Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Brian Minchin named as new Executive Producer

The BBC have named Brian Minchin as the new Executive Producer of "Doctor Who" - replacing Caroline Skinner.  The BBC Official Doctor Who Site says:

BBC Cymru Wales has announced that Brian Minchin is to be the new Executive Producer of Doctor Who, alongside showrunner Steven Moffat.
Brian Minchin is an Executive Producer in BBC Wales drama, currently working on The Game, a new Cold War spy thriller from Toby Whithouse for BBC One, and Wizards Vs Aliens, Russell T Davies’ hit show for CBBC. He has also worked as BBC Executive Producer on Dirk Gently and Being Human.
Brian produced the RTS award-winning and BAFTA nominated series The Sarah Jane Adventures, as well as the UK sections of Torchwood: Miracle Day and was Assistant Producer on Torchwood: Children of Earth.
Brian, who grew up in Aberystwyth, joined the department in Cardiff in 2005 as a Script Editor working on BBC One Wales drama Belonging, before moving on to network dramas Doctor Who and Torchwood in the same role.
Brian says: “I'm thrilled and excited to be joining Steven Moffat on a show that has meant so much to me over the years. I've watched in awe as Steven has taken Doctor Who to wild and imaginative places and I can't wait to get started on many more adventures with the Doctor.”
Faith Penhale, Head of Drama Wales, says: “I've no doubt Doctor Who will enjoy a very exciting time with Brian at the helm working alongside Steven. Since joining BBC Wales in 2005, he’s proved he has a fantastic eye for story and a sharp awareness of what makes a drama like Doctor Who unmissable."
Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, adds: "When I first took over Doctor Who, Brian was there as script editor, and in the most difficult time of a new Doctor and a new era, was completely brilliant. We lost him to producing The Sarah Jane Adventures at the end of our first run. Rising talent keeps rising, is how I comforted myself back then - but now I am beyond happy that Brian has risen all the way back to Doctor Who, in his new role of Executive Producer. I look forward to getting hopelessly lost in space and time with him."

"The Crimson Horror" - Episode Promo Images

The BBC have released 25 promo images for "The Crimson Horror".  Right click and open in new tab/window for larger versions:

Monday, 29 April 2013

Episode Review - "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis"

"Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" is one of those episodes that doesn't come along too often - one that takes something you'd wished for since you were a child...and turns it into reality on the screen in front of you.  Season 6 was the last time it happened - with Neil Gaiman's "The Doctor's Wife" fulfilling that childhood wish of the Doctor and the Tardis actually talking to one another.  "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" fulfilled another wish - that of exploring the innards of that incredible, wonderful and infinite blue box. It was hyped beyond belief - and that's always a concern as the overhyping leads to disappointment in certain quarters.  Not this one.  I wasn't disappointed - but I don't really go in for all the spin and hype.

I'm honestly not sure what people were expecting - personally, I'd have been more than happy with an entire episode of Matt Smith's Doctor showing us around the Tardis like some hyperactive tour guide - but in a 45 minute episode that needs a plot and characters how much of the Tardis did you really expect to see?  We actually saw quite a lot - definitely more than I thought.  We got to see the library, swimming pool, artefact room, observatory, Eye of Harmony and engines, not to mention endless corridors, echoes of the future and past together with time zombies and a not very likeable salvage crew.  Not bad for 45 minutes.

The Tardis herself was obviously the first star of the episode.  Ejecting the Doctor to keep him safe whilst leaving Clara trapped on board once again showed us the antagonism between two of the "ladies" in the Doctor's life. However, having done that, the Tardis DID lead Clara to one of the "echo" console rooms to keep her safe and, I guess if she wanted to she could have kept Clara out of the Library, etc.  Unease between the two but no battle lines drawn yet then.  Just WHAT is it between these two?  What does the Tardis know or sense?  What is she trying to protect the Doctor from?  I mean, there were definite maternal feelings between the Doctor and the Tardis - so much so that even Clara commented that the Doctor is like a "guy who can't ask a girl out unless his mother approves".  These feelings seemed to be reinforced later in the episode when the Doctor noted that the Tardis had always "been there for me, always taken care of me".  The constant stroking of the console by the Doctor, his words of reassurance to the Tardis take on a much deeper meaning after watching this episode.  For 900 years, she really has been the one and only constant in his life - a truly symbiotic relationship because I honestly can't see one surviving without the other.  True love exists - and it exists between a Tardis and her Time Lord.

Screencaps - BBC America Inside Look - Clara vs The Tardis

Screencaps from the BBC America Inside Look Video - Clara vs the Tardis - have been uploaded to the Flickr Gallery.  Samples below - right click and open in new tab/window for large versions - feel free to take and use:

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Video - BBC America Inside Look - Clara vs the Tardis

BBC America have uploaded another "inside look" video - this time it's "Clara vs the Tardis" - worth watching for Matt's American accent...

"Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" - Behind the Scenes Images

The BBC have uploaded some rather good behind the scenes images from "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis".  Right click and open in new tab/window for larger versions:

Video - BBC America Trailer - The Crimson Horror

As usual, BBC America have their own trailer and here's the one for "The Crimson Horror":

Screencaps - BBC Trailer - The Crimson Horror

Screencaps from the BBC Trailer for "The Crimson Horror" have been uploaded to the Flickr Gallery.  Samples below - right click and open in new tab/window for larger versions - feel free to take and use:

Screencaps - Behind the Scenes of Journey to the Centre of the Tardis

Screencaps from the behind the scenes of "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" have been uploaded to the Flickr Gallery.  Samples below - right click and open in new tab/window for larger versions - feel free to take and use:

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Video - Next Time Trailer - The Crimson Horror

Thanks to the BBC, here's the trailer for "The Crimson Horror":

Video - Behind the Scenes of Journey to the Centre of the Tardis

The BBC have uploaded their usual "behind the scenes" video - this time for "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis":

Interview - Matt Smith on the final four episodes

In an interview with the BBC, Matt Smith has talked about the final four episodes of series 7B:

As his Doctor heads to the place where he should never go, Matt Smith reflects on what fans have to look forward to from the rest of the series and on finding out the mystery of his new companion.
Having already battled an Ice Warrior and seen off a ghost, the opening episode to the next run of four finds the Doctor exploring the depths of his own home, the TARDIS.  In Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS, a spaceship salvage team drags the TARDIS on board, sending its systems into meltdown. As the Doctor marshals the motely salvage crew outside, he realises Clara is still trapped within his malfunctioning ship, pursued by a dangerous group of ossified monsters. He has just 30 minutes to find Clara and save his TARDIS before it self-destructs.
But what would Matt want to see at the centre of the TARDIS? I think what we’ve achieved in this episode is exactly what I hoped would be at the centre,explains Matt. It is a really interesting take on something that could have been quite obvious and it’s visually stunning.
Mark Gatiss returns to script-writing duty for The Crimson Horror and introduces for the first time on screen together mother and daughter, Dame Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling. It was an intriguing and creative experience watching mother and daughter work together, explains Matt.  Dame Diana has had such an illustrious career and Rachael is a great actress, he concludes.   
The penultimate episode of the series in the show’s 50th year marks the return of one of the Doctor’s oldest foes, the Cybermen. Penned by Neil Gaiman, the Cybermen have been given a makeover – they’re faster and more deadly! Nightmare In Silver sees the Doctor travel to the greatest theme park in the galaxy, Hedgewick’s World Of Wonders... or at least it used to be. Now dilapidated, it’s home to a shabby showman, a chess-playing dwarf and a dysfunctional army platoon. When the Doctor, Clara, Artie and Angie arrive, the last thing they expect is the re-emergence of one of the Doctor’s oldest enemies.  The episode continues the run of stellar guest stars with Warwick Davis, Tamzin Outhwaite and Jason Watkins. 
While mystery surrounds the finale, we do know a couple of snippets. Firstly, that the Doctor will finally find out just what makes his new companion so impossible and secondly, he’ll be put to his ultimate test when his friends start to be kidnapped, leading him towards the one place that he should never go. Making the debut in this episode is a new foe, the Whispermen, which dressed in sartorial finery Matt considers a modern day classic with a brilliant style.  They’re truly terrifying!      
So is there anything Matt can reveal about the finale? With the 50th, this is going to be by far the biggest year in the history of the show. And the finale is just the start. It focuses on a pivotal moment in the Doctor’s life and the life of his companion. It’s a complete game changer and it all starts now.

Interview - Jenna-Louise Coleman

In an interview with the BBC, Jenna-Louise Coleman gives her thoughts about what we have to look forward to in the final four episodes:

