1967 Screen-Used Original Ice Warrior Head from Doctor Who Discovered!

It’s not every day you find a screen-used, Classic Doctor Who prop, let alone one that has such an iconic image as the Ice Warrior, but that's exactly what Toybox Treasures' Matthew Doe did!

It was the monsters that first cemented Doctor Who’s popularity and carried it through the earth-shattering change in lead actor in 1966. Patrick Troughton’s era is renowned for its monster stories and indeed, his second year is known as ‘The Monster Season’ for good reason.

Along with the latest adventures with the Daleks and Cybermen, a parade of new aliens graced TVs everywhere – none more long lasting in impact than The Ice Warriors. They were so successful in their debut story that a return was swiftly arranged for Troughton’s last season in The Seeds of Death. The Pertwee era relied less on the past – despite three Dalek stories, the Cybermen didn’t return until the Fourth Doctor had arrived. However, the Ice Warriors did return, not once but twice in consecutive years with Curse of Peladon and Monster of Peladon in 1973 and 1974 respectively. And of course, they have returned in the modern series – facing down Matt Smith in Cold War and returning against Peter Capaldi this year.

Speaking on the find, Toybox Treasures' Matthew Doe said:

"As a prop collector and dealer, I often receive emails starting “I’ve got a screen used….” Unlike 90% of these emails, this one led to an incredible discovery – a screen-used Ice Warrior head that could be the only known surviving classic Ice Warrior head in existence. Not only that, but one of the very first made in 1967, the so-called ‘big head’ version.

We were actually on our way back from London, having met up with the lovely Sue Moore (modelling genius behind many 80’s monsters), when I received a call asking me if I’d like to meet up to discuss the Ice Warrior. This was arranged for the following morning. (We had travelled well over 800 miles in the past couple of days buying props for clients, so to cut down on travelling we opted to spend another night at a hotel for a welcomed break and an easier journey the next day)

And it was the real deal – despite clearly suffering the ravages of time, this was one of the very earliest Ice Warrior heads, used in both Troughton’s and Pertwee’s era. This is one of those moments you dream of as both a prop collector and Who fan.

I needed to know from a collector’s point of view, the best way forward for the Ice Warrior’s head. Should the head be restored or preserved? What kind of reception would it get? I am very fortunate to have a group of friends that I can call upon for advice so I contacted Mick Hall, Colin Young, Graham Flynn and John Tobin (for those who don’t know, these guys are what we call the dog’s dangles of Dr Who prop collectors – the world’s leading Doctor Who prop guys!). After a lot of discussion and thought, I decided the best way (and only way) forward was to call Mike Tucker who I am fortunate to know and proud to call a friend. Mike Tucker was really the only person for the job- a Bafta winner for his work on the series, he’s well respected within the industry having worked for BBC’s Visual Effects department and now owning The Model Unit – and he’s one of a tiny group of people to have worked on both the classic and modern series.

After consulting with Mike, and taking into consideration the collectors of the Doctor Who world, I decided it had to be be preserved (every time we touched the Ice Warrior latex was falling off in our hand) and it hand to be done quick. The worst outcome for this historical item would be for it to fall to pieces and cease to exist so within days of picking it up we drove to Ealing Studios to drop this off so Mike could start work.

If you haven’t had a chance to speak to Mike then do please make the effort and go to one of his public appearances/talks – I promise you will have a most enjoyable time listening to his experiences in film and TV, and both eras of the show we all love.

As any prop collector will tell you, props made to last a few weeks decades ago and which were used more than once, in this case over 7 years apart, are going to suffer damage. Add in that a lot of the Ice Warrior head is latex which doesn’t like hot lights – present in the studio and later at the Blackpool Exhibition – and you’ll see the problem.  The head needed a lot of work if it was to survive for future generations of fans to appreciate.

But if I went down a full restoration route it would mean that the head quite frankly would no longer be 100% original; currently having the odd repair here and there; with a result of bearing no resemblance of what was screen used. And that, was out of the question. Actually doesn’t that turn props into Replicas when most of it has been replaced? At what point does it remove that original factor? Perhaps that’s an open discussion for us over on the Facebook group. A future owner can still go down a restoration route but for me, the focus was on Preservation. "

Preservation work:

In preserving the Ice Warrior’s head, all existing pieces were used, colour matching the age and sometimes having to remove layers of paint. It’s a lot harder in some cases to do this than just fully restore a piece. Here’s a list of some what we have had done and in doing so have kept it’s original aspect.

