February 23, 2005
There’s no end to what fans do to celebrate their fandom. Some write, some draw, some make videos. There are websites, poems, paintings, and sculptures out there being created by fans. I’ve just recently happened upon a website that deals solely with remixes of the Doctor Who theme. I’ve always enjoyed hearing new variations on the Doctor Who theme. I guess the Mark Ayres “Variations” release back in the 1990s was my first introduction to DW remixes. In fact I don’t think I knew what a remix was back then! Since then I’ve heard rock/pop covers (KLF), string quartet compositions (Foreplay), and dance club dubs (Orbital) of the theme…and there are more out there, it’s amazing. Some are good, some are terrible. I guess if I was musically gifted, I too would set out to rework the theme, and play with it. Why not? It’s a bloody cool track. Check out the following links for a quick audio fix:
“The website was created to pay tribute to Ron Grainer and Delia Derbyshire’s influential and timeless theme, with amateur (non-commissioned and non-profit;) remixes, electronic or acoustic, faithful or pisstakes, of the theme.” http://whomix.trilete.net/
And I say right on.
I wonder how they will rework the New Theme… or are have they already hit the mark?
Posted by Rod on Wednesday, February 23 at 12:16 pm
February 22, 2005
In summary: Great con. Great fans. Not much news. Lousy dealers room.
The Sixteen Swashbucklers of Gallifrey One, the sixteenth iteration of what is North American fandom’s most significant and largest convention happened last weekend. Those Doctor Who Bloggers who were there intended to make postings from the con floor (or more appropriately the floor of our hotel room, where we retired after a long night’s drinking) but we never did. Partially this was because we never got around to it. Mostly it was because—although the con itself was excellent—there wasn’t much to say in terms of newsworthy stuff.
Two new series writers were there, Rob Shearman and Paul Cornell, but they couldn’t really say very much. Although representatives from BBC3’s Doctor Who Confidential, BBC Radio 2’s Project Who and even the CBC were there to shoot footage of the con and interview attendees and guests alike, the makers of the new series did not evidentally deign to send any promotional material along to show the assembled masses. This meant that while everyone had the new series on their lips, there wasn’t really much in the way of new information to discuss. Which was a shame as everyone else, it seems, were ready to court North American fandom in its finery…except the people who had the most good will to gain from it.
While many fans have a wait and see attitude toward the new series (especially American fans because they don’t know where and when it will air and if they’ll see it at all anytime soon) you can’t help but sense that there is a lot of enthusiasm out there for Who right now. Sales of Enlightenment at the DWIN table were brisk, and the conversations in the panels and in the bar had an excitement this blogger hasn’t seen in a while (compare this to, say, 2003, when the only big news was Shada on BBCi and you can see a marked difference).
The only other disappointment was the Dealer Room. The Gallifrey One Dealer Room is usually among the best anywhere, but this year, while the same purveyors of goods were present, there wasn’t anything new to sell. It was bizarre: no new books (fiction and non-fiction, I wanted to pick up Andrew Cartmel’s Script Doctor and was denied), no new audios (no sign of the BF February 2005 release and I’m still bitter that I couldn’t pick up the MP3 version of William Russell reading Doctor Who and the Daleks) and, more criminally, no new DWMs. It’s ridiculous to me that more care wasn’t taken to ensure a whole box of DWM 352 and 353 weren’t brought. They would have been sold instantly.
None of these deficiencies are the fault of the con itself, though. As ever, Shaun Lyon and his army of organizers put on a first-rate convention, with some great guests and some fantastic programming. Gallifrey remains to be one of the best opportunties for a real international fan community to come together. And next year’s con, with the new series actually transmitted will be even better, we are sure.
Posted by Graeme on Tuesday, February 22 at 1:48 pm
February 21, 2005
As the series approaches it’s amazing how an image here and there (leaking out from the ether) can really excite a fan. All of the images I’ve seen so far have been great, but they’ve all been of the a similar (muted & posed) tone. This new one however gives us our first look at the darker side of the New Doctor Who…and a bit of the range this series, and this Doctor might (will?) have.
I’ve cropped down this image so as to delete any spoilers. This image of the Doctor however says way more than I would dare describe here and now…without going into context of story, spoilers and emotional raison d’Ítre. At least now we *know* there will be an emotional range to this character, and that this fine actor will in fact be pulling all the stops.
It’s also a nice glimpse of the future… and things to come.
Posted by Rod on Monday, February 21 at 1:19 pm
February 20, 2005
There is talk that the DVD release for the new series will be out by October, according to a report in DVD Times. The site is a UK site, so there’s no actual suggestion of releases for the other regions such as Region 1. However, the release is likely to be in a box-set, and there is a now a precedent for Region 1 seeing releases of Doctor Who DVD Box Sets’s at the same time as Region 2, with last November’s simultaneous release of the Lost in Time Collection, so its possible that we may see it in North America at the same time that the UK does.
What will be interesting to see is whether the release will be available with the option of either purchasing individual stories or the entire set, as both the Key to Time and Lost in Time releases provide. That will probably depend on how many discs the new series set is released on. It seems likely that they would fit 2 of the new 45-minute episodes on at least one disc, with extras, but with the odd two-part story during the 13 episode season, there will have to be some discs with either just one 45 minute episode or some containing three episodes.
Above all I hope that the advent of the new series increases the output of the original series DVD releases, which, while largely excellent, come out too slowly with just 6 to 8 releases per year. I’d like to see that increase to at least ten per year, with an emphasis on getting the Hartnell and Troughton stories that need to be VIDFired and Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee stories that have not been commercially released on VHS in episodic format (ie. The Time Warrior, Death to the Daleks, Day of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen and The Deadly Assassin)
Posted by John on Sunday, February 20 at 6:51 am
February 19, 2005
An original cast member of Doctor Who makes his return this month as Ian Chesterton himself, William Russell, guest stars alongside Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton in The Game, the latest 5th Doctor Audio released later this month by Big Finish.
