Sydney Newman (I) - News Poster


Is Doctor Who finally getting it right on race?

After 55 years, it was about time the series faced up to its fairly un-pc record – much to the outrage of Jeremy Clarkson

With episodes featuring Rosa Parks and the 1947 partition of India, this season of Doctor Who has reached back into history to tell some of the most racially charged stories of the 20th century. It has been a throwback to the show’s original educational roots – but has raised questions about how Doctor Who has handled race both on and off-screen in the past.

Devised in 1963 to bridge the gap on a Saturday afternoon between the sports results and the evening’s TV schedule, creator Sydney Newman always envisaged that Doctor Who would have “a high educational content” and be as much about exploring earth’s past as it was about exploring the universe. William Hartnell’s original Doctor met Marco Polo, Nero and King Richard I among others.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Doctor Who: 10 obscure facts you didn’t know about everyone’s favourite Time Lord

Call yourself a Doctor Who fan? In that case, let’s see how many of these facts you already knew…

The Doctor’s regeneration was an accident

When William Hartnell played the first Doctor between 1963 and 1966, he began having health problems toward the end of his run. To ensure that the show could continue, the writers decided that to give the Doctor the ability to regenerate, something that would soon become a part of the character’s mythology.

The show is ‘banned’ in China

Doctor Who is one of a few television programs that are banned in China. This decision to ban is because the country’s government authorities don’t want to promote anything featuring time travel that could be seen as re-writing history.

The Daleks didn’t catch on with some creators

When Sydney Newman was the head of drama at the BBC (and one of the show
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Everything You Need To Know About Doctor Who

Times change, and Doctor Who changes with them – literally. What began as a curious science fiction television show for the BBC in 1963 has now evolved into an ever-expanding franchise – encompassing a variety of spinoff series, comic books, radio dramas, novelizations, non-fiction books, video games, and an endless stream of merchandise. While it was originally created by Sydney Newman, C.E Webber, and Donald Wilson, a variety of creative minds have left their mark on the property, and the latest passing of that baton is set to bring the biggest changes of all.

Its original run – iconic theme tune and all – began on November 23rd, 1963, and continued until 1989. A TV movie followed in 1996, then the Tardis fell silent, until Russell T. Davies fired it up again in 2005. Since that reboot, Doctor Who has remained a fixture on the screens of fans around the world and shows no signs of fading from view.
See full article at We Got This Covered »

New Who Review: The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witch’s Familiar

  • Comicmix
“If someone who knew the future pointed out a child to you, and told you that that child would grow up totally evil, to be a ruthless dictator who would destroy millions of lives…could you then kill that child?”

It’s a classic philosophical question, one that the average person would never truly have to face. Of course, The Doctor is not the average person, and as such, has to face it nearly constantly. But never so personally, and so literally as when a young boy calls for help…and The Doctor walks away.

The Magician’S Apprentice / The Witch’S Familiar

Written by Steven Moffat

Directed by Hettie MacDonald

The Doctor lands on a planet torn asunder by war, a war going on so long that it’s using progressively declining technology – space fighters are being shot at with bows and arrows. When a young boy is trapped in a mine field,
See full article at Comicmix »

"Rogue Nation" Scores Rave First Reviews

The fifth film in the "Mission: Impossible" series, 'Rogue Nation,' had its world premiere in Vienna earlier this week ahead of a global launch late next week.

The series has had a rocky history though there's no question that the John Woo-directed second film is seen as an outright dud. Whether Brian DePalma's espionage-oriented first film or J.J. Abrams action-driven third film is better depends upon whom you talk to though both seem to be pretty close.

What is clear is that Brad Bird's fourth film, "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," was a winner both with audiences and critics - garnering good reviews and way more box-office than any of the previous entries, revitalising the brand.

The good news is reviews for 'Rogue Nation' so far indicate writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has continued the uptick in quality and has delivered something at least on par -
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Patrick Macnee, Star of Sydney Newman’s Other Great TV Show, Dies Aged 93

Billy Garratt-John is a writer at Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews - All the latest Doctor Who news and reviews with our weekly podKast, features and interviews, and a long-running forum.

Patrick Macnee has passed away at the age of 93. The British born actor and star of iconic 60s TV series The Avengers died of natural causes at his home in California with his family around him. His television credits also include The Twilight Zone, Columbo, the original Battlestar Galactica and appearances as Dr. Watson in two Sherlock Holmes TV movies, as well as...

The post Patrick Macnee, Star of Sydney Newman’s Other Great TV Show, Dies Aged 93 appeared first on Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews.
See full article at Kasterborous »

Patrick Macnee: 1922-2015

British actor Patrick Macnee, best known for his long-running role as The Avengers’ John Steed, has died at the age of 93.

Patrick Macnee, fondly remembered as the actor behind dapper gentleman spy John Steed in Sydney Newman’s The Avengers (1961–1969) and The New Avengers (1976-1977), has passed away at the age of 93.

Macnee died at his Southern Californian home, in the company of his family, who are very much in our thoughts today.