·  Removed by hand the silver paint which was applied during exhibition, this covered the orange eyes in which it had from it’s time in the 1974 episode “Monster of Pela Don” with Jon Pertwee. – There was actually some of the green film attached to the inside from it’s 1967 Ice Warriors Appearance.

·  Using existing latex pieces that had fallen off to repair the side mouth, this meant we kept everything original we used no new pieces of latex.

·  Repositioned mouth. Due to one piece of the cheek missing, this had unfortunately lowered the mouth, so again using original latex pieces put back into position, this made the mouth whole again.

·  Matching paint to cover where needed. There are two layers of paint on the Ice Warrior; firstly when it was seen screen used, and then a brighter paint colour was added when used for the Doctor Who exhibition in the early 80’s

Doctor Who Magazine:

Matthew Doe spoke to Richard Moleworth of Doctor Who Magazine about the prop. Richard had gone to an in depth review of the Ice Warrior for his article in Doctor Who Magazine, and leaving no stone unturned in his research of the ice warrior. Purchase Doctor Who Magazine Issue #513 for an exclusive interview with Mike Tucker from The Model Unit.

DWO managed to grab a few more questions with Matthew Doe regarding the find:

Items like this don’t turn up very often. What did you think when you firs heard about the Ice Warrior head, and how do you choose between scepticism and belief?

Love at first sight? OK, no really, something that's really hard to fake in this game is age, so to start with, does it feel right, smell right, and are the materials of an age is the first thing. I think when you have got past that barrier with a prop from the 60's, you can then start looking at screen matching it, although we are talking poor quality recordings from the 1960's, so screen matching an item can be really hard unless you have access to promotional shots. Luckily with a combination of behind the scenes photos / on screen and the radio times photos, we were able to start tracing its pedigree history right from the go. It was also the first time I had the pleasure of speaking to Richard Molesworth; wow - no stone was left unturned with Richard. He was doing the interview and report for Doctor Who magazine about its history and really brought the whole Ice Warrior to life.

As far as finds go, how far up there is the Ice Warrior head in your collecting history, so far?

I've sourced things from a screen-used Cyberman Chest Piece to a 6" Screen Used Dalek, but this is pretty up there with the Dalek I think; it's one of the oldest pieces I have owned - I mean there isn't really that many years of Doctor Who before '67. So things are going to be limited what can be found now.

Is there a dream prop / costume that you’d love to find one day (Ice Warrior head aside)?

Dream prop, maybe - I think like any Doctor Who fan it would be a full sized Dalek but - I would probably go as far as something really iconic and easy to display like Bill's cane or Pat's recorder. I've had a fair share of my full size Daleks, two words "DUST TRAP" - I think we will leave that there. 

Be honest…have you tried it on, yet?

Actually I haven't - it's so fragile, trying to undo the leather straps and put around my head, I think I would break it trying.

If you could take a round trip in the TARDIS, anywhere in time and space, where would you go and why?

Help with world peace and save lives? Who wouldn't, if we are talking the Doctor Who world - probably go back and stop the tapes from being wiped - Grrrrr ! As most of the people who read this, Doctor Who is a large part of most of our lives, eat & sleep it, so why not, lets rescue some tapes!

[Sources: Toybox Treasures; DWO]

10.7: The Pyramid At The End Of The World – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

As two-parters go, The Pyramid At The End Of The World had a lot to live up to from the previous episode...

The story itself is a lot simpler than last week's, and The Monks are centre stage with their plan to take the planet and its people. We kick off with a rather interesting twist on the 'previously...' recap at the start of the episode, that interjects with scenes from 'now' - something that not only works really well, but has Moffat written all over it!

As with last week, we have a side story, which, at first, seems completely unrelated, but we later find out how the two correlate and it plays out to set the stage for the episode's conclusion. For a moment, we actually thought this scene was setting us up for a shock regeneration, as it appears to mirror events from a previous episode in the 10th Doctor's timeline.

