Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Timelash – A Review of the First German Doctor Who Convention

Over the weekend of the 24th and 25th October, in the German town of Kassel, Doctor Who fans gathered from across Europe to meet and greet some of their heroes at the first ever dedicated convention in the country, Timelash.

The Timelash Banner. (Photo by Timelash)
The Timelash Banner (Photo by Timelash)

Through the hard work of three people, Pascal Salzmann, Ralf Schmidt and Simone Violka the idea of Timelash was brought into reality via numerous crowd-funding ventures. Then a location was found, guests were approached and booked, plus the thousand and one other jobs of trying to organise a convention began.

Timelash organisers (from left to right) Ralf Schmidt, Pascal Salzmann and Simone Violka. (Photo by Pascal Salzmann)
Timelash organisers (from left to right) Ralf Schmidt, Pascal Salzmann and Simone Violka (Photo by Ronald Hulsmann)
Timelash crew and guests. (Photo by Matthias Sehring)
Timelash crew and guests (Photo by Matthias Sehring)

But it all proved a huge success over a very well attended and enjoyed weekend. A great mix of guests from the series, both Classic and New, entertained the fans throughout. These included writer Terrence Dicks and Script Editor Andrew Cartmel, the 8th Doctor Paul McGann, 1980’s companion Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown), Davros actor Terry Molloy, voice of the Daleks (among other monsters) Nicholas Briggs and Paternoster Gang member Catrin Stewart (Jenny Flint).

The autograph hall. (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
The autograph hall (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
Paul McGann (8th Doctor) signing autographs. (Photo by Pascal Salzmann)
Paul McGann (8th Doctor) signing autographs (Photo by Ronald Hulsmann)

One of the organisers, Pascal Salzmann, said of the weekend…. “I still cannot believe the enthusiastic response by everyone who attended the convention. Everyone is coming up to me, thanking me for bringing Doctor Who to Germany. And as you can clearly see, it was about time! When we started to plan this event we wanted it to be a convention where fans would meet, dress up, have fun together, see their stars and talk to them in a familiar atmosphere. We basically wanted to create an event that we would like to attend, as we are fans. And I am glad it worked.”

Nicola Bryant (with Terry Molloy in background) talking at a panel. (Photo by Pascal Salzmann)
Nicola Bryant (with Terry Molloy in background) talking at a panel (Photo by Ronald Hulsmann)

Away from TV other aspects of Doctor Who were well in evidence. Jason Haigh-Ellery, executive producer for Big Finish audio was there, alongside author Nev Fountain who has contributed a number of stories for them. Also present was all-rounder Toby Hadoke, well known for his stage show Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, as well as moderating DVD commentaries and some roles for Big Finish.

The Big Finish Panel. From second left, Jason Haigh-Ellery, Nick Briggs (with microphone), Nev Fountain, Nicola Bryant, Terry Molloy (in kilt), Paul McGann and Toby Hadoke. (Photo by Timelash)
The Big Finish Panel. From second left, Jason Haigh-Ellery, Nick Briggs (with microphone), Nev Fountain, Nicola Bryant, Terry Molloy (in kilt), Paul McGann and Toby Hadoke (Photo by Timelash)

More specific to German fans was voice actor Michael Schwarzmaier (6th and 7th Doctors) who provided dubbing for the classic series on the TV network and Kai Taschner, who is the dubbing director for Doctor Who during the 9th Doctor and first 10th Doctor series.

Terrence Dicks talks to the fans. (Photo by Pascal Salzmann)
Terrence Dicks talks to the fans (Photo by Ronald Hulsmann)
Catrin Stewart (with Toby Hadoke in background) enjoying a panel. (Photo by Pascal Salzmann)
Catrin Stewart (with Toby Hadoke in background) enjoying a panel (Photo by Ronald Hulsmann)

One of the fans in attendance, Tony Chamberlain from Cardiff, had this to say about the event weekend. “The venue, the panels, the displays, the guests…..everything about the convention was carried out flawlessly. Full kudos to Pascal, Simone and all the other organisers for a great weekend.”

Tony Chamberlain and Andrew Cartmel. (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
Tony Chamberlain and Andrew Cartmel (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

Overall, the convention has proved to be a huge success, with most of the guests expressing the wish to return. Indeed, any fans wishing to attend Timelash 2 should set aside the weekend of October 15th and 16th 2016 in their diaries, as the organisers get busy planning for the next event.

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Doctor Who Series 9 Set Report 3

As filming for Series 9 draws to a close, Special Agent Chamberlain 006 has been out and about in sunny (yes, I was surprised too) Cardiff, tracking down the production crew to their not-so-secret location of ‘Eddie’s American Diner’ on Mermaid Quay. Here is what he found…

Eddie's American Diner, complete with 'gas' pumps. Not something you see every day in Cardiff.
Eddie’s American Diner, complete with ‘gas’ pumps. Not something you see every day in Cardiff.
Peter Capaldi with scenery backdrop of mountains and desert.
Peter Capaldi with scenery backdrop of mountains and desert.
Jenna in waitress outfit. "Do you want fries with that?"
Jenna in waitress outfit. “Do you want fries with that?”
Lighting truck parked above another iconic Cardiff landmark, Ianto's shrine.
Lighting truck parked above another iconic Cardiff landmark, Ianto’s shrine.

