Deborah Watling 1948-2017

Jul. 21st, 2017 06:53 pm
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Posted by Marcus

It is with deep sadness we report the death of Deborah Watling, forever known as the Second Doctor's companion Victoria.

Deborah Watling joined Doctor Who in 1967, just over 50 years ago. She remained with the series for just under a year, playing the Victorian orphan taken into the care of the Doctor.

Alongside Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines, Watling would occupy the Tardis throughout what is now viewed as the classic monster era of the show, featuring Cybermen, Daleks, Ice Warriors and, of course, The Yeti.

Deborah Watling was born on 2nd January 1948. She was born into a theatrical family, her father the actor Jack Watling and her mother the actress Patricia Hicks. It was inevitable that she and her siblings would end up on the stage and by the age of ten, she was appearing in the ITV series The Invisible Man, playing the niece of Peter Brady.

In 1965 she played Alice Liddell in the BBC Wednesday play written by Dennis Potter and based on the life of Lewis Carroll. It was this appearance which led her to be cast as Victoria Waterfield in the final story of Season four, The Evil of the Daleks.

It wasn't initially to be a companion role. The producers were hoping to persuade Pauline Collins, who had appeared in the previous story, to stay on. When Collins declined, the role of ongoing companion was offered to Watling and Victoria joined the TARDIS crew.

It is well known that the team of Troughton, Watling, and Hines got on extremely well with Watling often the butt of the boys jokes. Many of her stories have been wiped since transmission, and the return of two to the archive a few years ago, The Enemy of the World and most of The Web of Fear brought her considerable delight.

She left Doctor Who in April 1968, at the end of Fury from the Deep. Small roles in the films That'll Be the Day and Take Me High followed. On TV she appeared in Rising Damp and The Newcomers and in 1979 she played Norma Baker in the ITV series Danger UXB.

She briefly returned to the character of Victoria in 1993, for the Children In Need skit, Dimensions in Time before recreating Victoria in a number of audio plays for Big Finish.

Deborah Watling was diagnosed with lung cancer six weeks ago and died earlier today.

Irregular Webcomic! #3698

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:11 am
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Comic #3698

Islay is an island off the western coast of Scotland, which all by itself makes up one of the five officially designated whisky producing regions of Scotland. The whiskies from Islay are known for being strongly smoky and peaty flavoured. Adding water to whisky is one of those eternal debates that may never be settled. Just search the Internet for "add water to whisky", and be amazed by the over a million page hits returned. In case that's a bit overwhelming, here's a decent, moderately scholarly one to start on. The general consensus is that adding water changes the flavours you experience as you drink your whisky, but opinions are strongly divided over whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. Our friendly Scottish mining engineer obviously has an opinion.

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Posted by cesco7

Get to know your kaiju cosplay!

Ted as Titanosaurus: First appearing in 1975’s Terror of Mechagodzilla—and perhaps inspired by the similarly-named and scientifically disputed dinosaur— Titanosaurus is controlled by a marine scientist who loses his mind due to inability to cope with peer review. The amphibious kaiju can create cyclones with his tail and according to at least one video game unleash sonic waves from his mouth. However, he cannot withstand sonic waves from others, making him the equivalent of someone who punches you in the back of the head and then runs off because it’s not fair that you have fists, too.

Sally as King Caesar: Making its grand entrance in 1974’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla—leading to the question of just how many kaiju owe their careers to Mechagodzilla casting calls—King Caesar is inspired by ancient guardian lion statues, which were originally based on secondhand accounts of what people heard a lion looked like. A protector of mankind, the kaiju’s special powers include heat vision, spitting out lightning beams, and the ability to keep fighting beyond reason, making him the idea companion to have in a four-hour drunken brawl that ultimately ends with everyone burning and a lion-like creature mumbling “Put it on my tab.”

Irregular Webcomic! #3697

Jul. 18th, 2017 10:11 am
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Comic #3697

Alvissa's food preferences have, as far as I can tell, come up only once before, and haven't been stated as firmly as Lambert's assertion here. (Whether Lambert is technically correct or not is another question.) Not that true medieval society had the word "vegetarian". The word was only coined in the mid 19th century.

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Posted by Marcus

The BBC has issued a formal response to complaints about the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the thirteenth Doctor.

Since the news was released on Sunday, the Corporation has received a number of complaints about the casting decision.

As part of its complaints procedure it has now responded.

Since the first Doctor regenerated back in 1966, the concept of the Doctor as a constantly evolving being has been central to the programme. The continual input of fresh ideas and new voices across the cast and the writing and production teams has been key to the longevity of the series.

The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey and it has been established in the show that Time Lords can switch gender.

As the Controller of BBC Drama has said, Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.

We hope viewers will enjoy what we have in store for the continuation of the story.

Chris Chibnall Becomes A Doctor

Jul. 19th, 2017 04:29 pm
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Posted by Marcus

Incoming Doctor Who Showrunner Chris Chibnall has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Edge Hill University.

The award for, services to Literature, was made on Monday 17th July. In a video released by the University, Chibnall talked about how it felt to receive the award and his aspirations for Doctor Who.

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Posted by cesco7

Monster Island (as seen in the movie All Monsters Attack), Monsterland (as seen in the movie Destroy All Monsters) and Monster Island That’s Actually a Peninsula (as seen in The Simpsons‘ “Lisa on Ice”) is a home/nature preserve/time-share for kaiju. Amenities include gym, lounge area for group activities, tennis courts, four-star restaurants, a Duane Reade, quickly trampled tree line for easy access to all destinations, and a rather restrictive co-op board that won’t allow monsters to paint their front door simply any color they desire.