Those of you expecting to see Missy will be disappointed. After the set-up from the closing moments of the previous episode she is nowhere to be seen; a rather odd, but, in hindsight, deliberate choice.

Bill has some great moments in the episode, and you relish the times where she problem solves out loud, proving to The Doctor (and everyone around her) just how intelligent she is. The Pyramid At The End Of The World gives Pearl Mackie another platform to show off her skills and give great development to her character, and as events come to a head, Bill actually becomes the most important person on the planet.

Where we feel things are let down a bit is in the form of suspense; something that was peppered throughout the previous episode.Yes, Extremis was a little slower than other stories this season, but the suspense built throughout and coupled with the claustrophobic setting of the library, and the pursuit of the creepy Monks, it all worked together so well. This episode, whilst still suspenseful in places, felt disparate and a little disjointed; so many elements from last weeks story were missing here, and you expected them to reappear to give some form of a resolution.

One thing that the story did exceptionally well was its use of location; that pyramid (both external and internal) was fantastic, and it kind of has you longing for an Egyptian-themed episode of Doctor Who.

Something that deserves a mention is the way in which Rachel Denning (an actor with dwarfism) was used in the episode. Not only did she do a fantastic job with the role, but her disability wasn't even referenced in the story - nor did it need to be. Another excellent example of representation of diversity in Doctor Who.

Although The Pyramid At The End Of The World didn't tick all the boxes, and was far from a perfect episode, it still somehow manages to continue the quality and momentum of success that Series 10 has carried thus far. Speaking of momentum, the first line of this review will be turned on its head as the end titles roll. ;)



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  An indirect but totally accurate reference to Trump.
2)  The most advanced duffle coat in history.
3)  Strands of time.
4)  2 Minutes to Midnight...
5)  A scene reminiscent of The Doctor and Wilf in the isolation chamber...

+  10.7: The Pyramid At The End Of The World airs This Saturday at 7:45pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

10.6: Extremis – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

As we approach the halfway marker of Series 10, it's clear we've had a very strong season so far, but it's a point where we start to wonder how long the momentum can last. With the return of Missy, and an episode written by Steven Moffat, however, you may just have to wait a little longer as this series continues to deliver with Extremis.

From the off, Moffat is on fine form; the episode starts 'A long time ago' as we spiral in on an unknown planet that specialises in executions. To name either the executioner or the condemned would be giving too much away, but typical of Moffat's style, this little narrative which fades in and out of the main story is a pleasant distraction, and you keep wanting to know its resolution.

Ok..we can hear you asking... and YES - we do get to find out who or what is inside the vault, but as we read our checklist of what we can and can't mention in our preview, alas, the identity is something we cannot reveal - although the more astute among you will have probably guessed by now.

The episode is centred around a book called The Veritas - something that anyone who has read has soon after died. The way in which The Doctor is involved is straight out of a Dan Brown novel. In fact, The Doctor can very easily be compared to Robert Langdon (the central character in Brown's books); a smart man, called in by the Catholic church to solve a chilling mystery at its heart. There are scenes that appear to be straight out of Angels And Demons, and the adventure is all the richer for it. Previewing an episode like this is incredibly difficult without giving anything away, but, as you can expect, there is something much larger going on behind the scenes here, and you'll be left with way more questions before the titles roll.

There are so many elements that pull together to form a truly amazing episode of Doctor Who; you have the central season arc referenced, there are truly, TRULY terrifying villains, some amazing sets and locations and a terrific score that makes the adventure way larger than the sum of its parts. In many ways, Extremis feels more like a movie than it does an episode, and by the time the 48-minute timeframe is up, you are desperate for more. For the second time this season there are echoes of Silence In The Library; helped, in part, that there are several scenes set inside the Vatican library, and the re-emergence of a certain...ahem...diary.

We mentioned a couple of episodes back how the horror element has been ramped this season, something that is reminiscent of the Hinchcliffe years of Doctor Who, and as far as villains go, we think that the hooded monks are quite possibly the most frightening and chilling monsters the show has had to date. The look and feel of the monks, coupled with the way in which they talk will creep you out to the max.

