Monday, June 30, 2014

Series 8 finale news [SPOILERS]

As filming on the finale for Doctor Who takes place, some new information has arisen about the story. Obviously this involves spoilers, so please stop reading now. Info coming up after the pic from filming today (courtesy of Wales Online).



As revealed earlier today, the story features a return for Osgood (played by Ingrid Oliver), Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave), UNIT and also sees the return of the Cybermen. A picture, seen HERE, shows an old 60s style Cyberman helmet.

The scenes shot today, though filmed in Cardiff, are actually set outside St Paul's in London.

The Doctor Who Series 8 finale is a two-parter (episodes 11 and 12) and is written by Steven Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay - one of the episodes is called Death In Heaven. (Though, please note, shooting titles can change from the final aired version.) This is the first two-part finale since 2010.

Series 8 filming & casting news [SPOILERS]

Filming continues on Doctor Who Series 8 and some familiar faces have been spotted on set. It is believed to be the finale, Episode 12, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay. The following picture, from the BBC, reveals the return of The Cybermen and the first appearance of Michelle Gomez on set.

Please stop reading now if you are avoiding spoilers (though, as they're filming in a very public place, these details won't stay a secret for long).


Courtesy of BBC Pictures

Returning to Doctor Who are actress Ingrid Oliver (who played Osgood in The Day of the Doctor), who has ditched the Fourth Doctor scarf as a tribute to the Time Lord in favour of a Bow Tie and Red Converse, and Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart).

Series 8 casting news

The BBC have announced that Scottish actress Michelle Gomez (Green Wing) will join the cast of Doctor Who Series 8. She is set to play the Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere - click on the image for a bigger version.

Gomez commented: "Well of course Peter Capaldi is our next Doctor, which makes complete sense. I'm thrilled to join him. Well, you would be, wouldn't you?"

Current showrunner Steven Moffat, added: “I've known Michelle for years, and I'm thrilled to welcome her to Doctor Who. She's everything we need - brilliant, Scottish, and a tiny bit satanic.”  

Doctor Who Series 8 starts on Aug 23 around the world.

Tee Offers

Our chums over at TeeFury have got another two great Doctor Who tees for sale - for 24 hours only! Titled The Tenth and Who The Wild Things Are 11 the designs are available worldwide for $11 - visit the site HERE. With two shirts purchased you also receive a FREE Who Zipper Pull! Check out more designs from the same fantastic artist, Karen Hallion, below (available for $18 each).

Sunday, June 29, 2014

AUDIO REVIEW: Second Chances

Second Chances
by John Dorney

Starring Wendy Padbury

Out Now

A story featuring one of the Doctor’s brightest and perkiest travelling companions, Second Chances is a bleak tale, exploring the consequences of the Time Lords’ decision to alter Zoe Herriot’s memories of her time with the second Doctor, following his trial at the end of The War Games. Writer John Dorney revisits the impact such a cruel and unusual punishment has upon a character whose defining characteristics were her prodigious computational ability and eidetic memory.

What’s worse is that Zoe is aware of the lacuna but is unable to fill it, having to rely instead on the questionable services of “The Company” to help her. Big Finish audios unfold within a larger arena and there are references to other events involving Zoe and The Company. Foreknowledge is not necessary however, and the audio can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Under interrogation by Company employee Kim, an expert in memory retrieval, Zoe attempts to revisit the events of an encounter in the Saturn system involving the Doctor, Jamie and her younger self, arriving on space station Artemis. Wendy Padbury provides a good characterisation of the Second Doctor, and it’s affecting to hear the contrasting portrayals of the bubbly, enthusiastic younger Zoe as her latter day counterpart narrates her recollection of events. There’s good support provided by Emily Pithon as Kim, whose motivations are gradually revealed to be rather more complex than first appear.

There’s a dark secret contained at the heart of Apollo Station, Artemis’s twin, which is unwittingly released to deadly effect: a computer virus with the ability to spread between computer and human alike. The spread of the contagion to Artemis is chillingly realised in audio format, with the growing sense of panic and dread very effectively conveyed. Events are narrated by the older Zoe in the present tense, lending an authentic urgency to the doomed attempts to save the station from sharing the same fate as that met by Apollo.

Second Chances provides a shift in perspective midway through the story, when it’s revealed that Apollo Station has only just been destroyed and that the events of Zoe’s past are in fact playing out during her older persona’s present. Zoe and Kim set off to prevent the destruction of Artemis Station.

They arrive, in the guise of Company agents, in time to see the Doctor, Jamie and younger Zoe become involved in events. In her increasingly desperate attempts to alter the course of those events Zoe gradually comes to realise that Kim is a lot more involved than she first realised. The central theme of the story, the battle between redemptive free will against pre-determination, comes to the fore and Zoe’s options are locked down one by one as we race towards Artemis’s inevitable destruction.