Suggestions are that this is filming for the final episode/episodes of the series, though it is also possible that these scenes could fit in anywhere. I guess we will all know by Christmas!

Thanks again to Agent 006 for the images…

Facebook Q&A with Sue Malden

Over on Facebook, the Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group are currently inviting questions for another of their popular and successful Q&A series. This has already featured Philip Morris (the man who returned Enemy of the World and Web of Fear in 2013), Richard Molesworth (author of the popular book Wiped!) and Paul Vanezis (documentary producer and member of the Restoration Team) and next up to answer fan questions will be archivist Sue Malden.

Film and TV Archivist Sue Malden.
Film and TV Archivist Sue Malden.

For those whose memory is hazy at best on the saga of the missing episodes of Doctor Who, it was Sue Malden who was instrumental in the discovery and return of many thought lost episodes in the late 70s and early 80s, having been alerted to the junking of archive TV by Who fan Ian Levine. She also put together the first paper trail of episode sales, building on the work of Pamela Nash who had established a stock of 16mm prints to be sent to foreign TV stations. These along with the episodes held by the BBC were brought under one roof in the new BBC Film and Videotape Library, aka BBC Archives. Sue Malden became its first ‘archive selector’, responsible for deciding which programmes were worthy of storing there.

The film can for the existing second episode of The Evil of the Daleks
The film can for the existing second episode of The Evil of the Daleks

So, if anybody is interested in asking Sue a question about Doctor Who missing episodes in particular or Film and TV archiving in general, follow the link above to the group and add your question to the pinned thread. All questions to be received by 9pm BST (UK time) on Wednesday July 1st please.

Doctor Who Series 9 Set Report Number 2

Special Agent Chamberlain 006 is back, and he has once again been out on the trail of the Doctor Who crew filming in and around Cardiff for Series 9. Last week Agent 006 caught up with them during filming in and around the grounds of Caerphilly Castle. Here is his pictorial report….

A new flag replaces the familiar Welsh dragon. Looks a little like the Royal Beast of Peladon. Alternately, someone mentioned it looks like the Sheriff's standard from Robot of Sherwood.   (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
A new flag replaces the familiar Welsh dragon. Looks a little like the Royal Beast of Peladon. Alternately, someone mentioned it looks like the Sheriff’s standard from Robot of Sherwood.
(Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

 

The entrance to Caerphilly Castle, with added smoke effect.   (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
The entrance to Caerphilly Castle, with added smoke effect.
(Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

 

Smoke on the water.   (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
Smoke on the water.
(Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

 

Effects Guy 1 - “Did we do that?”   Effects Guy 2 - “Just walk away quietly and nobody will notice.”   (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
Effects Guy 1 – “Did we do that?”
Effects Guy 2 – “Just walk away quietly and nobody will notice.”
(Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

 

Ogri Eggs?   (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
Ogri Eggs?
(Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

 

Peter Capaldi signing autographs for the fans.   (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
Peter Capaldi signing autographs for the fans.
(Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

 

Guest Actor Daniel Hoffmann-Gill in costume.  (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
Guest Actor Daniel Hoffmann-Gill in costume.
(Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

 

Setting up the camera rig for filming down the well. Possible set-up for later studio green-screen shot?   (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
Setting up the camera rig for filming down the well. Possible set-up for later studio green-screen shot?
(Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

 

Our Agent is caught by the Doctor, so poses as an 'ordinary fan' to get an autograph.   (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
Our Agent is caught by the Doctor, so poses as an ‘ordinary fan’ to get an autograph.
(Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

 

A special message from the Doctor to the Facebook Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group.   (Photo by Tony Chamberlain)
A special message from the Doctor to the Facebook Doctor Who Missing Episodes Discussion Group.
(Photo by Tony Chamberlain)

 

+++

As ever we appreciate the efforts of Special Agent Chamberlain 006 in his ongoing mission to find and photograph the Doctor Who production crew going about their filming work. More reports as and when he files them.

Doctor Who Series 9 Set Report

Deep in the heart of urban Cardiff, the production team are hard at work filming the new series of Doctor Who. Today our special agent, known only as Chamberlain 006 and recently parachuted into Cardiff, disguised himself as a local to send us this report from the latest outdoor filming of Series 9….

+++ Report Begins +++

The production team began setting up overnight at Lydstep Flats in Gabalfa, Cardiff, creating a staging area about a mile away. Location set-up began before 9am in the area around the flats (previously used as the Powell Estate in ‘Rose’ and more recently as block containing Clara’s flat in ‘Time of the Doctor’) with 2pm. The team remained on site after 5pm, though whether night filming is involved is currently unknown.