Not sure if it is deliberate, but look out for the familiar melody from the opening bars of Thunderball that repeat themeslves throughout Murray Gold's score for Extremis. The similarities to Bond don't end there either, as there's something very Thomas Newman-esque about it, and at one point near the end, there's another familiar Bond riff. Comparisons aside, Gold's music once again takes centre stage and accompanies the adventure with audible precision.

Extremis, although a slower episode than we're used to this season (which isn't a bad thing), is a wonderful reminder of just how good Steven Moffat is as a writer, and why we've been so lucky to have him at the heart of Doctor Who for the past 7 years. This feels like the beginning of his swan song and he is going out in a blaze of glory. But before all that, The Pyramid At The End Of The World beckons...



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”Prydonian Chapter”
2)  CERN
3)  Shhhh! Spoilers!
4)  Someone has the authority to "kick The Doctor's ass"!
5)  The return of a location The Doctor last visited in Series 6.

+  10.6: Extremis airs This Saturday at 7:25pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

Review: The Infinity Engines [Book 1]: Anachronist: A Time Travel Adventure

Publisher: Amazon Media

Written By: Andrew Hastie

RRP: £9.99 (Paperback) / £2.99 (Kindle)

Release Date: January 2015

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 12th May 2017

DWO regularly receives a wide range of products to review; some Doctor Who related and some indirectly related to the Doctor Who universe. Whilst Andrew Hastie's The Infinity Engines series isn't a Doctor Who title, we couldn't help but feel that there were several strands that connected to the whoniverse, and the first book in the series 'Anachronist' is one many who fans will love and find it hard to put down.

Anachronist is the perfect blend of History and Science Fiction with intelligent plot devices, rich characters and more time travel than you can shake a stick at. In fact, this is a story that will give any Doctor Who fan that warm, Mr Kipling-esque feeling of familiarity. The first chapter even feels like a pre-titles sequence set-up that literally launches you right into the action. There's a slight feeling of John Green in Hastie's style, and at its heart (and much like a John Green title) this is a coming of age story.

The time travel element is set up pretty quickly, and without giving to much away, Josh (the main character), quickly finds himself in the past in historical Prussia in 1944. Hastie's ability to weave in actual historical elements, whilst carving out his own unique story is seamless and refreshing, and you go to so many places and points in time that the book never tires or stagnates.

Anachronist has something for everyone, and for those of you who are a sucker for a romance, Hastie has that covered for you, too! Nothing is shoe-horned in for effect, everything has its place and a meaning and the reader genuinely cares for Josh and the people he meets along the way.

The book ends on a cliffhanger, and you will be climbing the walls desperate for a resolution. We just wish we could time travel into the future to read it!

 

+  Anachronist: A Time Travel Adventure is Out Now, priced £9.99 / $12.99.
+  Buy this book on Amazon!
+  Follow Infinity Engines on Twitter.

Will Doctor Who Ever Enter the World of Online Slots?

With its look at the less utopian side of space travel, Jamie Mathieson’s latest Doctor Who episode Oxygen was a corker which added to growing calls from fans for him to be considered as a future showrunner. Taking its cues from the likes of Alien, it saw the Doctor musing over big business, the expendability of workers and even capitalism in an adventure rife with political allegory.

It is rather interesting to see the show takes this tone, particularly considering just how valuable it is itself to the BBC in pure financial terms. It is the very essence of a money-spinner and something that the Beeb rightly takes full advantage of in that sense.

Doctor Who is consistently one of BBC Worldwide’s hottest properties, with Series 8 being the top selling programme of 2014/15 for the organisation and being licensed to nearly 200 territories across the globe. Add to this the revenues generated from merchandise for present and past Doctors, box set sales, the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff and much more and you have a truly lucrative franchise.

However, there is one place we are yet to actually see our favourite Gallifreyan pop up in and while it might seem a strange fit, it is a domain where many of TV and film’s biggest names can be found.

Big business

Online gambling – or iGaming – is a huge area in the 21st century. According to research by the iGaming Business Market Monitor, the UK market was expected to surpass the £4 billion mark last year alone. It is a vast and diverse area where businesses offer a range of games, but one of the most popular types of iGaming is undoubtedly online slots.

Based on the offline machines you see in amusements and arcades up and down the country, the games have a tried and tested format which remains popular with players. They are also available in a range of styles and an increasingly common type is those based on major TV shows.