Before Macnee embedded suave John Steed’s bowler hat and whangee-handle umbrella firmly into sixties British culture, the actor had roles in a score of television, film and stage productions, from Shakespeare to Sherlock Holmes to Bond, having begun his career as an extra at the age of sixteen.

Macnee also served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. But it was opposite co-stars Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman, Ian Hendry and more in The Avengers
See full article at Den of Geek »

Doctor Who: female lead was considered in 1986

A fun fact for Whovians - Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman considered gender-swapping his iconic Time Lord way back in the 1980s...

Every time the Doctor reaches another regeneration, the discussion of potentially swapping the Time Lord's gender comes to the fore. As we learnt today, this debate has been going on longer than we knew. In fact, Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman considered the idea in October 1986.

He mentioned the possibility of a gender change in a letter to BBC One's controller of the time, Michael Grade. Newman wrote that "at a later stage, Dr Who would be metamorphosed into a woman." He added, though, that "this requires some considerable thought – mainly because I want to avoid a flashy Hollywood ‘Wonder Woman’ because this kind of hero(ine) has no flaws – and a character with no flaws is a bore."

This discussion took place during the Colin Baker era,
See full article at Den of Geek »

“Did I mention it also travels in time?”

Simon Blake is a writer at Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews - All the latest Doctor Who news and reviews with our weekly podKast, features and interviews, and a long-running forum.

First off, I’d just like to say I Love the Daleks! When Sydney Newman first proposed the idea for Doctor Who back in the hazy black-and-white 60s, he made it quite clear that he didn’t want any “bug-eyed monsters.” Then came along the Daleks and arguably secured the show’s future. But that was never meant...

The post “Did I mention it also travels in time?” appeared first on Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews.
See full article at Kasterborous »

10 Times Doctor Who Said F**k You To The Fans


When Sydney Newman devised Doctor Who in 1963, there was no way he could have foreseen the global phenomenon his concept would become. He certainly couldn’t have predicted the passion for the series from its ever-expanding fanbase, or the ardent scrutiny with which they view their favourite programme.

Six years later Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke created Gallifreyan lore when introducing the Time Lords, the Doctor’s own people. They might have known they were onto something big, but twenty years later a juggernaut of continuity had been established – one that wound up so cumbersome the home planet was supposedly dust by the time the show returned in 2005. Conventions and online forums buzzed with anger before it was revealed Rassilon and his kind actually survived.

All these events got a dissection of Silurian proportions via devotees of the Whoniverse over the years. Put simply, it isn’t difficult to offend a Whovian.
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Doctor Who Course In Stockport

Philip Bates is a writer at Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews - All the latest Doctor Who news and reviews with our weekly podKast, features and interviews, and a long-running forum.

Historian, Michael Herbert will be teaching an 11-week evening class… about Doctor Who! The course will cover the 51-year history of the show, from its creation in 1963 with William Hartnell at the controls of the Tardis, through his regenerations, and examining the behind-the-scenes crew that shaped the programme, including Verity Lambert and Sydney Newman,...

The post Doctor Who Course In Stockport appeared first on Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews.
See full article at Kasterborous »

First-rate man of mystery: Brian Clemens, the screenwriter who made The Avengers iconic

54 years ago, ABC Television, the ITV franchise holder for the Midlands and North of England, embarked on a new drama series that stood a good chance of success. The leading man was Ian Hendry, who played David Keel, a Gp avenging the death of his wife; the producer was Sydney Newman, the creator of the acclaimed Armchair Theatre. The first episode was scripted by Brian Clemens, a young writer who had previously worked for the Danziger brothers, the B-film producers who based their masterpieces around stock footage and borrowed props. Against not inconsiderable odds, Clemens’ scripts often managed to make a Danzigers production entertaining. The Avengers would provide a higher profile showcase for his talents.
See full article at The Independent »

Brian Clemens: 1931 – 2015

Brian Clemens, one of the defining writers of British television in the 20th century, has passed away aged 83. Best known for his work on The Avengers and numerous other cult series of the telefantasy genre, he also scripted shows across the pond such as Diagnosis: Murder and created my own personal favourite The Professionals. Still shown on ITV4 to this day, it concerned the adventures of a pair of laddish hard men operating for fictional government department CI5, and put stars Martin Shaw and the late Lewis Collins on the map.

Born in Croydon, Clemens had his first short story published before hitting his teens and went on to write for television and film full time after a stint in advertising. He performed scribbling duties on a wide variety of programmes including Danger Man and Richard The Lionheart, but it was delivering the pilot episode of The Avengers that made his name.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Doctor Who's unaired pilot: Revisited 51 years on

"A thing that looks like a police box, stuck in a junkyard, can move anywhere in time and space?"

November 23, 2014 is Doctor Who's 51st anniversary - alright, so it's not as big a deal as last year, but all the same, we thought we'd take a look back at the show's very beginnings... and then go even further back than that.

The world's longest-running science-fiction series shot its original 'pilot' episode - in its entirety - on September 27, 1963. But when Sydney Newman, BBC Head of Drama, saw the finished product, he was appalled - demanding that producer Verity Lambert and director Waris Hussein do the entire thing over again from scratch.

