Space Helmet for a Cow II – Exclusive Extract

Space Helmet for a Cow II (Credit: Mad Norwegian Press)Mad Norwegian Press have published the second volume of Space Helmet for a Cow - The Mad, True Story of Doctor Who, and Doctor Who News is pleased to offer readers an exclusive extract from the book.

In Space Helmet for a Cow 2, award-winning writer Paul Kirkley (Doctor Who Magazine, Radio Times, SFX) continues his witty and irreverent history of Doctor Who, from the wilderness years of the 1990s – when the 30th anniversary special was so bad, it didn’t even go straight to video – to its triumphant 50th birthday celebrations, when every single person in the world sat down to watch Doctor Who together. (Except Christopher Eccleston, who was busy.)

From Hugo Award-winning publisher Mad Norwegian Press, it’s the book that answers such burning questions as: Did Benny and Bjorn from Abba really plan a Torchwood musical called Weevil Rock You? Which Doctors shared a bed? Did Blue Peter and Sad Tony eventually find love? How did David Tennant become his own son-in-law? And was there really a sequel to Carnival of Monsters at Wembley Arena, or did we dream it?



Thanks to Mad Norwegian Press Doctor Who News is able to offer a free download of a complete section of the book, dealing with the years 1990-2003. At 25,000+ words, this is a comprehensive guide to Doctor Who’s “wilderness years” - with jokes - that also works as a standalone read in itself.



The full version of Space Helmet for a Cow 2: The Mad, True Story of Doctor Who (1990-2013) can be purchased from Amazon. UK US CA DE

Big Finish main range during 2017

Big Finish have announced details for their main range of Doctor Who adventures over the course of next year.

January sees a new trilogy featuring the fifth Doctor and companions, which as well as Tegan and Nyssa will also see them joined with Adric, as played by Matthew Waterhouse. Having first returned to the Doctor Who fold in 2014's Fifth Doctor Box Set, the character now arrives in the main range, with Matthew commenting:
I took a long time to get around to the idea of doing the audios – and now I just absolutely love it, I think the character's beautifully written. Everything we're doing at Big Finish is stuff that's already in the character, in the stories, they're just being extended a bit. Having said I don't want to do them, now I think “when's next week's one going to arrive?”. This is proper Doctor Who, they're really carefully written, they're witty and funny, they're highly inventive.
Range editor Alan Barnes said:
It's been great to at last bring Adric into the monthly range – well, before his tragic death, at least! Andrew Smith wrote the character's introductory story on TV, so I was determined to get Andrew to write his re-introduction. Andrew's The Star Men, full of far-out cosmic science, is the first story of the trilogy, in which an astronomical base at the fringes of Earth's galaxy finds itself on the frontline of a war with an unimaginably alien force...
Matthew added:
Adric's quite heroic in this, and a young woman finds him rather hot because she's a bit brainy like he is: there's some genuine, character work going on with a great concept and there's some really nice moments between him and a young woman called Autumn (played by Sophie Wu).
The characters continue their journeys over the next two months, with Alan adding:
Phil Mulryne's The Contingency Club comes next, in which the TARDIS lands inside the most exclusive gentlemen's club in all of Victorian London – a club where all the waiters are identical clones! The final instalment of the trilogy is Zaltys by Matthew J Elliott, which brings the TARDIS to a world just hours from catastrophe, while Tegan is stranded in space... where she comes face to face with a very particular sort of horror, one she thought existed only in nightmares...
Additional cast members include Sue Holderness (Only Fools And Horses) in The Star Men, Philip Jackson (Inspector Japp in ITV's Poirot) and Clive Merrison (The Tomb of the Cybermen, Paradise Towers) in The Contingency Club, and Rebecca Root (Boy Meets Girl), Niamh Cusack (Heartbeat), Philip Franks (The Darling Buds of May, Heartbeat) and Carol Sloman – daughter of Doctor Who writer Robert Sloman - in Zaltys. The trilogy has covers from designer Tom Webster.

The Star Men (Credit: Big Finish) The Contingency Club (Credit: Big Finish) Zaltys (Credit: Big Finish)

April sees a change in style for the regular range, as Big Finish embarks on the first of three special two-disc collections of two stories. The first stars Peter Davison as the fifth Doctor in Alien Heart by Steve Cole, and Dalek Soul by Guy Adams. This is followed in May by Colin Baker's sixth Doctor starring in Vortex Ice by Jonathan Morris, and Cortex Fire by Ian Potter, and then in June Sylvester McCoy brings the trilogy to a close with Shadow Planet by AK Benedict and World Apart by Scott Handcock.

Alan commmented:
The double-bills in April to June came about because, er... well, we all quite liked the idea of double-bills, really! Each consists of two two-part adventures, each by a different author, one on each of the two discs; each, hopefully, has a very different style and tone to its companion piece – there should be a nice contrast between the two. Alien Heart is about a species of weird spider-like monsters linked to the systematic destruction of planets, and Dalek Soul is a particularly bleak piece set on the Dalek-occupied world of Mojoxalli.

May features Lisa Greenwood as Flip – hurrah! – reunited with the sixth Doctor, in two adventures set before her (apparent) exit in Scavenger. Vortex Ice is a brain-scrambling conundrum of a story set in a diamond mine; then Cortex Fire, like its title sort-of suggests, is about an epidemic of spontaneous human combustion on a distant planet. Finally, in June, there's the return of the seventh Doctor and Ace in Shadow Planet/World Apart. The first has them at a far-out therapy centre, getting some very alternative medicine; then the second the TARDIS travellers are found marooned somewhere very inhospitable indeed...