Take the slots from 32Red for instance, where branded games are available based on the likes of HBO’s megahit Game of Thrones and even Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. These games tend to reflect their inspiration in a number of ways, from using imagery synonymous with the shows to background music and sound effects based on their soundtracks. In the case of Game of Thrones, the plot of the show is even reflected in the gameplay with dragons and direwolves getting involved in the action.

Those games are just two of many examples of online slots based on TV and film, with Spin And Win offering a game based on JJ Abrams’ 2009 take on Star Trek and Jackpot Paradise showcasing one based on Terminator 2: Judgment Day. But why are such franchises seen as a natural fit with iGaming and - ultimately - why should Doctor Who get involved too?

A new experience

All in all, it comes down to the fact that iGaming businesses are keen to be able to offer customers a wide range of experiences, which means creating slots based on a number of different themes. Obviously, having a major property to play with is a big deal, as the hope is that a title based on Game of Thrones – or Doctor Who – would not only be interesting to existing players but also encourage fans to check the games out and see how their favourite shows have been adapted into the online slot world. 

Steven Moffat has overseen Doctor Who as it has transformed into a global phenomenon with a huge number of fans, which means there is a huge potential audience for a new online game based on the show. Furthermore, with its iconic theme music, ever-changing cast of heroes and array of colourful monsters, the audiovisual spectacle of a Doctor Who online slot would surely be a real feast for the eyes. Because of regenerations and multiple iconic enemies, there's even potential for a series of slots, each based on a different Doctor.

Ultimately, whether we ever see such a slot game on a site like 32Red is down to BBC Worldwide and its future plans to develop the franchise. However, with so many other genre shows having a place in the online slot world, our guess is that the Doctor can easily become a literal money-spinner in the near future.

Rose Tyler Returns In Big Finish’ Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2!

David Tennant and Billie Piper are reprising their roles of the Tenth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler in three new Doctor Who audio dramas from Big Finish Productions in arrangement with BBC Worldwide.

David Tennant’s Doctor, portrayed on screen from December 2005 until December 2009, returned in the 50th Anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor, with Matt Smith and Sir John Hurt in 2013, and on audio for Big Finish with Catherine Tate in 2016.

Billie Piper portrayed the Doctor’s much-loved companion Rose in 2005 and 2006, returning for a number of stories in 2008. She also appeared as The Moment – which had taken Rose’s form – in The Day Of The Doctor. These new stories will be Billie’s eagerly-awaited debut for Big Finish.

Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery says:

"Getting David and Billie back together was definitely on my bucket list – two wonderful actors who created an era of Doctor Who which is so fondly remembered and brought a different aspect of the relationship between the Doctor and his companion to the fore – love, both platonic and unrequited. It’s great to have the Tenth Doctor and Rose back again!"

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2, to be released in November 2017, is comprised of three thrilling hour-long full-cast audio adventures.

The set opens with Infamy Of The Zaross by John Dorney, in which an alien invasion of Earth isn’t quite what it appears to be – Camille Coduri guest stars as Jackie Tyler.

In the second adventure, Sword Of The Chevalier by Guy Adams, the Doctor and Rose arrive in Slough in 1791 and encounter Chevalier D’Eon, an enigmatic ex-spy who has lived his life as a woman. Together they must fend off alien slavers, who have come to Earth to abduct valuable humans.

Finally, in Cold Vengeance by Matt Fitton, the TARDIS arrives on Coldstar, a vast frozen food asteroid in deep space. But there is something sinister defrosting in the network of storage units… the Doctor’s old enemies the Ice Warriors! Nicholas Briggs plays Ice Lord Hasskor and Warrior Slaan.

Nicholas Briggs said:

"It was such a special time for me, working with Billie and David on the TV show, and it is such an honour to revisit it with them on audio."

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures – Volume 2 is produced by David Richardson, script edited by Matt Fitton and John Dorney, and directed by Nicholas Briggs. Executive producers are Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs.

David Richardson said:

"We were thrilled by the response to the first volume. David Tennant and Catherine Tate were on fantastic form, and it’s so exciting to reunite David with Billie Piper, playing the Doctor and Rose together again after nine years! Their time in the series transformed Doctor Who into a prime-time and international hit, and we’ve worked very hard to live up to the incredible standards of Russell T Davies."