Another strong production from Big Finish, rounding off the Companion Chronicles series in thought-provoking style.

Thanks to Big Finish

Friday, June 27, 2014

Doctor Who Series 8 trailer

The BBC have released a trailer for Doctor Who Series 8 - watch it in the player above. The series, starring Peter Capaldi as The Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara, starts on August 23. For more info, pics and news, visit guide to Doctor Who Series 8 HERE.

New Series 8 Promo Pics & Airdate

The BBC have released new promotional pictures for Doctor Who Series 8 - click on the images included here for bigger versions.  Featured in the pics are Peter Capaldi as The Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara. The new series is set to start in August, check out the guide to Doctor Who Series 8 HERE.

The airdate has also been confirmed as August 23rd with the first episode, which is "feature length" and titled, Deep Breath. Watch a teaser for the series HERE.

Thanks to BBC Pictures

AUDIO REVIEW: Destroy The Infinite

Destroy The Infinite
by Nicholas Briggs

Starring Tom Baker and Louise Jameson

Out Now

The colony planet Delafoss is occupied by the army of an alien force known as the Eminence. These slave armies of terrified humans are commanded by the dreaded Infinite Warriors. The Doctor and Leela arrive expecting to find Earth’s most successful, unspoiled colony. Instead, they are confronted by a planet choked by industrialisation and war.

Destroy The Infinite is a real boy's own adventure, a war story; that pits our favourite Time Lord against a Big Finish original enemy, the Eminence. This is the third appearance of the ruthless Eminence, but it is chronologically the first. The new baddie race first appeared in the Colin Baker story Time’s Horizon and then again alongside Paul McGann’s Doctor in Dark Eyes II: Eyes of The Master; however it was Destroy The Infinite that was actually penned first. This dichotomy works well in playing with our expectations of this new menace, but the gaseous evil, whom are portrayed as even worse than the Daleks, are best established and implemented in this chronologically first outing.

The real strength of this story comes from its narrative and archetypal style. Director and writer Nicholas Briggs is clearly a big fan of classic British war stories and nicely captures the feel of the genre whilst satisfyingly bringing it into a future setting. Briggs also succeeds at making Leela’s character more savvy whilst staying true to her character. There are also some fairly shocking twists and turns that break certain Who memes.

Tom and Louise are both on particularly good form and there are some excellent guest performances from Clive Mantle and Hywel Morgan. Destroy The Infinite is a worthy introduction to the Eminence and stylistically a great offering.

Thanks to Big Finish

Doctor Who Magazine 475


DWM talks exclusively to the actors who have brought the Paternoster Gang to life: Neve McIntosh, Catrin Stewart and Dan Starkey.

“It’s crazy, how everyone knows where we’re going to be filming,” Neve tells DWM. “When we were doing Peter Capaldi’s first one, we went out nice and early in the morning, and there was one person there. And then you turned around and suddenly there was a whole load of people.”

“Peter himself wasn’t there, of course,” adds Dan, “cos his first actual filming was in the studio that afternoon, which was really exciting.”

“Oh, God, it was amazing watching him,” says Neve.

“And seeing it grow – seeing it happen – and occasionally having these flashes of going, ‘Ah! That reminds me of Tom Baker! Actually, no! That’s the Doctor…”

Also in this issue:

DWM pays tribute to the life and times of the Kate O'Mara, the actress who played the Rani in Doctor Who during the 1980s.

Former script editor Andrew Cartmel talks to the writers he employed on Doctor Who's silver anniversary season back in 1988: Ben Aaronovitch, Graeme Curry and Stephen Wyatt.

Terrance Dicks – script editor, writer and novelist supreme – talks about his work on Doctor Who in the 60s and 70s.

Showrunner Steven Moffat answers readers’ questions in his regular column.

The Fact of Fiction takes a detailed look at the 1977 Fourth Doctor adventure, The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

The Crystal Throne ­– a brand new comic strip adventure starring Vastra, Jenny and Strax.

The Time Team watch the Tenth Doctor and Donna meet Agatha Christie in 2008's The Unicorn and the Wasp.

The DWM crossword, prize-winning competitions and much more!

Doctor Who Magazine 475 is on sale now, priced £4.99

Thursday, June 26, 2014

REVIEW: The Gallifrey Remixes

The Gallifrey Remixes
by Dominic Glynn

Out Now

Review by Stan Barker

Am I the only Who fan who complained bitterly when Adric died?  
No, I wasn’t upset at the tragic demise of a companion; I was the one mourning the loss of the closing theme tune at the end of Earthshock. As a child fan of the 1980s, a significant ritual of the Doctor Who watching experience for me was switching over from Crossroads in good time to catch the first bar of the opening titles, and then sit – nose to the screen – waiting for the "big bang" at the end, 24 or so minutes later.

