Sunday, October 31, 2010

Torchwood's PC Andy in sitcom

UK actor and comedian Tom Price (PC Andy in Torchwood), can currently be heard in a brilliant new audio sitcom, I'm Not With Him. It also stars Hattie Hayridge and Chris Barrie from Red Dwarf and is written by Andrew Ellard, Script Editor for The IT Crowd and Script Editor and Associate Producer of the recent Red Dwarf revival. The show is now available - for free - on iTunes. Synopsis below:
Barry and Linda share a house – and categorically nothing else. With a friendship that, outwardly, appears to be founded on mutual irritation, the inseparable and idiosyncratic pair spend most of their time trying to avoid chaos at work, at home, with friends, family and romantic partners. They are rarely successful. The rest of their time is, of course, spent repeatedly explaining that no, they are not a couple.

Sarah Jane Adventures - "Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith" promo pics [SPOILERS]

Included here are two SPOILERY images from Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith - the series four finale of The Sarah Jane Adventures. These pictures feature the return of Luke (Tommy Knight); click on them for bigger versions.

Thanks to BBC Pictures

For Sale

Please forgive the nature of this post (I don't normally do "adverts"), but Blogtor has two new copies of the Doctor Who Magazine Special Editions for sale. Up for grabs are the Series Three Companion HERE and the Series Four Companion HERE. Both auctions start at 99p and ship worlwide. The magazines will be packed in bubble wrap and cardboard.

"Torchwood Sunday" at the National Space Centre

This weekend at the National Space Centre sees more fundraising events with Doctor Who connections. Movie Mania takes place over Nov 6/7 and the second day has been dubbed Torchwood Sunday as they will be joined by Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Ben Loyd Holmes (Operative in Children Of Earth) and Anthony Lewis (Tommy Brockless in To The Last Man).

The theme for the Saturday is Red Dwarf as Chris Barrie, Norman Lovett and Chloe Annette will be present along with actor Warwick Davis (Star Wars, Harry Potter). The National Space Centre will also be hosting Alien Encounter (trailer above), where the Challenger Learning centre will be transformed into a research facility for creatures found on LV-426.

Money raised will go towards Medicinema and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Actress Wishlist for Series 6/7

Last week, Blogtor listed some of the men that would make top additions to the roster of actors in the next series of Doctor Who - see the list HERE. This time, it's the turn of the gurlies. There follows a list of eleven actresses that would be trouser~tighteningly delightful to see join Matt, Karen and the other bloke in their journeys in the TARDIS during 2011 and who they could possibly play*.

Sadly, Victoria Coren and Nigella Lawson are still refusing to take up acting otherwise they would most certainly be included, probably as the Rani. Now, remember the two rules from last week: (1) the actress has not already appeared in Doctor Who (on telly); and (2) would also be likely to star in the show (i.e. not Julia Roberts). Let the insanity begin, here's the list!

Kelly Brook
Haha, the look on your face! Anyway, here's the real list:

11. Sheridan Smith
OK, let’s the get the obvious one of the way. Sherry has already got Who credentials after voicing Lucie alongside Paul McGan in the excellent Big Finish audio dramas. She’s also been treading the boards with Peter “The Guv’nor” Davison in Legally Blonde so one feels the Two Pints beauty has done enough hard graft to warrant an onscreen performance. Her role? Regenerated Jenny...

10. Helena Bonham Carter
Like Timothy Spall, also situated at number ten in the boys' list, Mrs Burton tends to spend most of her time living it up on the big screen (and often in the same films as the Spall~a~tron). The actress, however, is not averse to the small screen as Carter's excellent performance in last year's BBC Four drama Enid will attest. And her hubby is a fan too (apparently). Excellent candidate for a regenerated Susan...

9. Miranda Richardson
Richo, as she is referred to in Blogtor Towers, pretty much wibbles my frusset pouch every time she pops up on telly or on film. She's currently being seen in the US conspiracy show Rubicon so that could possibly limit her chances of starring soon (though next year's opening two~parter will be filmed in the States so it ain't totally out of the question). If we ever get her out of E~Space, then Richardson should be a regenerated Romana...