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 2 (Limited Edition) is available now for pre-order on Download and CD. This five-disc collector's edition - limited to 5,000 copies - is available on CD in deluxe bookset packaging for a pre-release price of £35, with a download version for £25.

The three stories - Infamy of the Zaross, Sword of the Chevalier and Cold Vengeance, can be bought individually for £8.99 on Download or £10.99 on Download. These are also bundled together for £22 and £25 respectively.

[Source: Big Finish]

 

10.5: Oxygen – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

We're really loving the 'back in time for tea' element that Series 10 has brought; with The Doctor seemingly detained on Earth to watch over the mysterious vault. The impromptu trips with Bill have seen her travel to the future and the past, and now we get her very first space adventure - with Nardole along for the ride, too!

As the episode begins, you may be forgiven for thinking it was the start of a Star Trek adventure, with Peter Capaldi narrating a shot of space with the words "Space; the final frontier". There's something about those four words that instantly set the scene, and prepare you for something exciting, yet unknown. The pre-titles sequence makes use of some stunning visuals and there's a Kubrik-esque style to it that sets the precedent for everything that follows. We love our comparisons, and Oxygen feels like a mash-up of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien and The Walking Dead - all rolled into one!

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on a space station where almost all the crew have died and those that remain are being hunted down. Without giving too much away, as the title suggests, oxygen has an important part to play in the story. Let's just say that whilst we live in a time where bedroom tax is a real thing, the concept behind this episode, although slightly far-fetched, isn't exactly beyond the realms of possibility.

Writer, Jamie Mathieson (Mummy On The Orient Express, Flatline), has expertly woven an action-packed episode, with real horror and suspense, and there's more than one moment that will genuinely shock you - no matter how old you are! We did feel, however, that the episode has been a slight casualty of the editing process. There are some clunky cuts that sometimes makes the action on screen feel like it's moving ahead of the pace of the story. There's a lot going on in the episode, and much like with a Moffat-based story, you really have to pay attention to get everything that's happening.

If any of you are still undecided on Nardole (ok there are moments when he can be a little annoying), be prepared for a great scene, excellently executed by Matt Lucas, towards the end of the episode.

There's a lovely piece of music that kicks in about 5 minutes into the episode that dips beautifully from major to minor keys, and for the first time in a while, we get a taster of something anthemic building in Murray Gold's score. Music has played such a key role in Doctor Who since its return in 2005, and Gold has been at the heart of it. If we may embellish a (slightly cheesy) observation; Doctor Who glitters when Gold is at its beating heart.

Oxygen is a thrill-a-minute space adventure that will frighten, shock and surprise you. You definitely get the feeling that the production team are taking some risks and pushing the horror element, and whilst, at times, it sails perilously close to the border of what's acceptable for the kids pre-watershed time-slot, it reminds you that Doctor Who is perhaps at its best when it makes you feel slightly uncomfortable.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”I want to have a baby with you!”
2)  Velma.
3) ”That is my theme tune! Otherwise known as a distress call.”
4)  A similar shot of a companion to one we saw in The Girl In The Fireplace.
5)  A rug-pull moment, just before the credits roll.

+  10.5: Oxygen airs This Saturday at 7:15pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

10.5: Oxygen – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

We're really loving the 'back in time for tea' element that Series 10 has brought; with The Doctor seemingly detained on Earth to watch over the mysterious vault. The impromptu trips with Bill have seen her travel to the future and the past, and now we get her very first space adventure - with Nardole along for the ride, too!

As the episode begins, you may be forgiven for thinking it was the start of a Star Trek adventure, with Peter Capaldi narrating a shot of space with the words "Space; the final frontier". There's something about those four words that instantly set the scene, and prepare you for something exciting, yet unknown. The pre-titles sequence makes use of some stunning visuals and there's a Kubrik-esque style to it that sets the precedent for everything that follows. We love our comparisons, and Oxygen feels like a mash-up of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien and The Walking Dead - all rolled into one!