No other television theme tune evokes such passion, emotion and influence than that first made famous via the sublime talents of Delia Derbyshire. Indeed, hearing the divine Peter Howell arrangement at the start of a fellow fan’s funeral last year brought with it the realisation of my own tenuous existence on this planet, and that only one thing was certain: what music I have chosen for my own farewell from this mortal coil.

As the series diminished in reputation for the start of Sylvester McCoy’s tenure, arguably so did the theme with Keff McCulloch’s variation, which made me wince on every wink. But if you managed to catch the opening credits on a Saturday night in 1986 for The Trial of a Time Lord, you would have found Dominic Glynn’s interpretation of Ron Grainer’s composition sandwiched between Howell and McCulloch.

Dominic Glynn went back to basics in 1986 with an interpretation of a theme much more loyal to Delia Derbyshire’s original production than previous incarnations. Less fussy, bags of atmos, and achieving a sense of mystery somewhat appropriate for a show with an uncertain future.

Now, 28 years on and celebrating Doctor Who’s half-century, Dominic is back with an ‘EP’ of specially remixed takes on his theme – and jolly good they are too. The Gallifrey One Remix takes us kicking and screaming through the vortex into Colin Baker’s 2nd and final season as the Doctor, with a sound much more textured than the original Glyn theme and dramatic soundbites from the 6th doctor.

Glynn’s re-imagining as an electro delight that wouldn’t be out of place on a Friday night at Glastonbury’s dance tent. The other three tracks contain a bit less bang but if ambience is your thing, you are in for a treat with the Radio Gallifrey Edit and Gallifrey After Dark Mix. Thrown in to complete the four~play is a further mix under the Syzygy mantel – Glynn’s partnership with Justin McKay.

It may not make my funeral playlist, but The Gallifrey Remixes puts the def back into disco.

Thanks to Dominic Glynn

Available for download via iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Juno Records and all the usual digital services.

Series 8 writer news

Doctor Who Series 8 writer Jamie Mathieson has revealed that he has written two episodes for the first Peter Capaldi series. On his blog, Mathieson said:
"So... they quite liked the first script I delivered and asked me if I'd like to write another. They quite liked that one too. Then they decided to put them next to each other in the schedule as episodes 8 and 9."
Episode 8 is directed by Paul Wilmshurst and stars Frank Skinner (The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot), David Bamber (The King's Speech), Daisy Beaumont (Star Stories), Janet Henfrey (The Curse of Fenric) and Christopher Villiers (Emmerdale) whilst Episode 9 is directed by Douglas Mackinnon.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Capaldi's Video Message and Filming Pics

Peter Capaldi has filmed a special message in support of the Glasgow School of Art which recently experienced a devastating fire. The actor studied there (graduating in 1980) and has lent his voice to the Mackintosh Appeal, which aims to raise up to £20m towards the final cost of the restoration. Peter and actor Brad Pitt, who starred alongside each other in World War Z, have agreed to be trustees of the appeal.

This week has also seen filming on Doctor Who Series 8 continue with many photographers catching sight of both Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman on set filming Episode 12 of the new series.

Check out two great galleries of pics HERE and HERE.

The new series starts late August, check out the guide to Doctor Who Series 8 HERE.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Twelfth Doctor comic

Titan Comics have released details of their new Doctor Who comic series featuring The Twelfth Doctor, as played by Peter Capaldi, and Clara, Jenna Coleman. Check out the details below and click on the images included here for bigger versions.

New Doctor! New Beginning! Offering shocks, surprises, and
 timestream-shaking revelations, don’t miss your chance to get on board 
this amazing ongoing series!

 Eagle award-winning writer Robbie Morrison and New York Times bestselling artist Dave
Taylor dive headfirst into the
 TARDIS console room and spin the new Doctor off to his most challenging 
destination yet!

 As with The Tenth and Eleventh Doctor ranges, Doctor Who: The Twelfth
 Doctor #1 comes with a beautiful regular cover painted by Alice X. Zhang, 
plus five other variants - including a "100% rebel Time Lord" photo cover
 and Mariano Laclaustra penned picture of Clara.

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor is available to pre-order from comic stores tomorrow and will hit retailers on October 1. Due to licensing restrictions, fans in the UK and Ireland can only purchase this comic digitally.

Titan Comics' new Tenth and Eleventh Doctor ranges will hit comic book
stores on July 23, and print or digital editions are available to pre-order now - for more information, visit

Thanks to Titan

Monday, June 16, 2014

Doctor Who Figurine Collection

The latest issues of the fantastic magazine, the Doctor Who Figurine Collection, are hitting shops now! Issue 22 comes with an amazing figurine of a Heavenly Host (from Voyage of the Damned) whilst Issue 23 features a Zygon (The Day of the Doctor). For full details, visit their website HERE. Click on the images included here for bigger versions. Issue 24 will come with a figurine of The War Doctor, as played by John Hurt.