But is this first attempt at Doctor Who really as bad as this story would suggest, and how different is it really from the version of 'An Unearthly Child' that we would come to know and love?

See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Looking back at The Avengers

Alex pays a fond return revisit to 1960s classic TV series, The Avengers...

Stylish crime fighting, despicable evil masterminds, a bowler-hatted old Etonian gentleman spy and a series of beautiful leather cat-suited, kinky-booted, no-nonsense heroines. The Avengers had all this and more. What began as a monochrome tape series in January 1961 ran the whole of the Sixties, becoming a colourful slice of period hokum, full of flair, wit and sophistication, yet with its tongue firmly in its cheek.

Always the perfect gentleman, John Steed was played by Patrick Macnee. Originally billed second to the late Ian Hendry, Macnee was still playing Steed over 15 years later when he was teamed with the youthful duo of Joanna Lumley and Gareth Hunt for The New Avengers in 1976. In the 1998 film, the role of Steed was given to Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman played Emma Peel. I will say no more about the film.
See full article at Den of Geek »

New Who Review – “Into the Dalek”

  • Comicmix
“Demons run when a Good Man goes to war,” went the ancient line. But the problem is, The Doctor is no longer sure he’s a good man. Further problem is, neither is Clara. So The Doctor’s not quite sure what he’s going to do when he’s invited to go…

Into The Dalek

By Phil Ford and Steven Moffat

Directed by Ben Wheatley

Human rebel fighter Journey Blue is about to have her ship destroyed by a Dalek saucer when The Doctor saves her by materializing the ship around her, a move for which he expects and demands a thank you. Returning her back to her command ship, he’s quickly arrested, until Journey tells them he’s a Doctor…which is lucky because they have a patient. The patient is a Dalek, who is malfunctioning. As in, it has become good – it is raving that the Daleks must be defeated.
See full article at Comicmix »

John Guilor Reads Doctor Omega!

James Lomond is a writer at Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews - All the latest Doctor Who news and reviews with our weekly podKast, features and interviews, and a long-running forum.

The good Doctor is not the first time-and-space faring eccentric to have emerged from writers’ imaginations. While Canadian television producer and originator of Doctor Who, Sydney Newman, was explicit about the influence of H. G. Wells, there is another mysterious adventurer that bears a striking resemblance to the Doctor… Doctor Omega, from Arnould Galopin’s 1906

The post John Guilor Reads Doctor Omega! appeared first on Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews.
See full article at Kasterborous »

Jonathan Powell on Richard Broke: 'He did not seek controversy but, when it found him, he was not afraid to confront it'

Richard Broke belonged to that generation of producers who inherited the mantle of BBC Drama after the noise and bustle of Sydney Newman's innovatory regime. Richard was intensely loyal to the idea that the single play or film, as it later became known, should lie at the heart of the BBC's offering, representing the corporation at its best, and presenting the finest writing, acting and directing talent in a manner befitting the world's premier broadcaster. He did not set out to seek controversy but, when it found him, he was not afraid to confront it.

Both Tumbledown and The Monocled Mutineer became flashpoints for a more general, concerted and, on occasion, virulent attack on the BBC's perceived leftwing bias and, by implication, its suitability to continue being sustained through public funds. The accuracy and credibility of the films were picked apart in public: their crime was to undermine the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Blu-ray/DVD: An Adventure in Space and Time

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 27, 2014

Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $24.98

Studio: BBC/Warner

An Adventure in Space and Time goes back to the beginning of British cult TV hit Doctor Who.

From award-winning writer Mark Gatiss (TV’s Sherlock) and director Terry McDonough (TV’s Clue), the biogaphy movie takes us back to Nov. 23, 1963, when the first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast on BBC One.

About an alien Time Lord exploring space and time in a spaceship the shape of a police box and called the Tardis (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), the show brought together actor William Hartnell (David Bradley, Harry Potter movies), who had felt typecast by a run of tough-guy roles and wannabe producer Verity Lambert (Jessica Raine, TV’s Call the Midwife), who was frustrated by the TV industry’s glass ceiling for women.

In Saturday afternoon drama Doctor Who, filled with time travel and monsters,
See full article at Disc Dish »

Doctor Who: 10 Reasons Why An Adventure In Space And Time Was The Best Drama Of 2013

Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert

Well, that was the 50th Anniversary Year, that was.

Now that the dust has settled (a bit) and we can see the whole year in context, one thing becomes clear. An Adventure in Space and Time, while being the Anniversary Special that fandom cared the least about beforehand, was hands down the best drama of the year. Not just the Best Doctor Who drama – The Best Anything drama.

The first part of that is somewhat unsurprising. In the lead-up to the 50th Anniversary episode the lion’s share of the attention and anticipation was focused on the special, with relatively little of the spotlight falling on Mark Gattiss’ little drama about the shows inception. After all, we all pretty much knew the story of how the show came to exist, if we cared at all to know it. The facts of the story were all
See full article at Obsessed with Film »
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