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on a space station where almost all the crew have died and those that remain are being hunted down. Without giving too much away, as the title suggests, oxygen has an important part to play in the story. Let's just say that whilst we live in a time where bedroom tax is a real thing, the concept behind this episode, although slightly far-fetched, isn't exactly beyond the realms of possibility.

Writer, Jamie Mathieson (Mummy On The Orient Express, Flatline), has expertly woven an action-packed episode, with real horror and suspense, and there's more than one moment that will genuinely shock you - no matter how old you are! We did feel, however, that the episode has been a slight casualty of the editing process. There are some clunky cuts that sometimes makes the action on screen feel like it's moving ahead of the pace of the story. There's a lot going on in the episode, and much like with a Moffat-based story, you really have to pay attention to get everything that's happening.

If any of you are still undecided on Nardole (ok there are moments when he can be a little annoying), be prepared for a great scene, excellently executed by Matt Lucas, towards the end of the episode.

There's a lovely piece of music that kicks in about 5 minutes into the episode that dips beautifully from major to minor keys, and for the first time in a while, we get a taster of something anthemic building in Murray Gold's score. Music has played such a key role in Doctor Who since its return in 2005, and Gold has been at the heart of it. If we may embellish a (slightly cheesy) observation; Doctor Who glitters when Gold is at its beating heart.

Oxygen is a thrill-a-minute space adventure that will frighten, shock and surprise you. You definitely get the feeling that the production team are taking some risks and pushing the horror element, and whilst, at times, it sails perilously close to the border of what's acceptable for the kids pre-watershed time-slot, it reminds you that Doctor Who is perhaps at its best when it makes you feel slightly uncomfortable.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”I want to have a baby with you!”
2)  Velma.
3) ”That is my theme tune! Otherwise known as a distress call.”
4)  A similar shot of a companion to one we saw in The Girl In The Fireplace.
5)  A rug-pull moment, just before the credits roll.

+  10.5: Oxygen airs This Saturday at 7:15pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

10.5: Oxygen – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

We're really loving the 'back in time for tea' element that Series 10 has brought; with The Doctor seemingly detained on Earth to watch over the mysterious vault. The impromptu trips with Bill have seen her travel to the future and the past, and now we get her very first space adventure - with Nardole along for the ride, too!

As the episode begins, you may be forgiven for thinking it was the start of a Star Trek adventure, with Peter Capaldi narrating a shot of space with the words "Space; the final frontier". There's something about those four words that instantly set the scene, and prepare you for something exciting, yet unknown. The pre-titles sequence makes use of some stunning visuals and there's a Kubrik-esque style to it that sets the precedent for everything that follows. We love our comparisons, and Oxygen feels like a mash-up of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien and The Walking Dead - all rolled into one!

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on a space station where almost all the crew have died and those that remain are being hunted down. Without giving too much away, as the title suggests, oxygen has an important part to play in the story. Let's just say that whilst we live in a time where bedroom tax is a real thing, the concept behind this episode, although slightly far-fetched, isn't exactly beyond the realms of possibility.

Writer, Jamie Mathieson (Mummy On The Orient Express, Flatline), has expertly woven an action-packed episode, with real horror and suspense, and there's more than one moment that will genuinely shock you - no matter how old you are! We did feel, however, that the episode has been a slight casualty of the editing process. There are some clunky cuts that sometimes makes the action on screen feel like it's moving ahead of the pace of the story. There's a lot going on in the episode, and much like with a Moffat-based story, you really have to pay attention to get everything that's happening.

If any of you are still undecided on Nardole (ok there are moments when he can be a little annoying), be prepared for a great scene, excellently executed by Matt Lucas, towards the end of the episode.

There's a lovely piece of music that kicks in about 5 minutes into the episode that dips beautifully from major to minor keys, and for the first time in a while, we get a taster of something anthemic building in Murray Gold's score. Music has played such a key role in Doctor Who since its return in 2005, and Gold has been at the heart of it. If we may embellish a (slightly cheesy) observation; Doctor Who glitters when Gold is at its beating heart.