Thanks to Doctor Who Figurine Collection

Friday, June 13, 2014

Doctor Who Experience Regenerates!

Last chance to rescue the Eleventh Doctor from the Pandorica!

As with The Doctor himself, regeneration at the Doctor Who Experience is inevitable. From September 1 visitors to the attraction in Cardiff Bay will no longer have the opportunity to rescue The Eleventh Doctor – played by Matt Smith - from the Pandorica, as the existing storyline in the immersive adventure of the Doctor Who Experience is to be refreshed. More details will be announced about the updated storyline later this year.

Fans wishing to take part in the current adventure - flying the TARDIS with The Eleventh Doctor and facing some of his most famous foes in the process – can book tickets up until the 31st August at

The entire Experience, including the free-flow exhibition, will then close on September 1 for approximately six weeks with the aim of re-opening in time for the school holidays at the end of October. When the attraction re-opens it will also welcome props from Doctor Who S8, the highly anticipated debut series of The Twelfth Doctor played by Peter Capaldi.

As in previous years to celebrate the start of summer the Doctor Who Experience reopens the popular walking tours of Cardiff Bay, starting tomorrow (June 14). The tours will run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between tomorrow and 20th July, and more regularly throughout the summer holidays. Check the website for availability.

Tickets for the Doctor Who Experience featuring your last chance to fly the TARDIS with the Eleventh Doctor can still be booked up until the 1st September via

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Doctor Who: The World Tour

BBC Worldwide has announced a major global publicity tour to launch episode one of the new series of Doctor Who and introduce Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor.

Doctor Who: The World Tour will begin in the UK on August 7th and finish in Brazil on August 19th. The trip will see Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, on-screen companion Jenna Coleman, and current showrunner Steven Moffat, visit 7 cities across 5 continents in 12 days to take part in a series of media and fan engagements to publicise the show’s forthcoming Series 8 to a global audience.

The tour marks the largest ever promotional undertaking in Doctor Who’s 50-year history and will kick off in Cardiff, Wales before taking in London (UK), Seoul (South Korea), Sydney (Australia), New York (US), Mexico City (Mexico) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

Peter Capaldi has commented on his excitement ahead of the tour: “It’s fantastic that so many people across the world love Doctor Who. After 8 months solid filming deep in the world of monsters, Jenna and I are thrilled to be heading for the Planet of Fans”.

Steven Moffat added: “I've always thought we'd all be a lot safer if the Doctor conquered the world, instead of the Daleks. Now with Jenna and Peter leading the charge, it looks like it's going to happen. I'll be bringing up the rear to handle the exposition scenes, and maybe carry some bags.”

Doctor Who Series 8 is due to TX in the UK in August. BBC America will transmit on the same day. More details of the itinerary will be available soon at as well as reports from the tour as it happens, which fans everywhere will be able to enjoy across social and digital platforms.

Tee Offers

Our chums over at TeeFury have got another two great Doctor Who tees for sale - for 24 hours only! Titled Doctor Rorschach and Gallifrey Argyle, the designs are available worldwide for $11 - visit the site HERE. Check out more designs from the same fantastic artist, Karen Hallion, below (available for $18 each).

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tee Offers

Our buddies over at RIPT Apparel have got another two great Doctor Who designs for sale - for 24 hours only! Titled Doctors of Future Past, D & D: 11th Edition and X-Ten, the tees are available worldwide for $10 - visit the site HERE! They're also available in kids sizes and as: a fleece hoody, a onesie, prints, coasters, headphones and laptop sleeves!

Below you can find Impossible Call Box and Dr. Hoot from Design By Humans, which are available in men and women's Tees, as well as art prints and phone cases - buy HERE. Visit Design By Humans HERE.

Design By Humans have also got some fab Doctor Who tees available. Above you can find The Doctors, available in men and women's Tees, as well as art prints and phone cases - which you can buy HERE - and The Doctor VS The Universe which you can buy HERE. Visit Design By Humans HERE. for loads more fantastic Who tees.

Falling by khallion - Now available at

Kasterborous Magazine Issue 2: Video Games Special

The second issue of Kasterborous Magazine is a retro-styled video games special, with a considerable volume of exclusive material. Compiled over the past 12 months, with a considerable volume of exclusive material, the second edition is dedicated to Doctor Who‘s 30+ year history of video games, ending with Doctor Who: Legacy.