Only Russell is not playing Ian, because another Russell, Big Finish producer Gary, doesn’t believe in bringing old companions back to meet the Doctor (unless its someone who lives on Gallifrey). Gary Russell is of the view that the Doctor meeting up with an old friend is too implausible, which suggests that he is painfully unaware that all four of his audio Doctors are able to pilot the TARDIS to where and whenever they’d like, making any such meeting perfectly plausible if he so wished. Personally I don’t find the idea that the Doctor would drop in on an old friend to see how they are doing to be that odd - actually, the idea that once he had control of the TARDIS, that he wouldn’t ever go back at least once to see old friends of his, is what I find to be a bit odd.
Nevertheless, while the fans are denied a chance to hear the Doctor and Ian team up 42 years after they first met, cheers to Big Finish for bringing back William Russell at a time when Doctor Who is beginning once again. Hearing William Russell act alongside Peter Davison will no doubt be a joy, and perhaps it is fitting that William Russell finally gets to equal what his co-star Jacqueline Hill got to do 25 years ago - return to Doctor Who in a different role to act alongside a different Doctor.
And after 42 years after his first appearance in Doctor Who, it seems not a moment too soon!
Posted by John on Saturday, February 19 at 7:18 am
February 18, 2005
As part of Big Finish’s New Worlds range of books, they are publishing an Iris Wildthyme short story collection. It is edited by Paul Magrs and features stories by Kate Orman, Lance Parkin, and Stuart Sheargold among others.
Too bad it will be a mail order-only hardcover.
In the meantime there are four Iris Wildthyme short stories available on Iris’s own site. They are well worth reading, particularly In the Sixties. “I wanted the party to go on till I got time to catch up and join it.”
Posted by John on Friday, February 18 at 12:18 pm
These ninth Doctor book covers look quite surprising at first, since we’ve had no other covers like them. Lots of fans hate them. I’m not sure why, because no way are they the worst covers we’ve had.
To put these covers in perspective, look at one next to a Buffy book. They look quite similar. And that’s good because they are aimed at the audience that reads TV tie-in novels that look like this.
Lets hope they will be distributed properly in North America, and put on the shelves right next to the Buffy and Stargate books. Purely for marketing purposes - they will of course be much better than those other books.
Posted by John on Friday, February 18 at 9:45 am
February 17, 2005
I’m not sure about how many of you people watch Survivor. But this season there’s a man by the name of James Miller playing the game…and BY MERCY does he ever look like Christopher Who, Doctor Eccleston, you know…that guy. He sounds like he’s from the deep south (US)... but he looks like he’s actually from the north (UK). Makes the series all that more interesting to watch… can a Time Lord lose a reality show? And if he wins…is it cheating because he can travel in time? I’m sure CBS knows what they are doing. Hey…*maybe* CBS *IS* the US broadcaster!!!
Posted by Rod on Thursday, February 17 at 9:23 pm
Once upon a time, DVD covers in the UK really sucked. I mean who can forget the stunning image of, er, a Dalek on Remembrance of the Daleks or, um, a blindfolded Doctor on The Caves of Androzani. Back in those halcyon days, it was okay that the North American DVDs sucked because they actually sucked less than the UK DVD covers.
But the times have changed. The BBC hired Clayton Hickman to do the cover artwork because he apparently owns his own licensed version of photoshop and does design work for everyone else. And lo and behold, the covers to their DVD range went from suckage to awesome. Hickman’s covers have a gorgeous use of colour and, although photoshop composites, evoke the best of the Target Novel covers.
All of a sudden, it’s the North American DVD covers that blow.
Case in point is The Leisure Hive. On the left hand side of the image you can see the UK cover, which has gone to the trouble of sourcing an image of Tom Baker not unlike the one used in the era-redefining title sequence, even using lens flares like the one in the opening titles for good measure. The foamasi and the hive itself are well balanced in the composition. There’s a good use of colour.
The North American version, on the right hand side….yech. The composition is stacked higher and higher such that the foamasi looks ridiculous, rather than menacing, behind the logo. Pangol and two Argolins with their backs to the viewer is an idiotic image to use. And there’s a waxy yellow sheen to the colour that makes me think the designer was using a filter called “nicotine”. It gets points for using Lalla Ward on the cover, but that’s about it.
I know that the UK covers use only half of the space, but really, couldn’t we start using Clayton Hickman’s images on the North American releases instead of these ugly…things. Please? I’d rather suffer the hideous TARDIS wall backdrop than another of these graphical frankensteins.
Posted by Graeme on Thursday, February 17 at 4:09 am
February 16, 2005
Hockey is Dead.
Long Live Doctor Who on the CBC.
Although it’s shame that the hockey season had to come to such a terrible demise, at least we will now see New Doctor Who on the CBC as early as the first week of April.
As they say out west…. Yeeeee-Haaaa!
I wonder what the theme song for Doctor Who Night In Canada will sound like?
Posted by Rod on Wednesday, February 16 at 10:21 am
The Doctor Who Blog's mission is to provide witty and insightful commentary on the world of Doctor Who in all its various forms. And to make several bad puns and references to jokes Tom Baker once made.
- Jodie Whittaker - the 13th Doctor. Yes, this is for real!
- The Doctor Stands
- There’s a Hole Outside of Your Heart
- Take Your Pict
- The Martian Chronicles
- The Lie of the Land - Including Canada!
- Pyramid Power
- In Extremis
- Blinded by the Light
- The Little Grey Cells
- Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day
- And we’re back!
- Happy 53rd Anniversary
- Top of the Class?