Peter Capaldi's Salary Revealed

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:41 am
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Posted by Marcus

Peter Capaldi was paid between £200,000 and £250,000 for his work on Doctor Who in the previous financial year, according to figures published by the BBC today.

The BBC has been instructed by government to publish the salaries of all on screen staff members who earn more than £150,000 each year, as part of the 2016 charter renewal.

The BBC has 96 staff members who fit into this category with Radio 2 and Top Gear presenter Chris Evans topping the chart with a salary of over 2 million pounds.

The highest paid actor is Derek Thompson from Casualty who earned between £350,000 and £400,000 in the year. The list only includes those working directly for the BBC and not those working on independent productions comissioned by the corporation, such as Sherlock.

The figure just reflects the amount of licence fee money paid to the actor and does not include any money paid by the commercial company BBC Worldwide for any other work undertaken.

Irregular Webcomic! #1593 Rerun

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:11 am
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Comic #1593

I really have to resist temptation to just write a thousand completely black strips. It's all so easy when all I have to do is dialogue. There are a few more in the pipeline since I have to advance the story enough that it makes sense for them to be in the light again, but not too many, I hope.

2017-07-19 Rerun commentary: I wonder how Ryan North would go if the lights went out in Dinosaur Comics.

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Posted by Chuck Foster

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Two Brigadiers (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced its third free Lethbridge-Stewart short story of 2017, to accompany the newly released The Daughters of Earth:

The Two Brigadiers:

It’s 2001 and Brigadier Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is feeling restless, his mind still on his recent adventure with the Doctor and Morgaine. But then there is a knock at the door and a familiar face asks for his help in finding an old friend who has gone missing!

The book has been written by newcomer Jonathan Macho, who was a runner up in the South Wales Short Story Competition of 2015, run by Candy Jar Books. His first encounter with Candy Jar Books came in 2014 at their Summer Book Festival.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explains:
I was doing a talk on how to write the perfect short story. Jonathan was in the audience, one of those who stood out, with a very obvious interest in Doctor Who. When I saw his submissions for the short story competition, I paid particular note. Indeed, I was the one who put both his stories forward for the final short list. In the event only one was picked as a runner up. There was an interesting humour to his stories, which were technically very good too. So, from that point I knew it was only a matter of time before I asked him to submit an idea to Lethbridge-Stewart.
Jonathan says:
After running-up in the South Wales Short Story Competition, I was just excited to have a publication under my belt. I had no idea it would lead to such an incredible opportunity, until Andy asked if I would like to work on a story for the range. Needless to say, he didn’t have to ask twice!
Andy continues:
I first needed to find out how wide his Who knowledge was, as often a lot of the younger fans are less familiar with the series pre-2005. Fortunatley he was one of those uber fans that knew everything, and so I asked him to pitch an idea set sometime after the 1989 television serial, Battlefield (which takes place in the late 1990s).
Jonathan adds:
The fact that my story is set during one of my favourite eras of Who is the icing on the proverbial cake! Just as I was trying to stay as true to his character as possible, the Brig here is trying to find his feet in a life he was meant to have left behind. Said life just so happens to involve clandestine reunions, strange happenings and infamous monsters of course. Who would want anything else?

The Two Brigadiers also includes an mini-short written by Andy Frankham-Allen called When Times Change..., in which Sir Alistair himself remarks upon the announcement of Jodie Whittaker, the new Doctor Who!

The book will be sent out free to everybody who purchases (includes any bundles or subscription featuring...) this month’s release, The Daughters of Earth by Sarah Groenewegen. This is the second novel in series four, focusing on a subject matter than is still topical. Sarah says:
There are echoes of what’s happening now and how women organise. The intersections of class, race, outsiders versus those within the establishment – how prone they are to infiltration. I wrote the book during the US presidential elections, which kept being a touchstone to how far women have come to be treated as human beings with agency and a reminder as to how quickly reactionary politics can assert itself.

The Daughters of Earth is available to buy individually or as part of a bundle from Candy Jar Books.

Doctor Who Reveal Has Record Viewings

Jul. 18th, 2017 04:45 pm
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Posted by Marcus

Jodie Whittaker (Credit: BBC)The BBC have revealed that the video announcing Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor received over sixteen million views online

The minute-long specially shot scene debuted on BBC One after the Men’s Wimbledon final on Sunday, where just over 5 million viewers saw it. It was also released on BBC social media channels around the world.

The reveal has been watched 9.8 million times on the BBC One Facebook channel so far, with over 2.5 million views on the Doctor Who Twitter account - making it the most successful tweet of all time for Doctor Who.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says:
To see the overwhelmingly positive response to the news that Jodie Whittaker will star as the Thirteenth Doctor, and know that the reveal has had over sixteen million views online so far, is just phenomenal. It’s exhilarating to see Doctor Who engaging with people on so many different levels and I cannot wait for the audience to see her in action on BBC ONE this Christmas.
The teaser trailer, which debuted on Friday evening before the BBC One 6 O’Clock News, has been watched a further 4.8 million times online.

Jodie Whittaker will make her debut as the Doctor in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, when the current Doctor – played by Peter Capaldi - will regenerate.
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