Jenna Colman reading her script (Photo - Tony Chamberlain)
Jenna Colman reading her script
(Photo – Tony Chamberlain)

First spotted was Jenna Colman (Clara), who filmed three scenes involving her entering and leaving the building, while donning and removing a motorcycle helmet. Two separate outfits were worn during these scenes.

Peter Capaldi in costume (Photo - Tony Chamberlain)
Peter Capaldi in costume
(Photo – Tony Chamberlain)

Peter Capaldi (the Doctor) arrived and left in costume, though did not film outside. His scenes were presumably inside the building, and possibly also quite short.

Ingrid Oliver arrives (Photo - Tony Chamberlain)
Ingrid Oliver arrives
(Photo – Tony Chamberlain)

Also in costume were Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart) and Ingrid Oliver (Osgood) making these scenes part of the UNIT episodes, most likely the two part story suggested for episodes seven and eight. Like Capaldi, they did not appear to be filming any exterior scenes.

Jemma Redgrave on set (Photo - Tony Chamberlain)
Jemma Redgrave on set
(Photo – Tony Chamberlain)

+++ Report Ends +++

Thanks to our anonymous special operative for that report and the set photos included with it. Great work Tony!

Oops….

Karen Gillan’s new series drawing closer to a premiere

Karen Gillan is about to star in a new series for ABC in the US. The series is called ‘Selfie’ and from the promo doing the rounds, Karen appears to be the main star of the piece and she appears to be playing a severe narcissist.


It might not be the cup of tea that most Who-fans tune into, but it looks to have the potential to be funny and at a guess, popular. The only thing that’s disappointing is to hear her doing an American accent. This writer would like to see people on the whole using their own accents when working abroad. It works both ways across the pond (did you see what I did there?) lest we forget ‘Evolution of the Daleks’.  Don’t get me started on fake Australian accents.

I reckon I’ll tune in and give it a go. What do you think?

In Praise of Pertwee

Dear readers,

 

A couple of days ago now it was the anniversary of Jon Pertwee’s death. 18 years since the third Doctor passed on from this universe to the next. And recently I listened to a podcast, and then read a thread on a forum, where it seemed open season on Pertwee and his era. So I wanted to take a chance to tell the world that there are plenty of Pertwee fans out there who to this day love the five years he gave us, and umpteen appearances he made after he left the role.

I mean heck, the guy actually appeared in a fan-made film trying to explain the transition from Second to Third Doctors! The ‘showman’ never failed to come back when asked, and he never stopped giving back to the fans. And for fans that take their fandom as seriously as us Doctor Who fans, that deserves great kudos.

pertwee1

Criticisms rage about his era that Pertwee was too ‘establishment’, his stories were too formulaic to ‘Bob Baker and Dave Martin were crap’. Hmmm. What can I say? I have a few friends for whom Pertwee is the ultimate Doctor, for me it is Troughton. But one of the reasons I love Troughton so much is the way he worked with Pertwee in The Three and Five Doctors. When I started to watch Doctor Who regularly, it was the 80s and Pertwee had an almost full series of repeats shown at 6.30pm. He and his era sucked me properly into the show, after I’d seen one Colin Baker episode and read a few of the Target books.

Perhaps the best Doctor/companion team? Jon and Katy
Perhaps the best Doctor/companion team? Jon and Katy

Spearhead drew me in, Ambassadors pulled me along and Inferno was a great big hook and I have never looked back. I even like most Bob Baker and Dave Martin stories, and I think ‘The Mutants’ is the most underrated Doctor Who story there is, bar ‘The Gunfighters’. This writing team was responsible for some of the most different and creative stories from the Pertwee and Tom Baker eras. ‘The Mutants’ may feature a couple of bad performances, but at the same time directly attacks British colonialism. And the Third Doctor is NOT on the side of the Overlords – he still sticks up for the underdog, the downtrodden, those treated unfairly. The Claws of Axos is an amazing amalgamation of ideas and visuals, and I will always LOVE ‘The Three Doctors’ despite its shortcomings.

pertwee5

Pertwee IS establishment quite often, but always expresses rage and dismay at bureaucracy and pen pushers. Some have said that his Doctor wasn’t ‘nice’, but I never got that. The way he worked with Katy Manning showed a very soft and caring side to the Doctor. He was a man who was flamboyant, yet completely and utterly dependable. As a young kid, whatever the Doctor and Co were facing, you knew the Third Doctor would win out. And as for the rapport with Delgado, the way the two worked together – we have never and will never see better Doctor/Adversary matchup. That is clear.

Say what you like, Pertwee is not my favourite of all, but will always be one of my favourite Doctors. He has magic, a soft side, he was dynamic, funny at times, deadly serious at others. And in the early years right through to today, no Doctor has delivered speeches quite so well. See – ‘The Mind of Evil’, ‘The Time Monster’ and ‘Planet of the Spiders’. So, grab some cheese and a bottle of the finest wine you can find in Style’s cellar and drink a toast to Jon Pertwee. I salute you sir!

pertwee2

Andrew Boland, also known as World Journeys, is a travel writer and blogger. You can find his travel blog here – http://worldjourneysdiscover.wordpress.com/