• The most in-depth feature on the development of Return to Earth you will ever read
• Interviews with developers on The Adventure Games and Doctor Who: Legacy
• Features on Doctor Who: Worlds in Time (RIP) and The Eternity Clock
• Reviews of all classic and modern Doctor Who games
• Previously unseen photographs and concept artwork
Doctor Who in Second Life
Doctor Who mobile games
• A look at what is wrong – DW: Legacy aside – with Doctor Who video games. Why haven’t they been as good as we would expect them to be?
• PLUS: columns from the Valeyard and Elton Townend Jones

This PDF version is available to download today, for just £1.99, and throughout the launch month of June 2014 comes with a free copy of issue 1 thrown in! Buy HERE.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

40 Years of Tom Baker!

Who would've thunk it? Forty years ago today, Tom Baker made his very first appearance in the Jon Pertwee classic, Planet of the Spiders. As a tribute to the man who many see as the definitive Doctor Who, the writers here at Blogtor Who, along with a few very special guests, have got together for a big Tom love-in. Below you'll find our favourite The Fourth Doctor stories (or ones that have a special place in our hearts) and just why the curly-haired, wide-eyed, scarf-wearing, jelly baby-brandishing Time Lord is such a legend.

Edward Russell (Doctor Who Brand Manager)
When Blogtor Who asked me to write about my favourite Tom Baker story, I honestly didn’t know where to begin. I was four years old when Tom began his tenure. Back then, I had no concept of a favourite adventure. It was all wonderful. Every episode was such a magical experience and I’ve tried to carry that feeling into everything I do today. I began to wonder if it’s only when we get older, when we become “a fan” that we start ranking stories against each other?

But it then occurred to me that we’re talking about the Philip Hinchcliffe years. A truly golden era in Doctor Who’s rich history. I find it hard to fault anything from those three series but, with Blogtor holding a metaphoric gun to my head (he’s more Countess Scarlioni than Scorby) I’ve decided to go for Brain of Morbius. Famously, Terrance Dicks was so unhappy with his script for the story that he asked for his name to be removed. It’s hard to see why, but giving Uncle Tel the benefit of the doubt, a lot of this story’s greatness comes from the performance. I still laugh like a drain at the “can you spare a glass of water?” line (allegedly improvised by Tom and Lis in rehearsal) and Sarah Jane’s temporary blindness is truly frightening – so believable is Sladen’s performance.

But it all boils down to Tom. A year into the role and truly at this top of his game, no other story showcases his ability to turn from comedy to pathos to anger to euphoria. I was six years old at the time, but I’m positive it was this story that made me want to one day work on our favourite TV series. As Tom would say, some 37 years later, “You know, I really think you might”.

Chris Chapman (Doctor Who documentary maker)
Back in 1994, Planet of Evil was the very first Tom Baker VHS I got my grubby 12-year-old mits on. For some ungodly reason, I got up at 5am the next morning to watch all 4 episodes in the dark before I went to school.

And it scared the living shit out of me.

What Planet of Evil does so well (and what certainly had a big impact on me that early morning) is atmosphere. The jungle sets are rightly acclaimed, but it's more than that - more than most Who stories there is a real sense of impending doom here, of life and death hanging in the balance. David Maloney's taut direction is a big part of that, but it's the performances of Tom and Lis that really seal the deal. It might be Sarah Jane going all twitchy-fingers in the jungle, or the Doctor shouting dire warnings at the naive Morestran crew - they sell every moment.

So imagine my surprise when I got more involved in fandom and realised this was seen as a pretty average adventure. Well, fandom, you are wrong. It's frikkin awesome.

Richard Starkings ((DWM comic strip editor, 87-89)
If there’s one DOCTOR WHO story that has stayed with me over the years, not just from the Tom Baker era but from the entire canon, it is GENESIS OF THE DALEKS. Long before STAR WARS drew upon the iconography of World War II, long before BATTLESTAR GALACTICA featured a war of attrition depicting freedom fighters as terrorists, Terry Nation, Robert Holmes and Philip Hinchcliffe delivered a harrowing morality tale that set the tone for Tom Baker’s seven year reign as The Doctor.

It not only gave us a completely satisfying new villain in the shape of Davros, and his compelling “Up above the Gods” exultation; it also gave us Daleks who — despite having played second fiddle to Davros through most of the story — delivered their own chilling manifesto “When the time is right, we will emerge and take our rightful place as the supreme power of the universe!”

Best of all, when the Doctor decides he cannot complete his mission for the Time Lords, the humanistic Doctor established by Barry Letts, Terrance Dicks and Jon Pertwee is evident when Baker’s Doctor considers… “If I kill. Wipe out a whole intelligent life form, then I become like them. I'd be no better than the Daleks."

In that moment, in all the moments like this that followed — and preceded his decision — the Doctor manifests his enlightened nature as the World Honoured One, the Buddha, and encourages us to do the same. THAT is my Doctor.

Richard Dinnick (The Underwater War author, Big Finish writer)
Deadly. Assassin. I know. The qualifier is unnecessary. We all know. And yet... It is an amazing story for so many reasons. And I don't think "The Assassin" has quite the same ring.