Oxygen is a thrill-a-minute space adventure that will frighten, shock and surprise you. You definitely get the feeling that the production team are taking some risks and pushing the horror element, and whilst, at times, it sails perilously close to the border of what's acceptable for the kids pre-watershed time-slot, it reminds you that Doctor Who is perhaps at its best when it makes you feel slightly uncomfortable.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”I want to have a baby with you!”
2)  Velma.
3) ”That is my theme tune! Otherwise known as a distress call.”
4)  A similar shot of a companion to one we saw in The Girl In The Fireplace.
5)  A rug-pull moment, just before the credits roll.

+  10.5: Oxygen airs This Saturday at 7:15pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – [Nintendo Switch]

Manufacturer: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo Switch

RRP: £49.99 / $59.99

Game Age Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 28th April 2017

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online & ToysWorld

Review Posted: 7th May 2016

Mario Kart has been a defining racer since its original release in 1992. Combining fun with skill and those all-important power-ups, the game has sold well over 100 million copies, worldwide.

It was the release of Mario Kart Wii, however, that redefined the game, allowing (for the first time on a full console) the ability to connect online and race with players across the world.

2017 sees the highly-anticipated release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the new Nintendo Switch console, and it brings with it some cool new characters, karts and modes;

New Characters:

King Boo (Heavy)
Dry Bones (Light)
Bowser Jr. (Light)
Inkling Boy (Medium)
Inkling Girl (Medium)

If you manage to complete all the cups in 200cc mode, you will also get to unlock a special secret ‘Gold Mario (Heavy)’ character.

New Karts:

Splat Buggy
Ink Striker
Koopa Clown
Super Glider

New Battle Modes & Maps:

There are 8 new battle mode maps in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe:

Battle Stadium
Sweet Sweet Kingdom
Dragon Palace
Lunar Colony
3DS Wuhu Town
GNC Luigi’s Mansion
SNES Battle Course 1
Urchin Underpass

Within the new Battle Modes you get five different types;

Balloon Battle – each player starts off with 5 balloons, which other players have to pop.
Bob-omb Blast – similar to balloon battle, except the only items that players can find are Bob-ombs.
Renegade Roundup – players are split up into 2 teams, in a cops and robbers style pursuit. One group have piranha plants attached to the front of their vehicles and must capture players in the opposing group.
Coin Runners – players must battle to claim the most coins in the arena before the timer runs out.
Shine Thief – players have to battle over the control of a shine sprite in the style of capture the flag.

Other changes for the Nintendo Switch version of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, include being able to play in 1080p resolution (compared to 720p on the Wii U), with 720p resolution in handheld mode. There are also updated Mii animations, as well as new menu graphics.

So that’s everything new compared to the standard Mario Kart 8 version, but how about the gameplay itself?

Any of you familiar with Mario Kart Wii, will feel right at home with the latest iteration. Rather than rebuilding the game from the ground up, Nintendo have taken the success of the Wii version, and improved on it immensely, whilst retaining the spirit and barebones of its predecessor.

One major improvement is the graphics, and being able to play Mario Kart in high definition really does make a huge difference to the overall enjoyment and immersive feel of the game. There are some lovely little in-game, on-screen FX, like water when it’s raining. The raindrops hit the screen in an incredibly realistic style that makes you second guess whether you need to rub the screen dry or not.

The Nintendo Switch brings with it the fantastic ability to play on your TV, but also in handheld mode on the go, and this is where Mario Kart 8 Deluxe really comes into its own. The ability to take the game with you in the car and race while you’re literally on the road (with a responsible driver in charge of the actual car, of course), is truly fantastic!

Online multiplayer mode is as entertaining as ever, and you really feel like you need to up your game to compete with other players from around the world. For the first time you can also bring a second local player online with you for two-player, online mode.

The previously mentioned battle modes really take the game up a notch too, and add a welcomed change to the gameplay if you fancy switching things up a bit. One of our favourite modes was Renegade Roundup, where you have to try and catch (or evade) the opposing team members with your piranha plant.

We cannot find fault in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (except for that annoying thing where you’re in 1st place and know that the blue turtle shell is coming for you any second), everything we loved about the previous version has been improved, and with tracks that revisit some old favourites, you get a double hit of nostalgia with the game.



+  BUY Mario Kart 8 Deluxe from Amazon.co.uk from just £41.99!
+  BUY Mario Kart 8 Deluxe from Amazon.com from just $59.88!


[youtube:KmmayqaP-sk]