Described as the ‘impossible girl’, we’ve been promised a surprise when the truth behind Jenna’s character is finally revealed. But before we find out just what makes her so impossible, there are three other episodes, including the return of the Cybermen! Here, Jenna explains a bit about what we have to look forward to.
I was really nervous that dayI think I had been on the show for five months by then, but I didn’t feel completely initiated, explains Jenna as she remembers stepping on to the TARDIS for the first time. For Matt, he got a brand new toy, but I was quite quiet.
But what is like to film on the most of the most famous sets in the world? It’s impossible to keep still while you’re in there as there is so much to look at and play with. It was a fun time for us to have our own little home to inhabit,she concludes.
As the series heads to the epic finale, which will spring board in to the 50th, more of the Doctor’s mode of transport will be revealed than ever before in the aptly titled Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS.  As Clara becomes trapped within the malfunctioning ship, pursued by a dangerous group of Time Zombies, it’s a race against time to escape before the TARDIS self-destructs. 
But what would she like to see at the centre of the time travelling box? I don’t think we should ever see what’s at the centre of the TARDIS as that’s the mystery. I like the sense of intrigue!
Heading from the TARDIS, the next episode sees Mark Gatiss return with The Crimson Horror, which will guest star on screen together for the first time Dame Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling. I loved working with Diana Rigg, exclaims Jenna.  I loved the way she operated and carried herself, I was kind of just giggling the whole way through shoot. I just enjoyed having her around. It was great to sit back and watch how mother and daughter worked and their dynamic together, she concludes.
During this series, Jenna’s character has been faced with lots of new challenges, as she gets to grip with life travelling by the side of the Doctor. The finale, The Name Of The Doctor, will not only take fans to the place the Doctor should never go, but it will also solve the mystery around the impossible girl. Having remained tight-lipped about Clara, will Jenna be happy to finally be able to talk about her character? I am, I can’t wait! The finale story is such a fantastic idea; it’s epic and huge and filled with drama.
It was really exciting to sit down and read the script, she continues. There are little bits and pieces, which Steven planted a couple of years ago. It’s just really clever and a crucial moment in the Doctor’s life that you get to explore with the best baddies! I really think they are going to become another Moffat classic, she concludes.
Having had three official introductions as a Dalek, a Victorian governess and in her current form as modern day Clara Oswald, is there a teaser Jenna can leave us with?  All I can say is that Clara hasn’t just met the Doctor three times before...

Steven Moffat talks about the Finale...

The BBC Media Centre has issued it's press pack for the final four episodes of series 7B, in which Steven Moffat talks about the finale (amongst other things):

Lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, gives us an insight into what to expect from the end of the series as we head towards the 50th and what has been dubbed the biggest year in the history of the show.
Opening up the final part of this series we get to explore the Doctor’s time travelling machine in Journey To The Centre of the TARDIS, but what surprises can we expect?
We’ve already revealed that the Doctor has a swimming pool and the TARDIS has a problem with Time Zombies, but there’s much, much more than that.  We guarantee there will be surprises, but you’ll have to watch to find out exactly where we’ll be going as we finally explore beyond the console room.
Why did you decide to introduce creepy new monsters, The Whispermen, in the last episode? What was your inspiration for them?
The great dilemma is that Doctor Who is never more like Doctor Who when it is introducing a new monster, but equally when it’s reviving a foe from the classic era. Having brought back two of the classics, the Ice Warriors and the Cybermen, this year we wanted a brand new monster to create chills in the finale. And the thought of stylish whispering almost faceless creatures was an idea that firstly scared me and that I thought would work well in an episode that looks forward and back.
We know that The Cybermen return with an updated design, why did you decide to change them?
One of the things that the Cybermen historically like to do before involving themselves in a new military campaign is run up a new outfit. Throughout the classic series they always changed their appearance and we’ve been very consistent with them. I thought it was time that they went back to their tailor and had a re-model!
How was it having mother and daughter Dame Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling on set for Crimson Horror?
It’s obviously a great honour to have either of those actors on the show, but to have them acting together for the very first time on anything is quite extraordinary.  Only Doctor Who can do this and possibly only when Mark Gatiss is behind it.
What can you tell us about the finale?
It’s full of surprises and questions that have never been answered in the history of Who, including the Doctor's greatest secret. We’re not pretending, we’re not kidding, it’s actually going to happen. The episode is called The Name Of The Doctor and involves our hero in a conflict that is very, very personal to him. Usually he’s saving other people, but this time he might be the one who needs to be saved. We’ll also find out what makes his new companion so impossible and there’s a surprise that no one has got right so far, and one that will change the course of Who forever!

Episode Synopsis - "The Name of the Doctor"

The BBC have released the synopsis for the series finale, "The Name of the Doctor":
Clara is summoned to an impossible conference call, alerting her that the deadly Whisper Men are closing in on Vastra, Jenny and Strax. Someone is kidnapping the Doctor’s friends, leading him toward the one place in all of time and space that he should never go. It’s a deadly trap that threatens to unravel his past, present and future...
Executive produced by Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner 
Directed by Saul Metzstein 
Written by Steven Moffat 
Produced by Denise Paul 
Series produced by Marcus Wilson

Friday, 26 April 2013

Video - Matt Smith Introduces "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis"

The BBC have uploaded their usual introduction video to "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" - this time featuring Matt Smith:

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Screencaps - "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" - Preview Clip 2

Screencaps from the second "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" preview clip have been uploaded to the Flickr Gallery.  Samples below - right click and open in new tab/window for larger versions - feel free to take and use:

Screencaps - "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" - Preview Clip 1

Screencaps from the first preview clip of "Journey to the Centre of the Tardis" have been added to the Flickr Gallery.  Samples below - right click and open in new tab/window for larger versions - feel free to take and use: