBC One, when it will be live streamed on the BBC One Facebook page and the Doctor Who YouTube Channel.

The production is staged by BBC Studios and BBC Cymru Wales in association with BBC Worldwide Digital Studios.
Via the BBC

Nicholas Briggs will be signing The Ninth Doctor Chronicles at Forbidden Planet



NICHOLAS BRIGGS will be signing THE NINTH DOCTOR CHRONICLES at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Thursday 3rd August from 6 – 7pm.

Narrated by Nicholas Briggs, THE NINTH DOCTOR CHRONICLES features four new stories from the Ninth Doctor’s era: 

The Bleeding Heart by Cavan Scott
Galen is a place where people come to heal. The renowned ‘planet of peace’ seems the ideal venue for talks between two warring races. But when death disrupts the diplomacy, Cosmic Nine news reporter Adriana Jarsdel uncovers a different story. Luckily, someone is there to help. A battle-weary veteran from another war. The Doctor has come to Galen – but is he looking for peace, or something else entirely?

The Window on the Moor by Una McCormack
Emily and her sisters once told each other fables of warring kingdoms: wicked princes, noble dukes, and their battling armies. Now she wanders the moors of her childhood alone, remembering those tales. The TARDIS arrives amid a strange civil war, with prisons made of glass and cities stalked by terrifying beasts. As windows open between worlds, stories and storyteller meet, and Rose comes face to face with Emily Brontë.

The Other Side by Scott Handcock
Rose has invited a new friend on board the TARDIS, against the Doctor’s better judgement. But when the Time Lord tries to take his unwelcome guest home, a temporal tsunami cuts the journey short. The travellers find the source of the disturbance inside an abandoned cinema. Will Adam Mitchell help or hinder when the Doctor and Rose discover what is lurking on the other side of the screen?

Retail Therapy by James Goss 
Jackie Tyler is a success. Every home should have a Glubby Glub, and Jackie is star saleswoman on the Powell Estate. At last, she’s found her calling and it’s only a matter of time before she can give Rose the life she deserves. But the Doctor isn’t impressed. Jackie Tyler isn’t just filling peoples’ houses with useless clutter. He believes she’s launching an alien invasion…

NICHOLAS BRIGGS is an English actor, writer, director, sound designer and composer predominantly associated with the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who and its various spin-offs, particularly as the voice of the Daleks and the Cybermen.

He’s also a co-creator of Big Finish Productions, for which he has produced, directed and written several audio plays.

Get a signed copy on the day or order online

Images for Episode 10: The Eaters of Light


The BBC have released these images for Episode 10: The Eaters of Light

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