8. Zoe Telford
Oh crumbs, bit of a personal indulgement here. Zoe doesn't appear much on anything really but when she does, crikey. After being somewhat underutilised as Watson's lady~chum in the recent Moffat/Gatiss re~imagining of Sherlock, it would be nice to see her get a bit more onscreen action, as it were. "Interesting" fact - Zoe is the same age as Blogtor. Her role? Regenerated Donna Noble...

7. Helen Mirren
Seemingly a target for RTD, the Mirrortron is surely a prime suspect for a guest appearance (I'm so sorry). Going against this unbridled optimism, however, is the fact that the small screen hasn't been home to the gorgeous pensioner for quite some time and she seems happier picking up OSCARs than Time Lords. Definitely a regenerated Adelaide Brooke...

6. Andrea Riseborough
The Rise~enator, as I call her, has already popped up on screen in the marvelous, yet brutishly short~lived, BBC Two show Party Animals (alongside whats~his~face that's in that show, oh you know who I mean). In fact, the recent Doctor Who Magazine Series 5 Companion had a rather big pic of Andrea alongside Matt - let's hope this is a prescient move by the mag. I think I may also be a little bit in lurve with her. Who would she play? Regenerated Councillor Flavia...

5. Olivia Hallinan
After having turned heads with her shapely ankles in the most gregarious of fashions in Lark Rise to Candleford (apparently it's only about eight miles), the Hallimeister already has a connection to Doctor Who having starred in Torchwood (the excellent time~hopping story, Out of Time). Would be nice to see Hallinan as the regenerated offspring of 10.5 and Rose...

4. Katherine Parkinson
Parky, and her flouncy flinty voice, do something to me. And if my trouser~o~meter was high for Andrea Riseborough then it's positively off the scale for The IT Crowd goddess. Haven't seen her do much else rather than comedic roles but she's in everything else on the telly at the moment so why not Who? Plus it would be nice of her to make up for starring in that blummin' awful BBC Two "comedy" Whites. Perfect choice for the regenerated Amy Pond...

3. Lacey Turner
Now, I must confess, isn't Eastenders worth watching solely for, as I call her, The Turntable? Her performances in the past year alone have enthralled, saddened and trouser~tightened in equal measure - no mean feat. Lacey~cles, as I now call her, has talent far beyond Walford and the dour half~hour allowed. One would lurve to see her face up to Matt Smith, preferably as a regenerated River Song...

2. Gillian Anderson
She's got previous when it comes to sci~fi, apparently; something called The X~Files? Nope, I've never heard of it either but it was big in the Nineties (so the internet says). Anyway, sarcasm aside, despite the hugeness of her personality and fame Anders has BBC credentials with 2005's Bleak House (not that bleak it has to be said) and the upcoming The Crimson Petal and the White (also starring Who~ledge Mark Gatiss and The Online/Comic Relief Doctor Richard E. Grant) so popping up in the TARDIS doesn't seem out of the question. Regenerated Rani, gotta be...

1. Keeley Hawes
Well, who else could it be? As one of the most dynamic females in the industry today, the Hawmintar, as I think everyone refers to her, has the kind of CV which cries out "hire me", specifically due to her roles in other BBC franchises like [spooks] and Ashes to Ashes. Recently, the actress has been filming a remake of Upstairs Downstairs in Cardiff so someone could quite easily just grab her from there and stick her in Who, optimally with the same outfit. Her role? Regenerated Doctor...

See the actors list here

*PLEASE NOTE: For the humorless out there, and I know through experience there are a few, the suggestions for their characters are NOT serious so don't go leaving comments that clearly show you don't understand/appreciate humour. Thanks.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mitch Benn, "Proud of the BBC"

UK funnyman, and Doctor Who fan, Mitch Benn has recorded a tribute song to the BBC which makes numerous mentions of the world's greatest TV show. Proud of the BBC is available to download from all the usual outlets on Nov 1 - see the video in the player above. Visit his site HERE where you can also buy the T~Shirt!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Christmas Special preview on Children In Need

The BBC have announced that there will be a "sneak preview" of this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special during the annual Children In Need night. Taking place on November 19, the fund~raising night will also see John Barrowman host the Scottish activities.