At the time I was jumping about this story was so exciting. The Doctor. On his home planet. Framed for being the titular lethal killer by the grimmest and most ruthless portrayal of the Master to date. I thrilled at the Time Lords robes and it seemed absolutely right at as characters they should appear as old duffers. This was what the Doctor had run way from. As a kid, I totally got that.

I loved Runcible the fatuous (had to look that one up) and the whole police procedural thing. And The Doctor suddenly rising and being Byronic while waxing lyrical about facets of legal precedent. This was meaty. This was serious. And Gough. I loved Gough. I think he's actually the best renegade Time lord we've ever had. And I include this, perhaps my favourite Master, in the line up.

Some people get hot under the collar about taking away the mystery. I don't think this is true. The Doctor was still a mystery after this. We just knew a bit more about why he ran away. There was character development here. And real jeopardy for the Doctor and something personal. Great, great stuff. Who cares if the title was a tautology? It was a great tautology and it sounded scary and serious and important. All of which the story was. So I think it works just great. In fact, if an assassin isn't deadly, he or she is pretty rubbish. So there, it's a great story. Quixotic fools!

Tommy Donbavand (Shroud of Sorrow author)
City of Death has to be the ultimate outing for Tom Baker as The Fourth Doctor. With location filming in Paris, a fracture in time, the last of the Jagaroth race and the creation of all life on Earth - it has, literally, everything.

In this story, Tom is at his playful best - delivering the lines provided by Douglas Adams and Graham Williams with gusto. From flirting with fellow Gallifreyan, Romana II, to trading quips with the irrepressible Duggan - here is an actor who is finally comfortable enough in the role of the Doctor to leave the scientific gobbledegook for another day and just have a little fun.

That's not to say there aren't problems here. We never get to know who the character is that draws Romana quite so strangely, and there is the on-going wobble to Scaroth's mask and gloves - but these issues fail to detract from a stunning location, solid direction and joyful performances.

"I say, what a wonderful butler! He's so violent!" remains one of my all-time favourite lines from Doctor Who - and who better to deliver it than all teeth and curls? Truly brilliant television!


Niel Bushnell (The Timesmith Chronicles author)
My earliest memory of Doctor Who goes back to the autumn of 1976 when I was six years old. The Hollywood glamour of Star Wars was still somewhere in the future but I was already showing early signs of an obsession. I was introspective, I played with LEGO and read comics. My condition was still in its dormant stage until one Saturday night, while eating a slice of banana cake, The Hand of Fear began and I became a highly contagious geek.

The climax of episode one is what sticks in my mind the most - the stone hand coming to life, wriggling like a finger-nailed spider, scaring me half to death. But it was the wild eyes of the Doctor that kept me coming back for more, week after week. Tom Baker really shines in this story. He's intelligent, playful, inquisitive, and very alien. Yet it's all reigned in here, bubbling just under the surface. He takes every moment seriously, from mishaps in a quarry to navigating a crisis at a nuclear power station. His intensity compels us to believe it all. He makes the story all the more terrifying. Even now his genius is evident.

Thank  you, Tom, for helping to make me the proud geek that I am today.

Hayden Black (The Dr Who Ultimate List Of Lists, Behind The Sofa)
It was a few days after Christmas, 1974 when the world realized there was an unopened present hidden under the tree. It opened the wrapping and out popped one of the best Christmas pressies ever.

Oh, Tom. The perfect man for the perfect role – and with the team of Hinchcliffe, Holmes, Sladen & Marter behind him, the world got a few perfect years. Never mind the budget (or lack thereof); just look at that first Doc-splosion, Robot. His personality dominated the screen along with his wide eyes, curls and teeth. Within seconds it was "Jon Pertwee-wee-wee, all the way home". Throwing himself in and out of Bessie, a stupidly long scarf blowing in the wind that became cooler than any Fez or bowtie could EVER be, Baker stamped his unique impression on the series faster than any other Doctor before or since. 

Robot brought us many memorable moments. The sequence where he keeps emerging from the TARDIS in different outfits; skipping rope with Harry; throwing a bucket of metal-eating goop onto the giant robot (okay, well, maybe not that sequence. After all, K1 wasn't the best-realized robot. I much preferred the eighth-next version, K9). But it brought with it a man born for the role.  

Tom Baker has become my most treasured Christmas present ever.

Cameron K McEwan (The Who's Who of Doctor Who author)
In the world of Doctor Who this Tom Baker four~parter has rather a sour name; "laughable" is usually the word it arouses. But not for me.

When I was "getting" back into Who (around 1992), I was collecting all the stories I could - usually taped off UK Gold (using various friends who had such a remarkable thing as "satellite" TV) and purchasing the odd one here and there. Heading this journey was my quest to find a story which utterly horrified me as a youngster and one that stuck in my mind as scaring me to my very core.

There was a story that included a painting, or screen, that came to life. People would go into it and bad stuff would happen.... *shivers* And then whatever was in there, escaped... *double shivers*

Even worse, these things, these monsters, were disgustingly malevolent beings and THE MOST SCARIEST, MOST BONE~CHILLING THING EVER!

After a LOT of searching (before the internet, fact fans), I found it. Watching it again back in the early Nineties was an eye~opener. Although I could recognise the facets that had terrified me so, some fifteen years previous, the comedy of the performances and production was most overwhelming. I had truly put my demons to bed. And slept with them. Twice.

I'll never tire of Nightmare of Eden. It's of its time, for sure, but it always reminds me that I was once scared. Once terrified, even. A feat that no television programme or film, for that matter, has managed. Now, of course, I sit and watch it laughing uproariously wasted and blitzed out of my mind on Vraxoin.

Gavin Dunbar (Camera Obscura bass player)
Tom Baker was my first Doctor. He's probably still my favourite. I can't remember which series I first saw at the time, I remember watching Leela, and I'm sure I saw some with Sarah Jane (or I could just be getting mixed up with my much listened to LP of Genesis Of The Daleks that I played regularly, even though it scared me senseless and the explosions near the start were really loud).

It's really hard to pick a favourite, but I'm going to go with Logopolis. It was the first time I'd seen a regeneration, and we all knew it was coming. The Master had returned and we knew he'd escaped. The Fourth Doctor's time was up, and the funereal tone of the whole story is set out for all to see.

We get to see the more of the TARDIS, I loved to see more of the TARDIS, but it was proper TARDIS corridors and rooms, and not like in The Invasion of Time. The Cloister Room was a thing of beauty.

Tom is majestic, an amazing swan-song performance. A proper last chance to show us his Doctor chops. You can really believe Tom Baker was The Doctor, probably cause he believed he was. This was his last performance and he went for it. He has great lines like the TARDIS wheezing like a Grampus, and spouting the second law of thermodynamics. I still love the burgundy coat and scarf get up. Logopolis gave him the send off he deserved.


Emrys Matthews (Blogtor Who contributor)
This is my favourite ever Doctor Who story largely because when I was young it scared the bejesus out of me and nostalgically still does. The placid murderous Robots are so scary and the claustrophobic, inescapable locale aboard the sand miner add to the tension. Tom is on particularly good form here.

Regardless of all of the above, he is calm and makes the viewer feel safe in the face of adversity. His wit and wisdom is at its height with the immortal retort, “You're a classic example of the adverse ratio between the size of the mouth and the size of the brain.” I love his relationship with one-off secret goodie robot D84; he treats the undercover agent droid like a human in only the way Tom Baker could.

Even though Tom and Louise Jameson apparently didn’t get on very well, you can’t tell and even after just one prior adventure their camaraderie is perfect. The Doctor saves the day in a typical Doctor way, even when up against a particularly terrifying genius madman, he wins the day with science.

Another favourite, even though it makes little sense, is when Tom shows up as “The Curator” in The Day of The Doctor, when I heard his voice I had shivers, a magical moment indeed.
Dave Prince (Blogtor Who contributor)
When I was asked to write a piece on my favourite Tom Baker story - The stories that sprang to mind first were Genesis Of The Daleks, The Hand of Fear and City of Death. However I then found myself coming back to one story that I always seem to watch and go to when I want some Tom action – I always watch Revenge of the Cybermen.

The return of the Cybermen was, for me, one of the highlights of The Fourth Doctor's era and still to this day the emotions I start to feel at the sight of the Cybermat attacking Sarah-Jane are those of complete dread.

This story for me has everything in it – Sarah Jane & Harry – tick, Amazing Double Entendre – tick (Just check out - "Take the Cybermen from behind.", "We're still heading for the biggest bang in history" and "Pull it harder, it's coming.") and some great edge of the seat cliffhangers. It was also the very first Doctor Who story to be released on home video back in 1983.

This was the perfect end to Tom's debut season and one I will truly cherish forever.

Andrea McGuire (Blogtor Who contributor)
There’s simply nothing that compares to City of Death for bringing together everything that is great about The Fourth Doctor’s era.  Douglas Adams gives us a sparkling script that is fabulously played by everyone involved from the big chap himself to the wonderfully dour Tancredi’s guard, and every single line is a total delight in what is one of Doctor Who’s most quotable episodes.

The supporting cast in City of Death are especially memorable and the villains are so sartorially elegant, you’d be happy to join them just for the swish threads. Heck, even the henchmen sport dashing trilbies. But I digress.

Tom Chadbon’s clobbering, bashing detective Duggan is a great part, well played as is the tragic Countess and poor old Kerensky, who only wanted to feed the world.  The standout role, of course, is Julian Glover’s fractured Scaroth. Glover brings wit, elegance and 400,000 years of agony as the last survivor(s) of a pretty nasty race. Scaroth is a one-off characters you long to see again.