Looking a little further into 2017, July sees the award-winning John Dorney back writing for the main range with The High Price of Parking starring the seventh Doctor, Mel and Ace. August's title has yet to be confirmed, but September will see two releases, with Matthew J Elliott's The Silurian Candidate for the seventh Doctor and Eddie Robson's Time in Office featuring the fifth Doctor, Tegan and another Doctor's one-time companion. The end of the year sees a full trilogy of adventures featuring the sixth Doctor, Constance and Flip, following on from this month's release, Quicksilver.


The main range can be bought individually, or subscribed to in both six- and 12-episode runs, at money-saving prices as well as special exclusives such as PDF scripts, extended extras and up to four Doctor Who - Subscriber Short Trips a year. Full details can be found via the Big Finish website.

Peter Capaldi Ponders Future

The Return of Doctor Mysterio  - Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI) (Credit: BBC)
Peter Capaldi has been talking about his future in Doctor Who and has revealed he hasn't decided yet whether to stay on for a fourth series.

Talking to Wales Online the actor was asked about his plans for the future.
I've been asked to stay on and I haven't made my mind up about that yet, mainly because I don't want to have to make that decision. I'm trying to avoid it!
Capaldi returns this Christmas in The Return of Doctor Mysterio, followed by a twelve part series, to be shown next Spring. Next year's Christmas special will be the last story under the aegis of current show-runner Steven Moffat.

New showrunner Chris Chibnall will take over for the 2018 series, but Capaldi has not yet decided whether to stay for the transition.
Doctor Who does take a lot of time, but it's a wonderful use of it. It's special. I'm lucky enough to be in touch with other Doctors, and we all agree how extraordinary it is to be in this position. To decide to leave is a tough decision for everybody. [It was] very tough for Steven, so I'm just putting it off for as long as possible.
Capaldi has already been seen in 28 episodes of Doctor Who, with another 13 in production.

In comparison, Matt Smith has, so far, appeared in 46 episodes and David Tennant in 49. All have a long way to go to catch the record of the longest-serving Doctor, Tom Baker, who has ranked up 174 episodes.

Actor Statistics
Source: Wales Online

Christmas Issue of Radio Times

Radio Times Christmas issue (17-30 Dec 2016) (Credit: Radio Times)Today sees the nationwide publication of the 'lengendary' double edition of Radio Times, which features a second interview with Peter Capaldi in as many weeks!

Speaking about where he would go if he could travel in time, the Doctor Who star reflected on his pop-idols:
I never saw enough of David Bowie. And the last time he played in London, I had to give up my ticket as I had a job in Eastern Europe. My wife called me from the concert, held her phone up and let me hear the entirety of Heroes. It cost around 40 quid to hear that one song.

(The Beatles) were the soundtrack to our lives, growing up in the 1960s. I remember hearing She Loves You everywhere. That song is like a time machine. ... It came out in 1963 when I was five. Also in 1963, Doctor Who started on the BBC, and the Beatles appeared on it in 1965...

The full item can be read in Radio Times, which also includes an interview with UK Prime Minister, Theresa May on all things Christmas: speaking about what her TV schedule for Christmas would include, she said:
I always like to see Doctor Who on Christmas night, if possible, and a nice Agatha Christie to curl up with. David Suchet was a great Poirot – he got him to a T.

As well as the interviews, the magazine includes an exclusive photo-shoot featuring "Doctor Who in New York" with Peter Capaldi, Matt Lucas (Nardole) and Justin Chatwin (The Ghost), plus the last part of their competition to win a piece of exclusive artwork.

And, of course, full details on this year's Christmas Special, The Return of Doctor Mysterio!

Radio Times New York photoshoot (from 17-30 Dec 2016 double issue) (Credit: Radio Times)

The double-issue of Radio Times is on general sale nationwide today.

Johnny Dennis


The actor Johnny Dennis has died.

Johnny Dennis played the bus driver Murray in the 1987 Doctor Who story Delta and the Bannermen.

As well as Doctor Who, Dennis appeared in television shows such as The Bill, The Devil's Crown, The Enigma Files, Prospects, Dempsey and Makepeace, Surgical Spirit and Conjugal Rights. On film, he appeared in Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire, The Great Escape II: The Untold Story, and Il giovane Toscanini.

He had a long association with the Player's Theatre Music Hall in Leeds and took over from Leonard Sachs as the host of The Good Old Days in 1988.

Outside of entertainment, he was a keen cricketer, was affectionately known as the Voice of Lord’s, having been the MCC’s senior announcer for 18 years. It was whilst playing for Lords Taverners that he met Test Match commentator Brian Johnston, who recommended him for the role. When the incumbent announcer Alan Curtis became unavailable owing to an acting engagement in a Carry On film, Dennis took over. This led to a career spanning some 38 years and some 136 test matches. He finally retired in 2014.

The voice for The Home of Cricket

The Return of Doctor Mysterio – New Pictures

The BBC has released a large number of photographs from the upcoming Christmas Special The Return of Doctor Mysterio

The episode can be seen in the UK on Christmas Day at 5.45pm, with screenings around the world following shortly after. Full details here

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