Press Release

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Doctor Who on "Only Connect"

BBC Four's cryptic quiz show Only Connect continues its current run with yet another mention of Doctor Who. A few weeks back saw Paul Cornell (Human Nature) take part and last week saw "Doctor Who's TARDIS" as a clue. See this week's reference in the player above.

SJA - The Empty Planet promo pics

The BBC have issued promotional pictures for The Sarah Jane Adventures story, written by Gareth Roberts, The Empty Planet - episodes 7 and 8 in Series 4. The images feature Clyde (Daniel Anthony), Rani (Anjli Mohindra), Gavin (Joe Mason), Robots (Ruari Mears and Paul Kasey) - click on them for bigger versions.

Clyde and Rani wake up one day to discover that they are the only survivors of the human race, as the alien-busting adventures series continues. The whole of Earth is empty – even Sarah Jane has vanished. But a deserted London holds terrors of its own. Strange forces lurk in the shadows, as mysterious visitors approach...

Clyde and Rani meet their enemy as the Robots arrive on Earth – but what do they want, and where has the human race gone? It's a race against time, but without Sarah Jane's expertise, Clyde and Rani must trust each other like never before if they're to save the whole world.

The Empty Planet airs
Mon 1 & Tues 2 Nov on CBBC @ 5.15pm

Wed 3 & Thurs 4 Nov on BBC One @ 4.30pm

Thanks to BBC Pictures

Single Father - promotional pictures

The BBC have issued promotional pictures for the final episode of Single Father starring David Tennant. Click on the images below for bigger versions.

Single Father airs
Sunday Oct 31, 9pm on BBC One

Thanks to BBC Pictures

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Death of the Doctor" Part 2 - Next Time trail

Part One of The Sarah Jane Adventures story, starring Matt Smith, Death of the Doctor aired earlier today on CBBC. See the "Next Time" trail for part two in the player below and read a review HERE.

Death of The Doctor airs
Mon 25 & Tues 26 Oct on CBBC @ 5.15pm
Wed 27 & Thurs 28 Oct on BBC One @ 4.30pm

Sunday, October 24, 2010

REVIEW: Sarah Jane Adventures, "Death of the Doctor"

There's a moment in the first part of Death of the Doctor where Clyde, upon entering the UNIT Base in Mount Snowdon, is informed of another base on the moon to which the youngster says, "I'm running out of reactions!" That purty much sums up my feelings about this series of The Sarah Jane Adventures - so far, so flippin' good!

It's not just the always burrilliant core cast and guest stars (more of them later) or the top writers and stories this year but even the production values have been upped, or appear to be at least. Last week's CG spaceships are matched here with an equally impressive UNIT Base, a new planet, some neat body~changing jiggery~pokery and supremely entertaining direction - incredibly cinematic in its realisation.

Much like last year's superb The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith (starring a certain Davey T), everyone's favourite Time Lord doesn't show up 'til the end of the first installment - your anticipation will be at fever pitch when Matt Smith finally arrives in a most amusing and satisfying way. Before the latest incarnation appears, fans of Gallifrey's finest won't be disappointed as we're presented with numerous trouser~tightening flashbacks featuring Doctors 1-4.

Why? Well, UNIT turned up on SJ's doorstep and revealed that the body of a Time Lord had been found and a funeral has hastily been arranged. From the get~go Sarah Jane is suspicious of the rather, it has to be said, good~looking UNIT hotty (pictured above) that's relaying the bad news. Accompanying the red beret~ed troops was their Murray Gold theme tune which was a lurvely touch and it's a pity they didn't extend this courtesy to Matt Smith's Doctor. Would've been nice to hear his excellent theme tune too; still, small point.

The flashbacks come at a fair pace when SJ & Co. are sitting, staring at The Doctor's "coffin". The Shansheeth, a rather wonderfully charming old~skool creation (that also sound not unlike Leslie "Well, Hello" Phillips), play an enchanting, yet beautifully haunting, melody on the harp that ranks as one of the finest pieces of music you'll hear this year - utterly evocative and fitting. It's little wonder that this tune lulls the gang into nostalgia, giving way to the flashbacks featuring The Doctor(s).

Though I'm not one for indulging in nostalgia (it's not what it used to be), there is something immensely stirring about seeing the former Doctors together like this, even stranger to think of Tennant as now being part of the past (there's also a raft of former enemies listed). But here, this fetish for history is not a positive. The Shansheeth have plans to utilise the memories of The Doctor's chums for their own needs... Whether or not the writer, Russell T Davies, is commenting on fan fascination with former glories is up for debate though his "role call" of companions at the end of part two will almost definitely have you tearing up (I shan't spoil the surprise of just who is mentioned), if not bawling your eyes out (as I did).

In many ways Death of the Doctor is about the companion, and the role he or she plays. It's a crucial part of his life and the show's history. I used to think it was always a bit harsh that they got dumped off rather abruptly, and sometimes unceremoniously, but the aforementioned role call repositions the end of their time with The Doctor and the start of their lives as everyday heroes. Truly touching and so pleasingly typical of Russell T Davies' sensitivity.

This sensitivity is never more apparent during two scenes involving Jo Jones (née Grant). The first sees Sarah Jane reveal that The Doctor has revisited her recently, which alone caused a pang of grief for Jo, and then further distressed her by the revelation that Sarah had seen him more than once. Further consternation comes as Jo questions The Doctor on having a married couple (Mr & Mrs Pond, no really) in the TARDIS, as she had left to get married back in the Seventies. It's an incredibly heartfelt moment with the Time Lord treading carefully as not to offend.

But it is at the end of their time together when we see the nature of Jo's relationship with The Doctor when he chooses to neglect mentioning the fate of the Time Lords, sharing a knowing look with Sarah Jane. Again, another one of the many heart string~tugging scenes perfectly played. But it's not all tears. There's many gigglesome gags to be found like: The Doctor calling Sarah Jane "Smith" (a la calling Amy, "Pond"); Rani's mundanity in the face of adversity, "I promised my dad I'd be in bed by half ten"; a catchphrase that Harry Hill would envy - "Accelerate the weave!"; and Jo's ageist reaction at seeing the latest regeneration of "her" Doctor (along with his rebuttal).

Matt Smith has much to deal with in his performance from the broad comedy of the backward shuffle and fun conversation with Clyde (see above), revealing some otherwise unknown facts about The Doctor (unless you have the internet and you've found out already), to the aforementioned emotion of the double companion scenario he finds himself in. He fits in with the gang with some style as does Jo's grandson Santiago, who may appear to be just a bland blue~eyed blonde boy but, in fact, has quite the spark of personality; his "exotic" background making Clyde and Rani seem almost dull.

RTD also manages to reposition the situation of the "bad guy" of the piece; fleshing out the simplistic "take over the galaxy" trope and giving the Shansheeth a more complicated, almost understandable, edge to their plans. Likewise the Graske is reformed in the closely related, but quite different, alien the Groske (pictured below) - one can image these little guys coming back and being a great part of the team.

Although one could have had pretty much any kind of plot as the background to a story featuring The Doctor in The Sarah Jane Adventures with a former companion and UNIT, the production team or savvy enough to respect the audience and deliver appropriately with twists, turns and a very neat solution.

Death of the Doctor is not only immensely satisfying as a regular episode of the Doctor Who spin off, but this two~parter also entertains in a wholly remarkable way - dealing with death, nostalgia, friendship, acceptance and whole big dose of interplanetary hopping (Sarah and Jo's amazement at seeing a new planet again is a joy to behold) and "body switcheroo" action. Its scope is worthy of the big screen, as are the performances and visuals - or even a Saturday early evening slot on BBC One...

As a final note, I'd like to add that having Russell T Davies writing again for television reminds me just how much Britain needs his talents and, to a certain extent, has missed them. Nobody writes like him. Nobody delivers such lush broad strokes creating a canvas that both warns of the temptation of the past (or wading in nostalgia), whilst celebrating the lives of those who populated that very past with such effusion. The colour of his palette lights up every word, every character, every gesture; and fills the heart with unbridled joy at the world The Doctor participates in.

Death of The Doctor airs
Mon 25 & Tues 26 Oct on CBBC @ 5.15pm
Wed 27 & Thurs 28 Oct on BBC One @ 4.30pm

Thanks to the BBC