And, of course, I can’t finish without mentioning Tom Baker and Lalla Ward who were never better than they are here, romping through Paris to solve a centuries old crime and save the human race. The chemistry between them is so great, you can see why they merrily waved Duggan a swift goodbye and skipped off together past the Eiffel Tower.

Nick Fraser (Blogtor Who contributor)
Familiar twin strips of time tunnel stab their way across the television screen, expanding to envelop the TARDIS, travelling outwards topped by its peculiar dome-shaped blue light. Then the gradual reveal of the unsettling gaze of the curly-haired Fourth Doctor, staring straight ahead, no reassurance offered for what might be coming.

“Contact has been made”. Yes, it’s The One With The Giant Prawn.  I’m cheating really.  For my favourite Tom Baker adventure, I’ve chosen one that’s been stored away in my memory by the six year old me, and never been viewed since. Probably for the best, if only for the sake of that giant prawn.

The Invisible Enemy is worthy of attention though. Doctor Who voyaging properly, and perilously, into space. The Doctor infected by a deadly virus.  A race against time to find a cure. A futuristic space hospital. The virus’s growing band of sinister hosts. Clones of The Doctor and Leela sent on a tour around the inner spaces of the Time Lord’s mind. The swarm’s bubbling breeding tanks on Titan (I was suspicious of mushrooms for a long time after).

No wonder the opening titles offered no comfort. For the six year old me this was deadly serious.  The Doctor was under the control of an evil entity. Who was going to save him?

Cue sound of whining motors…”Affirmative…master”.

Philip Rowntree (Blogtor Who contributor)
I remember my first Baker story. I was around at my cousins and I was introduced to The Seeds of Doom (also my first extended story... TWO VHS TAPES!!!).

I'd enjoyed other Doctor adventures, but as my mother had just obtained a greenhouse, I was genuinely terrified.  

There is something playful and unreliable about The Fourth Doctor. Baker has the power to switch from happy go lucky traveller ambling his way through the universe to a man in perilous danger. 

Dare we mention those eyes? Whether under the control of Sutekh, offering an unsuspecting enemy the timely distraction of a jelly baby or the heartbreaking moment he bade goodbye to Sarah Jane; those eyes told a story like no other Doctor.

Not enough to be all of the above, The Fourth Doctor has (in my opinion) the best costume... So much so, I may have asked my mother to provide me with my very own scarf!

So here's to The Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker!

Darren Chadwick-Hussein (The Bloody Mary Show writer)
Tom Baker’s Doctor grins too much. He grins in the sort of way that sets off alarms with Operation Yewtree investigators.

The reason I would say such a blasphemous comment? First, it was the Seventies. And they were all at it. And ,secondly, HE SCARED ME.

Not personally, of course. The stories did. They were tales of terror that these days would carry warnings in the Radio Times. Daleks, Cybermen – pffft. Tin cans and silver paint. They were nonsense. The most pant-wettingly terrifying moment? Scaroth unmasks in City of Death. Here was the reveal of a wholly new organic terror and to this day I still find myself explaining this in the offices of psychotherapists. Yes, I screamed. Yes. I peed myself. Nothing else has ever had the same effect.

Does it still fill me with terror? Not really. Not in the same way a weather station outside Burnley still does. But that’s because my parents told me it is where the Sontarans landed and were busy conducting experiments.

Is Baker adored because of his performance? Absolutely. But he heralded, in my eyes, the last of the truly terrifying antagonists. Baker was great and needed equally impressive villains – and he got them.

So yes, we all loved Tom Baker. And his incessant gurning. If he ground his teeth at the same time you’d think he’d be discovered crystal meth forty years before the gays did.


Sami Kelsh (Blogtor Who contributor)
It took me a while to warm up to Tom Baker. In hindsight, it's hard to say exactly why: I suppose, in part, that as a perennial champion of the underdog, I was entirely prepared to feel more or less lukewarm about such a well-loved and well-remembered Doctor. That said, it was inevitable that good old Crazy Eyes Bob Dylan would eventually charm his way right into my heart, with his toothy grin always towing the line between precious and unsettling, and, of course, his evident fondness for quality knitting.

Artwork by Sami Kelsh
What really made me love him, though, weren't the jelly babies or the monsters or adventures, but those little character moments, the little instances of warmth and friendship between Doctor and companion, like that little scene in Planet Of Evil, and that little smile the Doctor shares with Sarah Jane before they make their escape. The Doctor's inherent playfulness is such an integral element of Baker's performance, and it's hard not to be charmed by his irreverence in the face of danger, but for me, it's those little moments of sincere affection and rapport that make his Doctor nothing short of magic, and a part of some of my favourite television friendships.
Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this piece - your time and thoughts are very much appreciated.